Paying Utilities For REO Properties

I Want to List REO’s, but How Much will it Cost?I’ve written in the past about how to list REO’s for banks, but what many agents overlook are the related expenses that go along with carrying many REO listings.Listing REO’s can be very rewarding, but many agents neglect to plan ahead and understand that they will be paying utilities for REO properties that they have listed.This HUB will detail exactly what you can expect and give you some tricks and tips on how to not get in over your head as you start paying utilities for REO properties.What Types of Bills WIll I have to Pay for My REO Listings?Read this twice: It’s not just utilities and its not just while you have the REO property listed!It is incredibly important to understand the lifestyle of a REO listing as you start to budget paying utilities for REO properties. Most REO listings start out as “an assignment.” This means that the bank or asset manager have decided that you will list the property. However, many times the property is in no condition to be listed.To get the assignment ready to be put on the market, you may have to have one or more of the following services performed:
Trash Out (all debris, junk and left over belongings removed and hauled away)
Cleaning
Water shut off / Winterization
Pipe Repair
Lawn / Snow MaintenanceObviously these services are not free. What many agents fail to realize is that the banks expect you to pay for these services up front. Yes they will reimburse you, but it can take anywhere from 30 to 120 days.Once the REO Property Becomes a Listing…Once your REO assignment becomes a listing, most of the major costs have been paid for (trash outs, pipe repair, etc). Hopefully your client will reimburse you quickly.Now is when you need to make sure you are current on the REO listing’s gas, water and electric bill. In colder climates, If the heat gets turned off, the pipes will freeze and your home will never sell. If you have no electricity, buyers can’t view the home.Also, don’t forget that if you don’t stay current paying utilities for REO properties, they can become a lien on the home. If there is a lien on a REO listing that you are trying to sell, it can delay a closing substantially. That means you’re waiting even longer for your money.Tips for Paying Utilities for REO PropertiesNow that I’ve scared you out of the business, let me try and give you some tips for paying utilities for REO properties. This could save you thousands of dollars and help you avoid the huge cash drain that getting into the REO business can create.

Know Your Contractors: I can not stress this enough. If you have a good relationship with your services you can save a substantial amount of money for the services. If your contractors know they will get all of your business, their rates will be lower. If their rates are lower, you have less money that you are waiting to be reimbursed for.

Negotiate with Your Contractors: As you get into this business, you’ll be contacted by many service providers in every industry trying to earn your business. That’s great for your cash flow situation! Set up agreements with them that you will pay them immediately AFTER THE BANK SENDS YOU A CHECK. Even if its only $100, once you get up to 30 or 40 listings, that money adds up. If they won’t wait for the bank to pay you, offer to pay them half up front and half once you are reimbursed. As you get started listing REO’s and paying utilities for REO properties, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can carry the costs because “it’s only one listing.” Take a long term approach and think about every transaction multiplied by 40 listings.

Talk to your local bank: Many banks will be more apt to make a small business loan if you explain that the money will only be used for paying utilities for REO properties. If you can show them your client list, many banks will take that into consideration when factoring in risks. When they are lending against big name lending institutions and know that you will be reimbursed, its much easier for them to justify loaning you the money than if you were using it for marketing or business expansion.
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Defining YOUR Personal Brand Image

Branding, creating, and maintaining your personal image can be a powerful tool in helping you become the type of professional that you want to be. But, why would someone want to brand themselves? Think about this in the way that you would think about how to market any product. If you were to market a new car you may talk about the cars features, such as gas mileage or how safe it is. You would also figure out who you are trying to market this car to. For instance, you would not want to market a two-door sports car to large family of six. Finally, when marketing a car, you will want to tell clients about the promises and guarantees that will separate this car from others like it. The style of marketing your personal brand is very similar.

You must market yourself by highlighting your individual features and emphasizing them to your potential managers and employers. You must know who in particular you are trying to target with your brand. And finally, what your individual brand message is and what you promise to accomplish in your occupation. By marketing yourself as a unique individual, knowing your target audience, and creating and maintaining your personal brand message and promise, you can develop a strong professional brand image. It is important to know who you are and what your existing personal brand is in order to further develop your image. Particularly, what makes you, you. By staying true to yourself first, you can begin to move your brand forward. Think about your personal beliefs and what type of person you are. These are the things that make you, you. Do not try to change who you are in order to develop an image. If you change and adapt who you are to create an image, you are not creating a personal brand image, but rather a generic brand image that will not allow you to emphasize what you offer specifically and on an individual level. Rather, you must grow your brand image from what you already possess. Focus on what makes you who you are and develop a professional brand image based on these existing attributes.

