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As an agent with Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta for 15 years, I have watched our company grow from “Keller Who?” to Keller Williams Realty being the number one company in Georgia, and, our office being the number one office in the state of Georgia. Over this time period, the internet has become a dominate factor in communication with clients, and, between agents. Of recent, our office intranet (370 agents) and our company Facebook have become abuzz with agents requesting corporate rentals, also known as Short Term Furnished Property Rentals or Vacation Rentals in many tourist destinations and now many major cities.
My dearest friend of 20 years, Renata Circeo Louden, whom I have sold at least a dozen Atlanta properties to or for, and, who was the only rent and hold investor in Gary Keller’s Millionaire Real Estate Investor (page 364-I nominated her for the book), has had a successful vacation and corporate rental property management company in Atlanta and Destin, Florida for over 15 years managing over 100 properties. As she owns 20 properties in Atlanta and the Destin Area herself, she jokes that “I bought myself a job.” However, she manages to net her clients more money per year with less hassle, which is the reason of her tremendous growth. Read More >>
You’re going to learn something very useful by reading this article.
This “something” is so valuable that you might want to use it for the rest of your life.
But before you learn what it is, let me start by saying...
The older I get, the more I realize things.
While that statement/observation could apply to just about anything...or anybody, I’d like to use this article to point out how it relates to people’s everyday communication skills.
We live in an age of instant information...yet people these days don’t seem to have any patience to communicate properly. We abbreviate stuff, like lol, brb, and wtf.
We text. We Tweet. We post. We share, and we like. What’s up with all the cat videos?
With so much information all around us, bombarding our everyday lives, it’s easy to understand why we need to curtail our communication. We just don’t seem to have the time to talk with most people the way we used to. Read More >>
"Plans are nothing; Planning is everything." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
Only by finishing things is the way to learn. Despite this fact of life, I do find myself a bit overwhelmed at times with the various projects I’m planning at any given time. Making two or three phone calls to get a quote about one single project isn’t too much work. When you have three properties that need at least two large or small scale projects to be addressed that consumes at least two days of shopping around, getting in contact with the local businesses.
Homewyse is a site that was pretty much made for a person like me, but anyone who wants a jumping off point to get ballpark figures on home repairs will find this very useful. You don’t have to give up any personal information like a credit card to gain access to quotes in your area, or a property outside of your primary residence. Unlike Angie’s List, you don’t have to become a member to browse. Homewyse is an immediate source where you can get an idea of what things will cost. You don’t have to be specific about your project, I do find it great to look at comparable costs and then call or email local tradespeople to get a better picture. Read More >>
You’re an investor who’s focused on the long-term: your ability to retire with a nest egg. You want to build over the long-term, and you know that there are many different vehicles for doing just that, including employer-based 401(k) plans and more. But what many investors overlook is the possibility of using a Real Estate IRA in their retirement portfolio.
Why do they overlook it? For one, the option is rarely presented to them. Many people don’t even know that you can invest in real estate with an IRA. Another reason: many people believe that investing in real estate is a “rich man’s” game. But investing in real estate is available to anyone with the drive and interest to make it happen. Let’s take a look at what every retirement investor needs to know about the Real Estate IRA in order to make it part of their portfolio. Read More >>
With a degree in finance and over 15 years of experience investing in real estate, I thought I knew how to structure my cash flowing investment deals correctly, but I didn’t, and chances are, neither do you.
Most investors know how to calculate returns, but very few understand how to quantify and minimize the risk in their deals, which can (and usually does) destroy their chances of creating long term success.
I was one of the many investors (99% in fact) who thought I knew how to structure my deals correctly when I actually did not. Then I discovered The Wealthy Code and it changed everything for me, just like it has for hundreds of other investors all over the country.
So what makes The Wealthy Code Workshop different from any other training out there? Well, A LOT! Here are just some of the things you’ll learn (AND PRACTICE) when you attend this training: Read More >>
Leads, leads and more leads. No matter if you plan to wholesale, fix and flip, fix and rent, subject-to, owner finance or anything else involving real estate you must have leads. Some may agree with this statement and some may disagree but any time I needed anything in real estate, it was resolved by simply finding a great lead/deal.
