Make Sure To Avoid These Common Real Estate Investor Mistakes

Although the rewards can be high in the real estate game, the financial risks are also real. When looking to enter the market of real estate investment, it is critical that all avenues are explored and all precautions considered. Here is a list of a few of the top mistakes that rookie investors making when jumping into the real estate market:

This crucial statistic is one of the best indicators of the health of the market. A higher DOM generally demonstrates that the market is more buyer-friendly while a lower DOM is an indication that a market is more difficult to crack. Knowing these numbers for your region and keeping tabs on their fluctuations will greatly increase your odds of success.

When flipping houses, it is especially important to find a stable crop of quality contractors to do the dirty work for you. Ask around to trusted colleagues for recommendations and then ensure that the candidates are properly vetted. Hiring the wrong contractor can end up busting a budget and wasting precious time. And in a business where time is money, that is a losing proposition.

With the popularity of sites like Zillow and Redfin exploding in recent years, many realtors are moving away from the traditional MLS listing. Neglecting to harness the power of the MLS is a big mistake. As the host for the largest pool of real estate properties, the MLS still holds the greatest power in the market. Not leveraging this service could prove to be detrimental to the success of your business.

Before jumping into the real estate market, it is critical to plan out a complete budget, taking into account all possible pitfalls and roadblocks. Failing to do so can negatively impact both your current project as well as your potential for success in the future.

Although the red tape can be tedious, savvy real estate professionals understand the importance of following the rules when looking to flip a house. Do not neglect to obtain the necessary permission in the name of saving money and time.

Take A Trip Inside This Miami House

This stunning glass-and-steel contemporary, located in the uniquely gorgeous Ponce-Davis neighborhood, is the sort of home that dreams are made of. Nestled in an ultra-private gated estate and shaded by lush live oaks, the five-bedroom estate is just waiting for the right owners to come and add their discriminating touch.

The unforgettable tour begins outside on the 34,408-square-foot lot, where the turquoise waters of the infinity pool beckon alongside a modern cabana. The outdoor space is accented by vertical gardens, designed by none other than Andres Tabora of Venezuela. An open-air kitchen rounds out the alfresco experience. With these delightful features just outside the door, it would be hard to imagine ever wanting to go inside, but what awaits within the walls is worth more than a second glance.

The home–built by Norway Builders, following a design laid out by O’Donnell Dannwolf & Partners Architects–boasts 7,916 square feet of living space. Classic wood flooring, stack stone, and a floating staircase are just a few of the marvels featured here. While the property lists five bedrooms and six and a half baths, there are numerous multi-use spaces just begging to be transformed into whatever the owner’s heart desires–maid’s quarters, an office or study, a cozy den, a walk-in closet, or perhaps a media room. The master bath features a soaking tub deep enough to lose yourself in, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling impact glass windows. Natural light spills freely throughout the interior, with open walkways and abundant windows making the space feel even larger than it really is.

Step into the modern kitchen, with its crisply neutral color palette and sleek lines, and have a seat at the built-in breakfast bar. Overhead, the recessed lighting provides just the right degree of ambiance to make you feel instantly at home. Wood paneling gives a nice texture and contrast to the open space. The appliances are all state-of-the-art and fashionable to boot, and the entire house is wired for high-tech sound and security.

At $5.9 million, this property is priced for the discriminating buyer, the one seeking a home that’s unlike anything else on the market. While its design blends in perfectly with the South Florida landscape, you’d be hard-pressed to find its equal in any of the surrounding neighborhoods, or even within Ponce-Davis itself.

How Can You Improve Your Listing’s Buying Potential?

If you are thinking of selling your home, there are a few relatively simple and low-cost steps that you can take to ensure that your listing gets the most attention and, ultimately, receives the highest price. Luckily, modern tools make listing a home far easier and more effective than it has ever been. But you need to know how to best use those tools that are at your disposal. One of the most effective ways to give your listing a huge leg up on the competition is through the use of high-quality drone photography.

The advent of modern drone photography has represented a tectonic shift in the way that modern homes are marketed. But you need to find a high-quality drone photographer in order to take full advantage of the many benefits of this new form of real estate photography.

With the recently relaxed FAA rules for the operation of drones within residential areas, nearly everyone in the country has the ability to enhance their listing through the use of drone photography. Modern drones use ultra-high-quality cameras that produce movie-quality videos. They use stabilization technology to get shots that look better than anything aerial photographers of the past have ever been able to realize.

