All posts for the month September, 2015

The main reason Canadian Real Estate is outperforming expected norms: The demand for replacement income for retirees coupled with low interest rates.

Published September 28, 2015 by Real Estate Leads

Couples on holiday together

Baby Boomers are a most significant demographic in our society.

People currently of retirement age are the largest segment of population in American, and Canadian, history. Boomers have influenced every common industry and every financial vehicle of every major market – notably real estate. For another example, let’s look at the automobile industry. Simple more people and more families meant more cars.

Baby boomers are also influencing the demand curve in the financial world. Boomers are always ever aging, have been slowing down in droves and retiring. Parallel in time interest rates are at record lows, bond returns and GIC’s are paying below inflation and so boomer’s income replacement plans have not been coming up roses as they expected. In previous generations, retirement income plans seemed rather simple. Retirees took their savings, placed it in a nice 7-10% yielding bond, and lived well enough off their hard work.

Today’s baby boomers are looking for higher-yield investments to replace their former paychecks. Most of them will not be settling for below average returns. This effect is changing our Canadian real estate market, and how it is going to affect the whole real estate investing market.

So boomers are looking all over the landscape for investments that will provide a similar combination of income and security as their retirement income plan. But as they scour around, they are finding fewer and fewer choices. When there are so many boomers with so much cash to invest, this also causes an investment ‘clash’ so the few investment choices that do offer the desired characteristic get bought up quickly; lowering yields; and vicious cycles occur. Case in point: look at how low current yields are on government bonds in both Canada and the US.

This kind of investment circling is why a large percentage of boomers are attracted to real estate ownership and investments to help fill that income mechanism in their portfolio. They believe, when invested correctly, property investment can provide a hedge against inflation, a persistent and growing income, offering the potential for leveraging of capital and capital appreciation.

So, it seems a reasonable idea to market your services to elderly or retired “buyers” too – to encourage them to investigate ownership of well-chosen, well evaluated, well managed property, or any solid financial vehicle based on real estate.

Profit more through helping foster a partnership between loan professionals and yourself

Published September 21, 2015 by Real Estate Leads

Housing calculatorGreat results come about when both agents and loan professionals perform activities in organized partnership or what is also commonly called “synergy”.

It is up to those professionals the are surrounding the buyer – to inform and instruct that buyer to the specific process – and how to work toward a great purchase experience.

This breeds a better final result; the client will also experience better service, which cultivates referrals and repeat business.

Real estate brokers know every individual revenue stream really does matter. If your office also includes mortgage services, getting more loans closed on-time can dramatically elevate your income level.

How many times had you, as an agent, experienced frustration with some part of the loan origination process? We would bet it is more times than a smooth deal process. Whether it is paperwork delays, lack of communication, or unrealistic client expectations, it is more than easy for the loan process to add some potholes to an otherwise smooth closing. There are not only the changes and variations in client demands, but also a vast number of complicated loan solutions, and legislative changes which add into the mix.
As the central guiding figure in a deal, you need to address all the participants so everyone can best work together to reach the objective; which is achieving the closing of a deal in 30 days.

But for as long as remembered real estate agents and loan originators have typically had a love-hate relationship. Loan professionals have accused agents simply shopping rates, and agents assert mortgage professionals think of agents as being in a subservient role, serving their marketing and open house needs. Both statements are not entirely true, and therefore both professions don’t cooperate on the advantages of a structured partnership; which by doing so can logical make both agents and loan originators more money, more easily. A better mode of operation is for agents and loan officers to develop mutual respect for each profession, and therefore better cooperation. As an agent, it is good idea to initiate such communication in this regard.

Keep in mind that originators don’t like “short appraisals”. Loan originators are not supposed to talk directly to the appraiser! But you as an agents can. The perceived value of any property is what someone is willing to pay cash for, but the financeable value, that is, the appraised value, is set by the appraiser – not the lender!

As a big tip if you are an agent, don’t waste your time showing homes to buyers without a fully-document pre-approval of them. It can reflect bad to your client if you bring in buyers through their homes who aren’t pre-approved. If a potential buyer produces a pre-approval letter, take the time to read it and be certain you trust the people issuing the letter, and look up the reputations of the company represented. Be sure to ask if the people supplied documentation of income, assets, and employment to the issuer as well as if the issuer reviewed a tri-merge credit Report. Regarding sellers, more than a courtesy, make sure your seller is ready and pre-approved for their next purchase too.

We hope you found the above set of tips from the field useful in your career endeavors.

Some Good Listing Presentation Tips

Published September 14, 2015 by Real Estate Leads

Real Estate Featured Homes

As a professional real estate agent, how much do you wish to succeed with your next listing presentation? Of course, 100% !

In order to convince prospective home sellers that you, the real estate agent, will sell their property the fastest, and also for the highest amount, as you know, certain bases have to be covered. The listing presentation should highlight your experience, plus your exceptional marketing strategies.

With that goal in mind, below are various important listing techniques that will help you impress your prospects and win more listings:

A. Publish a Single Property Website
Single property websites are a major differentiation. All sellers wish to have a dedicated website for their property’s listing! Learn to use WordPress, or get webmastering help from a professional web hosting company, such as 4GoodHosting. There are dozens of beautiful real estate themes to choose from. A CMS (Content Management System), and we recommend WordPress as a free ans powerful easy to use CMS, really makes developing single property websites a cinch!

