Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Commercial Real Estate Investment 101

Commercial real estate investment is a great way to make money if you know what you are doing. Commercial real estate investments basically means investing in any type of real estate transaction that is not a single family home. Generally this term is used when it refers to real estate such as apartment complexes, office buildings, educational buildings, retail properties, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and the like. There are a wide variety of real estate properties that are considered commercial and this may include a piece of vacant land where a commercial building could be built or else a piece of land with a functioning business already on it.

Investing your hard earned money in commercial real estate is a relatively safe way to invest and it can have great profits if you play your cards right. You may not know much about this type of real estate but realize the potential and want to get involved. A great way to learn more is to take a real estate investing program so you can learn all about these types of investments. When you are better educated you may still decide to take a real estate investing seminar or two to learn all you can before you make an investment. After all, it is your hard earned money and you want to know what you are doing with it.

Most people choose to make this type of investment because it will allow them to build equity, provide rental income, or even to use for their own business. Each of these goals is specific and has different methods of managing the investment and property. However, taking several specific courses on the type of commercial real estate you are interested in will really guide you and lead you down the right track.

If you are considering renting the property you need instead of buying it you should consider a few things. First of all, buying property will allow you to gain equity, which is important. Also, you can manage your property the way you see fit and won't be concerned with the rules and regulations imposed upon you by a property owner because you are the owner! These are just a couple of the reasons why people choose to invest in commercial real estate.

This is just some of the background information on commercial real estate and if you are toying with the idea of making an investment then do some research, make a list, and compare the pros and cons. When you do this making the right decision for you will be really easy!


Friday, May 25, 2007

Real Estate Customer Relationships Perspective

It's recognized that a company's success is based not only on financial measures which, although important, are not indicative of customer, employee, or quality problems or opportunities. Besides costs and revenue, businesses looking for long-term profitability have to take into consideration customer relationships, employee skills and collaboration items.

Leading companies tend to focus on a balanced approach to performance measurement to assess processes and identify which of them needs improving before it turns into a serious problem. Customer relations is one of the perspectives to choose measures of key importance.

Whether a company is in the business of building, selling, servicing, or managing property, residential or commercial property managers support customer-driven business strategies that increase insight into operational performance and improve responsiveness to the unique needs of buyers, tenants, users and occupiers of real estate. Balancing customers' needs with the portfolio makes property companies pro-active real estate organizations.

The scorecard framework of a strategic measurement and management system known as the Balanced Scorecard can be modified to this mission as well. It can help to determine which factors, in addition to financial, are critical to the long-term success of a property company. The system enables organizations to transform data into actionable information and manage performance for all strategic objectives including customer relationships.

Customer-centric objectives are aimed at bettering manage relationships throughout the customer lifecycle ? from browsing a business web site, to an interested lead, to a qualified prospect, to a customer who has placed an order, to servicing that customer and to guiding him to re-purchase.

In choosing measures for customer relationships perspective companies dealing with residential property try to develop strategies that meet customers' real estate requirements. They enhance the customers' knowledge needed for effective decision making providing them with information on the company's policies, procedures and regulations. Considering customers the driving force of business, property companies try to obtain customers' feedback to learn about their changing needs and improve the real estate services.

Services which are performed when it comes to renting, buying or selling properties for clients, include ensuring terms and conditions of purchase agreements, acting as an intermediary in negotiations between buyers and sellers, coordinating appointments to show homes to prospective buyers, generating lists of properties that are compatible with buyers' needs and financial resources, participation in listing services and others. Improving the factors that lead to satisfied and active customers conditions successful business activities and procedures and higher level of performance accordingly.

Special programs implemented by many real estate industry leaders as supplemental measure in evaluating operating performance, facilitate strategic relationships with the customers from the initial point of contact through to the closing of the transaction. Thus, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) empowers companies to manage customer relationship management process with dashboard view, lead management, marketing campaigns, advanced forecasting, contact management, opportunity management, etc.

Constant reevaluation of performance measures should be balanced with the need to improve usefulness of the metrics with regard to Customer Relationships Perspective. That can result in higher productivity of business and maximization of revenue.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Opt-in Listing Helps Real Estate Websites

Ever wonder why there are just too many "free stuff" from internet websites? You'd think that these marketers and website owners are just wasting too much of their own resources, products and assets to nothing. But the truth is, marketers have a positive aim for distributing their "free stuff" online; and it's only to gain success from the subscribers and customers they get out of the free giveaways.

