1) Kansas City Chiefs: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A & M- Andy Reid saw firsthand last season what happens when there are major problems on your off line. Joeckel is one of the safest 1st round selections in this year's draft. He will be an upgrade over Branden Albert (a free agent) and can anchor Kansas City's offensive line for a decade. The Chiefs need a quality quarterback, but there is no slam-dunk choice to justify the top overall pick.

2) Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A & M- One of the SEC's most disruptive players helps Jacksonville put pressure on the quarterback. The Jags registered a paltry 20 sacks last year. Gus Bradley is a defensive coach and will prioritize fixing the defense.

3) Oakland Raiders: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah- The Silver & Black were black and blue from opposing running backs trampling all over them in 2012. The massive Utah nose tackle / defensive tackle has the power and quickness to help plug the middle of Oakland's defensive line.

4) Philadelphia Eagles: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan- Chip Kelly knows that his high-octane offensive goes now if the Eagles can not block anyone. Fisher looked terrific at the Senior Bowl. The addition of Fisher and the return to health of Jason Peters will go a long way to solving Philadelphia's problems up front. Fisher can play left or right tackle and it will depend on how Peters looks after an Achilles injury.

5) Detroit Lions: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State- The Lions want their defensive line to be the heart and sole of the defense. Kyle Vanden Bosch is 34 and Werner provides Detroit with a young, high-motor defensive end.

6) Cleveland Browns: DE / OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia- The Browns lack a top pass rusher and the quick-twitch Jones can really get after the quarterback. Cleveland needs a dynamic outside linebacker to be a critical piece to their 3-4 defense. Jones could be that kind of player for them.

7) Arizona Cardinals: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia- Quarterback is Arizona's greatest need. Bruce Arians had success with a rookie quarterback (Andrew Luck) in Indianapolis and will be looking to do the same with the Cards. Geno Smith's strong arm and superior athleticism to Matt Barkley and Mike Glennon make him the choice.

8) Buffalo Bills: QB Mike Glennon, North Carolina State- Ryan Fitzpatrick commits too many turnovers and is not Buffalo's long-term answer at quarterback. Glennon's strong arm will be needed to throw the ball effectively in the cold and wind that is Buffalo in the 2nd half of the season.

9) New York Jets: DE / OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU- Rex Ryan loves his defense, which lacks a big pass rusher. Mingo is a terrific athlete and Ryan figures he can turn him into a pass rushing outside linebacker in New York's 3-4 scheme.

10) Tennessee Titans: OG Chance Warmack, Alabama- This may be high to draft a guard, but Mike Munchak certainly doesnt think so with his stellar NFL career at the position. The Titans want to run the ball and Warmack should be a terrific pro.

11) San Diego Chargers: OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma- The Chargers have to do a better job of protecting Phillip Rivers. The athletic Johnson has the skills to play left tackle and develop into a good pass protector.

12) Miami Dolphins: WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee- The Dolphins need to find a good lead receiver for Ryan Tannehill. Patterson's size and run-after-the-catch ability convince Miami that he can be that player.

13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama- The Bucs were among the worst teams in the NFL defending the pass and certainly could help at cornerback. Milliner is a very talented cornerback with championship pedigree.

14) Carolina Panthers: DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida- The defensive tackle position continues to be a weak area for Carolina. Floyd is a fine combination of quickness and size. The Panthers expect him to help stop the run and apply inside pressure in passing situations.

15) New Orleans Saints: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU- The Saints have to get better on defense and it starts up front. Ansah can defend the run and has terrific upside as a pass rusher. Rob Ryan has a very raw, but talented player to work with.

16) St. Louis Rams: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri- Jeff Fisher is a defensive head coach and wants to have a dominant front four. Richardson is very quick and should work well with last year's 1st round pick, Michael Brockers.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers: DE / OLB Dion Jordan, Oregon- LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison are on the down side of their careers. It is time for the next generation of pass rushers for the Steelers. Jordan can really run and has an unusual height for a linebacker. He will have a chance to continue Pittsburgh's storied tradition of quality outside linebackers.

18) Dallas Cowboys: DT Kawann Short, Purdue- The Cowboys are converting to Monte Kiffen's 4-3 defense. This means they had better have a quality three-technique defensive tackle. Short has a quick first step and plays with leakage to penetrate.

19) New York Giants: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State- The Giants best cornerback, Corey Webster, is 31 and coming off of a poor season. Rhodes has excellent size and skills. New York adds much needed cornerback help.

20) Chicago Bears: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame- Marc Trestman wants another weapon for Jay Cutler. The Bears do not have much of a receiving threat at tight end. Eifert represents a significant upgrade offensively for the Bears at tight end.

21) Cincinnati Bengals: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas- Cincinnati needs a playmaker at safety. Vaccaro is a solid tackler and can help in pass coverage.

22) St. Louis Rams: WR Keenan Allen, Cal- The Rams find a key weapon for Sam Bradford. Allen has the size and pass receiving skills to be the lead receiver that Bradford has lacked.

23) Minnesota Vikings: DT Jonathan Hankins, Ohio State- Kevin Williams will be 33 just prior to the upcoming season. Hankins provides the Vikes with a big defensive tackle who can help shut down the run.

24) Indianapolis Colts: OT DJ Fluker, Alabama- Andrew Luck took too many hits in his rookie season. Fluker could be a pillar at right tackle for the Colts. His ability to be a load as a run blocker also makes him very quarterback-friendly.

25) Seattle Seahawks: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU- Pete Carroll is a defensive-oriented head coach. Seattle really missed Chris Clemons in the play loss to the Falcons. Clemons is 31 and faces a long rehab from knee surgery. Montgomery has the quickness and long arms to rush the quarterback. He also is a solid run defender.

