Luxury Real Estate Marketing – Discovering Your Spots

We are often asked to describe the process of developing a personal or company brand for luxury real estate marketing professionals. Our very first step is what we call the discovery process. Our job is to transcend the layers of superficiality where it is next to impossible to detect distinctions between real estate agents and companies within the same marketplace. With a battery of very pointed questions and two-way communication we reach for and identify the authentic brand signal, the core identity.

The philosophy behind this quest is the notion that things cannot change their innate nature, NOR SHOULD THEY. Instead, one’s innate nature (or the nature of your company) should be proudly amplified and expressed vividly so that those who value, and are thus attracted to this core identity can readily recognize that they have found their match.

Have you ever heard the proverb that a leopard cannot change its spots? Nor, can a leopard spotted moth be a butterfly. Some people look at this as a limitation. But, in fact, there are infinite ways to express your core identity.

Furthermore, there is no scarcity of potential clients who would be attracted to your authentic brand signal if you clearly bring it into focus, sharply differentiate it from your competition, and simply make it obvious. Those who seek the impossible task of trying to change their “spots” are trying to be all things to all people and will fail.

The art of branding is tuning into the deepest concerns of your target market and expressing your core identity as the solution to their problem, their challenge or their predicament in an inimitable way. This is a very creative process and we love doing it.

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Luxury Real Estate Marketing – Make More Money Faster by Showing Your True Colors

Personal branding for luxury real estate marketing professionals is all about consistently showing your true colors to your ideal target market. By clearly articulating your true colors, that is, who you are and what you stand for, through your brand identity, you will accelerate the pace of attracting more ideal clients. The more matches you make the more money you make. It is that simple!

Your ideal clients are looking for you just as much as you are looking for them! But, how will they recognize you if your website and your collateral material look the same as many others? Do your colors simply blend in when you need to blend out! If so, it is time for you to do the personal branding “two-step”

Step One
The first step in accelerating the matchmaking process between you and your ideal clients is to identity your own true colors for yourself. You may know yourself well, implicitly. But, you are invisible to your ideal clients unless you express yourself explicitly. Most luxury real estate marketing professionals have a vague idea of their own unique promise of value. This represents a tremendous competitive advantage for those who not only are certain of themselves but who also can express their true colors clearly to others.

Step Two
The second step is defining, with crystal clarity, exactly who your ideal clients are? This step is extremely important. You need to know what kind of people you like to work from a personality standpoint and also a business perspective, i.e., how they behave in the process of buying or selling luxury real estate. You also need to understand their needs, their biggest challenges and what is most pressing on their minds.

Once you have done the personal branding two step process, you need to express your authentic brand identity. This includes communicating your marketing message in such a way that they quickly grasp that you represent the answers to their prayers. Show your true colors to your ideal clients often and your will not only experience more matches, but you will also make more money, faster.

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Using Letters of Intent With Real Estate Agents

Some real estate agents and real estate brokers prefer to write up a contract for each offer, while others use a letter of intent to express interest in a property and to work out the details before writing up a full contract to purchase real estate. Many bank owned properties (also known as REO properties) are explicitly telling agents not to submit letters of intent on their listings, but with private sellers, a letter of intent can be a good way to introduce your creative offer to a seller without a huge amount of time invested by your real estate agent.

If you are dealing directly with sellers to buy properties, rarely will you need to use a letter of intent. Instead, you’ll be meeting with them in person to sit down and discuss options for buying their property.

However, if you are working through a real estate agent (or two real estate agents if you’re not dealing with the listing agent directly), letters of intent can help you succinctly express your offer in the best light, especially when you don’t know if the agent who will be presenting your creative offer will understand the full benefits of it.

For example, I usually buy houses directly from sellers, but last week I started to make some creative owner financing offers for some houses through real estate agents. Once I was able to talk to the agents representing me, they immediately saw the benefits of my offer to some sellers. Unfortunately, the agents I talked to would be presenting my offer to another agent that represented the seller. So, I am relying on my agent to express the benefits of my offer to the seller’s agent, who in turn will present the benefits of my offer to the seller. With a concise letter of intent, I am hoping to give my offers a better chance of getting accepted by the seller despite all the moving parts and unknowns.

So, if you are working with a real estate agent, talk to them about whether using a letter of intent would be better with the offers you are making or if they want to continue to write up full contracts for each offer.

