Sunday, 31 March 2013

Real Estate and The Internet

Real estate on the internet has become an online phenomenon.
There is a generally accepted trend online, that people will "research globally, but shop locally". This is especially true for real estate. That's why it is important for your website to be seen. There is also a recognizable pattern online that, most real estate customers use the first realtor they contact. As a realtor I'm sure that you have said to yourself "hey, I know those people, why did they list with that realtor instead of me". Chances are, that is the first realtor that they came across.

Real estate online is so hot that Google is talking about creating a whole separate Google directory just for real estate. Yahoo already has a "lead buying" program just for realtors. HomeGain is reporting a record 5.5 million visitors to their website in the first part of 2006. Many of my clients have already gone through the process of buying leads at Yahoo and other real estate "lead capture" portals. Most of these lead buying programs can be expensive to join and the leads can also be pricey. I have spoken with many realtors all over the country that participate or, have participated in these programs. I hear good and bad things about these programs. However it is my opinion that you should spend your money on marketing your website and then all the leads that you get are yours to keep. Technology, especially the internet has forever changed the way people search for real estate and how they contact local realtors. The National Association of Realtors 2004 survey of home buyers tells us that 71% of home buyers used the internet to start the search for their new home. That is up from 62% in 2003.

Ok, so you know all of this. You have a website, now what?

How do your prospective customers find your real estate website and do business with you. There are two ways. One is "SEO" (search engine optimization) and the other is SEM (search engine marketing). Let's look at the differences between these two and how they affect you and your real estate business.

SEO, "search engine optimization" is the application of several techniques to help a website rank higher in the "natural" search results.

To begin with let's talk about "meta tags". Meta tags are the first things that the search engines will read when visiting your website. Here are the main meta tags that you need to improve if you want to "optimize" your website.

They are your "title tag", your "description tag" and your "keyword tag".
Ok, so how do you find the meta tags on your website? You can check your meta tags by going to your website, at the top of the internet explorer window click on "view" and scroll down to "view "source". A new window will open and you should see something like meta name="description" meta name="keywords".

Let's begin with your "title tag", is also known as your "page title". For example, on many websites if you click on the "about us" link or, the "contact us" link, that's what you will see displayed at the top of the browser window in the blue bar. It is also known as your "anchor text".

Search engines read like we do, from left to right and top to bottom of the page. Your "anchor text" is one of the first things that the search engine will read on your website. Your "anchor text" is what is displayed when your website is listed in the natural search results. It is the first thing your potential customers will read when they do a search. Your anchor text should include one or, two of your best keywords. For example: "Pittsford Real Estate 10 Years of Experience" or, "Professional Full Time Realtor, Pittsford".

So, your title tag is both your page title and your anchor text. Again this is the first thing that your customers will read when reading the title of your search listing.

It should not say "welcome to my website" or "Joe bob's website". This is the first thing that your customers will read. It is your first opportunity to catch their attention. Using keywords like "Real Estate" and "Realtor" will tell the search engines that your page is about real estate. Even better, if you are a realtor in Pittsford, it will see the keyword Pittsford and display your website to anyone typing in "Pittsford real estate".

Next, is your "description tag". This tag provides the description that you see right under the anchor text. Most search engines will display about two sentences as a description. Both your anchor text and your description should include several of your best keywords.

Speaking of keywords. The next tag that we will talk about is your "keyword Tag".

Keywords are important! Keywords are what describe your real estate services. Keywords are what people use to search for your website. And, keywords are what the search engines use to determine if they will display your website to someone searching for your real estate services. Including ten to fifteen of your best keywords into the meta tag keyword section of your website can help your page rank and can help people find your website.

So how do you know what keywords are searched for most often? There are many free keyword tools on the internet. Go to your favorite search engine and type in "keyword selector tool". When you find a free keyword tool that suites you, type in a keyword phrase to see how many times it was searched last month. All the results that you get using this tool are tabulated by the month. Play around with different combinations and you will find that there are specific keyword phrases that are searched more than others. Those are the keyword phrases that you want to use as keywords in the meta tag keyword section of your website. For example, try "Pittsford realtor" or "real estate Pittsford" or try misspelling the word real estate. For example try, "Pittsford real estate". Yes, misspellings count and can be used as a keyword in your meta tags.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Connecticut Real Estate Courses

Not everybody is interested in real estate. And not everybody knows anything about this subject, much less about the specifics of Connecticut real estate. This is one of the main reasons why experts on Connecticut real estate have come up with Connecticut real estate courses so as to provide knowledge and information to those who want to learn about this subject.

What are Connecticut real estate courses?

There are various laws and ordinances that govern each state of the US. Also, there are laws and ordinances that are unique to one or two states only. That is why it is important to understand the specifics of Connecticut real estate if you are interested in this field.

Connecticut real estate courses assist people in learning the specifics of Connecticut real estate. These are actually classes where there are lectures and lessons regarding anything and everything that one should know about Connecticut real estate. These courses are mostly handled and taught by Connecticut real estate agents or by people who are already experts in this field.

What do these courses offer?

