Local SEO Mastery – Dominate Your Local Market

Local Search Optimization is Serious Business for some Industries

What if I told you I doubled the traffic of a major hotel? Well, it happened. From 1.2 Million visits per year to 2.5 Million per year. A lot of people travel and search for hotels online and they often book with the first few they see. Being ranked at the top of Google search results is very important.

Fast forward a few years, and consumers are becoming very dependent on their smartphones, often using them in the retail stores, while walking, driving and dining. Whether driving around a neighborhood looking for homes or while in transit and looking for a restaurant in town. Local search is a big deal. And Google maps is seeing a lot more use and it is tying in local businesses to map users.




Google serves up local business results as you can see the 2 screenshots below.  These results are separate from the regular search results and are a key FREE source of the very best traffic and leads online.

This post on Mobile search growth  shows smartphone use is trending higher. Visibility in local search results and being mobile friendly is vital. It all ties into the local and smartphone connection.

Graph Courtesy of comscore:  comscore.com/Insights/Blog/US-Smartphone-Penetration-Surpassed-80-Percent-in-2016

Local Search is Worth Winning

If you run a Hotel, Restaurant, Clothing Store, plumbing or auto repair shop, or real estate agency, you’ll want to show up in these local search results. Not only does your website come up right at the top left of the page, but Google gives them driving directions right to your store. How nice is that! Gotta love Google.

Local Search Results for Chinese Restaurants in San Diego
Local Search Results for Los Angeles Hotels

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It’s Part of the SEO Solution

I wanted to bring this local search visibility opportunity to light for you. I’ll spare you the deep stuff. The point here is to see the opportunity for a local business to grab really good quality local, easy to convert sales prospects. Getting into the top of Google’s search results is very rewarding. These are the best leads possible — prospects who are eagerly searching. That’s a hot lead. So when you believe it, stop reading and get into action.




Millions of Searches for Hotel Rooms

My client, the major hotel chain in Canada for many years, Delta Hotels, had 35 locations across Canada. You may have booked a room via my hotel SEO work and didn’t know it! Delta Hotels rooms and services are top notch and they charge a higher price for bookings. In my stays throughout Vancouver, Banff, Toronto, Mississauga, and other cities, I found Delta’s hotels to be very high quality. Unfortunately, Marriott Hotels bought Delta Hotels and the past is gone.

It was a challenge to get visitors to choose Delta Hotels over Motel 6, Super 8, and even Best Western. Hotel bookings are competitive and price sensitive. In hotel SEO, you’re up against tough competition including hotels.com and expedia.

I have to mention that I created new top rankings in the local search results for Toronto hotels, Vancouver hotels, Montreal hotel, hotels in Mississauga, and Calgary airport hotels and tens of thousands of other keyword rankings.  I ensured we dominated the 10 Pack with several hotel locations in each city.  That actually helped double their amazing website traffic and leads. Doubling a hotel’s traffic has a big impact on the bottom line. I can’t divulge numbers, however I can say what I accomplished in terms of SEO.

Of course, a hotel’s unique selling proposition, its branding, lead conversion strategy, content strategy, website mobile friendliness, and other supporting elements contribute to a converted lead. SEO brings them in and the content generates the booking and converts the lead.

You don’t just sign up with Google local business listings and see the traffic roll in. No, you must prove to Google’s algorithm that your site content and service is relevant to that location. Yes, there’s a number of factors that Google processes to determine rankings. Leave that stuff to me including the Google+ misery. Your job is your business, mine is getting you that great local traffic.

Here’s a couple of local search infographics though to tell you why you don’t want to think about it:

Graphic Courtesy of Moz.com Local Search Factors Survey: https://moz.com/blog/local-search-ranking-factors-survey-results-2017
Local Search
Local Search Ranking Factors Infographic Copyright Ranklocal.com




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Competition is For Losers: The Simple 3 Point Success Plan to Build a Monopoly

Time is Running Out

Time is Running Out: Grow, Monopolize or Die

I don’t have to tell you the Real Estate sales profession is ultracompetitive and demanding, or that it’s getting worse. You experience that headache every day and night. Below, you’ll find 3 Keys to Carving out Your Monopoly.

And if you’ve grown your website and sales success already, congratulations. You’re very Good! (Let me know your secret). However, most successful business people think success will last.  But up against giant corporations who pay little tax and can compete freely across borders, you may be looking at a minimum wage future yourself. There are no protections for small business.

Realtor Competition: With home owner selling alternatives eating away at your sales and commissions, with brokers signing up more new agents, and with the digital, Uber-realty crowd aiming to get rid of you via digital channels, your income and survival are in question. What if you had a new plan to help you get to the next level of sales without eternal head to head battle with the hordes?

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Excessive Competition is No Good – Get Away from it!

I’m certain Internet marketing is just one more reminder of that insane competition out there that kills you slowly. I’d like you to you to check out the steps below that could keep you focused on a course to dominate your market and be rid of competitors. This post has some intriguing ideas about why striving for a niche type monopoly could be the way to go. There’s some insight here on how you can do it.

I don’t want to scare you but consider this. If you don’t pursue monopoly, technological changes could bring your career to a dead end.

Screen shot from the post “Death of a Real Estate Broker”: weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/death-of-a-real-estate-broker-10-ways-the-industry-is-changing/

And listen to what Paypal’s Peter Thiel has to say below about striving to become a monopoly just like Google, Apple, PayPal, MLS, NFL, NHL, PGA, Amazon, Facebook, Disney, Neflix, Uber, and Sutton Group West Coast Realty. There’s a principle here that can drive your business through the roof. He suggests that being less competitive and less concerned about the competition and instead focus on building differentiation, exclusivity and client preference.

Let’s Hear What you Think About the Future of Real Estate Agents

I’d really enjoy hearing your comments about how you differentiate yourself and what strategies you’re employing to protect your business.

Sharing is Good for Your Social Health!

Please Share this post with anyone who needs to boost their business and stay relevant to the market.

In this video below, here’s Peter Thiel speaking about Monopoly at Stanford – where Google started. He makes some funny analogies about useless positioning  for startup entrepreneurs. It’d be a treat to attend classes at Stanford!




Beating the Competition Means Getting out of the Race

In my sector of Internet marketing, competition is sickening and counterproductive. Desperate low cost automated marketers from around the world pump out low quality “messaging” in a quest to live another day. Well, after a few years of robot driven global competition, you realize this era of marketing is coming to a close.

Competition has its downfall. So with this in mind, let’s take a look at the 3 key areas you could focus on, which few Realtors, realty investment advisers, home builders, and real estate publishers do. 3 Steps for excellent differentiation and winning results that all of a sudden make Internet marketing make sense again.

  1. Gain Wide Visibility with Correct Prospects – lots of high quality prospect traffic and making a big impact when they arrive. Stats suggest that clients hire one of the first agents they find. Please be at the top of the serps!
  2. Build Authority & Trust – demonstrating expertise, thought leadership, local knowledge, and skills in action in a helpful way – clients are impressed with knowledgeable agents who have the angles covered to help them avoid a serious buying mistake or to get way over asking price.
  3. Be Persuasive and Convincing – delivering your unique value proposition with a personalized, relevant impact, in a way they can relate to — which clearly makes you their one and only choice. Is your UVP perfectly clear?

In this post on real estate lead conversion, I spoke of the importance of working on your unique value proposition to build preference for you. This preference is vital in all relationship building. Your Realtor UVP or your brand, needs to be spot on, specific, and to set you apart from other agents.  It creates/increases a compelling desire in them to call you right away. Capturing the moment, building intent and getting the desired action is our goal.

The goal for any business is monopoly, and some top agents do a pretty good job of building a near monopoly. Merrily Hackett of Sutton Group West in Vancouver, who has $12 Billion in yearly property sales comes to mind. Your local MLS has a monopoly too, unless we don’t consider FSBO and Zillow. With monopoly (or loyal customers), you can generate greater value for your clients and time/energy for yourself.

I’ve become, I think, much more self-aware over the years about the problematic nature of a lot of competition,” — Peter Thiel from CNBC article.

Peter Thiel – Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

Striving For Market Monopoly or Loyalty

A post Inc.com featuring billionaire Peter Thiel who co-founded PayPal, talks of his ideas on building a monopoly.  He says monopoly is the proper goal and that competition is for losers. Thiel advises to focus on specific niches and then scaling over time.

