Top 10 Cities Targeted by Foreign Investors

I’ve said it before (you can find it in previous blog posts from me) and I’ll say it again: You need to be thinking about working with cash buyers, investors and international buyers if you are not already doing so.

Articles like the ones below, are just straight up facts that show us that this is NOT slowing down. Real estate agents everywhere are staying busy selling houses in all price ranges. My team and I have been working with cash buyers and investors that typically buy cheaper homes for renting out. We are seeing an overwhelming response from happy investors wanting to buy more and recommending their friends.

You can have the same results and actually make great money selling even the cheaper homes. We’ve got some exciting stuff coming up in the next few months.

In the meantime, here’s some more proof that foreign investors are buying in many of our areas. These are just the top 10!

Las Vegas had the highest overall international traffic online among U.S. cities, with Canadians serving as the leading source of traffic there at 70.47 percent, followed by 5.28 percent of the traffic coming from U.K. residents and 2.19 percent from France.

The top 10 cities for international traffic online by international buyers in the third quarter are:

1. Las Vegas, Nev.
2. Orlando, Fla.
3. Kissimmee, Fla.
4. Detroit, Mich.
5. Pompano-Beach, Fla.
6. Miami, Fla.
7. Mesa, Ariz.
8. Davenport, Fla.
9. Phoenix, Ariz.
10. Indio, Calif.

Read on…

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Practice Makes…Success in Business?

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, Michael Phelps, Donald Trump. All these names synonymous with success, fame, incredible skills and abilities, and the crazy amounts of money they make doing what they do. All of these personalities have something they are well-known for, something that they are extremely successful doing. These 5 guys just decided one day as adults that they would be awesome or they were just born awesome, right? Of course not!

Michael Jordan: Has been playing basketball since he was a young kid in his driveway before he even had an actual hoop to play with. One year in high school, Jordan didn’t even make the cut for the varsity basketball team.

Tiger Woods: Is seen on videos on national TV putting with toy golf clubs at the age of 3!

Bill Gates: His parents had planned for him to go to law school.  At 13 he went to a prep school where he took an interest in programming after his school purchased a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal. His first program was a tic-tac-toe-like game that allowed the user to play against the computer.

Michael Phelps: Only started swimming at the age of about 7 when his mom thought it would be a good outlet to release energy since he had ADHD. He was in his first Olympic Games at the age of 15.

Donald Trump: His father was a real estate developer. Trump’s first part in a deal was when his father purchased Swifton Village Apartments in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1962 for 5.7 million. Donald was able to take lead at some of the smaller jobs like landscaping, etc. He was able to take more of a lead and ended up dramatically affecting the apartments vacancy rates within two years.

If you have not realized where I’m going with the details above, I’m about to reveal it to you. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, Michael Phelps & Donald Trump all started at different times in their lives. They all do very different things, but none of them obtained the level they have today overnight. It’s called practice. Why is it that we expect athletes to practice in order to get better and stay on top? Why is it many of us in business seem to fly by the seat of our pants? We should be practicing too!

Whether putting, shooting hoops, swimming laps, creating new programs or negotiating real estate deals, it all involves practice, and lots of it! Think about where you would like to be within your real estate career in 5 years. Think about what it will take to get there. Think about your first deal, or if you have not yet closed on a deal, think about your first interaction with a client. Was it a flawless experience? Were you able to answer questions with confidence and accuracy? Was it a complete mess? Has it gotten better?

Whatever your results, there were probably many things you could have done differently. In fact, even with 9 years of real estate experience in various areas of the business and tons of training, I frequently have to go and look at a book or research online. At times, I have to tell a client I will get back to them with an answer to their question. I recently started using some online resources much more effectively and I’m saving an insane amount of time and effort. With practice, we gain confidence, increase skills, work more diligently, negotiate better, lower liability risks, make more money and so on. Practice Makes…Success in Business!

Next time you’re working on a deal and you go through your routine, think about what you could do to make some part of your transaction go smoother. Then create a small, quick plan to make that change. Then practice it! Bring your elbow in slightly, spread your fingers just a bit further apart, line the ball up with the hoop and take the shot…as many times as it takes.

I’d love to hear your comments! Leave your comments below and make sure to click the follow blog button on the right of this page to receive a quick email when a new post is up!

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Zillow: Real estate values decline at steady rate toward bottom (CHARTS)

U.S. home values continued to fall in October, but at a rate that has stabilized as the market heads toward a bottom, according to a report from property valuation site Zillow.

