The 10 Most Common Mistakes Property Agents Make

While there is a tremendous potential to augment your income and work with a flexible schedule, a real estate agent needs to develop awareness of what is improper in his professional conduct. The success of a real estate agent gets enhanced when he avoids committing the common mistakes.

Communicate with clients

Many clients hold this grievance: agents are not prompt in responding. Text updates have made client communication easier and less time-consuming. Agents should develop the habit of opening up channels of communication to ensure greater transparency. Return phone calls from clients. Call them back within a reasonable time if you are busy with another client. Make them your priority – do not take them for granted.

Learn to refuse

Trying to please clients all the time is not the right approach. Summon the courage to say no to the overpriced listing that will lead to wastage of time and effort. You should choose clients who respect you as a professional and politely decline the domineering clients who want to deprive you of what you deserve.

Learning something new

As the real estate business is changing fast, it is a blunder if you are not ready to learn and adapt. Your strategy – learn more and earn more – should make you a student for life. For instance, Internet marketing techniques should be used to grow your business instead of banking on listings in newspapers. Not using them Internet means you are missing out on a lot of exposure.

Build relationships with fellow agents

You must build strong professional relationships with other agents who represent buyers if you want to succeed. Not having other reliable agents in your network means you lessen your scope of cracking a deal during negotiations.

Hire an assistant

Hiring the right assistant is an investment that pays rich dividends. Focus on what the agent delivers. Your stress level goes down, you spend more time with family and you get more business.

Say Thanks

In our hectic lives, we forget to thank those who help us to achieve success. Send a thank-you note to someone who referred you or someone who gave you business. Be grateful. Value their assistance. When you show gratitude, your attitude and the attitude of others will also improve.

Listen to your client

Many clients complain that the agent does not listen to them. You need to hear what their goals are. You need to know the payment mode and schedule they prefer, their terms and conditions, and their flexibility limit. Failing to listen to them is a critical mistake. After all, you are dealing on behalf of your client and he should have the satisfaction that the agent is operating according to his guidelines.

Professional pictures of the property

Not taking professional pictures of the property and the surrounding location affects its sales prospects. Posting reallocation and real site pictures of the property create a better engagement and generate more views. Highlight the features along with the property in order to get more queries.

Lack of funds

Like any other business venture, you need funds to survive and build your business. A funding source helps you stay afloat for a few months. It makes perfect sense to do a part-time job or seek a small personal loan before you decide to become a full-time agent. Unless you have financial support, the prospect of surviving in a tough, competitive market becomes a tad difficult. Moreover, it takes time to get your first big break. Dreaming of success overnight is not being realistic.

Business plan

Most property agents do not chalk out a business plan when they join this business. It is important to identify short term and long term goals and have a rubric and a timeline to achieve them. There should a proper outline of how to spend resources and derive maximum benefits.

Turn the situation in your favour with careful planning – by fixing the common mistakes most agents make in their business.

Commercial Property Terms – Rectangular Building, Column Spacing and Bay Depth

If you currently invest or are considering investing in commercial real estate, here are a few commercial property terms that you should be familiar with.

Rectangular Building

When deciding whether to build a rectangular or a square building, you have several factors to consider. For one thing, it may be important to know that the square building usually has a smaller footprint. For instance, a 40,000 square foot building constructed as a square, would be 200 feet x 200 feet. However, that same building as a rectangle could be 100 feet x 400 feet and still have 40,000 square feet.

Although it’s the same square footage, if you’re going to build:

• 200 x 200, you have walls that are exactly the same.

So, you have only 800 lineal feet of wall to build.

• 400 x 100, you have 400 for both sides or 800 feet, plus 100 on each end, or another 200 feet.

So, you have 1,000 lineal feet of wall.

Although the amount of lineal feet involved is smaller with a square building, lessening the expense of construction, far more rectangular buildings are being built. Why? One big factor that shapes this outcome is that it’s easier to put the roof on a rectangle building. The maximum truss length from the standpoint of practical economical efficiency is 50 feet. As soon as you have more than that, you’re into incredibly larger engineering requirements to build that truss, because of the additional length in the roof that it has to support.

Column Spacing and Bay Depth

These are important commercial property terms to understand, because if you have a building that’s 400 feet x 100 feet, you must have one column in the middle of this building. That means your trusses have a one-column distance. This becomes important, when your tenant requires more usable interior space. If your tenant is using big trucks, tow motors, and similar equipment in your warehouse and is trying to navigate a column with a 200-foot truss, they would have trouble.

So, more buildings are being built like this, due to required elements such as column spacing and bay depth. Normally your columns are going to be 20 feet apart. So, if you’ve got a 100-foot building, it’s 50 feet to the column. You have a total of 50 feet of what is called clear span area. You can actually run a tow motor in that area without worrying about any kind of column spacing or impediments. The utility of the space becomes greater, even though it costs more to build.

