Real Estate Leads

What They Are, How to Acquire Them & Everything Else a Realtor Needs to KnowNo matter which line of work it is that you are in, you naturally would want to stay on top of things. This means having all the tools and information that you need at your disposal. The same thing applies when it comes to the real estate business. Whether you’re a Realtor who’s flying solo or if you’re part of a real estate firm with a team of colleagues all working together – you need to stay informed so that you can be on top of your game.Real Estate Leads: The BasicsOne of the most important aspects of being a Realtor that you need to acquire skills for is generating leads. Lead generation is a marketing term which refers to the creation or generation of a prospective customer’s interest, inquiry and eventual consumption of a particular product or service. This means that acquiring leads is all about generating interest from a prospective buyer or seller of a real estate property.If you’re a Realtor who is working from home, you can perform lead generation steps for the purposes of list building, acquiring a list for a newsletter or simply winning over existing and prospective customers who will take advantage of the real estate services that you are offering.Learning How to Recognize Quality Leads from Junk LeadsNext, let us delve a bit deeper into how agents can acquire good leads. The first thing that you need to do is learn how to recognize high-quality real estate leads from ones which can be considered as ‘junk leads’.Take a look at a few tips on how you can recognize quality leads from the junk sales leads:- Make sure that the seller who you will get in touch with is motivated.This is one of the challenges that most agents face on a daily basis: home sellers changing their minds at the last minute. If you want to generate quality real estate leads, make sure to only follow up on those who you think are the real, motivated sellers.- Know what junk sellers leads exactly are.More often than not, most agents will stumble upon junk sellers leads – a mere collection of names, outdated contact information and property listings. Junk leads are considered such because the homeowners have either no intention or no urgency in selling their property.Top 5 Tips on How to Generate Real Estate Leads Now that you already have an idea about how the basic information regarding real estate leads and how you can recognize the real, high-quality ones from the junk leads, what other tips should you keep in mind when going about this task?Here are the top tips that you need to keep in mind if you would like to learn how to generate or acquire quality real estate leads:1. Get referrals from past clients and remember to network everywhere you go.The traditional way of generating real estate leads is by getting referrals from your past clients. They might know of somebody whose property is for sale, or they might have a friend or a relative who is looking for a new home. Another thing that you need to remember is that you can expand your network as an agent wherever you go. Always carry around your business card, strike up a conversation with people and build your network.When attending weddings, social gatherings or organizing a party yourself – these are the other instances that you can use to your advantage to increase your network.2. Go for the other traditional ways of generating real estate leads.Sending out mailers and distributing or posting fliers are the other traditional ways that you can use to generate real estate leads.3. Subscribe to a lead generation website or take advantage of a good lead generation system.When you go online, you will see that there are a lot of lead generation tools that you can use. These can come in the form of web-based services, websites or software brands. To help you choose which brand and type of lead generation system is the best one to use, here’s a quick question guide that you can refer to:- Does the lead generation system offer an online MLS or Multiple Listing Service search?
– Can the lead generation system send fresh leads which can be instantly sent to the customer’s e-mail address?
– Can the lead generation system allow you to offer clients a free CMA or Comparative Market Analysis of their property?
– Can the lead generation system create a free, customized list of the available properties in their area?If the lead generation system can do all of these, then it’s definitely a great tool to use and help you grow your business.4. Learn how to recognize quality real estate leads from the junk leads.As mentioned earlier, it is a must for real estate agents to learn how to recognize good quality real estate leads, set them apart from the junk ones – and naturally only follow up on the good leads that you have.5. Make sure that your own website as an agent is developed in such a way that it will attract a lot of traffic and can easily generate real estate leads for you.Finally, remember that your own website is a powerful marketing tool for your business. Make sure to perform steps for SEO or search engine optimization. This way, when an online user searches for agents in your area, they can easily visit your webpage if it shows up on top of the results page.Whether the site is still in the development stage or if it was already launched, you can still modify it in such a way that it will be able to easily generate leads for you.Summing It All Up: A Final Word about Generating Real Estate LeadsAll in all, there really are no new tricks to learn when it comes to lead generation. The best thing that you can do is make the most out of all the tools that you already have.Also, you need to go where your clients are. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, almost 90% of homebuyers go online to conduct property research like finding listings and possible buyers for their homes. As such, it would pay to establish your own website and develop it in such a way that it is able to generate real estate leads.By following these tips, you can get more good quality leads, follow them up, close more sales and generate more profit for your business as a whole.