One good help for online entrepreneurs, especially real estate agents is to build an opt-in list. What exactly is an opt-in list? It's a list of email addresses which an online real estate agent or any online entrepreneur has compiled for the distribution of their product and service information. In short, it is a sort of mailing list; a newsletter – an advertisement. The only difference from an opt-in email and spam email is that the sender has asked for the recipient's permission before an email is sent.

As a real estate agent, you need to maintain a healthy relationship and contact with your customers since this type of business requires good communication. Without good communication; you could probably lose your real estate business, fast. In this case, you need to give your onlookers, visitors and even potential customers a reason to stay put your website. One big qualifier for this fact is to make sure that your website has fresh and original content. If your customers notice that your website has the same content, it'll mean bye-bye to you.

Next is the keyword you've set up for your website. When you have the incorrect keyword, you may lead wrong customers to your site and it'll just waste both of you and their time. Also, it is important to have the appropriate keywords because when you have interested visitors and when they find your website reliable with what they're searching for, your website will be the first source of information in the real estate category. So make each information count.

And still a good basis for getting a good opt-in email address for your opt-in list is to make your website as presentable and helpful as possible. Your website visitors and customers would like to experience a user-friendly website with coordinating colors and buttons. It doesn't help to create a website with too many images since it will just cause longer time to load on your customer's browser. Make everything organized, attractive but helpful.

By trying the steps given, you'll have a full opt-in listing in no time.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Buying property in The Dominican Republic

"I assure your highnesses that these lands are the most fertile, temperate, level and beautiful mcountries in the world"- Christopher Columbus. The Dominican Republic is one of the most beautiful Caribbean destinations and is also one of the most exciting emerging property markets in the world. Government incentives to attract high quality sustainable tourism continue to successfully revitalise the countries economy and industry and there has never been a better time to buy a property in The Dominican Republic.

The market continues to grow at unprecedented rates resulting in steadily increasing real estate prices and solid rental returns. Guaranteed rental has become a buzzword within the property industry but few schemes could compare with the structure or yields offered by guaranteed rental schemes. Furthermore the government incentives for the current developent offer 10 years of tax incentives, no tax on rental income, no capital gains tax and no property purchase tax (Normally 4.6%). There are no restrictions on foreigners inheriting title to property and all development properties are freehold.

Punta Cana-Bavaro has become the fastest growing tourist area within The Dominican Republic. Punta Cana International airport receives 47% of all foreign tourists, with local resorts enjoying occupancy levels in excess of 86%. There is a demand for more upmarket, residential style accommodation and hence the major investment in the area as more people realise the potential of this beautiful country in comparison to other Caribbean destinations. The Dominican Republic has seven international airports, more than any other Caribbean Island.

Many improvements to the countries infrastructure are linked directly to the pursuit of tourist income, with new highways being built and refurbishment work, as well as renovation of historic areas. The government is currently spending $20 million on an international marketing campaign to attract tourism and investment from around the world to this area. High interest bearing USD accounts and USD based investments are both available and tax free. The banking system is highly regulated and security is deemed good.

The most recent development is widely recognised as the largest dedicated leisure resort development in the world and perhaps the last investment opportunity. It is continually courted by premier international leisure resorts and understandable when 8% guaranteed rental yield (net of management fees) is available for the first 5 years. The Dominican Republic is approximately 600 miles South East from Florida, United States and approximately 4000 miles from the UK, With flying times of approximately 2 hours and 7 hours respectively and Punta Perla is fifteen minutes from Punta Cana International Airport. For leisure, opportunity and benefits The Dominican Republic is the off plan capital.

2700 acres of sculptured tropical paradise along with 3 signature Golf Courses plus academy. The Golf Club is the synthesis of spectacular location with grand vision and it is destined to become one of the most prestigious international championship standard Golf retreats in the World.

The Dominican Republic enjoys a year round tropical maritime climate, a latitude of 17'36 - 19'58, places the Dominican Republic at the border of the tropical zone. Sea breezes refresh the insular territory, evening out temperature to average 23'C in the early mornings to 32'C at mid-day. There is little difference between winter and summer temperature with July averaging at 82'F (28'C) and January at 76'F (23'C).

The lowest temperatures occur in the mountain areas near Constanza, where temperatures have dropped to 0'C , and record highs have been registered at the frontier with Haiti , 39'C in the summer. The months of May to November are regarded as the rainy season and most rain falls in the northern and eastern regions. The Dominican Republic is similar in size to Scotland or the U.S. state of Maryland and is the second largest island in the Greater Antilles.

Named by its Spanish settlers "Hispaniola", the island became the hub for the expansion of the Spanish empire into the new world. The city of Santo Domingo (originally named "La Isabela") was founded in 1496, and soon became the seat of the first cathedral, hospital and university of America.

