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A new way to run a real estate business

Published December 16, 2016 in Cloud Real Estate Business - 0 Comments
Virtual Real Estate

The latest technology advances changed the majority of industries, and real estate is also the industry that demands change. The age of brick-and-mortar agencies is drawing near, as the internet takes over the most of the business.
The lack of changes in our line of work is mainly due to the necessity to share files among the members of the company and have regular meetings to discuss various real estate. This is possible over the internet, but it’s easier to do in person.

The significant changes in the industry come with the advancement of the cloud technology. This new tech allows us to create a virtual copy of our office, where we can share and work on everything at the same time. Do check below why we took a step toward virtualized real estate business, and what we gained from it.

Advantages of the virtual office

Virtual officeTrying to replace classic office work with virtual business is futile when it comes to real estate. This is why we chose to supplement our office with cloud tech rather than try and fail to replace it. And we have to say that it works. We don’t have to pay rent for a large office as most of the work is done over a cloud server. We do have an office, but it’s small, and we use to for counseling only. The costs of documentation and other types of communication are also down due to the versatility of this new technology.

We aren’t the only party that prospers from this new way to run the business; our client experience some of the advantages as well. The latest available technology lets us provide better service to our clients. For instance, the virtual server allows us to get more leads, and that helps both the seller and the buyer.

How an efficient cloud real estate business looks like

Our office is small, and it has only one conference room. It also has two computers for agents who want to show something to others at the meeting. All other sharing is completed online.
We do have a physical file cabinet, but only the top-tier has access to it. Other people may review documents that are stored online. Every record is accessible only by people who have a need to review it. Others don’t have access to such records.

All advantages of the office over working from home (direct communication, announcements, bulletin board, and up-to-date calendar) are gone in this day and age. We do all of those things over the internet, and this makes us more efficient than before.

Virtual Brokerage is the future

This is the future, and there is no question about it. Driving to clients’ residence just to present them a document is a thing of the past as well. We just contact our customer and give them the access to the online document on our server, and the problem is solved.

Virtual Brokerage

Some physical aspects of this business still exist, and they will stay relevant in the future as well. It’s a mistake not to take advantage of the technology, and those that do eventually go out of business.


Why do real estate trust accounts exist?

Published December 16, 2016 in Real estate trust accounts - 0 Comments

real estate trust accountsEvery party, no matter whether they are a company or an individual that receives some form of compensation in the real estate industry, needs a trust account. An agent (agency) can’t receive any money if they don’t have it. They can, of course, use a third party account.

The money you receive will be locked on the account for ten working days. All parties have to confirm the legality of the transaction to release that money before the said deadline. The only other way to release the money before said time frame is through the court order.

Standard and special trust accounts

As an agency or an agent in the real estate industry, you can open a standard or a special account. Each of these two options has its requirements, but in essence, a party needs to have a license to open either one of them. The only exception to this rule is if your superior and his company have the required license.

You can only open an account with an approved financial institution (you can find a list of approved organizations online), and its name has to contain its type (exclusive or not). Before you apply for it, you have to present a copy of the license to that institution (it might take a day or so for them to check the validity of the same).

You will also have to appoint an auditor of your trust account (you have a month after opening it). You can’t just choose anyone you want for this job. The person you want has to be an employee of a valid auditing company. This individual will examine your account on a regular basis (several times a year), and they will make sure that everything is OK with the transactions that involve it.

Why do you need a special trust account?

This type of account is only necessary for the sale of property. Individuals that are part of the transaction can open it. The money will have to stay on it for at least sixty days, and you also need written requests from all relevant parties if you want to open it. The only type of transaction toward the special trust account is the deal for the sale of the property. When two months pass you will be able to retrieve that money, but only over a regular trust account. You will have to save the copy of the receipt. Failure to do so may result in legal repercussions.

Brokerage employees don’t have to deal with this

If you are a member of brokerage, then you won’t have to deal with this type of work. In the majority of cases, some accountants handle trust accounts. An agent that works for them doesn’t have to worry about that part of the business for it’s done by other people.


Do go online and check what rights and obligations these accounts give you. Don’t open an account and then get upset about not being able to withdraw the money whenever you want.



How a brokerage can profit from custom accompaniment software

Published December 16, 2016 in Custom Accompaniment Programs - 0 Comments
real estate management software

Custom accompaniment software, also known as backtracking, is a relatively new concept in real estate industry. Only a couple of examples of software like this exist, and the best example would be Brokermint. We believe that this kind of software will help many companies that don’t have enough staff for all the aspects of the work. Large enterprises will also profit from it, as they will speed up their business.

