Real Estate Journal - Summer 2016

Page 1

Real Estate Journal

Summer 2016

3. Crowdfunding: The Apocalypse for some, but for others...? Legislative Update – Seller Finance Reform is on the Way! 4. Real Estate Investor Groups Honored with Awards of Excellence

7. 5 Reasons the Eco-Friendly Retrofit is Worth the Investment 8. Marketing for Lead Generation to Bring "Hot Leads" Directly to You 10. Transactional vs. Transformational

5. Bed Bugs – A New Solution How I Bought My First Rental Duplex On My Lunch Hour 6. Due or Don't? That is the Question Circulated To Over 40,000 Real Estate Investors Nationwide


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Estate Investors know that succeeding in today’s business environment is all about smart relationships, good connections and the great benefits that come from being a member of National REIA. That’s why when you need office supplies, copying, finishing services and other office-related items National REIA’s partnership with Office Depot / Office Max has you covered. With over 1,100 retail stores nationwide and award-winning

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customer service, this partnership is a smart way of helping you take care of your business while keeping any eye on your bottomline. In fact, a portion of the savings you receive is given back to your local association to help fund the activities that support & benefit you, as a member of National REIA. Some of the benefits of the program include discounts on thousands of items in addition to 15-40% off’s

regular prices on over 800 of the most frequently purchased items. In fact, they offer free next-day delivery on orders over $50. Need copies or document finishing services? Those are included as well with special pricing for National REIA members. In order to participate you must be a member of a local group that is affiliated with National REIA. Each group has its own unique continued on page 17

Life After the Brexit How Will the U.S. Fare?


rian Hamrick specializes in

multi-family investment properties and larger apartment syndications. He is the owner of Hamrick Investment Group, LLC and the Host of the “Rental Property Owner & Real Estate Investor Podcast.” With his investors, Brian owns 450 units in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Wyoming, Michigan ranging from duplexes up to a 207-unit apartment community. Brian is a board member of the Rental Property Owner’s Association (RPOA) in Grand Rapids, Michigan and teaches their course on “Advanced Financial Analysis”.

Vol. 1 Issue 4

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. he world has come undone over the decision by the Brits to pull out of Europe. It is more than obvious that the decision is going to rock the UK and Europe but will this mean all that much to the US. It will but the impact will be subtle and mostly indirect – at least once the markets calm down a bit. For those in the property business the impact is even that much more indirect as these are tightly local markets for the most part and do not react all that much to global events as a rule. The British pound is in free fall and has struggled to find a floor. The euro has not fared any better and that means the dollar is headed back up and perhaps to new highs. This will kill the recent recovery in exports and that is not good news for the US. The GDP of the country


remains dependent on exports for between 15% and 25% of the total and that could be cut by a third as the dollar gains. The US is not the only state to see its currency surge as the Japanese yen has also moved up – even more disastrous for a country far more export dependent than the US.

Published In Conjunction With

The pound had been one of the stronger currencies over the last year or so and that served to take a bit of pressure off the dollar and now that crutch is gone. The investment community is in a panic and one that may last a little while given that many had been continued on page 6

Real Estate Journal

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Real Estate Journal ¡ Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal


The Apocalypse for some, for others……??? by Scott Whaley





ἀποκάλυψις) is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception. The truth is that technology is making superior ways of interacting and conducting business including real estate investing, borrowing and lending possible. Today, it’s still an option. Tomorrow, it will be a requirement just as saddling up your horse and riding into work is no longer an option. A particularly poignant quote in the fintech-focused era we live in today comes from Jim Rohn, “There’s nothing like the truth, ignorance may deride it, malice may attack it, but in the end, there it is.” Many people would like to deny the oncoming change or stop it from happening all together. However, recognizing the truth and seeing it for what it is can be a huge competitive advantage for all of us. Why? Because so few people recognize the huge opportunity

that technology brings and also because in any industry, the experts, the voices of that industry are those who are the masters of the old technology. They can’t handle the truth! Because it spells their doom….the end of their position at the top. This is why you will see every argument in the world defending

comes some new invention and now you’re just cream of the crap. My old mentor and friend, Tony Robbins used to say something along the lines of, “If you’re not growing you’re stagnating and stagnation is death.” We are seeing the conflict between the new rising up and the old guard attempting to preserve their positions all around us. It’s upending both politics and “The future’s so bright, I’ve business. The state recognizes that gotta’ wear shades” its denizens need room to grow, – TimBuk3 but at the same time, they must fear that growth and attempt to “You can’t handle the truth” regulate it in order to maintain the – Colonel Jessup, from the control that they currently have. movie A Few Good Men. Those at the top of the old food chain are going to fight as if their very lives are at stake because, in the old ways even though the old their mind, it’s true! That is what ways are failing. Whether it’s Brexit happens whenever an industry, a or Crowdfunding or Peer2Peer technology or system goes from ridesharing, it’s not that they’re best-of-class with all of the benefits, perfect. They aren’t, but they are power and social standing that light years beyond their failing flow to its practitioners to, worstpredecessors. It’s just that it’s a of-class overnight. hard thing to accept that, while Just ask Yellow Cab. One being the cream of the crop, along minute, they are top of the heap;

everyone used to call for a cab in New York. The next minute they are filing bankruptcy papers in a San Francisco courthouse. All of a sudden what was a normally accepted way of doing business becomes unacceptable. People, governments, and businesses, all of whom feed off of the previous top dog, find themselves fighting for survival along with the old vanquished king. It is the law of the jungle and survival of the fittest coming to life in the business world. Some say we need to stop it. Preserve the old ways. Inefficiency and waste are OK if it saves our jobs and our old way of life. The problem? It can’t and it won’t save you anything except a place at the back of the line. I believe it is more accurate to view crowdfunding as a solution and not a problem. The symbol for crisis in Chinese is the same as the symbol for opportunity. What an accurate way of looking at continued on page 23

NREIA Legislative Update Seller Finance Reform is on which National REIA is a leading member, has been working the Way! The Seller Finance Enhancement Act (HR 5301) was recently introduced in Congress by Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The bill will increase the number of allowable seller-financed properties from three to twenty-four per year. The two per month average was considered a reasonable request to the excessive restriction put in place by Dodd/Frank legislation during the recession. Additionally, HR 5301 would require the Treasury Department to study the housing finance market over the next three years and report back to Congress with suggestions for steps to improve the sales and financing of these homes, especially those with valuations below $150,000 or 60% of the regional median housing value. HR 5301 keeps in place key consumer safeguards set in place by Dodd-Frank such as limits on interest and balloon payments. The Seller Finance Coalition, of Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

diligently to see this bill come forward and will continue to grow the number of sponsors as passage is ultimately sought. Current sponsors include: Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), as well as original co-sponsors Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK -1), Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-9) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC -5), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX- 19), and Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-1). The Seller Finance Coalition was formed in February of 2014 to advance the interest of the seller finance industry. Founding members of the SFC include Glenn Lee of Texas Funding, Bob Repass and Eddie Speed of Colonial Funding Group, Scot Campbell of S.R. Campbell Properties, and Doug Smith of My House Deals. National REIA has been a member since 2015. Visit www. for more information.

NREIA is asking members to contact their Congressman to urge passage of HR 5301, the Seller Finance Enhancement Act. Please go to, click on the Legislative page, and download a pre-drafted letter to send to YOUR Congressman!

continued on page 17 3

Real Estate Journal

Real Estate Investor Groups Honored with Awards of Excellence


ho are the top real estate investment groups in the country for 2016? That question

was recently settled at the National Association of Real Estate Investors annual MidYear meeting in Atlanta, Georgia where three groups (small, medium and large) received an Award of Excellence for their outstanding efforts in six major categories; Government Affairs, Community Service, Communications, Membership, Education and Strategic Industry Partners Marketing.

