The Business of Real Estate
How to Use Landscaping Trends for 2018 to Grow Your Real Estate Business

How to Use Landscaping Trends for 2018 to Grow Your Real Estate Business

By on Feb 26, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog | 0 comments

It’s common knowledge that certain home improvements can make a marked difference in that property’s resale value, but while bathrooms and kitchens tend to get all the attention, there’s another factor that’s frequently ignored: landscaping. Depending on the expert, upgrading a home’s landscape can earn owners anywhere from 1.5 to 10 times their investment. Can someone really spend $500 on trees and sod and get $5,000 when they sell? It’s possible. As a real estate agent, coaching your clients on high-impact landscaping upgrades could help them sell for top dollar and get you well on your way to a larger commission advance. Here are the landscaping trends for 2018 buyers may be looking for: Meditation Gardens Yoga is more popular than ever, and there are apps designed to help the average Joe get on his namaste whenever and wherever he’d like. Our world is a busy place, and we’re all longing for little peace, quiet and time for reflection, which may be why meditation gardens are suddenly trending. Don’t worry about niching down the landscaping to the exclusion of broader audience; even buyers who don’t ohm will be attracted to the calming designs and comfy seating. Landscaping can kick up curb appeal. Isn’t that worth spending a few dollars on flower beds and water features? Functional Landscaping Plants are often chosen because they look pretty, but using vines to add coverage to a trellis or surrounding a septic tank with non-encroaching flower varieties has a practical purpose too. Why not create a more aesthetically pleasing space using natural elements that make the best of your lawn and garden as well? Dining Under the Stars Outdoor kitchens have been around for ages, but now al fresco eating spaces are venturing further away from the main home and into the garden. A raised platform with soft overhead lighting and a gorgeous pergola is the perfect place for a summer picnic, a fall feast or mugs of cocoa enjoyed on a brisk night while gathered around a concrete or stone fire bowl. Artfully Unkempt Gardens Where once precision reigned, gardens are now turning into more free-flowing places, thanks to horticulturists who are planning low-maintenance greenery that only looks better as it grows...

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The Quirky Home Features That Could Help Close Your Next Deal

The Quirky Home Features That Could Help Close Your Next Deal

By on Feb 9, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog | 0 comments

Do all the listings in your portfolio look shockingly similar? The key to your next sale (and your next commission advance) could be simpler than you think. Sniff out which distinctive features take a home from ordinary to extraordinary and you’ll give buyers a reason to sign on the dotted line. Smart Home Gadgetry Fancy remote-controlled lighting and voice-activated thermostats used to seem futuristic, but it turns out that the future is now. Home automation has hit the mainstream, and buyers are demanding state-of-the-art devices that provide convenience and help save money. The global smart home market is expected to reach more than $40 billion by 2020; properties that are slightly ahead of the curve now may well garner additional interest once they hit the MLS. Freestanding Tubs The popularity of restoration-themed TV reno shows highlights the public’s continuing affection for modern twists on vintage details. People want all the ease of contemporary living but with the charm and aesthetic look of old-school features like a claw-foot tub. These days, though, you don’t have to go hunting for an original piece. Lots of companies are designing new tubs that have sleek lines, gorgeous hardware and even whirlpool jets. Built-In Bars Experts say that millennials are cooking at home more than twice as often as baby boomers, but almost everyone likes to entertain on occasion. Having people over for happy hour is a lot easier when you can gather the gang around a built-in bar as you shake up a tray of martinis or margaritas. Breakfast Nooks The weekday rush leaves little time for a leisurely sit-down breakfast, but busy parents can make bag lunches, prep a heap of cereal and toast and keep an eye on the kids when the little ones are tucked into a breakfast nook rather than a separate room. Even if kids aren’t in the picture, breakfast nooks offer a casual, comfortable spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and the Sunday crossword puzzle. To maximize space, designers are trending towards multifunctional nooks that double as storage or use wall-mounted benches as seating. A Kitted-Out Laundry Room No one wants to trot up and down a flight of stairs over and over again just to...

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5 Tips for Working With Real Estate Investors to Increase Your Closings

5 Tips for Working With Real Estate Investors to Increase Your Closings

By on Feb 2, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog | 0 comments

What does your client list look like? Some agents prefer to niche down until they have a singular focus on, say, young families or wealthy retirees, but restrict your audience too much and you’ll find yourself with no one to sell to. Expand your opportunities by branching out into a new field and you’ll discover new ways to increase your closings. One idea? Real estate investment. Go forth and conquer with these five tips. 1. Learn the Lingo Are you comfortable discussing cash-on-cash return? How about cap rates? Can you advise your clients on break-even ratios or estimate future value? These are just a handful of the concepts you’ll come across when communicating with investors that you wouldn’t normally encounter with traditional home buyers. If you want to inspire confidence, you need to get up to speed on the terminology and be able to speak fluent investorese. 2. Keep Your Eye Out for Potential Steals Some clients might go straight for the flashiest house in the neighborhood like a dazzled moth headed straight for a pretty little flame, but real estate investors know to look elsewhere. Flippers, for example, are particularly interested in the worst house on the best street; there’s room for upgrades and remodeling without risking overpricing the final result, and comps for “nicer” properties will likely work in their favor. 3. Study Up on Current Tax Code Most people expected our real estate mogul turned Commander in Chief to work some investment-friendly changes into the new tax code, but the final bill approved by President Trump and his team has both ups and downs. Signed into law on December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included the following real estate-related provisions: The continued ability to defer capital gains taxes on investment properties Grandfathered properties can deduct mortgage interest up to $1 million, but new purchases cap out at $750,000 Home equity debt is now the only deductible if the proceeds are funneled back into the investment business or into rental property repairs Pass-through corporations may be eligible for a 20 percent deduction on taxable income Of course, there’s more to it than that quick summary. Get thee to a tax seminar or make friends...

