Wednesday, 27 February 2013

One Appraisal Can Make A Deal Or Break It - Choose Your Real Estate Appraiser Wisely

The following paragraphs summarize the work of Real Estate Appraiser experts who are completely familiar with all the aspects of Real Estate Appraising. Heed their advice to avoid any surprises.

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you're fully informed about Real Estate Appraisals, keep reading.

Are you thinking about purchasing a real estate property for personal use or as an investment? One Appraisal can make it or break it, so you'll need to hire the services of a real estate investor. If you plan to finance your home through a bank or other lender, you'll more than likely need to get the property appraised first. Banks and most lenders want to know the value of the home for your protection, as well as make sure that the home they are financing is worth the total amount that you take on the loan.

In most cases, the appraisal indicates that the home does indeed meet or exceed the asking price. In some cases however, the appraisal will come back saying that the home is worth less than the selling price. If this is the case, the buyer normally has to either drop the deal or try to negotiate with the seller to get a price that meets the appraisal.

Hence, a real estate appraiser is very important. Even if you may not be financing your purchase through a lender or the bank, you should still make an effort to get the home appraised and find out the true value. It is important to make a point to find the best appraiser that you can afford. If you hire an appraiser who isn't that experienced, you'll pay for it later when you discover that the property isn't worth what you paid for it.

So, what is a real estate appraiser and why do you need to choose wisely when come to choosing one? A real estate appraiser will go through the home performing an evaluation, and then provide you with a written evaluation after he has gathered all the necessary information. Real Estate Appraisers will also take into consideration the replacement costs. They will have to very land descriptions as well. Appraisals are tedious, which is why it's so very important that each step of the process is performed correctly by a qualified real estate appraiser.

Get a recommendation from your real estate agent, however, keep in mind that this doesn't mean the recommendation is the best; it's just someone who your agent works with or know. To ensure that you get the right appraisal on your home you'll need to find yourself an appraiser who is capable of completing the job. If you take your time and search for the best real estate appraiser that you can find - you'll normally get an appraisal that is right on target.

Now you can be a confident expert on Real Estate Appraiser. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on Real Estate Appraiser.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Real Estate Career Not Just About Sales

Easy money, flexible schedules, and being your boss seem to be the buzzwords with those considering a career in residential real estate. Sales was intentionally left off the job title. Real estate is moving away from being a sales career to being a resource for consumers that are buying or selling a home.

Mark Nash author of Starting & Succeeding in Real Estate and three other real estate books and a regular columnist for shares the inside story on how begin and prosper in today's transitioning real estate market.

-Pre-license education will provide you with knowledge about the applicable real estate laws in your state, but will not prepare you to be successful in residential real estate.

-The first office you choose to hang your real estate license in will greatly influence your success or failure in the business. Visit at least three offices and meet with the managing broker before making a decision.

-Technology skills are a must. Over seventy-percent of all home buyers start their search on the Internet before contacting a real estate agent. Web site development, text messaging, virtual tours are the bread and butter of real estate today.

-Savvy consumers search out full-time agents. Real estate is not a part-time business, no matter what you have heard.

-Understand that successful real estate agents work fifty to sixty hours a week, many times at odd hours and holidays. You have to be available when clients want to see properties or list their home, which is after normal business hours.

-People oriented personalities thrive and succeed in residential real estate. Patience, level-headed, and pleasing agents are the top producers.

-You're an independent contractor. Many new agents think their broker will build their business, you are a business within that brokerage business. Think like a sole-proprietor and develop a business plan.

-Look and act like a professional. Many new agents are too casual in their demeanor and dress and this spells failure. Consider that home buyers and sellers are dealing with their largest asset when dealing with you, is their accountant or doctor showing up at appointments with them in flip-flops or tennis shorts?

-Real estate is not about sales, it's about being a resource and developing relationships. In the go-go days of the real estate market, many new agents were order-takers. Now with a transitioning market, you need to provide clients with information and strategies. With less motivation and energy in markets, building relationships over the long-haul positions you as a real estate resource.

-Join clubs, organizations and non-profits. Networking is how your grow your relationships. Meeting new people who know other people with a real estate purchase or sale need will grow your business. You won't meet new people holed up in your real estate office or your living room.