National REIA’s Awards of Excellence are a celebration of all the accomplishments their members have achieved throughout the past year by honoring the most outstanding local associations in the real estate investment industry.

The 2016 NREIA Awards of Excellence winners were:

Large Group

Arizona Real Estate Investors Association, AZ

Medium Group

Traction Real Estate Investors Association, VA & MD

Small Group

North Metro Real Estate Investors Association, GA

In addition to the three Awards of Excellence winners, eighteen groups received Honors of Merit for their outstanding efforts.

The 2016 Honors of Merit winners are as follows: Communications Small Real Estate Investors Association of Toledo, OH Medium Metrolina REIA, NC Large Central Florida Realty Investors

Education Small Medium Large

Membership Small Illinois Real Estate Investors Association

Strategic Industry Partners Marketing Small Illinois Real Estate Investors Association Medium Metrolina REIA, NC Large Mid-America Association of Real Estate Investors, KS

Medium Large 4

Metrolina REIA, NC Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association

Alamo REIA, TX Metrolina REIA, NC Mid-America Association of Real Estate Investors, KS

Real Estate Journal ¡ Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal

by NREIA Staff

Bed Bugs – A New Solution


here has been a lot of talk lately about the growing problem of bed bugs and how exactly to deal with them. In the last issue of the RE Journal we learned that they are in fact here to stay which, while disheartening, is the new reality. However, like other vermin and pests, which can be controlled & eliminated, there are solutions for bed bugs. In this article, we take a look at the root of the problem and discover what can effectively be done. Bed bugs are attracted to you while you sleep by the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale when you breathe. ClearVue Products, LLC, based in Ohio and a new Tier I Vendor for NREIA, has developed a revolutionary new bed bug trap that uses this natural instinct to attract and trap bed bugs as they come looking for you. These traps use scientifically designed, patentpending technology to mimic the favorite food of the bed bug - you! As we’ve learned, the scale of this problem has reached global proportions. Bed bugs do not discriminate. They know no social barriers and affect people of all

incomes in all neighborhoods. They take up residence in apartments, condos, houses, hotels, schools, public transportation, hospitals, businesses, and even movie theaters. This means that even if you have an exceptionally clean and well-kept home, your normal daily activities allow bed bugs an opportunity to come home with you. Here’s the scary part; Just one egg-laying female (the size of an apple seed) traveling into your home with you can produce a full infestation of bed bugs in just a few weeks (yikes!). Even worse, you're very unlikely to detect bed bugs in your home until you have thousands of them already living with you. Bed bugs can hide in paper-thin crevices and typically come out at night to feed on blood from you, your kids and your pets. They are so incredibly tiny they’re able to spread from room to room using the wall outlets and even the air vents. If your neighboring apartment has bed bugs, you're only six inches away from having them too. How’s that for Comfort?

These little vampires only feed on fresh blood. In some severe cases, people have been bitten up to 500 times in one night! By the time you see even one bed bug, there are usually hundreds or thousands more hiding nearby. So what can be done? The number one strategy recommended by the EPA and the Centers for Disease Control is to use insect monitors to detect bed bugs faster and earlier. That’s where the new ClearVue Bed Bug Traps come into play. They intercept hungry bed bugs that come out of hiding seeking a meal. The traps use a safe lowlevel carbon dioxide (CO2) beacon

that mimics the exhaled breath of a human. The CO2 becomes highly concentrated within the base of the trap, simulating a meal that bed bugs cannot resist. Their natural instincts compel them to follow the beacon emanating from the trap to its source where they then get stuck on a glue floor. Once trapped (safely inside), the patentpending design ensures trapped bed bugs cannot escape. Pesticide powder and spray treatments commonly used today can actually force bed bugs to flee and hide deeper inside your walls making the problem worse continued on page 19

How I Bought My First Rental Duplex On My Lunch Hour Many find it hard to buy rental property while holding down a full-time job. By Kevin Guz


or many part-time investors

or investors embarking on that first rental investment property purchase the easiest excuse is, “I don’t have time.” If you have the desire to purchase investment real estate, and you are already involved in your career - you have a great full-time job or full-time passion and career – that is not an excuse that that should keep you from also pursuing your passion of owning investment real estate. Don’t let the time factor hold you back.

Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

I started my rental real leveraged my lunch hour - literally. to find where I wanted to purchase I respected by career and I my first rental property. estate career by leveraging encourage everybody to do that. I would head out around noon my lunch hour Maybe your “hour” is a little different. Maybe it’s on Saturday morning or after 5 p.m. Whatever it might be, you have an hour in your week or your day to pursue your dream of becoming a part-time real estate investor in rental property on the side of your traditional career.

Here’s how I did it

Leading up to the point where I actually purchased the property. I

I did not want to do anything to lessen my commitment to my career, my company or my job. I do not encourage anyone to do that. I do not encourage you to chase real estate at the expense of your career or the commitment you have made to your employer. I started out during my lunch hour – instead of sitting at my desk staring at the Internet eating a sandwich or sitting down in the corporate cafeteria or alone in some fast-food restaurant, I found that I could best leverage that hour

and just drive neighborhoods until I determined what neighborhood and in what area I wanted to purchase my first property. I had a couple of criteria and yours may be very similar, or yours may be different.

Here’s what worked for me • I was combing neighborhoods close to where I lived and worked. continued on page 14 5

Real Estate Journal

Due or Don’t? That is the Question. By Jeffery S. Watson, Esq.


here it i$! The deal you’ve

Making money is an emotional situation; but business requires you to separate your emotions from the facts so you can wisely go forward and make the right decisions. I want to share with you some ideas regarding due diligence. Let’s begin with what I call “counterparty due diligence.” In nearly every business transaction, there is a counterparty or third party risk. Your “counterparty” could be your private lender or private borrower, the contractor you are bringing on board to do a rehab, or someone with whom you think you have a great business idea together. Begin by asking this question: 1. Remove the $ signs that How well do you know the other are obstructing your clear person(s) involved? What do you line of vision so you can know about their strengths and weaknesses? What have they think objectively. shown you regarding their ability to 2. DO THOROUGH DUE compensate for their weaknesses? DILIGENCE! As they share stories of their past deals, do they take responsibility

been waiting for and dreaming about! If all goe$ a$ projected, this new bu$ine$$ venture promi$e$ to be very lucrative for you and all partie$ involved. You’ve met with your potential bu$ine$$ partner who $eem$ very tru$tworthy and equally excited about the potential thi$ inve$tment could provide. Once thi$ venture is $ucce$$fully up and running and bringing in the anticipated $$$, it could be repeated in other area$! The $$$ potential i$ thrilling! You can ju$t $ee the money! What do you do next so you don’t miss out on this opportunity?! Your next two steps should be:

after pointing out things that went wrong, or do they always blame someone else? Another important aspect of counterparty due diligence is to determine the extent to which this person’s significant other influences their business decisions. I’ve seen individuals with whom I’m working in a business endeavor have their priorities and attitudes changed as a result of engagement and/or marriage. While that’s perfectly understandable, it’s important for you to be aware of this. When it comes to counterparty due diligence, make sure you ask for references and then follow through to investigate them. Don’t stop with just the few references you may get from that person. Take the time to find out if you have any mutual acquaintances, and place more weight on the references from individuals who have known your potential counterparty for a longer

time rather than the references of those who have known them for a short period of time. When doing your due diligence, it is important meet with your potential counterparty/business associate to discuss the roles and responsibilities that each person will take, and to decide what methods, strengths and tools they have in order to accomplish those responsibilities and fulfill those roles. Document the agreed upon roles and responsibilities. Too much responsibility and authority placed on one person is too great of a risk. Many years ago when I was denied funding by a commercial lender on my acquisition of an apartment building. Looking back on it, I understand why they did. Too many of my answers indicated that one of my relatives would be very involved in the day-to-day

