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Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Sell a Home | 1 Posts
October
3

Delta Create: The One-Stop Shop for All Your Design Needs

Get ready to unlock a whole new level of creativity and convenience.  

Say hello to Delta Create! This suite of creative tools allows you to easily create marketing materials, messages to clients, listing brochures, and more, all in one place. Start with a template, customize it to suit your unique needs, and exercise your creativity with time-saving features that leave you more time to serve your clients.  

Let's take a deeper dive into what you can expect from Delta Create and a closer look at some of the features that will help you grow your real estate brand. 

Why Delta Create is Valuable to Your Real Estate Brand 

Branding is an essential element of success in real estate, whether you're an individual agent or overseeing a large brokerage. Potential clients want real estate services from a brand they can trust, so the quality of your marketing materials and outreach ultimately makes a big difference in earning their business. 

Put yourself in the prospect's shoes. Are you choosing a company with DIY marketing materials that look like they were created with a computer from the 1990s? Or would you be more interested in a brand that promotes itself with professional, polished, modern marketing materials that stand out for all the right reasons? High-quality marketing inspires confidence. 

Design is essential to producing marketing that turns heads, generates leads, and earns business. If you want marketing that puts your brand in the best possible light, you need the right tools. Delta Create puts all the design tools you need at your fingertips and allows you to quickly create marketing materials like a pro. 

Just as importantly, Delta Create doesn't limit you to one template or style. Start with a pre-designed template as your base, then customize it to suit the unique needs of your real estate brand and stand out from the crowd. When you combine creativity with customization and convenience, you have everything you need to grow your brand. 

Get to Know the Features of Delta Create 

The key word to remember with Delta Create is customization. The tools within Delta Create offer the perfect mix of customization and time-saving templates that empower you to make your marketing materials your own. Here are some of the tools that will make your life easier while giving your brand a boost — with outreach to both current clients and fresh leads. 

eCards for Every Occasion  

Staying in touch is critical to retaining clients' business over time, and Delta Create makes it easy to create customized eCards for all of the biggest moments in life. Create cards for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and so much more in one place. Stay top of mind so clients will think of you first when they — or someone they know — has a real estate need in the future. 

Easily Create Flyers 

Get the word out with customized flyers that you can design within Delta Create and send directly to your local print shop. Have them delivered right back to your door without ever leaving the office. 

Build Your Own Social Media Graphics 

When it comes to shareable content on social media, few things can top a timely, creatively designed image. Design professional-quality graphics within Delta Create by uploading your own images and customizing each key detail. Whether you're promoting a property, sharing useful data, or informing your audience about your brand, Delta Create truly is your one-stop shop for all your design needs. 

Conveniently Create Stunning Property Listing Brochures 

You want your listing brochures to make a memorable first impression, and designing distinctive listing brochures is easier than ever with Delta Create. Handle the entire brochure design process from start to finish by uploading photos, customizing the brochure, and automatically pulling key info from the property listing page. Show off your listings to generate interest in properties and show leads that you'll go the extra mile when you're marketing their listing. 

Easy to Use Email Templates 

We know you don't want to spend all day sending emails and coming up with the perfect words to say. That's why Delta Create has tons of pre-designed email templates that simplify the steps of sending the right message at the right time. You can customize each template to suit your needs and your brand. Make every email pop, and save time in the process! 

Look Out for More Exciting Features and Updates in DeltaNET 7

Delta Create is just one of the many exciting updates included in DeltaNET 7. With new features, updates to existing features, and plenty of small changes, DeltaNET 7 was built to make your life easier. But don't worry; all the existing features and functionality you love will still be there waiting for you — and they'll be even more powerful for growing your real estate brand. 

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September
29

Creating Confidence Out Of Uncertainty

In the first year of a real estate agent's career, he or she learns the ropes. In that journey, all agents develop a sense of their interests and strengths. Afterward, a whole new set of challenges is in store.