-In takes money to make money in real estate. Many new agents are tapped out financially by the time they pay for pre-license education. Factor in start-up costs such as errors and omission insurance, Board of Realtors(R) and Multiple Listing Service dues, and business marketing costs. Health insurance is available through national real estate association. Plan on no income for 6-9 months.

-Find a coach or mentor. Beginning in real estate can be lonely as you'll soon realize that you have a minimal support system. Find a mentor within the business and a coach outside it to help organize and plan your business.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Real Estate Lead Generators; Business Building Ideas Are All Around You

When I first got licensed to sell real estate I was about as clueless as they come, but what I lacked in knowledge and ability I made up for in desire to learn and willingness to learn. So, I went to school after finishing real estate school.

No, not a school with a sit down classroom, but school in the sense that I started asking questions of veteran agents and watching what they did and said. I turned off my mouth after a while and opened up my eyes and ears and learned more doing that than I did while getting licensed.

For example, I learned that Real Estate Lead Generators abound, and everyday I was presented with opportunities that had I not been tuned in to pay attention to would have gone overlooked.

Here's a case in point with respect to business cards. I don't remember exactly how many business cards came with my first order, but I vaguely remember it being 500-1,000 cards. A year later I still had most of them. It was the craziest thing that I could have done!

Think about it! Instead of making it a point to give them away as fast as I could I was actually rationing them out like I didn't want to unload them.

Don't make that mistake! Business cards are great real estate lead generators and should be given out as freely as you would a glass of water to a thirsty person. And that's just what real estate prospects are. Thirsty to make real estate transactions with real estate agents sharp enough to recognize the opportunities.

Admittedly, I wasn't too sharp back then, but as I got smarter I realized the value of handing 3-4 business cards to everybody I came in contact with-and I mean everybody; my kids teachers, my doctor, your doctor, the school crossing card, my mechanic, dentist, etc.

And then there were the scores of counter tops that I encountered everyday. Grocery store counters, dry laundry counters, fast food pickup counters, counters where I paid the cable bill, bought computer stuff, book counters, etc.

Oh, and less I forget I must have passed by hundreds of billboards without placing one business card, real estate flyer or anything else on it. My stomach still knots up when I think of all the money those wasted opportunities cost me.

But like I said, I'm a lot smarter now (okay, so maybe I'm just older) and can pass on some pearls of wisdom to you so that you can avoid some of the mistakes I made. For example, some other real estate generating ideas include:

Real Estate Leads from Contractor and Home Builder Shows.

Real Estate Contractor and Home Building shows are becoming extremely popular among folks who are looking to build their home or are considering having one custom-built themselves. Getting Real Estate Leads from them is a great a strategy that's easy to implement.

Real Estate Closing Gifts; Small Gifts That Lead To More Referrals and Sales.

Many Real Estate Agents think of real estate closing gifts as something that should be given to the home buyer by his or her close family and friends. The gift serves as an accolade for the person's accomplishment. You can design them yourself if you're the creative type, or simply go out and buy one from your local shopping mall.

Free Website Content; Using Free Content To Generate Leads.

Everything you need to know to build a realtor web site and generate leads is available on the Internet, much of it free to little cost-including website content! In fact, some of the best real estate information I've read has been free, and although locating quality free content for publication and turning them into HTML to publish on your web site each week involves a great deal of time and effort it can be worth the effort.

I could go on and on, but it all comes back to the notion that real estate lead generating ideas are around us all day, everyday. If you pay attention to them you can work them to your advantage, but if you impose your will with them you can dominate your market like no other agent in your community.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Guide to Investments in Indian Real Estate

Real estate has traditionally been an avenue for considerable investment per se and investment opportunity for High Net-worth Individuals, Financial institutions as well as individuals looking at viable alternatives for investing money among stocks, bullion, property and other avenues.

Money invested in property for its income and capital growth provides stable and predictable income returns, similar to that of bonds offering both a regular return on investment, if property is rented as well as possibility of capital appreciation. Like all other investment options, real estate investment also has certain risks attached to it, which is quite different from other investments. The available investment opportunities can broadly be categorized into residential, commercial office space and retail sectors.

Investment scenario in real estate

Any investor before considering real estate investments should consider the risk involved in it. This investment option demands a high entry price, suffers from lack of liquidity and an uncertain gestation period. To being illiquid, one cannot sell some units of his property (as one could have done by selling some units of equities, debts or even mutual funds) in case of urgent need of funds.