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Top 21 Real Estate Investing Terms and Formulas

Understanding the real estate investing terms and formulas is extremely helpful (if not crucial) for brokers, agents and investors who want to service or acquire real estate investment properties.

This is not always the case, though. During my thirty-year experience as an investment real estate specialist I often encountered far too many that had no idea, and it showed – both in their performance and success rate.

As a result, I felt it needful to list what I deem are the top 20 real estate investing terms and formulas worth understanding categorized as either primary or secondary. The primary terms and formulas are the very least you should know, and the secondary terms takes it a step further for those of you who are seriously planning to become more actively engaged with real estate investing.

Primary

1. Gross Scheduled Income (GSI)

The annual rental income a property would generate if 100% of all space were rented and all rents collected. GSI does not regard vacancy or credit losses, and instead, would include a reasonable market rent for those units that might be vacant at the time of a real estate analysis.

Annual Current Rental Income

+ Annual Market Rental Income for Vacant Units

= Gross Scheduled Income

2. Gross Operating Income (GOI)

This is gross scheduled income less vacancy and credit loss, plus income derived from other sources such as coin-operated laundry facilities. Consider GOI as the amount of rental income the real estate investor actually collects to service the rental property.

Gross Scheduled Income

- Vacancy and Credit Loss

+ Other Income

= Gross Operating Income

3. Operating Expenses

These include those costs associated with keeping a property operational and in service such as property taxes, insurance, utilities, and routine maintenance; but should not be mistaken to also include payments made for mortgages, capital expenditures or income taxes.

4. Net Operating Income (NOI)

This is a property’s income after being reduced by vacancy and credit loss and all operating expenses. NOI is one of the most important calculations to any real estate investment because it represents the income stream that subsequently determines the property’s market value – that is, the price a real estate investor is willing to pay for that income stream.

Gross Operating Income

- Operating Expenses

= Net Operating Income

5. Cash Flow Before Tax (CFBT)

This is the number of dollars a property generates in a given year after all cash outflows are subtracted from cash inflows but in turn still subject to the real estate investor’s income tax liability.

Net Operating Income

- Debt Service

- Capital Expenditures

= Cash Flow Before Tax

6. Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM)

A simple method used by analysts to determine a rental income property’s market value based upon its gross scheduled income. You would first calculate the GRM using the market value at which other properties sold and then apply that GRM to determine the market value for your own property.

Market Value

÷ Gross Scheduled Income

= Gross Rent Multiplier

Then,

Gross Scheduled Income

x Gross Rent Multiplier

= Market Value

7. Cap Rate

This popular return expresses the ratio between a rental property’s value and its net operating income. The cap rate formula commonly serves two useful real estate investing purposes: To calculate a property’s cap rate, or by transposing the formula, to calculate a property’s reasonable estimate of value.

Net Operating Income

÷ Value

= Cap Rate

Or,

Net Operating Income

÷ Cap Rate

= Value

8. Cash on Cash Return (CoC)

The ratio between a property’s cash flow in a given year and the amount of initial capital investment required to make the acquisition (e.g., mortgage down payment and closing costs). Most investors usually look at cash-on-cash as it relates to cash flow before taxes during the first year of ownership.

Cash Flow

÷ Initial Capital Investment

= Cash on Cash Return

9. Operating Expense Ratio

This expresses the ratio between an investment real estate’s total operating expenses dollar amount to its gross operating income dollar amount. It is expressed as a percentage.

Operating Expenses

÷ Gross Operating Income

= Operating Expense Ratio

10. Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR)

A ratio that expresses the number of times annual net operating income exceeds debt service (I.e., total loan payment, including both principal and interest).

Net Operating Income

÷ Debt Service

= Debt Coverage Ratio

DCR results,

Less than 1.0 – not enough NOI to cover the debt

Exactly 1.0 – just enough NOI to cover the debt

Greater than 1.0 – more than enough NOI to cover the debt

11. Break-Even Ratio (BER)

A ratio some lenders calculate to gauge the proportion between the money going out to the money coming so they can estimate how vulnerable a property is to defaulting on its debt if rental income declines. BER reveals the percent of income consumed by the estimated expenses.

(Operating Expense + Debt Service)

÷ Gross Operating Income

= Break-Even Ratio

BER results,

Less than 100% – less consuming expenses than income

Greater than 100% – more consuming expenses than income

12. Loan to Value (LTV)

This measures what percentage of a property’s appraised value or selling price (whichever is less) is attributable to financing. A higher LTV benefits real estate investors with greater leverage, whereas lenders regard a higher LTV as a greater financial risk.