People who teach these courses offer different kinds of information. The classes are also handled differently by each one. However, the most common and the basic things taught in Connecticut real estate courses include the laws that govern Connecticut real estate, the duties and responsibilities of a Connecticut real estate agent, and the types of real estate found in Connecticut. There also are some courses that teach people how to enhance, improve, and hone their real estate skills of selling and buying.

Who can take Connecticut real estate courses?

Anyone who is interested in real estate can take these courses. Most of the time, people who are interested in becoming Connecticut real estate agents or who would like to own real estate businesses in the state are the ones who enroll in these courses.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Real Estate Investing Contracts on Toilet Paper

Even if your real estate contract has been written on toilet paper, it's valid.

Content of your real estate investing contract is what's important.

Your financial destiny in real estate investing is sealed BEFORE you walk into a real estate closing as a buyer. You have set in
concrete your profit (or loss) before you turn the door knob to enter the office of your attorney or title company at closing. The payoff of the transaction under anticipation is predetermined when the contract is signed between you as the buyer and the other party who is the seller.

The interpretation of these cold, hard words is that you must recognize the importance of the real estate contract that ties together the property transaction. Your contract contains implications for determining profits in advance.

When we strike a deal in real estate investing, we usually just reach for some pre-printed contract form that came from a real estate office or stationary store. We usually forfeit many of our closing rights to some stranger who put together traditional jargon and processes without recognizing that we ourselves have the right to charter this course. Subjecting ourselves to legalese of an attorney who may not even be a real estate investor nor own more than his own home is the pattern followed by most who purchase and sell real estate.

The first order of business in writing contracts is understanding that any sale or purchase of property is negotiable. While the payment of certain closing costs may be customary or traditional for the buyer and the seller, we are not bound by this protocol. Without differing specification in your contract to dictate your personal direction, the closing agent simply resorts to customary convention.

But by understanding your rights as buyer or seller of real estate property, you can actually INCREASE your profits on a transaction by the wording of your contract. However, these settlement terms must be in writing on your contract in advance of the closing. Otherwise, potential profits fly out the window.

One of the most euphoric feelings I have ever experienced in this business of real estate investing was walking out of a closing with a check payable to me for $75,000 on a package of a few cheap real estate properties! As with anyone, I had a use for that cash! But those profits were dictated on my special personal contract in advance of closing.

Much more cash at closing is available to real estate investors who take control of the options available by independently choosing wording in the content of their own purchase contract and sales contract. This choice is readily available to the real estate investing professional who understands these rights and applies them in the construction of a personal contract.

The suggestion in this article is not legal advice but encouragement to take advantage of an opportunity available in real estate investing. This suggestion is not encouragement to become greedy with legal rights but to give notification that negotiation is available over the dictates of closing costs. Sometimes transactions are profitable only when these considerations are understood.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The "Real Estate Bubble" is a Hoax

Those who watch television and listen to the media long enough, more than likely will begin to hear about the real estate bubble and its affects on the national economy and stock market. Recently, the media has begun to talk about their theory that the bubble is soon to burst, and they have done an excellent job of creating a hype about their theory, which actually has no merit whatsoever. Before investors get taken away in a media hype that suggests the real estate bubble is going to break, one needs to get a basic understanding of the real estate market and how it works.

First of all, it is important to understand that, in reality, there is no national real estate market. The real estate market is much more localized and can not be studied or judged on a national level. From state to state, and even from town to town, the real estate market is going to vary greatly, and it is a grave error to try to base your understanding of real estate on a supposed national market that does not exist.

It is also important to understand that the real estate market as a whole neither explodes nor crashes. Real estate is a market that can go down in some areas while going up in other areas. Even when the market does appear to be going down in some places, much of the time it has only fallen flat instead of continuing to increase, which makes it appear like there is a problem with value going down. Even when the real estate market goes up or down, it takes a long time to see changes that occur across the board. While real estate prices do fluctuate and go through cycles, it is important to realize that the economy of a country is not going to crash if property values start to go down a bit or they hold steady instead of increasing.

Some people tend to view the real estate market as they do the stock market, and the two are very different. The real estate market cannot be viewed as a national market, and much of the time, it is actually based on local economies and how they are doing. On the other hand, the stock market is based on national merit and the rise and fall of the stock market has very little to do with the price of real estate.

In some communities, it is true that the price of real estate is going down, but if one looks closely, there are a variety of reasons that cause it to lose value. In some cases, it is simply the fact that a city has built too many new houses, which can make it appear as if the real estate market is going down. If you are going to invest in real estate, there are a variety of economic trends that you should consider to be sure that the market is going to stay strong in the area.

One thing that assures a strong real estate market is the arrival of more and more immigrants to the United States every year. Another thing that assures a strong real estate market is the later age at which people are getting married. Many are not getting married until they are in their middle to late 30s and this is resulting in even more single people purchasing their own homes. The interest rates are also helping to keep the real estate market strong, and since they are lower than ever before, it is easy for people to get the home loan they need.

Those who are interested in investing in real estate need to throw away the concept of the real estate bubble and the idea of a national real estate market. Broad statistics, including national, state, and even city statistics, will, in reality, be no help when you are looking for properties to invest in. It is more important that investors look closely at the real estate market in certain neighborhoods and communities and that they look at relevant material such as average prices in the area, number of times the property has been on the market, and how the sales prices have changed since the last year. Keeping your focus local and small will help you find the best real estate investment properties.

