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(The following is an excerpt from the new book from BiggerPockets, The Book on Rental Property Investing. If you are looking to buy more rental properties this year, pick up a copy today!)

The first and perhaps most important step in becoming a successful rental property investor is thinking the right thoughts. In other words, it’s not an external action you need to take, but an internal mindset you need to create.

This mindset begins by flipping a switch in your head so that you say to yourself, “I am doing this,” rather than, “I want to do this.” You tell yourself, “I will do this,” rather than, “I can do this.” Your mind says, “I won’t give up,” rather than, “I hope I won’t give up.”

Let me illustrate this further using a common desire for most of the world: six-pack abs. You see, I want to have six-pack abs. I can get six-pack abs. And when I start to work toward those six-pack abs, I hope I won’t give up on that journey. But you know what? I’m not getting six-pack abs with that mindset!

To take it a step further, I even know how to get six-pack abs. I know the exercises I need to do, the food I need to eat, and the lifestyle I need to follow. But I’m still not getting that six pack! Why? Because I’m not yet committed! I haven’t yet flipped that switch in my head so that I tell myself, “I am getting six-pack abs, I will do this, and I won’t give up.” Deep inside my soul, I know I have not flipped that switch, committed myself, and started taking action. And as much as I don’t want to admit it, I know that I have not yet committed to getting that six pack. It’s just a dream, a desire.

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you “flipped the switch” of success in your mind? Have you made the commitment to yourself that you will become a rental property investor, come hell or high water?

If not, don’t worry. I believe that by the end of this book, you will. First, here are a few tips for moving in that direction.

3 Ways to Change Your Mindset for Real Estate Success

1. Write Down Your Goals, and Read Them Out Loud Every Day

I got this tip from Grant Cardone, an investor with over $350,000,000 in real estate assets whom we interviewed on the BiggerPockets Podcast (show 108). He’s been reading his goals out loud to himself every morning and every night for 30 years, and he also reads them when he’s feeling down. In addition, in his book The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure, Cardone encourages his readers to take whatever goal they might have, multiply it by ten, change their plan/mindset to reflect that new goal, and then take massive action to accomplish their revised objective.

For example, one of my goals was to achieve 100 rental units, and my mind worked toward that goal. I could buy a fourplex here, a single-family house there, a small apartment building there… it was all very attainable. After applying the 10X Rule to my goals, though, I’m now aiming for 1,000 units. My mindset is very different. I no longer think in terms of “a single-family house here.” That will never get me to 1,000 units! I have to think bigger. As Napoleon Hill states in Think and Grow Rich, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Your mind will naturally work to solve the problem or goal you’ve set before it. So raise your goal, think differently, and 10X your life.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

Landlords: The 6 Best Ways to Minimize Your Chances of a Lawsuit

(The following is an excerpt from the new book from BiggerPockets, The Book on Managing Rental Properties. If you are looking to earn more and have less stress with your rentals, pick up a copy today!)

In our litigious age, it’s impossible to keep yourself 100 percent free from a lawsuit.

As a landlord, the chance of getting sued actually increases. However, there are some actions you can take to decrease your chance of being hit with a lawsuit.

This post is not designed to scare you, but lawsuits are a real thing, hence the need for great insurance on your property. But besides insurance, let’s talk about six of the easiest ways to keep yourself free from lawsuits ever happening.

1. Provide Housing That is Habitable

As a landlord, it is your legal responsibility to provide housing that meets a certain level of cleanliness. If you rent properties that don’t meet basic standards, your risk of getting sued increases greatly. So don’t be a slumlord! Fix up your properties and make sure they are in good, livable condition for the tenant. Be sure to investigate and comply with federal, state, and local housing codes to ensure your property is in good enough condition to rent.

Related: 7 Tips to Keep Landlords Free From Costly Tenant Lawsuits

2. Provide Housing That is Reasonably Safe

If you fail to provide a reasonable level of security for your tenants, you could be sued. For example, if a tenant calls with complaints about their door lock not working, and before you can fix the problem someone breaks in and attacks the tenant, you could face a lawsuit. Therefore, make sure safety-related concerns are addressed promptly. And, of course, don’t rent to people who might hurt other people.

3. Get Repairs Taken Care of Quickly

If a tenant has an issue that must be fixed and you refuse to, you are opening yourself up to a lawsuit or at minimum the tenant legally being able to withhold the rent or using their own money to pay for the repairs. So don’t let things get to this point. Hire qualified people to repair your properties immediately.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

15 Things Every Newbie Needs to Know About Starting a Business

Starting a business is exciting — and scary.

I’ve started more businesses than I’d care to admit.

In my experience, it’s a bit like driving through a heavy fog where you are only able to see a few feet in front of the windshield — you don’t know what’s up ahead until it’s upon you.

However, the longer you are an entrepreneur, the better you can navigate through that fog.

