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Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati

Author: Vena Jones-Cox (15 articles found) - Clear Search


At What Kind of Real Estate Will You Be “Best”?

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Our business fascinates me.

Whether it’s creative deals or watching how REIA groups develop and maintain individual cultures or observing how different types of people react to the pressures and rewards of being real estate entrepreneurs, I find myself filing, categorizing, reorganizing, and contemplating where real estate investing fits in the bigger world, and how the people in it behave.

One of the things that I started to notice a few years back is that certain people seem to be drawn like a magnet to steel to certain strategies in the real estate business. And from what I can tell from working one on one with students, these tendencies appear to precede any actual exposure to real estate education and strategies.

Before I explain more (and potentially affect your answer to this question), let’s do a little thought experiment.

First, try to gain some neutrality about whatever money “things” are going on for you right now. If you have bills due that you can’t pay, or just saw your social security retirement statement and realized that you can’t possibly live on that, or just got a bonus at work and are feeling flush, try to chill about it for a moment. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, get centered, and read on. Read More...


3 Tips for Building the Relationships that Build Your Business

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If you don’t think that real estate investing is a relationship business, you haven’t been paying attention. 

It’s your connections with other investors that bring you the local knowledge, the referrals to the right professionals, the money, the partnerships, and the deals that let you prosper now, and for years to come.   

But these relationships don’t ‘just happen’ for most people. You have to be intentional about building and maintaining them, just like you’re intentional (I hope) about building a rental portfolio, or a buyer’s list, or a marketing plan.   

REIAGC exists, in large part, to provide a platform for you to find and interact with like-minded folks who can encourage and help you be successful, but you have to do your part, too. Here are some tips for the 95% of us who aren’t just natural ‘connectors’:  

  1. Be intentional about your professional development. There’s no job you can have or business you can be in where your value isn’t enhanced by knowing more. 

And in real estate, tha
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We Baked a Bigger Pie

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I don’t know if ya’ll really understand what it’s like out there in the cold, hard real estate investing world.

Apparently, it’s lonely, nasty, and a cutthroat, and more than a little sad and desperate.

From everything I read on the various social media sites and groups, there are an awful lot of so-called real estate entrepreneurs who truly believe that the “pie” is only this big, and that everyone else is protecting their piece with barbed wire and brass knuckles, and that to carve out your piece, you have to beg for crumbs, or pay a fortune, or take away someone else’s piece by snaking their sellers or stealing their private lenders or bribing their tenants to call the building department on them so that they’ll be motivated to sell.

Seriously, I’ve heard all of that complained about, or bragged about, or recommended as a strategy.


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YAFTAX

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Years ago, when I was just a wee little newbie, there was a guy who belonged to my local REIA group who always wore a button to the meetings that said YAFTAX.

This fellow was one of the big dogs—owned lots of rentals, had been in the group forever, was on the board, all that intimidating stuff—but after a few months, I finally got up the nerve to ask him what YAFTAX was.

He smiled at me and said, “Say it out loud”. I said, “Yaf-tax. Ya-af-tax. Ohhhhhh. Ya have to ask”.

He went on to explain that he attributed his success largely to his willingness to ask for ANYTHING from a seller. A lower price, better financing, leave the furniture, whatever it took to make the deal work for him, whether or not he thought the seller would say yes.

That’s turned out to be one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned.

It’s so easy to “think for your seller” and assume that he won’t be interested in what you can do for him—especially when that seller has already told you that what works for him is something completely different. If you ask for what you need, he may very well say “
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Drop Your Rock

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One of the profound things in the real estate business—so profound that it takes DECADES to learn—is that you’re always a beginner. And the way that you handle your successive begginerhoods has a huge effect on how successful you become, and how quickly. I’ve been a beginner—like a full-on, I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing—at least 6 different times since I started in real estate. I was a beginner when I started buying properties.

I was a beginner again when I started wholesaling properties, and when I decided to buy apartment buildings, and when I decided to hire a staff and create systems for my business, and when I got serious about IRA investing. I’m, right this second, a beginner at AirBnB ownership.

My biggest mistake in 4 of the 6 beginnerhoods I just mentioned was the same: I let ego and overconfidence and introversion get in the way of my learning process. 

There’s a concept in Zen Buddhism called Shoshin, or “Beginner’s Mind”. It describes a state of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconception about the right way to approach a new idea or experience.  

I didn’t have that.

Instead, I was VERY interested—embarrassingly interested, in retrospect—in letting the people around me know that I knew a LOT. That I was SMART. That I was SUCCESSFUL. 

Yes, even before I’d done any deals on my own. An
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“The Street” is Our Best Source of News

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       The differences between what I’m SEEING as I research the data for our upcoming market update series and what I’m HEARING from buyers, sellers, and colleagues is kind of stunning.

