Category "Entrepreneurship"

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.

We Love OPM

- - Borrowing, Entrepreneurship

What is OPM?

Most people don’t have the personal capital to buy and renovate houses to put on the retail market for profit. Yet so many self-made millionaires make their money with real estate. So how do you bridge the gap between not having enough money for your first project and having an abundance of capital to fund larger deals, more deals, and other people’s deals (making passive income on the interest)?

How do you go from no-capital to plenty of it?


OPM (or “other people’s money”) is a great tool. Nix that, for many of you, it isn’t a tool at all; it’s a necessity to get started and/or keep going in your business.

When I was just starting out, I knew I needed OPM to do the things I visualized. I was working at a grocery store as a bag boy. I didn’t have the capital to start a project and to be honest, I didn’t have much of an idea how to get it. But I knew what I needed to get started.

I learned the hard way.

Let me help you avoid the hard way.

Don’t let the preconceived notion that no one wants to lend to you cloud your vision and your dampen your goals. People want to lend money to you, but you need to find the right people and come to them with the right deal.

Why Other People Like Lending their Money?

This one is simple. Not everyone has the time to find good deals. If you invest the time to find the good deals that others can invest in, they will flock to you. FLOCK. Remember what I always say? Money isn’t attracted to you; money is attracted to a good deal. Get a good deal under contract and finding the money to fund it is the easy part.

When You Can Safely and Efficiently Use Other People’s Money

Just like any debt, a loan from anyone should be used to produce income with. We’re obviously not talking about taking out a loan to fund your vacation; that’s . No matter who you borrow from, make sure you’re both clear on the terms, the numbers, the expected communication, and the time frame of the loan. Err on the side of over-responsible, especially if you want to borrow money again in the future.

The Worst Ways to Find OPM

– Family

– Friends

When you need something, your knee-jerk reaction could be to call up those closest to you. It’s what I did, but I don’t advise you to follow in the footsteps of my frustration. Why? Because even if your family and friends have money to lend you–because you wouldn’t ask them if they didn’t–they aren’t likely to see the investment opportunity, they see you. YOU.

My friends and family saw me as a punk kid with a wild dream. They told me to stay in school and keep my job at the grocery store so I could one day be an assistant manager if I tried hard enough. And, looking back, I don’t blame them. But, once I proved myself as a viable investment by putting deals together that created consistent income, their wallets wiggled open. For me, this took years of turmoil. I got on the phone and raised capital through hours of networking, I trail-and-errored my way up until I found mentors to teach me what not to do.

Now, I send a single email, and I’m flooded with positive responses. I’ve done deals with my friends and family during my career, and I’ve been able to show them the higher return on their money real estate can bring. I spent time proving that I have a business model that makes sound financial sense, and you should, too.

Get a few deals under your belt, show your family before and after photos and copies of your profit checks.

But how do you find money in the meantime?

The Best Ways to Find OPM

– Networking with Strangers. This method is great because it forces you out into the world of your “competitors.” Most people are afraid to rub elbows with their competitors, but I’ve never understood that. You shouldn’t view other people in this business as opponents; you should consider them as potential capital partners. You should be building relationships with fellow investors through your networking events if you’re following my Rule of 56. I don’t ask you to meet new people just to expand your circle of friends. We’re networking for potential partnerships, among other things, so take advantage. Real estate investment seminars are a great place to network with strangers, as are foreclosure auctions.

If you haven’t attended one of our events, I encourage you to make it a priority in 2018. We put great people together in our event rooms, so you have the opportunity to network together. When you find a great deal, you can call up one of these peers.

Visit for more!

– LinkedIn can be a great way to network and find equity partners and private investors. I never advice spending too much time on social media–as it can be one of the worst time-sucking holes we fall into–but when you know how to use LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms to meet fellow investors, you have the potential of building valuable, wealth-building partnerships.

