KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR CLIENT

After your deal closes, how hard are you trying to keep in touch with past clients? Most agents do not speak another word to their client when the deal closes and that is losing them business in the long run. As an agent you may want to start reaching out to your clients, as nearly half of home buyers say they do not have a “go-to” real estate agent! Some surveys show that buyers spend very little to no time searching for a new agent once they are ready to buy another home, or sell their current home. They typically go with the first one they can find and do not research the agent to see if they can work on a deal together to make both of them happy. “Study shows a large percentage of the market is up for grabs, not only because many homeowners do not have a preferred agent, but also the fact that most homeowners aren’t doing heavy research before hiring one,” says Dan Stewart, CEO and co-founder of Happy Grasshopper”! With that being said, reaching out to your clients after your deal is closed will have them keeping you in mind for not only future personal real estate, but will also keep you in mind when they have friends and family who need an agent referred to them. According to past surveys found online, a lot of homeowners like to receive Real Estate updates such as new listings in their neighborhood or other neighborhoods they were looking at before they purchased the home they are currently living in, even if they are not in the market to buy. Sending them a simple text or email asking if they would like to receive updates will put you ahead of the game when it comes to Real Estate agents. Not only do they like to receive updates on listings, they also like to see home maintenance and updates on what other home owners are doing in the neighborhood; such as new landscaping! Only about 19% of home owners received information and updates from their real estate professional. Keeping in touch will not only build the relationship you have with your client but also build your business when they purchase another home or refer someone over to you. A couple of tips on how to keep in touch with your clients are sending an email asking how their new purchase is, sending them a fridge magnet with your information and yearly calendar on it, or even something as a simple follow up call saying you appreciate their business and hope to work with them in the future. Building a relationship with client will not always work though, you will have times when they are not very happy you reached out to them, but don’t let that discourage you, the next one you reach out to might have 3 referrals for you to reach out too. The market is very competitive these days, and keeping in touch with your clients will keep your booming, and keep it growing.

HOW-TO KEEP THIEVES OUT OF YOU FOR SALE HOME!

After all the holidays are over, people are un-boxing and getting rid of all the trash and putting it on the curb. What people are not realizing is that is screaming to thieves “Hey I just got a band new tv, come rob me!” If those owners are seller opening their doors to complete strangers, habits like that put them in great danger. In this blog, I am going to give you a couple of ways to keep burglars away from your listings and keep your seller safe! Maintain the outside of the home. I know this seems hard when it is cold outside, but if you keep an unkempt yard thieves will think you have abandoned the home, and it will make you an easier target. Get to know your neighbors. Most people just wave and smile at your neighbor but never get the chance to get to know them, and if you introduce them to your agent before you list the home, they will not be as alarmed when they see strangers coming and going from the house! Thank the power of lighting, keeping lights, or a tv on inside will keep criminals out of your Las Vegas home. A thief does not want to get caught and if you are keeping on the lights, they will think someone is awake in the home, and it will keep them out! But if you keep the lights inside on, do not keep your outside lights on all night; it might make them think you have left for a long period of time during the night. Yes, I know this sound redundant but KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED AT ALL TIMES! It is amazing how many people think they in a safe enough neighborhood that they do not need to lock the doors, but that cannot be further from the truth. People typically break into homes in nicer neighborhoods because they have valuables to steal. Invest in some sort of alarm! Thieves are usually in and out of the home in ten minutes, and they know police do not respond that fast, but getting a some sort of sounded alarm might scare them off the they break through a window or an unlocked door. Take in too consideration surveillance cameras and I know that seems a little pricey but if you catch something as simple as a license plate on camera, you can find the criminal that broke into your home. Go through your home, and mark all your valuables down. It can be as simple as writing everything you value on a sheet of notebook paper and storing it where no one can find it, and if in the event something did happen you can go through and see if what was taken. Most people do not realize what they are missing until you go to use it or wear it and it is gone. Take precautions when you have your home listed, and when you are letting complete strangers come look at every inch of your home.

LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT RENTAL

Have you been renting for a while, and you want to upgrade into a better home but you do not know where to start looking? I am going to give you a couple of tips on how to make sure you secure a GREAT new rental. First and for most, start with what you are looking for in a new home. Knowing how many bed and bathrooms you require to live is a good place start, and then looks to see if you want a back yard or porch. Even if it things as little as you want a home that has no paint on the walls, or having the whole painted can make your search a lot easier. After you have wrote down what you are actually looking for in a home, set your budget accordingly. Do not start looking at home out of your price range that you would not be able to afford comfortably. Most places require you make about two times the monthly rent to qualify. Divide your pay in half, and start looking in that price range. You can look on multiple websites for properties in your price range and in your preferred neighborhood. After you have done a little research, set a plan to meet with a leasing agent to show you the properties. Here at Black and Cherry Real Estate, we have leasing agents that will show you, and help you apply for properties, free of cost to you as the renter. It makes looking for a rental simple and stress-free. Get out there and look at these properties, you never know if you will like the same house you loved online by just looking at the photographs. Once you go see the property ask as many questions as you can think of. You do not want to get stuck in a lease in home you do not like because you did not ask questions at the beginning. Ask if the owner is willing to paint, or replace carpet, or fix landscaping, and have the home deep cleaned. Ask about the deposits, how much they are and how they work. Next you will want to meet with the Property Manager/Landlord of the home. Pay attention to how fast they respond, how educated they answer your questions, and how they plan to manage the property! Ask them about the application and the lease process and see company’s rules and regulations and how things will work once you move into the home. Once you have ask the manager all those questions, and after you see how they are you will see if they are someone you want to rent from for a year or plus! When you are on your way to getting a new home, you will want to consider all of these tips. If you start to see red flags with the home before you move in, it might be time to look at a different property. Take your time, and do not rush into a home you are unsure about.

HOW-TO KEEP YOUR CLIENTS AFTER A PURCHASE

Following up with your home owner after the deal closes is very important! When you have a client, reaching out to them is very important because even though you are in contract with them, you might not be their go-to real estate agent. If you build a real relationship with them, they will think of you first when they are ready to purchase another home, or sell their current home. Not only will they think of you when they are ready to repurchase they will also send referrals to you. A lot of home buyers and sellers do not do a lot of research before finding their preferred agent, so when you have a client you will want to reach out to them as much as possible and always keep them updated with their property and other properties on the market, or in their neighborhood so when they need an agent you are the first person that comes to their minds. Doing little things to stay in your client’s mind, like sending them a yearly calendar, a fridge magnet, or even just a yearly post card will truly make a difference when they are ready to re-purchase a home. Thirty-six percent of homeowners say they find it beneficial to receive communication from a real estate professional, even if they aren’t in the market to buy or sell, according to the survey. They say they are particularly interested in receiving information such as listings and open houses in their neighborhoods. Forty percent say they would like to receive home maintenance tips and information on neighborhood events. But only 19 percent of homeowners say they actually receive such communication from their real estate professional. The study found that homeowners overwhelmingly prefer to receive information via email instead of text message, phone call, or social media communication. Keeping in touch with your client will not only raise your chances of having them re-purchase from you, but it will also have them refer people to you! Couples of ways you can stay in touch with your client are email, text, or even try calling them. According to recent surveys home owners truly appreciate when their Real Estate agent reaches out to them, not only for their business but too wish them Happy Holidays, or even receiving a little Happy birthday text can make all the difference. This suggests communication initiated by an agent might be enough to turn a lead into a sale, even if it takes years before the client is ready to buy or sell. Agents are missing opportunities to cultivate relationships with past and potential clients so when it is time to move, they know who to call. Typing a quick email takes less than a minute, but it will make all the difference when it comes to keeping in touch with your client. So get out there, reach out to your owners and try and get more business! Good luck, and happy reading!

