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It seems that nobody today learning how to be a real estate investor wants to start at the bottom anymore. What I mean is, most beginning real estate investors want to start at the top making money like those who have spent many years learning how to buy real estate and make money every time they buy. Having been a licensed building contractor in a previous life I can tell you that I never built a house starting with the roof and then built downward to the foundation. Investors today must realize it just doesn’t work trying to get rich quick without a solid foundation of basic investor knowledge. Unless you want to build a house of cards that will easily tumble down you must forget trying to start at the top of the learning curve and understand that the only way you will ever be truly successful is if you start learning real estate investing with sound techniques and strategies that will allow you to make the very best buying decisions every time. Read More >>
Happy Prosperous New Year 2016 to You All!
I continually talk to my students about maximizing their profits on every deal they do so this month I am going to explain to you how you can do just that, get more money from the deals you do. This is a simple strategy every investor can easily accomplish once they have an understanding how to make it happen.
I’m Not Talking About Doing Any Extra Work to the Properties You Sell
I’m Talking About a Way to Get More Price for the Houses You Are Selling.
High consumer debt with high interest rates can greatly affect how big of a loan buyers can qualify for to buy a home for their family. A buyer who is trying to buy your properties can be greatly handicapped simply because they have high consumer debts they are paying every month which greatly limits how much of a loan they can qualify for.
What if you could help your buyer eliminate a portion of their consumer debt to change their debt-to-income ratio considerably? You could instruct your buyers to pay off one of their high interest consumer debts such as, (a credit card) that has a current balance of $3,000 as an example that has a monthly payment of $60.00. How would that help them qualify for a bigger loan you ask? First comes the question, how can they pay off that debt all at once with their limited income? What if you bought something from your Buyers? If you were to buy something from your buyers (an old car, a boat, a barbeque grill) for $3,000, it would give them money to pay off that one high interest $3,000.00 debt. Now let me show you how you can get more price for your property and maximize your profits by buying something from your potential buyer. Read More >>
The number one question that new investors and/or wholesalers ask is, “How do you find your real estate deals?” Many times I think they are searching for some sort of magic secret that leads to an unlimited supply of investment deals, but we all know there is no such thing. However, they are surprised to know that there are many ways to find deals that take little to no money but does take time and discipline.
If you have ever been in a sales position the first thing trainers ask you to do is write down everyone you know that can help you. The great thing is that you already have multiple lists in the palm of your hand, literally. Everyone in your phone contact list can be a potential seller or know someone that is selling their home. In addition, you may have social media outlets such as Facebook, twitter, google+, LinkedIn, etc. that each has more and more people that can assist you in finding deals. By only reaching out to these lists you may come across a few real estate investment opportunities that you like. All these leads at your disposal and it did not cost you a dollar. You might think that there will not be a distressed seller in your network, and while that may be true they might know someone who is. Simply telling everyone you know you are looking for investment real estate will lead to finding a deal. Read More >>
The thing that kills most real estate investors – heck, the thing that prevents 95% of folks from reaching anywhere close to their full potential as human beings – is the dreaded Big But Disease!
It goes something like this: I want to start my own business, but... I want to do more for my church, but... I want to own 20 free-and-clear rental properties, but... I want to get in shape, but... I want to improve my marriage, but... I want to spend more quality time with my kids, but...
That stinky Big But Disease will squash your dreams, murder your goals, and destroy the person you were born to be!
Starting today, what if you replaced saying “but...” with saying “I’ll do whatever it takes to get this thing done!”
So instead of saying, “I want to run a marathon, but...” you’d say, “I want to run a marathon, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get this thing done!” With this attitude how much more would you accomplish in your lifetime? Read More >>
As this year comes to an end, I am reflecting on what went right and what areas in my life do I need to focus on, to make some improvements to reach my highest level of success?
Part of having a very successful business, involves 3 basic principles; purpose, attitude and action. Let’s look at these 3 basic principles. The good news is the chances of us getting it right is because the change is within us and we don’t need to depend on anyone else for this success. Did you hear me! The bad news is the change is within us, which means we have to take responsibility and action to get it right.
Number 1 – What is your Purpose?
