As a Memphis real estate investor, I try to devour as many books, magazines, articles and blogs on real estate as possible without getting over-whelmed. Every once in a while I will find myself going back to the bookshelf and pulling down a real estate investment book and re-discovering something that lit a fire under me in the past. This weekend, I found Frank McKinney's book "Make It Big!".
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I am continually amazed at the lack of understanding some businesses and business owners show when it comes to this one simple rule. It seems that today, many in business confuse complication with innovation!
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"Don't Throw out the Bicycle for the Bumps in the Road"!
I love expressions like this. They speak to the real emotions that real estate investors face everyday and carry that folksy remedy that our parents used as an approach to tough situations.
Today, real estate investors are facing more and more tough situations and some are tougher than others. The obstacles we face as real estate investors, especially Memphis investors wanting to buy discount properties in Memphis with leverage, seem to come out of nowhere right when we get to the finish line. We often have that feeling that the road gets a little bumpier just as things appear to be going smoother. The bumps are getting a little bumpier too!
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Memphis Invest Increases Home Buying Events
Monday, September 27, 2010, Vol. 125, No. 187
SARAH BAKER | The Daily News
With the recent completion of Memphis Invest LLC’s office space expansion for its sister company, Premier Property Management Group, and new implementation of traditional rehab services for those wanting to remodel their home, the family-owned company continues to do the majority of its business with out-of-town investors.
A 1,200-square-foot development on the west side of Premier’s existing building was completed earlier this year by the Memphis Invest rehab services. The expansion offers offices for the staff of five full-time and 14 part-time employees.
The addition is also equipped with closing office and tenant waiting room where tenants can come inside and wait for an appointment, make a rental payment, receive a receipt or wait for their closing.
Chris Clothier, director of sales and marketing, said Memphis Invest built a separate entrance just for Premier’s tenants.
“It definitely makes it a more formal process, which benefits everyone – not only the tenants but also the owners whose properties we’re managing because it really makes it a more professional approach to managing the properties,” he said.
Memphis Invest now also provides rehab services, refurbishing full renovations on more than 200 properties a year for investors around the world. A supplementary service company, Memphis Invest Renovation Services, renovates investment properties and performs rehab work for homeowners looking to upgrade their houses.
The majority of Memphis Invest’s clients – 75 percent – are located outside of the Memphis market. And it’s all due to exposure and the lure of Memphis investment properties, Clothier said.
“Local investors are just a little more timid about buying here in town because of their preconceived ideas about what Memphis is like,” he said.
Memphians are “insulated,” and often overlook the treasures right in front of them, Clothier said. And investors inhabiting other cities with a higher cost of living cannot buy properties there for $20 to $40 per square foot.
In fact, investors came this past weekend to learn about the Memphis market and the Memphis Invest process and, of course, to buy property.
Memphis Invest hosts these buying parties once a quarter, bringing in anywhere from 40 to 60 investors at a time, with 30 to 40 serious buyers, and the rest wanting to learn more about the market or Memphis Invest.
“We go to Graceland, and depending on the time of year, we’ll go to a Redbirds or Grizzlies game – just little things so they can see that Memphis is more than just the bad crime list that you hear about each year,” Clothier said. “There’s a lot more to the city than just that, and that’s really what these weekends highlight.”
But since the demand is so high, Memphis Invest is changing the event to the second weekend of every month, limiting the attendance to 25 investors who are qualified and ready to invest in the Memphis real estate market.
And now with its new 400-square-foot multimedia room at its 130 Timber Creek headquarters, Memphis Invest will begin these smaller tours the weekend of Nov. 6.
Just one weekend is all it usually takes for many investors to get hooked. They not only return to purchase more, but they also bring colleagues, friends and family to invest as well.
Brack Shaver of Fort Worth, Texas, attended the weekend event in April and returned this weekend, bringing his son with him.
Shaver, a registered investment adviser, said Memphis Invest spares him the one thing that matter the most – time.
“As an investor, you are always looking for a situation that lends itself to you that is turnkey,” Shaver said. “This way, I get a good property, it’s already been rehabbed – in my case, it’s already been rented – and I get a check every month.”
Brian Rowan, on the other hand, is one of the select few investors from Memphis. He has bought 15 properties from Memphis Invest and hopes to acquire five more within the next two and a half years.
“I want to get in, get out and have my properties paid for before the market changes,” Rowan said.
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It never ceases to amaze me that business men and women alike can sometimes forget the very basic rules of investing when it comes to investing in real estate. Real estate investing is no different than investing in traditional stocks, bonds, funds or CD's when it comes to looking for value and return. Often times, the real value of an investment can be determined quickly and easily
and it has nothing to do with how steep the discount is! It seems that today, many in the investment real estate business want to confuse complication with innovation!
