The Mind of the Real Estate Investor

Myself and many others are living proof that by changing your mental and physical habits, you can build your wealth. This mini-course focuses on changing or fine-tuning your mental habits and attitudes toward real estate investment so that you can profit at will. It’s about getting your mindset right.

By mindset, I mean your way of looking at, and approaching your real estate investment business. This includes the way you perceive your business. It also includes what you allow to impress and intimidate you, also what challenges and excites you.

Note: This article is the introductory session in a soon to be released mini-course entitled “The Mind of the Real Estate Investor” and the full course will soon be available to Rehab Real Estate Central (http://www.rehab-real-estate.com) newsletter subscribers. This course will be a free service of Rehab Real Estate Central.

Why bother with “mindset?”

Simple. Because the cost of NOT adjusting your mindset is outrageously expensive (in opportunity loss)! If your mind isn’t conditioned to think like a wealth-building investor, you are like a sailor paddling around in a boat with holes in it. If you bail water quickly enough, you’ll keep it afloat, but you will eventually tire…and sink!

ALL money-making endeavors begin with a thought. They are all ideas born in the mind of an investor. Some have more and better ideas than others. Why is that? Are some minds better conditioned than others? I say “yes!”

In our society there is often resistance to conditioning one’s mind, but nobody thinks a thing about going for a jog, or hitting the gym to condition their body. Does that make sense? If you walk the entrepreneurial path, mental conditioning is central to your business.

The six concepts that I will unfold in this course are powerful weapons of the mind. If you condition your mind to these concepts will make you a lot of money, and you will KEEP making a lot of money.

Simply put, if you don’t develop, and then fine tune your mindset you will either:

- Never quite get around to investing in real estate (if you have not yet begun) and forfeit the wealth you want to attain for you and your family.

- Never quite get where you want to go in your investing (if you are already investing), and forfeit the wealth you intended to attain for you and your family.

You see, a lot of people have enough knowledge to invest in real estate. Far fewer DO it. Why is that? Because far fewer have bothered to develop the mindset that conquers fear and other hurdles to investing in real estate. Frankly, it doesn’t matter how much knowledge you possess about investing in real estate, you WON’T do it if you haven’t conditioned yourself to think like and investor.

Usually I write and teach practical matters of rehab real estate investing, but for this course, I’m breaking from that in favor of talking about what you can do to adjust your thinking…change the way your mind works. Since the investing won’t be successful without a properly conditioned mind, it can be considered the most important aspect of learning to be a real estate investor!

Mindset is the foundation of real estate investment. In other words, if it’s not solid, you cannot invest successfully. I don’t know how to put it any plain-er.

I’ve known scores of folks who have WANTED to invest in real estate. These are usually acquaintances who find out somehow that I invest in rehab real estate. Invariable I here, “I’ve thought about doing that.” Sometimes I hear “I looked into that.” Sometimes they proceed to ask questions, but I find that most of the time the next word after the previous phrase is “…but” and then I hear an excuse.

These excuses range from “I couldn’t find any property” to “the numbers scared me” to “I couldn’t get a mortgage.”

What I’m thinking to myself is “these excuses have solutions, but they don’t yet have the mindset to overcome these relatively minor hurdles.” In fact, unless someone ASKS me for specific advice on overcoming these hurdles, I don’t offer advice. That’s not because I don’t want them to succeed! It’s because their mindset is not yet right.

Let me tell you where I’m coming from on this topic.

My mindset was screwed up for 10 years! I was a real estate guru junkie! For a decaded I consumed every book about real estate investing on the market, attended seminars, and bought courses. I had “book knowledge” running out of my ears with ZERO property.

Finally, one day I realized that I was about to “retire” from the Navy, I REALLY didn’t want to get a job, and my family still liked to eat! I changed my mindset, and put thoughts into action. The rest is history. What changed? Not my knowledge! My way of thinking changed.

