What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Private Money Loan Edition)

- - Borrowing

When you’re new to private money lending, the process can feel daunting when you don’t know what to expect.

It can feel like being a new parent, jumping head-first into a process you don’t feel qualified to take on!

It doesn’t have to feel that way at all. We’re here to walk you through it so you know what to expect, when, and why. Though your specific questions are best answered by a loan officer directly (call 800-473-6051 to speak with one NOW!), we can scurry over the basics today to give you a big-picture understanding of the process.

With that in mind, we’d like to show you what a typical process for a private money loan looks like in a few simple steps. This way, you know we’re working hard FOR YOU, and can understand what to expect along your private money journey!

 It all starts with a great deal on a house. From there…


Step One- A real estate investor identifies a great real estate deal in a good equity position.

Step Two- The real estate investor puts the deal under contract and fills out an easy one-page application, which you can view at www.cogocapital.com.

Step Three- COGO Capital then reviews the application and contacts the real estate investor for additional information.

Step Four- COGO capital researches, reviews and assembles all the due diligence items, which includes title insurance and a third party appraisal.

Step Five- Secured Investment Corp provides the loan package to a select lender’s network. One of the lenders who likes the parameters agrees to lend on the deal.

Step Six- Secured Investment Corp then works with the select lender to wire funds to an outside escrow agent who prepares closing documents which are sent to a closing agent.

Step Seven- The loan is closed and Secured Investment Corp sets up serving payments.

Step Eight- Borrower makes monthly interest payments to the serving company who then pays the lender. The borrower pays off the loan, and the lender and the borrower do it all over again.

Step Nine- Do it again! It is a constant cycle.

What about common questions?

One of the questions that we have been asked over the years that we have been lending money is why we lend predominately at five points and 15 percent interest. First, we need to make sure we know you can perform. We then want to reward our more astute borrowers, who have never missed a payment and are doing volume, as well as the borrowers with good to excellent credit. We pride ourselves on giving all real estate investors access to the capital necessary to build up their real estate portfolios and investment careers.

That is why we lend on the assets and not a person’s past credit history.

We’re here to serve you with excellent rates and unbeatable terms.

But we can all work to make this process a little smoother and a faster.

If you’re working on a loan that you want to be done quickly and correctly, you’ve come to the right place. Now, let’s maximize your contribution with some carefully placed sweat-equity in the process.

Top things you can do to assure a more expedient loan process:

– Have your documentation ready and return it promptly.

– Watch for emails and communication when we need your signature. It happens all too often that a loan is held up because of one needed DocuSign signature that sits in your inbox for a week.

– A loan can be stopped or slowed down during processing when the borrower doesn’t look at the Needs Lists. When a loan officer sends out a specific form that needs to be taken care of, act quickly.

– Talk to us. A lot of people feel they can complete a file without asking questions, but it’s usually faster to ask and get it right than send in the wrong information. You can always call us at (800) 473-6051 to clear up any inquiries or to get support.

It may seem like a lot up front, but most things worth doing often do. We are here for you every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to reach out for guidance. Your success is ours, so let’s make you successful!

If you’d like to read more about the KEY to Success, <CLICK HERE!>

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Vital Skills

What are the vital skills for real estate investing?

They may not be what you think…

Bill Gates was once asked, “If you could have any one superpower, what would it be and why?”

His answer?

“Being able to read super fast.”

Of all the things he could have said, he chose to answer the superfluous question by addressing his reading ability. Why? Because he understands the principle we’re going to discuss today; the principle that each time you add a skill to your roster, you double your chances for success.

The more skills you acquire, the more times you increase your likelihood of success.


Not all skills are created equal and are subjective to the work you do. Learning to toss the perfect pizza dough won’t do you much good in the real estate investment field (unless you pay your contractors in pepperoni slices). But I want to share seven universally needed skills that will not only double your chances at success, they will pay off for as long as you live.

Here are 7 skills that are challenging to collect but will last your whole life:


1. Being honest with yourself.

Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment and chairman of the AXS TV, and one of the main “shark” investors on the ABC reality television series Shark Tank said this;

“Know was you know and know what you don’t know and be honest about both.”

Too many people lie to themselves about their abilities, time, and ambitions, but rarely see it all come together because they aren’t honest with themselves. You can build upon little truths, but you can’t take a big lie and make it a reality.

2. Having confidence.

I’ve never seen someone with “natural ability” in everything they do. But I HAVE seen people who seem to be amazing at everything. How? They have confidence, and that confidence is their power to exceed their vision.

Like a muscle, you must work out your confidence in order for it to grow.

3. Listening.

If I could give you one take away, it would be this one: be the last one to speak. Give others the ability to say what they know is true. Then, bite your tongue from commenting and instead ASK questions, so you will understand why they have the opinion and not just what their opinion is.

Don’t listen to figure out when it’s your turn to speak. Listen to hear, analyze, and understand.

Once you’ve gathered everything you need to know, move on to the next skill…

4. Speaking up.

I once attended a real estate event with a gentleman whose main goal for attending was to network with others for his brokering business. There came a time in the day when attendees could line up by the stage to spend 30 seconds in front of the microphone to introduce who they are and what they do. I asked my friend, “So, you’re going to go up there, right?” and he shook his head, claiming he didn’t have anything to show.

I pulled out a piece of yellow paper, made him write his phone number in big numbers, and sent him up to say, “Hi, I have money to lend if you need it, here’s my number!”

