Split Settlement Closing for my Real Estate Transactions?

Split Settlement ClosingThe split settlement closing…something that I see on a more frequent basis since moving to the East Coast from Phoenix, AZ.  As the Director of Sales/Marketing for Stewart Title and having been in the Title business since 2005, this type of transaction confuses me.  The reason it confuses me is because it complicates the real estate ransaction, and it is not beneficial to the “Seller side Title Company.”  The purpose for the blog is that I don’t think real estate agents fully understand this. Realtors think they are “helping” their client and possibly their preferred Title Company, when in the end they are doing the opposite.  Here is some good information regarding if you should do a split settlement closing on your next transaction.

Why an Effective Blog Post Title Helps you get Found Online

Effective Blog Post TitleI have meant to write about this for sometime now but my crazy job as a Title Sales Rep in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area is getting busier.  Turns out…this blog/video/website stuff works…and well.  So in today’s blog I want to talk about one of the main, core reasons the content you put out into the world of the Internet gets found online.  That main reason is having an effective blog post title.  I look at the box that I see above me (where my blog title goes) as the box of Google where people type in questions and keywords that they are looking for online.  Having a generic blog post title is not going to help you get found online very well.  You have to have an effective blog post title that has the “key word or key phrase” that your ideal client would search for and be interested in clicking on.  Let me explain:

CFPB Proposed Rule Changes-How it Affects You!

CFPBThe CFPB Proposed Rule Changes are here and the way we do business is going to be different…we think anyway.  What is the CFPB anyway?  CFPB stands for “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.” Another way of getting your attention as a Realtor or Mortgage lender is to say…“Did you know the HUD-1 is going away?”  HUH!?  Ok…now I have your attention.  As you know the market collapsed and world as we know it went upside down for a while.  We are now right side up but the legislation aftermath that followed has not slowed down.  After AIG, Lehman Brothers, and everyone else got “bailed out” by our Govt to the tune of Billions of dollars things sprung into action to “protect the consumer” who in the eyes of the Government was taken advantage of by people in the Real Estate, Mortgage, and Financial Institutions.  Hence…the CFPB Proposed Rule Changes was born.

Top 3 Traits of a Good Loan Officer in Northern Virginia

Loan OfficerI’m just going to come right out and say it…I feel bad for Loan Officers.  Why you ask?  Well, many people blame them directly for our Foreclosure and Short Sale crisis that has plagued our great country for the past 5 years or so.  There were thousands of people out there that did a short sale or foreclosure (maybe even you).  So, many times when people hear the word “Loan Officer” it makes them think something negative which is not the case.  Loan officers are needed and essential to the home buying process.  They are the gatekeepers to obtaining a home loan when buying a house and also taking advantage of a home refinance with low interest rates.  As consumers and Real Estate agents you need to know HOW to find a good loan officer in Northern Virginia.  Yes, they are out there…you just have to know where to look and WHAT to look for.  Here is “in my opinion” the top 3 traits of a good loan officer in Northern Virginia.

Why You Should be Calling FSBO’s to Generate Listings

fsbo signAs the Director of Sales/Marketing for Stewart Title in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area I talk to and meet with Real Estate agents every day.  We talk about everything…but a lot of it is centralized around  “Real Estate Lead Generation.” The one thing that Realtors need to be good at in the long term to sustain their business.  You have to find ways to keep filling the pipeline with new business.  So, the other day I was talking to a young agent and he said that he recently got 2 new Listings.  I said that was great…”how did you get them?”  He said…”Ive been calling FSBO’s to generate listings!”  I smiled because he was going after the low hanging fruit and not afraid to do it.  Many Realtors don’t want to call FSBO’s or Expired/Cancelled Listings because it is scary and they don’t want to handle rejection by people they don’t already have relationships with.  In this blog I’m going to talk about why should be calling FSBO’s to generate listings, where you can have leads sent to you everyday and WHAT to say to these homeowners looking to sell.

How to Define your Real Estate Business Niche

Real Estate NicheEver hear the phrase…”Niches gets Riches?”  Sounds corny I know but it is very true.  What it essentially means is stop trying to be everything to everyone but instead be something to someone…and do it well!  Create or find the 1 or 2 things that you know or can do “decidedly better” than everyone else and just focus on that to be succesful.  This is true whether you are in Real Estate or another profession.  Developing your Real Estate business niche is very important especially in today’s Real Estate space where your field is full of stiff competition.  There are too many Realtors out there but the problem is that most of them market to the same people the same way! Therefore they don’t really have a Real Estate business niche.  Some people call themselves the “Neighborhood Specialist” but that is just at title they have given themselves…so are they really?  Developing a niche is important in the Real Estate business and here is how you can define yours.

Vlogging in Real Estate-How to Get Started 101

Vlogging in Real EstateHuh?  What is “Vlogging?”  It is something you are going to be doing in your Real Estate marketing very soon…you just don’t know it.  Vlogging in Real Estate is becoming more and more popular because many people don’t like to spend a long time writing blogs.  Writing a 700-1200 word blog does take some time and not always easy if you don’t know HOW to use the right keywords or meta-tags that allow you to get “found” by the search engines.  As we can see from the explosion that is YouTube, Vimeo, Live Leak, and other video sites that Video in Real Estate is HUGE and will continue to grow as long as your target client (the consumer) keeps demanding it.  YouTube is now the 2nd largest search engine in the world and Google owns it.  Google is heavily incentivized to rank your Videos.  Hence…enter Vlogging in Real Estate, how to get started and the top reasons as to WHY you should jump in feet first.

The Title Company Marketing Rep Gimmick-Why it Doesn’t Help You!

Title Company Marketing GimmicksThe Title Company Marketing Rep Gimmick has been around for a very long time.  You know what that is right?  Its the pens, pads, sports schedules, coffee mugs, key chains, calendar, flashlight, flyswatter, and anything else that has the name of the Title Company and is essentially a big “leave behind” by the Marketing Rep so they feel they have portrayed or given something of Value to the person they are meeting with so they in turn feel the need to give that Title Company their business.  In the old days the Title Company Marketing Rep Gimmick worked…even now it still does on occasion.  At the end of the day the Realtors and Lenders I meet want one thing…MORE BUSINESS! They want to know how to streamline their business to save time, yet maxmize their efforts to do more sales…close more loans…sell more homes.

A Good Northern Virginia Title Company-What a Realtor Should Expect!

Northern Virginia Title CompanyMost of the blogs and information that I like to bring to this site is all about being a “solution to the Real Estate agent and Mortgage Lenders problem.”  Adding good content about WHY you should do this or HOW to do that, but in this post I want to write about what Real Estate agents should expect from a good Northern Virginia Title Company.  Why would you write about this you ask?  Well, since I moved to the Washington DC area in June 2012 I have found that the way Realtors use and look at Title Companies are quite different than the west coast.  The main service that they provide (Title and Escrow services) are essentially the same but that is where the similarities end.