However, when your home is photographed from above, it is necessary to ensure that areas that you normally would not think about are in top condition. Make sure that all shingles on your roof are in good shape and that both the roof and gutters are completely clear of debris. Having excess leaves, shingle damage and gutter debris in the drone shots can actually detract from positive perceptions of your property.

You should also remove all exterior clutter from the home and make sure that the lawn is mowed, and the yard is generally well kept. A beautiful exterior shot of a home can drive traffic to your listing in a way that nothing else can. But a shot that contains kids’ toys, bikes, fallen tree branches and weeds can serve as a detraction from the perceived value of your property.

All told, drone photography, when done right, can serve as powerful enticement to get prospective buyers into a showing of your home. Follow these drone photography steps, and your home won’t be sitting on the market for long.

Australia’s Housing Market Prices Are Falling

The up-and-down nature of the real estate business is notorious, but Australia in particular has been on a consistent “up” since the turn of the millennium. That trend, however, has seen a significant downturn as of late, with home prices dropping at a rate of 4.5 percent in Sydney alone. So what are the reasons behind this sudden decline?
Prices soared dramatically around the time of the Great Recession
In 2008, the Australian government doubled an existing tax credit, offering $14,000 instead of $7,000 for first-time buyers of an existing home. If the home was new, the credit was increased to $21,000. This incentive contributed to buyer interest, keeping home prices higher than they might have been otherwise.

It’s also worth noting that Australia offers tax breaks on rental properties, to the effect that the government essentially subsidizes any losses incurred from investing in real estate. With a safety net like this, it’s no wonder that the industry thrived for so long.
The Australian economy continued to strengthen over the past decade
While the United States floundered beneath the tide of the Great Recession, other markets were booming. China was purchasing large amounts of and coal and iron ore from their Australian neighbors, thereby keeping the economy strong enough to justify the rising home prices.
China also invested heavily in real estate during this time frame
Although the Australian government has restrictions on foreign buyers, a small percentage does manage to sneak in under the radar. Lately, it’s become increasingly clear that a number of Chinese buyers made these investments as a way of keeping their funds off-shore, as the homes they purchased were lying vacant. As this foreign interest in Australian real estate has waned, so too have the prices.
An increase in interest-only loans has created a speculative bubble
Interest-only loans allow investors to borrow more, which increases their debt but allows their gains to flourish as long as the value of the homes continues to rise. Conversely, however, when home prices fall, so does their equity. As many as 40 percent of Australian mortgages are currently interest-only, which leads prognosticators to assume that the investors are concerned mainly with short-term gains. If the prices continue to go down, many of them may try to bail out by selling their properties, which will contribute to the downward spiral.

Which Neighborhoods Are The Most Expensive?

Exotic cars, yachts, and mansions are just a few of the luxuries that separate the ultra wealthy from the average person. Despite its label as the world’s celebrity capital, Los Angeles is nowhere to be found on the list of the ten most expensive neighborhoods in the US. If they are not in the Hollywood Hills, where exactly are the country’s most affluent neighborhoods located?

East Coast

Four of the nation’s most expensive neighborhoods can be found on the East Coast, of which three can be found nestled together in the northeast. Houses in Woods Hole, MA (02543) and Boston’s Beacon Hill (02108) cost on average $3.2 million. For a more urban feel, New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood (10013) has transformed from a dull warehouse district to one of the nation’s trendiest neighborhoods, with property owners demanding on average $5.2 million for an apartment. Those looking to spend a little more time on their yacht might be found on the southern tip of the East Coast, in Miami Beach’s Fisher Island (33109). Only accessible by boat or helicopter, the average price tag on one of these homes is around $3.7 million.



Not all of the country’s most expensive neighborhood have a coastline backyard. Wilson, WY (83014), home to one of the nation’s most exclusive ski slopes, demands an average $2.8 million from its home owners. Closer to Aspen’s famous slopes, a large ranch in Snowmass, CO (81654) goes for a cool $3 million. A little further west one can find the nation’s most expensive vacation homes. Tucked quaintly between Lake Tahoe and Reno, NV, homes in Glenbrook, NV (89413) have a price tag of roughly $3.2 million.


West Coast

Outside of Seattle, the world’s top two richest men have homes in Medina, WA (98039). Anyone wanting to become neighbors with them should expect to pay upwards of $4.9 million to do so. Finally, it seems that high home prices have followed the tech trend. The nation’s two most expensive neighborhoods are located in Silicon Valley’s Atherton (94027) and Los Altos (94022) respectively. These zip codes come with a price tag between $6.3 and $10.2 million.

