Archive for July 2013

The Profit July 2013 Edition

Posted on July 5, 2013 by
The Profit Newsletter for Tampa REIA July 2013
Download the July 2013 Edition of The Profit Newsletter Now!

The Profit - July 2013 - High Quality PDFThe July 2013 edition of The Profit Newsletter for Tampa REIA is now ready for download as a High Quality PDF or Low Res PDF format. The Profit Newsletter is a digitally delivered, interactive newsletter for real estate investors to read and use with your PC, Mac, Smart Phone, iPad or other mobile ready device. Many of the articles and ads in The Profit contain hyperlinks you can click or tap to visit websites, watch videos, listen to audios, download content, send emails, comment on articles, share socially and much more! And “Yes”, The Profit is “print ready” and prints out beautifully on your black and white or color printer. Be sure to Subscribe to The Profit so you don’t miss a single monthly issue.

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Beauty in Bandit Signs

Posted on July 5, 2013 by

We’ve all seen them as we pull up to a light or get off the interstate; those temporary signs that line the medians and light poles advertising anything from DJ services to yard work to houses for rent and sale. They are a tacky eyesore and I love them! Some people see gaudy, eye pollution but all I see is dollar signs. Yes, dollar signs. These beautiful bandit signs are one of the best marketing tools in the world and have been many investors’ bread and butter. Now don’t delude yourself, if it were without some hazards, everyone would be using them, so lets get the skinny on bandits, how and why they work and what the drawbacks are.

The how and why is pretty simple. The reason bandit signs work is because they offer a solution to people’s problems in areas where customers might not read the newspaper or have access to the Internet. And while most households have televisions, most investors don’t have additional finances to pay for TV ads (it all goes back into the house). Like all advertising, you need to strike an emotional cord with your customer. As a home investor offering to buy, sell, & rent houses, you already tap into that emotional cord, especially in this desperate economic time. Your sign has the potential to be the answer to the age-old cry for help, “Dear God give me a SIGN”! Read More→

Driving for DollarsOne of our favorite and most cost effective ways to market our home buying business is through the frequent use of flyers. In fact, flyers are one most versatile and low cost forms of advertising we use to generate leads on a regular basis.

Flyers can be used in a variety of formats such as handouts, posters, mini bandit signs, over sized business cards, postcards, free reports, brochures, door hangers, newspaper inserts, tear off flyers, etc.

We like to use full size 8.5” x 11” (or 9” x 12”) or half size 8.5” x 5.5” (or 8” x 6”), double sided, full color, UV coated, card stock flyers for our ongoing marketing efforts. We can get 5000 of these full color, double sided, UV coated, 9” x 12” flyers for $480 or .096 cents each. We can also get 5000 of the same flyers in 8” x 6” size for only $190 or .038 cents each! This can give us a lot of bang for our buck, depending on how we use these flyers.

When it comes to using these flyers, there are many ways to distribute them. Two of our favorite distribution methods are “Driving for Dollars” and “Farming”. Read More→

You’re prepared right?

The first step is one that many real estate investors have already taken care of…drafting a Last Will and Testament. So, you have it all spelled out…you have met with your lawyer and carefully drafted a Will that details who inherits all of your assets right down to your great great grandfather’s pocket watch. While this is an important first step, if you are an active real estate investor, the fact is that you have some additional preparation needed in order to allow your loved ones to continue to maximize the benefits of all your hard earned investments.

The Real Estate Investors Portfolio

Drafting a portfolio is critical when you own multiple real estate holdings and other investments. The portfolio should detail: Read More→

One of the concerns many of my students seem to run into is; once they find the deal, what do they say to the motivated sellers? How should that conversation go? On top of these concerns, many of my students say they are not really comfortable with having a conversation with a stranger, so how do they handle that conversation? How do you get over the “jitters”?

Okay, so you’ve practiced what you are going to say, you have a plan, you have your paperwork, you’ve probably procrastinated a little, then scheduled your appointment with the seller, so now what? You still feel those butterflies in your stomach and you’re still not comfortable with how the conversation with the seller is going to go. What should you say first? How should you make the offer? What if they ask you something you don’t know? What if they accept your offer? What if they don’t? Read More→

Lenders like to argue that when a homeowner gets behind on the mortgage the issues involved in foreclosure are cut-and-dried. The homeowner owes on the mortgage, they have not been able to catch up over many months, so they should pay and/or lose the house. The reality is far less clear-cut. In many cases homeowners do not argue in court that they don’t owe on a mortgage; the real questions are who does the homeowner owe the loan to and does the party bringing a foreclosure action really have standing to file for foreclosure?

