Technology and Real Estate: Streamlining Acquisition Process

Three focuses of my blog are Business/Entrepreneurship, Home/Property Discussions and Technology. Just with every other sector, the real estate world has been impacted and in many ways enhanced by technology. The following guest post is entitled, Technology and Real Estate: Streamlining Acquisition Process.

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Technology has had a profound impact on the real estate industry. It has allowed for more streamlined processes and made it easier than ever to locate your next property. Below are some ways technology can help you during your next real estate transaction.

Online Listings

In the past, finding a property that fits your specific needs could be a challenge. You would have to rely on print advertisements, word-of-mouth, or brokerages to see listings that met your criteria. After which, you would have to set up appointments to view the properties in person.

However, with today’s technology, this is no longer necessary. Most property listings are online, and you can effortlessly search by specific criteria such as location, price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.

It’s an excellent way to save time and streamline your real estate acquisition process.

Virtual Tours

Another advantage of technology in the real estate industry is virtual tours. It can be highly beneficial if you’re looking to purchase a property but live in a different city or state from the property you are interested in.

Virtual tours give you a realistic way to view a property without being physically present. You can view the properties remotely via video walkthroughs, which means that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to get a glimpse of what the property has to offer.

It eliminates the hassle of arranging viewings and makes finding the right property for your needs easier.

Applications

There are different apps to buy a house, and they can be beneficial in your search for the perfect property.

For example, some applications allow you to search for homes based on location and find information about schools, crime rates, and other essential factors. It also provides user-generated reviews of neighborhoods.

These apps show you updated listings in real-time, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on a newly-listed property. It also allows you to make an offer or schedule a viewing in the blink of an eye. So whether you are searching from afar or prefer a more digital approach, it can be a valuable tool to help navigate your search.

Property Checklists

Of course, buying a property is a considerable investment, and you want to be sure that you are making the best decision for your needs. This part is where technology can help.

Nowadays, many online checklists are available to help you evaluate a property and ensure that it meets all of your requirements. These checklists can help you stay organized and on track during your search, so you don’t worry about making mistakes.

Plus, you can refer to these checklists when it’s time to negotiate the purchase price. By having a list of all the must-haves, you can be sure that you are getting the best deal possible on your dream home.

Professional Support Services

Once you’ve found the perfect home for your needs, it’s crucial to have reliable, professional support services to help with the acquisition process.

From working with a realtor and mortgage broker to having an inspection team verify that all systems are in good condition, having an experienced team on your side can help you navigate the buying process with ease.

Many websites offer a list of qualified professionals in your area to ensure that you are working with the best possible team for your needs. It allows you to tap into the resources and expertise of experienced professionals to feel confident that you are making the best decision for your next property.

Loan Matching Services

Technology has also made it easier to get pre-qualified for a mortgage and compare different loan options. In the past, you would have to work with a bank or broker to find out what you qualify for and compare interest rates.

Nowadays, online services can help you do this quickly and easily. You can input your information and estimate the monthly payments for different loan types. It can help you streamline your search and enable you to find a property that fits within your budget.

Besides, it gives you a better understanding of your financing options and allows you to shop around for the best deal.

Automatic Payment Systems

When you’re buying a property, there are a lot of payments that you need to make on time. It can be challenging to keep track of everything, from the deposit to closing costs.

Fortunately, technology has helped you stay on top of your payments with automatic payment systems. You can set up automatic payments for your mortgage, insurance, and other associated costs.

It takes the guesswork and stress to make sure you’re making your payments on time. So you can focus on enjoying your new home.

Technology has revolutionized the real estate industry and made it easier for buyers to find their dream property. From online listings, virtual tours, applications, property checklists, professional support, and loan matching services to automatic payment systems, there are different ways that technology can help streamline your real estate acquisition process. Keep these in mind when you’re ready to start your search.

