Cash for Keys – Could it Work for You?

Cash for keys may soon be on the rise. It’s an idea that might appeal to many landlords who want to incentivize tenants to leave their rentals and avoid a drawn out eviction process.

Cash for keys, in concept, is a simple, straightforward process, legal in all 50 states. It’s exactly what it sounds like: an agreement, entered into voluntarily by a landlord and tenant, in which cash or other value is provided to the tenant as an incentive for them to hand over the keys and move out of the rental.

Some landlords are already engaged in cash-for-keys contracts. It’s perfectly legal to do so even while state and federal eviction moratoriums are in place, as long as it is done in a non-threatening, voluntary and non-coercive manner on the part of the landlord. To be safe, consultation with an attorney, or the MassLandlords Helpline, is recommended before initiating or entertaining any cash-for-keys proposals.

A renter may also suggest cash for keys independently, without any prompting from the landlord, which can result in a move-out agreement.

Cash-for-Keys Mortgage Foreclosures vs. Rental Evictions

Cash for keys gained popularity during the housing crisis in 2008. Real estate owners, who represented banks, offered cash to underwater and nonpaying homeowners by the millions in heavy hit communities, in Florida, Southern California and other regions. Offering the strapped homeowners cash to vacate their homes saved banks from going through the costly and time-consuming process of foreclosure.

Over the years, landlords have also begun using cash for keys as a way to entice nonpaying renters, for example, to leave their residences instead of filing eviction notices, spending months in housing courts, sitting on empty rentals and paying court and other costs. Some landlords have also used cash for keys to encourage paying tenants to leave a unit that they want to renovate or sell, or vacate for other reasons.

For the purposes of this article, we refer to cash for keys between landlords and tenants.

Now or Later

It’s important to note: cash for keys, while it may be the answer for some landlords, is not a panacea for those with problem tenants, for example, nor an arrangement to be entered into lightly.

Landlords embarking on cash-for-keys agreements now, while eviction moratoriums are in place and courts are not hearing most housing cases, will have no recourse in the event tenants don’t comply with the agreement. Make certain both parties are entering the contract in good faith, are well-informed of their rights, and of the contract’s stipulations.

In some cases, it might be in the interest of landlords to hire a mediator to work with both parties – landlord and tenant – to negotiate an amenable agreement that all will adhere to throughout the process. If you opt not to hire a mediator, make certain that tenants know their rights in a cash-for-keys agreement, to avoid them from backing out of a deal later when they’ve received advice from others.

Eviction Pileup

Potentially looming at the other end of the state and federal eviction moratoriums now in place is a significant number of evictions. This situation could be avoided if the state government were to take legislative action, such as that proposed by MassLandlords, to guarantee housing for the long term. But short of further legislation, the eviction backlog could become substantial.

Conditions may also be affected by pending bills, such as HD.4878, a bill in the state legislature, sponsored by Reps. Kevin Honan and Mike Connolly, that could effectively lead to rent cancellation for a large percentage of landlords.

Easy Math

Evictions are almost always expensive. The total bill for an eviction in Massachusetts can tally more than $5,000, considering lost rent, attorney, court and constable fees, repairs and cleaning costs. In the next couple years, that amount will likely increase as courts become backlogged and may delay summary hearings for months (i.e., more lost rent).

The math is simple in a lot of situations:

A) Wait months or more than a year for your eviction case to be litigated while a nonpaying tenant occupies your rental (and possibly degrades its condition), then forfeit thousands of dollars in court costs, lost rent and attorney fees?

Or B) Offer your tenant a few thousand dollars to move out peacefully and quickly? The savings between cash for keys and an eviction can range from the low thousands to five figures in some outlying cases, even considering attorney consulting fees.

Meanwhile, you could have your rental reoccupied with a paying tenant within a month or two. Not to mention all the headaches you could avoid.

A Tough Pill to Swallow

 For some landlords, paying cash to a nonpaying tenant who owes thousands of dollars in back rent and may have damaged your property is anathema. Like rubbing salt in a wound.

But providing housing is a business, first and foremost. And while it may be emotionally difficult to hand over a pile of cash to a tenant who has given you headaches since the day they moved in, it may be the wisest business decision.

Some landlords also question the ethics of a cash-for-keys agreement. They argue that the practice could have the long-term effect of increasing squatting and rent delinquency by encouraging bad players to force landlords to hand them cash just in order to get them out of their property and avoid legal fees and headaches.

That scenario is possible in a few situations. But in the wake of coronavirus, the overwhelming percentage of delinquent renters will be the result of the pandemic response and economic downturn. There has always existed a fraction of squatters and intentional nonpayers gaming the system. It’s impossible to say how much that fraction could increase because word spread that cash for keys is a way to extort some cash from landlords.

Creative Solutions

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and response, once eviction moratoriums have been lifted, many landlords will be positioned to serve eviction notices as soon as they can to their delinquent tenants. In many cases – especially for tenants who have not suffered a loss of income but instead have taken advantage of the eviction moratorium to get free housing – eviction might be the logical course.

But for many other tenants – such as those who stopped paying rent because they lost jobs and income during coronavirus and response – landlords might consider alternatives to eviction, especially for good tenants who have regained employment and resumed rent payment.

Alternatives might include working with tenants to come to a compromise that will extend the tenancy for the long term while forfeiting some back rent. You could renegotiate back rent payments, for example, or restructure payments with some owed funds added in. Partial rent forgiveness might also be a prudent solution if it saves the arduous process of eviction.

But if you decide as a landlord that the relationship with your tenant is untenable, then cash for keys may be the better alternative.

How to Offer Cash for Keys

The process can be simple, but it depends on a few specifics. At its simplest, cash for keys is a transaction directly between landlord and tenant. No courts, constables or intermediaries needed.

(When court-enforced evictions are possible, however, cash-for-keys agreements may be entered into the court record. This action would give you a back-up plan in case your tenant doesn’t comply with the agreement.)

As stated above, hiring an attorney or mediator, or consulting the MassLandlords Helpline, might be a prudent step, at least to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises, and to provide additional assistance in case the court becomes involved.

As much as possible, try to keep emotion out of your cash-for-keys communications. It’s a business transaction, and in most cases will be a win-win solution (i.e., the least bad outcome) for landlord and tenant. Focus on the benefits.

Step 1: Draft a plan

Jot some parameters on paper, or use the MassLandlords Agreement to End Tenancy form to outline a proposal. Include a proposed amount to offer your tenant to incentivize a quick move-out. Decide on an amount to offer beforehand (see below).

This step offers an opportunity to be creative and flexible within the agreement. For example, you could offer, as part of the payment, to cover moving costs for your renter. Or maybe your cash-for-keys offer doesn’t involve actual payment at all, rather you could offer to forgive all the back rent owed in exchange for a voluntary move-out.

You might consider two or three offers that correspond with faster move-out schedules. If you want your tenant to move out sooner than later, you’ll likely need to offer a higher amount of cash.

This is an abstract that could be shared with an attorney for those who work with one, as recommended.

Step 2: Initiate a conversation with your tenant, either in person or via phone

Present your case and proposal evenly and clearly, as you would with a business proposition. There is no need to mention eviction during this conversation, especially if your intent is just to empty the rental for renovation or sale.

Outline the cash-for-keys concept, emphasizing the benefits to your tenant (i.e., cash in hand, no eviction record to hamper future efforts to find rental housing, etc.).

Your tenant might try to negotiate or counter-offer. Keep negotiation to a minimum. If an extortionist tenant suspects that you are vulnerable or willing to pay more to get rid of them they may take you to the cleaners. Choose a fair amount to open with and try to stick close to that figure.

Assuming your tenant agrees to a cash-for-keys settlement, spell out the agreement with your tenant, or share the MassLandlords Agreement to End Tenancy, a brief and convenient form that provides fields for the essential information and signatures.

Include the amount (or services) you will pay renters to move out. Include the date and time they agree to be vacated from the apartment – meaning all possessions are removed from the unit and any common areas, keys have been delivered to the landlord or agent, and the unit has been left “broom clean.”

Both you and your tenant must sign two copies in duplicate so you each have a signed record of the contract.

Step 2a: Escrow the money

 Whether or not you hire an attorney or mediator to assist with your cash-for-keys process, we recommend that you set aside the agreed cash amount for payment upon contract completion. To keep it simple, landlords could place the cash amount in a separate account and pay it out to complete the contract. You could also have your attorney or mediator escrow the cash and oversee the payment at your direction.

This is a step that removes emotion from the payment process, which can be a difficult step for some landlords. It also assures that tenants, who have voluntarily moved out as part of the cash-for-keys agreement, won’t have to wait for payment or chase the landlord to receive the cash owed them.

Step 3: Complete the contract

The cash-for-keys contract is completed when the rental is vacated at or before the agreed upon time and date, satisfactorily cleaned, and keys are in your hand.

Do not hand over any payment or order release of escrowed funds until those conditions are met. If your tenant has not met those conditions by the designated time (i.e., they are still moving out or cleaning beyond the time you both agreed), you have the option of considering the contract void.

Once you have the keys, the unit is in your possession, you have inspected the apartment to your satisfaction and paid your tenant the amount you agreed to, the contract is completed.

How Much to Pay?

