Happy New Year!!
How is your goal setting going? I really enjoy looking back on the year and analyzing how I did and what I will be doing to improve. I also enjoy the exercise of setting goals for the new year. It is so motivating!
Pine Financial hit our team goals for the second year in a row! We made it by one loan that Travis was able to get done right at the deadline. Thanks Travis!! We did over $65 million in loans. It is exciting to see growth and I am proud that we are able to help our borrowers make money on their projects. It also feels great that we are helping our private investors make passive income. We paid out over$8,678,000 in interest to our investors in 2019!! Wow!
Sean and Kim are both flying into our headquarters in two weeks. We will be sitting down to do some business planning and, because of the awesome team we have, we will be discussing our next reward trip. Cabo was great, what does the next adventure look like?
We are mixing up our Success Summits this year. We moved the Minnesota event to early in the year. We received feedback that people are just too busy in the fall, so we are going to try something new. If you are in Minnesota, mark your calendars for February 15th, for an all-day event focused on residential real estate investing. Tons of great speakers with no sales pitches, period. We are extremely proud of this event. Come see why at mniss.com
Finally, it is sad to report that Charlotte has decide to leave Pine Financial to stay home with her daughter. She will be searching for new opportunities later in the year. I wish her the absolute best. She was a huge piece to our team and will be dearly missed. Check out a few photos from her going away party on our Facebook page.
With an ending comes a fantastic new opportunity. Justina started late in the year and was able to get some training in before Charlotte’s last day. She is making huge progress and fitting right in. I am so happy she applied and accepted the position. She has the passion and energy to help us grow in 2020!!
BECOME A NETWORKING CHAMPION!
Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Next Networking Event
“Your net worth is equal to your network.” Or “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I have no idea who originally said either of those famous quotes, but it was Zig Ziglar that said, “You can have anything in life that you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
I have written other articles about how important your network is, but I have not spoken much about my experience building that network through networking. It is a new year and time to get really good at a new skill. What if you focused on a skill that will make you a fortune? Here are five factors to focus on when you attend your next networking event.
Location, Location, Location: I am sure you have neverheard that phrase. As real estate investors, we are taught early on that the three most important things in real estate are the location, the location, and the location. In networking, being in the right room is far more important than how you dress, your charisma, or your elevator pitch. Networking is marketing and hitting the right target is vital. For me, raising money to fund real estate deals is essential, so I need to be in rooms with people with money. I network at real estate events, sure, but I also attend other investing meetings. Find the meetings where people will be that have what you are looking for. You can find many of these meetings on meetup.com, be sure to join our groups while you are there, but you should also ask around. There are several powerful networking groups that never get advertised on MeetUp.
Show Up Early: I know that you want to make your entrance. Growing up I was always told not to be the first to the party. Something about that was not cool, and I really wanted to be cool. The problem with showing up fashionably late is that you miss out on the best networking opportunities. Most people attend networking events to catch up with their friends, you are there to meet someone new. You should want to be there before other people’s friends arrive and distract them. When people are not already glued to a click, it is easier to approach them. Not to mention, it gives you a chance to meet someone that you can later come back to as you move throughout the room. And it gives you more time to make the right connection. I see no downside to being early or on time.
Have Fun: This sounds simple, but it if you are not having fun as you talk to someone, you are likely not making a connection. I would suggest breaking away from the conversation and trying to meet someone you will enjoy talking to. If you are enjoying the conversation, it is likely that you have something in common. If you are not dominating the conversation, and you are generally getting to know someone, they are having fun too, therefore the chances of building a quality connection is high. I alsobelieve that if you are having fun you will be more comfortable, and you will likely be yourself. It will be easier to talk to strangers and you will have much more positive energy.
Although I believe it is important to have a goal in mind with what you would like to accomplish at an event, like meet someone who can wholesale a property or find a roofer, it can hurt your results to put pressure on yourself. It is hard to have fun when you are feeling pressure.
