The BLOG! - MD WV HOMEBUYER
What are some tips or suggestion when staging an investment to help maximize the marketing?
Some people can look at a property and see all the potential that it holds. A bad patch on the wall is actually the perfect place for a gorgeous antique mirror. An empty medium sized room is just the beginnings of a family room with pops of blue and silver decor. An overgrown front walk way is an inviting garden of newly mulched gardenias and lamb’s ears welcoming all future guests.
Not everyone can mentally do this though. Not even my creative assistant possess the ability to see beauty in the rubble of a house. When she sees a small, plain white room with windows, thats exactly what she sees. She can’t take a room and redecorate it in her mind. This is why she relies heavily on the way the house is staged when she is marketing these properties. If I show her a beautifully staged room, then she will market this beautifully staged room with the thought process that it has all the beauty and potential that any homebuyer would want and need.
This is why we have to help others imagine the potential of the houses we are listing and selling. And even though not every seller has a decorators touch, there are a few simple and cheap steps to consider when preparing to list or show your investment properties, easy enough for anyone to do.
Detach yourself from the property
Add A Focal Point
Market your Neighborhood
This is the most important thing to do. If you only have the time or energy to do one thing on this list, pick this task! It will make a huge difference in the way your home is viewed by others.
Make the Room Feel Bigger
We are always looking for new ways to spice up our listings and investment properties.
Investors! How can you get your Rental ready at a budget friendly cost?
Considered these 3 main categories when preparing your rental that will give you the maximum value without breaking the bank.
#1. WITHOUT A DOUBT - DO THESE!
• Paint- Make sure your kitchen has a light, bright, or neutral paint scheme. Try to stay away from bold wallpapers that can make your kitchen look tacky or noisy. Lighter shades can also make the room itself appear larger and cleaner.
• Lighting- Your kitchen should always be well-lit up for good functionality. The size of your kitchen will control the number of fixtures you will need to generate the required lighting but color plays an important role as well. If your kitchen is white, it will reflect back light making the room feel bright and glowing. If you have a dark finish, you would require more light to insure proper lighting in the kitchen.
• Fixtures- While these seem like little things, they can be eye catchers. The hardware on cabinets and door knobs SHOULD ALL MATCH (typically a silver tone through all fixtures is usually recommended)
#2. STRONGLY CONSIDER THESE UPGRADES!
• If you have hardwood….KEEP THE HARDWOOD!
• If you have Tile or Laminate there are many affordable options that can be installed. Recommended: neutral, wide planked, good quality tiles for a clean finish.
**Keep In Mind**
GOOD STAND OUT:
THE POP = BACK SLASH: This is a nice accent piece placed along the wall to make the kitchen pop to the eye of the buyer. This will grab their attention without making the area look too busy. There are so many Realtors/Buyers/Sellers/and Renters that get excited when they see a nice Back Slash in a kitchen because they know that this is "The Pop".
BAD STAND OUT
MIXED MATCHED APPLIANCES: Keep your appliances all the same color (but they do not necessarily have to be the same brand). Nothing looks tackier than a kitchen with chrome and black or white and black or white and chrome. Pick a color and stick with it. There are affordable ways to find nice appliances that can match together without having to spend tons of money.
#3. MORE WAYS TO ADD VALUE!
• Repaint what you have. While you are tearing your kitchen apart to repaint, this may be a great time to replace and update your fixtures.
• Add an island or portable island to your kitchen to grab the buyers’ eye. This can serve as a very functional piece as long as it doesn't make the area look cramped or confined.
• Counter tops: refinish/paint/coat your existing counter tops to make the kitchen look more upscale. There are tons of different paint options and even ways to make the counters look like stone without paying all the extra money!
• Sometimes there are parts of the counter that are just unsalvageable. If you have kids or animals then you will understand. By adding a Butcher Block, you can cover up the problem areas. This is a genius way to save money for the seller while giving the space character and functionality for the buyer.
These are just a few ways to make your rental “live-in ready” without breaking your bank but there are many other ways as well. We find that Simple Is Key but we love to see what creativity people can come up with when refinishing their investments. So keep in mind that while this can be overwhelming, every house is unique and there are so many ways to make your home stand out to the perfect renters and/or buyers.
