Realtor Pre-Licensing School

Posted On 10:30 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

I found a pre-licensing school that holds classes on tuesday and thursdays from 6 to 9:45pm. It runs from July to the end of September. I'm going to sign up for that course, it will cost me $345 which isn't to bad. It is a weichert sponsered training, and if anyone is interested here is the link..

www.schoolsofrealestate.com

I just missed the start of the course going on right now by 2 weeks, which sucks but that's what i get for putting this off.

Not many people voting for Best Rei Info Blog yet...come on and support ReiTips.com or any other info blog you enjoy. Takes only a few seconds.


I also go an email from a hard money lender in response to my ad looking for Short Sale Investors. He wants me to call him, but I'm not sure what I'd say. haha, I hate that feeling!!
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Blogger Award: Best Info Blog

Posted On 6:01 PM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I've setup the voting for the first round of Rei Blogger Awards. You can vote here...

Rei Blogger Award: Best Info Blog

Voting will last until May 3rd. Reward your favorite blog!

This award will go to the best blog that provides Tips, Articles, Resource, tools and anything else an investor would need to know to be a successful investor. To give you an idea, ReiTips.com I call an Info Blog as it's not a journal like my blog is.

If you know of another deserving Info Blog, please leave a post in the message boards on the site and I will ad it.


Today I asked my appraiser friend if I could bum his MLS access off of him, but he declined. He said that he is on it all the time and if someone else tries to log in using his account it would bump him off. No hard feelings :) I'll keep asking anyone I know.

The original realtor that I asked about making offers sent me an email the other day wondering if I've found anyone that will take a copy of a check which will be deposited on the acceptance of an offer. For some reason I took that as a dig, like he didn't beleive I could find someone...I say Ha! I will find someone.

On the Mialer front, I've continued to mail out my mailers religiously on sundays. I'm sending out about 75 each sunday to absentee owners and pre-foreclosures. I know that's not alot but I'm concentrating on a small area. Remember "Hanover Scott"

For all you web developers out there I've come across an incredible tool called Firebug that shows you the CSS on any webpage. It's great to see which Style is overriding another. I've used it extensively to understand the order of CSS's in joomla.

Asta Luego
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Goals for 4/27 to 5/3

Posted On 6:52 PM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Review of last weeks goals

  1. Get a copy of Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates - DONE
  2. Find out when the next Auction is and make plans to attend - DONE
  3. Call 2 For Rent signs that are in front of houses - Failed
  4. Find a Realtor who will allow me to make offers with not putting down 1000 earnest money per offer. Allow copy of check and "money deposited on acceptance of offer" - DONE
  5. Finalize Format and content on REI-Links.com - DONE

#2 I found the auction but can't make it to one because they are on Thursday at 2pm and I'm at work. I will have to take a half day off from work to make it. I will do that after I've accumulated a few more vacation days.

#3 I planned to do this over this past weekend, but I didn't realize how much time my Nieces' Christenings where going to take of my time. So I never got around to getting the numbers of of the for rent sign. Not a good excuse as it would have taken me 5 minutes to drive by the houses. This is a BIG FAIL and a goal I will accomplish this week.

This Weeks Goals

  1. Get the numbers for 2 For Rent Signs
  2. Call 2 Landlords
  3. Finish Reading 4 hour work week
  4. Get all the information for getting my Realtor License
  5. Ask 1 Realtor if I could use their MLS access to do some research

On to another week!
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Done, Done, Not done, not done, almost done

Posted On 10:27 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

I've managed to get two of my goals done as of this post. I discussed the sheriff sale auctions in a previous post and yesterday I got a hold of the Daily record to hunt down the legal section. I found the section but didn't not find anything about probates or executors being appointed. Does anyone have a copy of one of the legal listings for this? I'd like to just see what it looks and sounds like. Is the best day for these sunday?

I have been working on my website a lot this week in order to get it done. While in the shower the other morning I came up with an idea to hold a REI Bloggy Awards. I'm going to set up voting on rei-links for different categories like "Best Wholesaler Blog" (we know who will win this, but it should be fun anyway). I'll open the voting next sunday. And the winner of each category will get a cool little trophy to stick on their blogs. What do you think? I think it's a good way to bring alot of people closer and get us all reading each other's blogs. The more people you know in the business the better!

