How To Get Started In Real Estate With Little Or No Money

Most of us are smart enough to realize that no real estate system is foolproof, and if anything seems too be good to be true, it probably is.

However, that doesn’t mean that you need excellent credit and a surplus of cash to get started in real estate. Here are some strategies for financially constrained aspiring investors to begin generating real estate cash flow.

You don’t have to own a property to profit from it. There are two types of quick-sale real estate investors: Retailers and dealers.

Retailers buy properties outright and sell them for a quick profit. Their risk is highest, but so is their potential reward. Retailers typically need substantial cash for a down payment and at least decent credit.

Dealers, by contrast, buy and sell contracts, not properties. They find bargain properties and sign purchase contracts with their sellers. Dealers then sell these purchase contracts to retailers, making a solid profit in the process. This is known as assignment of contract.

Usually, the only cash required is the earnest money to secure the deal. A good dealer can then flip the contract for a quick $1,000 to $3,000 without ever taking possession of the deed.

Use a double closing for greater profit potential. A double closing allows a dealer to earn a higher profit margin than an assignment of contract. With an assignment of contract, there is always potential that the deal will ultimately fall through.

The dealer is protected because she has already received her proceeds from the sale of the contract. But the retailer who buys the contract is wary of the deal falling through and will factor it into the price he is willing to pay.

With a double closing, the dealer assumes more risk because if the deal falls through, she receives nothing. However, with this greater risk comes a greater reward.

A double closing begins with the dealer signing a purchase contract with the property owner. Then the dealer signs a contract with the retailer, in which the retailer agrees to buy the property from the dealer at a higher price and deposits that amount in escrow. The property owner signs the deed to the dealer, who then signs it to the retailer.

The retailer then signs the loan documents, and the process is complete the property owner is paid his asking price, and the dealer is paid the difference. Note that the dealer came to the table with no money, and her credit was never an issue.

Be a scout no cash or credit required. Scouts are a third type of real estate flipper. Instead of flipping actual properties or contracts, scouts flip information.

Scouts face even less risk than dealers and have almost no cash or credit concerns. They simply gather information about distressed properties and sell it to interested dealers and retailers.

In effect, scouts do the dirty work for real estate investors, and investors are willing to pay them handsomely for doing it. Typically a scout will gather the following data on a potential deal.

The owner’s name and contact information, the asking price, information about the mortgage and whether payments are current, outstanding liens on the property, A photograph of the house, Pertinent information about the owner’s motivation to sell. Is he in the middle of a divorce, foreclosure, job transfer, etc.

Investors typically pay scouts $500 or $1,000 for good information. But what happens if an investor doesn’t pay? Simple. Don’t take any more deals to them. Successful investors realize the value of good information, and they are more than willing to pay for it.

Take over the seller’s mortgage payments. Prior to 1989, almost all home loans were freely assumable. This meant that anyone could take over the payment of the loans without objection from the lender.

However, due to rising interest rates that began in the late eighties, virtually all home loans issued since then contain a “due on sale” clause. This means that when ownership of a property is transferred, the lender can demand payment in full of the outstanding loan.

However, due on sale is merely a clause not a law. It is the lender’s prerogative whether or not to exercise this clause. If you buy a property and take over the loan payments, there is a distinct possibility that the lender won’t even notice. There’s an even greater chance that the lender will choose not to exercise the due on sale clause, as long as you make timely payments.

After all, the cost of enforcing the clause is significant, and as long as the lender is being paid, it is unlikely to care who signs the monthly checks. You can potentially buy properties without a credit check.

Real estate success always requires an investment. There are ways to profit from real estate without significant financial investment. That is not to say that success comes free and easy. At the very least, you will need to make a substantial investment in yourself. In order to succeed, you must be willing to work hard.

Even with a million dollar real estate portfolio, your brain will always be your #1 asset. Be sure to invest in your education on a daily basis and learn as much as possible about your local market, real estate law, and investment strategies.

