Real Estate Games Can Be More Than Just Pastime

Recreation is a vital part of everyone’s life. Gaming is one form in which children and adult alike can become hooked. But more than just past times, they can be used to educate.

Strategy games with some touch of real estate can be used early to teach children important aspects of the industry. There are real estate games which starts with the player owning a land. In order to prosper, the land needs to be developed. Problems soon arise with cash flowing in to the player’s side giving more opportunities to buy more properties but giving more difficulties for maintaining them.

There are also games which allows you to be a property manager, a house flipper, an interior designer, a real estate tycoon, and so much more. Almost any title or job relevant to the real estate industry has a game you can engage in.

Classic Games

Do you know that there is a very classic game which can be used to train kids to develop basic grasp of real estate? That game is called Monopoly.

In this game, the players battle for property ownership. By landing on specific properties, players buy them at the game’s bank and the title cards are awarded to them. As the game progresses, they can develop the properties to establish houses and hotels.

Other players who land on other player’s properties need to pay rents equivalent to how many houses or hotels are established on them.

The game has other kinds of properties like railroads and utility companies. The players can also own them and collect rent to other players.

This board game is actually a strategy game too. It makes the players think carefully on whether to buy a certain property or not. There are also financial constraints like taxes, maintenance repairs, and other expenses which can affect the players’ earnings.

Modern versions

This classic board game has now evolved. It can now be played on computers and gadgets. There are several versions which have slight variations on rules. Some are even made to be adaptive to certain areas like changing names of streets to those known to a certain country.

The real estate industry is a truly fascinating world. It captures not only the minds of adults but also the curiosity of children. Real estate games can be their first step towards understanding what the industry can do for them. Whether they just want to be plain homeowners or real estate tycoons, there are games to harness their skills.

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How Real Estate Agents Should SERVE Clients?

As a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, for well over a decade, I have often been asked, why a homeowner, is better served, by choosing, and using an agent, rather than trying to do it, himself! Choosing the right representation, for you, means, identifying, clearly, up – front, what you consider, your primary priority, and closely examining your reasoning, and rationale! While it’s simplistic, yet true, to state, the right agent should, and must, SERVE his clients, and place every client’s needs, etc, ahead of his own, self – interest, it might make sense, to examine, briefly what this means, and represents. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, how this must be, the highest priority and focus.

1. Service/ serves; strengths/ stronger; systems/ system; solutions/ solves; selling/ sales: When interviewing, for potential representation, a wise homeowner, carefully listens, and observes, which individuals, seem to emphasize, service, and indicates, ways, he serves his clients, best interests, and needs! This means, identifying, clearing, a specific property’s strengths, and weaknesses, and creates a strategy, to emphasize areas of strength, in order to make quality selling of the property, a stronger probability! He must know, which systems, to emphasize and stress, and share a marketing system, with his client, in order to work together, with teamwork, towards achieving the finest solutions, which seek to solve, the homeowner’s needs, and objectives!

2. Empathy; emphasis: When interviewing potential agents, it is wise, to consider, which ones, listen effectively, to you, and your needs, rather than trying to dominate the conversation. Selling houses, should be somewhat, customized, and not, a, one – size – fits – all, approach! When one proceeds with the utmost degree of genuine empathy, he becomes far more capable of placing his emphasis, where it might do, the most good!

3. Relevant; reliable; responsive/ responsible; realistic: What good is any agent, if he doesn’t provide, relevant professionalism? His clients must consider him to be reliable, and responsive to their needs, goals, and priorities! It’s not responsible, or beneficial, unless/ until, his recommendations are realistic!

4. Value; values; viable; views; vision: Great agents provide far more value to their clients, in order to demonstrate, why they should be chosen! Their values must be shared with their clients, and they must clearly explain their views, and rationale, for a specific approach. What good is any vision, unless/ until, it provides, the finest, most viable solutions, and actions?

5. Energize; excellence; endure; enrich: Since, for many, the process, is often, a stressful one, your agent should have the personal energy, and attitude, to energize you, in a positive way! His focus must be to provide genuine excellence, throughout this period, and he must have the endurance, to proceed forward, seamlessly, regardless of obstacles! Unless one enriches, those he represents, he isn’t serving his clients needs and objectives!

The best agents consistently, prioritize, the best way, to SERVE his clients! Since, for most people, their house, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t that make sense?

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Do You Need IDX for Your Real Estate Website?

