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News You Can Use The Power of “O” Outstanding Service…Optimum Results

June 2008

Brought to you by: The O-Team John O’Donnell: 314-714-7236 Rick Olsen: 314-714-7237

How to Resolve Disputes and Get What You Want When something is wrong with a product or service, a well-written complaint often resolves the situation satisfactorily. Use this format for a letter that gets results. Be Nice Prime the pump with a compliment. You bought the product or service about which you’re complaining, so there must be something good about it. Better results come with warmth than with wind. If you’ve been a loyal or a high-volume purchaser, mention it. Even if this is your first experience with the company, it costs more for them to get new customers than to keep current ones. Their self-interest is served by a reasonable effort to make you happy. Be Brief Two or three paragraphs are enough. State the problem simply. Include specific information, such as the product code, date and place of purchase and sale-by date. Keep the letter focused on essential details. Be Specific Be specific about what would satisfactorily resolve the situation for you. From a free product or service to a refund, let the company know what you want. State your timeframe for resolution.

Putting Your House Up For Sale? Get These Essential Tips If you want to get the best price for your house, it's essential to prepare it for sale. Homes that have been "staged" go for a lot more money…and sell much more quickly too. To give yourself a head start, get my free guide, "50 Essential Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Speedy, Top-Price Sale." Just call me at 314-714-7236 and I'll send it right out to you. Page 1

Use This Checklist to Organize a Fun Outdoor Party Invite guests two weeks ahead. • Advise them what to bring, and ask about their food allergies. Include an RSVP. Streamers, colorful tablecloths and • other decorations enliven the party. A theme helps to guide decorating. Garden lights, lanterns and candles • create evening atmosphere. Ensure that guests are not isolated by darkness and can maneuver safely. Dot the area with citronella candles • to discourage flying bugs. Remove breakables and safety • hazards for children. In case of rain, set up an awning or • prepare space in the garage or house. Clean and test the grill. Have a full • tank of propane or a good supply of wood chips or charcoal. • Ready the grilling and serving tools. If dinner is potluck, gather enough dishes to keep foods hot or cold as required and to keep out bugs. Supply disposable place settings, trash bags, drink coolers and ice. If you’re making the main course, • do more than one. Popular staples include steak, chicken, fish and grilled vegetables, along with hotdogs and hamburgers for children. Stock basic condiments, e.g., BBQ • sauce, ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, buns, butter, salt and pepper and lemons. Have plenty of snack foods, such as • chips and veggies, lots of drinking water and a variety of mixes for alcohol. • Organize games for children and grown-ups. Popular activities include swimming, horseshoes, croquet, volleyball, badminton, contests, live music and, after dark, outdoor movies.

Use Lighting to Add Value to Your Bathroom Lighting is a great way to give your bathroom a whole new look and feel– and it’s an easy way to add value to your home. Keep in mind that you can never have too much light in the bathroom. It is recommended that you layer light sources to provide enough illumination for applying makeup and for shaving while reducing glare. Begin by selecting an overhead • fixture for general lighting in the room; cove and recessed lighting are popular choices. • Recessed lighting in the shower area makes shaving and shampooing easier. • Your tub area needs good general light, which can be offered by recessed light fixtures. To avoid glare,

aim the light's beam at the outside edge of the tub. • For vanity areas, keeping in mind that recessed lighting tends to cast shadows on the face, consider adding lights on both sides of the mirror, set at eye level. Coated or frosted bulbs are a good choice because they enhance facial features and reduce glare, while warm fluorescent bulbs offer even illumination for the face. Good picks for vanity lighting include vertical strip fixtures or decorative wall sconces. • Linear lighting systems are great for illuminating the floor. Place them in the toe space below the vanity and cabinets. • Don't block out the light from windows - it will supplement or replace electric options. • Remember that fixtures in wet areas must be approved for such use.

Worth Quoting Here’s what some people said about fortune: “Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn “Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them.” Suzanne Necker “Fortune can, for her pleasure, fools advance / And toss them on the wheels of Chance.” Juvenal “Every man is the architect of his own fortune.” Sallust “I have always believed that all things depended upon Fortune, and nothing upon ourselves.” George Gordon Byron

Quick Quiz Each month I’ll give you a new question based on this newsletter. Just email me at or call 314-714-7236 for the answer. Here’s the question. June is a particularly popular month for weddings. What is it about the name of the month that makes it a favorite for celebrating marriages?

Thanks for All Your Referrals! I succeed when people like you refer me to their friends, neighbors and loved ones. It's the best kind of feedback I can receive. So thanks for continuing to pass this newsletter around to people you care about.

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth? Has your home gone up in value? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for? If you're wondering what's happening to prices in your area, or you're thinking about selling your house, I'll be able to help. Just give my office a call for a no-fuss, professional evaluation.

“Fortune knocks but once, but misfortune has much more patience.” Laurence J. Peter “Fortune favors the brave.” Virgil “Depend not on fortune, but on conduct.” Publilius Syrus

I won't try to push you into listing with me or waste your time.

“There are one hundred men seeking security to one able man who is willing to risk his fortune.”

