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Getting paid by your tenants in a timely fashion is one of the biggest challenges of being a landlord. QuickBooks can help in several ways.
You're meeting your business goals. Making sure that every property that has a tenant has been invoiced in QuickBooks. (You invoice in QuickBooks so you can track the timely payments made by the tenants.) You take advantage of vendor discounts. Basically, doing everything in your power to keep cash flow humming.
But you can't control how quickly your tenants pay you.
You can, though, use QuickBooks' tools to:
Figure 1: QuickBooks lets you accept payments from tenants in multiple forms. Accepting credit cards and e-checks is likely to speed up your receivables.
Negotiating is a vital part of your business when it comes to cashing in big on short sales. It is always important to know who the investor is on the loan, and I’m not referring to who is servicing the loan and collecting the Sellers payments. There is an investor behind the scenes. Also, find out the type of loan, ie: private, conventional, FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and whether there is private mortgage insurance (PMI) or mortgage insurance (MI) on the loan. Knowing all these facts allow you to negotiate based on the percent of value each one of the Investors and/or Private Mortgage Insurance Companies on the Loan will accept on a short sale.
I found this new information to be very interesting and should not be taken lightly when negotiating on a short sale. Many Sellers are behind on their monthly payments which include principal, interest, taxes and hazard insurance. When the Sellers make their payments, the taxes and insurance monthly payment is placed into an escrow account to pay the taxes and hazard insurance when they become due. When there is not enough money in the Sellers escrow account to pay taxes, the Lender will pay them. However, when there is not enough money in the Sellers escrow account to pay the hazard insurance policy, the Lender still pays it, but it becomes Mortgage Forced Insurance. This is in place only for the protection of the Lender, not the Sellers, and normally costs 2 to 3 times more than normal Hazard Insurance. Read More >>
It was March 12th, 1982, when I had a decision to make, and it didn't seem like a very big one. You see, there was a seminar coming to town called “How to Buy Real Estate with No Money Down,” and it caught my attention because I certainly had none and didn’t want to continue doing what I had been doing for most of my life. I believe I saw the commercial on television, and after about the third time it aired I got to thinking about it and said, “Well, gosh, what have I got to lose. I know it's a scam, I know they're full of crap, but I might as well go down and check it out. Maybe there is something there, maybe I can find a way to get out of this mechanic job and make a little money for a change that lasts more than 15 minutes.”
Now, this was not an easy decision because I was going to miss my favorite television show “Dallas” with J.R. Ewing. For me to miss J.R. in order to go to the seminar was a big, big deal. We laugh about it now, but it wasn't so funny back then because J.R. was the guy that gave me hope. He's the first exposure I had to see what it was like to be very rich. I couldn't really see myself as J.R. at that time, but I certainly wanted to be like him. I'm not sure I wanted to be as mean as he was. Of course, some people will say I am. I certainly wanted to have his money and his power. Read More >>
Recently I was having a discussion with a friend of mine discussing some of the different ways to create wealth not only from real estate but other forms of investing that can give huge returns. We talked about the usual ways of making money buying real estate and we also talked about other ways of creating income without having to do any physical work for the money. Of course when you are a real estate investor your first thought is usually either about, buying foreclosure properties, wholesaling properties, fixing and selling houses at retail prices, and also buying long term income properties.
One subject I have never talked about before that I think is an important part of every real estate investors portfolio of investing opportunities is to also own paper assets for income. From this point forward we will refer to paper assets simply as "Paper". So what are paper assets? Paper assets come in many different forms. Some different paper assets come in the form of property tax certificates, land contract paper, contract for deed paper and promissory notes secured by a mortgage or a deed of trust paper. It is my belief that every real estate investor should be diversified and have several different income streams to help them build the wealth they desire. Read More >>
Have you been in real estate for 6 months, or have you really been in real estate for 1 month? Because if you’re really in real estate, you’ve made a deal by now, maybe several.
Here’s the truth: If you’re not making offers, if you’re not making deals, you’re not in real estate…yet.
Are you making the mistake of preparing and then doing nothing? Listen, if you’re prepared, then you have the education. You’ve paid a lot of money to take courses, you’ve read the books, and you’ve watched the videos. You understand that buying real estate is not rocket science. You understand that making an offer is not difficult. You have a power team: a contractor, an attorney, a survey company, and a real estate agent.
But you just don’t seem to be able to get one deal done.
What will it take for you to make a deal?
