Best Real Estate Tax Tips

Taxes are part of life once we start earning until the day we take our last breath. We pay our taxes because it is our moral obligation to do so and the law requires it. It is the lifeblood of the government. When we own a piece of property, we get tax benefits. A real estate property is also subject to taxes called real estate tax. Take advantage of the tax benefits that come with owning a real estate property.   

Here are some of the best real estate tax tips. 

Home improvements 

Anything you spend on home improvements can be deducted from your tax bill. Make sure to keep all receipts of the materials purchased during home renovations and the invoices for the labor cost. Be meticulous and keep track of all your expenses to charge it against your tax bill. Your finances will thank you for doing it. 

Mortgage insurance 

When you take out a mortgage and only make a 5% down payment, you’re required to have private mortgage insurance. It makes your monthly payments much higher but the good news is, the money you spend on mortgage insurance can be deducted from your tax bill. Take note of this important deduction when it’s time to prepare your tax returns. 

Property taxes 

The amount you’re going to pay for property taxes can also be deducted from your annual tax bill. Just make sure that you’re up to date on your payments. Charging property taxes even when you haven’t made any payments will surely raise a red flag. The last thing you could ever want to happen is the IRS conducting an audit. 

Home equity loans 

When you take out a home equity loan to finance home renovations, the interest you pay for that loan can be deducted from your annual tax bill. 

Home Office 

When you’re a self-employed individual who maintains a home office, you can deduct the expenses from your tax bill. Once again, the IRS is very meticulous when people charge a deduction for home office expenses. Make sure that your home office is your principal place of business. Any wrongful declaration can mean the IRS going after you. 

The government needs its people to pay the right amount of taxes in order to deliver the necessary services. Dealing with taxes is complicated. Failure to pay the right amount of taxes means the IRS going down hard on you. To ensure that you’re paying your taxes right, consult a reputable accountant to help prepare your taxes and make your life easy. 

Branding Techniques of Successful Real Estate Agents

Successful Real Estate Agents know how their personal brand will influence prospective clients from hiring their services. It’s what other people feel and think about them. This perception lets people know how an agent works and what they can expect to gain from working with the said agent.  

They try to protect this at all costs. It’s important in building and maintaining the relationship they have with their clients and prospects. They know that one wrong move could destroy everything they had ever built. This is how their personal brand works for them.  

Here are some of the branding techniques of successful Real Estate Agents. 

They have a personal logo 

Amazon, Pepsi, Apple, Nike or Adidas have it. These big companies understand its value and know how it helps them build and maintain a solid customer base. That’s why the successful agents took the extra time and effort to build one for themselves. A logo is a form of identifier that lets people know it’s you right from the start. It sets you apart from your competitors. A personal logo with a hidden meaning builds up your mystique and it will only serve to attract more people to do business with you.  

They come up with a catchy tagline 

These are unique and persuasive phrases to describe and define who you are and how you can help people. It’s like saying over and over again what you promise to do if people decided to hire your services. This is what helps people remember you even if they have other things to do. Your tagline must have something to do with the principles you believe in and the way you work. That way, it can help you connect with people on an emotional level and capture their attention.    

They specialize in a certain niche 

The successful Real Estate agents have found their niche and devoted all their resources to becoming the top dog for that particular niche. Specializing in a niche is capturing a share of the market that your competitors are trying to break into. Some agents specialize in luxury homes, that people looking to buy or sell high-end properties will naturally be more inclined to hire their services first before considering other agents.  

They have a solid marketing plan 

Their solid marketing plan allows them to reach more people within their chosen niche. They take advantage of the latest trends and use it to interact with their client base. They have blogs, do email marketing, they go big with their social media marketing efforts, or advertise their services on Google or Facebook. They know how hanging out in the right places helps them solidify and expand their business. 


How to Advertise Your Open House Event

Advertising an open house is a must to make the event successful. If you fail to do the right marketing, people will not know about it hence only a few will show up, which is not what you want. Even if advertising the event will cost you money, you still need to do it. Remember, you need to spend money to get money.  

If you wonder how to advertise your open house, here are some recommendations: 

1.Use the social media 

Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter and other social networking sites have millions of users around the world. You can take advantage of the social media’s popularity to advertise your event. Your friends and their friends will be able to view your post and might be convinced to go. Or create an “Event” on FB and invite those who you think are looking for San Antonio Real Estate realtors. Your invitees can choose whether they will go or not, or not sure yet. 

