Category: Articles

The Three Tiers of Real Estate Investors

The Three Tiers of Real Estate Investors

The world of real estate can either be a blessing or a curse. Which one it becomes is entirely up to your perception. If you are one that constantly lets your emotions control you, real estate might not be for you. However, if you can maintain your balance in the middle of anything, you stand to do very well.

One day you may be on top of the world with multiple properties about to close. You may be thinking to yourself how easy this real estate game is. You can not believe that you did not get started sooner … then comes the next day. Those buyers that you had lined up the day before are now having second thoughts. They want to back out. Now you have to come up with another month's worth of mortgage payment. Now, in reality, you're still going to be fine in the long run. At the time, you might see it differently, though. The point is that real estate investment is an emotional roller coaster, so be prepared. Once you make it to the other side of the spectrum, it is well worth the hassle. You must always look at the big picture. Do not ever allow yourself to be bogged down by the details. In other words, focus on what you're going to … not what you're going through.

In real estate investment, there are basically three separate tiers of investors. Nearly all investors fit into one of these three categories. Most people start at the first tier and try to work their way up. There are no guarantees that you will ever make it to the next level. You might be a Tier 1 investor for life and that is ok. You'll still do better than if you never entered real estate. Let's look at the different tiers a little more closely.

Tier 1 Investors- These are basically the "newbies" in real estate investing. They may have pushed off a few profitable transactions and they now have a taste for real estate. They have officially had their eyes opened and "seen the light." They know that real estate can work for them and they plan on becoming financially independent. They probably are not completely confident in their abilities, but they are willing to learn. In this category, you do not want to challenge Donald Trump to an investment contest just yet … even if you feel invincible.

Tier 2 Investors- This is the next level in real estate investment skill. These investors have figured out what it takes to make a decent living in real estate. They have anywhere between $ 5000 and $ 50,000 per month coming in from their investments. They know almost all there is to know at the core of real estate investment. Many people would be completely happy at this level of investment income, but there is another step up from this. These people have increased their net worth to $ 250,000 per year. Life is starting to look pretty good for this level of investors. They have a substantial portfolio of properties and it is only growing from here.

Tier 3 Investors- These are the "big dogs" of real estate investment. This is unduly the category that someone like Donald Trump falls in. These investors have mastered pretty much every aspect of real estate investment. They built their business from the ground up and they now have MASSIVE loads of money rolling in. They easily make as much money as those in Tier 2, but it comes in passively. They have reached a point where they may only work 10 hours per month. This is where every real estate investor wants to get at some point. If you get to this tier, you've definitely done your homework.

Now only one question remains … how do you get from Tier 0 to Tier 3?

Of course, I did not mention Tier 0 earlier, but it obviously refers to those who would like to invest in real estate. To enter into Tier 1 is a big step for most people. This requires you to leave the "hiring andishing mode" to the realm of actually doing. It's no longer good enough to say how you're going to have a huge real estate empire some day. You have to start with the first property. Immediate action is required. Go talk to some realors and start learning from the best. Any successful mentor you can learn from is a plus. This is the tier where it all gets underway.

From this tier, it's on to Tier 2. In order to reach the second tier, you must have mastered several key skills. It's necessary that you are now a master negotiator. You also have to be very analytical to find the best deals out there. Wasting time on a bad deal is not something that you can afford. You also must be able to locate motivated sellers on a regular basis. Even with a product, if you do not have any people to buy it, you go out of business. Last, you must know how to structure several different kinds of deals. You need to know about short sales, cash sales, wrap mortgages and lease options to name a few. While this may seem like a lot to know, you will be very rewarded for all of your hard work. This is where the money starts to pour in.

Once you've established yourself as a bit of an expert, you're ready for Tier 3. The main thing to remember in this stage is to expand your thinking. You can not just focus on houses anymore. Shopping malls and commercial buildings are now on the horizon. Get some of these properties and your investment will be returned 10 or 100 times. Once you've done this, you can start to delegate some tasks that you perform. This is where passive income starts to come.

