Your completed Criteria Worksheet has a second and equally important function beyond building your Criteria. Once completed, the form provides a template for your All Properties Bulletin (APB). Your APB is a script. It's the basic description of the real estate investment for which you'll be prospecting and marketing (lead generating).
For example, if you pulled out only the categories you completed, your APB might go something like this: "I need your help. I'm looking for two-bedroom, two-bathroom duplexes priced between $125,000 and $150,000. Ideally, I'd like them to be close to downtown off Opportunity Square or on the main bus line in Overlook Hills. I don't mind some cosmetic repairs, but nothing serious. I prefer brick construction if possible, and it would be great if there was a privacy fence. Please let me know if you see any properties that meet that description."
If you're communicating this to an investment partner, scout, or real estate agent, you might consider including your discount and cash flow criteria, as that person most likely will be qualified to estimate those details when looking for opportunities to tell you about.
14 A blank copy of the full worksheet is provided in Appendix C. Feel free to photocopy this worksheet to work on your personal real estate investment Criteria.
Criteria are unique to each investor and each market. There is no secret formula or magic bullet that works for everyone everywhere. Real estate investing is a limited-supply game within any price range, because there are only so many undervalued properties in any market at any given time, and competition can be fierce. Supply and demand always dictate price and value, and when too many investors seek the same kinds of properties in a market, it can be very difficult to find opportunities that are not already spoken for. As a result, we've observed that Millionaire Real Estate Investors tend to specialize in a niche (a narrowly defined set of Criteria) that they can learn well and identify fast— they niche to get rich. They master a set of specific Criteria and work them relentlessly. That's why there are investors who specialize in single-family, multifamily, land, new homes, rehabs, foreclosures, REOs (foreclosures reclaimed by the bank and named for their row on the bank's P&L—"Real Estate Owned"), and many, many more. You also may need to identify a niche so that you can acquire properties within it without undue competition. With time and experience you may even develop more than one Criteria modes in which you are highly competent so that you can switch gears whenever opportunities in one area become scarce.
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