William Bronchick, President of the Colorado Association of Real Estate Investors (CAREI), has this to say about the benefits of sniffing out allies in a dog-eat-dog market:
“Real Estate is a very relationship-driven business. And the more people that you meet, the more people you can eventually do business with, partner with, borrow money from, lend to and so forth.”
That’s the main benefit to his association, which has been serving as a network and educational source for local investors (and those who love Colorado real estate) since 1994. Its 1500 members have been meeting, learning and moving forward with their real estate plans at a time when many investors have never felt more alone or troubled.
As it states on the CAREI website: Colorado real estate is at its lowest point in nearly 20 years. Some see this as a problem, while others are quietly snatching up bargains and building huge fortunes in real estate. Answer this question: are you on the sidelines or in the game?
Bronchick hopes to answer that question for his members by not only placing them and keeping them in the game but helping them win big scores.
“The most important thing is to buy at the bottom, not at the top,” he says. “So those who are sitting on the sidelines, they better get off their butts and take advantage of the opportunities. Too many people wait until its safe, and they think safe means that everybody says that it’s a good time. When the media is saying this is a good time to invest, it’s usually two years too late.”
If you don’t have a local real estate club in your area, it’s very easy to start one, especially in the digital age, according to Bronchick.
He says, “If you don’t know many investors in your area, you can start up a little group called, for example, Houston Area Property Owners, or something like that, and try to grow that group and get friends. It will be helpful to get to know other people, so if you have a deal that you’re looking to partner or wholesale, then you can get it out to those people on the list.”
If you want advice right now, Bronchick has it for you, especially if you are a new investor.
“Patience, patience, patience,” he says. “Too many people want to get into that first deal just to say, ‘hey, I’ll get my feet wet and I’ll learn something,’ and that’s a mistake. They figure they’ll do a lot of the work themselves, and cut corners, and they’ll cut the margins thinner than they know they should. And they end up losing money. Or they get in over their heads and they can’t get rid of it because they paid too much. Or they end up losing their shirt because they just wanted to do that one deal. Instead, they should be patient and wait for that good deal to come along that makes sense.”
Another urgent matter for new investors to be sensitive to, according to Bronchick, is contracts. They are not as generic and flexible as many newbies assume.
He says, “[New investors] either get some contract they downloaded off the internet, or at Office Depot, or at some guru’s course in Utah but they’re living in Texas. They really should contact a local attorney or a local educator who can give them advice, know the laws of their state, and give them forms that are appropriate for their state.”
Bronchick, who published the book How to Sell a House Fast in a Slow Real Estate Market: A 30-Day Plan for Motivated Sellers [John Wiley & Son Publishing], has advice for the seller as well.
“Price it competitively,” he says. “So many people overprice their house either because they figure, ‘well, somebody is going to offer me a lower bid anyway, so I might as well start high.’ Or they think, ‘I’m into it for too much, so I have to ask more to get my money back.’ But nobody really gives a crap what you are into it for. They want to pay what they want to pay for it.
Price it competitively so it moves quickly. If you know your competition, and you price it in the right place, your house will move in a reasonable period of time. And you have to be patient in this market, obviously, as things are a little slower. But if you price it right, you should move it quickly.”
Real estate organizations like Bronchick’s group are working toward changing the image of the real estate investor – an image that has been carved into the minds of many Americans over time.
“If you are a foreclosure investor, or a distressed property investor, you’re looked at as a vulture,” Bronchick says. “If you deal in low-end real estate when you’re a landlord, you’re considered a slumlord, or that you are taking advantage of someone, or that you are a big risk taker. I think all of those things are incorrect and negative associations that people have about real estate investors.”
For more information on CAREI, go to CAREI.com.