– Private Money Lenders like Cogo Capital. One of the reasons we see new investors visiting our website daily is that we have something valuable to offer: a safe and secure investment. Our investors deploy money for short periods of time and get a check every month from the borrower. Everything is underwritten, in order, and the title work is done for them. With a turnkey package ready to go, our lenders love this! And in turn, our borrowers find the capital they need to do the work that will make them wealthy. Remember that when you’re out there finding great deals, you are bringing significant value to anyone who has more money than time. (Sounds a lot better than getting on the phone with all your friends to round up some money, doesn’t it?)

What We Do with OPM

There are two things you can bring to a partnership: Money or Time. If you have both, you don’t need a partner. If you don’t have the money, guess what your end of the bargain is? Time. You need to put in the time to research, pull lists, write letters, make calls, meet with sellers, write contracts, and put the deal together.

Once you have a deal all wrapped in a bow (the bow is entirely optional), you have something tangible to offer a lender. When you bring a deal to the table, a lender looks at the DEAL that you have under contract and not at YOU (with whatever past you have tucked in your back pocket). In fact, private money lenders like Cogo Capital don’t pre-qualify you based on YOU. We are an asset-based lender who has lent millions and has more money to deploy than you’ll ever need, and we deploy that money based on the opportunity you bring us.

When you take yourself out of the equation and get really good at getting great deals under contract, finding OPM isn’t going to be a problem. Prove yourself first if you eventually want to use money from your friends and family. Or, better yet, get to a place where you don’t ever need money from your friends and family and lend to them instead.

If you believe you have a great deal, visit us at to fill out a brief questionnaire. You’ll receive a quote via email, or call us at (800) 747-1104. We’re here to lend you OPM. It’s what we excel at.

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 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!

For our latest success stories, click HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.

6 Steps to Fantastic Follow Up

Indulge me by answering this simple question: Would you rather spend all your time and resources hunting for new clients, or spend less time maintaining your current client relationships?

If you chose the first option, will you send me all your old client information so I can mine for the gold?

Many people don’t realize how big a gold mine they’re sitting on with the numbers in their directory. I’ve seen people build multi-million dollar businesses off of a client base that steadily grows but remains largely the same. Why? Because these business owners understand the importance of maintaining quality client relationships that lead to more business.

Even if you only have a few clients (or none at all because you’re just starting), you can build a solid client base by practicing my follow-up system.

Maintain Communication

Regular follow-ups give the customer a chance to be heard and engaged effectively. Whether you know it or not, many clients expect you to keep in touch. People want to be told what to do and expect next, so provide them with tangible opportunities. They may even have another property or job lined up for you, but unless you reach out, they could take it elsewhere.


Following up makes your customers feel special, therefore increasing reliability from them. But, what happens when you follow up and they have a beef with you? LISTEN to it! Provide them with a chance for you to prove yourself by improving what needs to be corrected, and you may end up with the strongest client connection you’ve ever had. You can never listen your way out of a customer.

Go the Extra Mile

When you fulfill a customer’s expectations, you’ve already given them a reason to business with you again. Remind them with regular follow-ups, and you’ll inspire them to remain loyal supporters of your business.

Offer Incentives to Let Them Know You Appreciate Them

Send them a package of cookies or a coffee gift card; you’ll never know how great an impact something so small can have on your business until you do it. Studies show that when people feel appreciated by you, they associate the feeling with working with you.

The opposite is painfully true. 68% of customers leave a company because they perceive that the company is indifferent toward them. If you could avoid losing 68% of your clients by showing them you care, would you?

Make It Easy for Them to Work with You

When working with you is the next logical step for your clients, and you remind them of this through your follow-up system, then you won’t be short on business opportunities. Keep your process simple, anticipate their needs, and stay up-to-date on your consumer knowledge.

And lastly…
Make It Easy for You to Follow Up with Them!

Set yourself up for success by systemizing your follow up routine. Set up:

– A Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
(You’re going to spend all this time making calls, dropping letters, and securing customers, but who is communicating with them when you’re on vacation?)
– An email deliverability service which sends emails, surveys, and auto-responders
– A Website
– A Blog
– A system to send out newsletters, reports, and webinar invites
– An online system to disseminate real-time information for client consumption (webinars)

Remeber; be annoying, be a pest, and be a CONSTANT REMINDER that your service provides others with RELIEF. The worst thing you can have in your business a client with a deal come to you with a missed opportunity because they lost your number!

