Why take a home loan?

In my 27 years of real estate consulting, I have seen almost 93% of my clients avail a home loan to fund their home purchase. Since most home purchases are beyond the budget of home buyers, they use home loans to bridge the gap between their funding and the total cost of the home they are buying.

But what if I tell you that many home buyers still opt for home loans even if they have spare funds to buy the dream home. Yes that’s true. In today’s scenario buyers prefer taking a home loan to fund such purchase. And here is my insight into why these clients prefer taking a home loan.

  1. You get your due diligence done
    All the banks get a rigorous due diligence done for any property that’s funded by them. This due diligence process consists of checking the title of the property, vetting of all the legal documents till date, find out if there are any encumbrances or existing mortgage on the said property and if the current owner has a clear and marketable title to the property.

  2. You get a valuation done
    Ascertaining the true market value of any property is tricky and best left to professional valuers. Your housing finance company gets your property valued for you at no cost to you. Isn’t that wonderful? You have access to the exact value of the property you are buying and you get it for free.

  3. You have spare money to invest in high pay off investments
    Home loan interest rates are the lowest amongst all category of loans that a bank has to offer. Now imagine this – You have surplus funds of ₹ 3 Crores and instead of using it to fund your new 3 bedroom home at Borivali, you take a home loan of ₹ 3 Crore and buy that swanky new home. And with this surplus of ₹ 3 Crores, you buy an office at Andheri East. This new office will fetch you a rent of at least ₹ 1,25,000/- per month, which helps you pay off part of your home EMI. Cheap home loans help you leverage your money better and create more assets for you. The only downside is you have to be careful with where you invest your hard-earned money.

  4. You can grow your business with your funds
    Instead of locking up your valuable capital in buying a new home or upgrading to a bigger home, you can take a home loan and use your funds to expand your business or scale up your operations across the country. Your business gives you the highest ROI and it never makes sense to fund home purchases when you have a huge need of capital to grow your company.

  5. Loan against Property is your emergency fund generator
    Want funds to renovate your home or have an unexpected expense come up? Top up loans in form of loan against property (your home) can surely come to your rescue. Your asset can always get you liquidity in terms of funds, whenever you need it. But don’t get tempted to take a top up loan and indulge in speculative stock market investments. It may seem lucrative, but it’s not allowed as per the lending norms and you run the risk of losing your capital in the volatile markets. So be very prudent in taking loan against property also known as top up loans.

  6. You get tax breaks
    Yes that’s right. You get income tax rebates on the interest paid on your home loan and also the principal repaid.

Home loans can become your asset instead of a long term liability if you leverage money in a prudent manner and this can create assets for your future as well.

Considering taking up a Realtor’s job?

Considering taking up a Realtor’s job? Take this reality check first!
Making a career as a realtor or a real estate agent is the easiest thing in the world. Absolutely wrong. Contrary to popular notions, building up a career as a realtor is NOT as easy as it is thought to be and needs as much dedication, sincerity, and effort as any other job in the world. The society, which is unaware of the hard work that goes into the making of a competent realtor, views it quite differently and forms its own misconceptions about this profession. We all would have known that “Uncle” who, banking heavily on “contacts and personality” jumped into the business of real estate and soon fizzled out after learning the hard truths well, the hard way.

If you are someone who has set your sights on becoming a realtor, it will be prudent to understand that it’s not a glamorous job and definitely not one for the faint-hearted. Generally, it is thought to be the ideal profession for someone who is gregarious, out-going and independent. However, it needs much more than these qualities to even qualify as a realtor and a lot of grit and determination to succeed as one.

Check out these real-life confessions by realtors who gave defined success in a brand new way and then decide if this is truly the profession you want to be in

It’s definitely not a “Work for 2-3 hours & earns millions” kind of a job

So what kind of a pay-check do realtors take home? It will surely be enough to cover all the expenses of running a shop, showing clients around and footing the occasional hotel bill. Realtors taking off large chunks of money in the form of commissions is close to being a myth as there are many expenses to be managed. Office rentals, utilities, staff salaries and many other miscellaneous expenses like advertising, promotional material, business cards, etc. have to be paid and you need to consider them before jumping with joy about the large commission cheque received.

Did I mention taxes yet? Well, you would have to pay taxes on the income received. Meeting up with clients, checking out properties, fuel expenses, and the works. Add them up and that large commission amount shrinks up a lot.

Can you sell “yourself”?