By pursuing monopoly, you gain more expertise in key niches, create more productive working time, produce more valuable output, and create better loyalty with your best clients. Monopoly and differentiation are connected.

You also stave off copycat competitors in your market. Unique differentiation is the only way to stop competitors from copying you and it’s the only way you’ll stand out. Differentiation is generated online through interesting, entertaining, thought-provoking, epic content, timely social media posts, deep insight into specific buying and selling issues, unique selling strategies, creative storytelling, amazing videos and graphics, a website they love to visit, contests, giveaways, and unique insightful market reports.

The key as Theil says is to one to do one thing exceptionally well for a specific type of prospect. Nail that first and move onto the next.

You may have already specialized in condos, first time buyers, divorce, retirement planning, financing, and other areas. You may have to specialize much more deeply to get recognized meaningfully.

Monopoly is owning a market through which the business can set its own prices. Monopoly companies stand to create (and maintain) lasting value for themselves”, Thiel says, citing Google as a good example – from post on Inc.com

Thiel’s explanation of monopoly is to own a market so you can set your own prices. In your situation as a Realtor, you’re setting yourself up as their trusted authority and the one who understands their dream and can make it happen.

My Real Estate Marketing Value Proposition: I help top flight Realtors get to the next level in sales and customer loyalty by helping them differentiate, become an authority, and create big visibility which leads to sustained, high quality leads online. I do all that automators can’t do.

Making a Commitment to Your Success

As a fairly successful Realtor™, you have the resources to make it happen, but may lack the strategic digital marketing partner who can convey your impressive value proposition to create your monopoly.

If homebuyers and sellers choose with the first agents they find, why aren’t you at the top of Google’s search results pages? 90% of them go online.

If they respect an agent’s authority and promise of value, is your website content demonstrating your excellent marketing and sales knowledge?  Do you show empathy for their dream and the things they care about?  For instance, luxury homeowners selling their home like to be able to have a story to tell about their home. Can you help them with that?

If they want the best value from their transaction, are you demonstrating and expressing that right away so they understand it in 3 seconds?

Make an Impact Fast

Our goal is to help you make a big and fast impact on them emotionally and ultimately psychologically. They will delve into your content, testimonials, and listings with fervor. The more they engage with your content the more they will only work with you — and that’s Thiel’s monopoly idea.

Thiel also talks about the end game which you can read here. Endgame means you need to have a goal and a path to it. That path is impossible to see unless you find a success model and do some reverse engineering. Get curious about the top Realtors and how they built their empire.  Those secrets they don’t divulge are the keys.

However, if you follow this model of real estate marketing strategy I outline here on my blog, you’re going to get there. I will help you do it. If you do this right and persist at it, it will come true. It all comes back to faith in yourself.

Additional Resources:

Top Real Estate Lead Conversion Factors

Upgrading to RETS Means all the Difference

How to Build Traffic that Converts

Real Estate Zip Code Search – A Unique Opportunity for You?

15 Prospecting Tips for Smart Realtors

 

Becoming an Expert in a Niche Real Estate Market

Selling in the Luxury Home market Niche

Why Construction Companies should Strive for Monopoly

Los Angeles Real Estate Forecast

San Diego Real Estate Forecast

San Francisco Real Estate Forecast

Toronto Real Estate Forecast




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What Are the Top Real Estate Lead Conversion Factors?

How to Increase Your Real Estate Lead Conversion Rates

If you were to double or triple your online real estate lead conversion rate, how would that factor into your commissions? You’ve asked “how do I convert more of my Website leads” so here’s a number of things you need to do. One is to Wow them with a fantastic unique value proposition right off the bat. Then you build trust and relevance right away.

What Realtors never talk about is their value proposition. If you don’t have one, they won’t call and they likely won’t convert later via your CRM. With people: first impressions count but it’s more than web design they’ll looking at.

Research shows that 35-50% of home buyers go with the first agent they find. (Source: InsideSales.com).  How can you wow them and make them an offer they can’t refuse?

When They Land on Your Website

Websites, good content and SEO have never been given proper credit for their help in generating real estate leads. Social media too isn’t getting credit. In reality, prospects do visit your website and you need to convert them quick.




CRM and Nurturing Means You Missed Them

Sometimes, the value they seek is “way over asking

CRM Solutions aren’t lead conversion. I’ll tell you why you need to ignore CRM solutions shortly. Right now, I know you’re thinking “if I could triple conversions on my website, that would be magnificent.” You’d be right. In the realm of real estate sales, it could mean millions of dollars and sustained future sales. It’s time you started getting into this conversion thing in-depth. And that’s the thrust of this post.

The words lead conversion today have been unfortunately branded and tied to marketing automation. And that’s sad.

That’s “after the fact marketing.”  We must convert those leads right away on your site. This is your top mission. If you’re not, something is definitely wrong — they gave you the thumbs down, and now you have to chase and nurture them. That’s doing things the hard way. So lets fix it, so you don’t have to get into all that obnoxious marketing automation silliness. You’ll find out what the key is and then apply it to your website like a pro.

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Creating Value and Delivering It

If prospects begin to associate you with the value they want, those leads will begin to convert. With no value presented, they’re onto another agent online, or in their community or, they just don’t bother selling their house. So if Realtors have failed online, it’s because of a lack of communicating value to visitors. Without that, there can be no trust, relevance, or magnifying of their buying intent.

Sometimes, spectacular images tell them you respect their dream

And I have to say that the keywords searchers type in tells you a lot about whether you’re going to convert them too. Crappy keywords generate crappy leads and so do low search engine rankings.  The leads that convert are at the top.  Just do some Adwords ads, and you’ll find out.  So a good part of your lead conversion is due to the fact you’ve got the wrong people coming in, or they’re just tire kickers and time wasters. Even if you have all they want, they’ll still waste your time and not convert.

Buyers and Sellers are online. You know the stats. 90% go online. So the question is, why aren’t you getting in front of them and delivering the value they want?

You Convert Leads with Your Value Proposition

What plagues most realtors is a missing value proposition. It’s not unique, differentiated from all the hordes of mediocre realtors out there. It’s not personalized nor significant to them. And it makes no impact and doesn’t engage them for very long. Yikes, why would they want to work with you? Building a clear preference for you is what it’s all about.

And your Realtor UVP is actually fairly complex and has to be presented well. Realtors blame design, poor CRM tools, and ineffective digital marketing techniques. But most visitors can see through shiny buttons and ragged clothing and know instinctively whether you deliver the goods. You need a way to infuse your value proposition into your content, your webdesign, and your ongoing client nurturing campaign — so it’s laser clear.




If you haven’t explored and built your best Realtor unique value proposition, read my in-depth post on the topic. It could be career changing for you. Then after you’ve developed your personalized, significant unique value proposition and refined your approach with the techniques in this post on lead conversion, who do you think will be the most preferred Realtor?

If you have to nurture hard via email campaigns, then something is wrong with your value proposition as they first encountered it on your website. Now that they know you don’t offer much, they’re reluctant to listen to you. If you try too hard, your email subscriptions and engagement will fall. Sound familiar?

The quest of most marketers today is conversion rate optimization. It’s wise to take their lead. But here’s the thing. Lead conversion is a personal thing and it’s all about building trust. In a previous post I mentioned the top factors of building relevance and trust. It’s a very important read and takes you into the mind of customers.

Most Realtors fail to convert leads because they apparently have little to offer — they’ve never even looked at their value proposition and don’t present it well

The old days of offering a photograph and sales awards seems silly now, but how far have you come in delivering an excellent promise of value to your prospects?  You’ve tried lead generation companies and discovered that converting real estate leads requires sincerity and time and not something for nothing attitudes. Visitors need a reason to trust you and like you.

Think about your losses over a lifetime because real estate is a long term business. Repeat sales happen over decades, but those sales are serious business.

Hans Ohrstrom is a top Toronto area Realtor. His promise of value is front and center including generosity and sales records

Let’s Take a Good Look at Your Value Proposition right now:

  • do you communicate your experience?
  • have you shown/communicated your past and current success?
  • do you demonstrate your knowledge of your local city and micromarkets?
  • do you mention events with your past clients?
  • do you have testimonials and what is the real message in those testimonials?
  • have you expressed how you are dependable and honest?
  • have you shown empathy and willingness to listen?
  • do you mention your performance of getting over asking price?
  • did you mention your record of putting in winning bids?
  • do you have authoritative content easily found on your website?
  • does your website content/blogs/FB posts show you are knowledgeable and have good judgement?
  • does your website suck or is broken or slow with irrelevant content?
  • do you communicate a friendly, professional image who is easy to work with and not a hard nosed troublemaker who won’t bend?
  • do you offer free home staging and cleaning services?
  • is there a link to your Linkedin profile?
  • can customers visit your Facebook page?
  • are you using the latest technology on your website?

