Checking in with Brownstone Fast Track/Joint Venture Partners Ed Abrams and Elisee LaBrecque

We recently caught up with Brownstone Fast Track Joint Venture Partners Ed Abrams and Elisee LaBrecque to check on their progress. Here’s what they had to say:

How has it been working with Brownstone?

The Fast Track Joint Venture program has exceeded our expectations. Chris, Danyl, and Kim are amazing mentors and teachers and truly enjoyable people to spend time with. The knowledge that we have acquired in the past few months will last a lifetime. This program offers a spectacular return on investment.

What have you spent the bulk of your time doing?

The Brownstone team has taught us that finding deals should be our priority. We are networking with attorneys, real estate agents, architects, and everyone in our sphere to find deals. In addition we are looking at MLS deals, short sales, and auctions. We are actively making offers and recently got a single family home in Arlington under agreement.

Are you currently working on a project?

Yes. Our project is 88 Dean Street in Norton. We look forward to hosting a rehab tour on Saturday July 21st from 11-2.

What have you found most helpful working with the Senior Project Manager?

Danyl Collings is a terrific Senior Project Manager and Trainer. He has taught us to prioritize the renovations that maximize profit.

What is your biggest take away so far?

Finding profitable deals is the biggest challenge in the development business. If you can find a profitable deal, you can find the money. Last, but not least, take action!

Great to hear that another group of students are doing fantastic within their first few months of working with Brownstone!  We wish Ed and Elisee continued success!  

Checking in with Rob and Christal Fortes, Brownstone RG’s Fast Track/Joint Venture Students!

Recently we were able to connect with Rob and Christal Fortes.  They are among the newest Brownstone RG’s Fast Track /Joint Venture Students. They have been super busy, are expecting a baby soon, work full time jobs and have begun this new business venture with Brownstone RG. 

 Rob and Christal began the program in January of 2018.  It’s been about a month and we wanted to check in with them to see how things are going…

 How has the last month been working with Brownstone? 

 “The last month working with Brownstone has been fantastic! They are amazing folks who have true desire to educate you about a craft they excel at.”

What have you spent the bulk of your time doing? 

 “We have spent the bulk of our time looking for deals, working with Danyl on our project; developing scope of work and meeting with contractors.”

Are you currently working on a project? 

 “Yes, we are currently working on a project!  The location is 5 Westdale Road, Canton, MA and we are excited about the rehab tour that Boston AREIA is hosting on Saturday, Feb 24th from 11am – 2pm.” 

 What have you found most helpful working with the Senior Project Manager?

 “We have found that working with a senior project manager provides us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in each step of the rehab process.”

 What is your biggest take away so far

“Our biggest take away so far is understanding the importance of knowing your numbers and the difference between a repair that is need and upgrade that is desired.”

 Seems like Rob and Christal are having an exciting, educational experience so far.  We are excited to host a rehab tour at their project in Canton!  Keep an eye out on this blog to learn about how Rob and Christal progress as well as from other Brownstone RG Fast Track/Joint Venture students. 



Checking in with Rob Rodriques, Brownstone RG’s newest Fast Track/Joint Venture Student!

Recently we were able to connect with Rob Rodriques of Modern Redevelopers, Inc. He is Brownstone RG’s newest Fast Track /Joint Venture Student. Rob is highly motivated and focused on reaching his goals in real estate. He has a great mind for business and the founders of Brownstone RG, Chris Coute and Kim Harrington say it’s been a pleasure to work with Rob, he’s doing an awesome job of taking action and getting after his goals!  So good to see!  They look forward to helping him reach his goals.

Rob began the program in January of 2018. It’s been about a month and we wanted to check in with him to see how things are going…

How has the last month been working with Brownstone?

“It has been very exciting and I’m looking forward to completing the course! I like meeting with Kim and Chris in the field. Then following up with videos online helps bring it all together.”

What have you spent the bulk of your time doing?

“I’ve gone to over 15 REIA meetings and training sessions in my area within the past two months to help me learn as much as possible while growing my network. I’ve reached out to over a dozen active REO agents who are sending me properties to look at. I’ve been to 3 REO properties in the past 10 days to practice comps and repair estimates. I’m hoping to get a deal while I’m practicing because I know if I look at a certain amount of houses that I will find a deal. I’m currently trying to figure out how to use Realeflow to create a data base of leads to start a mailing campaign. I want to add my own leads and build it myself because I want quality leads. I’m going to add properties that I’m researching anyway such as pre-foreclosures, auctions, high equity, ect.”