26) Green Bay Packers: G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina- Aaron Rodgers might be the best quarterback in the NFL. The Packers need to fortify an off line that sprung too many leaks last season. Cooper is a solid pass and run blocker. He represents good value at this point in the 1st round.

27) Houston Texans: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia- The Texans are still incredibly reliant on Andre Johnson at wide receiver. Austin was born to play the slot. His elusiveness in the open field is electric.

28) Denver Broncos: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington- Champ Bailey will soon be 35 and was lit up by Torrey Smith in the playoffs. Trufant made himself some money by playing extremely well at the Senior Bowl. Denver adds a good young cornerback to their defense.

29) New England Patriots: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State- New England's defense continues to be a work in progress. Banks has good height and excellent ball skills. Banks may be able to provide what the of injured, Ras I Dowling, has been unable to.

30) Atlanta Falcons: DE Alex Okafor, Texas- John Abraham will be 35 soon and is frequently hurt. Okafor plays hard and is a complete defensive end. He does not have the same explosion as a young Abraham, but he plays with leverage and intensity.

31) San Francisco 49ers: NT John Jenkins, Georgia- The 49ers have some age on their defensive line. Isaac Sopoaga will be entering his 10th season in the fall. The big nose tackle will be an unrestricted free agent and San Francisco may choose to find a young nose tackle. Jenkins is a big man with surprising athletic ability. Jim Harbaugh will ride him hard to get the most out of his ability.

32) Baltimore Ravens: ILB Manti Te'O, Notre Dame- The Ray Lewis era is over. The Ravens will not be able to replace Lewis, but Te'O is a solid choice. The former Notre Dame star finds the football and improved in coverage in his senior season. Baltimore is fortunately that Te'O slipped this far in the 1st round.

Source by Denis Krusos

Being a successful real estate investor is based on hard numbers, getting the facts, and making sure you aren’t missing anything.

All those little numbers and facts lead investors on long and merry chases through courthouses, county appraisal district websites, white pages, yellow pages, LLC filings, and more—trying any of a dozen different ways to track down phone numbers and email addresses for property owners.

Why Is Data Important to Real Estate Investors?

Real estate and data are inextricably linked. You HAVE TO become a data expert to be a successful investor.

The right data will help you determine which deals to go after, which don’t fit your investing criteria, and which properties have equity. Data will help you discover tons of information about property owners, too, such as what language they speak, their net worth (yes, you can find this out with a fairly high degree of accuracy), what kind of car they drive, where they work, and a million other things.

Personally, data has helped me weed out deals that would end up being a waste of time. It’s also enabled me to target my marketing more effectively on the deals I wanted to go after.

Types of Real Estate Data and Their Uses

There are four key areas of real estate data you need to market effectively. Some data is readily available on free websites; others take some digging to uncover.

Developing a way to track these details down will affect your long-term success and bottom line. As I became a better data hound, I became a better investor!

1. Physical stats about the property

Why is this necessary? Investors need to understand what they’re going after, whether it’s the bed and bath count in a single family home or the unit count in a big apartment complex.

Many wholesalers and investors start the conversation with sellers by asking about properties’ physical characteristics. I hate doing this!

As the person reaching out to the seller, I want to go into that first call with as much knowledge as possible. If I can demonstrate to them I’ve already taken the time to research and understand their property, I will build immediate rapport and credibility.

Where can you find this info? Basic details about the property can be found on county appraisal district websites.

Other bits of information can be acquired from title companies, insurance databases, the Realtors Property Resource (RPR) database, or other data aggregators that pull info from dozens of different sources.

Related: How to Find the BEST Hidden Deals Using Your Local District Website

highlighting data on real estate financials spreadsheet

2. Financial details about the property

Does the property have a mortgage? Who holds the real estate note? What’s the monthly payment? The interest rate? Where is the property in its amortization schedule?

Unless you’re good at negotiating short sales, this is very important when deciding if you’re going to spend valuable time and marketing dollars pursuing a property. To get a good deal, the property has to have equity.

Where can you find this info? The best place to access it is usually county deed records or directly from the lender.

In some instances, however, a list vendor will allow you to filter potential homes based on the amount of projected equity. Some data aggregators can also pull this information, which can be helpful to know when going into appointments and calls with sellers.

3. Details about the seller

Who is the seller, anyway? What do they do? Where do they work? How much money do they make?

Few investors take the time to dig into these types of details, but if you do, the benefits can be huge! The more you know, the better you’re able to tailor your marketing efforts specifically to what pushes your seller’s buttons.

For example, if they don’t speak English, contact them with a message in their native language. Or, if it looks like they are utilizing a lot of credit, emphasize that you can pay cash.

To understand the seller is to recognize their pain points. And if you can solve for their pain points, you will get deals. It’s really that simple.

Where can you find this info? This type of information is most often only available through demographic databases and data aggregators.

Look for a tool that pairs this info with the property you’re going after and the owner’s name. This isn’t something you want to try and track down yourself; it’ll take way too much time and effort. Instead, find a good data vendor and have them do the heavy lifting for you.

real estate investors looking at demographic data

4. Contact information for the owner

This is usually comprised of phone numbers and email addresses.

Where can you find this? The process of finding this information is known as “skip tracing.”

There are numerous options today to help investors skip trace properties, but unfortunately, many do not provide very good data. I’ve found that it’s better to pay a little more up front for higher quality info than to have to go back and try again.

Related: The Art of Skip Tracing: How to Track Down Tenants Who Owe You Money

Key Takeaways

To reiterate, as a real estate investor in a competitive market, you need to get comfortable finding, reading, and working with data.

Identify the lists that are most helpful to you and develop a data process for your investing business. Stick to this process and stay organized.

Customer-relationship management software (aka a CRM system) can be very helpful, considering you’re trying to analyze thousands of properties and potentially millions of data points.

I’ve spent a hundreds of hours digging into the real estate data world, and I’m a massively better investor because of it.

