Add-On Front Patios

A New Home Trend Front Patios

Front porches and back patios have joined forces. The result is the emergence of the “front yard patio.”

A front yard patio is inviting, which might herald a reversal of a 70 year trend towards hiding out in our houses and entertaining only in our backyards. This condition was a direct result of the age of the automobile, when garages gradually crept to the front of the house at the expense of our porches.

For those of us with garage-dominated or porch-less facades, the front yard patio is a welcome feature—a decorative, as well as functional entertaining space that says, “Hello.”

Front patios can look like almost anything, and be constructed of any material that can be made weed-free and level, including brick, stone, gravel, or wood. They can be attached to the home, wrapped around the front door, or set off on their own. And they can be enhanced by such things as:

  •   A fire pit or heat lamps.
  •   A small side fountain.
  •   Low shrubs or low walls.
  •   Tea lights or lanterns.Front patios are more than simple functional changes in our space and lifestyle. They’re also a smart move for home sellers as they gain traction with buyers who see them as inviting and desirable features that add value to the house.

For more great tips and interesting articles download Matt’s Home News February edition here:  February Newsletter – Matt

Best wishes,


How to Wake Up Feeling More Refreshed

Matt's Home News January 2017

  • Most of us have experienced bouts of insomnia that make it difficult to get up in the morning. But for some people, waking up throughout the night is a continuous problem. Here are a few suggestions for improving your sleep and giving yourself more energy in the morning:

    1. Shut off all electronics at least one hour before bed. Studies have shown that electronics keep the mind active longer than other forms of mental stimulation.
    2. Do a sleep hygiene assessment on your home.  Do you have blackout drapes?  Are all LED and other small lights turned off or covered? Do you have a source of white noise, like a fan? Is your pillow and bedding comfortable? Do you need a new mattress?

      First snow day of 2017

    3. Exercise vigorously during the day, but not within two hours of bedtime. Take a walk after dinner to help with digestion, which can also keep you somewhat awake.
    4. Don’t load up on carbohydrates at or after dinner. Digesting carbohydrates tends to spike the energy in your body.
    5. Sit up and read a book in bed until you start to feel sleepy.  Don’t push past the sleepiness. Instead, put the book down and turn off the light.
  • For more great articles and fun facts download and view my January newsletter here.  January Newsletter – Matt

7 Quick, Easy Ways to Winterize

Winter is coming soon. Are you ready?

November is a great time to winterize your home in preparation for colder weather. Here

are a few quick, inexpensive tips for cutting your heating bills.

1. Use a draft snake. This device was adopted during the Great Depression, and is one of

the easiest ways to cut the cold. It’s a long sack filled with sand or kitty litter that you

can push into the crack under doors to stop drafts. You can buy a pre-made draft

snake, or make your own.

2. Change the direction of your ceiling fans. Heat rises, so pulling the heat down from the

ceiling will warm your room up fast.

3. If you used a window AC unit in the summer, remove it for winter. Warm air escapes

through the vents and the areas around the unit.

4. Service your heating unit and replace filters. An efficient heating unit will work better

and cost less to run.

5. Consider using window insulation film. This thin layer of film sticks right onto your

windows and adds up to 70% more heat retention.

6. Use a candle to detect subtle air leaks. Light a candle, then move it all around the edge

of your windows. If the flame wiggles in the breeze, then caulk that spot on the window.

7. If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when not in use to prevent heat from

escaping and cold air from working its way down into the house.

For more tips and articles view and download my November Newsletter:  november-newsletter-matt

How To Be Up In A Down Real Estate Market

Our office numbers are way up. Here's why.

Despite a challenging seller’s market, high unemployment and lots of uncertainty our office has out performed the competition.  Why?  We treat our agents as partners and stakeholders.  We are the top training company in real estate and we study the market to be able advise our clients how to be successful in today’s new real estate economy.

Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore


March 2015 to March 2016


Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore South Jersey Shore Regional Multiple Listing Service Outperforming the Market
Listings Taken Volume                         +23.28% 9.44% 13.84%
Listings Taken Units                   +46.94% 1.65% 45.29%
Closed Production List Side Volume +109.53% -6.35%       115.88%
Closed Production List Side Units +62.50% 4.54% 57.96%
Closed Production Total Volume +33.85% -6.35% 40.20%
Closed Production Total Units +18.60% 4.54% 14.06%

Matthew and Richard Haviland The Haviland GroupNumbers reported above are representative of South Jersey Shore MLS average percentages of all brokerages represented in the MLS.

Our MissionTo teach people how to consistently implement the Keller Williams models and systems so they can transform their lives and businesses.

