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Not every tenant can move in on precisely the first day of the month.
Likewise, it's rare that most tenants can move out exactly on the last day of the month.
Real life is messy, and sometimes landlords have to be flexible and accommodate tenants who can only move in or out somewhere in the middle of the month (and it sure beats turning away good tenants, just because they can’t move in at a clear-cut moment in time).
While you could deal with this by collecting every month on the day the tenant moves in, but making rent due on the 12th of the month usually comes with more inconveniences than simply prorating a partial month's rent, one time.
What Is Prorated Rent?
When tenants move into a rental property mid-month, common practice is for landlords to charge only for the portion of the month that the tenant is actually occupying the property.
Landlords do this by calculating the per diem (“per day”) rent amount, and charging accordingly. The math is easy, although there are two different options for calculating prorated rents – which we'll get to in a minute.
Why Do Landlords Prorate Rent?
The short answer: To be fair.
After all, if a tenant moves in halfway through the month, it’s only fair that they only pay for the time they’re actually occupying the property, and not for the portion of the month when you were advertising it as vacant.
Of course, it’s not always that simple.
Is There Room for Negotiating Prorated Rents?
Everything in life is negotiable.
If the unit is vacant and available today, but the tenant can’t move in until halfway through next month, what do they do? They negotiate a deal that both parties can live with.
Perhaps the tenants want to move in a few days before their lease begins, when you were planning on doing preventative maintenance on your rental property. You could charge them a prorated rent amount to move in early, or you could negotiate a deal for them to pay something extra but not the full prorated rent amount, just so the tenant can be compensated for the inconvenience of having a maintenance crew in their unit after they've moved in.
Similarly, if the tenant asks for a few extra days at the end of the lease term, the landlord could charge prorated rent, or negotiate some other deal, such as the tenant doing minor maintenance work in exchange for a few free days’ rent.
The Prorated Rent Formula
There are two ways to calculate prorated rent, depending on the situation: by month and by year.
Most landlords will calculate prorated rent by month, because they typically charge rent by the month.
Prorated Rent by Month
To calculate prorated rent by the month, follow these simple steps:
For example, let's say Tammy Tenant asks if she can move in early, on the 20th of June. You agree, on the condition that she pays prorated rent for June. The rent is $1,200 per month, and there are 30 days in June, so you take the monthly rent amount of $1,200 and divide it by 30 days to reach the per diem rent of $40.
You then multiple the $40 per diem rent by the 11 days that Tammy will occupy the property (including the 20th), for a prorated rent charge of $440 for June.
This method is the easiest for most tenants to understand, and less confusion means less conflict.
And of course – you can always use our calculator (at the top of this page) to run these numbers for you.
Prorated Rent by Year
Not every landlord calculates prorated rent by the month. After all, per diem rent in February is different from per diem rent in March. And not all tenants pay by the month; some pay by the week, by quarter or by year (and some may even prepay a block of time in advance).
Here’s how the math works when landlords calculate prorated rent by the year instead of the month:
In this example, suppose Tammy Tenant signs a six-month lease agreement, with the entire six months’ rent due up front. Again, she wants to move in on June 20th.
In this case, you would multiply $1,200 by 12 months to reach $14,400 annual rent.
You then divide $14,400 by 365 for a per diem rent of $39.45.
When you multiply this per diem amount by the tenant's 11 days of occupancy in June, they will owe an extra $433.97.
The Quirks of Calculating Prorated Rent
Calculating prorated rent is not an exact science, because there are different methods that can be used, depending on the month, the tenant, the landlord and the situation. Since there are several variables at work, there are a few quirks that can come into play when prorating rent.
How Important Are the Number of Days in the Month?
As mentioned above, months vary from 28-31 days in length. That means the per diem cost in February will be higher than the per diem cost in March.
Some landlords simplify this by treating every month as a 30-day month (dividing the monthly rent amount by 30, regardless of how many days are actually in that month).
Sometimes tenants pay using other intervals other than months, such as quarterly or even yearly. In those cases, it makes more sense to use the yearly prorated rent calculation to come up with the per diem rent.
Are Landlords Required by Law to Prorate Rent?
According to TenantsUnion.com
Of course, there may in nuances in the law that vary by state, but in most jurisdictions, prorating rent isn't necessarily a hard and fast rule, but more of a negotiation point between the tenant and landlord.
When Should A Landlord Collect Prorated Rent?
At what point in time should a landlord collect this prorated rent?
When you tally up the tenant's security deposit (typically a full month's rent), plus the first full month's rent (typically due at signing), plus the prorated rent amount – depending on what day the tenant moves in, this could add up to A LOT of money due at once… so what's the best time to collect these various payments?
It depends on what the landlord and tenant negotiate.
If a tenant moves in three days before the end of the month and are only paying three days’ prorated rent, it typically makes the most sense to collect both the prorated and first full month’s rent at lease signing.
However, if the tenant is moving in on the third day of the month and paying nearly a full month’s rent prorated, they may request to pay them separately.
In that latter case, the landlord should still collect the security deposit and the first full month’s rent upon signing the lease agreement. The tenant then owes the prorated amount on the first of the month after they move in.
Thus, in the example above, Tammy Tenant would put down $2,400 – which would cover one month’s full rent (July’s rent) and one month’s rent as a security deposit. She would move in on June 20, and then on July 1 she would pay the $440 to cover her prorated rent for June. She would then start sending regular monthly rent payments of $1,200 starting on August 1.
If the landlord bills their tenant for utilities, this can add another layer of complexity to prorated rent payments.
It gets even trickier when the utility billing cycle is not based on a calendar month.
For example, if the billing period runs from the 25th of last month through the 24th of this month, the landlord would need to calculate the per diem cost of each utility bill and factor it into their tenant's prorated rent payment accordingly (Note: be sure to keep a copy of the bill, in case the tenant requests a copy!).
If a landlord includes utilities with the rent, then it’s automatically included with the prorated rent. Alternatively, if the tenant puts the utilities in their name, it’s also a non-issue; either way the landlord won't need to worry about prorating utility costs.
Prorating rent isn’t an overly complicated issue and all landlords should be comfortable with how these calculations work.
When a tenant asks to move in early or move out late, the most common way to approach it is by prorating their rent. But before you agree to letting a tenant move out late, make sure it won’t conflict with your ability to advertise and re-rent the unit quickly – it may be harder to find new renters who are able to move in on the fifth, rather than the first of the month.
What have your experiences been prorating rents? Do you use the annual or monthly method, and why?
The post Prorated Rent Calculator: Everything You Need To Know About How Prorated Rent Works appeared first on REtipster.
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Unique. Original. Remarkable. It’s difficult to develop real estate marketing ideas day in and day out that meet each of these criteria — especially when you spend much of your time on the road meeting with clients and leads.
Sometimes, however, the best remedy for marketing fatigue is thinking outside the box and identifying ways your primary marketing channels – website, SEO, email marketing, paid advertising and social media content – can differentiate your agency or brokerage from the competition. .
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 17 creative real estate marketing ideas to help promote your agency and generate more leads. Whether you’re just starting or are an experienced realtor looking to attract new clients, this guide will give you the tips and materials needed to build a successful marketing plan.
Since this is such a comprehensive guide, we have broken the marketing ideas into categories. Click the links to jump to a specific section of interest.
Build a Rock Solid Marketing Foundation
The success of your real estate business depends on how well your online marketing funnel attracts new home buyers. 44% of all home buyers and 99% of Millennials go to the Internet first when finding properties for sale. As a realtor, you need a professional website if you expect to increase revenue over time.
Home buyers expect quality as they search for homes and the realtor that best fits their needs. Your website should showcase your property listings, brand and expertise. Tools that help you stand out include:
Your brand provides site visitors immediate understanding about who you are, your expertise and how you’re positioned to help them. A responsive realtor website means your pages show perfectly no matter what type of device (desktop, laptop, tablet or cell phone) your prospects use when accessing your content.
IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange. As a member of a multiple listing service (MLS), you gain the ability to pull your listings into your IDX integrated website. High-quality images are key to standing out and providing prospects a clear picture of what life looks like once they purchase a home from you.
Let’s take a look at how to combine your website with innovative real estate marketing methods in order to capture new leads and generate home sales.
17 Outside-The-Box Real Estate Marketing Ideas
1. Publish a local market quiz on your real estate website.
If you’ve ever checked out BuzzFeed before, then you know people like to take quizzes on just about any subject. Test your audience with a short, multiple-choice quiz on something of interest. See if they know things like which famous people grew up in the area and tidbits about your town’s history. The questions or topics can even be created around broader subjects unrelated to your market, like music, movies, or some other facet of pop culture.
If you want to be the ultimate resource for your leads, however, a thought-provoking quiz on the ins and outs of buying or selling a home, like the one below from Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco-based Vanguard Properties, could be your ticket to gaining their confidence.
Think of these quick exams as one of those real estate marketing tools to use once in a while — perhaps as part of your email marketing campaign. You could even create a contest around the quiz: Require those who take it to fill out a lead capture form at the end and give the winner a gift card to a local restaurant or cafe.
2. Offer Home Valuations to Capture Seller Leads
Potential sellers want to know how much their home is worth. Integrate a home valuation tool into your website and capture seller leads.
Here is an example of what this might look like on your site:
Once your visitor enters their address, they’re prompted to provide their email address and other information in order to view their home valuation report. After they provide this information, you have a new seller lead to contact.
Even if they refuse to sign up through email, you can follow-up through regular mail because your home valuation software has already captured the physical address.
3. Film an explainer video that goes into detail about your agency.
Differentiate your business from other agents in your market with real estate explainer videos. Don a black turtleneck and explain your services as if you were Steve Jobs (rest in peace). Pretend to be a political candidate and pitch people on why you’re the right person for the job. Heck, even take a page out of the “Arrested Development” playbook and mock those awful 1-800 lawyer commercials.
These videos are traditionally meant to be serious, as they relay your value proposition and what makes your agency successful and worth hiring. But as noted, personality plays a big role in the decision-making of buyers and sellers, so have some fun while still getting across the info that’s essential for consumers to know about your brand.
4. Provide a complimentary moving truck
This is a unique way to stand out in your local market. Invest in a moving truck with your branding on the side. Offer it to your clients after they purchase or sell their home. Your business benefits from additional branding and advertising every time your clients put the truck to use.
Get creative when clients don’t need your moving truck. Take it to home shows. Park it in parts of town that benefit you with high volumes of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
5. Answer buyer/seller questions on your blog
An effective way to get ideas for blog content is to identify questions your target market is asking. Two tools help you find these lists of questions:
Answer The Public is a free tool that generates a list of questions based on your keyword search. For example, if you type in “los angeles homes”, the questions received from this search may include:
People Also Ask is a free feature inside a Google search:
A third tool for finding interesting searches to target is a chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere. It gives you related searches (along with estimated search volume) to any Google search:
6. Add some flavor to your real estate video marketing.
Sending an email to your contacts to wish them a happy holiday likely won’t nurture your leads through the sales funnel like blog posts and promotional email messages do. Having said that, getting in the spirit for widely celebrated goings-on locally or nationally can humanize your brand.
Look at what the team at Modern Life Realty and ERA Justin Realty teams accomplished in the following recordings: The former takes a typical video marketing technique and turns it on its head by speaking to the camera with … well … whatever it is the featured gentleman is donning. Meanwhile, the latter hops on the “Call Me Maybe” bandwagon (which has long since been abandoned, but that’s another story) and capitalizes on its 15 minutes of fame.
Both took a chance, which is what you have to do from time to time with your real estate marketing strategy, as these tactics can often pay big dividends.
On top of these outlandish videos, consider conducting “man-on-the-street” interviews as well. The subjects of these videos don’t have to pertain to your business or even real estate in general. You could ask them philosophical questions, like what the meaning of life is, or ask them for their thoughts on a local college or professional sports team.
7. Develop a blog post or video series highlighting great area restaurants and entertainment.
Though property price, size, style, and features are the top considerations for the modern home buyer, living in a community with plentiful food and entertainment options is an increasingly important factor as well.
Yelp, TripAdvisor, and a wealth of other websites offer up reviews and details about movie theaters, restaurants, and similar businesses. But these portals have an issue: They can take forever to sort through just to find a well-written review or locate the right information. That’s where you, the all-knowing real estate agent, comes into play.
Develop a series of blog posts and/or videos that gives home buyers interested in your market the lowdown on the premier eateries and establishments in your area.
Finding these locales shouldn’t be a problem — simply think of your own favorite places to see a play or grab a bite with friends. Then, write down why you love those places and share your opinions with the world, like Realtor Michelle Calkins does in her blog post series and Realtor David Gonzalez does in the YouTube clip below.
8. Order unique business cards that stand out.
Business cards will never go out of style. You’ll always have in-person meetings and meet-ups with buyers, sellers, and other industry professionals, meaning it’s vital to have your information on hand to share with them. But a boring card that lists your business name and contact details in the smallest, plainest font won’t be memorable.
Take a risk and order some original business cards few have likely seen before. For instance, take a look at these fine examples featured on ViralNova that take the concept to the next level.
Research the best business card creation services out there and try to find one that offers to develop distinct versions like the one above that will get people to remember you long after your conversation with them ends. It might seem like a small item to focus so much of your attention on, but marketing for real estate agents continues to evolve — and become more competitive — by the day, so seemingly minor touches like this can keep you top-of-mind.
9. Incorporate your pet into some of your real estate listing photos.
Though not every home buyer will care for seeing a cute French bulldog or Grumpy Cat look-alike throughout a property they tour on your real estate website, chances are the occasional photo featuring pets won’t turn off consumers — and may even appeal to the buyers you’re looking for.
Use your pup or cat, or borrow one from a family member or friend, to feature in your listing shots. (Side note: If you somehow convince your canine pal to get in the relaxed pose as the one above, as featured in this Curbed article, you should take up a side business as a dog whisperer).
10. Use Instagram Stories
The key to building your brand on Instagram (and all social media platforms) is to become great at getting your followers to engage with you. Instagram Stories provide you a method for generating engagement and gaining brand recognition in the process.
One way to use Instagram Stories is to run a giveaway or contest. Direct followers to take screenshots as they listen in to your IG Live segment and direct message you those images. Choose a winner and give them something fun or helpful (a free book about qualifying for a loan, for example).
Cross pollinate your social media channels with the above method. Use it with your Facebook Lives or tweets and get your FB and Twitter followers to discover you on Instagram.
11. Devise a fun game to accompany awards shows or televised events
Ever see publications, bloggers, and brands share “drinking games” for events like the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl? Join in and create your own version of a game (of the drinking variety or something different is up to you). You could even create an interactive or printable bingo chart, of sorts, (see The Wall Street Journal’s interactive take below) for people to use during these events and see if your amusing insights and predictions come true. Brand this marketing collateral with your logo to get those who partake in your game to remember where they got it.
12. Post ideas and tips for homeowners, buyers, and sellers in Reddit.
Before you get all flustered wondering how Reddit can help your real estate marketing (or what Reddit even is), just know that the site isn’t simply the “front page of the internet,” as it promotes itself to be. There are endless amounts of “subreddit” forum boards on the site devoted to the most specific topics in the world — including homeownership, home buying, and home selling. Find ones in which people looking to buy or sell properties need sage wisdom and where homeowners are looking for advice regarding their mortgages or tax tips.
13. Create in-depth graphs, guides, charts, or maps.
The best real estate marketing plan includes plenty of graphics — but not just any will do. Taking time to hone your Photoshop skills (or building enough capital to hire a professional graphic designer) will allow you to add striking images, charts, graphs, and other visual elements to your blog and social media posts. When that time comes, ensure your graphics explain something of value to your audience, like the best parts of your local market.
