Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Real Estate Agent - What is It?

A real estate agent is a person that is used as an expert to facilitate the selling of real estate. In my opinion, a real estate agent should be open to new things, including innovative marketing ideas and cutting-edge changes that impact buyers and sellers. A real estate agent should be someone who listens to buyers, sellers and renters to figure out what the public hates about agents and proactively make changes in their own business plan accordingly. A real estate agent should have business hours that are applicable to other professionals that are paid thousands of dollars per transaction.

A real estate agent should practice their skills by using them everyday. A real estate agent should not be part-time in the business. This means they should not have a full-time job and sell real estate when they need some extra money. A real estate agent should be skilled at keeping their cool when something goes wrong. A real estate agent should be professional and never hang up on a client or another real estate agent, no matter what was said or done.

A real estate agent should be responsible to learn, understand and keep up with all marketing tools that could and probably should be employed in selling or buying a home. The fact that a real estate agent is "not comfortable with the Internet" when most homes are now sold via the viewing on the Internet by a buyer is no longer an excuse. A real estate agent should be diligent about understanding modes of communication and marketing via every type of media from which a buyer can search and ultimately buy a home.

A real estate agent should not have to turn on their fax machine when they return from the store. They should be in business, full-time, and be set up to do business anytime inside their business hours. A real estate agent should not leave town without backup and just leave a deal hanging as a result. No one cares that the real estate agent is on vacation other than the agent himself. A real estate agent should never tell a seller that open houses don't work, when in fact, open houses sell properties, everyday. A real estate agent should never be so in-the-box that they laugh at someone for discussing the use of a St. Joseph's statute. They shouldn't scoff at the fact that apple pie scent may or may not sell a house just because they don't want to go to the trouble to explain what may or may not work to the seller.

A real estate agent should not cry when a seller tells them that they no longer want to sell their home or that they are not going to use them to sell the home. A real estate agent should not steal yard signs from lawns or directional signs from subdivisions just because someone did not choose to list the house with them but a competitor. A real estate agent should not bash other business models. They should simply point out the things that they bring to the table and why they feel their business model works better.

A real estate agent should not open the house for a buyer and let them stay in there alone, just because the buyer looks nice. A real estate agent should always look at the identification of a buyer because they recognize that they are responsible for the seller's property. A real estate agent should always be grateful that someone is willing to pay them thousands of dollars for a job that has never been fully explained to the public as to how little knowledge an agent needs and how little you're trained when getting your license.

America is unfortunately the only place where all of these standards, or should I say the lack of standards, are applauded everyday as good and acceptable behavior. The public needs to be reminded that an overwhelming number of inexperienced, part-time real estate agents hold in their hands the fate of most people's largest asset. When will we put our foot down and say enough is enough... real estate is a real profession that requires skill, knowledge and a constant reach to perform strategies and results for clients.

The clients deserve better.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Real Estate Search Engines - A Home Buyer's Guide

In recent years, real estate search engines have exploded in both popularity and quantity. It seems that every time you turn around, there's a new real estate search engine being launched or announced.

The use of real estate search engines has also skyrocketed. People go online by the thousands every day, conducting real estate searches through websites like Yahoo, Trulia and the others listed below. This usage will only increase as new search engines emerge, and as existing engines become more advanced.

This article reviews some of the most popular real estate search engines available today. But before we get to those reviews, let's cover some quick terminology.

What's a Real Estate Search Engine?

Here's my informal definition of a real estate search engine: "Any website that allows consumers to search for real estate listings." I think that's a basic definition we can all agree upon. Of course, there are many different types of real estate search engine, but in their basic form they all match the definition above.

Popular Real Estate Search Engines

Here's a list and summary of some of the most popular real estate search engines online today (with popularity measured by prominence in the marketplace, website traffic, and general buzz).

This is probably the most popular real estate search engine, just because it has been around the longest. When you land on the home page of, you're offered a variety of real estate-related information. But the primary element on their home page is, of course, their real estate search engine.

To begin, you simply enter a city and state, provide some qualifying information like price range and number of rooms, and then click "Go." Once you get to the actual home listings, you can sort them by price, number of rooms, etc.

One thing I've always liked about is the way the results are presented. You can view 10 homes per page, with thumbnail photo and basic information. This lets you "eyeball" shop and weed out any homes that don't interest you right off the bat. That way, you only have to click the "learn more" link for homes that you've screened first. A lot of the newer real estate search engines are map-based, meaning you have to click on an icon to see the house and details. I prefer to see a lot of listings at a glance and then "drill down" as desired ... but that's just me.


This website offers another map-driven approach to real estate search. As with most real estate search engines, you start the process by entering a city and state. After sitting through a map-zooming process that makes you feel like you're skydiving, you'll be asked for the usual follow-up parameters (price range, number of rooms, etc.). Properties for sale are presented as icons that you can click on to learn more about.

Personally, I didn't like the interface because it doesn't show as much data at a glace as other real estate search engines -- you have to sort of scroll around the map to find what you want, and that annoyed me. From my perspective, it seems to be another one of those websites that's so "slick" it's just plain hard to use. But that's just me!


Trulia bills itself as delightfully smart real estate search. Their "About" page offers a more detailed description: "We are a real estate search engine that helps you find homes for sale and provides real estate information at the local level to help you make better decisions in the process."

From the home page, you simply enter a zip code to see real estate listings for that area. You can also refine your search by price range, number of rooms or bathrooms, etc.

Like many real estate search engines, Trulia is powered by Google Maps. Trulia has customized the Google application to show pushpin icons for each property listing, which adds a nice visual element to the search.

You can use Trulia's real estate search engine with or without an account, but if you sign up for a free account you'll be able to save your searches for future convenience. If you like Trulia and plan to use it often, I recommend creating an account. It will save you a lot of time on future visits because you won't have to enter your search parameters all over again (unless you want to).

Yahoo Real Estate

Yahoo's real estate search offers a lot of information in addition to property listings. You can also find information on schools and neighborhoods through their site. But this is an article on real estate search, so let's stick with that.

From the home page of Yahoo Real Estate, you can search for homes, apartments, or even home values. For homes, you simply enter the city and state and hit enter. You are then shown a map with icons representing homes for sale.