A year after gaining independence from Spain in 1821, the eastern part of the island was occupied by Haiti. This occupation ended on February 27, 1844 with the proclamation of the National Independence. Since 1966, ten democratic elections have been held, alternating the power between the three main political parties.

The Dominican Republic's Latin style is a sharp contrast to the character of the many nearby islands, especially the British and French-influenced ones, and is reflected in both the local music and cuisine.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hitting the Property Jackpot

There is a fundamental difference between entering a lottery and attempting to make money in the property business. The former relies completely on chance. While there may be an element of luck required in property, you can be in a position to control your own destiny.

If you're serious about making money from property then you need to approach it as a business proposition. Just as you would if you were starting your own business from scratch, you need to consider the various aspects of the property market before you begin.

It's wise to start by drawing up something pretty comparable to a business plan. It may be that you don't like the formality of committing so much information to paper, but such a plan can save you both time and money in the long run.

The reasoning behind drawing up a business plan (it's really a plan of action in this case) is that it offers the opportunity for you to outline your objectives and how you intend on achieving them. There will be times in the future when you may need to refer back to your plan - you'll find that it helps you to retain focus.

Let's think about a plan to make money by buying a range of properties and then looking to rent them out. If I were drawing up such a plan, the first thing that I'd consider would be my target market.

If you're going to be renting out properties then you'll need to have tenants. You should begin by asking yourself which locations offer the prospect of plenty of tenants. Typically, you'll be looking at towns and cities that have high student populations, or maybe locations where property prices have got too high for first time buyers.

These will be your potential target markets. Once you have these identified, you can develop your plan by constantly asking yourself key questions:

Where are the best locations? How much does property cost in these locations? What rental returns might I expect? How would I go about the practicalities of managing and maintaining properties?

You'll see from the questions above that each one that you answer will help to build up a clearer picture. Before you know it you'll have a complete plan for your property investment future.

Next will come the final stage: putting your plan into action!

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Friday, May 18, 2007

UK's Largest Property Owner Goes Carbon Neutral

The UK's largest property company by asset, British Land PCL, is setting an example by promising to become carbon neutral by 2008/2009. British Land PLC outlined its plan of reducing energy and carbon emissions in all of its rental properties in its Corporate Responsibility Report.

The chief executive of British Land, Stephen Hester, said: "We are taking an activist approach, stepping up existing efforts and aim to lead the market in developing and managing buildings in a sustainable manner." and "By financing, developing and managing properties that responsibly utilise energy, water and waste, we conserve the world's resources and can also reduce our costs and those of our occupiers."

Their Corporate Responsibility Report outlines the companies strategy to become carbon neutral in three major elements:

1)Reduction of the carbon content of energy supply.

2)Installing turbines and solar panels and investing in combined heat, power and cooling sources;

3)Continued management and reduction of direct emissions

4)Carbon credit off-setting

In 2006, British Land PLC was able to reduced their entire portfolio's carbon emissions by 4% and water by 16%. One of British Land's largest assets, Meadowhall Shopping Centre, reduced their energy consumption by 11%. The Corporate Responsibility Report sets ambitious goals for 2007 in areas such as waste management, biodiversity, and community involvement.

The company is Britain's biggest retail landlord with 50% of their portfolio invested in commercial property. Their entire portfolio was valued at £16.4 billion in 2006, making it one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom.

British Land has always had an environmental agenda but they are now accelerating their policy to become carbon neutral sooner. They are using their special position of influence in the UK to advancing the cause of sustainability and set an example for all property owners to follow.

The Company will work in close partnership with customers and suppliers to help them to reduce their energy usage. Using new technology and educating people on ways to increasing the use of renewable energy, maximise energy efficiency, and off-setting carbon as the last step in achieving carbon neutrality.

The Corporate Responsibility Report outlined its future goals:

• 201 Bishopsgate and the Broadgate Tower wiil exceed BREEAM rating of 'Excellent' by 29%.

• British Land is making their head offices more eco-friendly by adding cycle racks, shower facilities, recycling initiatives and only Forest Stewardship Council certified timber throughout the building. The total cost for all of the refurbishments will cost over £500,000.

• Blythe Valley Park project has created 4,000 new permanent jobs; mare than 1,000 new homes will be built at Regents Place; and over £100,000 has been invested in the design at the Euston Road underpass.

• Meadowhall Shopping Center won a Business in the Community award for energy efficiency, waste management and


• Investments in education, the arts and sports total over £658,000 .

• Employees time given to volunteering is estimated at nearly £300,000.