You’ve probably come across many articles, bloggers, and some internet marketers saying you don’t need IDX on your real estate website. Their reason is that the top 10 real estate websites led by Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, account for about half of all website traffic, and therefore, it is “useless” and “a waste of money” to try to compete with them.

The term IDX gets thrown around a lot. When people hear IDX, they automatically think it’s just home search for your real estate website. While property search is the main component of IDX, many don’t realize how to utilize it to the fullest and the valuable lead-generating tools it provides.

Besides providing home search on your website, I’m going to explain some reasons why IDX is a must-have for any real estate website.

“Product” of Your Business

When speaking to real estate professionals, I always make this analogy. As a real estate professional, you are a business. You can think of your real estate website as your “store”. The MLS listings on your website are your “inventory”. The listings are all the products that exist in your “store” where visitors can browse around and purchase. What happens when you have somebody visit your “store” but you have no product to offer? That person would do exactly what you and I would do… leave and go somewhere else where there is a product to look at and possibly purchase.

These are valuable leads you will be losing if you don’t have IDX on your real estate website. Unless you are solely generating business on referrals, your website (store) must have IDX (product).

You Can Build Listing Pages

IDX gives you access to all the hundreds to thousands of listings in your MLS. Like I mentioned above, this is your inventory, and it’s like having thousands of products on your website.

Having access to all the listings, you can create listing pages that focus on specific search criteria. For example, you can create a listing page that shows all listings under a specific price. Or you can create a listing page that displays listings in a specific subdivision, area, community, or school district. These listing pages provide a better experience for users in that they help direct your real estate website visitors to listings they are looking for. Even more valuable is that these listing pages are search engine friendly which is what I will talk about next.

Generate Leads from Google Search

All of your IDX pages that a platform provides are SEO friendly and are indexed by Google, Bing, and all other major search engines. This means all the listing pages within the IDX system are indexed by Google and is an excellent source of organic leads. For example, for one of our clients, we created an IDX page that displays homes for sale in the school district of Squires Elementary.

Look at what happens when you Google

“Homes for Sale Squires Elementary School District”

Yes, our client using our website with IDX is ranked #1 out of 1,640,000 Google search results above Zillow and Realtor.com!

With IDX you can build hundreds of these real estate listings pages and all of them will appear in Google search results! Do you still think you can’t compete with Zillow?

Platform and Tools for Your Clients

IDX is much more that just property search for your real estate website. Many oversee or are unaware of the valuable tools that you will be providing to your clients. IDX takes your real estate website to the next level by providing a platform for your clients. Your website visitors can create an account right on your real estate website to utilize the IDX tools such as saving favorite listings and favorite searches. It’s an experience that your clients expect and will always come back to.

Automatically Email Latest Listings to Your Leads

An IDX system will be able to send your leads the latest listings automatically by email based on their search criteria. You can think of this as lead nurturing with listings. The user can define searches themselves right on your website in which they want to receive the latest listings for. This is a completely automated process that will stay in touch with all your leads. When they see a listing they are interested in, they just contact you.

A Place for Your Existing Clients to Come Back To

If you’ve built a relationship with your existing clients, they will use your real estate website when they are looking to purchase a home again. They already trust you and your website is familiar to them. They will already have an account within your IDX system where they can just log in to perform their searches and utilize the tools you provide. If you don’t provide home search on your real estate website where will all your clients go? Yes… somewhere else.

Landing Pages + IDX = Powerful Lead Generation

Utilizing landing pages is a very popular method of generating leads especially on Facebook. When you combine landing pages with IDX, you create a very effective and powerful lead generating system.

You can create listing pages within IDX and utilize those pages for your landing pages. For example, you can promote a landing page that gives users access to all homes under $600K in the city of Clairemont. When a lead completes the form of your landing page, you can direct them to a listing page in your IDX system that displays these listings. Without IDX on your real estate website, a system like this would not be possible.

Offering a Much More Personal Experience

Large real estate websites such as Zillow and realtor.com are very commercialized and can be intimidating to a user. Your website is much more personable and offers trust and a level of comfort. Since your website will be focused on an area, this will also be much more familiar to your website visitors as they will know you are a real estate expert in the area they are looking to purchase.

Do you need IDX on your real estate website? YES. IDX is a must-have for your website for all the reasons mentioned above. The cost of having IDX on your website is very minute compared to all the benefits you will get from it. Closing just one deal generated from your website with IDX can pay for your IDX and website service for 5-10 years!

All you have to do is look at the websites of the most successful real estate agents. Do they have IDX on their real estate website?

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How to Find the Right Real Estate Broker

Buying a property is a cumbersome process involving multiple steps. You need professional help to make it easy. In order to achieve success in this objective, you have to find a certified property agent who makes the entire process smooth, without any glitches or delays. As this profession has no screening method to allow entry to upright brokers only, any person can become a broker. Therefore, it is a challenge to get the right agent. Certain measures are important in this regard – to be safe rather than regret later.

What you can do is to select the area in which you plan to buy a property and then ask local contacts to recommend a broker without any sullied record. The initial filter works well as you are likely to get some recommendations. The next step involves seeking verified brokers. Some progressive states in different locations require property agents to register themselves with the government. Only those verified can operate legally. Now with strict regulations in the real estate sector coming into force, you can look for a property portal that allows only certified agents to operate. Sign up with a verified agent for your real estate needs and stay away from shady operators.

Services

Is the agent right if he just fixes the deal, takes his commission and goes his way? Absolutely not. You are not looking for an agent who is a professional only in money matters. Your search for the right agent is over when you find an agent who is willing to perform all his duties as a professional and give you complete peace of mind. The real estate agent must prepare a shortlist of suitable properties and show you the ones matching your specifications. Once you have chosen a property, the stage of price negotiation between the buyer and the seller should be handled carefully as many good deals fall apart because of lack of patience and extra effort which the agent is required to put in.

The agent should do homework about the property records. He should introduce you to a good lawyer who authenticates the documents. As you are busy with your work, you do not get time to visit the registrar offices for searching records, to establish whether the seller is the actual owner or there are other undisclosed co-owners. Preparing the schedule of payment and agreement papers is also the job of the agent. He should structure the deal in such a way that the client is not cheated. That is why it is said that finding the right agent is a tough task. But it is not impossible. You need to plan it carefully and conduct initial checks. If you do not remain wise in selecting the agent, you are likely to encounter serious problems later.

Unscrupulous Agents

As there are many shady dealers operating in the market, you run the risk of being cheated in several ways. He could make you buy a disputed property or a one enmeshed in litigation despite knowing the reality. Also, he could make you invest in a project likely to be delayed or buy from a developer who lacks the financial capacity to complete the project. An agent should not charge you more than the fixed commission.

A buyer should be aware of certain aspects of the property market and familiar with the tricks of agents. To get more relief, he should find out if there is an online portal where only certified agents are allowed to operate. Then, at least he knows right from the beginning that he is looking at the genuine players and he is going to select a top-rated agent with good reviews on the portal.

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Real Estate, Real Property and Leased Land; Definitions, Discussion and Explanations

Delaware, and the rest of the original British Colonies, has some land that is leased rather than owned by the residents of that land. Much of it is not evident to the casual observer.

The land on Lewes Beach is leased, not owned by the home owners. The land of Lewes Beach is owned by the Town of Lewes. The lands of Rehoboth by the Sea and Dewey Beach include leased land too. Most of the leases on that land will NOT be renewed but will return to the owners and the homes on top of that land will be removed by the home owners at their expense. Much of the land in Riverdale, on Indian River Bay, adjacent to Oak Orchard is leased as well. In Riverdale the leased land is owned by Chief Clark of the Nanticoke Indians.

We have about half the inhabitants of Sussex County living on leased land; most of that leased land is found in what people call mobile home parks or communities. However, in those communities there are seldom any homes that are truly mobile and there are even two story stick built homes on some of the leased lands in those communities. Condominiums and town houses are sometimes found on leased land as well. Some folks find all this rather difficult to understand.

We Realtors and Attorneys use the term fee simple to describe land that is being sold as real property; that is real estate. We used the term leased land or leasehold interest to describe land that is not transferring as real estate.

This rather lengthy text is regarding Leased Land, Real Estate, Private Property, Chattels, Mobile Homes, Homes on Leased Land and a legal dissertation to define, describe and determine the differences.

Terminology is important when discussing Real Estate, i.e. real property.

Black’s Law Dictionary is the recognized, definitive source for legal definitions under our American Law; which is derived from English Law

PROPERTY: In the strict legal sense, an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by government. BL6, p. 1216.