I can also provide a huge amount of value and a service to partners, investors, realtors, and others I want to work with by helping them analyze data and find deals and properties they thought were un-closeable.

What’s even better, it’s a highly scalable skillset. If you understand a data process for your local market, you can deploy that in a majority of asset classes and other locations around the U.S.

Sure, working on skills like picking out tile and finishes, syndicating money, and lowering your tax burden is important. But remember that if you don’t have good data going in, you’ll never get to the closing table in the first place.

How do you use data? Where do you find it?

Comment below!

Source link

1. Los Angeles Clippers – Blake Griffin, F, Oklahoma

This is a no-brainer pick. He has been the # 1 pick in this draft since last November and has won every Player of the Year award you can think of. I've already posted my thoughts on this pick for the Clippers, so I will not go over it again. He's got the potential to be a top power forward in the league in a few years, but also if he does not develop much of an offensive game, he could have already reached his plateau. I do not expect that to happen, so he will develop into a very good, borderline great, power forward in the league.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ricky Rubio, G, Spain

Rubio's agent has already said they will do what they can to avoid him going to either Memphis or Oklahoma City, but the same agent tried to do this with Yi last year and failed. Ultimately, I think Rubio decides to play for anyone takes him and Memphis, with the # 2 pick, should take the 2nd best talent on the board. People broadly consider Rubio and Thabeet to round out the top-3 with Griffin, but I could see Memphis consider Jordan Hill at this pick if they do not want to stunt the growth of Mike Conley, Jr. In the end, Rubio is the pick and should overlap the chance to play with OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – Hasheem Thabeet, C, Connecticut

The Thunder has many holes and are not in a position to draft by, well, position. Other than Westbrook, Durant and Jeff Green have solidified their spots on this team. Nenad Krstic was a nice pickup last year, but he's not a center you would want to build around. Thabeet would give them an instant upgrade in the defense department and if his offense ever comes around, he could have a really nice player. He must bulk up, but who in the draft does not? Also considered James Harden and DeMar DeRozan at this spot.

4. Sacramento Kings – Brandon Jennings, G, Italy

The Kings have drafted big men in the last two drafts with Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson. Both of them look as if they will grow into good players in the league. Add to those two Kevin martin and Andres Nocioni, the lack of a play-making point guard really holds this team back. Beno Udrih was given a horrible contract and the Kings will be eating that while Jennings runs the show. Although Jennings is not a pure point guard, his scoring ability will be greatly welcomed by the Kings.

5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill, F, Arizona

The Wizards are actually trying to shop the pick, but if they keep it, I think Hill will be a great pick at # 5. I think that Hill will be the 3rd best prospect in the draft behind Blake Griffin and DeMar DeRozan. Hill has developed his game to a higher level after every season at Arizona and should only keep getting better. If he can add more weight and some refined post moves, he'll be a very productive player in this league.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – James Harden, G, Arizona State

Harden was considered a top-3 pick all season long, but his showing in the NCAA tournament this season may have hampered his draft stock a bit. Either way, the Timberwolves get a great shooter with a calm and a poise of a 10-year veteran. If he develops a killer instinct and learns to take over games, I definitely see a resemblance to Paul Pierce in this kid.

7. Golden State Warriors – DeMar DeRozan, G, Southern Cal

As I said earlier, I think DeRozan will be one of the top players in this draft class, and going to Golden State will help inflate his offensive numbers. I'm sure the Warriors would have loved to grab either Rubio or Jennings to move Monta Ellis to the off guard, but they will settle for the best player available. DeRozan has great speed and athleticism and has probably the most potential of any player in this draft.

8. New York Knicks – Stephen Curry, G, Davidson

Stephen Curry wants to play in New York. New York wants Stephen Curry. Curry is good friends with LeBron James. The Knicks want LeBron to come to New York in 2010. Looks like not only do the Knicks add a perfect piece to D'Antoni's system, but also a potential key piece in luring LeBron to the Big Apple. Curry will, in my opinion, be a care bench player, but his shooting, basketball IQ and passing will be a great asset as a backup point guard.

9. Toronto Raptors – Earl Clark, F, Louisville

This was one of the tougher picks to make as I was juggling between Clark, Wayne Ellington and Chase Budinger. For now, Clark gets the nod but in later versions of this mock, do not be surprised if that changes. Clark is an all-everything forward, just like Shawn Marion, but does not do any one thing very well. Those type of players do not always flourish in the league, but Clark could prove otherwise.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn, G, Syracuse

This is a lot earlier than other mocks have Flynn, but I think he deserves to go top-10. Milwaukee has Luke Ridnour, who has fallen out of favor, and Ramon Sessions at point guard. Ridnour will be shopped all season once again and I think the Bucks view Sessions as a nice backup point guard. Flynn can come in and spark the offense with Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson and a big man in Andrew Bogut.

11. New Jersey Nets – Chase Budinger, G / F, Arizona

The Nets have a nice core of players with Devin Harris at point guard and Brook Lopez at center for the next 7-10 years. Vince Carter is still a really good player in the league and could use another scorer at shooting guard. Yi Jianlian was supposed to fill the scoring void, but it's looking more and more like the NBA is too much for him to handle. Budinger is 6273 and has great athleticism to go along with a sweet stroke. He may have trouble guarding quicker guards, but he could give teams a nightmare on the offensive end.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Dejuan Blair, F, Pittsburgh

Blair was a beast in college basketball last year with his wide frame, big body and relentless rebounding mentality. I, personally, am not that high on him, but maybe that's because I've never been a Pitt fan. Blair should be able to carve out a nice role on any team off the bench like a Glen Davis. If he can develop a jump shot like Big Baby, then he could turn out to be a very good player for Charlotte, who is in desperate need of a banger (Sean May where are you?). Other players considered at this pick: Gerald Henderson, James Johnson

13. Indiana Pacers – Eric Maynor, G, Virginia Commonwealth

The Pacers need a point guard for the future as TJ Ford is looking more and more like injuries will hinder him the rest of his career. When healthy, he's a great point guard, but that's not all too often. Jamaal Tinsley is on his way out and Maynor will be able to step in and play off the bench for two seasons before taking over for Ford. Maynor lead VCU to back to back NCAA tournaments and has the poise to lead a team as well as take the big shot at the end of a game. He's got a good size for a point guard at 6233 and would benefit greatly if he added the NBA three to his game.

