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Don DeRosa

Don DeRosa

Don DeRosa is recognized as one of the nation’s top 21 real estate investors in the New York Times bestseller "The Millionaire Real Estate Investor".  Don, who is a full-time investor, trainer, and mentor, is the first to offer his complete investing system on a mobile platform. Don teaches investors how to Make More and Work Less by being more efficient, productive and competitive, leveraging mobile technology and apps on the iPad, iPhone, Android and other mobile devices.

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Articles by Don DeRosa (31)

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Safe and Sound: Keeper App Review
By Don DeRosa on January 31, 2016

"Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months." ~ Clifford Stoll


I’ve tried everything to keep all my passwords secure but still accessible. I’ve tried using phrases, combining dates, symbols and the like. But still my password combinations never seem to be long enough or ‘strong’ enough. When I think I have a handle on the password situation it never seems to work out.

The Keeper App has solved many of my day-to-day problems with login interfaces. Sometimes there are two part login screens that slow me down, especially if I’m in a hurry. With this app, you can register a device so it is recognized as secure. If you have to give your login details to another person, like an employee, it’s simple to do in a secure way. It’s also great to share sensitive data files like contracts or reports.

The downside is that the password capture isn’t completely automatic. Which is probably a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to change passwords and secure data storage. To log into the app itself, there is no need to make a code that has different symbols or a change in letter case. But again, I don’t see that as a negative. I think as long as your password is a unique phrase or something uncommon, you’re pretty safe. Read More >>


Fast and Easy: Sign-n-Send Review
By Don DeRosa on January 4, 2016

“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature ~ Nhat Hanh

The Sign-n-Send app for my iPad and iPhone is a really handy tool for my everyday use. I find it very convenient to send documents via email, but sometimes it’s hard to put your signature on there without being on a desktop. It is very intuitive, just tap and hold to open the pdf and edit.

For a long time I struggled with signing pdfs on my phone. I tried taking a photo and writing over it, an electronic stamp, other apps as well, and none are as fast and simple as Sign-n-Send. If you have an email with a pdf attached, just tap and hold the attachment, and a window will show you a few options. You will want to select ‘open in’ and then select ‘sign-n-send’. From there the app is very easy to navigate.

The user will always go through another application to get to this app. Mostly through your mail app or a messaging app. When you tap and hold the pdf to open, it does take a few seconds to open. Once it is open, use one finger to draw on the page, but pinch with two fingers to zoom in and out. If you have a screen protector, better to put down the stylus and use your finger for the signature line.  Read More >>


LightArrow’s LifeTopix App Review
By Don DeRosa on December 6, 2015

“A place for everything and everything in its place” ~ Benjamin Franklin

The developers at LightArrow must have had me in mind. Or at least, someone like me. I found myself constantly checking various apps, and across devices it is easy to lose track of messages, updates, and photos. I’ve been juggling things for a long time, but LightArrow has made an app that makes everything mesh together on one screen.

LifeTopix is almost like an operating system for all your apps. This single app makes one place where you can view your calendar, update travel plans, make a checklist, even order things on that list or make memos to yourself. I love the fact that you can install this on your phone or your tablet, and the interface is very clean with a white background. It even prompts you if you forgot something.

Doing what I do is my passion, but also overwhelming at times. I like the fact that this one app has consolidated my other apps, and really saves me time. Instead of bouncing around from one screen to another, everything that is important to me is on one screen. At a glance, I can see my tasks, reminders, and in this screen I can even shop. Read More >>


Make it Work: Interior Design App Review
By Don DeRosa on November 8, 2015

“Measuring and laying out a room in advance can save you a lot of headaches.” ~ David Bromstad

Design for iPad By Black Mana Studios is one of my favorite apps. I usually don’t bother with apps if they exceed $3, but I heard good things about this. I think it’s worth every penny to be honest. I’m not colorblind, but I do struggle sometimes with how to pair materials and textures together. This app doesn’t build a lush virtual world, but it gives me a base to plan interiors that don’t disappoint.

It is a drag and drop interface, which is great since you can change things around in an instant. I find that the color and materials palette has great variety, so I can find that same wood finish or paint color (or something close to it) when I get to the big box store or wholesale warehouse.

This app is really useful with placing furniture too. It has a lot of different options to offer with sofas and tables. You can find items that you already purchased and arrange them before you move them. Or you can play with shapes and placement before you commit to buying anything. I found the dimensions to be very accurate. Read More >>


CamFind App Review: Use it or Lose it?
By Don DeRosa on October 20, 2015

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Camfind is a new app that makes some big promises. It claims to be able to identify literally anything just by snapping a picture. I was quite skeptical since my past experience with Google Goggles left me hoping for more accuracy. But from object to QR codes, Camfind is far better than Google’s long forgotten product.

I used Google Goggles way back in 2010, but it has never been updated, so I haven’t touched it since. But I was intrigued by Camfind just because of the application to real estate needs. It could be a great way to identify a specific style of house, if you are looking to replace hardware in the home, perhaps a specific door knob, this has the potential to be very useful in this field. Read More >>


Got Needles In Your Haystack? Search Like An Expert
By Don DeRosa on September 15, 2015

“With Google I'm starting to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. People in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless.”
~ Douglas Coupland

Go to your computer right now and Google “real estate.” Go ahead, I dare you. Care to guess how many results you’ll get? Well, I just tried it, and I got 1.1 billion results. That’s billion with a b. Talk about information overload!

You’re pretty sophisticated, though, so you know not to try that kind of a mushy search. And you already know that you can search specifically for images and videos. You also realize that Google is pretty good at guessing what you’re looking for, and it will usually put those results first. But not always: If you search for “bronco,” Google won’t know whether to give you information about cars, football, or rodeos.

