Security Cameras in Nursing Homes – Useful or Wasteful?

To install or not to install?

This question is at the forefront of debates concerning the management of nursing homes. At present, the issue of whether or not to put security cameras in nursing homes and where these should be placed is extremely controversial and is far from resolved.

Merits of Installing Security Cameras in Nursing Homes

The most important argument in favor of security cameras is their deterrent value against abuse and substandard care. These security cameras have been given the moniker „granny cams“ and are said to be a positive step in reducing the potential for elderly abuse. Experts believe that granny cameras could singlehandedly restore public confidence in nursing homes because they give family members instant access to recently stored footage. They can, thus, closely monitor the well-being of their parents or grandparents.

Security cameras retail for at least $630 and may go up as high as $1,590. On top of this, there is a $20 monthly fee for accessing the server and another $10 monthly to upload images via a data-only line.

Drawbacks of Installing Security Cameras in Nursing Homes

Not surprisingly, the strongest opposition to the use of granny cams comes from the industry itself. Nursing-home operators and staff consider video surveillance a needless invasion of privacy. They fear that security cameras would make it so much harder to retain good staff and attract new ones. Moreover, they believe that use of security cameras will compromise a patient’s dignity, particularly when bathroom and bathing activities are filmed and then reviewed by security. Another argument used is the additional expense. After all, a nursing home would need not just one, but several, security cameras distributed in strategic places throughout the nursing home.

The Debate Continues

While not trifling, however, the costs of purchasing the equipment and the installation expense are comparable to the cost of updating housekeeping, food, or recreation services. This means that the purchase and installation of security cameras should be treated as necessary an overhead cost as staff salaries, for example.

Additionally, experts believe that security cameras help nursing home operators minimize their legal responsibility should an employee or a nursing home resident be found guilty of abusive behavior. By having digitally captured evidence on hand, nursing home owners can thereby reduce unnecessary and groundless litigation.

At present, a dozen state legislatures are actively considering passing the granny-cam legislation. Existing laws mandate that an operator must inform the staff ahead of time of the presence of cameras and their respective placements. Otherwise, video surveillance may be considered illegal. There are no law expressly prohibit the use of security cameras. What prevents their wide use, however, are practical barriers in the form of pricing and vehement opposition from the nursing-home industry.

So, to install or not to install security cameras?

Nursing-home operators vehemently answer „no“ while experts openly advocate their mandatory use. If you are a nursing-home owner, the added institutional cost would mostly likely make you cringe. If you are one of the many in search of a nursing home for a loved one, your answer to this question should dictate your choice of nursing homes. However, do not make it your only consideration. Check the facility’s history of deficiencies and citations from formal regulatory inspections.

It will be very difficult for this controversy to be resolved speedily because it is an issue that hits too close to home. It simply is not possible to put a price on safety, or negotiate dignity.

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Civil War Horses

A few Civil War horses and their riders:

Traveller and Robert E. Lee

Confederate General Robert E. Lee came to Richmond, Virginia in the spring of 1861. During this visit, Lee was given a bay stallion named Richmond. Richmond was a nervous horse, and proved unsatisfactory. When Richmond was near strange horses, he would tend to squeal. This was not a good thing for a Civil War horse to do. Lee took Richmond to West Virginia and purchased another horse called The Roan or Brown-Roan. Unfortunately, The Roan began to go blind during the Seven Days‘ Battle in June and July of 1862. The horse Richmond died after Malvern Hill. After Second Bull Run, cavalryman Jeb Stuart got Lee a mare named Lucy Long. Also around this time, Lee received a sorrel horse named Ajax.

When Lee rode to Appomattox Court House to surrender on April 9, 1865, he was riding his favorite and most known horse. This gray colored horse was Traveller. After the Civil War, when Robert E. Lee was president at Washington University (later renamed to Washington and Lee University), Lee’s favorite old war-horse Traveller was still with him. When Lee died, the horse Traveller walked behind Lee’s hearse in the funeral procession. Traveller walked with his head bowed and in a slow gait. Traveller is buried outside of the Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington and Lee University. Robert E. Lee is interred in a crypt beneath the Lee Chapel.

