How to Plan the Perfect Open House

Have you ever spent time and energy planning an Open House, just to have less than five people attend? Have you ever had a ton of people show up at your Open House, and been unable to convert a single one of them into a sale or a future client? Are you unsure about why your Open House failed?

Open Houses are now more important to the real estate agent than ever. A report in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Sellers indicated that 48% of home buyers cited the Open House as an important source for most of their information. The reasons for this are obvious, for many it’s the first time that they’re getting to smell, see, and feel the home in person. It’s also a way to see what other people think of the house, which is a powerful push in a person’s perception of a particular home.

I’m Cindy Bishop of Cindy Bishop Worldwide. I pride myself not only on being a successful real estate agent with over 28 years of experience, but a knowledgeable and helpful trainer and coach. I’m committed to making everyone who comes into contact with me succeed, and have compiled the following open house tips for you, both from my own experience, as well as teaching and coaching friends of mine. Use them to succeed, and contact me if you have any questions at all!

Here are the best ways to make your Open House perfect:

1. Pick a unique property, that’s easy to find.

We often don’t have control over which property we’re showing, but when we are able to select a house at which to host an Open House event, we should look for properties with the following:

* A direct route to them with very few turns. Street names are easy, and street signs are visible.

* Properties that are well kept, and visually pleasing from both the inside and outside.

* A home with some kind of „conversation starter“. It has a unique feature, and is not just four walls. It might have an infinity pool, a walk-in closet, or a newly redesigned kitchen.

* Your signage should be larger than life. On the event day, you need something to make the signs stand out even more. Balloons are often used, or you could even try streamers, or pinwheels. Be creative, just try to find something professional, but that catches the light and people’s attention.

2. Have your Open House event at the right time.

* Don’t have your event after dark. Plan your event to end at sunset.

* Consider having a separate open house preview, for neighbors only. And then an open-to-the-public type of event later. Neighbors love this preview event concept, because it makes them feel special, and they love suggesting who should live in their neighborhood. It also allows them to start thinking of friends and family they want nearby, and they become part of your sales force for you, as well as your advertising force for the actual open house.

* If you do have an event only for neighbors, consider taking out a camera and interviewing and recording them talking about the neighborhood. This is something you can add to your website, or social media, or have on repeat loop during your Open House. For example, imagine how powerful it is to have a recorded testimonial from a mother in the area about the school district?

* Don’t pick a date and time where people are not available, for example, the majority of people work Monday through Fridays from 8am-5pm, and may not be free on a Wednesday at 3pm. Additionally, people are usually not free on holiday weekends.

3. Make your Open House event the right vibe, and the more exciting, the better!

* Entertaining music is a possibility, but be careful that it’s not distracting and that you avoid certain genres or language that may be offensive. Music may be seen as a way to cover up noises or mechanical failures in the house. Make sure that you’re sensitive to how the music is being perceived.

* Snacks are a must! Try wine and cheese, or beer and wings. The most important part about the food is that it needs to match what type of neighborhood you are in. Fried chicken and hamburgers probably aren’t appropriate at a million-dollar listing, but champagne and caviar probably aren’t appropriate in a first-time homebuyer situation, either. Just a word of caution; however, if you are serving alcohol, be very careful about who you serve. You may even want to get someone on your team to help you out with this. The last thing you need is for someone to drink at your open house as a minor, or someone to drive off over intoxicated and get into an accident. If in the right kind of setting, having comfort foods is especially welcoming and makes many visitors feel more at home. Careful to avoid foods with bad odors or smells, as you don’t want them attributed to the home.

* Consider leaving a hand-written sign to „Help Yourself“ along with a list of ingredients, so that visitors feel like they are able to eat the snacks provided without fear.

* Consider having a slideshow or interactive photo board featuring the home at various times of year. You may want to show the home off in summer months, for example, if it’s currently January and the garden and pool are frozen over.

* Consider making a table, desk, or station with local school information, neighborhood information, etc. The more resources you can provide, the better. You want the guest to stop at this station and pour over the resources, and ask as many questions as possible.

* Make sure to engage each and every visitor so they have are interested, and want to stay longer.

4. Don’t just advertise your Open House, create buzz around it.

* Create an event on social media, and share it with all of your friends and clients, as well as everyone on your e-mail lists. Facebook ads have become an amazing resource for reaching a ton of people in your area that wouldn’t have been in your networks otherwise. And it’s incredibly cost-effective, for what it does. You should filter the Facebook ad to include only people in targeted zip codes. You can also un-invite or exclude people who work for other realtors or competing brokerages.

