Commercial and Residential real estate transactions have become a focal point for hackers to access emails and steal information, which leads to stealing money.
These thieves hack into escrow participant’s email accounts to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions. Once in they see information from brokers, attorneys, lenders and title companies. They will monitor the email account to determine about when the closing is scheduled and then alter original documents from the participants to change the closing and/or where the closing funds are to be wired.
The Buyer will get altered documents telling them there has been some kind of bank problem and they are now asking them to wire their closing funds to a new account. The Buyer is the only one that sees this email, even though this altered document originally could come from their attorney, broker, lender or title company. Unless the Buyer calls their title company to verify the wiring instructions there is no way to protect them or recover their money once it has been send to the thieves.
INQUIRE BEFORE YOU WIRE for any real estate transaction YOU are involved with. You could make the difference between a successful closing or a terrible loss.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Pick a Power Team-which means a Broker (preferably a CCIM) that understands the market that you want to invest in.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- GET QUALIFIED-in today’s world, if you are not qualified the contract is not worth the paper that it is written on!
- 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.
- 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
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.
8 Predictions about the Future of Assisted Living-Finally for the Investor we have a management Team in place so that the Passive Investor can own this Asset Class of Property
The U.S. economy — and the healthcare industry — have seen more than their fair share of ups and downs over the past decade. The Great Recession has only been the most recent upheaval to affect the way Americans plan for their retirements and their aging parents’ senior care. Along with all the economic shifts, there have been big changes in medicine, technology and how we view healthy aging.
It’s no surprise that senior and assisted living options are also changing in response to socioeconomic conditions. Both consumers and providers have had to tighten their budgets and get creative, looking outside the box for senior housing possibilities.
The rising cost of assisted living means that some families are looking at aging in place, home care and multi-generational housing instead of more expensive care options. Those who do opt for assisted living will find a wide range of offerings in new, booming areas like eco-friendly housing and so-called “smart homes,” as well as expanded amenities at more traditional assisted living communities.
What overall trends can we expect to see in housing for senior Americans? Check out our eight predictions for the near future of senior care:
1. The Decline of the Nursing Home Model of Care
We’ve been seeing it for some time — a move away from the concept of senior housing as synonymous with nursing homes, and a move toward other senior housing options, whether it’s independent living, home care or memory care. It’s not a trend that’s likely to change anytime soon. According to Senior Housing News, factors such as the high cost of skilled nursing and recent cuts to Medicare and Medicaid programs will only accelerate the shift.
Dwayne Clark, CEO and Founder of Aegis Living, comments that he wants his residents to “experience vacation at their disposal.” In fact, resident enjoyment is so important to Clark that he’s helping to reinvent memory care. “We are building a community between Madison Park and Capitol Hill… We went back to the Madison Park of the 1950’s and are creating the look and feel, for our memory care residents, based on that time as seniors with dementia resort to long-term memories.”
2. The Rise of Technology-Enhanced Senior Care
Personal care robots are just one attention-grabbing example of the types of up-and-coming technology that are going to revolutionize senior care as we know it. There are plenty of options already at our fingertips that promise to improve the health and quality of life for seniors — from smart home computer systems that keep track of medications and vital signs to wireless networks that provide mobile support for seniors in care communities.
3. More Multigenerational Housing Options
Active seniors who don’t want to move into a community — or can’t afford it — are looking at other options for an independent lifestyle. One possibility is multigenerational housing — the idea that a family will pool their resources and either modify their existing home to suit multiple generations, or move into a place that’s built to house both young families and older adults.
Neighborhood-Friendly Senior Living. Neighborhood-Friendly Civic Planning
With the economy still recovering, many active retirees want to continue working and living close to a city center or commercial district. There are also many limited-mobility seniors who still want access the amenities of a thriving downtown. These are both good reasons why community planners want to be senior-friendly in the future, whether it’s creating senior housing in existing downtown hubs or considering the needs of older adults in planning new neighborhoods.
5. Cooperative Living: Senior Co-Housing
Senior co-housing is another way active older adults can gain the benefits of community living, but on a smaller scale. Co-housing is more like living on a commune, where residents have independent homes but also benefit from shared spaces like gardens and recreation facilities. There are generally some shared meals and housekeeping duties, paid for through monthly dues, and residents have a say in community decisions. This trend has been growing over the past decade.
6. More Amenities and Lifestyle Perks in Traditional Senior Housing
With inevitable rising costs for senior living options like assisted living and continuing care retirement communities, these more traditional forms of housing have begun offering a wide range of amenities to tempt potential residents, from lifestyle-based and cultural communities that cater to LGBT seniors or Asian-Americans to an increased array of recreational options like cultural events, fitness classes and educational opportunities.
