Saturday, November 14, 2015

Psst!! Over Here... Let Me Tell You About The Latest Tools I Discovered

McDonald's does not make the best burger but they have the best burger making system and that is why they are the best. No matter the size of your business you should always be improving your system. If you can't think of what is your system; you need to take some time and create your system.

After taking some additional training, I learned how to improve my business and to improve my internal system. Let me share a few tips that I put to work and perfected for real estate business. 

The first thing you need to do is to have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. How would you explain the steps of your business to someone else? I did this when I was trying to explain to my husband one day about what task I accomplished each day and why. I am a visual person so I found that creating a diagram worked best for me.

I started by creating a diagram showing the different strategies I was contemplating with my business.

Then I took one specific strategy and I created a new diagram with more details for that specific strategy.

This now gives me a very clear image of what I am trying to accomplish and from there I can start writing down a list of tasks I need to do to complete a project. 

Once I have my "To Do List", I get tools that can help be delegate or simplify these tasks. Here are some of the tools I have recently started adding to my business system that I have found to be extremely helpful.

I use upwork (which used to be called ODesk) to employ virtual assistants. The main task I have them handle is to answer the emails coming in from my ads. I provided the VA (Virtual Assistant) with the response I want to inquiries on my ads and files to attach. My main VA is a mom from the Philippines that requested $3.50/hour. 

Be sure you are very clear with the tasks you want accomplish and how to do it.

I am completely addicted to Fiverr at the moment. Very similar to Upwork, I mostly use Fiverr for random tasks. I had them design my new business cards, I had them redo my brochure so that it would have a more professional look. It's called Fiverr because you can request any jobs done for as little as $5. Had I know about this sooner, I would have them create my website, design a logo, and so much more. They are quick and very talented. Again you are using the skills of people from all around the world.

This as proven to be a great tool and best of all it is available free! I mostly used this for my tenant-buyer. When they answer my kijiji ad my VA forward to them my brochure, a link to my website as well as a link to my "Pre-Application" form which is an "EmailMeForm". This also keeps track of all the information collected into a database. It is possible to export that information to an other software such as Excel.

I have discovered this tool early on in my business. When I first started my real estate investment business, when I placed offers on properties, I would print out the offer sign it then I would either fax it or scan it and email it back. This became difficult when I started travelling for Rich Dad Education. Now with DocuSign I can place my signature directly onto the contract emailed to me and I email it back. No need to print or scan. Big time saver and so much more efficient.

This as been a new addition to my system. Once I received the pre-application from potential tenant-buyers I would then start playing phone tags with them. Altough I ask when is a good time to call, we wouldn't always connect. I started using SetMore which is a scheduling software. So now I sent the tenant-buyers a link and SetMore will show them my schedule of when I can take a call and they can schedule their call. If I have an appointment that comes up I can also block off sections of times. Such a time saver!

These are only a few I am currently using. I hope you find these tools helpful for your own business. Please leave a comment and share some of the ones that you have come across.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Couch Potatoe Investors; Brace Yourselves

My financial education as been non-traditional at best. In fact, I follow a much different path than the majority of the people. I do not save my money; I invest it. I do not invest in stocks for the long term; I'm in and out in a matter of days to maybe weeks. I do not pray for the market to go up; I can make just as much if not more when it goes down. I purchase real estate for cashflow; I pay little attention to appreciation.

If you follow a different path, investment wise, my strategies may upset you. I may seem irresponsible. Well, from my side of the fence, the way the vast majority of people invest, does upset me. I recently purchased a Canadian personal finance magazine. While reading it, I found myself yelling at the pages as if the author could hear me. They have been referring to the impending drop in the market. It's no secret that the market as been going almost straight up since 2008-2009. The market normally moves in wave, but this one as being going almost straight up. It's been tempered with. It's not sustainable. We are due for a correction, and that is what the authors of the magazine are referring to. In fact the market can drop 40% and still be in a upward trend. The question is can you handle such a drop?

Well that is what they are covering in this magazine. The one article is preparing for the "couch potatoes" investors to brace themselves. The author describe the couch potato investor as someone who holds a variety of investments in stocks, and bonds for the long term. He describe how that investor as being enjoying an amazing up move and is preparing them for the down move to come. He suggest that the best investor will demonstrate discipline in the time coming. And the discipline he is referring to is to maintain the couch potato strategy and keeping everything in the same investment without touching them.

That is right! He is suggesting you stand by as your investment disappear by 40%. So if you have $100,000 in investment and it drops by 40% you would be left with $60,000. From that starting point if would need to go back up 67% just to get back to $100,000. That is the problem with large drawbacks on your investment account; and I am not even looking at the fees occurring during the drop as well as on the way back up.

