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.

4 Steps to Securing a Contract

- - Borrowing


Pop quiz!

You’ve found the perfect distressed house to invest in. The owner wants to sell it to you for low enough that after you put the estimated cost of repair in it, there’s plenty of room for profit. What do you do now?

a) Shop for funding.

b) Start a bidding war between lenders.

c) Start demo, the house is as good as yours!

d) Put the property under contract.

It might seem ridiculous when you look at it in multiple choice, but the problem is less than silly because people the wrong choice every day. In fact, this misunderstanding is so common that we have to talk about it again. (Yes, we’ve talked about it before.)

The first and most important part of securing private money is getting a property under contract. The biggest mistake you can make in funding your deals is shopping too early for the money, yet we see it all the time.

As a private money lender, we see this scenario often:

An investor comes to us, excited about an incredible they found. They’ve learned all about the property and are on the hunt for cash. They may know the cash flow possibilities, the prospects of the property, and have done their due diligence, but they are missing the most important element to get the funding channels flowing; they haven’t secured the deal yet.

Without putting the property under contract, they have nothing to go on. No lender worth their salt will entertain the application process on a property that isn’t under contract. Why? Because as long as the property isn’t under contract, it’s up for grabs by anyone and everyone, and any time spend on that property is wasted if the house is snatched up by someone whose priority is getting it under contract.

Then, the once-excited investor is disappointed—dead in the water from the very start—and often gives up trying.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Getting a house under contract is easy with four simple steps.

  • 1. Prospect and review potential properties
  • 2. Write offers
  • 3. Get offers accepted by the seller
  • 4. Put earnest money in escrow to complete the contract.

Once you’ve completed these four steps, you have a fully executed purchase of sale agreement, the property is under contract, and you are READY to shop for cash.

Getting the cash is usually the easiest part. We shepherd you through the loan process and find the lender for you without application fee.  Each successful loan you do with us builds your reputational capital. Once you’ve done one successful deal with us, the next one is even easier and each one after that feel like a piece of cake.

We’re looking forward to working with you on your next loan. Get that property under contract and get ahold of us so we can help accelerate your real estate investment success!

Have a deal under contract? 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!

To Your Success;

Lee A. Arnold


The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing

Follow me on Twitter: @CogoCapital  and @LeeArnoldSystem 

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

Restoration for a Flood Community Done Right

- - Testimonial


Ronald and Chandra Gibson work with “flooded and gutted” homes that run the gamut of issues from mold to rot to health hazards.

Because of the severity of these concerns, Ronald understands and preaches the importance of never cutting corners. He’s built up such a reputation, in fact, that agents seek him out and get deals to him first and appraisers use his houses as comps as he sets the tone for each neighborhood.

Ronald and Chandra ease any misconceptions about the homes previous flooding by always presenting high-quality results. Chandra does the interior design, and although they understand that it often means more money spent, their motto is “If we wouldn’t move into it, we won’t put it on the market.” And with a motto like that, they’ve never had a house sit on the market more than one day. They often reconstruct the interior layouts to make sense and, according to Ronald, “woo people” with their design.

Ronald tries to sell each house before it goes on the market, and has had three pre-sales out of that strategy.

With a full-time job with shell chemicals and three kids–13, 12, and 7 years old–Ronald and his wife, Chandra have found a way to keep their schedules full of restoration projects without sacrificing work and family time to do it.

Recently, they closed two properties with Cogo Capital.

The loan amount for the first property came in at $104,975.00 and after the house sold, Ronald pocketed a healthy $114,520.04.

The loan amount on the other was $159,250.00 and sold for $299,000. After deducting rehab and closing cost, he netted a profit of $67,875.64.

With the advice of his Success Accountability Group coach, Mike, Ronald has had people calling him for help. Recently, he was approached by a fellow investor who got near the finish line with the property only to learn that the mold wasn’t properly taken care of and overtook all the new cabinets, drywall, and finishes. Ronald tries to help by buying out projects that he can, but if the numbers don’t make sense, he can’t always help.

For more on the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate and the Success Accountability Group and coaching, call (800) 473-6051 for information and to start your journey of success today.

He has had a “beautiful experience” working with COGO. “If there have ever been bumps and bruises,” Ronald said, “the COGO staff is quick to clean them up and provide great communication.”

The loan officers walk him through everything as needed. In fact, Ronald and Chandra were recently in the process of purchasing their own home, and the mortgage company needed all sorts of documentation about their investing work.

