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“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” ~ Walt Disney
When I first started, I felt like I had no business designing spaces. I’m good at the big picture but putting textures and colors together that will sell the house I was not so confident. I’ve been using Pinterest and Houzz to piece together ‘dream boards’ that you would put together using ripped out magazine pages and taping them together to compose some sort of theme or color scheme.
Pinterest is known as a predominantly female geared platform. People use it to plan events, like weddings, or recipes for special occasions or holidays. It is a great tool to use to plan your decorating scheme for an interior and the exterior. You can easily gather ideas for landscaping, curb appeal, how to style your front door and entry way, from kitchen materials to flooring and bathroom tile. What I like best is that other ‘pinners’ have done most of the work for you already. Most pins that you research are already part of a larger board, and if you visit that board you can see what else that user put together already. It has been easy to use, either hit pin, send or like on the image. Once you click an image it usually leads to the website that sells the item or a blog post about how to do the project. Sometimes it’s just a source image from google, so it is still a good starting point to show a contractor to get the gist of the idea. Read More >>
One of the things I have seen a lot lately is wholesale deals banking on appreciation. And as a Buyer myself, I can tell you I love appreciation! Appreciation can cover a multitude of sins.
The problem is they are still sins and as a wholesaler, it is best to be aware of them if you want to move your deals! When running comps for your Buyer, the safest route is the tried and true MLS. Not Zillow or Trulia or some of these other online sites that can give snippits of value to the market but the good ol’ MLS.
One key piece to help avoid the appreciation challenge is to simply ensure your comps are current as of today. Not what you think it will be in three months or six months no matter how hot it is. Only today. Why? It keeps your Buyers safe. This is very important. It also keeps your numbers strong for your offers and negotiation so you can make sure you get a deal that makes sense. Nothing is worse than sitting on a deal you need to move quickly only to find it never had a chance because others did not see the value you saw. Read More >>
Despite the obviously important role information gathering plays in the art of negotiations, very few people actually spend much time analyzing their seller’s situations or needs before jumping into the negotiating process. Even logical individuals who wouldn’t jump into a dangerous sport before learning more about it often jump into a deal where they could possibly lose thousands without first getting the information they needed in order to protect themselves from a disastrous result.
I always remind my students that they need to listen, ask appropriate questions, do their due diligence and determine what the seller’s real underlying needs are. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your sellers in order to get the information you need to make the best deal possible. If you need clarification on some part of the negotiation, ask!
So why are investors so reluctant to ask questions? Part of it is fear and part of it is the unwillingness to admit they don’t know or don’t understand something. It used to cause me a great deal of discomfort to ask certain questions of sellers such as “how much is your mortgage balance?” That one question used to really make me choke. The main reason for this was uncertainty as to how the seller would react to my question. Even when a seller refuses to answer your question, you are still gathering important information about that seller, namely that they are not particularly motivated. Usually a truly motivated seller will answer whatever questions you have. Read More >>
In my business model I need very motivated sellers. They need to be able to have a desire to sell at a reduced price and give me favorable terms. Most Realtors have been trained to only accept a cash deal (mortgage included), as there is no reason to do anything beyond this traditional method, especially if it is complicated financing that they don’t understand. So it is important to figure out how to work with a Realtor. Here are some tips that I have found to be effective when working with Realtors:
The Realtor’s sole job is to act as a fiduciary. The Realtor’s responsibility is to make the most commission for themselves, which has a benefit of making the maximum for the seller. The Realtor has no risk if either party makes a profit or loss. You see the conflict immediately between a Realtor and the investor. The goal of a Realtor is to get as much earnest money out of you as they possibly can. (Just like a wholesaler). This causes you to follow the money... your money. I was told by a mentor who was willing to walk from $5,000, if you do your due diligence and find the deal will lose more than your earnest money, then walk away. This was a big lesson for me. Read More >>
Last month, we discussed QuickBooks’ report Preferences and The Report Center. We’ll look at report customization this month.
