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All Posts by Carole Ellis

About the Author

Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.

Feb 25

Warning: Smart-Home Devices Going Berserk? | Episode 7

By Carole Ellis | News

This Article was Discussed in Episode #7 of the REI Today Podcast. Click Here to Listen Now

If you love the idea of being able to unlock your front door using your smart phone or use an in-home camera to watch your kids while you’re still at work, you probably love the idea of having a “smart home.” However, when your “smart devices” fly off the handle, it can be downright scary, as many users of a certain smart-home network purchased by Google for billions in late 2014 can attest. Nest, which is widely considered to be one of the most potential-filled smart-home systems, has gotten some pretty negative publicity lately thanks to some truly disturbing YouTube footage of smart fire alarms “going berserk” and a number of highly-publicized camera and film outages that left parents unable to contact or supervise their offspring.

While Nest products, as you might expect, work really well a lot of the time, the times that they malfunction are far more entertaining and likely to go viral. Furthermore, Nest has a “nasty habit” of blaming its service providers brutally and sometimes without investigation for product malfunctions, and rumor has it that the upper management echelons are in turmoil at the moment as well. Add all this together, and things are not presently looking bright for Google’s latest way to invade your home.

Lesson to Learn: As more and more homeowners want smart-appliances in their homes, real estate investors are beginning to install them in rehabs and renovations as well as in new development. Investors must determine for themselves and their market whether negative publicity and high-profile service outages mean that smart items should be left to the homeowner to install, Nest specifically should be avoided, or the whole thing is not really that big a deal.

Point to Ponder:

In your opinion and experience, do home-buyers really make their decisions based on the presence or absence of smart appliances?

Thank you for reading REI Today’s News and Networking Section!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below.

Listen to Episode 7 here

 

Feb 25

A Little Mortgage-Rate “Magic” Heading Your Way… | Episode 6

By Carole Ellis | News

This article was discussed in Episode #6 of the REI Today Podcast. Click Here to Listen Now.

When the Fed raised interest rates by a mere 0.25 percent at the end of 2015, many borrowers, analysts, and economists reacted with loud proclamations that the mortgage-interest-rate sky would soon be falling. That first incremental rate hike, they warned, heralded the end of four-percent interest rates and, to hear many of the “talking heads,” you would have thought that we were heading back to the “bad old days” of 16-percent interest. When reality came crashing home, however, in the form of global economic instability in early 2016, it certainly was bad news for a lot of people, but not for home-loan borrowers. Now, it appears that interest rates will remain low indefinitely and, furthermore, some experts say that mortgage rates are likely to head even lower in the near future.

One of the main proponents of the historically-low-interest-rate prediction is Guy Cecala, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. He explained that U.S. Treasury bonds are yielding at the lowest levels since 2012 and, he added, where those bonds go, so do mortgage rates. The result, then, is that you probably have a little more time to get that home loan before things get hairy for your mortgage application. However, Cecala warned that historically low home loan rates are not really good for the overall economy. He said that a healthier economy would have “mortgage rates in the five percent range” instead.

Lesson Learned:

Instead of worrying about what the media is “spinning” about mortgage rates, watch the bond market! As long as those yields are down, your home loan interest rates are likely to stay down as well.

Point to Ponder:

If those yields stay down long term, it will be bad for the overall economy and could end up hurting the same homeowners rejoicing over the “extension” of low rates. How long do you think our housing market and broader economy can take this?

Thank you for reading REI Today’s News and Networking Section!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below.

Listen to Episode 6 here

Feb 25

The INVESTING GENIUS Behind the $6,000 Beer Pong Table | Episode 5

By Carole Ellis | News

This article was discussed in Episode #5 of the REI Today Podcast – Click Here to Listen Now

Can you imagine a scenario in which it makes good, solid investing sense to put a $6,000 beer pong table in a home you are selling and then leave it there for the new owner? This is not some crazy new staging technique; it’s a new concept favored by extreme investor Mike Meldman, who is known for his over-the-top resort-living communities that are, essentially, full of fraternity houses for families. Meldman, who coined the term “frat houses for families,” owns Discovery Land Company, a corporation that has already developed 18 private resorts that center around expensive activities for families to enjoy together. For example, every community has an over-the-top golf course equipped with on-site chefs and no dress codes, and every home has an extensive home theater system and, in many cases, extravagant entertainment “equipment” like, well, $6,000 beer pong tables.

