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...