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Cashflow Diary™

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Business
Careers
Investing
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J. Massey, real estate investor, entrepreneur, sales coach, instructor, master facilitator of Robert Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW™ 101 games and creator of Cashflow™ Diary, offers free training courses for new and experienced investors. Break through the clutter of learning real estate and business investing and become a successful entrepreneur. Listen to beneficial strategies to improve your skills in prospecting, placing offers, closing deals, buying, selling, wholesaling, fix & Flips, rehabs and much more. By way of Cashflow™ Diary, J. Massey basically gives away current industry strategies by simply teaching what he does daily as a real estate practitioner. Start Learning For Free Today.

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J. Massey, real estate investor, entrepreneur, sales coach, instructor, master facilitator of Robert Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW™ 101 games and creator of Cashflow™ Diary, offers free training courses for new and experienced investors. Break through the clutter of learning real estate and business investing and become a successful entrepreneur. Listen to beneficial strategies to improve your skills in prospecting, placing offers, closing deals, buying, selling, wholesaling, fix & Flips, rehabs and much more. By way of Cashflow™ Diary, J. Massey basically gives away current industry strategies by simply teaching what he does daily as a real estate practitioner. Start Learning For Free Today.

iTunes Ratings

173 Ratings
Average Ratings
160
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1
4

My Favorite Show

By P Wats - Jan 14 2020
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J’s Show CashFlowDiary is the first Real Estate podcast I’ve encountered when I found out I wanted to become a real estate investor. This podcast had provided me with phenomenal advice, information, and a new mindset. This podcast has inspired me to grow as a person, an entrepreneur, and as an action taker. Thanks J for creating this podcast.

Great Host and Guests

By Lucas Marshall - Jun 25 2017
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Wealth of knowledge can be learned listening to the Host and guests on this podcast!!!

iTunes Ratings

173 Ratings
Average Ratings
160
5
3
1
4

My Favorite Show

By P Wats - Jan 14 2020
Read more
J’s Show CashFlowDiary is the first Real Estate podcast I’ve encountered when I found out I wanted to become a real estate investor. This podcast had provided me with phenomenal advice, information, and a new mindset. This podcast has inspired me to grow as a person, an entrepreneur, and as an action taker. Thanks J for creating this podcast.

Great Host and Guests

By Lucas Marshall - Jun 25 2017
Read more
Wealth of knowledge can be learned listening to the Host and guests on this podcast!!!
Cover image of Cashflow Diary™

Cashflow Diary™

Latest release on Jan 20, 2020

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J. Massey, real estate investor, entrepreneur, sales coach, instructor, master facilitator of Robert Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW™ 101 games and creator of Cashflow™ Diary, offers free training courses for new and experienced investors. Break through the clutter of learning real estate and business investing and become a successful entrepreneur. Listen to beneficial strategies to improve your skills in prospecting, placing offers, closing deals, buying, selling, wholesaling, fix & Flips, rehabs and much more. By way of Cashflow™ Diary, J. Massey basically gives away current industry strategies by simply teaching what he does daily as a real estate practitioner. Start Learning For Free Today.

Rank #1: AHP: Debts, Chaos, and Cashflow

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Jorge P. Newbery is on a mission to help Americans crushed by unaffordable debts. He is Founder and Chairman of American Homeowner Preservation LLC and AHP Servicing LLC. AHP crowdfunds the purchase of non-performing mortgages from banks at big discounts, then shares the discounts with struggling homeowners. AHP Servicing LLC will bring social responsibility and a willingness to do the right thing to an industry often devoid of caring, compassion and basic human decency. On this episode of the CashFlow Diary Podcast, Jorge explains that the most important thing is to take that first step. Then the second step, then the third step. List the steps and take the first one. Don’t look all the way to the finish line, work on getting through the first mile. Break it down into achievable bites that get you closer to your goal.

Apr 12 2018

42mins

Play

Rank #2: Al Williamson on the Secret Behind the Extended Stay Model

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Al Williamson is a professional engineer, full-time real estate investor and the author of several real estate books. He began investing in 1996. Al is best known for publicly documenting his quest to create enough secondary income streams to cover the 1st mortgage of his eight-unit apartment building (which he accomplished in September 2015). He is now trying to figure out how to maximize the cash flow of a small portfolio so it can generate enough income to replace a middle-class job. Al is a proud family man who now spends his day managing and expanding his corporate housing business in Sacramento, California. 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Al Williamson? 

Before everything that people know Al Williamson for today, he was training to become a professional gymnast. That was until he broke his arm on the high bar and realized that he was going down a risky path. He switched course and learned to be an engineer and started creating things.

It wasn’t until meeting his wife did he consider getting into real estate. He met a guy at a church picnic that turned him on to real estate investing and after reading everything he could about the subject at his local library Al realized that it was exactly what he was looking for.

Al Williamson and his new wife purchased a triplex and it eventually quadrupled in price. That early experience brought his wife on board with the whole idea and taught them plenty of valuable lessons. He leveraged that into his next purchase where he had a major focus on cleaning up the local neighborhood. It was a relationship with a local health center that later got Al into the short term rental space.

One of the easiest ways to get into the real estate game and put yourself into a profitable position quickly is by leveraging short term rentals.

  • Was it a challenge in making the short term rental model work in California?

Initially the numbers didn’t work out for Al because of maintenance costs. Owning property is a great way to build wealth but a bad way to generate income because something is always broken that needs to be replaced. You don’t get to keep the money because it has to go back into the property until that debt service is finished. In a lot of ways, short term rentals were the answer to Al’s problems.

There are a number of different ways that short term rentals solve the issue and there are tons of opportunities to increase your cash flow. By experimenting with one unit for short term rentals Al was able to generate the same net income as his three other units. The extended stay model is changing the way Al is structuring his business because the trend of people wanting to live in one place and work in another is taking off.

  • How do you market for long term guests?

Al has 14 different marketing strategies that he uses to bring in extended stay short term rental guests. A good indicator that your market can support the model is if there is an extended stay hotel in your area already. From there you need to get out from behind your computer and have a conversation with real people. Talking to the bartender at the hotel can yield some valuable info.

Extended Stay America is doubling down on the one month and two month guests. It’s a big business and major hospitality companies are beginning to recognize that.

If you’re working with Airbnb you’re going to have to put your listing together. The headline of that listing is very important and you can use that to call out the exact type of customer you are looking for. Write your headline to resonate with that person. You can also set your minimum stay requirement so Airbnb only shows your listing to people looking for an extended stay unit. Do things to separate yourself from the rest of the competition.

There is a growing need for extended stay units in America, it’s up to the housing entrepreneur to step up and answer the demand. The type of the property is less relevant than the type of customer you want to serve. Stay in your lane and serve people like you because you will have a better understanding of what they need and want. You will make the same net income. 

You can make your decisions based on gross income, which many people do, but only the net income really matters. You can make different decisions and save yourself a lot of time and energy and still make the same net income.

Most ordinances were written to slow down transient rentals and prevent them from competing with the existing hotel businesses, but they are not intended to affect month to month rentals. Month to month rentals are the cornerstone of affordable housing and they know it.

  • What are some differences you’ve seen between people running a less than 30 day stay business and a greater than 30 day stay?

The less than 30 days operators are looking at serving tourists and convention goers. For the people focusing on more than 30 days, they are thinking about other features that are important to a different crowd. Things like parking and laundry facilities. They also get the advantage of business travelers being more forgiving and easy going in general because they aren’t paying for the stay out of their own pockets.

  • What are some alternative ways to attract your target market?

Facebook has been very effective, having your own group is a good way to let people know what you’re offering. Al also has his own website which has been a good tool in attracting extended stay guests. When you’ve been in business for over a year, your reputation starts to do some good work as well.

Al has eight different categories of customers that he caters to: vacation renters, military housing, student housing, insurance housing, corporate rentals, people in between selling their homes, and international housing. There is also medical housing that’s broken down into three different types as well. You can take those categories and figure out which one you want to dominate and then start growing your funnel for that category.

  • How do you avoid having to evict or grant tenancy to someone?

Al hasn’t had to evict anyone because he mainly serves business travelers and they are just not going to stay. Even if they did, if they’re happy paying an elevated rent than what’s the problem? 

The main purpose of a lease agreement is to turn a transient into a tenant, which means the relationship is governed by a different set of laws. If you do that, then all the ordinances and laws around the typical short term rental transients no longer apply.

  • What are the special services you’re offering to increase your net income?

Al started off by offering a menu of cleaning services to guests but he found that they generally just wanted to be left alone. Do you it yourself options like a washer and dryer are much more important.

  • Al’s Takeaway

You need a coach to help you get the best out of you and overcome your subconscious. They will also help you avoid making the basic beginner mistakes. Al would be happy to coach you and be your booster rocket to help you launch your real estate business.

Links:

leadinglandlord.com

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Nov 06 2019

58mins

Play

Rank #3: 8 THINGS TO GIVE UP - Wanna Reach Success? Dump the Doubt! - Replay

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Recently on Facebook I shared an image of what you need to give up if you want to be truly successful. In short, there are 8 things:

  1. Doubting Yourself
  2. Negative thinking
  3. Fear of Failure
  4. Criticizing Others
  5. Negative Self-Talk
  6. Procrastination
  7. Fear of Success
  8. People Pleasing

This is such an important list that I thought it would be neat to do a special Cash Flow Diary podcast series on these topics. So that’s what I’m doing over the next 8 episodes. I hope it helps you move your needle forward.

Today I tackle the #1 thing you have to stop doing immediately… that’s Doubting Yourself. (It’s a soul-killer.)

It is critical for you to have a belief that you CAN do what you set out to do. Whether that is real estate investing or any other path. When you set out on any new journey, don’t let doubt stop you from trying new things.

When you get into a place of doubt, stop and ask yourself… has anyone before you ever done what you are attempting to do? The answer is yes, of course. That tells you what you’re attempting is absolutely possible. You CAN do it if you stick to it and learn the system by which other people have reached your same goals.

You think I was confident when I first started out as a real estate investor? Heck, no. But I prayed and kept going. I messed up and kept going. I learned new things and kept going. I did what I feared I couldn’t do… and I moved forward anyway. After all, I didn’t have a lot of choice. I literally could not fail.

To understand this statement, you need to know my story. Then go listen to my very first Cash Flow Dairy podcast episodes. You’ll see what I mean.

I built my confidence over time. That’s not to say I don’t have doubts some days even now, but I have learned to control my responses to those doubts. That’s what you need to do in order to dump the doubt! This episode of the Cash Flow Diary will help get you there. LISTEN NOW.

Aug 14 2019

23mins

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Rank #4: CFD 347 [REPLAY 259] - How to Become A Real Estate Entrepreneur

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We are always learning new things and trying new things so we can become bigger and badder in whatever we are doing in life and in our professional lives. When we have a business we need to keep trying new things with our marketing. This is a critical factor in building your presence in the world and online.

At Cash Flow Diary we have been trying a few new things to spread our message and presence. One thing is Periscope. So in this unique episode I lift the audio from a recent Periscope session to cover the topic of how to become a real estate entrepreneur.

If you’re new to Cash Flow Diary and are just learning about what we do here, this episode should be very helpful to you. I recap my path to becoming the businessman and investor I am today. You’ll also learn that I’m a father of a few very active children, cuz you’ll hear them from time to time in the background.

I can give Periscope two thumbs up. It’s fun, it’s easy to use and I can record literally from anywhere. What’s also cool is that I can interact with people in real time because the questions flow in, I see them and get to answer. What’s better than that?

Another thing you will get a glimpse of is the chaos of my world when I’m at home with the kids! So if you have ever told yourself that you can’t get into real estate investing because you have children and too much chaos, I’m going to have to call you on it. That’s just an excuse. Of course, to fully appreciate my response, you need to head over the ABOUT PAGE on this site and watch a short video about how my life has changed since I first started as a wholesaler and then moving into a buy-and-hold real estate entrepreneur. Learn more. LISTEN NOW.

Jan 26 2017

39mins

Play

Rank #5: Credit Unions Are The Solution You Didn’t Know You Needed

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Mark Ritter is the CEO of MBFS and an expert in credit unions and business lending. His primary role at MBFS is overseeing the strategy of helping credit unions assist members with business needs and consulting with credit unions on planning the delivery of services to their membership. 

In 2002, Mark started Members 1 st Federal Credit Union's business lending program as "one person and a desk" with no policies, products, staff, systems, or business members. That program grew to be one of the top ten in the nation in the number of loans and balances outstanding for federal credit unions. In addition, Mark developed a participation program that grew to one of the top buyers and sellers of credit union business loans in the eastern United States. He has done extensive work with branch retail staff, business lending operational and sales staff, and credit unions to educate and train them on the merits of business lending.  

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Mark Ritter? 

Mark always tells people that he is a blue collar guy in a white collar world. He grew up in a town called Burwick in Pennsylvania and despite being a marginal football player he found himself with the opportunity to work for the Penn State football team. Without that chance he would probably still be working in that small town. In many ways he can attribute that one thing to getting him to where he is today.

Mark remembers his father talking about their credit union fondly and that has always stuck with him. Once he got older and looking for new areas to work in he thought again of the credit union space. In terms of superheros, Mark considers himself like Aquaman. Aquaman has a number of non obvious superpowers but they are quite useful when you need them. 

  • How are credit unions different?

When you walk into a credit union you’ll see a lot of the same features that you would at a bank. The difference is in the underlying structure, credit unions are a cooperative business that focuses on building relationships and doing what’s right for people. The shareholders and stakeholders of a credit union are the members of that union, and in some ways they are similar to mutual insurance companies.

Credit unions were originally created for businesses, and since then there has been a revolution in what credit unions were capable of that has lead to them really taking off. 

Credit unions can be friendlier when it comes to fees, and terms and conditions on the financing they offer because they are considering what is best for the membership of the union instead of just the shareholders.

One out of every three people have an account with a credit union. They are generally smaller institutions when compared to banks but even then they are still managing many millions of dollars. There are twice as many credit unions in America as there are banks, but getting the word out is one of the main challenges.

Most people want a relationship with their financial institution and with credit unions that’s possible. The numbers are the same for everybody, where credit unions excel is in the qualitative analysis of a loan and taking the story into account.

  • Where do credit unions operate?

Most credit unions prefer to lend within their region but there are some that will consider a wider area. If a customer comes to Mark with a need for financing in another area, they would recommend another credit union to work with that’s closer to home.

Everything that a credit union does in internal to their own portfolio. They lend against their own money but they also love to work cooperatively with other credit unions. For larger loans, there could be multiple credit unions participating in the loan without the borrower even realizing.

Credit unions are insured the same way that banks are insured, so there is pretty much no downside to working with a credit union instead of a bank.

  • Why did you go from football to credit unions?

The community bank of the local area is going away and the trend is towards super sized corporate banks. Mark looked at the credit unions as a career path because their value systems were the same as his.

  • Credit Unions and Real Estate

Credit unions operate in many different markets at every different price point. They work with individual investors, sophisticated investors, and major developers. When credit unions first began they were limited to their lending limits to 12.5% of the portfolio, but legislation recently passed made it so that small 1 to 4 unit properties don’t count against that limit. That has really opened up the possibilities for real estate investors to work with credit unions.

Since they take into account the borrower’s history and experience into the loan, credit unions may be a good lending partner for the more difficult short term rental market. They also take into account the income value of the property instead of just the appraised value. Residential rental lending is nearly a third of Mark’s company’s business.

Most of the lending that a credit union does is recourse lending that requires a personal guarantee, but they do some non recourse lending for bigger investors.

  • Mark’s Takeaway

Follow your dreams. Don’t do it for the money. Do it to fulfill your life goal instead. A business is a great way to build and take control of your own destiny. If you’re one of the two thirds of the country who aren’t members of a credit union, they may be the kind of financial institution that you have been looking for.

Links:

mbfs.org

Member Business Financial Services on LinkedIn

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Sep 06 2019

43mins

Play

Rank #6: CFD 307 - Gary Beasley Says Angels Like Entrepreneurs!

