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Barter in Real Estate

With the nation in constant yellow and red alert terror and disaster status lately, homeowners are ramping up their emergency supplies and creating survival plans for their families.  Some are even purchasing land and creating getaway retreats–just in case.

Such is the situation with Southern Barter Club members Cindy and Travis. When they sat down together in January to formulate their annual spending plan, they jotted down their goals, which included:

  • Buying property in North Georgia         $12,000 estimated cost
  • Real Estate Agent                                      $600 est.
  • Property appraisal                                     $500 est.
  • Real estate lawyer                                      $1100 est.

During the SBC orientation meeting, however, the couple was thrilled to learn that all these line items can be purchased on barter!

According to recent estimates, the average American couple spends more than $20,000 on home real estate and appraisal fees in a 20-year period. While these costs were taken in stride for many in years past, recently the volatile economy has made it more difficult for people to part with the funds in this ever-tightening category. However, the good news is that wise homeowners are increasingly turning to the barter-based providers as an alternative to satisfy these costs while maintaining their properties and keeping home values high.

The following are typical real estate-related categories that customers are now seeking to purchase through barter:

  • Property purchases
  • Real estate broker fees
  • Real estate agent fees
  • Real estate legal fees
  • Home appraisal fees
  • Home photography and slide shows
  • Basement renovations
  • Home staging services
  • Population statistics

The world of cashless trading now serves as a creative niche that opens a whole new world of customers and contacts for real estate providers.  Why not keep more cash in the bank by offering your skills and services to this ever-widening group of barter lovers?  Many of our home improvement sellers in the barter club designate a certain percentage of business (say, 20%) for their cashless customers, and they enjoy watching their virtual bank accounts grow.  In turn, they can use their “barter bucks” for purchases they need–photographers, subcontractors, etc.–and non-industry-related areas like medical, dental, dining, vacations, and more.

Call us today to discuss a special offer we have – just for you.  We look forward to working with you soon! 678-546-0900

SBC is Gwinnett Magazine

Southern Barter Club Helps Non-Profits

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Laurie and Henry Sossa

The Business Pages: July/Aug 2013 Business • Gains

Public advocates and Gwinnett-based Southern Barter Club founders Henry and Laurie Sossa extend to non-profit organizations incentives that help offset operational expenses such as free membership and waiving transaction fees for trade services.

Through Southern Barter Club, non-profits can utilize trade dollars for fundraising activities, that in turn results in greater participation and increasing their barter credit to be used for priority needs. In addition, member organizations can now create direct one-on-one barter with individuals and businesses to accept all donations, even if the donation is not beneficial for their organization. This allows the barter club to resell the donated items for barter to other members, thus adding to the non-profit organization’s barter credits that can be used to offset cash spending for operational needs.

Ancient Economic Tool Revives Modern Economy

As I leafed through a World History book this week, I was surprised to learn that entire ancient civilizations in Asia and South America became flourishing centers of trade based solely on a barter economy.   As the centuries progressed, it seems, nations turned to cash currency for its convenience. However, according to a recent NBC news show, once again people are revisiting the concept of barter as a way to rise above a lagging economy. Continue reading

Five Ways Your Staff Can Benefit From Barter

(exerpts from Barter Gal)

1. AWARD STAFF WITH BARTER BONUSES AND COMMISSIONS. Business owners are often challenged to both acquire and maintain good staff. Often there is no way that a small to medium sized business can compete in the job market with big corporations or government departments. By awarding staff with barter dollars, either by way of an incentive or as a top up to their salary, they can engage and maintain quality staff. Such awards to staff can be a legitimate tax deduction* for you and if the staff choose their purchases wisely it can make a big improvement in the lives of your employees.

2. USE YOUR BARTER DOLLARS TO PROVIDE AN INFORMAL BENEFIT PACKAGE FOR YOUR STAFF. In any barter exchange you will find a variety of professional health solutions available for you and your staff to choose from including: general and cosmetic dentistry, general medicine family practitioner, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, facials, laser hair removal, acupuncture, hearing testing, plastic surgery, eyeglasses, and many professional therapists. The list goes on. These health services that a company purchases for staff can be a legitimate business expense* for the company and are often not taxable* for the employee = a win win for all involved! Continue reading

The Challenge With Direct Trading

Direct trades work when there is the “incidence of coincidence”; a coincidence of wants, where each company wants what the other company has to offer, in the exact same value, at the exact same time. This is often difficult to achieve and makes direct barter a challenge.

Many companies today participate in a more sophisticated organized barter as members of a trade exchange such as Southern Barter Club. A trade exchange facilitates round robin trading with a number of trading partners involved which eliminates the need for a coincidence of wants and allows many companies to receive the products or services they need without spending cash. Trade exchanges have a debit and credit system using a cashless community currency. This eliminates many of the problems created by direct trades since the buyer only ever receives trade dollars for payment, not the particular goods or services of the seller. Companies in a barter exchange can buy from and sell to any other member of the exchange using trade dollars, just like they are using cash. Trade is simply another way of being paid.

