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Part of the reason the media companies are so successful marketing to real estate agents is because real estate agents believe in magic. Just sign up for a premium account, buy a ZIP code, and you will get “leads.”

To many, being a real estate agent seems to be all about lead capture and buying leads.

I remember back a few years ago the common wisdom was that the lead aggregators would go out of business. I guess some of them did, but lead capture isn’t all that different. Instead of buying the leads that the aggregator captures, agents capture their own.

Agents like to be able to have automated processes so they can capture leads and send out canned marketing emails. It doesn’t cost much or take a lot of time to send out a zillion email messages to thousands of leads.

When Facebook and Twitter first came on the scene, some real estate agents and experts viewed social media as the new way to get lots of leads cheap. A Facebook page was like magic. Some agents took marketing to a new level, putting automated tweeting properties on the Internet to drum up some business for themselves.

Sure, we would all like to just put our feet up and let the business roll in. We can automate and can every task using the wonderful technology that we have.

Each time something new comes on the scene, it’s treated as if it were invented just for real estate agents. We can just put pictures of our listings on Instagram and the business will come in. I remember reading articles about how you could use Vine to market real estate. Apparently short looping video of stationary houses was the next big thing.

 

“Each time something new comes on the scene, it’s treated as if it were invented just for real estate agents.”

When Instagram rolled out its time-lapse video stabilization tool “Hyperlapse,” right on cue an industry expert wrote about how it can be used for marketing homes for sale. Super-fast videos of homes for sale and of everything else are apparently the next big marketing tool.

 

This year drones are magical. We can throw a drone at a property for sale and apparently it doesn’t matter what the video looks like or what it shows. It just needs to be taken by a drone.

 

When I started my blog, it seemed like blogs were considered magical, too. Agents would start a blog and then post some statistics every other day and pictures of their listings and wait for the good times to roll.

 

Then, agents discovered that writing blog posts is work. It takes time, and is not a path to instant success. So agents gave up on the idea of blogging — unless they could do it on a platform where they got lots of comments and plenty of praise from other real estate agents.

It is work to tweet in person instead of just using auto tweets. It’s harder to write a separate email tailored to each situation, instead of using canned messages. And it is working to publish unique content on a blog that is about local real estate.

Sometimes it is even all right to pick up the phone and have a conversation that isn’t scripted, but where we listen and respond.

The spam that hits my inbox is often from companies offering magical solutions that will easily lead to unimaginable wealth. If I were selling products or services to real estate agents I would use the same type of sales pitch, because it works. Many real estate agents believe there are easy magical ways to use technology to make a lot of money with little effort.

Sometimes we lose touch with the fact that real estate is still a relationship-based business. It doesn’t matter if we build relationships by direct mail or through Twitter. It’s the relationships themselves that bring us business. Those relationships are not generic or magical. They take time and effort and are usually built one at a time.

Successful agents who have been successful for longer than a few days or years all tell me the same thing: They work hard. When they have been working hard for many years, then the magic happens.

I rise at 3 AM almost every morning-I go to bed early, but I get a TON of work done before anyone gets out of bed!  This is the way I like to work. I do use all the current media tools to do my job, but I firmly believe that picking up a phone or better yet meeting in person is the way to establish a relationship.  My Clients absolutely know that I want a long-term relationship not a one-off deal.

Today I am packing to go to Toronto for CoStar. Out of 65,000 Commercial Brokers I am privileged to have been asked to this meeting. As I understand this there is only 13 Brokers going to Toronto.  CoStar is bringing their video team from London to shoot videos-stay tuned for more!!!

