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People from all backgrounds and all walks of life have found amazing success in the world of real estate investing. If you feel that you have what it takes to generate real profits in this way, but just need a bit of know-how, this article is for you. Keep on reading to get some terrific advice.
Reputation is important when you are stepping into this arena. Therefore, you should make sure your reputation is trustworthy. Once people know you’re trustworthy, they’ll be more willing to work with you in the future.
Make sure you have a budget when you invest in real estate that includes how much you’re going to have to pay to fix the home you’re buying up. You don’t want to blow all of your money on getting real estate just to find out that you can’t afford to fix it up.
Think long-term when investing in real estate. While some investors seek to make quick turnovers by buying cheap and flipping within weeks or months, your better bet is a longer view. Look for safe properties where you can park a big sum of money and get investment return via monthly income like rent.
When deciding to buy a property or not, consider how appealing it will or will not be to prospective tenants. No property is worth your money if you won’t be able to sell or rent it, so consider the purchaser’s perspective. How soon can you sell? How high will your profits be? These are all things to consider from the buyer’s point of view before you buy.
Build a strong team that is going to work with you during the whole process. This means that you will need to get a realtor, accountant and lawyer that will help safeguard you in case anything goes wrong in the process. These people will also give you great advice while you invest.
If you’re going to try getting into real estate, you need to consider how much time you’re able to spend on property management. The issues tenants have can become time consuming. If you see that you don’t have enough time in managing it, you could choose to hire a person to manage it for you.
Property values go up and down; don’t make the assumption that it will go up only. This isn’t good to think about for any property out there because this assumption is pretty dangerous. Your safest bet is to only invest in properties that provide a nearly immediate positive cash flow. Then you will have an income you can count on, and you can probably look forward to property appreciation.
When negotiating, you should limit the amount of talking you do. If you try to dominate the negotiation right out of the gate, they know everything and can actually end up bidding you higher than they would have accepted to begin with. Actively listening will help to ensure that you get the greatest deal possible.
See if there are all of the stores and schools that you’ll need around the real estate that you’re thinking of getting for your family. You don’t want to move to an area where you’re not near anywhere that you need to go to. It would cost you a lot in traveling expenses, so keep that in mind when you move anywhere.
When you want to get an investment property, you have to be sure that the rent you’re collecting will cover most of the mortgage payment you pay monthly. This allows you to feel confident about owning the property. Few things are worse than needing to pay your own money to cover the mortgage, because the payment you receive from your renters isn’t enough.
Hire a professional inspector to come out and see the property you’re thinking of putting your money into. You may think that you can just look over the property on your own to find problems, but if you’re not trained you may miss some things. When problems are found, you should make sure to get some money off of the property or have the owner fix it for you.
Never buy properties only to run up the number that you totally own. This is a rookie mistake. Research each property and calculate its value as a genuine investment. This must be what takes up most of your investments.
Insure all of your properties, even if they are currently vacant. While insurance can get expensive, it will ultimately protect your investment. If something were to go wrong on the land or in a building you own, you will be covered. Also, have a general safety inspection conducted once in a while too, just to be on the safe side.
You are not going to find huge financial success overnight. Therefore, it is important to break down your goals into smaller, short-term objectives. Make sure you have a to-do list to accomplish each day. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to achieving your larger goals.
Always factor in after a thorough inspection of a property the repairs that need to be made prior to your profits. You will have to make most general repairs before selling a property. When thinking of renting a property out, you must consider maintenance costs. Try to keep your budget realistic to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Endeavor to keep emotion out of the process of negotiation. You are investing in this property and will probably not be living there. Control your emotions so that you never overpay and cut into your potential for profit. You’ll make extra money if you use this advice.
To make sure you buy a good piece of real estate, find out what similar properties have sold for. This will give you a good idea of whether a property you’re considering is worth the price you’re about to pay for it. There are public databases about recent sales, or you can ask a real estate agent to help.
Real estate investing offers almost anyone the opportunity to accumulate wealth as long as they are willing to put in the hard work. To get a real estate career off the ground, it is essential to learn the tricks of the trade. Hopefully the piece you have just read has gotten you inspired to keep going.
