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[Podcast] Lead Gen and Leveraging Data with Ed Carey of Audience Town
In this episode of It's Closing Time, RentSpree CEO Michael Lucarelli sits down with Ed Carey, Founder and CEO of Audience Town, a digital advertising platform designed for real estate. In addition to talking about Audience Town's advertising products, they also dive into how lead-gen technology shifted during the pandemic and how real estate agents should be leveraging data.  
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[Podcast] My Real Estate Journey with Kirsten Jordan of Million Dollar Listing New York
In this episode of It's Closing Time, RentSpree CEO Michael Lucarelli talks with Kirsten Jordan, star of Million Dollar Listing New York, and leader of the KJ Team at Douglas Elliman. They discuss her personal real estate journey as well as some keys to success for real estate agents in today's climate.  
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[Podcast] Growing Your with Technology with Matthew Kuchar
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[Podcast] iBuyers and 'Zillow-geddon' with Kala Laos of Zoodealio
In this episode of It's Closing Time, Kala Laos sits down with RentSpree CEO Michael Lucarelli to discuss the future of iBuying within real estate, as well as her real estate software company Zoodealio. Michael and Kala discuss "Zillow-geddon" and how real estate agents should view iBuying companies. Kala also discusses how her company, Zoodealio, is designed to empower agents within the iBuyer market and provides her top tips for effective lead generation.
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How to Become a Real Estate Agent: Getting Your First Clients
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Turning Renters to Buyers: Dispelling 5 Key Myths
More so than ever, misconceptions about the buying process keep renters from exploring the possibility of buying a home. Still, seasoned Realtors know that knowledge is power -- a gentle, educational nudge can go a long way in turning would-be renters into first-time homebuyers. Many highly qualified renters see homeownership as out of reach, citing barriers like a minimum 20% down payment, economic uncertainty, or a shortage of inventory as barriers to entry. At the same time, historically low mortgage rates make buying a home more attractive than ever. Renters need not sit on the sidelines and wait out today's uncertain housing market. Realtors can help them navigate the home buying process, establishing long-lasting relationships by pointing them to the right resources and helping them navigate both the decision to buy and a resale transaction. Millennials Making the Move According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials have surpassed boomers as the largest segment of today's homebuyers. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Green Street Advisors – Advisory & Consulting Group At the same time, millennials represent roughly 65% of all renters. As the consumer segment hardest hit by macro-economic events, including the Great Recession and the global pandemic, Millennials had been significantly behind both baby boomers and Gen Xers in their rate of homeownership. However, Millennial earnings are on the rise. In a recent study, Harvard's Joint Center for Housing recorded a 157% increase in rental households making more than $150,000 per year, meaning more millennials are ready to buy homes today. Three out of eight millennial renters believe they'll rent for life. Yet millennials are aware of the drawbacks of renting, including missed tax break opportunities, the inevitability of rent hikes, and the inability to build equity. As such, 62% of younger millennials and 68% of older millennials plan to buy within five years. As a Realtor, you can help turn renters into home buyers by dispelling these five common myths: Dispelling Five Common Myths Among Renters 1. "I done make enough money." Income is necessary, but the amount of money someone earns plays a less significant role in getting a mortgage than many might think. Lenders consider much more than just a paycheck when evaluating would-be homebuyers. Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratios and one's ability to make mortgage payments are more heavily considered than how much one makes. Lenders look at the whole picture, including credit scores and and the amount a borrower has for a down payment. First-time homebuyers may need to pay down debt and organize their spending before entering the market. Realtors working in this segment take their time with these clients, placing them in rentals (and earning commissions) while helping them address these factors. Additionally, rates for 30-year loans, 15-year loans, and 5-year ARMs are historically cheap, lowering the monthly cost of owning a home. 2. "I don't have enough for a down payment." / "I don't think I'll get approved." Most renters believe you need 20% down to purchase a house. To buy a $300,000 home, you'd need $60,000 on hand—an overwhelming amount for most renters. Many first-time buyers close on a house with almost nothing down. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a 100% financing mortgage. The program, formerly known as a Section 502 mortgage, but more commonly referred to as a "Rural Housing Loan" or "USDA loan," is not just a rural loan—it's available to buyers in suburban neighborhoods, too. With a USDA loan, there's no down payment requirement, no maximum home purchase price, and eligible home repairs and improvements can be included Additionally, the upfront guarantee fee can be an add-on to the loan balance at closing. FHA-insured loans allow for down payments as low as 3.5% in all U.S. markets and come with guidelines with a liberal approach to both down payments and credit scores. The FHA will insure home loans for borrowers with low credit scores, provided there is a reasonable explanation. Additionally, a down payment on an FHA-insured loan can come entirely from down payment assistance, including gifted funds. Low-down payments are also available from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac via the Conventional 97 program. Down payments are 3%, and it's less expensive for many buyers than an FHA-insured mortgage. Loans are currently capped at $548,250 and can only be used for fixed-rate mortgages on single-unit dwellings. In addition, the Conventional 97 program doesn't enforce a specific minimum credit score beyond those for a conventional home loan, and the entire 3% down payment can come from gifted funds from a spouse, partner, guardian, or family member. The Veteran's Administration administers a no-money-down program available to members of the U.S. military and surviving spouses, with straightforward qualifications; and local municipalities often offer various levels of down payment assistance, 3. "There's nothing in my price range." Once your rental client is pre-approved, they have a good sense of their target price range. However, in today's resale inventory-constrained environment, they often find themselves up against an increasingly competitive market. Here's where Realtors can demonstrate their value. Experienced Realtors can leverage their hyper-local expertise to guide first-time homebuyers into neighborhoods with homes in their target range and find hidden gems—properties not quite move-in ready yet in a preferred neighborhood and within their client's price range. 4. "I might move in a few years." Renting rather than buying is prudent over a short term—say a few months to a year, but it makes more sense to buy when staying for at least five years, and, in some cases, buying can even offer value when planning to stay for as few as two years. It boils down to math. Renters considering buying should calculate how long they need to live in a purchased home before the cost of buying outweighs the costs of renting. The New YorkTimes provides a Rent vs. Buy Calculator that takes the most important costs associated with buying a house, including mortgage details, growth rates, taxes, and closing costs, with computing equivalent monthly rents. 5. "I'll wait until I find the perfect house." Renters new to the home buying market may have unrealistic expectations about the inevitable pros and cons proffered by every property. No resale home is perfect, and a first-time purchase will likely require a few concessions. Good houses go fast! Renters looking to buy should be ready to act. Would-be buyers often need to make an offer right after a showing, so have reasonable criteria in mind beforehand. Closing a deal will involve some trade-offs, but the accomplishment of homeownership almost certainly offset them. More so than ever, there's value in working with renters, and while converting renters to buyers takes a little strategy and a lot of chutzpah, it's one of the most proven and cost-effective ways for Realtors to grow their book of business. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
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5 Tips For Great Vacation Rental Photos
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How to Use the BRRRR Strategy to Your Advantage
If you're looking for a real estate investing strategy that will help you achieve your goal of financial independence, look no further than the BRRRR strategy. This particular real estate investment strategy is one of the most common methods that property investors use to generate passive income, and to grow their overall net worth. With that in mind, we've created a Guide to the BRRRR investment strategy below. Read it over to learn more about how this strategy works, and how you can use it to your advantage. What is the BRRRR strategy in real estate? Before getting into specific detail about how to make BRRRR investing work in your favor, it's important to take a closer look at how this investment strategy works. In light of that, we've taken the time to break down the step-by-step process below. Here's an explanation of how each component of BRRRR investing works from an investor's perspective. B: Buy The first step in this process is to buy a rental property. In this case, you'll want to focus on buying a distressed property so that you can negotiate a purchase price that falls below the property's fair market value. If you can do that, your initial investment will be lower and you'll have better profit margins when it comes time to rent out your BRRRR property. R: Rehab The next step is to rehab your rental property. Truthfully, since you've focused on buying a distressed property, it may take a little bit of work to make the property rentable. So choosing the right renovations will be key. Instead of trying to increase the property value the same way you would with a fix-and-flip investment property, you should concentrate on providing upgrades that will appeal to tenants—such as providing new appliances, or putting in new hardwood floors. R: Rent Once you've rehabbed, your investment property, the next step is to rent it out. At this point, your goal should be to bring in as much rental income as possible. R: Refinance Then, when possible, it's time to refinance the home. In