Category "Getting Started"

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.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals in 2018

It’s that time of year again…say it with me, “New Year’s resolution time!”

I love New Year’s resolutions. It’s the annual time where we collectively look at what we want out of life for the upcoming calendar year and challenge ourselves to make new things happen.

Sometimes the resolution is to do that one thing you’ve been procrastinating on, and you’re ready just to get it done.

Whatever your reason behind setting the new resolution, chances are, you’ve gotten there because your intent and actions haven’t met up in the past. So, you resolve to commit. The beauty of these resolutions seems to come from some synergistic attitude of our collective human advances: i.e., we thrive off each other’s energy.

January starts off great! We begin strong, managing to keep our resolutions for a few weeks. But, chances are, you will end up relapsing into old behavior sooner or later. Frustrated and defeated, you’ll give up that gym membership, shelf the self-help books, and optimistically believe you’re just “taking a break” while you settle back into the couch for a movie marathon.

So, how do you break the cycle of this repetitive cycle between the person you used to be and the person you want to be? If you attending my December CEO Fireside, you’re not likely to be surprised by my answer. You need to set S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Setting goals can often feel like writer’s block; the blank page stares up at you and your mind goes dark. By having a guide like the one below, you can alleviate the blank stares and frustration.

If you missed the December CEO Fireside, you can sign up for my January CEO Fireside and watch the December replay as a BONUS. Click HERE to learn more and jump start your S.M.A.R.T. goal planning!


What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Let’s break it down…



Without a distinct vision, path, and benchmarks to hit, you could end up in a different place than where you wanted to be. Like taking a hike or driving across the country, there is a great deal of flexibility in getting from point A to point B, but you should have specific benchmarks in place to assure that you’re on the right road that will lead you to the correct destination.

Break down your goals into specific steps. Define the time needed to complete tasks, how you are the right person to reach the goal, and how achieving the goal will match your efforts.


Having measurable goals allows you to track progress, stay on pace, and bypass the questioning we often place on ourselves. Instead of wondering if the tasks you are performing are helping you achieve the end goal or not, a measurable goal gives you a definitive answer.

A measurable goal should answer the following questions:

  1. How much?
  2. How many?
  3. How will I know when it is accomplished?

Set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) against which you can measure your growth. To develop your own KPIs, start by understanding the basics of your objectives. You can also ask yourself the following questions about each KPI you put in place:

  • What is your desired outcome?
  • Why does this outcome matter?
  • How are you going to measure progress?
  • Who is responsible for the outcome?
  • How will you know you’ve achieved your outcome?
  • How often will you review progress towards the outcome?


If your goals aren’t attainable with the resources you have, you’re setting yourself up for failure! This doesn’t mean you have to be limited by your current world, but rather that you need to understand how to expand enough to achieve a smaller goal and work your way up.

I could unquestionably become a competitive bodybuilder! But if I wanted to grease my muscles up for a national stage competition by December, it isn’t achievable with my current lifestyle, travel schedule, and undying love for Popeyes chicken. Instead, I might decide to become the best new weightlifter at my gym first and compete in a local competition by year’s end. I could break that goal down into feasible steps throughout the year and make it happen.

Take into account as many factors as you can when setting goals that are achievable. How much time can you realistically devote to a new goal? What do you need to learn first in order to make the work more productive? What can you give up to make more time and energy? What are your financial restrictions? (Be careful with this one. As opposed to the other factors, we often underestimate what we can afford. When looking at any our financial commitments to income-producing investments, we shouldn’t lead by stating “I can’t afford that” but rather by asking “HOW can I afford that?”)


We all have a budget of motivation. Some of our budgets are higher than others, but they are finite all the same. When you set your goals too high, you run out of motivation quickly.

How? Instead of telling yourself you’re going to ditch your nightly routine of four hours of TV and a bowl of ice cream in favor of an extra three hours of marketing and one hour at the gym (a noble goal…that may only last a few days), set a more realistic version. Try cutting your TV time in half, making space for one extra hour of marketing and one hour of reading, and trade your ice cream for fruit salad. Once that habit is formed, you can continue to improve. When you start with realistic goals and work up, not only is the task easier, you’re more likely to stick with it.


A dream without a deadline is a dead dream. If you don’t set deadlines for your big goals and for the benchmarks along the way, you’ll find all sorts of other things to fill that time with and your goals will go unachieved.