“Cogo was more than helpful and accommodating with the information we needed.”

In addition to these 2 houses, they have another house they financed through Cogo that Ronald bought for $75,000 that should go for $299,000; a project that is already gutted and he estimates will cost $60-70,000 to fix. Ronald is also managing two smaller projects Cogo financed projects that he bought for $33,000 and $40,000 with a retail price point of about $120,000 each. After renovation costs, he stands to make $30-40,000 on each of those.

His advice? Take action! He often interacts with people who started with the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate at the same time as he did, yet they haven’t moved from where they began. Always trying to move them forward, Ronald wants to see them succeed alongside him and encourages them to press on.

We appreciate his encouragement to others and support Ronald and Chandra in their continued success!

Your Partner is Profit;

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 Faster and Better Loan Process

- - Borrowing

As a full-service Private Money lender for real estate investors, we do most of the leg-work for you. While you build your real estate portfolio, we fund your deals fast. Whether it’s for wholesale, rehab, or buy-and-hold for long-term cash investment deals, COGO Capital delivers fast and easy access to Private Money.

Private money lenders like COGO Capital are just as interested in working with you as you are in working with us! It’s a real estate investor’s symbiotic relationship where both sides stand to gain something from every deal.

In return for interest on our investment, we are entirely capable of bringing speed and efficiency to every transaction. In turn, your leverage with the homeowner increases when you offer to purchase a property with private-cash funds.

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.

Together, we can build a smooth process and a quality experience that will make you money over-and-over again!

Are you ready to start working with private money lender that puts you first? If you are interested in a loan from COGO Capital, call us at (800) 473-6051 to discuss your deal or go to to receive a rate quote. For our latest success stories, click HERE and HERE to read how others are finding, funding, and making money on their deals.

We look forward to funding your real estate 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!

Another Successful Rehab

- - Testimonial

Deepa Quadir-Alam is no rooky when it comes to real estate deals. She brokers them, she has flipped three of them, and she buys and sells them as an agent. The last property she closed with COGO was a home she found herself on the MLS.

With a loan price of $107,250, Deepa finished the project from loan to closing in under six months, pulling from it a profit of $17,500.

This New Jersey home was a smooth job, for the most part. Trouble wasn’t far from the beginning, however, when her first contractor abruptly dropped the job before the scope of work was completed. It proved an insignificant hurdle in the end.

She then hired a new contractor using Lee’s contractor contract was able to stay on COGO’s draw schedule for the project.

After a few projects, she has realized the detailed scope of work changes a little each time, and Deepa gets to know more of what needs to be done each time. She builds upon her knowledge each time, always striving for better.

During the project, Deepa encountered a problem when she discovered that an underground oil tank had been removed before she took possession of the property yet still needed to provide proof to the EPA that it had been safely and properly removed. The document took time to produce a “no action required” letter. The benefit to the snag in her plan was that it bought time to find a new contractor after the first abandoned the project.

The lesson, she said is, “Don’t stress over too many things, it could work out for good.” And her timing worked out well, in the end.

Otherwise, the project ran smoothly. The project was delayed a little because the painters fell behind with the spackling. But again the delay proved a benefit. The comps in the area were suffering and would’ve meant a lower sale price had it not been for a last-minute comp that sold at a high value and saved the price of hers. Any sooner and Deepa would’ve had to sell the home at a lower value. Again, she mentioned the perfection of the timing and the hidden blessing in the delay.

Moving forward, Deepa is closing on an REO now; just waiting for the seller to sign and getting a contractor quote. Deepa sold a house to a friend as an agent, is closing another in October, and is buying one in November. Her future in flipping is ripe for the picking, and her biggest piece of advice is to “Find a good handyman!”

Deepa found her handyman though her contractor, and he saved the day with all the little things at a reasonable price. She maintains a good relationship with her handyman, and he remains accountable to her requests and communicates well.

“Even if you can’t find a good contractor, find a good, insured handyman to do the small jobs, and you’ll stay on schedule.”

To learn more about the products and services Deepa has taken advantage of, including participation in the now-replaced Lee’s Inner Circle and Rehab for Riches, call us at 800-533-1622. If you have a great deal that you’d like COGO Capital to fund, call us at (800) 473-6051 or visit to get a fast quote.

We’re moving to better serve you!

Check out a preview of our new location here:

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.