The maturity period of property investment is uncertain. Investor also has to check the clear property title, especially for the investments in India. The industry experts in this regard claim that property investment should be done by persons who have deeper pockets and longer-term view of their investments. From a long-term financial returns perspective, it is advisable to invest in higher-grade commercial properties.

The returns from property market are comparable to that of certain equities and index funds in longer term. Any investor looking for balancing his portfolio can now look at the real estate sector as a secure means of investment with a certain degree of volatility and risk. A right tenant, location, segmental categories of the Indian property market and individual risk preferences will hence forth prove to be key indicators in achieving the target yields from investments.

The proposed introduction of REMF (Real Estate Mutual Funds) and REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) will boost these real estate investments from the small investors' point of view. This will also allow small investors to enter the real estate market with contribution as less as INR 10,000.

There is also a demand and need from different market players of the property segment to gradually relax certain norms for FDI in this sector. These foreign investments would then mean higher standards of quality infrastructure and hence would change the entire market scenario in terms of competition and professionalism of market players.

Overall, real estate is expected to offer a good investment alternative to stocks and bonds over the coming years. This attractiveness of real estate investment would be further enhanced on account of favourable inflation and low interest rate regime.

Looking forward, it is possible that with the progress towards the possible opening up of the real estate mutual funds industry and the participation of financial institutions into property investment business, it will pave the way for more organized investment real estate in India, which would be an apt way for investors to get an alternative to invest in property portfolios at marginal level.

Investor's Profile

The two most active investor segments are High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs) and Financial Institutions. While the institutions traditionally show a preference to commercial investment, the high net worth individuals show interest in investing in residential as well as commercial properties.

Apart from these, is the third category of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). There is a clear bias towards investing in residential properties than commercial properties by the NRIs, the fact could be reasoned as emotional attachment and future security sought by the NRIs. As the necessary formalities and documentation for purchasing immovable properties other than agricultural and plantation properties are quite simple and the rental income is freely repatriable outside India, NRIs have increased their role as investors in real estate

Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in real estate form a small portion of the total investments as there are restrictions such as a minimum lock in period of three years, a minimum size of property to be developed and conditional exit. Besides the conditions, the foreign investor will have to deal with a number of government departments and interpret many complex laws/bylaws.

The concept of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is on the verge of introduction in India. But like most other novel financial instruments, there are going to be problems for this new concept to be accepted.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) would be structured as a company dedicated to owning and, in most cases, operating income-producing real estate, such as apartments, shopping centres, offices and warehouses. A REIT is a company that buys, develops, manages and sells real estate assets and allows participants to invest in a professionally managed portfolio of properties.

Some REITs also are engaged in financing real estate. REITs are pass-through entities or companies that are able to distribute the majority of income cash flows to investors, without taxation, at the corporate level. The main purpose of REITs is to pass the profits to the investors in as intact manner as possible. Hence initially, the REIT's business activities would generally be restricted to generation of property rental income.

The role of the investor is instrumental in scenarios where the interest of the seller and the buyer do not match. For example, if the seller is keen to sell the property and the identified occupier intends to lease the property, between them, the deal will never be fructified; however, an investor can have competitive yields by buying the property and leasing it out to the occupier.

Rationale for real estate investment schemes

The activity of real estate includes a wide range of activities such as development and construction of townships, housing and commercial properties, maintenance of existing properties etc.

The construction sector is one the highest employment sector of the economy and directly or indirectly affects the fortunes of many other sectors. It provides employment to a large work force including a substantial proportion of unskilled labor. However for many reasons this sector does not have smooth access to institutional finance. This is perceived as one of the reasons for the sector not performing to its potential.

By channeling small savings into property, investments would greatly increase access to organized institutional finance. Improved activity in the property sector also improves the revenue flows to the State exchequer through-increased sales-tax, octroi and other collections.

Real estate is an important asset class, which is under conventional circumstances not a viable route for investors in India at present, except by means of direct ownership of properties. For many investors the time is ripe for introducing product to enable diversification by allocating some part of their investment portfolio to real estate investment products. This can be effectively achieved through real estate funds.

Property investment products provide opportunity for capital gains as well as regular periodic incomes. The capital gains may arise from properties developed for sale to actual users or direct investors and the income stream arises out of rentals, income from deposits and service charges for property maintenance.

