That Awkward Moment When You Tell A Realtor It’s You NOT ME Roy Dekel On Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent

Roy DekelThe right Realtor can help you buy your fantasy home or sell your current house quickly. The wrong agent can turn the real estate transaction into a living nightmare. So how do you know when a real estate agent is a match from heaven? It’s a bit like a romantic relationship. You both have a lot invested in this affiliation, and you may have seemed compatible in the beginning, but let’s face it, it is just not working out.

Below are the top 5 reasons you should breakup with your agent;

  1. The agent isn’t accessible.

You have done your homework, and have carefully chosen an agents that fit all your criteria. Your agent is a rock star sales person in your neighborhood. Check! They have been in business for an impressive length of time, and have a huge team of agents to boot! But, you are unable to speak or meet with the actual agent you signed with, or worse the agent expects to fit finding your dream home in THEIR schedule. If you are only available weekends, and the agent is never available at the time you need, it is time to break up.

  1. You changed your search criteria.

Agents often have knowledge of a particular region. Local agents may have an understanding and awareness for the unique quirks of a neighborhood that an outside agent may not. An agent told me a story once about a client they had. The agent had a great relationship with a homeowner. They sold their property for top dollar, in record time. The sellers were so happy, they decided they would work with the Realtor on the purchase of a home as well. Their interest fell to a historic city that the existing agent had never worked in before. Luckily, the agent quickly found them a dream home, but it wasn’t until after escrow closed that clients realized the garage was too shallow to fit their car. Unfortunately this agent didn’t know what other agents in the area did. That the garages in this city were mostly conversions of buildings originally meant for carriages, and would only fit short cars like the 2 door Mini. [Read more…]

 Growth of Market Represents Real Headwinds for the Markets Core.

There are 5.9% fewer homes for sale in the United States than at this time last year.  The number of entry-level homes that are for sale is 10.4% less than last year. As a result, the low supply is driving up the price of entry-level homes typically sought by buyers.

The value of entry-level homes has appreciated; this is beneficial only if you are the owners who occupy these homes. Many first time home buyers are no longer able to afford the entry-level homes. All across the nation the median values of homes have increased 4.8% year after year since March and 1.1% over the course of the beginning quarter. The appreciation of homes has mainly been observed in the beginning level homes and the mid-level homes.

Moreover, this growth has mostly been seen among the larger housing markets where the economy and job wages have improved, which has attracted more folks to those areas. Millennials, still conservative about buy, have a good outlook on how everything will pan out. However, the lack of homes in entry and a mid-level markets are a big concern, because there has been a real lack of homes in these specific groups.

Brutal at the bottom.

The market has seen a 5.9% decrease in homes across the nation at the end of the beginning quarter than last year. Homes at the bottom and middle part of the markets fell 10.4%, compared to the 1.9% in the top third of the markets. Unfortunately for those home buyers in the situation of having a tight budget to work with has now led to a situation where many markets are too expensive to purchase. In fact, most of the markets now are saturated with higher end homes, that are well out of reach for the first time home buyer.

With stronger demand for housing that is more affordable and the signs of a growing and healthier economy, this only pushes the price of homes in this segment even higher. The home values for the entry-level category are growing much faster than the other two market segments in the 18 of the United States 35 city markets, and this is where the secondary buyers are over populating the beginner and high-end homes for sale. To sum it up, depending on where you live in the United States, the growth rates between the top and bottom groups are not noticeably close.

Tranquil at the top.

While limited inventory and acceleration in appreciation put the majority of potential home buyers in a tough spot; for those potential buyers in a better financial position and who are looking for a high-end home; these buyers seem to be experiencing an easier time.  The high-end listings nationwide have experienced a 1.6% increase in the last year, compared to the 0.4% and 0.5% in the entry and mid-level homes. Buyers who are looking for higher end homes will have an easier time than the entry and mid-level home buyers because higher end homes have a larger market and therefore more homes to choose from. Entry and mid-level home buyers have to face more competition, less inventory, and consequently increasing prices. Yet again, here is an example of the benefits of being a well-to-do home buyer.

Home value growth accelerating again.

In March of 2016, the median home value increased 0.4% from February. While the value of homes has increased over the past four years, there was a cooling period from spring of 2014 to spring of 2015. This peaked at 7.9% in April of 2014 then slowed after that month. It reached a low in spring of 2015 of 2.7%. Home growth has since been higher than the month before of 10 and 11 months, before falling in March to 4.8%. These growths are normal; however, if the market rises too fast, potential home buyers could be priced out of the market. This also comes with the side effect that home buyers may have to rent for a longer time frame than what they had originally planned. Impacts may also be that the deterioration of home growth weeds out the income of most jobs in the area. Home values in 25 metro areas increased 4.8% over the national pace in March. The value of homes grew 10% over each year in seven of the larger metro areas. Denver was up 15.7, Portland was up 14.8%, Dallas was 13%, San Jose was 12.6%, Seattle was 11.7%, San Francisco was up 11.5% and Miami had a 10.5% increase. The metro areas of the country did not experience a drop in the value of their homes.

