Real estate investing offers a great way to grow your savings and build wealth. While many people want to get involved in this possibly lucrative venture, the responsibilities that go along with owning property may be keeping them from acting on their interests. However, there are many options for investing in real estate that don’t include becoming a landlord.
Buy Real Estate ETFs
As mentioned in a previous post, an ETF is an exchange-traded fund that’s comparable to mutual funds in that they consist of stocks relating to a particular theme. However, unlike mutual funds, an ETF is traded publicly on the exchange. Vanguard’s VNQ is one such real estate themed ETF. This fund invests in REITs, or real estate investment trusts, which focus on stocks concerning commercial real estate, such as office buildings, hotels, and similar buildings.
Real Estate Mutual Funds
A more traditional route may be to invest in real estate mutual funds, which provide the possibility of growth without the high risk. DFREX is a favorite in this category, partly because it offers lower fees than other funds. Additionally, DFREX consistently performs well. The fund shows great promise for future gains, because it’s supported by decades of professionally driven research. Nobel Prize winners help to develop the fund’s strategy.
Invest Directly in REITs
This is another option for investing in real estate without taking actual ownership of any property. REITs are like funds in that they stick to a general theme, such as commercial real estate, so you can opt for whichever category appeals to you the most. If you choose to explore this option, do so with caution. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued warnings against REITs that aren’t publicly traded. The agency highlighted a lack of liquidity, lack of value transparency, and high fees as factors that create unnecessarily high risk.
Invest with Commercial Real Estate Developers
These can be hotel corporations, resort or timeshare operators, or commercial contractors. By buying stock in these types of organizations, you can benefit from their growth without having the responsibility of buying property yourself. You will have to thoroughly research each company to ensure you’re making a sound investment, but, otherwise, this can be a promising alternative.
These are just a few ways you can invest in real estate without getting your hands dirty. Most people live lives that are too busy to add maintaining a rental property to their schedule, so these options let you reap the benefits of real estate investing more freely. As your money grows, you may find more opportunities for investing in real estate centric funds, stocks, and companies.
There are two ways investors make money in real estate: renting and selling for profit. Of course, the savvy investor can use both methods, even on the same property. Here we will go over some details of each method.
It should be emphasized that whether renting out a property or selling for raw profit, the importance of location can’t be overemphasized. The fact is that nearly any model of residential or commercial building can be replicated in many locations. However, the local amenities, culture, atmosphere, weather, or historical value cannot be duplicated. It is such factors that give rise to widely different prices and rents for otherwise identical structures.
Cash Flow: Rent
When renting, the first priority is attracting and retaining tenants. Generally, home-like rental properties or long-term commercial leases are a better option than short-term rentals that, admittedly, fetch a comparatively higher monthly rental. This is because vacancies take their toll and are bad for cash flow. Make sure to specify clear lines of responsibilities for tenants and the property owner. Maintenance, repairs, utilities and tax responsibilities accrue as costs to the property owner, so make sure that rental cash flow at least matches maintenance and other necessary expenditures.
Fix and Flip
Buying low and selling high is the holy script of investing. When buying real estate, beware that the purchase price essentially traps liquidity upon sale completion and for as long as it takes to renovate and resell the house. Also consider the opportunity cost of other income-producing activities, including renting, that the property owner could be doing. Such opportunity costs can add up, but if the buyer were to completely outsource the “fix” to others, the added cost would reduce or even eliminate the profit margin upon resale.
Note that both methods of making money from real estate entail unexpected costs along the way. Vacancies, irresponsible and toxic tenants, as well as competing units can take the steam out of anticipated cash flow from rental properties. Costly repairs, illiquid funds, and all-in marketing and resale costs can deflate profit margin from fix-and-flip properties. Consider the time and expertise required for each investment method and pick whatever works best. Real estate can be lucrative, but is not risk-free.
If working with a real estate appraiser feels like a frustrating and complicated matter, you’re not alone. There’s a reason it feels as though your appraiser is keeping something from you and that’s because he or she is keeping secrets. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about your appraiser.
- Appraisers are Under Pressure
When the housing bubble burst a few years ago and created the Great Recession, mortgage lenders weren’t the only ones that took the heat. Appraisers also came under fire and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act of 2010 now requires the government to keep a closer eye on all real estate appraisers. This is why the process is so much more complex and takes more time.
- Appraisers are No Longer Local
Those same reforms have created a situation in which appraisers are often sent to regions with which they have no familiarity. Since they don’t know the markets that are local to the properties they’re appraising, their estimates may be either too low or too high. This can keep a homeowner from getting the true value for their home and, conversely, can prevent a buyer from affording a home that should be within their range.
- Who Does the Appraiser Really Work For?