Listen to Learn

I had a very trying week, and yet I’m glad it was. The problems that arose helped teach me that I still have some work to do on my listening skills. I’m betting that you might too, so I’m sharing. Building and selling Real Estate for the most part is pretty rewarding. Everyday the team at my company interacts with clients who use our tools to be more productive. The goal is to maximize the technology so folks can either make more money or save time. So it’s really rewarding for us. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s always a ball of fun anymore than your work is, but for the most part what we do is really rewarding. And when things get troubling or difficult, I try to step back and find the cause. Not always easy. And while I hate to admit it, problems arise most often because of poor communication. Communication can be internal or customer facing, it doesn’t matter, the outcome is the same – someone’s upset or at minimum, not delighted.
I didn’t tell you anything new did I? Communication has always been hard and it’s getting harder because printed words – emails and texts, aren’t very conveying. Come on, can you really tell my mood right now? Of course not. So I’ve laid out a problem or issue. So how do we make progress towards something different? How do we improve communication? Simplistically we know the answer. Listen more and speak less. Easy to say. Hard to do. I have an idea. How about we all act like 3 or 4-year olds and ask question, after question, after question? That way we put ourselves in a position where we can actually spend more time listening and less time talking. And guess what? It’s almost impossible to ask questions via email. It’s too tedious – all that Send/Receive, Send/Receive, Send/Receive!
Here’s the catch. You have to really be curious and want to know the answers. You have to really want to hear the other person’s answer or point of view. You can’t be contrite. And while you may be reading this thinking that I’m talking about the people we work and interact with frequently, it’s just as valuable or even most valuable to have conversations with your customers. The satisfied ones are full of advice and knowledge they can share and the unhappy ones can give you direction.
Today I often hear that people don’t want to call or stop in to see someone, because they feel they are being intrusive. A “pre-email” or text is thought of as polite; maybe. But if what you want to learn holds value for all parties, I find a call or in-person meeting is welcome. Problem is people on the calling side are many times acting in a self-serving way. Bad, very bad. I talk to a lot of people about communication and connections. I’ve learned so much. It takes a lot of practice. It isn’t always easy for sure. I’m convinced we can do better. We can be “connected” AND benefit from the amazing tools we have to share and connect. Remember the ice bucket challenge? How about we come up with a challenge for people to listen more than they speak? I have no idea what that might look like as a “game” or “challenge,” and I’m hoping all you smart folks might. I ask you. Am I off base? Is communication just fine? I’m anxious to listen. You can even call me if you like. 602-688-9379. Oh my! How novel. I ANSWER my phone.
Happy 1031? IPX1031


NO TRICK: A Treat for Unsuccessful 1031 Exchanges!

A treat from the IRS? Taxpayers should not be spooked if they are unable to complete their 1031 Exchanges. A treat may exist for a calendar-year taxpayer who initiates a 1031 tax-deferred exchange during the last few months of this year only to find that the exchange fails (they are unable to purchase new replacement property within the time periods set forth in Section 1031). Since the exchange period will go into 2018, the IRS provides an option called “tax straddling” which allows most taxpayers to pay the tax that is due on their 2018 return as opposed to their 2017 return.

Of course the major benefit for a taxpayer who successfully completes a 1031 Exchange is 100% deferral of taxes and the ability to invest all of their equity into new property. Unfortunately, if a taxpayer is not able to purchase new property to successfully complete the 1031 Exchange, the taxes associated with the sale of their investment property will be due. However due to “tax straddling” the taxpayer may receive a one year tax payment deferral thanks to the coordination between IRC §453 and §1031 provided in the §1031 regulations.

How does this work? If a delayed 1031 exchange begins in the latter portion of 2017, the exchange period may run into 2018. If the exchange fails or if the taxpayer (having a bona fide intent to do an exchange) receives cash boot in 2018, the 1031 regulations treat the exchange as an installment sale allowing the taxpayer to consider that the exchange proceeds were received (and are taxable) in 2018.

However, if a taxpayer prefers to pay their taxes as soon as possible, in accordance with IRC section 453 (d) a taxpayer may “elect out” of the installment method. By electing out, the taxpayer can recognize the gain in 2017 instead of 2018. To elect out, the sale should be reported on Form 8949, Form 4797 (or both) and not on Form 6252. The election must be made by the due date, including extensions, for filing the 2017 tax return. For more information about the procedure and forms to use, see IRS Publication 537 and consult with your tax advisor. Additionally, tax straddling does not apply to all sales and any gain attributed to debt relief will have to be recognized in the year of sale.

The IRS does not penalize investors for attempting to complete a 1031 Exchange. Tax straddling provides an added incentive to taxpayers selling investment property at the end of the year. Why not attempt to complete a 1031 Exchange when a one year payment deferral is available as the back-up plan?