HOW-TO RENT WHEN YOU HAVE BAD RENTAL HISTORY

When renting a home in the Las Vegas area, you will more than likely need a rental history form filled out from your previous landlord, and if you are anything like me, you might have been late on a few of your payments. Do not let this scare you, you will not be couch hopping, or staying with friends, I am going to give you a couple of tips on how to get a good rental form from your previous landlord! Your landlord might just give you a good review just to get rid of you as a current tenant… But if they are not willing to do that, here are a few tricks you can try to get a good rental form! Start by trying to explain yourself, most applications has a spot about previous rental history before they even reach out to your old landlord, if you have a legit reason on why you were late a couple of time, most landlords will work with you, for example you could say “I was late because I could not afford the rent, that is why I am applying for a cheaper home.” Something as little as that might make your new property manager be on your side when it comes to your new rental. If that does not work try offering to pay more of a deposit! You might not have entire years of rent in cash on the spot, but if you are willing to put 2-3 months of rent down, it might persuade the property manager/owner into renting from you despite the bad rental verification form! If you do not have that either maybe you can go for a home that is below your budget and offer to pay more a month, for example if the home is $750 a month, you can offer them $850 a month it might help the owner over look your previous rental history! Having a co-signer could also make the biggest difference when it comes to having a bad track record. Just knowing the owner has someone to fall back on if something were to happen, make them feel more at ease when renting from you! Start asking family members. Offer to have auto-pay! Having the owner know the rent will be coming out of your bank account every month, on the same day; auto deposited into their account can make them feel a lot better about knowing they will receive the rent! If all else fails, or are not working the way you planned, try moving to a less desirable neighborhood, or if it is possible an apartment to try and get good rental history started. There are many ways to get into a home if you do not have the best rental history, just do not give up, and try all of your options. You will get into a home, and even if it not your dream home, you have to start somewhere, and build up your rental history so eventually you will be in your dream rental with no problems!

HOW-TO LIVE WITH ROOMMATES

Have you thought about getting roommates, but you are scared because you do not know who should pay what and how you should split the bills in your home? I am going to share a couple of tips that have really helped me and my roommates not only stay roommates, but also stay friends. Sharing a home with roommates can cause a lot of conflict within your friendship! But to keep peace, keep all the bills paid, and keep your friendship you will first and mostly want to keep communication. Communicating with your roommates about you want the bills to broken down and who is going to pay what from the very begging will help a lot. If you need a day or two to pay someone back, make sure you are letting your roommates know, so they do not think you are one not going to pay, or two that you forgot because these two things can truly cause tension in your home! After you have broken the bills down, you will want to buy all the furniture in your home SEPARATELY. This is because if anything happens at the end of your lease you do not want to be fighting over the furniture you all bought! It is easier to just buy the couch have it be known that it is yours so that if you ever need to move out, you do not have the awkward conversation about who gets the couch. Do not pay bills until you have money from every one of your roommates. This may seem like a silly concept, but when you are going to pay rent and you are spotting someone, eventually they will mentality that why pay on time to the head of house hold when they already paid.  It is best to have your roommates turn in their bill money at least 1 week before it is due, this will ensure that you have all the money in on time and that you will not have to ask for it and it be late when it is actually due. Try not to become passive aggressive when it comes to your roommates. Try and talk about things that are bothering you, because holding it in will only cause you to build up a tension against your roommates and then when you finally snap it will not only be for one reason, it will because of only one reason it will because of all the things that have built up! Easiest way to make a roommate living situation easy is to make sure everyone is on the same page with things. If you are looking for a roommate try finding someone that is on the same schedule as you, and has the same goals as you, moving in with someone who is on a completely different life style than you will cause a lot of tension. You will really want to think about pros and cons of having a roommate and if it is even worth it.

