Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tips for Real Estate Business

One of the booming sunrise sectors in the world is undoubtedly Real Estate. Today, it has been recognized as one of the most lucrative investment alternatives. A good number of individuals irrespective of the demographic facets are seen considering real estate as a serious investment mainly because this is one such sector the value of which is sure to shoot up in the long run.

Moreover, this sector has ended up creating a win win situation for all the stakeholders who happen to hold direct or indirect interest in the same. This is one of the vital reasons that has contributed to the growth of real estate business in general, which is exactly why we see a number of real estate companies and agencies laying base in every nook and corner of the street.

There may be plenty of people out there who are keenly looking forward to establish their very own successful real estate companies. However, they are often confused as to where they should start from. In order to bring an end to the dilemma faced by all such people out there, we will be helping you with a brief blueprint that we believe may end up playing a crucial role in your real estate journey.

The Starting Point - Raise Your Start Up Capital:

One primary requirement for kick-starting a business is to begin by raising the much needed start up capital, the core role of which is to meet the various fixed and variable costs. This concept holds equally true in case of a real estate business. In order to give birth to your dream, you need to begin by locating and eventually investing in the office space, buying the necessary office equipment, designing logos and preparing other marketing material and of-course diverting funds towards insurance. Similarly, you will also require funds to meet the routine operating expenses in the days to come. Once the funds are in place, the first step can be easily met.

Meet Regulatory Requirements:

It is essential for you to note that you cannot really begin transacting in the real estate arena on any day at random. In most of the countries, you need to hold a valid license in order to be able to operate as a consultant. It is advisable for you to get on board a reliable legal counsel in order to better acquaint yourself with the rules and regulations that are prevalent in the real estate platform of your country. Once you have the necessary license in hand, you can begin your operations as a real estate consultant.

Get into Your Hiring Boots:

Next up you will be required to initiate the recruitment and selection processes in order to hire agents to your team. At this point, it is essential for you to draft an independent contractor agreement so as to maintain clarity and transparent communication between you as the employer and your individual agents. The agreement should necessarily house details regarding the ratio in which the commission would be distributed, code of ethics that need to be imbibed by the agents and of-course the general office related policies and procedures.

Fix in Your Mind - Customer is the Whole & Sole:

Once you are through with the above three steps, you need to proceed further in order to build a loyal customer base. In order to survive and succeed as a real estate entrepreneur, a stable clientele becomes a must. You can reap results in this area by investing towards direct and indirect advertising, integrated marketing communication models and of-course a tad bit of public relations. Similarly, you can also lay weightage on joining hands with a Search Engine Optimization company, which is believed to play a critical role in improving your visibility and presence in the market.

The Ultimate Add-on - A professional looking website:

The above elements are basically the preliminary droplets that would end up contributing to your wide ocean of real estate business. Apart from the above aspects, there is yet another component, which if added to your business initiation program is sure to benefit you in a massive way. The building block about which we are talking here is the need to develop and introduce a relevant, innovative and of-course distinct looking professional website for your business unit.

If we were to rely on the statistics, then we can easily come to the conclusion that in the recent times it has been found that over eighty percent of the individuals begin their home search online. This is exactly why a professional website is likely to come handy to your real estate unit. Similarly, a website can also help you survive the cut-throat competition by making your details available to the prospective clients at large.

However, one area that most of the companies end up giving a miss is with regards to the listings. Most of the real estate agents rely heavily on the Multiple Listing Service and fail to recognize the importance of listing out all the properties that come under their basket, on their respective websites. It is quite obvious that only when you offer a holistic listing on your website will you be able to hear your cash registers ringing, which is actually the end result of a wide number of sales.

If you just started your career as a real estate consultant and is looking for a good website, then choosing a WordPress real estate theme is a good idea to look more professional and at the same time to lower your costs.

