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News, Interviews, and Q&A focused on Real Estate Investing in the Metro Detroit Michigan area.

REI Talk Detroit | Weekly News and Interviews With Active Real Estate Investors in Metro Detroit, Michigan Dennis Fassett

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News, Interviews, and Q&A focused on Real Estate Investing in the Metro Detroit Michigan area.

    REITD 016: Mike Schoen and Marianne Marzolla – DonateRealEstate.com

    REITD 016: Mike Schoen and Marianne Marzolla – DonateRealEstate.com

    In this episode I talk to Mike Schoen and Marianne Marzolla of Donate Real Estate For Good.

    Mike grew up in the Detroit area and has “The D” in his heart. He is an accomplished biker, hiker and outdoor enthusiast with a love of health and fitness.

    Educated as an engineer, Mike has always dabbled in real estate investing and he owns multiple income producing properties. He is a father to two grown sons.

    Marianne is a Detroit transplant and is originally from New Hampshire. At an early age, she was awed by the lovely old neighborhoods in her community and gained a huge appreciation for architecture and the preservation of old homes.

    She is a licensed professional counselor and gains a sense of satisfaction from being a helper. She is the mother to two grown daughters. She has a passion for working with her hands, creating something from nothing and running.

    A Word About Finding Motivated Sellers

    Just a short year ago the question that I got most often from real estate investors here was how to fund deals. Lately though, with the market tightening up and a ton of new investors entering the space, the question I get most often is how to find motivated seller leads.

    I started in REI here in 2004. And the source that I started with was Probate leads.

    And ten years later in 2014 – I’m still using them. In fact, I never stopped. The reason is that they are a tremendous source of leads. There’s not a lot of competition, and there are plenty to choose from. Plus – they’re easy to find, cheap to buy, and simple to process.

    If you’re someone who’s having trouble finding motivated sellers, then I highly encourage you to start chasing probates.

    And I also encourage you to use my educational program as your roadmap.

    It’s $97 and it includes my six letter sequence and my excel tracking and follow up spreadsheet. In short – it includes everything you need to start chasing probates today.

    Check it out at Probate Real Estate 101.

    The Donate Real Estate for Good Business

    Mike and Marianne have a very interesting business model with Donate Real Estate for Good.

    Basically they play the role of facilitator or conduit between people that have the desire to donate their real estate and a non-profit who accepts the donation. They take the additional step of also facilitating the sale of the property for the non-profit to the end buyer.

    So not only are they helping to drive funding to a local non-profit so they can put it to use in the community, but they also get paid to do it. And not only that, but then then in turn donate a portion of their fee to other worthwhile local non-profits.

    It’s a huge win for everyone involved. But the big winner is the community.

    The business has existed now for 12 years. They rebranded it at the beginning of the year, and they’re looking to expand their reach even further, as they’ve already handled donations from California and Connecticut.

    Have / Want

    Mike and Marianne have several items:


    They’re looking for properties that folks want to donate to a local non-profit
    They’re looking for additional non-profits here locally that would accept real estate as a donation
    They want to get the word out about their business so they can grow it and drive more funding to worthwhile local non-profits
    They’re looking for private money to fund their fix and flip business

    Links and Resources and Information

    You can contact Marianne and Mike via these links:

    1. Their website at http://donaterealestate.com
    2. Their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DonateRealEstateforGood
    3. Their phone number: (248) 757-1713

    If you have feedback on the show, a question you’d like answered, a news item, or perhaps a recommendation of someone you’d like me to interview, or if you’d like to be a guest on the show, go to http://www.REITalkDetroit.com/contact and let me know about it.

    • 23 Min.
    REITD 015: Kelly Brittingham – COO, Property Manager, & Full Time Mom

    REITD 015: Kelly Brittingham – COO, Property Manager, & Full Time Mom

    In this episode I talk to Kelly Brittingham.

    Kelly started her real estate investing business with her Husband Todd in 2009 with their first investment in a single family rental property. Since then she has completed over 40 real estate transactions.

