Bahrain Real Estate – Freehold Properites

When Middle Eastern property markets are mentioned, Dubai is always spoken about and the success of its real estate market is well documented. However, one market that is catching up fast is Bahrain. Of all the Middle Eastern real estate markets, the Bahrain real estate market has possible the greatest potential.

Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands. The country was once named by ancients Sumerians, considered an island paradise in which there was no disease, death or suffering, and where gods resided. Although modern Bahrain has not retained such mythical status, many still frolic in its heavenly shoreline, and many still perceive the country as blissful respite from lenient Islamic countries. Bahrain holds a strategic position between East and West, The Kingdom has always been considered a place of unity where east meets west, renowned for its warmth and hospitality. A good balance of traditional values combined with refined modernity, make Bahrain an attractive country to live and work.

Despite its size, Bahrain has a well established real estate market. In recent times changes in Bahraini law, foreign nationals are now allowed freehold ownership of property, have created a huge increase in investor interest in the country. Unlike countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain has worked hard to diversity its economy away from oil by focusing on business areas such as tourism, information technology, telecommunications, education and healthcare. This strategy has attracted a number of multinational firms to establish their headquarters in Bahrain.

About one-third of Bahrain’s population is foreign expatriates who seek that ideal blend of stability and prosperity. Perhaps this influence has shaped modern Bahrain, now rapidly modernizing, full of shopping malls and restaurants. Expatriates living in Bahrain generally enjoy an extraordinary standard of living primarily because of substantial tax free income. The types of accommodation expatriates seek has established the style of real estate that is typically available for sale or rent in the Kingdom and financing properties in the Kingdom is fairly easy.

The movement of increasing numbers of expatriate to Bahrain has resulted in a huge boom in the real estate sector. Most of these expatriates are taking advantage of the changes in legislation that allow them to own freehold properties and this is increasing the need for quality accommodation. The surge in demand for accommodation is probably why rental rates have surged over the last few years. However, rental rates are still significantly lower than in Dubai. These factors have made the Bahraini real estate market ripe for investment with realization of capital appreciation fairly easy to achieve due to a market enthusiastic for completed resale property.

Keeping these factors in mind, Bahrain is quite possibly the best real estate market to invest in. For investors looking for better capital appreciation than Dubai has, Bahrain is the market they need to get into.

What You Should Know When Selecting Real Estate CRM Software Solutions

If you are a real estate agent then you are probably well aware of the very busy schedule that a day in your job entails. The key behind the success of a real estate agent lies in the way that an agent goes about the business of managing client records. Since there never seems to be enough time in a day to deal accurately and efficiently with all the clientele many agents adopt the use of real estate CRM software.

Most real estate agents in the market today outsource to Customer Relations Management (CRM) organizations. These organizations then employ the use of CRM software to handle your clientele in a simple and cost effective manner. However, as with anything else in life, you have to make sure that the real estate CRM software of company that you choose to go with is of top range.

There are many CRM for real estate software options available in the market. Most software systems enable user’s efficient customer relations management as well as gathering of valuable information contained in CRM files to supercharge your productivity and potential. If you are mainly looking to increase your revenues and results, you should consider going with the very best CRM option available which offers superior customer relations management solutions for innovative real estate managers.

Opting for CRM software that is more recognized by real estate professionals help ensure you get the very best service from it. Popular CMR software options typically allow you quick access to your CRM records performance plotting and self-tracking. With the help of the tracking capabilities of such software you can also plan your marketing and sales approaches in a manner that is sure to boost your performance as well as overall profits.

Modern CRM software is pretty different from traditional CRM solutions, which focuses mainly on helping you to keep track of your clientele. It does this by providing an accurate and convenient way to keep track of your contacts, appointments, leads, reports, deadlines, etc. it also has the option of offering SEO (Search Engine Optimization)to your marketing campaigns, before sending them out to your potential clients by means of drip-email; which is very cost-effective.

If the software that you need is one that falls along the lines of the above mentioned traditional type, then you would do well to consider a more modern solution that provides all the necessary tools to efficiently handle your property transactions. The advantage modern CRM software solutions over traditional choices is that they comes in different versions, allowing you the option of choosing what is most suited for your needs.