Whether your on the East Coast, West Coast or any other coast, you’re sure to find a city which boasts an affluent neighborhood. This is only a small compilation of some of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods. If you take the time to do some more research, you’ll find that there are plenty of other neighborhoods out there that house the rich and successful.

How To Create Client Relationships That Can Build Your Business

Real estate agents have many tools at their disposal to help them find the perfect home for their clients or to sell a home for as much over list price as possible. The internet and other technology makes getting the word out about a particular home as easy as pressing a button on a keyboard.

But, as any successful real estate agent will tell you, all the technology in the world is not as important as building lasting and solid client relationships. Below are some ways to form lasting bonds with both home buyers and sellers:

1. Engage your community: This is an area where technology can be extremely helpful. Ensure that your web site offers clients and prospective clients an engaging experience with plenty of feedback.

2. Help your client to shine: Be intentional in helping your client to look their best in front of others. By helping them to appear to be the hero in the real estate transaction, you will not only advance your business relationship, but gaining a friend who can help you grow your business.

3. Kindness and respect matter: There’s a great deal of truth in the maxim “treat others as you would want to be treated.” Kindness, courtesy and respect are the hallmarks on which successful personal and business relationships are built. It is also important to be honest and admit where we’ve made a misstep.

4. Marry your personal relationships and technology: Technology exists to simplify your business, so use it to help you keep track of appointments; clients wish lists; and sales leads. These reminders mean you don’t have to remember anything but still have all the information you need to successfully close the deal at your fingertips.

5. Put your clients first: Successfully closing deals is the heart of the real estate business, but to do that an agent has to demonstrate that he sincerely cares about the needs and personal situation of every client.

6. Make a lasting impression: Whether you’ve just rented an apartment or sold a family their forever home, placing a gift that is unique to them in the residence is a way to show them you appreciate their business and care about them.

What Outdoor Features Can Set Your Home Apart?

Most homeowners are interested in increasing their home’s value to ensure that they can make more of a profit off of the property once it’s time to sell. When it comes to boosting your property value, adding outdoor features can prove to offer a high rate of return once you find a buyer. When you want to invest in features that will pay off, there are a few features that are worth purchasing.

Barbecue Stations

Barbecue stations and outdoor kitchens are in demand among buyers because it offers a place to entertain outdoors. Homes with barbecue stations have a 26 percent higher value than those that don’t include the feature because it provides the ability to spend more time outside.


Outdoor showers are increasing in popularity because they provide you with the chance to rinse off after taking a dip in the water. Many homes that are located near the beach or a lake can benefit from an outdoor shower because it will prevent you from tracking in sand or dirt.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are now considered to be a staple for outdoor spaces because they allow you to stay warm while inviting your guests over. The open flames make it easy to roast s’mores and can make it possible to spend time in cooler weather conditions while stargazing.


A patio makes it possible to lounge outdoors instead of having to sit on the grass in your backyard. Patios are a valuable addition that has an ROI value of over 100 percent. You can place patio furniture on the feature and spend time dining outdoors while taking in the view of the surrounding environment. Finishing or repairing an existing patio can also have a high return of 500 percent. Add outdoor light and a few pillows to make it a comfortable space.


Although some pools don’t have an effect on the value of the home, they can increase what the property is worth if there’s enough space available around the feature to ensure that the backyard can still be used for other purposes. Install a pool with spillways, a diving board, or rock formations to create an appealing feature that will increase the visual appeal and the functionality of your backyard.

ICSC Real Estate Conferences

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has a mission to guarantee that the retail real estate industry is recognized for the important and vibrant role it has in the civic, social, and economic life of communities throughout the globe in 100 different countries. This is a leading industry because, in 2016, statistics showed that annual sales of shopping centers in the United States alone yielded over $2 trillion.

ICSC has more than 70,000 members that join together to help drive the United States economy, create jobs, discuss business policies and trends, inspire innovation and collaboration, enrich their local social endeavors, and lead businesses into the exciting future. The organization is strengthened by working with the views of people with different cultures, backgrounds, and thinking styles.

Whether your goal is to bolster your company’s bottom line, learn how to increase your business, or kickstart development of your career, belonging to ICSC opens the door to helpful information on valuable research and industry insights, provides lucrative career-influencing gatherings of members, and leads to new connections with thousands of industry influencers. In addition, members receive discounts on approximately 200 yearly ICSC conferences and meetings.


