2 years!

Posted On 11:25 AM by Scott Costello | 5 comments

This past weekend was dedicated to my wife as we were celebrating our 2 year anniversary! Yea us! I love my wife and hopefully she'll still love me while I'm trying to make our lives better. hehe


So with the above being said, All I did this past weekend was get more mailers ready to print out. I've got a big batch going out today (when I pick up stamps) on the way home. I've also thought of a plan for sending out mailers, here it is...

1st Mailer: Send out Letter
2nd Mailer: Send postcards (2 weeks later)
3rd Mailer: Send Postcards (1 Month later)
4th Mailer: Send Postcards (2 Months later)
5th Mailer: Send Letter & Business Card (3 Months later)
6th Mailer: Send Postcard (4 Months later)
7th Mailer: Send Postcard (6 Months Later)


I think the above sounds pretty good. Now I just need a good and easy way to track all of this. I could create some simple program to do it but I'm not sure I want to invest the time for that. Then again, a little time invested now will save me a lot of time later on. Does anyone have software that you can set this all up in and it will just spit out letters or postcard reminders with one click of a button?
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No Paper Cuts!

Posted On 5:42 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Let me tell you, I don't know how anyone can consistently mail out letters to 100's of people per week unless they have help or some fancy machine that stuffs for you. Because I wanted to have the envelopes hand addressed, I created, addressed, folded, stuffed, sealed and stamped 55 mailers last night. 55 doesn't sound like a lot but it gave me a good feel for how much time it really takes to do it.

I am happy to report though that I didn't get one paper cut! Those frig'n envelopes have sharp edges...There was one close call but with my refined reflexes and callused fingers I managed to avoid injury.

And of course I came up 7 stamps short though, so I'll only be mailing out 48. figures!

Rei-Links.com

I've been think of making a website that would just have Links to REI related websites and resources. It would be broken down by category and also have user reviews of the sites. I think that could be very handy. I was also throwing around an idea of having something like a LinkShare, where people can share their Favorite links with others. Just a few ideas that came to mind in the shower this morning. Comments?


Buyer News

One of the potential buyers I found for the house in Whippany wasn't interested but said to send him anymore leads I might get. The other buyer hasn't gotten back to me after I informed him it wasn't my deal. So maybe he went around me or is just not interested because he was going to find a buyer instead of buying it himself. This was a good experience, just going back and forth with these guys.
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Another buyer

Posted On 11:38 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments


Got another potential buyer looking at the house I'm shopping for Jarred the wholesaler. I wasn't sure I should mention up front that I'm not the person who got the house under contract, so I didn't. But the questioning quickly got to the point where I had to let him know I was shopping the deal for another person. He said he may have other buyers who may be interested in it...man where does the chain stop? How would one break down this situation....

Wholesaler -> Me -> "Buyer"(but not really) -> "Buyers" Buyer ->.....

It could go on like that forever. Someone has to be cut out of the deal, yes? What do I offer the person who found the guy who found the buyer when I was suppose to be bringing the wholesaler the buyer? That is one tangled web!!



Nate Andres Teleconference

Great call put on by Nate and Steve last night. It went on for 2 and 1/2 hours and was full of very useful information. He outlined the steps to sell to an owner occupant as well as gave tips on how to market and screen the OOs. If it comes out on an audio that can be bought, it'll be well worth it. I'm hoping I'll get a free copy of it cause I want to hear it again.


Non-Rei Note
I just spend my entire lunch break looking for a car wash near were I work. I was happy to see that my GPS had many car washes listed in the points-of-interest, but to my disgust the first 4 I zeroed in on DID NOT EXIST!! In fact the GPS lead me to houses in residential areas. I'll never get that hour back.
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3 weeks in a row

Posted On 10:21 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

I was running along good for a two months with getting my pre-foreclosure leads off the public records website until the last 3 weeks. The first Sunday I thought maybe it was a system problem. The second Sunday I figured it was some more maintenance going on with the site. Now for the third Sunday in a row the site was down so I'm going to change my schedule around and adapt.

Monday
9 to 10pm: Respond to Ads on Craigslist or Further my Network by contacting other investors,Realtors or anybody in the business

Tuesday:
9-10pm: Post Ads on Craigslist looking for buyers and sellers

Wednesday:
9-10pm: Organize my time, review my goals and see if i'm still on track

Thursday:
8-10pm: Download Pre-Foreclosure Leads from Public Notices and create mailer letters.

Friday: All About my Wife

Saturday: All About my Wife

Sunday:
1-4pm: View Open Houses
8-9pm: Write address on envelopes and mail out mailers.
10-11pm: Review My goals and set new goals for upcoming week.


I realized I needed wednesday to review my goals again because I was getting off track in the middle of the week. This should help keep me straight.