When rising agents are looking for effective, repeatable processes to fill their sales pipeline, what are they really doing? What is the underlying motivation? We can argue that it's confidence. Building the right processes helps you tackle the unknown with greater energy and enthusiasm.

When you are confident, you feel ready for anything. No matter what happens (or what seems to go wrong!), you have a deep inner knowing that tells you that you can adapt and prevail. But real estate's complexity means most newcomers can't simply "fake it 'til they make it."

They need something more solid and trustworthy to hang their hat on. That's especially true when you're crafting a brand that represents you.

Confidence Is a Winning Trait — and You Can Develop It

No matter where you are in the arc of your career, there are certain practices that can help you bring your confidence to the next level. Confidence, in turn, helps you relate to others — especially clients — with a level of passion impossible to obtain otherwise.

It's confidence that allows real estate agents to stand up proudly and proclaim what they do and who they do it for. Confidence enables you to embrace your unique value instead of trying to be everything to everyone. In exchange, it helps ensure that the right people gravitate toward you.

Confidence isn't pushing the hard sell or "not taking no for an answer," but it's also the magic ingredient that allows real estate professionals to understand that rejections aren't personal, and sometimes it may take 8-10 follow-ups before you connect with someone at the perfect moment.

In short, confidence gives you the power to recognize that "overnight success" is anything but. No one sees the time and effort that goes into everything that comes before the big moment. If confidence is the sense of being ready for whatever comes, it's also a skill you can develop.

Let's look at the most powerful ways for real estate agents to develop their core confidence:

Study
The more situations you're aware of and familiar with, the more you can activate your knowledge and start off on the right road to solving problems. That begins with study. Don't end your learning journey with your real estate license — continue choosing certifications and skills. Always chase something. Establish concrete deadlines to reach a certain level of skill or sit your first certification attempt.

Practice
It might sound counterintuitive, but the truth is there are no "difficult" skills. While some people may have a natural inclination one way or another, every skill becomes easier the more familiar it is. Aim to practice skills, especially in the areas where you feel you're weak, with focused blocks of weekly work. Identify the situations you need to be in to get the practice you want and make them happen.

Focus
To make the most of practice, break big skills down into the smallest possible chunks. One big example: "Public speaking" is actually many different small skills: Managing your anxiety, projecting your voice, knowing what to do with your body — then things like "writing your speech" and the nuances of delivery. Gain competence in the foundational skills and you can gradually build to the sophisticated ones.

Network
Networking is the golden key to accelerating your success in the world of real estate. When you have a strong network, you can collaborate with peers and learn from mentors. That helps you think creatively about the problems you're facing and design novel, effective solutions without reinventing the wheel. In the long run, this can cut years off the time it takes you to achieve the business results you envision.

Teach
Once you're conversant with any skill, it's time to look for others who can benefit from your perspective. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a world-renowned expert to teach others — only ahead of where they are on the same journey. Explaining things to other people sharpens your understanding, and fielding their questions can give you insights as you put details together in new ways.

Systemize
The right technology is the path to clear, repeatable processes that make your business more stable. A real estate CRM is an indispensable part of the equation. With the right CRM in place, you'll have total visibility into your leads, current customers, and past customers. With artificial intelligence centralizing and monitoring your data, you'll know precisely when and how to follow up with each contact.

Contact us to learn more about today's premier real estate technology.

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September
28

DeltaNET Academy: Taking Virtual Training To The Next Level 

The pandemic changed the way we do many things, and one of those things is how companies train employees. The days of in-office face-to-face training are nearly over, and a new method, virtual training, has been widely adopted. Virtual training is the new norm, but with endless emails and Zoom calls, it's growing tiresome for many people. 

What if there were another way to train your agents and staff virtually that also saved both parties a great deal of time and energy? 

This past spring, Delta released its first-ever training platform: DeltaNET Academy. This unique interactive virtual training platform helps agents get acquainted with their new technology and company practices through slideshows, videos, and even quizzes. And better yet, they can participate on their own schedule. Without needing to commit to attending a training session ahead of time, they can train whenever it's most convenient for them. 

