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I am writing this article because I mentor so many people who desire to become successful in real estate; however, their life gets in the way of educating themselves. Making offers on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a great way to find Sellers, yet, when you submit an offer to the Seller, the Realtor really doesn’t know the answers to the following questions. Is there a mortgage on the property? Are the Sellers in foreclosure (unless it is a short sale)? Is it a probate matter and how many heirs are in the estate? What permits have been pulled for the property and what dates were items like the roof or A/C installed (this information is sometimes provided in a Sellers Disclosure)?
After talking with a Seller and/or finding a Vacant Home, the research you do is a vital part of your business success. I provide students with over 43 ways to find motivated sellers without using the MLS. Knowing in-depth information about the Seller’s situation, ownership and mortgage balance allows me to negotiate and close more deals than just listening to what a Seller has told me. In fact, Sellers normally tell you what they want and not what they NEED. In order to make a deal work for all parties, we need to find out what they NEED, not what they want, then see how/if we can create a win-win situation. Read More >>
Are your property taxes too high? If they are, in the past three years, how often have you attended your county commissioners’ meetings to voice your outrage?
My mother taught me early on that silence is a form of acceptance. Most times at these county commissioners’ meetings the silence was deafening!
If your property taxes are too high and if you don’t speak out at the public government hearings, then you lose your right to complain. Instead, just step up to the window and pay the nice lady what you owe without one complaint!
Since 2006, Kim and I have fought our property taxes 142 times. We’ve won 122 times – that’s an 86% success rate. I don’t say this to brag; I say this to let you know that you can fight your property taxes and win! Just know that it’s a learned thing, not a born-knowing-how-to-do-it thing, and it begins with standing up and speaking out! Read More >>
2017 is here. Now’s the time to do your end-of-year QuickBooks tasks.
Since early January of this year, you’ve been faithfully creating new records, entering transactions, and recording payments. You’ve run basic reports. You’ve done your collection duties. You may have paid employees and submitted payroll taxes.
Now the end of the year is rapidly approaching. In the midst of holiday get-togethers, gift shopping, and perhaps preparing for travel, you probably have a list of work tasks that must be completed by December 31.
Is your annual QuickBooks wrap-up on that list? It should be. Here are some of the things we suggest you fit into your busy schedule sometime this month. Read More >>
The recent series of wildfires here in our own Smokey Mountain region of North Carolina and Tennessee has been devastating. The fires around Gatlinburg, Tennessee late last month resulted in at least 2,460 structures that were damaged or destroyed, and the death toll has reached at least seven.
Lots of people have lost their homes and businesses – and surely many of them were uninsured for wildfire damage, or will find that they were woefully underinsured.
The real estate investment community, including real estate IRA owners, can and should be active in this environment. By offering a fair price for fire damaged properties that we have the capital to repair and resell or rent, investors will be vital players in helping a traumatized community get back on its feet and rebuild. Read More >>
Quick question for you: Are you talented? Or do you have skills? THAT is the question of the day.
And before you answer that, let me define what they each mean, because it’s vitally important to know the difference between the two. :)
Then after we define the difference, we’re going to help you leverage one in order to maximize the other so that you’ll be able to get whatever you want with minimal effort. Sound good? Let’s get started...
What is TALENT? Simply put, it’s what you’re born with. Your God-given gifts. Your natural tools. For example, the ability to run really fast or sing extremely well. Other examples would include being mathematically-inclined, naturally charismatic, graceful & coordinated, or naturally artistic. Read More >>
How do you succeed as a real estate investor? How do you succeed as a person? Simple: Stay the course!
But what course? Whose course? Heck, how do you know if you’re even on the right course?
Your course begins with an idea – YOUR idea! What feels right to you? Answer this question: What were you put on earth to do? Ever thought about this? I mean, after all, you’re here for a reason, right? What’s that reason?
For eighteen years, I sold Electrolux vacuums door-to-door. It paid me a lot of money. Only one problem: I wasn’t put on earth to sell vacuums door-to-door. So why didn’t I quit much sooner? Because everyone around me told me that I’d be a fool to walk away from the huge money-earning potential Electrolux offered. Read More >>
Last month, we talked about the words we use and how powerful they are. This month, we’re going to take it to the next level.
So there’s a famous study that was done a while ago by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, that showed that only 7% of our communication is conveyed through words, 38% is from our vocal tonality, and the rest (55%) is through ‘nonverbal elements,’ such as your posture, gestures, and facial expressions.
Based on what I wrote in my last article, I believe that our words represent a lot more than only 7%, but that’s not what this article is going to be about. No, in this article, we’re going to get into that other stuff - specifically: Tonality - HOW we say what we say.