Speaking up is invaluable, whether it’s on stage, in front of a room, on the phone, or participating in a meeting, God gave you a voice for a reason. Use it!

5. Manage your time.

We’ve traded effectiveness for business, and it’s killing productivity!

— Click here to read more on time management–

Don’t clutter your life with stuff that keeps you from being effective. Time is the only thing we spend that we can never replace. Don’t waste it.

6. Be someone who doesn’t whine.

It isn’t productive to complain about what you don’t have, how you compare to others, what isn’t happening, etc.

Train your brain to look for the opportunity in every hurdle instead of seeing the hurdle in every opportunity, and I guarantee you’ll become unstoppable.

7. Being consistent.

You can outperform anyone who is more knowledgeable, talented, gifted, or privileged than you by simply being consistent. It’s called a grind for a reason.

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson

“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.” Tony Robbins

These are all internal skills, ones that relate to any profession. But the principle that learning new skills doubles your chances at success is equally true when you acquire skills related to your business.

What skills can you pick up to benefit your business? If you can’t think of any, borrow from this list:

– General Contracting Skills
– House Inspection skills
– Project Management
– Design (think fliers, banners, bandit signs, business cards, etc.)
– Design (think staging)
– Color Coordination
– Social Media Management
– Ad Writing
– Effective Communication
– Scheduling
– Budgeting
– Acquisitions
– New Marketing Skills
– Accounting

Have a specific hole that can be plugged with a new skill but don’t know how to obtain it? Give us a call and we’ll help you find the training you need 800-533-1622.

You don’t need to know everything. Remember how we talked about doing a S.W.O.T. Analysis and playing to your strengths while hiring out your weaknesses? (CLICK HERE to read more.) But if learning something new today will increase your chances of success tomorrow, then why not pick up a new skill?

Still having trouble deciding what to learn next? I challenge you to practice my 8 skills above while attending a Funding Tour. Not only are you going to pick up many new skills, pump your brain full of information, and jumpstart your career, if you sign up today, we will pay for your seat.

To conclude, let’s circle this all the way back to our friend Bill. How many books have you read this year? What are you reading right now? Who you will be in 5 years is an accumulation of what you do, what you read, what you watch, who you spend your time with, and who you listen to today. Remember, consistency is key!

If you haven’t ready “Eat that Frog!” by Brian Tracy, then add it to your list today.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Planning Your Project


Planning Your Project


With each passing day, your loan costs you a little more.

Don’t get discouraged…get organized!

The best way to assure that you’re maximizing your profits on any given project is to make sure you’re maximizing your time. Well, okay. The BEST way is to buy the property at the right price–we make money when we BUY, after all, and we realize that money when we sell. But I digress…

Time is money, but unlike money, you can’t get your time back.


Even the experienced investor may need his or her loan for the full term (6-12+ months). Even though an investor can get a project done in the recommended 45 days of renovation, there are many factors that could extend the project. Sometimes a home doesn’t sell right away once complete, sometimes you can’t predict that there will be mold that will need to be addressed or you could be stalled out on the process of permitting.

But besides the schedule crushers that you can’t control, there are steps you can take to assure that you’re making the most of your TIME investment.

If you’d like to read more about making the most of your time
and how time “management” is a myth, <CLICK HERE>



You need a deal before you can get funding. But, if you want to make the most of your time on a project, find a few funding options before you stack and offer and write that contract.

First, you must understand more about what makes private lenders different from conventional bank loans, (For a comprehensive breakdown, <CLICK HERE>).

Then, shop around for what you need. When you have the right funding and understand the process (if you don’t, talk to your friendly loan officer today by calling (800) 473-6051. We’ll answer all your questions!), you can still expedite the process to assure fast funding and a more stably funded project by following a few guidelines.

Get the right funding, and get it when you need it! We’re happy to help.



You can’t get everything done alone.

For each project, get bids from at least three contractors. Look for any discrepancies between the proposals and address them.  Look for someone both competent and honest.  When flipping multiple times, you can work with the same contractors, earning both discounts and loyalty.

But why delegate when you can do the work yourself?

If you’re a handy person, you may be tempted to lay the flooring on a project to save some money, paint the walls, or weed the backyard. Easy fixes, right? Why pay someone else to do them?

This is an object that comes up on the regular. I’m not going to tell you not to help out on your projects–we all need to roll up our sleeves sometimes and get in there to get it done right–but you need to look at the cost. If you can hire someone to come pull weeds and throw down a basic landscape for $14/hour, and you believe you’re worth more than $14/hour, then by doing the work, you’re giving yourself a massive pay cut.

It behooves you to hire out the elements of a project so you can spend your time focusing on managing the current project well and getting another deal under contract. If you can’t find another house to flip because you were too busy painting the basement, then you’re out more money than you saved.

You can hire people to do small jobs, you can’t hire people to run your business for you.



Follow up- the most important part of delegating is following up. Following up isn’t just for acquisitions and contracts, you must follow up with your contractors and stay on top of their work and schedule, especially as it pertains to the schedules of others. If your electrician is running behind schedule, your drywall guy isn’t going to be able to get until the wiring is redone. And if your drywall guy is only available during a short window, you may have to hire someone else. If it takes you three days to find someone else, and they’re not available for another week, you could have to reschedule your painting and finishing.

You can prevent most of the headaches that arise by following up, confirming, and communicating with your contractors.


Key #1 – Communicate with Your Contractor.

