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Purchasing Real Estate With No Cash Money

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Have you often wanted to purchase real estate but didn’t have enough money? Or maybe you are new to real estate investing and don’t have good credit, but want to purchase real estate. How do you go about accomplishing this task? One way is by using ‘no cash money down real estate investing’ both a person without the funds or credit can purchase real estate. In this article I will explain one scenario in which this form of acquisition can be accomplished.

First off, let us understand what is required to secure a payment other than cash. Yes, I said other than cash! Remember this is no cash money down real estate investing . Other means can be used to secure a payment as a ‘consideration’ for payment. They can be anything that the seller agrees to that has value, i.e., a car, motorcycle, painting, jewelry, silver, etc… or even the promise to pay as in future rental payments.

The promise to pay means that you are not putting any money down at this time, however in the future once the option is exercised, you will then make payments. This is like the ‘egg’ in a recipe that binds the transaction and makes it a true no cash money down to purchase real estate investing acquisition.

There are obviously different methods and scenarios that could be used to purchase real estate with no money down . But for this example I am going to use what is called a ‘ sandwich lease option’ . In this scenario you not only want to acquire the buyer’s payments but also the equity in the property without ever having the risk of true ownership. To do a sandwich lease option you need a combination of an ‘option to purchase agreement’ and a ‘lease agreement’ . Both should be written in your favor, allowing you the ability to back out at any time with no recourse to you outside of the loss of the ‘consideration’. The option to purchase agreement binds the property for you by giving you the ‘revocable right’ before you purchase.

Is there a downside to no cash money down real estate investing ? Of course there is. For instance, if you are not offering to take the property out of the seller’s name leaving them free and clear of the title, then obtaining the option to purchase can be a difficult task.

Another thing to consider is why is the seller having such a hard time selling the property? This can obviously cause a problem for you as well in the future. And if you are looking at renting the property out, since you are not purchasing the property, you have to consider financing problems. What happens if the rental market is below what your payment is? Then you take a loss! And what if the seller is making interest only payments, later changing to interest and principal payments, greatly increasing your payments leaving you in further financial trouble?

Now knowing this it only begs the question; is there a better option to no cash money down real estate investing ? The answer is of course, yes there is! That is if you have a self-directed IRA (preferably Roth) or good credit and a relatively decent income of about $70,000 annually. But we are discussing the scenario that you do not have the funds or do not have good credit to acquire real estate through other means. Besides that would be a topic for another article.

So now that you know the ups and downs of no cash money down real estate investing , the only thing you need to do is ask yourself if this is the vehicle for you and if so, how to go about it. There are teams and companies out there for you, just for this purpose.
Have you often wanted to purchase real estate but didn’t have enough money? Or maybe you are new to real estate investing and don’t have good credit, but want to purchase real estate. How do you go about accomplishing this task? One way is by using ‘no cash money down real estate investing’ both a person without the funds or credit can purchase real estate. In this article I will explain one scenario in which this form of acquisition can be accomplished.

First off, let us understand what is required to secure a payment other than cash. Yes, I said other than cash! Remember this is no cash money down real estate investing. Other means can be used to secure a payment as a ‘consideration’ for payment. They can be anything that the seller agrees to that has value, i.e., a car, motorcycle, painting, jewelry, silver, etc… or even the promise to pay as in future rental payments.

The promise to pay means that you are not putting any money down at this time, however in the future once the option is exercised, you will then make payments. This is like the ‘egg’ in a recipe that binds the transaction and makes it a true no cash money down to purchase real estate investing acquisition.

There are obviously different methods and scenarios that could be used to purchase real estate with no money down. But for this example I am going to use what is called a ‘sandwich lease option’. In this scenario you not only want to acquire the buyer’s payments but also the equity in the property without ever having the risk of true ownership. To do a sandwich lease option you need a combination of an ‘option to purchase agreement’ and a ‘lease agreement’. Both should be written in your favor, allowing you the ability to back out at any time with no recourse to you outside of the loss of the ‘consideration’. The option to purchase agreement binds the property for you by giving you the ‘revocable right’ before you purchase.

Is there a downside to no cash money down real estate investing? Of course there is. For instance, if you are not offering to take the property out of the seller’s name leaving them free and clear of the title, then obtaining the option to purchase can be a difficult task.

Another thing to consider is why is the seller having such a hard time selling the property? This can obviously cause a problem for you as well in the future. And if you are looking at renting the property out, since you are not purchasing the property, you have to consider financing problems. What happens if the rental market is below what your payment is? Then you take a loss! And what if the seller is making interest only payments, later changing to interest and principal payments, greatly increasing your payments leaving you in further financial trouble?

Now knowing this it only begs the question; is there a better option to no cash money down real estate investing? The answer is of course, yes there is! That is if you have a self-directed IRA (preferably Roth) or good credit and a relatively decent income of about $70,000 annually. But we are discussing the scenario that you do not have the funds or do not have good credit to acquire real estate through other means. Besides that would be a topic for another article.

So now that you know the ups and downs of no cash money down real estate investing, the only thing you need to do is ask yourself if this is the vehicle for you and if so, how to go about it. There are teams and companies out there for you, just for this purpose.

Why Do Would-be Real Estate Investors Fail?

Let’s face it, there’s tons of real estate investing information out there.  But of all the people you’ve seen at seminars lapping up the words of wisdom from the real estate gurus, or the people you see at Barnes and Noble skulking around til 11 PM reading all the real estate investing books they can get their hands on (A charge of which I am guilty!), how many do you think actually succeed in their real estate investing businesses?

I don’t have exact figures, but based on my experience as a real estate investing information provider and coach, I would guess it’s close to only 1-2% of people who want to be real estate investors get into the business and stay in the business and make it profitable.

Those figures are so disappointing.

Why is it so hard? Why do so many would-be investors fail before they begin?  And why do others, who are able to take the first steps of their real estate investing career successfully, still fail to meet their goals long-term?

I realized the deck was stacked against me as I begin as a real estate investing student at a seminar a few years ago.  I bought all the real estate investing courses, signed up for private coaching, and watched as many of the people around me fell by the wayside.  There were many times I wanted to quit, myself.  You probably have your own story of struggle in your real estate investing career.

It’s the million dollar question.  Here are the conclusions I’ve been able to come up with.

Why Do Real Estate Investors Fail In Spite of Great Real Estate Investing Information?

1) The Myth of Get Rich QuickWhy do would-be real estate investors fail?

