A picture is worth a 1000 words but curbside is where it really counts

Photos with a listing are valuable and in this day and age necessary. But a drive by tells a truer picture.

With a camera on every phone it becomes very easy to take and add photos of a new listing and place the listing on the local MLS or online web service. With around 80% of home buyers starting their first search on the internet, photos are a must. However, let me share with you a recent experience that has made me take another look at web photos and showing property. This might save both you and your buyer a lot of time and increase your productivity.

I was recently relocating to a new area and wanted to buy a home. Like everyone else I went on line. I put in my price range and other wants and desires and started my search. I pulled up about 10 properties that looked like they might fit the bill and then I contacted my local Realtor.We set up a time to drive around and preview properties. I am sure that the agent planned for a long day but she was willing to go along. My wife and I got in her car and off we went. When we arrived at the first home we didn’t even want to go inside. The view from the curb didn’t look anything like the photo on the listing. To make a long story short of the 10 properties we thought we wanted to see we only went inside 2 of them. The other 8 had zero curb appeal and did not look anything like what was on the listing. Most were not even close. In my earlier days of selling residential real estate it always amazed me when buyers would tell me what they wanted in a home and yet ending up buying something else because they liked the way it felt when we would drive up. Me included!

We felt bad about taking up the agents time. It was not her fault. I thought to myself – what a waste of everyone’s time. What could an agent do to reduce this time waster? I came up with an idea and I wanted to share it. I am still a licensed Realtor but currently deal in commercial real estate as a consultant. but, I do have two family members that are residential agent and I shared my experience and idea with them. It has worked well for them so I want to share it with you. This will not work with everyone, most things don’t, but I think it has merit.

When meeting with a potential buyer and they have either told you about some homes they have found on the internet or you have helped find on your system you might want to try this. Tell them that you would be very happy to show them any and all of the properties but suggest that they might want to do a drive by on each property on their own and then come back and tell you which homes they would like to preview inside. Again, make sure that they understand that you are giving them both options and they can choose which option they prefer. Suggest to them that while they are driving around if they see a property with a sign on it that they like you can add that to their list. You might be saying at this point that I am nuts but consider this. Many buyers are uncomfortable with any one who’s title is “sales person”. They might be more relaxed and feel less pressure if they are alone. They might also take the time to check out the area for drive time to schools, work and shopping. What if they see or talk to another agent (a buyer agency agreement might be helpful) and don’t come back? I am sure this could and will happen but how many times does that happen to you now? It has worked for Chris and Berna (family members) and they say that it has saved them a lot of time and has allowed them to be more productive. They have felt that the buyers seem more comfortable and like the process. About 75% have chosen the drive by option.  Think about it. Would this help you be more productive and increase your income?

If you are a residential agent that would like to expand your  business into your local Commercial Real Estate market, with NO UPFRONT COST, than call

 

 

Commercial RE is one of the first indicators of a residential rebound

Even before your MLS stats show signs of improvement you will get an earlier indication from the activity in the commercial market.

Because they are not directly involved in the commercial part of the business, most residential agents fail to stay on top of the commercial activity in their area. In many cases commercial real estate can be an early warning system for an upturn in a market. However, it may also work in the reverse with a downturn in the market. Buy staying on top of the commercial activity you will have the opportunity to inform your client of the possible change in the market regardless of whether they are a buyer or a seller. As a buyers agent at the first signs of commercial activity you might be able to encourage them to make a decision prior an escalating market. Working with a seller can be more challenging.services You need to explain what direction you see the market headed. They than can determine how soon they need the money from the sale. You don’t want to create an unreasonable price increase if you can help it and you will want to remind them that they are still a second buyer of their property. (see earlier post).

Lets look at some possible reasons for this early warning system. Increase in demand for commercial space is generally triggered by either current business expansion or new start ups. Business is feeling optimistic about the future. This activity will require more employees and the local economy will start to expand. The increase in residential activity will come from families that have been doubling up because of money problems and /or lack of work. Some of those people can now afford to buy a home. Home ownership is a dream for most people. That is what we sell. New jobs will also bring new people into the area – this means more housing needs.