It is also important to consider whether or not you wish your CRM software for real estate to be a web-based or a desktop application. Web-based CRM software has certain advantages over desktop applications however they also come with their own set of disadvantages so it is always best to be well informed before making a choice.

Buy Salvador Real Estate

Property investments in Bahia have never looked more attractive than what it is these days and Salvador is an optimum choice because it gives the ideal blend of natural beauty and conveniences of modern living.

No wonder then that Salvador real estate is always in high demand and many people from Brazil as well as investors and holiday home seekers from around the world take a keen interest in it.

The fast growing economy and the immense tourism potential of the place makes Salvador rank high in the eyes of Bahia real estate seekers.

Salvador, Ideally Located, Easily Reachable And Well Connected

Salvador is a port city and the capital of the northeastern coastal state of Bahia. It has earned the reputation of being ‘Brazil’s capital of happiness’ due to its relaxed and carnival type atmosphere, easy going people and outdoor parties. It has the third highest population among Brazilian cities after Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

Located on the small peninsula that separates the Todos os Santos Bay from the Atlantic Ocean, it is a major port that lies right in the centre of the rich agricultural and industrial region of Reconcavo Baiano.

Though the international airport at Salvador would be the most preferred entry point for travelers from other countries, it is also accessible by the sea with the port being a usual stop for international cruises. Salvador is also well connected by long distance buses to other parts of Brazil.

A Rich History And A Meeting Point Of Many Different Cultures

The location will instantly make real estate Salvador a hit with anybody who understands the capital appreciation potential of a growing port city right in the middle of an economically active zone with unlimited tourism possibilities.

The rich culture of modern day Salvador is not surprising considering the significant role that it played in the history of the region. The region was first visited by the Portuguese in 1500. They named the bay Todos os Santos which means ‘All saints bay’ from which Salvador got its name. The city was established in 1549 by the Portuguese.

Dutch and Jewish settlers used Salvador as their entry point. The Jews spread their culture throughout Bahia, but Catholicism had the highest influence on it. Soon the small town grew into one of the largest cities in the continent.

It is divided into an upper and lower city with the population mostly living in the upper city which was the religious and administrative area. The lower city which was the financial center had the port and market.

Salvador was the capital of Brazil till 1763 after which Rio de Janeiro took over that role. It played a significant role in the slave trade and the large black population today is testimony of that fact. With so many different cultures having played a role in the development of the city, it is not surprising that it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

The main language is Portuguese but most people understand and speak English and Spanish. Seafood is the most popular cuisine. The tropical climate is excellent with the temperature hovering around 27°C all round the year.This distinguished culture enhances the attraction of the city as a tourist destination. Salvador real estate market benefits from the bright economic prospects as well as the tourism potential.

Places To Visit And Things To Do

• The squares of Praca da Se and the Terreiro de Jesus connected by the cathedral at the corner are popular places to hang out.

• The museum is a place to visit with exhibits documenting the slave trade and the historical past.

• Largo do Pelourinho, a triangular plaza, is one of the oldest parts of the city.

• The main market, Mercado Modelo, is the place to visit for buying crafts and souvenirs.

• Igreja do Nosso Senhor do Bonfim is a small church and one of the most significant pilgrimage sites of Brazil.

• Other modern day attractions like parks, golf courses and water sports that can be expected from a port city are always there.

Salvador Real Estate Options

Apartments could cost you anywhere from $53,460 to $1,688,250. Average price of apartments is around $266,260.Salvador provides all types of real estate possibilities ranging from apartments to villas on the residential segment. Commercial investors will also find all options from undeveloped land to malls and hotels. The prices vary a lot depending upon the location, size and the amenities. Let us take a look at the price ranges for residential Salvador real estate.

Houses are available from $67,530 to $1,519,427. Average price is close to $436,240.

Salvador will be the host city for the 2014 world cup and 2016 Olympics and the possibility of capital appreciation is truly immense. If being a port city in the midst of an economic region of a fast growing Brazilian economy was not good enough for Salvador real estate seekers, the culture and tourism potential makes it an ideal choice for everyone.