Hover your mouse over an icon and it will show the listing price. Click on the listing price, and it will pop up a bubble with street address, a thumbnail photo, and a "learn more" link. To get around the map, you simply click-and-drag with your mouse (as with MapQuest or similar mapping sites).


NeighborhoodScout is a different sort of real estate search engine. As the name implies, this website focuses more on neighborhoods than actual home listings. Here's how they describe themselves:

"NeighborhoodScout is a web-based patent-pending neighborhood search engine that uses neighborhood statistics to build neighborhood profiles that allow individuals and families to instantly find the best neighborhoods for them, in any part of the United States they choose."

So if you're relocating to a new area, this website might help you refine your search by narrowing it to a few select neighborhoods.

A Word of Caution

When using any real estate search engine, you need to understand they do not operate in "real time." The accuracy of a real estate search engine is determined by the age or "freshness" of their data, which varies from one search engine to the next.

Also, while a real estate search engine can be a helpful research tool, they do not take the place of a qualified real estate agent. If you are new to the real estate world, I strongly recommend that you have professional help when buying or selling a home.

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and the active hyperlinks below.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Real Estate Affiliate Program - Get Huge Real Estate Commission

Setting up a real estate affiliate program enables real estate agents boost sales because affiliates are anxious to send them leads. In return, the affiliates get paid the agreed commission per lead by the estate agent.

The agent and her affiliates benefit. They are partners in sales.

However, you will notice that real estate commission paid by most real estate affiliate program network fall within $5 to $15 per lead. This is a far cry from what is offered by many digital vendors especially vendors associated with clickbank.

Many Clickbank ebook sellers routinely offer as much as 50% of the sale price as commission to affiliates. Needless to say, such ebooks vendors get the most affiliates willing to promote their ebooks.

Why, you ask.

Well, a bigger commission percentage means more money for the affiliate. And more money means more people willing to sign up as affiliates.

Now to the question of huge affiliate commissions and real estate affiliate program.

Can real estate affiliate program managers similarly pay high real estate commission to their affiliates?

The answer is . . . YES.

Sure, affiliates cannot get 50% of the sale or rental price of a property as commission as they do with ebooks affiliate program. But it is possible to pay affiliates a large percentage of what the real estate agent gets as commission.

Remember: Huge commission = huge motivation

The bigger the reward, the bigger the effort affiliates put for at getting the rewards.

Greater motivation = Greater effort = Greater number of leads = More money for you the agent

Affiliates have the potential to drive sales through the roof . . . if you let them.

A City of Huge Affiliate Commission

Lagos Nigeria is a city of huge real estate affiliate program commission.

Agents routinely pay as much as 40% real estate commission to partners in sales.

Let me break down the real estate commission structure in Lagos Nigeria so you get the big picture.

Estate agents in Lagos Nigeria charge 10% of the value of the property as commission. This is a standard anywhere you go. It's almost like an unwritten rule.

These agents network with other agents to promote property at their disposal and in the process make sales. In return for this affiliation, the agent in charge of the property pay the affiliate (or agent) who engineered the sale 20% - 50% of the commission from the property.

In most cases, this sales partnership is informal in nature. It is usually based on simple gentleman agreement between the estate agent and other agents. It has not been structured into a formal affiliate program yet.

However, it is worth copying.

Remember: The greater the commission, the greater the motivation and the resulting sales.

Therefore this is a wake up call to real estate affiliate managers. The message is simple: Wise up. Stop paying affiliates peanuts. Drive sales ten fold by offering irresistible commissions.

Learn from ebook affiliate programs that have taken the affiliate program concept to a whole new level. Pay bigger affiliate commission.

And for you the aspiring affiliate, come to Lagos Nigeria . . . the city of huge affiliate commission.

The motivation is huge. Your pocket will sag with huge real estate commission.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Why Choose A Professional Arizona Real Estate Agent?

The increased purchasing power and made-easy process of obtaining mortgages and real estate have noticeably increased the real estate business. This approach has made real estate trade a booming business in the last decade.

If your are considering the purchase or sale of property in Arizona it is always advisable to go through a proper professional and expert Arizona real estate agent. Most people are unaware of the intricacies involved in a real estate transaction and an inexperienced real estate agent can not just increase your cost but also may not be in a position to assist you properly with legal issues. It is definitely wise to do proper research and choose an experienced real estate agent who will have a perfect understanding of one's specific property requirements.

A good Arizona real estate agent is well trained, understands the real estate business and is an expert in the art of property negotiations and trading. They are always updated with the latest information about the neighboring areas and the facilities available there. They will provide you with information regarding the property-size and other shortcomings as well as the advantages of it.

An inexperience Arizona real estate agent without the knowledge of your taste, preference, style and budget will drag you from one house to another. Such approach from these agents not only rob your money and valuable time, but you also often miss the chance to get to see the best suitable properties for your needs.

But the scenario is different for a professional and expert Arizona real estate agent.
They would generally fix an appointment with the customer and discuss with you about your needs and requirements as well as specific property details. This gives them a good understanding of your requirement. Accordingly the agent would provide you with regular updates for immediate recognition of suitable property according to your requirements.

Most professional Arizona real estate agentswork within a wide network and are capable of taking customers all round the State of Arizona. They have good contact of both the buyers and sellers and the agents play a crucial role in finalizing the deal. Any good real estate agent would take full responsibility for facilitating any transaction that has been initiated by him.

Another important job done by these professional real estate agents is the Market value
assessment. People interested in buying or selling Arizona real estate property would get the most accurate valuation for the property from these agents who conducts a most scientific and logical market comparative analysis.

The online real estate directories are the best source for people looking for expert and professional Arizona real estate agents. You can just specify the city or area in Arizona where you wish to sell or buy a property and a real estate directory would show up the real estate agents doing business in that area.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Resolving the Real Estate Investing Fear Factor

If you're a new real estate investor who has thought about real estate investing but have been due to a nagging feeling that you are certain the market will collapse once you step in and you will lose all your money; guess what, you're not alone.

Fear grips every new investor; and no one successfully investing in real estate today would state otherwise. It's common for potential real estate investors to miss out on incredible opportunities for no other reason but an overwhelming sense of fear.

