By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

I recently read that the definition of an Entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds the plane on the way down. I would have to totally agree with this sentiment.  Jumping off into “Never-never land” is almost “par for the course.”

When we first started our real estate investing business my husband used to say I would go out and make the mess (find the deal) and he would clean it up (get the inspections done and get the rehab going).  But, my Friend, HANG IN THERE!

The second deal we ever did in our real estate business was a subject to deal. The seller just wanted us to take over the mortgage payments on his house so he could walk away. There was $145,000 of equity in the deal that I didn’t want to lose out on even though I had no idea what I was doing. Heck…I had no idea what taking a property subject to even was at that point. So we just wrote down on yellow legal pad paper what we had agreed to with the seller. I then went back to my local real estate club and found someone to help us do the deal. He charged us $10,000 for his help in creating the paperwork to legally do the subject to deal. Ultimately our paycheck was $51,000. So yes we built the plane on the way down and it was very profitable for us to do so.

Getting started as a Real Estate Investor requires you to at least jot down your “TO DO” list and begin making a plan as you go!

I have always been one of those people who has to jump in first and do it and then fix it later. You need to be able to tame the fear monster and jump in and get some deals done. You will want to get some education in order to do the real estate investing business, or work with someone who already has the education until you figure things out. Working with a partner or a mentor is one good way to get started. I have a mentoring program available and I have many students who have done a ton of profitable deals.

However, your own education is going to be an ongoing process and you need to do it. If you try to do deals without having any idea what you are doing, you’re going to get burned out quickly. You will not get offers accepted, you won’t know what to do if you do get an offer accepted and you may not make nearly as good a deal as you could with a little education under your belt.

Remember:  Your real estate EDUCATION is a process!

There are several things you need to do in order to become a Real Estate Investor.

Sitting in front of the television watching re-runs or playing video games isn’t one of them. You will be able to find lots of reasons to put off getting started in the real estate business. My personal favorites were “my job is keeping my too busy” or “the kids need me” and “What if I mess up?” Once I started making a specific plan and put it in writing, things started to happen. I started keeping a detailed planner outlaying what I have to do the next day, the next week, the next month, etc. This helped to keep me very focused and moving ahead in a specific direction. This will make your business grow faster than you know. You will be able to track tasks, deals, and you can keep your appointment schedule organized as well.  Always remain FOCUSED!

Even after all the years I have been investing in real estate, I still go to seminars and read books to learn even more ways to do great deals.  Continued education is the KEY.  In the beginning, I learned enough in a very short time to do a lot of profitable deals and you can too. But I wasn’t afraid to just jump in and get a deal under contract. Once you get active in the business you will run into a lot of different kinds of scenarios concerning sellers and situations. This is one of the reasons I offer a mentoring program to my students. If they get stuck on a deal or an offer, they know where they can get their questions answered. So, they know they are “building their plane” on the way down.

Please understand that continued education is a key to YOUR success.

A “Hang in there” mentality must always be maintained.  You will initially make mistakes.  We are human.  But eventually, YOU will be very successful.  So, HANG IN THERE!

For all the information you need on adding mentoring to your business so you can “build your plane” check out my website at www.marketingmagiclady.com or call my office directly at 941-792-5390. I offer an amazing six month mentoring program for my students. Many of my students have done many deals and made huge profits in their real estate business by working with me as their mentor. I look forward to working with you too!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathy Kennebrook is the ultimate success story. She spent over 20 years in the banking industry before discovering the world of real estate. After attending some real estate seminars this 4 foot 11″ mother of two got really excited and before you know it she’d bought and sold hundreds of properties using none of her own money or credit. Kathy holds a degree in finance and has co­authored the books­ The Venus Approach to Real Estate Investing, Walking With the Wise Real Estate Investor, and Walking With the Wise Entrepreneur which also includes real estate experts Donald Trump, Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. She is the nation’s leading expert at finding highly qualified, motivated sellers, buyers and lenders using many types of direct mail marketing. She is known throughout the United States and Canada as the “Marketing Magic Lady”. She has put together a simple step­ by ­step system that anyone can follow to duplicate her success. Kathy has been speaking throughout the country and across Canada for over 14 years and has shared the stage with Ron LeGrand, Donald Trump, Dr. Phil, Dan Kennedy, Mark Victor Hansen, Ted Thomas and Suze Orman to name a few.

Is Timing The Real Estate Market Possible?

By Fuquan Bilal

Can investors really time the real estate market, or is it wiser to just consistently invest, and hold?

We all know that there can be fluctuations in real estate prices, even if values are constantly going up over time. So, is it possible to time the market? If so, what does it take? What’s the best way to do it?

Why Try to Time the Market

Trying to time the market is critical in publicly traded stocks. Stocks are now believed to be 70% or more overvalued. It can take a decade or more to recover from that, just to get back to par. There isn’t anything you can personally do about the stock prices. You just have to wait. Worse, there is no downside protection. If it goes too deep, there is a PR scandal or the industry changes, all capital may be lost. It is vital to sell before the market begins to dip, and buy again before it begins to go up, if you want to avoid negative returns.

Real estate is a little different. You can absolutely find greater bargains during tougher times, and sell high in bullish times. This strategy can absolutely help to maximize returns.

However, real estate is a tangible, hard asset, that will be there no matter what. It can also produce income, which doesn’t vary much as asset prices fluctuate. Plus, you can control the value of your real estate assets with improvements and repositioning.

Reasons Not to Try and Time the Real Estate Market

There are two main reasons that most individuals and investors shouldn’t try to time the property market. The first is that investors are notoriously bad at it. Most almost invariably wait too long to sell, and end up folding at the bottom of the market. Then they wait far too long to buy, and miss all the gains.

The second reason is that transaction costs can be high. Between time spent on due diligence and hard closing costs, you stand to lose a decent chunk of change if you sell and rebuy the same property in an effort to time it. Depending on where you are, and the fluctuation, this may be more of loss than if you just held, and received income from the property in the meantime.

