Wholesalers when doing your analysis are you remembering everyone wants to make money?

  Good day folks!

   Here’s to hoping that everyone is having a wonderful summer.  As of late, I’ve have some newer wholesalers bring deals to me.  And, when they present the offer price on the property, they, not intentionally have forgotten that everyone wants to make money in a transaction and it’s necessary to work your way backwards and include all the costs.  

There are a few ways to look at deals when you are trying to determine your Maximum Allowable Offer (MAO).  

First you can use a percentage minus the rehab costs to get a ball park figure.  Some folks use 65% of the ARV minus the rehab costs to get you MAO.  Some folks use 70%.  It really depends on the market you are working in.  The thought process is that 30-35% of the ARV will cover all costs and leave enough money for everyone to get paid.  Here’s an example using 65% – 

ARV – $300K  X  65% = $195K

Rehab costs – $75k

MAO = $120K

However, I prefer to work my way backwards to reach my MAO.  Using the same numbers from above, this is how it will look: 

ARV $300K 

Rehab costs $75k

Hard Money Costs  $35k (will vary dependent on lender)

Broker fees (5% typically) $15k

Holding costs $5k

Legal Fees $5k

Contingency $10k 

Wholesale fee $10k

Rehabber profit $50k

MAO – $95K

Working your way backwards is more accurate, will CYA and leaves room in the deal for everyone to make money.  Newer wholesalers usually forget the rehabber wants to make money.  Typically, they would send me the same deal listed above and excitedly tell me they have the property under contract for $160k and can I help them find a buyer.  This is what I receive: 

ARV – $300k

Rehab costs $75k 

Legal fees – $5k 

Holding costs $5k

Broker fees (5%) $15k

Asking price $160k 

Invariably, I have to get back with them and explain they need to add hard money costs, some type of contingency/oops money and oh by the way, the rehabber is going to want to make at least $50k on this project.  If you can get the asking price down to $95k or $100k, then I will present it to my buyers list.  

So, wholesalers, when you are out there looking for properties and putting them under contract, remember to include all the costs because just like you, everyone wants to get paid.  :-) 

Download Brownstone’s repair estimate calculator to help you out with your rehab numbers.  

Be sure to check out our upcoming events and we will see you at rehab tour in the near future.  

Bernadette Trafton, Boston AREIA Chief Connector






Is passive real estate Investing on the rise?

Network your way to success!

  Are you networking your way to success? 

  Every successful real estate investor I know gets most of their deals by networking.  Are you networking in all the ways that are available to you in real estate? 

There are numerous real estate investing meetings out there.  At these meeting you will meet many people who have the same goals that you have.  Their focus is to find deals and make money in real estate investing.  However, are you networking in ways that most others aren’t? 

For those of you who have flexible schedules or your J.O.B. isn’t a day job, you may want to consider going to some non-real estate specific networking events.  These events have people who may come across real estate deals, but, do have the knowledge or the desire to work them. 

For example, you may attend a BNI (Business Networking International) meeting.  At a typical BNI meeting you will meet a local real estate agent, real estate attorney, estate planning attorney, financial planner and others who may bring you real estate deals or others who may be interested in investing in your business.  There is a weekly time commitment and a financial commitment, but, when you have a group of business professionals looking to bring you deals, it’s worth the time and finances.  The great part about BNI is they only allow one seat per business type and there are few real estate investors in any of the groups.  You are allowed to visit any group who doesn’t have a real state investor in the group.  And,  you are allowed to visit each group 2 times before making a commitment to join any of them.  There are hundreds of groups in MA and NH.  So, that opens up lots of networking opportunities for you.  

Aside from BNI, there are a ton of networking opportunities out there.  They can be specific to something you love to do or specific to business.  Just go to meetup.com and do a search in your area.  You can also join the local Chamber of Commerce.  You will meet a ton of people in the business arena.  I have a friend who went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting that was held at an assisted living facility.  He made a connection with the head of the assisted living facility and has received 3 deals from there to date.  He was introduced to the children of the clients moving into the facility who had homes and they needed to close fast to help pay for the facility.  So, it has been a win-win-win situation for all involved.  

The key is you never know who will bring you your next deal.  So, get out there, network and meet some folks.  

