Networking at Local Events or Festivals

“You should always be networking and marketing your business,” said my mentors to me when I first got started in the business over a decade ago. At first, I was a little embarrassed to do so. I felt like I was being pushy and needy, but I did it anyway. It turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten. I tell you this because you must realize you are the catalyst to your business. There is no boss spending money on marketing, networking or advertising for you to bring in business. You are the boss and this is your business. You control your success. Networking is a very easy thing to do. Just let people know what you do or what you want.

Summer is upon us, so that means more people we be out and about. I encourage you to get out to the masses, attend all local events or festivals that will are taking place. Be a walking billboard for your business. I usually wear black or yellow pants with a yellow polo (golf shirt) with a collar. I have written in black lettering on the front, “I want to buy your home” and on the back, “Ask me how I can give you a THOUSAND DOLLARS.” This outfit is a conversation starter. Whenever someone approaches me I tell them who I am and what I am looking for. For instance, “I am a real estate investor looking for deals. If you bring me a property and I close on the deal, at closing I will pay you $1,000 cash” or I will tell them, “I am a real estate investor and am looking to buy distressed properties in any condition, and I will pay you cash and close quickly.” Either way I have somebody’s attention and they might sell me their home or bring me a possible deal. Regardless, you will be getting your name out into the community and getting noticed. Also, bring a stack of business cards with you to give out to people.

Networking, marketing and advertising are closely related. In the opportunity above, you get to do all three at once. This does not have to cost you a ton of money in order to be effective. Get creative with how you get noticed and make it happen. Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone about yourself and your business. You will be amazed of how many people love real estate. You never know where the next deal will be coming from.

How to Find a High-Quality Real Estate Agent

Want to find a good property for a good cost? Find yourself a good real estate agent for an effortless real estate transaction. Where can you exactly find one? Agents advertise themselves through yard signs, direct mail postcards, paper listings, social media or online ads. How do you know if it is the right agent for you?

First, identify your criteria. When is an agent a high-quality real estate agent? What are the qualities that they should possess? The best agents won’t necessarily be found in giant brokerage firms; it depends on their work ethics and how passionate they are to help you find the best property for you. Second, ask for referrals from friends or acquaintances in the area you desire to invest in. Agents are good agents if their top priority is to guarantee the satisfaction of their clients. Pick the agent people would recommend because they go above and beyond their responsibilities. If possible, ask for recommendations from professionals, people who have knowledge about real estate.

Select the agent with relevant and correct credentials. There are different specializations that an agent can take. There’s an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) – this kind of agents represent the buyers in transactions. If the property you need an agent for is for residential purposes, you might need to look for a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) – this agent has completed additional education in dealing with residential estate. There are other specializations, credentials and memberships like NAR (National Association of Realtors) that you can check. Realtors who are members of NAR are members who swore to stand by the association’s code of ethics. A realtor is different from a real estate agent. But, you may choose to hire either of the two, whoever you think fits your needs and standards. Then, conduct interviews to get to know your agent. Ask relevant questions, like character and professional references, recent sales, how long they’ve been working as a real estate agent, and the like.

These are only some of the tips on how to find the agent to match your needs. Whatever you choose to do in order to get one, make sure you got an agent that is top-of-the-line and also fits your budget.

How to Surround Yourself with Positive People

We are overwhelmed with life’s challenges every single day. When you are down, do not let negativity personify you. Think positively and surround yourself with people who can help you do that. There are already a lot of exhausting things life has to offer, so don’t allow negative people to weigh you down. But, how exactly do you do that?

First, be yourself and be positive. Optimism is a basic ingredient to your career and life’s success. To attract the right people into your life, you have to be yourself and let your personality shine. Make people see the real you; the real ones will be drawn to you. When you find them, find common ground between you two. Find the good in them that you want to absorb. It may be their attitude when things go wrong, their work ethic, their amazing time-management skills, their humor, or anything at all that makes them positive people. Make them influence you positively.

Then think. What really makes them positive people? Is it their outlook on life? Attitude? How they deal with people? Here are some of the traits that a positive person must possess to be considered good company.

  • People who give their best in everything they do because they treasure every opportunity as if it’s a one-shot chance
  • People who have big dreams and the drive to follow and achieve them
  • People who treat everyone they meet fairly, regardless of economic status, gender, age and the like
  • People who does not only listen but understand and give relevant advice; those who have empathy and compassion
  • People who can cope with frustration, anger, sadness and other emotions and life situations
  • People who can make time for work/school, spiritual life, family, and social life
  • People who value themselves like they value others, and vice versa

The list above is only a guide; it may differ, depending on your perspective. It is hard to draw people like this into your life because it requires you to attract positivity in your own life, and that does not happen overnight. It will require you to make an effort to change your mindset and find people who treat positivity as a vital ingredient of success. Whoever surrounds you, you must remember that positivity comes from within. Be positive, attract positive people in your life, and live a happier and more optimistic life.