Okay, so let's address some of the most common fears and see whether we can help you to become less anxious, and maybe take the plunge into real estate investing after all.

Negative Cash Flow

Hey, the idea behind investing in real estate is to make enough money to cover operating expenses and loan payment with some left over to deposit in the bank. Having to feed a property won't cut it; no investor wants to feed a rental property.

Believe it or not, this fear one might be the easiest to manage because it's straightforward: simply run the numbers before you buy. Obtain the property's last twelve months income and operating expenses, calculate a mortgage payment, and plug the results into a spreadsheet or real estate investment software program to determine cash flow. If the cash flow is negative, so be it, otherwise dispel the concern and move ahead.

Just be sure to use realistic rents, a vacancy rate (even if the owner claims full occupancy), operating expenses (don't forget replacement reserves), and a loan payment to compute your annual cash flow.

Also, never walk away merely because the property indicates a negative cash flow. Dig a little deeper and look for ways to manage the cash flow. Many rental income properties simply go negative because of poor property management; you might have a probability of raising rents and cutting operating expenses. Who knows, you may even discover a real opportunity overlooked by the current owner.

This Isn't the Right Time

Yes, for any number of national or international events, potential investors often feel it would be advantageous to wait for better times before making an investment in real estate.

But real estate investment has little to do with the economic climate at the time you buy. Foremost, consider the long haul. Economic depressions come and go, but how will the investment property impact your future rate of return? That's what counts.

If it helps, bear in mind that unlike the fluctuating stock market real estate has a profound record for steadily appreciating. Perhaps not overnight, and not without an occasional bump, but historically, real estate value does go up over time.

Losing Your Money

Of course, you wouldn't want to tap into your savings to make maybe the largest financial investment of your life only to wind up losing it all.

The key, however, is to study and research. Learn about the property you want to invest in, and the area where you plan to invest. Look for sources of information like seminars, college courses, real estate software, and real estate investing books. Get an expert appraisal of the property from an investment real estate professional or property appraiser. There's always some risk when real estate investing, but developing a plan with knowledge will negate most of your uncertainties.

Tenant and Management Hassles

Okay, it's true. No one wants the headache of having to repair a refrigerator or to fuss with an unruly tenant; and its understandable why that concern does prevent many people from becoming real estate investors. But life is always a series of trade offs, and trading off an occasional migraine for potential future wealth is generally worth it.

However, it's also true that in time you will learn to deal with and manage most issues in your sleep. If not, you can always hire the services of a reliable property management company to deal with it for you. For about ten percent of the rental income, a property manager will do all the dirty work; the advantage being that it will relieve you of the time and stress of having to deal with tenants and repairs and in turn puts matters like late rents into the hands of experts.

Lack of Real Estate Experience

Just because you have not yet purchased an investment property should not keep you from real estate investing. In this case, locate a real estate agent who specializes in investment property to assist you.

When it actually comes time to buy a rental income property, you'll be surprised to discover that it's not as insidious as it looks, and tapping into the mind of an expert will increase your comfort level significantly. But the keyword here is investment property specialist. A real estate agent who just sells houses won't benefit you; you want a real estate professional with true real estate investment experience.

It's Time to Get Started

Granted, the hardest part about jumping into real estate investing is getting started. We're great at making excuses, and there are always numerous reasons to put off starting something new.

Yes, we want to be cautious. It's better to put the breaks on and approach real estate with adequate knowledge. So if you're struggling, here's my suggestion: learn, research, and plan. Educate yourself about real estate investing, learn about real estate in general and more specifically about your specific real estate market, and develop a road map about the financial security you hope to achieve.

Afterward, pick out that first rental property, make a purchase, and then take over as manager. If you've stuck to your investment plan goals, calculated the numbers, did your due diligence correctly, and work diligently to increase income and control expenses, in time you'll be able to move on to bigger and better properties.

After all, that is the nature of real estate investing.

Friday, 19 July 2013

How to Find a One Percent Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers operate all across the United States. Some individuals operate on a national level, but most operate on a local level. If you live in or around the Los Angeles area, it is likely that you would seek assistance with selling your home from a real estate broker.

If you haven't already selected a real estate broker, how do you intend on finding one? There are a large number of individuals who select the first real estate agent that they come across. This is a costly mistake that many homeowners make. If you want to profit from the sale of your home, you are encouraged not to make the same mistake.

When selecting a Los Angeles real estate agent, there are a number of factors that you should consider. One of those factors should be the agent fees. In the Los Angeles area, there are a number of different real estate agents. These agents are all likely to charge different fees. Most real estate brokers base their fees on the sale of your home. This fee is often a preset commission percentage.

As previously mentioned, real estate brokers are all likely to charge different fees. Each commission percentage is likely to vary. The amount of commission a broker will receive will have a significant impact on the amount of money that you profit from the sale of your home. In the Los Angeles area it is possible to find a one percent real estate broker.

A one percent real estate broker is an individual who assists homeowners and only charges them one percent commission. In the United States, it is often difficult to find a one percent real estate broker. This is because most real estate agents charge a higher commission. If you are interested in finding a one percent real estate broker in the Los Angeles area, you have a number of ways to do so. You can begin by using the internet to your advantage.

There are a large number of online resources devoted to providing internet users with valuable real estate information. These online websites may include real estate directories, business directories, or online phone books. By searching these directories, you could find the contact information of a large number of area real estate agents. To determine whether or not a real estate broker can be classified as a one percent real estate broker, you may have to contact them directly.

If you are able to find a real estate broker's online website, you may be able to determine immediately whether or not they are a one percent real estate broker. Even if you determine that a particular broker is a one percent broker, you are still encouraged to meet with them directly. In addition to finding a real estate broker based on their fees, it is also important to determine their level of experience and their training. This should be done in a face-to-face meeting.

If you are interested in finding a one percent real estate broker, you are encouraged to get started today. Until you find that broker, you are advised against signing any legal contracts that bind you to a broker or an agent that charges more than one percent.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Real Estate Investments - Just How Risky Are They?

