Selling a House ‘As Is’: What It Means for Buyers

Selling a house ‘as is’

Selling a house “as is” sounds like a pretty sweet deal for sellers. They don’t have to hurry around fixing the place up. But what does it mean for buyers?

When looking through property listings and the term “as is” appears, some people see it as a warning. Others see it as an opportunity. That might get you wondering, what exactly does “as is” mean?

Technically, selling a house “as is” means the owner is selling the home in its current condition, and will make no repairs or improvements (or give the buyer any credits to fund these fix-its).

The term “as is” is rarely tacked on a property that’s perfect and move-in ready. On the contrary, “as is” homes are often in disrepair, because the sellers can’t afford to fix these flaws (which would help them sell the home for a higher price). Or else, the house may have been through foreclosure and is now owned by a bank, or the seller died and left the house to inheritors who have little idea what could be wrong with it.

Whatever the reason, the current sellers aren’t willing to pretty up the place before they pass it along. They just want to cash in on the sale and move on.

All of this means that if you buy this house, you buy any problems it may have, too.

Pros and cons of ‘as is’ homes

So how can “as is” be the aforementioned opportunity, if you’re taking on all those problems? It all comes down to cash value.

When you see those two short words in a listing, it usually indicates that the home will have a relatively low price to start with, and the sellers might even entertain still lower offers. If you are a contractor or handy with a hammer, are looking for a home to flip, or maybe just want an extreme bargain, “as is” could be music to your ears.

Yet the downsides of an “as is” property are obvious and should not be underestimated; any number of things could be wrong with the house that are not immediately apparent to the eye. You might think you’re getting a killer deal, but you could also be throwing your life savings into a black hole.

Should you buy a home as is?

Now that you know the pros and cons of buying an “as is” home, you might be wondering whether to move ahead—and how.

Since they can be bargains, they are worth considering, although there’s one precaution you’ll definitely want to take: a home inspection. A home inspector examines the house from basement to rafters and will point out any problems plaguing the place—both current or potentially in your future, such as an old roof that may need replacing five years later.

A home inspection costs around $300 to $500, and typically occurs after you’ve made an offer on a home that’s been accepted and put down a deposit. On houses that aren’t sold “as is,” buyers may use problems found during the inspection to demand that repairs are made (or that credits be given so they can make those repairs themselves).

While “as is” sellers have already made it clear they won’t lift a finger on that front, a home inspection still serves an important purpose for buyers. Provided you place a home inspection contingency in your contract, this means that if the inspector unearths problems you don’t want to address, you can walk away from the deal with your deposit in hand.

“You should always elect to do a home inspection, especially on a bank-owned property where no one knew how the home was cared for and no one knows what happened right before the past owners left the property,” says Winston Westbrook, a broker and owner of Westbrook National Real Estate Co. specializing in short sales and distressed properties.

“Yes, you lose out on the cost of the home inspection, but the cost of the home inspection is well worth it considering the headache you would have had in the future trying to make the house livable.”

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The Top 4 Advantages of Private Lending to Real Estate Investors

As markets continue to change, more and more people are turning to alternative investment options. Many investors are seeking opportunities as private lenders because it gives them more control over their investment.

A private money lender lends their own capital to a real estate investor who will use it to fund a rehab, construction, or commercial project. Over time the borrower repays the private lender with interest.

Being a private money lender is different than investing through “big banks” in many aspects, most of which are beneficial to the lender.

Keep reading to find out the unique benefits of working with real estate investors compared to other investment options…

#1 You are in control

As the lender, you decide the terms of the loan and get to control most of the process. You will take the reins and decide the interest rate and terms of the loan. Because of this, you can build a better portfolio for your personal financial objectives.

#2 Certainty over your returns

The most distinct difference between private money lending and other types of investments is that you aren’t at the mercy of the stock market or a financial planner. You can be more certain of your returns because you’ll know exactly how much to expect from borrowers each month.

Instead of hoping your investment has a profitable future, you’ll know that you can expect a certain return because you set the terms of the loan.  

#3 Higher returns in less time

Private lending also gives you the opportunity to make a higher return than rates offered by most other investments. In fact, lenders can usually earn between an 8-12% annualized return on their investment.

