How to Craft the Best Commercial Real Estate Listings

Real estate agents must be proactive to stay ahead in this market. Here’s how to make the best listings for your commercial properties.

With the real estate market being more competitive than ever and new agents having a hard time making waves, you’ll want to take an active role in attracting sales. The saying “if you build it, they will come” no longer applies. You now have to work to be noticed.

Thankfully, there are simple ways of getting your commercial real estate listings out there to be seen.

Use Quality Photos

First impressions still matter, and this is no less true when it comes to listing your properties. Everyone now a smartphone with a powerful camera and endless editing options. You have no excuse not to post the best pictures you can to show your commercial properties in the best light. 

An even better option would be to hire a professional photographer to take the photos for you. It’s a costly option. But, if it leads to better sales on your property, you can rightfully consider it an investment.

Add a Virtual Tour

Photos are nice, but they’re last-century technology. Today’s listings are all about multimedia options. To add value to your listing, consider including a virtual tour of the property. This short video will cover a full walk-through of the property. This is valuable information for potential buyers, who can see a more comprehensive picture of your property than a few cherry-picked photos can provide. It’s also useful for prospective buyers who can’t physically visit the property for reasons such as distance or health concerns.

Optimize Your Property Description

Text is timeless and important for your listings even in the face of new technology. Not only is it another way to present information about the property that may not show in photos and videos, but it makes your description more accessible to prospective buyers who may not be able to see your multimedia content.

Keeping accessibility in mind will help widen your listing’s reach, and it is an important factor in the current search engine optimization (SEO) guidelines. Following these is key to your listing’s visibility on search engines. Follow the current best practices for SEO, and you’re rewarded with a favorable ranking on search pages. Don’t follow these practices, or try to cheat the system. Your listing may be punished with a lower rank or no search page presence at all.

A lot of information can go into your property description, and it’s best to keep it to a certain standard of formatting for easy reading.

SEO best practices are a moving target. The big search engines constantly update their algorithms to stay ahead of how users design their web pages. So it’s best to keep a surface-level understanding of SEO guidelines and how they evolve, at a minimum.

Social Media Visibility

There’s no way around it. In order to be visible, your best option is to keep up a presence on social media. Everyone is on it in some form today, and social media is one of the first places people turn to for information about people, businesses, and even properties. It’s also where people go to ask questions and have conversations. Maintaining up a social media presence is the best way not only to stay visible but keep a favorable image in your prospective buyer’s mind. This means it isn’t enough to make a Facebook page and sit on it. To leverage social media effectively, you need to take an active role in management or hire a social media manager to handle it for you.

Keep in mind that not all of your audience will be in one place. The most meticulously curated Facebook page will mean nothing if the audience you want to reach is on Instagram. Part of building your social media presence will include finding the group you want to find you and knowing where you can find them. Here are some examples of a few commercial real estate companies that leverage social media well.

Look At Comparable Properties in Your Area

If you’re still stuck on how to craft the best commercial real estate listing, take a look at what your competition is doing. You can’t sell a property without taking cues from comparable listings in your area, whether you’re working on the initial valuation or marketing steps. 

Looking at the listings for other properties will give you a good idea of what your audience will expect to see. So if you have gaps in your listing, you’ll be able to spot them and have some knowledge of how to fill them. Checking these listings will also help you make sure you’re on the right track with your property valuation, and if you’re charging too much or too little.

Be sure to take a look at properties that have already sold, especially if the sale was recent. Not only did their listings obviously work, but this will give you an opportunity to stand out for prospective buyers who may still be in the market for a property similar to what just sold.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow has a comprehensive property database with millions of commercial and residential properties across the country. Real estate agents and investors can use the platform to find new properties for sale. You can also look at recent sales and comparable properties to compare their own listings. With a wealth of data points and unique analytics, you can identify likely sellers in the area and see if your property interests them. And finally, ProspectNow’s customer relationship management tools allow you to find leads to buy and sell properties. Contact them by phone, email, snail mail, or direct advertising all from the same place.

Do you want to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow’s hybrid property database and customer relationship management tool helps you find, reach, and close on more properties than the status quo. Start your free trial today and find out how much more money you could be making.

The Top Mistakes You Make Prospecting for Rental Properties

 

Are you investing in real estate? Here’s how to make the most of your prospecting and avoid mistakes with a promising rental properties prospect.

A rental property is an attractive investment opportunity for many. It’s a physical asset with tangible value, and for that reason it may seem “safer” than investing in stocks. But a bad rental property can be just as costly as a bad stock, especially if you stumble upon the many common mistakes that previous investors have.

The pitfalls of rental properties include vacant units, disruptive tenants, unexpected costs associated with the property, and liability concerns. Rentals can also be a time and money sink if you plan to upgrade the property.

But that doesn’t mean rental properties are without advantages. They can come with significant tax breaks if you do your research. And ideally, they serve as avenues for passive income. But to get to this level, you’ll need to do your due diligence and make the right business connections. Read on to learn what not to do when rental properties prospecting, and how you can avoid the common pitfalls.

You Don’t Do Your Research

There are a lot of factors that go into whether your rental properties prospects are sound investments. Don’t just look at the property and decide. You want to see all the paperwork related to the property: current lease agreements, current liens, mortgages, and so on. Depending on your area, you may look up some of these yourself rather than rely on the seller to provide them.

You aren’t just investing in the property, but the surrounding area. Remember that all real estate is local: if you aren’t familiar with the area, become acquainted or form a partnership with someone who is.