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So, is there a way out of the 9-to-5? Um, yes. That’s what you’ll learn in this episode of the Cash Flow Diary podcast from guest Gary Beasley, who took his own experience in real estate to create his own entrepreneurial thing. You’re sure to get answers to your burning questions about jumping into the real estate investing pool. 

As you might have guessed, Gary wasn’t always the real estate entrepreneur he is today who started www.Roofstock.com, which is something that allows a whole lot more people to participate in real estate investing than ever before. In Gary’s words, he’s proud to have been a part of building a very disruptive company and makes money for the investors and the employees! But he says another thing that gets him excited about Roofstock is the psychic rewards he receives from knowing he is a part of this brainchild. Gary loves what he’s doing!

Coming from a small town in Indiana, he grew up in a traditional, hard-working family where he learned the value of working toward goals. Gary said he feels fortunate not to have grown up with money, because he’s known a number of people who came from money and lacked the motivation to get out there in the real world and do anything special. Gary says that early on he knew the path he didn’t want to take was one that would force him into clipping coupons and working in a company Monday through Friday. 

Gary says that you don’t need your own money to get started as an entrepreneur. While you can’t start a company that requires a lot of capital to get it going, if you have a great idea and a well-thought-out business plan, you can capture the interested of angel investors. In fact, in his experience, investors often like the “scrappy entrepreneur” who will work really hard to make the dream become a successful, income-producing reality. 

You’ll learn a lot about courage, drive, motivation and what makes an entrepreneur great in this episode. Listen to Gary’s story and how he describes his personal journey to success, what he didn’t like about being in a business vs. helping others start businesses and creating real wealth, and why he changed his path to becoming the entrepreneur he is today. LISTEN NOW.

Sep 08 2016

40mins

Play

Rank #7: Lisa Phillips On Affordable Real Estate

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Lisa Phillips is the founder of Affordable Real Estate Investments and #1 bestselling author of Investing in Rental Properties for Beginners: Buy Low, Rent High. After her second layoff and a foreclosure in the bloated Las Vegas, NV real estate market, Lisa found herself alone and halfway across the US from her friends and family with no job. She was left with a 35k condo and only enough money to renovate the place doing the work herself to stretch her unemployment check. It not only gave her a solid foundation of repair maintenance and costs, but also a taste of how owning real estate could be affordable and profitable. After purchasing four more rental properties around or under 30K in OH, MD, and VA, Lisa is now focused on doing one thing she loves to do: showing EVERYONE how they too can affordably start investing in real estate for high profits and cash flow.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Lisa Phillips?

Lisa Phillips was born in an impoverished situation but has a strength and conviction that the world can be a better place. Everyone has a need for a house, but there is another process that goes into turning a house into a home, which is one of Lisa’s innate talents.

Lisa was born and raised in Las Vegas and saw the real estate market in the area and thought it was going to the moon. After getting laid off, Lisa had to move to Ohio to find a job that paid a similar salary to what she was making before, which she needed to covering the mortgage on the condo she had purchased. One of the main lessons she learned from that experience was to make sure the average rent of the neighbourhood can cover the payment in case you need it to.

While living in Ohio, she was laid off again after purchasing a small condo and realized that low priced and affordable homes are a great protection in times of recession and uncertainty.

  • Saving Money For Real Estate

When you’re single you choose what level of savings you want to achieve. Once you have a family it becomes much harder to save the same level because your dream of frugality may not be theirs.

  • Courage

Courage comes from being true to who you are. It comes from acknowledging your soul and not letting other people tell you how you live your life. Listen to your own internal intuition and guidance, don’t ignore it.

Lisa noticed that every time she didn’t listen to the voice in her heard, she tended to regret it so she had some practice with it. It can be very hard when everyone around you is going in one direction and your intuition is telling you to go the other way but Lisa found that the more she listened to her soul the more she came out ahead.

Optimism and confidence in yourself to figure out something for yourself or ask for help are two other tools that will help you succeed. You can weather through the storm.

Lessons learned can help you when you get burned. By having such a negative experience with her first real estate purchase, Lisa learned a lot about the economics and math of the whole process and that helped her with her future deals.

  • Why do you help people?

Lisa felt that even though she doesn’t have a massive portfolio of properties she still had some knowledge that other people could really benefit from.

Inspiring people and creating a culture of responsibility are big reasons why Lisa continues to talk to people about her real estate methods. She knows that it doesn’t take a huge number of properties to change the way you think about life and allow you to do things that you always wanted to.

If even 10% of the people in the world had the financial ability to spend most of their time doing the things that they really love, the world would be a different place. Sometimes you just need to see someone else do it before you realize you can do it yourself.

Reference: Investing in Rental Properties for Beginners: Buy Low, Rent High, Lisa Phillips

  • Lisa’s Takeaway

First get really clear about what you want and why you’re doing it. Then talk to yourself in your head about what that vision will do and what it’s going to be. Don’t tell anyone else until why you believe it. Do the research so you can minimize the risks and then choose the path to get you there. Start acting. Have your daydream sessions and then make them fun. Find a coach and talk to them about what you want to achieve, invest in people that can help you.

Links:

affordablerealestateinvestments.com

youtube.com/user/affordablerei

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Feb 11 2019

40mins

Play

Rank #8: CFD 274 – How I Did My First 117 Units of Property and Beyond

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In this short Cash Flow diary podcast episode I talk about a few of the basics, like how I did my first deals (because I get the question all the time), how to raise capital and how to generate leads. What you’ll learn is to do things in a certain sequence, which will help get others to enroll in your process. It’s like planting your lands in preparation for a harvest. You have to plow the land, prepare the soil, seed it, do a few more things to keep cultivating and nurturing your crops… and finally get to the harvest. (In real estate transactions, the close of the deal is your harvest.)

In this episode you will learn about the importance of conducting the III interview (triple “I”) with everyone you want to work with. That’s because you want your buyers, investors and sellers to be in total alignment with your goals, mission and vision. If they don’t fit you can’t force them to fit. If you do, you’ll be sorry at some point down the road.

You’ll also learn how to generate leads wherever you go. Whether that’s at Starbucks or the mall or in line at the grocery store. Again, it’s like planting seeds. You don’t just plant in one spot. You spread them around so you get a big, healthy crop.

If you want a better look at generating leads in the real world, you need to check out our Lead Machine Video Course. If you do, you can actually begin generating leads minutes after taking the course! It happens all the time. (It gives you all my offline lead-generation strategies I used when I was starting out as an investor and strategies I use even today!)

You will want to take notes as you listen to this episode. It is taken from a recent Periscope session I did on lead generation. We are archiving these videos in our member area, so if you are a Cashflow Core Member you can go watch it and take screen shots of the graphics I drew in this one! (BTW, you’ll hear my kids in the background. They have taken the role of my official “heart monitors” because we’re trying to reach a million hearts on Periscope by the end of the month.) Learn more. LISTEN NOW.

May 16 2016

36mins

Play

Rank #9: CFD 303 - Kenneth D. Campbell

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Ken created and edited for 20 years an influential investment newsletter; co-wrote The Real Estate Trusts: America’s Newest Billionaires, first full-length book on REITs; and co-founded a global firm managing $20 billion in assets.

Born in the western Pennsylvania steel town of Butler, Ken received his undergraduate degree from Capital University in Bexley (Columbus), OH, and his MBA from the Graduate School of Business Administration (now Stern Business School) of New York University.  After stints as associate and news editor of House & Home magazine, he joined Standard & Poor’s Corp. as a security analyst before forming Audit Investments Inc. in 1969.  His investment advisory and editorial experiences at Audit are recounted in Watch That Rat Hole … and Witness the REIT Revolution. Now eighty-six, Ken lives with Irene, his wife of sixty-five years, outside Philadelphia.

Aug 25 2016

55mins

Play

Rank #10: The Science of Getting Rich

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David Neagle is the bestselling author of The Millions Within: How to Manifest Exactly What You Want and Have an EPIC Life!. He is one of the architects of the coaching and personal growth industry, and has spoken or worked alongside Bob Proctor, Marianne Morrisey, and Tony Robbins.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is David Neagle?

David was a person that was truly confused about the meaning of life. He came from a place of dysfunction in childhood and sought the answers to his questions from his teachers, parents, and mentors but no one could answer him. He ended up venturing on his own and turned into a curious kid on the wrong path in life.

He could really relate to the idea of “I don’t like what I am doing, but I don’t know what to go do.” At some point, David made the decision to follow the desires of his own heart which put him into a different emotional state, and his results soon changed as well. He wanted to set up his life so that he could do what he loved, with the people he loved.

  • Why do we feel like we need permission?

We are raised to believe that we need permission in order to advance in life. Permission is subconsciously linked to security which is something that is vital to human beings. The proper role of a parent is to turn over the power to make decisions to their children as they grow over time but many dysfunctional families end up with children taking care of the parents instead.

We live in a world of conflicting ideas and information, without a set of core values to guide us through life we begin to look for others to guide us and tell us what we need to do.

  • Questions About Suffering

Are we meant to suffer? David had a near death experience when he was younger that completely changed his perspective on life and brought a sense of urgency to his life.

David was working six days a week and couldn’t earn more than $20,000 a year and felt stuck. He was emotionally and physically exhausted while on the job one day that he had a complete breakdown and asked for direction. He received the answer “change your attitude” and decided to act like he loved what he did, do every job to the best of his ability, and treat everyone with respect from then on. Within 30 days he went from $20,000 a year to $62,000 and realized he was on to something big.

Your attitude determines your altitude.

  • The Science of Getting Rich

For years the book The Science of Getting Rich had been around David but he always thought it was a book about economics, that was until many people told him he had to read it. After reading The Science of Getting Rich in a single afternoon, he realized that it contained the answers he was always looking for.

Once he got clarity, David was able to make positive changes to his life much faster. Lack of clarity is the primary obstacle in people’s lives.

There is so much conflicting information in the world and if the information you discover conflicts with the principles you were raised with, it creates an internal battle. Until that battle is resolved, it’s impossible to get clear on your life.

  • Where did the courage to teach others come from?

David was waking up in the middle of the night for six months. Every night he awoke with the thought that if he wanted to live his dream, he had to leave, but he didn’t understand what it was that he had to leave. He called his mentor Bob Proctor who told David to just quit. He learned that the decision always comes first.

You always get what you need when you need it. You will not replay a pattern in your life that you haven’t experienced before.

To grow you have to acknowledge the desire in your heart. The conflict that comes in for a lot of people is they believe that’s irresponsible. There is a lot of uncertainty in people’s mind about how resilient they are.

When you connect the result to the action and the thought, everything in your life changes. True wealth is the awareness to manifest whatever you need in life.

Reference: The Millions Within: How to Manifest Exactly What You Want and Have an EPIC Life!, David Neagle

  • David’s Takeaway

The first thing is to change the concept of who you think you are. When you hear the voice that tells you about all the things you did wrong in the past, it shapes your concept that you are flawed. Making mistakes is not a flaw, it’s how we learn. Embrace the idea of making mistakes and growing rapidly. Step into your purpose. Make a solid decision to take an action on something which creates momentum and opens the door to the next decision. Opportunity often shows up as misfortune or temporary defeat, when you make the decision to focus on what you want your awareness will expand and then it becomes a process of saying yes to the things that will move you forward.

Links:

davidneagle.com

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Nov 08 2018

44mins

Play

Rank #11: CFD 439 - The Truth About Money

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Ric Edelman, Founder & Executive Chairman of Edelman Financial Services, has been ranked the #1 Independent Financial Advisor in the nation by Barron’s three times.1 His commitment to teaching consumers about personal finance has established him as a popular and trusted financial professional in the country. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Edelman’s eight books have collectively sold more than one million copies and have been translated into several languages.

Jan 11 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #12: CFD 319 - Mat Sorensen Reveals a “Hidden” Private Capital Source You Need to Know About NOW.

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Cash Flow Diary podcast guest Attorney Mat Sorensen is the guy that I was fortunate to meet and work with a few years ago. He is also the person who first introduced me to the idea of using SDIRAs, which happens to be the “most investable section of cash” available to you as a real estate entrepreneur in the world. Mat would know; he’s an author who wrote the book on SDIRA rules. He’s also a speaker, trainer, radio show host and all-around great guy!

So, what does “SDIRA” mean? Simply it means “Self-Directed IRA” and as such it means the monies in that type of account can be used to invest in properties… like YOUR properties. And it’s not all that tough to rollover or transfer monies from a traditional IRA into one that is self-directed. You can’t do it, but there are companies that specialize in that sort of thing. You need a custodian for the self-directed account. Guess what Mat helps people do?

Mat is one of people who can help people open SDIRAs, because that’s one of the things his firm advises clients to do. In fact, Mat has advised thousands of clients with self-directed retirement plan investments, because he is one of the go-to experts on the topic in the country. 

Today, Mat has established IRA/LLCs, partnerships, private offerings, corporations, and other investment structures with self-directed IRAs and 401(k)s. In addition to account owners, over the years his clients have included trust companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, hedge funds, investment sponsors, and third party administrators.

If you meet people who have self-directed IRAs, those people can invest in your deals. It pays to find out what type of retirement accounts those people you meet happen to have. And if they have a more traditional IRA or retirement account, you can help them move it to being a self-directed account… if you know who to send them to. Mat is a trusted source, because he is someone I can personally attest to that really knows his stuff. 

Stick with this episode and you’ll learn that people might be calling your IRA “self-directed” when it absolutely is not. You’ll also learn what a truly self-directed IRA is and what it can do… which is invest in real estate. There are rules, however, and you need to follow them by the letter of the law. You aren’t the one investing; your IRA is. 

This is a very educational episode, so make sure you keep a notepad next to you if you can as you listen. Mat does his best at using layman’s terms to explain the complicated stuff he does. Learn more. LISTEN NOW. 

Oct 20 2016

47mins

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Rank #13: CFD 297 - The Path To Wealth with May McCarthy

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Since 1982, May McCarthy has helped to start and grow six successful companies as large as $100 million in annual revenues. She is a best-selling author, speaker, university lecturer and angel investor. She serves on business, philanthropic, arts and university boards. May has become successful by implementing spiritual principles into her ventures, and it is her passion to pass her knowledge on to others. She is the author of the best-selling book The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance.

Aug 04 2016

49mins

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Rank #14: CFD 332 - John Pollock Talks about Keeping Your Hard-Earned Money and How to Earn $1000 Right Now with Your Own House!

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As the CEO of Financial Gravity, Cash Flow Diary podcast guest John Pollock has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs find legal, moral and ethical ways to lower their tax, raise profit and create wealth. Why? Because that’s how they can finally start living their own version of the American Dream – a key reason Financial Gravity was started in the first place.

Of course… and as you might guess… John wasn’t always the helpful CEO and tax expert he is today. But he did find his superpower early on… and then had to find the confidence to run with it!

John started out as a sales person with a moral compass. He took the corporate path even without earning a college degree. That’s right!! No degree and yet he educated himself, calling himself a constant student. He’s also “unemployable,” which is something he learned after losing a few jobs in a row. So he decided to start his own business selling insurance… specifically annuities… but didn’t like it because he realized that once a customer bought his “product” they wouldn’t need anything new from him again for 20 years.

One day, after sitting down to look at the checks he was earning and realizing he wasn’t earning much when he was taking a whole bunch of risk, he knew he’d have to change his path, which is something you’re going to want to do, too… by learning new things. He started his journey by seeking the door for the super wealthy, learning that there isn’t one. But there is a tax code… and it’s for everyone. (But a lot of the super-wealthy use to keep their money instead of giving it to the IRS.)

If you want to learn how to use the tax code to your benefit, you need to listen to this episode of Cash Flow Diary!! John makes tax info pretty fun to hear. You’re gonna love what he has to say!! Learn more. LISTEN NOW.

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Dec 05 2016

1hr 8mins

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Rank #15: CFD 409 - Investing Like The 1%

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This episode shows you how to duplicate the results of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world and invest life the top 1%.

Scott Picken is a South African-born real estate investor and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Wealth Migrate, a fintech company that offers real estate investments on its online marketplace through crowdfunding. He began offering real estate investment solutions at the age of 26 when he founded International Property Solutions.

