Archive for June, 2011

Are you Showing with Technology?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

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There are tons of real estate businesses out there. With the current trends in the real estate market, there are three times as many properties available, and there aren’t as many people buying as there were in the real estate boom. The question then becomes, how are you going to stand out as a real estate agent, and how are you going to attract today’s buyers. There are a number of groups and sites popping up that offer some insight to what they feel you should do in the real estate business. Their ideas run the gambit from marketing with small objects like stress balls or key chains to dancing around in a gorilla suit. Anything you that for promotion will get you a little attention and make work for a while. How are you going to attract high quality potential buyers to make those sales?

Borrow Ideas

The truth is no one business or industry has all of the answers on how to be successful, or we would all be millionaires. There are companies in your area that are successful. Look around to find what they are doing to appeal to their market. Then do something similar.

Social marketing

You have a Facebook page, but does your business? Social media is a great outlet for getting your business name out there. Don’t put all of your stock in one account though. MySpace was once popular, and then Facebook came and MySpace faded out. Spread your business name through all of the social media sites, and commit to writing that blog. If you can’t personally do it, hire someone that has the time and SEO word skills to write it for you. There’s nothing like a great ghost writer.

Photos and Videos

Traditionally, real estate agents have used snapshots of properties, but they always followed it up with, “You need to see this in person.” Great photos and videos of your clients’ properties can really boost your sales numbers. Some people say the majority of buyers want to see a video of the property they are interested in buying. Why not be the real estate agent that gives that to them? Either hire a professional or do it yourself, and do it! Professionals know how to play off the right light and angles in rooms, and they can capture amazing views outside. Technology has come so far, that you can create a virtual walkthrough for your buyers. Imagine being able to click on a home and feel as if you are really there. This goes beyond a mere photo or video. This is total sensory immersion.

In order to be a better real estate business in the coming years, be wise now! Step up your game with technology. If your burning desire for the real estate business has you thirsting for more, contact Homevestors.com for more information on our real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities.

 

Voting Has Begun for The Ugliest House

Monday, June 27th, 2011

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Voting has begun for The Ugliest House contest for 2011.

This contest, sponsored by HomeVestors®, seeks to find the ugliest house in communities across the US. This contest is open to any Real Estate Investors to nominate houses they own. Anyone can vote in the contest by going to www.theugliesthouse.com

This is a fun site to visit. People wonder, do they really buy ugly houses? Though most of the houses HomeVestors buys simply have repair issues, some of them indeed are really ugly.

 

Smell is Important in Selling Houses

Monday, June 27th, 2011

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A lot of Real Estate Investors disregard the importance of smell in selling houses. Smell is one of those first impressions that is critical.

Women’s brains are much more impacted by smell than men. Since women usually have the major influence on home purchase decision, this makes lots of sense.This also why you want the house smelling good before a potential purchaser or renter views the house.

Candace Asbell, a partner with  CityScape Properties, HomeVestors® independently owned and operated franchise in Kansas City, explains that she uses wall flowers to spice up the smell of a newly rehabbed house. “Wall flowers can be purchased at bath and body works.  I change scents with the seasons: clean fresh scents for spring and summer, spicy scents for fall and winter. A pumpkin scent is good for kitchens and clean cotton for laundry areas. On larger homes I like an exotic scent for the master bedrooms (moonlight path or lavender vanilla).”

 

How to Attract the Best Buyers and Renters

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

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This started as two separate articles, but the principles are the same for attracting the best buyers and renters. In the real estate business, you only want the best candidates to have the property you are showing. You want to know the property will be taken care of and cherished. How can you ensure that you bring only the best people to your property?

Advertise

No one will know you property is available for sale/rent if you do not advertise. Getting the property listed with a real estate agent will help people know you are serious about selling/renting the property.  The real estate agent should handle the marketing of your property. Ask how it will be advertised. For optimum sale/rental, the house should be listed online, in the paper, and in any other agent listings.

The Property Sells Itself

Believe it or not, having a clean, up to date property will attract the best clients for you. Keeping the exterior well maintained and colorful brings clients to your door. A fresh coat of paint and up to date appliances and flooring will make most people make an offer. Your appearance and the property’s appearance should be at their best. The person showing the property, usually the real estate agent, should be well dressed and groomed. Dressing well conveys a message that you are serious about this property and its sale/rental. Before showing the property, you should hire a cleaning company to come in and go over everything, especially the carpets. This will ensure the home is in its cleanest condition. Then, stage the home. Empty homes do not bring in as much money because buyers/renters have a harder tie seeing how their belongings will fit into your property.

