Smart Goals

Smart Goals

Several years ago, I attended a conference of business professionals where I was asked a simple question that ultimately had a major impact on my life and that of my family.  The presenter asked everyone in the audience to write down one major accomplishment they would like to achieve within five years.  After everyone had committed the overall goal to paper, he asked us the following question, “What will stop you from achieving this goal?”  What was interesting was that he didn’t ask how we could achieve the goal, rather he wanted us to clarify the reason or reasons why it would not happen.

I reflected on his question for some time and then listened as he pointed out the difference between dreams and goals The first thing I came to understand was that dreams and goals are not the same thing.  Goals can lead to results whereas dreams most often lead to frustration.  What’s the reason?  Dreams are all about the destination whereas goals are about the journey.  Also, for goals to be effective, they must be realistic and well defined.

How can we learn to set goals that will make the difference between success and failure?  I believe  the answer is a step-by-step process.

  1. Believe in yourself. Ultimately, success will be on your shoulders, so you must believe in your own abilities.
  2. Visualize the process. Achieving long-term success is a journey or process and your goals must be achievable.  You should be able to visualize yourself completing not only the long-term goal, but the smaller micro goals that are the foundation for success.
  3. Put it on paper. If you don’t write it down, you won’t remember it, and if you don’t remember it, you won’t accomplish it.  Be specific as to what you are going to do, how you’re going to do it, and when you intend to accomplish it.
  4. Commit yourself to action. This step is fundamental to success in business.  Unless you are committed to the process and taking regular, consistent action you are ultimately committing yourself to failure.
  5. Remain focused on micro goals. Micro goals are best described as the individual activities required for success.  Yes, you have a long-term goal, but you must remain focused on the individual assignments necessary to achieve that long-term goal.
  6. Follow a plan of action. Your plan of action must be specific and should be written down on paper.  Once you have recorded what you are going to do, you must remain focused on doing it.
  7. Adopt a review it now attitude. If you want to see success happen on a daily basis, review your action plan daily.  Make yourself accountable to your action plan by reviewing what you have accomplished, what you still need to do, and an up-to-date timetable for accomplishing the tasks.

 

Most entrepreneurs have heard of setting SMART goals. I have been fortunate to see countless individuals change their lives by setting realistic goals and then achieving success when the SMART acronym is applied.

 

SMART GOALS

  • Specific – Write down the specific tasks to be completed along with a detailed account of how you intend to accomplish the goal.  It should clearly detail what you are going to do.
  • Measurable – If the goal is well written, you should be able to measure how it was done, when it was accomplished and the final result.
  • Attainable – You must be able to achieve the goal. Once again, micro goals with concrete objectives must be part of your SMART goal program.  If you lack specific talents or education, then add micro goals that allow you to develop those talents.  In my role at Response, I have witnessed individual after individual develop real estate talents that allowed them to achieve or attain their micro goals.
  • Results – Your goals must be results-oriented. As you review your individual goals, you must evaluate the results themselves, not just the activity participated in.
  • Time Bound – Your goals should be tied to realistic time frames that stretch your abilities.

 

When I was in Europe I visited Picasso’s museum in Barcelona.  I was amazed at the achievements of Pablo Picasso as an artist.  His quote on goals explains how he was able to accomplish so much during his life, and I believe it can be a roadmap for how to achieve success today instead of experiencing failure.  Picasso said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success.”

Your ability to set realistic SMART goals and then to follow through with a well-designed action plan will determine the difference between success and failure.

Do you have what it takes? Advice from a Customer…

Work hard, see the results.

We’ve met a lot of great people over the years – thousands from all over the world – people who genuinely want to change their lives. Their stories are inspiring. As a company, we get together regularly to listen to customer stories – stories about their lives and the things that matter most. All have had to overcome obstacles in their lives. As much as we’d like to say these are just ordinary people, like you and me, we can’t. They aren’t ordinary people. The reality is most people aren’t willing to do what it takes in order to get what they really want. Srinivas Rao, author and host of Unmistakable Creative, put it this way: “If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are a part of a normal one.” We found an unsolicited customer review online this morning and felt they shared an interesting perspective of their experience with us.

They offer a good reminder to all of us: be committed and make the most of what you have.

 

If you’re not committed to real estate investing, then the money you spend on tuition packages will never be recouped. Response, for me, has been part glitzy, get-you-excited-about-more-money, prey-on-the-unsuspecting roadshow and ALSO…and more importantly, thoughtful, intelligent, caring instructors who have real value to impart to willing learners.

Our first presenter, Bonita, had a wealth of knowledge to share, which opened our eyes initially to the opportunities in real estate investing. She had some personal hardships that she shared, including the tragic loss of her husband…leaving her with 3 kids to raise on her own. Real Estate investing not only helped her financially with that situation but allowed her to also be able to help others outside her family who were in need.

Our trip to Utah to attend the Expo was full of many more presentations. Again, a helpful overview of many different opportunities in the field. Several talented presenters and an abundance of information. At the expo, there was one company, Veil, which sold their services to the attendees. Otherwise, there was no other real onslaught of selling at the expo.

Our Boots on the Ground session was taught by Joe. He was familiar with the Hawaii market where we live, although he resides in Florida. He was friendly, humorous and lighthearted. He also had a vast knowledge of real estate investing experience to impart.

Our purchase also included a 2-day one-on-one on-site visit and we requested that Joe come back. He was very personable and helpful. He was a great listener and helped us where we were at.

The advisory line is really good. Real people with investing experience that provide one-on-one phone consultation whenever you need it.

Don’t think that because the initial presentation may be free, that subsequent education is free as well. Often, the initial presentations are to open your eyes to the opportunities of real estate investing and to explain (sell) the more advanced training. While not going to post the price for packages, let me just say, it wasn’t cheap… and probably almost twice the price I would have thought they would have charged. Of course, the idea is that you will learn how to make money that you can use to pay off the tuition fee plus more. Also, that your accountant can help you to possibly write off the tuition expenses.

When you are on the side of not having done it yet…you don’t know and you kinda wonder if YOU will ever be able to make money in real estate…and if the load of tuition money spent will have been worth it. And this is an honest question that you should ask yourself. How committed are you to giving it a try? How open are you to learning a whole new vocabulary and to feel out of place and unknowledgeable for a while? Yes, you can spend a lot of money and you can criticize the program and say that they are not teaching anything that you can’t find online. OR, you can be positive and have an open mind. You can appreciate the live, educational setting and the real-life instructors who are wanting to see and assist you with your success. To sum it up…yes there were moments when “Response’s” smooth-talking, convince-you-out-of-your-hard-earned-cash vibe came across loud and clear, but also there was a real sense of caring and humanness too. Is the info original and earth-shattering? I don’t do a lot of extra online research…so I don’t know what else may be out there. But don’t you get that something extra when a real person teaches you something in real time, rather than YouTube? Did I have any buyer’s remorse? Some, but it’s a remorse that will only be predicated on the event that we fail at real estate investing… and the ball is in our court and not theirs.

 If we had spent less money, we would have more easily let this whole real estate investing thing fizzle out. With the amount of financial pain that it inflicted on us, we are committed now to making this thing work…if only to recoup our tuition money…but also to learn by doing something that we wouldn’t have otherwise done before Response. My advice to you if you are considering a Response workshop or package is to ask yourself if you are really committed to real estate investing, committed to learning many new things, and to try to make the most of it. Write down your questions and ask them. Make those presenters work for what they are being paid. Make relevant suggestions. Be civil and courteous. Pray about it. Be on the same page as your partner or spouse. Trust that while there will be mistakes, difficulties and uncertainties, there is also a way through. 

 

We’ve never promised anyone guaranteed results or that results would be easy to achieve. We reap what we sow. If you want what you don’t currently have, you’re going to need to give up those limiting beliefs holding you back. Be willing to do what everyone else isn’t.

5 Reasons Why Seeking Professional Help May Be the Key To Success in Real Estate

5 Reasons Why Seeking Professional Help May Be the Key To Success in Real Estate

As an eleven-year-old boy, I was acutely aware of the danger of being lost or stranded without help. My parents had taken the entire family to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.  At that time there were no paved walkways in the caverns themselves and the lights were weak and far apart.  Our group of several hundred participants dropped into the cave immediately after several thousand bats flew out of the large opening.  The sights were amazing and our tour guide explained how the caves were discovered.  It wasn’t long before I left the group and started doing a little exploring on my own.  A short time later I was alone and scared.  Fortunately, a Park Ranger found me and guided me back to a common meeting place.  As we journeyed back to the elevators that would take us to the surface, the Ranger showed me where earlier explorers had perished while charting and mapping the caves.  After some three hours, I was reunited with my family.  I realized that if it weren’t for finding the professional help I could have experienced a very different outcome.

What does all this have to do with real estate investing?  The answer is simple.  Now, many years later, I can positively state that without experienced and qualified help, the real estate investor of today could be just as lost as I was at eleven years of age, and experience a very different and possibly much more dangerous outcome than anticipated.  In that light, let’s discuss five simple reasons why seeking professional help when starting in real estate may be the key to your future success.  There’s no reason to experience a dramatic and dangerous outcome when professional help and education is so available.

