By khalidsamraa

Drought Tolerant Landscaping Ideas for New Home Owners

By Virtual Results

Landscaping IdeasIn the excitement of buying and decorating a new home, remember to plan for the long-term when you start landscaping. With the recent widespread drought problems, installing sustainable, drought-tolerant landscaping not only saves water, it means your efforts will survive season to season, saving you both time and money. If you live in a subdivision, you better talk to the property manager if they have an existing HOA landscape maintenance agreement with a contractor to get professional help with your lawn.

What to keep and what to remove

Making your landscaping impervious to drought does not always mean ripping out everything. For example, if you have large trees, do your best to keep them since they supply a shade canopy for your home, conserving energy. In addition, they provide a protective habitat to native birds and other wildlife, and a cover for other plants. For the most drought tolerant option, consider removing your turf grass. A standard lawn requires constant watering to stay green. Replacing just part of your lawn with a rock garden interspersed with native plants and ground cover can reduce your water bill and increase your environmentally responsible footprint. All of this and any other questions you may have can be consulted with a professional residential landscape contractor.

What to plant

For the best results, plant species native to your region. Finding the right plant is not difficult thanks to websites like Plant Native that list regional plants, and the nurseries that can supply you with the right species and give you expert advice state by state. In addition, they provide lists of community service organizations that offer classes and tutorials on local flora. Other places to find information include local universities, plant nurseries and garden shops.

Add ground cover

Removing turf and non-native plants that require consistent watering is just part of the process. Covering exposed ground with lava rock and mulch helps it retain water and reduces erosion. Consider installing ground cloth under your rock and mulch to reduce weed growth and retain additional moisture. According to the University of Ohio, property mulching reduces the soil temperature and adds nutrients to the soil, making existing plants more drought tolerant and less susceptible diseases, or to attacks by insects. You might also want to consider using agricultural lime, which you can get from an agricultural lime supplier.

Try compost

Adding compost to your soil before you mulch increases the likelihood that the rain or irrigation waters absorb into the soil rather than running off. According to the Arboretum and Public Garden at UC Davis, composting is second only to mulching to save water and improve drought survival.

Update your irrigation system

An old or faulty irrigation system wastes precious water and costs money both in increased utility bills and lost landscaping, so buy new irrigation supplies in Perth and have it inspected to be sure it is operating properly. Make sure to water according to the landscaping and soil, including less frequently on clay soils since they store water, and more frequently at smaller amounts for sandy soils. Install modern smart technology controls taht automatically sense rainfall and other conditions, and adjust both the water amount and watering frequency. Consider using a grey-water irrigation system that uses water from your household sinks, tubs, showers and washing machines to water your landscaping. Since this water is not exposed to toilet waste, it generally is beneficial to plant life if combined with biodegradable soap and detergent use.

Proper landscaping increases your home’s value and curb appeal. We can help you find local professionals to advise you on the best drought tolerant ideas for your landscaping.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Curb Appeal for Condo Sellers

By loradel

shutterstock_88948273You know that curb appeal is important to buyers of single-family homes, but you are selling a condominium in a large building full of similar units. How do you make yours stand out? Here are a few tips for prompting that positive first impression that makes your home memorable: Make sure the entry way is clean, clear and clutter free. Relocate bulky furniture that makes the entry seem smaller. Avoid coat racks and umbrella stands that jut out from the wall as well.

Make sure to have landscaping maintenance with the help of professional landscaping services. Consider placing a fresh potted plant inside the doorway to bring the outside in. Make sure the plant is healthy and in an attractive pot, does not block the walkway and does not shed or drop leaves. If you have a mail slot and your home is likely to be shown after delivery, make sure to place a basket under the mail slot. Make sure the insides of your windows are clean. If your HOA is responsible for the outside windows, request that they be cleaned before showing your home or having an open house.

If you live in a bug prone area, be sure to have your condominium treated for pests—and make sure you sweep up any dead bugs. Make sure the hallway or walkway to your unit is clean. If you need, to, sweep it yourself, or you may consider hiring a janitorial cleaning service. Make sure to pick up any junk mail or papers cluttering the outside.

