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8 Tips Selling a Luxury Home

Selling a home is not the easiest of tasks but it also doesn’t have to be as hard as figuring out the rubrics cube!  The level of difficulty does increase though when selling a luxury home.  With the increasing level of difficulty comes an increased level of expertise that is required to sell a luxury home.

Many real estate agents don’t have a clue when it comes to selling luxury homes.  The same can be said for the owners of a luxury home.  It is important that the proper steps are taken to ensure the home is sold in a timely fashion and for a fair, market value price!

Here are several tips for selling luxury homes that are helpful for any real estate agent or homeowner.

Is The Price Right?
Pricing a home correctly, from the beginning, is extremely important whether selling a $100,000 home or a 1.5 million dollar luxury home!  A common real estate pricing mistake that is made is hiring the real estate agent who suggests the highest price and in the luxury home market, this can be a huge mistake.  It’s extremely important that a luxury home is priced competitively or aggressively from the beginning to attract buyers from the beginning.  It is more common for a luxury home to sit on the market for longer than a lower priced home, however, a luxury home does not have to sit on the market if priced properly from the beginning!

To ensure the price is right, an in-depth comparative market analysis, must be completed on a luxury home in order to determine a competitive or aggressive price.  A real estate agent should spend several hours massaging the data, touring other comparable luxury homes currently for sale, and calling other real estate brokers who have recently sold comparable properties to the subject home.  Often times there are homes that are extremely similar to others in certain neighborhoods.  It is rare to find a luxury home that is identical to another, so knowing every amenity a luxury home has is crucial when determining the price!

How Will The Luxury Home Be Marketed?
The price a home enters the market at does a fair amount of the marketing in itself, however, there are other marketing tools that should be used when selling a luxury home.

Print advertising and direct mailing should still be apart of any real estate agents marketing plan/system.  The internet, however, has significantly changed how consumers shop.  This is no different in the real estate industry!  It is extremely important that a real estate agent who is selling a luxury home, is utilizing the internet.  It’s important that a real estate agent has their own website and/or blog and that it is mobile responsive as well.  Many home buyers are shopping on their tablets and mobile devices.

When selling a luxury home, it’s important that a real estate agent uses social media.  Social media is an extremely important marketing tool for real estate agents that can help give their clients maximum exposure!  It is a marketing tool that most real estate agents don’t utilize and/or understand.  Ask yourself, what percentage of people in the market to buy or sell a home have a Facebook Page, Twitter Handle, or Pinterest Account?  95%+?  By not marketing a luxury home for sale on social media, a real estate agent is doing their client a huge disservice!

When selecting a real estate agent to sell a luxury home, it’s critical to know where the luxury home will be marketed, how it will be marketed, and how frequently it will be marketed.  When selling a luxury home, a real estate agent must have a comprehensive marketing plan/system and cannot list a luxury home, wait and hope it sells.  These type of real estate agents are also known as a “post and pray Realtor.”

High Quality Photos and Videos are Important When Selling a Luxury Home

What Will The Quality Of The Photographs/Videos/Virtual Tours Be?
Most have heard the saying, “quality over quantity.”  This relates perfectly to the quality of photographs and videos of a luxury home for sale.  With over 90% of buyers beginning their home search online, it’s critical the photographs and videos of a luxury home are outstanding and nothing but the best!

Every real estate agent will offer to take photos of a home, but it shouldn’t be as easy as just leisurely taking photos.  When selling a luxury home, if the real estate agent is not having a professional photographer take photos of the home, they better have some great equipment.  Top real estate agents who choose to take their own photographs of their luxury home listings must have experience and also high end equipment such as a wide angle lens.  When taking photos of a luxury home a few things that need to be considered are, is the lighting right for the photos, are the amenities being photographed, and is the exquisite location being highlighted.

A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, how much is a video or virtual tour worth?  A billion?  When selling a luxury home, a professionally created video or virtual tour can be the difference of whether or not the luxury home sells.  Most local MLS’s have a limit to the number of photos that can be placed on-line, but allow a location where a video tour or “virtual tour” can be placed.  Many luxury homes are much larger than 25 photos can showcase and also much more glamorous than 25 photos can showcase, so video is a great way to allow potential buyers the ability to “walk-through” the luxury home in the comfort of their present home.

Is It The Right Time To Sell?
When selling a luxury home, timing plays a larger role than when selling non-luxury home.  For instance, if a waterfront luxury home is being sold in Rochester, NY, it’s important to select the correct time of year to sell.  Selling a home in the middle of the cold, blustery winter would not be a good time to showcase the waterfront!  The same can be said for a luxury waterfront home in Jupiter, FL, selling a home during hurricane season may not be the best time to list a luxury home for sale.

Will There Be Any Open Houses?
A very popular question many home owners have for real estate agents is, are you going to have an open house?  There is much debate whether public open houses help sell homes or not.  When it comes to luxury homes, public open houses do not help sell homes.  When it comes to selling a luxury home, public open houses often bring in people just interested in seeing how the “rich and famous” live.  There is absolutely no way to determine whether the people coming through the open house are qualified to purchase the luxury home or not!

While public open houses do not help sell luxury homes, broker open houses can be helpful.  A broker open, which is an open house for local real estate professionals, allows real estate agents who have buyer prospects looking for luxury homes to view possible matches.  A broker open is much more successful if the real estate agents who sell luxury homes locally are able to attend, as they have the greatest probability of having a client for the home!

Are The Location & Lifestyle Being Portrayed Correctly?
Luxury homes are often luxurious because of their location and lifestyle.  If a luxury home is part of a development which includes a clubhouse or yacht club privileges, it is important they are being showcased in the listing information.  This is another reason why utilizing video or virtual tour when selling a luxury home is a great marketing tool as it is a very good way to present a homes location as well as the lifestyle.

When buying a luxury home, the prospective purchasers will often want to know who else is living in the general vicinity of the home.  It’s important to know or find out who else lives in the area and ensure this information is available to real estate agents who are showing the home.

Staging with a Purpose Helps Sell Luxury Homes

Will Any Staging Be Done?
Staging does not sell homes but it certainly can help!  There are many sellers who believe that by hiring a real estate agent who has a staging designation, their home will sell because their home has been staged.  This is wrong.  Obtaining a designation for staging doesn’t necessarily mean they are a great real estate agent.

When selling a luxury home, staging will help maximize price and minimize time on the market.  When staging a luxury home, it is important that the amenities which make the home luxurious are being showcased.  If there is an outdoor BBQ, is it staged so that potential buyers can envision their summertime gatherings?  A luxury home with an over-sized formal dining room should have elegant place settings with fine china at each place setting to help a buyer envision what their fine dining parties may look like.

Can You Be Patient?
One of the biggest things that a seller needs to consider when selling a luxury home, patience is a must!  Selling a luxury home will normally take longer than a non-luxury home.

One major reason that luxury homes take longer to sell than non-luxury homes is the number of possible buyers available to purchase the home.  Face it, there are many buyers who can afford a $150,000 home entering the market on a daily basis.  There aren’t many buyers who can afford a 1.5 million dollar home entering the market on a daily basis.  For this reason alone, it’s important to be patient and understand that if the above tips are being practiced, a buyer will surface!

For example, in Monroe County, New York, there have been a total of 58 sold properties in the +/- of $500,000 price range in the past 12 months versus 891 sold properties in the +/- of $100,000 price range in the past 12 months.  The average days on the market for the $500,000 homes was 73 and the average days on the market for the $100,000 homes was 39.  As the statistics prove, in the Rochester, NY luxury home market there are less buyers in the marketplace than there are in the Rochester, NY non-luxury home market.

10 Quick Facts About Property Investment


1. Leverage enables you to borrow other peoples money;
2. Compounding will let you maximise the benefits of borrowing other peoples money;
3. Historically the longer you hold onto a property the greater the capital appreciation, which is what makes you wealthy in the long-term;
4. Roughly around 10% of Australians own an investment property which is negatively geared;
5. New properties tend to have higher rates of depreciation compared to old properties;
6. Capital city areas continue to have growing populations and increased property demand;
7. Properties have grown by over 14 times since the 1970’s in Australia;
8. The interest component of mortgages on investment properties is tax deductible, which is why many people feel interest only loans are the best option for property investors;
9. Units and Houses have performed very closely over the last years in Australia;
10. Property near public transport tends to be in more demand compared to property far away.

4 Things to Know About Investing in International Real Estate

Real estate is a tricky game – you must become very knowledgeable about your target markets and your competitors in order to become successful. That’s true in North America, as well as anywhere else in the world.

But when you start to branch outside of the U.S. real estate market, that’s when things can really start to get complicated. The rules are different, and mistakes can be costly.

Here are a few things you need to know if you’re considering investing in international real estate.

You Need To Know What Stage Your Market Is In

There are roughly five stages to every emerging market. If you don’t know what stage that market is in, you could get taken to the cleaners. The first stage is usually reserved for locals only. This means that locals are using the land for their own purpose, like agriculture and business.

An outside party can bring that land to the second stage, which means that large swatches of land are bought for the purpose of developing them at a later date (or hanging onto them indefinitely).

These large swatches are eventually broken up into smaller parcels, becoming further developed and moving into stage three of the real estate market stages. These parcels can become small enough that homebuyers can actually come in and purchase, as well as speculators.

The land switches to a mainstream homebuyer market in stage four when restaurants, hotels, and other consumer-driven developments arrive. This then becomes a full-fledged city at stage five, with all the infrastructure and civil services that come with it.

Each stage has its own advantages and challenges. For the risk-averse, the early stages are the most risky – but do provide the highest beta. This means that with a higher risk, comes a higher reward.

You Must Have A Plan

Without a plan, you’ll never have a clear vision of what to do with your new investment. Knowing if you are planning on renting the house, living in it, or just holding onto the property until property values rise are important questions to ask yourself before diving into real estate.

You Won’t Get Rich Quick

Real estate investing is a long-term investment. There’s no way around that – while people in distinct markets may have sped up this timeline, the fact of the matter is that real estate is hard work, and may not pay off in the end if you don’t do your research beforehand.

You Must Study Up

Becoming a successful international real estate investor means knowing everything you possibly can about the situation you are putting yourself in: the local market, the neighborhood, and even the property itself. If you don’t know what your cash flows will be, like how long it usually takes to rent a property in your market, you may have too much overhead to cover each month. Know before you buy!

Final Tips

As a final word of wisdom, becoming a real estate tycoon is hard work, and isn’t for everyone. If you take on something that is a little too far over your head, you run the risk of damaging your livelihood, your family, and your future. Know yourself before buying any property, and understand the risks and time commitment involved.

10 Top Real Estate Tips for 2015

The recovery has yet to arrive in many states, reinforcing the notion that real estate growth is regional. No one can accurately predict when this real estate uptick will end or how hard, or soft, a landing it will make. In the meantime, let proven fundamentals, applied with a few modern wrinkles, rule the day. Here are 10 tips for 2015 to help the real estate process.

1. Do sweat the small (cheap) stuff, sellers

Little touches go a long way in the buyer’s eye, starting logically with the entry. Trim bushes, wash walkways and change out trampled welcome mats. Inside, de-stink with candles and counter sprays, de-jam closets and de-clutter rooms, focusing keenly on kitchen counters. Hide scrub brushes and other fantasy-killing labor tools. Dust, wax, scrub toilets, wash windows, test and clean lights, put out fresh towels, winnow family mementos, harness or hide that avalanche of toys, remove prescription drugs from medicine cabinets and police the yard for “pet bombs.” It’s time well-spent.

2. Take note(s), buyers

In a whirlwind house-hunting tour of several properties, buyers benefit by keeping a pro-and-con checklist of each home they visit. Otherwise, the features of several homes tend to blend together in a tired brain by day’s end. Creating a rating scale of 1 to 10 also helps, as does carrying a checklist of specific features that you seek in an ideal home.

3. Sell by season

Though spring is optimal, home selling is a year-round sport. Use seasonal accents to make buyers linger longer.

Winter: Unfurl throw rugs and spotlight functional fireplaces. Near holidays, add touches like wreaths and pine-cone centerpieces. Display photos of your home a season ahead, particularly in winter, so buyers can see the house ensconced by greenery.

Spring: Fresh-cut flowers and candles bring spring scents indoors. For that new-start look, do extra spring cleaning and use brightly colored linens, spreads and pillows. Add little pops of color to the entry and landscape.

Summer: Highlight patios and other outdoor areas. Swap out dark towels and curtains for light colors. Put out a seasonal fruit basket or add hanging flowers. Keep the house cool but not cold.

Fall: Display pumpkins by the door and vases of fall foliage or tricolored corn inside. Use seasonal scents such as baked apple. Keep those leaves at bay.

4. Drill deeply

Buyers are regularly advised to scope out the block at varying hours, but why not drill down further to see if your potential new neighborhood is fading or flourishing?

  • Bad signs: A major local employer is struggling or moving away; adjacent neighborhoods are progressively turning into rentals; and a few too many for-sale homes are lingering on the market. Nearby commercial spaces remain persistently vacant.
  • Good signs: Schools are in high demand and well-rated. Young families and artsy types are moving in. Older couples are “aging in place” and nearby commercial properties are getting redeveloped and quickly leased. For-sale homes are generating multiple offers.

5. ‘Big data’ is everywhere, so tap in

While local knowledge and old-school networking will always be valuable, the latest technology lets agents offer much more. Some agencies offer “livability” ratings by ranking and contrasting neighborhoods by air quality, traffic choke points and specific data on a home’s energy efficiency. In 2013, the National Association of Realtors introduced its Predictive Analytics group. Banks already use “big data” to gauge the worth of foreclosures and short sales, and mobile apps now offer it for consumer and agent use. Ask agents if they offer this and other edgy technology such as high-definition aerial footage shot by drones. Should your grandiose home merit that, go big!

6. Transparency equals trust

Buyers will certainly enlist inspectors to twice-over your home, Mr. Seller. So instead of inviting disappointment, delay and distrust, be transparent with your own presale inspection. It’s far better to know now about issues with the plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), foundation, electrical systems and roof. If you haven’t gotten these repairs done, get a quote from a company like Wellesley roofers. If you have, provide the buyer a copy of the inspection along with repair receipts, and explain if or how you’ve adjusted your price accordingly. Buyers appreciate candor.

7. Math versus ego

Too often, buyers get caught up in win-at-all-costs negotiation. They’ll stubbornly let as little as a few grand lock them out of the right house. At an interest rate of 4.5 percent, the difference between paying $200,000 and $195,000 — assuming 1.25 percent property tax and 15 percent down — is only about $25 per month on a 30-year mortgage, or about the cost of lunch for two at a fast-casual eatery, before the tip. Don’t let that ruin your chances at your dream home.