14. Phoenix Suns – Gerald Henderson, G, Duke

The Suns are in love with Jonny Flynn, but the Bucks ruined the party at # 10. Gerald Henderson slips down the draft board just a bit and would fit in with Phoenix's uptempo game very well. He'll need to add a consistent jump shot in order to become a well rounded offensive threat.

15. Detroit Pistons – Tireke Evans, G, Memphis

The Pistons could really use a big man as they will probably be missing both Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess, but this is too high for BJ Mullens or Gani Lawal to be selected. The Pistons finally decide on Tyreke Evans, the tweeper guard from Memphis. He should be able to back up both Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey on a consistent basis. Detroit prides itself on defense, so that will be an area of ​​improvement for Evans.

16. Chicago Bulls – Wayne Ellington, G, North Carolina

I full-heartedly believe that the Bulls will deal Kirk Hinrich, most likely for a big man, leaving some much needed depth at shooting guard. Wayne Ellington is the best player available and fills a need, so the Bulls take the Tar Heel. Ellington has a great jumper and finally became an effective slasher in his junior season. He gives it his all on the defensive end, but he just may not have the tools or size to lock down many two guards in the league. Still, he should get some good looks from Derrick Rose.

17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson, G, North Carolina

Back to back picks yield Tar Heels as Lawson was the floor general for this year's national title team. Philly has it's lineup pretty much set with Iguodala, Young, Brand and Dalembert, but the inevitable departure of Andre Miller leaves a huge void at point guard. Lawson gets the nod for now, but Patty Mills could have the pick for the 76ers if he really impresses in workouts.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves – Patrick Mills, G, St. Mary's

After adding a great prospect in James Harden, the Timberwolves continue to bolster the back court by adding the best Australian player since Andrew Bogut in Patty Mills. Randy Foye was drafted three years ago from Villanova and has been bit by the injury bug. Sebastian Telfair is a decent option off the bench, but they really need someone to come in and stabilize the position. I also considered Jrue Holiday here and hearing that he's soaring up draft boards, he may not even be available at this pick.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA

Holiday was brought in to take over for Darren Collison, but since DC stayed at UCLA one more season, Jrue was played out of position at shooting guard. Still, he's got great skills and can be a pest on the defensive end. Two years ago, the Hawks selected Acie Law IV and he has not proved to be a worthy NBA point guard. With Mike Bibby free to sign with whoever he wants, the Hawks may want some insurance if he does bolt for another team.

20. Utah Jazz – James Johnson, F, Wake Forest

The Jazz are in disarray. Andrei Kirilenko has been shopped for two seasons now, Carlos Boozer is opting out of the last year of his deal and Mehmet Okur easily could do the same. Their backup power forward, Paul Millsap, is a free agent as well and will command much more than the $ 800,000 he earned this year. James Johnson is a 6283 small forward, but could move to power forward if the Jazz decided to go small. He's got decent distance on his jump shot and should be a very solid player for years in the league. Also considered BJ Mullens at this pick, but with Kosta Koufos, another one and done Ohio State center on board, the Jazz decision one project center is enough.

21. New Orleans Hornets – Gani Lawal, F, Georgia Tech

The Hornets do not lose any of their key contributors and are just looking to add a piece to the puzzle to help get them back to the Western Conference elite. Gani Lawal is a monster on the glass and is relentless in the paint. Could still enforce his will on players in the NBA off the bench. Must work on his shot as he really has zero offensive game outside of the paint.

22. Dallas Mavericks – Darren Collison, G, UCLA

The Mavericks very well could lose Jason Kidd to free agency this season, and if they do, they almost have to go point guard with this pick. The top two left on the board are Jeff Teague and Darren Collison. I view Collison as a more pure point guard as Teague is just a scorer, so the Mavericks will not want to have a duplicate of Jason Terry. This is a reach, but the Mavericks are looking to win a title with their window closing, so they are drafting by position.

23. Sacramento Kings – Omri Casspi, F, Israel

The Kings are in full rebuilding mode and Casspi is being compared to other European forwards like Nocioni and Turkoglu. To me, he reminds me of Austin Daye out of Gonzaga except he's not adept with the American game. Could be a nice building block for the Kings, or could be a bust. Either way, the Kings could do worse with this pick.

24. Portland Trailblazers – Tyler Hansbrough, F, North Carolina

Psycho T is finally off the board at # 24 to the Blazers. Brandon Roy said that they could use a big man behind Lamarcus Aldridge and Hansbrough will come in right away and give you energy and a "lunch pail" attitude. His upside is definitely limited, but there will always be a roster spot for him in the league. Also considered Taj Gibson and Jeff Pendergraph.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Taj Gibson, F, Southern Cal

The Thunder, sliding Kevin Durant to shooting guard and Jeff Green to small forward, desperately need a power forward that will just rebound and block shots. Pairing Gibson with Thabeet gives the Thunder two good rebounders with some interior shot blockers. Gibson has a much better offensive game than Thabeet, but is not going to demand the ball, leaving Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to continue to dominate the ball.

26. Chicago Bulls – BJ Mullens, C, Ohio State

The Bulls added Ellington through the draft and now will add a project center in Mullens. Reportedly, the Bulls are trying to get a feel for the interest in Tyrus Thomas around the league. Brad Miller and Joakim Noah are currently their other big men. Miller will not be there for long, so to allow Mullens a season to just sit and learn would be huge for his development.