Just because there are real estate investment strategies, such as flipping homes, that can be implemented quickly (60-90 days), that doesn’t mean that it is easy to find deals, negotiate them and close them in the first month or two after you start your real estate investing career.  In my experience, most people need to take a little time to become familiar with the real estate markets in their area, real estate terminology and strategies, and then get started implementing so they can practice finding and negotiating with motivated sellers.

Even with a good deal closed, you might only walk away with $5,000 or so from a flip.  With a subject to or lease option deal, the property may take years to “ripen” in your portfolio before you are able to sell it for a significant profit.  The biggest money I’ve seen people make quickly is coming from rehabs and short sale negotiations.  Pursuing these types of deals can verge onto a full time job.  They do work, and work quickly, but they take a lot of time to implement.

2) The Myth of No Money Down

So many times, I have heard students come on coaching calls with me and say, “I just lost my job, so I am really motivated to make this work quickly.”  or “My goal is to flip one house a month every month because I need some cash for start up capital.”  These sentiments are probably being perpetuated by the gurus out there who encourage people to think that real estate investing is a no-capital-required business.  Even after you get the formula down, it can take years before a paper-profit becomes cash-in-hand if you own rental property or do lease/options.

The exception proves the rule and I’m sure it’s true that some people during some periods of time are able to make “thousands” quickly, when they need it most. For example, I know folks who get a lot of free deals off of craigslist or calling through the newspaper.  However, for the vast majority of real estate investors, some money is required for marketing to find motivated sellers if they want to keep their deal pipeline reasonably full.  In addition to marketing to find motivated sellers, deals take money for due diligence, legal fees, inspections, and so forth.  If you plan to hold property as a landlord, the costs escalate even more steeply.  If I had to put my finger on one major reason for lack of success in this business, besides false expectations, I would list lack of funding right at the top.

3) The TRUTH in “It doesn’t work where I live.” 

There’s a cliche in the real estate guru field that speakers like to joke about.  It’s that a lot of students like to say, “Your strategies won’t work where I live.”  Guru’s play it off as a joke, like the person is making an excuse for not getting started in their investing, because they “can’t.”

The truth of the matter is, there is a LOT of variation in the performance of real estate markets across the country.  In some areas, like the South and Midwest, property values are relatively stable and properties cash flow well.  In other areas, Southern California, Florida, and Las Vegas come to mind, property values fluctuate wildly and you can make a fortune or lose your shirt on the changing tides of appreciation.

It’s very important to understand real estate market cycles and where your market fits within the current phase of the market.  You implement to take strategies that work in your marketplace if you want to be successful locally.  Otherwise, you need to do what I’ve done and learn to invest where it makes sense, without being constrained feeling a need to invest where you live.  There are pros and cons to each strategy.  However, my point is that it’s not right for the gurus to mock people who raise this objection.  It’s a valid concern raised by thinking investors, even if it doesn’t help sell the guru’s real estate investing courses.

So, I’ve raised a lot of concerns about the mis-information being circulated in the real estate investing industry.  Have I disappointed you too much?  I are you “off” of investing now?  If you are good – if you can be talked out of it that easily, I’m glad I got you out BEFORE you invested any more of your precious time and money pursuing a strategy that doesn’t appeal to you.

If not, even better. it is certainly possible to take a realistic approach to real estate investing and make it work for you.  You can grow your net worth to millions, but it does take time and perseverance.  I hope you’re willing to stick it out.

Real Estate Investing For Beginners

As a new real estate investor, when you begin researching information on real estate investing for beginners, you’ll find that there are a lot of gurus and mentors out there looking to sell you high priced information. You’ll also find plenty of chatter-boxes at local real estate investing forums and other watering holes that will share (brag?) all day long about their investing trials and tribulations, especially if they have tenants or rehabs. (Those types of projects tend to be fraught with problems, something that can scare beginner real estate investors off – when maybe it should be attracting them!) You can also find some excellent offline resources at the library, bookstore and your local investor club. Maybe you’ll even find someone who’s out in the trenches on a regular basis and is willing to take you out on the streets to show you some of his properties.

What you won’t find as often, especially for free, is a coherent, executable business plan detailing what it takes to get going with real estate investing as a beginner.

What you really need is a handbook entitled: Real Estate Investing For Beginners that lays everything out for you A to Z, with what to do at every step along the way.

Unfortunately, putting together a super and useful reference like that is time consuming and you have to consider that a) If someone is already making money investing in real estate, her time is valuable, and b) if she’s going to invest her valuable time in putting together a real estate investing guide for beginners, she’s got to have an angle.

That’s an excellent thing to keep in mind – everyone in the real estate investing education industry seems to have an angle. They are directly incentivized to make you feel that real estate investing is easy, you can do it, and if you just part with some money, they will give you the handbook with all the answers.

BEWARE: If you can’t figure out how they’re getting paid, you’re missing something… Everyone wants to get paid in this business.

Well, I hate to tell you… I don’t have that comprehensive handbook for you either.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I can give you some very important words of wisdom that helped me when I was getting started in real estate investing as a beginner. (And I started right out of college without a good job or anything, so don’t think it can’t be done.)

Real Estate Investing Observations – What Every Real Estate Investing Beginner Needs To Know:

1) You will have to trade time or money to get what you want in real estate. You can’t get something for nothing, so even if you buy an expensive course to get someone else’s experience and shave years off your learning curve, you’ll still HAVE a learning curve. Plus, you’ll need to find leads, and that type of marketing takes (you guessed it) time and/or money.

2) Leverage cuts both ways. When the market is going up, leverage can be a great ally in helping you acquire more property with less of your own money. However, when the market is soft or declining, as also happens with real estate market cycles, having a lot of leverage can put you “upside down” on your equity and cash flow – a very risky situation. Protect yourself by “making your money when you buy” and passing up those “skinny” deals.

3) It’s all about NEGOTIATING with the motivated sellers. A lot of courses make you believe that if you find the motivated sellers, you can just pluck up the deals like daisies in the orchard. That’s almost true. Whether you’re working in commercial or residential real estate, you’ll get much better deals when you negotiate with a motivated seller. However, the key is that you must NEGOTIATE. You have to make offers that will work for you and engage the sellers in conversation. Very rarely will the buildings be lying these listed for 50 cents on the dollar (if they are, they’ll be snapped up by other investors). You have to find sellers that you think may be motivated and offer them your low cash offer or terms offer in order to see if they’re willing to work with you. Engage them in the conversation by making lots of offers, and NEGOTIATING with the ones that are motivated.

4) Figure out your rate of return. Sometimes, when you don’t have a deal, it’s easy to think “any” deal would be good. However, sometimes the best deals are the ones you PASS on – you “make” your money by saving yourself from some expensive mistakes. Don’t waste time on property that doesn’t make sense when you run the numbers. Don’t get emotionally attached just because someone says they’re motivated or willing to work out terms with you. Run the numbers. Always focus on the numbers.

