Real Estate Marketing Techniques That Work In 2020

As a real estate agent, you constantly need to look for ways to grow your business with marketing ploys that to grab potential customers’ attention.

A study done by the NAEA Propertymarket, the UK’s leading professional body for estate agents, found that more than 75% of property buyers buy through a real estate agency. These results confirm that there is a big market for real estate agencies in 2020. But the dilemma is how to get these prospects to your agency, and not that of the competition.

In this post, we look at some of the best marketing methods and real estate advertising methods to use.

Build a Great Business Website

The world is becoming more digitalised every day, and customers are researching and buying all kinds of things digitally. So you should not be sticking with conventional selling methods.

It is necessary to be successful that every business type needs an online presence because most of the target markets are spending time on Internet platforms. It is estimated that as many as 80% of customers search online before making a purchasing decision.

Building a website for your property business is the first move towards creating an online presence to contact prospective clients.

Write Blog Posts

You can add a blog to your site with SEO optimised posts. This is a cheap way to increase your online presence. When SEO is done correctly, it will help you get visitors to your content who are genuinely interested in your products.

Using keywords and key phrases correctly makes it easy for your target audience to find you online. SEO tools like AHREFs and Google Analytics will help you find relevant keywords for your content.

Use Email Marketing

Through your website and social media, you can build an email list, and send monthly newsletters to your subscribers offering your latest properties and services.

This is one of the best property marketing methods, as it is practically free, and enables you to engage with your readers personally.

Collaborate With Local Businesses

Partnering with local shops and other businesses will help promote your properties and get your target audience to engage with you. You can also ask your business partners to display notices for your upcoming open house events.

Use Drone Photography

Property images taken from the sky provide some amazing shots. Drone photography is the latest strategy savvy real estate agents use to give a different perspective to potential buyers. So use drone photos and video to add a thrill factor to your ads and social media posts.

Make Videos

Video is a powerful vehicle for all types of marketing objectives, and these days it does not cost a lot. Whether you are creating high-quality videos to showcase your properties or explainer videos for your services, video footage can be the additional push you need to stand out above the rest.

Host Webinars

You can create awareness among potential clients by hosting an online webinar to educate people about what’s currently available in the market, and its investment potential. During the webinar, discuss various topics on the real estate market in your area.

Try Local Tours

Inviting your prospects to tour the local area and show them the positive side of the town, will help them decide that a property in the region is just what they are looking for.

Run Paid Ads

Running a PPC Google campaign, or paid Facebook Ads will generate visitors to your site immediately. Advertising on social media will also help with social networking.

Also, you can run paid ad campaigns to boost your social media presence.

In your ads, use the most stunning pictures of your property portfolio to capture attention.

The good thing about social media marketing is you can customise your ads to your target audience. Therefore, your ad will only reach the relevant audience.

Summary

When marketing your real estate agency, your primary goal should be to create a perception that the homes on your books can provide a great lifestyle. Building that perception requires efficient marketing tactics.

Brexit Effects on Buying a Spanish Property

Before, purchasing a property in Spain was a straightforward seamless process for UK citizens. However, since the Brexit referendum, things have changed. It’s therefore essential that buyers assess the impact of this referendum before buying as the process can be more complicated.

Brexit and International Property

The Association of International Property Association (AIPP) predicts a huge impact on the international property sector following Brexit. It is why they want certainty that British owner’s rights of a foreign property will be considered and included during Brexit negotiations. Without this, purchasing a house in Spain will be a painful investment. That said let’s look at how Brexit will affect buying of properties for UK nationals.

Will Brexit Hinder One from Buying a Second House in Spain?

Although in the short term, changes in currency due to Brexit have made it hard for buyers to afford to buy a house in popular locations. As a result, purchasing second-holiday homes seems difficult compared to buying retirement homes. Studies found that currency volatility impact sales negatively.

