Posts Tagged ‘Metro Brokers’

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…)

FHA Loan Limits to Decrease by $25k for Most Georgia Counties

December 16, 2013

fha_loan_limitsEffective Jan. 1, 2014, FHA loan limits for most of the counties in Georgia will drop from $346,250 to $320,850, a decrease of more than $25,000! This applies for all FHA forward purchase loans with FHA case numbers assigned on or after Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014.

If you’re hoping to secure an FHA loan above the new $320,850 loan limit level, you better act fast! Homebuyers will need an accepted, signed Sales Contract; a full Loan Application; and signed and returned all documents to their FHA lender no later than December 20, 2013 in order to meet the deadline and allow time to have their FHA Case # request processed and issued before the deadline and the decreased loan limits come into effect. (more…)

Is Real Estate Your Hobby?

December 9, 2013

bad_voice_mailYou may be unwittingly giving your customers this impression. I often call agents to discuss real estate business and get voice mail messages that tell me they aren’t interested in doing business. And if I think you aren’t interesting in doing business, then you know that potential clients are probably feeling the same.

Here are a few examples of voice mails that turn customers OFF:  (more…)

Social Networking: Don’t Violate GREC Guidelines

December 2, 2013

social_media_guidelinesDon’t you find it interesting that the rise of social media happened almost in unison with the 2007 housing market crash? It might not have been a coincidence so much as a necessity. Businesses needed cheap methods of getting in contact with their customers, and costly marketing tools were replaced by free blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more social media avenues.

It’s no surprise that these tools are still widely used even with the market returning. But since social media is still considered a form of marketing, sales associates need to make sure they are meeting all of the requirements of the License Laws, Rules, and Regulations of the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC).

According to the GREC, here are some DON’Ts when using social media either personally or in your professional real estate activities: (more…)

15 Reasons to be Thankful for Metro Brokers!

November 25, 2013

happy_thanksgivingAs we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many of us are taking time to reflect upon the people and things for which we are thankful. Those of us in the real estate industry are thankful that the real estate market is in recovery and 2014 looks bright.

Agents with BHGRE Metro Brokers have many more reasons to be thankful… here are just a few: (more…)

Preparing Your Business for 2014

November 18, 2013

2014_planSo far, 2013 has been gratifying for most of the real estate industry. Phones are ringing, buyers are bidding and new homes are starting to spring up everywhere you look. The easiest course of action is to just sit back, get comfortable and wait for the phone to ring, but it won’t get you to the next step in your career.

Now is the time to start planning how you’re going to grow your business in 2014. How can you do better next year? What is my position in the market and how can it grow? What changes do you foresee in the market? Who will your customers be? (more…)

Interest Rates – One Size DOES NOT Fit All

November 11, 2013

ice_cream_interest_rates“What are the current interest rates?” This is a very common question from real estate agents and buyers. Answering the question of what’s today’s interest rate is as difficult to answer as “What’s the price of a four bedroom home in the Atlanta area?” The answer to both of these questions is, “It depends!”  There are many factors that impact both of these numbers.

The price of four bedroom homes in the Atlanta market area ranges wildly based on location, actual size of the home, amenities of the subdivision, quality of construction and construction materials, and a very long list of other factors.

Interest rates also vary wildly based on the individual borrower’s credit score, loan to value, borrower’s assets, borrower’s income, borrower’s debts and loan options such as waiving escrows, and if the property is a condo.

Interest rates are like ice cream. The price of a plain vanilla cone is one price, but if you add hot fudge, nuts, fruit and cherries, the cost goes up! (more…)

Choosing a Location for a Small Business: Lease or Buy?

November 4, 2013

lady with open signAll growing small businesses may someday be faced with the question of leasing versus buying office space. This question has many pros and cons. With ever-changing office vacancy rates and market fluctuations, it’s uncertain what the future may bring. A small business owner needs to carefully weigh the pros and cons of leasing or buying office space.

First let’s consider the advantages of owning property. Locking in your commercial mortgage long-term can give your business clear, fixed costs. The associated costs of owning and running a commercial space can provide expense deductions in the form of mortgage interest, property taxes and other items.  Owning your office can also offer the advantage of renting out extra office space adding another source of income. The prospect of owning commercial space and having the property appreciate over time allows the owner to sell eventually and fund their retirement. (more…)

Everything You Read on the Internet Isn’t True!

October 28, 2013

insurance_claimIn a recent report from, Georgia homeowners only pay an average of 6 percent more for their homeowner’s insurance after making one claim. That puts Georgia among 18 states that are below the national average of 9 percent.

