Realeflow Gave me a Blueprint for Success
I typically don’t educate my competitors on the secrets of my success but I find myself in the Holiday spirit of giving and sharing. Also, this post serves as a long overdue testimonial of sorts for a company that’s made a huge impact on my life and business.
By becoming a member of Realeflow, you’re becoming a member of a community of real estate professionals from all over the U.S. that are having success in their business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten referrals or advice by networking with other members.
There’s absolutely no way that I can tell you everything that Realeflow has to offer without writing a 20,000 word post so I’m just going to give you a quick overview of some of the Realeflow tools and training that have served me well for the past few years.
You’ll quickly see that there is no other program out there that is as complete as Realeflow. From marketing, to keeping your files organized, to training you to be successful in any real estate market…It’s all there for you on one site!
This is a big one because without leads coming into your business on a regular basis…you have no business. The Realeflow system allows you to input the counties from your farm area and you will instantly start receiving lists that you can use to create mailing lists and even send postcards all right from your dashboard. You will have access to lists for buyers, sellers, bankruptcies, etc. Before I joined Realeflow I was paying a lot of money for just these lists alone. With Realeflow these lists are included with your membership.
They also have an entire library of customizable website and landing page templates that you can choose from. All you have to do is provide them with the domain names that you want them to link to. Squeeze pages like this one at www.hunterscreekrealty.com have provided me with a steady flow of valuable buyer leads and still do to this day… They should call it Lead flow instead of Realeflow!
Client File Management
This is my wife’s favorite feature of Realeflow being that she’s the one that has the daunting task of dealing with demanding buyers and sellers. Our real estate brokerage specializes in Orlando short sales and if you have any experience in servicing short sale clients, you know that they want updates, updates, and more updates! Even when there’s nothing to update them about! With Realeflow this part of the business is no longer a hassle. You can update everyone single one of your sellers with just a few clicks of your mouse. And long gone are the days of having to carry heavy paper files around with you when you go out of town [I used to hate that!] Now she just logs into Realeflow and every piece of information she needs is right there at her fingertips.
She also loves the fact that everything is time stamped so that NOT ONLY can prove to the short sale lender that YOU DID submit everything they asked for but you also have the date and time that you submitted it. Need to submit it again? [Cause that NEVER happens...] No problem, just a click away.
The training modules that are included in Realeflow were the big game changer for me. Way, way, way too much info to even start talking about but if you’re willing to go through and implement the things that are taught by Greg Clementand his team in these 8 life changing training modules, I promise you that it will take your business to the next level. Don’t get me wrong…you have to put in the work, but it’s worth it…at least it was for me!
After going through module 1 included in Realeflow, I started blogging with a “Too dumb to doubt” attitude not knowing if itwould even work. Since then my real estate blog has been the single most effective marketing tool that I have. I don’t mind sharing this information because I was posting blogs several times a week for over 2 years before it ever started to make a difference in my business. Believe it or not, statistics prove that less than 3% of Orlando real estate agents blog on a regular basis. It’s important to remember that blogging is a long term strategy. Most realtors will start posting then quickly get frustrated and stop posting all together. Slow and steady wins the race.
The key to doing anything consistently is that you have to enjoy doing it. Have you ever known someone that starts going to the gym or dieting everyday for a month or two, then they lose a bunch of weight just two end up right back where they started? They don’t stick with it because they hate working out and they hate dieting. I kept on writing blog posts because it’s something that I became very passionate about. I love the idea that I’m putting valuable information out into cyberspace where anyone in the world that is looking for it can find it just by typing a few keywords into Google. How awesome is that?!
There’s a whole module that covers video marketing in Realeflow. I literally went through this module 5 times before getting enough courage to get in front of that camera. Much like blogging, I found that it was something that actually I enjoyed doing. I now use video marketing regularly and successfully in my business. Subscribe to my Youtube channel to see some of my Oscar worthy performances. LOL!
Greg often says… “I’ll see you on the other side” at the end of his videos and for the longest time I never understood what that meant…..Come to think of it, I STILL DON’T! But it sounds really cool. Do you think you know what he means? Leave a comment below.
Speed of Implementation
Greg Clement, the founder of Realeflow talks about “speed of implementation” in one of the training modules. I believe he is referring to how fast you implement something after you’ve learned it. He also says that the speed at which you implement something will be a huge factor in how successful you will be at something. I firmly believe this and I have believed it even before I heard him say it. So whatever it is that you learn through courses that you sign up for, boot camps, etc. Implement it as fast as you can because that’s the only way you’ll know if it works or not.
I can’t tell you how many real estate marketing courses that I’ve bought or signed up for in the past that have turned out to be complete BS, but I just kept on going until I found what worked for me. When it comes to marketing your business, there is no failure, only feedback. Through Realeflow I finally found what I was looking for. Thanks Realeflow!