particular, you're going to want to choose a cash out refinance, which allows you to borrow more than you owe on the home and receive the difference as cash. Ideally, you will also be able to secure a better interest rate on your loan. R: Repeat The last step in this process is to use the money you've received from your cash out refinance to buy another BRRRR property and to rehab it. Ideally, you will continue to use this method to continue to grow your real estate portfolio until you've reached the point of total financial freedom. How to use the BRRRR investment strategy to your advantage Now it's time to get into how to really use this strategy to your advantage. We've included five of our best tips below. So take some time to read them over so that you understand how to apply them to your own real estate investing strategy. Focus on buying below fair market value First and foremost, when you buy a property, it is absolutely crucial to make sure that the purchase price falls below the appraised value. Not only will this make your initial investment more affordable, but it will also ensure that you have more room to work with when it's time to decide how much money to put into repairs. However, above all, buying at a lower price also means that more rental income goes into your pocket each month. Carefully budget your rehab cost Next, it's absolutely crucial that you maintain a strict budget for your rehab cost and make sure to stick to it. At the end of the day, your goal should be to achieve the highest repair value possible without over-improving the property. In order to gauge how much you should spend and what repairs make the most bends, be sure to look at other rentals in the area where the property is located. Make note of which particular features are commanding the highest rents, and be sure to put those on your to-do list. Maintain positive cash flow as you rent Once you've achieved your full repair value, the next step is to rent out the property. Here, your focus should be to maintain a positive cash flow. In order to do so, you'll need to focus on keeping your operating expenses as low as possible, and finding a tenant who is willing and able to pay a decent amount of rent each month. To that end, it may make sense to avoid using a property manager as that will help you keep your costs low. While it may mean more work for you, especially when it comes time to market the property and vet potential tenants, it will be worth it when you can eventually enjoy the extra income. Leverage your equity with a cash out refinance Many real estate investing resources recommend using a hard money loan, or private money loan in order to finance your next investment property. However, hard money often comes at an extremely high interest rate and private money can be hard to find unless you are well connected. With that said, a cash out refinance is a good option for many investors. It allows you to leverage the equity that you felt up in the property, and borrow cash at an affordable interest rate. Best of all, you have the option to use the money however you see fit, which means it can cover the down payment and closing costs for your next investment property. The bottom line As a real estate investor it is easy to dream of achieving financial independence, but that is much harder to put into practice. However, the BRRRR strategy can provide you with a step-by-step formula for growing your real estate portfolio. With that in mind, don't hesitate use the BRRRR method and the tips provided as you get started on your real estate investing journey. Armed with this knowledge, you should have all the information you need to take the first step toward becoming an investment property owner. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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What Will Happen When the CDC Eviction Ban Ends?
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Friday Freebie: Prospect List of High-income Renters
If you tuned in to last week's Friday Freebie, you downloaded a free Rent vs. Own report to send to or share with qualified renters who may be hesitant to become homeowners. Notice we said "send to" -- unless you already have a list on hand, where are you going to find a targeted list to mail your report to? That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're following up with a free prospect list of up to 100 high-income renters that you can target to build your first-time homebuyer business. Read on to find out how to claim your list today! Free High-income Renter Prospect List, courtesy of ProspectsPLUS! You already know that targeting renters that have a high income is a potentially lucrative source of new business. So let's just dive straight into the good stuff: how to create and download your prospect list. Start by going to this page. And then: Click the Build Your List button under Step 1 Select a targeting method: via street address, zip code, or county Select the button next to High Income Renters (Alternatively, select Custom to create a list of renters with an income level of your choice) Click the Search button Under the Choose Quantity section, type in 100 or a smaller number Name your list Click Add to Cart Click Checkout on the next page Add promo code FREERENTERLIST (important!) Click Place Your Order Once you've finished building your list, a receipt will be emailed to you instantly, followed within minutes by a link to download your list. The list is in .CSV format, making it easy to import wherever you'd like! Get started targeting high-income renters and create your FREE prospect list today!