5) You get paid for solving problems. This is a business with a lot of problems. Sellers can get very emotional, or have a lot of financial trouble, at the time that you’ll be working with them. That’s stressful for anyone, especially when the transfer of a large asset like a house, apartment building or office/retail center is involved. Realize that you may go through some challenging emotions of your own. That’s natural. If you can hold it together and survive the up-and-down roller coaster, you should do okay.

No one says real estate is easy unless they have a course to sell you. It can offer some great returns, but there’s a reason not everyone goes after them. Not every property is a winner and finding and acquiring the winners can be a challenge. However, if you are committed to making your real estate investments work for you, then focus on getting yourself educated and staying in for the long run.

Investing in Real Estate

Many investors are turned off by real estate because they do not have the time or inclination to become landlords and property managers, both of which are in fact, a career in themselves. If the investor is a rehabber or wholesaler, real estate becomes more of a business rather than an investment. Many successful property “investors” are actually real estate “operators” in the real property business. Fortunately, there are other ways for passive investors to enjoy many of the secure and inflation proof benefits of real estate investing without the hassle.

Active participation in property investing has many advantages. Middlemen fees, charged by syndicators, brokers, property managers and asset managers can be eliminated, possibly resulting in a higher rate of return. Further, you as the investor make all decisions; for better or worse the bottom line responsibility is yours. Also, the active, direct investor can make the decision to sell whenever he wants out (assuming that a market exists for his property at a price sufficient to pay off all liens and encumbrances).

Passive investment in real estate is the flip side of the coin, offering many advantages of its own. Property or mortgage assets are selected by professional real estate investment managers, who spent full time investing, analyzing and managing real property. Often, these professionals can negotiate lower prices than you would be able to on your own. Additionally, when a number of individual investor’s money is pooled, the passive investor is able to own a share of property much larger, safer, more profitable, and of a better investment class than the active investor operating with much less capital.

Most real estate is purchased with a mortgage note for a large part of the purchase price. While the use of leverage has many advantages, the individual investor would most likely have to personally guarantee the note, putting his other assets at risk. As a passive investor, the limited partner or owner of shares in a Real Estate Investment Trust would have no liability exposure over the amount of original investment. The direct, active investor would likely be unable to diversify his portfolio of properties. With ownership only 2, 3 or 4 properties the investor’s capital can be easily damaged or wiped out by an isolated problem at only one of his properties. The passive investor would likely own a small share of a large diversified portfolio of properties, thereby lowering risk significantly through diversification. With portfolios of 20, 30 or more properties, the problems of any one or two will not significantly hurt the performance of the portfolio as a whole.

Types of Passive Real Estate Investments

REITs

Real Estate Investment Trusts are companies that own, manage and operate income producing real estate. They are organized so that the income produced is taxed only once, at the investor level. By law, REITs must pay at least 90% of their net income as dividends to their shareholders. Hence REITs are high yield vehicles that also offer a chance for capital appreciation. There are currently about 180 publicly traded REITs whose shares are listed on the NYSE, ASE or NASDAQ. REITS specialize by property type (apartments, office buildings, malls, warehouses, hotels, etc.) and by region. Investors can expect dividend yields in the 5-9 % range, ownership in high quality real property, professional management, and a decent chance for long term capital appreciation.

Real Estate Mutual Funds

There are over 100 Real Estate Mutual Funds. Most invest in a select portfolio of REITs. Others invest in both REITs and other publicly traded companies involved in real estate ownership and real estate development. Real estate mutual funds offer diversification, professional management and high dividend yields. Unfortunately, the investor ends up paying two levels of management fees and expenses; one set of fees to the REIT management and an additional management fee of 1-2% to the manager of the mutual fund.

Real Estate Limited Partnerships

Limited Partnerships are a way to invest in real estate, without incurring a liability beyond the amount of your investment. However, an investor is still able to enjoy the benefits of appreciation and tax deductions for the total value of the property. LPs can be used by landlords and developers to buy, build or rehabilitate rental housing projects using other people’s money. Because of the high degree of risk involved, investors in Limited Partnerships expect to earn 15% + annually on their invested capital.

Limited Partnerships allow centralization of management, through the general partner. They allow sponsors/developers to maintain control of their projects while raising new equity. The terms of the partnership agreement, governing the on-going relationship, are set jointly by the general and limited partner(s). Once the partnership is established, the general partner makes all day to day operating decisions. Limited partner(s) may only take drastic action if the general partner defaults on the terms of the partnership agreement or is grossly negligent, events that can lead to removal of the general partner. The LPs come in all shapes and sizes, some are public funds with thousands of limited partners, others are private funds with as few as 3 or 4 friends investing $25,000 each.

Office Tenant’s Guide to Commercial Real Estate

Unlike brokers that represent landlords and owners, Tenant Representation brokers specialize in representing the best interests of tenants and space users only on the lease and purchase of commercial real estate.

The value a business can gain from hiring a tenant representation broker to handle its corporate office space, just as it would hire a CPA for financial and an attorney for legal matters, is so significant, it’s essential every business owner understands the benefits. With real estate typically being a business’s second largest expense, companies can’t afford to overlook the benefits of professional tenant representation services when thousands of dollars are ultimately at stake.

Successful, savvy business owners either employ an in-house corporate real estate director to manage their property, or outsource their requirements to a professional tenant representation advisor. Those that don’t are missing out – on potentially thousands of dollars in lost revenue and wasted money that could quickly and easily be converted into profit!

There are no savings to be had by not hiring a tenant representation broker.

Every listing agreement compensates the landlord’s broker with an industry standard fee, which the landlord’s broker shares with the tenant’s/buyer’s tenant representation broker if they have one. This incentivizes the landlord’s broker to find a tenant that isn’t benefitting from their own tenant representation broker, because the landlord’s broker will receive the entire fee for negotiating against them! There is no discount to be had by not hiring your own tenant representation broker so you should take advantage of this service because the full commission WILL be paid on every listing whether you are represented or not. Furthermore, tenant brokers’ negotiating expertise and intimate knowledge of commercial real estate can easily save you an average of 30% in occupancy costs in today’s market, several times greater than the full listing fee!

You can quickly and easily save thousands of dollars by hiring an expert commercial real estate negotiator.