Imagination has been the driving force for all the technological developments, which exist around you. In fact, the scientific revolution has its very base on the entity of imagination, and imagination comes from nowhere, but your mind. So, why not imagine a home, where you can control things by a single touch. Imagine a home, which plays music to match your mood, and calms you senses. Imagine a home, where lights get adjusted to your party theme, and you just have to worry about nothing, but enjoyment. All this creations of imagination have now turned real with Home Automation.
What is Home Automation? Home Automation is a concept which involves aggregation of several technologies that convert your ordinary homes into Smart Homes. For instance, when you return home tired from a hard day’s work, you will find it stressful to switch on the lights. All you want to do is slouch over the coach, and listen to your favorite music or watch television. However, the ordinary light switches and the typical television set snatches away this luxury from you. Still, you can enjoy this luxury by installing the Savant smart home system from RSI. With Savant, you can control the lights, switch on the music or adjust the room temperature by using your iPhone or iPad. The TrueCommand technology from Savant is the first of its kind, which allows you to control climate, media and ambiance using your iOS devices. Moreover, you can completely schedule all the actions, even if you are not home.
Security is one of the leading concerns when it comes to protecting your home. Security alarms and locks play a key role in keeping your home secured, but they are not full proof. Similarly, you have to check them each time when you have to leave your home. Moreover, these systems cannot be interfaced together with lights and fire alarms and need individual operation. Now, who will like to worry about each and every alarm and lock when you have a sophisticated system like Control4 at your disposal? Control4 smart home system is a single system which controls home theaters, lighting, temperature, intercom and security in your home. It also provides a variety of controllers like remote, keypad or touch screen. If you are comfortable with handling controllers, then its easy-to-use Android or iPhone app is always a handy option.
Now, what if you want to spend the rest of your weekend enjoying the ambiance and climate of the tropics? You can shirk your worries, and rejuvenate your mind and body by bringing the tropical sunshine and breeze right at your footsteps with Lutron Lighting Automation system. Lutron system from RSI is specially made to address your entertainment needs. It combines together audio, video, security and HVAC and requires simple A/V Installation. This system will give you the privilege of tuning the lights to match the bright sunshine of the tropics, and adjust your air-conditioner to get the touch-and-feel of the tropical winds. The system is highly intuitive to detect the daylight changes and temperature changes and adjusts the indoor environment without you having to touch the controls. So, why not layback and sip your favorite cocktail when you have Lutron to simulate the tropics?
Now imagine a scenario where you have to host a party at home, and your local DJ is running a tight schedule. Now, how do you plan to play the party music, and groove with the beats? For such times, the Steinway Lyngdorf digital sound system is the best. Unlike the other Home Theater systems available in the market, Steinway Lyngdorf is different due to its intuitive playback and music delivery. This system from RSI promises you high performance all the time, with no cracking of speakers or loss of woofer. You can play any kind of music on it, and groove to the tunes played. Moreover, the music can be synced with one of the Lighting Control systems from RSI, and your hall room will get converted into a full-fledged disco. Now, who will like to buy costly disco passes when you can host a disco at your place?
Like these, there are many instances that will challenge your imagination. So, why not convert your imagination to experience comforts into reality by opting for Home Automation systems?
Cash Incentives for Short Sales
It appears that new short sale guidelines that have been put into place continue to make it easier for the distressed homeowner to get relocation assistance after completing short sale on their distressed property. Mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have launched a new short sale program allowing the homeowner to complete a short sale and receive cash incentives without missing any mortgage payments….It’s about time!
I don’t know why this hasn’t always been the case. I believe that as long as the homeowner can prove a valid hardship, then why force them to miss payments if they’re willing to work with the bank sooner than later. For one thing, the lender loses less money. Why would you want the homeowner to miss at least one or two payments before allowing them to start the process if they’re willing to start the process while continuing to make the payments? I think that if this were the case then there would be a lot less distressed homeowners doing a strategic default.
[HAFA] The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program provides distressed homeowners with cash relocation incentive of $3,000.00. The problem is that the guidelines have several restrictions that many times kept distressed sellers from getting the assistance they so desperately needed.
B of A, The nation’s largest loan servicer offers the HAFA program in addition to several other in-house programs. Its most popular program is the “Cooperative Short Sale Program” which has an “Enhanced Relocation Assistance” that ranges anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000. Just this past year we were able to qualify 3 of our Orlando short sale clients for the $30,000.00 cash back at closing. Bank of America has recently launched the enhanced program on a national level. This program applies to pre-approved short sales, these are short sales that are started without there being an offer to purchase. The amount of the incentive is based on the value of the home.
WILL YOUR LENDER COOPERATE?
There are some who will tell you that banks would rather take a house to foreclosure or modify the loan than approving a short sale. This just isn’t true, it costs a lender a lot of time and money to take a house through the foreclosure process and at the end of the day, it’s just a numbers game.
The truth is that short sales net lenders twelve to twenty five percent more than they would make from a foreclosure because of the time and money that it takes to not only regain control over the property, but to make any repairs, market and finally resell the house. And as far as loan modifications are concerned, over half of them default within the first year then ultimately turning into short sale or foreclosure.
