Cogo Capital: Still Dishing Out the Dollars to Fund Property Deals

By Tim Houghten

Cogo Capital’s founder, Lee Arnold, reveals his unique approach to funding real estate entrepreneurs, and how millions of dollars are being poured into nationwide deals through Cogo Capital.

This is Your Moment & Cogo Capital Wants to Fund it

Lee Arnold says Cogo is attracting a windfall of new loan requests from real estate investors. Many requests are coming from other lenders who are starting to throttle their funding, revise their appraisals downwards, and turn away all but the most experienced investors.

Meanwhile, Cogo Capital says it is funding 99% of all the incoming applications that meet its parameters. It certainly helps that Lee’s firm is willing to loan up to 90% LTV and 100% of rehab costs, and still beat any competitor’s offer. As a direct lending solution, they also have the ability to fund fast and make common sense underwriting decisions.

Cogo makes loans on:

  • Non-owner occupied residential properties
  • Commercial real estate
  • Land development deals
  • Fix and flips
  • Wholesale and ‘wholetail’ deals
  • Rental properties

While Cogo helps others grow their real estate portfolios, it is also making strides and growing too. Cogo just added ID and AZ to its markets, leaving very little territory unserved — they even offer loans in Alaska and Hawaii.

In our exclusive interview with Lee, he mentioned that while there is no question the US real estate market is going through a correction, he does not see a crash coming like we experienced in 2008. He says “there is too little inventory, and too much demand.”

And he should know a thing or two about market cycles. Because he started investing in 1996, he’s been through 3 major dips already. Through strategic and purposeful action, and a whole lot of grit, he is still in business. As a result of these experiences, Lee looks at correcting and declining markets with optimism. He points out that even a modest correction is great news for serious real estate investors. It weeds out the looky-loos, allowing the actual, hard-working real estate investors more room to buy and sell and/or buy and hold.

He commented that for years the serious investors have “been tolerating the HGTV wannabes,” who have driven up prices by overbidding on properties. He believes many of these “fly-by-night” investors will become stuck in the months and years to come because they don’t know how to operate in a normal or declining market. Serious investors do.

If you’ve been waiting for better value deals, this is your moment, and this lender wants to fund your deals.

Enter The Circle of Wealth

Cogo Capital is just one of the group of companies in Lee Arnold’s portfolio.

His other companies include:

The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing, which trains real estate investors on how to find and purchase profitable deals

  1. Secured Investment Corp, which provides a platform for lenders looking to earn double digit returns in one-off loans or through one of its long running funds
  2. Lake City Servicing, which gives lenders peace of mind and true passive income by servicing their private loans for them

While Cogo Capital is open to any investor, Lee says those who have gone through the Lee Arnold System often enjoy an 1,800% increase in their chance of getting funding. Because they have gone through the comprehensive educational arm of the company, these clients know what to look for, how to make the right offers, and how to structure their transactions.

Through this methodically designed system, Lee has been involved in more than $1B worth of real estate transactions. That includes flips, fund transactions, and making private mortgage loans. From this viewpoint, this industry veteran noticeably sees things very differently than the average newcomer, bank loan officer, or infomercial guru.

He believes in only making loans to investors who can be successful. He’s more interested in the client’s success than the possible equity grab should the loan go into default. Therefore he’s not afraid to tell you when you are taking on a lot of risk for less-than ideal reward, even if your loan request checks all the boxes.

And even if you come to Cogo, and you don’t quite make the cut, or you are taking on a new project you really don’t have experience in, Lee says he can introduce you to other experienced investors in your area who you can partner up with. That way you can secure the funding and get the deal done.

Lee Has Lofty Goals for His Clients

Lee encourages all his clients to begin building their wealth and real estate portfolio with wholesales and fix-and-flip projects before they venture into the realm of rentals. Why? Because when buying rentals too early, they won’t have the bankroll to weather any of the potential challenges common to rentals. One AC unit blown, one roof lost in a storm, one non-performing tenant or drawn out eviction, and you can end up in foreclosure yourself.

Instead, Lee teaches his clients to take a very different and intentional approach to real estate investing. He has two stated goals for them:

  1. Get up to $250k liquid cash in the bank as fast as possible with flips or wholesaling
  2. Then get to $1M in net worth to become accredited investors. At this point they can qualify to participate in more exclusive investments like one of the Secured Investment High Yield Funds, which historically pays out 12% returns over the last five years straight.

You Can Keep Your Skin at Cogo Capital

One of the big things that separates Cogo Capital from the rest of the pack is its favorable terms on funding.