As part of the Brownstone RG Fast Track/Joint Venture program, Brownstone RG will source a project so students get fast, hands on experience in the rehabbing of a property. They become the project manager on the deal AND earn a percentage of the profit when the subject property is sold!

Are you currently working on a project?

I’m going to be starting a project with Chris Coute next week at 272 Main St Dighton MA 02715. I’m looking forward to work with Chris Coute who is one of the people who started it all. It’s exciting to be part of the whole process. I can’t wait to see the final product.”

What have you found most helpful working with the Senior Project Manager?

“Knowing that I’m working with someone who has done this type of work and is currently being successful has given me confidence in myself. I trust Brownstone so I know they will help me make the big decisions when it comes time. I know that I have support and a group that I can count on. This is a new relationship so I know it will continue to grow and its been a better start than I could have imagined.”

What is your biggest take away so far?

“Learning to comp houses properly and estimating repairs correctly are the most important aspects of this business. One saying rings out to me that I’ve heard once. “You make your profit when you buy the property!” I look at houses on line every day to learn as much as I can while I’m at my current job as an operations manager. I’m out looking during the weekends on my days off of work.”

Seems like Rob is having an exciting, educational experience so far. We are excited to do a rehab tour at his upcoming project in Dighton! Keep an eye out on this blog to learn about how Rob progresses as well as from other Brownstone RG Fast Track/Joint Venture students.

How do you create a buzz when selling property after the rehab?

One of the questions we often get about real estate investing has to do with selling the property after the rehab is completed. How do you create a buzz when selling your project? Here are some sure-fire ways to create the buzz you are looking for:

• Don’t put a property on the market until it is completely finished
Hire the top selling real estate agent in the area to market the property
• Make sure the property is in excellent condition and price it right
Stage the property (this is more important than you think, many folks can’t envision turning that property into their home unless they see how it can be set up)
• Use professional photographers to get beautiful pictures
• Hand out flyers to the neighbors and invite them for a preview ½ hour before the open house starts, so they are leaving as the real prospective buyers show up. This creates a sense of urgency for someone to put an offer on the table
• List on Tuesday and hold all showings through the weekend when there is an open house
• Use FB live or create a video walking through the property pointing out the work you’ve done like beautiful new hard wood floors and that brand new kitchen
• Post to FB and other social media outlets, spend a few dollars on FB marketing the property to a specific group of people
• Network with your competitors, be willing to stay open and look at how they are marketing
Hold a broker Open House
• Hold Rehab tours and team up with a local investors association like Boston AREIA, you never know who those investors know who may be interested in your property.

Hopefully this list will help you sell your property quicker and create a buzz around selling your property. These techniques have helped us create that buzz and get over list price offers on many projects.

Happy investing!

How do you keep yourself motivated in real estate investing?

When most people start out in real estate investing, they watch shows like Flip This House and get excited about how they can do the same thing. They think, “How hard can it be? We’ve always loved real estate and the idea of rehabbing seems to be a great fit. Right?” I mean, if you follow their model, you easily find a house that is priced low, you hire a contractor, maybe put in some sweat equity and you sell the property for a huge profit! Before you know it, you will be doing this thing full time and be able to walk away from the J.O.B.

The problem with those shows is that they don’t show you how many deals they actually had to look at before they found that sweet deal. And, they don’t really focus on the fact that this is all they do. They don’t have full time jobs with limited time to research and find deals. They don’t have to get up at 5am or stay up until midnight or later to look on auction sites and research property values or scour Craigslist. They don’t have to hope their boss doesn’t notice they came back from lunch late after looking at a project. And, they aren’t concerned with making things seem as difficult as they are. They want it to look easy. Ultimately, many of the folks who have these shows have a course or program they are pitching on FB and other avenues. So, they aren’t going to tell you the whole truth. And, the truth is, on average, you may find 1 deal out of every 20 properties you look into. It does take work and it’s not as easy as they make it look on TV.

