When And Why You Should Refer A Real Estate Agent

Some people are naturalconnectors”and are always ready to recommend this person or that person to someone looking for some sort of help.

But many people are not.

It’s not like most people are walking around thinking about a real estate agent’s business and needs 24/7. Most people are busy enough with their own days and lives.

And, given real agents can’t legally compensate you what is in it for you?

Why should you refer an agent?

1) To look out for your friends, family, and acquaintances

There’s a lot of real estate agents in the field. But not all of them are created equal. Some are better than others.

So, when you know a good real estate agent, make sure to refer your friends, family, and anyone you meet, to that agent.

You’ll save the people you know a lot of time, money, and aggravation.

Dr. Robert Burton – Mortgage Rates Could Rise 2% by Early 2019

2) To look out for yourself

It’s hard to understand this until you’ve done it (so just try it and see for yourself), but people really do appreciate a person who hooks them up with a great real estate agent.

Referring a great agent to someone simply makes you look good. It makes you look smart, and in the know. It makes you seem “connected” and hooked up with someone that your friends and family will feel fortunate to have been hooked up with.

Who doesn’t like to look good in the eyes of their friends, family, and peers?

3) To look out for the real estate agent

Real estate is a tough business to succeed in. There’s only so much business to go around, and there’s always a whole lot of agents trying to get enough business to survive, let alone thrive.

Sure, it’s on the agent to prospect, market, and dig up enough business on their own.

But, a huge part of doing that needs to come from people referring them. So, they are probably reaching out to you and reminding you that they are in the business and there for you (and anyone you know) when you buy, sell, or rent real estate.

They aren’t trying to be a pest. They are trying to survive. And ideally, thrive.

Help the agent you know. They want and need it.

Real Estate Agent in commercial space
Real Estate Agent in commercial space

4) To look out for the good of the industry

Too many subpar agents exist and flood the field.

When you know a good, trustworthy, honest, and dependable person who is a real estate agent, refer him or her.

It’s for the good of the industry. And, a better real estate industry benefits you, the consumer, in the long run.

Real estate agents and the industry as a whole suffer from a less than stellar perception in the public’s eye. You can help improve and change that by referring the great agent you know and make it harder for those who are not doing the best job for people to exist.

When should you refer an agent?

Five scenarios:

1) If you have a friend, family member, or coworker moving locally

This is the no-brainer. You know a local agent, and you know someone moving locally…refer them. No need to explain further.

2) If you have a friend, family member, or coworker moving out of area

This one isn’t something you might think to do…

But, if you know a real estate agent you trust and hear about someone moving outside of the area they specialize in, you should still refer your friend, family member, or acquaintance to that agent.

The agent will then refer the person you know to the best agent in the area they are moving to. Look at this as “birds of a feather”. If you know and trust an agent locally, they’re going to have the resources and be able to refer an agent out of the area who does business in a similar manner as they do.

3) Anyone you even hear breathes a word about buying, selling, or renting real estate

It might be in line at Starbucks or the grocery store. It could be at a cookout or a wedding. Maybe even a funeral…

The point is, wherever and whenever you hear someone chatting about real estate, make sure to mention the agent you know to whoever is thinking of buying or selling.

(Bonus points if you’re carrying their business card around and can hand one to the person.)

4) You know someone who is trying to “FSBO”

If you know someone trying to “for sale by owner”, and it just isn’t going well, let them know about the agent you trust.

The owner is likely being bombarded by agents calling and knocking, and would probably appreciate having someone just give them the name of a trustworthy agent.

5) You know someone who just needs some real estate advice

Real estate agents give their time, thought, and advice freely. Literally,do…it’s free. Until and unless a person buys or sells a house through them.

And it’s something most great agentdoes without hesitation. Without pressure or obligation. A great real estate agent wants to help anyone you know if they have any real estate related questions or concerns — even if they aren’t buying, selling, or renting in the immediate future.

This is a good time for an agent to meet someone and build a long-term relationship, and help someone who needs it.

So, keep your eyes open, and your ears peeled…and refer away. It’ll be appreciated by the agent you know and trust!

Original Posted lightersideofrealestate.com

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Real Estate Billionaires Form Rental Giant in Shifting Industry

It was a simple phone call between two real estate billionaires that led to the formation of a behemoth in the house-rental industry.

Property investor Barry Sternlicht called Jon Gray, head of real estate for Blackstone Group LP, in the spring proposing a combination of Starwood Waypoint Homes, of which Sternlicht is chairman, and Invitation Homes Inc., majority-owned by Blackstone. The companies announced the $4.3 billion mergers Thursday after months sorting out the details, creating a company that will be the largest U.S. single-family landlord, with 82,000 homes across the country.

