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Russ Hiner

Russ Hiner

Russ Hiner is an active real estate investor, coach and mentor. Russ teaches several workshops throughout the year on a variety of real estate investing topics such as Negotiations, Wholesaling 101, Wholesaling 401, Real Estate 101 and more. Russ’s current real estate business is focused on the rentals, wholesale real estate transactions, lease options, notes and deeds, loaning private money, commercial and note buying.

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Articles by Russ Hiner (31)

31 Articles Found.
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Why Improve Your Raising Capital Presentation Skills?
By Russ Hiner on October 1, 2017

I believe we all need to improve our businesses. The only way to do this is intentional reflection and forensic analysis. We all can learn a better way to look at our business to stay on top of our game. The best example of this was back in 2000 when the market opened up and anyone who had credit could get into a house.  I was using an old business model to screen tenants and respond to inquiries about my properties. I had to make a change quickly because the vacancies lasted longer than needed. I learned the lesson to stay on top of the market. If you become complacent your business will drop off.

In the last article, I wrote about sitting at the table with two sellers and working to get them to finance their house so I could renovate it. Then I would pay off the mortgage. It was a buy, fix, and sell. I will be using poetic license in referring to the “lender” as owner financing / private lending/ hard money.  Read More >>


Creating a Money Machine That Will Allow Me to Buy Houses with Private Money
By Russ Hiner on September 10, 2017

In February 2017, I wrote about beginner’s rules and the first presentation a person could do when looking to raise capital.  I talked about the mistakes that I made early on. I just changed the names to protect the innocent, me.

I want you to think about being able to raise private money from local sources, business people, retirees, and people who have money sitting in banks or accounts that are barely earning them a .01% rate of return.  If you are one of those people then we need to talk.

So, picture yourself walking up to people and building a relationship. Is this scary? Is this awkward? Is this a cake walk?  Read More >>


Mayor Kasim Reed Blowing Smoke
By Russ Hiner on August 7, 2017

Mayor Kasim Reed is a short-sighted politician.  Thank goodness for term limits.

Mayor Kasim Reed says he is concerned about affordable housing. In a recent AJC article, Mayor Reed used terms like “predatory purchasing”. I believe this slanderous name calling only causes separation and stirs up animosity between the sellers and investor buyers. I am upset about this article where Mayor Reed said that investors are using predatory purchases to acquire houses and force the property values to go up, so there is no longer affordable housing in Atlanta.

If the city of Atlanta is going to point fingers they need to look at the predatory purchase of the surrounding land, which now houses the Falcons Stadium. My understanding is the city of Atlanta did threaten eminent domain in order to get that stadium in place. I did like the powers to be forcing that move though. Even if it will displace 30 properties of affordable housing. I think the Atlanta Mayor must have been referring to the investors that buy single family houses as predatory purchasers, not the commercial buyers. But that is another article.  Read More >>


Raising Private Capital - A Lesson Learned
By Russ Hiner on July 10, 2017

Sitting at the kitchen table there were three people, two sellers and the buyer.  I wanted to buy their house but did not have the $40,000 cash to do it… now. The presentation from my side went just like I had planned.  From the Seller’s prospective it was too good to be true. They were unfamiliar with investing in residential real estate. They did have other investments like a 401 K.  They let other people handle their investment accounts. They haven’t touched it or changed their investment direction in 20 years and they had lost money during the recession. When the 401K and investment statements came in the mail they never opened the envelopes to see what they had. What they had was HOPE! They had a mortgage and had owned two houses prior with a mortgage. They had never heard of private real estate investing and getting an interest rate as high as I was proposing.

