Mobile phones and Real Estate

Mobile phones and Real Estate

Just recently I have heard the news of a successful Brisbane agency Principal having been diagnosed and operated on for a Brain Tumor. The prognosis isn’t good from all accounts and feedback he has received from the medical profession points toward the use of his mobile phone potentially having played a part in this dreadful disease.

Due to my own experiences with the effects of mobile phones which include headaches, ear aches, extreme heat plus sore jaws and teeth like a toothache, I have long held the belief mobile phones could easily be causing health issues we are yet unaware of. For me, it began immediately when I changed from analogue to digital.

Earlier this year 60 minutes ran a programme highlighting the potential dangers of mobile phone use and an extended interview with Dr Charlie Teo, an Australian neurosurgeon and co-author of a study on mobile phones and their effects.

Dr Teo said “…if the question is do I believe that mobile phones can cause brain cancer, the answer is yes I do.” In talking with Liam Bartlett from 60 minutes he went on to say “That’s a huge fear. I mean, what if we’re right? Then if we’re right we’re going to see a huge increase in brain tumours and brain cancer in the next decade or so. It’s going to be frightening. And guess what Liam, we’re already frightened by what were seeing.”

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Does a Real Estate Agency sales business hold any value?

What is it with us as real estate professionals that we appear hell bent on undermining ourselves and place little to no value on what we do?

Most real estate agents I know work really hard. Most work 6-7 days per week, are genuine, fair and honest and entered real estate because they love helping people.

We work long hours and often feel like we are a psychologist, marriage counsellor, negotiator, accountant, solicitor, town planer, taxi driver and provide a solution to world peace all at the same time. Yet we seem destined to work long hours whilst sacrificing family and personal commitments without a fair expectation of financial reward at the end.

It’s a common held belief within our industry that a real estate sales business does not hold any value or goodwill and it is next to worthless. I am unsure why we would want to encourage this line of thinking as it is not advantageous to ourselves when it comes time to sell.

A general business, whether it is a takeaway store, newsagency or hairdressing salon etc, all hold a sales value. Commonly it will entail cost of stock and a multiplier upon the profit. Real Estate should be no different and a profitable office must be worth something. However, just like general business, without profit, market share and some structure then the business is unlikely to sell or be worth very little. In real estate, “very little”, is likely to be second hand replacement cost of plant and equipment.

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Managing your Property Management business

Managing your Property Management business

A decade ago Property Management was perceived as the very poor cousin to Sales within a real estate agency however in 2010 the enormous increases in returns, cashflow and value demand we as Principals are far more professional in our approach to this part of our business.

A rental department provides enormous long term benefit to your business.

  • Business energy and momentum
  • Branding
  • Equity
  • Sales leads
  • Cashflow

To achieve maximum benefit you as the principal must set the standards, monitor performance and create accountability within your Property Management business.

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Are we really performing for our real estate clients

Are we really performing for our real estate clients?

One of my best friends, in fact my longest friend of over 30 years, Brad, moved house in June last year. When settlement was not effected on the Monday as due this normally happy, hilarious, easy going, affable mate became completely irrational and angry. The stress on him caused him to completely lose the plot.

At 45, this was the first time he had ever sold a property. A builder/ developer had bought the home and for some reason settlement was being held up. It was school holidays, he was on holidays from work and he had visualised a smooth transition where he’d have plenty of time to transfer into his new home. Unfortunately things began to unravel differently than expected and as much as I tried to assist him, it was an incredible insight into the process that everyday families go through when they buy and sell real estate.

As settlement was now overdue he was living in his old house with no phone, no food or refrigerator and no tv. He was on holidays and the days were being eaten away by sitting around waiting for settlement to be effected. He was upset that his son was spending his school holidays sitting around, unable to do anything as they remained in limbo. Undoubtedly he was excited to move into his new home and he was being denied!!

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The Ten Commandments of Customer Service

The Ten Commandments of Customer Service

Written by Ken Wright http://www.thepeoplepill.com/

Customer service is so instrumental to the success of any business I would like to share my thoughts with you on this subject.

