Archive for October 2012

The Profit October 2012 Edition

Posted on October 3, 2012 by
The October 2012 Edition of
The Profit is Ready for Download!

The Profit - October 2012The October 2012 edition of The Profit, the official newsletter of the Tampa Real Estate Investors Alliance (Tampa REIA), is now ready for download in high or low resolution format. Read and enjoy a variety of articles on real estate investing and more from Kathy Kennebrook, Robyn Thompson, Dustin Griffin, Larry Harbolt, Bob Massey, Erven Kimble, Don DeRosa, Jim Hitt, Mike Barnes, Tony Pearl and Russ Hiner. And don’t forget, Tampa REIA Business Members can advertise in The Profit at deeply discounted rates.

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Several years ago, I attended my first real estate seminar and decided this was the business for me. I could do it in my own time and at my own pace and still make money. Considering I was still working a full time job at the time, this seemed to be just the scenario I was looking for. One of the things they taught us in those seminars was that finding truly motivated sellers was going to be the cornerstone to this business because without motivated sellers there simply are no deals to be made.

After spending a number of years in sales prior to becoming a real estate entrepreneur, I knew that when the prospect contacts you first, you have a much better chance of making a good deal. At the time I didn’t have a lot of money to work with and needed to make every marketing dollar count.

I discovered the same theory applied to working with motivated sellers. A motivated seller is the key to all good deals, and if they contact you first, this significantly increases your opportunity to make a profitable deal. There are lots of opportunities for those who want to find sellers, and some are more labor intensive and time consuming than others. Learning to influence motivated sellers to contact you first will increase your profits immensely, help you make better deals and most importantly save you valuable time. Read More→

Many real estate investors shy away from the ugly house business because they fear hiring contractors. We have all heard the horror stories of rehabbers who loose their shirt because a contractor took them to the cleaners.

I am here to tell you that contractors can be your worst enemy or your best friend, depending if you hire a good one or a bad one. So how can the beginning novice real estate investor make the correct choice- the hard working team player that gets the job done on time, on budget and at a high standard of quality? The answer is by following all eight of the critical prescreening steps below.

1. Ask the contractor you are interviewing, how long they have been in the business? I prefer at least five years of experience in the trades. I want a contractor who has seen and repaired every strange, odd, and crazy thing that could be wrong with a house. Experienced contractors know how to estimate all tough projects and experienced professionals can give an accurate price to fix any problem.

Inexperienced contractors, on the other hand, under estimate repairs to get the business, and then they try to push their mistake on the home owner by upping the price half way through construction. The investor needs to say NO. NO is the most powerful word in the dictionary, and a rehabber needs to use this tool. If they did not have the knowledge to make a good estimate, it is there problem not yours. Read More→

Perhaps you’ve heard, that as a modern day, mobile real estate investor, you need to have a strong Internet presence and the ability to generate online traffic and convert that traffic into leads and those leads into deeds in order to survive and thrive in this new economy and real estate market in which we now live and operate. Just a few short years ago, if you had a real estate investor website and could be easily found on Google, you were far ahead of most investors out there and likely got your fair share of the online leads. These days, a good website alone is no longer enough to adequately compete for leads online.

In order to compete for the coveted top 5 listings on any Google search, we must now use a variety of other Internet and mobile websites, pages and profiles such as blogs, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others, videos sites, photos sites, RSS feeds, squeeze pages, classified ad sites, article sites, press releases, social bookmarking and other sites too numerous to mention. You’re probably bombarded with emails on a daily basis about search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing, Internet marketing, social networking, text message marketing and gurus claiming to have systems to do it all for you with no effort on your part. With so many choices and so many gurus telling you what to do and how and where to spend your hard earned money, perhaps you’re confused and just don’t know where to start. If you are, you’re definitely not alone and should keep reading. Read More→

On an annual basis foreclosures have dropped 24% according to CoreLogic. Anyone who has been to a foreclosure auction lately knows that there are fewer sales of foreclosed homes coming through to market. Instead, lenders refinanced over 425,000 underwater loans under HARP in the first 6 months of 2012, the same number as were done all last year. Short sales are up also. According to RealtyTrac Q1 2012 short sale activity was up 25% over the year. Does this mean we’ve got the lenders on the run?

It appears as if lenders have finally gotten the message that it is better to resolve a distressed homeowner’s problems short of a foreclosure sale. The five largest lenders were brought kicking and screaming into the reality of settling with homeowners with the $25 billion mortgage settlement with the state AGs. Mid-level lenders, such as US Bank and MetLife, are also now negotiating for settlements on foreclosure irregularities. The settlement with the big banks provides incentives for lenders to push loan modifications and short sales ahead of foreclosure, particularly over this next year. Lenders are resorting to options short of foreclosure not because they have had a genuine change of heart, but because they are being forced to reveal their dirty linen through state investigations and a barrage of lawsuits. Read More→

“He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.” (Pr 19:17 NLT)

Every investment has a Risk/Return factor associated with it. When a business man or business woman is asked to put their finances and/or time into a venture it is wise for them to consider the projected return. The return is compared to the possible loss that is associated with an investment. Conventional wisdom says; “the greater the projected return, the greater the risk one might have to take.” Whether or not greater risk can be justified by larger projected profit depends on the risk tolerance of the business person.

Have you ever considered that pro bono work, charitable contributions, benevolent gifts to the less fortunate, or supporting the poor and unfortunate members of our society as making a loan to God? Just how risky is that investment? Have you considered that such compassionate practices work for the betterment of the bottom line of one’s business? Read More→

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Remember when your dear Aunt Myrtle asked you to help her sell that Miami condo? You did the research, helped arrange some inexpensive upgrades, priced the home sensibly, and voila! It sold in a week and a half. Aunt Myrtle was so grateful she sent you homemade bread and cookies for a year.

