Real Estate Investing – Strategies to Become a Successful Investor and Create Wealth

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Real estate investing is one the pillars of wealth creation in the world today. The last time I looked at the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans, I could still count over 31 tycoons listed as billionaires.

In the same vein, you have individuals in your city and state who have made their fortune and hold their wealth in property investments.

Why you need to invest

In his essay “Theory of Human Motivation” first published in 1943, Abraham Maslow, father of behavioural psychology observed, that people are motivated to fulfill three basic needs. The three basic human needs are food, shelter and clothing. And many people will try to fulfill these three needs, before any other need.

When you invest in real estate, you add value to your customers in one of the important area of human needs-shelter. You are investing in an evergreen industry.This is why, I believe you should include property investing as part of your wealth-building portfolio.

However before you go out and buy your first property you need to have the right plan of action to succeed. The first thing you have to be aware of is that…

Goals are important.

Your need to know, what you want to accomplish:

  • Are you looking at wealth accumulation within a short time frame (3-7 years)?
  • Are you investing for the Long term (retirement)?
  • Do you want be a Full time investor and derive all your income from your real estate investment?

When you ask yourself these critical questions, you are able to focus and achieve your dreams.

You need to develop critical success traits.

It is important you develop or become aware of the traits, you need to win as a real estate investor. Five main traits are important for success:

  • Competency in your niche, this means you know about the basics, at the minimum and then become excellent in the niche you decide to invest.
  • Control over your emotions. This is important if you are going to stay in the investing arena for the long haul because there will always be difficulties in the real estate market. The difference between a novice and a professional is the ability to ride the eye of the tiger without getting into the belly of the tiger. Being a real estate investor takes guts and you need to have them if you want to become wealthy
  • Comprehension. This means know your market cold. You understand who your customers are, what they are looking for, why they want to deal with you. If you lack these key trait-insight into your market-you are doomed to fail.
  • Consistency. This means you have focus and discipline to, take action daily, weekly until you accomplish your goals.
  • Integrity. You stay true to your principles, because integrity is important in real estate. This means you are trustworthy, to your bankers, investors and tenants.

Strategy vs. tactics

The strategy (what to do) is more important than the tactics (how to do) of real estate investing. Let me explain.

If for instance, you wanted to gain wealth in a very short term then to buy and hold real estate, which is a long-term strategy-will not be the right strategy to achieve your goals. Flipping and wholesaling properties- buying undervalued properties and selling at a higher price to gain profit-may be the best strategy.

Knowing enough vs. Knowing it all

I think it’s important to have an understanding of real estate investing, however you don’t need to know all about real estate investing to start.

You need to one thing that I think is important for an investor… You need know enough about the basics-how to analyse properties, how to get financing, and how to assemble you real estate team together. That is it.

If you wanted to make a full time career as a real estate investor, then you would have to know more. You would have to specialize in a niche.

I am not going to spend many hours learning about short sales, wholesaling and foreclosing investing especially if I am not going be a full time investor. It would be counterproductive for me, when I should spend my time doing what I am best at doing.

Let’s recap, to succeed investing in real estate…

  • You need to understand why you are investing in real estate.
  • You need to develop critical traits for success as a real estate investor.
  • You need to choose the right tactics to match your investing objectives.
  • You need to know enough about what you want achieve

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Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Finding the Best Locations for Buying Rental Property That Nets the Highest Returns

Turnkey-Rental-Property

You have heard it before. T, the first three rules of real estate are Location, Location, Location, and this is no different when buying rental property. If you are in the market to purchase rental property real estate, you need to know your market. Below is a series of steps you can take to fundamentally understand your real estate market and determine the best areas in which to purchase your buy and hold properties.

Establish Where the Rental Markets Are

Here is a systematic way to figure out which rental markets in your area will have the highest potential returns.