• In future, the companies Financial Reporting will be integrated with the Corporate Responsibility

Reporting. The reports will be available online in order to reducing printing and paper use.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Announcing The True Facts About Buying Property in Turkey

If you've always wanted to buy your own property in Turkey but didn't know how, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that the entire process, right from the signing of the preliminary contract to the completion is a remarkably simple and easy.

However, the only hurdle one must face here is the Turkish Law that states that all foreigners must obtain permission from the Military authorities before they can acquire property on Turkish Territory.

This process of approval by Turkish Military can take up to twelve weeks. However, as it stands right now, there is a massive backlog of applications since the country's legislation was re-drafted in 2005. But don't be disheartened because the new law has been put in place since Jan, 2006 and everything is expected to return to normal by the end of the year.

The good news is that the recent amendments made to the property law will not affect British buyers. The slightly modified law limits the amount of land that a non-Turkish national can buy up to 2.5 Hectares.

It also states that all purchases must be made within areas sanctioned by the Turkish government and those that are within an official town plan. The law also bars foreigners from buying land in areas that are of cultural, economic and military significance to the nation. The bad news is that these areas may include the popular coastal resorts that are coveted by British buyers.

When buying property in Turkey, one needs to be careful, especially when handing over any money. Once you have decided on a particular property, you will probably need to pay a deposit, which should be recorded in the contract between you and the seller.

DO NOT hand over any amount in the absence of a Contract and before putting your signature on one always get it checked by a Turkish solicitor who has experience in Turkish property law.

There are certain checks and searches involving the deeper aspects of the law that your solicitor should make at the Land Registry office. Once these are out of the way, and you have permission from the military authorities, you can then proceed to paying the money and transferring the deeds to your name.

You can also have your solicitor handle the entire proceedings by granting him power of attorney to act on your behalf. The procedure takes place at the Local Land Registry Office and really is quite simple and uncomplicated.

Seems easy enough, but remember to include certain fees and costs involved in the transaction. The land registry fees alone cost about £160, then there's the 1.5% stamp duty, the legal fees and don't forget the 3% agents commission.

As long as you are buying with either Euros or US Dollars, keep in mind to use a recognized foreign currency broker rather than you bank. This way you will get a better exchange rate and can save on commissions and fees.

The above is basically a gist of what you need to know when exploring property options in Turkey. So go ahead and get your own piece of paradise today!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Getting Ready to Move?

Wow you just bought your new house! That new piece of real estate that you have been wheeling and dealing on for what seems like forever. So the deal is closed and you are ready to move. It's important to consider a few steps prior to packing that first box.

The first thing you should do is tell people that you are about to move and when you are going to move. Friends and family should be told right away, most likely they probably already know that you have bought a house and are well on your way to moving in.

Apart from your family and friends, it's also important to let all of your contacts know that you are moving. Send a change of address card to all those important contacts so you won't miss any mail. You can also go to your local post office and have your mail forwarded from your old address to your new address. This allows you to fill out the rest of the change of address cards for all that mail that slipped your mind.

Start purging! To limit what you have to pack and what you have to move, first start by returning all those items that belong to their original owners. If you have a bunch of things that aren't important or serve no real value anymore, have a garage sale or give them away.

You should arrange service disconnects and or transfers with utility providers such as your water, heat, electricity, phone and cable. It's best to contact them early to make the arrangements.

Make sure to contact your bank and let them know you are moving. If you are not changing any bank accounts, you can update the address on your bank accounts and be done. While doing this you might want to order some new checks with your updated address. If you are going to open a new bank account consider doing it prior to moving, you want to be able to access your money once moved.

These are just a few important steps prior to moving day. To make things a bit smoother consider having a to do list so you can keep track of all the things you need to do prior to moving.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Questions To Ask A Seller Over The Phone When Buying Real Estate

When looking for new real estate one important thing is getting information over the phone. If you ask the right questions you will save a lot of time. The reason this will save a lot of time is if you ask the right questions you will know if the property is what you are looking for. One question to ask is how much equity is in the home. If the house is paid off in full the seller might do an unconventional deal with you, like seller finance. This is when you write a promissory note and pay the seller over time.

The time dose not have to be a long time you can pay the seller over five years and after the five years the seller will get a balloon payment for the rest. For the five years you will pay the seller the rate you will pay if you are going to pay off the promissory note in thirty years. After five years you get a mortgage and pay the rest of the promissory note off. Another thing you can ask over the phone is if the mortgage is assumable. If the mortgage is assumable and the seller has a little equity you can take out a loan for a little more than the equity and pay that to the seller and assume the mortgage. When you do this make sure you can pay for the loan and the mortgage.

