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4 Questions That Separate ‘Want’-repreneurs From Entrepreneurs

Michael Jordan once said, “Some people want it to happen. Some wish it would happen. Others make it happen.” Which kind are you? Do you take action to achieve your goals, or are you just waiting for what you want to materialize?

In other words, are you an entrepreneur or a “want”-repreneur?

Perhaps that’s an unfair question. After all, most of us can be a little of both at times. Some days, I’m an action-taker, and other times I realize that I’m dreaming but not taking steps to get there. So, how can you make sure you lean toward the “entrepreneur” side as often as possible? Easy — ask yourself these four questions.

1. Are you asking ‘if’ — or ‘how?’

There are few things in today’s world that simply cannot be accomplished. Everything else is on a sliding scale of difficulty. In other words, in today’s connected world, it’s rarely a question of “if” but “how.”

Therefore, if you want to move from want-repreneur” to entrepreneur, you must become someone who continually asks, “How?” rather than “If.” Because, asking the latter gets you nowhere: It allows your brain to simply say no.” It signals your return to evenings of Netflix and popcorn.

Related: Want to Be a Bona Fide Entrepreneur? Avoid These “Wantrepreneur” Habits!

Asking “how,” in contrast, gets your creative juices flowing and allows for solutions:

  • How can this business be built?
  • How can I raise capital?
  • How can I buy that commercial building?
  • How can I write a book?

By assuming that something can be done, you’re just a matter of time away from figuring out how to make it happen. For example, when I invest in real estate, I don’t ask if I can afford to buy a property; I ask, “How can I afford to buy?” That question has allowed me to acquire more than 50 rental property units, and I’m just 30 years old.

So, how are you going to reach your goals?

habits-hold-back-success

2. Whom are you learning from?

Three times a week, I play racquetball at my local YMCA against my good friend Robert. Robert has played, on and off, for almost as long as I’ve been alive; naturally, he kicks my butt every game. So, why do I keep playing him?

Because I’m getting better. Sure, I could play someone with less skill, but I’ve had to ask myself: Do I want to win games, or do I want to get better? If I wanted the former, I’d play against my 4-year-old niece, Jada.

The same principle applies to entrepreneurship. While it seems silly to take advice from someone less successful, want-repreneurs do it all the time. They take money advice from broke friends and entrepreneurship advice from family members who have only ever worked a day job. Half of the advice is bad, and the other half is far too kind.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs look for those who are wildly more successful than themselves. They want their butt kicked because it means they’re growing. They want to suffer because they know suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character.

(Continue reading on BiggerPockets…)

7 Reasons NOW Is a Great Time to Invest in Real Estate

 

You work hard for your money, but does your money work hard for you? When you store your cash under your mattress (or in a bank if you aren’t a weirdo), it will produce next to nothing. However, when you put money into an investment, your dollars go to work for you.

Plain and simple: Investing is how you become wealthy.

But what is the best “job” for your dollars? How can your money earn the most and offer the least risk? In my opinion, one investment stands head and shoulders above the rest: real estate.

Yes, real estate is subject to timing; and there are times when real estate is not the wisest investment. However, I believe that right now might be the greatest time to buy real estate that we’ll see for another decade or longer. Here are seven reasons why.

1. Interest rates are incredibly low.

Although the “Brexit” scandal that just rocked the world and caused financial markets to tumble, there is one segment of investors who will benefit from the news: those with money tied up in real estate. Why? Two words: Interest rates. Low interest rates lead to low monthly payments, which is great for real estate investors looking to maximize their profits.

Interest rates, which have been at historically low levels for the past decade, have been slowly climbing over the past year, and until recently, most analysts believed that a series of rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve was coming soon. But, with the shaky markets, the opposite has happened: Interest rates have dropped. According to a recent article, “The probability of a federal funds rate hike at the Fed’s next three monthly meetings has collapsed to 0 percent, and traders are assigning a less than 8 percent chance of a rate increase at all this year.”