Facing the end of my Navy career was the catalyst that got me started. If you haven’t started, there IS a catalyst in your life, you only need to find it and capitalize on it. Are you satisfied in your job? Want more time with family? Want more disposable income? Want to build your retirement savings? This list could get long!

This course is aimed at helping you capitalize on your action catalyst by developing your real estate investor mindset.

For those that are already investing, this course will serve to fine-tune your mindset to make you more profitable. The VERY SAME mindset ideas that make people launch successful real estate investment careers are the ones that keep investors successful over their real estate investing careers, be it 2 years or 20.

Let’s get started!

7 Simple Steps To Real Estate Investing

Whether you are BRAND NEW to real estate investing or an expert in the game, it’s critical that you understand these 7 Simple Steps to real estate investing.

First things first…

o Real Estate is NOT a get rich quick scheme. However, if you learn the foundations and put them into practice, you will make more than enough money to realize any and all of your dreams and goals.

o The real estate bubble is not going to burst! The real estate market will, however, shift and the real estate market will change – just as it always has! What’s “hot” now may turn ice cold in the next 3 years (or perhaps even 3 months). But, there are ways to “bubble proof” your real estate investments. It’s actually quite simple.

Did you know that in the United States, in 1975, the median home price was $33,300? In 2005, the median home price was $195,000. Historically, the average home doubled every 7 years. If you do the math, it should be well over $200,000.

OK… Now, having said that… The real estate market WILL change and what is “working” today in real estate may not in the future… The rental market was strong a decade ago, but has been soft in recent years. We are getting ready for a turn once again.

Real Estate IS a cycle… and cycles have some degree of predictability. With predictability, you can grow your real estate business into a cash-producing, profit-pulling machine that runs itself WITH the changing real estate market trends. It is still possible to make money in real estate. In fact, now is just as good a time as any to get started in real estate investing.

But, you’ve got to make wise investments. Sure, you may make some SERIOUS cash in pre-construction, but what happens if (no, not if – when) the market shifts and there are suddenly 35 identical properties on the market for sale in the same building? How long can you afford to carry a negative cash flow on the property?

Or how about taking over property ‘subject to’? Sure, it’s a great strategy and lenders may be inclined to turn the other way and not exercise the “due on sale” clause as long as the interest rates are at rock bottom prices (You know, those sellers that you’re usually taking property subject to from usually don’t have the lowest interest rates, right?) If the interest rates spike to 10-11%, don’t you think lenders might be MUCH MORE inclined to exercise their option to make you pay off the 6.5% note?

What this means is simply that you must be experienced in the basics – the tried and true techniques, strategies and systems that have worked in the past, are STILL working and will work in the future. You’ve got to have all the tools in your bag so that you can go with the flow and not be affected when real estate markets begin to shift (which they are already in the process of doing, in case you’ve missed that memo! ;-)

Step #1 – Set your plan: Figure out what your long term real estate goals are (aka retirement and wealth building) and figure out what your short term needs are with regard to making money in real estate. Then, set up the proper entities and put the plan in place.

Step #2 – Determine what your target market will be: You cannot be all things to all real estate markets. If foreclosures appeal to you, start investing in the foreclosure market. If you want to be a landlord, look to out of state owners to focus your real estate marketing efforts.

Step #3 – Be consistent and persistent: Real Estate is not a get rich quick scheme. Real Estate is get wealthy over time and put some quick cash in your pocket today. You’ve got to follow your plan and stick with it to see real results in real estate. You’ve also got to continue to increase your education and your experience.

Step 4 – Don’t fall into the “Analysis Paralysis”: Learn to analyze properties quickly. Don’t get caught up overthinking. It’s quite simple actually: What’s the property worth? What does the property need for repairs? And how much can you get the property for? It all comes down to numbers!

Step 5 – Become a master of finance!: Real estate is the business of marketing and finance. You must learn about mortgages and interest rates and loan programs that are out there. You must know how to use finance to negotiate your deals and to sell your properties.