When we have an outrageous WHY, the opportunity for success goes up dramatically.
SO ask yourselves…. why do you think real estate is the right vehicle for you? What problems can this vehicle help to solve in your life? How is this new wealth vehicle different from the current work you are doing? This is not a get rich quick scheme. Read More >>
Picture this… you buy a house in cash that you plan to renovate and sell. Two years later you have renovated the house and you try to take out a line of credit to purchase another property to renovate and sell. You’re excited to move forward until the bank tells you that you don’t own your house anymore because it has been foreclosed and sold to someone else. This is exactly what happened to a Montana couple. The family sued, and during the trial the bank did everything they could to get out of their responsibility for the error. Fortunately the court and the jury saw through the bank’s lies and ordered them to pay $350,000 in lost profitability, $100,000 for emotional distress and $1.6 million in punitive damages. This is part of a larger national trend that shows courts coming down hard on the side of wronged homeowners, creating opportunities for investors across the country.
Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeals recently made a very subtle change that changes what the banks are allowed to submit as business records to prove a loan was made. The banks have been utilizing the tactic of sending employees with no knowledge of the loan in question to court in order to testify about the general practices of the bank instead of actually addressing the specific loan. The witness uses all the right buzzwords, stating that they are familiar with the books and records used by the bank and that entries were made near the time of the transaction. However, they have no direct knowledge which transactions were done by their employer. Before this ruling, the courts were acting under the presumption that the homeowner did indeed receive a valid loan from someone in the chain that leads to the foreclosing party. Now the presumption is that, though documents might have been executed, a loan was not necessarily made. This now puts a burden on the foreclosing party to prove with actual, valid documentation that a loan was made and that they have the right to enforce the loan. Read More >>
I am often asked whether or not there are still good real estate deals out there with the market constantly changing like it has been. The real estate market will always experience ups and downs and as real estate investors we need to be trained on utilizing the best tools to locate the motivated sellers within those markets. We also need to learn to be flexible in our marketing in order to bring in the highest number of new deals.
I often hear comments like, “you were just lucky” or “you got in on the real estate game when there were still lots of deals out there, it’s just not that way anymore”. Those folks couldn’t be more wrong in their thinking. This is just “stinkin’ thinkin’” as my friend Ron LeGrand would say. There are always deals to be made if you know where to look for them no matter what your local real estate market is doing. This is just a matter of having a marketing mind.
Using direct mail to attract motivated sellers is always one of the best tools in the real estate business for locating highly motivated sellers on a regular basis. I also utilize other tools along with my direct mail, such as lumpy mail pieces to make my direct mail stand out or I will send CDs to my sellers explaining to them why they should work with me. Using a little creativity with your direct mail campaigns will increase the response rate significantly. There are several reasons for this. Read More >>
Welcome Back! If you’re just joining us, we’re talking about what Squeeze Pages are in the wonderful world of Internet Marketing. In the last issue, we covered what the heck a Squeeze Page IS & why you should care. In this issue, we’re picking up where we left off, staring with...
Why Do Businesses Use Squeeze Pages & Why Are They So Powerful?
Let's use that example of the restaurant giving away a free dessert or appetizer. They would usually sell that item for $4-$9, right? But then what? They drop the check, collect their money & say good-bye to the customer... Hoping that they'll come back someday soon.
These days, that's not enough anymore! If a business is not collecting & building a list of their prospects & customers, they're missing out on a HUGE opportunity to follow up and maintain communication with them! During that process, they can provide value and build a better relationship with their list. Read More >>
Learning to make your mark in real estate takes discipline in following a set of principles. Using REIAComps to guide your deals is beneficial. These principles have guided many real estate investors to initial and repeated success. Ignoring them, on the other hand, is likely to either slow down or impede your success.
I’m sure you have heard the old saying “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. This is definitely true in the arena of real estate investing. Many investors live by this motto. They have either developed this system themselves, often over a period of years of blood, sweat and tears. Or they have modeled it on the system of someone else they respect. Either way, they know that their system works, and they do not deviate from it.