As I’ve been driving through the fog for over a decade now, I thought I would take today’s post and boil down 15 of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past decade of building and growing businesses.

Consider these tips “stuff I wish I had known when I was young and stupid.” 

Let’s get to them.

1. Don’t listen to statistics.

People love to throw around the statistic that 95 percent of business fail. Don’t listen to that — it’s an excuse to make you feel comfortable about giving up. If that number is even correct, it’s because most people don’t commit, they don’t follow through to the end or they are stupid in how they manage their money.

2. Do something you like.

Don’t start something you won’t want to do in five years. Because if you are successful, you’ll still be doing this in five years.

3. You are not going to know everything.

In fact, you probably won’t know anything when you first start. Start anyway. When I first got into real estate investing, I had no idea how to buy a property, rent a house, or evict a tenant. I figured it all out “on the job.” You will too.

4. Finish what you start.

Nearly every entrepreneur I know suffers from the same curse: We like to start things more than we like to finish them. In other words, if you are a good entrepreneur, you’ll have a lot of great ideas. Most of them would probably work out well and make you a lot of money. However, that doesn’t mean you should pursue them. Pick one and go with it until it dies or it makes you rich enough to buy a private island.

Related: How Top Entrepreneurs Overcome the Dreaded Fear of Failure

5. Never partner with someone because it’s convenient.

Partner with someone because it makes you stronger. The wrong partner will drive you crazy, make you hate your work and end up causing more problems than they solve.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

Thinking About Buying a Multifamily? STOP! Wait Until You Read This!

(The following is an excerpt from the new book from BiggerPockets, The Book on Rental Property Investing. If you are looking to buy more rental properties this year,pick up a copy today!)

It’s no secret that I love multifamily properties.

I talk about them on the Podcast.

I talk about them in books.

I talk about them at local BiggerPockets meetups.

Heck, I’m even doing an entire LIVE webinar workshop this week on the topic of “Using Duplexes, Triplexes, and Fourplexes to Find Financial Freedom.” (Which you should really attend. It’s on Wednesday evening, and it’s going to be AMAZING! Click here to sign up.)

But are multifamily properties right for everyone?

No. 

Just because some guy on a blog/podcast/webinar says it’s great DOESN’T mean you should go out and buy one. There are pros and cons to multifamily investing over single family.

Therefore, today I thought I’d give you a quick summary of the pros/cons of multifamily investing to help you decide if it’s the right path for you. But first…

What is Multifamily Property Investing?

Multifamily properties are buildings with more than one unit.

A multifamily could be as small as two units in a duplex or as big as thousands of units in a large apartment complex. Few people ever buy a multifamily to live in (though I do love the strategy of “house hacking,” where an individual lives in one unit and rents the other units out), but instead, most multifamily properties are owned by real estate investors who rent the properties out to those who can’t — or won’t — buy a single-family home of their own.

Multifamily classification is generally split into two categories: small and large.

  • Small multifamily properties are any properties that contain two, three, or four units.
  • Large multifamily properties, therefore, are those with five or more units.

This is an important distinction because of the way these properties are valued and financed. Smaller multifamily properties are considered “residential” to most lenders and are thus seen as no different from an SFR. Large multifamily, however, is considered commercial real estate, and the rules change drastically.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

Can Real Estate Investing Help Me Pay Off $180,000 of Dangerous Debt?

I think we can all agree that too much debt is dangerous, especially when that debt is from student loans.

That’s why today I wanted to share the email exchange between a BiggerPockets member named Ford (with his permission) and myself. Ford and his wife are struggling to get started with real estate investing and facing an uphill battle due to their student loan debt.

Below I’ve posted Ford’s question, as well as my answer.

I know that Ford is not the only one in this position, so it is my hope this post can help more than just Ford. Perhaps you don’t have $180,000 in student loan debt, but perhaps you are struggling with debt, with trying to buy a house, or trying to invest in real estate with bad credit. Whatever is stopping you from achieving the success you want, let’s see if we can help you out.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

How to Estimate Future CapEx Expenses on a Rental Property

Let’s talk about my “Hell House.”

I bought it for an incredibly cheap price of just $40,000. What a steal, right? Then I put about $40,000 worth of work into fixing it up and refinanced it, a strategy I call “BRRRR” (buy-rehab-rent-refinance-repeat).

And then it was all downhill from there.

You see, although I thought I was going to make a decent monthly profit on the property, the truth is: I don’t.

I lose money every single year.

Every. Single. Year.

Why?

CapEx.

The purpose of this post is to teach you what CapEx is and what you can do about it to avoid your own Hell House.

What is CapEx? (Capital Expenditures)

Everyone knows analyzing properties is important. After all, if you don’t have the right math going into an investment, you’ll never get the right profit coming out of it.

And most of us can estimate expenses like repairs, vacancy, and property management fairly easily. But the one area nearly every new investor struggles with is CapEx.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

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