In a normal home-buying scenario, the buyer pays the fee for the appraiser, which can fall anywhere within the $350 to $500 range. Even so, the appraiser doesn’t work for you and his reports go directly to the lender. This means that neither the buyer nor the seller will likely see the appraisal firsthand. According to federal law, you have to be given a copy of the appraisal, if you submit a written request for it. However, most people aren’t aware of the law, so they never see the appraisal for which they paid.
- Always Get a Second Opinion
It can be beneficial to get an appraisal of your own in advance, so you’ll have something to compare to the official appraiser’s findings. This can be fairly simple by asking your real estate agent to deliver a broker’s price opinion. While your lender may not accept the broker’s opinion in place of the appraisal, it does provide that point of reference. A difference in estimates can end up saving you as much as $20,000 on a home purchase.
Appraisers won’t tell you everything about their jobs. This is partly because they have to react to pressure from banks and that affects every appraisal. By staying alert and seeking outside advice, you may be able to better ensure your appraisal is fair and on point with the area market.
In an effort to separate themselves from the pack, businesses owners and entrepreneurs alike have turned to social media platforms to give their products and services an edge. Some companies create short viral video campaigns for YouTube, live stream their latest product launch on Facebook, or produce compelling photographs for their audience on Instagram.
One social media platform that’s sometimes overlooked by people in the business world is LinkedIn. While some entrepreneurs believe that LinkedIn is just a network for resume posting, the platform actually offers a wide range of tools for business people looking to grow their company.
To learn more about the ways that LinkedIn is a vital tool for entrepreneurs and businesses, read on below!
LinkedIn is Great for Professional Networking
While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram focus on the social aspect of networking, it can be difficult to make serious inroads on these networks if you’re interested in growing your network on a more professional basis.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, makes growing your professional social network easy by allowing users to search for like-minded professionals in their particular area of expertise. LinkedIn allows users to build relationships with people on both a local level, as well as on national and international levels, too, making the social network unique in its ability to help entrepreneurs quickly find other business savants who are revolutionizing the business landscape in their cities.
LinkedIn has message boards and groups that further allow people to identify who they might want to connect with to grow their business venture. This feature can be an extremely invaluable tool for entrepreneurs who want to expand their product or service into new areas.
Using LinkedIn as a Tool for Product Launches
One innovative way that business owners are using LinkedIn as a vital tool to grow their companies is by creating product-specific LinkedIn pages. That’s right — not only is LinkedIn an excellent option for those posting up your resume, but the platform is also great if you want to showcase the benefits of a product you’ve recently launched.
On LinkedIn, entrepreneurs can create a page for their product or service that is similar to the resume-style profile pages the platform offers. These product pages are a great way to quickly highlight what makes your new product great.
LinkedIn is such an effective tool from a marketing standpoint that a new study indicates that 81% of business-to-business companies are using LinkedIn to advertise their product launches.
Various cultures have different leadership styles. Richard D. Lewis, a British linguist, charted the differences in his book “When Cultures Collide.” Besides he teaches these acumens in seminars.
Spanning from ringi-sho consensus in Japan to structured individualism in the United States of America, the charts look as if intuitively correct, if not separately accurate across a given nation.
Lewis argues that even though the countries may be facing rapid economic and political transformations, there exist some patterns which won’t change anytime soon. They have deeply rooted beliefs and attitudes which make them resist sudden changes in values when pressured to do so.
British managers, for instance, are diplomatic, helpful, casual and willing to compromise, although they can be ruthless when provoked. Regrettably, their strict adherence and conformity to tradition can lead to an inability to understand differing values in others.
On the hand, American managers are aggressive, assertive, goal oriented, optimistic, ready to change, vigorous and confident. They value working together as a team and enhancing corporate spirit. Unfortunately, they value individualism and promoting personal career.
With an incredible grasp of the various issues affecting their company, French managers are more autocratic as well as paternalistic. However, they quickly dismiss opinions of seasoned technical staff and middle managers.
A decentralized and democratic system of management among the Swedish people is incredible. The rationale enhances motivation and productivity among employees. Even so, decisions get delayed sometimes.
Managers in Germany strife to form a seamless system. They have a well-structured chain of command based on every departmental unit. Instructions, as well as information, are passed from the top down to the bottom. The drawback is that they considerably rely on consensus.
In the Netherlands, success is measured by the achievement, merit, and competence. Even though managers are decisive and dynamic, a consensus is compulsory since various players must be consulted before making any decision.
Traditional Indian companies practice nepotism. For example, members of the family hold critical positions excluding other people who may have the required skills and talent. Besides, policies get dictated by trade organizations such as jewelers, fruit merchants among others. These groups work in close unison and support one another during stressful moments.
China managers value consensus. The state-controlled companies allow leadership groups to formulate policies, while capitalist-style corporations select leaders with the necessary competence and reputation.