* Flyer surrounding businesses and schools in the area of the listing. Knock on as many doors as possible.

* Visit neighbors‘ homes with nice newsletters or invitations. The nicer the invitation, the higher the chance that they will pop in to see what all of the fuss is about. Some agents even suggest using wedding style invitations.

* Don’t just advertise on one channel. You can try Facebook events, Twitter, your own website, your e-mail list, your newsletter, NextDoor.com, and even Craigslist. Just make sure you follow all of the appropriate advertising and marketing laws as designated by your brokerage and state laws.

5. Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

* Make sure everything is in order so that you look your best, and the house looks it’s best. it should be clean, light bulbs should be new, dust should be gone, air fresheners should be working, the climate should be controlled. I’ve even heard of certain agents baking cookies in advance of the big event so that the house feels and smells extra homey.

* Consider removing clutter, which makes navigating the home difficult. You can also remove or hide offensive art, or anything that might make someone feel uncomfortable. But be careful- make sure the homeowner doesn’t just throw the clutter into closets or cabinets! People care more and more about storage these days, and if it looks like the cabinets and closets are busting at the seams with junk, they’ll automatically assume that the amount of storage space in the house is not sufficient

* Use natural light to your advantage. Make sure all window treatments are open and all curtains are drawn. All light switches should be turned on, regardless of where they are. You don’t want someone afraid to go in the basement, or thinking they aren’t allowed to enter the garage.

* Make sure the home owner is not present. The last thing you need is them having an emotional breakdown because they are going down memory lane, or answering a question incorrectly. People also feel uncomfortable freeing roaming when the person who owns the property is looking over their shoulder.

* With that said, valuables, if left in the home, should be secured. At the very least, you should know what they are and where, and make an inventory of them. I strongly advise you insist that the home owner take them out of the property before the open house, so you’re not held liable for them in case of damage or theft.

* Use your team. If you are alone at an Open House, you may be spread too thin. If you leave for a minute to check that a sign on the corner hasn’t fallen down, you may miss someone who pops in to find no one there. Have one person for signage and the guest book, one person on food and drink detail, and that leaves you free to talk to and engage guests.

* Have a loan agent or lender on hand, in order to answer any potential questions the home buyer may have about the process.

* Make sure you have the necessary paperwork required. You can print out a copy of the MLS but it’s strongly suggested that you make a booklet, flyer, or something more personalized to the property, and to yourself.

* Make sure you know the neighborhood, and have done comparisons of values in the neighborhood. You may lose credibility if someone asks you a question and you’re unfamiliar with this territory, and I’m sure you’d rather look like a pro!

6. Use the Personal Touch

* It’s not enough to have each visitor sign in. You should take detailed notes on your conversation with each person. If you can’t remember this, a helpful suggestion is to hide a notebook or tablet inside a kitchen drawer, and make notes as the day goes by.

* You should remember one thing about each visitor and bring it up at some point during their tour of the home. „Jerry, wouldn’t this be an amazing place to store your golf clubs?“

* Don’t try to sell anyone. They will come to you, and request the information they need, when they need it. This is a time to establish relationships. Your only objective should be to make this home (and yourself) memorable.

7. Follow Up

* Add all visitors to your e-mail list, as well as your newsletter list. AM Open House is a great app and resource to make sure you’re keeping on task with this.

* For those visitors who were seriously interested in the home or in you, handwritten cards should be sent out thanking them for coming, and encouraging their business in the future. Take out that handy notebook you stashed, and make personal notes in each card. They’re more likely to keep it the more personal it is. Above all, make sure your contact information is on each card.

* Some agents even send videos. You could forward on a Facebook live video of the open house, or send a YouTube video of the listing. You could even send some kind of greeting card video for a special way to say „thanks for attending!“ BombBomb is a great resource for this type of video.

* Text message is a wonderful way to contact people, and has a 95% open rate. It’s less invasive than a phone call, which people may avoid answering if they don’t know a specific caller. Send a very specific text message with a thank you, the property address, and more information on the property, or a link for more information.

* Send a follow up to the follow up starting with the subject header „I forgot to tell you… “ – You can then point out a feature you neglected to tell them about on the current property, or even point out other properties that you may have listed, if this one fell short for them.

Of course, the best resource for an Open House is a coach, who can suggest strategies unique to your community and clientele. Not only is this more effective, but a coach should follow up with you to make sure that everything went smoothly, and question each step if it doesn’t.

