Real Estate Licenses

A real estate license is the key to a lucrative career in the real estate industry. A real estate license is a powerful tool in the property business. Real estate will always be a dominant market in America. Homes will continue to be bought and sold throughout the state. Getting a real estate license will allow a person to be a part of this booming industry.People decide to get real estate licenses for many reasons. Many like to work with the public. Some want to be in control of their own schedules. Others are interested in buying real estate for themselves and think that agents have access to ‘the best deals’. For this purpose, a real estate license is mandatory. Real estate brokers are constantly looking for new, ambitious real estate sales people and there is significant money to be made in real estate sales.Obtaining a real estate license in any state where a person may have interest in doing business is not difficult. However, it is important to know that obtaining a real estate license is not solely about taking a real estate exam. The process may differ from state to state. There is no such thing as a national real estate license. Each state has adopted and enforced its own laws and regulations regarding the sale of real estate, for the general purpose of protecting the consumer. Almost every state requires that the candidate complete some form of real estate pre-licensensing course. The successful completion of that course and the minimum number of training hours must be shown, before they will allow the candidate to schedule a real estate license exam. Most states permit the person to take this course not only online, but also in live classrooms, or even by way of a correspondence course.For a successful career in the real estate business, it is now required by law to have a valid license. Many online education portals provide guidance for the process of acquiring a license. These agencies also provide adequate information regarding the various laws applicable in different states.

Real Estate Call Capture – Shifting Your Focus Back to Your Clients

The real estate business was designed to assist potential home buyers in purchasing their home. Whether they are first-time buyers or seasoned home owners, real estate agents are still the best option to help people find the property they need – but the business of real estate has changed dramatically over the years.In the real estate industry’s infancy and beyond there was always a lot of leg work involved. Agents worked from offices but rarely spent much time there. A majority of the day was spent showing homes to buyers; often late in the evening or on weekends. Clients were obtained by walk in traffic, by the use of flyers and newspaper advertising, by cold calling and door knocking.  While some things have remained the same, there is much that has changed.These days, the introduction of technology has advanced the industry and improved the marketing methods used by real estate agents. Real estate call capture technology is rapidly becoming the leading method of marketing and sales for real estate. Like most significant advances in business, call capture is a simple but highly effective technology that allows the agent to shift their focus to the most important things in their business – their clients.A real estate call capture system gives the agent a unique toll free number which includes unlimited extensions that can be put on advertisements, signs, websites, and newspapers listings. Call capture technology is completely virtual and requires no installation of hardware or software. The concept is simple, yet the benefits are staggering.The impact that real estate call capture technology has had on the industry is quickly becoming apparent. With its use, agents have increased their revenue and number of leads. Every lead is automatically tracked and followed up on, so potential buyers and sellers are never overlooked, no matter how busy the agent may be. Every time someone calls, the information is passed on to the agent regardless if the caller is calling from a land line, mobile or blocked number. This definitely benefits the agent as they don’t have to worry about people not leaving messages or leaving inadequate contact information. Hits on websites can easily be transferred into leads by directing them to the call capture system which then can be converted into sales.With the call capture system generating, capturing and updating the agent on all leads that are coming in, they can spend more time nurturing the those leads and their clients that they are already working with.There are many extras included with most real estate call capture systems as well. They provide the agent with access to a wide variety of sales and marketing tools, such as newsletter systems, marketing campaigns, and advertising systems. The various extensions that can be added can also be assigned to certain ad types. Agents know if the person is calling in regards to an ad they read in a newspaper, online advertising, a magazine, or on a sign rider. This assists in determining what type of advertising is working best, making it possible to allocate money and resources to the most effective ads.  By using the advertising tracking abilities of a call capture system, an agent can free up valuable time and resources that can be better spent on only the best advertising and on taking care of their clients and their needs.There are benefits to the home buyer as well. Because of the fact that most real estate agents spend a majority of their time away from their office, it can be difficult to contact them. Messages can be left and calls missed. A hopeful buyer may miss out on the opportunity of purchasing a home because they couldn’t reach their agent, and the agent may miss out on a sale and commission. The call capture system can forward a client’s call to the office, home, cell phone, or any other phone number of the agent’s choosing. This ensures that the agent can be reached at any time. The result is that the clients feel as if they are receiving personal service and a client is more inclined to work with an agent who can offer them personal, quick, and efficient service.Being able to service clients more efficiently is the key to obtaining more sales, establishing good customer relations and excellent word-of-mouth advertising. Agents can now spend more time listening to what their clients need rather than having to spend so much time trying to find ways to generate more leads and manage their advertising. Having to focus energy on creating flyers and ads is time consuming and can also be counter-productive to what the agent is trying to achieve.This call capture technology is drawing more and more interest towards the real estate business. There is definitely huge potential to make money in the real estate industry, and by using up to date programs such as call capture, money can be made more quickly and with less initial cost. Real estate agents who use the call capture system report that it has changed their way of doing business significantly and that it makes them feel more comfortable and confident in their jobs.  It is expected that, like web sites and cell phones, call capture will soon be a standard tool of the real estate industry.