What is the best buyer/renter?

The best buyer/renter is one that makes an offer and passes your ethical guidelines. Can they pass a background and credit check? Do they have a verifiable job? Do they have references? Do they have money for the deposit and the rent or sale? Have you met everyone that will live there? Do they smoke or have pets? A great buyer/renter will be able to honestly answer all of these questions and more.

After showing them the property and finding out their interests, make sure to get their contact information and run a background check. These checks include not only a person’s criminal history, but also the opportunity to examine their credit score and renting history. If the candidate has skipped out several times before, he probably would not be the best person for your property. Mae sure you screen all of the applicants thoroughly. The future of your property will be in their hands.

Will Assignments be Illegal In Texas? In a Word, No

Friday, June 17th, 2011

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We have had a lot of questions from Real Estate Investors about House Bill 8 in Texas. The language, like most bills, requires an attorney to translate.

David Smitherman, a friend and great real estate attorney in Houston, gives us common real estate investors his translation:

HB 8 is not what the real estate investor public thinks it is.

The intent of HB 8 (which should go into effect by Sunday at the latest) was to prohibit past owners of real estate from retaining an interest in property they have already sold through the use of transfer fees.  Moreover, HB 8 specifically excludes consideration paid for an assignment or transfer of interest in real estate within the “real estate investor” context –

(b)        For purposes of this subchapter, the following payments are not considered private transfer fee obligations:

(1)        consideration paid by a purchaser to a seller for an interest in real property transferred…if the additional consideration is paid only once and that payment does not bind successors in interest to the property to any private transfer fee obligation;

(5)        consideration paid to the holder of an option to purchase an interest in property, or to the holder of a right of first refusal or first offer to purchase an interest in property, for waiving, releasing or not exercising the option or right when the property is transferred to another person;

So, HB 8 won’t operate the way in which it has been purported it would.  In fact, HB 8 is good for all Texans, investors and non-investors alike, because it will prohibit the trend sweeping the country today wherein present-day opportunists are creating a system which pays huge dividends to them for many years to come while also acting as a restraint on alienation of property.

DESTINED FOR DESTITUTE?

Monday, June 13th, 2011

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There is a major shift in investment thinking. Financial advisory industry is awakening to real estate as an asset class

I just spoke at a Financial Advisor conference on using real estate to rebuild shattered portfolios.

Keynote speaker Nick Murray (www.nickmurray.com) has been the leading advisors’ advisor for 45 years. His message was simple: the business of investment advice is promoting a failing principal, that of principal protection. The need now is to protect investor purchasing power through a client’s retirement.

“The Great Depression conditioned our parents and their boomer children,” says Murray, “to think of capital preservation as the most important issue.” Once Boomer reach retirement, theory says retire comfortably on a fixed income.  With the average retiree’s worth, current spending and inflation, this means they are destined for destitution.

The only investment that can close the gap is real estate and preferably by way of direct investment in income producing properties. It is the only investment that is indexed to inflation, both on income and on appreciation.

WHEN NICK SPEAKS AN INDUSTRY LISTENS

When leaders like Murray begin to define and get behind a practical trend, this is almost guaranteed to become a market standard.

The mission of Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine is to be the magazine of record for the individual real estate investment industry. One way for us to contribute to the building of this industry is to help establish wide recognition and adoption of the value that direct ownership in real estate offers individual investment plans and the people meant to benefit from these immediate plans.

So many advisors are still talking about estate planning when at the rate wealth and purchasing power is been eroded, there is little likely there will be an estate.  Murray preaches that inflation indexed real estate income and holdings can help protect buying power…..and even more so when the principals that are common place to investor such as wise leverage, applied tax advantages and conscientious property and portfolio management converge to ensure that rental income increases and assets appreciate.

CHUCK CHUCK OR TALK TO CHUCK?

Real estate advisors and brokers earn their money in essentially two ways; for fee advice where they are paid a fee for the amount of assets under management and any portfolio growth by virtue of their wise ministrations.  Alternatively earn commissions when the broker and/or agent place their client in a recommended investment.