What’s equally important is to understand who the tenants will be for a rental property prospect and what they will need. If you own a rental property in a college town, it’s a safe bet your tenants will be students. These tenants will try to secure housing in certain parts of the year, most often in the late summer. You’ll also not want to market this type of property as a promising place for families to raise their children, or for seniors who prefer quiet living. Know the audience for your rental property and cater to it.

You Don’t Know Local Laws

As a prospective landlord, you will have a responsibility to ensure the property is habitable. But the exact definition of habitable will vary depending on where you are. Make sure you’re on the right side of local regulations for safety and environmental concerns. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the previous owner was up to code, especially if the building is old. This is where a good building inspector comes in.

Also, remember that there are laws that govern your choice of tenants. While it’s best to run background checks on all of your potential tenants, there are certain protected classes that you must consider when reviewing applications. Do some research into fair housing laws federally and locally. Not doing so can land you in serious and costly legal trouble.

You Don’t Prepare For The Worst

There are a lot of risks that come with acquiring rental properties prospects. Unexpected repairs and maintenance will come up, and can be costly. Tenants can create long-term problems if they cause disturbances or fail to pay their rent. You may find it difficult to fill vacancies for a period of time. Someone can get hurt on your property, and you may be liable.

You can mitigate most of these by keeping an emergency fund, doing up regular maintenance, hiring a property management firm, and running thorough checks on tenants. You’ll also want to thoroughly inspect the property and review associated paperwork before you buy. But regardless, you cannot prepare for every problem.

You Try To Do It Yourself

You may think you can handle every aspect of investment properties, from rental properties prospecting to closing to maintaining the property. But that can quickly become a full-time job, which makes your idea of passive income not so passive.

A common “do it yourself” method of rental properties prospecting is called driving for dollars. This is when investors drive around their neighborhood in search of properties for sale. It’s popular because it doesn’t include any upfront costs except your time and gas, and it gives you a look at the physical property and surrounding area. But this doesn’t allow you to take a thorough search of the property to spot potential problems. Even if you stumble upon an open house, sellers can mask issues that would devalue the property. Before you buy a property, enlist the help of trusted inspectors.

Before completing the closing process, a fresh set of eyes to look at the paperwork goes a long way. Forming partnerships with a lawyer, banker, and/or a tax professional can help.

Handling the maintenance on your property can take up much of your time and money, especially if you’re inexperienced. Let a professional do the work for you, and don’t go for the cheapest options. Otherwise you may need to perform more costly repairs further down the line.

Property management groups can help with maintaining the property after closing for a portion of the property’s income.

ProspectNow Can Help

Are you ready to make the most of your real estate prospecting? ProspectNow can help you. With a comprehensive property database with industry-leading data analytics, you’ll be ready to find the best properties in your area and get ahead of your competition. Check out the ROI calculator to see how much more money you could make with ProspectNow, and how many properties it predicts will sell soon. Then sign up for your three-day free trial to see what you’ve been missing.

Ten Steps To Generate Record Leads And Clients For Your Life Insurance Business

Want to know how to get life insurance leads? Here’s how to make new business come to you – without buying lead lists.

Real estate software may not be the first choice for life insurance agents on the hunt for new leads. But there’s a place in your marketing strategy for ProspectNow. This property search database combined with a customer relationship management (CRM) platform is a boon for any business that relies on property data. This includes real estate agents, brokers, and investors. But it also includes trades, lenders, and many others.

Use ProspectNow as part of a ten-step plan to create your sales funnel. Read on to learn how to get life insurance leads.

Build Your Website

You need to start by creating your brand, and a professional website is your starting point. You want to make this a central hub for information on all of your product offerings and services. Include multiple options for contacting you, ideally a phone number, email, and contact form. 

As you build this website, be sure to keep accessibility in mind. Some of your prospects will have different abilities and limitations, and a design that doesn’t accommodate these will turn them away. Look up the Web Content Accessibility Guide or use these quick tips.

Start A Blog

The blog will be an important feature on your website. This is your brand’s voice and an outlet for more information, but it’s also an effective means of marketing. This blog will be a springboard for future marketing efforts that make you stand out as an expert.

Get Listed On Search Engines

Google’s SERPs now include business listings alongside website links. They’ll include all of the relevant information on your business: description, location, operating hours, contact links, and a website link. Build your business profile and make your agency more accessible.

Manage Your Social Media

Social media is another vital part of today’s marketing world. It’s not just an advertising tool, it’s another way to build your reputation. Thankfully, most social media profiles are free to create and maintain. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are popular choices for businesses who want to get their name out and cultivate an audience, but make sure you’re using each platform properly.

Create Custom Emails

Your communications should reflect the brand you’ve created. ProspectNow can help with this. Using the included email templates, you can have a stack of emails ready to go for any marketing lead. Take care not to make them too generic, as personalized marketing efforts tend to resonate more with prospects.

This is also an opportunity to create an email newsletter to keep your agency top of mind for prospective and current clients. Use this to promote new blog posts and send out exciting new developments for your agency.

Keep Up Content Marketing

Do not neglect your blog. There are always new opportunities for new material. Don’t limit yourself to posting articles, either. This is another good place to post news, announcements, and pictures. If you have trouble creating regular content, consider outsourcing to freelance writers.

Follow The Data

As a life insurance agent, you can make use of recent sales data to find clients who have assets they’d like to protect. ProspectNow’s likely seller algorithm takes into account local demographics like marriage, divorce, birth, and death to predict which properties are likely to sell soon. 

A look at ProspectNow’s ROI calculator will show you properties that the system correctly predicted would sell in your area.

