#MondayMantra- An Overnight Success 15 Years In The Making

 

This is a little bit different than the usual mantras because this week is a very special week for me and I want to set the tone.  I also want it to be clear that this isn’t a “look at me, I’m so great” campaign.  It’s just me wanting to explain how I got to this point in my life.  With that said, I’m going to start with the result and work backwards. 

The result is- I managed to get a show on a massive network premiering this week!  So, how did this come about?  The answer- through sheer and utter determination, when there was no glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  My strategy was designed to find the white space in the world of real estate, not to necessarily get a TV show.

It’s taken 13 years for this strategy to unfold, but unfold it has.  The white space I discovered was video.  So the big decision was doing video, and that was great and all, but then inevitably came the now what?  I was baffled, and so I started researching.   The first step in the journey was I created “Magic Minutes” and let's just say it was a blood-curdling disaster at first, to put it mildly.  BUT, I help rolling it out and getting better.  People were watching, but then I hit a plateau.  And instead of quitting that little voice in my head told me to keep going. 

I did, but still, the video didn’t really take hold until about 18 months of cranking them out.  Now that’s a commitment, but not unlike anything else you commit to in a strategy in life. 

Fear of what people will say is what destroys ambition.  This is a massive hurdle for us all to get over.  My suggestion is to listen to the little mini-entrepreneur inside of you because you have nothing to lose other than opportunity.  Keep rolling out ideas and go for them fully.

Now I’m going to go back a bit more when I first really started following my inner voice.  This was when I went for it and gave it my all to get into the music business.  All I knew was that my pride was never going to get in the way of my success, so I did every possible job you can think of and followed my relentless determination to achieve my goal.  My goal which was to have hit records and guess what… I eventually did precisely that. 

Then, when I moved into real estate I knew I wanted to have a business with creatives, and I kept my head down and my eye on the prize just like I did in music.  It was not an easy road, and it was one that I traveled with The Debating Society (all the little voices in the back of my head second guessing myself).  I do not listen to these blokes.  When you listen to "is it a good idea?" you are dead in the water.   Fear is a bully and when you stand up to a bully what happens?  They go away.

If I crash and burn, it will always be under my own instruction.  At the end of the day everything I do, I do it under my own volition.

So finally, the TV show…  This incredible opportunity came about because I was relentless for 13 years in this industry and it’s the gorgeous juicy cherry on top of it all.   I’m not fabulous, I’m just not fearful.  The formula to being an overnight success 15 years in the making- hard work, patience, stay the course and smash the self-doubt.  

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion

Pete

 

 

 

Peter LorimerComment
INMAN Article - The Essential Guide To Second Homes And Vacation Homes

I'm proud to be mentioned in this great article giving my expert advice on second homes and vacation homes for Inman.  It's packed full of wonderful advice.   

Enjoy!

At one time or another, most people have dreamt of owning a place where they can get away from it all, whether it be a cabin overlooking a scenic mountain range, a quaint cottage near the lakeside or a breezy bungalow a few steps from the beach.

In fact, 32 percent of respondents for our survey on second homes and vacation homes said more than half their buyers this year were looking for a second home. But, what does it take for buyers to turn those sun-soaked dreams into a reality?

FINANCING AND AFFORDABILITY OF SECOND HOMES

New second-home buyers can make the mistake of assuming the cost of purchasing and upkeeping another pad will be exactly the same as their primary residence, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. From down payments to mortgage rates and basic upkeep, there are plenty of extra costs that can blindside buyers.

Purchase options

When it comes to comparing primary home and secondary home median sales prices, there’s not too much of a difference according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyer’s Survey. In the survey, 2,099 buyers reported paying, on average, $200K for a secondary home — $31,700 less than what they spent on a primary home.

According to Inman’s survey, the majority of buyers (40.12%) spent anywhere from $250–500K for their vacation home, which isn’t too bad considering that the median existing-home price for June 2018 ($276,900) fits within that price range.

Although the similarity in cost between primary and secondary homes may offer some relief to buyers who thought they had to spend in excess of $1 million, there is a notable difference in upfront costs.

Fifty-three percent of buyers used financing.

In 2017, buyers had an overall median down payment of 10 percent and nearly 61 percent of first-time buyers were able to put down anywhere from zero to six percent, thanks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s push to make accessing credit easier for first-time buyers. But buyers who are purchasing a second home for exclusive use or for short-term rental investment often don’t have the option of putting down less than 20 percent.

Consumer finance expert, The Basis Point founder, and Zillow contributor Julian Hebron says buyers can put down as little as 20 percent for a secondary home and can qualify for a loan using the full primary residence cost plus the full second home cost.

“Mortgage rates and tax benefits are the same as primary residences,” Hebron wrote in his post for Zillow. “But lenders won’t let you rent the home.”

The estimated costs for a $600K home in Sonoma County, Calif. 

If a buyer is buying a second home as an investment, Hebron says they need to be prepared for higher mortgage rates and a down payment of at least 30 percent.

“You can rent the home and use it when it’s not rented,” he wrote. “Rates are .25 percent to .375 percent higher than second home rates, and your down payment usually starts at 30 percent.”

“You qualify for the loan using your full primary residence cost plus your full investment home cost, but you can use rental income to help qualify,” Hebron added. “Tax treatment is less beneficial, but the extra income can help with affordability.”

For buyers who don’t have an extra $60K in the bank for a down payment, there are a couple options to make the upfront costs more manageable.

Experienced real estate investor Whitney Nicely says buyers should consider using home equity line of credit (HELOC).

“If it’s possible for you to pull a line of credit on your primary, and you can use that as the down payment for your secondary,” Nicely told Inman. “But maybe also get enough where you can buy a boat for your lake house with that line of credit. Maybe you can factor in getting new furniture with that line of credit or add another bathroom. Those are things that add value.”

When a buyer uses a HELOC, they’re able to get a loan up to 85 percent of their primary home’s appraised value minus the remaining balance on the first mortgage, noted an explainer on Credit Karma. The interest rates will vary and are based on the buyer’s credit score, credit history, and income.

Before pursuing a HELOC, especially for the purpose of buying an investment property, real estate agents need to make sure buyers understand the risks and costs of managing a rental. If an investment property doesn’t yield enough profits and the buyer defaults on the HELOC payments, the bank can take their primary home.