A Dual-Track Investor with a Promising Future

- - Testimonial


When it comes to hard work, Tyon Robinson doesn’t get discouraged easy. And his positive attitude has served him well in his work and his business, netting him $47,711 on his last project—his first full project he did from start to finish with funding through COGO Capital.

After working with his cousin on several real estate projects, Tyon caught the real estate investing “bug” and learned some of the hands-on skills of handiwork and project management. Branching out and starting his journey has served him well.

He found this property by putting a post on Facebook to advertise for his services as a Certified Private Money Broker. A couple from his church saw the ad and contacted him to meet about lending, but they ended up offering their property for sale, which had been flood damaged.

Tyon secured funding with COGO Capital and got started right away.


The flood damage and the rest of the rehab went smooth, mostly as expected. A challenge arose when they found a hole in the backyard that turned out to be an old septic tank. During an attempt to fill it, the dump truck sunk into the ground and they lost a load of sand and some time. But after some troubleshooting, Tyon was still able to get the sign in the ground on the 45th day after beginning the work. Five days later, he had the house under contract after multiple offers, of which he took the best one of a few hundred over asking price. Once the house was under contract, he had a few FHA items to tighten after inspection, but with a profit of $47,711, the added handiwork was worth it.

Not only that, but Tyon made an added $4,950 brokering the deal as a Certified Private Money Broker. He has brokered ten deals since Mark 2017, following the dual-track investor system of making money on the properties he flips AND making money through the brokering funnel.

As a police officer in Louisiana, Tyon already works 50-60-hour work weeks. But he isn’t in a hurry to walk away from his day job. He likes real estate because he says, “It’s fun, it’s flexible, and I can supplement my income to make better money for my family.” With a 6-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, extra income and flexibility are a must.

Because of his training in Rehab for Riches and being a member of the Success Accountability Group where he received 9 months of 1-on-1 coaching, he stays accountable to his key performance indicators (KPIs) and can track his growth. Tyon has been able to define his project management skills, minimizing his time with each project and maximizing profits. He speaks highly of the Lee Arnold System of Real Estate and his coach saying he was always helpful and informative. Tyon even used the staging list and lessons from Rehab for Riches, moving the items from this home into the one closing next week, attributing his quick sale to an accumulation of the lessons he’s learned.

Moving forward with the help of a few trusted partners (one of which he was introduced to by his Success Accountability Group coach), Tyon has a rental property closing next week with approximately $60,000 in profit. He has another project with about a week of work left to be done on it, closes on a lot next Friday, and closes on a flip next Wednesday on the same street. With several other loans through COGO Capital, Tyon’s business is thriving.

We can’t wait to see what he’ll do next!

To learn more about the education Tyon Robinson received, and to get on your own path to success, call us at 800-533-1622. Click HERE to learn more about a Funding Tour near you and get started on your next project with a $250,000 pre-approval letter for attending.

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 Better Auction Experience

- - Property Evaluation

You’ve done your research (you’ve read THIS article), prepared for an auction, and maybe even attended a few to get a feel of the process and the competition. How can you set up for success when it comes time to put your money where your mouth is?

Let’s talk debt stack, bid strategy, and bidding with other people’s money…

Debt Stack

What is it and how do I use this information to my benefit?

Separate your leads from you we call a “Full Debt Bid” and a “Specified Bid.” When an auction starts, the opening bid is one of the other. But what are they and how to do you determine which one you’re facing?

A “Full Debt Bid” is the same as and “Equity Deal.” The homeowner had equity in the house at the time of the foreclosure, so the opening bid covers the full debt. If the opening bid is $100,000, and you get it for $100,001, you own the property for $100,001.

A “Specified Bid” is an opening bid that does not met the reserve of the debt owed. If the opening bid is $100,000 but the reserve bid is $140,000, and you’re the only bidder at $100,001, you’re NOT going to own the property for $100,001.

How do you know if the opening bid is a “Full Debt Bid” or a “Specified Bid?” You pull out your property information and refer to the debt stack; the unpaid fees, interests, liens, etc. that are lingering with the house. If you’d like to see what a debt stack looks like on any given property, we will go in and pull that for you. They’re $2.50 a piece, which is a no-brainer option when we give you information about a property that could mean the difference between you finding a good deal or not.

Let’s take for example. Their low opening bids advertised online are bogus. They entice you to come to the auction with a super low opening bid but have what’s called a “reserve credit bid.” The amount that the bank has to get. The underlying liens on the house will determine the real opening bid. These bids start low with the hope that the low bid will attract investors to come down and bid it up higher (which usually happens). But if there is underlying debt on a house, the property will go for a lot more than that low bid that enticed you to the sale.