Tips For Working As A Real Estate Agent

Sometimes a real estate agent can just stumble into success for a short time, but doing this all the time is unrealistic. What agents have to understand is that being successful, it takes strategy and planning.

Real estate is not a job, it's a business. When you have a job you receive your instructions and duties from your manager or business owner, but in real estate you are the boss, so it's your responsibility to come up with all the planning.

When agents are new in the business they are like sponges soaking up as much knowledge as they can get. The only problem for them is to do what they have learned. It's not that they don't want to; they just don't, for a number of reasons. No self-motivation, unable to follow a plan, time management, listening to negative people, not showing up and thinking they have a better way, are some of the top offenses. Believe it or not this applies to new and old agents alike.

So what does one do to avoid failure? Going over the basics, whether you are new or old to the business would be a good start. It is also extremely important to use a business plan to keep yourself on track.

One of the best ways to get going is to do open houses. If you don't have any of your own listings ask one of your associates if you can do an open house on one of their listings. If you don't get a buyer for that house, try to get a buyer that is willing to work with you to see others. You can do this by working on scripts to turn a looker into a buyer. It's up to you to make your open house as productive as possible.

Go to as many training seminars as you can. Even if you've been in the business a while there is always a tip you can pick up from the seminars. Take as many notes as you can, and write clearly so you'll be able to understand what you wrote in haste. If your broker offers training take full advantage of it.

Stay away from negative people. Their influence on you will have a bad effect on your production, and you will definitely not do as well. Only take advice from positive people who are doing well. It is what they are doing that you should emulate.

Set a time schedule for your working hours just as though you had a job. It's very easy to fall into the trap of not "showing up" because "you don't have to".

A good business plan can help you with that.

When looking for a business plan and other realtor tools you should consider the one offered by

Real Estate Market in 2014

Everyone is always looking to have a home to purchase, or sell, or are currently paying off mortgages from their previous home purchase.

The year 2013 saw a quick surge in home prices. In 2014, you can expect to experience an increase in prices, but not as big a rate as in 2013. The rate of increase in prices in 2014 will be slower, steadier, and not as volatile. This is still good news for those who have delayed in re-selling their purchased homes. There are those who have purchased homes in 2006, at the height of the real estate boom, and have waited to re-sell these purchased homes in hopes to get a higher profit out of their investment. That time has come. 2014 will be a seller's market in real estate.

As mentioned, the increase of prices in 2014 will still continue, though it won't be as notable. Prices will rise as much as 6%, which is almost half the price increase from 2013.

2014 is not such a good year for homebuyers. Mortgage rates will continue to increase, and buyers won't enjoy the low interest rates from 2013 anymore. It has been predicted that the interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage could rise to about 5.5% within 2014.

The advantage to rising mortgage rates is lower lending rates. Simply put, higher mortgage rates will discourage buyers and those who would apply for home loans. Due to this, financing companies will lower their standards on interest rates so as to entice more borrowers to apply for home loans. Real estate is a push and pull industry, and one part corresponds to another. Any change in behavior of one factor, affects the other factors in real estate. It is really up to you to swing along with the changes, so it won't affect your finances in the long run.

On the upside, there will be foreclosures in 2014. It seems that finally, the foreclosure crisis is tapering off and fewer homes will be foreclosed. However, the real estate industry won't get back on track until around 2015, wherein they predict that the foreclosure crisis will finally be settled. It should be noted that this catching up was brought on from as far back as prior to the foreclosure crisis, so there was a lot of work to be done.

Aside from buying and selling, real estate also has another strong market: the rental market. If home prices are increasing, less people might want to purchase homes. As a result, they will attempt to rent their homes while prices are still high. The rental market will definitely thrive this 2014.

How Can A Real Estate Investor Stop Foreclosure?

