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How to Build Your Commercial Real Estate Contact List

Learn the best way to build your contact list.

contacts, commercial real estate, real estate

In commercial real estate, the quality of contacts and relationships you make is essential to your success. A good portion of this business relies on how you interact with brokers, buyer, sellers, engineers and city municipalities. In order to build a solid contact list that is sure to pull you through any situation, there are some key actions you must make with every person you come in contact with.

Many people simply meet a person, most likely forget his or her name, and continue with their day, with no reflection about that person, what they do, and how that new contact may contribute to their success. As a commercial real estate insider, you must start looking at every person as a possible opportunity, within and beyond your work hours.

During work hours, when you are calling and speaking to brokers, sellers, potential buyers, the city, investors, lenders and all the other various professionals in this business, never let a stone go unturned. Beyond just your normal business banter, take a minute to ask what the other person does, what they are interested in, and explain yourself to them as well. This interest must go beyond the obvious, such as, “I am the owner of the property.” or “I am a broker in Georgia.”

Dig a little deeper, and you will be sure to find a wealth of information from many of the people with whom you speak. Perhaps you will discover new projects that need a joint venture, a commercial development hot spot, a property that needs to be bought right away due to an emergency, a person who specializes in a specific type of property that you want to be involved with and so on.

Every person has the potential to further your commercial real estate endeavors. So even when you are not at work, talk to people! Now, be courteous, of course, and don't ream a person with a list of your “qualifying” questions and expect them to race to your side and help you out. There is always give and take in any valuable relationship.

Build rapport and get to know the people. A simple, “So what do you do?”, “What business are you in?”, or “What are you interested in?” are great conversation starters that will help get the ball rolling.

I have met numerous private investors and loan officers to whom I give more referrals than they know what to do with. In turn, I can get money, not only for my projects, but for those who may be purchasing my developments as well! It is amazing what a little kindness, genuine interest and casual conversation can unveil.

Although talking is a great way to find information, it is what you do with your information that really counts. Every person I meet, or have a potential to do business with, I ask for their name, number and email, so that I might contact them sometime about their work. If it is someone you feel has an asset or other contacts that could help you, explain to them that you think it would be mutually beneficial to do business with each other. Always ask permission to contact them if you should have a project they might be interested in, or if they may have more information regarding their profession.

This may seem forward of you in some cases, but you can always explain to them that you are always looking for people to do business with, and that their help would be very much appreciated. It is astonishing what people are willing to do if you ask for their help.

Give them a business card and your contact information as well. Give them permission to contact you whenever they would like, and tell them you look forward to speaking with them on another occasion.

After you have had a meeting with a new contact, store the information in a safe, organized place. Write a note about what you discussed, what you liked about the person, and how they might help you. Be as detailed and specific as possible! The last thing you want to do is sit down to a list of one hundred contact names and numbers, and have no idea what they do, or how each may benefit from building a relationship!

I know many people use digital resources, rolodexes, and other such organizing devices. This is great. However, I have my own tool that has proven to work really well. I use a basic, spiral notebook, like the kind you would use in high school. Because I may not always have access to my computer, or be at my desk with a rolodex, I keep with me this basic notebook wherever I go!

It is here that I write the name, date, place and contact information, including notes on what we discussed with every person in which I could potentially do business. The pages never fall out or get lost. I do not have to wait to get to a computer to type this information that is fresh in my mind, and it can conveniently travel in my car, briefcase and just about everywhere else! It is not fancy and complicated, but easy and functional. I call it “My Big Black Book.” You should try this method, and see how it works for you.

Realistically, not every person you meet is going to be that “super contact.” However, if you have a very informative and helpful conversation with someone, make it a point to send them a letter or email thanking them for their time, how you will use, or have used their advice, and the results you've experienced. Be sure to document what it was that you discussed so they know the exact conversation to which you are referring.

By being grateful, acknowledging other people's work, and staying in contact with new people you will quickly build a contact list to rival those of seasoned commercial real estate professionals.