Selling homes is not a profession for the meek. Though an outgoing, gregarious personality may not guarantee a successful career as a realtor, it surely helps to be an individual who can connect to perfect strangers with ease. Building trust and confidence about your capabilities and your ability to conduct transparent transactions will go a long way in creating a long and loyal client list. But if you are one who constantly shoots off the hip, it is ultra-careful with your aim. Homes are large transactions that many of your buyers may conduct only once or twice during their lifetimes. This means that they will need to have implicit trust in the person facilitating this deal.
Realtors can easily get slotted in a category similar to insurance agents and are labeled as being “commission-hungry” or “pushy”, so ensure you are not one of them. Having a professional yet friendly attitude towards clients is the key to success as a realtor selling high-value properties.

Get ready for that “middle-of-the-night” call

I hope you are a light sleeper and even the faintest beep from your mobile can wake you up at unearthly hours. No, it’s not going to be a love note. Rather expect a call from a distraught buyer/seller who himself is spending sleepless nights over the biggest transaction of his life and expects you to join in and give him company in tiding over this difficult phase. Go ahead and hold his/her hand (strictly theoretically speaking) for a while to assuage their feelings and sing them a lullaby to put them to sleep.

Buying or selling a home is a long-drawn process and during this period, there could be occasional tiffs and tiny cold wars. Your client will always demand the moon (and not want to pay as much) so it is your talent that will come in handy to convince him/her that the moon does not have enough amenities that will do justice to their budget.

If BYOB is your mantra, then real estate selling is THE job for you!

You are going to be sailing off all alone in your own boat with no or little support when you decide to get into this demanding but highly satisfying profession. If you are comfortable chatting up clients, putting them at ease with your knowledge and a dash of humor, ready to spend days without a single prospect in sight (Who told you a realtor’s life is an easy one?) then you are primed to BYOB (Be your own boss).

However, this is a profession that will empower you with abilities to help others create their homes and settle down in life. Being a go-getter and a positive thinker will help since there will be days when nothing seems to be going right. Tiding over such situations will test your true caliber and transform you into a true blue realtor ready to take on the world.

You will do well to remember that we all buy or transact through people whom we trust. By creating the right visual imagery before a client and empathizing with their needs as yours, you can expect a lifetime emotional connect with them. Selling real estate is not about reading a book that says “How to”. Carry out a reality check for yourself before you get your feet wet in these turbulent waters of real estate buying and selling and you will never regret your decision ever.

Social Media as a Lead-Generation Tool- Truth or Myth?

Social Media platforms are a great way of connecting to long-lost friends, business associates, bosses, and peers. Apart from this, these platforms are a wonderful method of connecting to customers and potential clients. They can be relied upon to broadcast a premium property that is up for rent or sale and to announce a new service you have recently started to offer. But is it prudent to rely on social media to generate leads for your real estate business?

Realty Business is much more than only being active online

You surely do not think that once you post a property listing or an ad on Facebook or any other social media platform, leads will start gushing in, do you? If you do, you are not alone. A large number of realtors spend a huge portion of their productive time, posting property listings on social media and tweaking their status every few hours, hoping to grab the attention of buyers and sellers. Instead of supplementing their main activity of meeting and physically interacting with potential clients with a robust social media strategy, they work the other way round and often find themselves staring at the wrong end of the business funnel.

It would make greater business sense to connect to clients with whom successful transactions have been conducted in the past than looking for leads in the virtual world. The realty business is more about building personal contacts, asking for referrals and strengthening current relationships than fortifying an existing online presence. While there isn’t an iota of doubt about the ease and convenience that social media offers, it can never replace the face-to-face interactions and even a phone call. Social media can surely complement your efforts after you have had the initial meetings and discussion, but it cannot lay the foundations of a strong and long-lasting business association.

Send that friend request NOW!!

If utilized efficiently, social media possesses the power to take communication to the next level and strengthen a business relationship. Let’s see how:

  • Follow-up: Right after a meeting or an interaction with a client, you would do well to follow it up with a personal note on a common social media platform. This small but powerful step can lead to generating a lot of goodwill and will come across a thoughtful one. Asking for referrals while doing so is also a good move if done innovatively and without sounding overbearing.
  • Add value: Customers and potential clients are always looking for realtors who can provide value through information and services. Make sure your social media posts are relevant to your client base and have authentic information about areas like changes in Government regulations or property laws and even home loan procedures.
  • Use it as a Platform to display your range of services: Social media can be utilized to establish your brand and the range of services you offer. If you specialize in commercial property, ensure that is highlighted well enough for clients to recall when required. Be selective about what you post and make sure your page isn’t cluttered with irrelevant posts. Images of completion of a project, keys being handed over and client testimonies are always the best bet so use them judiciously. This will build relationships and generate leads too.

Heady Cocktails for everyone to savour!

