Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Real Estate Marketing - Getting Focused

The single biggest question I get from people getting started in real estate (and experienced for that matter) is "how to find deals?" They say, "I don't know what to focus on in real estate. Should I focus on rehabbing? Should I focus on finding absentee owners? Should I focus on direct mail?"

The problem with those questions is that the real estate investor is confused about the whole business of real estate and the marketing plan behind finding the deals. I understand that you go to a three-day real estate training, or you buy a home-study course, and every angle of real estate investing is attractive. You can see the potential in all these different markets.

First things first, you have to get focused! This is the only way to get good at overcoming objections and solving problems unique to different types of motivated seller markets.

Let's simplify this whole real estate marketing game and boil it down to this:
Who, What, When, Where, Why & How (And How Much)!

Who is that we are going to be talking to? Who is that we are going to be trying to purchase homes from? You may want to work in one or two of the following markets: foreclosures, absentee owners, our probates, divorces, for sale by owners, tired landlords. This is your market - the who.

What are you going to say in your marketing? This may be a real estate marketing script that you follow, a direct mail postcard system that you roll out, or specific copy in your advertisement. Understand, that you are looking for motivated sellers to take action. If you're taking the time to write a letter, place an ad, etc you want your prospect to do something like call you or email you or listen to a recorded message!

When are your prospects going to receive your marketing message? Timing and consistency is everything to your real estate marketing campaign. You need to be the single person (or company) they think of when the moment strikes at which they realize they are, in fact, a motivated seller!

Where are they going to receive your message? Obviously if you're door knocking, you'll meet them at their home. But if you are marketing to personal representatives of an estate, the attorney may receive the letter and pass it on. It's important to think about where your potential seller is going to "see" your message because this will affect the action they take.

This is where your real estate investing exit strategy comes into play. What are you going to do with the property once you've gained control? Are you going to wholesale it to another investor? Are you going to fix it up and flip it yourself? Are you going to hold on to it for rental?

As you grow into your real estate business, you'll have a number of options for each deal depending on what's most suitable for the piece of real estate. You may have properties that you can assign, rehab OR rent. But, initially, decide where you are on your real estate investing scale and work within those parameters. If you are asking: "Should I focus on rehabbing houses or should I target probate?" you're asking two different questions.

The next thing is the communication method. That is 'how are we going to talk to our potential motivated sellers?' So let's suppose your market is foreclosures or pre-foreclosures (the who). The next question is how? There are basically only four methods that we can use to communicate with our target market.

1. Driving for Dollars (or door knocking)

2. Telemarketing

3. Direct mail

4. Mass marketing

How Much:
I toss this in because this is going to affect your real estate marketing strategies. How much can you afford to spend? Understand for a few dollars a day, you can have an extremely profitable real estate investing business. It doesn't take a lot of money to bring in home run deals!

Here's a quick real estate marketing business plan that you can implement immediately using the Who, What, When, Where, Why & How approach:

Who: Pre-foreclosures within 2 weeks of sale at the courthouse (note how specific this is)

What: Yellow legal pad letters

When: Two weeks prior to the sale

Where: Prospect's Home

Why: Seller is more motivated and has run out of options

How: Hand-written, hand addressed, first class postage and return address label

How Much: Based on a budget of $100/month, I will send 59.5 letters each week (remember to figure out your marketing budget down to the penny - stamps, ink, paper, envelopes, etc.)

And there you have it! 7 Simple Steps for your real estate marketing plan.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Search Results

If you're not farming expired listings you're missing out on one of the best real estate marketing strategies going...and a major source of income. Why? Well, there are many reasons, but I've distilled it down to 4 major ones for the sake of brevity.

Perhaps they will convince you once and for all about how an expired listing script is one of the best strategies for marketing real estate.

1. Farming expired listings is easy to do. It's as simple as logging into your Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and doing a search of expired listings for any time frame you want. Go ahead - try it right now. It's simple, easy and near effortless!

2. Expired listings are some of the hottest leads you'll ever have - each one is a known and motivated seller! When a listing expires it's usually not a good thing.

Some owners have to sell because they're moving to another city and state to start a new job. Others may have to sell because they were "down sized." Still, some want to sell because they're transitioning into retirement and are trying to lower their monthly living expenses.

In many instances, no matter the reasons, they're more motivated to sell than they were before!

3. Sellers of expired listings are often more realistic about price and terms the second time around! Good agents can leverage expired listings to better prices, terms and conditions. Astute Sellers are quick to understand that they may need to give a little on their asking price, or sweeten their listing by providing other financial incentives to sell their properties.

The more the Seller is willing to "give", and they will, the more desirable their new listing with you will be, and the more likely you are to get it sold!

When Sellers insist on overpricing their listings you can politely decline them (which will shock them like you wouldn't believe) knowing that more opportunities are just a few mailings away! Sometimes the Sellers are so stunned when you decline their offer to list with you they'll start back pedaling while trying to give you what you want to list with you. After all, how many times have you actually declined a listing?

4. Most real estate agents do not farm expired listings - they assume that someone else has already converted them to new listings. But they're wrong. Sometimes nobody is going after them!

I'm constantly amazed at the number of agents who know that expired listings are worth their weight in gold, but ever market them.

Go on and try it out for yourself. Go around you office and see if any of your coworkers are farming expireds! But do it quietly! You don't want to give them any ideas if they don't already have any!

What you'll find is that few, if any, are farming expired listings. Instead of marketing real estate in this relatively stress free way, they're hung up on complicated real estate marketing schemes that cost a bundle of money and deliver little return on their investment.

It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen. Even veteran agents, who should know how valuable expired listings can be, don't farm them. In the end their failure to act is your gain.

So, if you're not farming expired listings you ought to seriously consider it. Don't continue to be one of those agents that assumes another agent has already secured the listing. Instead, be the one that actually converts the expired listings into new ones!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Is Social Media Best For Marketing Real Estate?

There is an increasing awareness among business owners and among those who want to invest in real estate or among those who are estate agents, of the success of social media outlets as a marketing tool. As millions of people throughout the world using this form of medium for marketing, increases the number of real estate agents using the advertising properties with social media to promote their business.

Each of the more popular social media websites provides suitable options to ensure that your properties are available for viewing by the largest possible audience. Whether you choose to sign in on the sites themselves, purchase-advertising space or post back links to your professional website there is no easier way of marketing the properties you have listed on your books than by promoting them through these sites.

The success of social media as an advertising or marketing tool is its focus on networking. When a business opens an account with any of the social media options, the potential for referral of their services is endless as each customer refers the business to their own network of friends. Knowing how to use this networking potential is the key to successful marketing. It can extend beyond networking to customers and can include networking with other suitable businesses. The creative potential of advertising properties with social media is endless.

Contrary to popular belief, advertising properties with social media sites do not require large investments of valuable time. The key to a time managed, successful social marketing strategy is to have a plan and to choose the appropriate outlet for your requirements rather than just opening numerous accounts and trying to maintain a presence on them.

These websites provide opportunity to build communication with potential and actual clients and customers, create pages advertising details of the properties you have available, and creating interesting content pages and providing back links to your business website with the complete listings of your properties. Plan content that you can control within the time you have available to update information regularly.

Once you have decided which options will suit your needs best, open accounts on the selected websites only. Plan content that is both targeted to a niche audience and to developing networks to spread interest in the information you are placing on the sites. Targeted use of social media sites optimizes the potential of turning your visitors and followers into customers. As you focus on providing content that your customers want to read and in the way, they want to read it, you are more likely to maintain their interest in your properties.

This maybe as simple as providing information on various aspects of property management, housing insurance or tenant and land lord relationships for example. Useful information about property prices in different locations that combine examples of the properties you have to offer potential clients can be provided with links back to your professional website. This strategic approach to advertising properties with social media will reduce the time you need to spend on the sites and produce best sales results.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Real Estate Marketing - Attrition is Your Sworn Enemy

Attrition is the enemy of real estate marketing.

So to be successful in your marketing, you first have to understand the concept of attrition. You also have to work hard to reduce it. This article will help you understand attrition and give you tips for reducing it within your real estate marketing program. Let's begin with a basic definition.

What is Attrition?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines attrition as "a reduction in numbers usually as a result of resignation, retirement, or death." Don't worry, we're not talking about retirement or death here. But we are talking about a reduction in numbers -- and the size of that reduction has a direct impact on your real estate marketing success.

Now let's convert that definition for real estate marketing purposes.

Real Estate Marketing Attrition

In your marketing program, attrition refers to the number of people who do not take the actions you want them to take. At each step in the marketing process, you stand to lose some people. The more people you lose along the way, the less successful your real estate marketing program will be. So let's talk about minimizing attrition by using the following example.