What tends to happen, is people set out with the dream of becoming a full time rehabber. Maybe they take a course or two and they start looking for deals. After looking at their 5th property, they begin thinking that the dream was pie in the sky and this will never happen. They lose their motivation and begin to believe this can’t happen for them. So, what do they do? They quit. Not good! So, what do you do to stay motivated?

The first step to staying motivated in real estate is to know your “Why”. Why are you doing this? Are you looking for time freedom? Do you want to live a certain lifestyle? Do you want to walk away from that J.O.B.? Do you want to be able to pay for your kid’s college tuition? You really need to know your why to stay motivated. And, your why has to be more than the green stuff. I have a friend that says, “If your why doesn’t have the ability to make you cry, then it’s not real.” It has to be emotional. It has to be that driving force that will cause you to get up at 5am and stay up till after midnight looking for deals without anyone hanging over your shoulder telling you what to do.

You need to be realistic in your expectations. Every once in a while, you may get a deal within the first few you look at, but, that is a rare occurrence. Expect that you will need to look at, at least 20 properties before you find a deal that actually works. Understand that every no brings you closer to a yes. 

Celebrate the small wins to re-motivate yourself. In the beginning, we celebrated putting a property under contract. We would go out and have a drink or dinner to congratulate ourselves on find that property and negotiating the contract with the numbers that work for us. Heck, have a small celebration when you’ve looked at 20 deals.  

As your business grows, do things that you don’t normally do to keep yourself challenged. For Brownstone, we started out with rehabbing. Then to keep things interesting and challenging, we began to do some new construction. Then we decided it would be really great to train others to do what we’ve been doing. So, we developed a training program to help others become successful. Now we are focusing on our own Buy/Hold situation and commercial projects. Chris Coute is opening up a bar and restaurant in Taunton. So, don’t be afraid to branch out. It’s important to challenge yourself to stay motivated.

As a quick recap, to stay motivated, know your why, set realistic expectations, celebrate your wins no matter how small and keep challenging yourself. If you do these things, you will continue to stay motivated and will reach the success you are looking to create.

Happy investing!

Beware of Snakes

Flipping Real Estate Advice For Beginners: Snakes in the Grass

So you want to try your hand at flipping real estate? Well first let’s talk about an important issue that most beginners never think about, dealing with town officials.

Massachusetts, like many towns across America, has its share of “old school” towns with their own “old school” governments. Many municipalities, especially the ones in more rural areas don’t have a lot going on and thus like things just the way they are. Additionally, outsiders are often not welcomed. Keep this in mind when working out of your usual towns and areas that you are familiar with. You may very well run into one of these situations and find yourself regretting ever flipping real estate in that location to begin with.

I, personally, am not from the Cape but am familiar with a number of associates and Realtors from that side of the bridge. Things can operate very differently in this area and outsiders need to be aware. I took that warning with a grain of salt. Who me? Worry? Nahhh! Can’t happen to me. I was of the belief that if the law was on your side and you went through the proper channels then all should be good. Not the case!

We were alerted to a home in a small town on Cape Cod that was sitting on a double lot. We got the home and lot under agreement and thought it may take a few months to go through the motions to separate the land from the home but if we account for our time then we should be all set. That was partially true. We were able to separate the land from the lot but not until 18 months later and

many legal fees that accrued along the way. In this particular instance, we were required to go before the town Zoning Board. Being that the board on that date did not have all of its members present, it was required for us to have a majority vote for our plan to pass. Okay, shouldn’t be a big deal. We have not only the property law and regulations in our favor, but also Massachusetts state case law as well.

Turns out one gentleman on the board knew the previous owners, who had passed away several years before, and he firmly believed they didn’t want this to ever happen. A member of the Zoning Board could apparently speak to people beyond the grave and rule on their behalf?!!!! Are you kidding me?!!! This one little problem required us to go back through the motions again 6 months later and jump through several more hurdles before we could accomplish what we were trying to do. By the time we got this done, we were in the midst of one of the worst winters in our recent history and that delayed us even further. Suffice it to say that our projected healthy profit dwindled to almost nothing and took 18 months to get.

Snakes for Hire:

Know Your Market or Make Sure You Know Someone Who Does

Many of us get opportunities on properties that are outside of our geographic area or area of expertise. We have them brought to us through email, phone calls or casual conversations. We think “great, I really have stumbled on something”. We try to make sense of it by running comps. Looking at similar properties on the market, etc. We contact local Realtors who are looking for listings and they back up what we think. Great! It looks like a deal, let’s do it! Be careful of those agents out there that you do not know.

