Drones attack the real estate market!

Drone 087Prior to moving to Southern Oregon in 2002, I had just sold eBusiness Design, a web development company that specialized in helping large companies use the internet to market, improve customer service, distribute their product directly to the consumer or just to inform their customers. When I arrived in Southern Oregon, I was surprised by the lack of the awareness of the internet as a marketing tool and became quickly successful in real estate sales by using the internet to market homes for sale.

Fast forward to 2014 and marketing homes using the internet has evolved to the next level and has changed in three major ways. We are now seeing incredible growth and success using Video, Mobile and Texting.

  • Video: For years the best way to capture the feeling of your home has been a video, but we are just now seeing rapid growth of this technology due to the majority of the population getting high speed internet, smart phones hooking to WiFi and the use of Drones to capture High Definition photos from the air. Drones are no longer just associated with unmanned flights tracking terrorists through desolate foreign territories. Drones are now being used to fly over your home capturing images that fascinate the viewers. You can have footage of flying over your community and capturing its best features then combine that with a flyover and through your home. Take Jacksonville for example, many buyers come here from out of state so they are amazed when they see a flyover of Britt, California Street, our local vineyards, wineries and historic buildings combined with a home that fits their needs.

 

  • Mobile: According to the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of home shoppers use mobile devices during their home buying research and the number is growing daily. The top three real estate websites, Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia, are already receiving more traffic from their mobile applications than their desktop applications, so it’s really become important for a home that is for sale to be advertised and enhanced on one, if not all three, of those sites. Mobile real estate sites use the GPS on your smart phone to bring up homes that are for sale as buyers drive past them. If there is a video they can launch and play, they can quickly see both the inside and outside. If it is done using a drone, they can see the neighborhood and if it’s rural property they can see the lay of the land. With one click from a mobile application, a buyer can call the listing agent for an appointment to see the home. If an agent has a website they have to make sure that website is optimized for mobile users or many buyers will not be able to view their homes for sale.

 

  • Texting: Text codes are a fantastic way to capture the contact information of mobile drive-by buyers. A text code can be added to a “for sale” sign allowing buyers to text for price, details, photos and videos. Many drive-by shoppers may not be ready to call the listing agent, but they will send a text for additional information. The listing agent will instantly be notified by text or email when a buyer uses the text code and can then reach out and text (or call) the buyer back while the buyers is still sitting in front of the house for sale! Text codes can also be used as lead generators in any advertisement. Print ads don’t allow for many details so if you add a text code, the buyer can text for complete details, the video and photos. Recently I saw the use of text codes by Sears in the Sunday paper and you will definitely see more use of this technology as the public embraces it.

It’s interesting how technology adds new ways we can market homes but we have to combine these new technical marketing tools with those old and trustworthy marketing tools such as print ads, direct mail and open houses which are still great ways to find a buyer for a home.

The Benefits of an Open House

open-houseThere are many ways to get buyers interested in your home, one of which is by holding an open house. By doing so, you let the potential buyer to explore the house and see how it looks like and what it feels like to live there, which can somehow help to persuade the potential buyer to buy the house. This is a pretty good reason in itself to hold an open house, but there are also other benefits worth mentioning.

Build a Buzz around Your House
By putting up an open house, you are opening your home to people, both those who are interested to buy it, as well as those who are not and are simply looking around. This creates a buzz around your home, and one way or another, this is bound to spread as those who’ve seen your house are bound to tell it to a friend, who will tell it to their friends, who will tell it to their friends… well, you get the picture.

Preparation is Key
If you hold an open house, you will be able to prepare the whole place before the visitors come. In the traditional showing, brokers and potential buyers can come anytime they want in the day, and thus it is not common for them to catch you with the floor dirty and the kids toys all over the place. However, in an open house, you can do some thorough cleaning that will keep the house clean for as long as potential buyers come. When it comes to selling a house, preparation is key, and an open house will give you more than enough time to prepare.

Stand Out from the Crowd
Although there is a nationwide open house which is set annually, this does not mean that you have to wait for that day in order to put your house on listings and hold an open house. You can basically hold an open house on any weekend that you want. Since you basically control when you want to hold the open house, you will be able to hold it on a day when you have lesser competitors in your area, which then increases the chances of potential buyers going to your house instead of another’s.
Holding an open house is considered to be a great way of attracting potential buyers, but careful planning must be done in order to fully harness its effectiveness and thus encourage sales.

The Benefits of Purchasing a Home Warranty

home-warrantyOne of the things that worries most new homeowners when it comes to buying a new home are the costly repairs that expenses that they weren’t aware of when they first saw the house. Fortunately, there is a way to avoid this, and that is by purchasing a home warranty.

