How to Start Making Money in Real Estate

I am sure you have heard it a million times now: “There is money in real estate” or “Anyone who is sitting pretty has invested in real estate.” While both of these statements can be true, let me share with you the reason why. Real estate is a very lucrative business to be in. The most important note on that topic would be diversification. Without diversification all of your eggs are in one basket and that isn’t a very promising business plan. Instead, you need to have multiple streams of income.

Cash Flow

You need to have passive income creating assets. For this I always go by the 1% rule. The 1% rule says that you need to collect at least 1% of your all-in price (including closing and repair costs) in rent. Really, what it comes down to is how much is your money worth to you and what do you need to get back to make it worth your time.

Paying Down Principal

While your tenants may be giving you cash flow, you can also profit by paying down your mortgage. This will give you more equity in your property.

Market Appreciation

The market has a tendency to double every twenty years. It often goes up and down in the short period of time; however, overall it is always rising. This could be a great investment if you have patience or pair it with another strategy, like cash flow, for instance.

Equity Capture

Often times this is seen in a fix and flip situation. If you were to buy a fixer-upper at a discounted price and then fix it up and sell it, your profit would be considered equity that you were able to capture.

Just imagine if you paired all four of these strategies into the same deal. Your profit margins would escaladed with patience.

 

Finding Cash Buyers Leads Everywhere

In the real estate market, cash buyers are considered important because they provide liquidity to the industry. Cash buyers, from the term itself, are people or groups who opt to make real estate deals with cold, hard cash. They can be an investment group, corporations or individuals. Cash buyers may be heirs of estate properties who can easily give out cash as payment for the deal, business owners who are able to pay a big amount of money, or seniors who have saved enough equity from their younger years and are now enjoying their pension benefits. In other words, cash buyers are individuals who are truly able to pay cash for real estate. They attract investors or sellers because of this. They can make deals easy with their cash offers. And, they can become long-term investors once they develop trust and faith in real estate.

Leads, on the other hand, are simply future potential clients. When you have an individual’s name and contact number, or other contact details, then you’ve got yourself a lead. It does not necessarily mean that this person is interested in real estate. It just means that he or she is a potential client because you have his or her contact information, and you can try your luck at introducing yourself, presenting the properties you might sell and getting yourself a deal.

Cash buyer leads, therefore, are just names of potential clients. Now, the question is, how do you identify a cash buyer lead from other types of leads? This is when a basic knowledge of real estate comes in. You need to understand the different between these types of leads to make things easier for you. And, where can you find cash buyer leads, you ask? Everywhere. Like other real estate leads, cash buyer leads can be found anywhere.

To find them you need good and effective marketing. There are a lot of ways to market your business. You may choose to run ads in the newspapers, on bulletin boards, and on the radio. You may also post ads on websites like Zillow, Craigslist, or your own website. If you don’t and can’t have your own personal website at the moment, but still want your ads or posts to be more personal, you can always turn to social media. Market yourself and your business through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn — the list goes on. There are a lot of options to choose from on the Web.

Furthermore, an even more personal approach is an outreach. It’s more personal because you get to contact people, maybe through email, snail mail, or mobile messages and calls. Outreach is simply reaching out to a list of people with working and valid contact details and offering them your business deal right away, or simply inviting them over for coffee so you can discuss more. Even the open world can be a good source of leads, if you know where to look. One of the oldest yet most effective methods is word-of-mouth. Be free to roam around, knock on houses, talk to people, and the like. It’s a process that requires quite an amount of time and effort, but it still works.

Building Your Credibility as a Wholesaler

So, you’re new to investing and you’re focusing your strategy on wholesaling. That’s a great place to start. I know you are all thinking, “How are these investors are going to take me seriously? I have no idea what I am talking about!” And your right, so before you go rushing out to build relationships with investors, do a little research. Let’s talk about some ways you can build your knowledge and credibility.

  • Learn the Lingo: Start by learning the language of real estate. Search out real estate terms online and make some flashcards or something to help you remember the concepts. Learn about the different investment strategies in real estate as well. Once again, just Google it.
  • Script it Out: There are hundreds of scripts you can hunt down on the Internet. Find some of them and make them your own by putting your words and personality into them. Next, practice your scripts with someone. Work out your nerves. You don’t have to be an expert, but be confident on how you present yourself.
  • Don’t Lie: Never make yourself out to be something you’re not. If you are new, let them know, but be confident on how you present yourself. People will want to work with you because of your personality. Never get caught in a lie with investors because if they don’t trust you, they won’t want to work with you.
  • Study Your Market: Get smart about your market by seeking out investment clubs in the area and attend their meetings. This way you will be around people who love real estate as much as you, and you can gain a lot of knowledge from these types of clubs. Next, search out your market statistics online. I suggest bestplaces.net because they have a ton of information for you and make it easy to understand. Also, talk to realtors who work with investors and get their opinion about the market.