When I became CEO of Westpac Financial Services in 1994 my first “Contact Point” column in our monthly staff magazine focused on customer excellence.

I reminded our team that customer excellence, that is, the attainment of raving advocates, will be the key to our ongoing success. It will become what differentiates us from our competitors. I also reminded them that if they felt they were providing superior service currently, to remember the old adage, “You don’t have to be ill to get better,” as a poignant reminder of our obligation to the pursuit of customer excellence. I then provided them with “The Ten Commandments of Customer Excellence.” I feel these points remain relevant today, and so I have modified them from their original focus on providing financial services advice to being generically applicable to any business.

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Most Trusted Professions Poll

Most Trusted Professions Poll

This month, July 2010, Readers Digest has once again released its annual findings of the most trusted professions voted by Australians. The Top 40  results are very similar to previous polls and probably as expected. Leading the way of the most trusted professions are Ambulance Officers, Firefighters, Nurses and Pilots. No real surprises there I guess although Doctors at Number 5 may be under pressure in the next poll if the events of this week are any indication.

At the other end of the list the names once again remain fairly familiar. At 40 Telemarketers came in last in the most trusted profession followed at 39 by Car Salespeople and Politicians in at 38. Ouch, that’s got to hurt being a telemarketer or car salesperson and being voted behind Politicians. At 37 comes Sex Workers just edging out……you guessed it, Real Estate Agents at number 36.

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Financing your own Real Estate Agency

Financing your own Real Estate Agency

Financing your own Real Estate Agency – By Nick Dowling, Macquarie Bank

Thinking of starting up your own real estate business? Here are some tips for getting a business loan.

Financing growth in the early stages of any business can be a challenge. Most likely you will need to contribute an amount of personal capital and, if borrowing is required, security is generally needed in order for a bank to lend money. The decisions you then make in formulating and executing your business can impact your ability to borrow money to grow your business down the track.

For start-ups and real estate businesses in their early stages, it is important to have a clear picture of how you plan to grow your business, including what role you envisage property management will play.

Banks usually treat rent rolls and residential and commercial properties as security. Some banks will look at the rent roll only. Despite the fact that the sales component of your business might initially generate the majority of your revenue, it’s rare for banks to lend against this stream of income as it’s generally less predictable and more susceptible to downturns than property management.

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Preparing Your Business for Sale

Preparing Your Business for Sale

Often when an owner rings me to sell, it is because they have to sell. The reasons can vary from health reasons to financial reasons or other personal situations, but in most circumstances little time has been put into preparing the business for sale.

Usually our entire commitment has been to function as best as possible and simply survive, there’s been no time to think about the last resort of having to sell.

However, preparing the business has so many benefits including financially through a higher sales price, a faster process to settlement, better management of the retention process and an improved customer relationship for your clients with the new owner.

One of the most common questions I am asked is “Do we need to provide a profit and loss to the buyer?” If you are selling the business, in other words, a buyer is taking on the expenses of the business such as leases, equipment, staff and/or their wages plus other business running costs, they will insist on a P&L to ensure its viability. You may be prepared to take no payment for the business and be happy just to accept rent roll value but a buyer will still need an accurate P&L report. The buyer’s solicitor, accountant and bank manager will insist upon it even if the buyer doesn’t.

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6 Reasons A House Doesn't Sell

6 Reasons A House Doesn’t Sell

With the changed market conditions to a strong buyer’s market it was interesting to read Michael Matusik’s June newsletter.

In his newsletter he says:-

“House sales across South East Queensland are down about 50% on last year. There were just 28,000 sales during 2010/11, compared to 41,000 the year before. This magnitude of decline was widespread, with no area being spared the pain. In contrast, the amount of property listed for sale across the region has increased, and by as much as 30%, on this time last year.”

Michael went on to provide the reasons he believed a property doesn’t sell in today’s market. Reviewing these points and your businesses strategies to deal with these issues individually may give you the edge necessary to improve sales. It may even be worth printing out and using in your listing presentation or vendor meeting with a seller. Read more