Archive for August 2012

The Profit August 2012 Edition

Posted on August 6, 2012 by
The Profit for August 2012 is Here!

The Profit - August 2012The 2nd edition of The Profit, the official newsletter of the Tampa Real Estate Investors Alliance (Tampa REIA), is out for the month August 2012! Read and enjoy a variety of articles on real estate investing from Mike Barnes, Dustin Griffin, Larry Harbolt, Russ Hiner, Robyn Thompson, Erven Kimble, Jim Hitt, Bob Massey, Tony Pearl, Kathy Kennebrook, Don DeRosa and more. Don’t forget, Tampa REIA Business Members can advertise in The Profit at discounted rates.

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It is no wonder that the biggest marketing rage right now is the idea of having a website that is “thumb friendly”. According to Google, the mobile marketing revolution is growing 8x’s faster than the original web boom!

Of course, with any new wave, you will have your early adopters and the “it’s just a fad” naysayers. This wave is going to be bad news for the people who don’t get on it, because if you do not adapt to it now, your competition will pass you by very quickly. Some of these statistics should be frightening to any business that at the very least does not have a mobile friendly website.

  • By 2013 more people will use their mobile phones than PC’s to get online (Gartner 2012)
  • 61% of local searches on a mobile phone result in a phone call (Google 2012)
  • Smartphone Shipments Surpass PCs for First Time (PC Magazine Feb 8, 2011)
  • 44% of Facebook’s 900 million monthly users access Facebook on their phones. These people are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users (Facebook 2012)

Let’s look at it from a different global perspective… Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, 4 billion of them own a mobile phone… that’s almost 60%! Consider globally, that there only slightly over 1.4 billion television sets.  Of those 4 billion mobile phone owners, 1 billion of them own a smartphone. That is 15% of the world’s population owning a smartphone, making them completely “mobile ready”. Read More→

If you’ve ever wanted to have a ‘leg up’ or an unfair advantage over the competition, there’s a secret weapon that is available now for you to use… It’s called ‘SMS Marketing,’ otherwise known as ‘Text Message Marketing.’

Those few who have it and know how to use it properly are absolutely killing it, while those who have yet to discover its power are totally missing out, and losing business to their competitors who have embraced this new way to use an old technology to promote their businesses.

It’s no secret that most people have a smartphone these days. You can’t leave home without it. Even those who don’t have a smartphone still have a “dumb phone” (a simple cell phone) that can send and receive Text Messages. Everyone from teenagers to senior citizens seems to carry one, either hidden away in their pockets or firmly strapped to their hip.

And while most people still have and use email, the open rate for the messages you send out now are pathetic… and declining rapidly.

So how can you reach out to your prospects to get their attention and put your offers in front of them? Simple: Send them a brief, well-written Text Message! Read More→

Fact: Getting Bank financing this year or any year in the near future for real estate investors is no longer a reality. If you haven’t noticed the real estate investing business has had a major make-over, and in my opinion not for the better. What this means for the real estate investor is, affordable financing to buy houses just isn’t going to be in the cards for them. Some of you may think you can actually get a loan from a bank or you think it will be easy for you to find a private lender with lots of money who will fund your deals, all I can say is Good Luck. Many of you are still making offers to buy houses contingent on getting some type of financing when this could prove to be impossibility? The worst thing I see everywhere I go are investors believing they will be able to make their deals work and get the money they need to complete their transactions when I know for most it isn’t going to happen. All too many investors are finding it impossible to get affordable financing today. So let me ask you, how do those of you who depend on getting some type of financing plan to pay for the properties if you can’t get the money? Unless you can figure a way to pay for the deals you find you will slowly go broke. This isn’t a pleasant thought is it?

Many of the leading economists I follow are saying that the economy we are currently in won’t completely recover until 2023. If this is truly the case I see a ten year window of opportunity unlike any we have ever seen before if the investor is willing to learn how to make a slight adjustment in the way they are doing their deals.