Nationally, home values dipped 0.3 percent in October from September, and declined 5.1 percent from October 2010, to $147,900.

“The rate of monthly depreciation has stabilized around -0.2 percent to -0.3 percent over the last few months, an improvement compared to the fall of last year, when rates reached more than 0.8 percent monthly depreciation,” the report said.

Home values have declined 23.7 percent from a May 2007 peak. Zillow said it expects home values to drop another 2 to 4 percent before reaching a bottom in 2012.

Read on…

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Sharing the Stress with Your Client?

Ok, first of all, my apologies. I’ve been out of it for a few days, but it’s all for good. I’ve had lots of awesome stuff going on and I can’t wait to start sharing more and more with you as the weeks go by.

I’m working on a deal with a well qualified buyer and we’ve had some issues with inspections, etc. It’s all good, nothing new. Been there, done that!

I find myself many times, stressing with the buyer. Not so much for my commission, but feeling as if I was in their shoes, wishing everything would go smoother for them. Then sometimes I wonder if this is a bad thing. Should I be worried with the buyer, or should I be a little tougher since I know that these deals go sour at a moments notice and it happens all the time?

Then I come to my senses and realize that would not be me. It’s not in my character. What IS in my character is to want the buyer to have the smoothest experience possible during this time. A time when most people are making the biggest investment they will  ever make in their life. I’m part of it. You’re part of it!

As a real estate agent, we can get tunnel vision in certain moments. We got our eye on the prize. We focus on “what’s in it for me”, and lose track of the buyers emotions. Don’t get me wrong, my eye is ALWAYS on the prize. It’s a matter of handling both equally, in  my opinion.

Haven’t you noticed how much more relaxed it all goes when your client feels like you’re really on their side? Like they’re dealing with a close friend? The conversations are more productive and they tend to believe you more the first time you warn them or recommend something. You may be asking, isn’t it important to maintain a professional business presence with your customers? The answer is yes. However, I think it’s about getting to know yourself first as a professional, a friend and a sales person (which we are). It’s about finding a happy medium.

Remember this fact: “The brain’s wiring emphatically relies on emotion over intellect in decision-making.” Find that happy middle ground with your clients and show them you care. Show them it’s not just the prize you’re after. You’re also after a happy client (who will come back and send all their family and friends your way!)

Dont’t forget to follow my blog and you’ll receive a quick email when a new post is up. I’ve got some exciting things coming up. Stay tuned. I’d also encourage you to leave comments and create some discussion. Tell me what you’d like to read about. Join my blog by clicking on the right of this blog.

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7 Housing Markets Buyers Are Eyeing Online

When thinking about buyers, a real estate agent’s first thought is to advertise locally and target buyers looking for a near by relocation. More and more baby boomers are approaching retirement and they are EVERYWHERE and possibly looking to move to your city to retire in.

In today’s market, with very competitive prices, you can expect retirees that are not yet retirees, to consider jumping on some potential properties sooner than later to avoid losing out on some great deals.

Places like Sarasota, Ft. Lauderdale in FL and Fort Worth in TX are amongst the top on the list for most online searches on Trulia. The article below has a full list in Realtor Mag’s recent post. Real Estate News

Sunbelt cities are garnering most of the attention online from potential home buyers, possibly being lured by bargain housing prices. 

Several Florida and California metro areas were found to have the highest proportion of home searches from people outside the area, according to, which tracked about 100 million searches on its site from July 1 through Sept. 30. 

“Part of the long term trend is Baby Boomers moving toward retirement, and some of those that put off their searches while home prices were skyrocketing in the Sun Belt, are now looking again because prices have fallen so much,” Jed Kolko, chief economist and head of analytics at Trulia, told Forbes. 

Read on…

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Fannie and Freddie Won’t Evict Over Holidays

I think I might want to get with my local news and let them know that it might be a good idea to shoot this info out there in the media. Seems like many homeowners facing foreclosure who know very little about the foreclosure process would be VERY relieved by the news that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would not be evicting on “foreclosed single family homes and 2-4 unit properties” for the last 2 weeks of the year.

Do you think it would have a positive effect in your area? Do you think they have been notified that this is the case by their lender, etc. if they fall under this? Make sure to comment below and let everyone know what you think.