Before the global financial crisis in 2008, the exchange rate of pound-euro was profitable. A UK pound at times could be as high as 1.56 euros. However, as of May 1st, 2020, it trades at 1.15 euros. There have been significant fluctuations for exchange rates of GBP-EUR after Brexit, but now, the Covid-19 pandemic is worsening things.

Many individuals thinking of buying a property in Spain might be put off with the low currency exchange rates. But, non-EU nationals like Americans and Scandinavians can continue buying property as they have always done without any problems even during low exchange rates.

Brexit Influence on the Overall International Real Estate Cost

Since there are some limitations of movement, it can cause some restrictions or visa requirements. But, because British citizens with property on Spain contribute to this country’s economy, they will not be denied entry visas to visit their houses.

Will More UK Citizens Emigrate Due to Brexit?

Well, recent research says that there has been an increase in online searches on the number of UK nationals who want to migrate to countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand following Brexit. While often the reasons for migrating are personal, the fact that Britain is out of the EU will encourage some people to move to different countries. However, this will be mostly an incentive for those who had been thinking about moving anyway.

Brexit Impact on Passports, Visas, Currency, and Migration

Brexit will likely cause many and significant political changes considering that the UK opted for a system of immigration points like that in Australia. There will be limited movements between UK and EU from January 2021. Additionally, while it is still not clear on how Britain’s immigration point system will work, it’ll likely result in an exit from the single market.

Note that, the UK and EU had a scheme that gave British nationals the freedom to live, start businesses or study in any European country they have migrated to. However, Brexit does not include freedom of movement which means things could also change for British citizens in terms of social security benefits, accessing health care, and working rights. As a result, it also reduces the number of Brits who want to work or buy a property abroad.

How Will Brexit Impact International Property Owners

Well, it’s not exactly clear how this referendum will affect those who own international properties. However, it would be impractical to limit cash flow from British expats. Think about it. Over 1.2 million British expats are living in France, Spain, and Ireland. And more than 1 million UK residents own a property in the EU and visit regularly for holidays. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to limit these over 2.2 million people from spending their cash in EU countries.

Brexit Influence on Exchange Rates

We’ve already said that the low exchange rates have already negatively affected some perceptions about buying a property abroad or migrating to these countries. But, according to a recent survey, there has been an increased demand for currency exchange services since Brexit. This demand is mostly from British businesses who want to balance market shifts and protect their investments by controlling their currency risk.

Final Thoughts

Well, as we have earlier said Brexit will have a huge impact on buying or living abroad for UK nationals. It is therefore wise that you weigh out the effects before making any decision. Also, experts urge buyers to work with a real estate agent, an attorney, and financial experts when buying a Spanish property.

Top Tips for Building Your Luxury Dream Home in Spain

While buying an already built home is a more straightforward option, building your own home has many advantages, mainly that you can design every aspect of the home from scratch leading to a finished project that has every room exactly as you want it.

It is also a popular choice for those who prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of summer resort life. The basics of building your own home are you buy a parcela, which is Spanish for a plot of land, and hire an architect who will create plans to your specifications. Another option is to go with a standard design supplied by a builder.

However, it must be said the taking the route of building a home on the Costa Blanca is not a path for the timid. Spanish red tape and the often-bizarre business dealings can make building a home from scratch a nightmare. But having said that, there are many outstanding builders on the Costa Blanca who will build a uniquely designed house on your plot or will provide a plot and build a property selected from a choice of standard designs. Here, real estate and construction company Valuvillas, based in Javea on the North Costa Blanca offers an insight as to what to look into if you are considering designing your own perfect villa in Spain.

Infrastructure

When you are looking at a specific area, it is important to look into plans for infrastructure for the area, with both national and regional government departments. In certain parts of the Costa Blanca, roads and railways need upgrading, and there may be projects to do so underway. This could lead to a quiet rural plot ending up next to a main road or even an autopista.

