Podcast: Where We Are in the Cycle and What You Can Do About It

It’s been said that history may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes … and what goes up, must come down.

The persistent ups and downs of markets creates a certain anxiety when a boom starts to mature. Will the good times roll … or is the wind about to change?

Tune in as we take on where we are in the cycle … and what you can do about it.

More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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8/31/14: The One Skill that Solves Every Problem

If there were only ONE skill you could have…the one that would help you overcome nearly every problem and get everything you want or need out of life…what would it be? Sales skill is the key which unlocks opportunity in life

That’s the topic of this edition of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show!

In the studio, to contemplate this curious question…

  • Your skillful host, Robert Helms
  • His problematic co-host, Russell Gray
  • The Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms

Our good friend, mentor and uber-successful real estate investor, Ken McElroy, says, “Sales solves every problem”.

At the time, he was talking about revenue being the answer to every business problem.  After all, when you have revenue, you can pay for all the rest of the help you might need.

But it got us thinking.  His statement is far bigger and more universal than simply making money.

In fact, most people only work at making money so they can use the money to do something else they’d rather be doing.  That’s a little sad, though very common.  But that’s a topic for another day.

Meanwhile, consider how sales skills translates into non-business areas of your life.

If you’ve ever tried to win the heart of the special guy or gal, or convince a headstrong child to make better choices in life, or simply want to win the debate about where to go on vacation this year…you’ve been using sales skills.

And if things aren’t going your way more often than not, it’s most likely because your sales skills need some attention.

We talk to LOTS of real estate investors.  Everyone wants to know the magic formula for picking the a great market, doing the best deal analysis, what kind of financing to use, or what returns to offer a prospective investor.

Sometimes our answer is a little rote…and irritating.  Because we always say, “It depends.”

That’s because life is a customized game.  It’s all about choices.

Better stated, it’s about applying customized solutions to very personal problems.  There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer.

The core skill of master salesmanship is asking the right questionsAnd the key to finding the unique solution to a particular problem is to master the art of asking great questions.

That is the core skill of master salesmanship.  Learn to ask great questions.

Think about it.

As real estate investors, we’re constantly negotiating with buyers and sellers, vendors and lenders, tenants and neighbors, partners and investors…and the list goes on and on.

It’s non-stop negotiating.

But isn’t negotiating simply finding out what the other party wants and is willing to do, and matching it up against what you want and what you’re willing to do?

Once you find some common ground you focus on it and build out from there.

When you get good at this (which is salesmanship), you can attract every other resource you need into your life.

And while we love the idea of educating, delegating and motivating to do more through other people, isn’t sales the core skill you use to build and lead a team?Skills take chance out of the equation and help you produce consistent, predictable results

So just like exercising,  you really can’t hire someone to do it for you.  If you want to have more in your life and business, then make it a priority to develop and practice sales skills.

Because if there is a magic formula to success, sales skills are it!

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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.

6/30/13: How To Find Real Estate Investment Training That’s Right For You

As any insomniac can attest, there are lots of choices when it comes to real estate investment training.

Once the purview of late night TV infomercials, promises of real estate riches are now abundant on-line, in your email inbox, and even in your postal mailbox.

But how do you know which program is right for you?

In the studio to contemplate the considerations any aspiring real estate investor should cogitate on before committing to a real estate course, coach, curriculum or club:

  • The king of late night and your host, Robert Helms
  • Your still-using-training-wheels co-host, Russell Gray
  • The Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms

Okay, we’re the first to admit we’re suckers for any real estate seminar, book, video or training course.  After all, what’s the value of just ONE good idea?  We almost always find something useful in even the worst offerings.

Still, when it comes time to pick a program and commit your time and money, we think there are a few important things to consider.

First, what are YOU trying to accomplish?  Do you want to go full time fast?  Do you love your job, but want to build up a reliable stream of passive income?  Do you want to merge your investing and lifestyle, so you can travel and enjoy your properties when they’re not being rented to others?  Or maybe you don’t want go near a tenant and you’d rather be on the paper side?

Yes, there are lots of choices before you even think about a market, property type, price point or financial performance!