Here’s what I see as another major problem for investors today… for the investors who have less than good credit and don’t have access to money having to use Hard-Money loans or some type of a bridge loan to finance their deals. This is a wonderful plan provided each deal can endure the costs of these types of loans and still give the investor the profit they need. For most investors using these types of loans may be unavailable or just too costly.

Are you losing sleep at night worrying about how you will be able to pay your bills every month? Are you worried that you might lose everything you’ve worked so hard to acquire from years of hard work?

Have you heard the stories about other investors going broke simply because they are unable to close on the properties they are buying just because they don’t have access to the funds they need? It’s a simple fact there are hundreds of thousands of real estate investor across the country this year that won’t be in the business next year! Are you going to be one of them? Read More→

The High Price of Hope

Posted on August 6, 2012 by

On June 7, Creative Loafing did an article on “The High Price of Hope”; the article talked about a man named Angel, who put himself in a financial bind in Southwest Atlanta. This is something that happens to a lot of investors. As an investor I also took a financial hit, and this is my story.

Angel’s focus was not on the alligators but was on the ether of Adair Park, the beltline, and a cheap house. He bought this shell of a house that was in a crime-ridden area with a huge number of vacancies, and prostitution for $14,000.

Angel had a lot in his favor, he was very resourceful. He knew people who worked on the city council and the neighborhood association. The architectural plans he purchased made it through code enforcement, city planning, and the bid from the contractor to build his vision. Angel is a young man, and in the real estate business, time will solve all problems. When we tap into using our relationships that will minimize our risk and maximize our potential profit are invaluable. When we are able to weather the storm through proper planning and realistic goals we will succeed. Read More→

I have become financially independent renovating houses, and you can do the same; however, if you aren’t prepared, the process can become completely overwhelming. To help you avoid the pitfalls that are out there, I have developed eight key strategies to assist you in growing your house renovation business. If you are willing to learn from my experience, you will enjoy greater success much sooner.

While I was able to renovate 17 homes during my second year in the business, by employing the following strategies, I have grown my business to the point that I can, in today’s environment, renovate 40-50 houses per year. Keep in mind that I do an average of $26,000 to $50,000 worth of repairs to each of my houses, so these are not quick carpet and paint jobs.

Here are the eight key strategies to help you take your house renovation business to the next level.

Key Strategy #1: Develop The Ability To Take Action Quickly.

One of the most important elements of my success is my ability to take action quickly. In my area, the competition is tough, and if I procrastinate I will lose deal after deal.

If you want to “steal” a house, you’re going to have to be able and willing to act quickly when a good deal presents itself. If I go and look at a house that I feel is a good deal, I write an offer immediately; get to the point where you are able to do the same. Read More→

“A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge,
And becomes surety for his friend.”
Proverbs 17:18

The biblical terms “shakes hands in a pledge” and “becomes surety” means that a person co-signs on someone else’s debt. In the business community, this also relates to a loan guarantor who has no collateral or control. Co-signing, simply put, is a risky and unwise personal and business practice.

This bible verse is a strong words against, what seems to be, an acceptable and routine practice in our society. However, to imply that a person lacks understanding is an accurate assessment of the level of fiscal wisdom most people don’t exercise when it comes to co-signing. In light of the complexity of this subject, the next few articles will continue our exploration into the practice of guaranteeing someone else’s debt.

I believe it is fairly safe to say, many of us have asked someone to co-sign for us on a purchase at some point in our lives. Or perhaps, you have been asked to co-sign for a family member or friend. Maybe you were trying to help them establish their credit for the first time or help them recover from a financial meltdown. The intentions, both ours and theirs, were probably noble and sincere. Frankly in our culture, most people don’t think of co-signing as being something unwise to do or something to be avoided. Read More→

Testing the Water with Land Banking?!

Posted on August 6, 2012 by

Are You New to Self-Directed IRA Investing?

Many people are not sure if they have enough money in their IRA/401(k) account to even begin thinking about investing with it via a self-directed account. We have many clients who have taken accounts with small account balances and grown them into sizeable accounts simply by making one successful investment at a time. In this article, we will share the story of one of our clients, David G.’s 1st self-directed Roth IRA investment. David G., by the way, grew his account from $6,800 to $293,000 in 5 short years.

