How the Most Successful Real Estate Investors Manage Their Time

Becoming a successful real estate investing pro and staying on top of your game depends a lot on your time management skills so what can be learnt from today’s leading investors and entrepreneurs to help you harness an elite level of effective time management?

Is it all about maintaining a strict schedule and delegating like crazy or is the secret to great time management for real estate investing all about having the latest tech gadgets and mobile apps?

All of things can help and make a big difference in how many productive hours there are in the day and how much gets accomplished in the shortest period of time but you might be surprised at what some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs credit for their success, incredibly productivity and freedom…

6 Scheduling Tips for Real Estate Investors

1. Exercise

Richard Branson has repeatedly been voted one of if not the number one most admired entrepreneur, who also happens to own one of the most envied pieces of real estate in the Caribbean. His answer to better productivity; workout regularly. Others studies back this up too, showing as much as a 70% increase in productivity for those who exercise on a consistent basis, so make sure you schedule it in.

2. Time Off

While real estate investing offers the promise of more freedom investors frequently get wrapped up in their passion for the business and long to-do lists and never end up seeming to take advantage of it. Block out your time off whether for vacations or quality time at home first and work the rest of your time around it and don’t compromise or you’ll never enjoy it.

3. Time to Learn

When real estate investors stop learning their businesses ultimately begin to lag and crumble. This takes devoted time to do and not just hands on experience. Block out some time each week to keep up on emerging trends, built on your real estate and business knowledge and even test drive coaching as well as some Zen time for creative thinking.

4. Confront Your Fear

One of the biggest drags on time, productivity and mental state is constantly putting off dreaded tasks whether it is a phone call to give someone bad news, replying to an email or firing someone. Constant procrastination leads to a rapidly lengthening to-do list which is never cleared, a constant cloud over the investor’s head and these issues always notoriously get worse when left to fester. Make these calls first, get them out of the way and power through the day.

5. Know When You Work Best

The great thing about being an independent real estate investing entrepreneur is that you don’t have to stick to the grind of the 9-5. Recognize when you do your best work, whether it is 11 am after a gallon of coffee or 3 am when there are no distractions and schedule your most critical items then. You’ll find this enables you to dramatically slash the number of hours you work each week.

6. Leave Room for Flexibility

Instead of hard scheduling every minute of the day and week and then being stressed out when it doesn’t go right or because you are always behind consider creating blocks for general activities and leaving more white space between them.

Discover the Advantages of Wholesale Real Estate Investing

What Is Wholesale Real Estate Investing?

Wholesale Real Estate investing also known as flipping houses is a fast money strategy which involves acquiring deeply discounted properties and reselling them rapidly at wholesale prices.

What is the difference between wholesale real estate investing and other strategies?

The main difference between real estate wholesaling and other real estate investment strategies is that your main goal is to turn over the property as quickly as possible. This can be done to retail buyers, but generally these homes are flipped to other investors who will rehab and retail them or retain them as part of a rental property portfolio. There are a few variations of this strategy. Some investors never own the properties and are simply involved in contract flipping or assigning contracts, others may go ass far as ‘pre-habbing’ properties to make them more appealing to other investors.

What are the advantages of wholesale real estate investing?

  • Short hold times
  • Extremely low risk
  • Minimal investment
  • No money down deals made easy
  • No property management required
  • No bank financing needed
  • No holding costs

Who is wholesale real estate investing for?

Real estate wholesaling is certainly ideal for the beginner investor and those who want to start part-time. It requires very little or no cash investment in many cases and is virtually risk free if done right. This makes it the perfect choice for those without a lot of start up capital and who are looking for an easy way to get into real estate investing and build wealth quickly. However, real estate wholesaling also remains one of the top strategies used by some of the wealthiest and most sophisticated investors who desire steady cash flow and low risk investments. It is a great choice for students, stay at home moms and dads, those looking to add to their income, the recently unemployed, enthusiastic entrepreneurs and savvy business people alike.

What are the most important factors for real estate wholesaling success?

The 3 main factors that will fuel your real estate wholesaling success are:

  1. Getting access to discounted properties
  2. Finding a good transactional funding source
  3. Cultivating a good network of regular buyers

Additionally of course you are going to need a good real estate investing program as a foundation and you will want to work on building your marketing knowledge and skills in order to boost your wholesale real estate investing volume.

