Mel Foster Co. Receives Website Quality Certification

Mel Foster Earns WQC CertificationMel Foster Co. has been awarded the Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global network of 500+ real estate firms which presents the certification to member companies that demonstrate best practices in website design and Internet communications.

Mel Foster Co.’s website, www.melfosterco.com , earned the certification after achieving high marks on a range of criteria, including usability and performance, design and content, interactivity, customer service and Internet lead management, search engine optimization and mobile.

Created by LeadingRE in 2009 to recognize member websites that combine high standards for design, technology and service, the criteria for the WQC are updated annually to reflect the latest in internet marketing strategies. The WQC is an optional program available only to firms affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and requires re-certification every two years.

“We are pleased to present the WQC to 124 members this year and commend these firms for creating websites that effectively engage today’s home buyers and sellers by providing relevant information in a compelling way, with the perspective only a local firm can offer,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Pam O’Connor.

“We have received this certification since its inception and it just confirms that we continue to be a real estate leader in using “best practices” in website design and internet communications.  Our new site was rolled out in the fall.  Our website users are experiencing superior results and an excellent customer service experience on our site,” said Mel Foster Co. Lynsey Engels, President Mel Foster Co. Brokerage.

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com.

Supporting Our Hungry

Student Hunger Drive
Supporting our Hungry

Mel Foster Co. is proud to participate again in the Student Hunger Drive Corporate Challenge.  The competition kicks off today and runs thru February 28.

Each Mel Foster Co. office is conducting an internal food drive by collecting donations of money and/or canned food items for the Student Hunger Drive.  For last year’s corporate challenge, Mel Foster Co. received the Bronze Award for Division C and their commercial division won by averaging 116.84 pounds per person.

“Being a community partner means supporting those in need”, says Lynsey Engels, President of Brokerage Division of Mel Foster Co.  She added, “Mel Foster Co. is proud to continue our tradition of supporting the Student Hunger Drive, and our agents and staff look forward to helping create awareness in the fight against hunger in our area.”  To help the cause, you can drop off food at any of the Mel Foster Co. real estate offices or the insurance office.

Mel Foster Co. Launches New & Enhanced Mobile Application

Mel Foster Co. launched a new, enhanced property search app for iPad, iPhone®, and Android smartphones. The app is free and available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Market.

The new app offers a premium user experience with best-in-class mapping and augmented reality. See large photos, detailed property information on the map and search faster with auto refresh when you select a new location. Users can share properties via text message and email.

The Mel Foster Co. app is the first in the area to feature a homespotter function that Mel Foster Co. calls “Foster Finder.” Foster Finder shows results for Mel Foster and all listing companies.

Foster Finder uses a technology called augmented reality that is coupled with a smartphone or tablet’s GPS and compass to overlay property information on a device’s live camera feed. Simply use your smartphone or tablet to find all homes for sale on the street where you are standing. With a quick tap, a view of the entire street and all homes for sale pop up. There is also a radar display that shows the direction and proximity of nearby properties for sale.

The new app is integrated with the recently redesigned www.melfosterco.com. Saved properties from the smartphone app, tablet app and website are automatically synced so users always have access to their most recently saved properties.

Mel Foster Co. partnered with Mobile Realty Apps, a Minneapolis based company that specializes in real estate applications.

About Mel Foster Co.

Founded in 1921, Mel Foster Co. is a Real Estate Leader of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois serving Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island and the surrounding Quad City area, and it is one of Iowa’s largest independently owned real estate companies. The company specializes in residential and commercial sales and offers services in insurance, farm and land sales, land development, relocation, career development, and new construction. Visit their website at www.melfosterco.com for more information.

About Mobile Realty Apps

Founded in 2009 and based in Minneapolis, Mobile Realty Apps specializes in custom mobile apps for the nation’s top real estate brokers and MLSs, featuring apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry, QR codes, text and voice response solutions. Mobile Realty Apps is perhaps best known for its industry-leading HomeSpotter, an augmented reality technology that is a feature of its white-labeled smartphone and tablet apps.

Find homes with the Foster Finder
Mel Foster App

How To Lower Your Taxes With Upgrades

When you prepare your 2013 taxes, you can use your recent home improvements to get energy-efficiency tax credits. In addition to helping you lower your energy bills, energy-efficient products eligible for the new federal tax credits actually lower the amount of federal income taxes that you pay.

Eligible home improvements

Exterior windows including skylights and storm windows

Insulation, exterior doors and roofs

Central air, heat pumps, furnaces, hot water boilers, water heaters, advanced main air circulating fans or biomass stoves

How to claim your credit

Your tax preparer can help determine your credit. There is a cap of $500 for fiscal years 2006-2013 combined. You will need to keep receipts to provide proof of purchase and have a copy of the manufacturer’s certification for the product you purchased. If you file taxes on your own, you will need to file IRS Form 5695 with your taxes.

