Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Be A Successful Real Estate Agent

According to the recent research made by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are over 2 million of real estate agents who became successful in their own field. However, the first year drop out rate also suggested that it takes more than just a license and knowledge of current laws and regulations to become triumphant, the range is estimated to be from 40% to 80%. This same research also proved that since not all become successful, a whopping 90% of real estate agents give up the career after 3 short-lived years.

If you are a real estate agent or if you are planning to be one, you don't have to suffer defeat. Being an incredible sales person and entering the real estate market does not guarantee similar sales success. The following 7 tips may help you avoid becoming one of these down statistics:

1. First and Foremost YOU are a business.

Real estate agents work for a broker, but are independent, commissioned sales people. This means that you are a small business and must run your practice as a business. Again, remember you are a small business owner.

2. Embrace a Planning Attitude.

If you don't have a plan, then you are on some else's plan - usually the successful real estate agent's. During the last 10 years, what I have learned as a performance improvement consultant or coach is that most people place more value in planning a trip to the grocery store or a vacation than planning their lives either professionally or personally.

3. Research Your Market Plan.

Since you, as the real estate agent, are responsible for your own expenses, do your research specific to your marketing plan within your strategic plan. Time spent in constructing your marketing plan is definitely well spent. NOTE: Remember a business plan usually is data driven, while a strategic plan identifies who does what by when.

4. Establish Sales Goals.

Using your strategic action plan, establish sales goals. If you are new to this industry, it may take 6 months before the first sale. HINT: Use the W.H.Y. S.M.A.R.T. criteria for goal setting.

5. Create a Financial Budget.

Budgeting is critical given the up and down of this volatile market place. Your financial budget should plan for your marketing costs, any additional costs such as education and your forecasted income.

6. Make Managing Yourself a Priority.

Building a business is not easy. You must learn how to manage yourself especially in the area of time management, ongoing real estate business training coaching continuing education units, and personal life balance. Real estate is said to be a 24/7 business much like any small business. However, it is important not to lose sight of your personal life including family, friends, physical health, etc.

7. Find a Mentor or a Real Estate Coach.

Going it alone is not easy. Take the time to find a mentor who can help you steer through some of the known obstacles and help you during the "peaks and valleys." If you have the resources, you may wish to hire a real estate coach or an executive coach who specializes in small business help and sales.visit http://realestateshank.blogspot.com for more information

10 Things a Real Estate Agent Must Not Say To a Buyer

Finding a good real estate agent / broker is essential to enjoying a painless real estate transaction. Choose a Real Estate Agent that has the right personality. But how will you know if you have chosen the right one, or at least, the qualified and true one? Here are the top 10 Things you never want to hear your real estate agent say to you.
1. "I'm on the Work Release Program"

If your agent is unavailable to show homes on the weekend, it is possible your buyer's agent could be in jail. Lots of incarcerated inmates are released during the week to go to work. It's known as the "work release program."

2. "This Home Mostly Survived the Fire"

It's not uncommon for fires to start in an attic. Exposed wiring, uncovered junction boxes or maybe a pair of frisky squirrels eagerly chomping down on ROMEX casings can start a fire. But fires also start inside walls, due to faulty wiring. The thing is you may not ever know what caused a fire inside a home. Look for white paint on the rafters during an attic inspection. Often restoration crews paint over charred wood.

3. "My Car Has Been Repossessed"

This would mean the agent is having financial troubles, and the last person you want giving you real estate advice is an agent whose future transportation depends on it.

4. "I Just Got My Real Estate License"

You don't want a trial and error kind of transaction, do you?

5. "I Think There's a Dead Body in the Bedroom"

Do give careful consideration to whether you want to buy a home if the seller died in the house.

6. "Let's Not Tell Your Lender About the Seller Kickback"

Believe it or not, if a buyer takes money from the seller under the table, it's considered to be mortgage fraud. Lenders are supposed to know everything that goes on in a real estate transaction. Receiving an authorized seller kickback is against the rules. That's because it looks like the sales price is inflated. If the sales price is inflated, the lender's security could be in jeopardy.

If an agent asks you to sign an agreement that is not given to the lender, the agent is participating in mortgage fraud and could end up in the work release program.

7. "Is That a Pot House Next Door?"

Years ago, marijuana growers used to sow their seeds in a closet, illuminated by hanging grow lights. But over time, they have become much more sophisticated. Now they buy brand new homes in suburbia where none of the neighbours talk to each other. They hang heavy drapes and cover every square inch of the floor with pot plants. They don't interact, so if nobody knows who lives in that house next door, well, could be criminals.

8. "The Seller Says the Snakes Only Come Out at Night"

In most states, sellers are required to disclose material facts to a buyer. Always read your disclosures carefully before closing.