First, as a comparative exercise, calculate how much you project an eviction would cost you. You will need to build in more months than usual of lost rent because of the backlog of cases after the eviction moratorium is lifted. For example, if your eviction is delayed six months or more due to the backlog of cases, your costs will increase substantially.

Also think about how much an eviction would cost in normal times, with little or no court backlog. One rule of thumb is to halve that amount as a cash-for-keys offer.

Consider rents and move-in costs for similar apartments in your community. Would $2,700 cover first and last month’s rents plus security deposit? If so, that may be your starting figure, and could present a strong incentive for your renter to leave.

In early conversations, ascertain your renters’ needs. Could they be out in a week, or will they need longer? Would a higher cash offer incentivize an earlier departure?

You could consider a tiered offer with one amount for a 60-day move-out, another offer for a 30-day move-out, or a higher amount to move out in a couple weeks or less. Keep the conversation going over several days or weeks to allow both parties time to consider and address underlying concerns.

Contract Complete

On move-out day, once you’ve been handed the keys to the apartment and inspected it, have your tenant sign a final clause saying they have received the cash payment. If the payment was escrowed and distributed by the bank, be sure to get a record of that payment.

Before handing over or releasing the cash payment, be very sure to conduct that final inspection.

As a last step, it is recommended that you immediately change the locks, as usual with an apartment transition. Having the keys handed to you from the tenant doesn’t mean they didn’t at some point have copies made.

Thousands Saved

Cash for keys isn’t for everyone in every situation. It needs to be approached thoughtfully and thoroughly with all bases covered from a legal standpoint.

If you find yourself lamenting the pile of cash you just handed over to an undeserving tenant in exchange for keys to your property, consider revisiting your calculated eviction costs.

Focus on the potential thousands of dollars you just saved, and your freedom to now locate a better tenant.

A Comprehensive Guide for Apartment Manager

Apartment Building Lending No Up Front Fees Winston Rowe and Associates

With growing sizes of building complexes, apartment management is becoming one of the most challenging jobs. As an apartment manager, you are not only responsible for maintaining the building but the owner and tenants as well.

The main task of an apartment manager is to improve the client-tenant living experience. They need to reduce costs and increase profit whenever possible.

Many property managers often face many challenges when trying to manage rental property. It’s essential that the management of a property run smoothly just like any other business.

If you are an apartment manager or owner struggling to do your job, these quick tips will guide you through managing an apartment efficiently. So let’s begin then.

Important Points to Consider for Apartment Manager

1. Following the Housing Laws and Policies

2. Securing Your Property

3. Making the Apartment Desirable

4. Selecting the Right Tenant

5. Maintaining and Upkeeping the Society

6. Resolving Resident Complaints Immediately

Important Points to Consider for Apartment Manager

1. Following the Housing Laws and Policies

Some specific laws and regulations govern the professionals responsible for managing properties. Every state has its own set of rules and regulations which needs to be strictly followed.

In recent years, there have been reported cases of property managers where their actions have resulted in the unauthorized practice of law. That’s why apartment managers should work closely with legal counsel. It will ensure that they don’t unintentionally violate the law.

Get in touch with the lawyers who are familiar with the housing field. They will guide you through relevant policies. Let them know about your intentions and what you plan to do with the property.

Furthermore, take advice on tax liabilities and potential credits related to renting properties.

We would suggest that meet two to three lawyers in the beginning. Talk to them about your renting plans and then,  decide with whom you can work for a long time.

Hiring a good lawyer will ensure that you always stay on the right side of the law.

2. Securing Your Property

Owning a residential rental property is a wise investment. But at the same time, it can be quite risky especially if you are new to this field. Without the right building insurance, you can face severe financial loss if something goes wrong.

The primary concern for any apartment manager or owner is the protection of the property from catastrophic events. Your apartment complex insurance should protect you against losses, damages, liability claims, and other issues.

Property insurance can seem complicated at first. But you can always take the help of your lawyer and insurance agent to guide you through.

Also, you should know that the insurance coverage and its cost vary. It depends on factors like the building’s location, type of construction, and more.

Some of the risks that apartment building managers/owners have to deal with:

    Liability for tenant, employee, and visitor injuries

    Theft or vandalism

    Advertising liability

    Fire, storms, and other catastrophic damage

    Invading the right to privacy

    Loss of rental income

    Discrimination lawsuit filed by disgruntled tenants

    Any allegations of fraud or misconduct by tenants

You can tailor the insurance policies to one’s need to address the risks as mentioned above.

3. Making the Apartment Desirable

You can’t ignore the fact that for each day your property stays vacant, you lose potential rental income. If you want to attract quality tenants, make your apartment as desirable as possible.

How do you do that? A few simple fixes to help you make your property desirable to prospective tenants.

    The first thing any tenant would look at is the exterior paint. If it is not at par, the tenant may not even want to come inside. A few ways how you can fix it:

        Add some quality landscaping to increase the property’s curb appeal

        Remove chipped paint and get a new coat of exterior paint

        Repair broken banisters and replace torn window screens

        Keep the compound clean. Remove trash, weeds, and debris

        Make sure the lawn and shrubbery are well-manicured

    If you want to charge a hefty amount in monthly rent, then, of course, you would have to go the extra mile. Provide luxuries that many tenants would be gladly willing to pay for. For instance, you can consider adding an in-house dryer, energy-efficient appliances and more.

These small tricks will help bring in the quality of applicants.

4. Selecting the Right Tenant

The next step in the apartment management process is selecting the right tenant.

Renting out apartments can be stress-free only if you have the right tenants. For that, you would need to advertise the vacancy to let people know about your rental space.

I. Advertise the Empty Space

Even in places with high housing demands, advertise your space stating all the facts and your requirements. This will help draw the right kind of applicants to your rental house.

The ad should contain information such as your contact number, details about your apartment, and what up are looking for. Some of the places where you can advertise it are:

    Post it on newspaper

    Display it on Internet classified sites

    Connect with a real estate broker

II. Screen Tenants

Of course, you are not allowed to discriminate your tenants based on caste, creed, race, sex, etc.

However, you should screen tenants before renting your apartment to anyone. Make sure that they are financially sound to pay your rent and do not have any criminal background.

Otherwise, unsystematic screening and tenant selection often result in some significant headaches. You might end up with a tenant who pays the rent late or not at all and poorly maintained the place.

Your screening criteria should be the same for all. It should include:

    Run a background check on each applicant to ensure that they won’t conduct any illegal activities in your apartment

    Obtain a credit report to see if they can afford your rent and will be able to pay your rent on time

    Ask for references from previous landlords or other personal references if any

III. Get it in Writing

Once you have chosen your tenant, make sure that you have a lease agreement in place. It should contain all the terms and conditions agreed by both the parties.

Having it in writing will protect both you and your tenants in case of any conflict in the future. The rental agreement helps create good relation by specifying things. It includes clauses like how and when you handle tenant complaints and repair problems, notice period if the tenant decides to leave, and more.

The lease agreement should contain the following information:

    The names and signatures of the tenant(s) and landlord

    The starting and ending dates that the property will be rented

    Rent costs and due dates

    Policies on security deposits and lease termination

    The tenant’s responsibility to maintain the unit and pay for damage caused by any neglect

    Strategy and procedure for dealing with tenant’s complaints and repair request

    Mention the restrictions if any on tenant alterations on their apartment without your permission

    Information on any environmental hazards present at the property

    Other optional policies as required

You can always find lease templates online or even talk to your lawyer about what information to put in one.

Furthermore, a written agreement helps in running the property smoothly and enhance resale value. Make sure that the tenants are aware of all the clauses included before signing the lease.

IV. Ask For Security Deposits

Security deposits are used to cover the expenses in the event of any damages or other faults with the apartments when a tenant moves out. To avoid any dispute over the security deposit when the tenant moves out, it’s better to inspect and document the condition of the unit before they move in.

Specific regulations are governing the policies regarding security deposits. With the help of a lawyer, establish a system of setting, collecting, holding, and returning security deposits.

Also, check with your state’s Landlord Tenant Act to know how long before you can return the deposit and/or a settlement statement.

5. Maintaining and Upkeeping the Society

At times it may become difficult for the apartment manager to choose between areas which need more focus than others. But thanks to the technological advancement, the apartment management software that comes to our rescue.

Using society software, you can streamline all operations and handle it from a single place. Following these five quick tips will help in a better apartment management system:

I. Automate Society Billing & Accounting

Financial issues are always a serious matter. When the apartment size keeps getting bigger, maintaining accounts can get too time-consuming and challenging at times.

The process of accounting and bookkeeping, penalty calculation, and income and expense tracking should be streamlined for smooth functioning. The best way to do that is to employ a society management software that automates your billing and collection efforts.

Some of the essential modules of tenant management include document depository, penalty calculation, maintenance charge payment, payment gateway, request for quotation, and more. It integrates with the current system in place without disrupting the whole operation.

II. Communicate With Your Tenants Effectively

As an apartment manager, it’s essential that you maintain a healthy relationship with all your tenants. For that, you need to find an effective way of communication.

The smart move would be to incorporate an apartment management software that offers communication tools. These tools can post notices and reach out to everyone. Furthermore, it assists in other activities like securely sharing pictures from community events, broadcasting essential messages, and maintaining functions calendar.

