Posts Tagged ‘residential real estate’

What about Working with Real Estate Investors?

Have you ever considered working with the “real estate investor” niche? With real estate information easily obtained online and real estate offices on every corner of the street, when you specialize in this niche, investors will seek you out for your expertise and advice.

Here’s the thing about working with real estate investors—you will usually get ongoing referrals and repeat business, instead of the vanilla, residential real estate transactions where your clients may move every 7 years or so.

So what do you need to know?

• A complete understanding of all aspects of real estate investing.

• Real estate investing has its own “language” – Return on investment. Rate of return. Depreciation. Income to payment ratios.

• Real estate investments are treated differently by the IRS. While you may not be a CPA, learn how the IRS treats investment real estate. How depreciation works. Capital gains taxes. How taxes are paid when a property is sold.

• Join a real estate investment club. Do a Google search and see if there are any in your area; they usually meet to exchange tips and provide education resources to their members.

• Talk with lenders. Find out what types of mortgages are available to investors. The down payment required. Estimated closing costs. The minimum credit score. What it takes to get qualified.

• Finally, walk the talk—invest in real estate yourself.

How to Boost Your Home’s Curb-Appeal on a Tiny Budget

Not only does the exterior of your home add value to your home, but it’s also the first picture potential home buyers see when you list your home for sale. So, I wanted to share with you few ways to enhance the curb appeal of your home with some elbow grease, and without spending a lot of money.

Clean Up: Sometimes it’s obvious that you need to dedicate a weekend to cleaning up the exterior of your home.
– Trim bushes
– Plant Flowers
– Weed
– Mow the Lawn
– Rake leaves
– Sweep sidewalks
But, to do the “deep cleaning,” you may want to rent a power washer that can clean the sidewalks and the siding of the home to remove the dirt and dust.

Windows: Next, focus on the windows. Clean them inside and out. You don’t have to buy expensive glass cleaner liquid, just use a mix of diluted detergent and vinegar in warm water. (Google to find several low-cost window cleaning solutions that you can make at home.) Instead of paper towels, use newspapers to dry the windows.

Paint: Instead of painting the entire exterior of your home, focus on the trim, shutters and doors. Focus on accent colors that will make your windows and doors “pop.”

Front Door: No need to replace it (unless you really hate it). You may want to repaint it. If it’s a wooden door, you may want to consider stripping off the old finish, staining it with a wood stain color and sealing it with a clear finish.
– Consider adding molding around the door frame to make the front door seem bigger.
– Replace your house numbers to make them more noticeable—which may cost you about $5 per number.
– Add a wreath or hang seasonal decorations on or near your door to give it that homey feeling.

Update Outside Light Fixtures: You could clean the glass and remove the bugs that accumulate there. But another option is to replace the light fixtures—especially if the metal is pitted and dull. You can usually find sconces for around $20 each at home centers or online. However, make sure that the new fixtures have the same mounting system or you’ll spend $$ hiring an electrician. If you don’t want to replace them, buy some spray paint and paint them black, aluminum, gold or an accent color. A can of spray paint is about $10.

Patio Furniture: If you have a front porch and want to use some patio furniture, it’s best to minimize the amount you place there. Too much furniture makes it look crowded. You may want to replace faded cushions or pillows with colorful ones that accent your house.

Some additional updates….

While these suggestions may cost you a little more money, here are some other updates to consider:
• Install a new mailbox or paint your existing one
• Plant a tree or ornamental bush
• Strategically place flower boxes or potted flowers on your porch or around your home
• Hide your trash bins behind a small fence or build a garbage can shed
• Hide your hose in a pot or storage bench
• Remove “yard art” that does not complement your home (think pink flamingos or wind socks).

20 Magic Questions to Ask Buyers & Sellers

It’s inherent that some salespeople do all the talking – but seldom ask enough questions. The right questions can really work magic.

Here are 20 magic questions to ask when starting to work with clients.

1. What is your main objective when buying a home?
2. What game plan do you have in mind?
3. What is the biggest problem you currently face?
4. What are you doing now to help solve the problem?
5. What other ideas do you have about the home you want to buy?
6. Who else is involved in the decision?
7. What do you like most about the idea of owning a home?
8. What is your biggest fear when it comes to owning a home?
9. If you could have any house that you wanted, what would it look like?
10. Why are you motivated to buy a home now?
11. What has been your previous experience?
12. How would you feel if you did not buy a home?
13. What is your budget?
14. What financing alternatives have you considered?
15. How would buying a home benefit you personally?
16. How can I help you with the home buying process?
17. Is there anything that is keeping you from buying a home?
18. What do you see as the next step?
19. Are you working with a deadline?
20. In a perfect world, what would you like me to take care of for you?

Not all questions may apply, but consider creating a “form” listing all the questions to prompt you to ask them. How about sending out an email version to prospects that call you? Or sending out the form with your promo packet?

Word of caution: Don’t take the answers at “face value”. Sometimes the answer prompts another question. For example, the answer might be that I want to be near a school because my children are in sports! How near? 2 blocks? A mile? Within a 5 minute driving distance? The questions open the door for more dialogue and building trust.

If you are working with many different clients, you can’t remember everything. The added benefit is that it gives you a record of exactly what they say they wanted. If they have changed their mind, you can go back to the form and record the changes.