To be safe, Nicely says buyers need to sit down, write a budget, and then double it. That way, she says, you’ll have a cushion in case something doesn’t go to plan.

Lastly, buyers can consider entering into a fractional ownership agreement, said Dallas-based real estate blogger and vacation home owner Candace “Candy” Evans.

“You have a portion of actual ownership over the property, and you’re just designated certain times to use it, and some of the better fractional ownership programs allow you to jump around to various locations,” said Evans who has shared full ownership at a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, and is considering a fractional ownership agreement at San Francisco’s Fairmont Heritage Place.

At Fairmont Heritage Place buyers have access to a two-bedroom, 1,350 square-foot apartment at a minimum for 35 days a year and 1/10 deeded ownership. The company says a buyer will pay $12,700 per year in HOA fees and $2,500 in taxes, which is based on a $220,000 acquisition cost. In addition to hotel-quality services, buyers are able to exchange their deeded ownership to other Fairmont properties around the world.

Beyond eliminating the upfront costs for whole ownership, Evans says buyers are attracted to the fact that they don’t have to worry about maintenance.

“That’s the big issue with second homes, there’s a lot of maintenance involved, she said. “You don’t want to end up spending all your [vacation] time fixing things or waiting on a repairman. You want to enjoy your vacation.”

Although fractional ownership may seem like the perfect alternative to full ownership, there are some drawbacks. Most obviously, buyers won’t have the freedom to make changes to the property, and they’ll only have access to the property at scheduled times. Furthermore, if a buyer is entering into a fractional ownership agreement with a smaller number of people, they must trust that their co-owners will hold up their end of the bargain.

“Fractional ownership involves the risks of sharing use of property with others and relying on them to fulfill their obligations to you,” explained San Francisco-based real estate lawyer Andy Sirkin on his firm’s blog. “Sharing obligations means that necessary maintenance and management might not be completed, or worse, that as the result of a co-owner failing to make a payment, a mortgage lender could foreclose on the entire building causing all of the other co-owners to lose use of the shared home and possibly all of the money they have invested.”

There is no way to eliminate these risks, but there are ways to lower them,” he added. “Perhaps the single most important thing you can do to lower the risk of shared ownership is to have a thorough, written, signed fractional ownership agreement that deals with all of the issues, including events you don’t expect to happen, the possibility that people you don’t know will be in the group as the result of a death or re-sale, and the reality that people change and you might not get along with the other co-owners as well as you do now.”

Considering the costs of insurance, utilities and maintenance

Now that your buyer has considered the down payment, mortgage rates, monthly mortgage and alternative purchase options, there’s a host of other costs they must add into the mix, including insurance, utilities and maintenance costs.

When it comes to insurance, a basic home insurance policy that covers damage from weather events (storms, wind, hail, snow, etc.), non-weather events (theft and vandalism) and accidental direct physical loss (e.g. water from plumbing) won’t do.

They’ll also need to consider other natural disaster insurance policies that are specific to their area. For example, if a buyer’s vacation home is near a waterfront, they’ll need to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program and purchase a windstorm policy so their home is covered if a hurricane blows through. If the vacation home is in California, a buyer will need to consider purchasing earthquake insurance.

But no matter what region the buyer is in, they must invest in an umbrella insurance policy that offers protection if a short-term renter is injured in your home or if the renter causes any property damage during their stay.

“There is insurance specifically for vacation rentals, and depending on the coverage of the property management company you’re with offers or your existing homeowner policy, the coverage will be different,” said Shaun Greer senior director of real estate for the home rental booking and management platform Vacasa, while suggesting that buyers get a few estimates before making a final decision.

After adding insurance to the monthly budget, buyers must consider maintenance and utility costs. Since the buyer won’t be at their vacation home most of the year, they must hire a property manager to upkeep the interior and exterior condition of the house, make sure the house is stocked with necessities for guests, and take care of any other needs.

“My recommendation to anyone buying a second home that they do intend to rent out is to have someone else manage it even if that means your margin gets decreased,” said PLG Estates founder and broker/owner Peter Lorimer.

“I will always happily pay someone to manage a property for me to make sure that the condition is kept up, to make sure that the tenants are good, to make sure that the air conditioning is working, that the electrical is working, the this and the that, so when I decide to sell this asset in 10 or 15 years, it will be in far greater condition than if I just rented it to death.”

Finally, buyers have to be prepared for utility costs that are double or even triple that of what they pay for their primary residence, especially if they’re renting it out to large groups.

According to a 2017 joint study by Zillow and Thumbtack, the average homeowner spends $2,953 per year in utility costs. That estimate fluctuates by market — in San Francisco, homeowners spend $3,928 for utilities annually, but homeowners in Indianapolis spend $2,917, $36 below the national average.

So, if your buyer purchases a swanky waterfront property in the Bay for the purpose of renting it out, they should prepare to spend at least $11,000 on utilities per year.

VACATION HOME TYPES AND OPTIONS

It’s often said that real estate is all about “location, location, location,” and that’s more so true when it comes to purchasing a vacation home, whether it’s for exclusive or rental use.

Vacasa’s Shaun Greer says the majority of vacation home buyers purchase a home that’s within a 2-to-3 hour driving time from their primary home. That may change, especially if the buyer’s primary home is more than three hours away from a population center, i.e. a big city.

Greer says demand for vacation rentals are highest around these population centers. So a homeowner who wants to do short-term rentals may need to prioritize a potential renter’s needs first and choose a home that’s no more than a three hours drive from the city, even if it results in a greater drive for them when they want to visit.

Buyers should also consider if they’d like to live in a waterfront property, whether it’s by a pond, lake, river or ocean. Massachusetts-based Re/Max realtor Bill Gassett says these properties offer plenty of avenues for fun, but they pose a few special challenges as well.

“When it comes to waterfront properties, people don’t realize there are things you can and cannot do,” said Gassett referring to HOA guidelines that may restrict homeowners use of the lake for boating and other recreational activities to certain days and times.

“If you’ve lived in a single-family home for any amount of time, you’re used to being your own boss so to speak, and then you move into an association and you’re given a long set of ground rules you’re not accustomed to, it can be really shocking and disappointing,” he added. “You have to decide whether you can live with that or not.”