Buyers

I've got a total of 4 buyers on my buyers list right now. One of the guys on the list is going to look at a house that another wholesaler is trying to sell. maybe he likes the place and is willing to buy it and I get a little "buyers finder fee"? That would be nice.

Open Houses

Went to 5 more on Sunday so that brings my total up to 90! One of them actually had an indoor pool?!?! It wasn't a big house by any standards and definitely did not look like a house that should have an indoor pool. They just dropped that house by 150,000 bucks and it's an estate so I was thinking of offering something real low, but I wanted to do more research on the property first. With out the pool the house isn't any where near the asking price. The other thing I'm thinking about is that it's the Odd ball house on the block and that usually means stay away. What do you think?
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Accountability Partner Wanted

Posted On 11:15 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Man what a great 4 day weekend. Outside of the 12 hours of driving I logged (well my wife did at least half) I had a really good weekend. I'm sure I'll forget some stuff to tell you guys, so I'll post again tomorrow with anything I missed.

Steve Cook's Wealth Explosion

Let me first off say I was expecting a lot out of this boot camp. I've heard so many good things about them that how could I not? It was well worth it and I'd do it again and again. I could listen to Steve talk about Real Estate Investing and his Lifaniare vision all day long.

The first day was a run through of how Steve got started and all about what it takes to become an investor. Always worth hearing, even though i've heard it all before from reading his courses and reading his posts online.

The second day was the bomb! We through out situations and discussed them as a group and also came up with some really great ideas for securing a property...Think "First Right of refusal"...and also got a much better understandings about Fractionals (or quarter interests).

Accountability Partner Wanted

I'm looking for someone who wants to team up and become each other's Accountability Partners. I've gotten a few good ideas from the bootcamp and this is one of them. We could set up our daily goals on a site called WetPaint. This way we can hold each other accountable and push each other to achieve our end goals. Great Idea!

Wet Paint


People I Met
I just wanted to give a mention to all the great people I met at the bootcamp.

TampaSteph
Was very excited to meet her, she has been a big inspiration to me and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to chat with her a bit. She left a little early so I didn't get a chance to say so but....Steph, it was great to meet you and one day I'll be in the Flip Vips with you and the others.

Steve Cook
Meeting Steve was like meeting a rock star. But I'm sure he doesn't want to be known like that at all. He is very modest and truly just wants to help make life better for everyone. I can't say enough about him!

Shane
Man, you got a very creative mind. I could see you were thinking the entire time trying to come up with a better way to do anything. Coming up with the "Right of First Refusal" idea was simple yet brilliant. I will definitely be using that. Very nice guy too

Christina
Keep up the fight and there is no doubt you will be a huge success in wholesaling and investing. If you get a chance read her blog about her struggles, it's inspiring.

Christina Eastwood

Mike and his wife from Delaware
You guys are incredibly nice and it was a pleasure to meet both of you! I apologize I never caught Mike's wife's name but hopefully we'll run into each other again as we are only a ferry ride away.


Some other people I met who could not have been nicer...Glenn from Minnesota, Brian Brian, Andrea (thanks for the directions to the mall) and Bob.


As this post is getting really long, I'll save the rest of what I have to say tomorrow.
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Seriously...Envelopes Now?

Posted On 10:10 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Last week it was stamps, now this week I don't have enough envelopes to send my mailers. I'll be running out of ink or paper next week for sure! Sometimes I don't know where my head is at.

Oh here is a stupid question for anyone reading...Has it been your experience that the length of a pre-foreclosure letter makes a difference? I've got a 3-4 pager and then a simpler one pager (Thanks Jodi). I'm going to rotate using them and see which brings more calls.

I'm also finding I need to get more organized with my mailers and keep better track of when i should send repeat mailings. I've lost track already...ugh!

Another Buyer!!

Got another buyer on my list today from my craigslist postings. I'm going to try and match him up with a wholesaler I've met and see if he has any properties in my area.

Long Drive Tonight
Tonight is going to be my long drive down to Baltimore. Gonna drop my doggy off at a friends and then pick my wife up at work at around 10:30pm and then take off for a 4 hour drive.

If anyone is going, I'll see you there!

P.S. - I forgot to mention in my monday post that I'm up to 85 open houses. 15 more to go! I then have a new goal ready to go after that.
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4 hour work week

Posted On 12:10 PM by Scott Costello | 2 comments


I just wanted to say that I started reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris. Just from the first chapter I can tell he things a lot like me. I've heard this book was great and had actually bought it over the summer but never go around to reading it until now. What the heck was I waiting for??

here is the link to his sight...