Not surprisingly, Meldman locates his communities in areas of great natural beauty and that are usually already highly desired by wealthy buyers. Maui, Hawaii; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Big Sky, Montana are all home to Meldman developments. Not only are properties in the resorts available for purchase, but non-residents can apply to be members as well.

So should you start installing super-high-end amenities in your investment properties?

Well, yes and no. If you’re a developer like Meldman, then sure, try it! You could have a zillion-dollar frat-house-for-families hit on your hands. However, the real lesson here is to identify whatever it is that resonates with your target buying market and go out of your way to stand out for that thing. If your buyers love green homes, then evaluate the very best way to make a home truly green (preferably in an economic manner) and do it. I know a rehabber who made a fortune turning old homes into green homes, and she did it because she identified her buyers first as people who would rather have older, historic-feeling homes but who valued energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. Is that a huge market? Well, apparently it’s big enough. Maybe your buying market wants something as simple as windows into the playroom or a certain type of appliance. Whatever it is, identify it, then consider adding it to your repertoire when building your portfolio of investment real estate.

Point to ponder: What would make you jump at the chance to purchase a property?

Thank you for reading REI.Today’s News and Networking Section!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below.

Listen to Episode 5 Now

Feb 24

GREEN BERETS SECRETS to INFILTRATING hot markets fast | Episode 7

By Carole Ellis | REI Today Podcast

How would you like to INFILTRATE the country’s HOTTEST REAL ESTATE MARKETS and immediately get started leveraging those thriving economies without wasting days, weeks, months, or YEARS “putting in your time” first? If you can’t resist the boiling-over markets like Denver, Colorado or just about anything on the West Coast, then this episode is one you can’t afford to miss. I’ve got the proven secrets (delivered straight from a real, live Green Beret who’s been working in these markets for more than a decade) today. I’m Carole Ellis. This is Episode 7.

So before I introduce you to my friend who likes his markets hot, I’ve got to mention something else that appears to be “boiling over” – and not in a good way – that you need to be aware of if you install “smart” appliances in your investment homes or if you’ve got any of those cool-but-creepy devices in your own personal castle. Rumor has it that one of the most popular (and most potentially profitable) smart-home startups out there (purchased by Google a few years ago for $3.2 billion) is having some, well, let’s just say “domestic issues” that are causing its devices, according to some users, to “go beserk.” You need the details before you install this stuff in your home or any investment property, so head on over to our News and Networking Section at REI.Today to get all the details.

Now, let’s get back to infiltrating those hot housing markets with military precision. First, I want to tell you about my friend, David Corbaley. He’s a former Green Beret who spent a decade in the military and then another 7 and a half years as a firefighter. You want a hero? Here he is, and David, we are so grateful to you for your service. David presently lives in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, Boulder Colorado, and he basically fired up his real estate investing business in that area less than a year ago when he moved there. He told me in our interview, which you can read in its entirety in the REI Today Vault, by the way, that when he quit firefighting, all his friends said he was crazy, “but they don’t call me crazy anymore,” he said. David’s thing is going into markets where normal investors might fear to tread and literally unlocking deals that no one else knows about.

You know I love a secret, so that was my first mission when I talked to David. I wanted to know exactly what those deals are (and where to find them). He disclosed to me that the key to finding real estate deals in a hot market is to locate sellers who may not even know that they are sellers yet using highly specialized ads. You’re probably familiar with David’s favorite ad venue, Google’s Adwords, but you may not realize that using a certain combination of words in your adwords can not only keep your advertising budget down, but dramatically increase your returns. David told me that these words are the key to finding the right motivated sellers – the UNDERCOVER SELLERS – that no one else is reaching.

So what does REI Today’s favorite Green Beret-turned-real-estate-investor do once he’s got those leads? Well, he used to flip the houses. Now, however, he’s turned his machine into such a fantastic lead generator that for a lot of other investors he is, in his own words, “the only game in town.” He takes those undercover motivated sellers and their properties and wholesales them right away to a select group of equally motivated investors active in those hot markets. “My favorite deal is a simple flip,” said David, adding, “You find a property that is maybe in a little bit of a negative situation where it might need to be cleaned out. It might be dirty. There are so many reasons that people sell when they just want to be done.” He told me that a lot of times, those properties can be had super-cheap because of the seller’s mindset, not necessarily because the property is in horrible disrepair. Then, he can flip them to another investor or, in some cases, an end buyer who really wants a home at a discount in a hot area.