So, it’s easy to say, “I want to make a ton of money!” and take on whatever the next fast talking pitchman introduces you to.  Often the desire for money is rooted in the false notion that given enough money, you can live how you want to live.

While that may be true if the money comes in without you doing anything (including managing it), but unless you’re a trust fund baby, there will almost certainly be a lifestyle ramification on whatever type of vocation or investing you engage in.  Our point is that you want to think about how YOU want to spend your time, and then look for investment vehicles and strategies that will facilitate that best.

Once you figure YOU out, then you can go look around for a course, coach, curriculum or club to teach you how to build an investing lifestyle that suits you.

Another consideration is how YOU learn.  Are you a bookworm?  Can you sit and watch videos or presentations and absorb the information?  Are you a self-starter or do you need some accountability to stay on track?

Great content delivered in a format that doesn’t fit your learning style will be inefficient at best, and possibly ineffective.

What can you afford in terms of time and money?  As anyone who’s ever dated can attest, fast and easy can be tempting at first, but doesn’t necessarily make for the best long term situation.

Conversely, as many who are graduating with fancy degrees from expensive colleges can tell you, just because you spend a lot of time and money doesn’t mean you get an education that will make you a lot of money in the real world.

Maybe you need someone to show you.  You learn by watching, doing and asking questions in the middle of the action.  Many people learn best this way and this is often the most elusive and expensive of all training.

But don’t focus solely on price.  Focus on value.  And think of your investment in education the same as you would any other investment.  How long until you have a positive return on investment?  If you pay $10,000 for a course, and do a deal in 12 months that makes you $100,000,  is that worth it?  Sure! That program didn’t cost you money. It MADE you money.  Those who lost are the ones that passed it up.

Now, usually to turn those kind of profits quickly, you’ll need to be working for capital gains (flipping properties and/or notes) or syndicating a fund where your management fee and profit sharing (even on a cash flow portfolio) can earn you six-figures a year or more.  Long term cash flow investing can get you to the Holy Grail of more passive income coming in than you need to live on.  It just takes longer.

So what’s the difference between a teacher, a coach and a mentor?

A teacher is simply someone who imparts INFORMATION.  How to do something.  Technical details, strategies, etc.  You can get this information through books, recordings, webinars, seminars, etc.  It’ s often a one way delivery from their brain to yours.  A teacher provides HARD SKILLS.

A coach is someone who provides ENCOURAGEMENT and ACCOUNTABILITY.  You tell them what you want to do.  You talk through HOW to do it (your coach may also teach, or may support the work of another teacher), and then create an ACTION PLAN.  The coach will remind you of your goals and challenge you to keep progressing through regular touch points.  A coach provides DISCIPLINE.  He’ll keep you on track when you enthusiasm and focus dwindles.

A mentor is someone who MODELS for you.  You watch them.  You may work with them.  A mentor can help with both hard skills and SOFT SKILLS.  That is, they help YOU become better, so you produce better results.  Of course, a good mentor will also provide accountability, but mostly a mentor provides WISDOM based on their own experiences.  It’s very real life.

Which do you need?  It depends on you.

We often see people mistake teaching for coaching or mentoring.  While each has characteristics of the others, each has it’s own focus.

If you know what to do, but can’t seem to make yourself do it, then you probably need a coach or a mentor.  Maybe you’re easily distracted or lack confidence.  Coaches and mentors are great for pulling you through.

If you’re a self-starting, motivated and disciplined person in other areas of your life and want to apply those talents to real estate investing but just don’t know what to do, you might be fine with just a teacher (or two or three).  Ultimately, your professional advisors and service providers will be among your most important teachers.  So one of the most important things to learn early is how to work effectively with your advisors and service providers.

Joining a club can be a great way to find peer teachers and mentors.  And if you have a friendly group with some camaraderie, you might find all the accountability you need simply by sharing your plans with your club mates.  Friends won’t let friends slack off or stay down long.  And when your idea factory is running low, a brainstorming session with other investors can be invigorating!

If the club gets big enough, you can probably attract the attention of teachers, advisors and other subject matter experts to come and address the group.  Maybe there’s not a club that suits you in your area.  Don’t give up!  Why not start your own?  Visit our special reports section of our resource center and get a copy of 12 Questions To Ask When Starting Your Own Real Estate Club.