An audit ordered by San Francisco assessor, Phil Ting, of about 400 foreclosures was reported in a New York Times article by Gretchen Morgenson showing pervasive irregularities in how mortgages are written and how foreclosure filings are carried out. While the study was specifically of problems with San Francisco area foreclosures, similar findings could be made nationwide. For example, a recent whistleblower report on Wells Fargo exposed the systematic fabrication and alteration of mortgage documents nationwide. Their fraud was so rigorous that they even took loans that were endorsed properly and altered them as well! Read More→

“Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.”
~ Mason Cooley

Aunt Tillie is on fire! Not literally, of course. She’s hot into real estate investing. She’s got six rental houses, all occupied, and every tenant is up-to-date on the rent. At least, they were up-to-date until last month. Mr. Farkle’s rent was three weeks late last month and he still hasn’t paid this month. Tillie’s having a hard time deciding whether or not to start eviction proceedings. She knows he’d pay it if he could, but she can’t afford to give him free rent. Is it better to be kindly and poor, or mean and rich? And are those her only choices?

This balancing act – Should I be a sucker, or a scrooge? – is one of the toughest things real estate investors have to walk through, and we have to do it on a regular basis.

I had a disturbing conversation recently that brought this point home for me. A couple I know invests in real estate together. They have about a dozen rental houses, and they do very well. When the economy tanked, though, they found they had to be a little more flexible about collecting rent payments. Read More→

I recently read an article which stated… “If you thought that all you wanted was skyrocketing appreciation on your home or investment property, then one real estate ratings firm is warning you to think again.” At, along with its Property Valuation Support and Training, you will know the truth for yourself. Let’s continue with that ratings firm… According to a new report from the data analysis firm, recent home price gains may be “too rapid” and contributing to a “market imbalance that could eventually stall or reverse the positive trend.” The firm warns that in some markets an “artificially” constrained supply of homes for sale is keeping prices high even though buyers do not actually have the wherewithal, as a population, to sustain these purchase prices. Also they added that “strong institutional investor demand…is keeping the supply-demand balance…even more pronounced.” Read More→

The Gag Reflex

Posted on July 5, 2013 by

Last month, Kim and I were part of a panel discussion at Dustin Griffin’s Atlanta REIA monthly meeting. The topic was about how we’re structuring our deals in the current real estate market. A lot of time was spent answering questions about hedge funds and how they’re driving up home prices.

Because hedge funds are gobbling up an ungodly number of properties – and are willing to pay at or above a property’s CONSERVATIVE fair market value – many “investors” are no longer able to be high bidders at the foreclosure auction. And because many of these so-called investors know of no other way to buy property, they simply quit showing up – or worse yet, pay WAY too much for a property.

Frankly, Kim and I don’t give hedge funds much thought – other than thinking they’re making one giant mistake that’s gonna bite them in the butt one day soon! Sure, these days we’re rarely the high bidders on the steps, but that doesn’t mean we’re not doing deals. Just the opposite is true! Read More→

Trusts have been used as an entity to hold assets, such as real estate for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Obviously, it’s old stuff. But, with each generation’s trials and tribulations, trusts evolve to meet new challenges.

High Taxes and aggressive litigation are today’s motivators. Tax risks range from income tax to draconian death taxes that consume up to 55% of the assets a person leaves behind. Trusts are often used along with more modern adaptations of other old entities, such as partnership aberrations, to include family limited partnerships and limited liability companies. The quest is to keep what you have accumulated and to have some extended control of it, even after death.

A perfect example of using ingenuity to keep one’s assets away from the grips of the tax man was a trust established by Maria Cristofani in 1984. Maria established a trust and transferred to it real estate with a value of $70,000. The primary beneficiaries were her two children and, as contingent beneficiaries, 5 grandchildren should the two primary beneficiaries die within 120 days of Maria. All was fine until Maria died and the IRS audited her estate tax return. Read More→

Working an effective short sale can seem impossible if your Seller is not providing you with accurate information. The very first thing I require from all Sellers is a ‘complete’ Seller Information Sheet. My Seller Information Sheet is customized to specifically catch every pertinent fact about the Seller and the house.

Below are several things that I need in order to review the deal and determine my exit strategy as an Investor and/or Realtor. Read More→

Welcome back! If you’re joining us from last time, you’ll remember that we talked about the “Biggest Mistake Most People Make in Their Lead Gen Marketing”. Whether you’ve read it or not, I’ll just re-cover it here, so that we’re all on the same page.

