Young couple preparing real estate presentation

In the real estate business, the old adage stands – “If you list, you last!”

It doesn’t matter how you dress up your presentation or how many bells and whistles you add to it, if your presentation does not impress – you won’t get many listings. This simple 3-Step guide can help you rock your presentations and get more listings.

Step 1 – The phone call Getting accurate preliminary information is a prerequisite for your presentation. Having a list of questions ready when a prospect calls you about the possibility of listing their house, is step one. Very often, the first phone call from a homeowner is the place to gather as much information as possible about the homeowner and the property, regardless of whether you plan to follow a one-step or two-step presentation process.

The more the information you get, the better your chances of cross-referencing the listing and understanding the various nuances attached to a sale. Don’t hesitate to ask simple questions such as:

  • Where did you hear about me?
  • Why are you selling your property?
  • By when do you need to sell? Is there an urgency to the sale?
  • Do you have a price in mind?
  • How did you arrive at the price? How flexible are you with this price?
  • Are there any financial considerations I should know?
  • Does the property have any legal issues that can affect listing?
  • Has your home had any renovations, additions or major repairs?
  • What makes your home stand out from your neighbors’ homes?
  • Can I meet with all the decision-makers?

Step 2 – The comps With the basic information, you will already have some idea of property, location, and its Saleability. But without knowing the home-seller’s area, it won’t be of much use. So, the next step would be a drive-by of sold listings in the home-sellers area and visit every home in the area that is on the market. This is the best way to ensure that you’re aware of all of the various negatives and positives of the listing presentation itself and also other homes in the seller’s neighborhood.

Hidden damage to the exterior or patio can be a damper to the listing, just as dilapidated signage or broken lighting can. Just driving through the area, you can come to understand the general state of affairs in the neighborhood. This will also help to understand what investment into the property will yield the best return.

With all of this information, you can move to step three – compiling the CMA for your new listing.

Step 3 – Compiling the presentation  Whether you choose a fancy presentation on your laptop or the older printed & bound format, a good listing presentation is like a good book with a “beginning, middle and end” and it should engage the seller from the first page itself. Other than the presentation, pay attention to these “deal-makers”.

  • Solid delivery: Rehearse your pitch a number of times before you arrive at the seller’s home, so it comes across as confident and convincing. Engage the homeowner by asking questions, smiling, explaining, and guiding. But do not be overpower at the same time.
  • Positive body language: Engage with the homeowner in a friendly manner and ask probing questions, without coming across as overbearing or aggressive.Maintain eye contact, especially while making an important point and demonstrate concurrence by nodding your head or smiling where appropriate.
  • Be attentive: In order to get the full picture, you truly need to remember what the homeowner is telling you. If you do not have an answer ready, make a note and tell them you will get back to them – and do that. Asking the right question, and noting responses demonstrates that you are listening and what they the seller is saying is indeed important to you.
  • A single agent please: Even if you are teaming with two or more agents, only one should go on the listing presentation. More than one is overkill and can be construed as a desperate move on your part.

There is no beating the feeling of walking out of a homeowner’s house knowing you absolutely nailed that listing presentation.

Follow this simple guide and make it happen!



Aside from selling their houses in the shortest time and for the most money, many first-time sellers really aren’t sure what to expect, from their listing agent! The truth is, what you can expect are the very things that a good agent is uniquely qualified to deliver. Focus on these four areas, to get the best from your agent.

Need For Speed One of the most important attributes when selling your home is closing the deal within a specific time frame. This is as true today as it was back in 2011 or 2012, based on a survey of real estate consumers conducted by The National Association of Realtors®. The need for speed is apparent in most transactions and usually presents a delicate situation for sellers, as timing is largely dependent on price. Experienced agents will communicate your sales proposition to potential buyers, without compromising the opportunity: “Do you want to sell quickly? Or do you want to sell for the best price possible?” With solid market knowledge, sales experience and networking, a good agent will know how to balance the two and work the deal to your advantage.

Beefier Marketing As a seller, marketing your property to the maximum number of qualified sellers is an important requirement, as it opens up the opportunity exponentially. Even though an improving housing market is speeding up home sales over past years, it is still no easy task to sell your single-family home, multi-family home or apartment without the right marketing plan. And as a first-time seller, the perfect plan may not be in your reach.