You need to know what is happening, when it’s happening, what the costs and projections are, what the deadlines are, how closely the schedule is being adhered to, etc. If you don’t know, they don’t know, so start the conversation.

Key #2 – Be Seen by Your Contractor.

Be a constant face on the job site. Show the contractor that you are hands on, that you will be there when you say you will and pop in unannounced to keep them on the job.

Key #3 – Don’t Bulldoze.

If you don’t want to get bulldozed by a contractor, return the favor and maintain a professional relationship. You can assert your stance as a professional AND be flexible to their advice regarding the project. That doesn’t mean you take every suggestion they make, but you should’ve accounted for appropriate changes in the budget and schedule when applicable.

Key #4 – Be Honest.

This is especially necessary to set up at the beginning! For instance, if you’re going to use a draw schedule, make sure your contractor understands up front how it’s going to work, when they will receive draws, how much, and what you are expecting. Then, don’t deviate from your word once the work begins. Don’t promise to give more than you can, and don’t give less unjustifiably. Remember, this relationship goes both ways.

Key #5 – Make Sure They Complete the Job!

There is little you can do to persuade a crooked contractor to finish a job—and you probably don’t want them to! If you’ve had a contractor abandon a job, your best move is to hire someone reliable to finish the job.

But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve seen people make the mistake of paying the contractors when they’re “done” without doing a final punch list.

This is your job.

Do a final walkthrough with a roll of blue tape and a notepad. Mark up things like chipped paint, unhung towel bars, poorly done calking, or missing trim. Even the best contractors miss things, so get in there, create a punch list, and get the items knocked out as quickly as possible. Don’t pay the contractor’s final payment until this is all done!

Key #6 – Incentivize.

Time is money. You know this. I know this. Contractors know this. If you want a job done on or ahead of schedule, offer them an incentive.

It is possible to build lasting, cooperative, mutually beneficial relationships with contractors that last for the duration of your investing career. Don’t get discouraged if you find a dud. Network with other investors and with multiple contractors. Connect with a mentor or coach when things get sticky. And, most importantly, keep going!



Things come up.

Maybe the chimney needs repair and your regular mason broke his foot and can’t work. If he’s the only mason you know, it’s naturally going to take you longer to find, vet out, meet with, get estimates on, and decide upon a replacement.

Keep your rolodex  (or you cell phone directory) full of reasonable and reliable contractors of all varieties.


Well, the more projects you do, the more people’s numbers you’ll have handy. You’ll also be able to live and learn, kicking the duds who aren’t doing their jobs to the curb. All of this takes time, thought.

The fastest way to fill your back pocket with good contractors is to network with other people who are doing what you’re doing. This is why I have the RULE OF 56. Just be aware that if you get the name of a good contractor,

No contractors available for smaller things? Take a page out of Deepa Quadir-Alam’s handbook and have a good handyman to fall back on. To read more of Deepa’s latest success story, <CLICK HERE>



Have a strong exit strategy. I can’t emphasize enough how much a good exit strategy WILL change your investing career.

If there’s any one thing that stalls a process more than anything else in the world, it’s a project that isn’t working out the way you planned and now you can’t get out.

If you don’t have an exit strategy, a project that takes a turn for the worst could become a money pit and fast. If you’d like to learn more about how to create an exit strategy for each stage of your project, join me on Monday, March 5th for my CEO Fireside where I’ll discuss this and much more. <CLICK HERE> to register!

By anticipating the needs of a potential project, you can assure that your project is scheduled properly, that your funding ducks are in a row, and that you have a plan for anything that could happen.

And when you effectively and efficiently manage projects, you can do multiple ones, do them quicker, and snowball your investing career.

If you’d like to dive deeper into becoming the best project manager you can be and how that will impact your investing career, talk to one of our Business Development Professionals about taking the Project Management Specialty Class. If you’re going to invest in fix and flip properties, it doesn’t make any sense not to learn how to best manage your projects. Call us at (800) 473-6051

To Your Planning;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

A Decade Since the Housing Crash

It’s been a decade since it happened.

Is there still a glutton of inventory in the marketplace after the real estate fall out of 2008?

Last week we talked about how flipping houses affects the economy and visa versa (to read more <CLICK HERE>). This week, let’s take a look through a different lens.

The effects of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression still impact our world a decade later. An article put out by USA Today stated, “By one Federal Reserve estimate, the country lost almost an entire year’s worth of economic activity – nearly $14 trillion – during the recession from 2007 to 2009.”

In many ways, the country is still struggling to recover.

On February 2nd, 2018, “The Dow closed down 666 points, or 2.5%, its biggest percentage decline since the Brexit turmoil in June 2016 and steepest point decline since the 2008 financial crisis,” according to CNN Money.

Additionally, Economy and Markets made a strong argument that another upset is coming, and with it, more single family residences will return to the investor market.

But what does this mean for you and the inventory of distressed and abandoned homes left on the market today?

After all this time, are there really enough properties left for every real estate investor to make money on with buy, fix, and resell opportunities?

Each market is different. Some have fully bounced back while others are recovering slowly with a large number of distressed homes existing as a residual from those events. But the key is to realize that the current amount of investor properties is not based solely on the remnants of the housing crisis, but rather an ongoing depletion of care given to individual properties by a wide variety of owners in a multitude of situations.

Essentially, we’ll never have a shortage of potential investment properties as long as rentals aren’t being uncared for, family homes go neglected, owners that move out of state can’t sell their old homes, and folks fall victim to foreclosure.