8. Retain mineral rights

With so many giant natural-gas fields (shales) in play across the U.S. and new ones pending, homeowners should exercise “seller’s market” clout to retain mineral rights. While that intent needn’t even be mentioned in the sales contract in some states, it’s always safest to note it, provided the buyer doesn’t protest. Avoid that scenario by conveying those rights to a trustworthy relative or to an energy company buying them before putting the house on the block. “Mineral rights? Oh, so sorry, I no longer own them.”

9. Buying? Then cool it for a while

Refrain from making big capital purchases like a new car, opening new credit cards or amassing big chunks of other new debt before buying a home. These raise your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders examine to determine the mortgage amount you can afford. Also avoid moving large sums of money around, changing banks, changing jobs and becoming self-employed before buying a home.

10. The price is right

Trite, you say? Perhaps. But accurate home pricing from the outset never goes out of style because it sells homes. Some agents advise sellers to overprice because inventory is low. Others say go below market to spur a bidding war. Don’t get caught up in pricing games.

Activity in the first month of a listing is always the best, so don’t risk wasting it. Price too high, and scare off many buyers and agents. Price too low, and risk leaving dollars on the table. Hiring the right agent based on recommendations, response time, in-person interviews, track record and data support will yield that pricing expert you need.

Is Real Estate Really the Best Investment?

Last decade’s housing bubble is becoming a distant memory. Mortgage rates are near historic lows, interest-only loans are back and everyone loves real estate as an investment again.

More than 1 in 4 Americans (27 percent) said real estate was the best investment for money they would not need for at least a decade, according to a new Bankrate.com survey of 1,000 investors. Cash came in second with 23 percent of investors, only 17 percent said the stock market is their preferred place for long-term money and just 5 percent said they would put their long-term money in bonds.

It is the first time real estate has taken the top spot in the three years Bankrate has been conducting the survey. Cash was investors’ favorite in 2013 and 2014. “It begs the questions if more Americans are once again viewing real estate as a golden ticket,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.

Credit is harder to come by than a decade ago and lenders face more regulations, but financial advisors say many clients are catching the real estate bug again.

“Justlast week,a high-tech corporate boomer client with no experience in renovating and selling real estate told us he wanted to go into flipping a property with his friend, who does this for a living,” said Jon Ulin, certified financial planner and managing principal of Ulin & Co. Wealth Management in Boca Raton, Florida. His client wanted to liquidate 25 percent of his IRA to invest in the project and told Ulin it would “diversify” his portfolio.

“I advised him that putting a quarter or more of his life savings into flipping and renovating one property with the hopes of making a possible 14 percent profit is not a good idea and a gamble,” Ulin said.

Real estate has curb appeal that other financial assets can’t match.

“For many investors, the tangible nature of real estate simply offers much more peace of mind than the intangible nature of stock and bonds,” said Stephen Doucette, a certified financial planner and vice president of Proctor Financial in Sherborn, Massachusetts. “Real estate pricing also adds peace of mind to investors as pricing seems more stable because it is not updated daily by the media.”

Investors should weigh the long-term return potential of real estate investing compared with other assets.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which measures the value of residential real estate in 20 major metropolitan areas, has generated a hearty annualized 9.2 percent return over the past three years through June 30, but produced an annualized 0.4 percent loss over the past decade. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the U.S. stock market, grew an annualized 14.8 percent over the past three years and 5.87 percent over the past 10 years.

But investors with good credit can borrow to buy real estate, which can enhance returns—or magnify losses, depending on the market. “The singular and best reason to own real estate as an investment is to use leverage,” said Stephen Lovell, a certified financial planner in Walnut Creek, California. “Without it, your return on investment tends to be about 2 percent to 3 percent.”

Real estate also comes with different risks than other financial assets. You cannot sell it as quickly as stocks and bonds. You have to pay for insurance, maintenance and property taxes that can eat into your profits.

“You can’t sell real estate short so you cannot hedge against a down market and the market for real estate is too local,” warns Wes Shannon, a certified financial planner with SJK Financial Planning in Hurst, Texas. “You may live in a state or city going through an economic boom, but if the other houses on your street start to decline or convert to rentals you can see a depreciation of your [home] value … even one bad neighbor can ruin an investment in real estate.”

Fried Lamb Burger

If you like hamburgers and want a little variation with some kick, fried lamb burgers are for you. The lamb is very tender and the spices really flatter the meat. You can serve this on pita, a bun, or as I prefer, on a kaiser or sourdough roll.Ingredients1 lb ground lamb

1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley(without stems)1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oilPrep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 10 minutesTotal Time: 20 minutesPreparationIn a medium bowl, combine flour, parsley, spices, onion, salt, and pepper. Add meat with a wooden spoon or hands and begin to mix together.In a small bowl beat the eggs, and then add to meat and spice mixture. Mix together. Form into patties.In a skillet or frying pan, pour in oil and bring heat to a medium high. Cook each patty for about 1-4 minutes each side until golden brown and crispy.Serve with or without bun and bread

9 Rules for Accessorizing Your Wedding Dress

 Silver and pink bridal accessories1. Match Your MetalsYou may not realize this, but some metals look better with certain dress colors. As a general rule, ivory is best paired with gold since it highlights the creamy tint of the fabric. For a pure white dress, choose accents in silver or platinum or with pearl detailing—gold may clash with brighter white hues. You can have your pick with a diamond-white gown—this barely off-white color looks amazing with yellow gold, rose gold, silver or pearls. If the dress you chose is already embellished with beadwork, let that dictate the colors of your accessories. For example, if your gown has silver beading, pick a necklace, bracelet or earrings with a silver base.
 2. Remember: Less Is MoreYou don’t need a veil, tiara, earrings, necklace and a sash. Accessories add a unique touch to your look, but even one too many can be over-the-top with an already-embellished gown. Before you start buying, take an inventory of your gown’s stand-out features and then base your choices around them. If your dress has an ornate neckline, opt for a pair of drop earrings instead of a necklace (that might look too busy). For a gown with a simpler style, try a bold statement necklace or a fascinator. When it comes to earrings, take a cue from your hairstyle. If you’re leaving your hair down and over your ears, small studs or drops will do. But for an updo, you might want something a little more dramatic, like a pair of chandelier danglers. And lastly, it’s always a good idea to avoid designs that closely mimic the embellishments on your gown—you don’t want to look too matchy-matchy.3. Know Your VeilsThe veil is the iconic bridal accessory. From flirty birdcages and ornate mantillas to regal cathedral-length styles, there’s no shortage of options. But there are a few things you should keep in mind as you narrow down the type of veil you plan to wear:You’ll want your veil to match the exact shade of your gown. Color blocking is better left to your day-to-day look.Be mindful when choosing a style. If your dress has a lot going on, stick with something simple that won’t steal the spotlight.
  • If showing off the back of your dress is a must—say you have gorgeous embroidery or beading—choose a sheer veil rather than one with two layers of tulle.
  • Consider your size: Longer waltz or floor-length veils will elongate a petite frame while mid-length styles, like fingertip or elbow-length veils, can visually cut you in half, making them a better pick for taller brides. Short styles, like a birdcage or bandeau, work for all shapes and sizes and lend a fun, retro vibe to your gown.4. Top It OffVeils not really your thing? From combs to fascinators, there are plenty of other ways to top off your look. Choose your hairstyle before you pick your accessory, since some types will look better with updos than others. A flower crown, for example, is best with loose locks. You should also consider your hair type—dainty accessories may be perfect for fine hair, but won’t be as noticeable with thick waves. Most importantly, make sure whatever you pick feels secure while you’re moving around.5. Think Beyond EarringsLooking for a super-simple way to add a bit of personality to your wedding dress (and help create the illusion of curves)? Add a belt or sash. Just because your dress doesn’t come with one, doesn’t mean it won’t look great—a fashionable fastener is an easy way to customize your gown and change its look without having to make expensive alterations. And whether you go with a classic satin sash or a metallic leather belt, it’ll give your dress an instant upgrade. The key to choosing the right waist-cincher is to find one that works with your body type. Thin belts are best suited to short torsos, while wider belts work well with longer ones. If you’re an apple shape, think about a beaded or heavily embellished belt to flatter your midsection. If you’re petite, a belt with V-shape appliqué will elongate your body. As a general rule, stick with a style that’s no more than three-inches wide—you don’t want to overpower the rest of your gown.6. Keep It ComfyNo outfit is complete without the perfect pair of shoes—and your wedding day look is no exception. Of course you’ll want a killer pair to go with that gorgeous dress, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on comfort. Don’t forget: You’ll be standing for long periods of time, and you don’t want to be cringing in pain before you’ve even hit the dance floor. While shopping, consider the height of the heel (obviously the taller you go, the higher the pain potential), the type of straps and the material. Your feet need to be well supported (think: ankle and toe straps over slip-ons) to avoid instability. Look for high quality, natural materials. They’re infinitely more comfortable than synthetic ones and are also a lot more durable, meaning you’ll be able to wear them again.For the best fit, go shopping at the end of the day, when your feet are swollen from activity, and give yourself plenty of time to break in your new kicks before the wedding. Wear them around the house a couple weeks prior to the day, noting any areas that are prone to blisters. To make your shoes more comfortable, consider buying moleskin, heel grips, strap stickers or gel insoles designed specifically for heels. Shoes too strappy to conceal an insole or grip? Pick up a spray, wax or cream that protects against friction or provides anti-inflammatory pain relief to keep your feet happy.7. Cover It UpA stylish cover-up is a must if you’re getting married during the cooler months or at a house of worship that requires you to cover your shoulders. From boleros to capelets and fur stoles, the options are endless. The key is to choose one that strikes the perfect balance with your gown. Simple, understated styles can be paired with more embellished cover-ups, like a beaded capelet with scalloped edges or a bold sequined or feather bolero for added personality. For already ornate gowns, try a more minimal accent to avoid looking too over-the-top. A delicate lace jacket, sheer tulle cape or a chiffon wrap will keep you warm without competing with your gown. Another option? A classic cardigan, the perfect complement to a rustic or more laid-back affair.8. Consider Your DécolletagePairing your neckline style with the proper adornment can add character to your wedding gown, or even highlight a unique feature. Follow these simple guidelines:Sweetheart or strapless: For something a little different, skip the necklace and focus on an elegant pair of chandelier earrings instead. Wear clear crystal for a sleek look, or add punch with a hint of color. Try using a meaningful gem, like your birthstone, or pick a hue from the flowers in your bridal bouquet. If you’re going for a flirty, fresh look, include two or three small fresh or silk flowers in your hair to add a soft, organic feel. Vintage elegance more your style? Pay homage to the past with an art-deco-style bracelet or some Roaring Twenties–inspired feather barrettes.V-neck: Whether you opt for a pendant or a choker, this style begs for a little décolletage decoration. A thin chain with a simple pendant, like a locket, is an elegant way to accessorize, while pearls (single- or double-stranded) are always a classic choice. If you’re going for a more decadent look, a crystal choker or statement necklace with matching earrings could be the perfect combo.Halter or reverse halter: For this shoulder-baring style, skip the necklace and focus on dressing up your tresses. Headbands are a great way to add panache to your wedding updo, be it a sleek bun or a loose ponytail. But if headbands aren’t quite your style, try adding some sparkle to your hair with intricate crystal hairpins. If you’ve got a curly mane, five to seven hairpins is the perfect number, while brides with thinner locks (or shorter hair) need fewer—just two or three pins will do the trick9. Stick to What You KnowAlthough it’s a special day, don’t stray too far from your normal style. If you rarely wear jewels, there’s no need to drown yourself in diamonds on your wedding day. The goal is to look like the best, most beautiful version of your regular self.

Fashion shopping- Join the roller coaster ride

Shopping is more than a practicality or a hobby for some females. It will not be wrong to call it an obsession. Online fashion shopping in the current times has turned into a phenomenon the world over. The ease and convenience it provides to one has truly made it amongst the finest inventions in present times. Majority of the people who are fashion-obsessed especially women aspire in having an exclusive fashion statement that is unique and also makes one appear outstanding and impressive. It is this fashion aspiration that has greatly lived up to via different fashion brands and designers, as they have something innovative always and something original in every creation. Here is the reason behind the increasing recognition of designer fashion shopping that has turned progressively into leading choice of the fashion forwarded people.Fashion and luxury are two vital sectors which have successfully created a forte especially in the e-commerce market. It is the females who are the ultimate shopaholics, no wonder they take immense pleasure in the trends of e-shopping via a simple mouse click. Lucrative prices, festive offers and alluring discounts make fashion shopping online a pleasurable experience. With an aim for preserving their customer base, such shopping stores keep providing special promotional activities. There are numerous fashion shopping sites today floating in the market that provide several choices for the clients. Now there is no requirement for visiting any shopping malls or designer boutiques but one can simply login to the desired shopping website and purchase clothes online.The modern, busy corporate females can hardly find time to step out to shop for her while at the same time she cannot let go her shopping desires too. Here the finest key to this dilemma definitely are the online shopping stores. Such stores prove to be a convenient mode to shop every kind of fashion apparels and accessories. The present net savvy females today with just a few clicks can own the best collections devoid of having to go out of either their office or home premises. These online fashion shops offer descriptions, measurements and pictures of every product which makes it really hassle free to shop clothing and accessories. Here the buyer just requires in knowing his/her size and they are all set in indulging in good quality shopping.Dressing style for both men and women undergo a change following the change in trends. The question that immediately strikes one’s mind is how they can become aware about the latest trends. Shopping from retail stores or shopping malls will not be of much help because store owners often have the tendency of trying to sell old stuffs prior to bringing new ones. Thus the finest solution here is to go for shopping online because it is here where one along with getting their favourite outfits will also be offered with intriguing suggestions which will aid them dress even better.Fashion and women since ages have been walking on the same road together. When it comes to fashion, women posses in depth reach and thus there are countless trends and styles launched for them from time to time as well as cstrings underwear for men