Good agents are experts at varying the depth and breadth of the marketing efforts required to get the result expected by the seller. If you feel the proposed plan looks skinny, task your agent with a beefier marketing plan to ensure your property gets the widest and most targeted exposure possible. Ask your agent to share the listing presentation with you and ensure go it goes beyond the basics of listing on the MLS, with specific marketing tactics targeting specific demographics of potential buyers.

Pricing To Win The most challenging part of the listing presentation is establishing what your house is worth on the market as the list price (or even a price range) can make or break your chance at getting the best deal. As a seller you will have conducted your own research on homes for sale in the neighborhood but should still expect this magical number from your agent! Experienced agents know the home buying-selling landscape well and are more in touch with buyers’ expectations. They can greatly simplify the process of coming to agreement with the buyer about the best. price. Ask your agent to benchmark a sale price for a neighboring property and spend some time researching and validating the price to get more comfortable with your agent’s way of working.

 Finding The Buyer As a first- time homeowner, you may have big expectations but not enough knowledge of the home- selling process. For example, you may think it makes little sense to widen the marketing efforts to other agents when it just be focused to the public at large. Despite what you may have read up on or been advised, it is the agent who usually finds the buyer, and sometimes that can be another agent, who will bring in the buyer…. hence the need to go beyond the search for individual buyers! Despite a killer presentation, full-on property marketing and individual sales effort, finding the buyer is what your agent can do best for you.

 Pricing your property, knowing buyers’ expectations, meeting those expectations and following through successfully is what you can expect from a good listing agent. Use these tips to get the best out of yours.


Can’t make it to the beach? Why not bring the beach home to you! These simple and stylish beach-style decoration tips, accessories and painting styles can add a seaside feel to your single-family home easily.

Bright light and colors. Combine crisp whites with contrasting accents in bright colors to create an illusion of costal living. Aqua-green accents cushions, walls and throws recreate the ocean’s blues and whitewashed horizontal planking gives off a feel of old Gulf-front beach houses. An emphasis on color and light enhances the beach-front feel. Go big on using bright colors the kitchen island, matched with an outdoor lattice. Bright sunlight on white cabinets, and warm wood floors provide the required balance. Why not paint the highlight wall teal blue, setoff against a geometric flooring pattern in terracotta and white?

The power of white. Another alternative is to keep everything refreshing white from ceiling to floor, to give your home a light airy beach feel. Extend the white theme to wood planking, window drapes, sheers, sofas, throw pillows…just about anything! In addition to providing a neutral base, the ample white spaces bring out hidden opportunities to highlight the décor in your home effectively. A large and bright wall painting featuring marine motifs forms a great focus point in the family room.

Glossy wood floors and other wood accents on the mantle bring out the feel of sea-going yachts. Tiled backsplashes in blue, green or jade and beaded-board cabinet fronts with stainless steel accents in the kitchen add elegance and sophistication

Seafaring style accessories & motifs. You’d be surprised just how much of a difference adding just well-thought of and carefully selected seaside reference, such as a palm-patterned rug can make! Match it to seashell-print cushions and coastal artwork over shelving, filled to the brim with shell frames. A tasteful collection of seashells and starfish adds an organic accent to any room. Oversize glass vases filled with ocean treasures can add a unique style highlight in a seemingly dull room.

Bring the outdoors in. Louvered doors (and windows) can easily transform seemingly mundane surroundings into a romantic alfresco setting. Louvered doors evoke a nostalgic look of old beach cottages and can be opened to extend your room to outdoors. Canvas curtains add softness and additional protection. A painted conch shell paper weight can highlight the glass-topped wicker table and inviting ottoman recliners.

 Don’t hesitate to try out these ideas and bring the beach to your home! And remember, there is no limit to the simple things you can do to transform your home to a beautiful beach home and increase its value over time.


Is your single-family estate home a little too lonely without the kids? Are the noisy neighbors in your condo proving too much? Maybe the security arrangements in your duplex or multiplex home leave a lot to be desired? Or you just want to own a home in serene surroundings with gorgeous views to tranquil courtyards, lush greenery and your own private pool in a desirable community…

These and other reasons are why choosing a villa home can prove the ideal solution to your housing needs, along with the perks of a privileged lifestyle.