Creating An Engaging Real Estate Virtual Tour

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In current times, it’s not practical to do everything in person. Likewise, many tasks can be done virtually. Real estate is no different. The following guest post is entitled, Creating an Engaging Real Estate Virtual Tour.

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The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the significance of adding virtual tours of real estate properties for sale or rent. One statistic revealed that they can generate up to 5 million visits a day. These tools can influence the real estate market, provide leads, and boost transaction dollars.

But here’s the problem: almost all real estate websites these days use virtual tours. How do you make yours stand out? Here are the tips you need:

1. Use 2D and 3D

Some virtual tours are simply flat images/photos of rooms interested buyers can view from various angles. These kinds of tours are acceptable, but why settle for them when you can use 2D and 3D?

2D virtual tours run by still photos shot from various angles. Some are set on a virtual “turntable” that allows you to “spin” the image around for an all-around view. 3D virtual tours, however, are far more interesting and engaging. Professionals use special software with CAD-like capabilities to produce highly accurate digital renderings of rooms. Buyers can virtually “walk” through a space and look at everything from every angle-even look under countertops.

2. Elevate with AR and VR

You can also add even more dimension to your virtual tours with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Using augmented reality art adds a layer of digital information on top of a photo. You can use it to show the room in various phases-place furniture where you’d like it in your own space-or show the room in the evening with lights on.

Virtual reality takes AR to the next level. Users experience an immersive 3D world that feels entirely realistic. You can use this technology for things like helping buyers imagine themselves in a space or even showing off the interiors of a building even before builders complete it.

Real estate companies are less likely capable of making 2D and AR virtual tours, but they can hire experts to produce the videos they need.

3. Incorporate Social Media

Consider incorporating social media platforms to increase the reach of your virtual tours. This is a good strategy for getting more engagement for any digital content-including video-you create. After all, Facebook has made it easier and easier for people to share videos.

You can also leverage social media with these ideas:

• Enable users to share your virtual tours on their social media accounts.
• Use hashtags in your descriptions and the photo filenames themselves.
• Add a link to the tour in your email signature.
• Add a note about driving traffic to your site where they can view it.

4. Complement Your Virtual Tours with a Concise Property Description

Remember, your virtual tours aren’t the only content you’ll want to include on your property listings. You should give potential buyers or tenants a quick and engaging rundown of what your place is all about.

Give them specifics about location, amenities, and anything else that will help them make a decision. In fact, many real estate professionals add “quick facts” to their listings.

You can also add the following:

• A Google map of the location
• A short bio or company information about the developer
• A list of comparable properties

5. Use Virtual Tour Videos and Images on Blogs and YouTube

Contrary to what many believe, blogs are not dead. Real estate agents and brokers can still use them to drive traffic and sell properties. But you need to elevate your content using virtual tours.

You can find dozens of blog post ideas about using visual content. But here are a few effective ways you can use virtual tour images and videos on your blogs:

• Feature different rooms in the home or building. For example, you can do this by using 360° photos that readers can pan around. If you have AR or VR tours available, you can use those images to show readers how things will look in their spaces.
• Add a caption for each image and video to provide additional details.
• Incorporate-or encourage readers to contribute-their photos and videos of the property as well as any other memories they may have of it.
• Comment on what buyers love about the place and why they’re sad to see it go.

Meanwhile, a joint study between the National Association of Realtors(NAR) and Google revealed that YouTube is the primary research destination for home shoppers. Creating a YouTube channel using virtual tours can help you reach more prospective buyers.

Virtual tours are more than just photos. They’re an effective way to get buyers excited about a property, whether it’s for sale or already their own. If you haven’t considered using them yet, now is the time to start.

How You Can Become A Better Real Estate Investor

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Many people aspired to become real estate investors but not everyone knows the secrets to becoming successful ones. The following contributed post is entitled, How You Can Become A Better Real Estate Investor.

