Tips To Help You Achieve Success As A Real Estate Investor

If you are looking for a great way of building your net worth, investing in real estate is a great idea. You can make a lot of money if you do it the right way. However, if you don’t follow the right techniques, this venture can cost you a lot of money. Therefore, we have shared a few tips with you that can help you achieve success as a real estate investor.

Opt for a Good Location

Location is the first thing that people consider when they need to buy a residential, vocational or commercial properly. Ideally, the property you are going to buy should be near a workplace and school. Similarly, if it’s close to the marketplace, people can go there without burning a lot of gas or killing a lot of time. Therefore, it’s much better to choose a better location.

Upgrade or Renovate Your Property

It’s better that you upgrade your property features to make it more appealing. For instance, you may add home automation, such as automated lighting. The same is true about commercial real estate as well.

If you offer wheelchair lifts, for instance, it can make your property more useful for people with disabilities. This will attract many more buyers. Actually, it all depends upon how convenient your property is. If your property offers features that can help people make their lives easier, more people will show their interest in what you offer.

Improve Property Conditions

More buyers will contact you if your house or apartment is well maintained. However, make sure you don’t go beyond the limits. In other words, you may not want to spend an arm and a leg just to make your property more beautiful. It won’t increase the value of your property exponentially. Although it may be worth it in certain situations, spending too much is not a good idea.

Let’s take a look at a few tips that can help you make your property well-maintained.

Kitchen: if you do it right, your kitchen can increase the value of your property by up to 80%. Therefore, if you renovate your kitchen by spending $15,000, you can sell your house at 80% higher price.

Plumbing: we all need clean running water. Keep in mind that rusty pipes pose a health hazard in addition to reducing the beauty of your house.

Landscaping: If you maintain your landscape properly, it can add ambience to your house or apartment. In addition, landscaping helps reduce your energy bills.

Do Your Research

Make sure you consider the type of people that you think will be suitable if you want to sell or rent your house. If you want to get the highest return on your investment, make sure you contact the right people. Otherwise, you won’t be able to earn a lot of profit or find good buyers. Opting for the right clients can help you find a great deal.

Conclusion

So, these are a few tips that you can follow if you want to get the most out of your investment. Hopefully, you will find these tips pretty helpful.

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4 Easy Tips To Go Green And Thus Attract More Tenants

Going green is the trend these days, and it’s because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. As a landlord, you should be able to identify this trend and use it to your advantage to make your house look more attractive to the tenants. There are several ways in which you can make your house green. Here are 4 easy environment-friendly tips on attracting more tenants:

1. Introduce Green Replacements

If you are about to renovate your house before putting it back on the rental market, or even before doing something as small as fixing a broken bulb, consider getting green replacements. This is generally better if your tenants are already living in the house, as it reduces the downtime.

Check if the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer have Energy Star ratings. Replace older shower heads with low-flow models. Other small things that you can pay attention to include light bulbs, carpets, window coverings, and paints.

2. Use Solar Energy

It has been found that heating water using electricity is a major contributor to power consumption and electricity bills. While solar panels have been making a leeway into apartment complexes, you should make it a priority even if it’s an individual house. Solar heat pumps are available on the market, and the government has been supporting the idea with subsidies. The future will see better storage technologies for solar power, and your house will appear smart to the tenants with this choice. And hey, it would reduce the bills too!

3. Insulate Your House

Insulating your home is a direct step towards encouraging sustainability. You can trap cold air in the summers and warm air in the winters. This reduces the annual costs involved in using air conditioners and heat radiators. There are ample cheap, recycled insulators in the market that are made of wool and polyester. You should definitely consider getting them.

4. Get Compost And Recycle Bins

You can get your tenants some inexpensive recycle bins. It would be great if you can get compost bins too, as these will promote waste reduction and proper recycling of food waste. You can even buy some fruit gardens to use the compost. Tenants will really appreciate this.