When buying a plot, it is important to take the same precautions as if you were buying a property. Make sure it is approved for a building permit (if it is classed as a finca urbana it will most likely be approved for construction, but always check with the town hall first).

Make sure the plot is large enough for the type of property you want to build, as some areas require that there be a certain number of metres between the property wall and the perimeter of the plot. The minimum size plot for building varies from area to area, so again check with the townhall to make sure the plot size is correct relating to the property size you have in mind.

Spanish building regulations

It is normal to assume you can build a similar type of property as that on a neighbouring plot. However, this is not always the case as your plot may be subject to different regulations, or the regulations could have changed since your neighbour’s home was built. Also, consider that some plots are just not suitable for building on; it could be that they are too steep, or they would need ridiculously expensive foundations or retaining walls.

It is wise to talk with an architect before buying anything. A professional can inform you if the plot you are considering is fit for construction, and estimate the costs related to foundations and retaining walls.

Furthermore, it is also prudent to pay for a land survey which although is fairly expensive (expect to pay anywhere from €1800-€4200) but a survey will verify the boundaries and rights to water usage. It will also confirm that there are not any limitations with regards to electricity lines, water pipes, or public right of way that could affect your building plans.

Access

If they only access to a property is a non-tarred dirt track, be very aware that on the Costa Blanca rainfall can be torrential – particularly in winter. In just a few hours, tracks can change from accessible pathways into treacherous mud banks, with huge cracks or could even be washed away entirely, meaning the only way to get to your house is by foot or on two wheels.

Legalities

Before you sign anything concerning buying a plot, particularly if you are looking at rural areas, it really is advisable to hire a professional such as a lawyer who will carefully look into the regulations and conditions that may affect the land.

Do not believe everything the landowner or even an estate agent tells you, because they will be keen to sell the plot and declare that getting planning permission is straightforward when in fact the opposite is true.

Being the new owner of a plot of land that you cannot build on is no fun, and a very expensive mistake, so ask your lawyer to get written confirmation from the town hall that corresponds to your land stating the land can be built on and is approved for road access.

Guaranteeing a building licence in Spain

Before you buy a plot of land you intend to build on, you need to make sure that the purchase contract depends on being granted the necessary licencia de obras (building license). You can check with the local property registry and confirm for yourself that planning permission has been granted. Do not leave this task with the builder, because if the planning information is incorrect in any way, it could lead to you being responsible for improving the nearby infrastructure, or the property could even be demolished. Also, be aware that planning permission can take some time to be granted.

You will find building firms on the Costa Blanca offering packages that include a plot and the cost of constructing a property. This may not turn out to be such a good deal as it originally looks, so shop around and find out how much it would cost to buy a plot separately and then hire a builder. If you do opt for a package construction deal, make sure you get separate contracts for the building and for the purchase of the land, and before signing the building contract obtain the title deeds. If building on an existing urbanisation, make sure the urbanization is approved as there are still some on the cost of Blanca that are illegal.

Costs

The cost of a plot depends largely on the area and also if it is level. You can expect to pay between €50 and €400 m². As a rule of the thumb, the cost of the land usually equates around 50% of the cost of building the home, but having said this is still possible to buy a plot and build a better and larger property at a lower cost than that of a second-hand resale property. And remember when you design your own home you can make sure the materials and the labour you are top-quality.

As a ballpark figure, expect to pay around €700-€1500 per square meter depending on the quality of the materials and the area you choose. It is always a good idea to add around 10 to 15% to your original estimated costs, as frequently building your own home turns out to be more expensive than initially expected.

Extras

If you would ideally like a swimming pool or garage, it is a good idea to build it at the same time as the house if possible, because if built separately the applicable IVA is 16% compared to 7% when built together.

Finding a Costa Blanca architect & builder

When looking for professionals to help you obtain your dream home it is advisable to get suggestions from local people whose opinion you can trust. Note, that estate agents or other professionals are not always to be relied upon, as they may earn a commission. You can obtain useful information from expats who have lived long-term in an area that you particularly like.