WASHINGTON – Dec. 2, 2011 – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced yesterday that they would suspend evictions of foreclosed single family and 2-4 unit properties from Dec. 19, 2011, through Jan. 2, 2012. While lenders will continue completing legal and administrative paperwork, no families will be thrown onto the street over the holidays.

“The holidays are meant for families to spend time together, especially if they’ve gone through the stress of financial challenges and foreclosure,” said Terry Edwards, Fannie Mae’s executive vice president of credit portfolio management. “No family should have to give up their home during this holiday season. Fannie Mae is committed to helping borrowers avoid foreclosure whenever possible and we encourage any homeowner who is having difficulty making their payment to reach out for help.”
While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back roughly half the mortgages in the U.S., some lenders also promised to place a moratorium on evictions over the holidays. Bank of America and Wells Fargo, for example, told CNNMoney that they had no plans to evict troubled homeowners before 2012.

Beyond altruism, the mortgage industry hopes to avoid bad publicity at a time of year when news stories focus on charity and kindness.

The eviction moratoriums apply only to owner-occupied homes.

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6 Factors that Affect a Sale

I’ll be completely honest with all my fellow real estate agents and brokers, I have not had much focus lately on targeting listings. It’s just has not been what I’ve been focusing on lately. Plain and simple. I’ve been spending much of my time with buyers, most of those being cash buyers. I actually had a closing today (non-cash buyer, but a relatively pain free transaction).

However, if you are working with listings I’m going to throw a few tips your way that I take into consideration the times I decide to target and get listings. I find myself more and more, as I gain experience (make mistakes), that I’ve gotten more picky over time. What I mean is, I am much more selective as to what I list and my reasons for why I pick up a specific listing are not extensive.

Let’s face it, if you really wanted listings and wanted to be that real estate agent that can say “I’ve got more listings than anyone in my area”, it’s not that difficult to get it done. If you work this way and it’s going well for you, great! I don’t recommend changing a thing if you’re making more than average and closing transactions.

I just like to know I’m going to be as effective as possible and make money, which is a big reason why we all chose this career, no? To make money? I’m going to take a risk and answer for the majority by saying YES!

Ever considered the idea of having a house ‘qualify’ for you to list it? Meaning it should meet a specific criteria for you to feel comfortable spending all your time and effort marketing and promoting that listing. It’s really not about having the most listings anymore. When deciding on whether you should list of not, try to keep at least the next 6 factors in mind…the crazy part is, you only have real control over 1 of them.

1) Price: Ultimately, you can hope to influence as much as possible based on your research and expertise that the SELLER, who has control over this one, can be realistic about pricing. A big factor I like to think about here is how quick the seller wants to sell. Does he need to move? Does he need to move fast? If so, price it right dear Seller!

2) Terms: There will specifics that will dictate certain terms for the listing. Seller has most control over this part as well…This will bring up pricing, what he or she still owes on the home, what seller will and will not pay for, repairs, what seller will include with the sale, etc.

3) Conditions: Another one controlled by the seller. What condition is the home in? What condition is the seller willing to put the home in to sell? How will it show? How many problems exist currently and how many new problems will exist throughout the listing period? You can see I can go on and on and on here.

4) Timing: Again, we’ve got no control. A seller decides he wants his house on the market and it could be any time of the year. It could be in any market condition, there could be lots of homes for sale in the area, or no homes for sale. There is just no telling when a homeowner will be compelled to be a seller.

5) Economy: Oh economy! You guessed it, we have no control over this one either. We can clearly see what a difference just a couple of years can make in the economy. It can sit still for a while or take huge dives and gigantic leaps all in the blink of an eye. It seems the media has some control. People believe the news and everything that’s said in the news. Believe it or not, that does crazy things for the fluctuations in the economy.

6) Marketing & Promotion: Do we have control? Abso-freakin’-lutely! The real estate agent or broker has (better have) FULL control over this one. It’s what we do! It is where you should make the right moves and adjust for everything else you have little or no control of. You gotta take a listing that you can sell though.

Simply put, qualify a house before it becomes your listing. I know you’re going to be all in when you take that listing so make sure your seller and you see eye to eye. Make sure he or she will be all in as well. Give ground rules and remind them how you’re compensated. “I’m all in, all I’m asking from you is the same.” Learn to say no. About 90% of all real estate agents can do the same thing, the same job. What’s your 10%? What is making you different?

Post your comments below and let me know what you think and what you’ve been doing different. Don’t forget to follow my blog by clicking on the “follow” on the right hand side. I don’t spam, not now, not ever!

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