Factors Involved in Timing the Market

There are an enormous amount of data points and factors to watch when trying to time the market, including:

  • Affordability
  • Interest rates
  • Treasury bond yields
  • Taxes
  • Rents
  • Building costs
  • Seasonal fluctuations
  • Supply and new constructions
  • Default rates and bank balance sheets
  • Days on market
  • Population growth and migration patterns
  • Jobs and wages
  • Local economic trends

Best Moves

There is a lot to know, learn, master and monitor to effectively time the market. If you are epically good, you can do far better than most in timing the market. Even then, you may not want to sell all your holdings, as you’ll probably want to reacquire them within 48 months or so.

At NNG, we leverage a strong research team, deep data that is way ahead of what the public sees, and maintain a strong mix of assets and strategies, so that some are being turned at their ideal timing, while others are held for consistent yields

Investment Opportunities

Find out more about investing in secured debt and real estate, go to NNG Capital Fund


Connect, Invest and Retire Rich

By Anita Cooper

For most investors, it starts with the dream.

You know the one…financial (and time) independence through investing in property?

While real estate is a fantastic wealth creation vehicle, you’ll be spinning your wheels a lot if you don’t have the right connections in place to get things done.

Yes, in real estate, success often depends on who…not just what…you know!

Everyone tells you that it’s important to build a team when investing in property, and that’s true, definitely.

But wouldn’t it be easier if you simply had a single contact instead? Someone who could “connect the dots” between what you need and who can help meet that need?

Meet Holly Lynn of Bay Area Multi-Family Meetup. She’s that “someone” who can help you make the connections you need to build your wealth.

“My database is global. I know 20 people for every 1 subject, so when people contact me, I can connect them with the right person for their needs.”

Holly works with a variety of investors, everyone from individual investors to groups of investors, helping them obtain the finance they need to get the results they want.

Specifically, investors can look to Holly for their private lending needs, and for opportunities to build their team by attending networking events such as at her famous mixers.

“The feedback I’ve been getting from investors is amazing,” says Holly. “We offer loads of information that helps investors grow their knowledge. I’ve also been able to connect investors with people who help them get fantastic results!”

Your network begins here

Often, you’ll meet someone who is amazing in the real estate industry but is an average, or sometimes even less than average networker.

Holly, however, is one of those rare individuals who is a rockstar at networking, and a whiz at real estate…a powerful combination for any investor looking to grow their portfolio.

Why does she do what she does?

“I am passionate about helping people take back their time. Look, I haven’t worked a retail job since I was 19 – I want others to have the same opportunity.”

Face to face connections

Holly Lynn is all about making connections.

But it’s not just what she does…it’s who she is, and when someone has that level of passion they love to share it with others every chance they get.

One of the most popular, and effective networking avenues is to face to face…even in this modern, social media age.

So to help investors, each month Holly offers a mixer where she serves as a bridge helping investors connect with people they need for their investments and deals.

Social media connections

Holly’s social media accounts are ablaze with activity too – people share what they’ve been able to do, the goals they’ve reached and the connections they’ve made.

“Social influence is definitely me. That’s how I connect people. I make calls constantly to get to know people, then I connect the dots. I know who is looking for what, so I make the connection, get them together and enjoy watching the results!”

Her reputation is seen in the lives changed…

Holly Lynn is a personable and well connected real estate investor and professional that brings deals together for a win win outcome.” – B. Sharma, Investor

“If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity, maybe this is it

As “The Real Estate Investor’s Lawyer” I have spoken in front of many real estate investor clubs.  Holly’s investor club had some of the highest quality attendees I have ever seen. 

They are engaged, experienced and actually doing deals and/or seriously interested in doing deals.  I give her a lot of credit for attracting that high quality of real estate professional. 

I have also had the privilege and pleasure of representing Holly and have been very impressed with her and her real estate investing activities.

They say that opportunity never knocks twice. There’s even a parable of how opportunity is a bald man with a long beard. You can only grab him when he’s in front of you and you can’t get him back once he passes you. If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity, maybe this is it. – J. Lerman, Litigator


The 10 Deadly Mistakes That Will Kill Your Dream

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

I am frequently asked, “If you had it to do over again what would you do differently?” Well, I’d like to answer that question for you. There are several things you can do to help your business grow and several things you can do to kill the dream before it ever has a chance to become a reality. Let’s talk about the “ten deadly mistakes” that can kill your dream.

1. Listening to people who make less money than you do. There are a lot of folks out there who don’t understand this business at all, yet they will want to give you advice faster than anyone else. They basically want to keep you where they are, which is broke. Surround yourself with people who can guide you in a positive way and a forward direction. Get involved with your local real estate club or a mentoring program like Ron LeGrand provides for you. Read all you can on the subject of Real Estate Investing and educate yourself to move forward with your business. Don’t let a “naysayer” kill your dream.

2. Lack of Focus. If you’re anything like I was when I first got started in real estate, then you know how to find something else you’d rather do, or something that seems like it’s more important at the moment. I found very quickly that I had to do the work in order to succeed in the real estate business. The more of the initial “work” I did, the faster my business grew. What I mean by the work is finding motivated sellers, learning how to structure deals and then figuring out my exit strategy. The other part of the work was to very quickly find ways to automate these systems, and get someone else doing the work for me so I could deal only with the sellers. This took concentration and the ability to learn to avoid distractions, like the telephone for example. I very quickly learned to return all calls two or three times a day instead of taking every call that came in. I also had to learn how to focus on specific types of real estate deals at the beginning of my business instead of being pulled in all directions and not accomplishing anything at all. You must stay focused in order to become successful in any business you pursue.

3. Getting Beyond the “Get Rich Quick” Mentality- Anyone who thinks this is a “get rich quick” kind of business is in for a rude awakening. It takes time, discipline and ongoing education to be very successful at real estate. Isn’t worth it to take some time now to learn the business and start doing deals that make you thousands of dollars so you can vacation and spend time with your family a little later? There are so many “get rich quick” schemes out there that just don’t work. Real estate will work for you over and over if you give it the time and discipline it well deserves.