Start at the end; what do you want to accomplish? Let’s say you haven’t flipped a house yet, and your goal is to get your first one under your belt in the first quarter of 2018. Great! Let’s get you started! It’s absolutely possible to achieve your goal in the time you’ve decided, but since you’ve yet to complete the entire process, you may need to find flexibility in the timing of your goal. If it takes you four or five months instead of three, don’t let that discourage you. Readjust your time-bound goals to best suit your efforts, and strive for improvement.

You should know what you can achieve in one day, what you can accomplish in one week, and how that will add up to make your months, quarters, and your year.

When we set S.M.A.R.T. goals that support our desired outcome, fit into our lives, challenge our growth, and get us what we want in the end, we begin to see opportunity where we once only saw roadblocks. By wisely planning the journey before you, you can press into the work to find that you’re achieving your goals instead of just spinning your wheels. You will begin to trust yourself, set higher goals, and skyrocket both your business and your self-esteem.

If you need someone to share your goals with, leave them in the comments! We’d love to hear what you have in store for 2018, how you’re going to achieve it, and what we can do to help. If you have questions about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals or would like the support of a coach, give us a call at (800) 473-6051 and we’ll get you started in the right direction.

Don’t forget to sign up for January’s CEO Fireside, and happy 2018 planning!

Wishing you a prosperous New Year;

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!

5 Tips for Real Estate Beginners

- - Getting Started

When you’re just starting out in real estate investing, you’re flooded with a blend of emotions; excitement, anticipation, and likely a little trepidation. It can be daunting to realize how much there is to learn. Rest assured, along with the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate, we’re here for you, providing the education, direction, and content you need to get started and thrive on your journey to success.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to start that journey with a few nuggets of wisdom from someone who’s been around the block for a few decades.

Here are 5 of my top tips for beginners, in no particular order.

1. Be educated enough to start, then get a coach to take you to the next level.

You definitely want to know the basics, but once you figure out how simple a lot of this can be, you’ll crave the details where a lot of money is hiding. That’s where a coach comes in. Also, this industry changes constantly. If you don’t stay on top of your market, you could be leaving money on the table. A coach or mentor can help you focus on what works best today, and it’s never too early to have one on your side. If you’re interested in obtaining a coach, let us know by calling 800-533-1622. If you want to see what having a coach could do for your, read our latest success story HERE.

“The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits.” Dan Buettner

For more about associating with the best, read THIS ARTICLE HERE.

2. Start by wholesaling first.

I teach that when you acquire a property, you should have a clear strategy for selling it from the start. First, try to wholesale it. Then, if it doesn’t sell on the wholesale market, fix and retail it. Sell it with owner finance if it sits on the market too long (tying up your capital), and finally rent it out if it’s not moving.

Why sell wholesale first? You can make more by fixing and retailing than wholesaling, right? Well, if you have a steady stream of leads, not only should you have plenty of houses to purchase, but wholesaling will make you quick money. Plus, for a beginner, it’s less daunting to get a few wholesale jobs under your belt, be acquainted with the process, and pocket some income which I believe will fuel your new obsession with success. Once you see how little work goes into wholesaling ($5,000 for 10 hours of work, anyone?*), your confidence will rise. Plus, we all know that mistakes are a part of life, a part of growth, and a part of every business. Take Robert Kiyosaki’s advice; you’re going to make mistakes, so you might as well make them right away when your business is small.

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” John Wooden

If you want to learn more about building your database of wholesalers, READ THIS ARTICLE HERE.

3. Keep your day job.

I want to get you making a supplementary income BEFORE you let go of your regular earnings because I want you to enter into the Circle of Wealth faster. What’s the Circle of Wealth, you ask? CLICK HERE to learn more, but basically, we want to get you to the point of having $250,000 liquid cash as fast as we can so you can then focus on becoming an investor.

4. Be consistent.

At first, you’re going to be obsessed with figuring this business out…at least you should be. The income potential is so great that if you aren’t a little crazy about learning, you don’t truly see the potential. However, once you’ve taken a loan for a spin around the block, you want to make decisions based on numbers and not emotion. If you don’t know the first thing about the numbers, that’s what we’re here for. Try our home study course (call 800-533-1622 for details on this complete at home class) or an event like a Funding Tour or sign up for our email subscription list to stay on top of the webinars we provide and attend my Scratch Paper Chronicles where I break down the numbers in real time on your projects.

Don’t worry! Even if you are feeling emotionally attached to a project, if you want to fund it with COGO Capital, we won’t loan to you unless the numbers make sense. We’ll never fund to you if we know you’ll lose money on a deal because we want you to succeed!

Lack of consistency can bring a lack of interest.