On top of the higher returns, private money loans to real estate investors are usually short-term. Shorter loan periods mean that you can get your investment and interest back in a fraction of the time. 

#4 Backed by real estate

Private lending gives more peace of mind than other investing options because the loan backed by a real estate property that you choose. If something goes wrong, you have a valuable asset to fall back on.

Also, borrowers are usually motivated to build a strong reputation with their lenders, so it’s unlikely that they will not pay back the loan. In the case that a borrower does default on the loan, the lender can seize the property through foreclosure and won’t suffer a loss.

The bottom line…

Private lending is an appealing investment choice, but understand the risks and decide if it’s a smart choice for you. Never invest beyond your knowledge base, and thoroughly research the best private money lending practices before you jump in.


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Two Oklahoma Cities Made the Top 5!

Top 25 Most Affordable Cities to Live and Work in 2019 Ranking Highest Salaries with Cheapest Rents

For recent graduates, young professionals or folks considering a career change, affordability of housing often becomes the deciding factor in where they choose to look for a job. Of course, we all want to make the highest possible salary, but a souped-up paycheck in a city with sky-high rent won’t do you much good since you’ll have very little left over each month once you’ve paid your landlord.

Here at, we wanted to see which areas of the country, and which specific cities in those areas, give business professionals the biggest bang for the buck, so we compared the highest quoted salaries from over 100 business-related jobs on to average rent for a two-bedroom apartment across America from and came up with the top 25 most affordable cities to live and work.

You can see the full listing below, but here’s a quick summary of what we learned:

  • The average salary for the full top 25 is $72,230, and the overall average income left after rent is about 81 percent.
  • Texas, the nation’s second most-populous state, is by far the overall leader on our list, placing a total of five cities in the top 25. The highest-rated Texas city on our list is Fort Worth, where the average worker has more than 80 percent of their income left after rent.
  • The Midwest placed eight cities on our list, including three in Ohio alone.
  • No spoilers, but you should strongly consider Oklahoma, as the Sooner State boasts two of the top three cities, including the overall No. 1.
  • Dallas had the highest average salary at $82,609, while its Texas neighbor, College Station, had the lowest average salary at just $55,086.
  • The cheapest average monthly rent was $863 in Tulsa, while the highest average rent was Dallas’ $1,422.

Before you start your new job search, be sure to consult this list of the 25 most affordable cities to live and work in the U.S., but you also remember to take into account things like income tax (two of the states on our list, Texas and Nevada, have no personal state income tax), transportation and insurance costs.

Here’s our list, in ascending order, of the 25 cities that provide the highest salary after deducting rent:

25. Tempe, AZ

Average salary: $71,290
Average rent: $1,259
After-rent salary: $56,182
% income after rent: 79%

24. Houston, TX

Average salary: $79,579
Average rent: $1,401
After-rent salary: $62,767
% income after rent: 79%

23. Greenville, SC

Average salary: $68,675
Average rent: $1,201
After-rent salary: $54,263
% income after rent: 79%

22. Dallas, TX

Average salary: $82,609
Average rent: $1,422
After-rent salary: $65,545
% income after rent: 79%

21. Irving, TX

Average salary: $77,527
Average rent: $1,327
After-rent salary: $61,603
% income after rent: 79%

20. Raleigh, NC

Average salary: $78,391
Average rent: $1,323
After-rent salary: $62,515
% income after rent: 80%

19. Cincinnati, OH

Average salary: $74,927
Average rent: $1,260
After-rent salary: $59,807
% income after rent: 80%

18. College Station, TX

Average salary: $55,086
Average rent: $906
After-rent salary: $44,214
% income after rent: 80%

17. Cleveland, OH

Average salary: $72,636
Average rent: $1,168
After-rent salary: $58,620
% income after rent: 81%

16. Columbus, OH

Average salary: $71,341
Average rent: $1,139
After-rent salary: $57,673
% income after rent: 81%

15. Kansas City, MO

Average salary: $73,869
Average rent: $1,178
After-rent salary: $59,733
% income after rent: 81%

14. Detroit, MI

Average salary: $81,197
Average rent: $1,292
After-rent salary: $65,693
% income after rent: 81%