       For instance, all the data I can find says that foreclosures are only back to their 2020 levels—but I’m seeing in my own seller calls and hearing from others that there’s been a HUGE increase in the number of sellers who are WAY more behind than we’ve seen in a decade, and who aren’t qualifying for modifications, and who in fact are sort of being abused by their lenders in the sense that when they ask for payoffs or reinstatement numbers, they’re not getting them.

       The data sources say that properties are selling faster than ever, but I’m hearing from retailers that the days on market (to an accepted offer) has doubled, and that the number of accepted offers that ‘fall out of escrow’ has increased a lot, and that properties that are priced too high don’t get offers anymore, and that smart retailers are being way more conservative in how they’re buying and how they’re pricing their finished deals.

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Are You Out of Your Mind? You’d Better Be, if You Want to Get Deals

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          If you don’t understand what’s funny about this line of thought, look again, because you may have the same problem. The investor is so focused on what the INVESTOR wants that he apparently hasn’t even bothered to find out what the SELLER’S story is.

          In fact, it’s a BIG PROBLEM when we get so focused on our strategies and our goals and our desire to get a deal done that, we completely forget that unless what our strategy has to offer meets the needs of our sellers, THERE IS NO DEAL.

          Jumping ahead to “How do I write up a creative deal” before you know what the seller owes, why she’s selling, and whether taking payments would meet her goals is putting the proverbial cart before the proverbial horse. Worrying about finding a buyer for property x before you know that the seller will take a wholesale price for property x is torturing yourself for no reason.

         And it’s easy to make assumptions about seller motivation: that a seller in foreclosure will always want to sell; that a seller who inherited a house doesn’t want it; that a se
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Advice for Wholesaling “Package Deals”

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        It seems like every new Wholesale School student immediately stumbles upon a landlord who wants to sell ALL of his properties, then wants to know how to tackle a package of 4, or 9, or 37 single family homes all at once. And they're already rented, and the don't need any work, and the new wholesaler is excited because this looks like a deal that could make tens of thousands of dollars all in one fell swoop.

        These deals are problematic for a number of reasons:

  1. I rarely see one where the landlord isn't asking more-than-market for the properties. He's willing to sell, but isn't really anxious to sell
  2. It's basically never the case that the houses don't need work. Yes, I KNOW there's someone living in them. That doesn't mean that the roofs aren't 22 years old, or that the furnaces work consistently, or that they won't need a $5,000 turnover when that tenant inevitably moves out.
  3. Each property has to be evaluated separately, which is a LOT of evaluation for a deal that's unlikely to come together.
  4. Coordinating a single buyer to buy a whole package of non-turnkey properties, especially if they're in different parts of the city, isn't
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Wholefailing: The Top 3 Reasons For “Failure to Launch”

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            Go to any real estate association anywhere in the country, and you’ll meet endless excited folks who are sure that their futures—and fortunes—lie in wholesaling houses. Go back 6 months later, and you’ll find that 90% of those folks have never successfully closed a deal. In most cases, this isn’t due to “inactivity” or “fear” or any of the usual excuses. Many of these folks have actually tried and failed, to make a go of it. In my experience, there are 3 main reasons for this:

1. They don’t understand WHY wholesalers make money. They understand, at least in a basic sense, HOW it happens: you put a deal under contract, and you find someone who wants to pay more than you did, and that “more” is your profit.

But they don’t understand something very basic: that buyers don’t just write a check because the deal is available, or cheap, or even because it’s cheaper than other properties that might be for sale in the same area.

Buyers for wholesale deals are real estate investors, right? So, in order to be interested in a deal, the deal can’t just “make money”; it has to make ENOUGH money to provide a satisfact
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Ten Things to Do to Avoid Making Deals

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   Let’s face it: making deals complicates our lives.  

    When we first become involved in real estate, buying a property can be very anxiety-provoking: I mean, really, even though we’ve done all our due diligence and run the numbers 15 different ways and talked to our favorite mentor about it and it STILL looks like a great deal, how do we ever REALLY know? And this leads to self-esteem problems, as we’re constantly second-guessing ourselves and berating ourselves over our lack of confidence. 

    And even for seasoned investors, taking on a new deal is stressful—an accepted offer means that we must find a buyer, start a rehab, or put an ad in the paper to get a tenant. Plus, there’s the additional bookkeeping when the checks roll in, and, of course, the taxes to pay on the profit at the end of the year… 

    Since stress and anxiety lead to psychological and medical conditions, including high blood pressure, overeating, bad hair days, fear of success, and a whole host of others, making deals should obviously be avoided at any cost. So, I think it’s important, for the sake of our own health and well-being, that we all learn how to NOT get trapped into making a deal. Here are some suggestions: 

        1. Make Sure You Know EVERYTHING Before You Do ANYTHING. <
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