So now, let’s get to what you’ve all been waiting for: David’s Top Three Hot-Market Infiltration Techniques:

First, he loves the internet, and he loves Adwords because it lets him reach any market he wants within minutes of deciding it’s a target. It let’s sellers find me “on their time, when they want me,” he said, noting that most people turn to the internet immediately when they are ready to take action. He compared it to looking for a salon or a grocery store or a mechanic – when you need one, you’re going to pull out your phone or your laptop first. Next, David does leverage direct mail on a regular basis, although he warned that this option can be exasperating because, “90 percent of that mail is going to fall on deaf ears.” The other 10 percent, however, are really good leads. And finally, David leverages something that no one else can: HIMSELF. “Tell people what you do,” he advised, noting that the rewards could pay off minutes or months later. And while you can’t leverage being David Corbaley, you CAN leverage being something that no one else is, YOURSELF, in a network that no one else has, YOUR NETWORK. “Talking to people is one of my favorite ways to generate leads because you talk so much over the course of a day you can build a massive network,” said David.

So here’s the lesson I learned here: UNDERCOVER SELLERS are the key to any market. Figure out the right words to find those people who may not LOOK ready to sell but are feeling the drive to do so, and you’ve found the key to your hot market. And while you’re probably familiar with a Corbaley favorite, adwords, there’s another HUGELY OVERLOOKED ANGLE in Google that you can actually leverage FOR FREE that will help you find those valuable undercover sellers in a way that no one else is doing. if you want to see a sample of how David does it, he’s given us access to such a sample (and I have to say, it’s pretty cool how easy it is) that you can view along with the full interview transcript in, you guessed it, the REI Today Vault!

it you’re not a member, then get your free membership RIGHT NOW by texting the word REITODAY (no spaces, no periods) to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault and I’ll provide fast, free access to this powerful word and a lot more seriously insightful stuff that will make your real estate investing safer, faster, and more profitable. So just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault to get access now…

When you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country!  Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.today/vault right now for your free membership.

Thanks for listening in. Be sure that you stay tuned for episode 8, where you won’t BELIEVE what CERTAIN LANDLORDS are being pressured to do. I’ll just tell you now, it’s a very controversial subject, and I know we’re going to heat up more than a few listeners when we delve into it. Landlord, tenant, homeowner, or investor, you do NOT want to miss this. So until tomorrow, REI Nation, always remember this: Your best investment is your OWN education.

Feb 23

The FINE PRINT on “Job Creation” and What It Means For YOU | Episode 4

By Carole Ellis | News

This Article was Discussed in Episode #4 of the REI Today Podcast – Click Here to Listen Now

One of the best ways to identify soon-to-be thriving housing markets is to take a look at local jobs numbers. For investors who love shortcuts, the Gallup Job Creation Index (GJCI) is a great way to start looking, since it identifies states that are trending positive and negative in terms of job creation, enabling a savvy, research-minded investor to narrow down his or her target markets from there. H

However, it is vitally important that you do not, when using the index, confuse a handy shortcut with an instant “thumbs-up/thumbs-down” sign for state housing markets. While the jobs index is a great tool, it does not measure the quality of jobs or the “job numbers” associated with the jobs created.

So what is a jobs number?

A jobs number is the number of jobs that a single job can create in a local economy. For example, a single high-paying IT job can create more than 10 additional jobs as the prototypical employee moves to the area, brings his or her family, hires help for his or her family, begins frequenting local eating and entertainment venues, and generally begins to participate actively and in an impactful way in the local economy. Jobs number is related in many cases to salary, but it also is related to the type of job being done. As a general rule, for example, a high-level IT job will actually create more jobs than a similarly-paid job in finance.

So what does this tell me about DETROIT, MICHIGAN?

Well, at time of publication, the state of Michigan was tied with four other states (Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and Washington) at number 10 on the list of top 10 states for job creation according to the Gallup Index. A metro-level poll conducted in the middle of last year placed metro Detroit as sixth in the nation for job creation compared to comparable metro areas. On the surface, things are looking up in the Midwest. However, a savvy investor needs to evaluate what types of jobs are being created in Michigan in order to invest correctly. What types of homes are new employees likely to be buying? Are they looking for starter homes? For example, in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the best types of properties to own is actually bottom-tier single-family rentals. That’s what sells consistently and has for the last two decades. On the other hand, in hot spots in Arizona and Texas, where the IT crowd is growing, an investor would do better to renovate and flip mid- and upper-mid-level homes to owner-occupants eager to settle into the area and put down roots.