Lenders have finally figured this all out and that’s why they are constantly streamlining there process and continue to create enticing offers to help out distressed homeowners. By completing a short sale, a distressed homeowner can avoid going through a foreclosure and limit the damage done to their credit.
A borrower’s hardship still remains the main criteria in order for a lender to approve a short sale on a home. The simple explanation or definition of “hardship” is when someone is in “a state of affliction or misfortune” meaning that the borrower has gone or is going through something in their life whether it’s personal or financial that has affected their ability to continue paying their mortgage. There could be countless reasons that someone could be going through a hardship but there always seems to be a handful that we here about over and over again.
Working as a Orlando short sale realtor for the past 8 years, I’ve heard hardship stories that have literally brought tears to my eyes. However, listening to some of these stories has only fueled my passion for wanting to help these people that are going through a valid hardship. I also help investors that are facing foreclosure on their Orlando investment properties for whatever reason, but there’s a world of difference between losing an investment property or two or three as compared to face losing the home that you live in with your family.
Generally speaking, it’s much harder to get a short sale approved on an investment property, than it is on someones primary residence. The truth is that some lenders are just not interested in approving a short sale on a property unless there’s a legitimate hardship at the root of it. OMG!… Does this mean that some of these loss mitigation negotiators actually have compassion for people that really need and deserve it? I’m happy to say that, yes it does. In my experience, the majority of loss mitigation reps will actually read the hardship letter and factor it into their decision of whether or not to approve a short sale.
Here are some of main reasons why people are facing a financial hardship.
1. Reduction of income
2. Loss of employment
3. Medical problems
5. A death or serious injury in the family
6. Having to relocate because of employment or school.
7. Business going under
8. Drug addiction
Financial hardship alone however, is just not enough to get a short sale approved. The biggest reason is that the home must be worth less than the full pay off of the mortgage. If not, then the home could typically be sold as a traditional listing providing that there’s enough equity to cover the closing costs of the transaction.
Here’s a basic example that can be used as a template to create a hardship letter.
I’m writing this letter to explain why I am no longer able to continue making my mortgage payments to you.
[Here is where you want to write about your personal hardship in detail]
Also, current market conditions in my area have significantly deteriorated causing my home to be worth substantially less than what is owed on my mortgage balance. As a result I’m asking that you please consider allowing me to sell my house as a short sale.
Cash Back to the Seller at Closing
Assuming that all of the other criteria of the lender is met to proceed with the short sale, the borrower may also be eligible for relocation incentives from the lender. Programs such as HAFA [Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives] will actually pay the the seller anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000 back at the closing depending on the situation.
Christmas is a great time of year to get creative and celebrate in the season in your own style and if your home is on the market there is always the chance that it will catch the eye of a potential buyer! If you’re tired of seeing the same old decorations year after year, why not try something a bit more contemporary this year? Here is a collection of some fun and festive alternatives.
Wreaths and door decorations
Imagine a classic wreath; typically it has greenery, ribbons, bells and maybe even some artificial snow. Pretty, but the chances are every single one of your neighbors has one just like it. Get in touch with nature and weave twigs and sticks together to make a wreath that complements the area outside your home. Silver metal wreaths also look amazing and are a lot more durable, give them an even more festive touch with stars and ornaments attached. If you’re tired of wreaths all together, other door decorations like Christmas themed baskets and reindeer head door-hangings are fun, festive and alternative.
Do away with garden gnomes this holiday season and decorate your lawn with something a bit more festive! Birdbaths filled with ornaments or miniature Christmas trees are gorgeous without being over the top. If you have an old ladder you don’t use, try painting it and decorating it with lights and ornaments, it will look like a trendy, durable Christmas tree alternative. Ice –skates leaning against a tree or hanging from a porch and decorated potted plants are also fun and unique types of decorations.
These decorations will be inside so they can be a bit more delicate than decorations on the outside. Paper cut-outs allow you to get creative; attach them to fishing lines and hang them from your windows like paper curtains. Candles and fairy lights light up your house on those dark winter nights and look great from the outside as well as the inside.
A well decorated porch is a great way to invite people in over Christmas. Outdoor furniture like benches or rocking chairs can be decorated with lights or greenery for a simple but strong look. Line up wellingtons by the door and fill them with replica presents, a festive nod to the arrival of Santa Clause without the cartoon signs and statues. For a winter feel to your porch, add model icicles to your awning. Choosing between icicles that light up and ones that don’t can be tough; just keep in mind that you don’t want the front of your house to look too busy and overcrowded.
Lighting is a great and festive ornament anywhere outside your home. If you find the fairy lights in the trees are a bit overdone, try tea lights in holders on branches or if you have any lanterns, lighting them in the evening gives off an enchanted effect.
If you love fairy lights but want to do something new with them, try wrapping them around bicycles and other outdoor equipment or have them lining the path to the front door.
This article was written in collaboration with UK Oak Doors; suppliers of internal and external doors in the UK. They like to share their advice and ideas about home design and DIY through their blog.