Step #6 – Become a skilled problem solver: The reason you will get real estate deals that others don’t, is because you are able to solve people’s problems. Anything goes on the real estate playing field. You’ve got to be ready!

Step #7 – You must continue your education: It is important that you are always investing in your education and learning new tactics, strategies and tips that will help you make more in real estate.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to look up the other articles discussing The 7 Simple Steps To Making Money on Real Estate. The next article discusses Step #1 – set your plan in further detail!

Flipping Real Estate: Calculating Costs

If you’ve been in the real estate investing business, or more specifically been flipping real estate, for more than a few days, you’ve inevitably gotten an email that reads something like this:

“Investor’s Dream. This property will go QUICK.

- Property Address: 1234 Main Street

- Asking Price: $100,000 (Add or subtract zeros!)

- After Repair Value: $150,000

- Repairs: $15,000

- Profit: $35,000

- Details: Needs paint, carpet, tile, new kitchen, update bathroom, some roof damage.

- Tenant occupied. Need to evict!”

STOP! Before you read on… Take a guess at what you think the “real” profit’s going to be on this real estate investment…

If you haven’t ever gotten an email or fax broadcast like this, then rest assured, you will! I’m about to probably tick off all of the late night infomercials and pitchmen out there! Sure, I understand that when you’ve got 30 minutes (or 90 minutes, for that matter), that you’ve to sell what’s sexy… not what’s real!

Now it’s my turn to expose the real deal on real estate investing! This goes for flipping real estate itself (i.e. properties) or simply flipping the contract (also known as assigning the contract). When you’re flipping real estate, you need to be able to calculate the “real” bottom line and if your assigning the contract, you need to know your numbers so you don’t get blacklisted from investors! This one piece of information will keep you from getting into trouble because of any “real estate bubble”!

Purchase Costs

Here goes… Have you EVER purchased and sold a piece of real estate for FREE? If you’re not sure what the answer is… It’s an emphatic NO… You are going to have costs to buy, costs to hold and costs to sell. This holds true even if you are buying a property for all cash. (Think title fees, attorney’s fees, recording fees, etc.)

If you’re not getting a mortgage, your purchase costs are obviously much lower, but nonetheless, there are costs associated with any real estate transaction. Plus, more than likely, if you’re relatively new, you’re probably not paying all cash for property anyways. You’re probably going to be using a hard money investor for your initial real estate investing financing!

For a quick calculation, you can estimate anywhere between 3% – 5% for closing costs to just acquire the property. That’s 3%-5% of the purchase price.

Holding Costs

How much is it going to cost you each and every day to own this piece of real estate? See, if you’re making money in real estate, you’d better believe that there are a lot of other people that are going to expect to get paid and they get paid in the form of mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, property insurance, etc. Each of these is an expense each and every day that you own the property. Here’s an example… A hard money loan on a bread and butter type piece of real estate might run you 15%. Let’s say you got the property for $100,000. Every month, you are paying $1250 in interest alone. Let’s say that taxes and insurance are another $200/month and then utilities at $100. Right there, the property is costing you $1550/month – or roughly $50/day. See, why it’s important to know your not only your holding costs on a real estate investment, but also how long it’s going to be on the market before you can flip the property.

Selling Costs

Here’s the third part of the real estate investing puzzle. When you want to turn around and sell this piece of real estate, it’s going to cost you yet again! Are you going to use a real estate agent and pay a commission or 3-4-5% or even more? On $150,000, that’s anywhere from $4500 to $7500 chopped of the top. Then, you can figure 1-2% in closing fees.

If you can remember this… and apply what you’ve just learned to each and every real estate deal that you do, you’ll be safe flipping real estate in any market. You see, if it’s a hot market, you can calculate less time for holding cost. But, in a slower market, make your offer based on 6 months or 9 months of holding costs. It’s really simple math! And real estate really is a numbers game…