The building trap

Fifty-six percent of buyers chose a single-family home.

When it comes to home types, single-family detached homes offer the greatest privacy for homeowners, it rakes in the most cash for short-term rent and has greater long-term appreciation value. But, this home type usually comes with a higher purchase price, maintenance and utility costs compared to condos, apartments, and townhomes.

Due to the extra costs and upkeep single-family home require, Greer says newbies often choose a condo as their first second-home purchase.

“What we find is that new buyers who want to purchase a vacation rental depending on their budget and their experience with vacation rentals they lean toward purchasing condos primarily because of concerns about maintaining the exterior of the property,” he said, noting that condo complexes take care of exterior maintenance needs.

Next, buyers will have to consider if they’d like an existing home or want to take on the task of building a home from scratch. The first option is clearly easier — buyers only have to worry about doing a few renovations depending on the quality of the home and the needed rental permits are usually grandfathered in.

“The easiest thing to do is buy an existing vacation rental,” added Greer. “No matter what municipality it’s in, there’s proper documentation for the property to run as a vacation rental.”

“Given the rental regulation changes in all markets, some are grandfathered in and some you have to reapply,” he said. “So that’s all about the due diligence a real estate agent does. At closing, you want to make sure there’s proper paperwork for the vacation rental.”

On the other hand, designing a home allows for complete customization. But if buyers aren’t careful, they can find themselves in a fight with zoning and association authorities that have strict building guidelines.

“[Before you build] you have to do your research on [regulations],” said Gassett, noting that buyers sometimes buy a piece of land with the assumption they can build whatever they want.

In the waterfront communities Gassett serves, homeowners must follow strict HOA guidelinesthat regulate things such a home’s size, exterior design, and landscaping features. Furthermore, lakefront property owners in his area must abide by state conservation laws that limit construction near wetlands.

Gassett says homeowners must follow The Wetlands Protection Act, which says:

No person shall remove, fill, dredge or alter any bank, riverfront area, fresh water wetland, coastal wetland, beach, dune, flat, marsh, meadow or swamp bordering on the ocean or on any estuary, creek, river, stream, pond, or lake, or any land under said waters or any land subject to tidal action, coastal storm flowage, or flooding, other than in the course of maintaining, repairing or replacing, but not substantially changing or enlarging, an existing and lawfully located structure or facility used in the service of the public and used to provide electric, gas, sewer, water, telephone, telegraph and other telecommunication services, without filing written notice of his intention to so remove, fill, dredge or alter, including such plans as may be necessary to describe such proposed activity and its effect on the environment and without receiving and complying with an order of conditions and provided all appeal periods have elapsed. 

If homeowners proceed with a project without requesting and receiving permission fromthe conservation board, they’ll face two years imprisonment and a fine of no more than $25K. Ouch.

 

Credit: Pedro Correa/Inman

CASH COW OR MONEY PIT?

 

Although the majority of our survey takers (50%) said their buyer wanted a second home for the purpose of exclusive use, another 42 percent said they intended on getting into the short or long-term rental market or using the home for another investment plan.

If your buyer says they want a second home for short-term investment purposes, there are three things you and the buyer will need to consider: city and HOA short-term rental regulations, expected return on investment, and the buyer’s commitment to becoming a business owner.

Making sense of short-term rental laws

Since Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and other companies short-term vacation rental companies have grown in popularity, some cities have enacted strict laws that limit or ban their usage.

In 2015, San Francisco launched the Office of Short Term Rental Administration and Enforcement after issues arose with the number of illegal short-term listings in the city. Out of the 5,000 Airbnb listings in San Francisco in 2015, only 700 of the hosts were legally registered, according to a previous report by Inman.

This year, New York State Senator John Bonacic introduced Senate Bill S7182, which proposed a number of amendments to the 1929 Multiple Dwelling Law that currently bans homeowners from renting an entire home or apartment for less than 30 days. If the bill passes, short-term rentals in New York City would become “fully legal,” and the city could then collect hotel taxes from short-term rental operators.

Fully researching state, city, municipal, and HOA short-term regulations will protect buyers from purchasing a property that they cannot rent, and they’ll be able to reasonably estimate their ROI based on those regulations.

Gassett says buyers need to pay special attention to HOA regulations, which may conflict with state, city, and municipal laws. Although your city may have no restrictions on how long you can rent, he said, HOAs usually have a cap rate of 25 percent.

“I’ve had someone buy an investment property before and, at the time, [the HOA cap rate] wasn’t at the max, but it was close,” Gassett said. “Between the time they closed on it and he actually moved into the property, someone else rented their property and the neighborhood then reached capacity.”

“So he was stuck for a while before he could rent it.”

Becoming a business owner

“Any agents representing any potential buyers of [short-term rentals] must approach the property as if its a small boutique hotel,” said Peter Lorimer, who recently announced that he’s starring in a Netflix series about helping struggling Airbnb owners.

“[Buyers will] look at [the property] like it’s bonus square footage or very often it can be the junk drawer for the [primary] house where they’ll fill it with all the old furniture that they don’t use anymore, they’ll put up all the old crappy pictures in the rooms, and they’ll use their old, chipped pots and pans. This is a massive no-no.”

“When you represent your clients, be brutal. Tell them the honest truth,” he added, saying that real estate agents need to point out needed upgrades throughout the potential short-term rental home. “Say, ‘You need to retile this place. It’s probably going to cost you $5K. This stovetop is from 1955, you are going to scare away millennials who don’t even know what it is.’ ”

Beyond cosmetic upgrades, Lorimer says short-term rental buyers must learn how to create such an excellent experience for renters that they’ll generate plenty of return clients and referrals.

“Short-term rental patrons are buying an experience,” he said. “They want to experience the neighborhood through the eyes of the owner.”

Lorimer suggests providing a guestbook for each visitor that has a list of the best restaurants and attractions, and quirky things like the best place to eat pancakes after 2 p.m. on a Sunday. The kitchen also needs to stay fully stocked with water and snacks for guests.

“When you can predict what the client wants before they know they want it, you’ll receive five stars and you’ll be consistently booked,” he said.