Tier 3 is the ultimate in real estate investing. Many want to get there but only a few will. If you stay dedicated and patient, there's no reason why you can not be one of them.



Source by Yolanda Bishop

California Real Estate Investing – How to Approach It

California Real Estate Investing – How to Approach It

California, aptly termed as the Golden State, is located on the Pacific coast of USA. The most popular state in the country, California has created many a millionaires. Therefore, California real estate investing is a superlative way to cash in on the opportunities offered by the state – more so since the real estate trends in California have often acted as a harbinger for the rest of the nation. This is why veteran investors always keep an eye on the California real estate market.

California, with its sun-kissed beaches, the Hollywood studios and the Silicon Valley, entices many alike who wish to relocate there. The state also boasts of excellent educational facilities, thriving businesses, sporting and recreational arenas, and cultural avenues – an attractive amalgam that holds something for everyone. California real estate investing is the ideal way to benefit from this buzzing environment.

It's true that California is well known for its affluent and well-healed along with their rather ostentatious villas and mansions. But this should not put off a small investor in any way at all – there are scads of opportunities for small investors. And here are a few tips on how to approach California real estate investing.

First and foremost, make yourself familiar with the state rules governing real estate transactions and then abide by them.

In California, each real estate agent must be licensed to buy or sell real estate. Thus every agent should possess a salespeople or broker's license. Novice investors are often all at sea in the beginning of their investment career. It's best to avail the services of an experienced real estate agent who can provide you updated property listings.

A helpful caveat is not to go overboard. Get grip of your budget and your purpose of attaining a property. Then look for a property that meets your criteria.

Although returns can be huge, California real estate investing does involve comprehensive research. It is advised that you scout for properties that have a significant growth potential. Such assets are affordable and have higher potential gains.

Follow a diversified investment statute, investing in both residential and commercial properties. Look for single-family homes, apartments and condos, or business properties in a growing locality. It is crucial to examine the property in person, accompanied by a property inspector, prior to purchase.

In a gist, if you approach it in a meticulous fashion, California real estate investing could be your ticket to success and riches.

Copyright © 2007 Joel Teo. All rights reserved. (You may publish this article in its entity with the following author's information with live links only.)



Source by Joel Teo

California Real Estate Investing – How to Approach It

California Real Estate Investing – How to Approach It

California, aptly termed as the Golden State, is located on the Pacific coast of USA. The most popular state in the country, California has created many a millionaires. Therefore, California real estate investing is a superlative way to cash in on the opportunities offered by the state – more so since the real estate trends in California have often acted as a harbinger for the rest of the nation. This is why veteran investors always keep an eye on the California real estate market.

California, with its sun-kissed beaches, the Hollywood studios and the Silicon Valley, entices many alike who wish to relocate there. The state also boasts of excellent educational facilities, thriving businesses, sporting and recreational arenas, and cultural avenues – an attractive amalgam that holds something for everyone. California real estate investing is the ideal way to benefit from this buzzing environment.

It's true that California is well known for its affluent and well-healed along with their rather ostentatious villas and mansions. But this should not put off a small investor in any way at all – there are scads of opportunities for small investors. And here are a few tips on how to approach California real estate investing.

First and foremost, make yourself familiar with the state rules governing real estate transactions and then abide by them.

In California, each real estate agent must be licensed to buy or sell real estate. Thus every agent should possess a salespeople or broker's license. Novice investors are often all at sea in the beginning of their investment career. It's best to avail the services of an experienced real estate agent who can provide you updated property listings.

A helpful caveat is not to go overboard. Get grip of your budget and your purpose of attaining a property. Then look for a property that meets your criteria.

Although returns can be huge, California real estate investing does involve comprehensive research. It is advised that you scout for properties that have a significant growth potential. Such assets are affordable and have higher potential gains.

Follow a diversified investment statute, investing in both residential and commercial properties. Look for single-family homes, apartments and condos, or business properties in a growing locality. It is crucial to examine the property in person, accompanied by a property inspector, prior to purchase.

