How To Think Like An Architect • Heidi Bolyard


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Heidi Bolyard an Architect passionate about teaching realtors and other RE Professionals how to think as an architect describes how did she get interested in architecture and why she made it her career. Heidi discusses how she got into working with realtors in helping them and their clients make better decisions. Next, Heidi talks about the frameworks of SOLD, the main walkaways of her courses and how they help realtors. Heidi shares her tips to help agents think like an architect. Last, Heidi talks about the trends regarding renovation or home construction is she seeing right now.

Download Heidi’s guide on 3 things in 5 minutes to make more money as a realtor here.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

You can schedule a call with Heidi Bolyard here.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks and FollowUpBoss.


D.J. Paris 0:00
What do architects see that Realtors often miss? Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Heidi Bolyard, who is an architect and she is going to show you what architects wish Realtors knew and how to think and speak more like an architect with your clients. But before we get to it, just a couple of reminders. By the way, you probably didn’t know this. We just crossed over 400 episodes. We’ve been doing this for about five years now. And I want to encourage everyone who’s listening to please go back and listen to the early episodes. My intention, when I first started the show was not to really create even current, sort of here’s what’s going on today kind of episodes, and we do some of that. But the vast majority of what we do is really timeless. It’s talking to top producers about how they got started, what they did when they first got in the business, what they’re doing today and what they recommend agents who are looking to grow do so even though we’re pumping out two to three episodes a week now, please go back and listen to the old ones. I promise you there’s so much value there. And also just tell a friend, that’s the only other thing we ask of you is tell one other realtor, maybe somebody who’s struggling right now, it’s tough out there, tell them about our show, and that might just help them find their next idea to grow their business and keep it thriving into 2023. So enough about all that Thanks for being part of our show. Thank you to all the listeners for 400 episodes, we’re gonna keep cranking them out as per usual, but now on to the main event, my conversation with Heidi Bolyard.

Today on the show we have heightened boneyard from soiled by design. Let me tell you more about Heidi now Heidi is an architect by trade but is also extremely passionate about teaching realtors and real estate professionals how to think like an architect to get to the heart of what homebuyers actually want in a dream home. Now she started supporting Realtors when they began to hire her to do walkthroughs with their clients, I actually should have done that. That was that’s a really smart idea. But today she teaches real estate professionals how to ask questions with the same level of detail as an architect. And this the same detail that an architect needs to actually build the right home for someone. Now she received her Bachelor’s in environmental design and architecture from Ball State University and an associate’s degree in both construction management and art from Delta College. And when she’s when designing homes. Heidi’s main goal is to inspire her clients, nurture families and create more happiness and joy in their lives. Now, I want everyone to do this. We very rarely have non Realtors on the show. But this is a very special episode. So I’m really going to ask you to do this because I think it will really help your business go to sold by design dotnet sold by design dotnet. And there is a white paper I want you to download. You just have to give your email address and your name. And it’s titled Three things you need as a realtor to make money faster. But written from an architect’s perspective. This is a perspective you don’t normally get. Trust me it’s worth it. And anyway, also visit Heidi on sorry, on social media, which is at Heidi Bolyard and that’s Bo LYARD We will have links and by the way Heidi is at IDI. We’re going to have links to that in the show notes so you don’t have to Write that down, just go to our show notes. We’ll have a link to soul by design where you can download the white paper. And of course, follow Heidi Heidi, thanks for being on the show.

Heidi Bolyard 5:08
Thank you so much for having me.

D.J. Paris 5:10
We are I’m really excited. I never get to talk to architects, I’m always fascinated. Can I tell you the only architect joke? I know, it’s it’s, I think it’s a really good one to everyone who’s, who’s in architecture. Everyone else won’t get the joke, but it’s actually a civil engineering joke. So I’ll tell you, I don’t know many jokes. But I always thought this was great. So and I’ll explain it. Because I think it’s I think it’s a great introduction to what we’re going to talk about today. So it’s an old joke that some of you might have might know and architects might have heard it. But it has to do with civil engineering, where it’s like, what’s the difference between a civil engineer and a psychotic? And the answer is one pays better. And the reason why that’s funny, for everyone going I don’t get it is because what I love about architects and civil engineers in particular, is like a civil engineer will will look at like, a river, and then the two banks on either side and, and visualize a bridge going across and actually can see this bridge that doesn’t yet exist, you know, and much like a psychotic does the difference. The architect or civil engineer can actually build the bridge. But anyway, it’s probably not a great show. But I’ve always loved that joke that based better you guys are able to visualize things that don’t exist over

Heidi Bolyard 6:28
hired any and or engineer or architecture.