A Guide To Using Real Estate Signs

The beginning of this decade saw a real estate market so hot that you barely had to mention you were thinking about selling your home to get offers rolling in. Well, those days are long gone. Now you need to focus on the details to get your home sold.

The first step to selling your home is to get it into the proper shape. There are plenty of guides and articles on how to do this, so I am going to skip it to focus on the next, vital step you need to take.

This is the digital age. This means you should be posting your home on real estate sites like That doesn’t mean you should ignore the basics, however. They still can make or break the sale of your home.

When it comes to selling a home, it doesn’t get much simpler than real estate signage. You know, the signs you see on telephone polls, yards and the like. Many people mistakenly discount their effectiveness at bringing in buyers.

Why are home for sale signs important? Buyers shop by geographic areas. They look for “good” neighborhoods that have the aspects they are looking for. While they will look online and in the MLS for homes, they will do one other thing you can take advantage of.

So, why do these signs work? Well, you need to think how buyers shop. They look for areas they like and then they cruise around them. Guess what they do when they see a for sale sign? Yep, they check it out.

Your for sale sign is a window to your home for buyers. This means you need to include some basic information on it. Since space is at a premium, make sure to list the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the price and your phone number.

Keep in mind that your general for sale sign is not used to generate sales. Instead, the only purpose of the sign is to get the potential buyer to drive by the property. When they do, you’ll have another type of sign to snag them.

Every home for sale should have a post sign in the front yard. It should have a box on it containing brochures for the home. The brochure should be a full profile packed with information. This is the hook to get them to come see the home.

What have we done? We’ve taken a buyer that knew nothing about your home and put a brochure in their hands. All using one of the oldest real estate marketing techniques. Not bad, eh?

How To Save Money On Car Insurance For Young Drivers? Read To Know

The cost of car insurance policy is determined by many factors typically examined by insurance companies online such as driver’s age, the location where he mostly drives a car on, the make and model of car, driver’s driving experience, etc. Insurance companies take into considerations these factors to figure out if driver will be a high risk. Usually, young drivers are considered risky as they are less likely to have good driving experience and skills. This is why it is challenging to qualify for cheap car insurance for young drivers. But, the interesting thing is that today many online insurance companies specialize in offering various discounts which you can earn to reduce your insurance cost or simply get cheap car insurance for young drivers. Before applying for insurance policy, it is advisable to get some knowledge about the same.

If you install security or safety devices in your car, you are less likely to get injured or your vehicle is less likely to get easily stolen or damaged. Many online insurance companies offer discounts for the same. Moreover, if you want to save money, you should think of joining a recognized driving course. This will improve your driving experience as well as skills and also could get you one more discount. One more way to get best affordable auto insurance is to drive less. If you drive less, the possibilities of accidents or similar circumstances leading to insurance claims will get reduced. Some insurance providers also offer discounts to students who score good grades. Besides, your driving location also affects insurance cost. Even make and model of car will affect what you will pay for insurance policy. Some vehicles are expensive to be insured while other cars are not too expensive.

Thus there are many aspects which you should work on to save money. But, most importantly, you need to locate insurance company which offers the most affordable auto insurance rate and also multiple discounts. One of the easiest ways to locate best insurance company in your local area which is willing to provide affordable car insurance with many discounts is to take free professional assistance of a reputable online car insurance service. These services which are closely connected with a huge online network of insurance providers that offer cheapest car insurance quotes will help you to get easy and quick access to best insurer.

The risk factor associated with you will affect your insurance cost significantly. So, it could be advisable to see if you can reduce the risk taken by insurance company by following some expert guidelines and improve your eligibility for affordable auto insurance rate. Get assisted by experienced car finance specialist to know what these guidelines are and how to get cheap car insurance for young drivers.

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The 5 Most Effective Marketing Strategies For Real Estate Investors

Having been involved in real estate investing for little while now, I’ve become very familiar with various marketing strategies. And along the way, I also found out which methods generated leads, and which ones didn’t.

One thing to note is that everyone will experience different results with their respective marketing campaign. Two different people in the same market could be doing the same exact thing and get very different results.

