Tag Archives: Real Estate

More Phone Calls, More Success

A few weeks ago I was bored.  Normally my mind races 1,000x more than the next person, but when I’m bored is when it really takes off.  I like my ADD.

I started wondering what determines success?

Obviously a lot goes into this equation.  But what I find is that days I spend a lot of time on the phone means a great reward over the next few days, weeks, months – more importantly years.

What is a lot of time?

When I say spending a lot of time on the phone I’m not talking about chit-chatting, bull shitting, complaining, or gossiping.  I am talking about getting things accomplished.  So when I was bored I went back through my phones history from a few days earlier.  In one 18 hour span, I was on the phone 89 times.  This was incoming and outgoing.  The number also includes 12 outgoing calls that went unanswered and 6 incoming calls that were unanswered.

Three of those calls were 3 way calls I did with my AdvoCare business builders and their new potential business builders.  Those calls are expected to be longer, and they were in fact the longest of the day – all around 20 minutes. A majority of the other calls ranged from 2 to 3 minutes – some were less & very few were more. Straight and to the point.

So what all did I have going on at that point in time that had that many calls?

AdvoCare.  3 way calls, quick calls to the up line, quick calls to the ever-growing down line, and checking in with current retail customers who just started product.  Also reaching out to those who are interested in product or the business, but have yet to pull the trigger.

Real Estate. This was a few days before we closed on the property. Numerous calls to and from the attorney, real estate agent, title company, the to be mortgage holder, our builder and my dad. Also had to call the electric, sewer & water, and disposal companies.

App 1 – SkeePet.  Our designer, developer, and my dad.

App 2 – Vet24Seven. Our business team of 8, the Co-Founders; including dad, and the CEO of Recom Technologies in Silicon Valley.

Where it stands out most is in my AdvoCare business.  The more I am on the phone with our great team, the more success I see down the road.  It is less visible with the Apps and real estate because those are longer term projects.  I would love to somehow have my stats from my phone automatically saved (they already are) and reported to me in a cool chart.

Cell phones make productivity increase exponentially if you use them correctly.

3 Weeks Dealing With Tenants

I’m having fun.

If you are a first time reader, I closed on a four-unit investment property 3 weeks ago.  If you are unfamiliar, please feel free to catch up on what I’ve been up to – One Day; $28,000 & Investment Property: Part 1, Cosmetics.

Going through this process, before and after the closing, I have heard negative stories from numerous people telling me how it’s not worth the time and effort to deal with tenants.

My reaction was and still is – 1) It’s about relationships; everything is; & 2) You must have bought at the wrong price if it’s not worth it.

About relationships.  I’m not telling you to be a push over.  What I’m saying is; listen to them, tell them you understand, but then be firm in your decision-making.

Our rule, rent must be paid by the 7th of each month.  If not, we deliver a 5 day notice that states if we do not receive full payment in 5 days they must be out by the 13th and if they refuse to do so we will see them in court.

Simple communication.

One lady, who received a 5 day notice, gave us $200 on the 10th, but that payment came with a note.  The note talked about how she was the one that took care of the property.  She cleaned it, she shoveled snow, etc, etc.  She also said she wanted to pay the rest of her rent at the very end of the month.

I immediately called her and told her that she knew the deal because she received the five day notice.  I then told her again the exact time frame and what our actions would be if we were not paid in full by the end of the 5 day notice.

I didn’t get heated, I didn’t get mad, I didn’t butt heads.  I simply listened to her and what was going on in her life – she did most of the talking (the less you talk, the more you win) and simply said, “I understand, I am sorry for your situation, but the bank doesn’t let me pay late no matter what is going on in my life.  We need your rent paid in full or else you move out.  If not a court date will be set.”  She said, “Okay, I understand too, I will move out before the 5 days are over.”

She was not upset, she agreed with my response.  Everything comes back to the person who has power and how that person acts.  If I would have made a huge deal out of it, raved and ranted, yelled and argued with her this deal would have dragged out in a courtroom.

That’s my serious story.

A funny story.

