Category Archives: Real Estate

Real Estate Agent Guide

There are thousands of real estate agents according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. So in order for you to stand out and be the best, you need more than a license and knowledge of the real estate market. Most agents call it quits after a few years not because they lack the muscle to soldier on during tough times, but simply because they do not know how to negotiate. This makes them always fail to convince real estate investors to sell or motivate a buyer to splash out the cash on a property. Here are some ways that you can be the best real estate agent and always be in a position to make the best deal.

  • Don’t Talk Just Listen

When you want to negotiate, listen first and speak later. When a client throws an offer on the table, do not react immediately. Mull over the offer before you respond. Most clients interpret this as disappointment and would review the offer. Master negotiators use this art to get less experienced people to make lower offers without having to open their mouths and make a counter-offer.

  • Information is King

The best real estate agent is the one with information at his disposal. During negotiations, it is important to know the objectives and the motives behind any deal. Negotiations are not always about money. It might be more about solving a problem rather than money. Some smart agents realize this and use it effectively to their advantage.

Imagine if there are 2 desperate agents jostling for an available property. One agent might think that the buyer with the most money wins and might want to ask for an extra month for his client to get financing. The second agent might ask the seller why his property is on the market. The seller might say that he has to take a job offer overseas and needs to move in the next 2 weeks. This savvy agent can close the deal by paying less in 2 weeks with no inspection contingencies.

The first agent offered more money but lost out. The second agent offered less and won. Why? He solved a problem and that was because he garnered information from the seller before making his offer.

  • Massage Egos

Avoid being an agent who is driven by a “winning ego” rather than doing business properly and preserving business relationships. Some agents would clamor for their last penny in commissions; others just walk away with an ego massage and collect all their entitlements.

Landing The Best Real Estate

Buying a house is, for many people, the single biggest purchase they will ever make in their lifetime. The last thing they need is buyer’s remorse. So how do you make sure the investment you make in property is one that will always give you satisfaction?

Lots of people begin house-hunting on the Internet, which is certainly a practical thing to do. Numerous properties for sale are featured online. Colored photos and detailed descriptions give a fairly good idea of what to expect when one actually goes in person to see the real estate. Properties are well-represented on the Web.

The Internet is indeed a good place to start, but the best way to insure your property purchase is a good one is to hire the services of a reputable real estate agent. Now how do you go about choosing an agent? Here are some things to consider.

Experience

How many sales has the agent closed? More closings equal more experience. Take into account as well how long they have worked in real estate and whether they work full-time.

Are they online?

The best real estate agent will have kept up with the times and is available to buyers and sellers not just by phone call or text, but by email. Having their own website is a plus and should help you evaluate their credentials.

Positive feedback

Look for testimonies of an agent’s good work, whether posted on their website or passed on to you by word of mouth from a satisfied client. Favorable comments are a very good sign that an agent is worth hiring.

How busy are they?

A good agent doesn’t lack for work. However, if they are busy enough to hand you off to an assistant, you should probably look elsewhere.

Knowledge

Your agent should obviously know more than you do about real estate, the market, and the area where they practice. They should be able to educate you on the finer points of evaluating properties and of the buying process, and refer you to local experts such as building inspectors if needed.

What Is the Best Real Estate Website

Aiming for the best real estate website design is what every realtor should aim for. Building a real estate website is not enough, it should be well-designed in a manner that will bring you profit as what you are aiming for in the first place. The best real estate website design will give you an edge over your competitors because you’ve designed a website that will help your visitors find what they need easily. People that go through your website should have a great user experience, this way they will not leave your website unless they found what they need and they are done with their purpose.

Best Real Estate Website Design Elements and Integrated Features

Clear Navigation Bar – Design your website in a way that the navigation bar is easily captured by your audience. This helps them find what they are looking for. They can easily learn about your business by going to your “about us page”. People can quickly decide which property to buy once they easily found all the information they needed. Of course, your navigation bar should be placed at the top of your website. Exception the rule is your landing page. Your landing page shouldn’t have a navigation bar to make your audience focus on the information you want them to see.

Virtual Tours – It will be great if you have integrated your website with a high-definition virtual tour. The images and videos that show the whole property and its neighborhood thrilled the buyers. It is nice to show your visitors around without bringing them to the actual place. It will save you time and money. You can get more page views with this feature and leave visitors satisfied. You can ask a professional help to do this for you.