The biggest mistake is that most people try to SELL something too early in the process, rather than just get the prospect (reader) curious enough to take action and request more information.

Most of the time, we want them to either call us or fill out a form on our website.

By simply getting them to take that ONE, easy action – The First Step, you give your sales process the chance it needs to succeed. Of course, after the first step has been taken, the second and third steps are next. These steps should be a natural progression down a “slippery slope” that eventually leads to you closing the sale/deal. Read More→

Hello fellow investors,

Now that summer is officially upon us it’s time to do some serious thinking how to maximize our profits over the next several months in the most effective ways. A few years ago I noticed another investor I knew who became very intensively busy starting in late March and early April. One day while we were having lunch I asked him why he did most of his deals in the summer months. He gave me a very well thought out and profitable explanation of his strategy, why he used it and how profitable, if done right, his strategy could be.

With so many schools continually receiving poorer evaluations, for many parents sending their children to good schools is becoming more and more important in today’s world. My friend explained that as the school year draws to a close and summer is quickly approaching that many parents start to look for areas with the best school accreditations to send their children and find a house to rent or buy. Once he explained what he was doing I started looking for three and four bedroom houses in the best school districts where I could buy houses affordably I could fix and rent or fix and sell to these families. I started looked for houses in those area’s that needed some cosmetic work done to them that I could buy at an affordable price or with terms that would allow me to make a monthly profit no matter what I did with the houses, rent or sell. Read More→

My article this month WAS going to be about “A Day in the Life of a Full Time Wholesaler”, but after thinking out the article in my head it came down to productivity, focus, goals, and time management – which are all interrelated.  I also thought that these things can be applied to any area of real estate investing, not just Wholesaling. 

No matter if you are full time or part time, you still need to be very cognizant of what activities are getting your closer to your goals – whether it’s doing wholesale deals or any type or real estate investing (finding seller finance deals, finding good buy and holds, finding good fix n flips, finding buyers, finding private lenders, building your team, etc).

This article will be more focused on the “Daily Success Activities” of a Wholesaler, but can be applied to most types of real estate investing (plus I think everyone should be doing some wholesaling in their RE business).  So like I said, no matter if you are full-time or part-time in real estate investing, you need to have goals, and you need to focus on the activities that will move you closer to those goals.  As a wholesaler, your goals are typically to close deals (flip houses and/or contracts for cash).  You determine how many deals you want to have done by the end of the year or how much money you want to have made from this.  That’s an example of a goal you could have – now how do we get there? Read More→

Over the last 23+ years, I’ve known many investors and entrepreneurs. I’ve seen every possible scenario, from overnight success to plodding, sit-on-your-butt-and-do-nothing failure. I’ve known people who would get off to a great start, and then fade away, and some who would piddle around and never seem to get anywhere. I’ve known those who made a very successful living and even a few who became super wealthy.

Is there a magic formula for success? I wish I could tell you there was. It could have saved me a whole lot of headaches over the years. And having the copyright on that formula would have made me an awful lot of money. Unfortunately, there’s no more magic in being successful than there is in anything else worthwhile in life.

However, from years of experiencing my own successes and failures, as well as witnessing those of others, I have identified a few mistakes that can short-circuit an entrepreneur’s rise to fortune. I’ve compiled a list of the most common roadblocks you’ll face on the road to becoming a successful real estate entrepreneur.

Now, you may be one of the fortunate few, and never find yourself faced with any of these problems, and that’s great. More likely, you’ll recognize parallels in your own situation in what I’m about to discuss. My goal here is to put you in a position where you can identify these pitfalls. Then, when you encounter them (and you will), you’ll be armed with the ability to direct yourself around them and get back on track . . . immediately. You won’t have to worry about these things hindering you from achieving your goals. So, let’s dive in and go down the list. Read More→

Be Valuable

Posted on July 5, 2013 by

Of all the creative financing techniques I use to build my business, the one that made me the most money and will make you the most money is the art of being valuable. Creative financing is one of the fastest ways to get started in the real estate business. This can include things such as seller financing or a master lease option. No matter what tactics you use, it always comes back to creating value for your buyers.

The first thing you want to do when you are getting into business is to decide what it is you bring to the table. What things do you have that others will value? Once you figure out where your worth is then you must decide how you will trade that worth for what you want. In most cases you are trying to trade your value for entry into a real estate deal but remember, the real estate business is more than just closing a deal. There is partnerships, private money, experience etc. All of these things have value and you will want to focus on gaining as many of these skills as you can. Read More→