Amenities. Most large residential communities with villas offer homeowners a raft of facilities within the compound. You can enjoy access to fitness pools for swimming laps or water aerobics if they are featured. If biking is your thing, offer miles of walking and bicycle trails with bike tracks. Or just cast a rod and reel into the lake from the designated zones and keep the kids busy. Other facilities like basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, or a large, grass field is perfect for playing baseball or kickball can cater to sports enthusiasts. And if you are an avid golfer, you can plan a great day out if your community has an on-site golf course and putting green. In South Florida you’d be surprised how many premium residential communities do, along with community centers and even a village community center.

 Security & privacy. Villas in gated communities are the next best alternative to private villas. In addition to the myriad amenities, you also enjoy the benefit of 24×7 security for your family. Since villas offer you your own space where you can go about your routine, you need not worry about prying eyes. Yoga in the garden or a romantic dinner on the terrace – you don’t need to cast a second glance! And forget about rushing out to put away the children’s’ bicycles and toys…they will still be there in the morning.

Lifestyle. After a busy day spent dealing with the hassles of life, nothing can be more welcoming than coming home to a comfortable and tranquil villa home that affords you all the luxury to unwind in peace and quiet. Maybe the wife has planned on mingling with a few like-minded neighbors over drinks over the weekend…heck you can fire up the barbeque and just add to the fun! Potluck or roast, the neighbors will swing past (or just walk up to your home!). And you can crank up that stereo without thinking twice.

Investment benefits. Villas located in safe neighborhoods that are family-friendly, pet-friendly and secure are sought-after property, as they are close to everything you need, yet away from the hectic suburban sprawl. Unlike apartments, townhouses, multiplexes or condo complexes that can lose value over time, the capital gains associated with your villa will rarely decline, which makes for an excellent real estate investment. Of course, one needs to invest in maintaining the property to enhance its perceived value. And when it is your own villa, the opportunities are limitless. And eventually, you get to decide just how much you want to invest in speccing up the property.

So, whether it is the casual and carefree lifestyle that appeals or the more prestigious high-end living option, villas in residential communities give you freedom to decide what’s best for you.


Sixty-eight percent of US households own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). If you are one of the about 85 million families, living with pets in your home, here’s a few tips on how to make your home a pet sanctuary.

  VIP (very important pet) entrance All us pet-lovers know well enough our furry friends do not necessarily follow our routines! Just when you have curled up with that favorite read, your pet just has to go, and you have to let him out. And then, it has to be let back in!

Do: Invest in a dog flap in the kitchen door (or another door opening onto the porch or rear of the home). Cats know just know how not to litter, and rarely need attention. But dogs are a different story! As your puppy grows up, it will only go to the designated spot, without you.

Don’t: Don’t expect your adorable pet to remain adorable for too long, when the puddles start to appear with alarming regularity. And you only have yourself to blame for not taking the dog out when it just had to go.


 Furniture & fittings Homeowners with pets must make special considerations for the many accidents that can happen with clumsy paws, extra-wiggly tails and over-excited furry bodies in the house. A little attention to furniture and safety can make all the difference. A safe home makes for a happy home for your pets and you. 

Do: Plan your living space with the needs of your pets. No matter how much you invest in training, pets aren’t always aware of their surroundings and they don’t mean to cause trouble intentionally. Still, think of re-locating furniture items and objects that can be obstacles for your pets when they are bounding around, or items that can pose a risk as  falling objects.

 Don’t: Avoid furniture with sharp edges or tables that sit too low – the candles, glassware and other breakables are at risk if a tail wags too close! Avoid furniture items that serve as an invitation to kitty to scale and knock-over in doing so. Items that are even slightly imbalanced can easily tip over with the lightest brush. Use stair-guards for clumsy paws just as you did when the kids were growing up!


Upholstery How likely is my upholstery likely to gather fur? Think about this, and then think more carefully about your choice of fabrics!

Do: Invest in quality and hard-wearing textiles that can withstand the test of paws and claws! No need to go for an industrial feel, but opt for smooth finish tapestries, leathers and synthetic fibers which are easier to clean, and remove your pet’s fur from. If hair stuck on sofa fabric is a visible annoyance (and can be for many tidiness freaks!), use a roller brush to catch the fibers and dispose of them easily.