A Real Estate Marketing Scenario

Let's consider a marketing campaign that combines direct mail postcards and web-based lead generation. It's a solid marketing strategy -- one that I've seen used successfully many times in the past. But like any real estate marketing strategy, it has attrition points:

  • Attrition Point #1 - When you mail the postcards, a certain percentage of them will not reach the intended recipient's due to bad addresses and the like.
  • Attrition Point #2 - Of those people who do receive your postcards, only a small percentage will respond and visit your website.
  • Attrition Point #3 - Of those people who visit your website, some will not find what you want them to find. Or they simply won't be interested and they'll leave.
  • Attrition Point #4 - Of those who visit your website and take the action you want them to take (perhaps signing up for market alerts), some will mistype their email address.
  • Attrition Point #5 - Finally, of those who (A) get the postcard, (B) respond to it and visit your website, (C) take the action you want them to take, and (D) have no technical issues ... only a portion of them will be qualified prospects.

I don't tell you all this to discourage you. On the contrary, I want you to understand the concept of attrition so you can build a real estate marketing program that minimizes attrition as much as possible.

Attrition is a fierce enemy that cannot be defeated entirely. But you can certainly reduce it, and thereby minimize the impact it has on your real estate marketing success. For instance, let's refer back to the marketing scenario above. Here are some ways we might reduce the amount of attrition at each of the five points listed:

  • To Minimize Point #1 - You can optimize your postcard deliverability by updating your mailing list, or by purchasing a fresh list from a reliable vendor such as InfoUSA.
  • To Minimize Point #2 - You can increase your postcard response by adding value to your offer (even in a non-monetary way) and strengthening your call to action.
  • To Minimize Point #3 - You can help people find what they came for on your website by adding a graphical link to it on your home page.
  • To Minimize Point #4 - You can minimize the number of people who mistype their email address by using double-entry verification on your web forms.
  • To Minimize Point #5 - You can increase the percentage of qualified prospects who respond by using an offer that will only appeal to certain people (sellers, for example).

These are just some of the ways you could reduce the level of attrition in this particular real estate marketing scenario. You could do many other things to optimize your results as well, but they are beyond the scope of this article. My goal is simply to get you thinking about marketing attrition and the various ways you might reduce it.

Understanding marketing attrition is the first step in reducing it. So think about your own real estate marketing strategies. Map out the various steps in the process, and jot down the attrition points. They should be fairly easy to spot after reading this article. Then think of all the things you can do to minimize each point of attrition, and work hard to do exactly that. Good luck!

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and the active hyperlinks below.

Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Lies of Real Estate Marketing

Real estate marketing can be either your secret weapon or a real estate system that you wish you had never attempted. There are lies about real estate marketing that have been spread around for years by those who don't want agents to unlock the power of marketing. Many of those who have spread these lies have done this unintentionally and others intentionally.
By discovering these real estate marketing lies you will have the secrets to turn your real estate business into a machine.

  1. Marketing Is Expensive. Many agents believe that marketing is expensive so they never bother to look into how they can make it work for their business. Bad marketing is very expensive and can ruin the experience for an agent. When marketing is done correctly it is about spending little to get a large return. For example if you knew that you could spend $280 on marketing and you would get back $4,000 in return would you consider it expensive? So the only marketing that is expensive is marketing that hasn't been tested, hasn't been proven, and won't generate you leads.
  2. Marketing is About You. Have you ever seen a postcard, flyer, or a website of a real estate agent where the only thing that you see is a giant picture of them riding a horse or with a dog? These agents have been told that as long as they "get their face out there" they will be successful. I would like to ask you the following question and answer it honestly: Do people care more about themselves or people they don't know? If you answered that people care about themselves more than us that is correct. Marketing that is about you will only be one of the most expensive forms of marketing you ever do and not produce the results that you desire.
  3. Marketing Only Works Once You Are Already Successful. Often in hallways across real estate offices all around the country agents say "That agent does marketing because they are successful". Agents don't do marketing once there are successful they market to get successful.
  4. "Your" Market is Different So Marketing Won't Work For You. Every market is different however people often respond to messages that are similar. My team routinely tests 300+ messages to find 6 that work all over the country. Finding which one of the 6 that works in a particular part of a country is the work that must be undertaken in a one on one setting.
  5. Marketing Doesn't Generate Good Leads. Regardless of how you get a lead whether it be an open house, a sign call, a magazine ad, a flyer, a referral, or a website 85% percent of leads will be a total waste of time. The key with marketing is to generate a leads with hoops designed to find the top 15% of leads. For example allowing leads to contact you directly can cause waste your time.
  6. Marketing is Too Difficult To Figure Out. Marketing can require testing which is why many agents avoid it for their entire careers. Without a formula to test each marketing piece you take out against it can be nearly impossible to find a winning formula. Marketing that generates results need to demonstrate to the prospect how you can benefit them and it has to do this in 10 seconds or less. When each of your marketing pieces clearly shows the prospect how your service benefits them and has a clear call to action the marketing will become far easier to figure out.
  7. Marketing Doesn't Provide Any Way To Prove That It Works. When a marketing piece goes out with 5 different phone numbers, a website, and no clear message it had no chance to work. Providing tracking on marketing allows an easy way to find out what is working and what prospects are responding to. This can be done with free tracking tools like Google Analytics when marketing is done on the Internet or a low cost 800# such as proquest.
By unlocking the secrets behind these 7 lies you will be able to improve any marketing that you currently are using as well as and future marketing you put to use to generate new business.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What it Will Take to Improve the Real Estate Market?

Today Michigan residents are bemoaning the declining economy especially how it relates to the housing market. Real estate seems to be rapidly declining with no end in sight. However, sometimes it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of doom when that is what you are hearing overall. Statistically speaking, though, the real estate market is not as bad as some seem to suggest and it is already seeing improvements. So in addition to the current trends, is there anything else that can affect the real estate market in a positive manner?

First, home buying seems to be up overall. This is likely due to the number of houses on the market that are priced below an ideal dollar amount. Sellers are losing money on the equity they've build into their home and leaving the area. However, buyers are taking full advantage of this and purchasing homes at cut rate prices. Although it is a bad time for sellers, investors and individual buyers are benefiting from the trend. Real estate in general, though, is cyclical and although it is a buyer's market now, eventually it will be a seller's market and the pendulum will again swing the other way. What's best for the overall economy though is when there is a close balance between buyers and sellers. Forecasts, though, do not seem to support an upward trend any time soon.

The economy in general especially the job market needs to improve in Michigan to see a significant corresponding improvement in real estate. The current trends in employment are declining and the unemployment rate is rising. This declining job market is seen across all industries in Michigan. This will have a direct correlation to the real estate market in Michigan. People who do not have jobs, do not have income. People who do not have income can not afford to buy homes or keep the homes they already have.

Because people are losing their homes at a rapid rate and have no jobs, there are some things that can be done to affect improvement. However, knowing how to improve the market and putting it to any practical use are two very different things. People who are in homes already need to stay in them and if that means financial assistance in order to reduce the foreclosure rates, then this needs to be done. The greater problem of the overall economy needs to be addressed though for a long term solution. With the auto industry having a great impact on the economy and this market is declining, there needs to be an effort to diversify industry in the area.

Diversifying industry and creating new job opportunities for people will stop the trend of people leaving the area in search for more lucrative jobs. Government assistance for new businesses or incentives for business growth may be able to help bring some new life into the job market. If there is an increase in the job market, Michigan will start to see more people move the area and need homes which will affect an upward swing of the real estate market.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Search Results

I run a network of about 50 real estate related blogs and do a good deal of promoting those blogs by writing real estate investing articles. In this article I will be teaching you the steps I take to market my real estate investing articles once I have written them to get some exposure for my blogs, actual real estate deals and real estate courses.

First, I usually publish the article that I wrote on the Learn To Be Rich blog. That is my starting point for just about every real estate investing article that I write.

Second, I immediately copy and paste the article into the publisher on EzineArticles.com. Why did I select EzineArticles.com? First, I like their interface, but more importantly if you go and check Alexa's traffic reports you can see that their are the best in their category for traffic and reach.

Next, I take the article that I wrote and I add a link directly to it in my sequential auto responder series that my subscribers get. Since new subscribers come on to my e-mail list at all different times, what I usually do is make sure that I have plenty of scheduled e-mails to send to them over time and I use links to these articles to give them something of value in the e-mails. Since the articles I publish on my blog usually drop of the first few pages of the website in a day or two, having direct links deep into the site on these sequential auto-responder e-mails helps to keep those articles fresh and directs traffic to them.

Next, I make an announcement post on the other 50 or so blogs that I run that tell those blog visitors (which are mostly city specific blogs) that there is a great new article about real estate investing on my main blog. People reading that blog and its city specific content then can also get the more general real estate investing information that I write about in articles.

Finally, I see if I can add a link to the article in our deal analysis software that generates a fully detailed real estate deal analysis blog entry for real world real estate deals that we analyze on AnalyzeDeals.com. If I can add some variety to the blog post generator with a sentence referencing the article, I will add the article to the mix as well.