  1. Have a realtor put together a list of properties that have sold in your area. You are going to want to find sales data on “bread and butter” rental properties – properties with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 800sq ft – 1200sq ft with a basement and a garage.
  2. Take the list of properties and sort them by sales price.
  3. Once you have the properties sorted by price, break them up into 3 groups – the lower third by price, the middle third by price, and the upper third by price.
  4. Next, take a map and start to plot out the three groups of properties. For each group use a different color marker on the map.

Once you have the map populated with, you should start to see trends on the map. The properties priced in the lower third will likely have the potential to generate the highest return. These are the areas you are going to want to investigate further. If you have lived in the area, you probably have a general idea about these areas, but you need to set that aside for now because to truly know the market you need to complete the next steps.

Drive the Targeted Market

Once you have established a few areas, you are going to want to get in your car and drive through the neighborhoods. When you do this, you need to take note of the things listed below. Please keep in mind that you should be looking for trends in the area. You may see one house that is particularly good or bad, but you are really trying to look at the neighborhood in general, so look for trends.

What is the condition of the homes in the area?

Do you see solid homes, with good roofs and freshly painted trim, or do you see you see old dilapidated homes with broken windows?

Are the properties kept up?

An easy way to tell this is by looking at the condition of the landscaping. Do you see mowed lawns with flowers planted all around, or do you see long grass and overgrown weeds? The condition of the landscaping can provide a great deal of insight about the people living in that neighborhood.

What does the neighborhood look like?

Look at the streets, are they clean, or is there trash strewn around. Look for sidewalks. If you are driving around outside of school hours are kids playing in the streets? Or in contrast does the neighborhood give you the creeps. You are really looking to answer the question “Do my tenants want to live here?”

Talk to People in the Neighborhood

It is really a good idea to speak with people in the neighborhood. If you see someone walking down the street, stop and let them know you are looking to buy real estate in the area and ask them about the neighborhood. Or, you can stop in a local business like a market or a gas station and talk to the guy behind the counter about the area.

Once you have established your target markets, and driven the areas, you should be able to quickly see which markets you want to invest in, and which markets you do not. To document this you can easily take a map and highlight the streets where you will consider investing.

Determine the Returns

The next step is to look at the potential returns you will generate. This is a very simple thing to do, and you can follow these steps.

  1. Speak with a local property management company about the rental rates for a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home with a garage and a basement in the area you have selected. The property management company should be able to give you a very good idea of the rental rates and also give you some more feedback about the area in general. You should also inquire with them about their rates for property management.
  2. Look up the taxes on a few properties to establish what you can expect to pay in taxes for properties in the area you have selected.
  3. Speak to an insurance agent about the cost of insurance for a property in your target market.
  4. Calculate your net income. To do this, simply take your rental income expected for the year and subtract the taxes, insurance, and property management expense.
  5. Calculate your return. To do this simply divide the net income you calculated in step 4 by the price you will be paying for the property.

With this information you should be able to see what kinds of returns you can generate for your targeted area. An interesting exercise to perform is to also calculate your return on areas where homes are selling at a higher price. What you will find is that the neighborhoods may be a bit nicer, but your returns are going to drop quickly.

 


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Key Attributes of a Good Property Manager

Key-Attributes-of-a-Good-Property-Manager

Property Management is a career profession. The industry allows for employment growth, continual learning experiences, and the opportunity to work with diverse people and income groups. The Property Manager can work either directly for an owner of real estate properties, or for a property management company, contracted by an owner or legal entity to care for the real estate over a specific period of time.

The Property manager has a fiduciary relationship with the management company and property owner. A fiduciary relationship is one that is based on a mutual trust and complete confidence in one another.

The Property Manager is provided an owner’s real estate portfolio to manage to its “highest and best use” in exchange for an employment contract or salary. Real estate assignments for the property manager includes apartment buildings, condominiums, hotels, storage facilities, shopping centers, office buildings, government subsidized properties, rooming houses, abandoned buildings and plots of vacant land, to name a few.

Here are some crucial skills must be accepted as required attributes and learned skills in order to be a good property manager.

