Myth #1: There’s nothing wrong with my real estate website.
If I got a dollar for every time I heard this one, I’d be a very wealthy man right now. Unless you own one of the very few real estate websites online that gets visitors to contact you, your website is probably not producing the leads your real estate business needs.
Here’s the worst part: Many realtors won’t admit there is anything wrong with their websites.
They think their websites that were designed back in 1995 are sufficient enough – I’m talking about the marquee scrolling text, the cheesy tiled backgrounds and the confusing navigation. When things don’t work they way they want it to and no one is calling, they blame everything else…except their website!
There are many factors that affect how well a real estate website does, such as how the online marketing campaigns are managed and the quality of traffic that comes in – but when it comes down to it, if people are not thrilled about your website or can’t find a way to contact you, all the traffic in the world won’t matter!
Myth #2: Spending thousands on a gorgeous design will help me.
What breaks my heart is some realtors end up spending thousands of dollars and let the designer make the decisions. The problem with most freelance designers is that they only focus on making the website look good, instead of focusing on making the website function well.
Let me explain. Many freelance designers like to throw in too many Flash animations and Web 2.0 gimmicks, which is great in moderation and used correctly – but this is usually not the case. The typical results include sacrificing visitor usability and at the expense of search engine optimization. I’ve even seen beautiful-crafted designs completely miss a place for the realtor’s contact information.
Sure, a great design may help, but it only enhances your website and what you are planning to do for your visitors.
Myth #3: I just need an IDX/MLS solution to display thousands of listings on my website.
I hear this all the time. Every time I hear a realtor wanting their own website, the 1st question that comes out of their mouth almost always starts with:
“Does it have an IDX solution?” or “Can I have thousands of MLS listings on my site?”
An IDX/MLS solution can be a great tool to help buyers get an idea of what they like and allow realtors to map out a tour for their clients based on their criteria.
Instead, in most cases, it seems many realtors simply throw up thousands of computer-generated MLS listings and just leave it up as the main highlight of their website, hoping people start contacting them in droves.
I find this ironic. The realtor’s job is to personalize their client’s experience, right?
Myth #4: I don’t need to update my website often.
This myth hurts on so many levels.
First, search engines prefer websites that provide updated information and new pages on their website. It tells them that your website is relevant to today’s times and the content you provide would be useful to searchers. Failing to do so will likely lead to poor search engine rankings.
Second, visitors looking for real estate information don’t want to come to a website that doesn’t offer fresh, easy-to-read content. Realtors who follow this myth end up losing a lot of repeat visitors to their websites.
Third, realtors who do not regularly update their websites tend to have many website flaws, some of which are discussed in Myth #1.
I can go on and on, but basically, if you don’t update your website, you might as well not have one.
Myth #5: My webmaster will maintain my website for me.
Bad mistake. Unless your webmaster is a licensed real estate agent and knows what your prospective clients want, this is not a job you would want to pass onto an inexperienced contractor. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many realtors actually allow this.
Your webmaster is there to make technical changes to your website and from a cost perspective, depending on the job and his hourly rates, it could get very expensive.…
Myth #1: There’s nothing wrong with my real estate website.
Many people are confused as to why only a handful of real estate investor websites can create tons of leads while most of the sites hardly ever do? Majority of the agents create a website only because their competitors have one. Many agents are confused as to how should a real estate investor website look like. Agents want their websites to have animation, graphics and look attractive.
The three basic elements for successful real estate investor website are as follows:
Try to attract potential prospects. Build a targeted list of prospects to follow up with and lastly, convert prospects to paying clients. If an agent provides information like their credentials, services on the website it may be boring for prospects. It may not attract qualified prospects. It won’t motivate them to provide you their contact information.
Always target on prospects problems? Find a solution to solve their problem. Content should be based on their problems. A prospect wants answer for his problem. He wants tips as to how he can get a mortgage, how to find that right home or sell his house at top price and what are the best schools in that area. They want to know if a single parent has the capacity to buy that house. Prospects would want to know whether the new house has any damages for which they have to pay to get it rectified. They want tips as to how they can negotiate the best price.
If there is good content in the site 50% of your problem is solved. The other 50% depends on the fact that the prospect should be able to find the information easily. If someone visits your site, you have only three seconds to attract his attention. Prospects don’t read pages. They just want information that interests them. If they don’t find anything that could benefit them, they just leave the site and start their search. Agents think that prospects can find information in the website easily. They think that prospects can easily learn the site navigation and browse through all their great content. The fact is, prospects will not do not anything like this. You have to guide them by telling them they should click this link to get the information that they need. You have to guide them that if they want free consultation they should fill a form etc. Your end goal should be to get their contact information and permission to follow up with them.