So, that is how I market my real estate investing articles to promote our blogs, actual real estate deals and real estate courses.

Modern Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

The real estate industry sure has become competitive in recent years. I don't say that to scare you, but only to voice what you probably already know. The number of real estate agents in the United States is staggering -- and well into the millions. If that weren't enough, there's also an explosion in the number of real estate "self help" websites such as HouseValues and Zillow.

What's the result? Well, for one thing, real estate marketing has gotten a lot harder to succeed with. Real estate agents have to work smarter, use more marketing channels than before, and truly "out-think" their competition in order to succeed.

To help you achieve those marketing goals, I've compiled some real estate marketing tips. I hope these tips make your marketing a little less intimidating and a lot more effective.

1. Grow Your Web Presence

A website is one entity. A web presence is a combination of online entities, each one reinforcing and supporting the next. When you combine online marketing tools (such as your website, a real estate blog, online press releases and articles), you can steadily increase the number of ways people find you. Also, by being "ever present" on the Web, you will reinforce your brand and be better able to position yourself as an authority. I feel so strongly about this particular real estate marketing tip that I've written a training manual about the real estate web presence.

2. Start a Real Estate Blog

A real estate blog can help you grow your marketing program in several ways. Once they are set up, blogs are easy to use. Because of this simplicity, you'll be more likely to publish online content through your real estate blog. The more publish, the stronger your web presence. The stronger your web presence, the more likely will be to (A) find you online and (B) respond to what they find. Thus, starting a blog makes the list of top marketing tips for real estate professionals.

3. Add Some PR to Your Marketing

Public relations (PR) seems to be the forgotten tool of real estate marketing. This is a real shame, too, because PR is a highly effective marketing technique when properly used. In fact, it's a real estate marketing tip I refer back to time and time again. Public relations can involve many things -- a real estate article in your local newspaper, a well-timed press release, a free seminar on the home buying process -- there's no end to the possibilities. Best of all, many real estate PR techniques are free (aside from your time and effort).

4. Tune Up Your Direct Marketing

A lot of real estate agents are beginning to develop tunnel vision with regard to the Internet. What I mean is, they are focusing on their Internet presence to such a degree that they have forgotten about other forms of marketing. The Internet is a powerful marketing channel, but it's not the only one. Various types of direct marketing and public relations (next item) can be used to broaden and strengthen your real estate marketing program as a whole.

Here's a marketing tip for real estate agents using direct marketing tactics, such as real estate postcards. Tune up your direct marketing. Do some testing to find out what's working and what's not. Then do more of the good and less of the bad. Experiment with new forms of direct marketing. Add value to your message. Strengthen your offer. Give people an incentive to respond. Use the proven techniques of direct mail marketing to boost your success.

5. Strive for Talkability

You won't be able to find "talkability" in the dictionary. But it's extremely relevant to your real estate marketing program, so it makes my list of top marketing tips for real estate agents. I define talkability as the ease with which a product or service can be talked about. In other words, when you have talkability, people are more inclined to talk about your services. This leads to referrals, recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing. So how do you increase your talkability? Read this article to find out.


I hope you have enjoyed my list of real estate marketing tips, and I hope you can apply at least one of them to your own marketing in some positive way. Good luck in all your marketing ventures!

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and the active hyperlinks below. Copyright 2007, Brandon Cornett.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

How to Time the Real Estate Market

Like the green light on a traffic signal understanding the right set of circumstances in the real estate market is like a flashing neon sign saying buy or sell hold now. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of real estate investing is that unlike stocks, bonds, currency trading the real estate market is relatively slow moving and generally easy to time. Despite its slow moving quality, however, many real estate professionals are unaware of how to properly gauge the market. There is a popular saying in real estate that it is time to sell when real estate agents begin buying investment property.

In general though there are a few basic indicators of when it's time to buy, sell, or hold your investment property. A good indicator of when you should think about buying property would be an increase in job growth or something that might lead to an increase in job growth like the opening of a new factory. Also bear in mind that the same situation might affect different property types in different ways. For instance an increase in property buyers in a market with few homes available will mean increasing prices for undeveloped land.

On the other hand overbuilding or the presence of too many new homes in an area might drive values down. Even economic factors, such as an increase in foreclosures, might be a warning not to buy property or at least to be more cautious. There are always exceptions, but you should always have a valid reason for going against the grain of the current real estate market.

Other indicators to watch out for include a rise or fall in interest rates which affect the price of money and therefore indirectly affect how much property a potential buyer could afford. The presence of a high number of vacancies or many landlord concessions, freebies like a new toaster or a television set with the rants or purchase of the property could also indicate a declining market. Even a quick glance at the local newspaper can give you a good idea of where the market stands, look at the classifieds section for the number of foreclosures and the number of jobs available, check the business section, and many times even the front page will have news relevant to the property investor. Generally speaking the real estate market is always in one of the following phases, when you understand what phase it's in now and which one it was in before you can predict which phase it will be in much more accurately.

As the name suggest this phase is defined by increases, increased population, increased jobs, increased wages, and of course increased property values and rental rates. Easily the most exciting phase and arguably the most fun the danger of this phase is that this is one many novice real estate investors dive into the market. While it may seem like the market can go nowhere but up, by avoiding the temptation to over borrow you will be in a position to take advantage of some great deals in the Recession and Bottom phases.

If your exit strategy is to sell, this is the perfect time for it. This phase is commonly referred to as a seller's market. It's marked by an almost frenzied bidding war for available properties and a glut of new building projects on every corner. One of the best advantages of sailing during this phase is that it is marked by extremely short listing times.

The contraction phase is the market's reaction to him abundance of overpriced and often overbuilt number of properties often exceeding the number of actual buyers. While this phase is often marked by an increase in inflation, the inflation itself is actually a response to the contracting market although it may also be a contributing factor. Many property owners during this phase typically express a feeling of denial causing prices to stay at their over inflated level often sending buyers elsewhere further increasing the supply of homes available for sale and decreasing the number of interested buyers.

By this point many properties have been on the market for a very long time. While property values plummet, rent rates also tend to decline as landlords are forced to compete with each other for tenants in order to keep their properties afloat. This is usually the phase where the greatest numbers of foreclosures become available.

Due to the large number of foreclosures and owners at risk of foreclosure who are often willing to offer assistance, more generous terms, or outright owner financing, then they would be in an expanding market, this is easily the best way is to buy property. This is also the phase that scares away most new investors due to the dire headlines and rising interest and inflation rates.

This phase is essentially a return to normalcy, while interest and inflation may still be somewhat higher than during the expansion phase they may have begun to fall at least a little. Usually at this phase all of the excess properties from the Expansion and Peak phases have been purchased or absorbed back into the market and there may be an influx of new buyers.

While it is important to be able to recognize the current trends and predict what will most likely be the next phase of the real estate market identifying the phases themselves does not serve as a hard and fast rule for whether to buy or sell. For one thing there may be and usually is a difference between the national and local market for every national market in the Bottom phase there is always an area that is in the Peak or even Expansion phase. Ultimately the best indicator of whether to buy or sell a property is what your analysis of that property reveals, and how it fits into your overall real estate portfolio.

Create A Real Estate Niche Market And Double Your Income!

For the longest time now Real Estate Agents have come into the industry and tried to eke out a living by chasing every opportunity that presents itself. They are willing to drive long distances and work crazy hours just for a chance to earn a commission.

They will try to make themselves available to anyone and everyone. Which in turn spreads them quite thin.

What if there was a way to have people come to you? To close the door on all types of Real Estate and concentrate on one particular type. To have them call you because you are considered an authority in one type of Real Estate? To create a Niche Market!

Well this is what some savvy Real Estate Pro's have done and their real estate careers have taken off.

But Marty, wouldn't that Pigeon Hole me to one particular aspect of Real Estate Sales? Well let's look at an example in the real world of this happening.

If we look at the Hollywood Actor Danny Trejo, he is likely the most Pigeon holed actor I can think of in movies. He consistently shows up as the bad guy. He has a rough and tough look about him and usually plays the villain in a lot of movies.

He is not often considered for a leading man role in Hollywood but rather he is relegated to villain roles. Oh and by the way, he starred in 27 television and movies in 2010! Not bad for someone who is Pigeon Holed.

Not to mention his net worth is now more than 8 million dollars!

You see, he created a Niche Market for himself.

Anytime a producer needs someone for a villain role, he gets the call. Wouldn't it be great if every time someone needed to buy or sell a particular type of Real Estate, we got the call?

What I'm talking about is becoming a Real Estate Specialist in a particular sector of Real Estate. Creating a Niche market.

By becoming the "go to" person, you set yourself up as one of very few who are able to provide outstanding service and information that another REALTOR would not be able to provide.

Some examples of Realtors becoming authorities in their fields would be:

  1. First time Buyer Specialist
  2. A local Heritage home Agent
  3. A Real Estate Pro who works only with Investment Properties
  4. The Condo King!
  5. A Relocation Specialist

You get the picture.

