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Planning Well: How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent

The real estate industry is quite a booming sector that largely influences the economy regionally and nationally. Working in the real estate industry as a sales agent can, therefore, be a lucrative job opportunity, that many people desire. Excelling in this industry, however, requires you to be well-informed, aggressive, and versatile enough. Success, in this regard, is measured in terms of how well you can drive sales as well as how much of a foothold you have in your market. To start your career as a real estate agent, here are important tips on how to become successful.

Planning Well: How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent - property sale image
Estate agent shaking hands with customer after contract signature

Establish a niche

The real estate industry is quite huge in terms of the range of products available. Working as a real estate agent, therefore, exposes you to a wide range of opportunities and options from which you can choose where to major in. Whereas there is no precise division in terms of products you can deal with, it is important to understand where your passion is. Among the key opportunities at your disposal in this regard includes focusing on becoming a buyer’s agent whereby your role would include finding and negotiating for a home for your clients.

A listing agent role, on the other hand, will give you an opportunity to become partners with persons seeking to sell their homes. Other types of real estate agencies that you can focus on include working as a dual agent where you represent the interests of both buyers and sellers and working as a transaction coordinator where you help in the processing of the administrative items in real estates. Defining and knowing your role in the real estate agency industry will give you proper incentives to understand what your goal would be, thereby helping you to get focused.

Know your market well

The real estate industry is quite volatile and is defined by various factors including social, economic, and political factors. These factors affect the industry in terms of pricing of products. To be successful, you need to understand the real estate industry in general well. Such understanding ensures that you can appropriately respond when the market behaves in certain ways, thereby preventing prospects of making errors.

In addition to the overall knowledge of the industry, it is important to have specific knowledge of the particular market that you are focusing on. If, for example, you are operating within a certain locality or neighborhood, it is prudential to understand the dynamics of pricing of real estate products within the area as this gives you an opportunity to be relevant to the market and your customers in general.

Know where to source good deals

As an investor and businessman working as an agent in the real estate industry, it is important to be a good deal maker. Part of the successful deal-making process requires you to understand where to source your products from. Success is also defined in terms of your ability to accurately balance profit-making and customer satisfaction. In this regard, finding a good deal from the various key sources of real estate properties is crucial.

As an agent, you should, therefore, be well equipped with knowledge regarding real estate auctions where you can source a good property up for sale. It also pays to learn more about potential distressed properties for sale in your locality and the market in general as you can be sure to find good and affordable deals.

Establish partnerships

In any business, establishing partnerships is one of the critical factors that define success. When working as a real estate agent, establishing such partnerships with other real estate agents and clients gives you an opportunity to network in ways that increase the prospects of successfully making deals. Networking with the relevant stakeholders in the real estate industry increases the prospects of your success as it may also open up new opportunities through referrals.

Establish and cultivate an online presence

In this digital age, various tools have been introduced that can significantly revamp and boost your business as a real estate agent. You should, therefore, endeavor to establish an online presence by creating a website or a blog from where you can engage the market meaningfully by regularly publishing relevant information. Social media presence such as on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can also significantly improve your reputation and grasp of the market as you get an opportunity to network and meet other key market players in the real estate industry.

Prepare for challenges

The real estate industry, like any other industry, is quite volatile and prone to significant challenges. When investing in this sector, it is important to foresee the various challenges that you will be bound to meet ahead of you as that gives you a hedge and the ability to plan yourself beforehand. Among the prominent challenges that you will be bound to meet include:-

Fluctuating sales

· Fluctuating sales – sometimes your ability to drive sales would flop seasonally based on external factors.

External impacts

· External impacts – the industry is controlled by multiple key factors including political influence which may destabilize your position as an agent.

Financial shortcomings

· Financial shortcomings – you may go for long without driving sales, therefore prompting you to take some cost-cutting measures.

Competition

· Competition – the real estate sector is quite congested with numerous sales agents.

Lack of a definite schedule

· Lack of a definite schedule – sometimes you may be required to work overtime to secure deals and be able to meet your clients.