Once again, buyers will need to invest in hiring a vacation property management company if they can’t regularly check on the home. They’ll also need to budget the cost of marketing their property, which includes professional photos and videos that will be shared on the short-term platform and across social media.

“People don’t gravitate toward the property, they gravitate toward the marketing,” Lorimer said.

Determining the profit

Once a buyer understands short-term rental laws and the upfront and monthly costs of maintaining a short-term rental, they can determine a reasonable expectation for the cash flow their property will generate.

Vacasa’s Shaun Greer says buyers need to think about two things: ROI and cap rates.

“Return on investment (ROI) is really measuring the net operating income divided by the initial investment (what they put down),” he said. “What we typically see is measuring the cap rate, which is net operating income divided by the purchase price.”

“The average cap rate would be somewhere between 5 to 10 percent,” Greer added. “We do see properties with up to 12 percent cap rates where the homeowner has explored all the opportunities to generate revenue.”

Lorimer has created his own formula which considers the level of guest service and experience, renovation costs, and the projected neighborhood appreciation.

“I start with the maximum service and experience possible, and I work backward from there to the bottom line, rather than saying I want to make 5 percent per year or I want to make 10 percent per year,” he said. “For example, I will look at a property and say it’s close to the beach, it’s close to the restaurants, and it needs $10k of cosmetic work, $5k of painting and it’s in an area that will see terrific appreciation over the next decade.”

“I’ll calculate the acquisition cost plus renovation cost, and we all want to be in the positive,” Lorimer added. “But I would rather be slightly in the positive in a great area over being massively in the positive in an area that’s questionable.”

HOW TO SELL A VACATION HOME

Much like the process of buying a vacation home, the process of selling a vacation home often requires that agents throw traditional tactics out of the window.

To find buyers, think beyond your market

Compass Team Blair Tahoe founding partner Jamison Blair and Lake Homes Realty CEO Glenn S. Phillips say sellers’ agents have to think out of the zip code to find buyers for their properties.

Since vacation home buyers are looking to purchase a property outside of their city or state, agents don’t have the luxury of farming a specific neighborhood or zip code to find buyers as they would when selling a primary residence.

“In our market, the zip code up here in Lake Tahoe, they don’t live here,” Blair  “They live in the [San Francisco] Bay Area. So, how do we get those people? We can’t just draw a little circle in our area and target that because the owners live somewhere else.”

Blair says his team relies on geo-targeting to find potential buyers. For example, he’ll create a Facebook ad targeted toward people who have been to Lake Tahoe in the past thirty days, who live in the Bay Area, and who have a net income of more than $5M. Then, as those targeted potential buyers come to Lake Tahoe, his team has plenty of print ads around the area to draw them in.

Phillips, whose brokerage is licensed to operate in 22 states, says agents need to make sure their listings are nationally syndicated and that they’re listed on specialized sites for lake homes, mountain homes, or beach homes.

“If you just put the home into the local MLS, the listing is going to be invisible to a majority of your potential buyers,” he said.

Furthermore, Phillips says agents can’t rely on yard signage and drive-by traffic to pull in potential buyers. Most lakefront communities are gated and individual homes are gated, he says, plus the terrain is rougher since most roads aren’t paved.

“The consumer isn’t driving around looking for this house, they’re online more so than for primary residence buyers,” Phillips said.

Lastly, Blair and Phillips say sellers’ agents have to be ready for a longer lead conversion timeline since vacation home buyers already have a primary home and aren’t in a rush to buy a second.

“These second homes, these vacation homes are discretionary purchases,” he said, noting that buyers often take at least two years to make a purchase. “No one has to buy one, and often, they don’t have to settle on any kind of timeframe.”

The price is right (or wrong)

Not only do real estate agents selling vacation homes have to think outside of the zip code when it comes to finding buyers, they have to think outside of the zip code when it comes to pricing the home, too.

Phillips says agents need to provide comparative market analyses (CMA) for homes in the immediate area, but they also need to provide CMAs for homes in other regions, because often times buyers are looking potential listings across multiple markets.

Furthermore, since vacation home buyers are making this purchase because they want to (and not because they need to), Phillips says they’re a bit pickier and won’t spend top dollar unless the property is perfect.

“Today’s buyer is better informed than in any time in history,” he said. “If you’re going to charge top price, the home needs to be picture-perfect move in ready. If you’re not picture-perfect move in ready, you need to be ready to adjust the price.”

To make sure a home can garner top dollar, Blair says homeowners need to deep clean the interior and invest in new flooring, which is often worn out after years of foot traffic in and out of the house. He also says spending a nice chunk of change on an updated kitchen always pushes buyers to spend a bit more.

For the exterior, Blair says careful landscaping can garner a higher sales price and often has a bigger impact than any interior cosmetic changes. He suggests that when sellers first move into a home, they begin planting trees and other shrubs that will mature and offer additional privacy and accentuate the view of the lake.

“If you can accentuate the outdoor space, I mean, that’s why everybody’s here [In Tahoe],” he said. “They really want to have an outdoor experience.”

Peter LorimerComment
STAY HERE - OFFICIAL NETFLIX TRAILER

The time has finally come where I can open my big British mouth and shout from the rooftops that my show ‘STAY HERE’ will be premiering on NETFLIX August 17th! 

Tune in to watch me travel the U.S., with cohost Genevieve Gorder, giving expert advice to turn failing AirBnb rentals into gold! 

I truly couldn’t be more proud of the show and everyone who was a part of it!  Enjoy the trailer and I’ll be coming to a telly near you, very soon.  Let the countdown begin!

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion

Peter 

WATCH US ON NETFLIX HERE!

INMAN Podcast Series 'KEEPING IT REAL' - A Luxe Broker's Thoughts On Zillow, Hashtags And Gifting
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Find out best practices for connecting with people on social media and how to make your closing gift keep on giving

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On this edition of “Keeping it real,” a recurring series on Inman, Peter Lorimer hosts a private meeting with his agents where he jumps on the gorilla in the room: Zillow. He also explores the world of hashtags and how Evabot can help agents’ marketing twofold.

Listen in for Lorimer’s take on Zillow, social media and gifting — three big topics in real estate right now.

Zillow

This year will be the first year Zillow is in profit. Where does the money come from?

