How to Make $10,000 in the Next 30 Days Flipping Houses!

So this headline is the candy coated poison that allows just about every self proclaimed real estate GURU to get their hooks into real estate newbies everywhere…..but even with that said it sums up the point of this blog post as well as anything. The only difference is at this point I really don’t have anything to gain financially by giving you this information, so this isn’t me just giving you a teaser article hoping to then sell you a $995 product so you can get all the real info. You see the honest truth is anyone who is actually doing real estate right now is probably not putting that much time into the education and coaching side of their business (like myself). The reason being is that this is the absolute best market any of us Real Estate Pro’s have ever seen to make money…..and I mean big money actually doing real estate. I had intentions of having our mentoring program set up at this point (along with a Podcast which is still coming by the way), but the deals we are finding and the money we are making just doing real estate is so insane right now I just cant justify not focusing as much of my time as possible on investing. With that said I still plan on rolling out our 1 on 1 mentor program, a great marketing product along with the podcast shortly, but for the next few months I am going to keep my focus purely on buying and selling real estate. Now check out this video and then finish reading the article!

So now that I have gotten that off my chest lets get into the nuts and bolts of this article so that you can start taking advantage of this amazing market!

The honest truth is that if you have a proven formula to follow, making 10K pretty much on demand is not that difficult in real estate. If however you are not following a proven formula then this goal of 10K in 30 days would seem near impossible, which is why most people will never be able to do this. I am not trying to deter you by any means, but rather I am just being honest about the fact that you need to take action….and the right kind of action to make this happen. I remember when I first started investing in real estate I always wondered what is it that those highly successful investors see that I don’t when looking at a particular house or a market…..well now almost 10 years later I can say the answer to that questions is A LOT! This business is really very simple when it comes down to it, but at the same time its also very difficult…..and the difficult part is not only figuring out what action needs to be taken, but following through and continually taking that action needed to produce results. So below is simple step by step instructions on how to make 10K in the next 30 days in this business wholesaling houses!

1. Find and build relationships with “real” cash buyers in your market. The best way to find the true players in your market is to first look and see who has the biggest online presence. Second is to figure out who is buying properties at the auction on a regular basis. These two sources alone will give you all the buyers your wholesale business will ever need during your first year in business. There is no need to do large mailers or anything like that…..you only need to find a couple real buyers to run a hugely successful wholesale business. Once you find out who these people are then just call them up and talk to them…..introduce yourself, find out what type of properties they like to buy, neighborhoods and price points they focus on. Once you have this information now you have an order to fill and a buyer that is ready and willing when you find a deal. Right now deals are not as easy to find as they have been in the past few years, so selling a deal to any of these types of buyers for a nice profit will be a walk in the park……the hard part is going to be finding the deal.

2. Now that you have relationships built with some “real” cash buyers in your market and you know what they like to buy, its time to go find a deal. If you are just starting out then you are going to need to learn the area’s that your new buyers like to buy in. So in order to find them a deal I suggest that you utilize the Driving for Dollars Strategy. This strategy will only cost you your time and a little bit of gas money, so everyone should be able to afford to utilize it. Now you need to drive every street in your buyers  target areas and write down every address that looks like it needs work, looks very outdated, or looks like old people live there (old school Buick in the driveway, ramp up to the front door, ect). The idea here is to create a large custom list of properties that you will use to market to on a continual basis. You may get a deal or two on the first couple mailings, but you need to make sure to continue mailing this list over and over again. That way when when someone is ready to sell they will contact you first. The key is to catch people at the right time, so this may happen on your first mailing, or it may happen on your 3rd…..but the point is you have to be visible and relevant to the seller when they decide its time to sell.

3. Once you have created your custom list you now need to research every property and figure out who owns it and where they live. If they don’t live at the property then you need to know that information because you will send your marketing piece to where they actually live. I normally utilize Excel to create and update all of my Driving for Dollars lists, so I would suggest that you do the same.

4. Now that you have all of these leads you need to get some marketing out the door ASAP in order to get a response from the owners of these properties. I would suggest that you send every person on this list a standard Yellow Letter so that your response rate is as high as possible. This will help to ensure that you have the best chance possible to put together a deal within a 30 day window. You can write these letters yourself in an afternoon (about 8-10 an hour is what my letter writer can write). This way its again only costs you your time and a little $ on for supplies.

5. Mail to the same list every two weeks (at least for the first couple letters). This will get the owners attention and get you a lot more calls since it will be hard to ignore your message. Then continue to mail the list ever 30 days for the remainder of the year or until people either call and sell you their house or ask to be removed from the list. If they ask to be removed from the list, then use this as an opportunity to talk with them and remind them to call you if they ever decide they want to sell. Please keep in mind that some people can get a bit ridiculous when you send them letters asking to buy their house…..DO NOT let this deter you! Its part of the game and all of us who market on a regular basis deal with it, so you are not alone. Just accept the fact that you will get some not so nice phone calls and continue taking action.