4. Wasting Time With Unmotivated Sellers- I cover this extensively in my Marketing Magic System. Don’t waste valuable time dealing with people who want to sell a property. Deal only with those who NEED to sell. And don’t waste a lot of time on the phone with them. Automate your system to develop ways to get sellers to give you the information you need to determine if there is a deal to be made before you ever have a conversation with them. If a seller is not motivated enough to accept your offer-be it price or terms, find another seller who is. Time is money in this business. I would suggest however, that there are times you will want to follow up with a semi-motivated seller and there are great ways to do this without taking up a lot of your time. I also cover this extensively in my system. Also, don’t waste your time looking at properties before you have made an offer to the seller. I never look at houses anymore without having a very good idea what my seller will accept. I just make the offer “subject to inspection” which gives me an out if the property isn’t what the seller and I agreed to. Usually the deal is made before I ever see a property.

5. Building a Huge Rental Base Before Taking Care of Today’s Cash flow Needs. I could absolutely write a book on this subject. When I first started in the business, I started keeping every single property. All of a sudden I had 55 properties in inventory and no money to pay the bills. I actually started thinking the real estate business just didn’t work. Thank goodness I was proved wrong, but not before learning a very valuable lesson. I have my mentor Ron LeGrand to thank for that. We started liquidating some of those properties to get cash coming in and then developed a plan for how many houses we would retail and how many we would keep each month based on what our personal needs were. If you are just starting out, believe me when I tell that you wholesaling properties is a really good way to build cash flow quickly. If you want to keep some properties, you can do that. Just make sure you develop a plan of action that will work for you and your personal finances. Make sure you have enough cash coming in to meet your personal needs and build a nest egg of extra cash.

6. Fear of Making Offers.  This is another subject I could talk a lot about from personal experience. I remember targeting motivated sellers, having them contact me and then leaving the information on my desk because I was afraid to contact them. Once I figured out that they are just people too, it became a lot easier. If you already have the information about their situation and their property in front of you because you have built a system to do that, you already know most of what you need to know. The rest of the deal lies in your ability to pick up the phone and talk to the seller. Fear of sellers is probably one of the most serious problems you will encounter as a real estate investor, because without the sellers, there are no deals. The biggest problem that I see with students is the fear of rejection from the seller. So what? Either they sell to you or they don’t. If they don’t, then simply move onto a seller who is willing to work with you.

7. Making Excuses like “I don’t know enough yet to make deals”. I am one of those people who just has to jump in first and do it and then fix it later. However, in the real estate business, this just isn’t a really good idea. You do need to get some education in order to do this business, or work with someone who already has the education. Working with a partner or a mentor like Ron LeGrand is one good way to get started. However, your own education is going to be an ongoing process and you need to do it. If you try to do deals without having any idea what you are doing, you’re going to get burned out quickly. You will not get offers accepted, you won’t know what to do if you do get an offer accepted and you may not make nearly as good a deal as you could with a little education under your belt. Even after all the years I have been doing this business, I still go to seminars and read books to learn even more ways to do great deals.  In the beginning, I learned enough in a very short time to do a lot of profitable deals and you can too. Once you get active in the business you will run into a lot of different kinds of scenarios concerning sellers and situations. This is one of the reasons I offer ongoing support to all my students as does Ron. If they get stuck on a deal or an offer, they know where they can get their questions answered.

8. Procrastination. There are several things you need to do in order to become a Real Estate Investor. Sitting in front of the television watching re-runs isn’t one of them. You will be able to find lots of reasons to put off getting started in the real estate business. My personal favorites were “my job is keeping my too busy” and “the kids need me.” Once I started making a specific plan and put it in writing, things started to happen. I have always been a list maker and working the real estate business involved making several more lists. So I started keeping a detailed planner outlaying what I have to do the next day, the next week, the next month, etc. This helps keep me very focused and moving ahead in a specific direction. This will make your business grow faster than you know. You will be able to track tasks, deals, and you can keep your appointment schedule organized as well. There is nothing I know that will keep things in prospective better than a specific plan of action.

9. Lack of Communication Skills. One of the major obstacles I hear my students having trouble with is their lack of communication skills. There are a lot of reasons this happens. One is simply because the student is from another country or part of the country and has an accent that makes it difficult to understand them, or they don’t have a total grasp on the English language. To these folks I say, find someone else to do the talking for you until your communication skills improve. A Realtor or a partner can certainly help you with this problem and you should have a Realtor as a part of your “Dream Team” regardless of your communication level. As a matter of fact, if you have automated your business the way I teach you to, you can buy houses without ever seeing them or talking to a seller. Many of my offers are made in writing without ever seeing the property and then the details are handled by the closing agent. In fact, I deal with a lot of Spanish speaking sellers and I don’t speak a word of Spanish. I simply developed a system to handle these sellers.

10. Fear of Failure- Let me be the one to tell you that the only person who can truly kill your dreams is YOU. The decision is simply yours to make. I know this sounds cliché, but do you really want to go through your whole life wondering if you could have done it? The only way to realize your dreams is to “fail forward”. You may make some mistakes along the way but you will quickly learn what not to do the next time. I would much rather know that when I reach retirement, I will be able to do what I want to do, go where I want to go and not have to depend on anyone to provide for my old age. The easiest decision to make is to do nothing at all, but you get no reward that way. Half of the excitement of my life these days that makes me get up in the morning is finding and doing the next deal because it’s a thrill for me. It definitely isn’t a job anymore. I can also choose to just take the day off and do what I want to do. Only you have the ability to set yourself free to do live your life in whatever way you want to, and real estate is definitely the avenue to accomplish this goal!!

Be sure and check out my website at www.marketingmagiclady.com for all the information you need on finding motivated sellers and lenders for your real estate investing business. While you are there be sure and sign up for my FREE monthly newsletter and get $149.00 in real estate investing tools absolutely FREE!!


Kathy Kennebrook

Kathy Kennebrook is the ultimate success story. She spent over 20 years in the banking industry before discovering the world of real estate. After attending some real estate seminars this 4 foot 11 mother of two got really excited and before you know it she’d bought and sold hundreds of properties using none of her own money or credit.

