Tips for Improving Real Estate Performance

This is Part 3 of a Three-Part Series

 

See Part

1: Understanding your strengths, weaknesses and Part 2: Personality holds clues to real estate success.
The difference between top performance and mediocre performance is often quite small. To see how you measure up, examine your business and personal skills in light of the 13 tips below.

 

1. Do you have at least one specific niche you service?

Top performers normally have two or three niches where they are the recognized expert. If you haven’t “niched” your business, now is a great time to start. Niches can include geographical areas or a specific market segment such as relocation, probate, estates or new homes.

 

2. Can you accurately price properties without looking at the comparable sales?

Top performers normally have a strong grasp on market conditions and pricing. They can rattle off the best buys in every price range they service. To improve your pricing skills, pay special attention to the comparable sales, as well as checking for new listings daily. Make a point of seeing as many homes as possible in your service area. When viewing property, estimate the selling price before looking at the information sheet. Track where listings sell and how accurate your predictions were. Remember, knowledge is power.

 

3. Do you price your listings close to where they sell?

Top performers price properties accurately. To evaluate your performance in this area, look at the last 10 properties you listed. Did at least eight houses sell within 5 percent of your initial asking price? If not, strengthen your pricing dialogue. The longer a listing stays on the market, the lower the price. Show the seller the financial benefits of selling in 30 days rather than in six months.

 

4. Are you obtaining a full commission on at least 80 percent of your listings?

Top performers earn full commissions. To increase your commission rate, determine what services will motivate sellers to choose you over competitors. Some ideas include 800 Call Capture (IVR or Interactive Voice Recognition technology), pay-per-click Web advertising, and online open houses.

 

5. Are you strong enough to stand up to the attorney, business manager or accountant when they are wrong?

Top performers recognize that they are the real estate experts and speak up when necessary. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, consider taking an assertiveness training class.

 

6. Are prices in your area increasing, decreasing, or flat?

Top performers know the market statistics cold. To determine what type of market you are in, look at how much inventory is on the market. If there is less than six months, you are in a seller’s market with upward pressure on prices. If there is seven to nine months of inventory, you are in a flat market. If there is more than nine months of inventory, you are in a buyers’ market with downward pressure on the prices.

 

7. Do you have a written business plan?

Virtually all top performers have a written business plan. They know how many listings they must take and how many buyer sales they must close each year to hit their goals. They also monitor and control expenses. If you need help creating a written business plan, consider hiring a coach.

 

8. Do you give sellers a written marketing plan as part of your listing presentation?

Top performers have a written plan for selling their listings. They create a “profile” of the seller’s ideal buyer and then target their marketing efforts to the profile. Their marketing plans include both print and Web advertising strategies. If you do not use a written marketing plan, try using one on your next listing presentation.

 

9. Do you contact past clients and your sphere of influence at least six times per year?

Top performers stay on top because they leverage their contacts. If you are having challenges in this area, consider using a technology solution such as My Homeowner’s Club that allows you to reach your client base 36 times per year. While technology is important, don’t forget the importance of face-to-face contact at least twice per year.

 

10. Do you have excellent problem-solving skills?

Top performers have excellent problem-solving skills. When they need answers, they know whom to ask. Most are also good at being the calm in the middle of the storm. If you lack strong problem-solving skills, find a mentor who can help you strengthen this skill.

 

11. Do you follow up on all leads in a timely fashion?

Top performers seldom let a lead get away. They respond to e-mail inquiries on the same business day. They also call back all open house leads. If you are poor at lead follow-up, consider hiring a virtual assistant.

 

12. Do you delegate?

Top performers recognize their strengths and weaknesses. They focus on what they do well and delegate everything else. If you are too busy, ask yourself what you could have someone else do. Easy places to start are using a transaction coordinator, having someone drop off keys and brochures, or having a personal assistant who handles errands. Use the time you save to prospect for new business.