  1. Professional Help Can Overcome Personal Fear. It’s absolutely certain that almost all real estate investors experience fear of some degree or another.  Perhaps it’s the fear of losing money.  Maybe it’s the fear of interacting with people on a one-to-one basis, or it’s just the fear of acting without enough knowledge.  There are numerous different reasons why fear is such a burden for real estate investors, but regardless of the exact fear, professional help can help alleviate the pressure

Real estate professionals carry with them years of experience in confronting problems of many kinds. When you engage a qualified professional, they have the ability to share both potential problems as well as possible situation.  Take the time to access their knowledge and apply their advice to your personal solution.  When you do so, you will find that your fears diminish and sometimes vanish altogether.

  1. Professional Help Will Teach You the Do’s and Don’ts. It goes without saying that the professional’s primary job is to provide education that will guide you towards personal real estate success.  But there’s much more.  A good professional will be a complete guide that will escort you on the journey from start to finish.  During this time, you will learn new and different investment techniques.  Each of these strategies may have certain things you should do, and other things you definitely shouldn’t do.  We call them the “Do’s and Don’ts of Real Estate Investing.”  It is imperative that you learn and incorporate this information so that you don’t fall off the path leading you to your future success.

If you rely purely on your own experiences to develop your overall real estate strategies, you will be short-changing yourself.  Use the professional and learn from both the successes and failures of others, rather than falling off some unforeseen investment cliff.  A wisely chosen real estate professional can be the National Park Ranger that helps you complete your overall real estate investment journey without falling into some deep and dangerous cavern.

  1. Professional Help Can Be a Guide to Different Real Estate Strategies. There are multiple investment strategies that have been proven successful for real estate entrepreneurs across the globe, but there are never certain guarantees.  It’s a given that you must put forth effort and even invest financial resources.  A well-chosen professional can help you direct your efforts more wisely, as well as provide credible information that will assist you in deciding how to allocate your financial assets.

With such a wide variety of possible real estate strategies available today, it is critical that you get credible help in developing your own potential real estate strategy.  You may initially have an interest in simple renting and landlord strategies, but a wise professional can help you use your existing talents and resources in examining other new and profitable alternatives.

  1. Professional Help Provides Strength in Numbers. All real estate investors learn quickly that numbers don’t lie.  You can’t expect to have success in your real estate journey if you don’t collect accurate and true information.  A good real estate professional should provide the ability to gather and evaluate any numbers dealing with your specific real estate strategy.  When you have help in evaluating and analyzing the true numbers concerning your investment you won’t inadvertently slip off the cliff and experience a fall in value.

Another way that the professional provides strength in numbers is by ensuring that you are no longer all alone.  The real estate investor that relies wholly on himself or herself in evaluating a property or strategy is walking in the caverns without a Ranger to guide him.  There is a tremendous advantage in having someone to talk to and discuss possible investment options.  Allow your real estate professional to provide this strength.

  1. Professional Help Stops Real Estate Investor Paralysis. Paralysis in real estate investing can best be described as the state where you fail to take action.  As you gain knowledge and learn what to do, the one thing stopping you will almost always be the simple act of taking action.  The true real estate professional will help you avoid this state of paralysis.

When you have someone, who can listen to your ideas and provide feedback, you will be more inclined to move from the “knowledge” state to the “action” state.  This one quality of actually taking action will do more for your total success than anything else.  And a good professional will inspire you to move forward and actually do something.  Great ideas are nothing without actually acting upon them.

Seeking help from real estate professionals may improve your actual performance as well as add discipline to your real estate journey.  True professionals don’t magically appear out of nowhere.  You may have to spend time viewing web blogs, searching online, and attending seminars or training events, but the effort you put forth in identifying true real estate professionals is worth the effort.

When selecting someone to guide you on your real estate journey, make sure that the individual, company, or legal entity has the proven experience to help you form accurate decisions.  Never trust someone as a professional unless they can provide you with verifiable information as to their expertise or real estate success.  Take the time to investigate the prior success of the professional and don’t expect the true professional to work for free.  Even though there is generally a cost involved in securing professional help, you may find that the cost of seeking help is beneficial in gaining education and avoiding potential pitfalls down the road.

How to Start Making Money in Real Estate

How to Start Making Money in Real Estate

Let’s talk for a minute on how to make 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 the patience or you could 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 could increase with time.

 

Cash Buyer Leads, How To Find and Generate Leads

Cash Buyer Leads, How To Find and Generate Leads

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

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

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

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 ways to stay motivated while starting your next business venture:

 

  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

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

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

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

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.

How to Get Started in Real Estate

How to Get Started in Real Estate

So you’ve decided you want to be a real estate investor — now what!?! The dynamic and fast-paced world of real estate investing can be daunting for any first-time investor. Follow this step-by-step guide to get your bearings and successfully launch your career in real estate investing.

#1 Define Your Goals

Many would describe the world of real estate investing as “limitless.” Despite the nearly endless potential for success, defining your goals is an important step. Determine what YOU want from your career as a real estate investor. Do you want to supplement your current full-time job and save for retirement? Do you want to eventually have monthly cash flow so you can quit your full-time job? By understanding your goals, you will be able to determine the direction of your real estate investing career.

#2 Find Your Niche and Investment Style

After you define your goals, it’s time to pick the investment style that will best help you achieve them. The common ways to invest are:

  • Buy and Hold: When an investor purchases a rental property, typically with a traditional 30-year mortgage, and uses the proceeds from tenant rent to pay the mortgage and create equity.
  • Fix and Flip: A short-term investment strategy where an investor purchases a property in need of repairs, completes the repairs and then sells the property for a profit. Because the property is in poor condition, a fix and flip deal is primarily a cash deal.
  • Wholesaling: An excellent strategy for a beginner investor, wholesaling is finding real estate deals and then selling the deals to investors who have capital on hand. They then take a commission.

If you don’t have a ton of capital on hand, a fix and flip might not be for you. Research all the investment styles and choose the one that makes the most sense for your goals and budget.

#3 Invest in Your Knowledge

Once you have defined your goals, secured your capital, and determined your investment style, the next step is to determine the best way to achieve your goals. While the Internet is an excellent resource, having the support of a mentor or teacher is invaluable. As a real estate investor, you will need to learn the tools to support your goals. You will need systems to hire the right people, as well as resources to find your ideal investment properties. Finding a teacher or mentor will help you avoid time-consuming and potentially costly mistakes.

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

If you take your time and define your goals, you can embark on a successful career in real estate investing! Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take your time and you will reap the rewards.

Fast Track to Your First Million

Fast Track to Your First Million

Are you looking to get started with real estate investing? If so, here are a couple of pointers on your first steps to making the big bucks. In order to make millions, you need to start thinking and planning for millions.

The first thing you need to do is get organized. Create some good habits now to better prepare for the hefty paycheck. When getting organized, you are going to want to get a business or entity, phone number, email address, business card, and work space. Establish a schedule and pencil in when you are going to have your weekly company meeting, even if it’s just with yourself. Create a model of what you are doing so it will be easily duplicated when your company expands.

Once you are organized, you need to get going on marketing your company. Go to clubs and send out flyers and other marketing materials. Also, don’t forget to introduce yourself as a real estate investor. Get out and talk with people. Let them know who you are and what you do.

Now that you are organized and are marketing yourself, I want you to get your power team built up. Create a list of resources of different people or companies that could be useful in real estate investing. This list may include investors, agents, contractors, title companies, real estate attorneys, etc.

Don’t forget to surround yourself with like-minded people. Find people in real estate that are killing it and talk to them. Pick their brain. Repeat some of their best practices. Do ride-alongs with them or go get lunch.

Once you have implemented these first steps, you will be on your way to getting some deals going. At this point, it’s all about getting those offers submitted.

Five Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Five Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home can be an overwhelming experience. These 5 tips will help you stay on track during the emotional experience of buying your first home.

#1 Know Your Budget

Most real estate websites allow you to search by price. Know your budget and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to look at homes above your budget in hopes of “negotiating the price down.” By sticking to your budget, you will be able to enjoy your home long-term without it being a financial burden.

#2 Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Try to get a referral from a trusted friend or family member. Your real estate agent is a very important part of your home buying process. In a hot market, a good real estate agent can be the difference between finding the right home as soon as it’s on the market and being the last to know.

#3 Know What is Your Non-Negotiable

Do you NEED something move-in ready, or are you ok with a bit of a project? Is space the most important thing to you or will you sacrifice that guest room for your preferred location? Know what items you are willing to compromise on and what you aren’t.

#4 Look at a lot of Different Houses in Your Price Range

Even though buying a home can feel like an emotional decision, it is also a financial one. By looking at a lot of homes in your price range, you can get a feel for what your budget will afford you. If you can’t find a single 4-bedroom home in your area within your price range, you may need to expand your search or save up.

#5 Anticipate Closing Costs

Part of tip #1, knowing your budget, is also knowing what to expect from closing costs. In most markets, the buyer is responsible for all costs associated with closing. From inspections to lawyer fees, there can be up to 3% of the purchase price in costs accrued. Knowing what cash you need to have on hand for closing is an important part of the budgeting process.

Buying your first home is an exciting time. Use these five tips to keep your home search on track and on budget.

It’s a Numbers Game

It’s a Numbers Game

Every aspect of real estate investing is a numbers game, and you have to be okay with that. From the number of properties you look at to finding the right deal, to the number of offers you put in to getting one accepted, to the number of realtors you go through to finding a good one, and on and on. It’s all about the numbers.

