Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chris Chico's Real Estate Voodoo Part 2

So, I called the 6 people who left messages with information using the "script" that Cris Chico provided.

1. One guy dropped $60,000 off his listing price for his triplex right there on the phone.

2. One lady is a good prospect for a short sale on a reverse mortgage, but seems to have a foot injury that precludes her involvement for the moment so I will need to follow up with her.

3. One guy was just calling to see if I was one of those "lowballers"... why, yes, indeed I am.

4. One set of sisters who have an inheritance have differing levels of motivation. The out-of-state sister is far more motivated to sell than the in-state sister.

5. Two guys are also investors but they don't want to sell their properties at a price low enough for me to wholesale... though one's property has 2 houses on it which can be sold separately. He's a bright savvy guy, but the amount he wants to net might preclude wholesaling the houses - and he has them happily rented, so we'll see. He did mention wanting to cash out to pay off some debt. He might turn into a more motivated seller.

6. The other wants too much for his duplex, but is working on a wholesale deal in another area and might be a good wholesale buyer.

A total of 31 people called to listen to the recording, which, by the way, is still the one from Michael Jake's coaching program that I took in the spring. I use and they've made their customer sign-in button disappear so I can't sign into the account to change the voice mail. That was very frustrating.

An aside: All of the coaching students in Michael Jake's program have done at least one deal if they did what he said to do. I got sidetracked by bulk REOs (which my sellers never were able to deliver or if they did, I never heard anything), then summer came and I had both kids at home with no help, so no time to do real estate investing work.

Back to Voodoo... I checked out the triplex this afternoon and will give the owner a call tomorrow morning to see if he'll drop his price some more. This place needs a lot of work, though it's considerably better than some I've seen. Two of his units will be vacant as of next month, so he should be even more motivated. And, I'm going to continue to follow up with the short sale prospect. Her deal will be a win for both of us.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chris Chico's Real Estate Voodoo

So, I let the Virtual Wholesaling program go a while ago. I didn't really see the point of paying almost $900 a year for online access to a program. However, I got a recent ad from Cris Chico (Virtual Wholesaling's creator) for his Real Estate Voodoo program. It only cost $27, so I figured, what the heck; why not try it out?

Well, boy howdy! I already had a source for absentee owner leads as I can get them through my title company. Therefore, I didn't need the videos on getting leads through Realquest or SiteXData. I also already have an automatic answering/voice mail service, so didn't use the one he recommended. But... the postcard that he gave and the instructions for using Click2Mail to send them were excellent.

I sent approximately 600 postcards that went out Monday and the calls started flooding in Tuesday. It's Thursday and I've received 25 calls and 6 of them left messages saying they're interested in selling property. I'm very happy with that response rate. The mailing cost right around $170.00 and if I can flip even one of these properties, my returns will be amazing.

I've been watching the videos on how to speak to the sellers and how to craft the offers. In order to follow this program, you need to have sitexdata comp reports, so I just ordered those and must wait for approval (on a free trial) before I call the sellers back.

So far, the Real Estate Voodoo program is simple, easy to follow and quite effective. Frankly, I like it better than the Virtual Wholesaling site - ESPECIALLY for the price! The Real Estate Voodoo web site is actually lined up, top to bottom with the document you need, videos explaining what to do and links for other web services.

I'll let you know what happens when I call the sellers using the script that Mr. Chico provides.

Until next time...

Friday, July 31, 2009

What's Been Going On

Quick update.... Mr. Goins put out a new (updated) Ultimate Buying Machine system in October 2008. I bought mine in October 2007. However, for people who purchased the system from him, there is access to a website with all the updates. That's a refreshing change from say, Cris Chico's system, which costs about the same, but is internet based, does not offer as much... and is only accessible for a year. If you let Cris Chico's Virtual Wholesaling system expire, which I did, you get an email with the header "I must be crazy to take you back." Well, don't let me make you crazy, Mr. Chico, I ain't comin' back.