Don’t: Avoid using fabrics like silk, corduroy, velvet and velour, since pet hair tend to cling to them, and prove difficult to remove. Delicate materials that could be damaged by your adorable pet, like silk, linen and lace can be avoided.


Flooring & Walls In the early months when your puppy/kitten is still learning to toilet-train, flooring that is easy to clean – should be your first choice. Even later, when your dog will stomp right in with muddy paws, leaving marks all over, a wet mop will be all that is needed to restore the floors to squeaky clean. Walls without textures will help as they won’t attract fur when your pet enjoys a nice rub against them.

Do: Laminate flooring or synthetic wood parquet is the best choice of flooring. Ceramic and stone tiles also make for an excellent choice, owing to their simple cleaning requirements. They will also help to keep your pet cool in the hot Florida summers. Choose walls without textures and opt for paint finishes that repel fur – semi gloss, for example.

Don’t: Hardwood floors scratch and stain easily, requiring frequent attention to maintain their attractive look. And… they also need immediate cleaning should a little puddle appear! And little puddles will appear in the early months when your puppy is still finding its way around the house. Make things easy for the little scoundrel and also for yourself!


Kitchens Pet friendly interiors are not only about keeping your living space accessible and comfortable for your pets but they should allow the beauty of your well-appointed home to come through. Your super-stylish kitchen is quite not the same with unsightly doggy/kitty bowls littering the floor. Worse still… food bits!

Do: Ensure your kitchen cabinets and furniture has sufficient ground clearance. This will allow you to slide feeding bowls underneath the edges, bringing them out only at feeding time. Position the water bowl out of the way, and around a corner (if possible) but within reach. So your thirsty pet always has fresh water, without sloshing around in the bathroom.

Don’t: Leaving leave food out in the open. After all your furry friend would really love to sink his teeth into that juicy steak and tempting him hardly fair! Also, do not leave pet feeding-bowls out in plain sight. Not only does it spoil the look but can also attract unwanted pests.


Pet beds A comfortable pet bed is an essential element of today’s pet friendly interior home design. In addition to giving your pets a sense of belonging, pet beds also help to train and discipline your furry friends by setting boundaries.

Do: Choose a pet bed made of durable and hard-wearing materials, yet comfortable enough, creating a relaxing space when your pet gets back indoor after a hectic day of romping around outdoors! Colors and fabric design are important so as to differentiate your pet’s bed from the rest of the furniture. And make sure to wash it out once in a while to maintain hygiene and looks.

Don’t: Try to match with your general decor, keeping with the style of house. A modern and contemporary designed home merits a simple, more elegant design to blend with the rest of your interiors. Save the thick rug for a more traditional home!

Follow these tips to keep your beautiful home looking neat and tidy, and let your pets enjoy their sanctuary without the fuss!


Six simple tips to find better real estate, whether you’re looking for a property for your business, a home for your family, or getting into real estate investing. But remember, everything must begin with a great deal!

1.Foreclosed property deals What is foreclosure property – you may ask? Put simply, when an owner is unable to keep up with mortgage payments over a period of time, the bank (or lender) will ultimately repossess the home and if it occupied, the people living in it will be legally evicted. Once the home is empty, the lender will use the services of a local real estate to list it and sell it. Often at largely discounted prices. Banks, mortgage firms and other lenders are often quick to offer large discounts just to get the liability off their books. Buyers can negotiate further discounts if they are willing to rehab the home, depending on the quantity and value of repairs needed. Talk to the local real estate agents about the foreclosures in your area and start checking them out. Foreclosure properties make for some of the best deals, and often with a fat profit to make.

Also read: http://www.premierhomes4you.com/blog/invest-and-profit-in-foreclosure-property/

2. Pre-foreclosure deals So, you can get a great deal on foreclosed properties, but there is money to be made even with Pre-foreclosures. In the real estate business, it is possible to buy a home before the foreclosure is finalized and the homeowner is evicted. Buying a property during this period known as “pre-foreclosure”. It is a common enough practice employed by many real estate investors and can be a good way to find motivated homeowners.  Consider this – few things in life are more motivating for a homeowner than knowing they may likely be physically removed from their home.