If you are not getting the desired result you should try something different. You have to keep working towards your site to attract more visitors. You can install Google Analytics on your site and find out who is visiting your site. You can find out various information as to which keywords do they type into the search engine to get into your site. Other information like what pages do they view, how many pages do they view and so on. You can find out more information about the website by analyzing statistics and making decisions on the data you collect. If you keep testing different things on your website you will know what works and how well it works.…
A lot of people have been actively participating in foreclosure auctions for sale and know the ropes. If you are relatively new to this mode of purchasing properties then you had best equip yourself with the right knowledge on how to go about it, lest it turns out to be a less than favorable experience for you. As in any other auction one needs to play it cool and patiently wait for the time to raise that bid card.
What to Keep In Mind
Do not make the mistake of overbidding, especially for bank auctions for sale. You will know if the bank is asking for too much if you do your homework. Before even participating at an auction, learn everything there is to know about the property, particularly the prices of the other properties surrounding it. If you have determined that the starting bid set is a bit too high, do not place a bid at all. Chances are no one will be willing to purchase the property as well and if this is the case then you can make your offer directly to the bank after the auction. Always set a limit for yourself or the highest amount you are willing to bid and do not go over it. Expect that the bidding process can become really exciting and you might get drawn to a bidding war with other participants.
Be picky when it comes to the homes you will bid on. Survey the neighborhood and if there are several foreclosed properties in the vicinity you might want to pass up on the home you are eyeing as it is situated in an area where property values are dropping owing to the number of foreclosures. If you plan to bid for several homes the it might be good to hook up with a good home inspector, builder or contractor. Your inspector can do a once-over on the auctions for sale and give you useful information in terms of required repairs. Finally, learn to protect yourself legally by understanding the contract of sale as well as the auction agreement.…
Which Real Estate Markets Are Doing Best in 2012?
Whether you sit on the east coast, overlooking the Pacific, along the Mexican border, or somewhere in between, your real estate market has undoubtedly taken a major hit over the past few years.
But as the bursting housing bubble gets smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror, which real estate markets are recovering the best?
Here’s our top 5 list for 2012 so far:
You simply can’t ignore the fact that Oakland’s median sales price was 21% higher in July 2012 than it was in July 2011. Plus, houses here are selling 32% faster than they were in mid-2011.
As an added benefit, the number of foreclosures and short sales on the market here only makes up 17% of the listings. That’s better than the national average — where, as a whole, 25% of the residential listings are made up of foreclosures and short sales.
The only downside to all of this?
The number of listings around Oakland has gone down over the past few weeks. At 4%, the decrease is very slight, but it’s proof that people are still a little hesitant to sell here. However, if numbers like these stick around, more sellers may decide to pull the trigger.
Like Oakland, Phoenix has seen a major increase in the median sales price since the beginning of 2012. As of mid-July, the median sales price was up to $121,000. That’s a $25,000 increase in the past seven months!
Unlike Oakland, though, Phoenix is seeing its number of home listings go up. As of August 20th, there were nearly 15,000 residential properties on the market here. That’s slightly higher than it was in July — but still lower than this time last year.
That slip aside, though, it’s hard to ignore a city that has seen the average price per square foot increase more than 700% from this time last year — which is why Phoenix ranks so highly on our list!
Down in the Sunshine State, you’ll find a classic example of supply and demand. The number of residential listings is down nearly 14% from this time last year, but the median asking price is up — all the way to $239,000!
Miami buyers seem to be OK with the increase, though, since houses on the market here are selling faster than they have in previous months.
Amazingly, though, lots of Miami buyers are skipping the mortgage process altogether. In fact, 65% of Miami’s home sales in June were all-cash!
4. San Jose
Similar to Miami, all it took was a smaller inventory to drive up sale prices. In San Jose, there were only 3,803 residential properties on the market as of August 20th. That’s a 5.5% decrease from July, and a whopping 44% decrease from this time last year!
San Jose sellers are definitely using that lower supply to their advantage, though. As of August 20th, the median asking price was just under $550,000. That’s 13% higher than what we saw this time last year!
Since we rang in the new year, Seattle’s median asking price has gone up by more than $50,000. At $320,000, that’s still nearly $90,000 lower than what it was before the bubble burst, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction! In fact, Seattle hasn’t seen increases like these since 2007.
One thing that appears to be working in Seattle’s favor? The unemployment rate here is 7.8% — lower than the national average.…
Would you like to arm yourself with the 10 best tips for investing in real estate? You will be able to avoid making mistakes that a lot of new investors do, and also some by veterans. Read on for more information.
Tip 1 – Research on the property you want to buy. Do some checking on the property values, inspect the property, and go and check out the location itself if able. Nothing is worse than paying for an unsavory unit at a bad location.
Tip 2 – Always make clear your offers. Don’t assume that people will not be willing to accept, and if you do not try asking you will never know, will you?
Tip 3 – Always increase your network of buyers and sellers. Just because you have many prospective customers or leads, it doesn’t mean that your deal will close with them, so, always make friends.
Tip 4 – Consider all your available choices. For example, if you have a property in mind, why must you only rent when you can consider buying it or leasing? Or how about a deal which looks great for an overhaul/rehab, but a wholesale might be a safer option. Always look at all your given choices and then make up your mind, on which one would be the most lucrative and good option.