Advantages of investment in real estate

The following are the advantages for investing in Real Estate Investment Schemes

• As an asset class, property is distinct from the other investment avenues available to a small as well as large investor. Investment in property has its own methodology, advantages, and risk factors that are unlike those for conventional investments. A completely different set of factors, including capital formation, economic performance and supply considerations, influence the realty market, leading to a low correlation in price behaviour vis-à-vis other asset classes.

• Historically, over a longer term, real estate provides returns that are comparable with returns on equities. However, the volatility in prices of realty is lower than equities leading to a better risk management to return trade-off for the investment.

• Real estate returns also show a high correlation with inflation. Therefore, real estate investments made over long periods of time provide an inflation hedge and yield real returns

Risks of investment in real estate

The risks involved in investing in real estate are primarily to do with future rental depreciation or general property market risk, liquidity, tenancy risk and property depreciation. The fundamental factors affecting the value of a specific property are:

Location - The location of a building is crucially important and a significant factor in determining its market value. A property investment is likely to be held for several years and the attractiveness of a given location may change over the holding period, for the better or worse. For example, part of a city may be undergoing regeneration, in which case the perception of the location is likely to improve. In contrast, a major new shopping center development may reduce the appeal of existing peaceful, residential properties.

Physical Characteristics - The type and utility of the building will affect its value, i.e. an office or a shop. By utility is meant the benefits an occupier gets from utilizing space within the building. The risk factor is depreciation. All buildings suffer wear and tear but advances in building technology or the requirements of tenants may also render buildings less attractive over time. For example, the need for large magnitude of under-floor cabling in modern city offices has changed the specifications of the required buildings' space. Also, a building which is designed as an office block may not be usable as a Cineplex, though Cineplex may serve better returns than office space.

Tenant Credit Risk - The value of a building is a function of the rental income that you can expect to receive from owning it. If the tenant defaults then the owner loses the rental income. However, it is not just the risk of outright default that matters. If the credit quality of the tenant were to deteriorate materially during the period of ownership then the sale value will likely be worse than it otherwise would have been.

Lease Length - The length of the leases is also an important consideration. If a building is let to a good quality tenant for a long period then the rental income is assured even if market conditions for property are volatile. This is one of the attractive features of property investment. Because the length of lease is a significant feature, it is important at the time of purchase to consider the length of lease at the point in time when the property is likely to be re-occupied. Many leases incorporate break options, and it is a standard market practice to assume that the lease will terminate at the break point.

Liquidity - All property investment is relatively illiquid to most bonds and equities. Property is slow to transact in normal market conditions and hence illiquid. In poor market conditions it will take even longer to find a buyer. There is a high cost of error in property investments. Thus, while a wrong stock investment can be sold immediately, undoing a wrong real estate investment may be tedious and distress process.

Tax Implications - Apart from income tax which is to be paid on rental income and capital gains, there are two more levies which have to be paid by the investor i.e. property tax and stamp duty. The stamp duty and property tax differ from state to state and can impact the investment returns ones expected from a property.

High Cost Of Investment - Real Estate values are high compared to other forms of investment. This nature of real estate investment puts it out of reach of the common masses. On the other hand, stocks and bonds can now be bought in quantities as small as-one share, thus enabling diversification of the portfolio despite lower outlays. Borrowing for investment in real estate increases the risks further.

Risk Of Single Property - Purchasing a single - property exposes the investor to specific risks associated with the property and does not provide any benefits of diversification. Thus, if the property prices fall, the investor is exposed to a high degree of risk.

Distress Sales - Illiquidity of the real estate market also brings in the risk of lower returns or losses in the event of an urgent need to divest. Distress sales are common in the real estate market and lead to returns that are much lower than the fair value of the property.

Legal Issues - While stock exchanges guarantee, to a certain extent, the legitimacy of a trade in equities or bonds and thus protect against bad delivery or fake and forged shares, no similar safety net is available in the property market. It is also difficult to check the title of a property and requires time, money and expertise.

Overall keeping an eye on market trends can reduce most of these risks. For instance, investing in properties where the rentals are at market rates, also, investing in assets that come with high-credit tenants and looking for lease lock-ins to reuse tenancy risk are simple guidelines to follow.

Future Outlook

The real estate market is witnessing a heightened activity from year 2000 both in terms of magnitude of space being developed as well as rational increase in price. Easy availability of housing loans at much lesser rates has encouraged people who are small investors to buy their own house, which may well be their second home too.

