Sellers from Hell – Don’t Be One

If you have ever dealt with a truly obnoxious homeowner who is getting ready to sell; you know this can be a dreadful experience. While typical home sellers are gleeful about the opportunity to sell and make a killing on their great investment, some home sellers can be bad. Very bad. Other times, this kind of seller can not only kill the deal; they can end up losing money on their sell, because of their bad attitude. Sadly, the realtor in this situation ends up paying the higher price for having to cope with not only a spoiled sell, but also a spoiled seller.

For homeowners getting ready to sell, there are a few things that you should not do. Take a look through the following five facts, and don’t get caught being a Seller from Hell.

  1. Don’t be Stingy with the Buyer’s Earnest Money

When a buyer is really serious about buying a home; earnest money is provided to hold the house. Just like putting an item on lay away; earnest money is used to secure the sale and allows the buyer to get everything together in terms of financing or even selling their home. In a recent story related to earnest money, a seller decided to hang on to the Buyer’s earnest money. Apparently, there was a dispute over weather damage, and the Buyer expressed concerns over how storm-related issues were handled. In response, the Seller decided not only not to sell the Buyer the home, but also decided to not return the earnest money.

Eventually, the Seller decided to return the monies, rather than go to Court. This resulted in a lot of time and money costs, and the home sale was lost.

Simply, if you want to sell; keep your promise, and don’t keep someone else’s money. Bottom line.

  1. Don’t be Delusional – Not Everyone is a Sinatra Fan

Some sellers love their memorabilia. According to a recent case study, a seller decided to paint a life sized painting of Sinatra, and other members of the Rat Pack on their living room wall. In fact, the seller refused to remove the startling monstrosity and even insisted that the “art” should increase the selling price by $100,000. Not so. Even after not being able to sell the home; the seller did end up renting the home, but would not even allow the tenants to cover the mural. Delusional, yes? Not everyone is a fan of Sinatra. Some murals should be covered.

  1. Don’t Interfere in the Home-Selling Process

Some sellers become overly involved in the home-selling process to their own detriment. A real estate agent is a trained professional. They have attended courses, gone through certification, and understand the qualification process of buyers. So, if a seller hires a realtor to sell the home; let the agent do their job. In one example, the seller decided to interfere so much that the sale fell through. This caused a lot of frustration, hardship, hurt feelings, and wasted time. Follow the processes in place. Interfering never helps.

  1. Don’t Be Uncompromising

Buying or selling a home is a huge financial transaction. Compromise is a substantial part of the bargain. During one recent story, a seller was financially strapped and needed to sell the house short. She was able to make a deal and go through a home sale. However, during the closing an additional $67.00 was needed. The home seller in her unwillingness to compromise came under fire, because she insisted that the buyer pay this dollar amount. According to the title company, the buyer should have paid the amount, but refused. The seller actually did want the sale to go through and after cajoling from the agent, agreed to the terms. Everyone on both sides of the deal needs to understand the negotiation and compromise process.

  1. Don’t Be a Cat-Man

Yes, everyone loves a cat. However, when a seller’s pride of cats begins to take over the home, especially during showings when buyers might be allergic to the feline friends, it might be time to crate them. During one instance, even after an agent warned the seller that he should herd his cats, because buyers may be cat-adverse; the seller refused. Cats were everywhere. The seller’s sale was sabotaged. While this is a very strange scenario, and extreme in nature; when you want to sell your home; crate your cats.

Setschedule has changed the way real estate marketing is viewed, by changing the way REALTORS® access clients and listing appointments. SetSchedule is a “first of its’ kind” exclusive membership based model that provides verified appointments, marketing tools, and elite invite only networking events for its members. By blending new technologies, and thought processes with proven success methods Setschedule had incurred record producing results unseen in the industry.

 

Marketing In Real Estate

Roy Dekel Home

As a real estate agent, you always want to your best for home sellers. A vital aspect in the process of selling a client’s home is marketing. Without the proper marketing strategy in place, you run the risk of missing out on a significant amount of traffic and potential buyers. As the process of selling a home can often times be stressful, your sellers are relying on you to make the process as efficient and rewarding as possible!