When your home is likely to be shown, turn on the lights and have soft music playing. This may raise your utility bill slightly, but will give a warm greeting to visiting homebuyers. As with any home, make sure the countertops and floors and clean and personal effects are out of sight. Consider placing a bowl of fruit or bouquet of flowers on the table to add some color and interest. If you have pets, consider boarding them while your home is being shown, or ask a neighbor to collect them before the potential buyer shows up. Most of all, call your real estate agent to learn what features to play up (or down) in your unit to place it in the best light.

5 Ways To Help Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation

By Blogger

avoiding invasion of your homeSummer is definitely here and vacation plans may have you planning on leaving your home in the very near future. Don’t forget to take a few preventative measures to ensure the safety of you and your home while you are away. You’ll find that being prepared and aware of potential risks makes for a better vacation and homecoming.

5 Things To Remember When Vacationing Away From Your Home


  • You cannot control your level of visibility entirely once you leave. If you post to social media, including Facebook and Pinterest, while on vacation you may be putting your home at risk. Sharing vacation photos are an obvious way of showing that you are away and may create an easier target for your home for thieves.
  • Lock it up. From windows and doggie doors to gates and garage doors, the security of your home requires diligence on your part. Don’t let the rush of leaving for vacation make you forget to activate your residential locking device.
  • Ask for some help. A trusted neighbor or friend can notify you if something looks out of place or odd while you are away. Or you can employ a house sitter for greater peace of mind. You may even find one who will water your plants, too! If you have a big property then you may want to get professional security officers for help.
  • Consider installing an alarm or timed lighting system prior to your vacation. Both can deter possible intruders.
  • Truly vacation while away and plan a day to get organized when you get back. Placing your mail and delivery services on hold while you are away is critical, too. 4-5 newspapers or forgotten milk bottles on your porch signal to everyone that something is amiss. Plus, having planned an extra day to recover from your travel to go through mail and grocery shop may also allow you time for the first tip mentioned… post your awesome vacation photos to social media!

Penguin 2.0 and the Misconception of what it does…

By Jim Marks

PenguinPenguin 2.0 #4 is live! and there seems to be a misconception on what that means. As you know, Penguin was Googles filter overlay to reduce the positive impact SEOs were getting from spammy, paid or low quality links.
Matt Cutts, the GOATSEO (God of all things SEO) created a video stating that Penguin 2.0 will be “more comprehensive,” and that this version of Penguin “goes deeper” and will have “more of an impact” than Penguin 1.0.
However, what I am reading is that “goes deeper” means that Penguin 1.0 only impacted the home page of a web site. That is simply not true. For those that had the unfortunate experience of being effected… the whole site was compromised…not just the home page.
I am certain that when Matt said “deeper” Matt meant that Google will crawl deeper into their OWN index. They will look much closer at the link quality of all links and apply new rules to what is a spammy or purchased link and what is a quality link. Matt commented that they are working on ways to ensure that paid links are do not pass page rank.
I am certain that this will be talked about in detail over the next few weeks as we see the effects of Penguin. My guess is that MOST legit SEOs cleaned up their sites before, during and after Penguin 1.0.

Exciting New Feature: The NEW Admin Menu

By Leah Marks

A Brand New Layout for the Virtual Results Admin Menu!

From new features to new themes to new services, Virtual Results is always looking for ways to keep their sites on the cutting edge. So we have decided to start off 2013 with a bang!

Introducing an Exciting New Feature: The new Admin Menu!!
Throughout the next week, VR will be activating a brand new upgraded Admin Menu to your dashboard! This new admin menu is sleek and clean with additional integrated functionality, such as direct access to your IDX, Market Stats and Email Marketing accounts, training webinars and our continually growing support center.