The Calgary Home Boys have an amazing website (with a superb CRM system). It gives visitors what they want most, a great home search experience.

What are the Top 8 Conversion Rate Factors?

  1. the quality of incoming lead/visitor
  2. the source of incoming lead/visitors
  3. the generosity and transparency of your value proposition
  4. relevance of your personal services, experience and knowledge
  5. a clear presentation of your personal/professional brand image
  6. a clear call to action
  7. incentives and feel good content given free
  8. immediacy and fast response – they must contact you right now and you’re ready for them

If you optimize these 8 conversion rate factors above, prospects will be good quality therefore easier to convert and you’ll have given every reason to work with you.

Remember that prospective home buyers or home sellers want to feel trust, comfort, happiness, confidence, and even euphoria about their decision to buy or sell. They want to feel that you’re going to be a positive part of their dream and that you’re a good fit.

They’re going take your brand image and try to include it as part of their beautiful puzzle picture. You have to be a relevant part of the dream.

It all comes down to their moment of decision. If you exalt and maximize their moment of decision with you in it, you might get the call and be their preferred Realtor. And this applies equally to any other profession including mortgages, home loans, home renovation, replacement windows, plumbing, landscape design, and interior design.

They see your trustworthiness in your web site design and the value proposition expressed in your copywriting. You may have thought pretty copywriting was all you needed. Do you have standard copy blurbs that appear on many other Realtor websites? Oh man, you’ll killing your conversions and making yourself look run of the mill.

Get Into Their Dream or Be Forgotten

To get the quality, relevance, impact and trustworthiness message across, you need epic level, information-rich, and affirmative copywriting. Pretend you’re creating a business case for their purchase and you get the idea. They’re looking to you for emotional support, data, direction, and help in presenting this to their significant others.

Remember that they need to justify the purchase (and to hire you) to their spouse, children, friends and banker. If they can’t do it, the discussion is short lived, never to be mentioned again. If you can align with their dream, they’ll choose you to sell their home. All you need to to do is express it on your website.

If you’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about a CRM solution. There are some good ones sure and you need to manage your leads of course. The point is, that if you convert them right away with a phone call, you may not need to spend so much time chasing them, nurturing and paying for expensive, time consuming marketing automation (which could be harmful).

CRM software solutions are passive tools for converting weak leads — create value and convert now!

How about pretending you don’t have any follow up and lead nurturing solution? Now you must convert them right away. If you think it’s time for you to look into redeveloping a new real estate website and your content then give me a call at 416 998 6246!

Additional Resources:

http://www.realestatewebmasters.com/blogs/michael-audet/the-truth-about-improving-lead-conversion-rates/show/

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Boca Raton Homes for Sale – Waterfront Condos & Luxury Homes

Boca Raton Real Estate

The name Boca Raton conjures up a lot of luxurious images for home buyers across the US and abroad. The town with the exotic name is famous for luxury and the ultimate in lifestyle.  In fact, opulence might better describe the lifestyle here. But it’s also a life of meaning and purpose.

The whole God’s waiting room reputation has left this area, with many buyers now being younger and career minded. It’s attracted a youthful, vibrant and entrepreneurial new home buyer to Palm Beach County. With the market flattening, you’ve got a better price point for your Florida dream home.

Photo courtesy of downtownreporting.com

If you’re looking for a better life, you may find this community in South Florida gives you better access to every kind of advantage possible. And the weather and climate here are unbelievable. You’ll be enjoying the beach, your swimming pool, playing golf a fantastic local clubs where you’ll meet some accomplished and interesting residents.

The strange thing is this same image of immaculate luxury homes and modern beachfront condos, rolls royces, and private gated communities scares a lot of buyers and investors away.

They assume this land of millionaires and 8,000 square foot, 8 bedroom estates is priced out of reach and they wouldn’t be welcome. Yet Boca Raton Florida offers a lot for those with a more modest budget.




There’s a good reason why Boca Raton FL has this reputation for fine living, American culture, and topical living. It has these in spades. For buyers looking for economic and career possibilities, along with the best schools for their kids, and a home that does more to relax than a years worth of massages. Just being here takes the edge off of life. It puts you into a more productive and optimistic frame of mind.

And considering how the South Florida economy is booming, with population rising fast, a lot of people seem to be of similar opinion. Florida is the place to be right now.

If you’re thinking of investing here, or taking the plunge to a better life with a home purchase, I think you’ll be enthralled with these pics of the best of Boca Raton. Waterfront or inland Ranch homes, luxury estate or beachfront condo, let your mind drink in the beauty of Boca Raton Florida. All of the photos below are owned by Beaches MLS© in Palm Beach County. I am not a Palm Beach Realtor, however my client is. If you need a Realtor in Boca Raton, please contact Homes of South Florida and find your Palm Beach dream home.




This 4,000 square foot, 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom luxury home below located in Boca Raton looks like a millionaire’s abode.  Picture yourself languishing by the pool, or pampering your guests at the bar, or just feeling free and unfettered in the 20 foot ceiling space living area. This astonishing golf course home is available at this time of writing at $699,000.

Luxury Home for Sale, Bocaire Golf Club, Boca Raton Area: $699,000

Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS© – Wow, a stunningly beautiful stately home on a golf course next to a pond. Can you beat this for curb appeal?
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©

Find out more about this home and other properties at Homes of South Florida and find out what’s happening in the US housing market and the local real estate market in Palm Beach. If there was ever a time to move to Florida, this is it.




4173 Bocaire Blvd in Boca Raton FL – SOLD

This spacious 4,000 square foot detached home for sale in Boca Raton on the Bocaire Golf Club. Only a golfer can truly appreciate this amazing view and opportunity. And everyone else will just love it.

Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©

Waterfront Home – Boca Raton

This waterfront home sle in Boca Raton offers 3 bedrooms in 3000 square foot living space with a beautiful inground swimming pool. The master bedroom is spacious and amazing and there is no shortage of windows to let that warming Florida sunshine in!

Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©

Waterfront Luxury Homes – 21144 Ormond Court, Boca Raton

This spacious 4400 square foot waterfront home is designed for contemporary tastes. You’ll appreciate the views, open concept, beautiful master bath, and wonderful kitchen. Get the details and ask about more homes for sale in Boca Raton at Homes of South Florida.

Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS©
Photo Courtesy of Beaches MLS

These are just a sampling of the luxury homes for sale in Boca Raton.  And there are homes that are much better than this. If Florida might be in your future, make sure you do some searches at Homes of South Florida, then inquire about how to buy a home in Florida. You’ll enjoy the fact there is no state tax here.

Contact Realtor Michael Goldberg of United Realty in Boca Raton: 561 231-0021.

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Zillow Homes for Sale | Los Angeles San Francisco Miami Houston Phoenix

Zillow Homes for Sale

Zillow is making quite a stir in the real estate sales sector in 2017. Pundits are awarding its success to things like Big Data or company culture, but the real reason may be technology and Realtor’s frustration with NAR and the MLS. I’ve written a post on Zillow and its leads generation program. Have a look if you’re an agent.

Zillow Group (NASDAQ) is actually made up of 7 brands serving conumers including internet-based real estate and rental marketplaces. Zillow is growing fast, grabbing a good share of mobile phone searches. With almost 2000 employees today, and the 48th most visited website in the US, Zillow Group has come a long way in a short time becoming a force in the US housing market.




But it hasn’t been without controversy. They’ve drawn criticism from MLS associations and by others for selling home buyers personal information, for not protecting consumers from dishonest sellers/advertisers, and for their advertising practices in general. As a home seller, you may like that you have Zillow to help you reach more buyers. As a Realtor wanting to leverage the Zillow search and advertising system, you may like the potential visibility but not like the home buyer interaction results.

In 2017, Zillow is now to Real Estate what Uber is to a taxi driver

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Zillow Home Search Los Angeles

Take their home search for a test drive, using a search for Los Angeles Homes. The video walkthroughs are a unique feature you might like.  Have you used Zillow to search for homes for sale before? How did you like it? Was the Zillow Zestimate tool helpful to you? Do a Zillow homes for sale in Los Angeles now.