How can you overcome this fear and lethargy? Read More >>
Over the years investors have always wanted to know which way they should go. Buy a house cheap, fix it up and rent it out. Over time collect the cash flow, keep some and use a portion to pay the house off. It’s the oldest and truest way to build wealth and a secure retirement.
Then there are those who are seriously focused on making some money now. They either want to “Wholesale” a house doing nothing to it all or the alternative option may be to acquire, renovate and sell for a really good profit and do it again. This method doesn’t build wealth but you can make some potential steady income.
Truly good real estate investors know the valuation of their deals is key to insuring success and protecting projected profits. To effectively determine if a deal is a rental building wealth or flip to make some much needed cash, you have to analyze a deal fully. All the market areas covered by REIAComps.com, insure you easily know which way an investor should go. Read More >>
If you are blessed and fortunate enough to have lived on this planet for a while, there eventually comes a time when you start to notice the same thing that countless ancestors of ours have noticed over the eons... The undeniable fact that, sorry! You're getting old.
The first signs of this sad truth probably reveal themselves to you in a very subtle fashion... An extra ache when you wake up in the morning; Recuperating from injuries takes longer than it used to; Or it could be a grey hair or an extra wrinkle in your smile. As my (older) brother always likes to tell me, “getting old is not for the faint of heart.”
Such subtle signs are a painful reminder of our own mortality. They can either make you sad or remind you that you may only have a certain amount of time left on this spinning blue rock we call home.
If you like movies, you know you're getting old when the actors you grew up watching & admiring start showing their age... or die. (Even though Tom Cruise & Keanu Reeves are immortal. They never age!) Read More >>
As a real estate investor you must always adjust to new market trends, rules and regulations. Recently, as any good investor should know, the industry has been having to make some changes due to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. These changes have and will continue to affect any person closing a property involving an owner occupant loan.
Investors that renovate properties to sell will need to add at least an extra month or two of carrying costs. Why? Well, while not going into too much detail, all HUDs will need to be approved by the buyer and underwriter at least 3 days before closing. In reality, this will mean that the delay may be as many as 6 days because we all know how long underwriting can take. Some investors may not know this, because it is normally not enforced, but currently buyers are supposed to receive a HUD 2 days prior to closing. However, the norm for most closings is having a HUD prepared the day or evening before or the morning of the closing. I have even witnessed some buyers and sellers not receive a HUD until minutes before closing. This way of doing business will soon be gone and I for one like this part of the change. Originally the changes were to be enforced in August but the enforcement date was changed to October 3rd. Therefore, make sure your lenders and title companies are ready for these changes and do not delay your closing any more than needed. Read More >>
If you’re like most people, you’ve been wondering all along when we were going to discuss all the awful things you’re imagining might happen to you as a wholesaler. And I have no desire to sugar-coat things for you, but the truth is most of the things you’re imagining are extremely rare, and easily overcome. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about such fears:
What happens if I can’t find a buyer for a property I have under contract?
If you can’t find a buyer, one of three things has happened:
As you’re probably already aware, any of these 3 failures is unlikely to harm YOU, if you exercised the recommended inspection clause. You’ll simply void the contract under that clause, or renegotiate for a lower price or more time, or in a worst case scenario, let the seller keep any earnest money as per the liquidated damages clause.
In the first case, you might try renegotiating the contract price or option price—you’ll know what to re-offer after you’ve shown the property to 4-5 people. In the other two cases, if you’re certain that you’ve created a good deal, you might consider paying the seller an additional, non-refundable option fee or deposit to extend the period of the contingency and closing. A third possibility is to buy the property yourself, although that is outside the scope of this course. Remember, as long as you have a liquidated damages clause, you’ll lose only your earnest money; if the property is controlled via an option to buy, you’ll only lose your option fee for not closing. But don’t make it a habit.
In any case, it’s important, as an ethical wholesaler, that you let the seller know as soon as possible that something has gone awry, and that you won’t be closing as promised. Read More >>
“The secret to multitasking is that it isn't actually multitasking. It's just extreme focus and organization.” ~ Joss Whedon
Have you ever watched a really good store manager while she works? It’s incredible! She can handle two or three customers at once, answer the phone three times while she’s at it, and approve a couple check transactions at the same time. And when you compliment her on her talent, she just shrugs and says, “I’m a multitasker.”
