4 Factors Every New Real Estate Entrepreneur Must Understand About Positive Body Language

There comes a time in the experience of virtually every new real estate entrepreneur when they learn that what they say may not be nearly as important as to how their actions mirror their true thoughts. Body language is something that is critically important for every new real estate newbie. It will soon be apparent that your success in structuring true win/win deals will depend upon your ability to communicate effectively with the opposite party to the transaction, and your body language will play a major role in this vital communication.

If you search for the meaning of Body language, you will find that it is defined as the non-verbal communication between two individuals or a group of individuals through physical behaviors such as limb movements, facial expressions, eye movements, other bodily gestures and postures. Subtle movements you unconsciously make may determine the outcome of real estate transactions, both large and small.

Yes, body language is critical to your success as a real estate entrepreneur.  Let’s examine 4 factors every new real estate newbie must understand about creating strong and powerful body language.


Factor #1 – Power of Positive Body Language

Arthur Ashe, the great tennis pro, is respected around the world for his ability to project self-confidence.  He once said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”  As you learn to project positive body language you will understand that your posture when speaking and listening is paramount.  Correct positive posture creates personal confidence, but this can only take place when you prepare ahead of time.  Imagine your first interaction with the seller of a property that you have identified as a great rental property.  If you fail to stand erect and straight, the seller may decide that you are not a serious investor.  How you stand, walk, and even sit is important as positive posture can provide the self-confidence you need as a successful real estate entrepreneur.

Your goal as an investor and negotiator is to create a positive connection with the opposite party, or in our case the seller.  Your eyes are far more important than you might imagine in establishing this link with the seller.  Correct eye contact instills a common bond.  It is vital that you look directly at the other party.  It is common for a new investor to look away from the other party.  Oftentimes this is done out of fear.  He or she may fear being rejected or they might fear making a mistake in what they say.  The common bond between yourself and the other party will often hinge on the connection made with the eyes.

It has been shown that smiling has many positive health and success factors.  Researchers have found that smiling can relief stress and even lower blood pressure.  There is, however, an even more important value of projecting an honest smile. A smile will improve your personal outlook on life, but it will also improve the mood of those people around you. True Smiling provides trust, and trust is an important key in structuring real estate transactions.

Touch is the first sense we acquire as a newborn and it is also important in creating powerful body language.   Matthew Hertenstein, a researcher from DePauw University, demonstrated in a study in 2009 that we have an innate ability to decode emotions via touch alone.  He found “that participants communicated eight distinct emotions – anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness – with accuracy rates as high as 78 percent.”  The act of touching may be self-touching such as brushing your eyes or it may be a simple act of shaking hands.  A caveat is that we must avoid invasive touching of another person.  Non-invasive touching can open a door of understanding between 2 parties.


Factor #2 – Positive Body Language Can Be Learned at Any Age

We learn to project our feelings through body language from birth, and we continue to learn new ways of expressing our true feelings throughout our life’s adventure.  As a new real estate entrepreneur, it’s not too late to learn better and more effective ways of communicating through positive body language.  In order to correct negative body language, we need to realize that it is a step-by-step process. We can break it down into ten easy-to-understand steps:

Step 1 – Understand what you are presently showing. Before you can correct negative body language, you must be aware of what you are already doing.  Awareness should not bring self-criticism, but rather it should make you cognizant of what changes you need to make.

Step 2 – Examine and study others. Pay attention to what people around you are doing and acting.  As you consider their actions, take the time to ask yourself what feelings you are getting.  You will be able to survey both positive and negative body language.  As you review their actions, take note of the personal feelings you are generating from those actions.

Step 3 – Replicate other positive people.  You want to learn from others and the best way to do this is to mirror the actions of others.  Consider a friend who always seems interested in what you have to say.  Is that individual establishing good eye contact and exhibiting a true interest in listening?  If so, then start to do the same thing.  Mirroring success is a great way to achieve personal success in learning positive body language.

Step 4 – Be aware of crossing patterns.  We seem to always cross ourselves.  We cross our arms and our legs.  Crossing arms in front of your body can create the image of rudeness or self-importance.  However, if you cross your arms behind your back, it seems to illustrate a sense of being at ease.

Step 5 – Establish non-threatening eye contact.  If you are alone at night in a strange neighborhood, you have always been told to avoid making eye contact.  This is done out of fear.  In creating a positive body language, you want to establish direct eye contact.  It will draw the other person to you and create a bond.  The key is to always smile and show an interest in the other person.  A frown or passive look of disinterest will derail any negotiation.

Step 6 – Straighten and Relax your posture. Your posture is important and you should avoid slouching at all costs.  If you take the time to stand straight and relax, you will find that you are immediately interested in the other person.