Successfully Working with Realtors

Since over 80% of real estate is sold through realtors, it is important to learn how to work successfully with realtors.

First, let’s look at what an agent can do for us:

  1. Promptly provide complete and accurate comps.
  2. Literally unlock the door to potential deals so we can see the property at our convenience.
  3. Submit all our offers immediately as requested with our amount and our terms.
  4. Promote our low offers to the seller and other agents, improving our chance of acceptance.
  5. Help us get the seller to finance the deals.

Realtors can help you find properties using the MLS (multiple listing service).  Not only can realtors help you find properties to make offers on, they can also help you obtain information on similar or comparable sales, also known as comps, using the MLS.  Comparable sales can give you an idea of what investment houses will sell for.  Realtors provide the most up to date and accurate comparable sales.  These comparable sales are one of the most important items to know when calculating offers.

Anyone serious about wholesaling or rehabbing properties needs to look at properties that are vacant and in need of work/repairs. Realtors can help you here. Realtors are the only legitimate way to see listed properties that meet the criteria of needing work and being vacant. Here is where a realtor can help promote your low offers to the seller and dramatically increase your chance of getting your offer accepted. Your offer is much stronger if you include as an addendum captioned pictures up close and ugly showing what is wrong with the property. This can make an amazing difference in getting your offers accepted.

While it may seem that all realtors will be happy to work with you, such is often not the case. Eighty Percent (80%) of new agents are out of business within the first year.  Worse, some realtors don’t even want to submit offers or give the third degree about your credit worthiness. They do this because they fear doing a lot of work and not getting a sale. You need to train them to work with you your way. Does it make sense to invest in learning how to buy at wholesale and then let a realtor teach you how to buy at retail and they make a big commission while you lose money?

A new investor will often come across to the agent community with what is referred to as “rookie-breath.” The agents think the newbie investor doesn’t know what he or she is doing and will attempt to get rid of them. This is a sign to them that they must do a lot of work with no commission money in return. Further, they see your low offers as an embarrassment in front of the seller who was expecting them to get them “all the money.” Hence, they refuse to submit those offers, don’t return your phone calls, or insist you do things that are difficult, costly or even impossible, such as making a huge deposit and proving you have cash ready to complete the transaction.

Finding good agents, and training them is the first, best, and easiest way to become successful in investing, especially wholesaling. The good news is that even if they don’t want to submit your low offers, they have a fiduciary responsibility to do so. It is not their job to decide the acceptability of offers. They are merely there to submit the offer presented to them and let the seller decide.

You can remind them of their responsibility. You can present the problem to their broker or/and the local real estate association. Do this and see how quickly they decide to submit your offer.

Don’t let realtors get away with submitting your offer verbally over the phone.  Remember that verbal offers will never work. Your offer must be submitted in writing to have a chance. Further, you will want to resubmit your offers ever two weeks or so. As high as 75% of the investment deals that are done are either on resubmitted offers or offers submitted as a back-up to a deal that is under contract. Hence, you will want your agent to resubmit your offers.

Finding agents who are also investors can be a great strategy. They see and understand what you are doing. They may even be willing to partner with you on deals. Hence, they will be quick to recognize the value of getting seller financing. Typical Realtors see seller financing as negatively delaying their commission collection.

To find investing realtors just ask receptionists if they have any realtors that are also investors. Then ask to visit with them. Not only are you more likely to get your offers submitted, these realtors can often show you where the bones are buried. Just a little selectivity and training of realtors can dramatically increase your success in real estate investing.

Understanding the Investor’s Mindset as a Realtor

Most of your traditional buyer clients are probably very similar in what they’re looking for in a property.  They want a property that is within their budget (or below their budget), that has as many bells and whistles as possible, and that is in a prime location.  Most of your buyers want as much as they can get for a price they can afford.

When you work with buyers like this, who are looking for a residential property, you will likely discuss various finishes, square footage, and building features.  Many of these buyers will purchase based on whether or not a property feels like home to them.  Little research or thought may be put into figuring out whether their dream home is a good investment, even though their home purchase is often one of the largest investments that they will make.

Many homebuyers are accidental investors.  They’re looking for a home that appeals to their “American Dream” ideal, and they end up making one of their biggest investment decisions in the process.  Although the real estate investor is looking at the same market as Sue and Joe first-time homebuyers, the investor is looking at the market through a very different lens.  By understanding the differing mindset of the investor, you will be able to serve your investor clients more effectively.  While Sue and Joe first-time homebuyers want to know about school districts, landscaping, and kitchen layouts, your investor client is less emotional about the transaction and more focused on these particular questions in his/her decision:

  • What is the potential value in a property?
  • How much will it cost financially and in terms of resources to receive the property’s potential value?
  • What are the risks associated with this acquisition?

