Real Estate Letters; Low Cost, High Profitability

Mailing real estate letters is one of the best real estate marketing strategies a new, or even veteran agent for that matter, can employ. Really, is there anything easier than mailing letters?

So, it shouldn’t surprise you when I say my success as a real estate sales person was largely due to my letter writing campaigns. But success wasn’t instant. In fact, it took a year or so to incorporate all of the elements that good letters should have.

Next, it took me a while to develop the rhythm of when to mail, what to say, how long my letters should be, how often to mail and other things like that. But once I figured out the dos and don’ts my results skyrocketed! At my peak I averaged 2 plus listings a week!

After all, if the key to selling real estate is location, location, location the key to getting prospects to sell real estate to is contacts, contacts, contacts. The more contacts the more prospects, and the more prospects the more real estate you’ll sell.

Sounds simple enough, but writing good letters can be difficult and time consuming. Go ahead, try it right now and I can almost assure you that the blank computer screen in front of you will get bigger and bigger the longer you sit trying to hack out a good letter. Sometimes just completing the first sentence is a major accomplishment!

However, when you know the 4 elements of writing a good letter they become just a tad easier to write. Specifically, your letters should;

1.be short, sweet and to the point preferably less than a page long.
2.have lots of white space; short sentences and paragraphs that are only 2-3 sentences long.
3.spell out the benefits of doing business with you.
4.have a call for action telling the readers what you want them to do after reading your letter.

Still, writing dynamic letters that get results is easier said than done. I actually got to a point where I avoided writing letters (maybe that’s why some agents never get started) until I discovered something better … prewritten letters and ghost writers.

Prewritten letters are just what they sound like; letters written by others that you buy for your own use and signature. They’re fairly inexpensive, easy to find and the best part is that you own them as though you actually wrote them.

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Fiis Raise Stake In Real Estate Stocks

The booming real estate market has caught the fancy of foreign investors and they have raised their stake in a majority of realty firms listed on the bourses. However, some analysts believe these stocks are among the most expensive in the world.
An analysis of the holding pattern of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in 22 major realty firms shows a majority of them raised stake in the April-June quarter compared with their stake in the previous three-month period.
FIIs increased their stake in 15 companies, including Unitech, Ansal Housing, DS Kulkarni and Indiabulls Real Estate. However, they decreased their holding in seven companies DLF, Atlanta, Era Construction, Lok Housing, Mahindra Gesco, Madhucon Projects and Unity Infrastructure.
The real estate sector in India has witnessed a boom in recent times led by an increase in purchasing power of people, relaxed lending norms by banks and housing finance companies and the growth in retail and IT sectors.
The buying of shares by FIIs in these companies comes at a time when a few analysts believe the country’s realty stocks are among the costliest in the world.
Global investment services firm Standard & Poor’s has said real estate stocks in India are the most expensive and give lower returns than most emerging and developed markets such as China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
A comparison of price to earnings (P/E) ratio of stocks from various countries showed that valuation of property stocks from the US and the UK moved lower, while those from emerging markets such as India continued to grow.
The P/E ratio is considered a valuation benchmark of a stock, where a higher ratio indicates an expensive stock, while a lower P/E ratio signifies a cheaper stock.
FIIs consolidated their stake by an average of 1-2 per cent, except Indiabulls Real Estate, in which their holding jumped 6 per cent to 44.96 per cent as on June 30 from 37.34 per cent at the end of the previous quarter.

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Stages Of A Real Estate Market

The stages of a real estate market are most often recognized only after the fact. Even when all the historical data confirms that a downturn is in progress, most speculators won’t stop gambling. Real estate speculators call themselves investors because they believe they are taking calculated and controllable risks when purchasing homes.

In the mid to late 1990’s real estate investing was virgin territory because it was easy to use formulas of 60% to 70% of Fair Market Value minus repair costs to determine an offering price for a seller. The “chant” was “Get as many properties under contract because they can only go higher!” In the earlier years, buying properties cheaply enough allowed them to be rented and they supported themselves while the investor simply collected checks. In only three years, a groundswell of speculation led to frenzied buying. Families looking for a home to live in got caught up in the buying panic because of the scarcity of homes for sale. The market quickly and efficiently climbed with the help of lending institutions who were offering low interest rates, 100% financing, with no proof of the buyer’s income. Almost no other speculative opportunity in history caught on as fast because of real estate investors needing little or no money down and ease of loan qualification for “retail buyers”.