Volatile responsibilities

· Volatile responsibilities – working as a real estate agent needs you to be able to switch roles between a buyer’s agent and a sales agent.

Disappointments

· Disappointments – it is not guaranteed that you will successfully seal deals. Sometimes you will get disappointed by failed deals.

In conclusion, working as a real estate agent in our economy today requires you to be fully-equipped with sufficient knowledge of the various factors that drive success. Sufficient preparation thereof requires you to not only understand your market but also know your role well and how to optimize your success by utilizing various tech-tools available in the market. Also, you need to be well aware of the multiple challenges you would be bound to meet and how you can counter them while maintaining focus in your work.

3 Rules For Investing In Property Abroad

When you’re looking for investment options for your savings, you’ve probably thought about real estate. Property prices are on the rise and there are a lot of different ways that you can take advantage of that to make good money investing in property. One of the best ways to invest in real estate is to buy a property abroad. You’ve got more options for renting it out and you can make better money letting it for shorter periods to people when they’re travelling. The prices tend to be a lot lower as well so the initial investment isn’t anywhere near as high. But there are a whole new set of challenges involved with real estate investment in another country so you’ve got to be careful. If you’re considering it, here are some basic rules that you need to follow when investing in property abroad

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Be Careful With Up And Coming Locations

A lot of people try to get a good deal by finding somewhere that is an up and coming location where property prices are still low. They buy a property now while it’s cheap and in a few years, when the area turns into a tourist hotspot, the value of that property shoots right up and they make loads of money renting the place out. That’s a great strategy, as long as it actually works. Often, there are a lot of rumours about a place that turn out to be nothing more than that. If you buy a property based on these rumours, you could end up stuck with a house that nobody will rent or buy and the value might even go down. When you’re looking at properties for sale, it’s best to go for well established areas that are already popular. You’ll pay more for the property but you can massively reduce the risks involved.

Don’t Forget About Taxes

Every country has their own rules about taxation when you’re buying a property so don’t forget to do your research. You might have to pay stamp duty or some equivalent as well as VAT on the property and the rates might be a lot higher than they are at home. If you don’t factor this in when you’re pricing up properties, you might be in for a nasty shock when you actually come to buy the place and all of the taxes are added on top.

Rental Laws

There are different laws about renting out a property in different countries as well. In some places, only certain properties can legally be rented out. For example, there has been a lot of trouble in New York recently with Airbnb because there are strict regulations about the type of building that can be used for short term lets. If you don’t check the laws before you purchase a property, you might end up with a place that you can’t legally put tenants in.

There are a lot of tricky legal considerations to deal with when you’re investing in property abroad and it can cause you a lot of trouble if you get it wrong so always do your research properly before you make any decisions.

Buy Property, Build Wealth. It’s That Simple

What’s the best way to build wealth? Buy stocks, bonds, equities, gold? While other assets may have characteristics that make them more appealing than property, there’s no doubt that the property market is the largest market by far, and there’s a reason for that.

Ask any billionaire investor, and they’ll tell you that the way to get rich, at least to begin with, is to buy property. Warren Buffett, for instance, got his start when he bought an Omaha ranch for $400,000 nearly forty years ago. Though it was just a farm, it’s continued to produce an annual income for him ever since. He’s earned millions of dollars from his original investment: dollars that have helped to fund some of the shrewdest investments in history, such as his investments in Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo.

Buy Property, Build Wealth. It's That Simple - New England style house image

New England Style House Luxury Property

Credit: Max Pixel

Getting into real estate, however, is a different proposition than other investments. Some characteristics make it unique.

Perhaps the most important is that it is decoupled from fluctuations in other asset class markets. Property prices tend to ebb and flow more closely with wages over time – or the ability of people to afford the monthly repayments. Stocks and bonds less so. Property is also a cash flow generating asset because of the rental income it provides.

Lastly, property is usually bought with debt (a mortgage) unlike stocks or bonds, and so leverage is an important consideration. Because the asset will always exist, lenders are more willing to send you money to carry out a real estate investment project. And that means that just about anyone with a satisfactory credit rating can get involved.