 

How to lower your taxes with upgrades.
How to lower your taxes with upgrades.

Condon Receives Quad Cities Home Builders & Remodelers Association Award

Mel Foster Co. congratulates REALTOR®/Builder Pat Condon as recipient of a prominent award from the Quad Cities Home Builders & Remodelers Association.  Mr. Condon received the Allen V. Seitz Builder of the Year Award.

Mr. Condon is a REALTOR®/Builder at Mel Foster Co.’s Bettendorf office and was recognized for his dedication and passion to the Association.  Pat owns J.P. Condon Inc. and is licensed in Iowa.  He is the outgoing President for the Quad Cities Home Builders & Remodelers Association Board of Directors, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Iowa Association of Realtors ®, and the Quad City Area REALTOR® Association.

Five Smooth Moves

Summer is the season for moving and your kids probably don’t want to leave their friends at the height of their summer vacation. But settling into your new home before the school year begins will help your kids make a smoother transition.

Follow these five tips to make moving easier on your kids and you:

1. Communicate. Let kids know what is happening now and what will happen next. Stay positive and repeat often the advantages of moving.

2. Introduce your child to their new community online and show them as much as you can about their new neighborhood, school, parks and home. If your new city is close, make an event of driving there and spending time exploring as a family.

3. Keep to a normal routine as much as possible. This will help the kids feel secure and safe.

4. Keep children occupied by letting them pack a box or two of their special things. Give them input on a new paint color and décor for their new bedroom.

5. Most kids will want to take part in busy moving day activities, and you should allow them to do so. Your preparedness will go a long way in reassuring your children that their needs are being considered, even while big changes are happening around them.

Need more help making the move smooth for your family? Mel Foster Co. Relocation has children in mind with special customized kits for your children whatever their age. Request your free kit at relocation@melfosterco.com.

Mel Foster Co. Names New President of Brokerage Division

Mel Foster Co. is pleased to announce Lynsey Engels has been named the President of the Real Estate Brokerage Division effective May 1, 2013.
As president, Engels will oversee the company’s ten real estate offices and the relocation division.  She will also be involved in mergers and acquisitions, training, and agent recruiting and retention.
During the last six months, Engels has transitioned from her position as an agent to assume general manager responsibilities.  As an agent, her efforts led to numerous multi-million dollar producer status recognitions in Mel Foster Co.’s Executive Club and Chairman’s Club.  Engels spent 10 years in residential real estate with eight of those working as a team with her sister, Kristi McFate.  A licensed broker in Iowa and Illinois, Engels specialized in new construction and relocation services and was adept at working with first-time home buyers.
Engels is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Iowa Association of REALTORS®, the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, and the Quad City Area REALTOR® Association, where she currently serves on the organization’s board of directors.  She is a member of the Quad City Chamber of Commerce and has served in various leaderhship roles for Junior League of the Quad Cities.  She has been a volunteer for Make a Wish, Junior Achievement, and high school-aged volleyball teams and was named a Leader Under 40 in 2007.  Engels graduated from Purdue University where she was an academic All Big Ten athlete and captain of the tennis team.
Rob Fick, Chairman and CEO of Mel Foster Co., Inc., proudly announced, ‘I am confident Lynsey’s expertise and enthusiasm will enhance our strategic vision to provide more valuable leadership experience to our managers, agents and staff.  Her attention to detail and passion for success will continue to raise the standard of excellence and leadership in our company.”
Engels and her husband, Marc, reside in Bettendorf and have three daughters.

10 Ways To Sell Your Home Fast

You need a fast sale for the maximum profit. Do these 10 easy things to make your home move quickly.

1. Let go of your emotions and accept that your home is now a house that you want to sell quickly at a profit.

2. Pack up your family photos, knickknacks and books. You want buyers to see clean shelves and surfaces where they can imagine their items.

3. Organize your closets and cabinets. Buyers are going to snoop.

4. Remove any extra furniture that makes your home look like it’s small.

5. Scrub your house from top to bottom. This includes the outside and those areas you can’t easily reach.

6. Shampoo your carpet and area rugs. Pet odors and smoke are a turn off to potential buyers.

7. Make minor repairs. Turn every knob, open every window and cabinet. Tighten anything that’s loose, patch holes and replace any broken tiles or glass.

8. Give your catch all room a purpose. Your spare room/office/craft room/playroom needs to serve a single purpose when buyers come through.

9. Make your home look inviting from the curb. Keep landscaping in top condition. Check that curtains are even from a curbside view. Remember that a buyer can drive by at any moment.

10. Keep up with the cleaning and clutter daily. Doing a quick pick up or clean up of the house every night before bed means your house is always ready for a showing.


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