Typical buyers (accidental investors) may end up making profitable decisions and coming out ahead simply because their goal of finding an appealing property means that they acquired a hot property that will most likely appreciate at a steady pace.  This is the mindset of many buyers.

The strategy of real estate investors, however, is very different from this “ideal property” mindset that most of your buyer clients possess.  Investors are looking for deals.  They are looking for properties that will return more than the initial investment.  If investors lose sight of their wealth-building goal and purchase a property on a whim or because of its “bells and whistles,” they may end up making a dangerous, costly investment error that will take them a long way from their wealth-building goal.

5 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper

Who is the gatekeeper? The individual who perceives that it is her/his job is to control the flow of information or limit what information is shared. A person or “technology” that blocks or withholds information needed to complete a job.

Gatekeepers are just doing their job, trying to be efficient and protect those in their office from distractions. So, how does one get around the gatekeeper who is doing a great job?

Below are five suggestions to help you navigate around the gatekeeper. These ideas are not in any particular order, however, the first two are ALWAYS critical.

  1. Treat the gatekeeper as a person. Call them by name and treat them with respect. Don’t be awkward or demining. Actively engage with them. Don’t get too personal, don’t pry, but you can gently probe. When they sense you are a professional and respect their position, your ability to accomplish your job increases. Treat Gatekeepers Like Gold.
  1. BE HONEST because integrity counts. They are honest, and they leave nothing for the listener to disagree about in evaluating if they will send you along (to the person or a voicemail). Be direct but truthful about the purpose of your visit and why you hope to connect with them (remember, you are there to help THEM make money).
  1. Practice good communication skills; learn to listen more than you speak, and be prepared with a simple, rehearsed script of why you are calling/visiting. Let the gatekeeper take the opening position. Listen carefully to their thoughts and concerns. Great negotiators learn to flip the discussion around politely and quickly – then ask.
  1. Relax! If you are nervous, stressed or tense, you will show those emotions and it might transfer to your voice, your behavior and your choice of words. If you are stumbling for words or for control of yourself, this will have an impact on how the gatekeeper perceives you and how they receive your request for access or information. Take some deep, slow, quiet breaths to put yourself at ease. When the Gatekeeper answers or greets you, smile and confidently tell them with energy and ease why you are calling (or visiting the office).
  1. Keep it short and sweet: no long speech for the gatekeeper. They have great deal of important information about the potential cash buyer or real estate agent. The gatekeeper has positional power and influence. One of them has the power to connect you with the right person. However, they do not hold any authority. When the gatekeeper asks, “may I tell him/her what it’s regarding,” it is not the time to fill in the gatekeeper. It will waste your time and it might irritate them because they still cannot make the decision. Using a relaxed and calm voice, speak slowly and articulately and don’t divulge more than necessary.

Three Common Obstacles for New Investors

The career of a real estate investor is riddled with obstacles. The very job of an investor is to find and fix problems and overcome obstacles. However, there are difficulties that can blindside new investors and stop them before they even start. This article will illustrate three common obstacles investors will face upon entering the business.

  1. First and foremost, new investors will be hit with the realization that real estate investing is not a get rich quick program. This job can be equated to running a marathon rather than a sprint. Although a person can make sizable sums of money rather quickly, a person will not get rich overnight. In order to make it long term, a person must be persistent and consistent. There must be discipline to complete the necessary tasks to be successful. Therefore, the first obstacle is to overcome the idea that you will be able to retire with little effort.
  2. The second obstacle is gathering the right people for your power team. A successful investor will need other industry professionals to help with their business. The right person for your power team is someone that will support you in what you are trying to accomplish. We need to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals and limit our interaction with negative people. There are many industry professionals that have a limiting mindset and will only serve to bring you down; therefore, these connections should be avoided at all costs. Work to bring positive and supportive people onto your power team.
  3. When a new investor jumps into the game they are usually anxious to gobble up all the information they can get. There are countless “experts” in the field that have a special way of making the business work. You can jump from video to video and article to article outlining all the “best” ways to make money in the real estate industry. This information overload should be avoided at all costs. A new investor should find one strategy and focus on it until they are comfortable enough to move forward without new information throwing them off track. It is easy to hear so much information that it places you in a state of inaction. Beware of this trap.

All new investors will encounter obstacles that are unknown until they pop up. All new investors should prepare themselves to overcome the three difficulties outlined in this article. Remember, stay focused and be consistent to meet with success.

What is a Real Estate Power Team and Who Should be on Your Power Team?