Again, there are lots of options when it comes to learning the game of real estate investing.  But don’t let picking the perfect program keep you thinking about things too long.  Better to pick the best one available to you now and get started, even if it isn’t perfect.  You’ll surely learn something, meet some great people, and you can take that knowledge and relationships forward into subsequent learning environments.

After all, when you’re a real estate investor, the learning never stops.  So keep advancing your education, starting with listening to our discussion on How To Find Real Estate Investment Training That’s Right For You!

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Live Stream 8/23 with Robert Kiyosaki and The Real Estate Guys

Tune in on August 23rd at 11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern when The Real Estate Guys™ will be in the Rich Dad office to sit down face to face with Robert Kiyosaki,  the author of mega-best selling Rich Dad Poor Dad series.  The 30 minute meeting will be streamed live, so you can watch it right on your computer (isn’t technology cool?) as it’s happening!

We’ll be talking real estate and how investors can take advantage of today’s real estate market.

To get in on the action, just go to our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TheRealEstateGuys and Like us!

If you aren’t on Facebook or can’t make the time, fill out the form below and we’ll send you a link to a recording of the live event as soon as it’s ready.


Secrets of Successful Syndication

Tired of waiting for someone else to create a job for you or give you a raise?  Take control of your own future by discovering how to make big money doing big deals through real estate syndication.

Syndication is simply putting together a group of investors and use the combined resources to take advantage of more and bigger opportunities for everyone’s benefit.  And when you’ve fully deployed your own cash and credit, syndication is a great way to keep going.

Now is one of the greatest times we’ve seen to become a real estate syndicator. Distressed properties and notes are abundant.  Assets can be purchased for pennies on the dollar.  Best of all, you’re not preying upon the unfortunate.  You’re helping clean up a big mess and playing a vital role in revitalizing the economy.

With all the liquidity being pumped into the economy, there’s still time to take advantage of low interest rates.  Longer term, many economists expect inflation – which means rising asset values (equity!), rising rents and rising interest rates.  But inflation hasn’t hit real estate yet, so there’s a window of opportunity to snap up deals.

We could go on and on about why the next 2-3 years look to be among the best ever to be a buyer.  But that’s not the point of this article and we’ve discussed it many times on the broadcast.

The real point is that syndication is a great opportunity for sharp, hardworking people to become real estate entrepreneurs. In his new book, The Sleeping Giant, best selling author and Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad Advisor Ken McElroy says a new American Dream is upon us: the age of the entrepreneur.  Gone are the days of working four decades for the same company and retiring on a comfortable pension.  And the last time we looked, Social Security isn’t looking very secure.  So you need a good paying job now AND a way to build up wealth over the the long term.

If you’re unemployed, under-employed or concerned about the future of your job or company, then you might want to give serious consideration to starting your own business. And while there are many different businesses to choose from, in most all cases you’ll need to organize capital to get started.  For the average Joe, that means using up his life’s savings, home equity and all his available credit card lines – literally betting the farm on the success of the business.  That’s one way to go.

On the other hand, wouldn’t it be better if you were or raise some private investor money where neither you nor any of your investors are ruined if things don’t go as planned?  Shared risk and shared reward.  That’s all a syndication is.

Of course, that begs the question: what kind of a business?

Obviously, we like real estate – and for many reasons.  First, it’s everywhere and not overly complicated – at least compared to starting a bio-tech firm or a software company.  That makes it possible for you to get up to speed and run the business effectively pretty quickly.  But it’s also a business that your investors should be able to understand and get excited about without needing Ph.D.’s.

Most people can see there are bargains galore in real estate right now, but because the dollars are big they can’t take advantage of them…by themselves.  They don’t have enough money, time, knowledge or connections.  That’s why so many people buy mutual funds instead of picking their own stocks.  They are effectively hiring a fund manager to do the hard work of investing.

When you organize a real estate syndication, your investors are essentially hiring you to buy, manage and sell the investments  – just like a mutual fund manager.  Except instead of investing in stocks, you’re investing in real estate or notes.  Now before you freak out, remember that you’ve probably already bought or sold a property, rented a property, gotten a loan or otherwise been involved in some real estate transactions.  So you already have some experience.  And if you’re a real estate agent, loan officer, appraiser, contractor or someone who deals with the business of real estate on a daily basis, you’re way ahead of the curve.  Remember, most mutual fund managers don’t have to know how to run the companies they invest in, they just have to know how to recognize good business models and managers.

