Two Ways To Make Extra Money (that you probably haven’t thought of) So You Can Quit Your Job Early Even If You Want To Make Money Online As A Blogger
Enter Charles… (a man that was frustrated and fed up with working for the man!)
The 2 strategies Charles used so he could quit his job and work for himself.
The American style of life provides us with many comforts that we take for granted everyday. Opportunities to make money are so plentiful that they are almost hidden in plain site. People ask me everyday why I won’t go after the safety and security of an office job and the answer is always the same:
I’m an American. That means I can work for myself.
Of course they don’t teach you this stuff in grade school. If everyone thought and worked for themselves then large mega companies like Walmart and Coca Cola would be impossible to build. Our education system is designed to produce entry level workers and middle management types with the occasional CEO thrown in.
Nothing about the way we teach children encourages them to grow their own businesses, that is why it is up to teach ourselves.
Below I will give you my 2 favorite ways to earn good money without working a traditional job. Before we even start it’s important to understand that no matter which path you choose in life hard work is inevitable.
Wether you work for yourself or have a boss you have to go threw the stuff that isn’t glamorous but will put food on the table. This is even more true for an entreprenuer.
WIth that in mind let’s get started.
Strategy 1 -Become a Real estate Bird dog
The very first thing I tell people when they ask me how they should start making side money is to pay attention to their local real estate market.
Literally tens of thousands of dollars worth of deals are happening in most neighborhoods in America everyday. Whether it’s tenants paying rent, stressed out homeowners looking to sell or optimistic young couples looking to buy – the opportunity to insert yourself into a deal and make money in real estate are endless.
And you’re already an expert in your local market just by living there.
So how can we pay your bills by flipping real estate?
That depends on how much money you have to work with. While there are many different ways to jump into the real estate game, becoming a real estate bird dog is the least capital intensive and therefor the most realistic strategy for most people.
What is a bird dog?
A bird dog is a dog that will seek out and find flocks of birds in order to scare them into an easy shot for the hunter. While this sounds like an exciting job, it won’t make you any money.
Being a real estate investors bird dog however could earn you some quick cash and quickly open doors for you in the real estate world that would otherwise be closed.
So what exactly does a bird dog do?
Well the simple answer is you’ll be finding properties that investors want to buy based on their investment criteria. After the deal is closed with the seller, you will recieve a check or “finders fee” for all your hard work.
The three major tasks you must accomplish to be a succesful bird dog are:
1)Finding a mentor/investor
2)Understand their buying criteria
3)Find properties that meet that criteria
Now you may be thinking ” I don’t know the first thing about real estate and besides, I don’t have money to get started”.
Luckily this strategy is ideal for those with limited experience and finances.
The first thing you will need to do is find a mentor/investor to partner with that will eventually follow through on your leads. Preferably this is someone with experience that can give you some guidance as you embark on your real estate career.
The other thing that your mentor will bring to the table is quite obvious: Capital.
By trading your time and ambition for their access to funds you can form a mutualy beneficial partnership that can help both of you achieve your financial goals.
So let’s find a mentor.
The very first step in finding a real estate mentor is to locate any local real estate groups in your area and go to a meeting. Pracitically every major city in America has these groups – typically called Real estate investment associations.
A quick google search will lead you right to them, simply type in “your city” followed by REIA into the search box to find your local group.
Now before you go to your meeting it’s important to be prepared. Nobody is expecting you to walk in and be a real estate guru but you do want to seem professional. A set of clean, simple business cards is a must and there’s plenty of places to get them cheap. You should order the heaviest stock you can in order to make a good impression and hand them out to whoever you deem worthy.
You’re looking for buyers. People who buy multiple investment properties a year in your area. What you want to do is find and introduce yourself to as many of these people as you can. Tell them that you find discounted properties and that you’d like to set up a meeting with them to discuss their buying criteria.
If they are serious investors they will at least exchange cards with you, providing you with an opportunity to call or email to set up the meeting later. You want to exchange information with as many investors as possible.
The goal is to have 3-5 serious investors that are continiously closing deals from the leads you provide them. In order to get to that numer you’re going to have to go through alot of “tire kickers” and pretenders. To get to 5 reliable investors you will probably talk to at least 30 prospects.
Figure out their buying criteria
Now here is where you will seperate yourself from the pack. Your typical bird dog will flood an investors inbox with property after property that they can do nothing with. Every investor is different. Some prefer single family homes while others prefer small apartment buildings. You’ll find people that only invest in commercial buildings and certain brave souls that only deal with victorian era houses.
You must know exacty what each investor is looking for in order to offer them any sort of value, otherwise you are just wasting their time. Here are some of the questions you should ask your buyers so you can show them only the properties they want:
Which part of the city do you invest in?
Commercial or Residential?
Single family, duplex/triplex, or apartments?
How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you prefer?
How old are the homes you typically buy?
Do you prefer owner occupied or vacant properties?
Do you buy homes in probate?
Are you open to a short sale?
What is your price range and what ARV do you prefer?
