High-Touch Real Estate

Like many industries, the real estate industry has had to adapt due to changing market conditions. Effie Vlachoulis from Harris Real Estate talks to us about the importance of an effective online presence when selling your home.

An effective online profile and an engaging social media presence seems to be more important than ever before for real estate agents. How are these platforms used to attract buyers?

Social media is an integral part of my business; it enables me to promptly advertise current properties and provide an update on what is happening in the current market. Potential buyers are also often interested in what their day-to-day life will look like after purchasing in a particular area, so I advertise the lifestyle surrounding my properties for sale on social media. Other than attracting relevant buyers, social media also helps me to engage with buyers or sellers easily and efficiently, and it also gives prospective sellers the ability to look at my track record of sales.

I imagine social platforms are also important tools for ‘off market’ sales?

Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are important for off market sales as they provide those on the Harris buyer database with information about properties that may match their buying requirements. Buyers interested in these off market properties are able to directly message me about the property to ask questions and to submit offers before the property is advertised on realestate.com.au and Domain. Off market sales are all about beating the competition before it hits the open market and so social media gives prospective buyers a head start. It is also very cost effective for vendors as there are no advertising fees.

Virtual walk throughs are another technology-based sales strategy that has no doubt been used a lot during COVID. How effective are virtual walk throughs and what type of buyer is accessing this service?

Virtual walk throughs are an extremely effective technology-based strategy. In fact, I would say that they are just as effective as if a prospective buyer was walking through the house themselves. Virtual walk throughs are essentially a guided tour of the property during which I walk through each room of the house pointing out its features, and enabling prospective buyers to ask questions about each room specifically. Most buyers accessing this service are interstate or overseas buyers. Virtual walk throughs open the property market up to more prospective purchasers, giving more buyers a chance to view the home in a shorter amount of time.

Video streaming is another technology that seems to have gained popularity during the pandemic.

Yes, video streaming, like virtual walk throughs, also enables me to contact a wider range of buyers. Video streaming allows people to be part of a live auction without physically being there. This is also 
a useful tool for people who may have to isolate suddenly.

“97 percent of all home buyers used the internet in their home search.” 

NAR 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report

Effie Vlachoulis
Property Consultant
0412 677 189
effiev@harrisre.com.au
@effievlachoulisrealestate

Terrace Floors + Furnishings: Massive May Homewares Sale

Terrace Floors + Furnishings’ May sale is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect excuse to shop ‘til you drop on luxe rugs, carpets and interior pieces. 

Running between May 14 and May 21, the once-a-year sale grants shoppers the chance to revitalize their living space with brands like Ethnicraft, Globewest and Armadillo.

The annual sale is slashing up to 60 percent off selected stock in-store and 30 percent off Terrace Floors + Furnishings Armadillo floor stock rugs (excluding the House of Grey collection). Sweeten your interior space by picking up fresh bed linen or homewares on sale in the Eastwood-based showroom. 

But it’s not only in-store stock that will see prices reduced. Brand new Terrace Floors + Furnishings furniture and rugs available online will see a further 25 percent off if paid in full on the day. 

Terrace Floors + Furnishings is one of SA’s premier destinations for all things interior. Lending an expert eye to interior projects, the store has helped re-invent living spaces from the ground up since 2000. The showroom stocks an expansive collection of luxury rugs, carpets and furnishings that the Terrace team use to curate your dream room. 

Pop down to Terrace Floors + Furnishings and check out the massive May sale between May 14 and May 21. 

Find Terrace Floors + Furnishings at 51 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Saturday and between 11am and 4pm on Sunday.

Visit the Terrace Floors + Furnishings store online here to check out their latest stock. 

*Sale excludes Ercol Furniture, Armadillo House of Grey collection, original artwork and installed products. 

Styling for Sale

We chat to Effie Vlachoulis from Harris Real Estate about the importance of effective home styling in the lead-up to sale.

What are the four things people should do when styling their home for sale?

Definitely de-clutter to keep the space open to interpretation. If need be, giving your walls a fresh coat of paint is always helpful and replace any fixtures and fittings that need an update – it’s the 
small things that make a big difference. Also, don’t forget to give your gardens some love. This is often the part of a property that gets left behind.

How important is curb appeal? 

Curb appeal is key as this is the first impression a buyer has of the home. Many buyers will do a ‘drive by’ of the property before inspecting to get a feel for the location, so it is important to create a welcoming entrance. A home’s entrance can be easily updated by tiling a verandah, borrowing some outdoor furniture or simply adding a garden bed 
or beautiful potted plants. 