In Michigan, and in Detroit in particular, one in every 10 new jobs is, as it has historically been, in manufacturing. However, nursing, software development, and network security are growing much more quickly as the state works to establish a presence in today’s new economy. Interestingly, however, the state is also experiencing a current shortage of truck and transport drivers, which has led several national firms to open driver schools in the area. As you can see, the fine print tells us that Michigan is experiencing diverse jobs growth, including some in that invaluable tech sector, but that it will be important to evaluate the buyer population on a local level before sinking your money into a market.

Lesson: Just jobs are not enough, although they definitely can point the way to an up-and-coming market.

Point to Ponder:

According to the Detroit Free Press, the most in-demand workers in Michigan these days are commercial drivers, ethical hackers, nurses and nurse practitioners, and welders.

Would you move to Detroit to get any of these jobs?

Thank you for reading REI Today’s News and Networking Section!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below.

Listen to Episode 4 now.

Feb 23

Facebook’s DIRTY TRICK on Real Estate Investors | Episode 3

By Carole Ellis | News

This Article is Discussed in Episode #3 of the REI Today Podcast – Click Here to Listen!

Any real estate professional who is active on social media knows that getting “likes” on your Facebook posts is hugely important when it comes to organically winning the social-media battle for consumer eyeballs. However, Facebook is about to make some changes that are going to make that process substantially more difficult for you – all under the guise of helping users better “express themselves.” That’s right, folks: It’s the dawn of the “dislike” button.

While you probably have wished that you could dislike a post on more than one occasion, how would you feel if someone disliked your recent renovation pics, or used a Facebook button to let everyone know just how “sad” or “angry” your latest listing makes them feel. While interaction will likely still lead to more views whether your viewers are positive or negative about your postings, imagine, more to the point, how your seller is going to feel about your listing if it gets negative feedback on Facebook. That’s right: it’s going to be a problem.

Facebook is making a huge deal out of this looming change, calling the move “the decision to blow up the like button.” In reality, Facebook “reactions” will supplement the “like button.” You will still see the familiar “thumbs-up” icon with every pic and post, but holding the cursor over the icon will reveal additional “Facebook reactions,” sad, angry, wow, laughter, and love. So you can see, not everything is negative, but as you’ve probably noticed on the internet, the negative does have a nasty tendency to dominate. News feeds will show a running tally of reactions in much the same manner in which they presently simply display a running tally of “likes.”

So when will we get to see Facebook Reactions?

At time of publication, Facebook is still testing the reactions feature, which means that some devices and users in various countries have access to it while others do not. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly expressed concern about the negativity issue, and appears unwilling to take reactions global until he is, in his own words, convinced that the new addition is “a force for good, not a force for bad.” In truth, it’s likely that Zuckerberg wants reactions live as much as everyone else, since it dramatically ramps up the network’s ability to collect emotional data that can then be used for targeted advertising. However, he – and Facebook – cannot afford to release on a wide scale until the button is tailored to at least feel positive to users.

Food for Thought:

When Facebook Reactions roll out, there will be some pretty dramatic ramifications for social media marketers. Top of the list will be that people will be able to say negative things about your posts without even taking the time to post a comment. Think about how many things you “like” without commenting. Scary, huh? You’ll need to track the feedback on your posts carefully and determine how, if at all, your specific audience leverages the expanded emotional reaction options. Then, adjust your marketing and remember, the better you understand what Facebook is getting out of the button (emotional information on its users’ likes and dislikes) the better you can leverage that button to your advantage.

Are you happy to hear about Facebook Reactions? Have you used it?

Thank you for reading REI Today’s News and Networking Section!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below.

Listen to Episode 3 Here

 

Feb 23

Watch Out! YOU’RE OVERLOOKING what’s SCARING OFF YOUR BUYERS | Episode 2

By Carole Ellis | News

This Article is Discussed in Episode #2 of the REI Today Podcast – Click Here to Listen!

Way back in Fall 2014, housing experts started warning that the “millennial rescue” that we’d all been counting on – that is to say, the huge movement of millennial renters into the housing market as the country arguably emerged from the Great Recession – was not going to happen on schedule. As the months have passed, this has certainly proved true. Among the things keeping millennials out of the housing market, a few stand out:

  • Difficulty getting financing
  • Unwillingness to buy
  • Delayed launch into family formation (They’re adults living on their own or with roommates, but marrying and having children later or not at all)

These factors tend to stem from a common cause, coming-of-age in the wake of the housing and financial crises, but the fallout has affected millennials in ways that older analysts and investors alike fail to consider. The main thing that is slowing millennials down in their home purchasing is not that they do not want to own property – about half do – but that they believe on a fundamental level that they are unable to do so, usually because they believe that they cannot access conventional financing.