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When I bought my first property and placed my first tenant...I was a complete disaster! No point in beating around the bush right! As a Memphis real estate investor, I learned just enough about rental property management in Memphis, TN. to be dangerous and I certainly was. I was dangerous to my bottom line and dangerous to my future earnings.
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Kent Clothier & Family are hosting a one time only 3-Day Bootcamp for Building an INCREDIBLE Wholesale Real Estate Business...
Are you going to be one of the lucky few who ACTUALLY USES this opportunity to learn from the best and take action? One of the best ways to learn any new endeavor or even how to improve on what you are already doing is to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before you. The Clothier family have had tremendous success in each business they have built and have been leaders in the Memphis wholesale real estate business. Do not miss your chance to hear form them on the exact methods and tools they have used to build and develop each area of their business. This is an amazing opportunity...
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So you all know that we are constantly working to improve our operations and educating ourselves when it comes to investing in real estate and we urge you all to do so as well. Last week we spent 4 days at the Fortune Builders Rehab Bootcamp in sunny San Diego, CA learning new processes and touring the properties that Fortune Builders are currently rehabbing. Ryan, who heads the rehab department at Memphis Invest, joined us in continuing his education. This is by far one of the best educational opportunities of the year and we are happy that Ryan could join us.
Kent, Jr., Brett and I had the opportunity to speak to the 300+ attendees in regards to systems implementation, business building and stayed over to give a special presentation to a select group of attendees on the inner workings of the Memphis investment property bus tours that we host. See below for pictures from last week's workshops.
Be sure to check out the Fortune Builders' home page for future events and make plans to join us for one of the upcoming educational boot camps. Even the experts still attend workshop weekends to continue to grow and learn as business owners.
See you on the road soon...
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What are the laws in your state or municipality
There are different laws around the country for both landlords and renters and you absolutely must know the laws that pertain to your area. That being said, here is the easiest way to learn those laws. First, contact local property management companies and ask for their guidance with local land lording laws. It may take more than one call, but be proactive and ask for their assistance. Most will be more than happy to answer a few of your top questions. Second, contact local landlords that advertise properties for rent in the local papers. Many times, with an offer to buy them lunch or dinner, a local landlord will spend time telling you how they operate and what they know about local laws. Finally, when you have a better idea of your market place and the local laws, you turn to a local attorney who specializes in representing landlords. They can assist you with the ins and outs of how to operate as a landlord to give yourself the best opportunity for success.
Developing a great lease
Once you have established a better understanding of your local land lording laws, you can also develop your lease. Chances are, if you will ask, other landlords will share their lease with you. Another possibility is that your attorney will already have a lease that they can give you to use. Using a proper lease is the best way to protect yourself when it comes time to collect late rents or possibly move towards dealing with a problem tenant in the legal process. Being clear and precise in your lease is the best way to protect yourself when it comes time to involve the local courts and laws as a landlord. Once you have a great lease, make sure you have a great closing process. Make sure that your tenant not only signs every page of your lease, but it is a good idea to have them sign key parts of the lease where the legal process is laid out. Cover yourself and your tenant to ensure your success.
Create your process
Problems will absolutely occur when you are a landlord. From late rents, evictions, maintenance calls and even maintenance issues that have to be charged back to the tenant. All of these situations will occur to you as a landlord and you must be prepared form the beginning on how you are going to handle each of those situations and be consistent. I suggest you put it in writing and have that process filed with your attorney. Once you have committed it to writing and filed it with your attorney, you have no choice! You must follow that policy. That policy will spell out when a tenant is late, what the repercussions are going to be, when that process moves to the stage of eviction, when the tenant will be notified and again, what the repercussions are going to be. If you will follow the process you lay out, you will be moving in the right direction and the legal process will be easy.
Dealing with evictions
Evictions are one of the few absolutes in the property investment business. If you are going to manage your own properties, then getting over the fact that you will have evictions to deal with is a must. Renters will pay late, they will push the envelope and some know every step to take to play the game of staying in a property for the maximum number of days for the minimum number of dollars. If you have created your lease based on what you learned form other landlords, management companies and your lawyer and created your process for dealing with tenants (and followed that process) then you will have a very good chance of winning the eviction as quick as possible and for the least amount of work and cost.
Moving forward as a landlord
Investing in real estate and choosing to operate as your own landlord both can be very profitable and rewarding. Simply making that decision will not be enough. You must take the time to get educated and prepared to be a good landlord and out your contracts and systems in place. These simple steps will absolutely help you to become a better investor and a better landlord.
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MemphisInvest.com is pleased to announce that Than Merrill, JD Esajian, Paul Esajian and Konrad Sopielnikow, stars of A&E’s Flip This House and founders of Fortune Builders, teamed up with Memphis Invest to host the Ultimate Cash Flow Buying Tour, a two day buying conference and tour in Memphis on July 9 - 10, 2010. The seminar brought 70 investors to Memphis from 18 states plus Canada and yielded a total of twenty nine Memphis investment properties sold.