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AGENT ATTACKED! what you need to know | Episode 59

A real estate agent was attacked during a routine showing of a two-bedroom apartment! This is NOT an isolated incident, and you need to know what danger signals to watch for. I’m Carole Ellis. This is episode 59. --- So just last week, a male real estate professional was attacked in a two-bedroom apartment with LOTS of other people close by, and he almost didn’t live to tell the tale. It’s a dangerous world out there for real estate professionals – and investors in particular – folks, and you have got to be alert. REI Today’s Scam Alert List is a great way to stay informed about the latest scams, cons, and attack tactics that the worst of the worst who are targeting OUR PROFESSION are using to hurt you physically and financially. Sign up now at www.rei.today/scamalert (one word) and you’ll immediately get access not only to our 2016 Red Flag Report that identifies the most common “tells” that a contractor or other real estate professional is out to get you, but you’ll also receive our Real Estate Investor Safety Guide, an ebook dedicated to helping you keep yourself safe without sacrificing your access to deals and your ability to turn a profit. Go to www.rei.today/scamalert (one word) and sign up for these valuable resources and ongoing alerts about safety and security right now. Now, here’s what happened to this real estate professional and how you can prevent it from happening to you. This guy, he lives in Milwaukee, was ready for a routine showing at an apartment complex. Now, just a quick side note right here: he had several things working in his favor (you’d think) before he ever stepped in the door of the property. For starters: he’s a guy. You hear all the time how women should never show alone, but men do it all the time and no one really points out that it’s not really that safe for a guy to show alone either. And in this instance, the guy’s wife was waiting for him in the car, probably making him feel even more as if he had covered his safety bases. Furthermore, the agent was showing an apartment. BY DEFINITION, an apartment is kind of in the middle of a populated area. It’s not like a vacant house in a blighted neighborhood. I probably wouldn’t have thought much about showing that property on my own either. After all, there are residents all over the place, right? Well, turns out, NO. So let’s keep going. This Milwaukee real estate professional gets to this routine showing of a two-bedroom apartment and he meets a young woman who is allegedly a prospective tenant and he goes inside where he is PROMPTLY AMBUSHED by two masked gunman, one of whom was hiding in the bathroom. They whacked him over the head with their guns, stole his wallet, iPhone, and wedding ring, and then, fortunately, fled the scene instead of killing him. And they’re still at large, and now they know just how easy this is to pull off. So what went wrong, and how can you protect yourself from a threat that is likely to be replicated over and over again in our industry? Well, the investor himself said that if he’d checked the property out before entering, he’d have realized that it wasn’t secure. After all, the gunmen had to break in to set up the ambush. If he’d checked the locks on the doors before entering, he’d have realized something was amiss. This is even more important when you’re showing a home, since there are more entry points than in an apartment. Broken windows, jimmied locks, and unlocked, open doors or windows are all signs that someone might be inside, and you should proceed with caution. Want to get more information on this and other related real estate crimes? Well, be sure to sign up for our REI Today Scam Alert List to make sure you don’t miss anything that represents a threat to your physical or financial safety. Go to www.rei.today/scamalert to join. And remember, we’ve got lots of safety-oriented information in the REI Today Vault as well, so you can text REI Today to 33444 to make sure you’re on the list for our reports and analyses, breaking news, great trainings, news coverage, interviews, and lot more timely information that will help make your investing safer, faster, and more profitable. I particularly recommend you check out the interview I did recently with a real estate expert who still “door knocks” (to great effect, I might add) to find deals. He addressed how his family handles the safety issue associated with that practice in a vault item titled “Bill Twyfords UNCUT Interview.” And remember, when you join us, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country. Text REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444 or head over to www.rei.today/vault right now. REI Nation, thanks for listening in and always remember this: Your best investment is your own education.