Issue 21 – May 23

Feature News



Quick Tip

Don’t get caught into a trap. One of the biggest mistakes that amateurs make while investing in real estate is that they take the plunge without preparation. While the currently available funds are known you also need to have a proper understanding of future availability of funds for meeting mortgage payments, taxes and repairs if required. While doing so consider your monthly savings as well as rental accruals if you intend to put the property up on rent.


What They Said

“I wanted to express my appreciation for your work as my mentor in beginning my real estate investing career. I have been very impressed with the quantity of quality in depth information about how to structure and operate the business; discussing alternatives and keeping me on track. You have a real talent in adapting your mentoring to my personal situation”
– Cary W.



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Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


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Now is a Great Time To Invest In a Rental

If you’re thinking about investing in a rental property, experts say low home prices combined with low interest rates make this the best time in years to become a real-estate investor.

What’s more, the real-estate market is starting to recover: U.S. houses lost $489 billion in value during the first 11 months of 2009, but that was significantly lower than the $3.6 trillion lost during 2008, according to real-estate website

“We haven’t seen home prices this low in so many years, coupled with the rates being so low,” says Jill Sjolin, an agent with Windermere Real Estate in Woodinville, Wash., who specializes in investment properties. “When the money is cheap to borrow and the houses are cheap to buy, it’s absolutely the best time to invest.”

While the timing may be right, these five tips can help first-time investors take advantage of what might be the opportunity of a lifetime.

Know your options. Since not all investment properties are the same, it’s important to determine what type of property fits your strategy, says Harrison Merrill, chief executive officer of Merrill Trust Group, a real-estate investment company based in Atlanta. Do you want to become a landlord, or would you rather restore and resell properties? Are you interested in apartment buildings and other commercial real estate, or in buying land that can be developed? First-time real-estate investors may want to start with residential housing, since commercial real estate and land development still face challenging market conditions, Merrill says.

Partner with experience. First-time investors should find a real-estate agent experienced in investment property deals who can help you locate promising properties. “Look for relational brokers who expect to do business with you again and therefore are going to be much more careful with what they recommend,” Merrill says. A second option is to collaborate with a more experienced real-estate investor and close a deal together. In this economy, an experienced real-estate investor may be willing to work with you in exchange for the capital you can provide, giving you the opportunity to glean investment knowledge and experience firsthand, Merrill says.

Even if you don’t collaborate with other real-estate investors, talk to them about pitfalls they’ve experienced. “Go down to the general district court in your area and listen to some landlord/tenant cases so you can get a sense of what kind of challenges landlords face,” says Jeffrey Taylor, author of “The Landlord’s Kit.”

Look for the right location. If you buy a property with hopes of renting it out, location is key. Homes in high-rent or highly populated areas are ideal; stay away from rural areas where there are fewer people and a small pool of potential renters, Sjolin suggests. Also, look for homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms in neighborhoods that have a low crime rate. “Renters gravitate to a safe neighborhood, and if they have kids, they will want a good school district,” Sjolin says. Also think about potential selling points for your property. If it’s near public transportation, shopping malls or other amenities, it will attract renters, as well as potential buyers if you decide to sell later. The more you have to offer, the more likely you are to please potential renters, Sjolin says.

Have capital lined up. Speak to potential lenders or even a financial planner about whether you have enough assets to handle the ups and downs that could come with investing. Even if you plan to rent out the property, count on paying the mortgage whenever there’s a vacancy. “If you can have about six months of mortgage payments saved up, it’s there if you need it, and you can use that money for repairs,” Sjolin says. Even if you’re planning to fix up a home and sell it, you may end up holding onto it for several months in the current market, Sjolin adds.

Build a supporting cast. Don’t wait until a rental property needs repairs to find someone to handle them. “Line up maintenance individuals who can take care of the different challenges that occur so you can simply call the person when a particular issue comes up,” Taylor says. Other sources you may want to have relationships with are an attorney to consult with on tenant issues, a property management firm to handle the day-to-day rental affairs and an accountant to help you understand the tax ramifications of investing. The more support you have, the better you will be able to handle the problems that come your way.

Whatever you do, understand that buying investment property is an entirely different experience than buying your primary residence. “When you go to buy your own home, you usually have emotions in it,” Sjolin says. “When you go to buy an investment property, you need to put all that aside and ask, ‘What makes sense?'”


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Gone Are The Low Lying Fruit of Real Estate Investing

Back in 2009, you could do a simple search in the multiple listing service and take your pick from dozens of deals that were good potential rehab (flip projects).

