Good morning friends,
I’ve received a few emails, and YES, I am currently accepting PACT Coaching Applications! The 2010 session begins in early January, and spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re ready to have a supernatural year and jump-start your real estate investing business, I strongly encourage you to visit the link below to receive your application today.
I look forward to seeing you on the other side! (If you have any questions, check out the link above. There’s a short video explaining the program on that page.) To your success!
Many real estate investors are special and unique individuals endowed with remarkable potential. What follows here will speak to you about the power within and what can happen when it is released. Enjoy and Grow !
READ THIS FIRST THEN CLICK THE LINK AT THE BOTTOM AND WATCH!
This is a story about a guy, a guy like most of us, common, questioning his existence, measuring himself to others, never believing in his abilities or his worth.
Then one day, his passion outgrew his fears as he stepped onto a stage, a stage that took him to a place beyond his self imposed prison.
Watch the faces of the judges as this guy walks out on the stage. You can almost see what they’re thinking as they pre-judge this guy based on his looks and the fact that he’s a cell phone salesman.
Maybe this guy stopped believing in what people told him for so many years and ultimately started listening to his passion.
Phone Salesman Amazes Crowd
What’s really inside of you?
Steve Flewelling, Rob Arnold, my lovely wife Audrey and I went to Washington, DC last April, representing Central Florida’s real estate investors. It was a whirlwind trip, sorry, no sight seeing and no cherry blossom sightings to report. We arrived around 5pm Tuesday, got to the hotel about 6:00 pm, went to a brief reception and then to a briefing that lasted until 9:30 pm.
Breakfast was scheduled at 7:00 am and our first briefing of the day began promptly at 7:30 am. We then had a day full of meetings which lasted until 5:30 pm caught a car back to the airport for an 8:00 pm flight and got home at about 1:00 am. I told you it was a whirlwind…but it was like nothing any of us had ever experienced!
The National Real Estate Investors Association arranged a Day on the Hill for 50+ real estate investors from around the country, meeting with various legislators about significant issues facing the housing industry. Our primary purpose was to discuss two items: the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Act (drafted by Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin) and the Installment Sale Proposal, which we’re hoping one or two of the legislators will consider sponsoring and move forward with it. We were also there to make our presence known in that National REIA represents over 40,000 small businesses in 41 states and to assure our elected officials that we are a resource they can rely on.
In addition to real estate investors and board members from National REIA were representatives from our co-sponsor, Homevestors. In all there were about 60 of us. We were divided into 6 teams and the National REIA lobbyists made arrangements for each team to meet with representatives from our respective states. Over the course of the day our groups attended about 50 different meetings, with members of Congress, Senators and legislative staffers.
Our team consisted of five from FL and four from two other states; we were led by National REIA lobbyist, Barry Lefkowitz (See my other post about getting involved as a Legislative Monitor). Barry was unbelievable; he set up ten meetings on Wednesday for our group alone and we were running between 4 different buildings, depending on where the legislator’s office was. I’ll bet we hiked 4-5 miles during the course of the day. We were lucky to be in his group because he knew the shortcuts through the basements and how to get from one office to the next (I’m sure that without him we’d have needed GPS). Meetings were held in offices, hallways and even one in the cafeteria.
We met with quite a few staffers and legislative aides (don’t let that titles fool you, they were very knowledgeable and many of them are the future leaders of this county) and we also met with some of the Senators and Congressmen themselves. We were particularly impressed with Congressman J. Gresham Barrett, of South Carolina and Congressman Peter Roskam, of Illinois as well as Congressman Steve Chabot, of Ohio. We were especially pleased to meet and speak with Congressman Ron Klein of Florida.
All the legislators and their staffs were genuinely interested in what we had to say, especially in this housing market. Barry and his team have been working with Senator Kohl on the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Act and the recommended changes have already been adopted prior to his bill being introduced. While it is likely that this bill will get attached to some other piece of legislation, it is a better bill now than what was originally proposed. This is primarily due to the fact parts of the original bill were very unclear and loosely defined which would create so much latitude for judicial interpretation; it would actually have the potential to be more harmful than helpful in protecting consumers in the throes of foreclosure.
One of the primary goals of the day was to offer our service as subject matter experts and help our elected officials avoid the Law of Unintended Consequence. I’d like to think we succeeded. But this was just a first step on a long journey.
As a final note, Barry’s associate Charles shared a definition of democracy as a form of government in which, “you are welcome to choose to be at the table or on it.” We need to be part of the process of defending our industry from excessive legislative interference as well as an ethical force in our industry. I, along with our other committee members invite you to serve in any number of roles with CFRI’s Legislative Task Force. We need local monitors, researchers, writers and others for more task oriented activities.
Benjamin Franklyn is credited with the following quote, it was never more appropriate; “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
This is a great opportunity for controlling our destiny. Get involved today! Thanks!
Legislative monitors are the eyes and ears of our Real Estate Investor Associations all over the country. They provide critical intelligence as we work to promote good relations between our industry and our elected officials. Monitoring programs are the first line of defense to keep our industry from being over taxed, over regulated and overwhelmed by what sometimes seems like an onslaught of legislative actions at the local, State and Federal level.
There are school districts trying to partner with developers to offer below market housing to teachers, police and fire department personal. That’s right, 20% below market, sounds good doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to see these nice folks get a good deal on their rent. The catch is, the project can offer below market rent because the school district pays NO property taxes. This is currently being pushed in Osceola and Orange County, Florida. Other municipalities are looking to implement inspections and inspection fees for rental properties…are you in a financial position to absorb increased operating costs? Some jurisdictions already have licensing fees on a property by property basis, does yours? It might soon unless we stay alert. These are but the tip of the iceberg.
However, the news isn’t all negative either. Federal funds will be pumped into our States and funnel down to the counties to help with the current housing mess. Wouldn’t it make sense to find out how we as investors and landlords might benefit form this cash infusion designed to promote home ownership and improve neighborhoods? Increasingly we’re seeing grants and buyer assistance programs being implemented. Counties and cities will be buying up foreclosed and abandoned properties…what if we became their redistribution vehicle in the communities we serve?
The key is not to build walls between us and the government, nor is it to stick our heads in the sand, but to build bridges. We do this by developing and nurturing relationships. In this light I want to thank those of you who have already attended my Lobbying Workshops at the Central Florida Realty Investor Association’s Lake Mary facility. The leader of this workshop was Barry Lefkowitz, who has served as the lobbyist for National REIA, led the Day on the Hill (See my other article Real Estate Investors – Protect Your Interests) last April , and is a personal friend of mine. He understands the importance of what CFRI is trying to accomplish.
In his world we are a little fish, but he’s coming here, giving us his time and sharing his vast expertise to help us learn just how to build these bridges you hear me talk about. I’ve seen him in action in Washington, DC, his rolodex is like a Capitol Hill who’s who. When he calls, Congressmen and Senators take his call. He is the real deal. This was not a real estate seminar. This was a rare opportunity to invest in yourself and develop some valuable communication, organizing and negotiating skills whether you’re dealing with the local PTA, HOA or Congress.
Even if lobbying isn’t on your radar, what you learn at a workshop like this will help you become a better monitor and a better citizen. You can make excuses or you can make a difference. We will be conducting these workshops in the future, so if you’re interest, please email me via the contact page.