In a word, this belief is largely untrue. There are hundreds of first-time homebuyer programs out there to help buyers get low interest rates, low down payments, and even finance everything completely. Furthermore, there are many affordable markets in the country right now that are also desirable to millennials (think Atlanta, Georgia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as two examples where millennials can find jobs and the coveted “hip atmosphere” – almost certainly not how a true millennial would describe it, by the way – that they need).

So why are millennials running scared from home purchases?

The truth of the matter is, they simply do not believe that they can make the purchase. According to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Bankrate.com, Neighborworks America, and countless other data and analytics teams, millennials are not even investigating buying because they don’t think a conventional mortgage is within their reach. It’s the same reason fully half of all renters refuse to check their credit but will tell you they can’t get a home loan (Bankrate.com).

So what can smart REI Today investors do with this information?

Literally, GET CREATIVE! If your target market of new buyers thinks they can’t get a mortgage, then don’t offer them properties with conventional financing. Offer them properties with built-in financing, or lease-option financing (which might make habitual renters more comfortable), or subject-to financing. Offer an individual who wants a home but believes he or she will never own one (whether they’re right about this or not) an option to own, and they’ll take it the majority of the time. And off-market financing options like these often result in higher profits for investors because homeowners who think they cannot finance in a traditional way will often pay a premium for the option to finance using unconventional methods.

Lesson: Look for fear in your market, and assuage that fear. When you do so, you’ll be helping your buyers (and yourself)!

Have you ever bought or sold using unconventional or creative financing? Would you do it again?

Thank you for reading the REI.Today News and Networking Section!

Your comments and questions are welcomed below,

Listen to Episode 2 Now

Feb 23

The SINGLE WORD that could be worth 9K on Your low-end listing | Episode 6

By Carole Ellis | REI Today Podcast

Press “Play” To Listen Now!
What if you knew a single, simple, MAGICAL WORD that could add more than 8 percent to the sales price of the most low-down, nasty, bargain-basement house? I’ll tell you right now, there IS such a word (and I’ve got one of the internet’s biggest housing databases assuring me it works), but you’ll never guess what it is. Find out right now. I’m Carole Ellis. This is episode 6.

So, before we start selling what we’ll kindly refer to for now as “bottom tier” properties at top dollar, I want to take just 30 seconds to tell you about something else a little, well, “magical” in real estate today. If you’re in the market for a home with a conventional 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage at this time, then you could actually land the lowest interest rates in HISTORY according to a certain Fed analyst…IF you know the signs to watch for and are ready to move fast. Want to know what’s going on behind the scenes with our lending industry? We’ve got all the details in our News and Networking section at REI.Today.

Now, let’s get back to selling that starter home for thousands over market value. Here’s the deal:

According to Zillow – and say what you will about Zillow, they’ve got a lot of data to use when they want to start analyzing and doing statistical research, so we listen when they start making observations about what sells – a certain word, when included in a listing for what the real estate data giant determined a “bottom tier” home, basically a starter home or what some investors refer to as their “bread and butter homes,” not middle or high-end houses, but the simple, three-bed two-baths (or sometimes two and one) that first-time homebuyers tend to purchase, can make a huge difference in terms of sales price. Essentially, if the median “bottom tier” home is listed at $110,000 (that is right at the national median, by the way) then including this word in your listing could tack on just over $9,000! Hard to believe? Maybe, but who are we to argue with millions on millions of listings to analyze?

So are you ready for the word yet? Here we go and I warn you, it’s not one that you’d usually think of putting in a “bottom tier” home listing. However, quite frankly, based on these numbers, I’d consider giving it a shot. Here we go…the word is: LUXURIOUS.

Now, if you’re like me, you probably immediately thought, HECK NO I’m not putting that on my listing. There’s just nothing luxurious about my run-of-the-mill three-bedroom two-bathroom starter home and there’s no way that buyers are going to do anything other than laugh at me. But here’s the thing: In reality, you’re passing up the opportunity to laugh all the way to the bank. Let’s take a closer look at why Zillow analysts think that LUXURIOUS is particularly meaningful in this sector of homes. It might surprise you.