Train Agents with Built-in Courses 

When logging in to DeltaNET Academy for the first time, you'll see that four pre-built courses are already available to get sales associates up-to-date with the DeltaNET and Delta's various marketing and technology offerings. 

These built-in courses include: 

Welcome to the DeltaNET! – This course introduces agents to the DeltaNET and its tools and features.  Let the DeltaNET Do it for You (Automation) - This course shows agents how DeltaNET uses automation to assist with everything from lead generation to digital marketing.  Customizing Your Website – This course shows agents how they can custom-create their website using DeltaNET.  Organizing Your Client Database - This course teaches agents how to organize their client database in DeltaNET. 

With detailed displays and engaging features, these courses are there to walk your real estate team through the ins and outs of Delta technology, so you don't have to. They are a great way to get your new hires accustomed to using the technology that will set them up to succeed. 

Custom Create Your Own Courses 

The built-in courses are just the beginning of DeltaNET Academy. As an admin, you can create custom courses that cater to your company. 

As the course maker, you are the teacher; you make the curriculum. So, your courses can be about anything you wish — from the office dress code to agent conduct or how agents can market themselves on social media. Designing new courses allows you to tap into your creative side and set the standards for your associates. 

To create a course in DeltaNET Academy, click "New Course." You can give it a name and choose to whom it will be visible — whether you want it to be for specific agents, offices, or everyone in the organization. Then you will need to add a description of the course. Next, it will take you to the course builder, where you can start designing the course. There you can make multiple "modules," which are like classes. These modules may consist of video content, slides, or both.  

In the course builder, you can create quizzes for agents to complete at the end of each course. To make a quiz, you just input your questions and possible answers and then mark the correct answer. When making a quiz, you get to decide what percentage of the answers need to be correct for the "student" to pass the quiz. So, depending on the subject and its difficulty level, you can set the bar higher or lower. 

Courses and modules can easily be rearranged on pages using the system's "drag and drop" feature. And don't worry if it takes you a while to make a course because, in DeltaNET Academy, you can save courses being built as a "draft" and continue to work on them over time. 

Admins Have Total Control 

With total control over your courses in DeltaNET Academy, you can assign courses to certain groups and set deadlines. 

Whether you have a small or large brokerage, you likely want the ability to train agents based on their strengths and weaknesses. Or you may want to assign certain courses to agents or staff in certain geographical areas or that do or don't come into the office. As an admin for DeltaNET Academy, you can choose to whom you assign specific courses. You can even make and assign courses specifically for administrators. That might include training on navigating the admin side of DeltaNET or how to lead a team. 

When you assign a course, you can also assign a deadline. You can track an agent's progress in a course and see when they finish it by visiting the reports page. There, you will get a list of all your agents, and by clicking on a name, you can see what courses that person is assigned to and what they've completed.  

Suppose, instead of wanting information on a specific agent, you want to know how many agents have completed or have yet to complete a course. In that case, you can just click on the course preview, which will tell you the names of the agents assigned to it and those who have completed it. 

Although the platform is called DeltaNET Academy, you have the option to rebrand it for your company with a new name. It's your training platform, so call it what you'd like. You can add new designs and import your logo to match your brand. 

As an admin, it's your job to activate DeltaNET Academy and create a tile for it to show up on the dashboard for your agents. New tiles can be created by going to the personal side, finding the landing page to which you want to add the tile, then clicking "Edit Tiles" and "Add Tile."  

Navigation is Simple for Agents 

Navigation is simple on the agent side. Agents can access Delta Academy through their dashboard in DeltaNET and complete courses with only a few clicks. They can begin a course and come back to it as they please. 