Kathy holds a degree in finance and has co-authored the books- The Venus Approach to Real Estate Investing, Walking With the Wise Real Estate Investor, and Walking With the Wise Entrepreneur which also includes real estate experts Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, and Dr. Wayne Dyer.

She is the nation’s leading expert at finding highly qualified, motivated sellers, buyers and lenders using many types of direct mail marketing. She is known throughout the United States and Canada as the Marketing Magic Lady. She has put together a simple step-by-step system that anyone can follow to duplicate her success.

Kathy has been speaking throughout the country and across Canada for over 14 years and has shared the stage with Ron LeGrand, Dr. Phil, Dan Kennedy, Mark Victor Hansen, Ted Thomas and Suze Orman to name a few.

Kathy is going to share with you how she generates a seven figure income by mailing a handful of letters throughout the year to highly selected targets by knowing exactly what to send them, who to send them to and exactly how to deliver her message. She will teach you the secrets of pre-screening and automating your marketing and follow up systems to put your entire Real Estate business on auto-pilot.


If Money Could Talk…

By Reggie Brooks

Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not your miracle or your savior. I’m only a medium of exchange to be used as a tool to create your chosen lifestyle. I am not the root of all evil as some of you have believed over the years- I am vital to a prosperous society. Without me, mankind would probably do no better than a primitive agricultural society.

So many people all over the world equate me with power, probably because powerful people covet me. Want to know a secret? I’m sort of like a magnifying glass in that I have a tendency to make an individual more of what they are. Let me explain:

John Rosen of Culver City, California was a kind man. He and his wife and 3 kids attended church and contributed as regularly as their meager income would allow. John worked as a bus driver in Los Angeles and his wife Cathy was a homemaker. Having a family with 3 children assured the Rosens of serious financial challenges. Even so, John was known to give his last to someone whom he deemed as being more needy than he and his family. Everyone knew that John was a giving man.

John received a call one morning to announce that a wealthy relative had died, and that there was a very large sum of money that would be coming his way. The Rosens were saddened by the loss of the relative and happy about the impending financial windfall. It was obvious that their lives were going to make a change.

When the time came, the Rosens received a check of over $750,000! “WOW”! They were elated! They paid their bills off and got a new car. They gave some money to the church and they made some wise investments. Then they did something that I applaud – they looked around, first within their family, then outside the family, and they identified various friends and relatives that were in dire need of the Rosens financial support. Within the first 3 months of receiving that check, not only did they help themselves, they also gave necessary financial support to seven other families! They helped to make the lives of those seven other families better! Receiving that money made them more of what they originally were- a very loving and giving family.

Then there was Bart from New Mexico. Bart was a selfish, self centered man that had no time for the needs of others. Bart was also broke. He was a very poor manager of his funds, which was the reason he was broke. Bart had very few friends and no immediate family to care about. His negative attitude insured distance between him and his peers.

Bart needed to do a little grocery shopping one day, so he got into his pickup truck and drove over to the grocery store. As he pulled into a parking place he spotted a wallet on the ground. Bart jumped out of his truck, swooped the wallet up and got back into his truck. He was so excited about hopefully finding some money that he hands shook while he opened the wallet. $400! That’s what he found in the wallet! Oh, of course there were credit cards, business cards, pictures and identification in the wallet, but Bart wasn’t interested in any of that. They were introduced to the trash can as he approached the store.

He noticed something else as he approached the store. There were a couple of guys standing at the side of the store that got Bart’s attention. When Bart approached the two guys, they told him that they had a brand new 50 inch High Definition TV set worth over $2500, and they were willing to sell it right now for $600. Bart looked in the box and was thrilled to see the TV of his dreams. Bart had the extra $200 in his pocket for the TV, and he had the desire to make a killing of a deal. He told the two guys that he just needed to go into the store and pick up a few items and he’ll buy the TV when he comes out of the store.

Bart loaded the box onto his truck and sped home to enjoy his new toy. When he got home, he got his brother to help him with the box. They got the box to the living room and began to open it. Bricks! That’s what was in the box. Bricks that were meticulously bound and placed in the box! $600 worth of bricks! Is there a moral? How about, “If you are looking to steal, you’ll probably be stolen from. If you’re looking to take advantage of someone, you probably be taken advantage of.”

I’m only a medium of exchange to be used as a tool to create your chosen lifestyle. Use me, but don’t love me. I am not the root of all evil. The love of me is the root of all evil and will cause the weak to do evil things to procure me. When you use me, I will provide you with great things to enhance your life. When you misuse me, I will make your life a living hell. The choice is yours.


Reggie Brooks


Reggie Brooks, is an international speaker, author and educator, dedicated to inspiring others to achieve personal success through real estate investment. He is also the #1 Vacant, Abandoned & Distressed Property Specialist in North America.

Having risen above a life of poverty, he has achieved what many people consider to be impossible. He went from making $36,000 per year at the local telephone company, to making over $40,000 per month in his real estate business. Today, Reggie delivers his personal philosophies for success at major business venues and expositions throughout the United States. Reggie attributes his success to faith, dedication to success, and to the invaluable coaches he has had along the way.


6 Ways Journaling Will Make You a Better Real Estate Investor

By Sharon Vornholt

Today’s article is on the “6 ways journaling will make you a better real estate investor”. I am the first one to admit that the topic is a little bit different than what you’re used to. However paying attention to your mind-body wellness is really one of the keys to your success.

We get so caught up in the “day to day” of our businesses, that sometimes when we are stuck or feeling burned out we cannot figure out why.  Sure; we know we’re bone tired from chasing deals, but it’s more than that.

Journaling is a process that has many unexpected benefits for all entrepreneurs including real estate investors.  Better focus is just one of them.  If you’ve real Hal Elrod’s book “The Miracle Morning”, you know that journaling is one of the things he suggests you do every morning.

It’s Easier than You Think

I know a lot of people say, “I have no idea where to start”.  For all the women reading this, just think back to when you were a young girl. I’ll bet you had a diary. You just sat down and wrote.  We dumped all of our feelings into that little book.

