Let Your Goals Lead You to Success

Posted by Raelynn Beachler // July 22, 2018

Let Your Goal Lead You To Success

There are many different ways to invest in real estate. If you are not careful it is easy to experiment with as many of these options as you can find. While there is nothing wrong with a little trial and error without a firm plan in place you will end up constantly chasing your tail. The best way to figure out what type of real estate investing is best for you are by putting your goals down on paper. What you will find is that your goals will lead you to the market, purchase price, structure and time frame of the deals you should pursue. Your investing goals are specific to yourself and your personal preferences. Here are a couple of investing options based on your short and long term goals.

Short Term Returns:

Most real estate investors get started in the business seeking the quickest return on their investment as possible. They are sick of the low yields that savings accounts or CD’s offer. They want to be in and out of the property in as short a timeframe as possible. If this sounds like you there are two main real estate options.

Flipping/Rehabs. The idea behind flipping matches the short term mindset to a “T”. In order to maximize the return on the property it is essential to get in and out as quickly as possible. The best rehabs often happen within a 90 day window. What makes these types of deals so appealing is the upward potential for profits. With the right property in the right market you can easy yield a 25% return on your investment. There are plenty of other factors that come into play but the possibility for these returns exists. While speed is important making the right improvements is critical. As a rehabber you are judged on the quality of your product. With most markets tilted towards buyers if the work is poor they will look elsewhere. As much as the real estate market has gained over the past two years you need to be able to pick the right stock at the right time. This is easier said than done. With real estate you can be in and out of the property in few months instead of waiting years for a stock to take off.

Wholesale Deals. If you want to turn a property over even quicker than a rehab wholesale deals are for you. On wholesale deals you don’t have to wait for the initial deal to close, the work to be done and the property to sell. All you need to do is find a motivated seller and an investor to see value in your property. The basic concept of wholesaling is to find deals at a discount and instead of rehabbing them yourself you pass the deal off to a fellow investor. This may sound like giving up money but there are plenty of positives. For starters you don’t have to deal with any of the risk associated with the property. You can get in and out as soon as the current homeowner is ready to close. You also have the ability to close many more deals throughout the course of the year. Instead of waiting 90 days or so you can close multiple wholesale during that same period.
Long Term Returns:

Not every investor is looking to get in and out of their investments quickly. There are plenty of investors who look at the business as a way to accumulate long term wealth. The best way to do this in real estate is by developing your buy and hold rental property portfolio.

Rental properties. Rental properties are one of the best ways to accumulate true long term wealth. A few high performing rental properties can completely transform your portfolio. The first thing they will do is provide you with monthly cash flow. Depending on a number of factors your excess cash flow can be hundreds of dollars a month. With this money you can pay down your loan balance and accelerate the time required to own the property outright. Actually you can use these funds any way you please. If you want to pay off other debt or use in other areas of your business you have that option as well. Another benefit of a rental property ownership is the tax breaks provided. You have the ability to write off mortgage interest payments, expenses, repairs and even the mileage driven to the property. The tax breaks alone can turn an average property into one that makes sense to own. The final benefit of rental properties is the possibility of long term appreciation. Buying a rental property on the speculation that it increases in value is never a good idea. That being said with the loan pay down and market appreciation it is not uncommon for the value to rise substantially over the years. In fifteen to twenty years you could very easily be sitting on a property valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars with a low loan balance and strong cash flow.
Your goals will often change the longer you are in the real estate business. Instead of chasing every deal that comes your way let your goals guide you. By doing this you will very rarely regret any purchase you make. The happier you are with your investments the more likely you are to continue making them.

This blog was written by JD Esajian from cthomes.com.


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Real Estate Lead Generation 101

Posted by Raelynn Beachler // July 12, 2018

What are the best real estate lead generation options today?

Where and how can real estate agents, investors and other related industry professionals generate more leads for buying, selling and renting properties? What are some of the little known benefits, and pitfalls of common real estate lead generation channels today?

Here are 12 ways for real estate investors and Realtors to bring in more leads:

Direct Mail

Some popular real estate gurus have said that direct mail is the fastest and easiest way to generate new leads. It can still be very effective. In fact, as others have turned to online marketing, direct mail may have become even more effective and profitable. However, direct mail success does rely on volume and testing to hone messaging and delivery.

Cold Calling

Cold calling on a large scale, such as using call centers, might face many challenges with regulations today, but it has still been proven to generate an effective hourly income of hundreds of dollars for Realtors. Simply picking up the phone can be one of the fastest ways to generate real estate business. It is also one of the lowest cost ways to generate leads, and can help professionals stay on top of their sales game.