Hefty size styling tips for blokes

Few of us are ever fulfilled by our weight. Whether you’ve as of late put on a couple pounds, or you’ve battled with abundance weight for quite a while, the way that you dress can have a genuine effect by they way you look and feel. Picking garments that have the right development, fit and shading for your shape and size can make you seem neater and more trim while helping you to feel more certain and calm. Whenever that you go looking for garments, remember the accompanying tips to offer you select clothing that will some assistance with having you looking and feeling your best!The Basics to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Any Article of ClothingNotwithstanding which piece of attire that you happen to be looking for, in the event that you are bearing abundance weight, you will need to pick apparel that underlines a solid, vertical line to offer you some assistance with appearing taller, and slimmer. Abstain from anything that cuts off the vertical line that you are attempting to make with your apparel.Brilliant, lighter hues attract consideration regarding the body and make it appear to be bigger and more conspicuous. Darker hues, for example, dark, naval force, charcoal and burgundy are all hues that cover up imperfections and will help you to look slimmer.Materials that tie or wrinkle will likewise attract consideration regarding undesirable bends and overabundance pounds, so pick fabrics that wrap effortlessly, oppose wrinkling and hold their shape. In cooler climate, run with lighter acrylics and fleeces that will keep you warm without including mass.Pants – Fitted is Best!Each extraordinary outfit expands upon a solid establishment – the jeans! The best decision for a heavier casing is straight leg pants. This sort of jeans is as wide at the thigh as they are at the lower leg, which gives the eye one consistent line to take after, drawing it upward.Stay away from jeans that have creases or additional pockets, which will likewise interfere with the straight line. Verify that your jeans fit at the broadest piece of your body, and have the abundance taken up by a tailor. Pants that fit too freely or that have loads of pockets and creases will just add mass to your edge and make you show up heavier.Why V-Necks and Stripes Are the Best for Shirts and TopsKeep away from T-Shirts, tops, jumpers and shirts that don’t fit. Wearing tops that are either too enormous or too little will just make you seem bigger than you really are. Keep away from occupied prints, wide even stripes, plaids and scratches that will slash off the vertical line and make you show up heavier.Strong hues, pin stripes and V-necks will all stress that solid, vertical line that you are attempting to make so that your outline is prolonged and seems more slender. Polos and oxfords in darker hues are additionally great decisions on the grounds that their fitted development extends a leaner casing, and you can simply leave the main few catches open for solace while as yet looking perfect and trim.Once you’ve picked your shirt, keep in mind that wearing it tucked in will likewise help you to seem more slender and neater. Pick a shirt that fits well from the tall segment of the store if your middle is somewhat long so that the shirt will fit when you take a seat or move around. Continuously wear a belt when you wear your shirt tucked in for a neater look.Top it off with an awesome fitting overcoatA coat that fits well and is made of solid, quality materials is an unquestionable requirement to bind together your look and pull the outfit together. For the best results, pick a solitary breasted overcoat to draw consideration far from your mid-section and waist. The coat ought to fit all around ok so that the greater part of the catches can be affixed. Regardless of whether you wear it fastened the distance, or permit it to hang open on your casing, it will cover those abundance pounds around the midsection.If you feel you need help, hire a personal Stylist and do a Personal Shopper visit in Melbourne.Since you know the nuts and bolts, you ought to be prepared to go looking for garments that underscore your best elements while expanding your certainty and solace. On the off chance that you think you may require some assistance in selecting the best garments for your body shape, call me. I will joyfully do an individual style discussion with you and make the entire procedure smooth and pleasant.

9 Tips on how to get along with roommates

When buying a room in an apartment, you may have many questions, which we have realtors to help us cope with. However, after signing a contract, a tenant should try to get along with other owners of an apartment and sometimes it is not that easy.

That is why we give you 9 useful tips on how to live in peace and harmony with your roommates. In addition, you can check out a great post to learn what type of roommate you can encounter.

Tip 1. Everyone should be equal. Do not be arrogant and do not brag to neighbors of the achievements in your career, personal life etc.

Tip 2. Both men and women should keep their mouths shut and avoid gossips. Here is one simple rule: “Do not talk about your neighbors if you do not want them to talk about you.”

Tip 3. Do not share the joys of your personal life with your neighbors, since every word you say can be used against you. If you shared a secret with your neighbors concerning how you spent the evening in the company of a young man/woman, and in the morning, you left dirty dishes in the sink, your whole story will come back to you like a boomerang in a negative sense.

Tip 4. People of different nationalities can live in your apartment, therefore this topic too should not be discussed in conversations with the roommates.

Tip 5. In addition, roommates do not like those who talk too loudly. For them, a loud voice or a loud conversation means that a person is very arrogant and thinks only about themselves and no one likes such people. In addition, those people who like watching TV at night or listening to loud music should be quieter since after a sleepless night, you might be woken up by a person who loves to wake up early.

Tip 6. Be patient to children and the noise they make. Making remarks to their parents is useless, because they already do their best to soothe their babies, and your comments or reproaches will be in vain.

Tip 7. Do not hurry to have pets in the apartment because there is probably not much space in it already. The smell of a cat is strong and soon it will spread throughout the apartment, where there is so little air. In general, it is better to consult with the neighbors first and find out whether they have allergies or something like that.

Tip 8. You should not play mean tricks with your roommates, as your endless mutual sabotage will bring you to insomnia, depression, and, eventually, to a nervous breakdown resulting in you not winning.

Tip 9. Do not keep big things like bicycles, disused furniture in places like kitchen, hallway, bathroom and bathroom so that you do not prevent people from walking freely in an apartment. Use storage rentals instead.

Try to live happily and peacefully, be kind to your roommates, and they will treat you the same way!

Goth Costume Ideas

Dark hair and light skin are hallmarks of goth fashion.

Goth costumes tie in well to Halloween because of the inherent link between the holiday and the color black and the fantasy of goth culture. Whether authentic tributes to history’s gothic period or an homage to the youth movement, goth costumes can transition from Halloween to nightclub or party hopping easily.

Fetish Fashion

  • Both men and women wear fetish gear such as cuffs, chokers and vinyl or leather pants. Men can wear fishnet tops with or without a layer underneath or a vest on top. Women may wear fishnet hosiery and visible lingerie such as corsets or slips. Make your own costume pieces from scraps of leather cut to the size of your neck or wrists with snaps or ties glued to the ends for fastening. Women can create a simple tulle slip by gathering a length of tulle with a long machine stitch and inserting an elastic waistband at the top. Wear it under a short skirt with fishnet tights and black boots.

Makeup

  • For both guys and girls, goth makeup usually includes paling the face and darkening lips and eyes. Influenced by vampire myth, goth makeup normally consists of white, black, dark reds and sometimes fantasy colors such as violet or blue. Apply the makeup more dramatically than would be used during daily wear. Use black eyeliner thickly around the eye and lashes. Use dark blood-red lipstick, or black.

Shoes

  • When accessorizing your goth costume, wear shoes that complete the look. For both sexes, combat boots look great, especially with multiple rivets and buckles. Girls can wear heels with buckles or studs, and guys may wear a heavy dress shoe in black. Take a pair of shoes you already own and can afford to sacrifice and glue on spikes or studs. Canvas high- and low-top tennis shoes that come in whimsical colors or patterns may add a splash of color to an otherwise all-black costume or contrast with hosiery or pants colors. Add neon or black laces to a pair you already own.

Hair

  • Dye your hair for a goth costume using black, dark blue or plum temporary hair color. Coordinate your hair color with your clothes, or use a color that suits your character. As an alternative to dying your entire head, use streaks of fantasy colors such as purple, bright red or neon pink. Both men and women may spike hair up or wear it down close to the face, flattened over the eyes. A girl can wear her hair in a half-up style, down on the front and sides with a spiky ponytail on top.

Dress

  • Women can wear crushed velvet skirts or tops with trench coats. Thrift and vintage stores sometimes carry these items. Purchase something that fits and dye it black at home, or add studs, zippers or chains as trim. Men wear baggy slacks, sometimes with zippers or change. The pants can be black or red or other colors. Wear a white shirt on top with a pinstripe vest

The factual benefits of windows replacement

A lot of homeowners wait to investigate windows replacement until there are clear indications of window breakdown. For some people, the upholding for older wood windows can become too much of an irritation. As a result, a lot of windows are stuck shut, whether from their age or manifold coats of paint. Take into account that lots of older windows are single-pane and are short of shades or coating. Consequently, they can increase energy bills by letting in heat throughout the summertime and permitting ambient heat to get away all through the winter. There is as well the cost of preservation for older window frames, particularly wood ones. Even though new windows can induce in energy and maintenance savings, it’s almost not possible to state the usual payback project for windows replacement in Red Deer or other cities might produce.

However there are other motives to think about replacement windows as well as problems that are visibly understandable. Take into account that homeowners need to examine window options to guarantee that your new replacement window purchase will put in more comfort and pleasure to your house. Benefits of Airdrie windows replacement include:

  • Lower energy costs: Well-insulated windows take your home apart from severe exterior temperatures, lessening changes obligatory by your heating and cooling system. This can frequently transform into lower energy costs.
  • Light: Natural light makes any chore more enjoyable. These days’ replacement windows have smaller frames and larger glass facade that permit more light come into your house in Red Deer.
  • Performance: Windows are the keystone of your house’s visual attention, both inside and from the curb. In addition, windows can add an outstanding attribute and crucial point to your home.
  • UV protection: Windows with UV protection safeguard in opposition to damage that can happen to inside walls, floors and furniture from solar heat and unsafe rays.
  • Air flow: Windows can boost airflow and ventilation, making better the comfort and health of your house in Red Deer.
  • Noise lessening: first-class, correctly fitting windows lessen outside noise and amplify privacy.
  • Easy preservation: Homeowners have benefit from developments made in window design, equipment and manufacturing. These days’ windows are well-constructed, simple to clean and long-lasting.

Keep in your mind that your windows may be showing revealing signs of breakdown such as fogging or wood putrefying, however there are extra benefits of replacing your windows as well as noise reduction and UV protection. In addition, a well-researched window purchase can even pay you back in more ways than expected.

The costs of new windows as well will be different with the method of window replacement selected. The most great is the whole tear-out, in which everything — window, frame and sash are removed. A less-insidious approach is to leave the frame in its place, however pick it up with a panning system or trim. It is up to you what method to choose for Airdrie windows replacement in your house. However, be sure that this is the most appropriate one for your budget and home.

How Can I Become a High Fashion Model?

High fashion models need to know how to pose and walk.
Like any other profession, fashion modeling has basic requirements. Both male and female high fashion models tend to be tall, have striking bone structure, a fit figure and few if any scars or blemishes. A person with all of these physical traits is not, however, guaranteed a job as a high fashion model. An aspiring model must learn about the industry and be proactive about meeting the people who could make her dream career a reality.

Instructions

  1. Study high fashion models. Peruse fashion magazines, past and present, and take note of how successful and well-known models carry themselves, connect with the camera and interact with other people and objects in the picture. Also, study video footage of runway shows to see how established models walk.
  2. Practice poses and walks. Tyra.com, a beauty and lifestyle website founded by supermodel Tyra Banks, encourages all aspiring models to get in front of a full-length mirror and practice different poses, facial expressions and walks. Perfect your movements so that when you are in front of the camera, you are relaxed and prepared.
  3. Participate in local fashion shows. Audition for fashion shows at local schools, malls and special events. Practice your walk, poses and facial expressions at these events.
  4. Dress everyday as if you will be meeting an agent. Apply minimal make-up, if any, and dress in a stylish, but not over-the-top, fashion. Present yourself as a polished, confident person.
  5. Hire a professional photographer. Pay an experienced photographer to take tasteful photographs of you. Purchase headshots as well as full body photographs in color and black and white. Dress in a stylish, but understated manner, with little to no make-up. Do not take nude or otherwise racy photographs. Use a variety of poses and facial expressions in the pictures.
  6. Create a portfolio. Place the professional photographs into a neatly bound portfolio. Create a digital portfolio as well. A professional photographer can do both tasks. The hard copy and digital versions should be identical and contain your contact information. Include 10 to 12 of the best pictures from your photo shoot. Use a mixture of color and black and white photographs. Include head shots, body shots and a variety of poses and facial expressions that show your range.
  7. Find the official websites of your favorite models and find out which agencies represent them. Mail and e-mail your portfolio to those agencies simultaneously. High end designers typically only select models through agencies, so having an agent is essential. Top agencies receive a high volume of unsolicited requests. Expect to wait anywhere from several days to several weeks or even months.
  8. Attend model agency open calls. A model agency open call is an event where all aspiring models who meet certain criteria–typically height and/or weight requirements–have the opportunity to meet with agency representatives. Dress in a neat, casual fashion with little to no make-up and a simple hairstyle that is not down in your face. Bring high heels in case you have to show your runway walk.

The Best Nail Art Designs

The best nail art designs are fun to apply and fun to look at.

Nail polish has come a long way since you were a little kid practicing painting your nails at home. In addition to bold new colors, nail art encompasses a variety of techniques, looks, tools and accessories, including glitter, rhinestones and animal prints. Whether you opt for a professional manicure or are simply looking for do-it-yourself ideas, the best nail art designs are attractive and unique without being tacky.

Reverse French Manicure

  • The French manicure is a classic nail art look that has been around for years: pale pink nails (your own or acrylic) are painted with a thin-to-thick strip of white at the top of the nail, just above the nail bed. The reverse French manicure is essentially the photo negative of the French. The half-moon cuticle bed at the base of the nail is painted with a curved strip in a contrasting color to the main nail, in addition to the top strip in the style of the classic French manicure. Use contrasting colors for an even more modern twist. At home, one trick to make the reverse French easier to apply is sticking circular hole-punch reinforcer stickers to the base of the nail before applying the main nail color for a more even application.

Animal Prints

  • Leopard and zebra print nail art can be successfully applied at home or at the salon. For professional manicures, simply ask your nail technician for samples and ideas, and change up the usual leopard and zebra colors for a unique take on the design. At home, apply a base coat in brown (for leopard) or white (for zebra), and paint the spots or stripes on top using a striper brush or nail polish pen for increased precision.Gel ImpressionsThe gel impressions technique is best left to the professionals. With this method of nail art application, a base coat is applied in a glitter or sheer color. Gel polish is thickly applied over the basecoat, and then a design is “cut” out in the gel polish before it sets to reveal the glitzy basecoat underneath.Pearls, Sequins, Studs and RhinestonesWith the use of a nail adhesive readily available at the nail salon or your local drugstore, you can apply sequins, pearls, studs and rhinestones to give a new look to your nail art. These appliqués should be the finishing touches on your painted nails. Make sure you leave ample drying time so that they don’t get dislodged or otherwise disrupt your new, neat nails.

5 Best Areas To Live In Delhi

Living in Delhi is a very overwhelming experience; you get a little of both, the ancient richness of the capital and the urban craziness. Delhi, the capital of India and the third largest city of the country has a lot to offer. The infrastructure is developing rapidly and the new ones coming up are worth looking out for.

real estate  delhi

Here are the best areas to live in Delhi-

  • Shanti Niketan

The list of posh areas of Delhi is never ending, one of which being Shanti Niketan. The locality boasts a number of international schools and large humongous malls. It is home to a lot of industrialists and the elite class. This is the best place to buy an apartment in Delhi if you are ready to splurge a few extra bucks!

  • Sunder Nagar

Sunder Nagar is an upmarket residential area situated on Mathura road in Central Delhi. It is widely known for its galleries and local market, where you will mostly find ethnic handicraft shops. This locality offers a great deal of leisure and attracts the rich crowd. The Delhi High School is located on Mathura Road very close by to Sunder Nagar. There are other schools too which offer excellent quality education. Restaurants and hotels are a great treat and have a wide range of mouth watery cuisines.