I, and most other real estate investors, treaded lightly in fear of a variety of financial, economic and industry worst case scenarios. But there were a lot of deals to be had and much less competition.

Now there is no denying we are in an upswing in the local real estate market. With prices rising and growing confidence in the economy, there are many more people out there trying to buy fixer-upper homes.

From 2008 to 2012, I got most of my projects off of the open market. Using my own real estate license and the services of other real estate agents and brokers, I was able to keep my portfolio and pipeline relatively full. However, my profit margins dropped dramatically in 2012. I took much tighter deals to keep my contractors busy and to grow my market share. But the profit on several of the deals I completed were just not worth the effort and my investors, who had grown accustomed to 20 percent plus return on their investments, began to grumble when their margins dropped to the high teens.

It is clear that the low-lying fruit for real estate flippers have been snatched up and now those of us trying to maintain a business have to work harder to find deals. I still work the multiple listing service but most properties there cannot be secured at a price low enough to sustain my business.

In March, I made an offer on a foreclosure that was $45,000 above the list price and I was still outbid by $10,000.

The cost of just buying and selling a home is around 12 to 15 percent of the end or after-repairs sales price. Then the cost of renovation has to be added in and a profit has to be made. Normally, I shoot for around 15 percent profit. That means that most homes need to be purchased at about 40 to 60 percent of the end price. That is not easy to achieve these days.

Now much of my efforts have gone from distressed homes on the multiple listing services to finding sellers directly. There is a pool of sellers out there who want to close quickly. They don’t want to deal with real estate agents. They don’t want to be hassled with home inspections or jump through hoops for the buyer’s lender.

Finding these people is the real trick. In order to make contact with the target market, I have more than tripled my marketing expense. I’ve taken out a quarter page ad in the yellow pages. I am redesigning my Web site and started another feeder site to rank higher on the search engines.

I have hired an assistant who is putting out about 500 mailers per week. He also drives neighborhoods and searches Craigslist and for sale by owner Web sites to identify properties. I have advertised some on Facebook and I’m experimenting with e-mail and newspaper advertising. I am increasing my networking efforts and taking more time to have face-to-face meetings with other investors, real estate agents, wholesalers and other market players.

I have closed two deals so far this year directly with sellers. I purchased one last Wednesday in Temple Hills. This seller had owned the home since 1976. She had moved out some time ago and the home was sitting vacant. I did not know it at the time but the home was about to go up for auction for delinquent taxes.

It was in their interest to sell the home quickly before it went on the auction block. I was very open with them. I gave them my very best price and I told them that they could likely get more money for the home if they listed it on the open market. There were several investors interested in the home but I was professional, completely honest and I showed them the money.

Luckily for them this particular home was in an area of much bigger homes. This gave me the option of adding more value to the home by doing an addition.

We plan to take the entire roof off of this home and add a full second level. This particular home was so small that it would have been difficult to sell since it would not really accommodate a family. Selling to me got her much more than she probably would have received from a tax sale and it was much easier and faster than selling on the open market.


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The Next Real Estate Bubble Has Already Begun (But It’s Not What You Think)

The American public is, for obvious reasons, a bit gun-shy when it comes to asset bubbles. Ever since the financial crisis, market watchers have worried about bubbles in the stock market, in high yield debt, and even the re-inflation of the real estate bubble. The latest asset class to receive worried attention from policy makers? Farmland.

That’s right, according to The Financial Times prices on U.S. farmland have doubled over the past decade, and are on pace to rise more than 10% again this year, even in the face of weaker grain markets of late. The main force that has been driving the increases in farmland prices has been a steady bull market in agricultural commodity prices. But according to the FT reportlately “big investors” have been dipping their toes into the farmland market in an attempt to take advantage of high agriculture profits and as a hedge against inflation.

This run up in prices, combined with the fact that interest rates are at historic lows, have some land owners and policy makers worried that this bull market could end in heartbreak for many of America’s farmers — especially in the Midwestern corn belt, where price increases have been most pronounced. The dynamic has gotten the attention of the Federal Advisory Council, a group which advises the Federal Reserve on monetary policy. According to Bloomberg, the council warned the Fed in February that, “Agricultural land prices are veering further from what makes sense . . Members believe the run-up in agriculture land prices is a bubble resulting from persistently low interest rates.”

The effect of a farmland bubble bursting, however, probably shouldn’t be of much concern to those of us not directly involved in agriculture. As real estate economist Robert Shiller wrote back in 2011, “farmland is much less important than other speculative assets. For example, U.S. farmland had a total value of $1.9 trillion in 2010, compared with $16.5 trillion for the U.S. stock market and $16.6 trillion for the U.S. housing market.”