Traditional advisors and brokers are finding themselves out in the cold when clients find and embrace real estate investing on their own accord. Clients are finding real estate returns outperform most standard advisor investment offerings. Money goes where is treated best.  Losing client is not lost on for fee asset managers or commissioned brokers.

INVESTING FOR LIFE STYLE

When an investment advisor is willing to listen to the real numbers and not the stock and fund centric Wall Street marketing machine, the reality is that today income real estate bought on fundamentals can pay for itself. Add in the bonuses of inflation indexed real estate income, wise leverage, useful tax deductions and  prospective appreciation and stocks, bonds and funds do not yield anything like comparable returns.

“Protecting investor purchasing power is the absolute mandate for a modern investor advisor’s success,” says Murray. “Today $1.00 in income/expense will need to be replaced by $2.44 over the next 30 years for a 65 year old retiree who is expected to live into their 90s.”

Real estate is the only inflation indexed asset both in income and principal. For the 10,000 Boomers retiring everyday, (three million a year and 30 million over the next decade) the news is troubling. Aware retirees have a very personal urgency to solving this challenge.

Investment advisors and their clients are awakening to this income from secured assets. Honest real estate investment providers willing to work with and within the regulated world of investment advisors have a very bright future. Paraphrasing Reverend Ike “Help the poor (retiree), don’t be one!”

Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine shares this vision and helps connect advisors with professional performing turnkey rental providers. Can we help you?

_________________________________________________________________


Andrew Waite is publisher of Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine,
the premier magazine for individual real estate investors.

 

 

 

Real estate investing 101: Ads that attract tenants

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

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Everything is all about marketing today, traditional, and Internet based. Even the worst jobs or business offers may seem perfect thanks to advertisements and good marketing campaigns. In real estate investing, ads work for both sides very well and bring long-term results, which is most important. It is a fact that it’s not always easy finding a good tenant. HomeVestors® independently owned and operated franchisees have experience in real estate marketing that attracts tenants.

There are many places a savvy real estate investor can place their ad – in the newspapers, on the Internet, through apartment guides, as well as word of mouth and flyers. The newspaper ads remain one of the key tried and true ways of renting your property. You can capture the reader’s attention if the ad looks good and spotlights the right features. A good ad must include a full description, such as house size, number of rooms, does the rent include utilities and any other features you believe are worth mentioning. For an online ad, photos are a must and can really motivate the renter to visit your property.

What you do not put in your ad is important too. Any type of discrimination is not allowed, such as indicating you are seeking female tenants only, or someone of a particular ethnic group or nationality.  To protect your real estate investing business it is recommended you consult an attorney and ask them to review your rental application to confirm it meets the city, state and federal fair housing guidelines.

Naturally you still reserve the right to rent your property to someone who meets your credit or rental history requirements, as well as confirming they do not have a criminal background. This is why it is important that you always research the background of potential tenants and check their rental and credit history.

The advertisements are great marketing tools but don’t oversell what you are offering. Likewise, when you select a tenant make sure you follow through on any changes you promise. Being a bad landlord can not only push the tenant away, but a reputation as a bad landlord travels faster than you can imagine.

Since your ad will not be the only one in newspapers, within your word count limitation, try to use your words wisely. The ad should be informative, attention getting, and fit the target audience by spotlighting trends history shows is important to that audience.

For more information on how to craft the right advertisement to attract tenants, speak to one of the HomeVestors® Development Agents by calling your local franchisee office.  A successful real estate investment business is about being in the people business and speaking the right language for your market.

 

You Don’t Need a Guru, You need a Mentor

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

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We’ve all seen those late night TV infomercials with the guy who is ready to share his real estate investing secrets with you. Just send him your money and you get his exclusive books and CD’s that contain his hot concepts on how to invest in real estate. Or maybe you attended your local real estate investor club meeting where the featured guest has a killer real estate program that he is willing to share with you at half the normal cost… “tonight only”.

You have to ask yourself, are any of these guys willing to work with you personally throughout your entire career as a real estate investor? Can you call him when you are standing in front of a house you are considering buying to ask his advice? And what makes his singular and extraordinary method the best for success?

At HomeVestors of America®, we are a network of real estate investors that are actually “doing the business”. We have experienced Development Agents (DA’s) that work directly with our franchisees to mentor, coach and support them in their HomeVestors real estate investing businesses – everyday.