Door Knocking

Many fantastic real estate deals and listings can be uncovered by simply driving neighborhoods and knocking on doors. There are obvious obstacles in doing this, but when it comes to getting the jump on competitors, it can be hard to beat.

Email Marketing

Google may have made reaching consumers via their inboxes more challenging, but email can still be one of the best ways to reach both the masses, and highly targeted contacts. Email lists may be rented from data companies versus buying them. Subsequently, real estate investors and agents can take control of their own email real estate and build their own lists.

Buying Internet Leads

Buying internet leads has been popular for a variety of real estate and mortgage companies since before the last housing boom. These individuals experienced somewhat of a bubble, but have now been improved with enhanced data and targeting tools. There are various types of these leads ranging from ‘aged’ leads, to live exclusive leads, and non-exclusive leads. Make sure you do your homework and understand exactly what you are getting, as well as the difference in these types of consumers, in order to maximize ROI.

Buying Lead Lists

Lead lists have been a staple of the real estate industry for many years. An almost endless array of filters can be used to laser target the best prospects with these lists. However, newer individuals and real estate companies need to recognize that they may not legally be allowed to have, or market to some of these lists depending on how the data was generated. Watch for junk, and be sure lists aren’t being fluffed out with bogus names.

Real Estate Blogging

Real estate blogging remains one of the most powerful and profitable forms of lead generation, but also one of the most underestimated. A regular blog can ensure real estate pros and companies are not held ransom by other platforms, and can go on helping to generate leads for years after posts are written. A blog can be used to draw regular internet leads, feed email list building, and fuel social media efforts.

Social Media

While this medium changes constantly, social media platforms can still be a fantastic way to generate leads in real estate. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and even Pinterest are all great options. There are many debates over calls to action, the amount of engagement which is right, and how much should be invested off-site, versus on a real estate company’s own websites, but with the right funnel strategy, it can be fast, affordable and enjoyable.

Signage & Outdoor Real Estate Advertising

Even the simplest yard and ‘bandit’ signs can be incredibly affordable ways to generate real estate leads. With the right message, these and other outdoor advertising solutions can be used to generate a steady stream of local leads. New technology can make this even better. Call capture, QR codes, interactive augmented reality signs, text messaging options, and even links to virtual tours can be used to boost outdoor advertising performance.

PPC

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be one of the best methods of predictably and consistently driving in real estate leads on demand. PPC solutions, like Google Adwords, offer the ability to drive in leads on command. This can be tweaked to be hyper local, or reach global buyers, investors and homeowners right where they are now. With a little strategy and education, real estate marketers can significantly drive down PPC costs. With a large enough budget, they can even dominate, and starve out the competition by buying every lead for a given keyword. Aside from the big platforms, more affordable online leads may be gleaned from purchasing image, text and banner ads on other websites directly.

Print Advertising

Don’t forget print. Beyond the traditional line up of real estate mags, consider other industry magazines that will reach the same prime prospects, and even leveraging online magazines.

Referrals and Affiliate Marketing

Personal referrals can be both a compliment, and the most valuable form of lead generation. Savvy real estate CEOs are taking this to a whole new level by using technology to scale and organize referrals on a national and global scale.

– See more at: http://www.cthomesllc.com/2014/07/real-estate-lead-generation-101/#sthash.RqEcAeZ1.dpuf


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Housing Still The Best Investment Tool Of A Lifetime

Posted by Raelynn Beachler // June 25, 2018

Many people are still wondering whether or not real estate is one of the best investment strategies for long-term wealth building. Is investing in homes still a smart investment for the average individual? Is a home still the best investment of a lifetime for most Americans? If so, why are some pessimists still questioning the rebound in the news?

Behind the Headlines

Real estate companies will always boast about the benefits of acquiring real estate because it is their job. That is, unless of course, they have gotten into the rental business and make their money by touting the benefits of renting instead. Let’s be honest; statistics can be found and twisted to support any point of view and argument. Entire years of real estate statistics have been revised in the past, new indexes have been created to restart the clock, and even the national GDP was revised. Most don’t even bother to tune into job and unemployment numbers anymore due to how skewed different data sets have become.

Even though the most conservative figures show housing rebounding, especially in hot areas like San Diego, there continue to be doubters. However, it doesn’t take much more than a little common sense to figure out real estate is still the best investment for most of the population. This applies to affluent individuals with top 1% income, as well as those that need to pinch pennies. Stocks have continued to demonstrate extreme volatility and risk. While UT San Diego reports local real estate is still 50% undervalued.

