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Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati

Author: Mark Dolfini (47 articles found) - Clear Search


9 Habits of Highly Effective Investors

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In my 25+ years in the real estate business, I bet I've met more than 100,000 investors at all levels of knowledge and experience. Some have become amazingly successful, while others have lost steam or experienced dramatic failures.

During this time, I've noticed that there are certain characteristics that come with real estate investing success. As a matter of fact, that I have come to believe that I can predict with fair accuracy whether a particular investor will be successful. All I have to do is find out a little about their attitudes and actions, and I'll know what their chances of becoming successful are.

Before I outline the specific characteristics that I've found in successful investors, I’d like to define what I mean by "successful investor".

A successful investor is NOT the person who owns the most properties or does the most deals, or who has the most zeros in his net worth.

A successful investor is simply a person who knows what he wants - financially, personally, and in terms of what he wants to contribute to the world - and successfully uses real estate investing as a way to get those things. For a successful real estate investor, real estate is a means to an end, not an end u
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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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Creating that Work-Life Balance so You Can Play Hard, Too

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I got into the real estate investing business to have more free time for myself and my family and to have the financial freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I wanted my life to be more worry-free. I have spent a great deal of time accomplishing that goal and I want to share some of my insights with you as a real estate entrepreneur.

When you decide to become a Real Estate Investor, make sure you structure your business in such a way that it doesn’t become overwhelming, even more so than a full-time job could be. It’s very easy to fall into that trap, especially if you work from home. You can also fall into the trap of trying to do everything yourself, and long-term, this just won’t work. Believe me when I tell you that most tasks in your business need to be delegated to others starting with your marketing.

In my case, I like to work from home and most of the functions of our business are handled offsite and by Independent Contractors.

Working from home has its advantages and challenges; the biggest challenge is that your work is always right there, calling you to finish one more thing, day, and night. But if you realize this in advance and set certain boundaries, it can make it a lot easier to avoid that pitfall.

O
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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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How to Write Marketing That Works

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One of the most important aspects to a marketing campaign is to create a solid mail piece for your business: one that sellers will actually respond to.

Here are the key things to remember when you want to create effective messages:

  1. Don’t just explain what you do or what you’re offering;  “touch” your prospective seller with “the dream”, or “the solution” to their problem. You’ll want to touch the basic emotions and the needs of your seller within the body of your letter, whether that is fear, relief, greed, pride, or vanity.
  2. Keep it simple. The grammar doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect. You want to reach this person at their comfort level. Keep your letter relaxed, personal and conversational.
  3. Use simple language; don’t fill your letter with big words or technical words or “industry jargon” that your seller or your customer might not understand.
  4. Don’t make your letter hard on the prospect’s eyes: use paragraphs so that there is a specific break between thoughts and so that the letter just flows better and is more pleasing to the eye.
  5. Even though this is
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The IRS’s Side Hustle Crackdown

Utah Real Estate Investors Association

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“Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten.” - George Bramwell

Who doesn’t love extra cash? These days, a lot of people need to work more to make it. Call them hustles, gigs, second jobs, or part-time on the side… They all amount to additional employment for a few extra bucks. 

Extra bucks for Uncle Sam, too, in the form of taxes. The government wants those dollars – and sure isn’t shy about coming after them with new rules and new powers of enforcement.

Here’s how to protect yourself. 

New tax and reporting

Almost half of working Americans – some 70 million people – report having a side hustle; tens of millions more want to get one. Lots of extra cash flying around? Not really: A lot of respondents to a recent survey said they make only a couple hundred bucks a month from a side job. 

Too bad there are 12 months in the year. <
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Can’t Get Anywhere in your Business? You May Be Suffering from Entrepreneurial ADD

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The coffee shop is quiet for a change. The normal morning bustle has yielded to a lull, giving the baristas a chance to enjoy a break and catch up on some cleaning before the lunch rush.

I’m only partially aware of what’s going on around me because at the moment, I’m busy obsessing over my Ameritrade account. I’m WILLING the number to go up just a few more cents. The problem is it’s been going in the wrong direction for months.

My obsession is interrupted by my phone. It’s a call from a tenant living in one of my rentals who has a toilet that won’t stop running. She’s already told me twice and I keep forgetting about it.

With promises to stop by before the day is over, I barely hang up when I get another call, this time from an investor with a mobile home park deal that I’ve been putting off for weeks because I haven’t made time to look at the numbers and see if it’s a deal worth doing.

Meanwhile, my email pings to remind me of a wholesale deal I’ve been working on, and the seller is wondering when we’re going to close.

Just then, a commercial comes on the TV about the excellent investing
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4 Crucial Things “They” Never Tell You

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An interesting thing happens when people become successful real estate investors: like any true convert, they start to want to proselytize. And one of the primary characteristics of any good missionary is the desire to emphasize the good and de-emphasize the downsides of one’s religion.

Have you ever noticed that most successful investors remember their early years in real estate as “not that hard”, or “scary, but doable”? Yet if you ask a new investor who’s in the midst of trying to find his first few deals, he’ll more than likely describe this time as “terrifying”, “overwhelming” or “nearly impossible”.

Remember, dear readers, that your mentors and colleagues are (for the most part) not deceiving you intentionally unless they’re trying to sell you something. It’s just that they want you to succeed as they’ve succeeded, and that, now that doing deals is second nature, they’ve honestly forgotten a lot of what it was like to struggle in the early years. You may have been guilty of this yourself: I know I’ve been. But unlike most of you, I have a forum from which to atone for my sins of omission
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Handling Private Lender Money: Don’t Take it Lightly

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Getting money from private lenders is surprisingly easy, once you understand how to find and talk to them, but there’s another very important aspect of private money that touches on legal issues that you need to know about. Let’s go over a few of the basics of how to handle private money right, once you get it:

1. Touching the Money.
2. Co-mingling funds.
3. When do the payments start and end?

1. Touching the Money

Sometimes when people hear the kind of interest I pay, they get so excited about loaning me money that they want to hand me a big check right on the spot. This is not the correct or legal way to handle the situation.

I know that some of you are so eager to launch this new phase of growing your business that you really want to grab that first check, but don’t do it.

Here is why: you have promised the lender that the money is secured by real estate. So, legally, you shouldn’t be in possession of unsecured money. Until there’s a deed ready to secure it against, don’t hold it, don’t put it in your bank account—don’t touch it at all. <
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The Clock is Ticking: Get a Marketing Strategy Now!

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We all know that developing an effective marketing strategy is essential to getting any business off the ground, especially as we roll into this changing market.

Educating yourself and discovering how to locate and motivate potential sellers to contact you is a must in making your real estate business a success. You must be able to locate prospects who want to do business with you.

You must find the sellers who need to sell, not just want to sell their properties. This is essential to your success as a real estate investor in any market, but will also determine how your next 12-18 months look: will you get lots of good deals in this softer market, or waste the opportunity?

Know this: marketing is also a numbers game. The more leads that come in, the more opportunities you will have to make deals. You won’t buy every deal that comes your way, but when you develop a “marketing machine” that brings in quality leads, you will be able to pick and choose the deals you want to do.

Let’s talk about QUALITY leads. You cannot afford to waste your money-making time on unqualified leads! Using a shotgun approach such as signage, business c
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