How to Have a More Modern Office: Alternative Work Arrangements


By Zoe Eisenberg

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall.

In modern office settings, the 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday work experience is becoming extinct. For companies focused on building a collaborative office culture with happy, invested employees, alternative work arrangements are the new norm. Think working from home once a week or spending only part of your work week in-house, telecommuting and flextime.

According to a new study from staffing firm The Creative Group, 76 percent of advertising and marketing executives surveyed said their company offers alternative work arrangements in some form or another. The most common? Part-time in-house hours, great for students or parents, are offered by 61 percent of employees. Another 33 percent of professionals are bagging flextime, with 30 percent telecommuting from elsewhere. Of those 30 percent working remotely, they are doing so an average of three days a week.

Why should you offer alternative work arrangements? According to the study, you will attract a younger crowd. Younger professionals between the ages 18 and 34 are more likely to work for companies that offer alternative work arrangements than those of other generations. You will also provide more comfortable working situations for those with kids, those pursuing higher education, or those who have to travel further to get to the office.

Plus, your office will snag major cool points, and who doesn’t want those?

The following infographic from The Creative Group offers further insight.


Source: The Creative Group

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at


Tips to Assess and Evaluate the Real Estate Market in Your Area

house buy or sell concept

The real estate industry constantly stays in a dynamic state and undergoes fluctuation

throughout the year. Making an assessment, evaluation and forecast of your local real estate market might be a tedious task, due to the ongoing market fluctuations. Here we share some essential tips to make a smart analysis of your local real estate market.

Observe the Pricing Trends

A fundamental approach to gain primary knowledge about your local real estate market is by observing the price trends. Acquire an accurate and firsthand knowledge about the current price trends and compare them with the price trends of the past. This will help you analyze the growth and expansion of the market in the recent decades and enable you to make an accurate forecast of the future. Note the varying degrees of prices of residential, commercial and agricultural property located in various areas and sectors within the market. This will help you get an insight into the highs and lows of the markets as well as the promising areas and sectors.

Identify the Catalysts

Once you have observed the varying price trends of different areas and the types of property available within your market, you are in a better position to look into the factors that influence the pricing fluctuation in the market. Real estate thrives on certain elements, catalysts, and macro and micro economic factors that steer the growth, development, and expansion of the market. Infrastructural development such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other public facilities tend to bring an instant upsurge of market growth. Aside from that, local regulatory policies, state and regional economy, tax and interest rates, as well as market demographics play a key role in driving a real estate market.

Assess the Sales and Purchase

Keep a check on the figures of sales and purchases to analyze if your local industry is currently a buyer’s or seller’s market. Assess the number of houses and other property sold on a regular basis. The DoM or “Days on Market” is an effective tool to analyze the buyers’ demands and evaluate the market’s capacity to deliver to their needs. Moreover, this analysis will also help figure the demands and buying trends of the future.

Find Out the Types of Property Available in Your Market

Without a sound, realistic and accurate knowledge about the types of property available in the local market, you cannot develop an accurate perspective of your real estate industry. Assess the property as per their type and category such as residential, commercial and agricultural. These main categories are further classified into secondary and tertiary classes. This analysis will enhance your real estate acumen and will also provide you with a strong grip over your local market.

Compare with Suburbs and Vicinities

Aside from a sound knowledge and grip over your local industry, it is essential to keep a check on the market state and price trends in the outskirts and adjoining vicinities. Find out the pace of infrastructural development and the eminent landmarks and public service amenities available in the outskirts and if they are likely to influence your market in the future.

Whether you are an established real estate enterprise or are planning to venture into your local real estate industry, you need to improvise your business strategy and service designs, if you want to excel in the industry. Automation is the key, and by incorporating smart software, systems, applications and securing them using remote monitoring services, you can efficiently optimize your performance and get an edge over your competitors in the market.

5 DIY Projects You Can Take on With Your Significant Other

Taken from Megan Wild with RISMedia’s Housecall

Do you remember the first date you ever went on with your significant other? The beginning, butterfly stages of any relationship are all fun and games until it becomes serious and you’re sitting on the couch in pajamas on a Saturday night.