Remember, social media is a highly effective way of reaching across to clients and prospects when you are not meeting them face-to-face or haven’t called them up for a long time. It can never replace the physical connect a realtor builds with his customers but can serve timely reminders on his behalf. A personal visit or an appreciative gift does wonder for the health of a realtor-client relationship and so do likes on the Facebook page. Ensure you stir up a healthy concoction of one-to-one connects and online contact and remain in touch with existing clients while building up a steady pipeline of prospective customers too.





Top Common sense Tips to be used while moving home!

Shifting into a new home seems like an exciting event in one’s life as you look forward to new environs, better amenities and of course, new neighbors. It is the process of moving to the new address that is the scary part and most people look for a fool-proof and easy way to do this. We know that and here’s a useful and comprehensive list of hacks which will ease the moving process helping you to navigate through the tricky waters.

For your convenience, we have divided these useful hacks into three parts:

  • Before you move
  • While you move and
  • The day you move

Before You Move:

  1. Makes sure all perishable items, frozen food, opened containers, etc. are consumed prior to your moving out so that you do not have to carry them to your new home. Plan your lunches and dinners accordingly!
  2. Reduce the volume and quantity of items to carry into your new home as this will reduce the clutter. Old clothes, unused furniture, utensils, footwear, etc. can be donated to orphanages or old homes. Create a separate area to store these giveaways for easy identification.
  3. If you are moving into a resale flat, make sure the bathroom and toilet have been thoroughly cleaned.
  4. Update your new address with utilities, banks, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, etc. and leave your forwarding address with a neighbor for any mail you may receive.
  5. Your furniture must fit into your new home so make sure you measure your furniture before you move in. What doesn’t fit should be left behind.
  6. Unless you have a large group of super-enthusiastic friends, you would want to use a packer & mover service for shifting. Check as many services as possible and we are sure you will save some money
  7. If you are staying in a rented place, it always makes great sense to leave it in a nice condition. Use toothpaste or soap to fill holes you have drilled in the walls. Also in your new home, while hanging picture frames, glue eraser pieces to the back of the frame to give them stability and prevent scuffing.

While you Move:

  1. A few smart moves will help you save money and time while making this entire process hassle-free:
  2. Get as many boxes from the local “raddiwala” to pack in all your stuff. Believe us, you will need them all.
  3. Pack glass, mirrors, and other delicate items along with magazines and newspapers to avoid damage. Similarly, clothes and linen are the best packing materials for dishes and another crockery.
  4. Instead of folding clothes that are hanging in your wardrobe, put them in large trash bags while they are still hanging. This will help you to unpack quickly.
  5. Organize the boxes room wise and make sure you have labeled them as this will save you a lot of headaches when you reach the new home. Use colored tapes for different rooms to identify the boxes easily.
  6. Very Important: Any marking/identification you make, have to be on the sides and not on top/bottom so you can read them while they are stacked vertically too.
  7. Writing the contents on the box is also a great time-saving idea so you know exactly where the stuff needs to go.
  8. Remember to defrost the refrigerator the night before to any smell or leakage during transit. Plastic wrap is the best way to pack the refrigerator and lock the refrigerator if you still have the keys with you.
  9. Large pots and utensils can be stuffed with spice jars, and small kitchen items to save space and avoid many small packages/boxes.
  10. Laundry baskets, suitcases and trash cans (clean ones, of course) serve as excellent packing boxes, so make sure you use their space effectively.

The Day you move:

  1. Buy ready-to-cook, instant breakfast mixes, milk, and bread for your moving day so you and your family have enough food available for the day after.
  2. Keeping kids busy on the day is critical. To make them feel a part of the entire effort, entrust them with small jobs that they can manage. If possible, ask them to gather their toys and books, etc. in a box.
  3. Keep water, a pack of biscuits, chips or snack bars to keep you refreshed through the day.
  4. Important documents like your driving license, Aadhar card, PAN, registration deed of the new home, etc. need to be handy so keep them together on your person for easy retrieval.
  5. If you are going to reach late in the night, pack your overnight bag with nightclothes, toothbrushes, medications, and toiletries so you don’t have to rush into unpacking in the middle of the night.
  6. Having a good night’s sleep is crucial as moving day is always stressful and tiring.
  7. If you have a pet, try to maintain its routine of a walk or food/snack time, so they settle down easier in their new surroundings too.
  8. A clear plastic bin with an “Open this first” label on it, will go a long way in calming your nerves for items needed first thing in the morning. Believe us!

The more you try to stick to a proper schedule and adhere to these hacks listed above, the easier and stress-free your moving day will be. Your moving process just became easier with these 25 simple, common sense moving tips, go try them!