It's also easy for them to keep track of their courses. When agents log in to DeltaNET Academy, they automatically get a list of the courses they have been assigned, noting what courses have yet to be completed. Next to each course listed is a "start" button for them to click on to start or continue that course. Once they complete a course, it's removed from their list. Aside from having their courses and deadlines listed on their home page, the due dates for their assigned courses will also appear on their calendar, reminding them of what they need to get done. 

With simple navigation for agents throughout the training platform, your team will be more like-minded than ever. Your real estate team will operate efficiently, and you won't have to worry because everyone will be on the same page.  

An Even Better Version is Coming 

Although the platform is already full of awesome features to help your real estate business and its employees thrive, there are always improvements to be made. DeltaNET Academy will soon be launching into phase two, which will be complete with more actions and features to make training your team even better. 

With this new version, you'll be able to restrict an agent's access to certain features, depending on whether they completed a course. For example, if an agent has not completed the website design course, they can be restricted from making their website until they do. Or, if they have not completed the digital marketing course, they can be blocked from sending email campaigns. 

Phase two will also include "achievements," which are like badges. These will be displayed on DeltaNET after completing a course. Not only will this feature give associates a sense of accomplishment, but as an admin, you will be able to identify who is trained in what areas based on the presence of these badges. 

This update will also offer an option to host a "class." So, if multiple agents want to complete a course simultaneously, they can do so by joining the same training event. Attendees then pass the course based on their attendance rather than a test or quiz. That is unless you still wish to give one anyway, which you always have the option to do. 

Your Agents Will Love DeltaNET Academy 

DeltaNET Academy is built into the DeltaNET and requires no additional purchase or cost. It's entirely free; no surprises or hidden fees.  

So, instead of stressing over getting all your agents together for a Zoom call and checking to see that everyone shows up and pays attention, start designing courses through DeltaNET Academy and see if it improves your company's operations. Odds are, it will. 

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April
11

If you're thinking about selling your home, now is the time to start making any necessary renovations and updates. While you might think you know exactly what needs to be done, it's smart to talk to a real estate agent before you get started. He or she will be able to tell you exactly which features are most popular with homebuyers so you can focus your time and money on the projects most likely to improve your bottom line. 

While buyers often have varying priorities when it comes to a home's interior, most may want the same features on the outside. Investing in the following five projects will help increase the chances of selling your home for top dollar. 

  1. Exterior Lighting
    Illuminating the outside of your house with landscape lighting and spotlights can transform it from a beautiful home to one that's absolutely breathtaking. Not only will it bring attention to the home's architectural features and perfectly manicured lawn, but it also adds an element of safety that's highly desirable. Add solar-powered lights, motion-sensors, and smart lights to make an even greater impact. 
  2. Outdoor Patio
    If you have a large backyard, potential buyers will love imagining themselves relaxing outdoors with a cool drink in their hand. An outdoor patio and seating area expand your home's livable space, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

    Adding a well-designed concrete patio is one of the best ways to make your home appear larger without undertaking a major renovation. If you already have a patio, put the effort into repairing it and making it look as new as possible. This small project can bring a huge return on investment. 
  3. Firepit
    Homes with outdoor fire pits allow owners to enjoy spending time in the backyard almost all year long. A nice-looking firepit will entice homebuyers, especially if it runs on natural gas. Build a beautiful structure, and you're likely to recoup almost all of your investment in the form of a higher sale price.

    Before jumping into this project, make sure you're following all of the local ordinances and necessary safety precautions. The last thing you want to do is add something to your home that will cause you problems down the line. 
  4. Landscaping/Garden
    Even if you don't make any major changes to the outside of your home, paying attention to your landscaping and garden will have a major impact on its curb appeal. Fertilize your lawn, touch up the mulch, and trim your bushes and overgrown trees.

    Maintain your perennial flower beds and add some annuals for instant color. If you have unique plants around your home, consider labeling them as they might help attract the right kind of buyer. Finish your project off by adding a water feature to make your yard feel like a relaxing oasis. 
  5. Outdoor Kitchen
    Outdoor living is hugely popular right now, making a great outdoor kitchen one of the most coveted features for home buyers. Depending on the scope of the project and the size and location of the home, sellers adding an outdoor kitchen can typically expect to break even or make as much as 20 percent back on their investment.

