07 Mar

Why is it Good To Get Your Property Renovated?

A lot of real estate agents do not understand the importance of getting their investments renovated. It is a common notion that a property if sold without spending any money on maintenance and repair makes a good deal. It is not true though as there are many things that should be considered other than the profit you make on one property.

Here are certain reasons that should make you see how restoration of your investment would mean more gains despite spending more money.

Increase In Property’s Value

Getting a house renovated automatically increases the value of the property. When talking about any restoration of property, it is important to note that properties that are already well kept do not need much work and so you will not have to spend too much on them and yet get an increased selling profit.

The other scenario is that you bought an absolutely run down place that needs to be brought up for sale. If the locality and other proximity related factors are covered, the property could be sold for almost double the price with creative renovation work. Whoever is going to buy a rundown place from you is not going to pay you a good amount in any case.

Better Renters

With a property that looks well kept and maintained, you are sure to attract good tenants for the place. By good, it is meant that they will be the kind who can pay higher rent and can pay on time. A run down place on the other hand will only draw tenants who might not be able to pay on time or on the expected price lines.

Reasonable Expenses

The most important reason for getting a remodeling for your old and broken newly bought property is that it does not cost as much as is usually projected. With some smart arrangements you will be able to get it done at a reasonable price that will suit your overall budget.

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Tax Deductions

If you spend money on renovating your investment property, there are certain tax deductions you are entitled to. You should start by contacting a professional before you start. He or she will let you know clearly how much you should be shelling out.

In any case you are in the real estate business for long term. Building your name for lasting business relationships should be more important to you than a few thousand dollars in your initial years.

28 Jan

Money Laundering Fuels Real Estate Prices In Vancouver

Vancouver, BC is the centre of attention in regards to its price in real estate.  It is a bust city that is prospering more than ever in its population and job economy.  People are flocking there in large crowds to get a job and find a place to live, a feat that is making itself much easier said than done.  As the price of a huge continues to rise in this booming city, people’s thoughts are wandering to why, in fact, they are as high as they are.  The main reason is supply and demand, but there is another one waiting to be learned about, too: money laundering.  This is a darker cause as to why the prices are continuing to rise, much to everyone’s dismay.

With the decrease of the worth of the Canadian dollar, many other countries are taking advantage of this decrease and purchasing stock at a lower price.  Amongst the crowd, is the Chinese, a group that is profiting by the decrease in the dollar to be a way for them to get rich in their own increasing price of their currency.

The thought is that the Chinese are coming into BC and buying up a load of commercial real estate, purchased by companies that aren’t all above board.  While there is nothing wrong with these companies, the deals between these Chinese industries and the real estate deals are sketchy to many of those who are paying attention.  The tide of Chinese and Asians that are going to be doing this is just beginning, unfortunately.  As the Canadian dollar dips lower and lower, more and more of those outside of the country (and continent) are paying top dollar to be able to come in and buy up residential and commercial real estate, at little expense to themselves when you factor in the exchange rate.

For those who are from Vancouver or Canada natively, this is an unsettling factor that has raised many questions for those reporting on the issues.  If this does, in fact, become a trend, how are the rest of the people searching for homes and businesses supposed to compete?  A Burnaby realtor asks:  how is any of this legal in the bigger scheme of things?

As the price of real estate continues to climb, tensions are growing with it, both without the knowledge of the potential money laundering, and more so with that knowledge.  It is making everyone interested in the market edgy and nervous, as no one knows for sure when or where this rise is going to end.  Many people are being pushed out of the market simply because it has gone too high for them and are instead turning to rental situations, which is causing it’s own array of problems.

As the rest of Canada enjoys a lull in the house prices around them (other than Toronto, ON) everyone waits to see what is going to become of this money laundering situation.  Whether there is money laundering going on or this is just a bunch of Chinese officials that are looking to get rich quick (or a combination of the two), there are serious concerns that are starting to take root amongst all of those looking for a place to call home in Vancouver’s busy streets.

If you are a seller, there is plenty of people around who will grab up your home and allow you to travel, but if you are a buyer, Vancouver is quickly becoming a huge zone that is well out of your comfort zone, meaning that people are looking at having to commute for hours into work each day because they are forced to live well outside the outskirts of the city.  All eyes are on the market as the number rises, and people are left wondering whether or not the cause of the real estate climb is important or not: after all, it’s already high, so while the reason is important, the more important problem is when will it come back down?