Lexington, Sam, and William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman had two horses that were his favorites during the Civil War. These horse’s names were Lexington and Sam. Sherman rode Lexington at Atlanta and in the Grand Review in Washington at the close of the war. Sam was injured several times during the Civil War. At Shiloh, three of Sherman’s horses were killed during the battle. Two of these three horses died as an orderly held their reigns.

Cincinnati and Ulysses S. Grant

As a young man, Ulysses S. Grant developed a love of horses when he worked at his father’s farm. Grant became a skilled equestrian. While a cadet at West Point, Grant was an exceptional equestrian and he did not stand out as having special talents in anything else while at West Point. Grant wanted a commission in the cavalry when he finished at West Point. Instead, he wound up in the infantry because the cavalry had no vacancies. The infantry assignment must have been a disappointment for the horse-loving equestrian Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant’s favorite horse during the Civil War was Cincinnati. An admirer gave Cincinnati to Grant after the Battle of Chattanooga. Cincinnati was seldom ridden by anyone other than Grant, one notable exception being President Abraham Lincoln when Lincoln last visited City Point, Virginia. Other horses Grant had in the Civil War were Jack, Fox, and Kangaroo. Kangaroo was left on the Shiloh battlefield by the Confederates. This horse was described as ugly and raw-boned. Grant however, having an eye for horses, knew that Kangaroo was a thoroughbred. After becoming a Yankee horse, Kangaroo got rest and care and became a fine horse.

Old Sorrel and Stonewall Jackson

Old Sorrel was Confederate General Thomas Jonathan „Stonewall“ Jackson’s horse. Stonewall was riding this horse when he was shot by friendly fire at Chancellorsville. Old Sorrel became Jackson’s horse in May of 1861 at Harpers Ferry. The horse was about eleven-years-old at this time.

That Devil Dan and George B. McClellan

Union General George B. McClellan’s favorite war-horse was named Daniel Webster. Members of General McClellan’s staff began to call this horse „that devil Dan“ because Daniel Webster was a speedy horse. The horses of McClellan’s staff members had trouble keeping up with „that devil Dan.“ Daniel Webster was with McClellan at Antietam. This horse was described as being a dark bay, about seventeen hands high, a pure bred, handsome, and he seldom showed signs of fatigue. Daniel Webster was a fine example of a horse. When McClellan retired from military service, the horse Daniel Webster went with him. The horse nicknamed „that devil Dan“ became the family horse of the McClellan family.

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The 10 Best Places For Skiing & Snow Boarding Around Neuschwanstein Castle – Schwangau – Bavaria

How about combining your skiing or snowboarding holiday with the visit of the most popular castle in Europe: Neuschwanstein Castle? Stay at one of the boutique and luxury self-catering apartments or a rustic hotel and enjoy the view of the King’s Castles, which look stunning especially when lit at night.

And as a special bonus you can use the Royal Thermal Spa with its hot indoor and outdoor pools, its sauna and massage offers after a fun day in the mountains.

Here is a list of the best places to go skiing in and around Schwangau.

1. Tegelberg Mountain (1720m) & Wintersport Arena / Schwangau Germany

Right in Schwangau, the village of the King’s Castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau is the wintersport arena Tegelberg with its cable car, 4 regular lifts and flood light at night. You will enjoy 7.3 kilometres of downhill piste here as well as a separate one for tobogganing. This place is great to for beginners and intermediate skiers, has a ski school and a ski/snowboard rental facilities. Snow machines provide snow garantuee.

A special highlight is the 2km long Neuschwanstein Cross Counry Skiing Track which is lit at night…and of course skiing with „cinderella castle“ in your view.