Zillow analysts Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries (Mr. Humphries, by the way, is Zillow’s chief analytics officer and Mr. Rascoff is the CEO of Zillow Group) speculated that people looking for different types of properties actually interpret luxury in different ways. While most of us not actually looking for a home may think “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” when we hear the word “luxurious. Mr. Humphries and Mr. Rascoff noted that a buyer actually in the market for a bottom-tier home probably thinks “high-quality amenities” (or something to that effect) when they hear the word. As a result, even if it’s not entirely a conscious decision, they are more likely to be interested in a self-proclaimed “luxury” property and, ultimately, that property is likely to snag a higher sales price. And if you legitimately cannot in any way shape or form claim that your property itself is luxurious, if you can claim access to any arguably luxurious amenities (say, provided by an HOA), then do so! It could make that listing stand out just enough to get that price bump.

Now I also found it very interesting that this magic word snagged a much higher price bump on lower-end homes than on higher-end ones. Again, it probably has a lot to do with the mindset of the buyer. For higher-end homes, the same adjective, probably more aptly applied if we want to be brutally honest, only snagged about a 6.5 percent price bump on the sales – although that’s certainly nothing to sneer at. On a $250,000 home, that would be more than $16,000. On a $500,000 home, that would be more than $32,000, and, well, I think you get the drift.

Now there were several other “magical” listing words that you can use on various “tiers” of home to really make your listing pop and, I’ll be honest, I bet that a lot of you are NOT using them because you think that they’ll make you sound like everyone else or make your listing look silly. Well, here’s a very, very important lesson that we can all learn from this data: The numbers don’t lie, so go with the numbers, not your gut! Does it really matter if you don’t love the adjective luxurious if it nets you 9K more on your sales price? Seriously, is your personal opinion about an adjective worth 9K off your bottom line? Probably not. There is another “companion” word (actually three words) that can be used on a home at any level to attract serious buyers with ready money that Zillow has also documented as being worth nearly six percent on your sales tag. If you want to know that word, I’m betting you know what to do: Head on over to the REI Today Vault, our free resource library for every listener to this show. If you’re already a member, you can log right in to see that special word (It’s labeled – “Special, Price-Bumping Word” by the way so you can’t miss it) and it you’re not a member, then get your free membership RIGHT NOW by texting the word REITODAY (no spaces, no periods) to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault and I’ll provide fast, free access to this powerful word and a lot more seriously insightful stuff that will make your real estate investing safer, faster, and more profitable. So just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault to get access now…

When you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country!  Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.today/vault right now for your free membership.

Thanks for listening in. Be sure to listen in to Episode #7, where you’ll get direct access to one of my favorite former Green Berets (okay, I think he may be the only Green Beret I know personally, but he’s a really amazing guy and a truly innovative real estate investor) and his secret to invading TOP HOT MARKETS and turning real estate profits without having to “put in your time” first. If you want to be in the hottest areas of the country but feel like the water has always been too deep for you before, you’re going to want to listen to this one right away. So until tomorrow,

REI Nation – always remember this: Your best investment is YOUR OWN EDUCATION!

Feb 22

MIND CONTROL For Higher Profits On Your Real Estate! | Episode 5

By Carole Ellis | REI Today Podcast

Want to learn a simple mind-control trick that can add 10 percent to your real estate sales prices? I’m Carole Ellis, and I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know to leverage this SPOOKY but highly effective real estate strategy in episode 5 of REI Today.

—–

Let’s go ahead and tack an extra ten percent onto that your next real estate profit, shall we? I’ve got good news. This strategy won’t cost you a penny, and it’s as easy as, well, rearranging your furniture. I’ll explain. First though, speaking of furniture, can you imagine a scenario in which it would make GOOD INVESTING SENSE to put $6,000 into a beer pong table? No? I couldn’t either, but in some cases, turns out I was wrong. Get the scoop on the situations in which it makes sense to sink CRAZY CASH into WEIRD HOME AMENITIES in our News and Networking Section at REI.Today. I’ll tell you not just about the craziness, but the actual, real-life payoff story as well. Now back to mind control…

First let’s set the scene: You’re selling a property, and it’s a GREAT piece of real estate. You got it cheap, you’re selling it high (but still competitively, haha) and you know that the bidders are going to be lining up to throw money at you. It’s the best house for the lowest price on the block. You can’t lose.

But then, you DO lose. People swarm your showings but when they arrive, something just feels off. They don’t “ohh and ahh” over your awesome renno the way they should. They don’t even stay in one room long enough to really appreciate the great light, the fantastic amenities, and, weirdly enough, they don’t even seem to notice the great views. It’s so weird. You can’t figure it out, but the answer is, oddly enough, YOUR SOFA.

