Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati

Drop Your Rock



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

“The Street” is Our Best Source of News



       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.


Handling Private Lender Money



      I always get a lot of questions about how to handle the private money, so I'd like to go over a few of the basics. 

  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 will get so excited about loaning me money that they want to hand me a big check right on the spot. This is not the way to handle the situation. I want them to send the check to my closing attorney or title company just before the closing. 

      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.  


The Iron Fist Inside the Velvet Glove



Many people (especially some attorneys) do not believe there are any benefits to using a Land Trust to hold title to your real estate investments. After 40+ years of investing in Single Family Homes (and using Land Trusts for 35+ of those years) I have found that the practical (and often unforeseen) benefits of using a Land Trust are not always obvious.

Using a Land Trust to hold title to your investments is like using a gun to protect yourself. Your adversary must ask themselves, “Is the gun loaded?” If the gun is not loaded there may or may not be much protection. But if the gun IS loaded does your adversary really want to take you on? A smart adversary will move on to the next target.

In my Land Trust seminars and home study courses, I talk a lot about the many benefits of creatively using the Power of Direction (POD) in a Land Trust. This article will address some specific advantages of the POD and how you might use it for privacy and asset protection benefits.

The Power of Direction is the steel hand inside the velvet glove. The Director of your Land Trust (which might be you as the Beneficiary or someone else who is not the Beneficiary) holds all power over the Trustee. Remember, unlike many other types of trusts, the Land Trustee cannot

When to Lease/Option, When to Buy Subject To



Lease Options and Subject Tos, aka “Getting the Deed” are two very popular ways to purchase real estate with little or no money down. Acquiring investment real estate can be handled with many different approaches, but these two techniques can be implemented with little or no money down in most incidences.

A lease option is a technique which involves gaining ‘control’ of a property but not owning it. It is the right to possess a property now and purchase that property at some future date with terms you define when you buy it.

A “Subject To” is getting the deed to property without getting a mortgage for the home. Instead, the seller signs over the deed to his home ‘subject to’ the existing mortgage. The buyer in this case makes the mortgage payments on the old loan but does not need to get a mortgage themselves to acquire this home.

Both techniques usually require little or no money down. In both of these techniques, it is possible for the buyer to get money from the seller or the purchaser (or both!) in the beginning of the transaction. These techniques, when used properly, will provide for huge profits. They are both awesome, and when used hand-in-hand by investors are almost an unbeatable pair! Read More...

Fixin’ to do a Rehab



O.K., so you have gotten it into your blood, mind, and soul that you want to be a Rehabber. Take that ugly, smelly eyesore and turn it into the gem of the neighborhood. No problem, right? After all, you’ve watched all the shows on HGTV and Magnolia Network. You know all about what countertops to choose…what color schemes will wow your buyers…and, that bathroom layout you have etched into your mind is killer….

Well, there may be just a bit more to it than you think.

In this article, I want to address some of the areas you will want to start with before ever lifting a hammer or paintbrush. Some of the things which, if done correctly ahead of time, will make your project run infinitely smoother, save you time and money and allow you to keep any hair you currently have.

What Needs to be Done?

Believe it or not, this is one of the areas where most of us…even experienced Rehabbers…have some of our biggest challenges. Do I replace the windows? What about the furnace? Should I use Home Depot countertops…Corian…mid-range? There are a myriad of things to consider here, and the more experienced and wiser you become, the closer you will be to “guessing right”.

For instance, on




“If you were arrested for being a real estate investor would there, be enough evidence to convict you?” I was once asked! I wholeheartedly responded with a resounding, “YES!” You must be able to do that which makes you stand out from your competition. As you begin your campaigns as part of your overall marketing strategy and goal, continue to diligently test and track results as you go. You MUST be able to determine what marketing tools work best for you in your marketplace in order to draw the highest number of motivated sellers to your real estate investing business. 

People often ask me, “What is the best way to find motivated sellers and buyers?” My response is to do that which your competition will not and do a lot of it. Dare to be different in your approach to locating motivated sellers. Analyze, discover, and continue to rediscover the best combination of marketing methods that will generate the highest number of motivated sellers for your business. Develop three to five marketing techniques that give the very best lead-generating leverage possible and devote your resources to those marketing techniques which net the very best results. As simple as it may sound---don’t spend time on something that is n

Example of a Pure Option at Work



In 2020, I knocked on the door of a homeowner. I told him we loved his neighborhood and wanted to buy a home there. Did he know anyone thinking of selling?

As it turned out, he was about to put his home up for sale because he and his wife could no longer afford to pay their property taxes. Though their house would be paid off in a couple of years, due to being on fixed incomes, they were being forced to sell even though they loved their house and didn’t want to move.

Here’s how a Pure Option fixed this homeowner’s real estate problem. 

The homeowner said his home was worth $175,000. I agreed to pay his yearly property taxes. In exchange, he gave me the right to buy his home in the next twenty years for $175,000. Also, for each $1.00 we paid in property taxes, the purchase price would be reduced by $1.50. We also agreed to not exercise our Option to buy the property for the first 10 years of the 20-year option unless he moved from the home. 

This was a win-win deal. The homeowner was not forced to sell and move. We would capture all the appreciation gain on the property for the next twenty years. 

How often have you met with a homeowner who DOESN’T want to sell, but until now, you’ve been unable to help that person solve their real estate problem? 

Have you ever run into a homeowner with a situation like this? Pure Options are one of the least understood and least used deal structuring tools in real estate.  Now you know what to do!

Have you ever wondered what some of the secrets are to success with real estate investing?



Here's a good one that just came to mind while working with a new person in the game: Volunteering 

Volunteering is how I got started on the road to success.  

A very seasoned member of my local REIA gave me that advice when I asked him what I could do to become successful in real estate investing. He said to volunteer. And I did. 

When you volunteer, you will find it useful to have your information handy on a card to give out. If you haven't already, make sure to get yourself some basic business cards that have your contact info on them: name, email, phone number, and (maybe) address. 

I know people talk about doing things digitally but there is still an excellent case to be made for a business card. I'm pretty sure no one ever scrolls through their contacts in their phone looking at who they have not talked to lately. But they *will* take a look through a pile of business cards now and then. 

What if they come across yours, they realize they have a good profit motive to reach out to you, and then you are right there to capture the money. Won't you be glad you gave out a business card to them when you volunteered?

“Hey! It’s me again…” A lesson in the Power of Following Up



The other day I was talking to a good friend of mine about the changing market and what strategies he found worked best. 

We were sharing the various tweaks we had made to our own marketing plans and how successful they were or were not. It’s a conversation we often have.

But what struck me this time, and I am not sure why it hasn’t struck me before, was that the one strategy we always put in the success column is Follow Up. Consistently following up with a lead always works!


If One is Good, More is Better

I have always been a person who thinks in terms of if one is good, more must be better.

I figure that if I send one letter, 10 would be better.  If I make 1 phone call, 6 would be better. If I sent 1 email, 100 would be better! Okay, that may be pushing it, but you get the gist. Sending just one piece of marketing is good but more is better! I think that is why the idea of Follow Up has been something I have always used.

When I explain this strategies benefits to my coaching students, I always use the example of shopping in a store at the mall.  If you are like me, you walk into the store with a single purpose…to get the item you are looking for as quickly as possible and get the heck out of there! But if you are also like me, the store