As with any form of business, having a fully optimized company website is the first rule of thumb. The internet is the primary source of information for the majority of people, so your presence is highly relevant. Ensure your company website is mobile friendly , as mobile marketing has more significance. Earlier last year, Google reported that more than half of their searches occur on mobile devices. A fully optimized mobile site will retain your target audience!

Social media marketing is prevalent now more than ever! You should be present across all social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These platforms are not only a cost effective way to market a listing, but will also generate traffic if utilized properly. Engage with accounts in the listing’s particular community and connect with your target market. Be mindful of the relevancy behind hashtags, hashtags generate authentic engagement and impressions. You want the content featuring your listing to reach the proper audience, an audience interested in buying.

Consistency is key! Activity across each of your properties established authority and helps broaden your audience. Take advantage of automated services that will share your posts across multiple social networks. These tools allow you to schedule out posts, featuring your clients listing, for several weeks. As time is of the essence for most home sellers, automated services maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.

There are so many techniques and services available for you to market a property effectively and provoke the desired attention. Effective online marketing is a crucial component in closing a deal!  Check back for more real estate blogs from Roy Dekel!

 

2015, A Big Year In Commercial Real Estate

Roy Dekel Commercial Real Estate

This month we saw a variety of reports being released, analyzing 2015’s real estate market. While a lot can be said about both commercial and residential in the past year, a major focus of these reports was the growth of commercial real estate in the U.S. Real Capital Analytics released a compilation of data earlier this month, reflecting on transactions involving income-producing properties in the past year. While we didn’t see growth across each sector, the percent increase in other areas compensated for the slack.

Yahoo Finance recently published an article reflecting on this data from Real Capital Analytics. The data, which is comprised of commercial real estate transactions greater than $2.5M, is broken down into six different sectors. The sector which saw the biggest growth in transaction dollar volumes came from the industrial market. According to CBRE, the industrial availability rate has been falling for 23 consecutive quarters now.

Not surprisingly, retail real estate saw a decrease in closed volume coming out of 2015. The market is seeing a steady growth in online shopping which could attest to the decrease in growth we saw in the past year. However, studies suggest that with lower gas prices and an improving labor market consumer spending should grow; thus, retail real estate is expected to see some growth in the coming quarters. In Yahoo’s article, the vice president of Real Capital Analytics, Jim Costello states, “Retail is still having some trouble. We have a lot of retail that just doesn’t make sense anymore given the location in terms of the big-box activity and all the competition form the Internet as well.”

Overall the commercial real estate market saw an accumulative growth of 16% in 2015, amounting to a total of $503.7 billion in transactions. These figures are causing quite the celebration as it has been the most we’ve seen since before the financial crisis. Most experts believe that with the change in the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act this past year,  we’re sure to see continued growth in quarters to come. I believe that although there are competing factors, such as availability rates in certain markets, we are continuously seeing real estate developments in up-and-coming markets nationwide. Ultimately, 2015 was a major indicator of the rapid growth in commercial real estate and 2016 will likely follow suit.

Wilshire Grand & DTLA Boom

We’ve barely hit 2016, but plans like these don’t happen over night. The Wilshire Grand Center slated for completion some time in 2017 is a $1.2 billion mixed-use project set to include a 900-room Intercontinental Los Angeles hotel, luxury restaurants, and night life attractions. It will be the tallest structure in the LA skyline positioned as a rich cultural, economical, and social epicenter. An important feature specific to LA, the building will be infused with earthquake protection securities and provide the city with new, downtown office spaces.

WilshireGrand

Growing excitement and buzz regarding the increase in office space options would suggest a stabilization in market price, however, enthusiasts must keep in mind that the boon in residential and recreational activities in the downtown area are creating what some are referring to as an “urban renaissance.”

Currently, the Downtown Center Business Improvement District estimates 1.06 million square feet of office space under construction. This is in addition to the already high office vacancy percentage of 18.4, 2.6 percent higher than the national average.

Since the 1999 grand opening of the Staples Center and the city’s reuse ordinance, Los Angeles properties have been improving every year. Office prices in the area will continue to rise as long as new businesses show interest in long-term investment. Plans to improve transportation lines linking the west side of LA to downtown also presents an appealing incentive for more businesses to move into downtown office spaces. The Metro Expo Line stretching westward to Santa Monica is scheduled for completion in 2016 and estimates 64,000 boarding passengers by 2030.