Lead Capture Form – No one can deny the importance of lead capture form in every real estate website. Unlike other niche, real estate website visitors want to subscribe to a newsletter because they want to be notified from time to time on a new listing until they have found what they are searching for, so come on and design a lead capture form that will lead your visitors to sign up. It should be attractive enough to catch your leads attention. The wordings should be carefully chosen. You shouldn’t just simply tell them to sign up here, click here or go here. You should at least explain what they are getting if they do so. It will also be handy to have a telephone number inclusion optional in your form. Always test your form so that you are not missing any leads.

Best Real Estate Investing Program

Here’s the simple four-step best real estate investing program you can start today! You could choose a more complicated path, but why would you do that?

Step one in your best real estate investing program is to find a group of local investors to join, and start attending their meetings right away. Usually this group will be called REIA (Real Estate Investors Association), but it may be called something different in your area. The best real estate investing program puts you in touch with other local people who do the kind of investing you want to do. Start networking for the purpose of finding a possible mentor.

Step two in the best real estate investing program is beginning and nurturing a mentor relationship with one of the investors you meet at the investor’s group. Build a relationship with someone you think you could work well with, and ask them to help you. Emphasize that, in return, you’ll be willing to do a lot of the leg work they don’t have time to do.

Step three in the best real estate investing program is getting your education online. We live in such amazing times… an absolute ton of information is available to you on the internet, most of it free or for very low cost. Read and research your favorite real estate investing topics, and locate the very best free sites the internet has to offer. Once you find them, be sure to bookmark them and visit often!

Step four in the best real estate investing program is doing your very first deal. Even if it takes you several months, you’ll get here, and when you do you’ll want your mentor to walk you through it. This will give you a confidence boost, and help ensure you learn as much as possible.

This four step best real estate investing program may seem simple, but it works every time it’s tried! Don’t make the mistake of trying move too fast, and becoming confused. Also don’t make the mistake of taking no action at all. Read about how to do it, understand how to do it, then go do it!

I know I’ve only given you a taste here… here’s a much more detailed article on the best real estate investing program.

If you put this four step best real estate investing program into practice starting today, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the kind of real estate investing success most people only dream about.

Best Real Estate Investing

If you’re interested in finding the best real estate investing sites, and you’d like to save yourself some time and aggravation, this article will give you some guidelines on how to do just that!

Never before has so much information been available to you, on just about any subject imaginable, and real estate investing is no different. Whatever information you’re looking for is available online, and the good news is… most of it is free or very low cost on the best real estate investing sites. You just need to know where and how to search.

Want to know a secret? I’ve already done much of the hard work for you. I’ve been investing for several years, and I started searching for the best real estate investing sites a long time ago. I’ll be happy to share the fruits of my labor with you, and I’m not going to charge you anything at all.

You see, there are just a few sites that really stand out from the rest, and that’s why I call them the best real estate investing sites. They are the sites that give you the best combination of information and expertise, and they give it to you for free or very low cost.

Far too many sites give you nothing in the way of content or information. They’ll never be among the best real estate investing sites because they’re just sales pages or link farms. They’re full of hype and promise, but you’ll recognize them right away because there’s nothing of substance there.

The best real estate investing sites are loaded with useful free content such as articles, reports, user forums and discussion groups, and more! They will also recommend books, courses, videos, and coaching programs that will help you on your way to real estate investing success.

Yes, even the best real estate investing sites will ask you to pay for certain courses and content. After all, everybody’s got to make a living, right? But you also need to know that you can find out most of what you want to learn without paying much money at all. At least you can do all the upfront research first, without cost, and then purchase products after you know what direction you want to head in.

So what’s the secret to getting the most out of the best real estate investing sites? In a nutshell, simply visit often, read all the free articles and reports you can, participate in the forums and discussion groups, build relationships with the site owners and other participants, and generally make a nuisance of yourself!

Of course, I’m kidding, but you get the idea. Ask tons of questions, take lots of notes, and build your knowledge base. As the Bible says, “Seek and ye shall find.” The best real estate investing sites have everything you need to figure out this game called real estate investing.

How to Find the Best Real Estate

Real estate agents are essential characters when it comes to buying property. These individuals are the authorities in the industry and to find the best deals that may be availed it is best to have these individuals around for assistance. However, with the large number of real estate agent that may be hired in the field, people are caught not an inkling of which person to hire to aid them in their property-buying necessities. In order to solve this dilemma, here are some advice to find the best real estate agent for you.

