Best Real Estate Software For Investors?

Realeflow allows you keep track of complex transactions like short sales and rehab projects. It includes HUD-1 spreadsheets and the ability to create multiple logins for your team-members, such as business partners and Realtors. You get up to 16 premium lead generation websites (you pay for the domains) and if you opt for the upgraded package, you also get private lender leads, cash buyer leads, renter leads, tax lien leads, fed into your database. Realeflow has some unique features such as voice-broadcasting, a built in local fax number to send and receive faxes, and their mobile marketing platform, Moby (for SMS marketing broadcasts). One of the nice features of Realeflow is their Property Launch website template, which gives you the ability to “launch” a property and sell it quickly using the same groundbreaking marketing techniques and psychological triggers first pioneered by Jeff Walker in his “product launch formula”.

Freedomsoft has only 3 lead generation websites included – buyer, seller & private money lender templates. Inside the platform you have access to all of the forms and contracts you need for your wholesale deals. You have the option to upload State contracts as well, which comes in handy when you are making offers on MLS-listed properties or bank owned deals. Freedomsoft however, does include some notable features that Realeflow does not. The platform also has, one-click marketing, MLS leads, additional video training in the resources tab – (videos and scripts for negotiation, and downloadable audio books – REO Rockstar and Probate Profits). Two of the key features that I like most about Freedomsoft are the offer calculator and the ability to fill out contracts automatically from within the software. This “offerbot” technology, in my opinion, is what gives Freedomsoft the edge. It saves a lot of time by prefilling out most of the offer for you. Now, if you’re making dozens of offers every week (which you should be), all you would need to do is enter the Earnest Money amount, The Offer Amount and the closing date, and freedomsoft takes care of the rest. It even has a handwriting font to fill in the signature for you. I hope Realeflow takes note of this feature and incorporates it into their next software upgrade.

Now it has to be said that Realeflow has lots of features that give it a competitive edge for short sale investors and rehabbers. As I mentioned before, the platform helps you fill out the HUD-1 and allows you to set deadlines & reminders for various tasks that need to be completed during the short sale negotiation process. Realeflow keeps you organized and reminds you to collect the appropriate documents needed from the seller. If you are rehabbing properties or need to calculate repairs for your end-buyer, it has an excel sheet hat helps calculate net profit. The built in Hammerpoint feature allows you to estimate repairs based on the square footage of your property. The software then produces a printable “contractor’s estimate” based on the data …

How the Foreclosure Cleanup Industry Has Changed: A New Property Preservation Model

The field services industry, which is commonly referred to as the “property preservation”, “foreclosure cleanup” or “REO trashout” industry, has changed considerably over the years.

When the mortgage crisis and eventual housing fiasco first seized the real estate industry, a great number of smaller foreclosure contractors entered the market. Many of these micro companies performed assorted mortgage field services tasks for lenders, banks, financial institutions, REO conglomerates and asset management companies in hamlets and diverse regions across the United States of America.

A ton of larger, national entities were also part of the landscape that was fast becoming a burgeoning property preservation industry.

A great many of the larger entities such as those of Pemco, Sentinel, Cyprexx, Safeguard, Chronos Solutions (previously known as Matt Martin Real Estate Management), and a great number of similar companies, were direct, first hand components of HUD (“The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development”).

These larger companies hired smaller debris removal, cleaning and trash out services as subcontractors to handle duties such as lawn maintenance, property securing (boarding doors/windows), property inspecting, trash/debris removal, winterization and de-winterization jobs, repairs, lock changes, home maintenance, painting, carpet removal, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, tree removal and many similar property upkeep and maintenance duties.

Services were often performed on vacant houses, many of which mortgagees had walked away from after getting foreclosure letters from their mortgage companies.

Multiple Subbing Opportunities, Jobs and Contracts for REO Service Vendors

Contracts and work order requests were received in numbers, and many small companies had to rush to hire subcontractors to assist with the overflow.

As a result, these smaller contractors made a ton of money in the property preservation and foreclosure cleaning industry at the height of the mortgage crisis.

A Changing Property Preservation Industry

However, fast-forward five to seven years, and its evident the industry has changed, exponentially.

