Janet Behm's Business Negotiation Skills FTW (For The Win)

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“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.” - Robert Quillen

No matter what industry you're in, or how far you go in your career, the ability to effectively negotiate can make the difference between success and mediocrity. You may have heard me quoted, "Be World Class At ONE Thing, Rather Than Mediocre At Everything!"

Whether it's a multimillion-dollar contract, a job offer, or a luncheon, here are some trenches-tested business negotiation skills that will bring you closer to your ideal outcome:


Know what you want in advance.  Don't go to the table without a clear, realistic idea of what you want to achieve. It will help you negotiate with confidence.

Ask
 for what you want.
 Don't be afraid to make the first offer. You'll set the tone for the discussion, and studies (and my experience) suggest that the negotiator who goes first usually comes closer to getting what he or she wants. In chess, white moves first and continues the advantage.

Understand what your partner wants.  A successful negotiation should satisfy both sides. Instead of trying to crush your competition, find out what he or she hopes to get, and work together toward a solution that works for you both.
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Understanding Nightly Rentals #2

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In the last blog, we talked about short-term rentals and the need to confirm the licensing and zoning issues that may apply. Here we are going to talk about the taxation of short-term rentals. What follows is a summary of some tax issues. This is NOT meant as tax advice. Please consult your own tax professionals.

Rented for Fewer than 15 Days During the Year – When a property is rented for fewer than 15 days during the tax year, the rental income is not reportable, and the expenses associated with that rental are not deductible. Interest and property taxes are not prorated, and the full amounts of the qualified mortgage interest and property taxes are reported as itemized deductions (as usual) on the taxpayer’s Schedule A. This would only apply if you rented out your residence or a vacation property on occasion.

The 7-Day and 30-Day Rules – Rentals are generally passive activities. However, an activity is not treated as a rental if either of these statements applies:


1.  The average customer use of the property is for 7 days or fewer—or for 30 days or fewer if the owner (or someone on the owner&rsquo
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How To Plan for Personal Independence

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“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” -Peter Drucker

When you go through hard times, financially, it's easy to believe that there's no light at the end of the tunnel.

But did you know that most people of great wealth were previously bankrupt at some point? (Just Google it. You'll see.)

In fact, it's often the "fire" of these times of trouble which serves to clarify things -- and get you into the place of making smart decisions, perhaps for the first time.

So, if you're feeling the financial heat right now, look out for the blessings in the midst of pain. I know it's hard -- but chances are, you're being reminded of what's REALLY important ... and often, seeing this again can be a launching pad for living the kind of life you really want to live.

How To Think About Growth
Money has no value unless you've got the time and good health to enjoy it. In fact, if you have to be p
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How To Create -- And Keep -- Personal Independence

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“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” -Tim Ferriss

Often, as we strive to keep our heads above water in these culturally crazy times, it's easy to lose sight of why we're all working hard each day. What is the goal? What is it we're trying to accomplish by earning wealth? For me -- and for many others -- the answer is cashflow independence.

Now, I would define this as "having an income sufficient for your basic needs and comforts from sources other than paid employment." Independence implies freedom. It's the condition of having saved and invested money so you can do whatever you choose. Whether you elect to keep working doesn't matter -- you have enough saved and invested to follow your dreams.

But is independence (in the monetary sense) just a pipe dream? Is it something only for the lucky and the strong? No, it's a goal that anyone can reach, if they're armed with some basic knowledge and make some smart choices.

As I see it, there are four keys to accumulating wealth:
1
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Understanding Nightly Rentals - part one

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There has been a big push for landlords to look into short-term rentals (think, Air BnB) as opposed to longer-term (monthly or yearly) typical rentals. The reason for the push is that renting a property nightly can bring in much more per month—even including vacancies. It has become almost an entirely new real estate investing technique.

While a great way to make additional rents, there are things that you should understand before jumping in with short-term rentals. The first is legality. All rental properties are regulated by the city in which they are located. You will also see county or state-wide regulations. But typically, state laws govern the relationship between landlords and tenants and other larger matters. In most jurisdictions, the specifics of what types of rental properties are allowed are done at the city level.

This city-sponsored legislation arises because cities are charged with protecting neighborhoods and the “look and feel” of their respective cities. And they have a lot of authority on rentals. Most cities require landlords to register ALL their rentals properties, pay a licensing fee and make determinations as to how many unrelated tenants can live in a give property. If you are
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What Happens When The Feds Put A Tax Lien On Your Property?