Focus on Value: As Zig says, you need to help otherpeople get what they want. Many times, that is as simple and just listening to their story. Or, it could be making an introduction or sending them a referral. Or teaching them something they did not know. I am full on add value when I meet someone new. I want to get to know them and their business and see what I can do to help them. I always ask for their card and never tell them what I do, or never hand them a card unless they ask. They almost always do. It is far more important to get a business card than to give one, and it is a turn off to be too into yourself and not interested in them. With this said, you will get asked for business cards, so be prepared. It is super awkward when you are networking and you don’t have cards, or you can’t find where they are. I would suggest making sure you have cards and always keep them in a separate pocket. Do not mix them with the cards you are collecting. I keep my business cards in my left pocket, I put the cards I am collecting in my right, and I separate anyone who showed interest in investing with me and put those in my back pocket.
Follow Up: Obvious, but often missed. The value is in the follow up. When I collect a card from someone, they go into my database and start receiving emails from me with quality content and invites to free events. Remember adding value? At Pine Financial, we never spam our listand our list performs well. It is all about adding value and not applying pressure.
If I get a card from someone that showed interest in what I am looking for, they get a personal follow up from me. Often it will be a call the next day or two days later. Sometimes it will be an email with more information on what they are looking for. From there, they go into my follow up system where they will get seven to ten personal touches from me. If we have not done business after that many touches, I assume they don’t want to work together, and I stop following up personally, but they remain in our database to receive our standard correspondence. You would be surprised with how many clients we have that were followed up with seven or more times before deciding to work together. Of course, they are happy they did.
I look forward to seeing you at the next networking event!
THE WRONG WAY TO INVEST
IN REAL ESTATE
By: Sean Blomquist
“Real Estate Fever”… has hit the country like a plague. There are countless shows about flipping, renovating and buying houses. You can’t listen to the radio without hearing an ad for some guru in your market looking for people to join their “team”. Many “newbies” are getting into the game, trying to make big money in a short time. I meet them all the time, and unfortunately many are making big mistakes!
Mistake #1: Stock Market Mentality
You’d think after losing $7 trillion in the stock market people would have learned! Nope, they are making the same mistake, which is assuming what happened yesterday will happen tomorrow. Nine of ten new investors I meet say they are interested in real estate because they saw someone else make money from the rapid appreciation of the market over the last few years. But, buying real estate solely for short-term appreciation is often a big gamble! If you buy real estate to hold for 15 years or more, the chances are you will come out on top. If you buy a property and flip it in within a year, you probably are fine, too. And, despite the risk, many people can intelligently time the “boom” of a local market (or subdivision within a market) and make a profit. But, if you buy a rental property for full market price, to only hold it for a couple of years of appreciation, you’d better have a backup plan if the market doesn’t keep going up. Investing is a lot like surfing… if you don’t know how to ride the wave, you will drown!
So, should you refrain from investing if you think the market has peaked? Absolutely not! You can find bargain-priced properties in every real estate market, even the hottest. You can find low-interest rate financing that will increase your cash flow so if values drop, you still are covered. You can plan short-term (six to 12 months), because real estate markets typically rise and fall slowly. And, if you keep a cash reserve for your business, you won’t sweat when the market tanks, because you know that in the long run, real estate markets virtually always come back.
Mistake #2: Investing Blind
I see this at least twice every single month. New investors blindly buying real estate based on bogus advice or complete lack of education. Real estate is one of the few investments in which risk is directly proportional to knowledge. True, it has a higher learning curve than investing in the stock market, but there’s no proof that having knowledge of the stock market reduces risk (just ask your mutual fund manager).
I read a comment on a real estate discussion group on the Internet. In response to an inquiry as to whether a particular seminar or training program was worth the money, someone answered, “Why waste your money on that stuff? Just use your money as a down payment and learn as you go.” While I partially agree with not paying a fortune for some seminar, I also think this is not good advice for a beginner. You need to educate yourself before making the leap into this. Money for real estate deals is easy to find if you can find good deals. But you won’t know what a good deal is without having first invested in your education! There are plenty of books, videos and local Real Estate Groups that you can invest in to get more education without spending all of your savings on one particular seminar. We host a great event each year in CO and MN for people to learn, network and get deals done in their local markets. Our MN Success Summit is coming upon Saturday February 15th! Find out more information and register at mniss.com
The more knowledge of real estate investing techniques, financing, acquisition, negotiating and, of course, your local marketplace, the less risky your investments will be. A bargain real estate purchase will generally always be a safe investment.
Mistake #3: No Cash Reserves
Ask anyone in real estate long term (or any other business, for that matter) and they will tell you the two most important words for survival are: “cash flow.” Even the big companies like K-Mart failed to learn that valuable lesson!
