Helping Sellers Get MORE!

Helping Sellers Get MORE!

713-965-4561 *MAKING A DIFFERENCE* #LeagueCity #Friendswood #Webster #Pearland #Seabrook #Kemah #Pasadena #LaPorte #Dickinson #ClearLake #GreaterHobbyArea #Sagemont #Houston #ISpyRealEstate #ISpyRE #ISpyRealty #Realtor SHOW...
I SPY INTEGRITY… I SPY EXPERIENCE… THE I SPY REALTY TEAM

I SPY INTEGRITY… I SPY EXPERIENCE… THE I SPY REALTY TEAM

When was the last time you came across a 5-Star rated crack-shot tight-knit real estate team that has decades of combined experience with the specialists that are unique experts in their certified fields?  From the buyer’s agents that find the perfect home for our clients every single time to our listing agents that specialize in advertising our client’s homes for the best price and get them sold in the shortest amount of time, we strive to connect you with the proper team specialist that the typical generalist real estate agent cannot compete with in terms of negotiation skills as well as value.   Meet Our Team:   Joseph Landes, the capstone of our team, has always enjoyed advising buyers on locations, days on market, pricing the unique qualities of home value, financing, and appraisals.  Joseph is well-prepared to discuss the many aspects of buying real estate, from the tiny details that encompass the construction of new builds, to helping our clients look out for the typical repairs that surround older homes.  His leadership is instrumental in ensuring that superior branding, quality, ethics, and compliance properly filter down to every level of our organization.   Lorena Landes serves as our resident quality control expert, ensuring client satisfaction from beginning to end.  Her positive attitude and incredible attention to detail ensures that our transactions get done the right way at the right time, every time.  Her contagious motivation ensures that not only does our team stay on track and on top of hundreds of transactions every year, every t gets crossed and every i dotted.   Tim LaBorde focuses on specialized...
How to Raise Private Money for Deals

How to Raise Private Money for Deals

If you are thinking about becoming a real estate investor, you are not alone. It is a very exciting business that can help you make big bucks in one go. But it’s not always rainbows and unicorns with the perfect profits and better deals – you may lose money too. It can be overwhelming when you examine methods and ways to invest and finalize deals. Your first question is going to be about money. How will you raise the amount to make your first investment? We are talking about big sums since the investment is in real estate – not in shares right? For financial investments you can always invest lower amounts but when it comes to real estate – you are looking at bigger money with bigger profits. Raising private money to invest in real estate can be daunting but if done right, you can achieve the result and make the right profits at the right time. Raising private capital will require you to qualify as a buyer but the process is much different than applying for a traditional mortgage. The difference is getting experience as an investor with a reputation that you know what you’re doing and you are reliable and trustworthy whereas a bank looks at your financial history to qualify you for a mortgage. But a private investor will seal a deal based on trust and your prior experience. Use Your Savings First To start with, you can use your own cash. Because who believes in you more than you at the starting line, right? If you do not have enough hard cash to start...
5 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers

5 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers

If you are a real estate investor, you need to know how to make your money by finding the right sellers. It is crucial for you to find sellers who are motivated and eager to sell their house quickly. You can either go to them, or better yet, have them come to you! The methods to finding motivated sellers are simple, and it is the foundation of your success. Many real estate investors find themselves wasting good hours trying to find motivated sellers. It can be daunting to see a lot of valuable time going to waste. Deals that are closed quicker materialize earlier and result in faster profits. Who wouldn’t want that? Check out these quick tips to help you find homeowners who are motivated to sell their properties faster. This will help you save valuable time for more deals and business growth. 1.     Market Yourself Proudly Do not hesitate when it comes to advertising yourself. Explain value to attract motivated sellers. When you are advertising, include your success helping sellers in buying their houses. Mention things like the number of houses you have bought in a quarter or the number of families you saved from foreclosure by buying their house on time. And/or you can talk about the feedback and satisfaction level of your customers. This will help you sell your services and attract the right motivated sellers to you.  Once they are attracted, they would still want to know why you are better than others. Show off your credibility by making sure you have a reliable and a good real estate investor website to convince them (just like this...
L.A.C.K. – LIQUIDITY, ASSETS, CREDIT, AND KNOWLEDGE: WHY SHOULD I GET QUALIFIED FOR HARD MONEY AS A BUYER?