If you are interested in custom accompaniment, then read on and find out what advantages it gives to real estate companies.

Introduction into the custom accompaniment programs

A program like this provides assistance to real estate agents in several different ways. When you integrate it into an existing CRM, it will import all contact and transition opportunities as well as track deals without any problems. You can also incorporate it into the MLS to introduce all listings and avoid the possibility of double or triple listing entries. It is also perfect for online storage, as it connects your account directly to the server. It transfers all relevant data between those at incredible speeds, and thus it boosts accounting efficiency.

Custom accompaniment softwareCustom accompaniment software is excellent for monetary transactions and other documents that are connected to them. It collects all the data about a sale on one place, so anyone with permission can review it, without the need to search for all of the documents and receipts. It allows you the creation of checklist templates and each and every one you create is fully customizable. There is no limit on the number of templates you can create.

This software gives you all data on one list from which you can access and work in all of the listed items. It also allows sending emails from within the program rather than going onto the mail website.

Other favorable advantages of custom backtracking programs

The way you pay commissions within the real estate company will change completely with this type of software. You will (or someone else who knows how to adjust this software) have to input some data into the program before it starts calculating all the commissions, but after you do that it will save you a lot of time.

This software will give you a list of all fees you have to pay to your real estate agents as well as work for which they are paid. This also includes the charge history of every agent. This history contains reports on sales those individuals completed.

Best Real Estate Software for 2016

It will also allow you to keep an eye on all fees and charges as well as expenses that may happen (a list of expenditures that occurred in the past is taken as the source).

Game-changing software

A program that simplifies real estate business is a rather new thing and it will surely change the way we work. The change might not happen in next year or two, but in next five years, the technology will advance even more, and software like this will be everywhere.



Spouses Flipping Houses Review

Published February 19, 2016 in Starting A Business Tips - 0 Comments

Spouses Flipping Houses is the latest real estate investment business training released by Husband & Wife Investors, Doug & Andrea Van Soest.

Who Are Doug & Andrea Van Soest?

Doug & Andrea have been touted as a “Real Estate Power Couple” by meetup.com a popular website where business owners and entrepreneurs can form groups & get together to network.

Doug Van Soest

Doug-Van-SoestDoug Van Soest is a Southern California Native. His Linkedin profile summary reads:

I have 12 years of full time experience in Real Estate sales, loans, investment and valuation. I worked as a California Certified Residential Appraiser from 2003-2010. Since 2008, my wife and I have purchased and sold over 200 properties in Southern California and manage our in-house rental property portfolio.

He is the CEO of Freedom Real Estate Solutions, an Investment & Asset Management company since July 2007 to the present day. Freedom Real Estate is described as:

Freedom Real Estate Solutions is a Real Estate Investment company that specializes in the acquisition, renovation and sales of single family houses, condominiums, & 2-4 unit properties in Southern California. We work directly with homeowners who need to sell their homes to find a win-win solution to their problem. That may mean referring them to a Real Estate agent, or often times, buying their homes As-Is.

Andrea Van Soest

Andrea-Van-Soest1Andrea Van Soest is the VP of Freedom Real Estate solutions and manages all of the interior design work on their rehab projects. Here’s a little about Andrea:

Andrea is a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in Industrial Organization Psychology. She has been a licensed Realtor since 2006 and has over 8 years of experience as a Real Estate Investor. Andrea is also very passionate about design. She recently attended UC Riverside for Interior Design and has been working with homeowners and fellow investors to create beautiful spaces.

Here’s a little about Doug & Andreas back story in business:

Since getting married in 2000, we have had a burning desire to be in business for ourselves doing something that we love.  We have definitely landed on our passion in the world of Real Estate.  We love helping to solve problems for home owners and burned out landlords.

Doug is a Certified Residential Appraiser (since 2003) and Andrea is a California Licensed Realtor (since 2006). We are students of the most respected and recognized Real Estate Investing educators in California and have since been asked to speak and educate others as well.

At Southern California Home Buyers finding a solution to your problem is our number one goal! We understand the needs of today’s buyers, sellers and investors and will work together to help you reach your financial goals!

Doug & Andrea have been extremely successful house flipping experts since being in business together. Both have a natural keen for business and among their sharp wit and business prowess they’re also extremely customer centric. Customer service has always come first and foremost to them in all of their business ventures and this is reflected in their latest Podcast Business model, Spouses Flipping Houses.

Spouses Flipping Houses

SFH_LogoSpouses flipping houses was started by Doug & Andrea as a way for them to share their knowledge of the real estate world and what they’ve learned as successful investors. It’s their way of “Giving Back” to the community as all of the information they provide so far has been 100% free.