I've asked a few more realtors about the Earnest Money deposit and they have come back with the same story. Although one said that at least I can write a check for each offer, but it won't get cashed until the offer is accepted. Only stipulation is that the check would have to be dated the same day as the date on the offer. I think this could work out. If I make multiple offers on the same day I only have to write one check.

My next push is to get MLS access. I need to build some relationships!

Enjoy the beautiful weekend...gonna be 80 on sunday here in Jersey!!
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My 5 Affirmations - thanks jerry

Posted On 6:20 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Was reading Jerry's blog and he talked about affirmations. Now i typically find those things a bit out there (no offense to anyone), but I'm about trying different things these days so here are my 5....
  • Practice, patience and persistence assure my success.
  • I know that my greatest goals are achievable. I know that my every dream is reachable
  • My life is a positive reflection of my thoughts
  • I choose goals that reflect what I want most in my life
  • I let go and trust
...So it is.

If you want to see where I got those from go over to Jerry's blog and find the link to the page.


I looked into the Sheriff Sales for my county and they are every thursday at 2pm...of course they are when I'm at work!?!?!?! They do list the properties online at...

Morris County Sheriff Sales


I cool thing happened today from my craigslist ads, I got a response from a fellow member of Flippinghomes.com forum. I recognized her name, Terry Harrigan, and she said "Yup" it was her. So I thought that was pretty cool. She responded to my ad about finding short sale investors who'd like the upside down leads that I get. She was looking for the same so I referred her to NJQuicksell.

Have a good rest of the week.
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100!!!

Posted On 10:37 AM by Scott Costello | 6 comments

Always feels good to accomplish one of your goals, but it feels even better when you've reached a long term goal. It's taken me roughly 8 months but I finally reached my goal of going to see 100 open houses.


More like 250 days...hahaha


My next goal will be to talk to 50 sellers. My count is currently at 3, so i'm gonna have to kick my mailings up a notch.

I bought a list of absentee owners from ListSource.Com for $50, which was about 350 names. I broke that down to 50 names per list and setup my mailings in Click2Mail so I know when to send each block out. Sent out the first 50 yesterday with a new very simple Post Card i setup. Pretty much is a yellow postcard that says.

Scotty Buys Houses

Do you Need to Sell your House?
Doesn't matter the reason call me today

Scott Costello
973-476-0684


I'm going to stick with my montra of keep it simple.


Follow ups....

I didn't have any luck with the recent lead I came upon. They guy never picked up the phone so I just passed all his information on to NJquickSell.com as their wasn't enough room to wholesale the house anyway, it would most likely have to be a shortsale if anything.

As for my trying to line up the buyer with the seller, I haven't heard anything new about it since I directed my buyer to talk with the seller to discuss getting payed. I'll follow up next week.

That is it, well there is probably more but I can't remember at the moment :)
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Goals - 4/20 to 4/27

Posted On 7:21 PM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Review of last weeks goals

  • Ask my Realtor what I need to make an offer on a house (proof of funds,etc..) - DONE
  • Email some of the wholesalers I know and see if they are selling any properties - DONE
  • Get a copy of the Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates - FAILED
  • Buy the list of out of state owners for Hanover - DONE
  • Add 10 more Links to Rei-Links.com - DONE
  • Get Pre Paid cell phone - Looked into this but decided to wait for Google Voice to become available.

Goals for this week

  1. Get a copy of Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates
  2. Find out when the next Auction is and make plans to attend
  3. Call 2 For Rent signs that are in front of houses
  4. Find a Realtor who will allow me to make offers with not putting down 1000 earnest money per offer. Allow copy of check and "money deposited on acceptance of offer"
  5. Finalize Format and content on REI-Links.com
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Feeling Dumb

Posted On 10:41 AM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

One of the biggest obstacles I'm finding out now that I'm starting to be involved in the deals is feeling dumb. Nobody likes to feel dumb or feel like they don't have the answers. As a beginner I run into a lot of questions from other investors or even sellers that I can't answer.

The good thing is that I'm of the mind set now that I don't care about that, I know I'm new and have a lot to learn. That uncomfortable feeling though is a hard one to over come and has caused me to not do something in the past. All about stepping outside the box!