Why is it so important to get the styling right?

Styling is a pivotal part of selling a home, it creates an emotional connection with the buyer and gives people an idea of how different spaces of the home can be used. A professional stylist can objectively view a home and style it so it appeals to a wider demographic while also enabling potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home.

Is it necessary to engage a styling expert or can people do this effectively themselves?

It’s not always necessary to hire a professional stylist, however a stylist does this day in and day out and they know how to create a space that buyers can see themselves living in. They have different themes for specific property types and ensure that the style flows throughout. 

What impact does the right styling have on property prices?

Styling can have a dramatic impact on a property’s sale price. If your property is styled and presented well it will set the right tone for buyers. Not all people can visualise where furniture will fit in the home, so having this set up for them makes a big difference. 

Does styling also affect how long a property is on the market?

Professional styling helps to create incredible marketing campaigns as the professional photography comes up amazingly. This increases the chance of potential buyers sharing the property listing with friends and family, which in-turn means more eyes on the property. Styling ultimately enables maximum appeal, which usually means less days on market.

Effie Vlachoulis
Property Consultant
0412 677 189
effiev@harrisre.com.au

Table Inspiration

Reinvent your table this spring with dinnerware and kitchen accessories from Harbour Town Premium Outlets.

HAMPTONS STYLE

Get the Hamptons look in your home with tableware from Bed, Bath N’ Table.

Arlo tea towel (a placemat), $14.95; Sutton dinner set, pieces from $6.95 each; Morgan & Finch palm glasses, $29.95 set of 4; Verona glass jug, $29.95; Jaipur napkins, $24.95; Tablekraft 32 pcs cutlery set, was $159.95 now $79.95 (from Minimax).

NAUTICAL

Update your kitchen staples for spring with these classic styles from Sheridan

SFO apron, was $59.95 now $20; Robyn tea towel set of 2, was $32.99 now $15; Thread Apron, was $39.95 now $15; Harling tea towel set, was $39.95 now $15; Madina tea towel set, $26.99.

WARM SCANDINAVIAN

Create the warm Scandi look this spring. Add textured placemats, rustic warm wood tones and retro-inspired dinnerware from House and Garden.

Rustic Mango wood serving board, was $79.95 now $54.95; Placemats, was $14.95 now $6.95 each; Sorrento vase, was $44.95 now $31.46; Amarantus faux foliage, $12.95; Salt & pepper shakers, $59.95; Rustic coasters set or 4, was $14.95 now $9.95; Winston wine glasses, was $39.95 now $29.95; Celine tumblers, was $29.95 now $14.95; Hana dinner set 12 pce, was $159.95 now $79.95; Moscow 40 pce cutlery set, was $199.95 now $99.95; Mango wood bowl, was $139 now $54.95; Salad servers, was $39.95 now $29.95.

MIX N’ MATCH DINNER SET

Create a mix and match dinner set with colourful tableware. Create your own style with outlet pieces from Minimax.

Speckle plates navy/blue/pink, $14.95 each; Duck egg dinner set, was $129.95 now $89.95; Teapot, $24.95; Cuddle mugs, was $24.95 now $19.95; Krosno tumblers, was $49.95 now $34.95; Stemless wine glasses, was $49.95 now $29.95; Mugs with handles, was $49.95 now $29.95; Tablekraft 32 pcs cutlery set, was $159.95 now $79.95; Laguiole cheese knife, $14.96.

Prices correct and items available at time of publishing.

Making Custom Furniture Affordable

Customised, handcrafted furniture and homewares are now more accessible than ever, thanks to OZ Design Furniture’s Artisan Collection.

Purchasing customised, handcrafted artisan furniture used to require the advice of a designer and getting something commissioned, not to mention the hefty price tag. But thanks to OZ Design Furniture’s Artisan Collection you can now get the bespoke look you’ve always wanted for less.

Designed for OZ, the Artisan Collection comprises handcrafted furniture and homewares made by skilled artisans. The carefully selected range features key pieces that follow current global interior trends – including Bohemian-style rattan and sustainable reclaimed timber pieces – that will add a unique aesthetic to your interior spaces. 

The majority of the range is customisable, meaning you can design and order to suit your space.