I can tell you that it works pretty much the same when you’re a grownup, but here’s the difference: Instead of unloading all that teenage drama onto the page, what you will be doing is freeing up some brain space to work on your business.

Are you ready to at least give it the benefit of the doubt?

Here we go.

6 Reasons You Should Start Journaling Now

  1. Journaling clears your mind which leads to better focus.

Over time, our brains get clogged up with details.  There are things we need to do, things we should have done (and didn’t), projects, plans, emotions and more. Remember that tenant that is driving you crazy or the house you should have gotten under contract but you botched the offer?

Carrying all this stuff around weighs us down, and it takes our attention off our business.

David Allen wrote the book “Getting Things Done”. In his book he suggest that we periodically do a brain dump.  I personally think you need to do this on a regular basis.  How often you need to do it will be an individual decision. In general when you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s probably time.

Doing a brain dump is also a way to begin your journaling experience.

In another one of my favorite books “Double Your Income doing What You Love”, Raymond Aaron talks about cleaning up your “messes”.   He is referring not only to physical messes, but to all the things AKA “messes” in your mind that take your concentration away from your business.

Action Step: It’s time to do a brain dump. Write down every unfinished or half-finished task, project or idea you haven’t gotten around to. Get them out of your head and onto paper. Once you do that, you will have the framework for a plan of action. 

  1. Journaling helps you be more creative.

Regular journaling can help you brainstorm new ideas. You probably think your ideas are pretty dull and ordinary. However once you put all those ideas on paper, you will begin to see a bigger picture emerge for growing your investing business.  Thoughts, ideas, and opportunities begin to come together once you begin writing.

Action Step:  Once you’ve done your brain dump, look at what you have written. Where is there an opportunity for creativity in your business?  What ordinary thing can you do differently; in a more creative way? You might just surprise yourself.

  1. Journaling helps you think big.

Write “no limits” at the top of one of your pages.  (Remember that no one has to see this).  If there were no limits, what would your dream business look like?  You can put all those big ideas on the page without your inner voice telling you, “That won’t work”. This is a judgement free zone.

Action Step:  Write down 3 big ideas you have for your REI business you haven’t said out loud. Nothing is off limits.

  1. Journaling helps you build better habits.

Once you begin journaling, you will automatically become more aware of your actions and your habits.  Whether it is things you need to do more of (like exercising or eating better) or things you are doing too much of (like wasting time surfing the internet), they will become apparent as you write about your days. As an entrepreneur, over time your habits will likely be largely responsible for the success of your real estate business.

Action Step: Decide to write even a paragraph in your journal each day that describes your previous day. Be sure to include the good, the bad and the ugly whatever that might be.

  1. Journaling provides a healthy way to process emotions and relieve those stresses in your life.

Remember the deal you blew and the tenant that’s driving you crazy?  The simple act of writing down these types of things (before having a physical meltdown) can literally save your business and your reputation. It’s a much healthier outlet for those emotions.

Carrying around all that stress weighs you down, and it can do actual physical damage to your body.  It definitely prevents you from being the best you can be.

Action Step:  Write down something that is causing you stress.  How do you feel? What emotions are holding you back? Once you get those down on paper, write out a solution or a way to at least deal with the situation that will take the weight of it off your shoulders.

  1. Journaling helps you feel a sense of achievement.

We all have those thoughts. You know; the ones about how we are falling short when it comes to our real estate business.

When you commit to a regular journaling process (even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes a day), your progress and achievements will be right there on the page.  Journaling allows you to celebrate all your wins no matter how big or small they are.

Action Step: Write down at least 5 “wins” you can claim for your business. They can be simple things or big achievements. Then pat yourself on the back.

Journaling Tools

You may be the type of person that uses the computer for everything you write. If you are that person, there are plenty of online journals you can use.  A lot of people prefer online tools simply because they are more private.


I’m more of a pen and paper person when it comes to a journal. In fact, I love writing in a beautiful quality journal.  The actual book is as important to me as what goes in the book.  You just need to find what works best for you.  The important thing is to just get started.

Here are some resources that you might want to take a look at when it comes to online journals.


This is a free app that can be accessed from anywhere.  JRNL is rated one of the top online journals and it’s private. You can customize the pages in your journal, you can share entries in your journal (although I’m not sure why you would do that since they are meant to be private), and you can “write on the fly”.

You can check it out here at JRNL.com


Penzu has both free and paid versions of its online journal.  They say they have over 2 million users around the world.  This journal is password protected, fully customizable and they will send you an email reminding you to write in your journal each day.


It you cannot wrap your brain around how to get started journaling, ONEWORD might just be the tool to help you to get started. The premise is simple.  Create your free account and you will be directed to the next page.  Once you’re on that page, you’ll see one word at the top of the following screen. You have sixty seconds to write about it.  This is actually a great way to start if you’re not used to writing.

Ready to Dive In?

If you’re still on the fence about keeping a journal, I would say just give it a try.  I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it.

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY.

Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. She began investing in real estate in 1998 and became a full time real estate investor in January of 2008.

Sharon specializes in wholesaling, and is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.

In addition, Sharon is an internet marketer and also writes articles for several national real estate sites. Sharon is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. For your FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches”, stop by her blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.


3 Unique Ways to Turn Your Property Into a Money-making Machine

By Ashley Lipman

Almost any property is capable of turning a viable ROI if managed with savvy and foresight. Even bare vacant land can turn a profit if you know where to look for the right kind of customer.

Making money through real estate is as old as real estate itself (which is to say, “as old as dirt”), but we want to present here three often un-thought-of ways you can turn a profit from your land and/or building.

  1. Contract With a Cell Phone Company

There are some 300,000 cell towers in the US at present, and that number is growing by around 10,000 new towers per year. If you have vacant land in a strategic enough location, given the right zoning requirements are not an obstacle, you can make a lot of money by letting a cell phone company build a tower on your land and then collecting ongoing rent for the use of your land.

If a cell phone company approaches you with an offer, that makes it a lot easier (and gives you more “negotiating clout”), but you can also advertise or contact companies to make offers.

