2/24/13: Ask The Guys – Credit and Credibility

Another exciting episode of Ask The Guys!

Some of the most common questions we pull out of our email grab bag have to do with getting started in real estate with very little money.  Makes sense.  After all, how popular have all the “No Money Down” seminars been over the years?

So while we answer a variety of questions in this episode, as often happens, a theme emerges.  In this case, it’s credit and credibility.

In the studio for another hour of powerful pontifications:

  • Your incredibly credible host, Robert Helms
  • The no-credit co-host, Russell Gray

Whether you’re starting out or starting over, if you’re short on financial resources, it’s important to leverage your knowledge, relationships and potential.  Because to attract the money you need to get in the game, people need a reason to believe that you’re a good investment.

So lesson #1: People invest in people first and deals second.

Of course, after you’ve been investing for awhile, you’ll be faced with questions of “optimization”.  And just what is optimization you ask?  Glad you asked!

As the value of your property changes, so does your loan-to-value ratio.  That is, you have more or less equity.

Now that some of the bargain properties purchase in the depths of the recession are beginning to appreciate, some lucky investors find themselves in proud possession of positive equity.  Remember ypositive equity?  Ahh…those were the days – which are apparently coming back!

Anyway, optimization is about keeping your equity productive.  It’s too big a topic for a blog, which is why we devote quite a bit of time to this topic in our amazing book Equity Happens (humility is for pansies).

For now, suffice it to say that debt and equity aren’t idle items on your balance sheet, but important assets (yes, debt can be an asset) to be proactively managed.  So we talk a bit about debt and equity optimization in response to a couple of listeners questions.  Yes, sometimes we answer questions you didn’t know to ask.  What can we say?  It’s a gift.

And finally, what Q&A session would be complete without some discussion of due diligence?  So when listener Jill asks about this topic, which is especially important to long distance investors, we use the opportunity to wax on about this often overlooked topic.

All in all, this is yet another powerfully practical episode (in our once again not-so-humble opinion) of the Ask The Guys series.

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6/24/12: Ask The Guys – No Investor Left Behind

Interest in real estate investing is picking up based on the number of questions coming in from our listeners.

Of course, it probably helps that The Real Estate Guys radio show is the most downloaded podcast on iTunes and Apple is one of the most successful companies on earth.  It’s fun to be us.

So, sitting humbly behind the microphones in the palatial recording studios of The Real Estate Guys radio show’s international headquarters:

  • Your right up front host, Robert Helms
  • Your left behind co-host, Russell Gray

In this episode of Ask The Guys, we field a variety of excellent questions from all over…including Indiana, New York, Alberta (Canada), Washington DC , Montana, Facebook (wherever that is), and more!  Wow.  The Real Estate Guys are a global farce….er, force.

Included in today’s list of questions:

  • Is it a buyer’s or a seller’s market right now? (Hint: If you can use cheap long term financing to get a property in good condition that cash flows well, for a price that is well below replacement cost, in a market with solid economic and demographic fundamentals – buy it!  Right now, that’s possible.  Just sayin’…)
  • What do you do when you live in a market with lousy economics and you can’t get the numbers to make sense?  (That’s why they have moving trucks.)
  • What the heck is leverage?  (Besides the 9th wonder of the world and one of our favorite things?)
  • In Getting Deals Done, you say it’s important to find out what the other party wants.  But how, when your real estate agent is in between you and the other party?  (We took the question because we always show up when someone says there’s another party).
  • Once you’ve built up huge, massive, ginormous amounts of equity (critical mass), how do you convert it to cash flow to fund a lavish lifestyle without getting slammed with taxes?  (We brought Paris Hilton in to help answer this one…just kidding. But we’re not really experts on lavish lifestyles)
  • How to invest when I don’t have much money? (We get this one a lot.  Probably because there’s a lot of people who don’t have much money.  The good news is that you really don’t need much to invest in real estate.  That’s what partners, lenders and investors are for.)
  • What are the 7 essential investor resources you always talk about? (Cash, Cash Flow, Equity, Credit, Time, Talent and Relationships)
  • How can I learn how to analyze markets?  And how can I use my 401k to invest in real estate? (Hey, only one questions per player.  Not really.  These are both great questions, so we answer them both.  Plus, he’s got $250,000 in his 401k, so he’s our new best friend.)

There’s more, but we’re getting writer’s cramp.

We even respond to one listener who didn’t like a political comment made by one of our guests.  Well, it is that season and… do you smell that?  Yes, politics is in the air.  And as long as politicians and their policies affect investors and our investing, we’re going to have to talk about what those rascals are doing.