Even when many of the potential borrowers had credit issues and minimal down payments, the lenders created more lenient loan requirements. The number of single family homes that were owned by investors rose from 2.5% in 1995 to almost 29% by the end of 2006. Effectively, these investors took away at least 26.5% of available single family homes with the intent of selling them at higher prices to retail home buyers.

Here is a summary of the stages of a real estate cycle:

Stage #1 This is where supply closely equals demand and home prices fluctuate between +/- 3% per year and prices are basically stable over a five year period.

Stage #2 Here demand out-strips supply, or a “sellers’ market” develops because of fewer homes on the market. This can be created by investor speculation.

Stage #3 – Here demand far out-strips supply with resulting large annual price increases. Homes now offer new speculators more attractive yields than stocks and money market instruments. More so called “investors” begin buying multiple properties with expectations of selling for huge profits because of the low down payments required for mortgages or using creative financing. The market begins to feed on itself as homeowners begin to rush to take profits.

Stage #4 As home prices become unaffordable, interest rates increase making financing costs too expensive for homeowners to purchase, and investors have inventory that can’t be sold. Seemingly everyone tries to sell and the market readjusts to former market conditions by pulling back as much as 30% to 60% of peak values as the market begins to stabilize for 3 8 years.

Summary – Based on the current market conditions and continuing available data, the real estate market is well into Stage #4. There is no way to determine how long this swing will last but historically they have lasted for 6 to 15 years. This stage offers huge opportunities for real estate investors and homeowners alike that want to purchase homes either for living in for 5 years+ for homeowners, or for “flipping” for investors. Both homeowners and investors looking to buy a property need to be very selective about how much they pay for a property, the amount of costs to rehab it, how they will be financing it, how long they intend to stay in it, the carrying costs, other properties currently listed on the MLS, and neighborhood conditions. Unfortunately, retail buyers who wait to get the lowest possible price often wind up paying higher mortgage rates which offsets the cost savings by waiting, especially when you include their cost to rent, and the interest tax-deduction that they lose by not owning. Investors will have to buy low and sell low, while the retail buyer has become “king of the mountain” in picking the best possible home for the lowest price.

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Hiring A Top Real Estate Agent The Key To A Good Sell

So you’ve decided to sell. Or buy. Either way, purchasing a new home is without doubt an important milestone in your life. If you are going to take this step, why not be smart about it and contact the top real estate agents available in your area? Selling or buying on your own is not out of fashion, but quite a risky and unwise process, from several points of view. A top real estate agent will, undoubtedly, guide you to make a good decision.

There are more ways to determine whether the expert you’ve chosen to help you is indeed a top real estate agent or not. You should probably inspect his negotiation skills before thinking of his other qualities. He needs to be a pro at whatever can get you a better price and better features for your transaction. The top real estate agents will be masters in the art of compromise and won’t even blink when they are all caught up in a battle” for their clients. Dedication and honesty towards you, the client, are also crucial.

In case you’re selling your home, you definitely need to begin seeing things from the perspective of the buyer. The top real estate agents will help you do this. You need to figure out what would motivate people to move into that house or that particular neighborhood, if there are any special facilities closely related to the area your house is located in and what kind of people would be interested in it. There are dozens of factors to think about when selling and tempting a certain targeted clientele, but as said, a top real estate agent can assist you in getting the best price for your property.

You also need to remember that getting your house evaluated is an essential stage in the selling process. You do, of course, need to test those which you consider to be the top real estate agents in the area by studying their offers and deciding which one of them charges less, but is also fit for the job. Be very careful with small details. A top real estate agent will most likely be punctual or at least come up with a valid reason for being otherwise. Keep in mind that you have to impress your house has to be tidy and looking squeaky clean before your agent even arrives. Think of him as a potential buyer you need him as interested as possible in what you have to offer in order for him to be enthusiastic with future buyers.