But don’t cut yourself out of a solid profit margin needlessly. Rent is this niche area varies greatly, from $100 to $50,000 per year (not month). In fact, you’re better off talking to an expert consultation firm to find out how to get the most cell tower rent before making any final decisions and signing on the dotted line.

  1. Run Your Rental “Empire” Smarter

Owning rental property is about as common a business venture as you’ll find, but the fact is, many landlords aren’t getting the full benefit out of their investments. There’s quite a learning curve involved in taking on land-lording, and so, it isn’t surprising if new landlords (and even experienced ones) have significant room to improve their profit margins.

The number one reason that property owners lose money on leases is, harsh as it may sound, that they lease to the wrong people. Having a unit sit empty can be frustrating, but you’re much better off being patient and upholding high standards. You need to combine two elements: an attractive “deal” to draw in good tenants and a thorough screening process to keep out bad tenants.

That means you make it clear that you will promptly respond to legitimate tenant complaints, make all reasonable and necessary repairs, don’t invade tenants’ privacy, provide (if possible) a tenant-only laundry facility and a game room/social lounge, and of course offer only well renovated and attractively decorated units. You charge slightly more than your target ROI, then you grant a year’s-end discount for paying rent on time or otherwise reward reliable, timely payers.

But also have strict rules for not disturbing other tenants, not destroying your property, and as to late fees and eventual evictions. Also monitor tenants for illegal subletting and other ploys. If all that sounds like work, don’t be afraid to hire a property manager: with the right policies in place, you can still do well. And you can still afford to be reasonable, patient, and generous with tenants with legitimate reasons for occasional late rent. It’s all a matter of having reliable, good renters in general, not perfect renters who never have a problem.

  1. Use Your Home to Generate Extra Cash

Another angle for homeowners is to simply use their home itself to generate extra cash. There are many ways to do this, so we can’t quite be exhaustive here. But here are a few prime ideas:

  • Set up a home office. Renovate, say, your attic or basement, or simply use a spare bedroom. If you can work from home even part of the time, you will save lots of money on transportation expenses. You’ll need a computer and Internet connection, but most people already have that anyway, so it’s not an extra cost. And you can typically deduct the cost of your home office from your taxes each year as well.
  • Offer storage and/or parking. Storage facilities are very popular these days, and they charge a hefty price monthly in many cases. If you have an extra shed, garage, or room, (or if you’re willing to put a new outbuilding up for the purpose), you may be able to attract people willing to pay a much-lower-than-normal monthly storage-space rental fee. Or, if you live in a neighborhood nearby a sports stadium, concert hall, or other popular venue, you may be able to advertise cheap, convenient parking and frequently get takers.
  • Take on a roommate. Anyone with a spare bedroom and bathroom, and who is willing to share their kitchen and living room with a “reasonable person,” should consider taking on a roommate. It’s easy to advertise online, in the newspaper, or on local bulletin boards, and you can save your new roommate money with lower rent at the same time you make extra money yourself and maybe gain a new friend.


Invest for Success!

By Dr. Albert Lowry

You no doubt want to be a successful investor, but you need to know how to move beyond the wishing stage. I have some tips to help you get started and learn what to do to keep yourself on the right path. We’ll take a step-by-step look at how you too can go from just a dream of being a real estate entrepreneur, to having your own real estate portfolio that is your key to financial freedom for life.

First, you must set goals. Don’t just think about them, but instead put them in writing. The act of writing has the effect of making your goals more real and getting them into the subconscious part of your brain, so that they are always there in the background, motivating you.

Another important point to understand to prepare yourself for success, is that risks and sacrifices are involved. You already know that just about anything that has big potential rewards means that you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and this is no different.

Simply put, if you don’t make the effort, you won’t experience the reward. Here’s the level of effort that I suggest: at least one hour per day devoted to studying real estate investing concepts and their real-world applications.

On weekends especially, you have the opportunity to explore the real estate market in your own area by touring neighborhoods, looking at houses, networking with people, and building up a base of knowledge about prices, amenities, desirable areas, and more. You’ll sacrifice the time that you would have spent napping or watching TV, but the potential payoff is long-term financial independence for yourself and your family.

As I mentioned, there is risk involved. Any investment that can make money for you can also lose money. That’s a fact of life, but there are ways to tip the balance sharply in your favor. You can protect yourself by ensuring that contracts are written to your advantage, by paying attention to both what is in a contract, and also what’s not. It is imperative that you read and understand everything that is contained in the contract, including all clauses, and also foresee any contingencies that are not mentioned. You may even choose to have a real estate attorney to help you review property contracts to be sure that there are no “gotchas.”

Now, I promised that I would provide you with step-by-step instructions to Invest for Success. This is a quick thumbnail sketch of the 7 steps involved in the process and important points to know. You’ll tailor a plan for yourself, but this will give you a good start.

  1. Develop a simple plan. Keep your real estate portfolios local and plan to focus on single family homes at the beginning.
  2. Learn your market. We touched on this earlier because it’s important to know prevailing costs per square foot, develop the capability to assess quality, and have a good working knowledge of which amenities are desired in your area. That will give you the ability to spot bargains. Using a mentor who has succeeded in real estate investing can help you fast-track this process.
  3. Think like a businessperson. Like any business, you will want to buy at wholesale and sell at retail. You’ll make businesslike assessments of each property to determine whether it should be held for rental income or sold for resale profit.
  4. Learn to identify hidden bargains and act quickly. Acting quickly does not mean acting impulsively, though. You still will carefully structure your contracts with contingencies and the option to assign the contract, which will protect your interests and profit potential. If your plan is to flip, be sure beforehand that no “major surgery” on the property is required. Any improvements you plan to make should be visibly beneficial and have the potential of raising the rental price or the resale value.
  5. Learn landlording. Even if you plan to turn the task over to a professional management company, you still need to know the fundamentals of how to manage properties and tenants. Otherwise, how will you know whether a management company is doing a good job for you, or not?
  6. Establish trade accounts with companies such as building supply stores. This will enable you to save money, get into the loop with local tradespersons and other real estate professionals, and build your line of credit. It will also help you establish good bookkeeping, which gives you a sound basis for business decisions on your properties. I suggest keeping a daily log for your expenses. You’ll be glad you did when you’re doing your recording keeping, and at tax time.
  7. Borrow money for your investments. You can use banks, 50/50 partners, or private individuals. When you use seller-assisted financing, creative financing terms are often possible, such as shared future appreciation on the property or no-money-down deals.

