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4 Ways Realtors Differ From Real Estate Agents

Realtors. Real estate agents. Real estate brokers. Residential specialists. Buyer representatives. Buyer’s agents. Aren’t these all essentially interchangeable terms?

Not exactly. It’s common for both homeowners and agents to use the terms “realtor”, “real estate agent” and “broker” haphazardly, assuming they all refer to the same entity, but they don’t. Not only are these titles not interchangeable, each one has its own qualifications, its own duties and more importantly — common traits. Failing to distinguish among them can make a pretty dramatic difference for people who are  purchasing a home.

Real estate can be confusing enough. Don’t allow yourself to add to the confusion.

Why Is There A Difference In Terms?

In a nutshell, the difference between realtors, real estate agents and brokers has to do as much with professional designations as it does with their unique functions.

  • A Real Estate Agent is only licensed to facilitate a real estate transaction. More often than not, real estate agents work for brokerages. More frequently, they work for large brokerage firms with a national presence and marketing. An agent makes their primary income from commissions.
  • A Real Estate Broker tends to be more of a general catch-all term. Real estate brokers are typically much more experienced and versed in the nuances of real estate than agents. Brokers can work either independently or under the umbrella of a brokerage house, and may choose to sell themselves or oversee a team of agents working underneath them.
  • A Realtor is actually someone who requires a professional certification from the National Association of Realtors, allowing the holder to function in almost any capacity in the real estate industry.

Training And Education

There’s a popular misconception that real estate professionals merely have to pass a standardized test. But there’s a lot more to becoming both a real estate agent and a realtor than answering a series of rote questions and answers.

Real estate agents need to show not only both generalized and specialized knowledge of the industry, depending on their certification, but they must also demonstrate an understanding of local regulations, statutes and laws. These will differ significantly from state to state, with many states requiring on-going mandatory certification for agents in order to remain current. Colorado is an example of one of these states.

A realtor must maintain all of the above requirements, but also complete training on NAR’s Code of Ethics at least once every four years.

Why A Code of Ethics?

NAR’s Code of Ethics was formally adopted in 1913 and is considered an industry standard  that real estate professionals are sworn to uphold. Similar to the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians, NAR’s Code of Ethics preserves the integrity of the real estate industry and ensures that all professionals operating under this oath will act in the best interests of a customer. But why even bother to establish one in the first place?

The areas of both commercial and residential real estate are full of grey areas, many of which can be used by unscrupulous agents to their advantage. Not only is competition perpetually fierce, but slander, manipulation and greed can unfortunately run rampant for a small but vocal minority within the industry. NAR’s Code of Ethics helps to ensure a fair and even playing field for agents as well as homebuyers, establishing a standard of obligations even higher than state law and enables both transparency and responsibility for professionally designated realtors. You can download NAR’s revised Code of Ethics for the year 2020 here.

Which Is Better For Me — A Real Estate Agent or a Realtor?

While NAR’s Code of Ethics may ensure the integrity of a professionally licensed realtor, you’ll often find that any professional working in the real estate industry is motivated by your best interests and not their bottom line. But let’s see how that motivation plays out.

An agent can represent both buyers and sellers. For the former, agents are actively seeking to purchase a property which is best suited for a buyer. In the case of the latter, agents are actively trying to market a property to the advantage of a homeowner. In both instances, the primary advantage will be financial.

The higher the sale, the higher the commission will be. That’s no great secret. That’s the fundamental truth of any contingency based transaction. But remember that whether they’re working for an independent agency or a national brokerage, agents are paid based on commission. That means that their primary goal is to facilitate a sale.

A licensed realtor, on the other hand, generally has a much more extensive history in real estate. They can be brokers, agency owners, independent agents, or they can even be highly specialized residential experts in areas you would have never imagined. They’ve had success as much as they’ve had failures. They know both the ins and outs of the market, and can guide you through some of the pitfalls of real estate. Whether you’re buying or selling, their bottom line is your bottom line

Want to know more about real estate from the perspective of insiders with over thirty years of experience? Visit us today at Colorado REIA.


6 Things To Consider Before Becoming A Real Estate Investor

When it comes to the world of entrepreneurship, there’s very few consistent and reliable opportunities that are quite like becoming a real estate investor. Whether you become a residential or a commercial real estate investor, there’s always going to be a need for physical property. But, unlike other industries such as tech or finance, which might rely on both innovation and market changes for optimal returns, real estate depends on one sole factor: personal need.