David G. Decides on What His First Self-Directed Roth IRA Purchase Will Be

David G. was new to self-directed IRA investing and said “I wanted to ‘test the water’ with an easy first investment. Land was a good choice because it requires very little management.”

David G. Finds a Great First Purchase

David G. wasted no time in finding the land he wanted to purchase. He found an oversized, undeveloped, 1.87 acre residential lot. This lot had a low selling price of $18,900 (in comparison to its actual market value of $31,000). The lot really had a lot of value and appeal within it as it contained: water, sewer, a great view, and an additional upside potential to split the lot into 2 parcels. Read More→

Did Your Lender Discriminate?

Posted on August 6, 2012 by

The robo-signing fiasco has revealed the seedier side of the mortgage business to the general public. These issues are coming back to haunt many lenders in the form of law suits and settlements with state and federal governments.

Over the last several years, homeowners and the public in general have become increasingly familiar with some of the issues that could lead to a case of fraud against a lender stemming from the way documents were signed, notarized, or dated incorrectly for mortgages or foreclosure filings. The issues that were included in the foreclosure settlement against Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to proving fraudulent and inappropriate actions on the part of lenders. The more we find out about what the banks were doing, the more impossible it seems that they have been getting away with it for so long!

Sometimes the fraudulent and inappropriate behaviors that could become the basis of a lawsuit against a lender occurred when the homeowner first got the loan. Many homeowners experienced irregularities and in some cases out-and-out discrimination at the time the loan was first offered. Read More→

Ok, let’s have a quick review from where we left off last time: In our last article, we covered how almost everyone is online these days. Most people you know have email. They have Facebook. Some have Twitter and other ‘Flavors of the Week.’ In addition to that, more and more people are using their Smartphones (iPhones, Droids, Blackberrys, etc.) to get online.

Let’s face it: Traditional advertising media, such as the Yellow Pages, newspapers and the like are dying a slow death as the internet continues its surge in popularity and ease of use. Quick test: When was the last time YOU used the Yellow Pages? Can’t remember? That’s what I thought.

So now that we’re back up to speed, let’s get right to it. I’ll start off by stating the obvious fact, for those who might be a little slow today:

If You’re in Business, You NEED to Have an Online Presence!

…Or you won’t be in business for long. You need to have a website. We’ll cover what needs to be on it in a second. Some other essentials you’ll need: Email. A simple contact form. And definitely a Fan Page on Facebook. There’s more, but let’s start with those for now… Read More→

I am often asked by women at events I speak at whether or not I think a woman can make a go of the real estate investing business on their own. My personal answer to this question is always a resounding-YES!

Actually, women have a distinct advantage over men in the real estate investing business. Sorry guys, it’s the truth! You see women are generally much more comfortable working with other women. That’s a given. So this makes the whole process go a lot more smoothly. And Men really like working with Women because it kind of levels the playing field. Women are seen as easier to work with. So Women end up doing really well in the real estate investing business even if they are working on their own.

Men are more comfortable working with a female investor for a lot of reasons. The first and most important is that there is no ego or testosterone coming into play in the negotiation process so generally a man and a woman working together are going to come up with a win-win solution much more quickly and easily than a man working with a man. It’s not like one of the guys “has to win”. Read More→

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” Samuel Johnson

Homesnap AppThis looks like a great place to invest. There are decent cars in the driveways. Lawns are mowed. Flowerbeds are neat. I feel safe. Houses don’t look too expensive and would probably cash flow. I wonder what that great little Cape Cod with the white picket fence is going for?”

Well, now there’s an iPhone app that can tell you that, and more.

Homesnap is a free app that you can use on your iPhone and iPad. Just snap a picture of the house and it’ll give you an estimate of the house’s sales price, tell you how many bedrooms and baths it has, its square footage and even what schools are associated with the house. And if you know me, you know that I really care what school district a house is in – because my tenants and buyers really care about schools, too. Read More→