28 Jan

Marketing for Real Estate Agents – 4 Tips to Be Successful

Marketing can lead to a lot of expenses, when it is not working. Lots of real estate agents, especially those who are newbies, tend to stay away from any type of advertising or marketing as they are not sure which ones would work for them. But when done rightly, a marketing campaign can work wonders for any real estate agent and serve to make him a viable name in the business.

Read on to get 4 tips that can this Burnaby real estate agent used to become successful!

Have a great marketing message

Do not concentrate on creating a catchy slogan or jingle. A marketing message should be smart and establish your own identity in a few seconds. It has to convey how you can help clients save money and time in looking for real estate properties when they choose your service. It should be something on the lines of “Get Your Home Sold in 2 Months Flat, or Get Money Back”. However, do not make tall promises that you cannot keep. Offer only what you are capable of, and it would be enough to get calls pouring in.

Personalize your marketing campaign

In other words, you should focus on your strengths and use them to your advantage. For instance, if you have good network in one or more particular areas, you should base your marketing campaign around those regions. A proper understanding of your strengths and using them to your advantage will help you to choose a type of marketing campaign which can make the most of your strengths.

Adhere to the 7% rule

Marketing campaigns can be quite costly, and you should set a specific budget in order to avoid wastage on mistakes. The prices of real estate properties tend to go up and down across the nation. Naturally, you should not spend over 7% of your total commission amount on any one type of marketing. You need to get back minimum of 1% of the transaction money with every 7% you invest. Once you choose a marketing campaign which goes over the 7% of standard transaction commission, you will find it more difficult to profit from the campaign.

Use low-cost marketing ideas

It is a misconception that marketing campaigns have to be costly in order to make an impact. Even with low-cost ideas such as self-made videos, memes on social networking websites, website and intelligent tweets and posts, you can have good success.

25 Dec

Merry Xmas – Marketing for Construction Companies

When it comes to promoting construction companies, owners tend to strangely restrict themselves in going all out and exploring all avenues of marketing. They have a feeling that some marketing ideas do not go well with the nature of the industry that they belong to. However, if used well, many seemingly incongruous mediums of promotion can work well in marketing construction firms. When you are going online promotions for your company, the following 5 modes can easily benefit you.

Press Releases

Although construction companies tend to disregard these, press releases can be very useful in attracting customers. Submission of press releases on related topics on a regular basis on reputed online platforms can make you get counted as an expert. With useful information, you can get the attention of more people and get higher rankings from search engines. Remember to integrate links to different pages of your official website into each of your press releases.

E-books

E-books on real estate and construction are also quite popular, and any useful information is always welcome among online users hungry for fresh content. A major benefit of e-books is that these can be even read offline. E-books can be downloaded into digital devices such as smartphone and tablets and read even in the absence of internet connectivity. Keep the promotional aspect short and restricted to the last paragraph of your entire content, along with links to your website and social account as well as contact details and address.

Newsletters

Visitors to your website can subscribe to newsletters and get information about all that you have on offer. Make your newsletters informative, containing details about the latest happenings in your enterprise such as achievements, deals facilitated and upcoming projects. With useful information, you can get the attention of users. Most of them are going to think of you the next time they think about a construction work.

Special occasion emails

This is an excellent way of email marketing, sending season’s greetings, birthday and anniversary wishes to valuable customers as well as users in your email list. This creates goodwill and helps you get loyal customers with regular email marketing. Use of auto-responder mails is also a great idea.

Classified advertisements

Classified ads are often ignored by many companies, with other advertising mediums taking precedence. Most of these advertisements can be posted for free, and can help bring your company immediately to the notice of interested clients in need of construction services.

21 Dec

Marketing for Concrete Contractor Companies – 5 Things to Highlight In Your Advertising Campaign

As a concrete contractor, you need to create the best customized renovated products for home owners. However, the harder part is to find clients in this market which is witnessing heavier competition by the day. A proper marketing campaign is important to bring your business to the notice of interested customers. Here are 5 important things that you need to highlight in your promotional campaign.

Past projects

Few people would like to linger too long on the ads that you create. A glimpse of the past projects, whether in the form of still images or brief slideshows, can be enough to get prospective clients interested about your work and make them get in touch with you as soon as possible. Banner ads, video ads and even content marketing in the form of newsletters and press releases can be enough to inform clients about your work.

Pricing

Consumers typically look for a company which takes minimal time for production and offers reasonable price quotes. Concrete renovation work is often costly, and the pricing tends to differ on the basis of which company is being opted for. You can highlight an affordable pricing structure as one of our strengths, which is sure to get consumers interested.