Here are some of the improvements to our new Admin Menu:

  • Accessing our Support Center

The Virtual Results Support Center is constantly growing and contains wonderful tutorials, webinars and articles that will help you manage your site and its content. Now you can access our support center directly from your dashboard. Learn how to add items to your menu, create new content, utilize SEO plugins, edit your sidebar and footer, activate more features, tools, and so much more!

  • Using your Complementary Accounts

There are so many wonderful features that come with your Virtual Results account. We have set up a direct link to some your complementary control panels, such as your IDX dashboard and Altos Research login. For example, your Altos Research account is more than dynamic charts. It also provides branded statistical reports and full market analysis, lead capture tools, branded marketing, and one-on-one coaching. Yet many people never get around to using these tools. We hope the new design will inspire you to take a more proactive look at all the services that come with your site.

  • Managing Your Content and Understanding Your Settings

With our new layout, you will find it much easier to manage your content and settings. Everything is organized and simplified, making it easier for you to find and manage the tools and features that come with your Virtual Results website. For those users who have been more proactive in managing your site, these changes will allow you to maneuver more easily and rapidly. For those of you just starting out, it’s never been easier to learn! This is a great time to learn how to add and manage content, and how to fully exploit the valuable lead generating tools that come with your Virtual Results account.

  • Introduction to the New Admin Menu Live Webinars

Ready to learn more? Great, because it’s time to explore your new Admin Menu. These 30 minute sessions will include a short walk through of your new admin menu and a Q&A session with Leah Marks, WordPress expert and Customer Support Manager. There are three sessions scheduled for your convenience, listed below. Register Now!


Monday, January 21 – 12pm (PST)/ 3pm (EST) – Click Here to Register

Thursday, January 24 – 10am (PST)/1pm (EST) – Click Here to Register

Friday, January 25 – 2pm (PST)/ 5pm (EST) – Click Here to Register

NEW FEATURE: Blog Post Thumbnails

By Leah Marks

Virtual Results announces a brand new feature for AgentPlus clients – The Blog Post Thumbnail

We are happy to announce the development of a new feature, the ability to display a thumbnail image in your blog post excerpt. Activating this feature is a great way to spice up your site, offer a better user experience and add some great images to your blog and to your home page. This is an important feature because adding images to your articles will increase the number of page or post views exponentially. This is a visual culture, where the world’s largest social network, Facebook, and 2nd largest search engine, YouTube, have found success primarily due to their focus on multimedia. Those browsing the web are more inclined to stay on a webpage that contains images, rather than just text. Consumers are more likely to purchase a product they’ve already seen, rather than one that’s just been described. The value of images on your site increases every day. Plus it’s just fun! And it has the potential to make your site look amazing!

And the Virtual Results Community Agrees.

Virtual Results has activated this feature on the following sites, with great results! Take a look at the websites below:

Casa Bella Boca
Search Minnneapolis Condos

Need More Information?

If you would like more information about this feature, please contact Virtual Results at support@virtualresults.net.

If you would like this feature activated on your site, please complete the form below and the VR Support Team will be happy to set it up for you.

Blog Post Thumbnail Signup

Please activate the Blog Post Thumbnail Feature on my site!


This is just one element out of many we are planning to launch in the coming weeks and months and we are excited to show you the new features and tools we’ve developed and are continually developing that will improve the site aesthetic and functionality. So stay tuned!

Hear It Direct Shows Real Estate Agents What Consumers Want From Them

By Admin

Real estate professionals will hear directly from the consumer – the people who want to buy and sell homes – at a unique forum, “Hear It Direct” in Dallas, Texas on May 21st, 2012 at the Dallas Marriott at Legacy Town Center.  Hear It Direct is designed to create the consumer as the keynote speaker of the event –unlike most events in the real estate industry.  Featuring panels of real home buyers and sellers from all over the U.S., Hear It Direct targets what consumers want and expect from agents.  The unfiltered discussion is set up to discover how to really focus and best address the needs of consumers in today’s housing market.

Hear It Direct’s concept reshapes the real estate business, creating a consumer-centric, consumer driven approach to home buying and selling.  Agents and market forecasters can gain insight and learn how to create value and trust through attending this groundbreaking one-day experience.