Sure, a decade later, we could still have properties on the market that have investor potential left over from the deep persistence of the financial crisis of 2008, but if you’re banking on the lingering effects, you’re not looking hard enough at your own neighborhoods.



Finding prime investor real estate usually comes with a preconceived notion that it has to be done at auction and you must be loaded down with cash in order to get in the game.


While auctions can be great a place to find properties, even auctions come with predetermined biases that can be largely untrue. If you’re interested in learning how to make the most of your auction experience, <CLICK HERE>

And to learn more about good auction practices, <CLICK HERE>



What happens if no one bids on a property at auction? What happens to the house and how can you benefit? If you’re unfamiliar with the process of REOs, <CLICK HERE> to read more.


Short Sales

This is not a new strategy. It’s been a buzz word since the recession of 2008, but many investors are beginning to shy away it thinking that it’s an outdated strategy. They’re wrong!

To read more about what a Short Sale is and how you can find homes using this strategy, <CLICK HERE>


Equity Deals

There’s a way that you can get homes before they go to foreclosure auctions, save money, put money in the homeowner’s pocket before they lose their home AND you don’t need your own cash to do it!

Sound too good to be true? <CLICK HERE> to find out more!


Buying Distressed Homes

Sometimes, finding homes to purchase is as easy as knocking on a few doors. If you’d like to bypass your competition by doing something that most people find uncomfortable, read how I do it with ease, <CLICK HERE>

But don’t work with distressed home owners blindly. To maximize your chances, <CLICK HERE> to read the Dos and Don’ts of working with these homeowners.


Buying Vacant Homes

You can also find the owners of vacant properties without having to break the bank or pretend to be Sherlock Holmes. We’ve got the steps for you, <CLICK HERE> to learn them all.


Nuisance Homes

I’ve saved the best for last.

A nuisance house is a condition of use of a property that interferes with neighbors’ use or enjoyment of their property, endangers life, health, or safety, or is offensive to others.

Under the Abandoned Property Rehabilitation Act, abandoned properties are presumed to be nuisances because of their “negative effects on nearby properties and the residents or users of those properties.”

More important than what a nuisance home is, is the opportunity such homes create for investors like you. As a newly developed strategy to unlock your buying potential of these properties, the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate has begun teaching the acquisitions strategies that are pulling investors to the top of their markets in a single bound.

To read more, <CLICK HERE> or call us at (800) 473-6051 to sign up for the next Master Lein Abatement Specialty Lab to find out how you can be the “go to” investor in your area to get these properties for pennies on the dollar.



So the real question remains: how do you fund these deals when you find them?

Banks won’t lend on these properties–they don’t want to lend on properties that are in disrepair and are typically looking to lend to the owner-occupant. Most people don’t have enough liquid capital lying around to pay for the property and renovations. I’ve certainly seen people try to fork all the bills on their own, only to tap out in frustration and never see the project fully complete.

That’s where we come in.

If you’re an investor who needs to get money for a property, your answer is Cogo Capital where we provide the funding solution for investors like you.

We identify what a good deal is, we vet out the loan, order the appraisal and the title of the property. Then, we make the loan available to our investors, and they get to put their money into your deal. It’s the quintessential peer-to-peer lending platform, which, in the ever-calming (hopefully) wake of the banking crisis has become mainstream.

Now, some companies lend this way from a consumer lending standpoint – think credit consolidation and the like – but the trouble with using lending like this for real estate is that it’s unsecured.

Lending through Cogo Capital is secured against first position on real property, which has proven successful for not only the investors lending the money (it’s the CIRCLE OF WEALTH) but also for the real estate investor like you who are borrowing money to purchase and fix more properties.

We also don’t care about your credit score and past financial history as much as banks do because we do what’s called “Asset-Based Lending,” where we look at the value of the property and the amount your paying for it. Then we determine if this is a safe loan and if you’re going to make money. We want to help you buy 8, 10, or even 12+ properties this year.

We want to help you get in and out with money in your pocket so you’ll come back and do it again and again.

Your risk timeline is also reduced compared to a traditional bank loan. We essentially loan you enough money and give you enough time to fix up the property, market it for sale, and sell it, at which point our loan is paid off, the investor gets their money back, and you make a profit.

The best part? You now have money to do it again, and we’re going to give you better rates as a returning borrower.

“But what if I can’t sell the property in the time frame of the loan?” you ask?

Well, that’s a great part! We’re not in the business of owning real estate; we’re in the business of facilitating resources to those who want to invest in real estate.

So if we provide a loan to an investor who isn’t moving a piece of property on the market as quickly as they expected, then we do our due diligence. We assure that the investor has done well with their payments and have improved the value of the property, and reevaluate the terms of the loan based on that. At the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate, we also teach and strongly encourage various exit strategies.

To learn more about the Circle of Wealth, <CLICK HERE>

Yours in Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

Are Flipped Houses Bad for the Housing Market?

Do Flipped Homes Dramatically Change the Housing Market?

When it comes to investing in distressed homes, I’ve heard it all.

You probably have, too, especially if you’ve been in the industry long enough and have explained what you do to enough of your friends and family.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to tackle a concern from an upset buyer who claimed that the rise in renovated houses was ruining the housing market. Coming to Spokane, Washington from a larger market where home prices had risen steadily over recent years, he noticed a correlation between the higher number of area investors and associated the two. According to him, flipped properties forced surrounding housing prices up so high that he could no longer afford to live in his desired neighborhood.

But does his concern hold water?

Do increased home values affect the economy?

Or is this a chicken vs. egg argument?

The economy is cyclical, with natural periods of expansion and recession. As such, one can assume the housing market is, too, and that anything that drives up the housing market—such as increasing home values—affects the economy. But does it?

In this business, we work off percentages and margins. In a volatile economy, those margins shrink, and when the economy is good, we have more opportunity to profit.

If the economy is doing well and unemployment is low, the demand for housing increases, and in turn, so does the cost of housing. Conversely, when the economy drops, and budgets tighten, the money allocated by the average American family for general upkeep on a property is shortened to cover the basics, like the mortgage, and housing values decline. Stretch this out long enough and extreme enough, and neighborhoods values reflect the dropping home values.

It is fair to say that the economy influences the housing market more than the housing market influences the economy.

Regardless of how simplified we’ve made the economic cycle here or how many details we’ve left out, the real issue is why anyone would believe flipped houses in any neighborhood would affect their buying power. It sounds to me like we’re dealing with a potential homeowner who would rather avoid bringing value and motivation to his market rather than live among distressed homes.

Instead, flipping breathes new life into communities by giving qualified buyers a chance to live in their dream home and adds value to the hardworking homeowners in the area who don’t want to live among run-down properties.

For investor lending, Cogo Capital offers quick turnaround, excellent terms, and millions to lend. Cogo Capital serves both local and national real estate investors, real estate agents, and private money lenders in quality, multiple loans.

Let’s make our communities stronger, increase values, and make real change in this oscillating world.

If you want to make a difference in your area’s communities, join us at the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate’s Master Lien Abatement specialty lab. To learn more about acquiring houses for pennies on the dollar, becoming the go-to investor in your town for nuisance properties, and flipping for huge profit, <CLICK HERE> or call NOW at (800) 473-6051. 

Your Neighbor;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

How to Shred Through 200,000+ Phone Numbers

How to Shred Through 200,000+ Phone Numbers

Getting through 200,000 phone numbers is doable. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say it’s easy.

Now, like most things, you can tear through these phone numbers one of two ways; the long, hard, trial-and-error way on your own or you can do it the tried-and-true way by learning from someone who has consistently done it…in 20 seconds…


Who thinks a phone book is durable? Could you run over it with your car without causing too much harm? Could you wedge it between a door and its frame to prop open an entryway without causing significant damage its pages? Go ahead and nod Yes.

A phone book represents more than just an antiquated way to look up one of 200,000 phone numbers. This book represents a goal; a seemingly difficult task to tackle. It’s strong, it’s sturdy, and it contains massive amounts of information.

What if you could RIP through one in seconds?

You can, and I’ll show you how…

1) Grip is Everything in the Beginning

The amount of grip you have on the phone book is directly proportional to the grasp you should have on your goal. Unless you clamp on good and tight, you won’t make a clean enough start to get anywhere.


2) The Better Your Position, the Better Your Success

You’ll notice when I pinch the phone book correctly, it forms a “V” or line of tiny air pockets down the fold. This is the key to a clean rip. If you’re of average strength like I am, the only way to power through 500 pages is by assuring there is space between each page.

When setting a goal, if you try to tackle every step at once without space between them, you’re not going to get very far. The success is in the space.

3) Move Quickly

Momentum is vital. Once you’ve torn through the first 20-30 pages, you must move with urgency or you could stall out. The same is true when achieving greatness. If you pause before you’ve gotten far enough to keep the pages ripping, then you run the risk of messing up the method. And what happens when you mess up the method? You lose faith that it will work for you.

4) Readjust Your Grip

To get all the way through a goal, don’t be surprised if you have to readjust your technique. If you aren’t strong enough to shred the phone book in one swift move (the same grip as step one…some people can do that!), then adopt the under-grip technique demonstrated. Then, simply twist and pull the finish the job.

We never know exactly what a project will look before we start. Sometimes, you need to change the way you address the work, sometimes it’s necessity to modify your system just to make it through. Even if you must rip each page, one at a time (i.e., break the project down into single, simple tasks and perform each one through until you finish), the point is to get it done.

5) Don’t be Afraid to Lose a Few Pages Along the Way

No method is perfect. No technique works 100% of the time. You may lose some “pages” along the way, you may accidentally pull too hard and tear off the cover. But what’s more important: preventing a few mistakes or finishing what you set out to do?

If you want to do something epic, you must trust the teacher. And the teacher needs to walk the walk.

Who are you learning from these days? Your friends who aren’t making the kind of money you want to make, or the leader who pours sweat and tears into your and won’t give up for anything?

Are you taking advice from family who looks at a phone book and believes it’s indestructible, or are you gleaming every ounce of knowledge off those who believe you can power through a goal like ripping a seemingly sturdy book in half?

If you can follow these directions, you can follow instructions to do just about anything.

You can follow someone who practices what they preach, but YOU are the pivot point.


This exercise is more than just a party trick. It’s proof; proof that you can do something you don’t believe you can do.

Stephen King said,
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
After that, things can only get better.’

Prove to yourself that you can do the thing that scares you. And the more you practice this by proving yourself wrong over and over, the better chance you have at tackling the really big things that scare you.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!



To learn more about attending a Funding Tour near you, visit FundingTour.com

Closing Like a Pro

Good Sales People Aren’t Born, They’re Trained.