13. Phoenix, AZ

Average salary: $74,519
Average rent: $1,178
After-rent salary: $60,383
% income after rent: 81%

12. Louisville, KY

Average salary: $66,832
Average rent: $1,049
After-rent salary: $54,244
% income after rent: 81%

11. Indianapolis, IN

Average salary: $70,284
Average rent: $1,102
After-rent salary: $57,060
% income after rent: 81%

10. Omaha, NE

Average salary: $65,089
Average rent: $1,009
After-rent salary: $52,981
% income after rent: 81%

9. Grand Rapids, MI

Average salary: $68,546
Average rent: $1,048
After-rent salary: $55,970
% income after rent: 82%

8. Birmingham, AL

Average salary: $73,758
Average rent: $1,120
After-rent salary: $60,318
% income after rent: 82%

7. Fort Worth, TX

Average salary: $75,797
Average rent: $1,108
After-rent salary: $62,501
% income after rent: 82%

6. Columbia, SC

Average salary: $68,541
Average rent: $999
After-rent salary: $56,553
% income after rent: 83%

5. Memphis, TN

Average salary: $69,866
Average rent: $984
After-rent salary: $58,058
% income after rent: 83%

4. Las Vegas, NV

Average salary: $74,199
Average rent: $1,038
After-rent salary: $61,743
% income after rent: 83%

3. Oklahoma City, OK

Average salary: $73,132
Average rent: $958
After-rent salary: $61,636
% income after rent: 84%

2. Lexington, KY

Average salary: $69,917
Average rent: $889
After-rent salary: $59,249
% income after rent: 85%

1. Tulsa, OK

Average salary: $68,147
Average rent: $863
After-rent salary: $57,791
% income after rent: 85%


There’s no doubt you’ll consider probably dozens of factors when thinking about where it is you want to make a life for yourself. But for most of us, having ample disposable income, regardless of what city we call home, is one of the best ways to ensure that we can lead the kinds of lives we want.

If it’s time for you to make your first start, or just a fresh start, a clear-eyed examination of hard data is the best place to begin. Whether you choose the winning entry on this list, Tulsa, or another city, be sure you’ve done your homework and are certain you’ll be able to get a lot of bang for your buck.

Business Jobs Used in Analysis

A career in “business” is broad enough that it can mean just about anything. Hundreds, if not thousands of jobs, can be classified as “business” related work ranging from being an accountant to a chief medical officer with an undergraduate or graduate MBA degree. We created an index of 127 business careers, where we tracked the average salaries and how they vary by location. While these jobs are by no means comprehensive of all jobs in business, they comprise a representative index of business management careers and their highest paying salaries as well as jobs most commonly reported on

The highest paying job paid $187,000 on average in the United States (Medical Director). The lowest paying business job we track is (Security Supervisor), which pays $31,000 per year. The average business job we track pays $75,000 per year.

Fair Use Statement

Information is power. Please share our content for editorial or discussion purposes. All we ask is that you link back to this page and give proper credit to our author.

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5 Tips For Borrowing Money From Friends, Family, and Co-Workers


There are many pieces to a successful real estate transaction. You need a good property, the right price, proper vision and most importantly, financing. Without capital to put your plan in motion, nothing else matters. Fortunately, there are more financing options today than ever before. No longer do you need to solely rely on traditional lenders to underwrite your deal. With the increase of hard and private money, there are outlets to quickly find the money you need. As great as working with people close to you can be, it doesn’t come without some potential headaches. The more you have on the table from the outside the easier the process will be. Trying to figure things out as you go is often a recipe for disaster. Here are five tips for borrowing money from friends, family and co-workers.

Treat transaction like a lender. Borrowing money from someone close to you should be treated like any other transaction. In fact, you should use even more caution with the people in your life. There is truly nothing better than sharing the excitement of making money with your friends and family. However, there also nothing worse than losing a relationship over money. The best way to combat this is by treating the transaction like a lender. This means going through systems, policies and red tape prior to getting very far. The idea of working together may sound good on the surface, but once you look at the numbers and the data it can be a different story. Not only do both parties need to know the numbers, you should document everything. This doesn’t make you overly cautious or untrustworthy. It makes you a smart, savvy business person.