You can also create and publish articles on waste management guidelines, festival celebration forums, and more. It will help you create one active community with the ease of the housing software.

III. Manage Apartment Facilities and Staff Smartly

Again, you will often find complaints about how the apartment facilities are not well maintained.

You can save yourself some time by automating all your task such as asset tracking, inventory management, maintenance staff, and more. With the help of society management software, you can save yourself the pain of manually overlooking every activity.

Moreover, the software will also empower your tenants to book an apartment facility online. You can keep records of visitors for security purpose. These are a few of the many benefits a useful apartment management software has to offer.

Provide a superior experience to residents by managing all apartment facilities smartly.

IV. Skillfully Manage Society Data

One of the many benefits of using society maintenance software is that you can easily centralize all your data in one place.

You need to maintain a directory of residents, the number of flats in the apartments and more, to systematically reach out to them. Using maintenance software will save you a lot of time and help effectively manage the condo.

6. Resolving Resident Complaints Immediately

Resident complaints will always be an issue for apartment managers. It is therefore essential to have a system in place that will help resolve their problems immediately.

Having a central tracking of resident complaints or suggestions can be a good idea for efficient management. That’s why the whole process of filing complaints and the manager resolving the issue needs to be automated.

To immediately attend to the tenant’s problem, you can do the following:

    Use software that will help you track the complaints at various stages. It should also send alerts in case of unresolved complaints

    Give tenants a number where they can reach the management department 24/7, to handle any emergencies

    Always have a few handymen on standby who can repair your apartments when need be

It will help you manage the apartment much better and increase resident satisfaction. Thus, it will enhance their faith in the management committee.

Wrapping it up

Apartment management may seem like a daunting task at first. Especially when there are tenants who try to create menace in society.

Sometime you would also need to take legal actions when necessary. Some tenants do not pay rent on time or conduct illegal activities on the premises. Sometimes, they even cause damage to the property or violate the lease agreement. In such cases, talk with your lawyer and proceed in the right way.

Or you can take the help of a mediator to work with you and your tenant to reach out a settlement on the issue. Either way, make sure that other residents in society do not face any inconvenience.

The Ins and Outs of Apartment Building Construction

Apartment Construction Lending No Upfront Fees Winston Rowe and Associates

In nearly every metro area of the country, building developers and contractors are scrambling to keep up with the growing demand for rental apartments. In 2014, nearly 350,000 apartments began construction. A number that increased by nearly 14% from 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

However, even with a large number of projects underway, there are certainly no shortages of challenges that come with apartment construction and there are a number of variables to take factor in when considering the overall cost of commercial apartment construction.

From what type of amenities you will include with the building to the building’s walkability in the surrounding area and construction variables such as labor, weather, trade tariffs, it can be a challenge to construct the building of your dreams while staying within budget.

As apartment sizes are shrinking, tenants are turning to the amenities to help meet all of their needs while living there and driven property owners to great lengths to include must-have amenities for everyone. But when it comes to designing an amenities package and choosing what amenities to include there can often be a lot of “push and pull.” It is a careful space-planning exercise.

According to a 2015 survey from the National Multifamily Housing Council, amenities such as fitness areas, pools, and in-unit laundry machines were of greater interest to Millennials than to baby boomers and nearly 60% of the 120,000 person survey said they are interested in having a lounge area or party room in their apartment building.

For owners and developers, it is important to know which amenities will give the most return on investment. When designing a new apartment construction project, it pays to stay up on the trends of potential tenants.

Some amenities require not only an allocation of space, but significant ongoing maintenance and expenses while others can be installed at little initial or ongoing cost. Some can even save you money over time. The type of amenities you should include will come down to which amenities are valued most by renters, as well as age group and lifestyle.

Location and Walkability

Determining what amenities are right for any one community can be a challenge, but some amenities can be scaled back if the apartment exists within a surrounding community.

For some renters, location is the number one amenity. In a 2015 nationwide survey by the National Association of Realtors, roughly eight out of 10 people said that being in walking distance to community features like shops and parks was very important to them when considering a new place to live. Tenants care about the walkability of their living situation. If tenants live within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and gyms then forgoing some of those features can save on apartment construction cost.

However, apartment construction in a walkable city can be a challenge because there is limited space. Not only that, but land costs are also much higher for walkable, urban locations as opposed to rural areas. As a building developer, you will want to find ways to work with a municipality to provide useable sidewalks, trails, and open spaces to attract new renters and encourage a pedestrian-friendly experience for everyone.

Amenities and walkable communities aren’t the only things developers and contractors struggle with when it comes to apartment construction as there are a variety of other factors that can affect the final price.

Many apartment developers are fighting off price increases for things like labor shortage, weather conditions, and building materials due to international trade tariffs. In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), even the threat of trade tariffs can affect the price of steel and lumber. In August of 2018, the producer price index for steel mill products jumped by 19 percent compared to the year before and while lumber and plywood also saw a sharp rise in the spring and early summer.

If you are planning to build an apartment building or are a current property owner looking to make upgrades, click below to contact us today!

Winston Rowe and Associates Construction Lending

How to Write a Real Estate Business Plan

Winston Rowe and Associates No Upfront Fee Commercial Real Estate Lending

Success in the real estate investing industry won’t happen overnight, and it definitely won’t happen without proper planning or implementation. For entrepreneurs, a real estate investing business plan can serve as a road map to all of your business operations. Simply put, a real estate business plan will serve an essential role in the formation of your investing career.

Investors will need to strategize several key elements to create a successful business plan. These include future goals, company values, financing strategies and more. Once complete, a business plan can create the foundation for smooth operations and outline a future with unlimited potential for your investing career. Keep reading to learn how to create a real estate investment business plan today.

What Is A Real Estate Investing Business Plan?

A real estate business plan is a living document that provides the framework for business operations and goals. A business plan will include future goals for the company and organized steps to get there. While business plans can vary from investor to investor, they will typically include planning for one to five years at a time.

Drafting a business plan for real estate investing purposes is, without a doubt, one of the single most important steps a new investor can take. An REI business plan will help you avoid potential obstacles while simultaneously placing you in a position to succeed. It is a blueprint to follow when things are going according to plan, and even when they veer off course. If for nothing else, a real estate company business plan will see to it that investors know which steps to follow to achieve their goals. In many ways nothing is more valuable to today’s investors. It is the plan, after all, to follow the most direct path to success.

8 Must-Haves in A Real Estate Business Plan

As a whole, a real estate business plan should address a company’s short and long-term goals. Though in order to accurately portray a company’s vision, the right business plan will require more information than a future vision. A strong real estate business plan will provide a detailed look at the ins and outs of a company. This can include the organizational structure, financial information, marketing outline and more.  When done right it will serve as a comprehensive overview anyone who interacts with your business, whether internally or externally.

That said, creating an REI business plan will require a persistent attention to detail. For new investors drafting a real estate company business plan may seem like a daunting task, and quite honestly it is. The secret is knowing which ingredients must be added (and when). Below are seven must-haves for a well-executed business plan:

Outline the company values and mission statement.

Break down future goals into short and long term.

Strategize the strengths and weaknesses of the company.

Formulate the best investment strategy for each property and your respective goals.

Include potential marketing and branding efforts.

State how the company will be financed (and by whom).

Explain who is working for the business.

Answer any “what ifs” with backup plans and exit strategies.

These components are what matter the most, and a quality real estate business plan will delve into each category to ensure maximum optimization.

Vision

A company vision statement is essentially your mission statement and values. While these may not be the first step in planning your company, a vision will be crucial to the success of your business. Company values will not only guide you through investment decisions, but will also inspire others to work with your business time and time again. They should align potential employees, lenders and possible tenants with the motivations behind your company.

Before writing your company vision, think through examples you like both in and out of the real estate industry. Is there a company whose values you identify with? Or, are there mission statements you dislike? Use other companies as a starting point when creating your own set of values. Feel free to reach out to your mentor or other network connections for feedback as you plan. Most importantly, think about the qualities you personally value and how those can fit into your business plan.

Goals

Goals are one of the most important elements in a successful business plan. This is because not only do goals provide an end goal for your company, but they also outline the steps required to get there. It can be helpful to think about goals in two categories: short term and long term. Long term goals will typically outline your future plans for the company. These can include ideal investment types, profit numbers and company size. Short term goals are the smaller, actionable steps required to get there.

For example, one long term business goal could be to land four wholesale deals by the end of the year. Short term goals will make this more achievable by breaking it into smaller steps. A few short-term goals that might help you land those four wholesale deals could be to create a direct mail campaign for your market area, establish a buyers list with 50 contacts, and secure your first property under contract. Breaking down long term goals is a great way to hold yourself accountable, create deadlines and accomplish what you set out to.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis involves thinking through each of these areas as you evaluate your company and potential competitors. This framework allows business owners to better understand what is working for the company and identify potential areas for improvement. SWOT analyses are used across industries as a way to create more actionable solutions to potential issues.

To think through a SWOT analysis for your real estate business plan, first identify your company’s potential strengths and weaknesses. Do you have high quality tenants? Are you struggling to raise capital? Be honest with yourself as you write out each category. Then, take a step back and look at your market area and any competitors to identify threats and opportunities. A potential threat could be whether or not your rental prices are in line with comparable properties. On the other hand, a potential opportunity could be to boost the amenities offered at your property to be more competitive in the area.