Identify Your Needs
Though it can look out of topic, being aware of your needs can actually aid in finding the best real estate agent. This is firstly because the best agent doesn’t just refer to the first person on the list. The best broker can be the the person at the bottom but the only one who answered your needs to the utmost. Because of this, identifying your own requirements is important. You may relay this need to the realtor and if the person answers in a positive manner then you have met your agent.

Get Recommendations
There isn’t an easier way to get a good broker than to go around asking for recommendations. Interview the individuals who already had a familiarity with buying a property and in getting a real estate agent. People who got the best realtor probably had an efficient agent. Thus, approach these individuals and get their tips. They probably have much to say as regards their realtor. You may further review their evaluations of the brokers they got and see which of them had an experience which you might wish to have in your asset-buying process.

Check Potential Realtor’s Experience
There is nothing wrong with scrutinizing a potential broker. After all, you are going to be hiring and giving wages to the person. Ergo, you should have a guarantee that you aren’t throwing away any money on an inefficient worker. Do not be ashamed to inquire about their experience. Good real estate agent are always willing to reply to this query. On the other hand, bad realtors might have a difficult time responding as their sheet is flawed. To assured you are getting the best deal, make sure to get aid from those you can trust and effective laborers.

Ask Potential Realtors on How Much They can Attend to Your Needs
As what was said earlier, knowing your requirements is vital when getting a real estate agent. Through knowing what can satiate you in the whole procedure you can instantly relay it to the broker who wants to give you service. Upon relaying your needs you can then ask if the real estate agent is willing to give in to your desires lest you should move on to the next broker on your options. This shortens the options faster and make the process quicker.

Don’t Pressure Yourself
Only if you are in a terrible need of a property, you must not stress yourself to immediately get an excellent broker. Too much persistence can produce a lot of stress and irritation. This may darken your decision and instead of getting a good agent, you might end up with a greedy, uncooperative one. Therefore, the best thing is to take your time in looking for an agent. Through not pressuring yourself a lot, you prevent yourself from getting annoyed and from making bad decisions.

Singling Out The Best Real Estate

You know you are halfway there once you find your dream home. The only thing that remains is coming to a consensus with the seller, regarding his or her ask price. Ideally, the asking price is to be brought down to the price that you want.

It is common for buyers to be mistaken in assuming that they can easily persuade the seller into selling their home using some natural negotiation tactics. The truth of the matter is that this may only be possible for those that have a horseshoe, rabbit’s foot and four-leaf clover in their possession.

Individuals that have never done any type of negotiation before and are in the dark about this sort of thing ought to seek the help of a real estate attorney that can assist in closing the deal. Attorneys that specialize in real estate will work to ensure that the totality of legal documents is thoroughly evaluated and recorded and that as a buyer, your rights are fully safeguarded.

It is true that acquiring the help of an attorney that specializes in real estate means spending more money. Consider a few suggestions below, in order to single out the best attorney that will be able to help you out best, provided the extra cost for the attorney’s service.

Real estate brokers or agents that may be helping you with the purchase of your dream home often have plenty of contacts and referrals that you may need the help of. Just the same, bear in mind that having both a broker or agent and a real estate attorney can bring about conflict of interest, on account of the fact that the relationship that your attorney and agent may have may be forced when it comes to settling the deal, regardless of your demands or desires, just so the deal can be closed and the Realtor can get his or her fees.

This sort of predicament can be dodged by seeking referrals from relatives or close friends. Internet searches also ought to yield quick searches and results that are impartial; just be sure to find a reputable site.

Prospects must be interviewed one at a time, prior to singling out the best real estate attorney. You may want to do a background check on each candidate, as well as educate yourself on their track record, and also request client referrals for references you could get in touch with.

Tips to Help You Select the Best Real Estate

I decided to write this post because if I had read something similar to this when I was first starting out in Real Estate, I would have saved myself a lot of time, headaches and stress. Without getting into my personal real estate agent horror stories, here are my 5 tips for selecting the best real estate agent:

1. Make Sure they are Full Time Agents

Without a question this is one of the most important aspects in selecting a great realtor. I’ve come to notice that a lot of people think that real estate agents make a lot of money and that it is a short cut to becoming well off. So as a result, a whole bunch of people get their realtor license for the wrong reasons. They have “hopes” of getting a 5% commission on a $1,000,000 house ($50,000). The truth is, being successful at anything requires a lot of hard work and dedication no matter what business you are in. Real Estate is no different – in fact, about 20% of realtors do 80% of all real estate transactions (within a particular geographical area).

