#1 On Google? A Waste of Time of worth the Time?

OK, here we go again. Three new e-mails today with the promise to get me on the first page of Google. I saw another seminar invite with the subject the same. I know the Internet is now the #1 place most BUYERS start to search for listings……. but do they REALLY search Google looking for an AGENT? I would say 100% NO.

I understand that this Internet Google “guru” is touting numbers like “95% of buyers today start their home search on the Internet” and so fourth. But the fact is, MOST of that 95% starts on the Internet alright, but that traffic and “hit number” is driven by sites like Realtor.com and homes.com for example. The buyer finds the house and calls the agent that has the listing. Investing on the enhanced listings on Realtor.com for example and having a good amount of listings to input is MY #1 source of buyers leads.

Don’t be misled. Most of those touting this Google deal have never sold real estate before. I drive traffic to my own website with my own marketing. In 2010, in Tampa Florida, one of the worst realty markets in the USA where unemployment is around 18% and over 60% of homeowners are upside down, I had 115 sales sides. NONE of that business came from Google.

I’m not saying a good position on Google will not look good on a listing presentation, but I can easily overcome such a minor obstacle in my interview process.

To learn more, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com


And What Did The Banks Do With The Money?

broken house

So the government spent ONE TRILLION to bail out the banks!  I found myself thinking today, why did they not bail out the real estate market instead?  It is estimated that it would take less than 800 Billion to bring all “upside down” property owners “right-side up” and that was a better route to go.  By bailing out the real estate market, it would have bailed out the banks to a degree at the same time.  It would have been a long term, win-win for America. The economy would have been rolling by now. After all, when President Bill Clinton pressed the banks to lower lending standards, it allowed way too many unqualified buyers to buy real estate.  Suddenly there were too many buyers and not enough houses.  Did they learn nothing from the savings and loan scandal? The banks were to blame for what happened to a larger degree.  You can make a case for others as well, but the banks should carry the bulk of the blame for the meltdown.

I believe President Obama made one of the biggest blunders in America’s history by not righting the upside down real estate market and this is the reason: China, the main buyer of our U.S. mortgages is no longer going to purchase those notes effective mid 2010.  At that point, the banks will have no choice but to raise interest rates to offset the monetary loss from China and to pay for the risk of holding those once fashionable loans.

The last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 WAS looking pretty good….. until the China announcement.   What was a recovering, but still unstable realty market could take another downturn in 2010.

Quite simply, about 10% of homeowners (those upside down) may just take a walk and send in their keys.  After all, they can RENT the same caliber home now for much less.  Those investors who buy those foreclosures are the ones winning.  Mr. Obama wanted to protect “main street” but it looks like he took care of the banks who caused this mess with the Secretary of State’s husband.  His loan modification program? Nothing.  Refinancing adjustable rate loans for borrowers? Nothing.  The government was better off letting the banks fail and doing nothing that bailing them out.  They are back to the old ways of GREED, GREED, GREED.

I’m not really certain at this point of Senator McCain would have been any different if he would have been elected.  What the country really needed was a TRUE right wing conservative that would have allowed the system to correct itself.  I really can’t see what all of this mounting debt will ever be helpful.  We have given our keys to China, and they really own the USA right now.  The banks have done NOTHING to bail out the average American yet took the bailout money to fix their own mess.  One that they created.

We were promised “Change”….. what we needed was REAL Change.  This is not a short-term fix. The President seems like he is already running for re-election and taking the short-term steps to ensure a small boost in the economy.  Not the long-term stability of our great nation.

America needs to reevaluate.


Full Disclosure…… to your Agents


As many of us know, franchise fees for MOST large real estate firms (not Exit Realty) are getting out of hand.  Six percent of your gross commission, right off the top seems like a large cut for what you get (do you really get anything?).  If an agent was on a 70/30, they are really on a 64/36.  It’s understandable really since the broker HAS to pay the money……….. right?