Use an attorney. Verbal contracts are great, until there is a problem. The reality of real estate is that the unexpected is the norm rather than the exception. Things have a way of shifting gears when you least expect it. If you are reckless and unprepared you won’t know how to handle this, and it will impact your bottom line. Every time there is a monetary exchange you need to hire an attorney. At the bare minimum, they should write up a repayment agreement. This should have the term, the interest rate and any penalties for failure to pay. This may seem excessive when dealing with friends, but you don’t want to have to scramble if it does. Your attorney should also handle the offer contract. Your real estate agent may write it up, but your attorney should act as an extra set of eyes. They should always have your best interest in mind and both parties should openly agree to it. When one side doesn’t know, or want to know, what is going on there will ultimately be problems. An attorney acts as a great buffer and will protect both sides in the event of the unexpected.

Define roles. Where most financial disagreements run into trouble is when roles aren’t clearly defined. It is important to take some time and talk about who is going to do what moving forward. A financial partner may feel they are entitled to more control simply because they supplied the capital. They want to make decisions on the rehab portion of the project and could become a problem if not addressed before the transaction. Prior to getting too far you need to sit down and address who is going to do what. This includes work getting the offer accepted, coordinating work, physical work, pricing and getting the property sold. It is important not to leave anything unsaid and no stone unturned. It is only when all parties are comfortable with the arrangement that things will start flowing in the right direction. Without this discussion beforehand, you will eventually get in each other’s way or one side will be disgruntled.

Talk worst case scenario. There are many stories of real estate success. A successful partnership with someone close to you is one of the best lives you can have. However, things don’t always go as planned. You need to have a difficult conversation on the worst-case scenario. What happens if there is an unexpected issue with the property?  What if the budget needs to be expanded? What if you can’t sell for the number you originally had in mind? What if the contractor walks away in the middle of the project? As crazy as these items may sounds, they can and do happen. Talking about them before you go too far allows you to pivot without wasting time and money. Talking about the worst case isn’t being pessimistic or negative. It is being prepared and realistic.

Discuss sales price. Inevitably in any partnership one partner wants to shoot for the moon and list at an unrealistic number. On average this works maybe one out of every ten times. A more typical scenario has an overpriced home sitting on the market for an extended period. This leads to further disagreement, arguments and panic as to what to do, which ultimately leads to nothing. Not until a month or so after the home is listed is there a price reduction at which time neither partner is happy. Pricing conversations should happen well before the project is finished. This should be talked about when you make your offer on the property.

Working with the right partner should allow you to close more deals and make more money. Always get as much on the table beforehand as possible so there are no disagreements or misunderstandings down the road.

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5 Reasons Your Property May Not Be Selling (& How To Fix it)

It is not enough to rely on the strength of your market to produce a sale. All across the country there are plenty of places where real estate is in high demand. Even though your market may be flooded with buyers, it doesn’t mean your property will fly off the shelf. You still need to do things that will attract buyers, keep them interested and ultimately generate an offer. By simply listing your home and waiting for offers to come in there is a good chance you will be left disappointed in the results. With such a premium placed on turning your property over as quickly as possible you need to go above and beyond to generate interest, regardless of your market. Here are the five most common reasons why your property may not be selling, and what you can do about it.