Let me explain. We’ve all heard of staging and you know how important it can be when you are selling a property to owner occupants. People who are going to live in a house tend to buy based on the emotional appeal of the house and their ability to imagine themselves living, HAPPILY, in that house rather than based on the hard numbers such as the lowest price, the best value, etc. Staging helps your buyers imagine themselves in your property and spurs them on toward putting in an offer and participating (we hope) in a bidding war.

So what does your sofa have to do with all of this? Well, it could literally be costing you buyers if you have made one or more errors with its placement or appearance. Here are some MAJOR potential problems that a simple sofa can cause in a listing:

First of all, poor placement. Remember those awesome views? Place the sofa so that you could sit on it and enjoy those views! If you don’t, your buyers subconsciously will be directed away from the windows and toward wherever your sofa is facing, like that blank wall. Bad move.

Second of all, your sofa could be contributing to a lack of purpose. A lot of times investors and other sellers will simply throw a few pieces of furniture into a room and consider it “staged.” However, if your sofa doesn’t appear to have a purpose for being there – maybe it’s stuck against the wall, for example, rather than positioned to provide cozy proximity to the fireplace – then your buyers, again, subconsciously, will feel “lost” in the room because it will not feel like the room itself has a purpose other than to house that random sofa! Crazy, but true. When buyers feel a lack of direction in a room, they feel uncomfortable and, bad news: they LEAVE.

Finally, that sofa (sorry but hey, not really so sorry) could just be plain ugly. Or, more likely, unrelatable. Remember how we said the point of staging is to help buyers imagine their OWN STUFF in a property, thereby creating an emotional connection that ties them to the property and makes themx more likely to start a bidding war? Well, if your sofa is unusual or somehow inappropriate for your buying demographic, say too luxurious for first-time homebuyers to own or too “custom” or trendy for the boomers you are courting, then that psychological switcharoo where they imagine their own sofa where yours currently sits is less likely to happen. And, as a result, your high-priced sale is less likely to happen as well.

So let’s put some hard numbers with this sofa so you can really see what you stand to lose. According to the National Association of Realtors (that’s the NAR to the association’s friends, by the way), a home that is EFFECTIVELY STAGED will gain between one and five percent on its selling price, at a minimum. About one in 5 realtors showed hard numbers indicating that the price increase for THEIR STAGING is closer to 10 percent – think maybe they’re listening to REI Today?

And before you think that you simply can’t afford to stage a home, don’t worry: you don’t need to stage every room (most people actually only stage the living room and kitchen), and you don’t have to fill the place with furniture! Ultimately, you just need to demonstrate a PURPOSE for each room and then use your staging materials to direct buyers’ attention to the high points in those rooms.

So effectively staging a property can earn you a 10-percent price bump at the closing table, but failing to key in on the subconscious clues you’re sending your buyers with your staging could literally kill your listing. Don’t let that sofa cost you thousands! Get all the information you need to stage a home CHEAPLY AND EFFECTIVELY while using your buyers’ subconscious minds to make the sale by accessing our free report on “Mind Control Staging” in the REIToday Vault. If you’re not already a member of the REITODAY Vault, text 33444 RIGHT NOW or visit REI.Today/vault to get immediate access to these shocking and valuable pictures. Text one word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault.

When you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country!  Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.today/vault right now for your free membership.

Thanks for listening in.  Be sure to listen in to Episode #6, where you’ll learn what local produce has to do with YOUR PROFITS. I guarantee you, it will surprise the KALE out of you.  It’s available right now on iTunes, Stitcher and at REI.Today, so get it right away!

REI Nation – always remember this:  Your best investment is YOUR OWN EDUCATION!

Feb 22

the IRRESISTIBLE PICTURE for finding MOTIVATED SELLERS | Episode 4

By Carole Ellis | REI Today Podcast

Could a simple picture launch dozens and dozens of profitable and productive wholesale deals? It can, and it did. In fact, this picture is currently playing a HUGE role in turning around one of the toughest and but most potential-filled markets in the country. I’m Carole Ellis, and I’ll tell you exactly what that picture shows and how you can get access to it in today’s episode 4 of REI Today.

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Today, we’re going to reveal one highly proliferate investors’ CRAZY SIMPLE SECRET to getting great deals, and then, while we’re at it, I’m going to expose this guy’s “sweet spots” in his local market: the areas where the deals are nearly guaranteed to sell fast and high. Obviously, no one is making any promises because we can’t, after all, but this guy has been working in one of the country’s toughest markets, DETROIT, MICHIGAN, since 2013, and he’s been blowing his competition out of the water in large part thanks to a simple decision he made in his marketing.