D.J. Paris 6:31
Well, I, I’m embarrassed to say that’s, that’s my only one. And I probably lost half the audience on it. So if you’re still with us? No, I’m really excited because I do not know anything about architecture. And I know that our audience is always looking for an edge as a real estate professional, to be able to go inside a home and actually provide more value. So I’m excited to chat with you. But before we get to all of that, I would love to hear about your journey. How did you get started? Did you grow up? I imagine a lot of kids grew up probably wanting to be architects. I feel like it’s one of those professions that could be a childhood dream. I don’t know if that was your childhood dream. So I’d love to hear about how you got interested in architecture, and then how you made it a career.

Heidi Bolyard 7:14
Originally, my childhood dream was to be a radiologist.

D.J. Paris 7:17
Wow, wow, that is highly specific. Yeah, you wanted to look at X rays.

Heidi Bolyard 7:22
Look at bones like you could see those cool pictures. And yeah, like, you can read those. Like, that’s fascinating. So now I read blueprints instead. So very similar polarity there, maybe, yeah. But I grew up in a fairly rural area. And we didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities for electives. So one of the opportunities I did have was residential drafting. Wow, I had taken that class, it just absolutely fell in love with it. It was so much fun. And then I ended up doing it for a second year, my senior year of high school and then from there went into architecture program.

D.J. Paris 8:05
So if I mean, that’s amazing to me that your school even had a drafting a program. I mean, I wouldn’t have even known what that was it when I was in high school. And there certainly was none of that where I grew up. So the fact like did you have like the the drafting table that’s at the

Heidi Bolyard 8:22
mechanical, like drafting where you went to school?

D.J. Paris 8:26
I don’t know maybe?

Heidi Bolyard 8:28
Like did the mechanical drafting, but I’m like, that sounds boring. I wonder like, draw something? Yeah.

D.J. Paris 8:36
So So in high school, you sort of caught the bog, you started understanding how plans, you know, are made visually. And then where did you go from there.

Heidi Bolyard 8:45
So from there, I had actually went to a community college where I was going to do like a two plus two program. Somehow that turned into eight years and four degrees. I don’t know how these things happen, but they just do. But yeah, I was in a, like a set an architecture associates program. And in that I was just like, I am basically taking almost all the classes I need for construction management. And I had a good friend whose dad owned a construction company. And he was just like, hate when architects don’t know what they’re drawing, they don’t know what they’re doing. And so he really pushed me to get a better understanding of construction, so that I would be a better architect. So that’s why I ended up getting an associate’s degree in construction management, which was fantastic too, because it gave me skills for managing and like owning a company. So that worked out later in life.

D.J. Paris 9:44
Yeah, that makes sense. It’s a nice skill set to sort of complement. The design side is like now I have to do some project management and understanding how that all works and the actual boots on the ground, labor part of it, I think, That’s so interesting. So as as an architect, I think you have a really unique skill set. That is, I think, particularly attractive to realtors, when did Realtors start coming to you saying, Hey, you’re really skilled, I want you to come either check out this development I’m working on or maybe it’s home, my client wants to buy or sell. I’d love to know how that those two worlds interacted.

Heidi Bolyard 10:23
Yeah, I have a client, that’s a real estate agent. And we had done some work for her home, just she hated like, it was a, I think like an 80s 80s or 90s. Home. And she was like, this was way before modern farmhouse was popular. And she was like to turn it into a modern farmhouse. And I’m like, Oh, this will be fun. So we that’s what we did, we like change the exterior of the home the facade to make it look like a modern farmhouse. And then after that, like she, she had ran into a few different times clients that were looking at several different homes in the area that they wanted to buy, but they knew all of them needed to be renovated. So they were looking at some older areas, in the Columbus, Ohio, area smoulder suburbs. So all of those homes tend to be closed off spaces, and just kind of dark, not enough windows. So I walked through the homes with them and just kind of talked through with them, like what possibilities were with the homes or even some of the homes I’m like, this is going to take so much I think it’s best unless you’re really, you have your heart set on it like best to look at one of the other outputs, or one of the other options.

D.J. Paris 11:44
It’s really amazing. I’m thinking now, like you have such a almost complete skill set, because a realtor is able to have you come in evaluate a property, and then you don’t just know aesthetically or from an engineering perspective, what’s what’s correct, what needs to be changed, what can be changed, you know, the possibilities, but you also probably understand cost, right? Because you have this construction background as well. This knowledge of understanding time and, and how how to actually make the plans from the drafting table, you know, come to life. So I think that is incredibly valuable to realtors, I think that is so interesting. I wonder how many realtors who are listening to our show, which is pretty much our entire audience are Realtors I wonder how many of them have ever thought to reach out, you know, of course, we know inspectors and appraisers and we know people that can do bits and pieces. But you have this really sort of well rounded understanding of how homes work. And so and so now you’ve you teach people this, which I think is so cool, I’ve yet to see any other architect, even think about, you know, teaching agents. So can you tell us a little bit about sold by design, I oftentimes, by the way, only, I’m only getting to this early in the conversation because I oftentimes forget. And then we get to the end and like, oh, by the way, she’s got these great courses. But I really want to talk about these because this is the only course I’m aware of that really teaches a realtor how to think like an architect.

