Frequently Asked Questions Real Estate

Information is Power

We’ve all heard the term, “information is power.” But what does that mean in the Real Estate Industry? Let’s take a look at big time investors. What do they look at. Price of course. How do big time investors know if they are getting their best price? This applies to both the seller and buyer side. They check comparable properties in the general location. This is far more difficult for an industrial or retail property than for a single family home. They also look at local demographics. The key here is, “local.” It doesn’t matter what is on the other side of town with 32 competitors in between. The smaller the area is in the report, the more concentrated the information is. A new fast food store is concerned with local traffic. How many cars pass by in an hour and how many per day. What attractions are near by. You heard the term, “the most important thing in Real Estate is location.” Then why do people rely on websites to tell them a market price on a home they are going to buy or sell?

Website estimated values have major draw backs. They typically look at the zip code. Sure they have computer programs that give you an estimated price. The problem with computer programs is, garbage in – garbage out. What experience does the programmer have in Real Estate? What does the programmer know about your neighborhood? If major investors look at opportunities in a block by block spectrum, shouldn’t you take advise from successful people?

Websites have another problem. They want to increase site visits. The truth as it sits rarely attracts the flow of visitors those websites are looking for. So they add a little spice. They try to predict future market trends. A market crash attracts the most amount of attention. That is why you see websites predicting so many market crashes over the past three years when we have seen nothing but increased prices.

Those websites also predict high numbers of future foreclosures. The information is false, but it drives in repeat visitors. Those websites don’t have to be right. All they have to do is keep predicting news and information that brings in the maximum amount of visitors.

Websites sell ads based on number of visitors, clicks, time spent on the website, and a few other factors. Numbers are all those websites are concerned about. They could care less if you sell your home, or if you receive the right market price. On the other hand, a good, local Real Estate Agent only gets paid if the property is set at the right market price, receives an accepted offer, and closes. Real Estate Agents are paid after the closing. They have a lot riding on their local market analysis. They have to be right all the time. And they have the tools to look at a specific neighborhood for prices, time on the market, and actual sale prices.

Buying and selling a home is one of the few times when knowledge, the data you review has to be concentrated. It has to be local. It has to be up to date. And it has to be easy to understand. Get a report on the house you are selling, or looking at buying. No buyer or seller should make that final decision without a market report.

Off the Beaten Path

What is off the beaten path? In Real Estate that is finding a nitch or market that few other agents concentrate on. It is a combination of ideas, concepts, and for buyers, hopes and dreams. Off the beaten path includes some of the most exclusive and exciting Real Estate in Sheboygan and Fond du Lac counties. For me, off the beaten path is a dream come true. I get to drive the back highways many people look forward to exploring only on weekends, And I get paid to live a dream.

Off the beaten path is an experience in life most people only dream about. I get to meet people who made it in life. People who built and live in those dream houses you pass on the side of a country road. Homes with breath taking views you can only describe as priceless. I get to sit down with people, listen to their stories. Real life stories about how they made it in life. Stories about long hours of work, hopes, dreams, prayers, and how people came along at the right time to lend a helping hand. I meet people who know what it means to treat others with respect. Who built their empires on old fashion integrity, their word, and a hand shake. For the most part, people with little contact with the Internet world, and wouldn’t think of dealing with a Real Estate Agent stuck on their phone texting for leads. Business is face to face.

Off the beaten path is far more than the exclusive properties available on the market, or will one day will be added to the market. Off the beaten path is a way of conducting business that takes a great deal of time, but also saves a great deal of money. The old fashion face to face meeting seems to be a thing of the past. Listening to people, learning their stories, and the adventures they lived through seems to have gone down the drain. I think its a travesty to ignore those lessons, downfalls, and success stories people have. They are a part of life, the American fabric. If we spent more time listening to the wisdom self made men and women have, we’d see a lot fewer problems than we are experiencing today.

Off the beaten path for the most part is off the Internet highway. Sure we can use the latest technology as a tool. But it’s a mistake when we allow that tool to control our lives. The Internet offers a lot of information. The Internet offers a lot of free stuff. But the Internet is driven by everyday profit. And where does that money come from? I get into more details in other articles. In a nutshell, Internet advertising prices have gone wild. And one way or another, those price increases are passed onto you, all the customers and clients involved in the Real Estate industry.

Off the beaten path is a way of life and doing business that strives to put all those pressures behind. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you are in the wrong business. When you have the guts to step out of the corporate box, you find a whole new world where the air is cleaner, you hear the sounds of nature, and relaxing is nothing more than taking a moment to enjoy the scene around you. In the old days we called that, “attention to detail.”

Ez1 Realty is now Crossroads Real Estate LLC

After years of planning and a lot of lessons over the years, I decided to take the next and final step in my carrier in Real Estate. I started my own company calling it Crossroads Real Estate. Why Crossroads Real Estate? I prefer the country flavor of Real Estate. I prefer to specialize in the country setting. I like to look for estates with homes, land, and extra buildings. After long thought and consideration, I decided to leave the foreclosure industry behind. There is too much competition in the foreclosure market. For the most part, high numbers of foreclosures are in the past. That boat has sailed. Many of the investors who made a fortune in the foreclosure arena are shifting gears into the ugly house side of Real Estate. Searching far and wide for Sellers who need to, or want to sell quick and cheap.
One surprise during this transition was the cost of insurance, which has increased more than 400% over the past few years. Why? Mostly because of lawsuits in the foreclosure industry. Remodeling completed with less than industry standards is one reason. Another major reason for the price increase is the moldy flip scenario we have seen. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t both of those ethics violations? Maybe they have been able to skirt the law, but as Real Estate professionals, we should be guided by our code of ethics, and our own moral standards. Hence, the creation of Crossroads Real Estate. To maintain the quality of ethics I am comfortable with, I have no other choice but to step out on my own.

Crossroads Real Estate still has the same network of professionals and service you have come to expect with Ez1 Realty. I still work with the same Lenders, Inspectors, Title Companies, and other professionals to bring you the same quality service you expect. We are all independent contractors working together to ease the process of your home sale and purchase.

Being independent puts me in control of all the expenses involved. No more spending thousands on Internet campaigns, email campaigns no one reads, and other media with constantly rising costs. In hindsight, this is the perfect time to take control of the situation and do what few people have the guts to do, market yourself the old fashion way with outstanding service, fair prices, and word of mouth advertising. As an independent Broker, I don’t ask for referrals, I earn referrals. When you buy any product offering the highest quality and one store offers the lowest price, and best service, you tell people about it.

Controlling expenses allows me to offer a new innovative commission scale. A commission scale that begins below many of the industry commission scales. The variable rate commission looks at all the aspects of the property you are selling. Location, market conditions, improvements, type of property, your motivation, cooperation, marketing costs, and other factors. At Crossroads Real Estate, we will look at each new listing the way Real Estate should work. The property as well as the owner are unique. No more cookie cutter, one size fits all approach.

The same is true for buyers. Having my own business allows me to experiment and refine search techniques. Buyers have one model home in mind, but will in the right situation expand the search to add or remove features. All I need to do is design an interface to give Buyers the opportunity to search the way they want to search for a home. Not how some software designer thinks they should search. That may take some time, trail, and error. So be patient.

I don’t plan on revolutionizing the Real Estate world. Just this little corner of the world I do business in.