These are just a few things I recommend doing to increase your understanding of real estate. Building your confidence using these methods will also build your credibility among your investors. Take your time to learn. Don’t rush out there and make yourself seem uneducated. Real estate is going to be around for a long time, so get yourself setup correctly.

Gypsy Real Estate Investing

Gypsy real estate investing is a great way to build a strong rental portfolio. My wife and I started our real estate investing this way by accident. We had a house built and had lived in it for a few years when we decided to move. I had just finished real estate school and received my realtor’s license. While attending real estate school, I met a mortgage broker who introduced me to real estate investing. I decided to research lease options and liked what I found, so I decided to give it a try. We decided to move and do a lease option on our house instead of selling it. After we moved, we acquired a couple of other properties that we lease optioned also. During this time, we kept looking for another great deal on a house for us to live in. When we found one we wanted to buy, we moved and lease optioned the one we had been living in instead of selling it.

The strategy is to find a great deal on a house to live in that gives you a better interest rate and smaller down payment. Live in the house long enough to find another great deal on a new house that you can move into, and then rent out the house you move out of. You can buy ready-to-move-in properties, or you can buy properties that need a little work. You can then work on fixing the house up while you are looking for another great deal.

One thing with this strategy that helped us be successful is to not be in a hurry to find the next deal. We were able to acquire other properties using creative terms in between each move, which helped.

Of all the properties that we have owned and rented out, or lease optioned, the ones we lived in before renting them out have brought us by far the largest returns. Obviously, you have to be okay with moving that often. But if you have a long-term plan, you can create a very profitable passive income using the gypsy method.

5 Ways to Stay Motivated When Starting a Business

Starting a business is very challenging for most people. Not having a plan and clear goals are two of the most common reasons why people fail at getting their business off the ground. Many people love the thought of being their own boss. The freedom of running your own business sounds exciting; however, it takes motivation, discipline and following through to be successful. Here are a few simple steps you can implement to help get your business started.

 

  1. Find Your “Why”: Write down why you want to start a business.  This is a reminder of what your true reason and motivation are for making a change. Your “why” keeps you moving forward when things get tough or you’re having a bad day.

 

  1. Set Specific “Goals”: Write down at least 3 – 5 short-term goals with specific deadlines for reaching them. Have 2 long-term goals to reach for. Break your goals down into weekly tasks. Track your progress. Each step forward increases your interest and your confidence.

 

  1. Connect with a “Mentor”: We all look up to and admire someone who has had success. Reach out to that person for advice and counsel. Learn from their successes and failures.

 

  1. Say “No” to Negativity: When external events prevent you from reaching a goal, try not to fall into a negative mindset that will cause you to lose motivation. Surround yourself with positive influences, friends, and colleagues who are supportive through the good times and the tough times.

 

  1. Start a “Routine”: Start every day with a routine. This will help your mind and body be alert, focused and prepared to create new habits. Spend time reviewing your plan and make a list of what you need to do that day or week.

 

Too many people wait to feel motivated before they do anything. The truth is, happy productive people do not wait to “feel” motivated, they just get to work. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart” – Thomas Watson

Having Confidence in Real Estate

Investing in real estate is a risk. Like many other businesses, you cannot fully guarantee that you’ll get your money back as soon as you want. And, over the years, stories of recession and succeeding foreclosures affect the market. Stories of investors pulling out their shares from investment groups exist in the industry. When you invest in real estate, you invest a big portion of your assets into something uncertain. Thus, a lot of people hold back from investing in real estate.

Through the years, the industry has gone through a lot of forwards and backwards. Similar to other business industries, this is normal and painful, but true. There are some situations you can’t control. And, as a real estate investor, or any business owner for that matter, you need to learn to flow with the changes in the market. Or, better yet, navigate the changes and save your investments. Build confidence in your investments. Yes, it’s difficult to entrust your assets in properties and people. It’s hard to know if you’re making the right decision for your possessions and if you’re investing the right way. That’s why you need to be a well-informed investor. Be knowledgeable about the basics of real estate investing. Always allot time in studying your target market. Understand the difference in each market area and thoroughly review their economic and demographic status. Be very careful and meticulous in determining your goals for investing and the things you’ll have to do to attain those goals. Remember, you can never go wrong with the right amount of know-how.

If necessary, get yourself a mentor. It can be a consultant who’s already an experienced investor. Experienced investors have already been through a lot in the industry and already know how to play and, of course, win the game. Or, you might also want to join investment groups. Especially if you’re a beginner, groups like these can help you become the confident investor you’ve always wanted to be.