6. Once the calls start coming in you need to start getting your hustle on! This is where the money is made my friends, and this is what separates the men from the boys. You need to talk to every single person that calls (whether good or bad ) in order to try and put a deal together. Rarely is a deal made on the first call, so you need to talk with people, set appointments, go see the property, build re-pore, talk some more, make offers, follow up on the offers you made and then sign up a deal! This is the hard part that very few people can do effectively and consistently, so if you can get good at this part the sky is the limit for you and your business! This is the only difference between being mediocre and being great in this business…..almost everyone can do steps 1 through 5, but very few get good at step 6.

So there it is…..This is the recipe to create large amounts of money out of thin air wholesaling real estate, and I’m talking about some potentially life changing amounts of money! Although the recipe is simple, its the application and follow through that will be the difficult part. The questions you have to ask yourself is how bad to you want the money and how bad do you want to be great? I know what what my answer is to that question…..do you? Now get out there and start following these six steps so that you can put a big five figure paycheck into your bank account before the end of January!

How to Start A House Flipping Business: Part 3 of 3!

We have had a great response so far with the previous two articles that lay out the steps necessary to build a house flipping business from the ground up. So in order to raise the bar even higher in the third part of the series, I am going to be giving away TONS of extremely valuable and FREE information on how to build your own successful house flipping business!

Make sure to watch the video before finishing the Article!!

In the last article I gave you a couple strategies that you could put to work in order to generate leads for your real estate business. Although those lead sources (probates and driving for dollars) are great and everyone should be taking advantage of them, you always need to be looking to grow your business and your marketing reach! The key to building your marketing machine is to become very good at one niche and then move onto the next (while continuing to use and master the previous niche’s). So in this article I am going to go through the next steps you need to take in order to become the player in your market that everyone aspires to be.

So now that you have started to implement a couple marketing campaigns on a consistent basis (probates and driving for dollars), now its time to take it up a notch and start to increase the number of marketing campaigns you are running at any given time. To help you accomplish this my suggestions would be to do one of two things that will help you grow your business: The first would be to hire a marketing manager to help keep your direct mail consistent, organized and effective: Or the alternative would be to outsource all the mailings along with the lead follow up process. This would entail using a direct mail service provider to send out all of your yellow letters, postcards, ect. and then hire a virtual assistant to process all of the leads and follow up with the potential motivated sellers that contact you. I personally don’t care to use virtual assistants because I have a physical office space that my team and I work out of…..that and I am all about building my business with long term people who can actually go out and view properties and make offers for me. There is something to be said for having your team working along side you every day as apposed to half way around the world (which apparently doesn’t sell so GURUS fail to make this point). If however hiring virtual assistants works better for your current situation then go for it……its absolutely better to get help of some kind to grow your business than none at all. Also mailing houses that can prep and mail all of your marketing can be extremely helpful when you are opperating as a one man band. In order to really make it big in this business you MUST build a team of people working for you everyday…..whether that be as employee’s, independent contractors or virtual assistants. The only difference between making 100K a year and 1 million a year in this business is being consistent with your marketing and having a team to help you increase your marketing reach.

So lets re-cap the important points I am trying to make……as you grow you are going to need help, so find a local team member or a virtual assistant. Also you need to always be expanding your marketing reach and number of campaigns you are running at any given time. Always be testing new direct mail marketing campaigns for motivated sellers along with the marketing piece you are sending them. Marketing is a never ending process that you continue to improve and not just a task that you can check off your list. Lastly look to expand your marketing online by utilizing SEO and pay-per-click as your marketing budget increases…..we generate a large number of GREAT leads each year online. The best part about those kinds of leads is that they have already been pre-qualified and are ready to do business with you! This would first require that you create a website for for sellers to learn about your services, so make sure to make this a priority before expanding online.

Let me be very clear though before continuing on; If you do not learn how to market for sellers your business will soon die a slow death. Those investors who simply rely on Auctions, Realtors and MLS for deals are going to have a real hard time moving forward. This is because as the market continues to improve more and more people are going to jump into this great business, so the amount you have to pay for any of those deals will continue to go up. The super successful investor in this new market will be those who can consistently source deals directly from homeowners.

Now before we wrap up this article lets look at what additional marketing campaigns you should start running as your business grows. One of the more publicized ones is Absentee Owners. I would say these are a good source, but you will need to mail a large number of them on a consistant basis before you will see results. Another good campaign would be older homeowners with large amounts of equity in their homes. The idea here is that you catch someone at a time when they are looking to downsize or move into assisted living……and when you do catch them it can mean BIG checks for you. Lastly you need to create an online presence and learn to market your business on the old internet. The best ways to generate leads initially with this niche is going to be through pay per click campaigns, but I would suggest you hire the help of a professional when you are getting started. If you don’t know what you are doing it can cost you a lot of money in testing and tweaking.

I could probably write a small novel on how to run each of these campaigns, but the point of this article was to open your eyes to what you should be doing to grow your business. If anyone has additional questions about any of these campaigns then please feel free to post on our facebook page and I would be happy to answer the questions for all to see www.facebook.com/MyInvestingMentor

 

How to Start A House Flipping Business: Part 2 of 3

This is the second article in our hugely popular blog post series on how to start your house flipping business from the ground up. After releasing the first article we got a lot of feedback from newer investors who said they really enjoyed the information and found it extremely helpful in getting their biz off the ground and making money! So in this 2nd of a 3 part series we are going to go even deeper and deliver you some of the best “free” information you can get your hands on when it comes to real estate investing. We are on a mission to help as many investors as we can to achieve a life of financial freedom through real estate investing…..and this series of articles will give you simple step by steps instructions on how to do just that!

