Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Uber Junk Mail Copy

Recently I read a long report on how to do direct mail correctly. The author explained that bulk mailers will "do anything" to get you to open their mail piece.

As a result, he informed us that we should do the same thing. I disagreed. If everyone else is doing the same thing, how do we stick out from the crowd. Well, we don't.

If everyone is mailing "yellow letters" to pre-foreclosures in our farm area, does it makes sense to mail yet "another yellow letter" to the same prospect? Well...? If so, what sticks out here? We're just another yellow letter.

Imagine, however, getting "yet another letter" from Publishers Clearinghouse... Do we open those? Do we? My grandma does. Why...?

Because hope springs eternal, and the envelopes are gaudy, messy, urgent sounding, and unique.

Just being gaudy, or messy, or just urgent wouldn't do much in my opinion. All my other junk mail fits that description. However, "uniquely" gaudy, messy and urgent sounding is what separates the sheep from the goats, as far as I'm concerned.

Meantime, again, Publishers Clearinghouse does a fantastic job of overcoming the din among fellow junk mailers by being uniquely gaudy, messy and urgent.

So the question remains... "Why does Publishers Clearinghouse" have to go to so much effort at standing above the crowd?"

The answer is that they really are sending "junk mail" and it looks like it. So, they've got a deforming handicap, as it were. Something must be done to overcome or disguise that problem. What might this be exactly ...and why again?

Let's take a woman who needs to take attention away from her gigantic nose.

What might she do to "hide" her nostril-laden features? She might wear big glasses. If that isn't enough to do the job, she might wear huge glasses with all sorts of distracting "jewels" glued on them. Think Dame Edna. Now, of course wearing huge, jewel encrusted glasses is not to flaunt wealth... No, it distracts attention from her anteater features.

It's the same with Publishers Clearinghouse bulk-mailish appearance. They need a way to keep your mind's eye off the fact that there's NOTHING inside that doesn't require a purchase, or worse ...there's nothing we actually want.

So, how's this fit into our direct mail efforts, you might ask.

I say, don't mail what everyone else is. Stick out. Be organic. Don't mail Click2Mail for example, or use any other "bulk mailer." Why? Because we'll have to work overtime, overcoming the "bulk mail" look that cause most recipients to file our mail in the trash.

So, what actually works, you ask. I say, "whatever that is not being used by the majority of competitors. That's what works." I'll add, "Be unique. If everyone is mailing handwritten "birthday cards" to prospects, then it's time to send "checks" in the mail."

If everyone is doing "checks," then we send DVD-size mail. If everyone is sending DVD-sized mail, then maybe it's time to send Zebra-printed postcards. If the zebra thing is getting over-sent, we try pictures of ugly, run down houses with a housewife standing on the front lawn in curlers with a caption, "If you're still doing open houses me."

Of course this doesn't address having high quality mailing lists in the first place, regardless of the mail piece. However, that's the other secret of successful direct response marketing; having a good list.

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No Job! No Credit! No Problem!

Monday, February 14, 2011

"No Down" Sub2 Deals

Way back in the 1980’s Robert Allen told a group of us that no down deals are every where, but that’s just the beginning. He said, don’t rely solely on no down deals after you’ve got some money. Cash lubricates would be cash cows that are a bit sticky to glue together. So, limiting ourselves to no down deals, will keep us from making LOTS more money off deals that actually take some money to glue together.

I’ve never forgotten that.

Meantime, I’ve always loved learning about ‘no down payment’ financing techniques. And when I discovered the “Holy Grail” of “no down” financing strategies a few years back, I always had options available to me that I never realized were possible before.

Sub2 has been the holy grail for most of my friends, too, who’ve discovered how powerful it is. If we can make $10,000 in four days by flipping a house we only paid twenty dollars to control, imagine our giddiness in pocketing fifty thousand in cash on a nice home ...and only giving the seller just five or six thousand in “play money” for the privilege.

Going back to Robert Allen for a sec ...limiting ourselves to “no down” deals may be necessary for us at the beginning, but after getting some cash in our pockets, we can start negotiating really juicy deals for ourselves that nobody else would dream was possible.

Speaking of dream deals, do you realize that owners of expensive homes are more likely to bail on a house if they have half an excuse... than owners of “bread and butter” homes...? Yes, these upper end sellers know how make money, but like anyone might, get temporarily strapped. These are the same sellers that often believe that they can make it again, and are willing to do what’s necessary today to solve an immediate cash flow problem. And that includes giving us their deed in return for getting out of a loan payment.

