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Prices Starting to Top Out

Mar 11, 2018 by

Home prices are starting to top out, with appreciation decelerating as the market moves toward a peak, according to the Buy vs. Rent Index published by Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Florida International University (FIU).

“Housing markets are slowing, suggesting that we are nearing a peak in housing markets around the U.S.—but this is good news, as we are pulling back from the brink, unlike we did in 2007,” says Ken Johnson, a creator of the Index from FAU’s College of Business and an economist.

“Our data indicates that prices are above their 40-year trend, but not significantly so as they were in 2007,” says Eli Beracha, a creator of the Index and associate professor at FIU’s Hollo School of Real Estate. “Rather than a crash, I anticipate slower growth in prices accompanied by longer marketing times for sellers and increasing inventories, which should bring prices back in conjunction with their 40-year trend.”

Formally the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, the gauge is a measure of 23 metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis. It is similar to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices—which encompass 20 metros (with some overlap)—but also includes factors like mortgage rates.

Thirteen of the BH&J Index’s markets are “moderately” to “slightly” in buy territory, indicating it is more advantageous financially to purchase, while 10 are in “moderately” to “slightly” rent territory.

The adjustment anticipated by FAU/FIU has been on many a radar. A forecast by HouseCanary projects that 41 of the largest 100 metros will experience a price slowdown this year. Analysts at CoreLogic are predicting an overall stabilization, as well, and economists at Zillow are expecting a “normal” tempering.

What is causing the cooling? Along with a basic cycling of the market, other drivers include the as-yet-determined implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and increasing mortgage rates.

DeVita_Suzanne_60x60Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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$1 Million a Week, Starting With Quality Leads

Jun 2, 2017 by

Manny_GutierrezIn the following interview, Manny Gutierrez, broker/owner of Prime Real Estate of Florida, discusses converting high-end leads into closed transactions, working to close $ 1 million each week.

Region Served: South Florida, including Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties
Years in Real Estate: 14+
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents
: 3
Average Time on Market
: 45 days
Average Sales Price
:$ 1.1 million

How are you currently sourcing new prospects?
We’re listing brokers by nature, so farming communities by all forms of media is a must for our brand. But, as technology has leveled the playing field and buyers have become more sophisticated in their home search, we’ve noticed an influx of potential new homeowners that cannot be ignored. Over the past few years, we’ve added a significant amount of our marketing dollars to capture these buyers. From social media platforms, e-campaigns, keyword websites, zip code leads from the big three (realtor.com®/Zillow/Trulia) and hiring ISAs (Inside Sales Agents) to nurture and convert these leads, we’re closing more buyers now than ever before.

Are the clients you meet online qualifying?
I would say we stand at a 50/50 qualifying rate. That being said, we do a great job of asking qualifying questions to our online customers. These include: Are they cash? Are they getting a mortgage? If so, do they have a pre-approval? If not, do they need a referral to our preferred lender? Do they need to sell their home first? If so, have they listed their home, and is it under contract? If not, would they like us to provide them with a free home analysis and discuss having us list their home? And, most importantly, what are their must-haves? We want to make sure they’re only seeing homes that fit their criteria.

How many of these leads convert, and how do you keep track of your success rate?
Our conversation rate last year was 1.35 percent. While we’re currently at 1.5 percent, we plan to be at 2 percent by year’s end.

Have you noticed that the leads are further along or of better quality among the lead sources you’re utilizing?
By far, realtor.com leads have the highest conversion rate. These buyers are ready to act and take less incubation time. We’ve tested all avenues, and the customer information that comes from realtor.com is the most reliable.

On average, how many online inquiries are you fielding each week, and how do you keep up with these incoming leads?
We’re fielding 135 online inquiries each week, and keeping up with them begins with leveraging technology and systems. We utilize software to respond to the inquiry, collect and house their information, follow-up through e-campaigns and directly contact them through our ISAs.

Do you find online leads to be cost-effective? Do you get a good rate of return on what you spend?
Yes, my rate of return is very good. By having my ISAs and transaction coordinator around me and my sales agents, we’re able to close more transactions while promoting our brand.