Search over 500+ Brazilian properties; houses, apartments, farms, land and development opportunities to make an informed Salvador property investment. Brazil Bahia Property are the largest real estate agents in the Bahia region and cover all areas of the market offering real world advice if you’re looking to buy Brazilian property.

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Mexico Real Estate’s Gems – Cancun Compared to Puerto Vallarta

Mexico real estate has many excellent locations for Americans and Canadians to consider; two that stand out as exceptional choices are Cancun real estate and Puerto Vallarta real estate. The following is a comparison of some similarities and differences.


Beachfront – Both Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are located on some of Mexico’s finest beaches. In both places, beachfront properties are readily available and life on the beach can be enjoyed directly at your “front door.” Both locations also offer nice properties back from the beach with close driving access to enjoy a walk in the warm sand, or a cold drink on a sunny day.

Luxury Properties – The properties available in both locations are very nice, with spacious design, nice views, high-quality finishing details, onsite amenities (in the case of condo complexes) and full modern connections for everything from basic electricity to high-speed internet. A beachfront lifestyle can be enjoyed in comfort.

Pricing – Just as important is that these luxury properties can be found in both Cancun and Puerto Vallarta for prices accessible to the average American budget. Financial tools such as mortgages help to make this even more accessible. The cost of day-to-day life is also considerably lower, making life’s little luxuries much easier to afford.

Modern Services – Both locations have grown to be Mexico’s top tourist destinations. Along with this large-scale tourism have come many modern services including activities like boat tours, sight-seeing tours, movie theaters and professional golf, as well as day-to-day necessities like Walmart, Home Depot, modern malls and top of the line clinics and hospitals.


Pacific vs. Caribbean – Puerto Vallarta is located on the Pacific Ocean, offering beautiful views of splendid sunsets where it looks like the sky is on fire. The Pacific Ocean also offers some unique oceanfront activities like surfing. Cancun, on the other hand, faces east on the Caribbean.

Views – Puerto Vallarta not only offers views of the Ocean, but also of the beaches stretching out along the bay and the surrounding mountains. Cancun offers views of it’s very wide, white beaches, and the uniquely turquoise Caribbean beyond – beaches that many consider to be most beautiful in the world.

History – Puerto Vallarta has its Old Town, and is not too far away from the birth place of Mexico’s famous liquor, the Tequila Valley. Cancun’s is close to many Mayan ruins, and about 1.5 hours from the awe-inspiring Chichen Itza pyramids, now one of the new wonders of the world.

The choice between these two locations can be a tough one, and is largely dependent on personal taste. In either case, a buyer will be enjoying a beachfront lifestyle at its best, at a price they can afford!; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely

TOPMexicoRealEstate NETWORK; “Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely!”
Region: Playa del Carmen Real estate Thomas Lloyd graduated from Purdue University Krannert School of Management with a degree in Management/Financial Option Investments. He has been living, investing, and working professionally in Mexico for over 15 years. A Mexican Certified Realtor he is the current president of TOPmexicorealestate, you can contact him at (512) 879-6546.

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Cheap Mexico Real Estate in Yucatan – Options for Smart Buyers

If you are considering buying cheap Mexico real estate, you’ve probably noticed the large number of excellent options in Yucatan. Yucatan continues to be one of the top choices for well-priced real estate because of an excellent combination of high-quality services with a very affordable lifestyle.

One options which informed buyers are considering more and more is that of Yucatan homes. Many homes in the large colonial city of Merida and surrounding towns can be bought for very accessible prices, sometimes as low as $30,000 USD. While these homes would definitely need investment in renovation, they are very well built, and offer buyers large amounts of potential to be converted into a dream home, or for resale.

For about $120,000 a comfortable home ready to live in can be acquired. For these same prices, homes can be found very close to the beachfront, in towns such as Progreso, which is about 30 minutes away from the city of Merida.

Yucatan land prices are also very accessible. Lots are available directly in the city of Merida, but one of the most attractive options within this market is also in land directly on the beachfront, or very near. Large, beautiful beachfront lots can be found well under $100,000 USD, ideal for building a personalized dream home.