More Episodes

7/19/2016

ETHICAL CHANGES to Twitter Usage that could cost you EVERYTHING | Episode 93

What if your TWEETS are violating certain codes of real estate ethics and advertising that could put you on the LOSING END of a lawsuit? I’ll tell the latest in new Twitter-verse regulations for real estate professionals in today’s episode. I’m Carole Ellis. This is episode 93. --- Twitter may only give you 140 characters with which to express yourself, but that doesn’t mean that your local board of realtors is going to give you a pass if you tweet something that isn’t 100-percent ABOVE BOARD with their ethics regulations. Fortunately for you (if you’re a realtor, anyway, and honestly just in general to make sure you’re practicing good real estate business) the Realtors’ Code of Ethics, which tends to keep pace with other governing bodies’ regulations and ethics requirements, has recently been revised to accommodate the new needs of tweeting real estate professionals. There are three major changes that could mean great things for your Tweet promotions, but make sure you handle them correctly or you could find yourself on the losing end of a lawsuit. First, the issue of disclosure. Technically, until recently you were supposed to disclose your ENTIRE COMPANY NAME in every tweet, which, as you can imagine, made tweeting kind of a moot point for a lot of people. Now, however, you can simply link to a display containing information about your company, but make sure that link is in your tweets if you don’t want to find yourself facing ethics scrutiny. A lot of real estate professionals use their Twitter profile to publicize this information. It’s unclear from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report on this subject whether or not that’s technically sufficient. Second, and this is more of a timeframe issue, but it’s been changed because of the dynamic nature of advertising these days, if you find yourself dealing with a grievance complaint in a realtor’s association setting, then you only have about a month-and-a-half, 45 days, to wait before you get a resolution. That’s great news for everyone involved, but it does mean you had better keep up with all your deadlines because there won’t be a lot of timeline flexibility. Thirdly, and this is important for your EMPLOYEES, ask that employees who may tweet about your business to add a disclaimer stating that their opinions are their own in their Twitter profile. This protects you not just from negative publicity if someone gets annoyed with you and tweets about it, but also protects you in the event that an employee tweets something about your company that could land you in ethical trouble. It may or may not completely cover your bases, but the NAR says it will certainly help. Want to know more about how to legally AND effectively use Twitter in your real estate business? Check out our compilation of Twitter Tips and Legal Tricks in the REI Today Vault at www.rei.today/vault. It’s labeled with this episode number 93, and it’s full of information that will make your tweeting more effective and help keep you within the bounds of safety and ethics while you Tweet as well. Not yet a member of the REI Today Vault? Get your access right now! Join right now by texting REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444. When you do, I’ll provide you with fast, immediate access to the report as well as a lot of other timely, insightful, PRACTICAL information that will help make your investing safer, faster, and more profitable. And folks, remember, when you join the Vault you join our community, which means you have the opportunity to network with me, my guests, and your fellow listeners across the country. So go ahead right now and text REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444 or visit us online at www.rei.today/vault. REI Nation, thanks for listening in and please always remember this:
7/14/2016

the OFFICIAL WORST PLACE TO LIVE in the United States | Episode 92

Wouldn’t you want to know if YOUR CITY was the official WORST PLACE TO LIVE in the United States? I’ll have the identity of the metro area earning that dubious distinction in today’s episode, along with how you can turn that title to your advantage if you live or invest there. I’m Carole Ellis. This is Episode 92. --- So what’s the worst city to live in in the entire country? Well, it’s probably not where you’d think. This city beat out Milwaukee, Buffalo, and Detroit for the title, and the judges of the contest, such as it is, at 24/7 Wall Street cited income inequality, high rates of violent crime, and sky-high houses prices as the reason for their decision. Oh, and the city also was recently awarded the title “rudest city in the United States” by another news and tourism outlet. So there’s that… So what city takes the cake for unpleasantness on all sides? Well, I’ll give you a hint, it’s located in sunny southern Florida, has miles of sandy beaches, and nearly perfect weather. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, it may be hard to believe but MIAMI, Florida was named the “Worst City to Live In” in 24/7 Wall Street’s most recent awarding of the title. Now, many fans of Miami and Miami tourism locals have been quick to point out that words like “best” and “worst” are extremely subjective, and that’s fair. However, whether you LIKE or AGREE with the results of this type of study or not, if you choose to invest in Miami (or in any other area that has recently gotten a top-10-worst bad rap) then you are going to have to deal with them because your potential buyers are going to have read them: trust me. The best way to deal with this kind of negative publicity is to first become informed about it, then run with it. For example, in this instance, one of the main issues that the researchers cited for Miami’s low livability score is its terrible affordability when compared to other cities of similar sizes across the country. The city’s median income is about $22,000 less than the national average and housing is about $64,000 higher than the national average. Furthermore, according to the same researchers, about one in every four people in Miami live in poverty. They then went on to point out that the income gap in the city, that means the gap in earning power between the richest one percent and the AVERAGE of the other 99 percent of earners scored a 45, meaning that the top one percent earns 45 times more than the average of everyone else, making Miami’s metro area, quote, “nearly the most unequal of any U.S. city.” End quote. So all of that sounds pretty negative on the face of it, but the important thing for YOU as an investor is to consider how relevant this is to your target market, then adjust accordingly. For example, if you are investing in luxury properties in Miami, the entire study is probably going to be largely irrelevant to your buyers because it simply does not directly affect them. On the other hand, the other “99 percent” as it were, of buyers, may find the results problematic, but if you represent a solution to their housing affordability problem (maybe via creative financing or just offering really great rental opportunities) then you’ve at least muted the study there, too. Most people will be more concerned with their personal situation than in their city’s national ranking anyway, so appealing to their personal, specific needs will quite likely resolve those issues. The real fallout from this type of study tends to affect investors who work mainly with other INVESTORS, interestingly enough, because people with little personal interest vested in an area may opt to avoid it if they believe that it has too many negative connotations. In this case, you should simply rely on local housing TRENDS and your own personal experience, complete with evidence and case studies, to make your case for you. Investors tend to view their money without a lot of emotion, so if you can prove that your strategies work in a “top-10-worst city,” then you’ll probably be okay. Want to see exactly why Miami got such a bad rap in 24/7 Wall Street’s study? We’ve got a bullet-point list of exactly what the problems were in the REI Today Vault at www.rei.today/vault. join right now by texting REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444. When you do, I’ll provide you with fast, immediate access to the report as well as a lot of other timely, insightful, PRACTICAL information that will help make your investing safer, faster, and more profitable. And folks, remember, when you join the Vault you join our community, which means you have the opportunity to network with me, my guests, and your fellow listeners across the country. So go ahead right now and text REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444 or visit us online at www.rei.today/vault. REI Nation, thanks for listening in and please always remember this: Your best investment is your own education.
7/12/2016