Heidi Bolyard 13:10
Yeah, so we have, you know, a few different like things like the, the PDF, just to get some understanding of what the soul by design framework is that we have a four part framework, that’s called sold. So it stands for simplifying the process. And then the O is outlining your clients goals and dreams, the L is for laying the layout of the existing home in the D is for details of the existing conditions within the home. So really just that overview, from the from the initial point where I meet with a client that’s looking to renovate, or add on to their existing home, kind of starting at that point. So the one thing I always start telling when I’m working with real estate agents is tell them like, you need to go in and see your client’s existing home. So even though they’re not looking to stay there, like you need to know what’s working for them in the home and what isn’t working in what they love about the home. And what yeah, they would want to improve if they stayed there, just knowing all of those things about your client. And then also to like, I think so many of us can be challenged with communicating what we’re really thinking. So if you’re in their space, they can show you what they’re thinking. So it makes it easier for them to express to the real estate agent, what they’re really looking for in a new home.

D.J. Paris 14:43
So this idea of you going into someone’s existing property and saying, Tell me what’s working in here. What do you like? And I that’s a really interesting question itself. I’ve not ever heard anyone and we’ve done I don’t know 400 or so episodes. I’ve never heard anybody asked that. So cific question. I don’t, of course know every question that our guests ask their clients. But I think that is such a smart question. Because it’s not just Hey, what’s wrong? What’s broken? What what do we need to fix? What can we improve? That that’s important, of course, as well, but understanding what’s working, and even if they’re leaving that home and selling it and going to buy another home, I think really helpful information, you know, what do you love about this current home that you’re leaving? Or that you want to change it, you know, you’re staying put you want to change? So I love that. What do you think? What do you think Realtors miss, that they could pick up and I know your courses teach this, I don’t want to give away all your secrets. But we’d love to know what what Realtors oftentimes just aren’t thinking about that an architect would would catch and I understand we can’t teach somebody a skill over this, this episode. But some ways that you would encourage agents to start thinking about properties as they go in and you know, are there and witnesses?

Heidi Bolyard 15:56
Yeah, one thing I encourage agents to do is I know, you know, I know that with the current market, a lot of people have been not doing their home inspections. But when you have a home that’s having a home inspection, go and talk with the home inspector about, like, things that he sees, and like, issues and or potential issues and things like that, just because it’s gonna give you a better understanding of existing homes, and the clients already paying for them to be there. So you might as well take advantage of that free education.

D.J. Paris 16:31
That’s a really, really good point. It’s, it’s something that I don’t know that anyone’s ever said that either on our show, this idea of going to the inspection, you know, I think Realtors might think, well, it’s gonna make me look like I’m involved in the process. I’m there, I’m supposed to be there. You know, it’s my job to sort of be there to witness it. But from a skill perspective, yeah, the agent can pick up a lot of information, just talking to the inspector and saying, Hey, what what did you see over there? Did you know you mentioned this in your report, or you had mentioned that you’re writing it down? What did you see, I’d love to know what you saw. But I have an example. I bought a condo in the last year and I have this wonderful inspector. I know at the beginning, I was joking saying I should have hired an architect but but ours was a new development, there was really no reason to do that. And in my inspector was amazing. And just in case he’s listening, he was amazing. We I loved him. But one thing he saw that I would have never seen as he saw that one of my doors was warped in our master, but I’m sorry, the primary bedroom closet was the door was warped. I still don’t see a work door when I look at it. And I didn’t, but he was able to see that and so I was like Hey Mark, how did you hear today I still have a stroke I would still struggle to see it. But there are little tricks and tips that that you know people who are you know, part of that that world understand like yourself when it comes to design because you do so much designing what do you I think many realtors are just my guess would be they’re afraid to have those conversations. They might know the basics about okay if you you know want to renovate your kitchen or if you want to add on to the home, you know they have some general knowledge maybe even specific knowledge. But what would you what do you say? I would suspect that many Realtors just don’t really understand a lot of what actually you know unless they’re developers themselves really understanding the process from start to finish I’m curious on on where you see some of those disconnects. I want to pause for a moment to talk about our episode sponsor are one of my favorite companies out there follow up boss. Now after interviewing hundreds of top Realtors in the country for this podcast. Do you know which CRM is used by more than any other by our guests. Of course it is a follow up boss and let’s face it following up is the key to taking your business to the next level follow up boss will help you drive more leads and less time and with less effort. Do not take my word for it. Robert slack who runs the number one team in the US uses follow up boss and he has built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with over 250 systems so you can keep your current tools and lead sources also the best part they have seven day a week support so you’ll get the help that you need when you need it and get this follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM that for a limited time they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial which is twice as much time as they give everyone else and oh yeah, no credit card required. So you can try it risk free but only if you use this special link visit follow up forward slash real that’s follow up forward slash real for your free 30 day trial. Follow up like a boss with follow up boss. And now back to our episode.

