Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Questions To Ask When Renting A Condominium Unit

Among the most popular rental properties in the Philippines nowadays are condominium units. A lot of condo owners purchase their units for the sole purpose of renting it out to students, office employees, and sometimes even for short-term use of foreigners and balikbayans who are visiting the country for a few days or weeks.
Renting a condo in the Philippines is not the same as renting a house or an apartment. There are some other aspects of living in a shared condominium building that needs to be considered. Below are some of the questions that you could ask if you are thinking of renting a condo unit.

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  • How much is the rent? This is always among a list of questions you should ask whether you are renting a condo unit or another type of residential property. Make sure to clarify whether the amount stated is a daily, weekly, or monthly rate especially if the unit is sometimes rented on short-term basis.

  • Is there a deposit required and how much is it? It is standard practice to ask for a deposit and advance rental fees when renting out a property so make sure to ask the condo owner if you need to pay a deposit and/or an advance fee.

  • How long is the contract? Clarify the validity of the rental contract and what happens should you decide to terminate it early. Some owners forfeit any deposit should the renter terminate the contract prematurely.

  • Who pays the association fees? Condominium buildings charge association fees to the residents of each unit. This amount is often charged based on the floor area of your unit which means that the bigger your condo unit is, the bigger your monthly association fee is as well. This monthly fee is used by the building administration to pay for maintenance especially of common areas, for salaries of security guards, for electric bills, and other common expenses incurred by the building.

  • Does rent include parking space? When someone purchases a condo unit, a parking space is usually not included. This is often purchased as an add-on to a condo unit which means that a condo unit you will be renting might or might not have a parking space. Make sure to ask the owner if renting the condo unit includes the use of a parking space so you can make other arrangements if necessary.

  • What facilities are available? Many condominium buildings offer a variety of facilities such as a swimming pool, function rooms, and gyms. Check out these facilities and ask the owner whether you are free to use them for the duration of your rental contract.

  • What are the building rules and regulations? Many condominium buildings implement a somewhat strict set of rules and regulations. Make sure to ask for a copy so you will know the dos and don’ts  in the building.

Online Marketing Tips For Real Estate Companies: OffPage SEO

This is a continuation of the post, where you can find here. On this article, we’ll focus more on OffPage SEO or Link Building techniques to market your Real Estate business.

OffPage SEO. The main goal of SEO or Search Engine Optimization is to make your website found over millions of competitors out there. Search Engines such as Google is your key to that. OffPage SEO is basically a strategy of getting links from other web pages outside of your domain to your web pages. The higher the number of authoritative sites with relevant content that links to you, the bigger the chances is that you’ll get prioritized on Google’s database.

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Here are popular link building schemes in the real estate industry:

  • Content Marketing. Content is no longer limited to texts and articles. Video and image contents are now in. Create viral how to videos on Youtube, or know-how infographics shareable to Pinterest and to the web. You may still use articles but be mindful to produce high-quality ones that would definitely develop your brand and authority in the field. Do not submit to regular article submission sites. Focus on link-earning, not just link-building. 

  • Blog Marketing. Blog marketing always offers new content which Google absolutely loves. Have a blog setup on your website and at the same time, do some guest blog posting to related content blogs. 
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  • Email Marketing. Organize an email list and offer newsletters. If you’re already blogging on your website, you can convert that into a newsletter for your target audience.

  • Craigslist. This is one of the greatest ways to get real estate leads. Be as accurate in the location listing as you can. If you’re selling condominiums, make sure to list it under the best local category it deemed fit.

  • Google Ads. Run an Adwords campaign and choose keywords that drive most traffic yet with least competition. Connect Google Analytics to analyze further.
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Online Marketing Tips For Real Estate Companies: Website and Onpage SEO

Marketing is the action of promoting and selling products or services. It is the heart of any business. You can have the finest product or service in the whole world but it’s no use if nobody knows about it. There are basically two types of marketing:  (1) traditional marketing where it utilizes strategies such as direct sales, tv, radio, mail, and print and; (2) internet or online marketing which basically makes use of the benefits of the web.

On this post, learn how a combination of a website and onpage SEO techniques can help boost up your online marketing plan for your real estate business.