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Friday Freebie: Get the 'Rent vs. Own Report' to Move Renters Off the Fence
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Renters Earning in Excess of $70k: The Ideal Target Market
Pre-pandemic housing news was enough to give a reader whiplash. While many prognosticators had a vision of a "strong housing market through the end of the year," others were firmly in the opposing camp. "Housing market will probably slow," blasted the headline of a popular housing market website. Nothing much has changed, despite social distancing mandates and the rest of the inconveniences and heartache brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact is, the housing market is doing just dandy in certain regions across the country. Utah's real estate market, for instance, has remained "blistering," according to a report at KSL.com. In March 2020, Utah homes sold more than a week quicker than they did in March of 2019. The median sold price in March 2020 was $35,000 more than last year as well, according to the blog at UtahRealEstate.com. Regardless of whether your market is up, down or stagnant, folks still want to buy homes. Many renters who make in excess of $70,000 are waking up to the fact that their current home is inadequate and that those monthly rent checks they write enrich the landlord's bottom line, not theirs. But they don't understand that they have options. Why? With an unemployment rate just shy of 15 percent, it's easy to become pessimistic about the real estate market. After all, requirement number one for getting a mortgage is that you need to prove you can make the monthly payments. Sadly, it's those Americans least able to handle unemployment that lost most of the jobs. "Job losses were highest amongst the nation's lowest-paid workers," according to Matthew Speakman at Zillow.com. In April, for instance, "62% of April's loss in employment was felt by workers in industries paying below-average wages," typically those in the hospitality and leisure industries, Speakman claims. It's highly likely that many, if not most, of these employees are renters. It's equally unlikely that they'll be able to qualify for a mortgage in the near future. This is not your target audience of renters. Your target should be renters who earn in excess of $70,000, especially the 1.35 million-plus American households who earn $150,000 per year or more and who "became renters between 2007 and 2017." (US Census data) That wealthier Americans in the nation's most expensive cities are choosing to rent should come as no surprise. In San Francisco, for instance, where the median starter home costs about $895,000, there are more high-income renters than homeowners, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As rents rise, however, they're awakening to the fact that perhaps a fixed-rate mortgage payment is far better than the wildly accelerating rental rates of late. So, why are these people choosing to rent rather than buy a home? Many are cash poor and don't understand that they don't have to have a huge chunk of money for a down payment and closing costs. Others assume they can't afford to purchase, despite having a decent income. To successfully pursue this real estate audience requires targeted marketing that dispels myths and speaks to their pain points. We've been seeing an uptick in agents who are purchasing prospect lists targeting renters earning in excess of $70k. Along with the list, they also typically choose one of our targeted marketing campaigns for Renters/First-Time Home Buyers. Here are some suggestions on additional topics you may want to use to attract these tenants: That up-front cost "I was a long-term renter because I wanted to wait to buy until I could afford to stay in my current neighborhood," a new homeowner tells Jennifer Bradley Franklin at BankRate.com. So, why the long-term tenancy? "I didn't realize that there were affordable options," she told Franklin. One would think that with all the information at our fingertips, real estate consumers would be better informed about down payment assistance, closing cost help and the various low-down loans available. It's the assumption that the up-front costs are higher when you buy than when you rent that keeps many of them out of the housing market. Dispelling this myth is a worthy goal in your marketing efforts. While most down payment assistance programs are reserved for low-to-moderate-income earners, there are some for those who earn more. In fact, with more than 2,000 down payment/closing cost assistance programs nationwide, you are bound to find one for your higher-earning, home-buying prospects. Or, let them know that the FHA-backed mortgage has a down payment that can go as low as 3.5% and there are no income limits for borrowers. You would be shocked to know how few consumers are aware of this. Buying a home builds wealth, renting doesn't Back in 2018, when household net worth in the U.S. hit a record $98.74 trillion, homeowners saw the most gain. In fact, "The average homeowner has a net worth of $195,400, 36 times that of the average renter's net worth of $5,400," according to Patrick Sisson at Curbed.com. This is something that many would-be homeowners don't consider when they sign the lease agreement. From that moment until the lease expires, these renters are adding to the landlord's net worth, at the expense of their own. Address this in your marketing. Let them know that, as Sisson says, "Homeownership may be one of the most significant, and surefire, means of increasing net worth." To view the original article, visit the PropertyPLUS! blog.