Similarly to any other investment, there are factors that you must consider before  investing in real estate. And, it’s not limited to  location or the volatility of the market. 

Real estate sales in the U.S. were expected to top $165 billion by the end of 2019, representing an annual growth of 4.8%. A recent survey from CBRE listed Denver as one of the top 5 markets for commercial real estate investments, reaching $12.5 billion in 2018 alone. And, with the average salary for real estate investors being just shy of $124,000, you may be tempted to jump right into the opportunity without weighing both the pros and cons. Before you do, here’s a few things to consider.

Don’t Go Into Real Estate Investing Blindly

Far too often, we hear from would-be real estate investors who saw a home-flipping show on TV and assumed that it really was that easy. It isn’t. It takes time, experience, and a lot of foresight in order to build both your knowledge base as well as your profit line. This doesn’t necessarily mean an advanced degree in real estate development. There’s actually thousands of successful real estate investors who haven’t even finished college. But, doing your homework and familiarizing yourself with both the basics of the real estate market and available resources will definitely help you as an investor.

Make Action The Cornerstone Of Your Game Plan

First time real estate investors who have done their homework often consider strategizing to be the most fundamental component of operating a successful business—and they’re right. Strategy is critical to any entrepreneurial venture. The problem is that over-strategization rarely leads to actionable results. Investing is always going to be a risky gamble no matter what venture you’re considering. But, if you want your investments to pay off, you need to focus on action just as much as analysis. Develop actionable goals including hard timelines, optimal ROIs, and the necessary capital to achieve these goals. You may not see immediate results or even an ideal one. But, this plan will provide you with a yardstick in which you can measure both your success and your shortcomings.

The Downside Of Leveraging

The notion of purchasing a property with a minimal down payment can be a tempting one. And if strategized correctly, it can certainly increase your profits. The problem is that leveraging multiple properties by taking out a second loan can be just as risky as investing in real estate without proper knowledge. You simply don’t know if you’re going to see a return which can justify the second loan, leaving you with potential mortgage debt. And, if you’re using non-bank affiliated financing options to purchase property, that debt is going to be even riskier; sometimes at triple the interest rate that you’d find with traditional lenders.

Consider Your Marketing Strategy

As a first time real estate investor, leads simply aren’t going to come to you without effort. While it may seem like marketing can be a time consuming and expensive strategy, you’ll find that you can conduct much of it in your spare time. Whether it’s actively networking with other real estate investors, keeping a social media profile, maintaining a website, or simply reaching out to potential sellers and buyers yourself, you need to sell yourself as much as any other business does—and given the competitiveness of real estate investing, maybe even more.

The Real Estate Market Demands Flexibility

Just like any other market, the real estate market has its ups and downs. And, while you can generally expect some degree of return on both your time and your investment, you may find that returns won’t always meet your expectations. If you’re finding that a strategy which worked for you last year simply isn’t working for you now, then you need to adapt to these changes. One of the chief causes of failure in real estate investing is  rigidity. Allow your business model to be agile enough to assimilate to the most turbulent changes in real estate. Your success may depend on it.

Should You Manage Your Own Business?

It’s certainly more cost effective to manage your own business. But, how much do you truly know about the ins and outs of your business model? More importantly, do you have the time, patience, and energy to handle the minutiae of your business—including scheduling, client outreach, marketing, and expense tracking? As a real estate investor, you’re going to need to wear a lot of hats, and not everyone will fit you. Figure out what your own personal strengths and passions are (finding a mentor can be incredibly helpful with this process) and consider delegating the rest to an assistant or a business manager. It can be the difference between expanding your business and burnout.


Real estate investors must utilize proven strategies if they hope to survive in a competitive market. If you’re in Colorado, we can help. Find out more at Colorado REIA.


Why You Should Consider Investing In Real Estate

As the old saying goes, “If a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing well.” In real estate, we have a different saying:  “If a property’s worth your time, it’s worth your investment”.

Yes, investing in real estate can be profitable. And yes, it can guarantee you a steady future income stream that can sometimes triple your ROI. If it didn’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading these words right now. But there’s one motivation that virtually no property investment gurus talk about:

The challenge.

