Author Archives: Samantha Chambers

How to Get Real Estate Referrals for Your Business

How can I make referrals my primary source of business? Referrals by nature come from people that know you, like you, trust you, sort of know you, sort of trust you, know that their friend works with you and that you’re a cool guy or cool gal. For me that is the essence of building a real estate business. Yes, we can of course get cold leads from a million sources. I have found in my experience, and this is just my opinion, that when working through leads that are “cold” meaning you have no leverage, they are disloyal, they’re just shopping around for the best deal, they don’t really care if they work with you or not and they’ll jump ship. I recommend that you delve into your sphere of influence. It use to be that you would look for people in your address book now it’s people you know on social media, people that you know through other people on social media. You can spend all day prospecting people you know and their friends and you can say “Oh, I know Bob and you know Bob and I just wanted to say hello.” In there is a tiny little bit of leverage if the potential client knows that you’re friends with Bob and he’s friends with Bob and he’s rude to you or disses you he knows that you might tell Bob that he was a jerk. My feeling is always run to your tribe, run to the people that know you, sort of know you, could know you, might know you and try to strike up realistic, genuine conversations with their best interest in mind and if you do that day after day after day after day you will get business, not might, not could, but will. When you run out of people you know look for strangers. Until then keep reaching back into your database. That is how you will get the majority of your business from referrals.

Top 5 Costly Mistakes Home Buyers Make (and How to Prevent Them)

Today, I will share with you the top 5 costly mistakes that home buyers are guilty of:

  1. Not Using a Buyer’s Agent  – when you buy a place you must be represented by your own realtor. So don’t go to the listing agent and think you’re going to get a better deal and just go find a real estate agent. You won’t have to pay money out of your pocket for it, and they’re going to represent your best interests.
  2. Not getting a home inspection – Don’t think that this $300 is wasted, it’s actually very important to have an expert come look at the house or building and tell you whether it’s worth its value or not.
  3. Putting down a small down payment – People think they should only put down a small downpayment. The bigger the downpayment the smaller your monthly mortage payments are going to be. So it’s better to put down a bigger downpayment and then having smaller payments in the future. And after all it’s an investment.
  4. Forget taxes and other fees – sometimes buyers think they pay the selling price and they’re done. You’re going to have to pay taxes and fees that you might forget about such as property transfer tax, lawyers fees etc. Just ask your realtor and don’t forget to include these fees in the final price.
  5. Don’t buy at the top of the budget – When you go to see your bank or your mortgage broker they will pre-approve you and give you a range. I know it can be tempting to buy at the highest price, but you shouldn’t. Save money for rainy days, keep some money aside. I recommend keeping your monthly payment the same as what you’re renting for right now.

Top 3 Considerations When Buying, Selling or Investing in Real Estate

Here are three things to keep in mind when buying/selling and investing in real estate, specifically buying investment properties and expecting a return in the future.

Location

So the first thing is your location. When you’re going to buy any house in general, I mean I don’t care what it is, you always want to have a better location or a good location and where you think you can see the location, in say, 10 years from now. God forbid you need to sell the property for some reason and you’re going to want to make your money back, or are you going to make a profit on the property in the next 5 to 10 years from now. You always have to keep that in the back of your head. Are people going to want to rent in that location, is it a good location depending on what you’re doing or what your strategy is. Location is always a good thing to think when talking about investing in real estate.

Time Frame

The second thing is the expected time frame of your investment when you buy that investment property. So if you buy that property for $100,000 and if you do the math for getting rent for $1,400 per month, how many months, or how many years is it going to take to get that $100K back, plus more. How many years will it take to breakeven and then make that margin after. So that’s always the second thing, in my opinion, you should always do when buying these properties, is how long is it going to take you. You always want to keep that timeframe in mind.

Expenses, Repairs, and Taxes

And the third thing on the list is your expenses, your repairs, and your taxes. How much are you going to have to put down, how much are you going to have to pay every month for repairs on the property for everything, so you can put that in your budget as well. I figure that out because that’s always going to be a problem, you always will have to repair something whether it’s the work outside, the landscaping, or whether it’s a broken this or broken that so that should always be included in your budget as well.