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Real estate remains a bustling industry in the US, with data indicating that 5.64 million existing houses were sold in 2020 alone. Therefore, it is always an excellent idea to become a real estate investor to benefit from the sustained high demand for property. However, success in this competitive industry demands being on top of your game, so you need to upgrade your knowledge and skills to become a wealthy real estate investor. If you wish to learn more about becoming a better real estate investor, consider the points below.

1. Don’t go in without a plan

Many successful real estate investors agree that it is essential to approach all your activities as a business professional to achieve short and long-term goals in this competitive sector. Consequently, crafting a business plan is an excellent idea since it lets you visualize the big picture. This way, you can maintain focus on significant goals instead of getting sidetracked by minor setbacks. Your plan must include estimated outlays and cash inflows from your rental properties, when to refurbish units, property investment niches, how many units to invest in, and anything else that can influence your investment over time.

2. Partner with the right professionals

It is typically impossible to have all the skills and expertise necessary to be a successful real estate investor on your own irrespective of whether you are into it part-time or full-time. Therefore, partner with the right professionals to help you achieve significant success as a real estate investor. For instance, it would be best to hire an accountant because taxes constitute a substantial portion of any real estate investor’s yearly expenses. Also, understanding the latest tax laws can be complicated and take time from your core business. As such, an accountant is necessary to handle your company’s books and all tax-related issues. Similarly, you can hire real estate lawyers to smoothen the legal transfer of property to buyers, handle any landlord-tenant matters, and take care of any real estate asset registration.

3. Understand the market

Excellent knowledge of the broader and local real estate market is also necessary to become better at real estate investing, so keep this in mind. Therefore, stay abreast of any trends in the market, including mortgage rates, unemployment rates, consumer spending habits, among others. Understanding your market will also help you evaluate the price of any investment property for sale and rent. In addition, you can also know the best ways to renovate properties to make them more appealing to buyers if you understand your market. For instance, there is no need to rip out a great yard to put in a pool if there is a low demand for it in the neighborhood. Similarly, if you renovate property in a family-friendly community, reducing the bedroom count is almost always a bad idea.

4. Ask for referrals

A reported 82% of all real estate transactions come from referrals. Since these referrals generate a significant portion of your business as a real estate investor, it is vital to ask for them to get more clients. However, this requires treating others with respect and being on good terms with your business partners, renters, clients, associates, and many others. Therefore, maintain good relationships to build an excellent reputation that will increase your chances of getting more referrals.

5 Ways You Can Improve The Way You Manage Commercial Real Estate

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. If you have the proper systems in place, commercial real estate can be very lucrative for you. You always want to consider better ways to manage your properties. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Ways You Can Improve The Way You Manage Commercial Real Estate.

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Commercial real estate provides a wide range of investment opportunities. It can be a great area to branch into, but it does come with a lot of challenges too. Even if you have a background in residential real estate, commercial ventures can become an entirely different ballgame.

Finding more effective ways of running your real estate venture can help you stand a better chance of success. Take a look at these five ways you can improve the way you manage commercial real estate.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

1. Stay up to date on the latest trends
If the past year is anything to go by, it’s important to do your homework when it comes to real estate. Keeping on top of what’s going on in the industry can help you be better prepared for future commercial real estate challenges, while also learning lessons from others to help you adopt best practice.

2. Be more diligent with checks
Carrying out credit and background checks is an important part of commercial real estate leasing. Just as you would with residential tenants, you need to make sure these checks are carried out to give yourself as much protection as possible. After the events of the past year, it’s even more important to ensure that tenants have security and income guarantees.

3. Use lease accounting solutions
There are a lot of processes that need to be carried out to manage your commercial real estate venture. Using lease accounting software can help you make lighter work of your accounting, ensuring your records are kept up to date. With many areas of compliance to meet, this can be a much easier way of maintaining multiple accounts.