Local improvement plans paired with foreign investment has made the downtown area the most attractive it has been in years. Young, working adults are more interested in moving to the city as many are opting to have families later than previous generations. The Wilshire Grand is anticipated to create up to 11,500 high-paying local jobs during its construction, more than 1,750 permanent jobs, and generate nearly $80 million in tax revenue for the city and county until its grand opening.

Middle Eastern Influence in Atlanta Real Estate

Atlanta

Now second only to New York, Atlanta has become a real estate hub for Middle Eastern investors. A recent CBRE Inc. analysis discovered a nearly 20 percent increase in Middle Eastern real estate investment in the first six months of 2015. This staggering increase is linked to cooling investments in previously coveted locations like Dubai and Qatar. People are beginning to realize that investing in the American real estate market has numerous benefits due to its predictability and structured judicial system.

As the southern market continues to grow, foreign investment is likely to increase.

 

TPG On the Rise

In its first high-risk real-estate fund, TPG raised more than $2 billion in commitments. Although TGP is a relatively new force in the real-estate investment industry, the company began fundraising for the real-estate fund it just closed in the beginning of 2014. Reaching the ambitious goal of a $2 billion round was difficult even for the $75 billion asset management company.

Recently, investors have been hesitant to reenter the market after its downturn a few years ago. However, companies like TPG have demonstrated a successful track record, encouraging those with only their toe in the pond to take a dive. Investors are starting to see the benefits of high-stakes opportunity funds, making fundraising easier. Pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign-wealth funds, and other institutions are looking for ways to reap the benefits of the riskiest investments – and with recent European and US economic growth, ricky deals and more likely to pay off.

In 2015 alone, real-estate opportunity funds have raised over $47 billion. While this is a far cry from the 2008 $74.2 billion record, it’s an improvement from 2014. With a few months left in the year, private-equity real-estate opportunity funds have raised a total of $87.2 billion. TPG has started to rank among big name firms like Blackstone Group LP and KKR & Co. Blackstone’s second largest business endeavor is now real-estate funds, managing over $91 billion in assets.

One reason for TPG’s seemingly overnight success was their decision to invest in real-estate companies instead of individual properties. In 2014, they converted LifeStorage into one of the country’s top self-storage companies with almost 6 million square feet of space. TPG also controls the pan-European industrial platform, P3 Logistic Parks and plans to buy the Hungary-based developer, Trigranit. TPG hopes to tap into Polish real estate soon as the budding middle class acquires more disposable income.

Innovations in Real Estate Tech

Technology has taken over. This is the age of rapid information and innovation. In cities like Los Angeles and New York, which attracts the best and brightest, they deserve just that: the best and brightest in real estate technology.

Within the real estate industry, utilizing new and inventive technology has the potential to make management and building data readily accessible. For real estate professionals, both on the commercial and residential scale, online platforms help them work faster and smarter. Analyzing trends become easier, market changes are seamless to track, and thus better guidance based on hard facts from the data provided comes more efficiently.

The marriage of real estate and technology is reaching all facets of the industry, with real estate investors pouring $62 million into platforms that will enhance the system for both residential and commercial real estate.

That $62 million is almost 20 percent of the $322.5 million that has been invested in tech companies globally in 2015, the majority of that money–$221.8 million–has gone towards tech companies focusing exclusively on commercial real estate. The remaining $100.7 million went towards companies dealing with residential real estate.

Of the five-hundred commercial and residential real estate professionals polled for the RE:Tech report, about 85 percent of those working in commercial real estate said they were taking the time to understand how these new platforms have potential impact on their business. Overall, 45 percent of those polled believe their brokerage is interested in folding new real estate technology into their business strategy.

And it’s a smart decision to make: NYC-based real estate tech companies raked in $28 million in the first quarter of 2015, and $34 million in the second. One of those companies, Honest Buildings, a management platform for building owners, raised $5 million last month in fundraising. Another, VTS, a platform for asset management and leasing, recently announced its fundraising of $21 million.