PERSONALTY: Personal property; movable property; chattels; property that is not attached to real estate. BL6, p. 1144

PROPERTY: (personal property) – In broad and general sense, everything that is the subject of ownership, not coming under the denomination of real estate. A right or interest less than a freehold in realty, or any right or interest which one has in things movable. BL6, p. 1217

Therefore personal property, is that which can be easily removed from the real estate, and is not real estate. Personal property includes crops, trees, shrubs, trailers, sheds, cars, mobile homes, manufactured homes that have a Department of Motor Vehicle title instead of a deed, and the contents of a home or building. In a home or business the personal property includes drapes, lighting fixtures, rugs (not installed carpeting) free-standing cabinets and cupboards, furniture, and all the contents of closets, drawers and buildings. Buildings without a foundation, that is sheds that are just supported by blocks are chattel property, that is personal property, and not part of the real estate. Such chattel includes dog houses and particularly the little storage buildings that are so common outside of homes today.

LANDS: In the most general sense, comprehends any ground, soil or earth whatsoever… Black’s Law dictionary 6th Ed. (BL6), p.877

PRIVATE PROPERTY: As protected from being taken for public uses, is such property as belongs absolutely to an individual, and of which he has the exclusive right of disposition. Property of a specific, fixed and tangible nature, capable of being in possession and transmitted to another, such as houses, lands, and chattels. BL6, p. 1217. Private property is land, houses, and chattels. Private property is protected from being taken for public uses. Private property is owned absolutely.

REAL ESTATE synonymous with real property” and p.1218 REAL PROPERTY … A general term for lands, tenements, hereditaments (those things which are hereditary); which on the death of the owner intestate, passes to his heir.” BL6, p1263

ESTATE: The degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest which a person has in REAL and PERSONAL property. An ESTATE in lands, tenements, and hereditaments signifies such interest as the tenant has therein. BL6, p.547 The definitions here all refer to: real estate = real property = estate = lands, tenements, and hereditaments. At first, one might think that ‘real property’ is the proper term for ‘all lands’. But it doesn’t state the manner of ownership as clearly as the definition of estate. We just had a huge instance of this when the thousands of leased land lots under the homes of several thousand people, in Angola, Pots Nets, and Long Neck areas owned by the Robert Tunnel family was inherited by the children.

IN OUR AREA THERE ARE NUMEROUS LEASED LAND PROPERTIES AND THOSE PROPERTIES ARE THE REAL ESTATE OF THE OWNER OF THE LAND – NOT THE OWNER OF THE HOME WHICH IS UPON THAT LAND. If you examine the definition for ESTATE it refers to an interest in the same articles defined in real property and real estate.

What is this LAND and WHO owns it and HOW is it owned? Land can be private property OR estate, i.e. real estate. Estate is an interest in “real property” by a person or a tenant. Private property is owned absolutely by an individual.

INTEREST: More particularly it means a right to have the advantage of accruing from anything; any right in the nature of property, but less than title. – BL6, p.812. By this definition it’s clear that INTEREST cannot be TITLE, since it is less than title. Interest may be a property right to land, but it’s not a right to absolute ownership of land. Those who live on leased land, thus, have only an interest in the land; and that interest is a lease-hold interest. Is there a definition of property that says it’s land held in absolute ownership, as does private property’s definition? We can delve into this more.

ABSOLUTE TITLE – As applied to title to land, an exclusive title, or at least a title which excludes all others not compatible with it. An absolute title to land cannot exist at the same time in different persons or in different governments. BL6, p.1485

PRIVATE PROPERTY – … is such property as belongs absolutely to an individual, and of which he has the exclusive right of disposition. BL6, p.1217

OWN – To have a good legal title; to hold as property; to have a legal or rightful title to; to have; to possess. BL6, p. 1105. To “own” is to have title. An interest is LESS THAN TITLE.

ESTATE: The degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest which a person has in real and personal property. An estate in lands, tenements, and hereditaments signifies such interest as the tenant has therein. – – BL6, p.547 From these definitions, it’s plain that we can’t absolutely “own” real estate. We can only have a qualified ownership of qualified and described ownership of Real Estate. Thus, we need that Deed Description to describe it and qualify it. That ownership is also qualified by various government rights, decrees and laws, from antiquity, such as rights against trespass. That ownership is qualified by taxation, zoning, rights of way, and a myriad of other entailments. We need, therefore, a title search to determine those entailments, some of which are invisible.

