Years ago, when I was just a wee little newbie, there was a guy who belonged to my local REIA group who always wore a button to the meetings that said YAFTAX.

This fellow was one of the big dogs—owned lots of rentals, had been in the group forever, was on the board, all that intimidating stuff—but after a few months, I finally got up the nerve to ask him what YAFTAX was.

He smiled at me and said, “Say it out loud”. I said, “Yaf-tax. Ya-af-tax. Ohhhhhh. Ya have to ask”.

He went on to explain that he attributed his success largely to his willingness to ask for ANYTHING from a seller. A lower price, better financing, leave the furniture, whatever it took to make the deal work for him, whether or not he thought the seller would say yes.

That’s turned out to be one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned.

It’s so easy to “think for your seller” and assume that he won’t be interested in what you can do for him—especially when that seller has already told you that what works for him is something completely different. If you ask for what you need, he may very well say “No”. But if you don’t ask,

How to Write Marketing That Works


One of the most important aspects to a marketing campaign is to create a solid mail piece for your business: one that sellers will actually respond to.

Here are the key things to remember when you want to create effective messages:

  1. Don’t just explain what you do or what you’re offering;  “touch” your prospective seller with “the dream”, or “the solution” to their problem. You’ll want to touch the basic emotions and the needs of your seller within the body of your letter, whether that is fear, relief, greed, pride, or vanity.
  2. Keep it simple. The grammar doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect. You want to reach this person at their comfort level. Keep your letter relaxed, personal and conversational.
  3. Use simple language; don’t fill your letter with big words or technical words or “industry jargon” that your seller or your customer might not understand.
  4. Don’t make your letter hard on the prospect’s eyes: use paragraphs so that there is a specific break between thoughts and so that the letter just flows better and is more pleasing to the eye.
  5. Even though this is

The IRS’s Side Hustle Crackdown

Utah Real Estate Investors Association



“Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten.” - George Bramwell

Who doesn’t love extra cash? These days, a lot of people need to work more to make it. Call them hustles, gigs, second jobs, or part-time on the side… They all amount to additional employment for a few extra bucks. 

Extra bucks for Uncle Sam, too, in the form of taxes. The government wants those dollars – and sure isn’t shy about coming after them with new rules and new powers of enforcement.

Here’s how to protect yourself. 

New tax and reporting

Almost half of working Americans – some 70 million people – report having a side hustle; tens of millions more want to get one. Lots of extra cash flying around? Not really: A lot of respondents to a recent survey said they make only a couple hundred bucks a month from a side job. 

Too bad there are 12 months in the year. <

Can’t Get Anywhere in your Business? You May Be Suffering from Entrepreneurial ADD




The coffee shop is quiet for a change. The normal morning bustle has yielded to a lull, giving the baristas a chance to enjoy a break and catch up on some cleaning before the lunch rush.

I’m only partially aware of what’s going on around me because at the moment, I’m busy obsessing over my Ameritrade account. I’m WILLING the number to go up just a few more cents. The problem is it’s been going in the wrong direction for months.

My obsession is interrupted by my phone. It’s a call from a tenant living in one of my rentals who has a toilet that won’t stop running. She’s already told me twice and I keep forgetting about it.

With promises to stop by before the day is over, I barely hang up when I get another call, this time from an investor with a mobile home park deal that I’ve been putting off for weeks because I haven’t made time to look at the numbers and see if it’s a deal worth doing.

Meanwhile, my email pings to remind me of a wholesale deal I’ve been working on, and the seller is wondering when we’re going to close.

Just then, a commercial comes on the TV about the Read More...

4 Crucial Things “They” Never Tell You



An interesting thing happens when people become successful real estate investors: like any true convert, they start to want to proselytize. And one of the primary characteristics of any good missionary is the desire to emphasize the good and de-emphasize the downsides of one’s religion.

Have you ever noticed that most successful investors remember their early years in real estate as “not that hard”, or “scary, but doable”? Yet if you ask a new investor who’s in the midst of trying to find his first few deals, he’ll more than likely describe this time as “terrifying”, “overwhelming” or “nearly impossible”.