These days, more and more house hunters are looking to live in environmentally friendly areas. Follow these simple steps to not only ensure that you attract green-savvy tenants, but also help the house live long.

Do I Need A Real Estate Investing Course?

Taking a real estate investing course will introduce lots of helpful information needed in today’s market. Most investors find that their motivation and desire to succeed is all the help needed. However, there are some that may need additional guidance with their projects. The real goal is understanding the basics of real estate investing (REI). These basics are essential to being successful in this business.

For starters, here are a few things that an investors course will teach:

Negotiations: As you begin investing, you will find that negotiation is a major aspect of these investments. In terms of time, negotiation may seem like a small part of an extensive process, but the rewards resulting from negotiation can be quite financially rewarding. Learning to negotiate through courses will prove beneficial during your endeavors with investing.

Using Trusts: Trusts involve companies that channel real estate transactions with investors in a way that is more profitable. By using trusts, you can operate with less taxes while protecting your assets in the event of a dispute. If you are a new investor, trusts may seem like an undesirable and unnecessary investment tool, but the effective form of protection offered by this system can easily prove worthwhile.

Managing Your Real Estate Investment: Owning a real estate investment can be a financial burden, and can be a headache even more so if you are uninformed about how to manage your investment. When managing a property, you are essentially operating a home-based business. The overall nature of real estate investing requires investors to incorporate proper management techniques in order to be successful. REI courses provide a detailed outlook on management, an unrivaled perspective that can only be given from experts who have managed real properties.

How To Buy and Sell: REI courses will provide worthwhile education about buying and selling properties, such as information on financing your purchase or tips for finding the best deals. If you are a beginner, it will be difficult for you to access this information without the help of an experienced source. Since this stage is the first in finding good investments, it is important that you learn these tips about buying and selling before you actually get started.

General Tips & Information: There are many insignificant aspects of real estate investments that can actually be very important when conducting business. REI courses contain information that, while trivial, can be just as important to success in the long run. These courses serve as a source for information that is often times unobtainable elsewhere.

All in all, the resulting advantages of consulting with REI courses are countless. The knowledge you learn will advance your success both directly and indirectly, as each piece of information will help you to acquire useful techniques while simultaneously gaining valuable experience in investing. Investors of all calibers will find that REI investing courses are a more than worthwhile tool in your real estate business.

Generate Real Estate Leads Easily With These Tips

Generation of real estate leads has gone digital. With different lead generation tools and some mobile marketing apps, you might feel overwhelmed. So, how can you decide which tools to add to your strategy on lead generation to attract or nurture potential prospects?

Concentrate your core strategy on the basics to real estate marketing. Methods that are tried and true are ageless and should still part of your plan even if they are dressed up for the digital consumers.

Video

It’s absolutely worth investing in high quality professional videos to showcase yourself as a real estate agent. Buying a house is often the biggest purchase an individual will make in her or his lifetime and he or she likes to work with the one who has traits they trust like personality and authenticity. They’re also looking to see if you’re the agent they like to work with, so make sure to put your best face forward. Some agents create YouTube videos to show expertise and knowledge blended with their relatable and honest style. Videos may humanize an individual much more than the static site profile. Numerous realtors showcase the area’s beauty they specialize in on videos. Videos also bring a high ROI and have proven to be important marketing technique to generate leads.

Client Testimonials

You cannot beat a passionate, heartfelt statement from satisfied clients. Reviews and testimonials must definitely be part of your presence online. Video testimonials are a perfect so some potential sellers and buyers can resonate with that individual. If you do not have video capability, there are lots of ways to show your happy customers. Make a page on your social media or website to share testimonials and share them to bigger sites as well. Sellers and buyers will appreciate the customer’s honesty and have high probability to reach out.

Social Media

It is highly recommended to use social media. Facebook is one of the most dominant communication forms across the globe and the paid ad platforms are cost-effective way to generate some real estate leads. Use this when targeting your core demographic. Majority of marketers include Facebook strategies in marketing plans and you should also. It is a worthwhile, practical advertising investment that would pay off when generating some new leads. Although you do not spend money on the ads, you may still improve generation of leads on Facebook with the use of fresh content, engagement, and optimization.