27. Memphis Grizzlies – Derrick Brown, F, Xavier

The Grizzlies really would have liked to grab a big man in either Hansbrough, Gibson or Mullens, but with them all gone, they go best player available. Derrick Brown is a great athlete, and at 6283, should be a nice target for Ricky Rubio to get the ball to. The Grizzlies are now forming a true run-and-gun team with Rubio, Mayo, Gay, Warrick and now Derrick Brown.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Terrence Williams, G / F, Louisville

After adding Harden and Mills, the Timberwolves probably look to move this pick. If they can not, I see them grabbing Williams, the do-everything G / F from Louisville. He averaged 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists last season, leading his team in all three of those categories. He's a big short at 6263 to play small forward in the NBA, but he's great at using his body and has great range on his recently found jump shot.

29. Los Angeles Lakers – Dionte Christmas, G, Temple

The Lakers bench could use a spark in the worst way and Christmas has the sweetest stroke in the draft. He's got legitimate three point range in the NBA and playing with Kobe in LA would get him plenty of open looks. The Lakers could look at a point guard here as Derek Fisher is clearly on his last leg and a backup behind Jordan Farmar would be a necessity. Curtis Jerrells from Baylor or AJ Price from UConn could be possibilities.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Sam Young, F, Pittsburgh

The Cavaliers could be a big player in free agency this season with Wally's $ 13 million coming off the books. Cleveland prides itself on the defensive side of the ball and Sam Young is a great defender as well as an excellent athlete. He may be a bit on the short side, but he's got enough bulk and foot speed to still be an effective defender at the professional level.

Source by Adam Rizzo

In most regions of this country, a homeowner, seeking to sell his house, as well as a qualified buyer, seeking the right home, for his situation, have the choice of a large number of real estate agents, licensed and working, in his area. Since, for the vast majority of Americans, their house’s value, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to choose wisely? Doing so, means, carefully interviewing several, asking meaningful, relevant questions, and determining, if the individual, you hire, is the right, and best one, for you! You need a SMART real estate professional, who puts you first, and will obtain the results, you seek and desire. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, examine, consider, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, some of the necessary components, and considerations.

1. System; strengths; suggestions; seek: The process must start with discussing, carefully, and thoroughly, what you seek, and, understanding, the realities, so you can use the strengths, to your best advantage. If you’re selling, this means, realistically pricing and marketing your house, and if you’re buying, requires knowing what you need, want, and can afford! Choose an agent, who makes meaningful, relevant suggestions, and introduces, the best system, to get you, your best results!

2. Marketing; motivating: Home sellers must understand, homes must be marketed, properly, in order to motivate, potential qualified buyers, to consider, your present home, to be, their future one! Agents must be willing to explain to clients, the realities of marketing, competition, etc, in order to effectively, serve, and represent their clients.

3. Attention; assets: A house is an important, valuable asset, and, therefore, before one buys, a home, he should closely pay keen attention, to details, and evaluate his needs, desires, goals, priorities, reasons, and personal motivations, in choosing a home, as well as his financial abilities, and comfort zone.

4. Resources; region; relevant; responsive: How a real estate professional, takes advantage of all the resources, available, often determines, whether, his client, will be served, as effectively, as possible! Is this the best region/ area, for this individual’s situation? Does it address the true, relevant needs, of the client? Can someone comfortably afford, to live there? Hire an agent, who prioritizes, you, and is extremely responsive to your needs, and questions/ concerns!

5. Trends; timely: You need to be represented by someone, who knows, understands, and effectively uses, and takes advantage of current trends, in marketing, competition, etc. You deserve someone, who prioritizes, well – considered, relevant, timely action!

Hire a SMART agent, for any, and all, real estate needs! It’s what you deserve, and should expect!

Source by Richard Brody

This article is an excerpt from The Book on Tax Strategies for the Savvy Real Estate Investor by Amanda Han and Matthew MacFarland. Pick up a copy from the BiggerPockets Bookstore!

A scenario we see quite a bit is investors owning properties in locations where they have family and friends. It is common for someone to own property in their hometown, where their parents have retired, or invest in cities where their kids and/or grandkids live.

Of course, if you own a property in a different state that is near a family member or loved one, odds are you would want to spend a few extra travel days there when visiting your property so you could have some quality time with those individuals, right? In those scenarios, how can you be sure to maximize your tax deductions as real estate investors? Let’s consider some options.

Real Life Example

We met Dave and Denise a few years ago at one of our educational Saturday brunches. They had both retired about five years earlier and started to invest in real estate almost right away. They had always wanted to get involved with real estate, but with raising two kids and working full-time, they had never really gotten around to doing it before.

They had purchased about a dozen single-family homes since their retirement and were looking to expand and buy a few more. To our surprise, Dave and Denise were not locals like most of our brunch attendees. They were actually from central California, and had driven almost five hours to Orange County to attend our brunch and sharpen their real estate skills.

Related: How to Build Wealth Now, Pay Taxes Later with a 1031 Exchange

Over the next year, they came to two more brunch events as well as a few real estate investor meetings (all in Orange County), and whenever we saw them, they would give us an update on their adventures and their grandchildren. It was a pleasant surprise when they called our office in late January and asked us to prepare their tax returns that year.

We realized that Dave and Denise were extremely organized when we got all their documents in the mail. Every property income and expense sheet was paper clipped with its respective 1099 and mortgage interest statements. Despite their great record keeping, however, we noticed that one huge thing was missing from their paperwork—travel expenses.


Dave and Denise had properties in five different states. Because they were new to real estate investing, they liked to keep track of how each of their properties was doing. It was common for them to drive back and forth between central California, Arizona, and Nevada several times a year to take care of some of their closer rentals. In addition, they drove about 450 miles round trip several times a year to attend real estate conferences in Southern California.