Heidi Bolyard 19:52
I think like looking at existing homes, it’s looking at the existing spaces. So looking at what spaces are too big, what spaces are too small? Like, where could some things be reworked, but I think that going back to that first part of like seeing their home, like really understanding what your clients are looking for so important, because if you don’t understand that, you can actually walk into a home with them, and see how it could function for them.

D.J. Paris 20:20
Yeah, it makes sense. It’s like,

Heidi Bolyard 20:21
it’s like, really understanding the client.

D.J. Paris 20:25
Lots of lots of questions. It sounds like and I think that’s, but like lifestyle questions, it sounds that that’s part of it, too, right? Like, where do you spend the most amount of time in this home? Where do you relax? What is relaxation look like?

Heidi Bolyard 20:40
The whole family cooked together in the kitchen, or is it just?

D.J. Paris 20:44
Yeah, you know, and it’s funny too, because like, I cook a lot. And I was just thinking, as you said that, that every time I’ve bought a place, and the kitchens are always been fine. But for somebody who cooks a lot, they really need a different type of kitchen than somebody who’s not as inclined to, to, you know, use the stove, and the oven and the range, and just all of all of these things that I realized, like, I’m really my next home, if possible, if I can make this happen, I need to have two ovens. And I know that now, I didn’t know that before. And just because I cook so much. And so it’s something that that I’m now realizing, but I wish somebody would have said, Hey, do you cook a lot? Because if you cook a lot, what here’s what we should do, we should give up some of your counterspace or your cabinet space, and we should put in a second oven for you. And here’s why you want to do that. But I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have known right? So I love this idea of of people coming in and asking me questions. And this is something that any any agent can do is really, and really you should be doing it anyway. Finding out exactly. So asking people about about how they interact inside the home, I

Heidi Bolyard 21:51
think asking all of those questions, you’re asking the client questions they’ve probably never been asked in their life. So they feel more heard, than they’ve ever felt. So especially if they’re interviewing multiple agents, before they, you know, select one to help them find their new home or even sell their existing home. Like, if you’re asking them all these questions. They’re, yeah, they’re gonna be really impressed that like, you’ve taken the time to really get to know them and learn about them and learn about what they’re looking for in their new home.

D.J. Paris 22:25
Yeah, there’s there’s sort of superficial surface level rapport building sales, 101 stuff, like you see some, they, they’re there, they have a picture of them holding them, you know, a fish that they caught, you know, you’re a fisherman and you can talk about that. That’s one way of building rapport. And it’s maybe more more surface level. And then there’s really getting into somebody’s desires, their likes, their dislikes. And that is, is very complimentary to somebody. It’s actually very respectful, I think, to say, tell me, like, you know, these kinds of questions, you’re right, I think that’s a much better way to build intimacy to build trust. Because you’re demonstrating care, you’re saying, okay, yes, I see that, you know, you fish. And that’s great. And we can talk about that, too. But

Heidi Bolyard 23:10
those things, too, if you guys have, like, there’s some common connection, just because then they, yeah, people, people work with people they know, like, and trust.

D.J. Paris 23:18
Yes, yeah. So, so you started creating a platform, you realize there was this space in the market, where there was a big disconnect between your skill set, and of course, you know, you have many degrees, and most of our audience are probably not going to, you know, enroll back at university, you know, to develop these particular degrees, but they can leverage some of your, your knowledge and wisdom and actually learn some of some of this framework so that they can come in, and just, quite frankly, be be like, you were saying, if you’re in competition with a few other realtors for a listing, you’re gonna go in and say, you know, look, the person behind you might have been super charming. And maybe, maybe that’s enough to win the business, but you can come in and actually win with skill. And I think it we’re in the day and age where charm is, is being demoted as far as importance. And I think skill is rising to the surface, a little bit more than it used to, from a sales perspective. So I am so interested in learning this, and I know if I was a practicing agent, which, which I, unfortunately, I’m not, I’m still too busy to do that. But that would be the first thing I would do would be to sign up for this. Because I want to have an advantage and an edge. So when somebody goes through your course, what are the main benefits that they get to walk away with once once they’re sort of I know you have many courses, but what is the overall sort of objective?