Most properties tend to tell a story. The key to finding the right investment property is largely a matter of locating a good property and doing a bit of research to uncover the "full story" about it. This full story includes, among other things, the fair market value of the property, the existence of any liens or liabilities (in the case of pre-foreclosure properties) and the true condition of the property. Read More >>
Admit it…this may be a familiar story to you. You learned about this money maker called wholesaling, did a few deals and made good money, celebrated and then told everyone how awesome this business is.
But then the dark time hit…
Leads dried up. Phone calls have slowed down. Market dynamics may have shifted. The list could be endless. Bottom line, all of the sudden the euphoria of making money quickly and easily has been replaced with concern and worry about what’s going on. All of a sudden your dreams coming true seem distant again and going the wrong direction…perhaps very quickly.
Or maybe the story goes like this… You learned about wholesaling and got excited about it. You did marketing one or two times, talked to a few people but nothing quite panned out. Maybe even three or four times. You got discouraged and decided this wasn’t for you. Read More >>
Selling often has a negative connotation to it. I hear people say sell is a “4 letter word”. This is an unfortunate point of view as selling is an extremely important part of being a successful real estate investor/business owner. Selling in real estate has many more functions than just buying and selling the actual property. We sell ourselves to investors when we raise money for our deals. We sell when we convince a realtor to work with us and give us the hot deals or when we convince a seller to give us the contract instead of someone else. If you want to use any creative financing techniques, such as a master lease option or seller financing, you are definitely selling the owner or agent on that idea.
Don’t think that selling is just describing the value of something and hoping someone wants what you are describing. Selling is helping. The first step to understanding a successful sale is to find out what someone needs help with. If the person does not need something or doesn’t think they do, then you are not likely to sell them anything. Here are a few steps to better selling.
1. Ask lots of questions. What does the person need or think they need?
You need to identify a perceived need and then fill it. Notice I said “perceived” need. If the person doesn’t think they need anything… then they don’t. You need to identify what they need. If you see that they have a problem but don’t know it, you need to gently bring the problem to their attention. An example might be a distressed property. They may think the value is much more that it is. You need to educate the seller on the real value while showing them that they have a need. The need here is to sell the property when a buyer may not be able to get a loan because of the distress they let the property fall into. This is where you might “sell” the idea of a master lease option or seller financing to get the property back in good shape where a bank will then give you a loan and you can complete the purchase. Read More >>
In the Real Estate Investment industry and as a contractor, you sell services to your customers, you'll need to understand how to use QuickBooks' time-tracking features.
Usually contractors do not keep much if any inventory on hand. Most work is done with materials either supplied by your customer or you purchase what is needed to complete that particular job and bill the customer accordingly.
But if you are only billing for time and services, that becomes a different story. There's no real inventory tracking involved -- except in terms of knowing how much manpower you have available at any given time. But just like you wouldn't want customers to walk off with merchandise they haven't bought, you don't want any billable minutes or hours to be ignored. Both scenarios eat into your profits.
Gone are the days when you had to count on employees to fill out detailed timecards and hope that they remembered to document everything. QuickBooks can help ensure that you're getting paid for all time and services rendered. Read More >>
When it comes to investing, there’s a lot of information out there—and a lot of misinformation as well. Being able to tell which is which is one of the keys to educating yourself as an investor and keeping your retirement investments secure, safe, and stable over the long haul. That’s why we love to dispel some of the common myths and objections when it comes to Self-Directed IRAs—and today, we’re tackling Real Estate IRAs.
Are we saying that all objections or questions about Real Estate IRAs—or Self-Directed IRAs in general—are meritless and without value? Of course not. But by the time you’re finished reading this article, you should have a solid grasp of which objections you might want to consider…and which ones really aren’t objections at all:
Common Objection #1: Real Estate IRAs Leave You Little to Invest With!
The idea of contributing, say, $100 per month to an IRA is easy when you’re investing in stocks and mutual funds. When you’re investing in real estate, many people understandably wonder how a similar strategy might work when it comes to Real Estate IRAs. Read More >>
If you are working on a short sale close to the end of the year, you will find that they are approving the short sales quicker versus throughout the year. The Banks work on numbers every quarter giving us 4 quarters per year to get a short sale approved. The closer to the end of the quarter, the more likely they will approve the short sale and when it comes to year end, the Banks are known to take deeper discounts, just so they can get the property off their books. Did you know that the Banks are required to hold in escrow three times the amount of their bad debt? Liquidating debt, aka short sales, allows the Banks to open up more money to the market that they can send out into their banking industry and loan out. When they loan the money out to customers, they receive interest, origination fees and points on the money.