One last thing you can ask over the phone is the size of the property and if the property has any special qualities. By asking this you will find out how much bedrooms the property has you will also find out if any thing comes with the property. Talking to a seller over the phone can make you nervous the first few times. One thing you can do is have a list of things to ask. Getting the right information over the phone from a seller may not be an easy thing. If you use the information you read here it can make the process a bit easier.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Retail Real Estate

Retail real estate is a common type of commercial development. There are several types of retail real estate commercial developments. A few types of these developments include strip mall centers, neighborhood centers, community centers, shopping centers and more. All of these centers provide space for businesses to sell their goods and services. These centers usually have one very large national tenant.

Strip centers are usually four acres or smaller. The stores found in strip centers are usually fast food restaurants, cafes & diners, dry cleaners, video rentals and other small stores that specialize in convenience.

Neighborhood centers are larger and are generally anchored by a large grocery, drug or electronic store. This is a good opportunity for small local shops to become a tenant. These centers can be found in medium to large sized suburban areas with a population of above 5,000. In larger residential communities, sometimes two or more neighborhood centers with large commercial stores can be found due to competition.

A large type of retail commercial development is the regional shopping mall. Theses usually have several large anchors, usually department stores. Every type of business could be found in a shopping mall because of its attraction to shoppers. Large investors handle regional shopping malls because of the enormous amount of money it takes to get one started. Another trend is small outdoor malls where both normal and discount stores can compete with regional indoor malls.

Retail real estate is a popular and risky venture that many investors like to take on. You can find the centers popping up all over the nation. Wherever there is a neighborhood lacking commercial stores, an investment opportunity should be sought.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

NBS Real Estate Capital Acquires Yosemite Office Center

Colorado Investor Sells 68,100-SF Bldg. for $130 PSF

NBA Real Estate Capital acquired Yosemite Office Center in Greenwood Village from Kraft Real Estate Investments LLC for $8.95 million, or about $130 per square foot.

Built in 1982, the 68,100-square-foot, Class B office building is within the highly coveted Denver Tech Center.

This is the second acquisition in the Denver Tech Center for NBS Real Estate Capital. In September, it acquired Greenwood Place, a 73,429-square-foot, Class B office building, for $8.5 million.

Dean Corey, Troy Meyer and Suni Devitt of Sperry Van Ness represented Kraft Real Estate Investments LLC. NBS Real Estate Capital was represented in-house.

For further details on the Yosemite Office Center sale, please refer to CoStar COMP #1301002.

For further details on the Greenwood Place sale, please refer to CoStar COMP #1156643.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Andalusian Law To Provide More Protection For New Property Buyers

Builders will not be able to change the quality of materials used or the layout of a new house or flat without the prior consent of the buyer.

"The developer who sold us the house told us that the quality would be excellent and that there would be a double wall between each flat. Now when my neighbour watches the football, I can hear the match in my living room because the walls are paper thin".

This is one typical example of the thousands of complaints about new housing received at Consumers' Information Offices. Soon though, thanks to the new Quality Housing Law announced recently by the Junta de Andalucía, this type of complaint could end up in court with the law on the buyer's side. The new regulations will oblige builders and developers to stick religiously to their plans as far as the layout and the quality of the new property are concerned, and these should be clearly specified in detail before the first payment is made.

Pending approval by the Andalusian parliament, the new law makes it clear that any change to the plans or the quality of materials used for a new construction must not be made without the prior consent of the buyer. In the future a home buyer who takes a developer or constructor to court is more likely to win the case if the finished product differs from the description on the original contract. If marble floors were promised in all the rooms, then they must be marble, and the distribution must coincide exactly with the plans shown on purchase.

Technical changes

At present developers are protected by a clause which allows them to change the layout of a property for technical reasons. The new law will oblige them to seek the buyer's consent before any modification is made. In future plans for new homes must also include information regarding the land on which the construction is to take place, detailing geotechnical, physical and environmental conditions and the planning category.

Failure to comply with the new regulations will also meet with stricter penalties. Fines will range between 6,000 and 150,000 euros and will be imposed per property rather than per offence committed. Therefore in the case of problems with a block of 90 flats, the developer could face 90 fines, rather than just one. The Junta de Andalucía also plans to oblige all local councils to reserve 30 per cent of land newly classed as for residential use for subsidised housing.

The future law

Aims: To establish quality requirements for all production and guidelines for quality definition.

Quality requirements: Greater structural safety and stability and improved access for people with reduced mobility.