In the stock market, plenty of Americans have lost 6 figures, literally overnight. Direct investment in real estate isn’t that volatile, and nothing is ever lost until a property is sold. For example; some Southern California homeowners saw their home values rise and fall on paper during the last couple of decades, but if they don’t sell for a few more years when prices exceed their previous peak, they will come out handsomely.

Invest in Real Estate, Even if You Can’t Afford Your Dream Home

One of the top excuses for many not to buy a house is that they can afford their ideal dream homes yet. Of course, unless they invest in real estate in some way now, the odds are against them ever being able to afford that dream home. Incomes haven’t been going up, but rents and home prices have. Those wanting to buy a home should not invest any money in stocks or bonds, but should prefer cash. Of course, in reality, cash depreciates too. It can be at risk whether it is in the bank or under the mattress.

Investing in real estate is the best way to build up more wealth and cash to buy that dream home. Can’t find a home you’d live in even for a few years? Then buy a rental property.

Many Americans are sadly being seduced into the lifelong renter mindset without realizing the horrific consequences it could be dooming them to. Consider those paying 50% of income in rent right now. Rents have been going up 20% a year in many places. If rent goes up another 20%, many could be priced out of both buying a home and renting too! Then what?

With Americans living longer, and with company retirement plans evaporating, they also need to consider where they will live for 40 years of retirement on limited income? Even legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett, with all of his endeavors into energy, insurance companies and holding sizable stakes in companies like Coke and Wells Fargo, still calls his own home his best investment ever.

– See more at: http://www.cthomesllc.com/2014/06/housing-still-best-investment-tool-lifetime/#sthash.9aVRuSgX.dpuf


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Technology vs. People Skills: Which Real Estate Strategies Will Win?

Posted by Raelynn Beachler // March 12, 2018

The real estate industry caters to independent strategies. For every investor, there is another way to go about conducting business. Some may prefer to utilize the convenience of technology while others want to maintain personal relationships. However, for one reason or another, there remains a void between these two independent strategies. Smart investors will figure out how to incorporate technology into their business while simultaneously maintaining the personal relationships that they have worked so hard to create. Others will need to learn this before it is too late. Using the latest technology, in association with establishing lasting relationships, can go a long way in making a business successful.

Programmers, and the venture capitalists backing them, certainly want the real estate industry to be run through advancements in technology. At the same time, a number of the leading industry minds, and young entrepreneurs are dismissing technology as just another tool. So which real estate strategies will prevail over the next decade? The early adopters riding the next wave of technology? Or those taking customer relationships seriously? Perhaps both?

#NewRealEstateTechnology

Tech is invading real estate, and fast. The following advancements in technology have already been incorporated into the real estate industry:

Drones

Highly controversial drones have been flying their way into mainstream real estate applications. They are now being used for enhanced photography, virtual tours, and even property management.

Big Data

As the world becomes a planet of digital natives, more and more data is becoming available to the public. While big data may seem hyped up to many real estate professionals, better data means being able to pinpoint prospects with highly targeted marketing, and give them more of what they want. Theoretically, this means improved real estate marketing performance and ROI.

Curation

Curation remains a popular trend, though its value may be suffering due to larger trends, and the obvious need for originality.

Crowdfunding

Not only is technology creating more efficiency in mortgage lending, it is spawning new financing models altogether. The advantages of speed and streamlining operation technology can increase lender margins, or help keep interest rates and borrowing costs low. One of the largest new developments has been ‘buy to rent’ loans for single-family rental home investors. Crowdfunding goes even further, completely breaking from traditional mortgage lending and having to rely on banks.

Home Search

Home searches haven’t necessarily benefited from new technology much. The big home listing portals haven’t changed much. The many new startup attempts at mimicking these real estate search engines haven’t appeared to gain much traction. The data shows house hunters are still far better served turning to local real estate websites.

Website Design

Web design has changed significantly in the last year; both aesthetically and functionally. HTML 5 has taken over, and both responsive sizing and content is becoming the norm.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is rapidly gaining traction. Augmented reality and interactive ads are taking over as the top ads in print and outdoors. Google Glass is now being used on the streets by some real estate companies to coach agents and team members in real-time. Technology is also working its way into improving green building efforts.

Where’s the Personal Touch?

Technology is great. It can make life and business a lot easier, and more profitable for real estate agents, investors, and the companies they work for. However, some entrepreneurial thought leaders and real estate commentators are increasingly highlighting the benefits of offline, and personal connections.

