Categories
Wholesaling

Collaborative Goldmines: 5 Real Estate Facebook Pages/Groups Wholesalers in Detroit Should Join

A Wholesaler and a homeowner agreeing on a deal

Do you feel stuck with your knowledge of real estate wholesaling? Are you having a hard time finding good deals? Perhaps you don’t feel like books and podcasts are giving you enough inside information?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions—then you’ve come to the right place. 

Sometimes, conventional tools aren’t enough to keep you informed or find the best deals. Sometimes, the only way you can learn what you need to know is through unconventional methods. 

For instance, social media provides a ton of information for you to grow as a wholesaler. With over 2.85 billion active users on Facebook, there are thousands of groups on the platform that bring wholesalers together, so everybody can learn and discover insights that only the locals know.

If you’re a real estate wholesaler in the City of Detroit, MI, here are some of the best Facebook groups you can join to expand your knowledge and grow as a successful investor in this day and age.

Facebook Groups, Your Portal to Expert Real Estate Wholesaling

With a user base that rivals large countries, it’s not hard to find wholesalers you can learn from. The site hosts an array of groups that talk about any topic under the sun—including the niche investment route called real estate wholesaling. 

If you want to find local deals or ask for advice in navigating the Detroit market, these are the groups you should join to expand your network:

1. Metro Detroit Real Estate Investors Group – 12.7k Members

The Metro Detroit Real Estate Investors Group is just what it says—a group for real estate investors in the Metro Detroit area. The group was created as an extension of the monthly meet-up its members continue to have.

By joining the group, you open yourself to a community that knows the local wholesaling scene in the entire Metro Detroit area. You can reach out to them about local inspectors that offer great prices, where the best neighborhoods are for wholesaling, or even get connected to interested buyers.

And don’t worry, the group members are friendly and welcoming to newcomers. They even encourage people to share their wholesaling accomplishments. Generally, the group is a friendly place where wholesalers from all walks of life and level of experience are welcome to participate.

The only requirement for joining is for you to be a resident or have connections to the Metro Detroit area. So, what are you waiting for? Join the Metro Detroit Real Estate Investors Group! 

How To Join:

Since this is a private group, you do have to do a few steps, but thankfully they’re quite easy. Simply answer the membership questions and agree to follow the rules. Then you’ll be approved within a few days.

2. Michigan Wholesale Real Estate – 35.4k Members

Are you looking for some off-market deals in the City of Detroit? Then the Michigan Wholesale Real Estate Facebook group is the goldmine of your dreams.

This group works more like a buy and sell group. Members will post property they have for sale and look for willing wholesalers or motivated buyers. They usually post off-market deals that you won’t find on the multiple listing service (MLS) or Zillow. That means it’ll expand your pool of options, giving you access to deals that you otherwise won’t even get to know. 

If browsing online and driving around town proves to be unsuccessful, join Michigan Wholesale Real Estate to get insider information and grab some off-market deals.

How To Join:

This one is a public group, so you can simply click join and you’re in! 

3. Wholesale Real Estate Investor Network – 26.3k Members

If you’re looking to network and build your buyers list, then consider joining the Wholesale Real Estate Investor Network, where you can do all that and more. While it’s focused on the Detroit area, that doesn’t stop you from learning from experienced wholesalers from different areas

The main goal of this group is to help its members find success in real estate investing, primarily through hosting off-market deals. For example, the latest posts on the group are offers for properties ready for assignment contracts. Scroll a bit more and you’ll find other posts from buyers looking for potential properties to buy, too.

If you’re ever in need of a new assignment contract or you’re looking for a potential buyer, a visit to the Wholesale Real Estate Investor Network might be the ticket you need. 

How To Join:

This one is also a public group, so you can just click join and that’s it. 

4. Real Estate Wholesale Investors Hub – 21.9k Members

In case you ever need some advice or want the latest wholesaling tips, you should join the Real Estate Wholesale Investors Hub. While the group doesn’t focus on the Metro Detroit area, you can join this group to expand your knowledge beyond your local area. 

Many of the posts consist of people asking for and offering advice to members. That means it’s a great place for new wholesalers who want to learn about wholesaling and start networking. So, you’ll never find yourself at a loss when it comes to wholesaling.

If you’re even in need of extra wholesaling advice, visit Real Estate Wholesale Investors Hub and you’ll find tons of advice.

How To Join:

Yet again, this one is a public group, so you can click join and you’re all set.

5. Renegade Detroit Investment Real Estate Club – 3.2k Members

Lastly, if you ever wanted to join a group of like-minded real estate hot-shots, well the Renegade Detroit Investment Real Estate Club (RDI) is the perfect place. The group hosts monthly meetings where members can network with one another. Together, they share stories and give each other helpful real estate investment tips for wholesaling in the Detroit area. 

If you’re a fan of podcasts, you’ll feel at home at the RDI. The group’s founder, Jeremy Burgess, is a local podcast host. And hey, if you ever have any interesting anecdotes about wholesaling—who knows, you might be the next guest on the RDI podcast! 

How To Join:

This one is a page, so you don’t need to join it as a group. Instead, just “like” the page and you’re ready to go. Soon, you’ll get the latest scoop on all things about real estate wholesaling. 

Improve Your Wholesale Deals Through Facebook

It can be a challenge to learn about real estate wholesaling through conventional means. Books and podcasts inevitably become outdated over time. Not to mention most of them aren’t specific to the City of Detroit—which means you won’t get much insider information.

But through Facebook groups, you can find prime off-market leads in the City of Detroit, get access to information that only the locals know, learn from others who’ve already experienced the worst, and talk with successful wholesalers for the best advice. 

Join the groups we’ve listed above and start to get answers to all your burning questions!

Do you have other Facebook groups to recommend? Leave a comment below so others can join as well!

Categories
Flipping

Top 5 Youtube Channels to Learn About House Flipping

The Youtube Logo on a mobile phone

Getting better at house flipping can be an essential tool for becoming a successful flipper. Gathering info from books and other resources helps expand your knowledge in the flipping game. Plus, learning from experienced flippers can give you a huge leg up against competing flippers. 