Heidi Bolyard 24:44
overall objective is really just, it’s honestly the same process that I use when I’m working with a client to rent, renovate, or add onto their home or even build a new custom home. So it’s really that initial step of outlining their or their goals and dreams for what they’re looking for. And then the design process of, you know, laying out the home and, and seeing that and then more detailed things like mechanical systems and the kind of some structural systems like I teach, like where how to locate bearing walls, as long as you can get to a basement like it’s, it’s pretty easy to determine that or even standing on a first floor, being able to see you know, oftentimes and in the homes, it’s just you see a straight wall going right through the middle of the house. And there’s your bearing wall. So

D.J. Paris 25:36
that and again, I want to pause for a second, I apologize, Heidi, for interrupting you. But you just really important because if I as a realtor can walk into a home and have a pretty reasonable idea where the load bearing walls are, I now at least know what isn’t possible, or what is what opportunities might have opened up from knowing this information. That is incredibly valuable, because you can go into somebody’s basement, for example, or any part of the home. And if you have a little bit of that knowledge, you can even just whet the appetite of maybe the prospective buyer, if you’re if it’s a by side transaction or less, I’d say hey, I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this. But one thing I’ve seen work is you know, we opening up a certain space, and I think this wall might be able to come down. Have you ever thought about that, you know, bringing those ideas is is really exciting to people I would imagine

Heidi Bolyard 26:28
when I think too, like walking into a home just because like the people that are selling it or using it as a dining room. Like if you know what their goals are like, Oh, well, they’re using it as a dining room. But what have you used it for this space that you wanted in your new home? Like just to help the client also think differently think outside of the box when they’re walking through the home with you.

D.J. Paris 26:50
And how many of us grew up with dining homes, that we ate him twice a year, three times a year. And they they’re beautiful. And they were not to be walked in and touched and all of that.

Heidi Bolyard 27:01
Or dusted? Yeah.

D.J. Paris 27:03
But how many of those rooms could have been repurposed for something more functional, that, you know, tradition would have, you know, not, people wouldn’t have been able to see another opportunity in that room. Because they’re they grew up in a house with a dining room, as well as living rooms, even more of a mystery to me, we grew up with a dining room and a living room, we were not allowed in either. I mean, not really allowed. We didn’t do anything in either of those rooms. And they just sat dormant. They were pretty, but they had pretty things in there. But I almost think it was a good chunk of our first floor what’s like, don’t go in and don’t use them like don’t,

Heidi Bolyard 27:39
early, early 90s, late 80s The great room that they had a newer home and they had a great room. And he’s like the great thing about it is we never have to clean it because we’re never allowed in their space to never use.

D.J. Paris 27:58
I think in today’s day where we’re working from home a lot of us are well realtors have always been able to really do that. But but a lot of you know non traditional work at home jobs are now working home jobs and and so you now have there’s a premium on, on on space. And so now it’s like, hey, that living room that we open, you know, holiday presents in once a year and we never go in with the piano that none of nobody uses it practices on maybe it’s time to rethink that room into a more functional and useful space. I’m curious and I would be remiss if I didn’t sort of bug you with this question, which I’m sure you get at every cocktail party or every social event you go to because it would be the first thing I would ask an architect and it’s almost maybe an interior design question so I apologize if it’s not totally in your wheelhouse, but I suspect it is but just about like trends like what What trends are you seeing right now that maybe our audience should really learn more about as far as you know renovation or even just home construction or with this move to maybe working more from the home obviously home offices are are more

Heidi Bolyard 29:05
effective in a lot of homes with two offices now just because oh, I’m work from home. So you know, converting dining rooms adding French doors so that it can be used as a second office. We see that a fair amount. And then the other thing is interesting like people are putting in these massive pantries to basically be their messy kitchen. So it’s like where there used to be like this nice kitchen, but like you just kind of serve food there. And then that’s the one where you prepare the food. So I feel like this keeps just getting like it’s been happening for years but I just feel like it’s just continues like people are putting countertops in there even like I know for me we have our blender in our pantry we have like a a convection oven that toasts and does all this other stuff which is nice because it eliminates appliances but like just to get like to keep the kitchen counters cleaner. Just so that we don’t have all of this clutter, I say clutter creates chaos. So I like seeing our kitchen counters more cleaned up. So that one and then one thing that we heard from a contractor recently is the homeowners want to have a Costco door into their pantry. We were like, What is a Costco door and it’s a door from the garage and it’s not a full door, it’s like half door and you open it and from the garage, you can like push like all of your, all of the the non perishable stuff you got from Costco into your pantry without having to bring it all the way through the home.

D.J. Paris 30:38
That is That is brilliant. That is brilliant. I love that like your your 21,000 gallons of mayonnaise, you can just push as opposed to you know, that actually is really, really incredibly functional. I’ve seen some really interesting things too. I’ve seen people build, recycling sort of shoots, where they just put push, like what used to be, although I don’t think we see these much anymore used to be those. I used to think it was so cool growing up, and there’d be these older homes that had just these little like, yeah, those little like little doors. Yeah, well, the quick hand crushers are great too. But like just those little chutes where you could throw your laundry and it would go down two floors, you know, and end up in a basket. I’m seeing I think people are really into functionality now. And I think this idea of like you were talking about pantries, I have a massive walk in pantry now. And we you know, probably because of Marie Kondo or whoever the the, you know, organization person is, you know, everything is now organized, we have, you know, these, you know, these these tubs that we use, that are labeled, and all of that, and we really keep as much of our stuff out of the kitchen. But again, I guess the point is asking somebody, Hey, are you the kind of, you know, family that likes to have, you know, your your convection oven, your toaster oven or whatever, out out and about, so you can use it? Or is it okay? If you go into the pantry to use it? Is it better to maybe put the microwave in there and put and keeping the area, you know, simple and minimal and clean, which is you know, more, you know, public facing, I guess to guests. And we’ve done that in our home. We’ve tried to remove all the appliances from the actual, you know, the exception of the built in stuff, move those into into the pantry and it’s like, oh, that why didn’t we think of that sooner? So that’s a those are some great, great tips. What about? So the idea of two offices is great, but again, this is all about asking questions, isn’t it like it’s really about that’s so that’s so interesting.