And how about searching the San Francisco market for homes? Do a home search in San Francisco now.


Zillow’s Technology is Worth Talking About

The upstart company’s zealous enthusiasm for growing marketshare and online services delivery, and making home and mortgage searches more enjoyable for home buyers might be factors that aren’t discussed enough. The company has invested big time in marketing and advertising and in doing things NAR and realtor.com won’t.

If you’re a Realtor, have you used Zillow Leads generation program called Zillow Premier? Does it compare well to other lead generation services? Is Zillow’s success suggest that Real Estate sales is being Uberized?

You can read all about Zillow’s update to its Premier Agent platform at Inman.




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Home Sellers Pricing Guide – Getting A Better Sales Price is All About Strategy

How Sell Your Home for the Best Price in 2018

The market is heating up and like so many homeowners, you’re wondering if this is the right time to sell? And what will your home sell for in 2018?

The latest MLS sales reports show that most listings in the hot Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Seattle, and Miami regions for instance, tend to sell over asking price. That means the seller got more than they were asking for. That’s a nice bonus that actually vaporizes the cost of selling of your home. You get your cake and you get to eat it too.

On the other hand, you could end up selling too late, as you’ll note in the Calgary Housing Forecast.

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!
Selling at 3% to 10% above asking price tastes this good!

We’ve seen years of homeowners all playing the waiting game, hoping for the market to fully ripen before they harvest. It looks like the fall harvest has arrived. But will sellers get what they’re asking for or more? Will they be too late?

How to Get the Best Price for Your Home?

For those of you in hot markets, the price you ask for is just a starting point on the way to the price you’ll ultimately receive. The key to maximizing the return on your real estate investment is in how your Realtor conducts marketing for your property — not in high pressure negotiation which brings smaller gains.




It’s important to know what to look for in a good Realtor so you don’t get unpleasant surprises and have to work with a poorly qualified buyer.  Big sales prices come out of strategy and targetting well qualified buyers – not last minute tactics.

The Market Changes Month to Month

Right now you may not get the all-cash offer from a wealthy buyer. Instead you may have to sell to someone who saw your mls listing, or who is financing the purchase, or who is buying conditionally. When you cancel out all the “on the edge” tire kicker type buyers, you’re left with a small number of well qualified prospects. These are the ones you want to market to strategically, and whom your Realtor should have fixed on his/her radar.

What does a thorough, effective Realtor Marketing Service Package Look Like? Definitely take a look.

Home Pricing Tips to Help You Get Your Price

Home Pricing Tip #1

Sell at a lower price than you want to.  If you price high, few will be interested. If you price low, you’ll get a herd of tire kickers and your real buyers will be more motivated to get an offer in. It’s a common practice and in this era, it’s a fool proof approach. In fact, the bidding war news stories you’ve heard about likely were priced low.

Home Pricing Tip #2

Have Your Realtor do a Foolproof Market Evaluation. Your Realtor’s free market evaluation will generate a price, but it won’t always get the comps right.  Your Realtor will look for similar homes and it’s important to know why they sold for the price they did. Your Realtor likely knows what’s happened and will be ready to utilize that knowledge.

Home Pricing Tip #3

Set the asking price just below a round number.  Sell at $105 lower than a major number. If your house could sell for $1 million, don’t just price it at $999,995.00 Everyone is familiar with that pricing trick. Instead, take the third last number down by $5. So your new price would be $999,895.00 Psychologically, that 8 stands out. It looks like a nice discount when in fact, it’s only $105.

“Our study suggests that by using the just below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers,” says Eli Beracha, author of a study published in the Journal of Housing Research. “As a result, they end up selling their house for more.” The study revealed a 2.5 to 3% increase in sold price.

Home Pricing Tip #4

Many homebuyers look for homes for sale in a certain price range that varies from city to city. In Toronto where the average price of a single detached home might be $1.4 million, a home priced just below $1 million is going to be found by more home searchers. Your first goal is maximimum visibility since you’re likely to get a better offer from 100 people than you are from only 15 people.

Home Pricing Tip #5

Create a home marketing plan and a home pricing contingency plan with your Realtor or a marketer before you put it up for sale. You want a marketing campaign that’s going to ensure 100%, that you get maximum exposure and the very best price. Better safe than sorry! If you price low and your Realtor relies only on the MLS and his own small circle of buyers, you could be in for disappointing bids.




Home Pricing Tip #6

Definitely go for a bidding war. Ensure your home’s most salient features, the ones buyers drool over, are clearly explained and shown in photos and video. Ensure your Realtor has good exposure online, has a great website, is advertising, and looks like they’ve got their stuff together. Everyone’s should know you’re selling your house in this market of desperate buyers.

Home Pricing Tip #7

Use hi definition photography, video and 3D home tours. People look online, and the impact you make is key to getting call from prospective buyers. Some videos are spectacular and the cost might be very reasonable. Seeing is believing and when you’re transparent, the buyers know they’re not wasting their time. Their time is just as valuable as yours.

Home Pricing Tip #8

Listen to your Realtor’s pricing strategy. If they’re experienced, they know how the selling game is played. All Realtors say they can close any prospect, but it’s just not true. They should be able to explain the jist of how to get the home priced right and how to negotiate with buyers.

Home Pricing Tip #9

Have your home professionally staged. Get your stuff out of there and let them bring in the furniture and dressings to appeal to the targeted buyer. It’s another cost, but if your marketing and pricing plan is good, you’ll easily recover that money.

Home Pricing Tip #10

Time your open houses well and advertise heavily during that time. There will be buyers driving around and they may be using a variety of house hunting apps on their smartphone. Buyers are desperate and thorough these days. Don’t rely on the MLS listings only.

Home Pricing Tip #11

Ensure your listing is well advertised and that your open house is visible via Google. If you know of a real estate blog that is high trafficked, advertise on it, or better yet ensure your open house listing page is indexed in Google and optimized for “open houses + city name, or neighborhood”




Home Pricing Tip #12

In your marketing, ensure you’re not just selling a house – a big box made of wood and cement. You need to evoke the buyer’s dreams because a home is all about dreams. Dreams are why some buyers will pay $1 million over asking.

Home Pricing Studies and Resources:

http://www.builderonline.com/money/prices/left-digit-in-sale-price-affects-home-buyers-most_o

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/08/12/study-reveals-best-real-estate-pricing-strategy

“http://globalnews.ca/news/3162259/toronto-house-sells-for-more-than-1m-over-asking-amid-record-year-for-home-sales/”

“http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/mortgages-and-rates/top-10-ways-to-win-a-real-estate-bidding-war/article4559578/?page=all”

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The US Massive Debt with China and the $20 Trillion Nightmare

OMG: US Debt with China: $1 Trillion + $360 Billion Per Year Active Trade Deficit!

You don’t hear much about the massive US Trade deficit on the major TV networks.  NBC, CNN, CBS, or ABC rarely mention the insidious debt with China and Mexico.  You’d think that a number like $20 Trillion (estimated shortly), $61 Trillion Total Sovereign debt, and a $1 Billion per day deficit would be CNN’s headliner every single day.

It’s unlikely the swamp people will want to help – Pic courtesy of Salt Lake Tribune

Instead, CNN and the rest spend all day attacking Donald Trump.  But then, Trump did say he was going to drain the swamp (including judges).

Unfortunately, Trump is launching another debt-driven campaign which may overheat the economy and grow the debt at more than $1 Trillion per year. Since it’s going into infrastructure spending with private participation, it’s not as toxic as Obama’s debt.  However, Trump did say he wanted all shelves filled with nuclear bombs which is pretty much insanity.




As a result, he’s paying the price in the media for doing good deeds. Let’s hope he gets these things done before he’s impeached for conflict of interest. Because the US is in big debt trouble and Trump is the only one with a solution. And how ironic it would be if the US becomes seriously indebted to Mexico!

Yet, it’s a taboo topic lurking in the dark. But when interest rates rise, this villian will walk through the curtains and into the limelight.  Are China and Mexico taking advantage of the US?  The huge debt won’t go away. Rising interest rates to pay the interest on the debt could get out of control. That could impact the housing market and whether people buy homes.

There’s no bubble / crash in foreseeable future, especially with Trump beginning to take control, and as we see investment funds arrive back in the US. The stock market is at a record pace.  Families and individuals need homes. Perhaps what’s at stake is who will be the landlord and who will be the renter. There’s big money in rental property investment and the Chinese have been buying. However, due to Trump’s actions, the Yuan will plummet and Chinese investment will soon be a thing of the past.




