FinCENOn July 26, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), a bureau of the United States Department of Treasury, issued a Geographical Targeting Order (“GTO”) requiring title insurers, their subsidiaries and agents, to report certain information in connection with the purchase of 1-4 unit residential real properties in Covered Transactions.

A “Covered Transaction” is an all-cash transaction in which the property is being purchased by a limited liability company, corporation, partnership or a similar legal or business entity, and the purchase price is $2,000,000 or more (for properties in the counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo or Santa Clara, California).

If a property is being purchased in a Covered Transaction that meets these criteria, the proposed insured purchaser must provide all information necessary for the Title Company to complete IRS form 8300.

What are Covered Transactions?

* The property being purchased is 1-4 unit residential property;

* The property is located in any of the designated counties of California

* The sales price meets the designated threshold amount;

* The purchaser is a legal entity (i.e., a corporation, LLC, partnership or similar business entity);

* The property is purchased without a loan or similar form of external financing; and

* Any portion of the purchase price is paid using currency, cashier’s check, certified check, traveler’s check, money order, personal check or business check.

 

To satisfy this requirement, we may need to obtain additional information from other parties involved in the transaction.

For more information, please visit the following links:
http://www.alta.org/fincen/081216_FAQ_FINCEN_GTO.pdf
https://www.fincen.gov/news_room/nr/pdf/GTO_Phase_2_FAQs%20_081916.pdf

Real Estate Contact ListsWhen dealing with as many people as a real estate agent does throughout the normal, daily routine, keeping track of names, faces, numbers and affiliations can be a challenge. A good real estate agent works with many personalities throughout the day, and in order to keep the business thriving, it is important to organize and stay in contact with these people even when not directly interacting with them.

What many agents don’t realize is that while garnering new business takes up a big part of the work you might do day to day, a lot of that work can already be done for you by organizing the contacts you already know and optimizing your relationship with them by touching base via email. Whether you keep track of your contacts through a CRM, on your phone or on your computer, organizing these contacts into predetermined lists can greatly streamline your process of reaching out and connecting.

Your current contacts represent your most valuable asset in gaining new business. Don’t let this resource fall by the wayside. Once you’ve set order to your contacts, devise a marketing plan for each group. You don’t have to touch base with each group daily, weekly or even monthly, but sending out little touches here and there can work greatly in your favor. Perhaps a quarterly newsletter or even simple Happy Birthday or Anniversary messages will help to remind customers and contacts that you are an agent that pays attention to detail and will go above and beyond for your clients.

Here are the six essential lists you should be organizing your contacts into:

Your Sphere of Influence

These are colleagues outside of real estate that are important to maintain contact with, for personal and professional reasons. This list should include friends, family members and past colleagues from outside the real estate realm.

Past Clients

If you’re a newer agent, fear not, this list will grow with time. It is always a good idea to keep track of clients you’ve worked with before as they most likely will move again in their lifetime or will know somebody looking to buy or sell a home. If you maintained a good relationship with your client throughout the home buying or selling process, keeping in contact after the fact will only strengthen that bond and make that client more likely to recommend you to their family and friends.

“A” Leads

These are any clients looking to buy or sell within the next 90 days. These clients are pre-approved and highly motivated at this stage.

“B” Leads

This list of clients is slightly less-motivated. They are perhaps six months away from buying or selling, so still in the early stages of looking and getting serious about making a move on the market.

“C” Leads

These are clients to keep in your back pocket. They may be leads gained through a website or from an open house who are just starting to think about real estate.

Business Development

These are entities that help you get the job done and are very important. Members of this list include builders, lawyers, accountants and referral agents.

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