Posts Tagged ‘Metro Brokers’

Top 5 Mistakes in Advertising Listings

April 7, 2014

oops_advertisingWith the news that talk show host David Letterman has decided to retire, I figured it’s a perfect time to run a Top 5 list: The Top 5 Mistakes Agents Make When Advertising Listings.

Many sales associates have approached me recently about doing additional advertising for their listings. We’ve all seen these mistakes (and possibly made them ourselves), so check out my list below and make sure that your ad stands head and shoulders above the rest.

#5 – A bad concept/design

How do I put this gently? Advertising a listing is about the listing, not the agent. You want to keep the focus on the home (not on you). Make sure the listing photo and details are more prominent than your headshot and contact information. (more…)

What Message Are You Sending?

March 24, 2014

bad_communicationToday’s environment is consumed with endless means of non-“oral” communication methods. Texting, emails, instant messaging, letters, notes and stickies are just a few.

When drafting an email or written message, you must be mindful of how you attempt to convey your messages. Often, the recipient of a message interprets it differently from the expectations of the well intentioned sender perspective. This often results in a moment or situation that stalls progress or even creates a confrontation.

(more…)

Rent or Buy: The $54,000 Question!

March 17, 2014

buy_or_rentA renter paying $900 per month for rent will pay their landlord $54,000 over 5 1ears! With that same monthly payment this renter could be a homeowner building equity and reducing taxes.

A renter paying $900 per month could potentially buy a home in the price range of $120,000 to $135,000 (depending on borrower’s credit score and debts) and not increase their monthly payment (based on a $130,000 sales price, 3.875% 30 year fixed rate with an ARP of 6.177%).

Plus, Mortgage Interest Rates are still at historically low levels. For example, the cost for every $1,000 borrowed at a 3.75% 30 year fixed rate is only $4.63 per thousand. (more…)

What Do You Mean the Money Order Bounced?!

March 10, 2014

money_ordeerSelling agent Steve has written an offer for Bobby Buyer. The offer states the Earnest Money is in the possession of the holder. At the offer signing, the buyer remits the $1,000 earnest money in the form of two $500 money orders which he picked up from his favorite Western Union or Money Gram location.

The offer doesn’t become a binding agreement and the buyer searches for another home. This is not a problem regarding the earnest money, the buyer plans to use it on the next offer. Several months later after a diligent search, the buyer finally locates another property and makes an offer. This property is a short sale listing. The offer is structured to allow the earnest money to be paid by the buyer upon seller’s short sale approval. (more…)

It’s a Process, Not an Event! Part 3

March 3, 2014

leads_to_salesIn a previous blog, we reviewed setting SMART goals. After setting your goals, you’re ready for the final step in the process: Writing a Business Plan and schedule that support the accomplishment of your goals.

Before launching into writing your plan, determine how many days/weeks you will work this year. It’s helpful to use a big planning calendar, ideally one that shows all 12 months at a glance. Mark off vacations, holidays, days off and other commitments. Be honest. Factor in some time for unexpected events such as illness. Most real estate agents truly work about 42 weeks a year.

Once you’ve determined the number of weeks you will work, you’re ready to complete the Business Plan steps: (more…)

With Color, I Can Conquer the World!

February 24, 2014

choosing_colorEveryone has that favorite outfit, business suit, dress, tie or scarf. When that favorite piece of clothing also happens to be in your best color, you can become invincible. In sales, success hinges on confidence. When your confidence is soaring, it’s the ideal opportunity for prospecting and/or closing on sales.

Knowing the color or designer that gives you that added confidence is crucial to your individual success and closing abilities. Knowing and wearing “your” color will contribute greatly to your ability to capture more listings and writing more contracts.

A quick poll of 50 – 60 people revealed several confidence boosting colors. Many of the reasons people chose particular colors were quite intriguing. (more…)

QM & ATR Rules: Good Intentions Have Unintended Consequences

February 17, 2014

new_mortgage_rulesThe year 2014 brought more than a blanket of ice and snow to the country! It brought some new Mortgage Rules that are part of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Law passed back in July of 2010. The Rules that came into effect on January 10, 2014 are referred to as the Qualified Mortgage (QM) and Ability to Repay (ATR) rules.

A major change due to the new QM rules is the 43% maximum Debt to Income Ratio if the loan doesn’t receive an approval in the Automated Underwriting Systems for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. A borrower making $4,000 per month who receives an approval in Desktop Underwriter – the Automated Underwriting System for Fannie Mae – could qualify with a Debt to Income Ratio as high as 50%. This same borrower would qualify for $56,000 LESS if they don’t receive an approval and are limited to the 43% DTI under QM based on current interest rates.