Lorimer dives deeper into decoding this billion-dollar company by looking at the rise in numbers of agents, big data and what it all means to the agent right now.

“I think agents fear that they’re not going to get business, so they deploy capital with Zillow,” he said.

#SmartAgent

Lorimer offers guidance on the importance of hashtags in social media to gain business. Hashtags are like little buoy’s in the ocean of collections of things, he said.

He’ll also cover the correct usage as well as apps to help real estate agents find appropriate hashtags to use and how to connect with people through hashtags.

Evabot: Gifting for the savvy agent

To wrap it up, Lorimer shares his advocacy for Evabot, a sophisticated service that sends personalized boxes as closing gifts and also allows agents to track data via said gifts.

“If you want to use this as a strategy, $50 a month means you get Evabot to send surveys, testimonials and feedback from your customers. Guess what this is? This is social media god for $50 a month,” Lorimer said.

Peter Lorimer is the CEO of Beverly Hills, California-based

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

BRAND NEW – MAGIC MINUTES – What’s Included In Closing Costs?

What are these ever-ambiguous closing costs and what do they encompass?

Here is a brief and straightforward example of closing costs in Los Angeles.

- If you are getting a loan for a property, they will charge you a percentage to borrow that money.  So, whatever you owe is part of the closing costs.   

- Inspections that you have to do for the house.  Depending on which you choose to do, etc.   These costs factor into the total. 

- Escrow costs- As a buyer, you would pay your half, and as a seller, you would do the same.  A really rough estimate can be anywhere from 1.5%-3.5% of the potential purchase price.  

Combine all of the above, and that is what makes up your closing costs.  

Hope that was helpful and check back in for more Magic Minutes headed your way!

Thanks for watching

Pete

#tbt - Be Triumphant

This video marks a day that I look back on in triumph.  An adventurous agent here at PLG, Nancy Waters, convinced me to attend Trapeze School at the Santa Monica Pier.  

Let’s just say the lunatic activity of leaping off the rafters forced me out of my comfort zone.

Somehow, after more than a few fails, I managed to pull it off by the skin of my teeth on my last try.

And yes, “Even old men can do it.”   The point… If I could pull this off you really can accomplish anything you put your mind to.  Be triumphant today. 

Thanks for watching

Pete

WATCH FULL VIDEO HERE

INMAN - Behind The Scenes Of Netflix's New Real Estate Show 'STAY HERE"

Behind the scenes of Netflix’s new real estate reality show ‘Stay Here’

Popular video-blogging agent Peter Lorimer will help struggling Airbnb hosts alongside ‘Trading Spaces’ designer Genevieve Gorder

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By Marian Mcpherson

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE 

On Aug. 17, plenty of real estate professionals will see a familiar face appear on their Netflix accounts.

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Peter Lorimer, the founder and CEO of PLG Estates in Los Angeles and a popular video blogging agent, is the co-host of Stay Here, a new Netflix series where struggling Airbnb hosts get some much-needed marketing and design help from Lorimer and former Trading Spaces designer Genevieve Gorder.

For Lorimer, his opportunity has been three years in the making, starting with a chance encounter at the Inman Connect San Francisco real estate conference in 2015. There, Lorimer met Jeff Peters, a Canadian real estate agent who specialized in making eye-catching videos.

Peters literally pushed Lorimer into the video sphere by taking out his phone, going on Facebook Live and making Lorimer join in.

“I was like, ‘Wow, it’s that simple?’” Lorimer said. “And I never went back.”Since 2015, Lorimer has published 405 YouTube videos248 Facebook videosand a countless number on his Instagram page with a whopping 2,775 posts.

“I decided to run at video very hard because there was no one I could find that was really doing it on a consistent basis and was consistently making interesting content that was in the real estate industry,” he added.

Lorimer’s consistency paid off, as he constantly began receiving calls from casting agents. He often turned their pitches down because he didn’t want to be the center of a drama-filled real estate show. So, when Netflix beckoned, Lorimer told them they had the wrong guy.

“Normally they want very nice fitting, tight Italian suits, they want you to scream at people, and I said, ‘If you want someone who will scream at their wife, and the water [pipe] is going to burst, and there’s just going to be all this drama, then I’m not the guy for you,’” he said.

But, the people at Netflix insisted that Lorimer audition, and they did a screen test via Skype shortly thereafter.

“I didn’t think I was going to get it, so I was my normal, balls-to-the-walls self, and they loved that,” he said.

Then, right as Inman Connect San Francisco 2017 was kicking off, Lorimer was asked to do a chemistry test with Gorder at a swanky estate in the Hollywood Hills. He left the conference a day early and did the test, right in front of the other contenders.

“I was thinking, there’s no way I’m getting this — I’m too old, I’m too fat, and I have this funny British accent, and they’re not going to pick me,” he said with a chuckle. “Lo and behold, they called me and said I got it, and you could’ve knocked me over with a feather.”

From there, he and Gorder embarked on an eight-city journey, going to some of the most unique Airbnb listings, which included a boathouse in Seattle, a Victorian-style red brick fire station that was the first African-American fire station in Washington, D.C., and a 268-year-old coach house in upstate New York.

Despite their uniqueness and great potential, each of these listings had abysmal ratings, and the owners were on the verge of giving up.

“The most consistent problem I found was that these owners of these properties saw them not as a business,” he said. “I showed them how to take the space and treat it like a business, and I made each one of the owners the [general manager] of a very small hotel, and I taught them how to think like that.”

Lorimer helped the owners come up with a business and marketing plan, and Gorder redecorated the listings. Once the cosmetic work was done, Lorimer’s personal photographer, who once worked for Architectural Digest, took professional photos and videos that would be shared on Airbnb and the owner’s social media pages.

“I’m happy to say all of them are now a roaring success,” he said.

Now, Lorimer is patiently waiting for the rest of the world to see his first show.

“Being a creative, I understand the creative process, but I still had no idea how it would look until I saw it,” he said,  “When I saw all eight episodes, I could not be more proud. Hopefully, the planets will align, and it will do well.”

Email Marian McPherson.

Article image credited to Peter Lorimer/Netflix

 

#MondayMantra – Controlling The Outcome – Do You Think You Can Design The Result?