Historically, most private money lenders demand more ‘skin in the game’ from borrowers. Lee says Cogo would rather you keep more money in your pocket so that you can go out and do more deals.

Cogo loans up to 90% LTV and 100% financing for rehab and repair costs. So, as a flipper, you just need 10% of the purchase price down, your closing costs, and enough cash to get you through the first renovation milestone.

For a quick way to estimate how much you should really be paying for a property, how much you should be budgeting in rehab, and what you can expect to borrow or pay out of pocket, CogoCapital.com offers a simple, easy-to-use tool. It will take your ARV and the level of rehab needed (light, medium or heavy) and base it on the living square footage of the home. This tool will then give you your MAO (Maximum Allowable Offer) and a clear insight on how to plan your investment.

There are three other factors impacting rate and terms:

  1. Credit
  2. Experience
  3. Cash in bank

Although Cogo does look at credit, they love helping new investors and accept borrowers with bad credit and inexperience. That being said, if you come to the table with good credit and experience, you do get a bump up in terms. Average funding time is just 72 hours, depending on the project and how quickly you provide the needed details on the deal.

Need Some Education?

Take Him Up on His Offer to Pay for Your Funding Tour Tickets

For those that want to meet the team in person and learn more about how to profitably do real estate deals in this market, Lee highly recommends getting out to one of the upcoming live Funding Tours.

These 3-day events show you how to find deals and discounted properties, put you on a bus to tour opportunities so you know what to watch out for in the field, teach you how to write offers, and even get you funded live.

Find out the event dates near you at www.FundingTour.com.

This year the $497 tuition fee is even being paid for by Lee’s fund company, so you can attend absolutely free!

It All Starts with the First Deal…

…And Cogo is ready to fund it for you!

Get started at CogoCapital.com, run your deal scenarios, get your proof of funds letter so you can make stronger offers, and discover a new partner for fueling your investment goals with Lee Arnold and Cogo Capital.

 

 

 

Should New Real Estate Investors Attend Local REIA Meetings?

By Lex Levinrad

Find the local Real Estate Investment Club in your area and go to the meetings. Attend each meeting religiously. Get involved, become a member and make new friends with other investors who want to learn about real estate as much as you do. Network with rehabbers, wholesalers, investors, mortgage brokers, title companies and realtors at these meetings. If you have very little money to get started investing then know that there are partners, private lenders and hard money lenders at these meetings that will help you. Don’t bring a friend who is not interested in real estate. They will want to leave or they will bring their own opinions which will influence yours. Do bring a friend who is as passionate as you are about learning about investing in real estate. If you are a realtor keep in mind that there are many new concepts that you will learn about that you may have not been aware of previously. Be open to that and also be open to new ideas.

Network effectively. Make sure you have a business card with a photo. Your card should describe exactly what you do and who you are. Your website on your card should match what you do and who you are. If it doesn’t you will not be taken seriously. If you are a wholesaler then have a card that says that. Make sure that you get a good quality business card and don’t go for the cheapest option. Get a professional logo and picture taken and use a thicker card stock and pay someone to design your business card (you can do this on www.upwork.com). Do not act like a know it all at meetings or make like you know more than you do. You are there to learn, and you learn best by listening to others. Find out the smart people who are having meaningful conversations and introduce yourself and listen.  If you don’t understand something ask. Most investors are more than willing to help new investors.

Do not rush to shove your business card into everyone’s face at every opportunity. Instead make the conversation about the other person (amazing concept). Ask them questions about what they do and be interested. Have one or two meaningful conversations at every meeting with someone new. After a few meetings you will begin to recognize the familiar faces. You will also notice the newbies that show up at every meeting. Those are your potential bird dogs. Don’t skip meetings. That is what newbies do. They show up once or twice and then they don’t come back. If you want to wholesale or fix and flip houses you will need to put in a lot of effort. Start by attending meetings religiously and look at it as a work obligation like an important appointment you can’t miss. Some meetings will not be great and you will question why you bothered going (especially if is raining or the weather is bad). Other meetings will be amazing and you will learn new things and make new connections with other investors.

Remember, you need to know people and they need to know you. The way you do that is by showing up every month at the meeting regardless of how small it is or how many people attend. Attend more than one REIA meeting if you can and there are multiple meetings in an area. Yes, there will be speakers presenting at these meetings and they will often end their presentation with a sales pitch. Look past that. Learn from the one-hour presentation.