Loan Amount

÷ Lesser of Appraised Value or Selling Price

= Loan to Value

Secondary

13. Depreciation (Cost Recovery)

The amount of tax deduction investment property owners may take each year until the entire depreciable asset is written off. To calculate, you must first determine the depreciable basis by computing the portion of the asset allotted to improvements (land is not depreciable), and then amortizing that amount over the asset’s useful life as specified in the tax code: 27.5 years for residential property, and 39.0 years for nonresidential.

Property Value

x Percent Allotted to Improvements

= Depreciable Basis

Then,

Depreciable Basis

÷ Useful Life

= Depreciation Allowance (annual)

14. Mid-Month Convention

This adjusts the depreciation allowance in whatever month the asset is placed into service and whatever month it is disposed. The current tax code only allows one-half of the depreciation normally allowed for these particular months. For instance, if you buy in January, you will only get to write off 11.5 months of depreciation for that first year of ownership.

15. Taxable Income

This is the amount of revenue produced by a rental on which the owner must pay Federal income tax. Once calculated, that amount is multiplied by the investor’s marginal tax rate (I.e., state and federal combined) to arrive at the owner’s tax liability.

Net Operating Income

- Mortgage Interest

- Depreciation, Real Property

- Depreciation, Capital Additions

- Amortization, Points and Closing Costs

+ Interest Earned (e.g., property bank or mortgage escrow accounts)

= Taxable Income

Then,

Taxable Income

x Marginal Tax Rate

= Tax Liability

16. Cash Flow After Tax (CFAT)

This is the amount of spendable cash that the real estate investor makes from the investment after satisfying all required tax obligations.

Cash Flow Before Tax

- Tax Liability

= Cash Flow After Tax

17. Time Value of Money

This is the underlying assumption that money, over time, will change value. It’s an important element in real estate investing because it could suggest that the timing of receipts from the investment might be more important than the amount received.

18. Present Value (PV)

This shows what a cash flow or series of cash flows available in the future is worth in today’s dollars. PV is calculated by “discounting” future cash flows back in time using a given discount rate.

19. Future Value (FV)

This shows what a cash flow or series of cash flows will be worth at a specified time in the future. FV is calculated by “compounding” the original principal sum forward in time at a given compound rate.

20. Net Present Value (NPV)

This shows the dollar amount difference between the present value of all future cash flows using a particular discount rate – your required rate of return – and the initial cash invested to purchase those cash flows.

Present Value of all Future Cash Flows

- Initial Cash Investment

= Net Present Value

NPV results,

Negative – the required return is not met

Zero – the required return is perfectly met

Positive – the required return is met with room to spare

21. Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

This popular model creates a single discount rate whereby all future cash flows can be discounted until they equal the investor’s initial cash investment. In other words, when a series of all future cash flows is discounted at IRR that present value amount will equal the actual cash investment amount.

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Going Neutral on Miami Real Estate Investing

Well going back to the topic, we should keep in mind that there are emotions associated with color our senses are heightened and we react to certain hues and certain feelings come out with certain colors. That also applies on analyzing real estate. Unfortunately, we cannot generalize that red will make you angry, blue will sooth you and yellow will make you indecisive. It is also known that the psychology of color is a lot more complicated than that and different colors affect different people in different and unpredictable ways. Basically the truth about it is that Miami real estate is something that people should really consider and analyze as well.

Judging on what the value of the colors about the real estate expression, you need to be at least knowledgeable about the analysis of it. I’m not going to go into details about the colors that were finally chosen, but the whole point of this is that as a Miami real estate seller, you have the ability to control certain aspects of how people will feel when they walk into your home. There are actually some important analyses on it because most of the time the general thought on it is that Miami real estate value everything that can be related to the market. Although going at it with a general knowledge can always give you the basic steps on it.

Other known things about real estate can always be known about progress in it. Keeping colors in the off-whites and light beige color scheme is not only the best way to feature elements within a property, but the best way for people to be unbiased when viewing your Miami real estate. When you are competing against so many other properties for sale, wouldn’t it make sense for you to try to make that first visit as pleasant as possible, without instilling feelings that are out of your control? That’s the reason for neutral in the Miami real estate.

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