They may misrepresent the after repair value (ARV) in order to get a listing. They may full well know that they are not going to get that top value you were promised and know that price drops will be required along the way. Getting listings is a very competitive business and there are snakes out there. Once they take that listing and post at the price they previously assured was a slam dunk they can start to put up hurdles… “Oh, the market has shifted a bit”, “I think the main road is now a problem”, “there are too many similar properties on the market now”, etc. These agents are pro’s and by the time that they get the property under agreement your profit has been potentially been fully eaten away.

What is the harm in the agent doing this? Nothing! They still get their percentage from the sale and move right along with the money from the sale in their pocket. Be aware of such tactics and be sure you get second opinions and references on the agents and representative you choose to use.

Snakes In Plain Sight:

Be Sure Your Contractors Are Not Just Looking to Make a Quick Buck

Rehabbing requires a firm understanding of rehabbing the property, timelines and finance. If you misjudge any or all of these you are likely to lose a lot of money. You need to have a firm understanding of the job being done and stay in tuned with who is doing what and why. Be leery of contractors who are too good to be true.

These contractors can often come in the form of a friend or acquaintance who you think has your best interests at heart. They oftentimes do not. Business can be treacherous and you need to be leery of everyone and their motives. Get your contracts in order and be sure you have spelled out all necessary items that will be needed your project completed in a timely manner. Often times these contractors aren’t trying to do a bad job from a timing perspective, they are just incompetent.

This is why references and past experiences are just as important to take into account. In one example, we hired a friend of a friend who had a strong background in general contracting. The project was out of our typical geographical stronghold so we took a leap of faith that this contractor who was spoken so highly of was not only competent but also trustworthy. Nope! Wrong! In this instance he not only was incompetent and unable to get things done, but also charged a premium and moved at a snail’s pace.

Furthermore, he had a very unprofessional knowledge of the local codes and laws and thereby upset local inspectors and slowed the project down substantially more. At a certain point, we were required to cut ties and finish the project ourself. This process required bringing in another contractor from out of the area that we were comfortable with so we were sure he could finish up the job properly. He did just that, but not after chewing up so much of our profit that it wasn’t worth all of the time and travel associated to get it done. Be aware of this pitfall and make sure your have your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted.

Snakes in the Walls, Literally:

Be Prepared for the Unknown

When evaluating any upcoming deal while flipping real estate, be sure to account from the unknown. This comes in the form of putting in a buffer of financial cushion for unknowns. Also, make sure the profit on a project is worth your while. Many houses can often be just the basics, paint, kitchen, roof, list, sell and collect your check. Most are not this easy.

Be ready for the unknowns that you cannot account for. All of the homes we acquire come without a professional inspection. This is often a key component of us purchasing the property. We buy cash with no contingencies and sellers and banks are more often willing to take less because they don’t have to go through the headache and delays associated. This comes with it’s rewards for sure, but there are instances that this is not the case. You often can’t account for what you can’t see.

As an example we purchased a home in my hometown that seemed to be a great deal. It came from a local police officer who stumbled upon it after family dispute. He sent along the location, I tracked down the owner and placed a call. This owner lived in Florida and was renting to family who stopped paying rent months earlier. She just wanted to be done with the property. Great! This sounds like a slam dunk. We ran the numbers after reviewing the property, made an offer, and it was accepted. Perfect! That’s a perfect scenario to acquiring a property and flipping real estate as seamlessly as possible. Let’s make a bunch of money…. Woah there big fella, not so fast!

Upon purchasing the property we started the tedious task of cleaning this “beauty” out. 9 dumpsters, yes, 9 dumpsters later we got this hoarder special emptied out. Once we emptied it out we were able to really start to evaluate what was needed. All of the typical stuff; roof, windows, siding, flooring, kitchen and so on. We actually walked through at one point and saw something in the corner. As we got closer we realized what it was. It was an actual snake!!!!! We jumped like a couple of school children and ran. As we turned around we saw that it slithered it’s 3-4 foot body right back inside the wall! To this day, still the most startling moment of my career in real estate as well as the highest pitch my voice has ever gotten!