Building Your Buyers List – Part 2

Step no. 1 Identify the market that you wish to start investing in. This is critical as this will be the market you will start looking for cash buyers in. A real estate market can be defined in a number of ways, such as:

  • City Limits
  • County Limits
  • Zip Codes – this is the most common
  • District – in the larger and more populated cities

Step no. 2 Find realtors to help with your market research and analysis to determine the following:

Step no. 3 Find cash buyers. Here is a list of both online and physical resources you can use:

  • Local real estate agents, such as Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker and Berkshire Hathaway.
  • Title companies, such as Chicago Title and Old Republic Title.
  • craigslist.com
  • biggerpockets.com
  • Various paid websites that offer real estate software products that allow you to search county records and the Multiple Listing Service for recent purchases of real estate that were done with cash.
  • County records. This can be done online or in person.
  • Real Estate Investor Clubs. Make sure to search online for the local REI club in your area and attend the next meeting so you can speak with cash buyers there.
  • For finding contact information, search the following websites:

Step no. 4 – The Qualifying of Cash Buyers – here is a suggested list, both scripts and questions:

RECEIVING INBOUND CALLS FROM INVESTORS

“Thanks for calling. I apologize, but I put the ad out a little premature. I haven’t got the contract accepted yet, but if this is what you are interested in I’ll call you back once I lock it up. Before I let you go, I assume you’re an investor, correct? What kind of deals are you looking for?”

MAKING OUTBOUND CALLS TO INVESTORS

“Hi, my name is [name]. I found your information online and it says you’re buying houses. I’m a real estate investor too, and I wanted to see if you have anything for sale. I can sometimes get great deals through other investors. Do you have anything available?”

QUALIFYING CASH INVESTOR QUESTIONNAIRE

Where are you investing? (City, County, Zip Codes, etc…)

What type of properties are you buying?

What property characteristics do you look for? (Beds, baths, sq ft, etc…)

What types of repairs do you typically do on your properties?

What is your maximum purchase price?

How much profit do you need?

How many deals can you handle per month?

Building Your Cash Buyers List – Part 1

Many first-time real estate investors start off wholesaling in order to gain the experience and get the exposure they need to become a fix and flipper or a buy and holder. If this is the case, then these first-time investors’ first step is to find cash buying investors or cash buyers to wholesale their properties to.

In this article, we will go over many ways to find cash buyers and discuss how to screen and qualify them.

Before we move forward, keep in mind that cash buyers can be either groups or companies, such as trusts, holding corps or LLCs, as well as individuals.

When wholesaling properties to cash buyers, you need to look at properties from two different perspectives:

  • Fix & Flips – These are properties that you are trying to get at the highest discount you can. For most investors this could be between 25-35% below market or even as low as 40-50%. It’s key to find out from your cash buyer what their rehab budget is, as well as the level of profit they are looking for. This is critical in coming up with your offer amount on the property. A fix and flipper is looking for a specific profit after they buy the property, do the rehab and resale it.
  • Buy & Hold (Rental Property Owners) – This is where you try to get the best discount you can. Usually if you can get an offer accepted at upwards to 20% below market then you have a good deal. You need to understand your cash buyer’s specific criteria on what types of rental properties they are looking for and in which market, the amount of cash flow they are looking for, and the capitalization rates they wish to get. Often, you can find the answers to these questions from the following sources:
    • Real Estate Brokerages
    • Property Management Companies
    • Other investors and those you network with by attending Real Estate Investor Clubs

This will help with your preparation prior to reaching out to cash buyers, and it will help you get specific and detailed knowledge of the following:

  • What type of properties are selling the most and the speed at which they are selling
  • The median price of property sales, as well as the average price per square foot that they are selling for

In Part 2 we will go over some simple steps to consider.

Let’s Start Our Power Team – Part 1

Ah, the mysterious POWER TEAM! Why on earth are we so attached to this idea? Believing you must have a power team is something that can hold you back. Since you don’t have a clue what a power team is, who should be on it, or how to draft your team members, you may be perplexed and stuck. Maybe you will stall and do nothing because, after all, your power team isn’t yet assembled. Well, just stop it now before you get started down this path.

Your power team, like your business plan, and even your goals, is something that is going to naturally evolve over time. It is not something you have to fully create before you begin.

You should start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When we read, we begin with A, B, C. When we invest, we begin with a real estate agent. Finding the right agent might take some doing, but that individual is the key to your success.

Real estate agents do not receive training in investing. They essentially learn how to use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) contract and how to not get sued. It is your job to find the rare gem of an agent who understands and likes working with investors. Oftentimes, a good place to start is with Keller Williams or REMAX. Those particular offices usually provide at least a little investment training to their agents. However, I have often found a great agent at an office with only one location. This search is part of your great scavenger hunt! Here’s what I want you to do.

Find a real estate office in the general area where you want to invest. Though any agent can show you any property, agents tend to know the neighborhoods surrounding their office the best. The phone will likely be answered by an administrator.

The conversation is going to go something like this: “Hello, It’s a wonderful day here at Keller Williams. This is Angie. How can I help you?” (Yes, they say something like that.)

“Hello Angie (use her name). This is Gena. I’m a real estate investor. I’d like to speak to one of your agents who works with investors.” This will stop Angie from sending you to the agent covering the floor that day or to the next one on her list. You are already in control. You know who you need to speak to, and you have said so. Sometimes Angie knows just what to do, other times she doesn’t have a clue. In the latter case, ask to speak to the managing broker.

With simple guided conversations, you can find a great realtor for your business.