You know a site is hot when advertisers try to push the envelope. They run the same property ad multiple times so they’re always at the top of the views. Many also hire inexpensive overseas labour to stay on top of their listings and ensure they flood each site with their properties each day. Mainly those that generate the best and most leads.
New York got a special treatment from Craigslist a few years back, if you recall. It became the first city where Craigslist real estate posters would have to pay to advertise their listings. A reasonable and smart play by Craigslist, since listing duplication in New York got unbearable.
While the practice spoke tons to Craigslist’s power to generate leads, it affected user experience and annoyed honest brokers and agent – and consumers. Well, that happily turned into a new revenue stream for Craigslist. A nice turn of events indeed.
ListedBy.com today turned on a new tool that enables its admin staff to not only halt user accounts that push the envelope on the site, but also to delete all previously added listings by the entity. REO auctions, public real estate auctions and otherwise.
Since ListedBy is a free site, we opted to go this route to neutralize all the effort and expense the user goes through to create their account and post and re-post listings, than to start charging honest users for posting.
That’s how we chose to go about it and it seems to be working.
Shrewd advertiser #1 down, a few others to go. Thanks for the compliments anyhow.
Traffic to ListedBy hit 35,000 unique visitors in February and is on track to hit nearly 50,000 this month. Anyone can and is invited to add their listings for free. Just start a free profile then click on Sell on the blue menu bar at the top of the page to add listings.
On behalf of our management team, I want to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal users and industry followers for their support as we too push the envelope in real estate. But in a good way.
You eat an elephant one bite at a time.
Often, having a clear vision and the courage to start working towards an opportunity is what stands between man and his or her ultimate goal. With a little bit of study and appetite for some risk, the goal may in fact be closer than one might think.
The first order of business is to spot the opportunity. The next order of business is to remove anyone from sight who’s job seems to discourage us from moving forward. This is frequently the reason why most people freeze. In his famous The Law of Success in 16 Lessons book, the success bible, Napoleon Hill specifically discusses how you must keep your chief aim shielded from others who are likely to challenge or resist it. Even your spouse. Take this as law in achieving the success that you want, even though it is contrary to all the modern guru teachings that you must publish your goals far and wide so you may be more committed to achieving them.
In real estate, an opportunity of a lifetime came to those who saw a buying window when everyone ran the other way in 2008, 2009 and even up until last year. Those who made the move and acquired as much property as they could, boarded or not, with spouse approval or not, are on a different plane now. We all know where these investments stand today. Up some 20-25 percent in the past year alone, in many states and cities across the US. They hopped on the Web and onto online auction sites to grab REO auctions, government real estate auctions, residential real estate auctions, commercial real estate auctions, you name it. Some flipped them right away while others rehabbed and held the assets for rental income with high annual cash on cash returns unlike we’ve seen for decades.
The biggest complaint circling the sector today is lack of inventory, especially distressed assets. Whether that’s in Detroit, Las Vegas or any other market.
The next time I come across a hot deal in Detroit or otherwise, boarded or not, shabby or not, I’m jumping on it. That’s just what I did earlier today, when opportunity presented itself. I bid on five residential properties in Detroit on ListedBy.com, going for just tens or mere hundreds of dollars to anyone willing to take on just a few thousand dollars of back dues taxes. A great deal if you ask me. At worst, the land will always be there for me or my kids to farm someday. Each will have their profiting strategy. Some will resell the assets immediately for a bit of profit, taxes still unpaid. Others will hold till values increase, then sell at that time, still passing due taxes to the next investor. Yet others might pay due taxes in order to obtain title insurance, rehab the properties and rent them for regular cash flow. That is, if the neighborhood and overall conditions are adequate, an insurance provider is willing to provide the service in the area, and the risk of another round of vandalism of the property has been well considered. Risks are out there and professional advice and due diligence on any investment is always necessary.
But first I must win those bids. Some astute investors seem to have spotted the same properties. Until then, I’ll keep scouting the site for more. Here great deals still do come by.
I also like it here not just because of my obvious bias towards ListedBy, but because I also don’t need to pay registration and technology fees like on most other auction sites. Nor do I have to contend with buyer premiums like most everywhere else. Here it’s all free. So each bite I take at my goal, goes further. In English? More dollars in my pocket to go towards buying more assets (with or without spousal approval), instead of handing them to the auctioneer.
There you have it. That’s one of my paths. I’m pulling ahead in the game of real estate just one small bite at a time, until the elephant is in the bag.
What is mind boggling is that we as an industry have struggled for years trying to figure how to move distressed inventory. Mind boggling because we have consistently hid the data behind cumbersome registration pages and access fees, and charged huge buyer premiums at auctions. To think that these are all strategies designed to move inventory is somewhat hard to believe. Open access rather, should be the path.
To top it all, many consumer portals and sites have made it tough for buyers to connect with listing agents or sellers, by giving preferred placement to their own internal agents next to the listing, if that’s their business model. Others featured and continue to feature alternative agents based on a paid advertising model, in the process keeping the true representing agent who knows the seller and the property best, and can answer questions more swiftly and accurately, at bay and harder to reach.
Such and other practices have either delayed or outright derailed potential transactions, and to this day continue to hinder wider, more efficient buyer participation so the assimilation of inventory may proceed at a more healthy pace.
We’re excited to announce that we have unlocked access to all listings on ListedBy, specifically because giving real estate buyers and sellers immediate and open access to listings and to each others’ contact information is core to ListedBy’s vision for the site and the industry as a whole. We see this as becoming the norm for all real estate property portals and real estate auction companies.