Even though Dave and Denise did not provide us with any travel expenses, we knew they must have had some. Just based on our casual conversations with them and their attendance at our brunch events, we knew that this was a potentially big tax saving area they might have missed.

We called Denise to ask whether she perhaps forgot to include these expenses. Not surprisingly, her response was the same one we’ve heard so many times before: “I didn’t know I could deduct that.”

We explained to Denise that any travel expenses directly related to business or real estate could be tax deductible. As long as they are visiting their rentals, scoping out new ones, or attending conferences related to real estate, pretty much all their travel related expenses could be accounted for come tax time. In short, here are some common travel expenses that can be deductible when traveling for business purposes:

  • Car expenses
  • Train and airfare tickets, plus any baggage fees you incur
  • Taxi, subway, and bus expenses
  • Real estate and educational meetings
  • Overnight lodging (room service, Wi-Fi, tips, valet parking fees, even the cost of sending your suits out for dry cleaning!)
  • Meals and entertainment (keep in mind that this is a 50% deduction, but when you need to eat out several times a day, this expense can add up very quickly)

When we began to explain these rules to Denise, she was very adamant that these deductions did not apply to her. She explained that they strategically picked their rentals based on where their kids and grandkids lived. When they drove to Los Angeles or flew to Pennsylvania, they were visiting their properties and attending meetings and seminars, but they usually also took time to see their family. This is why Denise felt their expenses wouldn’t be deductible.

Unfortunately, this is a myth we hear time and time again. Just because you stop in to see family or friends on your way to visit a rental property, that doesn’t mean the travel cost is not deductible. It is very possible to write off your travel costs, even if you take a day or a weekend to visit with family en route.

Related: 4 Different Types of LLCs and the Ways They Pay Taxes

After hearing Denise’s reasons for not sending us her travel expenses, we explained that as long as the primary reason for their trip is business, they can deduct the associated travel expenses. Furthermore, even if the primary reason for a trip was to visit family, and she spent only a little bit of time on her rental properties, some of her travel and out-of-pocket costs might still be legitimate tax write-offs.

Denise was shocked. She and Dan had been in real estate for five years and never realized how many deductions they were missing out on. She assumed that because part of their travel time was spent with family, none of their expenses could be deducted, when in reality, most of it could because the primary reason for their travel was their rentals. They often traveled if there was a problem with one of their properties, if they needed to meet someone, or they were looking for a new property. Generally, only after all the work had been taken care of would they head over to see their grandkids.

What Does This All Mean?

Contrary to popular belief, the IRS is not as terrible as one may think. A lot of loopholes are written into the tax code that taxpayers are invited to use. As you can conclude from Dave and Denise’s story, the IRS does allow tax deductions even when business travel includes certain personal benefits. As long as the primary purpose of a trip is business related, you may still write off certain travel expenses.

Many times, we’ve heard investors complain about not wanting to keep track of car and other travel costs because doing so is a hassle. However, by putting certain systems in place, your record keeping can be highly automated. Once you start really tracking your business expenses when you travel to take care of your properties, you will see how quickly they can add up. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned, so hold on to your hard-earned money.

Any questions about travel-related tax write-offs?

Ask them below!

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Successful bloggers have to keep their heads around many different aspects of the medium – but at its core is being able to write compelling and engaging content on a consistent basis over time.

Blogging is nothing unless you are systematic and this means that you can start by having a mind map. A mind map is essential especially when it is able to provide a complete layout on:

• The output of the article (structures)

• Title and excerpts to be used

• Types of content and information to provide (research)

• Proper images and media sources

• Credit and link sources to be provided in the article

Besides that, having a good blog structure is important to ensure that your readers are glued to the screen. Every blog post should contain several important features.

However, there are some basic principles of writing great blog content that might be worth keeping in mind.

Below are a few of the lessons I’ve learned on the topic over the years

1. Nail that title and opening paragraph

Compelling titles and introductions make your readers want to read your post right away. Wishpond contributor James Scherer says, “recent studies show that while 80% of people will read headline copy, only 20% will read the rest. This is the hidden importance of great titles, and why getting them right is so vital to a successful blog.”

2. Make Every Word, Phrase & Sentence Count

Because Internet user’s attention spans are shrinking by the day, you have to work harder to hold your readers’ attention from the beginning until the end of your post. To do that, every word, phrase, sentence, and even punctuation mark must add something to your piece. You can check this service to count the words within your article or post.

A handy trick is to read your draft out loud. If it feels like you’re explaining things too slowly, or you’re falling asleep to your own voice (gasp!), you may need to edit the extraneous bits. Your draft could possibly feel “incomplete”, in which case, you can insert additional information to clarify your thoughts or strengthen your arguments.

Sometimes it is very convenient to use different tools to get the word count or some additional text statistics.

3. Grab Attention

The first thing that readers notice about a blog post is the title. Readers are far more likely to read a post if they’re intrigued by its title.

While there are no absolute rules for creating titles that grab attention, there are some general rules that established bloggers recommend: Short, simple titles are usually the most effective, but you need to provide enough information to let the reader know something about the subject of the post.

Grabbing attention with a shocking or controversial title can also be effective as long as the post delivers useful information and does not attempt to fool the audience into reading.

4. Shorten Your Sentences as much as Possible

Do yours eyes glaze over while reading a sentence? Do you read a sentence out loud, and lose your breath by the end of it? Do you see too many adjectives, adverbs, and other words that don’t add anything to a sentence?

If any of these happen, shorten it! Otherwise, that kilometric sentence is probably fine as is.

5. Use Simple, Yet Precise, Words

You know how MS Word’s “Shift + F7” pulls words from the more obscure parts of the thesaurus? Well, you might not want to rely on that function too much. Readers hate it when you bombard them with highfalutin jargon. Not only do these words sour the reading experience, but they also make your blog post look stilted and pretentious.

Instead of trying to sound “smart”, try to sound sensible. Use words that best convey your idea and can be understood by the layman. For example, “to utilize resources” can be shortened as “to use resources”.