Cindy Bishop is the Managing Director of Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a real estate education company specializing in Business Enhancement and Growth training for the Real Estate Community. Cindy is an active coach specializing in real estate agent business development.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

If Real Estate Licenses Came With Marketing Degrees

Most real estate agents are not marketing experts. They did not get into real estate on their way to a lucrative marketing career. In fact many agents don’t know anything about marketing and so they just do things as they have always been done. And the way it has always been done in real estate is with image advertising. This is not news. It is an obvious fact that can be found by simply looking around your own neighborhood and in your own mailbox.

One of the major aspects of image advertising employed by real estate agents is the large color photo of themselves. When I see these kinds of ads and signs, with the agent’s picture being the most prominent thing in them, I wonder why I should care what they look like. I know this will sound harsh to many of you that are currently using this kind of advertising, but I am not sure how my real estate agent being photogenic will help them sell my home. I consider myself to be an average consumer. And as such, for me to pick up the phone and call the phone number off of any advertising, I need to see the benefit to me. I don’t see any benefit to me in these ads.

So if image advertising is not the way to go, what is? Direct response advertising. With a direct response ad you give people a reason to pick up the phone and call you. You can compel people to dial into a call capture hotline with any number of benefits to them. The key is that you offer them something of value such as a coupon, a free report, or a free home evaluation. People are much more likely to call an agent that is offering them a free report on „10 Tips To Selling Your Home Fast“ than they are an agent that is only offering them a nice smile.

The other important thing that you can do in a direct response ad is set yourself apart from the competition. This kind of marketing is perfect for yellow pages ads. If you look at the ads that are usually running in the phone book, they all look the same. What is going to compel someone to choose you over all the other agents in there? If you use the standard image advertising approach, there is nothing there to get the consumer to pick up the phone and call you. However, if you have a direct response ad that immediately grabs their attention and tells the consumer what you are going to offer them (a FREE report for example) and how to get it (by calling your 24/7 toll free call capture hotline) you set yourself apart from all the other agents in the book.

Direct response advertising also has one more major advantage over image advertising. You can’t track image advertising. Image advertising has its place and that is in businesses that have the time and resources that are necessary to have people recognize their name or logo on sight. Real estate agents usually do not fall into that category. They are working with tighter budgets and shorter timelines. They need to know if the ads they are using are working now, what their return on investment is, and what ads need to be scrapped. This can all be accomplished with direct response advertising. Direct response advertising, when done correctly, has a call to action built in that when acted on, can be tracked using call capture technology. This allows real estate agents to really see what is working for them and what is not.

Most real estate agents are not marketing gurus. When they got their real estate license it did not come with a degree in marketing. So it is understandable that most agents just do things the way they have always been done when it comes to advertising. Unfortunately, that is image advertising. If you want to compel people to call you, stand out from your competition and be able to track your results from your advertising efforts, direct response marketing is the way to go.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Short Sales vs Foreclosure – What Are The Effects On Your Credit?

Homeowners looking to stop foreclosure are faced with a number of options, one of which is doing a short sale. Some people, depending on their situation, may allow a property to go into foreclosure instead of attempting a short sale. One reason is they don’t want to keep the home in the first place. By accepting a short sale, the lender can avoid a lengthy and costly foreclosure, and the owner is able to pay off the loan for less than what he owes. The primary consideration above all is the affect both can have on your credit score.

The Basics Of A Short Sale

The concept of a short sale is fairly simple. A short sale occurs when the sale proceeds of a house fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage. Many lenders will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale and forgive the rest of what is owed on the mortgage when the owner cannot make the mortgage payments. A few words of warning are in order. Not every lender will negotiate a short sale. If for example your payments are current, yet you foresee imminent cash flow problems arising that will affect your ability to make your monthly mortgage payment. Lenders have no interest in negotiation unless your payments are several months late. Another consideration is you may be held liable for taxes on the difference between the sale amount and the original loan amount. Short sales require nerves of steel.

The Credit Affects

Foreclosure

Without a doubt sellers will incur more damage on their credit report by going through foreclosure. Typically your credit score will take plunge between 200 to 300 points.

Short Sale

Short sales have a far less damaging affect on a seller’s credit report. Credit scores typically lose between 80 to 100 points. What happens to your credit down the road? It is takes around three years after a foreclosure before a lender will offer a sensible interest rate, whereas for a person who went through a short sale typically waits around 18 months to buy another home at a good interest rate.