High net worth individuals have also demonstrated greater zeal in investing in residential real estate with an intention of reaping capital appreciation and simultaneously securing regular returns.

In the wake of strong economic growth, real estate market should continue to gain momentum resulting in falling vacancies in CBD areas and more development in suburbs; it is unlikely that commercial property prices will rise or fall significantly, beyond rational reasoning.

As the stamp duty on leave and license agreements has been further reduced, it should further attract to deal in this manner encouraging the investors and the occupiers.

With current budget focusing on infrastructure, it will attract quality tenants and add to market growth. Heighten retail activity will give upward push for space requirement.

Further, the proposed introduction of REMF (Real Estate Mutual Funds) and REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) will boost these real estate investments from the small investors' point of view. These foreign investments would then mean higher standards of quality infrastructure and hence would change the entire market scenario in terms of competition and professionalism of market players.

Looking forward, it is possible that with evident steps of the possible opening up of the REMF industry and the participation of financial institutions into property investment business, it will pave the way for more organized investment in real estate in India, which would be an apt way for retail investors to get an alternative to invest in property portfolios at all levels. Overall, real estate is expected to offer a good investment alternative to stocks and bonds over the coming years.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Florida Real Estate Agents

Access to easy mortgages has encouraged a large number of people to buy their own property rather than live in a rented house. People who earn well and are able to pool in their own finances also prefer to purchase property as an investment venture. This aggressive consumer behavior has been a boon for the real estate trade.

It is sensible to hire a Florida real estate agent when considering the purchase, sale, lease, of a property. Most real estate agents are trained professionals who understand the intricacies of the trade and have mastered the art of real estate trading. They possess first hand knowledge regarding most properties they deal with. They are also aware of several legalities involved with Florida real estate deals. Florida real estate agents can clarify doubts related to property costs, evaluation, and reason of sale. They are knowledgeable about size of property, maintenance charges, and limitations regarding specific deals.

Prospective clients may contact a Florida real estate company and set up an appointment. It is important that agents and customers meet and talk about property facts wherein customers may be able to put forth their requests. It also helps agents to short list properties suitable to their client's requirements.

Florida real estate agents provide details about mortgage types in case of outright purchases. They may also propose names of neighborhood financial institutions that could provide ready loans upon presentation of documents. Florida real estate agents work through an extensive network and are competent of taking clients in all areas of Florida. They function as a contact between buyers, sellers, and rental agencies. Real estate agents are empowered to complete the deal in case one of the clients lives outside Florida.

Real estate trade follows a pattern in which only authorized agents can deal with property issues. Most real estate firms hire agents as salaried employees. Apart from this, they receive commissions for completed deals. Commissions are realized through service charges paid by clients. This sum is fixed and made known to clients in advance. Payments made to agents are proportionate to the volume of business.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Real Estate Agent Salaries

The real estate business can be a lucrative job option. However, the job of a real estate agent may not be a full-time career option for a large number of people. Real estate agents earn a cut whenever they successfully close a deal. They do not necessarily have to follow regular office hours, as business opportunities arise when clients approach them. Real estate agents may work as individual entities or collaborate with brokers or real estate firms. In some instances they are hired as salaried employees who receive a pre-determined pay irrespective of targets.

Freelance estate agents are not likely to earn regular paychecks. Most of them may be already earning a fixed salary elsewhere and earnings from real estate deals could be a source of additional income. Such dealers earn in proportion of the amount of income generated through their service when working with a broker or firm. Most single agents are free to decide their service charges based on the type of services provided when they are working independently.

Real estate agents earn commissions based on their business volume. Their commission amount is a set percentage of the money that transfers hands when a deal is made. Such deals revolve around purchase, sale, and rentals of real estate. For this reason, it is easy to understand why agents who are involved in high volume transactions earn a proportionately high income too. Commissions earned from certain exclusive and highly valuable property could equal the sum of several regular deals. It is difficult to put a figure on the amount of money agents earn, as it is dependent on their skill, luck, and commitment to the trade.

It is possible to earn more in bigger cities in comparison to smaller townships and cities. However, gradually real estate in small townships is also boasting of an increase in business volume. Real estate jobs continue to grow at par with other job opportunities since it is an established profit-making venture that brings in profits comparable to salaried jobs.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Real Estate Internet Marketing Is The Future, And The Future Is Now

Have trouble sending and opening email? How about downloading zipped documents? Okay, here's something a little more challenging. Do you know what html is, or how to write it?