“But I’m not a salesperson,” you say. “I don’t need to close sales because real estate investing doesn’t require sales. That’s why I have an agent who sells the houses for me!”

Excuse me while I take a sip of my coffee to suppress my chuckling.

You could be the best in your area at marketing and creating leads. You could have all the distressed houses at your fingertips. But unless you can get the seller to sign, you’re out a whole lot of work while someone else snags up the properties. The ability to sell isn’t exclusive to used car salesmen or corporate jobs.

If you’re waiting fore deals to fall into your lap because you don’t want to “sell,” then you might as well make yourself comfortable because you’ll be waiting a while.

You need to be able to sell to create opportunity for yourself.

If you can’t close a deal, you don’t have a deal.

Though it takes practice—and for some, training—being a top-performing closer will drastically shift your real estate investing from hobby level to replace-your-job level. If you’ve been on a webinar with me, chances are you’ve heard my Circle of Wealth goals for you. First, you need to earn $250,000 in liquid capital. Do you think that first step to life-long wealth happens by putting out hobby level effort? I won’t even continue with the steps needed to create life-long wealth, because if you can’t close a deal, you won’t get much further than step one. (You CAN read more about it: <CLICK HERE>)

But closing a sale doesn’t have to be daunting, and you don’t have to be a character straight out of The Wolf of Wall Street to succeed at it. In an effort not to overwhelm, let’s start with the first 4 steps in training to be a winning closer. Master these and we’ll up your game even more.

  • Have Multiple Strategies

This is why I teach on making a 3-tiered offer. If you only give the seller one opportunity to say yes, you’ve instantly reduced your odds for success by way more than half. Even with a 3-tiered offer, you need to have several approaches ready to employ. Closing a sale is like going on a road trip. If you don’t have enough fuel, you aren’t going to get to your destination. You need more strategies than the homeowner has objections.

  • Stop Buying the Seller’s Story

When talking to a potential seller or distressed homeowner, we need to ask questions to glean as much information as possible. And when they start in on their story, our ears need to perk up because it’s that pain point that we can fix.

Never glaze over the meat of the story. Maybe it was divorce that lead to financial distress and pre-foreclosure, or a loss of a family member or a layoff for the bread winner. Whatever the root of the distress is, pay attention! You are not their councilor, swooping in to fix their problems, nor do you want to use their pain for your gain. But if you let the homeowner sob into your shoulder about their pains without offering a solution, you’re not doing anyone a service.

Get the homeowner out of their own head by selling them on the solution. You can provide them with the cash they need to start over, you can give them a life raft out of their sinking ship, you can untether them from a bad situation by providing a monetary solution. But the more you buy into their story without selling them on a way out, the more you reinforce their victim mentality and set them up for failure.

  • Apply Pressure to the Wound

Let’s say you suffered a serious wound on the leg and began bleeding out. You’re weak from the blood loss and don’t have the strength to rip off your shirt and tie it around the cut with enough force to slow the bleeding. An acquaintance is nearby with a sterile bandage in hand, but they are too afraid to apply pressure to the wound, believing that pressure is rude and unprofessional. And so, you continue to bleed.

Ridiculous, right?

You’ll encounter distressed homeowners who are bleeding out financially. For whatever reason, they don’t have the strength or knowledge to fix it themselves, and though they won’t come out and ask you to apply pressure, if you don’t, their situation won’t change.

Pressure doesn’t have to be a bad word. If the solution you’re offering someone is wise, well addressed, and valuable, then they may need a little persuasion to see it as such. When you see a wound, sometimes you need to apply a little pressure.

  • Train

I’m not talking locomotion, I’m talking education and practice. Sales people are the third-highest paid profession on the planet, directly behind doctors and lawyers. Consider how much time both doctors and lawyers spend in school and in practice before becoming professionals in their field.

Don’t believe you can just jump in and close your first deal and then get discouraged when it doesn’t work out. I’ve seen too many people give up prematurely because they didn’t understand that to be great at anything requires practice and developed skill. You can learn the skills; I can teach you that. But the fortitude must come from you.

You may have to get uncomfortable for a while. You’ll stretch your selling muscles, make mistakes, learn from them, and improve. But remember to ask yourself, “Who am I NOT to do this?”

YOU have what the distressed homeowner wants: a way out.

By not doing your absolute best to get a deal under contract, you’re actually doing them a disservice by leaving them in the bad situation you found them in. Not every deal is going to close, and that’s okay. Like the rest of business, it’s a numbers game.

Put your best foot forward, lead with love, and help others.

If you’d like the hands-on training needed to catapult you from meandering salesperson who hopes for good deals into a confident closer who enters each potential transaction with the needed skills and tools to secure a deal, then stop waiting and wishing. Act now and call us at 800-473-6051 to discuss the necessary courses or coaching to get you there.

Don’t worry, we’ll only apply pressure if you’re bleeding.


Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about us first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!


Small House, Big Payoff

Nathan Brown had always watched the flipping shows on TV and talked about one day doing a project, but it wasn’t until he returned from a vacation when he realized it was time to do something about it. With instruction and guidance from Lee Arnold of the Lee Arnold System for Real Estate Investing, Nathan took the plunge.