 

I often hear clients say, “I can’t find a good realtor,” or “I can’t find the right properties,” or “I can’t get a property under contract.” When I ask how many realtors they have talked to or worked with, they say something like, “I have worked with 3 or 5, and I just can’t find a good one.” When I ask how many offers they have put in they say something like, “We have put in 5 or maybe 6 offers and still can’t get one accepted.” This can lead to discouragement, which can lead to frustration, which can lead to giving up.

 

This is one reason many people are not successful at investing in real estate. You have to do what it takes, and if going through 8 or 10 or more realtors is what it takes, you have to be willing to do that. If it takes submitting 20 or 25 offers to get a deal under contract, you have to be okay with that.

 

One of my most used words in real estate investing is, NEXT. Next property, next realtor, next contractor, next lender, NEXT.

 

Sure, some people get lucky and find the right realtor right off the bat or they run into the perfect deal that goes under contract, but that is the exception. How many does it take to find the right one? It takes as many as it takes, and you need to be okay with that.

 

In real estate investing, you will always be shopping for the right deals and the right people. Find ways to stay focused on doing what it takes. Learn to use the word NEXT with a smile. Avoid any negative self-talk. You can do this! Keep at it, and happy shopping.

Wholesaling Rental Properties and the BRRR System

Wholesaling Rental Properties and the BRRR System

Almost everyone who gets started in real estate investing hopes that one day they will own a whole bunch of highly profitable rental properties. Yet due to lack of experience and money, they begin wholesaling properties to experienced, well-funded investors who rehab them and sell them to homeowners. This type of wholesaling has worked for many beginners over time; however, it might not be the fastest way to get to that long-term goal of owning all those “cash-cow properties.”

Some people find it easier to wholesale rental properties directly to landlords rather than to rehabbers who sell to homeowners. “Gosh,” they say, “there are hundreds of people who own rental properties that they paid for with cash in almost any area of the country. Not only do these people want to buy more rentals, some of them want to sell some of the properties they have.” This can be a goldmine for wholesaling rental properties because of a host of factors. Let’s look at those factors:

  1. It is easy to find buyers and sellers of rental properties through lists, title companies, real estate investing clubs, and even signs and ads posted all over the place.
  2. Rental properties are valued based on three factors:
    1. First is the return on what you put down to buy the property. This is called the “Cash on Cash Return.” To help your financing efforts, remember that many sellers are willing to carry mortgages for little down. Many banks will finance 80% of what you buy the property for.
    2. Second is the return in relation to the purchase price of the property. This is called your “ROI” or return on investment. It is difficult, even impossible, to find safe investments secured by real estate or anything else of stable value that offer such returns as real estate does.
    3. Third is the ability to fund the property. This is called the “DSCR” or debt service coverage ratio. Banks want to see how much you have after expense income in relation to how much the mortgage payment is. For many, this is a difficult math problem. But finding great rental deals is just that, a math problem! It is not based on fickle market conditions.
  3. Rental properties can be wholesaled at a profit based on the money the property makes. They are often even easier to sell if they don’t need work. Hence, you can make money very quickly. You just need to find the deal and present it to your buyer.
  4. Wholesaling rentals as an addendum to your existing wholesaling business will increase the possible deals you can do. Further, the more you learn, the more you can earn because people with money are always looking for skilled people to work with.
  5. Areas that are close to colleges, universities, hospitals, military bases, shopping centers, and fast public transportation are ideal and lend themselves to bigger profits. Homes on main roads that won’t sell to homeowners can often be rented for top dollar to accountants, consultants and other zoned businesses. It is often easy to rent properties on main thoroughfares with a simple “for rent” sign because so many people see the sign. It pays to advertise, and advertising skills are well paid.
  6. Can you manage a rehabber or do licensed rehab work yourself? If so, you can add value to what you offer as a wholesaler.
  7. Can you find a tenant and a property manager or are you a licensed property manger? If so, you can add value to what you offer as a wholesaler.
  8. Do you have or know someone who has money to invest in finding, taking ownership, and fixing a property to make it “rent-worthy” so you can put a tenant and property manager in place? If so, you can add value to what you offer as a wholesaler.
  9. Banks will often refinance a rental property for 80% of 100 times the monthly rent revenues. Hence, every $1,000 a property rents for will be valued at $100,000 and will finance for $80,000. Remember, you are fixing properties to increase their value. Every dollar in increased rent is worth $100 in value. If you can do the things above and find rental properties that will refinance for way more than the cost of buying them and fixing them up, you can add SIGNIFICANT value to what you offer as a wholesaler.
  10. Do all the above or call the advisory line to learn how to do all the above and you can make what other successful wholesalers are making doing what is called the BRRR System of Wholesaling (Buy, Rehab, Rent, and Refinance). There are wholesalers who make anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000 doing the BRRR System and don’t use any of their own money.
  11. Every one of you reading this has “all-you-can-eat” coaching help on the advisory line. Let us help you learn how to do this so you can make the long-dollar!
  12. Are you willing to learn how the numbers work? Spreadsheets to help you zero in on the values are included with this article! A website you can visit to learn how to use these spreadsheets is also included with this article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h7QmhFO3EI&t=2s

Wholesaling

Wholesaling

If you are just beginning to wholesale and finally have a property under contract, what’s next? Your focus now has to turn to finding a cash buyer, as quickly as possibly, who is interested in the property for a fix-and-flip or a rental. So, how do you find this type of investor?

First, create an email brochure that includes all the information about the property: address, description, price, rehab cost, after rehab value (with comps), pictures, an action line saying, “The first person to bring a non-refundable earnest money deposit of $2,500 will get this property,” and, of course, your contact information.

Next, send a copy of the above email to all the cash buyers you have qualified. Then call and let them know you sent them an email of a deal they will be interested in and get them out to see the property. Then start marketing the property by creating bandit signs and ghost ads that have all the information on the property, except the address. When potential investors call, get their email and send them a brochure giving them the address and encouraging them to see the property.

Next, attend several real estate investor clubs and pitch the deal to everyone there. Then hand out brochures and your business card as you collect their contact information. Also, attend foreclosure auctions and let the bidders know about the deal. Then start calling landlords and pitching the deal to them. Continue by calling “We buy houses” ads online and telling those investors about the project. Follow up by calling members of the Better Business Bureau who are investors and pitch the deal to them.

Lastly, if you are fortunate enough to have Response’s real estate software, you can look up and call cash buyers to let them know about the investment opportunity. Also, contact all your friends and relatives who have money to invest and let them know about the potential profits that can be made fixing and flipping the property or holding it for rental income.

Once you have an investor interested, collect the deposit and get them to sign an Assignment of Contract agreement. Submit both the Purchase Contract and the Assignment of Contract to the escrow company, and they will basically do the rest.

The MLS: How Important Is It?

The MLS: How Important Is It?

We’ve all heard it before, “Don’t bring me deals off the MLS.” Why do so many investors tell us this? Well, maybe they feel they can get those deals themselves, and as a wholesaler, they expect you to bring them off-market deals. I say rubbish. Go after deals on the MLS. Believe me, if you get something under contract at the price your investor wants, they will take the deal from you. They just want control of the deal at the right price. We all know realtors can help find and sell deals. According to a recent article by the Housing News Report, on average, 20% of all deals done last year were off-market, meaning not through the MLS and realtors. That also means that 80% of deals that were done were through the MLS. With a number that big, it is in your best interest to work with investor-friendly realtors and use the MLS.

The number of off-market deals is growing because of companies like OfferPad, iBuyer, Network Realty, Zillow and others. As a savvy investor, we need to keep our fingers on it all. Don’t give up on the MLS just because someone tells you it’s too competitive. Instead, use strategies to get offers out quicker than others. One technique I use is the blind offer strategy. Basically, when my agents spot properties I would like, I train them to immediately make an offer at 10% below list price with all my terms staying the same. Now, all I must do is sign the offer and they submit it. This strategy speeds up the offer and evaluation process, which is the most time consuming part of a deal. Once my offer gets accepted, I will do a proper evaluation before I purchase the property. Stay consistent with your methods to find deals, but make the MLS a core search engine for your deals.

4 Tips for Time Management

4 Tips for Time Management

In this era, people tend to be busy with multiple things every single day. It may be work, studies, family, social life, workouts, projects and more – all these things fill our schedule every single day. We tend to give ourselves a big pile of work and find ourselves unsure of how to get it all done on time. It is indeed hard to manage time, especially if you’re a person with a lot of responsibilities. Here are four tips to help you better manage your time and get things done.

First, determine your schedule in a certain timeframe (it may be within the day, next three days, this week, this summer, and more) and identify the things you need to accomplish. It’s better if you list them in your phone or write them down so you don’t forget something. You can also use your list to check off tasks/appointments you accomplish. After making a list, divide each item into different categories – schedule, urgency, and more. These will help keep you on track.

Second, learn to say “No.” I know for a fact that it’s good to say “Yes” to task assignments, opportunities, promotions and more, but if this will jeopardize your time management and give you too many things to do, then it’s okay to say “No” sometimes. You, of all people, know yourself. You know your capacities and limitations. Don’t force yourself to do something you can’t at the moment.

Third, avoid distractions. As humans, we are easily distracted for many reasons. If you set a time to do something, focus on it. Most of the time, you get something done faster if you give it your total attention. And, you make less mistakes. Be committed to the list you set for yourself. Be persistent to finish the task at hand. Avoid backlogs and save time.

