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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
Vacation rental photos are different compared to photography of homes listed for sale. However, a good real estate photographer can easily learn to navigate the vacation rental market. In finding the right place to stay, homebuyers and vacationers have different ideals, mindsets, and approaches to the task at hand. Plus, there's not just one type of person who enjoys traveling. Getting away for a vacation means conquering a bucket-list goal for some people, and simply breaking away from the daily grind for others. Despite the differences of vacation rentals and long-term homes, they each have one awesome thing in common: Photography makes a world of a difference in the number of successful and high-quality bookings and sales. To demystify some of the techniques behind vacation rental photography, we explored the professional photography styles of booking websites like AirBnB, VRBO and RedAwning. Read on to learn more about the elements of all great vacation rental real estate photography. Break the Real Estate Photography Rules (and Get Away With It) Like the spontaneous nature of travel, vacation rental photographs are free to break a few rules of typical real estate photography. For these special home listings, people are looking for a break in the everyday. On top of plans for seasonal travel, lots of people are busy daydreaming about the vacations they would take if money were no object. In that way, unique vacation rental photos can help your wildest dreams feel within reach. Half the charm of vacation rental listings is in the quirky characteristics of the property, and all of the novelty experiences that will be at hand throughout the vacation. The other half is having a safe and secure place to live temporarily, whether it's for a long weekend or an extended stay. Vacation rental photography is as much about breaking and bending the rules as it is about inspiring new lifestyles and philosophies. Keep the top five defining characteristics of good vacation rental photography top-of-mind for your next shoot: Include People of All Abilities No one should be hesitant to take a vacation due to a fear of missing out on some of the best experiences, like having a unique place to stay. Accessibility can be the defining factor in why you choose to book a hotel that follows accessibility code over a unique stay at a private vacation home. To be more inclusive of people with disabilities, get to know the features of an accessible home and how to best show them through photographs. Take care to avoid any 'visual blockers' like too much furniture, and show each room from multiple angles. Accessibility in a vacation rental might look like any of the following: Wider Spaces: For people with wheelchairs, space is important for navigating a vacation home comfortably. There should be room to move around the house and turn around without bumping into anything inside of the house, through doorways and on the sidewalks and streets surrounding the property. Photos can show adequate spacing between furniture and room layouts, as well as wide-open hallways, doorways and walkways. Appliances and Utilities: Lowered sinks and appliances aren't standard in all homes, but they can make a massive difference in vacation expectations for someone with a disability. Bathrooms and showers might have specially adjusted plumbing, or a shower stall without a tub and with supportive bars or benches. Other Accessible Features: This could include anything that makes normal use of the house easier for people who are not typically able-bodied. Light switches, ramps, beds, elevators could be the deciding factor in someone's dream vacation. Fill Rooms With Natural Light Reassure potential guests that there is no pressure to be 'on' while they're vacationing. Use natural light to welcome vacationers into the home as they are. In most cases, this means skipping the use of artificial light and external flash entirely — unless there are no natural light sources. Draw the shades and blinds of every room open, and shoot at a time when sunlight sets a particular mood in the home. A vacation rental photographed on an overcast day might fill every room with a pure white glow, while photographs of a home at golden hour in a room with a view says something entirely different. In either case, the natural lighting should complement the best features of the architecture, style, and overall design of the home. In typical real estate photography, relying on natural lighting can limit the view of a home's interior design, and other important structural features of the house. For vacation rental photography, the stakes for a comfortable stay are much lower. Natural lighting creates an organic invitation to an effortlessly stylish getaway. Promote Relaxation It's no secret that most people want to relax and unwind on vacation. You can communicate the relaxing qualities of a home through photos of a space that's visually balanced. For real estate photographers used to stitching together multiple photos, take note! The lens you shoot with shouldn't be too wide — a full frame 16mm lens is the widest recommended for vacation rental photoshoots. Otherwise, you risk making some unnatural-looking lines in the photo composition that aren't ideal for vacation listings. You should shoot and edit vacation rental photos with the goal of making space look as naturally serene and inviting as possible. Try shooting at a lower angle than the standard chest-level MLS photos — AirBnB recommends about four feet high — to capture the feeling of cozying up in a warm cabin, luxurious bathtub, or enjoying breakfast in a happy little breakfast nook. Highlight the Amenities When people look for the perfect vacation rental properties, they are usually weighing the pros and cons of the included amenities. In a big city, that can be anything from a nearby playground, day spa, or a nighttime cityscape view. In a more rural setting, vacation amenities might include a well-curated garden, gym or recreational area. There's no one-size-fits-all list of amenities for a vacation rental. That's part of the excitement in the vacation home search. Another important distinction of vacation rentals from real estate photography is the use of vertical