Yesterday (when I wrote this) was the first Tuesday of the month.  Those of you who invest in Texas likely knows what that means… Yesterday was foreclosure day.  Many of you probably spent last week like I did… fielding calls from homeowners on the brink who finally decided to call the number on one of those mailers that have desperately been trying to get their attention.

There is some great opportunity in those calls for purchasing property from some very motivated sellers.  However, there are just as many if not more who don’t have equity and short sale is their only hope.  At StepStone, we lovingly call one of those a Hail Mary! While we may say a prayer what we are really referring to is the football term: Continue reading “Hail Mary!”

I’ve been practicing creative real estate investing for eleven years.  It hasn’t always been easy.  In fact, there were times where it was a downright struggle.  Part of that is I didn’t really ever embrace the level of networking and educating myself that I do today.

But when I look back on the long road I’ve been on, I do realize that every year gets easier.  Every year I make more money.  And every year the future looks brighter and brighter.

What I have done right is employ a strategy that is built for the long-term.

Which is good since I am having so much fun, I don’t ever want to retire! Continue reading “Investing Strategy for the Long-Term”

Because most of my marketing is to distressed sellers, it’s not often that you will find me doing a “listing presentation” for a traditional listing. I recently found myself in that exact situation, however, when I was referred to a seller, Mindy, from a friend. I didn’t know that she was interviewing other agents but I did what I normally do… I brought some comps and we reviewed them. Nothing fancy.

After we finished discussing the sales data and her listing, she told me that she was interviewing other agents and wondered if I was negotiable on my commission. This is the point where most agents have that Deer in Head Lights look. Oh no! I just got a pay cut!

For those of you who don’t know, although there is a common amount of commission that many listing agents charge, typically 6% of the final sales price. The amount is not regulated and is instead determined by the listing Broker and the seller. Continue reading “How About a Pay Cut?”

Everyone wants the best price they can get.  Investors are no different.

But neither is the homeowner.

So investors often get accused of “low-balling” the seller with their offer.   A significant reason for this is investors fail miserably in presenting the offer.  This is another reason investors are often seen as “taking advantage” of a seller’s poor situation (deferred maintenance, pending foreclosure, etc.).

But the fact is, the cash offer we make is the offer we make because we HAVE to make that offer.  There is a tried and true formula in real estate for quick-close cash-offers that significantly reduces (although does not eliminate) the possibility of losing money on the deal. Continue reading “Investor Offers Are Low-Ball!”

My husband, Dan, recently looked the Wikipedia definition of Creative Real Estate Investing. It said:
 
Creative real estate investing is any non-traditional method of buying and selling real estate. Confidence tricks and pyramid schemes in the 20th and 21st century such as Nouveau Riche (real estate investment college) have embraced the term, leading contemporary usage of the term to be synonymous with unscrupulous practices.
 
Synonymous with unscrupulous practices. Ouch!
 
This definition buzzed in my head when recently I encountered a fellow real estate agent who voiced her negative opinion of licensee’s who practice creative real estate.
 
I meet numerous seller’s every week. They call me because I tell them I want to buy their house. There is a reason they call me and not an agent.

Continue reading “Creative Investing is Unscrupulous Investing”

There is a technique Real Estate Professionals use with Sellers to bring the price down (or so they think).  Whether they are trying to buy it or list it, they want the homeowner to believe the home is worth less so they can buy at a price that makes a big profit, or so they can list at a price that will sell fast.

I call this technique, “The used car technique”.  The strategy is to take a tour of the home, and as you are doing so, touch every crack and grimace.  Sneer at the popcorn on the ceilings.  Gasp at the condition of the appliances.  Generally, the idea is to give the impression that this house is going to need so much work! Continue reading “It’s a Home, Not a Used Car”

I spend a lot of time talking to Realtors who are also active investors.  Some of them got their license to assist in their investment business.  Some of them were Realtors first who saw the opportunity in creative real estate.  A common thread emerges when I talk to them about their brokerage… they feel like the black sheep.

You see, many brokerages are still resting on the laurels of the old traditional ways of practicing real estate. That means sales meetings, desk duty, elaborate listing presentations, open houses and property tours. And, of course, a broker who is preoccupied with how many listings and buyer rep agreements you have.  A broker who wants you to produce for them! Continue reading “Be a Black Sheep!”

Most investors, when that lead call comes in, have a script they follow, and a bunch of questions they ask.

I cannot imagine being on the other end of that call.  Being a distressed seller, reaching out for help, not knowing who I am calling…. only to be asked intrusive questions about my life.  What do I owe on my house?  Am I behind on payments?  How much will I sell it for?

Who IS this person asking me all of these things?  Its just a voice on the other end of the line.

Investors ask these questions and too often illicit a response they do not want… a lie.

And can you blame the seller for lying?  I don’t think I would truthfully tell a voice on a phone call if I were behind on my payments. Continue reading “Turn Your Sellers into Liars”

When my husband, Dan, came to me about nine years ago and suggested I get my real estate license I felt a little horrified! Immediately, I had the image of myself wearing a gold coat and pearls, on the side of the road putting in an Open House sign while trying to keep my skirt from flying up in the wind. Now, eight years later I am the Broker of a growing Real Estate firm and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I talk to a lot of investors about getting a real estate license and I hear a lot of myths and misconceptions about why they think it is a bad idea.  I also talk to a lot of investors with their real estate license and most of them think their license is one of their most valuable investment tools. The trick is to get past all those fears and misconceptions to truly see the advantage of a real estate license. So, let’s talk about some of those myths. Continue reading “MythBusters: Getting Your Real Estate License”

Happy New Year!

The new year is always a good time to reflect on our lives, including our business life.  When I look back on 2014, I realize that sometimes I don’t practice what I preach.

The investor/agents I coach all start with the same desire… to buy houses.  I have to tell them to stop!

But isn’t that the business we are in?

Investors without their license are stuck in that mode.  Their only hope of making money is to buy the house (even if they end up assigning the contract).  So when a lead comes in, the investor focuses on gathering as much information as possible so they can make an appropriate offer.

But when the seller doesn’t take the offer, they leave the appointment or phone call disappointed.  NO DEAL. Continue reading “My New Year’s Resolution: Stop Buying Houses!”