If you are in any kind of real estate sales then you all ready know you need to be talking to buyers and sellers as much as possible during your waking hours. The more buyers and sellers you are talking to on a daily basis is more than likely the most important leading indicator of how well you will do in your field of Real Estate sales. Just beyond the importance of the actual number of people you speak to on a daily basis is the quality of the questions you ask.. Those rank #1 and #2 on your level of success in real estate sales. Period.
Finding ways to talk to as many people on a daily basis is a conversation for another day. Today I want to write a little bit about the questions you ask.
Weak questions and conversations are hurting your business.
Great Real Estate agents master scripts on the way to a successful careers. The best have the skills to drive deep for motivation. As objections are raised they crush them and turn them back around to their clients motivation. Sales is a contact sport, you will be speaking to every personality known to man. Mirror and matching techniques can help a seller or buyer feel more comfortable. You need to have all the tools available to be successful. Dont use a hammer when the job calls for a wrench.
Beyond the skills that can and need to be developed are the questions you ask. If you are real estate investor I feel these are the four most important bits of information that you need to know in order to have a general sense of whether or not you can help the seller.
1.What is the reason you are selling?
2.How soon do you need to sell?
3.Do you have existing financing on the home?
4.Based on what you have told me what would you like to get for the home in its current condition?
This is the most important question, The reason. If they tell you they just want to see if they can get the most for their home but don’t really need to sell vs. The bank is foreclosing on me Friday if I cant find a buyer! These two situations carry a different level of motivation. Digging deeper you can find out what they need. Did you hear that? Find out what they need. We always assume a seller wants the highest price, but that is not always what they want. They may want a quick sale to relieve a headache. They may just not want to deal with an eviction. They may have the money but do not understand how to navigate a challenging situation that may involve family. They may be holding an owner finance note and be tired of dealing with collections and they do not want the property back. Find out the reason and solve the problem. Don’t try to solve the wrong problem because you didn’t dig deep enough. Secondly don’t try to sell something that someone doesn’t have any motivation to sell. That's like banging your head against the wall.
Finding out the timeline is important because motivation will change as time melts away. Also there are timeliness that take place in a real estate deal. You will need time to get a deal closed or find a buyer if that is what you choose to do..
Understanding what is owed will allow you to first see if the deal is worth investing time. If they own the property free and clear you can ask for owner financing. If they have a loan you may have to get creative and offer a subject to deal. It may be a short sale situation that will require a special attorney to close the deal and work with the bank to get 3rd party approval.
What do they want for the property. If the home is worth $150K fixed up and they want 200K, you have some work to do.. If they home is worth 150K and they want 70K then its a deal you need to pursue immediately.
Once again, Sellers need to sell home for many different reasons. If you can offer a win-win scenario with transparency and honesty, you can be successful helping your clients while building your business and your skills.
-Push Forward into the unknown
The challenge of the unknown is what you seek.
It is there that you grow
When you stop you stagnant, never stop.
push forward in the darkness, overcoming, growing.
Getting stronger, wiser, experienced.
Always move faster than your fear or doubt.
Don’t stop, When you stop you start to die, in many ways.
Grow, move, push deeper into the darkness.
Let your fear pull you forward
Soon you will emerge into a place where you’ve transformed
A new version, stronger, wiser, experienced, accomplished.
Look at who you have become.
Stop for a brief moment, take in a deep breath, Smile, Exhale.
Take a small step forward.
Push forward into the unknown.
-Bill Kenny 2018
I wrote this after reviewing the Gary Keller Quantum Leap Class Material.
Welcome the Grind and let Fear pull you toward you goals!
My Top Books of 2017
5) Build a Rental Property Empire
By Mark Ferguson
As the title states this book is a no-nonsense guide to building you rental property portfolio. I always gain motivation from others that are building businesses at a high level.
4) The Obstacle is the Way
by Ryan Holiday
Every Challenge is the raw material for achieving your goals. Conquering your difficult problems makes you stronger because you faced it a won. Do Not fear difficult problems, run toward them!