While the media may be trying to convince people that the real estate bubble is about to burst and that there may be a real estate market crash, there is no proof to back this up. In some cases, people are not building as many homes as a result of this news and it is actually causing real estate prices to go up since the demand is high and the supply is low. Investors need to understand that the market need not affect how successful they can be as a real estate investor. Investors that understand how real estate works will be able to find great investment properties that will make them money.

Being successful as a real estate investor does not depend on the market or the real estate bubble, but it depends on how good an investor is at their job. Those who take the time to study communities and to look at local statistics will be able to find the best places to invest. If an investor relies on the media, there may be failure in the future, but a well planned and well studied investment can lead to profit and success.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Real Estate Commission - A Corrupting Influence

Real estate commission is the way in which real estate agents are paid for the services they provide. They receive a percentage of the price received for the property. Effectively, the real estate agent requires the seller of a property (the vendor) to sign over to the real estate agent a part of the property being sold.

Another way of looking at it is to say that the real estate agent, through the wording of the listing contract, effectively has his name added to the title deed of the vendor's property, so that the real estate agent becomes a part-owner of the property. When the property sells, the real estate agent receives a payment that represents his share in the vendor's property.

Most readers will be aware of the arguments in favour of real estate sale commissions, so I won't discuss those here. My focus is on the ways in which the sale process can be skewed against all parties involved, when the motivation to win a commission takes precedence over more important considerations.

Commission is a "winner-takes-all, loser gets nothing" situation. This increases the pressure on the real estate agent to secure a sale. Time is also a problem. If the real estate agent cannot secure a sale within a time acceptable to the vendor, the vendor may take the property off the market, or away from the real estate agent's agency. This will result in a total loss for the real estate agent.

Finally, the vendor becomes an obstacle between the real estate agent and his commission goal. In order to receive payment for his share of the vendor's property, the real estate agent must receive an offer to purchase within the available time, but the offer must be accepted by the vendor. If the vendor decides that the offer is not acceptable, then the real estate agent loses.

In order to win the gambling game that is real estate sales, the real estate agent may decide to tip the odds in his favour - and there are numerous ways in which this can be done.

At the listing stage the real estate agent may use improper means to win the listing contract. These include over-quoting on valuation, and offering dodgy sales figures.

During the sale process the real estate agent may be tempted to tell potential purchasers things that are untrue. I have seen many sale contracts with clauses designed to protect real estate agents against the consequences of false statements. Known as "porkies clauses", they invariably state that the purchaser acknowledges that any information provided to the purchaser by the real estate agent is provided on the understanding that the purchaser will not be relying on it for any purpose.

When a purchaser has submitted an offer, and the purchaser cannot be convinced to increase her offer, the real estate agent may be tempted to pressure the vendor into accepting what would otherwise be unacceptable. Observations, such as "the market has softened" or "the market has spoken to us" are used by real estate agents to convince vendors that the real estate agent's high estimation of value can no longer be relied upon, and that the vendor should now accept what the vendor believes is an unacceptably low offer.

For some years now, I have been arguing that real estate services should be provided on a fee-for-service basis.

I will explore the replacement of real estate sale commissions with a fee-for-service structure further in future articles.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Real Estate Leads 101:A System For Success

When dealing with real estate leads and converting leads to clients, there are three important questions to ask yourself:

1. How are you getting real estate leads?

2. How are you following up with your real estate leads?

3. Are you using a system for effective follow up?

How to Get Real Estate Leads

For questions 2 and 3 to even be an issue, you first have to figure out a way to GET real estate leads. You can't follow up with something you don't have! There are several traditional ways for real estate agents to collect real estate leads in their pipeline. One way is the direct marketing approach - basically you send out a whole lot of newsletters, fliers, and postcards with your contact information to homes in the neighborhood you're farming for real estate leads. If you start getting calls and emails, you've started building your own pipeline.

A second way of getting real estate leads is to network and ask past clients for referrals. As a real estate agent, you should always be talking to be people in the outside world, letting them know what you do, handing off business cards. Whether you're at a sports event, a dinner party or you're child's school play, there are plenty of opportunities to build real estate leads. Never be afraid to call on old clients for referrals either - if you did your job right,t hey should be more than happy to send friends and family your way.

A third way to get real estate leads is through internet marketing. In this case, I mean building your own website with contact pages as well as subscribing to some kind of online lead generation service. By doing both, you can both harness your own real estate leads and also get plenty of leads from an outside source.

My advice? Go with all three. A good mix of direct mailings, networking, and internet marketing should have your pipeline a mile long with real estate leads. Keep in mind though that you will have to spend a little money to get all those leads!

Following up with Real Estate Leads

Without follow up, your real estate leads will be leads forever, never clients. Following up simply means to increase the effectiveness or success of something with further action. Following up with real estate leads can involve phone calls, emails, direct mailings, dropping by the property, etc. Basically, use any means necessary (within reason) to make contact with your real estate leads to determine what you can do for them. It may take 2 weeks of follow up to convert a lead, it may take 2 months, it may even take 3 years, but as long as you are consistent and persistent with follow up tactics, you can convert your real estate leads into clients.