Rekindle the flame, see the fireworks again and fall even more in love. No couple is perfect, but DIY projects can bring you and your sweetie closer than before. Here are some great DIY projects for you and your love to do together.

1. Refurbish Furniture 

Upcycling is all the rave lately. Just face it, you both dream of new furniture to give your home a fresh look, but brand new furniture can be so expensive. Save the money for a special night out with your significant other, and refurbish your old furniture instead.

To get started on this project, you should decide together which pieces of furniture you want to give a makeover. If you two would rather replace it and start from scratch, search at yard sales and thrift stores for cheap outdated furniture.

Decision making and coming to an agreement is a challenge for couples but helps the relationship get to a deeper connection. You’ll both have to choose the type of paint you want and your color, too.

You and your significant other will be so proud of the work you did together to turn something old into something new. That’s half of what you need for wedding luck right there — something old, something blue, something borrowed and something new.

2. Wooden Coffee Table 


There’s nothing sexier than a man showing off his handyman skills, right? Take on a weekend project and make a coffee table for your living room. When it’s finished, you two can cuddle on the couch, put your feet up and relax.

A small DIY project such as a coffee table is an easy way to spend time together while being productive. Make this project out of repurposed materials to give it a unique look.

Did you know spending quality time together is one of the secrets to a healthy relationship? Building the coffee table is a shared activity that you’ll enjoy making together, and gain satisfaction out of using it when it’s complete.

Related: High-Resale Value Projects You Can Tackle In A Weekend

3. Retaining Wall 

A relationship can get pretty stuffy when all of your time is spent indoors. Get outside in the fresh air with a hardscaping project. Build a retaining wall and turn your backyard into a romantic oasis. Cook a special dinner and eat it on the patio when the project is finished.

Retaining walls are great for turning a plain backyard slope into a gorgeous landscape. You can shape a garden out of the retaining wall, add lighting features for elegance, or simply add value to your property.

To get the perfect measurements in your backyard, GNSS can be used for landscape or hardscape layout. You and your honey can bring the vision of your backyard to life with the proper tools and techniques.

4. Movie Room 

Adding an addition onto your home is a pretty big project for the two of you to handle alone. You don’t have to build an entire new room onto your home to create a home theater. A simple DIY project of turning any wall into a projector screen will do. You’ll have the fancy feel of a movie theater from the comfort of your couch.

You and your significant other can work together to paint your wall for projection. You’ll want to paint the wall an off-white or gray depending on what projector you have or purchase. The entire wall will have to be free of any decorations, with any visible holes spackled before painting.

Grab some comfy throw blankets for the couch and cuddle up for movie nights with the one you love. Physical touch is one of the five love languages, so if you or your significant other fall under that category, this is the perfect project for you two.

5. Backyard Vegetable Garden 


A fun project with many beneficial factors is building a DIY vegetable garden for your backyard. This is a good project to do after work, when you want quiet time but also want to spend time together. Planting a garden can teach you both patience, which is something every couple needs.

From the fresh produce you grow in your backyard, you can come up with great recipes to cook dinner together. Your relationship will see growth as you both tend to the garden and appreciate the fresh vegetables you planted together. Spice things up in the kitchen with your love and fresh produce.

Get back into the groove with your lover after some quality time making a project together. No matter what project you take on, you and your significant other can enjoy the bonding experience. Even if you have to fake it until you literally make it, you will love your project and your significant other more in the end.

Blue Door Group Quarterly Housing Update

Understanding what the housing market has been up to is crucial to understanding when you are trying to sell your home. We are seeing a direct correlation to the charts you see below – there are very many pockets of real estate where there are fewer than 6 months of inventory. Under 6 months of inventory means there are fewer homes to sell, making demand rise along with price per square footage.

The statistics provided below are charted from data pulled from Triad MLS over the last 3 years where each set of data is 12 months of activity.