3) Crushing It in Apartments and Commercial Real Estate
by Brian H Murray
Basic road map of the authors journey to the challenges and successes in building a commercial real estate portfolio. The book follows the journey of successfully turning around a huge commercial multi family with a bad reputation and lots of crazy inherited tenants.
2) Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
by Greg McKeown
The Doers are the ones that make things happen. As you because more effective you take on more work. As you take on more and more work you find over time that stress and burn out sets in and you become less effective, unhappy and unhealthy. This book explains how to focus on your core goals, say No to those things that pull you away.. Do Less and Get more.
1) Extreme Ownership
by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin
Former Navy Seals bring the leadership lessons from the battlefield and explain how they relate to success in Business. Their Core focus is that each leader must take ownership of your actions when dealing with failure. “Their are no bad teams, only bad leaders”
Let me know if you read a certain book in 2017 that inspired you liked these did for me...
2016 Round up and 2017 Goals
Did you write your goals for 2017? I would hope so if your serious about investing in Real Estate. I have several goals related to different aspects of my life. One of those goals includes purchasing 3 rental units that turn out $250 cash flow monthly per unit in 2017. That was a solid goal in in 2016 based on my 2015 year end numbers. So I thought I would put my 2016 numbers together to see how close I came to that goal in 2016.
One thing that I am very diligent about during the year is paying bills every Monday and recording those expenses into a spreadsheet to track income and expenses. This really makes your life easy during tax time. I am able to make a PDF copy and send to my accountant to complete my taxes. Clarity is Power, and having your numbers available to track your progress can make the waters less muddy or if I dare say crystal clear. Having a source of good information to make decision will make life and business easier.
Analysis of the numbers in my 2016 spreadsheet shows that factoring out the acquisition costs for two of the homes I purchased and rehabbed in the second half of the year I cleared $215.95 cash flow per unit per month. I had a problem at one of the homes during the turnover that created a $2100 chimney pipe bill that if I could have avoided that hit I would have cleared $260 a door. My goal for 2017 is $250 for all units. I feel very confident I will hit this goal with increased rents and decreased mortgage payments.
My first goal is to refinance out the private money at three of my rentals that are being held at higher interest rates. This will allow me to reduce the mortgage payments and make that money available again for more acquisitions, all the while increasing cash flow. If I have the equity I planned when I purchased these home I will have to hit the LTV numbers needed to put as little cash in as possible. The general market is appreciating. I hope this help me achieve my goals.
What are your goals? What kind of processes do you use to measure success?
Investment Real Estate gives you multiple ways to make money unlike most other investment types.
Here are Five things to strongly consider when choosing an investment class.
1. CASH FLOW – When you purchase Investment real estate
correctly the property should cash flow. Over time these cash flows
can passively make your wealthy.
2. MARKET APPRECIATION- If you buy right, over time
historically values appreciate. This will allow you to cash out of your
investment at a higher price then you paid.
3. EQUITY CAPTURE- If you know your market and work
with professional guidance you can purchase property at discounts
and capture equity at the time you buy in.
The advantage to this is can be used in many ways.. Most
importantly you make your money when you buy. If you
refinance the property after repairs are made this will reduce
the amount of cash needed out of pocket, if any.
4. PRINCIPAL PAY DOWN – Your tenants pay down your
mortgage with every rent payment they make. This is why you only
purchase investment property that cash flows. These payments
increase your equity over time.
5. TAX ADVANTAGES – You receive tax advantages related
to mortgage interest, depreciation, any expenses related to your
property as well as 1031 tax exchange advantages.
When I started in the wild west of real estate investing I had little information or direction. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and went out and bought a rental home. I bought it from a local investor who owns many properties. I’m sure he thought fresh meat coming.. here you go, here is one for you. Having No idea of the extra expenses or the management side of the business. The monthly payment / taxes / Insurance minus rent made sense. Not so fast my friend! I’ve learned many valuable lessons from that home but one of the best lessons I learned and am still learning is how and where find property that makes sense to purchase as a buy and hold. After that one I struggled for several years until I took a real estate investing course which did only one thing.. Pushed me to network. Thank god for that! From that point on it has been a different trajectory. Here are a few of the easiest and more basic ways to find “deals” that I have found make sense.