The HomeVestors franchise system is not the concept of an individual real estate guru on a hyped up promotional tour for our latest paperback course. We are performing businesses that actually buy and sell real estate. We are a team of like minded real estate investors that share ideas and work together for the good and success of all. And, we are the only franchise of its kind with a system that has bought more than 45,000 houses since 1996 with the highly recognizable “We Buy Ugly Houses®” brand that represents instant clout and credibility to our customers.
___________________________________________
Rob Caldwell is a Development Agent with HomeVestors of America and is based in Lake Lure, North Carolina. Rob’s role is to recruit, train and support HomeVestors franchise offices in North and South Carolina. Since 2004 Rob has bought 100’s of houses through the “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchise system. If you are interested in a HomeVestors franchise in the Carolinas, contact Rob today! Rob.Caldwell@homevestors.com or 828-625-5836.

Real Estate Investing and Rickey Williams

Monday, June 6th, 2011

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Rickey Williams, president of WFI Properties Inc  – and also a seasoned real estate investor – is one of the most successful independently owned and operated franchises with HomeVestors, better known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” people.  What’s interesting to note is that before he joined HomeVestors, he had no real estate investing experience.  In fact, he didn’t even have formal real estate investing training.  At the time he joined the company, he was an investment banker who bought the franchise thinking it would be for his son.  Rickey joined HomeVestors in 2004.  And as the old saying goes, “the rest is history.”

And what a history it has been.  He has built his one man franchise into a thriving real estate investing business that now includes his son Rickey Jr, a buyer, and his other son Chris, who leads their construction projects.  Their investing strategy is simple: locate suitable houses, fix them up and either rent them out or sell them at a premium.

When asked why he chose the HomeVestors franchise, the nations only real estate investing franchise, Rickey said, “It was the brand name.  People know the brand, which helps to establish credibility from the get-go.   I knew that when I was trying to negotiate deals, people weren’t going to look at me like I was some fly-by-night real estate investor trying to scam them.”

Rickey attributes his success to the HomeVestors system.  He said that the system itself is the missing link between what most real estate investor “gurus” teach in their books and seminars and what it takes to be a successful investor in the real world.

“The HomeVestors system helps new real estate investors to identify which houses are duds – and which are studs,” he added.  “Once that perfect property is located, it then walks them through every step of the process, leaving no stone unturned.”

He said that the main appeal about HomeVestors was that it brought the most successful real estate investors together and allowed new investors to mingle with the organizations top success stories.  “Where else can you meet successful real estate investors and specifically ask them your most burning questions?” Williams stated.  “I think you would be hard-pressed to find that type of cooperation and sense of camaraderie elsewhere.”

Presently at WFI Properties, they are keeping about 65% of all the houses and are shooting for a goal of owning 600-700 houses.  Mr. Williams feels confident that this goal is going to be attained much sooner rather than later.

HomeVestors of America, Inc., is the #1 buyer of houses in the U.S.  With almost 200 franchisees in 33 states, HomeVestors has bought more than 45,000 houses.  If you are interested in learning more, go to HomeVestorsfranchise.com.

 

Getting Better With Age

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

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HomeVestors of America was founded in 1996.  Since that time, they have grown substantially – not just in size, but in experience.  In the ever changingreal estate investing business, HomeVestors has adapted to the changing real estate markets to help their independently owned and operated franchise owners all over the nation.  Real estate investors who are new to HomeVestors and those who have been with the company for years agree that HomeVestors continues to get stronger and better with age.

Keith Immken, a top franchise owner with HomeVestors® located in St. Louis, Mo, has been with HomeVestors for eight years.  For a young man in his mid-twenties when he started his franchise, Keith was looking for a leg up in a very competitive market.  He needed help getting to the “next level” of success, and he found that at HomeVestors.  Now a successful real estate investor, he and his team still value what HomeVestors has to offer.  Keith noted that HomeVestors has changed over the years to keep up with and ahead of the real estate business.  He believes that the company is even stronger than when he first became acquainted with the company.  The continuous training offered by HomeVestors, their on-going support, and national brand recognition have all contributed to his successful real estate investing business.

HomeVestors continues to grow and get better with age.  They actively seek to educate and support their franchisee owners.  They are continually in quest of ways to increase their national presence and maintain the quality of the brand they have created through hard work, ingenuity, and good business sense.  If you are interested in becoming a real estate investor, turn to the company that knows the real estate investing business.