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7 Online Marketing Ideas to Compound Your Results

7 Online Marketing Ideas to Compound Your Results

By on Jan 23, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

Think quickly – how are you harnessing the power of online marketing to advance your business and ratchet up your closings? Get serious about expanding your client list and your overall visibility with these seven down-and-dirty online marketing ideas. Go to Video Here are a few quick facts: A whopping 82 percent of people on Twitter watch videos posted on the platform. People watch a collective 500 million hours of video on YouTube every day. A full 87 percent of online marketers are already incorporating video content into their strategies. Basically, you need to be posting videos if you want to stay competitive. What should you post? Try walkthroughs of your latest open house, a behind-the-scenes shot of you staging a property, a how-to on a home DIY project — whatever content might appeal to your target audience is fair game. Respond to Reviews This is called reputation management, and it’s important. Whether people are giving you positive shout-outs on Yelp or complaining about a subpar showing, this is your time to acknowledge the feedback and show you care. That kind of interaction goes a very long way towards proving your trustworthiness and authority. Write a Book  An ebook, that is. Stick to a relatively short work (think more of a quick read than War & Peace) that talks about how to buy or sell a home, how to break into the real estate industry, where to eat and drink in your city or something equally interesting. Set up a landing page with seamlessly incorporated SEO and watch the leads come to you. Interact with Industry Influencers If you want to gain followers on social media but aren’t sure where to start, try responding to threads and commenting on posts started by key industry influencers who already have killer followings. By showcasing your knowledge in a slick, unobtrusive way (no trying to show up your elders, and definitely don’t be cocky or pretentious), you may soon gain attention and a bigger audience of your own. Set Up a Facebook Group Launch a Facebook group dedicated to concerns in your area. The topic could be investment opportunities, Q&A for buyers and sellers or community postings. It doesn’t even have to...

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4 Ways Facebook Can Help You Earn a Bigger Commission

4 Ways Facebook Can Help You Earn a Bigger Commission

By on Jan 19, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

By the end of 2017, there were more than 2 million active users each month on Facebook – a 16 percent increase over the same time period in 2016 and further proof that Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild of a platform is still thriving. For real estate agents, it’s more important than ever that digital marketing strategies incorporate the ‘Book, but what can you do beyond maintaining your profile and posting relevant information as often as you’re able? As it turns out, there are an awful lot of ways Facebook can help you connect with clients, sell homes and earn a bigger commission. Here are four: 1. Start a Facebook Group You already have a professional Facebook page, right? Good! Now, connect that page to a Facebook group of your very own creation. It’s easy to do, and that private community will serve as your go-to spot for new and prospective clients to gather info without taxing the resources at your brick-and-mortar location. In other words, they can ask questions in the group instead of calling your office. Some brokers encourage group members to post their property search parameters so they can get on an MLS email list. Others use the group to share details about upcoming open houses and new, under-construction developments. There are a ton of strategies you can employee, but they all start with setting up the group itself. 2. Play With Facebook Ads To get around Facebook’s new friends-and-family centric algorithms, real estate agents will need to understand and utilize key Facebook Ad tools more than ever. Build Custom Audiences:Your instinct may be to use ads to cast a wide net and snare as many people as possible, but that’s both ineffective and expensive. Facebook ads tend to work best when you narrow down your focus so you can tailor the ad copy and imagery to each niche demographic. Do this by building custom audiences; you can upload a CSV file containing all the information from your client database, and Facebook will help you connect with them online. Then, you can reach out to those people specifically. Some may be looking to buy, sell or rent again, while others will recognize your name and happily share the...

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Walkable Communities: Add to Your Portfolio of Clients

Walkable Communities: Add to Your Portfolio of Clients

By on Jan 12, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

In the zany world of real estate, things can shift in the blink of an eye. While buyers once gravitated towards sprawling McMansions, the focus is now on smaller footprints, with tiny homes trending more than ever. Similarly, sleepy gated communities purposely built a fair distance from shopping centers and main roads are finding less favor with demographics yearning to have their needs met a little closer to home. This desire for all-inclusive living without the boxed-in feel of a tiny urban apartment has given rise to the walkable community, a place where car-free living is offering the public a new way to live. A Built-In Sense of Community In a walkable community, life slows down — literally. Instead of zooming past neighbors at breakneck speed, residents of these communities are exploring their ’hood on foot, meeting and greeting the locals along the way. It’s a lot easier to get to that “borrow a cup of sugar” level of familiarity when you have to physically share a sidewalk and a smile on a regular basis. That connection — tenuous though it may be, at least at first — also tends to make people feel safer and more secure in their homes. A Bustling Hub Living in the epicenter of a thriving metropolis comes with a lot of perks, but it also comes with a hefty price tag and inventory is limited. A walkable community with a similarly robust hub evokes that same urban feel but with the additional benefits of single-family homes, yards, more square footage and less crowding overall. Some communities organize homes around an architectural nucleus like a convenient store or a clubhouse; others opt for a park or a pool where people can gather. On-Site Amenities Apartment buildings and condo complexes often include a pool and a fitness facility, but walkable communities broaden the meaning of on-site amenities, treating residents to everything from coffee shops to convenient stores to lending libraries. It’s also typical for these communities to use a portion of the comparatively high HOA fees to fund events; attending a farmers’ market, craft fair or holiday festival that’s just a skip away from your home is a very attractive idea indeed. Inclusive Appeal While...

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