    When building an outdoor kitchen, you'll want to focus it around the grill and make sure you have plenty of counter space. Keep it simple and avoid adding extras like a pizza oven, as the new homebuyer might not want these features, causing them to be undervalued. 
April
11

Buying a house that's energy efficient is important to most of us these days. We're all so much more aware of the impact that we have on our environment, and how important it is to minimize our environmental footprint as much as we can. Energy-efficiency can also have a significant impact – for the better – on the costs of owning a home, reducing the amount of money that must be budgeted to cover those monthly utility bills. So what do you need to know about buying an energy-efficient home?

Key features to look for when buying a house that's energy efficient

If your goal is to buy an energy-efficient home, features you should look for include:

  • Good Insulation – An energy-efficient home will have well-insulated walls, floors, attic spaces and crawlspaces. Sellers should be able to provide an R-value for the home's insulation, and the Department of Energy offers guidelines on appropriate R-values according to the region.
  • Good windows – Drafty windows are huge energy wasters, causing heat loss in cold weather and heat gain in the summer. Look for newer, double-pane windows when you're home shopping, preferably windows that have earned the Energy Star seal.
  • Efficient appliances – Look for appliances that are Energy Star certified, which means that they are more energy efficient than average appliances. Appliances that can carry that seal include heating and air conditioning systems, washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, among others.
  • A solid, energy efficient roof – You will, of course, want to be sure the roof of any home you're considering is in good shape. For maximum energy-efficiency, also look for one that uses Energy Star certified roofing materials, which reflect more of the sun's rays away to reduce heat gain – and therefore the amount of energy needed for summer cooling.
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures – Low flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads conserve water, of course, but they can also add to the energy-efficiency of your home. Reduced water flow when you turn on hot water faucets means less energy used by your water heater.

Energy-efficiency claims: Verify for your piece of mind

Energy-efficiency is a big selling point in today's market, so home sellers are generally eager to hit the right "green" talking points when they're listing their homes. While most people are quite honest in their descriptions, any buyer would be remiss if they did not do a little due diligence to verify the sellers energy-efficiency claims. Good ways of double-checking include:

  • Review utility bills for the home – Ask to see utility costs from the past year, then contact the local utility company to find out how those costs compare to the average bills of other, similarly-sized homes in the area. An energy-efficient home should have lower than average energy usage and costs.
  • Request an energy audit – A home energy audit, done by a licensed professional, evaluates energy usage in the home to give you a very accurate idea of just how efficient it is overall.
  • Ask about certifications – If the home you're interested in is a newly constructed one, ask the seller if it is LEED or Energy Star certified. Either of these certifications ensures that the home has been built for energy-efficiency.

Taking these steps to ensure that you're buying a house that's energy efficient may add a little time and expense to the home shopping process. However, if you are planning to live in that new home for a while, shopping carefully will pay off in the long run with a smaller environmental footprint and lower energy bills.

April
11

If you want to enjoy a beautiful yard, now is the perfect time to get started.  Don't have a natural green thumb? No worries! Creating beautiful flowerbeds is easier than you think when you plant these easy-to-care-for perennials. 