You will have “go to” contacts that can assist you on specific projects, put a good word in for you with the local city government, recommend you for projects, and notify you of properties that you may be interested in. Your opportunities will come more frequently and with better possibilities as your contact list builds. In a nutshell, follow these simple, yet essential rules:

• Build relationships.
• Be grateful.
• Stay in contact.
• Document all conversations.

These are the keys to building a successful, money-making contact list that will be with you for years to come.

 

How to Convert Your Real Estate Notes into Quick Cash

If you’re a real estate investor needing quick cash, selling your notes could offer a fast, easy solution. Read the following article for more information.

real estate notes, mortgage notes, seller financed

If you’re a real estate investor needing quick cash, selling your notes could offer a fast, easy solution.

It can happen to anyone. You find yourself in a situation where you need a chunk of cash—instantly. Maybe you have to handle an emergency or simply want to free up funds to invest elsewhere. Whatever the case, selling mortgage notes can put money at your disposal within a matter of weeks.

Selling mortgage notes allows you to convert small monthly payments into an almost immediate lump-sum of cash. You won’t have to wait to recoup the bulk of your investment. Plus, you can avoid the risk associated with owner financing. And you can spend the money however you want; it’s yours and there are no strings attached.

Mortgage note buyers purchase a wide variety of privately-held mortgage notes, including promissory notes, land sale contracts, deeds of trust, contract for deeds and other debt instruments secured by virtually every type of property. They can work with you if you’re receiving payments on residential, commercial and other types of property.

Some examples of the type of notes you can sell, include:

• Residential Notes – For houses, townhouses, condominiums, apartment buildings, and mobile homes

• Commercial Notes – For office, retail and industrial

• Vacant Land Notes – For developed land, undeveloped land and land not designated as a specific-use property (such as farm land or waste storage)

How It Works

Selling mortgage notes simply allows you to receive cash now for your future payments. You may be eligible to take advantage if you’ve sold your home or an investment property via owner carry-back financing or seller financing and are now receiving payments on that note. You could be cashed out in two to three weeks, receiving the funds by check or electronically.

Most note buyers prefer to buy real estate secured notes that are in the first lien position or wrap around the first lien position. If you have a second lien—where there’s a bank or another investor with a more senior lien against the property—you may be able to sell the note. However, the price that you get won't be nearly as high—unless the buyer has at least 30 percent of his own money as a down payment or in built-up equity.

Here’s how the process of selling notes works: You need to contact several mortgage note buyers and request a quote. They will probably ask you to submit copies of the deed of trust or mortgage, the note, title policy, and closing/settlement statement. If there is no recent appraisal or title policy available, they may be ordered at the note buyer’s expense.

Each of your notes will be evaluated on a case-by case-basis, with a number of aspects considered. These factors include the purchaser's equity, payment history, seasoning of the note, credit rating of the buyer, term of the note and the remaining balance due on the note.

A Variety of Ways to Sell Notes

If you’re like most note sellers, you may automatically think of selling the entire note. That could be the best route if the note represents a high value and this is the best fit for your financial situation.

However, you also have the option of selling only part of the note. This could be ideal if you like the interest rate you’re earning on the note, but just want to receive part of the cash now. Over the long run, a partial payment may be able to provide you with a much higher rate of return.

For example, let’s say you sold a house for $120,000, the buyer gave you $20,000 as a down payment, and you have a $100,000 note at 7 percent for the next 15 years. You enjoy getting the income each month, but need $30,000 for another investment or to pay off debt. You could opt to receive that $30,000 in exchange for buying the next "x" number of payments, after which the note would go back to you for the balance of the term.
Or as another option, you could take a lump sum of money now, plus receive part of the payment each month thereafter. If you’re not sure which option would be better, don’t worry. A note buyer can work with you to determine the best solution for your needs.