The infographic below is a perfect example of this: Startup Seattle, an organization run by the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to help foster a great environment for local startups, created this beginner’s guide that explains the current startup landscape in the Emerald City.
You can also be a bit humorous and develop less comprehensive graphics, like the one from Kind of Normal, via its Truth Facts comic. Home buyer and seller jokes may seem corny, but a laugh could lead to more clicks on your website and more leads in your contacts database.
14. Capitalize on the popularity of the latest internet memes.
You may think memes are simply another internet distraction — one that keeps you from completing important tasks, like segmenting real estate leads in your customer relationship management (CRM) database or scheduling meetings with prospective clients. On the contrary, though: Memes offer a (dare we say) fun real estate marketing tactic that is just now taking off with agents and can get some laughs from your audience.
The second you notice that a (politically correct and totally appropriate-for-work) meme is making the rounds online, try to come up with a way to use it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest (like Realtor Paul Fernandez’s board above), or even on your blog. A post titled “10 Feelings All Home Buyers Have During the Process” filled with memes could be your key to connecting with your targeted demographic.
15. Fabricate mock logos for your agency that replicate famous ones.
If you’re a big fan of a particular TV show, incorporate the famous typeface and/or imagery associated with one (or more) of the series with your own real estate logo. Make it timely by sharing an email with your list featuring your new, short-term branding and a message about when the new season premieres. There are several directions you could take this faux-go (get it?), so find a well-known pop culture design or symbol you can play around with for your own real estate marketing. Just be sure not to use it in too many promotional materials (the last thing you want is to get a cease-and-desist from billion-dollar entities).
16. Send Handwritten Notes
You have the opportunity to offer your prospects and clients a unique experience when they open a mailed envelope and discover a handwritten note inside.
Combine this strategy with the home valuation tool mentioned above. Send handwritten notes to any home valuation leads that failed to enter their email address.
17. Create a referral system
While you build your online presence and leadflow, don’t forget about getting referrals from happy clients. One of the easiest ways to get referrals is to simply ask. Focus on providing your prospects a smooth transition throughout the entire home buying process and then ask them who they know.
Staying focused on providing ongoing tips and helpful content to email subscribers will foster more referrals. Send periodic content to your clients that provides home owner tips. This high touch follow-up keeps you “top of mind” when past customers hear that friends and family are looking to buy a home.
90 Actionable Real Estate Marketing Tips (By Category)
We just covered some outside-the-box real estate marketing ideas, and in this section we’re going to look at 90 additional real estate marketing tips you can use to drive more traffic and leads into your agency or brokerage.
The marketing tips have been broken down into the categories shown below. Use the jump links to quickly navigate to a section of interest.
Real Estate Branding Ideas
Develop a strong real estate agent bio and add it to your About Page.
When leads find your brand online, they should be able to get a strong sense of your professional qualifications and personality. Craft a real estate bio that leads will love, detailing your experiences, values, and interests, and put it prominently on the ‘About Me’ page of your website.
Get a professional headshot.
Source: Brendan Bartic
You are your brand, so your personal photograph should exude a friendly demeanor and elevate your brand with a professional look.
Hire a professional photographer who can provide tips on positioning, and who can make sure the final product is crisp and presentable in a variety of formats. If you’re low on funds early in your career, you can also opt to take one on your own that looks professional.
Develop a value proposition.
If you want to be a successful agent, you should not only have unique characteristics that set you apart from the competition, but you should be able to define what those unique features mean to your clients, leads, and community.
A short value proposition should exhibit your value and strengths as an agent. This statement will be reused in your marketing materials again and again.
Prepare a 30-second pitch to use when talking to new leads.
If you created a value proposition (above), you can think of a pitch as something very similar. But how things are read on paper doesn’t necessarily translate well to personal interactions.
In your initial conversations with leads, you should be able to make a brief but powerful statement that conveys you’re a knowledgeable agent who knows the market better than anyone. Once you’ve created your pitch, practice it out loud.
Get some swag printed with your branding.
Brand exposure in your area can help grow your business. Get items like calendars, pens, keychains, and notepads, and have your name, logo, and contact information printed on them to pass out to clients or at local events.
Send a request to clients to review your services online.
A company’s online star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business.
Online reviews have a prominent presence in search engines, have a large impact on your business’s reputation, and are a major source of lead referrals. Take control of your brand by requesting online reviews from good past clients, and make it easy for them to post in multiple places.
Ask your best former clients for testimonials.
Happy past clients are your best brand ambassadors. Their opinions and feedback on your site will give your brand social clout. Approach some of your best former clients and ask if they would offer feedback for a testimonial. Written is good, but testimonials with photos or video are even better.
Have a unique signature item or look.
Many agents have a distinctive look, whether it’s a color they wear often, a style of dress, a hat, or hairstyle (our VP of Marketing, Seth Price is known for his pink-hued pants). Develop a positive, distinctive factor for your personal brand that is recognizable and memorable.
Real Estate Website/Blog Ideas
Create a responsive website with multiple search features.
Online users are diverse: They access websites in a variety of ways (mobile is only increasing by the day), and they want to search for properties in different ways.
Make sure your website is responsive so it can adapt to any device, and that there are varying ways to search so they can seek out the ideal property types for them.
Set up squeeze pages or lead capture forms on your site for lead gen.
Lead capture forms are great ways to secure lead information so you can take communication into your hands. Set up squeeze pages after someone clicks on a property advertisement, or perhaps before someone gets all the information about a property on your site.
Additionally, you should also have optional lead capture forms on each website page for leads interested in getting more information. Forms should ask for name, phone number, email, and have an area where someone can pose a question.
Put your contact information on every page of your website.
With lead generation being one of your top priorities, your contact information shouldn’t be hidden or only on one page of your website. Prominently showcase your contact information on every page to make it easy for leads to reach out.
Include beautiful royalty-free local imagery.
When it comes to building a great online experience for your website visitors, nothing does the job quite as well as local photography. Getting access to royalty-free images can be difficult, but use one of the many online and local resources to get great shots of your local area.
Give leads expense information and calculators.
Most clients have financial questions. Create a document you can give to leads to help them calculate their expenses, before, during, and after a sale.
Use calls to action to increase user engagement.
Most people place calls to action at the end of a blog post, but you should use them in other areas of your site as well:
Effective calls to action include enticing copy that get a user to take action on your site.
Add testimonials to your homepage.
Once you’ve requested testimonials from your happiest and most vocal clients, showcase them on your homepage to leverage the social proof they provide.
Add social sharing buttons to your site.
Social sharing is a huge part of generating referral traffic and building brand recognition online. This process should be easy for your website visitors so anyone can click them and share your content quickly with minimal effort. Many website themes carry these as standard, or you can opt to install a plugin for your site.
Write and publish content on your blog regularly.
Successful inbound marketing starts with consistent content creation. This enhances your search engine optimization, generates traffic, and gives real value to your clients.
Consistency is crucial in blogging: You should expect to publish between 2–5 blog posts per week on your market, listings, area details, and real estate statistics. See these 101 blog post ideas for inspiration.
Develop guides for buyers and sellers.
Nearly every lead you encounter is going to have lots of questions about buying or selling, which means you’re probably answering similar questions over and over and scrambling to find resources that might help them.
Create your own downloadable or printable guides you can give to leads that include lots of information about processes and expectations.
Vary post types.
Curate content from other sources to include on your site.
Not every piece of content on your site has to be completely original. Effectively curating content from other sites, crediting the original source, and adding your own perspective makes content creation simple and quick.
Create multiple websites.
While you may already have a real estate website, many successful agents representing large geographic areas or many properties create multiple websites, with each covering specific niche areas of the market so they can target the needs of specific leads.
Use analytics to drive your marketing.
Whether it’s a piece of content that gets high traffic, a listing that gets high time-on-site statistics, or an influx in referrals from a particular blogger, monitor your website analytics and visitor behavior to determine where to focus your marketing.