Something as simple as a phone call can tell your client that you don’t take them for granted.

For more on creating a quality Follow-Up System, CLICK HERE.

I’m unveiling a new Lien Abatement program in Las Vegas in December. (To read more about it, CLICK HERE and HERE.) This information will give you a HUGE edge against your competition. It’s fast approaching. You don’t miss this training! Lein Abatement Specialty Certification weekend in Las Vegas on December 7th-10th, call us at (800) 473-6051.


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 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!

For our latest success stories, click HERE and HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.

The Reduction of the Ridiculous


Did you know that you could own a beautiful home worth $500,000 for the change you might find under the seat of your car?!

Now, before you get up in arms about me making unrealistic, outlandish financial claims, let me explain:

If you purchase a house for $500,000 with 20% down at a 3.78% interest rate for 30 years, you’re going to pay $1,859.28 a month on your mortgage.

Take $1,859.28 and divide it by the days in a month:

Now, divide by the hours in a day:

Finally, by the seconds in an hour:

If you pay just $0.04 (ONLY FOUR CENTS!) per second for thirty years, you too can own a half-million-dollar house!

Did you see that? I just made a giant sum of money (That’s $669,340.8 after you’re done paying it off in 30 years) look manageable!

I jest, but not without a point. If you can take a large sum of money and make it look minimal and achievable, then you can take a sizable goal and turn it into minute, actionable steps.

How do you make it as simple as it sounds? By using a tool, you’re already employing elsewhere; your habits. By redirecting your patterns and behaviors, you can take small moments and multiply them into considerable successes. Now, you can’t habitually create $0.04 per minute–the money is a product of habits you put in place to generate that income. But you can develop better practices when it comes to employing better behaviors.

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a giant leap forward only to stumble back.” Chinese proverb

Let’s consider another example.

Assume you have 50 extra pounds of body fat than you’d like to. If your goal is to “lose weight,” but there isn’t any behavioral change behind it, how are you going to make it happen?

I hear from people all the time that they want to “make more money” or “be a millionaire.” I love goals, but without action, just stating a financial goal is as effective on your bank account as whispering song lyrics in front of American Idol.

So, you want to lose 50 pounds. Great! How do you break that on a time-manageable level? “I’m going to lose 50 pounds in two months!” isn’t very sustainable.

“I’m going to be a millionaire by the end of the year” isn’t achievable from the position of a beginner as, say, “I’m going to earn $40,000 above and beyond what I’m making this year, and will strive for $100,000 the year after.

If you break losing 50lbs down into 50 weeks, that’s a pound a week for a year (if you account that a few weeks won’t result in a loss, no matter how hard you try). If it takes 3,500 calories of intake to make a pound and 3,500 burned calories to lose a pound, then for the seven days of the week, you only need to have a 500 calorie swing. You can burn an extra 250 by riding your bike at a pace of 14-16 mph for 25 minutes AND refrain from eating 1 candy bar OR avoid drinking 1 16 oz bottle of soda.

If you want to make $100,000 in a year, you’re looking at retailing four houses for an average profit of $25,000 a piece. To get four houses under contract, rehabbed, and sold in 12 calendar months, how many offers do you have to make? To make those offers, how many leads do you need to call?

If you’re familiar with the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate at all, you should know this answer. If you don’t know the Rule of 56, you should read about it HERE.

If you need to mail 25 letters a week, divide that by five working days, and you only have five a. What do you suppose would happen to your real estate business after a year if you committed to mailing five letters every day on your lunch break.

You already have habits. I’m not asking you to do more than you’re doing. But, if you take that hour lunch period to mail letters instead of catching up on office gossip or doing a crossword puzzle, and that one act would catapult your business, would you do it? If you could avoid 1 Taco Bell Soft Taco Supreme with gaucamole every day and walk the dog for 30 minutes in the morning to drop that comfort weight that’s crept up on your for two decades, would you do it?