Our Vision:  We are a passionate team of real estate leaders that attract extraordinary talent and wealth building opportunities.

When you’re choosing a real estate agent and company to work with consider Me, Matthew Haviland, and Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore.

Best wishes, Matt

P.S. For Great Articles and fun facts download and view my May Newsletter here:  May Newsletter – Matt

Clever Household Cleaning Hacks

Here are some clever household cleaning hacks from my April newsletter.

 Steam-clean your microwave. Cut a lemon in half and
put it in a microwave-safe dish filled with water. Zap it
until the water boils. Let it steam for another minute
before opening. The gunk can now be wiped away with
less effort.
 Speed up dryer time. Throw one clean dry towel in with
your wet clothes before starting the dryer. 10-15
minutes later, take it out. The dry towel will absorb some
of the excess moisture.Clever Household Cleaning Hacks
 Clean scorched pans. Fill the bottom of the
pan with water and a cup of white vinegar.
Simmer. Remove the pan and add 2
tablespoons baking soda. Empty the pan and
scrub lightly to remove burn marks.
 Dust lamp shades with an adhesive lint
remover roll.
 Dusting magic. Use “used” dryer sheets to pick up dust on your computer keyboard
and screen, wipe the TV screen, buff out water spots on the bath mirror, clean murky
car windshields, and pick up dirt from your baseboards.

For more great articles downland and view my April Newsletter:  April Newsletter – Matt

Best wishes, Matt

Encouragement Succeeds Greater Than Criticism

Here’s a story that reminds me that simple encouragement can have a more dramatic effect on performance than criticism.

Decades ago there was a group of brilliant young men at the University of Wisconsin who had amazing literary talent. They were would-be poets, novelists, and essayists. These promising young men met regularly to read and critique each other’s work.

IMG_4749The men were merciless with one another. They dissected the minutest literary expression. They were heartless, tough, and mean in their criticism. Members of this exclusive club called themselves the “Stranglers.”

Not to be outdone, the women of literary talent at the university started a club of their own. They called themselves the “Wranglers.” They, too, read their works to one another. But the criticism was softer, more positive and encouraging. Sometimes, there was almost no criticism at all. Every effort, even the feeblest, was encouraged.

Twenty years later an alumnus of the university was doing an exhaustive study of his classmates’ careers. He noticed a vast difference in the literary accomplishments of the Stranglers as opposed to the Wranglers. Of all the bright young men in the Stranglers, not one had made a significant literary contribution of any kind. From the Wranglers had come six or more successful writers, including Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling.

Talent between the two? Probably the same. But the Stranglers strangled each other, while the Wranglers highlighted the best, not the worst. The message we can take from this is that next time you’re tempted to “improve” someone’s performance with criticism, perhaps simply offer a few encouraging words instead.


Matt Haviland Your Real Estate Consultant For Life

P.S. I need to take this message to heart when giving myself feedback, too! Let me know what you think.


I Wish You Enough

I once read a story about an old man who was saying goodbye to his daughter at the airport. The daughter was going on an overseas assignment, and the old man felt it would be the last time he would see her.

As they were saying their final goodbyes at the gate, the old man said to his daughter, “I love you, and I wish you enough.”

Afterwards, another man who was waiting at the gate asked the old man what he had meant by saying, “I wish you enough.”I Wish you enough

The old man smiled and said, “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them,” he said.

“We meant, ‘I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough Hello’s to get you through the final Good-bye.’”

I love that sentiment. It reminds me that the pain in life has an upside, and the highs in life don’t last forever, so don’t take them for granted. As you gear up for the rest of this great year, I want you to know that I wish you enough in all things so that you find the right balance.

Sincerely, Matt Haviland Your Real Estate Consultant For Life

P.S. Let me know how you’re doing on your New Year’s resolutions/goals. I’m at or 609-338-3773 and you can download and view my full February newsletter here:  2016 Newsletter- Matt

My Inspiration for Your New Year’s Resolutions

I’m inspired by the following story to set some New Year’s resolutions, not only about being kind
to others, but also about being kinder to myself. What do you think? Here’s the story:
On the way back from work every evening, more often than not, there would be a homeless
man standing at the exit ramp of the freeway.

He waved at every car. He was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing.
Every day after work I would gather my spare change, and put it aside to give to him if I saw
him. A feeling of joy would come over me whenever he was there as I came off the ramp. He
had that effect. His joy was infectious. Occasionally the red light would be on for a minute and
we would ask each other about our day. His answer would always be the same, “I’m blessed!”
Then one day I was called into my boss’s office and told that I was being let go due to some
mistakes I had made on a recent project.