Anyway, back to Larry's system. The updates have all the newest bookmark links online. Now, you're supposed to be able to download them... but I wound up clicking each link and creating each bookmark in Firefox. It took me about 2 hours. The whole time, I kept thinking how much longer it would have taken if I actually had to go search out all of this information... and believe me, there is a lot of amazing info contained in the links alone.... Now to follow the Ultimate Buying Machine and figure out what I need to do with all this info.

Also, I just couldn't resist... had to do it. I bought Dwan Bent-Twyford's short sale teleseminar system that starts Monday. I got an electronic manual and forms and will have a pre-recorded teleseminar emailed each Monday that I can listen to at my leisure. It has homework for each week and promises that I will have a deal closed at the end of the 4 week training. It also comes with coaching access to Dwan. I'm pretty psyched about that.

Until next time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bulk REOs, MLS REOs and a Bus Tour

Boy, I've had a lot going on lately. I've met with several investors who want to buy bulk REO packages. Some of them have almost unimaginable amounts of funds (not quite like the bailout, but you know, big...) and some want to buy one or two houses with the package. It's a pretty sweet deal. All we need is to get Letters of Intent and Proof of Funds from all of the willing participants and we'll be good to go.

And, I even know how I'm going to be paid. I'm going to get 1% of what my investors spend. The bigger investors so far have been introduced to me by this wonderful realtor - and he and I are going to split the 1% down the middle for the amount his investors purchase.

I've also spent three days looking at bank owned properties listed with Realtors. I have one amazing Realtor who sends me lists every day of properties with at least $15,000 in profit potential. We've looked at a dozen properties and made offers on four. I also worked with another Realtor who is investor friendly, but is not nearly as on-the-ball as the other. I'm going to make a couple of offers on properties with her as well.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. Our market in Denver is HOT right now. Houses under $200,000 are only on the market for an average of 44 days. There's a lot of competition - but it doesn't scare me. I just have to go out there and make the offers that make sense for me. I'll get one and another and another...

Once these offers get accepted, I will send them out to my buyers list that I've created by networking with other investors. I'm putting in offers low enough that I will have some wiggle room to wholesale the properties to the other investors and they will make the lion's share of the profits.

Oh yeah, I've also been listening to Ray Cooper's CDs on selling houses. I would recommend them to anyone at all who needs to price a house in any market. He's got it nailed on how to figure out the correct pricing to sell a house fast. Not to mention any and everything else you might need to know to sell a house. He's sold over 1500 in his 23 year career. The man knows what he's talking about.

So, on Thursday, we went on an ugly house bus tour in Colorado Spring with Michael Jake. I'm in his Platinum Mentoring Program - and it rocks! We looked at a whole bunch of houses and learned how to make an approximation of the repairs needed in about 20 minutes. It was very helpful to go through the houses and see what sort of house you should bid on and what you should pass on. The angry house was possibly the worst - it had frowny eyebrows. And really bad neighbors on both sides. And had been "remodeled" so it was horrible inside. Let's just say that one was a "pass."

Tomorrow, there's an REDC auction that I'd like to attend. Some of the properties have bids starting at $500. The valuations they list in their auction catalog are all high according my research. However, I want to go in order to meet the people who are bidding on the houses. They'll be great additions to my buyers list.... It's an important thing to remember in this market. Build your buyer's list first! That way, you know that #1 you're looking for what they want and #2 you have a buyer when you get a property tied up under contract. And, if something's cheap enough, I might just buy one myself (you can't really go wrong with a $500 house)

I may need to bring the kids to the auction because my husband is playing in the state racquetball championships. That should be interesting...

Until next time.

I almost forgot to mention that my bus benches have finally gone up! Calls are not pouring in, but I have gotten a few. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Court Room Humor

My Dad forwarded this to me in an email and as I read them, I laughed so hard tears came to my eyes. Let me apologize in advance to my lawyer friends... I'm sure these questions are not yours.

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I,Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ..

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the circus was in town, I'm going with male.

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for bloodpressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law..