When you buy your home the idea of going into default probably doesn't even come across your mind. Sadly this can happen no matter what type of planning you prepare before you move into your home. If you have a sudden job loss, or some kind of large expense, it can make paying your mortgage next to impossible. When you first buy a foreclosure seems impossible but it can quickly turn into reality for some homeowners. Luckily there are a couple of different ways that a real estate investor can help you avoid foreclosure. Here are a few of the things that you can do to stop foreclosure.

Real Estate Investors

When time is of the essence, real estate investors are by far the fastest way to sell your home. Although you can sell your home at market value using a real estate agent or going through the process yourself doing the sale for sale by owner, the average time a house sits on the market is 3 months. Investors can inspect your home, provide a plan, and close the house within a matter of weeks, even days. Since for many seasoned investors, this is their profession, they have all their finances in order and know the home sale process very well. This is different than catering to more traditional buyers who may only go through the home sale transaction several times in their lives and sometimes weeks are tied up as they are securing a mortgage of their own.

Discount The Sale Price

If you are going through the foreclosure process one of the things that an investor will be willing to do is buy your home at a discount. Homes in foreclosure are usually going to be below market value so it will typically be a financial acquisition that is profitable for them but sometimes when you add up the cost of closing it does not work out that way. The good thing about this is that the investor will typically take care of all of the cost of selling a house which means that you don't have to. For a homeowner in a tough spot this can mean you walk away from the house without owning a large debt.

Take Over A Loan

In the real estate business, taking over the loan and making up the back payments is called purchasing a home "subject to." This means that the investor pays off the missed payments to bring the loan current and then starts paying the loan himself. However, the loan is still listed and signed under the homeowner's name, so the homeowner is still held responsible if the loan starts to fall behind again. The benefit to the homeowner is that foreclosure is avoided and the loan becomes current. The benefit to the investor is that the home can be acquired without many of the costs of a standard sale such as the loan and appraisal fees. However, most lending firms create contracts in which "subject to" cannot be done since the full amount of the loan is due when title of the home is transferred upon sale. In practice, however, lending institutions would much rather have the loan become current and it matters little as to who the authority is so long as the payments are timely. This strategy can be a very important tool, but as you can see, it is not without its risks. All parties must have full understanding of the documents and how they are prepared.

Discount Loan From Lender

When selling your home, this is more commonly referred to as a short sale. The investor negotiates with the lending institution to strike a deal in which the lender will transfer the property at a discount. Why would the lender do that? For one, financial institutions are in the business of making a profit through loans, not in selling homes. Second, it is much better for the bank to receive less cash now, than waiting for more cash later during which the bank must own and maintain the home and try to sell it at market price.

Simple Home Interiors Design

Do you feel cramped in your home? Well, many people do but then again many people do not know much about home interiors and gardens. There are many home interiors design tips that can remarkably alter the look and feel of a home through some cosmetic changes and leave the same dwelling place unrecognizable to the dwellers.

There are several factors like light, furniture style, arrangement, paint, and minor accessories that affect the appearance of home interiors and gardens in a far more serious way than more people ever think about. That is what keeps home interior design professionals in business.

The most basic thing that you can learn from them when it comes to home interiors and gardens is that beneficial changes do not have to be expensive or difficult. Surprisingly, the first bit of advice for home interiors design is not related to design. Just keep the place neat and tidy. Clutter takes up space and if you are feeling cramped then just close your eyes and think how appealing a bed looks when it is made and how you wish someone would make the bed when it is not.

Well, tidiness is nothing revolutionary or radical, we need order around us and a lack of order is not going to feel comfortable no matter how much it appeals to the laziness hidden within each of us. So get a drawer instead of a counter-top and start storing unwanted items instead of putting them up where they are always imprinting on your retina.

Besides ordinary clutter a big culprit are books that tend to scatter themselves as bread crumbs if you are not careful. Good home interiors design for people who like books is never complete without a bookshelf and use it once you do get it. It is not usual to find home interiors loaded with storage spaces or other accessories that are left unused. This tendency is especially found in people who are hoarders by nature and end up feeling confused to the point of inaction when they must decide what to keep and what to discard. Just close you eyes and follow the one-year-mantra. If you have not used it, worn it, read it, or needed it in the past year then you might as lose it. Despite the fact that Murphy's Laws still hold and that if something can go wrong it will, this is a bit of sound home interiors design advice that you can make use of.