Heidi Bolyard 32:43
I have to talk to you people are using like that, like one of the offices a lot of people are putting like a Murphy bed in it just because you have guests like how many times a year like it’s, it’s like just here and there like put on a Murphy bed. And then you could just talk you’re like I’ve seen people almost build desks into like the closet space of an old bedroom, or a bedroom to really use and then they add they can close the doors when they’re not using it and pull the Murphy bed down. And so their stuffs tucked away and somebody can use it as a guest bedroom.

D.J. Paris 33:12
I am the biggest fan of Murphy beds. I am we were we were wanting to do this. I’ve also noticed that second bedrooms for new developments. You know, not primary bedrooms. But second, secondary bedrooms, especially in condos have at least here in Chicago have shrunk. It used to be that the secondary bedroom was was not quite as big as the primary bedroom. But it was it was bigger than it seems to be now. And now there seems to be more of a premium on larger living space, smaller bedrooms. And so we looked into getting a Murphy bed for that second bedroom. Because we yeah, we have guests three times a year. It’s my parents like to come and use it. My sister and her husband once in a while. And 99% of the Year, nobody uses it. And I was like I had my first apartment out of college when I lived in St. Louis had a Murphy bed, which was so cool. I thought it was the coolest thing. And then yeah, and then I didn’t see a Murphy bed until like a year ago. Like it was like about a 20 year gap where you just never heard about them. And now they’re all the rage probably because a home offices and

Heidi Bolyard 34:15
it is COVID push people back. So placed on

D.J. Paris 34:20
there. They’re expensive, but they are awesome. And that is we ended up not doing it. And just because the cost of the Murphy beds, one that we wanted was just was too costly, but we might still do it because it really again, having this information really allows you to go into a home as an agent and say, I have an idea for this home like do you guys have a lot of guests? Or would you rather have a space that’s more functional? Have you ever thought of a Murphy again, bringing ideas to people is great and so as far as the idea but I know pools have also become very, very popular especially since COVID.

Heidi Bolyard 34:59
And now Your living spaces. Yeah, as well. Just yeah, place to be outside of the home and still be able to have some, it feels like an extension of the home, it feels like additional square footage.

D.J. Paris 35:14
Yeah, I’m, I’m a huge, huge fan of, of, of outdoor living space. And again, there seems to be now more of a focus on creating more of a living functional environment in and outside the home versus just a place where we, you know, end up at the end of the day after work and try to relax and go to bed. This idea that we can actually have fun in the home is is is a little bit more of a newer idea. I think unless, you know, you were dealing with ultra high net worth people, as an agent, of course, they have a lot of space, so they can create, they’ve always been able to create specific rooms for specific things and, and the average person really usually wasn’t able to do that. I think now there’s there’s more opportunity, because there’s just more interest in converting rooms into into various things.

Heidi Bolyard 36:03
And I think like you said, with the fun space, I think, you know, with COVID as well, like, people couldn’t go anywhere. So they were like, Okay, let’s figure out what we can do in our space so that we have more like, you know, our own personal entertaining space. So.

D.J. Paris 36:22
So for an agent that wants to learn more about how to think like an architect, obviously sold by is a great resource that she Heidi has courses. She is the real deal. She has a she is not a realtor, she is an architect, she has the drafting table, she goes in and out. And what type of projects do you do you work on? Mostly? Is it mostly residential? Do you also do commercial,

Heidi Bolyard 36:47
we work on primarily residential work, we’ll do a couple commercial projects here, and they’re mostly multifamily, but some other, you know, smaller commercial projects. But those are normally for savers for clients that we have that we did their homes. So but yeah, so it’s nice to mainly focus on residential work, we love doing whole house renovation projects, especially in older homes. So taking those early 20th century homes and converting them into functional living spaces for 21st century families.

D.J. Paris 37:24
And there is a lot of lot of sort of opportunities that again, the average consumer isn’t probably aware of unless that they’re studying this on their own, too. And so I think, you know, as an agent, you have a couple of opportunities here one, of course, you know, sold by design dotnet can teach you how to think like this. And I encourage everybody to consider those courses, because, boy, just imagine how much more sort of useful you’ll be to your clients when you’re able to sort of bring some of that architect knowledge in to a higher level. Yes, yeah, the 1,000%. And also, I think, if you’re not able to do that, you know, buddy up with an architect, somebody who’s wanting to do more renovation work or development and, you know, ask to take them to lunch or asked to have them come to a property, maybe pay them for their time is another option. And have them come in and say, What do I not know that, you know? What, what about? Are you seeing a lot of additions being so I’m interested in, in sort of renovation stuff right now, because last year, of course, his home prices were soaring, you know, and rates were so low. We were seeing a lot of that it’s changed a bit of course now. But what are you seeing on the renovation front? Is that still as popular as it was in the last couple years?