Make First Contact

ProspectNow’s customer relationship management side helps you make contact beyond email. Phone numbers and mailing addresses are easy to find, even if the property owner is an LLC. You can put a human name to your communications and have a better chance of finding a person instead of getting lost in a mailroom. Use ProspectNow’s included to create custom postcards and letters that look just as professional as your emails.

Follow Up

If you don’t follow up with your prospects after your initial contact, you risk them forgetting about you. Sending out a follow-up email a few days afterward can help refresh your prospect’s memory and keep them in your sales funnel. You can automate this step with ProspectNow’s CRM functions. Also, make sure to get your prospects on the subscriber list for your newsletter!

Direct Ads

Have you noticed that internet ads are more accurate than ever? It’s as if our smartphones are spying on us. But what’s really happening is that cookies collected on almost all websites are used by advertisers to create an omnichannel marketing strategy. These ads follow prospects across social media and websites, making predictions on what people need or want to buy and why they haven’t done it yet. With ProspectNow’s platform, you can make that a part of your own marketing strategy. Create omnichannel experiences for your prospects and entice them to come to you.

Close New Business Deals

Now that you’ve turned your cold leads into warm ones, and know how to get life insurance leads, it’s time to finish that new business. You’ll have an easier time creating new policies with life insurance clients who are receptive to your business because they think they sought you out first.

About ProspectNow

Do you have a better idea of how to get life insurance leads? Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow can make that happen for you. This platform combines a comprehensive property database with a customer relationship management system. The data you’ll find here comes with a higher price tag at competing property data platforms and without the unique data analytics. So give ProspectNow a try with a three-day free trial, and see why it’s been the platform of choice for clients across industries since 2008.

How To Prevent Real Estate Identity Theft

It’s no surprise that the real estate business is a target for thieves. Real estate leaves a lot of money and personal data at stake, and modern technology provides new opportunities for thieves to conduct their shady “business” and slip away without a trace. Fortunately, there are ways to combat and avoid hackers, thieves, and other types of criminals to prevent real estate identity theft.

Awareness and skepticism are your most important weapons. Many scammers intentionally seek out the most gullible and uninformed people as easy marks. Showing any sign of resistance or recognition of their tactics will send them running. But not all scammers are so easily swayed. Here are some tips for how to spot or prevent real estate identity theft.

Keep Your Information Safe

The first and simplest step to thwart identity thieves is to keep your vital information on lockdown. If your data is secure, criminals can’t get to it and won’t be able to steal identities. The old tips to monitor your postal mail and shred letters with key personal data are still good to follow but don’t overestimate the security of your email inboxes.

With so many web services tied to your email, a hacker that gains access to your email has a master key to every account you’ve ever owned. Revisit your password security and create stronger passwords for everything. And don’t use the same password for every account!

Real estate brokers, agents, and anyone else with access to sensitive client data should also revisit their own internal security policies. Sending client data between colleagues over unsecured email servers is unforgivable. Make use of a secure document-sharing service instead.

Do Your Own Due Diligence

Home sellers should be proactive when it comes to checking their own finances. 

Check your credit regularly. In the US, you’re entitled to one free credit report from each of the three bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) per year. A good practice is to pull one every four months so that you have a year-round look at your credit history. Better yet, have your credit frozen at all three bureaus so that you’re notified of any attempts to access your credit.

You should also check the legal history of your home. In most places, deed transfers on a property are public records. You can look up the property’s current owner and lien history at your county’s property appraiser’s or tax assessor’s website. Why is this important? Identity thieves can take out new loans and equity lines of credit on your home by impersonating you. Many homeowners won’t notice this until they need to take out loans of their own or sell the property. The faster you notice a problem, the easier it will be to fix it.

Agents and brokers should also do their research before making a move on a property. Find out who the property owner is, and review any recent liens or quitclaim deeds on the property. You can also find this information at the property appraiser or tax assessor in your county. But if you’re using a service like ProspectNow, the information is easier to access. Also, be sure to find the owner of an LLC and reach out to them directly.

Be Wary Of Phishing Scams

Never send personal information through email. This is especially true in real estate transactions, even if the email appears to be from your agent or broker. It’s a common phishing technique to pose as someone trustworthy and ask to “confirm” certain personal details.

As mentioned above, a reputable agent or broker should never ask for your personal data over unsecured email. If you get an email asking for this, check the sender’s address. They will often use a generic domain like “name [at] gmail [dot] com” instead of a business email address. If you’re ever unsure of an email from your agent, it’s best to call the agency and ask if they sent it to you. Don’t use the phone number on the email. Call the number that’s on the agency’s website or stored in your phone instead. Better yet, visit the agency in person if you can.

Ignore Unsolicited Texts

You may have received at least one text by now from a strange number offering to buy your house. These texts are on the rise lately, with some people receiving several a day. While there isn’t a lot of coverage about this being a new scam tactic, it’s always best to be wary. This is especially true if the text gives you very few details, or if you don’t actually own the property they intend to buy.

A reputable agent or broker may use cold calling to reach out to you, but they will always be professional and respectful. They will want to present themselves as a reputable buyer and invite you to learn more about them. They will be transparent about their company and refer you to their website and references because they want to earn your trust and, ultimately, do legitimate business with you.

Agents, brokers, and investors who use ProspectNow will have access to dozens of email and postcard templates to make a promising first impression.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow combines a comprehensive commercial and residential property database with a customer relationship management platform. Use ProspectNow to find data on millions of properties across the country, search for properties for sale, or even find properties that are expected to hit the market soon. The platform’s likely seller algorithm is a great way to find off-market properties before your competition. Find new properties and make contact in minutes, all from the same platform.