Take your large goals, break them down, and employ manageable steps, you’ll be able to “eat the elephant” one spoonful at a time.


Register to attend an upcoming Funding Tour and immediately receive a $250,000 pre-approval letter for buying real estate investments!


Always Encouraging You;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

Have a deal? Visit us at 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!

For our latest success stories, click HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.

The Art of Marketing

- - Entrepreneurship

You may have 99 problems, but marketing shouldn’t be one.

“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”~ David Packard

If you are new, if you are experiencing, if you have a pulse, you need to be marketing more. Unless clients are beating down your door to do business with you, you need to vamp up your marketing strategies often to reach more of the right kind of people to do business with.

Your ideal clients are out there, whether you broker, wholesale, or fix and retail homes. But before they can be clients, they have to be leads, and they don’t become leads without first being marketed to.

Here are Ten Tips to Successful Marketing to jump start your business:

1- Respect people’s time. This goes for writing ads to setting up meetings. Be brief, be knowledgeable, be articulate, and value the time of the person you’re communicating with, or they won’t want to spend time interacting with you.

2- Make people feel good about their purchase. This is also known as a “Stick Campaigns.” Make sure they know you value their business by sending them appreciation, buying them dinner, or simply sending a note of thanks.

3- Write and test your headlines. If you’re running craigslist ads, change up your ad with some split testing. Put two ads out there with the same message and use a different headline for each. Throw a different phone number on each ad and see which gets more calls.

“The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” ~ Peter Drucker

4- Turn your services into client benefits. If you aren’t benefiting your clients with your services, and you can’t actively show how you’re doing this, then people are going to view you as someone who just wants their money. Do you do business with people who just want your money? I suspect not.

“Help your customers and you help your business.” ~ Leo Burnett

5- Use an emotional pull in your marketing. What is it in your marketing that makes people want to take action and get involved in what you’re doing? If you ask the right kind of questions to figure out what someone wants and can highlight those benefits, you’ll connect emotionally and increase your chances of turning a lead into a client.

“Stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” ~ Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson.

6- Let the customer testimonials do the talking. If you aren’t getting 3rd party customer testimonials (comments on your blog, video testimonials, written recommendations), then you’re missing out on one of the most powerful forms of referral. Get people to say nice things about you and then get permission in writing to use those testimonials in your marketing.

“Make your customer the hero of your stories.” ~ Ann Handley

7- Create a sense of urgency. Want another powerful tool? Offer to give something small but valuable away for free, and then make sure you don’t give it to someone until you get what you want from them (i.e., contact information or their lead list).

8- Harnessing the power of referrals. When you close a loan, ask them for three people who could benefit from your services. If you’ve done great business with people, they’ll be eager to refer others to you, but may need a reminder. Open mouth, open business.

9- Use the phone as a tool. Don’t struggle with “phone fear.” Most of you, after dialing a number and waiting while it rings are thinking “please don’t pick up, please don’t pick up.” If you can get friendly with the telephone, you’ll begin to understand why the phone is the most effective form of communication because it doesn’t require you to travel. Surely, driving out to see someone face-to-face and getting to know them is valuable, but to accomplish the amounts of communication you need to succeed, the phone is your best friend. Pick up the phone and talk to people! You won’t regret maximizing the quality of contact.

10- You must envision your success before you begin. This is true for all business. I’m huge on goal setting and establishing your vision of what you want to accomplish and when you want to accomplish it. If you’re eager to get back into your goal setting, don’t wait until the new year. The more clearly you can narrow in on your goal with specific details, the more likely you are to achieve what you have envisioned. I’ll be talking about goal setting during my next CEO Fireside this coming Monday, November 6th at 5:30 pm PST. To learn more or register to participate in this webinar, you can do so HERE.

Using these tips to increase your marketing power, you will generate more leads and convert them into more clients. Don’t forget to join me on Monday, November 6th for a goal-setting focused CEO Fireside. I’ll see you there!

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 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!