Investment Strategy

Any good real estate investment business plan requires the ability to implement a sound investment strategy. If for nothing else, there are several exit strategies a business may execute to secure profits: rehabbing, wholesaling and renting — just to name a few. This is where investors will want to analyze their market and determine which strategy will best suit their goals. Those with long-term retirement goals may want to consider leaning heavily into rental properties. However, those without the funds to build a rental portfolio may want to consider getting started by wholesaling. Whatever the case may be, now is the time to figure out what you want to do with each property you come across. It is important to note, however, that this strategy will change from property to property. Therefore, investors need to be able to determine their exit strategy based on the asset and their current goals. The reason this section needs to be added to a real estate investment business plan is because it will come in handy once a prospective deal is found.

Marketing Plan

While marketing may seem like the cherry on top of a sound business plan, marketing efforts will actually play an integral role in the foundation of your business. A marketing plan should include your business logo, website, social media outlets and any advertising efforts. Together these elements can build a solid brand for your business, which will help you build a strong business reputation and ultimately build trust with investors, clients and more.

To plan your marketing, first think about the ways your brand can illustrate the company values and mission statement you have created. Consider the ways you can incorporate your vision into your logo or website. Remember, in addition to attracting new clients, marketing efforts can also help maintain relationships with existing connections. For a step by step guide to drafting a real estate marketing plan, be sure to read this guide.

Financing Plan

Writing the financial portion of a business plan can be tricky, especially if you are just starting your business. As a general rule, a financial plan will include the income statement, cash flow, and balance sheet for a business. A financial plan should also include short- and long-term goals regarding the profits and losses of a company. Together, this information will help when making business decisions, raising capital and reporting on business performance.

Perhaps the most important factor when creating a financial plan is accuracy. While many investors want to report on high profits or low losses, manipulating data will not boost your business performance in any way. Come up with a system of organization that works for you and always ensure your financial statements are authentic. As a whole, a financial plan should help you identify what is and isn’t working for your business.

Teams & Small Business Systems

No successful business plan is complete without an outline of the operations and management. Think: how your business is being run and by whom. This information will include the organizational structure, office management (if any), and an outline of any ongoing projects or properties. Investors can even include future goals for team growth and operational changes when planning this information.

Even if you are just starting out, or have yet to launch your business, it is still necessary to plan your business structure. Start by planning what tasks you will be responsible for, and look for areas you will need help with. If you have a business partner, think through each of your strengths and weaknesses and look for areas you can best complement each other. For additional guidance, set up a meeting with your real estate mentor. They can provide valuable insights to their own business structure, which can serve as a jumping off point for your planning.

Exit Strategies & Back Up Plans

Believe it or not, every successful company out there has a backup plan. Businesses fail every day, but by creating a backup plan investor can position themselves to survive even the worst-case scenario. That’s why it’s crucial to strategize alternative exit strategies and back up plans for your investment business. These will not only help you create a plan of action if something does go wrong, but will also help you address any potential problems before they happen.

This section of a business plan should answer all of the “what if” questions a potential lender, employee, or client might have. What is a property remains on the market for longer than expected? What if a seller backs out before closing? What if a property has a higher than average vacancy rate? These questions (and many more) are worth thinking through as you create your business plan.

The impact of a truly great real estate business plan can last for the duration of your entire career, whereas a poor plan can get in the way of your future goals. The truth is: a real estate business plan is of the utmost importance, and as a new investor it deserves your undivided attention. Again, writing a business plan for real estate investing is no simple task, but it can be done correctly. Follow our real estate investment business plan template to ensure you get it right the first time around:

Write an executive summary that provides a bird’s eye view of the company.

Include a description of company goals and how you plan to achieve them.

Demonstrate your expertise with a thorough market analysis.

Specify who is working at your company and their qualifications.

Summarize what products and services your business has to offer.

Outline the intended marketing strategy for each aspect of your business.

Executive Summary

The first step is to define your mission and vision. In a nutshell, your executive summary is a snapshot of your business as a whole, and it will generally include a mission statement, company description, growth data, products and services, financial strategy, and future aspirations. This is the “why” of your business plan, and it should be clearly defined.

Company Description

The next step is to examine your business and provide a high-level review on the various elements, including goals and how you intend to achieve them. Investors should describe the nature of their business, as well as their targeted marketplace. Explain how services or products will meet said needs, address specific customers, organizations or businesses the company will serve, and explain the competitive advantage the business offers.

Market Analysis

This section will identify and illustrate your knowledge of the industry. It will generally consist of information about your target market, including distinguishing characteristics, size, market shares, and pricing and gross margin targets. A thorough market outline will also include your SWOT analysis.

Organization & Management

This is where you explain who does what in your business. This section should include your company’s organizational structure, with details the ownership, profiles on the management team and their qualifications. While this may seem unnecessary as a real estate investor, the people reading your business plan may want to know who’s in charge. Make sure you leave no stone unturned.

Services or Products

What are you selling? How will it benefit your customers? This is the part of your real estate business plan where you provide information on your product or service, including benefits it has over competitors. In essence, it will offer a description of your product/service, details on its life cycle, information on intellectual property, as well as research and development activities, which could include future R&D activities and efforts. Since real estate investment is more of a service, it’s critical for beginner investors to identify why their service is better than others in the industry. It could include experience.

Marketing Strategy

Generally speaking, a marketing strategy will encompass how a business owner intends to market or sell their product and service. This includes a market penetration strategy, plan for future growth, channels of distribution, and a comprehensive communication strategy. When creating a marketing strategy for a real estate business plan, investors should think about how they plan to identify and contact new leads. They should then think about the various options for communication: social media, direct mail, a company website, etc. The marketing portion of your business plan should essentially cover the practical steps operating and growing your business.

Winston Rowe and Associates is a national consulting firm you can review them on line at www.winstonrowe.com

5 Ways to Spot Fake Landlord References

One of the most crucial aspects in tenant screening is that of checking your prospective tenant’s landlord references, so here are 5 ways to spot fake landlord references.

Unfortunately, some tenants have been known to make up references or list friends or family members as previous landlords. There are even companies that hire themselves out to pose as landlords.

As a property manager, you are bound to receive landlord references day in and day out. Some are beautifully written testaments to the incredible nature of these individuals looking to rent, while others are simply fake, with bogus testimonials about the tenant.

5 ways to spot fake landlord references

No. 1 – Call the references yourself

For starters, on most landlord references, they will provide a phone number.

One of the first things you can do to tell if the reference is a fake is to call the number inquiring about a rental. If it is fake, the number either won’t work or will lead to a completely different person or place.

In rare instances, a fake number does lead to an individual, but they may seem to be either untruthful or not detailed in their answers.

No. 2 – Check up on the reference’s name

Go online and Google the reference’s name and look them up on social-media platforms.

Check to see if this person is tied to the potential tenant through tagged pictures and/or posts. If there is a lot of overlap in the people’s profiles, these individuals may have a personal relationship and not a tenant/landlord relationship.

No. 3- Look at tax records

The tax records for all property owners are in the public domain. All you have to do is look up the records for the address where the applicant claims to have lived.

The name on the tax record should match the name you’ve been given. Double-check that the property hasn’t been sold, but otherwise this is a great way to spot a fake.

No. 4 – Analyze a reference’s answers

It’s best to always fall back on your knowledge as a landlord and analyze the answers that the potentially fake landlord reference has given you.

If their answers are vague and don’t have details then it’s likely that they aren’t a real landlord and are instead a friend or family member of the person who is trying to rent from you.

No. 5 – Ask for advice from the reference

Landlords tend to have the same frustrations, interests, and problems.

It wouldn’t be at all unusual for you as a property manager to ask for some advice from another landlord while calling for a reference. Ask for their procedure for getting rid of a tenant who doesn’t pay, for instance.

A real landlord will have an actual answer, even if they’re not interested in spending much time on the phone with you. A fake, on the other hand, will likely have nothing specific to say. This can help you further determine whether the person on the other line is a real landlord, or someone just posing as such.

In conclusion

As a property manager, a significant part of your job involves filling properties with quality, long-term tenants. Including thorough reference verification as part of your tenant screening process, such as the strategies above, can help you avoid costly mistakes and keep you a few steps ahead of the game.

For Multifamily Commercial Real Estate Financing Contact Winston Rowe and Associates No Upfront Fee Commercial Loans

Free Business And Real Estate Investing eBooks

Contact Winston Rowe and Associates

Welcome to Winston Rowe and Associates knowledge blog, scroll down to the right for posts about commercial real estate.

This is a list of free books about real estate investing, commercial real estate financing and business strategy.

We’re always on the lookout for great free books so bookmark this blog and check back for monthly updates.

These links are not affiliate marketing links, just publications that we feel may add value to people and businesses.

Commercial Real Estate Finance

The eBook Commercial Real Estate Finance, by Winston Rowe & Associates discusses the fundamentals of the different types of commercial property, the various options that are included with properties and the capabilities that you will have as a commercial property investor.

Real Estate Investing Articles

This is a link to 1226 real estate investing articles written by industry veteran’s.