Ways to improve quality in a development: Definition of geotechnical, physical and environmental conditions of the land and planning category before sale along with a detailed list of the quality of materials to be used.

Penalties: Fines range from 6,000 to 150,000 euros imposed per affected property.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Alexandria Real Estate Equities "buy," target price raised

- Analyst Philip Martin of maintains his "buy" rating on Alexandria Real Estate Equities (). The target price has been raised to $128.In a research note published this morning, the analyst mentions that the company has posted its 1Q07 FFO per share in-line with the consensus, and its dividend growth and q/q FFO per share growth were amongst the highest in the REIT industry. Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ growth in the quarter was boosted by the industry-leading rental and same-store growth and investment spreads, the analyst says. The company has the ability to achieve above-average growth going forward, adds.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Do You Need Real Estate Agents In Ohio?

It's questionable whether real estate agents in Ohio bring buyers better prices. The trade group says real estate agents in Ohio bring prices that are 15.4% higher than sellers who don't use one. But experts note that when real estate agents in Ohio put their own homes on the market, they leave them on for 10 more days and sell them for 3% more than the homes of their clients. The book also purports that real estate agents in Ohio use vague words like "fantastic" and "charming" to describe their clients' houses, rather than stronger, more specific adjectives, because their primary goal is to persuade homeowners to sell for less than they'd like, and alert buyers that the house can be had for less than the price.

Some experts disputes the notion that real estate agents in Ohio are just out for a quick commission. "Their business relies on their reputation for getting the highest price for their clients," he says. Experts say that real estate agents in Ohio add value in handling tricky people problems and details that may trip up inexperienced sellers. "A FSBO doesn't have someone to handle negotiations or find a middle ground when emotions run high," they say. "The real estate agent in Ohio doesn't have someone who will tell him what disclosures he needs for his house in his state, or who will keep his house secure by prescreening buyers."

Although the trade association doesn't keep track of commission levels, experts say that commission percentages seem to be dropping. In Ohio, where price growth has been positive but not overwhelming, commissions have been running around 6%; in the hot Northeast, they're running around 4%. "It's driven by the marketplace," they say.

Part of what's pushing down costs is the popularity of flat-fee Ohio brokers and Ohio discount brokers. These give general bare-bones help, rebates, or menu-based options at reduced cost. Most important, many real estate agents in Ohio do what owners can't do for themselves, which is get the house listed on local multiple listing services. But after that, sellers get a break depending on what aspect of their home's marketing and sale they want to assume on their own, such as advertising, holding open houses, negotiating, or handling the paperwork.

At least one national broker, Zip Realty, which started in 1999, is relying on a Web-based business model that treats real estate agents in Ohio as employees rather than independent contractors, to help hold down costs. Marketing is somewhat bare-bones, but covers the basics: home advertisements in local newspapers and on real estate Web sites with virtual tours, one open house, one for-sale sign on the lawn, flyers, an e-mail blast to buyers, and coordination of showings. Its rates, however, are typically 1% less than the going rate in an area—for the $690,000 house we talked about earlier, Zip Realty's commission would be $34,500, 17% less than what an Ohio broker charging a 6% commission would receive. Other discount or flat-fee Ohio brokers include Help-U-Sell and Assist-2-Sell.

But full-service Ohio brokers are doing all they can to keep tight control over the money machine. The National Association of Realtors once proposed a rule that would allow real estate agents to prevent their listings from being displayed on the Web sites of any brokers they chose (meaning discount brokers). But pressure from federal regulators and discount broker members convinced them to withdraw it.

Meanwhile, government antitrust legislators have been looking into industry-backed initiatives that would limit lower-cost options for consumers when dealing with real estate agents in Ohio. Within the last year, a number of those initiatives for dealing with real estate agents in Ohio have passed.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Real Estate is the Best Industry There is!

If you are looking for an industry that you can get involved in that will only take a short bit of education, and that will help you make a great deal of money, then the very best industry for you to consider is the real estate industry. While this is no get rich quick scheme, for those who are self motivated and ready to work hard, this industry has amazing money making potential. Whether you choose to become involved in residential real estate or you decide that commercial real estate is more your style, both are amazing opportunities for involvement.

First of all it is important that you understand the difference between commercial real estate and residential real estate. Commercial real estate is real estate that allows for the possibility to make income for the owner or to generate outside revenue, whether the potential is immediate or in the future. On the other hand, residential real estate includes up to four family properties and is either owner occupied, an investment property, or a second home to someone. While both types of real estate can be quite lucrative, one can usually make more money in the commercial real estate industry.