This is a bit of an elusive title, so I’m going to jump right in and shed some light on what I’m referring to. 

Controlling the outcome of anything is something that is desirable to us all of course, but that way of thinking can be destructive…

It took me a long time, but I adopted a philosophy, with the help of lots of people, that has served me well.  And it goes all the way back to something my father said to me as a boy, “if you can find a job that you like, you are going to be happier than 98% of the population.”  LA specifically is a city that is made up of fake things and fakers, and I find all of that stuff really damaging.

People get into careers, and the pressure to succeed in those careers makes them miserable.  I see it all the time when selling houses that these pressures make them trapped to their lifestyle, and then they fall into the trap of expectations.

Don’t confuse goals with pressure though.  Goals are a great thing when they are realistic.  Expectations are toxic.  If we are rooted in the results, and we don't get what we expected it weighs us down and eats away at us.

So, the short of it is - none of us can control the outcome, so the trick is to “be happy with the outcome no matter what happens.”  We aren’t in control of what happens, we are only in control of our actions.  For instance, I try and treat everybody identically.  I’m not looking for what I can extract from a relationship, instead, I’m looking for what I can give.  Then, whatever the result is I can live with it… and that my friends is freedom. 

“We have knowns and unknowns.  And the only thing we can control are the knowns.”  Everyone I meet will get professional and personal service, no matter what.  That is a known because I can control it. 

I want to finish with this… The moment you feel you are working just for money is the moment it’s over.  I’m never going to be chained in expectations and results.  If those are fueling my decisions, those are not the right ones.  I can assure you that.

I have one daily commitment, and that is, I must work hard every day and give it everything I've got, and then I stay out of the results.

The way you take control is relinquishing control.  

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion!

Pete

 

BRAND NEW - #FamilyFriday - Life & Times - Oliver Turns 7!

Last week my boy Oliver turned 7.  I’m still having a hard time grasping where the time went, seems like only 2 minutes ago I was cradling him in my arms, but it’s sure been a fantastic ride. 

Apparently, young Oliver has become quite the Jedi aficionado, so this year’s theme was… Yup, you guessed it…  Star Wars!

Everyone was quite impressed with the “special guests” (aka a Star Trooper & Darth Vader), everyone except little Charlotte that is, who had a bit of a meltdown when meeting the duo.  She recovered quickly!

Between the spread Cindy put together, the gourmet cake, Oliver dueling with the dark side and some fun in the pool, it was a perfect day.

Thanks for watching and celebrating with us Star Wars style

Peter

INMAN - Podcast Series KEEPING IT REAL - How To Grab And Convert Potential Clients With Minimal Effort
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INMAN - Podcast Series KEEPING IT REAL - How To Grab And Convert Potential Clients With Minimal Effort

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READ FULL ARTICLE AND LISTEN HERE

The Facebook pixel is like a machine that grabs the attention of all those people you didn't realize were interested in you.

On this edition of “Keeping it real,” a recurring series on Inman, Peter Lorimer tackles the ever-important question: What is one of the most effective ways to market and tailor a campaign?

The answer, he suggests, is Facebook pixel, as he believes it is probably one of the most important evolutions of the continually changing platform.

Essentially, the Facebook pixel is a tracking device for all your potential customers who visit your website. The next time they go on Facebook, you capture them as someone to market to, Lorimer explained.

“It’s genius!”

Lorimer further laid out the bottom line concerning the significance of such a technological advancement and what it should mean for your marketing plan.

If you are now consistently marketing to say, 2,500 people who were just randomly browsing your website, through Facebook — thanks to collecting their data with Facebook pixel — it will turn into deals.

“Look at Facebook pixel as a machine that spits into a bucket all of those people you didn’t realize were interested in you. Then, you can begin to market to them over and over again through Facebook and Instagram of course.”

Listen to the full podcast for Lorimer’s insights on how to get a better comprehension of how this revolutionary idea can translate into obtaining clients and in turn money in the bank.

Peter Lorimer is the CEO of Beverly Hills, California-based PLG Estates.

#tbt - Run To Your Tribe

Here's another instance where I talk about my how I'm a firm believer in running to your tribe.  Do what YOU want to do, and in YOUR own way.  You will find other people that are outside the box as well.

PLG started in a nail salon after all.  This is a great reminder to go for it head against the grain.

I knew when the iPhone came out that it was the future of everything...  And now that future is here.  As always, I'm telling you the importance of that technology and to grab hold of it.

I also give a shout out to a DJ pioneer from Chicago, Steve "Silk" Hurley," who topped the charts in the UK and around the world with his unique sound.

He found his tribe and took a leap just like I did.

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion!

Peter

WATCH FULL VIDEO HERE

#MondayMantra – Inman SF Round Up – Post Conference Debrief Of Best Of Best

#MondayMantra – Inman SF Round Up – Post Conference Debrief Of Best Of Best

I just returned from my 4th year at the Inman Conference in San Francisco and I have to say that this one had a very different feel from the others…  There used to be a vibe that tech is the enemy and an underlying fear that it is going to replaces us.  THIS TIME, it seemed like even those most resistant to change have come around and finally understand that tech has to be part of our industry AND that ultimately it can be a great thing. 

I’m going to give you a grand overview with listing and tech tips, as well as the pulse of where everyone is currently at, in the real estate industry.

The debate between tech-based and traditional real estate was a central focal point for many of the speakers.  For instance, there was a stark contrast in the very exclusionary speech Gary Keller (of Keller Williams) gave in comparison to the very inclusionary one the CEO of Redfin gave.    

It seems though, that most everyone who spoke and had a strong opinion said something along the lines of, “It’s all in the value ad.” 

It’s about the referral, and there is a movement to individualize.  There will still be an awful lot of vanilla out there, as it’s the nature of the business, but there was definitely the presence of a shift. 

“It’s all about attraction, not promotion.”  I think that is key.  It’s not about stats, it’s about you and who you are that will make people want to work with you.

Here are some killer Highlights and Tips that I took away from the conference:

LISTING TECHNIQUES:

- A big struggle we all face as realtors is to continually get our clients to keep the house clean for open houses… An absolutely brilliant way to avoid this problem? Provide a complimentary cleaning service the day before an open house!