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bulk REO Packages

In my quest to become a successful real estate investor, I have been attending CAREI meetings and anything else they offer. I've met several already successful investors to add to my buyers list and made a connection with someone who is working to put together a package of bulk REO properties (REO means real estate owned by a bank - generally, it's properties taken back in foreclosure) that they are selling at .60 on the $1.00, according to the bank's BPO value (BPO is broker's price opinion).

Since that seems like a very good deal, I've contacted several folks, including a wonderful realtor who answered an ad I put in Craigslist. These people want to buy 13 houses (so far) and I could probably get at least 3 more by making a few more calls. What can I say? Apparently no serious buyer turns down that kind of deal.

So, tonight I talked to the guy and he is emailing me the paperwork to give to my buyers. They need to put the money in escrow for the properties, then will get a list of properties to choose from and must close within 7 days. Frankly, I'm not too clear on how I'm going to get paid on these deals... though a few of the buyers have offered to pay me a finder's fee.

I'm probably not the Queen of Negotiation in this case - but it's really exciting to see this happening. If it works the first time, I'll be able to contact several more people to buy properties... talk about the ability to make a profit with no money out of pocket! This rocks. Even though it's nothing that was even addressed in any of the courses that I've gone through.

Eventually, I will get some of my own properties. My main goal is to have a steady passive income. They tell me that some of these properties are multi-families... which is what I want. So, this is kind of like Dave Lindahl's chunker strategy - buying single families to flip in order to get multi-families to hold.

This first house buying spree is supposed to go down on Friday. I'll definitely be on top of it! If it works, it can happen every week or so - this is so exciting!

Until next time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

VENA Jones - Goddess of Real Estate Rants Against Unethical Practices

I can't tell you how much I appreciate Ms. Jones for the following rant. She's been in this industry a long time and practices what she preaches... This is particularly applicable to my blog, as I'm sure that I've purchased some of the information passed along as useful that really isn't...

Anyway, here is Vena's rant:

My official rant against the current state of the real estate education industry
Vena Jones

I’ve Had All I Can Take of This…

For years now, I’ve been very restrained in sharing my opinion of the real estate education industry and the precipitous decline in quality and sharp increase in cost of the information available.

Hypocrisy alert: a big part of the reason for this uncharacteristic hesitation to share my opinion on this topic has been a sort of self-serving desire to avoid burning bridges in the “guru community”. I can guarantee you that the very act of writing this article is going to get me banned from events, webinars, and other opportunities that could potentially make me a lot of money. As it happens, I tend to sell a lot of courses to the students of some of the gurus that I’m about to blast, because the fact that I actually TEACH and have actually DONE DEALS is such a change of pace to their customers that the flock to the back of the room to buy from me. I am guessing that these words will literally cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales in the next few years, and perhaps a few students who don’t agree with me, and will certainly earn me widespread and open criticism from the folks who are doing the things I talk about here.

Another reason for my silence has been a desire to avoid the whole, “she’s just saying this to torpedo her competition” backlash. I fully understand that there will be some who view this as a self-serving attempt to draw people away from other instructors and to me—and yes, I happen to think that I provide a higher quality of education (and certainly a higher standard of service) than many of my “competitors”. Otherwise, I’d just retire and be done with it.

But despite all of this, I’m breaking my silence, and here’s why: the fact that I am a provider of real estate education does not obviate the fact that I am also a consumer of it. I literally receive and review more than 30 new courses every single year. I learned real estate the same way you are—by depending on people who’d been there first, made all the mistakes, and had a system that worked to guide me. I love real estate education and the way it can make a real, long-term difference in people’s lives. I continue to learn new strategies primarily from other people, because I’m smart enough to know that reinventing the wheel is stupid. Given my extensive experience as a student, I have a pretty good idea of what a quality course looks like and what it doesn’t.

Plus, thanks to my “behind-the-scenes” look at what really goes on at seminars, webinars, bootcamps, etc, I am in a unique position to explain and critique things that you aren’t even aware of about the education business.

