A Publication of Diversified Real Estate Investor Group May 2015 THIS MONTH: BROCHURE PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Phila, PA Permit No. 5634 “SO YOU WANT TO BE A PRIVATE LENDER” with Steve Lloyd Housing Discrimination – Are You Guilty? Email Etiquette – 8 Tips To Make Your Emails Shine! Philly Future Looking To Grads To “Stick Around”! Street Smarts | Liberty has it K eeping insurance policies current on a schedule of tenant-occupied housing can be a problem. Especially if a problem comes up at one of your locations when coverage has lapsed. That’s why so many of Philadelphia’s most successful investors in residential real estate rely on Liberty Insurance Brokers. The proprietary software program we’ve developed keeps track of every location, every new purchase, every deleted property. Plus coverages for all locations are on the same policy. Simply fax or e-mail changes in your schedule and they’ll be prorated on an annual basis. With Liberty’s program in place, no insurance policy can ever lapse. All our carriers are rated “excellent,” and we solicit a number of quotes. If your building is well maintained and has a favorable loss record, our quote will be extremely competitive. If it has had claim frequency or severity, we’ll find you coverage when others can’t. Flat roofs ... vacant locations ... properties in rehab. With over 20 years in the Philadelphia habitation market, we know the neighborhoods, we know the blocks, we know the housing. Insuring Philadelphia’s tenant-occupied housing since 1982 Scott Z. Engel President HAPCO Board Member Member of AAGP, DIG and Manayunk Development Corp. LIBERTY INSURANCE BROKERS In the heart of Manayunk 10 Shurs Lane, Suite 104 P.O. Box 4684 Philadelphia, PA 19127 215-829-1776 FAX: 215-509 BELL (2355) In This Issue >> BIOGRAPHY – | 7 Steve Lloyd 8|Legislative News 20|The Market News 20|Communications 11|Upcoming Events 13|DIG Subgroups 17|The New Marketplace 21|Winter Cruise 2016 Diversified Investor 3 Meet The Team >> Association Directors President 1st Vice-President 2nd Vice-President Treasurer Secretary Frank Nestore Jon Owens Stephanie Pappas Raymond Lemire Don Rotanz DIG Office Hours Mon - Friday 9am - Noon P.O Box 55 Line Lexington, PA 18932 Phone: 215-712-2525 Email: [email protected] Visit us at: Diversified Real Estate Investor Group is the leading regional association for Real Estate Investors in the Metropolitan Philadelphia/ Delaware Valley Area. DIG is a National REIA Chapter whose area includes the PA counties of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Philadelphia and surrounding counties in South Jersey and Delaware. We have been serving this area since 1978. DIG Disclaimer: www.digonline.org www.diganswerline.org Committee Members Advertising/Marketplace Elaine Kochanski Benefits Stephanie Pappas Education/Programs Don Beck Facilities/AV/CD Sales Jon Owens Membership Stephanie Pappas Technology Scott Redilla PROA Representative Michael Mumma Speakers Raymond Lemire Sub-group Coordinator Don Rotanz Vendors Stephanie Pappas Volunteer Coordinator Tom Gilles Diversified Investor Group recognizes that many opportunities are presented to its members and guests. As an individual, it is your responsibility to investigate, and verify, the validity of these opportunities, and consult with a professional, such as your Attorney or Accountant, before investing, as it is possible to lose money investing in real estate. DIG neither sponsors nor recommends any offering made to or by its membership or vendors. Diversified Investor Group is not responsible or liable for the performance or offering or the accuracy of any information presented. Monthly Meeting >> What Happens at a DIG Meeting? General Meeting: 6:00 – 9:00 PM Orientation: 6:00pm Are you new to DIG and the real estate investing world? Are you looking for some direction on what you need to do to get started? Do you want to learn all about what DIG has to offer and get your investing career on the right track? This is the place for you! Orientation will start at 6:00 pm, and at 20 minute intervals until 7pm. At your orientation, you will receive a brief overview of DIG and all it has to offer, and an opportunity to ask questions from some of DIG’s Investors! Roundgroups: 6:00 – 7:00 PM Real Estate Law, Getting Started, and various other topics, such as Landlording, Foreclosures, Rehabs, Shore Rentals, Note Buying, and many other real estate topics in a Q & A format moderated by a DIG member expert. This months Roundgroups: Real Estate Law; What Are You Waiting For? / Getting Started Mortgage Money Magic / Paper DIG Marketplace The DIG Marketplace is an opportunity for DIG members who have real estate to sell. Listings can be written up at the meetings and will be printed in the next several DIG newsletters. Even if your property is currently listed with a real estate broker, the exposure to over 1100 serious investors each month can be a better sales opportunity. Open Forum: 7:00 – 7:30 PM BUY-SELL-TRADE HAS COME TO DIG! Enables DIG members to bring deals to the meeting and have them presented in front of the entire DIG membership! Visit the Buy-Sell-Trade page on the website (DIGONLINE.org), for more information and to download the Buy-Sell-Trade form which you can submit to: [email protected] Speaker: Steve Lloyd – “So You Want To Be a Private Lender” 7:30 – 9:00 PM Date Thursday May 28, 2015 Place Williamson’s Banquet And Event Center 500 Blair Mill Road Horsham, PA 19044 Time 6pm Discussion Groups 7pm Open Session 7:30 - 9pm Speaker Diversified Investor 5 Novak Financial, Inc. PRIVATE MONEY LENDING Novak Financial, Inc. is a private money lender specializing in Investor Renovation and Construction projects as well as development and commercial purposes. We provide financing up to 65% of the after repair value. Novak Financial, Inc. provides financing for both seasoned investors as well as first time investors. We have over 20 years of experience and pride ourselves in being up-front and honest with all borrowers so they may maximize their profit margins. Michael D. Novak [email protected] office 443-738-1614 mobile 410-979-1014 fax 443-738-1615 Novak Financial, Inc. looks forward to working with you! www.NovakFinancialInc.com LAW OFFICES OF H. JEFFREY BRAHIN REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY Feeling OVERWHELMED Rentals? COMMERCIAL and RESIDENTIAL • LEASING • ACQUISITION and SALES • FINANCING • LITIGATION • LANDLORD-TENANT ISSUES • MECHANIC’S LIENS • COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BROKER LIEN ACT • ENTITY FORMATION • RESPA • FORECLOSURE PROSECUTION and DEFENSE • CASPA About How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing? Our firm is founded on the principle that the highest quality legal services can be delivered more cost effectively by a smaller firm, with greater personal attention to our clients goals. als? Wholesaling? Flips? Rentals? H. JEFFREY BRAHIN, ESQUIRE Relax! Help is just a Phone: (215) 348-3500 phone call away! Facsimile: (215) 345-1014 www.brahinlaw.com 1. Affordable & Convenient [email