Happy investing!

Bernadette Trafton, Chief Connector


We now have a private FB page for members only!

  Happy Tuesday folks!

  There have been some requests for a private group for members only.  I try to listen to the members of Boston AREIA.  So, we created one!  In this group, we will:

  • Collaborate
  • Network
  • Share ideas
  • Share contacts
  • Post Wholesale deals
  • Go FB Live from rehab tours and monthly meetings

We have more members of Boston AREIA than are in the group.  Some folks don’t like FB.  But, having a group like this allows me to give more and work more with the members.  For example, I’m getting ready to do a direct mail campaign and I was able to reach out to the rehabbers in the group to ask what areas they are looking in.  When deals come in, I will be able to post them within the group.  If you need a lender or a contractor, you can ask within the group.  Next week, when we have the monthly meeting, we will go FB Live within the group.  Therefore, if you are not feeling well or can’t be there, as a member, you will still have access to the event.  

If you are a current member and haven’t received my email invite or added beacause we are friends on FB, then go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/BostonAREIA/ and request to become a member.  I will check to make sure your membership is current and then I will add you to the group.  If you aren’t a member, yet, but, see the value in being part of our online community,  Become a member today! And, I’ve added a few codes to get a discount on the memberships!  Individual members use code EMAIL to save $25 on the yearly membership and Joint members (Business partners, couples, etc) use code EMAILJ to save $50 on the yearly membership.  

This is taking your networking one step further!  It will give you the ability to develop your power team, make scheduling a time to grab a coffee simpler and give you a place to post deals, find deals, develop partnerships and will allow you to get the most out of your membership.  

Happy Investing!

Bernadette Trafton

Chief Connector


2 largest issues that new investors say they have…


  Good day investors!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  In 2017 we saw alot of changes.  2018 has given us a promising start!  Here is to everyone’s success and for a prosperous 2018.  

People opt in to Boston AREIA everyday.  And one of the questions asked on the form is what do you feel is your greatest struggle in real estate investing?  Invariably, I get 2 responses. 

  1. Prospecting/Marketing
  2. Finding the money to do the deal

I always tell people, whether you are wholesaling, rehabbing or focused on buy and hold, finding the deal is the most important part of the equation.  Then you are in the driver’s seat and you can cherry pick the properties that you want to rehab or hold and you can wholesale the rest.  There are many ways to find deals.  You can prospect on Craigslist, network at meetings, go to auctions and auction sites, run direct mail campaigns and more.  The key is you need to be consistent with your marketing efforts. 

It’s important to have a strong presence online as well. It’s not the be all end all to finding deals.  But, it’s important that you have a presence online when people are researching you.  Perhaps you run a direct mail campaign or you meet someone at a networking event, many people are going to look you up online before they call you or work with you.  Therefore, it’s important to have a website, a strong FB page and preferably some reviews from folks you have worked with in the past.  This brings credibility to your business.  And, that is the one thing most new investors are lacking in real estate.  If you can build some credibility for a low cost monthly, it’s worth it. 

Finding money is easy as long as you have a real deal.  As long as you’ve done your numbers correctly, you used a good project estimate worksheet to run your rehab numbers, remembered everyone who is supposed to get paid from the lawyers to brokers, then finding the money is easy.  There are tons of lenders out there who want to lend their money, over and over again.  I don’t market specific ones on my website because I value my relationship with all of them.  But, if you are looking for a lender, be sure to reach out to me and I will make a connection. Bernadette@BostonAREIA.com

Remember, as long as you have systems in place online marketing is simple and be sure to run your numbers properly and the money will never be the problem.  

I look forward to seeing you on January 18th at Loss Mitigation Services of MA.  Read all details here!


Are November and December good times for rehabbing properties around the Boston area?

  Happy Fall (or Autumn) folks!  I have been talking to alot of new investors over the last few weeks.  All of them are wondering if November is a good time for a rehab.  We are moving into the winter months and in New England that can equal harsh weather.  We already saw  crazy wind storms last week.  I had 2 gazebos set up in my yard.  The operative word is had.  They are no longer standing.  And, I saw weather reports that it was snowing up north in the White Mountains today.  So, I completely understand the question and the concern.  