Now that I have your attention let me say this! If you're computer/Internet challenged, but are serious about your real estate career you should hot foot it to the nearest computer class and get some skills!

Why? Because the Internet has changed the way real estate is being transacted, and you're either onboard as an active participant, or a passive observer as it flashes by you at warp speed.

Here are some things to consider about real estate internet marketing.

Real Estate Marketing Reports

One of the most effective ways to market real estate on the Internet is by offering real estate and mortgage related marketing reports in exchange for the recipients' email addresses. Informational reports can make lasting impressions.

You can offer the reports via Ecourse lessons, web site pages, special reports, flyers, letters, etc. The manner in which you deliver the reports is only limited by your imagination.

In exchange for providing this information you gather the email addresses from the people requesting information from you. And once you have them you can continue plying them with your marketing messages until you convert them to paying customers.

You'll learn, if you don't already know, that it takes 4-7 communications to convert a prospect into a paying customer. Having their email addresses enables you to do this by providing information that they have requested. Your messages will be welcomed, appreciated and in many instances actually anticipated.

Finally, as noted below, there are effective ways to do this automatically! Meaning, it's easy and cost effective to market to them until you get the desired response, which is often times a sale, or listing!

Web Sites

A real estate agent without a website is like a bird without wings. Unless the bird is a penguin it is seriously handicapped, as are agents without web sites!

Agents without sites are out of the loop, and are mostly unknown to many real estate customers. Therefore, they are not even a consideration for their business. If you're not online you are not accessible by the millions of online real estate prospects looking to buy, sell, rent, or exchange real estate. Arguably, your real estate license is near worthless if you don't have a web site.

Auto responders

An auto responder is an email system that enables you to provide real estate related information to prospects... automatically! It's the online version of the Ronco cooking machine; once you set it you can forget it.

Once you program it with the information you want it to deliver, and specify the frequency in which the information will be doled out you'll have a virtual secretary that works for you 24/7, 365 days a year! And it'll never ask for a day off!

Instant Gratification

Buyers and sellers want information when they want it, which is usually "now" and will gravitate towards agents who can respond quickly to their interests. If you can do this you can get a slice of this huge, lucrative niche market. However, if your computer and Internet skills are sub par, you will be at a serious disadvantage to your competitors.

Real Estate Internet Marketing Is the Future, and the future is now! Online real estate marketing is booming. Increasingly, buyers and sellers begin their real estate related interests searching for information on line before their first contact with agents.

So, if you want to be a serious contender in the online real estate marketing industry you must be proficient enough with a computer to navigate the Internet, send and receive email messages, attach, send and open email documents, download zipped files, send zipped files, etc. If you don't have the skills, get them. A class is often just a shopping center complex away!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Chicago Real Estate

The Chicago real estate market is one of the most dynamic and diverse real estate markets in US. Buying a piece of property in Chicago, residential or commercial, is not an easy task, as the market environment is quite challenging. There are many real estate firms and attorneys available here to help you in completing the transaction. There are specific real estate laws that govern these transactions. At times, these laws are amended. For a buyer or seller of real estate it may not be possible to keep track of all these developments, so it is better to seek professional help and advice in such matters.

Useful information about the Chicago real estate market is available online as well as offline. If you need a mortgage, there is a list of mortgage brokers you can chose from.

If one is planning to buy or sell real estate in Chicago, the transaction can be completed in five steps. The first step is to deal with preliminary matters. Then one hires a broker or real estate agent. The broker or agent negotiates the contract for the buyer or seller (whoever has hired him/her/it). Then, pre-closing matters such as mortgage issues are settled. The final step is to close the deal.

Some of the biggest real estate firms in Chicago were able to cross $700 million mark in revenues in 2005. There are many small real estate firms also. Dealing in real estate is a lucrative business in Chicago, as thousands of properties are always available for sale or purchase throughout the year. There are firms which specialize in residential or commercial real estate transactions. There are other firms which provide services for buyers or sellers of both kind of real estate. They could always make available a piece of property that suits your budget.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Biblical Wealth Strategies With Real Estate

I've heard the statement many times. "You know, I've been wanting to get into real estate, but..."

How do you finish that sentence?