In order to stay in real estate long term, you need cash reserves. Buying real estate with nothing down is easy; handling negative cash flow, repairs and other expenses in the meantime is the trick. In fact, if you can handle the bad times, real estate will always make you come out on top. Lack of cash reserves puts unnecessary pressure on you to do substandard repairs, accept less than qualified tenants and give into tenants’ demands for fear of vacancy.
When you have a sufficient cash reserve, you act rationally. You hold out for a higher sales price. You hold out for a qualified tenant. You leave properties vacant rather than rent to substandard tenants. You call a tenant’s bluff when they threaten to leave. You take care of necessary repairs and improvements on your properties. It’s a whole different ballgame than operating from a lack of cash. Like I said, buying properties with no money down isn’t hard; it’s handling the cash flow. In other words, you can buy real estate without money, you just can’t survive in business without cash reserves. Thus, consider accumulating cash reserves as one of the most important things before investing in real estate.
Mistake #4: Being Greedy
Many investors get started wholesaling properties to otherinvestors, which is a good idea to generate cash reserves. However, you must be realistic about how much profit is in a deal. If there is a potential for a $20,000 profit in a rehab project, you can’t expect to make $10,000 wholesaling that property to a rehabber. A rehabber has a huge risk in embarking in such a project and wants a large enough profit to justify the risk.
For example, if you find a deal with $20,000 in profit potential, how could you expect to get $10,000 for flipping the property if the rehab investor you flip it to is only going to make $10,000? You should be happy making a couple thousand and moving on to the next deal. If you want to make more than $2,500 on such a deal, then you must find and negotiate a better bargain that has more profit potential.
Another example of this is people lacking reserves to get deals done. Wouldn’t it be better to partner with someone on a deal to get it done vs having to pass because you wanted all the profit for yourself? 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
Mistake #5: Treating Real Estate as Anything Other Than a Business
People are lured to real estate because of the quick buckthat it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes a couple of years. How many people that take a seminar, actually get some deals done or become a success? I’ve spoken with people that host these seminars and teach people the basics of getting into real estate investing and they estimate that more than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months.
Why the high fallout rate? Lack of action and unrealistic expectations. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat real estate like any other business. Give yourself at least six months to see if real estate works for you. It may even take a year before you buy your first property. Maybe in the second year you will buy three or four properties. If you work hard at it and keep your eyes and ears open, you may even find your first deal in 30 days. Certainly, you will not make money by talking or thinking about it; you must go out and take action.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
We want to thank you for helping make our 2019 a smashing success. I hope we were able to help you with your success last year. We are really looking forward to another successful and profitable year.
Pine Financial Group was founded by Kevin. Kevin has a background in finance and real estate. After serving four years in the US Military, Kevin received his degree in finance. He has since been a part of over 1,300 real estate transactions as a buyer, a seller or as a private lender.
Kevin has been in the mortgage and real estate industries for the last sixteen years and has extensive knowledge and experience in the secondary mortgage markets and working with real estate investors in Colorado and Minnesota. He now specializes in raising and loaning private money.
Kevin is also the Author of, “The 45 Day Investor,” a book dedicated to helping beginning real estate investors achieve success.
Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?
Everyone wants a hardworking affiliate, employee, associate, partner, or even spouse, and why not? It’s the next best thing to doing the work yourself. However with the massive outbreak of work and income opportunities available online, how can you beat everyone else and find that one (or more) ideal person who will make your online business explode with success? Here are some of the most ingenious and uncommon ways to snag the idea affiliates for your affiliate program
Direct Sales Agents
Direct sales people are really one of the most enterprising, hard-working individuals in business. They mostly work on commissions or rebates and are willing to literally go door-to-door offering their products to anyone and everyone they bump into. Imagine how much easier their job would be if they could be an affiliate and simply work via the Internet and a mobile device or desktop.
Also, most direct sales people tend to carry more than one brand in their product arsenal so signing up as an affiliate would be almost the same type of work but using a different approach.
Colleges and Universities
Many college kids would be interested in a part-time income opportunity if it would mean funds to help pay for their education, loan, or partying. All you have to do is make sure to offer them products they can endorse as a student.
Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest annual report show that 75% of U.S. businesses used freelancers in 2011? Freelancers earned a whopping US$990 billion in 2011 which is a 4.1% increase from the previous year. The only industries where the number of freelancers decreased were in insurance, finance, and construction. Most probably your affiliate program isn’t a part of these 3 industries.
Furthermore, online business and finance experts are predicting the growth to increase incrementally every year even with an economy that is improving. People just want income security and more control over their earnings. With the spate of lay-offs, it’s understandable why many would prefer to work as an affiliate than as an employee.
Scout For Them At Affiliate Conventions
There are annual affiliate conventions held in different cities around the country. You should try to catch one when it is held somewhere near your location. The average turn-out for these types of conventions has increased regularly over the years. Last year, many of them were sold out weeks before the event.
The US Census Bureau has said that as of 2012, 15% of Americans are poor, 43% of young adults depend on their parents to some extent for money. Even more surprising is that the median income of young adults in 1982 was $31,583 and last year it was $30,604 for the same age group! Income is dropping and people are looking for ways to earn additional income outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. That’s where you can come in playing the hero and helping others realize their dream income.
Finally, go online and talk about your product. Make the affiliate marketers come to you and have the luxury of picking the best candidates. You will need some help in marketing your affiliate program so target a marketer who’s experienced in affiliate program and SEO.
Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them
The U.S. is officially in a recession. What is a recession? A recession is a business cycle contraction or general economic decline due to significant drop in spending and other commercial activities. Most pundits and politicians will blame Covid-19 crisis for the recession, but even pre-Covid-19 the proverbial writing was on the wall.
The U.S. had over 120 months of economic growth, which was the longest expansion in the modern history. Other indicators, such as negative yield spread on treasuries (long term bonds having lower interest rates than short term T-notes), were pointing to an imminent change of the economic cycle and an impending recession. The only real question was: when and how bad?
Then Covid-19 came… If the cycle was going to change anyway, Covid-19 acted as a huge and unexpected accelerant to make the recession much more immediate and severe.
Inevitably during recessions all classes of real estate, including residential homes and condominiums, will be negatively impacted as lower consumer spending and higher unemployment rates affect real estate prices and marketing times.
Here are the six costly mistakes home and other real property sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them:
Mistake #1: This will pass and real estate market will be hot again soon
First thing to remember is that real estate cycles are much longer than general economic cycles. Even if the general economy recovers, which eventually it always does, a typical real estate cycle takes as long as 10 to 15 years. The cycle has four key stages: Top, Decline, Bottom and Rise.
Let us consider the last real estate cycle, which lasted approximately 14 years:
- 2006 – Prices hit the Top
- 2006 to 2012 – Prices Decline
- 2012 – Prices hit the Bottom (Trough)
- 2012 to 2019 – Prices Rise*
- 2020 – Prices hit the Top
- 2020 to? – Prices Decline
*NOTE: In 2016 the national residential real estate price index reached its pre-recession 2006 peak levels. It took 10 years for the real estate market to recover.
The way to avoid this mistake is to recognize that real estate cycles take years to run and plan accordingly. Additionally, nobody knows for sure when the prices will hit the top or bottom until after the fact.
Mistake #2: Low interest rates will make the economy and real estate market rebound
Between 2006 and 2011 the interest rates (Fed Funds) were continuously cut by the Federal Reserve Board and went from low 5% to almost 0%. However, that did not stop the real estate recession and depreciation of property values.
Undoubtedly, low interest rates made the economic decline and real estate recession less severe and saved some properties from foreclosures, but it still took six painful years for the real estate market to hit the bottom and then four more years for the prices to go back to their pre-recession levels.
Some markets had never fully recovered. For example, residential home prices in some parts of California, Arizona and Nevada are still below their 2006 highs.
To avoid this mistake, one needs to realize that although low interest rates help stimulate the economy and the real estate market, they do not cure them.
Mistake #3: I don’t need to sell now, so I don’t care
If you do not need to sell until the cycle plays out, which typically is over ten years, then you will not be as affected, especially if you have a strong equity position, limited mortgage debt, and solid liquid assets.
However, it is good to keep in mind that “life happens” and either professional or personal circumstances can change and we may need to sell property before the downturn runs its course.
Furthermore, if a property has a mortgages and its value declines to the point being “upside down,” meaning the mortgage loan balance exceeds the value of the property, then the options of selling, refinancing or even obtaining an equity line of credit, will be significantly limited.