1. Must Know and Stay Current on Local Ordinances and State Laws

Managers are required to perform their work according to the laws of the land. The government (city, state, and federal) dictates how real estate is to be managed, from requiring a real estate license (depending on the state), to the use of the real estate (such as rent control laws). From proper trash removal to how and where we must keep security deposits, the manager has to keep abreast of the many legal requirements of managing real estate. If a mistake is made or a task is forgotten, it could cost the owner his or her property, and/or a management company’s reputation, loss of the account, or even the loss of real estate licenses.

2. Must Be Highly Ethical and Honest

Property Managers work on the Honor Code when they handle other people’s money. By collecting rent, security deposits, laundry machine money et al, the property manager holds a fiduciary relationship with the property owner and/or management company. The owner entrusts the property with thousands of dollars each month, plus the value of the real estate itself. The manager is hired to perform at his or her highest level of integrity. On a daily basis, the property manager’s good judgment and sense of what is right and wrong is called into play.

3. Must be Detail Oriented and Organized

Managers collect the rent daily, and must ensure that each rent is paid and posted to the tenants’ account as received. Financial records detailing each and every rent transaction are kept, either by rent cards, or on the computer. Lease expirations and renewals, rent increase letters, and rent invoices must be mailed on time. lines for court appearances must be kept, and clients must receive their written monthly report of operations. A skilled property manager is able to multi-task, keep site files organized, and prioritize repairs and assignments.

4. Must Have Good Communication Skills

Managers must be able to communicate with people from all walks of life, cultures, ethnicities, and personalities. Managers must be able to articulate their cases in front of judges, talk to the owner, negotiate with vendors as well as speak appropriately with tenants, who are often frustrated, upset, or angry. A good manager must be able to stay calm, and communicate in a professional manner. Familiarity speaking in other languages is always a plus.

5. Must have Good Computer Skills

Computer competency is a technical skill, like driving, typing, etc. The use of email, mail merge, and faxing through the computer is at the heart of property management today. This is especially true if the property is on one part of the city or state, and the home office is a distance away from the site. If a manager does not have a solid command of the computer and its basic programs, such as Microsoft Word and the spreadsheet Excel, you may be hard pressed to find an administrative position in this field.

6. Should Like Working with the Public

If everyone paid the rent on time by the fifth day of each month, the manager would not have rent collection work to do. If a property never had problems, such as toilet overflows, lost keys, or defective smoke detectors, a property manager would have little to do. Therefore, it is important that a manager enjoy dealing with people with problems. A manager should at least like helping tenants with dignity, and in a responsible manager. If you do not like being interrupted several times a day with a dilemma to solve, this type of job may not be for you.

7. Must Be Patient and Have a Sense of Humor

There is some pressure involved working with the public. There are days when nothing seems to go right, and if you happen to have a headache that day, it could be a long 9 to 5. A calm personality or a good sense of humor will take you a long way in property management. If you tend to be high-strung, anxious, or become angry or impatient while working with tight deadlines or with people with problems, you may want to re-consider taking on this profession.

8. Must Like to Read and Conduct Research

There are many types of leases, agreements, forms, and other legal documents that must be signed between tenants, the manager, government agencies, the site attorney, and/or the owner. Real estate and governmental regulations change; the manager must be willing to read up on them and stay current. Documentation must be read and checked before submitted to tenants, agencies, the owner, etc. If you do not like to read in order to keep up with the latest trends, legal and industry changes and terminology used, you will not be able to properly do your job.

9. Must Have a Strong Sense of Duty and Commitment

Ensuring that the tenants under your control are treated with respect, have heat and hot water, are not subjected to or committing illegal activities or disruptive behavior of their neighbors, are some of the managers’ duties. Tenants depend on the manager’s sense of obligation to the property and the families or professionals who live in it. The manager may not always have the funds to do everything all the time, but what can and should be done, such as keeping the building clean, and having a sense of urgency to get work completed in a timely manner.