So here’s the Good and the Bad of the latest Financial Reform Rules that took effect Jan. 2014! (more…)

More Extreme Architecture from Around the Globe

February 10, 2014

Last month, I wrote a blog about some crazy, awesome architecture from around the world. It was so popular and I got so many emails about it, I’ve decided to run another!

Here are some more amazing buildings from around the world:

3

Haewoojae (Toilet House) – Suwant, South Korea.

The late mayor of Suwon, South Korea, Sim Jae-Duck, built this toilet-shaped, two-story home to mark the 2007 inaugural meeting of the World Toilet Association. It is now a toilet museum. The 4,520-square-foot steel, concrete, and glass structure features a showcase, glass-walled bathroom at it’s center. Those concerned with privacy can turn the walls opaque at the touch of a button. The home also features a roof-top balcony that’s accessible by a “toilet drain” staircase and equipped with rainwater harvesting technology. (more…)

It’s a Process, Not An Event! Part 2

February 3, 2014

smart_goals

In a previous blog, the steps to be taken in advance of preparing your 2014 goals and business plan were discussed. To review, the steps are:

  • Analyze your 2013 business
  • Complete a skills evaluation
  • Document your time for one (1) week

After completing those three steps, you’re ready to establish goals and write a business plan.

Establishing business goals is just one piece of a larger puzzle. Business goals must fit with the other areas of your life: Personal, financial, family and spiritual. So, as you set your business goals, make sure they are not in conflict with goals in other areas. For example, if your business goals require a larger investment of time and your family goals are to spend more time with your family…. there’s a conflict. (more…)

Using Your IRA to Purchase Commercial Real Estate

January 27, 2014

ira_commercial_purchaseIt sounds too good to be true: As an IRA holder, you can use your retirement funds, prior to retirement age, to purchase commercial real estate as an investment inside your retirement account without incurring penalties or taxes. Depending on the account structure, you can even purchase these investments using a checkbook tied to your IRA funds.

Since 1974, IRA and 401(k) account holders have had the option to control the ways in which their retirement monies are invested, including real estate, tax liens and other alternative assets. Because the investment is made on behalf of the retirement account, just like the IRA investing in stocks and bonds, the acquisition is made without triggering a taxable event. (more…)

The Polar Vortex and Burst Pipes

January 21, 2014

Polar_Vortex_2014By now, many of you know someone who had their plumbing pipes freeze and burst during our “Polar Vortex” sub-freezing temperatures. Or, it may have even happened to you. So how does an insurance policy respond?

Well, for a regular occupied homeowner policy or occupied rental dwelling policy, freezing of a plumbing system or household appliance is a covered loss. And, since the cause of the loss is freezing, the policy pays to repair or replace the damaged system or household appliance. In addition, if the house is not livable while the repairs are being completed, additional living expenses or loss of rent (landlord policy) are also covered. (more…)

Extreme Architecture from Around the Globe

January 13, 2014

Every once and a while, a money laden business mogul comes along and makes an architect’s dreams come true. They let their imagination run wild, and the end product can be awesome, crazy, or a mixture of both.

Here are some amazing buildings from around the world:

1

Piano and Violin Building – Huainan City, China.

Built in 2007, the Piano and Violin Building was designed by students of the Hefey University of Technology along with designers from Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project Company. It was built to promote a newly-developed area of the city. (more…)

Prices are Up! Appraisals are on the Rise!

January 6, 2014

home_appraisalThe recovery of the real estate market has contributed to a significant number of properties appraising for more than the sales price. There can be unintended consequences accompanied with these higher appraisals. The amount in excess of the sales price can have varied impacts on the transaction.

There are times when the property appraises for $2K-$3K above sales price and it seldom causes much concern in the transaction. However, there are also instances where properties appraise for $10K, $15K or more above the contract price and this is where the potential for issues occur. (more…)

Real Estate in 2013: Year in Review

December 30, 2013

2013_year_in_reviewAs a member of the real estate industry for more than 30 years, I’ve never seen the market bounce back as well as it did in 2013. It was a great year for the real estate industry including agents, sellers and buyers. (more…)

Business Planning: It’s a Process, Not an Event!

December 23, 2013

2014_business_planningAs 2013 is winding down, most real estate agents are thinking ahead to next year, but many have not established 2014 goals and a business plan to achieve them. Investing the time to set goals and write a business plan pays off. Consider the fact that various studies show that people who have written goals and business plans earn, on average, 10X as much income as those who do not. So, it’s your choice: Plan to get what you like… or plan to like what you get.

Many real estate agents avoid setting goals and writing business plans because they don’t know where to start. First, it’s important to understand that goal setting and writing a business plan is the end product of multiple steps. It’s a process, not an event! (more…)


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