A home warranty is a kind of service contract which covers repairs and replacements for residential houses for a period of one-year, thus lessening the burden of homeowners who are supposed to shoulder the cost. By purchasing a home warranty, the new homeowners will be able to enjoy the following benefits:

Save Money and Spend Less
It is no secret that home repairs can cost a lot of money, and after paying for the down payment for the house, it is no surprise that many new homeowners find themselves with very little money left in their bank accounts. And whatever money is left, is supposed to be used for paying the utility bills or for buying groceries – not for any home repairs.
With a home warranty, new homeowners can breathe easier because the company will be the one to shoulder the cost of the repair, allowing the new homeowners to put their money aside for the more important matters.

Guarantees and Protection
Some home warranties also offer to cover the replacement and repair of electrical systems and appliances. Some companies who offer home warranties also offer to cover such items regardless of the brand or model, and the best part is that the repairs are even covered by a guarantee.

Renewable Warranty
Because of the benefits that a home warranty gives, new homeowners often opt to renew their home warranties with the company (provided that the company offers such a program). If such a program is offered the new homeowners can renew their warranties annually and enjoy the same benefits.
Take note though, that not all companies who offer home warranties provide for the same coverage. One feature may be present in one company, another feature may be present in another company, or both features may be present in only one company. In order to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible, be sure to learn more about each company’s home warranty and make comparisons where relevant.

Should You Invest in Residential or Commercial Properties?

4293254_sWhen thinking about investing in real estate, there are two main options to choose from: residential properties and commercial properties. Although investing in residential properties is usually the way to go for many people, the booming commercial real estate industry and it wide and compelling marketing strategies are starting to make their mark on investors.

Because of this, many people are finding it difficult to choose which of the two they should invest in. In order to make the process easier, it helps to know the different pros and cons associated with investing in either of the said properties.

Cost of Investment

Investing in commercial properties is generally more expensive than investing in residential properties. However, this still depends on several factors like the location and size of the property. You will find that a large residential property in a high-end subdivision can cost just as much as a small commercial property in a not-so-well-known business district.

Return on Investment

The ROI for commercial properties are also generally higher than in residential properties. This is because there is potentially more means of earning with the former than the latter. For instance you can rent out an office space or property much expensively than you would with a residential estate. In addition, the appreciation value of commercial properties tends to be higher and rise faster.

Associated Risks

Investing in a commercial property or residential property does not come without risks. However, the risks tend to be higher with commercial properties. For instance, there is the problem with long-term vacancies, due to difficulty in finding businesses or firms who are willing to rent your commercial property. When businesses fail, you may find that those renting your commercial property may be unable to pay you.

All in all, investing in a commercial property may seem more appealing than in a residential property. However, the risks involved are relatively higher. The most important thing to consider though is how you intend to make money out of this investment. If you want to rely solely on land appreciation and do away with the risks associated with rents and leases, you may want to consider investing in residential properties. However, if you are brave enough to face the challenges and risks of owning and managing a commercial property in exchange for the possibility of higher profits, then commercial properties are the better choice.

Why a Commercial Real Estate Site Visit Plan Adds to Your Return on Investment

JTS 0091Investing in commercial real estate is a big decision, and so you would want to make the most out of it in every way possible. One way of doing so is by conducting a site visit to the commercial real estate of interest. Like in any other purchase, you’ll want to see the product first before you put your money down, just to check if it’s really worth it.

To make the most out of your commercial real estate site visit plan, you need to make some preparations. These will guide you into successfully completing the site visit and determining whether the commercial real estate is worth investing in.

Visit the Site Online

Nowadays, it is very common to Google a product before buying it. The same is true for commercial real estates. If you can’t find a website which discusses in detail the commercial property you intend to invest in, you can also try using Google Maps. Using the satellite view, you will be able to see an actual image of the property, including the surrounding areas like residential houses, commercial establishments and so on. The point here is to get an overview of how the property looks and of its surroundings.

Market Conditions

During the site visit, you should observe and inquire about the prevailing and possible market conditions of the place where the commercial real estate is. Remember that you are investing in a commercial property, and you will want it to have a viable and easy access to your target market.

Local Issues

You’ll also want to know about the major local issues affecting the area. For instance, if any residential homes were demolished to give way to the commercial real estate development, or if the utilities like water and power work fine in the area. Any unresolved issues like this can make it harder for you to see gains and profits.

Possible Business Opportunities

If you are looking to grow your investment, you need to look at expansion projects for the commercial real estate in question. For instance, is there are possibility of expanding the estate by purchasing the surrounding lots? Will there be any reasons for contest among the locals in the place? Answering these questions will make sure that you are investing your money on a winning property that can earn you more than you expected and give you the best returns for your investment.