Now that we have gone through what you need to do in order to start your House Flipping biz, now its time to start making some major decisions on how you are actually going to make money! What I mean by this is what is going to be your property acquisitions niche? Because eventually you will actually have to buy (or assign) properties if you want to make money! Eventually you want to diversify so that you can constantly acquire properties through a variety of different niches, but when you are first getting started the only way to assure success is to FOCUS on one niche at a time. So here’s the deal…..most new investors start out trying to wholesale REO’s because they are the easiest to get access to. The problem is most of them have no clue what they are doing and end up wasting A LOT of peoples time. Here is an example of a recent phone call I had with a newbie investor who called my office to try and sell us a deal:

Newbie Investor: Hi there the guys at TTM Cash HouseBuyers……I have a great deal for you!

Me: OK…..well tell me a little about it.

Newbie Investor: Its a solid house that needs about 10K in rehab. I am selling it for 120K.

Me: OK…..well can you give me the address and I’ll do some research?

Newbie Investor: Its 123 main street

After doing about 2 minutes of research I come up with the following information: The newbies house is an REO that has been listed for 95 days, the listing price is 115K, its a complete gut rehab, the house is in a sub-par area and sits on a busy road right across from a bus stop (public transportation). So what does this say to you? Well to me it says that this investor has no idea what they are doing and have just ruined their reputation if they decide to shop this deal around to every investor in town they can find. You see wholesaling can be a very easy business if people know you sell a good product (its pretty much like legal drug dealing), however if you are pushing crappy houses at dumb prices this business is going to be really hard on you. Most newbie investors fall into the 2nd category of pushing crappy overpriced REO’s to anyone who will listen…..so don’t be that guy….and keep reading to learn how not to be!

I always tell people to start off by building their direct mail marketing machine to find deals, but at the same time look at all of the REO’s on the market just to gain experience. Even if you don’t find an REO deal you will be forced to analisys potential deals which will make you a better investor much faster. Now within the direct to homeowner niche (as in properties not listed on the MLS), you should use direct mail to start out generating seller leads for your business. And when starting out using direct mail its my opinion that you should start out by targeting probate leads. The reason I say this is because you will get the highest response rate of any potential motivated sellers you can mail to on the smallest budget. The only challenge is going to be figuring out how you can get probate leads in your market. You won’t have to mail out thousands of pieces of mail in order to get a deal with probate, and the reality is you can likely handle sending out all the letters yourself, since the number of new probates leads in any given month is relatively small.  In my market they actual probate filings are published in a business newspaper which makes them relatively easy to find, but I know in other markets that also happens or they are published online by the county (which makes it even easy to find probate leads).

In addition to probate mailings, I would also suggest that you implement a driving for dollars campaign at the same time, in order to really get your business cranking out motivated seller leads quickly…..that and driving for dollar leads are basically free except for the gas it takes to find them! Now just to clarify when you are driving for dollars you are looking for run down crappy looking houses and then just write down the address. Then once you get back to your computer research who owns the property and send them a letter asking if they are interested in selling the property. I know this sounds way too simple for it to actually work, but the reality is that it works great. I use this strategy (in addition to probate marketing) in my business all the time, and we have made tons of money with them…..so there you go. All you have to do is copy what I have been doing and you will likely achieve the same results.

So lets circle back around and make sure you I didn’t loose anyone with what your next steps should be in building your house flipping business. You need to start building your direct mail marketing machine…..and the main reason I suggest direct mail is because its extremely powerful and very cost effective. It will also set you apart from 99% of your competition who is only offering on listed properties because they are either too lazy to market for deals, or they are afraid to talk with sellers (yes this really does hold a lot of people back). The market is heating up and competition is increasing, so you need to do what your competition is not, that way you are getting the deals they want! If you take my advise and start marketing for deals….and stick with it…..you will soon realize it was the best decision you ever made for your business.

Keep an eye out for the third part of this series where we will go into expanding your marketing strategies and scaling your business into a market domination cash machine!

How to Start a House Flipping Business: Part 1 of 3

So this series is going to be dedicated to teaching you how to start a Real Estate Investment business (AKA House Flipping Business) from the ground up……and since I have successfully  done it myself,  I think that should be a good enough reason for you to keep reading and put this valuable information to work. This is one of the greatest businesses on earth, and  to be successful doing something this great is one of the best feelings you can experience in life. On the flip side however, getting your REI business off the ground and building a successful business that lasts can be very difficult…..especially when you are trying to accomplish everything on your own without the help of a mentor. So in an effort to give out some SUPER VALUABLE free content to our followers I am going to go through everything you need to do in order to build your your very own Real Estate Investing business. This will be a three part series dedicated to getting you off the couch and ultimately running a hugely successful Real Estate Investing business! I am going to go through every step of building an REI biz…..so here we go!

