Category: Real Estate Crowdfunding
Who are the essential professionals you need in your camp before you start investing in real estate?
It is important to keep up your momentum when getting started in real estate investing. Yet, you also want to make sure you are investing wisely and can enjoy a smooth process which delivers the best possible real estate success.
Here are the first five professionals you need to connect with before you invest:
Your actual investment returns will depend a lot on taxes. There can easily be a double digit difference in what you get to keep, depending on how you set yourself up, and how you file taxes. A good tax professional can help you strategize and get it right before you wind up with a big income tax bill.
Sooner or later you will want or need an attorney. It is just smart to have one already pre-screened and on call for when that time comes. You may want a specialist real estate attorney who can help negotiate contracts, and aid you in defending against lawsuits. It might also be helpful to have a family law or asset protection lawyer who can help you personally set up the right structures to grow and pass on your legacy.
Part of real estate success is the reduction of risk. Even if you don’t need direct property insurance to cover individual real estate assets, you will probably need an umbrella policy, life insurance, and other types of insurance to cover your assets in various areas.
Even if you don’t plan on needing credit or extra cash to invest, it can be wise to have relationships with these sources in advance. It will help you avoid any cash crunches or missing out on any great opportunities. This may be private lenders, mortgage brokers, or angel investors. You will also want to build relationships with bankers to make your transactions go more smoothly.
Having someone you can pick up the phone and call or shoot an email to for urgent help or an experienced second opinion can make all the difference in your business decision making. Find someone who is experienced in what you are doing and who shares your values.
If you plan to be an active real estate investor, make this a full-time thing, or to start a real estate business, you will also want these five people in your camp before you get going.
Having a trusted contractor on call can be invaluable for fast property inspections, repair estimates, timely turnovers and getting work done quickly.
Real Estate Agent
Whether or not you actually use a Realtor to help buy, sell, and rent real estate, investors can find them very useful for making sense of the market, and keeping on top of evolving trends.
You simply can’t do it all as an investor. Even if you have a strong marketing background, the most profitable use of your time is probably inking new deals. Still, with 90% of your success relying on your marketing to secure deals, fill them with renters, and resell them, make sure you have an expert on your team.
An assistant can be used to protect and free up your time so that you are getting the best ROI on every hour of the day. A good assistant can handle a wide variety of time-consuming tasks, including finding the other people on this list.
As you grow your real estate business, taking on a big multifamily property, or are building new homes to rent out, a project manager can save you time, and help things go smoothly. This could be a true project manager for a specific mission, a property manager, or a general manager for your organization.
Putting some thought into what and who you need to have in your camp to be savvy and efficient will help direct you towards the path of success!
The sizzling hot summer rental market is kicking in. How can rental property owners be ready for it?
Summer is traditionally the busiest time of the year in the real estate industry. The rental market can be flooded with renters who are motivated to secure new places before school starts again. This makes it a busy time for landlords, with a lot of additional competition. How can rental property owners get prepared and make the most of it?
The first step is to do some fresh market research. Do your homework on the market. What is your competition offering? What deals are being offered to potential renters out there? What are market trends? Is it a landlord or tenants’ market?
You can’t expect to capture your share of renter leads unless they can see you. Be ramping up advertising, and reaching out to your connections and referral network to be sure they know you have units available.
Provide the Right Info
In your ads and rental listings make sure you provide enough detail for prospective tenants to make the decision to take action. This can include photos, video, property information, leasing details, and more. At this time of the year, many are specifically concerned with school districts, and the ability to move in fast.
Offer Attractive Deals
Know what your competition is offering, so you can make sure you are offering competitive deals. Make sure the value is there. Know what is going to connect with tenants in terms of deposit, monthly rent, application process, and move-in money requirements.
By this point, you should already have scaled up your infrastructure to handle the surge in business and communications. You’ve got to be able to respond to inquiries instantly and deliver consistently good service. Be sure to have a good team and systems in place to make this happen.
Don’t Neglect Current Tenants
All of the above is in addition to keeping your current tenants happy. With all the moving activity and the potential for attractive incentives being offered by other landlords and apartment owners, you want to take stock of your own inventory. Approach tenants early and find out if they plan to renew. Get those leases signed. Find out what you can do to keep good tenants. Or at least be aware of upcoming vacancies so that you can get marketing units early.
The best investments have traditionally been reserved only for accredited investors. How do you get ahead, and get into profitable real estate investments if you are a non-accredited investor?
