Creative Ways to Find Real Estate Leads

You may have tried all of the traditional ways to generate real estate leads. You’ve worked your warm market to the point your family ducks when they see you coming. Your neighbors have bought new curtains so you can’t see if they’re home or not. You need new leads, and you need them soon. So what can you do? Here are some clever ways to generate new leads, and get your family back to the Sunday dinner table.

First, take advantage of the power of the internet. You can have some fun, and educate people at the same time. It might be thanks to a blog you write regularly, or a YouTube channel in which you host DIY or staging tips. This is your chance to be creative and make yourself memorable. It also allows you to create value in the marketplace. Try to backlink your videos to your website, so you’re driving traffic back to your page.

There is always using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just being able to post fun things gives you and your business dimension. Plus, you can offer to answer simple questions for people who are confused by real estate. Here’s where you can link and backlink several ways. A Tweet This or a Share to Facebook button on your blog makes it easy for people to share what you have to say. Then, include follow buttons on your pages for people to be able to read more.

You can run these internet options along with other lead generating ideas, too. That way you can reach as many people as possible. Finding people and meeting their needs where they are are two keys to any successful campaign.

Some leads come from traditional methods, like handing out business cards in the elevator, or offering brochures at a trade show. That face-to-face meeting can go a long ways, even in the digital world. It helps build trust, and when dealing with something huge like a house sale, you need trust.

There’s always sending out postcards to residents in your area. You never know who will get the mail and see your card on the same day they receive a job transfer. If you can partner with some local businesses, you may be able to give away free food. A coupon for a free sandwich at a local shop will certainly make you memorable!

Throw a block party or a barbecue, and invite everyone in the area. Use this time to get to know each other, and have materials ready to hand out, too. It’s a fun and relaxed way to generate leads.

Whatever you choose to do, include a way for a potential buyer to reach you. You can do that by having them click a link for more information. Or, you might ask them to visit your booth at a trade show to meet you in person. Remember – you are in the business of buying and selling things. Your customers should know that.

Easing The Search For A Rental Property

It can be hard to find and rent a place that you can actually call home in a city or suburb. Moving to an altogether new location is what makes the search even more difficult. Every country has a huge property market and you will find amazing options for your rental needs. However, in popular and populous cities, the market is competitive and the available spaces move quickly. You can however still enjoy the renting process easily when you have a few guidelines to push to the right property for your needs.

Start by Learning the Local Lingo

The agents and residents will use different terms in the local language to describe their homes and mansions. Therefore, learning the local lingo will make renting easy for you. For instance, the properties here are either houses or flats with houses being much larger than the flats and will even include outdoor space. Studios are one roomed flats and units are larger than flats, but have split levels just like a house, even though built in blocks as the flats. When you know the local lingo, it will be easy to find what you are looking for.

Choose the Location Wisely

The location of the property can determine the rental charges and the kind of neighborhood you will have. This makes it very important to choose your location. Before visiting the areas of interest, check with agents to find out if the area is within your budget range. Renting can be a bit expensive in major cities as compared to less popular cities. It is most advisable that you shortlist at least four areas or suburbs of interest so that you have a suitable choice by the end of making all comparisons. Consider the facilities and transport network too before renting.

Search for Your Ideal Property

When you have targeted areas you wish to rent in, your next step should be to start with the search. Luckily, there are property websites where you can begin your property search from. The best thing about search sites is that they will have comprehensive property listings for you to go through and compare to make a choice. Most have detailed information about the properties, hence making it very easy for you to decide and remain within your budget range. When renting, for instance, you will easily narrow the search with the city as your keyword search.

Understand Your Rental Agreement

The contract will differ from one property agent or owner to the other. It is however very important that you take the time to read through the agreement to make sure that you agree with every clause that is included in it. When dealing with a lease, you might be required to pay a month’s rent and bond which acts as a security deposit against damages on property or unpaid bills. It is also important to find out about payment methods to make sure they suit your preferences.

Combine Real Estate Searches With Local Expertise

When you are searching for real estate, you have a lot of different company websites and general search engines available on the Internet. These tools help you to find results based on the location, size of home, price and other factors. Many also provide information the area schools, surrounding properties and neighborhood statistics.

Once you have several real estate results that interest you, enlist the help of a professional firm to obtain additional details and arrange a visit. If you are not familiar with the area, they can provide you with information on growth trends, businesses and schools. They are also there working through all the logistics and paperwork associated with making offers and actually closing the transaction.