Five or six thousand in moving money, debt relief, pain relief, and a chance to regroup is often the right recipe for pocketing what three agents combined could make in a year.

Think outside the box. If “no down” Sub2 deals are fantastically profitable,. imagine what “small down” Sub2 deals can do to grease the skids to wealth...!

If you would like to learn how to do these fast money deals click here: Fast Sub2 Deals

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Why Sub2 Investors Give Up..."

The real estate business is always making room for those who are not afraid to work. The fact is the harder one "works" in real estate, the more one learns, the more distinctions one makes, and eventually ...the more money one makes. It's just the law.

Of course, we see the pros make this business look like a walk in the park. And all the gurus tell us that if we just follow their prescription that we'll be just like the big boys in no time.

Well, that's true that gurus do offer meaningful short cuts and systems that help us get traction very fast. However, just because somebody has the gold mine, doesn't mean they're committed to mining it.

I've witnessed students buy my Sub2 course, which is specifically geared to bypass as much wheel-spinning and frustration as possible, and then do practically nothing with it. Here they've got a tool that could help them buy their own dream house, or dream car, and instead they put the tool on the shelf "until they can get around to using it." How long do they want to wait to live prosperously, I ask myself.

Other students, have turned terrible situations around for themselves. They didn't wait around for the stars to line up, to get cracking.

Last month a student contacted me about his investing objectives. He wanted some help getting organized and putting a system together to buy some income property. When I found out what his deadline was, I was practically gulping air, it was so ambitious.

I'm not sure whether it was out of desperation, vision, or what, but his goal was short-fused. It's inspiring an fun to help someone reach an important, if not difficult goal. So, what was the deadline? March 1. So we got cracking! He took the steps necessary to familiarize himself with data sheets, and started making calls on properties. Now he's advertising for sellers and I am excited about helping him reach this goal...

At the same time, this was happening, I had just about had it listening to other newbies complain, "there's no deals," "I can't find anything to buy," "agents are jerks," "sellers want too much," and blahdy blah, and "I want to give up", because they can't find low hanging fruit like the gurus all promised will happen if they fork over $5,000.00 for their boot camp. Of course I don't promise "low hanging fruit," but I do promise the ability to recognize it! There's a difference.

Well, "Reality Knocking! Hello!" It's takes effort to do real estate profitably. That's what my new student is learning, too. I told him that he needed to complete 50 analysis sheets on 50 different properties so that he could learn to instantly recognize a deal. Slowly and painstaking we plowed through a couple income property data sheets so he could get acquainted with the process (and I relearned some important assumptions at the same time). Did you know that sellers will lie about their numbers to gather interest? Anywhoo...

Well, to really drive this point home about the work involved in finding deals, I received a call from a car salesman who wanted to lease purchase a house for himself. I told him that I had nothing in his area, but I would help him find something that he could negotiate on his own (after all he's a professional negotiator). I told him that he would have to put in some hours on the phone, and pointed him to the most likely prospects.

The next day he called me to let me know he found four potential deals ....after about 8 hours of cold calling. After he told me the terms he was throwing out, I could only sit in awe at what the sellers said they were interested in doing with this guy. Of course the next thing out of his mouth was that he wanted to bird dog for me. Of course I said, "nah, I work my own deals, thanks, but no thanks." NOT! Of course, I took him up on his offer as soon as I could get the word "Fantastic!" out of my mouth.

Well, I've got a student digging for income property gems and learning to recognize deals on the spot, and a used car salesman looking in just the right places for deals for himself (and me) and neither of them are complaining about the hard work involved so far.

So, forget about finding the low hanging fruit, and start digging for buried treasure in your own gold mine, and dig out the juicy deals that nobody else knows exists, like my students and bird dogs are willing to do. Then in no time, you'll reach your goals and somebody will assume it's just as easy as the gurus say it is!

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Mortgage Assignments vs Sub2"

For the luv of gawd do not do fall for this "mortgage assignment" fad. Traditional Sub2 deals are fine, but assigning a mortgage (transferring title from a seller to a buyer who cannot get a loan, and collecting a fee off the deal, and walking away, is the stupidest, most short-sighted strategy ever.

Imagine with me...(I'm sure the MA gurus have a quick, if not torturous answer for my objections)...
Say, we transfer title to a buyer who cannot, for a variety of reasons qualify for a new loan, and perhaps he puts up as little a 3% of the sale price as a "down payment" on an underwater property... Of course this is a recipe for default, if not severe credit damage the seller, and an abject case for a lawsuit.