The first question that everyone asks themselves when they get into real estate investing is…..what do I do first? Well here is the answer….set up a damn company! I have read articles from a lot of Gurus who say don’t worry about it until you flip a deal or two….well I say bullshit. You have to treat this like you would be starting any other type of business, and there is no way in hell you would start any other type of business without actually setting up a company first. So the next step is going to be picking a company name…..now this is actually a very important step, so give it some thought. Pick something that people will remember and that will allow you to stand out from your competition. My companies all start with TTM, and the reason for that is because its easy for people to remember. Now when you are first starting out using a straight LLC is going to be just fine since they are very simple and cheap to set up. After you have been in business for a year or so and are making profits I would then suggest having your accountant file for the S-Corp election. This will allow you to ultimately save a lot of money on your taxes….but consult with your CPA before doing so.

The next step once you have decided on a business name is to get yourself a logo made along with some business cards and letterhead. You may be thinking isn’t this a little much this early in the game? Absolutely not…..you expect this whole real estate thing to work right? Well then treat it that way and build it like a real business. Next get yourself a facebook business page and/or website so that motivated sellers can find you even if you aren’t marketing for them yet. Setting up a facebook page will take you all of about 10 minutes, and then BAM you have an instant web presence. Eventually you will want to build an actual website if you don’t do it from the get go, but starting with a facebook page is just fine. Lastly you are going to need a business email that matches your business name & phone system of sorts in order to communicate with the rest of world. For email the easiest way to get one set up would be using Gmail…..you can easily pick your address so that it matches your company name, which will make you look professional. There is nothing worse than trying to do business with some goofy email address that people either cant remember or laugh at every time you give it out. I would then suggest that you get two phone lines: the first being your business cell phone, which you give out to those who you have already spoken with in the past. The second would be a message line that is simply in place as basically an office line where people can leave a message. You may not start out marketing to the general public, but when you do you will need a message phone line like this for them to call. You definitely don’t want to send out 5,000 direct mail pieces with your cell phone number on it for a couple reasons. The first is that your phone will likely be ringing non stop at all hours of the day and night, and secondly you want to be in a good place when you actually talk with motivated sellers…..and that good place is not changing lanes driving down the freeway!

So that is where we are going to call it quits for the first installment of this series on building your real estate biz. If you are thinking about getting into the real estate biz, then start by putting together the few items that I have listed in this article. In the next post we are going to go through how you should start our actually looking for deals as well as getting educated on what your doing. So stay tuned…..and until next time put this information to work!

Attention Rehabber’s: Is The Highest Offer Really The Best Offer?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you would have noticed that real estate inventory is extremely low all across the country…..and in some places lower than its ever been! So what does this mean to those of us in the Real Estate Investing business? Well first and foremost it means getting your hands on sweet deals is going to get a little tougher, so you better start to work on your acquisition strategies. Secondly however is that if you are rehabbing in your business, selling your finished products to a retail buyer just got A LOT easier than it has been for the past few years! Now this is a good thing for sure, but since inventory is so low some of the retail buyers that are out there right now seem to be causing a lot of unneeded grief for investors. Because of the LOW inventory agents have to be quick to the trigger in order to make sure their clients have a chance to get a property that they like, and this “quick trigger” has caused a lot of buyers to write offers first and think about everything else last……instead of the other way around like it should be. In my own business we have dealt with this a lot lately and its nothing short of ANNOYING! Basically buyers are writing offers out of fear that they may loose the house if they don’t, instead of writing offers because they absolutely want the house and have got to a point where they are truly ready to buy a home. In addition we have seen buyers and their agents writing offers before they are actually “pre-approved” with their lender if they happen to be looking at houses over the weekend.

So what does all of this mean to you the seller of a rehab project that you have just finished putting your blood, sweat and tears into? It means that now more than ever you need to make sure that you really check out your buyers thoroughly before signing on the dotted line and accepting their offer. It has been our experience as of late that the buyers who write the strongest offers (full price asking for no closing costs to be paid by the seller and/or an escalator clause) are not necessarily the best choice for a seller to accept. It seems that in some cases those buyers who are trying to “win the bid” are really just trying to tie up the house while they decide if they really want it or not. Now don’t get me wrong, inspection periods are meant for a buyer to complete their due diligence on the property…..but not for them to decide if this is really the house that they want to buy or the price they want to pay for other reasons……that type of due diligence should be done before the offer is written. Its my opinion that if you are writing a VERY strong offer, then that should mean you absolutely want the house (given there are no issues with inspections and what not). Unfortunately some agents and their buyers don’t seem to have this same outlook and have no problem doing business in a very poor manner. Its always funny to me that most RE Agents harp on the “ethical responsibilities” that they adhere to, but when it comes to wasting a sellers time and doing bad business they don’t even think twice about it, or do it in the name of “protecting their clients best interest”…..which basically means backing out because their clients changed their minds for no good reason….AKA they weren’t ready to purchase a home yet and wrote an offer too soon.

