The Magic Happens at the Seller’s Kitchen Table (Part 2)

We’ve built a successful real estate investing business by constantly knocking on seller’s doors and asking Pete Fortunato’s famous question: Why are you selling such a nice house like this?

Remember: The BEST way to find great deals is to meet face to face with sellers and help them solve their real estate problems.

We knock on seller’s doors because it’s – BY FAR – the most effective, affordable and quickest way to get face to face with a seller.

Today, let’s discuss what to say and do after knocking on the seller’s door. One thing: There’s a lot in this world I know nothing about – but knocking on doors isn’t one of them! I was a door-to-door salesman and sold Electrolux vacuums from ages 18 to 36. Since 1995, I’ve knocked on homeowners’ doors who are trying to sell their houses. With 34 years of door-knocking experience, I know what I’m talking about.

When working my area – a 5-mile circle around the Cartersville, Georgia Wal-Mart – if I see a house with a For Sale or For Rent sign in the yard – whether it’s a realtor’s sign or a For Sale By Owner sign – I pull into the driveway, get out of my car and…

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The Magic Happens at the Seller’s Kitchen Table (Part 1)

For real estate investors, the magic happens at the seller’s kitchen table! Three Big Questions: How do you get to the seller’s kitchen table? Once there, what do you say? Finally, how do you “convince” the seller to sell you his/her home?

Austin Boston Berry recently graduated from Georgia Tech. There were two career paths from which he could choose: Either get a J-O-B with a big company working in a cubical and becoming a wage slave, or go to work for himself without the “security” (or constraints) of working for someone else. Austin Boston chose the brave – and much harder, hungrier and riskier – path of going to work for himself. He decided to become a real estate investor – in the worst real estate market this country has ever seen!

Before making his decision, Austin and I spent a good bit of time together. It was critical that he understand what it takes to be a successful, full-time real estate investor…especially starting out. Simply put: You gotta meet…

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Are Your Roots Planted Firmly?

Are Your Roots Planted Firmly?
David, a seasoned real estate investor, has been stuck in a rut and wanted to talk over his situation. Like many folks, he has yet to get back on firm ground since the real estate bubble popped in 2006.

When I asked him questions regarding how many sellers he talked to each week or how many real estate investor meetings he attended each month, he answered, “What’s the point? The real estate market is dead!”

And there was David’s problem. When the market collapsed, he essentially climbed into bed, pulled the covers over his head and decided not to come out again until the 2005 real estate market returned.

Here’s the thing: The 2005 real estate market will never return – it wasn’t real! It was a market that was built on a foundation of…

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I Am My Beat-up, Old Diesel Truck

I Am My Beat-up, Old Diesel Truck

I couldn’t stop myself from watching a real estate investing TV infomercial last night. You know the one, the guy promises big bags of cash if you’ll just buy his special, super-secret “system.” In the infomercial, you can’t help but notice that the “millionaire” guru is driving a new Mercedes-Benz. Sadly, a lot of folks tell themselves, “I gotta get me some of that!” and then pick up their phone and dial the number.

The next morning I got in my vehicle, fired up the engine, and headed out to do property inspections at some rentals. While driving, I thought again about the guru’s Mercedes. No successful investor we know drives an expensive luxury car. Can you imagine pulling into a tenant’s driveway in a $75,000 land yacht? Talk about going over like the proverbial lead balloon!

After lovingly patting the cracked dashboard of my 1998 Dodge dually, diesel, 4×4, pick-em-up truck that has nearly 300,000 miles on it, I realized…

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Roaches and Prolific Barkers

Roaches and Prolific Barkers   Last month, because of a job transfer, some of our long-term tenants moved out.  They’d been in our single-family rental for six years.  Although the home was returned in great shape, we decided it was time to paint it and replace the ten-year-old carpet.  The shave-and-haircut rehab came out great, …

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The #1 Killer of Success

These days, with so much negative information out there pummeling us every day, it’s critical that we counterbalance all the doom and gloom news with twice as much positive information and stories.   For example, Kim and I spent this past week in Florida.  One morning we went yard selling. This particular day, we came …

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Don’t Play Leapfrog with a Unicorn

It’s really frustrating when a real estate investor calls to ask for advice, then argues when he doesn’t like the advice I give – especially when the advice is square dead-on.   Last July, an investor – we’ll call him David – called asking about a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity that he had been told about.  It …

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Uh-Oh, Keith, You’re In The Wrong House!

Some days, things go all wrong. Other days, things happen that are so funny you can’t help but to blow milk out of your nose! Really interesting days are when both of these things happen at the same time!

At April’s foreclosure auction, we bought a property on Autumn Place in White, Georgia. It’s a very nice 3-bedroom, 2-bath home built in 2005. It just needs a shave and a haircut (paint and carpet) before we can list it with our realtor.

Kim and I have been buying foreclosure properties since 1995. The first mystery we had to solve was how to bid on a property at the foreclosure auction. The second was what to do if we were the…

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Are You a Butterfly or a Caterpillar?

It can be argued that a butterfly and a caterpillar are one and the same. OK, maybe they are – but not at the same time! It’s one or the other – but not both! So, which are you?

As real estate investors, we all start off the same – as caterpillars. We just know the basics: how to crawl, eat leaves and poop. Our world is limited to the tiny branch we’re clinging to. We’re not much to look at, and we’re preyed upon by just about every creature in the animal kingdom. Our life expectancy is about 12 seconds.

Now here’s the thing: God didn’t mean for caterpillars to stay caterpillars. He meant for them to grow and develop into beautiful, high-flying, far-traveling butterflies…but only those that are hardworking and resourceful get to complete the journey from caterpillar to butterfly…

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What is Creative Deal Structuring?

One of the hot topics in real estate investing these days is something called creative deal structuring. This leads to a question that we’re often asked: What exactly is creative deal structuring?

To answer this question, we need to begin by describing what it’s not. One way you can buy a property is to pay cash for it. You won’t find any creativity in that deal structure. You can also find a property you like, apply for a mortgage, and then a month or so later, go to an attorney’s office to sign a big stack of hard-to-understand documents. Not much creativity there either.

Creative deal structuring begins when you find someone with a real estate problem that “normal” solutions can’t resolve. For example: A homeowner owns a nice home that in 2006 was worth $130,000 but today is only worth $70,000. She owes $80,000 on her mortgage – making her upside down by $10,000. Now throw some motivation into the mix – the lady needs to sell immediately so she can move to Tennessee and begin her new life.

Let’s see, a cash buyer wouldn’t be interested in this deal. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a realtor who would list this house – unless it’s a short sale listing. So how would you structure this hopeless situation?

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