2. Buchenberg (1140m) Ski Area / Buching Germany

Only a 5 minute drive from Schangau you will find a double seater lift taking you to the top of the Buchenberg. 2 more regular lifts provide variety.

A special highlight is the 2.5km long tobogganing track right from the top of the mountain. The hut on top of the mountain provides stunning views of the lakes and the valley. This area is great for beginners and families as well as for tobogganing fans.

3. Alpspitz (1575m) Ski Arena / Nesselwang Germany

Only a 20 minutes drive away from Schwangau is the Alpspitz Ski Arena. It benefits from the longest 2km long daily floodlit piste in the region, has one cable car, a 4-seater, one 2-seater, 3 regular lifts and 2 children’s ones. This varied place provides skiing fun for advanced skiers as well as beginners and families. Ski school, ski/snowboard/tobogganing rental facilities and tobogganing areas are available and so are several excellent mountain huts for your après-ski.

Snow machines provide snow garantuee.

A special highlight here is the O’Neill Alpspitzpark, a top modern Freerider Snowboard Park with Floodlight every night from 6-9pm.

4. Breitenberg Mountain (1877m) Ski Centre / Pfronten Germany

Only a 15 minute drive away from Schwangau you will reach the Breitenberg Ski Centre with its cable car, an open 4-seater and 5 regular lifts as well as 4 children’s lifts. Nearby in Steinbach is the Snowboard fun park, the ski school as well as two more floodlit pistes.

A special highlight for the first time in winter 2009/10 is the 6.5km long tobogganing track right from the top of the mountain.

5. Hahnenkamm Ski Resort (1900m) / Reutte Austria

Only a 25 mintue drive away from Schwangau into Austria is the Hahnenkamm Ski Resort with its cable car, double seater and 5 further regular lifts. It has one of the best ski schools for adults and children. Skis and snowboards can be rented there.

6.-9. Füssener Jöchle (1821m) & Ski Arena Tannheimer Tal / Austria

There are 4 ski resorts in the Tannheimer Tal in Austria, no more than 30 minutes away from Schwangau, one of which is Füssener Jöchle in Grän. It has a cable car, a 6-seater and 3 regular lifts. The piste from the top is 3.5 kilometres long.

The other ski resorts here are Neunerköpfle / Tannheim, Schattwald and Nesselwängle.

10. Jungholz Ski Centre / Jungholz Germany

About 40 minutes away from Neuschwanstein castle is a super family friendly ski centre with two special 4-seaters for children and one training lift. For adults there are 4 regular lifts. Snow machines provide snow garantuee.

There are even more cross-country skiing/ nordic skiing opportunites which I will cover in a separate article. And if you get bored of downhill skiing, how about tryin snow-kiting, letting the wind in your kite pull you across the piste?

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How Can You Find a Reliable Real Estate Agent?

There are a lot of real estate agents that can be found everywhere, and they can be categorized as a professional and a salesperson. A professional is someone who can provide you with advices regarding real estate properties; something that will be beneficial for you or your business. A salesperson is someone who will do anything just to convince you to purchase the property, and this is the person whom you don’t want to deal with.

Here is the step by step guide that you can follow whenever you are looking for a reliable real estate agent:

Search the Internet and create a list of all the agents that you found.

Look for their website or contact details to learn more about them.

Contact them and try to start a conversation with them.

Try to categorize the way they talk to you, and this will show you who the professional really is.

A professional agent can provide you with advices based on facts! Fact is the keyword. If he can provide you with information that will be useful for you, then he is a reliable real estate agent. For example, you ask them;

„There is someone who told me that the prices of properties will go down this year, is that true?“

A professional real estate agent will tell you;

„I cannot answer that because no one can pinpoint whether the prices of properties will go up or down, but based on my records for the past few years, the prices of real estate properties had an average increase of 3.5%. Using this information, I can tell that you that a 30% decrease in value is farfetched.“

A salesperson will tell you;

„A downfall in the market is farfetched and is very impossible. I have here a list of all the properties that are downfall-proof, and you can be sure that they will remain stable regardless of the condition of the market.“

From here, we can already tell which of these agents is more professional. Both believe that the price of properties will remain the same, but the base of their answers are different. A salesperson is someone will tell that you everything just to get you to purchase a property. He’ll even tell you that a property is a prime commercial space even though it is located in the middle of the forest.