Real Estate Downturn Will Create 360,000 New Jobs

Many of the challenges we face in the real estate sector are merely a repeat of what we experienced in the late 80s. What no one is talking about is the tremendous opportunity we have to create over 360,000 new jobs in our struggling economy over the next 12 to 18 months.The domestic real estate industry represents $1.6 Trillion or 8.5% of the U.S.’s Gross Domestic Product. The global capital crisis is impacting all aspects of the real estate market including brokerage, development, asset management, lending, and the countless support industries to the real estate sector.Background InformationAs background, during the early 1980s, Congress granted the Savings and Loan (S&L) industry new powers. Among others, these powers included lower reserve requirements and the ability to expand lending products and invest in real estate ventures. It wasn’t long before Congress corrected this mistake and tightened regulations, but for many S&Ls, it was too late. In 1989, the Federal Government had to step in and bail out the S&Ls by forming the Resolution Trust Corporation (“RTC”). The RTC was charged with liquidating these financial institutions and disposing of failed real estate assets and mortgages from the S&L industry. By the time it all came to an end in 1995, 1,043 Institutions with more than $402 Billion in assets (much of it in commercial real estate loans) failed. This cost the United States taxpayer more than $153 Billion.During the bailout, the Federal Government spent over $400 Million in administrative costs that were not billed back to individual receiverships. According to the GAO, those bill-backs plus the administrative costs totaled over $87.9 Billion. Data is not available on specific breakdowns, but it is reasonable to assume that these bill-backs included all kinds of service fees to vendors including lawyers, property managers, brokers, and countless vendors supporting the property disposal activities.What we are experiencing today makes the S&L crisis pale by comparison. Guarantees and cash payments by the Federal Government now exceed $7.5 Trillion. So far in 2009, 45 financial institutions are now in the hands of the FDIC with assets exceeding $11.94 Billion as compared to 2008 where 25 banks failed with over $17 Billion in assets. Another 114 financial institutions have taken TARP money totaling over $168 Billion more. It has been estimated that hundreds of additional banks will fail over the next 12-18 months.At the same time, both commercial and residential real estate values continue to fall in many markets around the country. CAP rates in many markets for high quality investment product are up over 300 bps from levels of just six months ago. This increase alone wipes out any equity from commercial borrowers utilizing traditional leverage ratios. Coupling this fact with plunging tenant demand and falling lease rates means that even high quality real estate assets are in trouble.In the current real estate downturn, it is likely that commercial loan failures will follow a similar pattern as to the residential failures we are already seeing. Unlike the 1980s though, it is expected that the magnitude of failures we are anticipating will dwarf what we experienced during the RTC bailout.Although many lenders still have performing loans in terms of debt service payments, it is likely that many will find that their borrowers are in violation of loan covenants due to declining real estate values. How these lenders treat these activities on the commercial side remain to be seen. Federal regulations dictate that when a loan is in default, lenders must set aside cash reserve at substantially higher levels. With cash in short supply, lenders will be challenged with developing a strategy that may include utilizing TARP funds.OpportunityAfter researching past history and integrating current challenges, we believe that the opportunity exists to generate over 360,000 direct and indirect jobs to deal with the disposition of problem loans on both the commercial and residential side during this down cycle. These new job estimates are supported by the over $42 Billion in estimated fees that will be paid for services required to work through the problem loans and assets that will be paid for services required to work through the problem loans and assets that we anticipate will be coming back to financial institutions.Direct jobs are estimated to total over 145,000. Many of these jobs are high paying – including advisory, legal, property and asset management, appraisal, underwriting, and numerous other real estate-related jobs. Additionally, utilizing real estate industry multipliers, it is believed that another 210,000 jobs can be created that benefit from the spending generated by the direct job sector. These jobs include countless categories occupied by people who provide goods and services to the new consumers that the primary sector jobs will create.It is not known exactly how many jobs were created during the RTC crisis. We can only surmise by reviewing the available government data that a large portion of the $87.6 Billion in RTC administrative costs related to industry jobs. With the Trillions of dollars in hard cash outlays and government guarantees, it is difficult to imagine that the size of the real estate challenges will not be substantially larger than during the S&L crisis. Therefore, we feel our assumptions are likely conservative.Our hope this time, is that the Federal Government takes a different approach to disposing of the real estate assets that will be coming back to the lenders. Rather than creating new government entities and jobs to work through troubled assets (FDIC and a potential new government agency), it appears to make much more sense to take advantage of an experienced and existing distribution network (our existing banking systems) specifically those who have received TARP funding.As taxpayers we have already invested in TARP funds to banks plus the takeover costs of over 70 financial institutions in the last two years alone. With an estimated investment exceeding $200 Billion, It seems to make sense to utilize, that infrastructure, to work through the problem loans and assets. The $42 Billion in estimated fees will go a long way to stabilizing these banks and helping them repay some or all of the debt they have borrowed from the American taxpayer.Some may believe that Government has all the answers. But, there are many others who have faith in the ingenuity of American business and the entrepreneurs that are out there, working every day, creating private sector jobs. A wonderful opportunity exists for the Federal Government to take advantage of our existing real estate and banking infrastructure to put countless people back to work.