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Forecasting the Economy:  Where Should you Work, Invest and Live in the Next 10 Years?

So why don’t we look at the debt’s source, the numbers, the process, and consider what will happen if Donald Trump does manage to improve the situation.

You’ll find some eye-opening data, infographics, links and commentary in this post. Make sure everyone knows! It’s your civil duty. This post will be constantly updated so please bookmark it and share with your contacts.




Ultra wealthy Chinese. Photo courtesy of Ozy.com

And although Americans assume everything is good right now with “full employment” there’s a big “debt catch” with Obama’s legacy. With $500 Billion overall deficit in 2016 and almost $20 Trillion overall, the spirit, vitality, hope and wealth of the US is persistently eroded. The reason for the media silence is denial, and the so-called economic expert’s inability to make an emotional impact with Americans.  There is no coincidence that the deficit has coincided with America’s slide into despair the last 20 years.

The US National Trade Deficit with China was $4 Trillion since 2000 — and a Growth Rate of 300% in the last few years

“Our nation stands at the crossroads of liberty. Crushing national debt, rampant illegal immigration, insane business regulations and staggering national unemployment are pushing our nation into unchartered territory.”  — James Lankford from Brainy Quote.

US Trade Deficits with The World

Graphic Courtesy of PBS.org

6 of 20 Trillion Dollar Debt is Owned by Foreigners

Some suggest China may even threaten or blackmail the US over trade sanctions by calling in that debt. Doubtful, but how was this debt situation allowed by the US government?

 

Please Share this Post with others. Everyone around the world should know about the US national debt and deficit. This is something no 4 year job recovery can eliminate.




I think it really scares us that we’re staring at $20 trillion in debt, not knowing how our grandchildren will repay it,” says Bob Kuck, a retiree living in a gated community in Sarasota, Florida  — from CNN’s report: Is anyone worried about America’s $19 trillion debt? by Heather Long.

Of all the threats that America faces, it’s the quietest one that could bring the country down. Some may wonder if it’s too late for the US government to do anything about. And before Trump became President, he recognized how miserable the prospect of dealing with this gigantic national debtload is, grow the housing and investment outlook, and bring back good paying jobs. But he took the challenge anyway. It’s either heroic or suicidal.

Millennials and Gen Z’s Will be Paying the Bill

Tens of millions of millennial students having already been wrung through the US college educational system. They spent 4 to 7 years for an expensive education they’ll barely use along with a a whopping $1 Trillion in government backed student loans.  They will be paying for all of it and Gen Z’s will be joining them. But don’t worry, Trump’s got a plan for you.

The purpose of the education system has been to create great jobs for teachers, not for educational efficiency and productivity.

As Trump brings jobs back, the question is whether these stressed out, indebted, wrongly educated workers can step up to the plate. I think we’re all optimistic the kids will bale us out. And what Americans can’t do, you can easily immigrate to fill. Make America Great will be the slogan of Millennials shortly, but they’ll never forget all the debt.




$360 Billion per Year! $1 Billion per Day

The US National Debt with China alone has now grown to $360 Billion per year. In a 6 year span, that is $1.6 Trillion, $4 Trillion since 2000. Just to pay the interest on that debt is a sizable chunk of US GDP.

Donald Trump says he’ll tackle it, but the last time I saw a mouse attack a Lion, the outcome was not favorable for the mouse. The picture the media presents of China is still one of impoverished yet diligent and deserving workers glad to have a job. But China’s not like that anymore. China is rich.

China’s robot factories are growing fast which has raised concerns about millions of layoffs of Chinese workers. Only a smaller number of engineers and technicians might be needed. Now they may have unemployed robots as well.

Chinese workers assisting robots. Photo courtesy of hangthebankers.com

Why Is the US National Debt so High?

The persistent trade deficits are a big reason. Obama/Clinton never talked about it, in fact, Obama spent $8 Trillion in the terrorist aftermath. A good portion of that handout was never traced. They don’t even know where that money went. The debt to China directly is now over $1 Trillion. Now China is able to buy up property and companies here like it’s a fire sale.

Another reason for the debt is Free Trade. While free trade was a theoretically good idea 20 years ago when I was studying International Business and Trade in college, it’s no longer so. Today, it’s a losing business concept for the US.

The fact US investment dollars are going to former third world countries to benefit their economies and creating jobs for them instead of in the US is bad enough. Further, these countries (China, Mexico) manipulate their currencies to keep an ongoing and artificial trade advantage. As Trump suggests, they play the currency markets like Candice Swanepoel plays the fiddle. China isn’t so genius at it though. They just demanded it.

I have to say that I’m saddened that Richard Branson invited Barack Obama to Necker island, and that he’s also asked the UK government to reconsider leaving the EU.  The UK has it’s own massive deficit, which deserves its own blog post. This picture tells it all. The UK had to leave the EU. Brexit was a survival decision not a new vision for the UK.

Game of Monopoly: China Won. Let’s Start Over Again

Graphic courtesy of Wikipedia

When free trade theory was idealized and touted strongly decades ago, they didn’t consider the effect of currency manipulation and the ongoing human rot that occurs with overspecialization. And they wouldn’t admit to where it would lead.




The game of monopoly is the same. Inevitably, one player claims everything. In the real world, countries make excuses for cheating and not being fair.  Worse, countries can specialize themselves out of existance. When countries have no options left, amidst cheating, it can lead to wars.

Choose Your Economic Theories Well

The economic theories of specialization and economies of scale works wonderfully, until the rising countries have all the investment money and a continuous way of beating the falling countries. If the free trade situation persists, countries like the US and the UK will continue to collapse. They collapse because their overspecialized workforce/businesses get caught in trade and technology circumstances, the same way an unemployed worker in Ohio or Michigan finds themselves suddently without a job through no fault of their own and their home is valued as worthless.

When countries grab up a monopoly on technology, distribution, investment flows, jobs, skills, education, etc., it’s unfair. Right now, Americans have limited job opportunities. And should an American want to be an engineer, or other high tech workers, they may have to move to Mexico or China.

Each country should have a well rounded economy for true economic health and prosperity

Some like the Democrats, want this situation to continue forever. The fact is, the skilled, sustainable, good paying jobs must return to the US, if only to pay the national debt.

Further Reading:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2016/03/28/u-s-debt-is-heading-toward-20-trillion-where-its-been-where-its-going-and-why/

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-americas-debt-bomb-wont-explode-yet-12963

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-01-31/3-student-loan-reforms-to-expect-under-trump

What are your thoughts on the jobs outlook for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020? Is free trade about to transition to fair trade?  Will the housing sector survive the fight with the deficit or is a housing crash inevitable? Is buying gold a good hedge strategy?

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Jobs Forecast 2018 | Employment Outlook US Cities Best Prospects List

What’s the US Job Outlook for 2017?

Will the Jobs Juggernaut Continue into 2018?

It’s a sunny forecast for jobs and housing in 2017. A marriage made in heaven. And although 2017 started off tentatively because of the US government transition, it appears employer outlooks are improving.

Cities such as Cleveland, Dayton, Akron, Chicago and Detroit, decimated by Free Trade and an outflux of workers may not be revived, but there are plenty of cities such as Plano TX, Sioux Falls IA, Deltona FL, Cape Coral FL, Scottsdale AZ, Orlando FL, Honolulu HA, which might offer you a dream job and dream lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of aec-cea.ca

Good advice for anyone young, is don’t hold back or limit yourself, especially at a time when the economy gives you a 95% chance of success. The latest jobs report in January 2017 was excellent, despite the government transfer. The democrats will give up as wages improve, exports grow, and the middle class begins to reappear. It won’t happen overnight and there is no housing market bubble.



Avoid the media “sour grapes” rhetoric. Transitioning the US back to health is no easy task and losing the status quo will hurt, but only a little. This is the time for Millennials to envision a better job and prepare for the future when they  may launch their own business.  Millennials, be smart. You deserve a better life. You’ll get that student loan paid off!

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The 2017 Jobs Forecasts and Data

Where should I look for the best jobs? Does Florida, California, Texas have the opportunities I want? The charts, videos and commentary below show the best cities and employent/jobs sectors with the most promise. From manufacturing to transportation and infrastructure development to energy to retail trade, 2017/2018 looks like a rare opportunity for US workers to move, land a good paying job, grow their skills, experience, enjoyment, or buy a home, travel, and invest.