  • Lack of curb appeal. Every seller should understand the importance of curb appeal. A negative first impression can single-handedly turn buyers away quicker than almost anything else you can do. Instead of giving the property an honest look, you will have to wow buyers just to regain their interest. Improving curb appeal can include a handful of important items ranging from the condition of the yard to the quality of the front walk. If you have been working on a property for weeks it is easy to overlook a number of these items. Ask a friend, or someone you trust, to drive to the property and write down the first three negative things they notice. These will be the same three things that potential buyers will notice as well. Many of these are relatively inexpensive and easy fixes but are essential if you want to generate interest.
  • Not using a real estate agent. When selling a property it is critical to look at the big picture. Of course you want to squeeze every dollar out of the property as possible. However, you shouldn’t eliminate a real estate agent to do so. There is a lot that goes into selling a home. Everything from finding the right list price, marketing, scheduling showings, negotiating offers and reviewing contracts is all part of the process. If you lack in just one of these areas your transaction will not go as smoothly as you planned. Many times what you think you are saving in commission you actually lose by negotiating a reduced sales price. Even if you can get the price you want you will spend many more hours at the property than you anticipated. There is too much on the line not to use a professional real estate agent. There are other areas in the transaction where you can look to save money. If you want to maximize your bottom line you have to enlist the services of an agent.
  • Not following up with showings. Every showing you have is potential sale. One of the byproducts of not using a real estate agent is not being as organized as you need to. There are times when a potential buyer doesn’t show their hand and you assume they aren’t really interested. You don’t follow up with them or ignore their calls and they move onto another property. Every showing should receive an email or call within 24 hours. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback or even ask if they are interested in making an offer. You never know when a buyer will circle back to your property at some point down the road. If you aren’t responsive to their inquiries you will leave a bad taste in their mouth. Most buyers will come from your existing database. It is critical that you follow up with every showing you have.
  • No staging. Every property is just a little bit different. Something that worked for you on a property a few months back may not work for your current property. If you are trying to sell a full rehab the quality of your work may not be enough. Most buyers want to envision themselves living there and need to see the property furnished. The right staging can instantly transform the property and add to the appeal. Staging doesn’t work for every property in every market, so you need to do some research to see the benefit. However, for the right property staging is exactly what is needed to produce multiple offers.
  • Listing too high. Price is the leading influencer in property demand. You can do everything else right but if you are listed too high you won’t have demand you anticipate. A good barometer to gauge if you are listed too high is the number of showings you have. With only a sprinkling of showings it is a good bet that either your marketing or your list price is flawed. If you have numerous showings and still have a lack of offers there is something wrong either in your presentation or with the property. Listing too high is a popular mistake with sellers working without a real estate agent. They think they can list high and meet buyers somewhere in the middle. That thinking is outdated and doesn’t work in this market. You need to list at fair market value and create demand with showings. Listing too high will cause your property to become stale, eventually leading to a price reduction and a lower price than you anticipate.

If your current listing is not selling you need to be proactive and take action. Use these five tips to help resuscitate your listing or help avoid these common mistakes.

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Real Estate Lead Generation 101

What are the best real estate lead generation options today?

Where and how can real estate agents, investors and other related industry professionals generate more leads for buying, selling and renting properties? What are some of the little known benefits, and pitfalls of common real estate lead generation channels today?

Here are 12 ways for real estate investors and Realtors to bring in more leads:

Direct Mail

Some popular real estate gurus have said that direct mail is the fastest and easiest way to generate new leads. It can still be very effective. In fact, as others have turned to online marketing, direct mail may have become even more effective and profitable. However, direct mail success does rely on volume and testing to hone messaging and delivery.

Cold Calling

Cold calling on a large scale, such as using call centers, might face many challenges with regulations today, but it has still been proven to generate an effective hourly income of hundreds of dollars for Realtors. Simply picking up the phone can be one of the fastest ways to generate real estate business. It is also one of the lowest cost ways to generate leads, and can help professionals stay on top of their sales game.

Door Knocking

Many fantastic real estate deals and listings can be uncovered by simply driving neighborhoods and knocking on doors. There are obvious obstacles in doing this, but when it comes to getting the jump on competitors, it can be hard to beat.

Email Marketing

Google may have made reaching consumers via their inboxes more challenging, but email can still be one of the best ways to reach both the masses, and highly targeted contacts. Email lists may be rented from data companies versus buying them. Subsequently, real estate investors and agents can take control of their own email real estate and build their own lists.

Buying Internet Leads

Buying internet leads has been popular for a variety of real estate and mortgage companies since before the last housing boom. These individuals experienced somewhat of a bubble, but have now been improved with enhanced data and targeting tools. There are various types of these leads ranging from ‘aged’ leads, to live exclusive leads, and non-exclusive leads. Make sure you do your homework and understand exactly what you are getting, as well as the difference in these types of consumers, in order to maximize ROI.