“After so many HGTV, DIY Network and Do It Yourself home shows, we knew it was time to take the plunge. Calling COGO capital was the first step in a great decision. Talking with Lee and his staff, they helped me choose a property, line up financing, establish remodel goals, stage the finished rooms, list and ultimately sale the house. Our first real adventure out in the house flipping world was a little scary, but they put at ease with some guidance and direction from Lee. It was just the shoulder we needed to lean on. I have to say, we went over budget, but still made 6-months of income in 6 weeks. Thanks again COGO Team!”

After finding a small property to start on—540 square feet to be exact—Nathan purchased the property at the wholesale price of $50,000.

Construction took about 7 weeks and $14,000—a little higher than he originally budgeted, but with the project done in plenty of time, the experience went smooth. Other than having to jack the floor up a few inches in the bathroom and raise the height of the roof, the only major rehab cost went into rewiring the entire electrical system in the house. Big ticket items aside, the rest of the repairs were cosmetic, and none of the rehab went over schedule.

He was able to get the house on the market in the 3rd week of October. By December 3rd, he received an offer, and they closed on January 4th for a total of $99,900.00.

After all the holding and closing costs, Nathan pocketed a net profit of $25,031.

When asked if he had any “Aha!” moments, Nathan replied by explaining how he’d never do a house with one tiny bedroom again! He realized it was too small for his big dreams (540sq. feet, remember?), but with the total profit he earned, Nathan admitted, “I’d take those projects all day long!”

After taking a small break, Nathan plans to do more projects and implement what he learned in a larger property.

Nathan raved about Cogo, saying the loan process was “easy and seamless.”

His experience with the Lee Arnold team was instrumental in his success, too. “It was nice to have staging help and to bounce rehab ideas off the team. Any questions I had I was able to pose them and get real-time answers. I’d always wanted to do a flip, but when the rubber met the road, I still had a lot of things to learn and was grateful for my support.”

We can’t wait to see what Nathan Brown does next!

Have a deal under contract that you would like a quote on? Let us know. You can fill out a quick questionnaire at CogoCapital.com to receive a rate quote via email or you can call us anytime at (800) 747-1104 to talk to a loan officer. With millions deployed and millions to deploy, we want you to get the capital you need for your real estate investing.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

*definition provided by our friendly and comprehensive friends at Wikipedia


To learn more about attending a Funding Tour near you, visitFundingTour.com


Determining Your Property Values

Determining Your Property Values

Before you place a bid at a foreclosure auction, you need to understand what a home’s value is. You should also know the property’s lien position, do a title search, understand your exit strategy, and get your financial ducks in a row.

To read more about the other steps <CLICK HERE>

1) Drive by the Property

We need to drive by the property. Do not buy a property if you or someone you trust and are working with drives by it.

If you buy a property at an auction, you own it. You can’t give it back; there are no representations or warranties made at the time of the sale. Auctions are buyer-beware, with zero liability to the auction house. And if you drive out to the property and the house has burned to the ground, then guess what? You just bought a pile of ashes.

Driving by the property also helps you to understand the your market.

When you see For Sale signs in these areas, pull the fliers. Look at the square footage, the year built, the quality of construction, the asking price, and the days on market. Get more familiar with the values of real estate in your market.

Then, as you get better, you don’t have to drive all these properties. You can then just pull up a property on Google Maps, check out a 360-degree view of the street, and you’ll have what you need.

But if you’ve never purchased a property at auction, you need to drive out to the properties.

2) BPO

BPO, or Broker Price Opinion, comes from the multiple listing agent. In other words, “A broker’s price opinion is the process used by a hired sales agent to determine the potential selling price or estimated value of a real estate property. A BPO is popularly used in situations where a financial institution believes the expense and delay of an appraisal is unnecessary.”*

This tool is used by brokers and agents, lenders and mortgage companies, and loss mitigation companies. Each state has different rules and regulations for these services, such as providing the service if the the property is occupied at the time of sale. So do your research and  get acquainted with how it will work for you.

3) MLS

Here’s one piece of advice that I give all my private clients: If real estate is going to be your career path, I highly recommend that you get your real estate license. What it does is give you instant access to pull value on a property yourself.

I’ve been a licensed agent for over 15 years, and I’ve never not been able to participate in a deal because of my licence, so don’t believe the excuse that having this license limits you in term of investing.

I will often use an agent to get an opinion on value, but I will always pull my own comps to determine the value of a property.

4) Zillow

Zillow is also a great tool.

I use it because it has the most information in the shortest period of time. I will use it to sneak a peak at a property and increase my interest, but I would never use it alone to buy, acquire, or bid on a property.

The only tool I’m going to use to support or substantiate money is the MLS. It’s real-time value, days on market, comps, and more. You can gather information from all the sites (Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc.), but it isn’t going to be real-time and will cost you hours.

Bottom line, if you’re going to turn this passion of real estate into your profitable and long-term career, you should have access into the MLS at a click of your mouse. It’s the best data you can get.

5) Tax Assessed Value

The TAV is defined as the most amount of money the associated municipality can tax you on the value of the real property without you challenging them about the real value. In some states, it’s 80-90% of the FMV (Fair Market Value), but in states like California, it is 100% of the FMV.

In today’s market, most municipalities have over assessed property values in their district so that they can keep their tax base high.

(If you have a property that you know is valued at
$120,00 and the TAV is $180,000, challenge it!
Get your taxes down so you can save more money annually.)

What we’re looking for by pulling the TAV is the year built, the size of the lot, who has owned the property in the past, and who currently owns the property. We want to determine if there are any tax liens on the property and what the bed and bath count is. Often times, the floor plan will be included with the TAV, especially on newer construction because they have to present the floor plan to the building commission to get building permits in order to get a certificate of occupancy.