The Huffington Post named Wealth Migrate as one of the top 60 real estate crowdfunding solutions in the United States in 2014.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Scott Picken?

Scott Picken has always loved building things. Scott built an extension onto his family’s house at the age of 13. This lead to his passion for building businesses and technology.

  • Building Something Tangible Versus Something Intangible

If you want to be successful, do what successful people do.

The amount of money you can make in the business world is proportional to the amount of value you can add.

  • How Did You Go From 13 Year Old To Wealth Migrate?

After missing out on a major opportunity during the 2008 crisis, Scott decided to build a platform that allowed people to access the capital that the institutions could as well as the knowledge and expertise to invest globally.

  • Using The Wealth Migrate Platform

No matter what happens to business and technology, the fundamentals never change.

  • What Are The Top 3 Mistakes That You’ve Made?

Systems unlock the potential for your business.

The people you know and like don’t always make good team members, it can make having difficult conversations even harder.

  • Scott’s Takeaway

Nobody learned how to swim by reading a book, at some point you have to jump in the water.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, it’s not a case of if, it’s a case of when you will make mistakes. The important trait to have is persistence.

Links:

https://www.wealthmigrate.com/

http://www.ipsinvest.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Picken

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Sep 28 2017

51mins

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Rank #16: CFD 299 - Mark Rampolla Tells Us to Build Something Great by Going Somewhere No One Else Will!!

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Cash Flow Diary podcast guest Mark Rampolla is the man behind Zico Coconut Water. I’m talking about the highly popular coconut water beverage my family knows and loves!! Mark wrote a book that has to do with his journey, too. It’s titled High Hanging Fruit and it’s a recommended read.

Mark wasn’t always the trend-setting entrepreneur he is today. BUT what drove him toward starting his own business is that he was never quite like his peers. He wasn’t into the trends, but he watched them with interest. 

He also knew how to set goals. So before he chose the product he wanted to launch he needed something that would scale. He wanted something healthy and that would make people’s lives better if they took it into their bodies. After lots of research and because he happens to love coconut water, Mark and his wife decided that’s what his road to wealth and success would be. 

This success didn’t happen overnight. But then when does that ever happen in real life? He put in 9 years of hard work up front as he grew his brand. Everyone in his little company worked toward his mission. (It’s always about more than just the possible money we can make, right?) 

The great news is that Mark’s little company isn’t little any longer. Because of Mark’s dedication and beliefs about the benefits of his products, he attracted excellent talent to the company, which made growth happen naturally. 

Mark’s story is very unique… and I don’t use that word often. This guy’s energy is contagious. He has a great amount of wisdom that he shares about building a business of YOUR dreams, and if this interview doesn’t motivate you to move further toward your goals, well, I don’t know what to say. Listen in particular to what Mark has to say about “going where others don’t want to go” to get to the success he now enjoys. Learn more. Listen now. 

Aug 11 2016

43mins

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Rank #17: CFD 259 - How to Become A Real Estate Entrepreneur

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We are always learning new things and trying new things so we can become bigger and badder in whatever we are doing in life and in our professional lives. When we have a business we need to keep trying new things with our marketing. This is a critical factor in building your presence in the world and online. 

At Cash Flow Diary we have been trying a few new things to spread our message and presence. One thing is Periscope. So in this unique episode I lift the audio from a recent Periscope session to cover the topic of how to become a real estate entrepreneur. 

If you’re new to Cash Flow Diary and are just learning about what we do here, this episode should be very helpful to you. I recap my path to becoming the businessman and investor I am today. You’ll also learn that I’m a father of a few very active children, cuz you’ll hear them from time to time in the background. 

I can give Periscope two thumbs up. It’s fun, it’s easy to use and I can record literally from anywhere. What’s also cool is that I can interact with people in real time because the questions flow in, I see them and get to answer. What’s better than that? 

Another thing you will get a glimpse of is the chaos of my world when I’m at home with the kids! So if you have ever told yourself that you can’t get into real estate investing because you have children and too much chaos, I’m going to have to call you on it. That’s just an excuse. Of course, to fully appreciate my response, you need to head over the ABOUT PAGE on this site and watch a short video about how my life has changed since I first started as a wholesaler and then moving into a buy-and-hold real estate entrepreneur. Learn more. LISTEN NOW. 

Mar 24 2016

39mins

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Rank #18: CFD 395 [REPLAY 023] - How to Produce Passive Income, Find Leads, and Build a Team in Real Estate

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Would you believe me if I told you that you are capable of purchasing a property and  selling that property without having to have any earnest money in as little as seven days? Listen now, as J. Massey teaches a live audience how making assumptions limits your possibilities and opportunities to learn, grow and get paid.

Jul 24 2017

40mins

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Rank #19: Top Tips to Help You Curb Your Fascination with Procrastination - Replay

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There’s an old adage that tells us, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” I couldn’t agree more. Procrastinating only serves to hurt you. That’s what I share with you in this episode of my Cash Flow Diary podcast. 

There are lots of reasons to move tasks from your to-do list to your to-done list. (And, yes, I believe in to-do lists.) One reason is simple; it makes you feel great knowing you took care of business. You didn’t put the to-do’s off; now they’re done and scratched off your list. (I talk about this in this episode, but because it is really important, I also talk about it in my book.)

The bigger reason to stop procrastinating is that it’s a bad habit that holds you back from success. Literally. I’m not the only one who thinks so. I found an interesting article in Psychology Today in which you’ll learn that procrastinators sabotage themselves. Here’s the link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200308/procrastination-ten-things-know

This article breaks down the types of procrastinators and gives reasons for the “maladaptive” behavior. That’s a fancy way of saying BAD HABIT. 

If you procrastinate, you are sending the world a big message. Not a good one. 

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to help yourself stop being a procrastinator. For example, you can track your time in 15-minute increments. You can break your larger tasks up into bite-sized nuggets. You can change your scenery. (There’s a reason I choose to make a nearby Starbucks and the busiest malls my office!) 

Here’s the deal… You can cut back on distractions and force yourself into a corner where success is the only outcome. It starts by taking action at the speed of instruction and then continuing to take steps without putting tasks off. 

If you find that hard to do, it might be that your bad habit is being supported by likeminded pals. Maybe it’s time to change the types of people you hang out with. Another old adage says, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Hey, it’s true. 

If you surround yourself with motivated non-procrastinators that’s gonna be a whole lot better for you in the long run than if you surround yourself with I’ll-do-it-tomorrow types. While you’re at it, get a few accountability partners. They’ll help keep you on track. (But it’s still all up to you to get to your goals.)

Be clear on your goals, too. Stop overthinking things. They aren’t as complicated as you are your inner voice of fear and negativity make them out to be! If you want to learn more about the negative self-talk, go back and listen to the previous episodes in this 8 Things to Give Up podcast series. 

The bottom line is that we can be our own worst enemies. When it comes to achieving the success we desire, we can get in our own way. The good news is that we can step out of our own way, too, and we can totally change our bad habits. That’s another thing I talk about in this special episode. Don’t put off listening to it. LISTEN NOW. 

Aug 07 2019

31mins

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Rank #20: CFD 417 - Developing Your Skillset For True Mastery

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This episode is all about making yourself more valuable by developing your skillset and investing in your future.

David is a real estate investor/agent/author/entrepreneur/police officer in the CA SF Bay Area. David's goal is to achieve total financial independence through real estate and to help as many others do so as possible. When not hunting bad guys, he hunts deals and loves talking real estate.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is David Greene?

David used to be a basketball fanatic, his love for basketball taught him that work ethic and training is more important than talent.

The things we notice are not usually the things that lead to success, it’s the fundamentals that determine who is successful or not.

  • Developing Your Skillset

You should try to understand why something works, not just that it works. Become the best version of yourself that you can be if you don’t want to have any regret.

Competency is the baseline, you should strive for mastery.

  • Mastery As A Game

True mastery comes from teaching others what you are doing.

  • The Fear Of Losing And The Ability To Learn

Developing a skillset is a skillset in itself. Removing the fear of failure makes the accomplishment meaningless.

  • Investing In The Future

Putting in the time early on is a great way to save money that you can invest and multiply later on. Small steps are the key to building confidence and skill.

  • Police Officer To Entrepreneur
  • The BRRR Strategy

Working long hours to save money is hard, it’s like cutting down a tree with a dull axe.

  • David’s Takeaway

Create relationships with people who already know what you want to know and do what you want to do, offer to be helpful.

Links:

http://www.greeneincome.com

https://www.facebook.com/davidgreene24

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes!

Oct 26 2017

36mins

Play

TaxDome and How Technology Allows Small Businesses To Compete For a Fraction of the Price

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Co-founder of TaxDome - a cloud based practice management solution targeted to small/medium sized firms (1-25), helping entrepreneurs scale quickly & easily. TaxDome is an all-in-one solution for tax and accounting professionals to manage their business. 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Ilya Radzinsky? 

Looking back Ilya always had an entrepreneurial spirit and when he was younger he wanted to own a restaurant. He managed to get a job as a busboy but found it was much harder than he thought it would be and didn’t last more than a week. He pivoted his focus and got creative with his first business of selling digital items on eBay. With some encouragement from his parents, Ilya followed the footsteps of his brother and went into finance as a banker and financial analyst. 

Several years into his career, Ilya’s boss shut down the hedge fund he was working at and took a three month sabbatical. During that time, his brother was getting into product development and found a big opportunity. Ilya decided to team up with him and that’s how we get to present day with TaxDome. Generally, Ilya tries to adapt to the times and look for new opportunities.

  • Getting Into Finance

Finance has a bit of a bad reputation but in many ways it’s like Medicine. There are a number of different roles that you can play within the industry. Ilya enjoyed his career in finance and if it wasn’t for his boss getting divorced he would have probably just continued working at the hedge fund and wouldn’t have gone on to start a business. 

Oftentimes, the experiences that feel uncomfortable lead to better things in the future. Adversity often refocuses your vision of the world in a more clear way than before and the successful person usually follows a winding path with plenty of setbacks before they get to where they are.

  • Why TaxDome?

In 2010, the trends were moving in the direction of more people completing tax returns online in some way and back in the day, Ilya and his brother started working with a firm that was looking to go fully remote and scale their business. They started building that product for them and it went on to transform their business. A few years ago, Ilya and his brother saw an opportunity with the emergence of SaaS companies and that’s when the idea for Taxdome came alive. They created a similar platform to the one they created before specifically for accountants that allows them to access a plug and play solution for their business without requiring a major IT investment.

If you’re an accountant, you need a lot of different services in order to run your business and TaxDome is an integrated solution that aims to eliminate as many of those services as possible. TaxDome is trying to reduce the software burden for accountants and allow them to better compete with other businesses as technology changes the way transactions occur. 

In a lot of ways, small businesses are facing a large challenge of cobbling together a number of software solutions to be able to compete with larger businesses and their economies of scale. TaxDome is championing small businesses and trying to give them the tools and ability to compete and win.

Adopting a new software solution can be daunting so in order to lower the barrier to entry and give clients an idea of what to expect, TaxDome offers a simulated account without having to sign up. The simulated account allows people to experience the software from the perspective of the owner, the contractor, and the client.

  • Transparency

Transparency is a core tenet of TaxDome. Safety and security are a part of that, but a big focus is on making change more approachable. Customers can look into TaxDome and get an understanding of everything they are going to get and exactly what the value of the software to their company will be. From a business structure, TaxDome is not a sales heavy company. The goal is to be so easy to use and obviously valuable that the customer can easily make an informed buying decision.

  • The Effects of Technology on Business

Technology is reducing the barrier to entry. 20 years ago to start a business you had to spend a large amount of money on infrastructure. Today businesses can access incredible resources like cloud computing that have drastically reduced the costs of starting a business. Technology has also reduced the risk of starting a business by lowering the cost of nearly everything.

In many ways, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It’s not all afternoons off and coffee with friends. You have to be okay with failure and pivoting in order to be an entrepreneur and people shouldn’t feel pressured to start a business just because it’s currently the sexy thing to do.

For Ilya, being an entrepreneur and being comfortable with failure has been a skill that he developed over time. Being able to take in negative feedback and not take it personally is crucial to the improvement and success of your business. 

  • Ilya’s Takeaway

Write down the pros and cons of your potential decisions. Instead of keeping everything in your head, put it down on paper and make it clear. Few things in life are black and white, they’re mostly grey and putting things down on paper allows you to better navigate big decisions.

Links:

Get into the daily demo at taxdome.com

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Jan 20 2020

40mins

Play

Making Sure Your Insurance Company Pays Up Q&A

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J is answering all your questions about business, short term rentals, personal growth, and whatever else it is you’re curious about. We’re also exploring the subjects of insurance and occupancy in particular, how much insurance do you need and what metrics should be looking at to maximize your occupancy. Insurance is one area that you don’t want to cut corners so make sure you understand how to make it work for you.

Questions and Answers

  • How do we handle bad guests? 

The first step is to breathe and realize you will survive. Everyone will experience this at some point. The process of removing an unwanted guest that has broken your rules is the same no matter the infraction. One thing to note is if the person is willing to pay the fees for breaking the rules, take the money and move on.

If you have to file a resolution with Airbnb you’re going to need to do it immediately. Your window of opportunity is very small to file a claim so don’t wait to do it. If the guest wants to write a bad review, waiting to make a claim is not going to stop them from writing the bad review. You will have to rely on the content policy to protect you from an unfair negative review.

  • A question about improving a listing’s rankings

The caller has multiple listings but is wondering why a couple of them aren’t performing at all. Before a booking can happen, inquiries must happen, before that views must happen, and before that impressions have to happen. Each one is a statistic that can measured and looked at to identify where in the process the problem lies.

For this caller there seems to be an issue with the inquiries on her listing. The words in the listing itself may be the problem since people are clicking on the listing at a high rate, but something is turning them away at that point in the conversion process. A lack of reviews may also be a barrier for converting people that are landing on the listing.

  • A question about guests receiving packages at the unit

It’s always better to have guests route their packages to a local UPS store instead of the unit itself. You don’t need the liability of a guest receiving potentially illegal packages and the UPS store is insured against those kinds of things. That also comes a paper trail for an extra level of protection.

  • Does insurance cover lost business income?

The caller had a unit that got flooded which required a rehab and resulted in 12 months of lost income. In her case, the insurance only paid out for the days that were already booked that were canceled. She had the right insurance coverage at the time.

When it comes to down to getting insurance there is replacement cost and actual cash value and it’s very important to understand the distinction. When it comes to lost business income, J sets the limits at $120,000 and the contents limit at $40,000 because he knows the insurance company will always try to minimize the pay out.

The caller also made the mistake of registering her insurance under her own name instead of an entity like an LLC. That means she is paying more than J is on each unit, despite having considerably less coverage than he does.

Since the caller hasn’t deposited the insurance checks yet, she still has the opportunity to make further claims. A public adjuster is someone who can help her claim additional pay outs that she’s entitled to. The caller should look for a public adjuster with experience in hotels and put them on her case.

It’s important to keep in mind that the typical insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and not for you. 

  • I already have a business entity, can I use it or should I create a new one?

If your lawyer says it’s okay, go for it. 

  • What happens if a landlord tries to use the landlord presentation against us?

The presentation is not legally binding so there isn’t much a landlord could complain about in that regard.

  • Is there an upfront charge for a public adjuster’s services?

Most of them are contingent on the increase of the claim. If the adjuster doesn’t think they can increase the claim, they probably won’t take the case. If they want you to pay upfront, that’s a warning sign and you should look elsewhere.

  • What insurance company do you recommend?

Since J doesn’t want to be construed as trying to sell insurance, he can’t make a particular recommendation but you look in the student group on Facebook you will probably find some suggestions. 

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Jan 02 2020

1hr 24mins

Play

Scaling A Short Term Rental Business Q&A

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One of the most important things to understand about the short term rental business is that it gets easier with the more units you have. If you’re ready to scale up your business and start acquiring new units, you need to take the steps necessary to set yourself up for success. 

Questions and Answers

  • What do we with units that have carpets in them? 

Carpets can be challenging because they are gigantic sponges for bacteria. If your unit does have carpets you need to have a process for keeping it clean in place. Establishing a relationship with a carpet vendor that your cleaning crew can contact to get the work done without getting the approval from you will save you a lot of time.

  • How many customer service managers do you have and how many hours do they work?

J has a pair of customer service managers working for him that cover a total of 16 hours a day. He chose each of them to hire as managers and he trained them directly through a screen sharing app like Zoom or Loom.

  • I have some people interested in working with me and my short term rental business but they are wary of marketplaces like Airbnb. Is there anything I can do to help them be more comfortable with them?

You would think these people would be more comfortable with markets like Airbnb and HomeAway than they would with Facebook. If the caller wants to reassure these people, showing them the listing so they understand what details are being revealed is a good option.

Starting with Airbnb as your first platform also gives you the advantage of benefitting from their existing background check process. What the landlord really wants to know is the contact information of the person in the case of an emergency, and that can be solved by simply automating parts of the reservation process.

If you explain to the landlord that you are on the same side of the table and will be making major investments in the unit and don’t want unsavory guests as well, things will go much smoother. In many cases, you have the ability to correct the issue if it does come up than the landlord could with a traditional tenant.

  • Should I use Guesty if I am bringing on three additional units?

J recommends using Smartbnb and Lodgify instead of Guesty to his students. Everybody who brings on multiple units at the same time gets overwhelmed but it gets easier the more you do it. 

It’s also important to understand the difference between using a tool and using it expertly. If you don’t know how to use the tool well, it’s not going to be able to help you scale your business.

  • We’ve got our first short term rental unit up and running and want to scale. Should we wait until we’re making more profit to scale or push ahead now?

The short term rental business is easier with more units than it is with less. Starting a new unit in a slow season can be very challenging but since the caller has managed to cover the rent of the first unit during one of the slowest periods of the year, they should get started as quickly as possible. 

  • I have an investor that has reached their maximum writeoff capacity, if they invest with me outside of California can he get write off more?

We’re not tax experts and this isn’t tax advice, but there are a number of strategies you can employ to put you in a better tax position. Check out episode 556 of the Cashflow Diary to learn about the Deferred Sales Trust and how it may be a solution to your investor’s problem.

  • I’m trying to get up and running with Lodgify but I’m having trouble setting up the website, what do I do?

J ran into the same trouble initially. The best solution to getting it done is to just find someone that knows how to do it and asking for their help. 

  • Are you able to do short term rentals in a gated community of is it just a waste of time?

Short term rentals can definitely be done in gated communities, there is just a few extra steps you need to take to make sure everything is communicated properly.  

  • I’m negotiating my first unit and the owner wants me to put the first six months of the lease under my name instead of my LLC, what should I do?

Don’t do the deal that way. Put the entity on the lease and be the personal guarantor. You don’t want to be open to the potential liability and being a personal guarantor will probably satisfy what the owner is really looking for.

  • If you’re new to short term rentals, when should you fund and grow?

Many of J’s students have been able to access over a million dollars in capital to grow their business and they’ve found that once they get started, it’s fairly easy to pay back their obligations. The thing you have to consider is the opportunity cost of inaction and not taking advantage of the money that is available.

  • What are the benefits of running Airbnb under a business name?

We don’t do Airbnb, we run a short term rental business. To answer the question, it only takes one time with something defective in your unit to cause you major liability problems. The longer you’re in the business the more likely something like that will come up so you’re going to want to have protection in place. Run your business through an entity of some kind.

  • Do you need to get financing when you get started or do you wait until your first unit?

One of the best things about the short term rental business is that you don’t need an exorbitant amount of financing to make it work. Once you get one unit, it’s a game of patience until you get your next unit and so on. Self funding is a real thing, and another major advantage of the short term rental business model is that it prepares you for owning real estate long term. You can get financing or not, it’s up to you.

One thing to keep in mind is that the less other people’s money you use, the faster you will put yourself into a strong position in a very short period of time. 

  • One of our rules of thumb is that we have to double market rent to reach our goals. Does this sound right to you?

You’re on the right track but one of the things to keep in mind is to measure on a month to month basis, but not necessarily the 12 month basis. There is seasonality to how travel happens and you’ll start to see the deviations in each month and begin to better prepare for them. That will also help you smooth out the low periods by organizing your business properly.

Links:

Think and Grow Rich

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Dec 30 2019

1hr 8mins

Play

Bookings, Marketing, VA’s, and Landlords in the Short Term Rental Business Q&A

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Robert Vocolla guest hosts the Q&A show with J today and they’re talking about some very important short term rental business questions. Find out about security processes, managing VA’s, marketing your business, getting out of problematic leases, and more.

Questions and Answers

  • A question about processes around security technology 

Rob uses a simple analog process to make sure his guests don’t run into issues with the security system in his units. He uses sticky labels on each panel that warns the guest not to tamper with it and has a basic template in Smartbnb that gets sent out that lets the guest know how to interact with the security system. This has drastically reduced the number of false alarms.

  • I’ve got three VA’s covering 18 hours a day, seven days a week and they’re great at following SOPs but not so good at doing customer service work?

Hiring is always a major challenge, if you want to find someone that can handle managerial level tasks it’s going to take a lot of searching. You may have to review, hire, and fire a number of people before you will find that gem of a person that checks off all the boxes. For this particular caller, they have multiple units in multiple cities and that’s adding to the stress of working with his team.

A good rule of thumb is to be prepared to train someone for 30 hours for every hour a task would take you to do. A quick tip for your customer service manager is to look at what time of day your business is getting the most messages because that will inform what hours you should assign your team.

  • What are the most important marketing KPIs to track?

There is a whole set of metrics around leads, around customer conversion, and average order and frequency. All of them should be measured and tracked and each one can have a compounding impact on the growth potential of your business.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of your marketing on Airbnb is about working with the algorithm correctly. Make sure you have the right pictures with good descriptions because your search position in the rankings will determine your success on that platform. 

Tools like Smartbnb are crucial to understanding the most important metrics in your business. The only way to have metrics to look at and measure is to gather data.

  • What is the difference between Basic and Pro in Lodgify and Smartbnb?

The biggest difference between the two is one uses and API to communicate with other apps and the other uses the older iCal method. Since the caller is using Smartbnb, they should just stick with basic because they already have a built in sync feature that makes Pro unnecessary.

  • What are you guys doing to get more bookings from booking.com?

Getting guests on booking.com is similar to the other channels even if it feels like it’s more work. One of the secrets is to have every single field filled out for your listing and setting your prices correctly with Lodgify. Keep in mind that guests from booking.com may be more seasonal as well.

Mirror the same types of policies on booking.com that you have on other channels to keep everything consistently.

No one is currently satisfied with the messaging situation of booking.com. It’s a very manual process but J is actively looking to create a better system. 

  • A question about a six month reservation opportunity

The caller feels like the guest may be trying to pull something over on him. Since that’s the case the question is around the tactical implementation of the reservation. The caller needs to be able to collect in cash and upfront 60 days worth of reservation while also implementing a 30 minimum notification in anything changes. 

Give the guests multiple plans and ways to pay. Under no circumstances should the caller accept less than their target profit numbers for that unit.

  • Are there any resources I can use to explain the short term rental business to financial institutions?

The risk of real estate and the risk of hospitality are different but all the literature and strategies that J uses are meant for landlords, not financial institutions. The majority of lending institutions are still putting together the underwriting model for the short term rental business and they’re not quite ready yet.

You can find some resources that will help you tell the story of your business to prospective partners within the Mastermind product. 

  • I have a potential situation where I may have to get out of a lease. How do I get out?

If you want to get out of your lease, and keep in mind this is not legal advice, you need to be able to document the incidents that come up. One of the promises that the landlord makes with you is called Quiet Enjoyment of the unit, and if they are failing to follow up on that promise you may have something to work with. 

Talk to a landlord attorney to learn what you need to prove that the landlord has broken the contract that will let you out of the lease.

In this case, the landlord has a problem and it shouldn’t be the caller’s problem. Whichever path the caller takes, he needs to document everything.

  • How much do we pay for a manager? What basic rules does a manager follow? What calendar platforms does Lodgify sync with?

Check out module 4 and 5 of the Mastermind product. 

  • What would be the best way to approach an owner about Airbnb?

Rule #1 to keep in mind is that this is not an Airbnb business, this is a short term rental hospitality business. Airbnb is just one channel where you get your customers. If you use the terminology “Airbnb business” you won’t even get your foot in the door with most landlords. Go to cashflowdiary.com/star to learn how to present the business to property owners and to get a deeper understanding of the methodology of the business.

Setting up the business the right way at the front end is what will allow you to scale.

  • Hawaii is a 30 day market and I’ve got a 25 day vacancy in between reservations. What can I do about it?

What can you sell either the previous guest or future guest to cover the revenue you would need for that vacancy period? Being creative is what is going to bridge that gap and once you create these offers you can use them for any number of guests in the future as well.

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Dec 27 2019

1hr 29mins

Play

Business Owners Don’t Need to Fear The Next Recession

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Jonathan Slain is the Founder and CEO of Recession.com, an author, a highly respected keynote speaker, and an expert on recessions & why business owners don’t need to fear them. 

Jonathan spent the last Great Recession huddled in the fetal position on the floor of his office. He borrowed $250,000 from his mother-in-law to survive. Jonathan paid his mother-in-law back and is now a highly sought-after consultant (and, yes, he’s still married!). 

Jonathan understands not only how to prepare your business for the next major recession but also how to turn it into a profitable opportunity.  

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Jonathan Slain? 

Much of Jonathan’s life has been spent in the metaphorical Batcave, doing the research and preparing for whatever it was that he was working towards. Deep preparation has been the common thread in Jonathan’s life all the way back from high school. Studying people who were successful during major recessions is what drew his attention and his experience during the recent Great Recession is what put him on his current path.

Jonathan is also a recovering investment banker, studying different companies and economic indicators for 100 hours a week over the course of two years. He learned that as entrepreneurs, we all always have a recession coming, even if it’s not an economic recession. There are a number of personal events that could put your business into a recession and Jonathan’s focus is on being prepared for the next one, whatever shape it happens to take.

  • How does one plan for things we can’t control?

One major change recently in California has been the recent regulations around single use plastic. These regulations are going to have major impacts on many different kinds of businesses. In these situations, there will always be a few entrepreneurs who see the signs and put themselves in a position to take advantage of the coming changes. 

There have been 11 recessions since World War 2 and they last an average of 11 months. When they do come around, they create a massive amount of disruption in the market that also comes with a number of opportunities. Every business can do things to prepare and position themselves for the major recessions.

  • The Next Recession

We should be looking forward to the next recession, it will happen eventually so you should be prepared. All it really takes is a little forethought and some work upfront that will allow you to pounce when the recession hits, instead of spending the first few weeks or months of the recession trying to catch up.

Every major recession shares some common elements that you can look at historically and predict what may happen in the future. Marketing dollars go extra far during a recession, can you put some money aside now that will allow you to take advantage of this? What if you had a war chest available to buy distressed businesses and assets?

  • The #1 thing to do to prepare right now

The first step is to assess where you are in your recession readiness. You can go to recession.com and take the free survey to get your recession readiness score. It will also let you know which areas you need to start improving. 

The second step is to tune up your personal and business finances. How much debt are you carrying right now? Do you have a line of credit available to you so you can take advantage of opportunities that come up? Can you eliminate your personal guarantees on any loans you have right now?

If you’re going to be prepared for a recession, you need to start doing it now because these options don’t exist once the recession is all over the news and the economy starts to tip.

  • What are some mistakes you’ve made?

For Jonathan, his biggest mistake during the last recession was not being diversified at all. What would happen to short term rental owners if there was a major scandal with Airbnb? What is a hedge that you can build into your portfolio now that has an inverse relationship with a recession so that when part of it goes down, other assets go up.

You need to have an emergency break so you know when to stop borrowing. Set your limits before the crisis so not all your decisions will be emotionally based.

Check your vendors and start building up additional channels for customer acquisition. Don’t just rely on Airbnb. Short term rentals are not likely to go away in a recession but you do need to add a little insurance to your business by removing a single point of failure.

  • Is there something that smaller companies are more vulnerable to?

The number one vulnerability for small businesses and entrepreneurs is the balance sheet. How many months of operating expenses do you have available in the event that business dries up and you need to survive? Plan for the event that your monthly revenue starts to decline and think of expenses that you can cut at certain thresholds. Have those difficult conversations now before they become absolutely necessary.

Another tip is to think of the niches that bigger businesses can’t take advantage of. What things will people still spend their money on during a recession that you can look to and benefit from?

Reference: Rock The Recession, Jonathan Slain

  • Jonathan’s Takeaway

The first thing and the most technical starting points you can begin with is bench marking. Take the assessment and find out where you are right now and what you can do to get prepared today.

Links:

recession.com

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Dec 23 2019

51mins

Play

Dealing With Bad Reviews Before The Holidays Q&A

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This is a review based business, and that means you will probably get some bad reviews at some point. The question is what do you do about them? More than bad reviews, we’re talking about preparing for the holidays, click bait photos, and more.

Questions and Answers

  • For the inventory checklist, how detailed do you get? 

You can be as detailed as counting the silverware, the question is “at what point will you file a claim?” It probably doesn’t make sense due to the manpower and hours it would take to follow up on that. A better way to think about it is “is there enough silverware in the unit?” The benchmark for detail should be somewhere around where you would file a claim for.

  • Preparing for the upcoming holidays

Now is the time to get ready for the holidays. Change the batteries for any automatic door locks, replace the pilot lights for any gas furnaces, get blankets into the units where the climate gets chilly. Have a chat with your crew now to find out if they are going to be working during the holiday.

  • We had a guest break the do not obstruct the camera rule. How long should we wait to leave a bad review without the guest retaliating? How is the guest punished for not paying the fee?

Many of the platforms have a content policy and if the guest leaves a review that violates the policy it will be hidden. The review is basically the guest’s experience with your service so that means it can be very subjective. When leaving a review, neither party will be able to see the review until both have posted it. Ideally you should wait until the last minute of the fourteen day period to avoid a retaliatory bad review. If the guest has already left the review, then you have to rely on the content policy to help you out.

In terms of fees and guests not being willing to pay, just state the facts of what happened. Remove the emotion and Airbnb may be able to take care of the fee for you.

  • I have a new short term rental unit, how long should I need to wait to get my first booking?

The first issue with the caller’s unit is that since they are targeting business travelers their unit may be too large. Two bedroom units that are pet friendly don’t usually have vacancy issues. They tend to be perfect for small families going through an insurance claim so linking up with a local insurance company may be a good move. For J, if he’s going to be working with a two bedroom unit, he’s going to gear it towards a market that he knows works well with that much room. Take a look at the events that are happening locally and focus on the kind of customer you want to serve. Another thing to note is that the winter season is slow for the area where this caller is from.

There is a stream of revenue that’s right in front of you, you just need to get clear on who they are and get in front of them. What are they searching for and how can you appeal to them?

  • Being insurance friendly

Note in your titles for your listings that you are insurance friendly. This has made a big difference in the occupancy rates of J’s units.

  • Regarding an arbitrage unit, are you protected by your lease if there is a change in ownership?

If you’ve done your lease correctly, they can’t end your lease early as long as you pay your rent and follow the terms. That doesn’t guarantee that they will renew but they can’t terminate it.

  • What size of unit should I target to get past the ordinances in place and actually reach the owners?

Part of the reason we focus on short term rentals is because we ultimately want to own real estate in the long term. Phase 1 is getting one unit, phase 2 is picking up a few more units, and phase 3 is being able to pick up units at your leisure. Start with the size of buildings that you intend to own and the numbers make sense. 

Don’t go larger than owner direct, you should be able to get the owner on the phone when you need to in the event of a problem. 

  • What’s in it for a real estate agent to help me?

The short answer is commission. In general, real estate agents will be able to assist you, even if they don’t have all the knowledge of the short term rental model. In many ways, you will have to train them in what you need. 

  • How do you feel about click bait photos?

This is a horrible idea. When it comes to photos, you are competing for the click and people will not click on click bait style photos. Professional photos are far superior for communicating your brand and business than pictures of Eminem.