Remember you don’t have to sign up for every item that is presented to you (beginners pay attention). Avoid the shiny new object syndrome where every week or month you are on to a new strategy or technique that you heard about. There are no shortcuts. Learn and focus on one thing. Become good at that. Then move on to the next thing. Be wary of charlatans. Every REIA has them. If you are the beginner in the room then as Warren Buffett says, “if you don’t know who the sucker is then it’s you”. So be cautious of the scam artists out there (especially the guys promising you low interest hard money loans with upfront fees).

As a beginner your job is to listen and to learn and network and to educate yourself. Only work with people that have referrals and that other members say good things about. The good people will be easy to spot. They will always show up, will have lots of people who have done business with them, and will have many people who say good things about them. Use your bullshit detector radar. Scam artists are quite easy to spot. Go with your gut feeling about a person. 9 out of 10 times you will be spot on.  

 

Following Up with Motivated Sellers Can Make You Millions

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

Let me ask you a question; are you properly managing your prospects? Are you taking the time to follow up with the sellers who didn’t initially accept your offers, or the sellers you still need to make offers to? Did you know that you are leaving thousands of dollars in potential income behind if you aren’t following up with sellers? One of the easiest ways to make a fortune in the real estate business and gain the advantage over your competition is to take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers. You’ve already got the seller in your pipeline, you’ve already done the marketing and spent the money to find this person, now all you need to do is to follow up with them until they either sell you their property or tell you to go away. How much simpler could it be?

There are two types of sellers we are going to follow up with, those we’ve already made offers to who haven’t accepted our offer and those who have not made any decision after our initial contact with them. Quite often, you will need to make multiple contacts with sellers before their situation changes and dictates that they sell their property to you. If you stay in touch with these sellers, you build credibility with them and when it comes time to sell they will contact you first, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime.

There are a lot of investors in the market these days, and most of them have a very limited knowledge of how the whole follow-up process works, not to mention the inability to create successful deals. What they don’t realize is that many of the sellers you will be dealing with have a variety of problems they aren’t sure how to solve until they are contacted by you.

Some of those may include divorce situations, estates or health issues where there may be emotions tied to the property. With these sellers it may take a little longer before they make that final decision to sell. Most of your competitors will simply throw these potential deals in the trash when they don’t get the property under contract after the initial contact or offer is made. I have made deals many months after the initial contact with the seller was made simply because I took the time to follow up. Not only did I build credibility with the seller, but now they like me better and trust me more than the next investor who may come along.

These are the types of sellers I will place in my follow-up system and follow up with at least every thirty to sixty days if not more often. I have made thousands of dollars on deals other investors would simply have thrown in the trash because I took the time to follow up with a semi-motivated seller. Probably half of the deals I do in a typical year come from following up with these sellers.

In addition, with the help of a fellow investor who is also a software developer, I now have an incredible software system that does all the work for me. It reminds me when I need to do my direct mail campaigns, it reminds me when to follow up with sellers, it has a section to track potential buyers and build a buyer’s list, and it keeps all the information on the properties stored including a photo.

In fact, once I have followed up and purchased the property, my system will match the property with one of the buyers on my buyer’s list, so now; even that part of my business is automated. And once again, isn’t that the whole point to this business, to automate as many things as you can so you can work with the sellers and make the deals happen. You don’t need software to get started with this type of a system. You can simply use an auto-responder and a folder system to begin following up with motivated sellers.

Here is a recent example from my files- I contacted a seller who had inherited a property in Florida where I live and he lived in Michigan. The home belonged to his aunt who had pretty much raised him his whole life. When she passed away the home was left to him and he just couldn’t bring himself to sell it right away. I actually met with the seller and made an offer on the property. He had initially accepted my offer, and then he decided to hold onto the property for awhile and use it as a vacation home. After a year and a half, he got tired of having to deal with all the maintenance issues on the property and ended up selling the property to me for the initial offer I made because I took the time to follow up with him every thirty days or so.

I actually ended up making even more money on this deal than I would have in the first place because the house had appreciated in value during the period of time that he kept it and he had made improvements to the home. Most investors would have thrown this deal in the trash as soon as the seller said no to their initial offer, but because I took the time to follow up, I purchased the property and made a significant amount of money on this deal. I still get holiday cards from that seller.

I’m sure you’re already aware of how important it is to follow up with sellers. It only takes a few minutes each week to follow up with these sellers if you have a good follow-up system in place. I use my follow-up system to follow up with sellers I have made offers to but who haven’t said yes or no to my offer, and with sellers who own homes in areas where I want to buy. I do this by using both direct mail and e-mail to follow up with these sellers. Sometimes if the situation warrants it, I will call them. My system even reminds me to do the follow up. How much simpler can it be? AND…since the seller has already been getting contact from me for a few weeks, if their situation has changed they are ready to sell to me. This is a pretty typical scenario.

