Investing in Real Estate – Active Or Passive?

Many investors are turned off by real estate because they do not have the time or inclination to become landlords and property managers, both of which are in fact, a career in themselves. If the investor is a rehabber or wholesaler, real estate becomes more of a business rather than an investment. Many successful property “investors” are actually real estate “operators” in the real property business. Fortunately, there are other ways for passive investors to enjoy many of the secure and inflation proof benefits of real estate investing without the hassle.

Active participation in property investing has many advantages. Middlemen fees, charged by syndicators, brokers, property managers and asset managers can be eliminated, possibly resulting in a higher rate of return. Further, you as the investor make all decisions; for better or worse the bottom line responsibility is yours. Also, the active, direct investor can make the decision to sell whenever he wants out (assuming that a market exists for his property at a price sufficient to pay off all liens and encumbrances).

Passive investment in real estate is the flip side of the coin, offering many advantages of its own. Property or mortgage assets are selected by professional real estate investment managers, who spent full time investing, analyzing and managing real property. Often, these professionals can negotiate lower prices than you would be able to on your own. Additionally, when a number of individual investor’s money is pooled, the passive investor is able to own a share of property much larger, safer, more profitable, and of a better investment class than the active investor operating with much less capital.

Most real estate is purchased with a mortgage note for a large part of the purchase price. While the use of leverage has many advantages, the individual investor would most likely have to personally guarantee the note, putting his other assets at risk. As a passive investor, the limited partner or owner of shares in a Real Estate Investment Trust would have no liability exposure over the amount of original investment. The direct, active investor would likely be unable to diversify his portfolio of properties. With ownership only 2, 3 or 4 properties the investor’s capital can be easily damaged or wiped out by an isolated problem at only one of his properties. The passive investor would likely own a small share of a large diversified portfolio of properties, thereby lowering risk significantly through diversification. With portfolios of 20, 30 or more properties, the problems of any one or two will not significantly hurt the performance of the portfolio as a whole.

Types of Passive Real Estate Investments

REITs

Real Estate Investment Trusts are companies that own, manage and operate income producing real estate. They are organized so that the income produced is taxed only once, at the investor level. By law, REITs must pay at least 90% of their net income as dividends to their shareholders. Hence REITs are high yield vehicles that also offer a chance for capital appreciation. There are currently about 180 publicly traded REITs whose shares are listed on the NYSE, ASE or NASDAQ. REITS specialize by property type (apartments, office buildings, malls, warehouses, hotels, etc.) and by region. Investors can expect dividend yields in the 5-9 % range, ownership in high quality real property, professional management, and a decent chance for long term capital appreciation.

Real Estate Mutual Funds

There are over 100 Real Estate Mutual Funds. Most invest in a select portfolio of REITs. Others invest in both REITs and other publicly traded companies involved in real estate ownership and real estate development. Real estate mutual funds offer diversification, professional management and high dividend yields. Unfortunately, the investor ends up paying two levels of management fees and expenses; one set of fees to the REIT management and an additional management fee of 1-2% to the manager of the mutual fund.

Real Estate Limited Partnerships

Limited Partnerships are a way to invest in real estate, without incurring a liability beyond the amount of your investment. However, an investor is still able to enjoy the benefits of appreciation and tax deductions for the total value of the property. LPs can be used by landlords and developers to buy, build or rehabilitate rental housing projects using other people’s money. Because of the high degree of risk involved, investors in Limited Partnerships expect to earn 15% + annually on their invested capital.

Limited Partnerships allow centralization of management, through the general partner. They allow sponsors/developers to maintain control of their projects while raising new equity. The terms of the partnership agreement, governing the on-going relationship, are set jointly by the general and limited partner(s). Once the partnership is established, the general partner makes all day to day operating decisions. Limited partner(s) may only take drastic action if the general partner defaults on the terms of the partnership agreement or is grossly negligent, events that can lead to removal of the general partner. The LPs come in all shapes and sizes, some are public funds with thousands of limited partners, others are private funds with as few as 3 or 4 friends investing $25,000 each.

ABOUT DON KONIPOL

Don Konipol holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Economics from the City University of New York. In 2002 he formed the Managed Mortgage Investment Fund LP as a high yield real estate mortgage fund, and serves in the capacity of General Partner. The fund invests in a diversified portfolio of short term, high interest real estate mortgages secured by investment real estate. Upon receiving his MBA in 1975, Mr. Konipol went to work for Societe General De Survalliance S.A., Geneva, Switzerland in investment banking.

He left in 1978 to come back to the United States and went to work as a commercial realtor for First Equity Company in Houston, Texas. In 1984 Mr. Konipol formed the Investment Realty Group to purchase distressed real estate at auction. Don has successfully invested in numerous real estate deals, operating businesses, high yield commercial mortgages, and REITs. He currently invests his capital and client/investors capital in real estate, real estate debt and real estate securities.

Top Tips on How To Make Money in Real Estate

Are you ready to get started in real estate investing,but not sure where to begin?

Afraid to make a HUGE Mistake??

Stuck with the Paralysis of Analysis???