4. Reserve capital to cover vacancies
The world of real estate can be unpredictable. For commercial real estate businesses, nobody could have predicted that properties would become vacant on a large scale, with many businesses getting rid of their spaces altogether. It’s a difficult time, and many real estate managers have suffered by not having enough capital in reserve in case of vacancies. To protect your business going forward, you need to have a contingency.

5. Take on a more active role
Effective relationships are key for lasting real estate partnerships. Taking on a more active role when it comes to clients can help you be more visible, while also ensuring you know what’s going on. While nobody is expecting you to manually fix the plumbing or take care of maintenance, it can bring you a lot of benefits to put in more face-time with your clients and maintain better communication.

While the industry is currently facing a lot of challenges following the pandemic, there is still a bright and optimistic future for commercial real estate. Focusing on how you manage your business and how you can take it forward can help you secure its future, ensuring it remains a profitable investment for you.

What Will Happen To Commercial Real Estate Now?

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Residential real estate is not the only type. Another major area is commercial real estate and that sector was significantly affected by the events of the last year and a half. The question lingers in terms of what to do with the vast inventory of commercial real estate that may not be needed any longer. The following contributed post is entitled, What Will Happen To Commercial Real Estate Now?

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Due to the challenging recent months, people are arguing whether commercial real estate will be left to rot, or roar back to a thriving success. What hangs in the balance is literally billions if not trillions of dollars. Commercial real estate is essentially the premises of businesses. If businesses have most of their workforce working from home, then what will draw them back into the office once more? Some say that the thing that will bring employees back to the office, isn’t the office itself. The culture of the workspace matters more than ever. So how can commercial real estate help to foster change, bring people back into the skyscrapers and make these empty shells useful again?

Work with your building owner

If you are a business that operates within a high-rise building, working with the owner is vital. The owner will already know the challenges you face. One Of the ways you can team up is to consider the challenges of commercial real estate and the virus. Working with a commercial real estate services company that can make your office virus-free is the very first step. They will assess the area, find out what kinds of threats there may be and completely sweep the area from top to bottom with anti-bacterial solutions. They’ll make a plan and begin to consider what kind of health and safety improvements can be made, in order to give confidence to your workers.

Boardrooms to bedrooms?

One way or another, the empty skyscrapers you see in your city have to make a return on investment (ROI). If the future really does consist of remote working en masse, this will mean that some level of conversion needs to occur. Empty office buildings might have to convert to hotels to some degree. This will be a massive undertaking. It will be something that takes time to complete so it will require a huge amount of commitment. The saying now is, boardrooms to bedrooms. The large flat space that office floors provide, will make it easy to space rooms, create lobbies and create luxury apartments or penthouses to rent. It will boost the tourism industry but what will it do to the business and financial districts that have always been exclusive to men and women in suits? Time will tell.

A great opening

Large to medium-sized businesses take up the bulk of commercial real estate space. So if about 50% of their workers work remotely, what does this mean for small businesses or startups? It means there is a gigantic opening in office space. For the first time ever, office building owners will be giving small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups a fair shake. They will be begging for them to take up some of that empty office space and if they are smart, the small business owners will negotiate a favorable renting contract.

Commercial real estate has it’s back up against the wall and everybody knows it. It’s vital that it adapts, adjusts and is willing to change to the demand for hotel conversion, more renting space, and small business office spaces.

Selling Real Estate? Here’s Why You’re Doing It Wrong!

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. In the business of real estate, there is a large selling component and there’s an art to it. The following contributed post is entitled, Selling Real Estate? Here’s Why You’re Doing It Wrong!

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There’s no denying that real estate is a lucrative market and one that will always remain profitable, even during times of economic woe. You’re likely reading this because you sell properties, and you want to be at the top of your game.

Did you know that even the most experienced of real estate salespeople end up making common mistakes? Whether you work for a realtor or you have a property portfolio and buy and sell properties, you need to read and keep in mind the following points:

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You Aren’t Using the Right Technology

The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re using the right technology when selling properties. For example, are you taking aerial photographs of each property you sell? If not, now’s the time to get started.

Aerial photographs help sell properties, irrespective of whether they are houses, commercial buildings, or industrial factories. Such photos give potential buyers a greater perspective and understanding of a property’s external layout.

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a lot to take aerial photographs. You could use an innovative device like the Sky Viper Nano Drone with a tiny camera attached or a larger drone such as the DJI Mavic Pro.

You Aren’t Pricing to Sell

Let’s face it: you want to make as much profit as possible on each property you sell. However, if you set your prices too high, you will most likely price your properties out of the market. The last thing you want to do is sit on real estate for a long time!

That’s why you should conduct thorough market research and price each property accordingly. Doing so will mean you have a relatively quick turnaround for each house, apartment, office block, or industrial premises that you offer for sale.

Properties Aren’t Ready to Use

Sometimes you might want to ‘flip’ properties – buy them at a low price and sell them on for a profit. However, the one thing that puts most potential buyers off properties is when they can’t use those properties immediately.

It’s worth investing some time and money in repairing essential issues. Doing so will help you achieve the profits you want; just make sure you are wise with your repairs and don’t spend money on unnecessary repairs.

The purpose of preparing properties for sale is that you want to give buyers a blank canvas, ready for them to make their mark. You don’t want to sell something that’s essentially a complete restoration project.

You Haven’t Put Effort Into Your Marketing

Lastly, you should always spend some time marketing your properties for maximum effect. You may have a property’s details on your website, for instance, but where else are you doing your marketing?

There are many ways to advertise a residential, commercial, or industrial property for sale. Be sure to spend some time researching the most effective methods so that you’ll end up with plenty of interest and, hopefully, quick sales. Good luck!

Finding Success In Real Estate Investing

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Real Estate is a powerful wealth-building tool for those who know how to use it. There are several keys that separate the successful real estate investors from the unsuccessful ones. The following contributed post is entitled, Finding Success In Real Estate Investing.

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Real estate is not as much of a maze as some make it out to be. It is undeniably an expensive way to start investing, and there are some easy ways to slip up and make poor choices with your investments. However, as far as assets go, the property market is reliable right now, and here are a few tips on how to get the best out of it.

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Treat it like a business
As with land investments, it’s a good idea to know where you’re planning to go with your real estate investing. You are going to want to set financial goals and layout a plan on how you’re going to get there. This means knowing how much money you’re going to spend and budgeting for not only the purchase and selling process but the marketing and overheads on services like working with property management or real estate agents. It also means building relationships that can help you grow your opportunities. Don’t treat real estate investments like a savings fund you can sit on, you’re going to want to be active in growing and managing it to the best possible outcome.

Have a plan for every property
There are a variety of different ways to make money with property investments, and different properties might fit different strategies. As such, consider the kind of property you’re purchasing and how it might be most likely to make money. When it comes to luxury spaces like The Towers, for instance, then offering long-term lease options or using it as a vacation rental might make the most sense. Home renovation flips are another popular way to make money on real estate and are often better saved for houses that are in an area that starting to become more financially successful and developed. Meanwhile, long-term residential rentals are becoming much more common and reliable in areas that might not be high cost, but still attractive enough to bring in people who want to live there but can’t afford the mortgage.

Don’t be afraid to outsource
When it comes to leases, rentals, and tenants, you don’t necessarily have to handle all of the property management side of the business yourself. If you’re new to property investment but you want to make sure that you’re managing them as effectively as possible and don’t mind spending a share of the income, then property management teams like Savills can ensure that all of your and your tenants’ needs are taken care of. For that reason, it’s a good idea to do plenty of networking in the real estate space and get to know the different service providers who know their areas and could potentially offer you some benefit.

If you have the capital, then real estate investing can be a sensible way to make use of it. You just need to ensure that you have the plan and the commitment to go through with it. It’s an investment that’s easy to lose money on if you take your eye off the ball, so ensure you don’t do that.