Now I am not trying to come off as overly negative, but what I am trying to impress upon you is that you need to check out your buyers very thoroughly before accepting their offer (no matter how strong the offer is). What we do is grill the buyers agent with a series of questions that will allow us to learn who our buyer (and their agent) really is without ever having to meet them. That way you can start to figure out if accepting their offer is going to be the best business decision at the end of the day. We also call the buyers lender and grill them with a different set of questions, so that we know if they are “really” pre-approved and if the loan officer has done their job properly. The bottom line is that sale fails can really cause major issues for your investing business, so by putting in some effort to complete proper due diligence on your potential buyer ahead of time….it can save you from a lot of headaches & issues farther along in the transaction. Make this process part of sales system and I can guarantee you that things will run much smoother for your business!

Lastly things have been crazy lately which is why we have yet to release the 1st episode of our “Real Dealz” Podcast, but I can assure you it is coming! We have been wholesaling, rehabbing and building more houses than ever, along with working closely with TV Producers who may be putting us on a TV near you soon…..so juggling those things has left very little time for the podcast. Anyway that will be changing, so keep your eye out for the 1st episode or sign up on our home page to be notified!

What’s The Next Big $$ Making Opportunity for Real Estate Investors?

I know I know….the title of this post sounds like one of those emails that every Internet marketing GURU….or as some would call them, make believe real estate investors, send you every week about some ground breaking brand new program that they are gracious enough to sell to you for a bargain….I mean reoccurring nominal fee that you will have to call to cancel! Well shit I haven’t even started the article and I’m already going off on a tangent…..so back on course we go! Check out this video and then keep reading the article……

The market had been changing fast & furious as of late and inventory numbers are at historic lows! If you look back at the market in your area a year ago, chances are it has changed a lot….and for the better obviously. The shadow inventory that everyone has been talking about for the past year that was supposed to put more downward pressure on real estate prices never showed up! So will this shadow inventory sill show up? Honestly I really don’t know, but if it does I would bet my bottom dollar that the banks will continue to release them slowly so that the market isn’t flooded with REO’s at rock bottom prices. Instead I think REO inventory will likely continue to trickle out so that everyone and their mother can bid on them in an effort to secure their next flip project. If you haven’t noticed competition is fierce right now for listed REO’s since deals are in short supply, so its not our of the ordinary to have multiple offers on anything that even resembles a deal! These current market conditions are a far cry from what they had been for the last 2-3 years, but I guess its time to welcome back a sellers market!

So now that we have established that the market looks to have finally hit bottom and is now improving rapidly, what’s the next big money making opportunity for real estate investors? Well honestly there is opportunity in just about every aspect of real estate as the market starts to improve, but one niche in particular has a TON of money in it for those who can take advantage of it……so what is that niche? Drum roll please…bdbdbdbdbd…In-Fill Building! Now don’t tune me out if you don’t think there is any way your business is ready to jump into building new houses from scratch….there is plenty of opportunity in this niche even for those who can just source the product builders need to build on (aka wholesalers)! Currently in my own business we are focusing A TON of our marketing efforts on generating infill building property leads, and to be honest we have been having great success! The reason for the large amount of success we are having with these types of properties is because most real estate investors don’t market towards them, and most builders only buy through Realtors, MLS or word of mouth referrals. So a lot of the time we are the only people talking to these types of sellers!!

So why is there so much opportunity in this niche of real estate investing right now? Over the last 5 years or so new construction has come to a screeching halt and at the same time builder have been dropping like flies. Because of this there has been very little new construction product for home buyers to purchase, so now that retail buyers are coming off the sidelines in flocks to buy houses, new construction is at the top of their list…..and especially within the nicer close in neighborhoods. There is a huge transition going on right now where buyers are actually moving back into the trendy/established inner city neighborhoods, and out of the Mcmansions in the suburbs that were once the American dream. With this transition along with the prolonged real estate bust has come a huge amount of demand for infill new construction houses!

So how can you take advantage of this opportunity? If your business is at the point where you can take the leap into to actually building as well as rehabbing houses then its time to jump in! There is a learning curve to this side of the business, but the potential profit margins make it easily worth the risk. Now if you are not ready to start building houses that’s fine too, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on this money train! You see most builders only know how to acquire properties through RMLS, Realtors and word of mouth since they don’t generally market for their own deals! So this creates a HUGE amount of opportunity for wholesalers who can source builders quality properties! The best part is that they could care less about the actual house, which makes it super easy to wholesale them deals! My advise to you would be to start networking with some builders in your market and find out what kind of properties they are looking for and in what neighborhoods, then start marketing for them!

So lets recap what you should be doing to in order to cash in on this great opportunity to make money! First would be figuring out whether your business is ready to start doing some in-fill building or whether you would need to stick to wholesaling houses/lots to builders. Next would be to start networking with builders in your market as well as do some market research to find out where builders are making the most money (what neighborhoods)….these area’s are where you will be able to make the most $$ for yourself as well. There is a lot of money to be made within this niche of real estate investing over the next couple years, so jump in and get your piece of the profit!

How Can I Start Generating Motivated Seller Leads??