“Honest Buildings technology materially improves efficiency and transparency for owners and developers, while reducing risk for lenders,” said Howard Milstein, chairman and CEO of Milstein Properties and Emigrant Bank, a lead funder of Honest Buildings.

Real estate investment is seeing a surge with the induction of crowdfunding platforms into the industry since the federal JOBS Act passed in 2012. Sharestates, a crowdfunding marketplace, has raised over $30 million since January of this year, and Cadre, an online investment platform, raised $18.5 million. This is a distinctive indication that the business is evolving and adapting to be as responsive as possible to client needs.

Top 5 Rookie Mistakes of Home Viewings

As the middle man, your job is to facilitate successful home viewings, matching a potential buyer with the perfect fit. Whether they come in the form of a single family, bachelor or bachelorette, linking the buyer to a beautiful space in which they are willing to settle down should be top priority. However, there are many amateur mistakes beginner agents make, starting at the home viewing. Want to know how to avoid these faux pas? Check out the list below:

1. Avoid awkward run-ins with previous/current tenants.
One of the most uncomfortable situations cited by potential buyers and buyers’ agents was the current tenants or homeowners lingering around while clients previewed the home. Whether they were busy watching TV or making dinner, clients found the situation tense and unfavorable. Even worse, in some situations the previous or current tenant was found asleep in bed or taking a shower in the bathroom. In order to avoid such an awkward occurrence, be sure to give the previous owners ample time to clean the apartment and occupy their time outside of the home for the duration of the viewing.

Roy-Dekel-Frustration2. “I’m so sorry! But, I can’t unlock the door.”
It is extremely frustrating to make an appointment to view a home, arrive on time, and have the agent realize they do not have the key to enter the premise. This makes the agent look extremely unprofessional and unprepared. Even if the seller has promised that the key “will be waiting in the lockbox” upon your arrival, it is the responsibility of the agent to ensure that the key is actually in place. Arriving 20 minutes before the scheduled appointment gives you enough time to review your notes, check for the key, and potentially reschedule the viewing should the key be missing.

3. Avoid an Overly Messy Home.
Not everyone has the ability to see through the mess. If the seller or renter has left the premise in an unkempt manner, it can deter the potential buyer from investing in the home. It’s a waste of time on behalf of everyone to show a less than presentable place. This goes for pet odor, trails of kitty litter, and slobbery chew toys. No one wants to rent a home they feel they’d need to hire an expert cleaner to take care of before they move in. Make a recommendation to the seller to have their home in order prior to any showings.

Roy-Dekel-Pests4. Exterminate Pests.
Along the same vein of keeping the home tidy, exterminating any and all pests prior to listing is highly recommended. Make sure the attic is free of bats or moths. Make sure the basement is free of rodents. And most important, make sure the kitchen is free of roaches. Even the slightest sign of pests will immediately turn a seller off. As the agent, make sure you take note of any and all potential problem areas on the premise.

5. Avoid Misleading Photographs and Listings.
Listing a home as a 2 bedroom apartment and then arriving to see the current tenants have turned it into 3 can be distracting and seem misleading. Bad paint jobs, missing doors, or exposed piping can also be a huge turn off for buyers. The agent should be upfront about potential DIY projects executed by the former/current tenants and the status of said home makeovers. Make sure the pictures for the listing are current and match the viewing. There nothing worse than seeing a completely different home from the one expected.

Avoiding these blunders will save time and make you a better agent.

ODA Penthouse in New York City

This magnificent penthouse is one of the largest luxury apartments in New York City. Featuring state-of-the-art design and a ridiculous private gallery, this place truly pushes the conventional boundaries of what we define as a home. In the words of the Executive Director of ODA, Eran Chen, “our private spaces are reflections of ourselves”. This penthouse is located on the 90th floor of high rise building, featuring a 360 degree view of the Manhattan skyline. The apartment enters facing the east river creating a sense of journey and adventure. The living quarters are divided into two parts connected by a “main spine”. The southern hemisphere contains the private residence while the northern section consists of entertaining spaces. Contrasting textures and materials line the apartment to represent different places of the world.

Learn all about this amazing work of art below: