How will 5G affect the real estate industry?

5G is coming, and when it arrives life is going to be a little different; for everyone.

5G is the next major step which will advance the mobile and internet networks to a place we have never seen before. Our current 4G mobile capacity and networking speeds are somewhat limited, and the 5G network will have capabilities 1000 times what we have now. To put this into perspective, the maximum download speed on Australia’s somewhat dismal NBN network is 100Mbps. This means a file of 100 megabytes can currently be downloaded in a second, but these speeds are on a high tier payment price and limited to the area you live in. 5G is expected to make available a gigabyte per second, which is the size of a movie, downloadable in an instant. Although most services have adapted to streaming services to combat movie and TV show pirating, something is about to change again with 5G. We have already had a trial in Australia of 5G for the Gold Coast areas around the commonwealth games precincts, and it’s expected to be available commercially in just a year.

Why is it necessary?

The key reasoning for 5G is to advance current technologies to the next level and beyond. The most important technology at this stage that will rely solely on the stability and reliability of a super internet is automation in vehicles. Automated trucks are already in use in mining, automated cars are already being tested on our streets, but the problems with current network capabilities is they are not reliable or quick enough to cope with millions of cars driving by themselves. 5G will undoubtedly change this. 5G will offer improved GPS capabilities with instantaneous traffic and map updates globally, meaning you will know exactly to the second when you will arrive to a destination.

How will it affect the everyday person?

When it comes to the average Joe, there are many ways it will be innovative, and there will be many ways it will change the way we work, rest and play. Some of the most important innovations currently being tested is the way we use energy, and the capabilities 5G will have to automate personal household energy use. The Finnish government is currently testing ways to automate lights, security cameras, windows, refrigerators, door locks, heating systems, and other electrical household items to find ways to use them only when needed. Especially when it comes to apartment blocks and large hotels, it means that lighting could be sensor based, electronic door locks will be automated by Wi-Fi and energy savings will be massive.

How will it affect the residential real estate industry?

Technology that we already use in the real estate industry will all advance beyond current recognition. There is no doubt there is undiscovered tech that will produce itself, and this industry has a lot to look forward to. Virtual reality tours are widely being used in real estate, in the way of virtual tours, and in the future, virtual reality will consume massive bandwidth with the advances currently being tested in tech companies across the globe. Mobile phone technology will be incredibly fast and reliable, and it’s almost unfathomable how much change will come in even the next five years.

One of the biggest changes in real estate, will relate to the property itself. Aerials for the 5G network will be tiny in comparison to current mobile networks and will be able to be mounted onto homes rather than up high on large plots of land. This will mean your residential property could be used as aerial space.

5th generation mobile networks will advance smart home technology and real estate agents will need to know more about how these things work. Human-machine communication will advance beyond anything we have ever seen before, with the possibility of virtually anything you can imagine becoming automated.

Data will be able to be transported immediately, and when it comes to things like contracts, and funds for the sale of homes this will change the industry for good. Current smart contracts used on blockchain technology make smart contracts very quick, and this technology will soon be available to your smartphone. This could mean big changes in the industry, including quicker settlements and immediate money transfers.

There are many reasons why businesses are excited about 5G, and of course, one of those reasons is the cost. Connecting 5G to homes and businesses will be far less expensive than standard connections.

Time will tell what other types of innovative changes will take place in real estate, and innovative thinkers will definitely come out on top in the next ten years. The world is about to change, and there is no telling what will be discovered. It is certain however that it WILL generate new revenue, it WILL generate new growth in every sector, and it will accelerate innovation to a place that no one can imagine.

Property Investment Checklist

Property is one of the best possible investments you can make if you know what you are doing, and with the market as it is right now, it’s a great time to be spending money on investment properties. So how do you know if you’re in a financial position to invest in property?

To begin your investment property journey, you need to do a number of things:

  • You need to first work out how much combined debt you have, how much you will need to borrow and how much you can budget for your new investment property.
  • You should have around 20% of the property value ready as a deposit, plus at least 5% for stamp duty and legal costs as well as a bit of a buffer on top. It’s important to allow for at least $50,000 for future cash-flow in case things turn bad with your income.
  • Property investment entails some serious research time and a solid financial commitment, so you must be completely thorough in your research and even more so in your investment preparation.
  • You need to treat a property investment like a business. Buying a home is one thing, buying investment property needs to be bought like you would buy a business, with everything in place to make you profit on your investment.  
  • Make sure you have a quality team around you for advice. This should include mortgage broker or a banker, financial planner, property valuation expert, an accountant, and a builder.

 A lot of potential investors sit around and wait for the market to be right for their terms, however if you wait too long, the market can change that dramatically that you might miss out on some really good investments while you wait. Don’t wait for the market, if you are ready, you are ready.

Always be prepared for the unexpected. This means your backup cash should be safely tucked away, and it also means you should never expect interest rates to stay low. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Budget your property with a very high interest rate in mind, and you’ll almost always come out on top.

Always prepare for the worst-case scenario, and when things go smoothly you’ll get further in front than you imagined.

 

 

Should you be using YouTube as a real estate agent?

As with any other social media channel as a real estate agent, you should be utilising everything there is about YouTube. Actually, you should be using YouTube as the basis of your content for every other channel of social media you use. Real estate is a communication business, and the best way to communicate in 2018 is with engaging content. The world has changed severely in the last 10 years, and it is proven that video engages like no other content.

Having quality videos on your YouTube channel is of vital importance, and in this modern age there really isn’t much that can stop you from achieving great videos to share on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.

With affordability always being an issue in the past, it is now incredibly cheap to create amazing videos, and when it comes to real estate, the options are endless

For instance, you can purchase a high definition video drone for under $100, and when it comes to value for money – you simply cannot beat the visual appeal these types of videos can give to potential buyers.

High quality photos are also very simple to create in 2018, with the easy access to high quality cameras, and for a relatively cheap price. Using a camera like a GoPro is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to create high quality digital visual campaign material.

Once you have photos and video in your possession, there are so many amazing free programs available that can have professional looking videos uploaded to your YouTube in a matter of hours.

There truly is no better way to represent your great content for your social channels to get leads and sales than YouTube.

The best part about YouTube, is that once you have created your great content and uploaded it, you can then share to virtually any social channel almost immediately, and you can create paid campaigns using it as well.

How will the cryptocurrencies affect the real estate industry?

Bitcoin’s rising mainstream appeal is opening up innovative avenues for the housing market to entice a new type of customer, and other cryptocurrencies are starting to build momentum within the real estate industry. The industry is already trialling the use of digital currencies to pay for things like services, rent, services and sales deals.

Many businesses across the globe are now merchants that accept cryptocurrencies and the number is quickly growing.

There are already many news stories around of real estate agents and brokers accepting bitcoin as payment, and developers are also doing the same, with recent news headlines of a New York property developer accepting bitcoin for payment on a whole complex.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, although still in their early stages, have so much potential to change the way real estate is attained and traded.

The main potential change is when cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Litecoin, become more widely accepted as a form of currency to conduct property transactions.

The main issue with buying property with cryptocurrencies, is that the market is highly volatile, meaning that in the time it takes for a sale to go through, the price could increase or decrease in value substantially. If you take a look at the3 average time it takes for a home sale to close, (lets say 50 days as an example) and we look at the bitcoin price from November-December last year.

Bitcoin’s price on 6th November 2017 was $7,300USD, and roughly 50 days later, it hit record highs of $19,783USD. Now in the grand scale of things, that’s a huge difference for both parties involved in the sale. So, the volatility of the currencies like this make it very difficult to lock in a guaranteed price on a sale, and when you’re talking median house prices of around $550,000, using cryptocurrencies can seriously impact an end price for a contract.

Although the volatility of cryptocurrencies will remain an issue for some time, the technology driving it however, is a completely different story. New technologies based on the blockchain technology, like smart contracts will be used in many ways throughout the industry to increase security and will significantly reduce the time of real estate transactions.

This tech will allow contracts to be immediate, as well as instantaneous fund transfers, saving the broker ridiculous amounts of time.

Should you be using twitter as a real estate agent?

Social media is a big part of business, and if you’re questioning any of the social media channels and whether you should be using them as a real estate agent, you really should reassess what you are doing. Real estate is the business of communication and to succeed in 2018, you absolutely need to be hitting up every channel you can imagine, to compete with the rest of the field. Twitter is one of the best ways you can attract a new client base, and it’s one of the best cold calling channels you can use that doesn’t actually involve cold calling.

So, how should you use Twitter as a real estate agent?

Here are some simple ways you can get leads and more engagement with your realtor Twitter profile.

Twitter is one of the hardest social strategies to get right, and it might take some trial and error in making it work for you, but if you aren’t trying, you’re not gaining anything.

Brand Positioning

Before you even send your first tweet, you must completely understand your brand’s position. You must know whether you are going to use it as a personal account as an agent or business account as the agency, and with each choice there are certain rules you must follow to keep people engaged.

Personal profiles seem to get more momentum, but when it comes down to it, it relies on what your brand position requires of your presence.

Basic Rules of Twitter For Real Estate Agents

  • Always use high quality images or videos – tweets with videos and images have a far higher engagement rate.
  • Tweeting like you are speaking to clients at a networking event.
  • Engage with everyone, including your competitors–replying, retweeting and swapping contact details will always (eventually) get you leads.
  • Use high quality visual branding – use logos and high quality professional profile photos
  • Share your local content – be a community advocate, and your name will stick in the minds of others. People love to engage with material that is local.
  • Use local hashtags
  • Use twitter like you would cold calling. There is no better way to get in touch with hard to contact people than twitter. Utilise the convenience.

Recent Facebook news feed changes and how it affects agents

Facebook recently made a big announcement about changes on how the news feed will soon work, and a lot of questions have been raised about what it means for real estate agents and brokers.

Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement said, “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups. Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

These ‘new’ changes aren’t really anything new in the grand scale of things, it is just what we already knew was coming. The thing is, if you are creating great content, you will get great responses. The feed however for personal pages will soon be showing less business posts, and less public content. What this means is that the stuff you post on your business page, (which currently reaches about 10% of your market without boosting or paid interaction), will reach even less people.

What do you do instead?

Well, business is going to need to become very personal. There is already a fine line between business and personal thanks to social media, however the key to the future is by using your personal account to connect with clients. It is very important to know though, that Facebook can tell if your profile is being used for commercial purposes and if they find you breaking the rules, you will be banned, so keep it personal.

Your business page is still relevant however, so don’t go deleting it just yet. It will still be useful for paid campaigns, and ad campaigns for people who want to find you, but of your existing page fans, less will see you, so you need to react, and now.

There is good news for real estate agents however, because the business has ALWAYS been and ALWAYS WILL BE about connecting with people. It’s always been about connections and relationships however now, it’s more important than ever for real estate agents and brokers to connect with clients on a personal level.

What you should be doing:

  • Reach out to clients on Facebook
  • Add them as a friend
  • Message them to let stay connected
  • Comment on their posts
  • Engage in their content on a personal level

If you do this all the right way, they will connect you with other potential clients at the drop of a hat.

As a real estate professional, the best way to utilise your personal Facebook account is to be interested in others. Keep posting your content, listings and videos on your Facebook page, keep it active and it will keep momentum.

As a real estate agent in 2018, you should be well in control of your Facebook Live experience, and on a personal level it is very important to keep this charging forward. Live video gets far better engagement than any other posts. This is simple. Master it, and you will be in full control.

Should you be using Instagram as a real estate agent?

As a real estate agent, your role is to communicate with people about your listings, and in 2018, there is many very good ways to engage with potential leads, and existing clients and that is through your social media channels.

The top ways people engage in 2018, is through video and photos. The one channel that works extremely well for these two types of media is Instagram. Instagram allows you to find potential clients, and it allows them to find you. The key to any form of social interaction for real estate agents is to get leads, and if you are spending money on advertising, you might as well be spending it on making your content better.

Engaging content is the key to high engagement from users when it comes to any channel of social media, and Instagram is very specifically saturated with great content for the purpose of people seeing it.

It is vital that your Instagram channel features the highest quality content you can afford. This means you need to invest in a quality camera, and a quality video camera to ensure your content is high definition. Low quality videos or images simply will not do. With so much inexpensive equipment around, there is really no reason you shouldn’t be investing wisely. Go Pros and similar HD cameras are one of the best investments you can possibly make, as are video drones. For under $1000 of tax deductible money, you can get a seriously useful way to create quality content worth sharing.

Instagram proactively works with brands and businesses to ensure your content works in the best way for you, and when it comes to knowing what you should be using as content, there are a few simple guidelines to follow.

•             Make it original

•             Make it relevant

•             Make it high quality

•             Automatic Cross-promote – Use your other channels to promote it

•             Use hashtags

•             Comment on other people’s posts

•             Use the Hyper Lapse Feature

•             Geotag your content

•             Use Video Tours of the Property

 If you need any help with social media, get in touch with our team. We have an expert on hand who can assist.

 

How will the property market slowing affect my business?

There is no doubt that the slowing of the property market has a major impact on real estate business. One of the biggest things, is that during a boom, there’s a number of new businesses that start out with the hopes of taking a slice of the market. When the market slows, that means more businesses fighting for clients – making competition tougher than ever before!

As a real estate agent, you are going to need to work harder than you have been working for years, to get new leads and retain clients. When there is a smothered market of any kind, competition between vendors gets fierce and the winners will always be the strongest, survival of the fittest. When it comes to real estate, it will all come down to how you deal with your current clients and how you intend to attract new ones.

Feeling the burn

Australia’s housing boom has been a bit of a pain for the government in the last few years, and while investors have been seeing huge benefits, most other people are beginning to feel the burn.

In 2017, house prices slowed right down, capital city rent prices became virtually unaffordable for the average income, and interest rates remained unchanged. There are predictions that there will be many interest rate hikes in the next two years, which could change many things.

Even though the Reserve Bank of Australia probably won’t change any rates soon, it certainly doesn’t mean your home loan interest rate is stable. A large portion of the money we lend from banks (which they need to also borrow from overseas companies) comes from the USA, where interest rates are currently on a sharp rise. What this means is that it will have a large effect on any money sourced from overseas companies, including your potential client’s home loans.

How you handle your business in 2018 will make the biggest difference in the next 5 years. However, even if you come out in front in your local area now, there will still be another pack of hungry agents nipping at your heals, so change the way you think about business, and find new ways to communicate to get leads.

FACEBOOK: A guide for real estate business owners starting out

If you’re just starting out in the online world as a real estate agent, it might seem a little daunting. The good news is that it isn’t as scary as it seems.

Once you learn the basic fundamentals of social media, it can become a magical tool that will not only help you to promote your business to the right audience, but also a place where you can share your best properties, sales and leases, and general tips you might have picked up along the way.

Facebook has almost 2 billion active users per month around the globe, and there are currently more than 50 million business pages on the platform. This number increases daily as more and more businesses (including real estate agents) recognise the value.

If you’re one of those businesses and want to start your own Facebook profile, here is our guide to getting your page up and running:

STEP ONE: Create your page.

There are two ways you can create a business page on Facebook. First is to log into your personal account. On the left hand column at the bottom you’ll see a tab that says CREATE, then underneath is a link to PAGE. Click on that then follow the instructions. Second option is to start completely fresh, and create a brand new profile for your business. This is a bit more tedious and can be harder to manage; so we recommend the first option.

STEP TWO: The basics

Decide on your page name and write a short introduction to your business. Page name is usually just your business name.

STEP THREE: Design

Choose a great profile photo and cover image. You want something that represents the business, whether this is your logo, an image of your office or perhaps a property you’re currently marketing (or a mixture of all of these). Fill out all the About Us details on your page, including your website, phone number, address, and so on. Use as much detail as you can.

STEP FOUR: Get people contacting you

One of the great things about Facebook now is that they provide a CALL TO ACTION button that you can include on your page. This goes at the top of your page and can direct people to your website, newsletter signup, or to directly phone you. It makes it easier for people searching your page to contact you.

STEP FIVE: Start posting

You might like to create some photo albums of properties you have for sale or lease; write some short tips for people; introduce yourself and your business; share your website blog posts or information about your services. The key is to get creative. You want to grab people’s attention, so use creative descriptions, great imagery and ensure you include your website or phone number in any call to actions.

STEP SIX: Share

Now that you have your page set up and your content ready, share it. Send it to your personal page and ask your family and friends to LIKE your profile, and to share the page and posts as well. Share the page link on your company website, your newsletters and your emails. This will help you get more likes. And when you’re ready, you might like to consider boosting a post (paid advertising) to reach your preferred audience.

Once you have done all of this, you’re on your way to Facebook success.

 

If you need any help setting up your page or with ongoing maintenance services (updating information, images and creating regular posts), let us know!

How To Create a Permanent Commission Flow and Recession Proof your Business.

Are you always struggling to have a steady flow of commissions coming in? Some months are great and other months you’re on rice and water, I’ve been there and so have most agents. How would you like to never have that problem again and have people coming to you to sell their properties?

Well, this is a case of working smarter and not harder!

Become an investment expert.

If you work in an agency with a rent roll you’re off to a flying start, I didn’t have one and it still worked, let me tell you how.

Call every Landlord and ask them if they would like to become a part of your “VIP list”. As a member, you will receive;

  • Bargain properties, that must sell
  • Properties with great returns
  • Properties in unique location
  • Properties in locations that have shown tremendous capital growth

Make sure members know that these properties will be sold quickly and that they will need to contact you directly as you will not have time to call them personally.

When I did this I didn’t have a rent roll to start with so I would ask every buyer (home buyers and investors) whether I sold them a property or not, if they would like to a part of the “VIP list.

The key to this is that you are sending these properties out as they become available with your agency or another agency (with that agencies approval), so you really need to keep an eye on the market and do not be concerned if you don’t get paid on every sale because some agents won’t pay commission on a great property as they know they can sell it themselves. What you will start to build is a very strong investor database that will trust you and will refer others providing you a pool of clients that will buy all year round, through good and bad markets.

Developers will be knocking your doors down to sell their stock and providing it stacks up as a great buy you will be able to move their properties. Brand new properties can be extremely attractive to investors because of all the depreciation deductions.

Whenever you are sending out a property make sure you create a spreadsheet that shows what the income is, expenses, depreciation schedule (this can be done by an accountant or sourced by doing some research) and importantly showing what they would need to have as either a deposit or in equity to buy. You should create a spreadsheet for 3 income brackets ($50,000, $75,000, $100,000) to show recipients that are employed if they used a PAYG withholding application form which basically means that instead of receiving a lump sum tax refund at the end of the year they can have that amount refunded over the 12 months in their pay packet by having less tax deducted, resulting in very little out of pocket expense to buy the property.

You must have the appropriate disclaimer stating that these are only example outgoing figures and that they should check with their accountant as everyone’s circumstances vary. Please make sure you’re up with the current tax laws with property investment by discussing this with an accountant.

Finally, it’s always good to put in additional content of any new laws that may affect investors and market stats from your area into your newsletter.

Most people will want to get onto this list and I found that they were, in many cases, forwarding these emails straight on to investors they know..

By following these steps you will create a permanent commission flow and have a recession proof business.