Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati

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

Why You Should Be Holding Title in a Land Trust



Do you remember 1969? Probably not. But I remember the year 1969 very well. It was the year in which I purchased my first rental house. I was still in college and realized that I needed to break the cycle of poverty in my family.  

First, I decided to get more education than anyone else in my family. So, I went to college and majored in business. While studying in college, I realized that most people in America who became wealthy did it through investment in real estate. My initial interest was in apartment buildings, but since they took large amounts of down payment money (the “nothing down” concept had not been invented yet) I defaulted to the single-family home as my IDEAL investment vehicle. 

By the time I graduated from college I had acquired three rental houses and one small office building. After graduation, I continued acquiring rental houses and titling them in my name personally. One sunny morning I woke up and realized the potential risk I was creating by owning all these properties in my own name. These were the days before you could access the county recorder’s office online. But you could go down to the courthouse and walk into the recorder’s office to look up each owner of every property in town. Wow, was I stupid! 

I began to research different ways of holding a title to real estate. When I di

Which Insurance Policy Should I Have For My Property? (Yes, it Matters a LOT)



The type of policy available to property owners varies based on the type of building, the building occupancy type, and the frequency of the building being occupied.

There are six categories for insuring investment properties, but we will look at only DF1 and DF3.  

The DF1 policy is a base policy with limited coverage for the building.  It can be used for vacant (rehab/flip), rental or owner-occupied properties, but the coverages are generally very limited, usually to:

  1. Fire and lightning
  2. Explosion
  3. Windstorm
  4. Hail
  5. Riots
  6. Smoke damage

The risk to any insurance policy is the exclusions. This list is usually rather lengthy and is “required” reading.  It explains in detail the various conditions for which the policies offer no coverage,  Some of the common EXCLUSIONS include:   

  1. Flood and water damage
  2.

Master Leasing -The Safest Way to Get Started in Real Estate (and a great way to acquire property)



In 1978 a good friend of mine got me to joint venture with him on the purchase of my first single-family investment property in Colorado Springs. We continued to buy several other houses and a fourplex together. We hired 3 different management firms to run our small portfolio. Sadly, all three firms failed miserably, which forced me into the management business by default.

Initially, I just managed properties I owned or in which I had an ownership interest. Eventually, I expanded and took on others' properties to increase income and help cover overhead expenses.

As the business grew, I quickly became aware that the toughest part of property management was not dealing with tenants but dealing with the property owners who would eat up my time and increase my stress with questions and suggestions about their properties. It was difficult for them to understand that only one of us could manage their property.

In 1984 I stumbled onto a better way to do business.

I had a good friend with a problem house he had taken back through foreclosure. He wanted me to manage the property; however, I had very little interest in doing that. Over lunch in one day, I offered to lease his property from him for 35 years at a fixed monthly amount with the right to sub-lease the house to others.

This is an example of a master lease. I told him that if I wasn't making $1,000 per month spread on the rents by the end of the lease, then I had made