  1. Peony
    With large, gorgeous, blooms that are both colorful and strongly-scented, the Peony is one of the most popular perennial flowers. They're also extremely dependable. They often bloom for three or more years, and some continue to come back and bloom for many decades! 
  2. Black-Eyed Susan
    The Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) creates cheery-looking blooms that resemble daisies. The petals come in shades of yellow or orange and have dark centers. They're naturally resistant to insects and drought and most varieties will continue to bloom year after year. 
  3. Bearded Iris
    With eye-popping flowers that resemble a crown, the Bearded Iris is one of the most stunning perennial flowers you can add to your garden. They come in a wide variety of colors and often boom both in the spring and in the fall. Even when they're not blooming, the foliage creates a beautiful backdrop for your yard. 
  4. Oriental Lily
    The Oriental Lily can grow up to seven feet tall and creates a large, pendulous flower with an unmistakably pleasant scent. This species of flower is easy to care for, and since they spread, you'll enjoy more flowers year after year. 
  5. Salvia
    Salvia, also known as Perennial Sage, is coveted for its deep blue blooms. There are many varieties of Salvia, some of which do well in cold climates, and others that are great for hot and humid states like Florida. If you trim them back after they're done blooming, you're also likely to enjoy a second late-summer bloom. 
  6. Purple Coneflowers
    The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea) used to come in only one variety but is now available in many colors. These flowers grow up to three feet tall and will bloom in your garden from early summer until the fall. They also attract butterflies and are excellent for making indoor bouquets.  
  7. Penstemon 
    A tubular flower that comes in white and shades of pink, purple, blue, and red, the Penstemon thrives in sunny areas. Some have blue/green leaves, which can create a beautiful contrast within your flowerbed.  
  8. Coral Bells
    Often planted at the front of flowerbeds, Coral Bells (Heuchera) are popular for their colorful, crinkly-looking leaves. They also grow tiny perennial flowers on stalks that stick out above the leaves. These plants prefer sun or partial shade and bloom in late spring. 
  9. Moss Phlox
    A very versatile plant, Moss Phlox creates a dense mat of foliage that has a tendency to creep. It grows to a height of six inches to two feet and gives off highly-fragrant blooms in the springtime. It's great for planting in rock gardens, in the front of your perennial flowerbeds, or alongside sidewalks and other paved areas. 
  10. Whirling Butterflies
    How can you not love a plant with a name like Whirling Butterflies? This North American Wildflower blooms for several weeks at a time throughout the summer and fall. Its name comes from the small, delicate flowers that look like butterflies when the wind blows. They tolerate drought well once they're established and do best when planted in areas with full sun or partial shade. 

If you're thinking about selling your home this spring or summer, adding some flowerbeds for curb appeal is a great way to get started. 

April
4

Do you dream of living in one of the area's hottest neighborhoods, but find that all the homes are out of your price range? If you want to live in a trendy area, but also want to get the most out of your real-estate-dollar, the trick is to buy an inexpensive home in a neighborhood that's destined to be the next new hotspot.


Cities and urban areas across the country are going through a revitalization, also known as gentrification. Formerly run-down, lower-income regions are experiencing an influx of affluent residents, causing the neighborhoods to become desirable and home prices to rise. This trend is growing year-over-year as buyers have been placing more value on locations close to city centers and near their places of employment. 


Up-and-coming neighborhoods tend to start as neglected and run-down areas that might have high crime rates. Purchasing a home in these areas can be risky, so you'll want to do your homework first. 


How can you tell a neighborhood is getting ready to pop? Start with these six pro tips.

  1. Start with the Current Hotspots
    If you take a close look at some of the hottest local areas, you'll likely find neighborhoods just on the outskirts that need some love and attention. Purchasing a home in these neighborhoods will guarantee you're close to the amenities you want, and it's likely just a matter of time before your new neighborhood catches on.
  1. Keep an Eye Out for Construction
    An increase in construction is a good sign that a neighborhood is up-and-coming, but by the time you see the equipment, it's often too late. Instead, pay attention to the news to see what projects are in the works and attend city council meetings. If the city or large private investors are willing to put money into a neighborhood, it's a good sign that you might want to invest there too. 
  1. Listen to the Press
    If the news outlets begin reporting on revitalization in an area or referring to it as up-and-coming, home prices often start to climb. If you hear these reports and are ready to jump on a purchase right away, you might be able to get in before prices skyrocket.
  1. Follow the "Cool" People
    Historically, areas, where artists and musicians choose to live, have become some of the hottest neighborhoods in the country (think SoHo in NYC). This is because they typically search out less-desirable areas looking for cheap rent, then significantly improve it by bringing their creative energy.