Real Estate Investing Just How Risky Is It? What Can You Do About it? What's the real scoop? Why are there so many real estate investment seminars making the business look easy, while real estate investors I know are experiencing something more involved?

It does not matter whether I am listening to radio, late-night TV or Saturday morning infomercial, I can always discover a real estate program promoting fast ways to make big money, and I wonder if I am missing out on something? So what is going on? Am I overlooking important learning opportunities with these money-making training sessions? One is left with this message: If it is this easy to make money in real estate, then why isn't everyone doing it?

It appears is that we are receiving the upside of the business: good deal making techniques, and the periodic great deals. We need to realize the limitations of what we are seeing and to understand what we are missing with many of these training seminars. That is not to say that there isn't money to be made in real estate and that one cannot make a good living with real estate investments. There are great techniques for acquiring and developing good investments on a number of levels. And the business can provide you much satisfaction and freedom. However, you can trust that there is more to the real estate business than what is presented in the typical real estate seminars.

The more successful businesses are structured and have developed business models (methodologies) to work by. They provide controls over accountability, guidance, risk management, legal protections, and quality assessment (assurance) to ensure that their products and services meet their customer needs. We have all heard the comment, "Oh, you are in real estate. Isn't that kind of risky?" The answer, of course is that it can be, and for many, it often is! Does it have to be so risky? No! But, have you ever attended a real estate seminar in which the presenters discussed risk management or assessment? Why not? Doesn't it apply?

Real Estate gurus often tell their audience what they want to hear, rather than the broader picture of what they may need to know. We all need to know the positives and the value of good real estate techniques. However, isn't there a need to provide a more complete view of real estate business, including asset management, standard business practices, and checks and balance, not just investment techniques alone? For example, would you appreciate some advice on effective property management? Don't you want to know more about what to do in tough times or when you are getting in over your head; how to advert bad decisions, and how to expand your business and how to protect yourself? Every business person has good and bad times. But not all businesses go under because of hard times. Most of the businesses I know deal with risk management, either on a formal or informal basis.

My Recommendations: Here are three (3) key things you should develop for your business. While they apply to all businesses, they particularly apply to real estate:

A. Vision for your business

Martin Luther King said, I have a dream! Likewise, you need a dream and a vision of what you want from your business. Writing it down and keep your vision honed.

B. Well-defined Business Plan (cradle-to-grave)

If you don't have a plan for your vision, how are you going to have your vision come true? Your plan should include a description of your objectives and actions for the start and completion of each major program or project you are doing.

C. Risk Management Plan

It is your duty to minimize your risks, and maximize your successes. It is much easier to make changes in direction early on, before you have to pay the price in dollars later! Risk Management is about diversifying your options (not putting all your eggs into one basket), identifying best and worst case scenarios, reviewing your performance regularly, having a backup plan, when your master plan fails, and finally learning from your mistakes!!

A) Create a Vision for your business You create your vision through the following:

Values you uphold for your company

Purpose of your company

Goals which detail how you are going to accomplish what you want to do.

Taken collectively, these three provide you with your Business Vision, or Mission. After think about these three areas, you should write out your mission statement and your goals and objectives for your business. A business vision is not cut in stone. As your business grows, so will your vision.

B) Structure Your Business How do you start planning your business and identifying your activities? You can take classes, read books, and talk with professionals and mentors. To ensure that you have thought of all issues regarding your business set up, it is a good idea to write down these 6 interrogatives to help you capture the whole of it:

Who, What, Why, When, Where and How

All six can assist you with your planning. For example, in general, you will want to define Who is involved, Why you are doing the business, What you want out of your business, How you plan to get there, When you plan to start (timetable), and Where (location) you expect to operating your business. Below is an example of a structured business model. How detailed and thorough you are in its use, depends upon the maturity and size of your business. You will want to define your tasks and detail to the degree required to manage your business. However, the four Phases are generally accepted categories. For more information, you can, of course, attend classes, go online and search for business models or business methodologies, or consult our web site later:

I. Analysis Phase:

- Define your vision and mission

- Define your objectives, according to your mission

- Identify your resource requirements (people and materials)

- Identify real estate for your business development

- Define a risk management model

II. Design Phase: Define a plan or prospectus on paper (include marketing and staging approach as part of the design)

Select real estate - determining current and future value of investments for purchase or sale, according to your plan

Collect data on required resources (people and materials) and their costs

Create a total cost estimate for each effort (often called a Work Breakdown Structure-WBS).

Review the labor and cost estimates with other key members for confirmation, make modifications to your estimates, as necessary.

Consider developing your real estate in workable phases

Establish checkpoints to review performance, and test your results with the market

III. Development / Renovation Phase Perform construction / renovation / project management projects according to your plan

Regularly hold brief reviews with key members to confirm your progress

Make changes to your work activity according to review recommendations

Prior to completion, make a test walk through of the properties to ensure work is to Plan (Review development and staging activities)

Complete work (punch-out) and any final updates for final review

IV. Implementation Phase Review plan for staging property(s) and Marketing approaches

Make corrections to the plan, based on review results

Document lessons learned from our real estate developments

C) Develop a Risk Management Plan

Are you having trouble keeping your activities under control? Are you continually overrunning your budget? Did you complete a renovation project or manage a year of lease/rental income that should have provided you a good profit, but ended up giving you little to no real profit? If so, then you need to define a Risk Management Plan:

Risk Management is a tool that is not referred to enough in managing real estate businesses. It can be critical to the survival of many businesses. Most people think of "risk" when they think of real estate investing. So, why would you not develop risk protection for your real estate business?


The process of analyzing exposure to risk and determining how to best handle such exposure.

The decision to accept exposure or to reduce vulnerabilities by either mitigating the risks or applying cost effective controls.

So, what is at risk?: Your time, your money, your physical assets, and suits against your assets and integrity. For real estate, Risk Management can be viewed as performing a series of risk protective activities at periodic times during your property development efforts, starting from the day you start your business to its operations and ultimate sale. [Creating a contingency plan, having access to attorney services, and incorporating your business are part of your Risk Management Plan]

If you are doing your job correctly, you should be able to determine before your begin a real estate project:

Anticipated profit you will take for your effort

Current value of the investment

Future value of the investment upon completion

Completion Time for the investment effort

Can you say this now? If not, you are not really ready to renovate a property for sale and profit!