the ONE THING that GOOD LENDERS are really looking for | Episode 91

Wouldn’t you like to know the ONE THING that a truly GOOD LENDER looks for that will very nearly GUARANTEE YOU FUNDING for your real estate deals? I got on the phone WITH A HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL REAL ESTATE LENDER to get all the details, and I’ll tell you what she said in today’s episode. I’m Carole Ellis. This is Episode 91. --- So wouldn’t you like to know anytime you asked for a loan for a real estate deal that you already basically HAD IT IN THE BAG because you were giving the lender exactly what they are looking for? If you’ve always wondered how real estate money gets from underwriters to YOUR DEALS, then you’re going to love today’s episode. I got on the phone with Heather Dreves, director of funding for Secured Investment Corporation, a real estate lender present in 90 percent of the U.S. that specializes in real estate lending (so you’re not dealing with someone who doesn’t understand your business like you probably have if you ever tried to get funding from a private lender or a mega-bank), to find out exactly what makes her underwriters approve a loan. The answer was surprisingly simple, as you’ll see. Here’s what Heather told me: In the end, we’re looking at the “whole story,” she said, noting that a good loan not only will have a borrower with “skin in the transaction,” meaning that the borrower has a vested interest in making the deal work, but will also have some education under their belt. Here’s the interesting thing: just because Heather’s underwriters require education does not mean that if you’re not already a seasoned investor, you can’t get a loan. In fact, Secured Investment Corporation actually has training that they offer to investors to educate new investors about buying properties and rehabbing them. “That way, we know we’re dealing with someone who knows what they’re doing because, well, we know what we’re doing!” Heather told me. I like that: a lender who is going the extra mile to make SURE your deals are good and that they succeed instead of just assuming that they can foreclose on you and still make good if your deal falls through on your end. I asked Heather about credit as well, since we all know that real estate investors don’t tend to have the greatest credit because so many of us have multiple mortgages, have our credit pulled regularly as part of the financing process, or have more than one project going at once. “We do pull credit on most of our borrowers,” Heather told me, but she added that in her experience, using credit alone to evaluate a borrower is “skewed.” She said, “We’re not looking for a credit SCORE, we’re looking for a willingness to make payments and good payment habits.” That means that if you have late accounts all over the place going back 10 years or so, you may have a problem, but if you have good payment habits and just a so-so credit score, your borrowing “story” as Heather refers to it, is still a good one. “We call what we do storybook lending,” Heather told me, “because we really want to know the investor’s story. What’s going on, where you came up with the amount of money you need, and what your experience is.” She added that these things don’t all have to be perfect because they are looking at the total picture, the WHOLE STORY, instead of just a few isolated pieces. And here’s an interesting side note, folks: you can see that Heather’s company does some FANTASTIC due diligence on their lending investments, and YOU can benefit from that due diligence in another way if you have money you want to INVEST in lending with someone who clearly takes care of their lenders’ interests as well as their investors’ interests. You can learn more about how to get involved with Heather on the lending side by checking out the show notes in the REI Today Vault. Let’s just say they’re basically the “Amazon.com of real estate lending” when it comes to full service for their lenders… Now, I think you’re probably starting to see what an INCREDIBLE ADVANTAGE it is to have a real live lender on speed dial, as it were, to talk to you about your deals, your borrowing, and your strategies. This is only the tip of the iceberg, folks. Heather told me SO MUCH MORE than I could ever fit into a single podcast, so I strongly recommend that you read the entire, uncut interview in the REI Today Vault and check out a special REI Today Report on Secured Investment Corporation that lays out, in three EASY POINTS, the three BIGGEST MISTAKES Heather encounters investors making on a DAILY BASIS that cause them to lose out on funding for deals that SHOULD be good ones. We’ve also got an exclusive training from Heather and her colleagues at Secured Investment Corporation in the vault, it’s called “6 Steps to Getting Your Money to Outlive You,” so head over there right now to claim yours at www.rei.today/vault. Don’t delay, and if you’re not yet a member, don’t worry! You can become one right now by texting REITODAY no spaces, no periods to 33444. When you do, I’ll provide you with fast, immediate access to these reports and trainings as well as a lot of other timely, insightful, PRACTICAL information that will help make your investing safer, faster, and more profitable. And folks, remember, when you join the Vault you join our community, which means you have the opportunity to network with me, my guests, and your fellow listeners across the country. So go ahead right now and text REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444 or visit us online at www.rei.today/vault. REI Nation, thanks for listening in and please always remember this: Your best investment is your own education.