Remember, dear readers, that your mentors and colleagues are (for the most part) not deceiving you intentionally unless they’re trying to sell you something. It’s just that they want you to succeed as they’ve succeeded, and that, now that doing deals is second nature, they’ve honestly forgotten a lot of what it was like to struggle in the early years. You may have been guilty of this yourself: I know I’ve been. But unlike most of you, I have a forum from

Handling Private Lender Money: Don’t Take it Lightly


 Getting money from private lenders is surprisingly easy, once you understand how to find and talk to them, but there’s another very important aspect of private money that touches on legal issues that you need to know about. Let’s go over a few of the basics of how to handle private money right, once you get it:

1. Touching the Money.
2. Co-mingling funds.
3. When do the payments start and end?

1. Touching the Money

Sometimes when people hear the kind of interest I pay, they get so excited about loaning me money that they want to hand me a big check right on the spot. This is not the correct or legal way to handle the situation.

I know that some of you are so eager to launch this new phase of growing your business that you really want to grab that first check, but don’t do it.

Here is why: you have promised the lender that the money is secured by real estate. So, legally, you shouldn’t be in possession of unsecured money. Until there’s a deed ready to secure it against, don’t hold it, don’t put it in your bank account—don’t touch it at all. Read More...

The Clock is Ticking: Get a Marketing Strategy Now!



We all know that developing an effective marketing strategy is essential to getting any business off the ground, especially as we roll into this changing market.

Educating yourself and discovering how to locate and motivate potential sellers to contact you is a must in making your real estate business a success. You must be able to locate prospects who want to do business with you.

You must find the sellers who need to sell, not just want to sell their properties. This is essential to your success as a real estate investor in any market, but will also determine how your next 12-18 months look: will you get lots of good deals in this softer market, or waste the opportunity?

Know this: marketing is also a numbers game. The more leads that come in, the more opportunities you will have to make deals. You won’t buy every deal that comes your way, but when you develop a “marketing machine” that brings in quality leads, you will be able to pick and choose the deals you want to do.

Let’s talk about QUALITY leads. You cannot afford to waste your money-making time on unqualified leads! Using a shotgun approach such as signage, business cards or generic letters will b

You Don’t Need a Brand, You Need a Plan



I have 3 truths to share with you.

  1. You cannot compete with Big Brand Marketing
  2. You shouldn’t even try.
  3. You can do it better and see greater results for less effort (truly)

Stick around, this entire article centers around why your brand is NOT the first stop on the lead generation line, but, rather, what is.

If you follow this approach, known as lead generation marketing or direct response marketing, you will crush the big boys without a big marketing budget and flood your business with motivated sellers, qualified buyers, renters, and lenders without sacrificing your time and sanity.

Before we get into the how’s, I want you to understand, that marketing isn’t part of the business, marketing is the business.

The success of any business hinges on traffic and conversions. It’s true for every business, but it’s especially critical in real estate.

The only way to generate enough leads so that you have more deals than you can handle is through automation – unless

Drop Your Rock



One of the profound things in the real estate business—so profound that it takes DECADES to learn—is that you’re always a beginner. And the way that you handle your successive begginerhoods has a huge effect on how successful you become, and how quickly. I’ve been a beginner—like a full-on, I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing—at least 6 different times since I started in real estate. I was a beginner when I started buying properties.

I was a beginner again when I started wholesaling properties, and when I decided to buy apartment buildings, and when I decided to hire a staff and create systems for my business, and when I got serious about IRA investing. I’m, right this second, a beginner at AirBnB ownership.

My biggest mistake in 4 of the 6 beginnerhoods I just mentioned was the same: I let ego and overconfidence and introversion get in the way of my learning process. 

There’s a concept in Zen Buddhism called Shoshin, or “Beginner’s Mind”. It describes a state of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconception about the right way to approach a new idea or experience.  

I didn’t have that.

Instead, I was VERY interested—embarrassingly interested, in retrospect—in letting the people around me know that I knew a LOT. That I was SMART. That I was SUCCESSFUL. 

Yes, even before I’d done any deals on my own. An

“The Street” is Our Best Source of News



       The differences between what I’m SEEING as I research the data for our upcoming market update series and what I’m HEARING from buyers, sellers, and colleagues is kind of stunning.

       For instance, all the data I can find says that foreclosures are only back to their 2020 levels—but I’m seeing in my own seller calls and hearing from others that there’s been a HUGE increase in the number of sellers who are WAY more behind than we’ve seen in a decade, and who aren’t qualifying for modifications, and who in fact are sort of being abused by their lenders in the sense that when they ask for payoffs or reinstatement numbers, they’re not getting them.

       The data sources say that properties are selling faster than ever, but I’m hearing from retailers that the days on market (to an accepted offer) has doubled, and that the number of accepted offers that ‘fall out of escrow’ has increased a lot, and that properties that are priced too high don’t get offers anymore, and that smart retailers are being way more conservative in how they’re buying and how they’re pricing their finished deals.