But, you don’t have to limit yourself to books. These days, Youtube is a great learning tool. In fact, 7 in 10 Youtube users use the platform to learn. And it goes without saying, that you can gain a wealth of real estate tips from Youtube. 

To help you get an upper hand in the house flipping game, we’ve collected 5 of the best Youtube channels to learn from. 

5 Best House Flipping Youtubers

If you’re tired of reading books on real estate, well then Youtube is a great resource for getting the latest and greatest tricks in the house flipping business. But, you don’t want to just learn from some random Joe Schmo. You want to learn from someone with a wealth of experience. 

That being the case, we’ve sifted through Youtube’s content library to find the best house flipping channels. 

  1. Lex Levinrad 

Joining the platform in 2008, Lex Levinrad is a veteran of the Youtube landscape. Not only that, but he’s also a veteran of the flipping game. According to Lex, he’s flipped over 1000 houses throughout his flipping career. Currently, he has 17 thousand subscribers and has a total of over 2 million channel views. 

The Lex Levinrad channel will help fill gaps in your flipping know-how. For instance, his video on flipping a fire damaged property. In it, he gives tips about the pitfalls of buying a fire-damaged house and what repairs to focus on. 

With the Lex Levinrad channel, there’s always something new to learn about flipping houses.

  1. HouseBarons 

The HouseBarons channel is run by brothers Dave and Rich. They’re quite successful as Youtube creators considering their channel has garnered over 13 million views in its 10-year lifespan. Add to that, the HouseBarons gathered a healthy following of over 38 thousand subscribers. 

On the HouseBarons channel, you’ll get find a large vault of very specific tips and tricks. Take, for instance, their tutorial on fixing a faulty door. After all, creaking doors that open by themselves might be something you don’t want to show potential buyers during a property tour. 

All in all, the HouseBarons Youtube channel can be a great wellspring of knowledge. 

  1. Real Estate Investing Tips for Beginners

If you’re just beginning your journey in the house flipping business, the Real Estate Investing Tips for Beginners Youtube channels can be a great instructor. The channel has over 720 videos that cover a wide variety of topics for investing in real estate. It has just a bit over 50 thousand subscribers and uploads regularly. 

The channel has a series of videos dedicated to house flipping. There’s even a guide for how to start flipping with just $10 if you’re on a tight budget. From house flipping to wholesaling, you can learn a ton of real estate tips from this channel. 

  1. The Friendly Flipper

Learning from experienced flippers is a valuable experience that can’t be replaced. But some experts forget how to talk to beginners and can drown you in jargon. Thankfully, The Friendly Flipper channel makes this easy. With over 130 videos dedicated to house flipping, you’ll learn a ton and it’s all easy to digest content. 

The Friendly Flipper host a range of videos from interviews with fellow flippers to flipping progress vlogs. For instance, in his latest series of videos, you can follow the entire progress of a flip over the course of just 7 days.

When you subscribe to The Friendly Flipper, you’ll get a great guideline for flipping houses.

  1. BiggerPockets

Finally, BiggerPockets is one of the biggest channels on this list. In fact, it has nearly 900 thousand subscribers to date. And with over 2.3 thousand uploads, you’ll have a lot of content to digest. 

On the BiggerPockets Youtube channel, you’ll get the full breadth of what it takes to be successful in the real estate business. While the channel covers the entirety of the real estate market, it isn’t lacking when it comes to house flipping. For example, one of their most successful videos is a series that goes through the house flipping process from start to finish.

Between securing funding to looking for the right property, you can learn a lot from BiggerPockets. 

Expand Your House Flipping Knowledge with Youtube

There are a lot of avenues to explore when it comes to learning about house flipping. From reading a book to listening to experienced flippers recount their journey, you can pick up tips from almost anywhere. With this list, you can easily turn on a video to learn a little more every day.

Follow these 5 channels, and you’ll gain enough flipping knowledge to gain an edge over other flippers.  

Categories
Shortterm Rentals

How to Find The Best Neighborhoods for Airbnb

 To earn the biggest profits from your STR, you need to find the right neighborhood to invest in. Here, we look at some of the things to consider.
An STR in the woods
Photo by Karsten Winegeart

Investing in a short-term rental (STR) is a great way to make some additional income. In fact, according to 2021 figures, the average Airbnb host in North America can make $41,026 annually from a single rental.

But you need to be smart and focus on a lot of factors to earn that impressive amount. 

For example, just picking a neighborhood can make or break your investment. While the right neighborhood with all the right conditions will give you high occupancy and rental rates, the wrong neighborhood will only give you high turnover rates—or worse, complete vacancy.

So, what are the right conditions that make a neighborhood perfect for STR investments? 

Let’s discuss the conditions you need to consider when picking a neighborhood for your Airbnb.

What Makes a Good Neighborhood?

No one factor makes a good neighborhood. You have to consider several characteristics when choosing the area for your Airbnb. When you choose a neighborhood to invest in, look for: 

  • Airbnb occupancy rate
  • Airbnb rental income 
  • Airbnb rent averages
  • Cash-on-cash return

Each factor is as important as the next and they all have to come together seamlessly. For example, if you only take into account the Airbnb occupancy, you could see an 80% rate. But each tenant might be paying you a low amount—and that might not be worth the effort.

So, let’s define each factor and go through their details:

Airbnb Occupancy Rate

The occupancy rate measures the dates a property was booked versus the total number of days it is listed for rent. Factors like location, market saturation, and seasonality can affect a neighborhood’s occupancy rate. 

Now, the average occupancy rate in North America is about 44%, but you’ll want to find areas that give an even higher number. Instead, focus on locations that have the highest occupancy rates such as:

  • Seaside, CA: 71.3% 
  • Little Rock, AR: 75.0%
  • Phoenix, AZ: 64.1%
  • Los Angeles, CA: 55.6% 
  • Columbus, OH: 60.6%

A quick search on Google will give you these numbers. If you find another neighborhood with a good Airbnb occupancy rate, you can consider investing in property there. 