 

13. Do you actively prospect for new business at least four days per week?

Top performers are proactive in their approach to business. They do not expect leads to come to them. Instead, they door-knock, call on expireds and FSBOs, and regularly prospect their referral database. If you are waiting for the business to come to you, you will never be in control of your business. Ultimately, top performance is about controlling your lead generation and lead follow-up activities.
Most clients want the best. If you want to be top performer, work on developing your market knowledge, improving your negotiation skills, doing a better job of marketing, and keeping in contact with your referral database.

Short Sale vs Foreclosure State Law vs Federal Law

Mortgage debt relief act expires , Forclosures, Short Sales Any homeowners end up having to choose between foreclosures and short sales. In order to make the right decision, a borrower should weigh the pros and cons of each scenario. The following information highlights the most important differences between a short sale and a foreclosure.

Effect on Credit Rating and Credit Score

A short sale is often sought by a homeowner who would like to avoid the stigma of a foreclosure. The biggest drawback of a foreclosure is the black mark that it leaves on a person’s credit rating. Indeed, a foreclosure can bring down a FICO score by a whopping 200 to 300 points. A short sale, on the other hand, usually brings it down by approximately 50 to 130 points. A foreclosure shows up as such on a person’s credit history; a short sale shows up as “settled for less” or a similar designation. No matter what, a foreclosure will negatively impact a borrower’s credit quite severely; unless a mortgage was already severely in default, though, the negative consequences of a short sale on a borrower’s credit rating is far less severe than a foreclosure.

Effect on Future Home Loans

With a foreclosure or a short sale, most borrowers cross their fingers for a new start. In either case, they will need a new place to live. As a result, they may need to apply for a new home loan at some point. When filling out most loan applications, a borrower is required by law to disclose any foreclosures from the past seven years. Since a short sale appears as a home sale, though, it does not have to be disclosed at all on a loan application. This can help swing the balance in a loan applicant’s favor, making it possible to buy a new home sooner if and when your personal circumstances improve.

Effect on Eviction

In the event that a foreclosure goes through to completion, the borrower generally has to vacate the premises immediately or very shortly after the foreclosure sale is finalized, depending on the legal process in your state. Ignoring notices to vacate the house result in actual eviction where you and your family will be escorted out of your home by law enforcement as the locks are changed, leaving your family stranded. You will then be at the mercy of the new owner to remove your belongings, and may also have to deal with the consequences of having an unlawful detainer (i.e. eviction action) come up on background screenings when trying to rent a new home. If nothing else, the short sale process can postpone the eventuality of foreclosure, avoid the ugliness of forced displacement and give homeowners extra time to come up with new plans.

Control of the Process

During the foreclosure process, all of the control is in the hands of the bank or other lender. The borrower’s hands are basically tied and the process unfolds according to the lender’s terms. With a short sale, though, a borrower has a lot more control over the process and a tremendous amount of input to affect a positive decision. Assuming the short sale is approved, the borrower can avoid foreclosure and drastically reduce the negative impact that the situation has on their credit history. In other words, a real estate short sale is a much more proactive way to handle the situation.

Pest Control Apartments

Apartments are the worst about roach infestation, and it will probably never change, but you can do something about your rental to stay free of these prehistoric little monsters. The problem is that all residents are not as clean as certain tenants when comes to keeping their home in order.

 

Leaving dirty dishes in the sink, not taking the trash out daily, and leaving pet food on the floor just begs roaches to enter your rental home. Even thought the management is required to provide exterminator service, usually it is done by the maintenance crew, and they use mostly watered down over the counter products.

 

It would be wise prior to moving into any apartment to have a pest control service company come out and pre-treat your entire unit. This will have them running to the neighbors and staying out of your apt for about three months. Granted it is an extra cost above and beyond your monthly rental, but to be sure that roaches are not crawling on your children at night while they sleep will give you peace of mind.