An experienced tenant representation broker’s negotiating expertise can typically reduce your occupancy costs by approximately 30%, several times the total commission paid on a commercial lease transaction! The office leasing and buying process is complicated and risky and should only be handled by an experienced professional. Just as you hire a CPA for financial and an attorney for legal matters, hiring an expert tenant representation negotiator to navigate the complicated and risky commercial real estate process is essential to achieve the maximum money and time savings, protection and benefits for your business.

Avoid conflicts of interest unlike a landlord’s broker, your tenant representation broker is 100% committed and accountable to you only.

Just as a landlord’s broker’s obligation is to represent their client’s best interests, not that of a tenant’s, your tenant representation broker’s obligation is to represent your best interests only. Hence, you expose yourself to a huge conflict of interest when you use one or several landlord brokers to “negotiate” for you on their own listings, and you are far less likely to receive the level of service you would from a tenant representation broker who is committed and accountable to you only as their client. Unlike a landlord’s broker, your exclusive tenant representation broker is 100% accountable and committed to you because they have a legal responsibility to represent your best interests, not those of a landlord.

Unlike brokers that represent landlords and owners, tenant representation brokers avoid conflicts of interest by specializing in exclusively representing commercial tenants and space users. The best way to avoid a conflict of interest and ensure your broker is representing your best interests is to execute an agreement acknowledging their legal obligation and duty as your representative. By doing this, you can also expect a higher level of service, commitment and accountability as the broker knows he will ultimately be rewarded for his efforts. Owners and landlords exclusively engage their own brokers to guarantee the best possible terms and you should too!

Save hours of your valuable time and thousands in company dollars by hiring a professional to manage the real estate process for you.

When you’re running a business, time is money, and searching for space and negotiating office lease transactions often takes longer than expected! The commercial office leasing and buying process is extremely time consuming and can place a huge drain on company time, money and resources. Not only do tenant brokers advise you on the best strategy so you don’t head off in the wrong direction, they’ll save you huge amounts of time by preparing property listing reports, scheduling and conducting property tours, submitting proposals, negotiating and reviewing leases and managing tenant improvement and relocation projects. Outsource everything but the decision making to your tenant representation broker and benefit from the peace of mind that they will professionally manage the process and save you a huge amount of personal time and money while you focus on running your business. Your exclusive tenant representation broker will of course also save you thousands of dollars in occupancy costs by negotiating the maximum concessions on every transaction.

Protect yourself from exposure to real estate risk.

The office leasing and buying process is complicated and risky. Just as you would hire a CPA to manage your taxes and an attorney to represent you on legal matters, the real estate process should only be managed by an experienced professional that understands all the pitfalls and intricacies of the transaction. We take risk out of the equation by professionally and expertly managing the process down to the smallest detail and advising you on the most risk-free strategy for achieving your objectives and protecting your business from unexpected real estate risk.

Benefit from professional tenant representation to achieve the best results for your business.  

Due to the relatively inert nature of real estate, maximizing the operational efficiency of your office space can be a challenge, especially if your business and your space needs are evolving. Opportunities for businesses to grow and change are often hindered due to the restrictions placed upon them by their office space. Don’t let your office space hold you back! Find a tenant representation broker with the expertise you need when expanding, consolidating, or relocating facilities, renewing or restructuring existing leases or purchasing a commercial property  for your business.

A tenant broker’s role is is to provide you with the comprehensive data and impartial advice you need to make the right corporate real estate decisions and, in turn, provide the most economical, operationally effective and risk free real estate solutions for your business.

Get instant access to every available real estate listing and opportunity.

The most important phase of the real estate process is identifying and qualifying suitable opportunities to lease or purchase. Without a tenant representation broker it would be extremely time consuming and futile to attempt to thoroughly survey your target market as, unlike the residential market, the vast majority of commercial office space listings are not available online. Furthermore, searching for commercial space through landlord/listing broker is unlikely to give you exposure to every available opportunity as they may only introduce their listings, and calling numerous brokers is extremely time consuming. A landlord broker is encouraged to steer tenants to their own listings as they receive double the fee if they represent their client, the landlord, as well as the tenant. Tenant representation brokers have no incentive whatsoever to steer you to particular listings and are completely impartial as they are representing you, the tenant, and are subject to the same listing fee structure regardless of the property.

By hiring a tenant representation broker, you can be guaranteed exposure to every available listing opportunity and also receive impartial, objective advice on the suitability of the space to your business needs. A good tenant broker will go to great lengths to assist clients in determining their specific real estate requirements and locate and evaluate properties that meet their exact needs. Not only should they have access to all the commercial real estate multiple listing services, but their in-depth knowledge of specific commercial real estate submarkets will give you access to all off-market availabilities and pocket listings to guarantee you access to every opportunity. They will also prepare a comprehensive survey of every commercial MLS database, leverage their intimate knowledge of the marketplace to research every suitable off-market property and aggressively market your requirement to every owner and listing broker. This creates powerful negotiating leverage as multiple landlords compete for your business!

Commercial Real Estate

  1. WHAT IS IT AND HOW DO YOU GET INTO IT?

Several years ago, I was attending a Society of Industrial Realtors Annual Spring Conference in Maui. My wife had accompanied me on the trip so that we could also do a lot of sightseeing. Colliers International, a 241 office worldwide firm, sponsored its own company cocktail party the night before the Conference officially began and my wife and I attended the party.

A short while into introductions, a fellow came in from the golf course and he sat down at our table. Andrew Friedlander introduced himself an we discussed our home in Philadelphia, his original home in Brooklyn and his new home in Honolulu. As to how he ended up in Hawaii, Andrew told us that on R&R during his tours in the Army in Vietnam, he decided to take a break in Hawaii after he was finished his last duty tour. He rented an apartment, waited tables, washed cars, etc. to have some extra cash. He said that he paid his apartment rent to an older man who came around once a month and he finally asked the man whether that was his business. Andrew said that he never thought about property management as a business, but the more he spoke to the man the more that he realized how diverse a business commercial real estate could be, particularly in Hawaii. The rental agent began to show Andrew the basics of the business and Andrew decided not to return to Brooklyn.

Forty years later, Andrew is the manager of approximately six Colliers International offices in Hawaii with over 40 brokers and salespeople as his responsibility. Aside from selling and leasing commercial real estate and traditional brokerage transactions through the islands, Andrew’s team is involved in all of the other aspects of commercial and industrial real estate.

As one concierge person told my wife and I while we were touring there, “Yes, it is a great place, now where would you ever think of moving to once you are here.”

