How To Start A Realtor Sign Installation Business – Tips And Strategies

When you start a Realtor sign installation business, you have access to a wide variety of potential business sources from residential to commercial to vacant land. You will also need to establish the geographical area that you can cover reliably.

In considering how to start a Realtor sign installation business, the first consideration has to be arranging for the production of signage materials. To print custom logos and colors you will need to set up arrangements with a silk screen printing company. This is a specialized process where the pattern is created on fabric with a resist material, then ink is pressed through in multiple color passes. You are also going to want to arrange for storage of the completed signs in a covered dry area with separators to protect their surface when not in use.

The signs themselves are almost universally mounted on four by four standard construction grade Douglas Fir posts, apart from larger commercial real estate signs which occasionally may require four by six posts. The plywood for lettering should be plywood with exterior grade glue and a smooth PTS “plugged and touch sanded” surface on both sides. Half inch thickness should suffice for most applications.

You will need a good knowledge of the area to accurately locate the sign placements. A GPS device is useful here, and you will also want to be able to read County Assessor plat maps if you are going to place signs on vacant land. You will also need to check local sign ordinances in developed areas. Know the restrictions on sign placement in gated communities, within homeowner association controlled developments, and in all areas with covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs) such as planned unit developments or town homes.

You also need to have reliable transportation consisting of a full size pickup truck with wood separator fixtures fashioned to secure the standard yard signs during transport.

Once your production capacity and storage arrangements are in place but not yet activated, you need to secure your accounts. In addition to marketing to conventional real estate offices, you will also want to pursue the bank REO (real estate owned) departments that need to liquidate foreclosed holdings and the independent agencies that are selling foreclosed properties in bulk.

Establish your pricing and service by comparison with sign companies in areas adjacent to your service area. Much of your marketing will be establishing contacts in person with the real estate office managers in your area. Be presentable, be persistent, be cordial, and be businesslike. These people need to know they can trust you to promptly and reliably place and remove their signs.

Almost every business today can benefit from an online marketing presence. A digital camera can provide you with promotional photographs for your web site, and templates are available online to simplify the process of setting up your site. Be sure to include a call to action on every page to encourage your visitors to request an estimate by e-mail. Also obtain their name and telephone in your online form to follow up with them consistently. The forms can be found by searching online for reply forms.

St Lucia Real Estate Tips: 3 Great Locations to Buy an Investment Property

St Lucia real estate offers many opportunities for people who want to invest in the rental market. Buying a property for long term leasing requires careful consideration. In order to ensure that your property has a high occupancy, you must purchase in the right location. Investing in an area for which there is a high demand will make your life as a landlord profitable and fulfilling! Here are my 3 top choices of locations for purchasing St Lucia real estate for long-term renting.

Corinth

Corinth, located in the district of Gros Islet, is a great location to buy a rental property. It is right in the middle Castries and Rodney Bay, the 2 main commercial centers in St Lucia. This makes it an extremely convenient housing location for the thousands of people who work in these towns. Being 10 minutes from Rodney Bay is particularly appealing for many renters as this is a lively, hip and fast developing part of St Lucia.

Corinth has many facilities for residents including a gym, supermarket and a secondary school. These are very appealing to renters and increase the desirability of the area. The location is also home to numerous small businesses as well as large corporate enterprises such as LIME. There is therefore always a strong demand for apartments in Corinth.

Tapion

Tapion, located along the southern border of Castries harbor is appealing by virtue of its beauty alone. It is a very scenic area with views of the harbor and Caribbean Sea. From here, cruise ships entering and leaving Castries are an impressive sight! This sea side neighborhood, with its constant breezes, is great for taking morning or evening walks. Tapion also has a small beach used mainly by residents.

Only 5 minutes from the center of Castries, Tapion is a very appealing location for people who work in the city. The area is also home to many well established institutions such as the Tapion Hospital, St Lucia School of Music, Police Training Academy and Tapion School. Doctors, nurses, teaches and civil servants therefore provide a steady demand for apartments in the area.

Beausejour

The community of Beausejour is a relatively new frontier in St Lucia real estate. The neighborhood sprang to life with the establishment of the Beausejour Cricket Stadium in 2002 – one of the most modern cricket stadia in the Caribbean. The construction of the stadium opened up a previously virgin part of St Lucia. Numerous housing projects later, Beausejour is now an extremely desirable residential area in the north of the island.

Beausejour is only 5 minutes from the town of Gros Islet – a legendary night life hot spot. Rodney Bay is also a short drive away. This means residents of Beausejour have quick and easy access to some of the best amenities the island has to offer. The Pigeon Point and Reduit beaches are also within proximity of Beausejour. This is a lively, up and coming area with a steady flow of demand for rental apartments.