25 Productivity Tips for Successful Business Owners

Productivity is critical to your success at work. Business owners, managers and executives all want to get the most from their employees. If you’re not performing as efficiently or effectively as others, your long-term job prospects could be in trouble.

Real Estate Investing: How to Find Cash Buyers and Motivated Sellers

“Real Estate Investing: How to Find Cash Buyers and Motivated Sellers” teaches real estate investors and those interested in learning to invest in real estate how to define and target ideal cash buyers and motivated sellers. The book covers absentee owners, rehab investors, Section 8 landlords, and other buyer types. Some of the marketing topics include mailing lists, postcards, both online and offline marketing strategies along with examples. Anyone who wants to wholesale a house or is curious about flipping houses should pick this book to get educated on cash buyers and motivated sellers for their real estate investing.

Real Estate – Breaking Bad How to Flip Decaying Real Estate Properties for Profit

Tired of working 9 to 5? You should think of making money with real estate! Yes, the effort is well worth it! You just have to ditch the misconceptions and embark with all the passion you have in store for this amazing trip of rehabbing old houses and giving them a new look and a new owner.  Your reward? A nice profit!

Real Estate Forms Portfolio

A FREE and ready-for-download eBook consisting of a comprehensive collection of real estate-related forms for real estate investors.

Real Estate Secrets Exposed

This FREE e-Book sheds some light on the often mysterious and sometimes daunting world of real estate.

Use 1031 Real Estate Exchanges to Create Multiple Streams of Income

Discover how to use 1031 tax-free exchanges, tenants in common interests, and zero cash flow properties to create new sources of income. Learn how to offer bundled services and attract new clients. This FREE, ready for download eBook is perfect for anyone involved in real estate, taxes, mortgages, insurance, or law.  Download it now!

Make Money Through Real Estate Renovations

Download this FREE eBook and learn how a successful investor makes thousands of dollars from real estate renovations. Download it now!

Discover the Secrets of How to Fund Your Real Estate Deals with Private Lenders

Download this FREE e-Book, and discover the new secrets of funding real estate deals in the post-bubble real estate market, where traditional lending sources are getting very difficult to obtain. Download it today!

Real Estate Investing Strategy for Rehabs

This eBook is about residential rehabbing and the multiple strategies that can be used to maximize profits in this current economic climate. My goal has always been to share knowledge with folks that are truly interested in rehabbing and view it as not only for monetary gain but also see is as an “art and science” like I do. Happy Rehabbing!!

How to Be A Super Property Investor

A FREE, step-by-step guide that will help you become a super real estate property investor. Learn all the basic and some advanced investing techniques that have generated millions for property investors. Ready for download now!

Financial Terms Dictionary – 100 Most Popular Financial Terms Explained

This practical financial dictionary helps you understand and comprehend more than 100 common financial terms. It was written with an emphasis to quickly grasp the context without using jargon. Every terms is explained in detail with 600 words or more and includes also examples. It is based on common usage as practiced by financial professionals.

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science.

The Science of Getting Rich by W. D. Wattles

This book is pragmatical, not philosophical; a practical manual, not a treatise upon theories. It is intended for the men and women whose most pressing need is for money; who wish to get rich first, and philosophize afterward. It is for those who have, so far, found neither the time, the means, nor the opportunity to go deeply into the study of metaphysics, but who want results and who are willing to take the conclusions of science as a basis for action, without going into all the processes by which those conclusions were reached.

Sun Tzu Art of War

Written in the fifth century B.C., Suntzu and Wutzu still remain the most celebrated works on war in the literature of China. While the chariot has gone, and weapons have changed, these ancient masters have held their own, since they deal chiefly with the fundamental principles of war, with the influence of politics and human nature on military operations; and they show in a most striking way how unchanging these principles are.

Make Extra Money Flipping Houses While On Vacation by Jason Medley

Reveals his simple and proven systems to automate, delegate and outsource nearly every function of his business except cashing his checks. He shows the exact steps that has allowed him to go on multiple vacations with his family throughout the year while having his system continue to flip houses for him.

Achieving Wealth Through Real Estate: A Definitive Guide To Controlling Your Own Financial Destiny Through a Successful Real Estate Business

Have you ever thought about making money with real estate? In Achieving Wealth Through Real Estate: A Definitive Guide to Controlling Your Own Financial Destiny Through a Successful Real Estate Business, author and entrepreneur Kirill Bensonoff takes you through the process of starting your own real estate business step-by-step, featuring his expert tips and tricks.

Business Loans Uncovered

Knowing if you qualify is one of the most important things to know when applying  for a loan of any type. Blindly applying for a loan and being declined increases the chances of you being declined again and again because you not only lower your credit score each time you apply, multiple inquires also serves a red flag to other lenders and as a result lenders put you in a high risk category and charge higher interest rates in the event of an approval Includes: ​Traditional Lenders, Government Sources, The 7(a) loan guarantee program, SBA Low Doc loan program, SBA Express loan program, Factoring, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors.

50 Simple Secrets To Be A Happy Real Estate Investor

Discover the secrets used by successful real estate investors to create happiness in their lives and businesses. Naturally create more happiness for yourself by implementing time-tested secrets to happiness used by other real estate professional and investors just like you. Start to experience more productivity, satisfaction, and success immediately.

Real Estate Finance and Investment

This course is an introduction to the most fundamental concepts, principles, analytical methods and tools useful for making investment and finance decisions regarding commercial real estate assets. As the first of a two-course sequence, this course will focus on the basic building blocks and the “micro” level, which pertains to individual properties and deals.

Introduction to the Law of Property, Estate Planning and Insurance

Introduction to the Law of Property, Estate Planning and Insurance is an up-to-date textbook that covers legal issues that students must understand relating to real estate (an especially important business asset), as well as estate planning and insurance.

The text is organized to permit instructors to tailor the materials to their particular approach. The authors take special care to engage students by relating law to everyday events with their clear, concise and readable style.

Defensive Real Estate Investing: 10 Principles for Succeeding Whether Your Market is Up or Down

As the real estate market changes after years of aggressive growth, investors everywhere are faced with uncertainty, wanting to know how to prepare for a potential real estate bust and make sure they don’t lose money.   In his authoritative new work, Defensive Real Estate Investing, bestselling author and real estate expert William Bronchick provides guiding principles to safe investments for beginning to intermediate real estate investors.

Private Real Estate Investment: Data Analysis and Decision Making

Fiduciary responsibilities and related court-imposed liabilities have forced investors to assess market conditions beyond gut level, resulting in the development of sophisticated decision-making tools. Roger Brown’s use of historical real estate data enables him to develop tools for gauging the impact of circumstances on relative risk. His application of higher level statistical modeling to various aspects of real estate makes this book an essential partner in real estate research. Offering tools to enhance decision-making for consumers and researchers in market economies of any country interested in land use and real estate investment, his book will improve real estate market efficiency. With property the world’s biggest asset class, timely data on housing prices just got easier to find and use

Construction Funding: The Process of Real Estate Development, Appraisal, and Finance

Construction firms operate on narrow profit margins and the success of construction projects is hinged upon proper financing. Construction Funding is the only single volume, concise text on the financial aspects of building and developing.

The book acquaints the reader with a set of procedures specifically designed to solve the unique financial challenges facing the construction industry. It guides the reader step-by-step through each phase of financing a development project, from simple one-family residences to large multi-unit complexes. Construction Funding also addresses raising capital, selecting markets, rating sites, insurance, joint ventures, loan options, and cash flow management. Separate sections are devoted to the conduct of profitability studies and to finding after-tax rates of return. Construction Funding, Fourth Edition, has been updated to provide current costs and funding methods and additional learning features such as key terms, review questions, and learning objectives.

How to Make Money With Real Estate Options: Low-Cost, Low-Risk, High-Profit Strategies for Controlling Undervalued Property….Without the Burdens of Ownership!

I have dabbled with real estate for years usually making good money and sometimes being hammered (like with the last crash in the RE market). But overall RE has been good to me. Be that as it may, I have lost enough to know that I wanted to minimize my risk while still having plenty of upside potential. Real estate options are a vehicle to accomplish this goal. Thus, I started educating myself on the subject and found this most excellent book. Mr. Lucier is thorough and detailed and relates the reality of what it takes to profit (not like some of these dream weaver real estate gurus who like to sell you on how “easy” it is).

50 Simple Secrets To Be A Happy Real Estate Investor

Discover the secrets used by successful real estate investors to create happiness in their lives and businesses. Naturally create more happiness for yourself by implementing time-tested secrets to happiness used by other real estate professional and investors just like you. Start to experience more productivity, satisfaction, and success immediately.

Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Photography

One of the biggest problems that real estate photographers have once they have set up their business as a legal entity, obtained all the right equipment and perfected their technique is obtaining new clients.

Clients and customers are the lifeblood of any business, but how do you obtain new clients after starting your business?

By developing and executing a strategic marketing plan tailored to your business.

This short guide has been written to help real estate photographers develop their marketing plan and assist with winning new business.

It includes a series of digital and direct marketing strategies along with useful tips and lessons the author has learned from his own experiences that can save you time and money when growing your business.

A marketing action plan template has been included to help photographers execute the strategies learned in this guide book.