Not only is real estate inexpensive, but the cost of living is also low. Hospital service and health care, for example, tends to be about 50-70% less than in the U.S. These same facilities have been ranked on par with private hospitals in the U.S. by the World Health Organization.

Savings can be noticed in everything from groceries to transportation.

At the same time, Merida is home to high-quality, modern services. In addition to the hospitals, there are also large, modern shopping centers, professional golf courses, international chain stores, an international airport and much more.

While it may be easy to find cheap real estate, it is much more difficult to find cheap real estate that his a lot of potential for investment and for excellent lifestyle, in an area where there are modern services available for accessible prices. Yucatan is one of the few places where this balance exists to this extent.; Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely.

Mexico Real Estate NETWORK; “Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely!”
Region: Playa del Carmen real estate Thomas Lloyd graduated from Purdue University Krannert School of Management with a degree in Management/Financial Option Investments. He has been living, investing, and working professionally in Mexico for over 15 years. A Mexican Certified Realtor he is the current president of TOPmexicorealestate, you can contact him at (512) 879-6546.

Infrastructure Improvements Add Value to Nicaragua Real Estate in San Juan Del Sur

During the last several years as the real estate market in Nicaragua has begun to mature San Juan del Sur has seen tremendous infrastructure improvements. Just a few short years ago the trip from Managua to San Juan del Sur was a bumpy one, as travelers had to bounce along the semi-paved and neglected highways for 3 hours. Today the entire trip is smooth sailing and has been reduced to 2 hours. All 140 kilometers have been resurfaced in various phases during the last few years.

San Juan del Sur has seen incredible improvements in the downtown area. Many of the interior roads have been improved and public lighting have been installed along the main streets. The central park and town square has been given a facelift and a new playground was erected in front of the church. The baseball field in town was given a modern sprinkler system and proper drainage was installed. The municipal sports park was completely refurbished through private donations. The court was resurfaced, new lighting was installed for night events, a seating area was built for the fans, and new basketball hoops and soccer goals were all built on site.

The beach in town has seen a major improvement with the construction of a pedestrian bridge spanning the estuary. San Juan del Sur is home to it’s very own “mini-Golden Gate Bridge” which connects the residential neighborhood on the northern side of the bay with the center of town to the south. The 200-meter suspension bridge is a gorgeous addition to the picturesque bay. The port on the southern end of San Juan del Sur has been modernized and is now receiving cruise ships a few times a week during the winter months.

Access from San Juan del Sur to the surf beaches north and south have been dramatically improved in recent years. The first two kilometers of the road heading north was paved and the road bed was raised to avoid future flooding. The road south to Playa El Coco, Playa Yankee and Playa Remanso is currently undergoing improvements in drainage and paving should begin within a few months. At the turnoff to Playa Maderas, Playa Marsella and Playa Majagual a new bridge is currently under construction that will span the creek and guarantee access year round to one of thebest surf beaches in Nicaragua.

Water and electricity are vital to fuel the growth of a burgeoning Nicaragua real estate market. There is a large wind turbine project on Lake Nicaragua along the Pan-American high way between San Juan del Sur and the Costa Rican border that will provide a large percentage of the countries electrical power once completed. There are currently 19 turbines generating electricity with another 11 in various stages of construction. Another large-scale project will bring potable water from Lake Nicaragua 17 kilometers to San Juan del Sur. This project has been initiated and the crews have been laying pipe for the last several months. In conjunction with fresh water they will be modernizing and improving the black water treatment facilities for the town. Both of these projects are vital for the short and long-term growth of San Juan del Sur as a tourist hotspot and real estate investor’s destination.

Foreign real estate investment has increased property tax collection in the municipality of San Juan del Sur exponentially over the last 5 years and these funds are being reinvested in the local community. This has helped the infrastructure to improve tremendously over the past few years with the additional support of private business owners. The future of Nicaragua real estate in San Juan del Sur looks very promising.