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Your Script to Cold Call Landlords During COVID
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New Zillow Rental Manager Announcement: What Does It Mean For You?
On January 11, Zillow majorly changed the way they handle rentals. Now, rental listings currently syndicated through MLSs will no longer feed directly to Zillow. Instead, agents and brokers wishing to publish a rental listing on Zillow will need to do so via Zillow Rental Manager, which is contract-based and starts at $9.99 per week, per listing. Zillow's changes affect all parties with with rentals—MLSs, brokerages, real estate teams, agents, and private owners. Read on to get prepared to understand the economic impact of Zillow's changes, how you can prepare your budget for this change, and alternatives to Zillow Rental Manager.
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Zillow Ends Free Rental Listings. What Now?
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What Do You Really Know about Apartments.com?
The other day, we at RE Technology were talking about Apartments.com. As we frequently explore different companies and products to stay current in the market, we sometimes like to challenge our initial perception before further research: As of now, what do we think we know about Apartments.com? Our guess, of course: that Apartments.com just focuses on apartments. We could not have been more wrong. We learned they have many different rentals, not just apartments, and most importantly...RESIDENTIAL RENTALS (single family homes, condos, duplexes, townhomes, etc...) which is the reason they are attending all the top industry conferences.   What is ever more amazing is that there is NO cost for an agent, broker or an MLS to display their listings on the Apartments.com Network. Most importantly, this is “Your Listing, Your Lead” where there is no advertising from competing agents on a single listing. The Apartments.com Network is positioned in the industry as a lucrative lead source for agents to incorporate rentals into their business.  Renters become buyers! We were absolutely amazed that you could find homes, townhouses and condos using the Apartments.com network, which boasts nine different rental sites that receive over 50 million monthly visits.  Each of the different sites fill a different niche for renters. Apartments.com ForRent.com, ApartmentFinder.com  Apartamentos.com ForRentUniversity.com After55.com WestsideRentals.com CorporateHousing.com  ApartmentHomeLiving.com. You would think that using the sites in the Apartments.com network would incur expensive fees for agents and brokers. On the contrary, as stated, —Apartments.com is FREE to the agent, broker, or the MLS. Having a feed thru the MLS is easy for the agent, as their data feed prevents them from having to re-enter the listing every time, automatically uploading it to the Apartments.com network. Last, but not least—for two reasons, the Apartments.com network of sites cannot be a better lead source for agents that deal in rentals. First, the network has more than 50 million renters visit their sites every month—the #1 most visited rental source in the country! Second, renters eventually enter the homebuying market as an additional lead source to agents.  Apartments.com Network is already connected to 200 plus MLS organizations across the U.S.  To find out if your MLS already offers the Apartments.com Network in your marketplace, click here.  If you are not sure that your local MLS is connected, click here to get them added.
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Finding Rental Furniture for Staging
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How to Win Business from Leads You Never Wanted
Before dividing leads into categories like first-time buyer or empty-nest seller, many real estate agents separate their leads into "real" and "fake." How you make the distinction can be the difference between getting by and getting paid. If you're just getting by, it could be because you're writing off too many leads. For many agents, a "real" lead has to have real contact information, meet a certain price point (anything under $100,000 is often considered fake), and not be a renter.