“Today, the ratio of unemployed Americans to open jobs stands at 1.4 to 1, down sharply from 6.6 to 1 during the last recession in July 2009. That shrinking pool of job seekers translates into fewer available candidates — leading to today’s growing reliance on recruiting from passive, already employed candidates.” – from Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.com




Should you leave your low paying job for a better one in another city during the Trump era? Before you move, check out where the best cities for real estate investment are — cities and states which investors believe in.

Need lower car insurance rates? Learn more usage based auto insurance, saving on luxury car insurance, and which cars and trucks have cheaper insurance rates. Search for a lower auto insurance quote and save!

New Job Outlook Reports are Out

A couple of new job outlook reports are worthy reads as we move into the first and second quarter of 2017. The first report from ManPowerGroup offers a bright outlook for many US cities. However, with the repatriation of jobs to the US, where will the skilled professionals to fill them come from? Most engineers are in China and India.

Nearly One in Five U.S. Employers Plan to Hire in Q1 2017

This forecast for 2017 was really a rollover of the previous year, and we haven’t yet felt the coming impact of the Trump Administration’s policies to bring jobs back to the US. And the jobs returning may be of especially good quality with great pay — engineering, robotics, research, energy production, programming, design, and even good old manufacturing.

Are you buying or selling a home in 2017? Get some tips on why you should sell now and how to sell above asking. A growing worker income will ensure there will be no housing market bubble or crash.

Baltimore has suffered just as much as those in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois. What will turn that around for these cities?




Will Fair Trade Create a Better Outlook for the US Worker?

What we learned from the free trade era is that good jobs inevitably leave to be near where products are designed and manufactured. And investment flows in a millisecond, away from taxation to the cheapest labour markets.  US investment dollars then build jobs in other countries. What’s left are skeletal retail sales and distribution jobs — few, part-time, and poor paying — the kind you already know all too well.  Canada and the UK have suffered equally with Free Trade however, will Fair Trade deliver sustained employment between honest trade partners?  I believe it will.

The new post-Obama era holds a lot of promise for Millennials and Gen Z’s who are sadly mired in personal and student loan debt and only have a vague dream of ever buying a home. For babyboomers, this last kick at the can might be a very good kick!

The fact the US has performed as well as it has, shows this country’s creativity and resilience through the past 30 years. But this is a momentous time where very high quality jobs and business investment money will return to the US. Those who are skilled and experienced should be in exceptionally high demand and incomes will definitely rise. It’s good to be skilled and in demand!




Fresh Updated Forecast from Manpower Group

According to the new study and report by ManpowerGroup, a major information provider for employment forecasts, predictions and outlooks. Manpower Group surveyed more than 11,000 employers to learn more about their attitudes, needs and forecasts for hiring.

From the ManPowerGroup report, here are the cities with the best job forecast outlook:

Best Employment Sectors: Manufacturing, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Transportation & Utilities

Which Sector will see the best growth?  If you ask President Trump, he might say manufacturing.  Wholesale, Retail trade, professional and business services, and financial look pretty good for 2017. See the forecast for East, West, South and North US here.

The ManpowerGroup report doesn’t touch much on the Oil & Gas industry which could significant growth. Oil prices are rising slightly to under $60 a barrel for the next 2 years.  With a rising USD dollar, US energy exports could be very lucrative. Will North Dakota see a jobs boom?

Screen Capture Courtesy of OilPrice.com

According to the US energy jobs report,

“Energy Efficiency employers project the highest growth rate over the next 12 months (9%), followed by Electric Power Generation (7%); Transmission, Distribution, and Storage (6%), and Motor Vehicles (3%).

The report suggests manufacturing in the energy sector will be low growth, but will Trump’s intentions change that?

The Best and Worst Cities for Jobs in the US

WalletHub has released its survey of US employers and generated a rating system of best cities for jobs. WalletHub’s analysts assessed 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across 23 key indicators of job-market strength.  Criteria for job outlook rankings included: job opportunities, employment growth, median annual income and more. You can see the full list at Wallethub.com

Where will you find a job this year? Here’s the latest employment outlook in the US:

Rank City Total Score ‘Job Market’ Rank Socio economic Rank
1 Scottsdale, AZ 70.48 1 2
2 Plano, TX 64.91 4 13
3 Orlando, FL 64.9 2 19
4 Sioux Falls, SD 64.72 5 11
5 San Francisco, CA 63.37 6 34
6 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 63.35 7 15
7 Chandler, AZ 62.71 16 8
8 Salt Lake City, UT 62.54 10 25
9 Tempe, AZ 62.17 15 12
10 Raleigh, NC 61.29 13 40
11 Peoria, AZ 61.26 14 37
12 Miami, FL 60.78 3 126
13 Honolulu, HI 60.49 18 33
14 Fort Lauderdale, FL 60.23 12 79
15 Fort Wayne, IN 60.15 8 73
16 Minneapolis, MN 60.11 31 6
17 Garland, TX 59.74 11 93
18 Gilbert, AZ 59.59 27 17
19 Overland Park, KS 59.58 34 5
20 San Jose, CA 59.41 22 38
21 Dallas, TX 59.36 9 117
22 Austin, TX 59.33 26 26
23 Washington, DC 59.09 20 61
24 Irvine, CA 58.72 49 3
25 Atlanta, GA 58.62 25 45
26 Grand Prairie, TX 58.59 23 55
27 Omaha, NE 58.47 35 16
28 Little Rock, AR 58.41 17 103
29 Boise, ID 58.12 52 4
30 Huntington Beach, CA 57.95 37 20
31 Nashville, TN 57.92 19 105
32 Ontario, CA 57.86 21 94
33 Lincoln, NE 57.76 58 9
34 Amarillo, TX 57.51 29 60
35 Denver, CO 57.23 42 22
36 Pittsburgh, PA 57.09 63 7
37 Irving, TX 57 24 102
38 San Diego, CA 56.98 48 21
39 Colorado Springs, CO 56.95 43 28
40 Tulsa, OK 56.94 28 84
41 Cincinnati, OH 56.93 36 49
42 Fremont, CA 56.81 45 32
43 St. Louis, MO 56.5 32 76
44 Reno, NV 56.4 38 50
45 Fontana, CA 56.18 30 95
46 Madison, WI 56.13 86 1
47 Glendale, AZ 55.99 33 96
48 Sacramento, CA 55.58 51 41
49 Mesa, AZ 55.54 41 62
50 Lubbock, TX 55.44 50 48
51 St. Paul, MN 55.36 76 14
52 Tampa, FL 55.33 66 30
53 Henderson, NV 55.29 54 46
54 Boston, MA 55.22 60 42
55 Phoenix, AZ 55.17 46 70
56 Vancouver, WA 55.09 68 31
57 Las Vegas, NV 54.87 62 43
58 San Antonio, TX 54.6 39 107
59 St. Petersburg, FL 54.58 61 53
60 Grand Rapids, MI 54.51 75 29
61 Durham, NC 54.31 47 90
62 Anchorage, AK 54.24 65 56
63 Richmond, VA 54.12 70 47
64 Charlotte, NC 54.06 55 86
65 Columbus, OH 53.93 73 51
66 Riverside, CA 53.81 56 97
67 Portland, OR 53.78 80 36
68 Chattanooga, TN 53.64 43 125
69 Arlington, TX 53.52 57 98
70 Aurora, CO 53.49 53 104
71 Jersey City, NJ 53.29 82 44
72 Pembroke Pines, FL 53.15 74 65
73 Santa Rosa, CA 53.02 88 35
74 Virginia Beach, VA 52.85 92 18
75 Oklahoma City, OK 52.78 72 89

What are your thoughts on the jobs forecast and outlook for 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020? Will Trump be able to bring jobs back to the US? Is free trade about to transition to fair trade, or will Trump simply reverse the trade deficits with China, Mexico and Indonesia? Did you know the housing sector is booming?

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Best US Cities to Buy Rental Income Properties 2018 to 2020

Hottest Cities for Real Estate Investment 2018

Which are the Best Cities to Buy Real Estate?

It’s a rosy outlook for the housing markets in America and anyone buying real estate. Prices have moderated, new city markets are catching investor’s attention. However do you know which are the best cities to invest in real estate in 2018

Do you have a strategy to buy in the best cities, use a property management company or use property management software to run your portfolio.