Remember! Full Debt Bid means there is equity in the property, Specified Bid means there are hidden costs that will drive the purchase price higher.

Know the Living Situation Before You Bid

Know if the property is occupied or not.

We always bid higher and more aggressively on an empty property because I buy it, I own it. If a tenant is in the home, there could be a 30 day, 90 day, or even a 180 day eviction period before you can even access the property, not to mention the headaches and legal fees associated with assuring an empty property. Drive by the property before the auction to be sure.

Bid Strategy

“I thought I just placed a bid for the house I wanted until I win? You mean there’s more?”

Let’s say there’s a property I’m willing to bid aggressively on and everyone someone bids up a thousand, I increase the bid by 5k. This is called “Shocking the Bid.”

Let’s say it starts at 100,000 and I open the bid. Someone bids 101,000, so I then bid 105,000. Someone else bids 106,000, so I bump it to 110,000. Then 111,000 is the next bid, and I increase to 115,000. Now, why would I do that? Doesn’t it seem risky, like I would end up paying more than needed?

There are two ways to bid; spiking the bid and chilling the bid. When I bid in chunks of five-thousand dollars, I’m “spiking” the bid with the intention of shock anyone else who is bidding because they might not be ready for it and could back off their own bid.

Why is this an advantage? You are bidding against people who have the same set of numbers that you do (year build, current value, maintenance cost, repair/rehab cost, sales cost, and ARV). This is especially helpful when you know the bid will go a lot higher than the opening anyway (for our example of opening at 100k, let’s say you know it will go for at least 140k because it’s in good shape).

Then, there’s “chilling” the bid, where you bid in smaller increments of around $100.

Why chill the bid? You want to make sure you don’t pay more than you have to (you’re not aggressive, there are tenants, no one else seems particularly interested.)

No matter your strategy—whether spiking the bid or chilling it, you should still always stay within your maximum allowed offer (MAO), or max allowed bid in this case. When you win an auction, you are the person who was willing to work for the least because you can’t sell it for anymore than the person next to you and you can’t get the labor any cheaper than anyone else. So it boils down to who is willing to do the same amount of work for the least payoff, and you don’t want to bid so high that you don’t make a profit at all.

Bidding with My Money

How would you bid if the money wasn’t yours?

Most people just starting out at auction make decisions based on fear. Of course you do, it’s scary to spend so much money when you’ve never done it before. But what if you could bid with someone else’s money? How would that change the way you view the bidding process?

I believe it would, and I’m willing to bed my money on it…


The best advice I could give you about auctions is to not buy houses at them.

“Wait, Lee! You just taught us all about auctions and now you don’t want us to shop them?”

If I can avoid picking up a house at auction, I will and here’s why; if the owner has any equity in the property (Pop quiz! What’s this called when the house goes to auction?…a “Full Debt Bid”), then I will try to purchase that house direct from the owner.

If the opening bid is a full debt bid, then it’s an equity deal and I can go knock on their door before the auction and buy the property straight from the owner at that opening bid, making us both money. (For more on equity bids, CLICK HERE!)

Why? If I want to be the best person in the room, the easiest way to achieve that is by being the ONLY person in the room. If I can make the homeowner an offer before the property goes to auction, I can get the house without being bid up and the homeowner can make a profit they wouldn’t otherwise make by losing the house to foreclosure.

To learn more about Equity deals, CLICK HERE.

“But wait, Lee!” you say. “You didn’t say enough about bidding at auction with money that isn’t mine! How does that work?”

The last Lee’s Inner Circle is in September. The last one. If you want in, this is your last chance. As a bonus, at this event, we are going to set aside funds to help you buy at foreclosure auction. We’ve never done this for a group before, so why are we doing it now? Well, we want to test to see how successful you can be in your own market at auction when you aren’t concerned with the cash. If you’d like auction money to buy properties in your market, contact us to find out how you can have access to that privileged training. This is the first time we are doing this, but like I said, this is the LAST time I’m doing Lee’s Inner Circle and it’s filling up quick. If you’ve been considering it for a while, you’re down to your last opportunity, so don’t make the decision lightly. If you want to attend, I want to get you there. Call us to discuss your options (800) 747-1104.

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!

Why Use Private Money?

- - Borrowing

Welcome to the home of the most creative financing solution available for today’s real estate investor!