The US has lost the most important European ally and voice it had and that means far less influence over Europe. The French have generally been outright hostile to the US and its goals and the Germans are very often combative and opposed. It was the UK that championed US policies in everything from economics to the military and they no longer have a seat at the table. The Europeans are in deep trouble of late and this hardly helps. The US needs a healthier Europe for both economic and political reasons and this is not going to happen any time soon. This may be the most salient longterm issue for the US. It is very hard to overestimate the importance of the alliance between the US and UK – these really have been nations that always have each other’s back despite the occasional difference of opinion. There is none of that close relationship between the US and any other state in Europe. France and the US are more enemy than friend and on a variety of issues. Germany is a competitor and rival far more than an ally. The US has kept its distance from the struggling southern tier states and they are well aware of that and resent the US for it. The east

Europeans expected more from the US when the old communist regimes fell and the Scandinavians just think the US is as odd as it can be. It was the UK that held the US position in the EU and almost served as the American voice. That is now gone and both the US and UK are outsiders pitted against an angry France and Germany. A weaker Britain is not going to help the US either. The UK has consistently been the only other nation that gets involved militarily with the US. They were there in Afghanistan and Iraq and are now in Syria. A country with a GDP crashing into negative territory will not be as engaged and maybe not at all. The US will have to go it alone or try to get cooperation from less reliable partners. The British were key to US policy and they are about to slide out of that spot.

continued on page 19

Life After the Brexit ...continued from page 1 suggesting the US market was in need of a correction anyway. The dollar gains are sometimes welcome as they reduce the costs of imports but right now the US appetite for these imports are down and there is not much demand for such traditional items as oil and industrial metals. The consumer is not in the right mindset either and that has limited the demand for imported goods. The upshot is that a high valued dollar is not yielding much in the way of benefit while it hurts the export sector. Add in the trepidations in Europe as a whole and there is nothing to encourage the exporter for the bulk of this year. The three sectors in the US that are dependent on export activity include manufacturing, agriculture and surprisingly enough the oil and gas business as well as mining in general. The Federal Reserve backed away from an interest rate hike in June because they feared turmoil in Europe and those fears were well founded as it turns out. Now the dollar is soaring in value and that makes hiking rates that much harder. It is now unlikely that rates move this year and some now suggest that it will be late in 2017 or even 2018 before they come up again. Frankly this is a panic 6

reaction and predictions that far out are not very helpful. It is clear the Fed will have to wait for months to see what the ultimate fall-out will be. One thing is near certain right now – the Fed is going to have to see some real inflation pressure before it moves and it is hard to see where that is going to come from. The Fed is facing yet another inhibitor as far as hiking rates. Any such move would only serve to boost the value of the dollar and this is certainly not the time to do this. The Fed is worried about a sluggish job market and the global chaos as well as the lack of any real inflation. It may be next year before the rates are hiked again but then again the initial hysteria may pass as people realize that nothing will really change in the short run. There will be a period of negotiations and nobody really knows where these will go. There is nothing that precludes an agreement that connects the UK to Europe in substantial ways and reduces the angst of the business community. The Fed will still react more strongly to the labor market in the US and to the GDP growth here and that means waiting to see what the real fallout is in the US over this.

Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal

5 Reasons the Eco-Friendly Retrofit is Worth the Investment By Ron Jarvis, Vice President, Environmental Innovation and Sustainability, The Home Depot


our tenants are moving out,

the HVAC system is working way too hard (and your utility bill reflects that) and you can’t tell if the air leak around the door frame is due to water damage or termites. It’s time to make some improvements and the eco-friendly (a.k.a. green) route is the way to go.

Debunking myths about a green property

Many property owners have faced the same dilemma since eco-friendly home products began to gain popularity. Do I “go green”, or, simply replace what’s broken with standard issue that’s cost me roughly the same price since I’ve owned this property, is the big question. The solutions are different, but the investment principle remains the same: the eco-friendly retrofits will show a greater return over the long and short term. There are many myths out there that eco-friendly products are expensive. While there may be a marginal price difference as compared to the standard product, what’s often overlooked is the savings passed on to you and your tenants over the course of a typical lease agreement. For example, a high-efficiency WaterSense toilet is an investment that will deliver a payback in approximately 14 months with an annual utility savings of $100. Here are our top five reasons for the eco-friendly retrofit:

like HVAC systems and solar panel installs, which have become increasingly common.

Green properties command higher rent and resale value

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, green homes sell at higher prices and faster than comparable, conventional homes. In 2011, the Earth Advantage Study found that, on average, green-certified, new homes sold for 8 percent more than non-certified green homes. Additionally, resale prices of existing green homes were about 30 percent more than conventional homes.

Lower your operations and maintenance costs

By replacing warped entrance doors and adding insulation to the attic and exterior walls, you can keep your tenants warmer during the winter months while also keeping cooler air from escaping during the summer months. Installation is often easy Installing ENERGY STAR certified windows can cut your and affordable The names are different, but the energy bill in half with an average products and installation processes annual costs savings average of 12 percent nationally with climates are largely the same. Replacing showerheads and like the South, and South-Central installing faucet aerators are an U.S. seeing up to 17% savings. ENERGY STAR certified easy fix that can cut water use in half. Multiply that reduction in a dishwashers, washers and dryers, 2-bathroom single-family home and refrigerators are now the and the annual utility savings standard for energy and water savings. They are cheaper to begin to quickly add up. Weather stripping and sealing operate than regular appliances air leaks is another easy fix. and are available for residential Preventing cold air from escaping and light commercial settings. and hot air from entering the indoor air home is accomplished with low- Enhanced cost, high return investments in quality Indoor air quality is a factor that simple products. often goes overlooked by tenants A licensed contractor can guide you through heavier investments and even homeowners. This should Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

It’s worth noting that two nationally recognized green home certification programs, LEED for Homes and EarthCraft, offer certified programs, both with consultants and instructional programs offered in most states. Non-profit energy alliances across the country subsidize certification programs that would enable you or your contractors to become certified subject matter experts in this field. Additionally, independent consultancies can oversee your project at a fee. be one of the first considerations Sub-metered or master metered, when making improvements. By these green retrofits will provide upgrading your HVAC system to you and your tenants with cost an energy-efficient version and savings in the short term with the replacing traditional air filters peace of mind that you’re doing the with HEPA filters, you can reduce right thing for the environment, the amount of allergens and dust your tenants, and your bottom line. particles pushed through the air while cutting your tenants monthly Did you know: electricity spend. • The typical U.S. household The job of your HVAC system is spends about $2,150 on resinot only to heat and cool, but to dential energy bills each year, also keep the air clean. but LEED-certified homes Americans spend almost 90 are designed to use about 30 percent of their day indoors, with to 60 percent less energy. 65 percent of that time inside their • The Environmental Prohomes. Cooling and heating costs, tection Agency estimates neighborhood security and noise that indoor air is two to ten make it less likely for windows times more polluted than to be opened – making it critical outdoor air. LEED-certified to ensure the HVAC system is homes are designed to maxworking properly and circulating imize the quality of indoor healthy air. air and minimize exposure According to the U.S. to airborne toxins and polEnvironmental Protection lutants. They require proper Agency (EPA), the proper use of ventilation, high-efficiency pre-programmed settings on a air filters and measures to reprogrammable thermostat can duce mold and mildew. save you about $180 every year in energy costs. • A light-colored or “cool roof” can more than offset Reduced property the expense with energy savmaintenance ings over the lifetime of the Well-lit walkways and common roof. The white properties areas are inviting and also deter reflect sunlight directly from crime. Upgrading from halogen your property, thus reducing and incandescent bulbs to LED the structures heat intensiand CFL lights will reduce your ty, making it less costly to monthly spend on outdoor keep cool. electricity costs and may help to curb costly vandalism repairs. Using lights designed to last longer, installing fixtures that require less energy and reducing water flow have direct and indirect benefits. Systems that properly handle air and cool with fewer chemicals and required maintenance are better for your health and easier on the wallet. 7