  • New Gurgoan and Dwarka Expressway

The property rates in Delhi are escalating so high that it’s becomes almost difficult to afford an apartment there. New Gurgoan and Dwarka Expressway is a budding locality offering properties at a very affordable rate at the same time it is well connected with the city. Due to its popularity, there are a lot more schools, restaurants, malls and leisure facilities making their way to this place.

  • Bhiwadi

Another affordable area of Delhi, Bhiwadi is a fast growing place on NH- 8. The area is well connected with Delhi, Gurgoan and the entire NCR (National Capital Region). The affordable living rates make it the most favourable place to live in. Ryan international school, Delhi Public School and Bal Bharti public school are amongst the top schools present in Bhiwadi. It boasts a cool range of restaurants and pubs too.

  • Panchsheel

Located on the outskirts of Delhi, Panchsheel is a perfect area for those who are looking out for some calmness at the same time being well connected with the city. The highlight of this area is the Panchsheel club which is an ideal leisure point for everyone. This area is famous for its festival celebrations which attracts a lot of crowd, especially during Holi. It boasts a long range of schools and restaurants.

Even though Delhi is one of the costliest cities to live in India, it offers great opportunity as well. The growing industry and urban culture makes it conducive for living. If you are looking out for apartments in Delhi do take a look around this 5 areas.

 

Rental Property Investment Strategies

There are many ways to invest in rental property.
Renting real estate can be a profitable venture for investors to consider. Rental properties provide a monthly cash flow, offer tax advantages including property depreciation and the property may increase in value depending on location and the local economy. Just as there are many ways to profit from rental real estate, there are many different investment strategies to gain exposure to the rental market. Investors should consider these different ways to enter the rental market to determine which best meet their individual needs.

Single Family Homes

  • Renting single family homes is the easiest way for new investors to buy real estate and enter the rental market. By choosing homes in good neighborhoods, investors should have little trouble renting their properties or selling them when needed. The primary downside of single family properties is selecting and dealing with tenants. Hiring a property management company to screen tenants, deal with the late night service calls and other problems can reduce the stress, but the costs will also reduce the profitability of the investment.

Multi-unit Buildings

  • Apartment buildings have the potential to provide a large stream of income that will produce significant profits. However, multi-unit buildings also hold the possibility of requiring substantial investments for maintenance or repairs. Investors may have to invest large sums of money into the building to make the property desirable to prospective renters. Multi-unit buildings are also more dependent on a strong local economy to produce the number of tenants needed to fill the building. These large buildings are more difficult to sell due to high costs and a limited amount of potential buyers.

Commercial Real Estate

  • Commercial real estate can vary from storage facilities to shopping malls. As with residential properties, the cost of these properties will have a wide range. Renting commercial properties often has less risk from destructive tenants, but the number of prospective tenants is much smaller. This can lead to properties being on the market much longer, both when renting and selling. Combination residential and commercial properties, most often with a street level commercial unit and apartments above, can present an opportunity for a compromise real estate investment.

REITs

  • Real Estate Investment Trusts, REIT, provide a way for investors to gain exposure to the rental real estate market without the significant investment of time and money required to purchase and hold real estate. A REIT is a trust that may hold various types of real estate properties, including residential and commercial rental real estate. A REIT’s management may choose to specialize in certain types of real estate or real estate in certain areas. REITs buys and sells on the stock market like any other stock which makes getting into and out of the investment quick and easy.

How to Borrow Money for an Investment in Real Estate

Investing in real estate often requires you to borrow money to make a purchase, but the process of borrowing money for investment property differs from that of traditional mortgage lending. If you plan on getting involved in this type of investment, you may have to look for some alternative means of investment if you want to overcome the hurdles that come with financing an investment property. Besides finding the right property, this is one of the most important factors in the process.

Instructions

  1. Apply for a mortgage with a traditional lender. When financing a rental property with a traditional mortgage, you may need to put up a larger down payment than normal. Some lenders require you to come up with at least 20 percent down for rental properties. You will also need to have a high credit score and a steady income to qualify for this type of loan.
  2. Work with a “hard money” lender to get access to the money you need. Hard money lenders regularly lend money to individuals who have low income or a bad credit score. When you use a hard money loan, you will pay a higher interest rate than what you would normally pay with a traditional mortgage.
  3. Use a home-equity loan to get money for the investment property. If you are a homeowner with a large amount of equity, you could potentially borrow against this equity and use the money to buy an investment property. To qualify for a home-equity loan, you will need a strong credit history and enough income to pay back the loan. Some lenders also require you to have a certain amount of assets on hand.
  4. Find investors to work with you on this investment project. Create an investment proposal and show it to your friends and family members. Some may be willing to give you money to purchase the property. This may be combined with a loan, in some cases. The investors could help you come up with the money you need for a down payment.

Careers in International Real Estate

You can pursue residential brokerage careers in the United States and overseas.

Real estate is a burgeoning career field both in the United States and overseas. It offers many opportunities to professionals from both a financial and career development and expansion perspective. A real estate professional can specialize in a certain area (i.e. residential, commercial), or go into a arm of real estate, such as appraisal or property management. Once the basic skills are acquired, they can be applied in any location throughout the world.

Real Estate Broker/Residential

  • Real estate agents represent both buyers and sellers in the real estate transaction process. Both the buying agent and selling agent will then receive a commission, in exchange for representation. In the United States, this commission is around 3 percent of the property’s selling price. This amount might vary based on the country you wish to work in.

    To become a residential realtor in another country, you should be able to speak the native language of that country with at least basic fluency. You also need to make sure that they are a member of International Consortium of Real Estate Associations, which will allow you to practice with your current real estate license.

Real Estate Broker/Commerical

  • Commercial realtors specialize in selling commercial properties such as hotels, office space, retail, industrial and restaurants. Commercial real estate agents must analyze regional market conditions and the overall business economy to give clients the best information possible in choosing real estate. As an international realtor, this means you must have a very solid foundation of knowledge about the economic conditions and trends of the area in which you are working.

    International commercial realtors need to acquire all the same documentation and certifications as a residential realtor would, plus additional certification due to the client base they work with. The rules and regulations vary on a country-by-country basis.

Property Management

  • Often an owner of a property will hire professional property managers to look after their real estate investments. Managers take care of customers, find renters, establish rental prices, and coordinate leases. It will most likely be fairly easy to become a property manager in another country as long as you have a basic work visa for that country. It will be mandatory to be able to speak the language at a high level and understand the culture of the area.

How to Become an International Agent

How to Become an International Agent

Real Estate Property Agent Singapore

With more than 5 years of experience in the real estate industry, Bernie serves both a local and an international client base.

Hardworking and astute to the changes in the real estate market, he is able to advise his clients accurately and profitably, be it timing the market to sell or to make price readjustments.

Other than assisting his clients in buying and selling properties in Singapore, Bernie is also experienced in providing housing solutions for professional expats and assisting them ease into the Singaporean culture and way of life. Having backpack-travelled around the world for 3 years, Bernie is very able to empathize with and understand the needs of clients who are relocating to Singapore for the first time.

Bernie also speaks the Japanese language.

He is a powerful negotiator, being able to do his best for his clients, usually surpassing their expectations of him. He goes beyond the duty of real estate agents by researching the market on behalf of his clients, and once even hired a van (and drove)!!! to personally help a client move-house simply because he promised to assist. Little did that client expect Bernie’s promise of ‘assistance’ to be in such an involved way. Needless to say, such from-the-heart service has won him rave reviews and made many such clients into good friends who continually refer business to him years after their initial encounter, or simply call him up for dinner.

Bernie believes that in business, as in life, we should give our 100% or nothing at all. Above all, he believes that we should have integrity in all business transactions, treating our clients as we would like to be treated.

Bernie is currently with ERA Realty Network, the only real estate company in Singapore that operates from its own buildings as well as being listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) under its parent company, Hersing Corporation.

Within 1 year of initially being with ERA Realty Network, Bernie was already inducted as a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Club for being a producer in the industry.

Bernie is a specialist on all types of residential as well as commercial properties in districts:

* 1 (City, Marina area, CDB),
* 4 (Sentosa Island),
* 9 (Orchard Road and surrounding),
* 10 (Balmoral, River Valley, Holland Road),
* 11 (Newton, Novena, Bukit Timah),
* 15 (East Coast, Katong)

That said, he also welcomes all enquiries and offering assistance on properties in other districts of Singapore as he heads a team of dedicated real estate agents who handles properties in all other areas of Singapore.

Together, Bernie and team handles:

* New Project Launches
* Condominiums
* Landed properties (Terrace houses, Semi-Detached, Bungalows)
* Land for rebuilding
* Commercial properties
* Industrial space
* Worker housing

Feel free to get in touch with Bernie at his mobile during business hours.

Below are 3 testimonials for Bernie:

Rick Aston:

Actually for several months, I have been coming to Singapore on business trips…with various agents looking for properties. We were under a time constraint to find a place… I was starting to get frustrated with the other agents. They weren’t really listening to what we were looking for as a family. He found this place that no other agent was even aware of nor prepared to show us. He got us a great place… we’ve been very happy here and it (the home) suited the whole family. So he definitely delivered.

When we finally found it (the property), we actually went through quite a process of negotiation which Bernie helped out very much with.

After we signed the contract and moved in, Bernie helped with the repairs and/or general upkeep.

And then we just stayed in touch actually, just to discuss the general property market.

We’d recommend him and we have recommended him to friends. So definitely (happy). (Bernie is) Very good. (A) very good agent!

Susan Lau:

I asked for the electricity and water to be cut off (utilities). If I leave it on and sometimes when they go viewing (the property) and if they forget to switch it off, the bill might go sky-high. So I was afraid of that. But then he (Bernie) assured me to just leave it for 2 weeks, because someone might want to see (the property) at night, so I might miss the chance of (selling the property). Because of that, I gave him 2 weeks to see what were the results.
He was able to produce results in less than two weeks! I feel very relieved and very happy that I can have the entire episode closed up, because it has been dragging (for 4 months before Bernie assisted in the marketing of the property) and I became so tired of it (the selling process).

In fact, they (the buyers) gave me a certain amount (price to purchase) but Bernie said he will try to get some more (better price). He (successfully) did that.

Bernie is a very effective agent, has the human touch, and (is) humourous.

I am very very satisfied (with Bernie and his services).

Doreen Tan:

(Once) I told him (Bernie) that I have tried (for) quite some time to acquire my neighbour’s land… but it wasn’t successful. So, he put in effort to locate the owner(s) to approach the owner(s) a few times (to eventually convince them to sell the property), and to negotiate a very reasonable price for me and also for the owners(s). So we’re very happy.

He really goes the extra mile to do research and to understand more of what his clients want.

I am very happy (with Bernie) because he is not a pushy person (agent). When he sees the house and feels that this is not what I want, he will not ask me to spend time to go and have a look. That is what I appreciate (of him). He knows very well what his clients want. And he knows what I want.

And he will follow up and ask ‘How are you’. (Regarding) His service, I should say is EXCELLENT.

He will do (continous) research for the whole market (property), Asian and also the whole world’s market (in general). He will give his ideas (views) to keep us updated (clients) on what is happening in the property market. I don’t think there are many property agents (who are) willing to do extra work, extra research for his or her clients.

I did recommend someone to Bernie, and that is my partner, Dora.

I am very, very satisfied with his (Bernie’s) service.

Now I am building my dream house. ‘Thank you’ to Bernie!

 

Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents use diverse marketing plans to find their clients.

Real estate agents rely on a combination of word-of-mouth referrals and referrals gained from other marketing techniques. Keep in mind that a diversified marketing strategy is the best formula for successful sales. With various marketing techniques, you will be able to devote a specific amount of time each week to networking. Use most of your time for helping clients to complete their real estate transaction.

Community Publications

  • A traditional way to market your services involves publishing a business card in community publications. Contact local churches, schools and community organizations about their rates for advertising. They have regular newsletters and bulletins for their members. Target publications with members who live or work near your home base, such as in your section of a city or county. List your business card in publications with the highest number of readers for the business card fee. You can also sign up for listing your contact information on websites for these organizations. Sometimes web listings are free.

National Association of Realtors

  • Beef up your marketing campaign through membership in the National Association of REALTORS. With a REALTOR credential, you get access to marketing tools for new and established agents. For example, Realtor.org offers a startup kit for new professionals in its online library. You can also get a mentor inside the association to advise you on a personal marketing plan. REALTORS may use the trademarked designation in print and online media, which provides instant recognition among many consumers.

Social Networking

  • You can also use social networking as free online marketing. An article featured on the Chicago Association of REALTORS’ website cautions using social networking sites. Keep your own Facebook or other social networking account separate from your business account. Use each site’s privacy settings so no one can find your personal information without your knowledge. On a business profile, post helpful information for prospective clients, such as market trends and investment opportunities. When clients network with you online, they can exchange information using a site’s features. Diligently follow up on each customer contact in order to maximize the effects of social networking sites.

Doorhanging

  • For door-to-door campaigns, visit neighborhoods where you are likely to find clients. First, hire a printing company to produce door-hangers with your photo and contact information. You might choose a high-quality style with multi-color printing. You can quickly work your way through a neighborhood on foot or using a vehicle. Beware of dogs and no soliciting signs before approaching a home and hanging a door-hanger.

Why do you need a Real Estate Agent?

Today’s home owners have many options in hand which help them to make successful real estate transactions. With the real estate market recovering from the crash in mid 2000’s, the percentages of sales has risen considerably in the recent times. Though it may seem that real estate agencies are on a verge of extinction, but that’s just a myth. At times handling real estate contracts, fixing the right asking price, etc might be very tricky.