The truth is, I don't believe that the author is trying to help his client lose their money or retirement savings. I would believe that he is providing the best advise he can. If the average investor pulled out their money in a moment of panic, they will have the tendencies to do it near the bottom when they feel they can no longer take the pain. In most situation our emotions leads our investing actions, and we are emotionally wired to lose it all.

It is also a fact, that this particular author is an investment adviser and he gets paid by the commission you pay on your investments. It is in his best interest, and the best interest of his company for you to continue paying those fees. The magazine's top ad buyers are banks and investment companies.

I feel the best solution would be for the investors to educate themselves, following the same non-traditional methods I have before trying to take over their investments. I agree with the author that jumping from one type of investing strategy to an other will  only cause you to lose. Learning to manage your own investment is not rocket science but it does require some time. The majority prefer not to take on such responsibilities. Some of us, don't even realize that's its out there.

Monday, February 09, 2015

The Perfect Real Estate Investors Tool

As a real estate investor we all know that our network is our net worth. For any real estate transaction the is a buyer, a seller, and a lander. The Real Estate Connect Center helps you make those very connections.

This amazing tool is available by subscription. There is a one time fee of $1997 then $39.99 per month. However, I am able to offer you this amazing tool at the great discount of $19.99 per month with no one time fee, and you will also get the first month free to try it out. I'm not sure how long this great offer will last so be sure to register TODAY. Click here to get this great offer.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Action Plan

I am proud that my sister is following in my foot steps and has acquired her own real estate investment education package. She been taking her courses and putting it into practice. Recently she came to me and asked "Melanie, how are you making it work? What are you doing?".

The strategy that works best for me to have success in my real estate business is my Action Plan that was at first put together for me by my mentor. So to help her move forward with her business I put together a presentation explaining how to put together a strong action plan.

I would like to help you in your real estate business as well so I am making this presentation available to you as well.

All you need to do is click here and fill out the access form. There is no fees, and I will not be sharing your email with anyone else.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Smart Phone In My Business

I have to chance to interact with a lot of other investors with my work with Rich Dad Education, with my work with the Investor Cashflow Club, and with my day to day networking for my own real estate investment business. We discussed investment strategies, on going deals, and how we run our businesses. Time and time again I am asked how I manage my business on road and how I purchase properties from afar. It's simple, I have a Smart Phone, and I use it to it's capacity.

So today I've put together a presentation on how I use my smart phone in my real estate business; and the different apps that make running my business easier.

These are the apps I've come across and started using to better my business. I find new one all the time. If you use an app that is helping you run your business, please take a moment to comment about it on this blog.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Information Wednesday

On November 19th 2014, I was the guest speaker for the information series "All About It Wednesday" that the Didsbury Municipal Library is organizing. I talked about Lease Option (Rent To Own) it's benefits and how it works.

As promised to those who attended, I made a video of the presentation to review the information covered. Since the video file is too large to email I have posted it here on my blog and will be sending the link.

I you have missed the event or would like to attend again; I will be presenting at the Olds Municipal Library on March 25th 2015. The presentation will be made available to other libraries by video conference. In the meantime, here is a video recording of the presentation.

To get a copy of our brochure detailing our Lease Option Program in more detail or to find out more please contact us by email.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Investor's Book Club

Recently, I started an accountability arrangement with a fellow real estate investor. We wrote our goals for different aspect of our life and business, and everyday we send each other our "To Do" list for the day. 

After getting home at 7 am between two events, I jumped in my bed and into the warm blankets and I was planning on watching a show on Netflix. Before I did, I checked my email and received my accountability partner's "To Do" list. Instead of staying in bed, I got up and made my own "To Do" list for the day. I would have spent the whole morning in bed but instead I ended up working on my business and got tons of stuff accomplished. 

Thanks Partner!!

One of the goal I made for myself was Education. I decided I would dedicate a portion of my day every day towards my education. I have taken many classes in real estate investing, stock investing, sales and negotiation, business planning, and presenting. It is important to always be learning. So now that I have taken so many classes, I am still dedicating time to my education but more in the form of books. There are amazing books out there that share great information.

The problem is, as was demonstrated in the study of the Cone of Learning, we only retain 10% of what we read. I love reading, and I love learning, but 10% is not great results. So if I want to increase the value of the time I spend reading I need to make reading into a more active form of learning. My solution was to create a book club dedicated for investors. Participating into a discussion increases the level of retention to 70%. 

If you find yourself in the same situation as me, and you would like to increase the value of the books you read and the time you dedicate to it; join my Facebook group Investor's Book Club.

I have an extensive investor's library but many of my books are still unread or I don't remember many of the key points in the ones I have read. I am looking forward to starting the first book with the book club and to debate and discuss what I learn.