Salvaging your credit should always be the primary concern when making the decision between a short sale and stopping foreclosure. The savings in interest payments alone should be convincing enough for most people, not to mention your buying power in the near and distant future.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Make Money Online by Creating and Selling Short Reports

How to Make Money Online With Short Reports

Writing short reports and selling them for a low price is one of the most powerful ways of making money online fast. In this post we will see how to write a short report and set it on autopilot so that it makes money 24×7.

What to Write About?

Look around you. What inspires you the most? What are your passions, how do you spend most of your time, is it reading? fishing? cooking?

Are you an expert in anything? Do people ask you for suggestions about something? There are literally thousands of ways to find inspiration, if you want to!

A great way to write a report that sells is by concentrating on something that focuses on relieving pain or solving a problem, that kind of stuff.

But before you get all excited and start creating a report, just make sure that the topic you are going to write about is in demand. One way to do that is by using a keyword tool. There is a free keyword tool out there which is more than enough for this purpose. The tool is Google Keyword Planner. Using this tool you can easily estimate the number of people searching for a particular topic and keyword each month. If you want more professional insight and want to find highly profitable keyword ideas go for paid tools like LongTailPro or Market Samurai. LongTailPro is a professional keyword tool which gives you keyword ideas and its profitability scores. You can also use this tool for getting blog post ideas, research a profitable niche for your next site and much more.

How to Write the Report

You can easily create a report using free tools like OpenOffice suite or a paid one like Microsoft Office. Create a document in word format and then export it in PDF format when saving the document. That’s it. Your report is ready. Don’t forget to add pictures and media where necessary in your report.

How Many Pages?

When you are just beginning try to keep it short. Anything between 20-30 pages should do. Remember it’s about the quality, not quantity.

How to Price Your Report

For a 25-30 page report you can price anything between $5-10, considering you are an amateur and nobody in the industry knows your name. Once you become popular you can even charge $100 for a short report provided it is a high voltage content.

How to Sell Your Short Report

You can opt for a cheap web hosting account and register a domain name. Once you are done with that you can hire a designer to create a sales page for you (which is going to cost you heavily) or buy Optimizepress ($97 for 3 domains).

Optimizepress gives you flexibility and you can create as many landing pages and squeeze pages as you want. It is easy to design. Another option is Leadpages which costs $37/month.

Once your landing page is ready subscribe for e-junkie which costs you only $5/month for one item. It is a digital product delivery system which delivers your report to the customer’s email once the payment has been processed. Remember, e-junkie doesn’t process payments. For accepting payments use the PayPal business account which can be easily connected to e-junkie and which is free to get started. This is only a one time setup. Set it up and it will earn you money on autopilot. PayPal does take a commission for each transaction carried out, but it is definitely worth it.

Once you start making enough money with your first report you can make several similar type of reports in different niches. By this way you have got a decent online business for you which earns on autopilot and supplies you with a continuous stream of passive income.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

6 Tips for Home Buying Right Now

1. Get pre-approved for a loan.

Most sellers require a pre-approval letter along with your written offer. You should have it ready to go so that when you find the right home there is no delay getting your offer submitted. There’s a lot of confusion about pre-approved vs. pre-qualified… even Realtors sometimes use the terms interchangeably! But the pre-approval is the real deal. With a pre-approval, the lender has run your credit, and you will usually have filled out a loan application and provided documentation to the lender, who will then tell you the amount for which you are approved. With the pre-qualification, you will typically have provided some information verbally to the lender about your credit, income and assets, and the lender will give you a ballpark amount for which you are likely to be approved. Sometimes a pre-qualification letter will be sufficient; the main thing is to talk to a lender before you start looking at homes.

2. Decide if short sales and bank-owned properties are for you.

Don’t waste your time looking at properties that don’t meet your home-buying needs. Each of these types of sales has its own challenges for the home buyer, so it is important to know the basics of each and decide if either one fits in with your game plan. For example, if you need to get into a new home within a fairly short time frame, a short sale may not work for you, as they frequently take many months to complete. And bank-owned properties are often in need of work, which can add to the overall cost, or make it difficult to get certain types of loans. If you can be patient with a short sale, or have the ability and/or resources to fix up a bank-owned home, these could be excellent avenues to explore. If not, tell your Realtor® to skip the short sales and bank-owned houses.

3. Check out neighborhoods ahead of time.

One of the best things you can do at the start of your home-buying project is to take a weekend or two and cruise around various areas and subdivisions, especially if you are new to the area. Tell your Realtor which neighborhoods hold the greatest appeal for you – it will really help her understand the type of home you want and your taste in houses. Some buyers are looking for newer homes in areas with lots of families and kids; others prefer the quieter, „mature“ neighborhoods. Fortunately, there’s something out there for everyone, and a real estate agent who has plenty of local area expertise and knowledge will be a huge help in finding those neighborhoods that are hidden gems.