photos. While verticals should be used sparingly, you can use them to effectively show off the unique interior design features of the vacation rentals. In a vacation rental setting, it's easy to appreciate the novelty details, like themed figurines, plants and other signs of a well-traveled life. Small features like this give an exciting glimpse of how staying there might feel. Carry a Shot List In traditional real estate photography, you might aim to get a simple set of photos that covers every inch of the property. It's not always necessary to carry a shot list. For great vacation rental photos, quality over quantity is what matters. That's why we recommend carrying a list of the most important amenities in the home before you arrive, and capturing a few styled angles of each room. Below is an example of a shot list you might use to prioritize your next vacation rental shoot. Main Rooms Take two to three photos of each key room or amenity: Bedrooms Kitchen and Dining Common Areas Outdoor or Recreational Spaces Additional Rooms and Details Take one to two photos of each key room, detail or amenity: Bathrooms Balconies, patios, and gardens Hot tubs Gym Rooftop Exterior view Accessibility Features: Take one to two photos of each, when available: Wide-open entryways are visible in all main rooms Ramps, stairways, elevators, safety bars Handicap parking Shower stalls, plumbing, appliances, light switches With this list in mind, you can showcase the potential of a space in the way it functions, and the way it might make you feel on vacation. Vacation Rental Photos Made Easy The key to great vacation rental photography is showing how one rental is the ideal place to relax, get away from the everyday, and still feel perfectly at home. Ultimately, your vacation rental photos should be inviting, exciting, and maybe even a little bit unusual — in a good way. There's not just one type of vacation rental that works for everyone, so keep the unique features, style, accommodations and amenities front of mind when shooting. Helping vacationers find their next home away from home can be that simple. To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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How to Use the BRRRR Strategy to Your Advantage
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What Will Happen When the CDC Eviction Ban Ends?
At the outbreak of the COVID pandemic last year, the Centers for Disease Control placed a ban on all rental evictions, fearing that many evicted renters would end up in shelters or move in with friends or family, conditions that would exacerbate the spread of the virus. Since then, the CDC order has been extended several times and now is scheduled to expire on June 30. But what happens when ban expires? The Current Scenario Forty-four states and dozens of local jurisdictions imposed their bans on evictions in the early weeks of the pandemic. (Here is a complete list.) Many of the state bans lasted only ten weeks. Nevertheless, a recent study by researchers at five leading universities found that the lifting of 27 state bans on evictions between March and September contributed to the spread of the virus, resulting in 433,700 excess cases of COVID-19 and 10,700 additional deaths. According to the Center for Budget and Economic Priorities, the ban has kept more than 10.7 million renters — about 15% of adult renters ― in their homes without fear of eviction. Their April study found that renters of color were more likely to report that their household was not caught up on rent: 22% of Asian renters, 22% of Black renters, and 20% of Latino renters said they were not caught up on rent, compared to 9% of white renters. The rate was 20% for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and multiracial adults taken together. Is the CDC Eviction Ban Illegal? When the CDC order finally expires — which may happen as early as June 30 — an estimated $32 billion in back rent will come due, with up to 8 million tenants facing eviction filings, according to a tracking tool developed by the global advisory firm Stout Risius and Ross, which works with the nonprofit National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. According to the Princeton University Eviction Lab, 3.6 million people face eviction cases In a typical year. On May 6, a federal judge threw out the moratorium on evictions but agreed to put a temporary hold on her ruling as the government seeks to reverse the decision on appeal. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said that although there was "no doubt" Congress intended to empower the CDC to combat COVID-19 through a range of measures such as quarantines, a moratorium on residential evictions was not among them. The ruling was widely regarded as a setback for millions of Americans who have fallen behind on rent payments during the pandemic. The Recovery is Helping Landlords Weather the Ban On the flip side, the recovery is helping landlords and property owners with rental income without having to resort to evictions. In fact, this spring shows virtually no sign of the ban. The National Multifamily Housing Council found 80% of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by May 6 in its survey of 11.7 million units of apartment units across the country, only 1.7 percentage points below total rent payments in May 2019, ten months before the pandemic. "This month's findings are part of what seems to be an increasingly clear pattern of economic recovery and strong demand for multifamily housing," said Doug Bibby, NMHC President. "With more and more vaccines being administered, job creation on the rise, and tens of billions in rental assistance being distributed to residents and housing providers in need, the outlook for the industry is a positive one. "With rental assistance being disbursed, the economy on the way back, and a broad return to normalcy underway across the country, it is past time for the federal eviction moratorium, a policy that was intended to be an emergency effort, to be concluded," Bibby said. (READ MORE: The Collateral Damage of the Pandemic on Real Estate) Emergency Aid is Slow to Reach Renters and Landlords Congress approved $25 billion in December and $20 billion in March to keep lower-income renters in their homes without fear of evictions. The federal government now