How do you work to develop the leads that don’t convert?
This is done by constant follow-up via phone calls, email drip campaigns and auto subscriptions of properties that fit their criteria.

You represent areas that include gated/membership communities, which are described as specialty markets. Do these markets require a specialized form of marketing to attract buyers?
In South Florida, we have a lot of country club communities. When marketing these communities, it needs to be stated upfront that these communities come with mandatory membership.

When you’re presenting your marketing plan to a seller, how do you differentiate yourself?
We differentiate our brand by building a complete roadmap and devising the right marketing plan to help the seller achieve their specific goals. Whether it be a conventional method, auction method, or accelerated method, we’ll sell their asset for the most amount of money in the least amount of time.

Do you have expanded services for the very high-end properties you represent?
Yes, we use all forms of media to market the property, and our brand is built with a concierge mindset. We have the ability to go as far as the project demands in order to consummate the sale.

What’s next on the horizon in terms of growth?
Our plan is to expand the team with more agents, ISAs, marketing assistants and transaction coordinators. Our objective is to close $ 1 million in transactions a week.

What’s your favorite part about working in the real estate industry?
The people. As no two transactions are the same, the same goes for the people we serve. The interaction that our firm experiences on a daily basis is what keeps us going. Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service while exceeding expectations, and, more importantly, it’s about building lifelong relationships with the people we serve.

For more information, please visit www.marketing.realtor.com.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Power Broker Strategies for Starting the New Year Strong

Jan 4, 2015 by

As many Power Brokers know, closing the fourth quarter strong is vital in order to prepare for a strong start in 2015. In a recent webinar titled, “Finish the Year Strong, Start the New Year Even Stronger,” hosted by RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston and sponsored by Bank of America Home Loans, some of […]
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How to make money from home by starting a daycare

Nov 3, 2014 by

Quite a few parents choose to stay home because their entire salary would go to daycare if they went back to work full time after the birth of their child. If you are one of the stay-at-home parents who loves kids and wants to make money from home while taking care of your own kid, have you thought about starting your own home daycare? I have. I did some research and interviewed a mother of two who did exactly that. Unfortunately, she burned out and closed her daycare even though it was popular among the parents. I believe this is what will happen to me as well; so after giving it some serious consideration, I decided not to pursue it. Still, I thought it would be interesting to share the interview I had with the mother, in the hopes that it will be beneficial to other stay-at-home parents who are interested to earn income while they stay at home with their children.

Q. What is an at-home daycare? How does it work?

A. Although each state most likely has their own definition, at-home daycare is typically your home, opened up to a limited number of children (unrelated to you) of various ages. A home daycare program will typically offer structured learning in a safe environment. Most of my daycare children started as infants and grew to be toddlers under my care. I prepared a program for each day for that age group. I also reported (via handwritten notes) to the parents each evening on the events of the day.

Q. Why would parents use an at-home daycare when they could go to a big center?

A. Loving, affordable, safe and convenient childcare is always in demand. Many households have two-parent careers and need someone to handle the children. Some of these parents will prefer daycare in a home as opposed to a commercial setting, believing that it is a more kid-friendly solution. Others may find it is cheaper, more flexible or more suitably located than a commercial center.

Q. How much can you earn with a daycare at home?

A. Each state will have its own limits on the number of children that you can enroll in your home daycare program. To find your state’s requirements, just do an Internet search on “Child care license” plus the state abbreviation. Ours has an upper limit of eight; but with that many children, you might need an assistant!

What you should charge differs by the age of the child, the location of your home and the hours you will be open. You might have different rates for day vs. evening. You may need to charge more for infants and toddlers because your state may allow fewer children of that age to be cared for by one adult.

Some daycare homes require the parent to pay whether or not the child is in attendance (say perhaps a parent takes the child out for a week for a family vacation). The daycare home is reserving that spot and so would like to be compensated. I did not charge when children were absent.