And frankly, a lot of what I see makes me ill.

If you could overhear the cynical, predatory way in which many gurus talk about their customers…if you were constantly approached by students of these gurus who can’t understand why they can’t get a return call from the salespeople’s office after spending $4,000 on a bootcamp…if you understood the total focus on “sales per head” as opposed to providing quality product…you’d be as sickened by it all as I am. So *deep breath* here goes.

I believe that real estate education can and should be a wonderful resource. And trust me, I have absolutely no problem with charging for it. People who’ve learned the ropes, developed a system, and have the ability and desire to teach others to do the same are amongst my favorite people. When, in addition to being great teachers with great information, they also hone their sales skills to the point where they can also pitch well, I think that they should charge whatever the market will bear to make others rich.

However, I also believe that the education industry has been overrun by vermin. Yep, vermin. “Gurus” who have done 5 deals using someone else’s system, who then repackage it and present themselves as experts even though they have almost no experience to back it up, who have nothing new to say, who are selling courses that cost thousands of dollars just because they can, should be ashamed of themselves.

I’m talking to you now, vermin: if your most pressing concern is how many dollars per head you can sell instead of how detailed and informative your product is and how useful it is to your students, please get the HELL out of my business.

If you’re one of the many “gurus” I meet who can’t explain a land contract, or doesn’t know what fair housing is, or actually believes that it’s OK not to study and grasp your own business, you shouldn’t be able to pitch real estate education and sleep at night. I don’t care how many people you sucker into buying your garbage.

I don’t care how many millions of dollars your last launch made. Yes, you make more money than I do selling courses—I get it. I don’t care. You’re preying on people’s desire to get rich, and you can’t back it up with information they can actually use. You tell them what they want to hear from the stage, then give them inadequate information that makes THEM feel like THEY’RE stupid for not being able to generate the big, fat checks you’re showing them on the screen.

If you reach deep into your heart and find out that you don’t actually care about your students lives or their success, please do them the favor of getting a job as a used car salesman.

I believe that you should know the truth about how the money in the real estate education industry works. You know how every week you get 30 emails from 15 different gurus offering you the same course (with different bonuses) and letting you know that you’re going to die/fail/lose your hair if you don’t buy it?

That’s called a joint venture, and here’s how it works. Guru “A” contacts all of his guru friends and offers a 50% cut of every course the Guru A sells. Gurus B-Z then send out professionally prepared emails to all of their students personally recommending A’s course as the be-all and end-all for your future success. A JV “partner” (that’s B thru Z) with a sizable list can stand to make tens of thousands of dollars (plus possible win the “top partner” prizes, which range from Rolexes to Hawaiian vacations) for sending out a few emails to their customers.

Again, I’m a good capitalist. I have no problem with this arrangement on the surface. The problem is, THE JV PARTNERS HAVE OFTEN NOT SEEN OR REVIEWED THE COURSE IN QUESTION, or, in some cases, they are actually aware that it sorta sucks!

Now tell me, if I were to send out an email saying that I had made tons of money with this course, and you needed to get it, too, and I had never even seen the course, wouldn’t that make me…a liar?

I have had enough experience with these people and enough conversations with the JV “partners” to know that the whole “my friend A has this great course” thing is largely bull. They aren’t friends, the JV partner hasn’t made any money from the course (other than by selling it, of course!), it’s all meant to play on YOUR loyalty to guru B. Pathetic—and the reason you’ve never seen a JV email from me. And if you ever do, it will be because I’ve read and used the course in question and actually believe in it.
Oh, and ditto the financial arrangements in a live event or webinar. While the host is standing at the front of the room raving about how great the next speaker is, you need to think about the fact that 50 cents of every dollar you spend on said speaker’s product goes into the pocket of said host, and take all the over-the-top praise with a little grain of salt. Yes, even when the next speaker is me: I’ve been introduced as “close friend” and even “partner” of people I never laid eyes on as of 10 minutes before going on stage. And I can usually give my presentation anyway, after I throw up just a little in my mouth.