I have heard investors and newbies alike say that they need to find financing or private money before finding a deal. While financing is important it cannot be put to work without a deal. I would argue that it is easier to find financing than it is to find a great deal. In fact, if you think you have a real deal and can't find financing you may not have a good enough deal. Or it is possible you may not have the experience some lenders require. If this is the case and you really do have a deal there are investors out there that will partner with you. If it is your first investment it may be wise to partner with someone. Partnering with a veteran real estate investor can be invaluable. You will be making him/her money so they will be more willing to answer the hundreds of question you have been wanting to ask. Another way to tell if you have a great deal is if investors are requesting to take the deal off your hands. Sometimes when I'm approached to partner or lend on a deal, and it is a no-brainer of a deal, I ask if they would be willing to wholesale. I've always said, "You don't ask, you don't get." It is always worth asking. Read More >>
If you want to get the most out of your retirement, we have three words for you: knowledge is power. No, we’re not talking about any sort of “inside” knowledge when it comes to investing, or any sort of illegal tips and tricks. We’re talking about real investing knowledge: knowledge about the different types of accounts and investments you have available to you, and how to use those accounts and investments to the best of your ability. And one of the most important things for people to learn is how to use their Real Estate IRA in the best way possible.
Why a Real Estate IRA? Because self-directing this type of IRA allows you to utilize some amazing things that you simply can’t get when you invest in other types of accounts and asset classes. With real estate, you’ll be able to tap into your experience with this asset class…and possibly even get a lot of value out of it if this is your first foray into the world of real estate. How is that possible? Well, knowledge is power. Here are some tips and strategies for getting the most out of your Real Estate IRA. Read More >>
BIG Reminder: Follow up, follow up, follow up is crucial for capturing real estate deals! What makes any deal is a Motivated Seller. There are 13 main Seller motivators such as a vacant home, in pre-foreclosure, loss of job, job relocation, etc. But how do we know when the “price” of the pain of home ownership becomes more than the price they want for the house? How do we know when they’ve reached that tipping point, therefore agreeing to take a discount to allow an Investor to purchase the property and make a profit? You guessed it….we follow up.
Over 1 year ago, I was tracking a pre-foreclosure vacant home and I went to the next door neighbor to find out if they knew where the sellers moved. During my conversation, I was informed that they hadn’t seen the neighbor in years and really didn’t even know them. The couple I was talking to was an elderly couple who owned their home free and clear. I asked them if they were interested in selling their house and John told me that he and his wife just might sell it at the right price; however, he and his wife were going to the doctor’s and he would call me to talk about the home and set an appointment to see inside. I also got his telephone number so I could follow up in case he didn’t call me. My first thought was whenever I hear the Seller say “at the right price,” that they always want more than what the house is worth and/or retail value. I did ask John what the “right price” was and he replied again that he will call me back. Read More >>
“The building art is man's spatial dialogue with his environment and demonstrates how he asserts himself therein and how he masters it.” ~ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Many apps I use are in lieu of something else, whether that be a tape measure or an architect’s blueprints. The RoomScan Pro seems to have replaced a lot of the physical tools needed to plan furniture placement, estimate how many gallons of paint or just to showcase a very simple to follow floor plan. It’s been helpful for prospective buyers to look at before they arrive at the open house. The app has its uses. For my own purposes, it saves me a lot of time trying to locate the original floor plan or determine whether a piece of furniture I want to use in the staging will fit in the room.
RoomScan Pro uses the iPhone’s accelerometer and additional sensors to map out the room. The app also has an option to create a whole floor plan. For me, in general, mapping out a single room works best. It charts the distance between walls in the room and then the end result is a clean illustration of what the app thinks the room dimensions are.