The first week we had the property I went to mow and weed-whack since the yard looked awful!  The last time the building was weed-whacked was back in 1974 when the building was constructed

Picture this.  I’m whacking the weeds like crazy.  Going to town.  It’s hot out and I’m sweating – ready to jump in a pool.  Unknown to myself, amongst the weeds; sat a cilantro plant.  Right when I chopped that sucker I knew I hit an herb.  But c’mon man, it was in the middle of weeds, so I really didn’t think it belonged to a tenant.  WRONG!

Two hours later the phone rings.

“Hello.”

“Hey man, I pay my rent early and you chop my wives cilantro plant.  Your lawn mowing crew came and it’s gone. That’s our cilantro man, we cook with it.  You killed it. We have to fix this.”

“Well, how much cilantro was there?”

About a 5 second silence.

“Ahhh, 20 to 25 dollars worth.”

“Okay, I’m sorry for chopping up the cilantro plant, I’m sure it will grow back but I will give you some cilantro.  And next year, lets find a different place to use as a ‘garden.’ Okay?”

I like telling the story in person better because I get to use my accent.

i abbreviated the conversation but the man was getting upset.  I could hear it in his voice as he went on but I told him we will take care of the problem and next year we will move his garden so there is no more trouble with this.

Over the last year I have really learned that everything works out better if you stay calm, listen to people, ask questions and before you respond always say, “I understand…”

If You Missed It

If you have missed it, here is our content from the first half of September!

One Day; $28,000

Journey Comes After Start

Eight Months & I

My Memory of September 11

Investment Property: Part 1, Cosmetics

Opportunities Left Unrecognized

Enjoy your Saturday of college football and Sunday of NFL football!!!

Investment Property: Part 1, Cosmetics

With the recent purchase of a four-unit investment property, I figure now is the time to begin “video blogging.”  Enjoy!

And incase you missed it, check out One Day; $28,000

5 Things Real Estate

Here at GT>A we love us some real estate, investment real estate.  And here are 10 things you should

1) Your home is not an asset!

Huh!?  A real asset has an inflow of cash.  Does your house do this?  Let’s think about it.  You pay out your mortgage, expenses, insurance, etc, etc and have no income from it.  This does not make it a true asset.  That being said, it does make for a happy family and peace of mind you have a place of your own.

2) Buy Now!

If you have always contemplated investment real estate, now is the time to buy!  Interest rates for commercial properties are between 4% and 5%.  That is unheard of!  The best part, currently, it’s possible to get those rates locked in for 3, 5 and even in some instances 7 & 10 years.  MOOOOLAH!!!!!

3) Financing

It isn’t all about the price, the key factor is cash flow!  The deal terms.  There are many ways to do this.  Putting the least amount of your own cash in is key!  Always search for the least amount of a down payment.  This minimizes your risk, while increasing your cash on cash return. Look for financing that allows you to stretch out your amortization schedule from 15 or 20 years to 25 or 30 years.  See if the owner will hold the mortgage, with a balloon payment after five years.  If you are confused on some of these terms – stay tuned – a beginners definition guide is coming soon!

4) Entities & Legal Structure

Real estate law is quite possibly the most convoluted of legalities.  Make sure you have a qualified attorney drafting your operating agreement, and articles of organization.  A few hundred bucks is worth it in the long run.  Most real estate is formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and many times it is recommended to have each property you own, be its own entity, under its own LLC.  This helps protect you, as the owner.

5) Real Estate Evaluation

There is a simple rule to abide by.  If you are looking at multi-unit properties, such as a 2, 4 or 8 unit; you never want to pay more than what the property is worth.  NO DUH! Right?  So what is the property worth?  A good rule of thumb is – one months rent, of the entire building, is one percent of the buildings value.  So if I were looking at a property that had four units, each unit renting for $600 a month my thought would be:

Well, $600 per unit.  Four units.  $600 x 4 = $2,400. $2,400 x 100 = $240,000. Ding, ding, ding.  In ordinary circumstances, never pay more than $240,000 for this property.

It’s that easy!

Thanks for checking out 5 Things Real Estate.  Look for our next real estate edition that defines some common real estate terms for beginners!

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