Posted on March 27, 2012
People invest in real estate for a variety of reasons. There are those who believe that real property is more stable than gold as an investment, in terms of price and security. They contend that as real property such as land is immovable, it cannot be stolen. Even if infrastructure and improvements on it such as a house depreciate over time, the land itself does not, but consistently appreciates, under normal conditions.
Gold-oriented investors, on the other hand, defend their precious metal to be more stable as its value consistently appreciates and accepted worldwide. Further, they are used as paper currency benchmarks and security for borrowing, secured as gold reserves in coins and/or bullions. That makes gold more acceptable as legal tender than land.
The debate could go on and on without resolution as either or both are good as investment, tipping the balance only slightly in favour of one or the other depending on the particular economic situation of an area or country. Banks, finance, the jewellery and the real estate industries are the institutions that are involved in trading and in similar transactions involving gold and land. But whether dealing in gold or land, a lot of speculation is involved in their investment and trading.
Centres of trading are where gold and land part ways.
Land, along with improvements and structures thereon, has a more local colour and is influenced by local business and industry dynamics, particularly under the real estate domain. It also greatly influences local economics in the same manner that international economics influence local business and economics. Investment patterns and preferences are dynamics that make land meet gold again in the local setting.
Gold as reserves, on the other hand, is secured in national central banks as a country's security for borrowing and foundation for its paper currency. As a precious metal, it is traded in commodity markets influencing local prices, used as a standard for trading and as benchmark by jewellers in pricing their products marked up for profits that varies from one to another depending on established name and prominence as a jewellery brand based on artistic aesthetics and craftsmanship.
The pieces of jewellery may be pawned at any time, often to jewellery shops themselves, at a certain percentage of its market value for cash, charging interest rates that accrue monthly. Failure to redeem pawned items within a period prescribed by law, forfeits claim on the items after due process of information and reminders between pawner and pawnshop.
Real estate property can be used as security for mortgage loan which is, for all intents and purposes, similar to pawning jewellery except that the former is through a bank under laws, policies and regulations applicable to real estate transactions.
Posted on March 16, 2012
There are two main types of property management service that you can hire; commission-based and fixed-price. This article will be teaching you some of the most important things that you need to know about fixed-price property management service, including the advantages that you can get from this service. If you are going to read this article, you will be able to determine which type of service will work best for you.
When we say fixed-price property maintenance service, it basically refers to a service that you can avail which will require you to pay a particular amount every month. This means that if you and the company have agreed to settle $1,000 every month, you will be sending the exact amount every month. It doesn't matter if you made $10,000 or $100 from your property. This could be advantageous for some, but there are also a lot of people who have had problems with this kind of service.
In most cases, fixed-price property management service agrees for years of service, and if you have failed to make more than what you are making from your property, then you'll be shouldering all the problems just to be able to settle the score with the company. However, if you were able to generate more than $10,000 from your property and are only obliged to pay $1,000 per month, you will be able to easily make $9,000 without doing anything.
Regardless of how you pay a property management service, you will be able to take advantage of a real passive income since you don't have to do anything to make money from your property. The company will be taking care of everything for you, and all you have to do is to collect the rent for the property every month. With the help of a property management service, you will be able to save a lot of time, and you will be able to focus all your efforts in building your own business.
The choice as to whether you will be hiring a commission-based or a fixed-price property management depends on you, the homeowner. If you want to be saved from the trouble of paying more than what you make, then you can go with a commission-based. But if you want to make more than what you are expecting, fixed-price property management is a better option for you. As you can see, it all depends on your preferences and the level of income that you want to generate.
Posted on March 6, 2012
As improvements in web technology and browser innovations advance web applications from online brochures to rich interactive programs, it is important to consider how their eventual takeover of traditional desktop applications can improve business methods. An efficient business spends more time increasing profit and less time handling customer support issues. In the property management profession, this is especially true. Issues such as a broken dishwasher, a misplaced key, or a dispute over property damage charges often deeply involve more than one party, it is more imperative than ever to have a cost-effective method of communication that simultaneously leverages your staff, and requires as little maintenance as possible.
Why A Web Application?
I came across an interesting problem when I began my property investment business a few years back. I had purchased a few fixer-uppers, restored them, and rented them out. For the most part, things were fine (minus a few issues that arose here and there). I kept a copy of all the finances with Quickbooks, organized each tenant's records into folders, dealt with property issues as they came along, and ran a report with an excel spreadsheet. In fact, things were going well enough that it prompted me to ask my aunt (a real estate agent and property manager) about starting my own property management business. It seemed simple enough; the volume of records would increase, and the accounting involved a few more zeroes, but that's why we have computers, isn't it?
To my surprise, she advised against it. Property management was a daunting task for her company, and she had a staff of 6 people working under her (they originally only engaged in real estate buying/selling; the occasional property management duties geared on the side to pick up more business). She handled about 30 properties for some clients and a few family members. I was skeptical at first, seeing as how they utilized the exact same tools as I, only they understandably had more of them: the latest version of Quickbooks, large filing cabinets, several powerful Dell computers networked on a company server (using a networked Excel spreadsheet to keep track of issues as they came along). Perhaps her company wasn't using the correct tools, I thought. I then contacted Darryl, an old client of mine who trains about 700 property management agencies and individuals (though the training is primarily concerning how to comply with California landlord laws). To my shock, he told me that his clients use Quickbooks, a large filing cabinet and a computer server with a networked Excel spreadsheet! At that moment, I concluded the answer lies in a web application.
I used to be a server administrator with experience in developing Content Management Systems for legal and medical firms. Surely, the same advantages would carry over to resolving property management issues?
Web applications are inherently networked. Everyone sees the same problem at the same time. When you have a central communication system delegating messages from one user to another, it resolves one of the biggest communication headaches any business has to deal with.
Web programming technology has also made possible rich internet applications whose functionality far exceeds the capabilities of a networked Excel spreadsheet. You can designate permissions to each user; you can implement custom data exchange; you can make data entered by one user interact with data from another user; and you can make that data react to each user differently. But perhaps the most overlooked advantage is that you drastically reduce the amount of time you spend on the phone with customers!
For example, let's say the tenant has a problem with the sink. You create a portal account for them, allowing them to report the problem directly from their computer or smart-phone, and that information gets logged into a central list of workorders to be completed. One of your staff views the problem, adds a note to it, and then contacts the contractor. The contractor arrives on-site, checks the workorder with his laptop/smart-phone, adds his own notes, all the while another staff member views the update, and adds their own notes. The contractor takes a few photos, creates an invoice, documents the issue, and the tenant can see the workorder's history immediately.
A communication system like this, coupled with a bill manager, an audit trail, a report generator, a dispute archive, a photo log, and a quick way to instantly back up everything into one convenient file sounds like just what my aunt and Darryl needed. Not only could they could access the control panel anywhere, they also didn't need to install any software since the application is entirely web-based. Any changes made to the application take effect immediately for every user accessing it. You can imagine how much time this would save for a property management firm with a staff of twenty-five, handling over 1000 properties.
Of course, one can never entirely take out the human element of the equation. A few phone calls here or there will no doubt be inevitable, but I believe that even in such cases, a network-based property management communication system would greatly expedite resolution with far greater efficiency than 10 file bins, 20 different copies of Quickbooks sitting on 20 different networked computers trying to fumble with an Excel spreadsheet.