We have several Funding Tours fast approaching. If you’d like to have your ticket paid for AND receive a $250,000 pre-approval letter for attending this 3-day educational even, CLICK HERE to learn more or call us at 800-533-1622. We’ll even take you into the area on a bus tour to learn hands-on what it is like to find and fund a good deal. If you’re a beginner, you CANNOT afford to miss this opportunity. I’ll see you there.

S.W.O.T. Analysis

Last week over on my Lee Arnold Blog, I wrote about 5 of the best qualities of a CEO. Today, I’d like to do a deep dive into what it takes to get you there.

There are so many traits a good CEO must have. But, how can you understand and pile on a bunch of positive attributes if you don’t know where you currently are and how you can improve?

You need to start with the basics; a baseline of self-discovery to build upon or trying to stack traits could feel like throwing wet noodles against the wall. Some might stick, but most will fall behind the stove.

Grab a sheet of paper and set it up like the photo below (or print this PDF here: S.W.O.T)

Print me!



First, list all your strengths.


– What do you do really well?

– Who do you have on your team?

– What do you offer that is different/better than your competitors?

– What parts of your business are you passionate about?

(Without passion, you won’t make much money, but without money, you’ll lose your passion!)

– What are your business strengths? Are you detail oriented, outgoing, analytical?

– What are the assets you can contribute?




 Next, catalog your weaknesses.


– What parts of business are you weak at?

– What are the weaknesses in you that others are likely to see?

– What do you despise doing?

– What can you delegate/avoid?

– What weaknesses can you work to improve or manage around?

– What factors are costing you money and need to be addressed ASAP?


Understanding your weaknesses is vital to your success. It shows you where you need to navigate, what you can delegate for the best results, and hints at what you can automate for optimal time management. No two businesses are alike, as everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.




It’s important to know what you have going for you. List your opportunities.


– What opportunities exist for you? Time, marriage/partnerships, being close to retirement, having money to invest, skills, education?

– Look at the people you can get to know, the events you can attend, the connections you can make.




Don’t be shy. What is threatening your business?


– What obstacles are you facing? Cash flow problems? Time constraints?

– What are your competitors doing?

– Is your spouse not on board? (Convincing your spouse may be your biggest sale, but I highly recommend you get on the same page before moving forward.)


Like knowing your weaknesses, understanding your threats is essential for the prosperity of your business. Though it isn’t fun to dive into the aspects that are potentially menacing, it’s much more threatening not to.


Take the time to analyze yourself and your business, then press forward. Attend conferences, hire out your weaknesses, and focus on building and USING your strengths. Take advantage of your opportunities and decide how to handle your threats. In this, you’ll propel your work forward.

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 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 Formula for Real Estate Success

Let’s start today’s crash course with a riddle. When does 25 + 25 + 4 + 2 = Success?

If you’ve been around the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate long enough, you’ll know that 56 is the magic number; a rule to live your week by. Here’s a refresher course. This “Rule of 56” breaks down like this:


This is a benchmark for you to hit consistently. This helps you keep track of letters being sent, phone calls being made, time being invested into your work. These are called key performance indicators. If you haven’t made an offer in a while, and you’re committed to making 2 per week, then this is an indication that your performance isn’t where you want it and need it to be.

If you don’t have a yard stick by which you measure progress, then how are you going to know how far you’ve come or where to reach for next?


In my 20+ year career, I have never known a single person who did the rule of 56 for 52 straight weeks who made LESS THAN $100,000 in net profit.

My goal in relaying to you the “Rule of 56” isn’t to keep you busy. My goal is to help you make money! By following this rule, you’re taking the first step toward entering the Circle of Wealth. My goal is to get you to a place where you have $250,000 in the bank—that’s CASH, not equity or profit. This is your seed capital to continue using for acquisitions, short-term loans, down payments when necessary, and the general cost of things. Your profits will continue to grow, and your $250,000 will not diminish.

Then, I’m going to help you make another $250,000 and another until you’ve reached “accredited investor status” and can make passive income on your money by lending it out to others, making higher interest than you would on a multitude of other investments!


If you aren’t consistently reaching your goal or 25 letters mailed each week, 25 calls made each week, 4 networking events/meetings each month, and 2 offers made each week, then that’s where we need to start.