Zachary Lunin founded Aurora Beachfront Realty in San Juan del Sur in 2004. He is considered an expert in Nicaragua real estate and the market trends in Nicaragua. Aurora is the market leader in Nicaragua real estate with offices in Managua, Leon and San Juan del Sur. Visit Aurora Beachfront Realty to learn more about the Nicaragua real estate market.

Brisbane’s Real Estate

Due to a massive inward migration fueled by the Queensland Mining Boom, Brisbane’s Real Estate has seen some massive redevelopment over the last 10 years. Brisbane was very much the sleepy town before hitting the international news when it hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games. Since then it has seen a huge increase in population as people have migrated there for the sunny climate and job security.

This increase in population has brought substantial gains in Real Estate Prices and has seen the architectural landscape change. Many Brisbane suburbs have gone through the first gentrification changes and are unrecognizable from just a few years ago.

The Real Estate architecture in Brisbane is made up of Queenslanders, Post War, Contemporary Modern and Apartments. The main changes are evident in suburbs that had mainly post war homes because of a council ruling on demolition of post 1946 homes. These post war homes have been removed by many to be replaced by contemporary homes which cater for the modern family that demand modern indoor spaces. Usually the homes are built on 405 square metre blocks of land and many boast elegant swimming pools and outdoor entertainment areas.

Some of the post war Real Estate has been removed on land zoned LMR ( low medium residential) which allows more than one dwelling to be built on it. A common redevelopment has seen the building of four townhouses on a 809 square metre block of LMR land.

The Brisbane City Council has tried to preserve some of the Real Estate heritage by restricting the removal of pre 1946 homes. Some Real Estate sits in Demolition Control Areas which makes it difficult to remove or modify the property. A full application has to be made to council on the grounds of property in a state of disrepair or materially modified beyond its original character.

Some areas have been zoned for high density such as suburbs like Chermside. Here developers have built multi level apartment blocks to meet the demand of low cost housing.

Brisbane is set to change rapidly over the coming years as land becomes more scare in inner city areas.

Richard is a CFD Trader at Stock Market Today [] and is researching a Forex Trading System at Stock Market Today []

The Real Estate Rollercoaster

Are you familiar with the term “the chattering classes”? Briefly, they are the TV talking heads, print pundits and local community activists who know how to run your life better than you do yourself.

They’re from all points on the political spectrum, and declaim on every matter of interest to modern humankind. They will tell you how to vote, whose movie to go to, what cause to support, which stock to invest in and when, where and why to buy a house. The nice thing, too, is that you can shop around until you get an opinion that you agree with. Some chatterer somewhere will co-sign the idea you already had, allowing you to proceed with authority.

Contradictions peacefully coexist among the chatterers, because, well, everything is everything, right? My truth is my truth, yours is yours. Right? That must be right, since on the one hand, lots of chatterers are saying that the current financial crisis makes this a great time to buy real estate, while others say just the opposite and advise a wait-and-see approach.

It’s almost like a contest of battling cliches. In this corner, “The credit crisis changes everything, just like 9/11 did.” And in this corner, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

Okay. Simple question: What the heck is going on with real estate?

Here, there, everywhere There are some regional differences but, generally speaking, real estate in the U.S. has been on a slide. In late October 2008, Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 cities reported its comparison of August 2007 with August 2008. The Index showed the biggest annual drop in history, almost 17 percent. Only two cities in the survey, Boston and Cleveland, held steady, while Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego all dropped a full 25 percent. In Phoenix and Las Vegas, the loss in value was a staggering 31 percent.

Does this mean it’s a “buyer’s market,” and that everyone who can should run out and buy a house? Of course not. That’s never a good piece of advice anyway, since it is not individualized. Beyond that, the best of the best of the financial analysts tell us the bottom is still 24 to 30 months away. How do they know this?

A long-term thing There are a lot of things that go into a modern economy, far too many for one person to keep track of. And the things that need to be perking along in the economic pipeline to support growth in the “housing sector” are numerous, often mysterious and subject to constant fluctuation. But by looking at hard goods, tool and die orders, the building materials manufacturers, credit availability, employment figures, mobility patterns and dozens of other “indicators,” the smarter fellows among the market and financial analysts can make some pretty accurate predictions about home construction, sales and resales.

