It is common for real estate investors to think that profit is generated through cash-flow. We pay $1,000.00 per month for property and collect $1,500 per month in rent. Every month we are “making” $500.00.

While this is somewhat true, it’s not always where “profit” truly lies. This is particularly true in owner financed wraps.

It is actually possible to be paying $1,000 per month, collected $1,000 per month and be reaping HUGE profits.

Profit in a wrap is not equal to the cash-flow, but rather that net interest payment. Sure, there can be profit just in the difference in the two notes. For example, if I take over a note of $100,000.00 and give a new note to an end buyer for $150,000.00, I have immediately created $50,000.00 in profit (equity).

But monthly profit is simply the difference of interest collected and interest paid. In fact, that is 100% of the monthly profit. Always. Every time. It’s never more than that. It’s never than less than that. It is always, forever, equal to the net interest. Always. Did I pound that point home?

As an example. If I pay $1,000.00 in principal and interest to an underlying lender, but collect $1,000.00 in principal and interest from the new buyer (now the new borrower), I have $0.00 per month in cash-flow. But I can still have monthly profits.

If my $1,000.00 payment to the underlying lender breaks down such that $500 is applied to principal and $500 is interest, but the amount I collect is $900 in interest and $100.00 in principal, then my profit is $900.00-$500.00 (the net interest) or exactly $400.00.

But I received $0.00! So how can that be true? Well think of the difference that was just created in equity. Remember, I owed $100,000.00. Now I owe $99,500.00. I was owed $150,000.00. Now I’m owed $149,900.00. Instead of $50,000.00 in equity, I now have $50,400.00 in equity.

Another way to think about it is this: I have put $400.00 into a savings account and $0.00 into my pocket. Sometimes, there is cash-flow. So perhaps I pay $1,000.00 but collect $1,200.00. If my payment is $500.00 to interest and $500.00 to principal, and the payment I receive is $700.00 to interest and $500.00 to principal, I’m actually making less money than in the first scenario, even though I’m collecting more! That’s because there has been no change in the equity, although I get $200.00 cash.

So when evaluating a possible Sub2 to Wrap scenario, it’s important to always look at net interest. While cash-flow seems like profit, it’s not always where the profit lies. Even worse, sometimes, your equity can go down even as you cash-flow. Look at the PI payments, compare and make sure your deal generates a profit, not just a cash-flow.

Every year, StepStone Agents come together and sacrifice a Saturday earning no money for themselves. They aren’t at the river, enjoying family or friends and certainly are not having a nice lazy weekend.

Instead, they are setting up tables, registering golfers, conducting games and running credit cards. Instead of planning their next project, they are helping to raise money for someone else’s home construction. Instead of showing buyers around or selling a house, they are helping to build a free house for someone else.

Continue reading “Why We Do This…”

Yesterday I was teaching a class to some of our agents called Understanding Agency for the Investor Agent and we were reviewing the Texas Real Estate License Act as it relates to agents as principals in the transaction. Most of us know that the Act prescribes that agents disclose their license status to the other party prior to entering into a contract. But, there is an additional subsection (c) at the tail end of RULE §535.144.

It states: (c) A license holder acting on his or her own behalf or in a capacity described by subsection (a) shall not use the license holder’s expertise to the disadvantage of a person with whom the license holder deals.

Continue reading “Investor Agents… Negotiating for Yourself OR Taking Advantage?”

If you search the internet for “Should I get a real estate license if I’m an investor?” and you will find a whole host of lists of reasons NOT to get your license.

I find that most of those lists, though, tend to be based on rumor and “conventional wisdom” rather than facts or grounded in the law.

So here is my Top 5 Reasons an Investor SHOULD get a real estate license!

#1 Monetize More Leads

Leads are not cheap. And let’s face it, not every seller we meet is ready to make a deal that makes sense from an investor-perspective. But when you have a license, you can also revert to listing the property when investing doesn’t make sense!

Continue reading “Top 5 Reasons Investors SHOULD be Licensed”

For decades, Real Estate Professionals have had to choose between the path of being a Licensed Agent or being a Creative Real Estate Investor.

As a Real Estate Agent, you likely have been told that investing techniques are illegal or unethical. These myths have led to an environment today that has caused brokers to institute archaic rules on you such as a prohibition on wholesaling, listing your own property or wrapping “sub2” deals.

As an investor, it’s very likely you have been told that you should avoid getting a real estate license. You might have heard that by having a license, you will have to treat sellers differently which can cost you good deals. Or worse, that a broker will trap you into a J-O-B and make you show buyers around.

Continue reading “StepStone Realty: The Home of the Black Sheep”

As Realtors, we have certain rules of thumb that we are comfortable with when helping a client evaluate an offer. However, if you are working with a distressed seller you should also be familiar with the rules of thumb that investors work with to help your client complete a successful sale to an investor.

Over my 12 plus years as a real estate broker practicing traditional real estate and as a creative real estate investor I’ve seen plenty of conflicts between investors and Realtors that were usually the result of the Realtor being unfamiliar with investor strategies and methods.  Not to say that investors are always the good guys but knowing where the other party is coming from will put the Realtor in a much better position to ensure their distressed seller doesn’t go into further distress! This article will shed some light on the differences AND offer advise on how the Realtor can best look after their clients’ interests when you are dealing with an investor offer.

First, when should your client consider accepting an investor offer? Continue reading “Investor 101 for Realtors”

Life happens. Sometimes, we get an extra dose of “life” and it can be a challenge!

As the broker/co-owner of StepStone Realty I’ve got a lot of expectations to live up to.  I’m expected to have all the answers whenever an agent calls with questions, be available to resolve conflicts, manage an office & staff, write helpful and informative blogs and content every month, make community connections, keep current agents happy and recruit new agents. Not to mention, my personal and family expectations.

These expectations give me purpose and direction. And it is a challenge to keep up with it all sometimes but I wouldn’t change it for anything. This is my life and I love what I do and who I do it with! Continue reading “Challenges ARE Gifts!”

There are a lot of moving parts in the buying and selling process and one of them that can cause major complications is the actual MOVING! Every seasoned agent heard of a transaction in which the buyer and his entire family is living out of suitcases in a cheap hotel room for weeks on end while paying hefty fees for their belongings to sit in a moving van waiting on any number of things that delayed closing.

Temporary Leases are a useful tool in helping to mitigate these situations but are not without their risks. Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) provides two promulgated forms that can be used to accomplish temporary leases in a sales transaction.

The Seller’s Temporary Residential Lease allows for the seller, after closing, to remain in the home for a pre-determined length of time. This is a very common requirement for sellers, particularly when they are using the proceeds from the sale to buy a replacement home. Generally, I don’t see many problems with these leases but I do have one scary story for you to use to help your buyer’s make good choices when considering a seller’s request for a temporary lease. Continue reading “SCARY STORIES ABOUT TEMPORARY LEASES!”