Last and most important by far, enjoy and love what you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you will just feel lazy and end up unfulfilled. Engage yourself in the schedule and the tasks you set. Be consistent.

These are only a few of the many tips you can follow to better manage your time. Whatever you decide to do to succeed in time management, remember to keep it balanced. There’s a time for everything – work, studies, family, spiritual growth, social life, yourself, and more.

First Flip Checklist

First Flip Checklist

So, This is Your First Flip? Where is Your Checklist?

Let’s talk about flipping. More specifically, let’s talk about what your checklist of items should include. Following the right process when buying a property will save you money and time after you have purchased the home. My list of the most important items that need to be addressed before and during the purchase of a property is below. Of course, there will be some flexibility to this — you decide where that will come in.

  1. Financing: Get your financing lined up. Find out what lender you will use and what their requirements will be for you to borrow funds from them. Also, find out their terms and repayment schedule so you can work that into your numbers.
  2. Insurance Agents: Talk to your insurance agent and find out what kind of coverage you will need while the renovation is taking place and how much it will cost.
  3. Contractors: Get some quotes on the rehab. Look for contractors that are licensed, bonded and insured. You don’t want to cut corners just to save a few bucks. Fix things right the first time around.
  4. Investor Friendly Agents: Make sure your agent has your best interest in mind throughout the entire process of purchasing the property. Never let your agent lead you astray. Make sure your agent is providing all the information you need to close the deal correctly.
  5. Interior Designer: Find one whose design aesthetics you like and one you can afford. A good designer will help you sell your properties quickly. They will work closely with your contractors to get things done right.

Before you start your search for the perfect property, find a financing lender, insurance agent, contractor, and interior designer with fees and requirements that fit your budget. Once you have your power team players in place, use your realtor to find the right deal. During your due diligence period, once you have a property under contract, you can have your contractor and interior designer walk through the property and give you bids. Contact your insurance agent and make sure the insurance will be in place and is affordable. Do all of this before your due diligence period ends, that way if something is not working you can cancel the deal.

There are some other minor things that need to be done during this process, but the items I’ve gone over are very important. Your list should look similar to mine. Remember to take things slow. Don’t rush into a deal, and never get into a flip if it feels like too much to handle. I suggest that first time flippers start off with a light or medium rehab. If you make a checklist before you start, you should have covered all of your bases to make money on your investment.

First-Time Home Buyer Programs

First-Time Home Buyer Programs

Buying your first home is no easy task. You will go through stressful steps that include paying fees and dealing with people. Purchasing your first home is a huge responsibility but also an opportunity; an opportunity to design your own space. But before we jump to the paintings and landscape of your first home, you need to go through some important steps, like finding the right real estate agent and determining your budget.

The money you borrow to buy your first home is usually considered a first mortgage loan. If the amount is a little less, it’s called a junior loan, enough to help you pay the down payment. The good news is there are many programs that can help you get ready. These programs come in a variety of forms. You just have to remember that, as a first-time home buyer, you need to be guided on what financial steps to take. This is why first-time homebuyer programs exist.

One common program is the FHA loan, where the lenders insure the mortgage. They are protected and will not take a loss if you default the loan. Some programs focus on the area you cover. If you are targeting a rural area for your first home, there are available programs that can help you, like the U.S Department of Agriculture assistance program. There are also loans specific for veterans and surviving spouses, which are usually provided by U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. Unique programs like Good Neighbour Next Door also exist. They provide housing aid for law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

You need to be prepared before finally experiencing the sweet taste of having your first home. That is the main purpose if these programs, to get you prepared. There are various organizations that can help you obtain affordable loans while also protecting the lenders against the borrowers’ defaults. There are also programs that will require you to attend a homebuyer education course if you are a first-time homebuyer. This course will help you understand the importance and responsibilities of homeownership.

Owning a home is equivalent to having the freedom to blueprint; the color of your walls, the garden, kitchen, and bedrooms, they are all in your hands. However, blueprinting will only be possible after taking the initial significant steps, which include getting approved for a mortgage, finding the real estate experts, and choosing the home that fits your financial capability. Now it is time to assess your eligibility and start evaluating the available programs that will help you get a hold of your first home.

Understanding the Amount of Your Buyer’s Profit on an Assignment Deal

Understanding the Amount of Your Buyer’s Profit on an Assignment Deal

One thing that is not stressed enough in our presentations to our buyers is how much profit is on the table for them. By understanding the buyer’s profit, we can better inform our buyers as to the amount they can expect to make. It also can strengthen our position when negotiating the wholesale fee.

When calculating an offer, understanding the type of market we are in will make us more effective. If we are in a cold market, the buyer has a stronger negotiating position. In a hot market, the seller has the advantage. We are currently in a hot market. Therefore, we need to use strategies that will strengthen our offers and help our bottom line.

Let’s run through some calculations and see what we can do to make our offer more competitive. As we run the numbers on an assignment deal, pay close attention to adjustments that can be made to strengthen our offer:

Asking Price- $179,000

ARV- $250,000

Buyer’s Profit- 20%

Rehab- $30,000

Wholesale Fee- $8,000

Now, let’s calculate what our max offer will be with this information:

$250,000- ARV

X .8- Buyers Profit 20%

$200,000- All-In Price

Less $30,000- Rehab

Less $8000- Wholesale Fee

$162,000 Max Offer

$179,000- Asking Price

 

Now, let’s calculate what our buyer can expect to make on this deal. We must first determine if we are in hot or cold market, as this will influence some of our decisions regarding the property. Our current conditions tell us that market conditions are hot. So, this is how to determine the profit our buyer will make from the above offer:

First, we must subtract the all-in price from the ARV. Next, because it is a hot market, our buyer should consider paying costs such as real estate fees, closing costs and holding costs. This would cost about 40% of the gross profit. The buyer would keep 60% of the gross profit or the net profit. Let’s look at it as a formula:

 

$250,000- ARV

Less $200,000- All-In Price

$50,000- Gross Profit

X .6- Buyers Percent of Gross

$30,000- Buyer’s Net Profit

 

This $30,000 profit would be attractive to most buyers. However, closing the gap between the asking price ($179,000) and our max offer ($162,000) may be hard to overcome. So, let’s look at the things we could adjust to present a more competitive offer:

$250,000- ARV

X .85- Buyer’s Profit 15%

$212,500- All-In Price

Less $30,000- Rehab

Less $5,000- Wholesale Fee

$177,500- Max Offer

 

As you can see, our new max offer ($177,500) is much more competitive and the gap with the asking

price ($179,000) is much easier to bridge. Let’s calculate the new buyer’s profit and see if it is a good

deal for our buyer:

 

$250,000- ARV

Less $212,500- All-In Price

$37,500- Gross Profit

X .6- Buyer’s expenses 40%

$22,500- Net profit for buyer

 

It is a smaller net profit for the buyer than the first offer. I will not try to tell you if the $22,500 is a good or bad profit because that is for each buyer to decide. With a few adjustments to our offer there is a greater chance that our second offer would be accepted. We don’t always make the money we want; however, $22,500 is better than nothing.

Best of luck in your investing. Be creative and you will complete more deals than those who do not think outside of the box.

Six Habits of the Successful Investor

Six Habits of the Successful Investor

The keys to success in real estate, as with most endeavors, are achieved not in great big leaps and bounds but in small, positive actions and habits that are consistently repeated every day. That’s what all of the sports coaches will tell you if you are trying to become a professional athlete. The same applies to becoming a successful real estate investor. Listed below are some of the daily habits you can adopt to become a successful real estate investor.

 

1 – Dream a little dream every morning

Start the day with a clear vision of what you want and why you’re doing what you do. Spend some time answering the question, “If everything was exactly the way that you want it, what would your life be like?” Be detailed in your dreaming. Where will you live? What will your house look like? What kind of car will you drive? What will you do with your time? Will you travel? Where will you go?

 

2 – Set up a plan for your day before you begin

Figure out what you need to do each day to conform to your financial goals in order to obtain the lifestyle you want. Be specific with timeframes to start each task, what the outcome should be and how long you’ll work at each task.

 

3- Take time to obtain knowledge

Study the information that successful people make available. Make sure you are reading material that is relevant and helpful to your ultimate plan. Remember that the best help available to progress from where you are now to where you want to be is the knowledge you gain and the people you meet along the way.

 

4- Give back

Find ways to help people without any expectation of what you’ll get in return. Share your knowledge, time, and resources with others who need help. Giving to others without expecting to receive anything in return will help you gain more enjoyment from the effort.

 

5 – Follow your plan

It’s really tempting to run right out and take action with the first opportunity you come across. After all, action is necessary to make progress, right? While that is true, you really need to focus on the big picture and keep your end goal in mind. If the “deal” doesn’t move you towards your ultimate goal then you should probably pass on it. Your ultimate success will come by thinking more clearly about your direction, asking better questions about the opportunities, and identifying the solutions that will move you toward your dream.

 

6 – Connect with at least two new people each day

If you meet and get acquainted with just 10 new people each week, they should be able to bring you enough leads to fulfill your goals. Some of those people are going to need to buy properties. Some of them will have properties to sell. All of them can introduce you to others who can help you with your real estate goals.

