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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 >>
How secure is your retirement nest egg? If you own a Real Estate IRA, you might have an idea about what kinds of protections your retirement income has; but if you’ve never heard of the things, now’s as good a time as any to learn what your options are.
While many people associate an investment in real estate with speculation, the truth is that real estate can be a highly secure way to ensure that you have enough for retirement. Not only does real estate provide an opportunity for growth, but it’s capable of providing you with a stable income that you can use when you need it the most. And with the following three protections built right in to the Real Estate IRA structure itself, you’ll see that these investments can be much more secure than you originally thought. Read More >>
You Must Get Your Personal Debt Under Control If You Want to Quickly Achieve Financial Freedom. This Can Be Done Much Faster Once You Eliminate All of Your Highest Interest Rate Consumer Debts First.
This month I want to start with examples of how you can eliminate your personal debts much, much faster without sacrifice or having to bring in one more penny every month. I am going to explain to you how to pay off your consumer debts much faster which will save you thousands of dollars of interest you will never have to pay. Here is an example of what I am talking about.
Let’s say the payment of your highest interest rate debt is $212.83 minimum payment. If you will add the $93.00 (a good number for a family of four at a nice restaurant) you saved by not dining out each month with your family will total $305.83 ($212.83 + $93.00 = $305.83). If you pay that amount each month for this debt until it is paid in full, it will greatly shorten the payback time of that debt saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars of interest. Read More >>
We’ll be ringing in the New Year soon. Will you have wrapped up your 2015 finances by then?
There’s something very satisfying about turning our calendars to January. It always feels like a fresh start. We resolve to develop new, better ways of using our work and leisure time. We reflect on what we accomplished in the last 12 months, and we look forward to achieving even more in the next 12.
But sometimes we have a nagging feeling that we forgot something. And it often has to do with our finances, both personal and professional.
You can take steps now to make New Year’s Day less worrisome. Doing some extra work in QuickBooks during December will ensure that you’ll start 2016 ready to move ahead, rather than scrambling to see what you missed on January 2. Read More >>
Despite what you may be hearing in the news, foreclosures are increasing nationwide. Sure the media has been trying to paint a rosy picture by showing areas where foreclosures have been decreasing, but those are only specific areas. When looked at nationwide, things do not look so great. Foreclosures are bad enough, but the fact that the vast majority of these are sham foreclosures pushed through by pretender-lenders with no right to foreclose should be a source of national shame. Fortunately there have been two major court decisions that show the tide is continuing to turn against the banks and in favor of homeowners and real estate investors.
In US District Court for Oregon, a judge reaffirmed that the Supreme Court of the United States settled that a rescission is effective at the time that the notice is sent, whether or not it is sent within the three-year period set out by TILA. The bank in this case was arguing that the law was never intended to let borrowers cancel their loan transactions. The court specifically shot this notion down, saying that, while the banks and trustees have an interest in the finality of these transactions, consumers have a “countervailing interest in avoiding wrongful foreclosure.” This is a HUGE decision because it affirms that, no matter what the banks say or what lower courts try to argue, a rescission is effective as an operation of law the moment it is dropped in the mail. It does not matter if the rescission is done 15 years after the loan is consummated. If the bank fails to contest the rescission during the 20 day period established by TILA, the note and mortgage are gone. Their only option after that period is to go to a court that has the proper jurisdiction and prove that the rescission is wrongful and that they can prove standing without using the note or mortgage (now legally nonexistent) as evidence. Read More >>
Lots of real estate courses out there talk about the subject of co-wholesaling or JV’ing. (Joint Venturing for short) It sounds simple enough. If you are new, work with someone experienced to do business together that seem trustworthy. If you are experienced, work with people you know and trust. You can market their deals for them and hopefully bring them a Buyer. It’s very simple so what could go wrong?
In a word: Everything
If there is one topic that I think is one of the most scathing I hear from Buyers, it’s co-wholesaling. It ranks right up there with off base renovation estimates. How can something so simple be so problematic?
Let’s take a look at the issues so you can see how to avoid these pitfalls and have more success with this underutilized subject. This is a simple subject as long as you get it right. Read More >>
Entrepreneur’s minds go a hundred miles an hour in many directions. This can be great at times and at other times not so great. In the case of real estate investors, it tends to be the latter. Real estate investors have a habit of learning how to make money in one aspect of real estate investing and then another and then another etc.
Before the investor realizes it, he/she is just doing what comes easiest and not considering the most profitable exit strategy. Or worst, the investor has not fully learned one strategy and is not maximizing profit. How can you solve this issue? FOCUS!
Investors usually progress in the following order: bird dog, wholesaler, flipper, landlord, and lender. This is not mandatory but it tends to be a natural progression for many. At the beginning bird dog will usually only bird dog because it is all they know how to do. Naturally, by being in the real estate investing community, they begin to learn how to wholesale.
At this point, the wholesaler will still be pretty focused but then he/she begins to buy-fix-sell properties. This is where it gets tricky. Should the investor wholesale a property he/she finds or invest in the property himself/herself. This question comes up every time the investor puts a property under contract.
Then after a few homerun deals the investor decides it is time to begin keeping a few homes as rentals. A few months go by and now the question to wholesale, fix-sell, or fix-rent begins soon after placing a property under contract. Read More >>
As you probably know if you have been reading my articles, I strongly advocate using direct mail to locate highly motivated sellers for your Real Estate Investing business no matter what market you live in and no matter what your real estate market is doing. With the market being in its current state of affairs, there are more motivated sellers than ever before if you know how to find them.
As a seasoned Real Estate Investor I fully understand that I need to be locating the most highly motivated sellers in order to construct the very best deals. Remember, the profit on a deal is made when you buy a property.
In addition, while many investors enjoy working with pre-foreclosures, short sales, REO properties and buying houses on the court house steps, these properties take time to close on and there is a lot of competition for them.
In the meantime you need to be able to continue to fill your funnel with cash producing deals in order to keep your business moving forward. Working with motivated sellers that your competition knows nothing about is definitely the way to accomplish this goal and direct mail is the best technique to draw in these very motivated sellers. Read More >>
If the Roth IRA is the Corvette of real estate investing vehicles, then the Roth Solo 401k is the Ferrari.
Ok, so I know nothing about fancy cars. But I do know a thing or two about Solo 401ks. After setting up my own Solo 401k awhile back, I realized that there was very little out there where we as real estate investors could learn more about this unique retirement plan. After months of research and hours of consulting with some of the nation’s top custodians and lawyers, I enlisted the help of my father who has invested in real estate for over 35 years. Together, we compiled a book that I hope will serve as a valuable resource for real estate investors who are interested in strengthening their retirement accounts.
Never heard of a Solo 401k? It’s not surprising. Recent changes in the tax law have made this investment vehicle even more powerful. The Solo 401k is basically your average 401k without the huge company and all the extra employees so many of the ERISA rules do not apply. You may have heard it referred to as the Individual 401k or the Self-Employed 401k.
The Solo 401k is similar to an IRA in that you can self-direct the account into alternative investments such as real estate. There is also a Roth component of the Solo 401k where your after-tax contribution can grow tax-free. The contribution limits for the Solo 401k are much higher than those for the IRA. You may make an elective deferral of up to $18,000 ($24,000 if you are age 50 or older) per year. Your company that provides the plan can also contribute tax-deferred funds to the traditional portion of the Solo-401k for a maximum total contribution of $53,000 ($59,000 for those investors age 50 or older). Read More >>