UPGRADED HOMES

Have you thought about buying a property recently that has upgrades, or that you can easily upgrade on your own, but you do not know where to start when it comes to finding the perfect home for you and your family! I am going to give you a couple of things to look for when you are looking for an upgraded home! Start with the basics, an open floor plan can make your home INSTANTLY feel more upgraded, it gives you more space to have decorations and furniture! Not only in the inside for an open floor plan, look for something with a porch or a larger back yard that you can put outside furniture, just that will instantly make you feel like your home is more upgraded and more homey! If the home is not already, try and paint it a neutral color, like white, grey and tan! Painting it bold colors will restrict you from having any furniture and decoration you might be planning on putting in the home. Also bolder colors close in the home, and make it feel smaller, but with neutral color, it will brighten up your home and make it appear more open with more space, with very little work. Look for a home no dining rooms. I know that seems weird, but trust me, with your open floor plan, having an open dining room, will also open your home up! Having a dining room that is closed off from the rest of your home will make you feel like you are closed in when you and your family is eating!  Try looking for home with an all white kitchen! All white kitchens are all the hype these days, and finding a home that already has an all white home will really make you feel like you have an upgraded home! It may seem scary because all white can look dirty easily, but when it is clean, it looks amazing! Also having a larger garage will make your new home feel like it is upgraded! Having an oversized/3 car garage, not only will give you more room to park, but will also give you room to store things in your garage, and add shelving if that is something you are thinking about. Looking for a home with large closet really adds value to your new home! Who does not want a larger closet, am I right? Of course not every house is going to come with huge master room style closets, but if you look for something with closets a little bigger than your average closet, it could feel like you are living in an upgraded home! To top this list of easy repairs off, installing barn sliding doors inside you home can truly make you feel like you live in a 5 star home! You can put them in placed like, pantry, closet, and even from room to room! All of these things we listed are easy fixes if the homes you are looking for does not already come with it. They will truly vamp up your Las Vegas home!

HOW-TO HIRE THE PERFECT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY

These Days, investors are hitting every low marketing town across the country. Buying, fixing up, and renting out homes! If you are an investor and you are purchasing homes in a different state than you live in, you will find it kind of difficult to manage these properties on your own, especially if you have more than one investment property. You will want to hire a responsible Property Management company! Here at Black and Cherry Real Estate, we manage over a THOUSAND properties for owners who not only live in Las Vegas but who live all over the world. You will want to find a company who will not only collect rent, but also handle all repairs, and all problems the tenant might run into while living in your home! When you are looking for a property management company, you are going to start with the basics. Get Referrals. The best way to find a trust worthy company is to ask around and do your research. Speak with the agent who helped you buy your home, ask if they have heard of the company, and what other licensed agents are saying about the company. After you ask around, check into the companies commission, and talk to the Better Business Bureau to make sure the property management company is not only real and licensed, but also that they do not have any complaints or law suits pending against them. Once you have made a short list of companies you are interested in, start interviewing them. This is where “first impressions” are the most important. If possible, try and meet each company in person. Is the manager on time, educated on their business, and just all together put together? Think about if YOU would want to rent from the company you are signing with. Not only talk about business try and get to know them a little bit. Not get their whole life story, but ask about the business and how long they have been doing property management, and why they started it. You can usually tell by your gut feeling if someone is the real deal. Next you are going to want to find out how the company does their advertising and vacancies. Look at their website and find out the websites they post on. After you have found out all you want to know about renting the property out, you are going to read the contract MORE THAN once! High light the things you want to ask questions about, and try and negotiate everything you are not willing to do with your property. See if they are willing to work with you on the contract. If they are not, it is not the company you want to be in contract with. Look at things like how they handle move ins-outs, repairs, paying you as the owner, and how they handle deposits. Finding the right property manager is not an easy task, but going the extra mile to sign with someone who is going to help you as the owner will be worth it in the long run in not getting scammed.