Airbnb Rental Income

The Airbnb rental income will determine how much income your property will generate over time. For you to determine the potential rental income you can earn in a neighborhood, you need to conduct a market analysis. Using market analysis, you can learn: 

  • The real estate appreciation rates of the neighborhood
  • The current and upcoming trends of the real estate market in an area
  • If the neighborhood you’re scouting is suitable for an STR
  • If long-term rentals are more popular in a particular area instead of an STR
  • The overall demand for rentals in the area

Take, for example, Mashvisor’s heatmap. With this tool, you can see the average occupancy rate in Detroit. You can also get a glimpse into the estimated rental income of an Airbnb.  After you perform a market analysis, you should have a good idea of what your Airbnb rental income should look like in that particular neighborhood. 

Airbnb Rent Averages

This is the simplest metric you need to find out. You basically need to look at the average rent STRs are going for in a neighborhood. If you skip this, you might invest in an expensive property that’ll take too long to generate a good return on investment.

You can use Mashvisor to get a good idea of how much people are charging for rent on their Airbnbs. In general, you want to look-out for properties with similar specifications to the property you’re looking to invest in. Watch for things like: 

  • The number of rooms
  • The number of beds and baths 
  • The kinds of amenities available
  • The location (e.g., if it’s near tourist attractions)

Once you have a general picture of how much people are charging for stays in their Airbnbs, you get an idea of how much you can charge. 

This will also help you estimate the maximum amount you should spend acquiring the property, as you’ll want to charge at least 1% of your total property price to recoup costs fast enough. For example, if a property costs $212,000, you’ll want to charge at least $2,120 for the monthly rent.

Cash-on-Cash Return 

Finding out the cash-on-cash returns for similar Airbnbs in a particular neighborhood will give you an idea of whether investing in a neighborhood is worth it. Again, Mashvisor gives you the cash-on-cash returns of Airbnbs in a neighborhood.

To calculate your cash-on-cash return, you just need to follow a simple formula:

Cash-on-cash return (CoCR) = (annual rental income – operating expenses)/total cash investment 

Let’s look at the potential CoCR of the listing we mentioned earlier, with an annual rental income of $25,440 ($2120 x 12) as an example. With a total cash investment of $200,000 and a safe estimate of operating expenses being 1/3rd of the annual rental income, it’ll look like this: 

CoCR = (25,440 – 8395.2)/200000 

CoCR = (17044.8)/200000

CoCR = 0.0852

For this particular example, the cash-on-cash return is 8.52% per year. This is within the benchmark for good CoCR, which is between 8-12%. If you find an area with a CoCR that measures within that range, it’s a good opportunity for your STR.

Pick the Right Neighborhood For Your Investment 

Airbnbs can be a great investment opportunity. However, much like any investment, you need to invest wisely. Choosing the wrong neighborhood will put you at too much financial risk, and you might not see numbers anywhere close to the $41,026 average.

Do your due diligence, analyze your opportunities well, and maybe even consult with experts in the industry, and you can be confident in earning that $41,026—maybe even higher.

Do you think there are other factors to consider when choosing a location for an Airbnb? Let us know your insight in the comments below!

Categories
Wholesaling

Paperwork Made Easy: The Important Details Every Real Estate Wholesaler Should Look For

The buyer, seller, and wholesaler hashing out a contract.
Photo by Pexels

When conducting wholesale deals, contract negotiations become an everyday occurrence in your life. This means that if you aren’t knowledgeable about the requirements and details of wholesale contracts—you can end up losing a deal.

You have to be exceptionally familiar with contracts to be a successful wholesaler, which is why we’re writing this article to dive deep into the key paperwork you’ll need. Nail these on the head, and you can navigate through the world of real estate wholesaling with ease.

What is A Buy and Sell Contract? 

Otherwise known as a purchase agreement, this is the contract you enter with the seller of the property. It acts as a legally binding agreement and outlines the terms of the offer between a buyer and seller in real estate transactions. 

Your job as the wholesaler is to act as a middleman and find a willing investor to buy the property. That means to need to know how this is the contract permits them to purchase the home. Once you find a buyer, this contract transfers from you—the wholesaler—to the buyer. 

The content of the buy and sell contract should have the following: 

  • The date of the agreement 
  • The name of the seller/individuals listed on the property’s title
  • The buyer’s name
  • Property address 
  • The earnest money deposit. 
  • The total purchase price of the property
  • Financing 
  • Closing date and transfer of title 
  • Escrow and closing fees 
    • The buyer can be assigned to pay the fees
    • Or it can be the seller 
    • Or they can pay equally 
    • Or they can pay their respective escrow and closing fees
  • Signatures of you and the sellers
  • Date of signature

This list isn’t exhaustive, but these are the most relevant things you should pay attention to in buy and sell contracts. As long as you have these covered, you should be good to go.

Note that your buyer will also thoroughly examine the agreement before getting into the deal with you. As such, it’s best that you know your way around these contracts well enough to answer their questions and successfully close the sale.

What Is A Seller’s Disclosure? 

The State of Michigan requires a seller to complete and sign this disclosure to accompany any and all purchase transactions. It’s meant to protect a buyer from seller misrepresentation about the condition of a residential property.

Since most sellers aren’t aware of this form, you’ll want to keep a copy with your buy-sell contracts. Do NOT ever complete the form though, for a seller—legally they must complete it.

The next one to know is an assignment agreement. 

What is An Assignment Agreement? 

An assignment agreement is a real estate contract that transfers your rights and responsibilities listed in the purchase agreement to your investor—the new buyer. Often, this can also be referred to as an “Assignment of Real Estate Purchase and Sale” agreement.