While this process does not happen over night it will still help the market. We are all busier than ever mostly because of all the paperwork involved in any traction. Spending a little time each week watching the commercial activity might pay you dividends.

If you are a residential agent that would like to expand your  business into your local Commercial Real Estate market, with NO UPFRONT COST, than call

 

Price vs Value

People will sometimes confuse price with value

I received an email the other day with a quote from Warren Buffett “Price is what you pay – Value is what you get”. Most people that are looking at buying real estate are looking at the price. What will it cost – How low can I get the seller to come off the price. They hardly ever try to evaluate what they are buying. The residential buy is more likely to do this than a person that is buying a commercial property. Most of the time they are looking at the investment value of a property based on the return they might expect the property to generate.

Pict of Hpuse 8-2012 013A few weeks ago I wrote a post entitled  In Real Estate You Make money when you buy not when you sell which would seem on the surface to contradict the quote above. However, If you really look at making offer on a property it is the value not the price that will determine the potential profit when you sell. Even a person or family looking to buy a home needs to really look at the value of the home to them. Not everyone looks at the value of a property the same way. The value to a person or family that have small children might have different needs that will create value for them that may not be the same for a single person. We have all heard that in real estate it is Location-Location-Location. The location of a property is normally far more important in establishing value than the price.

As real estate agents we need to help clients, in addition to their basic needs, to understand the value they will receive for the price they might pay. It might help them reevaluate the price they are willing to pay.

If you are a residential agent that would like to expand your  business into your local Commercial Real Estate market, with NO UPFRONT COST, than call

 

If you are a residential agent that would like to expand your  business into your local Commercial Real Estate market, with NO UPFRONT COST, than call

Michael Sloan, CCIM  at 208 946-5271 or on the web at   group1realestateconsulting.com

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4245374/knowing-your-market-is-to-know-success#sthash.lp2X7pVt.dpuf

If you are a residential agent that would like to expand your  business into your local Commercial Real Estate market, with NO UPFRONT COST, than call

Michael Sloan, CCIM  at 208 946-5271 or on the web at   group1realestateconsulting.com

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4245374/knowing-your-market-is-to-know-success#sthash.lp2X7pVt.dpuf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing Your Market is to Know Success

Whether you are listing or selling residential or commercial property knowing your market in great detail will lead to greater success.

In an earlier article titled 10 Tips To Help You get Started in Commercial Real Estate one of the items listed was the importance of knowing your market area. I mentioned that I would do a follow up article. Let me explain in more detail.

Both residential and commercial agents need to know some basic things about their market area like number of sales, sales prices, days on market, average and median prices by area. These are some basic things that will help you in dealing with both buyers and sellers. Some additional items that you might want to look at to help you increase your income might include –  the percentage of listing price to sales price as well as the number of new listing to closed transactions. The average age of the homes in that area as well as price per square foot can be helpful. This along with the direction of the sales prices will be helpful when dealing with an owner to secure a listing at a salable list price. Know where the neighborhood breaks are where prices will differ. Make sure that any comparisons take this into consideration.Create an online profile for commercia real estate

Commercial agents normally will do a lot fewer transactions but will still need to know most of the items listed above as well as some additional information. There are basically five different types of commercial property – Industrial – Office – Retail – Multifamily –  Raw land. While each of these require some knowledge that is the same each will also require specific information for that type of property. While a retail property would like to have traffic counts an industrial building or industrial raw land would not need this information. An industrial property might be more interested in access to both rail service and or freeway accessibility.

All of these property types, except in most cases industrial, would want good demographic information on the area. Things like number of households, average wages, age breakdown. But if you are in retail you might also like to know the buying habits in the area and how it compares with the rest of the country. Using the country as 100% for lets say lawn mowers what is the percentage of dollars that are being spent on average per household on lawn mowers in the area. Anything under 100% might mean that there is leakage – dollars being spent on lawn mowers outside the area. If a person is wanting to open up a lawn mower business this would be important information. For most products this information is available. While zoning issues are always important it will be most important to the raw land buyer. If an investor is looking at a multifamily complex they will want to know how many units are in the area and what is the current rental rates and vacancy percentages. A retailer would like to know what other business are in the area that might be a helpful draw or might be direct competition.