Call me crazy for trying to write about something you HEAR. Obviously, this would be a lot easier for me to demonstrate in a video, or on an audio recording. But we don’t have that luxury here, so I’ll just have to flex my writin’ skills! Read More >>
When looking for an investment opportunity it is always worth considering buying foreclosure properties. You should absolutely take the time to explore all avenues to make this the most profitable. The best thing you can do for yourself is learn about ways to purchase a home any party lost. As they say, “their loss could be your gain”. REIA Comps can help you navigate the twists and turns of the buying process.
Unfortunately, homeowners being foreclosed on know that once the bank forecloses, their house with be up for auction. At that point, the property will be sold to the highest bidder. By working with homeowners before their foreclosure is finalized, you can pick up their home at a fraction of the price before it goes public. It's a common practice among real estate investors and brokers. I want you to keep reading and learn how to pick up these deals. Read More >>
Atlanta continues to be one of the hottest real estate markets to rebound since the recession continuing through third quarter 2016. But, before we analyze the numbers, sellers must realize the following:
For the purposes of this article, my statistics for the third quarter are about the numbered areas below. Read More >>
We all know that developing an effective marketing strategy is essential to getting any business off the ground. Educating yourself and discovering how to locate and motivate potential sellers to contact you is a must in making your real estate business a success. You must be able to locate prospects who want to do business with you. You must find the sellers who need to sell, not just want to sell their properties. This is essential to your success as a real estate investor. Coming into the new year this will an important step to growing your real estate investing business.
Marketing is also a numbers game, the more leads that come in, the more opportunities you will have to make deals. You won’t buy every deal that comes your way, but when you develop a machine that brings in quality leads, you will be able to pick and choose the deals you want to do. You will quickly learn to recognize quality prospects. Read More >>
As we get ready to start the new year, I would like to start with a basic question…would you close on your own deal?
I am an investor who loves wholesaling so I ask this question with sincerity. Would you close on your own deal that you send to your Buyers? Seriously, assuming you had the money in cash, would you?
If you have to think about the answer, then is it really a deal you should be sending out to your Buyers? Of course one can say ‘well it is not an area I invest in but others do’ and I would respect that of course. However, what I have found is a lot of wholesalers are not confident enough to where if they had to close on the deal, that they would actually do it.
In which case, I ask, why would you present that deal to your Buyers? Read More >>
Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about the different ways real estate investors can achieve their goals and dreams in the fastest way possible. I get asked this question frequently by students who are just getting started in the real estate investing business. As I thought about the different strategies of how real estate goals can be achieved, I came up with the three most common ways most investors use today.
First of all wholesaling is what I hear about the most. The problem as I see it with wholesaling is two-fold. First, wholesaling real estate is to me just like having a job. Once you get a property bought and either “pre-habbed” or if you assign your purchase agreement you are creating the Hamster On the Wheel way of doing business. You buy the property, you fix the property then you sell the property. At that time hopefully you get a check. You use some of the money you get to pay for your living expenses and if there is any money left you might use the excess to pay for a portion of the next deal you do. Read More >>
On the Front Page of The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday Nov. 30, it stated “Home Prices Hit record levels”. If you read this article, you will think it is over, the window of the “massive profits in real estate” opportunity has slammed shut. If you did not buy any property since the great recession, you have missed the boat. In your old age when you go into the smelly retirement home, that your Social Security or what’s left of it will pay, you will remember this lost opportunity of buying real estate in the 2012-2016. Yes, it is true the national average states that prices have recovered. If you sat on the fence, you have missed that once in a lifetime opportunity. You decided that the market wasn’t right and you would wait. Those who waited have lost the greatest opportunity in this decade or life time to hit it big and coast into retirement. You might as well go to your “JOB= Just over broke” opportunity and sell your health, back, brain and soul to the company. Don’t invest in any more real estate courses… Save your money, you will need it for your retirement. Read More >>
Expected returns are hard to come by. Stocks are at elevated P/Es on a historical basis, and yields are near all time lows. With economic growth sluggish, at 2-3 percent per year, any major gains will have to come from multiple expansion – and who can count on that? Earnings multiples can fall as easily as rise. This is what caused many of us to gravitate to self-directed IRA strategies in the first place!
Bonds aren’t much better, in the publicly traded market. There’s some downside protection, in theory.
Fortunately, electing to use self-directed IRA strategies allows you to transcend the limited publicly-traded stock and bond world, and explore hidden opportunities that are invisible to most investors – but which still offer reasonable yields – at acceptable risk levels, or at least with some security.
One such opportunity for self-directed IRA investors: Discounted Owner-Financed Real Estate Notes.