Excellent ROI
One reason that the real estate industry is one of the best is because to Rate of Return (ROI) that is possible within the industry. When you start working in the real estate industry, it is very easy to start making money due to the rate of return that is possible. Both residential and commercial real estate can provide you with an excellent rate of return, and there are very few investments that can come close to providing you with this kind of return on your investment.

Using the Money of Others
Another reason that real estate is such an excellent industry is that many times it will not cost you much to get started. While many people are afraid to get started in real estate because they think they need a great deal of money, you can actually get started by using the money of others. You can actually use other people's money to start investing in real estate. There are very few other ventures that will allow you to invest and reap returns with the money of other people.

An Everlasting Commodity
Real estate is a commodity that is never going to go away. As long as the earth exists there is going to be property that will be bought and sold. This is one thing that makes this such a great industry to be involved in. You never have to worry about there being a lack of real estate. While some commodities may run out, you will never have to worry about that happening in the realm of real estate, which makes it a very safe industry to start investing and working in.

A Job for Everyone
While the real estate industry is competitive, like all industries, there really is room for everyone within this industry. While some companies may start laying off workers because there are too many workers for the amount of work available, this will never happen in real estate. Real estate never stops because it is a cyclical industry that is never ending, which means that there is a place for everyone who wants to get involved. There is no need to worry about losing your job here, since you can guarantee that real estate will continue to be bought and sold.

Part-time or Full-time
While many jobs may require that you get involved in them full-time, the real estate industry allows you to be involved either part-time or full-time. This will no doubt depend on the amount of time you have and the needs you have as well. When you are first getting started, you may want to start out part-time to get the feel of the industry and on your feet, and later you may want to go full-time. Other people enjoy just keeping real estate as their part-time job and they use it almost as a hobby or second income. You can make this industry your full-time or part-time job, and either way you are sure to earn money.

Anyone Can Do It!
Although many people seem to have the idea that working in the real estate industry take a brain like a genius and a great deal of education, this is not true. The education required is actually minimal, and it is simple enough that anyone can get involved in this industry. There will be not complex math or financial skills involved, so there is not need to worry that it is too complicated for you. If you have the motivation and you want to make money, this is an industry that will allow you to do so.

You Don't Have to Do it All Yourself
There are many different processes that occur when you are working in real estate, and there are actually many different professionals involved, which may make you think that it is a complicated process. Actually, you can build a team of professionals to save yourself from having to do all of the work. Once you have a great team in place, you will be able to streamline the process until everything is a completely automated process that will run smoothly. With a great real estate team in place, you will be able to do more deals with less effort, which will help you to earn more money.

If you have been considering the real estate industry, there is no need for you to hold back any longer. This is an industry that you can be successful in if you are motivated. No need for years of education, or even a great deal of money to get you started. With minimal education and money, you can get started in the real estate industry and be on your way to making money. Why not get started today and join the best industry that there is!

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Austin Real Estate Neighborhood Profiles - Tarrytown

While it may be difficult to choose from all of Austin, Texas communities in order to pinpoint the one that is most prestigious and most historic, few would argue that Tarrytown is definitely a contender. In fact, many residents would argue passionately that there are many things that in fact do make Tarrytown the most esteemed and the most richly storied in the area. Close to Austin's downtown, Tarrytown is a neighborhood of businesspeople, politicians, artists and professionals. There are not many businesses in this part of Austin, but you'll certainly find a stunning park and plenty to see and do.

Tarrytown is located between MoPac Boulevard, Lake Austin, Enfield, and 35th street. Exposition Street divides the community. With such a central location, Tarrytown residents are never bored. Nearby Tarrytown Park is just between Westover and Windsor. Reed Park is also close by, a perfect place for reading or just enjoying a beautiful afternoon. Nu Age Cafe in the Tarrytown Shopping Center is an excellent place to enjoy a delicious vegan or vegetarian meal while enjoying the eclectic atmosphere. There are more dining options off Town Lake Boulevard, including Hula Hut, a well-known seafood restaurant, and Mozart's, which is where Tarrytown residents go for a relaxing coffee and sinful dessert. Late nights, Magnolia Café continues serving your favorite fare long after other eateries have closed for the night. If afternoon snacking is what you crave, Thundercloud Subs are a great place for lunch or a quick sandwich or soup.

For something a little more unusual, you can try The Tarrytown Pharmacy off Exposition street, which hearkens back to a time when the local pharmacy was a general store and a meeting place. Residents of course have easy access to all the great shopping and dining in Austin and a nearby Randall's offers convenient grocery shopping to visitors.