Bert Dohmen pens the biweekly Wellington Letter and other investor advisories, and is one of the very few “smart money” men (or women) who can show articles from 12-18 months ago predicting a “credit crisis” and “financial meltdown.” Dohmen’s book, Prelude to Meltdown, was written at the end of 2007 and released in January, and by that time he had already made it clear that credit was the big bubble getting ready to burst. One of the industries that Dohmen keeps a microscope on is home construction. It is literally the architect and contractor of the American Dream.

R. H. Johnson, a financial planner who passed away in 2006, was well known for being a big, friendly “bear” of a man. He was also a market bear more often than not, like Dohmen today. He was predicting, as far back as 2004, the popping of the credit and real estate bubble, a condition he saw as being that of parasite and host, respectively. The valuations were too high, he argued, and were driven by “non-rational factors,” among which was the relatively new trend of viewing real estate as a wealth-creation, rather than wealth-storing, vehicle.

Johnson saw the beginnings of the “reality TV economy,” where shows like Flip This House and others touted buying/fixing/selling as a way to play Monopoly with real money and build a real estate empire. In Johnson’s adult life – he graduated from college as an engineer in 1944 and switched to financial planning in 1970 – he was used to looking at real estate as something you held on to, for the most part. It was a long-term thing.

Old meets new The next two years offer great opportunities for people to get into real estate at true market valuation, not the American version of the Dutch Tulipmania of 1636-37. (Look that one up if it’s new to you. Unbelievable.) Dohmen says it’s not the bottom yet, which the next few months will confirm, he expects. That said, there is certainly no reason first-time buyers should not start preparing themselves for home shopping.

Just this week, in Yuba City, California, half an hour north of Sacramento as the freeway flies, a four-bedroom house with a separate in-law studio in the back yard sold for just over $100,000. It was listed in March 2007 at $189,000. Dohmen suspects it will dip even lower (perhaps not in assessed value, but in actual resale worth) before it starts appreciating again in 2011 or so.

The new owner, Sherry Hutchins, is a single woman about 50, with a credit score of 750 (very good). She put zero down, paid no closing costs and will have a monthly payment of around $700 and change. She can get $300+ per month from renting the back studio, so her net mortgage payment for her new home is going to be about $400 a month. She currently pays over $800 for rent on a much smaller duplex, with fussy neighbors, to boot. She put together a great deal for herself, cutting her “rent” in half, achieving freedom from troublesome neighbors and securing herself for the future, too. Triple play!

Hutchins’ plan is to move up in five years, which is sensible. She will be putting sweat equity into the home even before the general market upswing helps raise its value, and paying a little extra on the principle each month. Her good friends, Michelle and Matt, are both do-it-yourselfers, and Matt can do carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical and most anything else. Since the house is a bit of a fixer-upper, Hutchins plans to strip some rooms down enough to add some built-in shelves, French doors and a state-of-the-art video security system.

“As long as I’m working on the place,” she says, “I figured I might as well build in the small fixtures for the surveillance cameras, which are about as big as a soda can. The wiring can all be out of sight since we’re getting down to the framing in a few spots.” Right now she likes the idea of controlling the video surveillance from her computer, which is easy to learn and allows her to log on from anywhere in the world and take a look around her property. Before she makes a final decision, though, she is “going to see a demo of this self-contained system” that uses a DVR (digital video recorder), just so she can say she did her “due diligence diligently.”

Persistence is key The nation has weathered tough economic times in the past, and will do so in the future, too. Government cannot prevent it, nor counteract it, nor “pay” for it. The future, as always, is in the hands of the 300+ million Americans who will get jobs and lose them, buy homes and sell them, make loans and collect them, invent things and build them, and do all the other billions of things each year that, collectively, add up to “what’s happening in America.” What they do with real estate in the next few years, frankly, will determine “what’s happening” for at least a generation, perhaps two.

The best bet is – drum roll, please – history. As Mark Twain is alleged to have said, “History might not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Principles don’t age, anyway, so the notion that some “new” forces would be at work in propelling you through life, instead of the usual hard work and persistence, is downright silly. The same good, solid, sensible habits that built the modern (Western) world over the last few millennia will get you into a new home, too.