 

 

Check with management before you even sign a lease to see if having a  pest control specialist come out is permissible. If not then it is this author’s opinion that you should keep looking until you find a property that encourages pest control paid for by their clients.

 

In addition, keep in mind you can do things around the home on a regular basis that will make it less attractive for roaches to reside with you. Bringing in old cardboard boxes, or paper sacks (they are not used as much, but those grocery store paper sacks will have roach eggs in them, and will hatch after you have store the sack for use later.

 

You may ask what roaches eat, and the answer is anything that is organic, but they especially love protein, and that can be even in glue that holds books and decorative covers on items around the home. Food crumbs, dried mayonnaise on a counter, cat, dog, and hamster food is a favorite, and if they get into your dry pantry, and the packages are easy enough to chew through they will do this as well.

 

Roaches will rarely bite a human, but open sores should be covered up on humans and pets at night just in case. Ask your pest control expert if they can supply your apartment with baits, and a gel to further prevent the roaches from entering. Remember they can come back, even if you keep a clean home, as your neighbors will be inviting them back in with bad habits of leaving food expose overnight for them. See https://www.evanios.com/it-operations-analytics-tools-market-vendors-platform/ to avoid pest in the apartments.

Is it Time to Replace Your Roof

Roof Damage Basics

You know that there is damage to your roof, but the question is whether or not you need to replace your roof? You could go for a simple repair, but what if you find yourself constantly repairing your roof? By the time you have called the  roofing company the fifth or sixth time, or even fewer times, you’ve already paid the same amount of money that you would pay for a brand new roof that would stand up better to the very elements that are damaging it.So what are some signs to look for so that you know whether replacing your roof is the right decision?

Ask yourself, “How old is my roof?” The average lifespan of a roof is around 15 years, depending on how well it is maintained. If you want to extend its life, then having regular roof inspections by a  roofing inspector can help you locate the small issues that are easy to fix so that you can extend the life of your roof. If a roof is not properly maintained, then torn flashings and minor leaks can turn into something more serious that causes extensive damage to your home.

Shingles

Look for shingles that are missing or torn. If the number of missing or torn shingles far exceeds the number of good shingles, then it is time for roof replacement.

Look at the condition of the interior walls that touch the roof. If there are moisture marks or missing paint, then the roof is faulty and needs replaced.

Extreme Weather

is known for extreme weather conditions and those weather conditions can expose part of the house from the top in the form of roof damage. This exposure to direct sunlight, wind, hail, rain, and snow can cause significant damage to the home.

Faulty design can also result in roof replacement. When a design is not done properly, it is just a matter of time, usually short, when a roof will not be able to do its job. Sometimes the defect is obvious from the beginning. Faulty design also includes not using the right materials or using low quality materials to construct the roof. Real estate expert Jody Kriss says that this will increase the value of your home.

Conclusion

The decision to replace your roof can be a difficult one because there are so many factors that you must consider. Those factors include: Budget, weather conditions, the type of roofing that you need, the amount of time in which you need the issue rectified, etc. You certainly have a lot that you need to consider when making the decision to replace your roof. But most importantly, you need to take a look at the extent of the damage. Talk to your  roofing contractor about your options. If your roof needs replaced due to the weather, then you may wish to consult with your insurance company to see what your insurance will cover so that you can determine your true budget.

 

Metal Roofing Myths Debunked

Metal roofing has become quite the trend. Individuals have the choice of different colors and even different styles. For instance, you can have a blue roof if you want a blue roof. You can also have a metal roof that mimics the look of shingles if you want. There are more and more options being made available to homeowners as metal roof innovations are being made.

However, there are some myths about metal roofing in  that need to be addressed so that individuals such as yourself can make the right decisions regarding metal roofing.