Real Estate Listing Marketing Ideas
Optimize listing pages.
Optimize your listing pages with local keywords, proper address formatting, appropriately sized photos, and the necessary links.
Feature top listings on the home page
Your home page is usually one of the most visited pages on your website. Take advantage of this traffic by offering your best listings here.
Construct great real estate listing copy.
Great writing can make or break a listing’s potential. The bare minimum details won’t do the trick if you want to get the best leads and offers. Write great real estate listing copy with interesting adjectives and descriptions that entice readers.
Make your listings look their best.
Dedicate blog posts or landing pages to showcase your listings in detail.
A dedicated post or landing page for a listing can help you build a robust marketing campaign for a property (beyond just the listing page).
Add more in-depth descriptions, photos, video, and information about the area to better pitch the property. In order to attract organic traffic, optimize the post with:
Share your blog with your network as you would a regular blog post.
Advertise listings in a dedicated newsletter to your leads and clients.
Leverage email’s great ROI by using your newsletter to advertise your listings to clients. Keep your message fairly brief and to-the-point, adding in alluring subject lines and headers, a few striking photos, descriptive detail, and a link to your listing or landing page for the property.
Create video presentations for your listings.
Photos are expected as part of listings, but video can build a fuller experience for your leads and give them a more in-depth perspective on the property. Create professional property videos for priority listings to generate a host of interest.
Post listing information on every social media outlet.
Listings on your website are great, but let your followers know about new featured listings by posting them on each social media site.
Develop listing boards on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a great platform to create mood or informational boards around listings.
Include pictures of your property, scenes and highlights of the area, and general tips and advice for buyers. Be sure to include your contact details and links to the listing page or landing page for the listing.
Real Estate Social Media Ideas
Setting up social pages.
Your brand should have a strong presence on social media, as these are a major driver of successful marketing campaigns and referral traffic.
Even if you don’t currently use all of them, it’s good practice to secure usernames on every platform in case you choose to use them later, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, SlideShare, Foursquare and Instagram. If possible, use the same account name across all platforms.
Create custom social media bios for each platform.
Every social media site is unique: Their users interact differently and expect different types of personality (think a hilarious video on Facebook versus a career advice article on LinkedIn).
Additionally, each platform gives you different amounts of space to write a bio. Write social media bios that stand out on each platform but still sound consistent across all your social media channels.
Invite friends and family to like your pages or follow you.
Every page starts with zero, so allow your personal network to give your online social brands a boost.
Invite friends, family, colleagues, and past clients to like or follow your professional pages so you can build an immediate following (and so they can see and share what you post).
Add social media retargeting tags to your website
Since you know that most visitors to your site won’t convert to customers immediately, it’s important to use retargeting. This also applies to email leads who don’t convert right away.
Retargeting is a method where you place a piece of code, called a pixel, on your web pages. This then allows you to “retarget”, or “remarket” to those people across different social media platforms.
For example, a Facebook pixel on your site allows you to place an ad in front of those visitors the next time they go on Facebook. You can do the same with other channels like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
This marketing method lets you re-engage prospects no matter where they go. It builds your brand and creates awareness about your services each time a past site visitor sees your offerings.
Post regularly on each social media platform.
Social media is only as effective as how it’s used.
Successful agents using social media know it takes a consistent posting to build an audience that will engage with you. This means posting almost daily on your core social media sites.
Use our post to learn more about what types of content work best on each social site.
Include social follow buttons on your website.
You should make it more than easy for folks to find and follow your social media accounts. Whether it’s in your header, footer, or sidebar, make sure your icons are prominent on the page.
Showcase your savvy with video.
Video specials that offer your real estate knowledge, advice to buyers and sellers, or give in-depth previews of listings can deliver a major return on your marketing.
Additionally, optimizing your YouTube videos can increase the SEO of your content.
Get a social media scheduler.
Being an avid poster on social media doesn’t have to mean being glued to your computer every minute of the day. Many posts, like blog posts, announcements, property details, and general advice can be scheduled in advance using automated systems like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Edgar.
Multimedia presentations produced from content on your website can build readership from audiences who prefer visuals to plain text. Publishing slideshows on platforms like SlideShare puts your content in front of potentially thousands of users.
Join a Twitter discussion (or run your own).
Twitter is a great platform to engage with other professionals or leads. Follow major real estate–related topics by searching relevant hashtags and offer thoughts or pose questions.
You can also host your own Twitter chat, in which case you’ll need to advertise it to your leads via email and social media, letting them know how to engage with you during that time to get their questions answered.
Develop or join groups, and start discussions there to build thought leadership.
Many discussions and coalitions are built within social media groups. Join some to build your network, or create your own to build a resource where you can offer advice.
Run a contest through social media.
Contests can be an effective way to generate leads. Use social media to host a contest, and offer a prize, like a gift card to a local business or a free consultation.
Publish new, original thoughtful articles on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn now allows anyone to create thoughtful articles in their publisher platform. Using this platform can get your thoughts in front of thousands of readers.
Real Estate Advertisement Ideas
Learn how to set up advertising campaigns.
Whether it’s for search engines or social media, learn the basics of setting goals, understanding pricing, and setting up campaigns.
Develop keyword targets.
Set your targets for both the focused keywords you want to target and the types of customers who would make the most qualified leads. You’ll use this information later when setting up campaigns.
Write your advertisement copy.
While the length and scope of your copy will depend on platform, most ads contain a value proposition and call to action. Write these early and give yourself a few options to test against each other.
Choose a vendor to set up campaigns for you.
Setting up, monitoring, and tracking advertising campaigns takes time and lots of advertising savvy.
Agents who want to maximize the impact of their ads should work with a reputable company where they can have a human oversee their campaigns and provide guidance on how they are performing.
Creating an ad budget.
Buy listings on Zillow
Zillow gets over 39 million visitors per month:
Their Zillow Premier Agent program allows you to advertise and show up for local Trulia and Zillow listings. Buy your own listings and take advantage of the traffic already flowing to this massive site.
Use social media.
Social media advertising can put your message in front of targeted users. Major networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn offer options to put your message in front of their large audiences.
Develop captivating graphics for ads.
The strongest ads have visual elements to draw users in. Create custom photos or video to pair with your ads and maximize their potential.
Advertise in high-audience newsletters.
There are popular consumer-facing real estate brands that send out regular newsletters. Advertising there can put your ad in front of thousands of readers, but it’s best to go with hyper-local newsletters.
Create a dedicated landing page connected to your ad.
If you want to increase lead generation from your ad, a click should lead to a landing page where you provide more value to your lead (based on the content of the original ad), as well as a lead capture form.
Create custom media around featured properties.
For featured listings, create custom images, graphics, and video to advertise the best aspects of a specific property.
Targeted video advertising of single properties.
Target specific users with YouTube advertising by showcasing captivating video of single properties.
Layer on retargeting across key channels
Identify the social media channels most important to your business and re-engage your warm audience. For example, target non-converting website visitors the next time they visit Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.
Real Estate SEO
Set up a Google My Business page
Google My Business allows you to manage and control how your real estate business appears in Google Search and Maps listings.
Filling out your NAP (name, address and phone number) profile completely helps you show up properly in Google’s 3-pack map listing:
The reason you want your agency to show up in the 3-pack is because searchers pay attention to the visual aspect of the:
Getting your site listed in this top 3 listing area improves your opportunities to attract quality local leads.
Submit site to major aggregators
Much of the information spread throughout the local search ecosystem is handled by the major data aggregators. Localeze, Factual, Acxiom and Infogroup are the four major aggregators that publish local business information to social media, search engines, directories and review websites.
Submitting your information to these aggregators increases your chances that Google and other search engines take your business seriously. You will gain a competitive advantage when you’ve listed your agency correctly, while other local real estate agents and brokers have failed to do so.