All property types, except raw land, will want to look at cash flow and potential return on the money they invest. This can be a very involved process and it requires a lot of time gathering information that generally comes from the seller. Information on currant expected returns both locally and nationally need to be researched in an effort to help both the seller and buyer. Some buyers that will be occupying a building my not be interested in cash flow or the short term return on their investment. They may, instead, want to know what comparable rents are in the area. This will allow them the opportunity to evaluate whether to buy or rent space. Being able to supply the answers to these and other questions will make a difference in your income.

Whether you are in residential or commercial real estate this is a great business and has a lot of challenges but with a little extra effort can be very rewarding.

If you are a residential agent that would like to expand your  business into your local Commercial Real Estate market, with NO UPFRONT COST, than call

 

Residential Agents – Learn Commercial Real Estate skills and Increase your Income

 

As a residential agent are you ready to handle a commercial transaction? Learn the skills that will help you increase your income.

Commercial Real Estate Buyers rely on their agent to provide information that will allow them to make a good investment decisions. Whether the client is an investor looking for income or an owner/user they want complete information. An investor needs one type of information,  owner/users may want something totally different.

Mission: Group1 Real Estate Consulting is dedicated to serving residential agents, small investors and property owners in landing a commercial real estate transaction with professionalism and to maximize return.
Mission: Group1 Real Estate Consulting is dedicated to serving residential agents, small investors and property owners in landing a commercial real estate transaction with professionalism and to maximize return.

Investors look at and evaluate numbers, analyzing more than just income and expenses.  They will want to look at trends on a property as well as of the area. Lease rates, vacancy rates, and growth rates of the area are just a few of the reports you will want to be able to provide. And just like the residential buyer they want to know about the neighborhood  as well as other businesses in the area. Zoning is always an issue to make sure that there are no limitation on the current and future use of the property.

The owner/user generally wants to look more at the physical aspects of the property. Things like utilities coming into the property and the type of service along with the age of the equipment and any zoning issues. They also want information on area trends. IE: Leakage information for the type of business they are interested in providing in the area.

Listing a home requires that a home be presented in a positive and attractive manner. Commercial representation requires the same kind of attention. A well thought out, professional package  goes a long way in bringing a Real Estate transaction to completion.

Using a real estate consulting service to gather and  provide a professional presentation package will save you both time and money.

If you are a residential agent that wants to expand into local Commercial Real Estate with NO UPFRONT COST call

 

 

 

 

 

Commercial Property-The Importance of Zoning

Commercial Property – The Importance of Zoning

Zoning in an area is often overlooked by both the buyer and the agent when looking at commercial property. Most people assume that just because a property is currently being used, say as an office building, that that is the proper and permitted use in that area. However, a closer look may reveal that the property has been granted a conditional use permit allowing an office building in a zone that is zoned for apartments.12246808_s Depending on the wording of the conditional use permit you may or may not be allowed to expand or alter the use and still comply.  Even though the property looks to be in a commercial area an owner may not be allowed to add an upper level of living space or office. An investor may be looking at a property to redevelop with a similar type of use. The current use may have been grandfathered and can continue to operate but new development even with the same use might be denied.

Parking is always an issue. Parking ratios in most areas will differ with the type of use. Office space will require a different amount of spaces per square foot than a retail business and or a hotel. Setbacks and building height requirements are also important to know and understand. Dealing with raw development land requires an even  closer and more in-depth study into zoning requirements. Issues like densities, road width, and utilities are important in addition to the above items.

Every city and county will have their own zoning regulation. Most agencies will have this information posted on their website. It is important to read and understand these documents to better serve your client. The new and smaller investor, is more likely to neglect and miss zoning issues. The new investor will want to rely on you, the real estate agent, to provide and advise regarding this type of information.