What I wanted to do was to buy the house. The house had a first mortgage of $120,000 and equity of $40,000 for a total financing of $160,000.   I wanted to keep the first mortgage in place, have a $40,000 second and pay an interest rate of 8%. My exit strategy was to buy, fix and sell the property, just like they do on TV. It would be for one year, then I would sell the house and the mortgage would be paid off.  This method of financing was going to save me $16,600 in interest fees and costs. I could pay a higher price for the house with the owner financing. It would be a lower price if I paid all cash.  Read More >>


Getting Prepared To Make Your First "Ask For The Money" Presentation
By Russ Hiner on June 4, 2017

It is about time that you are making your very first “get the money” presentation. I am not going to tell you much about my first presentation for money, since it was so long ago. I think I was 3 years old and wanted some candy. I am sure it did not turn out very well. I think I did the presentation in front of the wrong audience and I was not very professional. My ‘ask” presentations have gotten much better especially since I know how to effectively raise capital today and every day.

How can you get prepared to make your first professional “ask” presentation?  The first thing you must do is place yourself in front of the right audience. If you are doing the presentation in front of a group of people without any resources, you might as well be talking to the wall. If you are talking to people who have shown interest and know something about what you are working to achieve then your chances soar! So, think of doing a presentation in which the potential investors in your project have a mix of people who know you and people who don’t have a clue as to your reputation, experience level, motives, or character. The great news is the people who know you will probably advocate for you.  Read More >>


Why Would Anyone Give Me $100,000 Cash to Invest?
By Russ Hiner on April 30, 2017

I think the better question is why wouldn’t someone give you $100,000 in cash? Is it because you would run off with the money? Is it because you have little to no experience in handling that kind of money? Does that thought run through your mind on a regular basis?  Well it needs to stop! Focus on the goal and dump the negativity! If you are a crook stop reading this article.  The best question to ask is, who will fund my whole project, (the purchase price, the repair costs, the monthly payments, the utilities, the taxes, and insurance) and allow me to make a good profit?

Let me put the quantity of money into prospective. Let me also put into prospective the major two differences between a hard money lender and a private lender.

In the past I thought that $100,000 was a lot of money. Today this amount will buy a nice single family house in a blue collar neighborhood. The house will need to be fixed up and it might be in an area with a less than desirable school system. So, if your business plan is to fix up houses in the price range of $50,000 then sell at the $100,000 this will work. You will be very happy to have a person invest in your project. The project must make sense. The project must make money for the investor/ lender. The investor/ lender is sharing the risk with you.  The investor/ lender will want to know that they will be paid back on time and in full with no excuses or late night phone calls.  Read More >>


How to “Print” Money for Your Real Estate Investment Business
By Russ Hiner on March 31, 2017

I have learned how to get enough money to buy any house, at any time, any place, and any condition. Wouldn’t it be great to have the relationships to be able to do just that? This is not out of reach and it is not very far from where you are sitting right now.

I recently got into a conversation with a fellow Investor at the gym and it went like this:

Russ: How is business?

Gabriel: I am so busy. I have 17 houses (being rehabbed) right now and the one you sold me (two months ago,) I haven’t been able to get to yet.

Russ: This is great. How are you getting them?

Gabriel: From people like you, wholesalers.

Gabriel: What are you doing?  Read More >>


Creating a Money Machine That Will Allow Me to Buy Houses With Private Money
By Russ Hiner on March 6, 2017

Last month I wrote about beginner’s rules and the first presentation a person could do when looking to raise capital.  I talked about the mistakes that I made early on. I just changed the names to protect the innocent, me.

I want you to think about being able to raise private money from local sources, business people, retirees, and people who have money sitting in banks or accounts that are barely earning them a .01% rate of return.  If you are one of those people, then we need to talk.

So, picture yourself walking up to people and building a relationship. Is this scary? Is this awkward? Is this a cake walk?  Read More >>


Beginner’s Rules for Raising Capital in 2017
By Russ Hiner on February 6, 2017

This year will be different.  Has it happened?  Has the flame gone out? Is the passion gone away? Have you followed through?  One way that I keep the passion alive, is to have access to more money than I can use to produce great investments. Raising capital is not very hard. Getting over the psychological parts of making “the ask” seems to be the difficult part for most people. I have been approached over the past year by a number of people who want me to fund their projects. I can get excited about this because I can see they have a project which will work and make us a lot of money. 