Real Estate is Not a Good Investment

With falling property values, the stock market on a roller coaster ride and the economy worsening many people will wonder if it is time to start investing in real estate again. The answer to this question is a very simple and very obvious one: not any time soon.Pending home sales fell by nearly 30 percent in June according to the National Association of Realtors. Many people will see this as an opportunity to pick up but bargain properties as investments but it is not.Real Estate is Overvalued
The reason why people should avoid real estate investment at this time is that real estate is still way over valued in most of the United States. In many areas homes that are worth less than $100,000 are still being sold for $200,000-$300,000 and condominiums that are worth less than $100,000 are still being sold for a half million dollars.If you don’t believe me take a look around your area, drive or walk around and look at the houses for sale. Chances are you’ll see broken down old dumps with smashed windows and shingles falling off the roof for sale. Do a quick Google search on those properties and you’ll discover that they’re probably selling for $100,000 or more.The market for commercial property is even worse, I know of one depressed Colorado town with high unemployment where questionable retail space is renting for $900 a square foot. This space is being leased in a building in a very cold area where natural gas the cheapest fuel for central heating in the US is not available. This means heating costs will be double or triple those in an area where natural gas was available. Not surprisingly that retail space has been sitting empty for years.Sooner or later the market will catch up with all that over priced real estate and property values will fall to realistic levels. My guess is that real estate prices in most areas of the United States will still have to fall by 25 to 50 percent to reach a realistic level of value. This means that persons who invest in property now could loose 25 to 50 percent of their investment.Properties are Over-Mortgaged
The main reason properties are overvalued is that many of them are over-mortgaged. Over the past few years it was so easy to get a mortgage that many people put two, three, or even mortgages on their properties.Many pieces of property are mortgaged for more than they are worth, they are “underwater” in real estate parlance. Media reports indicate that as many as 25 percent of American homes could be “underwater.”One terrible situation out there is that many property owners who want to sell can’t because they know they couldn’t make enough from the sale to pay off their mortgage. Naturally, nobody will want to take over the mortgages on those properties because they would loose money. This means that a lot of real estate can’t be practically or legally sold at this time.If this wasn’t bad enough, a lot of those underwater properties are encumbered by all sorts of liens, especially tax liens. This means that anybody who takes over such properties will be faced with a big legal bill.There Will Be a Glut of Foreclosed Properties on the Market
Anybody who has followed the news over the past couple of years knows that are hundreds of thousands of homes in foreclosure. This means that people haven’t been able to pay their mortgages and have been evicted. To this figure we can probably thousands more homes where the owner has simply walked away and the mortgage holder hasn’t bothered to take the property back yet.Many of these foreclosed properties are sitting empty and off the market right now. Quite a few realtors won’t touch foreclosures because of all the problems with them so they’re hard to sell.Sooner or later all of those foreclosed properties are going to come on the market and drive real estate prices down further. In cities like Detroit and Cleveland where a large percentage of the homes are in foreclosure full sized homes in some neighborhoods are selling for less than $20,000. We’re going to see similar situations across the country in the next few years. When this occurs, the value of real estate in many cities such as Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles will fall to levels rivaling those of Cleveland and Detroit.Property Taxes are Too High
To make matters worse we’ll soon see a situation where property taxes will exceed the value of the property in quite a few areas.This will occur because in many areas of the country property taxes are based on “property value.” Unfortunately this property value has little or nothing to do with market value. The values used to determine property taxes are based on a figure determined by a government official usually the County Assessor in most areas this individual is elected and needs no training or expertise. In many areas it is based on what “comparable properties” sold for in the recent past. Not surprisingly the local government sets the property values as high as possible so it can collect as many taxes as possible.In other areas the property taxes are based on what the property last sold for. This means if you bought your house for $500,000 in 2005 but its now worth $100,000 you would still be taxed as if the property was worth $500,000.The property tax situation will make the foreclosure mess worse because many owners won’t be able to afford to pay their property taxes. Many owners will simply walk off and leave the property to be seized by the local government and sold at a tax auction for pennies on the dollar. Many of the foreclosed properties will also end up at the tax auction because nobody is paying the taxes on them which will greatly increase the real estate glut.When to Invest in Real Estate Again
Naturally people will ask: when should I start investing in real estate again? The best answer to this question is when the real estate market hits bottom which should be in about two years.At that time we’ll see a real estate investors’ paradise with great properties selling for $50,000-$100,000 or less. Many people will be able to pick up tremendous bargains at foreclosure and tax auctions.Until then your best strategy is to avoid real estate investment and keep your money in money markets, stocks, foreign currencies, CDs or precious metals. If you have a lot of cash I would recommend that you put it in precious metals like gold because a collapse of the dollar could be just around the corner. If the Euro collapses because of the European debt crisis it will bring down the dollar. Some foreign currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars and the Swiss Franc will be good investments too.It would also be a good idea to sell off any property other than your home that you own right now. That way you will be able to avoid taking a huge loss on it in the future. For seniors who have no mortgages on their home, I would recommend taking out a reverse mortgage and investing the cash from it in stocks or precious metals. This way they can still live in their home and cash in.Real estate is simply not going to be a good investment in the United States for the next five to ten years. Smart people should start seeking alternatives to real estate investing now.