We are able to assist you with any questions you have or would be interested in any insight you want to share! How have you noticed the market changing in your neighborhood?

Watch the video below to learn what some of our clients are saying about

Blue Door Group…


5 Ways to Reverse Signs of Smoking in Your Home


By Fatima Puri from RisMedia’s housecall

A smoker’s home can be a massive deterrent to potential buyers. Not only does smoking leave strong smells in your house, it can also stain walls, cause wallpaper to peel, and stick to furniture. Trapped nicotine residue, known as thirdhand smoke, can pose a threat to anyone living in the home. Here are five ways to get rid of signs of smoking from your home to make it appealing to buyers.

Steam clean carpets
Carpets trap nicotine residue more than anything else in the home and can protrude lingering odors. If you have a carpeted home, take the time to deep clean it with a powerful steam vacuum. Use carpet shampoo and routinely go over areas where smoke stains and odor are most prevalent. Hire a professional steam vacuuming company if you need help.

Replace old wallpaper and paint over walls
Stained, peeling wallpaper discourages people from buying your home. Replace old wallpaper with an elegant new design. Pick a print and color that complements any aesthetic. If your wallpaper is slightly stained and salvageable, spray a mixture of vinegar and water on your walland wipe away with a clean, damp sponge. Clean walls before painting them if they need a fresh coat. Use a paint primer to create an extra layer to cover old smoke stains.

Purify the air
Smoke travels through air vents and fans. Clean out your air vents and replace HVAC filters to optimize clean air flow in your home. Air purifiers can be a costly but provide both a quick fix and a long-term solution for removing smoke odor from the home. High-end air purifiers can eliminate the particles and chemicals that create smoke odors down to the molecular level. Invest in an air purifier with an HEPA filter designed to deal with chemical odors for immediate relief. Most such air purifiers will include a thick bed of activated carbon.

Wash upholstery and curtains
Like walls and wallpaper, smoke toxins can be entrapped in fabric furniture. Consult an expert before cleaning your upholstery as some pieces may be ruined if washed. Most furniture tags include labels which let you know how to handle cleaning them. If you cannot vacuum or wet your furniture, try placing it outside in a dry and sunny environment. Wash curtains to remove smoke smells or replace them.

Don’t smoke inside
Practice smoking outside the home if you are an avid smoker. Indoor air is 3-5 times more polluted than outdoor air, which means smoking indoors leads to greater toxic buildup and pollution. Smoking outdoors can disperse the smoke and odor and will be worth it in the long run.

Read full article here

~BDG – 336-747-3245

New Construction Market Update – March 2017

Here are a few graphs to understand what the new construction market has been up to! These graphs demonstrate data pulled from Triad MLS over the last 3 years where data rolls over 12 months.

We are able to assist you with any questions you have and certainly would be interested in any insight you want to share! If you want to use any of these graphs, we can get them to you very easily – just let us know. Let’s take a look…


Watch the video below to learn what some of our clients are saying about

Blue Door Group…


Existing-Home Sales Begin 2017 with a Bang

Confetti canon


Existing-home sales began 2017 with a bang, growing 3.3 percent and hitting a 10-year high in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). With the exception of the Midwest, every region saw gains, with total sales reaching 5.69 million—the fastest pace since February 2007.

“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate and deteriorating affordability conditions.”

The median existing-home price also rose again in January, up 7.1 percent to $228,900 from $213,700 one year prior, according to the report. The median existing condominium and single-family home prices grew, as well: 6.2 percent to $217,400 and 7.3 percent to $230,400, respectively.

The report shows that though existing-home inventory expanded 2.4 percent to 1.69 million, supply is still 7.1 percent lower than one year prior. Months supply of inventory is currently 3.6. Existing homes averaged 50 days on the market, down from 64 days one year prior—38 percent of homes sold, however, were on the market for less than a month.® data show the markets with the shortest days on market were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (43 days), San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. (47 days), San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. (55 days), Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (57 days) and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., and Greeley, Colo. (58 days).