Therefore there is NOT as much difference in the rights and privileges of ownership and interest as one is led to believe. I have no problem with those who live on leased land instead of owning the land. Usually they are paying far less than it would cost them to own the same property. However, they don’t often get any appreciation of the land; the landlord gets the appreciation in real value, while the resident can appreciate the lifestyle for less cost per month or year.

However, since an interest in leased land is not automatically transferable and is NOT Real Estate and since the chattel property upon it, the mobile home is personal property, without a deed but instead has a title – Realtors are not by law supposed to be involved in the sale of such – but we are. We are supposed to only be selling real property. It gets all cloudy and foggy doesn’t it. That is why there are people and companies who sell mobile homes on leased land who are not realtors and don’t need to be. In fact, although no one will discuss it, Realtors are not supposed to sell mobile homes on leased land. We don’t need to engage in that battle any more than I just did by describing it.

OWNERSHIP: The complete dominion, title, or proprietary, including right in a thing or claim… Ownership of property is either absolute or qualified. The ownership of property is absolute when a single person has dominion over it, and may use it or dispose of it according to his pleasure, subject only to general laws. The ownership is qualified when it is shared with one or more persons, when the time of enjoyment is deferred or limited, or when the use is restricted. – BL6, p. 1106 Such sharing is common with husband and wife, partners, families and corporations, etc.

DOMINION – Generally accepted definition of “dominion” is perfect control in right of ownership. The word implies both title and possession and appears to require a complete retention of control over disposition. – – -BL6, p. 486 I think you’d agree that zoning, building codes, home owners association covenants, condominium documents of use and business licensing is a restriction on the use of land (if it’s Real Estate). And there is obviously the fact that failure to pay property taxes on real estate will result in loss of said property. That’s definitely not absolute ownership. But private property is defined as ABSOLUTE OWNERSHIP, not qualified (interest).

PROPERTY (tangible) – All property that is touchable and has real existence (physical) whether it is real or personal. – – BL6, p. 1218 In summation, it takes a good attorney, and one well versed and experienced in real estate to understand the complex definitions, rights, liabilities, and privileges of real estate ownership. I have been buying and selling real estate for myself and assisting others in the buying and selling of real estate for thirty years. I have taught courses on real estate and real estate law. And, I would NOT consider purchasing a property, or purchasing property on leased land without the professional and paid assistance of an attorney who is a real estate specialist in the exact county in which the property is located. Other attorneys from other areas are not valid choices at all.

Copyright © 2001 – 2005 by www.JodyHudson.com>

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Real Estate Foreclosure Crisis

Foreclosures are present at every stage of the market; from in expensive homes to multi million dollar waterfront mansions, and most of the distress properties are in a price range under $ 500,000.

Foreclosures of mortgages on residential real property are destabilizing property values ​​as well as disrupting the financial wellness of families, neighborhoods, communities and municipalities. Foreclosures have accelerated not only due to a downturn in the economy that's affected home sales, but because many homeowners were talkinged into adjustable-rate mortgages that moved to higher payment levels that they could not afford.

Personal bankruptcies and foreclosures are major influences on credit scores, but it is becoming more more common that late payments due to lost jobs or reduces hours are also affecting credit scores. Many individuals took out home loans that they did not understand and bought homes that they couldn't afford.

There has been a current trend of walk-a-ways, those family that abandon their home before the foreclosure process has been completed or decided to live in their home without making their mortgage payments until the banks do finally foreclosure which depending in which state they live can take upward to two years.

Homeowners that are facing financial difficulties should approach their mortgage lenders as soon as they expect that they might start to fall behind and see what options are available including a loan modification.

Because foreclosures impose extra costs, including legal and administrative as well as the costs of leaving the property vacant for a possibly extended period, both the borrower and the lender often are better off avoiding foreclosure.

Beware the rise in foreclosures has created predatory practices because "foreclosure rescue" has become a lucrative business venture for scammers. There is no quick fix and often a homeowner is left with a daunting financial mess with few options. Even mortgage modifications take time and many are never approved.

Even worst are those homeowners that get approved to only find that they still end up in default months later as they purchased a home they couldn't afford.

In the event there is a foreclosure there can possibly be tax issues as the lender will report the foreclosure to the Internal Revenue Service and you will be issued a 1099 A, 1099 S or both. Depending on the tax rules in place at the time of the foreclosure the taxpayer could owe taxes on part of the unpaid balance of the mortgage.