OZ Design Furniture 

800 Marion Road, Marion
08 8472 3630

Gepps X Home HQ 
750 Main North Road, Gepps Cross 
08 8472 3640

What Your Home Says About Your Personality

If your interior style is a reflection of your personality, what does your home say about you? The team at OZ Design Furniture explains. 

Like the clothes we wear, the furniture and colour choices in our homes say a lot about our personalities and how we choose to live. 

If you find your home is filled with warm tones of yellows, oranges, pinks and peaches, it ma be a reflection of your cheerful and welcoming personality. These shades create a nurturing and intimate atmosphere that will greet guests when they enter your home.  

Soft, cool hues of blues, lavenders and greens suggests your abode as your oasis. These colours are often associated with vast ocean views, open fields and clear skies that will transport you to a more soothing and tranquil mindset. To avoid an overly chilly feel, add touches of brown and orange using furniture and fixtures.

Confident, outgoing and creative characters often lean towards striking jewel tones. Sapphire, emerald, ruby and topaz generate an inspiring space for visitors. Achieve this sense of boldness through colour blocking your walls or a few cushions; to lessen the intensity, incorporate neutrals into the area.

If you think ‘neutrals’ means lacklustre, think again – sticking to neutrals tones of greys, beiges, ivories, and browns can create a sleek, crisp look. Enhance your home through different and unusual textures while maintaining the classic look you desire. Or step out of your comfort zone and insert hints of bold colour to bring the space to life. 

Seasons can also play a part in the interior choices we make. This season rattan textures, clean lines and subtle tones, which are all part of OZ Design’s Winter collection of furniture and homewares, hint at the cooler weather and our desire to escape the elements and rug up inside.

While the functionality of these pieces is important – like statement timber dining pieces and buffets that allow you to entertain with ease and sofas that provide a seat for all to sink into – the colour choices are also key in creating a space that feels like home. 

Bright furniture, while adding a trendy and bold statement in your home, suggests that the individual welcomes change with open arms. The expert team at OZ Design Furniture suggest injecting pops of colour by layering rugs, wall art and cushions; select a colourway that reflects who you are and create a space filled with décor you love.

OZ Design Furniture 

800 Marion Road, Marion
08 8472 3630

Gepps Cross Gepps X Home HQ 
750 Main North Road, Gepps Cross
08 8472 3640

ozdesignfurniture.com.au

Recipes: Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Ricotta Pasta

Accredited practising dietitian Emily Hartley shares one of her favourite recipes using fresh produce from Norwood Place.

Image: Matthew Kroker

Serves 6

Ingredients

400g spelt shells or farfelle pasta

1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato, diced

¼ butternut pumpkin, diced and deseeded

3 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp ricotta

1.5 cup vegetable stock

Pinch ground nutmeg

3 cups baby spinach

Parmesan cheese 

Cracked black pepper and salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place the diced sweet potato and pumpkin on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Roast for 45 minutes or until golden. Once cooled, place half the vegetables into a high powered blender and mix until a puree consistency is achieved. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside but keep warm.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, bring a large frypan to medium heat and add the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook until fragrant. Whisk in the tomato paste, roast veggie puree and ricotta until smooth. Add the reserved roast vegetables, vegetable stock, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Cook on low about five minutes.
  5. Add spinach and cook until it lightly wilts.
  6. Stir in pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with freshly shaved parmesan. 
SHOP THE INGREDIENTS

Ingredients are available from the following food retailers at Norwood Place:

Metro Fresh Norwood
Norwood Foodland

Mortgage Minefield: Are You Paying Too Much?

Fixed or variable? Sell or invest? The team at Bernie Lewis Home Loans make sense of the mortgage minefield. 

Interest rates are currently low despite the booming property market, so is now the time to invest or sell? 

Interest rates are at never-before-seen historic lows and the property market in Adelaide and many regional areas is booming. If you are considering selling your property, then now may be a great time to take advantage of potential capital gains. For investors, there is a clear shortage of rental properties available, with rental vacancy rates in most areas outside the CBD at one percent or less. 

Do these low rates also mean it’s a good time to fix your rates?

Fixed interest rates are very competitive at present with some lenders offering rates well under two percent. The decision to fix your loan is one that should be considered carefully before committing. A fixed loan generally has restrictions on additional repayments and may have less features available than a variable rate loan. Additionally, if you sell your home or need to refinance before the fixed term has ended, you may incur penalty break costs which can be considerable. A split loan, where part of the loan is fixed and part is variable, is worth considering so as to retain the ability to make additional repayments, access redraw or use an offset facility.