Those myths include:

Metal roofs are too hot and don’t have insulating properties – It has been shown that metal roofs are saving homeowners money on their heating and cooling costs when they are installed properly. Metal roofs actually reflect a lot of the solar energy that tends to heat up the attics of homes. This results in the home remaining a more consistent temperature, which means you do not have to deal with the extreme temperature fluctuations you would have to deal with otherwise.

Lightning loves metal roofs

The truth here is that lighting hates metal roofs. The Metal Roof Alliance states that the instance of lightning hitting your home with a metal roof is not increased. If lightning does hit your home, the metal roof disperses the energy from the lightning evenly and safely. The instance of fire is also greatly reduced with a metal roof because metal is not flammable.

Metal roofs don’t last long

Quality metal roofs come with a 20 year guarantee from the manufacturer. Metal roofs do require special skills from  roofing contractors. Not everyone can install a metal roof, which says a lot about the quality of the roof. The more complex, the better it is. When installed properly, the expected lifespan of a metal roof is 50 years. This is much longer than most other roof types, which includes asphalt shingles that have a maximum life of 30 years.

Metal roofs aren’t very beneficial

Right now, you can receive a tax credit on your income tax return when you put metal roofing on your home. As you’ve read so far, metal roofing is not flammable, they are not too hot, and they do keep cool air in and hot air out. When you use an Energy Star rated metal roofing, your energy costs can be cut by 10% to 15%.

Metal roofs aren’t worth the cost

Metal roofs may cost more than asphalt shingles, but the overall savings exceeds that of asphalt shingles and the roof more or less pays for itself over time in the form of energy savings. Asphalt shingles do need to be replaced 2 to 4 times more often than metal roofing. Real estate expert Michael Ejekam says, considering roof replacement costs thousands, the overall savings is astronomical.

 

Having Your Asphalt Roof Inspected

Roofers

It is recommended by roofing associations and  roofers themselves that you have your asphalt roofing inspected bi-annually or annually. This is because the seasons certainly take a toll on your roof. And the time of year that is best to have a  roof inspection is the late spring and the early fall and there are reasons behind this. So what can be found during a roof inspection?

Inspectors

Well, a  roofing inspector will take a look at your roof and look for telltale signs of damage. These signs can include granules missing from your shingles, weak spots, blisters, cracks, and missing shingles. An inspector can evaluate your eaves and valleys to ensure that they are not leaking or will not be leaking in the near future.

n5A  inspector can also take a look at skylights, fans, and other hardware to make sure everything is in check and nothing is leaking. These areas can be trouble spots, so they need to be checked every time your roof is inspected. So when should inspections take place?

When To Call The Pro

There are several times in which you need to make the call to a  roofer to inspect your roof. You want to make the call any time that there is a storm that produced hail, high winds, and flying debris. You never know when the hail or flying debris caused cracks, blisters, or holes in your shingles. You also never know when the wind may have blown shingles off of your roof or loosened them. You must address the problems immediately so that they do not become worse and cause leaks that can cause further damage to your home that could be expensive.

Roofing Contractors

Roofing association and  roofing contractors will tell you that a late spring inspection is a good idea. This is because the snow storms and the harsh cold of the winter takes its toll on your roofing. Many times the weather does not start to warm up and stay consistently warm until the late spring. A late spring inspection ensures that the cold weather is over and that it is safe to go ahead and make any repairs heading into the summer.

By making sure repairs are made before the weather gets too hot, any damage will not become worse because it simply won’t be there anymore. The summer will then provide its own punishment on the roof. That is why it is good to have an inspection on the roof in the fall. You can then have a inspector evaluate what the summer months did to your roof so that you can prepare for winter.

Conclusion

By having these regular inspections, you can extend the life of your roof. You will not have to make extremely premature replacements, which can save you a lot of money in the long-term. You certainly do not want to replace a thirty year roof in fifteen. If that happened, you would be replacing every fifteen years and spending more money than you ever intended. When it comes to real estate issues like these Michael Ejekam is the expert. Contact him and make your life easier.