In summary, decide what you’d like to do, and ensure that you have the proper knowledge and formula for success to make it happen. Remember that nothing at all happens for you unless you take action, so why not get started on your dream today?

Your partner in prosperity,

Dr. Albert Lowry

The Solution to the Investment Guru Gap

By Russ Keith

How did you get started in real estate investing?

Maybe someone else…a friend, family member…or even your spouse, was bitten by the property investing bug and you caught it.

Or maybe you were invited to a weekend property investing seminar and found yourself thrilled with all of the prospects for financial freedom that property investing holds.

There’s no doubt about it…investing in real estate can be a real life changer, but what happens when all of the energy and excitement you felt after the seminar begins to fade?

After all, investing in property is no cakewalk…if it were, everyone in the world would be doing it.

And as fun and educational as a property seminar can be, what happens when everyone packs up and goes home, and you’re left with the feeling of “what now?”

Maybe you start by watching the videos on the guru’s website. But what happens if confusion begins to set in after watching them? Or maybe you understand what you need to do, but you can’t get answers to specific questions about your market.

What do you do then?

More than just an education in investing

Through their investment meetup group called Crush It, REI Systems Academy founders Russ Keith and his wife Kim noticed a trend.

Some investors would come to the meetings for about 8 months or so, but then would simply disappear. When Russ called them up to find out how they were doing, he discovered these investors had run out of money or just got frustrated, disheartened and then quit.

When he drilled down further into what was going on, Russ discovered that once the “new” had worn off from the investment seminars these people had attended, they were left without a compass.

The videos, website and other material left by the property investing guru couldn’t really help the investors with the mental shift they needed to move from an “employee”  to a “business owner” mindset.

Nor could it address the particulars of the investors’ marketplace.

Filling the guru gap

REI Systems was created with the goal of filling in the gap between the education investors receive at property seminars and the day to day investment decisions every investor needs to make.

What makes REI Systems different?

Investors receive a real education in property investing, from real educators who have been teaching high school and university level students for more than two decades!

Russ and Kim have also flipped properties for nearly 30 years, earning between $14,000 and $80,000 profit on each homestead flip.

How does it work?

You’ll meet with Russ and up to 9 other investors in a classroom setting once a week for three hours over a 16 week period. At the end of each class you’ll be given homework and told what to do, step by step.

If you have any questions between sessions, Russ is always available to help. He’ll answer your question(s) and if he thinks it can help the rest of the class he’ll share the information with them at the next class.

When you begin putting your knowledge to the test, Russ will be there every step of the way. He’ll even walk with you as you inspect a potential investment property.

In fact, if Russ hasn’t heard from you in a while you can expect to receive a phone call to find out what’s going on.

Your success is that important!

Bottom line, you can pay tens of thousand of dollars for one 30 minute call a week and a bunch of videos with a travelling investment guru, or spend much, much less and be mentored by local investors – and educators – who know the market and know what it takes to succeed in that market.

It’s your call.



Property Value: The Capitalization Approach

By Dan Harkey

When arranging a loan or investing in real estate, understanding the use of capitalization approach (“Cap Rates”) is critical to the decision-making. This subject is important to commercial realtors, lenders, developers, and investors.

Definition of Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)

Cap Rates represent the ratio of Net Operating Income (“NOI”) to the property asset value (NOI / Value = Cap Rate). The income capitalization approach does not consider whether the property is free and clear with no debt service. NOI is simply gross rents, less a vacancy allowance, less operating expenses. If you have similar properties with similar characteristics in a similar geographical location that have recently sold in arm’s length cash transactions, you can calculate the comparison cap rates. Also, cap rates may vary, even in the same geographic location, depending upon the multiple types of properties.  Examples are, Class A vs Class C office, industrial, apartments, new modern styles with amenities vs older dated properties.  Additionally, the strength of the tenancy from national credit tenants with long term leases, vs a mom and pops’ month to month tenancy would result in a different cap rate. Most likely the mom and pop tenancy would reflect a higher cap rate. An exception would be where the national credit tenant locks a lease/rental rate that does not increase as the market dictates or anticipates, reflecting what is referred to as below market rent. The mom and pop, on the other hand, could be converted to a market lease relatively quickly, by either acquiring a new tenant or by renegotiating the lease with a higher rent

Market rents should be used rather than actual rents.  In most cases, actual rents are lower. When there is a lease up period, such as with new construction of an income producing property, future cash flows need to be estimated to the point of income stabilization, then the future stabilized income is discounted, utilizing an estimate of a capitalization rate, and a discount rate. Work with a good appraiser on this?

Once the market Cap Rate has been determined, you can apply it to the NOI and cap rate analysis of the property under consideration to indicate the probable market value.

At this point, I want to credit competent commercial appraisers, who can assist us to find the correct Cap Rate. I would not try to do it myself, without the assistance of an appraiser with local experience.

Let’s say for example that: The market Cap Rate for a commercial property with triple net leases (“NNN”) has been determined to be 6.5%. The 10,000 square foot multi-tenant property under consideration generates monthly rents of $1.50 per foot. After applying a 10% vacancy collection and loss factor and expenses of 5% for management and reserves, the NOI is $153,900.

10,000 sf X $1.50 = $5,000 Per mo. X 12 Mos. = $180,000 gross income

$180,000 – $18,000 10% vac. = $162,000 – $8,100 5% exp. = $153,900 NOI

$153,900 NOI / .065 Cap Rate = $2,367,692 asset value

From an investment standpoint Cap Rates can also indicate a prevailing rate of return before debt service and can help a lender/investor to measure both return on invested capital and profitability based on cash flow. An informed lender/ investor should understand that there may be dramatic variations in a property’s value when unsupported or unrealistic Cap Rates are applied.

Why do we use Cap Rates?

