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Contractors are difficult to deal with.

It’s just the nature of the beast.

But if you are a landlord, or any kind of real estate investor, dealing with those in the construction trade is part of daily life. This is especially true for landlords, like myself, who choose to invest in fixer-upper rentals to gain that extra equity push. (See How to Make $100,000 Per Year with Fixer-Upper Rental Properties for more info on this “BRRRR” strategy.)

But how do you start?  How do you know they aren’t ripping you off? How to do you decrease the stress and make the process streamlined?

The truth is, there is no perfect system. But hopefully these eight tips can help.

RelatedThe Ultimate Guide to Finding an Incredible Contractor

8 Tips for Managing Contractors and Handymen

1. When to Use Bids vs. Hourly Pay

Larger jobs tend to work better by “bid” where smaller jobs tend to work better by “hourly” pay, but there is no hard and fast rule for either. Some contractors prefer one method over another, but it’s usually negotiable.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

5 Powerful Books That Changed the Direction of My Life

(I wrote this post originally for Entrepreneur.com, and they have been gracious enough to let me repost it here for the BiggerPockets audience. Here’s the original.) 

Quiz time: Can you name Newton’s first law of motion?

No? (Don’t feel bad, I had to look it up, too.)

Newton declared, “Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.”

In other words, if you are flying in the International Space Station and toss an apple out the window (come on, use your imagination), it will keep going in that same direction forever, unless something stops it (like a planet, gravity or alien life form).

Although Newton was talking about physics, little did he know he was also describing life.

People tend to move in the same direction as they always have unless some external force is applied. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my life to be lived in a straight line. I want to change, to improve, to crush it.

This is why I read.

A book is a powerful external force that can completely knock your life off its mundane straight line and change everything about who you are. The following are five books that did just that in my life.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

The Five “C’s” of a Perfect Loan Proposal

One of my favorite songs as a child up was “C is For Cookie, It’s Good Enough For Me.”

Yes, I’m talking about the Cookie Monster song from Sesame Street. That song could get stuck in my head for hours, and I would annoy the rest of my family as I ran around the house singing it. “C IS FOR COOKIE, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!”

(You are welcome for getting it stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Carry on.)

But today, although I’m now hungry for a chocolate chip cookie, I don’t want to talk about sweets; I want to talk about loans.

I know, bummer.

But trust me, loans might not be as delicious as cookies, but they’ll serve you better in the long run. When you hear that sweet ‘ol “yes” from the bank, you’ll be able to buy as many cookies as you like.

So today we’re going to sing a new song. C is no longer for “cookie.” C is now for loan acceptance. And we’re not just going to talk about one “C,” we’re going to talk about the “five C’s” of a perfect loan presentation.

Want to hear your lender say yes? Then start incorporating these five C’s in your loan requests.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

The Five Success Principles of Rental Property Investing

Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Although he may have been giving Spiderman advice on kicking the backsides of bad guys, the same principle applies to real estate investors.

You stumbled upon something incredibly powerful when you decided to get into real estate investing. Most of your family and friends will never flip the switch in their heads to take control of their financial destiny. In much of the world, even those who know about the power of real estate couldn’t do anything about it.

But you… you are incredibly blessed with great power, which means you’ve got some responsibilities now. Now, maybe you don’t feel you are “successful” yet, but that’s okay. If you cultivate these habits now, they can help you develop into the kind of investor who is successful. Fake it till you make it, right?

The following are the five responsibilities, or principles, that every rental property owner must adhere to for the rest of their investing life to maintain continual success.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

How to Make $100,000 with Fixer Upper Rental Properties

Some people work so hard to make money in real estate. They flip dozens of homes, deal with hundreds of tenants, and are always trying to put out a fire somewhere.

Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

But what if I told you that you that within five years you could be making $100,000 annually from just two real estate transactions per year? Sound too good to be true?

Today I want to teach you about the BRRRR strategy and the power it can have in your real estate investing. I’ll also be walking you through a step by step plan for making $100,000 per year using this powerful investing plan.

What is BRRRR?

BRRRR is an acronymn for a popular investment strategy that, until now, hasn’t been given a name. So, I decided to name it! BRRRR stands for:

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

The 10 Most Common Rental Property Repairs (and How to Deal With Them!)

As much as I wish rental properties stayed in tip top shape forever, this just is not the case.

As a landlord, one of your most important jobs is to maintain the property and fix things when they break. Although this can be expensive and stressful, if you budget and plan for repairs and maintenance, you will have money set aside to handle these issues. If not, you’ll need to come out with the cost from your own pocket.

But either way, the repair must be fixed.

Although repairs tend to scare new landlords, in reality most repair issues are fairly standard and easy to fix. In fact, I’ve found that 95% of the repair issues I must address are the same ten repairs, over and over again. Although you cannot predict when these issues will occur, you can predict that they indeed will.

So I give you: my 10 most common repairs and how to address them (in no particular order!).

The 10 Most Common Tenant Repair Requests

1.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

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