10. Should be Flexible-Minded

Property Management is a fluid profession, in that it follows economic, governmental, industry, and societal changes that impacts how a property is managed. Managers who still like the “good old days” of mistreating tenants and making rental applicants jump through unnecessary hoops to get an apartment (or the opposite, by not checking anything), will find him or herself out of touch, and maybe out of a job. The ability to accept changes of law, obey fair housing laws, have a positive, or at least a neutral, attitude about people who are different, and above all, to be open-minded, is a key element of a successful manager.

11. Must Be an Excellent Follow-Up Person

A manager can never assume that a repair or rent payment plan will happen on its own. Our mantra is: “Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!” This is one of the most critical skills of a good property manager. The ability to multi-task, keeping several balls in the air without dropping any of them is challenging, and difficult at times. The ability to successfully multi-task is often rewarded both financially and in promotion decisions.


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

How to Analyze a Rental Income Property

How to Analyze a Rental Income Property

It has been said that more millionaires have been created through investing in real-estate than any other type of investment. However, for the unprepared and uninitiated, the potential for catastrophic financial decisions is always present. In this next article in our series, we’ll look at some of the key location factors that influence the value of residential investment property.

The single most important factor influencing the value of your residential investment property is consistent and strong demand from your potential renters and buyers. So it stands to reason that you should be buying rental properties in same places that people want to live. Although this sounds simple, too many new investors fail to consider the long term potential of the area when getting started with real-estate.

State Level:

State regulation and fiscal policy has a great deal of influence on a residential investment property. State business and personal income tax, as well as goods and services sales tax can have a huge impact on the in-migration of people and business. More regulation and taxes means fewer businesses and jobs. Fewer jobs means fewer people, fewer people means less demand for your property (i.e. lower rents, lower property appreciation and lower return on investment from your rental property). When investing in real-estate, consider States with strong, pro-business policies.

City Level:

As your geographic location begins to narrow, the location factors affecting your residential investment property start to become more specific. Although a city’s policies on attracting and retaining business is still very important to the long term outlook for jobs, immigration and in-migration, more local factors like large regional employers and a diversified industries become increasingly important. When buying rental properties and considering specific cities, look for an unemployment rate that is less than the national and state average. Also look for higher than average household income (national and state). Strong local employment and higher than average incomes means the area is growing and this will ultimately attract more people.

Neighborhood Level:

As you begin to narrow down the neighborhoods within your selected city, there are several factors that will impact your real-estate return-on-investment. Proximity to schools, shopping, business and transportation should all play a role when buying rental properties. Consider the city’s expansion plans for any light rail public transportation. Historically, investing in real-estate near (but not too near) the future site of a transit station has produced properties that have appreciated at a much greater rate than average. From the household shopping to the daily work commute, relative location and access to transportation are some of the most significant factors people consider when choosing where to live and should be a major factor in your decision when buying residential investment property.


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Tips For Better Real Estate Management

Tips-For-Better-Real-Estate-Management

Managing rental properties can be a tedious process sometimes landing you into legal issues. As a property manager or owner, you should think about preventing problems even before they occur to have an easier time maintaining order. Apart from making your tenants feel worthy, you should also find ways of making the management process easy for you especially when handling large properties or multiple properties. When you are organized in how you handle your property, it becomes easier to keep everything in check and a few tips can help you put in the best measures into the management process.

Tip 1 – Get a professional property manager

If you are a property owner with little knowledge of how to go about management, you should consider getting a professional property manager to ease out the process for you. Professional managers with some knowledge and experience in the real estate industry will know exactly how to go about the process and find organizational solutions to ease everything out. When there is a manager in place, you will feel more at peace and have fewer issues to deal with.

Tip 2 – Embrace technology

There are very effective real estate management solutions available thanks to technological advancements. Real estate management software is among the best solutions you can find to make the process easy and organized. Such a solution can improve communications and payments and data maintenance for the property. With the right system you will have an easy time collecting, returning and holding security deposits, as well as inspecting and documenting rental unit conditions before move-outs. There is just so much you can do with real estate management software to streamline processes so look for the best solution.