I believe that there are certain terms that, when we hear them come from a guru’s mouth, should send us running for the hills. “Virtual Investing” is one. I’m sorry, I know the internet is a powerful tool for finding deals, buyers, and money, but the idea that you’re going to sit at your computer all day and make deals on properties you’ve never seen, then sell them to people you never talk to, is a pipe dream. A CRACK pipe.

Trust me, I get emails on a daily basis from people who’ve bought into this crap, and my general response is, “Dear Idiot, the property you’re trying to sell me for $25,000 is one that I offered $16,000 for a year ago when it HADN’T been sitting vacant for 12 months. And it doesn’t need $3,000 in work as the seller reported to you, it needs $50,000 in work. And the tax appraisal that you based your ARV on is 2 years old AND was too high even then, because it was based on the illegal flip that sent the seller into foreclosure in the first place. Do not waste my time pitching me on properties you’ve never seen.”

REAL ESTATE IS A PEOPLE BUSINESS. If you’re going to be successful, you have to talk to someone, at some time. If you hate people, buy a course on how to deal with them, not one on how to avoid them.
Oh, yeah, and let me put “turn key” and “done for you” into the same category. Surely we are not so desperate in this country as to believe that “something for nothing”. Yes, some INVESTMENTS can be turn key—buy a property from my friend Missy McCall Hammonds (yes, she really is my friend, we had breakfast together on Tuesday) if you want to own a property without management. But no BUSINESS—which is what buying and selling properties is—can be “done for you”! YOU have to do it! And anyone who tells you otherwise either doesn’t understand his own business, or just nakedly wants your money and is willing to say anything to get it.

I believe that promoters and REIA groups need to take some responsibility for the explosion of bad education. Every week, I see that some of my most respected guru colleagues and some of the best REIA groups in the country are giving a stage to some of the worst “flavor of the month” speakers around. Guys, I get it—they sell a lot, and we all need the money in our coffers. But whether we’re association board members or seminar promoters, we all owe it to our members and customers to put QUALITY educators in front of them. They depend on us to do SOME level of screening of these gurus, because, frankly, many of them are too inexperienced to have a frame of reference to sort out the bull from the good stuff for themselves.

It is NOT ok, in my opinion, to put a speaker on your stage wholies, or who sells garbage, or who doesn’t give refunds or who doesn’t fulfill mentoring or any of the other numerous sins that a lot of these people are known for, no matter how well they sell. Your buyers should not have to beware of people that are on your stage. “Caveat emptor” certainly applies online, where most of these folks seem to primarily reside, but an attitude that says, “hey, he sells well, people want it, who am I to judge?” is all wrong. We talk to each other all the time. We know who has good stuff, so why are we discussing who sells well?

Don’t get me wrong, I want speakers who can sell, too. And it’s not that I’ve not had some fairly significant missteps in this regard—I can think of at least 3 presenters that I’ve booked on the recommendation of others, only to watch horrified from the back of the room as they claimed to have done 3,000 deals in 5 years (I kid you not) or as they discussed their new breast implants with the audience (again, not kidding) rather than teach anything. But for heaven’s sake, I don’t BRING THEM BACK. Ditto if they don’t honor refunds or don’t return calls from students or any of the dozens of other front of the room or back office atrocities some speakers are known for.

I can tell you for certain that if you see a speaker on MY stage, or hear one on MY webinars, it’s because I’ve vetted them AND their product AND researched them with other promoters and on the web, and that I think that their strategies are very workable for the average Joe, and that I will not say I’ve personally used them if I haven’t. and if I screw up (it happens—speakers that I’ve worked with in the past sometimes change their programs or develop fulfillment problems as they become more successful), I’ll say so.

I believe that undisclosed “forced continuity” programs are immoral, and are going to land some people in jail—and when they do, I’m not even going to send soap on a rope. If you’ve been a victim of one of these programs, you know what I’m talking about: you buy a course, then find that your credit card is being charged $19 a month or $39 a month or $99 a month and you don’t know why.