4. Make time for house-hunting.

Don’t plan to only go to showings on the weekend – in this market that’s not a winning strategy. There is actually a shortage of well-priced homes in good condition, and the ones that are also in a desirable location sell almost immediately. If you’re serious about finding your dream home, clear the decks and be ready to jump when your Realtor tells you a new listing just hit the market that fits your requirements. And more importantly – be ready to make an offer if it is the right house. It could easily be gone in a day or two.

5. Don’t waste time on houses that are already sold!

Do you spend your spare time house-hunting on Zillow, Realtor.com or Trulia? Or driving around and calling about houses with signs out front? Then you’ve probably already learned that a huge number of those homes – which appear to be for sale – are not really available. They are very often „under contract“ which simply means that another buyer made an offer that was accepted by the seller. These often still show as available on the public real estate websites, but in most cases the sale will close in a few weeks. Work with a Realtor® who will set up a custom search for you so you can focus on just those homes that meet your criteria and are actually still available.

6. And of course, the most important thing is to find a really professional and client-oriented Realtor!

A great agent will make your home buying experience smoother and more enjoyable. Get referrals from friends or family who’ve recently had a good home-buying experience, or call or email a few local agents. See which ones are responsive and return your call or email right away, and get a feel for how professional and knowledgeable they are about the local area and current market conditions. Also check out their commitment to their clients in terms of training above and beyond that needed to get a real estate license. Realtors® who work diligently on behalf of their clients have often invested in advanced training and designations such as:

  • GRI – Graduate Realtor Institute, only 19% of Realtors®
  • ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative, only 15% of Realtors®
  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist, only 10% of Realtors®

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We hope these tips are helpful, and wish you success in your house-hunting!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Finances Are Vitally Important

It is a true saying that you cannot get along without money. Finances are vitally important in the lives of everyone living upon the earth. There may be some places where money is not the medium of exchange, but some type of trade must be used to obtain the necessities of life.

People who do not work and earn money or who are not gifted with money must find a way to obtain funds. Most often, people work for the money they get. They are traded dollars for time and expertise. They receive pay for doing a job or some kind of service.

People sometimes beg, borrow, or steal to get what they need or the money necessary to buy the things they feel they require. Beggars on the street are not exempt from the need for money. It is something everyone needs to some degree.

Just as no one will get out of this life without trials, financial hardship may come to most people at some time in their lives. The challenge to secure funds which are not readily available can cause much stress and difficulty. Sometimes it is through no fault of their own that people suffer the consequences of not having enough money.

That is what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II when around 120,000 persons of Japanese heritage in the United States were forcibly removed from their homes on the West Coast. They were placed in what have come to be known as American concentration camps. The hastily constructed barracks and other buildings in these camps were placed in desolate and remote areas of the country. People were taken there and incarcerated, most for the duration of the war.

As soon as the bombing of Pearl Harbor happened by the Imperial Navy of Japan, Americans and immigrants of Japanese descent were immediately looked upon as the enemy. Most of those living in the United States were American citizens. Their lives were immediately thrown into chaos as their bank accounts were frozen and their livelihood was threatened. They faced extreme financial hardship as most of them lost nearly everything they possessed. Their material goods were stripped away, and financial ruin loomed as the likely consequence as they lost their jobs. Life was dark and uncertain.

After spending over three years in the unjust confinement of the camps, these people were released at the war’s end. They tried to resume their lives and tried to earn money again. Financial problems were many and extreme. Yet most persevered and eventually came out ahead.

How did they do it? They became successful because they worked hard. Although they still faced racism and discrimination after the war had ended, they did not give up. They faced many adverse financial situations and problems, but they forged ahead with determination. Future generations benefitted from their determination and hard work.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Berlin, Germany

Inglourious Basterds, The Berlin International Film Festival, more than 30000 palaces and castles, hundreds of wineries and the Bundesliga are not the only things which define the majestic country of Germany. It is also home to an extremely rich and varied history, unique works of architecture, priceless art works, a great culture, crazy music and even wilder parties. Apart from the innumerable sights and things to do, Germany is also blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes of the world. From spending a day amidst nature and exploring countless castles and palaces to sunbathing on nude beaches, Germany has something unique for each of its travellers. A few of the top sights of Germany are the Old City of Heidelberg, the Neuschwanstein Castle, the Cologne Cathedral, Romantic Rhine, Lindau and of course the world-famous Oktoberfest.