Existing-home sales in the West, according to the report, soared 6.6 percent in January, while sales in the Northeast jumped 5.3 percent and sales in the South rose 3.6 percent. Sales in the Midwest fell 1.5 percent. The median price in the West was $332,300 (a 6.8 percent annual increase); the median price in the Northeast was $253,800 (2.5 percent); the median price in the South was $201,400 (9.2 percent); and the median price in the Midwest was $174,900 (6.5 percent).

First-time homebuyers comprised 33 percent of existing-home sales in January—an uptick from 32 percent in December and one year prior. All-cash sales comprised 23 percent, while distressed sales comprised 7 percent—both dips from one year prior.

“Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range,” Yun says. “NAR and’s new ongoing research—the REALTORS® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score—revealed that the combination of higher rates and prices led to households in over half of all states last month being able to afford less of all active inventory on the market based on their income.”

For more information, please visit

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

~BDG – 336-747-3245

Foothills Brewing Tasting Room- Enjoy Some Fine Craft Beers

Blue Door Group Lives, Plays and Works in the Triad Region in North Carolina!

“A great place to relax and enjoy some fine craft beers,” today John Belcher is checking out programs with Eric Peck, manager of Foothills Brewing Tasting Room at 3800 Kimwell Drive in Winston Salem, NC.

The Tasting Room has a huge indoor/outdoor space described by Peck as “kind of a living room for Foothills as regional craft beer producer.”

They are available for private parties, special events and different community driven events. This year they have a whole ‘craft happiness’ series with each of the beers bringing awareness and raising funds for different causes throughout the year. They will have a lot of events in 2017 that are geared toward that.

Watch here for yourself and learn more at

~BDG – 336-747-3245

What’s it like to live in Winston-Salem, NC?

Winston-Salem, NC Skyline

Brent Patterson

Profile written by local expert: Brent Patterson of

Winston-Salem, referred to by locals as just Winston, is a region with an upward trajectory that still maintains its Southern roots. But while the population is traditionally Southern in its friendliness, it’s also comprised of cultures from around the globe. The metro area celebrates its diversity during an array of festivals and through a variety of cuisines. You’ll find restaurants serving everything from traditional North Carolina barbecue to Indian curries and Greek pastries.

Unlike many of North Carolina’s other larger metro areas, like CharlotteRaleigh and Durham, Winston has not seen a huge population boom over the years. In fact, since 2000, the population has only increased by about 40,000 people.

This slow-and-steady growth has preserved the region’s small-town feel while allowing for improvements like repurposing the old textile and tobacco factories into loft apartment spaces, and building the new $48.7 million baseball park downtown. Due to the heavy interest in residential and corporate development, the region has become a fertile land for entrepreneurs and small businesses.


U.S. News analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there. Winston-Salem ranks as #37 with an overall score of 6.6 out of 10.

See full article here on USNews

Enjoy! ~ BDG – 336-747-3245

Jodi Raves about Local Staple “Slappy’s Chicken”

Blue Door Group Lives, Plays and Works in the Triad Region in North Carolina! Today Jodi’s raving about a local staple, “Slappy’s Chicken.”


Photo Credit: Yelp

“I found out about Slappy’s from my sister-in-law, Audrey. It is one of those little places you could drive right past and what a mistake that would be! This restaurant is located in historic Washington Park in Winston Salem. They only offer spicy sweet fried chicken and southern sides. Imagine crispy skin with oh so moist meat underneath. It comes in a special spicy with just a bit of sweet sauce that makes my mouth water thinking about it . The sides you can choose from are really savory greens, cheezit mac and cheese, cole slaw, and potato salad all made by Slappy (owner’s nickname). Other important things I noticed: it was really clean, the employees were very helpful and nice and the food was delivered hot. I love that they specialize in one thing and do it very well. Do yourself a favor and give Slappy’s a try for lunch or dinner. Be ready to lick your fingers!”

Know of another finger licking Triad staple that we must try?! Share it in our comments below!

~ Jodi Tate, Blue Door Group

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