Trade transactions are easily tracked and managed online by the trade exchange. ‘Barter exchanges manage trade similar to the way a bank manages money. This means that when you barter, each transaction is accurately recorded,tracked and archived.  1099’s are send out for all barter income. Members can view current transactions online the day a transaction is credited or debited and monthly statements can be viewed online as well.

Direct trading may seem like a good idea to some business owners, but there are risks associated with direct trading. One valid concern is, if the person they are trading with goes out of business or does not fulfill their end of the bargain, they are not protected. Often if a direct trade is done off the books, there is not a way to confirm the transaction.

When a business joins and trades within a trade exchange, they are safeguarding their invested products and services.  Another benefit of a trade exchange is that it comprised of a wide variety of businesses providing expanded spending opportunities.  A business owner can purchase from any other member in the exchange to get business or personal products and services for their business, employees, family or friends.

Top reasons to participate in an organized trade exchange vs direct trading on your own.

  1. Your dollars are banked so you can use them whenever and wherever you want.
  2. The Barter club brings you new customers that you would not have otherwise.
  3. The Barter Club tracks all of your transactions and provides you with monthly bank statements.
  4. The Barter Club assigns you to your own personal trade consultant to make your transactions seamless.
  5. Since all income must be reported to the IRS, organized trade is considered legal while direct trade is not.

Southern Barter Club makes bartering easy and efficient.

Barter Partnership-Marketing Increases Your Payoff

One of the ways to expand your marketing efforts is by contacting and partnering with other members within your trade exchange. Look for those whom you’ve met and created a rapport with (at mixers or trade fairs) as well as those offering complementary but non-competitive products or services. If you need some help, give a call to your trade broker for possible introductions.

For example, if you’re selling nutritional supplements, you could join forces with the local fitness center wherein you’d display each other’s products or services in your respective businesses. When creating a promotion that would provide additional exposure for both of you, look to fund it on trade and split the cost.

To get started in building barter partnerships, analyze the type of customers you service. What types of businesses are they in? What companies are they doing business with? When you spot a significant number of your customers coming from one industry or neighborhood, consider teaming up with others from the exchange that might also supply that target market.

Working together and sharing marketing costs, as well as customers, is a winning barter partnership for all!

The Secret to Living Like the Rich

Recently Crystal and Hans Bridges were dining with their good friends, Patti and Jim, at a 4-star Atlanta restaurant, when the conversation suddenly turned very interesting.   Leaning forward Patti said, “Do you mind if I ask you guys a personal question?”

“Depends,” replied Hans, chuckling.  “Sure.  Go ahead.”

“Well,” Patti began… ”We know that you guys are not millionaires… and you’ve shared some of the struggles in your construction and freelance writing businesses over the past few years…”

“But you’re living like rich people,” Jim said, cutting to the chase.  “So what gives?” Continue reading

Barter Brings Cost Savings for Summer Fun!

Barter Brings Cost Savings for Summer Fun!

            They say that people become most clever and efficient with their scarcest resource, and nothing could be truer for the Smith Family of Suwanee.  Like most people, the Smith’s have to watch every penny of cash in our tight economy, but they are delighted to reap the benefits of their recession-proof alternative of fun through the Southern Barter Club.

Josh Smith is a landscaper with a family of four who wants to have tons of fun this summer.  So, to keep his hard-earned cash and still give the family their fun, here’s how Josh scheduled his June: Continue reading

The Better Business of Barter

As I sat with my accountant last week and watched him leaf through my 2011 financial transactions, I noticed that he paused here and there to remark about certain items. The categories that seemed to intrigue him the most had to do with my barter business. He finally looked at me with a smile said, “So you have a whole separate economy working for you with this barter; don’t you?  I’m amazed at all you’ve been able to buy and sell without cash.”

I explained to him that it’s all possible because of the large barter network to which I belong. Because of the size and scope of my barter club and its affiliates, I’m able to realize positive tax and business benefits I could never have with a one-on-one trade.  The following are just a few of the major plusses of using an established barter network: Continue reading

BarterCare: A Health Plan that Actually Works in this Economy!

You can’t turn on the TV without hearing ObamaCare, or RomneyCare… You know–the plans from politicians that hope to force companies to secure health insurance for their employees?  The downside, of course, is that this idea comes with an astronomical price tag, which has many small business owners nervous. But what if we, as small businesses, could prove to “Big Brother” that we were providing for our employees in a unique way that satisfied the needs of families but didn’t hurt the bank account?  Might that work even better?  We think so!

Continue reading