Real Estate Investing: Risk and Rewards
We spend a lot of time at Zbuyer focusing on the needs of real estate agents who are seeking motivated sellers. That is, to use a cliché, our bread and butter. But interwoven among the many buyers, sellers and, yes, agents that we communicate with every day are a particular subset of the population: real estate investors.
Anyone with any mind for investing knows that diversification is important, and most experts advise that real estate is an important part of any sustainable portfolio. But, unlike mutual funds and bonds, it’s not often immediately successful to the novice (or even average) investor. Sure there are ways to invest in real estate-heavy portfolios, but actually BUYING a property takes opportunity, cash… and a strong stomach.
5 Things to Remember When the Going Gets Tough
Agents have a reputation – to an almost ridiculous degree – of being positive in all situations. And, most of the time, real estate actually is a pretty shiny-happy industry. When there’s a job to do involving clients, we put on our best faces and genuinely enjoy the process of helping people sell or buy their greatest investments. Most of the time.
What the sitcoms don’t show you (though American Beauty certainly did, if dramatically) are the long nights, the slow months, the entire darn recessions that can make this a terribly difficult industry to navigate for the long term. Many people don’t realize that agents pay for their own health insurance, or don’t carry it at all. A big commission doesn’t always guarantee a Caribbean vacation – it often has to be set back for the inevitable month without a sale. Many of us are one typo away from a lost sale, if not a lawsuit. Sometimes it’s enough to make even the most relentlessly perky agent consider going into teaching.
It’s All in the Game (Day): Fantastic Football Fan Caves
With the arrival of fall, our home entertainment options begin to make the transition from outdoor picnics and pool parties to indoor get-togethers. And in many places around the country, that means one thing: Football.
It’s a fact of modern American life that cities are sexy. TV shows are set (and filmed) there; sports are played there; the big concerts tour there; the airports are located there. The statistics bear out that an increasing number of young Americans find city life attractive. As a result, an ongoing “bright flight” of the most talented members of the Millennial generation is plaguing rural America.
There are probably lots of reasons you became a real estate agent. You’re a people person. You like the challenge of sales. You like real estate in and of itself, either for its aesthetic or sentimental qualities, or as an investment. The reasons are as varied as the people who make up the industry.
One reason you certainly did NOT get into real estate, however, is because it’s an uncrowded field. There are plenty of agents competing for clients and closings alongside you every day, some of them perhaps even in the same office. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that, in 2014, there were more than 421,000 real estate agents and sales brokers in the United States, with that number expected to increase slightly by 2024.
So, with such a densely populated industry, how do you stand out? Zbuyer is here to help.
We spend a lot of time here talking about the sale and purchase of standalone, single-family homes, and with good reason. These are the structures available on nearly every street, in every town in America. With the exception of Manhattan and San Francisco, it’s where most of the money is and quite likely where you focus most of your attention.
But we’d be remiss not to delve into the other types of homes that agents are often asked to list or look for – some of you, quite possibly, even specialize in condos and urban apartments, or “lofts” (though that specific distinction requires a few special factors, most urban apartments are commonly referred to as lofts these days). Those that do can likely attest that selling these properties is a different beast, with different factors, strategies and individuals in play. While concentrated in dense urban areas and vacation hubs, lofts and condos are becoming more popular across the country.
With the summer coming to an end, we thought we’d provide a beginner’s guide to buying and selling lofts and condos. Obviously, for a full perspective, we suggest seeking out an agent you know and trust who has experience with these properties, or consult your professional organization.
Those in the know in the philanthropic field often like to champion the “double bottom line,” which means engaging in business practices that not only add to a company’s financial success but better the lives and conditions of the community at large.
Increasingly, those in the real estate industry are subscribing to this concept. The beauty of the double bottom line is that it’s a win-win – often an act of generosity pays off for your business in ways you may or may not expect.
So, sure: You’re a member of Rotary or the local Optimists club, buy the occasional ad in a local school’s football program or co-sponsor an arts presentation. What else can you do that will not only give back to the community that makes your success possible, but also grow your business?