Of course, in the spirit of full disclosure, if syndication were THAT easy, then everyone would be doing it, right?  True.  However, we bet there are many very capable people out there who would be very successful syndicators, but it never occurred to them they could do it.  And like any manager, it’s a huge responsibility to be in charge of other people’s assets.  Yet, many people do a fine job for their employers every day, but  just don’t think of it as asset management.  Yet if you’re a manager of any kind, you’re responsible for someone else’s assets –  their money, their customers, their reputation, their property, their information – on a daily basis.  If you do a good job there, the odds are good you will be successful in real estate – which is quite possibly a lot less complicated than your current day job.

Still, it’s important to be properly trained. And the task of organizing an investment syndication is not one to be taken up lightly.  There are laws to follow and lots of details to be aware of.  Again, if it was brain dead easy, than everyone would be doing it.

So where can you go to learn the secrets of successful syndication? You can and should read books, take classes, and get around people who are doing it.  Much of which you can figure out on your own if you have the time and motivation.  But if the gap between where you are and where you want to be looks to big to jump on your own, we have something for you!

We’ve imposed upon our outstanding Investor Summit at Sea™ Faculty, which includes Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Advisor Ken McElroy, plus international real estate developer Beth Clifford and attorney Mauricio Rauld, to conduct an all day training called The Secrets of Successful Syndication Seminar on April 3rd in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (you’ve been looking for a great reason to visit beautiful South Florida, right?).

Discover what it takes to organize and operate a real estate syndication business, where you can go from zero to a full time income (even part time!) in six months or less.

For more information and to enroll on-line, click here now.

The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show podcast provides education, information, training and resources to help investors make money with their real estate investing.

9/12/10: Making Mentoring Work in the Real World – Myths and Facts about Modeling Success

Real estate investing is art, science, vocation and lifestyle all wrapped up in one.  It has its own language, community and culture.  Who you surround yourself with will determine the attitudes, habits, beliefs and skills you will develop.

With so much money to be made, many aspiring investors are willing to pay large sums to have someone teach them how to succeed.  Attracted by a marketplace full of bargains, many people are getting into the game – and they’re looking for help.  So we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the topic of real estate investor mentoring.

Sitting on the studio mountaintop dispensing sage real estate wisdom:

  • Your host and guru, Robert Helms
  • Co-host and associate guru, Russell Gray
  • Special guest, former school teacher turned full time real estate investor, David Campbell

Listen in on the conversation as we explore the shortcuts to success that are available by learning from the knowledge, experience and wisdom of others!

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6/27/10: Cashing In on the Changing Retail Market

Retail real estate across the country has been mauled by the recent bear market. Many large retail centers are vacant and dilapidated, while many more are under performing.  What’s next for retail?  More importantly, what’s the opportunity?  To find out, The Real Estate Guys™ call on a big deal hunter who has over 30 years and billions of dollars of experience!

On safari in the studio for this broadcast:

  • Driving the jeep in his khaki’s and bush jacket, host Robert Helms
  • Pushing the jeep in his leopard skin loin cloth, co-host Russell Gray
  • Riding shotgun and snacking on frikkadels, the Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms
  • Big deal hunter, special guest Tom Morris

When you enter the jungle of real estate investing to hunt for opportunity, you never know what challenges will cross your path.  Many obstacles and dangers can be avoided.  Others must be met head on.  Of course, when you’re hunting, your objective is to locate the prey and subdue it.  In other words, there’s risk involved.

Shooting fish in a barrel or hunting rabbits is one level of risk…and one level of reward.  Going after the big opportunities often entails a higher level of risk and requires a higher level of skill and experience.  That’s why most investors are well-advised to start small.  It’s also a really good idea to be mentored by more experienced hunters before taking on the big game.

So you can imagine how excited we were when we first met Tom Morris.  He’s been hunting big time real estate opportunity for over 30 years and after billions of dollars of deals, he’s telling us that now is one of the greatest times ever to be a real estate investor. Really?  Okay, we’re listening!