Winter on the Mill Pond in Port Republic, NJ

Winter on the Mill Pond in Port Republic, NJ

Needless to say that on my way home that day I was upset. I started calling myself names and
reviewing everything I had done wrong. I wasn’t feeling the joy as I got off the ramp where the
homeless man would be. Yet there he was as always, smiling and waving.

I’d hoped to catch the green light, but missed it. He set his eyes on me, as he strolled over to
my car. When he reached me, he gave me an even bigger smile than usual and said, “Today I
will give you a dollar.” He pulled a dollar out of his pocket and pressed it into my hand. I burst
into tears. I wanted to jump out of my car and hug him!

In hindsight, I know he helped me remember that no matter what I’d lost, I still had the choice to
be joyful in my present circumstances. I had no job and no savings, but in that moment, I
suddenly felt like I could deal with it. I vowed to stop beating myself up and get on with life with a
smile on my face and more kindness to others than ever before.

Matt Haviland
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life

P.S. I hope your New Year’s resolutions are full of heart and joy. Please let me know if this
story inspires you as it did me.  Contact me at this site or 609-338-3773

P.P.S.  For more stories and inspiration download or view my January Newsletter here:  Jan 2016 Newsletter – Matt

My Holiday Gift

If you’re like me, you search hard for holiday gifts that have special meaning for your loved
ones. Fortunately, this year I came across an inspiring story that has sparked new ideas in a
whole new direction. Maybe it will do the same for you. Here’s the story:

It’s just a white envelope stuck in the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no tag. A similar
envelope has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years. It all began
because my husband Mike hated Christmas—the frantic running at the last minute to get a tie
for Uncle Harry—the gifts given because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Merry Christmas From The Haviland Group

Merry Christmas From The Haviland Group

Knowing Mike felt this way, one year I decided to bypass the usual swag and look for something
special. I finally found inspiration through our son, Kevin. Shortly before Christmas, Kevin’s
team was in a wrestling match against an inner-city team. The inner-city youngsters attended in
uniforms so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together. They
were a sharp contrast to our Eastside boys in their spiffy uniforms. The other team didn’t even
have proper headgear.

Kevin’s team beat them. Mike shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them had won a round,”
he said. “They have potential, but losing could take the heart right out of them.”
Mike loved kids, and he knew them, having coached little league football and baseball. That’s
when the idea for his gift came to me. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and
bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the
inner-city team. On Christmas Eve, I placed the first envelope on the tree, the note inside telling
Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was brighter than the
Christmas tree that year and in all the succeeding years as I found new ways to help other
youngsters on behalf of Mike.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on
Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys for a time, would stand with wideeyed
anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

Matt Haviland
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life
P.S. If you know anyone starting a new job, business, or perhaps going off to college, please
pass this letter along to them. Maybe it will make a difference! Let me know what you think by contacting me here or call me at 609-338-3773

P.P.S.  To download or view my December Newsletter click here:  Dec 2015 Newsletter – Matt

Fake It ‘til You Make It



A friend of mine once said that the way you become good at something in life is by faking your
way through it the first few times, until you learn how to do it without faking. That makes sense.
Even as adults, there are many first times…a first time you run a meeting at work, a first
networking event, a first sale, a first party in your home, etc.
In many of life’s public situations, you don’t want to look new and green; it’s embarrassing, and
messing up could prove costly. Even if you explain that it’s your first time and ask others to cut
you a little slack, there are still plenty of first, second, third times that you’ll just need to push on.
Fortunately, most people are willing to accord you with the authority you are taking on. If you’re
running the meeting, you are probably the right person to run the meeting. If you’re making the
sale, you’re probably the person with the knowledge to help them make a decision. If you’re at a
networking event, you probably have something to contribute. And, nervous as you might be
that no one will show up, if you throw the party just the way the experts say to do it, you’ll
probably have a great crowd.
People tend to expect that you belong in the role you are taking on at any given moment. Once
you know that, you can be powerful in just about any new endeavor. If you don’t let on—by
apologizing, hiding out, or calling attention to your own mistakes—then they probably will never
realize it either. If you step into the role you’re taking on, almost as an actor, and pretend to be
experienced at it, they’ll go right along with you.
It may feel like you’re faking it the first few times, but eventually you realize you’re not faking it
anymore, because you’ve made it!
Matt Haviland
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life
P.S. If you have a great parable you’d like to share with me, please send it to me or call me at 609-338-3773.

P.P.S. To download or read my full November newsletter click here: November Newsletter – Matt