Since the value of farmland is about 1/8th the size of the residential real estate bubble, and because ownership of farmland is much more concentrated than home ownership, it’s highly unlikely that the bursting of a farmland bubble would pose any systemic risks to the broader economy.

Price declines, however, do pose a risk to small farmers, especially those who are heavily indebted. Large debt loads exacerbated an agriculture crisis in the late 1970s and 1980s, as declining crop prices forced heavily indebted farmers to sell their land, creating a negative feedback loop similar to that which occurred in residential real estate in the 2000s. But according to The Financial Times report, debt is much less common on farms these days:


“Unlike the last bust of the 1980s, farmers’ debts are also low relative to their assets. Fertile land is not a crowded trade. Managers say they believe that less than 1 per cent is held by institutional investors, with cash-rich farmers bidding for the rest. In some states such as Iowa, institutional ownership is banned.”


That being said, critics of the Federal Reserve’s low-interest rate policies will surely use this most recent run up in farmland prices as a reason to petition for the central bank to wind down its stimulus programs. Despite recent news that some at the Federal Reserve are keen to start this process, it’s clear that the man in charge — Ben Bernanke — thinks an aggressive stance is the correct one, at least in the short term.

Wells Fargo Rises to Record Close as Home Market Rebounds


Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), the largest U.S. home lender and the nation’s most valuable bank, closed at a record high yesterday as strength in the economy and housing markets spurred buyers.

The shares rose 1.6 percent to $39.88 in New York, surpassing the previous closing record of $39.80 set on Sept. 19, 2008. The bank touched an intraday high of $44.68 that day, less than a week after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed and before Wells Fargo announced plans to buy Wachovia Corp.

Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf has reported three straight years of record profit including $18.9 billion in 2012, aided by a rebound in home sales and prices. Results were also helped by the 2008 purchase of Wachovia, which added East Coast branches, an investment-banking unit and a retail brokerage.

The bank dominates the U.S. mortgage business, where it originated almost 3 in 10 home loans last year. The median resale home price in 150 U.S. cities jumped 11.3 percent in the first quarter to $176,600, the biggest rise in seven years, the National Association of Realtors reported May 9.

Wells Fargo’s market value has been No. 1 among U.S. banks for most of the past 18 months and now stands at about $211 billion. The shares have gained 17 percent this year, trailing the 19 percent rise in the 24-company KBW Bank Index. (BKX)


Berkshire Stake

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) is the largest shareholder with more than 8 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This year’s performance added about $2.6 billion to the value of Berkshire’s existing stake of about 456.2 million shares that he held at the end of December. Berkshire also boosted its holdings by 4.2 percent to about 458.2 million shares during the first quarter.

“I feel very good about our investment in Wells Fargo,” Buffett said May 4 at Berkshire’s annual meeting. “I consider the banking system in the United States to be stronger certainly more than at any time in the past 25 years.”

Stumpf has vowed to return more capital to shareholders by raising the quarterly dividend to 30 cents from 25 cents and promising more stock buybacks.

Wells Fargo said first quarter profit rose 22 percent to a record $5.17 billion on lower expenses even as revenue dropped and lending margins narrowed. Net income at U.S. banks including Wells Fargo has been helped by fewer costs tied to faulty mortgages and foreclosures and lower litigation expenses.

The bank said yesterday it imposed a new halt on some foreclosure sales until it can understand new federal guidelines on seizures sent to the nation’s large and mid-sized banks. The pause is expected to be brief, said Vickee Adams, a spokeswoman, who declined to say which states are affected.

Mortgage firms have previously imposed moratoriums amid reports of borrowers incorrectly being thrown out of homes. Complaints pushed the five largest firms to sign a $25 billion settlement last year that ended a probe of their practices.


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Three Things That Make A Great Real Estate Investment

If you’re looking into real estate investments, you likely want to earn wealth on real estate based on risk you are taking, while minimizing the amount of time you need to spend attending to the property. In order to accomplish this, you need to make some smart choices upfront when buying investment property. Your goal should be to strive to get as close as possible on as many of these optimal scenarios as possible:

Pays a Fair Cash-on-Cash Return

When you buy property you are taking money out of your liquid financial assets – stocks, bonds, CDs – and investing it into a very illiquid asset – real estate. You were earning a rate of return on your financial assets, such as 4 percent or 6 percent, and you should strive to earn a fair cash-on-cash rate of return on your real estate. To do this, you need to pro forma your deals and buy cash flow-positive properties that earn you decent returns – not those prize properties that are negative, negative, negative.