Tips for New Real Estate Agents

For my first tip, you would think it’s kind of a no brainer but it actually catches people off guard. Real estate is a career and you build it, and you make a lot of money. So my first tip for new agents is get really good at figuring things out for yourself. If you’ve always been one of those people that have had your hand held and someone telling you step by step by step what to do and giving you direction. This isn’t anything like that. So you need to get really good at figuring things out for yourself. There’s a lot to be learned, there’s a lot of things you’re going to want to know how to do and what to say, use the internet, like Google is so powerful. Use the internet and get good at figuring things out. There’s not always going to be somebody there to hold your hand and give you step by step what to do and so you have to be an adult in this career and you have to learn how to research and take instructions and just figure it out.

My second tip is you need to be vulnerable. Especially if you’re a new agent, you don’t know a lot, you’re walking into a career and you’re really trying to figure it out and make your mark in the industry and so you need to be vulnerable. And I’m mostly talking about being vulnerable with your clients. You don’t necessarily need to walk into every client’s home or speak with every client pretending to know everything and know how to do everything. If there’s something you don’t know, tell them. Tell them I don’t know that but I will get you the answer. Just be honest with people, be vulnerable. If you even want to go as far as saying this is my first transaction, I have a great team behind me, I have people helping me all along the way and I appreciate you for giving me this opportunity, that can go so much further than trying to show and act like you’re the biggest, baddest, agent in the city. You want to be vulnerable with your learning and this goes to your brokerage or your office. Ask questions when appropriate, talk to people about certain situations that you’re having. You’re not an expert, not many people are experts in this industry and this industry is constantly changing and so you really need to be vulnerable because that’s when things are going to open up for you and people are going to want to help you out and help you succeed.

My third tip, and this one makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable, but you have to be prepared to put yourself out there. This is one of those careers where it’s all about you, your image, your knowledge, it’s your business and so you have to be prepared to put yourself out there. Whether we’re talking about images, blogs, writing, social media, videos, whatever it is, you have to put yourself out there. That is what’s going to attract people to you and make them want to use you as their agent. When you start putting yourself out there and providing value and showing that you are knowledgeable and having a great smile and image, it’s going to attract people to you, but no one is going to know about you if you plan to play the role as a secret agent. If you’re just behind the desk nobody knows about you. What’s going to make your phone ring? What’s going to make someone want to reach out to you? You have to be prepared, if you really want to make a mark in this industry and really be successful you have to put yourself out there. We’re in 2017, social media is everything, so as a real estate agent you have to jump on that. It’s ok if you’ve been shy or you’re not really comfortable with it, get comfortable with it because it’s not going anywhere and long gone are the days where people used to open up a phone book and look for real estate agent’s name and number. Now it’s all about the internet, it’s all about being out there networking, getting to know people, you have to put yourself out there.

My next tip is attend as many training classes as possible. Even when you get your license it doesn’t stop there. All throughout your real estate career your going to want to get trained, things are going to change in the industry, new tools, new tips, so attend as many training classes as possible. So many people offer training in this industry, I get emails all day and night from title companies, mortgage companies, attorneys, banks etc all offering training classes to help us in our business. Attend as many as possible. As a new agent, as a seasoned agent we all attend trainings, there’s always something to learn. The more knowledge you have the more power you have. So attend as much training as you can.

My last tip is treat your real estate business like a job. Hold yourself accountable. If you’re transitioning from a part time or full time job in real estate, there’s going to be a lot of changes. There’s not going to be a boss waking you up in the morning. There’s not going to be a clock in clock out. You’re not going to receive a paycheck every two weeks. It’s totally different you’re working for yourself, you set your own hours, you set your own pace, you do what you want to do so you need to be very disciplined and treat this like a job. Surround yourself with people who are disciplined in this real estate business. I always tell people that winning is a culture, you want to be around winners, the ones who wake up early, and the ones who work, work, work, grind, grind, grind and who treat this like a true business. You need to be disciplined with your schedule and calendar. Your time, your processes, you need to be disciplined, treat this like a job. Even though you are working for yourself, you are working for yourself and if you want to make good money you need to be disciplined and treat this like a job.