In a gist, if you approach it in a meticulous fashion, California real estate investing could be your ticket to success and riches.

Copyright © 2007 Joel Teo. All rights reserved. (You may publish this article in its entity with the following author's information with live links only.)



Source by Joel Teo

Free Real Estate Investing Software?

Free Real Estate Investing Software?

One of the most popular ways agents and investors do a rental property analysis is with real estate investing software. And, of course, it is prudent to buy any software program at the most affordable price (we all do that), but should you ever expect to find free real estate investing software anywhere on the web or elsewhere?

As one who has developed investment software, and therefore can boost of having first-hand experience in what it takes to produce a quality program, I would have to respond with an adamant, No way. Remember the adage, “There ain’t such thing as a free lunch”?

Okay, let me explain why the notion of trying to find free quality software is both, improbable and naive.

The Hours Invested

Any software worth its weight in salt requires untold hours to develop. Whether the software is coded as an application for Microsoft Excel or as a stand-alone program, some developer spent untold hours writing the code, or otherwise paid an arm and a leg to someone else to write the code.

In my case, I wrote the code for my real estate investment software with blood, sweat, and tears over long arduous hours. In fact, there was a point early on (a few weeks following the release of ProAPOD in 2000) that my earnings worked out to be something like fifty cents per hour. Thankfully it’s changed (I wouldn’t be here to offer my software eleven years later otherwise), but you get the idea. Real estate investing software doesn’t (as they say) grow on trees, and there has only been one Mother Teresa; so you should expect to pay something for the time a developer has invested creating his software.

The Cost of Marketing

I am the first to applaud the marketing opportunities that have opened up due to the World Wide Web. It affords entrepreneurs at every level a chance to broadcast services and products to an audience in numbers never imagined even as early as ten years ago. But it does cost.

To begin with, there is the cost of establishing a website. This requires the registration of a domain name, a fee to the hosting server, and, of course, the actual design work.

Next, there is the cost of advertising. The most common method on the web is known as PPC (i.e., pay-per-click). For those of you unaware, the companies you see displayed while browsing have to pay each time their ad is clicked; whether you buy the product or not.

Next, there is the fee to the company who processes the order. I use PayPal, and they are terrific, but they do take a bite out of every transaction.

The Cost of Support

I am committed to giving those using my real estate investing software quality support, and never begrudge having to field questions from my customers. But it does require time; and unlike an attorney who might start the meter the minute the conversation begins, most software developers like me (at least those of us smaller than Microsoft) do not charge customers for support calls.

Enough said.

The point here is not to bemoan the costs associated with running a business, but to help you understand that there is no such thing as free real estate investing software because no software with any measure of quality can be offered to you without cost. In my case, I have purposed to make ProAPOD as one customer put it, “The most affordable software of its kind on the market today.” But alas, despite my personal commitment to provide the real estate community with the best product at low-cost, it is still not free.



Source by James Kobzeff

The Two Sides To Investing In Real Estate…

The Two Sides To Investing In Real Estate…

There are two sides to every story and real estate investing is no different. It’s all about risk. Some say it’s risky; others say it isn’t. Just like everything else, it’s all in how you look at it.

Let’s look at the side who says it’s risky business.

Some people look at investment as a crap shoot. If they get into real estate, or any other kind of investing, they go about it as though they were trying to conjure up some sort of luck. They think that just by being in the game they’re doing everything that needs to be done.

Some of these people are lucky. But you have to remember, sometimes people who bet on the horses or the dogs are lucky. This type of investor looks at real estate investing in the same way–pick something at random and hope for the best.

If real estate investing were really done like that, there would be no such thing as a real estate mogul. You would see people who made a lot of money quickly from time to time, and those people would fade into the background like last week’s pop stars.

For people who approach real estate investment like that, it is very risky. In fact, they are almost guaranteed to lose a great deal of money.

There is another side to real estate investing. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad book series, and Ken McElroy, one of his Rich Dad advisers, both say that there is another way. In order to make real estate pay off for you, you have to approach it in a methodical manner.