One thing to keep in mind with follow up is that you should always have a reason to be contacting your real estate leads. Don't give them to much information in one mailing, or else you use up your reason for contacting them at a later date. Instead, send them pieces of useful information regularly over extended periods of time. It doesn't even necessarily have to be directly relating to home buying or selling - you can send them information about their community they may not know, the schools, job opportunities in an area you know they were thinking about moving to, the standings for the little league championship their son was in, etc. The information you're sending your real estate leads should be a individualized for each lead.

Are you going to convert all your real estate leads? No. Do you need to convert them all? No. Should you still TRY to convert them all? Always! Most people will need a real estate agent at some stage in their life, so you might as well be the agent right there to help them out, answer any questions and keep them informed with useful information.

Employing a System for Follow Up

A system is simply any formulated, regular or special method or plan of a procedure for obtaining an objective. In the case of real estate, your objective is to convert real estate leads to clients through follow up. Your system of follow up is simply an organized, efficient and general procedure to get in contact with your leads.

Without some sort of system of following up with your real estate leads, it's very easy to waste precious time because of disorganization. Having a system is the most effective way to streamline your follow up so you still have time to actually list and sell your clients' homes! After all, with hundreds of real estate leads to constantly follow up with, when are you supposed to have time for listing presentations, settlement, advertising homes for sale, etc?

By having your own organized plan of follow up, you can dedicate certain hours in your day to your follow up of real estate leads. There are services out there that "sell" follow up systems to real estate agents, but they're really not necessary for everybody. If you're already disciplined and organized, there's no reason you can't formulate your own system of follow up, like designing several email templates, dedicating a certain amount of time each day to phone calls and creating an easy to access, track and monitor database of your real estate leads which includes all the important contact information needed to get in touch with them.

A system can be something as simple as creating a schedule for yourself and then rigidly adhering to that schedule. Having a systematic approach to following up with your real estate leads is the best way to maximize your conversion rate and minimize time spent following up.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Five Key Principles to Real Estate Investment Riches

Real Estate Investing is the craze today with people involved in the Carlton Sheets program spending money on courses to find out how they can make money in no money down real estate investing. This article hopes to help you create some sort of mental picture of five key principles that can help you make more money with real estate today.

Principle #1- The money is made in the purchase

Real estate investing is like value investing in stocks and you want to purchase the real estate during a period of a real estate slump. The reason for this is so that you can get a huge capital appreciation when the real estate market heats up again.

Spending time doing real estate valuation is critical since if you cannot satisfy yourself on the maths that is a viable proposition, there is no way that your real estate investment would be a good one.

Principle #2- Monitor Cash flow

Real Estate investment typically have a monthly rental income which then is used to pay for mortgage instalments and other problems with the building like a roof leak. You would thus have to keep a close watch on interest rate hikes since they can potentially erode any calculated return on investment quite quickly. Once you have enough cash coming in, it is suggested that you then keep some of it in a rainy day fund in case some of the rental tenants do not renew their property and then take the rest and consider investing in another real estate investment property.

Principle #3- Leverage on other people's time

Remember that no one can do everything, so the key is to focus on what you do best. If your strength is in negotiating deals, spend time looking for property and then get professionals and contractors to handle all the rest of the deal for you. Similarly, if you are good at decorating property, then find deals and focus on the interior design of the property. By focusing on what you do best and getting other people to do the rest of the work, you are leveraging on their time and you can then make more money from each new real estate investment that you undertake. Spend your time to build your team of advisors and employees who work for you and you will see your profits start going up. Remember that by rewarding them financially, you will get a group of dedicated people helping you make more money from your real estate investment.

Principle #4- Learn how to use leverage with a good rainy day cash balance

Did you know that many real estate investors started off with very little money to invest? Even large real estate developers like Donald Trump have learnt the power of leverage when investing in property deals. You want to leverage as much as you can so that you can control property worth many times more than what you own. Remember however to keep a rainy day fund containing a portion of the rental payments so that you can hedge yourself against a possible period where unit occupancy of your real estate investment is low. Leverage when used well can make you lots of money but if managed badly, will bankrupt you. Thus planning your cash flow and learning how to use debt is critical before you start serious real estate investment.

Principle #5- Spend time networking with real estate professionals

Do you want the latest real estate investment deals? The best way to learn of them is to break into the local real estate professional group and make friends with them. Learn some real estate investment lingo and spend time making friends with them because they are your eyes and ears on the ground and they can tell you about recent developments and changes in rental, property and infrastructure of their geographical location. Having the first player advantage is what many large real estate investors have and by spending time to network with real estate brokers, you will substantially close the gap.

In conclusion, spend time looking at these five principles and determine how they can be applied to your real estate investment and you might start seeing an increase in your real estate income.

By Joel Teo 2006 All Rights Reserved

Friday, 15 March 2013

Seattle Real Estate Agencies

Are you thinking of selling or buying a property in Seattle but do not know where to start? If you are, then you need a Seattle real estate agency to help you in selling or buying your property.