Real Estate Journal

Marketing for Lead Generation to Bring "Hot Leads" Directly to You

by Cyndy & Tom Dumire


f you are a real estate investor,

you know that the competition is growing exponentially for those buyer and seller leads that are the life-blood of your business. Signs, mail-outs, and cold calls to FSBOs are no longer providing enough good leads. Hiring Virtual Assistants to run down all the possibilities is both time consuming and expensive. By the time someone calls you or your VA back, days have passed, and you may be competing with lots of other investors for that lead. Newbie investors are doing the same things. Without your wealth of experience, they may make offers which could price you out of the market. Time is of the essence in securing the leads that generates your income. After the 1000s of mailers are sent out, you may get about 10 percent call back, and maybe only one or two of those will have a house for sale. If you are paying for an answering service and a VA to screen the callbacks, you may not talk to a seller for 3 to 5 days. You can cut out the middlemen and

have the calls come directly to you if the marketing is set up in a way to generate those leads. Maybe you have not have utilized the full power of the web in your investment business. Today there are more devices connected to the internet, than the current population of the world. That means that those who take the best advantage of those connections can dominate their field of business. There are over 100 Billion searches on Google a month and in real estate, 82% of buyers and sellers do a Google Search to begin that process. They will be looking on the first page of Google for those who can help them, so you need to be on the first page. You have to use all possible search engine optimization to make sure you are on that first page. Marketing with social media can be the key to your success. Even if you are not now a social media expert, you can learn to use these tools to build the type of marketing that will put you at the top of the list for leads. Here

are some ideas to help you get started to create a consistent lead generation program: CraigsList (CL) is a great place to start with 50 Billion page views a month and 50 Million users. Tips for advertising to generate leads:

where you want to generate buyer and seller leads. If you are in a metropolitan area, there should be a CL community there. Look for nearby CL communities along the border of the pages where you post and add those communities.

• For the potential clients to see you, your post must be up toward the top as the volume of ads per month are continually rising. CraigsList receives about 80 million ads per month. Renewing your ad will move it back up to the top.

• Know the rules of posting on Craigslist. You must follow those rules, or you may lose your ability to post there. • How often you post is imperative to success. You must wait 48 hours to renew your ad. Set up reminders to renew at the optimum time every 48 hours for best results.

• When you post is also critical. Learn the best days to post. Opinions vary about the best day to post, but a recent study shows that readers visit Craigslist the most on Sunday, followed by Saturday. You want to be most visible when your target audience is searching Craigslist online.

• Content is critical to engaging the Buyers and Sellers of real estate. In a crowded field of people looking for leads, your ad has to stand out making you the expert and offering value to potential clients.

• Where you post is based on the community market

continued on page 23

No More Mailings

No More Bandit Signs

No VA's No Mailings Buyers and Sellers contact YOU Loads of Qualified Buyers and Sellers Spend $100 on marketing VS $$ Thousands Stop sending your time on getting deals but on closing deals!


We also offer a Done For You program where we do all the work! Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal

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Real Estate Journal

Transactional vs. Transformational By Jane Garvey


he topic of transactional vs.

transformational thinking came up this week following a meeting I attended about rental property inspection and licensing ordinances. For several decades I have been involved in the fight to protect the 4th Amendment rights of landlords and tenants against unconstitutional searches by government. At this point, these practices are becoming more common, and they are becoming more accepted as the norm. This does not make the ordinances legal or acceptable, it just means that those that have tried to stop the practice are not succeeding on a large enough scale. On the way home from the meeting my friend suggested to

me that our approach is failing and we are wasting our time. And, he suggested that all of the folks at the meeting were too, including the attorneys from the Institute for Justice. Naturally I did not like to hear this because I know all of these people are giving their time and efforts for a good cause, but I asked why. The discussion that ensued has me starting to think differently about how we need to approach this issue, and it also offers some ideas about how we can more productively think about other things in life as well. Legal challenges to inspection ordinances are typically fought one City at a time. If the challenge is won in court, the City may have to take the ordinance off the books,

but there is no real consequence to the Civic Leaders who passed it. Many will just change a few words in their ordinance, or tweak the way they are doing things, pass a new ordinance and proceed on with life, including inspecting peoples' homes. One of the people at the meeting told me about a hard won legislative victory at the state level passing a new law to make them illegal in his state. I had to ask, if these ordinances are already unconstitutional at the federal level what is a new state law going to do to keep them from being passed and implemented. It still will take constant monitoring and legal action. The whole process feels somewhat like fighting a raging wild fire with a garden hose.

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Yes, you might be able to put out one fire, but while you are working on that 100 others start. With regards to inspections and other legislative issues, it would help to start looking at the motivation behind them. Why do our civic leaders think that it is important for government to regularly inspect peoples' homes? Is there something that can be done to solve the perceived problems in some other way? Just like most things in life, a better solution may be found by listening, asking, listening some more, and then creatively collaborating on a solution to the real problem or problems. Once a better solution is found, it may still be an enormous task to turn the legislative tide. But, if a truly better solution has been found, the various "fires" won't reignite once they have been extinguished. If Civic Leaders have been involved in crafting a solution and truly believe it is a better answer, they can help get the word out through the Municipal League and other avenues. Taking this lesson to the rest of life leads us into contemplating transactional thinking versus transformational thinking. In his book "Seven Choices for Success and Significance" Nido Quebein talks about the transactional choices as the day-to-day things we put on our "to-do" lists, and the transformational choices as the ones we put on our "to-be" list. What things are we doing transactionally that might be improved by taking a transformational approach? In today's world we see the use of virtual assistants transforming people's businesses. Repetitive property analysis functions can be transformed with the use of analysis programs or apps. Rent collecting work can be transformed with online banking. Property management communication is eased using software with portals for owners, renters, managers and maintenance. Let's face it, things are getting easier, as we all take more things off of our personal to-do list. This is allowing time for more time for transformational thinking and work. So where can you move ahead of the pack with your transformational thinking? First, I think we all need to assess our business from time to time. Are we positioned correctly for the continued on page 21 Real Estate Journal ¡ Summer 2016

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Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016


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Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal

Member Spotlight ...continued from page 1

Please tell us a little about pricing and financing were that will move me forward as add a restaurant, hair salon or who you are and what you inflating values. We all know what an investor. coffee shop. did before getting into real happened in 2007 & 2008. That’s I hired a third party management I like to keep an eye on new estate investing: opportunities in my area. West

Michigan has a very hot real estate market that’s attracting a lot of national & international investment. Pricing has reached a point where most of the opportunities I’ve seen in the past year do not provide the returns I’m comfortable with. Because of this, I don’t have any deals in the pipeline and my last acquisition was over a year ago. I also like to work on new projects that will help make me a better investor. This includes designing the curriculum for the advanced financial analysis course that I teach for the RPOA, and hosting their podcast as well.

Before I became a full-time real estate investor, apartment investment syndicator and podcast host, I spent 20 years in a completely different field. I was a producer, editor & copywriter for motion picture marketing. In other words, I made movie trailers and television commercials for films. Some of the movie campaigns I’ve worked on include Remember The Titans, 8 Mile, The Hangover, Underworld, The Mummy Returns and Oceans 13. In 2005 my wife and I moved from Los Angeles to Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2008 I purchased my first multi-unit, and have been growing my portfolio ever since. I also have a 9-year old son and 6-year old daughter with whom I enjoy spending my free time.