has $46.5 billion for emergency rental aid. Some $17.6 billion has been awarded to state governments, but 20% is going to states not taking applications from tenants and landlords. The program offers up to 12 months of rent and utilities to low-income tenants economically harmed by the pandemic, with priority on households with less than half the area's median income — typically about $34,000 a year. To be eligible for rental aid, renters must earn $198,000 annually or less for couples filing jointly, or $99,000 for single filers; demonstrate that they've sought government help to pay the rent; declare that they can't pay because of COVID-19 hardships, and affirm they are likely to become homeless if evicted. They must also file declarations saying they would become homeless or be forced into a "shared living setting." It takes time to identify the neediest residents so that they can make the declarations, apply for relief and process the paperwork, but for millions of renters who are delinquent in their rent payments, the clock is ticking. "Tens of thousands of tenants and families are being evicted every week, many of whom would have had the right to stay in their home," Dave Uejio, the acting director of the Consumer Finance Protection Board, recently told reporters. "The scale of that is hard to wrap your head around." What Can We Expect? Many state and local governments are preparing for an end to the CDC eviction bans, including those enacted statewide by governors or state legislatures that are also expiring. In Colorado, the Department of Local Affairs has paid out more than $80 million in Emergency Rental Assistance since last year with federal and state aid money. But about one quarter of the 50,000 plus applications is still pending. Tenant organizers have asked the governor to step in with another state eviction ban if the federal moratorium expires. Landlord groups say the market should be allowed to do its work before landlords suffer more damage. "People are hopeful that we're getting to the end of manipulation of the markets," said Drew Hamrick, general counsel for the Colorado Apartment Association to Colorado Public Radio. In Seattle, the city council is concerned that evictions will create a flood of homeless students and is considering banning certain school-year evictions and requiring landlords to offer lease renewals in many cases. In March, Seattle Public Schools had more than 2,100 students registered as homeless, according to district data. More than half were doubled up with other families, and 17% were living in transitional housing, while others were in shelters and on the streets. San Diego County passed a new law on May 4 that caps rent increases at roughly 4% increase based on the inflation rate included in the Consumer Price Index for the San Diego region for April 2020 to April 2021. In Minnesota, aid to renters has been slowly distributed, and legislative negotiations about how to end the moratorium in an orderly way have gotten bogged down over timing. For more than a year, a state executive order has made it difficult for property owners to cancel leases or otherwise remove problem tenants. The state government, landlords, and tenant groups are now working to have a solution in place by July. New York's state legislature has extended its eviction ban through August 31. Neither tenants nor landlords want to see a spike in evictions that will disrupt families, contribute to homelessness and throw rental markets into chaos. While this doomsday scenario seems unlikely, it's not entirely off the table. At least for now, both renters and landlords are left holding their breath. For information about your locale, Nolo has compiled a state-by-state list of eviction moratoriums and related legislation and sources of rental assistance for tenants and landlords. Steve Cook is the editor of the Down Payment Report and provides public relations consulting services to leading companies and non-profits in residential real estate and housing finance. He has been vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors, senior vice president of Edelman Worldwide and press secretary to two members of Congress. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Friday Freebie: Prospect List of High-income Renters
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Friday Freebie: Get the 'Rent vs. Own Report' to Move Renters Off the Fence
If you're looking to build a base of lifelong clients, there's no better niche than first-time home buyers. But persuading high-income renters to become homeowners can be tricky--until you put the cold, hard numbers in front of them. In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a free Rent vs. Own report that will help you do just that. Read on to claim your copy and find out the many ways you can use the report to win over new buyer leads. Free Rent vs. Own Direct Response Report, courtesy of ProspectsPLUS! Despite record low inventory and high home prices, owning a home is still cheaper than renting in most parts of the country. With this free report, you can educate renters about the real costs of renting compared to owning, and the value of building equity. You can share this report in person, via direct mail, email, and add it to your website as a download in return for an email address. Thanks to ProspectsPLUS!, all RE Technology readers can download the Rent vs. Own direct response report PDF now for FREE and keep copies available on hand. The report is completely editable, and you can even adjust the numbers as needed to better suit your local market. Follow these easy steps to download the report: Create your free ProspectsPLUS! account or log in to your existing account Visit the Reports page Scroll down to the Rent vs. Own report and select it (Tip: use CTRL+F on Windows or Command+F on Mac to search for it faster) Click Click here to edit your template Edit the template as needed (don't forget to add your headshot and contact info!) Choose the Download Only shipping option when you order your report Click Add to Cart and then select Checkout on the next page Add promo code FREEREPORT to download for free Select Place Your Order to finish, and a link will be emailed for you to download your report! That's it! Now you can target high-income renters and win more home buyer business.