Sure, these guys have lost money in the past, and probably will in the future. Everyone makes mistakes. But the money they have made on real estate deals far outshines the little bit they have lost in the course of learning the business. That is a far cry from stumbling down the path of financial ruin because you assume it’s a crap shoot.

They suggest that you learn as much as you reasonably can before you buy your first property. That means learning to read financial statements, learning the basics of real estate law, learning the markets and learning how to pick out properties. (Actually, McElroy outlines a wonderful method for picking out properties in “The ABCs of Real Estate Investing.”)

What you can’t learn on your own, you get a team to help you with.

You have to approach this in a step-by-step manner and not give in to the temptation to leap before you look. You know the saying: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Don’t rush in to the exciting world of real estate investing, but don’t be afraid of it either. Simply learn the terrain as you would if you were going to go walk a foreign countryside for the first time. Learn what is poisonous and avoid it. With that kind of knowledge, you can do anything safely, including invest.



Source by Alexandria Anderson

Establishing A Lead Triad

Establishing A Lead Triad

When you evaluate a Champion Agent's prospecting and lead generation, you will find these people have more than one lead generation source. Our objective is to establish a lead triad. A lead triad is at least three sources of business that generate leads that account for at least 15% to 20% each of your overall revenue or units.

When I evaluate most agents' businesses, they either have one source that they rely on too much (creating an imbalance of leads and a vulnerability to their business), or they have too many lead sources that generate low levels of leads and business. They have ten lead sources and most represent less than 10% of their business. These are bookend errors that are equally disastrous. We need to have three to four lead sources that can account for a substantial amount of business. When you have a lead triad in position, if a prospecting and lead follow-up source dries up or diminishes because of competition intensifying, market or industry changes, or just the breaks, you have already established, tested, and proven methods of prospecting and lead generation that you can shift your resources to. You can ramp up those sources to a high level quicker, which saves you stress and a cash flow crisis.

If you do not have a lead triad, your probability of weathering the storm is lower. It will take a great toll on you to navigate the storm. If you have too many sources, you have to pick one or two, without knowing if you selected the right ones or if your strategy will work. With only one solid source, you are starting from scratch, attacking the steepest part of the learning curve and expecting for quick results. Either one of these approaches can be deadly.

If I am describing your business, I have one word of caution for you; do not try to add too much too soon. The natural tendency when I talk about implementing a lead triad strategy in one's business is to rush to add two, three, even four sources now. The better approach is to select one and commit to that one. Track the results and make the changes and requirements necessary to increase the results. Do not change your source or add another one for six months until the strategy, tactics, and implementation have been fully tested. We all need to achieve a lead competition of strength in our business. Just as a table needs three legs at a minimum to have stability from falling, so does your business.



Source by Dirk Zeller

Counseling Clients on Home Improvements

Counseling Clients on Home Improvements

Before you start to counsel owners about home improvements, remember these two rules:

* First and foremost, never counsel before you are hired. Counseling happens after a client-relationship is established. Attorneys do not offer legal advice before their services have been officially retained. Doctors do not diagnose without guarantee of compensation. Realtors should follow suit. Wait until the listing agreement is signed. Then begin to give counsel regarding how the owner can realize a quicker sale or higher price by making recommended home improvements and implementing staging advice.

Too frequently, agents give away their expert counsel during listing presentations in hopes of provoking their ability and expertise to sellers. More often than not, though, the sellers simply take the counsel with them when they link up with an agent who is less skillful but who promises a cheaper fee.

* Second, tell the truth. If the sellers need to clean the home, tell them. If they are smokers and the house reeks from cigarettes, tell them.

I once had to convince some clients to hire professional cleaners to rid their home of the smoke smell that permeated the carpets, walls, and furniture through the entire home. Then I made them promise not to light up again for so long as they owned the house. They agreed under protest, but we sold the home, so they were happy. The wrong odor in a home can really lower the odds of a sale.