I was at a networking event recently. There where people in the room who wanted to invest in real estate projects and earn a great rate of return. There were people who did not have a clue as to what lending is all about, that there are multiple alternative investments, other than the traditional ways Wall Street gets your money. There were individuals who were reluctant to dip their toes into the pool of lending to investors. There were people there who had projects, which they wanted to get funded. So the environment was ripe for synergy to happen.  Read More >>


Have We Reached the Top of the Market?
By Russ Hiner on January 9, 2017

On the Front Page of The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday Nov. 30, it stated “Home Prices Hit record levels”. If you read this article, you will think it is over, the window of the “massive profits in real estate” opportunity has slammed shut. If you did not buy any property since the great recession, you have missed the boat. In your old age when you go into the smelly retirement home, that your Social Security or what’s left of it will pay, you will remember this lost opportunity of buying real estate in the 2012-2016. Yes, it is true the national average states that prices have recovered. If you sat on the fence, you have missed that once in a lifetime opportunity. You decided that the market wasn’t right and you would wait. Those who waited have lost the greatest opportunity in this decade or life time to hit it big and coast into retirement. You might as well go to your “JOB= Just over broke” opportunity and sell your health, back, brain and soul to the company. Don’t invest in any more real estate courses… Save your money, you will need it for your retirement.  Read More >>


Working With Realtors
By Russ Hiner on December 5, 2016

In my business model I need very motivated sellers. They need to be able to have a desire to sell at a reduced price and give me favorable terms. Most Realtors have been trained to only accept a cash deal (mortgage included), as there is no reason to do anything beyond this traditional method, especially if it is complicated financing that they don’t understand. So it is important to figure out how to work with a Realtor.  Here are some tips that I have found to be effective when working with Realtors:

The Realtor’s sole job is to act as a fiduciary. The Realtor’s responsibility is to make the most commission for themselves, which has a benefit of making the maximum for the seller. The Realtor has no risk if either party makes a profit or loss. You see the conflict immediately between a Realtor and the investor. The goal of a Realtor is to get as much earnest money out of you as they possibly can. (Just like a wholesaler). This causes you to follow the money... your money. I was told by a mentor who was willing to walk from $5,000, if you do your due diligence and find the deal will lose more than your earnest money, then walk away. This was a big lesson for me.  Read More >>


It is a Deal or No Deal in 2016?
By Russ Hiner on November 7, 2016

I have been challenged in the past few months as the competition in the market heats up and the number of wholesalers who are working the area are making offers to sellers which are outrageously high. I want to talk about the way to figure out if the subject property is a Prospect or a deal. This way you will get the keys to remembering if the opportunity is a deal or dud.

I have recently taken some training because my business and I must change, in order to stay ahead of the changes in the economy, the market, and life in general. I took specific training that was on options. This gave me a new tool in my tool box in order to buy more property. I'm excited. I am using these techniques. They are working. When I understand that all scenarios that work for me the chances for success go up dramatically. I must know my plan of: what to buy, where to buy, when to buy, & what price to buy. Just because it is a deal for me doesn’t mean it is a deal for you. NEVER compare yourself to another investor or person!  Read More >>


The Real Estate Market is HOT NOW! Do I Want to Get In?
By Russ Hiner on October 3, 2016

Want to Get In?

Having a simple process to learn new things can enhance your personal and professional life.  For example, I wanted to learn how to listen to Jazz.  It's all about the learning curve and experience. I had to have a desire to learn something new. There had to be a simple system that I would be able to relate to and learn something about complicated jazz music. The music seemed to fit my personality. I did not grasp why some jazz was so caustic & other jazz was soothing romantic and enveloping.