This does not mean that everybody should be rushing into selling their real estate if there is no need to do so, just keep in mind that circumstances may and often do change and property options will be affected, so plan in advance. As one wise proverb says: “Dig your well before your thirst.”
Mistake #4: I’m selling, but I won’t sell below my “bottom line” price
This is a common and potentially very costly mistake. Generally speaking, every seller wants to sell for the highest price and every buyer wants to pay the lowest price. That’s nothing new. When selling real estate, most sellers want to achieve a certain price point and/or have a “bottom line.”
However, it is important to understand that the market does not care what the Seller, or his/her Agent, think the property value should be at. The market value is a price a willing and able buyer will pay, when a property is offered on an open market for a reasonable amount of time.
Overpricing property based on Seller’s subjective value or what is sometimes called an “aspirational price,” especially in a declining market, is a sure first step to losing money. When a property lingers on the market for an extended period of time, carrying costs will continue to accumulate and property value will depreciate in line with the market conditions.
Additionally, properties with prolonged marketing times tend to get “stale” and attract fewer buyers. The solution is to honestly assess your selling objectives, including the desired time-frame, evaluate your property’s attributes and physical condition, analyze comparable sales and market conditions, and then decide on market-based pricing and marketing strategies.
Mistake #5: I will list my property for sale only with Agent who promises the highest price
Real estate is a competitive business and real estate agents compete to list properties for sale which generate their sales commission incomes. It is not unusual that Seller will interview several agents before signing an exclusive listing agreement and go with the agent who agrees to list the property at the highest price, often regardless if such price is market-based.
Similarly to Mistake #4, this mistake can be very damaging to Sellers, as overpriced properties stay on the market for extended periods of time costing Sellers carrying expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.
Furthermore, there is the “opportunity cost” since the equity is “frozen,” and it cannot be deployed elsewhere till the property is sold. However, the most expensive cost is the loss of property value while the real estate market deteriorates.
During the last recession, we have seen multiple cases where overpriced properties stayed on the market for years and ended up selling for 25% to 40% below their initial fair market values.
The solution is to make sure that your pricing strategy is based on the market, not empty promises or wishful thinking.
Mistake #6: I will list my property only with Agent who charges the lowest commission
Real estate commission rates are negotiable and not set by law. A commission usually represents the highest transactional expense in selling real properties and is typically split between Brokers and Agents who work on the transaction
Some real estate agents offer discounted commissions, in order to induce Sellers to list their properties with them. But does paying a discounted commission ensure savings for the Seller? Not necessarily.
For example, if the final sales price is 5% to 10% below property’s highest market value, which is not that unusual, due to inadequate marketing, bad pricing strategy, and/or poor negotiation skills, it will easily wipe out any commission savings and actually cost the Seller tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.
The solution is to engage an agent who is a “Trusted Advisor,” not just a “Salesperson.” A Trusted Advisor will take his/her time and effort to do the following: 1) Perform Needs Analysis: listen and understand your property needs and concerns; 2) Prepare Property Analysis: thoroughly evaluate your property and market conditions; 3) Execute Sales and Marketing Plan: prepare and implement custom sales and marketing plan for your property; and 4) Obtain Optimal Results: be your trusted advocate throughout the process and achieve the best possible outcome.
Finding such a real estate professional may not be always easy, but it certainly is worth the effort and will pay off at the end.
In conclusion, this article has outlined six costly mistakes real estate Sellers make during recessions and how to avoid them. The first mistake is not understanding that real estate cycles are long and take years. The second mistake is a misconception that low interest rates alone will create a recovery. Another mistake is not realizing that circumstances may change and not planning in advance. Mistakes number four, five and six pertain to understanding the market value, proper pricing and selecting the right real estate professional.
By understanding and avoiding these mistakes, real estate Sellers have significantly better chances of minimizing the negative impact of a recession while selling their properties.
Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer
Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:
1) You can’t get the best gaming computer from computer retailers
If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.
2) You don’t have to be rich to build the best gaming computer
It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.
3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part
Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?
4) You don’t need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer
It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.
5) Brand is important
Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider
If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.
Where to Find Those Efficient and Hardworking Affiliates?
Recession Is Here… Six Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make During Recessions And How To Avoid Them
Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer
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