Real Estate Lead Capture Forms

Majority of people used to look for homes for sale in a newspaper, yet now a lot of consumers start their home search over the internet. Having some forms on your site for lead generation is a good way to bring in the new business. It’s one of the best lead-generating strategies, yet never forget to ensure that your site is fresh and updated so people would keep visiting and you can boost your repeat traffic.

Blog

It can really improve your online presence and show your expertise as a real estate agent. Use this to communicate your grasp of everything related real estate consistently. Never forget to end your blog with effective call to action fill out the form for lead generation or make phone calls.

Sell House Now Tips and Information – Learn How to Sell a House Fast

It is now doubt the real real estate market will slow down during the holiday season. This is good for realtors and real estate investors who have been working very hard to help clients buy and sell houses but not so good for buyers and sellers.

If you are in the market to buy a house, December and January can be a good time to pick up some great deals on a house because there are not many buyers. It can also cause an issue for home buyers because the number of available homes typically is lower during the holidays as home sellers don’t want to move during this time.

The cold weather also has an affect on the real estate market. The colder it is outside the less home buyers are out shopping for a great new home and the less number of open houses real estate agents hold. In months when the weather is warm the number of houses for sale increases and so does the number of sold homes each month.

Does this mean you should wait to sell your house until Spring? Well, if you can wait it might be a good idea too, but many home owners need to sell their house now. The truth is life happens and there are many reasons a home you expected to stay in for seven to ten years suddenly becomes a home that you can only stay in for two or three years.

Home owners who need to sell their house fast typically have one of the following reasons: foreclosure, job transfer, divorce, relocation, family illness, short sale, etc. There are many reasons home owners need to sell a home but if you are experiencing any of the above stated issues you are more likely to need to sell quick.

The problem with needing to sell a home fast in the current real estate market is many home owners do not have much equity so selling a house can be very difficult. If you owe more for your home mortgage than what your home is worth it can seem impossible to sell your home. The truth is you still have home selling options. You can have a professional realtor or investor complete a short sale, lease option your home until the market increase or you can rent your house until the market increases and sell then.

It is important that if you are wanting to sell a house you discuss all your options with a real estate professional. Real estate can be a tricky thing to handel especially when you have an emotional attachment to the home. Discussion all your options with someone who is an expert and does not have an emotional attachment can help ease the process of selling a home.

Real Estate Photography Tips For Realtors – Don’t Do it Yourself, You’ll Lose Your Commission Check

I’ve done it myself; taken what I thought were great listing pictures and used them for my online MLS listing. My clients thought they were fine and I thought they were just fine, until I started working as a buyer’s agent in Seattle a few years back.

I worked with over 40 different buyers a week and everyday I’d hear, “Did you see those listing pictures? There’s no way we want to see that house, it’s a dump! Does the listing agent know how bad they are?” Obviously, the listing agent didn’t spend anything on real estate photography.

My buyers would also see some great listing photos and want to get in to see the home that afternoon. We’d step inside and they’d wonder if it was the same home they saw online. They felt cheated because the pictures were nothing like the real home. (but at least the listing agent got buyers walking through the house).

It all came down to the listing pictures they saw online. That’s essential marketing for listings! Give buyers a great picture and they’ll jump inside the house that day. Give them a “do-it-yourself” picture and they’ll move onto the next home. The listing pictures make the difference, especially when you spend a few bucks on professional real estate photography!

Even when the listing pictures were better than the actual house, guess what? It still got the buyers inside! That’s your goal as a listing agent; get as many showings as possible. Professional real estate photography makes that happen.

With upwards of 80%+ of buyers looking online now, the listing photos are the first thing they’re looking at and basing their initial impressions on.

How much money in lost commissions do you think you’re missing because you won’t spend a couple hundred bucks for professional real estate photography?