Here are examples of how I have used risk management techniques in my real estate development activities. I always keep in mind that good locations and good residents are my most important assets.

Example #1-building cost reductions: Year 1999, Purchase of two 4-unit buildings as one property in good area; units were section 8 in need of major TLC (deferred maintenance and a classical diamond-in-the-rough ).

Purchased low, required inspections, negotiated with Seller on $10,000 post-inspection cash return for improvements Talked with landscaper on removal of overgrown bushes. They wanted $2,500 for effort. I declined. Within 6 weeks, using a chainsaw (no massacre here), I trimmed all bushes, creating a bonsai effect, placed mulch on beds using free mulch from a community resource center, and planted flowers. Renovated each apartment on a unit-by-unit basis as tenants left; upgraded exterior with new landscaping, decorative painting, and artistic fixtures Sold both buildings to local LLC for full-market price, $100,000 profit within 6 years

Risks managed: Materials and Management costs were kept low, so that tenant income and sale profits are maximized, using sweat equity.

Example #2 Seller Creativity during a Buyers Market: Year 2006 Sale of Historic Home in a financially-stalled historic district (tough sale for a tough period).

Reviewed listings and purchased bank-owned double with extra lot, very close proximity to local university and hospital Re-converted badly-designed double to original single-family home Installed high-end kitchen and bath cabinets, using discounted display cabinets and counters from a local home improvement store. Installed discounted high-end lighting (commercial lighting company provided 50% discount for using his services for my renovations); restored ornate doors and woodwork, landscaped yard, planted flowers During sale period (Buyers Market): extended my potential client market to include both residential and commercial clients; introduced my listing to Real Estate mangers for local hospital and university. Received excellent offers from the hospital and a professional person with the Air Force.

Risks Managed: Ability to sell home in a marginal area for a very good price during a Buyers Market; Expanded client base to both commercial and residential through location of home, provided several sale options, including Seller financing to help motivate Buyers.

Example #3 Management for Protection and Income Maximization: Year 1977 - current Use preliminary telephone and interview screening and credit screening for all applicants; following this up by directly personally contacting employers, landlords, and relatives Establish rules and conduct requirements verbally and in written Leases; provide checklists, support policies, and show residents that I care Remain strict with Lease requirements, rent payments, and the rights of other residents. However, I remain flexible and supportive of residents needs; making repairs as soon as possible; providing simple courtesies such as asking about the family, their interests, needs; I always tell residents that we appreciate their presence. When residents have established a good rent-payment history and start having trouble paying rents, I am flexible and work with them. I have created notarized payment plans, have created agreements to spread payments over periods of time, and have had residents work for me on occasion. I consider the comments You are the best landlord I have ever had to be the highest compliment and a definite risk management safety comment.

Risks Managed: Maintained residents for extended periods (maximizing profits); Ensured that residents knew who I was and that I was responsive to their needs and concerned about their well-being. This provided security, as residents were less-likely to be upset with management or damage the property, or move-out! It also builds a good tenant base, as word-of-mouth provides you with good residents.

I hope that this information has been helpful.

So, just how risky is real estate investing? . . . . . .only as risky as you are willing to make!

For more information, visit my website,

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Money-making investments in the real estate market?

The real estate market is one where a profitable investment is always to be found; somewhere amidst the foreclosure lists or lying dormant on a real estate agent's desk. This guide aims to give you the background necessary to allow you to find profitable investment real estate.

The first key to profiting from real estate is to find a highly motivated and urgent seller. The idea is that to negotiate a lower price on a piece of real estate requires the seller to want to sell their house quickly or desperately. If you are talking to an unmotivated seller on the telephone then it will soon be very clear that you are not going to get a discounted price on this real estate. If the seller is unmotivated then you will be unable to negotiate a lucrative deal.

One counterintuitive aspect of real estate investment is that you normally make a profit when you buy real estate and not when you sell it. This means that, while there is often little you can do to increase the value of real estate; sellers are human and are often willing to negotiate their price. Saving money while buying real estate is the key to selling homes for a profit in the real estate market.

With that in mind, your first step is to develop a list of real estate properties that you are considering investing in. You are going to need to view around ten pieces of real estate before you careful choose which one will be your chosen investment.

One useful technique for sourcing profitable real estate properties is to interview real estate agents; the people that profit from real estate on a daily basis. Interviewing a real estate agent and finding out if they own any investment real estate they would be very useful. Remember, they will be more than willing to be interviewed because you are offering them your regular custom.

Real estate agents understand the market "inside out" and can be an excellent source of investment properties with low prices because others have not seen or understood the potential of them. After you create a good relationship with some local real estate agents you will typically receive a phone call every time they notice a good property reach their desk. Remember, they receive a lot in return for this relationship because the more real estate that they sell the more commission that they earn.

Another very useful method for sourcing great real estate deals is the use of foreclosure lists. All you have to do is to search Google for "foreclosure lists" in your local area. Typically, you will have to pay a subscription fee to access this but it is definitely worth the cost.

In order to profit from foreclosure lists easily and quickly, follow these steps:

* Firstly, buy the daily foreclosure list for your area and flip through the pages.
* Select the only the real estate that has been on the list for less than thirty days.
* Highlight the real estate that is within your budget.
* Look particularly for real estate that is located in nice surroundings or desirable neighborhoods and only select properties that are within fifty miles from where you live.
* Using the internet, access the local tax records and obtain the tax value of this particular piece of real estate.
* Also, search for the real estate in question on This website is also designed to give clues as to the value of real estate.

Once you have picked a few potential properties then ask your real estate agent to take you for a viewing. If you are happy with this real estate then hire a real estate property surveyor to make sure that the house is structurally sound. This step is necessary to ensure the value of your investment.

After this point you will be in a position to make an offer on this real estate and to attempt to "buy low" in order to "sell high".

Admittedly, finding a profitable piece of real estate is usually the result of a small amount of hard work. However, this article has put you at a great advantage in the real estate market. Also, the rewards of finding valuable real estate speak for themselves. Buying an under priced piece of real estate can mean profits of tens of thousands of dollars.