Again, I feel obligated to say that there’s nothing wrong with the programs themselves. My Inner Circle is a continuity program, and I happen to believe it delivers incredible value for the price. And my program isn’t “forced”—when your membership expires, we don’t just grab your credit card number off the order form and start charging you! You have to proactively say that you want to join.

The problem with some speaker’s programs, though, is that they neglect to mention that you’ll be charged for them at all, and they bury the permission you’re giving them to do so in the fine print of the order form. The theory is that most people don’t look at their credit card statements carefully enough to notice a little charge like that every month, and that one can make a fortune just off the people who don’t cancel for months on end because they don’t notice it. And it’s a workable theory—just one that is pissing off a LOT of customers these days. Check out the chatter on the internet about this: many people are saying they can’t even get the guru to stop charging them when they ask, until the customer finally runs a chargeback on their credit cards.

I’m telling you, this is exactly the kind of business practice that prosecutors love to get their hands on. And in this case, rightly so. It’s wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I believe that it’s up to the consumer to have a little sense about this stuff. There’s a reason for all of those old saws about money and success… “You don’t get something for nothing”. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” When did we lose our grasp on the idea that success=work? When did we start believing that there WAS such a thing as “get rich quick”? Why is it that so many people thank me for “revealing” that real estate is a business that requires investments of time, effort, and money, and yet buy from the guy who says that it’s all done for you?

Here’s the deal: if you’re looking for someone who tells you what you want to hear, shows you 5 figure checks that his students have earned, and makes the real estate business sound like it’s all beer and skittles, I can point you to dozens of gurus who will be happy to fulfill your need to be lied to. But if you’re serious about knowing the warts and all, and you don’t need hype to be happy, and you’re willing to work hard to be rewarded in an extraordinary way, stick with the people who aren’t willing to blow smoke up your skirt in order to sell you a course.

Your gut will tell you when you’re in the right place.

STOP The Silence 12for12K Challenge

Just writing the blog hurts my heart. I can't even stand it when I see children fall on a sidewalk. My skin literally crawls in sympathy. You can imagine that being sexually abused is a sight worse. While I can't imagine how someone could do such a thing to a child, if I can do something to prevent it, then I'm being the good I want to see in the world.

This is just such a cause. is a group that selects a charity a month and goes forth to raise $12,000 for each charity during their sponsored month. You can give to the charity by going to and donating. They're only asking for $10 per person. $10 is like 2 trips to Starbucks. If you can treat yourself to that, you can share $10 with an organization that's doing good in the world. This month's charity is called Stop the Silence.

"The Mission of Stop the Silence is to expose and stop child sexual abuse and help survivors heal worldwide. The charity’s overarching goals are to:

1) help stop child sexual abuse (CSA) and related forms of violence;

2) promote healing of victims and survivors;

3) celebrate the lives of those healed."

Do you know someone who was a victim of sexual abuse when they were a child? You sure? One in four American girls are sexually abused as children and one in seven American boys are. This is a silent epidemic. Abused children are afraid to talk about the abuse. I understand that most sexually assaulted children are abused by someone they know, love and trust.

According to the world health organization (WHO) in 2002, 150 million girls and 73 million boys were sexually abused. I don't have a calculator at hand, but that's approximately 1 in 30 of everyone in the world. If that's not an epidemic, I don't know what is. Yet, it's quiet; hidden - not spoken of lest the adult abuser be put to shame. Nevermind that they've destroyed a life - or more. The children only know that someone they trusted did something they shouldn't. And if xxxx gets put in jail, who's going to put food on the table? Do we listen as well as we should to our children?

My mom was a guardian ad litem for a court system. She saw first hand the evil that adults can do to children. It's the only time she's wanted to kill someone. A friend in my Mom's Club works directly with abused children in a local center. It's her training and she's glad she can help. But she has a 2 year old and it eats at her soul.