9. "Someone Famous Once Lived Here - a Mr. Manson and His Family"

No doubt about it, stigmatized homes can generally be purchased for a lot less than the homes surrounding them, but not every buyer is comfortable buying a home where ghastly deeds have occurred. Another problem is these homes tend to draw fans who drive from across the country to photograph those homes. You could end up being pestered by tourists and gawkers hanging around your front door. This alone is a good reason to talk to neighbors before buying.

10. "You Know, As it Happens, I'm Also a Mortgage Broker"

Some real estate professionals believe it is necessary to supplement their income by wearing a variety of different hats. The trouble is it's not as simple as it looks, and to be a loan specialist requires a ton of training, experience and knowledge. To avoid a conflict of interest, I advise hiring separate real estate professionals who specialize in their line of work, and do not allow your real estate agent to package your mortgage financing or vice versa

Real estate 6 Ways to Go-Green for You and Your Home

One of the best and most effective ways to go green is by making eco friendly adjustments to your home.
Making eco-friendly home improvements is easier than you may think, and the benefits to your health and the environment can be dramatic.

Looking for green-friendly home improvement contractors? How about some tips on making your house an eco-friendly one? Do you want to "go green" when remodelling your home? There are various ways to make eco-friendly home improvements. Here are some eco-friendly options.

1. Hire "green" professionals. If your remodel is a serious undertaking, like redoing an entire kitchen or adding a family room, you most likely will hire a host of professionals, such as an architect to design the project, an engineer to review your plans, and a general contractor to manage the construction. Hiring the right professionals is your first opportunity to make environmentally friendly choices. Begin by asking friends and neighbors with remodels you like for the names of professionals with experience doing "green" remodeling. When you meet with professionals, ask to see examples of their work and to explain what makes it environmentally friendly. Experts will know more about the toxicity and sustainability of certain products, as well as how to take advantage of natural light and heat, reduce consumption, and lower energy costs.

2. Consider what to do with demolished materials. While you're planning how to demolish what you've got, think about what you're going to do with it. The less waste, the better. Consider whether you can reuse or repurpose old materials — for example, by turning the brick from a non-functioning fireplace into a lovely backyard path. Also, figure out how to resell or donate any usable materials.

3. Choosing materials. The planning stage is also when you'll decide what materials you want to use. Look also at environmentally friendly substitutes, many of which won't cost more that their less friendly counterparts. For example:

* Linoleum instead of vinyl. According to Greenpeace, vinyl is the most environmentally harmful plastic out there, and it's made with substances (dioxin and phthalates among them) that can contribute to serious health problems, too. True linoleum, made from linseed oil, is a better choice.

* Low or no-VOC paints. Regular paints release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but non-VOC paints are now readily available. Also, look for low or no-VOC sealers and caulks. * Bamboo, cork, or reclaimed wood instead of carpet or hardwood. Carpet is a particularly bad choice if it emits VOCs, as most do. If you're planning on replacing carpet anyway, consider eco-friendlier options like cork or bamboo, both of which regrow quickly. These are good alternatives to hardwood too, and costs will be comparable because much of the expense is the cost of installation. If carpet is your choice, seek out products certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label and Green Label Plus programs, which have low VOC emissions.

4. Remodelling a Kitchen. Kitchens are high on most home remodelers' wish lists. If you're remodeling yours, here are some ideas for making it green:

* Choose Energy Star rated appliances, which will use less energy and often don't cost more. Check with your utility company too: you may get a rebate on your purchase. * Put in formaldehyde-free cabinetry to avoid releasing environmental toxins. Better yet, go for wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which will be sustainably harvested. * Install a beautiful alternative to shiny granite: recycled-content glass countertops. * Get a water filter as an alternative to buying bottled water. * Take advantage of natural light with well-placed windows, skylights, or sun tunnels. * Keep the refrigerator out of the sunlight and away from the oven, where it gets hot and must work harder.

5. Remodelling a Bathroom. Second only to kitchens, bathrooms are other top place remodelers spend their dough. Eco-friendly options include:

* Replace toilets with low-flow models. * Install tiles made of recycled content. * Use flow reducers on the shower and sinks so you're using less water. * Put in a fan to keep air circulating and to prevent mold growth.

6. Adding On. If you're adding a new room to your home, you can pay attention to these particular possibilities:

* Don't add more than you need. Consuming less is always eco-friendlier. * Install ceiling fans to keep warm air down in the winter, and to provide cool air in the summer. * Install insulation in the walls and attic to prevent heat transfer. * Strategically place windows, shades, and overhangs to take advantage of the sun's heat.visit http://realestateshank.blogspot.com to get more information on how to go green

Friday, December 4, 2009

Why Would a Tenant Desire a Green Building?