Though home owners may save a lot of money by doing things themselves, it is recommended that they take professional whether they invest in residential projects in Kolkata or buy/ sell apartments in Kolkata. Doing things themselves often cost homeowners more, than what they have to pay the agents.  So here are few reasons why homeowners should not reject the idea of hiring a real estate agent:

  1. Better Access and convenience: Real agents are known to simplify the home buying/ selling process since they have the expertise and take charge of everything on behalf of the buyer and seller. They work as a link between the two parties and offer better exposure to the properties listed by other agents as well. Agents know what it takes to complete a deal faster and also help the buyers/ sellers to get the best deals. Real estate buying or selling requires prompt responses and the agents are experts in doing this. If homeowners choose to do things themselves they might actually miss on a huge number of interested parties, since they fail to respond quickly.
  2. Negotiating is Tougher than it seems: While homeowners may think they can save a lot by negotiating themselves, it might turn out otherwise. The relationship between buyers and sellers is not an easy one and in most cases they don’t get along very well, since each one thinks of his own benefits. An agent acts as a connection between buyers and sellers so that the messages are conveyed correctly. They have better negotiating skills and know how to convince people.
  3. Real Estate Contracts are Tricky: Real estate buying or selling involves signing contracts    so that people are protected from certain situations, when one fails make the payments. Agents work with such contracts regularly and know what should be included and what should be omitted to keep parties protected.
  4. Agents work for their client’s best Interests: Real estate agents are licensed professionals so they are bound to work for their client’s interests. They are bound by the common law so any offensive act on their part will be taken seriously. Moreover, real estate agents depend on referrals and recommendations, so they’ll try hard to serve their clients in the best possible way and get the best deals.
  5. Do homeowners really save money? If homeowners decide to crack the deals themselves, they’ll have to fix the selling price depending on the comparable properties in the neighbourhood, hoping to save the commissions of the agents. It might so happen that the seller gets a notion of this and quotes a price that is less than the ideal selling price, to save some money himself. So neither the buyer nor the seller gets to save enough money.

Real estate buying or selling is a very complex process, since a lot of paperwork has to be done, lot of questions have to be answered and most importantly you need to get the best deals. All this might not be possible by the homeowner himself. So whether one looks for buying an apartment in Kolkata or sell a property, hiring an agent would be beneficial.

How to Become a Real Estate Photographer

Becoming a real estate photographer involves developing your skills as a photographer and marketing your services to real estate agents. Listing agents recognize that providing images of property, including photos of every part of the home or business, creates a collection of pictures that give potential buyers useful information about the place for sale. Develop expertise in using a camera with a special lens that allows you to photograph the entire room. Learning how to take photos for real estate agents also involves developing your communication skills so you can sell your services effectively. The Real Estate Photographers of America and International Trade Association allows you to register so real estate agents can find you to obtain your services.

Instructions

  1. Take photography courses at your local college, community center or school. Learn how to capture, shape, transmit, save and print digital photos. See how to use both digital and film cameras, lenses and film. Get experience developing film and setting different exposures. The PhotographyCourse.net website provides free access to online courses.
  2. Get a credential. The Professional Photographic Certification Commission allows you to take an exam and obtain the Certified Professional Photographer certification. The Photography website provides access to study questions, links to online resources and a glossary of terms. Use these resources to learn the basic operations of film and digital cameras, how to use the viewfinder, load the film or memory card and take the picture control exposure. Judges review 20 images you submit as representation of your work. They assess your skills, knowledge and ability to produce pleasing photographs. For architectural photos, judges look for good quality of light, color, density and appropriate contrast.
  3. Create a website to market your services. Using free website development tools, such as Wix, Weebly or Intuit, create a site to showcase your work and attract new clients. Advertise your business in real estate trade association publications for your area. Compare your site with websites produced by other real estate photographers to get inspiration. The American Society for Home Stagers and Redesigners provides tips to set up vacant homes so they look more attractive by finding focal points, scaling the space, managing traffic flow and using the best color schemes.
  4. Use the SCORE website to locate a mentor in your area. Observe a real estate photographer on the job to learn tips and techniques for taking attractive pictures of property. Real estate photographers also use multimedia, such as video, to show off properties. Producing comprehensive virtual tours and using advanced editing techniques allow real estate photographers to help agents sell more efficiently.

Is Real Estate a Good Career Choice?

A career in real estate is not for everyone. A certain mind-set and skill set are required to be successful in this industry. When evaluating a real estate career, there are several key factors you must keep in mind to assist you in determining if it is a good career choice.

Time Management

  • Individuals who manage time well can be very successful in real estate. Those able to divide days into segments for duties such as advertising, prospecting, and servicing clients to accomplish tasks make good real estate professionals.

Self-Discipline

  • Self-employed professions require a hefty amount of self-discipline. Individuals who can make a plan and stick to it can be very successful in the real estate industry. Treating a real estate career as a job and not a hobby is crucial to success.

Thirst for Knowledge

  • The real estate industry is constantly changing. Being a professional in the industry means consistently updating your education and retaining information. Many hours of study and research are expected in this profession.

Attention to Detail

  • Attention to detail is a must for those in the real estate industry. Dealing with multiple forms, contracts, and legal documents requires persistence, patience, and an ability to spot and correct errors.

Patience

  • In a service industry such as real estate, patience is a valuable asset. When a client’s emotions run high, it is important that a real estate professional be steady, stable, and able to field concerns and complaints skillfully.

Compensation

  • Successful real estate professionals have a potential for a six-figure income. However, in real estate, there is no normal paycheck, since your compensation is tied into successful property closings. Income can be sporadic, and individuals in the real estate industry must prepare for that fact.

What Are the Functions of Investment Companies?

The risks of investing in investment companies depend on the riskiness of the strategies they employ.
An investment company is a financial services firm that holds securities of other companies purely for investment purposes. Investment companies come in different forms: exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, money-market funds, and index funds. Investment companies collect funds from institutional and retail investors, and are entrusted with making investments in financial instruments according to the strategies that were previously agreed with the investors.

Collect Investments

  • Investment companies collect funds by issuing and selling shares to investors. There are basically two types of investment companies: close-end and open-end companies. Close-end companies issue a limited amount of shares that can then be traded in the secondary market–on a stock exchange–whereas open-end company funds, e.g. mutual funds, issue new shares every time an investor wants to buy its stocks.

Invest in Financial Instruments

  • Investment companies invest in financial instruments according to the strategy of which that they made investors aware. There are a wide range of strategies and financial instruments that investment companies use, offering investors different exposures to risks. Investment companies invest in equities (stocks), fixed-income (bonds), currencies, commodities and other assets.

Pay Out the Profits

  • The profits and losses that an investment company makes are shared among its shareholders. Depending on the type–close-end or open-end–and the structure of the investment company, investors can redeem their shares for cash from the company, sell the shares to another firm or individual, or receive capital distributions when assets held by the investment company are sold.

What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Investing in a Bank Account?

Bank investments can be very safe but not very lucrative.
While stock tips and investment advice are all the rage, there are other options that can be explored by investors. Some of these options are available at your bank. From savings accounts to certificates of deposit, banks offer a variety of ways to earn returns on your money. But these financial investments come with a set of advantages and disadvantages of which budding investors should be aware.

Different Bank Account Types

  • When “investing” your money in a bank, there are a few options. You can put your money in a checking account or a savings account, where it will accrue a small amount of interest. Or you can invest in a bank’s money market account, which functions somewhat like a savings account but with higher returns and more restrictions. Lastly, you can invest in a certificate of deposit (CD), which features some of the higher interest return rates but contains some serious restrictions on what you can do with your money.

Advantage: Security

  • With all of the investment or financial tools available at a bank comes one serious advantage: security. When you invest in an American bank, your money is safe even if you invest it in a CD or money market account. Should the bank fail or some other disaster strike, your money is guaranteed by the FDIC, a federal insurer that guarantees deposits up to $250,000 should something happen to an FDIC-insured bank. Most, if not all, banks in this country are insured in this way. In comparison to the stock market, bank investments are safe investments; you won’t lose money from market swings or economic trends.

Disadvantage: Returns

  • The ironclad security of bank investments, whether in accounts or CDs, is balanced out by the painfully low returns on these financial services. Checking accounts earn no interest; savings accounts earn a very small amount, usually amounting to 1 or 2 percent. Even with a large amount of money invested, you’ll be earning pennies with these types of investments. Money market accounts and CDs earn more. Typical rates for a CD are 5 percent, according to BYG Publishing.

Liquidity

  • Depending on the type of bank investment you make, liquidity can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. It is an advantage if you possess a savings account. While you may earn small returns, you typically have access to money in a savings account at any time. For CDs and money market accounts, there are limits on when you can access your money. In opposition to this, stock market investments are, in theory, very liquid: You can sell your stock at any time. But, the practicalities of the market dictate that to recoup money lost or to realize higher returns, you may be forced to leave your money in stocks until the price reaches a point where you can make money or make back money lost.

What Is the Importance of Investing?

Your financial goals should determine the content of your financial portfolio.
Many Americans lack an understanding of financial markets and how to begin an investment program. More importantly, they may not recognize the importance of investing, which is to build wealth and financial security by ensuring the money they earn also has earning power. You begin an investment program by asking why you’ll need money and how much money you’ll need at different points in time. Once you recognize these investment goals, you’re better prepared to identify investment vehicles that will support your financial objectives.

Investment Time Horizon

  • The time horizon for achieving an investment goal varies from one goal to the next. In addition, some goals are reoccurring, such as travel, and others are more rare occurrences, such as a college education or the purchase of a home. In general, the greater amount of time you have to accumulate the money you’ll need, the more risk you can tolerate and the greater return an investment might earn due to the power of compound interest. The criticality of the need, such as saving for retirement, and the time you have to meet the financial need will determine your return requirements and your ability to tolerate investment risk.

Short-Term Investment Goals

  • You arrange your investment goals by the deadline you set for achieving each one. For example, short-term goals might include a wedding, vacations and major household goods, such as furniture or appliances. Your short-term goals should also include the creation of an emergency fund that consists of three to six months of living expenses. To accomplish these goals, you might choose investments with short-term maturity dates that allow you to access your money without incurring a penalty. Both a Federal Deposit Insurance Company-insured money market account and savings bonds allow you to you earn money on your deposits that will help you accomplish your short-term goals.

Mid-Term Investment Goals

  • Saving money for your mid-term investment goals is next on your investment agenda. Mid-term goals include money for a house down payment or house renovation, as well as a vacation home or business investment. You can accomplish these investment goals with investments that entail more risk, such as stocks, because the longer time horizon provides you time to recoup any losses.

Long-Term Investment Goals

  • Your long-term goals are a critical element of you investment plan that might include a degree program, a family inheritance and a retirement fund. The retirement fund, which means you won’t be required to work throughout your life, is one important reason to invest for the long-term as frequently and as inexpensively as possible. You’ll want to accumulate your desired annual income after you retire multiplied by your life expectancy after retirement. For example, assume your retirement investments must generate $100,000 yearly when you retire and that your life expectancy is 25 years after retirement. In this case, 25 times $100,000 is $2.5 million. If you earn a 5 percent return every year during your retirement years, your investments will generate your desired $100,000 income.

Why Is Per Capita Income Important?

If per capita income is high, people may spend more, stabilizing the economy.
Two or more regions can compare income just as two individuals can compare income to determine who is more financially stable. The way economists compare regional income is through per capita figures. Per capita divides all available income in a region by the area’s population. These comparisons are important for investment, economic stability and appeals for aid.

Stability and Wealth Measurement

  • In the broadest sense, per capita income matters because it serves as a measurement of the stability and wealth within an economy. Per capita income is a ratio of the amount of all a region’s income divided its population. Thus, if the ratio rises, it suggests that members of the population are more prosperous than they have been in the past. Conversely, a reduced per capita figure suggests that the standard of living in a region has decreased, assuming the price of goods has either stayed the same or increased with inflation.

Aid

  • Because per capita income is a measurement of prosperity for a region, it is useful for determining what regions are in need of financial assistance, assuming that the cost of living is the same in those regions. For instance, if the cost of rice is a dollar in country Y, but two dollars in country X, and country X’s per capita income is higher, members of country X may be just as prosperous as those in country Y. If country X has the same per capita income as county Y, then the higher cost of rice would be an issue. If per capita income is the same, agencies that provide aid or financial assistance to those in country X, because members of country X would be financially worse off.

Investment

  • A higher per capita income represents a higher purchasing power, as members of the community have more money to spend. This is useful in investment. For instance, in a new business, you would want to approach shareholders who actually afford to invest. Otherwise, you would waste resources trying to market your company to people who won’t back you financially. Additionally, investing in businesses in areas with higher per capita ratios may yield a higher return, as the income of the area suggests that people have the purchasing power to buy the business’ products or services.

Considerations

  • Even though per capita income is important, it is only useful when there isa relatively low number of very high earners in the community. High earners raise the amount of income in a per capita ratio, so including the very wealthy in per capita figures may give a skewed representation of what people actually make. Additionally, because per capita figures don’t tell you how income is distributed, it can mask social issues, which cause the average income in those regions to rise or fall.

Top 15 Job Responsibilities of a Blue Moon Real Estate Agent

We all are aware that property dealings are no easy task and cannot be just over within a few days. It takes considerable time in different issues whether it is selling, buying or renting for different purposes including the residential and commercial ones. It is the situation when an optimum quality real estate agent is essential. Indeed, finding one credible person for that is also little bit daunting but not impossible as there are many reputed names across the country for the job.

The real estate agents Nambour having a legitimate license are the only ones allowed to indulge in authorized real estate activities. These license holders have prior qualifications and suitability to take up those responsibilities. The following explains briefly about what they are hired to do:-

  1. 1.     Informed – Agents who deal in day to day real estate business are aware of the locations in the vicinity and have optimum knowledge regarding the subject. It helps them to apprise the client with vital information.
    1. 2.     Interview – It is seen as a good quality of an agent who asks variety of questions to the clients. At least, it gives an idea about their interests in depth regarding the deal and how they can fulfill those demands.
    2. 3.     Prepared – One of the jobs is to prepare legal documents related to contracts, agreements and lease papers and so on.
    3. 4.     Coordinate – They check on the agreements for signing and also expending of the funds between the parties. Those blue moon real estate agents coordinate the entire process effectively.
    4. 5.     Intermediate – Agents act as intermediary between the buyer and seller or any other party for discussions.
    5. 6.     Negotiate – They have a prominent role in negotiation while purchase/sell of a property which can be fruitful to both sides.
    6. 7.     Substitute – Most of the time they represent on the behalf of their clients as it could be an extensive process to seal the trade.
    7. 8.     Investigate – Another role of theirs is quite important from the financial perspective is to explore the possibilities of client’s status of credit and finance.
    8. 9.     Promote – It is the duty of a real estate agent Nambour to endorse the properties through advertisements, listing services and several other ways to inform interested public.

10. Compare – They know how to judge against similar types of properties to determine the best market prices for it.

11. Review – Analysis of the listings to find out prospective properties and acquire as much information about real estate markets are included in their job duties.

12. Inspect – When a property goes for rent, the agents have to inspect it in regular intervals and acquaint the owners regarding maintenance and related subjects.

13. Advice – They provide selective advice with respect to different issues of legal necessities, conditions of the market, price facts and others.

14. Assess – Before explaining to the clients about some properties, a real estate agent Nambour has to self assess them by visiting personally.

Demonstrate – They are hired to describe the features of a property as well as notify about its benefits and losses.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Mexico

A work visa is required to become a real estate agent in Mexico.
Becoming a real estate agent is Mexico presents a few hurdles for people who aren’t citizens of the country, but it isn’t a task that’s close to impossible. The biggest obstacle is getting a job offer from a real estate company. To do that, you need at least a basic knowledge of the local real estate market. Only after receiving a written job offer can a work visa application be filed with the Mexican consulate.