Tips for Selling Your Notes

Most mortgage note buyers focus on making the process relatively simple, easy and fair. They offer competitive pricing, complete confidentiality and hassle-free closings. However, the note purchasing business isn’t highly regulated, so be sure to locate and work with a reputable company. Here are some things you should keep in mind about purchasing notes:

• Up-front fees: There should be no up-front fees. A good note buyer isn't going to charge you just to provide quotes or check the buyer's credit.

• Closing and other costs: There should be no points, closing costs, or other garbage fees at any point in the process. Any fees are already included in the pay price to you.

• Appraisals: Note buyers normally require you to pay for the appraisal or the title policy ONLY if the property appraises for less than the sales price or there are problems with the title that prevent the purchase. However, these payments should cover just the buyer's actual costs.

• Credit checks: Be sure that the note buyer checks the credit of your property buyer up front. Unscrupulous buyers have been known to quote one price and then lowering it toward the end of the process. They often use the excuse that the "property buyer's credit was low". This is a twist on the old "bait and switch" scam, and it’s completely unethical.

• Written Agreement: Ensure that the seller gives you a written purchase agreement covering the purchase price, contingencies, etc. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions about anything that is not clear. Any items that are not spelled out in black and white are part of the agreement. It’s that simple.

Selling real estate notes is easy, and it can be a great way to generate a lump sum of cash for other uses.

 

How To Sell Orlando Real Estate In A Difficult Market

The Orlando real estate market is fairly strong thanks to the desirability of the area, but sellers must still follow a few simple rules

Orlando, MLS, Real, Estate, Agent, Broker, Listings, Property, Realty, Search,

As far as markets go, Orlando real estate is doing better than most. According to Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund, by far the leader in Florida, Orlando remains an attractive market due the many diverse growth industries in the area. Orlando also continues to rank high as a desirable place to live. We're #6 in the 2007 Harris poll of cities nationwide where people would most like to move to.

This means that if you're a seller in Orlando, things could be worse. Sure, prices are down and the Orlando MLS has a lot of homes for sale, but Orlando has so much going for it that new buyers continue to be drawn to the area. This means that buyers have a good shot at a sale IF they play their cards right. Here are my recommendations on how you can improve your chances.

First, in tough times you need all the help you can get, which in this instance means a good agent who knows the neighborhood and has all the right connections. I cannot overemphasize the importance of working with a local broker who knows your property, has all the local listings, and is intimately familiar with the selling points (and pitfalls) of your area.

Second, work with a design consultant. Everyone think their home is perfect, but it takes the experienced eye of a professionally trained outsider to tell you how your home best be presented for sale. You'll likely be asked to remove a lot of clutter, do a lot of cosmetic updates, and perhaps replace some fixtures and lighting to give the home a fresh, contemporary look. This can be taxing, especially if you're asked to replace carpeting, windows or other costly items, but it's worth it. Take my word for it.

Third, real estate sells by appealing to a buyer's imagination, not by showing him or her how you lived in your home. So remove personal items such as personal photos, trophies, collections and all the other clutter that accumulates. The home should look clean, elegant and inviting. Let the buyer imagine what he or she will do with the home.

Fourth, vacate the premises when a realty firm is showing your property to a prospective buyer. Sure, it's a bit inconvenient, but a buyer will really much rather look around than listen to a seller's stories or (often ill-conceived) sales pitch. You are not part of their search, so leave the selling to the professionals. Whenever someone arrives for a showing, just say you're on your way out, and then stay away until they are done.

Fifth, keep your home immaculate! That's easier said than done when it takes weeks or months to sell, but it must be done. So immediately clean up after every meal, put all dishes away, almost have the beds made, and never leave a mess. Hey, you'll probably get used to it and keeping a neat house will become second nature!

Sixth, be reasonable. Work with your broker, be cooperative, and do not hang on to unrealistic expectations. A good broker is on your side, and that is what you need in tough selling climates.

Follow these rules, and you'll make out just fine in the fairly strong Orlando real estate market.




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