2.Advertise online 

Survey results show that almost 86% of homebuyers started looking for homes online. This only shows how effective the internet is in finding your next client. There are many free online advertisement services but the terms are not that great. You can choose to have pop-up advertisement which can be liked into several websites. There are also many real estate websites that accept open houses advertisement. As an agent, you can contact Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.Org to post your event on their website. 

3.Advertise in your local paper. Local newsprint still has avid readers up to today. When people are looking for homes for sale, they still turn on the real estate section. 

4.Post flyers in strategic areas such as the bulletin boards in stores that allow it. Clubhouses also have bulletin boards where you can post a flyer. Don’t forget to put a flyer in front of your own house and office building.

5. Send mass emails to all your contacts. Your message must contain important information including the description of the property, the address, date and time of the event, and your contact details.

6.Tell your friend and family about the event and ask their help to spread the word about it. 

It’s important to remember that advertising an open house doesn’t guarantee a sale. Organizing an open house is just another marketing strategy to convince the right buyer by showing the entirety of the house.  



Skills Every Real Estate Agent Should Have

Every aspiring Real Estate Agent will want to know the skills that would make them successful in the Industry. They know that competition is great and if they don’t stand out, they’re missing their opportunity to earn money for a living. Most Real Estate Agents are not employees, they are contractors. The only way they earn money is through commissions and they can’t earn their commissions if clients aren’t hiring their services.  

Here are key skills every Real Estate Agent should have. 

People skills 

They know how to get along with everyone they work with. They treat everyone with respect not just because it will help them close more sales or advance in their careers but because it is an innate part of who they are. They can easily adjust their styles to different personalities and fulfill each of their client’s different needs. It is always the natural thing for them to do and that’s why people love them.   

Detail Oriented 

Their keen eye for the details enables them to immediately spot anything wrong with the contract or anything that has something to do with the deal that would put their clients at a disadvantage. They also know how to set the right expectations by explaining things stipulated in the contract or report carefully and in detail. It greatly helps their client understand the complicated terms or processes for any Real Estate transaction.  

Communication skills 

Communicating with people is an important skill for anyone within the Real Estate Industry. People talk with other people to get their points across and get them to cooperate. Agents must be great communicators in order to help their clients get the best deals during negotiations or get help from other professionals during the home buying or selling process.    

Strong work ethic 

The job of a Real Estate Agent isn’t a 9 to 5 kind of job. Their clients must be able to freely contact them at any time for questions or clarifications or for agents to follow up home inspectors, architects, or engineers on their client’s behalf. Only an agent with a strong work ethic is able to survive and thrive in this kind of working conditions as this is what’s considered normal for any professional in the Real Estate Industry. 

Expert Knowledge of Real Estate Transactions 

They must possess an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the different Real Estate transactions or processes. This is the only way they can be able to dispense the best advice to their clients. When agents have this level of expertise, they know the right people in their network to get in touch with. It helps them do their job more efficiently and create a positive experience for their clients every time. 

A Closer Look Into Real Estate

Let’s begin easing you out of the pits. I mean, comfort zone! I’m going to slowly and methodically give you as many little sparks and insights to the relatively simple ways that ordinary people use real estate to achieve extraordinary results. Stories are the best spark plugs. They let you casually observe from a safe, secure and understandable view point. I will write to answer most of the questions that I feel I myself would ask if I was reading what you are about to read. I want you to know something from the very start of this report and that something is this: I care about you and I sincerely mean that. I really do want you to move to a new comfort zone, one that is pleasurable and free from fear. A place where you realize you have the power to achieve greater things than you currently can imagine. It’s possible for you to start being a more powerfully directed purpose-driven individual who is well organized and on track to higher achievement. You will change and grow, slowly and steadily with every page you read. With every thought and insight you gain, your desire and courage will grow as well.

Napoleon Hill wrote one of the greatest books of all time. It’s called “Think and Grow Rich.” The essence of that book, the secret it reveals time and again is this: you must develop a burning desire. Don’t put this book down thinking the previous statement is cliché and that you already knew that! I am simply leading you to my next point, the next point being is – your desire needs a starting point. So to start developing desire, my secret is you must have a purpose. Why do you want to pursue real estate? I know what you’re thinking: to make money, to have security, to feel useful and appear successful. Good points. I agree you can have all of that and more if that is what you desire.