Also, the cost of trusses is less and makes up for the extra cost in the lineal footage of wall space. Most of your tenant companies in this kind of property are going to be doing a lot of storage. If they want your warehouse facilities for storage, either long-term or short-term, there must be access to that storage.

Tip: The more efficient the access to storage, the more efficient the space becomes for the user.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles with more commercial property terms you’ll want to know.

Property Development – What’s an Entitlement and Why Do I Need it to Build?

What is An Entitlement?

The definition of entitlement with regard to land development is the legal method of obtaining approvals for the right to develop property for a particular use. The entitlement process is complicated, time consuming and can be costly, but know what you can and can’t do with a piece of property is vital to determining the real estate feasibility of your project. Some examples of entitlements are as follows:

Entitlement Examples:

1. Zoning and zoning variances for building heights, number of parking spaces, setbacks. Your land use attorneys and zoning experts come into play here. My advice is to heavily rely on their expertise and follow their directions to avoid unnecessary delays in your approval process.

2. Rezoning. Depending on the current use allowed for the property, you might need to have the site rezoned which is a complicated process and sometimes cannot be done.

3 Use Permits. You may need to obtain conditional use permits and this goes hand in hand with zoning and zoning variances.

4. Road approvals. Do you need to put in existing roads? Who maintains the roads? Are there shared roads via easements? These are all questions that you need to have the answers to and be prepared to comply with in the regulatory process.

5 Utility approvals. Are utilities available to the site? Do you need to donate land to the city in exchange for utility entitlements? Again, you will need to comply with the municipality regulations and standards.

6. Landscaping approvals. The city planning and development agencies must also approve your design and landscaping. Your architect and engineers will be most helpful in this area.

Hire an Experienced Development Team:

The best advise is to hire an experienced development team of architects, developers, lawyers, project consultants, civil, soil, landscape and structural engineers and consultants at the onset to help you analyze, review, interpret and advise you regarding design studies, applicable zoning and code requirements, and maximum development potential of the property. Without an experienced team, it is extremely difficult and a lot of time will be wasted in trying to complete the regulatory process because the very nature of the regulatory process is so complicated.

Here is how the process works. First, remember to keep in mind that the process is very slow and frustrating and can take approximately 3 to 12 months or sometimes years depending on how complicated the project is. Part of the reason is that each city planner has different interpretations of their local rules. Today, approvals involve jurisdictions overlapping such as city, county and state and these jurisdictions do not communicate with each other. It is extremely crucial that you establish good working relationships with these planners to obtain your approvals. Again, this is why you need to work with a development team that has already built these relationships with local staff of the local jurisdiction where your property will be developed. These relationships will streamline and help to expedite your approval process. Your experienced team of experts will be able to negotiate issues for you and eliminate additional requests by the local jurisdiction to avoid further delays in obtaining your approvals.

Regulatory Process:

Majority of development projects must go through certain aspects of the entitlement process and some projects will be required to go through several public hearing processes for approval depending on each jurisdiction’s rules. To begin, commercial development of land requires a review and approval from the local Development Review Board or Planning Department Review Division. Each municipality has a different name but the functions are similar.

  1. The process starts with obtaining site approval from the local Planning and Development Department. By contacting the local Planning and Development Department Review Division, your expert team will then put together a land use pre-application which complies with the codes of that particular jurisdiction. By complying with the codes, this will eliminate additional requests by the jurisdiction, further review and extension and unnecessary delays of the approval process.
  2. Next a meeting date will be set. You and/or your representatives will meet with the Planning Department to discuss the proposed project and review process. The process includes approval of your site plan, elevations, colors, landscaping, vicinity map, etc. Environmental information will need to be submitted also. There is usually a fee that accompanies the application. The fees vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  3. If for some reason your site plan is denied, you can appeal to the City Council. The appeal process varies from each jurisdiction.
  4. Once you obtain site approval, then you will need design approval, master use permits. The design approval process is where your architect will design the building shell, core layout, exterior appearance, building height, site layout, landscaping concepts, traffic impact, site access and utility layouts and submit them for approval.
  5. Neighborhood hearings are generally required for all general plan conditional use permits. You may be required to send out written notice or post information on the site. Normally the City will send notices to the neighbors also. Signs should be placed on the property, and an open house meeting is generally held. Your development team will be instrumental in advising and assisting you so that you have a higher probability of achieving success in obtaining neighborhood approval. Be prepared, even if you comply with the regulatory process codes and regulations, there is always the possibility that the neighborhood may have their own agenda and that the hearings and decisions may not be favorable to your project going forward. This is where your attorneys and the rest of your development team’s expertise and participation are crucial.

If wetlands are located on the property you will need special documentation that states whether the Wetlands Act applies or not. If it does, either it will result in significant or insignificant impact as granted by evidence of a permit. Sometimes it is best to set aside or donate the wetlands portion of the property and avoid development issues. Your development team will be able to advise you on the best course of action once they have assessed all the information and reviewed the reports.