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What Happens When The Feds Put A Tax Lien On Your Property?

The Federal Government does not play around when you owe them money.

Are there some strategies to deploy if you get caught in this fix?

With any tax debt comes an awkward and unwelcome house guest: A federal tax lien.

This tax lien exists as a matter of federal law, even if you only owe the IRS one dollar. For many people, it has no impact at all on their lives. But for a small percentage of taxpayers, it can have a massive impact.

Let’s explore what this tax lien means for you, and briefly discuss some potential solutions to dealing with it.

Before we really get started, there’s one important distinction that needs to be made. Usually, there’s no public record of a tax lien. It’s not possible for anybody to find out about it... usually.

Unfortunately, under certain conditions, especially if you owe more than $10,000, the IRS may file a written notice with the county clerk about the tax lien, putti
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Keys to Title #4

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Hopefully you now have a solid understanding of how title works and is transferred. When you submit your purchase contract to the title company, you’ll get the Property Report (PR) back (we discussed this in our first Keys to Title Article last month). The PR will list any problems there might be. Normally, these problems would require the sellers to fix them. But in real estate investing circles, typically the investor will at least help the sellers out in getting these resolved.

Death of an owner: If one of the titled owners (that means a person who is actually listed on county land records as an owner) has died and either there is no surviving joint tenant or the owners are tenants-in-common, then the deceased owner is not able to transfer his ownership by way of a deed. Remember, that deeds need to be signed under notary, and if the person is dead, he can’t sign. The easiest way to resolve this problem is for the deceased person’s estate to be probated. Probate is a court action where a judge can appoint a personal representative of the estate who has the legal authority to sign on behalf of the dead person.

If the deceased has a will, that does not matter. All wills must also b
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Janet Behm’s Tips for Building a Business Emergency Fund

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“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.” - Langston Coleman

Prior to the economic fallout from 2020’s happenings, the typical American small business only had 28 days’ worth of cash reserves on hand.

Meaning, the average small business in this country couldn’t survive for a full month if revenue were suddenly turned off. As a result, Congress had to prop up small businesses through programs such as the EIDL and PPP loans that you’re sick of hearing about by now.

As the economy rebounds strongly, it’s a good time to set aside a business emergency fund for your business to tide you over during the next period of economic upheaval. This isn’t doom and gloom thinking, it’s simply the reality of the business cycle: There will be another recession at some unknown point in the future.

You Need To Know How Much Is Enough
In many ways, your business eme
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Understanding FICO Scores

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"We do not remember days, we remember moments.” - Cesare Pavese


One of the most confusing and misunderstood components of modern life is an individual’s credit score. A simple Google search reveals billions of websites and posts, all sharing information -- some of which is accurate, and some of which is just plain wrong.


At its core, it’s simply a number that tries to represent the likelihood that you will pay back money that you borrow. Because banks and lending institutions use credit scores as a key component in their determination to lend money, it’s also a key element for individuals with nefarious plans – stealing a person’s identity allows your credit worthiness to also be stolen and used by the crooks.


Unlike, for example, annual income, FICO scores represent long-term action (or inaction) on the part of the consumer, so while the actual number can be “managed,” to an extent, it tends to be a pretty good representation of how well a person repays debts.


Now, obviously, there is more to it than that. A FICO score merely represents the number,
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Keys to Title #3

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So far is our series on title companies and title insurance, we’ve covered the basics of the title industry and the three types of insurance policies you will encounter in closings. In this article, I will cover holding title to real estate and in the next, common title issues that you’ll see as investors.

Owning real estate is done through recording “deeds” at the county recorders office (where all land records are held). These deeds transfer ownership from one person to the next. A Warranty Deed transfers title, and the seller warrants (guarantees) that the buyer is getting clean, marketable title. This is the kind of deed that title companies use because the title company is searching and insuring that title is clean.

A Special Warranty Deed transfers title, and the seller only guarantees that title is clean from the date the seller first took ownership. So, this one does not guarantee any problems with title before that point. You may see this if people are transferring title but not going through a title company. And finally, a Quit Claim Deed is simply a transfer of ownership with no guarantees at all from the seller. The new owner takes the property simply as it is.


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