The New Trashout Business, Foreclosure Cleaning Services and REO Property Preservation Model

In recent years, foreclosure cleanup and trash-out services have not only begun to target new key customers and client bases, but they have also added a number of new very profitable mortgage and field services and inked new necessary policies and procedures that work specifically for their own services and businesses — regardless of who their companies may be aligned with or who they may be servicing as vendors and subcontractors and working for, whether it be on a local, national or regional level.…

Lease Incentives in Commercial Property

In leasing today and particularly commercially and retail real estate, it is common to come across the word 'amortization'. In brief, the word explains the concept of recovery of landlord costs over the duration of the lease.

In this property market we need to attract tenants to the property and encourage a decision of taking out a new lease. In the case of new tenant occupancy, the landlord may choose to provide some incentive which could be by way of rent-free, a new fit out, or reduced rental. This is common when the market is in a downturn or slip and an oversupply of vacant space exists. In today's market this is the case and will remain so for some time. The creative provision of incentives is part of the leasing process.

Get the incentive money back!

When such activity is provided by the landlord, it is common practice to recover the costs of that incentive back to the landlord plus interest on the funds provided, and such recovery is to be structured over the duration of the lease. Amortisation is the process that achieves this.

This then suggests that any incentive, rental rebate, or rent-free period is not actually free. That is certainly the case, and an experienced real estate agent or broker will support the process and the economies of the lease deal to ensure that the landlords funded incentive is recovered in some way.

What do tenants want?

When the tenants ask for a new lease and some incentive as part of it, they do not expect to hear about the amortization process and the economics behind it. They do not want to hear that the good incentive that they are to get in the lease deal is to be paid back while they are in occupation. Let's just say that the concept is known between the agent and the landlord and the recovery of the incentive is structured (added) into the rent profile and the rent review processes during the lease.

The tenant in today's market thinks that the market is slow and in their favor, and on that basis the landlord has to do something that attracts them to the property. That is where the constructive becomes part of the negotiation. An incentive can be anything of value to the tenant, but is normally one of the following:

  • Rent free period
  • Rent reduction period
  • Cash paid to the tenant
  • Fit out provided to the tenant

Whatever the incentive used, it is up to the real estate agent to structure the rent and incentive process in favor of the landlord as part of negotiating the deal. At the end of the day, a tenant only wants to know about the concessions and the total rental which is to be outlined in the lease.

It is the job of the real estate agent to ensure that the effective is structured so that the landl achieves the recovery of the outlay in incentive. The tenant does not always …

What is a Short Sale and How Does it Connect to the Foreclosure Process?

The term short sale has been brought up more and more in the real estate world as the property market has corrected to a more sustainable growth level. Depreciation of home values ​​over the last few years has led to homes that are worth less than the mortgages that were used to finance the purchase. This situation coupled with a nationwide recession that has created the need for people to sell their homes permanently being "underwater" has led to the recent popularity of short sales.

What Is an Underwater Loan?

A home loan or mortgage that is higher than the actual value of the home is said to be underwater. Over the last few years this situation has become a common occurrence as homeowners who bought at the peak of housing prices with little or no money down have seen their property values ​​decrease, sometimes dramatically. They began with a $ 300,000 loan on a home that appraised around that value, and now their mortgage amount is around the same, but that same house appraises for less than $ 250,000.

With the rise in unemployment, many homeowners who have found themselves in this difficult situation have been forced to sell their home because they can no longer afford the mortgage. The problem that occurs is that even if the homeowner sold their home for $ 250,000, they would still owe the bank the additional $ 50,000, which holds up the sales process. This hurts everyone involved because the original owners can not pay the mortgage, so they default on the loan. The new buyers who are excited about the home are not allowed to buy it at the new market price. Finally, the bank that holds the mortgage will not let the original owner sell, does not receive a payment each month for the mortgage, and must now go through an expensive and time consuming foreclosure process to get possession of a home they will only be able to sell for less anyways.

Buying and Selling a Home with a Short Sale

This is where short sale comes into play. In a short sale the original homeowner who is underwater will get an agreement from the bank to complete a short sale and put their home on the market at the current local price. When a buyer decides to purchase the home, the bank agreements to let the sale take place and take a loss on the original mortgage. Ultimately, this type of legal settlement allows the homeowner and bank to avoid a costly and credit damaging foreclosure process. The owner will still take a hit on their credit score and the bank will lose some money on the transaction, but the overall solution is much better than foreclosing on the home.