The tenant’s desire may stem from a company directive designed to enhance its
reputation by adopting a mission or philosophy to be green (e.g., “reduce carbon footprint”).
Additionally, health and human resource experts have found higher worker productivity and
employee attraction/satisfaction/retention in a green building. Corporate profitability may
increase in a variety of ways, an obvious example being the potential for long-term utility cost
Companies that have either opened green stores or branches or are constructing one or
more such facilities include Starbucks, PNC Bank, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Subway, Staples,
Kohl’s and Best Buy. Patagonia and REI have opened green distribution centers (Patagonia in
Reno, Nevada; REI in Bedford, Pennsylvania). Starbucks has a prototype store approved by the
U.S. Green Building Council, and although now opening fewer new stores than it did a few years
ago, it has set a goal that all new company-owned stores worldwide will be LEED certified by
December 2010.
While the above examples are owner-occupied properties, there will undoubtedly be
companies that mandate green leases going forward. Such mandates will mean more tenants
looking for green buildings in which to operate. Cities such as Seattle and Bellevue have so far
not mandated the use of green leases even though one (Seattle) requires that all new civic
buildings be certified LEED Silver.
A Building Owners and Managers Association (“BOMA”) Seattle survey recently
showed that 61% of real estate leaders believe that green buildings enhance their corporate
image, and 67% of the leaders believe that over the next five years, tenants will make (and are
already making) the “greenness” of property a significant factor in choosing their space.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What Is a Green Building?

A green building is one that incorporates sustainable development principles to ensure
that the ongoing operation and maintenance of the building minimizes environmental impacts.
Goals include and relate to choosing a sustainable site (e.g., finding one with access to mass
transit); water efficiency (e.g., using high-efficiency fixtures and rainfall); energy and
atmospheric concerns (e.g., endeavoring to reduce energy use and considering sources of
renewable energy such as solar); the use of green materials and resources (e.g., using recycled
and locally sourced materials); consideration of indoor environmental quality (e.g., maximizing
natural light and fresh air, and using nontoxic materials and finishes); and innovation and design
A green building may or may not be more energy efficient. Its green attributes may
simply come from being built with green materials, the use of bike racks, an aggressive recycling
program, etc. However, there may well be measurable benefits. For example, operating cost
decreases are typically quoted as 8-9%, and there may also be building value increases, return on
investment increases and occupancy ratio increases (these are reported to be in the range of
7.5%, 6.6% and 3.5%, respectively)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Real estate The First 3 Steps to Home Buying

How to determine which home is right for you, find that home, hire a real estate agent, find a lender, get a credit report, choose a loan, write an offer, etc. There are so many step that is included in the home-buying process, and if you’re a newbie in this field, you would probably commit a lot of mistakes that would most likely lead to foreclosures in the future. So, take your time to read and digest the initial steps in buying your new house.

1. Research and Education. Read through the various steps listed in the article to get an idea of how the purchasing process works. Spend some time learning the terminology associated with the home buying process especially the mortgage terms, since that is where first-time buyers often get confused. Be knowledgeable with the various types of mortgages available to you. Instead of just learning the names of the various mortgages, you should find out how they work.

2. Establish Your Budget. Establish a home-buying budget for yourself. This should happen before you start talking to lenders. This is one of the steps to purchasing a home that many first-time buyers skip altogether. The primary cause of mortgage foreclosure is when people spend too much money on their home purchase, and it usually happens because they’ve skipped this all-important step to purchasing a house.

3. Be Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan. Pre-approval is a process where the lender reviews your finances and tells you how much you can borrow. Never get a mortgage that is too big for you. Start with your own budget first, and then get pre-approved by a lender. This is another key step to purchasing a home; some real estate agents won’t even work with buyers until they’ve been pre-approved

Real estate Building Tips For New Homebuyers

The life-changing event of purchasing a new home can be both exciting and overwhelming. With homebuyer horror stories of houses plagued with mold, leaky roofs or worse, it's no wonder some homebuyers get cold feet. Prospective homebuyers can save themselves from headaches by working with their builder on these useful construction do's and don'ts:

• Help prevent mold before it starts. Ask your builder to use vapor retarders in addition to insulation in your home's walls. Smart vapor retarders like CertainTeed's MemBrain allow wall cavities to "breathe" so excess moisture within the wall can escape. This helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Other vapor retarders can trap moisture in your walls, creating an environment that supports mold growth.

• Work with your builder to ensure that no mechanical equipment, ductwork or plumbing is built into exterior walls, vented attics or vented crawlspaces.

• Take control of your home's temperature and acoustics by ensuring your contractor insulates with the correct R-value for your region. Regional R-values can be found online at www.certain teed.com.

• Windows are often the largest single source of heat loss and heat gain in a home. Select vinyl windows with low-E glass and a high-performance glazing system that reduces heat transmission through the glass.

• Know what's under your roof. For instance, waterproofing shingle underlayments go under asphalt roof shingles to further protect your home's interior from winter leaks caused by ice dams and wind-driven rain.