"I don't know how or where to get the money."
"It's too risky."
"Is it biblical?"
"It would take too much time."
"What if it doesn't work?"
"It seems like real estate investors take advantage of people."
"What about a real estate bubble or a market downturn?"
"I'll start when I get in a better financial situation."
"I don't want to deal with clogged up toilets in the middle of the night."

These thoughts and many others can prevent us from achieving God's best for our lives and realizing our full potential.

Whether your desire is to quit your job and get into real estate full-time, or you just want to add some appreciating assets to help in your retirement, or restart in real estate because you did it the wrong way, I believe everyone should have some form of real estate in their portfolio!

We know that real estate investing is one of the best avenues to create wealth. God created real estate, and it's valuable because He is not making any more of it!

And it is interesting to note that if you study the lives of some of the wealthiest people in the country, past and present, you will find that even though there is a diversity of investments and businesses, one common thread in almost every one of them is real estate.

I mentioned in the first session, about how many of us have thought at one time or another, "Man, why didn't I buy that piece of real estate back when?" What makes us think that things will be different ten years from now if we don't act and start buying real estate now? I believe ten years from now, we'll be wishing we had bought more real estate when "prices were so cheap."

Most of the time, we don't take action because we don't know how or where to get the money. Maybe you believe that real estate investors take advantage of people. Maybe you're afraid of a real estate bubble or a market downturn. All of these reasons boil down to one thing: FEAR!

Perhaps you have heard the "horror" stories of people who tried real estate investing, and they had a bad experience with "problem tenants" or "maintenance headaches." They don't hesitate to tell you all the reasons why real estate doesn't work. These are the people who usually just dived headlong into the world of real estate investing without educating themselves. Some of these well-meaning people will consider themselves experts since they have bought a house or two, but chances are they did not buy it right, they did not finance it right, they did not market it right, they did not manage it right, and now they are blaming everything but their own lack of education. I've made some mistakes in my real estate businesses, but I've learned from them and I move on!

Most people simply buy real estate rather than first investing in learning about real estate. With the real estate materials provided to you through EPIC Wealth Strategies, you can be on your way to learning the correct way to invest in real estate - with excellence, honesty, and integrity.

The Scriptures are full of references to God's commands of possessing land. In Deuteronomy 1:8, God says, "See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land." Similar verses are Deuteronomy 3:18 and 4:22. Psalms 37:22 says, "Those the Lord blesses will inherit the land." Psalms 37:29 says, "The righteous shall inherit the land." Psalms 135:12 says, "And He gave their land for a heritage." I Chronicles 28:8 says, "Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendents forever."

In fact, "land" is mentioned in the Scriptures over 1,700 times, so apparently God places quite an importance on it. In today's terms, you can substitute the words "real estate" in the place of "land" (sorry, the word "real estate" wasn't translated from the original Greek and Hebrew). God created real estate, and He created it as a good investment. We've seen the world latch on to the idea of real estate investing, especially in recent years. But as Christians, we can't back down from something God said is good just because the world has latched onto it. As with the story of the talents in Luke 19, God expects us to make a good return on His investments, and you can do that in real estate.

This entire series is based on Multiple Streams of Income, with real estate being one of the three main asset classes you should invest in. But even within real estate itself, there are ways to diversify your property portfolio through various property types, locations, and buying/selling strategies. Later, we'll look at the many ways you can diversify your real estate, even through various commercial property types, but before we do, let's look at some of the reasons why real estate is one of the best investments you can make...

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Real Estate Leads 101 - Are You Copping Out of Following Up

Working with a lead generation company has given me interesting insight into both real estate leads and agents. I dealt with both ends: the consumer and the agents themselves, and my job was to make them both happy. Yeah right. Easier said than done.

The consumer side is easy - real estate leads want a home value, they want information on the market, they want a real estate agent and we get them that. The real estate agents? Well that's another story - they pretty much wanted everything under the sun when it comes to real estate leads. They wanted to be handed people ready to list their homes with them asap, with no work involved on the agent's part. They want listings, not real estate leads.

Well, if I could provide that consistently, all the time, I'd either have a multi-million dollar company, or I'd be doing real estate full time myself. Get this through your heads agents: there is no magic service out there that will hand you listings for a low fee. Instead, these services provide you with real estate leads and it is YOUR job to turn them into clients. Got that? Real estate leads + you = clients!