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Renters Earning in Excess of $70k: The Ideal Target Market
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Your Script to Cold Call Landlords During COVID
Apartment units and buildings that are put up for rent by the owner (FRBOs) are a valuable asset for agents. They allow you to work directly with landlords, get accurate information for your clients, and keep 100% of the commission. One of the best ways to enter into a partnership with a FRBO is to pick up the phone and call them! But we know that cold-calling can make even the savviest agents start to sweat, so we want to help out real estate agents with a script to cold call landlords during COVID.
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New Zillow Rental Manager Announcement: What Does It Mean For You?
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Zillow Ends Free Rental Listings. What Now?
Will Zillow's price gouging ever end? Starting in January 2021, rental listings currently syndicated through MLSs will no longer feed directly into Zillow. Instead, agents and brokers wishing to publish a rental listing on the third-party platform will need to do so via Zillow Rental Manager, which is contract-based and starts at $9.99 a week. While the company claims the decision was made to "empower" its partners, in reality, the move is little more than a blatant cash grab. Revenue stemming from its main moneymaker, Zillow Premier Agent, has stagnated in recent years, and Zillow Offers, its direct home-buying platform, continues to lose thousands of dollars per transaction. Switching a free service to a paid one was the easiest way to satisfy pressure from investors.
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What Do You Really Know about Apartments.com?
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Finding Rental Furniture for Staging
When selling a home, you want to catch people's attention. You want to stand out so every potential buyer remembers your listing. You want them to envision themselves living in your home for years to come. Creating these experiences for potential buyers makes a home sell faster and many times for a higher price. The most effective way to create these experiences is to use furniture rentals for staging your listing. If the sellers have moved out of the home before it has sold and taken all of their furniture with them, it is highly recommended to invest in furniture rentals.
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How to Win Business from Leads You Never Wanted
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Renters Who Don't Know They Want to Buy Are Potential Revenue for You
Has anyone ever contacted you about a house that wasn't for sale but was instead listed as (*gasp*) for rent? If your response to that lead was "I don't do rentals," you're missing out on a great source of revenue. I'm not talking about the revenue from the rentals. I'm talking about the sales that those renters will eventually turn into. Some rentals may take years to convert, but others may be ready to buy now and just haven't realized it. You're sitting on a cache of leads that are just waiting to be worked. Here are five tips to help you start monetizing rental leads.
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7 Social Marketing Tips to Connect with Millennial Renters
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Are Your Prospective Residents Local? Google Data May Surprise You.
Do you know where your future prospects and renters currently live? You may have some notions about the demographics of your target residents — their occupations, their price points, the amenities that appeal to them — but do you know where those target renters are living now? New research shows they may be farther away than you imagined. A recent Google report reveals that a substantial number of people are searching for rentals in a different city or state. Check out these tips to make sure your listings are getting in front of as many potential renters as possible. Search Horizons Are Broad According to the Google report, 57% of people search for rentals within their current city, while 65% search within their current state. In other words: 1 in 3 renters are searching out-of-state, while nearly half are looking at a different city. The average user's search radius expands to 338 miles away from their current location. Renters in "hot markets" are especially likely to broaden their search scope. In the top 10 most in-demand cities, 30 to 50 percent of renters are searching for properties more than 50 miles away.
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House Poor: The Landlord's Prayer
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Infographic: Do's and Don'ts for Promoting Rental Properties
Last week, we suggested that adding rentals to your services would be a huge advantage. Offer property owners your services to find tenants or work with investors to buy property, and then turn around and find tenants to rent that property. Full service agent! If you're looking to effectively promote your rental listings, we've got some pointers. Our sister site, ForRent.com, created an infographic, "How to Create the Perfect Rental Ad." And if you, Mr. or Ms. Real Estate Pro, want to start raking in some more cash this year, you should know these tips, too! Key Features: Include details that are not in property description (garage, private yard, use key landmarks for directions) Do not exaggerate Be specific Always include photos of primary rooms, including kitchen, living room, bathroom, master Clutter free, but a home that looks "lived in" is a PLUS No flash--take photos during the day to assure natural look See more tips here. Click through to the next page to view the infographic.