Seattle real estate agencies help find sellers for those who want to buy real estate and help find buyers for those who are trying to sell their real estate. They have real estate agents that assist sellers in marketing their properties to prospective buyers and who are able to sell the property at the highest possible price under the best terms. Real estate agents also help buyers to purchase a property with the best possible price and with a price range reasonable for their budget.

If you plan to sell a property in Seattle, real estate agencies will have your property listed for sale to the public. They will also assist you in preparing the papers that describe the property for marketing purposes. After which, they advertise your property and even put a "for sale" sign on your property that indicates where to contact the real estate agent. In some cases, they hold an open house to show the property to prospective buyers.

On the other hand, if you are a buyer of Seattle real estate, the real estate agencies will find a property in Seattle that will be in accordance with your needs, specifications, and budget. They will take you to some locations of properties that are for sale and give you details of each. However, they will have to prescreen your financial capability to see if you are really financially qualified to buy the property shown.

With all these services provided by Seattle real estate agencies to real estate buyers and sellers, it does make a lot of sense to have one to assist you in your selling and purchasing decision. However, you have to be very careful when choosing a real estate agency because nowadays there are many who operate without the proper license. You have to see to it that the agency has professional real estate agents who obtained a broker's license.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Addicted to Real Estate - Why I Can't Stop and Why You Should Start

The All-Money-Down Technique

So how does the all-money-down technique work by purchasing a home with cash? First of all, let me repeat that I really didn't have any cash, but I had a significant amount of equity from Terry's home and several homes that I owned put together to give me a substantial cash down payment. Banks and mortgage companies alike will accept money from a home-equity line of credit as cash to purchase a home. At least they did in 1997 under the financial guidelines of the day. What you must remember about mortgages and lending is that the guidelines change constantly, so this technique I used in 1997 may or may not be able to be used in the future. Whether it is or isn't able to be used again doesn't really matter to me as I believe that there will always be a way to buy real estate with limited money down sooner or later. There will always be a technique to acquire real estate but exactly how that will be done in the future I'm not completely sure.

I began purchasing homes in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia with the prices in the $30,000 to $40,000 per home price range. I would purchase a home with three bedrooms and one bathroom on the second floor with a kitchen, dining room, and living room on the first floor and a basement. What we call a row home in Philadelphia would consist of a porch out front and a backyard the width of the home. Most row homes in Philadelphia are less than twenty-two feet wide. For those of you who are not from Philadelphia and can't picture what a Philadelphia row home looks like, I suggest you watch the movie Rocky. Twenty-two homes on each side of every block will really test your ability to be a neighbor. Things that will usually cause an argument with your Philadelphia neighbors often stem from parking, noise your children make, where you leave your trash cans, parties, and the appearance of your home.

In 1998 my girlfriend and I moved in together and to the suburbs of Philadelphia called Warminster. After living on a street in Tacony, much like Rocky did, I really looked forward to having space between my home and my next-door neighbor. I told Terry not to even think about talking with the people who lived next door to us. I told her if one of them comes over with a fruitcake I am going to take it and punt it like a football right into their backyard. I believe I was suffering from Philadelphia row home syndrome. My new neighbors in Warminster turned out to be wonderful people, but it took me eighteen months before I was willing to learn that.

So you just bought your row home for $35,000 in Mayfair, and after $2000 in closing costs and $5000 in repair costs, you find yourself a good tenant who wants to rent the home. After renting the home with a positive cash flow of $200 a month, you now have an outstanding debt of $42,000 on your home equity line of credit that will have to be paid off. When purchasing the home, I did not get a mortgage as I just purchased a home for cash as it is said in the business. All monies I spent on this house were spent from the home-equity line of credit.

The move now is to pay off your home-equity line of credit so you can go do it again. We now go to a bank with your fixed-up property and tell the mortgage department that you want to do a cash-out refinancing of your real estate investment. It helps to explain that the neighborhood you purchase your property in should have a wider range of pricing as the neighborhood of Mayfair did in the mid-90s. The pricing of homes in Mayfair is quite unusual as you would see a $3000 difference in home values from one block to the next. This was important when doing a cash-out refinancing because it's pretty easy for the bank to see that I just bought my property for $35,000 regardless of the fact that I did many repairs. I could justify the fact that I've spent more money on my home to fix it up, and by putting a tenant in, it was now a profitable piece of real estate from an investment standpoint.

If I was lucky like I was many times over doing this system of purchasing homes in Mayfair and the appraiser would use homes a block or two away and come back with an appraisal of $45,000. Back then there were programs allowing an investor to purchase a home for 10 percent down or left in as equity doing a 90 percent cash out refinance giving me back roughly $40,500. Utilizing this technique allowed me to get back most of the money I put down on the property. I basically paid just $1,500 down for this new home. Why did the mortgage companies and the appraisers keep giving me the numbers I wanted? I assume because they wanted the business. I would only tell the bank I need this to come in at $45,000 or I am just keeping it financed as is. They always seemed to give me what I wanted within reason.