Buy Multifamily Dwellings

Making money out of property investing is relatively straightforward, so long as you know what you’re doing. What you don’t want is a situation where the mortgage payments to the bank on the property exceed the rental income. And so you need to find ways to make each property generate as much revenue as possible.

One common strategy is to buy large, old-fashioned townhouses in areas that have seen a growth in the number of young, independent professionals. Markets in London, Indonesia, China and Brazil are ideal for this kind of purchase. The idea is simple: buy a large house and then divide it up into two, three or even four different dwellings.

The reason for doing this is that it is much easier to charge more overall when a property contains four separate dwellings. Each person is willing to pay a premium for the square footage they have, even if their living areas are small.

It’s also a good strategy for reducing risk. Rather than relying on one tenant to pay you rent every month, you have two or three different paying renters, making it much more likely that you will get paid at least something every month.

Why More People Don’t Invest In Property

Property investing has made thousands of people wealthy and given them the opportunity to rely on passive income rather than giving up their precious time at work. So why doesn’t everybody get involved?

One of the problems with investing in property is that it is difficult. You need to have the courage and the tenacity to stick with it, even when things get tough. It’s also complicated, especially when investing overseas.

Building A Portfolio Is Difficult

We’ve all heard about the difficulty of getting on the property ladder, and that same difficulty applies when it comes to building a property portfolio.

The problem with property investing is that it takes up a lot of time. You have to do more complicated accounts, make sure the properties are maintained and fit for habitation, and search for new investment opportunities.

Because of this, you need to have the luxury of time. If you don’t, you’ll be forever outsourcing these administrative tasks which will bump up your overall costs. And when your costs go up, all of a sudden renting out properties becomes far less lucrative.

Knowing Where To Invest Is Tough

The property market is one of the most eclectic in the world. And that makes it difficult to know where to invest, especially if you want to build a portfolio overseas. Sites like https://www.rumah.com/rumah-dijual/di-area-surabaya-idji29 give a flavour of the variety of properties and locations in the market, especially in emerging economies.

Buy Property, Build Wealth. It's That Simple - housing suburbs image

Credit: Wikipedia

Investors want a high return on their initial investment. It’s not just about rental income. It’s about building equity directly through price rises. Housing prices can rise for all sorts of reasons including population growth, local wage growth, lowering of interest rates in the domestic market, a lack of supply, and less strict lending rules. Factors that influence price vary from country to country, so as a property investor, you need to have your eyes and ears open to potential changes coming down the pike. Many investors, for instance, predicted the boom in house prices in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area when they saw that the technology industry was kicking off. House prices in San Francisco more than tripled between 1990 and 2018, providing owners with fabulous amounts of equity.

You Need To Be Patient

Day traders and people who buy stocks are used to reaping the rewards of their investments quickly. Profits can be taken after months or weeks, not years. But that’s not the case with property. If you want to become a property investor, you may have to wait several years before making a return.

The good news, however, is that if you can wait, the rewards are excellent. Not only do you get paid money for doing very little, but you also avoid a lot of the risk associated with other asset classes. It’s not uncommon, for instance, for stocks to drop more than 50 per cent in a week: it’s happened throughout history several times. But rental prices rarely drop by that much, if ever. According to http://www.propertygeek.net/article/property-investment-without-money/ this makes it much easier to start a business based on property.

So there you have it: why the costs of investing in property are worth your while. Good luck.

The top 5 advantages of hard money loans

Hard money loans are offered by private firms and real estate investors. They are usually borrowed against property assets. There are many advantages of these loans, but you should always be careful not to get into the sea of debt. Here are the top five advantages of hard money loans:

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  1. Hard Money Loans Are Approved Faster

Many realtors do not realize that as long as they have their property, they can quickly acquire loans for their urgent projects. These loans are usually approved within 3 to 5 business days. The alternative that most borrowers use is bank funding, and this can take close to a month to be approved. Hard money lenders therefore come in handy to save borrowers from long waiting periods. In some cases, the borrower requires funds as an emergency.