As always, we appreciate our users’ feedback and suggestions. Giving everyone instant access to all listings on ListedBy.com once again is the results of your valued input. Now anyone can research MLS listings across the country, residential and commercial. The same goes for all distressed properties including REO auctions, government real estate auctions, residential real estate auctions, commercial real estate auctions and all other public real estate auctions and Buy Now/Best Offer listings that are active on ListedBy.com.
Online Real Estate Auctions – ListedBy KNOWLEDGE CENTRE – How Chicago’s REALTOR® Cassandra Barber Achieves Consistent Success
Online real estate auctions marketplace ListedBy recently caught up with Cassandra Barber, GRI, SFR to find out the main secret behind her success. Here is our interview:
LB: Thank you very much for your time. We know that many ListedBy. com members and others will benefit greatly from your experience. If you were to share your number one secret to success, what would that be?
R: There is not a secret to my success – just a lot of hard work.
LB: What is/are the main challenge(s) that you face in pushing through with this advice in your own business? How do you overcome them?
R: Staying focused and not allowing distractions to keep me from my goals. Real Estate is an industry that if you allow the “noise” of the next best practice to distract you, you will forever be re-inventing yourself.
When you visualize where you want to be in your business, answer the questions what is it going to take to accomplish that, and stay focused on those answers you will realize your goals.
LB: What is the main downside for not applying this principle?
R: The biggest downside is not reaching your full potential by not accomplishing the goals that you set for your business.
LB: How can listing or buying property using free online real estate auctions or ‘Best Offer’ technology on ListedBy or other platforms impact
R: I realized auctions provide another tool that REALTORS can offer their clients and of course every circumstance will be different. The market dictates that we must think outside the box and auctions provide an avenue for quick and productive results.
LB: Anything else you would like to share?
R: Auctions may not be for everyone or every home, but agents should consider auctions as a valuable option and tool. The National Assoc. of REALTORS convention this year featured a session on auctions and for me that speaks volume to the value that auctions will have in our market place now and in the future.
LB: Once again, thank you very much for your contribution.
About REA: RealEstateAuctions.com (REA) is a leader in U.S. real estate auction sales. Our team of auction specialists has closed more than 8,000 sales of all types all over the country with a huge list of client partners, including HUD, FDIC, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, pension funds and a myriad of other corporations, institutions, developers and private owners located
throughout the U.S.
Leaders and Laggers – How Industry Pioneers are Using Online Real Estate Auctions to Distance Themselves
When the Internet came about, the pioneers got onto email before everyone else. Eventually, the same group went online with their Web pages. From there, they were first to start their own websites and adopt other technologies way before the laggers got on board. If ever. Listing syndication came about. Thousands sat back, debated things or fought hard to maintain the status quo (many still do to this day). Meanwhile the winners began to distribute their listings widely on the Internet and reaped the benefits of exponential brand exposure and lead generation.
You get the point. Paperless transaction tools, telecommuting, social media and the virtual office brokerage faced the same skepticism from the majority or, shall we say, the followers, while the leaders took the bull by the horns and blazed through. This is how winners win. Believe or not, some agents still do not have their own website and many have to be educated on why they should look at their email more frequently!
On to the next big thing. Online real estate auction.
First let’s get one thing cleared. Auction does not mean having to price a property at a dollar and hoping it sells for half a million. There are a number of online real estate auction strategies that we’ll go over in future articles. But for the purpose of this piece, think of online auction as a process that allows you to market a listing starting at a minimum acceptable price, and marketing it so it is bid up to its optimal market value. If you have been in this profession long enough, you would have either used this pricing strategy or heard of others using it, but in the traditional fashion. Price a property attractively, draw in buyers, then create a bidding war. It works.
Fast forward to the future. New online real estate auction platforms allow you to replicate the excitement and benefits of this strategy but far more easily. It also helps you to reach buyers from around the country and the world. Without costing you a cent. Review, accept, reject and counter offers with a click of the mouse. Things don’t get any easier.
Another great benefit of tapping real estate online auctions is that auction as a selling method inherently narrows the pool to buyers who are finance-ready. To bid on a property in auction, buyers or their buyers’ agents typically must be ready to move forward, if theirs is the winning bid. This alone can significantly accelerate the sales process, and takes care of the financing subject headache in advance.
Try listing a property on ListedBy.com. The membership and traffic on the site continue to reach new proportions each month, as more professionals discover the platform. Unlike other real estate auction sites, ListedBy is completely free of charge and does not charge a buyer’s premium or a buyer’s fee. ‘The old’ auction model is being re-invented, with both buyers and sellers coming together to negotiate and close deals in a completely free, transparent and highly advanced environment.
While this may create a headache for the traditional real estate auction industry, for industry pioneers, and those who have come to expect hefty fees to buy or sell at auction, it’s a breath of a fresh air.
Some analysts say the rebound has begun and home prices may rise by the end of 2012. This means now may be buyers’ last chance to take advantage of affordable properties and low interest rates. If you want to score a bargain before the housing market recovers, you’ll need to follow a few rules to invest with certainty.
Rule 1: Position yourself for success
Before starting your search, get preapproved for a mortgage. Work with an experienced real estate agent who can help guide you through the daunting sea of foreclosures and short sales.
Rule 2: Do your research
Work with your agent to ensure the contract requires any delinquent taxes, liens or assessments will be paid prior to you taking ownership of the property.
Rule 3: Always get a home inspection
An inspector will visually examine the condition of the home’s roof, attic and insulation, foundation, basement and structural components, as well as interior plumbing and electrical systems. Be sure to find an ASHI-Certified Inspector (ACI) to ensure your inspector is experienced, as many states have minimal licensing requirements.
Rule 4: Budget for repairs
After receiving your inspection report, you can estimate costs associated with necessary repairs, maintenance or energy-efficient improvements.
Rule 5: Assess the neighborhood
Location should be a top consideration when purchasing real estate.