In the past year, a young Army Captain and friend called me from Hawaii. He and his wife were taking in some R&R after his last duty tour and he called to ask me for some advice on commercial real estate firms. I gave him Andrews phone number after I checked with Andrew on his availability. Andrew treated my friend to lunch and introduced him to Colliers’ business in the islands. As it turned out, my friend and his wife decided later to relocate to Florida to be closer to their parents. Our Colliers office in Ft. Lauderdale was anxious to interview him and did so. He found a better fit for a concentration in office brokerage with another firm, but I think that it is clear that opportunities do exist with major firms for someone who has an interest, who can demonstrate that they are self motivated and whose comportment (manners, speech, personal grooming, business attire) are all positive. A long time friend told me one night after we and our wives checked in, very late, at a hotel owned by a well known hotel group, “That desk clerk is the person representing this hotel company to its customers and I know the CEO. That clerk’s slight rudeness toward us does not at all represent what their CEO wants his company to be known for in their business. He will need to learn that if he is going to be more than the late night clerk.”

I mention this because a company such as Colliers or any of its competitors must ensure that a salesperson or broker first meeting a potential customer properly represents the company’s image. So much money is spent defining that image to the business community that each person, including all staff, must reflect that effort. Otherwise, a potential customer will choose to hire a competitor whose act is together. My understanding is that customer relation training at Wal-Mart is quite strong for all personnel. I would think that any major restaurant chain has in place a thorough program for staff training and it may pay to observe whether if the customer is not always right at an establishment how the staff person handles a customer who is being a bit particular.

  1. Entry

I use Andrew’s story as an example of the opportunity that commercial real estate offers. A senior business mentor and good friend of mine told me in Florida in 1971, just at the beginning of that recession, that commercial real estate offered an opportunity to enter a business without having my own capital to invest other than my time and energy, and, with no limit on the size of transactions that could be put together. We discussed this in relation to my going back to law school. His opinion was that it was almost a “sky is the limit” approach, but with some basic sense to it. I had done a few financial reports on potential deals offered to him. I also handed over that year, at my mentor’s instruction, a $300k commission check to a broker who he had employed to buy a property that he had settled on the year prior to that. The next year, at the same time, I handed over the same check to that broker as the second half of that commission to that broker. Please realize that in 1972 that commission amount in the onset of that recession was a significant amount of money for any transaction.

Each state has its own regulations for licensure. Florida required a person to take a sales licensing course, pass that, then work in a licensed real estate broker’s office for a minimum of two years before being eligible to take a state broker’s exam. The sales course is offered by numerous private firms and colleges, evening courses in particular. The cost of the course is minimal. The basic skills for reading, writing and math portions are not difficult. Depending upon your educational qualifications, commercial real estate firms may often offer to provide the course. Smaller, more generalized, brokerage firms may also do the same in order to gain a salesperson.

There typically is a recognized “culture” or business reputation known for a real estate firm in any community, The community can be local, regional or national. It pays to do your homework as to which firm appears to suit your style. The internet is definitely one of the most productive sources for finding a firm’s history, its areas of expertise, personnel, and its successes. Recognize that major metropolitan commercial firms often outsource client needs in an outlying area to a smaller commercial firm in that area rather than requiring one of their main office brokers to commit to travel time. Consequently, if you are in a rural market outside or between major metropolitan markets, you should investigate which real estate firms have those relationships for the larger deals.

Your time for success starting in commercial real estate (particularly without capital) will be the result of what you put into it. I had the option in the early ’70’s of returning to law school and finishing. What I realized most was that I liked being out of an office and “on the street.” My attorney friends in Ft. Lauderdale were spending innumerable hours, as needed, in their offices to write briefs, draft documents, etc., all of which that profession requires. My decision was to put in the same hours on commercial real estate that I would have to put in for any law practice. If it worked, then fine, if not I would go back to school.

Considering that the early ’70’s recession in Florida hit every occupation with almost equal damage, many attorneys had practices with slim billings and clients whose businesses were suffering economically. Several real estate brokers who I met were having very difficult times because the banks were not lending money for deals. Florida had a usury cap of 14% at that time. Deposits were down and when interest rates in California started to go above 14% that is where the money went.

Weekdays in those years, I was knocking on the doors of businesses in the West Palm to Miami corridor. Weekends, I was often painting a house or captaining a motor sailer owned by a friend’s corporation. Weekday evenings after dinner, I was at the office reviewing property information, ownerships, tax data, etc. for the next day’s driving or phone calls. I found that it was possible to earn a living while getting into the commercial real estate field. I later found out after moving back to Philadelphia, that several of the commercial real estate firms did not mind their starting salespeople to moonlight as bartenders, waiters, or whatever until they had enough experience to close transactions. That has changed somewhat in the larger cities due to the financial strength of the larger firms and their ability to either offer a base salary or draw to new salespersons.

Gender in today’s commercial real estate world is not an issue as it was in the ’70’s. At that time, men only eating clubs were often the norm and women were not often able to match that type of selling locale. The number of women who have joined commercial real estate organizations such as SIOR, CCIM, etc. (which I will discuss later) has increased dramatically over the past 15 years. The commercial real estate courses offered today provide an excellent means of obtaining knowledge that once was taught generally “in house” by senior brokerage personnel responsible for a new salesperson’s progress.

Therefore, in considering commercial real estate the aspect of having minimal capital has not changed. Gender is not an issue and many women who have chosen to specialize in industrial or office real estate have done very well. You
can choose your hours, choose your area of specialty(s), choose your market area(s), and choose who you want to approach as a firm to join. Most commercial real estate involes the standard business week, not including late Saturday or Sunday hours (vs. residential Sunday open houses). These are several of the positive aspects of working in commercial real estate. The competition is keen, your competitors respect a good work effort and, most importantly, they respect a strong reputation for any individual.

You should investigate both larger commercial firms and smaller real estate brokerage firms. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

A). Larger firms may be willing to offer a base salary or a draw against commissions. They may prefer prior business experience, but not necessarily prior real estate brokerage experience that may conflict with what their “culture” is and what their in-house training entails. Typically, a new salesperson would be assigned to a senior broker or brokers to do cold calling, marketing materials, marketing reports for any existing client’s property and probably handle property inspections by other competing brokers with their prospects.

A few points on Larger Firms:

Future ownership potential for you in the company may be limited or non-existent.

Control over what market, territory or discipline that you work in may not be your choice. If you are hired for one department, such as retail, that may change if they need personnel support in another department, such as office. You may find that they prefer a new person to rotate through each department and possible each regional office if they have multiple offices.

Depending upon whether the firm is privately held or a public company it could be sold or merged without you being involved in the discussion. There is no real “safety blanket” for any position in a larger firm. If a primary, large, client is lost to a competitor, cuts may be relatively fast to absorb the lack of revenues.