I'll just give you the honest facts about your home and its value.

Jean Paul Getty

And maybe I'll also give you the "inside scoop" on what's happening in the housing market near where you live! Just give my office a call at 314-7147236 to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, stop in at the office. The address is on the back page of this newsletter.

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice “The slave has but one master, the ambitious man has as many as can help in making his fortune.” Jean De La Bruyere

Useful Tips to Keep Your Child’s Room Tidy One of the greatest challenges when it comes to keeping a child's room clean and organized is lack of storage space. It’s particularly important to keep these rooms looking tidy when you put your home on the market. Here are some tips to make the best use of space. Beds: Consider buying a platform bed with built-in drawers to store toys or bulky clothing, or raise your child's existing bed frame and use under-thebed storage boxes to hold out-of-season clothes or books. Loft beds are a wonderful way to free up floor space, and many come with built-in desks and shelves for homework and books. If you have two children sharing a room, a bunk bed can also be used to free up floor space.

Double-duty Furniture: Using furniture that serves more than one purpose increases storage and frees up space in the bedroom. Benches with hinged tops can be used for storing stuffed animals, toys, or extra linens. Chests and ottomans that can be opened to store items can also be used as chairs or tables in a child's room. Walls: Taller shelving units will take up less floor space, while providing space for books or storage containers. Make certain to secure shelf units to the wall to prevent children from tipping them over. A nice place to store fragile or decorative items is up near your child's ceiling. Line the top of your child's bedroom walls with shelves, and place items up high that you would

How to Use Swimming to Get Fit Swimming is a powerful way to improve strength and cardiovascular health. Frequency: Swimming three times a week is recommended to build stamina and to maintain peak performance. Regular short sessions produce more health benefits than irregular long sessions. Variety: Use a variety of styles, such as the front crawl, the back stroke, the breast stroke and the butterfly. Learn which muscles are exercised by different strokes. Consider professional instruction, as good technique increases the health benefits. Vary your speed between fast and moderate. Measurement: Swim in measured bursts, starting with 30 seconds followed by a rest. Increase the time incrementally until you’re comfortable swimming for 30 minutes. Equipment: Goggles protect your eyes from chemicals, and a cap reduces your drag. Fins and kickboards exercise the legs, while pull-buoys and hand-paddles challenge the upper body.

Ways to Save Cash and Stress Before You Fly We’re used to using the internet to book flights and hotels. Now, websites are becoming more sophisticated, providing additional tools to help you get to your destination.

ticket is predicted to rise or fall in the next seven days. It then tells you whether it’s best to buy now or wait. It’s said the system is right 74.5% of the time.

Farecast ( says it can predict whether fares are going to rise or fall, allowing you to choose the best time to buy a ticket. The site will search through more than 100 agency or airline websites to discover if the lowest-price

Another site to check out before you book your tickets is Delaycast (, which says it can figure out if a flight is likely to be delayed based on route, airline and time of day. Page 3

rather your child not have access to. Pegs are another fantastic way to use wall space, and young children will enjoy hanging up hats, jackets, and other items on the pegs. Closets: Closet organizers should reach all the way from floor to ceiling to maximize storage possibilities. Place out-of-season clothes or other rarely used items on higher shelves, and keep frequently used items within your child's reach. Doors: Do not overlook the available space on the back of your child's bedroom or closet door. Shoe organizers with clear plastic pockets make wonderful storage containers for small stuffed animals and cars, art supplies, and dolls.

Fascinating Facts About June • The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was held on June 2, 1953. • The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrated their hot air balloon on June 4, 1783. • The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London on June 6, 1844. • The Spirit Rover was launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, on June 10, 2003. • Pioneer 10 became the first manmade object to leave the solar system on June 13, 1983. • The Oregon Treaty established the 49th parallel as the part of the border between the U.S. and Canada on June 15, 1846. • The Diary of Anne Frank was published on June 25, 1947. • The United Nations Charter was signed on June 26, 1945. • The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened on June 26, 1959 • Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope on June 30, 1859.


Brought to you free by: The O-Team

John O’Donnell & Rick Olsen Visit us on the web at

This Month’s Sudoku

The Power of “O” Outstanding Service…Optimum Results

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This Month’s Featured Listings Country Ranch

City Charmer Excellent Location!

5 Glenview Ln., Festus 3 bd / 2 ba. Walkout Bsmt. $204,900

19 Robin Ln., Fenton 3 bd / 2 ba. Ranch $139,900

Awesome Ranch!

717 Fillmore St., St. Louis 2 bd / 2 ba. Full Rehab. $115,000 3.75 Acres!

Great Neighborhood!

1055 Prospect, Imperial 4 bd / 2 ba. 2800 sf $129,900

756 Chevron Dr., St. Louis 3 bd / 2 ba. Ranch $179,000

3533 Antonia Woods Dr., Imperial 3 bd / 2.5 ba. Ranch $264,900

For more information about these and other fine homes, go to:

News You Can Use - June 2008  

The O-Team brings you monthly tips and advice for buying and selling real estate as well as fun and useful articles for everyday living.