It all comes down to what is best for business, and enabling real estate professionals to stay in alignment with the things they really care about. Efficiency from technology is great. It gets even better when it improves service for home buyers, sellers, and renters. Done right, integrated technology can make management easier, facilitate business growth, ensure sustainability and long term competitiveness, and significantly drive up ROI and profits.

Still, it shouldn’t be a replacement for real interaction and service. Unless this is kept at the forefront of the mind, short term gains will be just that – short term. Winning customers could become far more expensive, and those with the strongest relationships will be those that retain customers and benefit from their referrals.

With this in mind, some real estate professionals and companies have been taking another look at brick and mortar storefronts. However, they are also taking the time to build real relationships. These are all good things. But, unless the same care and attention to caring for customer needs, and wowing them with great service is maintained at all levels of an organization, it may not make much difference. In fact, you might be better off with just a website, instead of allowing poor customer service reps destroy your reputation, and brand.

The latest technology has been helping to blur the lines between offline and online. Perhaps this is the best strategy for real estate companies. Meet each client where they are and interact across multiple channels for efficiency, while still providing tailored, but high quality service.

– See more at: http://www.cthomesllc.com/2014/07/technology-vs-people-skills-real-estate-strategies-will-win/#sthash.2DSx5pKO.dpuf


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Real Estate Investing As A Business

Posted by Raelynn Beachler // August 12, 2017

“Investment is most intelligent when most business like” – Warren Buffett

If investing is better when conducted most business like, does it mean that more real estate investors ought to be investing in a more businesslike fashion? Should every real estate investor be investing as a business? What does that really mean? What does it look like? Does that limit the types of properties and strategies that can be applied? Where can help and support be found for building a more businesslike property portfolio?

What does Real Estate Investing as a Business Mean?

“Businesslike” investing suggests a less emotional, better organized, well thought out approach to real estate. Definitions of ‘business’ can range from describing a profession, to commerce and trade, to an actual company. All of these definitions likely influence Warren Buffett’s decision to be more businesslike in investing. It has certainly worked for him, and for his own prized real estate investments, and real estate companies. It could mean running a real estate company of some type, owning an investment (which is distinctly different from managing one), or just being more businesslike in every day investment and real estate decisions.

Why Should Investors Approach REI as a Business?

There are many practical benefits of taking a business approach to real estate including:

  • Scalability
  • Better true investment decisions
  • More profitable investment moves
  • Efficiency in organization
  • Separating personal from investment finances, assets, and income
  • Building substantial additional value within a business entity
  • Tax reduction
  • More free time

What does Building a Real Estate Business Look Like?

Not everyone envisions building a company and mounting an international conglomerate when they get interested in investing in real estate. So will you need an office, hundreds of staff, and have to go back to wearing uncomfortable suits again?

Most won’t.

Many simply want to generate some extra income, and perhaps build more wealth over the long run. Others aspire to building multinational real estate empires. Yet, what we are really talking about here is approaching investment with a businesslike mentality, and structure. Even for those wishing to go really big, most will find they can now operate a multi-million dollar company from their patios via their smartphones.

However, there ought to be businesslike characteristics regardless of size. This may include incorporation and forming a registered business entity, obtaining business credit and bank accounts, setting up a new business phone number, hiring professional vendors to help out, and having a real estate website.

What Types of Properties can be Invested in as a Real Estate Business?

Not all will incorporate as a C Corp, or LLC. Regardless, of which entity type is chosen, or none is used, every type of property is open to investment.

This may include:

  • Single-family homes
  • Small multifamily properties like duplexes, triplexes, and 4 units properties
  • Apartment buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Industrial real estate
  • Hotels
  • Retail property
  • Vacant land and lots

What about Real Estate Investment Strategies?

The same goes for real estate investment strategy. Virtually any real estate investing strategy can be formalized and systemized to create a business model.

These REI strategies include:

  • Wholesaling houses
  • Fixing and flipping homes
  • Acquiring and holding income generating rental properties
  • Commercial real estate investing
  • Mortgage debt investing and note investing
  • Private mortgage lending
  • Options
  • Buying, selling and leasing various real estate related rights
  • New construction

Where can Real Estate Investors find Support in Building a Business?

The majority of new real estate investors may have very little experience in starting and running a real business. So where can they find help in investing more intelligently, and building a real estate business which can produce better returns, and build more wealth over the long term?

Simply relying on out of date books, and trolling online real estate forums may not be well suited for investors that want to invest intelligently and businesslike. Look for an organized real estate course and proven system that has synergy with your big picture goals. Build on this by seeking out a mentor or coaching program which actually offers business building help, or combines both real estate and business.