Related: Even if You’re an Expert Investor, Catastrophe Can STILL Happen: This Story Proves It

Several years from now, we’ll look back and say, “Remember back in 2016 when you could get a mortgage under 4 percent? Those were the days!”

s-corp-real-estate

2. Banks are lending once again.

In the collapse of the real estate market in 2007 and 2008, many banks tightened their lending standards to such a degree that obtaining a mortgage became next to impossible for many Americans. However, gradually over the past several years, banks have once again begun opening their vaults and relaxing their standards.

No, this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to obtain a 125 percent loan-to-value mortgage with no money down based only on “your signature,” as you may have done during the mid-2000s, but if you have a job and decent credit, obtaining a fixed-rate loan shouldn’t be impossible.

3. Prices are reasonable.

Yes, real estate prices have climbed significantly from their 2011 and 2012 lows. However, for those willing to hustle to find great deals, great deals can be found. This is especially true for investors who buy bank foreclosures. According to RealtyTrac, there were over 100,000 foreclosure filings in May of 2016, showing only a mild decrease over the past year.

For more on buying foreclosures, check out my article “How to Buy a Foreclosure: The Comprehensive Guide to Buying a Foreclosed Home.”

4. Technology has made investing significantly easier.

In the “olden days,” investing in real estate took a significant amount of driving around, talking to people, waiting, looking at hundreds of pages of documents and other difficult, time-consuming tasks. Today, technology has made investing in real estate significantly easier. For example:

(Continue reading on BiggerPockets…)

BRRR Calculator

Let me ask you a question:

How would you like to spend tens of thousands of dollars fixing up a property, get it rented out, and then realize that it doesn’t actually make you any money?

Doesn’t sound too fun, does it?

My name is Brandon, author of The Book on Rental Property Investing, and today I’m excited to give you a tour of the brand-new BRRRR Calculator from BiggerPockets. This incredible tool will allow you to analyze a fixer-upper rental property — including cash flow, cash on cash return, total investment, and more — in under five minutes.

Sound too good to be true? Well, stay tuned, and I’ll show you how easy it can be.

(Watch the video below or read the transcript that follows. Or both. The choice is yours!)

What is BRRRR Investing, Anyway?

So before I show you the calculator, let’s all get on the same page on exactly what it means to “BRRRR” a property.

No, I’m not talking about buying a house in the middle of winter. I’m talking about:

  • Buying a property (usually with short-term funds like cash, private money, hard money, or a partnership),
  • Rehabbing that property,
  • Renting that property out,
  • Refinancing the property to pay off the original loan, and then
  • Repeating the process over and over.

If you want to learn more about this fantastic BRRRR strategy, read our free eBook on the subject at www.BiggerPockets.com/BRRRR.

OK, so let’s get to the tour.

First, you need to access the calculator, which you can get to by going to www.BiggerPockets.com/analysis. Once you click on the “start an analysis” button, you’ll have the choice of several different calculators. Choose the BRRRR calculator.

Real_Estate_Investment_Calculator

Related: How to Calculate Cash-on-Cash Return

Page One of the BRRRR Calculator

The BRRRR calculator is similar to the BiggerPockets Rental Property Calculator, the Flipping Calculator, and the Wholesaling Calculator in that it contains three pages, followed by a final results page.

(Continue reading on BiggerPockets…)

 

real-estate-quit-job

In the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I spent a few hours working at a local strip club.

But don’t worry, Mom. I was just helping my plumber boss fix a leak. And it was closed that day.

I’ve also worked on a congressional campaign, run a handyman business, and spent time as a banker.

I was on a streak of pretty terrible jobs.

That is, until I discovered real estate.

Real estate has some tremendous superpowers — not the least of which is its ability to get you out of a terrible job. Today I want to share with you five ways real estate can make that happen.

Here we go.

1. House Flipping

I know you’ve seen the TV shows. The annoying guy and attractive woman walk into the dirty house, the man takes the sledge hammer, pounds a hole in the wall, and 25 minutes later, they are touring the completed property and counting their profit.