4 Hour Work Week
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Down again!

Posted On 10:28 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments


Now it's two Sunday's in a row that the public records site has been down. That kind of puts a kink in my routine for sure! Both times it seems to pop back up on monday morning, but seriously I hope that doesn't become the norm!

The letters from last week went out on Friday (finally got stamps) so we will see how these work. I bet they will work better, how could you not read a hand addressed envelope?


Open Houses
Managed to see 6 more this weekend. A couple of times I was shocked when I saw the inside. the outsides looked terrible and the inside was updated, clean, organized. Kind of shocking that the owners didn't fix up the outside some.

One problem I have been having is that most of the realtor's give me that blank stair, or the Nod of Confussion, when I mention short sales or anything to do with investing. What should I tell them? Should I be more general and say "if you come by any Junker type houses give me a call?" I feel like I'm wasting my business cards with these people.

Monday Goals: Reply to Ads on Craigslist to find buyers and other sources for leads

I will be doing this tonight after basketball.


Wealth Explosion Event is THIS WEEK!

I'm very excited that this week is finally here. I've been looking forward to Steve Cook's Wealth Explosion since I signed up over a month ago. Meeting people like TampaSteph, JerryNJ and Steve Cook is going to be great!

My wife I and plan on driving down Wednesday night after she gets out of work at 11pm. Hopefully I won't be wiped out on Thursday.
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It's really only wednesday?

Posted On 11:55 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Man this week is taking forever! The only good thing is my wife is working 11am to 7pm instead of 3pm to 11pm, so I'll get to see here much more tonight and tomorrow.

I've gotten quite a few responses back from people I've emailed to off of craigslist. I think I've actually added 2 people to my buyers list. I know...I'm shocked too!! Time to start putting together a spreadsheet.

I've yet to send out my letters as I forgot one minor detail when I'm sending out my own mail....STAMPS! I'm gonna stop off on my way home and pick up a bunch.

I've also been getting back a heck of a lot of "Return to Sender" postcards. It's almost like 1/3 of them are being returned. This type of thing always makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. Anyhow I just send these off to the guys at NjQuickSell.com who can track down these leads. One came back as being vacant and it was in my town, so I'm going to go check it out this weekend.

Weekly Schedule Check
Yesterday I posted two ads on craigslist, one for buyers the other for sellers.

Sellers Ad
Are you having trouble selling your home for any of the following reasons...

- Owe more then you can sell it for?
- Needs a lot of work?
- Just don't want to deal with realtors?

You are not alone!

Contact me and I can help. No money needed, we will just talk.

Buyers Ad
Great Investor Property!

Located in very desirable Whippany. Lots of potential!

Great Schools, Low taxes and quiet street.

Send me an email for more information.



Lets see if I get any responses!
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....Post Continued

Posted On 10:53 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

Day lights savings screwed me up a bit looking at open houses. I knew that was going to happen too! One of the open houses was a wholesaler guy's I've met open house. He and his partner were having this one day open house blowout. Apparently they got an agreement with the owner that they would hold this blowout and get as many people in the house as they could and see if they could sell it. If they couldn't no big deal to them as they just had an option on the house. The owner had it listed before and just didn't want to go through that hassle again. Jarred, the wholesaler, is the organizer of the meetup group I attend and I'm going to birddog for him as well. Can't hurt to have more then one person to send possible leads to.

In all I went to 3 more open houses, so that brings my total up to 79.

Hmmm, what else did I do...

Oh yea, I didn't get a chance to send out my new letters on sunday because the public records website was down until this morning. I will send them out tonight or tomorrow, depending if I have enough ink in my printer.

I also found this very good mailer letter that I'm going to try and use this time. I will post it up tomorrow.

Have a good week!
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New Goals

Posted On 10:33 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Alright, like I said I was going to take some time on Saturday and develop some new goals. I found that I had the hardest time setting goals for 6 months and beyond. I mean I know I want to become a full service wholesaler and I want to be able to quit my job in 5 years and invest full time, but I don't know what kind of goals I should set for time frames like 3 months or 6 months. I decided to revisit my goals next weekend and see if things become more clear as I think about them all week.

My Goals (Draft #1)

6 Month

  • Bird dogged 5 deals
  • Systematized mailers
  • Hire someone to get leads (probate, divorces and Pre-foreclosures) from court house


Notes: these goals seem to be attainable in a max time frame of 6 months. The last one might not be possible but I'll attempt to get it done.

3 Month

  • Get Probate Leads from Court House on Fridays when summer hours start


Notes: I'd do this earlier but I must wait for my summer hours to kick in at work. I could hire someone to get these leads but that's not in my budget.


1 Month

  • Find and talk to 5 active wholesalers in my farm area
  • Find and contact 5 builders/rehabbers in my farm the area
  • Call 20 for rent signs and talk to the landlord
  • Send mailers to absentee owners



1 Week Schedule
Monday
-Email Craigslist ads who deal with Real Estate

Tuesday
-Post Ads on Craigslist for Short Sales
-Post Ads on Craigslist for Foreclosures
-Post Ads on Craigslist looking for buyers
-Post Ads on Craigslist for people who need to sell

Wednesday
-Work on Webpage (break this up into tasks if nothing to do)

Thursday
-Talk to at least one person who is in real estate (email, phone or in person)

Friday

Saturday

Sunday
-Go see Open Houses from 1 to 4
-Get Pre-Foreclosures from Public Records
-Update webpage with new Leads
-Send out mailers


I've got more to report, but i'll do it in another post as I think this one deserves a post to itself.
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What Goals?

Posted On 6:09 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

This goal stuff is tough! I was reviewing my goals for the last two months and I realized that I didn't really meet any of them. This is terrible and unacceptable! My goals are listed below with a brief explanation..

Goal #1: Locate Local Banks
Not even close, as far as I got with this is searching online for banks with only a few branches in my area or that had the name community in it.

Goal #2: Refer a Short Sale to NjQuickSell
I worked at this by handing out business cards to Realtors and advertising on craigslist (should have been more consistent with that), but got no interest as of yet.

Goal #3: Talk to 10 Sellers
Haven't had 10 people call me yet which is a problem in itself. Hopefully my letters to sellers this weekend will yield more calls so I can actually talk to a seller.

Goal #4: View 50 More Open Houses
I managed to see 26 houses, not good enough.

Goal #5: Create Buyer/Seller Sign up Forms
Not even started!


Reviewing the goals I set for January and February really opened my eyes as to how poorly I budget my time and how I do a lot of "talking" and only a little "action".

One thing I will do more of is reviewing my goals daily. TampaSteph has mentioned she started doing this recently and I have read about countless other successful people who do the same. So why haven't I been doing it already? don't know, but I will do it now.

Also I'm going to start breaking things down into weekly goals and also create a weekly schedule. The only things that I've consistently stuck with and done are those that I setup a time for.


  • I Go to open houses from 1-4 on Sundays.
  • I send out Mailers to pre-foreclosures on Sunday's at 8pm.
  • I read all unread posts on flippinghomes.com forum daily at work


all other things I do are random and unorganized. I will say that my goals have changed some, and have gotten more focused since I set these original goals. That is also a problem because I should have revisited the ones i set and modified them accordingly.

On to a new day

My goal for Saturday (my wife is working so I have the entire evening to myself) is to come up with my goals for the next 6 months, 1 month and create my weekly schedule that will help get me there. I'm then going to upload it into my google calender and have emails sent to my phone to remind me.

Sounds like a plan!
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Posted On 10:43 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Craigslist

I got a call from one of the investors I had found on craigslist this morning. Of course I missed the call, but he left a message. He said his name was Jarred and he sounded like the guy who runs the meetups we have which would be cool. I'll have to ask him when I call him back tonight. He wanted to talk to me about bird dogging for him.

Emailing the Investor ads seems to be a good way to network in the area. I've gotten two people to contact me out of the two emailings I've done. I will say I've got to try and keep track of who I emailed because I don't want to be sending the same request to the same person over and over again.

Mailers

I think for my next mailer I'm going to send out a letter. It won't take me to long to put together and I only have 25 or so pre-foreclosures each week. For the second mailings I might continue with the postcards or a follow up letter. I will let you know how it works out.

That's it for today.
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Better Response Rate

Posted On 6:47 AM by Scott Costello | 4 comments

I've been sending out postcards for about 3 months now. I would say I've sent out over 500 and my response rate has probably been .8%. They say if you are getting 3% that is good, so I'm 2.2% off of that mark. Here is my post card that I've been sending out...



...Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could improve the message? Also does anyone else have any examples of postcards that have proven to work for them?


Craigslist

I got one response from a wholesaler regarding the emails I sent out last week. He was interested in a birddog, so we are negotiating a fee and I'm trying to get his criteria.

Getting the criteria out of a wholesaler so far has been hard, as they never seem to have a "Set" model that they go after. They seem to take it on a deal by deal basis which makes it tougher for me to pin down exactly what they would like. So I end up sending them everything and anything I come by, which turns them off of me cause I send them junk. Shooting in the dark


Mailers

Sent out 56 postcards yesterday, about half of them were second mailings. I feel a call coming from this batch...and I will pick up!!


Open Houses

Went to 5 before the snow came on sunday. Saw one that I would LOVE to move into but a little to costly for me right now. 76 open houses and counting.


Goals

Over the next couple days I'm going to revisit the goals I set for January and February, see what I accomplished and also create some new goals. I will report back.
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