So, with all that new knowledge behind us,

Happy House Hunting

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Real Estate - The Consumers Will Have the Final Word!

"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance". --Nathaniel Branden

Change is good for the consumer and for the real estate industry. It fuels competition and drives innovation and efficiency. Yet, the real estate industry has seen little change during the last 50 years. Indeed, other than marginally lower commissions as a result of the introduction of "discount brokerage models," the change is imperceptible.

Will the industry survive as we know it today? What will it take to thrive in the future?

Technology and changing consumer behavior will be the driving forces behind change, but not the only forces. What matters is what the consumers want -- not what we think they want.

We searched for answers. We went from denial, to awareness, and finally to acceptance. The lessons were harsh but clear. We needed to listen and learn from the consumer. Here is what we learned and want to share with you.

Legislation and regulation can't stop evolution and innovation.

It is not business as usual anymore. Prior success no longer guarantees the future viability of the existing real estate business model and profitability for the industry. While it has been a long and rewarding ride, its time has passed. However, there should not be any doubts that there is a bright future for the real estate industry. After all, real estate will continue to be the heart and engine of our economy. And it will be especially brighter for those embracing radical change and seeking new ways to serve the consumers. Those that embrace the change brought by evolution will succeed. Those that continue to use legislation to defend the indefensible will see their business succumb to innovative models that put the interests of the consumer at the center of the process.

Consumers have lost confidence in the traditional model.

Is anyone surprised about this? Have consumers been taken for granted? Did the industry forget that consumers are critical on both sides of the transaction? You would have thought that consumers would be in control of the process. Yet, ironically, consumers do not have any leverage because the power resides with intermediaries. Consumers' options are limited when buying or selling real estate, particularly for those who want to go about it on their own.

We hear frequently: "Why do we need to pay a 6% commission for selling our property?" That concern is being felt across the real estate industry, and while commissions are being reduced, the decrease is still not commensurate with the "homeowner's perception of value".

Homeowners believe that fees should be based on "the value of the services" and not on "the value of the property". The adage that a rising tide lifts all boats has proved to be true in the real estate industry. This rising tide has brought housing values to record high levels. The good news for the homeowners is that their equity has increased. The bad news (which materializes at the time of the purchase and sale of property) is that such increase is completely independent of the contributions of third parties. It is simple market forces at work : supply and demand.

Consumers see through the lack of transparency.

Consumers know that you are not what you write or say, but what you do when no one is looking. Consumers want more transparency. They want all the myths to disappear. They want a leveled playing field, with unrestricted access to the tools and knowledge required for a successful sale or purchase. They want transactions that are "procedurally" easier, smarter, cheaper and faster. They want to choose how to go about buying and selling. The one size fits all approach is not longer valid.

Because of this lack of transparency, consumers are paying more for less value. Consumers are working more, but not being compensated for their efforts. Over 74% of buyers are now using the Internet to search for properties, yet they cannot complete the process because the back end is controlled by intermediaries. Sellers who want to sell on their own do not have an "effective platform" to market their properties, unless they use the Multiple Listing System. The cost of representation currently based on the value of the property is archaic and does not reflect the realities of the times. The absolute value of commissions paid continues to increase and the beneficiary is not the consumer. It is the consumers' equity that continues to erode, while the economic benefits are enjoyed by the intermediaries. Simply stated, the time has arrived for the consumers to be in control of the process. After all, the consumers own the properties and who better than them to decide what to do and how to go about it. They are willing to pay for the services and guidance they need, but not as a function of the value of a property.

The traditional model does not reflect today's consumers.

Advances in technology and the ever increasing sophistication of consumers are destined to change the way home real estate is bought and sold. Did the industry fail to recognize changes in the behavior and expectations of homeowners and investors?

Today's consumers are tech savvy, more independent, more sophisticated, more knowledgeable and want to be in control. They want to have choices!

Almost every traditional brokerage house has a web site mostly used to provide "photographs and summarized property information." This is a step in the right direction, but not quite what the consumer wants. Consumers want access to the same information and tools that professionals have. They want a buy and sell process that is "easier, smarter, faster and cheaper". Consumers know that the Internet has made it possible to have access to information and resources that in the past only were available to professionals. The Internet has also made it possible to provide these services at a fraction of the cost. Technology based models are not a substitute for good judgment, but they are more efficient and transparent. These efficiencies result in lower cost of representation, and access to information and know how that is completely unbiased and independent of the value of a property. Put another way, technology drives down the cost of representation!

Homeowners want real options, not a recycled traditional model. While real estate is a $ 1.3 trillion industry that is highly fragmented, there is little differentiation between options. The industry also exhibits behavioral traits typically found in oligopolies. Consumers have been led to believe that the process of buying and selling is complicated and unmanageable without the intervention of an intermediary. This is simply not true. Consumers want real options that remove the "fear, uncertainty, and doubt," which historically has been foisted on the real estate transaction by intermediaries.

There are over 2.3 million licensed brokers and agents in the United States. Entry and exit barriers are low. In theory, it looks like consumers have a very large number of choices. In practice, that is not the case. Mostly everybody offers the same and there is little differentiation between companies, business models, and services provided by brokers and agents. Consumers want "real choices," not variations of the existing business model.

Currently, home owners that wish to sell their property have two options: (i) sale by owner (FSBO); or (ii) a contractual engagement with a licensed real estate broker or agent.

For those owners who desire to sell their property themselves, advertising and valuation tools are virtually non-existent. Their intent is to avoid the high commissions sought by brokers, but they are restricted in their advertising and analysis capabilities.

Looking to take advantage of the market necessity for a FSBO real estate solution, a plethora of market developers has begun to introduce solutions in this area. Nonetheless, these developers have focused on creating revenue from either individual online FSBO advertisements, advertisements from or referrals to third-party real estate professionals, lead generation, or some basic set of information services/tools with limited capabilities. These are legitimate alternatives for some but not for all.