Foreclosures and Short Sales

Short sales are becoming more common with our current correction in home prices and high unemployment, but many bands still make the process very difficult for the owners because they do not want to …

The Top 5 Key Benefits of Purchasing and Owning Investment Real Estate

So… You may ask yourself, why should you buy or invest in real estate in the First Place? Because it’s the IDEAL investment! Let’s take a moment to address the reasons why people should have investment real estate in the first place. The easiest answer is a well-known acronym that addresses the key benefits for all investment real estate. Put simply, Investment Real Estate is an IDEAL investment. The IDEAL stands for:

• I – Income

• D – Depreciation

• E – Expenses

• A – Appreciation

• L – Leverage

Real estate is the IDEAL investment compared to all others. I’ll explain each benefit in depth.

The “I” in IDEAL stands for Income. (a.k.a. positive cash flow) Does it even generate income? Your investment property should be generating income from rents received each month. Of course, there will be months where you may experience a vacancy, but for the most part your investment will be producing an income. Be careful because many times beginning investors exaggerate their assumptions and don’t take into account all potential costs. The investor should know going into the purchase that the property will COST money each month (otherwise known as negative cash flow). This scenario, although not ideal, may be OK, only in specific instances that we will discuss later. It boils down to the risk tolerance and ability for the owner to fund and pay for a negative producing asset. In the boom years of real estate, prices were sky high and the rents didn’t increase proportionately with many residential real estate investment properties. Many naïve investors purchased properties with the assumption that the appreciation in prices would more than compensate for the fact that the high balance mortgage would be a significant negative impact on the funds each month. Be aware of this and do your best to forecast a positive cash flow scenario, so that you can actually realize the INCOME part of the IDEAL equation.

Often times, it may require a higher down payment (therefore lesser amount being mortgaged) so that your cash flow is acceptable each month. Ideally, you eventually pay off the mortgage so there is no question that cash flow will be coming in each month, and substantially so. This ought to be a vital component to one’s retirement plan. Do this a few times and you won’t have to worry about money later on down the road, which is the main goal as well as the reward for taking the risk in purchasing investment property in the first place.

The “D” in IDEAL Stands for Depreciation. With investment real estate, you are able to utilize its depreciation for your own tax benefit. What is depreciation anyway? It’s a non-cost accounting method to take into account the overall financial burden incurred through real estate investment. Look at this another way, when you buy a brand new car, the minute you drive off the lot, that car has depreciated in value. When it comes to your investment …

Inner City Property Investments – 5 Wealth Building Strategies

Interested in emerging market investments? Well you don’t need not look overseas, there may be plenty opportunities nearby.

Inner city landlords are able to create wealth by organizing neighborhoods. They create value by helping people reconnect to their communities and their work results in nicer communities and increased property values.

Before you’re in position to benefit from this property investment strategy, you will need to buy a piece of inner city real estate in the right location.

Here are 5 keys to ensure your success:

1. Find property investments near the edge of the inner city. Strong opportunities exist along the fringe of the “good” and “bad” parts of town. The goal of an inner city property investment is to profit from improving the “bad” edge of town. Buy near the fringe and work to connect your property to the “good” part of town.

2. Work with a local neighborhood watch groups. Future profits are directly tied to the effectiveness of grassroots advocacy groups. An emerging market landlord needs these groups to provide passion, credibility, emotional support, media connections, political influence, and more. They provide the leverage you’ll need to resolve issues that hurt the area’s repetition. Work to strengthen these groups, but not concoct one from scratch. Starting from scratch requires a tremendous amount of credibility that you may not have with the neighbors.

3. Buy property investments near a transit hub. One strategy is to create housing that appeals to echo-boomers. This group is interested in sustainability and mass transit options. Moreover, as the cost of oil increases, so will the demand for transit-supported communities. Buy close to a transit hub and capture the emerging demand for this feature.

4. Buy property investments large enough to make your efforts worthwhile. Use best practices, honed from over 40 years of neighborhood watch case studies and other community organization tactics, to transform the largest blighted property you can afford. Find the big problem and reap a big profit when it’s restored.

5. Buy property investments within the sphere of influence of redevelopment projects. Your local redevelopment agency will be able to tell you what private or public efforts are in the pipeline. You’ll want to consider properties near these sites to capture the excitement and economic energy associated with them. The promise of a better tomorrow is a very effective negotiating point to share while trying to lease your property.

Helping a community get back on its feet is rewarding and collecting the equity from restoring the area’s reputation is a well deserved prize. Is this wealth building strategy for you?