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” Anthony Robbins

5. Even if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing entirely, start marketing anyway!

You do not have a business without generating leads. I hear it every day; people struggle along looking for good deals, and once they figure out how to market themselves, they wonder why they didn’t do it sooner! Market yourself right away, hone your marketing skills (try reading THIS ARTICLE HERE to strategize about how to do this), and remain consistent in your efforts. If you don’t market, you won’t have any deals, and without deals, your business is not much more than a dream and a wish.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

I get it, it’s a lot to learn. Becoming educated can feel like a mountain climbing excursion. But it doesn’t have to! We’d like to help. Our motto is “We get more of what we want by helping you get more of what you want.”

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah Winfrey

We have several Funding Tours fast approaching in Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, and California. 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.

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!

*This is a loose, low estimate based on what my clients and I make on an average deal.

Finding Owners of Vacant Houses

An investor recently asked me on Twitter, “I see vacant houses down the street. How do I find the owner? #asklee”

Whenever you’re driving or riding in a car, bus, uber, or taxi, you should be looking for vacant, boarded up, distressed properties, FSBO (“for sale by owner”) properties, and houses for rent. When you see these house, especially when you target specific areas to know when people are moving in and out, you can capitalize on the potential purchase of a property, but only if you can find who owns it.

Sometimes, it can take some time and effort to find these owners, but once you do, you have a chance that they will be motivated to sell. And that’s great news for you!

Here are a few ways you can uncover the owner of that vacant, distressed house, ready for the real estate pickin’.


Often, you can find this information directly on the internet.

Go to Click on “public records,” then your city and state.


Once you have the address, you can physically go down to the courthouse to find the owner’s name in the public records.


Stop by and knock on some doors. Talk to the neighbors on both sides, in front, and behind until you find someone who knew them. If you can get a name, you can look them up in tax rolls, appraisal districts, in the phone book, or online. Sometimes, they may know where the owner moved or have their phone number.

This can be one of your most beneficial resources because a vacant or distressed home can bring down the value of a neighborhood. When you introduce yourself as an investor looking to fix up and resell the property, you’re more likely to garner cooperation.


Send out two letters, one to the address of the vacant home with the intention that the post office forwards it to the new address. The other, send to the address with the words “Address Service Requested; Do Not Forward” on the envelope.


Check with the utility company to see if the owners set up a new account under the same name. They are not required to give you the address, and often won’t, but you might learn whether they are still in the area or not.


If you have an address but not the name, try using a reverse directory to look up the owner. You can find one quickly online (try or in the reference section at your local library.


Sometimes, the owners or family members of the owner will come back to the property to retrieve something, check on the house, or get the mail they forgot to forward. Leave your information on a flyer, business card, or letter for them to find. If they’re motivated to sell, they’ll reach out.

You see these homes everywhere. Now that you know how to find the owners, there’s no excuse not to reach out. The more you find, the more you contact, the more offers you make, and the closer you are to grabbing that next great deal before someone else does!

I can’t share my best secrets on here, but if you’d like to know more about what to do next, join me for an upcoming FUNDING TOUR or one of our specialty labs. For more, call us at 800-533-1622.

Have a question? Hop over to my Twitter at  @LeeArnoldSystem , follow me, and use the hashtag #asklee, and then check back here often to see if I’ve answered your real estate question.

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!

Don’t Look Without Offering

There are few similarities between purchasing your home (your primary residence) and buying a distressed house with the intent of fixing it and retailing it back into the market.

For instance, when purchasing your own home, you will look at the house before deciding to make an offer. You’re going to make sure it’s a layout you like, and the quality is what you expect.

That isn’t the case when looking at an investment property.

You don’t always get the opportunity to look at a distressed home before buying it. At auction, for example, you may have driven by the property before putting in a bid. But if you find a property on the MLS or made an appointment with the owners, if you have the option to view it, you better be ready to make an offer.


Contrary to popular belief, you don’t get in your car, drive across town to look at a property to determine IF you’re going to buy it or not.

You look at a property to determine the price you’re going to offer! You need to already have numbers on paper of what the property is selling for, what it’s worth after it’s fixed up (the ARV, or After Repair Value), and what the comps in the area are.


“But what if it has mold?” 

Then the price goes down.

“But what if it has fire damage?” 

Then the price goes WAY down.



Sure, if you’re a newcomer and you see a house that you know is way over your head, I’m not saying that you’re locked in just by looking at it. As long as you have leads flowing and more houses lined up, pursue the next one. But you better have an offer ready, even if it’s a low-ball one.

But why?

Looking at a house without the intent to make an offer can kill your productivity.