This is one of the best methods that you can use in order to find a reliable real estate agent. It is true that agents are eager to sell a property for you, but a professional is not „that“ eager that he’ll do sales talk just to get you to buy a property and spend your money on something that is not worth your money.

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5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a big step in your life and should be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, many individuals rush into buying a home with out considering the implications is has on their future. If you’re considering making the move to own it’s important you weigh all the options, and consider what if anything will affect the feasibility of you’re purchase. If this is you’re first time in the housing market consider the following before you make your big move.

  1. Get Your Finances in Order

    Have a lot of debt racked up? If thats the case, you may want to play catch up before you even think about buying a home. Bad credit is bad news for those who want a buy a new home. In most cases you will need to get a mortgage before you buy and this means your credit will be under scrutiny. Start getting acquainted with your credit score and begin fix the problems well before you apply for a mortgage.

  2. Think about the Future

    If you have a job or other obligation that may require you to move or travel for extended periods of time you want to think twice about rushing into the housing market. Buying a house is a commitment that will tie you down to a particular location for at least a few years. It’s not easy or economically feasible to pack up and sell your home at the drop of a hat.

  3. Educate Your Self

    As a first time home buyer one of the worst thing you can do is go into the market unprepared. Familiarizing your self with words and phrases that are used will allow you to better comprehend the market. A better understanding of the home buying process will enable you to make a well educated decision when it comes to you’re final purchase. Entering the market blindly can turn you’re home buying dreams into a nightmare.

  4. Be Rational

    We all want to live in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the housing market must be approached from the bottom up? Renting is the start of the home owners journey. With your dream home serving as the final destination you will most likely need to take a few stops on the way there. The logical step is to buy a house you can afford not one that lands you in economic turmoil. Consider your first home an investment that you can improve upon over time. Once the home is improved you can sell it and bring yourself one step closer to your dream home. Buying out of your league can be a huge problem so set a budget and find a home within your means.

  5. Ask For Help

    Don’t be determined to have a go at it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and sometimes it really helps to have someone walk you through it step by step. Agents are more than willing to help you look through home listing, find what your looking for, and ultimately take you from start to finish.

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First Time Homebuyers and Down Payment Assistance Programs

May 27, 2010 Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA’s) for First Time Home Buyers By: Michael A. Foote, CMB

There is money available for first time homebuyers today. In a much needed addition to financing products available today, down payment assistance programs are available once again. Down Payment Assistance Programs are generally a local, state or federal grant or bond program designed to assist certain persons with certain income levels in certain areas, with money that can be used for down payment and closing costs on many purchase loans.

These tax free grants or loans are generally forgivable provided the buyer stays in the home for a designated amount of time. And these dollars can dramatically change the amount of money required for closing when these first time homebuyers buy a home. For example, a typically FHA borrower may have to come up with over 4-7% total of the sales price whereas a borrower with a WISH down payment assistance program may only need to bring in 2-3% total. That’s a huge amount of money on a several hundred thousand dollar transaction. If you amortize out that difference the savings are literally tens of thousands of dollars since most closing costs are financed in the new mortgage.