I love the business adage instructing investors to study the “apple tree” and place their baskets where “apples” will fall. It suggests that careful, strategic planning leads to profits, and I’ve personally found this to be the case. Use these tips to find ideal inner city property investments and, with some community development work, you will soon have a basket full of equity.…

You Can Negotiate With the Bank For a "Better Cash For Keys Deal" After Foreclosure

As a last resort before beginning eviction proceedings, banks will often offer homeowners or leftovers renters a cash for keys deal. Most of the time, though, these offers will be in the best interests of the bank, but will not help out the people living in the property very much.

Many banks will hire a real estate or property management agency to make the cash for keys offer. For example, t may be as little as $ 500 and two weeks to move out and turn over the home. Honestly, though, this is very little to a family who has just undergone a financial hardship.

Banks make these offers to persuade owners or tenants to leave a house without causing any damage. They reason that it costs less to pay people to move than to go through eviction proceedings in court and end up with a possibly severely damaged property.

So what is a homeowner or tenant to do if the cash for keys offer is ridiculously low? They should call the agency back and ask for more money and more time. Cash for keys deals are 100% negotiable, up to a certain reasonable point. Those who have been offered such a deal should keep in mind a few things about the situation.

First, if they destroy the property on their way out, because they are frustrated about the eviction, it will cost the bank a lot more to fix up the damage. Keeping previous owners and renters happy and the property in good condition is worth a bit of money to a mortgage company who has to sell that house later on the open market.

Second, if $ 500 is not enough for a family, they need to determine how much really will help them. $ 750? $ 1,000? In any case, they probably should not expect to get much more than $ 2,000, if that. But $ 1,000 may pay for most moving expenses and help with a deposit on a new apartment. If they need more money, the people living in the property after foreclosure should ask for it and explain the situation to the agency.

Third, homeowners can probably get 21-30 days to move out, if they ask for it. Two weeks is a small amount of time, and probably not enough to get everything out and keep the property in great condition (hint, hint). But if the borrowers or tenants need more time than was originally offered, they can certainly ask for it and can probably get it easily.

Anyone who has been extended an offer should keep in mind that a cash for keys deal is negotiable with the agency that offered the money and the lender that owns the property now that it has been foreclosed. All of this is allowed (including extremely low offers), but negotiating for a better transaction is also allowed.

The tenants should come up with what they want and need to move out peacefully, keeping the house in …

Repairing a Sinkhole Damaged Home? Beware of the Money Pit

If you buy, sell or own real estate in Florida or have been a resident in Florida for any length of time, you are probably well aware that Florida is more prone to sinkholes than hurricanes or tropical storm damage combined. It’s impossible to determine the amount of monetary damage caused annually by Florida sinkholes. One sinkhole damaged home costs on average between $100,000 to over $150,000 so we could do the math, however, we just don’t know how many homes or businesses are actually affected.

Although there is a database maintained by The Florida Geological Survey of the number of reported sinkholes in Florida-no one really knows the true number of sinkhole homes or occurrences of sinkholes in Florida and the only data that is collected are data based on the number of observed Florida sinkholes. The Florida Geological Survey (FGS) has gathered data on Florida Karsts (sinkholes) since 1907 in an attempt to understand the relationship between karsts and the state’s groundwater resources and aquifer systems.

However fascinating to geologists -sinkhole formation in Florida and its relationship to “karsts” and the “aquifer” is the last thing the owner of sinkhole damaged home cares about. If you suspect your home has been damaged by a sinkhole than what you need is “HELP.” If you have seen or experienced any one of these 9 common signs of sinkhole activity, than you should promptly educate yourself on what to do and maybe most importantly, what not to do next.

1.) You have depressions or an opening in the ground.

2.) Cracks running in the interior floors, walls or ceiling.

3.)The windows and doors do not open and close properly.

4.) There is a slope in the floor of the house.

5.) Stair step cracks on the outside walls of the house.

6.) Cracking or buckling of the concrete slab floors.

7.) The well water has dirt or debris in it.

8.) Feeling the house shift under your feet.

9.) The house next door to your home is a Florida sinkhole home.

There could be other signs of sinkhole damage to your home such as plumbing and other various problems, and it is best to seek the advice of an expert sinkhole engineer in order to determine what steps to take. Are You Prepared for a Sinkhole Damaged Home?

Owning a sinkhole damaged home can be costly and even once repaired; owning a home that has been affected by a Florida sinkhole can be a continuous nightmare. Most homeowners believe that once a sinkhole damaged home is repaired, it is no longer a financial or otherwise dangerous risk. This is not the case. Owners of unrepaired sinkhole damaged homes can spend in excess of $150,000 repairing a home only to have the sinkhole and the damage reappear over and over again. Often, selling your home to an investor who will buy your sinkhole home “unrepaired” is the wisest choice. As difficult as it may be to part with the damaged home, it …

Help! I Have To Evict My Nephew!

