Top Tips for New Real Estate Agents

As a new real estate agent, you may find yourself overwhelmed with prospect of running your own business.  Between obtaining new clients, managing listings, and staying in the red you’ve got a lot on your plate.  But don’t worry we put together a list of tips to make sure you become the successful agent you want to be.

adult-arrival-beard-4292481.      Find a Mentor

Sounds simple enough, right?  Finding an experienced agent to mentor you is a great way to learn the ropes and keep yourself accountable.  Whether your working for an office/brokerage or freelancing, a mentor will make you a better agent.  Seek one out as soon as you can.  adult-architect-blueprint-416405

2.      Shadow Great Agents

Tying in with our first tip, find an agent to shadow.  Following, and adopting practices of successful agents can really jumpstart your career.  Target agents that have a strong social media presence, and a large book of clients.  Use their roadmap, they found success by sticking to what works.

adult-beautiful-blur-9357563.     Continue your Education

You already obtained your license, but your education does not stop there.  Commit to learning more about your craft through online seminars, books, and agent meet-ups.  Many agents suggest treating your first year in real estate as grad school.  Focus on learning and building for the future.

adult-beautiful-caucasian-9149314.     Fill your Pipeline

The key to making money in real estate is constantly adding clients to your pipeline.  Having a full slate of work lets you avoid the common mistake of putting all your eggs in one basket.  Perfect deals can fall apart, and it is easy to get discouraged.  You can’t assume all your deals will go through so always have a backup.

architecture-buildings-business-3031595.     Build your Brand

Your brand is everything in real estate.  It gives you clout, makes you marketable, and draws more clients to you.  First step to building your brand is to establish a strong social media presence.  Create professional pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and reach out to clients.  Offer advice and get involved with discussions.

adult-agreement-beard-5735656.     Stay Flexible

Being open to criticism and embracing change will lead you to success.  You are your own business now, so you will want to be flexible and adapt to the ever-changing real estate market.  Keep an open mind and an open schedule and find your way.

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Is Congestion Pricing coming to Boston?

After seeing success in the city of Stockholm where they saw a 22 percent reduction in traffic, New York could become the first city in the United States to implement congestion pricing.

If it goes through, motorists driving in and out of the main commercial districts of Manhattan would be charged a fee to do so. The main reason to start a program like this is to ease traffic in the city’s most congested areas by forcing people who want to access those areas to make a decision—pay to drive through those areas or save money by walking, cycling, or taking public transport. The proposal has the backing of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a number of business groups as well as ride-hailing apps such Uber. If New York approves this plan, will Boston follow suit?

Perhaps the strongest argument in support of this plan making its way to Boston is that the revenue from congestion pricing in New York would be allocated for repairs to the region’s public transit system.

Besides having some of the world’s worst traffic (Boston ranks 14th among the world’s most congest cities), the T and commuter rail are constantly in need of monetary help to improve infrastructure and service.

However, opponents against the plan are worried that congestion pricing would send property values and prices even higher than they already are and make it harder for people to be able to afford to live within the congestion pricing zone.

Renting in Modern Atlanta

atlanta-juneteenth_article_story_mainJust like in the rest of the country, residential real estate in Atlanta is changing quickly as many people, especially those often-cited Millennials, move into more urban and metro areas seeking not just jobs but also all the excitement that living in a more densely populated area often brings. As a city with one of the highest rates of renters vs homeowners, Atlanta offers some interesting perspectives and insights into what renting in today’s market looks like and into why people choose to rent vs buy to begin with.

It  is interesting to note that over the past several years, the number of renters has greatly increased in the suburbs compared to Atlanta’s more urban areas. According to Rent Café, the number of suburban renters increased by about 25% from 2011 to 2015, more than 50,000 people, compared only about 15,000, or 10%, in urban areas. Atlanta is definitely an urban city of suburban sprawl, and with 61% of total renters in the suburbs and those areas capturing a lot of the rent growth it seems like it may stay that way for some time. Those suburban renters cite better schools, quieter communities, and lower rents ($1,277 urban vs $1,006 suburban averages) as reasons they choose to leave the city’s inner neighborhoods.

Some good news for all these Atlanta renters? Zillow says it anticipates that rent growth will, after years of hearty spikes, start to level off  around .9% nationwide in the coming year. Maybe that is why only 41% of current renters say they expect to move or have any interest in owning a home– the lowest number ever recorded according to a recent Freddie Mac survey. Times they are a’ changin’, but it looks like renting is here to stay, and that’s certainly true in Atlanta. 