3. Need for speed In real estate, quite often, it’s not the highest offer for a property that gets accepted, it’s simply the first offer. This may sound contrary to what you would expect, but if you are looking for a great deal, you may need to move quickly Get pre-approval from your bank. With a pre-approval you will have access to put up the funds quickly if a deal presents itself.  In some areas, a single house for sale might get a dozen or more offers in the first several days. If you spot a deal that checks out, make an offer the same day if possible. Remember, you are not the only one searching out great deals!

4. Contact potential home-sellers direct If you have the gift of the gab and are good at making genuinely convincing sales pitches, forget the multiple listing service and contact owners directly, asking them to consider selling their home. There is a chance a good percentage of potential home-sellers will entertain that option. Strike up a win; win deal before they list the home with a real estate agent, and there is better returns all around.

5. Target the fence-sitters Fence-sitters, or people who are simply un-decided about what they want to do with their current real estate are one of the best kinds of people to target. They could be absentee owners (someone who owns a property but doesn’t live there for one reason or another. Or they could be landlords, who are have not got any concrete plans for a property. Or even owners who may have inherited a property, and unsure of how to proceed.  Use online public records to look up owners of properties.  Or even consider using an aggregator like ListSource.com

 6. Follow the golden rule Remember the golden rule: You make your money when you buy. Whether you are looking to buy an investment property, purchase a home for yourself or buy real estate for other reasons, you must find a great real estate deals. And finding good deals is largely a “numbers game”.

Real estate deals follow a typical sales funnel. As they make their way down the funnel, the numerous leads that came in get filtered out, leaving just a handful of qualified and solid leads at the bottom. For example, your funnel might look like this:

  • Raw leads – 300
  • Leads remaining after fitting primary criteria (location, budget) – 150
  • Leads remaining after secondary criteria – 50
  • Leads remaining after viewing and analysis – 20
  • Offers made – 10
  • Offers rejected 9
  • Deals secured – 1

Notice that, in the above funnel, only one property deal was made out of the 300 raw leads that came in. So, if you are targeting more deals at the bottom, you need to improve each aspect of your funnel, starting with the quality and number of leads at the top.

Follow these six simple tips to find better real estate and start finding incredible deals today!


If you want to build up your property portfolio on the assumption that any rental property will fit the bill – you could be in for a shock! There are various factors to consider when investing in a specific rental property and you must move forward only after ticking all the boxes. Lucrative as some rental properties may seem at first glance, only after taking ownership will the realities surface. You will spend time dealing with property and tenant issues nonstop. They will present problems throughout the tenure of ownership and impact your bottom line, even as you try to liquidate them eventually. Buying the discount property a few towns over from where you live will no longer be the good idea it seemed at the time.

But the right rental property can completely change all that, generating handsome returns over the long-term. Use our tips to spot a winning proposition.

The difference between Deals and good deals A rental deal may look great when presented to you on paper but the realities could be very different. With rentals, Rentability is the first thing to consider, leading to the type of tenants the property will attract. A rental in a poor market will invariably generate poor tenants. A better property in a better area will get you the desired rental. Know the difference and be prepared to pay a little more if you need to.

 Negotiate the lowest purchase price Every dollar on a rental deal is important. Contrary to what some investors believe, purchase price is just as important on a rental property as on a rehab deal. If you will finance your purchase with a bank loan or mortgage, a higher purchase price will increase your monthly outgoings and lower your cash flow. If on the other hand, you can negotiate the price 5% lower than the market value, you will reduce not just your capital requirement but also your cash flow. Don’t cheap out on a good deal, but at the same time, try to negotiate the lowest purchase price.

Focus on rentals dollars Always shortlist properties with the maximum cash flow potential. With a flip, all you need is one interested buyer to make an offer, based on the property’s evaluation – and it is done. But it is a different ball game when it comes to rentals. A new kitchen or updated flooring may make the property look great but it may not convince prospective tenants to pay more than fair market value.  200 lost rental dollars every month will hit your cash flow by 12,000 dollars in 5 years! That could amount to 15% loss on a 100,000-dollar home.

Saleability Before making a decision, you need to consider where the property will be a few years down the road. Simply basing your decision on current market trends and sales trends is a risky way of going about building your portfolio. Against a backdrop of ever-fluctuating real estate trends, it is hard to predict when the bottom will suddenly drop out. What happens then? Are you going to be in a position to sell for a higher amount? Or atleast break even on your investment? Location, commercial development and overall land values will affect your property’s market value, but without upgrades your property won’t rent or sell for top dollar. Traditional home buyers will consider the same probabilities when evaluating your property, as potential renters. Budget the cost of maintenance and upgrades to your property in the interest of saleability.