Search Criteria

Before you begin working with a firm, consider doing some preliminary research using any online real estate search engine. What aspects of the property are important to you? Most search engines will let you search by:

– Price
– Home type
– Square footage
– Number of bedrooms or bathrooms
– Lot size

Information on the property

How much information does the website provide about the specific property? It should list the details like location and design of rooms, floor types, extra features such as a screened porch or fenced yard. Look for multiple photos inside and out, as well as a map so you can see the surrounding area. Some sites will display a history of the home’s sales in the last several years.

Information About The Area

It should list area schools and information about similar or nearby properties. You should also be able to find information on neighboring or nearby properties to see if they are in similar price ranges.

Financial Options

Some real estate websites will show you the different financing options you may have available. Specific terms will depend on your credit and other factors, but it may display scenarios such as typical loan amounts and payment terms.

Once you have narrowed your real estate search to a few properties, you should seek expert assistance. Ask a professional firm about additional property details and arrange to visit the property. When it’s time to make an offer and close the deal, your agent can help everything run smoothly.

Looking for real estate isn’t difficult, but getting all the information you need and finalizing the transaction can be. Make sure you have a professional to help you when the time comes.

Don’t Stop at Just Taking Real Estate Classes

As a real estate professional, you are required to take continuing education classes. You need to maintain your professionalism, ethics, and knowledge. However, there may be another area of your career that you are not maintaining so well.

It is kind of a delicate subject and very hard to broach this topic in mixed company. So you should head to the bathroom. Go to the nearest mirror and have a long look at yourself. Have you been maintaining a professional appearance?

Most people are on their best behavior at the beginning of a job. They are never as well dressed, articulate, or punctual as they are during the job interview. However, fast forward six months, and they show up wearing shorts and flip-flops right before lunch, blaming traffic, and hand in a very inauthentic doctor’s note claiming that a ten-day vacation to Disneyworld is the prescription for this particular malady (there is also a marijuana leaf in the upper right hand corner of the doctor’s stationery).

Given that this is the behavior of 95% of the humans on planet Earth, it is understandable that you may have slacked in the personal appearance department. However, in your chosen career of real estate, appearance is very important.

While you are looking in the mirror, ask yourself the following questions:

1. When you picture a successful realtor, does she look like this?

2. Would I hire me as a realtor?

3. Do I look professional and trustworthy?

4. Is my pants zipper undone right now?

Hopefully, after answering these questions, you know that some changes may be needed (and your pants are now zipped). The purpose of taking real estate classes and continuing education is the principle of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement of your professional appearance is just as important. If you still think that this is superficial and has no bearing on true success in the area of real estate, consider this statistic. If you look at the female realtors that made it onto the list of top 250 realtors in the country, 56% of them wore a jacket in their professional photos. What is the percentage among the pool of other realtors? 47%. Do they know something you don’t?

Don’t stop at just taking real estate classes. Continue to improve in other areas of your career, and your appearance is just one of the many areas to exude professionalism. Remember to keep your head up, your noses clean, and your pants zipped.

How to Find the Best Building Contractor?

You may be looking to purchase a residential property or a commercial property there are certain things you must do when looking for a building contractor. Doing those things is important as that will allow you to reach the best person easily.

Your first step should be performing a detailed research. First, make a list of contractors developing in the area of your choice. Then perform thorough research on each individual or company. Gather knowledge about the kind of track record they have; this can be done by talking to people who have already dealt with them. The majority of the modern-day contractors have websites representing their companies. Visit those sites and read testimonials written by clients; you can also read some online reviews published on reliable review websites.

If you are struggling to find a good contractor, you can ask for recommendations. Contact friends and relatives who have recently purchased properties. This will surely help you to gather names of some reliable builders.

Your next step should be viewing work samples. Here, we would like to advise you not to opt for the first project of any builder. Always opt for companies or professionals who can show your samples. Looking at the past projects of the person or company you are looking to rely on will give you the confidence required for investing a big sum.

Don’t forget to check certificates and licenses that make a construction a legal construction. You can talk to your lawyer to know what kind of licenses and certificates a real estate contractor must possess. If the contractor fails to show you necessary documents, don’t think twice before discarding him.

Whatever might be the area of the property you are looking to purchase the builder should be able to offer you a fixed price quote. You may be looking to buy a commercial property covering an area of 15000 square feet or a 2BHK apartment covering an area of 1000 square feet, you must get a fixed price quote before completing the registration procedure.