Congress passed a bill back in 2007 to exempt taxpayers from having to pay taxes on the personal residence defaults up to and including 2010. Check with your tax adviser to see if there has been additional relief to this tax rule.

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Investment Criteria of a Beginning Real Estate Investor

Focusing on property features alone is a quick way to the grave of your real estate career. I think this is an easy concept to grasp, but it does come up, so I wanted to share how I feel about what variables an investor should focus on to make solid buying decisions. Mistakes are made all the time by investors paying too much for a piece of real estate, but I would bet there are even more mistakes made when it comes to NOT buying a property they should. The old saying is, "the only real estate deals I regretted are the ones I did do." I am not sure I totally agree, but I understand the concept.

If you limit your criteria to property features, you will miss out on fantastic buying opportunities.

When I go to networking events, I often hear investors ask each other about their investment criteria. I cringe when I hear something like, "I am looking for 3 beds, 2 baths that will rent for $ 1,400 a month." If I get an answer like that I will likely respond with, "What is wrong with something that is only 2 bedrooms that will rent for $ 1,500?" The normal response is a look of confusion or no response at all. Obviously there is a lot more to it than the bedrooms and bathrooms and even the price. What about location, HOAs fees, or deferred maintenance? What about the investor's risk tolerance, potential for appreciation or potential to redevelop in the future?

When looking for deals, there are two points you might want to consider.

FOCUS ON PRICE AND VALUE

If you focus on property features you might miss a neighborhood that produces the financial outcome you are aiming for. I would much rather hear an investor explain their criteria as a return on investment, price to property value, or even a value play in a certain area. This is the criteria that focus on the financials. A skill as an investor should be to be good at coming up with a value (that could be based on resell value, cash flow, or other potential) and then deciding what you are willing to pay for that value. A fix and flip is a great example and is easy to analyze because there are very few factors. Rentals can be a bit more challenging because variables like; location, potential tenants, future vacancies, maintenance, future price changes, your short term and long term financing, management, and rent amounts all play a role in your decision. There are risks with all real estate deals, so you will want to understand those as you work towards the price you are willing to pay.

CONFORM TO AREA

This is not always necessary, but in most cases you will want to conform to the neighborhood. If you are looking for a condo in a building full of 2 bedroom condos, then buying a 2 bedroom condo would make since. If you are only considering buying 3 bedrooms, but you are looking in a 2 bedroom neighborhood, you will severely limit opportunities. In many cases bedrooms add little to no resell value, but that is not always true. A big opportunity exists if you can find a 1 or 2 bedroom house in a 3 bedroom neighborhood. By converting the house with fewer bedrooms to conform to the area, you should see a big upside. You should also see upsides when adding bedrooms to rental property, because it should increase cash flow. All of these opportunities could be missed if you are not open to looking at them. A strategy that I see some investors successfully implement is to first understand a certain neighborhood and get comfortable with the values ​​and then search for discounted properties in that neighborhood. In this case, you will be searching for price to value not property features.

With all this said, a house that does not conform to the area could still be a good investment. Remember, all real estate has value and all real estate is a good buy for the right price.

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Positioning Strategies For Real Estate Agents

Just recently I was asked to do a talk for my good friend and co-author

of our best-selling book in Singapore titled Get Rich Now: 15

Strategies from a Self-made Millionaire, Dr Dennis Wee. (Dr Wee is one of

Singapore’s most celebrated entrepreneurs. Despite not having completed his

high school education, he managed to start and build up his own real

estate company, Dennis Wee Group, to become of Singapore’s leading real

estate companies generating S$3.8 billion worth of sales in 2006.)

He wanted me to share some marketing secrets with his real estate

agents and I was more than happy to do so because I believe there’s so much

more that agents can do to position, brand and market their services.

Sadly, most agents, whether in real estate or financial services

(insurance) or any other industries, tend to see themselves just as a

salesperson. This perception of themselves is limiting their growth and income!

By thinking that they are just salespeople, they don’t see the

possibilities of growing their careers into full-fledge businesses. There are

so much more benefits for someone to think big and build a big business,

compared to just existing, and making a living. Donald Trump said: “If

you’re going to be thinking, you might as well think big.” But that’s

another topic for another session.

Here, I’m going to show you some detailed examples of how an agent can

differentiate himself using some simple positioning and branding

strategies that I have used with other clients to great success.