And these are not “optional” moves, either. Unless you inherit a lot of money, you will have to work and save, then work and save some more. You will have to shop around, make bids, negotiate with lenders, find the right property finally and then tie it all together. And then you will have to pay for it. There is just no other choice. This is the way you have to do it.

Now, of course, the other part, the computerized video security installation – that decision is yours to make. See? Apparently you do have some options after all. (But video surveillance is a good idea, so think it over.)

By Scott McQuarrie, representing the EZWatch Pro brand, a leading provider of computer based Security Camera Systems for business, commercial and government applications.

Heritage Real Estate

How often does Heritage Real Estate come onto the market? How often does anyone think of buying heritage real estate? Not very often I would think as most people seem to think there are real problem in doing so especially if they want to renovate, restore or just change things a bit. Well this is not entirely true, most heritage properties come with quite few restrictions and even if there are many one can usually negotiate with the relevant authority to allow some otherwise prohibited changes to be made.

Unfortunately there is still the misconception that you can’t do anything to heritage-listed buildings. One main misconception is that you cannot add onto heritage real estate. Not true, most add-ons are allowed if they are in sympathy with the existing building. Just look at the add-ons that have been allowed on some of the heritage listed buildings in Melbourne. The add-on does not have to be exactly the same it has to be in “sympathy”. In effect I would say that if you wanted to add onto a “Georgian” style heritage building, the add-on should look Georgian but does not have to be identically Georgian and can be built out of modern materials. Would you reasonably add-on a “Victorian” addition to a Georgian building, if you were someone who would consider doing this why would you think to buy a heritage property in the first place.

As mentioned there are various degrees of restrictions put on heritage real estate. There are also three levels of authority. One would consider there are four if you add “World Heritage” listed sites, but as these are usually managed at the country government level I still consider that there are only three – Federal, State and Local Government as far as Australia is concerned.

The three levels are to manage the “significance” of the heritage real estate. Obviously the Federal government manages heritage properties that are of Australia wide significance, The State those that are of statewide significance and any that are of local significance are manage by local government.

This means that if you are thinking of buying heritage real estate you should first find what level of “significance” the property has and what sort of restrictions has been placed upon it.

There is also a perception that there is a lot more work, expense and delays in the restoring of Heritage Real Estate. Of course a lot depends on the condition of any buildings. Considering the cost of demolishing a heritage building and building a similar structure in it’s place one would be surprised just how little difference there is in costs. One would think that delays in Heritage permissions would drag things out but you would also be surprised that there are more delays in planning permissions of a new building than there is in an existing one.

Why would one buy heritage real estate? Well, just think of this, there are not many heritage properties for sale around and very few in private hands. Obtaining one and possibly restoring it and turning it into use provides you with something unique, something that very few people have. Consider this when looking for something unique and different. Go and buy your grand mansion if you want somewhere, there are plenty around and not much different from each other.

Think of the grand designs of yesteryear most not re-produced these days because they would look silly on modern buildings. But consider the enchanted way of living with the past in a modern day world if you are the proud owner of a heritage building restored to it’s former glory.

Needless to say we are not looking at the massive heritage buildings that tend to be owned by the various levels of government but of the smaller plots of heritage real estate that are around that add to the past culture that is uniquely “Australian”.

Wilf Gerrard-Staton lives in Country Australia. He is retired with over 35 years in the computer industry under his belt. He an his wife own a Heritage property that they have been restoring.

8 Benefits of Having a Real Estate Website

Whether your old school or on the cutting edge of technology in your dynamic real estate business, everyone needs a website in this day and age. The benefits of having a real estate website are many in number, and the risks of getting left behind without one are very real. So, what exactly are these benefits? Read on for a brief sample.

1- Build a Strong Web Presence
Get found easier and instantly, via Google searches or links on other sites. Have your office’s address, phone numbers, e-mail address, logo, current listings, and specialization displayed at the click of a mouse. Show up in more places, under more categories, and associated with specific strategic keywords. If you combine your real estate website with the rest of a comprehensive marketing campaign, people can find you in so many different ways, your business will be hard to miss!