With sellers who specifically have properties in areas where I want to buy, I do repeat mailings to a specific list with specific parameters in mind such as out of state owners, quit claim deeds or old sale dates. Each time I do the mailings I continue to clean the list I am using by taking out bad addresses, deals I have purchased or folks who tell me not to mail to them again. The more I mail to these folks, the more credibility I build with them. If you are using a follow up system in your business it is very easy to track these mailings. This is an absolute marketing machine because not only are you doing deals day after day, you are constantly planting seeds for future deals.

If you take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers, you will make more deals and buy more properties with absolutely no competition for these properties whatsoever. It’s a win-win situation for you and the sellers.

For more information on following up with sellers, check out my website at www.marketingmagiclady.com. While you are there be sure and sign up for our free newsletter and get $149.00 in bonuses absolutely FREE.

coaching

Why Hiring a Coach Can Help You Build a Rock Solid Brand Fast

By Sharon Vornholt

Does this sound like you?

You’re always looking for something or someone to help you get over the next hurdle; to help you get to the next level. You know you need a coach, but you might be confused about choosing the right coach for you and how they can actually help you grow your business. You’re wondering if you will you be wasting your hard earned money.

Or maybe you are heading off in a new direction in your business, and you’re not sure how to put all the pieces together when it comes to branding and marketing. You know there is someone out there that can help you streamline the whole process.

If this sounds like you, I can tell you that you are not alone.

Each and every one of us wants to be better at what we do. We are all searching for the next thing we need to do or learn to grow our business. It has been my experience that choosing the right coach to help us master that next “thing” is almost always a game changer for us both personally and professionally.

I can tell you this for sure: you will almost always make more money faster when you hire a coach that can shave years off your learning curve.

Why is that?

The reason is, when we have the right coach to help us take those next steps, suddenly everything becomes easier. The path automatically becomes clearer. The obstacles begin to disappear. And during that process, we generally take a big leap forward in growing our business.

It seems to happen almost magically. That’s because choosing the right coach really can shave years off your learning curve.

What Is the Biggest Thing Holding Most Entrepreneurs Back?

The lack of a rock solid brand, and this is one area where a coach can really help you. Most people either have a weak brand, or they have no brand. What this means is that in most cases you are simply invisible. Who wants to be invisible?

If you look around your field or industry, you probably know someone that is great at what they do, but they are the best kept secret in their industry. No one knows about them.

Or, maybe this sounds like you:

You’ve built a business, and it might even be a great business. However the problem is that people don’t know about it. They don’t know that you are the expert in your field, and that my friend is poor branding.

Let’s Talk about your Brand

People think of colors and logos when they think about branding, and those are the visual components of your brand. What your brand really is though is how people feel about you. It’s also what they say about you when you leave the room. Yikes! What do you suppose they say? Chances are they say “Ben is a nice guy” or “Katie is a great gal”.

But let me ask you this; is this all you want people to say about you? What about your expertise? Where does that shine through? If you haven’t consciously built your brand, it’s probably non-existent. No brand = no shine.

You Need to Change the Conversation

What they should be saying is “Ben is the go to person in ___ (you fill in your field). If you want someone to do that for you, Ben is the expert. He is the person to call.

Or… “Katie is the most knowledgeable real estate person I know. No matter what your needs are, she can make it happen. There is really nothing she doesn’t know about real estate”.

That is what would happen if you had a brand built around your expertise. You have a wide circle of brand awareness and recognition.

Make no mistake about it; building a rock solid brand that shows the world who you are, what you stand for and exactly how you can help your ideal client shows up directly in your checking account.

It’s money in the bank.

Your brand and how it shows up to the world is much more of a determining factor in how much money you make than your actual skills and expertise. Now I want you to think about that for a minute.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t need to good at what you do, because you do. I am merely telling you that in your ideal customer’s mind, it’s all about perception. How you are perceived in the market place directly impacts how much money you make.

Marrying Marketing and Branding – Dollars in Your Bank Account

When you are able to successfully marry your marketing and your branding that’s where the real magic happens.

Remember that marketing is what you do to get leads in the door, and branding is what makes you stand out from the pack so that your ideal client chooses you (rather than your competition). When your marketing is on track and you’ve build a rock solid brand, you will be the obvious choice.