  • Do you secure your wifi router?

On most routers, there is a way to access the control panel of the router that connects all your various locks and devices. The way J protects this is by taking a photo of the physical information on the back of the router, than blacking it out with a marker and electrical tape to prevent a guest from accessing the info. 

  • Is there anything operationally different for the insurance guest?

No matter who contacts you first, the person will always have to go back to the insurance company. Because of this the insurance guest takes longer to close and there are more questions involved. Also note that insurance guests tend to use a lot of data so keep your internet plan in mind. 

Insurance guests don’t care about recommendations for restaurants and have a number of different concerns that you need to communicate that don’t apply to regular guests.

  • How will bad reviews influence a new listing? Should I start a new account?

The simple answer is to start a new account. The only factor the caller may want to preserve is the age of the account, but that is more than made up for by the benefits of having a fresh account. By having additional units you would also generate a number of reviews that will minimize the impact of bad reviews if you go the route of not creating a new account.

Sometimes things go wrong and a listing will just need a fresh start.

  • If you have multiple listings, what website or platform do you recommend using?

The platforms you use should be relative to the types of customers you are trying to attract. Most people should start on Airbnb because of the built in training wheels that help you get started. As you get more experience, it’s easy to graduate to other platforms.

  • I’m operating in a market with a lot of amateurs, have you ever come across this?

Every market has a significant number of amateurs because the barrier to entry is so low that almost anyone can give it a try. This is why the concepts that J teaches are so important. Do your best to start earning repeat business and you won’t be competing with the amateurs in your market. 

  • How do you handle changing codes between guests?

J has his team change the codes at 11 am which is also the departure time. The new code is not given to the arriving guest until between 3 or 4 pm. This all fits into the process checklist that makes sure everything is done and ready for the new reservation.

  • How do you address an inquiry when they don’t have a complete profile?

Many of the platforms have been dealing with discrimination issues and one of the ways that Airbnb has chosen to address it is by hiding the profile pictures of users. They may actually have a profile picture, you may just not be able to see it.

  • I have three listings and am looking to grow, should I be on multiple platforms?

To get a true ROI from systems and processes, you should definitely look to get on multiple platforms and acquire more listings as soon as possible.

  • How do you feel about owner financing for short term rentals?

There’s nothing wrong with owner financing a short term rental, you’re just going to give up speed.

  • Do you have pointers for managing email?

Google filters are your friend, you will get tons of messages which is why we use tools like Smartbnb to make communication easier. Communication is one of the things that can crush you if you don’t do it right.

  • When should you jump to another platform besides Airbnb?

When your customer is on those other platforms, but don’t concern yourself with scaling until you have systems in place to handle between 7 to 10 units. Keeping track of finances and operations becomes more challenging as you grow so build the systems first.

  • A question about operating units out of state

It doesn’t matter if you start during high or low season, there are pros and cons to each and they tend to even out over the course of the year either way. 

There is no one system to have in place when looking at a new city, you need all of them in place to have the best chance of success. Having everything in place allows you to simply duplicate what you’re already doing so you can get rolling faster.  

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Dec 19 2019

1hr 35mins

Play

Learning Is The Only Skill That Matters

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Jonathan Levi is an experienced entrepreneur, angel investor, and lifehacker from Silicon Valley. Jonathan is known for speed learning his way to all achievements in life: from entrepreneurship to podcasting and even dating. Since 2014, Jonathan has been one of the top-performing instructors on Udemy, with his course Become a SuperLearner® (now retired) earning him over 60,000 students. 

He has since snowballed this success into the launch of his own brand and platform, SuperHuman Academy, which produces such products as the award-winning SuperHuman Academy Podcast (3 million+ downloads) and numerous online courses. He is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, preparing to release his 3rd book “The Only Skill That Matters”  

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Jonathan Levi? 

Jonathan grew up in Silicon Valley and was always meant to be an entrepreneur. In many ways he struggled in school because he couldn’t learn the same way that everyone else seemed to do. Deep down, Jonathan is a maker and a creator that is focused on solving problems and learning new things all the time.

Jonathan was always a bright kid but he had problems in the classroom environment. The only way he made it through high school and got through the curriculum was by being medicated.  When he got into business school, he knew that medication wasn’t going to cut it. He needed to figure out another way to learn that made sense for him. It was around that time that he found someone who had developed a methodology for speed reading and accelerated learning that completely changed Jonathan’s life and gave him his first real world super power.

After meeting multiple real world super humans, Jonathan learned that anyone can do these incredible things simply by learning the techniques and practicing.

Jonathan is a big believer in the law of attraction, but he’ll be the first to tell you that it only works if you implement the law of action first. There are very few things in life that can’t be accomplished if you put in the work to learn the ropes. Whatever challenge you are facing in life, the difference between excitement and anxiety is knowledge.

For Jonathan, it was a series of individual moments that culminated in his super power. He didn’t plan for online courses to be his business, it just sort of happened after moving to Israel and exploring entrepreneurial opportunities. After discovering a course on coding and seeing how successful it was, Jonathan dug into what it took to create a course and put out his first one on Udemy. Slowly but surely, it developed into a full time business.

  • Learning Is The Only Skill That Matters

Learning is the ultimate meta skill and the only skill that matters. There are proven techniques to improve your ability to learn. There is no genetic advantage that the world’s best learners have over everyone else. Studies have shown that with six weeks of training anyone can rewire their brain to resemble the brain of a memory champion. There are people well into old age who are learning new skills just as efficiently as their younger counterparts. 

You don’t have a lousy memory, you just don’t know how to use it right yet.

Our current education system hasn’t been modified for a long time. It hasn’t taken in the new ways of learning that we’ve discovered in recent years. It’s actually theorized that the ancient Greeks used similar techniques of visualization that advanced meta learners use today, but the techniques were suppressed by the early Church. 

  • Learning vs Memorization

There is a difference between memorization and learning but we can’t learn anything without committing it to memory. You need to be able to apply your knowledge in order to make use of it, but that’s not possible without memorization first.

Reference: The Only Skill That Matters, Jonathan Levi

  • Jonathan’s Takeaway

Make it simple, if you experience a quick win you will likely want to experience more. In the next 24 hours you are probably going to encounter five to ten new people. Introduce yourself and memorize their name by creating a unique visualization for each one. Before you go to bed, set yourself a reminder to review how many people you remember. If that intrigues you, you are ready to experience something that is exponentially more powerful.

Links:

https://superhumanacademy.com/

https://superhumanacademy.com/book

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Dec 16 2019

46mins

Play

The Listing Reviews Q&A

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Sometimes your technology breaks on you! Even so, we’ve got a number of listener questions tackled today including a couple brutally honest (but helpful) short term rental listing reviews. We always come from a position of honesty in hopes that you will make more money, so we’re not going to tell you comforting lies just to make you feel better. Listen in to learn why the bad photos can sink your listing and what you can do about it.

Questions and Answers

  • A question about a 37 day booking and the importance of reviews 

One of the things to know about the short term rental business is that it is definitely a review based business. Experience in this business is generated specifically by scaling up and doing the work more often. For this caller, they shouldn’t pass on the 37 day booking unless it is going to hurt their business long term.

A long term booking will always make that unit’s performance suffer when compared to other more short term reservations. But if it allows them to add another unit financially, it may be a good move because it will allow the caller to achieve Super Host status by the end of the quarter. 

It can also be important to run an AirDNA report on your zip code to understand the trend for your area. That will allow you to understand whether your prices are on point or if you’re leaving money on the table.

  • How do I get an affiliated link from Uber and Lyft?

Inside the app, you can find your share code which is the code you can use for your bookings and guests. Working with restaurants by sending them business instead of getting paid for the referral may actually be superior to an affiliate relationship. Having them on your side in political or municipal issues will probably be more important than having an additional revenue source.

  • J reviews a caller’s first post on Airbnb

When creating a short term rental listing, lead with photos with the inside of the unit instead of the amenities. Photos of the exterior can also lead to security issues if it’s possible to identify the address of the unit.

The caller’s photos should probably be reshot due to the handheld nature of them as well as the general poor quality. They suffer from lighting and focus challenges and the caller’s bookings will probably be lower than what they could have achieved. Another good tip is to stay away from vertical photos at all times.

The caller has definitely put in some work on the short term rental listing, but seems to have skimped on a few crucial elements like the photos and design. In order to tell the right story with your photos, you have to make the investment and do them right.

The ideal reaction to your short term rental listing should be the reader feeling like they must stay at your unit.

  • I’ve got a meeting with the zoning department, do you have any pointers for me?

Since the caller only has three minutes to talk, he should be using his time to instill doubt in his listeners because right now they are certain that the caller is the bad sort of short term rental owner. He should show them that he’s a professional and has systems in place to deal with all the common issues that people complain about with other less professional short term rental owners.

  • Another review of a caller’s first short term rental listing

The caller already has some hesitation about the photos for her listing. The reason the photos look off to the caller is that their photographer used HDR, which is something that you should always avoid. HDR can cause many different types of issues with the lighting and focus of the photo.

Nearly all the photos on the listing have to be scrapped. Preferably, the next photographer avoids HDR, uses a 15mm lens, and uses natural light instead of attempting to color correct after the fact.

  • How much can I depart from the blueprint you’ve laid out if it makes sense for who we want to serve?

If you’re thinking about who you want to serve and making choices based on that, you aren’t deviating from the blueprint at all. If the caller wants to serve business travelers from Mexico and knows what they need and want from a short term rental listing, then they should go for it. 

One thing to keep in mind is that business travelers probably don’t need much square footage and if the caller goes with a larger unit they may run into underutilization. The bulk of business travel is done with smaller units.

  • Any thoughts on Properly to manage cleaners?

Properly is a great tool to manage cleaners, but the question is can the staff doing the clean effectively use the tool. If they can, then definitely take advantage of it.

  • Do you refresh Wheelhouse manually?

J lets the software refresh all its own and it handles everything just fine. He does check it a couple of times a week just to make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing but that’s it.

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Dec 09 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Finding Good Deals in the Short Term Rental Business Q&A

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There is no definitive good deal in the short term rental business. If you want to know if your deal is good or not, you need to know one simple thing first. It’s something that’s going to drive your reviews and the growth of your business, and that’s meeting your customer’s expectations. Figure out who you want to serve first and that will make the answers to your questions much clearer. 

Questions and Answers

  • Are you still hunting for apartment deals? 

J still loves apartments, he’s just changed who he puts in them. With apartments, net operating income is the name of the game and most importantly, if you can manage that properly the value goes up as well. J is not getting out of the apartment game anytime in the near future.

  • Do you think it’s a good idea to incentivize guests to do a load of laundry before they end their stay?

Quality control becomes an issue here. How do you know the laundry was cleaned correctly? There are other ways to lower your cleaning costs if that’s the goal. J tends to shy away from asking his guests to do anything, some guests will actually become offended by getting the request to do additional work. For this particular caller, the issue may lie in the cleaner that he’s using and their method of billing for work. Ideally, with a linen service, you should only be paying for your laundry that has been weighed while dry.

When it comes to a guest checking out, if you have a checklist for them to complete, be upfront with the reasoning for the tasks so they don’t have to wonder why they are putting in some extra work.

  • What’s the best way to avoid bed bugs before they appear?

Bed bugs tend to come in with a guest, they don’t typically just appear. A good tip is using a metal luggage rack to reduce the incidence of a guest putting their luggage on the bed directly. Protecting the mattress with a casement is also a good precaution.

Bed bugs are typically pretty rare, but there are still steps you should take to minimize your risk. Insurance is one example of a way to cut the cost, the trick is making sure the coverage is actually what you need. It’s not uncommon for a bed bug infestation to cost you thousands of dollars to remediate. Be sure that your insurance actually covers bed bugs specifically. You don’t want to get into a situation where you save some money on your premiums but aren’t actually covered from the risk you’re trying to mitigate.

  • How do we get around the key fob issue?

We tend to leave the key fob inside the unit and the trick is getting the guest to the unit for the first time. Module 3 of the Mastermind product covers this in more depth. Go to cashflowdiary.com/star to learn more.

  • Pricing in the Short Term Rental Business

As you enter into your slower season, pricing becomes even more important. If you aren’t doing dynamically adjusted pricing, you’re either leaving money on the table or having a lower occupancy than you should.

  • I have an opportunity to buy an eight unit apartment building and I want to use them for short term rentals, do you think this is a good deal?

There is no definitive good deal. What’s a good deal for J will probably not be a good deal for you. However, there is a customer that your business is best suited to serve. There are other factors that determine if the deal is right for you and it all stems from who your customer is. You won’t know it’s a good deal until you know who your customer is. 

What’s most important, what’s going to drive your reviews and the growth of your business, is meeting your customer’s expectations, and you get to choose who you want to serve.

  • What markets do you search for apartment deals in?

Deals tend to come our way right now, so J isn’t on the search for apartments deals at the moment. If we were looking, some markets might include Long Beach, Phillidelpia, and parts of North Carolina would be on the list.

  • What are some ways that you can find owners that are willing to do subleasing for Airbnb?

There are a couple of things to understand. You are not subletting and you don’t have an Airbnb business, you have a short term rental business. If you start off thinking you have an Airbnb business, that will limit your capacity. That being said, finding landlords is fairly easy. Look for “For Rent” signs and call them. To get a better idea of what to say and how the system works, check out the free presentation at cashflowdiary.com/star.

Owner controlled buildings are a great way to build your experience while also building your business.

  • I have three units and people want to rent them long term, how can I prevent that?

It’s not uncommon for a smaller square foot location to outperform a larger square footage space in certain markets. Since the clients that the caller is asking about are typically business people, there shouldn’t be a big issue with letting them rent long term. Whether the guest wants to stay one day or hundreds of days, it doesn’t mean you have to discount the price. 

Offering an incentive like a free TV when a guest books long term is another good way to get the guest to work very hard to get their HR department to cover their stay.

  • I have a guest that has a service dog that they didn’t tell me about and I’m trying to evict them, what should I do?

This caller is creating a difficult problem for themselves by trying to evict the guest. If it’s an actual service animal, they may just want to leave it alone. If the animal ends up damaging the unit, they can deal with it then. 

Since the guest has a service animal and the caller has caught them, they can now go to them and communicate that there are other rules that need to be followed. If they are going to call the animal a service animal and not follow service animals rule, then he may have something to work with.

  • What are ways to market your short term rental business, and how do you become a student?

You become a student by starting with the presentation at cashflowdiary.com/star. There are two products available. The Blueprint is meant for students to learn how to get their first unit, the Mastermind product is for those students who are ready to scale their business. 

In terms of marketing, the most important thing is to first understand who you are serving. Once you know that, you will know where and who to market to. Don’t even consider marketing until you understand your customer.

  • With the TV incentive, do you send it to their home address?

We just drop it off at the unit and let the guest figure out how to get it home.

  • I’m looking to buy linens in bulk, any suggestions?

Go to cashflowdiary.com/silkysheets to get a 15% bulk discount for Cashflow Diary students.

  • Do you allow your students to use you as a reference?

We want you to be your own person, even someone new to the business shouldn’t need a reference from J. Getting into the Mastermind product will give you the specific approach to use and have the confidence to deliver the results so you won’t need a reference.

  • What do you do when a guest has rental remorse?

We simply stick to our cancellation policy and enforce it.

  • When should we use VA’s?

Since the caller is just getting started, they can comfortably run the business themselves until they have somewhere in the ballpark of thirty units. Doing the work himself initially will allow him to develop a system and SOP’s for how he wants to get the work done. Once he’s grown enough (or has had enough with dealing with guests directly), he can consider bringing on VA’s to help.

J didn’t start running 24 hour coverage until he already had twenty units. At that point, it’s possible to run the business with a minimum of 5 individuals working 40 hour weeks.

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Dec 05 2019

1hr 30mins

Play

Is It Too Late To Start The “Airbnb Process”? Q&A

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If you’re thinking about starting the “Airbnb process” and aren’t sure if you’ve missed the boat, listen up. Real estate is changing but it’s not too late. Airbnb is just one of many marketplaces that we use. Short term rentals are here to stay and if you want to learn how to build your real estate portfolio, now is a great time to start putting the systems in place.