Senior brokers who are successful occasionally leave to join another firm or to start their own competing firm. Clients usually follow those brokers and that could disrupt your potential income if you are in that department and the rain makers leave.

Deal volume can be significant as can be the size of the deals. If an institutional owner (bank, insurance company, pension fund, etc.) has a presence in an urban market, the leasing or sale assignment that they may award to a larger firm can be a “year maker” if the assignment is completed. Usually some year end bonus money flows down to the salespersons who may have participated in the marketing effort.

Senior brokers should have upper level corporate contacts through either a business association, country club, educational institutions, commercial lenders, or contacts referred from other cities where a corporate headquarters may be located. If the firm owners or top brokers are not developing those contacts and relationships, but are relying on the mid-level brokers to do that you may want to look at another firm whose top management is better involved. You want work to filter down from the top instead of getting the crumbs leftover from competing firms who have a solid community (business and non-business) presence.

B). Smaller firms usually will have a broker/owner running the operations with or without broker partners in the firm. Quite often they will have a residential department and a separate commercial department in which a few of the brokers may work in residential and commercial properties.

A few points about Smaller Firms:

Future ownership shares may be offered depending upon deal volume and commitment to the firm. If the founding broker of the firm is nearing retirement age, the opportunity may be better provided that they are maintaining an fully active presence in the community.

Commission percentages may be much more liberal once a minimum threshold of deal volume is met to cover the cost of your desk, phone, secretarial, etc..

A salary or draw is less likely to be offered.

A senior broker may be more likely to have you work directly under him on any property. You will be accountable directly to him and, as should be the case, learn “on the job.”

If there is a residential component to the firm, those brokers specializing in that area should be a source of commercial referrals and the same for you referring any possible single family residential to them. Smaller multi-family buildings should be on the commercial side of the business, but motels may be on either side. This can vary in an area such as Ft. Lauderdale, Hilton Head, or New Jersey resorts where a residential owner with a relationship to the firm may also own retail rentals.

Most regional areas have a Realtors Association, Chamber of Commerce or other organization that offers discounted insurance and other benefits to its members. Whereas a larger firm may have a good corporate health plan and other bulk discounted benefits to its employees, you should look at the costs for each that are offered. I have not found that much of a saving on either side, but if you leave a larger firm you will need to find the alternatives that are affordable.

Your business exposure may actually be more effective working out of a smaller firm and being a primary contact for that firm instead of a secondary contact at a larger firm.

Property databases and the Internet have provided smaller firms with much better access to real estate information than in the mid-’90’s and before when only larger firms could afford to maintain proprietary property information for a larger market. Launching a significant marketing campaign for a property can be expensive even with the Internet and smaller firms will have a lack of cash resources to compete for major property listings. Deal size, therefore, will be smaller and you will have to strive for volume

Guide to Choosing the Best Commercial Real Estate Broker

Choosing the right real estate professional is the first and most important decision you will need to make when embarking on the commercial real estate leasing, lease renewal negotiating, subleasing or buying process.

As a prospective buyer or tenant of commercial real estate, it’s important to take advantage of the valuable service a professional real estate advisor can add to a process can quickly become risky, expensive and time consuming. Like any large business undertaking, failure to seek professional advice on an area outside of your expertise may lead to misinformed decision making that will place your business at risk and certainly the lack of market knowledge and negotiating expertise to extract the maximum concessions from a transaction.

Fortunately however, most business owners are only faced with a corporate real estate transaction or challenge every couple of years. That being said, if you don’t already have one, how do you go about choosing a commercial real estate advisor who’s qualified to achieve your goals? And if you do, how do you determine your current representative is up to the job this time around?

Below are eight hard and fast rules to thoroughly consider for choosing the best commercial real estate advisor for the job:

1. Choose a broker who will represent your best interests, not the landlord’s or seller’s, to avoid a Dual Agency situation.

First and foremost, choose a broker without the conflicts of interest associated with representing landlords and sellers. And whatever you do, don’t choose the landlord’s/buyer’s broker to represent you! While this may seem obvious, it’s the biggest mistake tenants and buyers make, often perpetuated by the listing broker who may claim you will save money because they don’t need to pay your representative and you will save time as you can negotiate direct. It’s important to understand the listing broker is motivated to create a dual agency situation because he will receive the entire fee for negotiating against you, the tenant or buyer, who lacks his negotiating expertise and market knowledge. Hence the landlord wins, you get a raw deal and can only hope that the listing broker assists you with the often time consuming tenant improvement and relocation process once the deal is closed and he’s been paid.

While dual agency is perfectly legal in California and can sometimes result in a fair outcome, it is fraught with potential conflicts that must be managed by the broker to protect the best interests of both parties to the transaction and himself. Quite frankly, no matter how convinced the listing broker is that he can avoid conflicts of interest in a dual agency situation, it’s practically impossible to do so. Thus, choosing a buyer/tenant representation specialist is essential to achieve optimum results. In doing so, you instantly avoid the conflict of interest risk and can be confident that you have an expert on your side (not the landlord’s!) that will work hard and provide the expertise and knowledge to understand and achieve your needs and represent your best interests only. Would you hire the same attorney as your adversary to represent you in a lawsuit? Of course you wouldn’t. Hiring a real estate representative should be treated in the same fashion.

2. Choose a broker who is a specialist in Tenant/Buyer Representation

Besides not having conflicts of interest to manage, a specialist in tenant/buyer representation provides many other services exclusive to his specialty and will provide a much higher level of service and commitment than a generalist that represents both landlords and tenants. With depth of experience and expertise in specializing in representing tenants comes the wisdom to apply the knowledge, tools and resources to achieve your objectives and to serve your best interests. A specialist will also likely be able to dedicate more time and energy to serving your needs than a broker that represents both landlords and tenants. They will not be overwhelmed with having to juggle as many transactions and constantly preparing time consuming marketing reports to landlords. They’ll also be there for you to project manage any tenant improvements and facility needs you have either immediately after the transaction has closed or at any time during your lease.

3. Choose a broker who has experience in your immediate area.

There is no substitute for true market knowledge; knowledge, which can only be gained through extensive transaction experience in a defined geographic area. It is, quite simply, the only way to acquire the market ‘intelligence’ required to drive the hardest bargain for a tenant or buyer. An experienced tenant/buyer representation specialist who works in your target market knows not only what is available in your market before anyone else, they know every landlord’s negotiating strategy, motivations, financial constraints, operating expenses and other key information he can use to your advantage. Be careful of tenant/buyer representatives who don’t specialize geographically. They don’t have the required market knowledge to get you the best terms, and must rely on unreliable and incomplete third party databases for market data.