B. Be Punctual
Arriving on-time for the listing appointment shows your customer that you are showing consideration for and respect for their schedule. If you arrive late, they will initially feel miffed and will wonder how else you might disappoint them in the future. On the other hand, if you arrive too early, they may not be ready for you, and it could make them feel uncomfortable or rushed.

C. Extoll on your Marketing Process
Explain to them how you are going to help them spruce-up their home in order to sell it for the highest amount in the shortest, if not record time. Are you planning to help them stage their home? Do you provide them resources that tells them what to expect and how to prep for showings? If repairs or paint is needed, do you offer any services who are able to get the job done right away and for a good price?

D. Discuss Your Photography Strategy
You of course know that great photos will help showcase the house online and will better attract interested buyers in the door. Explain to the owners how many photos you plan to take, and if you will use a professional photographer, or a high definition camera. Show them some photographs from other listings which you have most recently sold.

E. Your Brand
Your or your company’s brand should induce a strong feeling of trust in your brokerage and it’s abilities. Discuss the accomplishments and abilities of your brokerage. What sets your package apart from others? What assurances can your brand provide to prospects?

F. If you can, present a good score sheet
A good technique at gaining trust is show your sales history in a printed document, or pdf, that is easy to review. Do you have a good list price compared to sell price ratio? Most helpful would be showing any impressive recent sales? This information makes for a good “leave behind”, or email it to clients in advance of your meeting, to get the excitement level up in advance.

G. Be Upfront & Honest about Pricing
Pricing is usually the biggest topic of interest during a listing conversation, along with marketing strategies, address the issue directly and don’t instantly agree if the owner desires to overprice. Walk the client through various pricing options and then come to a sensible number that everyone can agree upon. Expertise and transparency are two attributes clients usually look for in their chosen agent.

H. Show them your social media “Likes”
When people “like” you on social media, it is an implied endorsement. Also if you have used Facebook or Twitter ads to additionally market properties before; show them some examples.

I. Generally listen and listen closely to your customers’ specific needs
Enough said.

The Importance of Client Asset Disclosure upfront during a mortgage application

Published September 8, 2015 by Real Estate Leads

FirmaThe ability of your client to get financing on a mortgage loan quickly can often make the difference between a great bargain for your client or rather keys to a money pit. What your client tells your mortgage broker upfront can make that big of a difference.

The greatest challenge to working with clients, regarding mortgage applications, is that they often don’t provide enough information when applying for a loan.

Sometimes clients are not fully upfront with all they own. Either they forget, or they don’t admit everything up-front for one reasons or another, and later you discover at the last minute that they own another property and that a line of credit is already secured against that property. In reality, that is like a mortgage, so they need to disclose that to the lender.

Not disclosing those things upfront will only extend the amount of time it will take to get a mortgage. Learning of additional properties late in game could force you to re-write your clients’ application. You probably will have to fix things and re-work the application, so that everything still fits, when everything is fully disclosed.

In extreme cases, it can be especially problematic for buyers who already have more than four properties in their portfolio already, when finding a lender for that fifth mortgage can be that much more difficult.

The bigger investment clients who have more than 4 properties already will find it hard to fit with a bank because most of the banks, and even also some monolines, have a 4-door policy.

In summary, it is best to explain to your clients that it is very important to disclose all holdings upfront. Not doing so can really throw the whole deal for a loop, or worse, break the deal after all the dust settles.

Advice 101 on showing a Home

Published September 1, 2015 by Real Estate Leads

Happy realtor woman showing keys

Your client has decided to sell their home; but of course that does not mean it is ready to hit the market quite yet. To sell high in least amount of time, it will have to impress buyers and, in most cases – the home will need to show well.

Home showings are an important, usually essential, part of the home selling process. This is when buyers view inside and lets them imagine living in the home. Buyers will be ready to place an offer after touring a few or a handful of homes. It is great when your listings are the ones that show best.

Below is a checklist for preparing a home showing as efficiently as possible:

Arrange for professionals to deep clean the home, and work it out with your client who will pay for that. Cabinet shelves, baseboards, switch-plates; all of these things should be made spotless before any potential buyers walk through.

Next you should walk through the home together with your client. You will be able to identify anything that could be a red flag to buyers; so then note it on a fix-it list.

Is something broken? If it is somewhat easy to fix then urge your client to do it! A few hundred dollars spent now could save you and your client thousands in time on the market and in contract negotiations later.

Reorganize and de-clutter
Homes that look roomy & spacious show best, rather than cluttered and narrow. To get this look, your client might need to de-clutter and store it in the garage, have a garage sale, store it off-site in a self-storage unit, or just donate it. Make sure closets are not over-packed, and that counters are mostly clear!

Home staging goes beyond cleaning and organizing; use interior design tips and tricks to make the home more inviting to the widest range of personality types and tastes. Some agents have home staging expertise and others may work with hired stagers. Just google “home staging tips”, “feng shui home staging tips”, and even ‘funny staging fails”.

Curbside Embellishment
After the inside is all straightened up, tidy up the outside for first-impression curb appeal. Wash the windows, freshen the flower beds, put a coat of paint on the front door. Your imagination can be used fill in all the major cracks and deficits, within the improvement budget.

The Pet Factor:
Pets are popular, but not everyone likes other people’s pets. If there are pets in your clients’ home, try to minimize their impact if possible so the pets, especially fur balls and scents, are not so obvious during a home showing. Pet beds should also be clean or out of sight, and toys placed in boxes or baskets or containers in closets, and the yard tidy enough.

These are just the basics. There are many more tricks to presenting a house to its full potential.