If it’s a residential property, you should know what kind of neighbors you will be having once you start living in the newly purchased apartment. Top real estate contractors always make sure that people buying apartments from them have a good background. So, it’s extremely important that the company you are purchasing the flat from is one of the most trusted builders in the area it is operating in.

Ten Tips for Moving in the Winter

Moving in winter poses special challenges, whether you’re moving between two high rise condos in the same city or crossing the country. Although the weather is far less conducive to the hard work of moving, it can be cheaper to hire a moving company at this time of year. Whether you’re using a professional outfit or relying on the kindness of friends, following are a few pointers for making the first day in your new home as smooth as possible.

Be Ready

Be sure the new house is ready for the move before you head over with all your belongings. Check that lights and plumbing are working and if the weather’s nippy, consider having the heat on for a few days so it’s warm for the move-in.

Clear the Snow

Slipping on snow and ice can turn a simple move into a disaster. Before you even start, make sure all walkways at both old and new homes are clear; ice or sand if necessary. Keep shovels, salt and sand on-hand.

Parking Considerations

Whether you’re using a moving company or getting help from a gang of friends, be sure there’s adequate parking for the moving truck at both locations. Parking at urban condos can be particularly, and this could mean a bit of negotiating with new neighbors or the landlord if space is tight.

Protect Your Floors

Winter’s snow, ice and salt are notorious for dirtying up or even scratching some kinds of flooring. Protect floors and carpets with big pieces of cardboard or plastic sheeting for the big day. You can use duct tape if the floors can withstand it, and small tacks work well on carpeted areas.

Have a Plan B

With the constant threat of winter storms, there’s always a chance that your move will have to be rescheduled. If you’re using a moving company, call and see what their storm policy is, as some may want to reschedule the move, meaning you can’t move out and new tenants or owners can’t move in. Check with your landlord or real estate agent to see if it would be alright to stay a few more days. If you can’t, you may have to arrange a few days of temporary housing.

Keep an Eye on Mother Nature

If you’re moving a distance, keep an eye on the weather along your travel route, checking with local authorities by phone or on-line if the forecast is ominous. Scout out overnight accommodations in case you need to make an unexpected stop.

Prep Your Car

Be sure your car is serviced and winterized, with brakes and tires checked and fluids topped. If you have chains, be sure you know how to use them, doing a trial run on installation in the garage before you go. Carry salt or kitty litter in case you get stuck, pop a snow shovel and blanket in the car and be sure you have a gas can and roadside assistance membership.

Keep a List

Your winter move emergency contact list should include roadside assistance, highway control and a number for road conditions. Be sure someone who’s not on the moving trip knows the route your taking and schedule a call-in with them to be sure all is fine.

Extra Clothes

Not only do you want to stay warm and dry during the move, you’ll want to be sure your helpers are comfortable. Bring along a bag of gloves, hats, sweaters and socks in case of changing weather or wet clothing.

Feed the Gang

Keep your moving pals warm and well fed by keeping hot drinks and easy cold weather eats like chili and instant soup mixes on hand along with morning donuts and lunchtime sandwiches. Try to have a warm space in the house for enjoying a tea break, and be sure to have mugs and spoons along with paper cups and plates.

House Valuation – Its Importance and How It Is Done

Independent house valuation is one method which is being adopted by those who are willing to buy or sell a house. This is one method, which gives them a clear and comprehensive idea about the value of the property with regards to the market rate. Most of the people are not aware about the technicalities that go in when it comes to house value assessment; however, most of them know that is an important thing to do while buying or selling a property. When it comes to know the value of properties, there are numerous aspects which need to be considered. In the following sections, an insight will be presented on house valuation.

Income Method – What is it?

This is one method which is used for the property valuation. Here the total worth of a property is being estimated based on the revenue potential. The income which is calculated can either be generated as rental income or from re-selling the property. This is quite a complicated method; however, it is quite frequently being used by the investors when they are to fix a value on a property or when it comes to assessing the profitability of their investment in the days to come.

Certain assumptions need to be made and one needs to rely on them in order to come to an accurate conclusion using the income method. Here are the assumptions that are required to be made:

• Property Resale Value: This includes assuming the value which the property is likely to yield if it is being resold. Various factors need to be taken into consideration while assessing the resale value of a property.