And two different individuals, in two different markets can get similar results. That’s just the nature of the beast.

But there is a secret to this; there is no secret! You have to test each strategy in your particular market to find out which one works for you. And when I say test, I mean test.

For example, don’t send out 5,000 letters to a mailing list that you’ve never tried. That defies all common sense. In that example, I would send out 200 letters and see what the results are before diving in headfirst.

I recommend that you apply this methodology across all the strategies below until you find the one that works the best for you.

So, in my opinion, the following are the top 5 real estate marketing strategies (in order of effectiveness and quality of leads):

1. Apparel/Human Advertising
2. Direct Mail
3. Cold Calling
4. Bandit Signs
5. Newspaper/Yellow Page Ads

Apparel/Human Advertising
This is my favorite way to generate leads. Why? Simple. Because leads come to me, instead of me chasing them. Let me first explain what “apparel/human advertising” is. I define it as “wearing your business,” meaning that you display and promote your services on your apparel and clothing.

I simply put on a shirt that markets my services whenever I go out — to the mall, grocery store, post office, doctor’s office, etc. — and people come up to me to talk about real estate and their specific situation. It will surprise you how many people will approach you.

And the quality of leads is also high. You know why? Because people instantly and clearly know that you are a real estate investor and will only approach you if they are serious.

For example, I wore my “Private Lender” t-shirt the last time I visited my doctor. Once he read my shirt, he couldn’t stop talking about real estate and how he has been looking for places to invest his money. Bingo, now he has the answer, and I secured another private lender to my stable.

And guess what? He has other friends who are doctors, dentists, and lawyers who have money to invest. Now you can see why I like this strategy so much.

-Most inexpensive method
-Instant, direct way of telling people what you do; face to face contact
-Only works if you wear the apparel
-Only works where you are

Direct Mail
There are several ways to employ a direct mail campaign. I’ve attended several seminars run by real estate “gurus,” and each guru will swear by their own program. So, being the pragmatist that I am, I tried a majority of them.

I’ve ran marketing campaigns using postcards, handwritten letters, professional letters, and even USPS priority mail. Out of all the campaigns, handwritten letters generated the most leads.

On a good campaign, I received 25% response, which is astronomical. Don’t expect this high of a response rate every time. My average response rate hovers around 10%.

-Direct mail isn’t cheap. It is the most expensive strategy.
-You must choose your mailing list wisely and get it from a credible source
-Depending on the list, you will receive letters that could not be delivered
-Most homeowners will respond only after multiple mailings (experts say 7 contacts is the magic number).

Cold Calling
How many people can truly say that cold calling strangers is something that excites them? Probably not many, because most people inherently avoid unfamiliar territory. It’s time to get past that fear and get out of that mindset, because cold calling is by far one of the most effective strategies out there, especially if you are going after the preforeclosure market.

First, you need to get a list of individuals to call. If you are marketing to preforeclosures, there are several services that will provide phone numbers of homeowners facing foreclosure. Second, you need to practice your call script. Know what you want to say and how to respond to objections. And practice this over and over until it is second nature–and then practice once more. You get the point.

Being able to respond intelligently to the homeowner’s concerns will build credibility and rapport. Those are the two most important things to construct during a cold call. Remember, you are a stranger who they know nothing about.

Thirdly, be able to prescreen each caller efficiently and effectively. Gain a true understanding of their situation, and obtain enough information to analyze the property to see if it fits your criteria. And finally, if the property meets your criteria, be able to close, whether it means getting an appointment to view the property or actually agree to sales terms.

-Very effective — when you get in contact with homeowner
-Targeted to only those you want to market to
-Easy way to build rapport with homeowner due to personal contact
-Calling strangers asking to buy their house is not on the top of most people’s list
-Can be time consuming and can only market to people you actually talk to

Bandit Signs
If you’re not familiar, bandit signs are those PVC signs you might see plastered around town, reading “I Buy Houses, Any Condition, Any Price.” They are usually attached to wooden posts near busy intersections.