Tip 3 – Handle tenants appropriately

First of all you should consider screening tenants before allowing them into your property. It is a simple way of keeping troublesome characters off your property. It is also important that you put tenant landlord agreement in writing to keep things clear and ensure that you treat all tenants equally and without any discrimination. Discriminating prospective tenants based on sex, race, origin, disability or even familial status can land you into trouble. It is also important to respect their personal privacy even if the property is yours by notifying them prior to entering their rental units. Handling tenants appropriately will save you from a lot of trouble especially legally.

Tip 4 – Keep the property in top shape

Regular inspections are very important so you can make any improvements and changes where need be. Recklessness on your part leading to safety and security issues can lead to hefty losses in terms of compensations. You should therefore make a point of making prompt repairs and consider having a security system in place to give your tenants the sense of security they deserve as well as ensure that their safety is not compromised in any way.

Tip 5 – Oversee managers

They should be competent enough to keep your property in check. It is therefore important that as a landlord you choose and supervise property managers. Background checks and clearly spelling out their duties will prevent issues cropping out later.


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

The Purpose of Investing in Real Estate Should Be to Create Passive Income

The-Purpose-of-Investing-in-Real-Estate-Should-Be-to-Create-Passive-Income

When investing in real estate there are many different avenues to choose from. When deciding which avenue is best for you, it’s important to consider the difference between passive-income generating avenues and earned or working-income generating avenues. In fact, in my opinion, understanding the difference between passive income and working income is one of the most important things to consider when investing in real estate.

Working Income vrs. Passive Income:

Working Income: Working Income is buying a house, fixing it, and then selling it for a profit. Or building a house then selling it for a profit. Or my favorite is buying a house, holding it (hoping it will appreciate in value, while losing money every month), then selling it.

Passive Income: The best way to understand passive income is to play Robert Kiyosaki’s board game, “Cash Flow 101.” To win (get out of the rat race), you have to get your monthly passive income to exceed your monthly expenses. It’s a real eye-opener. In his game, the quickest way to achieve this is purchasing cash flowing rental properties. Passive income is income that is earned without you doing the work to earn it. Rental income is a great avenue for passive income.

Here are a few reasons why investing in rental properties are an attractive avenue for investing in real estate:

Lower Taxes: Passive income is one of the lowest taxed forms of income, especially rental income. Uncle Sam likes that you’re providing affordable housing and is willing to cut you some slack on the taxes. When you buy, fix, and sell a property, that income is taxed as capital gains and you’re going to pay Uncle Sam 25-40%. Also, owning rental properties is a business, allowing you to write off operating expenses of your business.

Depreciation: This is a benefit often overlooked. Owning rental property provides a non-cash write off over the useful life of the property. Depreciation is defined as the loss in value of the property over time due to wear and tear, physical deterioration and age. Residential income property is depreciated over a 27.5 year period using straight line depreciation (or in other words, depreciated by equal amounts each year over its useful life). While your accountant will do the math, the point is, it’s a non-cash expense lowering you overall tax liability.

Time: Perhaps the best benefit of investing in turn-key rental properties is that it creates time. Remember, passive income creates time, working income takes time. The problem with working income, not only in real estate but in any business, is you have to keep working to make money. The whole reason why any of us get into real estate is for the life-style it can provide. To me, real estate is a means to and end. It doesn’t define who I am. But if done right, it provides time and money to be, do, and have everything I want in life. That’s what this is all about. While a measly $200/mo cash flow on a single family rental property doesn’t sound as sexy as flipping a house and making a quick $15,000, you have to look at the bigger picture.

For example; if you acquire 20 turn-key properties from Equity Services, LLC, each providing $200/mo cash flow, that would be $4,000/mo passive income. That money comes in while you’re eating, sleeping or surfing on the beach (we have a lot of Hawaiian investors)! Now there is some work you’ll have to do, unless you get someone else to do it. Someone has to walk to the mailbox to collect your checks! I get my kids to do it. (There’s more to it than that but you get the point). If 20 properties seems too hard to achieve, remember the old saying; “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” Well, how do you acquire 20 rental properties? One house at a time! We have one client, Mitch, who is buying his first rental property from Equity Services, LLC. His goal is 500 units in 3 years. Wow! He’s definitely caught the vision of passive income.