L.A.C.K. – LIQUIDITY, ASSETS, CREDIT, AND KNOWLEDGE: WHY SHOULD I GET QUALIFIED FOR HARD MONEY AS A BUYER?

Imagine for a moment that you have saved $50k of your hard-earned money and you’re trying to put it to work with property in Houston.  You begin looking at listings and then finally, after hours of analysis, you come across a gem of a deal with a $100k asking price that you think will be excellent for you to at least go look at.  You do your walk-through of the property and the repairs required are going to be a piece of cake because you’ve already networked and found a decent contractor that has joined your all-star team of professionals.   You know ahead of time that your credit is good and you have a decent down payment ready to go so you want to take the next step and pull out the contract.  The seller signs your contract and it’s executed; you’re ecstatic and you turn it over to the title company to start running title research.  In the meantime, you know you’ve got to get your ducks in a row and make sure that the financing is in place so you’ll have no problems with closing.  You reach out to your list of hard money lenders in Houston and start getting pre-qualified and researching your options to see what the best terms are out there that you can take advantage of… and BOOM. Your qualification and loan are denied.  It turns out that a) you don’t have the cash liquidity that the lender requires, b) your credit isn’t as good as you thought, c) you don’t have enough experience or a good enough track record for a lender...
Hard Money Loans for Real Estate Investors:  Do’s, Don’t’s, Scams, and Shams

Hard Money Loans for Real Estate Investors: Do’s, Don’t’s, Scams, and Shams

With virtually anyone being able to claim they are a hard money or private money lender, how do you determine if you’re dealing with a scam or a legitimate lender?  This analysis will help you quickly qualify a potential lender. a) References are the number one key to qualifying lenders, contractors, real estate agents, tenants, and other people in our industry. If you would agree that the best marketing is word of mouth, consider that it is also the absolute best way to avoid being scammed.  The major players in our market have multiple references and happy customers to back them up.  I apply this logic to everyone I hire/do business with.  If I’ve never heard of you, I’m taking an unnecessary risk and I owe it to myself to conduct extraordinary due diligence before I give you the green light.  There are too many honest vendors out there to choose from that can provide references.  Avoid the unnecessary risk and the trail of tears. b) Location of the lender should be considered. While there are big national hard money lenders out there that have multi-state footprints that can be good choices, the small out-of-state lenders should be avoided.  Real estate investing is a local game and you should network and know the local players anyway.  In Houston, all of the hard and private money that you could ever need is more than likely less than a 45 minute drive away.  There is no reason to give the time of day to some out-of-state small fish that no else has ever heard of. c) Competitive Interest Rates and Points...
How I Apply US Army Values To My Real Estate Business Daily (And How You Can Too, Regardless Of Your Industry!)

How I Apply US Army Values To My Real Estate Business Daily (And How You Can Too, Regardless Of Your Industry!)

Companies and individuals have to figure out on the front end what values they are going to uphold.  Values are the guiding light that a brand is founded upon and helps the customer differentiate qualities and quantities.  They allow us to present the same product consistently.  They serve to let us know when we are off course like a compass.  They tell us, “This is how things are done here.”  For example, McDonald’s and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse are both famous and successful restaurant chains but there is no way that anyone could ever get the two mixed up as far as quality.  I’m not knocking Mickey D’s but no one I know has ever said, “You know what, I’d like to go to get a 5 star Big Mac and I expect to pay $50 for it.”  McDonald’s is regarded as a low cost volume provider and everyone knows it and is fine with it.  They have their way of doing things (their values) and they make a lot of money doing it.  So what we’re really talking about here is figuring out who you are as far as strengths and weaknesses, making the appropriate corrections as necessary, and then consistently delivering the product that correlates to the brand that is derived from your values. When I went through Army basic training 16 years ago, our drill sergeants made us memorize the Leadership acronym which was laid out as follows: LDRSHIP Loyalty Duty Respect Selfless Service Honor Integrity Personal Courage Obviously, as a soldier, these terms revolved around service to the country, Constitution, and fellow band of brothers.  Well...
Possible Options To Provide to Distressed Sellers