Here’s how it works: Read More >>
As an Investor, having a Realtor to work with is important in your business if you are buying or selling houses on the Multiple Listing Services. Many new Investors rely on their Realtor to send them “good deals” to buy, hold, fix and/or flip. However, a Realtor does not know what good deal means to an Investor. A good deal for us could be the cash flow that you receive on a rental property or it could be the profit that you would receive from reselling the home. As Investors, you are taught a MAO “Maximum Allowable Offer” Formula in which you use to make offers on homes for buying, fixing and reselling. The formula varies based on your own situation. The average formula used for Investors who have to get hard money to purchase the home would be: ARV (After repaired Value) x 65% - Repairs = MAO. Let me give you an example: $100,000 (ARV) x 65% = $65,000 - $10,000 Repairs = $55,000 Maximum Allowable Offer. This formula would then leave you with $35,000 for holding costs, cost of money, closing costs of purchase and resale, and then profit. Your MAO formula would be different if you are purchasing the home as a Landlord and/or you have your own money to fund the deal. You may be willing to pay between 70-75% of the After Repaired Value for the home - Repairs = Your MAO. Read More >>
In a previous column, we talked about setting up bills in QuickBooks Online. Now it’s time to pay them.
We recently laid out the benefits of using QuickBooks Online for bill entry and payment. It’s faster than manual methods. It leaves an electronic record of your accounts payable. And it helps ensure that bills are paid accurately and on time.
As we discussed, QuickBooks Online employs a two-step process for bill payment. Once you’ve completed the first (setup), the hard part is done, and you can move on to fulfilling your financial obligations. Let’s take a look.
Warning: Because you may be “handling” a lot of your bills twice in QuickBooks Online, this system can take some getting used to. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process until you’re comfortable. Read More >>
“I live a highly scheduled life. There's absolutely no time wasted. I'm very focused. And I have a great assistant.” ~ Madonna
Amazon Echo has been a game changer at my house. I find it a great selling point for new homes I’m working on as well. I use “Alexa” to turn on my lights, my television, set the thermostat and basically anything that’s connected to the system. It’s been really helpful around the holidays too, baking with the family has been a breeze while “Alexa” sets up the timer and converts measurements for us.
I’ve talked about other systems, like the Ring for the doorbell answering service, but Amazon comes to a new level with Echo. Technology won’t solve all our problems but it does make things a bit easier. While baking holiday cookies with the kids, I do have a bit of trouble in the kitchen. It’s just that Echo made small tasks easier like setting the timer and changing the measurements from weight to cups. Small hiccups were easier to get through when the tech was literally a voice command away. Read More >>
With the internet, fake news and social media anyone can create a persona and/or a story and have people believing it is true. With a great marketing plan, a website, paid likes, paid followers, a cheap book on Amazon written through research as a top seller and some know how you can be the next real estate guru. And who knows, maybe you end up knowing more IN THEORY than actual successful investors but it would only be in theory. Therefore, you should be cautious of who you are giving your money to and more importantly who you are learning from. Here are a few questions you should ask along with a few acceptable answers.
The number one thing to do is find referrals. I do not mean the testimonials on their website, unless you personally know of that person in your market area, but someone in your local REIA that has used that person and has hopefully had success. Ask them if the guru and/or their program provided what it advertised. However, also keep in mind that you have to ask detailed questions to find out if that person actually implemented the program. For this reason, you want to find as many referrals/users as possible. Eventually you will begin to notice a consistency that the program was not as advertised, good but lacked content, ok for a beginner, not worth buying, terrible or maybe so bad they will give you the content. Read More >>
The internet is full of hidden bargains! As many as 24% of the real estate market is composed of self-sellers, and you have a 10-23% chance of finding a property well below market value depending on the seller’s intentions.
Kinds of Properties
There are so many different types of property, its almost like a smorgasbord. It can be a fixer-upper, foreclosure or just motivated sellers. With a few online strategies and tools, you can tap into the hidden bargains available online. Investors who use the internet wisely can find 100s of real estate deals monthly.
Use the Internet
Why shy away from internet marketing, when there is massive potential and you can get more deals faster than your competitors. Many experienced real estate investors have turned to the internet to find as many real estate deals they can without leaving the office. Read More >>
In the last article, I briefly discussed the beginning of my venture into apartment investing. I encouraged people to do some self-learning before going to networking events so you have a better idea about what is going on. While attending plenty of networking events and having a handful of meetings, I realized that you may have something the person you are looking to for advice wants to learn from you. This works out great because in all my articles I discuss the importance of win-win scenarios.
Let me explain what has happened in my pursuit in learning how to invest in multi-family. First, most multi-family clubs or gurus want you to spend $5,000-$25,000 for them to teach you how to invest in multi-family. The lower end is reasonable but you don’t get much and the higher end is crazy. I’d rather take that money and be a limited partner in an actual deal. Keep in mind I am referring to multifamily with a purchase price of at least 1MM and/or 50+ units. I have participated in much smaller multifamily properties. Luckily, I found some great people that I hope will be able to teach me what I need to learn to be successful. They told me it was not worth investing that much when they were willing to do it in exchange for my time and expertise. Read More >>