And speaking of Michigan, that state is featured on a VERY IMPORTANT LIST right now. It’s number 12 on the top states for job creation in the nation! Great news, right? Well, there’s a little bit more information in the fine print, and you’ve got to read the little, tiny words to get the real scoop on what this list means for your investing. Don’t worry, though, we read every letter of it, and we’ve exposed all the hidden details that make this list both a treasure trove of real estate investing potential and an undercover key to some scary, scary info about allegedly “hot” markets in our News and Networking section at REI.Today. Check it out before you buy into the “hype” so many in the REI space are selling.

So now let’s get down to the good stuff. What’s this magic picture? Well, I’ll let you take a guess, first. Here’s a hint: it’s something everybody wants more of. Got your guesses ready? Okay, here we go: It’s MONEY! We all want to make it, keep it, spend it, and give it away to causes about which we’re passionate. Most people just plain can’t ever get enough of it. But regardless of your personal feelings about money, if you see a picture of it, you pay attention! And that’s where this genius advertising move comes in.

Theo, our “guy on the ground” in Detroit, puts a picture of a dollar bill on just about every bandit sign he posts. Why? Well, as Theo puts it, “People like money, need money, and want money,” and that’s pretty much universal. So when Theo is looking for properties, he throws those dollar-signs out there, literally, along with one of several headlines, the word “cash,” and his phone number. The motivated sellers (that’s right, those golden keys to successful real estate) literally line up so he can start doing their deals. And when he asks them what got their attention, it’s always the same: that dollar bill.

So what can you learn from Theo and his cash money right here and now? Well, several things:

For starters, give the people what they want! Specifically, give the people whose attention you want something that they want to pay attention to! For Theo, that something turned out to be a plain old dollar bill, and in the last two years that dollar bill has translated to more than two deals every month and countless leads.

Second, tell the people what YOU WANT. Theo’s business is high-profit and high-volume because he doesn’t mess around. Once he has your attention, he lets you know what he wants: your information – IF AND ONLY IF – you have a home that you want to sell fast, for cash. Period. “Always include the word cash,” he told me in our interview, which, by the way, is in the REI Today Vault waiting for you right now. If you’re not already an REI Today member, text REITODAY no spaces no periods to 33444 and I’ll send you the passcode so that you can access Theo’s interview and lots of other great information and real tools that you can start using TODAY to make your real estate business more profitable and more productive.

Finally, get in front of the people the market wants! In my opinion, this might be the best insider information you can get and Theo gave it to REI Today and, by extension, YOU, for Free, just because you’re part of the REI Nation. In Detroit, there are certain areas of town that, in Theo’s words, are “highly exclusive.” He means that properties in these areas sell high and sell fast. So Theo puts that magic picture in front of homeowners in THESE areas, and, as a result (sure, you may be thinking this is simple, but you’d be shocked at how many investors don’t do it), Theo gets his leads, his awesome leads, by the way, from homeowners in these areas. Wondering what the areas are? Well, get ready. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the list of Detroit’s Sweet Spot Secrets is…In the REI Today Vault! Don’t have access, text REITODAY to 33444 to get that code right now. I’ll give you a hint, though. Theo looks for homeowners who have a very special set of skills, because these homeowners tend to live in the sweet spots…Can’t stand it? Text REITODAY to 33444 right now.

Now, I have some great news for you before we conclude this episode. I’ve talked a lot about how a real real estate investor is making real profits in Detroit, Michigan, and I’ve even shared some of his secrets to success with you. Wouldn’t you like to hear the whole interview for yourself? Well, like all of our REI Today exclusive content, that interview, in its entirety, is stored in the REI Today Vault and, if you missed it, you can access that Vault just by texting REITODAY no periods no spaces to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault right now. Theo also gave us our very own copy of his “magic picture” bandit sign for REI Today listeners to copy if they wish. One of the best things you can do if you want to be successful is copy successful people, so be sure to check that out as well.

And remember, when you do that, you’ll also be able to GROW YOUR NETWORK by interacting with me and your fellow listeners to REI Today… so stop by to ask questions, make comments and network with other investors across the country!  Just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault right now for your free membership.

Thanks for listening in.  Be sure to listen in to Episode #5, where you’ll learn about something that is, quite frankly, just a little bit SPOOKY. .  It’s available right now on iTunes, Stitcher and at REI.Today, so get it right away!

REI Nation – always remember this:  Your best investment is YOUR OWN EDUCATION!