You are not alone! Almost all real estate investors had to spend countless hours at the beginning of their investing careers researching the various strategies trying to figure out where they should begin.
While there is no single right answer for everyone, there are three key questions every potential investor needs to ask:

1. How much TIME do I have to invest?

2. How much MONEY do I have to invest?

3. How BIG and FAST do I want my business to ultimately grow??

A Great way to start any venture is by having an END Goal in mind, then laying out a plan to go get it! Even if you have to make changes along the way – which you will, the “getting there” is a great part of the fun.

Real estate investing can do anything from learning how to put a quick (in 30 days, or less) EXTRA $5,000 in your pocket every month, to making all your financial dreams come true with an annual after-tax income in Millions of Dollars. You really do need to decide upfront, if you are looking for the multi-millionaire status, or just to put some quick cash in your pocket to pay bills.

Regardless of your dreams and desires how you will use real estate investing to get where you want to go in life, we believe that there are three critical rules you must follow, if you are going to be successful. Here they are:

RULE NUMBER ONE IS: FOCUS-FOCUS-FOCUS

If you are looking for a long-term commitment to this business, then you need to establish up-front that you will need to set-aside some money from each of your transactions/deals to re-invest in your education, AND it is probably in your best interest to start with one strategy and be prepared to switch to a different strategy once these goals are met.

As an example, let’s say you ultimately want to be a developer (like Donald Trump, or Sam Zell, or Trammell Crow), but today you have a job and are $50,000 in debt. Your first step might be to generate quick cash over the next year to pay off the debt, then half way through making this happen (say in month six) begin the process of implementing a strategy to generate enough income from your real estate investing to leave your job, then after you have created a stable base (enough to pay bills and then some) from your investing activity, to start a plan to become a developer. All together, this may require three different strategies.

A “Classic” mistake that many novice investors would make is to attempt all three strategies AT THE SAME TIME – DO NOT DO THIS!!! Better to learn a strategy for quick cash, master it, then move on, then to attempt to learn three strategies at the same time.

OLD AFRICAN PROVERB: “He Who Chases Two Tigers Ultimately Gets None”
Regardless of the Strategy to start with, history has shown that people who FOCUS their time, energy and money, are more likely to succeed than those who do not.Be Patient – Be Focused – Start Small, Grow Big.RECAP: Rule Number One is: FOCUS-FOCUS-FOCUS

RULE NUMBER TWO: YOU LEARN BY DOING!The second important thing to know about real estate investing is that you learn by doing! We know that there are a lot of late-night infomercials which say “Come to our FREE seminar, spend $5,000, and tomorrow you will wake up a Millionaire – but the problem is we have never found anyone who will admit that this really worked. Also, there are people who spend good money going to college, or graduate school and study how to “succeed in real estate”, and by and large, this can work, if you then go on to commit to 25-40 years working as an employee of a real estate firm, making someone else rich – if you are fortunate enough, you may learn, enough (over time) and then go out on your own.

And yes, we all know of people who buy every book, every tape, and go to every seminar, and become walking real estate investing “Encyclopedia’s” – BUT NEVER DO ANYTHING WITH IT – BAD IDEA! Why, because if you never put into practice what you read, or hear, you will ultimately convince yourself that “this real estate thing” does not work – UNFORTUNATELY, both history and Forbes Magazine would prove you wrong.

Ever since John Jacob Astor became America’s First Millionaire in the 1800’s by buying what would ultimately become Manhattan, more American’s have become wealthy through investing in real estate, than by any other means. And those who have made their fortunes in other areas (like operating businesses) have reinvested their profits into real estate than any other asset class.

THE BEST WAY TO LEARN TO BE AN INVESTOR IS TO BE AN INVESTOR.

RECAP: Rule Number Two: YOU LEARN BY DOING!

RULE NUMBER THREE: START TODAY – RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.Final Key Thought – many new investors kid themselves by saying thing like “When I get enough money…”, or “When I get enough time…”, or “When I can get some other things out of the way…” Then I will get started – BALONY!! What they are really saying is “I am Scared to Death of Failing at this Real Estate Thing”, and the sooner they stop lying to themselves the sooner something really great will happen in their lives. The truth is almost every successful real estate investor out there (including Donald Trump, and Sam Zell, and Ron LeGrand, and Robyn Thompson, and (Place Millionaire’s Name Here), was scared to death when putting their first deal together. What made the difference is that they moved forward and did something.

Sir Isaac Newton said it best in his first Law of Motion: “An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion…” In other words – if you keep on doing what you have been doing, you should expect to get the same results. But if you want something different for your life, you will have to go “in Motion”. You learn the Real Estate Business by DOING, so the sooner you DO, the Sooner you GET. Today is the day to stop making excuses and to “Go In Motion”. And as you Go In Motion, make a commitment to continue to learn, so you “Stay In Motion”

RECAP: Rule Number Three: START TODAY – RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.

So with these three rules in mind, we hope that RealInvestors(TM) will become a key partner in your success and we want to hear about your success, no matter how small, or how great. Most importantly, we want to help you “Go in Motion” and “Stay In Motion”…
So, Let’s Get Started…

Choose ONE strategy to get started. Please Take to Heart Rule Number One: FOCUS-FOCUS-FOCUS… DO NOT TRY TO BECOME AN EXPERT ON EVERY STRATEGY BEFORE EVER GETTING STARTED! If you do, we can almost guarantee you that will become confused from information overload, and you will never begin! Decide on a single strategy that is right for you, learn about it, and go out there and DO IT!