Heidi Bolyard 38:52
Where we are in Columbus, Ohio, it has not slowed down? Actually, we’re even busier than we were last year. So it’s, it’s it’s amazing. So

D.J. Paris 39:05
what type of renovations are you seeing?

Heidi Bolyard 39:07
Um, a lot of a lot of still like whole house renovations just looking to update the home because they don’t want to move they know like they really liked the neighborhood they’re in they like the schools their kids go to, they’re not looking to they don’t really want to move somewhere else. So they’re willing to just to renovate their, their existing home, we see a lot of people adding on more space, some more living space, like a bigger family room space just so that they have, you know, somewhere to go within the house that gives them a little bit more room to do activities. But then to we also see a lot of people adding on in law suites. So a lot of people have done that to bring family back into the home. So having multi generational households. So yeah, a couple years when people couldn’t see their or family, they’re like we want them with us.

D.J. Paris 40:03
Yeah, nearby. So that’s such a smart idea too, because it also frees up a space in the main home too, right? Like there’s, it’s, again, it’s one of those things that most people don’t, aren’t they they’re just not oriented homeowners to even think that way. I know, I’m not I don’t think that way at all, when when I bought properties in my past, I go, Oh, this is what I got, you know, and that’s why I’ve always bought things that looked perfect for the what I wanted at that time, because I don’t have the ability to see what isn’t there, or to see opportunities, that’s just not a skill set of mine. So I suspect real, producing Realtors probably are more oriented to to think about things like that, but most homeowners might not be because they’re, that’s not their, their area of expertise. So this is where you can come in as an agent, and really helped define your worth, like being able to not just sell the home and put it on the MLS and marketed property and negotiate and all of that, but actually come in and add lifestyle value, like I’m going to help your lifestyle within this this property. I think that is, I mean, wow,

Heidi Bolyard 41:12
we’re out there design skills, some basic design skills, just to really look at the space and, you know, help walk their clients through how that home could be their perfect dream home.

D.J. Paris 41:26
Yeah, it’s funny, too, because there’s a lot of trends that people really, you know, in order to stay on top of what’s going on. And this is what architects do. And whether it’s interior trends or exterior trends or design trends, you know, or construction trends. Like for example, it’s funny I was, I was chatting with an architect, or I’m sorry, an interior designer, because our place is entirely white. Like everything is white. And you know, today that’s really cool. In 10 years, it’ll be like what were they thinking? Why? Why would they do everything? Like, that looks so silly. But I did ask I asked them interior designer, I go, am I making a horrible decision? But my countertops are white, my cabinets are white, everything’s the walls are white, everything’s white. And in 10 years, is that going to be she’s like everything in 10 years is going to be looked at as oh my god, what were they thinking? So the idea, but understanding that, that there are trends that people are interested in and not not just design trends, but but understanding that is really what architects do. That’s what they know. And I think this is a huge opportunity to build that in, instead of just being like white walls are in right now. Understanding more Yes, yes. You know, that’s more surface level stuff. But understanding functionality, I think, is really what we’re talking about is is this like, how big is the master bathroom? Do you guys need a big master bathroom? Why do you need a separate room for the you know, the toilet? For example?

Heidi Bolyard 42:50
Yeah, water closet? Do you need two sinks? Do you need a linen closet? Like, what do you need in the spaces?

D.J. Paris 42:56
Yeah, yeah, it’s funny. You know, and there’s, there’s things that you know, architects can look for. And also, they can look maybe even, most importantly, is they can look at existing design and desist existing construction, right? And be able to say, Hmm, you know, there’s some problems here or this there was, there was a construction issue here that you probably wouldn’t have ever seen. So, you know, I imagine those can be incredibly helpful as well.