    Her investments have included single family rentals, lease options, wholesales, fix & flips, turnkey rental properties and most recently they have focused their business on building new homes.

    In the midst of all of this Kelly is a mom to two great kids – Alivia who is 8 years old and Jaxson who will soon turn 3.

    Before Kelly was a real estate investor she was a working mom, but she found that her job took significant time away from her kids. Now as a real estate mom, Kelly is able to stay home with her kids focusing on their needs while helping run their well-established real estate business.

    Crowdfunding News

    As I mentioned in a prior REI News segment, for the last couple of months I’ve been working on a project involving Crowdfunding.

    If you’re not familiar with it, Crowdfunding is where you openly solicit investors you don’t know to invest in your business. If you’d looked into this before you know that this used to be highly illegal, and there are several people that you would probably know by name in jail right now for running afoul of the SEC rules regarding general solicitation.

    But that has changed. A couple of years ago Congress passed a law allowing general solicitation, or Crowdfunding. But as the federal government is prone to do, the implementation of the law has made it about as difficult and expensive as it was before.

    Michigan, however, recently passed its own law on Crowdfunding within the state. It’s much simpler to do. It’s less regulated. And it’s FAR less expensive to implement than the federal law.

    So I’ve teamed up with a local securities attorney to put together an educational program on how to implement Crowdfunding in your business.

    It will be held on Saturday, September 27 at 9am in Southfield.

    If you’ve been looking for a way to take your business to the next level with additional funding, then I highly recommend you attend the seminar. By the time you leave you’ll have all the knowledge you need to get started with your own Crowdfunding campaign.

    You can find the details at CrowdfundingEducation.com.

    How She Got Started in Real Estate

    Her husband Todd had read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and wanted Kelly to read it as well. She refused and didn’t want to have anything to do with real estate. Todd then convinced her to attend a RDPD seminar that was held locally.

    After being extremely skeptical at the beginning of the seminar, she realized that the seminar information made sense, and by the end she could see the potential that real estate investing had to help her be a stay-at-home Mom and provide for her family’s financial security.

    Biggest Mistake and Biggest Success

    Kelly’s biggest mistake was getting involved with partners who were not what they appeared to be.

    It was emotionally and financially draining, but thankfully they were able to pull the plug before their reputation was damaged.

    Kelly’s biggest successes have been building their real estate business to the point where she can be a stay-at-home Mom and being able to work together with her husband Todd to build their business.

    Money Talks

    Two words – PRIVATE MONEY.

    You need to listen to the episode to hear how Kelly and Todd met the people they have been using as their primary funding sources. There’s no magic to it!

    Have / Want

    Kelly is looking for three things for her business:


    More private money – both medium term funds for their new build business and long term funds for additional rental properties.
    Rental properties in Pontiac. If you have anything in Pontiac, Kelly asks that you send her an email with the name of the st

    • 34 Min.
    REITD 014: Dave Sullivan - Regular Guy Buy-and-Hold Investor and DIYer

    REITD 014: Dave Sullivan - Regular Guy Buy-and-Hold Investor and DIYer

    In this episode I talk to my good friend Dave Sullivan.

    Dave is a classic buy-and-hold investor. He characterizes it as "regular guy" investing.

    My business is pretty similar to his - and so I agree with his characterization. It's not sexy - there are no frills. But the cash flow keeps rolling in month after month after month after month.

    Dave graduated from Western Michigan University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. He started in the mortgage industry as a loan officer in 1991. Less than one year later started selling credit reports to Mortgage Companies, Banks and Credit Unions.

    On September 19, 1997 he started AIR Credit Midwest out of his car.

    Over the next two years Air Credit Midwest grew to a multi-million dollar company. In 2000 he was approached by one of the largest Credit Reporting Bureau’s in the nation to purchase AIR Credit Midwest. He sold it and worked for that company as Sales Manager of the Michigan and Ohio market for the next ten years.