Light is a very important factor in home interiors design. While the plant life in the garden needs life, the room interiors feel more breathable when they are well lit. Darkness is closely associated with claustrophobia so stay away from dark shades and low wattage lighting fixtures.
Finally, furniture placement is not something that involves throwing a chair by the window and the bed against the wall (or the other way around if you prefer). When purchasing furniture for a small square footage always go for height rather than width and always arrange the furniture in a "facing" or conversation placement.

How to Buy a House

You feel the time has come for you to buy a house.

Before you start looking around for a suitable house to buy, you will have decided on your exact needs in terms of space and amenities, will have worked out your budget and at least tentatively tied up loans/mortgages, etc. All these are issues of hard facts and can be tackled in a pretty straight forward manner.

But there is one question which is emotional and needs a little soul searching. Do you want to buy - an old house or a new house?

Let us draw a balance sheet of the pros and the cons of the old house and the new houses.

Modern new houses are generally designed to use space more efficiently and provide more amenities such as bathrooms, kitchen space, etc. as compared to the old houses. They are designed for technology-rich modern life and have adequate provision for modern gadgets like telephones, computers, etc throughout the house. Modern architecture and equipments such as heating/ventilation, etc are more energy efficient, resulting in lower energy bills. Since they are generally a part of a large housing complex, they will have provision of swimming pools, golf course, clubs, etc. Being new, it is obvious that they will require very little repair and maintenance expenditure for a few years. In any event, new houses are generally covered by a one year warranty.

New houses are built in less developed areas and being a part of a housing complex will not have any "character"; all houses will be practically identical. In such a housing complex you cannot be very certain of the type of neighborhood you will have. There will be restrictions on renovations and modifications you may wish to make. New houses are generally costlier due to escalating land costs and labor costs. Even though the repair and maintenance expenses will be less, you may have to pay common house owners association charges.

Old houses (we are not talking of "ancient" houses) are generally situated in well developed neighborhoods with schools, banks, marketplaces, entertainment centers in the vicinity. The neighborhood is already being lived in. Old houses, about 15 year old, were generally what we can term as "single family houses", they were not a part of large group housing or housing complex and so had a certain character of their own. Being old, lived-in houses, they come with developed landscaping. Use of a large amount of woodwork and high ceilings, etc lent a certain ambience of leisure and luxury to the old houses. Old houses are generally situated on prime property and may have good resale value. Old houses are comparatively less costly; also their prices are generally negotiable.

But after all old houses are, well, old! Old houses were not designed for the modern life and may not have the provision for telephones, computers, etc. that modern homes use. The buildings as well as the equipment such as heating/ventilating equipment, etc. may not be as energy efficient as in a modern house. The regular repair and renovation of an old house can be a burden unless attended to before purchase. Some people may feel comfortable with the lived-in character of an old house; others may shun away from the personality of the old owner that the old house may show.

There are non-tangible factors such as character, modernity, etc involved in this comparison and ultimately it is your personal preferences that will decide whether you opt for an old house or a brand new house.

How to Sell Your House Fast

How to sell your house for the maximum price:
To sell your house for the maximum price is probably the most important outcome that yourself and every other homeowners wishes for. There are several areas of the house selling process that you can control to help sell your house quicker while achieving the maximum sales price possible. In this article you'll discover what improvements you can make that will increase the saleability of your house to help you not only sell your house faster but they will also assist you to sell your house for the maximum price.