The Old City of Heidelberg

Heidelberg was one of the very few cities of Germany which was spared from bombings during the World War II. As a result, it retained much of its old world charm and still exudes an aura of romance and adventure which prevailed during the medieval era.

The Neuchwanstein Castle

The Neuchwanstein Castle is located on the top of a rugged hill near the town of Fusen. Popularly known as the best fairytale castle of the world, it has been an inspiration to numerous theme parks and fairy tales such as the Disneyland and the Sleeping Beauty castles. It is also one of the most photographed buildings of Germany and invariable features on most tourist itineraries.

The Cologne Cathedral

The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most important pieces of German history and is also the third tallest cathedral of the world. The construction of this cathedral took more than 600 years and the construction process was passed from generation to generation. The most astonishing fact is that when the cathedral was finally finished in the year 1880, it was still true to its original plans which were developed way back in the year 1248. Further, the cathedral also has the proud distinction of being the only standing building of Cologne after it was leveled by bombings in the World War II. As a result, numerous theories such as divine intervention came about. However, it was actually an orientation point for the pilots which resulted in it being saved from bombings.

Romantic Rhine

Popular as the most famous section of Rhine, Romantic Rhine has been enticing countless tourists since eternity. The area runs from Koblenz to Bingen and is characterized by the Rhine river carving its way through hundreds of castles and ruins and vineyard covered hills. Another factor which has contributed greatly to the appeal of the area are the countless historical towns and villages in the area which dot the Rhine River.

Lindau

The city of Lindau has great historical importance and is located on the converging point of the Swiss, German and Austrian borders towards the east of Lake Constance. The city has about 3000 inhabitants and is full of historical buildings and medieval palaces which are extremely popular amongst the tourists.

Oktoberfests

The Oktoberfest is the largest festival in Germany which is extremely popular all over the world and draws about 6 million tourists annually. The festival is known to have immense importance in the Bavarian culture and began way back in the year 1810. Its appeal and popularity has kept growing ever since and the carnival is famous for unlimited amounts of beer and traditional practices such as Knodel, Hendl and Wurstl.

The Brandenburg Gate

Very few monuments have received more international fame than The Brandenburg Gate. Built in between 1789 – 1791, the Gate represents the past and the present eras of Germany in exemplary fashion. The main attraction of the Gate is its unique architecture which includes 6 Doric Columns that forms 5 passageways with pedestrian access only. In the year 1794, a depiction of Goddess Victoria, the Goddess of Victory, riding a four-horse chariot was also added.

Berlin’s Museum Island

The Berlin Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is located right in the heart of the city of Berlin. This magnificent museum is extremely popular amongst the tourists as well as the locals due to its humongous collection of priceless treasures and artefacts. Also known to be one of the most important museums of the world, The Museum Island takes its visitors on a journey through time which begins with the cradle of civilization on the streets of Mesopotamia, passes through the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and the Islamic eras and ends with the era of 19th Century Romanticism and the Modern Ages.

The Romantic Road

The Romantic Road starts from Wurzburg and goes on till Fusen. It is one of the most visited routes of Germany which has been made popular due to the small winding towns and villages which line up along the route, exquisite wines of Wurzburg, the Neuschwanstein Castle, immense scenic beauty and the magnificent lakes of Fusen.

The Rugen Cliffs

Made famous in the works of Caspar Freidrich, the Rugen Cliffs are one of Germany’s most famous and popular attractions amongst tourists from all over the world. Located in the Jasmund National Park in the northeastern part of the Rugen Island, these have been subject to constant erosion. Towering high above the Baltic Sea is the Konigsstuhl, which is also popular as the most majestic part of the Rugen Cliffs. These chalk white cliffs are very popular for their mesmerizing sights, great aura and an incredible atmosphere of romance.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Tips On Picking "Sleeper" Real Estate Property

Real estate investing is all about perception. Your perception of where the market is going, in conjunction with where it’s actually going. The aim, as always is to buy low and sell high.

You want to buy a cheap tract of dirt and sell it as a high priced piece of developed real estate, after it’s appreciated enough to turn a tidy profit. Selling the property is an art in and of itself.

Buying an initial tract of dirt lends itself to some solid, rational guidelines:

First, look at trend lines for housing prices in your area. While most housing markets are in decline (and the housing markets in Florida and California are adjusting from more than a decade of over-valuation), there are markets where the housing prices are going up. This is a decent leading indicator that there’s a market for expansion.

