Home on the Range: How to Sell a Texas Ranch

Texas has its fair share of massive luxury ranches, each highlighting the state's diverse terrain. The scenic parcels go hand in hand with Texas' country identity. But for some property owners looking to unload their massive properties, the multimillion-dollar parcels can be difficult to pair with qualified buyers. Some sellers have taken to selling their ranches by auctioning them off rather than listing them at a set price. Typically, folks think auctions are for hard economic times but in reality, the best time to sell at auction is when times are good - there's more competition. When you are living in the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, selling by auction can change the game for both seller and buyer.

Important Basics for Getting Auction Ready:

Ranches come in all sizes and uses including hunting, hay, cattle, fishing and recreation, high fenced exotics, vineyards, and true working ranches. You need to really get the ‘feel’ of the property, and your sellers are your best resource. After discussing the aspects of the ranch with your sellers, discuss the options to list traditionally or sell at auction. Certainly, we all know that the “basics” are important in selling a ranch and they are more far reaching than when selling a home but no matter how they decide to sell, there is an immense amount of homework for everyone to take on. The data needed to accurately list the ranch can be overwhelming but here is a good place to start:

  • Land surveys
  • Legal descriptions
  • Tax information
  • Property assessments (agricultural, timber, wildlife, etc.)
  • Production
  • Water rights
  • Wind rights
  • BLM leases or other agricultural leases
  • Conservation easement documents (if applicable)
  • Well logs
  • Zoning information
  • Local utilities
  • Inventory list of exclusions and inclusions from the seller.

Once you have this info together for your property, it is a good idea to gather similar information on competitive properties and projects, including sold and closed properties within a determined area.  This could include several states! Collecting regional and local information and articles is also a good idea.

Get Specific: Illustrate Defining Characteristics

You will also want to gather all building descriptions and specs, floor plans, building diagrams, blueprints, etc. Know your boundaries. How much is wooded, how much in crop production, hay production, native grasses?  How many water features? What’s the size and depth of ponds and lakes? Figure the carrying capacity of your pastures, and know the current pasture plans in place. When it comes to hunting and fishing amenities, try to get photos of the wildlife that can be found on the property. Good photography, both still and aerial from a drone, is essential on large properties.

Compare and Contrast the Property for Marketing:

Assembling all of the critical information that makes you as knowledgeable as the seller about your ranch listing is paramount so that you know which marketing strategies will get the best response.  Foremost is determining if your ranch listing is a local, regional or global property in its appeal. Ranches are a niche segment of the real estate business which is why the auction method of marketing allows agents to offer large tracts in smaller pieces or any combination which allows more participation from small, medium and large property buyers. Dividing large lots can make the purchase more approachable for some buyers who can't afford 400-acre plots or can't pay for the expensive maintenance. Smaller tracts, especially at a price a buyer bids, can be less intimidating and more marketable. The buying pool for a 4,300-acre ranch is much shallower compared to the pool of 500- to 1,500-acre buyers. The auction makes it possible to increase the number of buyers and sell it all on the same day.

Auctions are more familiar to ranch buyers who have attended similar sales, many of them have attended cattle auctions and equipment auctions since they were kids. They understand markets, competition and the fair value that an auction creates, and they trust the process. The multi-parcel process is unique to the auction method, but sellers really like the opportunity to get more buyers involved and competing for ownership.

 


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A Thriving Brokerage at Your Finger Tips

Brokers are driven. Of the fastest-growing real estate firms, 82 percent have a clear and focused vision for the company. Like any business in the real estate industry, brokerages must grow ahead of the communities they serve in order to flourish and profit. Growth is change and with change there is always risk. If you have your own brokerage, you’ve accepted the risk already. If risk makes you nervous, think about the larger risk of stagnation. There are plenty of business models out there so choosing one can be difficult. A good foundation for exponential growth in the real estate market is only a few steps away.