Please call us at IPX1031 to discuss tax straddling and other valuable tax-deferral solutions. Be sure to consult with your tax advisor before participating in a 1031 exchange.

If you asked 100 Professional People to name the top three challenges, time management would be in the three every time. Calls, emails, texts, and social media demand immediate attention. Even the most focused people can be distracted!

The absolute KEY to managing your time is organizing your calendar and STICKING TO IT. This will really keep you on the path and help you complete your tasks every day. Here is how I do it and I am told that I am one of the most organized Professionals in the industry.

 

The Night BEFORE

I always start my day the night before. I use a task program that is free and so easy to do. I add everything that I want to accomplish-phone calls, mailing, items to get done and yes even picking up dry cleaning. If I see that I have more to do in one day than I know I can get done-I prioritize them.  With my task program if I do not complete an item, I can add notes (if I have started the task) and change the date.

As I go down the list, if I find that something is time sensitive, I add it to my google calendar to be sure not to miss the time.  I also am sure to set the reminder appropriately.  For example, if I need to drive for 20 minutes I put the reminder at 30 minutes so I leave my office and arrive on time.

First Thing when you start your day

Whenever your day starts (mine is usually 4 AM) resist the urge to jump on email or social media. Put your cell on DO NOT DISTURB. Now get to work on your To-Do List.  Take time to complete items that can be done without email and phone-usually marketing, blogging etc.

The exception to NOT checking email is if you are expecting a contract as contracts always take precedence. Do not open every email but take a quick scan to make sure that highly important items are taken care of.

Morning

Your concentration, will power and discipline are always best in the morning.  I usually make sure if I am doing a financial analysis on properties that I do this in the morning. This is always the best time to knock off the to-do list.

Late Morning-Noon time

Usually when I need to come up for a bit of air, maybe a snack or cup of coffee; I get up from my desk and take a minute.  Now, it is a good time to evaluate or even reprioritize the rest of my day. Have I completed the high priorities?

If I have the day under control, this is the time that I look at market items or industry news. Keeping the day organized will let you have the time and energy to take on the unexpected items that suddenly become urgent.

Afternoon

I always put tasks in the afternoon that do not take as much energy or perhaps not as much concentration. It’s a great time to answer all phone calls, emails and texts. Social media takes this time as well.

If the To-Do list has been knocked out or completed as much as possible and you are looking for ways to make your day more productive make calls to your data base or polish your marketing.  Prepare for appointments, etc. In the professional world, the successful Professionals do not use the task list completion as the end of the day.

Late Afternoon/Evening

Have a quitting time! You may still take phone calls or check emails. Before you wind down and compete your day-take a minute to go over your tasks one more time to make sure that you have completed all that you wanted to or needed to.

Remember to add your personal time or family time as actual appointments on your calendar!  You are not effective unless you have true and enjoyable down time. Someone said to me recently, who will be at your funeral?  Prospects or family?  This is not to end this on a negative note but to help you stay focused on the items that are important to you!

There are SO MANY so called Real Estate Gurus out in the market place and I really hate to see anyone give them their money! For all of the 20 years that I have selling Investment Real Estate; sometimes it baffles me how these people can take the money from investors-many of whom have little experience.

I have given seminars for Investors since 2003 and I do not want a dime upfront.  If I do my job correctly-including educate the Investor; there is not any reason that I do not get compensated for my efforts on a performance basis.  Meaning COMMISSION!

Here is what every Investor in Real Estate needs to know-simple steps.