Ensure consistent NAP across all online properties
Employ a consistent approach when filling out company information at the major aggregators or directories. A large part to increasing your local search rankings is to ensure that every listing is consistent with the next.
For example, each listing should have your business name, address, phone number and website listed exactly the same. This prevents duplicate listings and avoids confusion as search engine algorithms decide how to rank your business.
More specifically, any online property that lists your NAP is called a citation. Google and Bing consider NAP inconsistencies across citations as a negative search signal. If your business has 3 similar listings inside one directory, for example, search engines don’t know which one is accurate.
This creates doubt within the algorithm regarding how trustworthy the business is. The result is a lower search ranking.
When you consider that Google’s search market share is close to 90%, you want to make sure you do everything possible to increase your presence there:
Set up schema
Schema allows you to mark up elements on your site in a way that helps Google understand what the data means. Through schema markups, you gain the ability to tell Google how to attractively present your information.
For example, take a look at how you can list your upcoming open house directly in the search results and ask yourself about the quality of leadflow that results from this marketing method:
Learn more about schema in our Ultimate Real Estate SEO Guide.
Conduct keyword research
Your real estate marketing campaign should include a comprehensive plan for taking advantage of keyword searches used by future site visitors. There are 3 basic types of real estate keywords to research and use:
These areas are further segmented in terms of:
Of course, you want to attract qualified prospects looking to buy now. Don’t underestimate the power of attracting site leads who are in the information gathering stage, however. Warm these prospects up, get them to trust you and then benefit when they decide now is the time to start looking to buy their next piece of real estate.
Several tools exist to help you research your next set of real estate keywords:
Ahrefs (paid tool)
Ubersuggest (free tool)
Answer the Public (free tool)
Build local landing pages
A real estate landing page is a single page on your site that allows you to speak to a specific segment of your target market.
For example, if you’re targeting a keyword such as “guide to buying Phoenix real estate”, you’ll get far more leads pointing your visitors to a landing page offering a free guide for buying real estate in Phoenix than pointing them to a generic home page.
Collect reviews on major third party review sites
There is a direct correlation between the number of reviews your agency collects and your local search rankings. In fact, ranking signals account for 15.44% of Google’s local search rankings:
Your interaction with reviews is vital. Google states specifically on their Google My Business help page that they not only pay attention to positive reviews when it comes to ranking sites, but that your interaction with reviewers is a factor.
Build local backlinks
Increasing the number of other sites linking to your real estate website will increase your search rankings:
The reason for this is that more incoming links to your website improves your domain authority and thus, overall keyword rankings across your entire site.
Real Estate Email Marketing Ideas
Create an email signature with essential details.
Your email signature should include your full name, phone number, email address, and website address that links directly to your site. Not only is this an easy way to provide your information, it also ensures that if your email is forwarded, the recipient will see all of your brand details as well.
Set up email sign-up forms on your site to grow your recipient list.
You can only get a good return on your investment in email if you have a substantial recipient list. Use on-site sign-up forms with effective calls to action to get readers to sign up.
Set up autoresponders for thank-yous when not immediately available.
Whether it’s late at night or you’re away at a conference, set up autoresponder messages to let clients and leads know you’re not immediately available but that you’ll get back to them as soon as possible.
The same goes for messages to those who download a resource from your site or RSVP to an event.
Construct responsive email templates that look good on every device.
Email templates come in all shapes and sizes, but you should be using a newsletter template with responsive design and clean layout.
Segment your email list.
If you want to give very personal experiences to your leads, segment your email list based on client personas and needs. Then, target communications with details pertinent to each client.
Including a recipient’s name and other details from your interactions can make emails feel more personal and will deepen their trust.
Use storytelling and imagery to increase engagement.
Include effective storytelling elements and videos or images to increase click-through and conversion rates for your emails.
Add social media accounts and share buttons to your emails.
Increase cross-platform engagement by encouraging users to share your email content directly on their social media accounts with share buttons placed in your email. Use a modern template to get these features.
Adapt your email calls to action based on needs.
Use your list segmentation and lead tracking to figure out the best call to action to offer each lead as a next step, whether that’s getting new leads to sign up for your newsletter or getting a client close to sale to download a closing checklist.
Develop an email course for leads.
Your leads are likely facing similar roadblocks or questions. Increase email engagement by offering an exclusive email course to go over various real estate issues, offering a new tip each day or week.
Offline Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Establish partnerships with local area businesses.
Develop relationships with local businesses and request to put your real estate cards or listing information at their desk or bulletin board.
Sponsor local events.
Local events, churches, schools, and sports events are constantly seeking sponsors. Look into fees in exchange for brand advertising on booklets, t-shirts, banners, flyers, etc.
Host free seminars on topics concerning buyers or sellers in your area.
Don’t just offer value to locals when you have a listing on the market. Find areas to host informal sessions to offer your knowledge and advice to locals. Use a sign-in sheet to collect information so you can follow up with attendees after.
Advertise your business and listings in local media.
Advertise your brand in local media like newspapers, magazines, radio, television, etc. to get your messaging in front of local leads.
Take local sponsorships to the next level.
Be creative with local sponsorship opportunities: Sponsor the coffee mugs at your local coffee shop, the golf tee boxes at a golf club, or a stand at your local farmers market.
Run an open house.
Develop open houses where you can interact closely with local leads and provide intimate walk-throughs.
Make sure the house is staged well, and provide lots of snacks, packets about the property, and free swag with your company logo. Collect information via an open house sign-in sheet and follow up with leads the day after your event.
Use custom banners, balloons, and signs to advertise your open house.
Build brand recognition every time you host an open house by providing signage and other extras. Go the extra mile by putting your brand name or logo on them.
Create a physical high-quality mailer.
Mailers can help get listings and your brand in the hands of everyone in your community. Use high-gloss paper and sophisticated design to generate premier real estate mailers for your area.
Write a consistent column for your local media.
A regular column in your local newspaper, magazine, or online blog will help you present your knowledge to a local audience and build recognition in your community. If you’re a better talker, add your thoughts to a regular radio show.
Attend local events and join local meetup groups and associations.
Being a force in your local community means showing up in places where you can build real face-to-face relationships. Use local groups, festivals, or meetings to grow your contact base.
Real Estate Video Marketing Tips and Ideas
Interview happy customers
Word of mouth recommendations are a powerful way to help prospects understand your value. Take the time to interview past customers and allow their words to do the heavy lifting when it comes to pointing out the advantages of working with you specifically.
Don’t forget to expand your interviews beyond past clients. Interview home inspectors, mortgage brokers, construction company owners and other people you work with throughout the entire process of a home sale.
This is your opportunity to show your prospects the positive way everyone you work with looks upon you.
Shoot video tours of all listings
Showing is always better than telling. Using listing videos to showcase the properties you have for sale is one of the most effective ways to help prospects see exactly what each property offers them.
This is a way to get prospects motivated to elevate their relationship with you and schedule phone and in-person meetings.
Publish home/buyer educational videos
Educational videos that offer real estate buyers advice are a way to establish credibility. This is a real estate marketing idea that reveals your expertise and shows prospects how much you’re interested in educating them on the advantages and pitfalls involved with their purchase decisions.
Focus in on mortgage options, how to save for a down payment, tax advantages to owning a home, the importance of home inspections and other similar topics you know your buyers will benefit from learning about.
Record neighborhood community videos
Create videos that showcase the neighborhood and community atmosphere around the homes you sell. Your prospects want to know they’re moving into a safe area with excellent schools, parks and surrounding neighborhoods.
Showcase other homes, businesses, developments, restaurants, shopping areas and other neighborhood features that help your buyers understand what type of community they’re potentially moving into.
Promote helpful how-to videos
Use helpful “how-to” video content to teach prospects step-by-step ways to solve challenges or realize important concepts you know they should understand throughout the buying experience.
For example, a how-to video that walks a prospect through the process for selecting their realtor goes a long way in getting them to see you as the perfect choice.
