Between Real Estate and Reality Or Between Realty and Reality

You hit the ground running hoping to sprint your way to the finish line. You may have gotten winded with the realization that real estate investing is a marathon and not a 50 yard dash. Or you may have tripped over the start line coming out of the gate. Either way, your investing career is going nowhere fast. You’ve got a full time job that’s getting in the way of your big plans. Being a full time real estate investor is closer than you think. Here’s how to work around your full time job and build towards a better tomorrow – today.

First, change the way you look at your 9 to 5 job. Think of the paycheck you earn as a consulting fee – income for your real estate investing business. It covers your basic needs while providing you with some of the cash you need to keep the doors of You, Inc. open for business. When your consulting day is over you simply move into the next phase of your day: prospecting for new business opportunities.

Every day I want you to do something to drive your investing career forward. So set aside a block of time for these activities. If all you can spare is 90 minutes per day, make the best use you can of the time you have available. Look through some of your on-line resources to quickly locate properties that meet your investing criteria and then follow through. Don’t make a list and call it a day.

If you systematically do small things that move you in the direction of making a property purchase, you will succeed. You can and will make that first – or fiftieth – property purchase, regardless of your employment situation. It will take some planning on your part to make it happen. But, you also need to find a good way of motivating yourself to take action.

When you pulled the trigger and fired on a new real estate investing career, your eyes were glazed over with child-like wonder at the possibilities that real estate investing gives you. Don’t be afraid to admit it. You had a target in mind when you pulled the trigger. You had a tangible goal of some kind or you never would have taken that first step.

Every one of us had – and probably still does have – a dream we’re working towards. It might be to donate $1 million to fight AIDS in Africa, to build a Little League ballpark with your name on it, or even something less altruistic: A desire to get very rich. Real estate investing is still the best vehicle for achieving your dreams. Whatever they are, I want you to capture the essence of those dreams; a photograph or something that symbolizes what you can do with the fruits of your labor to create a vivid daily reminder of your goal.

Place that reminder in a conspicuous place – on a bathroom mirror or a counter top – as a daily reminder of what you want to do with some of your real estate investing proceeds. If it’s too large for a mirror, take a picture of it. This is an important step because it will help to motivate and reinvigorate you when you begin losing your focus. Look at it several times a day beginning first thing in the morning.

Your dreams – whatever they are – provide the fuel you need to take action on those days you’d rather just be a channel-surfing couch potato. You will achieve your dreams, but you may need additional ammunition in your arsenal to make it happen. In addition to having a dream you should:

– Set specific goals for yourself – These goals should be specific, quantifiable and attainable. Instead of having a goal that says, “I want to be rich within five years.” you should put a firm number on it. “Within five years I’m going to own 15 properties with a monthly cash flow of $15,000 (or whatever figure you set).

– Create a vision – On a daily basis look at the symbol of your dream. If it’s a picture, carefully look at it – really LOOK at it – and declare your commitment to achieving your dreams.

– Believe in yourself and your abilities – It’s sometimes easy to listen to naysayers and negative people. Avoid these people like the plague. They’re like a cancer that will eat away at your dreams if you let them. Don’t allow it to happen. You can achieve your dreams and your goals if you believe it can happen and you take action.

One final point: If you’re waiting for a telegram from destiny telling you that it’s time to step up and make it happen, this is it. Your success is waiting for you. No day will be absolutely perfect. Today is better than yesterday because yesterday is dead and gone. Tomorrow hasn’t yet been born. By living in the magic of the moment you can seize your real estate investing destiny, lay claim to your future, and begin the process of consigning your 9 to 5 job to the annals of history.

Real estate investing is kind of like the lottery. You’ve got to get in it to win it and you can’t really get into it sitting on your couch thinking about how you’re going to spend the money when you finally get up and get started.

So go ahead.

Put the remote on the coffee table and take the first step.

Funding Real Estate Deals: Can You Say Friends And Family

Funding real estate deals is obviously an important component for any investor that wants to do multiple deals. This is probably even more true today, with the state of lending and the economy. So what is an investor to do? Well there are several means outside of the conventional and one which you may not have considered. I am going to site a very successful investor, you certainly have heard of, and his strategy and how this may work for you, too.

Warren Buffet is an American investor who earned a huge fortune from wise investments. He lives in Omaha, in a house that he has been living in for the last 45 years. He is the second richest man in the United States and recently gave the first richest man in the United States $37 billion dollars to handle for him. He donated it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to manage.

When he was a young man just home from graduate school a few decades ago, he was convinced that you should always buy based on the fundamentals and not worry about trends, what other people were doing, or even what the buzz on Wall Street was. So he wrote a thesis and mailed it to 272 of his closest friends, neighbors, and relatives. Basically it said, “Here’s my philosophy. I’m not going to take a job. What I am going to do is start a fund that will only buy on the basis outlined in my philosophy. I will walk over broken glass to make sure that you don’t lose a dime. I will have 100% of my net worth at all times in the fund.”

Then he just mailed the letters and waited for people to send checks to him. While he waited, he started calling on people. He signed up a large share of those 272 people at some point or another. If you had been one of Warren Buffet’s original investors, you would be quite well-to-do today.