Ok, back to the fun stuff...

I was trying hard to stay in the middle of my buyer (lets call him Frank) and the seller of the house in whippany. When it came down to how Frank was going to get paid, I honestly didn't know. I could give him half of what I might get, but Frank was talking about tacking on $10k to the deal and selling it that way to his buyer. That is fine and all, but I told him we would have to assign the contract over to him first and then he could assign it to his end buyer.

I think that is how it would work?

He was throwing some other ideas at me that I didn't understand to well (definitely not enough to try and explain it here, we might have just been he was using terms I wasn't familiar with). At this point I told him he'd have to call my partner to handle how he was going to get paid.

Right there I might have just taken myself out of a paycheck and introduced a possible buyer to a seller and might get end a rounded with the next deal that comes up. But hey I'm trying to learn from all of this, soooo......


Lead

I tried calling that lead back yesterday to find out a few things I forgot to ask him like...

  • Why he hasn't used a realtor yet?
  • If he had a second mortgage
  • If he was behind in payments (I figure he's behind because of the Lis Penden filed against him, but I could be wrong)
...he didn't answer though even though he was expecting a call from me that evening. Oh well, I'll try again.


I will say all of this is kind of fun and exciting!!

I also bought a list of absentee owners from Listsource today. $53
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Follow up

Posted On 11:58 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

The Call

This guy called 3 times with in a 24 hour period. The first two calls I missed while I was at work on tuesday, but he called again wednesday around lunch so I picked up. I explained what I did and then asked if I could call him back later that night at 7:30. Bill Guerra says this establishes trust because you follow through and now he has confidense in what you say.

The details...

His house is has a ARV of over a million. 6 beds 4.5 baths. He recently lost his job and was on disability and couldn't cover his mortgage. It was built in 1998 and he owes around 1 million on it still. Looks like he refinanced in 2006 to take all the equity. He is definitely motivated but doesn't really have alot of equity, maybe 100k, but that's to tight for a house worth upwords or a million.

I passed it along to the guys at NJQuicksell. They will try a short sell and maybe help the guy with a loan modification.

Buyer for Seller
Jarred got another house in Whippany so I pushed the house onto my buyers list and one of the guys has a guy who is interested. The guy wants to finance though and Jarred is looking to assign the contract. Not sure how this is going to work out, but we'll see.



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action

Posted On 5:33 PM by Scott Costello | 1 comments

Just talked to a seller who called me from my mailings and in the process of lining up a buyer (actually a buyers buyer) with a seller.

Things are slowly happening, will expound (ooo big word!) on it tomorrow.
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Explained

Posted On 9:28 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

I said in last nights post that I would explain how a reached a few of my goals last week. So here it is..


Organizing my mailings

I decided to go back to click2mail as I figured out how to send letters. So I setup a letter template and I'm all set there. As to how I'm going to keep track of when I should mail out what, I came up with a modified bucket strategy. It has to do with the mailing list name.

Each week I upload the new list of leads. I will call this...

1 - LT - 2009 - 04 - 12

What this means is...

1: Mailing number 1
LT: going to mail a Letter
2009-04-12: date I should mail the item.

So after I sent out the Letters, the new list name would be..

2 - PC - 2009 - 04 - 26

2: second mailing
PC: Post Card
2009-04-26: Date I should mail the Post Card

I will continue this every week. And after the 7th Mailing the list will be deleted. Now I can look at the dates and see which items I have to send out and also see what I need to send. Simple!

Unfortunately now I have 1000 envelopes and nothing to put in them...well i'll just have to randomly right letters to people or send out my business cards to people in the area. I'll think of something to use them for.

Moving On

I've already contacted my realtor asking what I would need to submit an offer and he said...

I would need a signed contract, a deposit check of $1000 that will be held in Weicherts Trust Account until closing, and a pre approval notice or proof of funds if you are paying cash or taking a line of credit


I've since asked him if I could send a copy of a check and put into the contract that a check would be deposited upon acceptance of the offer. This way I wouldn't have to outlay thousands of dollars to escrow accounts on offers that probably won't be accepted. He is going to look into it.