Make sure to create a listing on Google My Business for local listings, which are area-specific. Yes, you can select who sees you first, depending on where they live.

2- Generate More Leads
This is a no-brainer. Gone are the days of paying thousands of dollars for Yellow Pages ads and highway billboards, hoping enough people will see it and maybe call your office. Do you also want to pay someone just to answer the phone for you full-time, and rely on methods that the average client no longer uses? Your real estate website is like your modern-day “head office”. This should be the first and most important place your potential clients find you, and if you use an online form to collect client info, then the real estate leads are immediate, free, and warm. A website can also serve as the place that you direct clients to your social media, or vice versa, and have the public sign up for your impactful newsletter for regular announcements.

You’ll also now have a thorough database of potential client info for ongoing listings distribution or announcements.

3- Provide More Exposure to Your Properties
The bulk of a real estate website should be dedicated to property descriptions. This is the opportunity to display full-detail descriptions, brilliant digital photography, and 360-degree virtual tours. You can use as much or as little space as you like, provide clickable links, and make it a more interactive experience for the visitor. The listing created on your real estate website can also be shared (for free) via external links to your own social media pages, other real estate websites, community websites, or anywhere else your marketing efforts lead you.

Again, gone are the days of paying for paper advertising in a weekly or monthly magazine with black and white photos, lost among thousands of other listings in the same book. This just isn’t effective anymore, and can even be a waste of money.

4- Tell Them More About You
A real estate website is the perfect place for potential clients can learn more about you as a professional. This is more important in real estate than almost any other service business. Talk about and splash photos displaying awards you have won, events you participate in, community involvement, as well as your personal background and qualifications. When people get to know you this way (as an individual) they get to like you and trust you. This complements your social media and other real estate marketing strategies perfectly.

5- Tell Them About Your Business
Why wait for a local journalist to write an article about you in the paper or local magazine? Want to be known and respected in the local community? Modern technology puts the power back into your hands. Put the information out there yourself, and draw readers in to see it through strategic web techniques.

For no extra cost, you can regularly publish and update details such as the regions you work in, your years of experience, and areas of real estate expertise. Do you have a knowledgeable team? Are you influential in a hot part of town? Do you specialize in condos, revenue properties, or commercial buildings? Put that out there, forever and visible to the entire world. Include high definition photography and videos to reinforce the message, and make a strong first impression they won’t forget.

6- Create a Brand for Your Practice
If you’ve never succeeded in transforming yourself (and your practice) into a brand, or maybe never thought about it, then this is the way. Think about the biggest, most successful, “celebrity” real estate brokers in your area. They are household names, aren’t they? The public is familiar with their names and faces, the same way they know the name of the local grocery store, florist, or school. Top of mind awareness is ultra important in any business.

Think about it. Your picture everywhere, a logo people will remember, a slogan that rolls off the tongue. A properly executed real estate website can begin this process for you, and position you and your agency as the brand of choice in your local market.

7- Use It as Part of Your Listing Presentation
A listing presentation is what an agent shows to the home seller to convince them that he/she is qualified to sell their home. It usually includes stats, a marketing strategy, pricing, relevant experience, and the added value the agent brings to get the job done. If much of this information is already on your website, you save time and effort. Maybe your potential seller already saw a lot of these details and is already impressed by you before even placing the first call.

8- Exchange Information More Easily
No need for potential new clients to call and wait to speak to your receptionist. This small gesture alone can turn off the ultra busy and impatient 25 to 50-year-old shopper, who is used to having questions answered instantaneously these days. No more need to set up an appointment, drive to meet each other, and invest time just for some initial “this is how we work” info. All this can be accomplished with a few brief lines on your real estate website, which people can read within seconds and move onto the next step.

No need for clients to wait for a form to arrive by fax, or stay on the phone during business hours, to fill in their personal info.

This also allows existing and potential clients to provide feedback in an open forum, so you know what they’re looking for. All this can be done 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and not just during your office hours (when potential clients themselves are most busy).