Likewise, appearances can kill buyer interest. If the home is crowded with too much stuff, say so. If the pink exterior color will cause people to drive right on by, speak up. Holding your tongue will only delay the day of reckoning. What's more, it's easier to be altogether frank when you first notice the problem – though only after the listing contract is signed. If you counsel before you gain commitment, your advice could offend the sellers and cost you the listing. This is another reason to follow Rule # 1 and get a signature before giving counsel.

Improvements that contribute to the sales price

When it comes to preparing a home for sale, worthwhile and necessary improvements fall into three categories:

* Improvements that bring a home back to standard.

* Improvements that correct defects

* Improvements that enhance curb appeal or first impressions.
The following sections provide guidelines in each area.

Bringing a home back to standard

Before you present a home with horribly dated décor, counsel the sellers to modernize the interior look in order to align it with the expectations of current-market buyers. Sellers do not have to go overboard; they just need to install a reasonable color scheme and implement enough of an update so that new owners will feel that they can move in without having to undertake an immediate facelift. Share the following advice with sellers:

* Keep improvements simple. A total redecoration is not necessary or even advisable. The objective is to arrive at a broadly acceptable and reasonably current color scheme in paint, counters, and floor coverings.

* Do not aim to create a design showpiece. Realize that following the purchase buyers will often change a home significantly to make it their own. The sellers' objective is to allow them to feel that their changes can happen in time over the next years; that they're not glaringly and immediately necessary

* Focus on the big stuff. If the interior of a home looks current and the landscaping, yard, decks, and patios are well kept and serviceable, the onus on buyers to make significant, immediate changes lightens. As a result, they'll be more likely to buy the home. They'll also be more apt to make a more competitive initial offer than would be the case if the home presented obvious exterior or interior color or repair issues. Any changes a buyer has to make to a home comes out of money they must have, not money they can borrow. Many buyers will use that fact as one of the factors of which home they buy now.

* A little paint makes a huge difference. Repainting is one of the most cost effective ways to freshen the look of a home, and even to disguise design shortcomings.

* Steer clear of the latest trends. Counsel clients away from the current rage in deep wall colors. Advise them to create a warm, blank canvas that any prospective buyer can work with.

Correcting defects

If a home has defects, the seller has two choices: Fix them or provide commensurate monetary compensation to the buyers.
For example, if a roof needs repair or replacement the improvement will be expected by both the bank and the buyer. The seller can offer one of the following two remedies:

1. Handle and pay for the repair or replacement.

2. Provide the buyers with sufficient compensation to cover the cost and hassle of correcting the defect themselves. Hassle compensation is money above what it costs to professionally correct the problem. The amount extended for hassle compensation differs by task and buyer. In most cases, though, if buyers have to collect and decide between contractor bids, arrange for repairs, and check the work of the contractor, they'll want some compensation for their time and effort.

Enhancing first impressions

Any cost-effective improvement that adds curb appeal or gains first impressions can augment the sales price. Follow these tips:

* Create dimension on the exterior of the home by adding shutters or fish scale over a garage gable, selecting a better color pallet and, certainly, spending a few hundred dollars to plant annuals to color up the exterior walkways. The effect will increase the likelihood of a sale and positively influence the sale price.

* Inside the house, after improving the home's paint color scheme, advise sellers to assess the quality of the home's hard surfaces, including carpet, tile, vinyl, and counter tops. Replacing surfaces is often far less expensive than buyers expect. Many choices look rich but are not. A seller does not need to put slab granite on the kitchen counters; simply updating old, cracked, chipped Formica will deliver a great improvement and pay off when it comes to price negotiation. Choose a light, bright surface and the change can contribute the feel of a larger, lighter room.

* When working with a limited budget (as most sellers do) counsel the sellers to improve surfaces in core areas first. Focus on the areas most used by buyers, which include the kitchen, family room, dining area, and master bedroom.

Improvements to skip

As a general rule, I advise sellers to skip any improvement that is not simple or does not affect curb appeal.

