Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Education for Your Clients

One of the unique tools that LandAmerica has put together is a website where buyers and sellers can get many of their escrow and title related questions answered. The web address is http://www.knowyourclosing.com/. This website was created not to be a marketing tool, but to be a resource where people can get educated on the closing process, and what title insurance is and why it is a good thing. There is also a glossary of real estate terms as well as links to other websites that may be of interest to a buyer and seller. These include title company websites and title association websites. It is a very good resource for agents to use and for buyers and sellers to know about.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

2nd Quarter Commercial Real Estate Statistics

I am throwing a little plug in for Bob Tuler and his team over at Radius Group. The following is cut straight from an email they sent out entitled RADIUS GROUP SOUTH COAST 2007 Q2 REPORT for Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria. Thanks Guys!

The following is a summary of Vacancy Rates throughout the second quarter of 2007:
Santa Barbara

Office Vacancy has increased from 2.3% from to 2.6% in the second quarter of 2007.
Industrial Vacancy has increased from 0.2% to 0.4%.
Retail Vacancy has increased from 1.1% to 1.3%.


Office Vacancy has increased from 4.4% to 4.8% over the last 3 months.
Industrial Vacancy has remained constant at 6.0%.


Office Vacancy has decreased from 13.6% to 12.4% in the second quarter of 2007.
Industrial Vacancy has increased from 1.9% to 2.8%.

Please contact Bob Tuler, Paul Gamberdella, or Gene Deering for any commercial real estate related needs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Loan Activity For June

Loan Activity in the County has been pretty consistent this year. The residential refinance market in Santa Maria and Lompoc has been slowing declining since December of 2006. The South County trend is a little more up and down although the last 3 months has remained pretty consistent, declining slightly. Lompoc and Santa Maria's average loan amounts remain close with the average refinance amount for
June being in the $190,000's. The average loan amount on a purchase in those areas is in the mid $200,000's. The South County average loan amount on a purchase is $624,210 for June. Please click on any of the charts to view a larger version.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

$2.00 Additional Recording Fee

Yesterday the County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 with Brooks Firestone being absent to add an additional fee when recording certain documents. The additional money raised by these fees is going to pay for a new Real Estate Fraud division in the District Attorney's office. The new fee will begin being charged on August 1st and it will be charged whenever someone is recording a Deed of Trust, an Assignment of a Deed of Trust, a Reconveyance, a Request for Notice, and a Notice of Default. At a meeting I was at today a Grant Deed was mentioned as one of the documents that would incur that additional fee and I have found out it won't be. The estimate of money this should raise is about $91,000. This fee is on a county by county basis and not all counties are using their authority to implement it. I think our local government should have found another way to go about raising this additional money rather than burdening an entire industry with this fee. There are enough fees as it is when it comes to refinancing or transferring property and as of August 1st there will be one more.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

June Santa Barbara Property Sales Statistics

We received our CORT sales information today and have completed our Market Trend charts. The South County Market Trend is showing 156 sales in June compared to 165 that closed in June of 06. This is the first month in the last 4 that there weren't more sales in 07 than 06. I am of the opinion that the number of sales is trying to rebound in the South County. The North County appears to be trying to do the same although the statistics aren't supporting that case as significantly. The North
County Market Trend for June showed 147 sales closing where there were 158 the year before. If you look at the chart the gap appears to be getting closer between this years number of sales and last years number. The North County statistics includes Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Orcutt and Lompoc. We have not included the Santa Ynez Buellton area.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Project Outsourcing

I'm not sure if you have ever found yourself with a project to do and you don't really know where to start. I would contact my co workers and friends to see what kind of advice or talents they may have and that usually got me started. There are certainly other places to turn now that the Internet is interactive. There are many sites now where you can find out about the person who you are dealing with via feedback that others have left etc.... EBay is just one example. When looking to get a project done that you may not have the time or resources to do yourself there are online communities with experts ready to bid on your project and complete it. A couple that I have run across are Elance.com & Guru.com. These communities provide a network of providers to bid on projects, and they include a rating of bidders and listing of their earnings from previous projects. Projects like data entry, or telemarketing, ad design are just some of the basic projects that these communities allow you to get done. To my surprise these websites and their services have been around for years. There are people or companies on these sites that have made hundreds of thousands of dollars or more from the projects that they have bid on from these sites. Check it out!

Friday, July 6, 2007

So You Need Some Help!

If you have read some of my previous posts you may know I have been listening to many audio books. Two that have really made an impression are The World Is Flat and Wikinomics. I'm not quite done with Wikinomics yet, but it certainly is mirroring many of the topics in The World Is Flat. They talk mostly about the technology revolution and how it is changing the way we live and work. When the internet first started, it was basically an electronic magazine full of information and photos. It was a place where you could go and view things. Now it has turned in to a tool where you interact with it. My Space and Wikipedia would be examples. There are also communities built on helping people with business projects and or business in general. MSNBC recently did a video on virtual assistants. You can view it here msnbc video. Active Rain is a community of real estate related professionals that discuss and give their opinions on many topics. There is a ranking of the top Virtual Assistants check it out, Active Rain . Here are 10 Things to consider when hiring a virtual assistant. Here is a link to an analysis made regarding whether to hire a virtual assistant. I am of the opinion that Virtual Assistants have been around long enough that they have become a real force in helping agents do business. They can handle your calendar and scheduling, creation of CMA's, flyers, mailings, manage your contact databases, coordinate your transactions and more. Here are a couple of links to use to find a few. http://www.virtualcas.com/ http://www.revanetwork.com/ There are many advantages, like no payroll taxes or benefits to worry about. I think you can find someone that can truly be an asset to your business. Virtual assistants aren't for everyone though. You certainly have to give up some control. Check them out, maybe you just want someone to help you with your email marketing, they can do that.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Blog Ideas for Agents

I have been doing this now for about a month and am beginning to see the possibilities. Here are some of my thoughts on how a Real Estate Agent could use a blog. I would think it could be specific to your farm area. You could advertise your blog in your printed materials, and have a link from your website. I can see it being used to post information pertinent to your farm. You could provide services to your clients by posting garage sales, or notices about lost pets etc... I would also imagine it would be where you could post information about new listings or properties that have sold. You may even post information about new remodels, or changes at the local grade school or information about the local boys and girls scouts. Your blog could really be a place where the people in your farm area come for all kinds of useful information on a regular basis. And once they get involved commenting on some of your posts it can really be a place for them to interact and discuss some of your posts online. Posting is as simple as typing an email or sending a picture via email. I know it will take some consistent effort to make it a worthwhile resource for you and your customers, but does anything ever come easy anymore? Below are a few links to sites that might give you some other ideas as to what to include. http://www.mymcclellanville.net/