To get the best use out of the app you’ll need to buy the premium version. There is a free version but it is limited. I have my location settings activated so there’s no need for me to enter my location when I come to a new property. Tap on a named location like the street address and it will send you to the next step to create a “new room” with the app. You can name the room. If you’re doing the whole floor plan you don’t want to leave this blank. You can also name the floor you are on as well. By the end you will have a well-labeled illustration at the end, and it’s easier to navigate too. Read More >>
In the last 15 months, thousands of TILA rescissions have been filed across the country. As a result we are finally seeing the patterns in how the banks are responding to rescissions. In case after case, the banks are obfuscating. They try to intimidate homeowners and confuse the courts into ignoring the clear letter of the law; that rescission is effective upon mailing as a matter of law. While they keep up this charade in the courts, they refuse to admit to federal regulators the risks posed by these wrongful foreclosures and the mortgage backed securities swindle as a whole.
First let’s clarify a few things about rescission. Whether disputed or not, a rescission is effective at the time it is mailed as a matter of law. It doesn't matter what a judge WOULD rule if a challenge is filed by a party with legal standing. The rescission is valid until a party with legal standing can prove through a lawsuit in federal court that it should be vacated within the 20 day window.
Servicers will rarely try to dispute that the rescission happened, but will argue that it is not effective. First they usually send a letter to the homeowner stating that the rescission is invalid and they will not honor it. If the homeowner (correctly) challenges this, the bank will try to get a judge to ignore the law through motions that allow the bank to avoid having to prove actual facts in a lawsuit to vacate the rescission. The bank is trying to get the court to agree to the premise that the disclosures made at the time the loan was made were adequate and that the loan was consummated on the date they allege. All of these are questions of fact for a jury to decide the merits of, not a judge. Read More >>
While I personally don’t use a lot of post card mailings in my real estate business, they definitely have their place. One of the main uses for a post card mailing is to either test a new list before spending a lot of money mailing to it, or to canvas large areas at very little cost to you. Post cards are also a very inexpensive effective means to building your buyers list.
If you are going to implement post card mailings, there are several different ways to do them effectively. On my web site at www.marketingmagiclady.com, I provide you with resources to find list brokers so you can focus on the specific mailing you want to do.
One effective way you can create these mailings is to download your list to usps.com and let them do the mailing for you for the cost of mailing the post card including printing. The post card is simply black and white, no frills, but can be used to canvas specific areas or large areas with your message.
There are some good reasons you might want to do this. One reason would be to do a sweep of a particular zip code range or group of subdivisions you want to mail to in order to find motivated sellers. This is a very inexpensive way to accomplish this. Another reason would be to do post card mailings to specific areas with high numbers of rentals in order to build your buyers list. Read More >>
Two decades ago, Kim and I set a goal to replace our earned income with investment income.
There are a couple of advantages to achieving this goal. First, you don’t have to labor for a living. In other words, your capital is working for you instead of you working for your capital. Second, the tax rate on earned income is much higher than it is on investment income. Said another way: With investment income, the government lets you keep more of what you make, and when it comes to money, more is better than less, right?
To accomplish this goal, we figured we’d need fifteen single-family rental properties. Each month, the tenants would send in their rent checks. Part of these checks go toward paying the mortgages, insurance, property taxes, vacancies, repairs and management. We get to keep whatever is left over to spend or invest how we see fit.
There is a downside to owning rental property. Though for tax purposes the government considers what you make to be passive income, there’s still hands-on work that needs to be done to maintain the property and manage the tenants. Read More >>
Checking information with REIA Comps will quickly tell you that HUD foreclosures are available all over the United States. The thing to keep in mind is, the sales process for purchasing a HUD home isn't quite the same as you'll encounter when buying a home from an individual. However, the no Deed Restrictions these homes have can significantly boost your wholesaling business adding real income to your RE business.