Many people perceive that being an agent in any industry is like being

a salesperson. Someone who is always competing with all the other

thousands of salespeople in the industry. To a certain extend it is correct.

Those other agents are also looking for the same deals that you are. It

is a matter of who gets the deal first. So they are relentlessly going

out there to cold prospect.

Now, I am not a fan of cold prospecting. To me, cold prospecting is

like bashing your head against the wall, hoping it will crumble before you

start bleeding… most people just end up being very disappointed. Why do

you think new agents don’t last long? I strongly suspect it’s because

they realized that their heads can’t go against the wall.

But there are ways to turn the table around. In my talks I like to ask

the audience: Would you prefer to work hard and look for prospects, OR

would you prefer to let your prospects seek you out?

The answer is obvious.

But more than just having less work and an easier time, there are

deeper psychological advantages to being able to let your prospects seek you

out instead of you cold prospecting them. Simply said, when you seek

someone out, you will be open to the person’s ideas, advice, expertise.

That is the reason you seek him/her out in the first place–to get expert

advice.

There won’t be the wall of resistance you’ve grown accustomed to when

you cold prospect. In fact, now it’s them who are jumping over hoops to

seek you out in your domain. Man, it’s always exciting to talk about

this!

Believe me, it’s a whole new paradigm. Imagine you becoming a celebrity

overnight and people are just doing everything they can to get in touch

with you. Think of stars of reality shows like Survivor and American

Idol… It is that powerful!

So how can you achieve that?

Let’s look at a typical scenario:

You have probably have opened your letter box day after day only to

find it stuffed with piles of flyers from various real estate agents. Just

take a closer look. You will realize that all of them claim to be the

“specialist” in the area. Now if everyone is a specialist, then does it

matter who you call? Absolutely NOT!

“But I’m different from the rest. I have more experience, quality,

etc…” you protest.

Let me be upfront. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your

background is. If the prospects don’t recognize that straight away, you are just

like everybody else. No matter how different you think you really are.

Repeat after me: If you are like every-body else, you are a no-body.

Remember: It’s all about their perception, not yours.

So instead of being just another area specialist, be different. So far

I’ve not come across any agent who positions him/herself as the

specialist to serve “first-time home buyers”. Do you think that is powerful?

Absolutely!

First-time home buyers are inexperienced. They don’t know what to

expect, what the whole buying process is going to be like, how long will it

take, what possible hiccups might occur, etc. They are in a place where

they don’t know what they don’t know. Do you think they have different

needs/concerns compared to those who have bought a house before? Of

course! If you are able to gain their trust, do you think they will look

for someone else?

The point is this: you have the information that first-time buyers are

looking for (in fact all real estate agents should know these

information). But by letting them know that you are the expert who can guide

them through the whole process safely, will in itself, earn you a closed

deal.

You might need to make some minor changes in the way you do things,

such as explaining the buying process more thoroughly, going through the

nitty gritty details that you won’t normally need to with experienced

buyers, etc. But all these will help to cement your positioning and

branding as the expert to serve first-time buyers. And once your branding

gets out, you will be busy with so many referrals for other first-time

buyers. Is the first-time buyers market huge enough for you?

Once you have established your branding, it is easy to market your

services. You can easily get the publicity that once used to be impossible

for you. If the media wants to get an opinion on what first-time buyers

think about a new housing policy, who do they look for? They will

interview the expert (you). And after appearing in the media, you will have

gained even more credibility. Can you see how this will snowball into

your profits?

It all starts with creating a powerful positioning, branding and

marketing strategy that is suitable for you.

What other positioning can differentiate you? How about:

o The property investments expert (investors love to work with those

who understand their investing needs, someone who is not just another

agent); or

o Divorce cases specialist (they definitely have different needs as

compared to the usual buyers); or

o Downgraders or upgraders; or

o Serve only those looking for luxurious, high-end houses worth $XX

amount and above (your service must of course reflect that); and

o Many more!

As you can see, it is critical to create a powerful positioning to get

your prospects to start looking specifically for you. I assure you I’m

not an expert of the real estate industry. But I’m an expert in

positioning, branding and marketing. These same principles can be applied in

other industries, such as the financial services industry, perfectly

well.

So start positioning yourself today!

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Wholesaling Real Estate In Six Easy Daily Checklists

We ran the largest real estate wholesaling business in the world wholesaling properties to investors in 280 US markets and the entire wholesaling process can be broken down into 6 easy to implement daily checklists. Here they are in order of importance and, coincidentally, the order you should work them each day.