  1. It’s a waste of your time. Looking at a property without intended commitment isn’t income producing. I can’t tell you how many people are afraid to make an offer because they think their MAO (maximum allowed offer) is too low and they figure the process will be a waste of time. Then, someone else comes along and gets that property for the same amount or less! It doesn’t happen every time, but you don’t know unless you try, and you’re not trying out of fear.


  1. You haven’t given feedback to the owner about what the price should be. If you’re looking at a FSBO (for sale by owner) property and they’re asking too much, your first inclination might be to let someone else burst their bubble. Many homeowners, regardless of whether or not they’re in distress, put an unrealistic price tag on a house from sentimental value alone. If you don’t give them an appropriately priced offer, they may never get any offers, and then they may end up TRULY distressed.


  1. It creates a false sense of accomplishment. If you have to make an appointment, get in the car, drive across town, put on your professional slacks and smiles, and take the time to view a property, you’re going to wipe your brow when it’s over and feel accomplished that you took a step.


I’m all for taking one step after the other, but the work has barely begun. Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet! Take the next step and write the offer!

At first, it can be tricky knowing what to do and what not to do, what to look for, how to write up an offer, how to communicate with a homeowner, etc. You may feel like you need to ease in, like inching forward in the icy water, acclimating with each step.

Jump in!

Not only will you acclimate faster, you’ll make all your mistakes right away (because you WILL make mistakes), and then you can move on to success.

If you want to make less of those mistakes, know what to do, what to say, and how to offer, might I suggest some assistance? If you can’t catch one of our upcoming FUNDING TOURS, try jumping in full force by getting a coach. For more information on what will help launch you forward into making offers faster, call us at 800-533-1622, and we’ll help you figure it out.


Don’t view a property just to see it. See it with the intention of making an offer.

Otherwise, spend your time on things that are income producing.

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!

Attracting Money

It’s easier than you think, and has very little to do with YOU.

What is the #1 thing you need to be successful in Real Estate?

Desire? Well, you need that, but no. Information? Yes, you’re going to want tons of it, but not quite. Connections? It will help, you’re almost there.

You need a DEAL.

Credit, finances, ability, health–none of these are deal breakers. If you don’t have a deal, you don’t have a business.

So, what keeps people from engaging in finding deals?

Fear? Not knowing where a good deal is? No! Those are common objections, but they aren’t the main doubt.

The number one opposition from people is that they think they don’t have the money. You don’t need the money first (READ MORE HERE). You can build relationships with lenders, but truly, you need a deal first, and the money will follow.

So, how do you “attract” the money you need?

For starters, money is not attracted to you. Money doesn’t like you. Money likes opportunity.

In order to attract money, you need to create opportunity.

Money wants to insert itself into a vehicle where it can grow and get fatter.

You don’t necessarily represent that opportunity as an individual, and so it isn’t attracted to you. You can be education,  highly skilled, have contacts. But at the end of the day, you have to have an opportunity. In real estate, which comes in the form of property; what you purchase the property for, what you make it worth through rehabbing, and what you sell it for.

You make your money when you buy. You realize your investment when you sell.

Repeat after me: “I make money when I buy.”

If you don’t buy right, I don’t care how pretty you make a house; you will lose money. You have to analyze the NUMBERS.

We often think “location, location, location.” But, your success is found in “price, price, price!

To determine how much your maximum offer should be on a property, CLICK HERE to read more.

If you’re new, and you still have fears and objections, finding a good deal will seem more daunting than it actually is. But once you get used to running the numbers and making offers, you’ll see them all over the place. Jump in, and learn to swim as you go.

For more on the steps of finding a good deal, why not join us for an upcoming FUNDING TOUR where we will not only show you the details of a good deal, you’ll receive a $250,000 pre-approval letter just for signing up, you know, just in case your objection is STILL that you don’t have the money to put those good deals together.

For more information on our FUNDING TOURS, CLICK HERE or call 800-533-1622.

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!

Helping Distressed Homeowners


People lose their homes. It’s an awful experience for most, and the situation comes with a myriad of emotions. Although you can help turn the situation into a win-win experience, if you don’t know how to properly tackle the sensitivity of the topic, you aren’t going to help anyone.

I recently walked you through the basics of an Equity Deal (to read and watch, click HERE) and the fundamentals of Short Sales (click HERE). To further your understanding of these processes, you need to understand the etiquette necessary when talking to a homeowner in trouble.

Put yourself in their shoes. Many owners who are on the brink of losing their homes are emotional, desperate, and/or in denial. You must be aware of their position and ready to step forward with confidence.