We order windows and started the process. Once our contractor started to remove the windows he realized the extent of water damage from the failing roof. 2 of the 4 walls of the home were completely rotted from water damage and needed replacement. The damage spread into some of the floor joists and required a pretty major undertaking that ate up a huge percentage of our profit and elongated the project substantially. While we didn’t lose money, it certainly didn’t turn out to be the cash cow we had hoped for.

All in all, while all of the 60-plus properties I have renovated in the past 3 years of my flipping real estate career have been money makers, there is a certain percentage that have hurdles that are difficult to foresee. These moments help to provide on the job training that often times only first-hand knowledge can provide. This business can be wildly rewarding but it also has its pitfalls and you need to always be aware – keep your head on a swivel! I suppose it adds to the excitement for us adrenaline junkies, but keep in mind that your investors want their money returned with interest at the end of the day. If you are too lax and don’t pay attention, you can get yourself in some deep water and potentially endanger those relationships and thereby damage your ability to acquire and renovate future projects.

My suggestion is to heed the words of advice you receive and to keep learning. There are always going to be things that you run across that you are not familiar with. Keep those people around you that know what you don’t and treasure their knowledge, as they are sure to do with you. It takes a village to be successful and no one does this business alone and is successful, at least for very long.

Now get out there and start flipping real estate!

Interested in being coached by one of the most successful Real Estate Redevelopment companies in the country?

Check out our totally online coaching program designed to teach you everything you need to know about flipping houses, from sourcing deals, getting financing, managing contractors, all the way to closing with buyers and much more!

6 Tricks To Finding House-Flipping Deals

finding house flipping deals

Finding house flipping deals is arguably one of the most intimidating and difficult parts of flipping houses. There are tons of reasons people get into flipping houses, you might be a contractor who wants to DIY the whole project, you might a savvy investor with deep pockets, or you’re just someone who really likes HGTV shows and has an eye for design. But no matter what everyone struggles with consistently finding house flipping deals that are profitable, home run, projects. Here’s a few strategies that I use in my business and you can too!

Local and Intermediate Referral Network

– The number one way to finding good house flipping deals is through your own network of family and friends. These individuals know you best and want you to succeed, so letting them know you’re in the house-flipping business is number one. Then, asking them to keep you in mind when they hear about or see properties in distress is the second tip for winning these house flipping deals. It’s also not a bad idea to include a finders fee for someone who brings you a deal. At Brownstone we offer a “bird dog bonus” of $1,000 if someone brings us a deal and this can really get people fired up to find you some house flipping deals. You may tell thirty people that you’re in the market for deals and maybe ten of them will remember when they see a house that needs work. But if you tell all thirty of those people you’re offering $1,000 just for making a connection, you better believe all thirty of those people will remember and a few of them will definitely do some legwork for you.

finding house flipping deals

Real Estate Agents

– Real Estate Agents have their fingers on the pulse of the real estate market and are GREAT at finding house flipping deals both on the market and BEFORE they hit the market (hint: you’re interested in the latter). They are always meeting with buyers and sellers and seeing properties everyday so developing solid win-win relationships with top agents in the areas you want to work in is key. The other thing you should be thinking about is “how can I make this a win-win,” you need to add value to the agent’s business if they’re going to want to bring you deals. Think of “the big 3” time, effort, and money, if you can save someone any of these they’ll be much more likely to work with you. A ready, willing and able real estate investor is gold to a real estate agent because of the amount of deals you can provide them so be sure to have your finances and protocols in place before recruiting agents to help you with the lead generation aspect of your flipping business.


– Attorneys are an excellent source of finding house flipping deals for a real estate investor and this includes probate, estate, divorce and real estate Attorneys. They are usually working with their clients and their best interest but they may have a situation where the client’s best option is to sell to a real estate investor due to the inhabitable nature of the property. It’s less advantageous for an Attorney than it is a Real Estate Agent to have rehabbers on hand but it can still be a win-win situation especially if you’re known for being a fast decision maker and quick to close. Be sure to have attorney’s in your sphere of influence and networking group as they will provide you with some leads as well.