Step 7 – Establish position.  If you are talking to another person, face them directly.  Don’t look away.  You want to communicate one-on-one.

Step 8 – Avoid unstated questions. Speech may not actually be considered as body language, but your intonation can have a profound effect on how you communicate.  If you sound gruff, it will be negative.  Avoid upswings in your intonation as they indicate a lack of self-confidence.

Step 9 – Control your hands.  Everyone wants to know what to do with their hands.  If you put your hands behind your back, you project confidence, while your hands in pocket can show over confidence or boredom.

Step 10 – Relax and sit in engaging position.  Finally, you need to learn to relax in a comfortable position.  It will take time to correct negative body language, but when you do so, you will have greater success in negotiating great real estate transactions.


Factor #3 – Understand the Body Language of Others

As you mirror the body language of others, you need to read the feelings of the other party.  It is equally important to understand what your opposite is actually communicating with you.  Your opposite will be more forthcoming if they see you responding to their body language.

Pay attention to the other party and don’t be afraid to take notes.  When you do so, it will demonstrate to your opposite that you are engaged and attentive.

Finally, when you are done talking and interacting with the other party, end with a positive handshake.  Look the person in the eye and smile.  This action will show that you are excited.  Most importantly, it will indicate that something more is to come.


Factor #4 – Avoid the Negative Signs Leading to Disaster

Watch for these signs in your personal body language as well as in the body language of your opposite. These are signs that will lead to negative outcomes.  It is important that you avoid these signs at all costs, but it is also important that you are aware when your opposite is demonstrating the signs.  If your opposite is revealing any of these signs, you need to evaluate whether you are negotiating in good faith.

  1. Distracted eye contact. Don’t look around the room. Treat everyone with respect.  When a person exhibits this sign, it indicates that the other party is not important and they are already moving on to someone else.
  2. Negative eye contact. Looking at anything or anyone else shows that the person has no interest in the other party or in what is being said.
  3. Gazing at your phone or ipad. . It emphasizes that you are not interested to what is being said.  You may hear the words, but to the other party, it is like talking to a brick wall.
  4. Failure to listen. Nothing will discourage the other party more than noticing that the other party isn’t engaged in the discussion.
  5. Rapid speaking. This is a sign of distrust or nervousness and nothing is more disruptive.
  6. Invading opposite’s personal space. Never treat the personal space of the other party as belonging to yourself.  When you invade their personal space you are creating a feeling of unrest or even fear.
  7. Non-response. It’s important to give clues that you are listening to the other party.  A nod or an indication that you are listening is vitally important.
  8. Making excuses with the word “but. When you make excuses, you are showing that you aren’t in control, but when you use the word “but”, you are outwardly acknowledging that you aren’t in agreement.
  9. Closed body language and crossed arms. When you fold your arms or cross them, you are showing that you are in a defensive posture and are not readily agreeable.
  10. Frowny face. When you have a frown or a negative expression, it shows that you come across as intimidating or hostile.

Positive body language is the key to successful real estate negotiations and subsequent real estate purchases.  When you learn how to manage your body language, you will be able to demonstrate trust and confidence to others, key factors in all great real estate transactions.  In every real estate deal, you will want to exude credibility and confidence, and the key to achieving these goals is to learn how to use your entire body as a communication tool.

As you learn to apply these positive body language factors, you will demonstrate that you have the interests of the other party paramount in your mind.  This will ensure that you open the door to Win/Win deals.

Workshop Update | Week 11 – Mar 14–15

Workshop Update | Week 11 – Mar 14–15

This week, Response delivered 14 Real Estate and Stock workshops. Our overall customer experience score, for all surveys received, was a 5 out of 5. We saw over 928 students. Here is what some students shared about their experience:

“It was amazing , tons of valuable information . Thank you!!” —Birgit B.

Well done! It was a great workshop.” —Dalvir S.

“Lots of information and instruction. Training was great!”—Darcy S.

Breathing and Counter Trend Lines

Breathing and Counter Trend Lines

Most people, in order to survive, rely on the age old practice of breathing. This breathing process adds oxygen to our lungs and eventually to our blood where it can invigorate and assist our bodies. Breathing involves both breathing in and breathing out. Some people can breathe in and hold their breath for long periods of time.Many stocks follow this same breathing pattern. They move up for a period of time and then move back down, just not as far. This pattern is known as an uptrend. Once an uptrend has been established, traders may want in. Establishing an entry is a key facet to any trading plan, especially traders who want to be consistent and disciplined in their approach. One type of entry that waits for the stock to stop breathing out and tries to catch it just at the switch to breathing in is Counter Trend Lines.