If you did spend the well invested marketing dollars on some professional real estate photography…….

  1. You could have more satisfied clients because the home sold faster.
  2. You could have made more cash because you didn’t have to drop the sales price when the listing became stale on the market.
  3. You could look like a top producer in the area because of the quicker sales, better looking listings and more satisfied clients. Your overall image is enhanced, big time!

Isn’t it funny how such a small aspect of your business can affect the whole thing? Anytime you realize how one issue affects your net profits, that’ll make you perk up, right?

Now don’t give me the excuse that it’s too expensive because it’s not. Look at it as a marketing and advertising expense because that’s exactly what it is. And real estate photography is one of the best things you can spend your marketing dollars on.

You have a couple options……..

You could grab a professional in real estate photography in your local area and offer them $50-$200 to come to your listing and take some fabulous photos. Make sure they’re top notch, have all the right equipment and understand the goal of these photos. You don’t want to pay for real estate photography that’s no better than your own.

Your other option is to go with a company like Vicaso.com who does real estate photography exclusively. Their business is listing photos for real estate agents!

You can schedule your photo shoot on their website, pay about $200 or so and get the most captivating listing photos you’ll ever see. Even if you have a crack house listed for sale, their real estate photography will make it look like a palace.

I’m telling you; don’t skimp on your real estate photography. Look at the cost as an investment. If you spent $200 on professional real estate photography and got back another $20,000 in commissions that year from faster sales, more clients, and higher listing prices, wouldn’t that be worth it? You betcha!

Thinking of Buying Real Estate With Roth IRA Funds? 4 Tips to Mistake Free Investing

If you are thinking of buying real estate with Roth IRA funds, let me give you a little advice. Choose the right custodian. There are many examples of a roll over IRA buying real estate, successfully, but the fees charged by various custodians can make a big difference.

#1 – Un-invested Cash Balances

Once you begin buying real estate with Roth IRA funds, you will almost always have some cash in the account. In fact, you need to have some cash there, because all of the costs associated with maintaining the property must come from the account.

Don’t think that custodians don’t know this. They take advantage of it. There is one big company that takes away 45% of your earned interest on un-invested cash balances every year. They call it a maintenance fee, but there is no extra maintenance involved. It doesn’t matter what is held within the account, the same type of maintenance is necessary.

#2 – Additional Charges

When it comes to a roll over IRA buying real estate, you’ll have to have a self-directed account. You tell your custodian to write a check for a purchase. Some companies charge for writing checks. They charge for transferring titles and deeds or mortgage notes. They charge a fee every time that you use the account to make a purchase or sell a holding. All of these fees can add up to thousands of dollars in a year’s time.

When speaking of a roll over IRA buying real estate, one of the biggest advantages for investors is the ability to keep more of their profits, due to the tax-free environment of the account. But, if a custodian charges numerous fees, you aren’t keeping as much.

Similarly, one of the biggest advantages to buying real estate with Roth IRA funds is that you will “never” pay taxes on those earnings. Your contributions are taxed as regular income. There are no capital games or income taxes on earnings made within the account. Qualified distributions are never taxed.

#3 – Annual Maintenance Fee and Reasonable Set-up Charge

If you have a roll over IRA buying real estate can only be accomplished if you choose a custodian that offers the option. Those companies that are currently offering “free and easy set-up” do not offer the option. They are stock brokers and they charge large fees for buying and selling stocks.

A reasonable set-up fee is $50. The annual maintenance fee depends on the total value of the account. If you’re like me, you’re shooting for a million dollars or more by buying real estate with Roth IRA funds. Believe me, it’s not an impossible dream.

#4 – Get An Education

If you are inexperienced when it comes to a roll over IRA buying real estate, get some education and information first. There are a small number of companies that offer “hands-off” investment options. That could be the best choice at this time.

As you learn more about buying real estate with Roth IRA funds, you will be able to do more. But, start out slowly, just to be safe.