Tip 5 – Surround yourself with positive people. Nothing is worse than negativity bouncing off you when you are going through the whole property buying process, as these people will probably give you a tough time. People who appreciate and value your work will want to work with you and it is definitely simpler dealing with them.
Tip 6 – Do not hesitate to ‘Walk Away’ from a deal when needed. If the buyers or sellers are being tough and making things difficult, and want things done their way, just ‘walk away’ in closing. They will come back to you if they really need your services.
Tip 7 – Make your investment tactics varied. Do learn all you can about different tactics: wholesale, assignments, house flipping, lease and purchase, and others. Once you have all the tactics down pat, you can be sure you will also be earning a lot more.
Tip 8 – Always have a contingency plan. Make sure that you have a backup plan, that’s always the best decision to take, as we can plan, but things don’t always go the way we plan. To earn a little is still earning, even if it does make your profit margin smaller, making something is better than making nothing at all.
Tip 9 – Budget, Budget, budget. Always stay on your allocated amount, or even better, UNDER it! There are always unexpected costs in real estate, for example your air conditioning unit could need fixing, a roof leak, a sudden inspection for your building, and other costs such as marketing and closing.
Tip 10 – Make sure your investments are wise. When receiving a deal, do consider the pros and cons, and research as much as you can about it. Remember that there are a lot of deals out there and don’t just settle for any deal which lands on your lap. A good investor will have a mindset that knows about the varied deals in property.
That said, it is also a good tip to know what are the things that we should not do in this exciting field. Do check out the other tips because knowledge is the key to growing.…
When you are involved in the business of real estates, it is most likely that you will one day or another find yourself in the courts having to settle disputes. They may be disputes with your clients, partners, creditors or any other person that is affected by your operations. This is why you always need a litigation attorney to handle all your court processes for you. However when looking for an attorney, it is only wise that you settle for one who will handle your court processes with efficiency and competency that will positively effective for you and your business. Sometimes, this may not be an easy task to do. With so many complex situations related and attached to the world of real estate attorneys, it may be difficult for you to locate a good one. Here are a few tips to help you find a good real estate attorney.
Seek for referrals from your friends, family members, colleagues or any other accomplices. Compare the information they give and come up with one that you feel that is suitable for the task that you have at hand. Look for a litigation attorney who has once taken care of your friend or colleague’s court processes and find out how efficiently and competently they carry out their duties. This way you are likely to find a real estate attorney that will serve your situation best.
Another way is to look for a litigation attorney through a real estate broker in your area. Brokers usually have ready information and connections at hand as to where to find a real estate attorney that will best serve your specific need. The only thing here is that you may be required to pay some fee for the services of the broker which will be worth it. However, you have to go to reliable and reputable brokers if you aim at gaining any reliable information and connections.
If you cannot find any referrals from any of the above, then you may find help through the yellow pages or the many other directories that are usually available.…
Getting ready to invest in real estate is both stimulating and stressful. If you aren’t sure what you’re doing, it’s easy to make costly mistakes. These mistakes can be avoided by carefully reading the tips in the following article.
You need to stay moderate when you are dealing with real estate purchases. Do not be too extreme with your offers. It can be counter productive to be too aggressive in your bargain hunting. However, you should always stand firm on your wants. Allow your lawyer and Realtor to attend negotiations because they have experience in negotiating.
If you are interested in purchasing commercial property that costs a lot, locate an trustworthy investment partner to do business with. Meeting the conditions for a commercial loan is much easier when two or more people cosign. A partner can help with the down payment and the credit that is needed to get qualified for a commercial loan.
Consider where you see yourself in the future when shopping for a home. You might not have children right now, but if you are going to stay in this house for a long time and you will one day want kids, you should check out the schools that are in the area and make sure you would want your future kids to go there.
Be flexible in making decisions. You might not have the ability to afford the optimal property in the right location. If you are unable to find the home you want in the desired area, modify your search in either location or type of home.
You have to have a thorough understanding of the terms of your mortgage whenever you are purchasing a home. Knowing everything you can about monthly mortgage payments and total cost of the loan will minimize all of your confusion.
Take into account the asking price of a home when determining what your initial offer will be. Getting help from your seller, you should come to terms on the final selling price that both of you are content with.
When you buy a house, you can get some financial incentives from the seller, effectively lowering how much the house will cost you. Have your agent request that the seller buy down your interest rate for the first two years of your loan. A seller is less likely to negotiate over the sale price if financial incentives are attached to an offer.
Use the internet to find out whether there are any registered sex offenders in the area you are looking to purchase a property in. Almost all states have public sex offender registries, but real estate agents and individual sellers probably won’t highlight the fact that sex offenders live nearby. Research it yourself for peace of mind.
Get any potential purchases professionally inspected before sealing the deal. If you purchase without an expert’s evaluation of the house, you could be facing the cost for major repairs. Some problems may be so severe that you won’t be able to live in the house until they are repaired.
The tips and suggestions outlined above will help you in your decision-making process. The more knowledge you bring to the table, the more likely your investment will pay off. Purchase with the knowledge that you are in control.…