Eco-Friendly Senior Living Community7. Going Green: Eco-Friendly Senior Living
These days, eco-friendly increasingly means economical, too, and green senior housing offers older adults the ability to be environmentally minded as they enter their golden years. While there may be an initial investment in building up a green infrastructure —homes and facilities that are LEED-certified, for instance — eco-friendly building, lighting and appliances can save money in the long run and are much better for the environment.
8. Aging in Place Means a Booming Home Health Care Industry
More and more seniors want to remain at home for as long as possible, as evidenced by some of the trends discussed above. But it’s not just improvements in technology and civic planning that are going to facilitate aging in place. The burgeoning home health care industry is also a necessary adjunct to seniors remaining in the home. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 70% for home health and personal care aides over the coming decade, noting that home care can be a less expensive alternative for those who don’t need comprehensive assistance.
One of the issues that I see when an agent closes with a Client-whether it is a Residential Sale or a Commercial Transaction is that they do not maintain a relationship with that person.
It is easy to “promise” to do lunch or drinks or Barbecues. However, we are all busy and this is usually not feasible.
I want to speak about the Commercial Transactions.
It is important to keep abreast of the markets and where the asset sits in the flow of the market. I recommend that everyone have at least a 6 month look at what is going on. I work at preforming 6 month check ups with all of my commercial closings. However, in order to do this I need a fresh set of books and records along with any capital improvements.
We keep an email; drip campaign going with Market updates. BUT—————- I am available for conference or meetings from everyone of my Clients. Many times I have someone call me and say, “You probably don’t remember me but…” Most of the time not only do I remember them but I can describe their properties.
My Clients are often surprised when I call them and update them on their market. It is a good time to evaluate the properties position in the market. So no matter large or small-Clients STAY on my radar.
Key Points of Corporate Tax Reform
- Corporate tax reform looks to be a top priority for Congress and the Trump administration
- Supporters are promoting strategies designed to boost the economy
- Changes implemented could have an impact on the markets and investors
Discussions about corporate tax policy are usually just the ticket for those wanting to be left alone at dinner parties. As investors though, we should be aware of how potential changes in corporate tax policy can impact the value of companies of which we are shareholders. In some cases, changes in corporate taxes can have as much impact on our financial well-being as changes in personal tax rates.
Changes affecting imports and exports
There are a number of proposals reportedly being evaluated, but one in particular could have notable implications for the economy, corporate earnings, currency values, and even international trade.
This proposal is sometimes called a “border tax”, but legislators more accurately refer to it by its full title of “destination-based cash flow taxation.” The title may not exactly roll off the tongue, but it denotes the basic idea of eliminating taxes on exports while disallowing the cost of imports as a deductible item for tax purposes. The goal is to incentivize shipping more goods abroad while reducing imports, presumably to encourage more domestic production.
It remains to be seen how far this proposal goes, but in its purest form, it could have significant investor implications. Based on present activity, this proposal could also generate higher tax revenue for the federal government given that the U.S. currently imports more than it exports.
Improving U.S. competitiveness by lowering taxes
The U.S. currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world at 35%, according the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Allowable deductions and credits lower the actual or “effective” tax rate most companies pay, but the complexity of the U.S. tax code often inadvertently entices businesses to locate operations in more favorable tax jurisdictions outside the U.S.
Benefits of repealing the “repatriation tax”
Any meaningful reform of the corporate tax code is also likely to lower or eliminate the tax on income generated outside the U.S. Currently, businesses face the full corporate tax rate (as high as 35%) on foreign income — but only when the profits are brought home to the U.S. (i.e. “repatriated”). This policy is very unusual and has the unintended consequence of encouraging companies to keep their foreign generated profits outside the U.S. As a result, it can be more appealing for large, multi-national firms to expand production overseas.
It is estimated that domestically based companies held approximately $2.5 trillion outside the U.S. as of the third quarter of 2016 according to Capital Economics, an economic research firm. It’s impossible to say how much of this money would be brought back to the U.S. if rates were cut or eliminated, but reinvesting that cash domestically could have notable economic benefits. Companies could invest in new operations, hire more workers, pay higher dividends, reduce debt, or repurchase shares.
Nothing firm yet, but an issue to watch
Specific proposals for corporate tax reform are still taking shape. The potential of these policies to have material economic or financial market implications, however, makes it an issue worth careful watching. Investors should note that changes to corporate tax laws could have a meaningful impact on their portfolios.