Make a commitment (let’s say 6 months) where you are completely focused on that strategy. Network with other investor’s who are working that particular strategy and do not quit until one of two things has happened: either 6 months has gone by with no results, or you get your first deal done using that strategy and decide you want to try your hand at something else. But do not allow yourself to be taken off course. It was o.k. in elementary and middle school to try out for every team sport, but when Spring came, you had to make a choice; it was either going to be track, or baseball/softball, or lacrosse, or crew, or tennis – but you could not play two sports at the same time.

Each sport had its own rules, and each one required a slightly different mental “game”. If you had come to the baseball field with a lacrosse stick and shoulder pads, someone would have asked you to “go home” and come back when you were “ready to play this sport” – same is true with investing – ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE JUST GETTING GOING. Now, one day you will be able to “Play Like Mike”, but as a new investor, let’s keep it simple: One strategy, complete focus until you have proven to yourself that it will work, for you, or it won’t, and for most people this will mean at least a 6-month commitment.

NEXT STEPS: Once you have familiarized yourself with this Getting Started section of the website, we recommend that you take the following steps:

• Read and post regularly in the Real Investors Forums to gain exposure to the issues facing other real estate investors. Chances are, those same issues will face you in the near future.

• Real all the Real Investor Articles. This will help to build your knowledge base about real estate investing in general.

• Visit the Real Investor Bookstore and pick out courses that focus on the ONE strategy you have chosen to use to get started. Do not purchase courses on a myriad of strategies before you ever do your first deal!

• Join your local REIA. You will meet many other investors… some seasoned, some just getting started. You will have an opportunity to network with other professionals that may be able to provide you with services you will need as anew investor… a contractor, a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, a hard money lender… etc. You may even find a really great mentor!

• Invest in your education! Attend any and all opportunities to learn more about real estate investing, such as The National Real Estate Investor’s Conference. These events are invaluable opportunities to learn from, network amongst, and make deals with other more seasoned real estate investors and scholars. Look for online class offerings, such as Real Investor’s University (REIU) to fill the times in between live events

• Most importantly… go out there and take action – GO IN MOTION!!!

• Get your first deal done – Your 1st deal will be the hardest – we promise!!!

• Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!

• Then, when you’re ready, come back and add another strategy to your portfolio… and continue the process….

Sherman Ragland is a Real Estate Investor and Educator based in the Washington DC Metro area. With over 25 years of experience as a Real Estate Professional, he has helped thousands of investors get on the right path to making Quick Cash and building long term Wealth. Sherman runs the most successful REIA in Maryland, with over 250 regular members.

Making Money in Real Estate

Making money in Real Estate is the most popular strategy to build wealth. If you’re not currently making money and building wealth in real estate you need to start. I have been making money using four very simple strategies that are very simple to duplicate.

All of the millionaires I have learned from make money and build wealth in real estate. That’s right, all of them! These real estate strategies can set you free for life!

If you learn and implement them you can build a massive amount of wealth in a very short period of time. I use a system for all four of the strategies that all go hand in hand.

These strategies can easily make you rich in a very short period of time. I use the first strategy to make money fast, the second strategy for making money in chunks and the third strategy is for building wealth and creating income for the rest of my life. The last strategy I use to buy real estate extremely cheap.

I use a step by step system for all of these money making systems. The first strategy requires in many cases no money and no credit. It’s the strategy I use to create anywhere from three to fifteen thousand dollars in profits per deal in a short period of time without ever even buying real estate. This strategy is known as wholesaling.

It’s easy to begin making quick money. You don’t need money to make money with this strategy! If you have bad credit don’t worry, you don’t need good credit to make money with this strategy. My goal is for you to have a check in your hands of $5,000 or more in 30 days or less!

I can show you my exact system on how to do it. Wholesale is nothing more than making an offer on a piece of real estate, getting that offer accepted, then simply assigning to contract to someone else. Don’t worry, making an offer on something doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to buy it”.

Making offers on Real Estate is easy! You can do it two ways. Through a realtor or directly to sellers who don’t have their homes listed with a realtor.

I developed a specific step by step system to find listed and unlisted properties to make offers on. Most of my deals are through listed properties. I use a realtor to make offers for me on properties that are listed.

There are a lot of realtors who won’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish. I’ll teach you exactly the process I use to find my realtors as well as how to get them on the same page as you with what you want to accomplish.

There are so many properties for sale. You need to learn how to find the best one’s to make offers on. Learning how to wholesale is the first step in becoming a real estate investor and getting out of the rat race! In all of my money making strategies I believe it is the easiest one for both beginners and advanced investors.

I use the second strategy to create larger chunks of cash anywhere from twenty to sixty thousand dollars in profits per deal. It takes a little longer to generate those profits than the first strategy but one deal generates much more money. This strategy is called retailing.

This strategy has some great advantages. It’s easy to make consistent $20,000+ on every deal, it can be done part time, and it can and should be done with someone else’s money!