So what does the process with „DPA“ look like when compared to the regular loan process. Quite frankly, it’s seem less to the user insofar that the lender will generally have to deal with the additional hoops during the process. For the borrower/buyer they probably wouldn’t know the difference. The only real difference is a potential for a slightly longer loan processing time. So is DPA a good idea? Well, lately it has been a challenge for Realtors to get clients using FHA let alone FHA WITH Down Payment Assistance so an argument could be made that using DPA on an Offer to Purchase could be a determining factor for the seller’s side when these choose the offer to open escrow with. The only cure for this pitfall will need to be more product on the market for properties up to the $400,000 range as DPA generally have no purpose and no qualifying borrowers as the sales price rises and/or in areas of high per capita income. Undoubtedly, DPA has a place in today’s financing landscape and those of in the industry are happy to have it, it is one more additional tool to increase homeownership for low to mid income families. And this product will help sell the forecasted shadow inventory rumored to be lurking around the corner.

Only time will tell if that come to fruition or not. These programs are not free from abuse, there have been in the past scams related to DPA and officials, lenders, and large institutions have really scaled back what is allowable as DPA. Also economics play into the availability of these from all the time. There are many DPA’s completely drained of funds.

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5 Common Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make

If you are going to buy your first home, you may be excited as well as nervous. This process can be full of complexities. Therefore, you may want to be properly prepared in order to make sure that you buy the best home to satisfy your needs. Given below are some common mistakes that you may want to make during this adventure.

1. Not doing Proper Research

First of all, you may want to understand the needs and finances of your family. For this purpose, you may want to analyze your assets and liabilities. Once you are approved for finance, you can go ahead and start your search for the right house. You should be familiar with your neighborhood as well. Make sure that your neighborhood has quality schools, transport facilities, and other amenities.

2. Opting for the Wrong Mortgage

Before you look for the best house, you should be in the best position to negotiate. Make sure you choose your finance package after proper research. You may also want to use the services of an independent finance broker in addition to your bank. These institutions have access to a lot of finance products and lenders.

3. Waiting too Long

There is no doubt that the prices of real estate properties continue to fluctuate based on the rule of demand and supply. However, if you just keep waiting for the prices to come down, you are putting the future of your family at risk.

So, what you need to do is set your budget considering your future needs. This will help you buy the right house at the right time.

4. Crossing your Budget Limit

It is not a good idea to go beyond your budget limit. You may want to go for a property that can satisfy your budget. Even if you like a house, you should only go for it if it falls in your price range. After all, you don’t want to get in trouble down the road.

All of us want a little more than we can actually afford. So, no matter what your real estate agent suggests, you should never be tempted. Spending more than what you can afford can put you in financial trouble in the near future.

5. Falling in Love

If you have found a house that you have fallen in love with, make sure the seller’s agent does not get even a hint of it. Typically, agents are very smart, which is why they can read your emotions. If you cannot afford a house that you just love, don’t just pay more than what you can afford. You can find a better alternative at the right price.

Long story short, you may want to avoid these 5 mistakes if you are looking to purchase your first home. By avoiding these common mistakes, it will be easier for you to get the right house at the right price. Hopefully, these steps will help you get the best deal without making costly mistakes.

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History of Real Estate Agency Relationships

In the beginning, real estate brokers were known as middlemen and optioneers. Back then, the customary practice was for a middleman to know about a property for sale, but to keep it secret from other middlemen. It was difficult for these middleman to collect a fee for their services so they would resort to tactics that were not always in their seller’s best interest. Optioneers, on the other hand, were usually more successful in collecting their fees because they would tie up the seller’s property on an option to purchase, sell the property to a buyer at a price over the option amount, pay the seller the option price, and then pocket the rest.

The early real estate brokerage business was loosely organized and used methods of brokering that were often dishonest, subject to fraud, and that took advantage of sellers and buyers. Eventually, a newer concept with the real estate broker being an agent of and owing a fiduciary duty to the seller and receiving payment for his services was developed. This new concept forced the seller and broker relationship to a higher level of service and duty. It also allowed brokers to list property for sale using contracts. These contracts are what we now refer to listings. The earlier forms of listings we called open listings. The open listing is a type of non exclusive listing contract authorizing a real estate broker to offer a property for sale, find a buyer and get paid for services upon the closing of that transaction.