2. Help Without Action

A realtor, much like a lawyer or a doctor must have your best interest at heart. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, not everyone gets his or her license for the right reasons. If the realtor you are communicating with expects you to sign a commitment agreement right away (even if they tell you they are required by their broker) I would be seriously alarmed. Like in any successful and harmonious relationship, there has to be the right fit first. In order to determine if there is a fit to work together or not, your potential realtor should be willing to help you a little bit (learn the market, see some comps etc.) without any contracts or expectation of you to take action – ever; no-pressure type of relationship. Great full time realtors know that that is the best way to attract business and long term success. Meanwhile amateurs and likely not very serious agents will feel more confident in themselves if they “locked” you up legally. Sadly, many clients out there will feel obliged to the realtor under the terms of the agreement.

3. Area Expert

Despite the claims you might see on the front page of newspapers that might be something along the lines of “Canadian Real Estate Market is Down”, any savvy, experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent will know to ignore that. Every market (ex. Toronto) also has many sub-markets (ex. Down Town Core, Harbor Front, The Annex, etc). All of these sub-markets have different trends and fundamental factors affecting the rise or fall in the price, supply and demand, or properties available at a given time. Throughout GTA there are hundreds of different submarkets. Great real estate agents know that being an expert in only a few close by sub-markets will yield them better quality clients and a much more successful business. Their clients will also be much happier because their agents will be able to give them expert advice. Meanwhile amateur agents will help clients almost anywhere just to get a deal done. In other words, throw pasta on the wall and hope that something will stick! Do YOU want to be their client?

4. Specialty

Many people might find this a silly thing to do, but I like to compare realtors to doctors. A realtor without a specialty is much like a general walk-in clinic doctor, not that there is anything wrong with that. But if you are having sight problems, an eye specialist will be able to give you much better advice than a walk-in doctor. Not only do specialists have much better knowledge, but they also have the right tools to help you. The same goes for realtors. Are you in the market for a condo? Then you should be looking for a realtor who specializes in condos. Are you trying to be an investor? Then you need to be working with a realtor who specializes in working with investors. Realtors that specialize in condos within a particular sub-market are different than realtors specializing in working with investors for rental properties. Real estate agents who work with investors know exactly what type of properties cashflow, how much that cash flow will be, and where to look for these types of properties. Condo specialists will know exactly which buildings in the area have lower maintenance fees vs. condo prices vs. sizes of each unit.

5. Chemistry

Chemistry? Why in the world would this be relevant? Lets face it… we are slowly shifting away from a suit & tie corporate environment and transitioning into “Apple-Google” like business culture. Not to say that these top companies are not corporate, but the culture overall is just much more laid back, relaxed and fun. This is why they are able to attract the best and most talented programmers and employees all around. The same goes for realtors. Make sure you have the right chemistry. Be sure that the relationship and process is fun, easy going enjoyable and all at the same time professional.

The Best Real Estate Investment

A lot of folks would like to find the best real estate investment, but even the best real estate investment strategy requires time, effort and hassles doesn’t it? Not so for 2014, 2015 and well beyond… with this strategy.

Sit back for a moment and try to envision what your idea of the best real estate investment strategy would involve. Picture the upside potential to make money; but also the financial hazards and downside risk. If you’ve ever watched the popular TV shows on the subject you’ve seen people make money flipping houses. You’ve also seen blood, sweat and tears.

Here we look at the advantages and disadvantages of traditional strategy, and then move on to the best real estate investment strategy for people who just want to put their money to work to make money vs. working for their money. Traditionally you buy, finance, improve, maintain, and manage a property. Your primary objective might be price appreciation (buy low, sell high) or it could be income (rental income). In other words, your strategy may be to flip it; or it could be to hold it. Either way, some day either you or your heir(s) will likely sell it.

Traditionally, the huge advantage of investment properties has been the financial leverage achieved in financing it with OPM (other people’s money, like a bank). This magnifies profits because you can own a $100,000 property with $20,000 or less down, out of pocket. In other words, with $100,000 you could own five properties or more… each of them going up in value and producing rental income… instead of paying cash and owning just one. Implicit here is the assumption that the value of real properties generally go up in value.