Add videos to email drip series
Don’t forget to include your video content inside your email follow-up sequences. Create a welcome drip series so that new subscribers receive videos along with your written content.
Use the videos discussed above to help subscribers learn about your listings, your community and what past happy clients have to say about working with you.
Use video annotations to drive website traffic
Take advantage of YouTube’s annotations feature to encourage viewers to watch your other videos or to opt-in to your email newsletter.
Promote videos across social media channels
It’s important to combine all of your social media platforms into one synergistic real estate marketing campaign. Avoid the tendency to create videos and use YouTube as the only distribution channel.
Instead, take that content and distribute across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other social channel you decide to use inside your marketing efforts.
Real Estate Marketing Plan
It’s not all about tactics. You need to have a solid plan.
Set up a simple framework that will drive the entire marketing plan.
Set clear goals
Identify which objectives you’ll work to achieve. Create a plan and understand what types of habits you might need to grow into.
Will you measure the number of sales per month? How many new leads generated each month? Ask yourself which marketing strategy will help you accomplish each goal.
Use activity goals, too. For example, hone in on a specific number of calls to make each day. You’ll experience ups and downs when marketing your real estate business. Measuring activity helps ensure that you’ll continue working hard when results haven’t shown themselves yet.
Identify your target customer
Marketing always works best when its messaging is focused on a specific segment of your overall market. For example, your marketing will need to speak one way to investors and an entirely different way if your target customers are first time home buyers.
Establish your unique selling proposition
Figuring out your unique selling proposition (USP) identifies how to set yourself apart from other real estate agents.
Ask yourself what makes you unique. What do you bring to the table that they don’t?
How does your USP provide value to your customers and encourage them to work with you?
Choose marketing channels to reach audience
Decide which marketing channels to use. It’s impossible to find the time to use every social media platform available and optimize each channel effectively. Choose where your time will be used best.
Will you use a website? Will you blog often? Will you use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other social media option? Select the marketing channels that make the most sense based on your personality and other skill-sets.
Define a lead nurturing strategy
75% of leads are not ready to buy.
Warm up email leads by periodically sending them information that builds trust and reveals your expertise. Send out new blog posts to your newsletter list. Provide your subscribers with neighborhood updates, real estate market trends, how-to videos, information about how to qualify for a loan, walk-through videos of your latest listings, etc.
Select tools to implement the plan
Make a list of the tools needed to put your real estate marketing plan into action. Determine your email service provider, project management software, event software, website creation software and other brand building tools.
Define precise metrics to measure achievement with. Use goals that easily tell you whether you’ve hit the mark within specific timeframes.
Don’t write, “I will increase my lead flow”.
Instead, create a goal that says, “I will generate 500 new email subscribers in the month of June.” You will know for sure at the end of the month whether 500 new leads were generated or not.
Ready. Set. Market.
As you can see, there are many ways to market your real estate business.
Take your time to identify which strategies make the most sense for you and then create your foundation. Start with the steps that build off of assets you already have in place. For example, if you have a large Facebook following already, look for tips above that help you maximize that audience.
Then, move into other areas that logically build your web presence larger. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. The key is to plan out the long-term strategy and then start implementing that plan step-by-step each week.
Finally, make sure all of your real estate strategies revolve around your website. Your website is your “home” on the Internet. It’s the place where most lead flow and business will come from.
Build your brand. Grow your traffic. Enjoy a steady increase in revenue from your real estate business.
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When it comes to the subject of finding motivated sellers, we can ALL benefit from finding new ways to do business.
If you're familiar with this blog – you probably know we prefer things like direct mail and internet marketing to find motivated sellers and while these methods can do a phenomenal job of reaching the masses – they offer significantly less control in terms of pursuing specific properties that you might have your eye on.
Given this, I wanted to show you an alternative strategy for finding motivated sellers that requires a lot less money, in case you happen to be on a shoestring budget.
Driving for Dollars: A Brief Overview
When a real estate investor is “driving for dollars”, this is the act of driving through a targeted neighborhood and taking note of specific properties that appear to be distressed and/or abandoned.
Once these leads have been discovered, your goal is to reach out to these property owners in an effort to find new investment opportunities.
This strategy can be useful whether you are looking to flip, buy and hold, wholesale or even “bird dog” for other real estate buyers. It works particularly well if your marketing budget is limited… because it doesn't require you to spend hundreds or thousands on direct mail or other forms of paid advertising.
The more properties you're able to find and target, the higher your chances will be of finding a great deal.
A Goldmine Waiting To Be Tapped
As real estate investors, we are looking for both equity and motivation in every potential deal, because both of these things are necessary components to structure a traditional deal in real estate.
One of the problems with direct mail (aside from the cost) is the fact that many real estate investors in some markets can find themselves trying to contact to the same lists of property owners. This can lead to over-saturation in the market, a lower response rate, increased competition and ultimately, it results in fewer deals and lower profits for YOU.
As a general rule of thumb, the more work you have to do to obtain a lead, the less competition there will be for you in the end (and in turn, this can result in some potentially larger profit margins). This is one of the key reasons why driving for dollars is a great way to generate quality leads with little competition.
One of the strongest benefits of driving for dollars is that it can give you the ability to find “red flags” that may potentially indicate a motivation seller. For example, vacant and distressed property is a clear and visible “red flag”, which means there may be a higher likelihood of motivation to sell at a discount – but it is critical that you continue to send them mail throughout the year. This is necessary because time and circumstances change over time and you are waiting for this potential seller to have a trigger event that causes them to pick up the phone and call you.
There are very few drawbacks to this method – since it only requires a nominal amount of money upfront (a few envelopes, letters and stamps, and maybe an inexpensive subscription to a data service like DataTree and/or an app like DealMachine).
Probably the most significant downside is the TIME required to find these properties. If you don't have much time, this probably isn't the right strategy for you.
However, if you are short on cash for a marketing budget, you can start building your lead generation engine by spending as much TIME as you can driving for dollars. Even if you are seasoned and your marketing budget is not bootstrapped, this is still a great strategy to implement since this can be done before or after an appointment. The leads that you can acquire through driving for dollars typically have both EQUITY (after you research) and MOTIVATION.
Driving for Dollars in Action
Driving for dollars is simple to do. All you will need is a camera/phone and a notepad to jot down addresses.
When you are spending the day driving for dollars, there are some key factors to look for, such as:
If the neighboring properties are even halfway maintained, the unkept yards and properties will stick out like a sore thumb.
When you come across a property that exhibits these features, jot down the address. Drive as many or few subdivisions as you'd like – just make sure the subdivision you drive suits your needs. For instance, if you are looking to make high equity plays, it probably doesn't make sense to drive through a subdivision that was built in 2010.
When you are finished proceed to the next step.
Once you've jotted down the addresses of several properties you'd like to pursue, it's time to go through these addresses, one-by-one and examine them on your local appraisal district website or with a service like DataTree.
You want to make certain the property is NOT bank owned (you should be able to find the name of the individual(s) or entity that own the property). If the property happens to be bank owned, scratch it off your list.
In addition, verify that the property has equity of some sort. You can do this by checking with a service like DataTree to see if there are any outstanding mortgages or liens on the property. I like to keep it simple – if the property was last transferred 10+ years ago, the property owner probably has a fair amount of equity to play with (even if there is an existing mortgage). I will keep it and mail to them.
Now that we have refined our list, it's time to compile it and keep track of it.
Again – I like to keep things simple, so a basic excel file will do just fine. At this point, it’s up to you on how you would like to begin marketing. Some investors prefer yellow letters, some like postcards. However, a trick that works great for me is as follows…
Remember how I told you to take pictures of these houses? Utilize this in your letter and print out an image of the house in the body of the letter. Many times these properties are absentee-owned, which means that the owner does not occupy the property or use it as their personal residence. Sometimes the last time the property owner saw their property was 5+ years ago. Sending them a picture will paint a fresh picture of just how bad of shape the property is in and will drive home the point that their house needs to be sold at a discount.