MAKING HOLIDAY PURCHASE

Have you thought about purchasing a home this time of year, but you are hesitant because holidays can stress you out, and you feel like you have no time. I am here to tell you, YES you can purchase during the holiday season, and I am going to give you some time on how to make it pain free! Sometimes sellers try to avoid selling their home during this time of year, because the days seem shorter, the wintery weather, and wisdom that the buyer will avoid purchasing! Buying year end can be much of an advantage to a buyer because the seller is often selling the home for a reason or for urgency! The downside of purchasing a home during the cold season is there is a shortage of homes for sell, so you cannot be very picky if you want to get into your home before the New Year! One of the things you can do is have your Real Estate Agent pulled the “expired listings” in your preferred area code, they might not currently be on the market, but you can always reach out to the owner and see if they are still willing to make a deal with you. Another thing you can do is have your agent reach out to people in the neighborhood you would like to live in and see if they can get someone to crack on selling. Hey who knows they might have thought about selling but wanted to wait till the New Year! Last but not least, you can have your agent call around local brokerages and see if there are any “coming soon” homes in the area you would like to live! On the UP side of purchasing in the winter, you will so to speak have less competition on the home you love. You will be able to negotiate prices and moving costs with your seller without having someone coming along to put in a better deal than you! Picking a home this time of year can be a slower process, not only because sellers and buyers are in and out of town for the holidays, so is your Real Estate Agent. Finding a agent who has the same holiday schedule as you will be a must in this process. One of the biggest up sides to purchasing a new home during the holidays, is having that new home to show off too all your friends and family. Also as the buyer you cannot be shy when it comes to going to see homes during the holidays, if a seller was not serious about selling their home, it would not be on the market when they know purchasers will be coming by at all hours of the day to see the home! There are a lot of pros and cons of moving through the Holiday season, more pros for the buyer! You have to be open minded and know there is not going to be a lot of inventory but if you let go off all your expectations you would be surprised how nice of homes you can find this season! Happy Reading!

DO NOT LET CREDIT REPORTS SCARE YOU!

Do you have a great tenant, but their credit score scares you a little bit? As a property management company, here at Black and Cherry Real Estate of course we look at people who have a good record of paying their bills on time, but we do also help people with no so good credit because in reality not everyone has perfect credit! Some property managers cannot rely only on people who have good credit if they want to keep their properties full and their owners happy. There are a couple things as a property manager you can look out for when renting to people with no so good credit that can either be a red flag, or the best tenant that has every lived in the home! When you are signing a lease with a new tenant and their credit is not the best, try and get them to have a cosigner with them, even if they are not fully on the lease having a back up person that is reliable and can help if things go south in the property will truly have not only you, but your owner feeling at ease with the new tenant. Also with younger kids, because they might have good credit, but they also might not have enough credit established or rental history to go off of, so having a cosigner for them could truly make a big difference when you are starting to rent out your owners home! Asking for a larger deposit from the potential tenant could also make your owner feel a little better about renting to someone with little credit! Having something for your owner to fall back on if the property gets messed up or if the tenant abandons the home, your own will be able to cover the cost to get it back up and ready for a new tenant!  Not only can you get a few extra bucks for the deposit, if legal or possible, you can also ask for rent in advance! Like 2 months of rent with their deposit that they will get back if they complete the lease, and leave the home in the condition they got it in! That will put the tenant at paying a month in advance every month on the due date, and the owner will have rent to fall back on if they fail to pay their payments! Try to require automatic payments! Requesting this can ensure that you will receive the rent on the property on the day it is due every month and the tenant will not have to worry about getting it paid every month! If that is not possible, try and communicate! Sending a renter a text/email every month a week in advance will ensure that they will not forget about their rent payments coming up, and will also give the renter no excuse as to why the rent was late! With a few of these tips, you might be at ease with giving a renter with little to no credit a chance! Just remember to also have a backup plan! You can never be too safe these days! Happy Reading!