Other brokers could also have open listings for the same property, but only the broker who actually found the buyer would receive a commission. In addition, no broker would get paid a fee if the seller sold the property. The open listing discouraged cooperation between brokers, since each broker could obtain their own open listing. To solve the open listing problem, the exclusive agency listing became popular.

The exclusive agency listing is a type of listing contract wherein the seller offers only the listing brokerage compensation if the buyer is procured through the brokerage’s efforts or the efforts of other real estate brokerages. This means that in certain situations, such as For Sale by Owner, the listing brokerage may not receive compensation when the property is sold. In the exclusive agency listing, the listing brokerage or another brokerage working with the listing brokerage must procure the buyer in order to have a claim on compensation.

The exclusive agency listing encourages competing brokers to find buyers for listing, since the listing brokerage pays the selling brokerage’s fee. However, the seller still does not pay a fee when a seller finds the buyer. The exclusive agency listing eventually gave rise to the exclusive right to sell listing.

The exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the listing brokerage is offered compensation in the event of a sale regardless of who procured the buyer. The exclusive right to sell listing guarantees that the listing broker will get paid a fee, even if a competing broker or the seller sells property. It provides the most protection for the listing broker and is considered in the best interest of the seller because the listing brokerage will put effort and resources into marketing the property, since a commission is guaranteed during the term of the agreement.

Even after the exclusive right to sell listing became popular, there was little cooperation between brokerages, since a buyer who wanted to buy a specific property would have to deal with the broker who had exclusive listings of interest. It was also quite clear to all parties in that the broker represented the seller and that the buyer had no representation.

By the 1950s there was pressure for more cooperation between brokerages. As a result, a broker working with a buyer would contact competing brokerages to to learn of their inventory and possible matches for their clients. Deals often resulted where the selling agent did not know the seller or their agent and the selling agent’s only dealings were with the buyer. Suddenly, the concept that the selling brokerage owed its fiduciary duty to only the seller was no longer a neat and logical concept. However, it would take many years before the unworkable agency concepts would be sorted out and lead to buyer representation.

As the 1950s and 1960s progressed, a more formalized cooperative brokerage system, known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), was developed. Through the MLS, the concept of subagency evolved. Simply stated, this meant the listing broker was the agent of and represented only the seller. The listing brokerage would hire sales associates who were considered subagents of the seller. The listing MLS brokerage was required to make the listing available to all cooperating brokerage within their MLS. These cooperating brokerages were also deemed subagents of the listing brokerage, who were agents of the seller. If the cooperating brokerage had sales associates, they were subagents of the cooperating brokerage, who were subagents of the listing brokerage, who was the agent of the seller. During this period, an agency relationship with a buyer was not possible, since the agency relationship was always with the seller. The only duty a licensee owed to a buyer was to not lie when asked questions about a property. The concept of „buyer beware“ was truly the reality of how the brokerage business operated and buyers were always unrepresented.

The rise of consumerism, as manifested in numerous court decisions, put pressure on the brokerage business to be more concerned with the interests of the buyer. Because of that, licensees working with buyers had an affirmative duty to disclose known matters affecting a property. For example, if the broker knew that a roof leaked, he would have to disclose this fact. This disclosure concept was later expanded by the courts to include conditions about the property that the brokers should or could have known.

By the 1980s, a government study found that nearly three-quarters of all buyers thought the brokerage they were working with was representing them as a client. The same study concluded that nearly three-quarters of all sellers also thought that the cooperating brokerage represented the buyer’s interests. It soon became obvious the concepts of agency law that the industry and governmental regulators had attempted to impose in order to simplify and clarify the agency relationships had not worked. Continued pressure from consumer groups and the courts finally led to the buyer representation movement of the 1990s.