• Income which is likely to be generated from Rent: This is another area which needs to be assessed. As mentioned, income from rent plays an important role while using the income method for property valuation.

How a Property’s Value is being calculated?

In order to get a better idea about the Independent house valuation, there are various assumptions and considerations which are needed to be made. This type of valuation comes into the picture when the generated income is set against the invested capital in order to find out how much profit can be generated by re-selling the property. One very common method which is being used to estimate the profit which is likely to be generated is by comparing the value of the property in question with the same type of capital expenditure or investment of similar nature.

Calculating the risk factors are perhaps the most difficult thing to do when it comes to ascertaining the value of a property. Though some sort of idea can be gained by having a look at the past market trends; however, it is very difficult to predict the nature of the property market in the days to come. Hence, it is wise to take the help of the valuation experts to know the actual worth of your property.

Before buying a property, selling it, hiring a property or giving out your property for rent, get it evaluated perfectly. For this one of the best companies you can find is Valuations.

Apartment or House?

Apartment is defined as, a set of rooms which have all the facilities like a house. The major types of apartment are studio apartment, bedroom apartment, duplex, lofts, garden apartment. If I was asked where I would I prefer to live in a traditional house or in a modern apartment building, I think, I would hesitate to answer. This question, from my point of view, is a controversial one. In the following paragraphs I will analyze both these options and present my view.

It’s everyone’s dream to have a comfortable place to live. As the majority of people say, I want to get an attractive house someday, but unluckily it is not so easy to get because it is very costly. But there are several differences between owning a house and renting an apartment. The first difference is the noise. If you are renting an apartment and you are a noisy person, it is very painful for the rest of the people who live with you. For example if you are always playing melodic instruments, listening to loud music and cleaning the house with noisy machines you are really troubling the other people and I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to be in their place. But also, in a lot of cases the noise depends on if the owner permits it or not. In contrast, owning a house is more comfortable if you are a noisy person because you are the owner and responsible for all the things of your house and you don’t have to care of disturbing someone. For example, if you are the owner of the house you are free to even have a noisy party or whatever you want because it is your house. The second and most important difference for me is about the policy. When you live in an apartment, you have to comply with the owner’s policy. For example, you have to ask for him or her if you are free to have visitors, pets, parties, etc. On the other hand, when you rent an apartment, you are not as free as you are when you are the owner of a house to do whatever you want. In contrast, owning a house permits you to be free without caring that someone is dissatisfied with your ideas and decisions about your house. In this case you can paint your house, buy a big tape recorder or do all the things that you want. In conclusion, I prefer owning a house that is better than renting an apartment because I can be free to do whatever I want, without policy and it gives me more sovereignty and relieve.

From the one side, living in a modern apartment building brings many paybacks. First of all, it is cheaper than living in a traditional house and paying different kinds of fees I am not familiar with. For instance, my buddy, who recently bought a new house for his family, told me that it is much easier to live in an apartment and I tend to believe him when I see his bills. So, living in an apartment will definitely help me to save some money. Second of all, since I live alone, I do not need a big house with many rooms. I just need a bedroom and a living room where I can take my guests and have my work place. Another important benefit of living in an apartment is that I will not have to buy much weighty furniture in order to furnish all rooms.

Six Characteristics of a Good Note

The six critical factors to be aware of when buying or creating a real estate-backed note include the buyer/borrower, the collateral, the down payment, the terms of the note itself, seasoning and the associated paperwork. We’ll go through these one at a time.

The most important of these is the person buying the property and getting a loan from the seller. Most seller-financed loans are created for people with a credit score of 600 or greater, although most banks have a 620 minimum. Just like with banks, the better your score, the better the interest rate you can get.

If you are creating a note you can protect yourself from an applicant with poor credit by getting a larger down payment and charging a higher interest rate. These are things a note buyer will look for when considering the purchase of a loan.

The second thing to analyze is the property being offered as collateral. A pretty 3-bedroom home in a nice suburb would be worth more than a single-wide on 35 acres, 20 miles from the nearest grocery store. A well-built apartment building would be worth more than 50 acres of dirt.

When buying a note you must affirm that the property is correctly valued. If you get that number wrong, the whole deal starts off on shaky ground. While you may want to check a home’s value on Zillow, or Trulia, or eppraisal.com, your most accurate number will come in a BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion) created by a local realtor who has actually driven out to see the property. Sold comps and listing comps will be more accurate than anything produced by a software package like Zillow.