Second, look for job related news. Home purchases require a steady source of income. New employers moving into a city, or a government branch office opening up are a strong indicator that good, well paying jobs are likely to come up. Where well paying jobs roost, home purchases follow.

Related to this, talk to your local city planning office. Are there recent purchases of „right of ways“ to lay down sewer lines? Is the local telephone cable making plans to run out fiber optic lines – a „must have“ trend in new home construction. These things point to areas where home growth is immanent. Other big tip offs are school bond issues (found in your local news paper) and new parks being opened up.

Before you look at the land, check out the adjacent commercial real estate usage. Look for „family friendly“ or „residential friendly“ commercial properties: Houses that are close to grocery and clothes shopping tend to fetch a higher price than ones that are farther away. If there’s a movie theater nearby, or plans for an elementary or middle school, factor that into the size of the homes you build, and what their amenities will be; buyers looking for those features are looking for „mover upper“ homes – with a bit more floor space, and two (or three) bedrooms for the kids. Other spots to look for are anchor stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. These companies spend millions on surveys of purchasing patterns before buying a store location; if they’re buying a plot of land, you’ve got about a year to a year and a half window to look into nearby real estate for single family residential and rental residential properties.

You can even flip this on its side – if you can talk to a group of commercial real estate investors, building a shopping center as the nucleus for home development is also a viable combined strategy. This also applies to highly urban areas. Many downtown areas that have been abandoned by businesses can be converted to apartment buildings, and some of the older housing projects are being torn down for mixed-use spaces with combined commercial and residential areas. In particular, you can often get block grants to help with the financing on projects like this, and there are programs from HUD that can help out a great deal with „urban renovations“.

Another source to investigate is the demographics in your area. Look at the US Census figures (and local county figures) for median age, and median birth rate per capita. You want to invest in areas where the population is growing already. High skews in the ’40s and ’50s indicate that you’ve got a bunch of people who are going to retire soon, and retirees are highly prone to selling properties off. Places to watch carefully are most of the urban parts of California, and great swaths of the rural Midwest, where demographic trends have been changing entire towns since the 1950s as the country’s population has shifted to urban areas.

If there’s a local planning council, or urban development council, make it a point to get the minutes of all the meetings from the past year. The city council offices will have them on file as a matter of public record. Also try to get into the next range of meetings as an observer. Discuss with the city and county managers where they see housing and construction trends moving. What you’re looking for is real estate that will be desirable in two to three years; look at road planning atlases, and look for all the data you can find. Also look for real estate that will be scenic – lake front property is as close to a guaranteed bet as you can get in real estate investing, particularly if there’s a lake that’s at the „far end“ of a development axis. Likewise, if there’s land that the city council is looking to acquire for parks, buying the adjacent lots now means you’ll be able to sell them later.

Lastly, talk to the professionals in your communities. Talk to architects who can tell you if they’re busy or not. Maintain professional contacts with engineers, bankers and attorneys. They will usually know about projects well before the general public. Also make a habit of reading the local newspaper’s business section. Often times, the first clue that a business may move in to your area is buried at the bottom of a column on page 8.

Using the guidelines suggested above will help you to find „sleeper“ raw land properties. These „sleeper“ properties are perfect for the buy low, sell high strategy used by successful commercial real estate investors.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Boarding Stable Barn Etiquette

Each barn has its own personality, its very own unique feel. Some are friendlier than others. Some are fancy, while others are more down home. Some house very serious competitors, and there are those who just want to have fun. But across the board, the basics of barn behavior, barn etiquette if you will, is universal. When riding in an arena going the same direction as another horse, let the person ahead of you know if you are going to pass to the inside or the outside, say „inside“ or „outside“ and stick to it. Don’t change your mind at the last second. The horse and rider in front of you needs to rely on you to make the right choice. It’s hard to ride when you’re looking over your shoulder.

When a horse is approaching you from the opposite direction, it’s just like driving a car. That horse should most always be on your left. Changing directions and reversing should be announced also. You don’t have to shout, just simply state the fact. Most often the other riders will oblige. Let them know if you are going to school over jumps. There is nothing more annoying, not to mention potentially dangerous, than having a horse and rider start taking jumps without advance warning. When entering and leaving the arena, say „Door“ to let others know you are entering and leaving; approach crossties with regard to the horse and rider. Horses can spook for seemingly no reason at all, don’t give them excuses.