I would say that every time of the year is a good time for a rehab.  But, November in particular is a great time for a rehab.  Think about it, your average rehab is 8 to 12 weeks to complete.  In the winter, depending on the weather, it could take a little longer.  It’s November 8th, you put the property under contract and close by the end of the month.  You start the rehab in December and you put the property on the market sometime in March.  That’s perfect for the spring retail sale cycle and perfect for the seller’s market we have been in.  The demand for rehabbed and new housing has increased while the available inventory has decreased.  In some cases, I’ve seen rehabbers sell the house before the rehab is completed.  This can get a little trying because your buyers will want to choose finishes and coordinating everyone to make choices can be difficult.  But, chances are, the time on market is going to be low because demand is currently high.  So, now is a perfect time for a rehab!   

When you are running your numbers, make sure to add extended holding costs in the event weather causes the rehab to go longer than the projected scope of work dictates.  Remember to account for possible snow removal and heating the property (you don’t want any frozen pipes).  It is always about the numbers. 

But, if you are nervous about going into the winter doing a rehab, you can always wholesale!  Not sure how to wholesale and want to learn?  Check into this wholesaling for quick cash course with Brownstone RG.

I look forward to seeing everyone on Thur, 11/16/2017 for our upcoming meeting at BR Stone in Woburn.  Happy investing everyone!

Bernadette Trafton

Boston AREIA Chief Connector  

Bernadette, should I spend $40k on this real estate investing mentoring program?

Good morning folks!

This morning I got an email from a lady asking if she should spend $40k on a real estate investing mentoring program.  Without knowing which program or what she was getting for $40k, my initial reaction is, “If you have $40k just laying around, it should be going into a deal and setting up your business.”  And, then I asked her if the mentoring program was going to supply her with her first deal and could she earn money back on it.  She of course told me no it did not include them sourcing her first deal, but, they were giving her access to their lenders and others to help her with projects.  I tried to explain to her that she will have access to their lenders and it is another way for them to earn money off of you over an above the $40k she’s already spent.  

Most people who have come to Boston AREIA know that we do not have selling speakers pitching their programs at our meetings.  That’s not to say I don’t believe in education or coaching or mentoring.  I definitely believe in education and investing in yourself where your business is concerned.  I just don’t agree with the high pressure, high pitch sales tactics that are used.  And, after being in real estate and running Boston AREIA for over 10 years, I have seen people spend a ton of money on education, but never end up doing a deal or doing anything to make that money back.  I’ve watched people do everything from eat away all the equity in their homes, lose their homes and get divorced because of their pursuit of real estate education.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  A good portion of the reason I watched some people go into the education overload abyss, so to speak, is because they didn’t take action AFTER they bought the course.  That is something they need to own.  However, the guru’s selling pitch is usually regarding taking action.  And, they make it seem like the biggest part of the process is taking action to buy the course.  I’ve watched people get caught up in that portion of taking action.  But, that’s not the part that matters at all.  

It’s the main reason we stopped having selling speakers at Boston AREIA.  And, let me tell you, it’s harder to get local active real estate investors to come and speak at a meeting than it would be for me to call up some of the gurus and have them come and sell their courses.  It’s far less profitable for the group because we aren’t earning anything from course sales when the speaker isn’t selling anything.  It is, however, far more valuable to the attendees to meet local real estate investors in their market.   I have seen people be successful with guru courses, but, I’ve seen far more not be successful to continue inviting the gurus to speak.   

I have found a solution over the years with some local real estate investors I work with.  They do over 100 rehabs a year and have developed solutions for everyone who wants to be involved in real estate investings.  I told this budding investor, before you spend $40k on a guru course answer a few questions:

  1. Why real estate investing?  Do you just think it would be cool to learn or are you passionate and want this to be your career? 
  2. Is this money expendable or will it hurt you financially if you never make it back?
  3. If it is expendable, does the guru source your first deal for you?

I then recommended that she start with a monthly coaching option similar to what Brownstone RG offers.  I say similar to, but, I haven’t really seen a monthly coaching program that offers what they offer for $97 a month.  I mean for $97 a month, or the cost of a latte a day, she will learn a ton about real estate investing and will learn a ton about herself in the process.  She will learn whether she has the desire and the focus to be a real estate investor.  She will learn her own motivation.  Will she take action on the lessons she is presented with? Did she complete the setting up your business section? 