Improving curb appealing ¬- the home's ability to show well in a drive-by test – is essential because you want to get the prospect in the door. After that, limit improvements to necessary repairs, fresh paint, new hard surfaces, and a good cleaning.

When sellers ask about replacing cabinets, remodeling rooms, building bookshelves, replacing siding, adding decks, and even finishing basements, share the following facts:

* According to Remodeling magazine and the National Association of Realtors, the average major investment update on a home recoups 81% at resale, or only four out of five dollars spent.

* The highest average rate of return results from a minor kitchen remodel, which yields 93% of the costs incurred.

* The lowest average rate of return results comes from finishing a basement, which yields a 76% return.

* The more money spent, the higher the risk for the seller and the lower the chance of making a return or even breaking even.



Source by Dirk Zeller

How To Ensure Your Success In Building A Team

How To Ensure Your Success In Building A Team

There are as many models, trainers, and philosophies of how to be successful in real estate as there are people. Each one of these people, including myself, has strong beliefs on the path one must take to be successful. The truth is there is not just one pathway to achieving success in real estate sales. There is not one way to build a team. There are a number of ways to prosper in the business. That is one of the exciting aspects of real estate sales. If anyone (agent, trainer, manager, or sales guru) tells you their way way is the only way, run the other direction.

The real question is what will be your way? There is a right model or right pathway for you to build your team based on your experience, database size, market, commitment level, behavioral style, sales skills, and competitive nature. The way to ensure your success is to evaluate your unique factors and build your business and team in a complementary way.

For example, for the last eight years, we have been the leader in behavior assessments in the real estate industry. Through working with thousands of agents and benchmarking their behavioral style, we have discovered patterns in how the different behavior styles can build a business that is effective and comfortable for them. Not everyone should call FSBOs and expireds as some trainers profess. In fact, there are a few behavioral styles that the success rate in prospecting to those sources is so dismal that it would be counter-productive. There are other behavioral styles that are so competitive and focused that they struggle to create referral-based relationships even when they go to numerous seminars to learn referral techniques. Some agents sell more effectively by using facts and figures, while others use emotional connection and emotional techniques.

Being able to build your business around your natural gifts and natural skills that were given to you at birth and that you have spent years perfecting is the mark of a Champion. Using behavioral analysis to select, manage, train, structure, coach, and position team members will strengthen any team.

The way to ensure your success is to find your system, strategy, tactics, and lead generation and conversion sources. Too many lead agents and teams are looking for an off-the-rack solution in a tailor-fit world. We need to be willing to pause, evaluate, research, and design the right long-term solution. We need to design the right team. Anyone can do what they find incongruent with their behavioral style for a short period of time, especially if they are broke. You can find staff members to do jobs that are incongruent with their behavioral skills for that short time frame. However, if expected to completely transform themselves, they will always leave or be asked to leave. The problem is that it's not sustainable. When we have made enough money or feel comfortable, we stop doing activities we do not want to.

The search for your system and the perfection of that will ensure your success. It still means you need to attend seminars and training, listen to CDs, read books, and participate in coaching. If you work with a coaching company that is focused on helping you inverting your system, rather than forcing you into their, you have a higher probability of long-term success once coaching is completed. There is not one system or way to be successful in the real estate sales business.

The second step to ensure your success happens once you have made the best decision on how you are going to generate leads. For example: past clients; sphere of influence; strategic alliances with other professionals like accountants, financial planners, family law attorneys; community involvement; FSBOs; Expireds; REO properties. There are unlimited sources to choose from. Once you have finalized, stick with you decision. A Champion Lead Agent tests the new strategies for a long enough period of time to modify the strategy a few times and test and monitor all of the results. A huge error I see most agents make the error of impatience. They change strategies and tactics so quickly that they never get past the steepest part of the learning curve. They are moving from one ice mountain to the next, trying to find the secret path to the top. The secret path is not there; you have to climb to the top.