Just like you, there are thousands of other Colorado investors who have decided to try their hand in  the game of real estate investing. Some have been quite successful while some fold right before hitting their big win. What they fail to realize is that it’s not a game. It requires finesse. It requires foresight. And it requires getting your hands dirty. That’s what makes it so rewarding.

But aside from the challenge, there’s are also some substantial investment advantages in real estate. If you’re still debating why you should join the fray and start investing in real estate, here are some reasons you may not have considered before.

Tangible Assets

Real estate is, quite literally, a brick and mortar affair. Unlike other investments, the demand for physical property is a basic human need. Stocks can fluctuate. Futures are never written in stone. Regardless of the volatility of any market, the need for shelter (be it commercial or residential) is a constant. Real estate has physical value, one which doesn’t just diversify your investment portfolio, but also gives it a definitive shape that can weather any economic uncertainty.

A Hedge Against Inflation

There’s a direct correlation between GDP growth and real estate demand.  While there are thousands of factors that contribute to national GDP growth, real estate doesn’t only remain a consistent player, but rather it frequently exceeds expectations by almost three percent in the second quarter of 2019.

Both supply and demand are critical factors in both personal investments and collective GDP growth. The increased demand for real estate means increased rents, and subsequently, increased capital values. By incorporating this increase in capital appreciation, real estate serves as a definitive backbone to any national and state economy, which is one of the reasons why there’s a greater tax advantage in real estate than in almost any other industry.

Tax Deductions

No one likes the idea of having to pay taxes on an investment, and you’ve likely  heard horror stories about property taxes. The fact is you can use your investment in real estate to qualify not only for personal deductions (including property maintenance and mortgage interest), but also by claiming depreciation, which is a particular tax code incentive property owners can utilize, even when their property actually appreciates in value.  By claiming like-kind properties under a 1031 tax exchange, you can defer the gain from the sale of any property to a similar property being purchased for your own personal investment to optimize an even greater tax advantage.

Leveraging Your Investment

As mentioned earlier, the need for real estate will always remain consistent.  What isn’t consistent, however, are mortgage rates. While you may need to shop around in order to find the best rate, real estate investors typically have an advantage when it comes to mortgages – sometimes, in excess of well over 25 percent.

By leveraging a mortgage in lieu of your initial capital, the percentage of net cash flow gained by renting property to tenants can be placed towards other residential purchases, ensuring not just a consistent income stream, but an investment which can maximize your return. Once you’ve established sufficient equity in one property, it can either be secured by a second loan or refinanced for the original mortgage loan amount plus the actual value of the equity itself. It’s a process that can be repeated across multiple properties. In both instances, you’ve established a robust cash flow that doesn’t just optimize your investment. It transforms it.

If you’re still considering whether or not you should invest in real estate, It’s not a question of whether there are  advantages. Rather, it’s a question of how you can maximize them.

Investment strategies may come and go, but the demand for real estate only increases. Find out the leading tips from professionals with almost  75 years of combined experience. Visit Colorado REIA today.


6 Tips To Help You Succeed In The Real Estate Market

We all hear that “there’s never been a better time to join the real estate market.” And personally, I agree. But, there is one problem with succeeding in real estate.

Overcrowding. And not just of homes, but of both realtors and investors as well.

If you’re going to stand out in the real estate market, you need to position yourself as a local authority. This isn’t always easy—especially in a state like Colorado, which has an estimated 35,000 practicing real estate agents. Denver alone has been known to have more active realtors than there are real estate listings.

So, how do you succeed in the local real estate market?

The 3 ‘C’s Of Marketing

Consistency. Constancy. Content.

If you’re not in the habit of consistently marketing yourself (and improving your skills in the process), then you’re never going to connect with as many buyers as you should. If your efforts are inconsistent, then you aren’t in the position to place yourself in any role of authority in the real estate market. And, if you’re not constantly generating new content, you’re simply going to lag behind your competitors.

Effective marketing isn’t a mysterious process. A website, business cards, and a social media presence is all that you need to get started. But, you also need to be proactive about your efforts. Review the content of your competitors. Are they constantly generating new and informative LinkedIn posts? What do their sales look like? Is their message coherent? Honest? See what works for your competitors. And do it better.

Think Strategically

One of the biggest mistakes that many real estate newcomers make is to attempt covering an entire city. While this might seem desirable,it’s simply not sensible. You’re going to spread yourself thin. And, you won’t be able to achieve the in-depth expertise that today’s homeowners demand.