We can teach you what to say in your letters to yield results.

We can instruct you on what to say on your phone calls.

We can help you find events.

We can show you how to make offers.

Let us help. Call 800-533-1622 to talk to a business developer or attend an upcoming Funding Tour to learn how to solve the riddle of your journey to success.

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 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!

Tax Advantages and You

- - Entrepreneurship

You just filed your taxes 2 months ago! Why are we talking about this now? I know, I know. You’d rather be focusing on making the money rather than filling in numbers on a tax document. But, if you start now, I promise you’ll be better equipped for next year. You might even find some nuggets of gold to take advantage of before it’s too late.

There are many tax benefits to investing in real estate, and if you aren’t taking advantage of them, you might be missing out. There are also mistakes that many business owners make that you should avoid.

First, let’s talk advantages:

Tax Deductions

You can write off nearly all your real estate investments and money spent acquiring them. Most importantly, you write off a down payment on a rental property and your mortgage and interest payments.

So let’s say you come to the end of the year and you own Uncle Sam $20,000. Would you like to shell out the dough, never to see it again? Or would you rather spend that $20,000 on a new property that has income potential?

No brainer, right?

In some cases, depending on your market, you can even find an entire property for $20,000. Ask us how at  800-533-1622.

Deducting Personal Expenses

When you own a small business (and to get a loan from COGO, we require you to have at least an LLC), your finances are taxed under the same friendly tax laws as other corporations. You will not pay taxes on the money you re-invest in your business, and that includes legitimate write offs like mileage, cell phone bills, and paper in your printer.

Depreciation Works in Your Favor

For your personal, owner-occupied property, you cannot claim depreciation (or “a reduction in the value of an asset with the passage of time, due in particular to wear and tear”*) on your taxes. You can, however, claim this on investment properties, though my guess is that many of you don’t. This can be a significant deduction, so make sure you have a competent accountant who has your best interest at heart and can make this happen for you.

These deductions may sound simple, but when added up, you can pay less out of pocket to the government and have more for your next project!


Unfortunately, there are many mistakes that rookie business owners make. Let’s tackle a few:


Shuffling Too Much Around so That You Don’t Owe Anything

Although this is tempting, if you can’t show that your business made any money and is valuable, you will hurt your chances of qualifying for loans in the future. “But I made money,” you say. “I just made it look like I didn’t.” Sorry, you have to show a profit if you want to leverage that value for your business’s benefit.

Not Keeping Good Documentation

Trust me when I say the wrong time to be collecting your documentation is during tax season when it’s due. That’s why I’m harping on you NOW. Collect and file your expenses throughout the year. Not only will you keep better track, but you also won’t forget vital chunks along the way.

Not Understanding Your Deductions

You can run into trouble by calculating deductions without an understanding of your limits. The fix is simple, find out which deductions and work with a professional.

Not Knowing Your Tax Laws

It’s a lot. I get it. And you’d rather be deepening your understanding of the real estate industry (or your chosen field within the industry) than wasting time digging through tax laws. But in addition to State, Federal, and Income taxes, small business can be subject to taxes you’ve never heard of. Don’t overlook these filings; work with a tax professional.

Moving Profits into Salary

After a successful year, you might be tempted to increase your “salary” to take advantage of the deductions for salary payments. However, the government WILL look at the number and compare it to other industry professionals in your field to determine if your compensation is reasonable. If you are too unrealistic, the IRS may disallow a portion of the money as compensation, landing you in hot water.

My recommendation is for you to start now, research often, and stay on top of your tax game. There are real benefits you can use to your advantage, but waiting until April of next year is NOT the time to begin considering them.

If you would like to learn more about investing in your future through real estate, visit the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate for an upcoming Funding Tour in your area, or see if you qualify to attend the Regional Real Estate Clinic in July by calling  800-533-1622.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

To read more articles click here.

Follow me on Twitter: @LeeArnoldSystem



Are You Reaching People?