    During his career in the credit industry he has personally reviewed thousands of credit reports and credit scores.

    He started investing in real estate in 2008.

    Crowdfunding News

    As I mentioned in a prior REI News segment, for the last couple of months I've been working on a project involving Crowdfunding.

    If you're not familiar with it, Crowdfunding is where you openly solicit investors you don't know to invest in your business. If you'd looked into this before you know that this used to be highly illegal, and there are several people that you would probably know by name in jail right now for running afoul of the SEC rules regarding general solicitation.

    But that has changed. A couple of years ago Congress passed a law allowing general solicitation, or Crowdfunding. But as the federal government is prone to do, the implementation of the law has made it about as difficult and expensive as it was before.

    Michigan, however, recently passed its own law on Crowdfunding within the state. It's much simpler to do. It's less regulated. And it's FAR less expensive to implement than the federal law.

    So I've teamed up with a local securities attorney to put together an educational program on how to implement Crowdfunding in your business.

    It will be held on Saturday, September 27 at 9am in Southfield.

    If you've been looking for a way to take your business to the next level with additional funding, then I highly recommend you attend the seminar. By the time you leave you'll have all the knowledge you need to get started with your own Crowdfunding campaign.

    You can find the details at CrowdfundingEducation.com.

    Biggest Mistake and Biggest Success

    His biggest mistake and biggest success are tied together - and both involve the same house.

    One of the strategies he pursued before Dodd-Frank was to sell his homes on land contract.

    He sold one on a a two year note. And just one month prior to the two year mark, and after making all their payments, the tenants decided that they wanted out of the deal. So they got the paperwork done and parted company.

    When Dave's wife went over to the house a couple of days later however, she found that one of the tenants had broken in, plugged the floor drain on the lower level, and flooded the house.

    The repairs cost them about seven grand.

    The biggest success came when they sold the house again, and got some good up front cash.

    So they turned a really nasty situation into a win.

    Money Talks

    Dave is using family money to fund his business right now. He'd still like to get into an apartment building some time soon, and at that point he'll likely be open to using private money.

    Have / Want

    Dave is selling the last of his rentals that he'll be selling.

    It's fully updated and so it will be a retail sale. It's listed for $114,000.

    The address is 2365 Fairfield in Garden City. You can find the virtual tour here:  ht

    • 33 Min.
    REITD 013: Todd Brittingham and John Rospierski - New Construction Builders

    REITD 013: Todd Brittingham and John Rospierski - New Construction Builders

    In this episode I talk to Todd Brittingham and John Rospierski.

    Together they formed a new build construction company about a year ago. John's background is in homebuilding, and Todd and his wife Kelly are real estate investors here in the metro are. I'm having Kelly on the show in a couple of weeks to talk about their other real estate investing activities.

    Oh and Todd also has a day job. Talk about being productive. These guys are just flat out getting it done.

    Crowdfunding News

    As I mentioned in a prior REI News segment, for the last couple of months I've been working on a project involving Crowdfunding.

    If you're not familiar with it, Crowdfunding is where you openly solicit investors you don't know to invest in your business. If you'd looked into this before you know that this used to be highly illegal, and there are several people that you would probably know by name in jail right now for running afoul of the SEC rules regarding general solicitation.

    But that has changed. A couple of years ago Congress passed a law allowing general solicitation, or Crowdfunding. But as the federal government is prone to do, the implementation of the law has made it about as difficult and expensive as it was before.

    Michigan, however, recently passed its own law on Crowdfunding within the state. It's much simpler to do. It's less regulated. And it's FAR less expensive to implement than the federal law.

    So I've teamed up with a local securities attorney to put together an educational program on how to implement Crowdfunding in your business.

    It will be held on Saturday, September 27 at 9am in Southfield.

    If you've been looking for a way to take your business to the next level with additional funding, then I highly recommend you attend the seminar. By the time you leave you'll have all the knowledge you need to get started with your own Crowdfunding campaign.

    You can find the details at CrowdfundingEducation.com.