 

7 – Recharge your batteries

Always make sure to get enough rest and relaxation. It’s very easy to get too caught up in the everyday rush of investing and forget about your energy levels. Take time to do other things with your family and friends. As you recharge your mental and emotional batteries, you’ll think clearer and make better choices.

Reality TV vs. Real Life Fix and Flips

Reality TV vs. Real Life Fix and Flips

I really love golf. I used to watch it on TV all the time. Then I decided to take it up. Wow, what a wake-up call. It is a lot harder than it looks, and I need to practice all the time. Why do I tell you this? Well, reality fix and flip shows are a lot like golf. It looks easy and fun on TV but in real life it is serious work! The popularity of these shows has brought a lot of newbies to the business that get frustrated quickly because things do not go as planned. The shows mislead people into thinking it is so easy. Although this business can be lucrative, you need to understand how things work. Let’s go over what I feel are the missing links for people getting started in this business.

  • It’s all about the numbers: The TV shows only show the basic numbers on a deal and make their profits look so big. What they fail to tell you is how much investors must pay back to their hard moneylenders. This cost is known as holding cost, which also includes insurance on the property while it’s being fixed up. So, the bottom line might be shown on TV as $60k in profit, but it might actually be $30k. That is still a good profit but maybe not to everyone.
  • It takes time: Trust me, finding deals takes time and a lot of searching. You don’t get every deal you make offers on. The shows make it look easy to find a deal, look at it, and get an offer accepted. Well, in real life, you will probably get 1 out of every 25 offers you make.
  • It’s scripted: Most importantly remember you are watching a show and it is scripted. The way they find the house, do the bidding, complete the rehab — it’s all for your enjoyment. Real life will have twist and turns that are more outrageous than what you see on TV.

If you are serious about getting into real estate investing, go to a local real estate club to talk to investors and visit with a local realtor who works with investors. Educate yourself on the industry and the processes. Prepare yourself for this business. If done right it can give you great results and even change your life.

How to Fix Your Credit Score

How to Fix Your Credit Score

Having good credit is an important part of investing in real estate. With good credit you can get financing easier and you can also get better interest rates. Now, if you have a poor credit score here are some steps you can take to improve your credit.

  • Pay all your bills on time. This is a no-brainer, but make sure all your bills are paid on time, even if it is the minimum payments.
  • Don’t open too many new accounts at once. One thing that credit agencies look at is the age of your accounts. By opening several new accounts at once, the average age of your accounts will be reduced.
  • Do not cancel any unused cards. Another aspect of credit is the amount of credit you have used compared to the amount of credit you have available. The lower the percentage used, the better. Ideally you want to keep the ratio of credit used to credit available below 30%.
  • Keep your credit balances low. This ties in with number 3 in that you should not max out your credit. Keeping your credit balances low will help keep your credit score high.
  • Have a variety of different credit types. Paying on a car loan, a credit card, and a mortgage will show you are able to juggle and maintain payments on different credit types.
  • Debts in collections needs to be paid off. If you have any accounts in collections they will need to be paid off. Until they are paid off, your credit will suffer.
  • Get a personal loan to pay off credit cards. This can be a very effective way to lower your interest rates and pay off your debt faster.

In real estate investing having good credit will increase your opportunities to invest. As mentioned, it will save you money, give you better interest rates and help you qualify for better loans. Keep these 7 tips in mind, as they are great ways to maintain and improve your credit score.

Mindset in a “Seller’s” Market

Mindset in a “Seller’s” Market

As seasoned real estate investors will tell you, we’ve seen a lot of ebbs and flows in the housing market throughout our years of investing. As you gain experience, you too will come to see that even in the toughest and hottest of housing markets, investors can still create great deals. In today’s “seller’s” market it’s time to start thinking outside the box. Below are some suggestions as we all move forward in this, and any market.

 

As you go about looking for properties to make into deals, have you asked yourself this question: Have I told everyone that I know — friends, relatives, co-workers etc. — that I’m looking to buy a home from someone that is behind on their mortgage, behind on their taxes, or has inherited a home they aren’t interested in maintaining or keeping?  If you haven’t, do it. The result may be a pleasant surprise. Another option is to focus on homes that have a listing that has expired.  An overpriced house typically won’t sell causing sellers to get frustrated, and in some cases, let the listing expire or terminate their contract with their realtor, thus becoming an expired listing. Don’t contact the sellers right after their listing expires, as this is when realtors are contacting them and trying to get them to relist. Give the sellers some time. Look at listings that have expired 2-3 weeks prior. As a general rule, your success rate will be higher. In a “seller’s” market, making a purchase must be handled carefully, with planning, and a sense of calm and calculated urgency. We want to move quickly, but also in a smart manner.

 

Stick to your numbers! Let them be your beacon, and do not deviate from them. Run your numbers. At the end of the day, the numbers in your analysis don’t lie. Also, remember to not get emotionally involved with any offer you make or let the market condition determine your success. The offer will work or it won’t. Don’t go chasing a bad deal because you “have to get into the market” or run around like Chicken Little proclaiming the sky is falling because you have to get creative. Run your numbers, make the offer and move on to the next; whatever that is. Success only comes by moving forward.

 

A “seller’s” market doesn’t mean there aren’t deals out there to be made. The strategy of buy-and-hold is a great one to look at in this market. As you negotiate a deal, remember the property will still likely go up in value. In this “seller’s” market, instead of focusing on large, “home run” deals, focus on what you can control: you. When you focus on volume, you spread your risk across multiple deals. Don’t shoot for 2 or 3 “home run” deals a year; hit singles every 2 or 3 months and when one doesn’t work out, you still have the rest of the deals to bring you up. And remember, every deal is a learning experience. The more you do, the less anxious and overwhelming the market and conditions become. Do your research on the market and know it. Don’t go off what someone is telling you.

 

In this market, even though there appears to be fewer listings and prices are higher, investing wisely based on ratios, profit margins, and market trends will still allow you to make money. No matter the market, people are always going to buy and sell houses. It may not always be smooth sailing for us real estate investors, but learning to ride the rollercoaster known as real estate is half the fun.

Why You Should Promote Yourself from Landlord to Investor

Why You Should Promote Yourself from Landlord to Investor

There is a difference between being an investor and a landlord. Simply owning an investment property doesn’t make you an investor. If you are highly involved in the day-to-day operations of your property, you are a landlord. Investors treat their properties like any other investment: hiring professionals to manage the day-to-day operations and investing the profits from their property into their portfolio. Many real estate investors begin as landlord. Below are the three reasons why you should take the leap and promote yourself from landlord to real estate investor.

Get Out of the Daily Grind

Being a landlord is a fulltime job, if you do it right! From completing routine maintenance to answering emergency calls, keeping a rental in pristine condition is no easy task — not to mention all the work that comes with vacancy. Landlords are responsible for screening tenants, marketing the property and completing any other move-in related tasks. Real estate investors outsource all this work to a property management company. Not only does this get the work done, it ensures it’s being completed by a seasoned professional, and it can even decrease vacancy!

You Can Focus on Purchasing More Properties

Once you are out of the daily grind of being a landlord, you can focus on being a real estate investor. Finding deals and/or rehabbing properties requires focus. If you are wearing all the hats of your landlord responsibilities, it can be difficult to find the hours in the day to close more deals. You can also focus on making the most of your current investments. The better your current investment properties do, the more money you have in the bank for growing your portfolio.

Investors Are All About the Bottom Line

As an investor, your focus is simply on positive cash flow. You don’t have to worry about keeping tenants happy or your properties occupied. That is the responsibility of your property management company. Investors can enjoy the profits from their rental properties while also enjoying an additional check each month or even early retirement.

Many investors start their real estate investment journey as landlords. Successful investors, the ones enjoying financial independence and early retirement, take the risk and make the jump from landlord to investor.

Staying Motivated

Staying Motivated

Staying motivated in your real estate business is critical to your success and can sometimes be hard, especially when you are first building your business. Here are some ways to help you get motivated and stay motivated.

Goals: Goals are the first step to motivation. Knowing why you are doing what you are doing allows you to create a road map that you can use to guide you. Make sure you have a long-term goal that really excites you. Work that goal backwards so you have some intermediate and short-term goals. You want to break it down to weekly goals and daily action steps. Be sure to have your goals written down and read them daily.

Vision: Create a vision of your long-term goal. Imagine (visualize) it as if it is already real. Imagine it in enough detail that you catch yourself smiling. The emotion you feel while imagining your vision is the power that will fuel your motivation. Spend a minute or so when you first wake up imagining your vision, and again as you are falling asleep at night. This is called, “Feeding Your Vision.”

Vision Board: A vision board is another tool you can use to bring your goal to life. You want to find images that represent your goal as completed. You can put these images on a poster board or a corkboard. Be creative and have fun. You want to put your vision board where you will see it often. The power in a vision board comes not from just looking at it, but from taking 20 to 30 seconds while looking at it to let it take your there, so you can feel motivated and catch yourself smiling.

One last tip: When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself, “What do I get to do today”?

 

 

Jump Start Your Career In Real Estate Investing

Jump Start Your Career In Real Estate Investing

So you’ve done your research and due diligence and are ready to start your career as a real estate investor. How do you take the step from considering investing in real estate to becoming a full-blown investor? Follow these 5 ways to jump-start your career as a real estate investor.