After signing this contract, the buyer will take over the purchase agreement, and you’ll be awarded an assignment fee. Only you and the buyer will receive copies of an assignment agreement since the seller is not involved in completing an assignment contract.

An assignment contract needs to contain the following: 

  • The agreed-upon assignment fee
  • The assignor’s name 
  • The assignee’s name
  • The date of agreement on the purchase contract
  • The names on the purchase agreement
  • Location of the property 
  • Closing date 
  • Assignee to pay the security deposit in escrow 
  • Signatures of you and the buyer 
  • Date of signature

Once the assignment contract has been signed and fulfilled, the investor will then take over the purchase agreement. After that, the buyer closes on the property and you’ll be awarded your assignment fee.

Wholesaling Contracts Made Easy 

There’s a lot of paperwork that comes with wholesaling in the real estate business. If you get in over your head and gloss over every other contract you get into, you can end up losing your wholesale deals—or worse—alienating your potential buyers. 

If you ask us, it’s just not a risk worth taking if you want to grow your wholesaling business.

With our help, you’ll have a good idea of how the contracts you’ll be dealing with regularly are done. If you need more help with wholesaling paperwork, feel free to reach out to us!

Have any questions about wholesaling contracts? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories
Wholesaling

Is Wholesaling Real Estate for You? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Man standing in front of a house

Wholesaling appeals to newbies in real estate because you don’t need any personal finances of your own to get started. It’s also possible to close a deal in as little as 30-45 days—giving many the impression it’s a quick and easy way to make money.

But that doesn’t paint the full picture.

While it may sound easy, many aspiring real estate investors end up quitting when the reality of wholesaling really dawns on them. Although the idea of finding a motivated seller and connecting one to a serious buyer sounds simple, it’s easier said than done. There’s so much more to it than that.

You aren’t just going to find a buyer and seller walking down the street. Wholesalers need to have good people skills because real estate is a social profession by nature. What’s more, unlike other real estate ventures, wholesaling is very time-sensitive. As a wholesaler, you have to be up-to-date with current real estate market trends, build a network, determine what’s a good deal, negotiate the deal, and so on.

So, before you go into the wholesale business and start investing yourself, you have to make sure it’s right for you. Let’s take a look at how you can figure that out by answering 5 questions.

5 Questions to Determine If Wholesaling is for You

Wholesaling is often seen as more beginner-friendly than other real estate investment strategies. Of course, it still comes without its own unique difficulties. Ask yourself the following questions to get a clearer idea if you’ll enjoy wholesaling, or if you might be better off trying something else.

  1. Do you have a big enough network to find deals?

Wholesaling takes a lot of work, doesn’t have a regular income, and deals in progress don’t always close. To make it easier, you need to regularly build your network. As a beginner, you might not have enough connections to sustain yourself and find deals, making it far more difficult than someone with experience and connections.

But it’s not all bad. For those who power through and successfully grow their network, wholesaling can be a very rewarding career. With familiarity in the real estate market, a grown network, and a good grasp of the wholesaling process, it gets easier as wholesalers become more seasoned.

2. Are you willing to put in the work to close deals?

In wholesaling, to find success, you have to actively work for it.
Closing deals takes a lot of effort. From finding a motivated seller to an actual buyer and everything in between—it all needs to be accomplished under time pressure. Wholesaling can therefore be very demanding, especially when the market isn’t hot.

Another thing you need to take note of is that income in wholesaling isn’t consistent. You earn only if you close deals. However, it’s also important to note that your income isn’t fixed. If you close more deals, you earn more, but if you don’t close any, you won’t make any money, either.

If you’re going to pursue wholesaling, you’ve got to be ready for all the mental and physical work it entails—and for the income to be less consistent than other real estate investments.

3. Do you have the necessary people skills?

Closing deals relies heavily on your ability to be persuasive to sellers and buyers. Remember, they’re also making major financial decisions, and they’re not likely to do business with someone they don’t feel comfortable with.

In wholesaling, you need to be persuasive, but also trustworthy, so you can show that you have their best interests in mind. If you have good people skills, you have a better chance of convincing sellers and buyers to do business with you. And more importantly, increase your chances of closing more deals.

4. Are you up to date with the real estate market?

Wholesaling isn’t just a matter of finding any random property and convincing sellers and buyers to make a transaction. Wholesaling also entails that you do your homework.

You need to know the market values of different properties and what kind of properties buyers are looking for. Research and staying up to date with the current market trends are crucial. When you’re looking for wholesale properties, you should also always consider the buyer and make sure you are finding properties that they’re actually interested in.

5. Can you properly assess and make financial computations for properties?

Wholesaling relies on a lot of math. You’ll have to determine the right selling and buying price, the expected repair costs, profit margins, and so on. Getting the right figures is important to make sure that everything is done fairly. That way when any questions on the pricing come up, you can justify these with numbers and the correct figures.

Make Sure Wholesaling Works for You

If you want to excel in your career, you have to like your work and it has to be right for you. As Steve Jobs—American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple—once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

If after asking yourself the questions you mostly answered yes, then congratulations! You’ve got what it takes to pursue wholesale real estate. But if after asking yourself the questions, you mostly answered no, then you may want to re-evaluate your plans. 

Is there anything more about getting into wholesaling you want us to discuss? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories
Landlords

Tips and Tricks for Managing the Property Maintenance of Your Home

 poorly maintained rental property
Photo by Payam Moghtader

Nobody wants to live in a dilapidated home. We all want a place where we can come home to an environment of relaxation and comfortable living—certainly not a messy, broken-down house that’s far from being stress-free.

This means that, as a landlord or homeowner, you need to treat your property with care to ensure it lasts for decades to comes. Tenants won’t want to occupy your rental property if it’s falling apart and neither will you. You need to perform frequent maintenance on your rental property, and do everything you can to protect your hard-earned assets in the long term.