Instructions

  1. Choose a regional market to work in, then contact all the major real estate agencies in the area, inform them of your desire to work as a real estate agent in the region, and ask if they would be willing to have you work with them. Once you receive a positive response from at least one company, ask for a job offer letter from the owner, which is required when filing for a business visa.
  2. Contact the nearest Mexican consulate and obtain a Business Visa FM-3 request form and the associated paperwork. The form is required of non-Mexican nationals requesting to work in the country. A list of addresses and other contact information for all consulates in the United States and Canada is on the Mexico Online travel website (mexicoonline.com).
  3. Submit a Business Visa FM-3 request, along with any other required documentation to the Mexican consulate general. Items that must be included as part of the request are the written job offer, completed visa request form and a valid U.S. passport and a letter outlining the reason for the request, and requested length of stay. Other items that could be requested by individual consulates are a second picture ID, resume or copy of the real estate company’s business license.
  4. Report to work in Mexico after the consulate general approves the visa application. Applications are generally approved within 10 working days of filing, but the time can vary. Unlike in the United States, no license is required to work as a real estate agent in Mexico; however, a trade organization, the Mexican Association of Realtors, or AMPI, helps real estate professionals in areas such as training.

How to Start a Property Investment Company

Provide people with a place to call home while making money with a property investment company.
Many people purchase a home or property to serve their own needs, such as a place to live. While most know that purchasing a home is an investment since many homes sell for more than they were purchased for, few consider expanding on this single purchase by buying more properties and establishing a business. However, those with an interest in working for themselves and having their own business can do so by learning how to start a property investment company.

Instructions

  1. Craft a business plan. Analyze the financial aspects of starting a property investment company by learning how much money is required to start the company as well as what potential for profit exists based on your location. Develop a plan for how you will market and staff your company while also expanding it and making it profitable. Include all of this information in a written business plan for your property investment company, which you can create using the business plan information available from the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  2. Apply for funding. Access your credit report from one of the three credit bureaus to learn what credit score you have as well as review your report for any mistakes prior to applying for a business or commercial loan. Speak to a loan officer to find out if you qualify for a loan based on your credit report as well as the business plan you’ve drafted for your property investment company. Consider taking on a partner who has the monetary resources or capital you need to start the business if you can’t qualify for loans on your own. Know thought that with a partnership, profits from your company will be split based on your agreement.
  3. Register your company. Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by calling 800-829-4933 or completing the form on the IRS website. Determine what sales tax laws are in effect in your region and whether they apply to your business by visiting with a representative from the department of revenue at your state and city level. Comply with any sales tax regulations that exist as well as licensing regulations such as a local business license from your city government.
  4. Buy property. Determine if your company specializes in residential or commercial property or a combination of the two. Hire a commercial real estate agent to assist you in finding your initial property to start your company as well as subsequent properties to grow your business. Know how to check property values with your local property assessment office to ensure you aren’t paying too much for a property. Consider getting your license as a real estate agent as this cuts down on your expenses since you don’t have to pay a realtor for each property sold and purchased by your company.
  5. Purchase insurance. Speak with local insurance agents in your community to get quotes for insurance on your property investment company. Obtain both liability and property insurance since this protects your business from lawsuits from tenants injured in or on your property while also protecting the physical structure from damage caused by fire and natural disaster. Add additional insurance to your business as your company grows and you acquire more property.
  6. Hire staff. Find an office assistant to help you manage and operate your property investment company especially if you are out of the office frequently inspecting current properties and looking for new ones. Retain a lawyer to assist you in developing leases and contracts for your company. Employ a maintenance person or crew to make repairs, renovate outdated properties and maintain the landscape of the properties you own. Consider hiring a property manager as your grow to take over the daily management of properties and free you up as the owner to focus on growing and expanding the company.

Study Tips for Passing a Real Estate Exam

Real estate agents often make their own schedules and work off commission.
Studying for the real estate exam and getting ready for the days building up to the test can require a significant amount of preparation. However, most agents pass the test in the first try, and if you do not pass, you can always take it again. The key to this is learning proper study skills prior to taking the test and being in top shape on test day. Get ahead of the pack by being proactive, expressing discipline and relaxing rather than stressing out about it and cramming the night before.

Use the Right Resources

  • Focusing on resources designed to pass the real estate test will set a solid study foundation. It is also important to note that test questions vary from state to state, and tests change; therefore, training books and resources change as well, so make sure you have the most current study materials. Always check training book dates, and look for current study guides. If you come across confusing material, it is also a good idea to ask questions of an agent who has passed the test in recent months.

Complete School Work

  • As soon as the real estate course or program begins, start studying the material. Purchase current books and study them from cover to cover. Learn to take shorthand notes; listen to the instructor if you take classes in person and take class notes on every lecture or lesson. Read over all of these notes as you begin to prepare for the test. Also, do all homework or assignments listed in the book on your own, as most instructors will often not cover all book exercises. In addition to self study, join a study group with fellow classmates to help reinforce classroom material. If possible, take a test preparatory course, especially if a real estate course is not an option.

Avoid Cramming

  • It is advisable to not cram the night before the real estate test. It is important to relax the day before to avoid an overload of facts and stress. Getting a good night’s sleep is also recommended. Even if you have been studying for weeks, sleep deprivation will sabotage the brain’s functionality, potentially affecting clarity and efficiency during the exam. It is also important to get a well balanced and healthy meal prior to taking the test.

Test Taking Tips

  • Be prepared with all the required test taking materials, which vary according to state test regulations. In most cases, blank paper, pencils and a basic calculator are allowed in the testing room. Be sure to have a sharp pencil and a properly functioning calculator. Read each question thoroughly, as misunderstanding questions is one of the most common causes of incorrect answers. Test question are commonly convoluted, so read the questions multiple times until you know what is being asked. Unclear questions can be left for later; lingering on one question can hinder completing the test. Once the end of the test is reached, do a second pass over to check your work and answer questions you got stuck on the first time through. Trust the material that you have studied, and have confidence in your answer. It is a good general rule to not change a test question unless you are absolutely sure it is incorrect.

How to Become an International Agent

International agents travel all over the world.
Rising through the ranks of your job close to home may be satisfying for a while, but for some people the lure of a jet-setting international career is one that is hard to resist. International agent jobs in any field are highly prized positions with a competitive hiring process. Luckily, there are steps you can take in your working life to mark yourself out as a great candidate when an opportunity arises.

Instructions

  1. Demonstrate flexibility in your everyday working practices. Don’t grumble if the boss asks you to stay late, swap a shift with a colleague, or attend an out-of-town conference. If you make it seem as though your home life is more important to you than your work life, then those with the power to hire and fire will assume you are not suited to a role that takes you away a lot. This could mean that they pass you over when an international agent position becomes available.
    Keep your appointment book open and show you are willing to work.
  2. Build contacts with international counterparts. If working with a member of staff in an overseas branch of your company via telephone or email, ensure you are helpful and friendly. International agent positions are often decided by a collection of managers from a number of offices that will be affected by the work of the person in that role, so making an impression on colleagues based abroad when you come into contact with them can only help your case if an international agent role opens up.
    Be friendly and helpful to overseas offices if you want to be an international agent.
  3. Learn a language. Study independently using audio lessons or attend an evening class in your area. If you want to work in a foreign country, you will need to be able to communicate when posted there. Having a foreign language on your resume will show you are prepared to try to integrate overseas, and will mark you out as a possible candidate if an international agent position becomes open.
  4. Show an interest in overseas events. Buy a newspaper that covers world news and read it at your desk in your lunch break. Demonstrating to your boss that you are up to date on international developments that may affect the way in which your company’s overseas trade is conducted makes you seem all the more suited to an international agent role.
    Read about international events to gain an understanding of the overseas market.
  5. Tell your boss that you would like to be considered should an international agent role open up within your company. It is no use attempting to make yourself appear the perfect candidate if the person in charge of filling these popular positions has no idea you would like to be considered. Use a performance review to flag up your interest in an overseas role or, if necessary, ask your boss for a brief meeting and explain what your ambitions are. Ask your boss to give you constructive feedback on what you may be able to do to make yourself more suited to a future international agent role.
    Tell your boss about your ambitions if you want to be an international agent.

How to Recognize Property Investment Scams

Real estate has long been a solid way to make money, but that doesn’t mean every property investment is good idea or even legitimate. There are con artists at every turn who would like to scam you out of your money, leaving you poorer but wiser. Here’s how to recognize property investment scams.

Instructions

  1. Know you’re vulnerable. Experts say the people most likely to be the victims of property investment scams are financially astute. Con artists know that they need to start with someone who is open to investing instead of being more conservative with money. Be careful not to be overconfident, since scammers can set up elaborate schemes that can fool even the best.
  2. Remember the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Be skeptical on promises of high, fast returns. Nothing of that nature comes without high risk, so consider what you can afford to lose. Be wary of email or infomercial offers, since they are favorite delivery methods for people who traffic in property investment scams.
  3. Check everything out. You can often recognize property investment scams just by doing your homework. Look into the company making the offer, and find out their history, record and background. Figure out who the directors are and look into their background. Let an accountant or financial advisor look over the paperwork, and then have a lawyer read everything before you sign.
  4. Understand how you will make your money. The more complicated the deal, the more important it is to look into the exact way your investment will create a return. Investigate any tax laws, especially in overseas countries, that backers are relying on to bring you money. Be sure the offshore investment is legal.
  5. Ignore pressure. One sign of a property investment scam is when backers are in a great hurry for you to sign. Hurrying only increases your risk of being a victim and losing a substantial amount of money.
  6. Watch for affinity fraud. That’s the name for how con artists use your religion or race and purport themselves to be “like you.” Once they have your trust, they can work their property investment scams.
  7. Keep up your vigilance. Even if you start seeing the promised return on your investment, don’t assume that all is well. Some con artists pull off property investment scams by paying out money for a time, then disappearing when they have a certain number of victims.

Is Rental Property a Good Investment?

Rental properties can be a profitable investment.

Rental property can provide investors with various sources of income. However as with any investment, rental property investments do have risk, and investors can lose money. To determine whether owning rental property is a good investment, investors should understand the key points needed for a successful rental property and decide for themselves.

Rental Prices

  • Buyers should consider the cost of the rental property in relation to the expected amount of rental income that the property will generate. Buyers should compare prices of rental properties against the expected rental income for each building to determine which properties are selling at the best price. One way to compare rental properties is to look at how long it would take the rental income to pay off the building. For example, it would take 10 years for a building that costs $300,000 and produces $30,000 a year in rental income to pay for itself (not including financing costs).

Rental Market

  • Sellers of rental property should be willing to provide buyers with information on current and past rental income. However, this does not indicate that the future rental incomes will be the same. Buyers must consider the area and local economy. Areas dependent on one large employer are less stable than those with multiple employers. New building in the area will also work to depress the rental market as newer spaces come onto the market and compete with the older buildings for tenants. Rental property owners must carefully consider the property’s future prospects.

Costs

  • Owners must consider financing costs before buying a rental property. Interest rates and fees for loans for rental property are often higher than rates and fees for loans to purchase a primary residence. The costs of maintaining a rental property can also create a significant expense. Owners must keep properties in good repair at all times to maintain income from rentals and assure compliance with regulatory codes. While insurance covers many significant expenses, owners must maintain access to money to cover deductibles and uncovered expenses.

Management

  • The management of a rental property is an area that can produce both significant costs as well as hassles for the rental property owner. Management of the property includes screening and selecting tenants, dealing with tenants (while following all applicable laws and regulations), and caring for maintenance issues. Owners can choose to use a property management company, but owners should consult with these service providers before purchase to determine the costs that they will charge.

How to Make Money With Rental Properties

With a smart investment, you can make money with rental properties on a recurring basis.The advantage of making money with a rental property is that you will get money month after month. Although some of this money will go to pay off the original mortgage, with a good rental property investment, you can practically count on a steady flow of income.Read the short guide below to find out how to make money with rental property in basic steps.

Instructions

  1. Talk to professionals and other rental property owners. Be in touch with real estate attorneys, real estate agents, accountants, and other landlords to learn what you can about the rental business. Keep in touch with these professionals consistently both before you buy your rental unit and after you are already renting it out. These people guide you in making the best decisions and therefore the most money with rental properties.
  2. Research the real estate market. Research prices for different types of rental properties in your area. Research both their selling prices and rental prices. You should also analyze trends and future projections.
  3. Decide where you will buy. Location is the key issue when it comes to real estate. You need to choose a location where rentals are in demand and property values are within your reach.
  4. Choose the type of rental property to invest in. Do you want to rent an entire apartment building? Are you interested in just renting a single family house? There are many types of rental units to choose from anywhere from small apartments to large 2 story homes.
  5. Find properties that match your criteria. Look for properties that are good investment deals. Try to find a rental property that is low in value compared to other similar properties. Also look for properties that are in good condition and will not require many repairs. (You might want to invest in a rundown rental property though if you find that it is a very good deal and the repairs are facial and not structural.)
  6. Buy the rental property. This process will probably involve taking out a loan.
  7. Conduct whatever repairs are necessary to get the rental property ready to be lived in.
  8. Find tenants to rent your property. Make sure to run credit reports on prospective tenants. Getting good tenants is important if you want to count on making money month after month. Tenants who do not pay on time or do not pay at all will destroy your rental property cash flow. You should also be careful because there are laws governing evicting tenants, so once a tenant is in your property, you might not be able to evict him easily or at all.
  9. Manage the apartment yourself or hire a property manager (or property management firm). There are many tasks to perform on a regular basis including collecting rent, paying taxes, fixing up repairs, paying insurance companies and more. If you do not have time or expertise to deal with these yourself, hire a property manager to do these jobs for you.

How to Show Investments on a Balance Sheet

Investments on a balance sheet may be short-term or long-term.

The balance sheet is a financial statement that reflects a company’s assets, liabilities and equity for the financial year. Short and long-term investments are typically comprised of real estate, stocks, bonds, and investments made towards a company’s subsidiaries or affiliate companies. These balances are reflected in a specific section on the balance sheet. Here’s how to show these investments accurately on the balance sheet reporting schedule.