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow has been in the business since 2008, helping brokers, investors, agents, and more do just that. Sign up for your 3-day free trial today!

What Is A Continuous Operations Clause In A Commercial Lease?

For landlords in retail sectors, a continuous operations clause is a way to protect their investment. Here’s how it works.

It’s common in the retail sector of commercial real estate to lease a storefront to a business. This is the basis of shopping centers and malls across the country. It can be beneficial to landlords who want to introduce a revenue stream to the land they own, and to tenants who can conduct their business without buying land and a building. But this system only works as long as the tenant is making money. Otherwise, the tenant has no means to pay their rent. To solve this dilemma before it starts, landlords often include what’s called a continuous operations clause in their lease.

The Continuous Operations Clause

A continuous operations clause is a legal requirement included in a commercial lease. It states that a tenant must keep their business in operation for the duration of their lease. These clauses can be specific, outlining the exact size of a storefront, operating hours, and so on. Or it can state in general terms that the business must stay open and let the tenant conduct business in a way that suits them best.

This is common in the retail sector, especially in large shopping centers. It’s no coincidence that every store in a mall keeps the same hours, opening and closing at the same time every day. Continuous operations clauses in a shopping mall often require the storefronts to keep the same hours to control the flow of traffic within the mall. But there may be some exceptions, with extended hours during holiday times as an example.

With outdoor shopping centers such as strip malls, these continuous operations clauses can be more general. For this reason, you may see more storefronts keep different operating hours or even days in the same shopping center.

Landlord Side

For a retail landlord, the continuous operations clause in lease agreements gives some protection from risk. Leasing a storefront always carries some risk that the tenant may not pay their rent in a timely manner. This is especially true if the business closed. Requiring the tenant to stay in business throughout the term of the lease helps to ensure some return on their investment, as the business will presumably have an income from which to pay the rent.

Tenant Side

The tenant should review the terms of the continuous operations clause verifying they are a good fit for the location. If their business happens to do best at night, it wouldn’t do well to open up in a shopping mall where they’re forced to work during daylight hours. On the other hand, a clause that specifies certain operating hours can be a hint to the tenant that there will be optimal foot traffic during those times. This is especially true for smaller retailers that rely on the foot traffic of a mall’s anchor stores. A continuous operations clause placed on the larger retailer can be a boon to the business of the smaller tenant.

Sometimes, it happens that the retail space leased to a business isn’t profitable or favorable to the tenant. In circumstances like this, a “go-dark provision” is sometimes available. This clause allows a tenant to close up shop if the business isn’t profitable enough to cover the terms of the lease. A go-dark provision will allow the tenant to vacate the space. But  mustthey still pay the rent until the end of the lease term. In these cases, the landlord often reserves a landlord recapture right that allows them to terminate the lease early with no fault to either party. Because this will ensure the landlord earns no income from the tenant, this will often not be invoked unless the landlord finds a new tenant to take their place.

Growing Relevance

With the rise of e-commerce and the events of 2020, brick-and-mortar retail stores are in trouble. As more customers opt to order what they need from online retailers, they’re less likely to make the trip to a shopping center. The rise of local delivery services offers some relief, especially for grocery stores and restaurants, but adds a middleman to the mix.

With this in mind, landlords are ever warier about leasing their spaces to retailers. They’ll need the assurance that a business will stay in operation long enough to cover their rent, so the landlord can make good on their investment. That said, changes in consumer shopping patterns may mean retailers need to adjust how they do business. Tenants may benefit from continuous operations clauses that are more general and less restrictive as a fair compromise. To ensure the best lease agreement terms, both parties should consult with a lawyer prior to signing.

About ProspectNow

ProspectNow is an industry-leading property database and customer relationship management tool. Its comprehensive property data includes millions of residential and commercial properties all across the country. Use its search tools to find commercial properties for sale or rent. Even look up current tenants in each area. You can also find the contact information for owners of any property, even those owned by LLCs. This information is available to real estate investors, brokers, agents, tradespeople, and anyone else who needs property data to do their business. This data is reliable, complete, and comes with a smaller price tag than with competing real estate databases.

You can use ProspectNow’s database and multiple data points to determine what kind of customers you can expect in the area. From the landlord’s side, you can determine your ideal tenants, operating hours, and so on just by looking at what’s already there. From the tenant’s side, you can use this data to see if the terms of an existing lease agreement and continuous operations clause will suit your needs.

Are you ready to close more deals and make more money? ProspectNow offers a free trial for real estate investors, agents, brokers, and more. Sign up for a free trial of the commercial database and get access to properties of all kinds. Find out how much more money you can make today.

How to Identify the Most Profitable Neighborhoods to Invest In

Want to learn more about how to choose which neighborhoods to invest in? There are factors to consider that you might not expect.

When it comes to buying a property, you’ve probably heard the emphasis on “location, location, location” already. But you need to look beyond the surface. Many factors go into the quality of a neighborhood, from local laws to the corner shops to the building itself. Keep reading to learn what factors can work against the value of your prospective rental property, and how to choose which neighborhoods to invest in.

Regulatory Factors

The first area you want to look at are the local laws and regulations where you intend to invest. More specifically, look at the property taxes in your area and how favorable landlord-tenant laws will be to you.

Property taxes vary widely, but they exist everywhere you want to invest. There are some areas that have very low property taxes that will have you paying out a relatively small sum every year. Also take a look at applicable exemptions and tax credits in your area, especially if you plan to upgrade the property after buying. Note that an area with a high property tax isn’t necessarily bad if it’s otherwise a pleasant neighborhood. Be wary of high property taxes in less than ideal areas.