You can also print out a small thumbnail image on the upper left quadrant of the envelope. I have found this to really help increase my response rate.
As I explain in this blog post and video review, DealMachine is a paid mobile app that was designed precisely for this purpose. You can take a picture, look up the property owner's contact information and start sending them mail just like this – all from your phone. If you're serious about driving for dollars and you need a way to streamline this process,
To succeed at this technique long-term, you need to work your leads, follow up with people, and if you haven’t received the response you were hoping for, don't give up!
A common practice in driving for dollars is to continually market to these property owners throughout the year. Some investors will send out a recurring mail piece once every other month, or every 3 months for a 12 month period. You've already spent the effort researching and driving to find these properties, so you might as well spend a few extra dollars and continue to market to them!
Special Thanks to Chris Feltus of Feltus Family Homes for his assistance in preparing this original article.
The post What Is “Driving for Dollars” and How Does It Work? appeared first on REtipster.
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REtipster provides real estate guidance — not tax or investment advice.
This article should not be interpreted as financial advice. Always seek the help of a licensed financial professional before taking action.
Every real estate investor and entrepreneur I know has one common goal.
To be financially free.
But what does “financial freedom” mean anyway?
The concept is pretty simple. When you're earning enough income from sources other than your day job (preferably, from “passive income”) to cover all your monthly living expenses, you've officially crossed into the realm of financial independence.
As the chart above implies, there are essentially two issues that need to be dealt with in order to become financially free:
The aim of this calculator is to deal with issue #1.
Originally inspired by Tim Ferriss' monthly expense calculator, the Freedom Calculator is designed to give you some clarity about what your monthly income goal should be.
Another side-benefit of this calculator is that it should cause you to start looking critically at your monthly expenses. If you take some time to evaluate what the numbers are telling you, you'll probably start to notice some ongoing costs that can reduced or eliminated entirely.
When you clearly identify what your financial constraints are (both big and small), the real magic happens when you start to recognize which ones shouldn't exist in the first place.
The Power of Cutting Costs
I've met a lot of people who feel stuck in a job they hate – and the only reason they continue to slaving away at their job is because it pays enough money to cover the lifestyle they've chosen, and the monthly expenses they think they can't live without.
However, a lot of the expenses we think we need to pay for are completely unnecessary.
The first time I went through this formula years ago, I found all kinds of ways to reduce and eliminate various line items from my budget.
Of course, living cheaper generally means fewer luxuries and cheap thrills in life. But keep in mind, the goal isn't to live without these things forever… the goal is to reach financial independence ASAP.
If you eliminated a few unnecessary costs from your monthly budget, you could retire YEARS earlier than if you continued paying for things you don't need, and might not even be using.
I loved this example from Mr. Money Mustache's blog post about The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement,
There are always ways to live with more frugality, and if that's what it takes to live life on your own terms and NOT be slave to a working life you hate, isn't it worth it?
If you're in desperate need of freedom NOW, there are probably plenty of opportunities to reduce your monthly expenses so you can fire your boss sooner rather than later.
I hope this calculator shows you what it showed me, that financial independence and early retirement is a lot more achievable than most people think.
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In this episode of the REtipster Podcast, we’re talking with Trevor Mauch, CEO of Carrot.
If you’re a real estate professional of any kind, there’s a good chance you’ve come into contact with Trevor’s company at some point, because they specialize in helping real estate investors and agents generate leads online with some extremely easy-to-use websites.
Whether you’re trying to find new properties to buy, sell the properties you own, sell properties on behalf of someone else or just build a stronger online presence (without hiring your own web developer), there’s a good chance Trevor’s company can help you with that.
Carrot websites have pulled in millions and millions of leads online over the past few years… and they’ve played a pivotal role in helping people close thousands of deals with their software. I personally know a TON of people who are using this company for one or more of their websites and I’ve heard a lot of good reports. I’ve even used it myself and I know they’re definitely filling a need in the real estate industry.
In this episode, I chat with Trevor about a ton of different aspects of managing your online presence, some of the mistakes people make with their websites, and what kinds of things make for a truly effective online platform in the real estate industry.
Links and Resources
Thanks for Listening!
Share your thoughts:
Help out the show:
Thanks again for joining me this week. Until next time!
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A home inspection is your opportunity to identify any issues with a home prior to closing. The NC Offer to Purchase form actually highlights is importance by providing a warning that strongly encourages buyers to conduct due diligence which includes the home inspection to determine the condition of any improvements, the presence of unusual drainage, moisture, asbestos, environmental contamination, wood-destroying inspects or radon gas. These are all important factors you’d want to know prior to closing to avoid inadvertently buying a money pit. You may even be able to get the current owners to fix these issues before you move in. But it is also important to keep things into perspective…a home will never be free and clear of issues and inspectors will always find problems even in new construction. It is not about getting all the fixes done…no seller is going to fix everything…focus on the big issues and expect some negotiation through the process. A home inspection will cost you a little bit of time and money, but in long run you’ll be glad you did it. Being able to address issues early through the home inspection can save you thousands of dollars down the road.
On The Move Charlotte…Your Real Estate Specialists
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If you want to create helpful, informative, attractive real estate listings that sell properties fast, you're going to need good pictures of the property you're trying to sell.
Without a great set of property photos, you might as well not even post your listing at all – that's my honest opinion.
Likewise, if you're trying to buy a property without seeing it in-person, the importance of good property photos cannot be overstated.
With all the value and information that pictures can offer prospective buyers, this is an undeniably crucial part of buying or selling a property. You simply cannot afford to overlook this.
Most of the properties I buy and sell are situated in other states (or several hours away, at least). Even if they weren't, I still wouldn't have time to run out and inspect the property and take these pictures myself.
So what's the best way to get this job handled?
Where to Find Help
My first step is to find a local local photographer (i.e. – any person of sound mind with a point-and-shoot camera or phone) and pay them a few bucks to swing by the property and snap some pictures for me.
As you can imagine, there are many different ways to find this kind of help.
In the past, I've had some success calling up a few local realtors and asking them to drive by the property and take a few pictures when they're in the area. To my surprise, many of them have been willing to oblige (and oftentimes, they've done it for free), probably because they were hoping I would eventually come to them if I couldn't sell the property on my own.
There are other paid services like WeGoLook (inexpensive, lower quality) and Pretty Instant (more expensive, mid-range quality) that can make sense when the property has easy access and is easy-to-identify from the road, but even then – some situations may require a bit more creativity to get the job done.
That's where Craigslist comes in.
Craigslist gets a TON of traffic, you can usually find halfway decent help at a pretty cheap price, and even though I've found varying levels of quality and reliability when posting one-off gigs like this, I can't think of a time when I've posted a ‘help wanted' ad in my local market and NOT found a few interested candidates.
Typically when I do this, I'll post my ads in the Gigs > Creative section of Craigslist, in the market where my property is located in (or situated closest to).
What Should Your Ad Say?
When I post these kinds of one-time gigs on Craigslist, I usually make up the description on-the-spot.
There isn't any single, perfect recipe for writing these kinds of ads. However, it is important for your ad to be clear enough and to set proper expectations, so prospective candidates understand what you need and how much they're going to get paid.
It also helps to have a headline and description that's interesting enough to click on and apply for.
If you need an example, this is what I might say when I'm looking for a photographer for one of my vacant land properties:
Visit My Property. Send Me Pictures. I'LL PAY YOU CASH.
I need a local photographer who can visit my property in <<city/county/township name>> and take several point-and-shoot pictures. When finished, I'll need these pictures sent to me digitally. I can receive the images via email, dropbox, google drive or text message.
We will need 2-3 pictures taken from all four corners of the property (facing in), 2-3 pictures from all four sides of the property (facing in) and 10-12 pictures standing in the center of the parcel (facing out) in all directions.
These pictures can be taken with any phone (iPhone or Android) or point-and-shoot camera. Our goal is to get several quality shots that highlight the best attributes and showcase the property's beauty. These pictures will be used to sell the property, so we need them to look great!