What if everything is not what is seems?  What if that broker had an agreement with the franchise that if the company hit a certain production goal, like for example, $50,000,000, that  the broker would get 2/3 of the franchise fee BACK at the end of the year.  If the broker never mentioned that to the agents that work at that firm, do you think that is fair?

What if the agent cut a “side deal” with a client to cut the broker out of money.  Do you think that would make the broker angry?  If you were an agent that made $100,000 and paid $6,000 in franchise fees and your broker got back $4,000 from your fees at the end of the year and forgot to tell you, how would you feel?  They tell you that “they can’t give you that split” because of franchise fees and they forget to tell you that if the company hits a certain goal, they get the money “kicked back” to them.  That practice would be just W R O N G.

That is why I love EXIT.  Franchise fees are simple, low and CAPPED.  I came from a big franchise and I hit my “cap” almost overnight it seemed and it beats the hell out of the $57,000 in franchise fees my team payed in 2008………………………. and “what if” my old broker got 2/3 of that back and forgot to tell me?  NO WONDER EXIT REALTY IS GROWING!  They treat their agents like they are part of the family because they (WE) are! We get paid for bringing in agents, we get referrals from other agents, we help the company grow, they help us grow!

Why would you work anywhere else?  Where else can you make over 100%?  As a matter of fact, you can make 200%, 300%, 400% and 500% if you are with EXIT.  Yea, you can make $50,000 selling real estate and $500,000 from single level residuals.  If you don’t know the EXIT formula, trust me, your current broker does not want you to know and things are just the way they like it because if you knew all of the facts, you would sprint, not walk to your nearest Exit office and join!

For more information about Exit Realty, go to: http://www.headofrealestate.com

This Blog certainly did not upset any Exit Brokers, but I can imagine how many Brokers for those “other guys” would really be upset that a BIG, well kept secret of the big corporations, somehow leaked out…… assuming that this actually was the case. 

I say, “read between the lines” and join Exit!

A Website Is Now Your Resume’

Many Agents are still in the 1990’s.  Some of the websites I see from top agents are really a disappointment.  Agents should really focus on their websites as they can tell a potential client what kind of an Agent you really are.  Do you have the same “store bought” website as five million other agents or are you making an impact and using your site as a resume’ ?  Your site should include some information about YOU. Most sites I see are all so “generic” looking.  They have all of these links to information not pertaining to the Agent or how they work!  There is so much content you can add to your website in this day and age.  You can add video, news clips or anything that gives the client more information about YOU.  A quality website is your footprint on the realty world and you must spend the money and make the time to show your clients that you are the best choice when selecting a Realtor to represent them.  I feel like my site is state of the art and it really enhances my regular farming marketing that drives traffic to that site.  Remember, your marketing should drive traffic to your site.  If you have a quality site and you drive clients to it, the business will follow.  To see mine, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com and check it out.  Feel free to leave any feedback on how you think it can be improved.  I think video content is a MUST in this new era of marketing.

Sellers, USE A LOCKBOX if You Want To Sell

I find it 100% crazy that Sellers don’t want to use a lockbox in this day and age.  What REALLY blows my mind are agents who actually propose the idea of not using a lockbox.  Instead, they, or a member of their staff attend the showing. HOW STUPID.  I don’t even show listings that don’t have a lockbox.  Those are the FIRST “X” I put on a property, the one that says “Listing Agent Must Accompany.”  AS IF they have control over my buyer.

How about this, your buyer is behind schedule (sound familiar Realtors?).  Now this other agent is blowing up my phone asking “where are you? You said between 1 and 1:30, I have another showing after this.”  Now the buyer shows up and they have 100% attitude and rush the buyer out. Maybe the buyer liked the house, but now he is mad at the other agent and the innocent Seller, who was miss-advised by the listing agent is the victim.