Not sure why people get their undies so knotted up when it comes to politics.  After all, that’s just one of many things we can all disagree about.  Some people like to drink light beer and cheer for the Cleveland Browns.  Can you imagine?  Whatever.

Anyway, we had fun doing the show and love getting your questions. So keep ‘em coming!  Meanwhile, tune in and enjoy this exhilarating edition of Ask The Guys!

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The Real Estate Guys™ radio show provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

2/5/12: Ask The Guys – Super Bowl Edition

Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest media event of the year – even bigger than The Real Estate Guys™ radio show (hard to believe, we know).  For perspective, consider that the projected 110 million Super Bowl viewing audience is 5 times bigger than American Idol’s nearly 20 million person audience!

And what does that have to do with you and your real estate investing?  Well, pretty much nothing.  Because unless you’re somehow connected to the business of football or lucky enough to place a winning bet (how ’bout those Giants?), the Super Bowl doesn’t really have any positive impact on your financial life.

So, being the ever faithful hosts that we are, for those who are more interested in how to score points on their financial statements, we’re in the studio for another educational edition of Ask The Guys!

Sitting all alone behind the silver microphones in The Real Estate Guys™ studio:

  • The quarterback of the show, your host Robert Helms
  • Running back (and forth to fetch Robert’s coffee), your co-host Russell Gray

As always, our Ask The Guys playbook has more questions than we can get to in one episode.  But keep ’em coming!  We love reading them, and when we see things that come up over and over, we know it’s something we should take time to address.  To submit your question, use our Ask The Guys page.

When we reached into the Ask The Guys e-mail  grab bag for this episode, here’s what we pulled out:

  • How can a young person, saddled with student debt and just starting out, get their dream of real estate financial independence started?
  • What can you do with a credit score of 800 (besides brag about it to your friends)?
  • Are low down payment deals still out there?  Where and how to find them?
  • Help! I’m a brand new landlord and my tenant just went Chapter 13!  What can I expect?
  •  I’m under 30 and have saved up $100,000.  Now what?
  •  I just got out of college and noticed you can get a lot more money each month by renting out 1 room at a time.  What do you think?
  • How do I get cash out of a property in an LLC to pay off a property I bought with my 0% interest credit card?
  • MORE!

Sometimes we know the answers because, after all, we are brilliant (and humble!).  Sometimes we need to use our powerful positioning as big time radio talk show hosts to call up subject matter experts for help.  In any case, we LOVE answering your questions because we always learn something, and it reminds us that there really are people out there in radio-land (and now podcast-lands) listening to us week in and week out.

So THANKS for keeping us company during the Super Bowl and keep your questions coming!

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The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

9/27/09: The Real Estate Guys Answer Your Questions

Every day we get emails from our listeners.  Some like to tell us how awesome we are (oh, go on!), but most have questions.  We’re working on some new ways to be able to be more responsive.  So keep those emails coming!

For this week’s show, we decided to grab a few question out of the email in box and talk about them on the air.  Joining host Robert Helms in studio are his trusty sidekick, Russell Gray and “The Godfather of Real Estate” Bob Helms.

We kicked off the show  commenting on Ben Bernanke’s pronouncement that “technically speaking, the recession is over.”  Yippee! Right?!?

After having fun with that, we reached into the mail bag and pulled out a question about which U.S. markets are “best” for appreciation right now.  Our crystal ball wasn’t warmed up, so we chatted on this one awhile.  It’s a question that comes up all the time and though easy to ask, it’s hard to answer.  So we talked about the conditions we look for to cause appreciation, how today’s economic environment affect them, and some specific markets we’re watching.

Another question that is salient to the times was about the availability of financing in today’s market.  There are certain product segments and demographics that can’t find financing, while others have abundant financing available.  Obviously, when you know where the money is flowing and why, you can position yourself in its path and do well.  Having just been at the Rich Dad Real Estate Summit with Ken McElroy, Robert Kiyosaki and several veterans of investing and finance, we had some fresh insights to share.

The next question was also all too common in today’s economy.  “I have a property that is upside down with negative cash flow, what should I do?”  As Kenny Rogers sang, “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”  Lots of people are struggling with the issue of “strategic defaults” and its ramifications.  (Side note:  The Real Estate Guys wrote a free 18 page report What You MUST Know Before Attempting a Loan Workout to help people in this situation understand their options.

The discussion of  what to do with an upside down negative cash flow property had us reflecting on the previous discussion of where’s the appreciation most likely.  It also lead directly into another topic:  The Price of Maintaining You Good Credit.  Good credit has never been more important, but if you have lots of negative equity and negative cash flow, how much is it really costing you to maintain it?  This is a very timely topic and we tossed around our thoughts on the subject.

Listen Now:

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The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources that help real estate investors succeed.

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