Home Buyers and Sellers Real Estate Glossary
Real estate has always been known as the safest of investments.
In fact, real estate investment completed after proper research into and evaluation of the property (to determine actual and future value), can lead to tremendous profit.
This is one reason many people choose real estate investment as their full time job.
Discussions about real estate tend to focus on residential real estate; commercial real estate, except to seasoned investors, typically seems to take a back seat.
However, commercial real estate is also a great option for investing in real estate.
Commercial real estate includes a large variety of property types.
To a majority of people, commercial real estate is only office complexes or factories or industrial units.
However, that is not all of commercial real estate. There is far more to commercial real estate.
Strip malls, health care centers, retail units and warehouse are all good examples of commercial real estate as is vacant land.
Even residential properties like apartments (or any property that consists of more than four residential units) are considered commercial real estate. In fact, such commercial real estate is very much in demand.
So, is commercial real estate really profitable?
Absolutely, in fact if it were not profitable I would not be writing about commercial real estate at all!!
However, with commercial real estate recognizing the opportunity is a bit more difficult when compared to residential real estate.
But commercial real estate profits can be huge (in fact, much bigger than you might realize from a residential real estate transaction of the same size).
There are many reasons to delve into commercial real estate investment.
For example you might purchase to resell after a certain appreciation level has occurred or to generate a substantial income by leasing the property out to retailers or other business types or both.
In fact, commercial real estate development is treated as a preliminary
indicator of the impending growth of the residential real estate market.
Therefore, once you recognize the probability of significant commercial growth within a region (whatever the reason i.e. municipal tax concessions), you should begin to evaluate the potential for appreciation in commercial real estate prices and implement your investment strategy quickly.
Regarding commercial real estate investment strategies it is important that you identify and set investment goals (i.e. immediate income through rental vs later investment income through resale) and that you know what you can afford and how you will effect the purchase.
It would be wise to determine your goals then meet with your banker (or financier(s)) prior to viewing and selecting your commercial real estate.
Also remain open minded and understand that should the right (perfect)
opportunity present itself, your investment strategy might need to be revisited and altered, sometimes considerably.
For example: If you find that commercial real estate, (i.e. land) is available in big chunks which are too expensive for you to buy alone but represents tremendous opportunity, you could look at forming a small investor group (i.e. with friends or family) and buy it together (then split the profits later).
Or in another case (i.e. when a retail boom is expected in a region), though your commercial real estate investment strategy was devised around purchasing vacant land, you might find it more profitable to buy a property such as a strip mall or small plaza that you can lease to retailers or a property that you can convert into a warehouse for the purpose of renting to small businesses.
So in a nutshell, commercial real estate presents a veritable plethora of
investing opportunities, you just need to recognize them and go for it.
Real Estate Development - When is the Right Time to Get Started in Property Development?
Every time I talk to someone about my business and career, it always comes up that "they've thought about getting into real estate" or know someone who has. With so many people thinking about getting into real estate, and getting into real estate - why aren't there more successful Realtors in the world? Well, there's only so much business to go around, so there can only be so many Real Estate Agents in the world. I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business, and how different it is from traditional careers, makes it difficult for the average person to successfully make the transition into the Real Estate Business. As a Broker, I see many new agents make their way into my office - for an interview, and sometimes to begin their careers. New Real Estate Agents bring a lot of great qualities to the table - lots of energy and ambition - but they also make a lot of common mistakes. Here are the 7 top mistakes rookie Real Estate Agents Make.
1) No Business Plan or Business Strategy
So many new agents put all their emphasis on which Real Estate Brokerage they will join when their shiny new license comes in the mail. Why? Because most new Real Estate Agents have never been in business for themselves - they've only worked as employees. They, mistakenly, believe that getting into the Real Estate business is "getting a new job." What they're missing is that they're about to go into business for themselves. If you've ever opened the doors to ANY business, you know that one of the key ingredients is your business plan. Your business plan helps you define where you're going, how you're getting there, and what it's going to take for you to make your real estate business a success. Here are the essentials of any good business plan:
A) Goals - What do you want? Make them clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide - you don't want to be the "jack of all trades & master of none" - choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you want to specialize in. New residential real estate agents tend to have the most success with buyers/renters and then move on to listing homes after they've completed a few transactions.
