Real Estate Market Recovering?

Is the real estate market in Metro-Detroit recovering? We have limited supply, increasing prices, and what seems to be more buyers. Less houses are for sale. Taking all that data, it sure sounds like a recovery but I’m hesitant to call it that. What has spurred our economy to have this turnaround lately? I’ll agree we’re doing better but I don’t know if the real estate market should be turning around as quickly as how it appears to be turning around. This coming from the ever-optimist. I’m, however, a realist.

Where did all of the inventory go that we had last year? What happened to all of the foreclosures that were coming and all of the inventory that the banks were going to have? I think they still have it. Where else would it go? I can take you down any street in Detroit that has boarded up houses that aren’t for sale. Sure, some of these are just caught somewhere in the process but many of them are just being held by the banks. These houses would have been sold if it were the market 2 years ago when banks needed money but deals with the Government and shored up financials now have the banks sitting on the houses to not flood the market. I don’t know if there was a behind the scenes deal with the government to have them hold on to houses or what but either way, they’re losing out.

What happens to a house that sits in Detroit for 6 months vacant? What about 12 months or 24 months? What I know from experience is the loner it sits, with the poor security that banks use, the more of a chance it will be vandalized or be opened up to the elements. Keeping a house around that long vacant is going to make it pretty worthless. Also, they’re creating a false bottom in our market and false positive signs. That is unless they have endless resources to hold on to the houses and trickle them out over the next 5 years.

I don’t know what’s going on but it doesn’t seem like just a great recovery right now. What do you think?

Be a Renegade,
Jared Pomranky

Where Is Your Focus?

What do you do all day? Where is your focus? Do you work hard every day and are always busy but don’t seem to ever get much completed? If so, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from the information and technical overload that is so prevalent in today’s society. We are bombarded by news, email, twitter, facebook, blog posts (keep reading this one!), and all sorts of electronic media that takes our attention away from what we should really be doing. Many times these small tasks and interruptions keep us from doing the one thing that could make a significant impact on our business.

I got the following from Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog”. What he says is that when you get into work in the morning you need to identify the 1 thing that will make the most significant impact on your business. It may not be something that you really want to do but it’s something that will help your business out the most. You need to sit down and complete that task before you move on to anything else, which includes before you talk on the phone, check email, tweet about reading a great blog or update your facebook status. Get the task done then move on to the next task that will make the most significant impact on your business.

Focusing in this manner will force you to complete your most difficult tasks but also the tasks that will create the biggest impact. You’ll then find that you end up fitting in all of the small tasks in about an hour in between the big tasks. A laser like focus is key in these situations because we have so much that can distract us. So many times when you let something small distract you, you end up skipping from small task to small task and eventually forget what you were doing in the first place!

You don’t have to get it perfect right away but make sure that you realize when you’ve gotten off task and lost focus. In this way you will be able to pull yourself back and see where you lost the focus.

What are some techniques that you’ve found keep you on task and focused?

Be a Renegade,
Jared Pomranky

Email Marketing for Real Estate

Here you are with all of these great deals and you don’t have anyone to sell them to. How did you get in this situation? First off you didn’t listen to Drew when he told you to build your wholesale list and second you’re probably not effectively marketing via email.

Let me clear up a few misconceptions on email marketing:

  1. Emailing to a bunch of people in the BCC field of your email program is not effective email marketing
  2. You shouldn’t add someone to your list just because you found their email address, you need to get their permission.
  3. More emails is not always better.

Permission Marketing

We’re talking about permission marketing here, props to Seth Godin, which means we’re getting someone’s permission before we add them to our list and start marketing to them. Makes sense. To do this we will utilize a email list marketing company that provides us with easy to use sign-up forms for our website. Also, if we add someone to our list, it sends them an e-mail asking for their confirmation before getting added to our list. This is called a double opt-in list. All of this is building a list of people that are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. If they are no longer interested, they can unsubscribe from your list.

What to send your subscribers

You might think the best thing to send your subscribers is just a list of houses each week of what you’re selling. I’m here to tell you that you won’t keep many people on your list doing that. What about the person that wants to learn a little more about what you do and real estate in the area. They’re not going to buy right now but they will probably buy in a couple of months. Well… you should keep that person involved.

Provide content in your newsletter about investing in your area. Give them the local real estate perspective along with tips for being successful. How about tips on how to buy properties in the area that you’re selling properties or what you have to look out for? Information like this will keep people involved and as you build your list, you’ll start to convert these subscribers to buyers.