Most agents try a farm for three to four months, do not get any business, and scrap the farm. They will try a new newsletter to their past clients and sphere for three to four months and decide that does not work. They will call FSBOs or expireds for a few weeks, not achieve the result level they want, and stop that practice. In order for you to know if something new you are trying works, you have to try it for at least six months. It takes that long to gauge the return on investment. It takes that long to tweak and perfect it. You will not get all the facts to make an informed decision if the strategy works or not before a six month period of time.

Ensure your success in building a team by following these two steps. There is not an off-the-rack system. You have to tailor build it by finding your system, strategy, tactics, and lead generation and conversion sources. Then make the best decision on generating leads. With those two steps in place, you have a system to bring the right people into your team to help you on your way to achieving the Championship Level.



Source by Dirk Zeller

States With No Income Taxes & States With Low Property Taxes

States With No Income Taxes & States With Low Property Taxes

Real Estate Investing & Property Tax Rates

In the United States, property tax is assessed by local government at the municipal or county level. The property tax assessment is based on two values–the value of the land, and the value of the building. Since property tax is calculated at a local-level–and since changes occur frequently–it’s tricky to determine the exact spots where property tax is the lowest. However, the following information should help you locate areas with high appreciation AND low property taxes.

Which States Have the Lowest Property Tax Rates?

County tax rates are often averaged into a single figure, and this number is used when comparing property taxes between states. Surprisingly, Wyoming has the lowest property tax rates. Unfortunately, property values in Wyoming tend to be pretty depressed, due to low population influx and a lack of jobs. Also, Wyoming does not rank highly when it comes to appreciation rates for residential and commercial real estate. Just because an area has low property taxes does not mean it will be the best area to invest in (or relocate to).

What to Look For When Investing

Look for an area that has a consistent rate of real estate appreciation, combined with fairly low property taxes. Often, local property tax rates are low because real estate appreciation in the area is low–so you need to be careful. Cities located next to universities and areas where businesses are relocating are usually excellent spots to buy real estate. Paying attention to population growth can help you spot real estate trends and make wiser investments.

Medium-Sized Cities With the Lowest Property Tax Rates

According to data gathered by the Office of the CFO in Washington, D.C., the following cities have the lowest property tax rates in 2006, based on an annual income of $75,000. Assuming you earn $75,000 annually, here are the property tax amounts you would pay in each city…

Birmingham AL — $988

Cheyenne WY — $1,108

Phoenix AZ — $1,248

Wichita KS — $1,309

Denver CO — $1,362

Charleston WV — $1,395

Oklahoma City OK — $1,538

Kansas City, MO — $1,595

Little Rock AR — $1,648

Louisville, KY — $1,713

Jacksonville FL — $1,744

Honolulu HI — $1,781

Billings MT — $1,864

Salt Lake City, UT — $1,904

Virginia Beach VA — $1,918

Jackson MS — $1,971

Charlotte, NC — $2,021

Boise, ID — $2,176

Columbia SC — $2,214

Las Vegas NV — $2,225

Sioux Falls SD — $2,228

New Orleans, LA — $2,231

Wilmington DE — $2,416

Memphis TN — $2,501

Albuquerque NM — $2,517

Houston TX — $2,861

The Connection Between State Income Taxes & Property Tax Rates

States with no income tax (see list below) usually have high property tax rates in their respective counties (The state needs to get its revenue from somewhere!). However, the trade-off is that you will have zero taxes on all earned income. This can be a huge advantage. Instead of paying the state 7 to 15 percent (or more) of your income, you can keep your hard-earned money, and invest it back into real estate or other investments. There are currently nine states that do not tax income at the state level.

States With No Income Tax

Alaska

Florida

Nevada

South Dakota

Texas

Washington

Wyoming

New Hampshire*

Tennessee*

*New Hampshire and Tennessee do not tax earned income, but they DO tax capital gains (dividend and interest income).

How To Find the Best of Both Worlds: Low Property Tax & No State Income Tax

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds (low property tax and no state income tax), you may want to consider the following cities:

Sioux Falls, SD

Houston, Texas

Jacksonville, Florida

Memphis, TN

Cheyenne, WY

Las Vegas, Nevada

You can also explore less well-known cities in the nine “no-income-tax” states. Smaller towns and cities generally offer “quality of life” advantages, and higher-than-average price appreciation and growth.