Flipping real estate is nothing more than buying a house; fixing it up if it needs repairs, and then selling it for a profit. Most Real estate flippers that fail don’t understand the number 1 rule, Buy Cheap! When they buy a house most of them think they’re buying it cheap but chances are they’re not.

The biggest mistake investors make is they don’t calculate all of their costs before they do the deal. There is a specific formula that’s easy to follow that will make sure you follow this very important rule. The way you buy your real estate is the difference between winning and losing.

If you are new to real estate investing the first strategy you should implement is wholesaling. The reason is with wholesaling you learn how to make extra money without risking your own money. When you accomplish that then move to retailing.

After you learn how to earn extra money wholesaling, you will have accomplished your first step in becoming a successful flipper. That first step is learning how to buy cheap!

The third strategy I use to build wealth and get paid forever. By doing this I create a monthly income that will last forever. Making money in Real Estate is not just creating quick cash; it’s also about creating enough wealth where you can literally never have to work again! This strategy is known as buying and holding.

There are many ways to build a Money Making Machine. The best way is through real estate investing focused on building wealth. Making money now is important but creating wealth for the rest of your life is what will set you free!

Buying real estate isn’t hard, but, buying real estate correctly is where most people go wrong. Understanding what makes up a good deal is your greatest asset with this strategy.

You make money when you buy; you get paid when you sell. If you’re a beginner this will be the most important thing that must be understood. If you buy right you will have a lot of equity and great cash flow for the entire time you own a particular investment. This is what I refer to as building a money making machine.

In real estate there are many strategies to make money quick. Those are the strategies you should begin with because you have to learn how to buy cheap enough to make money.

After those strategies are executed that is the time to worry about building for the rest of your life. There are multiple ways to buy cheap it’s all about learning the ones that will work for you.

Now, once you know how to buy cheap creating wealth is easy! Simply make sure you have great cash flow with each deal you intend on doing and before you know it after multiple deals you will start building monthly cash flow.

Continue this simple recipe over and over and in a very short period of time you could be generating enough cash flow to live on then you can focus on getting rich and wealthy! Best of all you can focus on whatever you want because you don’t have to work if you don’t want to.

The reason this is my favorite real estate strategy is because I love residual income. Creating something once that pays you for the rest of your life is the smartest thing you can do financially. All my rich mentors made this lesson very clear to me.

Building a money making machine first starts with making quick money in real estate. Once you learn that you will know how to buy real estate the right way. From there all you have to do is hold it for cash flow for the rest of your life!

The final strategy I use to buy real estate extremely cheap from distressed sellers. Buying cheap through properties in pre-foreclosure is a tremendous opportunity.

There are so many ways to make money in real estate. Many people have a hard time finding which way fit’s them the best. Some people like to stick to one strategy, others like a lot of different strategies.

I recommend doing some research and reading some books to learn about all the different ways there are to make money before you choose one. I recommend the following products because they should help you decide what kind of real estate strategy you want to pursue.

Making money in real estate goes hand and hand with all of the other best money making strategies. The reason is the tax advantages you get blend very well together with all of the other money making strategies. Real estate investing is also one of my favorites because it is the best way to build ultimate wealth that will last forever!

Learning a simple money making strategy is easy. The hard part is where and who do you ask to teach you? This used to be my problem until I met some very successful mentors.

I learned for them many strategies to get rich, this one is one of the best. Making money in real estate is all about buying cheap! By finding and buying distressed real estate you will be able to buy extremely cheap.

Those who have a way to buy real estate extremely cheap will succeed. Pre-foreclosure investing is a great way to buy cheap from distressed sellers. It’s a win-win situation for you and the seller.

There are a few ways to buy real estate in distressed situations. If a seller is in pre-foreclose which means they are behind on payments but their home hasn’t been foreclosed on yet they would probably be very interested in selling.

Most of the time people end up losing their homes and would have been much better off if someone was there to help them out of that situation. Like I said, Win-Win situation.

There are two scenarios for the buyer. There is either already sufficient equity in the property for them to purchase it or there isn’t enough equity. Most of the time there won’t be enough.

There is a simple money making strategy know as short sales for properties that don’t have enough equity. In this case the bank or mortgage company that has a lien on the property will most likely accept a huge discount on what they are owed in exchange for a payoff of some amount for what they are owed.

For example, if a property is worth $200,000 and the bank has a lien of $180,000 for a property in not great shape they will probably accept a huge discount. The reason is the cost they have to incur to foreclose, list, and resell is huge.

You make them and offer at $100,000 as a payoff. After negotiations they accept $120,000. You’re now able to buy a $200,000 home for $120,000 through your knowledge.

All in all, these four Real Estate Investing Strategies all have their advantages and disadvantages. There is a sequential order they should be implemented in. Take this information and use it to the best of your ability and be smart and savvy out there.

