What is a Cap Rate? [Podcast]

What is a Cap Rate? - Beautiful business woman with question mark above the head

Walking and Talking … Cap Rates!

(Podcast Transcript)

Cap Rates. You hear about them all the time, from people who specialize in investment real estate. They’ll says things like, “That property sold for a 6 cap,” or, “We’re looking for properties priced in the 9 to 10 cap range.” Today’s Walking and Talking podcast is all about Cap Rates!

Photo Courtesy of @istockphoto.com

Today, you will learn 5 things:

  • What is a cap rate?
  • The reason why so many people are often confused about cap rates.
  • The best way to remember how to easily calculate a cap rate for any investment property.
  • The five main factors that influence cap rates.
  • Why you should beware that all cap rates are not created equal!

Hit Continue Reading and listen to the Audio:

32 Questions To Ask When Buying Apartments

Image of a Multifamily investment property checklist for buyers of apartments

I was in my office one day, when a real estate investor called me on the phone. He said, “Garry, I just had one of my tenants move out – and they took the refrigerator with them! They said it was theirs.” Uh oh.

They took the refrigerator!

I immediately called the seller, who explained that those particular tenants had previously sold their home, and so they had brought their own refrigerator with them. He had simply forgotten, and there was no mention of it in the lease.

Download 32 Questions PDF

5 Reasons Why We Embrace Chaos

A friend of mine once said, “Chaos is my friend!” While he was kidding, I could sense that there was a part of him that relished multitasking a hundred things at the same time. It was almost like a game for him; a game he thought he played well.

Photo of a business woman juggling picutres of a house, a soccer ball, a financial graph, a wallet full of dollars, a calendar. She appears overwhelmed. Chaos is not Your Friend.
Photo courtesy of  istockphoto.com

Chaos is not Your friend!

One of the main reasons people avoid creating a life plan is because they have become comfortable with chaos. This manifests itself in 5 different ways. 

You are unique! Plan Accordingly with a Single Page Life Plan

An example of a Single Page Life Plan

It has been said by many people, in a variety of ways that people who don’t care where they are going, don’t need a road map. The rest of us, however, recognize the value of adding direction to our lives. Of setting a course that aims us towards our  dreams and aspirations.You are unique! Plan accordingly!

  • CEO’s need a business plan,
  • Coaches need a game plan,
  • Builders need an architectural plan,
  • Pilots need a flight plan,
  • Leaders need a life plan!

You need a Single Page Life Plan!

A Single Page Life Page is fast, simple, and life-changing. It is personal to you.  Choose:

  • A Mission Statement that you want to achieve,
  • Life Categories that give focus,
  • Action Steps that keep you on track
  • Coins you can spend
  • Attitudes you want to maintain,
  • Potholes you need to avoid, and
  • Skills you want to promote.

Avoid the Clutter! Priorities have to earn their way to page one!

Peripheries are not priorities. Peripheries in your life have to earn their way to page one. Until then, they are just distractions; they are clutter.

Closing Checklist for Apartments

A closing checklist for apartments is essential for staying organized at a real estate closing for multifamily property. Attached is one I use when buying or selling apartments in Columbus, Ohio.

Closing checklist for Apartments

This list, that you can download here, does not include everything that you will need for your closing. That depends on your local area. For instance, if you are closing on multifamily investment property in Manhattan, you will be concerned with a host of other considerations at the time of the closing.

However, no matter where you buy property, it is essential that you make sure of at least one thing:

My First Lesson in Commercial Real Estate – Walking and Talking

Cover of the book Walking and Talking - 57 Stories of Success and Humor in the Real Estate World of Business. Walking and talking was an early lesson I learned in commercial real estate.

I will never forget the day I learned my first lesson in commercial real estate. It came shortly after I joined a team of 25 brokers at Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate. They ultimately became a who’s who of Columbus real estate that included Richard Schuen, Ed JosephJohn Hall, Don Matsanoff, Greg SchenkChuck Manofsky, Doug Goddard, Ted Hobson, Bob MatiasBenton BenalcazarTom McGarity and several others.