Real estate consumers are actively seeking alternatives. Consumers have an infinite appetite for information and knowledge. Web based applications have made that possible and there is no turning back. According to a 2004 report from the National Association of Realtors, the Internet has rapidly become the preferred method of property search with over 70 % of homebuyers indicating that they utilize it as their primary source of property listings. In fact, 2003 marked a milestone in the technological evolution of the real estate industry. That year, for the first time, more buyers used the Internet than newspaper advertisements as an information source. Buyers are doing most of the work, yet they find themselves having to go through an intermediary. Buyers do not buy the myth that "Commissions are paid by sellers." They know these commissions are part of the gross purchase price and paid exclusively by them.

Most consumers want an innovative online business environment with functionality that incorporates optimal data sources, analytical tools, marketing exposure, and opportunity leads in a comprehensive and user-friendly online solution. They know the Internet has created new industries and new ways to transact business and they want to be the beneficiary of such transformation. New games and new rules will become the standard. And we better learn to play the new game! The consumers will have the final word.

Change is unavoidable but not easy to accept. Change is good for society and we are constantly witnessing the transformation of everything around us. Change drives innovation, efficiencies and progress. Why should it be different for the real estate industry?

We need to listen and learn from the consumers. They want choices.

They want to compare those choices and decide how to proceed with what is for most people a very important investment decision in their life: buying or selling real estate. This is not about who is right or who is wrong. It is all about what is right for the consumer.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Beat the Crowd When Investing in Real Estate

We all are thinking about it and some of us are actually taking action and getting their hands on real estate investment properties. The longer the NY Stock Exchanges doesn't produce desirable returns the more people are starting with real estate investments.

For most of us the obvious choice of properties are single family homes. Although you can invest in real estate without owning a home, most people follow the experience they made while purchasing their own home. This is familiar ground and the learning curve for doing a real estate deal of this type is pretty slim.

Of course there's a drawback with this approach. The competition is fierce and there are markets where investors are artificially driving up the cost of the properties while completely discouraging first time home buyers. If this is the case, the burst of the real estate bubble is just a matter of time.

How do you avoid these situations and still successfully invest in real estate? How do you get ahead of the competition and be prepared for bad times in real estate investments as well? The only answer I have is commercial real estate.

Why commercial real estate you might ask? Commercial real estate is a solid investment in good and bad times of the local real estate market. The commercial real estate I'm referring to are multi unit apartment buildings.

Yes you will become a landlord and No you don't have to do the work by yourself. You are the owner and not the manager of the apartment building. The cost of owning and managing the building is part of your expenses and will be covered by the rent income.

Apartment buildings are considered commercial real estate if there are 5 or more units. To make the numbers work you should consider to either own multiple small apartment buildings or you should opt for bigger buildings. This will keep the expense to income ratio at a positive cash flow. Owning rental properties is all about positive cash flow.

With investing in single family homes it is easy to achieve positive cash flow. Even if your rent income doesn't cover your expenses 100%, the appreciation of the house will contribute to the positive cash flow. With commercial real estate the rules are different.

While single family homes are appraised by the value of recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood, commercial real estate doesn't care about the value appreciation of other buildings. The value of the property is solely based on the rent income. To increase the value of a commercial real estate you need to find a way to increase the rent income. The formula on how this is calculated would be too much for this short article. I listed a few very helpful books where you can find all the details.

What's another advantage to invest in commercial real estate? Commercial real estate financing is completely different than financing a single family home. While financing a single family home you are at the mercy of lenders who want to make sure that you are in the position to pay for the house with your personal income. Commercial real estate financing is based in the properties ability to produce positive cash flow and to cover the financing cost.

After reading all these information about commercial real estate you want to go out there and dive into the deals. Not so fast. First, you need to learn as much about real estate as possible. In commercial real estate you're dealing with professionals. If you come across too much as a newbie you will waste these guys's time and your commercial real estate career ended before it actually started. Second, no commercial real estate lender will lend you any money if you can't show at least a little bit of real estate investment experience.

What's the solution to this? Go out there and do one or two single family home deals yourself. It doesn't matter if you make huge profits to start off with. Most newbie investors are losing money on their first deal anyway. If you can manage to show positive cash flow with your single family home deals you are ahead of the pack.

My advice, buy a small single family home in a decent neighborhood and rent it immediately. This will keep your out of the pocket expenses at a minimum and you will have rent income to cover for your monthly expenses. Bonus, you gain experience as an investor and as a landlord.

Here's another observation I made during my real estate investment career. Most people like to analyze, learn, discuss and analyze some more. They never actually got to do a real estate deal. They love to talk about real estate investments, but never did it themselves.

My approach to real estate investment was simple.

- I bought some books about real estate investment.

- I read every single one of them.

- I put together a simple plan on how I want to get started.

- I started looking for properties.

- I bought my first investment property 30 days after I started reading my first book.

- I made positive cash flow with all of my properties so far.

What is my point? You have to go out there and practice what you've learned. The only valid credential in the real estate business is practical experience. Having a couple of deals under your belt, you can go out there and start looking at commercial real estate and even impress seasoned investors with your knowledge. Because you made this experience by yourself and you know what you're talking about.

Book reference for commercial real estate investments:

Gary W. Eldred, PhD: "Make Money with Small Income Properties"

Jack Cummings: "Real Estate Financing and Investment Manual"

You will find these books and many more on my real estate investment website at


Peter Dobler

Monday, 1 July 2013

Making Money in Real Estate

Making money in Real Estate is the most popular strategy to build wealth. If you're not currently making money and building wealth in real estate you need to start. I have been making money using four very simple strategies that are very simple to duplicate.

All of the millionaires I have learned from make money and build wealth in real estate. That's right, all of them! These real estate strategies can set you free for life!

If you learn and implement them you can build a massive amount of wealth in a very short period of time. I use a system for all four of the strategies that all go hand in hand.

These strategies can easily make you rich in a very short period of time. I use the first strategy to make money fast, the second strategy for making money in chunks and the third strategy is for building wealth and creating income for the rest of my life. The last strategy I use to buy real estate extremely cheap.

I use a step by step system for all of these money making systems. The first strategy requires in many cases no money and no credit. It's the strategy I use to create anywhere from three to fifteen thousand dollars in profits per deal in a short period of time without ever even buying real estate. This strategy is known as wholesaling.