If I couldn't get an understanding quickly, it could prevent me from being able to listen to a new richer, quality music. My goal was to be able to discern really good jazz and why jazz sometimes, just did not fit with my values or my personality.  I utilized a five step process to determine if Jazz was a new genre for me to enjoy.  This same process can apply to seeing if a career in Real Estate is for you, and how to be successful.  Read More >>


Has the Train of Wealth Pulled Out of the Station and You Are Left on the Platform with Fear?
By Russ Hiner on September 6, 2016

There I was standing on the side lines in one of the hottest housing markets scratching my head as to whether I should buy and get in the game. I was new to the real estate game. I had been buying for a few years. I had limited access to money. The year was 1991. I was wondering what I should do to get more money (that still has not changed I need access to more cash).   I was wondering what I needed to do to get the great deals. I did not think about learning new tricks to buy houses. Then again there weren’t any seminars or real estate investment groups I could attend. So I missed it. Do I regret it? I got an important learning lesson.  The lesson was easy to understand and hard to implement. I needed to get more people involved in my investing business. I put an ad in the newspaper. “I am looking for a few good partners who are looking to take advantage of this incredible market. People who are willing to take calculated risk to get a reward of money.  Those individuals who want to earn wonderful rates of return on their money while enjoying a hands off approach have an opportunity to hit it big in this real estate market.”

The market is hot right now. There was a recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that stated Atlanta was the hottest flipping market in the country. The bad news is a newspaper reporter picks up on the market when the market tends to be at the peak.  I have wholesaled more houses this year.  I have done more flipping this year than in past years. I wrote an article in 2012 that said the market had turned in Atlanta. So where are you?  Read More >>


Celebrating Financial Independence Day
By Russ Hiner on July 30, 2016

When we think of the Fourth of July we think about fireworks, grilling, and being with friends and family in celebration. I am a very big pyrotechnics fan, I always have a supply of fireworks for any occasion. If there is any excuse to launch a mortar or rockets, then I am very excited. Yes, I have gotten my share of injuries. I still have my eyes and fingers. The injuries healed. This is just like getting involved in real estate. You must know the risk and rewards when you buy and sell real property.

When I am picking out the right explosives to use in a celebration I have certain criteria. The mortars have to have color and reports. I also have rules in real estate. I have certain types of houses which I will buy and others I will pass on. I will pass on certain areas. I need to know what is the profit/reward ratio. The process I use has four simple rules. The first rule is to know what you are buying. Are you buying a house, commercial property, apartments, or storage units? How big? Get it inspected so you know what you are getting yourself into.  Read More >>


Properly Analyzing Potential Property Purchases
By Russ Hiner on July 10, 2016

When I was going through a divorce I had no idea what to do. I was negotiating blind. I did not know what would be an equitable split. I had nowhere to look to find the answers either. The divorce attorney was not much help because they were more interested in keeping the chaos going rather than moving toward clarity. There were many variables including alimony, child support, the marital house, insurance coverage for the children, Custody rights, retirement benefits, the value on her business and mine, saving account, Christmas ornaments and the photos/ videos tapes of the family.

The way I was able to get a handle on the divorce was to set my priorities. What was most important to me? This has been covered before at the beginning of the year in the blog of setting goals. So I won’t go into it here. The next biggest thing was the evaluation of the assets. One thing that I could not put a value on was the relationship I have with my daughters.

Sounds like the same thing in real estate where there are many variables and there are a few things you cannot put a price on. So let’s make it simple to understand. Follow the money! That’s the difference between divorce and real estate. Divorce is more than the money. Real estate is about money and returns and providing service with value. If you disagree, then call me. I need to talk to you! Read More >>


Become the Expert – Invest in Your Future!
By Russ Hiner on June 5, 2016

Ok so you want to learn everything you can about a certain subject. Become an expert. It takes around 10,000 hours to become an expert. If you worked at it 40 hours per week you would get there in 5 years. If you do it part time, while you are working to put a few pennies together, then it will take 30 years. The choice is yours.