  1. Pick a Power Team-which means a Broker (preferably a CCIM) that understands the market that you want to invest in.
  2. With the Power Team- Make sure that the Broker is strong and well connected to the sources that you need(Lawyers, Lenders, Inspectors and other Brokers as well)
  3. Decide on your PATH. This can mean several things such as what type of asset class do you want.  Why do you want to invest? How long do you want to hold the investment? Make sure that your Broker not only understands this but also has the well rounded ability to explore all possibilities with you. Often times when someone visits with me, by the time we are finished with the conversation we are exploring a different path.
  4. Make sure that you get “papered up”. This means your entity that you are going to use to buy the Asset with.  Don’t wait until you go to contract.  Contracts can be overwhelming and why not get some of the details completed before you go to contract.  You will be busy enough with the Due Diligence that you will not need to be distracted by the paperwork of the Entity,obtaining your EIN number, and establishing the correct bank accounts.
  5. Speak with either your CPA or your Power Team’s recommended CPA.  While your CPA may be great; get the advise of a good Real Estate CPA.  Like all professions-some CPAs are better at different things.
  6. GET QUALIFIED-in today’s world, if you are not qualified the contract is not worth the paper that it is written on!
  7. Be prepared to write a contract.  This does not mean the closing price-it means get the deal and figure it out! Rely on your Broker to advise the offering price.  Many markets need a full price offer to obtain the accepted contract.
  8. ASK QUESTIONS! If I do not hear a question after explaining something; I can only believe that I was understood. The only “stupid” question is the question that is not asked!

I could go on and on and often I do but here is the BEST advise I can give-no matter what market or even country that you invest in:

Give a Tenant a CLEAN place to live

Give a Tenant a SAFE place to live

Give a Tenant responsive property management

Do this and you will not experience vacancies, you should be full and I can speak from experience that you will get above market rents!

Check out our listings Gerchick Real Estate Listings

I have been using Social Media since about 2009.  I am active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and within reason Google Plus with the addition of You Tube.

While I have had articles written about my use of Social Media-there are some thoughts and idea that are important to share.

I also spent a great deal of money to update my website at the end of last year. Over the course of my career I have spent more than you can imagine to create the Branding that I use today.

First, I started on Social Media to “see” what the kids were doing on Facebook.  In 2009 not many Real Estate professionals had caught on.  In the first six months of using Facebook-I sold 7 properties.

I am currently connected to 5000 people on Facebook. I have a page and a closed group as well.  Today Facebook is used to promote everything from a political stance to the food that you have for lunch! I find that I do not log into Facebook like I used to for these reasons.

Twitter started when my Step Daughter, who was about 8 or 9 came to me and said that I needed to have a Twitter account. In the spirit of encouragement, I told her to make one for me.  Hence, I am ccimcutie.  I did not use Twitter a lot for a long time.  Now I use this all the time.

You Tube is used all over my website and I love the platform not only to educate my Clients but to share videos with Clients that helps with marketing.

LinkedIn is the platform that I recommend. As of this morning I am connected to almost 12,000 people.

Here is the secret to social media (and there are NO secrets in marketing) – consistency!  I spend approximately at the minimum 1-2 hours a day. I have most of my social media accounts linked together so that I can work on one platform and it will populate all of them.

BEFORE you dive into Social Media spend a GREAT deal of time to develop your profiles.  For heaven’s sake get a current professional photo!

I do not hire my Social Media to be done by someone else-they never sound or feel like me.

Remember that when someone connects with you-send a thank you to them and tell them about yourself.

STATISTACALLY, you have 7 seconds to make an impression-don’t use this to tell someone what you had for lunch-no one cares!

When someone endorses you on LinkedIn-say thanks and Endorse them back.  ASK for Recommendations and know the difference between Endorsements and Recommendations. Be sure on LinkedIn to list all 50 of your items that You want to be endorsed for!  Change the order as the top three is the order that these items are seen.  Change them as you evolve in your business.

Block anyone that either annoys you or certainly harasses you! On all Social Media Platforms.

Remember that no matter what your business is – if you don’t tell anyone they will not know who you are or what you do!

In future blogs, I will take each platform and break it down completely what works for me and what does not.

So in this article, I want to share 5 important reasons for real estate investors to invest in multifamily real estate as part of their overall investing plan.

#1 Easier to Finance

Although multifamily investment properties are more expensive than single-family properties, they’re generally easier to finance, all things considered.

While this may sound counterintuitive, investors need to understand that multifamily properties pose less risk for a lender, because multiple families are living under one roof.

Vacancy relating to multifamily and single-family property is just one example of how multifamily properties are less risky for lenders. A vacancy with a multifamily property has less of a negative impact than with a single-family property, because it continues to generate cash flow from rents collected from the remaining families.