I am incredibly protective of my children's innocence. I imagine that I'm not alone in wanting to protect children. We can help a group that's making a difference by donating to this month - February - for Stop the Silence. Make a difference today. Share $10, share what you can.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ultimate Buying & Selling Machine; Mentorship Program

Ultimate Buying & Selling Machine:

So, one of the first things you are supposed to do when setting up the Ultimate Buying & Selling Machine is to put a list of bookmarks into Mozilla FireFox. I loaded up FireFox with no problem... but the bookmarks are in MS Word and I have NO IDEA how to move them from Word to FireFox easily.

Note to Larry: Please tell me how to put the links from the Word document into FireFox. I'm fairly technically savvy, and if I'm having problems, so are others.

So, I guess I'll have to transfer the links one at a time, then categorize them, one at a time, into folders. I need an assistant to do it for me.

Mentorship Program:

I am so behind on doing the 4 things I needed to do for homework.

1. make a basic financial statement
2. decide on 3 month goal
3. create basic plan to reach it
4. make one on one appointment

I am putting the financial statement together. That should only take a few minutes as I already have all the information written down.

My 3 month goal is to make $50,000.

How do I do it?

First, I need to find home sellers. I plan to post ads on bus benches in areas I want to target. These are solid blue-collar areas that are below the current Denver metro median price of $203,000. I also want to do direct mail campaigns to absentee owners, burnt-out landlords, pre-foreclosure homeowners and Realtors for sellers.

Second, I need to find wholesale buyers and/or renters. I will do a mailing campaign to people who have recently purchased investment properties in the areas I am targeting to find wholesale buyers. To find renters/lease purchasers, I will post properties online and create multi-sign marketing campaigns.

Third, I need to find private investors. Ideally, they will have IRA money that can be moved to a self-directed IRA so they can earn great returns tax-free.

Okay, now that's all done, so I need to call and make an appointment for my one on one.

Until next time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Signs, To Love or Not To Love

Okay, so I've been driving around all over town with bold, ugly, red, white and blue magnetic signs plastered all over my car. It certainly catches people's attention, judging from the sideways glances/outright stares I get when I stop. So, I get lots of attention, but have gotten absolutely zero calls.

So, I wrote the ablove comments on the 18th. Right after that, I got 2 calls from the signs - yeah! One was a lady's daughter and the other was someone's husband. The first needs to get rid of a non-performing rental. The 2nd is facing foreclosure.

I've talked to the lady with the rental and am conflicted. Her house is a duplex and brings in about $1500 a month in rent, when the renters are paying. She wants $170k for it, but owes less... Her payment is around $1100. Should I make an offer? The big problem for me is that the floor plan on the larger unit is difficult, to say the least. I think it would be hard to sell or rent. So, I probably should make a very low offer, just to get the practice...

I have been calling the person facing foreclosure, but she has not called back. Her husband called me about her house. Apparently, the house has been in the picture longer than he has, so he's not part of the mortgage or deed. The owner owes about what the house is worth and is about 3 months behind. They are planning on moving at the end of the month - not much time - and the house is in a good, solid area of town. I'll keep trying to call her - this would be an excellent test of the short sale systems.

Also, I started Michael Jake's platinum mentoring system last Thursday. Good class and the people in the class range from me and a few other newbies to some who own tons of rental units as well as commercial property. Interesting. I have to complete my assignments and make an appointment for a one-on-one with Mike this week.

Until next time...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mentorship Program/Signs/Marketing

I am so excited! I have been accepted into the Platinum Mentoring Program from Swift Results, Inc. I got the last spot ever! Michael Jake wants to concentrate solely on investing and has decided to give up teaching after this 6 month session. (I am trusting that this is NOT a sales ploy-he seems like a stand-up guy).

I know I've been talking about trying the programs I've purchased one-by-one to see if they will work, but ran into a little (big) snag...