The third factor to consider is the down payment. Consider two people who each by a house worth $50,000. One puts down $800 and the other puts down $5,000 (10%). The note that has the great down payment will be worth more than the other if everything else is equivalent. If a buyer has enough “skin in the game” they will be more likely to make paying their mortgage a top priority since they have more to lose if they default.

The fourth thing to look at are the terms of the loan. What is the interest rate? Currently, a rate between 8 and 10% is pretty common in the seller-financed world. Much above that will make it difficult to pay. A note with a rate of 5 or 6% may pay too little to make it attractive to an investor who will be forced to deeply discount their offer to get their required yield.

The payback period can also affect the perceived value of a note. Generally, a short amortization period is more attractive because an investor will get her money back quicker.

If a note has a provision to collect escrows for taxes and insurance, that should bring a better price when sold than one that doesn’t. In the latter case the lender is counting on the buyer to set aside funds to take care of these payments, but that’s asking for a lot of self-discipline from someone who has shown via their credit score that they may not have much.

If the buyer can’t make the insurance payments, you as the investor may have to attach forced-place insurance, an expensive option to keep yourself covered.

Property taxes will be collected eventually and generally have a lien position ahead of the first mortgage. Non-payment over a period of years can lead to the loss of the property at a tax sale.

The last thing to look at on the note itself is the overall payment. An investor making an offer to buy a loan will want to feel comfortable that the buyer can afford to make the payments and still have enough left over for all their remaining living expenses. Also, if local rental rates are higher than their mortgage payment, that’s another incentive for the buyer to keep up their obligation to pay on time.

The fifth factor is called seasoning. That’s simply the amount of time the borrower has been making payments. A note buyer will offer more for a note with three years of seasoning than one where the new owner has only made three payments. A good track record gives an investor confidence that payments will continue being made on time and can even offset the negative affect of a low credit score.

Sixth and last, all the ancillary paperwork contributes to the overall value of a note. Here’s a list of documents to ask for from the note seller: title policy, tax certificate, mortgage or deed of trust, the allonge (showing the transfers of the loan), the mortgage transfers, credit report, payment history and original application including the social security number of the borrower. If you are creating a seller-financed note, having all these documents will keep the value of your note as high as possible.

So whether you’re buying a note or creating one, the same six pieces of the puzzle will be responsible for the size of the discount offered when a note is sold.

Should You Buy a Ready Possession Flat or Get a Home Constructed?

Living in your own flat or house provides you with the great feeling of security, independence and happiness. The ultimate dream of everyone is to own a place to live. When a person starts to earn, the first thing that comes into his mind is to own a house and starts to save a lot towards this purpose. When it comes to own a house, you have got two options, buy a ready possession flat for sale or buy your own land and build a house in it. Both these ideas have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s analyse some of them to decide between these two great options to own a living space for ourselves.

Building Your Own House

Every person has a dream to construct a house that suits to the needs and requirements of the family members. It gets fulfilled when you plan and construct a house for you. Here, your liking and preferences of interior decoration, a color of paint, types of tiles and marbles and a lot of other features of the house give preference. You can choose between costly and cheap materials of construction. You can supervise the laborers and technicians who work to construct your house. Meanwhile, you can save a lot of money. Again, you can construct your house part by part. It is not necessary for you to construct it at a stretch. You can complete the work as and when you have money. Hence, your house becomes a fulfillment of your wishes and dreams. At the same time, there are a lot of disadvantages too. Constructing a house by you takes away a lot of your time and energy. If your knowledge in the construction field is limited, you may make mistakes in choosing the right materials and laborers for the construction. These days labour is not easily available. In the case of a sudden financial crunch, your dream to construct your dream house may not get fulfilled.

Buy a Flat

When you buy ready possession flats for sale, you have a lot of advantages. The most appealing benefit of buying a flat is that you can move as soon as you complete the buying formalities. There are no worries and hurries of construction. You become the owner of a beautiful home overnight. Your confidence and self-esteem will shoot up and you will achieve the status of being the proud owner of a flat. When you choose a ready to possession flat for sale, you choose to live in a highly developed are in your society. The disadvantage of buying a flat is that you have to find a large amount of money to buy it. There are also options to meet these financial requirements. The quality of construction also may worry you a lot.

When we analyse both advantages and disadvantages of buying and constructing a home, we find a lot of unique features to both these options. At the same time, buying a flat would be a better idea as it is easy and is available for immediate possession.