The financial crisis of 2008 drove home the reality of financial leverage (OPM) and the risk that’s involved. High leverage with little or nothing down was the best real estate investment strategy for making money quick – until the bubble burst. But there are other disadvantages in owning properties. To name a few: poor liquidity, costs and expenses, questionable market values, and property taxes. You can’t buy or sell quickly and easily, and the market value of a property is always subjective. Whether you are buying, selling or holding there are significant costs and expenses involved.

If you can buy right (cheap), put a property to its best use, and make improvements with sweat equity (do it yourself) your best real estate investment strategy for 2014, 2015 and beyond could be to go for it – with or without financial leverage. Just hope that the market remains favorable, the creek don’t rise, and interest rates don’t rise too much either while you own it. Interest rates have been historically low for years now and are forecast to rise in 2014, 2015 and/or beyond. Higher rates are a negative for both market prices and marketability.

So, what’s the best real state investment strategy for busy people who don’t want the hassles and disadvantages of property management? Let the professionals do it for you, without personally owning real properties. Simply buy shares in REAL ESTATE mutual funds that manage a portfolio of stocks (equities) in the real estate sector – like home builders and REITs (equity real estate investment trusts) that own/manage office buildings, housing complexes and other commercial properties.

You can profit from both rising share prices and dividend income. You can buy or sell shares and find the value of your account on the internet anytime; and you can invest a few thousand dollars or a few million. The best real estate investment strategy for minimizing costs and expenses: go with NO-LOAD fund companies and avoid sales charges when you buy or sell. Total expenses can be 1% a year or less with the best real estate investment funds. To find them type “no-load funds” into your favorite search engine.

Your best real estate investment strategy to avoid the hassles and other inherent disadvantages of owning real properties is to invest in no-load real estate equity funds in 2014, 2015 and beyond. If the economy and the markets start to sour, you can sell some shares and buy back later at lower share prices.

Real Estate Analysis Software

Ask any real estate analysis software developer about the best program available and, naturally, you will get a resounding, “Mine is”. Fair enough. After all, a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into the development of a real estate investing program. So with the same patience we afford to a proud father publicizing that his child is remarkably special, we should be willing to give all software developers a pass; at least once.

Okay, that’s enough love to get the birds chirping, so let’s get on target: How do you find the best real estate analysis software to meet your particular objectives?

Namely, it depends on what you hope to accomplish. That is, are you willing to stick with the basic essentials for your rental property analysis and eliminate the more robust elements for time value and tax shelter; or are you prepared to take the plunge and go for an in-depth analysis with all the trimmings?

Here’s what I mean.

The return that real estate investors covet most is cash flow. This is the essence of real estate investing: that what investors really are purchasing when they make an investment is the cash that the property produces. If not on a monthly basis, or maybe not even on an annual basis, then at the very least, at the end of the day when the property is sold, they will fully expect to collect some amount of money that exceeds the amount they invested; and this is cash flow.

But cash flows are not created equal (at least not to an investor). Because there is income, and then there is income after Uncle Sam takes a bite out of it. In the world of real estate investing this unavoidable event results in what is known as cash “before” and cash “after” taxes; or CFBT and CFAT respectively.

A good real estate analysis software solution that provides only the basic elements will enable you just to determine the former CFBT whereas one that provides for the elements of tax shelter will allow you to also consider the latter CFAT.

So you must decide how far you want your rental property analysis to go. It’s probably safe to start with the basics, but if you’re serious about investment property, you should also plan to upgrade to the more robust features in the future.

The same is true for time value of money. In this case, when the real estate analysis software does make the computations for time value you can also measure cash flows in light of “when” they are received as well as the “amount” received.

This is important to investors because there is a value of money associated with time, otherwise characterized as the “purchasing power” of money. This requires little explanation because as a consumer you know that $20 five years ago purchased you more gasoline than it does today (i.e., the purchasing power of the exact same amount of money was affected over time).

Now take that idea and apply it to the thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of dollars an investor is going to shell out to purchase an apartment building and hold maybe for five years. There really can be no true measurement of profitability by owning that particular rental property without considering the time it will take for the investor to collect his earnings.

In this case, prudent investors look at such returns as internal rate of return, net present value, and financial management rate of return when making an investment decision; and a good rental property analysis program with the elements for time value typically computes these returns.

This one-two punch of tax shelter and time value will cost slightly more than the basic elements, but the best real estate analysis software you can buy will best satisfy your objectives. I tend to believe that real estate agents who primarily sell residential properties and are merely looking to get started with investment real estate can do quite well without these more robust elements (at least initially). Whereas those more engaged who are looking to build an ongoing real estate investing business should have these features.