Books by Dr William Edward Deming

William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900 – December 20, 1993) was an American engineer, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and management consultant.

Educated initially as an electrical engineer and later specializing in mathematical physics, he helped develop the sampling techniques still used by the U.S. Department of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In his book The New Economics for Industry, Government, and Education Deming championed the work of Walter Shewhart, including statistical process control, operational definitions, and what Deming called the “Shewhart Cycle, which had evolved into Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA). That was in response to the growing popularity of PDCA, which Deming viewed as tampering with the meaning of Shewhart’s original work.

Deming is best known for his work in Japan after WWII, particularly his work with the leaders of Japanese industry. That work began in July and August 1950, in Tokyo and at the Hakone Convention Center, when Deming delivered speeches on what he called “Statistical Product Quality Administration”.

Many in Japan credit Deming as one of the inspirations for what has become known as the Japanese post-war economic miracle of 1950 to 1960, when Japan rose from the ashes of war on the road to becoming the second-largest economy in the world through processes partially influenced by the ideas Deming taught

 

What You Need to Know About Emergency Plumbing Services

The plumbing system in your house is significant however relatively few individuals understand this until an issue has sprung up.

Preventing it is in every case superior to searching for an answer where there is as already an issue in the home plumbing systems which is the reason it is ideal to put in estimates that keeps your system fit as a fiddle.

By being cautious with what goes down your drain channels and routinely checking plumbing equipment and guaranteeing everything is in the right working order, you can avoid so many issues that the homeowner suffers from.

But, when the plumbing problem is already visible, there are emergency plumbing services to deal with the situation and get things back to normal. Contingent upon the issue you are confronting, you could have routine plumbing service done or you may think that it is important to get emergency services.

The two are somewhat different and there are facts that you need to know about emergency plumbing services.

They are essential for things you cannot deal with

The important fact is that there are plumbing issues that are minor and you can without much effort to deal with or monitor until you get an expert to help it out. Prior to call the emergency plumber, make sure that it is genuinely an emergency of an issue that is beyond you.

The emergency service covers various issues

Knowing when to call the plumbing services very crucial. Some of the problems that truly require the assistance of an emergency plumber include gas spills, pipes burst, running toilets or sewage issues.

This service is for issues that truly cannot hold up for a longer period because of the possible damage delay in rectifying the situation that may prompt.

In the event that your problem is presenting harm to your property and valuable or is posing a health risk, at that point it goes for an emergency.

Additionally, sometimes warranties act an important part here. If you claim for the Home warranty plan, it covers the plumbing issues too.

They are offered whenever quickly

The emergency services are often called emergency because of the fact that the plumbers are adaptable enough to deal with them when as soon as it occurs.

So, whether it is on an end of the week or an occasion or the wee hours of the night, the emergency plumbers will come to help you.

This is why it is important to ensure that you call in just when it is a genuine and important issue that essentially cannot wait.

They will, in general, be increasingly costly than general services

Plumbers essentially drop everything else to take care of emergency calls and will come to where you are at any given time and day.

For this, the emergency plumbers will cost you more than the standard general administrations that can hold up somewhat longer to be dealt with.

This is one more reason regarding why you ought to guarantee that your pipes issues are extremely an emergency before proceeding to call in the experts.

Benefits of hiring an emergency plumbing service

  • A plumber will find a permanent solution
  • When any plumbing emergency happens, people always get panic. But, instead, hiring professional plumber will assess the situation and get a permanent solution out of it.
  • Hiring an emergency plumber will save you money
  • It is a onetime investment. It can be expensive for the first time but it is reliable and can save you for the long haul.
  • An emergency plumber has professional training in handling various emergencies

As mention “professional”, they are the hero in plumbing services. They are well trained and can work with proper fixing.

Getting a professional plumbing contractor can keep you safe from issues

Carrying out plumbing tasks at your home, especially in the emergency period can be risky. As a professional plumber are well trained with safety equipment, they can keep you safe from dangerous situations

The plumbers are constantly prepared to offer help and ensure your plumbing system turns back to its functionality.

Emergency administrations will spare you the stresses and efforts and in turn very valuable and quite beneficial.

It is essential to keep contacts of dependable and trustworthy plumbing contractors offering emergency and professional plumbing services so you can get instant help when the situation is terrible.

You can review Winston Rowe and Associate

EBIT and EBITDA – Shortcut to Cash Flow

EBIT and EBITDA – Shortcut to Cash Flow

While there are several factors that go into qualifying for a variety of business loans, there is one metric upon which banks heavily rely, but is unfamiliar to most applicants.

It is the Fixed Charge Coverage ratio (slightly modified for pass-through entity accounting), and it measures your projected ability to pay back the loan with interest better than any other calculation or ratio.

EBIT and EBITDA – Shortcut to Cash Flow

The bank wants to know how many times your cash flow can cover your loan payments. The way they determine cash flow is EBIT, or calculating your earnings before interest and taxes.

Your may have heard of EBITDA, which adds Depreciation and Amortization back to EBIT, and I have always contended that this is the lazy man’s formula to derive free cash flow.

The investment and banking community have established this standard.

Pass-Through Entity Hides Cash Flow

But the problem with EBIT, or even EBITDA, is that it leaves out a significant decrease in cash flow inherent to S-corps and most LLCs — owner draws or dividends.

Due to tax and other reasons, owners of and partners in S-corps, and most LLCs, often receive a large portion of their income as draws or distributions, for which EBIT and EBITDA do not account.

A bank, therefore, is possibly seeing a prospective borrower too favorably without accounting for this form of owner compensation.

Modified Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio

Banks have gotten smart. They have taken the Fixed Charge Coverage ratio, which was derived to more accurately determine a company’s wherewithal to make its loan payments than the Interest Coverage ratio, and added the owner draws/distributions to the formula.

It is focused on assessing all of the company’s fixed financing commitment, in which fixed distributions to owners should be included. Here is how it works:

[EBIT + Lease Expense + Owner Draws]

[Interest Expense + Lease Expense + Owner draws]

Don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the inputs into the formula; it’s not that hard to pull together.

What’s good?

A ratio of exactly one means the business is running on tight cash flow but it will be able to make all of its obligations.

A ratio greater than 1.2 is a comfortable place for a bank to lend, and a ratio over 3 means the company may not be using leverage to its maximum potential.

Here’s an example:

Saul’s Deli generates EBIT of $80,000 annually. Saul has fixed leases in place of $20,000 and takes another $60,000 out of his company every year as a dividend (he is an S-corp). He pays $15,000 per year in interest. Here is his Fixed Charge Coverage ratio:

[80,000 + 20,000 + 60,000]

[15,000 + 20,000 + 60,000]

[160,000]

[95,000]

Fixed Charge Coverage ratio = 1.68

This means that Saul’s Deli can cover his existing debt and obligations by 1.68 times.

A bank would likely feel comfortable with this ratio if he meets the other loan underwriting criteria and the new loan does not decrease this ratio too much. Interestingly, the interest coverage ratio would have come back over 5, not nearly as realistic as the fixed charge coverage ratio in determining Saul’s ability to service his existing and potential new debt.

Conclusion

Applying for a loan can be intimidating. You should know your ratios, including your fixed charge coverage ratio, before you even start the application.

Not only will the EBIT and EBITDA coverage ratio, along with the modified fixed charge coverage ratio help you think like a banker, but it will also help you determine if asking for a loan will help or hurt your business.

Investing In Single Family Rental Homes

Investing In Single Family Rental Homes 

If you’re a newcomer to single-family rental investing, one way to think about it is like an inflation-adjusting bond with an equity kicker.

The rental income fewer operating expenses generates current distributions — like the coupon on a bond — and rents can be adjusted annually, providing inflation protection.

Finally, the equity “kicker” comes in the form of building wealth as your tenant pays down your mortgage for you while the property can grow in value over time. It’s entirely possible to get a nice double-digit overall return on your equity over an extended holding period.

Purchasing and owning a single-family rental home is simpler than you might imagine.

Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Know your investing criteria first

With any investment, be it stocks, bonds or real estate, you need to know what your objectives are.

If you’re focused on safety and security, consider exploring low-risk investment homes that generate steady, reliable yield.

An example of this may be a more expensive investment property in a good school district.

You’re going to get a lower yield, but you may see better downside protection and less volatility. If you have a longer-term horizon or you’re seeking higher returns, you may want to take on a little more risk.

Often, lower-priced homes will be riskier, but you may get higher yields and potentially higher long-term returns.

2. Don’t limit your investment property search to where you live

Consider this: If you lived in Atlanta, you wouldn’t buy Coca-Cola stock simply be
cause its headquarters are local.

The same principle applies to real estate investing. If your primary residence, income property, and job are all located in the same area, you have a lot of concentrated risk and are more vulnerable to the swings of the local economy.

Diversification is just one reason to expand your investment property search. Another is access: If you live in an expensive urban or coastal area with relatively high home prices — the San Francisco Bay Area, for instance — finding an income property that’s cash-flow positive is going to be challenging, to say the least.

You won’t be able to find a great income property for $100,000 in Seattle, Denver, or Oakland, Calif., but you can if you focus on the Midwest, South, and Southeast.