protected] Funding? one-hour per week, 4 Week Individual Coaching Program for Investors DOYLESTOWN 37 North Hamilton Street Doylestown, PA 18901-3616 PHILADELPHIA 2. Coaching Partner & Funding for Your Rehab 1600 Market Street, Suite 2500 PA 19103-7225 3.Philadelphia, Professional Rehab Design & Consultation 4. Listing and Staging Services for Your Flips 5. Business Consultation & Coaching for your personal life or business Call Kathy Gilmore today to schedule your FREE 30 Min. Phone Consultation! WHO Can Help Me Sort it Out? Kathy is an Experienced Rehabber, Designer, Certified Business & Life Coach, Realtor & 12 yr. DIG Member 267-385-7248 ~ [email protected] www.reallifecoachingsite.com Biography >> Steve Lloyd Overview Steve is well-known for his abilities to identify real estate market opportunities, and he is recognized as an expert in raising and investing private capital for his own company’s use. Steve knows the value of using leverage and creating passive residual income, which he builds primarily through purchasing distressed real estate funded through private capital. At the end of 2013, Steve’s portfolio was valued at about $25 million in real estate and mortgage assets. Current Activities Through his company Stone Bay Holdings LLC, Steve purchases residential second mortgages/ deeds of trusts. He purchases nationally on industry recognized trade platforms and directly within the banking community. He acquires second lien residential mortgage notes at a discount, shares the discount with the borrower and creates unique workout plans with clear exit strategies. Mr. Lloyd is a Founder and Managing Partner of several real estate development companies. He is responsible for investor relations, specifically securing capital from private sources for placement into acquisition, rehab, and development activities. Steve directs corporate accounting systems and represents these companies at local and regional real estate events. Background In 2006, Steve was a co-founder of Partners for Payment Relief LLC (PPR), a non-performing note company. This company specializes in buying nonperforming second position mortgages throughout the United States. PPR buys distressed mortgages in bulk and then works them back to re-performing or performing status by working closely with the homeowner in a respectful, compassionate way. Their business philosophy is simple: work with the homeowner to develop a strategy that enables them to keep their home while satisfying their obligations. Also, in 2006, Steve founded and became the managing partner of an integrated real estate development company engaged in the strategic acquisition and development of residential properties. Their company has multiple capabilities, including general contracting, real estate sourcing, financing, development, leasing, and disposition. Steve and his partners have created an organization dedicated to adding quality and value to student housing in the communities surrounding Temple University. They create equity through innovative rehabilitation and management practices, while delivering superior consistent results to its clients and investors. In 2003, Steve created Aurora Marketing, a firm that specialized in mortgage industry advertising and sales. While with Aurora, Steve discovered his passion for educating potential real estate investors and began a series of public speaking engagements. In 2004, he co-founded the Real Estate Networking Group (“RING”). He spoke monthly at the Montgomery County Investment Group (“MCIG”) which he co-founded in 2005. In addition to RING and MCIG, he is a member of the South Jersey Investment Group (“SJI”) and the Diversified Investment Group (“DIG”). Currently he can be found speaking in various venues on the topic of raising private money, and he often speaks at CAMA Plan, a self-directed IRA company. Vision Steve continues to build and develop real estate and his note portfolio through a growing network of private investors. He regularly shares his real estate and private lending experiences. He enjoys teaching others how to recognize and achieve their dreams through building a passive residual life. Diversified Investor 7 Legislative News >> Housing Discrimination Prohibited by Federal Laws by: Marcia Stewart With the Spring market in full swing many of us are looking to fill vacancies in our rental units. Here is a reminder of the federal Fair housing laws to keep you out of trouble! Federal law prohibits discrimination based on many factors, including race, religion, national origin, familial status, disability, and sex. The federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the federal Fair Housing Act Amendments Act of 1988 prohibit discrimination on the basis of the following criteria (called “protected categories”): race or color; religion; national origin; familial status or age—includes families with children under the age of 18 and pregnant women; disability or handicap, or sex. The federal Fair Housing Acts apply to all aspects of the landlord-tenant relationship. A landlord may not: • advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, religion, or any other protected category • falsely deny that a rental unit is available •set more restrictive standards for selecting tenants or refuse to rent to members of certain groups just as much as the one who announces that none need apply. And an apartment ad that says “safe Christian community” violates federal law, since applicants might reasonably conclude that Christians are preferred as tenants. National Origin Discrimination based on national origin is illegal, whether it’s deliberate or carried out indirectly. For instance, an ad that offers special discounts to members of the Italian-American Club would be a likely candidate for a discrimination charge. And landlords cannot require proof of citizenship or immigration papers from applicants of one ethnicity but not from others, since doing so places a burden on one group that is not imposed on everyone else. And in California, it’s illegal to ask any applicant or tenant about immigration or citizenship status. Familial Status or Age Landlords are not allowed to explicitly or indirectly turn you away based on your family status or your age. Discrimination Against Families Race or Religion While some landlords don’t like renting to tenants with children, fearing the noise and wear and tear that kids might cause, the federal Fair Housing Acts prohibit discriminating on this basis. A landlord may not legally turn away or evict a tenant because he or she has children or because an applicant or tenant is pregnant. Even if the landlord has a worthy motive, such as believing that children won’t be safe in the building or the neighborhood, it is illegal to deny the tenancy on that basis or to make other discriminatory moves such as steering families to certain parts of the property (usually the back). Overt discrimination against persons of a certain race or religion (“No blacks allowed”) is unusual but, incredibly, does still occur. Far more common is subtle discrimination that is accomplished by indirect methods. For example, the landlord who turns away every black applicant is discriminating Some landlords try to get around the laws prohibiting discrimination against families by setting unreasonably low occupancy limits, such as only two people for a two-bedroom unit. This too is illegal, as it has the effect of excluding families. Federal law (in this case, an opinion letter written • before or during the tenancy, set different terms, conditions, or privileges for rental of a dwelling unit, such as requiring larger deposits of some tenants or adopting an inconsistent policy of responding to late rent payments • terminate a tenancy for a discriminatory reason. Federal antidiscrimination laws are admininstered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). (Continued on next page) 8 Diversified Investor Legislative News >> Housing Discrimination Prohibited cont. by the Department of Housing and Urban Development) has established minimum occupancy standards that regulate how low an occupancy can go and still be legal. In general, landlords must allow at least two persons per bedroom. Landlords can be more restrictive only in rare instances, when they can show that legitimate business reasons justify a more restrictive standard. For example, a policy of only three persons in a two-bedroom unit might pass muster if the landlord can prove it is truly based on the limitations of the plumbing system or some other aspect of the building’s infrastructure. • have a history or record of such a disability, or Age Discrimination Discriminatory Questions and Actions The federal Fair Housing Acts do not expressly ban discrimination based on age. Nevertheless, it is definitely forbidden under the broader prohibition against discrimination on the basis of familial status. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to an older person or impose special terms and conditions on the tenancy unless these same standards are applied to everyone else. If you have excellent references and credit history, a landlord has no legal basis for refusing you, even if you are 85 and rely to some degree on the regular assistance of a nearby adult child or friend. (Of course, a landlord could legally give the rental to someone else with equal or better references or financial stability.) However, if your current landlord reveals that you suffer from advanced senility to the point that you often wander into the wrong apartment, frequently forget to pay the rent, or are unable to undertake basic housekeeping chores, the prospective landlord can refuse to rent to you based on this age-neutral evidence that you are not likely to be a stable, reliable tenant. Disability Federal law prohibits discrimination against people who: • have a physical or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities—including, but not limited to, hearing, mobility and visual impairments; chronic alcoholism (but only if it is being addressed through a recovery program); mental illness; mental retardation; being HIV-positive, having AIDS or AIDS-Related Complex • are regarded by others to have such a disability. Mental or Emotional Impairments If you had, have, or appear to have mental or emotional impairments, you must be evaluated and treated by the landlord on the basis of your financial stability and history as a tenant, not on the basis of your mental health. If you cannot meet the good-tenant criteria that the landlord applies to all applicants (such as a minimum rent-to-income ratio), you may be rejected on that basis. Landlords are not allowed to ask you whether you have a disability or illness, or ask to see medical records. And no matter how well intentioned, the landlord cannot make decisions about where and how you will live on the property that he would not make were you not disabled. For example, if there are two units for rent—one on the ground floor and one three stories up—the landlord must show both units to a wheelchair-bound applicant unless the applicant asks to see only one. The Rights of Disabled Tenants to Live in an Accessible Place Federal law protects disabled tenants after they have moved into a rental unit as well as during the application process. Landlords must reasonably accommodate the needs of disabled tenants, at the landlord’s own expense. This means that a disabled tenant can expect the landlord to adjust rules, procedures, or services to a reasonable degree in order to provide an equal opportunity to use and enjoy her dwelling unit or a common space. Examples include providing a parking space for a movement-impaired tenant and accepting a guide or service animal in an otherwise “no pets” building. However, landlords need not undertake changes that would seriously impair their ability to run their business, such as installing an elevator to the third floor to accommodate a wheelchair-bound tenant’s wish to live there. Fortunately, where a landlord’s legal duty to reasonably accommodate the needs of a disabled tenant ends, his obligation to allow the tenant to (Continued on page 19) Diversified Investor 9 Upcoming Events >> 2015 May 28 STEVE LLOYD SO YOU WANT TO BE A PRIVATE LENDER June 13 PHILADELPHIA REHAB TOUR July 30 SPEED NETWORKING August 27 ANNUAL TRADE SHOW Diversified Investor 11 DO BUSINESS WITH YOUR FELLOW DIG MEMBERS! PARENT COMPANY OF PRINT ’N COPY & • • • • • Offset & Raised Printing Full Color Printing Layout & Design Xerox Hi-Speed Copying Complete Mailing Services GRAPHIC IMAGES I N C. 10300 Drummond Road Philadelphia, PA 19154 215.728.8600 Fax 215.342.8133 printncopy.com JOHN J. HEPNER (215) 672-7150 HEPNER & ASSOCIATES Accountants Small Businesses & Taxes & Real Estate PO Box 1163 Willow Grove, PA 19090 LAW OFFICE OF BONNIE G. OSTROFSKY, P.C. 1417 BETHLEHEM PIKE FLOURTOWN, PA 19031-1904 (215) 233-5344 FAX (215) 233-1797 E-MAIL [email protected] HTTP://BGOLAW.COM CONCENTRATING IN: • ELDER LAW • REAL ESTATE LAW • BUSINESS LAW • ESTATE PLANNING, WILLS & TRUSTS YOUR AD COULD APPEAR HERE CALL ELAINE 215-712-2525 DIVERSE TECHNICAL LINES, INC. Employee Benefit Consultants Agents for AssociAtion And chAmber of commerce group insurAnce plAns TradiTional, PPo, PoS and HMo Medical PlanS PrescriPtion Plans • Dental Plans GrouP life and diSabiliTy PlanS 2 Red BaRn Mall • 120 S. YoRk Road HatBoRo, Pa 19040 (215) 674-9400 • (800) 734-9400 DIG Subgroups >> Monthly Meetings Bucks & Montgomery County BuxMont Breakfast Subgroup Meets the 2nd Thursday at 8:30am at Zoto’s Diner, 1100 Bethlehem Pk, Line Lexington 18932. RSVP required. Contact Dina Robinson at [email protected] Rehabbers Subgroup Meets the 3rd Wednesday at 9:00am at Michael’s Restaurant, 709 Bethlehem Pk, Montgmeryville 18936. Contact Don Rotanz at [email protected] Vacation Rental Subgroup Meets the 2nd Wednesday in odd numbered months at 6:30pm at Otto’s Brauhaus, 233 Easton Rd, Horsham, 19044 Contact Susan/Larry Cerrito at [email protected] No meeting in July and August Lower Bucks Sub-Group Meets the 2nd Tuesday at 6:30pm at Kenny’s Eatery, 1134 St. Rd, Southampton, PA 18966 for dinner and networking. Contact Robin Laufer at [email protected] No