“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

Who’s heard that phrase more than once in their lives?? It’s all about Networking. To some, networking is a scary concept, and to others, it’s as easy as breathing. I would consider myself a relatively outgoing person, but I still sometimes get nervous when presented with formal networking opportunities.

The value of networking in business is well known – especially in Real Estate Investing, which is based very much on the relationships you’ve built with other people in the industry. There’s a huge people element to this industry; people often need other people to get deals done, and so it all boils down to who you know that might be able to help you in that particular facet.

Whether it’s knowing Realtors who can let you know about junky properties before they even hit the market, or knowing people with money who want to make money investing in your projects, or even knowing other Investors, who can bring you properties they’ve found, or lend their expertise in a tricky situation you haven’t encountered before – it’s all about knowing who to turn to when you need it.

It has to be a two way street though – you need to be able to bring them value in some way too. Your business will not go very far if it gets around town that you’re all take and no give, or if you burn people in your course of business. The key to longevity is to build solid, long term, mutually beneficial relationships with people in your industry/area/market. But you have to start with meeting each other first, and that’s where networking is key!

You need to put yourself into situations where there are networking opportunities; join your local business industry club, or a professional networking group, or even a group related to your hobbies. It may not come naturally to everyone, but the key is to be relaxed, be yourself, be prepared with short snippets of information about your biz, or your latest project to share with people you meet, and you never know when someone might become a great resource for you and your business – and you for them!

Anne

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What is this creature they call the termite?

Termites. A word that no one likes to see on a property pest inspection report. Thankfully to Real Estate Investors like myself, termites don’t always mean the end of the world, but can add significantly to the costs of a renovation project, so it’s always a good idea to try and budget for them, even before you have the pest report done. They are seen as a bit of an enemy in this industry, so the biologist in me decided to do some more research on these destructive little creatures, to get to know the enemy a little better.

Turns out these little insects are quite social and intelligent. They are considered to be closely related to wood-eating cockroaches, cooperate with each other to take care of their young, and are thought to use sophisticated chemical signalling for communicating with each other. Some species also “farm” a fungi as a food source, within their highly complex dirt mounds. (National Geographic)

They’ve been around for a VERY long time – Apparently some termites also dine on bone from animal carcasses, and evidence of termite activity has been found on dinosaur bones dating back to the Jurassic period. (Wikipedia) Here’s a pic of a termite fossilized in Amber – “Jurassic Park” fans anyone?

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It’s also been found that the work of certain ants and termites upon soil in agricultural applications can help improve crop yields in arid conditions too dry for earthworms, due to the increased water infiltration through their tunnels, and by increasing the supply of soil mineral nitrogen. (Nature)

So I guess termites aren’t all THAT bad overall… It would be great if we could sit down and talk to them, come to an agreement with them: “Hey look, you can live in the crops, but not in our homes. Deal?” But termites will be termites, and for now, the battle between them and man, continues.

Here comes Tax Day! Ugh!

Are you ready for Tax Day on April 15th?? It always seems to creep up on me faster and faster each year.

I used to do my husband’s and my own taxes each year, and before the business and before the baby, we always seemed to owe a ridiculous amount of extra tax each year – no refunds in sight! Even though we didn’t claim any exemptions, apparently our standard withholdings weren’t enough to cover our tax bill. Once we figured out we had to ask our employers to withhold extra each paycheck, we were in better shape, but sometimes, Double Income No Kids was a royal pain in the wallet!!

Now that I have a business, I have a CPA do our taxes because I want to make sure it’s done right, and it’s definitely been well worth the extra cost, as our refunds have been maximized. I highly recommend hiring one yourself – especially if you find yourself stressed & confused at tax time, not sure why you’re owing more money than you’ve already paid. They might be able to find you deductions you didn’t think of.

And having a baby is a bit of a tax benefit too – ironic, really, that our son’s birthday is actually April 15th! That should mean he doesn’t ever have to pay taxes, for life, right??

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the concept of paying taxes. As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is famously quoted as saying; “I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” But in a society that is becoming more and more privatized, you do begin to wonder where all the taxes you’re paying go? I do miss getting health care as part of paying taxes, as you do in Australia. But I guess I will have to settle for — well, what is it that my taxes buy me?? Apparently nationalpriorities.org can break it down for you, if you like. Pretty neat!

Well, for all of you that don’t have your taxes done yet – get on it! – and those of you that have finished them, well done, you get a gold star 🙂

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Our Next Project?

Could this be our next project?? I am excited to announce that we, Pageburn Properties, LLC, are currently in escrow on a property in Morro Bay, California!

It’s an adorable little 1030 sq ft bungalow with a splash of ocean view from almost every room in the house. It’s currently rented out, so I can’t show you too many before photos yet, but if all goes according to plan, we should be able to start work on it within a few months – so watch this space!

MLS1 - CopyWe wish you and your families a very happy and safe Easter!

Anne