QuickBooks makes your bookkeeping faster, safer, and more accurate than what you could do using a manual system. Still, you may occasionally tire of your daily tasks. You want to know what all of these forms and records mean in terms of your overall financial health. You want to see reports.
The actual mechanics of creating reports in QuickBooks are fairly straightforward. You can go to the Report Center, make a selection, maybe change the date range, and voila! Your company’s related data appears in neat rows and columns. Read More >>
An investor who has owned four rental properties for the past three years called me for help. He was at his wits’ end. Because he hated dealing with tenants so much, he was seriously considering dumping all of his rentals! By the way, this is not an uncommon feeling for new, inexperienced, and under educated landlords to have.
When we met to discuss his situation, he let me hear a recording of a conversation he had had with a tenant a few days prior…and I use the word “conversation” with loosely.
The tenant consistently paid his rent six to ten days late. This sent the landlord into orbit. Over the phone, the landlord screamed at the tenant, “You are a liar, an idiot and you’re totally worthless! Pack your crap and get out of my house right dang now!” And from there, the landlord’s words really turned foul. I felt sorry for the tenant and angry with the landlord for losing control. Read More >>
Like all Americans, we were deeply saddened and distressed by the recent widespread flooding here in North Carolina and elsewhere in the Southeast. We know that beyond the property and investment losses, many people lost their homes, property and heirlooms that no insurance policy can replace.
But torrential rains and flooding is an ever-present risk here in the southeast, America’s Hot Corner when it comes to hurricane and tropical storm activity and a place that certainly gets its share of ordinary thunderstorm and tornado activity as well, even apart from the tropical cyclone risk.
But according to industry sources, less than 10 percent of South Carolina homeowners carry flood insurance. That’s well below the national average of 14 percent, which is still distressingly low. Read More >>
Many years ago one of my mentors told me that you can have a perfect property, (if there is such a thing), and turn it into the most horrible property with bad financing. Getting good financing is the secret to creating wealth from real estate. Let me give you an example.
Today I am seeing all too many inexperienced investors talk about using OPM, (other people’s money). Using other people’s money can be a good strategy in certain circumstances, but not in every situation you find. For instance, using hard money loans will only work on short turn around properties, or fix and sell retail properties that can be sold in a short period of time. Over the years I’ve seen all too many inexperienced investors who bought houses in lower socio-economic areas or areas where people who can’t qualify for a loan are forced to live. These investors borrow hard money at 12% to 15% with interest only payments at 50% to 65% loan to value (50% to 65% of the after repaired value of the property) that have short payback periods from 6 months to one year. The investors fix these houses then try to rent or sell them. Read More >>
The chance to create new investments and take advantage of the real estate foreclosures in the market should be taken. These are one of the most dependable long term investments you can make. Buying properties after foreclosure using REIA comps is a method you can use to ensure you are given the best price for each and every property you review.
Buying real estate foreclosures is one of the main sources of income for many real estate investors. For starters, foreclosed properties have a high re-sale value that is guaranteed to earn you tremendous profits in the long run. Especially if you know you have made your profit when you buy. Another benefit of buying foreclosed properties is they are sold at the lowest prices, and with affordable interest rates dominating the market, those factors combined, you're buying property at discounted prices.
Those interested in investing in properties for the first time may find it difficult to make a decision on what is really right as an investment. You will want the best available in your most desired location, because purchasing properties is a big investment. That's why you want to work with REIA Comps for the most up to date information. Read More >>
This month is renovation month at Atlanta REIA and I for one am super excited. For the past 19 years I have managed to perform just about every type of real estate transaction there is. Everything from notes, wholesale deals, lease options to subject to deals. I’ve used every buying strategy known to man and every creative technique to sell my properties. But, no technique has made me more money than the good old fashioned “rehab” fix and flip. People often ask me how they can make lots of money in real estate. You would think that answer would be wholesaling because you don’t need a lot of money and it is quick and sometimes painless. Well the truth is, the fastest way to wealth in my opinion is to “Find ‘Em, Fix ‘Em and Flip ‘Em.”