My Name is Michael T. Keenan. I have been studying all aspect of finance for many years. I specialize in learning how to duplicate money making strategies that already exist which has allowed me to make a lot of money much quicker than normal. I have met hundreds of various millionaires and studied thousands. I used their strategies and techniques to get rich. I narrowed down all of the strategies used these millionaires to ten main strategies that I believed would be the easiest for me to duplicate and teach once I executed them. My studies have come a long way and it has allowed me to pursue two of my passions. I’m passionate about being wealthy and I’m even more passionate about teaching others how to get wealthy. After executing several of the ten strategies I began to write a website which allowed me to share my resources and knowledge with others. This was my first step in following my second passion which is educating others. I love adding new knowledge that I’ve required along the way to my website so everyone reading my site can benefit from that knowledge. I hope everyone interested in creating wealth and ultimately a better life for themselves and their families enjoys my articles and website. Visit my site below to learn more about the ten strategies I believe are the easiest money making strategies to duplicate in order to obtain massive wealth.

How to Do a Sales Pitch in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate, you will undertake a variety of presentations, in a variety of circumstances. Most of them are business-like in nature, focusing on the needs of the tenant, the property buyer, or the property seller.

Get to the core issues

Each of these groups has unique property requirements and points of focus. It is their needs which must be identified and clearly addressed in the sales pitch or presentation. Many successful commercial real estate agents will have a preliminary meeting with the client or customer so that they can identify key issues and concerns. This allows the commercial agent to return to the client or customer in a few days with a well structured proposal that addresses the needs of the customer or client.

It’s all about THEM, not YOU!

When you design an investment or commercial property proposal for presentation, the document should be 90% regards the property and the client. Frequently you see this rule disregarded or broken with the proposal document being largely regards the agency and the personnel.

Rarely is the property transaction a simple matter of the property rental, the property price, or the physical elements of the property. In most situations, it is the combination of these things which must satisfy a fundamental equation of need that the customer or client has. In getting them to this fundamental need, you will identify an element of pain that the customer or client is experiencing. This is what you focus on.

They are Experienced

It is interesting to note that many clients and customers in commercial real estate are reasonably comfortable in circumstances of business negotiation. This means they may not tell you the total big picture or all the elements of a transaction until they are ready. Conversation and connection in the presentation process should be biased towards the client or customer using well selected questions which allow the agent to interpret the body language coming from the client’s response.

When you believe you have identified the element of clients pain related to the property transaction, you start to magnify the problem in terms of today’s market, then offering stable and logical solutions that your real estate agency business can provide to the client or customer. Invariably, the commercial real estate transaction in today’s market centres on financial matters such as:

  • High vacancy factors
  • Other property choices and chances are available
  • Underperforming leases
  • Unstable cash flow
  • Unstable tenancy mix
  • Tenanted conflict
  • Escalating building operating costs
  • A shift in demographics which exposes the property to a unstable future
  • Mortgage payment pressures
  • Age of the asset
  • Needs for refurbishment or extension
  • Competition properties attracting tenants away from the subject property

This type of information and interpretation requires your intimate knowledge of the local region. This is by both property type and by location. This is the higher value that you bring to the customer or client. Being able to distinctly define local market awareness is a major advantage in any commercial real estate presentation or sales pitch. You must be seen as the best knowledgeable solution to the problem.

From Experience

After many years working exclusively in the commercial real estate industry, I found that my unique skill was in market knowledge and the display of that in any formal presentation to the client. Being able to talk about market trends and financial performance in a solid and sound way will help the client understand that they need your services. Coupling that with your extensive and relevant database of enquiry clearly shows the client that they need you.

A fantastic commercial real estate presentation is a function and balance of lots of things. Things like:

  1. A well established pre-planning process is a strategic advantage for every commercial real estate presentation. Strategy is everything in commercial real estate. Every property presentation requires planning.
  2. Making sure you are asking the right questions of the client or prospect. Plan your questions relative to the subject property so that you help the client think about opportunity and changes that are possible.
  3. Using your market knowledge and giving good answers. Have a variety of market facts and trends available to call on. Feed them into your presentation; facts are always useful. They can also be used as a channel to direct the discussion when the client is forcing you to justify your approach or your experience. Confidence and control must be the basic rule of your property presentation. When the client takes control of the presentation you have lost.
  4. Using your experience in the marketplace so that you are telling relevant stories of success in similar properties. Stories of other properties will always interest of the client.
  5. Making sure your personal presentation is optimised for the connection in the presentation. It can be that you are using a combination of the proposal document, the marketing document, and computer slide presentation, samples of your database, photographs of the subject property projected on to slides, and photographs of comparable properties projected on to slides.
  6. Choosing the placement of people at the table or strategically positioning them in the room is always important. Much has been written about where you should sit relative to the client. The basic rule is adjacent to the client rather than across an area of barrier such as a table. Being within arm’s reach allows you to pass documentation to the client at the appropriate time. Documentation should not be provided to the client until you are ready for them to review it; otherwise it is a distraction of their attention.
  7. Make sure that your proposal is simple and yet well directed with a clearly defined outcomes of sale or lease. Many proposal documents in commercial real estate are much too wordy so the main messages are lost and not clearly defined. The best proposals are less wordy and more illustrative. The best balance of a commercial real estate proposal is a mixture of 25% words, 25% pictures, 25% graphs, and 25% white space. This becomes a document which is clearly read and understood.
  8. Combine good illustrations and photographs of the subject property into the proposal or presentation so that any lengthy descriptions or paragraphs are broken up. This will keep interest of the client in your documentation.
  9. Make sure that your marketing package is value for money, and yet reaching the target market that the property serves or needs to attract. All too often, we see examples of generic marketing by the commercial real estate agent to the broader and less specific marketplace. Showing the client that you clearly know and will attract best the target market will always help your conversion to a potential listing. Be very specific about the target market and how you will reach it.
  10. Ensure that your commission costs are fair and reasonable for the location. In most circumstances, discounting your commission should not be an option as it will make you poor and remove or detract from your enthusiasm for the sale or lease. ‘Cheap’ means ‘cheap and without focus’ and the client needs to know this. The property deserves better. You are not cheap because you are the best and you do a great job. A fair commission is always paid for a positive property outcome.
  11. Always provide testimonials that are relevant to the property transaction. When you combine relevant history and details of happy customers into your presentation you will make the client feel more comfortable.
  12. Always display clear and sound market knowledge that impresses the client relative to their property. This will include extensive awareness of comparable properties that compete with the subject property. You should be able to talk solidly about property prices, comparable rents, rental growth, returns on investment, changes to the future demographics of the area, and properties in the immediate precinct of relevance. In many cases, it pays to walk around the local area just prior to any property presentation so that you bring immediate and clear pictures of the precinct to the discussion. Many times this has been of significant advantage in my presentation processes. Talking about neighbouring properties localises the client and their thought processes.
  13. Come up with a variety of ways to serve the client. Innovation and relevance will always impress. In today’s market, this is relatively easy considering the marketing opportunities and tools provided by the internet & technology. Be proactive in your property promotion processes so that the listing for sale or lease stands uniquely different in its marketing campaign from the others in the area. This does not have to be expensive to the client or to your office, given that the internet and electronic technology is historically cost effective. In today’s market, the traditional methods of publicising the property in the property pages of the local paper, is becoming much less important in the marketing campaign. Most commercial property buyers and tenants research the market from the Internet first and foremost.
  14. Almost every property agency will say that they have excellent communication and connection skills to support the property promotion process. From experience, this is largely incorrect and typically the average commercial salesperson or leasing person will exercise ordinary communication channels with the client. Put yourself in the shoes of the client. They expect and deserve frequent updates on the promotion of the property even when nothing is happening or when the adverts are producing little response. When a property campaign is not producing the results, it is important that you act or adjust with alternative recommendations and strategic changes to the promotional campaign for the client to consider. Rarely would you get to the property campaign correct in the first week. It is in this time that you must consider fine tuning the promotion process so that the target market is being reached in a timely and effective way. This means that every property enquiry generated from your promotions must be tabulated so that you understand what channels of marketing work most effectively with the property in question.
  15. When addressing the client or the client group in a formal property presentation, the answers and information you give must be delivered well and provide relevant solid property knowledge, in a practiced and professional delivery. Any sales or presentation tools relative to the property must be relevant and you should know how to use them with exceptional skill. Fumbling and faking information is not tolerated by the client.

So there you have it. These are some of the key skills to use in a commercial real estate presentation. Whilst many real estate agents think that they are the best alternative in the market to promote sell and rent commercial property, the reality is they do not get the message across when it matters most in front of the client.

To be the best commercial real estate agent in your area, you must show that you are just so, and you do this in the first 10 minutes of the time that your presentation takes. The client will have formed an opinion by then.

Be prepared to walk away from any demands for discounting that the client or customer demands. In this market they need a great commercial real estate agent providing a great job; discounting is not an option. Show pride in your services and walk away when the client demands discount in marketing or lower commissions.

Real Estate Investing – Part III

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A Bit of Valuable Theory First: Vince Lombardi Would Approve!!

Cause and Effect Relationships

We are familiar with “cause and effect” relationships. A particular “cause” or action will result in a predictable “effect”, reaction or response.

  • “Laws of Physics” tell us that if you throw a tennis ball at a wall, you can accurately predict the direction that it will bounce off the wall.

That is an example of a “cause and effect” relationship within earth’s gravitational fields.

Further, if you change the “angle of incidence” (the angle at which a thrown ball hits the wall) then, you can accurately predict the direction that the ball will take as it bounces off of the wall.

The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection, and predictability exists.

  • “Laws of Human Response” tell us that if I use hurtful words or actions toward you, then I can anticipate that I will probably receive a predictable response in retribution from you.

If I don’t wish to receive that type of negative response, then I should be careful not to use hurtful words and actions toward you. We call that human nature.

While Laws of Human Response may be less predictable than the Laws of Physics (people can develop good acting skills), a good real estate negotiator learns to control his or her emotions in order to guide the negotiations to a desired result.

  • “Laws of Financial Markets” tell us about the “cause and effect relationships” between “Supply and Demand”.

If demand for a scare commodity increases, but the supply or availability of that commodity decreases, you can anticipate an increase in it market price.

Qualifying Demand Factors:

1.Demand is influenced by purchasing capacity. When dealing with “demand”, only those with purchasing capacity should be considered. Point: If I would love to own one, but can not afford to buy one, my vote does not count as part of “effective demand”.

2.Demand is influenced by availability of financing. If I could afford to buy one with a loan with an interest rate at 5%, but interest rates just increased to 6%, then my “desire to own” remains strong, but only at a lower price that would allow me to finance its purchase within my capacity to service debt. Restated: My “demand” no longer counts at the previous price.

3.Demand for real estate is influenced by the attractiveness of the stock and bond markets. A large part of demand for real estate that caused the “Real Estate Boom of 2004 through 2007” was due to the wholesale rejection of the stock market and the bond market.

Point: Many people lost 40% or more of their retirement account that was invested in the stock market. Many flocked to real estate for fear of continued losses in those other markets. A “feeding frenzy” pushed prices up rapidly. Too many dollars were blindly chasing too few attractive properties.

Qualifying Supply Factors:

1. Supply Responds Slowly. It takes a while for supply for real estate to respond to an increase in demand. You can’t just leave the printing press going over the weekend at the US Mint to create more money. That is an option that is only available to the federal government.

Point One: Observation: To create a new apartment complex, it takes a year or so to acquire the right property, get plans approved as a building permit, build the complex, then rent it out until it’s full. It does not happen over night. This can cause a substantial increase in market price for an existing good looking apartment complex.

Point Two: My prediction: When the market finally stabilizes for apartment complexes, we will see a horrendous increase in “cost” of generating that new complex. Systems development charges, cost of building materials, and financing costs will boost the “finished price” of that property.

Suggestion: Consider buying existing “pre-owned” apartment complexes right now. You will look like a hero later!

2.Political Considerations Influence Financing. The federal government has the capacity to regulate interest rates. The easier it is to finance the acquisition of an income property, the more appeal it will have.

Question: Why isn’t this a “supply-side” factor?

Answer: It is. The easier it becomes to buy a property, the more available property becomes to buy.

However, it is also a demand-side issue in that it is now possible to obtain a new mortgage with ten year fixed interest rate.

Observation: Ten year fixed rate financing allows the investor to neutralize the “cost of capital” issue during a recession.

Suggestion: Take advantage of available new financing.

3.Tax Law Changes Influence Appeal. Recently the federal government provided real estate investors with the opportunity to increase their tax shelter from real estate. Cost Segregation depreciation allows such an opportunity.

Understanding Changes in the Real Estate Financial Markets

These “Laws” or financial cause and effect relationships have recently become substantially altered, and thus have become far less predictable.

  • Change One: Artificial Supply-Side Pricing. Real estate prices are being adversely impacted by a large number of “forced sales” caused by defaulting borrowers being forced to sell under pressure to sell, and foreclosure sales by lenders in need of a quick sale.
    • Situation: A borrower is unable to make the mortgage payment, and has attempted to sell the property.
    • He discovers that it will not sell for enough to pay off the existing loan. He then notifies the lender of the situation.
    • The lender must then decide which course of action to take.
    • If the borrower has not been declared to be in default, the lender frequently ignores the borrower’s plea for relief.
    • If the borrower has been declared to be in default, then the lender will either:1. agree to accept less than the full loan balance in satisfying the loan (a “short sale”); or,2. take steps to foreclose on the property, then resell it quickly to recoup the amount of the loan.
    • Result: Discounted sale prices resulting from “short sales” and “foreclosure sales” impact all property values and force prices down. You will have difficulty attracting a buyer who would pay more for yours than they could pay to acquire a very similar property offered through a short sale or foreclosure priced property. Even if you are successful in seemingly avoiding the impact of “forced sale” discounts, the appraiser who the buyer’s lender will use to value the property for loan purposes will include those low priced forced sale. The buyer will not be allowed to borrow as much, and your sale may be in jeopardy of closing.
    • Observation: Until the lenders sell off all of their REO and the number of short sales is substantially reduced, the value of real estate will continue to be adversely impacted.

“Real Estate Foreclosures 101”

What is a “Short Sale”? A “short sale” occurs when the lender agrees to accept less than the full loan balance as repayment of the existing debt.

Why Would The Lender Agree To Accept Less? Once a borrower defaults on a loan, the lender must form a course of action that would result in the least loss to the lender.

Would the short sale be less costly than a foreclosure resale of the property on the open market? If so, agree to the short sale and be done with it.

Observation Concerning Short Sales: As a buyer offering on what will be a “short sale”, there is never a quick decision to allow the deal by the lender.

The lender’s decision making process causes the potential transaction to travel through several departments of the lending entity before a decision to accept the short sale is reached.

It has been known to take months for the lender to finally agree to a short sale. By that time, the buyer lost interest in the property, and has walked away by the time that the lender approves the short sale.

Lenders are slow to agree to lose money, even if money is being lost with each passing day.

What Happens to the Lender When the Lender Forecloses? The lender’s financial statement will be immediately and substantially altered. The previously performing loan (an asset held as a “Loan Receivable”) is converted to a less liquid asset known as “Real Estate Owned” or “REO”.

Lender’s Financial Consequence of the Foreclosure: The lender will experience several negative consequences as a result of the foreclosure.

    • The lender is often the only bidder to show up at the foreclosure sale.
      • At the foreclosure sale, the lender makes a bid equal to the balance of the debt. If no other bidders bid higher, then the lender receives title to the property.
      • If the lender receives title to the property, then the dollar amount of the previously performing loan is subtracted from “Loans Receivable” and the value of the property acquired through foreclosure is added to a category known as “Real Estate Owned” or “REO”.
      • The lender is well equipped to make loans, but much less equipped to hold real estate in lieu of a Loan Receivable.
    • In order for the lender to get out of real estate ownership and back into the lending business, the lender must resell the foreclosed property on the open market.
    • Probable Result: If the prior borrower could not escape foreclosure by selling the property, then the lender probably can’t do any better. This is where the lender’s bigger problems begin.

1. “Mark to Market” While the previous “Loan Receivable” and the “Real Estate Owned” are both “assets” owned by the lender, the bank auditors will soon require the lender to periodically mark down or reduce the reported value of the REO to reflect what it would sell for in a quick cash sale. Any action that reduces the value of the bank’s assets will directly reduce the lender’s “Shareholder’s Equity” (the bank’s net worth).2. “REO Reserves”. In addition, the auditor will require the bank to create a “Reserve for REO” or a cash fund set aside to cover the performance of the REO asset.

This reduces the amount of available funds that could be used to create new loans and generate more revenue for the bank.

Summary: Both of the above actions will reduce the bank’s ability to generate more revenue and increase Shareholders Equity.

Lender’s Decision Point: Consequently, the lender may conclude that it is less expensive to avoid a foreclosure and to accept less than the full repayment of the loan balance by taking a short sale, and being done with it.

Foreclosure Sales: What Happens

Nature of Sale: An All Cash Auction: The trust deed foreclosure sale is an all cash auction conducted by the trustee at a published date and time at a specified public place. Typically, the only all cash buyer to show up at the foreclosure sale is the lender who brought about the foreclosure. The lender bids in the amount of the loan, and receives title to the property.

  • As the lender starts to convert more of its performing asset base (performing “mortgages receivable” on the asset side of the balance sheet) to “REO” or real estate owned, the bank auditors will force the bank to set aside available cash (that could have been used to make another loan), and hold it as a reserve to cover the REO portion of the bank portfolio.
  • A double hit has just occurred:
    • 1. The bank’s Operating Statement no longer has a performing mortgage loan, and now has instead a piece of real estate “REO”(Hint: banks are good at making loans and collecting monthly payments, but are not very good at holding real estate that must be managed and tenanted to prevent damage and further loss of value to the property); and,
    • 2. The bank has to use a portion of their available cash to set up a cash reserve to cover the REO.
      • Too much of that action, and bank auditors will write down the value of the REO property and increase the size of the REO reserve…both actions will reduce the “Stockholder’s Equity” (net worth of the bank). If it gets too thin, the Federal Reserve could close the bank.
  • Example Two: The bank-owned foreclosed properties are soon sold at substantially reduced prices compared to other “non-foreclosure” properties in the same neighborhood.
    • The reduced sale price creates lower neighborhood values. Those most recent low sale prices form the “comparable sales” data base that the appraiser will use when appraising your “for sale” property for a buyer’s lender.
    • Your appraised value is reduced, and the entire process will continue to spiral so long as there is a bank-owned REO that is there to compete for the limited number of buyers for your property.
    • SOLUTION: Only when the last REO is finally sold will the artificial reduced prices cease to exist. Buyers may love this environment, but everyone else is perplexed by artificially lowered prices.

FINALLY… Part Three

THE QUESTION: WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

THE ANSWER: If you can complete the following steps, then I may be able to help you sort out a course of action that you should take.

Part One: Where Am I Now?

Define your current position in terms of money

1.Complete a detailed “Financial Statement” of your current position.

a.The Asset Side:

i.What assets do you own?

ii.What is the current value of each of those assets? (ignore debts owed on each asset, since they will appear on the Liability Side of the financial statement)

Note: Organize the Asset Side of the financial statement in the sequence of “most liquid or cash-like assets” at the top of the list, and “lease liquid or hard to liquidate assets” at the bottom of the list.

Now total the value of assets listed on the Asset Side.

b.The Liability Side:

i.To whom do you owe money?

ii.How much do you owe each creditor?

Note: Organize the Liability Side of the financial statement is sequence of “shortest term debt” like short credit lines at the top and “longest term debts” like mortgages at the bottom.

c.Your Net Worth – The difference between what you own and what you owe is your Net Worth.

2.Complete a current “Income Statement”

a.List all incomes that you receive

Note: Separate various incomes by category: Vocational Incomes, Investment Incomes, other incomes

b.List all expenses that you incur

Note: Separate various expenses by category: Vocational expenses, Investment Expenses, and Living Expenses

c.The difference between Total Incomes per Year and Total Expenses per Year is the Surplus Available For Investment

Part Two: Where Do I Need to Be? (a retirement goal)

Project your living expenses to your desired date of Financial Independence

1.What will be your Survival Number?

This is the minimum monthly income required to cover all living expenses. ALWAYS KNOW YOUR SURVIVAL NUMBER!!!

2.How much of that Survival Number will be covered with “other Retirement Funds”? (e.g.: Social Security, pension fund distributions, etc.)

3.How much of a Short Fall appears to exist?

a.This is the amount that your real estate portfolio much cover on a dependable monthly basis.

Part Three: How Long Will I Be Willing to Work to Get There?

1.How long am I willing to work to amass my retirement portfolio?

2.Does it appear that my vocational employment will continue that long?

3.What happens if it doesn’t?