Now here is something that comes before any of those things you desire. What is the purpose of all those things? Purpose, purpose, purpose…you need to first define purpose before you get the things. My purpose, or so I thought early in my career, was to move up to a nicer house and have my first house become my first rental property. When I moved up to the next one, I quickly learned as soon as I rented it out, I was in some way responsible for creating happiness and security in the life of another person that was of no relation to me. It soon was evident to me how the choices I made in choosing that first property either would help me or hurt me in my quest to succeed in the real estate investment business.

All of it is cumulative, everything you do and how you do it adds up. It compounds itself and it either makes your life easier or more difficult. I am going to give you experiences that you can learn from that will make your life easier; I am going to show you how. That is my purpose. The book that gave me the unknowing courage to take my first steps in real estate was a book called “How I Turned $1000 into $3 Million in real estate in my spare time” by William Nickerson. He was a master storyteller and by osmosis, after reading his book, I found myself gravitating towards the real estate classified section of my Sunday paper. Eventually I leapt and my life had changed. It was an FHA foreclosure, a two-bedroom, one-bath home with a built-in, screened-in pool, with a Jacuzzi and a built-in sprinkler system. I bought it for $46,000 and used the HUD 203K rehab program to fix it up. I spent $16,000 to update and make repairs. They then gave me one loan for a total of $62,000. It took me three months to complete it and I was in; I had done it!

A Guide To Real Estate

We all are thinking about it and some of us are actually taking action and getting their hands on real estate investment properties. The longer the NY Stock Exchanges doesn’t produce desirable returns the more people are starting with real estate investments. For most of us the obvious choice of properties are single family homes. Although you can invest in real estate without owning a home, most people follow the experience they made while purchasing their own home. This is familiar ground and the learning curve for doing a real estate deal of this type is pretty slim. Of course there’s a drawback with this approach. The competition is fierce and there are markets where investors are artificially driving up the cost of the properties while completely discouraging first time home buyers. If this is the case, the burst of the real estate bubble is just a matter of time.

How do you avoid these situations and still successfully invest in real estate? How do you get ahead of the competition and be prepared for bad times in real estate investments as well? The only answer I have is commercial real estate. Why commercial real estate you might ask? Commercial real estate is a solid investment in good and bad times of the local real estate market. The commercial real estate I’m referring to are multi unit apartment buildings. Yes you will become a landlord and No you don’t have to do the work by yourself. You are the owner and not the manager of the apartment building. The cost of owning and managing the building is part of your expenses and will be covered by the rent income.

Apartment buildings are considered commercial real estate if there are 5 or more units. To make the numbers work you should consider to either own multiple small apartment buildings or you should opt for bigger buildings. This will keep the expense to income ratio at a positive cash flow. Owning rental properties is all about positive cash flow. With investing in single family homes it is easy to achieve positive cash flow. Even if your rent income doesn’t cover your expenses 100%, the appreciation of the house will contribute to the positive cash flow. With commercial real estate the rules are different.

While single family homes are appraised by the value of recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood, commercial real estate doesn’t care about the value appreciation of other buildings. The value of the property is solely based on the rent income. To increase the value of a commercial real estate you need to find a way to increase the rent income. The formula on how this is calculated would be too much for this short article. I listed a few very helpful books where you can find all the details. What’s another advantage to invest in commercial real estate? Commercial real estate financing is completely different than financing a single family home. While financing a single family home you are at the mercy of lenders who want to make sure that you are in the position to pay for the house with your personal income. Commercial real estate financing is based in the properties ability to produce positive cash flow and to cover the financing cost.

After reading all these information about commercial real estate you want to go out there and dive into the deals. Not so fast. First, you need to learn as much about real estate as possible. In commercial real estate you’re dealing with professionals. If you come across too much as a newbie you will waste these guys’s time and your commercial real estate career ended before it actually started. Second, no commercial real estate lender will lend you any money if you can’t show at least a little bit of real estate investment experience. What’s the solution to this? Go out there and do one or two single family home deals yourself. It doesn’t matter if you make huge profits to start off with. Most newbie investors are losing money on their first deal anyway. If you can manage to show positive cash flow with your single family home deals you are ahead of the pack.