  • No, then it’s probably not her thing and she will have learned that for $97 instead of $40k. 
  • Yes, great, move onto the next step of learning in the coaching program, you still only paid $97 instead of $40k. 

Brownstone does have the big guru mentorship program as well.  It’s called the Fast Track Joint Venture Program and is focused on people wanting to learn to rehab.  The biggest difference that I’ve seen with their program is they train you to find deals, however they also source your first rehab deal for you.  They have a Senior Project Manager oversee and train you on how to complete the project and you get a portion of the profit from the deal when it is sold.  If you are passionate about real estate and have expendable funds, this is a great program for you.  However, if you do not have expendable funds and you are looking to try real estate investing to see if it’s a good fit, then the monthly coaching option is the best.

I’m not sure what she’s going to do.  Only time will tell.  But, I figured is she was pondering this type of question, others are doing the same.  Hope to see you at our upcoming events.  October 19th we will be in Quincy with Boston Property Ventures, LLC.  They have some great development projects in and around Boston they will be going over and on October 21st we will be in Bridgewater at a rehab tour with Jerry Lima and Renee Jean from Brownstone, RG. 

Happy Investing!

Bernadette Trafton

Boston AREIA Chief Connector 



Last chance to take advantage of these great offers

Last chance to take advantage of these incredible offers!

We are having an end of the month, everyone is back in school membership special!  For those who become a member of Boston AREIA by Monday Oct. 2nd, get a discount on the yearly membership!  For individual memberships, save $25 using Promo Code EMAIL and save $50 on a Joint Membership using code EMAILJ.


I’ve been going through the Brownstone monthly coaching course and it’s been awesome.  I can’t believe the information that is available in this online coaching program.  In fact the offer is so good, it’s going away!  Be sure to take advantage of this incredible offer before Monday October 2nd.  After that, the $1 option is going away!

$1 Coaching option from Brownstone!!!  http://brownstonerg.com/monthly-coaching/

Use code BAREIA to take advantage of this!

As I said, this offer goes away on Monday October 2nd.

Here’s what you get:

  • Monthly Video Training
  • Weekly coaching calls
  • Quarterly Mastermind Sessions
  • Monthly Case Studies
  • Master Scripts for Success
  • Project Based Checklists
  • Scope of work documents
  • Budget Templates
  • Project tested contracts
  • and much more project related information

You will learn how to:

  • Find Good Project Opportunities
  • Figure out what the cost of repair will be on a project
  • Analyze a deal to figure out what you can offer and still make a great profit
  • Plan out and organize your weeks for the greatest leverage and success\Stay laser focused on your business to drive huge success

$1 Coaching option from Brownstone!!!  http://brownstonerg.com/monthly-coaching/

Use code BAREIA to take advantage of this!

As I said, this offer goes away on Monday October 2nd.


Monthly Meeting October 19, 2017

How to turn a rehab into a legacy w/Peter McLoughlin of Boston Property Ventures

Join us at Boston Property Ventures, LLC

36 Miller Stile Road, Quincy, MA 02169

5:30 pm Networking 6:30 pm Meeting

CEO of Boston Property Ventures, LLC, Peter McLoughlin will share how he began with one rehab and in 16 years grew it into a conglomerate of companies covering development, construction, property management and lending.  He will cover where he was at when he began, how he got to where he is and where the company is heading.  He will share a history of projects and current projects the team is working on.

Peter McLoughlin is a Principal and Founder of Boston Property Ventures, LLC (BPV). Since…READ ALL HERE


Download this Project Estimate Worksheet!




Check out their latest Flipping with Brownstone video!  Make sure you subscribe to their Youtube channel to get notifications of new videos.