Copyright 2014 Ballylongford Books, LLC

The Day I Learned About Walking and Talking

One of those brokers was Wayne Harer. Wayne played 10 years of minor league baseball for the Red Sox and Yankee organizations and actually won the

The Five Elements of a Single Page Life Plan

single page life plan

It has been said, in a lot of clever ways, that people who do not care where they are going, don’t need a map. But CEO’s need a business plan, coaches need a game plan, pilots need a flight plan, and leaders need a life plan. Here are 5 things to include in yours …

Single Page Life Plan™  2013 Ballylongford Books, LLC

The Five Elements of a Single Page Life Plan™:

1. Mission or Vision Statement:
This is the overarching vision you have for your life. All other parts of your plan synchronize with this.

2. Life Categories:
Your Life Categories are the six major highways that lead a path towards your Vision Statement. These Life Categories are the most vital aspects of your life.

To see an example of a Single Page Life Plan™ that has already been created, click here:

Dodging Meteors While Creating Your Mission Statement

If you knew 10 years from now that you’d be hit by a meteorite , how would you spend those 10 years? Building an anti-meteor device, of course!

Photo of the Hoba Meteorite
Hoba Meteorite (this 60 ton meteorite, in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia, is the largest meteorite in a single piece, known on the earth’s surface) Courtesy iStockphoto.com

Your Mission (or Vision) Statement

Pretending that we might not live forever can be a motivation for creating a Single Page Life Plan©; for adding some intentionality to our lives. A good question to ask ourselves is this: A decade from now, how would I want somebody to describe that period of my life?  What must I focus on for this to happen?

40 Words or Less! Some Examples:

You make all of the choices when creating your life plan. It is unique to you. Your Vision Statement is the overarching purpose you see for your life. There is no right or wrong answer as long as it resonates with where you want to go. But, to create a laser-like focus, keep your Vision Statement short! 40 words or less.

For some brainstorming help, here are some examples …

“I Wish I Had Smoked More Cigarettes!”

When I speak to young adults in 8th grade or in high school, I make them this promise:

Cover of Seeing Past Friday Night

My promise

Nobody ever looks back on their high school or college years and says

“I wish I had smoked more cigarettes. I could be up to a pack-a-day smoker by now!”

“I wish I had spent more nights, staying out drinking ’til  2:00 am in the morning.”

“I wish I had purchased more drugs while in school.”

They don’t. And you won’t either.

Single Page Checklist for Buying Apartments

A checklist for Buying Apartments

My book, Single Page Life Plan explains how you can extend single page planning to all of your important projects and ventures. Single Page Checklists are a ‘catch-all’ for special projects that you can review regularly to stay focused.

Copyright 2013 Ballylongford Books, LLC

For example, the Single Page Checklist for Buying Apartments summarizes on a single page the 4-color, 6 page laminated flyer I created that explains:

What They All Have in Common

Image of the shoes of 3 different people, 1 of which is wearing clown shoes.

What they all have in common. This was what I wanted to know. In my first book, Walking and Talking – 57 Stories of Success and Humor in the Real Estate World of Business, I recounted stories from some of the top real estate professionals in the Midwest. After observing their careers and listening to their stories, I asked myself this: Other than their sheer success, what do all of these winners in real estate have in common? This is what I learned:

Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto.com

4 Characteristics of Top Real Estate Pros …

1. They create structure in an unstructured environment.

Real estate is not your typical 9 to 5 job, where opportunities are clearly identified and day-to-day responsibilities are well-defined. It is up to the real estate professional to identify the problems and opportunities; to set a plan of action that will bring success. They are not told how to allocate their time, or which deals to pursue or ignore.

The successful ones create a great framework for activity.

Just Saying No

Tom Selleck and Broooke Shields join Nancy Reagan at a Just Say No event. This post is about just saying no, again.

Across the table, with coffee in hand, the police sargeant patiently answered all of my questions. As a Notre Dame grad, involved in thousands of drug arrests during an exceptional career that spanned three decades with the Columbus Division of Police, he was the perfect person to shed light on the growing problem of drug use among high school students. I wanted to learn as much as possible from him for my book, Seeing Past Friday Night.

Tom Selleck and Brooke Shields with Nancy Reagan at a Just Say No event (1985). Photo courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

The Fundamental Question

After a lengthy conversation, I asked a final question that he was uniquely qualified to answer. “You’ve witnessed it all,” I said. “You’ve seen the destruction, the incredible cost. You’re the one who explains to the parents why their child was arrested. The question is, why do some kids try drugs for the first time?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “They don’t know. They just say they weren’t thinking.”

“Okay, I get that,” I responded. “But, think about it … what is the real reason?”

This time he took longer and said, “It’s really hard to say. I can tell you what the parent’s reaction is, every single time.”

“What’s that?”

“Absolute shock. When I tell them that their 16 or 17 year old son or daughter was just arrested for selling drugs to support their own habit, they are absolutely shocked. They cannot believe it, which, of course, is understandable.”

(His words made me recall how many times parents say, “I gotta tell you, I would be absolutely shocked to find out that my kids were doing drugs.” The sargeant’s sobering words made me realize that just because parents would be absolutely shocked that their kids would try drugs, does not necessarily immune them from actually being shocked some day.)

I pressed on with the Fundamental Question …

Apologizing for being stuck on this one question, I asked a third time. “Think about it. You’ve seen so many great kids from wonderful families go down a dangerous path during their high school years. In many cases, if they could only go back in time and make a better decision that first time they try drugs, their whole life might be so different.”

He pondered one more time, and after a long moment, shook his head and said, “Young or old, they all say the same thing. They just weren’t thinking.”

It finally struck me … 

For Real Change in Your Life, Add Coins

For Real Change in Your Life, Add Coins. Photo of a person holding a tray of coins, from which sprouts a green plant

In my book, Single Page Life Plan, I explains how you can make a big change in your life, just by adding a few Coins to your day.


Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto.com

What are Coins?

Coins are those small things we can do every day to help make another person’s life better. Every day we wake up in the morning with a certain number of Coins in our hand that we can potentially spend.

To spend them wisely, we have to be:

  • Creative
  • Intentional
  • Proactive

Because here’s the thing … the Coins you don’t spend by the end of the day, are gone forever.

Your Single Page Life Plan Should Not Be P.O.S.H.

Image of a white-gloved hand holding a wooden frame with the words Single Page Life Plan

The brilliance of a Single Page Life Plan© lies in its simplicity. It must never be P.O.S.H. – Perfect, Overloaded, Set in stone, or Hidden.

Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto.com

Perfect

Your life plan is not the Magna Carta! It is an important document—but it’s different. Your life plan is a blueprint of how you want to live your life. It forces you to identify your goals and strategies, and it makes it easier for you to gauge results and to stay accountable. However, it is not meant to be all-inclusive or perfect.

Mark Twain once said, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” So, don’t get mired down searching for a grand epiphany here. Just get things going in the right direction.

Simple Isn’t Easy … Only Better!

Einstein often commented that unlocking the greatest mysteries of the universe would be useless unless you could make them be understandable to a young student.

math

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Don’t mistake simple for easy

It takes a lot of effort and creativity to reduce things to their most simple form.

The genius of Albert Einstein was not that he could comprehend so many of the complexities of space, time, gravity, and light. All scientists can do that. His genius was in his ability to simplify those complexities into an understandable theory of relativity.

The Power of a Single Action Step!

If you could add an hour to every week of your life, how would you spend those extra 52 hours that you pick up each year? Exercising? Reading? Enjoying some quiet time?

Man half asleep in be about to hit his ringing alarm clock with a hammer.

Photo Courtesy of iStockphoto.com

How I saved $3,500 from the power of a single action step!

You can add that hour to your week if you choose Stop Hitting the Snooze Button as one of the Action Steps of your Single Page Life Plan©, because most snooze alarms are set for nine minutes. Those 9 minutes, multiplied by 7 days, adds up to over an hour per week! This illustrates the power of a single Action Step.