How to Choose Which Neighborhoods to Invest In

Certain features of the neighborhood will make or break an investment property’s profitability.

Price-to-Rent Ratio

The price-to-rent ratio is an indicator of whether an area is cheaper to rent or buy. To calculate it, take the average monthly rent in a neighborhood and multiply it by 12. Divide that figure into the average home price.

You want to look at neighborhoods with a price-to-rent ratio between 16 and 20. This will allow you to make a good return on the property with a decent rent while also making renting approachable for potential tenants.

School Districts

If you don’t have school-aged children, you may overlook this factor. But your prospective tenants may have or plan to have children, and this factor will be important to them. Look at the surrounding schools in your area and their associated ratings.

Vacancy Rates

Vacancies have the potential to kill your bottom line. Every vacant unit is a missed rent payment that month. For better investments, look at how long rental properties stay on the market. Longer market times indicate that the owner had a hard time finding tenants, and you probably will too.

Natural Disasters

Any area can experience bad weather, but some areas are more prone to it than others. The coastline faces hurricane risks, while the Midwest braces for tornadoes. Some neighborhoods will be relatively safe from major disasters, while others update building codes accordingly.

When looking at a property, look into what natural disasters you can expect and how well the building can stand up to them. Otherwise, you face high insurance premiums that will eat into your bottom line.

As an example, owners in Florida can get a windstorm mitigation inspection to see how well the property can stand up to hurricanes. It isn’t a required inspection for insurance purposes, but it can bring substantial savings if the building has desired features.

Other Amenities

Keep an eye out for other favorable qualities in your prospective neighborhood. Access to public transportation is key, as well as being close to parks, libraries, beaches, restaurants, shops, gyms, and so on. If these things are within walking distance, it speaks well of your property. Otherwise your tenant pool will be limited, as those without reliable transportation will have trouble getting anywhere from their home.

Economic Factors

A strong local economy is key to whether your investment will be successful. But the economy’s strength depends on three important factors.

Population Growth

Look at the population trends for the neighborhood. If the population is growing, it speaks to economic growth for the area and a favorable tenant pool for you. Unemployment rates are another factor to consider, as this will affect your pool of paying tenants.

Commercial Real Estate Growth

People tend to move to where jobs are, so choose an area where jobs are opening up. Alongside unemployment rates, you should also look at how much business is expanding in the area. New commercial construction and “help wanted” signs can point to positive economic development in an area.

Diversified Economy

Be wary of neighborhoods that revolve around one form of business. For example, a city that relies heavily on tourism may have more profitability in renting out apartments for Airbnb than any long-term lease. And you may struggle to fill vacancies in a time of low tourism. Similarly, college towns will see high vacancy rates in the summer as students go back home. An ideal neighborhood has a diversified economy that relies on more than one sector to keep the money flowing.

Using ProspectNow for Your Market Analysis

ProspectNow has a comprehensive property search database with millions of residential and commercial properties all over the country. If you struggle with knowing how to choose the best neighborhoods to invest in, this platform is the best place to start. You can find all the data you need on a property and the surrounding areas, giving you key insights to decide whether or not to invest in the area.

ProspectNow also has a “likely seller” algorithm to help you spot properties that are likely to sell in the next 12 months but haven’t yet hit the market. This is a great opportunity to find new properties in fast-growing areas before other sellers swoop in.

Once you find your ideal property, ProspectNow makes it easy to reach the sellers and start the process. Owner contact information is easy to find, even if the owner is an LLC. You can call, email, or send postcards using included templates that make your communications look clean and professional.

Are you ready to understand how to choose which neighborhoods to invest in? ProspectNow has helped investors, brokers, and many others do just that since 2008. Sign up for your three-day tree trial and find out how much more you could be making with the ProspectNow platform.

 

How Residential Roofers Can Leverage ProspectNow

 

You might wonder how ProspectNow, a company that collects real estate data and predicts which properties will go on sale soon, can help residential roofing companies. While it’s true that most ProspectNow members are real estate agents and brokers, other professionals use the database, too, to find and convert leads.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average roof repair in the US costs $947. Of course, the cost to repair a roof depends on many factors, including the property’s location, the roof’s size, what material’s the homeowner prefers, and the extent of the damage.

With so much money available per job, you want to reach out to potential clients before your competitors have an opportunity. ProspectNow has the information that you need to get ahead of other residential roofing companies in your area.

Locate Homeowners in Your Service Area

ProspectNow’s residential database lists more than 110 million residential properties. The platform’s search bar and filters make it easy for you to target specific types of residential real estate in your area.

Perhaps most importantly, the residential database gives you the real contact information of property owners. You don’t have to waste time contacting government offices to get contact details from deeds and other documents. Often, your search results will give you names, phone numbers, and addresses.

In the case that a corporation or other business entity owns a residential property, you can use ProspectNow to find out who really owns the real estate. Instead of trying to contact the corporation—which may not even receive your correspondence depending on what the entity does—you can reach out to someone authorized to make decisions for the organization.

Move Data Into Your CRM Through ProspectNow’s API

Your search could give you a list that includes hundreds or thousands of local properties. ProspectNow’s API Console makes it easy for you to move large amounts of information from the database to your CRM.

If you don’t use a customer relationship management solution, you can still use the API Console to download data as a spreadsheet or other format that you find convenient.

Even if you don’t have much experience using APIs, the console and case examples will offer some clarity that helps you use features like:

  • Finding full addresses and owners’ names
  • Setting a radius for your search
  • Focusing on foreclosures in a specific area
  • Identifying properties that have sold over the last 12 months
  • Separating single-family and multi-family properties.