This whole process took three to four months during which time I may have saved a few thousand dollars. Between the money I saved from my job and my investments and cash out refinancing, I had replenished most or all of my funds from my home-equity line of credit that was now almost back to zero to begin the process again. And that is exactly what I intended to do. I used this system to purchase four to six homes a year utilizing the same money to purchase home after home after home over and over again. In reality, the technique is a no-money down or little money down technique. At the time maybe I had $60,000 in available funds to use to buy homes off of my HELOC, so I would buy a home and then replenish the money. It was a terrific technique that was legal, and I could see my dream of being a real estate investor full-time coming to an eventual reality even though I wasn't there yet.

During the years from 1995 to 2002, the real estate market in Philadelphia made gradual increases of maybe 6 percent as each year went on. I began to track my net worth that was 100 percent equity, meaning I had no other forms of investments to look at when calculating my net worth. Generally speaking, the first five years of my real estate career did not go well because of the bad decisions I made purchasing buildings and the decline in the market. Furthermore, my lack of knowledge and experience in repairs made it a rough. The second five years of my real estate career that I just finished explaining didn't make much money either. I supported myself primarily through my career as a salesman, but I could definitely see the writing on the wall that down the road real estate was going to be my full-time gig.

Realty Professionals of America

I own an office building that has a real estate company as a tenant called Realty Professionals of America. The company has a terrific plan where a new agent receives 75 percent of the commission and the broker gets only 25 percent. If you don't know it, this is a pretty good deal, especially for a new real estate agent. The company also offers a 5 percent sponsorship fee to the agent who sponsors them on every deal they do. If you bring an individual who is a realtor in to the company that you have sponsored, the broker will pay you a 5 percent sponsorship out of the broker's end so that the new realtor you sponsored can still earn 75 percent commissions. In addition to the above, Realty Professionals of America offers to increase the realtor's commission by 5 percent after achieving cumulative commission benchmarks, up to a maximum of 90 percent. Once a commission benchmark is reached, an agent's commission rate is only decreased if commissions in the following year do not reach a lower baseline amount. I currently keep 85 percent of all my deals' commissions; plus I receive sponsorship checks of 5 percent from the commissions that the agents I sponsored earn. If you'd like to learn more about being sponsored into Realty Professionals of America's wonderful plan, please call me directly at 267-988-2000.

Getting My Real Estate License

One of the things that I did in the summer of 2005 after leaving my full-time job was to make plans to get my real estate license. Getting my real estate license was something I always wanted to do but never seemed to have the time to do it. I'm sure you've heard that excuse a thousand times. People always say that they're going to do something soon as they find the time to do it, but they never seem to find the time, do they? I try not to let myself make excuses for anything. So I've made up my mind before I ever left my full-time job that one of the first things I would do was to get my real estate license. I enrolled in a school called the American Real Estate Institute for a two-week full-time program to obtain my license to sell real estate in the state of Pennsylvania. Two terrific guys with a world of experience taught the class, and I enjoyed the time I spent there. Immediately after completing the course at the American Real Estate Institute, I booked the next available day offered by the state to take the state exam. My teachers' advice to take the exam immediately after the class turned out to be an excellent suggestion. I passed the exam with flying colors and have used my license many times since to buy real estate and reduce the expenses. If you are going to be a full-time real estate investor or a commercial real estate investor, then you almost have to get a license. While I know a few people who don't believe this, I'm convinced it's the only way.

I worked on one deal at $3 million where the commission to the buyer's real estate agent was $75,000. By the time my broker took a share, I walked with $63,000 commission on that deal alone. With the average cost per year of being a realtor running about $1200 per year, this one deal alone would've paid for my real estate license for fifty-three years. Not to mention all the other fringe benefits like having access to the multiple listing service offered too many realtors in this country. While there are other ways to get access to the multiple listing services or another program similar to it, a real estate license is a great way to go.

Some of the negatives I hear over and over again about having your real estate license is the fact that you have to disclose that you are realtor when buying a home if you're representing yourself. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see this as a negative at all. If you're skilled in the art of negotiation, it's just another hurdle that you have to deal with. I suppose you could end up in a lawsuit where a court of law could assume because you are realtor you should know all these things. I don't spend my life worrying about the million ways I can be sued any more than I worry about getting hit by a car every time I cross the street.

Friday, 8 March 2013

7 Top Real Estate Investing Jobs

Real Estate investing has long been proven to make tons of
CA$H for the active investor and many of the real estate
investing methods and techniques used to make some of
the biggest (and quickest) CA$H only require a little time
and a bit of knowledge (i.e., NO MONEY and NO CREDIT!) to
rapidly bring home a really big check!

That is the appeal of Real Estate investing courses to most
people ¨C to do deals that require little/no money or credit
yet pay back huge rewards for the time and knowledge you
get from following their systems.

Yet, the "investing" gets a bit lost in most of the world of
"Real Estate Investing" - there is no "investing" other than
a bit of time - there is no ROI (Return On Investment) other
than the time-for-money factor.

That is why I call these activities Real Estate Investing Jobs -
they stop bringing income as soon as you stop working

Real Estate Investing through these jobs, while they make
you CA$H, will never give you financial freedom as they only
generate quick money and not long-term, passive income.

This article will look at some of the more popular methods of
Real Estate Investing jobs.

One of the biggest challenges to overcome is the fact that,
when discussing the money made through Real Estate
Investing, the numbers of dollars are much more than your
common corporate job, and many people simply are not
ready to handle such discussions.