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4 Steps to Find the Perfect Tenant
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Bigger Isn’t Always Better
This article comes to us from David Vivero, founder of RentJuice and VP of Rentals at Zillow. When it comes to life as a real estate pro, it's not always the size that counts. While listings with a "For Sale" sign in the yard yield higher commissions, they can take more time and effort to move. Supplementing income from home sales by raking in multiple, smaller commission checks can add up to a lot – and it's becoming easier to do, thanks to a growing renter population and new innovations that are popping up throughout the industry. In the first quarter of 2012, the rental vacancy rate of 8.8 percent was 0.9 percentage points lower than the first quarter of 2011 and 0.6 percentage points lower than last quarter, according to numbers from the Department of Commerce's Census Bureau. Renting is on the rise, and the real estate industry is transforming to help brokers and agents meet the climbing demand. Multiple Listing Services are placing emphasis on rental listings data; companies like Zillow have added rentals to their "For Sale" inventory; and new players are emerging with technology offerings that allow for greater volumes, efficiency and precision.
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5 Reasons to Implement Online Rental Applications
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Whitepaper: How and Why to Retain Tenants
When you talk about cost-effective strategies for property managers and owners, tenant retention should be at the top of your list. If you keep your tenants happy, you'll keep receiving those uninterrupted rent checks in the mail (avoiding the time and expense of turnover). Today, we'll summarize the RentJuice whitepaper that details the ins and outs of tenant retention. You can download the full whitepaper for free from the rental experts at RentJuice. What's the Big Deal Tenant retention can improve your business by: Saving time and money. Each occupied unit means a regular stream of rent payments to your account, as well as less money and time spent on marketing and turnover maintenance. Increasing profit. According to RentJuice, "The Journal of Property Management revealed that on average, a retained resident is worth almost $900 each year on top of rent payments. Each time a resident moves out, a unit is vacant for an average of 1.5 months. If the tenant retains their lease, the property saves $1,350 as well as the additional costs that would go to marketing the vacancy." LTV and CAC Let's define two of the most important terms related to the economics of tenant retention – LTV and CAC. Then, we'll look at what they mean when combined. LTV: Lifetime Value of a Tenant. The LTV is the profit you'll make over the course of the entire time a tenant will be renting with you. The most important thing to understand about LTV is that it increases with each month a tenant stays with you.
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4 Tips for Managing Your Online Reputation
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5 Tips for Better Video Tours
Last week, we worked with RentJuice to bring you some helpful hints for better real estate photos. This week, we’re bringing you 5 of their tips for video tours. Although RentJuice is the rental marketing expert, their tips are certainly helpful for those of us selling properties. For all of the tips, download their excellent whitepaper “The Essential Guide to Apartment Video Tours.”   1) Choose the right equipment. First of all, Smartphones are not proper equipment for video tours. Just to make this absolutely clear, I’d like to reiterate: do not use your Smartphone to film your video tour. Instead, RentJuice recommends: Choose a mid-level quality camera or higher. Choose a camera with HD. Choose a camera with built-in stabilization. Use a wide-angle lens. Use a microphone. Use a tripod.   2) Stage your property. Before you start filming your video tour, make sure the property is clean and tidy! This isn’t just removing a layer of dust or spills on the kitchen floor – it means organizing clutter. Although keeping furniture in a shot can help potential buyers/renters visualize themselves in the space, be sure that the furniture is tasteful, minimal, and strategically arranged.   3) Give a complete tour. First, get in front of the camera yourself so that people know whose voice they’re hearing. Then, continue with proper “flow” - beginning with the exterior of the house and moving to the interior. Move through the house in an organized way, filming all of the major rooms. Give priority to major areas like the kitchen, dining room, living room and master bedroom.   In their whitepaper, RentJuice has several other excellent tips for filming your tour – including where to hold the camera when walking through a hallway. For full details, download the whitepaper.
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5 Tips for Better Real Estate Photography
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3 Tips for Writing Better Rental Listings
  In their last whitepaper, the rental experts at RentJuice shared their tips for starting a rental division. In their most recent whitepaper, they explain how to write better rental listings. We’ll share 3 of their top tips here; for the full scoop, you can download the whitepaper.   Tip #1: Share as much information as possible. The more information you’re able to include in your listing, the more likely people are to follow-up. Of course, not all information is created equal – some facts are more important than others. For instance, you want to be sure to include: The price (not a deceptively low price or a price range; the REAL price) The "laundry list" of features. That means all the features that you do have, and the important ones that you don't. It's the best way to prevent wasting their time and your own. Amenities such as washer and dryer, air conditioning, pool, parking, etc. The amount of living space and the floor plan, if possible.
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The Recipe for Repeat Rental Business
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