By setting yourself up as a specialist in one aspect of Real Estate, you are no longer competing with the masses. You are telling the public that this is what I do and I do it better than anyone else!

But Marty, why would I want to Pigeon Hole myself into one box? Why would I want to shy away from other sales? Wouldn't that work against me?

A great point for sure. But think about it this way.

Let's say you have to get an operation, worse still let's say you need brain surgery. Would you let your family doctor perform the surgery or would you look for a specialist like a Neural Surgeon?

I think you can see the value in seeking out the Neural Surgeon. They are going to know how to do one thing, and that's brain surgery. They do it day in and day out. That's what they do. They are seen as the experts.

They make a great living at what they do by providing outstanding service that could not be provided by most doctors.

The same could be said about car mechanics. If you have an European car like a Mercedes, will you be taking it to a local garage or would you seek out a Mercedes specialist that works on their cars night and day?

I think you see where I'm going with this. If it's feasible in your area, then consider becoming a specialist in one type of real estate. Create a Niche market for yourself and excel at that Niche.

Now remember in order to be a specialist or to be perceived as the expert, you will need to back it up. Just telling people you are the expert doesn't make you one. You will need to provide outstanding service and information about your chosen niche of choice.

If we use the Condo King example above, you will need to set yourself apart from other Real Estate Agents by learning everything you can about your local Condo market. Things like pricing and sales are obvious. But what about learning all the condo fees for each building? What and when a new special assessment may be levied against the condo owners. You would need to learn which building are designated for seniors, which buildings allow pets, and so on.

You would need to figure out which buildings have better and more parking or which buildings have local transit to their doorsteps. Which buildings have the better amenities and which buildings have better views.

Any information you can provide to your clients above and beyond what other real estate agents are providing will set you apart. Over time, you will find that people will be seeking you out to represent them in Buying or Selling.

You will also notice other real estate agents will be referring you to their clients knowing that you know more than they do. They should know that you provide outstanding service and more importantly, will keep their clients happy and make them look good as well.

This is a strategy that you may want to think about as an option for your Real Estate Career.

Please do me a favor, if you are already doing this in your Real Estate Career then let us know in the comments below so we can share this with other Real Estate Agents who may be thinking about trying this strategy in their market place.

All the best and good luck!


P.S. This post is brought to you by www.realestatecareermentor.com. Please sign up for our FREE newsletter with more great updates and Real Estate training info on how to make sure you achieve all your Real Estate Goals.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Real Estate Marketing Tools: The Most Powerful Tool of All

Do you know what the most powerful real estate marketing tool is? Here's a hint. You see it every time you look in the mirror. That's right, it's you. As a knowledgeable real estate agent, you are your most powerful tool for real estate marketing.

Real Estate Marketing Tools Exposed

A lot of companies clamor about the "power" of their real estate marketing tools, as if you simply have to turn them on and let them boost your business. This is practically what some companies claim. Do I exaggerate? Only a little. I can think of one such product off the top of my head (name withheld of course), and the pitch goes something like this: "Our revolutionary software will launch your real estate business into the stratosphere."

The stratosphere? Wow, that sounds fantastic. But you'll notice there's a critical ingredient missing from the above statement. You! You're the most powerful real estate marketing tool you own, whether you realize it or not. So the stratosphere claim would be more truthful if it added the words "will help you" ... as written below:

"Our revolutionary software will help you launch your real estate business into the stratosphere."

That's more accurate, because now the advertising claim includes you. And you are by far the most important part of the equation.

You Are Your Best Marketing Tool

The point I'm making is simply this. If you shop for a real estate marketing tool to take your business to the next level, you are going to be disappointed. Real estate marketing starts with great services and big ideas. The "tools" are just a way to communicate those services and ideas to your audience.

Top 5 Real Estate Marketing Tools

You are your best tool for real estate marketing. We've covered that one. So what are some other top tools? Here are four more tools successful real estate marketers usually have in common.

1. You - Which we've covered already.

2. Persistence - Repetition is a big part of real estate marketing. You try a certain strategy, see how it works, modify it as needed, repeat it again, etc. This requires patience and persistence. Make sure you have these things before you try any form of marketing.

3. Imagination - Without imagination, you have no hope but to copy the marketing programs of other real estate agents. Mimicry will only get you so far, especially if you're copying a marketing strategy that's already being used in your area. Only imagination can help you find the next big idea in real estate marketing. And only big ideas can produce big results.

4. Adaptability - Methods of communication change constantly. The Internet has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. For example, look at the current rise of real estate blogs we are witnessing. As the communication landscape changes, you must be able to change with it. You must be able to adapt to new mediums and methods. So make sure adaptability is part of your real estate marketing toolkit.

5. Enthusiasm - Whether you realize it or not, communicating with potential clients (and current clients) is a big part of your marketing program. When you communicate with professionalism and enthusiasm, your message becomes contagious. People will help you spread your message without even being asked.

What do all of these real estate marketing tools have in common? For one thing, you can't buy them in a store or online. You're either born with them, or you work hard to acquire them along the way. But the good news is, you have the most powerful marketing tool already ... you have yourself. Everything else can be learned.

Marketing books, software, websites, ads and the like can help you grow your business. There's no doubt about that. But they are only a medium between you and your audience. These things can move your marketing program along, but the program itself has to start with you.

You are your best tool for real estate marketing. You always have been, and you always will be.

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author's byline and the active hyperlinks below.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

5 Guidelines for Successful Real Estate Postcards Marketing

What makes real estate postcards appealing is the ease with which they can be produced and distributed. In addition, the costs of production and distribution are not as high as other traditional forms of marketing and one need not have a highfalutin background to start creating one.

There are those, however, who view real estate postcards as time-consuming and slow to effect. On the contrary, postcards are effective and resilient. Their returns are high, immediate and long-lasting particularly when utilized the right way.

Simple though it is, real estate postcards marketing is not completely invincible. Maintaining positive results would require you to adhere and customize your marketing plan according to the following guidelines:

1. Gauge the outcome.

If the immediate output can be measured, then by all means forecast your postcard marketing's chances of succeeding. Remember that some will respond and some will not. Be prepared therefore for any eventuality - be it signups at your website, requests for information, emails or various other offers and queries. Anticipate a series of discussions with different prospects.

An indicator that your real estate postcards marketing plan has worked is the number of initial appointments you get as soon as the postcards are produced and distributed. With the right timing and the right mix of strategies, they can create a number of listings and sales on a quarterly and yearly basis.

As a realtor or agent, what you need to do is record all pertinent information - results, listings, sales and initial appointments - for at least five minutes a day. Do not forget to note the sources for each piece of data. Look at all angles and see which part generated more results. Pick out components of your real postcard estate marketing plan which provoked the best consumer feedback. Streamline and take out less effective portions of the plan.

2. Sport a forward-looking design.

By forward-looking, we mean postcards designed to generate results. The designs therefore should be deliberate and well crafted for particular audiences. Include important elements like the realtor's picture on either side, a powerful and specific message that is appealing to the perception of your intended market/s, the right combination and arrangement of color, design, fonts and layout, images of the home/s for sale, and contact information or other components that induce prospects to act.

3. Remember the value of consistency.

The goal of real estate postcards marketing is to make a brand out of your real estate business. One sure way to lose some of your branding points, however, is to ignore consistency. Do not say one thing in one material and another and in a different postcard. Always put your name out there too and ensure a frequency of 9 to 12 times annually to a high-value market of your choosing. To penetrate other targeted markets, 4 to 12 times a year should do it just fine. The targeted market has to have your name in mind as a premier realtor.

4. Aim for high-value markets.

Markets are groups with a common denominator such as age, race, ethnicity, gender, culture, preference, and the like. Some of these groups can bring more value to your business compared to the rest. As you formulate strategies that can actualize your real estate postcards marketing plan, focus on the high-value markets as these will bring you more returns on your investments. These markets are likely to make your efforts worthwhile.

Notable high-value markets need not be some place far and difficult to access. They could be your friends, those closest to you whom you can tap anytime for support. Your neighborhood can be a high-value market or perhaps your workplace. For grander prospecting, there are various geographic or demographic markets you can always pursue. Just make sure your resources are ready and you have energy to hold on to.

5. Anticipate the needs of your clientele.

If you have been doing real estate postcards marketing for quite some time now, then you should have known by now that customers almost always ask this question: What is in it for them? Try not to make the postcards the go-between. As much as possible, your clients should already understand what is in it for them the moment they look at the postcard. Everything else should be self-explanatory. The message should already inculcate in your readers the necessity of buying and/or selling a property. This is one powerful clue that your postcards marketing has indeed worked!

Take these five guidelines into serious consideration and you will be on your way to a successful real estate postcards marketing campaign!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Breaking The Real Estate Bubble Myth

Bubble? What bubble?