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Renters Who Don't Know They Want to Buy Are Potential Revenue for You
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7 Social Marketing Tips to Connect with Millennial Renters
There are 77 million 18-36 year olds that make up the millennial generation, and they are reshaping the way real estate professionals should be marketing their business. The lifestyles of Generation Y'ers are flexible and they aren't settling down as quickly generations before them, which is why rental properties have become a more attractive option than buying a home. In fact, there was an increase of almost 4 million single-family rentals between 2005 and 2012 (Forbes) and the single-family rental market now accounts for fifty-two percent of the entire residential market (CoreLogic). Rentals are on the rise and this group of young adults has been the driving force behind it, so it's important to market your business where it counts. The average millennial is active on 3.5 social media sites, and with 93 percent of them owning smartphones, they are spending a lot of time (3.2 hours a day to be exact) scrolling through their newsfeeds. This offers you the perfect opportunity to get your foot in the door with these soon-to-be buyers, by connecting with them through social media and helping them find a rental. Here are 7 things you need to know if you want to connect with Gen millennials through social media. 1. Stay Active on the Networks that Count Homes.com and ForRent.com conducted a survey to find the most popular social media sites among renters. Facebook was the most popular, with 80 percent of respondents saying it was their favorite. This was followed up by Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram who captured 44 percent, while Google+ was preferred by 31 percent. Keep this in mind when you are creating your social media strategy, as you'll want to focus your attention on the sites they use the most.
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Are Your Prospective Residents Local? Google Data May Surprise You.
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House Poor: The Landlord's Prayer
Believe me, the last thing in life I ever wanted to be was a landlord. The thought of it reminds me of the old silent movies tying his poor tenant to a railroad track as she screams, "No, I can't pay the rent!" It started at one of our Friday coffees at the Deli Delight where I get together with my real estate team—Bea Meriwether, real estate agent and Earnest S. Crowe, mortgage guy. Bea was selling a bank-owned bungalow two blocks away from me in my hometown of Mirage Mills, the Chernobyl of American real estate and the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. Since there were two dozen fire sale-priced properties listed for sale within a mile of hers, she was having a hard time. "It would be a perfect investment property for you and Felicia. You know the neighborhood like the back of your hand. It's close and easy for you to manage. It's in very good shape for the neighborhood and it's priced to move fast," said Bea. Her voice dropped a half-octave and she gently placed her hand on mine. "And I know that the bank is dying on this one. They've taken a beating on it for more than a year and they'll do anything to get it off the books." Nothing she said changed my mind. The bank could go on taking a beating for all I cared. Then Earnest started in on me. "Homer, wise up dude. How much you making on your 401K in this market? I'll bet you're losing money big time." How did he know?
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Infographic: Do's and Don'ts for Promoting Rental Properties
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4 Steps to Find the Perfect Tenant
Rental professionals want to fill vacancies quickly – but not at the (significant) cost of choosing the wrong tenant. After all, what's the value of a tenant that does not pay their rent and fails to care for the property? Sometimes, the perfect tenant may seem elusive, but RentJuice is making the process easier with their "lead qualification kit." We'll share a few of the key steps here, but for the full scoop – including sample pre-qualifications questionnaire, rental application, rejection letter, and much more – download the free whitepaper. 1) Phone first. Meeting a prospective tenant in person requires a large time commitment. When you consider the fact that many of the people who contact you about the property will not be qualified, it's easy to see that in-person meetings with each and every one of them can become a major waste of time. This is why RentJuice recommends running through some basic pre-qualification questions over the phone before scheduling a showing. (They've included sample pre-qualification questions in their whitepaper.) If a phone interview reveals that the prospective tenant is qualified for the property in question, invite them to a showing. If they are not a good fit for this particular property, but they have potential for future properties, gather their information into a lead tracking system and tell them you'll keep them at the top of your list for a better fit. 2) Meet in person at a showing. As we mentioned above, if a prospect sounds qualified over the phone, your next step should be to schedule a showing. RentJuice says, "Don't skip this step, no matter how perfect prospective renters sound during pre-qualification." RentJuice offers some other interesting tips for showings: Invite several prospective renters to the same showing. This increases their interest in the property and creates a sense of urgency to move through the application process. Offer applications right at the showing. (You can find a sample application in the RentJuice whitepaper.)