Experience

The number of years your company has been in the business is another thing that you can highlight. Generally, people feel safer to work with an experienced company – especially when it comes to complex renovation projects. If you have many years of experience in the concrete contracting industry, you can highlight the same and expect it to work to your advantage.

Tools

Reputed concrete contractors make use of special tools and equipments, which shorten the delivery time and reduce time for production. Whether for building small homes or business complexes, contractors with state of the art specialist tools and equipments are in high demand among clients.

Skills

Clients also look for companies with the necessary certification, business license and well-trained workmen. By highlighting the fact that you have skilled workers with experience in handling different types of renovation, restoration and construction work, you can get the attention of customers and have queries pouring in via calls and e-mails.

While creating a marketing campaign, you need to place yourself in the shoes of your customers and think about what your expectations would have been from a concrete contractor. Base your campaign around satisfying those expectations and your job will be done.

16 Dec

Content Marketing in the Real Estate Industry

For any business to thrive and attain new heights of success in the current times, it has become a necessity to pay an adequate amount of attention to promoting the company online. The internet has opened the door for rather lucrative prospects and with the right approach, you can certainly make the best use of these opportunities to take your business to greater heights. There is no genre of business that is an exception to the rule. Let us talk about copywriting in the real estate industry.

There might have been a time when real estate dealings were conducted via ads in newspapers or similar platforms. Now, brokers and realtors have the opportunity to market themselves in a better way through online platforms. By making use of blog posts and strong content, they have the chance to connect with their potential clients on an emotional level, which increases their chances of sealing the deal.

However, formulating content for online forums is not an easy task. Copywriting in the startup industry can be difficult since you are not a professional in the field of writing who would be able to fathom as to what form of writing appeals to the masses and how you can use blogs and articles to win their heart over. It is professionals that you will require for the purpose. When you are planning on becoming a real estate investor in Vancouver and once you have completed the paperwork, you would need to focus your energy on formulating strategies for online advertising. Try to ensure that you hire the right people for copywriting. Copywriting for the real estate industry has its own unique style and not everyone can grasp it wonderfully. You need to have people on board who are familiar with the requirements and expectations of readers and have the ability to impress with words.

13 Dec

Review: Skinny by Donna Cooner

Title **Skinny**
Author **Donna Cooner**
Publisher **Scholastic**
Release Date **October 1, 2012**
Source **ARC from Publisher**

Summary from Goodreads:

Find your voice.

Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies’s head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she’ll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.

But there is another voice: Ever’s singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical—and partly to try and save her own life—Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over.

With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own.

I’m still on the fence with my feelings on cosmetic surgery for teenagers.  While I don’t feel that gastric bypass is really all that “cosmetic,” I’m just not sure how I feel about that.  Aside from that little point,  this book was fabulous.  Anyone who has trouble with self-esteem or ever doubted themselves on a regular basis will hear Skinny’s dialogue with Ever and tell Donna Cooner to get out of their head.  At least I know that happened with me.

Ever is overweight and dealing with high school, a place that is not so kind for those who are different than others.  A place where Ever felt almost entirely alone with the exception of her best friend, Rat.  A place that if you are different, you have to build up a stone wall around your feelings in hopes of not being devastated every day.  I felt bad for Ever, because I know how cruel teenagers can be.  While I was never on the receiving end of the dirty looks and nasty jokes, I know that they are there and that they hurt.  I know that Ever had to struggle through that every day.  Like I said before, she did build up some defenses, but she never did anything for herself until she decided to go through with gastric bypass surgery.  We go through Ever’s surgery experience, recovery and life afterward.  We see her relationships change with friends, others who might or might not be a friend and with her family.  Really, Ever grows as a person in this book and the story is beautiful and sad and infuriating; it’s life.

This is a story about change, hope, learning who we are on the inside and battling that pesky little voice in our heads that tells us we can’t.  Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down and am still thinking about it days after finishing.  Pick this book up if you are a fan of realistic, contemporary YA.

10 Dec

Review: Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Title **Love is the Higher Law**
Author **David Levithan**
Publisher **Knopf Books for Young Readers**
Release Date **August 25, 2009**
Source **Library**

Summary from Goodreads:

First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . . .

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.