With so many options, you can generate lists of the properties and people that interest you. Then, you can load the data to your favorite database, CRM, or spreadsheet application to take a step-by-step approach to nurturing leads.

Identify Homeowners Who Might Need Residential Roofing Services

Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover the cost of roofing repairs and replacements. Note, however, that most insurance companies will try to convince you to choose repairs since it costs them less money. That’s fine in some cases. In other situations, replacing the entire roof gives owners a better long-term solution. (In a moment, you will learn more about how you can use ProspectNow and your expertise to get full-replacement jobs that earn more money.)

Obviously, homes in some places do not need as frequent roof repairs and replacements as those in areas with high wind and heavy storms. Even within a region, some towns might get hit by much harsher weather than nearby communities.

With help from ProspectNow, you can use your local knowledge to identify homeowners who might need residential roofing services.

Target Potential  Residential Roofing Customers

Shortly after a weather event that damaged roofs in your service area, use ProspectNow to find sellers who need to get their homes repairs as soon as possible. It’s pretty difficult to sell a house with a defective roof!

You can even tailor your communications to make it more likely for leads to convert into clients. For example, you could send brochures or letters to the people listed in an area hit by a large storm. Your pitch could say something similar to, “The storm on [date] caused a lot of property damage, especially to roofs. Luckily, your homeowner’s insurance should help cover the cost. We have X years of residential roofing experience, so we are confident that we can repair or replace your roof in X days/weeks.”

If you get your communications out quickly—you might even call homeowners to stay ahead of your competitors—you can position yourself as a proactive expert who understands the needs of homeowners who desperately need to repair their properties before selling.

Offer a Free Inspection

Let’s get back to roofing repairs and replacements. Depending on the weather event’s severity, a homeowner’s insurance policy provider might try to save money by automatically approving damaged homes for repairs. In some cases, storms cause so much damage that the insurance companies realize they can save time and money by paying for a replacement.

More often than not, homeowners will need a residential roofing expert to inspect their property and make a recommendation. If a roof suffered enough damage, the owner could qualify for a full replacement.

As a residential roofing expert, you cannot guarantee a full replacement. However, you can offer to perform a free inspection to determine whether someone’s roof needs repairs or a replacement.

Any homeowner trying to sell the property will want a new roof. New roofs increase property values!

Increase Home Values by Updating Roofs

Since new roofing can increase property values and make real estate more appealing to potential buyers, some homeowners listing their properties might want to update their roofs.

Look for older properties that are more likely to have older roofing systems. Updating could make the house look nicer, reduce utility expenses, and attract more buyers.

You should also look for property that has been listed for longer than others. If residential real estate hasn’t gotten acceptable offers, the property might need improvements.

Reach out to the current owner to talk about whether new residential roofing would make the home more appealing to buyers.

Use ProspectNow to Personalize Pitches

ProspectNow will help you find the names of property owners. You might need an even more personalized approach to make them your clients, though.

When you find a property on ProspectNow, you get information about the home’s size and whether it has a garage. Use this data to roughly estimate the cost of replacing roofs on the property. Obviously, this is a very rough estimate. Still, it can get the owner thinking about how this investment could lead to a higher asking price.

Don’t make any promises. A rough estimate based on the property’s features isn’t a done deal. It’s worth the effort, though, if it means you can send an inspector to the property, review the roof, and start a relationship with the owner.

Start Searching Residential Properties With ProspectNow

ProspectNow has been helping professionals learn more about residential properties since 2008. Over the years, we have fine-tuned our database to make it targeted and searchable. When residential roofing contractors search the database, they can narrow their results by factors including the home’s age, size, and location. You can even get the owner’s contact information to send them personalized advertisements.

Believe it or not, ProspectNow’s real-estate-focused databases can help residential roofing companies succeed.

Best of all, you can get started with ProspectNow for free! When you discover how ProspectNow can make your business more successful, choose a membership level that matches your needs and continue reaping the benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Find A Mortgage On A Property

 

As mortgage rates drop, many homeowners are looking for ways to refinance their existing mortgages. And with housing prices skyrocketing as fast as inventory plummets, some will opt to stay put rather than move. This is promising news for lenders in search of new business. But before you close that new refinancing deal, you need to do some research on the property’s existing mortgage. This isn’t exactly secret knowledge you’re looking for, but public information. And while you may encounter some bureaucratic hurdles along the way, there is one method that cuts through the red tape. Learning how to find a mortgage on a property doesn’t have to be difficult.

How to Find a Mortgage on a Property: County Records

All the mortgage information you need will be available at the clerk of court’s office in the relevant county. Although it’s a matter of public record, it might not be fully available online. Plus, access sometimes requires a fee depending on the location.

Here are the basic steps for how to find a mortgage on a property using court records:

Find The Property Identification Number

By now, you should have the full address of the property and the owner’s name at a minimum. If you don’t already have these, you can find them through the records available at the county’s property appraiser or tax assessor’s office. In most cases, they’re easy to find.

Use this information to search the county clerk of court’s online records. Each county will have its own system for organizing and searching for court records, but you will usually find a book and page number for each mortgage deed.

Visit The Clerk Of Court’s Office

Odds are, you won’t find the full records online. With your book and page number in hand, it’s time to visit the courthouse. Find the records room, and keep in mind this room may keep different hours from the rest of the courthouse. So be sure to look up the operating hours ahead of time to avoid wasting a trip.

Fill Out a Form Requesting the Records

You will need to put your records request in writing using the provided forms. This will give you access to the mortgage documents you need. Keep in mind that some counties charge fees for viewing or making copies. These fees vary by county, so check with your local clerk of court for details.