Becoming a realtor, mortgage broker, contractor, attorney, appraiser, and loan servicing company all require a learning curve. How long do you have before you are at a loss of income?  The person who goes to College postpones their earning power for a period of time.  They will command more money than a High School educated person. The interesting fact is the person who works straight out of High School will earn more gross money until the 20th year out of High School. After that the College educated person will earn 2 times more over their life time. One interesting idea to ponder is what do the people without the College education do with that money and if they invested it they would have more net worth at the age of 65 through compounding. Because the High school graduate only has life experience and does not think about investment, nor have the educational background on economics, they tend to fail financially. Understand that if that is you, then you are under more pressure to succeed than someone who went to College.  Read More >>


What do Fishing and Real Estate Have in Common?
By Russ Hiner on May 2, 2016

One day I wanted to go fishing to a new spot. I knew where it was but had no clue as to how to get there from where I was at the time. I could have used a GPS if I had the address. I could use technology but Google maps needs to know the general area where I wanted to go. Another option, I could just ride out in the general direction and hope to see something I recognized. I could go old school and get a folded map. My time is money so I needed to go out there and get the fishing done, have my fun and relax. Then get back in time to meet my coaching clients for a discussion of how to create inventory fast, efficiently (low effort high return), and effectively (cost effectively). I needed the most direct route to get to the fishing spot with no time to loose, which maximizes my efforts and gets to the sweet honey fishing hole fast. I chose the old tried and true method. It would get me there. The good news was the map was only 12 years old.

Well the fishing was great and the method of maximizing the fun worked. You are asking yourself "why do I care about your fishing"?  Because fishing is similar to creating inventory!  You must do the right presentation to get the fish to be interested in what you have to offer and catch the fish or land the deal.  So if you are offering cash to the seller, they might be interested unless they have a big tax liability, have done a loan modification, and have 2 years before they can sell. If you offer fair market price in cash the owner will definitely be interested (however you will not be able to sell it or turn a profit).   I use artificial bait when I fish (creative financing). I also do catch and release (wholesale).  It takes a certain magic to look like the real thing, smell like the real thing, and get the fish to strike (close the opportunity and get paid)! Read More >>


Managing Risk
By Russ Hiner on April 3, 2016

So you did not win the 1.5 billion dollar lottery. Now what are you going to do to pay the bills, Christmas expenses, college tuition, medical expenses, health care insurance, car payment etc.?

Yes I played the lottery to the extent that if I lost I would not jeopardize my wealth. I would not experience a hardship even if I didn’t win the 1.5 billion dollar lottery. (You know that sounds great when you say it) I’m sure there is at least one reader of this article who spent $2,500 dollars on tickets for the lottery. I hope this wasn’t your rent money!  I play a game of chance when I travel. Will the plane crash? This game of chance happens when I am riding in the tram to pick up my car. I count the number of people and calculate in my head, what is the percentage chance I will be the first person to get off the bus?  I know that there is at least one person who will beat those odds just like the lottery. (You have to buy a ticket to win).

So we take risks everyday in life.  However, too much risk can lead to failure or even death. SO let’s get a solid plan for your success in real estate. Let’s not gamble but manage risk!   Let’s talk about your goals and what do you need. Do you need money short term or money long term?  Happiness short term or happiness long term? Excellent health short term or excellent health long term?  Being spiritual and doing the right thing every time? Being able to sleep at night comfortably? Read More >>


The Solid Seven Secret: Creating Goals That Work
By Russ Hiner on March 6, 2016

Your career in real estate is like a marriage. If you let it get boring, you’re going to make mistakes. If you don’t build it on a solid foundation, it will fall apart. In both cases, you might just lose a lot of money!

So how do you keep things new in real estate? You challenge yourself to be inspired; you stay eager to learn new things.

Do I follow my own advice? YES. Recently I took two real estate courses, and I am renewed. I am excited! These classes will help my success, and I want to share the information with you so that you can be inspired too.

In fact, in my weekly groups, I work with people like you who want to succeed. I can help you by sharing what I have learned in classes and from experience. Read More >>


The Addiction of Success!
By Russ Hiner on January 31, 2016

Over the holidays I had a few great learning lessons. I volunteer for several different causes. The one I chose, was a half-way house for recovering addicts. I have learned from that experience that it takes on average 6 times or 6 attempts to become clean. Now this is an average. There are some individuals who will get clean in a much shorter time because they have super “WHY” and have the right relationships which will support them in their life’s journey. So I started to look at my own life and the struggles I have learning and implementing new systems in my own business. Why do I go to the seminars and training which I buy, spending thousands of dollars on my education? The day after the seminar I do nothing. I never implement the great knowledge and systems the gurus has provided. I don’t even open the book ever again. Does this sound familiar? Read More >>


3 Rules For Success
By Russ Hiner on January 4, 2016

As this year comes to an end, I am reflecting on what went right and what areas in my life do I need to focus on, to make some improvements to reach my highest level of success?

