Moving Guide: Working with a Real Estate Agent

Buying a house is one of life’s most exciting and nerve wracking adventures–especially if you are a first time home buyer. There are so many things to think of, factors to consider and issues to remember. A good place to start is with your  real   estate  agent, and choosing the right agent can make all the difference in the world.

Sellers’ Agents

In most cases,  real   estate  agents are considered “seller’s agents”. In this capacity they have an agreement with the owner of the property you are interested in, and they receive a commission of the home’s final sale price.

A seller’s agent can help you find and purchase a property and may provide some of the same services as a buyer’s agent, but obviously their loyalty lies with the sellers and not with you. A seller’s agent has a duty to get the best possible deal for the seller, so always assume that any information you give a seller’s agent will be passed on to the seller.

Buyers’ Agents

A buyer’s agent’s primary objective is to get the buyer lowest price possible on the home they want. A buyer’s agent tries to find you the best possible house for the lowest possible price. Just like a seller’s agent is prohibited from giving away too much information to the buyer during the sales process, your buyer’s agent is prohibited from doing anything that will hurt your chances of getting a property for the lowest price possible.

A buyer’s agent often handles many of the tasks required to get to closing (such as inspections, helping you find a lender, tracking the progress of the loan, working with the closing attorney or agent).

Buyer’s agents are usually paid a portion of the seller’s commission fees at closing. However, a contract may state you will pay the agent a fee if you purchase a For Sale By Owner home.

Dual Agents

Sometimes you can end up with a dual agent. A dual agent is a realtor who is working as a seller’s agent for a particular property and, should you become interested in the property, serves as your buyer’s agent as well.

Is The Property Management Business For You? Mini Guide For Real Estate Investors – Part 1

This mini  guide  for  real   estate  investors is written to help entrepreneurs like you with the mystery of property management career. The investment risks are higher when decisions are made without enough information. By now you know that you want to invest profitably in  real   estate  or already started the process. All the motivation is coming from your desire for financial independence. I know that, because I am with you right on the very same goal.

Assume you have just purchased your investment property. It does not matter whether it is a 10–unit apartment building, a small office building or a single–family home. It is an attractive rental property and you are asking a fair market value rent.

You should have no problem attracting tenants and maintaining a high level of occupancy. What happens with the tenants once they move in is going to depend on you.

The problems with property management are not caused by the business itself, as much as by a lack of education. The property management is the most misunderstood parts of  real   estate  investing. If you do not have good property management, then you will have high management costs, bad tenant relationships, high vacancies and that will be the end of your business.

You would consider these ideas in making your managing investment decision; I did it when I started:

  1. The money you save, by doing property management, may mean the difference between a positive or a negative cash flow for your rental business.
  2. Managing your own properties, at least in the beginning and learning the management business is something to consider. After you become familiar with the manager responsibilities and acquire more properties, you will be able to do a better job of managing professional managers.
  3. More management and investment resources are available at my website.

How I start my property management? I went to school to gain my knowledge before facing the real life competition. I start my property management from the bottom up. My previous experience with  real   estate  renting was being a good tenant for about five years in two different places.

Eight years ago I passed the  real   estate  agent state examination and I worked for two brokers and managed properties on the side to build experience. I got my associate broker license in  real   estate  about four years ago.

We resettled in the U. S. A. coming from communist collapsing East Europe, in 1990. Our assets at that time were intangible, mechanical engineering education and big hopes.

We did not have this game of “getting rich with properties” in the socialist economies. Actually, it was forbidden to even think about owning properties. It took me five years to comprehend there is a less risky way of investing by using  real   estate  properties and rentals.

For $50 and about one hour conversation with our previous property manager — a very nice lady — I was in business. The management forms I received helped me to build my forms and gave me enough confidence before the closing on my first apartment building. I was on my way, investing in  real   estate  and managing my own properties for profit. This is how I started my property management career. Now, I appreciate a property management career or a job in property management a lot more.

I am not preaching here to manage your rentals yourself forever. For us, property management is part of getting the necessary life experience to succeed in this new country.

Dealing with people and their needs gets messy if you do not use a system. Qualifying the potential applicant over the telephone saves time and money. Renting  real   estate  is the toughest part of the property management job. Here is how my qualifying filter system is working:

The local newspaper classified ads bring most of my renting  real   estate  applicants. I call them Potential Applicants (PA) before submitting the rental application. I give to potential applicants enough info in the newspaper, so they may drive by and talk with our tenants. The prospect applicant should come ready, wanting to rent the apartments from us, because we take good care of the tenants and the apartments.

This is what I want with my ads.

“My town, clean 1 bedroom apt. $500 plus deposit, utilities included, A/C, coin laundry available, 123 Main Street, (222) 333-4444”

They have the address for the location, that the utilities are free and my cell phone number. Here are examples of first conversations over the phone with the potential applicants (PA).

PA: Hello, is the apartment available? Me: Yes, when you want to move in? My name is Ernest. PA: Thanks, my name is Mary. It is for my son John; He is planning to move soon. Me: Sorry, is it a strong reason way your son can’t call himself?

(My experience tells me I may stop here and deal with the real party later, the relatives or friends have a different agenda sometime. In reality, I continue giving information about renting.)

The son is calling me later.

PA: Where is this apartment located?

Me: At the corner of Main and Grand, next to the gas station, across the Seven Eleven. Look for apartment no.30. You can drive by and get from “Take One” box, an application with info printed the other side. PA: Do you accept pets?

Me: What do you have in mind as pet? (Reptiles, rodents, dangerous dogs, etc are not on my list, I ask because the applicant will talk and I can mind his/her personality).

PA: It was my aunt’ cat and she is 10 years old, etc. Me: Yes, we accept a qualified cat with a “Pet agreement”. The no refundable fee is $175. Do you have some pay stubs from your job? That will help us to check your employment; or

PA: No, I receive social security checks, I am on disability.

(To assume when renting  real   estate  that all tenants on assistance or seniors will be bad is wrong. Some may get a co-signer.)

Me: Sorry we only take applications if the total monthly documented net income is 3 times the rent. The no refundable application fee is only $20 and we do a credit report request and pay a different company for that service. (Some applicants just gives up after this phrase.); or

PA: Yes I work two jobs: manager at Mac Donald and telephone marketing at night. My girlfriend is working as telephone marketer. Together we make $1400 a month.

(This is a border line situation, they may pay for a few months and something is happening and girl/boy friend is gone. He/she no longer qualifies by income requirements. In this cases if the vacancy is hurting me and I cannot wait for a better applicant, I might take them, but the lease will have a clause: “If he or she intends to leave any time, they both must leave at the same time”); or:

PA: Yes, I work part-time at “Printing Nice” and I am full-time student. It is my fist time out of home; my mom may co-sign the lease.

Me: OK, bring your mom when you want to see the apartment.

PA: We want to see it, Saturday morning at 12 noon, it is our time to look for apartments.(PA may put some pressure on you)

Me: OK, see you then, at apartment no.30 second floor, a sign “For Rent” is in the window/door.

The potential applicant interview is very important. You have to see face to face the potential applicant and their pet. Watch their car how clean is outside and inside and get an idea about how much that person care about personal staff.

My “good tenant” definition is: A good tenant is paying always on time, takes care of apartment, is friendly and comprehends “quiet enjoyment” words.

It is better for me to wait for the right applicant and do not rush to make a buck. Also, I discovered that the service to society, the humanity we share is coming after you take care of our business. Otherwise you will not be in this business for very long time.

My next article — part 2 will be about “Evaluating the renting applications”

A Guide to Lead Management Software for Real Estate Companies

Business intelligence is at the heart of lead management software for  real   estate  companies. If you do not know what you are pursuing then it is very hard to get a result. Unfortunately information is seen as a competitive advantage and some organizations go out of their way to ensure that their business rivals do not get “a look in”. The ideal model is if lead generation web based CRM was used as if it were an industry resource that can be shared. This would deliver significant economies of scale but it would require the active cooperation of all the major players within the sector.

An individualized approach to lead generation web based CRM

The commissioning process is a critical factor. The lead management software for  real   estate  companies is segmented according to the functionality that is anticipated by the client. This process can be done prior to the advertisement or during the actual delivery of the service. The most important point is to have principles and guidelines. At the top of the priority list is the customer. How are they responding to the technology? Are there any improvements that can be made? What about the exceptions? Who is looking out for the interests of the customer? All these are questions that need to be adequately answered by the commissioning agents.

Once the foundations have been agreed then there can be an actual plan that relates to the lead management software for  real   estate  companies. Data can be sourced from the transactional streams while the supervisors can check it for relevance and accuracy. Comparative studies are very important when running lead generation web based CRM. This is because there are a limited number of clients who are looking for the product and each provider has to stand out by beating the competition. If you do not know what your business rivals are doing then it is likely that you will not be able to make a compelling case.

The structural implementation of lead management software for  real   estate  companies is rather straightforward. The data mining will be provided by the agents and client feedback. Performance management is always part and parcel of lead generation web based CRM. All you have to do is to transfer the processes and adjust them to the new realities. Perhaps the most challenging element is the predictive analysis. How do you work out what is going to happen in an industry that is notoriously fickle? This can be achieved through organizational learning. Over time it will become clear that there are patterns in terms of the way that the organization responds to these types of changes. Everyone in the team ought to be involved in the learning process because they are the only ones that can make a real difference.

Real Estate Investing 101: A Beginners Guide!

Best option for beginners in  real   estate .

As many beginning investors have little credit and their cash stash, if used would barely get them through until next payday! With that in mind you would want to take on something which is simple and can produce the most profits with little to no investment. The smartest most logical path you could take to get started investing in  real   estate  would be wholesaling.

Wholesaling? What’s that?

As A wholesaler you position is easy! Find a particular type of property that buyers/investors are looking for. Simple right? Why yes, yes it is…….. Once located you just pass the new found deal onto your buyer/investor. Basically all you are doing is acting as the middle man or a bird dog (plus a few steps) type. With this type of investing you can make upwards of 10k from each and every deal you do, depending on the type of deal you uncover. With nothing more than time invested in these deals how can you go wrong!!!!

Why this method?

The wholesaling way has numerous reasons why you should start with it.

1) Low to no investment.

a. No need to own the property you are dealing on.

b. Just locate a undervalued property.

c. No need to take ownership of the property, just get it under contract and pass the deal on to the best buyer/investor, with what is called an assignment fee (up to $10K) added on to the negotiated price.

2) Fast and almost immediate cash.

a. Most all wholesale deals close in 45 days or less.

b. No need to wait for rents or long drawn out closings.

c. Quick was to get started and get cash in your pocket immediately.

3) Once you’re good at finding deals.

a. Benefit from quick closing and cashing out.

b. Keep in mind not every deal you find will you be able to put under contract and sell.

c. Even if you can’t buy it personally you can put it under contract and negotiate it with a buyer.

d. Do as many deals as possible to become a pro!!!

4) Options.

a. Wholesaling gives you options unlike any other investment vehicle out there,

b. You find it, negotiate with seller. Then decide what direction you will go with it, keep it, and or sell it, whatever you want. Where else do you have options like that?

VIOLA!!!!!!!!!!- Quick cash or long term cash flow…..you decide.

This is what makes wholesaling Grrrrrrrrrreat!!!!

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent:: A Guide for Seniors

When considering buying or selling a home, seniors have a special set of needs that may not apply to others in the  real   estate  market. The first time home buyer has a certain set of needs. Young families with small children have another. Seniors fall into a whole different category.

It is important then, to make sure that the  real   estate  professional you choose has the ability to meet the needs of the senior buyer or seller. Most agents are simply interested in putting your home on the market and getting it sold. But there is much more to the process than that. Seniors need an agent who is willing to “go the extra mile” to make the transaction as stress-free and hassle free as possible.

Senior sellers may be in the process of “scaling down”, moving to a smaller home or an assisted care facility. Your agent needs to understand how to help you to figure out what you will need to take with, and suggest ways to dispose of excess items that won’t fit in your new environment. Your agent should have suggestions for companies who can organize estate sales, garage sales or help you organize a charity to pick up items which may not be needed in the new setting.

Seniors may have lived in their home for a number of years and not understand what people are looking for in today’s market. Your agent needs to know what the market may demand. If you are selling a home in a 55+ community other seniors may not demand granite counter-tops and the most updated appliances. A simple fresh coat of paint may be all you need to make the property appealing before putting it on the market. Other markets will demand more upgrades, or a sales price adjustment, which the right agent will advise you on.

Seniors may have owned their properties for a number of years, resulting in numerous tax implications. While  Real   Estate  Professionals cannot give you tax advise, the right agent, working with your tax advisor should be able to advise you in ways of selling your properties which could result in less taxes or tax deferments. These types of sales need to be handled correctly to protect as many of the seniors assets as possible. The amount of equity you have in a property, the way title is held and whether or not property has been held as an investment all make a difference is the next step you make. Be sure your agent understands the implications of disposing of these properties.

An agent dealing with seniors need to be understanding of special health needs which may be in the home. If health issues are a concern in your home make sure that you have an agent who will show compassion and concern in trying to show the home at convenient times for the family members with those special needs. Again, if you have an agent whose only concern is that they get the home sold as quickly as possible, compassion may give way to convenience- the  real   estate  agent’s convenience.

When searching for the right agent, try to find an agent who has had experience in working with other seniors and those who have been in similar circumstances to yours. Let your “gut instinct” be your guide. If you feel pushed by an agent, or rushed, as though they don’t have time for you, perhaps you don’t have the right person.

Once you do have the right agent- sit back, relax and leave the driving to them!

Real Estate Search Engines – A Home Buyer’s Guide

In recent years,  real   estate  search engines have exploded in both popularity and quantity. It seems that every time you turn around, there’s a new  real   estate  search engine being launched or announced.

The use of  real   estate  search engines has also skyrocketed. People go online by the thousands every day, conducting  real   estate  searches through websites like Yahoo, Trulia and the others listed below. This usage will only increase as new search engines emerge, and as existing engines become more advanced.

This article reviews some of the most popular  real   estate  search engines available today. But before we get to those reviews, let’s cover some quick terminology.

What’s a  Real   Estate  Search Engine?

Here’s my informal definition of a  real   estate  search engine: “Any website that allows consumers to search for  real   estate  listings.” I think that’s a basic definition we can all agree upon. Of course, there are many different types of  real   estate  search engine, but in their basic form they all match the definition above.

Popular  Real   Estate  Search Engines

Here’s a list and summary of some of the most popular  real   estate  search engines online today (with popularity measured by prominence in the marketplace, website traffic, and general buzz).

REALTOR.com

This is probably the most popular  real   estate  search engine, just because it has been around the longest. When you land on the home page of REALTOR.com, you’re offered a variety of  real   estate-related  information. But the primary element on their home page is, of course, their  real   estate  search engine.

To begin, you simply enter a city and state, provide some qualifying information like price range and number of rooms, and then click “Go.” Once you get to the actual home listings, you can sort them by price, number of rooms, etc.

One thing I’ve always liked about REALTOR.com is the way the results are presented. You can view 10 homes per page, with thumbnail photo and basic information. This lets you “eyeball” shop and weed out any homes that don’t interest you right off the bat. That way, you only have to click the “learn more” link for homes that you’ve screened first. A lot of the newer  real   estate  search engines are map-based, meaning you have to click on an icon to see the house and details. I prefer to see a lot of listings at a glance and then “drill down” as desired … but that’s just me.

HomePages

This website offers another map-driven approach to  real   estate  search. As with most  real   estate  search engines, you start the process by entering a city and state. After sitting through a map-zooming process that makes you feel like you’re skydiving, you’ll be asked for the usual follow-up parameters (price range, number of rooms, etc.). Properties for sale are presented as icons that you can click on to learn more about.

Personally, I didn’t like the interface because it doesn’t show as much data at a glace as other  real   estate  search engines — you have to sort of scroll around the map to find what you want, and that annoyed me. From my perspective, it seems to be another one of those websites that’s so “slick” it’s just plain hard to use. But that’s just me!

Trulia

Trulia bills itself as delightfully smart  real   estate  search. Their “About” page offers a more detailed description: “We are a  real   estate  search engine that helps you find homes for sale and provides  real   estate  information at the local level to help you make better decisions in the process.”

From the home page, you simply enter a zip code to see  real   estate  listings for that area. You can also refine your search by price range, number of rooms or bathrooms, etc.

Like many  real   estate  search engines, Trulia is powered by Google Maps. Trulia has customized the Google application to show pushpin icons for each property listing, which adds a nice visual element to the search.

You can use Trulia’s  real   estate  search engine with or without an account, but if you sign up for a free account you’ll be able to save your searches for future convenience. If you like Trulia and plan to use it often, I recommend creating an account. It will save you a lot of time on future visits because you won’t have to enter your search parameters all over again (unless you want to).

Yahoo  Real   Estate 

Yahoo’s  real   estate  search offers a lot of information in addition to property listings. You can also find information on schools and neighborhoods through their site. But this is an article on  real   estate  search, so let’s stick with that.

From the home page of Yahoo  Real   Estate , you can search for homes, apartments, or even home values. For homes, you simply enter the city and state and hit enter. You are then shown a map with icons representing homes for sale.

Hover your mouse over an icon and it will show the listing price. Click on the listing price, and it will pop up a bubble with street address, a thumbnail photo, and a “learn more” link. To get around the map, you simply click-and-drag with your mouse (as with MapQuest or similar mapping sites).

NeighborhoodScout

NeighborhoodScout is a different sort of  real   estate  search engine. As the name implies, this website focuses more on neighborhoods than actual home listings. Here’s how they describe themselves:

“NeighborhoodScout is a web-based patent-pending neighborhood search engine that uses neighborhood statistics to build neighborhood profiles that allow individuals and families to instantly find the best neighborhoods for them, in any part of the United States they choose.”

So if you’re relocating to a new area, this website might help you refine your search by narrowing it to a few select neighborhoods.

A Word of Caution

When using any  real   estate  search engine, you need to understand they do not operate in “ real  time.” The accuracy of a  real   estate  search engine is determined by the age or “freshness” of their data, which varies from one search engine to the next.

Also, while a  real   estate  search engine can be a helpful research tool, they do not take the place of a qualified  real   estate  agent. If you are new to the  real   estate  world, I strongly recommend that you have professional help when buying or selling a home.

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author’s byline and the active hyperlinks below.

Your Guide to the Ins and Outs of Commercial Real Estate

Commercial  real   estate  is any property that is not residential and is used for making a profit. Restaurants, stores, offices, and warehouses are all examples. Whether you need an office or a warehouse, finding the right commercial space is essential. The success of your business depends on the correct commercial  real   estate  choice.

How Do I Buy the Space?

If you have enough capital to actually buy a place, that’s great! If you are just starting off your business and can’t afford to buy space, you may need to rent or lease. This can be a little trickier. Lease contracts are complicated, and it is wise to have a lawyer take a look at the contract before you sign. Many inexperienced tenants accept a landlord’s contract without making any changes, and this can be dangerous. You could end up agreeing to a contract that gives the owner of the building too much power over you and your business, or you might even overpay for an inferior space. If you decide to buy, have the building inspected for structural problems so you do not get saddled with any unexpected maintenance costs. You want to be sure you know what you are getting into before you sign.

When Should I Buy/Lease?

If you have, or know you are about to have, products to store or employees who need a workspace, then it is time for you to get a place. You also want to make sure you can afford the property. Capital, from your business or investors, will need to be saved in advance for this purchase. You should also be sure that once you have the space, your business will be making enough money to continue renting. Timing is very important.

Where Should I Buy/Lease?

Location is key. If you are opening a store, restaurant, or any establishment that needs human traffic to make money, you want to be somewhere that gets a lot of pedestrian activity. Downtown city areas are good examples. You should also do some research to make sure there is not another established business similar to yours nearby that will produce competition. Do more research to make sure that your business is in demand wherever you decide to open up shop.

Being informed allows you to make better decisions in your commercial  real   estate  transactions. Knowing what to do and expect is key to being successful in your ventures.

The Real Estate Investor’s Guide to Rehab Costs

Many  real   estate  investors choose to purchase properties which are in need of some repair. Some take on the repairs themselves, while others sell the home with a discount to someone else who will happily deal with the repairs themselves. Whichever option you choose, it is imperative to know how to figure out what the repair costs involved in a property will be, before you ever agree to a purchase price.

When you are walking through a property you are considering for purchase, you should always do so with a pad of paper and a pencil handy. Start at the outside of the home and walk around the grounds. Make note of the roof, gutters, exterior paint, windows, garage door, etc… To help yourself remember later, when you are not at the property, make notes on each item and whether they are in good shape or need some work. If work is needed write down exactly what you believe is necessary.

Once you enter the property start the dishwasher, washer, dryer, heater, A/C and any other systems in the home which will come with the property. Let these items run a bit while you look in other areas of the home, and make notes on them as well.

At each sink in the kitchen, bathrooms, and garage, turn on both the hot and cold water. Check to make sure both hot and cold water come out and check beneath the sink to look for any possible leaks. Again, make notes for yourself which you can refer to later.

When you walk through the other areas of the home such as living rooms and bedrooms, make sure to check for any flooring issues. Additionally, look at all of the interior and exterior doors in the home and check them for damage. Make notes of any flooring or door issues you see.

Once you have completed your walk-through of the home, you now have a listing of all of the obvious material issues which may need to be addressed. From this list you can now determine the approximate costs of repairs and make a more informed decision on whether or not to purchase the property.

Guide to Buying Smith Lake Real Estate

The search for Lewis Smith Lake  real   estate  is an exciting endeavor. The thought of moving to the lake and living in a water front home lingers in many of our minds. Until one day, we decide to pursue this heart felt dream. Some of us will buy a lake home, while others will purchase the perfect lot on which to build their new dream house.

Before you dive in head first, there are many things that you should consider in order to secure your long time happiness on Smith Lake. Following price, the number one concern of which you should be aware is whether or not your chosen property is located on seasonal or year round water frontage. Smith Lake is designed to normally fluctuate about fourteen feet between full pool and winter pool. Full pool is identified by the elevation of 510 feet above sea level. This means that if you purchase a property that has a depth of only 10 feet at your dock, then your dock will probably have no water under it during the winter draw down period.To insure year round use of your Smith Lake property, I would recommend you find a property that is at least 20 feet deep at the shallowest part of your dock when the lake is at full pool. This will provide you with uninterrupted use of your Smith Lake get away. If you are only interested in using your dock during the warmer months, then you might consider the purchase of  real   estate  with seasonal water frontage.

You might think that the only elevation that is important is that of full pool. You also need to be aware that Alabama Power owns a flood easement on your property all the way to the 522 feet elevation. In the last few years, FEMA has also gotten involved with flooding concerns in the Smith Lake area, and now you will have to have flood insurance if your home is not strategically positioned above the 524 feet elevation mark.

The flood easement is not the only easement that can affect your property. You need to research whether the property has an access easement, and if the property offers easements to others such as ingress/egress easements, power company easements, and water company easements.