Conclusion

Now you know which states don’t tax income, and which areas have the lowest property tax rates. Armed with this knowledge, you can focus on finding the best spot for your next home or real estate investment.



Source by Michelle Taylor

Making Your Presentation Useful And Interesting

Making Your Presentation Useful And Interesting

Most agent presentations put sellers to sleep, mainly because most presentations lack interest, usefulness, and structure.

To increase the interest in your presentation, follow this advice:

o Share market knowledge. Become a student of the local marketplace and share meaningful statistics. Also track trends in the national marketplace, both to enlighten your prospects and also to distinguish yourself as a well-read, well-connected, and well-informed agent.

o Ask questions. Listen in on typical listing presentations, and you'll hear the agent talking 80% of the time, with the prospect severely getting a word in edgewise. I guarantee you that the seller finds that monologue uninteresting.

o Watch the clock. Do not let your presentation run too long and do not save the information the seller most wants to receive until the very end. If you put your price recommendation at the very end of a 90-minute presentation during which you did 80% of the talking, you can pretty well predict that your seller will be tuned out.

o What the prospect has to say is more important than what you have to say. Great salespeople do less than 25% of the talking. You already know all that you need to know about what you're thinking. You need to learn what your prospects think and know and desire, so you can match your service to their wants and needs.

Keep it short and sweet. Let's get right to the point. . . a 90-minute presentation is either short nor sweet. What in the world an agent finds to talk about for 90 minutes I have no idea, but I do know, for sure, that sellers do not want to sit through a 90-minute appointment, and they most certainly do not want to listen to an agent for that long.

Within the first few minutes of the appointment, inform your sellers that your listing presentation will take no more than 45 minutes. Based on my own experience, I can tell you that more than half of the sellers will thank you when you tell them that your presentation will be brief. Many times, I've had clients thank me again when I was walking out the door with the signed contract, sharing their appreciation that I was not there all night!

A good, brief presentation results from a proper structure, a clear presentation plan, and knowing what to say and how to convey it.

Many agents translate the terms structure and plan to mean "canned presentation." They say, "I do not want to sound mechanical and scripted." People sound mechanical and scripted for lack of practice, not because they have a pattern or process to follow. In fact, most people require professional service providers to follow plans. For example, when I board a plane, you can bet that I want the pilot to follow a "canned" preflight checklist, landing checklist, flight plan, etc. I want the attorney who defends me to have well-constructed or planned legal briefs, questions, and arguments.

I am not working to "can" anyone, but the necessity to plan your presentation is essential. You need to have a framework that you are comfortable with, that allows you to deliver key facts, finds, and segments, using key phrases and dialogs, every time you present. I would rather an agent err on the side of "managed" than just "wing it."

Other advice:

o Know your prospects. If you are not completely clear on your prospects' interests and needs, you have not qualified them well. Acquiring prospect knowledge is truly the key to a good presentation. You absolutely have to secure the right information before going into the appointment.

o Set a goal to keep your presentation to 45 minutes or less. Look at every piece of sales material you present. Does it demonstrate clear benefits to the seller? Does it need to be used? Does the seller understand it? Does it create difference between you and the other agents? As the saying goes, "when in doubt, leave it out."

o Limit the volume of PowerPoint slides or color presentation binder pages that eat up your presentation time and your chance to dialog with the sellers. Typically, each page in your presentation – whether it's on a computer screen or on paper – represents two minutes of presentation time by the time you turn to the page, talk about it, emphasize key points, and ask for questions to confirm your prospect's understanding . Do the math: 30 pages eat up an hour, putting you well over your time limit before you even get to the contract!

By following this advice, you are on your way to making your presentation one that is useful, structured, and interesting – that all sellers appreciate -, and it will set you apart from the rest.



Source by Dirk Zeller