In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks to keep your property in tip-top shape.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Rental Property 

First thing’s first, maintaining your property is mandated by law. If you are located in Michigan, you are liable under the warranty of habitability law to keep your rental property liveable

The law states that a landlord must abide by 3 factors:

  1. The property and all common areas must be fit for use.
  2. The property must be kept in reasonable repair while under a lease. 
  3. The property must comply with health and safety regulations. 

If you don’t follow the warranty of habitability law, tenants can either withhold rent until you make the repairs (no income for you!) or resort to repair and deduct—where they’ll make the repairs themselves and deduct the costs from rent payments. It may deceivingly sound convenient, but experienced landlords know that leaving repairs to tenants likely means cheap fixes and short-term solutions.

By following the law, you can avoid consequences and protect your properties.

To help keep in line with the warranty of habitability law, here are best practices to maintain your rental property.

1. Establish Easy Communication with Your Tenants

The first step to keeping your rental property maintained is to communicate with your tenants if you aren’t living there. Your tenants will be the ones living in your rental, which means they are the first to find any need for repairs. Plus, you don’t want to leave a problem unattended for too long, or it becomes permanent damage.

Having regular communication with tenants is important for catching necessary repairs immediately

Always provide a way for your tenants to get in touch with you easily. Your goal should be to make it easy for you to get ahead of important repairs before they cause major damage.

2. Perform Regular On-Site Inspections

Schedule a yearly inspection with your tenants or for yourself so you can have a frequent, in-person idea of the status of your rental. Getting an expert to help is also not a bad idea. You should look out for tell-tale signs of property damage, like the following:

  • Broken windows and screens 
  • Leaky plumbing 
  • Discoloration on walls and ceiling 
  • Burn marks around sockets 
  • Malfunctioning smoke detectors and fire extinguishers

Your goal in performing regular on-site inspections is to catch any signs of water damage or gas leaks that can lead to costly repairs down the road.

3. Schedule Periodic Pest Control Visits

Pests are one of the most damaging factors to a property. For instance, do you know that the US spends over $5 billion yearly for termite repairs? That’s a lot of money spent on dealing with termites that can certainly be avoided.

So, take a preventive approach by scheduling pest control maintenance once every 3 to 6 months. Have an exterminator visit the property and extinguish any possibilities of pest infestations, so you don’t have to worry about little damaging critters occupying your rental property.

We understand that regular pest control visits can be costly to your business. But, it’s a cost worth taking, especially when you consider the more-expensive alternative of dealing with existing creatures.

4. Opt for a Professional Landscaper 

Not only does great landscaping help entice new tenants if you’re renting it out, but it also keeps your existing renters happy and helps you avoid many problems down the line. You can always maintain the lawn yourself, but hiring professional landscapers will give you benefits such as:

  1. Preventing pests from making a home in the lawn and trees
  2. Avoiding debris accumulation that can harm your plumbing system
  3. Protecting the structure of the home from nature-related issues (e.g., falling trees or overhanging branches that pose harm)

Plus, professionals will have the skill, experience, and equipment to keep all lawns, gardens, and other green areas of the rental property beautiful and functional. Many other benefits come with maintaining the landscape, but the biggest benefit is that you’ll beautify your home.

5. Hire Heating, Air-conditioning, and Ventilation (HVAC) Specialists

One of the main systems that keep a property habitable is the HVAC system. If the system fails, it becomes very difficult to live on the property. Just imagine going through winter without any heating or sweating in the summer with air-conditioning, and you’ll know what we mean!

Moreover, if an HVAC system fails, the entire cost of replacing everything can range from $5,000 to $10,000. In other words, shouldering the costs of regular maintenance is definitely better than having to replace an HVAC system eventually.

Consider hiring professionals to perform annual maintenance and constantly remind your tenants to clean and replace AC filters whenever necessary. Your goal is to avoid having an HVAC system breakage while keeping your tenants living comfortably.

Take Preventative Care of Your Property 

Living in a rundown home is one of the worst things to experience. A home with no heating, full of pests, and faulty toilets is a nightmare no one wants to experience. Not only will your tenants leave right after the lease if you’re a landlord, but failing to maintain your property also means violating Michigan laws that will cause to recipe some financial penalties.

Instead, be more proactive. Keep your rental property well-maintained, stay on top of arising problems, and do everything you can to ensure that your property lasts a long time. The more you maintain your assets, the farther they’ll take you in terms of investment.

Do you have any other property maintenance tips that you’ve found useful? We’ll love to hear about it in the comments section below!

Categories
Shortterm Rentals

How to Choose the Right Market for Short-Term Rentals

Short-term rentals (STRs) are currently one of the most thriving sub-industries in real estate. In fact, a 2019 survey found that 60% of American tourists prefer staying in an Airbnb over a hotel.

However, if you plan on investing in an STR, you need to do your due diligence to find the best market for your property. Diving straight into it without doing any research will likely your Airbnb is empty more often—resulting in less cash in your pocket if it’s just sitting there. Plus, you might end up in an area that’s either saturated with too many excellent STRs already, or an area with barely any guests to attract.

For instance, a property in Palm Springs, Florida, could potentially earn you upwards of $125,000 a year. This figure might sound like an enticing gain for a potential STR investor, but you have to account for all the costs and potential pitfalls that you’d have to expertly navigate in the particular market.

You have to ask yourself questions like: 

  • How popular is the area?
  • How many STRs are already in the area?
  • How easy will it be to fill with guests?
  • What kind of guests are staying there?
  • How much are the utilities and general maintenance?
  • Can you make enough in busy seasons to cover slow seasons?

Let’s take a look at how you can choose the right market for your STR investment venture.

The Four Markets of STRs

There are 4 main types of STR markets: 

  1. Traditional vacation markets
  2. Unique locations & experiences
  3. Business markets
  4. General convenience

Each of these markets comes with its share of risks and advantages that you need to navigate. For example, an STR located downtown might have stricter laws in place when compared to a traditional vacation rental. 

Let’s compare them all to help you decide what’s best for you.