 

#1 Stop Waiting for the Perfect Moment

You can track market trends and interest rates forever and never pull the trigger. If you ask any real estate investor what their biggest regret is, it’s most likely not starting sooner. Stop waiting for the perfect market and instead focus on finding the right deal, right now, for your long-term investment goals.

 

#2 You Don’t Have to Start Small

There is no rule that you have to start with a small property. Carefully examine the pros and cons of large and small properties and see what works best for your financial and personal goals. The same rule applies for your real estate investment portfolio, invest in additional properties as soon as you are able.

 

#3 Focus on Appreciating Assets

You can buy and sell in hot markets across the US. However, you won’t see the full potential of real estate investing until you wait and cash in on appreciation. This sounds counterintuitive, but you can jump start your career in real estate investing by holding on to appreciating investments for future paydays.

 

#4 Get Creative with Financing

You don’t have to have a full cash offer on hand before investing in your first real estate deal. Get creative with finding the money for your first investment property. You can use traditional, low down payment financing or even use your IRA to purchase your first investment property. Once you start seeing monthly cash flow, you will have the funds to invest in future properties.

 

#5 Network in Person and Online

Don’t let the deal of a lifetime pass you by simply because you didn’t know about it. Create a network of professionals online and in your local community and always be in the know. From social media to networking sites, like biggerpockets.com, there are endless opportunities to make connections in the world of real estate investing.

 

Once you have the tools and resources, jump start your career in real estate investing today!

How to Create Wealth through Real Estate Investing

How to Create Wealth through Real Estate Investing

There are many ways to make money investing in real estate, but how do you create real wealth? There are four key factors that contribute to your long-term success and wealth creation in real estate investing.

 

Positive Cash Flow 

Real estate is an investment, and your cash flow is the return on the investment.  Your cash flow is the money left over after all expenses are accounted for.  Whether it’s the difference between the purchase price + repairs + carrying costs after a fix and flip OR the monthly rent – expenses – mortgage on a buy and hold investment, the numbers must add up to a positive cash flow.

 

Potential for Appreciation 

There are two types of appreciation when looking at real estate:

  • Appreciation over Time: The US real estate market has traditionally shown a 3% increase year over year, and if you buy in a “hot market,” you can hope for appreciation above the average.
  • Forced Appreciation: An increase in value due to improvements made to the property.

 

Paying Off a Loan

When you purchase an investment property using a traditional mortgage, the rent you collect from your tenant helps pays off your loan.  Even if your monthly cash flow is modest, you are rewarded with the eventual payday of cashing in on the equity that you build over the years through your tenant’s rent checks.

 

Tax Benefits 

There are significant tax benefits to generating income through real estate investing.  These benefits differ from state to state and property to property, so be sure to consult a tax professional before each purchase.

 

Building Wealth Through Real Estate Investing

Every property will not check off all four boxes.  If you purchase a fix and flip home, you will not be collecting monthly rent to slowly pay off the mortgage.  A fix and flip property is all about the forced appreciation you collect when you sell the home at its increased value.

 

Making sure these four factors are represented in some combination in your real estate investment portfolio will help you create wealth through real estate investing.

 

  • Cash Flow Potential
  • Appreciation
  • The Prospect of Loan Pay Down
  • Tax Benefits

How to Calculate After Repair Value Based on the Cost Per Square Foot of Comparables

How to Calculate After Repair Value Based on the Cost Per Square Foot of Comparables

When calculating the after repair value or ARV of a property, we always suggest using comparables or comps. from a real estate agent.  Let’s go through the math of how to use these comparables to get the best ARV possible.  As a quick review, remember the best comps have 3 important factors: They are close to your subject property, they have sold recently, and they are similar to your subject property. 

When you get comps from your agent, you will need 2 numbers for each comp you receive: the amount that the property sold for and the number of square feet in the property.  Once you receive this information, you will want to calculate the cost per square foot for each comp you have.  You get the cost per square foot by taking the amount the property sold for and dividing it by the square feet in the property (for example a property of 1000 square feet sold for $100,000, so take $100,000 / 1000 = $100).  In this example the cost per square foot is $100.  You will need to perform this calculation for each comp you have. 

Now that you have the cost per square foot for each comparable property you received, you will need to evaluate those numbers.  If you have 6 or more comps, you can take the high cost per square foot and the low cost per square foot and throw them out.  With 5 or less you will use all of them.  This will help dial in your ARV a little better.   

Once you have the cost per square foot on all the comps you are going to use, you will need to get an average cost per square foot.  To do that, take the cost per square foot on all the comps you are using, add them up, and divide by the number of comps used. (example: You have 4 comps with a price per square foot of 103, 98, 90,108. 103+98+90+108=399, 399 / 4 = 99.75).  $99.75 is your average cost per square foot. 

The last calculation you need to do is take the average cost per square foot and multiply it by the number of square feet in your subject property.  Let’s say are subject property is 1100 square feet, so take 99.75 * 1100 = $109,725.  $109,725 is the ARV.

This is a great way to calculate your ARV, because it is based on what similar properties in the neighborhood are selling at right now.   

Successfully Working with Realtors

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.

Make More Money by Finding Off the Radar Deals

Make More Money by Finding Off the Radar Deals

Off the radar deals are properties that are not listed with an agent. They have the potential to be more profitable because there is less competition. Obviously, being able to notice these quickly is critical because if it is a good deal it will go quickly.

The ability to find deals is critical, and it is equally important to find either buyers or investors for your deals. Hence, you will want to work on both areas all the time. In many cases, you can earn a year’s pay on a single deal!

Here are the six areas of focus to find Off the Radar Deals:

  1. Out of the Box Deals (Off Market)
    1. Probate/Estate
      1. Nursing homes (make certain your sellers are not senile!)
      2. Obituaries
      3. Funeral Parlors
    2. Preforeclosure: You can buy property with a built-in mortgage by getting a quit-claim deed. A properly drawn up Power of Attorney for your “mortgage assumption” can open the communication door with the mortgage company for the duration of the mortgage. A good attorney can help you put your property in a Land Trust where you become a beneficiary and executor. Good marketing will find buyers who love the fact that their down payment is their credit approval.
    3. Vacant Observation: You will want to learn how to spot vacant properties and then find the owners through software like “Real Estate Pro.” You can find cell phone numbers and even email addresses, in many cases, using websites like www.Intellius.com for $20.00 a month or less.
    4. “Don’t Wanters”
  2. Investor Clubs – Learn how to use and exploit these clubs.
    1. People with Money: Everyone you know either has money or knows someone who does. “Ask, seek and knock!”
    2. Hidden Deals: Watch how quickly inside secrets are shared as you smile and greet others.
    3. Rehabbers & Contractors: These people go to the meeting and could be your inside track to future success.
    4. Buyers: People who are looking for deals you can easily find will be there.
  3. Landlords – Key to the Mother-Load.
    1. Find Signs: Take pictures of “For Rent Signs.” Call them. Some will be looking for more deals, and some will have deals to sell you.
    2. RE Pro Software: Ask your sales person to cut you a deal.
    3. Lists Anywhere: Start looking for lists. Just about everything is in a list somewhere.
  4. Serious Marketing – What It Is and Why It Wins.
    1. Yellow Signs: More testimonies of success with “Yellow Signs” than anything else.
    2. One-on-One Visits. Go and see the people who can help you. Remember, people like to do business with people they like. Become a friend.
    3. Free Marketing: Learn to use emails, text messages, Facebook, Craigs List, YouTube, Smart Phones etc.
  5. Reticular Awareness – Develop a sense of what a good deal looks like. Learn how to smell the money.
  6. After They Say NO! – Master the art of offer resubmission. Change nothing! Resubmit offers every two weeks. Between two out of three and three out of four offers we initially rejected!  Ask to be a backup offer on deals under contract. Sixty percent (60%) of deals under contract fall through. Your chance of getting a good deal is much better once a deal falls apart.  Always do a thorough “dead deal autopsy.” Find out what the winner of the deal is doing with the property and who they are using to help them. How did they beat you?

Tips for Saving for a Down Payment for a Mortgage

Tips for Saving for a Down Payment for a Mortgage

Buying a home is typically the largest single purchase a person will make in his or her lifetime. When you are preparing to make a big purchase in real estate, it is important to understand the complexities of what you can afford, what everything will cost, and how to prepare for your purchase.

Before you start looking at homes, your first step is deciding what you can afford and what you want from a home. List your basic requirements such as location, size, and other features.

Then, you will need to save for a down payment for your home.

Different mortgage programs require different amounts for a down payment. If you qualify for a FHA home loan, you can purchase a house with 3.5% down. In addition, many other mortgage programs allow a down payment as low as 5% of the purchase price of the home.

If you are financially able to put 20% down, it can be beneficial. Lenders will not require you to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is an additional cost built into your mortgage that protects the lender in the event of a default.

Here are some tips to help you save for your down payment:

  • Pay yourself first. Make saving a priority by setting aside a certain amount each month.
  • Consider having money automatically transferred in your savings account each month. If you never see the money, you are less likely to miss it.
  • Cut back on your Spending. Choose one item to give up or cut back on and put that money in the bank. This item could be a drink, which is a small expense that tends to add up quickly.
  • If you have the option, consider working overtime and add that money to your savings.
  • Get a second job or do freelance work to earn more money.
  • Sell stuff on eBay. eBay is the ideal place to offload your unwanted household items in return for money. You can convert your clutter into cash.
  • Eliminate the luxuries. For example, put your cable television subscription on hold.  Take your lunch to work every single day. Don’t go shopping for new clothes.