Equity Services, LLC = Turn Key

When we’re asked what it is we do, we often state that we sell “turn-key rental properties.” In fact, if you look at our company logo, you’ll see a house with a key. So what does turn-key mean? It means, we have a system in place to handle everything from acquiring the properties, to managing the renovations, to providing the tenants and everything in between. While there are many benefits to using Equity Services, LLC such as our houses are priced right, they have equity, etc., the real value we add is by saving you the time and energy to acquire solid cash-flowing properties. We have a strong relationship with the banks and purchase distressed properties at a discount. We renovate the properties to our high standards (we have rehabbed over 100 properties since 2007). The property manager handles filling the units and managing the tenants. As Timothy Ferriss states in his book, The 4 Hour Workweek, “Our goal isn’t to create a business that is as large as possible but rather a business that bothers us as little as possible.” We have developed a proven system that saves our investors their valuable time. Every now and then we run into the “do-it yourself” investors. We had one investor who gathered information from us, flew down to Michigan, and bought a house. He quickly found out that it wasn’t as easy as he thought, especially long distance. If anything, it helped him appreciate what we do.

Before you run out and quit your “working income” J.O.B., consider this; Keep your job but focus on building your passive-income empire. Use you earned income to invest in more passive income. Then as Robert Kiyosaki teaches in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad, once your passive income surpasses your expenses, you’re financially free. And remember, “profit is only profitable to the extent that you can use it. For that you need time.” (T. Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek)


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com

Always Bet on Safe Real Estate Investment Rather Than Quick Investment

Always Bet on Safe Real Estate Investment Rather Than Quick Investment

Financial planning and investment is all about finding out where to invest your money so that you can get the best possible returns. Real estate investment has always been considered as safe because seldom the demand for real estate witnesses a dip. Property investment is the safest and there are strong reasons as to why it is given priority than other forms of investments like mutual funds, bonds, stocks and ETF. You can literally grow your money through property investment with minimum risk.

Investors skittish of stock market investments prefer to invest in the real estate market but there are many who have not yet got over the 2008 downturn. Scars of those days have not yet healed for many and they are not ready to invest just for the sake of property investment. They need strong and logical reason behind this investment; they prefer to wait it out rather than put in all their money hastily.

If you take property investment decisions in haste, chances are high that you will end up with something in your portfolio that would fail to produce the desired ROI. In property investment, only four different routes prevail; however, here we are going to look at only two of the most popular ones.

First: You can go ahead and invest in a rental property

Second: You can buy shares in the REIT or real estate investment trust

Buying the rental property is quite straightforward method wherein you buy a rental property and give it out on rent. However, this type of investment is not for everyone as many fail to juggle their professional lives and at the same time upkeep a property like a landlord. It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain the property you buy unless you are using the services of a management company. You can obviously use the services of a management company but be ready to take a cut in your profits.

On the other hand if you invest in REIT, you don’t have to actually own a property on the ground and go into the landlord-mode. It operates just like a mutual fund and the only difference here is that it is property investment. The trust is a group of investors who make property investment and lets the individual investors buy its shares. The trusts are able to receive tax benefits as they pay a major chunk of their income to their shareholders. You can buy shares on public investments, which implies that your investment is quite liquid. You are ensured of regular dividends.

Two other methods of property investment that are often used by investors include notes and croudfunding portals.

Notes – You will be able to invest in second mortgages, paper notes etc. You can even sell or buy notes just like other real estate invest estates. The best thing is that there are no brokers involved in this.

Crowdfunding Portals – Many people with similar investment interests can come together to fund real estate investments. This is a new form of investments and is being tried out by some.


Memphis Buy And Hold is specializing in locating, purchasing, renovating and managing single-family and multi-unit properties and possesses over 8 years of experience in real estate investing and property management in the Memphis and Nashville markets… Learn More…… www.memphisbuyandhold.com