Needless to mention, information is the key. Before even taking any action, you definitely need to know everything about the procedure itself, plus the other prices offered for similar property in your area and so on and so forth. Use the Internet to your advantage not only regarding the real estate market, but regarding your agent as well – especially the services he is ready to offer. You need to be inquiring about the experience he’s had so far and if he’s got a team of experts ready to make the transactions as smooth as possible.

Finally, you have to be looking out for those few special touches that can greatly increase what people are ready to pay for your house. They’re likely to prefer a home with major improvements, rather than buy a basic one and take care of everything by themselves. The improvements have to be made professionally to save the clients a lot of time and effort spent for fixing things up. So try to take advantage and exploit these tips in your favor as much as you possibly can. If you really do have a top real estate agent, he will know how to sell your house if you have a patio or a well maintained garage. He will underline the qualities your property has in order to attract as many buyers as possible and sell for a high price.

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Real Estate Post Card Marketing; Million Dollar Mailings

Real Estate Post Card Marketing is an underutilized real estate marketing strategy known by many, but used by few. The test? How many agents do you know market real estate with postcards. Not many – that’s what I thought!

Yet, those that do maintain high visibility with their prospects. From useful tips to delicious recipes, customized real estate marketing post cards can leave positive and lasting impressions about you and your services at affordable prices.

I like marketing real estate with post cards for several reasons:

1. They’re inexpensive – you can cast a wide net and reach a lot of people for a little of nothing. And as you know, or will soon learn, repeat contact with prospects is key to identity branding. You want buyers and sellers to think of you when they’re ready to make a real estate transaction; which you can accomplish easier when you have repeated contacts with them. A series of real estate marketing post cards will do that for you.

2. They’re easy to set into motion – it takes little time to reach hundreds to thousands of prospects via real estate post card marketing.

Here’s a great way to use them. Chose a neighborhood to farm; condos, high end homes, country estates, move up homes, or whatever.

Then, mail post cards to the homeowners on a routinely scheduled basis. Perhaps it’s once a month, with special emphasis on holidays. Or maybe it’s every other month.

However frequent it is it your post cards should be interesting enough that your prospects look forward to receiving them, but not so often that they are annoying.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend time or energy designing and printing your own post cards. There are several companies that produce impressive Real Estate Postcards; ready for addressing and mailing. They’re cute, charming and near deadly effective.

Even if you’re a do it yourself type and like the idea of owning a software program to design your own you can’t go wrong with ready made ones.

As a real estate agent you need to generate leads; buyers for listings and sellers wanting to list their properties. You should also be taking advantage of every opportunity to brand yourself. With real estate post card marketing you can:

use your real estate marketing post cards like an extension of your Business Cards. You could include your real-world address, phone number, and website address if you’re comfortable with that. The key is to include information that makes it easy for someone to get in touch with you.

use your real estate marketing post cards to Announce New Listings. For example, announce your $2 million dollar listing to a $750,000.00 neighborhood. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be your listing, and you can still implement this idea.

Here’s what I mean! Select 4-5 one million dollar homes you’d like to sell, which can be any body’s listings in any agency. Get to know them like they’re your own listings.

Then, select a neighborhood, or neighborhoods, of 200-500 homes where the values are $500,000.00, or so. More or less is okay, but the idea is to seleect homes that are several hundred thousand dollars or more less in value. The idea won’t work if there’s only a $20,000.00 difference.

Select a a series of real estate post cards to send to the owners in the targeted neighborhood(s). A series of letters will work, but you can make a bigger and more lasting impression with postcards. Check out some Real Estate Postcards and you’ll see what I mean. The post cards should appeal to their desire to “move up” into larger and/or more expensive homes.

Send a post card once a month.

Then, get ready for some business. You’ll get potential buyers interested in what you’ve got to sell that will also be prospects for new listings. Can you see getting sales this way? How about listings?

When you use this strategy you’ll begin to create relationships with people that’ll translate to sales and listing, and reap the benefits of your efforts over and over.

A real estate post card marketing campaign will enable you to frequently and inexpensively market Real Estate Postcards to the masses, and as you know the more frequent your contacts with prospects the better your results will be.

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