  1. Flexible Payments

Hard money lenders offer flexible repayment plans for their clients. The repayment plan can easily be tailored to suit your circumstances. In situations where you have difficulties repaying loans, you can easily explain your reasons for defaulting and agree on a new deal. When it comes to repayment, companies in Los Angeles try to treat you like a partner and not a client.

  1. Fewer Requirements

Normally, before mainstream loans are approved, a lot of due diligence is conducted. The banks check the client’s credit history thoroughly, and collateral is often needed. The rigidity of banks makes the process complicated, and this means only a few individuals can qualify for their products. However, with hard money lenders, the borrower is only required to have an asset that he can borrow funds against. Well, the fewer requirements for approval come as a savior for most borrowers.

  1. Zero Prepayment Penalty

It is possible to pay a hard money loan before the due date and face zero prepayment penalties. Banks, on the other hand, often subject their borrowers to penalties if they pay off the loan before it matures.

  1. Credit History Is Not a Big Issue

Not everyone has a history with mainstream credit bureaus. This is one reason why hard money lenders only require one to have a property that can be valued against the loan required. An equity stake can also be used to obtain loans from these institutions. Banks, on the other hand, will require you to have a high credit score. Otherwise, your loans will be very expensive. Most people who need loans are denied loans from banks because of their weak credit score.

Conclusion

Hard money loans are very easy to obtain. There are many advantages of these loans, and one of the biggest is the flexible repayment plan. You can even choose to pay the loan before the maturation date and still face zero consequences. Also, these loans are typically approved in very short periods.

 

Unique Ways To Increase The Price Of Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home? If so, you probably want to find ways to increase the value as much as you can. Perhaps surprisingly, there are a lot of unique ways to increase the value of your home besides just the standard fare of making improvements on your own.

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Naming Your Home 

Have you ever considered the possibility of naming your house? Believe it or not, the simple act of naming your home can often significantly increase the value and the asking price that you can receive. For example, if you have the last name of Chandler, and your home is at 548 Hill Street, rather than just saying the address, wouldn’t it sound much better if you said this is Chandler Manor? We certainly think so!

Helping Out The Neighbours 

Sometimes, the simple act of helping out the neighbours can help improve the value of your home as well. How so? Consider the “eyesore effect.” Just the very fact alone that potential buyers will have to look at a messy neighbour’s property might bring down the price of your home. This is one of the main reasons why you should consider volunteering your time to help these neighbours out! For example, if you have a neighbour that has an unkempt garden, perhaps they simply do not have the time nor do they have the wherewithal to keep the garden or exterior up. However, if you work to keep this garden up for them, you will only feel good, but you will help the scenery for any potential buyers of your home. The same goes for a scrap in yards. You can definitely volunteer your time to spruce up a neighbour’s yard and help them clear out any scrap (with their permission of course). In some cases, the simple act of just helping to spruce up your neighbour’s property might even raise your house value by an extra thousand or two. 

Helping Out The Street 

You could also consider sprucing up part of the street that your home is on. Admittedly, this game plan is not something that can be accomplished overnight. However, if it is in your long-term planning to eventually sell your home you might consider some community involvement such as attending a meeting at a local homeowners association or leading an initiative before your local town council. Will the payoff happen right away? No, it won’t. This will occur over a number of months or even a number of years.

Add Some Extra Colour To Your Home 

Although this might seem like a no-brainer, adding some colour to your house can definitely improve the resale value of it. However, there is a catch here. Don’t just add any colour scheme to your home. First of all, you should intently study the colours of the houses that have recently sold well in your area. Although colour is of course not the only factor, look at what colour schemes the top sellers in the realty pages have had. You might strongly consider repainting your house these colours, and you might consider acquiring a computer program that will allow you to experiment with how different colours would look on your home as well. In doing some of these suggestions, you will definitely have a strong improvement in the potential resale value of your home!