In 1991, the National Association of REALTORS® formed an advisory group to study agency representation issues. Testimony was received from real estate practitioners, industry experts, the public, and state regulatory authorities. The advisory group’s report made the following recommendations:

  • The NAR’s multiple listing policy should be modified to make subagency offers optional. If subagency was not accepted by a cooperating brokerage, then the listing brokerage was to offer compensation to the brokerage representing the buyer.
  • The NAR would encourage state associations to promote changes in real estate law and regulations in order to promote disclosure of agency options. These options would include seller agency, buyer agency, and disclosed dual agency. The purpose of this recommendation was to assist consumers in making informed decisions regarding representation.
  • The NAR should encourage real estate brokerages to adopt written company policies addressing the handling of agency relationships with its clients and customers.
  • The NAR would encourage education of all members on the topic of agency representation. State regulatory agencies would also be encouraged to include agency as a mandatory topic in continuing education requirements for all licensees.

As of 1992, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted the following policy:

„The National Association of REALTORS® recognizes seller agency, buyer agency and disclosed dual agency with informed consent as appropriate forms of consumer representation in real estate transactions. The association respects the need for all REALTORS® to be able to make individual business decisions about their companies‘ agency practices. Furthermore, NAR endorses freedom of choice and informed consent for consumers or real estate services when creating agency relationships with real estate licensee.“

These NAR changes to representation policy modified the way the industry practices. Exclusive Right to Represent buyer agreements now allow a buyer to contract with a brokerage to find, and negotiate, the purchase of real property. Generally, these agreements are for a specified period and require the buyer to pay a commission upon the closing of the real property transaction. As an agent of the buyer, the buyer’s brokerage owes all of the fiduciary duties (care, loyalty, disclosure, obedience, and accounting) to his principal, the buyer.

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Real Estate Lead Generation Services – A Breakdown Of Those Available

Online and automated real estate lead generation services are provided by companies that do the bulk of your lead generation work for you. In return for payment, they provide you with targeted leads of prospective clients who are investigating the sale of their home, thinking about buying a home or actively searching for a real estate agent.

But who are these companies, how do they work, what information can you expect to derive from their services, and what do they charge? For a breakdown of some of the industry’s most popular real estate lead generation companies, keep reading.

Realty Generator

Realty Generator syncs your local MLS listings with your website, manages search engine advertising spending, offers cell phone alerts, and includes CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.

House Values

House Values is a website that lets homeowners type in their zip code and real estate property info in exchange for a home evaluation, provided by you. In turn, they collect the visitor’s contact info and pass it on to you for a nominal fee.

House By Mouse

Through a variety of websites and MLS listings, House by Mouse collects visitor information and passes it on to you. You get email updates, including those local prospects‘ contact info and, in turn, pay per lead generated. They charge about $12.95 per lead.

Realtor Exposure

Realtor Exposure works by providing you with a personal website that is designed to capture leads from buyers and sellers who are searching for home information in your area. Those leads are delivered to your cell phone or email. They also guarantee that your site will appear on the first page of search engine results, but this isn’t confirmed.

1to1Red

1to1Red allows you to set your monthly budget and then creates a personalized lead generation program based on that budget. They can manage advertising, online campaigns and pass on potential leads right to your inbox. Their focus is on quality leads and providing you with all the tracking information you need to stay on top of your marketing.

For an average of 5-15 quality leads per month with 1to1Red.com, you can expect to pay approximately $500.

HomeGain

HomeGain’s biggest selling feature is that you only pay a referral fee if you close a deal. They offer customized coverage areas for a low monthly subscription rate and, in turn, provide you with the contact information of web searchers looking for a home evaluation or realtor.

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Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg
Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
Wir verkaufen für Verkäufer zu 100% kostenfrei
Schnell, zuverlässig und kompetent

Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy a House? Or What Do Realtors Actually Do for All That Money

Real estate as a profession has been around as long as there has been a United States and yet many people have little idea how Realtors actually function. This understanding is exasperated by the fact that no two Realtors practice in the exact same way. While the aim is the same, the methods employed are often quite different. Still, the basic process remains unchanged.