A few years ago, businesses were all about multitasking. Employers wanted people who could multitask. With life moving faster all the time, all of us have learned to do it to some extent. But experts now believe that multitasking isn’t really all that productive or efficient. For a lot of us, multitasking just means we do a bunch of things at once, but we don’t do any of them very well. I don’t know about you, but I’ll never be able to do what that store manager does.
So it turns out that it’s better to focus on one thing at a time. But this doesn’t fit too well with modern life. Between home, work, school, church, and hockey, it’s a wonder we ever get anything done at all.
Luckily, I don’t have to multitask anymore, because my cellphone does it for me. I can hardly remember anymore what life was like before I had an iPhone. I used to say that having a cellphone was a good idea, but not an absolute necessity. Well, it’s sure a necessity now. Read More >>
The rental business can be very lucrative for the real estate investor. It can also be a pain in the neck. The trick to an effective rental business is the management. We have many rentals as a part of our real estate investment business and we have always said that managing tenants is like raising another set of children unless you do it correctly.
The first thing you should do is to decide if you are going to manage your properties yourself or if you are going to have someone else do it for you. There are ways to automate these systems either way and I will discuss both. You just need to choose the system that works the best for your own needs.
You can use a property management company and run your rental business pretty much hands-off. Just remember that there are costs involved in doing it this way and you don’t have as much control. If you do choose to work with a property management company check references before doing so. In the beginning, keep a closer tab on what’s going on with your properties. Some property management companies are definitely better than others and some will take better care of your properties than others.
When using a property management company who is going to place tenants in your properties, make sure they are using a reputable tenant check company and make sure you look at the applications and tenant check reports of prospective tenants before they are placed in your property until you are sure that you and the management company are “on the same page” regarding the tenant requirements you want for your properties. Make sure your property management company understands your personal parameters when placing tenants in your properties. Read More >>
You may have heard the news that the real estate market is improving throughout the USA. While in some areas, the market improvement is steady, some markets are just hot! An interesting observation we have noticed is that private sellers in particular hear the news on Fox, CNN, CBS, etc. and immediately think their property is worth what it was in 2007 at the peak. The idea of gradual appreciation seems to escape a significant number of them as it seems at every corner everyone is saying sell! Even banks are selling REO’s at or near full retail value…before rehab!
In the midst of this, you may be hearing the phrase ‘limited inventory’ or ‘fierce competition’. And depending on your market, there is probably some truth to this. More agents are coming back on the scene. Real Estate gurus are selling Wholesale courses like M&M’s at the grocery store about how easy it is to be rich tomorrow. They all have some kind of ‘secret’ message to get deals flowing in to everyone. However, if you sell it to everyone, how is it a secret at that point?
So what is a wholesaler to do? Read More >>
It's probably one of your favorite QuickBooks activities. Be sure you understand the mechanics of recording payments.
There are numerous ways to prioritize your workday. Do the most difficult things first. Get important phone calls out of the way. Respond to various emails.
But it's likely that one activity takes precedence when you see that it needs to be done: recording payments. While you're probably very careful with this process, it's critical that your actions here are accurate. If they're not, you could either lose money that you've earned or anger tenants by requesting payments they’ve already made.
QuickBooks comes with some helpful pre-defined payment types; however, you also have the flexibility to edit that list and add new types. To see your list, open the Lists menu and select Customer & Vendor Profile Lists, then Payment Method List. This window opens: Read More >>
Improper goal setting can really hurt your business. Proper goal setting can make you rich. This is a concept that I see most new investors and real estate business owners learn the hard way. If you don’t know how to set proper goals for yourself then you are very unlikely to obtain any goal. In this article I will help you to learn the art of goal setting.
Whenever I begin mentoring a new student or business client I always start by having them submit their goals. I am actually more interested to see how this person sets goals more than the goals themselves. Most people will set goals based on what they want with little knowledge of what it takes to accomplish those goals. Understanding the requirements of the goals we set will greatly help us achieve them.
I follow a similar process for goal setting that the U.S. military follows. It’s called “Backward Planning Process”. Basically I decide where I want to be. What is my end goal? Once I know exactly where I am trying to go, I work backwards from that point. For example if I want to buy an apartment complex I start working backward with questions like this... Read More >>
My students always ask me “How many letters do we have to mail in order to get a deal?” Before I answer, I want to state that the #1 reason a Seller sells their house for less is because they are motivated. An unmotivated Seller will not take less for their house, as they are not in a hurry to sell. Let me clarify the situations that make a Seller motivated:
I’ve been in a few businesses in my life, still have a few and probably will until I check into the nursing home, and maybe even after.