HUD properties are sold using a bidding process. HUD foreclosures are homes owned by the government as a result of repossession. These types of foreclosures are sold online from former mortgage holders who defaulted on loans guaranteed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
HUD homes are appraised, then priced at fair market value for their location. HUD employees do not work with buyers, but NAID approved Agents. HUD will generally accept the highest bid. The foreclosures are usually sold at or below REO prices. This is like finding shells on the beach, believe me. HUD sells these homes through approved brokers who often times advertise in the local newspaper to gain additional potential buyers. Read More >>
QuickBooks’ structure is universal enough to appeal to millions of small businesses. Custom fields help you shape it to meet your company’s unique needs.
If you’re using QuickBooks, you probably know that you’re complying with the rules of double-entry accounting. The software is designed such that you can be compliant with these requirements without even being aware of it. You’re dealing with invoices and purchase orders, bank account reconciliation and bill-paying and payroll, not debits and credits and journal entries. QuickBooks does the double-entry part in the background.
While every business that uses QuickBooks is following those same rules, each has its own unique structure and its own need to modify some elements of the program to do certain tasks, for example:
This is where custom fields come in. Read More >>
This is a question I constantly ask my students about every offer they are thinking about making to purchase any property, and I also ask myself this question before making an offer to purchase on every deal I do. It’s a wonderful thing when you put together a profitable deal but why not take a minute before submitting your offer to a flexible seller and ask yourself, “is there any way I can make this deal better”? If you are paying cash for the property I don’t know of any way you could make the deal better unless you offered more CASH to the seller. I truly believe that would be a huge mistake. It would be a huge mistake because it would in most cases only benefit the seller and not you.
Always Ask Yourself, How Can I Make My Offer Better For Me And The Seller Before Submitting Your Offer to Purchase Any Property?
The question is how can you make a better deal for you? If you are paying all cash, good luck. If you are getting seller financing terms there are many different things you could ask the seller for that could make the deal better for you as well as for them. Here are Six creative suggestions you might offer a flexible seller. Especially to those flexible sellers who want a certain price, monthly payment or interest rate. Read More >>
If you have Buyers that are experienced, they know the drill. A wholesaler gets a deal and pushes it out to their Buyers list. Then all the wholesalers on that list send it to their Buyers with some marking up the price. And then the next level does the same. And somewhere in there are the bird dogs that literally do nothing but press the forward button thinking ‘easy money’. Problem is the Buyer is on all of these people’s lists. Depending on the timing, he may see the lowest price first or one much higher. Or maybe the Buyer is not on the primary wholesalers list so he never sees the original deal.
At this point, the Buyer naturally goes to the lowest price wholesaler to get the deal. But if that wholesaler doesn’t control the deal, then the relay of information from wholesaler to wholesaler begins. And more often than not, inexperience or greed or dishonesty shows its head. You’ll find few cash Buyers are stupid so they pick up on this and walk from the deal. People can sense when something is up and all it takes is one less than confident conversation to kill the opportunity. Read More >>
Everyone knows that the first thing we need to do to be successful in real estate investing is to find the Holy Grail of real estate: The Motivated Seller.
And when it comes to finding that beautiful motivated seller, there’s essentially two options: FREE and PAID. Another way of saying that: TIME or MONEY.
Obviously, if you have more money than time, you’ll have more choices at your disposal. Direct Mail is most likely your highest & best choice. Hiring someone to find those motivated sellers for you would be another great option. But this article is NOT about those options. We’ll save that for another time.
No, THIS article is for those of you without the means to pay much for your marketing. This article is for those of you who are currently ‘financially challenged’ (another way of saying broke), or who have more time than money AT THE MOMENT. Read More >>
This past February, I attended the Keller Williams Family Reunion in New Orleans, along with 15,000 other “Type A” real estate agents. One of the highlights of this convention is Gary Keller’s Vision Speech. He makes this speech to educate us, so that hopefully, we will be the economist of choice in our market.
“You have to look at the past to predict the future”, says Gary Keller, “Mortgage rates are national rates.” Keller said, “While the government does not exactly know how to raise rates, but, low rates are helping affordability in most U.S. markets.” Mortgage rates averaged 3.85 percent in 2015, down 32 base points from the 2014 average. Since the Federal Reserve is now actively raising the federal funds rate, it is expected there will be upward pressure on mortgage rates in 2016.