- Young family, 3 kids, house needs a lot of work?  Provide complimentary childcare service for the day to get ready.  Also brilliant. 

- More standard tips - go out to dinner after an open house or provide a day at the spa, etc. 

TECH TIPS:

- Captioned videos get opened 80% more than videos without them.  They are a pain to do (I know) unless you send your finished footage to REV.COM.  It’s a fantastic service that transcribes captions to your videos for you.

- BELIEVE.TV - $20.00 a month and you will have the ability to get much more produced and polished videos for Facebook. 

- BUZZSUMO.COM – Allows you to compare and contrast how your social media posts are doing against other peoples posts.

- PLAYBUZZ.COM – Allows you to create really interesting graphics, animations and informational videos that look really clean and professional.

- HOTJAR.COM – Allows you to have a heat map on your website.  Meaning, it shows you where people are clicking and hanging out on your website.  This is dynamite information.

- STOREO.COM - An app that allows you to film vertically and will automatically chop your video into 15-second videos for your stories on IG.

- FACEBOOK BOTS- CHATFUEL, MANYCHATS.  Look these up!  A lot of talk about these and the importance of bots in general. 

The Big Take Away:

Something I’ve been saying for a while now - What people want more than anything is what?  YOU.  So don't hide behind a bunch of tech, but rather use it to showcase YOU.

I think tech has reached a point where there is so much of it, it can almost make us invisible… and we must be held accountable to our clients at all times, so we have to fight against that risk of being invisible... 

People like to see your face and hear your voice, so do just that with your social media and the amazing tech available to us right now.  If you do that you will stand out of the sea of vanilla and increase your business.

Tech is here to stay in our industry, and the platforms are not going away, so embrace it!

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion

Pete

BRAND NEW - #FamilyFriday - Life & Times - The Maldives Part II

BRAND NEW – Life & Times - The Maldives Part II

After traveling for over 30 hours, we finally landed on a tiny speck of an island in the middle of the Indian ocean, Malé.  My voice gone, the 5 of us a bit upside down and exhausted with the time change, we were still beyond excited to have ALMOST made it to our final destination, in the Maldives.

Planes, trains, automobiles, boats AND the final piece to the puzzle… a seaplane!

I was blown away and exhilarated during a glorious 30-minute stint in the air, feeling like a modern Icarus over a turquoise jewelry box that was the Indian Ocean…   

I was then quickly shot back into reality when we were about to descend in a tin can towards a watery runway… BUT, suddenly my trepidation vanished as with one gentle and perfect kiss of the waves we touched down.

FINALLY, the last 3 minutes of a 48-hour journey even Christopher Columbus would be proud of.   I have to admit that I felt like a little kid entering his very own James Bond movie at that very moment. 

Then, the finish line!  We made it to one of the most remote places on the planet, The Four Seasons in The Maldives. 

Thanks for watching and stay tuned for Part III where the adventure continues!

Pete

BRAND NEW - MAGIC MINUTE - How Is A.I. Affecting The Real Estate Market?

Artificial Intelligence is a massive subject, and one that I’m enthralled by, so I’m going to do my best to squish this answer into a Magic Minute (Lorimer style)!

A.I. has already permeated our industry, and it's pervasive; Redfin, Siri, bots (plugins), etc.

When the two worlds collide, A.I. combined with Big Data, it can pack a really powerful punch. This is the new frontier, and we are all still really just beginning to discover what it has to offer. The next natural thought Real Estate agents usually have is, “Will Artificial Intelligence and robots replace us?”

The answer is: Robots don’t have empathy, hope or emotions, and those qualities are most important when selling houses.

So, NO, I don’t think they will ever completely take over.  A.I. will augment us, not replace us… UNLESS we let it.  Those of us who embrace and harness the powers of it will lead successful careers.  But, on the flipside, those of us who don’t and fight against it will mostly likely fade into insignificance. 

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion

Pete

#MondayMantra - Pocket Listings – The Art of Finding Off Market Listings

I’m being very specific today by doing a real estate-centric mantra.  Figured I’d shake things up a bit since the second half of the year is coming out of the gate like gangbusters already.  AND the industry seems to be saying that things are going to continue in that good direction too.  There is a great article on Inman about that very sentiment.  Check it out.

So, let’s keep focusing on what can propel us forward in this second act of 2018 and jump into “Pocket Listings.”  When it’s a seller's market, these become even more desirable. 

Some basic techniques for finding these listings:

1-    MLS – The system already has a plethora of market listings for the taking.  What I suggest is to look for any listings that have expired, have been canceled or withdrawn.  After you get the information and check that the property hasn’t sold, then call the agent that had the listing and say you have a client that may be interested.  THEN, you show your client a house that is off market AND most importantly that you can provide them with listings they can’t find themselves.  That is key. 

2-    REMINE – A new company that shows you who has equity and the percentage, so, if you want to send out mailers or go door knocking this is very helpful.  Another app is called PROPERTY RADAR.  It’s magnificent.  You can go into an area and target people based on specific information… (Pre-foreclosures being one of them.  By tracking this data with these two apps, this is the most successful way to go about dealing with pre-foreclosures.  (For example- My friend went to the houses listed and tried to show them a way out with empathy and strategy and found that apparently, no one does this.  That’s another way to find off-market listings.  Be proactive!)

3-    Websites- That actually have some listings not on the MLS; ThePLS.com and Thetopagentnetwork.com (TAN).  You have to dig through, but the deal is you will end up being able to show houses to your clients that again, they would never otherwise be able to find on their own! The search is worth it.

4-    Zillow- (Yes Zillow!) They have “potential listings” categories, which most clients will also NOT find on their own that you can go through.

5-    New Construction Buyers- you can literally drive around and look for construction sites and then go straight to the builder before it hits the MLS.

I hope that was helpful and thanks for watching!

Peter

 

 

BRAND NEW - #FamilyFriday – Life & Times SPECIAL - The Great Lorimer Vacation – The Maldives Part I

#FamilyFriday – Life & Times SPECIAL - The Great Lorimer Vacation – The Maldives Part I

3 small kids, a 40-hour journey and the best Dim Sum in Hong Kong! 