You see, when you were very young, you were
programmed to think that $X was a large amount and often
this amount was only a few hundred, or perhaps, a few
thousand, dollars.

Yet, when discussing Real estate investing deals, there are
often multiple thousands of dollars at stake.

Most people simply are not used to discussing such
numbers, and wind up not making the money they could.
They simply have not learned the language of Real Estate

One of the first lessons I teach my students is how to get
past the fear of discussing hundreds of thousands of dollars
and changing the programming you were given as a child to
form open ideas about money and investing to make even
more money.

One quick step you can do to begin this journey is to look
deep inside yourself and ask yourself how you feel about
money. Can you comfortably discuss figures in the hundreds
of thousands of dollars?

Most people learn quite quickly - with just a little bit of

With that in mind, it is time to look at these Real Estate
Investing Jobs more closely.

These 'jobs' bring you various levels of income, depending
on your area, so instead of discussing them in dollar values,
we will look at them from a percentage standpoint.

Of course, with these examples, the amount of work, time
and knowledge you put into it will certainly pay off more (or

1. Property Profiling (birddogging) - this popular way to get
started in real estate investing provides a real estate
investing job with a decent income - something along the
lines of what a factory worker would make in the area.

2. Lease Purchase - this powerful tool can be utilized to buy
and sell property with no money out of your pocket (a Real
Estate Investing sandwich), while keeping a nice pocketful
of money for your time (can you tell this is one of my
favorites?) An active person can make about 1.5 - 3 times
more than the Property Profiler, on average.

3. Subject To - with a bit of training, you can make this
method of real estate investing really pay off big. Once you
know how to negotiate these deals, your real estate
investing income will reach that of corporate executives -
with much less of a time requirement.

4. Foreclosures - while highly lucrative and one of the top
income producing methods of real estate investing, the time
and knowledge required to actively pursue such deals is
becoming more difficult all the time.

The payoff to those that can perform these deals is huge -
about 10 times that of the Property Profilers, however,
finding deals is much more difficult due to the number of
people looking for them.

5. Tax Lien certificates - this is a true form of Real Estate
Investing - actually putting your money into something that
produces a return - one of the safest investments around
with returns that beat any other form of passive investing.
If you have money to invest, this is a great area to get into
with 15%+ return with almost no down side.

This is still a real estate investing 'job' as tax lien
certificates are short term, quick turn profit generators, not
sustained over time, plus they take skill and talent to make
the maximum profits.

6. Short Sales - this form of Real Estate Investing is another
job, as your knowledge level and timing are extremely
important. A lot of money can be made with this type of
Real Estate Investing job - as much or more than any other
form - once you know how.

7. Secondary notes/Purchasing Equity positions - a 'higher
level' of real estate investing, where more knowledge is
needed to limit the risk, however, the returns on equity
position purchases can be extremely high - from 6%-10%
for fully passive results and 'sky's the limit' for purchasing
equity positions.

Yes, once you get past the internal false programming - the
LIES you have been taught all your life about money, you
can begin a successful career in Real Estate Investing -
through a variety of Real Estate Investing Jobs and then
onto true, full, watch-your-money-grow Real Estate

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Real Estate Investment Companies

Real estate investment companies acts as brokers and represents both buyers and sellers and create ideal opportunities for real estate investors. They represent clients in the sale, purchase, exchange and the finance of the real estate investment. Real estate investment companies are ideal for individual investors who want to take advantage of the real estate market but are unable to spend time on it. Most companies give personal attention and due importance to individual investors as they are their primary and most crucial segment of business.

The real estate investment companies deal with active brokers, a wide variety of investors, vendors, consultants and governmental agencies. Individuals can avoid many dangers associated with real estate investment by investing through companies as most companies employ personals that are trained to handle the pressure situations that often crop up in real estate investment. The investors who see the market clearly and make decisions based on the best evidence would get much profit from the real estate investment company. The investors can achieve the financial security and freedom which enables them to pursue other involvements.

Acquisitions, property management, due diligence, redevelopment, leasing, debt analysis and procurement, tax documentation, disposition analysis and detailed monthly reporting are some of the important services provided by real estate investment companies. Real estate investment companies are also referred as Real estate investment trust (REIT). Real estate investment companies have special federal tax treatment and must comply with certain tax requirements. There is a slight difference between Real estate investment companies and real estate investment trusts. For a company to become a real estate investment trust, it should share out 90 percent or more of its taxable income to its shareholders once in a year.

Before selecting a particular company, look whether they are registered under proper acts. Get as much information on a company from as many sources you can.

Monday, 4 March 2013

7 Simple Steps To Real Estate Investing

Whether you are BRAND NEW to real estate investing or an expert in the game, it's critical that you understand these 7 Simple Steps to real estate investing.

First things first...

o Real Estate is NOT a get rich quick scheme. However, if you learn the foundations and put them into practice, you will make more than enough money to realize any and all of your dreams and goals.

o The real estate bubble is not going to burst! The real estate market will, however, shift and the real estate market will change - just as it always has! What's "hot" now may turn ice cold in the next 3 years (or perhaps even 3 months). But, there are ways to "bubble proof" your real estate investments. It's actually quite simple.