In order to understand counter trend lines, we first need to understand a trend line. A trend line is a line drawn on a chart that connects a series of higher lows or lower highs. This line is important for 2 reasons. The first reason is the line represents the trend. The second is that when the line is broken, that trend is over.

The rising dark trend line in the chart represents the trend. This is also the base line for breathing. It is connecting the previous lows and demonstrates rising support. Remember support is drawn as a general area, so it will not always align perfectly. Also remember, the trend line should include almost all of the price action. It would look something like this:

counter trend lines

Now that we have an established trend, we can begin to notice the counter trend lines. Counter trend lines are drawn when 3 or more points on the chart, usually daily highs, lows or closing prices align. They are connected with a line that is traveling in the opposite direction of the overall trend. In the example listed, the down red lines are the counter trend lines. The consistent and disciplined entries happen when the stock or ETF in question closes above the counter trend line. Thus the dark line is the breath in and the red lines are the breathing out. Not all stocks or ETFs trade this way so make sure it fits as you begin to apply this strategy.

Instance #1 is where is the stock tops and then begins to drop for 3 days and then goes back and forth for a few days until it clearly breaks the line after threatening to break the line the day before.

Instance #2 is the worst of the bunch. As the stock topped and pulled down for a few days it gapped down and then went sideways until it broke back up, without lining up too many highs or lows.

Instance #3 is a little way away from the uptrend line but it is the instance where the price clearly started below the line and clearly closed above it at the end of the day. In the book Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets John J Murphy states “a close beyond the trendline is more significant than just an intraday penetration”. With this being the case, one could have gotten in at the end of the day with limited risk.

Instance #4 took a lot longer time to play out. It did pull back the furthest but it also touched the uptrend line and showed strength, bouncing off of it. It then continued it’s up trend.

As you look to apply this concept remember the keys to drawing trend lines are: 1 Connect multiple points (at least 3, the more the merrier) 2 Draw trend lines that are relevant to current price. Best of luck in your continued breathing and trading!

Response Adds New Advisory Board

Response Adds New Advisory Board

Response’s greatest assets are its customers. Given this, Response created a customer advisory board, giving Response customers a powerful collaborative platform to influence Response’s instruction. Within the advisory board are sub-committees focusing on specific interest areas. Through this collaboration, Response can pro-actively align and effectively build the products, tools, and curriculum needed to help our customers succeed. For example, Response is in the process of rolling out a new Real Estate curriculum. To ensure curriculum alignment with customer needs and industry trends, Response’s instructional designer and management team is working closely with an advisory board sub-committee to explore and test the new curriculum’s learning effectiveness. Through this process, Response will get direct customer feedback, prior to releasing the new curriculum to a wider customer base. There are currently 1500 Real Estate and Stock advisory board members. If you are interested in being an advisory board member, would like to know what the respective requirements are, and/or want to apply for an annual speaker opportunity, please visit https://response.com/advisory-board/.

Costs to Plan for When Buying a Home

Costs to Plan for When Buying a Home

When buying a home, your focus may purely be on the down payment, but there are other costs associated with buying your home. Learn more about what costs to plan for, what can be avoided and what is not optional.

#1 Closing Costs

According to Zillow.com “home buyers will pay between about 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price of their home in closing fees. So, if your home cost $150,000, you might pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs.”[1] Closing costs vary from transaction to transaction but include a fee from the mortgage broker and lender, fess from any local and state taxes, and fees for a lawyer to oversee the transaction.


#2 Moving Costs

Moving can get expensive! It’s not just your stuff you have to worry about. If you are currently renting, are there any repairs you need to make to get your security deposit back? If you are selling your current home, do you need to make any repairs to get it in sellable condition?

#3 Home Repairs + Personalization

Even if you are buying a brand new, move-in-ready home, there will most likely be some repairs and personalization you will want to do. Picking the perfect paint colors and furnishings is one of the best parts of owning your own home. Make sure to leave some room in the budget to make your new house your perfect home.

#4 HOA fees

The worst thing about HOA fees is they aren’t a one-time fee. While some HOAs will have move-in fees and other upfront deposits, most are a flat monthly payment. When calculating what homes you can afford, make sure you include the HOA fee in your monthly expenses.

#5 Home Inspection + Survey Costs

No matter how expensive a home inspection and survey may feel, they are 100% worth it. Knowing where your property lines are and if there are any costly potential issues with your home will pay off in the long run. Even if a home appears to be in perfect condition, home inspectors are trained to look for underlying issues.

Though buying a home can be costly, most homeowners feel that the pride of ownership is worth every penny. As long as you carefully plan for costs and stay within your budget, purchasing a home will be a fulfilling and pleasant experience.