For more on this you can check out another one of our blog posts, How To Find House Flipping Deals Without Any Real Estate Knowledge

finding house flipping deals

Utilizing Neighborhood Tours on Current Project to Find your Next One

– A successful project can be a great tool to leverage through neighborhood open houses to show a successful project. These neighbors have seen these houses in disarray for years and once they see the finished product, they will usually be open to suggesting another house they know that could use your help. They will sometimes turn into champions for repairing their neighborhood and will look at you as a great solution to fixing those dilapidated homes. Don’t forget to mention your own “bird dog bonus” to really motivate them!


– Wholesalers are great leads for real estate rehabbers as they are great at finding house flipping deals and getting them under contract. They then need proven real estate investors to bring the project to the finish line so they can get paid. Make contact with some good wholesalers so you’re on their call list the next time they have a project to sell. Once again this comes back to networking! Attend REIA meetings and other professional Real Estate groups and you’re sure to find tons of wholesalers. Another good place to find wholesalers is at auctions, read more about that here

Other Investors

– Believe it or not other real estate investors are great resources for deals as they can sometimes have more than they are willing to take on and looking to partner or sell a deal. Especially since the vast majority of house flippers eventually fail, there will always be a need for someone to come in and clean up their mess or purchase a house from them that they don’t have the funds to finish.

How To Find House-Flipping Deals Without Any Real Estate Knowledge

How to Find House-Flipping Deals Without Any Real Estate Knowledge

Whether you just started watching flipping shows on HGTV or are a seasoned veteran in the business you are always going to be looking for ways to find house flipping deals. Creativity and persistence is king! Competition is fierce and the number of hungry house-flippers out there is only growing. Every Tom, Dick and Harry who watches the “flipping” shows thinks “piece o’ cake, I could do that.” Not realizing that every one of those shows has a commercial trying to sell them a system in a box that tells them they can do it.

While they most definitely can do it (rehabbing isn’t rocket science, though it can be wildly difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing) they are often set up for failure because they don’t provide the understanding of what goes into how to find house flipping deals in their cookie cutter programs. I often make the analogy that finding rehab deals is like fishing.

You need to have a lot of different fishing poles in the water to consistently find house flipping deals. There are a ton of sources that exist and you need to always be looking for more and making contacts with people who can help.

I’m now gonna take a few minutes and provide some insight as to how I find house flipping deals. I have found upwards of 60 deals in the last few years and I want to provide some insight on a few of my approaches. I also am certain that I haven’t uncovered every “fishing hole”, so to this day I am still constantly thinking about how I can get ahead and beat everyone to the punch for the deals.

It doesn’t take a real estate or rehab pro to find house flipping deals. It does take a bit of expertise and proper connections to secure the deals, complete the rehabs and sell them, but anyone, and I mean anyone can find them. You pass by them everyday and you probably don’t even realize it.

Driving For Dollars:

I guarantee you drive by opportunities every day and don’t even realize it. Next time you go to work or to the store look at the homes you pass. I can assure you that you are passing available homes on a regular basis. There are opportunities everywhere! Not all are, or even a high percentage of them are, but many of these homes are deals just waiting to be found.

My very first sourced deal was a home that was on my running route. I got the rehab bug and started attending a few local real estate meetings. I, like many of you thought how hard can this really be? I noticed this home with overgrown brush and it clearly looked empty. Who do I call? The property isn’t on the market and no one lives there so what now? I thought about it a little more and said the town hall may be a great place to start.

After a trip to the local town hall I found the owner’s name through tax records and let good old Google go to work. I searched the owner’s name.. who happened to be deceased as I confirmed through an obituary. In the obituary were many family members mentioned. I started to Google them out of the belief that one of them probably inherited the property. I dug up some numbers online and made some calls. Bingo! I found the son and he mentioned he was looking at selling but the house needed so much work that it would be impossible for a person to get a typical mortgage to buy it. Perfect!

As investors we buy with cash so this is ideal. I did a review of the property confirmed with my investment partners and we made an offer. After a little back and forth I secured my very first property. At that point the fire was lit for me to dive into this business full speed. I loved the challenge and the creativity needed to catch that “fish”.

There are a number of online resources which are free to the public and provide as much information as you will ever need. I still use tools to this day that anyone can find. Again, creativity and a commitment to getting better at it are the key. If this is a business you want to be involved in I assure you with a little coaching and hard work you can be successful …BTW we have an awesome coaching program which can highlight these types of things further. I’m not selling right now, just sayin’ :) For example drive around a couple days after a snow storm. Which driveways aren’t plowed? In the summer which lawns aren’t mowed, and so on and so on and so on. We also have some online coaching resources available as well if you’re interested in taking your business to the next level.