The ARV is the After Repair Value of the property. In other words, it’s how much the property is worth after it’s fixed up and move in ready. Most investors are looking to pay 40% of the ARV when purchasing the property so that is something to keep in mind.
Now that you’ve got your investors and you know their buying criteria it’s time to earn some money.
Find properties for your investors
The ability to effectively market for properties is the lifeblood of any succesful real estate business.
Notice I didn’t limit it’s importance to bird dogging. That is because the skills that you learn and implement in this step are critically important regardless of how big or small time you are. Whether you run a million dollar real estate acquisition firm or are a brand new bird dog- the ability to find suitable properties is what will put food on the table.
It’s also why I recommend bird dogging to new investors in the first place. If you can master these skills then the world of real estate is your oyster.
So how do we find properties? Well theres literally dozens of ways but I’ll outline a few of my favorites.
1) Driving for dollars
Chances are you’ve become quite the expert when it comes to your local neighborhood. You probably know what’s for sale, what’s recently been sold, and which neighbors refuse to cut their grass.
It’s time to put this knowledge to use.
By combing the streets near your home looking for distressed properties you can present to investors, you’ll be doing what’s called “driving for dollars”.
I recommend starting early – somewhere around 11am. The reason for this is you want to be able to see the properties clearly and by waiting until most people are at work you can benefit from the decreased traffic and really take your time.
You will be looking for signs of distress or neglect. The vast majority of discounted properties are made available because the current owner either can’t afford to keep up with the property or simply doesn’t want to.
The signs of neglect usually jump right out at you, some of the things you’ll be looking for are:
- Unkept yard/grass
- Mail piling up
- Boarded windows
- Building code violations
- abandoned vehicles
- Newspapers piling up
- General deferred maintance
You’ll want to record the address of any property that looks distressed and take a few pictures as well.
Once you’ve got a good amount of properties on your list it’s time to do the due diligence necessary to determine who owns it.
Thanks to the power of the internet it has never been easier to determine who owns a property. What you want to do is google search “Central Appraisal District” followed by the name of your city. If there is no CAD for your city search for “Tax assesor” and the city name.
Once you find the database for your city it’s time to enter the addresses of all the distressed properties you’ve written down. We’re looking for names that we can mail to. This is where it is very important that you know exactly what your investor is looking for. If they like properties with lots of equity then you want to record only the properties that have deed dates that go back 10+ years. If they are looking for absentee landlords then you want to mail to those properties whose owner adress is different then the property adress.
This means they do not live in the home and thus may be more likely to sell.
Once you have the names and addresses of all the property owners it’s time for the next step: Marketing.
How to market for properties
Most Real estate professionals use two tools in order to follow up on leads. They are the yellow letter and the postcard.
A quick google search for “real estate yellow letters” will point you to plenty of vendors that sell letters that convert. The same is true for real estate postcards.
The key to this type of market is continuing to track and test what works. In some markets you will get the best response from a hand written looking yellow letter- these work particularly well with older demographics as they have the time and interest to read these longer letters. Younger and busier professionals on the other hand respond well to postcards.
You want to send these letters to the owner’s address and you want to do so every few months. In the real estate game it’s the persistent bird that gets the worm and even though an owner may not be ready to sell after your first letter, by continuing to remind them of your service you stand the best chance of getting their business in the future.
You’ve got your first solid leads, you’ve talked to the owners and got all the information your investor needs, now what?
You’ve done all the grunt work and provided real value to your client/investor. As a bird dog your job is done. If you’ve done a good job of pointing your investor to properties that fit their criteria perfectly, and you’ve made sure that they are serious investors in the first place than it’s time to get paid.
I recommend that prior to any research or marketing that you get your agreement in writing with your investor. That way you’re not feeding good leads to someone who has no intention on paying you.
Most bird dogs look for a fee of anywhere from $500 to $1000 per completed transaction. That means that any time your investor buys a property you send him, he’ll send you a check for that amount. If you are dealing with very expensive properties however – say those over $500,000- it may make more sense to reaise your rates. After all your investor will be making more money on those deals and you should too.
Strategy 2- Trade the forex market
Sometimes the answers to life’s problems are staring us right in the face. When I tell people that I used to have money problems but now I trade money for different kinds of money they look at me like I’m a unicorn. However that’s exactly what the forex market is, it’s the global currency exchange and if you’re in a financial bind it’s one of the best ways to get out of it.
So what makes it so great?
The answer in a word is size. The forex market is so incredibly massive and liquid that there is room for most everyone to profit off of it. From your investment banks like Goldman Sachs to regular everyday people like you and me. The daily volume traded on the forex market is over 5 trillion dollars. This staggering amount means very little if you can’t put any of it in your bank account however.
Fortunatley, you can. It will take effort and dedication but if you’re serious about finding new ways to make money, following some of the trading strategies I lay out for you can put you on the path to financial freedom.
This is usually the point where I start to get all sort of meaningless objections.
“I don’t have the money to get started”
“This all seems very complicated”
“If it’s so easy, why aren’t other people doing it?”
I call these objections meaningless because they are exactly that. Humans have a habit of talking themselves out of challenging situations in order to save themselves from failure. This is a trap you must avoid if you want to be succesful and I will adress each of these objections to show you that your biggest obstacle is your own thought process.