Is This the Best Approach for Everyone?

Certainly not all investors want to, or are suited to full time investing, or even running a real estate investment business. There is nothing wrong with that. Yet, all can benefit from taking a more businesslike and smarter approach to investment. This applies whether simply renting out your old home, flipping one or two houses a year, or investing capital in real estate startups.

Those that want the best results, with the lowest risk, and see the value in fast tracking to their goals, while avoiding the pitfalls will see the wisdom in educating themselves on this approach to investing, and will incorporate the best elements to suit their personal goals and aspirations.

– See more at: http://www.cthomesllc.com/2014/08/real-estate-investing-business/#sthash.9OdzrkSi.dpuf


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Tips to Find Renters and Maximize Your Rental Income

Posted by Raelynn Beachler // March 7, 2016

“The idea behind making money with rental properties is a simple one: find good tenants that pay every month. As straightforward as this may be, it is not as easy as it sounds. The demand for rental properties has never been higher. Because of the increase in competition, landlords need to think of alternative ways to find tenants. Not only do they need to find tenants, but to maximize their return they need to think outside the box. No longer is it enough to put an ad online and wait for their phone to ring. If you are looking to find tenants or get top dollar for your rental, here are five things you can do:

1. Fully furnished rental: One of the first things you can do to generate interest is to furnish your property. Showing an empty property doesn’t always put it in the best possible light. By furnishing your property, it gives prospective tenants an idea of what it would be like to live there. Additionally, depending on your neighborhood, this could make it much easier for them to move as well. In low income neighborhoods or areas dominated by students, a furnished unit makes much more sense. Little things like kitchen items, vacuums, microwaves and wall décor can put your unit over the top. You don’t need to furnish the entire property from wall to wall; sometimes even minor furnishings have a big impact. With the right improvements, you can increase your rent anywhere from 10-30% a month. With a quality couch, desk and dressers, this could be just a one-time expenditure. If you are looking to get top dollar for your rental, think about furnishing it from lease to lease.

2. Updates: If a fully furnished unit is something that doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options. One of those items is to selectively update some areas that may be lacking. Little things like flooring, paint and walls can have a big impact. Going a step further and updating the appliances, including the washer and dryer, will make your property stand out from the crowd. Regardless of the area, tenants want to live in a place that feels like home. Modern updates will give them this feeling. In much the same way that you would consider furnishing an investment, the same is the case with updates. You can get a quality refrigerator for just a few hundred dollars. If you keep this for five to ten years, you will make your money back after the first year or so. The most important aspect to remember with updates is to know your market. Not all updates are created equally. You can do more harm than good if your updates are not in line with the rest of the homes in the area. A custom wall unit with a large flat screen TV sounds nice, but won’t offer the return you are looking for.

3. Small concessions: Depending on the demand from renters you may have to make some concessions to generate interest. You are not going to give away the farm but you should know when to give a little. If you have an otherwise strong applicant but they want you to remove the snow instead of including it in the lease you should consider it. This may be against your policy and will definitely eat into your bottom line but consider the alternatives. You could spend weeks looking for a new tenant they may not be as good as the one you currently have. Making concessions for good tenants is a trade you should make all day. Even little things such as parking concessions or offering a small gift certificate for five consecutive months of timely rent payments are a good trade for you. If you are going to make these concessions when pressed you should consider offering them up from the start.

4. Study local competition: The only way to know what is happening in your market is by doing your homework. Go online and read every listing in your market. Get the weekend editions of your newspaper and see what they are offering that you may be not. Ask your real estate agent for rental listings that are similar to yours. If you do this you will get an idea of what price you should charge and what items you should include. Price and demand changes from year to year. You should never just assume that things have remained the same from the previous year. If you want to get top dollar you need to know how your property stacks up to everyone else in your market. Dig in and spend some time researching your competition.

5. Advertise year round: You never know when or where you are going to find a quality tenant. Instead of waiting until you are 30-45 days to lease end you should advertise your property year round. Even if you are six months out put the property online and get some feelers. It is far better to have a handful of interested people to choose from than to scramble around at the last minute. Social media is a powerful tool that you should use to your advantage. A post or two every month should give help generate some interest. Interest leads to demand and if the demand is high enough you may be able to get a bidding war and that will increase your rent price.

Getting top dollar for your rental means doing everything you can to attract interest. If you are struggling to find new tenants or you are trying to maximize your price, follow these five steps.” – JD Esajian


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