Networking with Friends, Family Members and Colleagues

Talk to anyone you know. I guarantee you they either know about a property or have noticed a property that would be a stellar rehab deal. Are they gonna just tell you or put effort into finding them for you for no reason? Probably not.

What if you were to incentivise them with some money? I bet that would light a fire under them to get you the property details they have and to continue looking. Depending on what they provide you, you could certainly break them off a little cash from your earnings. Everyone wins in this scenario. The more people that you help the better your farming base for properties is. I often field such calls/texts/emails from friends and family members who have a hot lead. They don’t all work out, but when they do it makes it all worth while.

Still looking for ways to network? Try attending auctions


Realtors are always looking for new business. Getting listings and finding buyers is a very competitive aspect of the profession. 90% of real estate agents don’t really make a living at real estate. They have a license but don’t go much further than that. What if you were to get word out to those agents that you were looking for rehab opportunities?

Those properties that typical buyers not only couldn’t buy with a typical mortgage because the homes weren’t liveable, but also because there was little to no interest because of any variety of problems. Additionally, you could provide them the listing on the other side once you sell it. They essentially would be paid half the commission for finding the property and potentially all of the commision for selling it once it had been fully rehabbed. That’s a slam dunk to many agents. Being that they are in real estate office they could offer a finders fee to other agents in their office that find house flipping deals for them.

The amount of opportunities is endless. Do all real estate agents jump at this opportunity? Surprisingly not, but then again many are so busy that they are doing fine without helping you. But remember what I just said, most agents are looking for a way to jump start their business so this may be an ideal opportunity for them., etc.

You can go to any one of these sites and find house flipping deals. “Contractor special”, “needs TLC”, “investor opportunity” are common themes of many listings. You simply need to stay on top of the searches and find them. If you review the real estate sites on a regular basis I guarantee you are going to find deals. They are everywhere. It’s a numbers game and you need to keep on digging.

Remember, finding deals is not rocket science. It’s persistence and ingenuity. Be creative and uncover every stone you can find. Like I said, I am constantly looking for new ways to find deals that others are missing. The previous options are just a few of the tactics I use. I am consistently looking for new “fishing holes” and ways to find properties that may be coming available.

Once you find a property that you think is a deal you obviously need someone who can assist in evaluating and potentially someone who can assist with the purchase and rehab process. **Light Bulb Moment!** …This blog for instance is just another creative approach for me to potentially find deals. Use some of the tactics above and if you think it’s a deal, give me a call or drop me an email …see, I am using this blog post creatively now. I didn’t even think of this blog post as source for deals, but BAM! Now it is! :) Happy Hunting!!!!

P.S. you can reach me at

How to prepare, stage, and host open houses

How to prepare and host open houses

When getting started in real estate investing or flipping houses, no one thinks about the sale or the process required to host open houses. Everyone just thinks “I’m gonna make this house absolutely beautiful and people are going to come pouring in from around the world to see it, might even get my own HGTV show.” Well maybe! But if you host open houses that are both marketed well and visually appealing this will get you a serious leg up on competition and help you sell houses faster (hint: you do).

Cleaning and Staging the House Beforehand –

Before you host open houses, they should be cleaned and staged to maximize the first impression of visitors. A clean house that is well staged helps a buyer see the house in its best condition and vision the house with their personal items in the house. Generally you can pay a company to do this, it can cost any where from 1-3k but its worth the money as these professionals bring in nice furniture/decor and set things up beautifully.

Mailing and Inviting Neighbors –

Sending a letter to neighbors in the immediate area of the property are great ways to increasing attendance when you host open houses. These neighbors sometimes know people looking to buy homes in their neighborhoods and they could bring the right buyer to your open house. Not to mention it increases the appearance of scarcity as potential buyers will see a large number of attendees at your open house and think “wow there’s a lot of people here if I want this house I need to put my best offer in ASAP.”

Visible Street Signage –

Good visible street signs are great ways to encourage people driving around to stop into your open house. You never know, that unaware person driving down the street may be the one to give you that offer above asking price.