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Bernadette Trafton, Boston AREIA Chief Connector

Have you “Googled” your real estate business? What are the 8 pillars of online marketing

   Have you “googled” your real estate business?  So many investors, new and seasoned have not claimed their google listing.  It’s important to do this for a few reasons.  It really has to do with ownership of your online presence.  Did you know that if you don’t claim your Google Business listing, anyone can claim it?  And, if they are smart, they may be able to verify it as well and then manage and own it.  I was just checking out whether one of my great investor buddies has done this…and they DIDN’T.  I sent them an email with a screenshot and asked them, “Did you know your business hasn’t been claimed on google and I could claim it?”  They know me and know that I will only help them, so they said, please do claim it….LOL  So, I did and will help them with their online presence. 

But, really, you want to claim, own and manage your own business on Google.  I had alot of people asked me to do a live workshop.  So, we are doing one:

Saturday, September 16th, 10am  ****8 pillars of online marketing/branding and learn to generate high quality leads through social media****

Wakaya Training Center, 1 Industrial Drive, WIndham, NH 

If you can’t get to NH, we will be livestreaming this workshop through a private group on Facebook Live


So, what are the 8 pillars of online marketing?

  1. SEO  Search Engine Optimization, need website rich in keywords
  2. SEM  Search Engine Marketing, Google Adwords campaign
  3. Blogging, add education about product increases visits to the site.  Educate consumers and when they are ready to make a decision they will choose you.
  4. Google Maps, Google My Business will get you in the mapped section when folks are searching in your area.
  5. Listing on directories
  6. Social Media outlets
  7. Reviews
  8. Systems

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  This means that your website needs to have keywords that are specific to the service you provide, the locations you provide the service and should be continually updated so that Google will view your website as current and relevant to the search query. 

SEM is Search Engine Marketing, these are google adwords campaigns or ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  The caviat with these campaigns is that you have to know how to bid on keywords.  In real estate investing, there are numerous others trying this avenue and many of them have a large spend, so, it is difficult to compete.  As difficult as it is, it is important to add a small budget to the other strategies mentioned. 

Blogging is an important place for your client to get to know, like and trust you.  It gives you the ability to include many SEO keywords, allows you to educate potential clients so they will choose you when it is decision time. 

Google maps is the google your business that I mentioned above.  If you haven’t claimed and verified your business, google doesn’t include you in the mapped section. 

Listings and directories are the numerous directories that are out there from Yellow pages online to Superpages to Yelp and hundreds more.  I have a tool that will allow you to get on all of the directories and gives you an easy place to make changes (in case of website, phone number or location changes).  The cost is relatively low. 

Social Media is becoming more and more important over time.  Most people are on their laptops, phones and Ipads between 4 and 7 hours a day.  Can you imagine that?  Think about how many times you look at your cell phone throughout the day and it’s easy to see where much of our time is spent.  The thing is about 80 percent of that time is not done searching or researching products.  It’s on social media!  Whether we are on FB scrolling our feed, on Instagram, Snapchat or LinkedIn, we are scrolling.  So, it’s important for you to get in front of people during those times.  After they have seen your ad or educational post more than a few times, your business name begins to bring credibility and when they are ready to use your service or know someone who is they refer to you as the expert and will use and refer your business to others.  These sites are great for branding as well as lead generation. 

Reviews are key in online marketing.  Think about the last time you purchased a product on Amazon.  After finding a product to meet your needs, did you check out the reviews?  I know I do.  I’m not saying everyone does, but, many people do.  So, reputation or review marketing is key. 

Systems are important.  Just as a real estate strategy is important to your real estate business, systems are important for your marketing as well.  There are automated systems that can help you implement everything from content creation to Social Media and more.  I can help with most.

Remember, if you are interested in learning more…reach out to me and let me know!  

Happy Investing!

Bernadette Trafton

Chief Connector 



Flipping houses with Brownstone RG

  I’ve been checking out the monthly coaching program that Brownstone has!  It’s pretty awesome.  There is a ton of information in it.  I’ve been reviewing real estate courses for about 12 years now.  And, I haven’t seen a program with more information and access to coaches to help you with potential deals.  It really is awesome.  What’s even more awesome is that they are giving you 30 days for $1 when you use code BAREIA.  Why anyone wouldn’t take advantage of this is beyond me.  But really, this post is about sharing a video of Brownstone’s to share with you the type of coaches you get to work with…check it out!

This team is all about sharing information and educating folks about investing!  Have fun watching, I know I do!