For far too long the most appealing investments have been closely guarded and preserved for only already wealthy investors. That has been one of the key factors in the rich getting richer, while the poor get poorer. This divide is often the line in the sand between accredited investors, and those who are not. Newer rules may have opened a small window of opportunity for regular individuals. How can you take advantage of that?
Accredited Investor Status
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lays out the rules for qualifying as an accredited investor. In addition to big institutional investors like banks and pension funds, this also applies to individuals. To qualify you generally need to have a net worth of at least $1M. Or you need to be earning $200,000 per year, or $300,000 between you and your spouse.
This requirement has long been used to separate who can invest in what. The public argument is that these restrictions ‘protect’ consumers. Yet, they also prevent individuals from many investments, and control who can offer investments. The result has often been ensuring only the big old finance companies can control the flow of money, and only their best clients with the most money get access to the best deals.
The JOBS Act & Crowdfunding
Things began to change with the JOBS Act. This new law was introduced as a solution to breaking down the barriers and allowing more people to start businesses and offer opportunities while giving regular people to invest in a broader and better range of choices.
Unfortunately, most crowdfunding platforms and companies with these opportunities have not actually begun accepting non-accredited investors. Why? Because the legal expenses can be costly often times. Yet, structuring an offering and opening the doors to non-accredited investors, can mean a lot more up-front work for the crowdfunding platform. It also can afford the opportunity to a broader base of investors.
Options for Investing in Real Estate
Fortunately, there are some options for individuals who want to get into real estate investing and are eager to work their way up to accredited investor status.
Direct investment in properties all by yourself
REITs and funds
Select real estate crowdfunding portals
Without a lot of capital or experience of your own, and to avoid the high multiple layers of fees from old traditional brokers, it is normally best to leverage some expertise and partners to get best investments. This increases for upside potential and lowers your risk, by going into some form of private partnership or crowdfunding offer. Just make sure you understand what you are investing in, and ask lots of questions if you aren’t sure.
Acquiring great income properties can require great patience.
Sometimes the best property deals can take months to close. Transactions don’t always go smoothly. Yet, staying in the game, and seeing it through can deliver those much needed and valuable leaps in income, wealth, and financial freedom. So, how do you stay patient during the acquisition process, and navigate the process successfully?
Understand the Process This is especially important for new real estate investors. It can get frustrating, stressful, and discouraging fast, if you don’t know how the acquisition process works. Make sure you speak with any professionals involved in the deal i.e. real estate agents and attorneys. Or consult other real estate investors with experience in this type of deal and property type. Get clarity on the work flow and steps.
Create a Timeline for Follow Up
Once you know the steps in the process you can create a timeline for the transaction. You should have dates set out for the actions you eed to take, and for when you should receive updates from the various vendors involved. You don’t want to spend all day, every day, stressing out your team and actually dragging them down, when they could be pushing your deal forward. You do also need to hold them accountable and be sure they know you are expecting them to give your deal the attention it deserves. Depending on how far out your closing is set, that may be weekly, biweekly, or monthly updates from lenders, title companies, etc.
Create an Automated Follow Up Process
If you will be providing updates to various parties in the trnsaction, try to automate that as much as possible. That could be a simple checklist which you shoot out via email or update in the cloud using Google Drive. The less time you have to be on the phone or trying to arrange meetings the more time you can spend looking for new deals and enjoying the rewards of your investments.
There are going to be challenges. Most deals run into some type of challenge. The successful know to expect them, stay objective, and learn how to overcome them quickly. Common issues arise in appraisals, inspections, and title work. Having a great team is key. They should know what to look for to be proactive, and how to handle potential issues for you. Deeds and title insurance are a great example of this. Your title agent should know if there are quirks or ‘clouds’ on title which need to be addressed in order to get financing or insurance. They should be working on those right away, not telling you the day before closing, and causing a potential delay. If they aren’t doing this, find someone better.
Create a Layered Acquisition Process
One way to beat consistent delays and the wasted time and money that come with too many deals falling apart is to create a layered process. You don’t want too many deals that aren’t going to fly draggig down your pipeline. So, maybe you create a system where you do more due diligence upfront, use letters of intent before making hard offers and writing contracts, and then get your second round of due diligence done within hours of going to contract. Filter out the deals which just won’t work early, then be patient and stay the course with those you really want, and can make happen.