A 15 minute mystery …

A time-management consultant once told me the story of a doctor who complained to her that he always seemed to be 15 minutes behind schedule all day long. She visited his office  to try to solve his problem. What she discovered was remarkably simple … he regularly began his first appointment of the day, with his very first patient, 15 minutes late! Simple Action Steps can make an enormous impact on your life.

My simple Action Step was made on January 1st, 7 years ago

I’ll leave it to you to determine how important this action step was, but I really believed it change my life for the better. I decided to

The Change of Landscaping in America

The change of landscaping in America. Photograpch of an old baseball bat with electrical tape around the grip, on the grass, next to baseball with home plate in the background

Photo courtesy of @iStockphoto.com

The Change of landscaping to the American front yard

My dad did such a great job on our front yard in the 60s and 70s. He would seed and fertilize it every year. And the grass around the circle of dirt we called a pitcher’s mound was so green! You couldn’t find a single weed on either side of the base paths we created during our baseball games! We can learn a lot just from looking at old photographs of a typical neighborhood from the late 50s to the early 70s. Back then there were ball gloves, kickballs, and frisbees 

Seeing Past Friday Night

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com
One afternoon while speaking to a classroom full of freshman students, I said, “Your 4 years of high school might end up being the riskiest and most dangerous 4 years of your life. Likely, you will never again have a time in your life when you are granted an explosion of new freedoms and responsibilities, while having such a low level of experience.

Photo of a car driving along a winding road

A Collission Course: Expanding Freedoms vs. A Lack of Experience

“You will learn how to drive a 2000 pound car 65 mile per hour down the freeway. You will make choices on

  • Where you want to go,
  • What kind of summer job you want to have, and
  • Whether or not you will pick up the habits of drinking, smoking, or doing drugs.

You will decide

  • How you handle dating relationships,
  • Which college to attend, and
  • What career path to follow.

And your experience in these matters, like everyone when they are freshman, is just about … zero!

These expanding freedoms and your lack of freedoms are on a collission course. They will converge. How will you deal with that?”

11 Speaking Techniques of the Great Communicator

President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time. Here, walking towards each other to shake hands. Reagan would later implore, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."
Photograph and Audio Clip Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

As he approached the microphone at Brandenburg Gate, with a wall of bulletproof glass behind him, I wonder if Ronald Reagan knew that the words he would speak that day would be heard by billions of people spanning across multiple generations, into the future.

 

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” These words might represent the pinnacle of the Great Communicator’s impact through words. Though his advisors continually tried to temper his words, President Reagan had a sense of history, public sentiment, and timing.

Here are 11 techniques Ronald Reagan used that can help you become a great communicator:

Why Investors Buy Apartments in Today’s Artificial Market

Multifamily flyer photo copy

The main reason for owning multifamily property has changed …

Since the tax change of 1986, until recently, the top 4 reasons for buying apartments were:

  • Cash Flow
  • Appreciation
  • Principle Reduction
  • Tax Deferral

These reasons have flipped in order. Now, they are:

  • Appreciation
  • Principle Reduction
  • Tax Deferral
  • Cash Flow (if there is any!)

The new, overiding motivation for owning real estate is Equity Preservation!

Why the change? One reason … Artificiality

Why Buy Apartments in An Artificial Market?

Cover of the book Walking and Talking - 57 Stories of Success and Humor in the Real Estate World of Business. Walking and talking was an early lesson I learned in commercial real estate.

Equity Preservation!

Since the tax change of 1986, until recently, the top 4 reasons for buying apartments were:

  • Cash Flow
  • Appreciation
  • Principle Reduction
  • Tax Deferral

These reasons have flipped in order. Now, they are:

  • Appreciation
  • Principle Reduction
  • Tax Deferral
  • Cash Flow (if there is any!)

Why the Stampede to Preserve Equity? Artificiality.

Everywhere they look, there is … Artificiality