Developed by real estate leaders Sue Adler and Robert Hahn, Hear It Direct, was created to share the new consumer-driven real estate model with the industry.  Hear It Direct, Texas is the second in a series of events delivering the message of what people want from real estate tools, the agent they work with, and the home searches they conduct on their mobile devices.

Sue Adler was recently recognized as one of the leading women in the real estate industry by the Women’s Council of Realtors® and has been one of the top selling Realtors in New Jersey since 2005.

Tickets and an informative custom research report plus a DVD series recapping the event will be made available through the Hear It Direct website at http://www.hearitdirect.com/events/. To learn more about Hear It Direct, please contact 973.869.9357.  The Hear It Direct conference is scheduled for May 21st, 2012 in Plano, Texas at the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center located at 7121 Bishop Road, Plano, Texas 75024.  The event runs from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and will include a networking Happy Hour afterwards.  The cost for the entire day is $99.

NEW FEATURE for Virtual Results Members-Happy Grasshopper

By Jim Marks

Virtual Results to offer Happy Grasshopper Automated Email Service to all clients.

Laguna Beach, CA —  Virtual Results, LLC. is excited to announce it has teamed with Happy Grasshopper to offer all VR clients even more value in 2012!   “Virtual Results websites are already one of the best values an agent can choose.  They are beautifully designed, carefully coded on the WordPress platform and they are built to convert traffic to leads.  Just a great site at a great value.” says VR founder Jim Marks. “We provide our clients content, syndication tools, and we are rolling out more and more proprietary features all the time, like our new evergreen post tool.”

Virtual Results newest feature  is the partnership with Happy Grasshopper.  This will allow VR clients to engage their sphere like never before.

Happy Grasshopper encourages interaction, by creating interesting, clickable, relevant emails.  The emails promote interaction and create interest, therefore generating the ultimate goal… relationships.  “The synergy between the goal of Virtual Results websites and Happy Grasshopper makes this a perfect relationship,” stated Dan Stewart, President of Happy Grasshopper, “Both companies work very hard on creating clients from contacts.”

Virtual Results, Jim Marks believes the Happy Grasshopper service will be of huge benefit to Virtual Results’ clients.  “Combining the technology of Happy Grasshopper with Virtual Results creates a win-win situation for all of our clients,” Marks said.  “Now VR clients can send effective client emails ‘as is’ or with a little personalization, without getting bogged down on the wording of each email.”  Marks continued, “Combining our products makes it EASY for VR clients to reach their clients AND build relationships.”  “We have tested this product extensively and the contact rate is quite amazing.”

Adding Happy Grasshopper service to the Virtual Results offering enhances VR clients internet marketing plan seamlessly and effortlessly.  As each VR website generates leads, new contacts can be added to the existing mailing list easily and each email is carefully crafted by Happy Grasshopper.  With an average 29.3% open rate, effectiveness is guaranteed.  In addition, VR and HG has made it plain simple to get started.  Simply send us a client email list.  Virtual Results and Happy Grasshopper will do the rest.

To learn more about Virtual Results websites, please contact 888.99.RESULTS.

To learn more about Happy Grasshoppers email service, please check out happygrasshopper.com

 Virtual Results Clients  get started today!!  simply Fill out the simple form below!


I want Happy Grasshopper!

We are excited to offer you this service. The service is included in your VR membership and is valid for up to 200 contacts. Above 200, you will need to upgrade and there will be an extra monthly fee. Load 200 now, and contact VR if you would like more! To get started, simply Fill out this CRAZY short form and upload your contact list. We will do the rest!!
  • This can be an excel file, a .csv file, a Word Doc, whatever you have.. Heck take a screenshot... just send it to us!!
    Max. file size: 100 MB.
  • Dont know how to upload a file or having a problem exporting your contacts? Just ask us a question, and we will give you a call! We want this to work for you!


YES! I want a Virtual Results Custom Posterous Skin

By Jim Marks

ONLY $199

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