    Current Business

    Todd and John are primarily doing new construction, although they have taken on a major fire restoration project as well.

    If you haven't seen pictures of the project they just finished, you should take a look at the website below. It looks spectacular.

    How They Got Started in REI

    John's family has been in the home building business for years, and it was natural to follow in the family footsteps to do the same. He rose to be the youngest construction superintendent ever at the company he was with, but that was cut short by the economic downturn in 2006 and 2007. Todd has been a real estate investor for five years, first buying rentals for his own portfolio and then starting a highly profitable Turn Key rental business. When that business started to wane he started looking for something else. He then partnered up with John and they formed Edwin Anthony Homes.

    Money Talks

    Todd and John are using various sources of money for their business. They're looking for additional private money to grow their business so they can take on more and larger projects.

    Have / Want

    Todd and John are looking for additional private money. They're also reaching out to real estate agents who have vacant lots to see if there might be an opportunity to add value by building something. They're also seeking retail buyers and additional investors with lots or tear-downs who are looking for a high quality builder to work with.

    Links and Resources and Information

    1. You can contact Todd via his cell phone at (248) 917-4416. His email address is todd@edwinanthony.com.

    2. You can contact John via his cell phone at (248) 929-2474. His email address is john@edwinanthony.com

    3. You can visit them on their website at Edwin Anthony Homes

    4. You can see their recently-completed new build project at 507Gardenia.com

     

    If you have feedback on the show, a question you’d like answered, a news item, or perhaps a recommendation

    • 47 Min.
    REITD 012: Brian Borawski - CPA for Real Estate Investors in Metro Detroit

    REITD 012: Brian Borawski - CPA for Real Estate Investors in Metro Detroit

    In this episode I talk to Brian Borawski.

    Brian is a CPA who happens to have several real estate investors as clients in this area - including me. I've used Brian for several years now, and it's been great to have a knowledgable person like him available when issues come up like the sale of one of my apartment buildings back in January of 2013.

    The great thing about Brian is that he's versatile. I found him during my search for a CPA who knew real estate investing in depth, but he's also been very helpful in creating and managing a corporation that I set up for an Information Technology consulting business I started two years ago.

    A Word About Motivated Seller Leads

    Just a short year ago the question that I got most often from real estate investors here was how to fund deals. Lately though, with the market tightening up and a ton of new investors entering the space, the question I get most often is how to find motivated seller leads.

    I started in REI here in 2004. And the source that I started with was Probate leads.

    And ten years later in 2014 - I'm still using them. In fact, I never stopped. The reason is that they are a tremendous source of leads. There's not a lot of competition, and there are plenty to choose from. Plus - they're easy to find, cheap to buy, and simple to process.

    If you're someone who's having trouble finding motivated sellers, then I highly encourage you to start chasing probates.

    And I also encourage you to use my educational program as your roadmap.

    It's $97 and it includes my six letter sequence and my excel tracking and follow up spreadsheet. In short - it includes everything you need to start chasing probates today.

    Check it out at Probate Real Estate 101.

    How He Got Started Working with Real Estate Investors

    Brian has an interesting story.

    He started with a day job at the Taubman Company, which develops and owns upscale shopping malls around the country. There he was exposed to complex real estate accounting transactions. While working for Taubman he started a blog website for the Detroit Tigers because he's a huge baseball fan.

    He started accepting advertising on his site - and he realized that it could be a very lucrative side business. So he started additional blogs, and at his peak had over three dozen active baseball-related blogs with 30 college students writing for him. When it got to the point where the advertising revenue provided enough income, he quit his job and went full-time into blogging.

    That lasted two years until Google changed their search algorithms and 70% of his revenue disappeared.

    He flirted with getting another day job, but decided to open his own CPA practice instead.

    Having had an interest in real estate investing, and also realizing that it might be good for business development, he started attending REIA meetings and he also attended several real estate seminars. He picked up numerous real estate investor clients along the way, which was good for his bottom line, but it pushed his desire to get into real estate investing to the back burner.