  1. Clients Come First: We need to behave like advisers, not salespeople. It’s our job to represent our clients, not coerce them into spending money. They’ve come to you because they’ve likely decided it’s time to make a move. Help them reach a decision. Of course, you should ask your clients lots of questions, but first try being quiet, listening and letting them talk about what they want and are willing to pay. Don’t rush them, but always call or email back quickly with useful information.
  2. Incentivize Your People and Delegate Responsibility: You and your fellow brokers are putting in long hours—52.7 hours per week on average, according to JP Morgan Chase Institute. One-third of your time is spent out of the office, meeting with clients, working from home, commuting, and traveling to other market areas. There is room to be more efficient. Leaders need lieutenants. If you grow, you’ll need someone to help you oversee your expanded business. Pick an agent in your office with the respect of his or her colleagues. Make them a senior associate, grant them responsibility and compensate them accordingly. A great incentive plan would be to hang a wall-sized map in your office. In blue, highlight municipalities where you commonly sell homes. In green, highlight where you want to expand. In red, circle neighborhoods where your agents rarely venture. If someone sold a house in a red zone, buy lunch for the office. Nothing fancy, but your agents will work hard to be the one everyone thanks for lunch.
  3. Research & Plan Your Marketing: Periodically analyze your brokerage’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Can you leverage your strengths to take advantage of opportunities? Are your weaknesses leaving you vulnerable to threats? Research and determine the most successful ways to improve sales and brand reputation. Measure against benchmarks when recruiting agents, spending on advertising, or testing new ad platforms, focusing on new geographic areas, investing in new technologies or other tactics. According to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95 percent of all recent buyers used the internet at some point during the home search process. With this, you know your potential clients are looking at property online from their phones, so make sure your website meets those needs as you continue to grow your firm. Learn from your mistakes. If your marketing plan isn’t bearing fruit or your new ad campaign doesn’t improve your brand recognition, move on. Identify why it didn’t work and factor the answer into the next solution. Don’t be complacent. Be a problem solver, every day. Plan your day and work your plan.

 


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Alaska Real Estate: It’s Time to Renew!

Top 5 Things to Know Before Renewing:

  1. All Real Estate Licenses expire on January 31 of even-numbered years regardless of when first issued (except new licenses issued within 90 days of the expiration date will be issued to the next biennium).
  2. Licensees who receive their original license within 12 months of the expiration date pay the full license fee and then at their first renewal pay a prorated renewal fee (half of the current license fee).
  3. You must renew your license on or before the expiration date to continue to practice in Alaska. There is no grace period to practice on a lapsed license.
  4. Renewal forms will be mailed at least 60 days before the expiration date to the last address you provided to the board. You must report all new addresses to the Board in writing.
  5. Before a license can be renewed, real estate licensees must complete the following for maintaining continuing competency:
    • An 8-hour continuing education core curriculum
    • 12 contact hours of continuing education in elective topics

This time of year can be stressful enough, completing your continuing education doesn’t have to be! With Real Estate Training Institute, you can stay in and use any internet enabled device to complete your courses.

 

We provide: Alaska approved continuing education that meets your elective credit requirements. You will receive your CE Course Completion Certificate immediately upon completion.
All classes are HD VIDEO or FULL NARRATION with PRINTABLE TEXT

Nebraska Real Estate Professionals – It’s time to renew!

Brokers and Salespersons in Nebraska are required to complete 18 hours of continuing education each two-year licensing cycle.

If your license starts with an odd number your renewal is November 30, 2019.

 

The speedy housing market in Nebraska is thanks not only to fierce competition over a scarce selection of homes, but also the healthy economy and Nebraska’s “Nice” factor. Compared to East and West coast negotiations, which are like a sport, Nebraskans are nice, decisive and unwilling to take too much time or deal with the hassle of a long negotiation. Both Lincoln and Omaha are on the road to expanding their job market, inviting even more newcomers from larger more expensive cities causing homes to be bought even quicker. Nebraska home values are expected to remain stable. The job market in Nebraska is on the rise and the demand for housing is expected to increase. It is a great time to be a real estate agent in Nebraska!

Keeping up with your education is vital to your prosperity in Real Estate. Without completing the requirements, your license will be just another card tucked in a corner wallet pocket or the candy covered bottom of your purse.

Don't let your continuing education be the reason you miss out on all the commissions from the hours of hard work you put into listings, showings, contracts etc. We understand as an agent, your time is extremely valuable.  We know in the last few years "For Sale" signs have been flying off homes in Nebraska and thoughts of CE have been on the back burner.

In a recent interview Doug Dohse, president of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors, informed us that the market is about to change. He stated “There are just not enough homes for sale, that’s what’s driving [the fast market] more than anything else.” As the housing market begins to slow, now is the time to get your Real Estate CE courses complete. Currently, in both Omaha and Lincoln (more so than any other big metro area across the country) homes are spending on average only 32 days on the market before being snatched up. That doesn't give you much time to get your continuing education done but that's what makes our program so great! You can take your courses from anywhere, at any time and on any internet connected smart device, making it simple and time effective to complete your CE today!

 

We provide: Nebraska approved continuing education that meets all of your requirements. We will report your CE to the Nebraska Real Estate Commission after completion.
All classes are HD VIDEO or FULL NARRATION with PRINTABLE TEXT

Kansas’ Millennial Market

If you’re looking to buy a home in your 20’s, look no further than Kansas. According to recent market research, Wichita is one of the top 10 cities where 20-29-year old’s have been taking out mortgages. In 2018 29.4% of mortgages were issued to buyers in their 20’s. Kansas has become a favored watering hole for 20 somethings. You may be wondering what makes Kansas so desirable for young millennials? Wichita has a strong local economy with reasonable home prices and a spotlight on local night life. There are plenty of things to do for the younger generation, from the Midwest Beerfest to the Autumn and Art festival. Wichita is also the home to large employers such as KOCH Industries and Cessna. A growing economy combined with a seller’s market has raised home values 78%. In a nut shell...Wichita is so popular because home buyers get a lot of house for the same price compared to bigger cities-- and cost of living is low.