You need to research the property of interest and find out if there are any additional building set backs, restrictions, or HOAs that will affect your use of the property. Many subdivisions require minimum set backs, minimum square footage, and some even require construction with specific architectural design. It is very important for you to be aware of these covenants and the fees associated with them before you commit to the purchase of any  real   estate  on Smith Lake. A little extra homework prior to your purchase will add a substantial amount of happiness after the sale.

Some other issues that many people forget are to make sure power and water are readily available at the site in question. If not, you need to determine the costs associated with the installation of such services. You also need to determine if the property has city water or well water. If it has well water, collect a water sample and send it to the health department for examination and look into available filtration systems.

Please make sure you obtain a recent survey for any  real   estate  that you purchase. There is nothing worse than starting your Smith Lake adventure with a property dispute or finding out you did not buy what you thought you were buying. If you are buying land, have the surveyor do a perc test to insure that you will be able to have a septic system for your new home. If you are buying an existing house, have the septic system inspected to make sure you are not buying a problem. Obvously this is not a problem you want to have.

If the property already has a boat dock, check with Alabama Power about transferring the dock permit and to make sure that the dock is in compliance with their rules. If your property does not have a dock, contact Alabama Power to make sure that it can be permitted. You will be greatly disappointed if you discover later that your new home can not have a dock for some unforeseen reason. Also, observe the boat traffic in the area that interests you. Sometimes being on the main body of the lake is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

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The Real Estate Mom’s Back to School Guide

As a long summer of lazy unstructured afternoons comes to an end,  Real   Estate  Moms all across this nation celebrate the return of routine in their families. In order to prepare for that event, you You have inventoried the kids’ closets, had them try on their shoes, collected the supplies needed by the new teacher and received the school calendars. How can you as a  real   estate  agent and as a mom get off on the right foot this school year?

There is no doubt that you need to make a little extra time during those first few weeks to get everything heading in the right direction with the kids. Here is a quick back to school guide that will help you to keep the necessary focus on your business while helping your children have a successful start to the school year.

Schedule for Peace of Mind

One of the most important aspects of getting all of your goals accomplished as a  real   estate  agent is planning and scheduling. This folds into the “mom” part of your life as well. It is important to know how to blend both the business and personal parts of your life. For example, your calendar, such as Top Producer or some other contact database software, is a key instrument for you to use in organizing your business. Not only should you use it to plan your client meetings, but you must also use it to schedule those important events for your child such as parent/teacher meetings, recitals and pick-ups from school.

When you keep your family and work calendars separate, you will inadvertently schedule a meeting with a client, over a child’s school activity and vise versa. By color coordinating all of your Realtor appointments and mother appointments on the same calendar you can easily see where your focus is on a daily basis. By syncing your Top Producer with your Treo, you will have all of your appointments, work and personal, with you wherever you go.

Organizing For At Home Success

Next, use your Top Producer system to keep you organized. Take a few minutes to record the teacher’s contact information. Most  real   estate  agents would not leave home or the office without having all of their client’s information in hand and it’s vital that all necessary information for your child’s school be in your electronic calendar as well. Include the school’s phone number and any direct teachers’ numbers, email addresses and details that you need.

Establishing Routine as A  Real   Estate  Mom

One of the most crucial times for you to establish family routines is during those first weeks of school. Set up such things as the after school routine with homework, snacks, and chores. My daughter has her “daily five” that she needs to do everyday after school that includes homework, cleaning her room, cleaning her bathroom, unloading the dishwasher and feeding the dog. Once the foundation of this time of the day is set and becomes a habit for your child, you are more able to focus on your job as a  real   estate  agent with minimal time following up on the “daily five.” Getting them into a routine will also create lasting habits in your children

Your job and your clients can be demanding. That doesn’t need to stop you from being a good parent and getting your home life in order. Take the time necessary to organize each of these aspects of your life, by being a  real   estate  agent and being a mom. Spend some time planning, organizing and scheduling by doing the things listed here. A little extra effort now will help in creating a great school year for your child, yourself and your business.