When you are first getting started as a real estate investor getting motivated seller leads coming into your business can be difficult…..mainly because you probably don’t have any clue where to start looking for them, but also because you are likely low on cash that you can use towards your marketing budget. Fortunately there is one strategy that anyone can utilize that costs very little money and is easy to execute. You would think because of the simplicity of this strategy more people would use it effectively…..but the reality is most people who use this strategy don’t follow it all the way through, so some of the best money making leads you can get your hands on just sit on their desk collecting dust.

So what Motivated Seller strategy are we going to talk about in this post?? Well I am going to go through in detail how we drive for dollars in my business, as well as what kind of marketing system we plug all of our Driving for Dollar leads into so that we can generate actual deals from the leads. If you are new to investing then the first thing you need to do is to determine what are your target neighborhoods or “Farm Area’s”, so that you can begin driving those area’s looking for houses. In my business (since we have been at this for a while) whenever we purchase a new rehab project I always treat it as an opportunity to better learn the neighborhood that our project is in, as well as create an even stronger presence for my company in that area. So every time I go to the new project I will take 20 minutes or so and drive around the surrounding streets to try and find houses that meet our Driving for Dollar’s criteria. Again if you don’t have any projects going in area’s you want to continue to invest in, then just establish what area’s you do want to invest in and drive those streets. Below are four criteria that we use when trying to determine if a house is one that we should be writing down as a Driving for Dollar’s lead:

1. Looks Abandoned (no furniture or blinds, phone books on the front porch, flyer’s hanging from the door handle, ect.)

2. Overgrown Grass and Plants (this is best spotted in the spring when things start to grow like crazy)

3. In Terrible Condition (you probably  get the idea on this one….but peeling paint, dry rot, boarded up, tarps on the roof, ect)

4. Old People Houses (outdated, roller pig ramps to the front door, older model cars in the driveway) – This is a sneaky one that most people overlook!

Once you drive an entire farm area you should then have a complete list of all the properties in that area that meet your criteria…..now this is the point where a lot of people get to and then they quit! They have good intentions of continuing on researching the leads, but for whatever reason they stop at this point once all of the heavy lifting has been completed. Once you have put together a list of these hand picked properties you have just created a custom list that is as good as any you could ever buy! This is because you have personally seen and qualified every house on the list, which is definitely not the case when you purchase a list of absentee owners or free and clear properties…..in addition all of the leads are in the exact area that you would want to buy houses!

So now that you have this super targeted list of fixer or outdated houses what do you do with it? Well the first thing you need to do it make sure your title company has set you up with their online property research system. If you are working with a good title company they always make sure to take care of their customers…..and they do this by providing you access to a property research system that will allow you to look up all the information you could ever need for any given property. The best part about this system is that all of the information can be accessed online…..which means you can do all the research from the comfort of your favorite recliner (or office chair).

Once you have started to research the list of properties that you have complied, make sure to create an excel spreadsheet that includes not only the subject property address, but also the owners name and their mailing address. A lot of the houses you write down will probably be owner occupied, but when you find an abandoned or fixer house with absentee owners then you have found a potential gold mine! After you have complied all of the contact information for each property then its time to start contacting the owners by sending out letters letting them know you would be interested in buying their house! Its sounds simple doesn’t it? Well that’s because it is…..the only thing is most people won’t ever send out the letters or they will only send out 1 round of them. You need to mail these leads over and over again, that way when they are ready to sell their house they will most likely call you first! Just because the house is a giant POS it doesn’t mean they will want to sell it right away, but when they are ready you want to make sure that you are at the front of the line offering your services!

Using this strategy has increased our company revenue by 100′s of thousands of dollars this year alone, and the cost of implementing the strategy has been just a little bit of time and a small amount of postage…..so very small in comparison the profits it can generate! The key to being successful using this method is just following through on getting your letters out on a continual basis. As long as you can continually get your marketing out it will generate some of the best leads around coming into your business on a regular basis, and that will create some big pay days for you! Now get out there and put this strategy to use in your business, so you can start generating highly profitable motivated seller leads asap!

Are We Really In The Real Estate Business??

Ok…..yes I know this blog is all about the real estate business, but the question every real estate investor needs to ask themselves is the title to this article;

Are we really in the Real Estate business?

And the answer that should immediately pop into your head yes….I mean no…..I mean sort of. All kidding aside the reality is we are in the real estate business, but knowing about actual real estate is secondary to a couple other very important skills that you must posses if you want to experience sustained success. Most investors think that if they learn everything that they can about real estate investing strategies through courses, infomercials and seminars they will be a successful investor, but the truth is learning about actual real estate is only a small piece of the much larger puzzle to find success in this business. So what should I be learning about in order to help ensure I achieve massive success as a real estate investor? Well keep reading this article and you will find out what most GURU’s won’t tell you…..