Buying Lead Lists

Lead lists have been a staple of the real estate industry for many years. An almost endless array of filters can be used to laser target the best prospects with these lists. However, newer individuals and real estate companies need to recognize that they may not legally be allowed to have, or market to some of these lists depending on how the data was generated. Watch for junk, and be sure lists aren’t being fluffed out with bogus names.

Real Estate Blogging

Real estate blogging remains one of the most powerful and profitable forms of lead generation, but also one of the most underestimated. A regular blog can ensure real estate pros and companies are not held ransom by other platforms, and can go on helping to generate leads for years after posts are written. A blog can be used to draw regular internet leads, feed email list building, and fuel social media efforts.

Social Media

While this medium changes constantly, social media platforms can still be a fantastic way to generate leads in real estate. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and even Pinterest are all great options. There are many debates over calls to action, the amount of engagement which is right, and how much should be invested off-site, versus on a real estate company’s own websites, but with the right funnel strategy, it can be fast, affordable and enjoyable.

Signage & Outdoor Real Estate Advertising

Even the simplest yard and ‘bandit’ signs can be incredibly affordable ways to generate real estate leads. With the right message, these and other outdoor advertising solutions can be used to generate a steady stream of local leads. New technology can make this even better. Call capture, QR codes, interactive augmented reality signs, text messaging options, and even links to virtual tours can be used to boost outdoor advertising performance.


Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be one of the best methods of predictably and consistently driving in real estate leads on demand. PPC solutions, like Google Adwords, offer the ability to drive in leads on command. This can be tweaked to be hyper local, or reach global buyers, investors and homeowners right where they are now. With a little strategy and education, real estate marketers can significantly drive down PPC costs. With a large enough budget, they can even dominate, and starve out the competition by buying every lead for a given keyword. Aside from the big platforms, more affordable online leads may be gleaned from purchasing image, text and banner ads on other websites directly.

Print Advertising

Don’t forget print. Beyond the traditional line up of real estate mags, consider other industry magazines that will reach the same prime prospects, and even leveraging online magazines.

Referrals and Affiliate Marketing

Personal referrals can be both a compliment, and the most valuable form of lead generation. Savvy real estate CEOs are taking this to a whole new level by using technology to scale and organize referrals on a national and global scale.

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Technology vs. People Skills: Which Real Estate Strategies Will Win?

The real estate industry caters to independent strategies. For every investor, there is another way to go about conducting business. Some may prefer to utilize the convenience of technology while others want to maintain personal relationships. However, for one reason or another, there remains a void between these two independent strategies. Smart investors will figure out how to incorporate technology into their business while simultaneously maintaining the personal relationships that they have worked so hard to create. Others will need to learn this before it is too late. Using the latest technology, in association with establishing lasting relationships, can go a long way in making a business successful.

Programmers, and the venture capitalists backing them, certainly want the real estate industry to be run through advancements in technology. At the same time, a number of the leading industry minds, and young entrepreneurs are dismissing technology as just another tool. So which real estate strategies will prevail over the next decade? The early adopters riding the next wave of technology? Or those taking customer relationships seriously? Perhaps both?


Tech is invading real estate, and fast. The following advancements in technology have already been incorporated into the real estate industry:


Highly controversial drones have been flying their way into mainstream real estate applications. They are now being used for enhanced photography, virtual tours, and even property management.

Big Data

As the world becomes a planet of digital natives, more and more data is becoming available to the public. While big data may seem hyped up to many real estate professionals, better data means being able to pinpoint prospects with highly targeted marketing, and give them more of what they want. Theoretically, this means improved real estate marketing performance and ROI.


Curation remains a popular trend, though its value may be suffering due to larger trends, and the obvious need for originality.


Not only is technology creating more efficiency in mortgage lending, it is spawning new financing models altogether. The advantages of speed and streamlining operation technology can increase lender margins, or help keep interest rates and borrowing costs low. One of the largest new developments has been ‘buy to rent’ loans for single-family rental home investors. Crowdfunding goes even further, completely breaking from traditional mortgage lending and having to rely on banks.

Home Search

Home searches haven’t necessarily benefited from new technology much. The big home listing portals haven’t changed much. The many new startup attempts at mimicking these real estate search engines haven’t appeared to gain much traction. The data shows house hunters are still far better served turning to local real estate websites.

