Three Ways Neighbors Can Undermine Your Open House

neighbors can undermine your open house

At first glance it might seem strange that there are ways neighbors can undermine your open house.

Anybody who has been in the residential real estate business for a while knows that this is absolutely true.

Why Would Neighbors Want To Undermine A Open House?

Most people get along with their neighbors just fine.  But once you decide to sell your house and a ‘For Sale’ sign pops up, your best next door neighbor can become your worst nightmare.

Neighbors believe that when the house next to theirs is for sale, cars will be blocking the street, criminals will come to the house disguised as interested buyers, and real estate agents will be knocking in their door seeing if they’re interested in listing their house for sale.

So, as odd as it might sound, neighbors will try to make it difficult to sell your house.

Here are three ways neighbors can undermine your open house!

Ways Neighbors Can Undermine Your Open House

#1  Stealing the ‘open house’ signs – This is probably the most common way that neighbors try to sabotage an open house.

Right after the open house begins the neighbor will back-track through the neighborhood and remove all of the open house signs.  Often times they will try to sell them on the internet to make a little extra money!

#2  Spreading lies about your house – Neighbors have been known to lie in wait for people leaving an open house.

Then they will casually approach the prospective buyer.  Striking up a conversation, the neighbor will then talk about a fictitious murder in the house.  Or they will mention seeing the termite pest control truck in front of the house yesterday.

#3  Loud parties & music – Open houses are usually held on the weekends, to attract the highest number of potential buyers that are shopping around.

Unfortunately the weekends are also when your neighbor is probably home.  You’ve never heard a noise from the neighbor for as long as you’ve lived in the house.

But, oddly enough, your neighbor will pick the day of your open house to have a loud, drunken pool party with heavy metal music.

How To Break A Lease

how to break a lease

There are times when either a tenant or a landlord will want to break a lease.

Why A Tenant Would Break A Lease

A tenant may want to break a lease for a variety of reasons, some legitimate and some not . . . at least in the eyes of the landlord.

Maybe a group of roommates rented the house and now one has left.  Or the tenant may have lost a job.  Or there’s a personal situation such as a divorce or major illness.

Why A Landlord Would Break A Lease

There are also times when a landlord wants to break a lease.

One example is if the landlord owns a single-family house that is a rental and decides to sell.

It’s almost always easier to sell a vacant house rather than one that is occupied.  Buyers – especially those looking for a home of their own to live in – don’t want to have to deal with a tenant.

Or sometimes the tenant doesn’t cooperate with showings or keeping the house in good condition.  Even if they say they will.  This is a stealth way of a tenant sabotaging the potential sale of the house they’re living in so that they can continue to rent.

A landlord might also want to consider breaking a lease if the tenant is simply too much trouble.  Even if a landlord knows how to find and keep great tenants, it’s always possible to end up with a bad tenant.

Some tenants need to be constantly reminded to pay their rent on time.  Others constantly need something fixed or are disruptive to the next door neighbors.

Tips To Breaking A Lease

To avoid time, trouble, and possible property damage, smart landlords try to make breaking a lease a win-win situation.

First, find another tenant.  Be especially sure to check their references and verify the tenant’s income.

Next, make the first tenant responsible for making sure everything is clean and in good working order, and the the house is move-in ready.

Lastly, have the new tenant take over the remaining term of the existing lease, and sign a new lease as well.

Doing this will minimize any loss of rental income or unnecessary repair expenses, and create a win-win situation for both the landlord and the tenant who wants to break a lease.

American Freelance Copywriters Are In Demand

american freelance copywriters

American freelance copywriters are in demand as never before.  This is according to the most recent Freelancing in America: 2017 survey.

As a top-rated and top-earning real estate freelance copywriter on Upwork I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this report.  Here are some of the most interesting findings.

Why American Freelance Copywriters Are In Demand

The most recent survey identified a number of reasons why freelance American copywriters are in demand from clients around the world.

The top three factors for choosing a copywriter based in the U.S. include:

  • Freelancers in America are better prepared for the future – They take what they do seriously, and invest in themselves by taking skills-related education almost twice as much as their non-freelancing peers do.
  • American copywriters freelance by choice, not because they have to – Implicit in this decision is the determination to excel at what they do.  This means that clients of freelance copywriters can expect to receive the highest quality product.
  • Technology is enabling American freelance copywriters to do more for clients around the globe – Thanks in large part to the pervasiveness of the internet and the ability to work online from anywhere in the world.  American freelance copywriters are able to work with clients anywhere and anytime, no matter where the client is located.