The move further consolidates the still-young industry for corporate ownership of house rentals, leaving two large public companies. Private equity firms and hedge funds, led by Blackstone, spent hundreds of millions of dollars a month in the aftermath of the housing crisis to buy homes at distressed prices, building businesses that eventually were big enough to go public. Now, with property values soaring and foreclosures slowing to a trickle, landlords are combining to gain scale and hone their operations.

“This merger gives the industry more credibility now that there’s a more than $10 billion company, bigger than some apartment real estate investment trusts,” said Jade Rahmani, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. “It makes it a more investable sector with consistent returns.”

Shares of Starwood Waypoint jumped 5.2 percent Thursday to $35.35 at 3:16 p.m. New York time, while Invitation Homes rose 3.6 percent to $21.74. Blackstone’s 70 percent stake in Invitation Homes will be reduced to 41 percent of the combined company, according to the firm.

Housing Bet

In forming the new real estate asset class, Wall Street was betting on unprecedented demand for rentals from people who lost residences to foreclosure or were unable to get mortgages as banks tightened lending standards. Together, the private equity firms and hedge funds institutionalized a business traditionally run by mom-and-pop investors and gave America a new way to think about rental housing, with standardized renovations, call centers, and technology that simplifies processes for tenants.

So far, their bets have paid off. Invitation Homes, already the largest company in the industry, had a $1.8 billion initial public offering in January, and its shares are up more than 8 percent since. American Homes 4 Rent, the second-biggest house-rental landlord, has gained almost 40 percent since its 2013 IPO.

Real Estate Billionaires
Real Estate Billionaires

Yet the companies have had to adapt as the housing market stabilizes. In the past couple of years, Invitation Homes has made more targeted acquisitions and sold properties that no longer fit its business model. Starwood has grown by merging with Waypoint Real Estate Group and then Tom Barrack’s Colony American Homes. American Homes 4 Rent has turned its eyes to acquiring land and building new homes strictly to rent.

“The easy money has been made,” said Carl Bell, an early investor in the single-family rental industry and co-head of investments at Washington-based Invictus Capital Partners. “From here it’s about operational and financing efficiency to help drive returns. The scale is key.”

Cost Savings

Invitation Homes and Starwood Waypoint say their transaction is expected to create annual savings of $45 million to $50 million. The new company, which will keep the Invitation Homes name and will be based in Dallas, will have about 5,000 homes in each of its markets and an 83 percent overlap, with a concentration in places such as Southern California, Phoenix, and South Florida. That’s necessary when taking into account the costs associated with managing scattered site properties.

Those added expenses have driven some smaller investors, such as Axonic Properties LLC, out of the business. The firm is selling its houses, mostly to first-time homebuyers, and buying apartments in Florida.

“The only way the single-family home business works long term is if operators have massive efficiencies of scale,” said Jonathan Shechtman, managing principal at Axonic. “Otherwise the costs of things like repairs and maintenance on houses, which each have a different floor plan, may have higher expenses when compared to apartments.”

Rates, Buyers

The biggest threat to the single-family landlords is rising interest rates, said Rahmani of Keefe Bruyette. If interest rates surge and rent increases fail to keep up, returns would compress, he said.

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Homebuilders are also increasingly targeting entry-level buyers in some of the same markets where these large rental firms operate. D.R. Horton Inc., the largest homebuilder in the U.S., is seeing growth in its Express brand, aimed at people in their 20s and 30s, the biggest generation of buyers. A major loosening of credit could have a larger impact on the firms as more renters than expected turn into buyers.

That doesn’t seem to be playing out yet. Starwood Waypoint Chief Executive Officer Fred Tuomi, who will lead the combined company, said on a conference call Thursday that rental demand is even stronger than it was five years ago when he first got involved with the landlord.

“We have a tremendous advantage of the cost of capital as well as our scale,” he said. “We’re positioned to win for the long term.”

Original Posted https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-10/real-estate-billionaires-form-rental-giant-in-shifting-industry

Mortgage Rates Could Rise 2% by Early 2019

Robert Burton says mortgage rates will likely not skyrocket in next few years like in the early 80’s (peaking at just over 21 percent in the second half of 1981) but points to a recent report which states the borrowers should expect rates to rise near 5 percent by early 2019.

According to Economists Desjardins

“An extensive rise in interest rates will possibly take place in the coming years if the economic expansion continues in North America,” warns Desjardins Senior Economist Mathieu D’Anjou in an Economic report.

A Short Break in Their Rising Trend

From the viewpoint of Robert Burton, he cites that the reports suggest that the general trend for interest rates will primarily reflect vibration in the next few years.

Growing geopolitical pressures and uncertainty over elections led many European investors to favor safe haven securities. Usually, geopolitical concerns do not have a long-lasting impression on the markets.