4. Choose a broker who has experience in your particular product type.

The importance of specialization also applies to the type of property contemplated in the lease or sale transaction. There are stark differences between industrial, office and retail properties. The physical aspects of each are substantially different, as are the lease structures, term, conditions and operating expenses, among other things. For example, a full service gross office lease is a completely different challenge than a single tenant industrial triple net lease. So, make sure that the real estate advisor you choose has a track record of handling transactions like yours.

5. Choose a broker who has experience representing your type of business

Understanding how your business utilizes space and its specific operational requirements, as well as how your space requirements may change in the future, is an important component in choosing your next location. A broker who has experience in representing businesses like yours in your industry and location will help streamline the process of finding the right property, especially if your operation requires specialized improvements, proximity to other service providers or regulatory approvals. If your real estate broker does not possess a complete understanding of what you do, valuable time could be wasted and opportunities may be lost. The first thing your commercial real estate advisor should do is ensure he fully understands your business and, in turn, your real estate needs. Experience in representing similar companies will expedite this process and may even be able to offer valuable recommendations you hadn’t considered.

6. Choose a broker who has a clearly defined process for achieving your needs and a high level of accountability to you throughout that process.

While every real estate transaction will have its unique challenges, the commercial real estate advisor you choose should demonstrate to you that they employ a logical, step-by-step process for handling your assignment. Unexpected surprises will be minimized if your broker handles the mechanical aspects of your transaction in sequence and in timely fashion before moving to the next step. As important as the process is, your broker should have a way of holding himself accountable to you as the transaction progresses, so that you are assured that nothing is overlooked and your interests are being thoroughly served from start to finish. Surprises are great at parties, but not in real estate transactions.

7. Choose a broker who has the necessary tools and support to give you the highest level of service.

Having the best information at your disposal is a key element in the making of a good real estate decision. Knowledge is power and, as such, your broker should have access to the best market information, analytical tools and human resources available to assist him in executing the transaction on your behalf. Ask for a list of these resources with an eye for their relevance to your requirement. The best real estate advisors at the top brokerages have access to the best resources and the most in-depth and timely information and they know how to use these tools to your advantage throughout the real estate process.

8. Choose a broker who you trust and you connect with on a personal level.

Choosing a real estate advisor with all the skills, experience and expertise for achieving your real estate needs is all well and good but don’t overlook the personal touch. We all naturally associate with people we like and have something in common with. Once you’ve selected who you believe can best represent your needs, be sure you both get to know each other on a personal level as best as possible. With good instincts this shouldn’t take long. If you and your real estate advisor get on great, not only will you both gain each other’s trust, but your representative will likely have a higher level of commitment to you on an emotional level and will want to work harder for you than if you were just another one of his clients.

Finally, when a real estate advisor claims they are the most qualified for the task at hand, don’t necessarily take their word for it. Always ask for references and to see case studies that clearly demonstrate their claims. Don’t hire a real estate advisor unless they can prove they’ve achieved great results for someone like you!

Top 7 Fears of Real Estate Investors Today

As a real estate investor, are you suffering from this massive, global economic meltdown, or are you one of the thousands of investors who are actually taking advantage of this “Perfect Real Estate Storm” of opportunity?

You see, with unemployment rising, bank foreclosures skyrocketing and prices in most markets falling more than half from their peak, many investors believe that the market is dead. These investors are running around like a chicken without a head, desperately trying to close deals as they struggle to manage their existing portfolios.

If you’re one of them, then it’s no wonder why most investors today are packing their bags and leaving the market afraid! After all, in a recent survey polling residential investors, it was discovered that real estate investors today have many reasons to be scared.

The Top 7 Fears of Real Estate Investors Today

1. Lack of Cash — Personal incomes are dropping. Unemployment is nearing record highs. Renters in most markets are defaulting. Credit card companies are cutting the amount of cash available even for those who have amazing credit scores and always pay back on time.

2. Lack of Confidence – Many investors are lacking confidence in their ability to get through the next three years of this huge downturn. For example, many investors are finding that it’s taking months to close a property deal. If you’re working short sale strategies, because banks are so burdened with offloading inventory, you could wait six months just to receive a BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion).

3. Loan Challenges – A friend of mine couldn’t even refinance his house for a lower mortgage payment than what he’s paying right now because the household income dropped since his wife’s death. If he can’t refinance his home for a lower payment, what do you think your chances of getting a loan are? What’s more, banks have raised down payment requirements on residential and commercial properties to as much as 40%.

4. Can’t Find Deals – The majority of housing and condo sales are foreclosures, as homeowners don’t want to sell now and lose all the value that they put into the house.

5. Not Enough Buyers – Yes, incentives like the tax credit are beginning to enter the market. Yes, we are starting to see a reduction in new inventories. The key word is “starting.” Yet in many markets, investors are finding a lack of buyers even at bargain prices!

6. Takes Too Much Time – Many old-hat real estate investors are spending their days and nights trying to close deals. Most of their time is spent late at night on their computers, or traveling around the country hopping from one airport to the next, in hopes of getting that six- or seven-figure real estate deal done, just to be disappointed again and again.

7. Lack of Knowledge – Old-hat investing requires you to understand negotiation strategies, NLP mind tricks, what’s-working-now techniques, contracts, and how to adapt to opportunities in more than one marketplace, using more than one investing strategy.

Now, I can completely understand these fears of old-hat investors. In fact, the probability is extremely high that investors operating in that fashion will be in the poor house by Christmas, unless they harness the power of real estate investing syndication.

How can real estate syndication solve your problems?

As National Business Credit Expert Thomas Kish says, “Real estate investing syndication drastically reduces the risk and barriers to entry for creating a business of your dreams that is typically unknown to 99% of us.”

What Real Estate Syndication Is and How It Will Help You

The idea of real estate syndication is pretty simple. I define it as matchmaking. It’s the ultimate joint venture investment business.

You partner with investors who have money to invest in the market, but do not have the expertise required for setting up and closing real estate deals. The money lenders want to limit their exposure with a stronger assurance of profits, and lend money to syndicators or private investors who secure their interest against prime investment real estate.

This enables the syndicator to do a number of deals by leveraging multiple investment partners, rather than using their own credit or cash to try and do a single deal.

Now you, as the syndicator, put the deal together and receive a significant share of the profits (between 20% and 50%) without having to invest your own money. Using your knowledge and business skills, you drive the entire real estate investing syndication business model forward.