Website Design

Web design has changed significantly in the last year; both aesthetically and functionally. HTML 5 has taken over, and both responsive sizing and content is becoming the norm.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is rapidly gaining traction. Augmented reality and interactive ads are taking over as the top ads in print and outdoors. Google Glass is now being used on the streets by some real estate companies to coach agents and team members in real-time. Technology is also working its way into improving green building efforts.

Where’s the Personal Touch?

Technology is great. It can make life and business a lot easier, and more profitable for real estate agents, investors, and the companies they work for. However, some entrepreneurial thought leaders and real estate commentators are increasingly highlighting the benefits of offline, and personal connections.

It all comes down to what is best for business, and enabling real estate professionals to stay in alignment with the things they really care about. Efficiency from technology is great. It gets even better when it improves service for home buyers, sellers, and renters. Done right, integrated technology can make management easier, facilitate business growth, ensure sustainability and long term competitiveness, and significantly drive up ROI and profits.

Still, it shouldn’t be a replacement for real interaction and service. Unless this is kept at the forefront of the mind, short term gains will be just that – short term. Winning customers could become far more expensive, and those with the strongest relationships will be those that retain customers and benefit from their referrals.

With this in mind, some real estate professionals and companies have been taking another look at brick and mortar storefronts. However, they are also taking the time to build real relationships. These are all good things. But, unless the same care and attention to caring for customer needs, and wowing them with great service is maintained at all levels of an organization, it may not make much difference. In fact, you might be better off with just a website, instead of allowing poor customer service reps destroy your reputation, and brand.

The latest technology has been helping to blur the lines between offline and online. Perhaps this is the best strategy for real estate companies. Meet each client where they are and interact across multiple channels for efficiency, while still providing tailored, but high quality service.

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Real Estate Investing As A Business

“Investment is most intelligent when most business like” – Warren Buffett

If investing is better when conducted most business like, does it mean that more real estate investors ought to be investing in a more businesslike fashion? Should every real estate investor be investing as a business? What does that really mean? What does it look like? Does that limit the types of properties and strategies that can be applied? Where can help and support be found for building a more businesslike property portfolio?

What does Real Estate Investing as a Business Mean?

“Businesslike” investing suggests a less emotional, better organized, well thought out approach to real estate. Definitions of ‘business’ can range from describing a profession, to commerce and trade, to an actual company. All of these definitions likely influence Warren Buffett’s decision to be more businesslike in investing. It has certainly worked for him, and for his own prized real estate investments, and real estate companies. It could mean running a real estate company of some type, owning an investment (which is distinctly different from managing one), or just being more businesslike in every day investment and real estate decisions.

Why Should Investors Approach REI as a Business?

There are many practical benefits of taking a business approach to real estate including:

  • Scalability
  • Better true investment decisions
  • More profitable investment moves
  • Efficiency in organization
  • Separating personal from investment finances, assets, and income
  • Building substantial additional value within a business entity
  • Tax reduction
  • More free time

What does Building a Real Estate Business Look Like?

Not everyone envisions building a company and mounting an international conglomerate when they get interested in investing in real estate. So will you need an office, hundreds of staff, and have to go back to wearing uncomfortable suits again?

Most won’t.

Many simply want to generate some extra income, and perhaps build more wealth over the long run. Others aspire to building multinational real estate empires. Yet, what we are really talking about here is approaching investment with a businesslike mentality, and structure. Even for those wishing to go really big, most will find they can now operate a multi-million dollar company from their patios via their smartphones.

However, there ought to be businesslike characteristics regardless of size. This may include incorporation and forming a registered business entity, obtaining business credit and bank accounts, setting up a new business phone number, hiring professional vendors to help out, and having a real estate website.

What Types of Properties can be Invested in as a Real Estate Business?

Not all will incorporate as a C Corp, or LLC. Regardless, of which entity type is chosen, or none is used, every type of property is open to investment.

This may include:

  • Single-family homes
  • Small multifamily properties like duplexes, triplexes, and 4 units properties
  • Apartment buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Industrial real estate
  • Hotels
  • Retail property
  • Vacant land and lots

What about Real Estate Investment Strategies?