Luckily, you can tweak your searches to be surprisingly precise, if you know how. Here are some tricks for searching on Google that I’ve found useful. I’m concentrating on Google because it’s so popular, but some of these will work in other search engines, too. Read More >>


Flyp My Phone
By Don DeRosa on August 1, 2015

“The secret to multitasking is that it isn't actually multitasking. It's just extreme focus and organization.” ~ Joss Whedon

Have you ever watched a really good store manager while she works? It’s incredible! She can handle two or three customers at once, answer the phone three times while she’s at it, and approve a couple check transactions at the same time. And when you compliment her on her talent, she just shrugs and says, “I’m a multitasker.”

A few years ago, businesses were all about multitasking. Employers wanted people who could multitask. With life moving faster all the time, all of us have learned to do it to some extent. But experts now believe that multitasking isn’t really all that productive or efficient. For a lot of us, multitasking just means we do a bunch of things at once, but we don’t do any of them very well. I don’t know about you, but I’ll never be able to do what that store manager does.

So it turns out that it’s better to focus on one thing at a time. But this doesn’t fit too well with modern life. Between home, work, school, church, and hockey, it’s a wonder we ever get anything done at all.

Luckily, I don’t have to multitask anymore, because my cellphone does it for me. I can hardly remember anymore what life was like before I had an iPhone. I used to say that having a cellphone was a good idea, but not an absolute necessity. Well, it’s sure a necessity now. Read More >>


Too Many Loyalty Cards?
By Don DeRosa on July 1, 2015

“I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” ~Tammy Faye Bakker

The other day I was in the grocery store picking up some milk. In the checkout line, the checker asked the guy ahead of me if he had one of those loyalty cards. Well, this guy took out a shoebox full of those cards – a shoebox! –and started searching through them. It took forever!

Okay, maybe I made that up. Actually, if anyone needs a shoebox for those cards, it’s probably me. And if I were to pull out that shoebox in the checkout line, I’ll bet no jury would convict the checkout lady if she shot me right then and there.

Now, just in case there’s anyone who still doesn’t know about loyalty cards, it’s time you did. They’re promotional wallet cards that big retailers and businesses give out, usually for free. When the checker scans the barcode on the back (or when you give the checker the phone number they have on file for you), you can get all kinds of deals that are only available for people who sign up. Read More >>


Scary Websites
By Don DeRosa on May 29, 2015

“Currently computer graphics are used a great deal, but it can be excessive.”
~ Hayao Miyazaki

The other day, I was web-surfing while I waited for a program to download, and I came across a site that really caught my attention. In the upper right-hand corner, a big Jolly Roger pirate flag was waving. In the upper left-hand corner was a little animated dancing hamster. A tiny cartoon kitten ran across the bottom of the screen, and in the middle of the page fireworks burst out in an infinite loop. Then suddenly, my iPad started blasting "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin. It was a full-blown spectacle!

I tried to scroll down the screen to find a “music off” button. But the screen went on and on… and on… and on. One very long screen with a black background and neon-colored type. No links, just text. And every few lines, new and even cheesier animation.

At this point, I was desperate to stop the music. So I backed out of the site so fast I still don’t know what it was advertising. A funeral home, I think. Or maybe socks. All I know is, I had to get out of there. Read More >>


See It and Believe It
By Don DeRosa on April 30, 2015

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” ~ Albert Einstein

About a year ago, British Airways created an amazing billboard and put it near an airport. When an airplane would take off at the airport, the billboard would detect it. On the billboard, a little kid would follow the plane, pointing at it, until he ran past the end of the screen. When the plane was gone, he would run back into view. The billboard actually interacted with the world outside.

How did they do that? I have no idea.

If you’ve seen that billboard video, you’ve seen an example of “augmented reality.” (If you haven’t seen the video, you can find it by Googling “British Airways interactive billboard.”). Essentially, augmented reality adds digital content to real-life objects. The object could be an ad in a magazine, or it could be a famous painting, or it could be a house you just passed on the road. The essence is this: Point your tablet at it, and stuff happens. That stuff could be a link to a phone number, a video or animation you can watch, or other statistics about the thing you’re looking at. In the case of a house, it could tell you the price, square footage, and comps for the area. It could even give you a tour of the inside of the house. Read More >>


From Paper to (Almost) Paperless
By Don DeRosa on April 3, 2015

“Americans spend 3 billion hours per year filling out tax forms and keeping tax records.” ~ Jim Ramstad

There are two things I’ll never do again: first, teach one of my own kids how to drive; and second, help my Aunt May file her tax returns. I’m pretty sure you know Aunt May, or someone just like her. She’s a really sweet lady whose house looks spotlessly organized until you open a drawer or a closet. When she hints that she needs help with her taxes, you volunteer. I mean, she needs you, and she’s so nice! How hard could it be?

Anyway, that’s what I thought. But a day before taxes were due, Aunt May came over with six boxes full of paper. Six boxes! Each contained every manner of paper from receipts to bank statements to movie tickets to Christmas cards. Everything under the sun – except the things I needed. It took sixteen hours, eight aspirins, and three pots of coffee to figure out that she was getting a refund of $1.47. Nope. I adore my Aunt May, but I’m not going through that again.

I’ve never been quite as disorganized as Aunt May, but I’ve certainly had my moments. I discovered pretty quickly that I had better organize my business so I could find what I needed, when I needed it. When you’re trying to convince a potential seller that you run an organized, professional operation, it’s best if you can find the contract they signed. Read More >>


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