You of course want to send them your properties that you have for sale but don’t just spam out your properties to everyone. Add some value to their day with some information and you will end up selling more houses.

Email Marketing Service Recommendation

I highly recommend Aweber as the best list marketing service out there. They not only have the best deliverability rates for their messages but they also have more templates and easy to use form builders than anyone out there. Anyone. Designing and implementing forms on your website and hover forms to capture even more leads is as easy as point and click.

Many people like iContact as a single opt-in list provider, which is fine if you already have a large list of subscribers that you want to upload, but I would still recommend Aweber. Urban Detroit Wholesalers switched to Aweber a couple of years ago and although we lost some subscribers, the move has been more than worth it.

Either list service will be good to get going so check out either iContact or Aweber to get your list marketing going now. You will see your sales soar.

Be a Renegade,
Jared Pomranky

The Times They Are a Changin’

The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists. ~Spencer Johnson, MD author of “Who Moved My Cheese”

Fear and uncertainty still seem to rule our economy and real estate market. This is still due to changes in the markets and a general lack of adaption by people in those markets. When your business was making money and things were good, you didn’t think about change. When your way of doing business started to not be effective anymore, what did you do? Hopefully you not only thought about change but you grabbed the bull by the horns and took it head on. Times for small tweaks or fine tuning are gone. Make far reaching changes and innovate or be left behind. It’s interesting that this advice not only works for businesses but also is key to positive growth in the City of Detroit and Michigan as a whole.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? ~Spencer Johnson, MD

If you’re letting fear lead your business or your actions, you might as well give up now. It may be hard if you’ve been burned but you have to make sound businesses decisions, innovate, and push the boundaries constantly. You may be able to rest on your laurels in other markets but not here in Michigan. Sitting back and watching what’s happening puts you out of business as so many people have learned. I don’t want to scare people with my assessment right now as I’m more optimistic than ever.

Those of us that are willing to put ourselves out there in our businesses and life have an amazing amount of opportunity surrounding us. I’m talking to businesses every day that are having there best years ever because their competitors that failed to change and innovate are out of business and even with a smaller market, they have a much bigger piece of the pie now. Just don’t take anything for granted, work for it. If you have to get down and dirty and hustle to get things going, do it. You will set yourself up for not just a better tomorrow but an amazing tomorrow.

Take what others have done and learn from it. Take what you have done and learn from it. Put together a plan and work that plan. If you’re bumbling around from one activity to another, you’re only doomed to repeat errors and not truly grow. Innovate. What can you do better and how can you do it better? How do you add more value to your clients?

While someone may have moved our “cheese”, we still need to move on. With more opportunity than ever, our motivation should be more than ever. Be strong and be unafraid.

Be a Renegade,
Jared Pomranky

Be Thankful on Thanksgiving

This seems like a pretty easy concept, doesn’t it? Everyone says to be thankful but not everyone actually lives up to their lip service. This should be something we do year round but the holidays give us a chance to make up for lost time. This goes to focusing on the positive and not always looking at the negative. Don’t ignore challenges in your life but see them as what they are, challenges, and not problems. They are something to overcome.

I am thankful for all of the innovation and positive change I see in Detroit. There are many like-minded individuals and businesses that refuse to take part in the doom and gloom mentality that seems to run rampant in the media and many people’s perception of Detroit. If things aren’t going great for you, don’t just blame it on the economy or run from your problems, face the challenges and innovate. Innovation is what will set apart businesses in a down market and will set you up for extra-ordinary profits when the economy turns around. There are a lot of businesses having blockbuster years this year!

I am thankful for my family, friends, and girlfriend Holli. Sure there are challenges in any relationships but this is the time of year to set those squabbles aside and find those bonds that have been strong. Make sure you surround yourself with people that will support you through good times and through bad times in your business and personal life. This is critical to being successful because you will have good times and you will certainly have bad times.

I am thankful for organizations like Motor City Blight Busters and John George who tirelessly and selflessly commit themselves to causes that are bigger than themselves. As Ghandi so eloquently put it, they are the change they want to see in the world. Organizations like this create and support the social, physical, and economic changes that are required for the turnaround and prosperity of Detroit. Being a part of these organizations or supporting them through volunteering helps make these changes occur.

Be thankful this thanksgiving and focus on the positives. It’s far too early to be a scrooge…

Be a Renegade,
Jared Pomranky