My hubby's base salary has gone down 40% over the last year and a half, but our bills haven't! We just got the check with the most recent cut -- if I don't bring in some $$, we'll be the ones facing bankruptcy and foreclosure. My hubby runs a sales organization and for years, got his full salary without any bonuses. They changed the structure to base + bonuses... so he got his base SLASHED and gets small quarterly bonuses and a larger yearly bonus. Well, our creditors need to be paid monthly, right? So this has been a tough situation. Don't get me wrong - his company is great and sales guys usually do have a base+commission structure, but we got spoiled.

Anyway, that means I can't really experiment with courses. I need to do something I know will work right now. For me, this means having a real person take me step by step - and I'll write about it as we go along. The first class is January 22 - only 6 days away! I wish it were tomorrow.

So, I've been driving around for a few days with bold magnetic signs plastered all over my car and so far, no calls... not even from contractors or other investors. Maybe I've been driving in the wrong areas. Anyway, they are ugly, but I'll give it some more time.

I created some marketing materials and have ideas for more based on Vena Jones's Ultimate Marketing Course. I'm going to take her materials and adjust them for location and amount of experience, then print them up and see what my new mentor thinks of them next week.

I've been trying to get the nerve up to go knocking on doors of recently filed foreclosures... So many excuses and time wasters later, I haven't knocked on a single one. Every time I think of seriously doing it, my stomach gets tied up in knots. Maybe this is why only 3% of people actually take action when they get a course. It's scary to go knock on doors and not know if the people are going to be mad at you, or embarrassed that you know their trouble, or even worse, what if I can't help them? I feel like these folks are in a very difficult place and I'm offering a solution, but what if I can't deliver? This is something I've got to get over.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Magnetic Signs - Deal or No Deal?

So today I slapped 5, yep 5, magnetic signs on my SUV. Dwan Bent-Twyford has them in her top choices for marketing. I have both "I Buy Houses" and "Stop Foreclosure" signs covering my car.

Now, I've stuck one sign on each side of my car before and gotten a minimal # of calls. I screwed them up, frankly. Hopefully, I've learned my lessons - don't talk about myself - talk about them and their problems. Make sure the main solution you offer is to buy their house/houses. I'm sure there are more lessons to learn...

The 6yo is home sick from school, so I'm not driving around today. This will have to get tested tomorrow - maybe on the way to meet with the bus bench lady.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Finally Getting Moving

I am in the midst of reading Josh Cantwell's book on Short Sales. It's more detailed, yet quite a bit drier than either Nathan Jurewicz's or Dwan Bent-Twyford's material. He is very current on exactly what percentage one can expect to get accepted on offers based on who owns the loan (as far as the big agencies, FNMA, FDMC, FHA, etc., are concerned) and he gives you specific scripts to use to talk to loss mitigators - yeah! that is very helpful information. Dwan's courses take a very different approach than Nathan's and Josh's (BTW Nathan and Josh have VERY similar information - their contracts are almost word-for-word). Dwan has no problem faxing a loss mitigator 200 times a day to get what she wants, while the boys take a much more conservative - don't make the bank mad - sort of approach.

Now, I just emailed a lead for a short sale in Mt. Pleasant to an investor there - he's also a guru type. We'll see if he responds with a "Thank you"...

And, I hate to say it, but I bought another course. This one is called Advanced Marketing and it's by Vena Jones. She has some absolutely brilliant instructions for marketing specifically directed at real estate investors, and she's been in the trenches for years, so her work is tried and tested. My only problem with the course is that she's charging more for the course than she charged for the boot camp/seminar that the course came from. She's also a Dan Kennedy student. I get his newsletter and devour it every month. If you're in marketing, you need to get his stuff.

So, here's what I'm doing right now - I have an appointment with a bus bench advertising saleslady. They provide graphics, upkeep and design services as well as rental of the ad space for what I think is a very reasonable cost. They quoted me $125 for setup and between $25 and $75 a month for the bench, depending on the location - mine was $50.

I also have applied for a place in Michael Jake's mentoring program. He swears that this is the last time he will be doing his platinum mentoring - I hope so, because I hate sales ploys like that. Mike is a local investor with experience and integrity, so I think he would be a good mentor.

Until next time...