The number 1 most important skill set that you need to have in order to be hugely successful in the Real Estate business is MARKETING! You see most investors have been spoiled over the past couple years by just being able to buy deals off the MLS or at foreclosure auctions that make them money. The days of being able to easily snag deals through these two strategies is starting to come to an end…..and quickly might I add. The number of foreclosures are decreasing and the number of investors getting into the game using these strategies is increasing dramatically, so this means if you want to continue to be successful in this business you will need to learn how to effectively market your business to motivated sellers! Marketing is one skill that very few real estate investors actually spend much time mastering (mainly because very few GURU’s sell courses about it), but they absolutely should! If you spent as much time trying to learn about marketing as you do learning about the next greatest real estate investing strategy that the online GURU’s are pushing to your inbox, you would be spending your time much more wisely! Once you learn how to effectively market for motivated sellers you will have a skill that allows you to write your own paycheck at will…..and that is the key to achieving financial freedom. If you can set up a marketing systems that constantly deliver your business motivated seller leads, you are pretty much creating a personal ATM with an unlimited supply of cash for yourself! I have built this type of system for myself and from scratch…….so I know its possible for anyone to do it once they posses the right education.

The 2nd most important thing that you must learn to be successful in the real estate biz is people skills! Now this is a skill that some people are just born better at than others, but that doesn’t mean just because you suck now at sales and people skills that you can’t improve yourself! I used to be very reserved and shy when I was younger, which doesn’t lend itself to being very good at talking with complete strangers and selling them on your company’s services. Fortunately (although I didn’t see it this way at the time) I took a job right out of college that was commission only……which meant I needed to learn how to flap my gums quick if I wanted to actually make any money and not have to live off of top romen. Eventually I did get a lot better at talking with people and honing my sales skills which ultimately has had a HUGE impact on the success I have achieved in the real estate investment business.

Now if you have just been buying deals off the MLS or at foreclosure auctions then you are probably saying to yourself “what the hell do I need to be able to talk to strangers for?”. Well the reality is if you are only buying houses off the MLS or at foreclosure auctions then you don’t really need to have good people skills. The fact is a lot of the real estate investors who buy houses only through these avenues are deathly afraid to talk with motivated sellers (or are just really really bad at it)…..which is part of the reason why they only  buy properties where the human element is non-existent. Now although I do suggest you try and purchase properties both off the MLS and at auctions (in addition to other strategies), the truth is it really doesn’t make you a “real” real estate investor to just be purchasing properties from those sources. It does make you an opportunist who is taking action (which is good) using the path of least resistance, but to achieve sustained success and rise above your competition you will eventually need to step outside your comfort zone, build an actual marketing machine and talk with motivated sellers directly! Once you take this step and build your own marketing funnel you soon realize how much more opportunity there is in this great business for those who treat it like one.

I can remember some of the first motivated seller appointments that I went to early on in my career……and to be honest I sucked real bad at connecting with the sellers and putting together a deal. But over time and with a lot of practice I am now extremely comfortable meeting with and talking to just about any kind of motivated seller. By having this skill set it has allowed me to beat out my competition over and over again when dealing directly with motivated sellers! In fact its not unusual for me to get a deal over my competition even when I am offering less money (which happens quite frequently), and the sole reason for that is because I have better people and sales skills.

So lets circle back around and really hit the key points of this article before signing off……If you haven’t started to learn everything you can about marketing then you need to get started ASAP! In addition make sure to study “direct response” marketing more than anything else, since that is mainly the type of marketing you should be using as a small Real Estate Investment business. Next you need to constantly be improving your people and sales skills so that you are comfortable and confident talking with motivated sellers, which will ultimately help you to crush any competition that you may have! Motivated Sellers first need to know who you are and what your company can offer them, but then its your job to make them want to do business with you! I hope this article at least gets you to start to see this business for what it really is…..marketing & people…..and then real estate last, not the other way around!

What’s Up With This Crazy Ass Market??

There have been a lot of headlines lately on a number of Real Estate Investment websites and forums talking about the fact that the market is either heating up, or is absolutely on fire again (in the more desirable neighborhoods)! So whats up with this crazy ass market??

Well I can tell you this much….we have been selling houses faster now than back in the boom years, which is absolutely crazy to me! On the retail side of our business even if the houses are priced aggressively they are selling in less than 2 weeks on the market, and on the wholesale side of my business every rehabber and their mother is calling me 10 times a day literally begging for my next wholesale deal, so that they can rehab it and make a big fat profit check doing so! It seems that the days of every investor with half a brain being able to pick low hanging fruit deals (listed REO’s, HUDS & other auction deals) with fat paychecks attached to them has come to an untimely end! Personally I thought this day wouldn’t come for at least another year, which should tell you a couple of things: The first is that I have been thinking about this day and preparing my business for it ahead of time (and hopefully some of you have been reading my articles and doing the same thing)….and secondly deep down I am happy that not for much longer will I have to listen to story after story of newbie investors telling me about how brilliant they are because they made X amount of dollars flipping some type of foreclosure! Now don’t get me wrong, I am happy to see everyone make money, but you really need to understand as an educated investor, that buying foreclosures is only one very small and never constant acquisitions strategy in a much larger business!

So now that this day of low hanging fruit disappearing has come early, fortunately my Real Estate business is set up to thrive and grow while most of my competition will begin to struggle to find deals……which means its pretty much going to be raining money in our Real Estate office, since we basically control the flow of quality off market motivated seller deals in my market place. Now I’m not trying to sound arrogant or full of myself, but this is just the reality of the current market conditions! Since more than 90% of our acquisitions are non-foreclosure properties, it means that more and more of those investors who are having a harder time getting foreclosure deals are going to be calling me for deals!! And over the last few months this had allowed our wholesale department to really increase our spreads and ultimately our profitability on every deal (its important to know that our rehab buyers have been making more money as well)! So the bottom line is that this improving market is good for not only wholesalers, but also rehabbers as well…..so its a win win for everyone who is in the game right now!