Heidi Bolyard 43:26
Well, yeah, like learning, like teaching we teach are real estate agents, just like things that you can look for within the house, like cracks up in the ceiling cracks in the top of walls around windows and doors, like what, you know, kind of figuring out what that is. And then also teaching, you know, just kind of assessing agent like the age of the furnace and hot water heater and Windows. So when I was looking for a house a few years ago, my real estate agent, she had, you know, we were walking through it, and she’s just like, just so you have in mind like this was built 93 She’s like, the windows original furnaces original water heaters original. And they’re all gonna have to be replaced there. Yeah, 30 years old. So. So that having that in mind that made me think through. Well, as an architect, luckily, I was just like putting some numbers together in my head. And I was like, well, once I do that, and we offer over listing. I’m not really Yeah, it’s not really what I wanted to spend. So so it was easy for me to make that decision because she gave me so much information. And then it also saved her the time of having to write an offer on the on the home that we eventually would have not fallen through on because then we would have realized later once we had the inspection that all of these other things would need to be done. So it’s really just thinking higher level for your clients to save not only them time and money of hiring an inspector but saving you time And as well,

D.J. Paris 45:01
I mean, can you imagine the, you just said something that was so, so powerful to me? Can you imagine how? Well I see both both ways it could have gone, right. So that best case scenario is the inspector sees these issues brings it to your attention before you, you know, close on the property before you go under contract, of course and say, hey,

Heidi Bolyard 45:23
you’ve already spent hundreds of dollars on. Yeah, the inspector.

D.J. Paris 45:27
Yeah, and that’s best case scenario. Worst case scenario is Inspector misses those things. And then as the realtor, you know, two years in your clients now are spending 50 grand to replace all the stuff that you as the realtor didn’t see, the inspector may have missed, and they’re gonna blame you

Heidi Bolyard 45:43
as the HS, because you probably, you know, referred sprint inspectors, but that’s the one who chose unfortunately, the inspector missed it, but they’ll still blame you,

D.J. Paris 45:53
they will still blame you and and just to be able to say, as a realtor, Hey, before we put an offer in this furnace is 30 years old, here’s what a furnace is going to cost, let me or let me do some homework, I’m gonna get back to you real quick, I want to find out what it’s going to cost to repair it, replace it. Rather, we need to think about that before we put an offer, because I don’t want you hating my guts in two years when you have to replace it. And that in and of itself is so incredibly valuable. And as an architect, and as somebody, I know, you do a lot of other things too. But like just even knowing that is going to make you so valuable to your clients, they’re gonna go, oh, we were gonna buy this property and a realtor talked us out of it, because

Heidi Bolyard 46:33
they saw information that we didn’t know Realtors knew. And then they’re going to refer you to all of their friends with maybe a real, a real estate agent, because they’re gonna be like a real estate agent was so knowledgeable

D.J. Paris 46:45
1,000% I’m sold, I this is a great place to wrap up. Because I don’t want to beat this point in any further, this is just really cool information that I don’t, I’m sure to, you know, there’s parts of it that you can find online and other places, but why not just go to one place and learn it from a respected professional in the industry. Heidi is awesome. Her company is incredibly well respected. And she has wants to teach this to realtors as well. It’s just a passion of hers. So go to sold by design dotnet, there’s a free white paper about three things that you need to know as a Realtor that will help you make money faster, help you start down the path of thinking, like an engineer thinking like an architect. And then there’s all sorts of other she has, she has courses she has coaching, she, you know, has all sorts of resources there where you’ll start to learn. And if you’re looking to invest in your business, you know, you can invest in buying leads, or you can do other marketing efforts. But how often are you investing in your own skill set? Right? This is a skill that varies, I would assume less than 1% of Realtors really have I’m just making that number up. But it’s probably about right maybe one to 5% of Realtors know how to think like

Heidi Bolyard 47:56
realtors that have been out there for a while. So just really state agents the opportunity to just jumpstart their growth. I love

D.J. Paris 48:04
it and really separate yourself from everybody else. So guys, if you’re thinking about increasing your skill set this year, and maybe maybe things are a little slower right now, because the market shifted. This is the time to invest in your skills. And imagine being able to say to your client, you know, hey, I’ve been trained by architects to look for certain things. So I’m going to ask you some some questions. So we can have a really, really great experience here together. And boy, that’ll separate you from everybody else. So everyone visit sold by Heidi and her team run by she is busy. She’s she’s doing development, she’s doing renovation, she’s doing home construction, she does it all. And she finds time to teach you guys how to think like her. So let’s use Heidi’s knowledge and reach out and learn like so that you can think like Heidi so everyone go to sold by Heidi, I want to thank you for being on our show. I was so excited to have you. This is such a unique episode for us. And I hope that our audience so much for having me. Yeah. And I hope our audience appreciated it as much as I do. I know they did. So everyone go to Seoul by And on behalf of our audience, we think Heidi, she is a busy architect. She doesn’t have time to do these silly podcasts. But she took time because she wants to help realtors and so we appreciate that. So on behalf of the audience, we say thank you. And on behalf of Heidi and myself, we want to thank the audience for sticking around to the end, please just we ask you to do two things for us. One, tell a friend think of one other realtor that could benefit from you know this particular episode with Heidi and send them a link to this episode. You can just have them, send them right over to keeping it real And also, leave us a review. Let us know what you think of the show whatever podcast app you might be listening to us on. Leave us a review. Let us know write us some comments. We want to always continue to improve to better meet your needs. All right, Heidi. Well, it was a pleasure to Adding with you we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Heidi.

Heidi Bolyard 50:03
Thank you have a great day.

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