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Can’t get a loan from your bank?
By Sal Lentini

There are any number of reasons a traditional bank will deny someone a loan on their investment property.  Low income, low credit score, lack of landlord experience, debt to income levels, tax returns, self employed or lack of W2 income…it’s almost like they are searching for a reason to deny you.  Don’t take it personally.  Even experienced investors with excellent credit scores and large portfolios can have difficulty dealing with traditional banks (ask me how I know).  So instead of taking it personally, you need to change your mindset and realize that it is the banks that have it wrong. Real estate investing is hands down, one of the best ways to create and preserve wealth so don’t let a desk jockey at a bank end your real estate dreams.  You either find the right lenders (on this site by filling out your loan request) or get creative. Partnering: There are lots of people out there with money but not enough time.  You can partner with someone with W2 income (that doesn’t have time) and give them equity in the deal without them having to lift a finger.  Their income gets them equity and your hard work gets you your equity. Seller Financing: This is exactly what it sounds like.  The seller, instead of the bank provides the financing.  There are advantages to both the seller and buyer for this type of financing.  The seller gets consistent monthly payments and isn’t hit with a giant tax bill.  And you, the buyer, don’t need to go through the colonoscopy that banks like to call underwriting. You can also do a seller 2nd, where the seller holds a note for the down money of say 25%.  Then you get a loan for the remaining 75%.  Every month you would pay the bank or private lender for the 75% loan and you’d also cut a check for the monthly payment to the seller for their 25% loan. Private Lenders: You often hear this term and wonder where these unicorns are.  The funny thing is, they are not unicorns at all.  They are everywhere.  Friends, family, coworkers, accountants, lawyers, friends of friends, bank tellers, realtors, diners next to you in a restaurant…these are all people that have done private lending with me to grow my portfolio to 127 rentals.  You just need to start telling people about your real estate aspirations and start paying attention.  They’re everywhere. There are also financing options of: lease option, subject to, quit claim, sandwich lease options…the short answer?  Traditional banks are just one of MANY ways to finance your real estate dreams.

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Best time to buy real estate?
By Sal Lentini

There’s a saying, that comes from an old proverb about planting trees… “The best time to buy real estate was 20 years ago.  The 2nd best time is now”.  Everyone is always trying to time the real estate market.  They want to buy when the market is at the bottom.  Sounds good in theory but if you only bought when prices dropped you'd have a VERY hard time building a portfolio.  You wouldn't have purchased anything in the past 10 years.  And nothing in the 20 years prior to that. Every purchase I make is specific to the property I am buying.  It depends on the price, the terms, the upside, the taxes, knowledge of up and coming development nearby, rates, rents, how desirable of an area it is, how it fits into the rest of my portfolio, how much time it will consume etc.  And if you’re building a rental portfolio, just because real estate values go down doesn’t mean rents go down.  During the ’08 crisis, rents remained remarkably stable, even going up in some markets.  So make sure you buy using strong fundamentals.  If you’re buying solely with the intent of making money through appreciation…that’s not a good idea.  But if you’re buying because of the cashflow and the LONG TERM prospects then you’re on the right path. And what a lot of people tend to forget, the real estate market doesn’t need to collapse in order to correct itself.  It could just go flat for 10 years while the economy and inflation grows to catch up with it.  So if you wait for the next down turn you could be waiting a long, long time.  Just be smart with your investments on an individual basis and don’t worry about trying to time the market as a whole.

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Automate your real estate marketing
By Sal Lentini

Website chat: You can use services like Chatbot or ZenDesk to automatically answer questions on your site 24/7.  This provides instant customer satisfaction and increases your chances of customer acquisition. Email drips: Using ActiveCampaign or MailChimp you can set up emails to go out at regular intervals to your list.  Don’t rely on you finding time or remembering to draft an email to send out.  Set up all of your emails once and then put them on autopilot using autoresponders in your email marketing software. Social media marketing: One of the hardest parts about social media marketing is the consistency.  Making sure you deliver content regularly.  Instead of trying to remember and find the time every day or every other day.  Once a week you can generate a bunch of content, images, posts….and then use a service like Hubspot or Later to deliver them automatically on a schedule of your choosing. Virtual assistant: If you have a lot of small marketing tasks that you feel are sucking your time away from things that truly matter for your business then you should seriously consider hiring a VA.  You can find your candidates on UpWork.  I know, it’s hard to hand over control sometimes.  But, once you do, you’ll wonder why you didn't do it sooner!  

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Increase your multi family profits
By Sal Lentini

Vending store: Having vending machines at your property is common but what about taking it to the next level and installing a vending store?  Yes, you can place an entire vending store in your lobby or common area.  You can lease these stores that are about 10x12 feet and carry everything from food, beverages, cleaning supplies, medicines, etc.  Customers pay and a robotic arm picks up and delivers the item. Cell tower – rooftop leases: If you don’t get great cell service at your property that’s a good sign that there could be use for a cell tower or cell repeater in the area.  That’s where the top of your building comes in.  You could generate an extra $1000 a month.  That’s like getting an extra tenant that requires no work on your part. Pet fees: Pets are becoming more and more like family these days.  People pay extra to bring them on flights and more and more hotels are allowing pets.  The good news is, you can do the same and make extra money by doing it.  Allowing pets and charging a pet fee will make your units easier to rent.  And you can also tack on an extra cleaning fee when they leave.  Cleaning products to remove pet smells are getting better and better.  And in the not too distant future, if you don’t allow pets you will find your units harder to rent.  So you might as well entertain the idea now and make money while you’re at it. Beneficial insects: Have extra land?  You can rent an area of your property to produce local honey.  And depending on your local property tax exemptions you could potentially save thousands in taxes because raising bees counts as raising food animals.  You can create a work farm and sell the worms, the worm “tea” they produce and again, potentially qualify for tax exemptions.  Or how about raising praying mantis for $18 each?  Ladybugs, crickets…the possibilities are endless Storage: Do you have unused space in your building?  A basement?  Or an area of your land or parking lot you can build on?  Tenants always want more storage and are willing to pay for it.  And depending on the location of your building, you can charge nearby residents and businesses for your storage.  The best part about storage is, very low upkeep, consistent easy extra revenue and happier tenants.

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Finding deals
By Sal Lentini

There’s no magic bullet here.  You need to have multiple streams of leads.  Spread the word to everyone you know that you’re looking for deals.  Tell them what you’re looking for.  Here are some other deal finding methods: Wholesalers Call For Rent signs Direct mail Realtors Ads Auctions Networking Local real estate groups… You need to blast the word out to everyone.  You never know where your next lead is going to come from.  And leads tend to snowball.  When you buy a property, talk to neighbors and local businesses about your purchase.  Your marketing web keeps growing and along with it, leads.

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Growing your portfolio
By Sal Lentini

You’ve bought a rental or a handful of rentals but now you’re looking to take it to the next level.  How do you become an investor with hundreds of rental properties?  You need a plan.  If you continue operating the way you are now, your outcome will stay the same.  At your current pace, when will you end up owning 100+ rentals?  10 years?  20 years?  Never? I’m at 127 rentals and I’m planning on doubling that by the end of this year.  If you are serious about growing your rental portfolio (and if you’ve gotten this far into this post you probably are) then drop me a line.  I can coach you and help you learn from my mistakes and successes getting to this point.  Click on the “?” in the bottom right corner of each page of this site and we can set up a time to discuss.

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