    Also, look for areas where younger people are flocking. It's almost guaranteed that trendy bars, restaurants, and other cool amenities will follow. 
  1. Consider a Historic Area
    Areas designated as "historic" are prime for revitalization. Not only is the city or local government likely to invest in improvements, but many also offer significant tax breaks for buyers willing to spend in the area. If you're ready to put the time and effort into a restoration, you can turn a diamond-in-the-rough into a gorgeous dream home. 

  2. Talk to Your REALTOR®
    A good REALTOR® will have his or her finger on the pulse of the local area and know which neighborhoods are destined to be the next hotspots. Together, you can also examine real estate trends like days on the market (DOM). A decrease in DOM quarter-over-quarter is an excellent indicator of a neighborhood's popularity. 
April
4

Rainwater is pure gold that falls from the sky. Harvesting this clean and clear resource can trim your utility bills and minimize your environmental impact while reducing strain on regional water treatment facilities. When properly designed and installed, a rainwater collection system is an investment whose dividends benefit the entire community. The following are seven tips that will help you squeeze every last drop of value from your rainwater collection strategy.

  1. Determine Consumption & Availability
    Rainfall is variable, and the amount of rain that falls in your area may not be sufficient to meet your needs. You must calculate the water consumed by your lifestyle and landscaping needs. For example, water consumed by dishwashers, toilets, showers, sprinklers, etc. Next, you will want to determine whether regional rainfall is sufficient to meet these needs. As a general rule, you can expect annual rainfall to meet about 50% of your water needs. 
  2. Consider Your Roofing
    Shingled roofs can leach toxins into rainwater making it unsuitable for drinking. If you want to use your water for cooking, etc., consider replacing your roof with terra-cotta, slate, wood shingles, or concrete.
  3. Choose Barrels Carefully
    Choose barrels that are sufficient in size and construction to meet your collection needs and any freeze/thaw cycles inherent to your climate. Barrels should be opaque to minimize algae growth and comprised of materials (either wood, metal, or ideally, plastic) that won't leach toxins into the water. 
  4. Regularly Clean and Cover Your Barrels
    Position your barrels so that you can access and clean them every six months. Once every two years, your tank should be thoroughly de-sludged. This helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria and ensures your water remains fresh.  

    It is also advisable to conduct monthly tank inspections to ensure that filter screens, covers, and locks are functioning properly and preventing access to the tank by children, insects, pets, and other wildlife. If any damaged seals or locking mechanisms are discovered you will want to replace these without delay. Keeping your system closed off is essential for keeping the water clean and free of biological pathogens and insect infestations.  
  5. Shield and Clean Your Gutters
    Installing gutter shields and regularly cleaning the gutters on your home will help limit sludge buildup within your rainwater collection tanks. If you want to use your rainwater for human or animal consumption, you may also want to replace any soldered seams with rivets as soldered seams can leach lead into the water supply.
  6. Be Careful When Installing the Spigot
    Screw your spigot down so that it is hand tight. This helps prevent stripping of the threads and damage to the plastic, wood, or metal of the rainwater collection barrel. If you screw the spigot down too tight, the damage you create can cause leaks that negate your efforts. 
  7. Stay in the Grey
    Safely using rainwater for drinking requires significant investment and training. For this reason, most homeowners opt to use the rainwater they collect for showers, dishwashing, clothes washing, and irrigation. Using your water for these purposes will significantly reduce your water consumption without putting the health of your family at risk. 

Rainwater collection systems are worth their weight in gold. Using this free, 100% natural resource helps reduce your utility bills and minimizes your impact on the regional water supply. Collecting rainwater is an eco-friendly solution that is guaranteed to help beautify your landscape while adding a little extra padding to your monthly budget. A small investment of time and resources is all it takes for you to reap these rewards season after season.  

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