At the root of the Real Estate Bubble Myth is the fact that interest rates are on the rise and the inexplicable truth is that, all of a sudden, everybody is so worried and concerned about it. Interest rates have been steadily on the rise both in the United States and, by reflection, in Canada since mid-2004, so I will leave to psychiatrists and psychologists the arduous task of explaining the newest, interest-rates phobia. I will, however, delve into the reasons as to why interest rates have been on the rise for these past 18 months.

Interest rates are the most important mechanism of Monetary Policy used by Central Banks to expand or reduce the available pool of capital at any given time. Central Banks use this mechanism to control the level of aggregate demand for goods and services, a primary cause of economic fluctuations. By reducing the money stock the cost to the banks for using the available capital is raised and passed on to consumers with a mark-up factor. This, in turn, discourages consumer spending on goods and services and, conversely, stimulates consumer saving. The effects are widespread and reverberate throughout the economic basket including, of course, real estate. What, however, pays to bear in mind is that it is not so much the amount of the increase that is important but, rather, the time given for the economy to adjust. The effect of a one percent interest rate hike in one month is going to be very different - and much more dramatic - than the effect of a one percent rate hike in six months, and this is a fact very well known to both the Federal Reserve System and the Bank of Canada.

So much so, in fact, that David Dodge, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, as well as Alan Greenspan, the outgoing Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank and Ben Bernanke, the nominee for the Chairman position are all proponents of gradual interest rates increases. Prof. Bernanke in particular, in fact, has gone even as far as postulating an inflation-targeting approach designed to keep inflation in check at 2 percent over two years. All number-crunchers out there, therefore, consider this: the posted annualized U.S. rate of inflation calculated monthly for November, 2005 using the Consumer Price Index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 3.46 percent, so all the Feds are talking about is a -1.46 percent inflation-targeting reduction programme over two years. That amount should be easy enough for everyone to absorb and it certainly does not look nearly as ominous as the doomsayers are all too fond of depicting.

Contrary to the belief of many 'bubbleologists' and the uneducated guesses of ill-informed consumers, a rise in interest rates is actually a welcome variable for the economy and, moreover, it is specifically the tool needed to keep a bubble from bursting. An economic bubble as it is widely known - or perhaps it isn't - occurs when speculation causes prices to increase, thus producing more speculation and subsequent price increases. The bubble bursts when prices of goods are so absurdly high that consumers either refuse or cannot afford to purchase, thus sending demand tumbling down. As real estate markets in North America have seen more than a fair share of speculation in recent times, it follows that a cooling-off trend through higher interest rates will have the beneficial effect of consolidating market wealth achieved thus far. The bubble would be likely to burst if no pressure were applied on speculation, thus increasing prices even further and causing demand to lower and finally collapse. Allowing the economy to get an even footing through a slowdown of capital appreciation and, at the same time, allowing real wages to catch up is exactly the tonic needed for a healthy foundation. Higher interest rates, moreover, promote domestic saving and attract foreign capitals thus reinforcing both the Greenback and the Loonie, another beneficial factor in finance albeit not in trade.

So, what is the prognostication for 2006? Real estate consumers need to look no further than at the prices large developers are asking - and collecting - today for new construction slated for completion by the end of 2006 and beyond. Prices for residential condos in the planning stage or just under construction sold 'on paper' today are about 10 percent higher than prices of equivalent existing resale units, which goes a long way to point out where big players think the real estate market is heading. The basis of this buoyance is that consumer confidence is stronger than ever. Just before the Holidays, in fact, the Feds reported that the Index of U.S. Consumer Confidence has risen to 103.8 from 98.3 in November, the second highest level since August, 2005 when the Index reached 105.5, a reflection of lower energy prices and an improved job market environment. Moreover, preliminary estimates already show an 8.7 percent rise in Holidays spending in the United States and a 7.6 percent rise in Canada over the same period last year. There is no valid reason to believe, under the circumstances, that consumer confidence applies to everything but real estate and that an economic bubble would affect only real estate markets and nothing else. Furthermore, Real Estate Boards across Canada and the United States report that inventory levels are 'seasonally normal' - an indication that the anticipated glut of housing due to the inability of homeowners to meet mortgage payments has failed to materialize thus far. In fact, those who worry that adjustable-rate mortgages are a potential financial time-bomb ready to explode should be informed that while there has been a surge of new adjustable-rate mortgages over the past twelve months, especially in the United States, they account overall for less than 10 percent of the total existing inventory of mortgages held by banks. Furthermore, many adjustable-rate mortgages have allowed consumers to fix rates up to 10 years, and it is only borrowers of sub-prime mortgages that face monthly-payment adjustments after three years - which therefore means that the problem, if there is a problem, will come due in 2008, not in 2006. Interest rates increases have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the vast majority of mortgagors who have locked in already.

In conclusion, therefore, it certainly appears that the Real Estate Bubble theory belongs more to Greek mythology than the reality of our times. There is in progress right now a reduction of real capital values, which will continue for some time as the direct consequence of the markets taking a breather. This trend is expected to settle real estate markets to new, more commensurate pricing levels before appreciation will surge upwards once again. Where the difference will be seen more likely than not is in the annualized rate of appreciation: gone are the times of twenty percent capital appreciation increases from year to year. As interest rates are steadily, gradually increasing, expectations in economic circles range from a conservative 5 percent to an optimistic 10 percent housing appreciation in value by this time next year. But there is no question that real estate markets still have a way to go to make up for years of decline. Those who theorize the collapse of the housing market by comparing it to the stock market are fundamentally incorrect. At its core the housing market, like the stock market, is all about supply and demand. However, the difference is that investors base their decisions to buy into stocks on future potential whereas investors base their decisions to buy into housing on inherent value. Moreover, externalities as varied as immigration, internal migration trends, marriage trends and cultural precepts as well as generation gaps affect real estate markets whereas they are totally missing in stock markets. As such, real estate markets just do not 'crash' like stock markets. There is not going to be in real estate the infamous Black Monday - October 19, 1987 - when the Dow Jones collapsed 22 percent in value in one day. When people buy into stocks there is no guarantee whatsoever that the companies they are buying into will be still in business five, ten, fifteen years down the road. Real estate markets, conversely, are far, far safer.

In the absence, therefore, of external negative influences the likes of wars, terrorist attacks or devastating virulent pandemics - which, on the other hand, would affect the entire economy - and until such time as consumers exhibit confidence and purchasing power the way they have been doing thus far, there is no reason to fear bubbles of any kind anywhere in real estate. Hence, do not expect to hear a popping sound any time soon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dominican Republic Real Estate Market - Real Estate Within Cap Cana

The Dominican Republic real estate market is truly unique in that it offers so many "pockets" or sub-markets where real estate developments within don't follow in accordance with the general rule of thumb during an economic crisis.

Cap Cana, and the Real Estate within this area could be considered one of these sub-markets. Developed in 2002, it immediately piggy backed of the expertise of Farallon and the brand recognition of Donald Trump. This thrusted Cap Cana into an immediate "exlusive" market.

Unfortunately, as the economic crisis became a reality, construction and development came to a standstill. Near the end of 2008, on through 2010 one could drive through Cap Cana and notice all the partially constructed projects, the near-abandoned Marina Village, the run-down ruins of what was once "Green Village" and many vacant overgrown housing lots. It was not a pretty picture and at times may have even been considered a great blunder in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This area went from being the next tropical paradise resort community to a ghost town of what may have been. Construction halted, banks screamed, money was lost.

A contributing factor to this stall-out may have been Cap Cana's switching to marketing to a less affluent crowd; eventually the demographic that would be all but wiped out during the crisis. The middle class stopped buying. No more credit cards, no more second, third, and forth mortgages.

These mid range properties, ranging from 300,000 USD to around 1,500,000 USD seem to be sitting on the market waiting for their prime buyer. This buyer will be someone that is keen enough to wait "just a little bit longer" to get even a better deal. Some properties in this price range do sell however, and they sell to a buyer who has determined that spending "X" amount of dollars in a competing community with fewer amenities now justifies the purchase of a unit for "X" amount of dollars. Unfortunately there just aren't enough of these comparison shoppers to make a difference in today's local marketplace.

On the flip-side, ultra-premium buyers are now stepping up to the plate. This demographic has not lost during the crisis, but they have gained. They now are targeting communities that have the infrastructure in place, and exist in the location to be truly great communities. Cap Cana is ready for this re-birth. Golf course and ocean view real estate within the area is on track to pick up sales slack, and the ultra-affluent are the ones that will soon be coming to the table to lay down claim on their new piece of paradise. As this transition occurs, a new demand will arise for the "lower-end" products Cap Cana has to offer, as those will soon again be sound investments.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Where Have the Real Estate Investors Gone?

Real estate professionals have been urging property investors to get in quick to purchase investment property and beat the rush as cashed up baby boomers transfer their wealth from the stock market to the real estate market. This may seem like a reasonable claim as many Australians; especially those around retirement age feel that they understand real estate as in investment. It is something that they can see and touch where as the stock market is something that works in mysterious ways that they do not fully understand. The decline in share prices across the globe over the last 18 months has entrenched this position and there is a desire to protect what is left of their retirement savings rather than being burnt by further declines in the stock market.