This goal setting stuff works!
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Goals - Wk 4/13 to 4/19

Posted On 8:03 PM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

Last Weeks Goals


  • Get organizer that can hold Letter Mailers - Done
  • Setup Click2Mail to send out postcards to match my mailer schedule - Done
  • Get More Stamps - Done
  • Modify Mailer to include info about "Right of First Refusal" - Done
  • Investigate adding a referral P.S. in my letters and postcards for information about other houses needing to be sold. - Done
  • Add 20 Links to my REI-Links.com website - Done


I will elaborate on each item tomorrow.



This Weeks Goals

  • Ask my Realtor what I need to make an offer on a house (proof of funds,etc..)
  • Email some of the wholesalers I know and see if they are selling any properties
  • Get a copy of the Daily Record and hunt down the legal section to find probates
  • Buy the list of out of state owners for Hanover
  • Add 10 more Links to Rei-Links.com
  • Get Pre Paid cell phone
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Flying by!!

Posted On 8:09 AM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

Where does the week go? it's already Wednesday for crying out loud! Today is the day I review my weekly goals to see if I'm on track. So let's see how I'm doing.

1) Get Organizer that can hold Letter Mailers.

No - I'm going to take a look in Staples tomorrow to see about this.

2) Setup Click2Mail to send out postcards to match my mailer schedule that I outlined in a previous post

No - Did not do this yet

3) Get More Stamps

YES - But going to need more for the next batch. Man this is getting crazy. This might force me to go back to strictly postcards or another click2mail option.

4) Modify Mailer to include info about "Right of First Refusal"

No - This will be done tomorrow

5) Investigate adding a referral P.S. in my letters and postcards for information
about other houses needing to be sold.

No - This will be done tomorrow as well

6) Add 20 Links to my REI-Links.com website

Half Done - should finish this tomorrow as well.



Pre Paid Cell Phone
I've also decided to get a PrePaid cell phone to handle all my calls from the mailers. I keep missing calls or freezing because I don't want to answer the phone at work and have everyone in cube land hear me. God forbid my boss walks in on me while I'm talking business.

I've got a gift card for Best Buy that I will use to by the phone. I'll then record a professional and relevant voice mail message. Also since I know I'll only be getting calls from my marketing, I can call back the numbers that don't leave messages.


DU Refi Plus Mortgage Refinance

Not exactly investing related, but I just found out from talking to my neighbor (who is a broker) that Fannie Mae just instituted the DU Refi Plus which basically says, and I quote

Along with the federal government's Making Home Affordable program, Fannie Mae has introduced "Desktop Underwriter (DU) Refi Plus™", a new program designed to reignite the mortgage industry by streamlining the refinance process for potentially millions of Americans. Fannie Mae has loosened the rules for homeowners seeking lower monthly payments. The less-stringent criteria includes lower acceptable credit scores, reduced income documentation, as well as waiving the requirement for appraisals in certain scenarios. According to Brian Faith, Managing Director of Communications regarding DU Refi Plus™, "Under DU Refi Plus™, the company will be able to identify an existing Fannie Mae loan and review the performance history. This will allow lenders, regardless of the servicer, to enjoy expanded refinancing business opportunities and streamlined processing..."


Also for more information go here...

DuRefiPlus.com
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Target Hanover

Posted On 10:08 AM by Scott Costello | 3 comments

As you can see that I've decided to start posting my weekly goals on Sunday nights. These are things I'm going to do as well as my weekly scheduled stuff. They are going to be small items, that I can accomplish relatively easily.

I believe I'm really starting to understand goal setting and how to properly set them up so you succeed. Now lets see if I'm successful.

Goals I set for this past weekend


  • Review, analyze and Rework my goals some. - CHECK
  • Post ads on craigslist advertising a new house that Jarred is selling. - FAIL
  • Create a system to organize my mailings - CHECK
  • Look at open houses on sunday (only 10 more till 100) - CHECK
  • rework my post card a little - FAIL
  • mail out more letters - CHECK


I should have completed all of these things easily but I got caught up working on my webpage a little to much. Time flies when you are developing!!

Open Houses



Went out and looked at 5 more open houses this weekend, that brings me to 95! Only five more.