Sell Your House Tip # 1: Make small improvements to your house
Making small, inexpensive improvements to your house will create a massive difference in the appeal of your house to potential buyers. And in most cases you can complete the improvements yourself thereby saving you more money, providing you have the time to do the work. Here are some ideas for minor house improvements within several budget ranges. Under $1000 (DIY) - Re-paint the house inside and out, mow lawns and cut back trees and plants, tidy up gardens, place fresh flowers throughout the house $1000 - $3000 - All of the above plus re-carpet/polish floors/re-tile, pressure clean paths, driveways and roof, plant new plants and shrubs, new prints on walls, small furniture items.

Sell Your House Tip # 2: Have an interior decorator decorate your house
If you're not sure what needs to be done to 'freshen up' your house or how to go about it, hiring an interior decorator is a great way to ensure your house presents well at sale time. For a couple of hundred dollars you can have an interior decorator come into your house and provide an assessment of what can be done to improve the cosmetic appeal of your house.

Sell Your House Tip # 3: Rent or buy display furniture while your house is on the market
To sell your house for the best price it's essential to either rent or buy new furniture for your house while it's on the market for sale. It is an excellent way to liven up your house and present it in the best possible light. Regardless of the style of your house, you could hire or buy modern, country or classic furniture to match the existing theme of your house. You'll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Renting furniture for an extended period of time can get expensive so depending on your budget you could choose to rent, buy expensive furniture (if you're selling an expensive house) or buy budget furniture from places like Ikea. Coupled with other cosmetic improvements to your house, new furniture can make an amazing difference to the appeal of your house.

Sell Your House Tip # 4: Improve the 'smell' of your house
Have you ever walked into a house where there is a smell, odour, stench that hits you as soon as you walk in the door? This doesn't just happen on older houses either; it could be an odour from a pet, cigarettes or even dirty laundry in new houses too. This can turn off buyers as soon as they walk in the door. Ways to overcome this type of situation is to have the house professionally cleaned, freshly paint walls and ceilings, air out the house, replace carpet or simply place pot puree around the house. Often, if you're living there you don't notice any odour because you're amongst it all the time. Remember, to sell your house for the maximum price you have to approach everything from the perspective of the buyer. They are your main priority when you're trying to sell your house, so make sure you go the extra mile and have it cleaned to avoid this type of situation.

Sell Your House Tip # 5: Add color to your house
By adding some simple color to your house you can create a completely different look and feel to your house. You can display fresh flowers around your house, paint feature walls, add new pot plants around the house and add color wall prints. On the outside of the house, you could paint the guttering to a livelier color or simply repaint the outside of the house for a huge impact.

Sell Your House Tip # 6: Get the best agent
Having the best real estate agent representing the sale of your house can literally be the difference between a quick, easy sale or a drawn out, frustrating situation. In order to have the best agent you'll need to interview several agents that you've sought out yourself. Before you begin to sell your house, in the weeks leading up to putting your house on the market take notice of which agents are selling houses in your area and who seems to have the lions share of listings and sold signs on their listed houses. Approach existing homeowners that have just sold their house and ask them about their experiences with their agent, they'll be more than happy to tell you. I can't empasize how important this one step is to sell your house for the maximum price.

Sell Your House Tip # 7: Market the house better
Generally it is the real estate agent that will provide direction in terms of marketing but one of the questions that you should ask prospective agents is what is his/her specific marketing plan to sell your house. Will they be doing open houses, print advertising, database marketing, flyers, the Internet or a combination of some or all of these methods? Ask them what type of results they've experienced using the various marketing methods for houses similar to your's that are located in the same area as yours.

Matt Adams is Author of the book: 9 Secrets to Sell Your House For More in Any Market. In his book Matt shows homeowners how to quickly and easily sell their house for the highest price in the shortest possible timeframe, it's so simple, anyone can do it.

If you'd like to:

- Sell your house for more money (regardless of market conditions)

- Sell your house fast (even when the media says houses aren't selling)

- Save thousands of dollars on advertising (how about free?)

- Discover the most effective house selling methods (my little-known secrets)