When doing a rehab or renovation successfully it requires tools just like any job well done. If you have the proper tools in any job, the job goes much easier, faster and most efficiently. Rehabbing is no different. There are six steps to successfully performing any renovation of any size or shape.
The first step is PLANNING. Making sure you have the proper tools is essential to your success. Things that you should have with you at all times will make your job easier. These items include, Inspection forms, Camera, Flash Light, tape measure, graph paper, lock box and “”We Buy Houses” sign. These tools allow you to initiate the first step in any rehab. In my opinion you also want to invest in a design program so you can “Mock Up” what you want your rehab to look like. If you have an iPad my recommendation is an app called Tap Glace. It allows you to measure and create that vision on paper before you ever touch anything inside the house. Read More >>
Emotion is a tricky thing. We all have them. We experience them every day whether positive, negative or even indifference. I remember when I started investing being taught to never ever, EVER become emotionally attached to a deal. It sounded easy enough and as head knowledge it is.
But then a funny thing happens…people and or money become involved!
Oh yes, emotion can make the smartest of investors make the most let’s just say ‘bone headed of decisions’. I will have to admit, I have fallen prey to the power of emotion on a couple of emotions. Never underestimate this factor when doing deals!
Let’s examine both of these avenues in depth so you can see how powerfully they can work against you, sometimes without even realizing it.
In terms of people… Read More >>
I have been asked the same question a few times lately so I decided to answer it in this article. “Where can I get a master lease option (MLO) contract from?” The answer is easy- Google. You can search for MLO docs online. There were dozens of versions from just as many sites. I highly suggest that you have an attorney review any docs you get off line before using them. When I am asked this question I usually respond by telling the person that they aren’t really asking the right question. The real question is not “where do I find a MLO contract?” but “How do I use it?” You can print up the best master lease option document you can find but if you can’t get a seller to sign it…who cares?
Getting a seller on board with any kind of creative financing can be a challenge. You will find it a lot more difficult without the right presentation. Pitching your idea to the seller or realtor is the key to getting the deal done. Here are a few tips to make your next MLO offer a hit! Read More >>
The State of Florida and many other states were affected by Hurricane Matthew, leaving many Sellers with problem houses. I am located in Oviedo, Florida, and being a transplant from Michigan, I have never been in a Florida Hurricane. All of my houses were blessed with minor damage such as big trees down in the back yard, shingles flying off the roof, branches and trash everywhere. I am very grateful to God for these blessings. Other Sellers were not so fortunate and my heart goes out to them. They now have to deal with making a huge decision of fixing the house or selling the house. Some Sellers may not even have insurance on their house. However, if they do have insurance, let me explain the process.
An insurance claim can be long and dragged out with many Sellers becoming very frustrated with the insurance company’s findings. These are Sellers that may need your help with you buying their house. First, let me explain the process on Insurance Claims. Sellers will notify the insurance company of damage to the property along with providing them a list of items damaged. If the Insurance Company and the Sellers can come to an agreement, then a check is sent to them in their name and the names of all mortgage companies that may have a lien on the property. Pursuant to the terms of the mortgage that was signed by the Sellers, all insurance proceeds are to be used to re-build the property to make sure that the mortgage companies have an asset that is worth the amount of their loan. When there are large claims of loss to the insurance company, they normally dispute the amount of the claim and the Seller will have to hire an independent insurance adjuster to assist them in disputing the claim. Read More >>
Hey, guess what? I Want You to FAIL!
“Say what now? Fail? But failure is a bad thing, right? That’s what they taught me in school...AND in my job! And all my friends make fun of each other when we fail.”
Yes. Exactly. So what?
I’d like you to think back to when you were a kid. Everything was new to you in the world. You really had to learn things for yourself… How to eat, drink, think, walk, talk, and interact with stuff, right? If you can’t remember any of that, just watch kids.