The records will show the most recent mortgage holder and the starting value of the loan. They will not show the current loan balance or payment history, but you’ll be able to see if the homeowner has refinanced or paid off the mortgage completely.

How to Find a Mortgage on a Property: Third-Party Subscriptions

A wide variety of third-party websites provide mortgage information. This has the great upside of saving you the time and effort needed to find these court records yourself. But like most things in life, these services aren’t free.

Some sites offer a free tier with the limited information that’s just enough to entice you to pay for the full report. Plus, subscription tiers are often available alongside one-time access purchase options. Some of these services specialize in foreclosed properties. These can be promising avenues for refinancing prospecting.

How to Find a Mortgage on a Property: Title Company

If all else fails, you can enlist the services of a title company. These companies work to research and verify a property’s title history and facilitate the closing process. They can also issue title insurance for the buyer or lender.

Prices will vary widely by location and quality. So be sure to do your research and shop around before going down this route.

How to Find a Mortgage on a Property: Using ProspectNow

ProspectNow’s platform includes a comprehensive property search database with millions of commercial and residential properties from across the country. You will have easy access to property information, owner contact information, and mortgage information in one place. But ProspectNow has another trick up its sleeve that other services do not.

The likely seller algorithm uses machine learning to gather and interpret data on local sales demographics. Then it can reliably predict which properties in your area are likely to sell or refinance in the next twelve months. These unique analytics provide a competitive edge to your refinance prospecting. When you find prospects before your competition does, you can strike first, and your chances of closing a new deal just got that much higher.

To get an idea of how accurate the likely seller algorithm is, take a look at ProspectNow’s ROI calculator. It will tell you how many likely sellers it identifies in your area right now. You’ll also find a list of properties that the algorithm correctly predicted would sell. Finally, take a look at the expected turnover and commissions from using ProspectNow. This will show you just how much more money you could be making with the ProspectNow platform.

Once you have a prospect in sight, making first contact is simple. Using included templates, you can call, email, or send a postcard with one click. No more trips to the post office or wondering just how to word that email. And don’t sweat the cold calling script. You can also set up a direct ad campaign to reach your prospects online. Plant the seed in them to refinance soon, and they will have the chance to come to you instead.

Are you ready to close more refinancing deals? ProspectNow has helped real estate agents, brokers, investors, and more since 2008. Using unique data analytics in an intuitive, easy-to-navigate platform, users make more money with more reliable data. ProspectNow also works well for mortgage companies, trades, and anyone else who relies on consistent property data to do business.

Start your three-day free trial today and see how ProspectNow can help your business

Everything You Need to Know About a Title Report

In the home buying and selling process, the title report is one of the most important documents. So what is a title report? “The written analysis of a real estate title search,” the title report is a must-have for lenders to approve the financing of a property. Title reports are typically prepared by a title company, an attorney, or an escrow company. A The title report should include a property description, the identities of the property owners, encumbrances on the property, and real estate tax information.

What Is Title?

“Title” refers to legal rights of ownership. A legal document, such as a deed, bill of sale, or certificate of title shows ownership. Whoever has legal title can control or dispose of the property.

Held titles happen for several reasons:

  • Sole ownership: One person has all the rights of an owner. Sole owners can occupy, lease, sell, and bequeath the property.
  • Tenancy in common: Two or more people can jointly hold the title. One example is in business, where several partners purchase an investment property.
  • Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship: In this type of title, two or more people jointly hold title, like in a tenancy in common. But, if a joint tenant dies, the deceased’s interest in the property automatically transfers to the remaining tenants. If only one joint tenant survives, the title becomes sole ownership.
  • Tenancy by the entirety: In this form, a married couple is treated as a single entity so each individual is entitled to 100% of the interest in the property.

Reasons for Reviewing a Property’s Title

Review of a property’s title, known as a title search, is a critical step in any home-buying process. If you are buying a home, you want to be sure the person selling to you actually has the legal right to sell the property. As much as possible, you want to prevent any future questions of your ownership. You also want to avoid the burden of paying past owners’ debts. The title search will identify any issues in the chain of title, such as liens and judgments, problems with the legal property description, and other issues that could interfere with the transfer of ownership. About 25% of all residential real estate transactions have issues with the title that title professionals resolve before closing.

Additionally, most mortgage lenders and mortgage insurers require the production of a title report. The results of the title search affect the issuance of a title insurance policy, which protects the policyholder from financial losses due to defects in a property title. You likely will need to pay for the lender’s title insurance, which protects your mortgage holder’s investment in your property. You also can obtain owner’s title insurance to protect yourself and your interest in the property.

What Is a Title Report: Possible Problems

The title report should uncover any defects in the title that could interfere in the transfer of ownership.  Common title problems include:

  • Errors in public records: Mistakes made in official documents, such as clerical or filing errors, could affect the validity of the deed.
  • Property liens: Banks or other financing companies could place a lien on the property for the unpaid past debts of prior owners.
  • Illegal deed: If a prior deed was made by someone not legally entitled to enter into a legal agreement, the enforceability of that deed could be affected. A deed could be illegal if made by a minor, someone not of sound mind, an undocumented immigrant, or someone reported as single who actually is married.
  • Heirs: Sometimes heirs are unknown or missing at the time of a property owner’s death. Family members could contest the will to establish property rights.
  • Forged documents: Forged documents affecting property ownership filed within public records obscure the property’s rightful owner.
  • Encumbrances: A third party might hold a claim to all or part of the property, limiting the use of the property.
  • Boundary disputes: Surveys might exist that show different boundaries for the property.
  • Undiscovered will: The state sometimes sells a deceased property owner’s assets if that owner dies with no apparent will. However, if a will is discovered in the future, it can jeopardize property rights.
  • Impersonation: If you buy a home once sold by someone falsely impersonating the property owner, then your legal claim to the property is at risk.
  • Building code violations: Discovery of unresolved violations could affect a title.