1. Traditional Vacation Markets: 

The traditional vacation market exists both regionally and nationally, relying heavily on tourism. The main difference between the two is accessibility and affordability:

  • Accessibility: The regional vacation market is usually within close proximity to cities. Visitors can reach these destinations with a short drive out of town. An example of this type of market is Panama City Beach, Florida. This beach is within driving distance of major cities in both Alabama and Florida, where Montgomery and Birmingham are three hours away and Jacksonville is a four-hour drive from the coast. 
  • Affordability: Real estate prices will usually be more affordable than the national vacation market. Additionally, the regional vacation market will have the most accommodating regulations out of the three, as these are hotspots for vacations.

Panama City Beach, for example, allows for STRs in all areas designated as commercial zones, limited multi-family zones, unlimited multi-family zones, and townhouse zones.

Another benefit of the vacation market is its resistance to the effects of a recession. Unlike its national cousin, the regional vacation market is more accessible and affordable to visitors making it more resilient against the effects of an economic recession. 

Tourists wouldn’t need to make big vacation plans to visit a regional vacation rental, such as booking a plane ticket. These locations can be reached by car ride. Additionally, the more affordable lodgings will allow tourists to visit despite an economic recession.

While regional vacation markets rely on tourism, a major hit to the industry isn’t nearly as devastating to these markets. In fact, during the COVID pandemic, many city-slickers fled cities during the pandemic. Regional vacation markets can tap into these potential customers during occasions like the COVID outbreak.  

2. Unique Locations & Experiences 

Next up are STRs located in unique areas for experiences that you can’t find anywhere else. These might be activities out in nature or just places nearby popular attractions. Some different types of STRs that fall in this category are:

  • Properties near ski resorts
  • Properties beside amusements parks
  • Vacation homes on a lake
  • Beachside villas in tropical countries

These all offer a unique experience that you can get anywhere else. Typically, this kind of rental will have an off-season because tourists aren’t usually booking all year round. However, if you can make a ton of profits in the peak seasons, this could be worth it even if it’s unbooked during the slow times.

3. Business Markets

STRs in an urban location doesn’t rely solely on tourism to generate revenue. Of course, tourists will also visit your property, but the main source of income will be from business people. These are often professionals traveling due to a variety of reasons, such as a convention or business deal. 

The metro market is potentially the most lucrative market for an STR due to the frequent turnover of tenants. A busy city will have many occasions that will see an influx of visitors, such as during sporting events, conventions, concerts, etc. 

Despite being potentially the most profitable market, an urban rental also comes with the most risks:

  • Rules and Regulations: Different cities will have different regulations when dealing with STRs. In the case of Oakland, Michigan, the city prohibits STRs except in a few select locations, such as near the airport, along the freeway, or the waterfront. 
  • Market Saturation: Another risk is market saturation. Because an urban rental is one of the most profitable markets, it is a hotbed for STRs. A lot of competition could potentially limit your revenue, especially if you can’t compete with the existing rentals in the market.

Overall, the metro market is a great avenue to establish an STR. But you should educate yourself on the risks involved with entering the urban rental market—especially in your specific city. 

4. General Convenience

The traditional leisure vacation rental is the conventional STR we all think of when we hear the words “short-term rental.” But a lot of people use Airbnbs for general purposes where a hotel simply won’t satisfy all of their needs. 

Here are some of the most common reasons people use Airbnbs that aren’t for vacation or business purposes:

  • Hospital Visits: Individuals staying in a city for hospital visits. Major cities will have the best medical facilities, which means that a patient’s family could need a place to stay while their relative is receiving treatment
  • Weddings: Hotels are expensive, so for a wedding, a lot of guests will choose to go with Airbnb to cuts costs. It also gives them a space that they can make feel like home if they’re coming from far away and turning the wedding into a vacation afterward.
  • Reunions & Graduations: Another common reason to use Airbnb is family or school reunions where, again, your guests are likely saving on costs associated with a hotel and they want a palace where they feel like they’re at home. 

If your STR is located near a hospital, a popular wedding venue, or a large university you might see more guests staying for these purposes. And if you don’t know, try asking your guest why they are staying! That will give you a lot more insight and allow you to optimize your listing in the future. 

Set Your Goals and Expectations When Deciding a Market

To decide which market is the best for you, you have to be clear with your goals. Each market comes with its share of benefits and negatives, so you need to align your expectations while keeping these in mind. 

Here’s our list of recommendations: 

  • Business Market: These are good for a steady stream of income year-round if you’re located near conference centers and in a downtown area that professionals are staying in.
  • Unique Experiences: These kinds of rentals may have more downtime, but you can often charge higher rates as they are quite specific in what they offer guests.
  • Vacation Market: These can be resilient if you’re attracting people interested in regional vacations However, for areas that have on seasons and off seasons, you need to be careful. Make sure you can stay profitable on the season alone. 
  • General Purposes: These can be quite resilient depending on where you are and if you optimize your STR listing well. Make sure you ask your guests to understand why they’re booking your rental property. 

Pick the Right Market to Reach Your Investment Goals

Deciding on where to put up your STR is one of the biggest challenges facing real estate investors. With how competitive and unpredictable the STR industry is, identifying the right market and location for your rental could make or break your investment.

But the solution is always to return to your investment goals. As long as you align your objectives to what type of income a market provides, you’ll be well on your way to gaining the highest and most consistent cash flow from your STR investment.

What STR market are you targeting? Feel free to leave us a comment below!

Categories
Landlords

Key Tenant Screening Laws in Michigan

A landlord signing paperwork with a tenant
Photo by Alex Green

There is one thing that will have every landlord quaking in their boots: Professional Tenants. 

If you ever had rude renters you might know what this feels like. They throw parties frequently, leave trash all-around your property, and sometimes even damage the home. So, how can you tell if a renter will be a handful?

Tenant screening is the answer. 

Asking the right questions helps you know if the person you’re interviewing will be respectful, reliable, and take care of the property. But you can’t do it in any way you please. There are some important Michigan screening laws you need to know. To make sure you’re acting fairly, keep these in mind.