Many Spanish architects on the Costa Blanca speak English and you will find architects from other EU countries such as Holland and Germany working in resort areas. Architects’ payments are typically assessed as a percentage of the total cost of the build, normally between 5 and 10 per cent, which unfortunately does not inspire them to reduce costs. In Spain, however, there are no longer compulsory minimum fees for architects, so it is worth trying to reach a deal.

A good architect will know of dependable builders, but also do your own enquiries, considering the reputation and financial status of the builder. Be careful of an architect who comes with his ‘own’ builder (or vice versa, a constructor with his own architect), as it is up to the architect to make sure the constructor carries out the job according to plan, so you don’t want them to be too friendly.

Before hiring anyone, always check out other houses the builder has worked on, if possible, ask the owners if they had any issues. Building standards in Spain differ significantly and you should not presume the lowest offer you get is the best value. Your best protection when constructing a property is the character of the builder and his financial resources.

It is important a builder provides a ‘termination’ guarantee which is supported by a bank or insurance company to protect you if he goes bust before completing the work, This must be stipulated in the contract.

If you want a home built precisely to your requirements, you must expect to supervise every step or employ a professional to do it for you, otherwise it has highly likely your directions won’t be exactly followed.

Around 70 per cent of an architect’s fees are due when building commences, and the balance payable upon completion when all applicable certificates have been issued by the town hall.

Contracts

Before signing any contracts, you need to get several written quotes from a number of building companies. Make sure the contract includes insulation against heat and cold and also protection against dampness. The contract should include a comprehensive description of the quality of materials to be used referring to your architect’s plans, the precise location of where the building will be developed within the plot, and the building and payment schedules which should be done in stages. It ideally should also include a penalty in the event of late completion, a retention of 5 to 10% of building costs to guarantee against faults, and details of how any disagreements will be resolved. However, it could be difficult for the builder to accept a late completion penalty clause as construction work is very rarely finished on time.

As the owner, you will be liable for a tax on the construction installation and work, which is imposed on any work which requires a municipal license. This ranges from 2 to 4% of the total cost and you will probably be asked to pay it when the local authorities deliver the building permit.

Before you accept an estimate have it checked by a building consultant to make sure it is a fair quote. The quote should include 7% IVA. Make sure if the estimate is simply an estimate or a fixed price because costs can rise considerably during building work. It is especially important you get a lawyer to check the contract, as typically building contracts are prejudiced to favour the builder with very few rights for the client.

Guarantees

Under Spanish law, a builder is required to guarantee the property against structural problems for 10 years, known is Spanish as the Seguro Decenal. This increases to 15 years if the constructor failed to conform to any specific clauses in the contract. The architect will also be responsible for up to 10 years for flaws due to inadequate supervision, incorrect instructions, or issues due to weak foundations such as subsidence.

Be aware that if you do encounter any problems, you will require a lot of patience and persistence before they will be resolved. When the building is completed, make sure it is checked by a structural surveyor for any faults and that a report is made which determines who is responsible.

The Success of Flipping Real Estate

The definition of real estate property flipping is when a real estate investor buys homes and then turns around to sell them hoping to make a profit. To see a positive gain, the time between purchasing the property and selling it can range from months up to a year. Being your own boss and having the freedom to invest in real estate with the hope of earning more than a 9 to 5 job is very enticing. Here are two types of real estate flipping options:

  1. An investor buys a property and fixes it up to make money from selling the home at a higher price than what they paid for it.
  2. An investor buys a piece of property as is at a time when there is a rapid rise in home values. They hold onto the real estate for a few months and then resell it at a higher price to make an increased profit margin.

Property flipping sounds like a great way to increase your income, but is it for you?  Of course, the right strategy plays a key role in the success of flipping. There is financial planning involving a capital gains tax, the right type of return you can expect, and choosing the right real estate.