When you submit a short sale to the Bank/Lender, the HUD Settlement Statement shows the negotiator what the NET is going to be in order to satisfy the debt. The NET figure is different than the Purchase Price. In fact, when you are negotiating with the Bank, you need to clarify that the “magic number” you are discussing is the Purchase Price and not the NET figure to them.
The Purchase Price includes all of the fees associated with selling the property such as title work, Realtor commission, settlement fees, tax prorations, outstanding liens, second or third mortgages, homeowner association dues and any other closing costs. When the short sale is submitted, the negotiator will usually run an REO Net sheet based on the loan balance, status of where it is in the foreclosure action, and how long it would take to get the property to foreclose and become an REO (Real Estate Owned) by the Lender. This helps the investor who owns the loan to determine whether or not a short sale discount would allow them to profit more than an REO property, and which way is most profitable to liquidate the property from their inventory. Read More >>
“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature ~ Nhat Hanh
The Sign-n-Send app for my iPad and iPhone is a really handy tool for my everyday use. I find it very convenient to send documents via email, but sometimes it’s hard to put your signature on there without being on a desktop. It is very intuitive, just tap and hold to open the pdf and edit.
For a long time I struggled with signing pdfs on my phone. I tried taking a photo and writing over it, an electronic stamp, other apps as well, and none are as fast and simple as Sign-n-Send. If you have an email with a pdf attached, just tap and hold the attachment, and a window will show you a few options. You will want to select ‘open in’ and then select ‘sign-n-send’. From there the app is very easy to navigate.
The user will always go through another application to get to this app. Mostly through your mail app or a messaging app. When you tap and hold the pdf to open, it does take a few seconds to open. Once it is open, use one finger to draw on the page, but pinch with two fingers to zoom in and out. If you have a screen protector, better to put down the stylus and use your finger for the signature line. Read More >>
I’m sure you’ve noticed when I sign off, I prefer “To your quantum leap.” People often ask me what I mean by that or how to have a quantum leap. The only way I know to answer is to “keep fertilizing your crop.” Let me explain.
You must ask yourself certain questions and continuously analyze what you’re doing at every moment. Whether you’re young or old, what are you doing to fertilize your crop? Is every day the same or are you taking on new challenges and learning new stuff? Are you playing not to lose or playing to win? Does your seed have a chance to grow and if it does, will it produce a crop worth having? Are you spending so much time making a living you can’t take time to get rich? If you are rich, are you complacent and bored or are you putting it on the line to stay in the game and win big? Do you look forward to tomorrow because it’s just another day full of problems? Have you had some major set- backs with your finances or health that you’re letting take you out of the game, or are you playing no matter what?
Everyone faces adversity at some point, many more than others. Yet, successful people just keep ticking. They keep fertilizing their crop and looking for new harvest. They survive the test of time because they refuse to quit when things get tough and because they love what they do to the point it becomes their life… their station.
You never know at what point in your life a major turning point will take place that catapults you further in one year than all previous years combined. I’ve seen that happen a lot lately with some of my students and in my own life. Read More >>
You don’t always need money to buy real estate…if you know how to use creative financing. Creative financing is a broad term. There are many ways to complete a real estate transaction using creative financing, so many in fact that it would take me at least a full day to teach you all of the tricks of that trade. In this article I am going to cover the two most popular creative financing techniques that I have had the most success with. They are Master Lease Options (Lease Options) and Seller Financing. I created a 400 unit portfolio using creative financing without ever needing a traditional lender like a bank and you can too. It’s really not that hard.
Master lease options (MLO) or lease options are a great way to get started in the real estate business or to limit some of the risk of buying a distressed asset. We use the term master lease options when we are discussing a multifamily property as there is more than one unit involved, therefore the term “Master Lease”. If we are discussing a single family deal then it’s just a lease option. They are basically the same thing and will work the same way.