I've noticed that I've been getting a lot of "You look familiar" comments from the realtors at these open houses. I'll take that as a good sign, but they still don't know my name...I'll have to change that! What did occur to me was something I've heard from Bob Norton everytime I listen to his audios, "Become the export in your area, be know as Pontiac Bob." I want to be know as "Hanover Scott", I want to be the person who other investors come to when they want a house in Hanover.

From my craigslist ads advertising houses in whippany, I've gotten at least a dozen inquiries which tells me there are investors actively looking in my area. This is going to be my focus. Before I was concentrating on a few towns, but i've learned that it was still a little to large of an area for me right now.

Mailers

Instead of hand writing all the addresses on my mailer envelopes, I found a font that looked hand written and just used that and setup a mail merge to print the addresses on the envelopes. Did it in blue as well :)

That's it for today
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Goals for Week 4/6 to 4/12

Posted On 7:18 PM by Scott Costello | 2 comments

- Get organizer that can hold Letter Mailers
- Setup Click2Mail to send out postcards to match my mailer schedule that I outlined in a previous post
- Get More Stamps
- Modify Mailer to include info about "Right of First Refusal"
- Investigate adding a referral P.S. in my letters and postcards for information about other houses needing to be sold.
- Add 20 Links to my REI-Links.com website
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Weekend Plans

Posted On 10:58 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Nothing new over the past two days except for working on my REI Links webpage a little bit. If you have the time go check it out and give me some feedback. It's not nearly done and on only has 3 links so far, but the format is there and you can get a good idea of where i'm going with it.

Rei-Links.com

Weekend Plans

This weekend I'm going to do the following...


  • Review, analyze and Rework my goals some.
  • Post ads on craigslist advertising a new house that Jarred is selling
  • Create a system to organize my mailings (Read Neds comment a few posts down about the 7 bucket method).
  • Look at open houses on sunday (only 10 more till 100)
  • rework my post card a little
  • mail out more letters



I've been brain storming (pun intended cause it is POURING outside right now) lately trying to come up with ways to have passive income coming in and i'm not getting to many ideas. How are some of you getting passive income, outside of rental property? There might not be many ways, but I figured I throw that out there for discussion.
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Uuuuu Almost!

Posted On 5:40 AM by Scott Costello | 0 comments

Yesterday I had one of the people on my buyers list say he had someone who was "Really Interested" in a house I was shopping for another wholesaler I know. But wouldn't you know it, they just accepted an offer on the house. SO CLOSE! There's another house coming up in whippany that I'm going to pimp to my ever growing buyers list, maybe this time!

The craigslist ads that I've been posting to find buyers has been working pretty good. I just keep it simple and general.

70% of LTV houses in Whippany
Cash buyers prefered
Call or email for more details

I find if I get to wordy I don't get the responses. The best ad so far has been the one where I advertised the House in Whippany for Jarred. Most have been investors that have replied, but a few have been OOs.

I've gotten a total of 8 buyers on my list now. One says he is a cash buyer which is good. I don't know the quality of them, but I guess at this stage I'll get as many buyers as possible and weed out the GOOD ones later.


Got A Call!

Yesterday I got a call from my mailers...YES! Let me first say I really don't want to be taking the calls at work, cause I live in Cube Land and everyone can hear your phone conversations. Not a good idea to be talking about my real estate business at me J.O.B. Getting back to the caller....I haven't gotten a call in a while so I was off my game, he asked me "What kind of foreclosure service I was" and since I wasn't expecting that I said..."Oh I'm not a service, I buy houses, are you interested in selling?" He then mumbled an "Oh, Ok" and then thanked me and hung up.

Now what I should have said was that I offer a few services that could help him out. Then asked if I could call him back later that evening to talk about his options.

One of my weaknesses is I don't think very clearly when put on the spot, at least when I'm nervous. This will get better as I field more calls.

REI-Links.com

I've registered the domain name and have setup the framework for the website. I know what the content is going to be, but I've got to figure out how to categorize the links. Such as flippinghomes.com would be a "Education" and TampaStephs blog would be a "Blog". I will also have "Forums" and "Resources" categories. I'm going to have an "editor's Review and Rating" and also want to setup "User Reviews" as well as "Link Submissions". In the end it shouldn't really be to hard to get content, the hard part is going to be making it simple and usable. I'm thinking Web 2.0!


Have a good hump day
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