While on the surface this seems like a big relief, tread lightly down the path of filing claims. First of all, I recommend carrying higher deductibles on your policy to discourage turning in small claims. Most property insurance companies now have a minimum deductible of $1,000 on new policies going forward. The higher deductible also saves premium dollars over the years.

While there are many types of losses that are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, turning all of them in can lead to your policy being canceled. After the policy has been canceled, you’ll then be placed in a high risk pool for insurance, with a rate 3-5 times more than you are currently paying. (more…)

Paint it Black!

October 21, 2013

black_houseHow do you like this black house in Germany? Do you find it spooky or classy? Could black be the new “it” color when it comes to choosing home exterior color?

Probably not.

This black house in Mohringen, Germany is actually an art installation! The house had been scheduled for demolition, and the artist wanted to do a tribute to the house before it was bulldozed. Guess what they put up in its place once it was demolished – an art gallery! (more…)

Go Higher on Your “Higher and Best” Offer!

October 14, 2013

best offerNot long ago, I was at a backyard barbeque, sipping my drink and idly listening to the various conversations surrounding me. Along with the typical discussions surrounding the NFL, college football and baseball, I overheard an overwrought voice above the fray stating, “We offered full price! And, we didn’t get the house!”

Obviously, my interest was piqued! I stood up on my toes to find who owned that voice. I made my way towards her, frantically trying to place in my mind from where I knew her. By the time I got over there, I realized that it was Janice, who lives across the street from my friend. I had noticed that the sign in her yard was sporting a jaunty under contract sign on it. I had intended to congratulate her on that accomplishment sometime during the barbeque.

I took a deep breath, had another sip, and casually insinuated myself into this conversation. “Go on,” I encouraged, “Tell me what happened!” (more…)

Will My Deal Survive the Government Shutdown?

October 7, 2013

government_shutdownThe current shutdown of the U.S. Government could have an effect on contracts that you have pending or contracts that you write during the shutdown. Borrowers and agents should check with the specific Lender on each loan. Any sale that has a pending loan that was not fully approved and cleared to close with the closing package sent to the closing attorney as of midnight on Sep. 30 should expect delays to the closing. (more…)

It’s a Great Time to be in Real Estate Sales

September 30, 2013

join_real_estateUntil recently, all you heard about the real estate market was bad news. Prices dropping, over supply of inventory, excess bank foreclosures, short sales, etc. Income fell by 35 percent for real estate agents on average. Times were tough. Since the peak of the market in July 2007, thousands of real estate agents left the business and the interest in getting into real estate died.

That trend is reversing. It’s actually a great time to be in real estate sales. Home prices have increased month over month for the last 8 months, interest rates are still at historic lows, buyer demand is strong, bank foreclosures and short sales are down dramatically (35% of overall sales compared to 65% just 2 years ago) and new home inventory is on the rise. (more…)

What is a Capitalization (Cap) Rate?

September 23, 2013

cap_rateIf you’ve ever thought about purchasing an income producing property, you probably heard someone talk about the CAP rate. The cap rate is defined as the rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the expected income that the property will generate. Capitalization rate is used to estimate the investor’s potential return on his/her investment.

The most commonly used formula for determining a cap rate is simply net operating income divided by value. Let’s suppose that you are looking at a commercial building that has five tenants. The asking price is $800,000 and the net operating income is $75,000. By dividing the value of $800,000 by the net operating income of $75,000, you determine that the cap rate is 9.4%.

If you identify an income producing property for sale with a cap rate of 13%, your first thought might be that it looks like a great investment. A 13% return sounds great.

Before you pop the cork on the champagne bottle and begin the celebration, take a closer look. As the cap rate goes up, the price goes down however, risk follows the cap rate. So, the higher the cap rate, the higher the risk. (more…)

A Guide to #Hashtags

September 16, 2013

hashtagsWhat’s a hashtag? Well, on Twitter – and increasingly everywhere else – a hashtag is a word or phrase (with no spaces or punctuation) preceded by the hash symbol (#), which gives users an easy way to communicate around a single theme.

Example: #RealEstate.

The use of hashtags in social media originated back in August 2007, when designer Chris Messina asked his Twitter followers how they felt about using the pound sign (#) to group conversations on the micro-blogging platform, and became the first person to use the hashtag in its modern capacity.

While hashtags began on Twitter, they have now spread to Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Vine, and Facebook.

The beauty of hashtags is that it makes your post, message or photo searchable by any user on that social network, not just those that follow you.

So how can you use hashtags to your advantage? (more…)


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