Even though you are considering flipping a home, you should still conduct an inspection. Use an experienced contractor who can not only point out the obvious but who can also inform you of any hidden surprises once you begin a repair job. Whether you have real estate experience or you are an individual who flips properties for profit, please perform your due diligence.

In other words, before you purchase a flip property, ensure that the title is clear and free from liens. Work with a knowledgeable business planning and consulting firm with high-quality services for real estate investors and business owner resources.

To be a successful flipper, let’s follow the money. When you buy a real estate to flip and fix it up, the profit you receive is taxed under the capital gains rules. To be excluded from paying a capital gains tax, you can fix up your property and live in it for over two years because you are considered a homeowner.

As a flipped property, the IRS treats your real estate purchase as an inventory purchase and not a capital asset. Therefore, the IRS categorizes your flipped property profits as plain income that is subject to a self-employment tax. To enter the real estate game of property flipping, you must be aware of your upfront capitalized costs because it is a pricey expense before you make a good profit.

Your capital costs generally include the following:

*price of your real estate property

*upfront and indirect material and labor costs

*utility costs

*rent

*insurance

*production period interest for capitalizing costs in preparing a property for development and sale

Real estate taxes

If your flipped property is a rental, first you fix it up and then you hold it for a year which very likely will help negate your paying long-term capital gains taxes. Also, if you flip a home within one year, your gain is treated as a short-term capital gain which is taxed at your area’s lowest tax rate.

There are many reasons why people invest in flipping real estate properties. The TV flipping stars enjoy working with their creative hands, plus they have the money and time. If you want to make your flipping improvements a DIY project, you will save money of course, rather than hiring several home improvement contractors.

At the end of the day, whatever your reasons are for flipping real estate, know the rules of the game so that you don’t get stuck with lemons you can’t turn around and sell, thus spending more than your gain would have been.

Your key factors in flipping involve knowing your tax liabilities and purchasing costs, which means choosing the right properties, refurbishing costs, holding costs you can afford, and consult with experienced real estate flippers and business real estate consultants to save yourself an expensive headache.

Key Considerations Should You Wish to Buy a Home

Buying a home is something which many people look forward to for a very long time, the journey can be difficult and getting caught out in the rent trap is something that happens to many. With this being said, if you are smart with your savings and stay focussed on what it is that you are after, you can get yourself on the property ladder in no time at all.

I didn’t buy my first home until I was 26 years old and it was difficult for many years to get myself into a position to be able to afford it. I made some mistakes along the way to buying my first home and so I wanted to write a little about some key considerations which you are going to have to make once you have decided that buying a home is something that you want to do.

Budget

Most people are going to rely on a mortgage to buy their first home and it is best that you lay down as much as you can on the mortgage by way of deposit. In order to ascertain how much you are able to invest in your property, you need to make sure that you are smart with your budgeting.

It is important to remember just how many costs are involved in buying a home, aside from the value of the property itself. You will need to pay for searches before buying, you will need money for solicitors and the necessary conveyancing which allows you to complete the purchase as well as having money put aside for furniture and decorations within the home. It is also important  that you make a smart decision regarding how much you borrow as your monthly costs will increase once you are in the home, taking all of this into consideration is essential if you are planning on buying a house.

The Property

It can be easy to be blinded by beauty when you are searching for a property but you should sit down and make a list of exactly what it is that you are looking for in a property. Large properties require more maintenance and more furniture and they could also present more problems. Make sure that you understand that getting that dream house will not happen first time and your first house should be one which serves your needs and acts as a stepping stone to the next house, it is called the property ladder for a reason and this initial house is just the first rung of the ladder.

Market

It is important that you are buying a property at the right time and in the right place and you should make efforts to ensure that you understand where the property market is at the time of buying. If you are buying at the high end of the market then you could face negative equity issues further on down the line, unless you are in a rush you should be smart and be patient.