This review is going to be slightly different from what I usually post.  Consider yourself warned :)

Aside from the obvious reason that I love all things David Levithan, I picked up Love is the Higher Law to discuss with my online book club today.  I loved the idea; we could read and discuss as a small way to remember 9/11/2001.  I guess I wasn’t really ready for all of the remembering, because this book definitely resurfaced some feelings I had 11 years ago and man, were they intense.  I was a year younger than Claire and Peter when the World Trade Center fell, so I was in a very similar place in my life as the characters.  They lived in NYC, which makes our lives very different, but I could definitely relate to where I was at that time of my life.  It’s really different to read a book about an event that I lived through.  What will it feel like for them?  It’s also crazy for me to think that there are people in the US that didn’t experience the events of 9/11.  It’s just difficult to wrap my head around it all.

This quote really resounded with me, “I certainly have room in my life for caution, but I have no room in my life for paralyzing fear.  There’s always a risk.  There always have been.  But I’d rather live my life than die of negations.”  I really think anyone who lived through this can relate to this quote.  We were suddenly faced with fears we never really even thought about before.

I’m not going to get political, but the ending rubbed me the wrong way.  Instead of ending the book in a “happier” place, I almost felt like there was an anti-George Bush or anti-war agenda that was being subtly pushed.  So let’s just leave it at that I am a little torn on how I feel about this book.  I loved the writing and some of the messages David Levithan always seems to stick to us, but there were parts that I didn’t love.

I think this is a great read for anyone in high school or early college years when the attacks occurred.  It was a way for me to compare my experience and reflect on things that have happened.  It also makes me proud and thankful to be where I am and have the privileges that I do.   I will never forget.

07 Dec

Guest Review: Because of Low by Abbi Glines

Title **Because of Low (Sea Breeze #2)**
Author **Abbi Glines**
Publisher **Wild Child Publishing**
Release Date **February 7, 2012**
Source **eBook**

Summary from Goodreads:

In my debut novel, Breathe, Sadie may have fallen in love with the teen rock star, Jax Stone, but readers fell head over heels for Marcus Hardy. This is his story…

Marcus Hardy had hoped to enjoy a year away at college while he put the summer he’d rather forget behind him. But instead, he’s jerked right back to the coastal town of Sea Breeze, Alabama due to a family crisis. His dear ol’ dad found himself a girlfriend only a few years older than Marcus. So now his sister needs help dealing with their mother who is mentally falling apart. The only bright spot to returning is the fascinating red head who sleeps over several times a week. The problem is she’s sleeping in bed with his new roommate, Cage Watson.

Willow “Low” Foster needs a place to live. Running to Cage’s apartment every time her sister kicks her out isn’t exactly a long term solution. Juggling her courses at the local community college and a part time job doesn’t produce excess income. But Cage has a new roommate and suddenly sleeping over at her best friend’s apartment isn’t such a bad thing. Not when she gets to see those sexy green eyes of Marcus Hardy’s twinkle when he smiles at her like he wants her there.

Even though Cage seems a little territorial where Low is concerned, Marcus finds time to spend with Low without upsetting his roommate. Cage may use his small college baseball star persona to sleep with every hot female in his path but he’s still under the disillusion that when he’s through sowing his wild oats, he’s going to marry Low. Marcus intends to change that assumption for both Cage and Low. Until his carefully laid plans come crashing down with a revelation he never expected. He’ll have to choose between Low or his family. Because once the truth comes out…. there’s no other choice.

Like the summary says, I was one of many that fell in love with Marcus, while he was busy falling in love with Sadie in Breathe. I was very excited to read another book by Abbi, as well as get a story all about Marcus, because after the last book, he deserved something good.

However, Because of Low isn’t the best of times for Marcus. Because of family drama he has moved back home, leaving college, to take care of his mom and his sister. When he moves back home he moves into an apartment with Cage, a guy he doesn’t know at all, but plays baseball with his best friend Preston.

Cage, did not win me over, ever in this book. He’s sleazy. He’s possessive (of Low). & he really doesn’t care. I was not a fan. Luckily, he does add his own moments to the story, where it could not have gone on without him. So, there’s that.

Then there is Low. Sometimes I was really annoyed with Low – because obviously she had potential and was making something of herself, but it was hard to deal with her self-doubt. But as it was intended, Low was hard not to like. She took care of everyone – Cage, Marcus, her sister, her niece, etc. and always seemed happy to do it. She’s the type of girl you root for, who you want to see get her prince charming. Watching her and Marcus fall in love, really was a wonderful story.

Unlike Breathe, this story was told from both Marcus and Low’s perspectives. Which was fun, because you really got to be inside both of their heads – which is what I enjoy about reading so much. While this book wasn’t about a rock star, it defiantly held its own in the Sea Breeze series.

Book 3 will be up next week!