YOU went to the classes, YOU studied up on sales and marketing techniques and YOU printed up all kinds of trinkets with your name and logo on them for your real estate leads. Ergo, YOU must convince your real estate leads to work with you. And if you're not converting them, maybe you need to take a look at your own methods, rather than immediately blame the source of the real estate leads.

By now, I've probably heard every excuse under the sun as to why online real estate leads are bad or bogus. And that's all it is, an excuse, a cop out to make you feel better about not being able to turn your real estate leads into listings. That being said, here are the top 5 cop-outs I've heard over the years about following up with real estate leads and my responses to them.

1. I'm a new agent and no one wants to use a new agent.

Well, how do they know you're a new agent? Did you announce it the second you spoke with your real estate leads? You don't need to tell all your real estate leads that you're new. If they ask, tell them, and be honest, but don't just volunteer the information. And how to you know "no one" wants to use a new agent - sounds like a gross generalization to me. You won't know until you get out there and try - convince your real estate leads that to be new means you're cutting edge, the best thing out there right now, show them what an expert you've become, even if you're new to the business. Just TRY to convert them. Assuming from the start your real estate leads won't want to use you because you're new doesn't even give you a chance.

2. Some real estate leads are on the Do Not Call Registry.

So? There's no such thing as a Do Not Knock list. If your real estate leads are on the DNC Registry and you feel THAT uncomfortable risking a call, you should have your butt in the car, directions in your hand and preparing yourself mentally for your introduction once you knock at their door. And actually, as per the basic rules of the Do Not Call Registry, if a consumer on the lists makes an inquiry (which is what online real estate leads are!), you can contact them for up to 3 months after the inquiry. So you've got 3 months to get them on the phone, after that, there's still always that door! Don't use the DNC as a cop-out method with real estate leads. It's a flimsy excuse.

3. It's unprofessional to go knock on someone's door.

This is the line I usually got after suggesting stopping by the property. My thing is, who said so? Who told you it is unprofessional to go visit your real estate leads' homes and drop off the information they requested? That is a matter of opinion and as long as your real estate leads don't think it's unprofessional, you're good. And by showing initiative and going out of your way to meet your real estate leads, you may have just earned a client for life.

4. These real estate leads are too far from my area, or it's in a very bad part of town.

This is probably my favorite cop out, because it just sounds ridiculous to me. If your real estate leads are too far, why did you sign up for that area? Or, if you are getting some real estate leads out of your area, how far? Most of the time, agents complain about having to drive 30 minutes away. To me, 30 minutes of my time is DEFINITELY worth the fat commission check I could get. And if some real estate leads are too far, haven't you EVER heard of a REFERRAL COMMISSION? Find an great agent in the lead's area and send it on over. That way you'll still get a portion of the commission AND you've saved 30 precious minutes of your time.

When real estate leads are in a bad part of town, it usually means it's a very low-value home and is located in either a ghetto or backwater somewhere. It pisses me off when real estate agents say that the home isn't worth their time. Guess what buddy? When you got your license, you gained knowledge that others don't have, but will need at some point. You should be willing and open to share this with your real estate leads, no matter what the economic status of their home and income is. If you don't want to help them, no one can force you, but you are a BAD agent if you're not at least willing to find someone who will your real estate leads.

5. If they wanted to be contacted, they would have given all their correct contact information.

This is a tough one, because on one level I do agree with this SOMEWHAT. Real estate leads who give a good name, number, address and email seems to be more approachable than real estate leads that have fake names, or fake numbers, etc. But again, this statement is really a matter of opinion. You have NO idea what's going through the consumer's head when they filled out their information. Maybe they're not technologically savvy and thought if they put their phone number over the Web, everybody would get it. Maybe they mistyped something. Maybe they don't want to be hassled daily by telemarketer calls but DO still want the information. Until you actually touch base with your real estate leads, you have no idea where their head is at. What would hurt worse, getting a phone slammed in your ear, or missing out on a $15,000 commission because you THOUGHT they didn't need anything since they gave a wrong phone number?

These 5 objections are really just cop-outs and excuses in disguise for not following up with your real estate leads. And pretty flimsy ones at that. If these are your objections to your real estate leads, you need to stop sitting around thinking up objections and just get out there and GO. Start contacting those real estate leads, start making phone calls and sending postcards. You may not convert them all, but I guarantee if you put your all into following up with every single one of your real estate leads no matter what objections you may have, you will see a HUGE increase in your conversion rate. You just have to get in there and TRY.