Becoming The Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World

The GREATEST real estate agent in the world is an interesting topic of conversation as well as being a contest.Now, let me explain first that I do not consider myself the “Greatest real estate agent in the world Panama City, Florida!” but I do consider myself a very adept and professional real estate agent who offers the finest real estate services inHowever, this sounds like a fun contest and I thought I would enter and have a little fun with it.So, let’s begin…I believe there is much more to the true nature of being the “Greatest real estate agent in the world”, I also believe that it’s about understanding, learning and offering the greatest real estate services available. Anywhere!What goes into being the “Greatest real estate agent in the world”? Well, in my opinion there are allot of things agents can do to help their primary focus of selling real estate and assisting their customers in purchasing real estate:Advertising – The agent must be focused and advertise not only to achieve a strong market penetration, but also be able to reach the most qualified readers for their advertisement.Market and Product Knowledge – The agent must maintain a strong and thorough knowledge of their local real estate market. To this they must spend hours researching sales and listings, expired listings and withdrawn listings.Honest and ethical – One trait I believe sets the “Greatest real estate agent in the world” apart from other agents is their ability to be honest and hold their morals and ethics to the very highest of standards! Their dealings with not only their clients and customers must exemplify high moral and ethical behavior, but also their dealings with other real estate agents as well as supporting professionals such as Loan offices, builders, contractors etc.Investment foresight – I believe another strong trait is the ability to be able to discern which properties make the strongest case for their clients and customers investment strategy. Not only being able to calculate rates of return, Gross Rent Multipliers, Potential Gross Income and other variables but also understanding how these variables affect the purchase of a customers or clients real estate investment strategy!Technology insight – Being able to not only understand the technology that exists today to assist a real estate agent in their business but also having the ability to apply that technology is a paramount consideration today.As technology becomes a more important part of our daily lives, it also becomes a primary tool to provide additional services and assistance to real estate agents clients and customers.The application of technology, aside from having a website is no easy task. After all, the expertise of real estate agent is selling real estate! However, the ability to utilize and implement effectively the available software and hardware in an agents business will allow that agent to be recognized as a leader in their market and industry.These are but a few of the factors that go into making the “Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World” a reality for any real estate agent in today’s highly competitive real estate market.In my opinion, there is so much to becoming the greatest, that to actually decide who this person is would be beyond the abilities of most experts today.However, we as real estate agents must continue to strive to be the best we can be for our local market place. Our eye on the prize of being the “Greatest Real Estate Agent in the World” should remain our focus through out our careers.