Isn’t Too Risky an Investment

All real estate is extremely high risk. Development of real estate, land, Tenant-In-Common (TIC) investments, private real estate funds, fixer uppers, etc., all have much higher risk profiles than just simply buying a nice established cash flow investment property. In many of those investments, you will never see a dime of your money again because there are just so many things that can go wrong! So if you want to own real estate, consider simply taking fee simple title in your own name – or an entity you wholly own – to the properties you purchase. In addition, you must do the proper due diligence, analyze, test, review reports, etc., to make a lower risk real estate decision.

Doesn’t Require a Lot of Time or Managing

Some properties just require way too much time and management to make them smart investments. Examples include vacation rentals, low quality properties in bad areas, college rentals, etc. Nice boring properties rented for as long as possible to decent credit profile tenants seem to take the least time to manage. In addition, treating your tenants fairly and with respect goes a long way towards keeping good relations with them; and reducing your hassles when there is an issue you need to address. And believe me — there will be issues!

It’s the nice, boring, wholly owned, in good shape, cash flow-positive properties that are the best investments. They are out there for your picking, but it’s not as simple as finding a property on the MLS and buying it.

You need to do some hard work, research, read up, and make smart, educated decisions to acquire the best real estate investments!


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Issue 20 – May 21

Feature News

  • Don’t Fall for these 10 Mortgage Misconceptions
  • Amateur investors tap 401(k)s to buy homes

  • Should Home Ownership still be Part of the American Dream?

  • BofA, Wells Fargo sued for mortgage settlement violation

  • A Reality Check on Real Estate



Quick Tip

While negotiating, always be aware of the worst-case and best-case scenarios and how much you are ready to concede. If you are negotiating on behalf of someone ensure that you paint the correct picture before the buyer or seller you are representing. The fact of the matter is that both buyer and seller are usually inexperienced at negotiating and must be prepared so that they know what to expect. If you have not prepared your client well, s/he may take control.   


What They Said

I have “more of an understanding of the wholesaling process, knowing where to look for sellers, know what to include in the assignment contract.”

Scott P.


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Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


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BofA, Wells Fargo sued for mortgage settlement violation

New York has announced plans to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo over their alleged failure to comply with last year’s National Mortgage Settlement.


In February 2012, federal officials and attorneys general from 49 states announced a $25 billion settlement with five of the nation’s largest banks over robo-signing and other wrongful foreclosure practices. As part of the agreement, the banks agreed to reform their business practices related to loan servicing and foreclosures.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged Monday that Bank of America and Wells Fargo have repeatedly violated this agreement, claiming to have documented 339 cases involving various homeowners. His planned lawsuits mark the first legal actions from federal or state officials over banks’ alleged non-compliance with the settlement.

“The five mortgage services that signed the National Mortgage Settlement are legally required to take specific, rigorous and enforceable steps to protect homeowners,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Wells Fargo and Bank of America have flagrantly violated those obligations, putting hundreds of homeowners across New York at greater risk of foreclosure.”

Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) said in a statement that it had “provided relief for more than 10,000 New York homeowners through the National Mortgage Settlement, totaling more than $1 billion.”

“Attorney General Schneiderman has referenced 129 customer servicing problems which we take seriously and will work quickly to address,” the bank said.

Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) declined to comment.

Related: Obama’s pick for housing agency faces big headaches

Under last year’s settlement, the five banks — BofA, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan (JPM, Fortune 500), Citi (C, Fortune 500) and Ally — agreed to pay $5 billion to the states and the federal government, with the rest coming in the form of non-cash relief for homeowners like refinancing and principal reduction.

The banks also agreed to implement a package of standards for the handling of homeowners seeking loan modifications.

Schneiderman said BofA and Wells Fargo violated the standards by not acknowledging modification applications within the specified time frame, failing to notify borrowers about deficiencies in their applications in timely fashion, not giving borrowers the allotted 30 days to correct their applications, and failing to make decisions about modifications within 30 days.

“Violations of the timeline standards increase the likelihood that distressed homeowners will lose their homes,” the statement from Schneiderman said. “Additional fees, penalties and interest accrue during periods of delay, making a modification more difficult and pushing homeowners closer to the brink of foreclosure.”


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