Questions and Answers

  • I’ve been able to get the landlord to agree to the short term rental business model in general but I’m not sure I can make a profit, what should I do? 

Step one always comes down to understanding who it is you want to serve. When you focus on who you want to serve, one of the criteria you’re looking at is their income. That will help you understand what area of town to be in and how much they will pay for certain experiences. All your streams of income will be based on how much income your ideal guest makes. 

Once you know all your potential areas of revenue, you will be able to subtract out all those things and complete the picture of profitability.

It can be difficult to use aggregated data to determine what your prices should be. The spread is so wide that it’s not very useful for identifying a specific case like your listing. Once you complete the exercise of figuring out who you’re serving, it becomes much easier. Keep in mind that your revenue is much more than just your room rate.

  • How do I automate my messaging system?

Lodgify has a rudimentary system for messaging. What we do to shortcut that is provide our guests with a link to an electronic house guide where all the relevant data is included. Everything except the dynamically generated door code because we still want to be able to maintain control of the access to the unit.

  • A question about a listing review

The caller’s photographer did a good job on the photos for the listing. Since the caller has followed the system closely most of the details are on point. One area that could be improved on is the copy detailing the neighborhood. Your listing is your first line of customer service, if you answer the question before the person asks you have one less question to answer later on. This can really help save time once you have a number of different units.

  • Which program should I consider to learn how to manage resort properties?

In terms of execution, resort units are very different from residential. In some ways resort units are easier because the kinds of customers you are serving are more obvious. For this particular caller and his thirteen units, the Mastermind Product is his best choice. Go to cashflowdiary.com/star to learn more.

When it comes to negotiating with the owner of the property, the structure the caller is using is the same one that we use. If the owner wants a cut of the business, they have to be able to contribute more than just the space. Otherwise, renting the property from them is the right way to go.

  • How do you dynamically generate a door code?

It depends on the platform you’re using. Sometimes the software you’re using can integrate directly via an API to create the door code, other times a personal assistant can do it.

  • What’s the difference between leasing an apartment under an LLC or my own name?

The difference between the two is in who is doing the business. What it comes down to is if something goes wrong, who does the landlord have a claim against? You or your LLC? If you’re trying to accumulate assets, it’s generally best to use an entity to shield those assets.

  • Is it too late to start the Airbnb process?

We are not in the Airbnb business, we are in the short term rental business. Airbnb and the rest are marketplaces. It’s not too late but you also have to understand that real estate is changing. Many of the established players in the industry have begun to mimic Airbnb because of these changes. 

Even how we transact real estate is changing due to the technology involved. It’s only becoming more liquid as technology makes the process of transacting faster and easier than ever. Just because you didn’t recognize the change before it started doesn’t mean it’s too late. If anything, now is the perfect time.

  • How are you doing Homeaway pricing?

Right now, Homeaway pricing is being done updated twice a day based on comparable pricing on a set of properties within the software. 

  • Did the automated messaging templates come out yet?

Not yet, but existing Mastermind students will have access to the templates very soon.

  • A note on the upcoming holidays

Now is the time to earn some additional revenue and create really great experiences for people. Make sure your security measures are working and everything is up to date. What could happen is not something you want to have happen. Get everything lined up including your pricing, inventory, and team now so you can take advantage of this time of year. 

  • Are there effective ways to approach companies directly about bookings?

There are a number of ways to go about this. The front door method is to look up Concur customers in your area. They are already potential customers for your business. If you’re using the system we suggest, you can also create a promotion that incentivises your guest to refer you to the person that arranged their travel. If they are corporate travelers, they know exactly who you need to talk to and that’s a great way to get your foot in the door.

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Dec 03 2019

1hr 7mins

Play

Shawn Harper’s Winning Edge

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Shawn Harper is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League. Harper was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1992. He also played for the Houston Oilers, the Indianapolis Colts, and three years in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals and Frankfurt Galaxy. Shawn Harper appeared on the hit MTV show Made. He has helped transform thousands of corporate environments, built leadership, trained teams and impacted youth development in schools, and churches with high energy keynote speeches that activate winners. 

Shawn Harper is the bestselling author of The Winning Edge: 8 Principles That Will Bring Out the Winner in You! and founder/CEO of American Services and Protection, which has provided Ohio small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, municipalities, non profits, government agencies, colleges, and universities and organizations with a wide range of security solutions that focus on providing highly-trained professionals, tailored to the specifics of each job. 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Shawn Harper? 

For Shawn, it’s very hard to define who he was looking back from today’s perspective. We tend to gloss over the story in the process of becoming who we are. Shawn was plagued with setbacks and adversities in his youth, he was actually voted most likely to fail in school.

Adversity can make you or break you. Shawn’s school days were tough and early on he believed himself to be the loser that everyone else thought he was. It wasn’t until he changed his mindset from victim to victor that everything changed.

Never allow people to create your world because they will always create it too small. When Shawn made the decision to focus on his dream of playing in the NFL instead of listening to what other people thought he was capable of, nothing was the same. Once you change your focus, you change your life.

  • What was the transition like from playing football to the world of business?

In the case of the NFL, there is an established system in place for growth and development. For many people, when they leave that team and system to go do something else on their own the result is usually failure. Even superheroes have friends and support to help them achieve their goals. When athletes leave the game, they must build a team and find mentors to help them in the new arena. That was the secret to Shawn’s later success. 

It took years for Shawn to come to that realization. All success in life comes from people having a team around them. 

  • Playing To Win

We are created to win. Your perspective is everything in this regard. We are attracted to winning and nearly everything we do is geared towards winning. In third or fourth grade we are introduced to a different concept called success. Success teaches you production, but winning teaches you re-production. Successful business people are productive, but winners scale their business.

A lot of people get dismayed, depressed, and angry because they know they are successful but deep inside they know they are not winning. Winning has been hijacked by success.

The secret is to start moving, get out there and start connecting with people in whatever domain your win happens to be in. If your win is mentoring small business owners, start connecting with small business owners!

The way you motivate or encourage one person, is not how you will motivate or encourage another. You have to find your team’s pain points and motivations and learn how to speak to them as a leader, because everything comes down to people. 

  • Is where you are today something you could have envisioned?

Shawn had no idea he would be where he is today. There is a major difference between your image and your identity, but if you’re not careful you will buy into other people’s perception of your image instead of who you really are. Most of Shawn’s life he was caught up in everyone else’s image of himself. It wasn’t until he started building skill sets to define his identity that things changed.

If you can walk in and apply your concept of winning a little bit every day, then your perspective on who you are and what you manifest changes. All actions stem from thoughts, and all thoughts from belief systems. Your belief system is nestled in your self concept and you always manifest your self concept. Don’t let missed opportunities define you, stay focused on your goals.

  • Getting Past Failures

One of the greatest advantages athletes have is more than just experiencing failure on a common basis. It’s the team around them that keeps pushing them on and encouraging them. When we’re alone, we’re much more likely to hang up the cleats when we fail, but a team can provide the motivation we need to push through. Even leaders need encouragement from their team.

To have that person in your life that believes in you is vital, because without them life will chew you up and spit you up.

Reference: The Winning Edge: 8 Principles That Will Bring Out the Winner in You!, Shawn Harper

  • Shawn’s Takeaway

Three words haunt Shawn: Wish’a, Could’a, Should’a. You can not live life comfortably, because if you’re not careful your comfort zone will become your casket. You will get knocked down but failure is your friend. Learn from the failure and get back on the bike. The average millionaire has filed for bankruptcy three times, don’t give up.

Links:

How To Win Friends And Influence People

Shawnharper.org

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Nov 25 2019

44mins

Play

Introducing The Instant Book Special Q&A

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Get unstuck and get one step closer to making short term rental real estate a real thing for you. Get answers to your questions so that you can keep moving forward towards your financial and business goals. 

Questions and Answers

  • We are entering into the slower winter season, what additional things can we give to our guests so they book with us over others? 

The first time experiencing a slow season can be a challenge. The caller has been leveraging his membership with his local BNI group which is a great place to start. Another potential avenue is to connect with the travel agent in the group and ask them about working together. It’s possible to start generating instant book specials that allows you to acquire a guest at your advertised rate while also creating a referral for the travel agent.

  • How would you pitch to a BNI group?

It takes a while to get any sort of response from a BNI group because their reputations on the line. As you build your relationships in that group you want to focus on creating a power team, where each individual has different strengths. 

Think about your centers of influence, like doctor’s offices that are members of the BNI group and start building those relationships.

  • How do you deal with a secured building?

There is a module is the Mastermind Course that members of Cashflow Diary can access that helps with this issue. The key question to ask is “if I order food, how does the food delivery guy get to the front door?”. Whatever the process is, that’s how your guest will access the unit.

  • How can we have properties in a state that we are not even in?

To have a property all you need is a lease, so it doesn’t matter where you are located. If you run the system properly, it only takes around an hour a day of your personal time to manage your business. If you have to do everything yourself, you don’t really have a business, you have a job. With the short term rental model the business is completely location independent. That being said, start where you live.

  • How would you offer the instant book special on the platform?

You would simply change up the title and description of your listing to describe what your extra offerings are. It’s also possible to set up an automatic sequence that connects the guest to your offering once they make a reservation and then sets up the connection with the travel agent as well.

  • How soon should I be negotiating for first right of refusal for a property?

Since the caller is willing to purchase the remainder of the units in a multifamily property, it should be very simple to ask the landlord for the first right of refusal if at some point in the future they consider selling. Now’s as good a time as any to start negotiating.

  • What are your feelings about incorporating in another state?

This is not legal advice, but since the person resides in California incorporating in another state may save them some costs. They should consult an attorney.

  • What are some ways to identify the city and zip codes near me so I will be profitable?

Rather than focusing on the money, think about the person you are going to serve. Profits can become a function of additional services regardless of zip code. Think about what your customer is coming to do, and then think about how you can be near where and what that is. That will tell you what area you should be looking at.

  • Do we have a master tech guru playbook?

Most of this information can be found in Module 3 of the Mastermind Course. Once you work through the info you may not even need the tech guru.

  • How can I find a runner to do some physical tasks?

You will have to go through a number of vendors before you find the right one to handle your physical operations. It’s unavoidable but necessary to do the work.

  • A question about a short term rental opportunity

The caller is considering an opportunity to create a short term rental in his parent’s basement. The caller should look up CPTED if they go this route to make sure the unit itself is more secure. He would also have to consider the noise levels and if that would be an issue. Trash will also become a challenge.

One of the caller’s concerns was the walk score of the unit, but that may not be an issue depending on who they want to serve and what those potential guests expect to do.

Between the two units, the only difference is the commitment, since he will be spending roughly the same amount of money. A good resource to check out is episode 320 of the Cashflow Diary podcast.

  • How do companies have multiple units in Denver when they only allow one primary resident?

These companies are much larger and usually VC funded, but they are running a very similar model. In the case of Denver, always read the ordinance because most of the ordinances will cover the where and the how. Very few of them completely restrict the model entirely. Short term real estate is often zoned differently and is not covered by the ordinances posing the issue. A minimum stay requirement can also help you deal the problem.

  • Do you think a short term rental with a walk score of 0 can work if it’s a 20 minute drive to most local attractions?

The short answer is yes. It’s not about the real estate, it’s about the experience on the piece of real estate. A walk score does not determine whether a property will work or not.

  • Can I get a cosigner to get an apartment and what percentage is good to return the favor? What happens if the landlord learns that the property is being used for a short term rental?

We always operate transparently, the landlord should already know what the intent is so there are no surprises. A cosigner is definitely an option. Check out the Mastermind Course to find out more and listen to episode 548 of the Cashflow Diary podcast.

  • I just started Airbnb three weeks ago and am having a challenge of not having any guests?

We don’t do Airbnb, we’re in the short term rentals business. Airbnb is one of the marketplaces that we use to market the business. In the case of not having guests, without knowing what system you’re running it’s hard to give specific advice. The first thing is to always start with who you want to serve and then building your business out from there. Check out cashflowdiary.com/star to learn more.

  • How much would you pay a virtual assistant and for how many hours a day?

Instead of just hiring a virtual assistant, you should think about what role you want them to play. In J’s case he has a team of managers and customer service agents that are available 24/7 that he sourced through Upwork.com.

Links:

cashflowdiary.com/action

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Nov 21 2019

1hr 12mins

Play

How To Take Good Photos Of Your Short Term Rental Listing Q&A

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Taking the right photos can make or break your short term rental listing. In today’s Q&A episode of the podcast, we do a full review of a caller’s listing photos and everything their designer and photographer did right, and all the things they did wrong. We also cover why it’s so important to have your spouse on board with your business, as well as the pros and cons of bringing cleaners in house.

Questions and Answers

  • What is the best way to see if the HOA is okay to turn my home into a short term rental? 

The best way to figure this out is to read their Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs). They will typically let you know what they like and don’t like, be aware they may not use the words “short term rental” but they will probably mention something along those lines.

  • A question about setting prices across multiple platforms

The caller currently has Price Labs connected to Lodgify, which is then connected to Booking.com and Airbnb. In order to change their prices between Booking.com and Airbnb, the caller needs to take Price Labs and connect it directly to Airbnb. Once that’s done, she can create a child listing in Airbnb.

  • I have some photo violations on my listing, what should I do?

It appears that the caller’s designer and photographer need to make some changes. Photos where the angle is not level or where the property appears dirty because of poor lighting are going to be major problems. Be aware that when your photographer uses HDR, it’s going to reveal lots of imperfections so it’s probably best to avoid it. 

If you’re not providing a laptop with your rental, don’t take photos with a laptop in it. People will make assumptions about that sort of thing. Same goes for sheets and towels of different colors. Avoid lights that don’t have a daylight balance for your photos. 

Short term rentals are a review based business, and reviews are primarily about setting the correct expectations at the beginning. Poor photos can end up costing you money, because what you photograph is what your guests will expect. If you deviate from that, that’s when you run into bad reviews. Be careful with the wording on your post as well.

  • What are your thoughts on the Airbnb custom URL link for listings?

It’s a band-aid at best. You want to have control and if you’re going to take the time to promote a listing, you should drive that traffic to your domain. That’s what is going to build your business long term. 

  • The importance of having your spouse on board

As entrepreneurs, we tend to believe that things will work out for us. It’s just how we’re wired. Having a spouse whose perspective you trust on your team will make a huge difference for you. If you’re spouse is not already on board, keep in mind that they are mainly concerned with whether or not they will be okay, especially at the beginning of a new business. 

This business is a team effort, just like raising a family. Make sure they know what contribution they are making, because without them, things would not be where they are. Go find your right hand person.

  • What calendar rules should we set for the holidays?

When it comes to the holidays, your calendar rules have a lot to do with your staff. Are they okay with working/do they celebrate those holidays? We don’t mind arrivals on a holiday, but we do block people from departing on a holiday, but that is a conversation you need to have with your staff well beforehand.

Minimum stays on the holiday will change depending on the holiday itself. Some people can get away with a seven or fourteen day minimum for holidays like Christmas.

  • Can we talk about a cleaning company versus having in house cleaners?

There are a number of things to consider before bringing cleaners in house. Being able to classify your cleaner as a contractor will be crucial to your cost structure. Part of your cleaning costs have nothing to do with cleaning, and everything to do with the organizational cost. Be very clear that you can keep them on as contractors.

The other issue is scheduling. With a company, the process is simple. They have a number of people available at a variety of times when you need them. If you can have someone internally take care of the scheduling and the size of your business justifies it, then it may make sense to bring cleaners in house. 

You are going to need a consistent pipeline of people to hire and train. Hospitality has an incredibly high turnover, so you need two systems in place if you go down this road. Specifically hiring and training. 

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Nov 20 2019

1hr 31mins

Play

Al Williamson on the Secret Behind the Extended Stay Model

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Al Williamson is a professional engineer, full-time real estate investor and the author of several real estate books. He began investing in 1996. Al is best known for publicly documenting his quest to create enough secondary income streams to cover the 1st mortgage of his eight-unit apartment building (which he accomplished in September 2015). He is now trying to figure out how to maximize the cash flow of a small portfolio so it can generate enough income to replace a middle-class job. Al is a proud family man who now spends his day managing and expanding his corporate housing business in Sacramento, California. 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Al Williamson? 

