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"Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months." ~ Clifford Stoll
I’ve tried everything to keep all my passwords secure but still accessible. I’ve tried using phrases, combining dates, symbols and the like. But still my password combinations never seem to be long enough or ‘strong’ enough. When I think I have a handle on the password situation it never seems to work out.
The Keeper App has solved many of my day-to-day problems with login interfaces. Sometimes there are two part login screens that slow me down, especially if I’m in a hurry. With this app, you can register a device so it is recognized as secure. If you have to give your login details to another person, like an employee, it’s simple to do in a secure way. It’s also great to share sensitive data files like contracts or reports.
The downside is that the password capture isn’t completely automatic. Which is probably a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to change passwords and secure data storage. To log into the app itself, there is no need to make a code that has different symbols or a change in letter case. But again, I don’t see that as a negative. I think as long as your password is a unique phrase or something uncommon, you’re pretty safe. Read More >>
Goals can be a great thing if we set the right goals using the right methods. Setting the wrong goals can be very detrimental to your business. Are you setting the right goals? In this article I am going to take a contrarian point of view to the normal goal setting info that most people teach. Let me go on record as saying I disagree with most of the general goal setting info put out in the information market these days.
When I take on a new real estate student one of the first things I do is to have a discussion about the student’s goals for the future. Usually I receive relatively similar responses such as “I want to quit my job and create $10,000 a month in passive revenue in the next 6 months” or “I want to quit my full time job and close 1000 units in 2016.” These technically may seem like good goals. They have a definite time line and a clear starting and stopping point. It will be easy to know when you have reached these goals. These are all things that make up a good goal but they may not be good at all. If these seem like goals you would set or if you have goals that are similar then I will ask you the same question I ask my students.
“Do you know what it takes to complete these goals?” Read More >>
Recently I did a meeting where we discussed what a wholesaler needs to do to have an awesome 2016. After giving it some thought, it’s really quite simple. Only four steps are needed and doing these four things consistently will make a huge difference in how much success one has. Let’s get right to the four steps to an incredible 2016 wholesaling!
Over the holidays I had a few great learning lessons. I volunteer for several different causes. The one I chose, was a half-way house for recovering addicts. I have learned from that experience that it takes on average 6 times or 6 attempts to become clean. Now this is an average. There are some individuals who will get clean in a much shorter time because they have super “WHY” and have the right relationships which will support them in their life’s journey. So I started to look at my own life and the struggles I have learning and implementing new systems in my own business. Why do I go to the seminars and training which I buy, spending thousands of dollars on my education? The day after the seminar I do nothing. I never implement the great knowledge and systems the gurus has provided. I don’t even open the book ever again. Does this sound familiar? Read More >>
Yet another calendar? Yes. It’s a good idea to use QuickBooks’ calendar to stay on top of your financial transactions.
These days, some of us find ourselves updating multiple calendars. There’s the Outlook calendar or other web-based solution for scheduling and task management. Maybe a smartphone app to track to-do’s on the road, and a paper calendar as backup.
But where do you keep track of your everyday financial tasks? Including these in your scheduling calendars and/or task lists will make for very crowded screens, not to mention how inconvenient it can be to keep switching between applications.
So consider adding one more tracking tool: the QuickBooks calendar. This graphical screen isn’t designed for data entry (except for to-do’s). Rather, it’s designed to give you a quick overview of your financial activity, both historically and in the future. Read More >>
If you are a smart investor you read and stay up to date with the market. But as you read, you find that different people have different opinions as to why the real estate market has shifted, which range from the presidential election, the stock market, the price of a barrel of oil, employment reports, changing interest rates, etc. The fact is, all these are intertwined and they all have a chain reaction effect on real estate. While you cannot make a huge immediate impact on the direction of any of these factors, you can make changes in your game plan for investing in real estate in the New Year.
As we all know, the real estate market is cyclical. The majority of last year the market was at the height of its cycle. At the end of the year to present the market has begun to cool down or at least level off. Investors are no longer purchasing houses expecting one sales price and selling it for a much higher price because it “appreciated” while it was being renovated. Today investors are selling their investment properties for the original after repair value they had projected or a bit less if the renovation was not up to par. This has become the new norm. With that said, there are still a few sub markets in each of our markets that continue to sell fast and for record prices. However, those too will eventually cool down. I have mentioned many times that it is best to purchase investment real estate based on today’s values not anticipated appreciation one cannot control.
Here are a few items I would recommend when investing in real estate in today’s market. Read More >>
Kim and I want to thank you for reading our weekly real estate investing newspaper column for the past 13 years. With this last article, we say: Goodbye, y’all!
In 2003, when we started this feature, we were still fairly new to real estate investing. As we gained knowledge and experience, we shared the creative deal-structuring techniques we learned that allowed the impossible deals to become not only possible, but also probable.
We also shared most every mistake we made along the way. We did this because more great lessons are learned from failure than from success!
And, we wrote a ton of articles about what it takes to succeed. No matter what field you’re in, the attributes it takes to succeed can be boiled down to these ten: love, accomplishment, discipline, persistence, belief, integrity, associations, a yearning to learn, sacrifice and giving back.
The story about how our weekly column first got in the paper demonstrates these attributes at work. Read More >>
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 >>