So back to the point of this article which is what should we as investors think about this market? To be honest I really don’t have a magic and absolute answer for you all, but what I can say is that people will only sit around for so long not buying and waiting for the market to bottom. At this point the smart money and educated mid to higher end buyers have been sitting around for five years or more waiting for this mess to clean it self up, and I think they have all decided its time to get off the sidelines and start buying their family the dream home they always wanted for a fraction of what it would have cost them back in the boom years! In addition there is absolutely no inventory out there right now on the MLS for both investors as well as retail buyers looking for immaculate turn key houses with all the bells and whistles. So this has created what appears to be the perfect storm for those of us positioned to take full advantage of it!

Right now in my own business we are cranking up the marketing machine to maximum capacity and trying to get as many leads in the door as possible, because like any storm this surge in demand wont’ last forever…..but while the getting it good we are going to make sure we get ours! So get off your butt and either get into the real estate game or ramp up your existing REI operation, as the time has never been better in my mind and I have been actually buying houses since before the boom……which should qualify my opinion as being worth a little bit!

Rehabbing Tip$: Episode #3….Where are you buying your Houses?

In an effort to keep the momentum rolling on this great series about rehabbing houses for BIG PROFITS I have put together another great article and video post to give y’all some more $$ making rehabbing tip$ for FREE (which is a rarity these days folks!). Now any of us that have been in the house flipping game for more than 3 houses can attest to the fact that everyone at some point will buy and rehab a deal that they should have passed on! So all this GURU BS about how none of them have ever lost money or bought a stupid house is either 1 of 2 things:

1. They don’t buy houses and only sell outdated recycled investment info for you to purchase for only three installments of $999 and a monthly continuity fee of $29!

2. Or  they are just flat out lying and/or have very little “real” experience actually flipping houses. Which means they live in never never land of house flipping where money falls off tree’s and is hidden within crappy outdated kitchen cabinets of overpriced REO listings.

Either way its very important to understand that You Can Loose Money Flipping Houses, or make very little compared to the amount of work you put into the deal…which by the way is exactly what happens to pretty much everyone who signs up for one of those nationwide overpriced big name over hyped coaching programs! Now this generally  happens for the same reasons every time…..and that is either because you are not doing your numbers right and are over anxious to become a real estate rock star and do a deal…..or you are buying your houses through the most competitive deal sources available to us as real estate investors. So basically this means you are buying overpriced deals off the MLS or from local crappy wholesalers who have convinced you that the house only needs 15K in rehab when in reality is needs 40-50K. Right now I see A LOT of investors (although I hate to call people investors who overpay for crappy deals….I prefer to call them idiots or Realtors) who are overpaying for deals, and a TON of would be wholesalers trying to pitch crappy deal after crappy deal. Personally I love crappy wholesalers because they have helped my business explode into hands down the #1 wholesaler in my market of Portland Oregon (if you don’t believe me just ask anyone form Portland in the RE biz or go to www.TTMdevelopmentCompany.com). If you actually sell deals that make your clients money they will be banging down your door for whatever you have next…..which is currently what is happening in my business. Anyway back to the point of this article……

So bottom line is this….work on your acquisitions strategies so that you are better at finding deals than you competition. This means learning how to market for motivated sellers, or finding wholesalers in your area who are as good at providing great deals just like my company is for our rehab buyers. If you do this then you will pretty much never need to worry about loosing money, or making chump change on a rehab deal again.

Go where your competition is not and do what your competition wont (mainly because they are lazy) and you will find the super juicy deals with profit margins big enough to photo copy the check and put it on the overhead of your local REI Club meeting! In my business we have purchased only 1 deal off the MLS in the last year….and that’s because it was a deal we got from an REO listing agent that we work closely with….which made it way more profitable than it would have been had we not known him…wink wink. Now we could keep trying to buy deals off the MLS to rehab, but the reality is that the profit margins for most of those deals would just be much smaller than if we sourced the deal ourselves through our own motivated seller marketing systems. So since I like to make as much money as possible when it comes to rehabbing houses…..this means I go buy my product where there is the least competition…..and you should too, that way you give yourself the best possible chance to make the biggest pay days possible.

Now with that said go back and read some of my articles on what marketing techniques we use to bring in leads and source great deals on a weekly basis. Trust me if you can get off the MLS and find your own deals for your rehab business either through marketing or a great wholesaler you will be one rich Mo-Fo in no time! Make sure to watch the video below and let me know what you think…….

By the way…..the market is changing fast! So get your grubby little hands on as many houses as possible right now that need to be rehabbed and you will make a small fortune this year. Its only May (or close to it) and we have almost done more rehab profits than we did in all of 2011 since the market has picked up and so have prices in the areas we are rehabbing in. Its time to make some serious $$ folks, so get out there and make it happen!

 

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