While Millennials have been the biggest chunk of U.S. home buyers for a few years now, we’re about to see the younger half hit the housing market en masse. This group will decide where the next “hot” markets are. As a real estate professional trends are crucial in marketing your business, knowing what’s coming is a big benefit so now is the time to take your continuing education courses and renew your license. While fulfilling your requirements brush up on your social media presence with our Social Media Marketing course. The opportunity to make considerable money is just around the corner, so jump on over to our Kansas Real Estate Continuing Education page and learn something new!


With a booming housing market, real estate agents are in high demand. Make sure you stay up to date with state requirements so you can remain licensed.

Do you need Kansas real estate continuing education?

Salespersons and Brokers in Kansas are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years. Salespeople must include a 3-hour Required Salesperson and Broker Core course; the remaining nine hours can be elective topics approved by KREC. Brokers must also complete a 3-hour Required Broker Core course. The remaining six hours may be filled with KREC approved elective courses.

Complete 12-hours of Salesperson or Broker approved online continuing education in HD video and narrated courses with Real Estate Training Institute!


SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Learn the ins and outs of social media marketing from experts that work in both social media and real estate.  Use these tools and tricks to upgrade your personal and professional profiles, drive leads, and increase business.

$42.00Add to cart

Florida Real Estate License Fees Cut 50%

A little relief comes to FL Real Estate professionals beginning July 1, 2019. Gov. Ron DeSantis and DBPR joined FREC in announcing a fee change for 200,000 licensees in Florida.

The lower renewal cost begins with the next renewal cycle that ends on Sept. 30, 2019. The temporary fee reduction, which lowers license renewal fees by 50% for licenses of real estate brokers, real estate sales associates and real estate broker branch offices will continue through the renewal periods of licenses expiring March 31, 2020, Sept. 30, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

License renewal fees for real estate brokers will drop from $72.00 to $36.00 and from $64.00 to $32.00 for renewal as a real estate sales associate or broker branch office.

The upcoming license fee reduction is projected to result in an estimated savings of over $8.8 million dollars for eligible license holders in Florida. Pursuant to section 455.219, Florida Statutes, FREC is authorized to implement a waiver of license renewal fees for a period not to exceed two years when the profession's trust fund monies exceed the amount required to cover the necessary functions of FREC.


Don't let your license expire!

Here are the requirements needed to renew your Florida real estate license:

How do I renew my Florida real estate license?

Florida requires all real estate licensees to renew their license through their Online Service portal. If you have not already registered, you will need to do so before you may renew your license. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with a temporary password and then you will create your own unique, secure password. (Check your spam or junk mail folder if you don’t receive that email right away.) After you have successfully logged in you will be able to link your license to the online account you created.

Create your Online Account
Link Your License to Your Online Account

How much does it cost to renew my Florida real estate license?

$32 | Sales Associates
$36 | Brokers

CE Requirement 1st Renewal:

  • Sales Associate - 45 hours
  • Brokers - 60 hours

CE Requirement Subsequent Renewal: 14 Hours
Required Courses: 3-Hour Florida Core Law

Do you report my continuing education to the Florida Real Estate Commission?

Yes! We will report your course completion to the Florida Real Estate Commission. Rosters are submitted three times a week and can take 24-48 hours to be reflected in the FREC database.

Renewing Your Ohio Real Estate License

How do I renew my Ohio real estate license?

  1. Complete 30-Hours of approved continuing education
  2. Log in to the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate eLicense Center
  3. Enter your license information and pay the appropriate fee

What is the fee for renewing my Ohio real estate license?

  • Salespersons: $135
  • Brokers: $180

How do I tell which continuing education requirements I have completed?

The certification number includes a letter that serves as a course-type designator

  • D – Core Law
  • G – Civil Rights
  • C – Canon of Ethics
  • E – Elective*
  • F – Computer Specific Elective*
  • B – Computer Basic Elective*
    *A licensee may only take a maximum of 15 hours of computer electives

How can I find my Ohio real estate continuing education due date?

Visit www.com.ohio.gov/real to look up your license requirements

Do my 10-hour post-education courses count towards my 30 hours of continuing education?

No, the state of Ohio requires you to complete the 10-hour pre-licensure course and 30 hours of continuing education.

I have extra continuing education credits; can I use them for the next renewal cycle?