However based on the latest lending data the anticipated increase in property investments is yet to materialise. Rather than real estate investors it is first time owner occupiers who are racing into the market helped in part by government stimulus spending. So why are real estate investors not doing the same? There are a number of reasons why investors may not be entering the property market.

Tougher lending criteria
As a result of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) banks have been setting higher hurdles for investors (and owner occupiers) to qualify for a mortgage. No deposit loans which are in part blamed for causing the sub-prime crisis are increasingly rare with many lenders looking for a minimum 20% deposit and proven lending history before providing mortgage finance. With funding harder to come by there will be investors who wish to purchase property but are unable to do so. It has been suggested that these more stringent lending standards will help protect the Australian real estate market from suffering the kind of falls that have been seen in the US and UK property markets. In reality it will be the banks providing the mortgage finance that are protected by the tougher lending criteria not the real estate investors. If an investor or owner occupier finds they are unable to meet mortgage loan repayments because of unemployment or rising interest rates a gearing level (percentage of debt compared to the value of the property) at 80% or lower is not going to provide any assistance. The tougher lending criteria will mean that should the bank need to sell the property to recover the amount it had lent in mortgage finance they will still be able to recover the full loan amount even if they need to sell at a large discount to the original purchase price, either because the real-estate market has fallen or they want to recover their money quickly.

Loss of equity
The magnitude and speed of the downturn in equity markets has wiped out trillions of dollars in shareholder equity (The ASX All Ords index fell more than 40% in 12 months). Until the start of the Global Recession stock markets around the world had enjoyed significant gains year on year back as far as the tech wreck of the early 2000s. Investors had been able to invest in the share market and take profits to fund real estate acquisitions. In a financial double whammy these investors now find themselves not only without a source of investment income but have also having to provide cash to cover margin calls on loans secured on their share portfolio. With many shares at rock bottom fire sale prices many investors would be reluctant to sell and may therefore look to sell their investment property to raise funds, raising the possibility of a falling real estate market.

Job security fears
Despite record low interest rates and rising rents many investment properties are still negatively geared (net rental income after real estate agent fees does not cover mortgage repayments and other costs meaning that the investor has to cover the shortfall in the hope that this will be repaid in the form of capital growth). With rising unemployment some real-estate investors may have already lost their jobs and finding themselves unable to cover their existing mortgage shortfall they are forced to sell the property, again raising the possibility of a falling real estate market. Other investors may not have lost their jobs but the possibility of being out of work may make them hesitant about taking on additional liabilities that will need to be serviced.

Uncertain profits
Most real estate investors are investing to make a capital gain (i.e. to sell the property at a profit at some time in the future). In the last 12 months the property market has at best been flat or has been falling. The real estate industry has been quick to call the bottom of the market but as real estate agents have a vested interest in this being true many investors are sceptical about this advice especially as these claims have been made many times before. It is true that there has been an increase in demand at the bottom end of the market driven in part by government stimulus payments to first home buyers however this effect is likely to be temporary. Other evidence such as rising unemployment and reduced availability of mortgage finance suggests that the real estate market is likely to head lower

Potentially larger gains elsewhere
Despite the worsening economic outlook some forecasters are claiming the equity markets have bottomed. Share markets around the globe have rallied in recent weeks with many more than 10% up off their lows. Not all investors have been frightened away from investing their money. Some heed Warren Buffett's advice to be "fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful" Any cashed up investors with a strong appetite for risk will be tempted by gains that may be larger than the lacklustre performance expected from the real estate market.

Over the last decade it seemed that all one needed to do was borrow money and buy shares or property to make a profit, many were fooled into thinking that they were wise investors by these easy gains. Unfortunately this debt fuelled spending could not last and like any bubble it had to burst resulting in the economic melt down and Global Recession that we see today. The GFC has both reduced investor's ability to purchase new investments and their appetite for risk. Many will prefer to hold cash or bonds until the markets become less volatile and a capital gain looks more assured.

Worldwide investors have lost billions of dollars by placing their money in investments that they did not fully understand. There was an expectation that investors would switch to real estate as an investment that is tangible and easily understood. But the latest data shows that the rush of real estate investors is yet to materialise. Why?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

3 Ways to Market Real Estate During the Holidays

There are hundreds of ways to market real estate properties, but it doesn't mean that you can always use these methods to sell. There are times when you won't be able to get even an interested client for days, especially during holidays. So the question that we will be answering in this article is how you can market real estate properties during the holidays. If you know these methods, you can be assured that you will get interested parties even while everyone is having their vacation.

One of the most important things that you can do if you want to market real estate properties during holidays is to promote your company using the Internet. All you have to do is to create a website for your company, and place all the information that you want your clients to see. This will not only help you promote your properties even during holidays, but also promote your company to people who are using the Internet to find the property that would be best for them.

Another option that you can do is to visit places where people are having their vacation. Make sure that you have your flyers that can be placed on the vehicles of people who are having their vacation. Although the results that you can expect from it is a lot lower than the results that the Internet can provide, it is still worth a try, since you don't have a lot of options when it comes to marketing real estate properties during holidays.

The last option that you have is to negotiate with owners of establishments that are normally visited by people who are on their vacation. This is where everything gets trick, because you won't be able to use a single method to market real estate properties. Some establishments may allow tarpaulins and message boards, while some won't. If you really want to get the best results, you need to be more creative and be sure that you will always be ahead of other people who are also marketing real estate properties.

Regardless of the method that you are going to use, you need to be sure that you will be doing things the right way. The results that you can expect from these methods may differ, but you will only get the most out of it if you are going to do it the right way.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Real Estate Marketing Online - Top 4 Online Real Estate Marketing Tips

For Real Estate professionals learning how to use SEO tactics is one of the most important ways to ensure your online marketing efforts will be as effective as possible.  For real estate marketing online, the number one goal is for your real estate website to appear at the top of the search engines.  When your website dominates these natural (or organic) results, you can know that your work is going to pay off big time!  But keep in mind that a high ranking on Google or any of the other popular search engines is only a part of the goal.  You also need to be sure that people who see your listings are clicking on your website.

Your real estate search engine marketing is what will ensure that people will click on your website.  With your real estate marketing, you should be considering not only search engine ranking, but also exactly what will be seen within the search engine results.  It doesn't take much work, but it is this extra attention to detail that can increase your click-through rate by more than double.

Here are the Top 4 Online Real Estate Marketing Tips to Increase Your Rankings and Website Clicks:

1.  Page Title:  Your page title should always be unique and incorporate the specific keyword or long-tailed keyword phrase that your website focuses on.  For example:  "Locate Denver Homes with this Free MLS Search".  The title has a great long-tail keyword, is short and to the point and has a great call to action inviting the user to click and search the MLS listings.

2.  Snippet Text/Meta tag Summary: This is the summary that appears below your page title in the search engine.  This part is optional but you can control what appears here if you wish by simply filling out the meta tag description section in your website development.  When the keyword you are going for also appears in this section it will improve your visual ranking as well.

3.  Domain Name:  The name you choose for your website is also a key factor for your click-through rates.  Choose something that is related to your area of real estate and relevant to you and your expertise, such as the particular neighborhoods or regions you deal with.  This will improve your credibility with people who view your website link.

4.  Page Names:  The specific page names within your website should also be related to and descriptive to what each page is about.  Don't just say, "Neighborhood #1", give the actual name of the neighborhood to be more descriptive and official.  This will be helpful to both the search engines and the people viewing your site.

With Real Estate marketing online, focusing on these four areas will help to remarkably improve your search engine rankings and clicks.  When you are not only focused on online marketing techniques but also the overall experience of your next client you will be sure to have an increased amount of quality traffic to your website that will enhance your real estate business!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Timing The Real Estate Market - Can Investors Be Successful At Timing The Real Estate Market

Real estate prices are prone to cycles. That is why timing is so critical to the real estate investor. But in order to determine when the proper time to buy is, the investor needs to be educated and spend the necessary time analyzing the market.

But one question remains - is the average investor good at timing the real estate market?

There is no doubt that this can be difficult, even for the seasoned real estate professional. The investor needs to be aware of many of the factors that assist in correctly timing the real estate market.

Now over the long term you are almost assured to make money in real estate. But if you are looking to make the best use of your money, timing is critical.

There are many boom to bust cycles in real estate. There are often short term periods of substantial price increases followed often by shorter term and less volatile periods of price declines. This is often followed by periods of flat to small increases. The difficult part is determining when to buy and when to sell.

Obviously, you want to buy during the flat period just prior to the next substantial increase. This is often difficult to determine. But if you study long enough, you can often spot the signs that assist in timing the real estate market.