Smooth Real Estate Transactions: 4 Tips to Consider When Selling or Buying a Commercial Property

No one would invest in a piece of commercial real estate without investigating it’s resale value, income generating potential, building structure, etc. However, there are a couple of things that seem to get overlooked, even by the savviest investors. Following are the four most overlooked items that you should consider when you are selling or buying a commercial property:

Has the building been unoccupied for more than 180 days?

Collier County has an established Land Development Code (LDC) that governs things like a building’s architectural standards, setbacks, landscape and parking requirements. These requirements vary based on the district where the property is located. The LDC is reviewed and updated twice a year and new projects are required to comply with the codes. Existing buildings are usually “grandfathered” in, however, there are certain times that a building is subject to review for compliance with the current land development code.

One reason a building is subject to review is if it is unoccupied for a period of more than 180 consecutive days. To bring newer buildings into compliance with the LDC may be as simple as revamping the landscaping with extra trees or buffer shrubs. However, with older buildings it can be very costly. A local businessman purchased an older building with the intention of using it as a warehouse-showroom. When he tried to get a permit for a renovation, he was informed that he would have to change the front facade of the building to include among other things, a 75% glass storefront. To bring this building into compliance, it would have meant serious structural changes that increased the renovation costs by tens of thousands of dollars. The project proved infeasible and the building was subsequently resold and developed.

Will the occupational license require a change of use for the building?

Another reason that would make the building subject to review for compliance with the land development code would be if there was a “change of use.” Change of use doesn’t necessarily mean a zoning change. It can mean going from a jewelry store to an office supply store, or a retail store to a restaurant. The reason for this review is to make certain that the new use is in compliance with the permitted uses of the specific zoning area. This review also ensures that there is adequate infrastructure (ie parking) to support the new use.

Will the building need alterations to the fire alarm or sprinkler system?

Another overlooked item is the fire safety system, which includes the fire alarm and fire sprinklers. By adding sprinklers or changing out a fire panel, you open the whole fire safety system up for review and it will have to be brought up to current code. Depending on the age of the building, this can include relocating the fire alarms on the wall; adding fire sprinkler heads; or replacing an entire control panel, which can add thousands of dollars to a project. If you are in doubt, get a consultation with a qualified general contractor or architect during your due diligence period.

Have you allotted enough TIME for planning and permitting?

Permitting is frequently the place where owners don’t allot enough time. According to the City of Naples Building Division, it typically takes three-four weeks for a permit application to be reviewed and a permit issued. However, if your permit application is rejected it can take another two-four weeks after your plans have been revised by the architect. According to the Collier County Building Department, it typically takes six weeks for a permit application to be reviewed and permitted. Depending on the complexity of the project and allowing for a couple of rejections, it is more realistic to plan on three to twelve months for a permit to be issued. A renovation might be three months and a building under 10,000sft might take six-nine months. Unfortunately, there are NO short cuts in getting through the permitting process.

With proper planning, your commercial real estate transaction can go smoothly and provide you with a profitable investment. If you have any questions about the process, it would be wise to consult with a reputable commercial general contractor and an architect.

10 Tips For Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Whether you are buying or selling a property, choosing a real estate agent may be the most important decision you make. Good real estate agents can save you a substantial amount of time and money. They can also ensure that the buying or selling process is an enjoyable and memorable experience. Here are some tips for choosing a real estate agent:

1. Ask Friends/Family for Referrals

Ask family and friends for their advice on local agents. This way you will be sure to find an agent with a good reputation.

2. Consider More than One Agency

There is an array of agents that will kill for your business. That is why you should interview as many agents as you can. Compare agents with regard to their knowledge of the area, experience and qualifications. Also, ask for references from previous clients.

3. Choose an Agent that Knows the Importance of Customer Care

While interviewing different agents you will be able to establish their level of customer care or how far they will go to satisfy the customer. Look at things like their attitude towards returning phone calls and their willingness to meet with you.

