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Buying a home, especially if it’s your first one, often feels like a rite of passage. Traditionally, you save for your down payment, find a Realtor and attend multiple open houses and showings, all on the search for THE ONE.

And while in-person interaction is being minimized right now, real estate professionals are finding new and exciting ways to keep all buyers (and sellers) safe and in the loop. Your Realtor, loan officer and title and closing company are all here to be a resource for you whether you’re looking for your first home or have been to the closing table many times. As you know, June is National Homeownership Month, and despite current events, the summer housing outlook is very positive.

Here are some interesting facts and figures about homeownership from the National Association of Realtors:

The NAR maintains an evolving guide for its members to use as they navigate COVID-19 and support their customers. Throughout previous months, many of us in real estate have become pros at using technology to communicate with each other and our customers. No matter what, our goal is to maintain the personal connection you seek when conducting business.

Virtual home showings can allow you to see your options before you SEE your options, and you may save time and money by paring down your choices before you visit these homes in person. A traditional home listing contains dimensions, descriptions and design, but listings online allow real estate agents to show every angle of that farmhouse sink you have been looking for.

What is most helpful during the home search process? Patience. Patience with every aspect of homebuying will relieve your stress during an already stressful time. You can buy a home safely, smoothly and successfully -- even during a pandemic -- and you’ll have a whole team of real estate professionals with you every step of the way!

Post written by Robin Asher.

Robin has been an elementary teacher for 16 years.  She is a mother of two who has been happily married to her husband, Jerry, for 25 years. When she’s not being an awesome content contributor for the Bowe Digital, she loves reading, singing and spending time outside in the yard.

Bowe Digital is grateful for all of you during the last few months and takes immense pride in partnering with you. However, it’s time to get down to business, and that’s what we’re going to do today.

When customers of any kind start their search for products or services these days, most begin with one page -- Google. Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that can help all of us use search results to our advantage, and now is the time to take control of your Google My Business account if you haven’t already. COVID-19 has taught all of us the importance of quickly communicating changes to our customers, and a Google business listing is a great vehicle to easily do that.

Keeping your information up-to-date through GMB lets your customers know your current hours (Real estate never sleeps, but think about shops or restaurants), contact numbers, and special offers. You can add important images like a logo and photos to your account, and clients can add reviews. All of it will be included on Google for prospective clients to see. Important...yes! Free...yes!

Creating and claiming your profile is an important first step when getting started. The Google My Business page does an excellent job walking you through each portion of the process, but if you are looking for more specific, section-driven directions, check out How to Create, Claim and Verify Your Google Business Listing from ThriveHive.

After you have everything set up the way you like, it is important to circle back to your account at least once a month. It might be a good idea to add a reminder to your calendar. By updating your material consistently, you stay current for your customers. One last thing…while you’re fortifying your Google presence, you should ask for more reviews, too!

In an era where we Google everything, why would you risk missing a business opportunity when you can stay on top of things on the world’s most powerful search engine?

Virtual learning is over, which means school is finally out! As a teacher, I look forward to typical tasks and feelings about the end of the school year. I can always expect the last days before summer to be filled with excitement and a lot of chaos. We know the last few months, especially for those families with kids, was anything but typical. While many places around the country are gradually returning to semi-normal, this summer is still going to be affected by the pandemic. That’s why Bowe Digital wanted to give you a couple of fun ideas your family can rely on this summer. 

Dance, Sing or Chill to the Music

Music is a very powerful tool. We all have our favorites, but now is the perfect time to branch out and find something new.  Take your kids back to your favorite music when you were growing up, or check out these songs to beat the isolation blues.

Get silly … inside or out. Grab your pots, pans and wooden spoons and play along. During this time, using your voices can add to the experience. Singing, talking or whispering in regular or silly voices can add to the fun. After the dance party, find some meditative music and a great spot under a tree in the grass or on a blanket.  Have everyone close their eyes, take some deep breaths and talk about what they hear in the surrounding environment.  

Star Light, Star Bright

“Go out and play” is mostly said during the daylight hours, but consider going outside at night for some stargazing and a before-bed snack. Choose a cloudless night with a crescent moon.Take your lawn chairs or even a blanket and some pillows. 

Give yourself some time for your eyes to adjust; then, spend time looking into the sky and talking about what you see.  Look for constellations, bright stars and meteors. (It might be helpful to print a sky map before heading out.) Have each family member choose a star, and give it a name...the funnier, the better. Maybe each family member could wish on their star. Before heading into bed, spend some quiet time gazing into space. It truly can be one of nature’s most beautiful sights. We all deserve some relaxation right now.  

You can still make your 2020 summer a good one for your family...one you will remember for years to come. It just takes some creativity and some grace! After all, like Troy Bolton and his friends would say, “We’re (still) all in this together.”

Post written by Robin Asher.

Robin has been an elementary teacher for 16 years.  She is a mother of two who has been happily married to her husband, Jerry, for 25 years. When she's not being an awesome content contributor for the Bowe Digital, she loves reading, singing and spending time outside in the yard.