ICSC hosts hundreds of programs every year so that members can expand their industry expertise with educational and certification courses while they build relationships, do business, and network with other professionals.

An example of an upcoming regional event is:

The annual Florida Conference and Deal Making that will be held August 26 through 28, 2018, at the Orange County Convention Center, South Concourse, in Orlando, billed as “Fun, Sun, and Getting Deals Done.” Learning the latest news and developments about business opportunities and operations and attending education sessions regarding the retail real estate industry will be developers, owners, lenders, brokers, investors, retailers, property asset managers, service and product providers, title underwriters, attorneys, and others who are anxious to talk shop, trade ideas, network, and make deals.
The ICSC Foundation is the charitable arm of the Council and is dedicated to giving back to the communities. It plays a role in attracting, identifying, and developing the outstanding next generation of future employee talent with professional and academic education scholarships, mentoring, and presenting learning opportunities together with job assistance.

Dream Homes Around the World

Spectacular homes exist all over the globe. From Europe to Asia to North America, there are incredible homes that leave onlookers breathless. While most of us can only imagine how fabulous it would be to live in such luxury, we are all fortunate enough to be able to view these homes. Here are five of the best dream homes from around the world:


  1. The Copper House, Sentosa, Singapore: Located on an island resort off the coast of Singapore, The Copper House was designed by a feng-shui master who prescribed copper cladding for the façade and warm colors to be used in the décor. This six bedroom stunner faces Sentosa Cove, and you can watch the sunsets from the main floors.


  1. Saturnusringen, Lindingo, Sweden: This modern villa is located on an island in the inner Stockholm archipelago 20 minutes from downtown. Comprised of three levels with multiple patios and terraces, the glass façade offers amazing water views. A large dock with room for multiple boats, as well as nearby hiking and biking trails, caters to nature lovers.


  1. Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, Quebec, Canada: A modern and sleek ski chalet located in the Charlevoix region, this home is situated atop a cliff overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Composed of three bedrooms and two bathrooms, large panes of glass look out over the river to deliver impressive and unobstructed views.


  1. Meads Bay Beach, Anguilla: With angles and smooth lines making geometric shapes in the Caribbean sun, this private estate located on a white sandy beach is a beach lover’s dream. Eight bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and a 44-foot long infinity pool add to the allure. Expansive ocean and sunset views will capture the imagination of anyone looking for a tropical getaway.


  1. Wilding Road, Queenstown, New Zealand: New Zealand’s spectacular South Island is the location of this fascinating home. Concrete tilt slab walls cover the exterior, while the interior is warmed with wood sourced from around the globe. Amenities include an indoor pool with a diving board and jet system, as well as a sauna that can seat up to five people. A pond with a meditation platform completes the spa-like tranquility of the home.


While a dream home is different for each person, these homes inspire us with their beauty and individuality.

Meet the Man Who Sold Over 3000 Homes in One Year

When you think of world records, you probably think of things like growing the biggest pumpkin or dancing for the longest amount of time. However, a real estate agent recently made his way into the famed Guinness Book of World Records.

This man, Ben Caballero, went down in record-breaking history for selling the most homes in one year. The number will blow your mind. It’s not 100 or even 200. The Addison, Texas local sold a whopping 3,556 homes in just one year.

Caballero set this record back in 2016, earning $1.44 billion in addition to his new status as a record-breaker. He credits his success to choosing to work exclusively with developers, rather than individual buyers.

Caballero was excited about his success, but it didn’t come as a surprise to him. Not only did he develop a foolproof plan of using a multiple listing service through which he could honor home requests quite quickly, but he looked into the Guinness process himself. At the time, he thought he might already have set a world record. When he found out how the process worked, he jumped right in, filling out paperwork and more so that he could get his name entered in this famous book and his great accomplishment recorded forever.

Caballero might even go for another world record, perhaps in another state, in the near future. While the Guinness Book of World Records makes people wait at least two years before applying for a new record, that just means Caballero has plenty of time to improve his game even further and perhaps even beat his own record.

And, when Caballero isn’t busy relishing his success as a record-setter, he likes to advise other realtors and home buyers too. His best advice for homebuyers, right now, is to consider buying new homes as opposed to old ones. While he admits newer homes may be more expensive, he points out that utility costs are typically much lower with a newer home, making them a smarter long-term investment. He also points out the much longer warranties that typically come with newer homes.

From his record-winning sales to his great advice, it’s clear that Caballero is an impressive guy, as well as a real role model for real estate agents everywhere. The only question is, what record will he set next?