American Freelance Copywriters Contribute To The Economy

The Freelancing in America: 2017 report notes that over the past year American freelance copywriters  – and freelancers overall – contributed about $1.4 trillion to the economy.

That’s more than the GDP of Panama and Costa Rica combined, according to the latest global GDP report from Statistics Times.

What Motives American Freelancers?

There are four motivating factors the American freelance copywriters have in common:

  1. Be their own boss
  2. Choose when they work
  3. Choose their own projects
  4. Choose where they work

While these four items relate to the freelancer, they also benefit the clients whose projects they take on.

That’s because a successful, full-time American freelance copywriter can be selective, which means that when a client’s project is accepted the work produced will be second to none.


Why It’s Important To Verify A Tenant’s Income

verify a tenant's income

Both beginning and experienced landlords often overlook the crucial steps to take to verify a tenant’s income.  Not doing this can end up being an expensive mistake, both in lost rental income and damage to the rental property.

Why Verify A Tenant’s Income?

In today’s real estate rental market, rents continue to go up while tenant’s incomes remain the same, or maybe even go down.

When this happens, people who would normally rent a place to live just for themselves often find that they need to have one or more roommates in order to make ends meet.

It’s easy to verify a tenant’s income when you’re only talking about one tenant.  But dealing with verifying the incomes of multiple tenants is a bit more difficult.

This is also where problems can occur.

Verifying The Income Of Multiple Tenants

As a rule of thumb, and depending on local laws and customs, landlords will usually require a total income of at least three-times the monthly rent in order for a tenant to qualify for a rental property.

Problems can occur with multiple tenants.

Many landlords believe that the more tenants they have on the lease, the more secure the lease will be.  That’s because the more people there will be to go after if the tenants default by not paying their rent.

All of this might be true.  But good landlords and property managers know it’s much more important to find and keep great tenants than having to chase down the bad ones for money owned.

The Risks Of Multiple Tenants

If one of the tenants on the lease ends up losing a job, relocating for work, or simply never moves into the rental property, the landlord ends up with a weaker group of tenants than expected.

Self-employed tenants can also be a risk, especially when the tenant says he works a cash-only job.

This type of tenant will offer to present a letter from his employer verifying the income.  This is always a big, big red flat for a landlord and a property management company.  Tenants with cash incomes will almost always create problems for the property owner – usually sooner rather than later!

Landlords should remember that it is more expensive to evict a tenant and repair damage to the property that it is to wait for a tenant whose income can be properly verified.

Starting A Freelance Writing Business

starting a freelance writing business

If you’re thinking about starting a freelance writing business, of if you’re a prospective client curious to know how freelance writers work, then this article is for you.

Tips On Starting A Freelance Writing Business

CEO Blog Nation recently reached out to me, asking for my thoughts on the subject, and they were nice enough to publish what I had to say in their post 13 Entrepreneurs Share Advice On Starting A Side Business.

The main takeaway is that freelancers – and anybody who runs their own business – should think of themselves the same way that a company thinks of itself.

From birth we’re trained to do one thing and one thing only.  We go to school, obtain a degree specializing in a certain field, then go to work in that field.

That might be great for people who only want a 9-5 day job, but that approach simply doesn’t work for entrepreneurs and people starting a freelance writing business.

How To Think And Act Like A Company

This isn’t so much about incorporating yourself, having your clients sign freelance writing contracts, and collecting on bad debt.  Although all of those are important aspects of any freelance writing business.

Freelance writers should spend some time thinking about how to develop multiple revenue streams for themselves, just as a regular company does.  For example, Mercedes doesn’t just sell one car.  They sell multiple cars and they also design and build engines for other uses besides passenger vehicles.

Multiple Freelance Real Estate Writer Revenue Streams

Entrepreneurs thinking about starting a freelance writing business can use the same approach.

Here are three ways that freelance real estate writers in particular can make money with multiple revenue streams:

  1. Write real estate books and distribute them on multiple platforms, not just Amazon.
  2. Market your core business of freelance real estate writing through various offline and online venues, such as Upwork.
  3. Invest in real estate, even if it is just through a crowd funding site or by investing in a REIT.