But that was then. This isn’t your Aunt Myrtle’s condo market anymore, and it’s not just because of the Great Recession. While prices were hurtling downward, the amount and availability of information online was increasing like crazy. Databases that used to cost hundreds of dollars per year are now available to everyone for free. And that includes resources like MLS listings that used to be available only to real estate professionals.

Zillow is a great example of just how far online resources have come. Established in 2005 by economists, Zillow doesn’t just provide current home listings; it’s a one-stop shop that analyzes everything from the housing market as a whole to detailed information on single properties. The smart folks in charge have developed mathematical algorithms based on comps and other data, allowing Zillow to predict (or “zestimate”) the value of any property based on comps and other data. Enter an address, and there it is: Zillow’s zestimate of a property’s worth, along with pictures and details from the listing. Comps are even available. And a blog. And a mortgage calculator, and a lot more! The mobile version can also use GPS to find properties nearby. You can sit in your car in front of a house that’s for sale, look up the price, check Zillow’s value estimate, and then see what houses might be available just around the corner. If you happen to be a bird-dogger, Zillow is your best friend. Read More→

Buzz Words and Warning Signs

As investors, we must always be aware that there are fraud promoters lurking in every corner waiting for their next opportunity to pounce on an un-expecting investor. To help you avoid falling victim to fraud, here’s a recent study of SEC Investor Alerts which show some very obvious but worth mentioning ‘buzz’ words every investor should watch out for:

  • Guaranteed
  • Can’t Miss
  • Extremely High Returns
  • Safe and Risk Free
  • Promised _____% Returns

In the SEC alerts they are primarily discussing investing in LLCs and Private Placements; however, these warnings are absolutely applicable to real estate transactions, private loans, or any other investment a person would consider making. Read More→

Did you know you can quickly build a wholesale buyers list by having your prospects “text” to automatically join your list? Building a text message marketing list will not only prove to be easier than building an email list, but you will also have a higher chance of getting your message opened and read by your prospects. After all, about 95% of all text messages are opened and read within minutes of being sent.

People also find it is easier to simply text to a number to join your list rather than having to go online, fill out a form, check their email for a verification message and then double opt-in. It is also easier for you to market that “text to number” since it is short and easy to remember and you can place that number virtually anywhere you like!

Building a Targeted Buyer List

You can build your text message buyers list through the use of Facebook, Twitter and variety of other online and offline sources. This will give you a focused list of targeted consumers that are interested in what you have to offer!

Text them a “property of the week” or whenever you have a new property to sell or fill. Preaching to the choir is not a bad thing when it comes to text message marketing your properties, since in this case, the choir consists of those who would most likely buy or rent your properties. Read More→

Ok, you’ve built your site. You have it all set up, targeting your proper audience. You have a freebie give-away, such as a report, video, or guaranteed offer on their house, and all they need to do to get it is give you their name, email, and phone number.

So you’re ready for the next step…

Now you just need some people to see it.  This is called ‘Traffic.’  It’s the lifeblood of your website. It’s the first step in your marketing funnel – Generate Prospects.  Without eyeballs on your site, you’re done. Might as well not even have a site to begin with!

But you do have a site, so let’s get you some targeted traffic, shall we?

“If You Build It, They Will Come,” says the mysterious voice from the movie “Field of Dreams.” Well, that quote was made well BEFORE the internet was really made available to anyone. If your site isn’t set up properly, no one is gonna come, believe me.

So how do you get the traffic?  Well, that’s the fun part, isn’t it?!  And I’m going to get you started.  So, here we go… Read More→

It’s Very Simple: Consistency

Posted on October 3, 2012 by

Here it is the Tuesday after Labor Day, and I’m excited about the upcoming month. The market seems to be changing positively, and I am doing an increasing number of real estate deals. Also, I’m energized because I rested over the three-day holiday. I spent time with my friends relaxing and enjoying great conversation along with sharing ideas. With all of that renewed energy, I made grand plans for the upcoming week.

But, you know what they say about well-laid plans. Instead of getting to my list, I find myself trying to answer calls as the phone rings off the hook. My plan to achieve five of my goals this week is already going out the window. Suddenly I realize that I’m overwhelmed and losing sight of what I wanted to accomplish. I know that I need to re-prioritize.

Like so many of us, I am challenged on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis to figure out my priorities. I sit down at my desk ready to check things off of my list, and the fires start flaring up. I can easily lose track of what I should be doing and where I should be going.

I’m sure that most of you can relate to this. So, how can we avoid that rushed feeling of putting out fires? If we have the best intentions to accomplish our goals, of doing the next right thing, we must be able to do it while life happens around us rather than letting ourselves get caught up and losing sight. Read More→

Never Eat Your Seed Corn

Posted on October 3, 2012 by

When I started investing in real estate 30 some years ago it never dawned on me that there was a strategy to become wealthy. I thought all you had to do was buy houses, fix them up and resell them, make money then repeat the process. It sounded like a good plan but it was a flawed plan because the money I made from the deals I did went to feed my family first, then what was left went to rehab the next property. I had no plan to accumulate wealth. I had no plan for the future; all I had was a plan to create a job for myself I had to go to work every day to support my family.

One day I was whining to my father that I wasn’t really making any headway putting any significant amount of money into my savings account. It seemed like I was just spinning my wheels and I wasn’t really getting ahead. I was working hard everyday and I had money to feed my family but that was about it. I could have done exactly the same thing working for someone else with a lot less stress in my life. My father who was a brilliant man told me a story about a poor boy that lived during the great depression and for those of you getting started investing in real estate today I think this story is very important to help you understand how to create wealth instead of just make a living. It is called…. Read More→