First, you need to remind yourself daily the direction you are heading in and what you want to achieve. Stephen Covey says, “begin with the end in mind,” and so we want to review our goals, empowering daily questions and affirmations first. It should only take 5 or 10 minutes but it sets the tone for the entire day and is a critical, often overlooked, first step.

Second, and this is a big one, you need to take care of all your marketing. When wholesaling real estate you need to focus on marketing in a few major categories: buying (or controlling properties), selling (and building your buyers list) and hiring help.

For the marketing for buying properties you’ll be taking actions that get sellers calling you with the properties they have for sale. Easy things like using Craigslist effectively can produce a steady flow of wholesale deals.

You can also rely heavily on Craigslist when marketing to sell properties that you have control of and to grow and strengthen your buyers list. However, there are some highly effective, low cost direct mail methods of finding the most serious, active buyers that are buying deals just like the ones you control and are trying to wholesale too.

One of the easiest things to do to automate your wholesaling business is to find help that costs you nothing up front and that is only paid when you close a deal. Posting just one or two ads per week to find researchers and bird dogs can bring you a flood of deals and investor buyers that puts you in the position of sifting and sorting which sellers and investors you work with.

The third daily checklist is working with your seller inquiries through the entire buying process from the initial call back, through the research phase, to making offers and following up all the way through you collecting your wholesaler fee when you release control of the property to your buyer.

The fourth daily checklist is working with your buyers (both retail and investor). One of the great appeals to wholesaling is being able to rely heavily on the work you’ve done in the past with your existing buyers list. Growing your buyers list in number and strengthening your relationship with your buyers list are worthwhile daily activities.

The fifth daily checklist is where you work with your other real estate dream team members. Here’s where you focus on working with your title company, hard money lender, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and more. A strong team can make even the weakest leader successful so focus on getting the strongest team possible and let them do their best. If the transaction is paying for the dream team member why not work with the best?

The sixth and final checklist is the business management checklist where you take care of all the business management activities like accounting, business entity maintenance, asset protection and backing up important data.

By following these six proven to work checklists consistently will have you growing a successful real estate wholesaling business.

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Why A Real Estate Agent Must Possess Fiduciary Responsibility?

Although, both, the real estate law, of, nearly every state, as well as the Code of Ethics, of most real estate associations, requires an agent, to proceed, with the fiduciary responsibility, to protect, and properly serve the best interests, of his clients. However, while this may, seem, obvious, actually, doing so, may, often, be challenging, to, actually, achieve. Where is the, somewhat, fine – line, between, legally, required integrity, and ethics, and protecting your client’s trust? Just as an attorney must protect his client, a real estate agent, must focus, within the limitations of the law, to protect, anyone he has been hired, to serve, and represent. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly discuss this issue, and consider, the balance, and challenges, to doing so, effectively, and properly.

1. The fine – line, between telling the truth, and owing allegiance to one’s clients: The law, demands, a licensed, real estate agent, must avoid making any material mis – statements, while, also, protecting his client’s privacy, etc. This means, if one knows, of any significant issue, affecting the house, which might affect the value, and/ or future needs, etc, of any potential buyer, he must disclose those things, but, items, such as the personal reasons, the seller/ client, is selling, must never be disclosed. For example, perhaps a client is having financial challenges, which make him, need, to sell, but, have nothing to do, with the quality, condition, etc, of the house, itself. If that is the case, an agent must never disclose these circumstances, because he owes his allegiance, to his client.

2. Pricing: In their quest, to acquire real estate listings, some agents, might over – state, their positions, and estimates, of pricing, and recommend, a higher listing price, than might be, in the homeowner’s best interest. Since, in the vast majority of cases, the best, possible offers, come in, in the first few weeks, after it’s listed, on the market, the best procedure, is generally, to price the house, correctly, from the start. Remember, serving the best interests of your client, is your utmost necessity!

3. Negotiating: When an agent negotiates, it must be, in your best – interest. Therefore, he must never disclose other offers, or the actual level of interest, unless doing so, is beneficial.

A real estate agent’s fiduciary responsibility, is to protect his client’s investment, and seek, to obtain, the best possible price, within the limitations of the real estate market, conditions, etc. Homeowners should discuss this, in – depth, before hiring, the best agent, to serve their needs, and interests!

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