How long have you been investing in real estate?

I’ve been investing for over fifteen years. I bought my first single-family in 2001 and my first multi-family in 2008.

Where is your current market and what is your focus or area of expertise?

I like to invest in my own backyard, or at least within an hour-drive of where I live. Most of my properties are in Grand Rapids & Wyoming, Michigan within a 15-mile radius from my home. Several years ago I began raising money from accredited investors in order to purchase larger apartment communities. Through these syndications we’ve purchased a 71-unit community in Lansing, a 207-unit community in Wyoming, and a 96-unit building in Heritage Hill, the historic district adjacent to downtown Grand Rapids.

Tell us about your first multi-family deal:

Brian standing on the front porch of his first multi-family property, a 12-unit he purchased in 2008. when I started buying and have been going ever since.

Describe a typical work I first became interested in real week for you as a real estate estate investing when I read “Rich investor: How did you get started?

Dad, Poor Dad” while living in Los Angeles. I started looking for investment property to buy in the area and quickly found that the prices were too high and most properties were cash flow negative. Instead, I joined an investment network that was buying VA foreclosures in good areas around the country. I ended up purchasing seven single-family homes and condos in New Mexico and North & South Carolina. I’ve since sold most of those properties. If you average out my returns on these, as well as the tax writeoffs, I’d be lucky if I broke even. In 2005 I began realizing that to increase my returns, I needed to capitalize on the economy of scale that comes from multi-family and apartment investing. However, I believed strongly that the market was overheated and irrational Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

My workweek is usually split between asset managing the properties I already own, watching the market to see if there are any opportunities I’d like to pursue, and working on special projects

company to manage the dayto-day operations of my rental properties. However, I do spend a lot of time asset managing in terms of reviewing the numbers and strategizing with my team for ways we can increase our net operating income. Currently I’m renegotiating a cable & internet contract at one of our properties and working with the city (and neighbors) to get another property rezoned commercial – hoping to

My first multi-family deal was a 12-unit apartment building I purchased in 2008. It is located in Heritage Hill, a historic neighborhood near downtown Grand Rapids. It was built in 1870 by a Civil War veteran and has an amazing amount of character and charm. Since 2008 was a buyer’s market, I was able to purchase it for $380,000. It was underperforming and we ended up putting about $90,000 worth of improvements into it within the first two years. The previous owner had been leasing to anyone who could pay a $100 security deposit. We tightened the leasing standards, rehabbed the units and improved the common areas. Soon we were leasing to nursing students, medical workers and young professionals. In the past eight years we’ve doubled its value and even pulled some cash out when we refinanced three years ago. Because of its location, history and personal meaning to me, this is one property I plan to hold for a long time.

How do you fund your investments?

When I first started investing I was using my own funds as a down payment. After I purchased the 12-unit property I realized that I needed to find partners. Once I set my sights on larger apartment communities I began syndicating - pooling together Brian and Sharktank’s Kevin O’Leary

continued on page 16 13

Real Estate Journal

How I Bought My First Rental Duplex ...continued from page 5 • I wanted my first property to be close to me so I could keep an eye on it. Since I was just starting out I was planning on doing all my own initial repairs and updates and I was planning on doing my own on-going maintenance so I wanted that property to be close to me. • I was also planning on managing it myself in terms of the marketing and the sourcing of tenants, etc. So I determined, “Let’s stay close to home,” on this first property. • I also chose to stay in a familiar neighborhood where I knew the neighborhood and the demographic or type of people who were there

who were ultimately going to be my tenant or customer. I chose an area that was very familiar. • And finally I chose an area that allowed me to purchase a property at a very reasonable cost or a low cost of entry. Let’s face it. You are a busy professional. You are pursuing your first rental investment property. You probably are prudent to minimize your risk and exposure and start small. You don’t need to buy a four-bedroom, three-bath home with a swimming pool and target renting to executives. That might not be the best approach. That is putting a lot on the line for a new, novice or busy professional who cannot allocate a lot of time to his first real estate investment.

So I chose a smaller property

And I chose to look at properties that were very affordable and had a very low-cost of entry in order to minimize my exposure as I worked through my learning curve. And so after a few days of running around on my lunch hour. And I will be honest, it was over a course of time. It wasn’t one day or two days. It was over the course of several weeks. I narrowed down and did my due diligence and found the area where I wanted to purchase. Once again, I was a busy professional. I did not have the time or expertise to source my own property off the wholesale marketlike many investors do, and like many investors want to do – that takes a lot of time, a lot of effort,

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it takes a lot of knowledge and it takes a well-built network of your own to source properties that are off market or off MLS. I was not in a position as a part-time new real estate investor to do that so I had to find a Realtor.

I found a Realtor on my lunch hour also

And you can do it on yours. Once I knew the area I wanted to invest in, I looked for the Realtor signs that were active and prominent in that particular area or neighborhood. And whether they were listing a house for sale, or even better if they were listing a house for rent. I knew then by the names, faces and numbers I saw on those signs there was a pretty good chance those real estate agents were familiar with that area. And if I could find one listing a property for rent, not only were they familiar with the area but they were familiar with the rental market which is what I was interested in. So I drove neighborhoods and I ultimately identified an individual agent who seemed to be active in that area and low and behold that was the agent I chose to work with in buying my first rental property. And I say to work with, he basically worked for me. And that’s what an agent will do for you. If you are overwhelmed at the thought of investing in real estate because you have a busy full-time career and a serious commitment to an employer or another passion – hire a real estate agent because they will work for you and they will take care of a lot of the legwork. You can focus not only on your part-time real estate investing, but on your full-time career and you do not have to turn your back on either one. I would also suggest when you are searching for that agent, the temptation may be to pull the agent’s name you see on the billboard, or who has the biggest ad in the newspaper or sends the most flyers to your house.

I took a very different approach I did not seek out the big real estate agent in the area who was doing a lot of retail deals. I chose an agent that was newer, hungrier, more motivated and they had the bandwidth and the energy and the willingness to work with a real estate investor like myself. I was not looking at high-dollar properties, and not looking at expensive properties. So financially that one house may not have been real appealing work to a higher-end, high volume agent or is always creating ways to enhance our customer’s experience, and ultimately deliver more leads. Stay ahead of the game by posting your listings on our sites to gain maximum exposure to renters. Online or on the go with our mobile app–we’re taking the burden off your shoulders with the Family of Sites. From a website redesign to increased SEO efforts, we’re doing everything we can to strengthen our foundation and bring you qualified renters. ©2015 RentPath, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

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Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016


Real Estate Journal

Member Spotlight ...continued from page 13 large dollar investments from multiple accredited investors. In the past three years I’ve raised over $6 million dollars through syndication, and purchased three apartment communities with a combined value over $14 million.

Do you have a real estate license? No.

What projects are currently working on?


The project I’m most excited about right now is the podcast I host for the Rental Property Owner’s Association, “Rental Property Owner & Real Estate Investor Podcast”. This podcast went live in February and we have listeners in all 50 states and from around the world! Find it on iTunes and Stitcher. I’ve been lucky to have great guests who are actively involved in

owning and managing investment real estate. These are real people with real problems and great stories. My first interview is with Emma Persons and she shares a story about the large apartment community she managed at the age of 18 in which one of the residents was shot in the hallway and she had to save their life! I’m constantly amazed at the depth of experience and knowledge of my guests, most of them are local investors I’ve met through the RPOA.

How much time do you put into your real estate education?

