Archive for October, 2007

Investing For Your Success

Courtney Self
Broker, Investor, Author & Occasional Speaker

“It’s tangible, it’s solid, it’s beautiful…I just love real estate”, Donald Trump.

Buying investment property is a fabulous opportunity for real estate agents; it can provide you with a steady cash flow increase your overall wealth and provide excellent tax benefits to offset your real estate commissions. Plus it’s a great retirement plan, usually your property will continue to increase in value, rents will rise and all while you’re pay down the mortgages.

I admit that I am biased towards real estate, but with good reason: it has been an amazing wealth generator for my husband and me plus it’s given us lots of freedom. For me the financial freedom is the biggest benefit to real estate investment. While most real estate professionals will tell you that they enjoy their job, the majority will also tell you that they don’t want to sell homes or do loans for the rest of their lives, myself included. One of the key ways to ensure that your future as an agent is bright and comfortable is to appropriately invest in income properties as you are in the midst of your career. Which is why I’m always surprised to learn how few real estate agents, lenders, title and escrow people actually invest. As real estate professionals we are positioned perfectly to create huge amounts of wealth for ourselves and our clients.

Think about it…often the largest time commitment to investing is doing the research necessary to understand real estate and rental markets. If you’re already working day to day in the real estate business, what better opportunity could you have? In addition, working in real estate often gives you the opportunity to learn about properties before they hit the market – so why not take advantage of that?

I already mentioned investment properties are a great way to plan for your retirement but they can also help you to make it through rough times in your career or even better allow you to take some time off. The real estate market is constantly in flux. Sometime it is a buyer’s market, sometimes a seller’s and still other times it is just plain slow. By having some residual income from investments, you will be able to wade through the slow times and still have steady earnings. In my case I take time off during the summer and over the holidays when it’s typically slow but I don’t worry about my commission income because I have rental income to cover my mortgages and other living expenses.

My goal in real estate investing is to purchase enough rental properties to eventually replace my current real estate income. This will ensure that my retirement years are as comfortable as possible. What are your plans?

For questions about income property email me at and to download our FREE investment analysis spreadsheet visit


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C.A.R. Convention

I just returned from the California Association of Realtors Annual Convention in Anaheim where Anthony spoke and we had a booth.  We met lots of great people, saw lots of speakers and toured the trade-show plus we got to go to Disney Land!  The first day for us was Tech Tuesday which is our favorite part of the Expo because we love technology.  Lynn Pope my inspiration for becoming a Blogger, she is also from my office-RE/Max Exces, sat on the panel for Blogging and was fabulous!

One of the hottest topics at the convention seemed to be foreclosures & short-sales.  Larry Blachman at the booth next to ours did a couple of those classes and had to stay until after the trade-show closed the last 2 days because he had so much interest from the attendees. His email is

All of our Money Frog, Inc. classes went over extremely well – they were well attended and we received lots of great feedback.  This year Anthony taught: “Tech Tips for Top Producers”, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Dollars: Digital Camera Class”, “Numbers & Stuff: Analyzing Income Property Using Excel” & “ACT! Like a Professional” a database software class.  Everyone particularly like his Excel class because he gave a FREE download on his website for the income property analysis spreadsheet.  To see his class notes and get your FREE download visit

A few notable mentions were the lenders that have these loan programs that pay off your mortgage in 10 years (UFirst)- I’m not sure yet how this works but I’m going to find out.  A couple of companies that offer text messaging for listings – that looked good.  Another interesting and similar company was in the booth across from us – Buyer Acquire, a call capture system.  We use a toll free system in our business but what interested me in buyer acquire is that the property information is taken from the MLS each night so I, as an agent, don’t have to record property descriptions.  You can still record one if you want but if you get busy or forget to record a message, which I have done, your listing will still be benefiting from the service. Zillow was there but with very little coverage at their booth which surprised me.

There were several education companies from trainers/coaches ( to companies that offer on-line license renewal.  One of the companies I spoke with was Coni at Online Ed,  You might also want to check out Smooth Talker, their system has business scripts for every situation, I used a similar product about 15 years ago and loved it,

There were several marketing and personal promotion companies, the Wright brothers materials looked nice and affordable, www.WrightBrothers.comwww.QuantumMail.comwas also in attendance they have great products and provide direct mail and printing.  I also recommend using the post office for this service,

I saw a couple of companies that offer online tracking of your escrow files, the one I talked to was  I met a Texas broker selling investment property he’s offering a 30% referral fee, 888-694-8287. 

Other than that I saw few things that interested me personally from the 600 + vendors at the trade show.  Most of it was what you’d expect:  sign companies, new real estate franchises, banks, title & escrow companies, training companies & several costume jewelry vendors – I guess they realize agents like their Bling and yes I did buy some. 

I was happy to see RE/Max California & Hawaii there after being gone for several years.  The first C.A.R. trade-show I attended was in 1996 while I was working for RE/Max CA & HI in the franchise sales department.  Overall it was a great event and we really enjoyed it.

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Shameless Self Promotion

Courtney Self
Broker, Investor, Author & Occasional Speaker

Why Invest in Real Estate? The answer is: FREEDOM!

“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

JUST RELEASED…Anthony Self’s Latest Book: “I Sold My Soul for $60K a Year and How I Took It Back”

Anthony shares how he went from Zero to $6 Million, how he “Fired” his Boss and took back control of his business and his life through real estate investing. Anthony explains how you can do it too!

When I say it gives you freedom, I mean it. Read Anthony’s book if you are…
• Currently tied to a successful job or career path, as he was, and feel trapped.
• Wanting to stay home to raise your children rather than send them off to daycare for hours everyday.
• Living paycheck to paycheck.
• Successful but have capped out your income potential.
• Merely surviving instead of thriving and don’t know where to go to get ahead.
• Currently renting.
• A homeowner and want to increase your wealth.

Whatever your circumstances are currently, real estate investment will increase your wealth and give you more freedom to do the things you want to do, rather than the things you have to do. This is not a get rich quick plan; in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s a way to get out on your own and take some control over your life. It may take a little while to achieve your goals, but the process enables you to have more control choices in your own

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