By operating this way you can:

o Build a formidable reputation
o Do more deals by leveraging this concept
o Create a fortune for yourself without using your own money
o Become a major player in the market without risking any of your own capital

In other words, when you transform your investing business into a syndicator, you create a win/win/win for everyone involved.

How Real Estate Investing Syndication Has Helped Others Grow a Six-Figure Investing Business with Little Time and Effort

o Using these techniques, with only 10 hours of time invested into a deal, my client Jay Redding syndicated his first commercial real estate property in Indiana earned $250,000 of cash and equity profits.

o Following this methodology within 5 weeks, Certified Financial Planner, my client Michelle Agar syndicated her first group of 5 investment properties in Edmonton, Alberta, earning her $269,000 in profits.

o Re-inventing himself as a real estate syndicator, with just 10 hours of effort, my client Robert Beagle closed his first real estate deal and made over $61,000 in profits on a property he had never seen!

Once you grasp the concepts, you will be on your way to becoming financially independent as a syndicator and you will have an enjoyable, recession-proof business that begins to work for you for the rest of your life.

Colorado Springs Real Estate

Find your dream house property in the Colorado Springs real estate area of the Black Forest. This part of the Colorado Springs real estate area is located in northern El Paso County. The Black Forest is a rural area that is situated on approximately 200,000 acres of land. The area is heavily wooded with mostly Ponderosa Pine trees. Black Forest is a mix of older homes and newer homes. The northwestern Black Forest real estate area includes: High Forest Ranch established 2001-2004, Walden established 1965-2002, Hawk Ridge established 1994-2000, Wissler Ranch established 1996-1999, and Elk Creek Ranch established 1980-1993.

Home Prices & Descriptions

Many of the homes for sale in the Black Forest real estate area are 5 acre house properties. There are mostly ranch style homes and 2 story homes. Some of the homes are custom homes and reflect “country style” living and some of the homes resemble houses that blend into “city living”. Many of these Colorado Springs real estate subdivisions include features such as: multiple decks and fireplaces, slate floors, barns and garages, granite counters, and theater rooms.

The minimum sales price for homes in 2008 in the Black Forest is $375,000. The minimum size Black Forest home for sale is 3,408 finished square feet. The minimum home for sale is 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a 3 car garage. The average sales price in 2008 is $650,000 and is 4,527 finished square feet. The average size home for sale is 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and a 4 car garage. The maximum sales price in this Colorado Springs real estate area is $925,000 and is 5,646 finished square feet. The maximum size home for sale is 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, and a 5 car garage.

One of the newer communities in the Black Forest real estate area is the prestigious High Forest Ranch. The Ranch has rustic custom homes for sale. There are close to 20 different custom builders to choose from. Some of the homes in this Colorado Springs real estate area are situated on 2.5-5 acres of land. Residents in the High Forest Ranch area have community lodge at their disposal for those special occasions. The custom homes for sale in this Colorado Springs real estate area range from $499,900-$3.5 million. Amenities for some of the homes include: multiple fireplaces, slab granite counter tops, vaulted ceilings, great rooms, family room, master retreats, theater rooms, billiard rooms, wine rooms, travertine flooring, outdoor covered decks, and wet bars. Many of the Colorado Springs homes for sale in this area have extensive timber and stone features.

The Walden real estate area has beautiful custom ranch style homes with lots between approximately 1/2 acre and 1 acre in size. Many of the homes have stucco exteriors and resemble more of a “city look.” Some of these Colorado Springs real estate neighborhoods include: custom cabinets, molding and trim, granite slab kitchen counter tops, hardwood floors, multiple fireplaces, 5 piece master baths, vaulted great room, stucco exteriors, perennial gardens, offices, recreation rooms, game area, formal dining rooms, wood decks with hot tub, walk-out rancher, and gourmet kitchens. Homes for sale in this Colorado Springs real estate area range from the high $200,000s to just under $600,000.

In the privacy of the pines is the prominent Hawk Ridge real estate area. Hawk Ridge has homes for sale on approximately 2.5 acres or less. Many of the homes are custom homes with features like: hardwood floors, walls of windows, multiple fireplaces, French doors, granite kitchen islands, custom cabinets, hand crafted banisters, ponds, walk-out dining area, and large decks. The homes for sale in the Hawk Ridge community range from the approximately the mid $500,000s to 1.3 million dollars. This part of the Colorado Springs real estate area borders the Black Forest area.

The Wissler Ranch homes for sale range from the mid $400,000s to $900,000. Some of the homes have luxurious living and family rooms, huge open kitchens, spacious master suites, home theaters, wine cellars, exercise rooms, recreation rooms, and 5 piece master baths. Many of the homes are on approximate 3 acre lots. Some of the homes are gorgeous cottage style houses with old world charm. The homes for sale in this Colorado Springs real estate area range from the mid $450,000s to the mid $800,000s. The Wissler Ranch community also borders the Black Forest area.

There are some homes for sale in the Elk Creek community in the low $200,000s. The homes are located in meadows and in the woods. Most of the homes are on five acre lots and are zoned for horses. Some of the homes have beautiful mountain views and some are located in the meadows and have natural streams running through the properties. Many of the homes include barns, storage sheds, fences for horses, RV parking. There are custom homes in this community. Find your perfect dream horse property in this Colorado Springs real estate area. Amenities include: vaulted/beamed ceilings, large kitchens, fireplaces, skylights, multiple decks, oversized garages, and covered stalls.

Schools.

The schools of attendance are: Lewis Palmer Elementary School, Ray E. Kilmer Elementary School, Lewis Palmer Middle School, Creekside Middle School, and Lewis Palmer High School. The schools are part of the Lewis Palmer School District 38 boundary area.

Neighboring Communities.

The Southwestern portion of the Black Forest is located to the south and contains the Black Forest Regional Park. The Black Forest extends to the east. The Kings Deer, Canterbury, Fox Run, and Cherry Creek Crossing subdivisions are situated to the west.

Commuting.

The northwestern Colorado Springs real estate area of Black Forest is located near Highway 83 and County Line Road. It is convenient for commuting to Colorado Springs and Denver. This part of the Air Force Academy real estate area is located approximately 30 minutes or 22 miles from the USAFA main gate and is a possible Colorado Springs military relocation choice.

Recreation.

The High Forest Ranch community has miles of hiking trails and open space. It is close to the Tri-lakes real estate area. Three lakes and multiple golf courses are located in the Tri-lakes area. Shopping is close by in Monument, Castle Rock, Denver and Colorado Springs real estate locations.

Real Estate Leads

What They Are, How to Acquire Them & Everything Else a Realtor Needs to Know

No 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 Basics

One 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 Leads

Next, 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 Leads

All 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.