What gives us these bragging rights? We evaluate loans based on the assent and not the borrower, making finding capital the easiest part of any real estate transaction. Regardless of your past, if you find a good deal, we want to fund it.

With all the options out there today for financing, you may feel lost and perplexed as to why private financing is a good solution for your real estate needs, so let’s do a deep dive into some reasons you can’t argue.

We can put these into 2 categories; reasons why YOU, the borrower, might want to fund a deal with private money and the reasons why your property wants to be funded by us.

The borrower’s reasons:

  • You need (or want) a quick close
  • You need funds for a short period of time
  • You have weak credit or income documentation

The Property reasons:

  • It needs work
  • It isn’t fundable through conventional financing
  • It has weak income potential in its current state

With the mandates against banks through FDIC–as well as all the other hoops the banks have to jump through–about 50 percent of the properties in the country will never qualify for conventional financing. Because of this, there will always be a place for private money.

Through the recessionary downturns and the tumultuous market, there has never been a situation where we were not lending. That’s the kind of industry that I can get behind. Even though there’s volatility, there’s always opportunity. That’s why I love real estate and mortgage and debt finance.

There are several main differences between conventional/bank finance and private money financing.

I don’t have to tell you this; the time it takes to close with banks is long. For private lenders, of course, we know that there’s commonly a short closing time.

With banks, the borrower needs a healthy credit score, solid credit reading, and strong financial statement. Private lenders don’t care as much if your credit is weak or you don’t have any credit. We ask for a strong asset–a good deal.

Banks, as it relates to the property, need a strong history with an income property. They want the property to be sound, saleable, and in a decent location. Private lenders, however, can accept weak income on property knowing that it probably needs repair. Private money knows that through an investment of capital, you, the competent rehabber, can take that property from where it is and eventually make it qualify for conventional financing.

Most people reading this already know how powerful a tool private money can be. You don’t need me to tell you how beneficial it is to have a private money lender on your side. But, you do need me to remind you that getting the funding you need is not the most important thing. Funding is second, EASY.

Finding the DEAL is where your project starts and getting a property at a good price is how you make a profit. Once you have a good deal, the money will follow, so stop stressing about the money first!

Think you have a good deal? Call us about it! (800) 747-1104. If it’s a good deal, the funding will be easy. And don’t worry, our team won’t let you get into a bad deal because we want to see you make money. If the deal you’re after doesn’t make sense, we’ll tell you.

We have several COGO tools for you to use while you search for that good deal. Check out our Proof of Funds letter (READ MORE HERE), or attend a FUNDING TOUR and receive a $250,000 pre-approval letter for buying real estate investments.

Whatever your reason for needing private money, we want to be your GO-TO lender. Gives us a call and we’ll prove why. (800) 747-1104.

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!

Guessing Game

- - Flipping, Property Evaluation

It may not occur often, but if a home auction is happening with, Marshall & Swift, or another auction group, you may be allowed access to the property before the auction takes place. This can be a true advantage, especially since most trustee sale and sheriff’s auctions will not let you into the house unless you have a realtor key–or if the house just happens to be left unlocked. (Even if that is the case, if someone is living there, do not go on the property!)

If you get to see inside, you can better judge the ballpark rehab costs, watch for red flags, and better estimate your time and investment for that property. But it’s more likely that you won’t get to see inside.

So what do you do if you’re interested in purchasing a property at auction, but you have no idea what you’re getting into?

You can try to look through the windows from the sidewalk, sure, but the easier and more efficient strategy is to understand the type of people who occupy the home.

Go across the street, knock on the neighbor’s door, and say, “Hey, what can you tell me about the people who currently live there?”

Chances are they will unload on you! They’ll tell you everything you never wanted to know, and you’ll have a good idea what condition the home is in.

If you can’t get a neighbor to answer the door, the next best way to estimate the house’s condition is by analyzing the exterior. Generally, the inside will match the outside. So, if you’re staring down a forest of weeds with a cracked walkway and a car without tires in the drive, you can estimate your rehab costs on the high end. If the grass is trimmed and the paint is a little worn, but things seem alright, you’re probably looking at less work inside.

Houses can be like the prize in a cracker jack box–hard to tell from a little shaking. But, even though there is no true science to predicting the interior of auction homes, you will find that you develop a keen, instinctual eye the more you view, bid on, and purchase. Some may surprise you, but understanding the signs of neglect from the outside and knowing who occupies the property can save you a lot of guess work.

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!