Investors who have been in the real estate business for quite some time are familiar with power teams and often belong to one. A real estate power team is the assembly of a group of people who sell products or services to the same customer without taking business from each other. This group of individuals agreed to form a team that will work together and committed to bring referrals to each other. They are important when building a business empire because they are allies that protect each other from financial harm, quickly generate finances, and assist each other in achieving business goals.

It may take a while for you to put together a successful power team, and one good way to find possible team members is through referrals. Another way to find team members is by contacting your local REIA where you will be able to meet other investors who might want to be part of your team.

There is a long list of possible people with complementary professions that would be great for your power team, and if you are just starting in the real estate industry, these people are the most important to establish a working relationship with.

Mentors 

Generally, people would be honoured if you asked them for advice, and looking for someone who has successful experiences in the local business is a smart way to become successful yourself. One thing to remember when you find someone is to offer financial compensation for his or her valuable time and never expect someone to help you for free. Time is money in the real estate industry. In fact, time is money in any businesses whether it is in real estate or not. Also, be aware that mentors are not there to do the things that you cannot do. They are there to share their experiences.

Realtors

A licensed and established realtor on your team can help you find the right properties in your local market worth investing in. They are a fountain of knowledge about the housing market conditions and the neighbourhood. Having a reputable real estate agent on your team will ensure that you will be given accurate information about the property — its condition, price and value.

Accountants

A real estate business will require a good business accountant.  They should be chosen carefully and should be able to calculate if your business is making a profit through the inflow and outflow of cash. They should also be able to minimize expenses, save on taxes and create an accounting system that you can easily use when tracking your expenditures and incomes.

Lawyers

Purchasing and selling properties is a legal process and having an attorney who is specialized in real estate law on your power team is very important. A good lawyer will be able to protect your company from litigations and assist you with any legal particularity related to your business organization.

Contractors

Finding a good contractor is tough because they are always in demand. However, if you already have one on your team then you are in possession of a great asset. Contractors can give you useful information about the building processes, like how much work a property needs and how long it would take to get that work done. They need to be really handy with repairs and remodelling of a property. They could also point you to useful and reputable sub-contractors like electrician, plumbers and landscapers that they have worked with before.

By now I hope you have a good idea about the people to look for when starting your real estate power team. As you grow in your real estate business, there will be more people that you will need on your team to help your business empire run smoothly.

Top 5 Reasons for Working with a Real Estate Power Team

In order to successfully manage a successful real estate business, a smart investor needs a good power team for help and support.  A power team is group of people with complementary professions working together with the same clients without taking business away from each other. One of the biggest mistakes rookie investors make is thinking that they have to do things themselves at the beginning of their career and build a power team later when they are successful. Working hard is not enough. It’s time to work smart!

There are plenty of reasons why good teamwork is vital to a business. Not only does it get work done on time, it also gets the job done well. Here are the top 5 reasons why investors should consider being part of a great power team.

Your power team can help you find deals.

In real estate investing, it is important that you find deals — most of which you will get from referrals. Referrals can easily come your way if you’ve made a strong working relationship with people in the same business industry. Sending referrals to your other team members can help you establish a good working connection with them and will make them want to help you in return by referring you to clients who might be in need of your services. Take for example, an events coordinator referring a client to a good florist and caterer on her power team. Of course, the florist or the caterer will also recommend the events coordinator to clients in need of one.

Your power team can help you set up business.

According to experts, when setting up a business you might want to consider employing the help of people who can advise and help you set up and run your real estate business. These are people who are professionals in their own fields like accountants, lawyers, and computer consultants who could do a better job that you would. To illustrate, if you are a lawyer then you can write all the legal documents of your business yourself; however, you would still need the services of an accountant to help you manage the financial aspect of your business, especially when tax season comes.

Your power team can help you market your business.

In order for you to thrive in this real estate investment business, you will need a good marketing manager. A marketing consultant in your team should be well versed with marketing strategies like online and offline advertising, including speaking engagements, direct mails and promotional pieces, to help you market your business and increase your sales.

Your power team can help you when repairing your properties.

Real estate properties will need on-going maintenance, remodelling, and repairs in order to stay on top of the game. Working regularly with a good and reliable contractor can get the job done faster and at a lower cost. Also, having a trusted contractor on your team will provide practical advice, like where to find supplies and materials at a cheaper cost.

Your power team can help you with financial planning and solving business-related problem.

Let’s face it; there are projects that are just too big for one person to handle. Sometimes it takes a collaborative effort of people who specialize in different areas of the real estate business to find the best solution to a problem. It also matters a lot if the people on your team are experienced and successful in their particular industry. For example, an insurance agent can best help you understand the ins and outs of real estate investing by educating you of your liabilities as an investor and what must be done to protect your investments.

Assembling a power team does not happen overnight. If you want to be part of a real estate power team, join a local REIC to get an idea of what services can be useful in your business.