Doing these three things will help you with your freelance writing craft, and also help demonstrate to prospective clients that you have first-hand experience with what you’re writing about.

How To Sell Your Home For The Most Money

sell your home for the most money

A writer from a national real estate publication recently contacted me asking how to sell your home for the most money.

Here are three quick tips on how to do exactly that, including one that requires a high level of negotiating & people skills.

Make It Easy For Buyers To Call Your Place Home

There’s a lot of emotion tied up in the home buying and selling process.  As a seller, it’s important to tap into the buyer’s emotions.  One way to do that is to make it easy for the buyer to imagine living in your home.

This can be done by removing personal items such as family pictures, trophies or ribbons, and anything else that reminds prospective buyers of you and not them.

First Impressions Count

Numerous articles have been written about the importance of curb appeal, first impressions, and removing clutter when you try to sell your home for the most money.

That’s because when you live in your home, when the place you are selling is your home, it’s difficult to be objective.  Your real estate agent won’t always be honest with you because they don’t want to offend you and end up looking for another listing.

So, consider bringing a close friend to critique your house.  One who isn’t going to mince words with you and who isn’t afraid to hurt your feelings because you’ve known each other for far too long.

Sell Your Home For The Most Money

This tip takes a lot of negotiating skill, up-to-the-minute knowledge of your real estate market, and a high level of understanding the emotions of buyers.

This technique involves pricing the home below market in order to attract multiple offers and encouraging a bidding war on your home.  The best offer wins, which will just so happen to be the highest priced offer.

This isn’t an easy thing to do, but it can be done when you have an experienced real estate agent as a negotiator on your side.


Why Use An American Real Estate Writer?

american real estate writer

“Why should I use an American real estate writer?”

A potential – and now current – client of mine in Australia recently asked me this question as part of our mutual, two-way interview process.

The truth is that in her case I couldn’t answer the question because at that point I really didn’t know enough about her or her project.

She wasn’t trying to be adversarial.  On the contrary, she was being inquisitive.  But it did start me thinking about why somebody in another country would want an American real estate writer rather than a local copywriter.

I’ve written about real estate for clients in Canada, the U.S., Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, China, and yes, Australia.

Sometimes the project has involved writing for a foreign company wanting to introduce their clients to another country.  In one case it was a private investment fund in Saudi Arabia wanting their investors to begin thinking about opportunities in the U.S.

In another case the real estate writing project involved writing for a company in one country whose investors were mainly from another part of the world.

Other times I’ve written real estate copy for use within a certain country, such as a green energy system in Sweden or a real estate attorney in Canada.

Reasons To Choose An American Real Estate Writer

My future client had asked a good question.

The more I pondered it, I realized that unless one is using slang words, writing about real estate isn’t really that different from one part of the world to the next.

True, the words may be slightly different to reflect the local language.  But buyers, sellers, investors, tenants, and managers of real estate are all looking for the same thing.

Sometimes it’s return on investment or appreciation, other times it is maximizing cash flow or finding & keeping good tenants, or maybe it’s all about moving from one real estate asset class to another.

Other times, the reason for choosing an American real estate writer is to get an American view point.





Property Management Blog Article Ideas

property management blog article

Here are three property management blog article ideas for people looking to create their own content.

These ideas will work for blogs, social media posts, or can be consolidated into a give-away ebook for readers who opt-in to your email list.

Property Management Blog Article

These property management blog article ideas can be used for both residential and commercial property management companies:

#1 How To Choose A Property Management Company

This property management article idea easily lends itself to using three, four or five ways to choose a property manager.  Naturally the reasons you use will tie into why your property management company is the best choice for the real estate investor.

#2 Where To Find Great Tenants

Renting to a tenant is one thing, but renting to a great tenant is really what every landlord wants.  If most leasing agents rely solely on sign calls, you can list the things that your company does to attract the best tenants possible.

#3 Service After The Lease

Turning tenants over rather than renewing the lease with the current tenant can be expensive for the landlord.  With this property management blog article you can list the things that your company does after the lease is signed that keeps tenant turnover low and occupancy high.

Targeting Your Audience

The above three article ideas are general on purpose.  But if you’re writing for your property management blog you’ll want to make the articles as niche specific as possible, such as my recent article on LEED certified office space.

Some niche examples are residential vs. commercial, the best tenant match for the property – such as a vacation home or a retail space, and the online rent payment service that your company provides.