When comparing buying and selling houses to other businesses, the contrast is so big, sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if all small business owners were exposed to my training before they opened their businesses.
Let’s take a look and compare to my restaurant.
You can start real estate immediately with no money, no credit and no risk and expect to make a profit within the first month or two.
The restaurant required several months looking for a location I had to build out. Then, I signed a long lease with a $7,500 deposit (albeit non-recourse). Then it took 10 months and several hundred thousand dollars to get it opened and a massive amount of my time. As to the profit…it’s been a serious negative and will take many more months to break even. Then we’ll discuss a profit, maybe.
Your real estate business has no employees, only a virtual assistant or two. That means no payroll alligator to suck you dry and no employees to manage or account for and no regulations strangling the life out of your business. Read More >>
All good real estate investors know the valuation of their deals is key to insuring success and projected profits. Since late 2013 transactions in numerous market areas have seen strong sales activity. But what to do when transactions start to slow? All the market areas covered by REIComps, insure when sales changes happen you are not caught off guard.
Last week, we began seeing a number of Support Tickets asking the question, “My retail sale properties aren’t getting multiple offers any more. What am I doing wrong? Equally, we have seen tickets which ask, “Several of our current units for sale in the same area where they have sold in less than two weeks aren’t getting showings”.
Truly, essentially these are the same question, but we had to dig deeper from a valuation perspective. Remember, when we “buy right” typically we can drive the market selling slightly lower. Or in some cases due to sound acquisition, an investor is able to improve a dwelling insuring that buyers can’t wait to make an offer. Read More >>
How many times does your phone need to ring to make a deal? Well, the more rings you have, the more possibilities there are, right? But here is the catch: you don’t want just any calls. You want quality calls. It doesn’t matter how many calls you get if they aren’t ones that are going to lead to getting paid.
You may have heard real estate gurus telling you how to get that phone to ring. But I can show you how to get the phone to ring so that when you answer, you’ll have a potential good deal on the other end.
First, quality calls will decrease your overhead. I typically spend $1000 per closing on marketing. In the past, I bought the latest in high tech products which were supposed to send me 10 leads per day. The problem was that, while the leads were plentiful, the number that actually worked was less than I wanted.
You see, I want to make the time that I spend worth it. I want sellers who call me so ready to sell that I can barely finish saying, “Hi, this is Russ. How may I help you?” And I want them to say, ” I heard you were the best in the Atlanta area, you pay a fair price, you are respectful, and you do what you say you are going to do. I don’t care what you offer me, I will take it because I know you will be fair. I know you can close in 30 days. I trust you.”
How can YOU get these kinds of calls? I’m about to tell you. Read More >>
This month I believe what I will be sharing with you can be very important to you financially as well as to build your financial freedom faster and easier. Last month I questioned why all of the so-called Guru’s are pitching how everyone should be wholesaling properties to build wealth. From my own experience as I said last month, if all you do is wholesale deals you have a job. This month I want to explain what I have experienced over the years doing this type of deal and what I have learned that keeps my buyers clamoring for more deals on a continual basis. The reason I decided to write about this subject is because without the practical knowledge of how to structure your wholesale deals, it is going to be more difficult to pass those deals along to other investors. I hope this information will open your eyes to the real world and what it takes to be more profitable.
Last month I left off by saying, if you always pay too much for the properties you wholesale, the seasoned investors aren’t going to be interested in the properties you find and you will be forced to sell or assign the purchase agreement to other people who don’t know what they should pay. This is because those people don’t really understand how to figure the numbers and once they do figure out they paid too much, it only stands to reason that they won’t want to buy more properties from you. Once word gets out you are asking too much and it will be assumed you don’t know what you are doing and investors will avoid you like the plague. Everyone wants to make an adequate profit from every deal they do or they won’t do the deal. You must realize that there are other ways to profit from real estate other than being a wholesaler. Read More >>
Ok, I admit it. I use four-letter words. A lot. Some of these four-letter words are the kind you may not like to hear if you’re a fine, upstanding person of high moral fiber. Oh well.
The OTHER four-letter words I use are awesome, and if you know how to utilize them properly, they can make you super RICH! Best of all, you can say THESE four-letter words in ANY crowd, around anyone, without having to worry about getting slapped or getting the evil eye.