Possible Options To Provide to Distressed Sellers

When dealing with sellers of distressed properties, there are many options the seller can consider.  It is up to us, as real estate investors, to provide them with options in an ethical and moral way so that they understand what they can do with their house besides accepting a “cash as-is offer”.  There are pros and cons to each option and depending on how the conversation goes, I may cover any and all of the following information with them: Option 1)  The seller comes up with the money to repair the property so that it will pass all inspections and put in the necessary updates so that it will show well with homeowners interested in living in that area so the seller can get full market value.  The downside to that option can be that the seller may not have the time, money, or experience to make repairs/updates.  They will also have to manage contractors that may rip them off/overcharge them for repairs.  The majority of banks cannot or will not lend on distressed properties and the property is not eligible for conventional financing so they will have a tough time selling it to a homeowner/end-buyer if the property needs work. Option 2)  The seller makes minimal required repairs to the property and rents it out.  The downside to that is that managing tenants can be quite a headache.  Let’s say the seller expects to clear $400/month in cash flow.  One bad tenant can easily set him back $10k and can be a very stressful situation if he has to evict them.  So any cash flow he was hoping...
The Secret Key to Real Estate

The Secret Key to Real Estate

I was recently asked to speak at a local real estate investing event and that got me thinking about a topic that I haven’t really touched on yet.  There are many technical skills in real estate investing that cannot be learned overnight, despite what some gurus would have you believe.  I will continue to cover those aspects over time with you, my dear reader… but the invitation to speak that I received made me ask myself, “If there was only one idea that I could get across to people and I could never talk about real estate again after that, what would it be?”  What could be the most important piece of knowledge, or literally, what is the key to unlocking the door to real estate success? Let’s begin the answer with a brain teaser**.  Why do movie stars earn more money than teachers?  Surely the service provided by a teacher is more valuable to society than entertainment, right?  So since a movie star is rich, and generally a teacher is not, does that mean society values the movie star more than the knowledge that teachers impart onto our children?  No.  Not at all, actually, if you consider it from this perspective:  Let’s say as an example that a teacher earns $40k/year and she has 40 students (40 customers).   So she’s earning roughly $1k per student.  The movie star that earns $30 million on her latest release and had 100 million customers purchase a ticket to go see her movie, so she is getting paid 30 cents per ticket sold.  On a per customer basis, the teacher is...
Why Real Estate?

Why Real Estate?

First of all, why the heck should you be listening to me?  I work as a small business owner, landlord, property manager, professional wholesaler, and a licensed real estate agent in Houston, TX.  I’ve been studying the different aspects of real estate off and on for over a decade.  The first course I ever bought was a book and some cassette tapes by Robert Shemin back in 2001 or so when I was still a rifleman in the Army.  My father had sent me a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad and I read it on breaks between patrols while I froze my tail off in the Serbian and Macedonian mountains.  In his books, Kiyosaki talks about finding “Your Why” and that finding your motivation to succeed is one of the most important aspects of success.  “Why” do you want to be rich?  You having a strong “why” is going to push you to succeed when times get tough… and times will get tough.  Kiyosaki and his wife Kim were homeless and living out of their car for a while until he was finally able to turn things around.  Well, to a 19 year old, choosing between being rich or being ordered to jump in the middle of a 1,000 year war between Ethnic Albanian Muslims and Serbian Eastern Orthodox Christians struck me as a pretty strong motivation for what I actually wanted for my life.  Money was out there, and by golly, I was going to figure out how I was going to get it.  So when I came back from deployment, (decorated with some shiny medals I...