Ego and control issues. An electronic lockbox is safe and effective.  The ingress and egress is documented and e-mailed to the listing agent so they can call and ask for feedback.  The are made for this scenario, for selling houses.  They can be set to not be functional for a period of time (after 8:00 P.M. and active again at 10:00 A.M. for example.  There is an additional code they can add for even more security…… but those listings with a “CBS” code are the SECOND ones to get an “X” off the showing list.

Lockboxes are to make houses easy to show so they are easy to sell.  If the listing agent is trying to control the buyer, MY BUYER, how difficult are they going to be to work with. A lockbox is a MUST if you want as many qualified buyers in your home as possible. This will result in a faster sale and for more money.  It is a proven FACT.

For more information on Tampa Real Estate, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Craig Witt on: I’m Still In Shock Over The Exit Realty Concept

Thanks to Craig Witt at http://activerain.com/blogs/craigwitt for the reblog!

Here’s what Craig had to say:

Each week our newest associate from Tampa, Vince Arcuri, posts a blog about his experience since joining EXIT Realty. So, why is this blog-worthy and why would I re-blog his comments? Simple, Vince was #1 in the World for ERA in 2008 and left to join EXIT Realty; a true professional Realtor that now realizes he has joined the best Real Estate company that has true culture and puts their associates first. We underpromise and overdeliver on technology, training, systems and tools that can make your life as a Realtor more productive and profitable.

We know every Realtor has options, but consider this: You can get most anywhere with either a Ford, GM, Chrysler or even a Ferrari in a reasonable amount of time. But, what if I offered you a helicopter? Would that change your perception of efficient travel? EXIT Realty is the helicopter; the choice is clear and the choice is yours. Put your ego aside like others are and take a look at our business model. You will quickly find that it is one that vests brokers and agents together in a partnership for each others success. Our foundation is our culture and our residual system is a bonus.

Read Vince’s latest comments and stay tuned for more to come.

Check out Craig’s blog at: http://activerain.com/blogs/craigwitt

So You Invested In Real Estate Circa 2005?

So you purchased some investment property in 2005. The Realtor who sold it to you is out of the business now and your mortgage broker has a CLOSED sign on the door.  You purchased a home for $225,000 with 100% financing and now that home is worth $125,000.  You have a tenant in the home, but you are looking at a negative number every month.  What should you do?  Here is my solution….. BUY ANOTHER ONE or two. Hire a well qualified Agent so try and “steal” a few more in that same neighborhood as your other investment.  See if you can buy one now UNDER MARKET for like $100,000. If you buy two at this price, you already made up 50% of your loss on the first one.  You can rent for a bit of a positive cash flow to offset the monthly loss on the first one!

Flash forward to 2014.  Five years from now, if our economy is clicking again and it should be, real estate is moving along.  Those $125,000 houses are now worth (speculation)   $165,000-$175,000.  Remember, you paid $100,000 for them.  Now you have two houses with a $75,000 positive equity each and one with a $50,000 negative equity.   You still made a six figure profit.

Real estate is like the stock market.  You buy a stock, say Walmart, at $100 per share.  If you think it hit bottom at $50. per share, why not buy the heck out if it when it’s down.  If you believe in Walmart, and I assume you do because you bought stock in it, why not stay the course?  If you bought 100 shares at $100, then the more you should buy at $50.  Double or triple the amount!  It’s how you accumulate wealth in this country! Stock and Real Estate speculation.

Never has there been a real estate or stock market bubble that shot up rapidly and then took a sharp right hand turn!  What goes up too fast, will come down in a crash.  This real estate market we are in is par for the course.  It is a “Buyers Market” and I ask, why did you buy in a Sellers Market?  You BUY when everyone else is SELLING (2009), you SELL when everyone else is BUYING (2005). Now is the time to rectify your mistake by doing the same thing you did in 2005….. buy real estate.  This time, it is the right move at the right time!

Buy real estate in Florida NOW. Tampa is even better. Those markets that were up in 2005 the highest, crashed the farthest and will be the first to come back!  To learn more about investing in Florida, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com