So, without any further delay, I’d like to share a short list of some of my favorite four-letter words that can make you rich & are safe to say around women, kids, and Baptists. ;)
I’ll also present these words in a way that mostly applies to real estate, but I promise you that what you’re about to learn here will apply to ALL areas of your life where you want to have success!
FAIR enough? (hey! That was a four-letter word already!) Here we go…
The first word on the list is an F-Word: FLIP. Read More >>
Just got a call from a realtor. She represents a homeowner who needs a quick sale. The realtor said, “Bill, my client will only consider an all-cash offer. We’re not interested in any of your creative razzle-dazzle deal structures, understand?”
Kim and I get a lot of calls like this. I’ve learned not to say, “No seller wants cash – EVER – ya dingbat!” Saying such would ruin the relationship and destroy the possibility of meeting face-to-face with the seller.
So what do you think? Do sellers really want cash or could I possibly be right?
In this situation, what if I immediately agreed to pay the seller’s $80,000 asking price – in cash? There’s only one condition: The seller must put the $80,000 on her kitchen table, cover it with plastic wrap, and agree that once a month the seller, realtor and I will get together and marvel at the big stack of money.
Sure, this is a silly stipulation that no seller would agree to. But why – since the seller is getting exactly what she wants – wouldn’t she agree to it? Think hard on this. It’s an important question to contemplate! Read More >>
Many of us are aware of the potential for real estate to function within our portfolio. Not only do we believe in real estate as an investment, but we know that over time, it tends to go up in value – there is, after all, only so much land to go around! But what happens when you incorporate real estate into your retirement portfolio? Do the rules change when you’re running a Real Estate IRA?
Truthfully, many of the same principles of real estate hold true when you’re investing in real estate from within a Real Estate IRA. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some other things to be aware of – this is, after all, a different type of investment account.
Even so, you’ll find that investing in real estate through a Real Estate IRA isn’t only intuitive, but can be just as intuitive as investing in real estate from a “general investment” perspective. We’ve put together three “Golden Rules” here to not only demonstrate some of the similarities but some of the differences in investing in real estate for short-term growth and investing in real estate for retirement: Read More >>
Last month I wrote about how you could use the right of rescission as a silver bullet to stop a foreclosure in its tracks. Once you drop a notice of rescission in the mail, your loan has been nullified as a matter of law and the bank must either comply with the rescission or prove within 20 days that they have the right to enforce the note. Well, over the last few weeks I have been seeing more and more from the banks that the right of rescission has them on their heels. The banks are sending their lawyers around their offices explaining exactly how rescission leaves them vulnerable.
The main point that the lawyers are making to the banks is that mailing in a notice of rescission is all it takes to cancel a borrower’s loan, note, and mortgage. The notice is effective from the moment it is dropped in the mail as an act of law. This was written specifically into the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) so that homeowners wouldn’t have to use an attorney to act on their behalf, thus restricting the remedies provided by TILA to borrowers who can afford an attorney. While the note is canceled immediately as soon as the notice is dropped in the mail, the bank has 20 days from the date of receipt to respond. This is a good reason to send the notice with return receipt requested. This provides you with proof of the exact date the notice of rescission was received. Read More >>
Wholesalers send me deals daily but I have started to notice that many of these wholesalers are wholesaling another wholesaler’s property. Before proceeding, I want to be clear that I have no issue with this but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Also, understand that if a buyer/investor receives the same property from multiple sellers he/she will contact the seller with the best price. Wouldn’t you? Keep in mind that you did nothing to acquire this property. You merely sent it out to a buyers list you put together, which with today’s technology takes only a few minutes. So what should you avoid and what should you do when wholesaling a wholesale?
Let’s list a few of the major DON’TS:
“I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” ~Tammy Faye Bakker
The other day I was in the grocery store picking up some milk. In the checkout line, the checker asked the guy ahead of me if he had one of those loyalty cards. Well, this guy took out a shoebox full of those cards – a shoebox! –and started searching through them. It took forever!
Okay, maybe I made that up. Actually, if anyone needs a shoebox for those cards, it’s probably me. And if I were to pull out that shoebox in the checkout line, I’ll bet no jury would convict the checkout lady if she shot me right then and there.
Now, just in case there’s anyone who still doesn’t know about loyalty cards, it’s time you did. They’re promotional wallet cards that big retailers and businesses give out, usually for free. When the checker scans the barcode on the back (or when you give the checker the phone number they have on file for you), you can get all kinds of deals that are only available for people who sign up. Read More >>