How to save money furnishing your apartment

So you’ve got the apartment, what are you going to put in it?  Are you going to venture into your grandmother’s basement to find that dusty, 1920’s armoire?  Maybe your old beer-stained college couch?  Probably not.  How can you fill your new place without breaking the bank?  We’ve got you covered.  

If you plan on buying furniture, it’s best to know where to look and what to look for. 

Look for sales and consider using a credit card that offers free extended warranty options on furniture.  Ask to purchase the floor model as these are often considerably cheaper.  Shop at second hand stores, flea markets, and yard sales to find a good deal.

(Check college campuses for leftover furniture.  As semesters start and end there will always be excess furniture.  Make sure to clean it first, though)  

If your more of a “Do it Yourself” person, you can repurpose old furniture or even build your own.  Cleaning, sanding, and adding a fresh coat of paint will have any of your old furniture looking like new.  Get milk crates and fruit boxes from supermarkets to convert into shelves.  Old tables can be repurposed to be used as desks.  

Make the Most of Any Rental Unit: Property Upgrades and Maintenance

The key to maintaining a profitable rental unit can often time come down to maintaining and upgrading wisely. While some in-unit changes likely aren’t worth the money, many are. Often times, investing more initially will pay off over the long run. Here is a list of recommended changes and best practices that won’t break the bank over the long run. These changes will allow any landlord to keep the rent high and ensure less tenant turnover.

Focus on curb appeal.

  • Changes include landscaping, power washing, and repainting the exterior. This can be particularly helpful when it comes time to place a new tenant in your unit.

Upgrade the appliances.

  • This is a purchase that should be viewed as an investment, as band-aiding problems can be expensive long-term, cause tenant dissatisfaction and become a headache for you, the property owner.

1Add backsplashes in the kitchen.

  • This is a cheap addition that will light up any kitchen and provide a quality feel to the room.

Wash carpets instead of always replacing.

  • A professional carpet cleaner can make even the dingiest of carpets appear brand new. Give this a show before choosing to replace immediately.

Invest in high-quality fixtures.

  • Not only will this provide your tenant with a more polished look, the investment will pay off in the long run as less maintenance/replacement will be required. Band-aiding issues will most likely become more expensive in the long run.

Install new shutters or curtains.

  • Old shutters and curtains can make even the nicest of units appear worn and dated. Consider newer, more modern options to get the most out of your unit.

Keep it clean!

  • Perhaps the most important item on any landlord’s list is often the most overlooked. Always thoroughly clean between tenants to ensure your unit does not wear prematurely. It is recommended that a professional deep clean be done between each tenant.

New England cities among the safest in America

According to WalletHub, a personal finance site, New England is home to some of the safest cities in the nation. Using 35 key indicators of safety, analysts have compared over 180 cities and scored them in four separate categories: overall safety, home and community safety, financial safety, and natural disaster risk.

ClipThe cities of Nashua, NH, South Burlington, VT, and Warwick, RI, were rated as the safest overall and took the top three spots on the list respectively.

Warwick was rated second in terms of home and community safety, South Burlington was rated seventh in terms of financial safety, and Warwick was rated seventeenth safest in terms of natural disaster risk.

Boston is rated as the 133rd safest city. It was ranked fifth in terms of fewest traffic fatalities per capita and fourth in terms of lowest percentage of uninsured population but was tied for last in terms of most hate crimes per capita.

 

Landing a Tech Whale

Miami recently made the cut for Amazon’s much desired second headquarters. The area has pitched eight different sites throughout Miami-Dade County. Three of which are located within the City of Miami limits.

1One of the most exciting sites is the one being offered as the Innovation District/Worldcenter site. This site has 23 million square feet of planned developments which include residential, retail, office and hotel space. The clear goal is offering Amazon a place where employees can live, work and play. Several other factors in play are the potential for Tax Increment Financing with a possible $1 billion value, just in time breaking of ground, office space to meet the 8 million square feet that Amazon needs and transit availability.

In addition, HQ2 would have easy access to the new high speed Brightline rail service which will connect Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando (2020). The Tri-Rail, Metrorail, Metromover and I-95 are all also accessible within minutes.

Locally, there should be excitement about Miami making it to the final list of 20 cities. Cities that include New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Boston and Chicago. If we can attract a whale like Amazon then the future is bright for Miami’s burgeoning (and hot) tech scene. Whether it is Amazon or Apple the Innovation District is real and will bring in a whole new industry to our city. It is fair to say that real estate values, rents and transportation will be impacted if unlike Ahab we can bring one home.