The eviction of a friend or relative is not easy to do. It has to be one of the most difficult lawsuits, if not the most emotionally draining, of all types of evictions. You may be one of the lucky ones who can rent to a friend or relative with no side effects. Still one day, there may come a time when you have to look your friend or family member in the eyes, and ask him or her to leave your apartment.

In the eviction of a relative stranger, even a long-term tenant, the process isn’t personal, just business. The tenant can’t pay the rent, so he has to leave. It’s the end of an association with more or less minimal emotional ties between the tenant and the landlord.

Evicting a friend or relative is one in which sides may be chosen, and lines drawn in the sand. Once the eviction notice has been delivered, do not expect many friends or allies to come to your aid. Depending upon the circumstances of the eviction, you can expect to have your life made miserable by anyone impacted by your decision.

This is because the expectations of a friend or relation are much higher than that of a stranger. If there is a tenancy problem, the expectation is that you will treat the tenant more as a friend or relative than as a financial investment problem. You will be asked to accept less than you normally would for rent arrears, to wait longer for your rent, and to accept behaviors that you would not normally tolerate.

For example, let’s say you need to raise the rent. A rent increase could be perceived as a betrayal of your friendship. Your aunt could think you are taking advantage of her. It doesn’t make sense, but when money is concerned, all bets are off. As far as a friend or relative is concerned, you are in his or her pocket. A belief that you are soaking your tenant for more money that you ‘don’t really need’ could cause your family member to not pay the increase.

Be clear and resolved about why the eviction must take place. Have all of your written documentation in place. Check all of your paperwork, rent cards, letters of warning etc. before you send your notice to quit. Make sure you have a leg to stand on before starting the eviction case. Conduct a due diligence of your property and the legal case.

Hard feelings will sometimes come with the rental and eviction territory. Do not expect to be able to discuss the case calmly with the offended tenant. Do not expect a cool head to prevail over your eviction action. If you evict your nephew, expect your sister or brother to be totally ticked off at you. Your friend may think you are a jerk for evicting her because she parties loudly every weekend, disturbing your other tenants. Your aunt may not come to your aid when your …

How to Buy and Sell Domain Names for Big Cash Profits

Before I go into the details on how to buy and sell domain names for big cash profits, let me first discuss the steps you have to take in order to own a valuable web property that is worth selling. As you may already know, a domain name is a virtual real estate that is worth thousands or millions of dollars if it has high commercial benefit to a potential buyer.

While it is true that an empty domain can be sold for thousands of dollars, there is little you can do to sell it profitably if it is not a one-word or two-word domain name. To this end, it is very important as a domain flipper or entrepreneur to learn how to make your web property valuable so as to attract the kind of money you are hoping to earn from a willing and able buyer.

So, you have to understand the specific characteristics of a domain name that potential buyers will be scrambling to possess at all cost. These characteristics or elements of a valuable domain are what you should consider before buying or hand registering a domain name in the first place.

Characteristics of a Good Domain Name

1. It Must Have Commercial Value

Majority of websites that are built on the internet are for commercial purposes. It follows, therefore, that your domain name should have commercial intention if you want to make money online from it. In other words, it should be short, brand-able, generic, marketable and easy to remember.

One-word, two-word and generic domain names will fall into this category easily because they are highly sought-after in the secondary domain market. A name that clearly depicts a specific market, product, service or subject will be commercially valuable in this regard.

2. It Should Have a High PageRank and Backlinks

For you to be able to sell a domain name quickly, it must have unique selling point (USP) going for it. This could be the age of the domain name, high PageRank or lots of relevant back links. Having these characteristics will definitely pass some authority and credibility to the website that the new owner of the domain will build on it.

If you ask me how to buy and sell domain names for big cash profits, I will simply tell you to build a website or blog on a domain, optimize and monetize it with shareable and quality content. You can then build back links to it in order to create authority.

How to Sell a Domain Name

To sell your domain name successfully, you must be ready and willing to market it on the internet. The old saying that if a man knows how to build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to his doorstep is no longer tenable.

As a smart domain flipper, you have to explore various marketing media to find the right buyer for your web property. Immediately you buy or register a domain name, you should start …