Have you ever watched a kid learn how to walk? They fall down a lot, don’t they? But here’s the truly interesting thing: They don’t stay down. They don’t listen to their well-meaning friends who laugh at them, and they don’t care what grade they get.
No, they stand up, wobble around a bit, and fall down. Then they stand up again, wobble some more, then put one foot out and take a step! Read More >>
One of the most important aspects to a marketing campaign that is going to work is to create a solid mail piece for your business. These are key points for creating a solid direct mail piece that folks will respond to no matter what business you are in.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to “touch” your prospective customer or seller with “the dream”, or “the solution” to their problem. You’ll want to touch the basic emotions and the needs of your client or seller within the body of your letter, whether that is fear, relief, greed, pride or vanity.
Keep it simple. The grammar doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect. You want to reach this person at their comfort level. Keep your letter relaxed, personal and conversational.
Use simple language; don’t fill your letter with big words or technical words or “industry jargon” that your seller or your customer might not understand. Read More >>
The last month or so I have been looking more and more into investing in apartments. However, I did not attend local MeetUps or other groups dedicated to apartment investing until this week. I self-educated as much as possible through books, podcasts, YouTube video and articles. I did this to prepare for the meetings and it paid off.
The reason I learned as much as possible before attending these apartment investing meetings was so I can understand what was being discussed. I have led single family investment groups in the past and caught myself speaking over many of the attendees. It was not done intentionally but because I had been doing it for so long I was doing it unconsciously. I have also seen other instructors and speakers do the same thing. Read More >>
I have been challenged in the past few months as the competition in the market heats up and the number of wholesalers who are working the area are making offers to sellers which are outrageously high. I want to talk about the way to figure out if the subject property is a Prospect or a deal. This way you will get the keys to remembering if the opportunity is a deal or dud.
I have recently taken some training because my business and I must change, in order to stay ahead of the changes in the economy, the market, and life in general. I took specific training that was on options. This gave me a new tool in my tool box in order to buy more property. I'm excited. I am using these techniques. They are working. When I understand that all scenarios that work for me the chances for success go up dramatically. I must know my plan of: what to buy, where to buy, when to buy, & what price to buy. Just because it is a deal for me doesn’t mean it is a deal for you. NEVER compare yourself to another investor or person! Read More >>
QuickBooks comes with dozens of report templates that can be run as is. This month and next, we’ll show you ways to make them “fit” your company.
Reports are your reward for all that hard work you put in entering records and transactions in QuickBooks. Sure, you can always find individual invoices, sales receipts, and customers by using the software’s search tools, but in order to make smart business decisions, you need to be able to see related subsets of the information you so carefully entered in neat rows and columns.
You’ve probably created at least some basic reports in QuickBooks. You may have, for example, wanted to see who’s late paying you, or whether you have unpaid bills. You might need to know your stock levels, or which purchase orders are still unfilled. You certainly want to keep a close eye on whether you’re making or losing money. Read More >>
Maximizing the return you get out of your retirement investments is a question that’s on most peoples’ minds. So how can a Self-Directed IRA help?
One word: fees. Fees are important for any investor to pay attention to—keeping them at a minimum will allow you to have more cumulative growth over the years, and avoiding major fees will ensure that you cut your direct expenses as much as possible.
In the world of real estate investing, fees can be very difficult to deal with. Here are some steps to ensure that you can maximize the value of your account no matter how much money you currently invest with: Read More >>
Ok guys, I want to show you how to maximize your investment. Here are some ways to figure out what price you should offer on your properties to get a deal, or to give someone else a deal.
Comps are of course, basically the true value of a house. You can look at the price of houses for sale, but that doesn't tell you the true value of a house. The true value of a house in an area is based on how much houses are SELLING for based on comps information from REIA Comps, not how much the houses are listed for.