In my small town, I charged $ 90 a week and enrolled six children. As my ongoing expenses were low — basically being lunch, snack, diaper wipes and an occasional piece of equipment — my profit margin was high. Based on my personal experience, depending on the cost of living in your area, I estimate you can make anywhere from $ 400 to $ 1500 a week. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Q. How do you go about starting a daycare home?

1. First, review what your area’s legal requirements are.

  • You may find, for instance, that your home is not currently well suited to childcare and would require expensive maintenance or upgrades, such as, outdoor fencing or new electrical wiring. States who license want assurances that providers with a license meet certain standards regarding health, lack of criminal records, and so on. And be aware that all adults in the home may be subject to meeting those requirements, not just the provider.
  • You may also find that you don’t need a license. Some states allow providers to care for a few non-related children without one. In our state, that number is four. Still, for marketing purposes, you may want the reassurance factor that being a licensed home provides prospective parents.
  • You will also need verification from other members of the household that they are willing to share the home with additional children. Your parents may not meet the exact drop-off and pick-up schedule agreed upon, causing you to still be caring for their children when it is time for other household activities to begin. For my daycare license, I also had to get permission from each adjoining neighbor.

2. Look at start-up and operational costs.

  • What training might you need?
  • What emergency measures (including hiring others to come in and watch the children if you have to be away) will involve cost?
  • How do you plan to market your services? I advertised through the church bulletin and on signs posted in the neighborhood as well as ads in the paper. So my cost of marketing was negligible, but I can easily see this expense getting out of control if you have a lot of competition and are starting new.
  • What equipment and supplies will you have to buy? I did purchase added equipment — a play kitchen, additional toys and other items. Some of these came from garage sales, others had to be new.
  • Is your home adequately child-proofed? What needs to be done to make it child-safe? How much will that cost?

3. Consider the risks involved.

  • You should also consider the risk that you are incurring in being responsible for other people’s children. What could possibly go wrong? Children may fight with each other, fall and break a bone, run into something and get a concussion, wrongly accuse you or another adult in the house of something, and so on.
  • How are you covered financially and planning-wise to handle the risks? An umbrella liability policy should be considered at a minimum. In addition, you might consider incorporating your daycare home into an LLC or S-Corp as additional personal protection if the unthinkable should happen.

Q. If you had an opportunity to re-do the whole thing, what would you do differently?

  • Purchase an umbrella liability policy and incorporate my business
  • Hire an assistant to help out part of each day and be on call to take over if there was an emergency. For $ 540 a week, my time was utterly and absolutely devoted to caring for, feeding and educating those six children, plus my own two, for a span of around 11 hours a day, five days a week. With eight children, it was nearly impossible to leave the home. So I had to use non-care time for the gathering of supplies, planning and preparation.
  • Charged more! It was a feasible way for me to earn the money I needed back then — and one of the few available to me — but it was THE most exhausting job I have ever done. It was an exhausting, lucrative, emotionally satisfying way to earn money while still being home to care for my own two children; but I burned out in three years. If I have to do it again, I will most certainly charge more. I will compete based on my quality, not on the basis of price!

If you are a stay-at-home parent, what options have you considered that would allow you to work from home?








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Article: Just Starting in Real Estate? Barbara Corcoran’s Tips for Success

Oct 31, 2013 by

homes-com_barbara-corcorans-tips-successI’m asked all the time for advice about starting one’s own business, and when it comes to launching a real estate business, my ideas aren’t much different than what I would offer for any small business—the main things are to be smart, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take advantage of what social media can do for you.

In my book, Shark Tales: How I Turned $ 1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business, I prove that you don’t need to be a brainiac to reach the American Dream; you just need to have a clear vision and savvy social sense. Plus, as a small business owner, you’re going to need to think outside the box. Be bold and courageous and take chances that separate you from the competition.

Consider concentrating on a niche or under-served market in your real estate dealings, perhaps specializing in luxury homes or relocation services. Eventually, you can distinguish your business with its high performance, but at the beginning, it’s good to have something that makes you different.

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