Good Property Information and Disclosure Specific Handout items –

When you host open houses you should have property listing sheets on the different amenities that are being offered by the house for sale. Any items that need to be disclosed to prospective buyers should also be on hand and shared with potential buyers to make them feel at ease about a potential challenge with the property. Disclosing these items as early as possible will defuse the issue and make it less of an issue by being upfront and honest.

Feedback and Follow Up –

Feedback and follow up are critical for current and future open houses. This information helps identify items that might have been overlooked which can be addressed for potential future prospects looking at the house. The key is each open house is an opportunity for honest feedback from potential buyers and this information needs to be leveraged to sell the house as quickly as possible. You can also take this feedback and apply it to your future flips, to rectify unknown shortcomings as well as play to what you’ve done well. So don’t take criticism negatively, use it to your advantage and keep flippin’!

Are you interested in learning to fix and flip properties?  Click here to learn about our training programs!

Attending Housing Auctions

So you think you can flip real estate?

You’re probably reading this because you heard about housing auctions and thought “The bank is auctioning off distressed properties at low prices everyday? And you only have to bring 5 to 10k in hand? Wow sign me up I’m going to purchase a nice beat up little ranch tomorrow and get to flippin’!”

Well slow down there tiger, let me tell you what you’re getting into.

Going to housing auctions is an adrenaline pumping thrill ride that makes those scripted-drama shows like “Storage Wars” or “Pawn Stars” look like a merry-go-round. With huge profits on the line, the competition between bidding parties is very real and rivalries occur quickly. Since sure-fire deals are rare, bidding can get intense when bidders know there is money to be made. Even if one bidding party is bidding confidently it can drive others into a frenzy.

Its an incredibly mental game and the only way to be successful is to cultivate a “thick skin” mentality and go to as many housing auctions as possible.

Boom! You’ve won your first auction, now you’re sitting pretty ready to make a killing on this rehab right? Well not quite. The thrills don’t end at the bidding, you’ve got plenty of obstacles to tangle with now. The bank and their bureaucratic process will obviously cause you problems but you have a bigger problem on your hands. Oops, you didn’t realize there is still a tenant in the house. Worse yet, they don’t wan’t to leave.

Most people think “how could this happen? legally they have no right to be there? I just purchased the house? they’re trespassing right?”

Well its a bit more complicated than that and it happens more often than you think.

The very first auction I went to we happened to win and the gentlemen refused to leave, subsequently chasing us off his property shouting threats and obscenities.

A lot of times this can end up costing you some extra money to remediate.

Okay so now you might be thinking “hmm maybe there’s a bit more to this than I thought. I don’t like the unknowns. Forget housing auctions I’ll stick to trolling craigslist.”

Well you’re not finished yet, housing auctions can be VERY profitable and rewarding if you’re willing to work for it and prepare.

So what do you need to know?

Well, let me first say, it is paramount that you do your due diligence prior to attending any auction. The last thing you want to do is to get caught up in the emotion of bidding and pay too much for a property.

Now you’re probably thinking “what kind of action should I be taking?”

Well, before you attend any foreclosure or housing auctions make sure you have the required fee to register for the auction so you are able to bid. Usually the majority of auction companies require a bank check in the amount of 5K, some require 1OK so just make sure you know the amount.

I call or check the websites the day of the auction to see if it is still “on time and active.” It is not uncommon for housing auctions to be canceled the day of the auction, or even 10 minutes prior to it actually going to start.

Go to the property prior to the auction time. I like to go a day before or a few hours before it is going to kick off. Getting there that early, allows you time to evaluate the property (rehab cost) without other competitive buyers around. It also allows you to see if the property is vacant or occupied. This is a big deal regarding your top number when you bid.

I also call the town Tax collector and inquire about any/all back taxes on the property. (RE taxes, water/sewer outstanding bills, etc.)

Also, research whether or not the house has a septic. Call the B.O.H. to determine the year of install and/or any title V pass certs (this will determine your numbers if you need to account for septic install).

Research the property to determine the After Repair Value or ARV, you can do this by analyzing comps and determining what needs to be done to the property.

Once you have all your information and money cost, work backwards on what your highest number will be when the auctions opens. Having all your numbers accounted for will allow you to be confident in you bidding and maximum number you are willing to pay for the property.

Doing your “due diligence” will adequately arm you with the ammunition you need to be successful, prior to any bidding war when on the battlefield of the auction world. Best of Luck!

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