Signs of a market top:

  • The media is publicizing that "everyone is making money in real estate";
  • There is a lot of liquidity in the market, with easy qualifying mortgages and plenty of creative financing options;
  • Publicly traded homebuilders are reporting "record" profits;
  • Homeowners have seen recent substantial appreciation and still believe that real estate will go much higher over the short-term; and
  • New home sales and building permits are at recent highs.

Signs of a market bottom:

  • Delinquencies and foreclosures are at multi-year highs;
  • Mortgage financing has become "tight" as fewer lenders will fund real estate transactions;
  • The average homeowner believes that real estate will go lower over the near-term;
  • The media is publicizing "how difficult the real estate market is"; and
  • Building permits and new home sales are at recent lows.

Now I don't want to make it appear that it's easy for the average investor to be good at timing the real estate market. It certainly is not. But if you study the markets and examine the signs you will be a step ahead of many other investors. That may give you all the edge that you need.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Bad Real Estate Market is Good for Real Estate Investors and the Country!

The real estate industry in this country is in for a rude awakening!

The realtors, mortgage brokers, "investors" (really speculators) and Alan Greenspan are whistling past the grave yard, living on borrowed time.

Few people realize how bad the real estate market can become. I remember in the late 70's when interest rates were above 12%, eventually topping out at over 14% in the 80's. Prices in many areas fell by 20% or more.

How bad was it? I had a bank in Newport, RI, Give me two houses along with a 115% first mortgage, just to get them off their books. They were choking on their inventory of REO's (Real Estate Owned), properties they had taken back through foreclosure and could not sell.

The government (read taxpayers!) eventually had to step in a dig out the banks that were buried by bad loans and foreclosed properties brought about by bad government fiscal policy; via the Resolution Trust Corporation, a quasi-government entity.

The fantastic real estate market of today created by bad government fiscal policy; too much easy money; has distorted not only the real estate market but the American economy in general.

Jobs, spending, growth, up to 70% of the GDP, the Gross Domestic Product of the US, were all supported by the reckless, artificial inflation of real estate values. This can't go on indefinitely and the correction is right around the corner, and it is going to hurt.

The rising inventory of unsold homes, softening, even declining home prices, rising interest rates and record mortgage delinquencies, will destroy this bloated, decadent real estate market created by the Federal Reserve Bank over the last 5 or so years.

Billions of dollars of grotesquely overpriced assets will be taken off the books of lenders and out of the hands of those who were foolish enough to think that their gains were real and "re-priced" to reality.

I feel that private investors, as opposed to government agencies, should be key players in taking control of these real estate assets," re-pricing" them to provide for the housing needs of regular people on a more realistic, economic basis. In effect, I see the investor as a "re-cycler" of overpriced real estate.

Unfortunately, some innocent people will get hurt in this process. Investors can be of assistance, here too, helping those trapped by their property's unsustainable financial requirements to escape from their burdens

Let's take a look at rising interest rates through the Bad=Good prism. After all, it was Mr. Greenspan's record low interest rates that precipitated the Mega-Boom in real estate and his reversal of that policy, belatedly realizing that it is unsustainable, is bringing it to a screeching halt.

Rising interest rates will also be accompanied by tightened lending rules as bankers slam the doors to the vault shut, long after they have indiscriminately shoveled the money out to anyone with a pulse, of course.

As rates go up and lending rules tighten, fewer people will be able to qualify for bank loans. That means:

· Less demand (mortgage money) for homes, means falling prices

· The return of seller financing; safe, secure private investor loans secured by real estate.

· Payment shock. Many borrowers with exotic adjustable rate mortgages, which can increase monthly payments by 25-100%, will lose their homes, allowing the market to set a more realistic price on them.

· Fewer buyers mean more renters which is good news for investors, who will be able to accommodate them at more reasonable rates.

Falling home prices, rising inventory of unsold houses?

· Means downward price pressure on all unsold houses meaning investors will be able to accumulate more properties more reasonably.

· Greater losses to banks that foreclose on properties forcing them to practically give them away, which in a way is their just deserts for their part in creating this mess.

· Homeowners who counted on the growing equity in their homes to allow them to continue living above their means will have to face financial reality.

· More upside down home owners. These people will owe more than their homes are worth. They will have very little reason to keep their homes. They will gladly turn them over to investors.

Rising numbers of foreclosures and bankruptcies? It is ironic that the greedy bankers who rammed the new anti-bankruptcy law through Congress, preventing most middle class families from filing true bankruptcy, will probably lose more on their mortgage loans than they will save on credit card chargeoffs.

Bankrupt debtors who used to be able to wipe out their credit card debt with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to be able to afford to keep their homes, will now be forced to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

This is not really bankruptcy, the debtor pays virtually everything owed, just on a different schedule. Funny thing about those Chapter 13 bankruptcies, history shows that about 70% of the people entering them lost their homes within 18 months!

The result? More foreclosure loses for the banks.

As the Greenspan-created, Frankenstein housing market was the only thing keeping the economy afloat the last 4 years, its demise will probably trigger a recession, which will "reset the clock" on the runaway asset inflation we've been subjected to and was the very foundation of this house of cards.

A falling stock market combined with the collapse in consumer spending accompanying such a downturn will produce even more opportunities for astute investors.

The more properties investors can recycle and the more people we can help escape their crushing financial burdens, the more money we will make.

Finally, falling industrial output and the job losses produced by the recession, especially in real estate related fields which had produced over 30% of all new jobs in the past 4 years; will deal the Coup de Grace to the venerable real estate Bubble.

Investors will then have the opportunity to take control of the balance of the over priced properties and help to return sanity to our economy, eliminating the need for the US to borrow $2.6 Billion dollars per day from foreigners!

Looks like the next several years will be the worst of times and the best of times for investors to do what we do best, make lemonade out of lemons!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Resort Real Estate Market Insight - Where Is The Second Home And Resort Market And Where Is It Going

Many times, it seems like there are more questions than answers about today's real estate market. Real estate is difficult to analyze due to its local nature, with submarkets and niche-markets to take into account. At the same time, it's a mistake to ignore the effects of regional and national market forces on what happens in our own backyard.

Why is the market slow?

The short answer is frenzied buying and building based on speculation resulted in an oversupply. But the good news is that both local and global economic conditions seem favorable for a market recovery. In Brian Blackstone's and Greg Ip's July 7 Wall Street Journal analysis, the authors conclude that the job market's June performance, along with signs of vigor in the manufacturing sector and a buoyant stock market, suggest the U.S. economy is moving into the third and fourth quarters with a "considerable head of steam."

Even better, Blackstone and Ip point out that the economy is chugging along with inflationary pressure, enjoying what they dubbed "a Goldilocks moment - not too hot, not too cold." Inflation appears to be in check, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) stabilized at approximately 2.5% and with a decrease in the core inflation rate (CPI minus food and energy). Thus, the influential Federal Reserve Rate remains stabilized, further building consumer confidence.

Consumer confidence is one of the biggest factors in the rise or fall of the real estate market. According to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Senior Economist, "As consumer confidence improves, home sales will rise."

Moving to micro-economic factors - our area's activity - it's interesting to track a resoundingly negative effect of what was very positive real estate sales activity. Within the last 12 months, a South Walton beachfront home sold for $9 million cash, well into the market correction. The news of the sale elated sellers and Realtors alike gleefully used this sale as a comparable for their listings, reasoning "my property is worth at least as much on a square-footage basis." The result was a misguided sense of pricing with sellers not adjusting prices to the actual market.

The corollary of this price-focused fallacy is on the buyers' side. Just as the $9 million sale set an unrealistic expectation for sellers, distress or otherwise low-price sales have set an unrealistic expectation for buyers. One or two of the outlying sales do not constitute the market.

In both up and down markets, we typically have these "outliers." However, their effects are exacerbated when people are particularly sensitive to small market changes. We tracked this same market phenomenon in the heyday of the amateur day-trader, who focused on often infinitesimal daily market blips. As Warren Buffett commented at the 1997 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, "If you're an investor, you're looking at what the asset is going to do. If you're a speculator, you're commonly focusing on what the price of the object is going to do." Long term trends are important, and history shows it is almost impossible to perfectly time any market.

So what's the best course for someone invested in or simply interested in area real estate?

Due diligence is essential to ensure that the real estate you purchase is not only a good value but a quality property. Here on the Emerald Coast, we are unique in that we have a resort market where many properties are characterized as second homes. This market sector continues to show an upward trend. NAR's research highlights this trend in their May 2007 online article, Vacation Home Sales Sets Record in 2006, even though the real estate "slowdown impacted the purchase of second homes as well," continued "low interest rates and a relatively high inventory of properties on the market inspired a significant percentage of home buyers to purchase vacation homes."

Resort real estate is an investment in monetary terms. But in recent years, its value as an investment in buyers' families has often been overlooked. A vacation home is a place to spend time together and create memories. Five years ago, the typical answer to "What will you use this home for?" was "as a second or vacation home for my family, and also as an investment." During the recent frenzied period, the response changed to "an investment we will use on occasion."