Did you know that in the United States, in 1975, the median home price was $33,300? In 2005, the median home price was $195,000. Historically, the average home doubled every 7 years. If you do the math, it should be well over $200,000.

OK... Now, having said that... The real estate market WILL change and what is "working" today in real estate may not in the future... The rental market was strong a decade ago, but has been soft in recent years. We are getting ready for a turn once again.

Real Estate IS a cycle... and cycles have some degree of predictability. With predictability, you can grow your real estate business into a cash-producing, profit-pulling machine that runs itself WITH the changing real estate market trends. It is still possible to make money in real estate. In fact, now is just as good a time as any to get started in real estate investing.

But, you've got to make wise investments. Sure, you may make some SERIOUS cash in pre-construction, but what happens if (no, not if - when) the market shifts and there are suddenly 35 identical properties on the market for sale in the same building? How long can you afford to carry a negative cash flow on the property?

Or how about taking over property 'subject to'? Sure, it's a great strategy and lenders may be inclined to turn the other way and not exercise the "due on sale" clause as long as the interest rates are at rock bottom prices (You know, those sellers that you're usually taking property subject to from usually don't have the lowest interest rates, right?) If the interest rates spike to 10-11%, don't you think lenders might be MUCH MORE inclined to exercise their option to make you pay off the 6.5% note?

What this means is simply that you must be experienced in the basics - the tried and true techniques, strategies and systems that have worked in the past, are STILL working and will work in the future. You've got to have all the tools in your bag so that you can go with the flow and not be affected when real estate markets begin to shift (which they are already in the process of doing, in case you've missed that memo! ;-)

Step #1 - Set your plan: Figure out what your long term real estate goals are (aka retirement and wealth building) and figure out what your short term needs are with regard to making money in real estate. Then, set up the proper entities and put the plan in place.

Step #2 - Determine what your target market will be: You cannot be all things to all real estate markets. If foreclosures appeal to you, start investing in the foreclosure market. If you want to be a landlord, look to out of state owners to focus your real estate marketing efforts.

Step #3 - Be consistent and persistent: Real Estate is not a get rich quick scheme. Real Estate is get wealthy over time and put some quick cash in your pocket today. You've got to follow your plan and stick with it to see real results in real estate. You've also got to continue to increase your education and your experience.

Step 4 - Don't fall into the "Analysis Paralysis": Learn to analyze properties quickly. Don't get caught up overthinking. It's quite simple actually: What's the property worth? What does the property need for repairs? And how much can you get the property for? It all comes down to numbers!

Step 5 - Become a master of finance!: Real estate is the business of marketing and finance. You must learn about mortgages and interest rates and loan programs that are out there. You must know how to use finance to negotiate your deals and to sell your properties.

Step #6 - Become a skilled problem solver: The reason you will get real estate deals that others don't, is because you are able to solve people's problems. Anything goes on the real estate playing field. You've got to be ready!

Step #7 - You must continue your education: It is important that you are always investing in your education and learning new tactics, strategies and tips that will help you make more in real estate.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to look up the other articles discussing The 7 Simple Steps To Making Money on Real Estate. The next article discusses Step #1 - set your plan in further detail!

Friday, 1 March 2013

2 Simple Ways to Identify a Bargain From Your Real Estate Investment

Most people spend their time wondering when the real estate market is good to enter and purchase real estate based on some friend's recommendations. Others are more emotional and buy real estate on their whim and fancy. Such ideas may work sometimes but are not very reliable indicators on when to enter and exit the real estate market. Thus this article highlights a 2 step process to analyze your real estate investments.

Firstly, in real estate investing, just like in the stock market, there is readily available public data, which you can chart to determine if the real estate boom or bust is bottoming out. Like in any investment, try to purchase the instrument at the bottom of a cycle so that you gain on the rebound. Similarly take the rental yield cycle into consideration when you do your maths to determine whether the property is worth acquiring since you want to ensure that you have enough monthly rental to cover your mortgage installments even in the leanest of rental periods.

The best way to analyze this real estate investment analysis is to look at charts and data with regards to the relevant data. You want to look and examine in which part of the real estate cycle, your prospective real estate property lies in and how the rentals are doing in your potential real estate investment. Thus after this analysis, you will know where the pricing of your real estate investment is heading and plan accordingly.

Secondly, after analyzing statistical data, go down to a real estate agents office and talk to them and ask them about their outlook for the real estate investment sector that you are interested in investing in and ask them for indicators of good rental yield in terms of location and whether any events or developments would help to increase rental yields in an area. If for instance they know that a new business district is slated for development next to your prospective purchase, you want to know that too as it would mean a huge jump in price of acquisition and rental yields and a huge gain in your real estate investment.

Always spend some time planning what information you want to get out of the real estate agent before you go down and always know what type of real estate investment property so that you can save his and your time when you view properties. After a while you will get a rough sense of the property prices in an area and when you see a bargain property investment you will know it's the right one for you.

In conclusion, we have highlighted two ways to identify a bargain from your real estate investment in this article. Spend some time this week looking at your next real estate investment deal and perhaps it might turn out to be a bargain.