In this digital age, it can be tempting to forgo any physical outreach in favor of simple, copied-and-pasted ads online. Whether you’re trying to purchase a neglected property direct from the owner, are trying to communicate with wholesalers, or want to set up connections to broker private money, you have to reach out to get and communicate with leads.

Craigslist is great, so is email. Phone numbers are fantastic, too.

But Craigslist can be over-saturated, email can go to spam, and more phone numbers than ever are on Do Not Call registries. The truth is this; it’s easy to go online, so everyone does it! That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, but you run the risk of getting lost in they masses.

There’s another way to reach people that might feel antiquated but is quite the contrary. Snail mail.


According to a USPS Study…

98% of consumers bring in their mail on the day it was delivered.

77% sort through their mail immediately.

Recipients spend, on average, 30 minutes reading their mail on any occasion.

67% feel that mail is more personal than the internet.

64% order from mail received within the last month.

48% read mail to relax, 42% look at mail for financial savings, and 38% use mail to stay informed.

Online shoppers who interact with brands using multiple media spend 30% more than those using a single medium.


If you’re reaching out to homeowners and potential clients, invest in a packet of stamps, print up your material, and get to lickin’ those envelopes!

And if you need assistance with materials to send, we have a great tool for that. The Lee Arnold System membership site contains a plethora of back office printables that were expertly designed for making a unique impression. You can customize and save time. To learn more about becoming a member and unlocking these great tools (and more!) call us at 800-533-1622.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

To read more articles click here.

To learn how to make a unique impression in person in only 8 seconds, CLICK HERE!

What’s Your Vision?

Do you have a vision statement?

Do you even know what a vision statement is?

No doubt, when you were in your adolescence, someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, and you could answer that within a sentence.

“A doctor.” “An engineer.” “A full-time parent.” Or even, “I want to be rich!”

The reality that spurred from the years between your adolescence and now probably changed your outcome. But that was basically your vision statement at the time.

You need a grown-up vision statement; one you can follow.

I want you to write one out.


Go ahead.

Need some help? Try answering these questions: What do you want to be doing for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve in your career and personal life? How much money do you want to make? What do you want to do with your money and time?

Great! Now, how are you going to get there?

The education system does not prepare anyone for self-employment and entrepreneurship. It would’ve been nice if my high school had given me a platform on which my entrepreneurial mindset would’ve been applauded and encouraged, but it didn’t, and yours probably didn’t either.

I see this massive, gaping disconnect between people who want to work for themselves and those who have the skills to do so. If you are a sole entrepreneur, you are in marketing, accounting, fulfillment, customer service, tax filing, everything. Maybe you learned how to balance a spreadsheet in a college accounting class or community workshop. Maybe you learned the basics of online coding (if you’re among our younger generation of entrepreneurs) or, if you’re like me, learned how to type with more than one finger in typing class, so an email doesn’t take 45 minutes.

But did you really learn the skills you needed to go from vision statement to success? Can you say with all honesty that you can tackle every area of your business, or is the unknown holding you back?

Well, I’m passionate about fixing that.

Here’s is a tool to help get you started.

There is so much more to it than I could cover in one post, and that’s why we work hard to get you the information you need.

But what else can you do now? Well, as you are learning how to fulfill the needs of your business, you may have children or grandchildren who are going to one of those schools that don’t nurture the self-employed, entrepreneurial mindset.

So, not only can you get an education in real estate investing with the Lee Arnold System, but I encourage you to bring along the young entrepreneur in your life. If you value your advanced education and want to spend 3 days with my team and me at the next FUNDING TOUR near you, you can bring a guest between the ages of 12-21 and I will pay for their ticket. That’s how much I believe in educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.

And though you’ll always find tools on here and on the Lee Arnold System blog, if you’re interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial education you can receive with the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate, call us at 800-533-1622. We’ll figure out if you need to attend a workshop, a specialty lab, or if you need to see a coach. We will design your education based on your needs.

Because I want to help you fulfill that vision statement!

To Your Success,

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing


As always, if you have a real estate deal and would like to get a quote from a private money, visit

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @LeeArnoldSystem and @CogoCapital