Objection 1- No money to get started
While it may seem logical that access to a 5 trillion dollar market would take a signifcant amount of capital this is simply not the case. Most forex brokers offer what are called micro or mini accounts. These starter accounts typically require deposits anywhere from $25-$50. For the cost it takes to fill up your gas tank you can try your hand at the biggest financial market in the world.
Exciting isn’t it?
It’s important to note that while you can get started with such a small sum, the returns on a $25 account are typcally too small to be useful for the average person. There is much debate in the forex community as to whether one should wait and save the money to fund a sizeable account rather than starting with the minimum amount.
The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There are some people who benefit from risking a small sum and testing the waters before they invest any real money. Others however are prone to wrecklessness or boredom when the funds in their account are not enough to bring forth excitement or elicit any sort of disicpline.
There is however a third option available to the prospective trader – the demo account.
Unlike pretty much any other business venture you can imagine, forex trading gives you the opportunity to completely master the technical aspects of the craft before you ever risk a dime. This is possible because every major broker allows you trade the live market on a demo account before you make your initial deposit.
In other words, you can learn before you earn.
This is one of the primary reasons why I am so adamant that those who are looking to supplement or replace their primary income look towards the forex market to do so. While all investment takes risk, the fact that you can demo trade until you’re ready to spend real money greatly reduces that risk.
Objection 2- The forex market seems too complicated for me to trade
At first glance your average currency chart holds all the mystery and confusion of Egyptian heiroglyphics. Currency pairs tied to foreign countries, Zig Zagging trend lines, prices seemingly moving up and down at random- it can all seem quiet strange and intimidating.
This is an illusion however. A little patience and education will allow you to look at a chart and see opportunity instead of chaos. If you can get over the initial confusion the forex market is no more complicated than your average 9-5 job. The difference being that you don’t have a manager to train you and give you step by step instructions. In order to achieve success in the forex market it will be up to you to educate yourself.
Fortunatley there a myriad of resources online that can help you along your forex journey. Sites like babypips.com offer entry level education programs for free so you can learn at your own pace. It’s important to realize that you will only go as far as your ambition takes you in forex.
If you are unwilling to take your destiny into your own hands then you will continue to see forex as something vague and mysterious instead of a wonderful opportunity to change your financial situation. There are also great forums out there like forexfactory with a community that can help you along your journey.
There are dozens of trading strategies out there to choose from and to adequtely explain them would go beyond the scope of this article. I will however point you towards strategies that I currently utilize and have proved realible for me over the years.
Demand/Supply zone trading
Keeping it brief: this strategy requires you to identify areas of support and resistance nd then to buy and sell at those areas based on price action. Its a proven strategy and unlike other, more convulted methods, can be easily understood after a month or so of practice.
Trading using Fibonacci levels
Fibonnacci levels are areas of potential activity based on the fibonacci sequence of numbers. By laying these numbers over a currency chart you can identify spots where you can buy or sell based on your analysis. While no strategy is fullproof, fibonacci is used by hundreds of thousands traders including yours truly.
Elliot Wave trading
Elliot wave was a brilliant man who figured out a way to catch tops and bottoms in markets based on fractal mathematics. By analyzing “impulse” and “corrective” ways you can determine with reasonable accuracy which way the market is heading and position yourself accordingly.
I recommend spending time reasearching and practicing these strategies each day. A simple google search will give you all the information you need to get started. A common misconception is that you need to read dozens of books and spend years studying the markets until you’re ready to trade. I’m here to tell you that the sooner you get down to the business of chart reading and making trades the faster you’ll reach your goals.
Don’t get bogged down in preperation. Try things and make mistakes as soon as you can. By utilizing a demo account your risk and cost of education are virtually nill.
Objection 3- “If it’s so easy why aren’t other people doing it?”
I chose to adress this objection last because it’s usually the final barrier to success. A lifetime of public education and traditional employment have convinced people that they are not special and are subject to the same choices and options as everyone else in life.
This is only true if you believe it to be so.
It may sound cliche but you can truly do whatever you put your mind to. If you make the decision to be different and pursue your dreams the universe will likely get out of your way. Conviction is the key to success and if you are committed to replacing your primary income there is literally nothing stopping you.
Nothing moves until you do
I’ve outlined two solid strategies that you can start today that can potentially change your life. The beauty of bird dogging and forex is that they allow you to pursue your dream of indepence while still working your full time job. If you have alot of time on your hands you can even try both strategies at once and double your potential income.
No matter which way you decide to go, continue to educate yourself, eliminate distractions and pursue your dreams 100%.
And then tell your boss that it’s time to hire your replacement.
Yes Matt I started my real estate career as a bird dog and have been trading forex for the last 3 years. Real estate books i recommend include “The ABCs of Real Estate investing” by ken mcelroy and “The Millionaire Real Estate investor” by Gary Keller. Forex books I recommend are “Applying Elliott Wave Theory Profitably” by Steven W. Poser and “New frontiers in Fibonacci Trading” by Michael Jardine.