I’m always reading and listening to podcasts. About once a year I try to attend a seminar that will further my skills as an investor. Hosting the podcast is also a great education, and I’ve learned an incredible amount from my guests.

Brian sharing plans with community members about a proposed mixed-use development in Grand Rapids

Has coaching or mentoring I went into it knowing exactly played a part in your success? what I wanted to get out of it. I’ve seen too many people spend too I have paid for training, coaching much money on coaching and and mentorship. I’ve certainly mentorship and they’ve never benefited from this, however purchased a property! In my experience all training is beneficial as long as you follow through on it.

What are your current and future goals?

My current goal is to asset manage the properties I currently own in order to make them as successful as possible. Primarily this means meeting the financial expectations of my investors, ensuring the health of the properties and increasing the happiness of our residents. I’m also keeping my powder dry so that when the next buying opportunity comes along I can take advantage of it. I’m not sure exactly when that will be or what it will look like, but I believe it will happen within the next two to four years.

What has been your top struggle in this business?

This beautiful 12-unit property in Heritage Hill was built in 1870 by a Civil War Veteran. It was Brian’s first multi-family.

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My top struggle is managing my time and focusing on things that will enhance my skills and performance as an investor, vs. things that will waste my time. I have spent the past decade delegating tasks that I don’t like or that I’m not good at to people who can handle them much more efficiently. I hired a management company because I don’t want to interact with tenants or do maintenance. I hired a bookkeeper to keep track of the numbers and pay my bills. I’m constantly analyzing what I do and asking myself if there’s someone I can hire to do it better and faster.

Real Estate Opportunities in Investing (ROI) Finding Investing Success in Today's Housing Market continued on page 21 16

Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal

Legislative Update ...continued from page 3 General Market overview

Interest rates remain low amidst social and political fluctuations at the national and global level: ranging from Brexit to terrorist attacks. Everyday prices continue to rise and most wage earners have not, and are not seeing compensation increases. While stocks may be rebounding from recent slides, it seems the dumb money is following smart money and going into real estate. Recent reports have shown that 27% of all foreclosures, which while down, are still substantial, are going to investors. That's the highest rate in almost 16 years. So are we seeing the beginning of a bubble, or a return to a normal? Is stagflation resurrecting itself with a Fed who has pumped too much money into the system? One thing is certain, cash remains king.

Nymex futures and cash prices upward by nearly 50% since the start of June. Natural gas prices are beginning to bring more coalfired power to market in the height of the summer air conditioning season. An increase in coal-fired power generation provides a check to a major natural gas price rally from here, however, if the summer season turns hotter for longer than expected, prices could break the $3 band of resistance in the near term.

Relationship Building Time!

The next 100 days are the BEST opportunity to build relationships with elected officials

and candidates running for office. Invite them to your meetings and recognize them, consider giving those who show 2 minutes to introduce themselves. Planning for a candidate’s night or forum can be as easy as adding it on to an existing meeting. Don’t overlook inviting candidates to summer networking events. Consider that most candidates speak to small groups of folks at best, so even a moderate number of small business owners, is a welcome audience. Ideally, have one veteran member introduce each candidate around, that helps them get to know more folks, build a positive image of your REIA, and avoid getting

tangled into a lengthy debate with that one member… and we all have one of those! Additionally, if you have an existing lobbying effort like PA and IA, consider inviting an elected official who has been helpful this year and give them an award. The award can be as simple as “Friend of Housing” or “Friend of Redevelopment” or even “Friend of Business” award. The picture of that award will have legs and could generate positive news, as well as reinforcing that positive relationship. I’ve been in many offices decorated with those kind of awards, they are always proudly displayed!

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Office Depot ...continued from page 1 identifying store purchasing card that can be easily printed. To get your card, contact your association’s designated benefits representative. The Copy & Print Center at the stores will even laminate it for you for no charge. Once in hand, simply present it at the point of sale at the store to receive your discounts. There is also custom web-portal on the Office Depot / Office Max web site that has been established for NREIA members. The savings you will realize from this one benefit program alone will more than offset your membership dues. There is no better time to join your local chapter than right now with Back To School right around the corner. All of the supplies your children need are deeply discounted as well as many other household staples such as batteries, stamps, K-cups, and everyday cleaning supplies. Don't miss out on the great furniture and technology offerings as you send off your kids to school or college! REIA members from all across the country have their confirmed savings from using this benefit. We spoke with a member of Illinois REIA who shared a few recent receipts totaling well over Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

$100 in savings. A member of Metrolina REIA in Charlotte, NC told us about a normal printing job that had been running north of $200 that only cost around $60 at Office Depot. He happily showed us his receipt to prove it. These are two great examples of true bottom line savings. It’s that simple. The partnership between Office Depot / Office Max and National REIA gives you the ability to shop the way you like in-store, online or even by phone. Either way you choose allows you to save money with great discounts and time –saving convenience.


Real Estate Journal

How I Bought My First Rental Duplex ...continued from page 5 a more experienced tenured agent. They may not have been able to give me the attention this individual did because of who he was and where he was in his career. It was not my objective to take advantage of a new agent and their availability and time. It was actually the opposite. And this agent realized it and knew, “If I sell this part-time investor one rental property, there is a good chance he is going to want to come back to me very soon and want a second property, and a third property and a fourth property.” That’s exactly how my story played out. Not only did I purchase that initial property from this agent but I ultimately purchased many properties from that agent as I built my portfolio on a part-time basis and he profited very nicely over the course of time. So it was a relationship that worked great for both of us. Here is a link to Kevin's podcast on this topic you can listen to now http://www.blogtalkradio. com/kevinguz/2015/04/24/ how-i-bought-my-first-property-on-my-lunch-hour Once I found the Realtor it was time to find the rental house That is where this Realtor came in so well for me as a part-time investor and will work for you. He knew my area. He knew my criteria. And he set up an auto search. I would get daily emails with the properties available that were meeting my criteria and we got into a rhythm where I would receive the email first thing in the morning. I would call him and he would schedule an appointment for noon. And there I was back out on my lunch hour. But I wasn’t combing neighborhoods anymore or looking for Realtor signs. I was actually walking into properties and ultimately making offers on

them. And this worked great for me as a part-time investor. I had a busy career, but before I ran into work each day I would scan the email to see if there was anything I was interested in seeing a lunch. I could call him or text him that morning, and he would quickly reply back with “see you at noon” and we would go visit a property or two at lunch.

My first rental property was half of a duplex If you fast forward, I ultimately purchased a property through this process. It was a two-bedroom, one-bath, one-half of a duplex. • It was close to my home. • It was a very affordable purchase price. • It was small. Physically small. • My exposure to maintenance and repairs was very minimal, it was only about a 900 square foot house. • It was very manageable. Very close and very affordable which were my key criteria for my first investment property as a parttime investor. I did not want to bite off too much too soon.

I still own this duplex 10 years later

I still own this property today over 10 years later and it is still continuing to generate a nice monthly cash flow. It does not end at the purchase. As a busy executive, I did not have time for a lot of the future activities that are required of investment properties. That Realtor came in very handy as a critical component of my ability to manage my growing portfolio over time that he and I were working together to build during my lunch hour.