Tarrytown residents have a long-standing love affair with the nearby lake. Many residents turn to the lake when they want a spot for a nice picnic or a fun afternoon on the water. In addition, many of the older homes are built with water views. One home in the area you will want to visit is Laguna Gloria. This Mediterranean villa was built on a site where Stephen F. Austin himself once planned to build his home. Originally, this stunning building housed the Austin Museum of Art, and special exhibits still are brought out to the lake, even the though the museum itself has moved downtown.

If you are thinking about moving to Tarrytown, the real estate market is all you could wish for. Most of the homes in this neighborhood are large, historic properties. Some luxury apartments are also available. With unique architectural details and beautiful properties, Tarrytown homes are sure to please.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Choosing International Property Based On Rental Yield

There are many influences on the decision of which property to purchase, either nationally or internationally. Property buyers are either short term investors looking to buy and sell their property quickly to make a return on a growing property market or long term investors, who wish to use the property as a second home and/or providing extra income from short or long term letting.

This article outlines which property is a sound investment to get the rental return you require for short term letting.

The most important thing to calculate before purchasing a property is the Rental Yield. The rental yield is the net yearly rental income as a proportion of the property purchase price.
To calculate this prior to a purchase, look on the internet for similar properties for rent to determine an idea of the rental income per week you will be able to achieve. From this value you will need to deduct allowances for rental service companies (typically up to 25% of the rent obtained) and taxation on the income. It is normal that you can offset all costs in renting and running the property against rental income received. Consult a specialist accountant for further advice on this matter. The resulting figure will be your net weekly rental figure.

Next, take a conservative estimate on the number of weeks you will potentially be able to rent your property. This will vary from country to country and is considered wise for you to consult Aquavista to gain a good idea. To start with look at the total rental season, deduct periods in which you intend to stay at your property and then estimate being 2/3 to 3/4 full for the remaining period.

Some examples for total rental periods are Turkey, which has a long summer season, the rental market runs from about mid April until the end of October. Bulgaria has a very short summer, so the rental market is only June to August. In the ski regions such as in Austria, the ski season last for about sixteen weeks plus you may be able to get further rental income in the peak summer period.

By multiplying the net weekly rental figure by the realistically achievable number of weeks you can rent you will get the yearly net rental income. Divide this figure by the property purchase price and multiply by 100 to get the Rental Yield.

For example an apartment in the ski regions of Austria can get a weekly income of say GBP350. Taking off 25% for the rental management company and a further 5% (est.) for taxation the net weekly rental income would be GBP245
Assume you can get 12 weeks winter rent and a further 4 weeks in summer the total number of weeks rent would be 16. Total yearly net rental income would then be GBP245 x 16 = GBP3920. With the property costing GBP100,000 then the Rental Yield would be 3920/100,000 x 100 = 3.92%

Determining the realistic weekly rental charge for a property has many factors. The factors of the property itself are self evident and these same factors usually determine the property prices. Some items have a big impact on the charge. Not having access to a swimming pool in a hot climate will lower the charge significantly and lower the number of weeks you will be able to find clients to rent it. A ski in/out property will always command a premium and almost guarantee full rental in the Alps as will a property on the 18th green of a golf course.
Location obviously has an impact on the rental achievable. Do not expect the cheap property bought in the middle of nowhere or 20 minutes hike up a steep hill with no public transport to gain many enquiries.

Established holiday destinations, popular with holiday companies, are always easier to find clients to rent your property for. However the competitive holiday companies can have a negative impact on the price you can achieve. People will only pay a certain premium for a private villa compared to an all inclusive holiday at a bargain rate, so you have to remain competitive in the rental pricing.

There is sometimes one off factors that can increase rental yield. The ski region in Austria were we at Aquavista market property for sale, is bidding for the 2014 Winter Olympics and has made the final three. If Austria is successful, the increased rent for this period will be short term and should not really be an influential factor in determining the rental yield – just see it as a bonus!

Aquavista gains a good insight into the rental market in Turkey with its rental board – www.property-rental-turkey.com. We know that the most established resorts, even though the properties tend to be more expensive, are areas such as Icmeler on the Marmaris Peninsula or the town of Bodrum. These locations receive by far the highest proportion of enquiries and command a premium rental charge.
In the next few months Aquavista will be re-launching this successful rental website for all countries and will be hugely improved and updated to include booking calendars and even a full booking secretary that will manage all your bookings from start to finish, all for just GBP5.99 a month - www.worldrentalshop.com.

If the rising property market comes to an end in the country you have purchased or wish to purchase a property, then the rental yield the property can achieve becomes a significantly important factor.

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