Website. A website is like an office that’s open 24/7. Anything and everything a user wants to know about you and your company, it is available to them in just a few clicks. Here are some items you should take into account upon building one:
  • Design. A well-designed website will encourage potential clients to visit it over and over again. It’s not just the color combination or theme. It’s the ease of use. Make it easy for them to navigate around the menu. Add “call to action” buttons so it’s easy for them to contact you. Include a search box. If someone wants to search for “Eastwood condo for sale, the site should be able to show the best choices you can offer. It should be no sweat for them to share it as well.
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  • Platform. As real estate businesses usually have enormous materials such as listing and database, think of the type of content management system and plugins that you’d be using. Would it be Drupal, Joomla or Wordpress? Which has the most appropriate features and yet would not compromise loading speed? How fast or slow your website loads on a visitor’s browser may have a big impact on their return visits.
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  • Mobile version. It’s the age of mobile internet technology. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, consider making your website mobile-friendly.

Content and onPage SEO. Content is the soul of your website. Create killer content with two items in mind:
  • Readers. There should be details about you and the team, the properties, the usual whatnots for both sellers and buyers all aimed to provide general knowledge to everyone. Putting in photos and videos would also help.
  • Search engines. OnPage SEO is the optimization of your texts, tags and links so that they’re accessible to search engines. This strategy is very vital because when a potential customer types in phrases such as “Mckinley Hill condo for sale” on Google search bar, your website should be on top of the results as this could give you the prospective lead that you need.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Safety 101: Five (5) Things To Keep In Mind When Going To The Mall

With the recent heightened alerts brought about by shooting, robbery, fire and bomb scares in different shopping malls in the Philippines, malling is not as safe and as fun as before. Hence, here are some safety tips to remember when going to the mall:

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  1. Put your tasks on a list. Write down your agenda on paper and itemize all the things you need to buy. It’s faster to complete your errands if you have a prepared note on hand.

  1. Have a store in mind. If you’re going to pick a pair of shoes, think of the brand you like beforehand so you can proceed directly to the store as soon as you hit the shopping center. You can also visit their website first to see if there’s a stock available on the outlet nearest you. In this way, unnecessary trips can be avoided.

  1. Put emergency numbers on your mobile phone. If you’re thinking of shopping in malls in Davao, make sure to store on your cell phone the hotline numbers of Davao City police station, fire station and all the necessary contact information in case of emergency. Have them in speed dial if it makes you feel better.
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  1. Which malls to go to and when is the best time to go? First thing to do upon reaching the area, check the security. Are there enough guards to man the vicinity? What are the measures being implemented? You may consider going to the malls where the recent disaster happened. It’s highly unlikely that the robbery will occur on the same place two times in a row in a very short amount of time. Plus, the protection there would have increased ten-fold. As for the best time to go, you can choose midway. Too early where there are few people or too late where there’s already a crowd forming may be the opportunity the robbers are waiting for. Being in the midway has less risk.

  1. Observe the exit. Always look for the nearest exit lest something happens. Remember, safety comes first.
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If the above tips couldn’t alleviate your level of worry, you can consider other alternatives - grocery store instead of the mall’s supermarket or the brand’s warehouse or boutique instead of the department store.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Careers in Real Estate: Profile of a Real Estate Agent

The role of a real estate agent is easy to understand. Like here in the Philippines, it can be as simple as assisting people or companies to buy properties that are on sale or have them sold to prospective buyers so they can get the best and fair price possible.  Below is a brief profile of a real estate agent employee. 

Basic Job Description. Help clients buy, sell and rent real estate properties. Act as a middle person between buyers and sellers.

·         Age. If you’re aiming for a real estate company in the Philippines to hire you, age requirement may range from 18 to 38 years old.
·         Educational Attainment. Depending on the agency, some may require at least high school graduate, others may need applicants who completed at least two (2) years in college or attained 3rd year college level, while majority may want a Bachelor or College Degree in Business/ Management/ Marketing or equivalent
·         Experience. Sales experience is usually preferred. Again, depending on the agency, some may accept recent or fresh graduates. Others, at least one (1) to five (5) years of experience in the related field.
·         Knowledge. Computer literacy is a must. Knowledge in social networking sites may have an advantage.
·         Skills. Good English communication skills both verbal and nonverbal are definite requirements. Someone with pleasing personality and who’s highly approachable may have an edge.
·         Location. Willing to work in a certain area is a plus.

Compensation. Salary and benefits are normally determined by how small or big the real estate company is and what level of experience the applicant has.
·         Salary and Allowance. Basic of P10k to 25k. Allowance, same range.
·         Commission. 3% starting commission
·         Others. Incentives like performance bonus, travel, training and seminars.

Employment type. May be part time, full time or permanent.

Starting a career as a real estate agent may be a good choice. You’ll get to earn money and perks on your own free time. You will not be tied up to the usual nine (9) to six (6) office routine. Learn more about the Benefits of becoming a Real Estate agent in the next post.

Check out the similar post about this topic here

Careers In Real Estate: Five (5) Major Differences Between A Real Estate Agent And A Broker