[1] https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-learning/closing-costs/

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.

Bear Market Looming

Bear Market Looming

Growing up as a kid, no matter how bad it got, there was always the giddy feeling in the back of my mind around Christmas. Christmas endears presents, family, and time off from work or school and all that entails. I feel the same way about bear markets. Once the trend reverses, stocks and markets move fast. As an option trader, I see potential, opportunities, and lots of volatility. Put contracts are the method of operation and best choice for bearish markets. The put contract has a natural advantage over its call cousin, and that is in addition to deltas and gammas working for you. Puts also have Vega’s working alongside the other two. That is because as markets fall, volatility rises, and Vega is the measurement of how the option price increases as volatility rises. Options generally prefer faster movement of the underlying due to time decay. Since markets tend to fall faster than markets rise, this provides ideal conditions for put. Fast moves, increasing option prices, and leverage all point to the put contract.

Dow Theory suggested markets move in cycles. Cycles last 4 to 7 years on average. With 2016 being at the markets 7 year high, the Bear market is overdue. Now I don’t suggest we run around like Chicken Little saying the “sky is falling.” However, if we are prepared, we shall not fear, and maybe even profit from it. Draw your lower trend lines, your support levels, check your moving average cross overs, and then when the market changes, change with it and buy some puts.

Confidence Gains Gains

Confidence Gains Gains

The year was 1984, and I was living in Southern California. I loved to ride my skateboard everywhere I went. That summer I spent most of my time at the bottom of pools and half-pipes, riding what I could, not daring venturing to the top, for it was too high and I had too much fear.

In skateboarding, dropping-in is the method of standing on the tail of the skateboard, hanging over the edge of the empty pool or half-pipe and then stepping on the front of the board so you drop yourself over the edge. I remember spending most of that summer staring over the edge, never actually dropping-in and never realizing the benefits that come from dropping-in because I was too afraid to do it. I always walked down into the bottom of the pool and had to pump myself up, requiring more work and less reward. I finally did drop in at the end of that summer, with an uneventful fall. But I got up and did it again. I could probably do it even to this day because the fear is gone and the confidence remains.

As a new trader, I learned the rules of proper trading. As I became better and gained experience, my trades did too. However, what I learned did not always translate into trading profits.  Knowing and doing are two separate things. Confidence in your trades can really translate into more profits. Act on your beliefs! Trying and failing is far less painful than not acting and missing the trades due to fear and lack of action. Confidence is said to breed more confidence. Have faith, trade your rules, and drop-in when the trades present themselves. Life is better when you take a chance, a well-planned and practiced chance, where odds are calculated. Never-the-less, “act or not to act” is the question and the answer.

Planning your Trade

Planning Your Trade

Summers are full of family vacations. Picture a large family cruising down the highway traveling to a distant destination. This doesn’t just happen; meaning, we don’t just leave the house, pile into the van and take off. My wife and I make a plan. We plan for us and for our kids. We plan what we will eat, drink, and even what clothes we will bring, depending on weather conditions. Even after all the planning, things come up that we don’t account for. Like family trips, our trades should have a plan.

In trading, there will always be some unknowns. Will the underlying stock go up, go down, or remain the same? Depending on our bias, we place trades that should pay-off, if our assumptions hold true. But what if the stock only goes up half of our intended move, or not at all? What if it goes opposite of our intended direction? Planning ahead allows us to prepare for these outcomes and prepare for the decisions we will face because of them. Making decisions when powerful emotions like fear and greed are involved are often not based on sound thinking. But, if we have a plan for each outcome, we can decide in advance what we should do. We can account for such possibilities when we are calm and execute the proper orders when we see them, rather than in the spur of the moment when we may not be thinking clearly. Trading can be an adventure, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. We can reduce anxiety if we will plan ahead of time and make decisions in advance, helping us be in control no matter the outcome.

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 cost you to buy and fix it up.  You can make a huge profit doing this, and 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, an investor 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 helpful thing to do is to find 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 would like 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 the price of the material. If you buy the materials yourself, you will save money and pay them for labor only. 

Although 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 offer 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 their contractors have less of a workload on their hands and can focus more on the job. Contractors are sometimes cheaper in the off-seasons as well.

Hire reputable subcontractors, instead of a contractor, and run the job yourself. This can save you money because a contractor also marks up the price of the subcontractor.  Doing some of the work yourself will also cut labor costs.

  • Save Money and Time by Using a Realtor

Once the home is fixed-up, and if you plan 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 more quickly. While they are selling your house, you can spend your time looking for your next deal.

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

Knowledge + Action = Results