Last year was the 5th best year in home sales in the history of home sales due mostly to the mortgage rates being so low. In 2015, 5.26 million homes were sold, making it the best year for home sales since 2006, which was the height of the market. In 2016, some slowdown in sales is expected as interest rates slowly increase. Read More >>
Creating value in real estate is a great way to make money. In this article of the Master Lease Option (MLO) Series I will discuss how you can add value to your real estate deals using MLOs so you can make more MONEY!
Getting a seller to accept a master lease option deal is everything when using this technique. If a seller doesn’t believe that giving you a MLO on their property is the best option, then they won’t. Your job is to make the seller realize the value in allowing you to solve their problems with a MLO offer. The best way for you to present this idea to the seller is to know how to create value for this person. This will start by analyzing and becoming familiar with what the deal needs. In most cases we will get MLO deals done on distressed assets. You will show the seller that you can “un-distress” their property with a MLO and this is the biggest step in getting your offers accepted. If you can turn their property around then you have created value and the likelihood that you will complete the transaction is much better and that is what the seller wants. For the MLO to end in a sale and this is what you need to convince them of.
Why is the seller selling? You should get the best answer to this question as the first step in your analysis of any deal. Sometimes sellers will be honest in their answer and sometimes not. First ask the question directly. No matter what type of answer you get ask several more questions to get the real story. Read More >>
One day I wanted to go fishing to a new spot. I knew where it was but had no clue as to how to get there from where I was at the time. I could have used a GPS if I had the address. I could use technology but Google maps needs to know the general area where I wanted to go. Another option, I could just ride out in the general direction and hope to see something I recognized. I could go old school and get a folded map. My time is money so I needed to go out there and get the fishing done, have my fun and relax. Then get back in time to meet my coaching clients for a discussion of how to create inventory fast, efficiently (low effort high return), and effectively (cost effectively). I needed the most direct route to get to the fishing spot with no time to loose, which maximizes my efforts and gets to the sweet honey fishing hole fast. I chose the old tried and true method. It would get me there. The good news was the map was only 12 years old.
Well the fishing was great and the method of maximizing the fun worked. You are asking yourself "why do I care about your fishing"? Because fishing is similar to creating inventory! You must do the right presentation to get the fish to be interested in what you have to offer and catch the fish or land the deal. So if you are offering cash to the seller, they might be interested unless they have a big tax liability, have done a loan modification, and have 2 years before they can sell. If you offer fair market price in cash the owner will definitely be interested (however you will not be able to sell it or turn a profit). I use artificial bait when I fish (creative financing). I also do catch and release (wholesale). It takes a certain magic to look like the real thing, smell like the real thing, and get the fish to strike (close the opportunity and get paid)! Read More >>
It has been said that, “the devil is in the details. We, at “Little Pink Houses of America” have developed a needed and profitable business model that can be practiced in your own community where you can build a $10,000/month income. We call it our Executive Lease-Purchase program.
We discovered that only 20% of a given market has the ability to qualify for a house purchase from a traditional lender. Yet, home ownership is still seen as desirable by a majority of people in the United States today. There is a big gap in the market between those that want a home and those who can qualify for a mortgage. There are many reasons for this: credit problems, another house to sell, moving etc.
We’ve discovered a very lucrative niche in the market that helps those who can’t qualify today, but through our program of matching buyers who need some time to qualify and sellers who have not been able sell their home, a workable solution through our executive Lease-Purchase program. When we match buyers who can’t qualify today but will in the next 1 year to 3 year period with our help and sellers who can’t sell in a traditional way right now, we receive a $10,000 plus fee. Here’s how you can too! Read More >>
Our clients who focus on real estate IRAs are encountering a more mature point in the investment cycle. We’ve had a nice run up over the last several years. Indeed, if you had some cash to play with in 2009 and 2010 and a bit of patience, it was tough to go wrong with real estate IRA strategies. The real estate market was attracting a boatload of institutional money and all the real estate investor had to do was step in front of it.