The same goes for real estate investment strategy. Virtually any real estate investing strategy can be formalized and systemized to create a business model.

These REI strategies include:

  • Wholesaling houses
  • Fixing and flipping homes
  • Acquiring and holding income generating rental properties
  • Commercial real estate investing
  • Mortgage debt investing and note investing
  • Private mortgage lending
  • Options
  • Buying, selling and leasing various real estate related rights
  • New construction

Where can Real Estate Investors find Support in Building a Business?

The majority of new real estate investors may have very little experience in starting and running a real business. So where can they find help in investing more intelligently, and building a real estate business which can produce better returns, and build more wealth over the long term?

Simply relying on out of date books, and trolling online real estate forums may not be well suited for investors that want to invest intelligently and businesslike. Look for an organized real estate course and proven system that has synergy with your big picture goals. Build on this by seeking out a mentor or coaching program which actually offers business building help, or combines both real estate and business.

Is This the Best Approach for Everyone?

Certainly not all investors want to, or are suited to full time investing, or even running a real estate investment business. There is nothing wrong with that. Yet, all can benefit from taking a more businesslike and smarter approach to investment. This applies whether simply renting out your old home, flipping one or two houses a year, or investing capital in real estate startups.

Those that want the best results, with the lowest risk, and see the value in fast tracking to their goals, while avoiding the pitfalls will see the wisdom in educating themselves on this approach to investing, and will incorporate the best elements to suit their personal goals and aspirations.

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Housing Still The Best Investment Tool Of A Lifetime

Many people are still wondering whether or not real estate is one of the best investment strategies for long-term wealth building. Is investing in homes still a smart investment for the average individual? Is a home still the best investment of a lifetime for most Americans? If so, why are some pessimists still questioning the rebound in the news?

Behind the Headlines

Real estate companies will always boast about the benefits of acquiring real estate because it is their job. That is, unless of course, they have gotten into the rental business and make their money by touting the benefits of renting instead. Let’s be honest; statistics can be found and twisted to support any point of view and argument. Entire years of real estate statistics have been revised in the past, new indexes have been created to restart the clock, and even the national GDP was revised. Most don’t even bother to tune into job and unemployment numbers anymore due to how skewed different data sets have become.

Even though the most conservative figures show housing rebounding, especially in hot areas like San Diego, there continue to be doubters. However, it doesn’t take much more than a little common sense to figure out real estate is still the best investment for most of the population. This applies to affluent individuals with top 1% income, as well as those that need to pinch pennies. Stocks have continued to demonstrate extreme volatility and risk. While UT San Diego reports local real estate is still 50% undervalued.

In the stock market, plenty of Americans have lost 6 figures, literally overnight. Direct investment in real estate isn’t that volatile, and nothing is ever lost until a property is sold. For example; some Southern California homeowners saw their home values rise and fall on paper during the last couple of decades, but if they don’t sell for a few more years when prices exceed their previous peak, they will come out handsomely.

Invest in Real Estate, Even if You Can’t Afford Your Dream Home

One of the top excuses for many not to buy a house is that they can afford their ideal dream homes yet. Of course, unless they invest in real estate in some way now, the odds are against them ever being able to afford that dream home. Incomes haven’t been going up, but rents and home prices have. Those wanting to buy a home should not invest any money in stocks or bonds, but should prefer cash. Of course, in reality, cash depreciates too. It can be at risk whether it is in the bank or under the mattress.

Investing in real estate is the best way to build up more wealth and cash to buy that dream home. Can’t find a home you’d live in even for a few years? Then buy a rental property.

Many Americans are sadly being seduced into the lifelong renter mindset without realizing the horrific consequences it could be dooming them to. Consider those paying 50% of income in rent right now. Rents have been going up 20% a year in many places. If rent goes up another 20%, many could be priced out of both buying a home and renting too! Then what?

With Americans living longer, and with company retirement plans evaporating, they also need to consider where they will live for 40 years of retirement on limited income? Even legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett, with all of his endeavors into energy, insurance companies and holding sizable stakes in companies like Coke and Wells Fargo, still calls his own home his best investment ever.

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