Clean up after your horse in the grooming area and crossties. Until that bridle is on, there is no reason to not do it right then and there. If your horse is completely tacked, it’s a given you’re not going to unbridle him and put him back in a halter so you can clean up. Nor do you want to hook crossties to his bridle. Clean it up when you finish riding. Chances are if it is a busy barn, someone will go ahead and clean it up for you before grooming and tacking their horse. Thank them and remember to return the favor. A boarding stable with horse owners that look out for one another is the best barn to be in.

Thus said, this does not apply to giving treats to another person’s horse. Do not, I repeat, do not assume it is okay to pass out carrots, apples, sugar cubes, low-cal treats, or anything of the like. It is not your right. Let me say that again. It is not your right. It is wrong. If you have asked the owner’s permission and it has been granted, that’s a different thing. Aside from that, even if the horse is the best beggar in the world and does handstands and summersaults for carrots, please, please, please, walk on by. That horse could be on a special diet, he could have just been wormed, treated with medication. He could be allergic. You don’t know. His owner knows, and rightfully so. It’s not your horse.

In certain barns, it’s alright to give your horse extra hay. Not anyone else’s, just yours. The best thing to do if you are finding that your horse doesn’t have hay and you hate leaving him or her that way is to talk to the barn manager or owner. Ask them what time horses are hayed and how often, when is night check, when is water topped off? As a rule, horses are not always going to have hay in their stalls, particularly the easy keepers. They eat quickly and take a dream-filled nap in preparation for the next feeding.

If you do give your horse hay, be quiet about it. The other horses are bound to get stirred up when they see you blatantly serving up hay to your horse and not them. It is not acceptable in any barn that I know of to hay your horse and then go hay everyone else’s because you feel bad, now that you have them all riled up. It goes back to not knowing each horse’s needs. Again, check with the owner or barn manager. This applies even more so with grain.

Do not borrow another person’s tack, blankets, and turnout sheets, fly masks; fly spray, etc. without asking. Do not borrow grooming supplies such as hoof picks and scissors without asking. Do not borrow grooming brushes and combs, period. It’s not good practice. Don’t leave your horse’s halter hooked to the crosstie. Before you leave for the day, snap your horse’s halter and lead shank together and hang it in the designated area by his or her stall. In case of emergency or fire, this step-saving measure could possibly save your horse’s life. Post your contact information on the front of your horse’s stall, including blacksmith and veterinarian’s phone number. If you water your horse, rewind the hose. If you pick out your horse’s stall, empty the muck basket and put the pitchfork away. Flush the toilet when you use it. Don’t let things spoil in the refrigerator. Don’t get into barn gossip, nothing good will come of it. Turn out the lights. Close the gates and doors. Be careful. Sound like home? It is your home; it’s your second home. It’s where your horse lives and chances are you spend a lot of time there. Enjoy!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a big step in your life and should be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, many individuals rush into buying a home with out considering the implications is has on their future. If you’re considering making the move to own it’s important you weigh all the options, and consider what if anything will affect the feasibility of you’re purchase. If this is you’re first time in the housing market consider the following before you make your big move.

  1. Get Your Finances in Order

    Have a lot of debt racked up? If thats the case, you may want to play catch up before you even think about buying a home. Bad credit is bad news for those who want a buy a new home. In most cases you will need to get a mortgage before you buy and this means your credit will be under scrutiny. Start getting acquainted with your credit score and begin fix the problems well before you apply for a mortgage.

  2. Think about the Future

    If you have a job or other obligation that may require you to move or travel for extended periods of time you want to think twice about rushing into the housing market. Buying a house is a commitment that will tie you down to a particular location for at least a few years. It’s not easy or economically feasible to pack up and sell your home at the drop of a hat.

  3. Educate Your Self

    As a first time home buyer one of the worst thing you can do is go into the market unprepared. Familiarizing your self with words and phrases that are used will allow you to better comprehend the market. A better understanding of the home buying process will enable you to make a well educated decision when it comes to you’re final purchase. Entering the market blindly can turn you’re home buying dreams into a nightmare.

  4. Be Rational

    We all want to live in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the housing market must be approached from the bottom up? Renting is the start of the home owners journey. With your dream home serving as the final destination you will most likely need to take a few stops on the way there. The logical step is to buy a house you can afford not one that lands you in economic turmoil. Consider your first home an investment that you can improve upon over time. Once the home is improved you can sell it and bring yourself one step closer to your dream home. Buying out of your league can be a huge problem so set a budget and find a home within your means.

  5. Ask For Help

    Don’t be determined to have a go at it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and sometimes it really helps to have someone walk you through it step by step. Agents are more than willing to help you look through home listing, find what your looking for, and ultimately take you from start to finish.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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