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Bigger Isn’t Always Better
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5 Reasons to Implement Online Rental Applications
We've been covering a series of RentJuice whitepapers focused on the changing needs of rental professionals. The series continues today with a paper that spotlights a very important issue: digitizing the leasing process with online rental applications. We're going to concentrate on several key reasons that rental professionals should implement online applications here, but we recommend you download the whitepaper for free from RentJuice.com for the full scoop. Important note: While this article will talk specifically about rental applications, many of the concepts discussed also apply to documents related to real estate sales. Going "paperless" for real estate is an important trend, one that is supported with a variety of solutions (such as electronic signatures, document management, and transaction management). Before we go into the benefits of online rental applications, let's talk about the alternative: traditional "paper" rental applications. While paper applications are more common than their online counterparts, there's a growing trend to digitize the application and leasing process. Moving this process online has benefits for both renters and for rental professionals. 1) Online applications save you money. Paper is expensive. RentJuice cites the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which finds that the average U.S. office worker uses more than 10,000 sheets of paper per year – that's more than 20 boxes and represents about $800 per worker. But paper isn't the only expense associated with traditional applications. There's also the cost of storage (cabinets, file folders, etc.), ink, and the time spent organizing the documents – time that could be better spent growing your business.
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Whitepaper: How and Why to Retain Tenants
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4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation
Gone are the days of high school when your “reputation” was built with whispers and torn slips of binder paper. These days, you’re a professional adult, with a very different set of rules to follow for reputation management. True, word-of-mouth is still important in real estate, but you simply cannot ignore the Internet, where more and more people are looking for an agent/broker. Today, we bring you some highlights from another great whitepaper by RentJuice. The full whitepaper, “How to Manage Your Online Rental Real Estate Reputation,” is also available to download for free. Although RentJuice is a rental expert, their tips are certainly helpful for those of us selling properties as well. Here are 4 of their tips for managing your reputation online: 1) Begin by giving your reputation a boost.Don’t have anyone talking about you online yet? Start a conversation yourself! How do you do this? RentJuice suggests: Launching a blog. This will help establish you as an experienced professional. Frequent posts can help develop a “personality” and move your blog up in search engine rankings. Creating a LinkedIn profile. There are benefits to each of the social media sites out there. But the folks at RentJuice point out: “If you’re going to start any social media presence online, it better be a professional one if you want to generate business.” This excellent point leads you directly to LinkedIn. Starting a Yelp business account. First, start or claim your business. Then, direct your customers to this page and encourage them to leave a review. The truth is that consumers trust other consumers and will give greater credence to consumer-generated reviews.
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5 Tips for Better Video Tours
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5 Tips for Better Real Estate Photography
Want to move more listings – rentals or properties for sale? Consider improving the quality of the photographs you post online. The folks at RentJuice have made a science of effective online rental marketing – and they’ve created a whitepaper that shares secrets for better photography. You can download the full whitepaper at RentJuice.com, but we’ll share a few of the top tips here.   1) Invest in a quality camera. Grainy, poor-quality photos do not make a good impression. If you want your photos to put a listing’s best face forward, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a quality camera that takes higher resolution photos.   RentJuice recommends avoiding “point-and-shoot” cameras. These are compact digital cameras that use automatic settings for quick pics. Instead, aim for a mid-level camera or higher; you can expect to spend between $200 and $400.   A few other tips: Buy a tripod. Use a wide-angle lens. Purchase an on-camera flash (don't use the flash that comes with the camera).   2) Refine your shots with photo editing software.Buying a quality camera will help you begin with a decent image. However, RentJuice recommends taking this a step further and getting familiar with photo editing software. Watch out, though, you don’t want to “manipulate the property.” The photo editing software is intended to refine the quality of the image – not fix problems with the property itself (i.e. a hole in the wall or some other blemish).  When you’re finished editing your photos, they should still accurately depict what potential renters or buyers will see in person.  
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3 Tips for Writing Better Rental Listings
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The Recipe for Repeat Rental Business
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere – New York City! RentJuice followed Frank Sinatra’s wisdom as they gathered data from renters in NYC. The whitepaper generated by this data is rich in helpful insights and recommendations –for rental professionals nationwide, not just New York. The nice folks at RentJuice have allowed us to offer a few highlights here, but we recommend that you check out the full whitepaper for more – it’s free from this page on RentJuice.com. Renters Want to Use the Same BrokerWe had to include this image – it’s just so clear and unambiguous. Better yet, it’s good news for rental professionals. Renters want to give you their repeat business; you just need to earn it. That’s where the next findings come in. What matters most when renters are choosing a rental professional?
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