Tips for Working with Troubled Homeowners:

– First, you HAVE to be respectful. Smile and be courteous. Don’t present yourself as a money-hungry investor unless you want a door shut in your face. You are not doing them a favor, and you don’t have the upper hand. This is a win-win situation. If the owner feels you’re taking advantage of their plight, you won’t build any trust.

– Assure them that you will help if they’ll let you. You need to know what you’re doing (If you don’t, let us help you learn CLICK HERE to learn more about events coming up where you can learn the basics). Appearing as a novice investor will not gain trust. Practice with a friend or spouse if you need to, and deliver your polished pitch with professionalism.

– Explain that foreclosure is inevitable, and if they don’t take action now, they will lose their home at auction. But don’t ever threaten or say anything to purposely upset them.

– If they want to tell you their “sad story,” as many will, listen to them. You will likely learn a great deal about the history of the home and the loans associated.

– Be compassionate, sympathetic, and understanding of their situation. There’s no reason to be rude or disrespectful, ever.

– Don’t force the issue. If they aren’t ready or if you didn’t explain things well, leave and try another time.

– Dress business casual. You want them to feel relaxed around you, but know you are competent.


Now that you have some pointers, marry them with this simple process for a winning formula.

1. Contact the homeowner (or respond if they contact you). We’ve talked about how to do this before, but if you still need help getting started, PLUG.

2. Schedule an appointment to discuss in person how you can help, determining their needs and getting the appropriate paperwork signed. If the initial conversation happens on the phone, that’s fine, but express the importance of meeting face-to-face because you need them to sign…

3. Paperwork: You must get a homeowner to sign the proper documentation to begin working with them (each state and lender requires different paperwork, so do your research). Be sure to know what is needed and have it ready to be filled out.

a. Authorization letter: This lender-required document is vital in order to begin working together, stating specifically whom they may release any information to about the loan.

b. Purchase and Sales Agreement: This creates the ability to purchase the property IF the bank accepts the offer, allowing you to be the sole investor with whom the homeowner and bank can do business with. They can be at ease, however, because this document is only valid when the lender agrees to the purchase price or if you offer more than the homeowner owes.


Assure the homeowner that they are not signing their life away and should be comfortable with the process! This is simply a step they must take to get the ball rolling, but for you, it is the goal of the meeting.

Stay tuned, we’ll soon discuss where to meet (and what the pros and cons are of each location) as well as questions to ask them along the way. For now, continue to make contact with homeowners; send out those letters, make those calls, and refresh your ads for maximum exposure!

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

To challenge yourself personally and in your business, CLICK HERE.

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

How Do I Get Approved?


I was recently asked, “Lee, how do I know what a good, fundable deal looks like?” While I’ve spend hours reviewing the numbers to my deals and yours during my Scratch Paper Chronicles, at Lee’s Inner Circle, and during courses and specialty labs, the question is valid because every property is different.

Start with the most important question to ask on any deal: Will there be a good outcome for everyone involved?

If the deal isn’t going to make any money for those involved, it’s probably not going to be approved. But, don’t take a denied loan as defeat. Learn from it so you know what to look for next time.


Common reasons why deals are denied:

  1. The property value is lower than the sales price (or what the owner thought the value would be)
  2. There isn’t enough cash available to do the deal. (funds for downpayment, closing costs or rehab).
  3. The deal won’t make money. We don’t set our investors up for failure!

This is where information is key. Do your research, know what properties are truly worth, check the documentation, know your own financial situation so you’re ready to answer those questions in the loan process. Learn how to avoid pitfalls when scouting for that good deal and how to avoid deals that won’t work within our lending parameters.


Find out the following:

  1. Is the seller motivated?
  2. Does the seller have any equity in the property? If they don’t have any equity, we can’t structure creative financing solutions. It is important to check the title
  3. Is it an unlisted property? Your odds of getting private money funding grow when you find a property that isn’t listed with an agent (and your odds of getting it at a better price are greater because agent-listed properties appear everywhere on the internet! To read more, CLICK HERE).
  4. Is it in an established neighborhood? We are not the company looking to set the standard and create comps in unestablished marketplaces. We need established, area
  5. Is the house the ugliest house on the prettiest street.


If you can answer yes to these questions, get it under contract, and bring it to us to fund. To receive a rate quote by email, visit us at Or, immediately receive a $250,000 pre-approval letter for buying real estate investments by attending one of our Funding Tours.

If you’re ready to learn how to get these leads, how to convert them into opportunities, how to follow up, make offers, and get funded, join us for a Funding Tour or call  800-533-1622 to speak to someone who can help steer you toward the education you need.

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

To read more articles click here.

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!