Before everything that people know Al Williamson for today, he was training to become a professional gymnast. That was until he broke his arm on the high bar and realized that he was going down a risky path. He switched course and learned to be an engineer and started creating things.

It wasn’t until meeting his wife did he consider getting into real estate. He met a guy at a church picnic that turned him on to real estate investing and after reading everything he could about the subject at his local library Al realized that it was exactly what he was looking for.

Al Williamson and his new wife purchased a triplex and it eventually quadrupled in price. That early experience brought his wife on board with the whole idea and taught them plenty of valuable lessons. He leveraged that into his next purchase where he had a major focus on cleaning up the local neighborhood. It was a relationship with a local health center that later got Al into the short term rental space.

One of the easiest ways to get into the real estate game and put yourself into a profitable position quickly is by leveraging short term rentals.

  • Was it a challenge in making the short term rental model work in California?

Initially the numbers didn’t work out for Al because of maintenance costs. Owning property is a great way to build wealth but a bad way to generate income because something is always broken that needs to be replaced. You don’t get to keep the money because it has to go back into the property until that debt service is finished. In a lot of ways, short term rentals were the answer to Al’s problems.

There are a number of different ways that short term rentals solve the issue and there are tons of opportunities to increase your cash flow. By experimenting with one unit for short term rentals Al was able to generate the same net income as his three other units. The extended stay model is changing the way Al is structuring his business because the trend of people wanting to live in one place and work in another is taking off.

  • How do you market for long term guests?

Al has 14 different marketing strategies that he uses to bring in extended stay short term rental guests. A good indicator that your market can support the model is if there is an extended stay hotel in your area already. From there you need to get out from behind your computer and have a conversation with real people. Talking to the bartender at the hotel can yield some valuable info.

Extended Stay America is doubling down on the one month and two month guests. It’s a big business and major hospitality companies are beginning to recognize that.

If you’re working with Airbnb you’re going to have to put your listing together. The headline of that listing is very important and you can use that to call out the exact type of customer you are looking for. Write your headline to resonate with that person. You can also set your minimum stay requirement so Airbnb only shows your listing to people looking for an extended stay unit. Do things to separate yourself from the rest of the competition.

There is a growing need for extended stay units in America, it’s up to the housing entrepreneur to step up and answer the demand. The type of the property is less relevant than the type of customer you want to serve. Stay in your lane and serve people like you because you will have a better understanding of what they need and want. You will make the same net income. 

You can make your decisions based on gross income, which many people do, but only the net income really matters. You can make different decisions and save yourself a lot of time and energy and still make the same net income.

Most ordinances were written to slow down transient rentals and prevent them from competing with the existing hotel businesses, but they are not intended to affect month to month rentals. Month to month rentals are the cornerstone of affordable housing and they know it.

  • What are some differences you’ve seen between people running a less than 30 day stay business and a greater than 30 day stay?

The less than 30 days operators are looking at serving tourists and convention goers. For the people focusing on more than 30 days, they are thinking about other features that are important to a different crowd. Things like parking and laundry facilities. They also get the advantage of business travelers being more forgiving and easy going in general because they aren’t paying for the stay out of their own pockets.

  • What are some alternative ways to attract your target market?

Facebook has been very effective, having your own group is a good way to let people know what you’re offering. Al also has his own website which has been a good tool in attracting extended stay guests. When you’ve been in business for over a year, your reputation starts to do some good work as well.

Al has eight different categories of customers that he caters to: vacation renters, military housing, student housing, insurance housing, corporate rentals, people in between selling their homes, and international housing. There is also medical housing that’s broken down into three different types as well. You can take those categories and figure out which one you want to dominate and then start growing your funnel for that category.

  • How do you avoid having to evict or grant tenancy to someone?

Al hasn’t had to evict anyone because he mainly serves business travelers and they are just not going to stay. Even if they did, if they’re happy paying an elevated rent than what’s the problem? 

The main purpose of a lease agreement is to turn a transient into a tenant, which means the relationship is governed by a different set of laws. If you do that, then all the ordinances and laws around the typical short term rental transients no longer apply.

  • What are the special services you’re offering to increase your net income?

Al started off by offering a menu of cleaning services to guests but he found that they generally just wanted to be left alone. Do you it yourself options like a washer and dryer are much more important.

  • Al’s Takeaway

You need a coach to help you get the best out of you and overcome your subconscious. They will also help you avoid making the basic beginner mistakes. Al would be happy to coach you and be your booster rocket to help you launch your real estate business.

Links:

leadinglandlord.com

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Nov 06 2019

58mins

Play

The AirBnB Way with Joseph Michelli

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Dr. Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., C.S.P., is an internationally sought-after speaker, author, and organizational consultant. Dr. Joseph Michelli is the author of numerous national bestsellers, including The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary, The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a  

Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and the New York Times #1 bestseller Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System. 

He was named as one of the Top 10 thought leaders in Customer Service by Global Gurus. His new book is The Airbnb Way: 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging. Dr. Michelli is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Joseph Michelli? 

Joseph was a kid raised in a small town in Colorado and his parents imparted a key lesson to him when he was young. Namely, the responsibility of being raised in that family was that he would give more to the world than he took, and if he did the world would give more to him than he could ask for.

Being accepted into graduate school was quite an achievement for Joseph, no one else in his family had graduated from college at the time. He was pretty focused on his own success in his career for a while until he realized that it wasn’t really about him at all, it’s about telling the stories of the clients he worked with as a consultant. Ultimately, those experiences helped Joseph write books about other people to tell their stories.

All of the art of success is taking great principles and celebrating the victories of people you work with and people who are doing inspiring things in the world. The world is hungry for uplifting positive leadership and tools that enable them to experience their own greatness.

  • Inspiring Greatness

We are in a world where short term rentals have blown up and AirBnB is a point in that journey. They created a marketplace that unlocked incredible potential for millions of people and now they are on the same playing field as historical giants like Marriott.

  • What is hospitality?

Hospitality is taking the basics of service like being responsive, acting with urgency, get it right and make it right, and consistency, and then adding on the understanding of human needs that go beyond a transaction. It’s about an emotional experience where someone cared for and about me in a world that is often very lonely and strange.

The real estate itself is the table stakes of getting into the game. The experience is far more important and that’s the element that’s missing in the corporate way of doing things. In many ways the big hospitality companies are trying to emulate the more successful short term rental operations.

Solopreneurs will always have an edge over massive businesses because they’re more nimble and can provide a more personal touch. A smaller player can always be a more personal player than any large service provider.

  • AirBnB vs The Old Model

AirBnB looked for people with the expertise and sought them out as mentors. A lot of AirBnB’s success is in the practice of looking for mentors and seeking out information from people that know more.

Part of the notion of seeking insights from someone else is in seeking community. Hosts in AirBnB do more than offer a place to stay, they create jobs and opportunities in the community they operate in. One of the things that AirBnB has done really well is in advocating for short term rental rights.

Loyalty comes from helping guests feel something. AirBnB is selling belonging as part of the experience. If operators drive loyalty back to the platform that will keep driving revenue back to them.

The host community is on the whole very welcoming but there is always a subset of the population that wants to live out their prejudices. AirBnB has taken steps to correct that tendency and police the one off incidents. It’s a work in progress but the situation is getting better.

There is a need to be a responsible host so some level of regulation seems to be necessary. The issue is when regulations become overreaching and start dictating what people can do with their own property. There is an incredible amount of industry that is being created by the short term rental space. 

  • What are some potential pitfalls of the growth of the short term rental space?

Regulations are certainly a concern, a lot will depend on what happens when AirBnB goes public next year. Market share will be an issue they need to deal with in the near future as well. Scandal is another, some brands become big targets for entire industries. 

Reference: The Airbnb Way: 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging, Joseph Michelli

  • Joseph’s Takeaway

First and foremost, you have to say you have something of value to create in the world and you are going to define that value clearly. It’s always a matter of understanding the market and then articulating the value that you bring to it. Business is not as complicated as we make it out to be. Just go and start and keep in mind the five dimensions of a successful business.

Links:

airbnbway.com

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Nov 04 2019

35mins

Play

Innovation in Healthcare, Boon Is Changing The Game

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Ryan Vet is an innovative leader, entrepreneur and author. He has presented to audiences around the globe on four different continents on leadership, marketing and reaching your maximum potential. 

Ryan’s experiences range from start-ups to well-established multi-national, Fortune 500s. From starting his first business at age 14 to launching and successfully exiting start-ups, Ryan is a serial entrepreneur. Currently, Ryan serves as the CEO of Boon—an on-demand, temporary healthcare staffing platform (imagine Uber meets eHarmony meets healthcare staffing). He has been featured in countless publications for his entrepreneurial endeavors and has been inducted as an official member into the exclusive Forbes Communication Council.  In addition, Ryan hosts The Dental Experience Podcast. 

As an experiential marketing and branding consultant Ryan has worked companies from start-ups to iconic household brands. And in his spare time, he co-owns a series of craft beverage lounges called The Oak House. Ryan also sits as an advisory board member for a number of organizations including Elon University’s Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Ryan Vet? 

Ryan has always loved creating and it’s been at the core of his career. His first real business was a lemonade stand where he learned how to diversify his products and captivate his audience with marketing. Somewhere in between his petting zoo and his lemonade stand, Ryan also developed a trading card business at the age of 11. It was a long journey from the lemonade stand to Boon.

When Ryan was younger, some local businesses realized that he had some talent with websites and basic graphic design and this actually lead to his first real business. He built a marketing company that served 200 clients in 25 different countries, and eventually this led to his first startup software company. Every startup yielded additional skills and connections that allowed Ryan to build his next business.

One such startup was in the medical and dental space. Ryan began building his platform and started speaking at dental conferences about patient experience. It was there that he saw a common need for staffing. About a year and a half ago he started researching how to provide temporary team members for the medical industry. During the research he found that the industry size of medical staffers was 16 times the size of Uber and Lyft combined. Boon is the system that Ryan came up with, it provides innovation in healthcare that allows hospitals and health care providers to connect directly with practitioners that are open and available.

  • Not Taking No For An Answer

Ryan’s always had a driving passion to get things done. If Ryan wanted something, his parents rarely told him no but they also didn’t get him things very often as well. Ryan had to earn the money to get the things he wanted and his parents would help him out.

If more people interpreted “no” as “not yet” or do it yourself, more products would come to market.

  • Why did you get into software?

At the advent of web based software, Ryan found his passion for enabling people to solve their problems using technology. He wanted to be able to use platforms and apps to solve people’s problems.

  • Digitizing vs. Innovating

Ryan’s first start up was straddling the line between digitization and innovation. He learned it’s relatively easy to create a process or app that streamlines something, but now Ryan is trying to stay on the side of innovation. Digitization is relatively easy and valuable but innovation is transformative. The iPhone changed the cell phone industry completely.

Ebay is an example of digitization, it’s basically an online garage sale. Amazon is an example of innovation in that they enable everyone to be a retail owner. Boon is striving to be more like Amazon.

One in ten healthcare providers are temporary workers, and there are plenty of issues with the traditional model. It takes a long time, it costs a lot of money, people are not getting paid fairly or access to benefits, patient care with temporary workers is not always at the forefront, and the people are not always matched well. Boon addresses all those issues.

  • Where does someone get the capital to develop software and what was different about this idea that gave you the confidence to start looking?

Ryan has funded a business nearly every way it’s possible to do so and it’s probably the hardest part about building the business. The rejection rate is high and it’s hard to push through, but anyone is capable of raising money if they are willing to get rejected 99 times before they hear that yes.

Practicing good is part of Boon’s cultural DNA and equity crowdfunding aligns with that goal. Prior to the Jobs Act the average person had no opportunity to invest in startups, but now there are opportunities for people to invest in startups for as little as $100. Boon went with a company called Wefunder to bring people into an equal opportunity investment.

There is a lot of value of having potentially hundreds of investors in your company. They offer a number of different perspectives and connections that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. In Ryan’s experience, the majority of investors aren’t interested in reaching out and it’s more passive for them.

  • Innovation in Healthcare

Boon is constantly working on new products and services to offer, and that includes looking at different industries and verticals. It’s not limiting itself to innovation in healthcare. A new chapter of Boon is taking what they’ve already accomplished and expand that to any industry that is willing to have it. 

There have been a lot of conversations around the nature of the employment. Boon is predicated on fair pay and access to benefits, they are one of the few gig economy platforms that does. 

  • Ryan’s Takeaway

Being a leader and an entrepreneur in the business space is extremely lonely. You have to make decisions the best you can, and not everybody is going to be a fan. You need to surround yourself with three people. A forerunner, someone who has been where you want to go and can help you avoid the same mistakes. A running mate, the person you can run with that will help you make leaps at the same time by holding your hand and jumping with you. And finally, people who are a few steps behind you. When you starting mentoring and sharing what you’re doing with people who are just behind you, you synthesize your knowledge in a different way and make your advice actionable. When you mentor someone you become more insightful into your own journey.

Links:

doingboon.com

ryanvet.com

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Nov 01 2019

41mins

Play

Francis Greenburger on Risk, Real Estate, and Business

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Francis Greenburger is the legendary real estate developer who is Chairman & CEO of Time Equities and owner of the literary agency Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, which has represented noted authors such as Dan Brown, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, and Nelson DeMille. He is the founder & chairman of Art Omi (previously Omi International Arts Center) and The Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice, and the bestselling author of Risk Game: Self-Portrait of an Entrepreneur. 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Francis Greenburger? 

Francis Greenburger grew up in New York City where his parents were upper class but his father as a solopreneur never really made a significant amount of money. The first thing that Francis was blessed with was the confidence of his parents in his ability to achieve his goals. That went together with his natural knack for business. He started working for his father after school when he was 12 years old. His innate qualities gave him the early characteristics and motivations to be an entrepreneur.

One of the things that Francis has said is that if you don’t like risk, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. For Francis, risk is just part of the gig.

  • Do you see any parallels between cell phones and digital communication and the advent of television?

The evolution of digital communication has changed the nature of communication. It’s also made it more personal with social media and email, there is a lot of interpersonal communication happening now. Humans have a basic need to communicate and now there are more ways than ever.

  • Parental Confidence

There are certainly people who have parents who are not encouraging or present. Francis recalls a comment made during a tennis match, where two different players of equal skill are compared, and the observation was that the deciding factor will be self confidence. Having parents that believe in you alongside his mentors empowered Francis and gave him the confidence to face the challenges that all entrepreneurs have to face.

The buy in that someone gets from mentors they respect can be very empowering and confidence building, even when parents haven’t provided that.

  • What do you consider risky?

Francis uses the term “intelligent risk” to describe the process of evaluating risks. Intelligent risk is not a gamble, it’s a calculated and measured action with research and analysis behind it. Francis has a theory that if you’re going into a generic marketplace where you are just offering more of the same, it’s very hard as an entrepreneur to compete on price and that’s all you’re really left with. Look for markets that aren’t being addressed and try to find solutions to meet those unmet needs.

Imagine what you could accomplish if you weren’t afraid to fail.

  • What would you say are unaddressed needs in the real estate space?

Under occupied office buildings are one such issue. Sometimes an office maybe be under occupied because of a reputation problem from the past but it may have the features that allow you to lower your cost basis, which means you can also rent out the space for less. These can be the ingredients that allow you to be competitive in the market.

  • Why did you go into real estate?

Francis has a memory of walking down 5th Avenue in New York City and realized that he had an innate sense of architecture. He got into the real estate as a byproduct of his book business. Francis had rented an office that was too big for him and managed to sublet half of it at double the rent he was paying. 

Francis was involved in his father’s literary business at the same time as he was building his real estate business. For about 10 years Francis split his time between the two ventures. Francis typically works 12 to 13 hours a day which is his natural mode so that probably gave him an edge in business. For Francis, hard work is part of the formula for success.

  • Do individuals starting out in real estate have it easier today or harder?