Before you go putting these signs up, check with your city’s rules and regulations because bandit signs are illegal in many cities. You can be fined heavily if caught.

The effectiveness of bandit signs is up for debate. A few years ago, I would have said that bandit signs worked great. But now they are everywhere and commonplace, people might be numb to them. Nevertheless, if you are the only sign posted, people will notice.

And if you pepper your farm area heavily, you will generate leads from bandit signs. Bandit signs are relatively inexpensive, roughly $2/sign, and you can hire people to post them. But you might have to have to put the signs up every 2-4 weeks, depending on how fast the “sign police” in your market do their clean sweep of the area.

-Inexpensive strategy
-Can reach a broad audience if you want
-Not targeted; “shotgun” approach
-May be illegal in your city
-Frowned-upon by some individuals as “eyesores”

Newspaper/Phone Book Ads
Like all service providers, placing an advertisement in the newspaper or phone book is always an option. But let me stop you here. This type of marketing has been by far the least effective method for me. It is expensive, sometimes prohibitively costly depending on your market, and is not targeted.

Sure, it can reach a broad audience, but is not worth the cost of the ad for me. And like all other ads, you will be clumped together with all other companies that provide similar services. So it’s hard for you to stand out, relative to the other marketing strategies already covered.

Like I said, I’ve had very bad results from placing these type of ads. So bad, that for one of my phone book ads, I only received 2 calls over the course of a year. And one of them asked me if I buy mobile homes! That might be an opportunity for some investors, but that doesn’t float my boat.

-Can reach a broad audience
-Very costly
-Not targeted
-Doesn’t generate quality leads (for real estate investor purposes)

Now that I’ve covered the top 5 marketing strategies, I hope that you have a better understanding of what you want to employ in your business. But remember to test more than one strategy in your market to see what gets you the best results. This is the only way that you will find what works in your market. Go out there and make it happen!

Neon Signs Vs El Wire Signs

Neon signs are great advertising for any business. Every neon sign made is handcrafted; despite the advancement in technology, the manufacturing of a sign just cannot be done by a machine. According to the design wanted, the artisan heats a glass tube into a pliable shape and then moulds the design and lettering as per the requirements. During this process of continuous heating and bending, air is let into the tube to maintain its hollow shape. After the designing is done, the tubes are vacuumed out using a suction pump, after which an inert gas is let into the tubethis gas determines the color of the neon sign. The gas-filled tube glows when current is passed through it ionizing the gas, thus causing it to glow. Neon gas tubes do not contain any filament like an ordinary light bulb, so their life spans are very long, ranging from ten to fifteen years.

Smaller neon tube diameters are easier to bend into written works but are not as distinguishable from a distance. Larger tube diameters are more visible from a distance, and are more effective in illuminating store front letters, but cannot be practically formed into smaller written applications. Larger diameter neon tubing is less brilliant.

Because of the work involved, neon signs are usually expensive.

What is an EL-Wire sign? EL-Wire (electroluminescent wire) is a cool running, flexible, lightweight, low power consumption light source. The wire itself has a copper core coated with phosphor and plastic. Around that plastic coated core are two ultra thin wires, and the whole assembly is encased in clear or colored plastic to give it color. EL-Wire runs on an AC current at 400-4000 hz, so you must attach it to an inverter or sequencer. Inverters and sequencers run on 1.5-12 Volts DC, so you can get one small enough to fit in your pocket or one large enough to light your entire car or business sign. There is a huge variety of options available in EL-Wire, inverters, and sequencers so that you can use EL-Wire nearly anywhere.

EL Wire Signs can be created with in fine detail that you just can’t get with neon and no glass tubes to break. Signs can be powered by battery, solar, or wall plug. Any design can be used to create a rugged, bright, and long lasting sign.

El wire signs are not as expensive, can be customized, do not get hot and are much lighter than traditional neon signs, are flexible so any style of font can be used, can last for thousands of hours, and uses 1/10th of the power of a traditional neon sign.