Main Line and Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

SEO and SMO Education Strategy

Google 'SEO books' or 'SMO books' and you will see there are a large number of titles available on either subject. Remove 'books' from the search and a much larger list of results is returned. Search for on-line courses on SEO and SMO and again, many results are returned. In short, there's no lack of educational material available on SEO and SMO. As a Real Estate professional, one already has many subjects that one must be knowledgeable of including local property values, construction practices, population demographics and Real Estate law to name a few. How much time should you devote to these additional subjects, given their complexity and the many other important chores that require your time?

My answer is that it depends on various factors including: whether you're on your own or part of a team, whether you have an interest or aptitude for SEO and SMO, whether there is available professional help and what you're budget is for hiring said help. Given that SEO and SMO, 'inbound'...

Importance of Floor Plans

How Important are Floor Plans?

One thing we provide to all our listing clients is an electronic floor plan of their house. The floor plan is then used to market the house along with photographs, a video walkthrough and textual description, usually incorporated into a virtual tour. Why do we include a floor plan in our listings? Because of its importance to prospective buyers. Recent research by Rightmove,
a property portal serving the United Kingdom, revealed that 1/3rd of buyers were less likely to inquire about a property that did not include a floor plan. The survey further indicated that a floor plan was the second most desired feature in a listing. Having a large number of images of the property was the most desired feature. A ...

SEO Tools that are Useful for Real Estate

To say that are many SEO tools on the web is an understatement. There's at least a gazillion, maybe 2 gazillion. So, how do you choose? Below is a list of tools I have used with some remarks on each. Some tools are free and some have a monthly or yearly subscription fee. You may want to try a for-pay tool at some point, even if it's only for a month. My general advice is try some tools and see which ones you like before investing. Further advice is to concentrate on the content of your site above all and don't obsess over page ranking for keywords. That said, you shouldn't ignore SEO either.

Google Webmaster Tools
Not an SEO tool as such but does include SEO-specific information. It shows you html improvements that you could make to your html such as eliminating duplicate titles and meta-descriptions. It has a relatively complete list of backlinks to your site and also can display internal links. Search queries in which your site has been listed and the rank are...

Essential Skills for House Flippers

If you're a person interested in investing in Real Estate you may have considered buying a house, renovating it and then reselling it. In other words, flipping. You may have wondered further what skills are needed to succeed in this type of investment. The link below will take you to an article I wrote on this subject.

Essential Skills for House Flippers


Buying versus Renting

A report published by economist Jed Kolko of Trulia in March of 2013 states that on average it is 44% cheaper to own a residential property than to rent a similar property in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US. In Philadelphia, it is 40% cheaper to buy than to rent. The report considers the following in arriving at this conclusion:

  • Similar homes in the similar neighborhoods were compared, not the average rent and average sale price of homes overall.

  • Initial and future costs of renting and buying were considered including maintenance, insurance, taxes, price and rent appreciation and inflation

  • One time costs such as closing costs, security deposits, etc. were included as well

  • The initial set of assumptions were that a buyer put down 20%, took out a 3.5% 30 year mortgage, was in the 25% tax bracket and itemized deductions on their income tax.

The prices of owning and renting were closest in...

Where to go for home improvement supplies

Where do you go when you need nails, screws, bathroom tile, drywall, etc? There's a dizzying array of choices. For example, there are the neighborhood hardware store such as Berwyn Hardware or Jacob Low Hardware in Havertown. Amazingly, a fair number of these are still around. There are of course the big box home improvement stores e.g. Lowes and Home Depot. Tweener stores such as DMI Home Supply in Ardmore and Fisher's Hardware in Drexel Hill combine traits of big box and neighborhood stores. Let's not forget specialty stores such as Beatty Lumber in Upper Darby or the Tile Shop in King of Prussia.

So, where should you go?

Well, it depends. On what you're looking for and what's important to you. Below is a list of the different types of home improvement stores and their characteristics. Let me make clear that these are my impressions and not based on statistical analysis of any kind. Hopefully, this list helps you decide. This is a topic that generates endless conversation so let...

Favorite Main Line Restaurants (Non-BYO)

Tina and I tend to frequent BYOs. That said, there are of plenty of restaurants we enjoy that serve liquor. I'll be expanding this list as time goes on.

  • Yang Ming
    1051 Conestoga Rd  Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. 610-527-3200.
    Among the premier restaurants on the Main Line and unquestionably the best known 'Chinese' restaurant, Yang Ming never disappoints. The food is delicious, distinctive and reasonably priced; the setting is elegant and there is room to accommodate a group of any size; the service is excellent; the drinks are precisely mixed and the wine list is extensive. One could carp that the parking can be challenging or that it can take a while to be seated but with so many other things right, why would you? Try the Caesar Salad with Asian Pear, the Spicy Wild-Peppered Lamb or the Mongolian Lamb.

  • ...

Favorite Main Line Restaurants (BYO)

We love our BYOs (Bring Your Own wine, beer, etc.)! No exorbitant liquor bills and you can always bring your favorite liquid refreshment. Tina's (my wife) favorite wine is Pinot Grigio and mine is Sauvignon Blanc, though I also love dry Rieslings and Chardonnay and have been known to finish the night with a shot of 10 year old scotch (Can you say 'Laphroaig?')

Below is my current list of faves in order of preference. Truthfully, they're all excellent. Otherwise, they wouldn't be on the list. I've stretched the boundaries of the Mainline to include Media and Havertown.

  • Nais Cuisine
    113 - 117 W. Benedict Ave., Havertown. 610-789-5983.
    This is really a fine dining restaurant without the high prices. It could be a special occasion place but is cheap enough that it doesn't have to be. The cuisine is french asian. Sauces are outstanding. I've had dishes here that I've never had anywhere else. Tina particularly likes the LobsterRavioli and...