meeting in August Central Bucks Subgroup Meets the 1st Monday at 6:30pm at Bertucci’s Restaurant, 855 Easton Road Warrington, PA 18976. Contact Mardi Harrison at [email protected] No meeting in July and August Ron LeGrand Focus Group Meets the 1st Wednesday at 9:00am at Dublin Diner, Route 313, Dublin, PA 18917. Contact Tom & Cyndy at [email protected] Flipping Properties Through Paper Meets the 2nd Tuesday at 6:30 at Arnold’s Entertainment Center, V2200 West Drive, 422 Business Center, Oaks, PA 19456. Contact Bob Stillman, [email protected] Delaware County Delaware County Sub-Group Meets the 1st Wednesday at 6:30pm at Casey’s Pub, 3529 W. Chester Pk, Newtown Sq. 19073. Contact Deb Nye at [email protected] No meeting in July and August Chester & Lehigh County Chester County Sub-Group Meets the 1st Thursday at 7pm, W Chester Diner, 1147 W Chester Pike, W.Chester 19382. Contact Bill Kratz at [email protected] No meeting in July and August Chester/Montgomery Subgroup Meets the 2nd Wednesday at 7:00pm at Champps, 51 Town Center Dr, Collegeville, PA 19426. Contact Anil Dham at [email protected] There may be an $8 charge per attendee. No meeting in July and August Lehigh Valley Sub Group Group meets the second Thursday of every month. 6:30-8:00 PM. Please contact Jon Emery at [email protected] or Charlie Hunsicker at [email protected] to RSVP to be sure there is space and to find out if there are any charges to attend this meeting. Superior Restaurant, 102 Main Street, Emmaus, PA 18049 No meeting in July and August Philadelphia Philadelphia Sub Group Meets the 3rd Tuesday at 7:00pm at Gearo’s 1913 Welsh Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19115. Contact Joe Thomas at [email protected] Manayunk Sub-Group Meets the 4th Tuesday at 6:30pm at Manayunk Brew Pub 4120 Main St., Philadelphia 19127. Contact Mike DeNoia at [email protected] Phila Commercial Sub-Group Meets the 1st Tuesday at 6:30pm at London Grill, 2301 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA. Contact Tim Javan at [email protected] No meeting in July and August Phila Breakfast Sub-Group Meets every Friday at 8:00am at Darlings Diner, 1033N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Contact Joe Scorese at [email protected] No meeting July 4th Philly Riverwards Sub-group Meets the 3rd Wednesday at 6:00pm at Johnny Utah’s, 461 N 3rd St,, Phila, PA 19123 Contact Joe Scorese at [email protected] South Philly Sub-group Meets the 4th Monday at 6:30 PM at Famous Dave’s 1936 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd, Phila, PA 19148 Contact Joe Scorese at [email protected] University City Subgroup Meets the 3rd Monday* of the Month at 6:30 PM at Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, 200 S. 40th Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 10104. Contact Joe Scorese [email protected] MonumentBankPA.com DIG Women’s Subgroup Meets the 2nd Monday at 6:30 PM at the London Grill, 2301 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130. Contact Eleena de Lisser at [email protected] Delaware State Delaware Subgroup Meets the 3rd Thursday at Big Fish Grill, Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, PA 19342 Contact Nadia Sherif at [email protected] NEW GROUPS WELCOME Want a great way to network? Join a subgroup near you! This is a great way to meet new people and talk about issues that pertain to your area of investing. No group in your area? Why not start one! If you are interested in starting a new group send an email to [email protected] Diversified Investor 13 DIG VENDOR SPOTLIGHT Please patronize our DIG vendors for the best in service and pricing. NEW VENDORS WANTED ADVERTISE HERE! TILE GALLERY Ceramic Porcelain Kevin Maier 1600 Woodhaven Drive Bensalem, PA 19020 215-638-4130 Fax 215-639-4626 email: [email protected] cell: 215-237-2511 Stone Glass DIG VENDOR SPOTLIGHT Please patronize our DIG vendors for the best in service and pricing. Professional Home Staging & Interior Redesign 4887 Church Road [email protected] Doylestown PA 18902 www.StageCoachServices.com Phone: 267-544-9937 Cell: 267-221-1569 List on the MLS for $289 Buying A House Soon? ------------------------------ Broker / Owner Cell: (610) 574-7224 Email: [email protected] Professional Home Staging & Interior Redesign Call NOW For Details! Limited to the first two callers per month! DIG members get a $50 discount ! Use coupon code - DIG 4887 Church Road [email protected] Doylestown PA 18902 www.StageCoachServices.com Phone: 267-544-9937 Cell: 267-221-1569 Charles E. Gerhard IV “The Finest in Appliances & Service” GLENSIDE 290 Keswick Avenue Glenside, PA 19038 Tel 215-884-8650 ext. 130 [email protected] www.gerhardsappliance.com Professional Home Staging & Interior Redesign 4887 Church Road [email protected] Doylestown PA 18902 www.StageCoachServices.com Phone: 267-544-9937 Cell: 267-221-1569 Professional Home Staging & Interior Redesign 4887 Church Road [email protected] Doylestown PA 18902 www.StageCoachServices.com NEW VENDORS WANTED ADVERTISE HERE! Phone: 267-544-9937 Cell: 267-221-1569 Professional Home Staging & Interior Redesign 4887 Church Road Doylestown PA 18902 [email protected] Phone: 267-544-9937 R.I.P. To “The Real Estate Soldier”…Gone But Not Forgotten! Bill Kratz aka “The Real Estate Soldier” Reporting Live From An Underground Bunker In An Undisclosed Location: 2008 - 2015 It saddens me to be the bearer of bad news; but, the Real Estate Soldier is being put to rest! Good news is Bill Kratz is still alive and well!! After much careful thought and consideration I felt that it was time to refocus, rebrand, rename, rethink, and reinvent the way consumers transact business with a Real Estate Brokerage. The real estate industry has changed tremendously with the introduction of technologies such as the internet, smart phones, tablets, apps, and digital photography to name a few. Buyers, sellers, and brokers alike now have tools at their disposal like never before to assist in the buying and selling process. The one thing that has not changed however, is the way traditional, “one trick pony” Real Estate Brokerages conduct business and the fees they charge for services. A change is coming and I am leading the way into the future… The archaic 6% model will soon be like travel agencies who failed to innovate. Think about what Netflix did to Blockbuster. Think about what the Uber app is doing to the cab industry. Think about how social media is changing the news industry. To paint the picture for you real estate investors, the current industry is outdated like wood paneling is. What flipper in their right mind would hang wood paneling in 2015!? For better or worse, technology has changed tons of industries and the ones who fail to innovate will forever rest in peace. The Real Estate Industry as we know it will suffer the same fate if the industry leaders and professionals in it don’t come clean and face the facts: technology has decreased the agent workload and has empowered the consumer with information but the savings have NOT been shared. I am starting a revolution…From this underground bunker, I have spent countless hours on innovative thinking, researching, developing, and now currently test driving an entirely new business model for DIG members and the general public to buy and sell houses. Many of you know that I have been offering flat fee limited service listings, buyer rebates, and discounted full service listings. I will continue to do so from a greater platform. My new model debunks the myth that if you pay less than 6% to sell a house you are entering into a “Get What You Pay For” scenario. The label of “Discount Broker” will be replaced with “Innovative, Forward Thinking, much needed full service Broker that caters to the individual needs of the customer and shares the savings instead of greedily hoarding it”. Investors, you work entirely too hard, invest too much money, and take too much risk, to continue drinking the Kool-Aid that is costing you THOUSANDS on each and every transaction. You are way too intelligent to let this self-serving industry continue to pull the wool over your eyes. You investor guys and gals out of every other consumer, should be the first to recognize and gravitate to the revolution that I am heading. You can get the same results for a lot less!! My new company is consumer friendly, NOT industry friendly. My new company will utilize technology, work smart to keep overhead low, be very profitable, and at the same time be able to share the savings with our customers. What I am asking for is your help. It all starts with mindset. You must be willing to adapt and try new things. You must stop drinking the KoolAid that you will “Get What You Pay For”. You must replace cynical skepticism with an open minded willingness to explore. Winston Churchill said it best: “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Walk with me in this pursuit of perfection. I am asking for your patronage and support. I am asking you to pay it forward and spread the word once you witness the results and money you save. Every revolution needs believers and supporters. Give us a try. I will GUARANTEE you savings without sacrificing SUPERIOR SERVICE. –Bill Kratz 610.574.7224 Stay tuned for the next newsletter for a VERY SPECIAL & INSANE OFFER…The Revolution WILL be televised! The New Marketplace >> Properties for Sale 1754 N. Taney Street 1306 N. 60th Street 689 Tyson Avenue 17XX Scattergood Street 2XXX Lisa Drive 302 Centre Avenue 524 W. York Street 363 N. 12th Street 571 S. 15 ½ Street 523 S. 18 ½ Street 47 Wexford Drive 1XXX Pheasant Road 3XXX Pulaski Avenue 6241 Callowhill Street 113 Fulmer Road 14532 St. Georges Hill Dr. 8XXX Bennett Street Multi Unit Temple U. area 1519 W. Westmoreland Street 263 Pinewood Drive 225 E. Wildwood Street 311 S. 4th Street Duplex – Fritztown Road 213 E. Jacoby Street Duplex 517 S. 17 ½ Street 928 N. 11th Street 1731 Thorn Street 711 Ferry Street 341 N. 14th Street 503 Vernon Road 8216 Fayette Street 4730 Marple Street 36 Runnemede Avenue 45 Runnemede Avenue 47 Runnemede Avenue 109 W. 5th Street 1051 Ferry Street, 3 unit Brewerytown, Phila. $ 23,500 Philadelphia $ 38,500 Glenside $200,000 Philadelphia $ 59,900 Warrington $210,000 Norristown $ 75,000 Philadelphia $ 49,000 Reading $ 49,000 Reading $ 44,900 Reading $ 75,000 North Wales $ 99,000obo Rydal $410,000 Philadelphia $ 25,000 Philadelphia $ 65,000 Perkiomenville $350,000 Orlando, FL $235,000 Wilmington, DE $147,000obo Philadelphia $275,000 Philadelphia $179,900 Levittown $130,000 Wildwood, NJ $ 49,000 Darby $ 47,000 Sinking Spring $179,900 Norristown $149,900obo Reading $ 40,000 Reading $ 56,000 Reading $ 50,000 Easton $ 26,000 Allentown $ 41,000 Mt. Airy $150,000 Mt. Airy $150,000 Philadelphia $ 65,000 Lansdowne $299,000 Lansdowne $225,000 Lansdowne $225,000 Bridgeport $139,900obo Easton $150,000 3 Bedroom wholesale215-939-5149 Large wholesale for rehab or rent215-939-5149 3BR/2.5BA; new heat & CA; $1400 rent215-887-1109 3BR/1BA; walkout bsmt; cosmetics needed215-820-9451 Duplex, 2/1 each; $1626 rent610-705-5836 Just rehabbed; not rented yet610-705-5836 5BR/1BA investor special646-207-7958 2BR/1BA & 1BR/1BA Duplex; $1200 rent215-896-6054 3BR/1BA completely rehabbed; $803 last rent215-896-6054 6BR/1BA Victorian single; fenced yard, $876 rent215-896-6054 1/1 Condo; SAVE $$ NOW before I go retail215-421-3654 7BR/6BA; needs +$100K rehab; ARV $600-700K215-971-9353 3BR/1.5BA; needs rehab; $800-900 avg. rent215-971-9353 3BR/1BA; last rented $750.00215-477-1906 Quadriplex; $2700./ month income215-527-1503 Gated golf community; rented for $1450.215-527-1503 8 condos; 5 occupied; $10K rehab to finish215-833-5083 Student occupied; $42K gross rent215-440-8345 10 CAP Triplex; next to TU Hospital; 100% occup215-518-6906 1K SF Levittowner; 3/1; needs rehab; ARV $208K267-560-2978 CondoTel Type A Efficiency215-896-6054 5BR/1.5BA; Needs rehab215-219-4284 Two 3 BR units, sep. utilities; 2 car gar., $1820/mo610-662-6116 Two 4BR/1BA units; +$2K/mo.; rehab 10 yrs. ago 610-425-8660 3BR/1BA rent ready; prev. rent $650.; Managed610-574-4609 5BR/1BA rent ready; prev. rent $750.; Managed610-574-4609 5BR/1BA rented @ $775./mo; Managed610-574-4609 3/2; 1600 SF; needs inside remodel; $80K ARV484-241-8583 3/1; good cond; minor updating; $70K ARV484-241-8583 3BR/1.5BA; updated kitchen & bath; move-in 267-408-3868 3BR/1.5BA; rented @ $1078/mo.267-408-3868 No money down; Owner finance $15K first215-579-2231 Solid 3 unit turnkey, MLS #5853519610-656-7087 Solid 3 unit turnkey, MLS #5853524610-656-7087 Solid 3 unit turnkey, MLS #5853527610-656-7087 3BR/1BA brick twin, 203K renov. loan approved484-535-0066 3BR/2BR/1BR, nice cond., $24K gr., fully occupd.610-570-4125 VACATION RENTALS Sarasota, FL $ 695-795/wk. Relax on #1 beach in US; 2BR+; see it at www.goSiesta.com Bonita Springs, FL Call for rates 2BR/2BA condo, beach, pool, views, WIFI Ocean City, NJ $1000-2000/wk. New 4BR/2BA condo w/ elevator, www.homeaway.com #227402 N. Wildwood, NJ $ 450-1700/wk. www.vrbo.com/159300, 3BR/3BA beachblock, sleeps 8, pool, view Ocean City, NJ $850-3250/wk. www.nicerentalhomes.com; 4BR/3BA beachblock; sleeps 10; 9th St Orlando/Kissimmee, Fl $750-1200/wk. 3BR/2BA home close to Disney, pool & WIFI (call for others) Margate, NJ $1000-5500/mo. 1BR/1BA oceanfront complex condo, sleeps 4, WIFI, pool, parking Lake Wallenpaupak, Poconos $ 625/wk. - $350/we.3BR/1.5BA, sleeps 8, 20 min. from Tanglewood Ski Resort Ocean City, NJ $ 800-$1750/wk. 3BR, 2nd fl., beach blk., weeks avail August & September Gatlinburg, TN $89-104./night Studio w/ loft overlooks Smokey Mtns., sleeps 4-6 (call for others) Wildwood, NJ $1400-1950/wk. 4BR/3BA condo w/pool, 1.5 blks. to beach (call for others) N. Wildwood, NJ $1800-4200/wk. www.nicerentalhomes.com; 4BR/3BA fabulous ocean front; pool Ocean City, NJ $ 550-850/wk. 1BR luxury condo, 1 blk from beach and boardwalk (call for others) Ventnor, NJ Call for rates Ocean front/boardwalk/ocean, sleeps 4 Cape May, NJ $2300-4500/wk. 1 blk from beach, very large homes, sleeps 17 Key West, FL $1750-3,000/wk. 3BR/2BA tropical paradise home, pool, sleeps 8 Ocean Club, Atlantic City, NJ $22K/season 2BR plus den, 2.1 BA, front view of ocean, 18th floor Wildwood