6. Address a specific audience

Good corporate blog posts are targeted to a particular audience. So, before you start developing content, decide who you are selling to and what you are selling.

If you are selling to decision makers in the publishing industry, write a blog post that targets their specific needs. If you are a web developer, try to make the content professional but not too technical because you want buyers to know the benefits of using your services.

The Real Estate blog does a great job of developing content that helps potential homeowners learn more about the community where the available homes are located since this is usually an important issue for homeowners.

7. Establish Your Voice

Once you have an angle, don’t forget to add some personality. Avoid generic posts; personalize them with stories from your own professional experience. Letting your readers get to know you is the best way to create reader loyalty.

Pitch your voice to match your professional goals. For example, if you are trying to establish yourself as a financial expert then you should limit the amount of humor in your posts.

If you’re a motivational coach, then make sure your posts are inspirational. If you find it hard to match your personal voice to your blog niche, you might want to reconsider your niche.

8. Stay consistent on your blog format and topic

Related to finding your voice, it turns out that blog format really matters. To completely oversimplify, there seem to be two very different kinds of blogs that are successful. Either you are a “curator” of news, or you are a primary content source.

The curator is someone who blogs often and throughout the day with links and snippets, and I would consider someone like Robert Scoble (or iJustine!) to be the Michael Jordan of this approach. The style is often more conversational and casual, and includes lots of little updates on what they are doing or reading or trying out. These guys can really “cover news” and are widely read because they can provide the first opinion on new stuff coming out.

Source by Alen Burns

Flipping houses can be a great way to make a relatively quick profit, but these projects aren’t for everyone. Wondering if you’re equipped to take on a flip? First, check out these reasons why you might be horribly unprepared for a full-on rehab project.

You Should Not Flip Houses if…

  1. You’re operating by yourself. You absolutely need a solid team when taking on a project of this size, including a top-notch contractor. You can get away with a mediocre handyman for everyday repairs, but not flipping an entire home.
  2. You don’t have enough reserves. Fix and flips are full of surprises; be sure you have enough money to weather the storm (because you will encounter difficulty).
  3. You don’t know your market well enough. Without in-depth market knowledge, you won’t be able to gauge what finishes to use and how quickly the end product will sell.

Don’t get me wrong—there are a million reasons you should be flipping houses. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into and have a solid support system to ensure you’re able to overcome the unexpected.

What are some other reasons you shouldn’t flip houses?

Weigh in with a comment!

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If you are interested in obtaining an immigration investor visa, otherwise known as the eb5 visa, you are in luck. Rather than investing the typical $ 1 million, there are many areas of the United States that only request $ 500,000. They are called targeted employment areas because they have high unemployment rates, and often have regional centers that may help you get an eb5 visa by allowing you to invest in an ongoing project. One company in particular overseas regional centers in several cities.

CanAm Enterprises owns regional centers in major areas like Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Philadelphia. If the latter interests you, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, or PDIC, could be the perfect place for your investment. It is a nonprofit center dedicated to growing the local economy while ensuring that investors like you get an eb5 visa as soon as possible. This regional center has existed since 2003.

Like other similar centers, the PDIC pools money from investors together to create a large project capable of having a real impact on the surrounding community. Such a project can also help ensure that your immigration investor visa actually has a chance of making a profit for you. Projects that this center engages in include professional firms, restaurants, colleges, hospitals, manufacturers, real estate developers, and more. Projects involving these types of companies can have a direct impact on the local economy. Furthermore, rather than readily on indirectly creating jobs like many regional centers do, the PDIC offers the creation of several full-time jobs. Of course, other jobs are also indirectly developed from the center's projects, in addition to the full-time positions.

One advantage of regional centers as a whole is that you can live anywhere you want while the program goes on. This also applies to the PDIC, so if you select this center to use your immigration investor visa but prefer not to live in Pennsylvania, you do not have to. Conversely, if you want to see the effects of this regional center on the local community up close, you may choose to live in the area. Either way, this center will keep all investors updated on the project until it is over, regardless of whether you choose to be involved with daily operations or not.

Although the scope of the projects of PDIC is wide, there are some specific target industries. They are developed based on the likelihood of long-term success in the area, as well as what current businesses need help. They include trade, tourism, transportation, higher education, and technology, to name the majority. Additionally, a former US Naval Base called The Navy Yard is being updated by the PDIC to make it business park that can be used by myriad companies that serve the area. Clearly, such projects are likely to have a large impact on Philadelphia's economy.

If you want to be involved in projects that improve the Philadelphia area while using an immigration investor visa to stay in the United States, contact the PDIC. This center can make a difference to both the area and you. You should also get ahold of a lawyer well versed in immigration law.

Source by Lisa Goldberg

Bananas (the Musa species) are native to tropical southern Asia and Australia, and most likely were first domesticated in Papua, New Guinea. Currently, they are grown in over 130 countries, primarily for their fruit, but in some countries are used for alcoholic beverages and ornamental plants. The largest producers of bananas in 2016 were India and China with 29.1 tons and 13.1 tons, respectively. On a smaller scale, the Philippines, Ecuador and some parts of Latin America also export.

It's likely bananas were introduced to the Americas by Portuguese sailors, who welcomed the fruit from West Africa in the 16th century. (They probably ate a significant amount en route.) From there they traveled north to New Orleans and took awhile to catch on, but at the Philadelphia Centennial Expo in 1876, they made a big splash. Fast forward a few years and the food became more popular, yet still not well known in Europe (apparently French chefs had not been introduced.) They hung around in New Orleans for almost a century before famous Brennan's Restaurant created "Bananas Foster," a rich sweet dessert made with brown sugar, dark rum and lots of butter, served over ice cream. (What took them so long?)