They are also getting rave reviews for their information, pod casting style and natural entertaining dynamic they both have with each other when live on the mic.

They’re a fun-loving couple that go out of their way to make sure the listener is fully engaged and entertained while also being educated on the topics they discuss on their show.


Since being released in late 2015, Spouses Flipping Houses was an immediate hit among it’s audience. With listeners coming in from all over the world Doug & Andrea quickly became a trusted source of information for Real Estate Professionals or Ambitious Entrepreneurs to find solace in information that wasn’t trying to pitch them on a sales offer.

Here are just a few of the testimonials they’ve received on their iTunes page that reflects the couples success with their audience:

“We’re a fellow husband and wife podcasting team and this duo has us smitten! Love learning more about real estate investing and can’t wait to start implement all the incredibly insightful info that we’ve learned. Keep up the great work Doug + Andrea! Your hearts and hustle have inspired us over at Marriage is Funny!” – Jessie Artigue of Marriage is Funny

“My wife and I really enjoy your podcast. We have a rental home and laughed so hard at your stories of your renters because we could relate. We are learning so much from your shows. Thank you.” – Lxa739

“Thank you guys for putting this podcast out to the world. You guys give lots of great information, are very positive and motivational. Just wish I could convince my wife to start listening so we could get away from the 9-5 and flip some houses together.”

All in all, Spouses Flipping Houses is a Hit and we at formaplus.ca are SUPER excited to see where this real estate power couple takes things in a few years. There have even been rumors of a possible TV show in the works for this couple with HGTV – now that would be REALLY exciting!

Anyways, you can catch this Podcast live on iTunes and tune in every week for a new episode from the Dynamic Duo of Doug & Andrea Van Soest.


The Right Business Idea at the Right Time

Published October 12, 2015 in Starting A Business Tips - 0 Comments

When you think of a better future, you usually think of being able to buy everything that you need, providing for your family and being able to live in a nice house that you can afford. However, these things never come cheap and the salary that you get is almost never enough to get you all these things.

Business-CoupleThere are plenty of things that you could do to improve your financial situation – you could start flipping houses and help people that have to sell their houses fast, or put your savings into something that brings you profit. Or you could start your own business, something simple and easy, that doesn’t require too much money but brings you something extra to increase your monthly income.

Here are some cheap business ideas that you can start right from the comfort of your home, with just a little investment.

Producing Scented Candles

This business idea is one of the most beautiful, as you get to create scented candles that will improve the houses and the interior of those who buy them. This doesn’t require a big space to make them, as you will need to use a table and the stove. The materials used are inexpensive and easy to find – you will need paraffin, scents, silicone molds and wick candles. You will also need marketing-small-businesscolored pigments to color your scented candles. There are plenty of instructions online, and producing scented candles is quite easy.

There is also a wide market for selling these, and you can even create your own website with an online store for selling your own creations. It’s the best way to reach out to people and make their lives a little more beautiful.

Producing Handmade Wedding Invitations

For this kind of business there is always an open market. People get married and they need wedding invitations to send out to their guests. Offering them handmade wedding invitation is the best way to make their day memorable and also easier. For this business you will need to invest in beautiful paper, a printer, a professional cutter – this is optional, and a table.connect-business-professionals There are plenty of patterns that you can use for creating the invitations, and all you have to do is promote your business. With beautiful decorations, a beautiful writing on the invitation (you can even use hand writing, as this is even more personal) and a nice envelope, you’ll have the invitation ready to be sent.

Producing Jewelry

Women will always love wearing and buying jewelry, and men will always buy jewelry to make the women in their lives happy. This is also a good opportunity for creating jewelry that can be extremely easy. There are plenty of websites that offer sterling silver – jewelry  for earrings, bracelets and rings, and with the right crystal you can have the business-icon-1106114457right jewelry ready for sale. You can use Swarovski crystal – these are quality crystals specially made for jewelry, and combined with silver, these represent beautiful pieces that can be used by Women everywhere.

Restoring Furniture

This business idea requires more than just passion – you need to have time and a good knowledge on how to restore old pieces of furniture. Some items will require only sanding, staining and lacquering, while others will require repairs, replacing missing parts and replacing the materials used for the cushions.

There are plenty of people who choose to throw away their old furniture, even if it is beautiful and expensive, because they have nobody to repair it and restore it. You certainly have seen how expensive this kind of furniture is, so if you know how to do this, you can create a business dedicated for restoring and improving antique furniture.chart images

There are plenty of good business ideas, but you can have the one that is adequate for you – one that you are good at, one that you know how to do and one that brings you happiness. It’s true that there is also plenty of work involved, but the benefits are equally worth it.