You’re just about set to make 2018 a great investment year. Have you looked at the forms of property investment should you choose — rental income suites, apartment buildings, or student housing reits? Open your mind the right type of property investment in the right city will outperform everything else.




Which cities and states offer the best employment outlook, lowest taxes, regulations, large millennial population, and a pro business climate? Florida, California, Michigan, Colorado, Miami FloridaBoston, Bay Area, New York , Massachusetts, or is it Ohio and Michigan?

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The most recent update on hot investment cities (average profit US-wide was at $336,000) for sellers still has San Francisco as the tops.  And San Francisco Sunnyvale San Jose might be tops due to high rental prices, lack of housing and land, silicon valley paychecks, and an improving economy means there’s no bubble and no crash possible.

But the Bay Area isn’t the only city with potential.  Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth are getting special attention these days. Texas is growing. Michigan has huge potential. Even Boston has potential. Businesses are relocating to these cities for a lot of reasons.

In this era of investment, the best property investments may be in other cities. Even if you intend to stay close to home, knowing what’s going on in other states might provide a superior return on investment.

As you may have read in my very popular post on US Housing Predictions for 2018 to 2020, the US housing market is hot and some cities are hotter than others. No housing crash is forecasted. The list below of the top 80 cities to invest in real estate represent your best opportunities for high returns. Even normally depressed quiet markets are coming to life and beginning to catch investor’s eyes. It’s good news for Michigan, Florida, California, Texas, and New York and even better for real estate investors in 2018.

Record Demand for Home, Condo and Apartment Rentals

The difference in this latest real estate rebound is the number of Americans renting and still needing to rent a home or condo.  That’s created the incredible income investment opportunity called rental income investment properties for passive income investments or self-managed property investments. 30% to 40% returns are not unheard of. It’s once in a lifetime wealth building. The kind of cap rates major investors can only dream of. Get some tips on how to do homes for sale searching better.

Just an aside on investment opportunities in condo/apartments is student housing investment in Vancouver. You may want to check out the underlying fundamentals and demand for student housing.

Scorching hot opportunity in the best cities! Will the hot markets of San Francisco, San Jose, Silicon Valley, Phoenix, and Los Angeles do as well as expected? Those cities with the highest home prices are not your only option. There’s plenty more towns and cities across the nation where you can buy rock bottom and sell high including this list of real estate by zip code.  Cities you’ll read about below with lower home prices and rising employment rates may be your best bets for 2017 to 2020.

One high performing rental income related opportunity to investigate is student housing investment in Vancouver. The student housing market in Vancouver is like no other place. Foreign families like Vancouver BC in Canada for many reasons. And the Canadian government is raising the limits on foreign students and on post grad immigration.  That means lots of demand coupled with high rents which translates to big profits. A company called CIBT has dominated this sector and is growing fast. You can invest with them like a REIT.

 

Sharing is Good for your Professional and Social Life!

Make sure others learn about the once in a lifetime opportunity in real estate investment with rental properties.

With strong economic growth as certainly continuing, rental income investment offers multiple ways to grow revenue. And your property may look even better to another investor when you sell. Lets see what the experts predict and what the stats say about the best cities and zip codes.




Renter Statistics:

  • Growth in rental demand was largest for people with incomes lower than $25,000; a group that accounted for four million new renters over the past decade.
  • Growth for people with household incomes over $50,000 accounted for 3.3 million new renters.
  • There was an increase of 1.6 million renters for those with incomes over $100,000 a year.
  • The amount of rental stock also grew, and the single-family house share of the market increased from 34-40% of the total rental stock
  • Vacancy rate was less than 5%  in 75% of the United States largest cities by 2015. 

Stats courtesy of go.homebay

Apartment and Single Family Home Rental Price Index
Price Index Screenshot courtesy of AMERICA’S RENTAL HOUSING: Expanding Options for Diverse and Growing Demand

Houses for Sale – The Ultimate Home Search Source

Share the Home Finding Machine — the ultimate source for searching for Homes for Sale anywhere in the US or Canada. Help your friends find their dream home!

Skyrocketing Home and Rental Prices in California are a Continuing Allure for Investors

In major urban areas such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Boston and New York, the demand for rental properties is skyrocketing. Investors might see ROI of 30% or more on rental income property and that beats any stock market these days.

Foreign buyers too, are purchasing lower priced homes now, likely because of high prices on luxury homes along with the fact they can rent them out — passive income which is a hot topic for babyboomers in particular. Realtors are seeing a much different type of buyer today and they need to keep up on how competitive properties are in other cities in the US and Canada.  Investors just want a great return.

Home prices are rising everywhere, but what makes San Francisco so hot is its lack of housing stock and a booming job market. Where there is little growth in new housing development together with a healthy job market and a good demographic (millennials who can’t buy) the demand for rental housing has to explode.




percapitasanfrancisoExperts try to explain away this demand by blaming speculators and high housing prices, yet the driver of rental demand in San Fran is too many employed people with nowhere to live. And wages are rising. Silicon Valley’s rental market is so tight, there’s an overflow to Sacramento and other inland cities.

In-migration has been strong at a time when millennials are leaving home, contributing to rocketing apartment and home rental costs. This is fueling the tremendous demand for investment income properties. With no one building new homes and the government not acting to help, it’s up to private investors to take the helm.

With crazy high ROI, we’ll see rental income investors and developers race into these regions to build new properties. It’s a great investment situation for Americans, investors and realtors.




San Francisco is one area however that might not benefit. Its strong economy is driven by large tech corporations that add value to imported technology and products manufactured in China. Which is why Silicon Valley is hostile to Trump. California’s economic outlook is still very bright, but it’s low potential rental income outlook could send investors over to other US cities to invest in, such as those in green areas in the charts below.

Rental Income Property Investment Opportunities

With or without Trump, the US economic outlook is good. The outlook for rental income property is exceptional. Realtors and investment advisors should be looking hard at this market. Even babyboomer investors are looking at the potential of retirement income. Many babyboomers are a little nervous about how they’ll fund their “stay put” retirement plans.

They’ll need extra income to stay put and revamp their home over the next 30 years, and they may look to rental income to get that money.  A percentage may just sell their home and leave it to a developer/investor to turn it into the multi-family unit. That investor might be you.

Here’s Realty Trac’s outlook on the best US cities to invest for rental property income

usheatmap-rental-roi

Complicating your investment decision is another set of statistics from Realty Trac that shows the west still has the highest returns currently but the green zones are predicted to perform better.

best-rental-income-cities
Screen capture Courtesy of Realty Trac

How about a 32% Yield on a Single Family Home?

best-rental-income-cities-by-revenue

(Screenshot above courtesy of RealtyTrac single family rental market reports)



Top 80 Cities and their Potential for Passive Rental Income ROI

These converted stats in this chart from Smart Assets are very insightful. They used U.S. Census data, to calculate the price-to-rent ratio in every U.S. city with a population over 250,000. This is their list of 80 US cities below with the worst potential for rental property income investment appearing at the top (The ones at bottom such as Detroit have better potential, unless employment fails to recover in Michigan).

US Cities with Population above 250k Price-to-Rent Ratio

Home Price

(for a $1,000 Rental)