The capitalization approach is used as a “comparative method” of valuing property based on similar geographic locations, similar properties, and similar risks that would yield a comparable rate of return. Once the value is established, the loan to value ratio can be calculated to determine if it falls within loan underwriting guidelines.

Of course, Cap Rates are only one metric. They represent a snapshot of the market at the time of investment and they do not take debt service or financing costs into consideration. Therefore, if a borrower is going to finance his investment, as most people do, then further analysis such as cash on cash return would be useful. Sophisticated loan underwriters and investors will also do an Internal Rate of Return calculation. These calculations assist in establishing that the collateral property is not only income producing but a worthwhile investment.

Cash on Cash Return

Cash on cash return is a quick analysis that can be done to determine the yield on an initial investment. It is developed by dividing the total cash invested (the down payment plus initial cost), or the net equity into the annual pre-tax net cash flow.

Assume the borrower purchased the property which costs $1,200,000 and provides an NOI of $100,000, with a $400,000 down payment representing the equity investment in the project. The cash on cash return for this property would be:

$100,000 / $400,000 = 25%

If the borrower were to purchase the property for all cash, his cash on cash return would be:

$100,000 / $1,200,000 = 8%

It is clear from this formula that leveraging or financing real estate transactions will yield a higher cash on cash return, provided the transaction is financed at a favorable interest rate.

Internal Rate of Return

The internal rate of return (“IRR”) refers to the yield that is earned or expected to be earned for a given capital investment over the period of ownership. The IRR for an investment is the yield rate that equates the present value of the future benefits of the investment to the amount of capital invested.  The IRR applies to all expected benefits, including monthly and yearly cash flow and the proceeds from resale at the termination of the investment. It can be used to measure the return on any capital investment, before or after income taxes. Ideally, the IRR should exceed the cost of capital.

Is there an ideal Cap Rate?

Each growth/investor should determine their own risk tolerance that will reflect the ideal for their portfolio. A lower Cap Rate means a higher property value.  A lower Cap Rate would mean that the underlying property is more valuable but that it may take longer to recapture the investment. Whichever Cap Rate is targeted will represent the annual return overtime (before financing costs and taxes) an investor can expect to make on the investment at the time the property is acquired. If investing for the long term one might select properties with lower Cap Rates. If investing for cash flow, look for a property with a higher Cap Rate. It’s valuable to look at historical Cap Rates and Cap Rate trends on the specific property type in a specific geographical location. Declining Cap Rates may mean that the market for your property type is heating up. A Cap Rate that is either at the top of the range or at the lower end of the range is likely to change and it may be wise to adjust the analysis and/or investment strategy accordingly. And make certain, when comparing Cap Rates, to compare the same geographical locations and property types, apartments to apartments.  For Cap Rates to remain constant on any given investment, the rate of asset appreciation and the increase of NOI it produces will occur in tandem and at the same rate.

Below are examples of the affect changes in NOI and/or Cap Rates on asset values:

As NOI increases and Cap Rates remain the same, asset value increases.


$300,000 / .06 = $5,000,000

$350,000 / .06 = $5,833,000

$400,000 / .06 = $6,666,666

$450,000 / .06 = $7,500,000

The effect on Asset Value when the Cap Rate varies.


$500,000 / .03 = $10,000,000

$500,000 / .04 = $ 8,333,333

$500,000 / .05 = $ 7,142,857

$500,000 / .06 = $ 6,250,000

Cap rates are driven by property type, geographic location and market sentiment. During the recent recession, as property values fell, Cap Rates increased dramatically for some property types in certain areas of the country. The improving economy has reversed that trend.

Correlation Between Cap Rates and US Treasuries  

The US Ten Year Treasury Note (“UST”) is deemed to be the risk-free investment against which returns on other types of investments can be measured. Interest rates on UST have been on a broad decline for many years but have recently began to rise.  There is now concern that as interest rates begin to rise, so will Cap Rates will rise and consequently there may be reduction in asset values over time? With so many uncertainties in the market, and growth projections constantly being revised, the spread between UST and Cap Rates have not remained constant.

Also, the discussion of the above, affect of cap rates resulting from artificially low interest rates, inflationary expectations, and anticipated increased interest rates need to be discussed in another article.


Cap Rates are a good starting point in analyzing a property’s value, but they should not be the only analysis. It is prudent to look at the cash on cash return and the internal rate of return as well. Factors such as changes in NOI, vacancy rates, and changes in neighborhood property values are just a few other considerations. Also recognize, that Cap Rates may vary widely in different geographic areas. Property appreciation, perhaps one of the greatest reasons for investing in real estate, is not part of the Cap Rate calculation. For investors, the tax benefits of owning commercial real estate may, in and of themselves, be the driving force to make such an investment. If the property is to be leveraged, then there may be write-offs for loan fees, interest expense, depreciation and investment expenses. Taking all these factors into account can help achieve the basis for making a sound business decision.

As interest rates go up, will this automatically cause Cap Rates to rise, and values to go down. Not necessarily in the short term. Remember that increased debt service based upon higher interest rates is not considered in the capitalization approach.  But, over time as interest rates go up, borrowers will feel the sting of higher debt service payments.  Some property transactions may become less appealing financially.  As purchasers and borrowers elect not to purchase, that may compound and create more unsold inventory.  Some sellers may get desperate and reduce price to sell quicker.  The lowered price would result in an increased cap rate.  On a macro level, this could result in lowering all real estate prices.

How dramatic can lowered real estate prices be over time? As we witnessed 10 years ago that the contagion effect could spread and result in dramatically lower values, and substantially increased Capitalizations Rates.

Dan Harkey is a business and private money financial consultant. I have been active in the real estate and financial services industry since 1972. I have taught courses on private money lending and underwriting of commercial/industrial properties at over 350 educational seminars. This and many other articles I have written are available to read on my website Danharkey.com

You may also reach me at my office (949) 521-7115 or by e-mail at dan@danharkey.com you can also find me LinkedIn.

Dan J. Harkey

Business and Private Money Lending Consultant

Mobile: 949.533.8315

Office: 949.512.7115


 The article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation