Archive for Portland real estate

Press Release – Portland Real Estate Investment Veteran Teaches “Marketing without Money”

PORTLAND, OR — local, veteran real estate investor/mentor teams up with international speaker/consultant for one-time only, free webinar on September 5th, to teach Portland real estate investment entrepreneurs how to find sellers before they list, without spending a dime.

Portland real estate investor John Sheldon has participated in the dramatic rise, precipitous fall, and slow recovery of the Portland real estate investment market since 2001.

Even though he has personally made money on nearly every one of over 200 transactions, he watched over the past four years as the metaphorical ground crumbled beneath the feet of hundreds of investors and in cases, devastated their financial lives.

He decided to do something about it.

In early 2012, Sheldon created How to Invest in Real Estate Portland, a free real estate investment group and joint venture partnering club. The group educates and empowers new and experienced Portland real estate investors to succeed in the new real estate market, with its fluctuating values, shifting economics, and rapidly changing marketing practices.

“I love to teach people to safely profit and to avoid problems,” states Sheldon. “That’s why it’s been so rewarding for me to hold these webinars. I’ve gotten tremendous feedback from members and mentoring partners. They’ve told me they’ve discovered new confidence and made or saved thousands because of advice I’ve shared.

“But one of the biggest problems I’ve heard,” continues Sheldon, “is the lack of funds to carry on effective marketing. I’ve regularly spent thousands of dollars per month in direct marketing, but not many investors have that capability.

“So, I went in search of the best local resource I could find to help investors find low or no-cost methods of marketing. I found exactly what I was looking for in Jerry Fletcher.”

Jerry Fletcher of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. is a business development expert. He founded his consulting and speaking agency in 1990 when he left his position as CEO of a successful Portland advertising agency.

A professional speaker for 17 years, Fletcher is also a Certified Professional Consultant and prolific author, with three books, seven audio programs and four video programs.

Fletcher has birthed high-tech companies in garages, counseled boards of directors and worked with successful companies in conference rooms and kitchens.

Known also as “The Networking Ninja”, he has helped business people from companies small and large across America to discover new ways to build trust and mutually profitable business relationships.

Together in this one-time, free event, Sheldon and Fletcher will explore and reveal concepts of zero-cost marketing that will empower real estate entrepreneurs to:

  • Get to home owners before they list
  • Stay top of mind with neighborhood authorities
  • Make sure everyone they know is working to bring them profitable properties

“Real estate investing injects new cash and life into local communities, helps sellers, and keeps Portland great,” emphasizes Sheldon. “This live webinar event will remove the biggest obstacle many investors face today. We invite any Portland real estate investment entrepreneur facing these issues to attend.”

Webinar Details:
“Marketing without Money for Portland Real Estate Investors”
Wednesday, September 5th, 7pm – 8pm
Register for this and all upcoming free webinars at

Portland Real Estate Investing: Power of Know, Like & Trust

Wow, I had some great interaction directly with a seller that I feel is important to share with others involved in Portland real estate investing.

[dropcap color=”color-default” font=”arial” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-3em”]1[/dropcap]st  I got a call from Bill, who was referred to me by a friend. Bill is somewhat of a motivated seller. When I first talked to him over the phone, he started telling me of a rental that he owns not too far from Intel campuses in Hillsboro. He’s in the process of evicting the tenant.  

He starts telling me that he owes about $85k on a place that is worth no more than $120k.  Not too exciting, as his $1100 monthly rent, does not provide any true cash-flow above his $800 monthly payments, taxes and insurance. We only talked 2-3 minutes real estate at all.  I began asking him general questions, that got Bill talking about things in his life that have nothing to do with his rental or real estate at all for that matter.  

By the end of the 20 minute phone call I knew all sorts about his life.  He was traveling the following week to Vancouver BC and Seattle area to help with a civic-service organization that he has been active in for 38 years.  I specifically probed further in this area, as I could sense it was his true passion and this lead him to open up to me.

This made it very simple to find out more about his life, finances etc. He retired about 10 years ago.  His daughter took over the business that he owned in Tualatin that still occupies a building that he owns free and clear.  As tenant in his commercial building, Bill’s daughter pays him a nice monthly income that affords him to live very comfortably.  He owns his home free and clear. AND… next door to the rental we spoke of originally, he owns another identical rental, [highlighter color=”blue-vibrant” ]except this one is free & clear.[/highlighter]  

After setting the stage above, it was very simple for us to plan a face to face meeting after he returned from his trip.

[dropcap color=”color-default” font=”arial” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-3em”]2[/dropcap]nd We met at a Sherry’s restaurant last Friday for more of the same.  

This meeting was not to analyze the opportunity.  This meeting was to further my relationship with Bill.  We scheduled 45 minutes for this meeting.  A full 40 minutes of this meeting was filled with Bill talking further about his life, lead by a few key questions by me. This is not rocket science once you get the correct mindset.  So Bill continued more about his civic-service organization, his wife, all 3 of his adult children, his grandkids and more.  

With 5 minutes left in our scheduled meeting, I decided that we should talk a little about the properties.  As I did that, he started asking me about my kids, that’s how comfortable and in-the-flow Bill was feeling at this point.  We went about 5 minutes overtime, as I reviewed my original notes about the property with Bill and added to notes and understanding about the two properties.

I told him that I would do a drive-by of the properties and get back to him this week to talk further.

People tend to do business with those people that they know, like and trust. This is true in Portland real estate investing as in most any transaction.

One of the most famous and certainly simple books to read on this subject is “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.  This is a must read for everyone and I highly suggest it to all.  Even if you have read it a few years back, read it again and review it often.  It is great input not just for business, but for life in general.

[divider type=”dots” width=”small” align=”aligncenter” clear=”clearboth”]

Whether or not I end up doing business with Bill, this is already a successful relationship for me. I have further expanded my sphere of influence, as I suggest is the premier form of marketing in creative real estate.

Regarding the Properties 

My initial thoughts are to help him unload the leveraged property by selling it to me at about what he owes so that I can break even or hooking up with a realtor to sell it retail.

THE KEY is that I will help him get rid of the leveraged property, so that I can then purchase his free & clear one with seller financing that provides a clear positive cash flow. 

[box color=”blue-vibrant” type=”round” icon=”star”]I may then wholesale this property, clearing $7,500 from another local investor who is looking for this type of Portland real estate investment.[/box]

Any questions?

To Your Success!


Portland Real Estate Investing: Power of Know, Like & Trust

Portland Foreclosures – Wednesday Update 02/08/2012

Portland foreclosures - sign in yard showing bank sale

Image via Flickr

In this edition of Portland foreclosures, we’ll learn about Oregon’s proactive approach to help protect homeowners’ rights as foreclosures continue to climb. We’ll also see how MERS, an electronic mortgage tool is having an impact on foreclosure and property values. Next, we will learn about Oregon’s healthcare plans, and we will wrap up with the Trail Blazers.

2 Senate bills would regulate foreclosures – The Register-Guard

2 Senate bills would regulate foreclosures The Register-Guard After an early morning committee hearing on two foreclosure-related bills, Sen. Chip Shields, a Portland Democrat and committee chairman, signaled his intention to move the proposals to the …

Oregon foreclosure rate jumps, Portland’s declines – Portland Business Journal

Oregon foreclosure rate jumps, Portland’s declines Portland Business Journal The number of foreclosures in Oregon increased more than 6 percent in November, according to CoreLogic. The latest foreclosure news from CoreLogic was mixed, with Oregon forec …

MERS “Foreclosure Proof” Homes on Fox News Insider for more info! Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERSCORP) In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit…

 Report: Foreclosures keep Portland-area home prices down


Portland-area home sale prices in December were 2.4 percent lower than a year earlier, and they were 3.4 percent lower in November than the prior November, according to CoreLogic, a Santa Ana, Calif., real estate

New Coalition to Advocate for Universal Health Care in Oregon

From – Oregon’s current health care system is neither humane nor cost-effective. (PORTLAND, Ore.) – Delegates from 28 unions, nonprofits.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game preview –

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game preview Sixth Man James Harden has scored 20 or more points seven times off the bench and leads NBA reserves in scoring average (16.6 points per game). About the Blazers: Portland, th …

As real estate market values continue dropping, Portland foreclosures are gaining popularity with savvy investors. It is very important to work with established professionals in order to study all available investment options. To learn more about investing in Portland foreclosures call (503)539-9094 or visit How to Invest in Real Estate  

Portland Foreclosures

Marketing Makeover for Maximum Real Estate Money

Marketing Makeover for Maximum Money

Effective Marketing Can Multiply Your Return On Investment

There have been a few times in my real estate investing career where it seemed as though out of nowhere, the referral/networking lead funnel just dried up. Disappeared. I wasn’t doing deals for months at a time. A month or two I just consider a vacation. Four months starts to make me nervous.

What saved my bacon each of those times was one word: marketing. In my free video “Seven Biggest Mistakes in Portland Real Estate Investing” we covered some important aspects of how marketing can improve your results. What I want to talk about with you here are three specific strategies and tactics you can use to make the marketing you use work better for you, to generate a higher quantity of quality, profitable deals.

Three Marketing Optimization techniques are:

  1. Define your difference
  2. Know your prospect
  3. Target your marketing message

Define Your Difference

It’s not nearly as crowded as it was back in the early 2000’s, but there are still a lot of us investors working in Portland. Don’t be surprised to find that the prospect you’re visiting with has just met with someone you know (or don’t know), or has plans to, very soon. When we’re faced with a lot of competition, it becomes exceedingly important to define our unique proposition. What we do or who we are that is different, memorable, and hopefully important to our seller.

As much as you might hear otherwise, very few people always sell for the highest price or always buy for the lowest price. Relationship, perceived value, experience, convenience, reputation and more can all play immensely important roles in determining whom the seller ultimately decides to do business with. So determine what’s different about you and make sure you communicate it in your branding and messaging.

Know Your Prospect

Everyone has their unique situation and needs, and part of our job as investors is to uncover that and make sure our solution solves their problem. That being said, different types of deals are best suited for people in certain categories. For example, offers to buy a property and pay for it over time are often best directed at seniors who are less concerned with buying another house and more concerned with the shrinking ability of their social security checks to pay their bills and long-term care needs.

So think about the type of investing model you’d like to specialize in. Consider the way it works, or the problems it solves. Think about what type of people as a class might have those types of problems most often or most urgently. And then get to understand them better. Research and learn more about their beliefs, values, and habits. Determine what prompts them to take action and feel good about it. In so doing, you will be better poised to focus on their benefit, which allows you to make a more powerful, convincing, helpful offer.

Target Your Marketing Message

In the free video I talk about how you want to fish where the fish are. At the risk of being redundant, I want to bring this up again, because it’s so important. If you are trying to sell water to people who live on a freshwater lake, you’re likely to have less success than selling that same water to people who live in a desert with no well. Target your message to those who are interested.

So you’ve identified your business model and know who is likely to need and want what you have to offer. Focus your financial resources on making sure as many of those people as possible get your marketing message. On the other hand, you want as few people as possible who don’t fit those criteria to get your message. It will reduce your costs, reduce complaints (from people who shouldn’t have gotten your marketing in the first place), and increase return on investment of your marketing dollar. And when you get more bang from your marketing buck, it empowers you to market to those people again and again. Over time, they become aware of you, become familiar with you, and eventually become comfortable to do business with you.

Of course there are many more steps to creating effective, profitable real estate investing marketing. There are whole four-year graduate degrees just focused on this stuff. The reality is that many people, even when they understand the importance of marketing, are not capable of effectively executing. This is one of the reasons we created our email marketing campaign, where we partner with qualified investors or would-be investors and actually do the marketing for them, communicating with their email database in a way that builds relationship and credibility and attracts deal referrals like a 10-pound magnet attracts paper clips. If you’re interested in learning more about how to invest in real estate Portland-style using effective marketing, you can give us a call at (503)539-9094 or visit our website.

No matter how you get it done, effective marketing added to your mix of consistent real estate investing behaviors will give you greater consistency and quality of deal flow. Effective real estate investing marketing will certify your income and substantiate your dreams of wealth and success, and is worth 10x, even 100x, the time, money, and effort you will invest to incorporate it into your business. Take action and prosper.

Marketing Makeover for Maximum Real Estate Money

Working with Realtors – Real Incentive to Wreck Your Deals

Working with Realtors - Charlie Brown: Realtor Charlie (detail)

Working with Realtors

In my free video “Seven Biggest Mistakes in Portland Real Estate Investing” I talk about the double-edged sword of working with realtors, because of what you need from them vs. what you have to be careful of. In this article, I want to give you two insights you may not have considered about why many realtors are subtly encouraged to undermine your deal evaluations and suck profits out of your real estate investing business.

If You Look Good, You Feel Good

Many realtors consider themselves very special people. After all, in Portland tens of thousands of home buyers are working with realtors every year, seeking advice and guidance on the biggest purchase many will ever make in their lives. Like doctors, lawyers, and politicians, sometimes that authority goes to agents’ heads, and inflates their ego. Many even lose the sense of themselves as salespeople, and begin to think of themselves more as professional advisors, when in fact only the most sophisticated realtors know even the basics of what the average investor learns.

What that translates into is an unwillingness to do anything they perceive as “salesy,” including making “lowball” offers. Many of these realtors feel that it is more important to look good, like they’re bringing only big spenders, than it is to actually generate the multiple sales that are inevitable when dealing with an active investor. These realtors will tell you that they cannot or will not present your offers, though they are required to. They will tell you that the offer will be refused, with no knowledge of the seller or their requirements. They will often require you to raise your offer, and new or hesitant investors often will. Imagine shaving thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars of safety margin and profit from otherwise good deals because of working with realtors of this type.

I Make Money if You Lose Money

This is perhaps the most insidious element of working with realtors more focused on their success than true win/win transactions. As I mention in the video, realtors have no skin in the game. They’re not paying to be part of the transaction, and there’s no risk to them if the transaction fails. But it goes one step further.

The realtor is paid a percentage of the purchase price. The higher the price, the higher their commission. If they can encourage you to increase your sense of the value of a property to where you are willing to raise the purchase offer by $10,000, they will increase their income by $150 to $600. It may not seem like much incentive, but if they do that for 20 transactions in a year, that’s an extra $3,000 to $12,000 in their pockets. Even the most honest person is going to be tempted by that kind of self-driven raise, right?

However, their raise translates to an increase in your buying costs (if all 20 of those purchase transactions were with you) of $200,000 in that year. A good portion of that pure profit income that you gave up. That could be the difference between barely breaking even and living the lifestyle you and your family deserve. See how quickly that can add up?

How Can Working with Realtors Benefit You?

The good news is, not all realtors are cut from the same cloth. In fact, some realtors are, have been, will be, or have the mindset of, investors. They understand that investors can reinvigorate a local community, increase property values, bring new residents and new tax revenue, and give potential home buyers a chance at the great American Dream. They believe in you and what you do.

And they also realize that even though they may not make the maximum dollar from every transaction, they will do a lot more transactions with you than the typical buyer or seller who does a transaction every two to five years. This translates into less work pounding the pavement and looking for listings or trying to find buyers for the listings they’ve got sitting stagnant. Everybody wins.

So how can you find and start working with realtors of this variety? Ask around. Check with other local investors who are successfully working with those types of realtors. Look for them in local investors’ clubs. They’re there, and chances are, they won’t be hard to find. And when you find a good realtor who understands investing and is willing to support you, treat them as the true asset they are, and you will find that your business blossoms along with theirs, and you will make the money you want and create the lifestyle you dream. Take action and prosper.

Working with Realtors – Real Incentive to Wreck Your Deals

Negotiating on the Phone – Why We Try and Die

Negotiating on the Phone

Negotiating on the Phone Is A Bad Idea

Phone sales work. There is a very high-income niche of the stock brokerage industry in which the sales reps almost never meet their clients in person. Maybe you’ve even received a call from someone offering you a high quality recommendation and then asking if you’ve got $10K or $25K you’re ready to invest in that recommendation now.

So why doesn’t negotiating on the phone work in real estate investing? Why can’t you call a prospective seller in Portland and just qualify them and ask to buy their house on the phone?

Well, you can actually. But you just have to expect a very, very, very low success rate. Why? In my free video “Seven Biggest Mistakes in Portland Real Estate Investing” I talk about the pure power of communication lost negotiating on the phone. You can discover how improper use of the phone can dramatically reduce your ability to buy profitable real estate in the video there.

In addition to the lost power of communication, I recommend strongly against trying to hunt for property over the phone for three reasons I’m going to share with you now:

  • A higher level of distrust of “phone strangers”
  • The physical nature of real estate
  • The caller’s hidden reasons for attempting the transaction by phone

Mother Always Said to Never Talk to Phone Strangers

On the phone, it’s not like meeting a stranger in person.

Think about your typical reaction to a stranger calling you. Aren’t you immediately just a little cautious? Who are they? Why are they calling you? Especially if they’re calling you at home, in a very real if unconscious way, they’re an uninvited guest. Even if they’re calling regarding an ad you’ve placed in Craigslist, chances are at some level you’re trying to figure out if it’s okay for that person to come to your home … come into your home.

Now you’ve got a better sense of what your prospect is going through when you call them. They’re going to be suspicious and likely unwilling to give you all the details. After all, at this point in the game, you know a lot more about them than they do about you, and nobody likes to be at such a clear disadvantage.

The Hands-On Nature of Real Estate

The fact is, stocks are in a way made for phone sales. Very few people really understand money, and once money is stashed in a savings account, retirement fund, or portfolio, it’s all conceptual. That’s one of the reasons for the credit card crisis. People can’t see the money leaving their hands, so they tend to be less adept at handling it. So to have a voice without a face talking about concepts that barely mean anything to them is all sort of par for the course.

Exactly unlike that, real estate is very tangible. You can see it, touch it, smell it. So suddenly that faceless voice is not talking about some concept you barely understand and don’t connect with anyway. That voice is negotiating on the phone with you, trying to take your home. And if that voice is trying to take your home over the phone for half of what you think it’s worth, you’re going to get defensive. Maybe even angry. How could this possibly go well?

The very best way for that prospect to connect you to their home is to enter it as an invited guest. In my trainings we spend a lot of time on how you can create that effect, but basically, you want to begin the process of letting them get to know, like, and trust you on the phone, and then get the appointment. A fantastic resource I recommend often is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It’s a classic guide on helping people to know, like and trust you so they’re willing and even eager to do business.

The Investor’s Easy Out of Negotiating on the Phone

By far, I believe this is the real reason investors are not more successful by phone. It’s simply that the phone is a cover-up to shield the investor. In my own experience and in talking to other investors I’ve discovered that too often, we get on the phone and get pulled into the prospect’s world. We answer all the prospect’s questions, even when it’s not the right time and place, because it’s easy. We avoid rejection and get to seem like the expert. In reality, we’re giving them more and more ammunition to say “not interested.”

It’s ironic. In trying to avoid rejection, we create it.

And of course there’s the other part of this. Maybe you’ve been the one receiving a call from a telemarketer who seems totally and utterly confident and relaxed. It puts you at ease and makes you more likely to complete the call. On the other hand, you’ve probably received a bunch of calls where the caller sounded like a robot, or pushy, or uneasy. Chances are, you responded by being quick to get off the phone. Just like that, if you begin negotiating on the phone and your actual intent is to avoid getting with the prospect in person, they will hear it at some level, in your choice of words and how you speak, and they will deny you.

The Fix

I’m not going to tell you that it’s necessarily quick or easy, but there are a few steps you can take to become great on the phone:

  • Get clear that your purpose on the phone is to get a face-to-face appointment
  • Spend a little time getting to know them as a person and letting them get to know you as a person
  • Have or develop a script that you practice until you are comfortable with it, including your responses to inevitable questions that can derail the call
  • Be prepared to get on the phone and practice, practice, practice with real prospects to get good

The phone is a necessary and critical part of how to invest in real estate in Portland. If you are willing to avoid negotiating on the phone, get clear on your purpose and put in the time, your phone skills can give you a leg up over the competition and firmly establish your ability to create the income and lifestyle you desire and deserve. Take action and prosper.

Why We Try and Die Negotiating on the Phone

Deal Analysis: Profit Lessons from a Traffic Light

Deal Analysis: Profit Lessons from a Traffic Light

Deal Analysis Can Protect Profits

The biggest mistake I see novice investors make in Portland is that they do not do proper deal analysis, including profit planning and exit strategy assessment. That’s jargon for saying they take deals where there’s not enough money, or there’s no safety net in case their one way of getting out of the property goes sideways.

In my free video “Seven Biggest Mistakes in Portland Real Estate Investing” I go over a number of the different exit strategies.  I’m not going to add substantially to that now, but here is a quick list of property and exit strategies:

  • Property Strategies
    • Do nothing (sell “as is”)
    • Quick cosmetic improvements (“rehab”)
    • Major cosmetic and material improvements (“remodel”)
    • Reconfigure for additional bedrooms, bathrooms, or units to increase sale value or NOI (“net operating income”)
    • Raze improvements to the ground
    • Raze and rebuild on existing foundation (still considered in most jurisdictions to be a remodel)
    • Raze and rebuild entirely new
    • Subdivide lot into two or more legal lots
  • Exit Strategies (for land or land/improvements combination)
    • Sell retail through realtor
    • Sell retail FSBO (“For sale by owner”)
    • Sell wholetail (discount from retail value)
    • Sell wholesale (deep discount to allow for rehab or remodel costs and resale)
    • Sell on contract
    • Lease option (“Rent to own”)
    • Rent/lease

You can mix and match property and exit strategies to come up with an almost endless variety of ways to get out of a deal profitably. We consider dozens of scenarios in our weekly webinars.

What we’ll focus on here and now is a simple way to make sure you’re paying attention to effective deal analysis. It’s called the traffic light strategy.

I did not invent this, but I have used a version of it in my own investing for years. It’s a pretty simple system and it works just like a traffic light:

GREEN – You have at least THREE exit strategies that will all pay you your minimum five-figure paycheck. (By the way, YOUR minimum five-figure paycheck could be anywhere from $10,000 to $99,000. I personally recommend that my students and partners NOT use $10K as their figure.) GO! GO! GO!

YELLOW – You have TWO exit strategies that will pay your minimum paycheck. Proceed with caution.

RED – You have ONE exit strategy that will pay your minimum paycheck. DO NOT PROCEED.

If you keep this simple formula in mind, it will be very difficult for you to lose money on a deal. If you combine this with the other strategies you’ll learn on this site, in your emails, and in our membership club, you’ll be practically bulletproof. Won’t that be nice for a good night’s sleep? Do your proper deal analysis, make sure you’ve got multiple exit strategies take action, and prosper.

Deal Analysis: Profit Lessons from a Traffic Light