The Fed Regulations to Consider When You’re Studying for Your Real Estate Exam

Now the fair credit reporting act is designed to help protect consumers against inaccurate information in our credit reports. And as consumers, we have the right to inspect our credit reports, and then correct any inaccurate information.  Now you might ask, “how can I check my credit report?” Well, the federal government has required the 3 major credit bureaus to setup a website– it’s called annualcreditreport.com.  It’s where you can get your free credit report from any of the 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.  Now if a consumer is denied credit, that consumer has to be given the identity of the credit bureau or credit bureaus that provided the information to the lender.

 

Now the next law we want to talk about is the equal credit opportunity act or ECOA. This prohibits discrimination in the extension of credit by lenders.  We’re actually extended beyond the fair housing protected classes when ECOA was created in the 1970s.  ECOA extends protection not only to the protected classes in fair housing of race, color, creed, sex or national origin, but also to marital status, age and income from public assistance.

So for example if I were 90 years old and walk into a bank and said, “I want to borrow money on a 30 year loan,” they couldn’t laugh me out of the building.  Or if I were a divorced woman and back in the 1970s, a single women had a great difficulty getting credit.  If I were a divorced woman, the fact that I’m divorced would not would not be able to be a reason for them to deny me credit because of the equal credit opportunity act.

ECOA applies to companies in the lending business.  It does not apply to a private lender who might make a loan here and there, and it doesn’t apply to sell the carry back financing, but bank savings institutions credit unions and mortgage companies. All have to abide by ECOA.

The next one we want to talk about is the ADA — the Americans with Disabilities Act. And the ADA requires equal access to public accommodations: now what is that mean? What it means is that properties that are open to the public– in other words business properties– must meet the ADA requirements. And we’re familiar with many of these because we’re all familiar with handicapped bathrooms, handicap parking spaces, ramps (going into and out of buildings), and many of the older buildings have had to be renovated in order to meet the ADA requirements.  Newer buildings, of course, must be built, but with the understanding that the ADA requirements are met. So the next time you are in a public restroom or thinking about parking in a handicapped space, remember the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The next one is the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act. This is a federal law that deals with the sale of land across state lines. So any time land companies are selling property or around the country– let’s say it’s property in Arizona or property in Florida or whatever. They’re selling across state lines and they have to provide buyers with what’s called a “property report”.

This is a disclosure document.  Now in Arizona, of course, if you are creating a subdivision there has to be a public report.  But up from a federal perspective, if you’re selling land across state lines, this Interstate Land Act requires this property report as a disclosure document to buyers.

The last one we want to talk about is the Do Not Call Registry. We’ve all received telephone calls from telemarketers that we don’t want. And we can try to avoid these by registering through the Do Not Call Registry. It’s referred to as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and it’s regulated by the FTC.  The FTC is the Federal Trade Commission and they established some national rules about about making phone calls.

So there’s a registry where you and I, as consumers, can register our phone number and this registration last indefinitely– it doesn’t last for just a year or 2– it lasts indefinitely.

And you can access it through do not call.gov.  Yeah all telemarketers– you’re the real estate agents who are who are doing some telemarketing making cold calls. All telemarketers should check the registry, and even if a consumer’s phone number is not listed, the law says there can’t be any calls before 8:00 AM and no calls after 9 PM. And of course these things are often violated that for a period of time it seemed that there was a by these rules were being observed.

But in recent years on it– we’re talking about now in the late 2017 early 2018– in recent years, there seems to be a an abundance of these calls. Part of that is because of the exemptions. Under the law if you have an existing business relationship with someone you can contact– if you have their prior written permission– you can contact them.

So here’s what you should be aware of: callers have to access the Do Not Call Registry to make sure that the number is not on the Do Not Call List. If you are calling more than 5 different area codes, then there’s a registration fee that has to be paid. Penalties are pretty severe. So that does it for our brief discussion on federal regulations.