C) Market - who are you marketing yourself to?
D) Budget - consider yourself "new real estate agent, inc." and write down EVERY expense that you have - gas, groceries, cell phone, etc... Then write down the new expenses you're taking on - board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (very important), etc...
E) Funding - how are you going to pay for your budget w/ no income for the first (at least) 60 days? With the goals you've set for yourself, when will you break even?
F) Marketing Plan - how are you going to get the word out about your services? The MOST effective way to market yourself is to your own sphere of influence (people you know). Make sure you do so effectively and systematically.
2) Not Using the Best Possible Closing Team
They say the greatest businesspeople surround themselves with people that are smarter than themselves. It takes a pretty big team to close a transaction - Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Lender, Insurance Agent, Title Officer, Inspector, Appraiser, and sometimes more! As a Real Estate Agent, you are in the position to refer your client to whoever you choose, and you should make sure that anyone you refer in will be an asset to the transaction, not someone who will bring you more headache. And the closing team you refer in, or "put your name to," are there to make you shine! When they perform well, you get to take part of the credit because you referred them into the transaction.
The deadliest duo out there is the New Real Estate Agent & New Mortgage Broker. They get together and decide that, through their combined marketing efforts, they can take over the world! They're both focusing on the right part of their business - marketing - but they're doing each other no favors by choosing to give each other business. If you refer in a bad insurance agent, it might cause a minor hiccup in the transaction - you make a simple phone call and a new agent can bind the property in less than an hour. However, because it typically takes at least two weeks to close a loan, if you use an inexperienced lender, the result can be disastrous! You may find yourself in a position of "begging for a contract extension," or worse, being denied a contract extension.
A good closing team will typically know more than their role in the transaction. Due to this, you can turn to them with questions, and they will step in (quietly) when they see a potential mistake - because they want to help you, and in return receive more of your business. Using good, experienced players for your closing team will help you infinitely in conducting business worthy of MORE business...and best of all, it's free!
3) Not Arming Themselves with the Necessary Tools
Getting started as a Real Estate Agent is expensive. In Texas, the license alone is an investment that will cost between $700 and $900 (not taking into account the amount of time you'll invest.) However, you'll run into even more expenses when you go to arm yourself with the necessary tools of the trade. And don't fool yourself - they are necessary - because your competitors are definitely using every tool to help THEM.
A) MLS Access is probably the most expensive necessity you're going to run into. Joining your local (and state & national, by default) Board of Realtors will allow you to pay for MLS access, and in Austin, Texas, will run around $1000. However, don't skimp in this area. Getting MLS access is one of the most important things you can do. It's what differentiates us from your average salesman - we don't sell homes, we present any of the homes that we have available. With MLS Access, you will have 99% of the homes for sale in your area available to present to your clients.
B) Mobile Phone w/ a Beefy Plan - These days, everyone has a cell phone. But not everyone has a plan that will facilitate the level of use that Real Estate Agents need. Plan on getting at least 2000 minutes per month. You want, and need, to be available to your clients 24/7 - not just nights and weekends.
C) Computer (Preferably a Laptop) - There's no way around it, you have to have a computer & be savvy enough to use email. You would be wise to invest in some business management software, as well. If you'd like to save some money (and who wouldn't) then you can get the client & email management software Thunderbird from http://www.mozilla.com and you can get a free office suite from http://www.openoffice.org The only downside to these programs is that they do not sync with your PDA or Smart Phone. A Laptop is a BIG plus because you'll be able to work from home or on the go. New Real Estate Agents are often surprised by just how much time they spend AWAY from the office, and a laptop helps you stay on top of your work while on the go.