Instructions

  1. Calculate both the at cost and market value of stocks purchased in the financial year. The lower of the two will be reported in the short-term investment section if the company plans to sell the stocks within the upcoming year and reported under the Current Assets section. If the company plans on holding onto the stock for more than a year, the stock value will be reported as a long-term investment under the Fixed Assets section in the left hand column of the balance sheet.
  2. Calculate both the at cost and market value of bonds purchased by the company. The lower of the two will be reported in the short-term investment section if the company plans to hold the bonds for less than a year, and in the long-term investment section if the company plans to hold the bonds for longer than a year. These will be reported under the Current Assets if they are short-term investments, and Fixed Assets section if they are long-term investments.
  3. Calculate both the at cost and market value of real estate purchased in the financial year. The lower of the two will typically be reported in the long-term investment section of the balance sheet. Real estate investments can be reported under the Current Assets if they are short-term investments, and Fixed Assets section if they are long-term investments.
  4. Determine the value of investments made towards the company’s affiliate accounts. These can be company affiliations or partnership agreements where the company has invested stock or cash into certain projects. These are typically short-term investments which are then reported under the Current Assets section.
  5. Determine the value of stock invested in subsidiary companies. These stock investments are typically long-term investments and are reported under the Fixed Assets section.

How to Invest in Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate investing requires knowledge of finance, real estate investment and the law.

The term “commercial real property” includes parcels, with or without buildings, used for business or retail purposes. Investment in commercial real estate involves a significant cash commitment and investors typically work with partners or investment groups to purchase larger commercial properties. Investors also work with experienced commercial real estate agents and a title agent trained in commercial property work.

Instructions

  1. Match your commercial real estate interests with various geographic regions matching your interests. Investing in commercial real estate involves extensive knowledge in a variety of commercial market classifications, including small and large retail, shopping centers, rental properties, office buildings and industrial structures. Matching your commercial real estate interests with targeted geographic regions ripe for investment requires years of following the real estate and investment markets. Once you feel comfortable with one or more commercial types of investment opportunities, research the geographic areas best suited to your interests. Conduct research by reading regional commercial real estate reports and meeting with other investors at conventions and professional seminars. The International Council of Shopping Centers, for instance, holds international, nation and regional conventions offering education seminars and training sessions.
  2. Network with other commercial investors and join finance partnerships. Investment partnerships provide cash reserves, but they also mean your fellow investors must share your investment strategies. Unless you have available funds for the commercial investment, adding partners offers the option to fund large commercial ventures. Meet potential partners at local commercial property training sessions and at professional conventions.
  3. Network with commercial property lenders. The National Real Estate Investor noted commercial lenders tightened lending practices with the economic decline beginning in late 2009, and slow markets mean a larger commitment of cash and collateral required for commercial investment plans. Work with several qualified lenders to develop a presentation package documenting your financial backing for use in presenting offers on commercial properties.
  4. Locate a licensed commercial real estate broker with specialty certifications in your interest areas and also an experienced title researcher. A licensed Realtor can provide current knowledge of the market, experience in negotiating sales prices and contract terms and the strategy know-how in pricing your offer. The real estate agent also offers exclusive access to a market of commercial properties. An experienced title agent also offers valuable knowledge for commercial property investors. Title agents research current property ownership, present and past loans and document comparable sales made in your targeted geographic region.
  5. Research specific properties and make offers on the real estate. Once your investment team decides on a property, consult with your commercial real estate agent to write a legal contract for the property. Ask your title agent to construct a preliminary title report to document the property history. This report assists in developing a price for the property and any necessary terms involving the physical condition, zoning and community restrictions, as well as any restrictions on future development or prohibitions on property modifications.

Can I Claim the Sale of an Inherited Property as a Loss?

The day the owner dies sets the basis of the property.

When you buy real estate, your purchase price becomes what the Internal Revenue Service calls your basis. When you sell, your capital gain or loss is the difference between the basis and the sale price, plus some adjustments. The rules are different for selling inherited property, as you don’t have a purchase price. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a deductible loss from the sale.

Inherited Property Basis

  • Your basis in inherited property is the fair market value the day the previous owner died. For example, suppose your father bought his home for $150,000, but it was worth $250,000 on the day he died. The second figure is your basis: If you sell for $200,000, you have a $50,000 loss rather than a $50,000 gain. Normally you class gains and losses as short term or long term, depending how long you’ve held the property. With an inherited property, you always class the gain or loss as long term.

Use of Property

  • You can deduct losses on the sale of investment property but never on personal property. For example, if you inherit a business or rental property and then sell it, you may be able to deduct a capital loss. You can also deduct a loss on a residential property if you inherit it but never made personal use of it. If, after inheriting, you and your family moved into the home and lived there, you don’t get to write off any losses when you sell.

Deducting a Loss

  • You report capital gains and losses on IRS Schedule D. If you have a deductible loss on the sale of inherited property, you add it to your other long-term gains and losses for the year. You add that result to your total short-term gain or loss. If the final result on Schedule D is a loss, you can write off up to $3,000 of red ink against your non-capital gains income. For married couples filing jointly, the write-off is only $1,500.

Carrying Over Losses

  • Suppose you sell an inherited property at a $10,000 loss and have no other capital sales. After you deduct $3,000 against your regular income, you have to carry the rest of the loss forward to next year. You can deduct $3,000 over and over until the loss is used up. If you have capital losses in future years, you use them up first. For example, suppose you carry forward $7,000 and have a $1,000 capital loss next year. You can also write off $2,000 of the carried amount. The remaining $5,000 goes forward another year. IRS Publication 544 has the details on calculating carry overs.

How to Pass the Real Estate PSI Exam

Close-up of pencil over multiple choice answer sheet

PSI, which designs and develops examinations for professional associations, government regulatory agencies and corporations, offers a real estate exam that’s recognized in many states. These states require brokers and agents to pass the PSI exam before they’re licensed and legally able to practice real estate. Some states, such as Tennessee and Colorado, require candidates to complete pre-licensing programs before applying to take the PSI.

Understand the Format

  • The PSI exam includes national and state portions, and requirements vary for salespersons and brokers. Those applying for a salesperson license must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on the national portion and 75 percent on the state portion, while brokers need to score at least 75 percent on the national component and 80 percent on the state. The exams are timed and typically taken on a computer.

Know the Material

  • Study candidate information bulletins, which are available on the PSI website, to prepare for the test. Each bulletin outlines the content covered on the test, identifies tips and provides sample questions. The topics covered in real estate PSI exams are generally the same, and include finance, property law and real estate fundamentals. Exams for sales agents may inquire about the terms of certain agreements, such as mortgage clauses, while those for brokers may require math calculations. For example, candidates may be given a value of a property and asked to calculate the monthly to earn 12 percent on total investment.

Hit the Books

  • When key concepts or ideas aren’t totally clear, discuss complex details with colleagues who may have more experience in these situations and take notes. Take practice exams through psiexams.com to get used to recalling details while being timed. The PSI Learning Academy offers full courses to prepare candidates for exams in some states, such as Florida, Georgia and Texas. It also provides pre-exam preparation courses in 14 states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and Colorado, as of 2014.

Use the Tutorial

  • PSI doesn’t allow the use of notes during the test. Before the test begins, candidates are offered the opportunity to follow a tutorial of sample questions. Take advantage of the tutorial to get comfortable with the computer and the testing format. For example, instead of leaving questions blank during the test, you can select “mark” and the system will bring the question back later for review. Unanswered questions are marked incorrect.

How to Pass the Florida Real Estate Test

You must pass the real estate exam before you can work as a real estate agent in Florida.

To conduct legal real estate transactions in Florida, you must possess a Florida real estate license. The licensing process is relatively succinct, but it includes one major obstacle: the state real estate exam. All applicants for a state real estate license must achieve a passing score on the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam. The test is administered by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Real Estate. A passing score is a score of at least 75. Almost anyone can pass the test by taking a few key steps prior to the test date.

Instructions

  1. Pick a good school. By selecting a good college real estate program, you can ensure that you will learn all you will need to know to pass the test. Research the components of different real estate courses and ask around. Inquire with area real estate professionals, and they are likely to tell you which programs are recommended most. In fact, some of these professionals might teach courses at an area school. Many consider the University of Florida’s real estate program to be the state’s best. The school offers an undergraduate and graduate minor in real estate, an MBA with a concentration in real estate and Master of Science in real estate. In Orlando, Valencia Community College offers a less time-consuming option with a Real Estate Specialist certificate course. The course is offered through the school’s Business Administration department. In South Florida, Miami-Dade College offers real estate courses through the School of Community Education. The 30-hour non-credit course can be taken online.
  2. Complete the schooling. Nothing will prepare you more for the test than the classes in which you enroll. Be sure to focus during the classes and do all of your homework. The courses are designed to help you pass the test. Therefore, you are doing a disservice to yourself if you fail to pay close attention in class.
  3. Buy an exam study guide. “The Real Estate License Exam for Dummies” provides basic information and study tips for taking real estate exams. “How to Prepare for the Real Estate Licensing Exams” is another good resource. This book includes nine full practice exams, and it features answers and explanations for all answers. For more Florida-specific information, a good source is the “Florida Real Estate Manual,” a paperback book written by Linda L. Crawford. The book features information on Florida laws and more than 600 questions and answers. “Barron’s Florida Real Estate Exams” and “CliffsTestPrep Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam” are also good sources. The “CliffsTestPrep” guide includes five practice tests. The books can be purchased from sites such as Amazon.com, and some might be available from your local library or through personal loan from a real estate agent in your area.
  4. Use the study guide to practice and focus on Florida state laws on real estate. The state test is written with an emphasis on ensuring that real estate agents in the state know the unique laws that affect the profession in Florida. Review the Florida-specific parts of the study guides and check the Florida Statutes for information on real estate laws. Remember that the study guides are sometimes dated, and they might not reflect new laws. Think of potential questions and come up with the answers. Study for several days before the test. Avoid cramming the night before the test. This can cut into sleep time and cause you to be groggy during the test.
  5. Talk to Florida real estate agents in your city about their own experiences with the test. They likely recall the parts that were the trickiest, and they probably know dozens of others who have taken the test. They can advise you on potential pitfalls and areas that you should not overlook.
  6. Visit the FloridaRealtors website (see Resouces). The website features a wealth of information for hopeful real estate professionals. Its resources include information on a real estate course program and audio CDs and DVDs that can help you prepare. The site’s educational materials are often more updated than anything else you will find.
  7. Read questions completely before answering, and skip questions when you are not sure of the answer. It could be costly for you to spend too much time on one question. The Florida state real estate exam is timed, and the state-appointed test administrators will require that you stop when your time expires. If you have spare time, you can use it to go back to the questions that you skipped and to check for obvious mistakes.

How to Become a Licensed Investment Broker

An investment broker is another name for stockbroker. To become a professional stockbroker, you must pass a licensing exam. Being a broker can be a lucrative career choice for people who like investing other people’s money in stocks, corporate and municipal bonds, mutual funds, options and treasuries, such as T-Bills. For making investment recommendations and financial analysis, the broker receives a commission based on the amount of money a person invests. The financial services industry is regulated and requires anyone involved with the buying and selling of securities to not only be licensed, but meet other requirements as well

Instructions

  1. Visit the FINRA website (see link in References). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the first place to start when seeking a career as an investment broker. All stockbrokers are licensed by the FINRA which also administers the exam. The FINRA provides invaluable information on what is needed to be an investment or stock broker and offers detailed job descriptions.
  2. Register with the FINRA. All persons who wish to have careers as a broker must register with this agency. The registration form asks for personal information such as name, address, Social Security number, residences for the past few years, employment history and other relevant information asked for most careers. You must also supply fingerprints. You can get fingerprinted at a local police station for a small fee.
  3. Study for the licensing exam. Passing exams is also a part of the registration process. There is usually just one exam that you need to pass. The General Securities Registered Representative Examination is commonly known as the Series 7 Exam. This exam is required of all investment brokers. Some states, however, also require a person to pass the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination, which is known as the Series 63 Exam. Check with your state’s licensing board to see if the Series 63 exam in necessary to be a broker in your state. To study for these exams, you have several options. There are books, online courses, classroom work, CD and DVD courses. The FINRA also offers training for the exams.
  4. Schedule an appointment to take the exam. When you are ready to take the test, schedule an appointment at any of the authorized testing centers throughout the country. The test is available 7 days a week in most large cities. The test is computerized so you receive your score immediately upon completion.
  5. Pass the background check. Once you register with the FINRA, your information is sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a background check. Any criminal history will probably prevent you from becoming a broker even if you pass the exam. FINRA wants professionals who are knowledgeable about investments and also ethical.
  6. Once you have passed the exam(s) and the background check, you now have what you need to get a job as an investment broker. There are large brokerage houses that provide a small salary and training, while small firms let you sink or swim on your own. There are many places to get a job with a Series 7 license, such as full service brokerage houses and discount brokers.

How to Get Real Estate Leads by Door Knocking

You can generate real estate leads through door knocking

Going door knocking is often a scary concept for real estate agents. The misconception is that your presence will be unwelcomed. On the contrary, this can be more effective than direct mailing or calling. There are a few rules to follow that will make even the people who don’t like solicitors enjoy your visits. All you really need to know is how to do it right.

Instructions

  1. Visit an area where you or your office has a listing or just sold a home. Don’t just find a house and start knocking. Start with homes close to the listed home, then fan out.
  2. Create an address log containing a list of every house you intend to visit.Your log should have each address listed one after another. Leave a little space for notes, such as: “Never answers the door,” or, “Growing family may be ready to buy a another house in June.”
  3. Ring the door bell and then take a step or two back. People sometimes feel a little scared when there is a stranger standing too close to the door. This is especially true if you are male. Put a soft smile on your face and enjoy the uniqueness of their porch and yard instead of waiting anxiously for the home owner to answer.
  4. Ring the door bell and knock on the door, then wait 30 seconds.There may be an elderly or disabled person inside who can’t make it to the door in less than 30 seconds. If no one answers, knock again and wait another 30 seconds before moving on.
  5. Come bearing gifts. You can buy calendars, refrigerator magnates, pens, notepads and other convenient goodies for a nominal cost with your name, phone number and address on them. Something useful with your name on it is less likely than a business card to be thrown away.
  6. Introduce yourself. Let the homeowner know who you are and what you do, but don’t jump in and ask if she wants to sell her home or knows anyone who does. Instead, start by explaining that you just listed/sold a house down the street and want to get to know the area. Give the homeowner your card and the gift and let her know if she ever needs your services, or knows anyone who does, feel free to contact you anytime.
  7. Find out a little bit about the homeowner if she seems receptive and keep track of it in your log. Some people will be glad to tell you what neighbors might need your services, how happy they are living in the area or if there’s a certain house you might want to avoid.
  8. Continue visiting houses for three months. Then start back at the first house again. Bring your handy log and return bearing gifts. By then you’ll get an idea who is happy to see you and what leads are going nowhere. After they’ve seen you four times in the past year, some will know and trust you. So when they want to buy or sell a property, or know someone who does, they’re going to call you.

