Notes & Pictures from December’s Networking Event

Thank you to everyone who attended the second Unofficial BiggerPockets Boston Networking Event earlier this week and made it a great success!

For those who weren’t able to make it, we held a Q&A segment where attendees could ask the group any questions they had relating to:

  • Getting Started in Real Estate
  • Marketing to Motivated Sellers
  • Analyzing a Rehab Deal
  • Rehab Related Issues

 

The format was designed to be an open forum where anyone, regardless of their investment experience, could voice their suggestions and advice.  I’ve never been to an event with a Q&A segment so I was curious to see how it would play out.  Well, after a few minutes, it morphed into more of a brainstorming discussion where many people contributed and shared some great tips, ideas and suggestions.  This portion of the event lasted a little over an hour.  I think it helped to create more of a relaxed setting at the event which led to some great networking afterwards.

Thank you to my amazing wife, who jotted down some notes so that I could share everything we discussed with the readers of my blog.

If you are interested in attending a future event, send me an Email with your name to be added to the email list.

Here are the notes from the Q&A segment:

  • How do you best estimate the cost to remove an occupant from a property that you’re looking to buy?
    • 2 options: go through the eviction process or cash for keys.
    • MA tends to be tenant friendly, it can take up to 6 months to evict.
    • Municipal courts may be more landlord-friendly.
    • Attendees have paid squatters anywhere from $1k – $10k “cash for keys”.  Varies greatly due to many factors.
    • Be sure to have squatter sign paperwork to avoid them backing out or challenging the foreclosure lien.
    • Offer squatter “X” amount to be out by a certain date and reduce amount each day they are late.

 

  •  What type of marketing has been working best?
    • Direct Mail
      • Consistency is key.  Send out in large volumes and to a variety of lead lists (i.e., absentee owners, equity, tax lien, etc.).  Mix it up with yellow letters, typed letters, and postcards as they will appeal to different personalities.  Be sure to respond promptly to all leads.
      • Frequency of mailers will depend on the list.
        • Pre-foreclosure leads – send more often as there is an impending foreclosure in the next several months.
        • Absentees & equity leads – send about once a month.
      • Ensure you have a good lead list.  Specify as much as possible in order to meet your criteria: size and type of house, # of beds and baths, etc.
      • Set up a voicemail with detailed information to weed out “tire kickers” and ensure that only motivated sellers are leaving a message.
      • Leadsource.com, the MLS, & US Leads List are some of the sources to get s leads list
      • Example of equity lead criteria
        • 40%+ equity
        • living in home for 10+ years
        • 1,100+ living area
        • 3+ beds
        • cape, colonial, ranch style home

 

  • What metrics do you look at when analyzing Buy & Hold deals?
    • Cash flow – anywhere from $200 – $350/month per unit
    • ROI
    • Cash on Cash return
    • CAP Rate

 

  • What programs and or spreadsheets are used to estimate repair costs?
    • Biggerpockets.com has a file place with examples, although these will not necessarily be specific to the Greater Boston area.
    • Ask your contractors to write out cost for each line item.  Keep in mind labor costs are changing.
    • Subscribe to www.TheBostonInvestor.com to receive a spreadsheet that Justin created for his jobs.
    • Use MyLowes.com to keep track of all of your purchases for future estimates.  Walk through Lowes or Home Depot to get an idea of costs.
    • Look for big ticket items first: heating system, electrical, roof, etc.
    • Use a rough estimate for your initial offer and do a more detailed estimate once you have the property under contract.

 

  • Flood Zones
    • Flood zones are have changed and will continue to change in the near future
    • Because FEMA uses an aerial map, you may be able to override them with an elevation certificate.
    • Have your banker or insurance company check for flood zones.

 

And here are some pictures from the event:

 

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