If wisely chosen, an investment in St Lucia real estate will reap financial rewards. The first step is choosing a location that will ensure a high ROI. Residential areas close to urban centers are in high demand for people seeking apartments for rent. This is usually a great place to start if you want to invest in an apartment building.

Model Merchandising Tips That Transcend

What is it about a model home that entices potential buyers? Some might think it’s the way the pillows lay or the fabulous furniture that adorns the spaces, but effective model merchandising goes deeper than aesthetics. It’s about the understanding of the prospective homeowner’s desires and demands as well as the execution of portraying them, not only in the furniture, art and accessories, but in the detailed planning of the floor layout. As a merchandiser, we’ve developed five design features that should be addressed when merchandising a model home to assist with successful sales.

Scale and Space Planning:

Knowing how the potential buyer might typically use or envision each room and space is important to understand before diving into design. A home’s flex space might be best used as a study or reading room for the active adult buyer, while a growing family might use the space as a craft or play room. Once objectively figuring out each room’s function, furniture placement and the size of each piece is vital. Positioning the furniture perfectly and scaling the pieces appropriately promotes good flow and enhances the size of the space.

Thoughtful Design Details:

Every home needs personality, but more importantly, a personality that accurately portrays the prospective buyer. This begins with researching and gaining extensive knowledge about the potential buyer and their wants and needs, as well as the location. From there, subtle design details that depict the buyers’ hobbies and the home’s location create positive memory points. This could be pictures of a nearby landmark, thoughtful coffee table books about the surrounding areas, or even a themed child’s room pertaining to activities offered in the community.

Creative Use of Color:

Color is an effective and inexpensive way to transform the look and energy of a room, so be sure to consider how you want visitors to feel when touring the home. Lighter shades create an open, airy and calming feel, giving the illusion of a larger space. Bolder colors can create a vivid effect and vibe when used in a smaller setting. In a larger space, dark or bright paint colors draw the eye to focus on a particular feature or architectural element. Accent colors or designs on walls, ceilings, doors or shelving are all unique areas to add a daring and dramatic effect.

Lighting, Lighting and Lighting:

Seize the opportunity to let interiors shine! Simple solutions such as keeping windows clear of bulky furniture, not allowing drapery to move too far into window space and keeping blinds open will add loads of natural light and make a room look brighter and bigger. Decorative lighting, such as floor lamps or table lamps, can pack a punch by creating character or highlighting a unique piece of art or accessory. And, as far as overhead lighting – don’t skimp!

Timeless Trends:

Design that is “too trendy” can cause potential homeowners to shy away as they develop a natural fear that the home isn’t meant for them or their family. Along with recognizing this, buyers do demand updates and would like newer features within the interiors. Finding the balance between “new” and “too new” can be a challenge, but if the design succeeds at incorporating timeless trends or eclectic touches, it evokes a sense of safety, while still feeling edgy.

As an interior designer and model merchandiser, it’s vital to work hand-in-hand with the builder to fully understanding the demands and desires of the target demographic. With this and these five features in mind, the design will resonate with prospective buyers, which in turn leads to successful sales!

Ways to Market Yourself As a Real Estate Agent

Congratulations on passing the state licensing exam and getting placed with an agency! Now it’s time to find your clients – and to have them find you. Some agencies will provide assistance for marketing, but they might not give you all the tips you need. Read on to learn more about tips to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Your new agency may give you some leads to get started with. But those are not going to expand your business very well. You can also start with marketing to your so-called warm market – your friends and family. It’s the least expensive type of marketing, and you know that your audience will be receptive, or at least polite and hear your message. They can also give people they know a referral to you, and that kind of marketing is both free and invaluable. Your warm market paired with your agency’s leads will be a solid place to start.

Adding on to that, there are traditional types of marketing like newspaper ads and local city magazines. But in today’s digital age, these marketing formats don’t yield very strong results. Here is where you can let your creative talents shine. Think of ways to make digital videos that not only make your clients’ home look dazzling, but get you noticed.

Viral videos can take off and get people watching them for reasons other than their original purpose. Even if 90% of people viewing your clip are doing so for reasons other than buying a home, your name is getting out in front of all of them. One clever agent in Northern California did a parody of “YMCA” and garnered so much business, he was named by the Wall Street Journal as the top real estate agent in the country.

You should also have a robust website that invites people to click and contact you. Use those clicks to collect e-mails for your newsletter that you can also use when you get a new property to sell. Having good topics like ways to get stubborn grease off of your range hood or quick fixes for a leaky toilet will keep people coming back for what you have to say and build loyalty to you.

Keep up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. These are the two most popular social media sites. If you have the time, you should maintain Google+ and Instagram accounts as well to broaden your horizons.