Refinancing is often put off by homeowners because it’s a lengthy process to find the right lender with the best rates. What should people consider when choosing a new lender?

We strongly recommend you review your loan every two years, or if there is a change in your circumstances. During a loan review we will compare your current loan with what is available in the market. We not only compare your current interest rate, but also other features and benefits that may suit your needs and lifestyle. It is surprising how many people are unaware they have a loan with an interest rate that starts with a three or even a four. They could have a loan with an interest rate that starts with a two or even a one, potentially saving themselves thousands of dollars in interest per year. Our Brokers can compare your current loan with what is available from our panel of more than 30 lenders to see how much you could potentially save. There is no fee for our service as we are remunerated by the lender.

Online lenders often offer lower rates – why?

Over the last few years, a few online lenders have emerged in the marketplace. Some of them have rates that are lower than other lenders, but their products often come with less features. Online lenders also require you to complete the application process yourself and do the running around to gather all of the required supporting information to get the loan assessed and approved. 

Is it worthwhile asking my current lender to match the interest rates of other lenders?

Most definitely. If you have had your current loan for more than a couple of years there is a good chance that your current interest rate is not very competitive. Banks are notorious for offering new customers better interest rates than what is available to their current customers. We call that a ‘loyalty tax’ – if you don’t ask then you don’t get. 

Bernie Lewis Home Loans
213 Fullarton Road, Eastwood
08 8300 8300

Transform Your Floors

There’s no doubt that natural flooring adds instant texture and warmth to any room, but it’s not one size fits all when it comes to jute, sisal and seagrass. Here’s everything you need to know thanks to the team at Natural Floors in Stepney.

Seagrass, sisal and jute are natural fibres offering great textural quality, which is important in effective interior design. Natural flooring, in the way of rugs, runners and wall to wall installations, also offers a wonderful neutral palette. For expert advice on what type of flooring should be used where (for example, high traffic areas such as living spaces and entrances require harder-wearing flooring compared to less frequented spaces such as bedrooms) the experienced team at Natural Floors can help.

Natural Floors is an Australian owned natural flooring business with offices in Adelaide and Melbourne. The team have over 30 years’ experience in sourcing and laying stunning natural flooring solutions. Working directly with interior designers, architects and private clients, each product is completely bespoke and made to order and each rug is customised and hand-binded onsite using local materials.

Sisal
Made from Agave sisalana and harvested in Africa, Brazil, Madagascar and China, sisal flooring has a flat, extra small weave. It works well in any part of the home but is particularly good for offices where desks and chairs with caster wheels might be used. 

Wool/jute
Soft to touch, wool and jute blend flooring is perfect for bedrooms and living areas. Large and luxurious boucle weaves also add texture.

Jute
Natural jute floorings are made from vegetable fibres, mostly grown in India and Bangladesh. The natural colour selections make this flooring ideal for living areas and bedrooms. A range of weaves are available. 

Seagrass
Made from flowering plants found in marine environments, seagrass flooring is ideal for high transit areas due its wavy coating that offers excellent stain resistance. 

To see Natural Floors full range of floor rugs visit their showroom at 33-33A Henry Street, Stepney.



Simple Ways to Update Your Outdoor Space

Warm weather means entertaining makes the move outdoors, so we spoke to the talented team at Presenting Beautiful Homes for tips on how to spruce up tired alfresco areas.

Image: @pbhomes
make sure you have plenty of seating

If you’re entertaining over summer, plenty of different seating options in your outdoor space is an essential. Whether you’re catering for small or large groups make sure you include table seating as well as casual seating options such as lounges so people can really relax.

add some personality

Styling with a pop of colour, soft furnishings and some of your favourite décor items will really bring your outdoor area to life. Statement pots and plants are another way to inject stylistic features into your outdoor entertaining space. 

Image: Pinterest
refresh tired areas

Taking the time to resurface or repaint tired areas in your outdoor space can make the world of difference. It might simply be a fresh lick of paint on your fence or verandah, pressure cleaning the pavers or recoating your deck. Tired areas might also include parts of your garden that are craving a bit of attention – weeding, pruning, mulching and fertilising your plants will make them feel lush and loved. 

bring some ambience with lighting

Festoon and fairy lighting always creates a lovely ambience outside and are a simple and cost-effective way to make an impact.

Words Mia Vidale