Consider a default on a loan by the original borrower... That borrower often squats in his home until the bank either pays him to leave, or the bank agrees to a short sale offer, or the bank modifies his payments, etc.

Either way, the original borrower enjoys free rent (especially since the bank won't even talk with him UNTIL he stops making payments.

Well, what in gawd's name does a defaulted "mortgage assignment" buyer have to lose by sitting in that same house rent free? His credit isn't on the line, and even when the bank forecloses, the foreclosure doesn't show up on HIS credit ...and he can't be evicted until after a trustees sale, which might take a year or two...

So, what's the downside for the buyer if he defaults and then sits in the house rent free for months? Losing a couple thousand in down payment money? Hey, the more he put up, the more incentive he has to be a squatter! After all, he saving many potential thousands of dollars living payment free regardless of what he paid up front.

Bottom line the original borrower's credit is getting screwed six ways from Sunday. Nice.
By contrast, in a traditional "subject to" transaction, the buyers (us) stay with the transaction until our end/user buyer refinances the loan(s), or bails on us.

Either way, our buyers DO NOT get the deed before paying us off first.

At the same time, we protect the original seller/borrower from loss and damage by making sure the loan payment is made regardless of what our end/user buyer is doing.
Frankly, we make more money when our Sub2 buyer bails on us, because we can resell the house for another down payment! This is a professional (and profitable) service we provide to the original seller. We've built a back-end profit into the deal.

With a mortgage assignment, again, the person putting the seller and buyer together (us) walks away once the fees are collected, and the deal is consummated. That's all fine and dandy as long as our buyer doesn't default and/or get stupid by squatting in the property.
In that case, nobody is assisting the buyer in getting financing either. He's on his own.

Sellers rarely have the expertise to assist a buyer in getting financing. That's why sellers rely on real estate agents most of the time to handle this detail. In this deal, we have no incentive to help any further. We've got ours!

Meanwhile, with a Mortgage Assignment, if the buyer either decides he's tired of the property, or can't get a loan (isn't being assisted by anyone like us in getting a loan), and/or has a fight with the seller, and/or decides to screw the seller by not making any more payments ...and finally, just to add insult to injury does NOT move out... what recourse does the seller have?

Well, the seller just evicts the "mortgage assignment" buyer for not paying right? Uh, no. The MA buyer is the TITLE HOLDER. The only entity that has the right to evict a defaulted MA borrower/owner is the lender/lien holder ...and that right only comes after a trustee sale.

So the original borrower is up a creek without a paddle. The original borrower's credit is being screwed AND he can't evict the MA deadbeat from the house.

On the other hand, if we were still in the Sub2 deal, like we should have been, we would be protecting the seller from a Sub2 deadbeat buyer by NOT transferring or assigning the DEED to our buyer before he paid us off. Also, we reserved funds to keep the loan current until we got a new buyer in place.

The MA gurus are saying that escrowing a Grant Deed back to the seller is the insurance policy against a buyer's default. That bogus, if not tenuous alternative, touted by the MA gurus, is ILLEGAL to perform in several states that require judicial foreclosures if ever, and whenever there is a transfer of equitable interest.

This includes Contract For Deeds (in CA). Well, if we have a buyer who actually HAS the title in his name, there's nothing short of a judicial foreclosure that will legally force the MA buyer to abandon the property despite being in default.

So, if we want to make money on pretty, low/no equity homes, we stay in the deals, and DO NOT transfer title to our credit challenged buyers, while at the same time protect the original seller from damage and loss.

Otherwise, we better make sure we do our MA deals behind a corporate entity; plan to be sued and hide our assets, because we WILL be sued by the seller who gets his credit trashed by a MA buyer who defaults and won't pay, and ...won't move.

Mortgage Assignments are the dumbest strategy to hit the creative real estate market in recent history.

Why not just shoot yourself in the mouth right now and save yourself the grief of doing 3 to 5 in Leavenworth after your seller gets a judgment against you for fraud.

Wait! You say? Is a mortgage assignment fraudulent? No.

However, explain to a judge how you didn't take advantage of an unsophisticated seller by "talking" him into transferring his deed to a credit challenged buyer, and collecting a HUGE fee at the seller's expense and ignorance, and later damaged his credit, inhibited his borrowing power, upended his reputation, and thwarted his earning ability.

That'll be interesting testimony.

Stay away from mortgage assigning.