He knew that he couldn’t just run an ad in a newspaper since he was a kid hardly out of college. He had to deal with the people he knew best and who knew him best. Many people of good character thought a lot of him and invested their money. Some of them invested just a little money at first and then more later on. But surprisingly enough, over two-thirds of the people to whom he wrote letters became stockholders in that first month.

You need to do that, too. If you can’t get an owner or a tenant to invest with you, start with the people to whom you are closest-that know you the best. They are the ones most likely to give you money. Perhaps it seems to be counter-intuitive to ask your best friends for money because you don’t want to ruin that friendship, but consider these key points.

Key Points:

If your deal isn’t good enough to ask your Mom to invest in, you should not consider the deal. If the deal isn’t good enough for your friends or family, it may not be a wise starter deal for you. So get out there and set up the best possible deals. Only show people the deals that are under contract. Otherwise, they’ll feel that it’s their prerogative to dictate how your deal is structured, and may act like your senior partner. Show them why it’s such a good deal, but if they’re not convinced, they simply don’t have to invest.

Now you may have to get outside your comfort zone to initiate this technique or you may quickly find out ‘Who Loves Ya Baby’. However, if you are knowledgeable and confident you can do good deals and prove yourself, then it is likely you will find people to invest with you and most likely more so in the future if they are getting a good return on their investment. So funding real estate deals from external sources will take some leg work and effort, but it is a doable proposition if you approach it in the correct manner and perform on your promise.

Top Ten Real Estate Tycoons For 2009

Forbes has announced its 400 richest Americans for 2009, and as expected, real estate tycoons still enjoy many of the top spots. Real estate fortunes have declined in recent years, so these millionaires represent the canniest financial minds in the industry. Here, without further ado, we present the top ten real estate tycoons.

Donald Bren

With a net worth of $12 billion, Donald Bren has earned his place as the top real estate tycoon for 2009. A native of Newport Beach, California, Bren is credited with developing the central Orange County area, and currently owns 475 commercial buildings, 115 apartment complexes and over 40 retail centers. Despite recent real estate industry difficulties, Bren’s net worth has remained stable over the past year.

Richard LeFrak

New York City’s real estate billionaire Richard LeFrak follows in his father’s footsteps in land development in this prestigious and competitive real market. Investments include a combined residential, retail, and commercial development in Newport, New Jersey and 5,000 apartments in Queens. LeFrak’s portfolio has lost value in the last year, but still weighs in at a cool $4 billion.

Paul Milstein

The last year has seen significant losses in Paul Milstein’s financial investments, down from last year to $3.8 billion this year. Milstein Properties owns a number of apartment towers and commercial developments throughout Manhattan that were hard hit by recent economic events; additionally, the acquisition of New York’s Emigrant Bank paid huge dividends in the past, but now may seem like a liability for Milstein’s shrinking portfolio.

Samuel Zell

Even after filing for bankruptcy in December 2008, Samuel Zell remains one of the wealthiest real-estate tycoons in the U.S. with a net worth of $3.8 billion. His international holdings include Brazilian shopping centers, commercial storage and residential properties in China, and housing developments in Egypt; this complements his extensive investments in distressed real estate within the U.S.

Leonard N. Stern

An alumnus of New York University, Leonard Stern made a significant donation to the university that led to the business school that now bears his name. His investments include Edison Towne Square, a mixed-use redevelopment project located on the site of the former New Jersey Ford Plant, and Soho Grand and Tribeca Grand hotels in Manhattan; in total, Stern owns 38 million square feet of property in New York and New Jersey and boasts a net worth of $3.6 billion, making him a force to be reckoned with in the New York real estate world.

Theodore Lerner

Since he founded Lerner Enterprises in 1952 with the help of a loan of $300 from his wife, Theodore Lerner has had the golden touch in real estate in Washington, D.C. His current net worth is $3 billion, down from last year but still an impressive feat. Lerner owns 20 million square feet of commercial and retail space, and recently demonstrated his green credentials by moving his headquarters to a new environmentally-responsible building in Maryland. Lerner is also the owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team.

Stephen Ross

After recent losses, Stephen Ross is looking for international real estate investments to bolster his faltering corporate portfolio. His net worth is $2.9 billion after sustaining significant financial losses on luxury properties in New York City. Ross recently purchased the Miami Dolphins football team for $1 billion.

John A. Sobrato

With his real estate holdings down 30% in value this year John Sobrato is suffering the effects of recent Silicon Valley stagnation. Sobrato Development owns and manages over 7 million square feet of commercial space, with Yahoo and Nvidia as its largest clients.

Donald Trump

While Donald Trump’s celebrity quotient may never have been higher, his real estate fortune certainly has been; it’s down to $2 billion dollars, significantly lower than in previous years. He still owns Trump Tower, but many of the buildings bearing his name actually belong to other developers who pay for the privilege of attaching the Trump name to their properties.

Alan Casden

At $1.85 billion, Alan Casden’s fortune is nothing to sneeze at; it’s down from previous years, however. Based in Beverly Hills, Casden Properties owns over 200,000 square feet of office space and more than 3,000 luxury apartments.