It's easy to begin making quick money. You don't need money to make money with this strategy! If you have bad credit don't worry, you don't need good credit to make money with this strategy. My goal is for you to have a check in your hands of $5,000 or more in 30 days or less!

I can show you my exact system on how to do it. Wholesale is nothing more than making an offer on a piece of real estate, getting that offer accepted, then simply assigning to contract to someone else. Don't worry, making an offer on something doesn't mean you'll be forced to buy it".

Making offers on Real Estate is easy! You can do it two ways. Through a realtor or directly to sellers who don't have their homes listed with a realtor.

I developed a specific step by step system to find listed and unlisted properties to make offers on. Most of my deals are through listed properties. I use a realtor to make offers for me on properties that are listed.

There are a lot of realtors who won't understand what you're trying to accomplish. I'll teach you exactly the process I use to find my realtors as well as how to get them on the same page as you with what you want to accomplish.

There are so many properties for sale. You need to learn how to find the best one's to make offers on. Learning how to wholesale is the first step in becoming a real estate investor and getting out of the rat race! In all of my money making strategies I believe it is the easiest one for both beginners and advanced investors.

I use the second strategy to create larger chunks of cash anywhere from twenty to sixty thousand dollars in profits per deal. It takes a little longer to generate those profits than the first strategy but one deal generates much more money. This strategy is called retailing.

This strategy has some great advantages. It's easy to make consistent $20,000+ on every deal, it can be done part time, and it can and should be done with someone else's money!

Flipping real estate is nothing more than buying a house; fixing it up if it needs repairs, and then selling it for a profit. Most Real estate flippers that fail don't understand the number 1 rule, Buy Cheap! When they buy a house most of them think they're buying it cheap but chances are they're not.

The biggest mistake investors make is they don't calculate all of their costs before they do the deal. There is a specific formula that's easy to follow that will make sure you follow this very important rule. The way you buy your real estate is the difference between winning and losing.

If you are new to real estate investing the first strategy you should implement is wholesaling. The reason is with wholesaling you learn how to make extra money without risking your own money. When you accomplish that then move to retailing.

After you learn how to earn extra money wholesaling, you will have accomplished your first step in becoming a successful flipper. That first step is learning how to buy cheap!

The third strategy I use to build wealth and get paid forever. By doing this I create a monthly income that will last forever. Making money in Real Estate is not just creating quick cash; it's also about creating enough wealth where you can literally never have to work again! This strategy is known as buying and holding.

There are many ways to build a Money Making Machine. The best way is through real estate investing focused on building wealth. Making money now is important but creating wealth for the rest of your life is what will set you free!

Buying real estate isn't hard, but, buying real estate correctly is where most people go wrong. Understanding what makes up a good deal is your greatest asset with this strategy.

You make money when you buy; you get paid when you sell. If you're a beginner this will be the most important thing that must be understood. If you buy right you will have a lot of equity and great cash flow for the entire time you own a particular investment. This is what I refer to as building a money making machine.

In real estate there are many strategies to make money quick. Those are the strategies you should begin with because you have to learn how to buy cheap enough to make money.

After those strategies are executed that is the time to worry about building for the rest of your life. There are multiple ways to buy cheap it's all about learning the ones that will work for you.

Now, once you know how to buy cheap creating wealth is easy! Simply make sure you have great cash flow with each deal you intend on doing and before you know it after multiple deals you will start building monthly cash flow.

Continue this simple recipe over and over and in a very short period of time you could be generating enough cash flow to live on then you can focus on getting rich and wealthy! Best of all you can focus on whatever you want because you don't have to work if you don't want to.

The reason this is my favorite real estate strategy is because I love residual income. Creating something once that pays you for the rest of your life is the smartest thing you can do financially. All my rich mentors made this lesson very clear to me.

Building a money making machine first starts with making quick money in real estate. Once you learn that you will know how to buy real estate the right way. From there all you have to do is hold it for cash flow for the rest of your life!

The final strategy I use to buy real estate extremely cheap from distressed sellers. Buying cheap through properties in pre-foreclosure is a tremendous opportunity.

There are so many ways to make money in real estate. Many people have a hard time finding which way fit's them the best. Some people like to stick to one strategy, others like a lot of different strategies.

I recommend doing some research and reading some books to learn about all the different ways there are to make money before you choose one. I recommend the following products because they should help you decide what kind of real estate strategy you want to pursue.

Making money in real estate goes hand and hand with all of the other best money making strategies. The reason is the tax advantages you get blend very well together with all of the other money making strategies. Real estate investing is also one of my favorites because it is the best way to build ultimate wealth that will last forever!

Learning a simple money making strategy is easy. The hard part is where and who do you ask to teach you? This used to be my problem until I met some very successful mentors.

I learned for them many strategies to get rich, this one is one of the best. Making money in real estate is all about buying cheap! By finding and buying distressed real estate you will be able to buy extremely cheap.

Those who have a way to buy real estate extremely cheap will succeed. Pre-foreclosure investing is a great way to buy cheap from distressed sellers. It's a win-win situation for you and the seller.

There are a few ways to buy real estate in distressed situations. If a seller is in pre-foreclose which means they are behind on payments but their home hasn't been foreclosed on yet they would probably be very interested in selling.

Most of the time people end up losing their homes and would have been much better off if someone was there to help them out of that situation. Like I said, Win-Win situation.

There are two scenarios for the buyer. There is either already sufficient equity in the property for them to purchase it or there isn't enough equity. Most of the time there won't be enough.

There is a simple money making strategy know as short sales for properties that don't have enough equity. In this case the bank or mortgage company that has a lien on the property will most likely accept a huge discount on what they are owed in exchange for a payoff of some amount for what they are owed.

For example, if a property is worth $200,000 and the bank has a lien of $180,000 for a property in not great shape they will probably accept a huge discount. The reason is the cost they have to incur to foreclose, list, and resell is huge.

You make them and offer at $100,000 as a payoff. After negotiations they accept $120,000. You're now able to buy a $200,000 home for $120,000 through your knowledge.

All in all, these four Real Estate Investing Strategies all have their advantages and disadvantages. There is a sequential order they should be implemented in. Take this information and use it to the best of your ability and be smart and savvy out there.