3. Separate investing from operations

One of the appeals of investing in single-family rental homes is you can hire strong local property management firms to handle day-to-day management tasks of rent collection, repairs and maintenance, and leasing.

Over the past several years, property managers have adopted new technologies and business processes to manage homes more effectively for owners.

While some people do choose to self-manage, hiring a property manager can save you a lot of time and potentially money in the long run.

While property management companies typically charge between 7% and 8% of the rent, they manage properties for a living and can work to ensure the property is leased, in good condition, and the tenants are happy.

Additionally, using a local property manager effectively allows you to buy properties outside of where you live, as self-managing is difficult if the property is not nearby.

4. Real estate investing is a marathon, not a sprint

You might be familiar with the house-flipping reality TV shows in which a person buys a home, fixes it up, and sells quickly for a profit.

While that can be an effective way to make a one-time profit, it’s the exact opposite of how you should approach single-family rental home investing, which is about building long-term wealth. Instead, treat it like a nest egg.

In addition, don’t be overly influenced or reactive to short-term fluctuations in your rental property portfolio.

You may own a home for a few months and have to deal with a tenant moving out unexpectedly, but the next tenant might reside there for several years before you have another vacancy.

Look at this investment over a multi-year horizon and consider your overall outlays and inflows over that long time span.

If you buy a decent house in a decent area, the returns tend to be quite attractive over time and can add a nice counterbalance to other types of investments.

5. Take advantage of the tools and resources available to you

The single-family rental home industry currently totals $3 trillion, with 1 million homes trading hands among investors every year.

The investment opportunities are ripe, and never has it been less complicated for investors to buy and own homes outside their geographic location.

Success Strategies For Commercial Real Estate Investing

WINSTON ROWE AND ASSOCIATES REVIEW ON LINE

 

There are two different types of real estate investors: those that are speculative and take higher risks and those that are more conservative and desire safe, long-term investments.
While speculative investing can be fun and exciting, it can also result in financial ruin. It is necessary that speculative investors thoroughly analyze investments before committing to property purchases.

The most common formula used in commercial real estate investment properties is the capitalization rate. Otherwise simply known as CAP, this rate compares a property’s annual income, factoring in operating and vacancy expenses, and ultimately equates this in net operating income (NOIP) terms, comparing sales price ratios. The CAP rate does not reflect the individual investment’s return percentage, but if no financing is involved, the CAP rate will be relatively close in number.

The CAP rate can be found by dividing the NOI by the price or value of the property. This number is expressed as a percentage. Many banking institutions and hard money lenders focus on the CAP rate when lending money to investors.

If a property investment has long-term tenants, lengthy leases and limited commitment for landlords (low building maintenance costs and repairs), then it may be sufficient for an investor to accept a lower CAP rate. If a property, however, has unstable tenants and a volatile local real estate market, a higher CAP rate is reflected. A higher CAP rate reflects a higher investor risk.

There are five factors that define good commercial real estate investments.

Income – Commercial properties produce income. Stockholders only see income when stocks are sold; however, real estate investors receive income through rent payments.

Capital Appreciation – This financial concept revolves around if rent prices increase, then property values by default also increase.

Leverage – With nearly 70- to 80-percent of commercial property funding in the form of mortgages, investors are able to free up other capital for additional investments.

Security – While stocks are based on the simple price-to-earning concept, real estate is based strictly on demand.

Diversity – Commercial properties often house diverse tenants, ranging from grocery stores, clothing vendors, restaurants and gift shops to retail businesses. This allows landlords to diverse their holdings, not putting all of their eggs in a single basket.

Review of Winston Rowe and Associates Commercial Real Estate Financing

Free Book Review

Announcing , The Free eBook Commercial Real Estate Finance published by Winston Rowe & Associates  discusses the fundamentals of the different types of commercial property, the various options that are included with properties and the capabilities that you will have as a commercial property investor.

It will enable you to make the right decisions when it comes to commercial properties. After you have read this book, you will be able to successfully choose a commercial property for your real estate business.

This book will help you to figure out everything that has to do with commercial properties. Also included with this book are different ideas on what you can do to make sure that you are getting the best financing possible. You will be able to truly enjoy the opportunities that come along with financing and with the different options that you have.

It’s loaded with all the check lists you’ll need to conduct your due diligence to avoid a bad investment. There are detailed descriptions of the various types of capital sources and how to prepare and submit your financing proposal.

You will need to make sure that you can secure financing but it is not a cut and dry experience for everyone. The tips that are included with this book will give you the best chance at getting financing.

 

 

How to Become a Success in Real Estate

How to Become a Success in Real Estate

Create a Strong Real Estate Team:

Though it is possible to have some success in real estate as a one-person business, you’ll eventually need to build a team around yourself in order to scale up.

Your team of people can include direct employees to find and negotiate property sales for you, as well as well-liked contractors to handle repairs on the properties you acquire.

By surrounding yourself with talented and driven people, you will be able to focus in on only the most important aspects of your real estate investment business.

Balance Flipping and Rental Properties:

In real estate investment, there are two basic ways to make money.

The first is to realize a large sum by buying a property, improving it in some way and then reselling it for a higher price.

The second method is to create a flow of passive income by acquiring and then renting out properties.

Though both of these are great ways to make money in real estate, truly successful investors typically include both in their businesses. By flipping and renting at the same time, you will be able to create a more stable financial situation for yourself and your business.

Commercial Insurance Options That Apartment Owners Should Consider

WINSTON ROWE & ASSOCIATES REVIEWS

Having the right knowledge and some basic management skills are essential, but even seasoned landlords might be missing out on some crucial coverage.

You can minimize some of the risk by requiring your tenants to carry renter’s insurance; however the bulk of the insurance side of things is squarely on your shoulders.

Winston Rowe & Associates, a national advisory firm that structures apartment and multi-family financing solutions nationwide.

Commercial Loan Due Diligence Review

REVIEW WINSTON ROWE & ASSOCIATES

Winston Rowe & Associates utilizes a best efforts approach to perform the necessary due diligence for their clients, pursuant to our executed Letter of Interest.

Overview:

Winston Rowe & Associates initial due diligence is a client driven process. It’s important that requested supporting documents be submitted in a timely manner.

Prospective Client’s must request a transaction summary, from Winston Rowe & Associates that must be submitted via email in a MS Word format for Winston Rowe & Associates to consider you as a client.

Incomplete transaction summary documents will not be processed.

It’s important to note that if you are a broker, consultant or intermediary submitting a transaction, that it includes the prospective clients contact information.

Without it, Winston Rowe & Associates will not process your transaction.

Upon acceptance of the transaction summary, the ensuing steps are an overview of the process.  Please note; private equity transactions require different engagement and due diligence procedures.

Step 1 Transaction Summary:

Upon receipt of the transaction summary, it will be reviewed by Winston Rowe & Associates. If the proposed transaction appears to meet Winston Rowe & Associates pre-determined capital source(s) lending criteria it will be submitted for review.

Step 2 Processing & Due Diligence:

If there is an interest from the pre-determined capital source, Winston Rowe & Associates will schedule a conference call and then provide to the prospective client a list of supporting documentation needed to begin the initial processing and due diligence to prepare the proposed transaction for underwriting.

The initial due diligence will include the collecting and analyzing the supporting documentation pursuant to the transaction.

Winston Rowe & Associates utilizes a global approach during the initial due diligence. This approach includes the review of all business and personal financial documents.

If it is found that there is a material misrepresentation of the transaction by the client’s representative or the client. The transaction will be terminated.

Step 3 Submissions For Underwriting:

Once Winston Rowe & Associates completes the initial due diligence of the proposed transaction it will be submitted to the pre-determined capital source for underwriting.

During the underwriting phase of the the proposed transaction. Winston Rowe & Associates may require additional supporting documentation.

Upon completion of underwriting the pre-determined capital sources will issue general terms and conditions defined within a Letter of Interest or conditional Commitment Documents.

Step 4 Commitment Documents, Reports & Loan Closing:

The client will be placed in direct contact with the capital source to finalize the transaction.

Once the proposed transaction has completed underwriting; property reports are then ordered.

These reports are paid for directly prior to funding by the prospective client which include; appraisals, surveys and studies. Report types vary according to real estate type.

When the necessary property reports are completed. The title work is ordered and a closing is scheduled.

Seniors Housing Investors Work to Grow Portfolios as Occupancies and Rents Continue to Rise

WINSTRON ROWE & ASSOCIATES

The 2012 sales volume of seniors housing properties will fall well short of matching the near record level of activity that was reached last year. But, that decline in transaction volume is by no means indicative of waning investor interest.

Exclusive results of a fourth quarter survey conducted jointly by NREI and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.–based Senior Housing Investment Advisors Inc. (SHIA) show that seniors housing pros remain optimistic about improving fundamentals and continued activity across all segments of the industry, including acquisitions, construction and financing. Just more than three-fourths of investors (76 percent) expect construction on new projects to increase during the next six months, while 65 percent of respondents expect that investment activity will grow. In addition, more than half of respondents (58 percent) anticipate that financing will be more available during the next six months

“The fundamentals and performance in this sector are compelling. Capital continues to aggressively seek out opportunities, and that will continue in 2013,” says Mel Gamzon, president of SHIA, a national real estate advisory firm that specializes in seniors housing transactions.