Crest, NJ Call for rates Condo w/pool, sleeps up to 6, on the beach (call for others) 215-344-1100 Jeremy 614-975-6428 Jen 215-237-1977 Keith 610-388-2757 Dave 610-473-9981 Susan 610-570-4125 Sandy 610-570-4125 Sandy 267-242-2712 Olga 215-364-1970 Lynn 800-967-4567 X.6307 Kathy 267-254-3507 Bill 610-473-9981 Susan 215-672-7150 John 732-619-6594 Raymond [email protected] 215-249-3870 Ron 215-237-3147 Morris 215-589-8665 Elaine The New Marketplace is a fine opportunity for DIG members who have real estate to sell. DIG does not charge a commission or fee. You deal directly with the buyer. Fax listings to the DIG office at 215-933-6933. You can also email listings to [email protected] Even if your property is currently listed with a real estate broker, the exposure to over 1100 serious investors each month can be a better sales opportunity. Ads updated once per month. Diversified Investor 17 ancing? cial Group We will be here to help when you need us! o assisting real estate investors hase, improvements Deal directlyand withsoft thecosts lender Loans to Corps and LLCs properties Minimum paperwork Best rates and terms nce in a lifetime buying Good deals financed fast! Reasonable underwriting 5 to 10 year terms available Helping investors since 1982 terest rates Do you want a lender who can guide you through the pitfalls and opportunities of this local market? Call me and see why clients recommend me and return weringagain ratesand on again current real estate for access to uncomplicated capital lending and expertise. Call Joe at 610.687.1079 or for faster response text / call 610.246.7246 .221.6347 – [email protected] Visit us at www.dixonfunding.com treet, Suite 200, Columbus, Ohio 43215 Legislative News >> Housing Discrimination Prohibited cont. modify the living space may begin. A disabled tenant has the right to modify his living space, at the tenant’s expense, to the extent necessary to make the space safe and comfortable. There are two caveats to this rule: First, the landlord is not required to allow you to make major structural alterations. Second, if the modifications will make the unit unacceptable to the next tenant, the disabled tenant must agree to undo the modifi cation when moving out. The landlord has the right to insist that the tenant put money in an escrow account to cover the eventual cost of returning the unit to its original condition. Examples of modifications undertaken by a disabled tenant include the lowering of countertops, installation of a ramp, or repositioning the light switches. Landlords are entitled to ask for proof that the accommodation or modification you have requested will address your situation—without it, your landlord has no way of knowing whether your request is legitimate or a ruse to obtain special treatment. Ask your physician, therapist, counselor, or any other third-party professional who knows you and understands your situation for a letter attesting that what you are asking for will meet your needs. To protect your privacy, explain to the physician or other writer that there’s no need to explain the disability. The writer need only certify that you are under his or her care and that the changes you would like are appropriate to your situation. Limited Protection for Alcoholics and Drug Users Federal fair housing law extends limited protection to two carefully defined groups: •recovering alcoholics—those who actively and regularly partici pate in a medically based treatment or AA program •former drug addicts—including those who have prior convictions for illegal drug use (but not for drug dealing or manufacture). It is important to remember that, despite these protections, other aspects of a recovering alcoholic’s (or a former drug addict’s) past might legally serve as the basis for a denial of housing. For example, if you are a recovering alcoholic who has bad credit, a spotty employment history, or negative references from your previous landlords, a landlord may reject you for these reasons just as readily as any other applicant with these flaws. What a landlord cannot do is reject a prospective tenant solely on the basis of his status as a former addict or recovering alcoholic. Sex and Sexual Harassment You cannot be denied a place to live (or have special rules imposed on you) solely because you’re female or male. Even well-intentioned policies are offlimits—for example, fearful that single women are more likely to be burglarized and assaulted than male tenants, a landlord cannot require single females to live in upper-story apartments, even if, in fact, those units are less prone to break-ins. Sexual harassment is another form of unlawful sexual discrimination. For example, it’s illegal to refuse to rent to a person who resists the landlord’s sexual advances or to make life difficult for a tenant who has resisted such advances. Property Exempt from Federal Antidiscrimination Laws Unfortunately, not every rental is covered by the federal fair housing laws. The following types of property are exempt: • owner-occupied buildings with four or fewer rental units •single-family housing rented without the use of advertising or without a real estate broker, as long as the landlord owns no more than three such homes at any one time •certain types of housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to their own members, and •with respect to age discrimination only, housing reserved exclusively for senior citizens. There are two kinds of senior citizen housing exempted: communities where every tenant is 62 years of age or older, or “55 and older” communities in which at least 80% of the occupied units must be occupied by at least one person 55 years or older. Fortunately for some tenants, however, many state fair housing laws cover properties or situations that are exempt under federal law. For example, owneroccupied buildings with four or fewer rental units are exempt under federal law but are protected under California law. Diversified Investor 19 The Market News >> Philly Housing Lifted By Grads Who Stick Around By Stephanie Dhue Real estate in the City of Brotherly Love is on the mend. The last year brought more jobs and more home sales. From Comcast’s expanded headquarters (parent of CNBC) to Tastykake’s bakery, to new entrepreneurs, business is expanding in the city. Unemployment in Philadelphia is down to 5.8 percent in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All of these factors have led to a boon in housing. Home sales increased 13 percent in the last year, reports Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. mortgage that the home is worth. At the end of the fourth quarter, just 7 percent of homes were underwater, down from close to 10 percent the prior year. The city is looking to millennials for the future. The Philadelphia region is home to more than 300,000 students and many colleges and universities, including University of Pennsylvania, Drexel and Temple. The city has made a concerted effort to keep graduates in town. “People want to be in the downtown area near restaurants, shopping, museums, the theaters, waterfront—from the