marketing

“Do you guys know how to post a video to Facebook?”

Using LinkedIn for your practice or business!

Even before watching the AT&T commercial that asks the question about posting a video to Facebook, people in business were generally well aware of the critical importance of using social media to promote their company or practice.

Whether it’s the area of law, title insurance, retail or really anything else, a positive web presence is a must.

When it comes to using LinkedIn, the best and most productive ways to utilize it are not always that apparent. There are “Connections”, profile descriptions and adding new content, but what else? This SlideShare presentation will hopefully help.

Developing a LinkedIn sales strategy!

SlideShare courtesy of Outbound Excellence

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC

Michael Haltman, Partner
131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205
Jericho, New York 11753
516.741.4723 (P)
516.741.6838 (F)

Email:       mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com
Website:   Hallmark Abstract Service
Blog:         The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel

At Hallmark Abstract Service, we work harder to make your closings easier!

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commercial mortgage, commercial real estate, picking your title company

Commercial real estate financing: Saving money on the process!

commercial property,commercial mortgage,Hallmark Abstract Service,title insurance New York

(Article scheduled to appear in Long Island Business News)

Financing commercial real estate isn’t as easy as it used to be!

If you’re thinking about buying commercial real estate the process, never an easy one, is that much more difficult post-real estate crisis.

Assuming that you are able to locate a property and then negotiate a price with the seller that should allow you to achieve what you envision the endgame to be, now comes the most difficult and drawn-out process of the transaction.

That of arranging financing for your proposed purchase.

First you must keep in mind that, unlike residential funding, not every lender lends on every type of commercial property. And some lenders won’t lend on commercial real estate at all!

Additionally even pre-2008, commercial property financing has never been as easy to do as residential due to an underwriting process that is much more involved and somewhat more complicated.

The underwriter will consider the property type, whether it will be owner-occupied or strictly for investment, the debt service coverage ratios based on a variety of factors, the quality of tenants and length of leases if applicable, capitalization rates for the area, zoning issues and more!

Compare this to the residential mortgage market where typically a house will get appraised, financials and credit scores will be scrutinized, and then if it all checks out a loan program will likely exist that the buyer will qualify for.

With commercial mortgages the borrower financials are still a critical piece to the puzzle, but the property itself is more important to the transaction getting done.

While a “bad” borrower is enough to kill any transaction, a property has to fit within the lenders sweet spot as well.

For example, does a lender only like multifamily and mixed-use while they dislike lending on vacant land.

Knowing the likes and dislikes of a lender before submitting an application helps avoid wasting valuable time and money!

Saving money on a commercial real estate purchase and closing!

After what has hopefully only been about a 6-month process including the finding of a property, locating a lender and jumping through hoops and over hurdles set-up by that lender, the end of the process has hopefully been successfully reached.

The definition of success in this case is that a mortgage commitment has been issued and a “clear to close”!

Before you get there, however, in today’s market the savvy real estate buyer is in an excellent position to save what could be a good deal of money on their transaction, including on closing costs.

In the first place the buyer hopefully beat up the seller getting a great price on the property itself. Once price has been agreed to and before the contract is drawn up, other transaction savings can begin to be explored.

While a struggling economy and real estate market can be good for the buyer, the shrinking volume of transactions facing others involved in the process such as attorneys, real estate brokers, appraisers and Title Company’s presents the purchaser with additional potential avenues for savings!

One constant among all of these professionals that a smart consumer can attempt to leverage, particularly now, is that the fees being charged are often negotiable!

When the real estate market is strong and multiple new deals are received each week, an appraiser or some other professional can afford to tell a potential client that the price being charged is non-negotiable.

But not as much now! With the competition for a scarcity of deals fierce, common sense dictates that  for the service provider some level of fee, as long as it is reasonable, is much better than earning no fee by not getting selected by the buyer of the property.

Even the title insurance portion of the transaction, where premiums are non-negotiable and set by New York State, represents an area where a savvy buyer can save money.

Despite this, typically most buyers will let their attorney choose the title firm.

One of the reasons that this may occur is that many, if not most, buyers are not aware that by law they are entitled to choose the company providing title insurance. Another reason can also be that their attorney may have an established relationship with a specific firm that they know and are comfortable using.

Despite this fact, buyers need to remember that the non-title insurance premium fees in the transaction can vary widely by firm, and that these can add up to an appreciable amount of money.

For example, while recording a mortgage in some New York State counties costs a title firm $265.00, they might charge the borrower as much as $450.00. If there is a deed and a mortgage to record this would be a fee to the buyer of $900. What if instead the client is charged only $300 for each of these with similar savings on all of the other fees being charged?

That would represent significant savings to be had by using Company A rather than Company B.

In the same way that you would negotiate any fee, the savvy buyer will go to a few title firms firms for  an estimate of what their title bill would be.

If it’s possible to save hundreds or maybe even $1,000 this way, why not do it?

The bottom-line is that a real estate buyer needs to closely examine all parts of their transaction, determine what are non-negotiable fixed costs, and then aggressively negotiate the rest!

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC

Michael Haltman, Partner
131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205
Jericho, New York 11753
516.741.4723 (P)
516.741.6838 (F)

Email:       mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com
Website:   Hallmark Abstract Service
Blog:         The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel

At Hallmark Abstract Service, we work harder to make your closings easier!

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property buyers - New York State, real estate attorney, title insurance

Title insurance: Buyers do have a choice!

Hallmark Abstract Service New York State title insurance

If you or someone you know is buying residential or commercial property wouldn’t reducing the closing costs be a very good thing?

Well you are legally entitled to try!

When you sit at a real estate closing table with your attorney as the purchaser of a piece of real estate, at least in New York, it can seem as if you have just entered a marathon of check writing.

The fact of the matter is that there is really no way around the majority of these expenses, but what if you could try and reduce the amount of money that you need to pay the company providing the title insurance?

A property buyer is free to choose their title insurance provider!

You may not realize that you have this option because the attorney representing you will typically take care of ordering the title insurance, but using that firm may not always be the most cost effective way to go!

While the actual title insurance premium is set by the State of New York and is non-negotiable, there are other fees involved with generating the title that can vary greatly from firm to firm.

These fees include those for searches and items such as a property survey.

While one company might charge $300 for a basic search that costs them $150, another firm may simply charge the property buyer the cost, $150.

If you were to combine all of these required additional searches and other items, also known as “junk fees”, and then add together all of the mark-ups being charged by some firms over and above their cost, the excess expense for the property buyer could be well in excess of $1,000.

Once again property buyers often assume that they have no say in the choosing of the company that will be providing the title insurance for their transaction.

But they can!

It may take an extra phone call to ask a title insurance firm what the title bill would be for your given transaction and then compare it to the company that your attorney or bank is recommending that you use.

But if you have the potential to save hundreds or maybe even over $1,000, wouldn’t it be worth it to try?

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC
Michael Haltman, Partner
131 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 205
Jericho, New York 11753
516.741.4723 (P)
516.741.6838 (F)

Email:       mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com
Website:   Hallmark Abstract Service
Blog:         The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel

At Hallmark Abstract Service, we work harder to make your closings easier!

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