Lastly, know your market and use that knowledge to your greatest ability. There are all kinds of things people from out of the area need to know about schools, traffic patterns, and shopping, just to name a few things. Your local market guide will be a great asset to them – and lead to you getting more business. People want an agent who knows his or her stuff about the area. Your market guide shows potential clients that you are that expert.

Remember, a comprehensive marketing plan is not inexpensive. You will have already paid for your license and your testing fees, so be sure to factor marketing into your starting budget. While your agency might give you some tools like a set of personalized postcards or business cards, you will still need to have your own personal marketing set of tools as well.

List FSBO’s With Real Estate Letters That Offer Good Advice

Trying to list FSBO’s? Here’s what your marketing needs to stress.

You know why home sellers are trying to sell without your help. They think they’re going to save a lot of money. And to be absolutely honest, those who know what they’re doing, have nerves of steel, and who don’t need to go to a job every day can come close to doing what you can do.

As for the rest of them… your marketing needs to gently point out that they simply don’t know what they’re getting into!

No, you can’t say that. Making a would-be client look or feel foolish is definitely not the way to earn their business. So you need to be gentle in your presentation.

You need to offer some help in the form of tips, or perhaps clue them in about the various disclosure forms they’ll need. You might offer some advice about how to steel themselves against the insults they’ll hear as buyers try to push the price downward. (I used to laugh to myself about the comments buyers made to me. Sometimes I wanted to ask why they wanted to buy the house since they hated it so much.)

And of course, you need to remind them that buyers will try to point out that they’re not paying a Realtor so naturally they can sell the house for less.

Before embarking on do-it-yourself home selling, homeowners should ask themselves:

• Do I know how to determine their home’s value in today’s market?

• Am willing to work with and pay a buyer’s agent?

• Do I know how to market my home and get it in front of enough buyers?

• Can I deal in a civil manner with people who severely criticize my home?

• Am I willing to demand that buyers reveal their financial situation before I take my home off the market to negotiate with them?

You should touch on all these points when you’re talking with FSBO sellers, and you can incorporate them into a special report or a series of real estate letters to mail to them. If you enjoy writing and have a few extra hours you can create letters that are uniquely yours.

If you don’t enjoy writing or don’t have extra hours, you can buy pre-written real estate letters and just get busy sending them.

Either way, real estate letters written in this manner are a soft-sell technique that will position you as a non-pushy, non-threatening agent who knows how to sell homes. With each letter you’ll become more of a trusted adviser, so that when they do decide they need help they’ll naturally turn to you.

But how do you first contact these people?

One way is to offer the special report on your website. Visitors opt in to get the report and their addresses are automatically entered into your auto responder to receive the letters.

You could write down addresses and try to locate the names to go with them, or (Please, no!) write to Dear Homeowner. I personally think you should use an opt-in on your site even if you take the hands-on approach… which is to get out there and meet the people.

I know – that can be a little bit scary. But if you decide what you’re going to say ahead of time, and practice it, it will get easier.

Write a script that sounds natural to you. Something along the lines of “Hi, my name is Sally Jones from ABC Realty. I see you’re offering your home for sale by owner and I stopped by to ask if you were willing to let buyer agents show it to their customers.”

If you say it all at once, they won’t have a chance to say “I’m not listing” and slam the door on you.

Some of them may not have thought about the fact that some buyers want agent representation, so at this point you may need to explain the procedure. If you have a buyer list you mail to, you could mention it. If you use a one-time / one-party listing agreement, do mention that as well.

If they say yes, they’re willing to work with buyer’s agents, do ask for a tour and do take notes. You could even snap a picture to go with the notes.

The important thing is that you don’t ask for the listing at that time. (Not unless they throw themselves at your feet and beg you to take over this horrible job they got themselves into. In that case you must be a good samaritan and help them. )

If they say they don’t want to work with buyer agents, be polite and friendly and say “OK, I’ll let the others in my office know so they won’t bother you.” You might also throw in something complimentary about the house and tell them that if they change their minds to let you know, because you’d sure like to show it. Give them your card, of course.

Before you leave, tell them that you have a special report with tips for owner-sellers and you’d like to send it to them. That gives you the opportunity to ask for their names. You probably should also ask if the house address is their mailing address, since some people do prefer post office boxes to home delivery. Mail the special report as soon as you get back to the office, and enclose a nice little handwritten note thanking them for talking with you. If you can come up with something more personal to add, do it. For instance, if they were about to leave for a child’s soccer game, say you hope their team won. That’s just to show that to you they are more than just a house address – you noticed who they really are.

Be sure to enclose another card just in case they tossed the first one the minute you left.

Then, every few days send along a new real estate letter with a new bit of advice that will be useful to them. Do end each letter with an offer to help should they decide against doing this on their own.