That way you won’t step on any toes or face any serious consequences.

In this article, we discuss what Michigan law permits during the tenant screening process, as well as some tips for screening potential tenants. 

Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Michigan Landlord 

The first thing you need to keep in mind as a Michigan landlord is that you are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The law was put in place to protect people’s privacy. This affects a landlord’s access to an applicant’s information. You need to know the following—to abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act—when screening potential tenant applicants: 

  • Access to an applicant’s credit history is limited – Credit bureaus will not give access to a person’s credit history without having a written consent form from the applicant. 
  • Provide where you got the credit history when rejecting an applicant – If you reject an applicant due to their credit history, you need to provide accurate information about how you accessed their history. You need to elaborate these details the agency that provided their information: 
    • Name of the agency
    • Address of the agency
    • Phone number of the agency
  • You cannot share an applicant’s credit information – you are responsible for securing any information you collect and could be penalized or sued for any potential FCRA violations and identity theft issues. So, you should be very careful with the information you collect. Credit bureaus also do not allow you to share their reports – this means property managers can’t share this information with the property owner.
  • You will be liable for damages if you violate the act – An applicant can seek legal action against you if you don’t adhere to the FCRA, such as in the case of not getting their consent before performing a credit check. 

Additionally, when screening for applicants, you can charge an application fee to cover the costs of background checks and your time & effort. Michigan Law doesn’t have a cap for the amount a landlord can charge for an application fee. You can find more details on tenant screening laws by visiting the Michigan Legislature website.

You should also be aware that the Fair Housing Act doesn’t just fall under Michigan law. It is a nationwide law that prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenant applicants. 

In particular, the law stipulates that landlords cannot deny an application against a “protected class.” Specifically, a protected class refers to a person being treated differently for the following characteristics or attributes:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion 
  • Sex
  • Physical or mental disabilities 
  • Familial status 

Now that you know some of the basic laws and acts that apply to you as a landlord, let’s go over the actual process of screening a tenant.

Follow Michigan Screening Laws Right

Michigan tenant screening laws are quite straightforward once you’re familiar with it. Especially since the laws in the state are the same regardless of which city you are in at the time of this article. At the end of the day, these laws exist to make the world fair to both landlords and tenants. If you do it right, it won’t interfere with your business. 

Remember: Following the law is the best way you can protect your real estate business.

And if you’re unsure about your local laws, you can reach out to a property management company for help. We’ve been helping our clients manage their properties in Metro Detroit for decades, so you can be confident that your properties are handled properly and efficiently. 

What else do you want to know about tenant screening? Leave a comment below and our team is happy to answer!

Categories
Flipping

Listen and Learn: Top 5 House Flipping Podcasts to Follow

Photo by Wes Hicks

House flipping is a highly competitive business that is only growing more cut-throat. With how much competition flippers have to deal with, how do you stand out and become successful?

The best way to gain a competitive edge is to educate yourself. You need to be constantly updated on the best house flipping practices and techniques to one-up your rivals. 

Reading a book is a great way to learn the tools of the trade from professional real estate brokers. But, in this day and age, instead of learning from books or blogs, listening to a podcast is a better use of your time. You can listen to a podcast and learn the latest trends of the real estate market while working on your portfolio, cooking dinner, or driving to your next showing!

Here are some of the 5 best podcasts for some house flipping tips. 

The 5 Best House Flipping Podcasts to Listen to

So, you’ve decided to look up some podcasts to expand your house flipping know-how, but do you find the best podcasts that can teach you the best practices of house flipping? To get you the latest developments in the real estate business, we made a list of the top 5 real estate podcasts that can help you become a successful house flipper. 

1. 7 Figure Flipping with Bill Allen 

In this podcast, Bill Allen shares how he and his team make 200 flips and wholesale deals per year. With 7 Figure Flipping, you’ll learn the tools of the trade from house flipping professionals, as the podcast regularly deals with the current trends of the real estate market. 

Take, for example, in his recent episodes, “How Jesse Trujillo Flipped 60 Houses during COVID,” where Jesse divulges his experiences during the pandemic. In the episode, Jesse talked about how he had to adjust his business strategies to fit with the times and how the market is reacting to the changes in buyer spending habits. 

What makes this show especially unique and appealing is its openness to bringing on beginners. For example, one recent interview was with a guest who recently completed their first successful house flip, and what they learned from the experience—perfect for beginner investors to get some valuable tips. 

With the variety of topics this podcast discusses, you can expand your knowledge base of the real estate industry and can help you become a top house flipper. 

Listen to 7 Figure Flipping with Bill Allen now.

2. The Real Estate Guys

Started as a conventional radio program in 1997, it’s currently one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes. Robert Helms and Russel Gray, cover topics like strategies to increase equity, lower property taxes and increase your cash flow. 

Listeners can learn the latest and greatest real estate tips from experts who have already done it. With years of experience in their pockets, both Helms and Gray have the know-how that every flipper can learn from. 

Take for instance their “COVID-19 Investing Opportunities series,” where they invite guests to discuss the current trends of the real estate market during the pandemic. With the wide variety of topics covered by The Real Estate Guys, every flipper will have something to learn from this podcast. 

Listen to The Real Estate Guys now.

3. Investing in Real Estate with Lex Levinrad

For people just getting into the house flipping business, this podcast is an ideal study partner. 

The podcast delves into topics like how to acquire foreclosed properties and how to buy bank-owned properties. You’ll learn all the secrets to getting the best real estate deals. In interviews, you’ll get first hand stories from successful real estate investors who share their strategies for becoming a thriving real estate investor.

Lex also talks about the important topics that every real estate investor needs to know, like understanding rental property returns. The podcast also goes into more eclectic topics like why some of his real estate students succeed and why others fail.

All in all, by listening to the Investing in Real Estate podcast, you can learn some of the tricks of the trade that can assist in making you a successful house flipper. 

Listen to Real Estate with Lex Levinrad now.

