Archive for November, 2014

Using Forms to Free Up More Time

“What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.” ~ Pearl Bailey

Welcome to 2015 – I know it’s going to be a great year! And while the weather is cold, what a good time it is to review office procedures and forms to make sure the business is humming along as efficiently as possible. I guess you could call it a kind of pre-spring cleaning. I know, it’s not as good as sledding, but work with me, here.

If you’ve taken any of my courses, you know how much I like to automate. The fewer steps it takes to get something done, the better I like it. Creating a good system of business forms is a big part of automation, especially if I can get forms to share information with each other, or feed data into a spreadsheet. So part of my pre-spring cleaning is to review my forms every now and then to make sure they still make sense.

And let’s face it: There’s nothing more annoying than trying to work with a badly designed form. If you doubt that, get online right now and try applying for a job at some big company. It can be a real nightmare!

Forms, of course, have always been a pain in the neck. The military is famous for them. Heck, the Romans probably had rotten forms, too. Until just a few years ago, there was no relief from bad forms. You were stuck with whatever form somebody handed you.

Now, though, you can design your own. Okay, there’s not much you can do about online job applications, and I’m pretty sure the Army doesn’t give points for creativity in this regard. But you can design forms for your own use, and adapt existing forms to your liking. Better yet, you can set them up to create a database and even talk to each other.

Say hello to FormConnect, one of my favorite iPad applications. If I had to go live on a desert island somewhere and I could only take one app with me, it might just be this one. And it only costs ten bucks.

FormConnect will let you design some pretty nifty forms, with drop-down menus and pictures and places for signatures and hand-written notes. But it’s a lot more than that.

Let’s say you’ve set up a form for your bird dogs to use. They spot a house you might like, so they fill out the form that you designed for them. They give you the address, the type of property, and whatever else you specify; they add pictures and notes; and upload it to the Cloud.

Now, if your bird dogs are good, you’re going to end up with lots of these records. Put them all together and you’ve created a database of potential properties to buy. You can then import the data into an Excel spreadsheet and create all sorts of useful reports. This can be a real time-saver.

You can also set up the forms to “talk” to each other, so you don’t have to fill out the same information over and over again. Need somebody’s name on a bunch of different forms? FormConnect will let you enter it on one form, and it will automatically fill it in on the others you specify.

Here’s another trick I like: Let’s say you’ve got a paper form that you wish you could use on your iPad. Don’t type it all in. Just scan in the form as a PDF file, and then use FormConnect to insert blanks where they belong. Voila! A computer form!

For the moment at least, FormConnect is only available for iPad. If you’re an Android or Windows user, though, you can find apps that do much the same thing. Googling “form design software” and “android” (or “windows”) will get you started.

If you’ll excuse me, then, I’m going to get back to updating my forms. The faster I can get the paperwork done, the sooner I can get to my son’s hockey game. Or maybe – just maybe – there will still be time for sledding.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Don DeRosaDon DeRosa is recognized as one of the nation’s top 21 real estate investors in the New York Times bestseller “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor”. Don, who is a full-time investor, trainer, and mentor, is the first to offer his complete investing system on a mobile platform. Don teaches investors how to Make More and Work Less by being more efficient, productive and competitive, leveraging mobile technology and apps on the iPad, iPhone, Android and other mobile devices.

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Foreclosures Flying Through Courts – Deficiency Judgments Soaring

In January of 2014, Florida passed a law that allowed the Banks to push their foreclosures through the court system faster than the normal 879 days that it used to take. I have seen foreclosures go through the court as quickly as 4 to 5 months because the Sellers, even though they do not have an attorney, do not take the time to file an “Answer” when they are served with the Summons and Complaint. An Answer, in which they themselves can file, simply states that they would like this matter set for trial. This letter includes the caption of the court pleading and their address and telephone number. They would have to file this Answer with the Court along with a Proof of Service that they mailed a copy to the Attorney representing the Plaintiff (Bank). Once an Answer is filed, the Court must slow down the Foreclosure proceedings to allow enough time for the proper hearings that are entitled to the Sellers.

I used to advise my students to wait to send marketing letters to Sellers who were in Foreclosure for at least 6 months. Times have changed! I am now recommending, due to this new law, that the marketing starts as soon as the Notice of Lis Pendens (a document letting the public know that the Sellers are in Foreclosure) is served to the Seller. Many Sellers are running scared. They are moving out before they even have time to fight the fight. I say “Don’t Run and Don’t Let the Bank Win” and do a short sale. Even if you are doing a Loan Modification and/or Short Sale, the Bank is still pushing through the Courts to get a foreclosure hearing date set. However, a short sale takes control of the Sellers destiny.

In addition to the new law that allows the Banks to go faster through the Court, it also allows them to get a deficiency judgment (amount that is owed, plus court costs and attorney fees) at the time of the final hearing while still owning the Asset (the house). How disappointing is our legal system that they allow the Banks to do this, as they do not even know how much the Sellers will owe until the bank sells the Asset! The Banks are then selling the Deficiency Judgments for pennies on the dollar and going after Sellers. Don’t let the Sellers get garnished when the Banks don’t even have a final number!

I am here to tell Realtors and Investors to start moving in on the Sellers now when they need you the most. Many of the Sellers do not know their rights and are sick (many of them physically), tired, highly stressed, broke and just downright scared. Tell the Sellers their rights and help them do a Short Sale. When there is a short sale pending, most often we are able to get the Bank to postpone the sale date as long as they Motion the Court at least 15 days prior to the hearing date. I say it again, “Don’t Let the Bank Win!!!” Help the Sellers out at the same time you are helping our economy and ourselves.

If you work with a Realtor and you are an Investor, you can tell the Sellers that you have the best of both worlds. First, you already have a Realtor which the banks ‘think’ they need to have involved. Unfortunately, many Realtors don’t even know how to negotiate a short sale or the many liens that are now popping up. And second, YOU are a buyer. The price doesn’t matter because it is up to the short sale lender to send out someone to get a broker price opinion (BPO) or an appraiser to counter the buyer and sometimes the bank will give their acceptable short sale listing price in which the Realtor must comply.

If you lost everything in real estate, then it is time to get back into it, as real estate is forgiving. There are very few houses on the market, which gives us a Seller’s market; however, when you work with the Seller from the beginning, you are able to make a deal when no one else can get a deal accepted.

Stay tuned for more updates on short sales and remember…. a large number of your short sales can become a subject-to, lease option, lease or even a straight purchase. Please don’t assume there is no deal because you don’t want to do a short sale. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn how you can create multiple exit strategies from a short sale deal! I am doing it every day and so are my students……turning short sales into profit! I just had a student close a deal that was a short sale. We negotiated it, flipped it, and never lifted a finger! The student walked away with $7,591.53 in his pocket. It works!

Please keep sending me your questions and topics that you would like to hear about, so I can be sure to keep feeding you with the information that you need in order to move ahead in your real estate dreams!

Happy Negotiating!

Kimberlee Frank

Kimberlee FrankKimberlee Frank is a Master Negotiator who has closed over 600 deals since 1998. She is a Mentor, Trainer, Author and Real Estate Broker teaching Investors and Realtors how to creatively purchase and sell short sales with her Step-by-Step System. She has helped Investors and Realtors earn hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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