A master lease option is a set of two contracts. The first is the lease that allows us to “rent” the property with the right to sublet or re-rent the property to a tenant. This gives us control over the operations of the property and the CASH FLOW! With this document we now control the operations of the deal including management. This will allow you to manage it yourself or to hire a management company to do it for you. If there is work that needs to be done to the property you can now get it done under the lease option. If there is bad management you can now hire new management and lease up the place so it makes more cash flow (multifamily). The lease will set a “rent” payment to the seller and it will stay fixed for the life of the contract so you always know what the payment is. Ideally this rent payment will consist of the owners mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance. This will allow the seller to break even and will allow you to keep any positive cash flow! Read More >>
Hello Atlanta REIA Members. I am Scott Ulmer and I have been investing in real estate over 20 years. In that time, I have experienced some tremendous successes, and some tremendous failures as well.
Every time I fell down, I picked myself up. No matter how hard the situation, being tenacious and never giving up always paid off, and here I stand today.
I owned 2 real estate companies prior to the market meltdown, and ultimately lost them both. What I have learned and experienced firsthand is that failure is a part of success, and a person only truly fails when they quit. One thing I will never do is quit.
Just over 17 months ago I left my job, where I ran the real estate operation for a nationally-known real estate guru. I was also one of the top Mentors, and consulted hundreds of students around the country.
Although I enjoyed my time running that real estate operation, I learned a few things about myself. Not only did I have a particular knack for helping people become successful real estate investors, but I also took my years of investing experience and created a unique formula for success along the way.
I created a business model that, when implemented with the right systems, can generate immediate cash flow, and a lot of it! Read More >>
I have spoken with many Realtors and Investors who informed me that they are not interested in listing or buying short sales because the Short Sale Lenders are always higher than the actual value of the property.
I have stressed over the years how important it is to meet the Realtor or Appraiser that was sent from the Short Sale Lender at the house with the Purchase Agreement, Hardship Letter, Comparables, Crime Report of the Area and Repair Estimate for the property in order for the Short Sale Lender to have the actual value of the property.
The BPO Agent/Appraiser does not provide to the Short Sale Lender the Crime Report or the Repair Estimate on the property. This information is provided by the Listing Agent or the Negotiator representing the Seller when you have to dispute the value. In fact, a BPO Agent may only have 3 little boxes to include the costs of the repairs so they can’t always include all the repair costs that the house really needs.
The BPO Agent/Appraiser has been informed from the Short Sale Lender that they do NOT consider cosmetic repairs. So what are cosmetic repairs? Paint, Carpet, Appliances and updates of kitchens, bathrooms, roof and air conditioning unit that are functional. Read More >>
With less than a week left before completing a major rehab on our latest real estate investing deal, all Kim wanted to do was to drop to the floor and cry when she saw what had happened to every interior wall in the home.
The day before, the walls had been perfect. But on this day, the walls looked like something you’d see in one of those circus houses with funny mirrors that make your head look huge while making your body look the size of a walnut.
In this home, we’d replaced all the paneling with new paneling. Then came two days of constant rain. Because the HVAC system wasn’t yet working, there was a significant increase in the home’s humidity level. The new paneling quickly absorbed the excess humidity and became wavy.
A multitude of things made Kim want to cry. All the time and money spent demolishing the old walls and installing the new ones was for naught. The rehab was scheduled to be completed in five more days, but now would be extended by at least two weeks. The extra work would cause this rehab to go over budget. Read More >>
“A place for everything and everything in its place” ~ Benjamin Franklin
The developers at LightArrow must have had me in mind. Or at least, someone like me. I found myself constantly checking various apps, and across devices it is easy to lose track of messages, updates, and photos. I’ve been juggling things for a long time, but LightArrow has made an app that makes everything mesh together on one screen.
LifeTopix is almost like an operating system for all your apps. This single app makes one place where you can view your calendar, update travel plans, make a checklist, even order things on that list or make memos to yourself. I love the fact that you can install this on your phone or your tablet, and the interface is very clean with a white background. It even prompts you if you forgot something.
