Thursday, September 28, 2006

Here's something I thought I'd never do

I stopped in on an open house last weekend. It was a 1950's house that needed complete updating -- everything was original. It would be a pretty big rehab job. I never even thought about rehabbing a house, but after watching so many seemingly incompetent people on 'Flip That House' on TLC make money, I've been wondering if it is something I should look at.

This person is very motivated (it is an estate sale) and I should be able to do the 70%*ARV-repairs price. I also talked to a General Contractor from the local investor REIA group, and I think it would work out where I could do this without putting in all of my own time.

Now - where to get the money...

Sent out Direct Mail

I sent out personal letters to about 25 choice (i.e. high equity, good location) property owners in default using RealtyTrac as my source. We'll see how long it takes to get any replies. I realize that this is a small number - but they are fairly well targeted and personalized.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Quote of the Week

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
- Frank Tibolt

Monday, September 11, 2006

Do You Have Enough Fire Insurance? Most Don't...

I found that the replacement cost insurance I had on my condo is way out of whack now that the market has had a big run-up in the past few years, and also because bulding materials have sky-rocketed recently.

How much should you really have, without overpaying? Get an accurate assessment of how much insurance your home or properties should have with AccuCoverage.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Open House Checklist

Here are the pre-showing items to check for your open house (or even prior to showing a prospective tenant):

- Vacuum all floors
- Wipedown countertops
- Clean all metal fixtures
- Dust
- Windex glass and mirrors
- Clean toilets
- Use shoe booties if necessary (keep by front door)
- Pick up trash on or near property
- Sweep exterior walks and driveway
- Water plants
- Check all lightbulbs

Also make sure there is a new air filter and that all appliances work.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Marketing Ideas

Here are some thoughts on marketing your properties by Frank McKinney from his "Maverick Real Estate" book:

* Brochures
- Create informative brochure with color photos
- Put in grocery stores, laundramats, and in rental communities
- Use in Direct Mail campaigns as well

* Signs
- Get custom signs (metal) made with phone and web info
- Put an info box with brochures on the sign.

* Web site
- Have many photos and if possible a virtual tour

* Newspaper Ads
- Make your ad standout; don't use the same old copy as everyone else

* Open Houses
- Attend open houses similar to yours to learn what sells
- Hold open houses every weekend if possible until the house sells
- Hold a Brokers-Only open house (usually a weekday)
- Make your hours earlier and/or later than others
- Use 'guiding signs' to get people to the open house
- Dress nicely
- Appeal to all 5 senses (sound, smell, sight, touch, taste)
- Sell buyers on the neighborhood

* Use a Realtor