Have an exit strategy Most buyers don’t think about the worst-case scenario but truth being told, the best of rental properties eventually run their course. Despite best intentions, you may face a situation where you may have to cash out on your property. Hopefully you will never get to that stage, but if your property is limited in its appeal to find the right buyer, a quick sale is highly unlikely. You will have limited rent flexibility and if you decide to sell, the market won’t allow you to get top dollar. Always have Plan B in place, based on the worst-case scenario.

All rental properties are not created equal, but knowing the difference makes all the difference!


Florida ranked among the top 10 states for highest foreclosure rates in 2017 despite the number of foreclosures dropping by 45 percent compared to 2016. In Florida last year, there were 24,215 foreclosure proceedings filed, compared to 43,772 in 2016, according to ATTOM Data, a multi-sourced property database.

South Florida, still has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate at 1.3% and it stands to reason there are thousands of foreclosed homes to invest in. With the numbers reducing, the right investment may be harder to find, but savvy real estate investors are still finding them, and holding or flipping them profitably! The trick to turning a profit without falling prey to problems, is understanding what put these properties into foreclosure in the first place.

What is driving Foreclosures? Nationally, foreclosure filings for 2017 fell 27 percent compared to 2016, reaching their lowest level since 2005, according to the report. Foreclosures are a mix of new and legacy problems. Defaults on mortgages, delinquent property taxes, fraud, flawed court systems and banks still playing catch-up are all part of the problem. Though the situation is better today, property owners are still falling victim to a flawed system which hasn’t properly delivered. You still hear of properties that have fallen back into foreclosure as a result of lending criteria better aligned to interests of banks, mortgage providers and financiers.

Distressed property sales are no pushover. If you think, distressed property owners are all in the market to sell – think again. The decision to hold off a sale or foreclosure can be tied to various reasons. One reason is that property owners that have lost trust in parties that offer to ‘help owners out of foreclosure’ because of the dubious nature of transactions. Unscrupulous operators tend to tarnish the image of the lending business, delivering a setback to owners. Another reason is tighter controls, new rules and regulations to reduce turnover, making it harder for owners to sell, in the face of ready and interested investors. Yet other owners are not convinced they are really going to lose their properties, and delay taking action. Or they are bullish on their property value, delaying foreclosure.

Best practice. Today, investors need better strategies, more convincing arguments and smarter marketing tactics to win-over distressed property owners. Online foreclosure listings like Trulia foreclosures, foreclosures.com, Yahoo foreclosures, MSN real estate are a great start-point. Foreclosure auctions, Banks & Mortgage lenders, Real estate wholesalers and investor groups are all great sources of market information. Title companies mortgage companies, brokers and realtors are good for business based on referrals. Knowing where to look for distressed properties and foreclosure deals, is only one side to investing in the thousands of distressed properties in South Florida. Learning how to prospect and how to make winning offers is the key to sustainable long-term gains.  Invest in the right education, market knowledge, capital and financing, before investing in distressed property.

If sourcing, buying and recycling foreclosure properties for profit is your goal, practice due diligence first!


Real estate offers many investment formats, though the most commonly known are rehabbing and flipping. Building a portfolio by acquiring rental property is also a good investment strategy but remember – Not every good property makes a good rental property! When considering purchasing a rental property, it is important to focus on aspects that can make a rental property stand out.

Location. Location. Location. This is the gospel about any kind of real estate property, be it rental, residential, commercial, retail or investment. If a property does not have a favorable location, you can be sure, demand will invariably be compromised. Put yourself in your customers shoes. Since rental decisions are based on first impressions and perceptions, the smallest negative can set back long-term rental values. Unlike short term flips, with a rental property a five to ten-year horizon is ideal, meaning you need to have a long-term perspective for the area you are buying in. Talk to other owners in the area to see if they have insights on future development plans for the area. A planned new school, or medical center or even a commercial development will certainly bump up holding value over time.