D) Real Estate Friendly Car - You don't have to have a Lexus, but your Miata won't do the trick. Make sure that you have a 4 door car or SUV that is comfortable and presentable. Keep it clean, and for God's sake, don't smoke in it! You're going to spend a LOT of time in your car, and put a lot of miles on it, so if it's fuel efficient, it's a BIG plus. If you're driving a sporty convertible, or still have your KILLER Jeep from college, it's time to trade it in.
4) Lack of Proper Funding
If you've taken the time to create your business plan, than you should definitely have your budget, but I can't stress enough the importance of having and following your budget. However, the budget alone doesn't address the important aspect of funding. 90% of all small businesses fail due to lack of funding. Typically, new agents will want to have 3 months of reserves in savings before taking the leap into full time agency. However, money in the bank isn't the only way to answer the question of funding. Maybe your partner can support you for a certain period of time. You can keep a part-time job that won't interfere with your business as a Real Estate Agent. Many successful waiters make the transition to successful real estate agents with no money in the bank. When you start your new business, don't expect to earn any income for, at the least, 60 days.
5) Refusing to Spend Money on Marketing
Most new Real Estate Agents don't realize that the hardest part of the business is finding the business. Furthermore, they've just shelled out around $2000 for their license and board dues, so the LAST thing they want to do is to spend more money! Again, the problem lies in the lack of understanding that you've just jumped into the Real Estate Business, you haven't taken a new job. And any good businessperson will tell you that how much business you GET is directly correlative to how much you SPEND on marketing. If you choose the right brokerage, then you will get some good inbound leads. However, don't neglect a good, personal marketing campaign from the beginning to get your own name out as the Real Estate Agent to go to.
6) Not Focusing Their Marketing Efforts in the Most Effective Areas
One reason why many new Real Estate Agents who do begin spending money on personal marketing stop is because they spend it in the wrong place. The easiest place, and where conventional Real Estate tells you to spend your money, is in conventional print marketing - the newspaper, real estate magazines, etc... This is the most visible place to see real estate advertising, it's where large offices spend a good part of their money, and so many new agents mistakenly spend their money here. This becomes very frustrating to new agents because of its low return. Large brokerages can afford to spend their money here because they're filling two needs - they're marketing their own properties for sale while creating new buyer traffic for their buyer's agents. New Real Estate Agents should look to their own sphere of influence and referral marketing to see the most effective return on their investment. An agent can spend as little as $100/month marketing to their family, friends, and colleagues and see an incredible return. There are many great referral systems around that all focus on the same premise - that if you consistently market yourself to your sphere of influence as the Real Estate Agent to go to - then you will get more business. The key is to pick a system and to follow that system. You will see results.
7) Choosing the Wrong Brokerage for the Wrong Reasons
New Real Estate Agents choose their new broker for a variety of reasons - they have a good reputation, they offer the most competitive split, the office is close to their house, etc... While these alone aren't bad reasons to choose a broker, they aren't going to do a lot to help you in your success. The #1 reason to choose a broker, and the question to ask is, "What do you offer your new agents." If the answer is, "The most competitive split in town" you should definitely keep looking. Remember, 100% of $0 is still $0. If you're leaning towards the largest broker in town, who has a great reputation, remember this: You're starting a BUSINESS not a JOB. While it might be fantastic to brag to your friends about landing a job at a prestigious company, it's no accomplishment to hang your license on the same wall in the same office as other successful agents.
Your #1 concern when interviewing new Brokers is what they offer you as a new agent. Do they have incoming leads? What does their training program consist of? What's their retention level? What's their average sales price? Do they encourage their agents to promote themselves? A Broker's purpose is to help new agents start successful careers and to help established Agents progress their careers to the next level. As a new agent, concern yourself less with commission split or agency name and more with specific programs and agency standards.
A new career in Real Estate is very exciting. Starting a Real Estate business provides the new Agent with opportunities for limitless potential and freedom. New Agents have a notoriously high failure rate, however, so a new Real Estate career can also be a very scary prospect. However, if you avoid the 7 Top Mistakes Rookie Real Estate Agents Make, then you'll be far ahead of the competition!