    Taxes and REI

    You don't need a crystal ball to know that taxes are only going one way - and that's up.

    I asked Brian if there's anything that we as real estate investors can do to prepare for it. His main piece of advice is to keep excellent records and documentation, because he thinks that the IRS will be going after "low hanging fruit" - and that means real estate investors.

    He also offered to sit down with you to take a look at your business and prior year taxes. That would be a great way to understand what your options are in an environment where taxes are expected to rise sharply.

    Answer to Listener Submitted Question

    The listener question I asked Brian was "Why shouldn't I do my taxes myself and save a couple of hundred bucks a year?"

    He had a couple of reasons why that's not the greatest idea.

    The

    • 30 Min.
    REITD 11: Todd Waller - Real Estate Sales Professional and Technologist

    REITD 11: Todd Waller - Real Estate Sales Professional and Technologist

    In this episode I talk to Todd Waller.

    Todd is a real estate agent, and in my opinion, he's the premiere agent in Metro Detroit. He has a tremendously successful business model with phenomenal processes, and he combines that with a laser focus on the needs of his clients. His market focus is the I-275 corridor from Commerce Township to Canton, and then west to Ann Arbor.

    His reputation is borne out by his success: until recently his best year as an agent was 2008 - the very bottom of the market - when something like 30% of the agents in the state quit the business.

    REI News

    NO REI news this week in the podcast. My conversation with Todd went long so we skipped the news and went right into the interview.

    A Word About Motivated Seller Leads

    Just a short year ago the question that I got most often from real estate investors here was how to fund deals. Lately though, with the market tightening up and a ton of new investors entering the space, the question I get most often is how to find motivated seller leads.

    I started in REI here in 2004. And the source that I started with was Probate leads.

    And ten years later in 2014 - I'm still using them. In fact, I never stopped. The reason is that they are a tremendous source of leads. There's not a lot of competition, and there are plenty to choose from. Plus - they're easy to find, cheap to buy, and simple to process.

    If you're someone who's having trouble finding motivated sellers, then I highly encourage you to start chasing probates.

    And I also encourage you to use my educational program as your roadmap.

    It's $97 and it includes my six letter sequence and my excel tracking and follow up spreadsheet. In short - it includes everything you need to start chasing probates today.

    Check it out at Probate Real Estate 101.

    How He Got Started in REI

    Todd took a really interesting path to real estate. He majored in Political Science at the University of Michigan, and parlayed that into an internship with a state senator. He then jumped to a job with the state republican party working on campaigns. After the 2000 election cycle he realized that the job wasn't conducive to his new marriage or having a family, so he quit and went to work in a cube farm doing automotive research. That wasn't the best fit for his personality, because he has one, so when a friend suggested that he look into selling real estate, he jumped at the chance. And the rest is history as they say, as he closed 13 deals in his first year.

    Market Overview

    I asked Todd for his thoughts on the real estate market as it pertains to real estate investors.

     

    For the market he's in, his outlook is positive. He sees listing volume staying steady for the next several months, and it sounds like there are still lots of folks planning to list their homes over the next few months.

    On the demand side, he senses that there may be a slight softening, but he hasn't seen anything to prove or disprove that feeling yet. And he thinks that it may just be the cyclical nature of the late summer market.

    Overall though his outlook is positive for flippers and wholesalers, in that prices should stay stable for the next few months, which bodes well for flips and wholesale deals being closed now.

    Keep in mind that this is just his opinion based on what he sees in his area of focus. Treat it as another data point to put into your analysis as you decide how to proceed. It's by no means a prediction!

    Answer to Listener Submitted Question
    The question I asked Todd was "How to you establish credibility when you're an investor trying to get the attention of a busy real estate agent?"

    His answer was - have a business plan before you ask an agent for anything. It's the old adage that you can't steer a parked car. If you know what you'd like to accomplish in REI, have it researched and written down so you can talk intelligently about it.

    • 54 Min.

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