So, if you look in a neighborhood, you may find houses listed at high prices. They don't sell at those high prices. They may get offers, they also come down before they sell. It's the selling price of the house you want to go by to make a decision on how much you want to get for your house, or how much you want to offer on your house. It's also known as ARV (Average Retail Value or After Repair Value). Working with REIA comps lets you figure out what the ARV is easily. Read More >>
Most folks think real estate investing consists of finding a deal, taking it down, getting it rehabbed and sold, and then going out to find the next deal. But what if you structured the deal in such a way that one deal leads to more deals? Let’s look at two real-world examples of this.
A few years ago, our good friends Joe and Ashley English, found an investment property they wanted to buy. Only one problem: they didn’t have the money to buy the home. Joe sent an email to several investors explaining that he was seeking funding.
Within minutes, Joe’s phone rang. It was Pete Fortunato – the best creative deal structurer we’ve ever met. Pete was on Joe’s email list.
After a short conversation, Pete agreed to fund Joe’s deal with these terms: Joe would pay Pete one-half of the $400 net monthly rent. In addition, if Joe sold the property, he and Pete would split the net profit 50-50. This is known as a performance loan. The purchase money would come from Pete’s Roth. Read More >>
There are many reasons why Atlanta and Georgia have better rental returns than other areas of the country. Let’s analyze some of the reasons for our good fortune.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total nonfarm employment for the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area stood at 2,667,800 in August 2016, an increase of 71,000 or 2.7 percent, from a year ago. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that the Atlanta area had year over year employment gains of over 50,000 each month since July 2013. Nationally, nonfarm employment increased 1.7 percent from August 2015 to August 2016. The study had a few interesting observations or predictions. First they expect the fed to increase interest rates but fortunately by only .25-.5 points. Read More >>
I want you to succeed in acquiring private money for your deals, which is why I have to tell you this: Over half of the money from my private lenders comes from their retirement accounts.
It's important to understand the flow of money and how it relates to your own success. If you don't understand how it works to invest retirement funds, you'll miss out on a lot of great opportunities, so I'm going to correct that here and now.
The next time you meet a new private lender who doesn't have any experience but has retirement money ready to go, you're going to go through a 14-step process to make a deal possible.
One quick note before we get to the plan: You don't need to tell your private lenders everything you're doing behind the scenes, because you don't want to confuse them. That's not because you have anything to hide, but rather because you want to put this process truly on automatic for your private lenders. Read More >>
Welcome back! In last month’s article, we discussed how it seems like there are a lot of people who are having a really hard time taking the action they need to take in order to have success. Based on my experience & observations, I theorized that a big reason for this is not just because of the inherent fears that people have, but also because many people seem to believe that the actions they need to take are going to be painful, or at the very least - not fun.
So we began by talking about one of the most common activities that a lot of people seem to have challenges with: Talking on the Phone with Sellers and other people! The first thing that needs to happen is to change your mindset before you even begin to make your calls.
The last thing we discussed was how to use a cheap, simple kitchen tool (a 3-minute hourglass egg timer) to determine whether the person with whom you’re talking is going to waste your time or not. Go back to last month’s publication and re-read that if necessary.
Now, in this article, we’re going to finish up by learning some cool new tips on how to make taking the actions that you know you should be taking a lot more FUN! Ready? Ok, here we go... Read More >>
So you think you can’t get a seller to pay you to take their problem home off their hands? I have heard many times from students, friends and relatives alike, “are you nuts, nobody would pay you to take a house off their hands.” Wanna’ bet??
There have been many instances where a seller needed to get rid of a piece of property quickly and they needed our assistance to help them make their problem go away. They were more than willing to pay us to make that happen. You have to remember that you are not in the business to make someone else’s problem your problem. We get paid to solve problems for sellers.
Now, you will never get paid to take a house off someone’s hands unless you ask. You never know what a seller will agree to until you ask them. The worst they can do is to simply say “no”. You just have to explain to them why they should pay you to take their problem out of their hands and outline the benefits to them of selling their property this way. Read More >>