millennials to the 55-to-75year-old empty nesters,” said Mike McCann, a real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach. According to a Campus Philly 2014 survey, 51 percent of out-of-towners chose to stay in Philadelphia after graduation, although the number is lower than the 59 percent who stayed in 2010. The survey’s authors say the Great Recession may have dampened student mobility. Home prices have struggled, down 0.3 percent for all sales in the last year. If you exclude sales of distressed properties by short sales or after foreclosure, prices were up 5.5 percent, according to CoreLogic. Fewer Philadelphians owe more on a Still, Philly touts its growing foodie reputation, walkability and relatively low prices. “We’re still an affordable city for a millennial, where they can buy something for $200,000 to $450,000 said McMann. Communications >> Email Etiquette By Kelly Leighton By now, you know that email is the way most people in the business communicate. But how you communicate via email is just as important. In the past, you probably wouldn’t send someone a fax without a cover sheet, and today, you should be aware of what you’re really communicating by your emails. SpareFoot creator John Egan collected eight tips from experts for making sure your emails are the most effective and efficient. 1. Communicate carefully. Think about what an email says before you hit “send.” (Continued on page 25) 20 Diversified Investor WINTER CRUISE 2016 NASSAU BAHAMAS Sunday CHARLOTTE AMALIE ST.THOMAS Tuesday FEBRUARY 20TH - 27TH PHILIPSBURG ST.MAARTEN Wednesday Join us as we depart on Royal Carribean’s Oasis of the Seas from Ft. Lauderdale, FL and visit an array of exotic destinations. Experience elegant dining, a full-service spa, a live jazz club and so much more! The National REIA Cruise is filled with one of a kind amenities, networking opportunities, and inspiring presentations. It’s a vacation with an education. Register today at www.TheRealEstateCruise.com Diversified Investor 21 www.NovakFinancialInc.com LAW OFFICES OF H. JEFFREY BRAHIN REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY Novak Financial, www.shawlaws.com Inc. TITLE INSURANCE SETTLEMENTS MONEY LENDING PRIVATE DOUBLE CLOSINGS Novak Financial, Inc. is a private money lender specializing SHORT SALES and Construction projects as well as in Investor Renovation ZONING development and commercial purposes. We provide CONSTRUCTION financing up to 65% of the after repair value. BANKRUPTCY Novak Financial, Inc. provides financing for both seasoned WILLS, TRUSTS investorsDIVORCE as well as first time investors. We have over 20 years of experience and BUSINESS pride ourselves ALL SMALL MATTERSin being up-front and honest with all borrowers so they may maximize their profit margins. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Michael D. Novak office 443-738-1614 [email protected] mobile 410-979-1014 PENNSYLVANIA LLC FORMATION SPECIAL fax 443-738-1615 Novak Financial, Inc. looks forward to working with you! www.NovakFinancialInc.com $99.00* This is not a misprint! Avoid incomplete internet formations! We offer a complete LLC formation and all documents including: Certificate of Formation Operating Agreement Seal LAW OFFICES OF H. JEFFREY BRAHIN Certificate Book REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY Initial and Annual Minutes Records All forms completed for •your LLC• ACQUISITION and SALES • COMMERCIAL and RESIDENTIAL LEASING FINANCING • LITIGATION • LANDLORD-TENANT ISSUES • EIN registration MECHANIC’S LIENS • COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BROKER LIEN ACT • One hour office conference – instructions for using your LLC ENTITY FORMATION • RESPA • FORECLOSURE PROSECUTION and DEFENSE • *$499.00 initial payment and you receive (2) - $200 fee rebate coupons for your first two CASPA LLC real estate transactions with our firm. Good for one year, $100,000 minimum property value. Our firm is founded on the principle that the highest quality legal services can be delivered more cost effectively by a smaller firm, with greater personal attention to our clients goals. Law offices of Bruce Shaw 215 657 2377 H. JEFFREY BRAHIN, ESQUIRE Phone: (215) 348-3500 Facsimile: (215) 345-1014 www.brahinlaw.com [email protected] DOYLESTOWN 37 North Hamilton Street Doylestown, PA 18901-3616 PHILADELPHIA 1600 Market Street, Suite 2500 Philadelphia, PA 19103-7225 COMMERCIAL and RESIDENTIAL • LEASING • ACQUISITION and SALES • FINANCING • LITIGATION • LANDLORD-TENANT ISSUES • MECHANIC’S LIENS • COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BROKER LIEN ACT • ENTITY FORMATION • RESPA • FORECLOSURE PROSECUTION and DEFENSE • CASPA Our firm is founded on the principle that the highest quality legal services can be delivered more cost effectively by a smaller firm, with greater personal attention to our clients goals. H. JEFFREY BRAHIN, ESQUIRE Phone: (215) 348-3500 Facsimile: (215) 345-1014 www.brahinlaw.com [email protected] DOYLESTOWN 37 North Hamilton Street Doylestown, PA 18901-3616 PHILADELPHIA 1600 Market Street, Suite 2500 Philadelphia, PA 19103-7225 Staying Up to Date >> Home Depot Rewards Member Resources Want to save money on paint and materials? Missed a meeting and want to find out what the Speaker talked about? Looked and your notes, and you just know you missed an important point? DIG has the solution. DIG has negotiated a deal with Home Depot that will give you 20% off an array of high quality paints. All Behr, Glidden and Kilz paint, primer, stain and waterproofer purchases are eligible. Every DIG meeting is recorded. Meeting recordings are available for download on the DIG website at the DIG Store in the Member Links tab. You need to use the DIG phone number, which will be printed on the card, to get the 20% discount. Its a volume discount, which all members will contribute towards. The Home Depot Pro Rewards also includes Volume pricing minimum reduced to $1000 Time Out For LAUGHS CORNER Real Estate investing can be stressful at times, whether you’re an agent, buyer or seller so enjoy these fun facts, figures and interesting anecdotes to keep it light. Pick up your Home Depot Pro Rewards Card at the next meeting! Online Marketplace DIG has a “Marketplace forum hosted on it’s new Forum www.diganswerline.org for exchanging information about deals, selling leftover rehab materials, finding tenants, promoting properites, publicizing your rehabs for sale, ect. The Marketplace allows participants to send/recieve non-commercial marketing-related messages to those who are intersted. The DIG Marketplace is realtime, and the updates are manages by the individual seller. This allows very quick responses to the opportunities that are posted. Sign up by going to: www.diganswerline.org Once you are registered, submit your properties, ect., on the Marketplace forum. You can also post by emailing your ad to [email protected] We hope to see you there! Diversified Investor 23 The Alternative Financing Source for Real Estate Investors. The Alternative Financing Source for Real Estate Investors. Offering: * Rehab Financing *Purchase