Turn Your Property Management Articles Into A Book

After you’ve written enough property management blog articles it’s easy enough to put them together in an ebook form.  Depending on the length of the book and your objective, you can use your new property management ebook as a give away, or if it’s long enough consider publishing your book on Amazon KDP or Draft2Digital.

Before you know it you’ll have a portfolio of published real estate books to your name and will have another tool to position yourself as an expert real estate property manager!

Advantages Of LEED Certified Office Space

LEED certified office space

Having LEED certified office space is steadily becoming a top priority with Class A commercial office space tenants.

LEED, which is an abbreviation for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’, along with the Energy Star certification, identifies office space that is ‘green’ or ‘efficient’.

Established in 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED certification was developed in part to help office building investors, developers and property managers implement and maintain sustainable energy practices.

While a little over 10 years ago the number of LEED certified office building stood at just 5%, according to the most recent National Green Building Adoption Index the amount of green or energy efficient office space now stands at 38% across 30 markets in the U.S.

Growing Demand For Office Space

Much of the recent demand for Class A office space in the U.S. and Canada is being driven by the high-technology industry.  And it’s not just in Silicon Alley, Silicon Valley, or Silicon Beach where demand is strong

High-tech employers are finding that they need to go where the well educated employment bases are rather than trying to recruit workers to come to them.  This is a flip-flop from a generation ago when employees have to go where the jobs were.

As a result, demand for office space is growing in secondary and tertiary markets in North America where the work force has the qualities that high-technology employers seek.  An added bonus to the employer is that prime office space in these markets tends to be much more affordable than in the higher-priced markets of California and New York.

Why LEED Certified Office Space Is Important To Tenants

A significant percentage of tenants that are leasing today’s office space are in the high-technology industry.  The terms ‘green’, ‘LEED certified’, and ‘energy efficient’ convey a certain status and have a psychological appeal to this type of tenant – in addition to the obvious cost savings of leasing LEED certified office space.

My recent article on How To Get The Most From Your Freelance Real Estate Copywriter discussed the importance of knowing your target audience.  LEED certified office space is a perfect example of this, offering a way to get inside the head of your audience while increasing the appeal of your message at the same time.

While the demand for green office space is a trend that’s still beginning, it’s quite likely that in the not-too-distant future in order for office space to be Class A the property will need to be LEED certified.

If you’re not familiar with how to market to tenants who are looking for LEED certified office space it’s not too late to start learning.


How To Get The Most From Your Freelance Real Estate Copywriter

freelance real estate copywriter

If you’re hiring a professional freelance real estate copywriter for your project you want to be sure you’re getting the most for your money.  Be it a small ad on Facebook, a blog article for your real estate website, or an entire content creation project.

Here are three things that you can do to ensure you get the five-star product you’re looking for.

Know Your Freelance Real Estate Copywriter

A lot of the real estate copywriting that I do is through the Upwork platform (click for my profile there) where I am a top rated freelancer.  But that doesn’t mean what I write is going to be a match for every client.

Some clients may want a different writing style.  Others may find my rates out of their budget or I simply may have too much on my plate to complete their project in the time frame that they’re looking for.

Upwork makes it easy to see the past types of project a freelance real estate copywriter has worked on and their client satisfaction rating as well.

Know Your Real Estate Topic

Oftentimes clients who hire a real estate writer have only the vaguest idea of what their real estate topic is going to be.  Usually this happens with real estate people who are launching a new website.  Other times they are entering a new market – for example, a Middle Eastern client wanting to introduce its readers to the U.S. real estate market, or vice versa.

Sometimes a client not having a specific idea of a topic can be good, provided you have a good writer who can work from the basic guidelines that you give him or her.

Other times not having an idea of your topic can create problems, especially when clients – either accidentally or on purpose – ask for multiple revisions from their freelance real estate copywriter as a way of figuring out what they really want their real estate article to be about.

Know Your Target Audience

In order for your real estate writer to create the most effective copy possible, they need to know who they are writing too and also how to ‘get inside the head’ of your target audience.  The more you know about the characteristics of your past and potential buyers, the better.

Some clients believe that everybody is a prospect for what they have to sell, and on a very generic level that may be true.  But that’s how you end up with a generic piece of copywriting.

Take this article for example.  I could have written about copywriters in general, but instead we’re discussing freelance real estate copywriters.  It’s a subset of the copywriter category topic, and something that both you and I are specifically interested in.