You may roll over 10 hours. These hours will count for elective courses, they will not count towards the 9 core course hours.

Where can I find Ohio real estate continuing education?

Visit www.realestatetraininginstitute.com and choose from the selection of state-approved courses.

Who Submits Completed Continued Education?

Ohio Division of Real Estate requires that both the course sponsor and the licensee submit certificates of completion. Real Estate Training Institute reports course completions to the Division within two business days of completion. A course completion certificate will be available to print immediately upon completion of the course. It is the licensee's responsibility to submit all completed continuing education certificates to the Division when renewing their license.

 


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Commercial Real Estate: An Attractive Victim for Hackers

Data breaches affect every kind of business and Internet user. And sophisticated hackers target commercial real estate in hopes of a big payday, according to Minnesota lawyer Nadeen Schwen, in an interview with Minnesota Lawyer.

Why do hackers target real estate business?

Hackers follow the money. Schwen says they have many chances to manipulate and profit off of real estate transactions and target everyone from attorneys, to buyers, to agents, to brokers online.

Once a hacker has compromised an email thread, they will send out bogus invoices, bank documents or receipts and pose as a major player in the real estate transaction. As soon as the target of the email authorizes any transaction, they kiss that money goodbye.

How do I keep my business safe?

  1. Change your passwords. This is the simplest defense and will be most effective when passwords have a mix of numerals, characters, letters and a mix of capital and lowercase. Change your log-in info often.
  2. Protect customer data. Any financial information or sensitive information should be considered valuable and protected with encryption software.
  3. Surf safely. Block and limit sites that you and your employees can view.
  4. Invest in anti-virus software. Get over the dread of paying a big price tag upfront. If a hack happens, it could spell catastrophe down the line.
  5. Keep your software up to date and use the latest versions of any apps or technology you employ at your business.
  6. Use secure devices. Do not do business on public computers or shared devices, that may unintentionally store log-in information and other data.
  7. Make a plan. Devise a cyber security policy and make sure your employees understand how it works. Figure out how your company will secure data, back up data, and create an emergency response plan in the event of an attack.

 


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Mississippi Real Estate Investors Jailed After Bid-Rigging Scheme

Nine real estate investors in southern Mississippi are facing jail time and hefty fines after violating federal antitrust laws, reports WLOX. On February 21, 2019, Christopher Vaughan and Jon Gregg Goodhart Jr. were ordered four months jail time for their part in a bid-rigging scheme.

WLOX reports that Vaughan and Goodhart Jr. conspired not to bid against each other on properties at real estate foreclosure auctions between 2009 and 2017. They predetermined a bid winner and exchanged payouts to their counterparts who did not compete against them in the bidding process.

Their illegal agreement prevented competition and drove property prices down. Vaughan was ordered to pay $20,000 in fines plus restitution. Ivan Spinner, Jason Boykin, Shannon Boykin, Kimberly Foster, Kevin Moore, Chad Nichols and Terry Tolar were also sentenced in a separate part of the same investigation.

They were sentenced to four months of jail plus fines between $20,000 to $48,000 and restitution to victims of their crimes. Bid rigging is market manipulation has been illegal since the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. Experts say bid rigging hurts free market competition as well as taxpayers and consumers.

Bid rigging comes in many forms, according to Investopedia:

  • Rotating the bid winner
  • Intentionally selecting bidders to sit out of the auction process to let someone else win
  • Placing uncompetitive bids to let another bidder win
  • “Phantom bidders” that place fake bids to spur real bidders to go higher than normal

Bid rigging and other ethical and legal topics are covered in our comprehensive continuing education classes.

The classes are available online from any Wi-Fi connection on tablet, computer or cellphone.

 


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Real Housewives of New Jersey Star Hosting $10,000 Real Estate Seminar

Investor, developer and reality star Joe Gorga is offering his real estate tips in a special, one day class. While he promises a day with him will change your career, it will cost you. A lot. $10,610.38 to be exact. So, what, precisely, does that buy you? The pricey seminar comes with a front row seat at his March 23 seminar at the Westin Hotel, a signed copy of his book, and a full day in the life of Joe Gorga.

Joe and his wife Melissa Gorga have been stars on the Real Housewives of New Jersey since 2011. The show often features his real estate and construction ventures, plus plenty of footage of the couple’s 9,500 square foot mansion in Montville. Which, by the way, sold in 2018 for a little more than $3 million.

Joe Gorga has made his millions through his career in real estate, and you can too. These days, real estate education is accessible, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Classes and continuing education are available online from any tablet, phone or computer. The resources are available 24/7. New Jersey’s real estate licenses require 12 hours of continuing education every two years, and needs to be done by April 30, 2019.

 


NEW JERSEY REAL ESTATE CONTINUING EDUCATION