4. Flipping Houses for Rookies

Just getting into the house flipping business? Well, this podcast can help. Flipping Houses for Rookies will teach you some of the basics to get you started on your flipping journey. 

By tuning in to Flipping Houses for Rookies, you’ll learn valuable topics like:

  • How to buy real estate without a loan
  • The necessary paperwork for flipping a property
  • How to find deals over the internet 

Listen to this podcast for all you need to know before you get into house flipping. As the name says, Flipping Houses for Rookies is a great learning tool to get the ball rolling on your house flipping endeavors.

Listen to Flipping Houses for Rookies now.. 

5. Flip Talk

For those who already have some experience, Flip Talk is a great podcast seeking to help flippers grow their real estate business. The host, Don Costa, is a successful flipper who wants to impart his knowledge and teach you how to become the next real estate success story.

He interviews successful house flippers and other real estate investors about their tricks to making it in the business. For example, they recently invited 18-year-old Jacob Black, who is now the CEO of a seven-figure real estate company, to share his tips for growing his business. 

If you want to hear from some of the biggest names in real estate—this show will help you level up and keep you coming back for more. Get an inside look at some of the strategies these big names used before they got where they are today. 

Listen to Flip Talk now.

Follow Success to Become a Success

To become a successful flipper, you need to have your thumb on the pulse of the market. That means you have to have in-depth know-how to avoid making your next flip a flop. And real estate podcasts are a great way to stay up to date and informed. 

Even if you already have experience as a house flipper, you can always benefit from gaining more knowledge. With these podcasts, you can expand your grasp on the real estate industry and become a better house flipper. 

Did we miss your favorite podcast? Feel free to leave a comment below! 

Categories
Shortterm Rentals

Why Security Deposits Are Necessary and How to Enforce Them in Short Term Rentals

A person counting hundreds of dollars
Image from: Alexander Mils

So, how do guests and tenants really feel about security deposits? 

A computer software company that deals with security deposits, called Obligo, ran a survey on this issue, and found that over 70% of people prefer rentals without security deposits

This could be because guests don’t want to shell out extra money or find the whole process of a security deposit to be an inconvenience. But, even though guests dislike having to pay a security deposit, it’s necessary to protect your property from damages, and more importantly, undesired expenses.

So, what can you do as a short-term rental (STR) owner that benefits both you and your guests? Keep on reading to find out how to find the right balance.

Why are Security Deposits Necessary?

Security deposits are necessary in the event that guests damage the property or steal things during their stay. The deposit serves as a backup fund in case there are necessary expenses after the guest leaves. In addition to having a financial safety net, enforcing a security deposit is a way to filter your guests so that you only attract respectful and high-quality applicants.

can also prevent guests from damaging the property in the first place, since they want to get their deposit back!

What can I charge for Security Deposits?

There are two things to consider when it comes to determining the costs of your secret deposits: your local laws and the rules on that platform. 

When it comes to the laws and regulations for STRs, most states don’t yet differentiate between long-term and short-term rentals. So, for example, in Michigan, you need to abide by the standard laws surrounding security deposits. 

As for platform rules, you need to read the fine print before to make sure you are allowed to collect a security deposit. In the case of Airbnb, the platform does allow owners to add a security deposit to their listings. However, they are optional and not always expected by the guests.

How Do I Justify Security Deposits?

As important as it is to look out for your finances and property, it’s important to look out for your guests, too. Since a lot of them would rather not pay a security deposit, you have to find a way to get them comfortable with it. 

Losing a good potential guest just because of a security deposit is the last thing you want to do—especially in a competitive market like STRs! So, how can you justify security deposits in a way that shows your guests that they can trust you? 

Here are some tips that can help do the trick.

1. Assure your guests that they will get it back.

It’s possible that some tenants and guests had bad experiences with security deposits in the past, so you’ll want to do everything you can to change their perspective. The most important thing you need to address is how to convince them that they’ll actually get it back. And the best way to do this? 

Tell them WHY you have a deposit. Because at the end of the day, the deposit isn’t just to get more money from them, it’s there to protect your property from damage. Another way to improve that trust is to share your own tenant horror story, so they understand why you’re not willing to accept someone who refused a deposit. 

To combat the negative association they have towards deposits, you should also always be prompt in returning security deposits. Short-term rental platforms, such as Vrbo, require that you return security deposits within 2 weeks maximum. If you’re prompt with returning security deposits, it also shows you care about your guest and are a trustworthy host. Then, they’ll leave glowing reviews that future guests can read so they know what to expect from you.

All of this will help your guests see why it’s necessary. And if they still can’t understand your perspective, you probably dodged a bullet anyway.

2. Show guests how you’ll keep a detailed record for fair deductions.

Before you let guests stay in your rental, take note of the property’s state and its items. Keeping detailed records and photos along with a check-in date can help you keep track of everything. 

In the event that you need to use the security deposit, you can accurately pinpoint the reasons that led to the deduction. This way, you conduct yourself professionally and show the guests that using their deposit is warranted and completely fair.

Explain your process to prospective guests so they feel comfortable in putting down a security deposit.

3. Lay down house rules and damage policies. 

Communicating these things beforehand can save you and your guests from an argument in case the full security deposit won’t be returned. By letting them know ahead of time what the house rules and damage policies are, your guests will know how to treat the property.

More so, in case they do break rules and damage things, you can say that you made things clear from the start. Similar to keeping a detailed record, in the event that you have to use the deposit, the guests will know that it’s being deducted in an honest and transparent way.

Get the Best Guests From the Start

Security deposits not only take care of possible damages committed by guests but also act as a filter to ensure you’re only attracting quality guests to your rental property. Because at the end of the day–you don’t want to rent to anyone you don’t trust. 

Although security deposits can put off some guests, being professional and honest about it can make security deposits easier for them. With a security deposit in place, you can worry less about your property, while your guests can enjoy your place responsibly. 

Is there anything else you want to know about security deposits for STRs? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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