Although he’s very experienced in all types of real estate, Tom’s love is retail.  We’re talking BIG TIME retail – as in shopping malls and retail centers with hundreds of thousands of square feet (on the small side)!  Tom’s been involved in mall projects with millions of square feet and hundreds of retail tenants in a single project.  Wow!  THAT’S big game.  Of course, if a big deal turns on you it can devour you very quickly, so you better know what you’re doing!  Fortunately, Tom tells us there are many things you can do to mitigate risk.

We start quizzing Tom about the state of retail in the wake of the Great Recession. What are the problems?  What are the causes?  Where are the opportunities?  We were SHOCKED to hear how BIG the discounts are on distressed retail assets.  It’s AMAZING how, with relatively little money, you can acquire assets with HUGE UPSIDE potential. (Sorry for all the caps.  We’re just EXCITED!).

BUT…(and it’s a big but), you better have a plan.  And you better have connections.  And you better be able to think outside the big box.  If you do, then there’s BIG money to be made!

Tom shares with us some of the creative strategies he’s currently employing to acquire and re-hab distressed retail properties.  Even if you don’t have plans to be a mall mogul, the principles Tom employs are applicable to other types of real estate.  Besides, any time someone with 30 years and billions of dollars of experience wants to share their wisdom, we think it’s a really smart idea to listen. Our attentiveness is rewarded when Tom reveals the single most important component of his success and the #1 investment of his career.

Not everyone is able to chit chat with a big time investor.  Tom doesn’t do seminars, write books or sell boot camps.  He’s just out in the real world doing the real thing.  That’s why you have The Real Estate Guys™!  Our mission is to hunt down big brains, powerful ideas and great resources that help you succeed.  Your job is to listen, learn and take action.  Plus, we really appreciate it when you tell all your friends about The Real Estate Guys™.  Enjoy!

The Rich Dad Real Estate Summit

9/13/09 Scottsdale, AZ – Nearly 150 enthusiastic people gathered in Scottsdale for the 2 day Rich Dad Real Estate Summit hosted by best selling author Robert Kiyosaki and conducted by Rich Dad Advisor and real estate entrepreneur Ken McElroy. The Real Estate Guys were on hand to not only observe, but participate in this inaugural boot camp which is dedicated to teaching active and aspiring real estate investors how to succeed in the “new” real estate economy.

The event featured a host of highly qualified experts in various aspects of real estate investment including property management, financing, deal sourcing and analysis, and taxation. The event started at 9 am on Saturday morning and ran well into the evening. We didn’t get back to our hotel room (at the very nice Scottsdale Plaza Resort) until close to 9 pm, but even then we weren’t done! We had 5 different real life investment deals to review in preparation for the next day when we would divide into team and prepare and present offer letters to the panel.

Though it sounds intense, the Rich Dad team did a great job keeping the energy up with lively music, regular breaks with refreshments provided, and the trademark conversational breaks where we would discuss the topic at hand with other students sitting at our table. Not only did this break up the monotony of lecture, but it really helped reinforce our understanding of the material. Teaching is a very effective learning tool. In fact, when we were talking with Robert Kiyosaki during a recording session on Monday, he said one of the reasons he works so hard teaching is because he learns so much!

In the afternoon of the 2nd day, the crowd was divided into teams and each team was assigned one of the case study properties on which to write a Letter of Intent (LOI). It was like being on The Apprentice! The pressure was mounting to finish the analysis and craft an offer that would be strong enough to win, but without overpaying for the property. As the announcer counted down the time, the tension mounted. People were running to the front of the room to submit their offer before the time ran out!

A representative from each team was called up to sit with their competitors in front of the panel of judges. One by one, each had just 2 minutes to present the offer. Then the panel would begin to question and negotiate. Having been through this process many times ourselves, we can tell you is that very realistic!

There were far more lessons than could ever be contained in this short report, but even with all of the experience we have in the real world of real estate, The Real Estate Guys definitely discovered some new things. Plus, we made lots of new friends!

Overall, we thought it was a great event – well organized, well produced and lots of fun. We can’t wait to go to the next one!