Part of having a very successful business, involves 3 basic principles; purpose, attitude and action.  Let’s look at these 3 basic principles. The good news is the chances of us getting it right is because the change is within us and we don’t need to depend on anyone else for this success. Did you hear me! The bad news is the change is within us, which means we have to take responsibility and action to get it right.

Number 1 – What is your Purpose?

When we have an outrageous WHY, the opportunity for success goes up dramatically.

SO ask yourselves…. why do you think real estate is the right vehicle for you?  What problems can this vehicle help to solve in your life?  How is this new wealth vehicle different from the current work you are doing? This is not a get rich quick scheme.  Read More >>


Will You Sink or Swim?
By Russ Hiner on December 6, 2015

This is your life. You have decided that real estate investing is something you want to do. But…

Are you sinking or swimming?

Right now, I am teaching a 58 year old friend to swim. I can see his fear. He is thinking, “What if I drown?” or “What if I can't do this and I look silly?” We all have fears about uncertainties; fear is natural and good—it can keep us out of trouble! But, when fear controls you, when it stops and paralyzes you, when it keeps you from success, it is a problem.

Remember: There is no such thing as a dead end.

Your fears can be conquered easily through calculated action and baby steps.

How is your business like learning to swim? Like my friend, you probably have fear. Maybe you fear loss of financial security or not being able to know a bad deal from a great deal. Maybe you fear failure, or you fear what people will think if you make bad decisions. Maybe you even fear success. The problem is that fear will wear you out and kill your drive. Just like the swimmer, you need to know when to swim and when to float. You need to learn to trust the system and yourself. Read More >>


The Tortoise vs. the Hare – Persistency and Consistency Wins the Real Estate Wealth Race
By Russ Hiner on November 8, 2015

Over the past six months I have discussed excuses on why people are failing in the real estate business. I had discussed the excuse of lack of money, the excuse of lack of time, the excuse of lack of leads, the excuse of lack of a system, and last month I did a piece on accountability partners. Each one of these segments has been designed to eliminate the distractions and excuses for individuals that are desiring to get involved in real estate and are not accomplishing anything. This month I want to discuss how persistence and consistency will get you to your financial goals faster.

I go to the gym on a regular basis. There are individuals in the gym every time I am there, and I typically go 5 times a week. I have noticed that those individuals who are dedicated to their weight training and eating right have absolutely incredible bodies. The individuals, who come inconsistently, do not have the same success. For example take the individual who comes in on Monday and because it's a Monday decides that they are only going to do a short exercise routine. That same individual on Friday decides that “hey it's Friday and I will just do a light day”. That same individual comes in and spends 20 min. talking to everybody and socializing. That individual is not making head way on their exercise routine, maintaining their weight, and eating right. There are individuals who say that they are doing all of the right things, however their actions speak louder than words. These “quasi health nuts” are consumed by distractions and excuses. Read More >>


System for Success
By Russ Hiner on October 20, 2015

What will you do when things don’t go as planned? Will you flounder, or will you be able to put into motion a clear set of actions? In other words,

Do you have a System for Success?

Recently, a colleague of mine had two contractors burn him on a job. It should have been a quick fix, three days maximum, light work… paint, cleaning, and light bulbs. But neither contractor had a system to get the job done right, and he did not have a system to fire contractors and still come in on budget. The upshot is that, without a system, you risk losing time and money.

Often, when things don’t go as planned (and this can be often!), we have fear. We become paralyzed, perhaps we focus on the negative. To be successful, we need a plan that keeps us from feeling this way because what we want is success.

What does a good system give you? Read More >>


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