Although house flipping might be a wee bit different than what you see on TV, you get the idea: buy nasty houses, fix them up, sell them for more, and make it rain.

house-flipping

2. Cash Flowing Rentals

Obviously, being a landlord isn’t the most glamorous job in the world, but behind male modeling, it’s a close second.

OK maybe not. But owning rental properties can be a great way to get you out of a job.

Think about it: If you made $200 per month in cash flow per unit after all the bills have been paid, how many units would you need to quit your job?

Twenty? Fifty?

Whatever the number is, that’s your goal. So go out and start collecting rentals.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Enough Side Money to Eventually Quit Your Job

3. Wholesaling

Imagine a scenario with me: Your neighbor tells you he wants to sell his go-kart for $500. You know that your cousin Jim-Bob has been looking everywhere for a go-kart. So you get the go-kart for $500, and then you charge JimBob $800 and make a cool $300 for just facilitating the deal.

Makes sense, right?

Well, wholesaling is pretty much the same thing. You find great deals, you find people who want great deals, and you put them together and make some cash on the spread.

Of course, there are a lot of rules and laws that govern this practice — and it’s easy to get yourself into trouble with wholesaling because you don’t want to break the law of “practicing real estate without a license.”

But if you do it right, you can wholesale just one or two deals a month and make enough to quit your job.

4. BRRRR Investing

BRRRR stands for “Buy-Rehab-Rent-Refinance-Repeat.”

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

How to Be a Rockstar Landlord: 6 Tips for Success

How would you like to work 168 hours a week, never travel anywhere, and spend your days dealing with the ungrateful, entitled, lowest common denominator of public society?

No?

OK good, me neither. So, today I want to share with you my top tips for AVOIDING that lifestyle while still owning rental properties.

That’s right. You can be a rockstar landlord without being a slumlord — and today, I want to offer six tips for doing just that.

Let’s get to it.

1. Treat Landlording as a Business

Look, you don’t see Howard Shultz making lattes, Mark Cuban playing one-on-one with Shaq, or Donald Trump swinging a hammer.

Why?

Because these people run businesses. And if you own rental properties, you run a business too.

So start acting like it!

Take it seriously.

Build processes and systems that you can follow. Be consistent. Hire stuff out. Be organized. Know your numbers. Stop getting so emotional about everything.

It’s a business — and it’s time you started acting like it.

email-marketing

2. Provide a Great Home

If you want to attract weird tenants, provide a weird home.

But if you want great tenants, provide a great home. Fix the property up right before a tenant moves in. In the words of my friend and fellow landlord Darren Sager, make your home “tenant-proof” by using materials that won’t break down quickly.

Related: The 9 Things I Hate the Most About Being a Landlord

Your property doesn’t need to look like Buckingham palace, but it should be clean, durable, and better than average — because that’s exactly the kind of tenant you want to attract.

3. Get to Know Your Fair Housing Laws

If you really enjoy lawsuits and paying big bucks to bad tenants, ignore this tip.

But if you want to remain legal and avoid being called a lot of terrible names in the paper, listen up.

You need to learn what your Fair Housing Laws are.

Fair Housing Laws exist on federal, state, and local levels and are designed to make sure discrimination doesn’t take place against a “protected class.”

Protected classes include race, color, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, national origin, and potentially more depending on your local laws.

While it seems pretty obvious on the surface, sometimes it can be easy to discriminate and not even notice. For example,

“Yeah, this property is on the second floor, so probably not ideal since you have a wheelchair.”

or

“You know, I have another property that might suit you a little better since this is a high-crime area and you are a single woman.”

or

“It’s a small studio apartment, so we can’t allow seven kids.”

Each of these could get you in hot water, so be sure to review your local, state, and federal Fair Housing Laws.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…) With Video!

How I Bought a Fixer-Upper Fourplex for $1 Down: A BRRRR Case Study

I’d like to say I did this deal with “no money down,” but technically that would be a lie.

Because I spent exactly $1.00 on this property to acquire AND rehab the property.

That’s right. I purchased the property and am in the process of rehabbing it all using no money of my own.

And ultimately, this property is going to provide hundreds of dollars a month in cash flow and entirely pay for my newborn daughter’s college education.