Over a period of twelve months, you could easily save a few thousand dollars. 

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start Investing

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start Investing

As you start investing in real estate, ask yourself these three questions:

First:

What are your real estate goals? Outlining what you want your investments to accomplish will help guide you in the right direction. When you first start, it is like planning a vacation or cross-country trip. Discuss with your spouse or partner the core reason you are investing. Is it for retirement, for your children or grandkids and/or for supplementary income? Different strategies are needed for different reasons. Some yield returns more quickly (such as wholesaling), while others are for longer-term investments (such as buy-and-hold rental properties).

Second:

What is your time commitment? How much time are you dedicating to your efforts? Is this more of a hobby or do you want it to replace your day job? You need to be honest in your assessment of timing and what you are willing to give-up or reschedule. There are limitations to your weekly obligations.

If you are already busy with a full-time job, school or the kids, then you should asses your schedule carefully. Experts and seasoned real estate investors say beginners should realistically evaluate how much time they will be able to carve out of an already full schedule.

Third:

What is your focus? Where do you want to start investing? If you need money in the short-term, then you should focus on wholesaling. If you have the time and the expertise (or the network), then you might undertake buying a fix and flip. If you want residual income, then a buy-and-hold property would be a good strategy for you.

Assessing where you are financially will also help you decide where to start. Wholesaling takes little to no money down, while doing a fix-and-flip or buy-and hold will take a significant amount of cash. Some investors do not understand that many lending institutions will only lend a portion of the funds for a purchase and will not lend additional money for repairs.

Summary:

Assessing your goals, time-commitment and financial focus will help you be more strategic in your efforts to be a successful real estate investor. Additionally, being clear on your objectives will help you focus your efforts and avoid wasting time.

Suggestions for First Time Flippers

Suggestions for First Time Flippers

Buying real estate properties for a bargain, fixing them up and then reselling them for a profit is a great way to make money as a real estate investor. This is often referred to as “house flipping” or doing a fix-and-flip.  You look for a home, buy it cheap, fix the home up, then sell it for more than what it costs you to buy and fix it up.  You can make a huge profit. There are a few ways to improve the experience or ensure you do not lose money.

Plenty of real estate savvy investors are making money with fix-and-flips, but while it looks and sounds easy to do, house flipping has some risks involved. If there are more repairs than estimated, the flipped property does not sell immediately and/or you encounter other unexpected issues, one might not break-even.

Here are several suggestions to help you be successful:

  • Get a Mentor:

Successful “flippers” educate themselves and know the ins-and-outs of the real estate market. If you are just getting started, one of the ways you can get off on a good foot is by finding a successful house flipper to mentor you. The things these seasoned investors have experienced or learned along the way are invaluable. Offer a percentage of your profit for advice if you need to. Then do your research on properties in your local area and find a house you want to make an offer on. 

  • Save Money On Materials

Buy the materials to fix up your house yourself.  Contractors do supply materials but they will mark up prices. If you buy the materials yourself, you will save money and only pay for labor. 

Because costs for materials vary, it’s best to get to know your local stores. Some stores who offer discounts to contractors will give you the same deal if they know you are an investor and plan to do more than one house. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.

Home Depot, Lowe’s and Costco offers great deals. Also watch for any clearance sales on materials. You can also go to second-hand stores to find great deals at a lesser price than buying new materials.

  • Save Money on Labor

Some investors buy a house during off-season. This way they can complete the job on time since contractors have less of a workload on their hands and can focus more on the job you have for them. Contractors are sometimes cheaper in the off-seasons.

Hire reputable sub-contractors instead of a contractor and run the job yourself. This will save you money because a contractor also marks up the price of the sub-contractor they hire. 

Doing some of the work yourself will also cut labor cost.

  • Save Money and Time by Using a Realtor

Once the home is fixed-up and you’re ready to sell the house (vs. keeping it as a buy-and-hold property), studies show if you use a reputable real estate agent, your property will sell quicker than selling without one. The longer you hold on to the property, the more holding cost you incur. Realtors know plenty of possible buyers and having them list your house on the MLS helps sell your property faster. While they are selling your house, you can spend your time looking for your next deal.

Overall, utilizing a few basics will help you in the process of doing a fix-and-flip. All it takes to be successful is having the right attitude and information. And getting out there and doing it.

Knowledge + Action = Results

4 Steps to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

4 Steps to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

Most beginning investors will deal with analysis paralysis or overthinking a situation so that action is never taken.  A couple of the biggest causes behind analysis paralysis are lack of confidence and fear of failure.  Beginning investors feel like they do not know enough to take action.   Here are some steps that can help one overcome analysis paralysis.

  1. Remember your goals and what you would like to accomplish with real estate.  Write you goals down somewhere you can look at them on a regular basis.  If you have not set goals, you need to.  Having goals in front of you will help give you the motivation to take action.
  2. No one is going to do it for you.  This is your business so don’t count on someone coming to help.  You need to take action because if you don’t, things won’t happen. 
  3. Find your fuel.  This is a key in getting moving.  This is also different for everyone.  Why do you want to invest in real estate?  What will investing in real estate help you achieve?  Lite that fire within you, start taking action, and never look back. 
  4. Are you willing to do what must be done?  Investing in real estate is not easy.  It takes perseverance.  You will be told no over and over again.  The investors that are successful figure out how to get through whatever obstacle is put in front of them.  They are willing to do what must be done to be successful. 

Taking action with investing is the most important thing we do.  Of course we need knowledge but if knowledge never turns into action we will never make money.  It is important to understand that we will not be perfect as we get started investing and we will make mistakes, but it is all part of the learning process.  As we continually take action, we will make money investing in real estate.   

Three Common Obstacles for New Investors

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.

6 Ways to Use Facebook to Build Your Real Estate Business

6 Ways to Use Facebook to Build Your Real Estate Business

You have probably noticed plenty of advertisements for various products and services on your Facebook page every time you log in to your account, and you may have even clicked on some of these ads to learn more about it.  Initially, you had no plans of buying, but because of the time you spend on Facebook and the frequency of these ads passing your page, you somehow found yourself convinced and planning to purchase. 

The use of social media such as Facebook as a means to platform your real estate business will prove to be one of the best moves you ever make.  According to a recent study, Facebook is the most used social networking media among real estate professionals and other businesses because literally almost everybody has it, and you can easily spread the word about your business through ads, conversations, or by creating a business page.

By harnessing the power of Facebook, I have found these tips helpful to building my real estate business.

  1. Be Visible

First things first, setup a Facebook page for your business.  Make your presence known by sending invites to “LIKE” your page to your contacts and clients.  Ask family and friends to share or recommend your business page.  Having your presence known makes it easier for prospects and clients to connect with you, increasing customer retention and loyalty.

  1. Post Stunning Photos with Detailed Captions

Make sure that the pictures of real estate homes or properties you are posting are appealing enough to make it to sell.  People love beautiful things and there is nothing better to capture your prospective clients’ attention than beautiful pictures of the properties you are selling.  As an added bonus, people may even share them, making more people see what you are selling.

Don’t forget to post pictures of your buyers with their new home.  People love real life stories with happy outcomes!

  1. Share Interesting but Valuable Information Related to Real Estate

Give practical advice like how to increase the value of a real estate property through DIY projects or share links about interesting real estate topics.  Encourage people to interact with you by asking real estate trivia questions or by answering their questions about the real estate business.  Not only does this make your business page active and interesting to your followers, answering their queries will create connections with possible loyal clients in the future.  Fans and likers may even recommend you to people in need of your services if they like you.  It really pays to be helpful.

  1. Building Relationships with Your Fans and Likers

As I mentioned earlier, having conversations with your fans and likers creates a connection between you two and, in the long run, builds relationships.  Like any other relationship, trust and dependability are very important, especially in business.  In the real estate world you are not just selling houses, you are also selling yourself.  There are plenty of studies that show that people are more likely to talk and do business with you if you are warm, trustworthy and dependable.

  1. Post Regularly

Now that you have made your presence known in the Facebook community, being able to maintain a consistent presence may be a challenge when you are struggling with your busy schedule.  It is wise to always remember to incorporate it with your daily routine until it becomes second nature.  Other realtors make a big mistake by not continuing to stay active after setting up their business page, not realizing that Facebook is an interactive media platform.  By posting regularly, you are letting people know that you are still in business, and it keeps their interest in your page active.

  1. Connect Your Facebook Page with Other Social Media

After successfully launching your business page on Facebook, don’t sit back and stay content.  Facebook allows you to connect with other forms of social media, so take advantage of it by letting your followers know where they can find you.

The Importance of a Positive Attitude in Real Estate Investing

The Importance of a Positive Attitude in Real Estate Investing

Having a positive attitude is extremely important to becoming successful in real estate investing, as it is in any successful endeavor in life.  Negative speech and thoughts can be debilitating and keep a person from accomplishing their goals.  Learn to change the way you talk to yourself and others and you will change the outcome of your life’s journey. 