Preparation of a Title Report

Though you can run a title search on your own, doing so is not recommended. A title report is best prepared by an experienced title officer, title company, or attorney. They know what information to review, where to locate documents, and how to interpret the content of those documents. A preliminary title report is sometimes provided by the seller. The buyer or buyer’s lender commissions the full title report, typically once the property is in escrow.

Documentation that relates to the property, its ownership, and the owner is reviewed to determine the chain of ownership and to locate possible issues with the title. Public records are the source of information. Specifically, information reviewed could include:

  • Property deeds filed with the county
  • County assessment records
  • Mortgages
  • County land records
  • Divorce cases and settlements
  • Bankruptcy court records
  • Tax lien records
  • Street and sewer assessments
  • Land surveys
  • Wills
  • Court filings
  • Tax search
  • Property information databases, such as ProspectNow

ProspectNow, with more than a decade’s worth of experience, is a trustworthy provider of reliable data, with less hassle and expense. With ProspectNow, users will close more deals, and, therefore, make more money, making the platform a vital tool for business success in real estate.

 

The First Year Agent Survival Guide: How To Promote Yourself As A Real Estate Agent

Are you a newly licensed first year real estate agent? Here’s how you can make a name for yourself in the business.

Establishing yourself in any new career can be intimidating. For a first year real estate agent, this is no less true. But promoting yourself is as much a science as it is an art, and there is a method for making a name for yourself.

Create Your Brand

First, you’ll need to establish your online presence. This is the foundation for your personal brand. If you work for an agency, much of the branding work will be done for you. But it’s still on you to maintain that presence as a first year real estate agent.

Start with a website. You want to make sure it works on a variety of platforms, mainly desktop and mobile browsers. Make sure it looks professional and follows the guidelines for basic website accessibility. And finally, make sure it includes multiple ways to contact you.

Once your website is online, branch out to social media platforms. Which ones you use will be up to you, but for the best results you should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. No matter which platform you join, make sure you’re using each one effectively: Instagram for photos, Twitter for short messages, and so on.

Finally, carry your branding over to your business communications. Your emails, letters, business cards, and postcards should have a uniform look to them. ProspectNow can help with this by providing multiple, customizable email templates for you to use.

Find Partners

You may already know that all real estate is local. As a first year real estate agent, you’ll find yourself making business connections with all sorts of people. This is a great opportunity to form lasting partnerships and improve your local networking.

Look to your local community to find potential partners in the following areas:

  • Contractors for maintenance and repairs
  • Inspectors
  • Insurance agents
  • Local businesses for community advertising
  • Graphic designers and writers as you develop your brand
  • Lenders
  • Photographers and videographers for help with advertising properties

These partnerships can provide mutual benefit, improving both of your professional reputations and giving opportunities for word-of-mouth advertising.

Use Content Marketing

One feature on your website that you shouldn’t overlook is a blog. This is where you can share your knowledge as a first year real estate agent and further improve your presence.

Current best practices for SEO love blog articles, so keeping this blog updated is a great way to improve your rankings on search pages. Your blog can also become material for future newsletter issues, which will boost engagement among your subscribers, and your social media posts.

If you have trouble coming up with large volumes of content, consider hiring a writer to create it for you.

But don’t limit your blog to long article posts. Use this to share news, press releases, exciting announcements, photos, and anything else that relates to your real estate business. Just don’t forget to link back to these posts on your social media pages.

Use The Latest Tech

Dark, blurry pictures of properties you want to sell just won’t cut it anymore. Thankfully, most cameras and smartphones come with flash and better resolution than before.

So before taking photos for new listings, a first year real estate agent should play around with the camera settings to find what suits a property best. You could even invest in a drone to take aerial photos of your properties and surrounding areas.

Better yet, hire a local photographer to do this for you and form a new business partnership.

New technology can also boost your real estate prospecting in an unexpected way. Using data analytics and machine learning algorithms, ProspectNow has a system to detect which properties are likely to sell within the next twelve months.

This gives you a unique opportunity to find new clients before your competition does and make those connections first.

Get Creative With Marketing

Social media ads can be boring. To make a real impact, some companies are turning to experiential marketing. This style of marketing focuses on making a strong impression on a prospective customer with a memorable experience they can associate with you.

These experiential campaigns don’t need to be directly associated with a company’s product or service, but they pique the prospect’s interest to seek out more.

As a first year real estate agent, you could consider giving downtown tours of your area. While it doesn’t directly sell houses, you can spark interest in your neighborhood and entice would-be buyers to move to your area.

Let ProspectNow Work For You

ProspectNow is a vital tool for the first year real estate agent. With a comprehensive property search database and CRM system combined, you can find new properties and reach new prospects in minutes. The data you find here comes with a higher price tag on competing platforms, and without the “likely seller” algorithm.

Check out ProspectNow’s ROI calculator and see how much more money you could make right now. Enter your location and current sales metrics. The tool will state how many likely sellers it identifies right now, predicted turnover, and commissions. You’ll also see properties in the area that ProspectNow correctly predicted would sell.

Are you ready to find new clients, close more deals, and make more money? Let ProspectNow help you. This property database combined with a powerful CRM has helped first year real estate agents and many others do just that. Sign up for your three-day free trial today!