1 San Francisco, California 45.9 551000
2 Honolulu, Hawaii 40.1 481000
3 Oakland, California 38.5 462000
4 Los Angeles, California 38.0 456000
5 New York, New York 35.7 428000
6 Seattle, Washington 35.1 421000
7 San Jose, California 34.7 417000
8 Long Beach, California 34.6 415000
9 Washington, District of Columbia 32.0 384000
10 Anaheim, California 31.3 375000
11 San Diego, California 30.3 363000
12 Portland, Oregon 29.3 351000
13 Boston, Massachusetts 28.7 344000
14 Jersey City, New Jersey 26.3 316000
15 Denver, Colorado 26.0 312000
16 Chula Vista, California 25.8 310000
17 Santa Ana, California 25.3 303000
18 Sacramento, California 24.3 291000
19 Miami, Florida 23.4 280000
20 Austin, Texas 23.4 280000
21 Atlanta, Georgia 23.0 276000
22 Colorado Springs, Colorado 22.8 274000
23 Bakersfield, California 22.5 270000
24 Raleigh, North Carolina 22.4 269000
25 Riverside, California 22.4 268000
26 Lexington, Kentucky 22.0 264000
27 Albuquerque, New Mexico 21.9 263000
28 Chicago, Illinois 21.6 259000
29 Henderson, Nevada 21.6 259000
30 Chandler, Arizona 21.5 257000
31 New Orleans, Louisiana 21.4 256000
32 Virginia Beach, Virginia 21.1 253000
33 Fresno, California 21.0 252000
34 Newark, New Jersey 21.0 251000
35 Minneapolis, Minnesota 21.0 252000
36 Anchorage, Alaska 20.9 251000
37 Phoenix, Arizona 20.3 244000
38 Louisville, Kentucky 20.1 241000
39 St. Paul, Minnesota 20.0 239000
40 Plano, Texas 19.9 239000
41 Stockton, California 19.5 234000
42 Durham, North Carolina 19.5 233000
43 Las Vegas, Nevada 19.3 232000
44 Nashville, Tennessee 19.1 230000
45 Greensboro, North Carolina 19.1 229000
46 Mesa, Arizona 19.1 229000
47 Lincoln, Nebraska 19.1 229000
48 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 19.1 229000
49 Wichita, Kansas 18.4 221000
50 Charlotte, North Carolina 18.1 217000
51 Cincinnati, Ohio 18.0 216000
52 Aurora, Colorado 18.0 216000
53 Kansas City, Missouri 17.4 209000
54 Tulsa, Oklahoma 17.2 206000
55 Omaha, Nebraska 16.7 200000
56 St. Louis, Missouri 16.7 200000
57 Orlando, Florida 16.6 199000
58 Tampa, Florida 16.6 199000
59 Tucson, Arizona 16.3 196000
60 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 16.3 196000
61 Dallas, Texas 16.2 194000
62 Laredo, Texas 15.9 191000
63 Columbus, Ohio 15.9 190000
64 St. Petersburg, Florida 15.8 189000
65 Fort Wayne, Indiana 15.5 186000
66 Baltimore, Maryland 15.5 186000
67 Arlington, Texas 15.5 186000
68 El Paso, Texas 15.4 185000
69 Indianapolis, Indiana 15.4 184000
70 Houston, Texas 15.3 183000
71 Fort Worth, Texas 14.8 177000
72 Jacksonville, Florida 14.3 172000
73 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 14.2 170000
74 San Antonio, Texas 13.7 164000
75 Toledo, Ohio 13.3 159000
76 Corpus Christi, Texas 13.1 158000
77 Memphis, Tennessee 12.3 147000
78 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 12.0 144000
79 Buffalo, New York 10.7 128000
80 Cleveland, Ohio 10.5 126000
81 Detroit, Michigan 6.3 75000




What About the Local Economies?

Last year’s report from Millken research reveals the cities with the best performing economies in 2015. This was put out in December 2016.  Florida cities are showing a marked rise. Recent reports focus on the apartment rental prices in San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose as offering outstanding returns for investors.

best-us-city-economies-ranking

And this is Millken’s list of worst performing cities, likely the ones you might avoid.

worst-us-city-economies-ranking

Screenshot courtesy of Millken Institute. Read the detailed  Millken 2015 Best-Performing Cities report with rankings by economic component. Excellent insight to help you fine tune your rental income property investment choices.

Their interactive map of US cities with the best economies below is a very helpful tool to help you measure the investment prospects of one city versus another.

Lowest car insurance in these cities: LA car insurance, Boston auto insurance, Phoenix car insurance, San Francisco car insurance, San Diego car insurance, Seattle car insurance, New York car insurance, Indianapolis car insurance, Detroit car insurance, Philadelphia auto insurance, Toronto automobile insurance, or Chicago car insurance.

In this video below, Mike Hambright talks about apartment rental markets, and how to make money from cash flow and property value appreciation.




Are There any Warnings?

This graphic from Coreglogic warns about overheated city markets. Yet it also shows how markets like Silicon Valley, actually has lots of room for rent rate growth. And New York has the lowest rent rate to home price ratio.

Screenshot courtesy of Corelogic.com

There are so many real estate investment opportunities in the US and in Canada too. Hopefully, my amateur US housing forecasts, predictions and unguaranteed advice will help you find those opportunities for the best upside in cash flow, safety and equity appreciation. Be careful with any investment. Do your due diligence.

If you’re a realtor or real estate investor in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Toronto, San Jose, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, or Miami consider my Digital Marketing Services to help you build your realtor brand and and leverage the best sources of real estate leads.  Property investors from around the world are looking to buy. Because I’m an SEO specialist, I can generate real estate leads much more proficiently than lead generation companies. I can help you build a compelling unique value proposition and the highest exposure possible to homeowners and buyers across the US and Canada.  Let’s get your goals accomplished.

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Buying Property for Rental Income – No Better Investment for 2018

Is Rental Income Property the Best Investment in 2018?

Is there any investment opportunity that could beat income generating real estate in 2018 or for the next 5 years? Is the stock market correction making you look for other options?

Check out the best cities to invest in real estate and read this post below on rental income.

With your initial financing concerns aside, rental properties can offer a high, continuous extra income to help pay off your mortgage, meet repairs, and add confidence to your investment decision. If the work concerns you, consider using rental property management software to help out.

Cynics might point to cash flow issues, paperwork overload, and big unseen repairs as key reasons to be way of rental properties. You’ve seen those issues on TV shows, yet the buyers always seem to handle them an make a big profit. If your plan is to retire happy in Costa Rica  or Mexico, this is probably the best way to make that happen.



Watch this excellent Video from Phil Pustejovsky about how to succeed: Take responsibility, think opportunity and take massive action:

If you’re concerned with a potential housing crash in 2017, the market stats don’t support that notion and  it looks good to 2024. Review the Los Angeles Housing market forecast, San Francisco market forecast, and the New York market forecast for predictions and commentary. Contrast that with the Calgary Housing Forecast  which has bottomed out.

Another promising area to investigate is foreign student housing in Vancouver and other high demand cities. Vancouver BC is very attractive to students from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Dubai, Germany and other counties where wealthy families want to have their kids educated.

They find Vancouver safer and more relevant. CIBT is one company to watch with their huge portfolio of properties in Greater Vancouver, Canada.




Factors that Support Investing in Income Rentals

There’s a housing market crisis across North America and demand for rental apartments, condos and houses will stay high. It’s unlikely that a quick solution will happen to generate housing for everyone. This land development held up by legislation, it’s a sure bet that rental property is going to be a hot investment sector.

Here’s 11 Reasons You Should Take Rental Income Investing Seriously:

  1. growing number of Millennials entering their family starting and home buying years
  2. mortgage rates not forecast to rise much
  3. rental prices can stay high because employment is good and renters have no options
  4. stories of renters destroying the place almost never happen (renter screening process)
  5. you can deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on rental properties
  6. you can write off utilities, insurance, repairs and maintenance, yard care, association fees
  7. write off upgrades such as decks, pools, tankless water heaters, and even landscaping
  8. write off depreciation of assets/home
  9. write off solar power generation unit
  10. the income won’t become taxable until you run out of upgrades/repair costs
  11. the renters will have to cover any cost of living or mortgage rate growth

That’s quite a compelling list of reasons why buying a rental property makes incredible sense. And if you live in the unit, then you’ve got your cake and you’re eating it too. So far from being a risky investment, rental income properties have built-n safety and tax features that make them a no brainer. All you have to do is find financing.




Here’s how to calculate the numbers on a rental income property such as cash flow, capital expenditures and all the rest.

What is a typical Return on Residential Rental Property?

I revealed in my previous post on rental property investment a return of 30 to 40%. On a common million dollar home in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New YorkVancouver or Toronto, that’s 300-400 thousand dollars. I’ve seen homes in my neighborhood rent out fast at $5000 to $7000 a month.

Rental Income Property Calculator

Try the calculators from Rental Property Reporter or from Financialmentor.com.

Top Tips for Buying the Right Rental Property for You

  • decide which city has the best potential for rent prices and purchase price
  • decide what kind of property will work for you
  • decide whether you’ll be living in the property
  • determine how much capital you have to work with and how much you can sink into improvements
  • don’t buy a fixer upper
  • buy a home with the best likelihood of being rented:
  • buy a home in  a lower price range to begin with (first time investor)
  • consider a property management firm that can handle maintenance and renter screening




Here’s some further resources to get you on your way to finding the perfect property:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/buy-rental-property.asp

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/090815/buying-your-first-investment-property-top-10-tips.asp

https://www.myhousedeals.com/cities/losangeles/

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/funding-retirement-with-rental-income-1.aspx

http://mesaproperties.net/best-places-to-buy-rental-property-in-california/

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