Signals reflect stronger global growth in 2017 and 2018 as compared to previous years. On the other hand, if the U.S. government fails to go ahead with the growth rate of public debt, the Feds could continue to gradually tighten its monetary policy and other central banks, including the Bank of Canada, could do the same. A gradual rise in North American bond yields could result.

Canadian Mortgage Rates – Impact

There are no signs that Canadian interest rates will unexpectedly jump back up to the levels as seen in the early 2000s, or, worse, in the early 1980s. However, people need to be prepared for rising rates in the next few years according to Robert Burton. Especially borrowers who need to renew their mortgages during the amortization period.

In Canada, variable-rate mortgages are the most important. The variable rate is directly tied to Canada’s monetary policy based on the prime rate offered by financial institutions. You can expect the variable rate to closely follow the Canadian overnight rate in the coming years – to go up.

On the other hand, a closed 5-year mortgage plays a different hand. The rate for closed 5‑year mortgages will reflect the financing costs of Canadian financial institutions, which closely reflect changes in 5-year federal yields under normal circumstances.

 

Robert Burton

An Extensive Economic Expansion, Leading to Higher Interest Rates

To Canadian borrowers, interest rates seem to be reassuring. However it’s difficult to forecast turnarounds in the economic cycle, the economists are suggesting monetary tightening cycle could be extended in Canada. The Bank of Canada could increase its rates by 0.50% per year from 2019 to 2021, or rise about 2.50%. In this climate, the Canadian 5-year rate could increase to approximately 3.10%. In a medium-term horizon, variable rates and 5-year mortgage rates could thus rise by approximately 2%.

The Bottom Line

Obviously, one can expect plenty of other scenarios affecting mortgage rates rise and fall. In the present climate, our current scenario indicates a minor increase in mortgage rates is most likely. To ensure safety, mortgage borrower’s need to be prepared for an alternative realistic scenario says, Robert Burton. For example, borrowers shouldn’t be caught off-guard in five years. Mortgage rates of less than 3% currently being obtained by some borrowers have a high predictability of being replaced with rates closer to 5%.

 

What $1,000 a Month in Rent Gets You – Robert Burton`s Analysis

When considering a new job or a place to move to find one, you have to consider rent and probably can`t afford to pay more than $1,000 in rent. All across Canada, there is a huge variation in the rental market. Cities like Toronto and Vancouver tend to cost the most due to their hot market and increase in the number of young professionals. It’s a dilemma because if you choose a smaller city there may not be as many employment opportunities.

To help in choosing a destination to for your new job and home, a quick scan of the country’s rental market using Canada’s classifieds site Kijiji.ca find some variation shared by Robert Burton as follows:

Toronto

Finding anything less than $1,000 is extremely challenging. But the advantage is you`re extremely accessible to downtown. The normal rent of single bedroom in the downtown core it closer to $1,800. For a bachelor or a studio apartment, $1,300 and $1,500. But, you might get something below the market rate if you do some hard and quick leg work.

Robert Burton Has Shared Something New Here: Open House In The Cove

Calgary

Some places under $1,000 if you`re planning to live in the downtown core and drive. Whereas if you choose to live in the heart of the city, you can find an affordable single bedroom for around $1,200. Calgary’s rental economy has eased a bit since Alberta’s oil recession hit back in mid-2014. Rents have gone down. You might get a comfortable bright, modern single bedroom for about $900 per month.

Edmonton

Within $1,000 budget, there are plenty of options to choose in the West part of the city. Being motivated by the fact that vacancy rates (the number of unoccupied dwellings in a city) are above average 7% (vs national average 4%). For the sake of comparisons, Toronto’s vacancy rate is hovering at 1%. At around $1,000, you can rent a spacious one bedroom in downtown Edmonton.

Montreal

Montreal2bed robert burton

You have some choice in Montreal within a budget of $1,000. You’ll actually find a one bedroom apartment on a budget of $700. The best thing about the city is that it has many vibrant neighborhoods and it’s well connected to public transit so you can get a charming space within 20 minutes of the downtown core at a reasonable price.

Vancouver

As Per Robert Burton, for a $1,000 budget, the downtown core of Vancouver is tough. Vancouver is in a rental crisis. Vancouver’s vacancy rate is 0.7 percent. With some hard and fast work, you may find one bedroom bachelor and studio apartments near downtown. If you’re willing to live outside of Vancouver a little, like in Coquitlam, you will find something bigger.

Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s rental market is very similar to Edmonton – there are bedroom apartments for under $1,000. Rents on two bedroom apartments in Winnipeg have gone up mildly in the last two years. And as compared to other cities, living in the downtown area of Winnipeg is more expensive.

St. John’s

One can find a nice small home close to $1000 – $1200 close to downtown St. John’s and find a one bedroom apartment downtown for approximately $700.