Once you have defined this personal existing brand, you can begin to address how you can make your brand different, set yourself apart, and grow your own unique brand image. For instance, what do you offer as a professional, and what can you bring to others? What are the skills that you possess that set you apart from the competition? These are the things that will make you stand out from others around you and positively grow your personal brand image. A positive attitude and confidence in your abilities and what you know you are capable of achieving are the first steps to developing your own unique and specific personal brand. Along with your individual attributes, it is important to develop skills that will help to set you apart from others around you. Focus on what you will do to go above and beyond the competition. This will help you to create that unique brand image that will take potential clients from possibly needing your services, to them wanting the services and skills that they know you offer. It is also important to focus on strong communication skills with your potential clients. This can be a positive step to boosting your personal brand by creating a strong relationship between yourself and your clientele, and will also help you to maintain this positive relationship.

Your unique personal brand image will set you apart from the competition for resources and help you to grow relationship that will last a lifetime. Finally, when developing your individual brand image, it is key to know what your message will be and what promises you can offer. You must put into place your personal brand values. These values are what services you can bring to your work situation and what you can achieve. Your message must focus on what you specialize in, what attributes in your unique brand image distinguish you from the rest, and your leadership abilities. This brand message will allow your potential clients to see who you are and know what they will receive from you and your work. Clients must also be able to see what your brands’ promise is to them. Your brand promise should focus on your commitment to service, what you can achieve for the potential customer, and finally, your individual reputation. It is also important to communicate to clients that you may not be perfect. Be honest with them. If mistakes have been made in the past, use these as a promise to clients that the mistake has been addressed, learned from, and will not happen in the future.

By creating your individual brand image, you are taking the most important step to success. Look at who you are as an individual, focus on what your unique abilities are, separate yourself from the competition around you, and maintain your brand through a commitment to service. Through these steps you can create and maintain a strong brand image that can lead to future benefits and success in your career.

Boomer Generation Fitness Tips

A generation of baby boomers is now entering their 60′s with high expectations of themselves when it comes to how they will spend their retirement years.  The boomer generation has always thought of lifestyle as a key factor in determining how successful they are at living and the key to that living is health.  Many boomers plan to travel the world and see all of the things that they have read about over the years, but without good health and a reasonable level of fitness, those dreams are often shattered.

Most of us dread the thought of spending long tedious hours in a gym grunting and groaning on machines that are dripping with someone else’s sweat and germs in order to restart some sort of muscle activity.  This process is usually spurred on by looking in a mirror and realizing that it will be difficult to view all of the sight seeing locations, let alone getting on and off the bus, without some minimum level of strength and agility. What is the easiest and most effective way to approach better health through fitness? We need to concentrate on three main body areas, mainly upper body, core and lower body.  There is no point in trying to work on minor muscles when what we really need to do is make sure that the major groups are strong enough to do the job.  The smaller ones will follow along as we become more active.  Let’s look at 3 specific calisthenics you can do at home in about 10 minutes per day:

  1. UPPER BODY   push ups are the obvious choice to make the most difference in the least amount of time.  If you can’t use your toes to sustain the full body push up, then use your knees and keep your back straight as you lower your upper body to the floor and raise back up.  It is very important to maintain correct form but just as important to do as many push ups as possible in 90 seconds.  I realize that might be only one, but to get the most benefit requires pushing yourself slightly beyond what you thought you could do.  Spend an honest minute and a half working at your pushups and record the number so that you can do an extra one next time.  When finished, rest for 2 minutes.
  2. CORE   you know what’s coming, situps, of course.  Two ways to do this, first crunches.  Lie on your back, raise your knees to a 45 degree angle with your feet firmly on the ground and cross your hands over your chest – never place your hands behind yur neck.  Now, spend 90 seconds lifting your upper body as high as possible (this might be only a few inches) and lowering back to the floor.  Try to move your head up and down vertically as opposed to bending it forward and straining your neck.  Count again and add more each day to increase your core strentgth.  The second method requires bending your knees in the same way but hooking your feet under a chair or something sturdy so that they won’t lift off the ground.  Now, keeping your hands crossed on your chest, lift your entire upper body to a sitting position and return to the floor slowly.  Count again and record the total number you do in 90 seconds.  You will do fewer of these but they are much more effective. Rest for another full two minutes.
  3. LOWER BODY   squats are a great choice and once again 90 seconds and do as many as possible.  Standing with your arms stretched straight out in front of you, palms down, move your arms back and keep them at shoulder height then lower them to your sides while you lower your body to squat position keeping your back straight. Lift your self back up, using your legs, thighs and hips in a smooth motion to your original position. 

The key to the success of this program is the natural process of your own body which continues to benefit from this brief activity for hours afterward.  Dr. Al Sears, in his program called PACE, shows how our bodies increase the capacity of our heart and lungs without creating more fat stores by the use of a short duration but high intensity workout.  This is especially important for a boomer generation trying to become healthy and fit in the most efficient way possible.