Positioning yourself as a local authority means selecting only a few choice neighborhoods. You might even specialize in smaller, inexpensive properties that few agents would even consider touching. Authority is developed when you familiarize yourself with a specific niche. And, it only comes through time and experience. Set realistic goals each week and strive to exceed them. This builds confidence. No prospect wants an agent who is insecure about their place in the real estate market.

Effectively Budget Your Time 

One of the chief reasons why many realtors rarely last more than a few years in the market is burn out. They tend to be so concerned with establishing their name and their book of business that they don’t allot personal time for themselves.

You can avoid this by developing a routine schedule that optimizes leisure time as much as it does your professional life. Devote a few hours a week to researching trends in the real estate market in addition to marketing efforts, but don’t forget to allow yourself  to have time for your own personal interests and hobbies. Don’t tax yourself by overworking, but develop at your own pace. An overstressed realtor is a recipe for disaster and both your prospects and your competitors can pick up on this.

Find A Mentor 

The process of acclimating to a new and highly competitive business segment becomes much more seamless when you can find a professional voice to teach you tips to watch out for based on their own personal experience. But, finding the right mentor (especially in the real estate market) may take some time. Here are some qualities that you might want to look for when selecting a real estate mentor:

  • How willing are they to share their expertise with you?
  • How professional is their attitude?
  • Are they enthusiastic about real estate?
  • Are they prompt and comprehensive in answering your questions?
  • Can they provide guidance as well as constructive feedback?
  • Are they able to meet their own sales goals?
  • How active is their book of business?
  • How much of a reputation have they developed?

Your Competitors Will Also Be Your Peers

It’s natural to think of competition in the real estate market as being cutthroat. This is true in just about any professional venture. But, the real estate market is slightly different.

For one, it’s a tightly knit community of peers who often remember their own uncertainty and difficulty when first learning the tricks of the trade. This means that other realtors are likely to help you by generating business referrals from vendors, appraisers, sellers, and mortgage lenders and by offering guidance and advice. Not every agent will be so approachable, but you’ll find that by asking the right people the right questions that you’ll gain a much deeper level of insight and fresh, new perspectives that can challenge and inspire you.

Give Your Prospects A Value Proposition That They Can’t Refuse

It’s easy to see that your purpose as a realtor is to provide a great deal on a home and as seamless a transition as possible. But, your prospects are just as interested in offers that are unique, personal, and so valuable that they simply can’t get it anywhere else.

The real estate market has changed in the past 15 years. It’s no longer considered adequate to provide your clients with just a smooth transaction. You have to be a personality. You have to offer expert advice. And,you have to provide prospects  with an experience. Don’t think of your career as merely generating sales. Think of your career as developing a brand so clearly that it’s recognized by name alone. You may just be starting your career now, but think about long term goals. Reputation. Authority. And ultimately, value—the bottom line of your business and the key to your success.

Need more great tips on how to succeed in today’s real estate market? Visit our website at Colorado REIA.


7 Real Estate Prospecting Tips Every Broker Needs

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an up and coming broker, one of the biggest hurdles you may face isn’t prospecting for leads. It’s prospecting for the right leads. Real estate prospecting means networking. And in today’s heavily connected world, that means leveraging every tool at your disposal. Social media. Digital advertising. Community events. Even asking for advice from mentors and your potential competitors.

It can seem exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be. No one likes chasing down leads⁠—at first. But once you realize how creative real estate prospecting can be, the one or two hours you spend generating those leads flies by. In fact, with a little imagination and daring you just might find yourself learning to love it. Here are some tips for both brokers and investors alike.

Work With FSBO Homes

“For Sale By Owner” homes generally mean that an owner may feel confident about their sale. They also may not realize how difficult it is to actually sell a home. Some FSBO homeowners may be in distress after job loss, divorce or other emergencies. If you’re new to a market, FSBO homes can actually mean a gigantic windfall for prospecting. Establish a personal rapport with the owners. You may find that empathy can generate better leads than expensive advertising.

Optimize Your Social Media Presence

Real estate groups on Facebook can range from menial but mindless fluff to groups full of valuable first hand experience you can’t gain anywhere else. Learning to discern the latter from the former isn’t particularly difficult, but knowing how to leverage your social media profile adequately can be. The National Association of Realtors has indicated that while 80 percent of realtors are currently networking on Facebook, broker presence on competitor platforms remains underrepresented in comparison. You can use this absence to your advantage, particularly in prospecting millennial buyers. The wider your profile, the greater your visibility and your authority.

Don’t Allow Social Media To Be Your Only Source For Prospecting

There’s no doubt your social media presence is an ideal source for prospecting real estate leads. But it’s not the only one. Drive both traffic and sales by linking your social media campaigns to your landing page. You’d be surprised at how simple this process can be, even if you have little or no experience with digitally marking your business. And with the advent of cloud-based CRM systems like Salesforce and Qualtrics, automating your marketing efforts has never been simpler!

Don’t Neglect Your Physical Presence

Your digital marketing presence may be seamless, but you’re neglecting one part of the real estate process. It’s based on physical property. Not virtual. And no matter how many consumers prefer the convenience of reviewing materials on the web, there’s always going to be a need for physical media. Get your face and name out there. Show your prospective leads you’re a flesh and blood person, not just a social media script spouting all the right buzzwords.

Use Open House Events To Your Advantage

An open house is the perfect resource not only for prospecting sales leads, but for building up your network as well. In fact, research has shown that open houses generate a relatively minor number of sales. So why are they so well attended? It’s simple. Both home buyers and brokers are genuinely interested in real estate trends, and open houses provide useful tools for both industry professionals and consumers to educate themselves on new developments. They can be as much a social event as they can generate leads. And you may find the two can go hand in hand.

Use Large Employers As a Resource

It may surprise you, but large local companies can be a veritable goldmine for new hires who’ll be relocating. Reaching out to their HR department to discuss helping employees transition to the neighborhood more smoothly can sometimes be as simple as sending out a mass template email—particularly if the new area has a large number of colleges and universities. Don’t think of this as selling your services as a pitch. Simply tell them some quick facts about the area and let your market pitch for you.

Reorient Your Focus By Specializing In Rentals

There’s no question that millennials represent a critical consumer segment. But very few are willing to invest in being a homeowner. In fact, only 1 in 3 according to recent research. By focusing on rentals in addition to traditional owner driven properties, you can serve this somewhat cautious segment of the population and drive business where your competitors often lag behind. With more Americans renting now than at any other point in the last 50 years, you can’t afford not to take advantage of the prospects.


We all know how critical marketing strategies are in real estate. But are they getting you the prospects you deserve? Find out more by visiting the Colorado REIA .


Beginner’s Investing Tips on Buying a House that can Pay Off

Most young adults are now starting to invest in properties. Buying your first rental investment is very lucrative but can be a major investment. Before deciding to jump on this bandwagon, take some necessary precautions. Take your time, do your research and read the following investing tips on buying a house that actually pay off.

Use Leverage To Purchase The Property

Understand the real estate market. That is the first thing a potential real estate investor should learn. Get the right mortgage. By doing so, you are keeping your costs low and potentially reducing the uncertainty about the property’s cash flow. The leverage of a mortgage will help free up some of your cash investments which you can eventually use for repairs or another future investment. Remember, however, that with a mortgage comes financing costs which could be a lot higher than expected. Consult a professional before making such a huge decision.

Invest In Single-family Homes

Another investing tip for beginners is to purchase single-family homes first before investing in larger properties. It is the simplest way to begin your journey as a new real estate investor. The process and maintenance are easier compared to commercial or multi-family properties. There will be less wear and tear on the property with only a single tenant. Additionally, when something breaks or gets damaged, you only need to fix one thing.

Line Up Your Financing Ahead Of Time

Should you decide on using a mortgage to invest in a property, it is essential to weigh all the financing options available. Will it be a 15- or 30-year mortgage? Should you choose an adjustable or fixed rate? Check online marketplaces that allow you to compare offers and rates quickly to find a suitable one.

Invest Enough To Be Cash Flow Positive

Most experienced real estate investors state that the best way to reduce risk and increase your chances of success is to ensure that you are investing enough money to be cash flow positive. Leave margins for errors to cover unexpected expenses. This will also allow you to weather through difficult economic times. If the property cash flows, market fluctuations will be irrelevant and you can hold those funds for a longer period of time.

Focus On Good Return On Investment (ROI)

For first time investors, it is ideal to invest in a property located in an area with a higher return on investment. There are amazing deals on transitioning or in re-established locations. Study the areas available for you. Do thorough research. To achieve the highest return on investment, you must know the location really well and what types of houses are selling in the neighborhood.

Buy What You Know

Purchase a property in a location and niche you are familiar with. Ask around or draw from previous experiences to gain a competitive edge over your competitors. Let’s say you are a veteran. It is ideal to buy a rental property near military bases for military transfers. If you are a medical practitioner, buy a property near hospitals in your area. If you are a university alumnus, purchase one near local campuses.

Know Your Marketing Strategy

A good marketing strategy will give you a good ROI quickly. When you purchase a vacant property, it is important to find tenants as soon as possible. Before investing and putting all your hard-earned money on a rental property, make sure you have a good marketing plan. If your property is vacant for a long period of time, it will eat up your cash flow. Online real estate marketplaces are the best places to choose when advertising your rental property.

Choose A Property That Is Ideal For Your Target Market

Purchase a property and make improvements that you see fit for your ideal renter. Make improvements suitable for them. By targeting the appropriate renter like students, families, young professionals, vacationers, or retirees, you are getting the most value out of your money.  

The bottom line is to always do your research. Know the neighborhood you’re going to buy in. Know what types of properties have sold before.

For more tips on how to invest in a property that can pay off, visit Colorado REIA.


Pros And Cons Of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

Paying off your mortgage early. It sounds like fairly shrewd advice. Especially considering that most homeowners have a problem with visualizing their mortgage as nothing more than an ever spiraling money pit.

But paying off a mortgage isn’t always practical. Or effective. In fact, for most homeowners it may seem next to impossible.

It’s been estimated that only 34 percent of Americans have fully paid off their mortgage to the point where they have 100 percent equity in their home. They’re lucky. An increasing number of homeowners are applying for loans with alarmingly high debt to income ratios. And while it’s tempting to own your home free and clear in an investment period marked by independent entrepreneurship and a highly volatile stock market, it may not always be the wisest idea. Like everything in life there’s as much risk as there is benefit to paying off your mortgage.

Still, it’s perfectly normal to have a dream. That’s why you bought a home in the first place. If you’re one of the millions of Americans considering paying off your mortgage early, here’s what you should know about the pros and cons.

Is Freeing Up Your Equity Worth It?

There are hundreds of ways of tapping into additional cash reserves, no matter what your needs are. And investing in the real estate market has always been a cornerstone for budding entrepreneurs. After all, it’s why we formed our association. But consider the very real cost of the market. 

Inflation’s a great example. The only thing it diminishes is your cash value. And the only thing that accumulates faster than inflation is property costs. By paying off your mortgage early (as opposed to saving), you’re not offered much of a buffer from both.

But maybe you’re not a real estate investor yet. You’re just an average homeowner looking to take an incredible leap. Your mortgage payments are a risk free form of investment. It quite literally reduces your risk load, whereas money placed in high venture stock market gambles aren’t necessarily going to yield the returns you once hoped they had. Let’s look at how you can turn mortgage payments into an investment.

The Investment Strategy Of Mortgage Payments

Most homeowners don’t stop to consider what a potential cash cow their home can be. It might be a huge source of funding for their banks and realtors. Just not themselves.

An astonishing 36.6 percent of Americans currently rent their homes and apartments. And that number is only likely to increase.  Only 37 percent of millennials—the largest American generation in history by far, numbering at some 75 million—are homeowners. Some have cited student loan debt. Others attribute it to uncertainty about the global economy. But the need for shelter, the cost of living and investment opportunities have never been higher.

There’s a reason why many Americans view apartment rental agencies in an exceedingly negative light. While many are no doubt reputable, many are run by fairly unethical individuals. Subsequently many are looking at renting single and multiple family homes from property managers they know, trust and can establish a working relationship with. Shouldn’t all that money you’ve spent on refurbishing and remodeling actually pay you back without having to sell your home—particularly in an uncertain market?

The Pros Of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

Let’s face it. Interest rates on your mortgage are probably more than you’d like them to be. They’re more than most Americans would like them to be. And there’s always going to be a need for additional cash for emergencies. So it only makes sense to free up the equity in your home, whether it’s through refinancing options or paying off your mortgage early.

But there’s an additional bonus to paying off your mortgage. Unsecured personal loans are risky business. Not only do they put you at greater risk for liens and come with absurdly high interest rates, but they can come with a drastic risk for fraud—an estimated $905 million in 2017 alone. Cashing out your home through a home equity line of credit may temporarily increase your interest rates, but you’ll have a much greater sense of security in the long run.

The Bottom Line? Decide For Yourself

Maybe your lifestyle is fortunate enough that you can afford to pay off your mortgage early. Maybe it’s secure enough that there’s a much greater safety in doing so compared to the actual risks. Or maybe you are in dire need of emergency funds and it’s one of the few avenues left for you.

Real estate investments have come a long way in the past twenty years. The demand for commercial real estate is booming. House flipping isn’t just making a comeback… it never went away. And investment opportunities in the market have never been greater. Sometimes you find them where you least expect them.

Right in the comfort of your very own home.


If you’re ready to get serious about real estate investing, Colorado is the state to do it—and we’re the professionals who can guide you. With close to 75 years of combined experience, the Colorado Real Estate Investors Association presents you with the insight and resources only three investors who have brokered over 2,500 deals can. Real training. Real success. And real money. That’s the Colorado REIA difference. Find out more at or call (303) 816-3653


Best Tips For Entrepreneurs Looking To Invest In Real Estate

“If you’re so smart, how come you’re not rich yet?” It’s a common adage that many budding entrepreneurs hear during the course of their everyday conversation. The usual retort, of course, is “ I’m getting there!” And hopefully? You are. But if you’re a real estate investor, all you really have to do is show doubters your property portfolio. Typically, that puts such cynicism to rest. And with good reason. After all, shelter is of the great vital necessities in life—even in commercial real estate. And opportunities are in plentiful demand. But it’s a high risk gamble. It’s been estimated that 28.1 million Americans consider themselves real estate investors. And with that number, the obstacles facing entrepreneurs can be relatively high. It’s no longer enough to seize what looks like a great opportunity when 2018 reported a decrease of approximately 7.7 percent in sales of new single-family homes and 10.3 percent in existing homes. That’s the bad news. The good news? With a strategy emphasizing foresight and care, you can eliminate the chance of loss and increase the chance of return. Here’s some of the best tips for entrepreneurs looking to invest in real estate.

Know Your Target Market

It’s one thing to have a general understanding of how real estate markets operate. But it’s another thing to have an understanding of market performance in specific metropolitan cities. And market performance can be predicated on several factors, in addition to historical sales:

  • Socioeconomic growth or decrease
  • Development and urban planning
  • Proximity to major schools, highways and businesses
  • Changing demographics
  • Crime risk
  • Employment rates

If you’re just beginning to look at real estate investment, it’s important to remember that historical sales are never constant. They don’t just change annually, but month to month. What might seem like an ideal opportunity in a buyer’s market could turn out to be the result of high risk potential in any of the preceding factors. Review your targeted neighborhood carefully. Sometimes even high opportunity zones can yield negative returns if businesses choose to invest elsewhere.

Know Your Metrics

In particular, both vacancy rates and construction rates. A general rule to keep in mind is the higher the construction rate, the higher the price range. Frequently, this is a result of a higher demand in up and coming neighborhoods. But the opposite holds true for vacancy rates. Generally speaking, more vacancies in a neighborhood means lower rates. More often than not, this can be due to a large amount of foreclosures—as witnessed in the 2008 housing crisis. And while it might be tempting to take advantage of low priced properties in distressed neighborhoods, keep in mind the sustainability of your investment. Higher vacancy rates exist for a reason, and you won’t necessarily find many interested buyers regardless of the refurbishment you may have conducted.

Do You Always Get What You Pay For?

One area that many beginners in real estate investment frequently overlook is the cost of auxiliary materials. That can include marketing, construction, attorneys, inspection services and title insurance. All of which can wind up costing you more than the bargain you initially anticipated if you’re not careful.

“Early on, I made the mistake of hiring a home inspector who later turned out to be less than reputable,” explains Alex Forrest, an investor from Salt Lake City. “And unfortunately, he recommended some area contractors who ultimately billed me for renovations and repairs which turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Not only unnecessary, but entirely too lengthy. By the time they were finished, I was out $30,000—in addition to legal fees. All on top of a home I thought I was only paying $175,000 for!”

Work With A Team You Can Trust

While disreputable contractors are unfortunately not an anomaly, that doesn’t mean you won’t find ones who are not only trustworthy but consistently deliver craftsmanship. You’ll want to review their portfolio. You’ll want to see examples of their work. And you’re definitely going to want to ensure they’re registered with the Better Business Bureau and have necessary certification for residential property renovation.

More importantly, you should look for a mentor who can guide you through the process of investing—particularly if you’re just beginning a career as a real estate investor. Not only can they provide invaluable advice on what to prepare for, they can act as a referral service for brokers, realtors and attorneys who are both reputable and can find you ideal properties at an ideal price.


As we said, shelter is a vital necessity and ideal investing opportunities are in high demand as a result. So are risks. But with some forethought, you can minimize the pitfalls and wind up not only on top but on your way to being a successful real estate entrepreneur. Here’s hoping you simply don’t stumble more than you have to.


Are you serious about a future in real estate investing? The Colorado REIA is the state’s premier investment association, providing coaching, guidance, workshops, networking opportunities and a host of other exclusive member benefits. To find out more, visit us at or call (303) 816-3653


Best Real Estate Investing Strategy to Build Real Wealth

Real estate has been making news for the last few years – good and bad. Many have considered investing in real estate an ideal long-term investment. Property values increase over time and generate passive income along the way. With the right kind of wealth building  and investment strategies, it is possible to profit and build real wealth through property investments.

It may not be a simple process, as building real wealth takes many cycles. You cannot simply sit and relax and watch the money roll in. Good investment strategies involve having a set of sensible approaches, from identifying your needs and developing a program that works with your plans.

Here are a few wealth-building strategies that will help investors – new and experienced – achieve their end-goal

Own a home first

As one of the most common approaches being practiced today, home ownership has become a motivating factor for many. It serves as a base while you continue to live your lives. Owning a home, when held and sold, serves as capital-gains tax-free profit. Properties appreciate over time, so when the time comes that your children move out, you can sell the bigger home and settle in a smaller one. That leaves you with a bigger return on investment, and you can use the equity from the sale to start on other investments and earn income.

Buy properties from up-and-coming neighborhoods

Invest in a budding real estate market. Research where most young people move to nowadays. These are the markets where the value in that area will increase as its residents’ earning powers increase. If you realize that rents go up drastically, do not sell your property. Instead, rent it out and use your property as an income-generating property. The money will continue to roll in and you can use the profits for more investments.

Learn to know the “whys” when investing

The essence of true wealth is not just about building stock portfolios or money. In achieving lifelong wealth, one needs to understand and discover their “whys” and use it to help others. It should be your passionate motivation and life’s purpose. Planning is key, especially if your “why” leads you to launch or invest in a business. Look at all the resources available to you and have a clear idea of your goals, as well as an exit strategy.

Most successful entrepreneurs build and shape the purpose of their business by fully understanding their journey, from start to finish. Success metrics are something that can be measured; otherwise, it will be difficult to manage your investments. Once you have a clear understanding of your “why” and learn to empower people along the way, real wealth will soon follow.

Rent out residential properties

The real estate market may not be as booming as it was before. However, one of the best investment strategies to build real wealth is by investing in properties you can actually rent out. In reality, no matter how good or bad the economy is, people need a place to live in. Apartments, condos, duplexes, single-family homes, and townhouses are easy to finance, sell or rent. In the event of a downturn, these properties still maintain their value.

Another reason why this is a good strategy is that residential properties offer more flexibility than any other kind of real estate. For example, if you lose a tenant in a commercial real estate, the value of your property goes down. A residential property, on the other hand, holds and even increases its value, rented or not.

Invest in Dual Occupancy

This strategy is almost the same as property development, where you buy a building and build two or three dwellings to sell, finance, or rent out. In this case, you need to build a second dwelling or a granny flat on a property. You can partition an existing residential unit and create two dwellings. This gives you two rental incomes from one property. This is one of the wealth-building strategies that is considered a high-yield method because it has an opportunity for strong capital growth once sold.

Investing in high scale markets like real estate always involves risks and has a potential for financial losses. Before making such a huge decision, always seek professional advice and guidance from a licensed and accredited financial advisor.

Contact us at Colorado REIA for more information how to build your wealth and live a happy and financially stable life.