The goal of this post is to explain, in detail, how I did it.

Ready?

But first, two-disclaimers.

Two Disclaimers

There are two dangers present every time I tell a detailed story of how I bought a property.

First, some people invariably think that I’m giving out some “formula” that must be followed. They’ll ask me questions like, “But what if I can’t find a fourplex?” Or they’ll say, “I don’t have a private lender like that.” Then, they shut off their brain because they don’t believe that they can follow this exact formula.

But here’s the deal: I’m not telling you a formula, a recipe, or a step-by-step list of tasks for you to complete. Every single deal is different! So don’t get hung up on trying to copy my steps exactly. The goal of this post is not to invite you to copy me — but to spark your own inspiration to go out and put together your own deal.

Second, people look at the price range that I buy in and say, “Prices are so much higher (or lower) in my area — so that doesn’t work for me.”

I believe this is just an excuse for people to be lazy. Because it does work in your area, but again, the formula might be different. I don’t care if the average cost of a house is $30,000 or $300,000 in your area. There are investors making money in your market. So don’t let the low cost of this property fool you into thinking this can’t be done in other price ranges.

Furthermore, as I’ll discuss, I found an INCREDIBLE deal on this property. I work my tail off to find leads (as I’ll explain), and this property is not worth what I paid for it. I got it on sale!

OK, now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to dive into the story of how I acquired a fourplex for just $1. But before I can even tell you about the deal, I need to start at the beginning.

Finding the Property

For years, I used nothing but the MLS to find potential deals. In other words, I simply relied on my real estate agent to bring properties (usually bank repos) to my attention — and I would make an official offer to buy them.

However, over the past year, the MLS has becoming increasingly difficult to find good deals on (or maybe I’m just getting more picky!). Therefore, I needed to find a better way to bring in leads.

Enter: direct mail marketing.

Direct Mail

For those unfamiliar with direct mail, it’s simply the practice of sending out large volumes of mail to property owners asking to buy their properties. Of course, most of that mail is simply ignored, but a small percentage do actually call because they need to sell — which is the case with this fourplex. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Direct mail marketing begins with the list of names and addresses you are going to mail to. While you could simply mail to every person in your target market, I wouldn’t advise it! Instead, you want to focus on people who might be most intent on selling their property to you. (For more on direct mail, don’t miss “The Ultimate Guide to Using Direct Mail Advertising to Grow Your Real Estate Business.” It’s even longer than this post!)

Related: The Power of Private Financing: 3 No Money Down Strategies That Actually Work

For this particular deal, I purchased my list from ListSource.com, probably the most popular list broker on the web. I chose the following criteria:

My Whole County
Total Assessed Value: $50,000-$200,000
Equity: 30% to 100%
Length of Residence: Greater than Four Years
Absentee Owner In-State & Out-of-State
Exclude Trust and Corporate-Owned
For me, the list came to 1,864 unique names, which I paid $326.20 to download — or roughly $.18 per name.

Quick Tip Lesson Learned: Once I opened up the list in Microsoft Excel, I realized I had wasted some money because well over half the properties were located in the city of Ocean Shores, Washington or Westport, Washington, and I don’t buy there. So, I should have excluded the zip codes for the cities that I do not buy in, which would have saved me some cash on the purchase.

So, in the end, I actually ended up with just over 600 names on my list.

I call these leads my “raw leads.” It means leads that I’ve put into my system but are not yet “activated.” The owner has not yet showed any interest in buying them. Raw leads are important, but next it’s time to get the owners to talk with me, turning the raw leads into hot leads.

To do that, it was time to mail the letters to the names on the list. I decided to send to 300 to start with, and the other 300 I would mail to a few weeks later — so to break up the number of phone calls I would receive.

So, it was time to write 300 letters. While I could have done this by hand, that just didn’t sound fun. So instead, I created my own handwritten font online and used that to print out “handwritten” letters and envelopes. For a step-by-step guide on how I did that, be sure to read “How to Create Your Own Handwritten Font For Free (For Direct Mail Marketing).”

My letter was simple, stating:

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

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