4. Choose an Agent that Handles Homes in Your Price Range

When you opt for an agent that deals with homes in your price range, you will be sure to end up with an agent that will give his or her best effort. Some agents deal only with high-end properties and are used to high commissions. They are more likely to attend to these properties first.

5. Choose an Agent that Respects Your Time Schedule

If you will not be able to view properties during office hours, you need to find an agent that is willing to do business after hours or over weekends.

6. Look for an Agent that You Can Communicate With

Communication is vital when buying or selling real estate. Make sure that you choose an agent that understands your needs and that communicates them well. You will be best off if you choose and agent that registers a high level of comfort with you or with whom you are compatible with.

7. Choose an Agent that Provides Multiple Services

It will be a bonus if you can find an agent that can handle the buying/selling process as well as other additional services like arranging property inspections or who can refer you to a trustworthy real estate attorney.

8. Choose an Agent That Can Negotiate

Negotiating skills is an essential quality of a good real estate agent. Make sure you choose and agent with impeccable and proven negotiating skills.

9. Choose an Agent with Lots of Resources

Ask agents where your property will be advertised. Make sure that the agency uses print advertising (newspaper/magazines) as well as other promotional material such as brochures. Also check if the agency makes use of the Internet for advertising their listings.

10. Follow Your Instinct

Choose an agent that makes you feel comfortable and whom you trust. You level of comfort and satisfaction will let you know if you’ve met the right agent.

Tips for Writing the Best Real Estate for Sale by Owner Ad

The property ad is your chance to create a great first impression and to make the potential buyer contact you to find out more. When planning a private property sale, it is vitally important to spend some time thinking about the wording of your real estate ad.

Writing a real estate for sale by owner ad can be difficult, despite the fact that most publications have a strict word limit. There are several important things you need to say and a few tricks that will help you make the real estate ad text more exciting.

A Great, Catchy Title

Most people interested in real estate for sale take a look at the title of the listing and the photographs that accompany it. These are the two factors that will often determine whether a person will continue reading.

Work on a catchy and descriptive title. It should mention the location of the real estate for sale by owner, the size, the price and the most important features of the house. Squeezing that much information into a title may appear to be a great challenge. Do a bit of brainstorming and write down your ideas. You can refine the most promising titles after you put all of your possibilities on paper.

Make It Very Specific

The lack of specifics and details will instantly kill the interest of potential property buyers. Do your best to include enough descriptive information in your listing.

Refrain from saying that the house has a modern and beautifully designed bathroom. Say what makes the bathroom modern – is there a water massage system in the bathtub? Did you install faucets that decrease the consumption of water? Such details make all the difference in the world.

Avoid the Real Estate Ad Cliché

Go through several property ads. You will see a number of phrases repeated in the majority of ad listings. These real estate ad clichés are very dangerous. They make your listing boring and very similar to everything else that the market has to offer.

Clichés are safe and easy but they will never give your real estate for sale by owner the attention that it deserves.

Some of the most common ad clichés include hidden gem, conveniently located, original interior design, vibrant, spectacular, amazing view, modern, easy access, majestic, stunning, just renovated and special offer.

Write a Little Bit about the Neighborhood

As a house owner and a private property seller you have one great advantage over the realtor or the agent – you know the property and the neighborhood by heart. Use that knowledge to create the perfect real estate ad.

Adding a sentence or two about the neighborhood will help paint a complete picture. Get the reader interested. What makes the neighborhood special and worth relocating to? Mention these interesting details towards the end of the listing.

Encourage Potential Buyers to Ask More Questions

Finally, encourage the potential buyers to contact you and to get their questions answered.

Provide a few communication options. Instant messaging, emailing and calling are the most popular possibilities. Each potential buyer has a preferred method of communication, so you should have a few options available.

The perfect private property sale listing is difficult to create. See what the competition is doing but do your best to keep your text original and fresh. Provide specifics and be as descriptive, as possible. Spending some time on writing a house listing that stands out can help you sell your house faster. The results are worth the effort.