Financing *3-6 Mos. No Payments Offering: * Rehab Financing *Purchase Financing *3-6 Mos. No Payments *Fast Approvals *Rapid Funding *Up to 100% Cost+Fix-Up *Fast Approvals *Rapid Funding *Up to 100% Cost+Fix-Up * No Underwriters *Loans Based on ARV * 23 + Years Experience * No Underwriters *Loans Based on ARV * 23 + Years Experience *No Brokering *Loans to LLC’s *Local Market Expertise *No Brokering *Loans to LLC’s *Local Market Expertise We are direct lenders specializing exclusively in investor purchase and rehab financing. We are direct lenders specializing exclusively in investor purchase and rehab financing. Call Linda Tosto or Jim Bennett at (610) 873-6022 Call Linda Tosto or Jim Bennett at (610) 873-6022 At Stonehedge Funding, We Lend ConFidenCe!!!! At Stonehedge Funding, We Lend ConFidenCe!!!! www.stonehedgefunding.com www.stonehedgefunding.com Ser When and w are We a Corpo Communications >> Email Etiquette cont. “If you are delivering bad news, this should be done in person. It is hard to communicate with empathy and compassion via email,” said Sherri Mitchell, co-founder of staffing and recruiting company All About People. “As more and more of our daily work occurs over the Internet, more of us will experience professional relationships that exist only over the web,” etiquette consultant Jodi RR Smith said. “Strive to make every interaction a pleasant one.” Along those lines, keep personal messages and even fantasy football info out of work emails, business consultant Walt Meyer recommended. Specific content to avoid includes jokes, political remarks and religious views, unless they’re actually welcome and allowed, according to HR consultant Laura Gmeinder. 4. Get to the point. 2. Check your temperature. If you’re even slightly hacked off, avoid blasting off an angry email. Your foul mood will come across in the tone of your message. “Instead, pick up the phone. Hearing the other person’s voice will force you to be nicer and calmer,” Monster.com HR expert Mary Ellen Slayter said. “Plus, if you do wind up being a jerk, you can immediately apologize without a paper trail.” Another option: Save the email as a draft and review it once you’ve cooled down. “Firing off an emotionally-charged note without first counting to 10 is kind of like eating a doughnut. It may feel great for a moment, but the regret often lingers long after,” said Sean Smith, president of marketing and advertising agency Third Street. 3. Mind your manners. Be cordial and polite, just as you’d be with your grandmother. Of course, steer clear of profanity. Also, remember to begin your email with a friendly greeting, such as “Good afternoon, Julie.” This perks up what can be an impersonal communication method, financial planner Michael Clark said. Your emails should be clear and concise, experts say. “If you have a bunch of items to discuss, you may want to consider sending several emails. This makes your message clear and allows the recipient to reply to one topic at a time,” said Mitchell, the All About People co-founder. She added: “Rambling emails are dreadful. How your emails are written is a reflection of you.” Don’t overlook the subject line, added Pete Sena, founder of marketing agency Digital Surgeons. “People nowadays are primarily consuming their email on the go and from mobile devices. A descriptive subject line helps to improve the likelihood someone will open it,” Sena said. 5. Keep it simple. If you’re going to cover several matters in an email, divide the information into small, organized blocks to make it easier to read, Mitchell recommended. Also, incorporate bullet points, but don’t overdo it. “If it doesn’t fit on one screen, edit the message or turn it into a Word document that can be attached to a short email cover note,” said Ron Culp, director of the graduate PR and advertising program at DePaul University. “Brevity is especially important, since more than a third of email messages are being read on mobile devices.” 6. Erase the errors. Before pressing “send,” be sure to run your email (Continued on next page) Diversified Investor 25 Communications >> Email Etiquette cont. program’s spelling and grammar checker, said Parker Geiger, CEO of Chuva Group, a branding agency. Then, he said, print the email and read it backward, word-by-word. No one wants to read sloppily constructed emails, including those with lots of words in all caps. 7. Cut the cuteness. Want to be treated seriously? Then don’t pepper your emails with childish smiley faces and similar symbols. “If you’re adding a smiley face to show you’re kidding about something or to make bad news seem better, take it out,” Monster.com’s Slayter said. In the absence of a smiley face, reword your email to clarify its meaning, according to Slayter, or simply relay the information in person or over the phone. 8. Don’t be a copy machine. Resist the urge to CC everybody in your office. Rather, CC only those people who need to be kept in the loop. Excessive CC’ing drains productivity, said Dave Scarola, vice president of The Alternate Board, a peer advisory network for business professionals. “I have seen too many people widely copy recipients who get no benefit,” Scarola said. “The sender’s motivation is often ‘Hey, look at me. I am doing something.’” How quickly are you responding to emails? After a busy morning, you finally sit down to eat your lunch when you receive an email from a client requesting some new information on a home they have looked at. 26 Diversified Investor Do you reply to them before you leave for the day? Or do you wait a few days because, in the meantime, you are still replying to emails from last week? By no means do you have to reply to emails immediately, but your response time could be helping–or hurting–your business. According to a recent national survey, 19 percent of people expect you to respond to a business email in 12 hours, with 52 percent of people expecting you to respond in at least 24 hours. Waiting a week to reply? Only three percent of responders thought that response time was acceptable. If you struggle with replying to emails in a reasonable time, a new and free app may be the answer for you.MailTime makes emails on your smart phone more convenient to read and respond to. The app reformats and summarizes your email in a similar view to a text message. It omits all unnecessary information that is attached to the email, such as copies, signatures and meta data. “You can lose your deal if you don’t reply promptly to an email,” said MailTime Co-Founder Charlie Sheng. “As a Realtor®, you are always on the go, and constantly getting new emails that you should be replying to in a timely fashion.” The app also warns you if your response is too wordy in your replies. “The new polite is being efficient. In the past, writing long emails was seen as being polite, but now being polite is being specific and to the point. It saves the time of writer and the sender,” added Sheng. Kelly Leighton is the Multimedia Content Manager at the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®.
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