On this first part of our epic family vacation, we are in transit on our way to The Maldives.  It’s quite the trek, but I can assure you, it’s totally worth it.  We were lucky to have an incredible tour guide on our stop in Hong Kong, where we saw one of the most famous skylines on the planet in Kowloon on the Hong Kong Harbor. 

This trip to Hong Kong was very unlike my previous visits there, in my DJing days.  A nice change of pace from pumping bass, screaming, getting on planes and crashing in hotels.  I quite enjoyed being a tourist with my family this time around!

And finally, our last stop was at The Four Seasons for truly the most sensational Dim Sum I’ve ever had. 

Stay tuned for Part II when we land at our final destination, The Maldives.  Nothing better than a good cliffhanger. 

Thanks for watching

Peter

 

 

INMAN Podcast Series - KEEPING IT REAL - How To Set Goals And Achieve Them
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Keeping it real: HOW TO SET GOALS AND ACHIEVE THEM

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READ THE ARTICLE AND LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE!

The secret is knowing what you have control over, digging in and working as hard as you can.

On this edition of “Keeping it real,” a recurring series on Inman, Peter Lorimer discusses the importance of setting goals and how to achieve them.  Listen in as Lorimer shares the techniques he used while climbing to the top as a successful record producer and how he continued to use them while becoming an equally successful real estate entrepreneur.

“Goals are an integral part of who we are as business people; love them or hate them, they are a necessary evil,” Lorimer said. “When used in a more constructive manner, as opposed to destructive one, they can become powerful allies.”

A question Lorimer is continually asked in business is, “How do you set goals in real estate and achieve them?”

Setting goals are paramount, but it’s more about setting the right ones. Strictly setting financial goals can be hollow, and it’s a perfect setup to fail. If you don’t hit the exact number or don’t make the exact number of deals you had in mind, you begin to lose steam and drift.

“The only thing that you are 1,000 percent in charge of is the work that you put out,” he said.

So, the key is to set goals you can control:

·       How you market

·       How many people you see a day

·       How you budget your time

·       Researching

·       Putting what your clients want first and what you want last

·       Making yourself indispensable

“The secret is knowing what we have control over, digging in and working as hard as we possibly can,” Lorimer said.

 

#tbt Gary Vee Take Two

This was a real highlight for me when I got to ask my idol Gary Vee a burning question I’ve had for a while...

“Can you ever put out too much content?” Let’s just say I got the answer I was hoping for. 

He really is an extraordinary man, and I felt a bit like a fangirl getting to hang with him for a few minutes.

Though it has a bit of a gyrating feel to it, my mate and coworker, Waleed, captured the emotions of the meeting pretty well, I’d say.

Thanks for watching!

Peter

WATCH FULL VIDEO HERE

#MondayMantra – 2018 Part II – The 6th Month Play By Play

#MondayMantra – 2018 Part II – The 6th Month Play By Play

Now that we have all had a break and hopefully recharged our engines it’s time to focus on the second half of the year.  This mantra will tell you how to tackle the rest of 2018.  If you follow this regime, you WILL be successful.  It's pretty intense, and I'm going to be asking a lot and for you to dig deep.  BUT, remember, “you get out what you put in."

Here is the 3 SECTION breakdown and play by play of the plan at hand:

I. GRUNT WORK: This is the heavy lifting part.  You need to prospect 6 days a week.  I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but it’s necessary.  I live and breathe by my “666 PROSPECTING TECHNIQUE”, which is:

-6 EMAILS - to people you have not recently spoken to.  

-6 TEXT MESSAGES- which includes Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. 

-6 DM’s- through whatever your platform of choice is.

II. SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS: Again, pick your poison, whichever you prefer.  I personally love Instagram.  I think it’s perfect for real estate because it’s a visual industry. Every single day you need to be posting at least one in your main feed.  Treat your IG main feed as the retail window into your business.  It can be personal or business, but make sure you curate it so that it represents who you are as a person, a professional OR both.

Also, Utilize IG STORIES!  I recommend doing 5 per day.  You have more creative license with these.  It’s a chance for people to get to know your personality. 

Lastly, do a LIVE STREAM.  Pick a topic, do it once a week at the same time and people will begin to tune in.

In my opinion, IG has become one of the most robust platforms.  These techniques work on Facebook as well, of course.

You’ve watched videos long enough, and it’s now time for you to bust out the camera.  I’d love to see just one Vlog a month on IGTV.  It could literally be a minute.  Those of us who push through the vanilla will come out on top.  I promise you.  

III. TECHNIQUES OUTSIDE THE GENERAL SPHERE OF REAL ESTATE: The catch-all! When I was a newbie, even the faintest whiff of anything real estate I was on it.  Every single week you should be sitting an open house.  Every person in an office has access to find an open house.  Coupled with that, attend parties and events.  Getting face time with people you know is massively important. 

When you take the time to create thoughtful social media posts, they can act as a tool for people to know who you are and keep relationships alive.  At the end of the day, when we do the 666 of prospecting, we are keeping relationships fresh and rekindling them.  And then by using social media to remind people we are there and who we are we solidify those relationships. 

People will trust you through your social media presence, and when people trust you, they want to do business with you.

I follow this regime, and it has allowed me to be a successful agent.   As we jump into this second half of the year it’s the perfect time for you to start as well!

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion

Pete

BRAND NEW #VLOG - Backstage Pass – Venice Fight Club Featuring John Campbell-Mac

BRAND NEW #VLOG - Backstage Pass – Venice Fight Club Featuring John Campbell-Mac

In this brand spanking new Vlog, I go to Venice beach to meet one of my favorite people on this planet, Johnny, aka JC.  He’s one of our agents at PLG AND was also, once upon a time, a professional boxer.

I'm still not exactly sure how, but somehow, I agreed to go and let him put me through a boxing boot camp on the beaches of Venice.  I suppose I figured he could help me keep off the "dad weight."  

Besides being a favorite, JC also happens to be one of the most colorful characters I’ve met… and I’ve met a lot along the way! 

Watch us do a bit of sparring while talking about sketchy (‘Fight Club’-like) boxing matches, his journey from England, his experiences as an actor (he's been in 40+ movies) and us do an homage to ‘Rocky’ (the greatest boxing movie of all time).

Thanks for watching and being part of the rebellion!

Peter