Doing what I do is my passion, but also overwhelming at times. I like the fact that this one app has consolidated my other apps, and really saves me time. Instead of bouncing around from one screen to another, everything that is important to me is on one screen. At a glance, I can see my tasks, reminders, and in this screen I can even shop. Read More >>
This is your life. You have decided that real estate investing is something you want to do. But…
Are you sinking or swimming?
Right now, I am teaching a 58 year old friend to swim. I can see his fear. He is thinking, “What if I drown?” or “What if I can't do this and I look silly?” We all have fears about uncertainties; fear is natural and good—it can keep us out of trouble! But, when fear controls you, when it stops and paralyzes you, when it keeps you from success, it is a problem.
Remember: There is no such thing as a dead end.
Your fears can be conquered easily through calculated action and baby steps.
How is your business like learning to swim? Like my friend, you probably have fear. Maybe you fear loss of financial security or not being able to know a bad deal from a great deal. Maybe you fear failure, or you fear what people will think if you make bad decisions. Maybe you even fear success. The problem is that fear will wear you out and kill your drive. Just like the swimmer, you need to know when to swim and when to float. You need to learn to trust the system and yourself. Read More >>
I recently conducted the first two days of one of my boot camps and shortly thereafter spent two hours on the phone doing one-on-one calls with students. There’s a common mistake I see students making over and over again, and it doesn’t seem to matter if they are new or been around awhile. That mistake is: doing everything they can to feel busy except the critical things required to stay in business.
It’s so easy to be busy. Anyone can do it, and most people would say they’re very busy almost all the time. I hear things like: “If only I had more time, the days just aren’t long enough, so much to do and so little time.” A rat in a circular cage is busy running in circles, but getting nowhere. Pretty soon he has a heart attack and dies. Being busy will not make you rich. In fact, it can have the opposite effect and prevent you from ever achieving wealth. Don’t get me wrong. Rich people are busy too. I’m very busy most of the time with something always chasing my attention. There’s always an endless supply of things to work on that suck up my time. The difference is I constantly and consciously work on…only those items I can’t delegate and are worthy of my attention.
Minutia is a deadly disease that steals away the most productive time of your life and robs you of the great things you could accomplish…if you only had time. Well, I suppose I don’t have to tell you that we all have the same amount of time in a day and no bonus hours will ever be added. Rich people and poor people alike are granted the same opportunity to turn that time into greatness or waste it the same way, day in and day out until they’re dead. Read More >>
Investing in real estate is one of the most advantageous and attractive avenues to use to build a business and ultimately wealth. I would say it has three times the potential of making money than most any other business. Using REIA comps to guide your investment choices protects against the turns made by market forces. I want to share with you some advantages that I believe will be most beneficial for you.
As a rule, there is more stability. Real estate investments are traditionally considered a stable and rich gainer, provided if one takes it seriously and becomes a student of the game. As a rule of thumb, if you have an area where there are plenty of resources available and low stable mortgage rates, you have good reason for investing in that real estate market. On the contrary, if you find a property in a place, which is under high inflation, it may not be a prime location.
With real estate, necessity is the mother of all inventions. Acquiring all the knowledge and skills through experience of selling and purchasing properties requires guidance and consistency. The support REIA comps provides gives you a leg up on property valuation and purchase. Take the time to gain education and hone your craft in order to have a formidable business. Doing market research, using or developing the right real estate strategies can make deals happen for you in the right manner. Read More >>
What the heck is a Squeeze Page? And why should you care?
Ok, so there’s this whole “thing” called Internet Marketing. All the kids are doing it these days. The thing is… it works! And one of the neat things that work in Internet Marketing is Squeeze Pages, because they get you LEADS for your business...BIG Time!
I wrote this article because a lot of people have been asking me lately about what’s working in the world of internet marketing to help real estate investors get more leads from the internet. When I ask them if they have any Squeeze Pages up, they either give me a blank stare or silence. Or both.
So if that’s you, then this article is for you & people like you - people who have very little to no knowledge or experience in the powerful yet confusing world of internet marketing. Trust me, it's very, very easy to get lost down this rabbit hole. I'll save my story for another day. Read More >>