#2 Quickly Grow Your Portfolio

Investors can grow their rental property portfolio more quickly with multifamily investment properties than single-family homes.

For example, the time, energy, and expense of purchasing 300 single-family properties with 300 closings can be drastically reduced by purchasing one multifamily property with 300 units. An aggressive investor can grow his portfolio quickly with a few multifamily purchases, rather than taking years to purchase individual properties.

#3 Easier Property Management

Some real estate investors with single-family homes try to self-manage their properties in order to save money, especially when they only own a few properties. Of course, this usually does not bode well for the investor or tenants, and causes major stress for both parties.

Multifamily investment properties can be easier to manage because they produce the cash flow and income to reasonably afford the staff to manage the property.

Additionally, multifamily properties can be less expensive to manage because:

  • Professional management staff work full time, and possibly live, on the premises.
  • Units in a multifamily property are centrally located, and not spread out over a large geographic area.

#4 More Options for Forced Appreciation

Forced appreciation occurs when an investment property increases in value as a result of actions taken by the owner.

Multifamily properties inherently have more options for owner-driven appreciation, because a small change adds value affecting multiple families, not just a single family. Also, larger multifamily properties have large common areas and community amenities that can be enhanced to add value and force appreciation.

Finally, when breaking down the numbers on a per family basis, the cost per family for the improvements of a multifamily property are often considerably less compared to a single-family home.

Common improvements to multifamily investment properties that force appreciation include:

  • Improving curb appeal.
  • Updating common areas and individual units.
  • Adding and improving amenities.
  • Adding security features, such as a gate, security guards, etc.

#5 More Cash Flow

Multifamily investment properties have a greater opportunity to generate cash flow than single-family properties, because of the reasons we’ve discussed.

Higher profits are generated by lower expenses resulting from having multiple units under one roof, when compared to single-family homes spread great distances apart. Also, multifamily properties have centralized and consistent management teams that can generate profits by lowering expenses.

Cash flow is also generated with multifamily properties by consistently forcing appreciation, which results in higher rents, higher profits, and a stronger balance sheet.

 

While it is possible to buy and/or sell a commercial property yourself, a good Commercial Broker is often a great source of information.

A Commercial Broker is valuable to the Buyer and the Seller in a real estate transaction.

FOR THE BUYER

Buyers often fear that using a Commercial Broker will require they pay a fee.  Generally (but not always) it is the Seller who pays the sale commission. Another frequent myth is that the Buyer can find a better deal by purchasing “For Sale by Owner” properties because the Seller is avoiding the Broker’s commission. However, in many cases, the selling price of the property ends up being equal or higher than those listed by Commercial Brokers.

Commercial Brokers can:

  • Help determine an approximate price range
  • Refer you to a lender with financing options best suited to your needs
  • Provide access to many resource
  • Information on a broader supply thru their resources including sources not available to the public
  • Provide a market analysis
  • Use their experience in negotiating
  • Follow up on all of the contract details and closing  process

FOR THE SELLER

When selling a property, the focus should be on:

  • Getting the best price
  • Selling the property with the least amount of hassle

Commercial Brokers can:

  • Provide up-to-date information on what is happening in the real estate market, including financing changes and competing properties
  • Serve as your marketing coordinator
  • Suggest repairs to market for the highest and best price
  • Providing access to Commercial Listing Services
  • Marketing to other Commercial Brokers
  • Pre-screen and show your property to qualified Buyers
  • Guide the transaction to a successful close

HOW TO QUALIFY THE RIGHT COMMERCIAL BROKER FOR YOU

Some of the questions that can help you decide are:

  • How will you keep us informed on the progress of the Sale?
  • Where do you feel that your strengths lie?
  • How did you arrive at the suggested listing price?
  • What is your marketing plan?
  • Can you give me references of past clients?
  • How long have you been practicing Commercial Real Estate?
  • Are you a full time Broker?
  • Are you an investor yourself?
  • How many sales did you have last year?
  • How many Buyers/Sellers are you currently working with now?
  • How “available” do you make yourself?
  • How does someone contact you?
  • Are you familiar with the type of property involved?
  • What is the average transaction that you did last year?

 

 

 

 

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