There is no mention of bananas in any journals or recipes of foodie president Thomas Jefferson, and it is highly unquestionably that he ever served them at his famous dinners. With his passion for fruits and gardening, he obviously would have embroidered them, but sadly, he missed out. They did not gain popularity until 50 years later.

The common banana variety is called the Cavendish. and of course Chiquita and Dole dominate the worldwide industry. The largest food product sold at Walmart stores (drum roll) is bananas, a whopping 1.5 billion pounds in 2015. No surprise when you consider that the average American eats 26 pounds per year. Although there has been much negative press predicting bananas, as we know them, may be wiped out shortly, due to genetic alterations and parasitic and virus infestation, it's likely that other varieties will raise up and take the place of the Cavendish, so fear not .

Hawaii has its own banana industry, mostly for local consumption, along with Florida and a smattering of other states which grow a modest amount, but this is one crop which will probably never dominate the US either for domestic use or exportation. We simply do not have the climates for them.

A first cousin, the plantain has never really talked on in the US, but Asian, South American and African countries use both bananas and plantains frequently in their cooking. More starchy than sweet, they are considered a vegetable and rarely eat in their raw state. Often fried or mashed, they are a common street food in Africa and Asia. as well as included in stews and soups, or served with fish. Some celebrity chefs have featured them on the Food Network, using them in pancakes, fritters, and spicy fried slices, but the American cuisine does not really lend itself to plantains, preferring the garden variety banana instead. If you are an adventurous cook, you might want to consider searching out plantains and whipping up a new dish over the weekend.

Americans consume bananas in a number of different ways, including banana bread, banana splits, chocolate-covered frozen bananas, banana pudding, banana cream pie, sliced ​​onto breakfast cereal, and chopped chips for snacking. They also sport a few catchy phrases applied to them, like slipping on a peel, or a silly, yet popular old song, "Yes, we have no bananas." (And monkeys really like them.)

Late to the party, bananas have catapulted to the top of the hit parade of fruits and continue to reign, from baby's first solid food to grandma's favorite snack, and everywhere in between. Featured prominently in every produce section, we automatically reach for them. So go ahead. Go bananas.

Source by Dale Phillip

If you’re looking for a job that’s stress-free, your best bet might be to find a gig where you crunch numbers in a cubicle and don’t have to deal with people. But heads up, jobs like that can get old quickly.

Landlording is pretty far on the other end of the spectrum. It’s definitely not a stress-free job, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

If you understand what stresses you out and develop a plan for mitigating those factors, you can carve out a successful career as a real estate investor/landlord—and genuinely love what you do!

Major Causes of Stress

Your personality and other situational factors will dictate the level of stress you experience as a landlord. If you’re anything like most people, you’re likely to be impacted by the following:

  • Poor cash flow. Nothing is more stressful than dealing with cash flow problems and wondering if you’ll be able to pay the mortgage, taxes, and bills to keep the property above water.
  • Late payments. One of the biggest frustrations landlords have with tenants is late and/or irregular payments. Not only does it impact cash flow, but it also causes the landlord to waste time and energy tracking the money down.
  • Legal issues. Real estate can be complicated. If you aren’t careful, you could end up in legal trouble for even the simplest of mistakes or oversights.
  • Careless tenants. Bad tenants have a tendency to be irresponsible with a property, causing damage or problems that stick around long after they’re gone.

These are the hot button issues for most landlords. Being able to pinpoint them and wrap your mind around why they stress you out is a good starting point toward resolution.

Related: The Rookie Landlording Mistake Most New Investors Make

4 Tips for Overcoming Stress

Once you know what stresses you out, you can develop a proactive plan for overcoming these issues and finding peace.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Hire a Property Manager

“There are certain relationships in life that function best when there is a third party go-between to separate the emotions and eliminate the pitfalls that can occur when two parties work directly with one another,” explains Green Residential, a Houston-based property management company. “The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is one of these relationships.”

If you want to avoid some of the friction that comes with interacting directly with tenants, hire a property manager. It’s usually worth every penny.

2. Carefully Screen Tenants

Good tenants equal stress-free landlording. If you want the rest of your experience to go well, it all starts with the screening process.

“Screening your tenant means looking into the information they provided, as well as analyzing outside information you can discover, and coming to a reasonable estimate on the kind of tenant they will be,” veteran RE investor Brandon Turner explained in his step-by-step tenant screening guide. “I say ‘reasonable estimate’ because there are no surefire ways to know the future quality of a tenant. As a landlord—it is our job to simply screen effectively and choose the best possible applicant for the property.”

landlord, lease, rental, tenant screening

Turner looks for six specific qualities in a tenant: ability to afford the rent payment, willingness to pay on time, job stability, cleanliness and housekeeping skills, aversion to drugs and criminal activity, and a low stress quotient (how much stress they’ll cause you).

3. Automate Rent Collection

Manually collecting rent—either face-to-face or through the mail—is slow, inefficient, and cumbersome. If you want to limit the amount of effort it takes (and lower the stress quotient) try automating rent collection through an online platform. Better yet, require your tenants to set up direct deposit.

Related: 5 Practical Solutions For Landlords With Rent Payment Drama

4. Keep an Emergency Fund

In an effort to prevent cash flow and money-related stress, you should create an emergency fund for each rental property you own. The fund should essentially be a dedicated cash savings account that has enough money to bankroll your property for three to six months. This will give you something to fall back on in the event of a worst-case scenario.

low-stress, reduce stress, landlord, landlording, rental property, tenants

Above All, Enjoy What You Do

The role of landlord doesn’t have to be daunting. When done right, it can be exciting!

But in order to enjoy the perks of the job, you have to address the pain points that so often frustrate people in your position. Implementing the strategies above will hopefully pave the way for greater freedom and enjoyment during your tenure as a landlord.

Do you have experience landlording? How have you dealt with the stress? Are you apprehensive about landlording-related stress? What are your major concerns?

I’d love to learn from your experience. Comment below! 

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