Now there’s still institutional money coming in, but investors have to pick their spots a little more, and getting your valuations right is going to have increasing importance going forward.
Meanwhile, the permabulls at the National Association of REALTORS® has also released their 2016 trends piece. Naturally, they think it’s always time to buy, so take their advice with a grain of salt.
Here are the NAR’s predictions for 2016, plus a few thoughts from us on how they may play out for our clients and those considering a real estate strategy in their retirement accounts. Read More >>
I almost didn’t write this article. What you’re about to discover is so profoundly - yet simply - powerful, that if you truly understand and apply these simple secrets, I can practically guarantee such phenomenal personal and financial growth over the next few months that you won’t even recognize the dynamic person you’re about to become!
Yes, these secrets are that powerful. But don’t just take my word for it. Read, learn, and apply. Then find out for yourself! Keep reading…
Now, before we get into “The Big Secret” and all that, we first have to understand something. And it all begins with you asking yourself a question. I’d like you to honestly ask yourself this: “Why don’t I have some of the things I desire from life yet?”
Why aren’t you in perfect shape? Why don’t you live in that awesome house yet? Why isn’t your bank account as big as you’d like it to be? Why do you still feel guilt? Stress? Anxiety? Why aren’t you driving the exact car you’d like to drive?
What answer did you come up with? What reasons did you give? Did you blame some outside circumstance or situation? Was it your parents’ fault? Was it Obama? Oh yeah - it was the market! Or maybe it was “The Man” keeping you down, right? Read More >>
I recently marketed to people who have second homes and are either close to being upside down on the mortgage or they are in foreclosure. So far, I’ve closed on 2 deals from this marketing. One of the leads owned a house in Sanford: 1,050 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 1 ½ baths, living room, kitchen with dine-in area, separate laundry room and 1 carport. The house was in great shape. It was a block house and really only needed about $3,000 to $4,000 worth of work if I wanted to retail it.
I partnered with one of my Apprentice Students and we reviewed all the facts about the house. The A/C unit was only a couple years old, it still had a wall furnace that could be disconnected, it had newer vinyl windows and just needed a little TLC. There was an outstanding mortgage on the home for $29,000 and my offer was $27,500. The mortgage payment amount was $600.00 a month (PITI), principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
I really wanted to take this house subject to the underlying financing and keep it as a rental. I was dealing with an 80 year old Seller, via his children. They just wanted to be out from underneath the home and didn’t want to keep the mortgage on the property.
After several changes to the contract, we agreed to purchase the property CASH for the mortgage balance ($29,000) and pay all the closing costs. There was a family member living in the house and we couldn’t close until he vacated the property. We filed an Affidavit of Purchase and Sale on the Property and chose not to show the house during the time we had it under contract, and we waited until it closed. Read More >>
There are a few investment strategies you may want to take a look at if you are about to take the leap of investing in real estate. Especially since about forty percent of all homes in the first quarter of 2015 were sold to investors. 2016 is shaping up about the same. Truly, this is a huge portion of homes sold and having the right strategy can make a world of difference when it comes to the kind of profits you can earn.
First though, we have to take a valuation first approach to every transaction. Knowing the true value before you buy is huge. One of the most common investment strategies using real estate comps by REIAComps some investors are accustomed to is 'flipping'. This is a way you can make a very quick profit. If you see you can get a property rehabbed quickly and move on, flipping is ideal. Frankly, if quick profits are what you want, then flipping can be the way to go.
Another investment strategy many consider is renting property. Acquiring for long term hold can be a great way of making extra money. The income can be used to fund other projects and deals. This is because not only will you make some profit by being able to capture tax advantages and capital appreciation, but you will also gain profits from the monthly rent you are charging. However be sure you are very careful about the person or people you are renting to. Be certain to do your due diligence for all potential renters. Read More >>