How to Pass the Virginia Real Estate PSI Exam

How to Pass the Virginia Real Estate PSI Exam

To be a real estate salesperson or broker in Virginia, you have to pass a licensing exam administered by PSI Examination Services. The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, or DPOR, has contracted with PSI to provide testing locations. The PSI exam tests a candidate’s broad knowledge of local and national real estate principles and laws. Because the exam is closed book, you must effectively study to pass. If you have a high school diploma or equivalent and have completed the required prelicense education, you can take the PSI exam.

Instructions

  1. Obtain the number of hours of prelicense education that DPOR requires. You should not register for the exam until you have completed all coursework. Some larger real estate brokerage firms offer prelicense courses. You can also search online for real estate schools offering self-study and classroom courses. Be sure to choose a DPOR-approved school.
  2. Download the Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin from the PSI website. The bulletin provides examination information and license qualifications for salespersons and brokers.
  3. Complete the examination registration form. If you mail the form, you must send the examination registration fee in the form of a money order, certified check, cashier’s check or company check. PSI does not accept personal checks. You can use a credit card to pay the registration fee online or by telephone. After you receive notice of PSI’s acceptance of your registration, call PSI to schedule an exam date and choose a testing location.
  4. Read the Bulletin’s “Tips for Preparing For Your License Examination.”
  5. Purchase additional study materials. Although prelicense classes provide a good foundation for understanding real estate principles, you might choose to supplement those materials with books on real estate fundamentals. You can check the PSI website for available books.
  6. Make a list of the topics covered on the exam outlined in the bulletin’s “Description of Examination.” As you study, write down questions you have about each topic and look for the answers in your books.
  7. Take the sample test in the bulletin and score your answers. Read each question again and study the correct answer. Look in your study materials at the sections that cover the questions you missed.
  8. Review the practice tests you took in your prelicense courses. If you studied in a classroom, talk with your fellow students about examination content. Verbalizing principles can help you remember them.
  9. Get plenty of rest the night before the examination. If you live farther than an hour from your test site, consider spending the night in a nearby hotel. Eat a healthy breakfast before the exam.
  10. Bring two forms of identification to the examination center; one must be a government agency-issued photo ID. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the examination start time. You are not allowed to bring a cell phone into the center; you may bring a calculator.
  11. Follow the computer tutorial before starting the exam, if you are taking the examination by computer. You can spend up to 15 minutes on the tutorial as long as you finish before the scheduled examination start time.
  12. Read each exam question carefully and pick the best answer. Pace yourself and save enough time to review each of your answers before submitting the test. Verify that you have chosen one answer for each question. Even if you don’t know the answer, it’s better to guess than leave it blank. If you’re taking the paper-and-pencil examination, completely mark the circle of each answer.

How Much Money Does the Realtor Selling Your Home Get?

Real estate agents help market and sell houses.

Real estate agents sell homes based on commission — generally about 5 or 6 percent of the sales price. Agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors are called realtors, but other than the trade association membership there is no difference between a realtor and a real estate agent.

Commissions

  • A contract with a realtor is a voluntary agreement. Sales commissions of 6 percent are common, but you can negotiate a lower commission when selling your house. Interview several agents and ask each of them if they’re willing to accept a commission of less than 6 percent. Shaving just 2 percent off the standard 6 percent sales commission will save $6,000 in commission fees on a home selling for $300,000.

Luxury Listings

  • Leverage for a lower commission is even greater on luxury homes costing around $1 million. Realtors are so eager for luxury home listings that some will accept as little as 3 percent in sales commission, according to MSN Money. The agents realize that even with the smaller commission they may earn more on a luxury home than on lower-priced homes.

Buyer’s Agent

  • A realtor does not keep the entire commission. The buyer’s agent usually receives half. That means on a 6 percent commission, both agents receive 3 percent, and they will share some of that money with their respective real estate brokers.

Annual Wages

  • Only the top 10 percent of real estate agents earn more than $100,000 in a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for a real estate agent in 2008 was $40,150. Median wages for the top 10 percent were $101,860. The lowest 10 percent earned $21,120.

Options

  • Some sellers avoid paying realtors by acting as their own agent. They list their homes as “for sale by owner,” and handle all marketing, inquiries and open house events. The strategy works for some sellers, especially in a strong economy when there is great demand for housing and homes are easy to sell. Other owners pay a flat fee of 1 or 2 percent to companies offering basic help with marketing and advertising.

Why selling your house to a real estate agents in Central Valley is good?

If ever in life we wished to live in a place that has pleasant surroundings flooded with huge amount of flora and fauna, then Central valley could be one of the places to consider. Central Valley is an amazing place to live which will give you an experience of a lifetime. Along with green fields all over, it has huge mountains on one side and crystal clear water flowing on other side, which looks amazing.

Now, who does not desire to live at such a place that hardly have any flaws. To own a house at such place will give anybody an immense joy, as almost every person would want to own a home at such wonderful place. While there are many people who wish to own a house at Central Valley, there are many other who wishes to sell their houses. Sometimes, it is quite easy to sell a house in this valley by posting an ad to sell house in a newspaper or by the signs that are usually posted on the road corner saying ” We buy homes in Central valley”.

No doubt, these ways to sell a house are quite effective and people do buy homes looking at these postings, but they are not always a safe option. Some of them might not have some legal issue that will put you in trouble later on. The best and safe way to sell your house is through a property dealer, which is a better option to do so.

Selling a house can be a trouble sometimes because it is not always easy to get a buyer. In fact, there are chances that you have to sell your house at a very low price than it actually costs. Instead of getting into such a trouble, it is better to sell your property to a real estate agent who is near o your house. Now, you might be thinking that why sell it to the nearest available real estate agent? The reason behind selling it to the nearest available agent is that they know the best about the property. Chances are higher that they buy your property as soon as you want to sell it.
As selling house is not an easy task, especially when there are hardly any buyers, then it is best to consult a property purchaser to save your precious time. When you really have the urgency to sell a house, it becomes essential to choose the nearest available real estate agent and avoid searching for the best in the market. Wandering to search the best will cost a lot of time and money besides stressing you with a lot of paperwork that you might not want.

So, the next time you wish to sell your house, then you must  properly research agents, go to their office, and check yourself how they actually work. If you want to sell on an urgent basis, it is advisable to pick the nearest of the real estate agent to save time and money.

Marketing Objectives of Real Estate Companies

The exterior of a property for sale with advertisement.

Real estate companies operate in a very competitive marketplace. To build business and increase revenue, they must take a positive attitude to marketing. Companies are embracing newer techniques, such as property video or social media to differentiate themselves, but they must continue to focus on building relationships of trust with buyers, sellers and business partners.

Create a Clear Market Position

  • Real estate companies can operate across the property spectrum, dealing with general residential and commercial clients, or they can offer a specialist service in niche markets. Companies may specialize in period properties, luxury homes, offices or agricultural properties, for example. By positioning themselves clearly in the market, companies can attract clients who are looking for a specific type of property. They can also fine-tune their marketing to focus on the right media and messages for their target market.

Build a Strong Property List

  • Property buyers and sellers are looking for real estate companies active in the market and with a good track record of successful transactions. Building a strong property list is essential. A good list offers buyers choice and helps to build trust in the company. By offering potential sellers the benefits of marketing campaigns, effective presentations through property videos and brochures, and high levels of personal service, real estate companies can persuade owners to place their properties on their lists.

Attract Buyers

  • Real estate companies must encourage prospective buyers to make their firm the first point of contact when they are looking for a property. By placing advertisements in local newspapers or specialist property publications, companies can attract potential buyers. Maintaining contact by phone or email with buyers helps to build relationships and increases the opportunity for a sale.

Build Professional Referrals

  • In addition to building a client base through their own marketing activities, real estate companies can win business by encouraging referrals from other professionals involved in the property business, such as mortgage companies, surveyors, banks and law firms. A mutually beneficial relationship is essential. Real estate companies can refer their clients to firms providing mortgage finance, conveyancing or professional property services. A referral program can make it easier to establish relationships with new prospects, because they trust the opinion of the referrer.

Develop All-Inclusive Services

  • Buying or selling property represents a major inconvenience for residential and business clients. Real estate companies can differentiate themselves by developing a portfolio of services that minimize inconvenience for clients. As well as providing the basic valuation, sales and marketing services, they can recommend other professionals, such as law firms and surveyors, arrange mortgages through third-party providers and source other essential services, such as storage or removal firms. Clients benefit from a single point of contact, saving time and reducing inconvenience

Advantages and Disadvantages of Investing

Types

  • There are a lot of different types of investments that an investor to put their money into. An investor could purchase a real asset such as residential or commercial real estate or collectibles or they could buy securities or financial assets such as bonds and company shares on the market. All of these investments are vulnerable to the vagaries of the market and can rise or fall in value.

Function

  • You can invest your money directly, by researching the markets, analysing valuations and making your own decisions on what to put money into. Many people, however, use intermediaries instead, letting the bank invest their money or joining investment clubs. The intermediary invests the money given to them by everyone involved in the scheme and then each individual shares in the profits and loss. This method gives the investor the benefit of professional advice.

Advantages

  • Investing is the process of making your money work for you, instead of simply sitting safely in the back, and it is increasingly a necessity of modern life. It is frequently no longer possible for an individual to work in one job all their life and retire on their pension. People move from job to job, or from career to career, and due to government cutbacks the responsibility for providing for their retirement falls increasingly on the individual. By investing your money wisely you can make a profit that you can then re-invest or put aside as a nest-egg. A good return on an investment can maximise earning potential.

Disadvantages

  • The major disadvantage of investing is that it is always possible to lose money on whatever investment you make. If you invest in a rare collectible, the value of it can rise or fall depending on its popularity and its availability on the market. Stock prices fluctuate based on everything from how the competition is doing to public confidence in the market. 2008 demonstrated how even house prices, traditionally the most secure investment, are not a guaranteed return.

Warning

  • An investment shouldn’t be a gamble. The investor should research the market where they are investing thoroughly before they ever decide to commit their money. Although there is always a risk that the vagaries of the market will result in the investor losing money, they should always have a reasonable expectation that they will make a profit when they make the investment.

How to List a Luxurious Rental Property

High-end properties need special approaches to attract prospective renters.

Listing your deluxe home or apartment means developing an approach to attract renters to a property that offers amenities above and beyond those of other market listings. High-end renters may not attend open houses or rental housing previews, so your listing plan must include visually appealing print and online marketing materials to entice prospects.

Instructions

  1. Research the available and recently rented luxury units near your property. Note the time on the market and the features offered in units that rented quickly; such information can be found on a comparative market analysis, which you can get from a real estate agent familiar with the area.
  2. Compile a list of your rental property’s features that meet the demands of the luxury rental market as determined by your research. These might include multiple shower heads and saunas in bathrooms, scenic views or a gourmet kitchen.
  3. Stage the property with luxurious-looking furniture and decor — which you can lease — to enhance the interior. Rent enough furnishings to make the residence look comfortable, but still roomy. Take photos of the staged rooms to use in your marketing flier and online advertising.
  4. Create a flier. Use simple word processing software — which usually includes basic brochure layout features — or desktop publishing software. Incorporate a few of the most attractive images you have of the property. Include a detailed list of your unit’s high-end features to help potential renters compare it with other rentals on the market.
  5. Shoot a video of your property to create a virtual tour, which you can upload to social networking websites along with your property flier. Walk through the home and use your camera to show visitors each room’s luxury features. Also, capture footage of community pools, on-site amenities — such as concierge services — or conveniently located parking areas.
  6. Launch a website for the property or hire a web designer to create and launch one for you. Include plenty of photographs, video clips and write a detailed description to enhance the site. Include your contact information, or that of your real estate agent, on each page of the site so that viewers can contact you easily.
  7. Identify print and media outlets on which to publicize your rental property such as local magazines designed for high-income readers or websites that list luxury rentals. If your property is located in a specific area, such as an exclusive beach community, advertise it on websites and in magazines that promote the area.

How to Sell Million Dollar Homes

As the economy improves, so do luxury home sales, explain financial analysts, such as Bloomberg.

Just as you won’t find a new Porsche for sale on a used-car lot, you won’t often find million-dollar or multi-million-dollar homes advertised alongside the “regular” listings. In many areas, homes in the quarter-million-dollar range, or those around the median price range in accordance to the 2014 home-sales census by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, greatly outnumber homes in the million-dollar-and-up price range. Real estate agents often take different approaches to drumming up interest in high-priced listings. Glean some selling strategies from their know-how.

Leaving Town

  • Forget about only listing your million-dollar home locally; few people can afford such luxuries. Agents advertise the best homes globally or at least across the country to reach the masses, explains Forbes magazine. You can use free online classified-ad websites, such as Kijiji or Craigslist, but your chances of catching the wealthy folks’ eyes improve by advertising in their favorite magazines or newspapers, such as the Globe. Doing some of your own advertising, even if you have a real estate agent, can help speed up or initiate an otherwise tough sell. Ask if your agent lists prestigious homes like yours in high-end real estate publications, such as Luxury Home Magazine, for exposure that’s aimed at the right prospective buyers.

Blogging Rights

  • Almost every homebuyer starts the search online, explains the Zillow website. Even many extraordinarily wealthy people who may be in the market for investment property, a summer or winter home, or a primary residence likely turn to the Internet initially. Create a website or blog dedicated to your home; you have plenty of website builders, such as WordPress or Weebly, to walk you through the process, if this sort of task intimidates you. Brag about your home’s immense size, striking architecture, and colossal pool, for example. Play up the location and amenities — but do so tactfully. If you’re not confident in your writing abilities, seek the help of a real estate copywriter; the more astute your advertisement sounds, the more astute the buyer you’ll attract. Upload plenty of top-quality photos and even a virtual tour to back up your claims. Provide links to your agent’s listing or website, if applicable, so that interested parties can easily arrange a viewing or obtain more information.

Make a Suggestion

  • Expensive homes can take longer to sell than average-priced homes because of a lack of qualified buyers. Some million-dollar homes simply don’t sell, regardless of high-quality home staging efforts, because — as hard as it may be to face — they are unattractive, are in an unfavorable location, or are just too unusual. If you’re not willing to lower the price to a point that’s affordable to more buyers, don’t become frustrated; be resourceful. Suggest in your ads or blog that the home could become something profitable, recommends the National Association of Realtors. A dark, stone-constructed Gothic home might suit life as a spa, or a massive log home, deep in the woods, might become a bed-and-breakfast, as long as zoning allows.

Going Pro

  • When you’re planning to hand your upscale home over to a real estate agent to market, look for someone with experience in selling such properties. Examine the real estate advertisements in your area to find out who lists many big-ticket properties. If your home has knock-out luxuries such as an indoor squash court, or has neighbors who include big-name actors, for example, consider hiring an agency such as Sotheby’s International Realty, which specializes in selling topnotch homes worldwide.