Rental property goals. Before jumping in, it is advisable to have a clear fix on the short and long-term goals for the investment, since they will determine the level and kind of work you will put in and future upgrades you make. So, the question to ask is – Am I looking to generate monthly cash flow or long-term capital gains? If you only plan on renting out the property for two or three years, chances are you will keep away from expensive upgrades. On the other hand, if you are planning on renting until the property is free and clear, you may consider upgrades and repairs that will enhance curb-appeal and perceived property value. The right decisions will help maximize returns and most likely impact your future investing decisions. Sometimes a sudden jump in value can tempt you to sell before the anticipated ten-year horizon. Or an unforeseen financial circumstance can force you to liquidate. The best of plans can change along the way, but your goals will help you these changes.

Financial considerations. For a rental property, financial considerations are all important. New investors may not have an idea of all the costs associated but should take into account property management costs like utilities, landscaping, repairs and other items. Even the cost of vacancies, should be factored into the overall cost of ownership, which includes beyond loan financing, mortgage, interest amount, taxation and insurance costs. The more you know about comparable homes in the area, the better equipped you are for determining rental value for own property. Take time to talk to agents to get the lie of the land. And if you are planning on getting a property management company onboard, make sure they understand the scope of work involved in managing your rental. That way, you can come up with the real cost of ownership and yield.

Understand your market. Before finalizing a purchase, spend time to understand what investment into the property will yield the best return? Tenants will invariably seek out the most comfortable option, but not necessarily be ready to shell out the extra dollars! Take time to research what’s on offer in the area. Understand what it will take to keep your rental occupied with minimum vacancy gaps. People like to rent homes they are comfortable in, but not willing to pay the extra price for it. Not always! Renters will often place a premium on a driveway, and a garage. Consider investing in one if it will allow you to charge a higher rental and ensure your property retains demand. An outdoor patio may seem like a good idea, but if the cost of putting one in, does not justify the small rental gains, you’re better off without it.

A good rental property is indeed a good business proposition and can help grow your portfolio. But get to know everything about the property and the market to get the best return on your investment.


One can argue, times are tougher today, in the real estate business. At least tougher than what they were a few years ago, in a seller’s market. The real estate market has and continues to present its own unique set of challenges to investors, but let’s face it – there’s still money to be made in this business. If you are one of the fence-sitters in real estate investing, thinking about “the right time,” you need to think again! Because there really is no “Right time”! There are hidden opportunities in every market scenario and with the right approach, you can make a tidy profit from real estate investing.

Opportunities galore. Today, real estate investors can benefit from a greater number of opportunities than at any other time in the past. Why? Because there are a number of factors that has come together in creating these opportunities. Low mortgage rates, and interest rates mean it is still easy to find affordable financing. The inventory of homes is growing in single-family homes, duplex and multiplex homes, apartments, condos and investment properties. The buyer/seller interest remains robust across all these property scenarios. Add to that the home foreclosure rate, and it really is a good time to start investing.

 There’s no perfect time. The savvy investor will tell you, there really is “No perfect time” to get into real estate investing! Real estate investing, just like any other form of investment, comes with its own risks and no guarantees. Trying to time the market can create longer than necessary delays, as you wait for the right cues. And once you do invest against the backdrop of “Perfect” cues, other non-controllable factors can mar your investment plans. Stock markets, interest rates, global property trends and local developments all shape the market. Before taking the plunge, you need to know the market, evaluate the risk/reward scenario, be prepared to take a risk and complete your due diligence – these aspects go a long way in generating positive investment returns.

Investment income. Unlike fixed income, passive income takes time to accumulate, and the sooner one starts investing in real estate, the closer one gets to building up passive income through asset appreciation and related capital gains. The good thing is that you don’t even need to put more capital into a property that you have bought, other periodic funding for property management requirements. And the rental income it generates for you over time, contributes towards your passive income. Over time, this income can cover the initial outlay for a second property, helping to move closer to your goal of building up a sustainable and profitable property portfolio.

Depending on the nature of your real estate investment, you can generate a strong return on investment over time. Having said that, there are many a case, where a rushed decision brought about by lack of due diligence, legal issues, insufficient market research or poor investment advice has led to huge losses and erosion of capital. So, if have made the decision to enter this investment asset class, don’t wait for the magical “right time” to start. Do your research, take the services of experienced and qualified real estate agents, realtors, property managers, investment houses and housing professionals in seeking out the right opportunity for you.

Most importantly – get started today!