For example, let’s look at the subject of attempting to get into better and healthier physical shape.  If your thoughts and speech follow the lines of, “I can never lose weight,” or “I can’t stop eating sweets,” or “No matter how much a work out, I never get more muscular,” you will create a mind-set that causes you to lose faith in the fact that with proper eating and exercise you can lose weight, get stronger, be healthier and look better.  It is important to start have the right self-talk. Try changing the phrases you repeat over and over again to, “I know I can lose weight if I eat healthy foods and exercise regularly,” “I will gain muscle if I work out 3-4 times a week consistently,” and “I enjoy eating healthy protein, vegetables and fruit, and I feel better when I do.”

This same technique works when it comes to investing in real estate.  If you keep making statements to yourself and others such as, “I can’t ever find the time to do this business,” “There are no deals to be found in this area,” “There are too many other investors in my area to compete with,” or “People will know I’m not very knowledgeable in investing when I talk to them” then stop. Change your self-talk to, “If I use proper time management I will find the time to be successful at this business,” “The more offers I make, the more deals I will create for myself,” “By being persistent, I will be the one to find the deals in my area,” and “The more times I talk with people, the more confident and knowledgeable I will become.”

Every endeavor and business adventure is a learning experience. With faith and confidence in yourself, you can be successful at the things you work hard for.  Talking in a positive manner can help build confidence and faith with which you can succeed, especially as your experience starts to prove your statements true.  Whatever you say and think will become your reality. Change the way you talk to yourself and others and you will change the direction of your life.  Now, go out and make it happen!

Five Mistakes Investors Make When Building Their Business

Five Mistakes Investors Make When Building Their Business

Being in the real estate industry over the last 20 years has allowed me to see many forms of success and failure.  I have learned a lot from each of these categories.  You might think I’m going to tell you how to make sure you run your numbers correctly or not overbuild for the neighborhood.  You might think I’m going to suggest that mistakes are made by not seeing all the hidden costs in a fix and flip property.  Yes, these things are important and I’ve made my share of mistakes with these along the way but the biggest mistakes I’ve seen in my 20 years of experience is that real estate investors forget to PLAN for their success and they don’t realize the most important success habit is your mindset.  Investors seem to have a hazy idea of what they want to happen and then they just throw all their efforts at it to see if it sticks without really taking the time to create the success they want.  I’m going to share some of the top mistakes I have seen over the years and the success markers I’ve implemented in my business and have helped successful real estate investors implement in their business. 

The first mistake I see entrepreneurs make, especially real estate investors, is they are not clear about what they want.  They say “I want to be a successful real estate investor” but they really don’t know what that means nor have they taken the time to really find out what that means.  In order to be successful, you need to know what it’s going to take to be successful.  You need to know what education you are going to need, what foundation of your business you are going to need to build and how to create a power team around you to help you build your success.  For example, take some time today to ask yourself. 

  • “How much money do I want to make on each of my real estate deals?” 
  • “How many will I need to close each year to accomplish the dollar amount goals I have set for myself?”
  • “What needs to be done to make this happen?”

As you can see, there is some planning that needs to go into setting yourself up for success.  When you begin to ask these questions, then what needs to be done to make it to the next level of success in what want to accomplish will become clearer.

The second mistake I see entrepreneurs make is not prioritizing what needs to be done to create their own success.  Too many times I hear the excuse, “I don’t have enough time.”  My answer is a little blunt and not really easy to accept if you are committed to this excuse.  I gently say we all have the same 24 hours in a day.  The way that we use those 24 hours will determine our success.  My suggestion is to make a list at the beginning of each week of everything you NEED to get done for the week.  Then make a second list of all the things that you must do to be successful as a real estate investor.   Go through both of your lists and prioritize each activity with an A, B, or C for priority level.  Sometimes it also helps to put a time frame on each item.  Then grab your PAPER calendar (yep, we’re going old school for a minute) and put all the “A” activities on your calendar for the week, then add your “B” activities.  Your “C” activities will fill in any free time you find for yourself during the week so keep your list handy throughout the week.   This is going to be a work in progress and I will GUARANTEE…. Yes….. GUARANTEE you will fail the first week you put this in place so realize that this is going to be a work in progress and you are going to have to keep doing it to get better at it.  Remember that failure is just information.  It doesn’t mean you give up; it means you do it better the next time.  Your calendar is going to be somewhat flexible but you are also going to start becoming very responsible with your time and learn to manage it, so you can master it.  My favorite saying for time management is, “Either you run your day or your day runs you.” 

The third mistake I see investors make is giving up.  The commitment level is there when the hope is high and the excitement level is at its peak but when it comes to doing the hard work, putting in the hours, staying persistent, trying something new when one thing doesn’t work, I hear, “This doesn’t work”.  I want to say, “Does this not work or do you not work?”  Sometimes success is not found overnight.  In fact, I would say in most cases success is not found overnight.   If you interview any successful entrepreneur, they will tell you it was a long climb to the top and they fell down a few times.  They will also tell you that staying the course and being persistent with successful habits is the reason they found success.  Decide now that you are “in it to win it,” that “if it is to be, it’s up to me” …whatever silly mantra you need to come up with to remind yourself to stay the course and be consistent and persistent with your efforts.

The fourth mistake I run into over and over when working with new real estate investors is they are blown like a plastic bag in the wind with everything they read or are told.  They become consumed with what everyone else is saying instead of doing the research themselves and coming up with their own opinion.  They go to a real estate investment club and listen to everyone whine and complain about “how hard it is right now.”  They jump right on that band wagon and complain that this can’t be done.  I’ve got news for you.  It can be done but you have to do what others are not willing to do so that you can have what others will never have.  It’s really that simple.  What you focus on you will create.  If you are going to dwell on what someone else said and drag it along as your victim story, you are not focusing on the solution.  You are not creating something new. You are stuck, and I promise you are not going to go very far, and you will end up right back up in mistake number three —  giving up!  You must be aware of the people you are surrounding yourself with, the news you are allowing to come into your life, and you must determine that you will only “listen” to what is working.  The great thing about real estate is that when it’s good, it’s really-really good and when it’s bad, it’s even better but you have to know what strategies to employ.  You must become a problem solver. You must know that there is always a solution, and you must be determined to find it. 

A fifth mistake I see people make when building their real estate business is they forget to take a little time to evaluate what has worked in the past, what could be done better and what needs to be done completely different.  Taking a step back to evaluate every so often — maybe monthly, maybe quarterly or maybe even more often — helps you to build on the strengths and define where the weaknesses might be.  This isn’t a time to dwell on the problems and what’s not working, it’s a quick evaluation to see what needs to be tweaked.  When you can identify what is working and what is not, you can play to your strengths and put practices in place to build the weaknesses into strengths.  For example, if you are getting more properties than you know what to do with and you’re getting accepted offers but your cash buyers are not interested, then maybe you need to re-evaluate how you are running your numbers.  Take a little time to question what is working — and do more of that.  Then making sure if something is not working, you find a solution. You are learning equally from your failures as well as your successes, both have great information to share with us on our journey to success.  By evaluating what is not working and finding a solution to make it work, then evaluating what is working and doing more of that, you keep “building” a successful foundation for a thriving business. 

These are the top mindset mistakes I see real estate investors make.  There are other mistakes you will make along the way and that’s ok. As long as you have the right mindset, you will make it through the other slip-ups.  Remember to plan your way to success, make small and attainable goals.  Become friends with your calendar and make it work for you.  Make sure you are aware and conscious about what you are putting your focus on and commit to your success with consistent and persistent effort.  After putting all these success habits in place, stop from time to time to do an evaluation of your efforts and make them better.  Buying a house to flip in the wrong neighborhood is not as detrimental of a mistake as doing the same wrong thing over and over and over again.   You must have a plan for your success, so take some time today to make it happen.  Good luck and happy investing!

3 Common Mistakes New Investors Make When Working with An Agent

3 Common Mistakes New Investors Make When Working with An Agent

Like any other business, real estate investing needs to be carefully planned and seriously scrutinized. In an industry where competition is rampant, it is crucial to avoid making mistakes as much as possible. While there are many new investors starting out with the best intention of making a career out in real estate, only a few succeed.

Ideally, a working relationship between an investor and a real estate agent is a win-win alliance. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about these two characters in the real estate world. These problems usually start when an inexperienced investor chooses the wrong kind of real estate agent, thinking he or she is the one best suited for the job.

Here are the 3 most common mistakes new investors make when working with an agent:

Hiring an agent with the cheapest commission.

Newbies in the real estate business tend to think that they will be saving a lot of money if they choose an agent with the lowest commission, without thinking about how marketing and advertising their property can be expensive. To equate the situation, reduced commissions often means reduced marketing resources in promoting to get your property sold. So, don’t go with the cheapest but go with the best.

Not being honest with your real estate agent.

Agents are professionals trained to appraise properties in a manner that can be different from yours. In order to get your agent to best help you, provide him with the necessary details about your plans and expectations about the property. Lying or keeping things from your real estate agent can be toxic for your working relationship, especially if they find out about your deception and decide not to work with you anymore. Bottom line here is, without the necessary information, your real estate agent won’t be able to do their work for you correctly.

Thinking all real estate agents know the same thing.

One of the most common myths about agents is that they are all the same; therefore, they know the same things. Wrong. Real estate agents have different experience levels, different skills and different specialties that they have acquired after years of being in the business. Think of it this way, a real estate agent who deals with buyers may not have as much skills to sell a property than an agent who spent years selling them. Also, choosing the wrong real estate agent can affect your financial situation for years. You wouldn’t want to be financially burdened for the next 2-5 years just because you chose the wrong real estate agent.