If interested, send me a message and I will provide the property's exact coordinates, along with a parcel map of the property – so when you arrive on-site, you'll know where to stand and take the pictures.
I will need the pictures no later than <<INSERT DEADLINE>> and I can send the payment for this job ($___ USD) via PayPal immediately after receiving acceptable pictures.
What Should You Expect to Pay?
When I'm hiring a random local person to get pictures for me (no fancy cameras or experience necessary), my starting price is $50. However, if the property is extremely remote and requires more drive time for the photographer, I'm usually willing to bump up my price to $100 if they request it… maybe even to $150 if the property is really far away and I only get one interested candidate.
With that being said – there are times when I'm selling higher-end properties that are worth a significantly higher price ($40,000 and up). In these cases, I'm happy to pay a higher price for higher quality pictures – especially if I know the photographer is a pro (not just a random bystander with a camera phone).
Last year, I paid a photographer (whom I found on Craigslist) $1,000 for one job.
Compared to $50, that may sound a bit excessive… but hear me out.
They were getting 100+ shots of four different properties I was trying to sell – all of which were situated the same subdivision – and each picture was going to make my properties look incredible.
With most pictures taken on a basic mobile phone, you'll get B grade quality (at best) and they'll come out looking like this:
As you can see, it provides enough information to help a buyer understand what they're getting (sort of), but it doesn't really make a property look beautiful.
On the other hand, when you find a professional photographer, with a great camera, an good eye for the best angles and all the lenses to do the job right, you'll get some next-level results. I'm talking about the kind of pictures that do more than just providing basic information. They'll emphasize the property's best characteristics and do most of the selling for you.
Even if a property isn't inherently gorgeous, a skilled photographer can still make most scenes look a lot better than an amateur with a camera phone will be able to.
And think about it – if you're able to sell a property faster, and maybe even for more money, don't you think it's worth it?
Even though most Craigslist photographers will be happy to work on the cheap – don't forget that there are some situations where a higher investment in this area is easy to justify.
Tricks of the Trade
It's prudent to remember, on a marketplace like Craigslist – even though most people will be reasonably honest, competent and trustworthy, not everyone fits this profile.
One great suggestion I saw was from Linda Hastings in the REtipster Club Forum:
Not everyone will know where/how to turn on location services setting on their phones, but if they manage to do this (or if it's already on by default), it will provide some validation that they're doing the right thing at the right location.
I've also found that it's worth reiterating the fact that you want pictures taken horizontally (in landscape format) rather than vertically (in portrait format). Why? Because when you're taking landscape pictures, buyers will generally want to see the slope of the land and what's on it, rather than having the sky fill up half the frame of the image.
It's always preferable to get these pictures when the weather is good and the sun is shining. However, in some parts of the country, during certain seasons of the year, this will be very difficult to achieve and plan for – so while this is always worth requesting, I wouldn't consider it a deal-breaker either way.
And lastly, just like with any kind of contracted job, don't pay for the service until you have the final product in your hands.
Have you ever used Craigslist to get property photos? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below!
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It doesn't take a pessimist to realize we live in a fallen world.
Bad news sells. Lies, rumors, and negativity spread like wildfire, and no matter how successful we may strive to be, there is no escaping the inevitable disappointment and heartbreak, which is deeply interwoven with every human experience.
But there's still hope.
While the world may have its flaws, there are still a lot of good things happening around us every day (things you won't hear about in the news). Whether they're simple acts of kindness or heroic feats that require great effort, courage and commitment, much of the good goes unseen.
If you're in need of encouragement or inspiration on how YOU can make your world a better place, I'm going to share 50 pictures and stories (all pulled from r/HumansBeingBros on Reddit) that prove there's still hope for humanity.
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What does it really take to outsource your real estate business?
In this interview, we talk with Derek Gallimore, Founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, a company that specializes in helping small and medium-sized enterprises based in high-cost English-speaking countries, and one of their areas of expertise is advising business in the real estate sector on how to outsource various aspects of their operation.
Derek tells us about different roles/jobs that can be outsourced and how it improves the business processes overall. Derek also gives us examples of how outsourcing can be applied to someone like a real estate agent, a landlord that's leasing out multiple properties or a property flipper.
The good thing about outsourcing is – it has never been easier to find good, competent help at a cost that is surprisingly affordable.
But what does that really mean? How much should you realistically expect to pay for someone who is truly competent and knows how to think for themselves? Which roles in your business are actually worth outsourcing? What are the biggest drawbacks to hiring a VA that nobody talks about? We’ll cover all of that today.
Links and Resources
Thanks for Listening!
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Thanks again for joining me this week. Until next time!
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When I first started my career as an investor, I was able to get pretty far on my own.
Armed with a small library of books and courses, a couple of mastermind groups (and being lucky enough to make a few good key decisions along the way), I closed over 30 deals in my first year of business. Even so – it wasn't until I enlisted the help of a real, experienced professional that my little business started growing to the next level.
Over the course of a few months, I went from “running in circles” to “running a business” and it only happened because I was able to get some direct, deal-specific guidance with specific answers to my specific questions from a qualified mentor.
Do You Need Help?
I'll be honest – a mentoring relationship isn't always necessary. In fact, there are plenty of people who can get by without it. A lot of investors do have what it takes to figure it out on their own. One way or another, they will reach their goal in time… it's just a question of how much time it will take to get there.
This is where a good mentor can be a game-changer because they can shave a significant amount of time off your learning curve, which can have an invaluable impact on your business and life. Think about it – would you rather reach your goals in 2 months, or in 2 years? Is it worth the initial investment now to get there sooner rather than later?
What We Can Do
I frequently get questions from readers about whether I have a coaching/mentoring program of any kind, and though I've taken on clients here and there in the past, I've never had the time to dedicate myself to this kind of coaching in a full-time capacity.
Now that I have Jaren Barnes on the REtipster team, I think we have a solution to this.
Jaren approached me about the possibility of providing coaching services on behalf of REtipster, as we've seen an increasing need for those in our community who feel they could benefit from a one-on-one experience with us.
Jaren has garnered a lot of experienced over the years in his land business and I am confident in his ability to serve our audience in this way.
How It Works
Though Jaren has more time to dedicate towards a mentorship program than I do, his schedule is still very busy. At any point in time, he only has the capacity for a handful of people in rotation on his schedule.
For anyone who wishes to work with Jaren in a mentor/mentee relationship, the plan is for Jaren to sit down with each client and develop a custom “growth plan” based on their goals and specific needs.
Whether you need him to help you get your first deal done or to scale or automate your already thriving business, he will tailor the coaching program to your specific needs and unique situation.
Our program runs for a 90-day duration per each client.
If you apply and are approved for the program, you'll receive the following:
That's a Total Value of $14,208, and if you choose to take advantage of the bundled access to these items, the effective price will be significantly lower.
By the time we're done, our aim is for you to have reached success on the individual goals you and Jaren set together at the beginning of the program.
With ongoing contact between you and Jaren, you will have the kind of regimented accountability that ensures the highest likelihood of your success. By setting the right goals and having proper expectations, you'll be on the right track to hit your milestones on time, every time.
Disclaimer: These mentoring packages are being offered with the understanding that REtipster and its respective agents are not rendering legal, tax or other professional services. If legal, tax or other expert assistance is needed; you should seek out the services of a competent professional. This is a dynamic field of endeavor in which new laws are enacted, old laws revised and/or reinterpreted on a continuing basis and where statutes, rulings and precedential case laws are constantly changing. We cannot make any guarantees as to your level of success, we can only show you how we run our businesses and how you can do the same. If this isn't the kind of one-on-one assistance you're looking for, then save us both some time and don't submit your information below.
If this sounds like something you want to do, then tell me a bit about yourself below. If we think you'd be a good fit (and if Jaren has any openings) – we'll be in touch with you shortly.
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Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.