Francis’s sense is that the business has become more complicated over time. You need to have a lot more expertise to make real estate work which is why it’s really a team sport. To do you it professionally you need to be part of a group that has that expertise.

If you’re young and you go to work for a real estate company that can help you out because in a way you inherit some of their credibility.

  • Is there something people should do differently if they are just starting out in their career?

If you really want to advance your career you have to spend time in a sophisticated real estate environment in order to learn the expertise that gets deployed on the complex problems in the business. Once you have that knowledge you’re much better equipped to go out on your own.

Francis’s company tries to be a platform for talented entrepreneurs to set up their own business.

  • How difficult was it to put all of your knowledge into Risk Game?

Initially Francis believed that he would have to write four different books. Lucky for him he met a talented writer that put everything together into a cohesive narrative and a solid book.

Enlisting talented help is a common thread in Francis’s businesses. Bringing in people with expertise and experience enrich the business because in combination we are stronger than on our own.

  • Have you ever had a partnership that failed and how did you deal with it?

When undertaking business ventures you’re always going to encounter a certain amount of failure but you can’t be discouraged by it. There are people and business partners who will disappoint you. In Francis’s case, he has benefited much more than he has been upset by such failures.

If you’re not failing in 10% to 20% of your ventures, you’re not taking enough risk. You have to be able to tolerate risk and accept failure, learn from it, and move on.

Reference: Risk Game: Self-Portrait of an Entrepreneur, Francis Greenburger

  • Francis’s Takeaway

Most people who are entrepreneurs have dreams of one sort or another. Think about your best idea and try to put it into action. When obstacles have to be overcome, devise strategies to overcome them. In real estate, look at a number of properties not just one. Buy it right, it’s the only chance you’ll get. There are always challenges but for every roadblock there is a strategy for success to get past it.

Links:

Risk Game: Self-Portrait of an Entrepreneur on Amazon

timeequities.com

Omi International Arts Center

Greenburger Center for Criminal Justice

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Oct 30 2019

43mins

Play

Self Directed Retirement Accounts with Rocket Dollar

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Dan Kryzanowski is an active real estate investor and fundraiser, leveraging Self-Directed accounts - SDIRA and Solo 401(k) - to create a diversified real estate portfolio yielding double-digit returns. He specializes in self-storage investments, multi-family and hard money residential property loans. Dan has personally raised millions of dollars from family offices and individuals, and empowered his partners to raise seven-figures on multiple occasions. 

Dan serves as Executive Vice President at Rocket Dollar, unlocking the $10T pool of untapped retirement assets for the real estate community. He is also a Capital Partner for Pinnacle Storage Properties and Corporate Board President for Hugh O'Brian Youth Central Texas. Dan, a Wharton graduate, previously led commercial real estate initiatives for GE Capital in Mexico and South America. 

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Dan Kryzanowski? 

Dan attributes his business success to his magic afro and his early basketball success. Dan had a very blessed life for his first 30 years, he followed what would be considered a pretty normal path that most people in his generation would follow, right up until the crash of 2008. That made him rethink things a bit and Dan found that he wasn’t particularly interested in working for General Electric for the next 30 years of his life. He and his wife moved back to Texas and started looking at alternative investment.

There were a few signs that GE wasn’t going to be a great place to spend the rest of his career at. Ultimately it was a personal decision to change the path from following everyone else and being led by fear or having the confidence to do things on his own.

  • Why Real Estate and self directed retirement accounts?

While working his traditional career Dan had always been interested in things he could do with his 401(k). When he had a fateful conversation with a guy that flipped houses at a wedding, Dan was exposed to the world of self directed retirement accounts.

Once he realized that there were a number of benefits using your retirement funds to invest in real estate, it all just made sense. Instead of making 2%-3% with a traditional bond or fund, he can earn double digit returns working with someone he trusts and can look at the real estate and see the asset. Using self directed retirement account was the key that unlocked everything.

The idea has been around since the 70’s. Self directed retirement accounts are where you take full control of where your retirement dollars go. There are an infinite number of investments you can access and there are no fees or early withdrawal penalties.

Rocket Dollar has completely eliminated the friction involved in using self directed retirement accounts to invest. Dan’s company is very focused on education and informing people the options that are available to them. You have full control of your money at all times for a low monthly fee.

If you’re self employed, you are eligible for the Solo 401(k). Not only can you contribute ten times as much as an IRA, you also get full checkbook control by default. 

  • What if my HR department said my 401(k) is already self directed?

By one definition your 401(k) at work is self directed, but it wouldn’t count as Self Directed. You get a handful of choices in what you invest in but you don’t have true freedom in where your money goes. You won’t be able to invest in a private real estate deal or something exotic like cryptocurrency. 

People want to be on the same footing from an education standpoint. They want to know what the rules and opportunities are, which is what Rocket Dollar is aiming to provide.

It’s been a rule of thumb that you can’t touch your company’s 401(k) until you are 59 and a half and sadly there isn’t a real responsibility on the company to offer all the options. Most middle age high earners have a few IRA’s or 401(k)’s from past employers hanging around, and once they are made aware of this they can roll that money into a self directed retirement account and put that money into real estate.

  • What are some of the creative places that people want to put their money?

Bars and restaurants are common passion projects for people to invest in. Dan has had some good experiences with female entrepreneurs doing some very interesting things in the market. Diversifying into different kinds of investments like cryptocurrency and self storage are becoming more common as well.

Rocket Dollar is not a match maker, they are a facilitator. They are focused on giving people the opportunity and knowledge to invest in a variety of things. Simplifying the transactions is in a lot of ways exactly what the marketplace needs.

  • Is there a specific focus at Rocket Dollar to help syndicators raise money?

Yes, Rocket Dollar will draw attention to possible investments like syndications in order to make it easier for people to raise the funds they need. They are very close to making it as easy as transferring funds quickly and easily using your mobile phone.

  • Dan’s Takeaway

Go to Rocketdollar.com/learn and start learning. Most people will be able to self educate and get 90% of the way there even if they are completely unfamiliar. Once you do that, reach out to the sales team and talk with us about how we can help. Self directed retirement accounts aren’t going anywhere and there are a lot of opportunities available for people who take action.

Links:

rocketdollar.com/cashflowdiary

dan@rocketdollar.com

Get a $100 off your Rocket Dollar account with the code Cashflowdiary19

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Oct 28 2019

44mins

Play

October 2019 Q & A 8: Negotiations, Slow Seasons, and Protecting Yourself

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Questions and Answers

  • I have a person that wants to book through February to November but I’ve already got someone with a reservation in the middle of that time. Do I offer the other guest to switch to another short term rental unit to accommodate the person who wants to stay longer?

This can be pretty common with new short term rental units or you are new to operating. When you put up a new listing it often gets promoted and for people looking for longer stays there often aren’t a lot of options. You should offer the current reservation the option to move to another short term rental unit, even if you don’t have another unit in that particular area. 

The ideal situation would be to get all the days booked with both individuals while also getting the money upfront. The revenue from the long term reservation can actually be used to acquire another unit for the shorter reservation if necessary. There are also a number of incentives you can offer to close the deal.

  • A major cancellation issue with AirBnB

J has had a similar situation occur with a guest that said they were going to cancel but didn’t. We continually sent the person messages as well as keeping in communication with AirBnB. In both cases we were paid in full for the days that were stuck in limbo but only because we were being hyper diligent about following up and making sure the reservation was actually cancelled.

If you’re at the 70 bedroom stage like this caller is in, you really shouldn’t be involved in this sort of issue. Your staff should be able to handle everything. Your business should also have an established system for making sure your guests actually arrive for their reservations.

For the caller, they need to have a customer experience manager that should be able to handle all aspects of this sort of issue. When you encounter something new, create an SOP (standard operating procedure).

  • My fear of not being sure of where to begin is holding me back. What should I start with first?

All of our short term rental  mastermind students get a six hour kickstart session with J specifically to address this problem. Outside of that, the very first question you have to answer is “Who do I want to serve?”. Once you answer that, you can figure everything else out.

  • What if I can’t find a management company for one condo that’s out of town?

Remote management is challenging. If you are going to do it remotely you must have a cash management system in place to make sure that no money gets released without a verification that the work has actually been done. Find someone who can be your eyes and ears on a job site.

If you can find an actual landlord in the area to assist you that has experience with rehabs that would be ideal. You can find them through the local real estate investors association or meetup.com.

  • If a guest leaves a review but you haven’t you reviewed them yet, can people still see it?

Nope, not until either you review them or 14 days pass.

  • Are the metrics you used in the SmartBnB training available to the public?

SmartBnB is great for their ability to see data and metrics and then use that to drive higher revenue. It’s not currently available to the public.

  • The slow season is coming, any updates on refreshing our short term rental listing to keep a higher viewing rate?

Depending on where you are geographically, the travel season is changing which means you need to adjust to the market. That may mean adjusting your discount curve. That doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice profit, just that you need to think about new lines of revenue. Those are things that everyone should have in place in case of an occupancy challenge.

  • How do we suggest we deal with when a guest needs an insurance payment in order to make a booking?

Never let a guest into a unit prior to getting paid. The answer is to get paid upfront, the guest will figure out what they need to do to make that happen.

  • How often should I be checking pricing and how often should I be manually adjusting it?

In a 30 day market checking daily isn’t really necessary. It’s more about making sure you are priced appropriately from the beginning and understanding the platform you are on. 

  • Where can I find info on hiring VA’s, outsourcing, managing, and fee collection?

Even though the caller is already experienced, they should try to approach things as a beginner. You need to start with the foundation if you want to build a proper business. Even at short term rental 8 units they probably don’t need VA’s yet if they’ve set up the right systems in place.

  • What are some tips to make it through the upcoming slow season?

Assuming you’re in a somewhat temperate client, when it comes to slow season you need to understand that your expectation of where your revenue comes from needs to be adjusted. Go to the formula Leads x Customers x Margin x Frequency = Growth Potential, which of those can be improved upon? One of them will be a clue as to what you need to build to deal with the slow season.

  • Can you take advantage of cost segregation when doing night rental arbitration? Are there tax advantages to controlling a property versus owning it?

Much of the furnishing can become a direct write off. For some students when they are starting off, it makes more sense to lease the furniture and preserve their capital. One of the major downsides to the whole operation is it will create a large cash flow, and if you don’t offset that cashflow with some sort of investment you will just end up paying Uncle Sam.

  • What factors matter in the negotiation process for additional units?

It’s often that landlords that you’re working with will begin to approach you about additional units because you solve their vacancy problem. You need to be aware of the problems that you are taking off their table for them. If you want to eventually own the property, this is when you should start leveraging what you’re doing for them to set that in motion. 

  • Do I setup Lodgify or Wheelhouse so I can set up my own website for direct bookings?

We use Lodgify for just that.

  • What are the boundaries for the landlord showing up to the unit unannounced?

There should never be a situation where your landlord shows up to the unit unannounced outside of a fire or some other type of major issue.

  • Is okay to take a lease in your name and not your company name?

Doing business in your personal name is not something that I would recommend, especially when you’re working a public facing business because the liability is massive. You never know when something random happens and will put you on the hook. Even if you’re not guilty, you will still have to pay for the defence. Insurance is essentially prepaid legal defense.

You should protect the value that you are creating in the marketplace.

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

Cashflowdiary.com/teachme

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

Oct 25 2019

1hr 25mins

Play

October 2019 Q & A #7: Bed Bugs, Insurance, and Bad Reviews

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Questions and Answers

  • How do I improve my rankings so that I can be viewed more frequently and more often? Also do you have any tips on attracting last minute guests? 

The first step is to run a Market report using SmartBnB on the caller’s location. Start making incremental changes to the pricing specifically for the available dates coming up in the future. The market report will reveal the low, high, median, and average prices for any comparable listings, you should be pricing your listing relative to the market for your available weekends.

You should also adjust for seasonality. The change from August to September can be quite drastic. Since the optimal booking window for the caller is 25 days, it may make sense to start experimenting with the discount curve beyond 14 days.

Being on page 11 of the rankings is basically the same as not being present at all. Look at your title and thumbnail as possible places to improve alongside pricing.

  • My closing was put off because of the hurricane, can I go ahead and list the property but not go live?

There is a window of time when your listing is considered new and it gets a boost in exposure and rankings. You should maximize the SEO bonus when it’s available. We also have a number of students that have optimized their locations as possible shelters from bad weather or natural disasters.

If you have a property in an area that is exposed to bad weather, a good tip is to have a generator so that your property doesn’t lose electricity when everything else does.

  • Any updates regarding automation getting agreements signed?

J had to put this project on the backburner due to some issues scaling out the customer service team. The goal is to have two way communication through as many channels as possible. Once we’ve worked through that we’ll be making more steps towards automation.

  • What do I do about bed bugs?

Ideally when you are building a business you want to build in systems so that your amount of time working in the business instead of on the business is as minimal as possible. Hopefully you never experience bed bugs but having systems in place will definitely help.

We have only seen one instance of bed bugs in all the history of tenants that have been our guests. It occurred in a two bedroom unit where the guest reported the bed bugs to us. We learned that you should hire the best pest control company you can right away, even if it’s delayed by a day or two. It’s better to resolve this properly, even if it costs you some revenue.

Before a unit is sprayed, cleaners should strip the beds, vacuum and clean the unit, and while doing it they should be wearing gloves and masks. We originally thought we would have to throw out all the linens in the unit, but that wasn’t necessary. Just bag the linens up and mark them as contaminated, the cleaners will wash them in extreme heat in order to eliminate the infestation.

Sadly there is no guaranteed fix for bed bugs. In order to get a heat treatment on the unit we had to hire a company that can drain the fire sprinkler system. The outlets should also be dusted in the adjacent units because bed bugs move quickly and get into the walls as well.

Another major lesson is to notify your insurance company immediately, and if possible you should be insured specifically in the event of bed bugs.

All told, this one problem took between 40 and 50 hours to resolve. There is a lot of coordination involved with a number of different people. Students now have access to the process we’ve put together to handle this situation.

If we include lost revenue, the total cost of the whole episode was around $15,000. Now that there is a process in place to handle things, the cost would probably be around $7,000 to $8,000. Even if you have insurance, this isn’t something that you’re going to be able to wait for them to pay for things. You will need the funds in place to take care of things in the meantime.

  • Did the insurance reimburse everything?

No, you will be reimbursed charges related to cleaning. One of the mistakes we made was not separating our linens, this meant that we had to pay for extra cleaning to make sure we didn’t contaminate other people’s linens. It’s also very possible that you would have to replace furniture as well, we got lucky in that case.

  • How do you recover from bad reviews because of an instance like bed bugs?

When you’re trying to recover from bad reviews, and there are a number of situations that can lead to one, one of the ways is to accelerate the frequency with which you can generate a review. The best way to do that is to reduce the maximum length of stay. This will generate a number of shorter stays and more frequent reviews, which will push down bad reviews on your listing.

  • Is there a way to create a market report on a listing that I don’t currently manage so that I can start to understand the owner might be having difficulty?

Most people in the short term rental space don’t actually have a grasp on what it takes to run the business well. Right now you don’t have to be good, you just have to be present. Over time, as this marketplace matures you’re going to have to be good and the ones that are will build the brand that they want to and get the kinds of customers they deserve.

If you want to be able to run a report on a property that you do not control or manage AirDNA is your best bet. You should be looking for trend data for the particular market you’re looking into and compare the listing to the surrounding area. If performance is poor on the property, it may be as simple as being on the wrong platform.

Links:

cashflowdiarypodcast.com

cashflowdiary.com/star

cashflowdiary.com/affiliate

airdna.co

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Oct 23 2019

1hr 9mins

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iTunes Ratings

173 Ratings
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My Favorite Show

By P Wats - Jan 14 2020
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J’s Show CashFlowDiary is the first Real Estate podcast I’ve encountered when I found out I wanted to become a real estate investor. This podcast had provided me with phenomenal advice, information, and a new mindset. This podcast has inspired me to grow as a person, an entrepreneur, and as an action taker. Thanks J for creating this podcast.

Great Host and Guests

By Lucas Marshall - Jun 25 2017
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Wealth of knowledge can be learned listening to the Host and guests on this podcast!!!