If this is included, take full advantage and look at the floor plan configuration. The floor plan is a big deal when selling a house quickly. If you walk in the door and WHAM! There’s a bathroom wall that hits you in the face and separates you from the openness of the living area, you’re not going to have a quick or easy time selling that property.

Remember, people buy property based on feeling. The price is secondary. If the potential buyer doesn’t get an immediate rush when walking in the house of “Wow! I like this place,” then you’re not going to sell it. That’s the real value of looking at a floor plan before buying a house at auction.

6) Comps

Get at least 1 listed comp within one mile of the subject property and the remainder within 5 miles.

The smaller radius you can get to the property in question, the closer you can determine the value.

Why do we want the comps to be as close to the property as possible?

Neighborhoods are fickle. We’ve all driven through neighborhoods that are just beautiful, and then a few blocks later, you’re wondering where you put your concealed weapon to ensure your safety. So the further out your comps reach, the more risk you inherit with those numbers.

Do your evaluation as close to the property in question as you can to assure you’re maximizing your understanding of the property value.

Look for at least:
3 Recently Sold
3 Currently listed

When you understand the property’s value to the best of your ability, you can maximize your foreclosure auction profits by determining your maximum bid.

But this isn’t just for auctions. Before you make offers on a property, you need to have all the numbers on paper for yourself to determine your maximum offer, your rehab costs, what you would wholesale the property for, and what the ARV (After Repair Value) is on the home.

Part of understanding a home’s value is understanding the value of your time. By doing a bit of due diligence on the front end, you can avoid getting into a project that won’t yield you the income you desire and are worth.

Thankfully, if you go through Cogo for you private money loan, we won’t let you get into a property that we know will lose you money. Our application process includes items for this reason; to assure that we are only loaning out on properties that won’t get you into trouble.

You’re in good hands with Cogo.

Have a deal under contract that you would like a quote on? Let us know. You can fill out a quick questionnaire at CogoCapital.com to receive a rate quote via email or you can call us anytime at (800) 747-1104 to talk to a loan officer. With millions deployed and millions to deploy, we want you to get the capital you need for your real estate investing.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at www.cogocapital.com to fill out your fast and easy quote. Want to learn more about COGO first? CLICK HERE to get to know all the ins and out!

*definition provided by our friendly and comprehensive friends at Wikipedia


To learn more about attending a Funding Tour near you, visit FundingTour.com

Achieving Your Goals; a Supplemental Guide

We’ve been talking about goals a lot lately and for good reason.

If you need a refresher on what S.M.A.R.T. Goals are and how to use them to get what you want, CLICK HERE.

If you attended the Lee Arnold CEO Fireside chat this last Monday, January 8th, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Kudos, too, for all the ambitious goals you committed to in the comments. If you gave us those goals, we WILL follow up with you!

The start of a new year is a critical time as a business owner. You need to have an action plan for the calendar year that you can stick to. Here are a few supplemental tips to help you along the way.


1. Clump Your Action Tasks Together

How can you marry your goals together to keep from being overwhelmed? One strategy is to think about the tasks that are optimized by being performed side-by-side.

If you are a Private Money broker who needs to add a bio to your website or landing page up to attract investors and you need to get your photo taken for your business cards, you can save time by doing these actionable steps together. First, tackle your professional photo, then put your bio up on your website.

Marry the tasks.

Is there one thing you have to do in order to get the rest done? If you’re going to send out fliers to 100 people over the next month, you first need to collect addresses and have your flier ready first.

Take your big goals, break them down into actionable, measurable steps, and then analyze all them to see what fits where.


2. Pass the test of “I want to do BLANK so that…”

“So that” gives you a clear outcome and an intention.

“I want to purchase a property at 60% of ARV so that I can wholesale it to another investor at 65% of the ARV so that they can make money on the deal, too.”


“I want to collect 100 new leads of investors so that I can build networking relationships so that I can close 4 loans in Q1 of this year.”

When you know your objectives, you can a clear focus and purpose to your efforts. Sometimes the “so that” is simply “so that I can pay my bills and not put my family in more debt,” and that’s okay. Your objectives will change and grow as you do, but make sure you have reason to pair with your S.M.A.R.T. goals and your goals will be that much easier to achieve.


3. Swallow your frog first.

What is the #1 thing you don’t want to do on your list? Do that first, and you’ll develop momentum for your day. This tip is particularly useful if you don’t have a lot of trust in yourself.

What do I mean?

When presented with a task, do you question whether you’re really capable of performing it? Do you agree to do things you’ve never done only to regret having comitted because you don’t trust yourself to complete the task?

Just as you need to build trust with an employer, you need to build trust in yourself that you will walk your talk. Eating your frog first thing in the morning allows you to build that trust, and it’s an excellent feeling to steamroll your day!

Every day you need to know that you are working toward a bigger vision and can accomplish your goals because you have actionable steps to take that you’ve planned into your day.

When you have a road map upon which to build an action task list with time-bound, measurable steps, you can literally design your life. If you need more help getting there, or you’re just not sure how to structure your S.M.A.R.T. goals in a way that will help you achieve your maximum potential in real estate investing, give us a call. We can get you pointed in the right direction and get you the education you need. (800) 473-6051

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing





To read our latest success story and learn how a high school dropout is now making 6 figure paychecks, CLICK HERE.