Rents Increasing.

The median rent in the United States is $1,389 up from 0.5% from the month of February and the 2.6% from March of 2015. The cycles in rent are nothing to be concerned about, as this is just something rents seem to do on an annual basis. Between August of 2015 and February of 2016, rents hovered between $1,380 and $1,382 before increasing to the current price of $1,389.  This seven-dollar increase represents that people who rent are picking back up. Rent operates in the same supply and demand that real estate does, and this is an indicator that people rent because they are unable to find a home that is suitable for their budget. Rents grew in all but of 35 larger metro areas. The only area that didn’t experience the increase is Cleveland, which actually experienced a -1.2% decline from March of 2015. San Francisco grew from 9.9% in March of 2015; Portland grew 8.6%; and San Jose went up 8%. All of the ones that increased were located in metro areas.

Outlook.

In the future, median home prices in the United States look to increase 2.7% in March of 2017 to $191,257. Median rent prices are also expected to increase to $1,426.  As for existing home sales activity in March; it was strong; which is a good sign for spring after a disappointing February. Home sales have been very inconsistent. It’s very difficult to increase sales when home prices seem to plunge. This is another sign that spring is another rough time for potential buyers. Competition for these homes will be hard, and patience of potential buyers looking at purchasing an entry or mid-level home will be tested to the very brink. To stand out, Serious Buyers should get pre-approved now and start working with a Realtor that is experienced in bidding wars. Be prepared to offer the asking price so that seller knows that you are serious about their home.

 

 

Roy Dekel is a venture capitalist with over 10 years of real estate experience under his belt. He has invested in multiple markets including the finance and entertainment industries, merchant services and Real Estate Developments. Roy has served in multiple professional roles such as the Director of Business Development, President, Co-Founder, CEO, and Partner in his portfolio companies. In addition to his strong career track, Roy has served as an active member of a variety of charitable organizations, promoting the growth and development of the Israeli and Jewish communities.

Mr. Dekel is an Israeli native, serving 5 years in the military after which he immigrated to Los Angeles, California. In 2002, he became Director of Business Development at a construction and building Company. There, his primary responsibilities were to develop sales policies and effective reporting systems for all levels of business. Additionally, he succeeded in growing sales to 10MM per month and 120MM Annually. Roy maintained his position at the Company for 3 years after which he transitioned into his role at the DCH Home Development Company. He served as the president for 6 year, developing the corporate sales process, managing construction teams, and identifying pertinent investments.

In 2006, Roy Dekel became the CEO of The CA Merchant & Investment Group. Again, he was able to build and promote the company’s investment policies, sales guidelines, and new commercial account relationships. Roy maintained this role from 2006 to 2009 while balancing his position as the CEO & Partner of LAG Entertainment Group. At LAG Entertainment, Roy was able to review investment deals in the entertainment field. Moreover, he was an associate producer for the 2008 film “Killer Pad”. The palpable success of Roy Dekel’s leadership enables him to have a positive impact on the growth of the company and his own professional development.

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!

 

Roy Dekel On Buying A New Home In 2016

We’re only two months into the new year and already we’re seeing an abundance of reports on the housing market in 2016. Whether or not it’s an optimal time to buy a home is the question most consumers on the market have. The general consensus? More homes are expected to hit the market, rental rates will continue to skyrocket, and mortgage rates are expected to gradually increase.

Los Angeles Roy Dekel

The rental market has been hot for some time now, and that’s expected to continue. As millennials continue to pay off their student loans and are more keen to living in urban areas, rental prices will continue to rise and the vacancy rate will continue to decline. There’s an overwhelming demand for apartments, specifically in central hubs on both the east and west coast, thus these alarming rates. With rates as high, if not higher than a mortgage, in most cases buying a house is the better deal!

Another factor that might entice you to buy is the more available homes expected to hit the market this year. In and article for money.cnn.com back in December of 2015, chief economist at Realtor.com, Jonathan Smoke said, “Because of the price appreciation they have experienced, you will have more sellers put homes on the market next year.” Furthermore, developers are expected to focus on building more starter and middle-level homes, which will boost the inventory and further eliminate bidding wars.

Although we’ll likely see the Federal Reserve further increase interest rates this year, they’re still considerably low. Thirty-year-fixed rate mortgages averaged below 4% in 2015. According to FreddieMac.com rates should only top out at 4.4% this year, which is still dramatically less than what it was a decade ago. It would be beneficial to get approved for a mortgage this year while rates are still at an all-time low.

The overall verdict, from a multitude of authoritative figures in the real estate market, is to buy a home in 2016. There are more options readily available for you to choose from, it’s likely the lowest interest you’ll ever see in a mortgage, and renting is no longer a feasible option!

 

Check back for more real estate blog posts 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.