In considering the outlook for seniors housing, respondents believe the industry is in a slow recovery phase. Most expect new construction, available financing and acquisitions volume to increase somewhat in the next six months. The outlook has been generally consistent from respondents compared with two previous surveys.

Real estate transaction activity in the past year has been consistent, but not as robust as 2011. During the first three quarters of 2012, sales volume of seniors housing and nursing care facilities topped $5.2 billion, which is a fraction of the roughly $27.4 billion that occurred in all of 2011, according to New York–based real estate research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Sales velocity dipped in 2012 primarily because there have been fewer large portfolio transactions this year after a big year for portfolio deals in 2011 when REITs in particular were active buyers. Portfolio sales alone accounted for about $11.5 billion in investment volume in 2011, according to RCA. “2011 was so massive because of the REIT acquisitions. It was very difficult to keep pace with that level of transaction volume,” says Gamzon. “What we now have is a more normalized market dynamic for real estate transactions in this industry.”

The seniors housing sector continues to shed the lingering effects of the slow economic recovery and the slumping single-family housing market. The majority of respondents (88 percent) said that the state of the U.S. economy has had a negative effect on seniors housing occupancies in the past year, while 66 percent also believe the state of the U.S. housing market has produced a negative effect on occupancies.

That being said, occupancy levels continue to trend higher as the sector recovers. Overall, the average occupancy rate for seniors housing properties in the third quarter of 2012 was 88.8 percent, which is an increase of 0.8 percent from a year earlier, according to NIC MAP, a data analysis service of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC). The seniors housing average occupancy rate has risen consistently during the past 10 quarters and is 1.8 percent above its cyclical low of 87 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Year-over-year rental rates also grew at a rate of 2.2 percent, according to NIC.

Survey respondents are reporting even stronger performance with occupancy levels that average 91 percent. Among those respondents who own and/or operate seniors housing properties, the majority (54 percent) own fewer than 600 units.

Respondents also are optimistic that occupancies will continue to rise. About half of respondents (53 percent) expect occupancy levels within their seniors housing properties to increase over the next six months [Figure 2]. Those that do predict a further increase in the coming six months expect occupancies to rise an average of 74 basis points.

Just more than half of respondents expect that occupancy will increase at seniors housing properties in the next six months. That sentiment is slightly more optimistic than the first quarter, when only 43 percent of respondents expected a rise.

“The fundamentals, the demographics and the lack of new supply are all creating opportunities for us to invest in a sector that we view as having very favorable growth over the next several years,” says David Hegarty, president and COO at Newton, Mass.–based Senior Housing Properties Trust. The firm expects to close on about $230 million in seniors housing aquisitions.

REITs dominate buying

REITs such as Chicago-based Ventas Inc. have been exhibiting a voracious appetite for seniors housing properties. The REIT is currently the largest owner of seniors housing properties in the United States. Year-to-date through October, Ventas has invested roughly $1.7 billion in acquisitions primarily in seniors housing properties and medical office buildings. Although that is a fraction of the more than $11 billion the firm invested in 2011, it still represents a significant outlay for the firm.

“We have been very strategic and focused about diversifying our business,” says Lori Wittman, vice president of capital markets at Ventas. The REIT has been rapidly growing its portfolio of both seniors housing and medical office properties with an emphasis on increasing its private pay business and improving its balance sheet. For example, Ventas announced in April that it would acquire 16 private pay seniors living communities totaling 1,274 units from Sunrise Senior Living Inc.

When looking at the various sectors, respondents said that the greatest growth in demand will take place in the independent living/assisted living segment followed by memory care. In contrast, no respondents expect the skilled nursing sector to grow in the next six months.

“Of late, we have bought mostly independent living,” agrees Hegarty. “Independent living was the sector that was impacted the most by the downturn in the economy. So, as things started to improve, they are rebounding the most,” he adds.

 

Although both independent living properties and assisted living properties are averaging occupancies of 88.8 percent in the third quarter, the average occupancy rate for independent living is now 2.0 percentage points above its cyclical low, while occupancy in assisted living is 1.7 percentage points above its respective cyclical low, according to NIC.

Competition among the REITs to capture portfolios with top quality assets is putting some pressure on pricing. However, cap rates in the broader seniors housing industry have remained relatively stable over the past year.

Financing gap improves

Although access to capital is continuing to improve, the market remains bifurcated. REITS have good liquidity and access to capital in the public markets, as well as open lines of credit. At the same time, other buyers can get financing, but it is not as easily accessible as it is for the public players.

This is an issue because deals require a significant equity commitment, which can be a deterrent even to institutional buyers. Smaller private buyers typically have to rely on obtaining financing through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or HUD, which can take time and also has its restrictions. For example, Fannie and Freddie won’t allow a second loan to be put on the same property. That rules out a lot of potential bidders. “I think people are trying to figure out ways to play in this space, but just because of all of those factors involved, it limits the number of real bidders out there,” Hegarty says.

That being said, banks are selectively providing financing. Capital markets have been bolstered by solid fundamentals within the seniors housing market. As a result, investors have access to multiple sources of capital. When asked what types of debt financing respondents are considering for acquisitions and new construction, more than half of respondents, 55 percent, said they are considering local/regional banks for debt financing. Respondents also are exploring a variety of options with top picks including national banks (40 percent); HUD (39 percent); and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (31 percent).

Another bright spot in the financing sector is a booming refi business. The ability to refinance through the GSEs and HUD at extremely low interest rates is driving a significant level of lending activity. For example, Cleveland-based KeyBank has placed $1.4 billion in the seniors housing market year-to-date through September, either in direct lending or through participation in providing financing through syndicated deals and agency financing with the GSEs and HUD. About one-third of KeyBank’s total volume, $500 million, has involved property refinancing through the GSEs.

HUD, Fannie and Freddie are offering fixed-rate loans at 3.5 percent and lower for terms that range from five to up to 35 years in the case of HUD. “It is very attractive for owner-operators to lock in to those long-term rates. So you see a lot of folks capitalizing on this low rate environment,” says Michael Lugli, executive vice president and national manager of the KeyBank Real Estate Capital Healthcare team.

 

 

Spikes in renovation

Renovation and repositioning of older properties is expected to gain traction in the coming year. Competition among newer class-A properties is forcing some buyers to look at viable options among class-B and even class-C properties. Owners also are looking for ways to boost yields by renovating under-performing seniors facilities or enhancing program services.

As the costs to develop new seniors housing facilities increase, 64 percent expect that the acquisition, renovation and repositioning of older projects will become increasingly attractive to investors and operations. Twenty-one percent of respondents did not expect renovation to become any more attractive, while 15 percent of respondents said they were unsure

SHIA is currently marketing a portfolio in the western United States that offers significant upside for a buyer that is willing to convert the existing independent living facilities to assisted living and partial memory care. “Investors are chomping at the bit to acquire those types of assets that can be acquired based on current operating performance,” says Gamzon.

Development is beginning to return, albeit on a very selective basis. More than half of respondents (61 percent) have new construction ventures planned in the next six months, which is up from the 51 percent that were reportedly planning new seniors housing properties in the first quarter survey. The largest percentage of respondents (41 percent) is planning independent living/assisted living projects. A variety of other projects are in the works, including memory care (30 percent); age restricted communities (13 percent); skilled nursing (9 percent); and CCRC at 9 percent.

“There is demand for new properties, and you are starting to see an increase in construction as banks are more willing to look at doing that financing,” says Lugli. As the market has recovered and occupancies have improved, owners also are more confident and more willing to commit their own equity to projects, he adds.

For those seeking construction financing, experience remains a key component. An overwhelming majority of respondents (88 percent) rated having an experienced management team as a high priority (rated four or five on a five-point scale), while 86 percent also rates having an established track record as a developer as an important factor when seeking construction financing.

Respondents believe that acquiring, renovating and repositioning older properties will be increasingly attractive to investors and operators.

Whether it is renovation or new construction respondents do expect the industry to focus on providing more affordable options. “There is very little targeting what the lower middle class can afford,” says Hegarty. “I think there is an opportunity out there for people who can build properties that can attract that niche.” Half of respondents expect the industry to focus more attention on investor opportunities in the affordability marketplace, while 26 percent did not think that was the case and 24 percent were not sure.

What’s ahead for 2013?

Although investment sales in the broader market declined in 2012, there is still an abundant supply of for-sale properties on the market. “We have unbelievably strong fundamentals between demographics and policy shifts and a consolidating industry—all things that are really a strong base of growth for the future of the industry,” says Ventas’ Wittman.

Demand for seniors housing properties remains high, which will encourage some owners that have been on the fence to put their properties on the market. Both U.S. and foreign investors are continuing to focus on seniors housing properties as a viable need-based real estate investment platform. In addition, investors are seriously looking at not just core assets but value-add opportunities where repositioning of existing facilities programmatically will represent a major trend for the business over the coming six months.

Ultimately, seniors housing tends to be a more defensive, needs-based real estate sector that will continue to perform well amid slower economic growth. “The overall improvement of the economy will enhance this business,” says Gamzon. “If there is a dip in the economy, this sector is not recession proof, but it is recession resistant. We have seen this over the past five years as compared to other real estate sectors.”