A resource to determine rental rates and more

He was a great resource to determine rental rates. I did not have time, access, knowledge or experience on how to price my properties for rent. • He had access to all the rental data. As we would approach the properties and consider purchasing them, part of our discussion would be the due diligence he did and to tell me exactly what that property would rent for. Then, I could use that to determine my profit analysis to determine if that was going to be a good profitable investment. • He would do most of the work therefore enabling me to make decisions on my lunch hour without doing that type of analysis. He would also tell me the inspector who needed to inspect the property. Once again I did not have the time to source an inspector for these properties. If I placed an offer, he would bring the inspector in and I could trust it was a good, quality inspector. • He found me lenders as we continued to build my portfolio. Once again I was a busy executive and did not have time to source and screen lenders. Ultimately he pointed me to lenders I have relationships with to this day over 10 years later who I am still doing business with as I continue to build my rental portfolio now as a full-time investor.

you a property manager. If you are so busy you do not think you can manage them once your buy them, don’t let that be a barrier. You can get good property management and your Realtor can help you find it. Though I did it on my lunch hour, everybody has an hour. Whether it’s their lunch hour, their Saturday morning or their evening. Don’t let time be a barrier to you as a part-time investor and as someone who is seeking to purchase your first investment property. About The Author: Kevin Guz is a residential real estate investor with over 10 years of investing experience based in Dallas, Texas. Kevin is the owner of a HomeVestors or “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchise and is also owner of the Clear Key companies which focus on residential real estate wholesaling, rental property management and self-storage leasing. He is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas. Kevin enjoys sharing his on-going personal experiences, perspectives and learnings from his start as a part-time or “weekend investor” and full-time corporate professional to his ultimate transition into his current full-time endeavor as a real estate investor and business owner.

• He even found repair people for me. • He found title companies for me. • And though I did not initially use property management, your Realtor can even find

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Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

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Due or Don't? ...continued from page 6 operations even though I was ultimately financially responsible. It turned out to be a painful lesson that I did not learn for a few more years and wished I had figured it out much sooner. As real estate cycles change, transactions that were commonplace fifteen years ago come back en vogue, which means that investors who have gotten into the business in the last five years are often unaware of that particular type of transaction and how to do it properly. Recently I was asked very specific questions on the finer points of the transfer tax associated with a certain type of wrap loan transaction in a state that aggressively taxes all types of recordings and transfers. After reading through the chain of emails, it became clear that while the investors knew exactly what they were doing and set the transaction up correctly, they had the closing handled by a real estate attorney who was not as familiar with that type of transaction as they should have been. As a result,

they overpaid the transfer tax or doc stamps. Fortunately, that’s an annoyance, not a deal killer or profit loser, but it serves to illustrate the point that you need to make sure the people with whom you are working on a deal have accomplished their necessary due diligence as to the type of transaction you are doing. Here are some rules I offer in the area of transaction due diligence:

first time you do it will be much easier because there will be fewer moving parts, documents, and things that have to be accomplished in a timely manner, yet it will allow you to gain a great deal of experience in how to do that particular transaction before doing it inside a selfdirected retirement account.

Allow me to illustrate my last point. A business owner called me recently regarding selling his primary residence and moving into a new house. The difficulty came with the closing on the sale of his long-time residence when it was discovered that the house was also part of the collateral for a substantial SBA loan this business owner had taken out. It wasn’t until two days before closing that 4. Take time to think about the the real estate agent, seller, buyer, “oh-by-the-ways” and the 1. If you do not understand the and the title company all realized “extras” that may occur with transaction or deal, DO NOT that there was a problem. that deal. DO IT! Upon receiving the phone call, A key element that is necessary my response was that this business 2. If you cannot easily explain the transaction or deal to in due diligence: THINKING! owner had to go to the lender another person so that they Thinking is becoming a lost art, and ask about a substitution of understand it, DO NOT as many investors who have only collateral. Since the house this DO IT! This shows that you been in the business a few years person was moving into was bigger don’t understand it well don’t know what they don’t know and more expensive than the house and often assume someone else is being sold, there wasn’t a problem. enough yourself. doing the thinking for them, such 3. Before you do a transaction as their agent or the title company The substitution of collateral involving your self-directed or someone else. You have to take went through smoothly, and the retirement account, endeavor time to carefully think through transaction closed. My point is that to do the same or similar the transaction as you are putting sitting down and thinking through transaction outside of your it together and before you get all aspects of a transaction and the things you might encounter will self-directed retirement fully involved. help you to be prepared for them. account. That way, the

Bed Bugs ...continued from page 5 over the long run. In addition, pesticide sprays expose your home and family to potentially toxic chemicals. And, as discussed in the previous RE Journal article, the genetic makeup of the bed bug helps it adapt and overcome pesticides, rendering today’s pesticides ineffective in the future. ClearVue's active traps contain no toxic chemicals or pesticides. Each trap takes less than a minute to prepare and place, and protects your family for weeks. The traps are easy to use, discreet to deploy and are small enough to be hidden throughout your home. Their base measures 4x5” and they are just 1” tall. Over the past two years hundreds of handcrafted prototypes have been built – each generation of trap getting progressively better. Along with refining the designs, ClearVue has also deepened their knowledge of bed bug behavior. The prototype traps have performed extremely well, are easy to activate, and the feedback has been very positive. ClearVue Traps have been field tested and proven effective in a number of locations: • A multi-family apartment with a severe infestation: After repeated use of ClearVue traps, several thousand bed bugs were captured and the tenants reported no more bites. Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

• A major hotel that had been spraying rooms with pesticide powders and sprays for 15 years without success: Immediately following professional spray treatments, physical inspections revealed no more bed bugs in the rooms. However, ClearVue Bed Bug Traps continued to draw out and trap more.

included Activation Liquid onto the included sponge, placing the CO2 tablets on the sponge, and then replacing the cap. Once activated, simply place one trap on the floor at each bedpost at the head of your bed for monitoring, or one at all four bedposts for further protection. Traps can also be placed near other furniture susceptible to bed bug infestation. The bed bug CO2 beacon is • A validation test by a top reproduced using non-toxic, foodgional pest control company: grade materials. The trap’s sticky Hundreds of bed bugs were surfaces are tucked away inside intercepted before they could and its patented design lets you reach their human prey. easily see any trapped bugs. The traps are disposable so once you • An apartment that had been intercept bed bugs, you can quickly sprayed weekly for nine get them out of your home with the weeks in a row: Within 15 included "No-Touch, No-Escape" minutes of placing a Cleardisposal bag. Vue trap, an adult female bed ClearVue is currently conducting bug was captured. a crowd funding campaign to So how does it work? The trap raise funds for initial production. is simply activated by pouring the

A feature of this campaign is donation of traps to VA hospitals and homeless shelters. These can be supported through the perks on the campaign page. You can visit the crowdfunding page at and search for “ClearVue.” ClearVue’s bed bug trap page will be listed in the search results. Visit the page to learn more about the traps and to support the company’s efforts. Pre-orders for traps are currently being taken for the upcoming production run, which is planned for late summer. To pre-order your traps (and for more information), visit


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Create accurate home repair estimates in a single walkthrough and itemized, custom rehab plans including labor and material costs and Home Depot product SKUs.



Launch your custom real estate website in under 3 minutes using mobile optimized website templates and engaging content packs pre-written to engage and convert each target audience. No web design or copywriting needed.

Deliver customized single-step and multi-touch direct mail campaigns that engage and convert your target audience in just a few clicks. Choose from highly responsive handwritten yellow letters, notes, and real estate postcards.




Generate detailed real estate comps and reports for free with a single click. Determine property value and ARV, validate purchase offers, negotiate price, and educate buyers and sellers.

Save 84 minutes per deal! Auto-fill documents, manage inbound and outbound faxes without the machine, and track expenses and property maintenance in one centralized location.



Blast properties for sale to high traffic property listing and social media sites and manage all your inbound and outbound mobile marketing from one central location.

Collaborate with those involved in making deals happen by granting them limited access when it makes sense for your business.



Keep contacts consistently engaged and increase conversion with automated real estate email marketing. Initiate a 10 step email series in under 2 minutes.




Make better offers and accurately project return on investment for prospective deals by analyzing critical data points and identifying each deal’s strengths and weaknesses.



Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal

Transactional vs Transformational

...continued from page 10

market? Are we positioned to best utilize our skills? Are we trying to do the same thing as everyone else, and fighting a head to head battle? Shouldn't we find approaches that match our strengths and try to capitalize on them? I have always looked at the real estate market as a gold mine. When everyone is digging in the same corner of the mine, the pickings are slim. If you find your unique niche, it will be easier for you to prosper. If you keep on top of market statistics, you may be able to shift the focus of your business to niches that are underserved, and more quickly respond to market shifts. Think about what your product or service is, and make sure that your customer base is growing, or

at least stable. What can you do to better serve their needs? Are there improvements you can make to your current products or services, or are there new products or services that you can offer. It is time to make a shift in our legislative approach and in our personal businesses.

Member Spotlight ...continued from page 16 What do you like most about Do you have a tip or advice what you do? that you would pass along to I love the creativity & freedom other investors? that comes with being a real estate investor. Coming from a creative background I’ve found that real estate can be every bit as inventive as putting together a movie trailer. Hosting the podcast has also given me an additional outlet for creativity. I’m always looking for new ways to structure a deal, arrange financing, or improve the Net Operating Income of a property. I also love the freedom that comes with being an investor. As much as I loved my previous job, I did not like being tethered to a desk during working hours. Now I determine where I’ll be, whom I’ll be with, and what I’ll be doing.

Make it your goal to hire a bookkeeper as soon as possible. Unless you love accounting you should not be doing your own books or paying your own bills. If you’re serious about real estate investing, find a CPA or tax advisor who understands the benefits of real estate investing, otherwise you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table. Build your team and do not think you can do it all by yourself! And, listen to the “Rental Property Owner & Real Estate Investor Podcast” or any of the other excellent podcasts on real estate investing. These are great resources no matter how experienced you are.

How important is joining a local REIA to a new investor?

Being part of a real community where you can network with people who have local knowledge and expertise is invaluable. I have met so many great investors through the RPOA & local REIA that have had a huge impact on my investment choices.

What is your favorite selfhelp or business book? There are two books I recommend for anyone interested in apartment investing: David Lindahl’s “Emerging Real Estate Markets”, and Steve Berges’ “The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings.” I’m also a big fan of James A. Randel’s “Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur”.

Do you have any interesting hobbies or something unique that you like to do?

I’ve been a Cub Scout den leader for the past three years and will soon be a Webelos leader. I enjoy camping and vacationing with my family and look forward to taking more challenging trips, as my kids get older. I’m also a huge movie buff and enjoy exposing my kids to the films I loved when I was their age like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ghostbusters.

Does your business have a website?

You can check out my website at More importantly I’d encourage everyone to check out the “Rental Property Owner & Real Estate Investor Podcast” on iTunes or Stitcher. Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016


Real Estate Journal




Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

Real Estate Journal

Marketing for Lead Generation ...continued from page 8 • Use a catchy title to draw attention and don’t use all caps in postings. • If your title answers questions visitors are like to have, you will create interest in learning more. • Add 6-8 pictures when you post the ad to help readers engage, but remember it is what you “say” which will be convincing. • Use zip codes instead of counties to help define your market. Facebook is another “must have” site for marketing. • With 1.65 Billion Facebook users each month, you cannot afford to skip this important social media marketing tool. • You will need to set up a personal page first, then a business fan page. • Post regularly and remember that content is essential to keep visitors coming back. Offer helpful information tailored to your targeted market. • Post with the Facebook mindset that people come her to catch up with friends. Make sure you are personable when you post so they will keep coming back and telling their other Facebook friends about your site. LinkedIn is a third great source for leads. • LinkedIn has 128 Million users and is used 106 Million times per month. • LinkedIn is the Facebook for professionals. It is a great place to solicit high-end Seller leads and attract buyers for selling high-end homes. Pinterest is a newer, more Visual Social Market. • Choose great pictures to post to capture the attention of your target market. • Pinterest is an excellent way to generate both Buyer and Seller leads and gives you credibility for FREE. • It is a good way to enhance your search engine optimization.

your company. • A terrific way to build those followers is to create a “how to” video on YouTube. YouTube videos are valuable content to your target audience and establish your expertise in the field. • It is also a tremendous way to feature your properties for sale in an inclusive way. The video format is the most appreciated method to introduce a property to buyers featuring the best highlights of the property. • YouTube allows you to accumulate subscribers to your channel, so you instantly get a following. • Good YouTube videos are easily and regularly shared by folks who watch them, giving you a way to extend your marketing to others not actively included in your marketing plan.

Crowdfunding ...continued from page 3 crowdfunding! The problems we are all facing today:

the individual, no matter how driven and talented, will fail. Our task then? To succeed as • High speed, unfiltered and investors is to master the new tools un-curated information that include creating, connecting, coming at ever increasing and working with crowds and our channels for reception peers directly. Gone is the age • High speed economic trends where just one man can do it all that change direction seemhimself. We need one another for ingly overnight success and we should be happy to share in that celebration. Knowing - One minute, Miami has that the evolution has already 30,000 empty condo units begun and no amount of lawsuits that at current absorption or regulations will stop it, the only rates will last 20 years. Then, option for those of us who want not too much later there to stay in the game is to jump in are more condo projects and master these new arts in order under construction in Palm to ultimately profit from these Beach, FL than at any time changing tides. in history • Regulations and Legalities are becoming so complex no layman can truly understand their nuances any more

This begs the question. How can anyone handle this new world of high speed internet and high regulatory scrutiny? Answer? They can’t. No one person can. These are just a few tips to help But a crowd can. But not just you begin to build better marketing any crowd, a well focused and to create a system that puts you in collaborative crowd can evaluate control of lead generation for your and handle the amounts of market. Stop competing in the high speed data and high speed same old way for leads and let them feedback and will succeed where come directly to you. The time expended in educating yourself to dominate your local market with creative and engaging social media, will be well spent. Make your website and posts easy to find on Google, YouTube, FaceBook, CraigsList, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more. You need to create back links which will direct visitors back to your website to generate the leads directly to you. An aggressive marketing program which uses all the types of social media can bring in 100 buyer leads Refinance Your Rental Property a day and round up 3-8 home Blanket Loans sellers a week. You could convert about a third of these leads into Pull Cash Out deals. This type of marketing One Loan, One Payment program replaces the “old school” methods of cold calling and Unlimited Properties massive mailings, which no longer support the time and expense Recourse – Nonrecourse involved. You can learn to expertlyNo More Mailings Foreign National market through social media soNo More Bandit Signs that sellers are anxious to contact Consolidate Hard Money Loans you, and buyers will recognize you as “the best local source” of great No VA's properties for sale. No Mailings Please call us today to custom design

When Banks Say No, We Say Maybe

a financing package that meets your needs

Buyers and Sellers contact YOU

Loads of Qualified Buyers Cyndy & Tom and Sellers Dumire are members Spend $100 on marketing VS $$ Thousands • As always, good content is esof the Diversified Stop sending your time on sential to make your Pinterest getting deals but on closing Real Estate Investor deals! posts work for you. Group (DIG) in suburban ww w.S ucc ess Wi thC ynd yAn dTo m.c om Info @Su cces swit hCy ndya om.c om at www. We also offer a Done For You Philadelphia. LearnndTmore YouTube is an important part of program where we do all the work! your Social Media Marketing.

Call 1-844-623-6224 E-mail

• Social media is all about building a following for Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016 23

Real Estate Journal


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NREIA members Sign up today through your local REIA or call

Sign up today through your local REIA or call National REIA at 888-762-7342 REIA at 888-762-7342 National Sign up today through your local REIA or call National REIA at 888-762-7342


Real Estate Journal · Summer 2016

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