This matters because both buyers and sellers are often challenged by their living situation–or lack thereof–to the point of severe stress both emotional and financial. Understand the process can be a great help.

Buyers, for instance, tend to think of real estate sales persons as someone who wants to sell them a house, that they will even try to talk a person into buying a particular property in order to make another commission. While some new licenses may start out like a glorified used car salesman with this idea they rarely last. Over 70% of new agents fail in the first year.

What actually happens is the Realtor learns all they can about a person’s needs and finances and combs the market for a home to fit those needs and financial limitations. This last issue is usually the toughest. Buyers strive to get the most home for the least cost and sellers strive to sell for the highest price. Add direct competition from other buyers and the landscape can be challenging at best.

This is where a good Realtor is worth his or her weight in gold. Well, maybe not their weight in gold, although this may be true in some cases, but a considerable amount of money at a time when financial resources are usually stretched to the limit.

Helping a buyer into the right home at the right price is the job and Realtors have been doing just that for as long as there have been Realtors. If they didn’t they would have gone extinct ages ago especially in today’s computer driven markets.

Once the right home is found the job is just beginning. The best price and terms must be negotiated. This is an art in itself and can save the home buyer a sizable fortune. Here’s where the network of Realtor affiliated with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) comes into play.

Both the buyer and the seller are typically represented by separate agents, each legally required to serve their client’s needs and no other. Buyers and sellers do not directly interact. This single factor facilitates successful agreements more than any other means since Realtors as experienced negotiators can put together deals that individuals usually cannot as witnessed by the staggering rate of negotiation failures experienced by FSBOs (For Sale by Owner sellers working without representation)

Once the deal is struck the next challenge is getting to the closing table through financing, home inspections, attorney and title hang-ups and even timing. The previous owner must leave at the same time the new owners are ready to move in. This is often on the same say, the day of the closing. Here too expertise pays off while sellers who manage to strike a deal experience major fall-through issues and failed closings forcing them to start over with all the accompanying costs and missed opportunity.

Realtors facilitate successful transactions not by pushing their own agenda but by expediting their client’s needs and goals.

Not only is trying to sell someone a home counterproductive in a world of cautious buyers it undermines an experience agent’s foundation for continues success in the profession: repeat customers.

Sellers too often labor under misconception about the process of selling their property. If they gave it any consideration at all they might think that what doesn’t really happen to buyers actually does. No successful agent goes out and tries to talks someone into buying a house.

What actually happens is much like marketing any product or commodity. Simply put, the Realtor promotes the listing to the buying public in the best possible light. This process too is greatly facilitated by MLS associations as a repository of homes for sale. The MLS is the single best source for home sales in the country where over 90% of buyers find their home through agents affiliated with a regional MLS. The goal is that no one interested in buying a home is left unaware of the seller’s offering. And that the best possible light means the place must show well and the price must be competitive with other similar homes since buyers will always choose the best home at the best price.

This can be as much of a challenge for sellers as it is for buyers. Again, the seller is looking to maximize their investment which does not usually include fixing the place up. If they wanted to make improvements or repairs they wouldn’t be selling in the first place and for the price they are getting the buyer should be willing to accept less than picture perfect–at least that’s often the common thinking. This is just as reasonable as buyer’s being put off by homes that need work and in their opinion overpriced but not conducive to anyone getting what they want and need.

What results is conflict–almost every time. Solving these innate issues is what Realtor do best: Finding the right home for the buyers based on their needs not their own. Or market the seller’s home effectively to bring in a ready, willing, and able buyer. Then making it work for both parties all the way to the closing table and a fine new home for the buyer and a big check for the seller to enhance their bottom line as well as their living situation. Not bad, not bad at all.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg
Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
Wir verkaufen für Verkäufer zu 100% kostenfrei
Schnell, zuverlässig und kompetent

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