The April, 2007 NAR survey of second-home buyers revealed that a clear majority - 79% -- planned to use their new home as a family retreat or for vacations. Still, more than one-third of respondents purchased a vacation home to diversify investments. Some 28% planned to use their vacation home as a primary residence sometime in the future. A quarter of buyers said they bought their second home for tax benefits; 22% for use by a family member, friend or relative; 21% because they had extra money to spend; and 18% to rent to others. We are beginning to see the return of the end user who is investing in resort real estate for the enjoyment of their family, with a realistic long-term vision of the asset's potential appreciation.

There is nothing wrong with purchasing a property that you and your family will enjoy, even if you did not purchase for a rock bottom, seller-bleeding price. If you are willing to pay for a home that is exactly what you and your family want and will enjoy for the next 10 years or more, it will be worth it. Real estate is, after all, a long-term asset.

The current market correction has occurred steadily over the last 18 months, but it appears to be stabilizing. The NAR is predicting only 1% decline for 2007 and a positive pricing outlook for 2008.

In our area, we foresee a trend of less negative numbers with an increase coming soon. We've already seen an increase in market activity, indicating buyer willingness to re-enter the market and the realignment of seller expectations with the market reality. Prosperity across the globe; low and stable mortgage rates and the fact that the net worth of Americans is at an all-time high all point to an upturn.

There has been some talk about the high end of the market dodging the ill effects of the downturn. In point of fact, it all depends on how the so-called "high end" is defined. Sticking to Warren Buffets maxim to find an outstanding buy at a sensible price rather than a mediocre buy at a bargain price--some opportunity does exist at the high end of the real estate market.

Some high-end communities have been negatively affected in the recent market due to multiple purchases by individuals or entities, and purchases by individuals for the sole purpose of flipping the property prior to or just after closing. It is difficult to calculate the number of these properties still hovering in the market. Some of these investors who have a lower cost basis may reap a sizable profit. High carrying costs or other circumstances may force other sellers to sell at a loss.

Two years ago, our market was clearly overheated (see my article "Getting Back to Normal" published in the Emerald Coast Winter 2006 edition of Condo Owner.) Savvy buyers are now recognizing that the choice of property available, and the quality of property available, yields a rare opportunity.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Online Real Estate Marketing - What to Do to Get Results Fast

Whether you have just started your journey into marketing your real estate business online or have been doing it for years, one of the biggest goals seems to be consistent. What do I need to do to get business going now? Business 6 months from now is nice but getting results immediately is essential so you can even make it 6 more months!

With so many different ways to tackle marketing real estate agents often get blinded and don't know where to start. Unfortunately this usually means doing nothing and that doesn't help at all! Here are different methods that you can tackle to get results fast. In the effort of getting results quickly, none of these should take longer than 45 minutes to do and when done correctly you will start getting leads within 24 hours (that's pretty fast).

  • Craigslist - Yes, Craigslist is online and should certainly be part of a balanced online real estate marketing strategy. To get results though don't just throw up 1 ad and hope to have the leads start pouring in. Be aggressive and create 10-15 different ads and put them up at different points during the day and your phone will ring off the hook.    Make sure to include pictures in your ads and you will draw in customers to work with in the areas that you enjoy as well.
  • Pay Per Click - Don't stress out and try to create an entire campaign, just create 1 good ad. Create 1 pay per click ad that is focused on just 1-3 keywords and send the traffic to a page focused on those keywords. Make sure to have an opt-in form on the landing page and you will be able to start getting leads in the same day that you run your new ad.
  • Send an e-mail to your database - E-mail is great way to draw in those customers who have been sitting on the fence for awhile. Don't send an e-mail that is generic or asks if they want to buy something, send an e-mail that gives them a good reason to reach out and connect with you. E-mails that are short, ask some good questions, and give them a reason to come back to your website work best. It could be something that is a current hot topic like a tax credit, just don't give them all the information in the e-mail. Get them to come back to your website to discover more about the details. Then if they really want help they can even pick up the phone to call you.

When you want results quickly, implementing just one of the above ideas will jump start your online real estate marketing efforts with some fresh new leads. Don't try to do all of them at once or you might not finish it. As you find the marketing that you enjoy the most repeat that activity each day and pretty soon you will have "quick business" each and every week.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Importance of Marketing in Real Estate

Real estate has had several veterans in the past - some in the form of investors, others as agents. However, not all have made it to the success charts of the sector. While most are boggled by the mystery, we know that the reason lies in the real estate marketing. Real estate marketing is a very important aspect of the sector, where not only people but the properties themselves too benefit from it!

Marketing for the agent

In the slumping times, where few people are going property shopping, it becomes extremely important for the agent to properly market his services. This is a time where your achievements will not help. What will help is marketing the services and benefits that you can give to the clients. Since most real estate buyers are now online, maintaining a user friendly website would make for an effective real estate marketing tool.

Then again, going with the times is also one of the major pointers that can help you move freely in the uptight markets. For instance, with more and more home owners falling behind in the mortgage payments and facing the prospects of bankruptcy and foreclosures, shorts sales are gaining ground. Even amongst the buyers, short sale properties are posing as a major attraction. Therefore, marketing yourself as a short sale expert, you can help convert several leads into clients. A short sale is when the home owner, in order to avoid foreclosure, sells his property with permission from the mortgage lender, at a price lower than the amount due. A short sale allows the home owner to settle the mortgage with the proceedings of the sale, while also keeping some for self.

Marketing for the property

Just the way an agent looks forward to marketing, real estate properties too need proper marketing in order to sell fast. In this, a real estate agent plays a very important role. It is up to the real estate agent to advertise for the property efficiently in order for it to sell quickly. These days, there are several independent brokers acting in the field of promoting a property for their own gain. This is a process termed as wholesaling. In this, the broker acts as a preliminary investor and signs a buying contract with the seller, paying a certain amount as the depository price. This is simply a sales contract with a "and/or assigns" clause, while a certain time frame is set for the final buy, which if not kept, leads to a total forfeit of the depository amount. After the contract is signed, the broker starts marketing the property amongst the buyer circle and finds a ready buyer for the property within the time frame. Suppose the broker sets the final price of the property as $40,000 with the original seller, while the actual market price of the property is $70,000. Now the final buyer the broker finds for the property would be willing to pay $50,000 for the same property. Thus, the broker makes a cool $10,000 off the deal, even as the final buyer too saves up to $20,000 on the property. Most short sale or foreclosure properties have this kind of investors working for them.

Keeping the above pointers in mind, both, the sellers and the agents can benefit from the real estate marketing tips. Don't you agree?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tips for Successful Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate Marketing is booming. However, with a rise in the potential real estate investors, the number of Realtors has also escalated. Today, there is a great competition among Real Estate Agents to expand their clientele. This rush has led to the development of many new Real Estate Marketing Strategies. Following are some tips that can help you to succeed in real estate business:

Research and the First Impression

As you start off, you have to research the market. Know your competitors and study the strategy they use. Also be well informed about every property you include in your listing. The more authentic knowledge you have about the real estate properties, the more trust you can instill in your client. Any marketing is about winning the client's faith. Once you accomplish this, the rest is a cakewalk.

Goodwill Does Matter

You must understand that your client wants to be dealt well, just as any other human being does. Try your best to earn his goodwill. Don't just consider him to be just another opportunity to grab. Even after he has made the purchase, keep good terms with him, helping him whenever he needs you. It is unlikely that he would buy a new home again in the same city or town, but his friends and relatives may need an agent. If he feels cheated or scorned by you, he will never refer them to you. Be good to your past customers and you can get more business, by their reference. Goodwill is actually one of the major Real Estate Marketing Strategies you stand to gain from.

A Smile Costs Nothing But Buys Everything

No matter how much stress you are in, always sport a lively smile on your face. Try being friendly to everyone; you never know, when a normal chit-chat leads to a business deal. Keep all your worries aside while communicating with your customers. It is hard to do. Success doesn't come easy!

Learn, Learn, Learn

When devising a strategy, always remember to glance at the past. Learn from your own mistakes. The more you learn from yesterday, the better you make your today. We often make a mistake and realize it later. No problem. It is never too late. Just ensure yourself that you won't repeat it. Avoiding one mistake may get you a successful deal.

Online Real Estate Marketing

Having invaded into almost every sphere of life, the Internet has also ensconced itself in the field of Real Estate Marketing. And the best thing is that, you can continue your offline office as before, along with your website. A real estate website can be a major gateway for clients, a reason for huge numbers of Realtors going for it. A steep rise in the number of online Realtors has also led to an increase in the competition between them. If you want to enter this rat race of online real estate marketing, you must enter fully prepared. The points mentioned above are also applicable when you communicate with the potential clients guided to you by your website. However, there are some other things you have to learn so that you can make the most out of your website. And believe me, it works wonders!