real estate investing

Everybody is on somebody’s list!  In the Real Estate business, or any business, you live and die by the list of people that you are able to connect with and ultimately sell your product.  Do you want the best of the best in service, quality, availability, cutting edge technology!  How you connect and stay in touch with your center of influence will be the mark of your success.  I am always learning how to do a better job of it.  I have lists of buyers, sellers, tenants, contractors, title companies, mortgage companies, attorneys, investors, network groups, etc, etc. etc…  I could go on and on. 

I have other lists too!  These are lists you Don’t want to be on…my black list.  These are people and companies that I have done business with in the past that I would NEVER do business with again nor would I recommend any of you to do business with them.  It should be hard to get on this list, but it seems that there are a lot of business people out there that don’t really care if they ever get your business again.  No follow up, lousy quality, don’t show up, under deliver and over promise, lie, cheat, steal, borrow and never return, discuss your confidential information with others, reveal your trade secrets, you know what I’m talking about, right?  Don’t get on my list.

I make lists every day, what To-Do today, what to get at Home Depot today, who to call today.  I spend time on my list, I spend money on my list.  My list brings me success, and failure.  This post is turning out to be a list.

Keep updating your list.  Add to it!  Delete from it!  KEEP IT UP!

Doug Voss, KC Improved Housing Solutions . . . 913-856-5466


Many residents of the inner city desire to be Home Owners.  The Urban Core has an abundance of homes that most any of these residents could own if they just had a little help from someone that cares.  Real Estate Investors have a unique opportunity to provide help to these wanna be Home Owners.  I have been buying inner city houses now for about 2 1/2 years and have talked to many applicants for my rental properties.  About 60%-75% of them would like to buy the house they are about to rent from me, so I provide a way for them to eventually own it.  It gives them a chance to own a home, and I get to recoup my investment quicker than if I only rented to them.  Plus, as a bonus, if they Rent-to-Own, I get a more responsible renter that will take better care of the home because they are working to eventually own it.

I invest in the Urban Core and also in the pretty neighborhoods.  The benefits of helping 1st Time Home Buyers who might not have had a chance without me, exist in both types of areas.  I get a buzz out of doing this for people and I get to make a little money at the same time.

KC Investment Property, KC Rental Property, Lease Option, Rent to Own, First Time Home Buyer, Kansas City Real Estate, KC Improved Housing Solutions

In the spirit of Improvement, I recently joined Realty Resource of KC.  I made the move so that I could better serve other investors in the KC area.  My services include helping investors BUY, REHAB, MANAGE, and SELL their investment properties here in Kansas City.  I can provide Construction Services, Contractor Coordination, Project Management, Draw Request Inspections, Budget Analysis, Pictures, etc. for investors that need the help.  If you are looking for investment opportunities in the Kansas City area, I can help and It would be my pleasure to serve you!

Doug Voss   KC Improved Housing Solutions    



No matter what strategy you use for investing in Real Estate, at some point you will need to get your hands on more money than you currently have.  That’s one of the secrets of Real Estate Investing, using leverage to acquire assets.  He who learns to use OPM for acquiring more property will be able to create wealth fastest.

For this moment, let’s discuss finding private individuals who have money to invest in your deals.  This is one of the most powerful kind of OPM.  It is quick and easy to get money when you need it most.  Because, in real estate investing, the first one to get to the deal with the money he needs to close the deal, gets the deal.  So, finding private money investors is crucial to keeping the momentum going on your real estate investing career. 

I currently have one private investor who has set aside a sum of money to invest in my expertise in real estate.  I pay him a better rate of return than can be obtained in other conventional types of investments available right now.  So when I find a deal that I need funding fast, I call my PMI.  We discuss the deal, we decide on the terms, and we do the deal.  I only wish I had about 10-12 of these individuals.  I’m always looking.

What would you do if you could earn 2-3 times the rate of return you currently are getting, secured by actual tangible real property, and turn your money anywhere from 2-6 times every year.  Do the math! 

If you would like to discuss PMI more indepth, please email me.

Ever had any problem with a contractor?  Well, if you haven’t, then you are probably not doing much serious rehab investing or you are doing it all yourself!  Stop that…  I’ve fired no less than a half dozen in the last year.  The problem Iv’e found is that they all say they can “git-r-done” in so-n-so timeframe and it always takes twice as long, -or- they say it will cost you this much and it really ends up costing this much plus that, -or- they can’t “git-r-done” at all and you have to fire them and get someone else on short notice for twice the price.  Ain’t it fun? 

I’ve also tried every version of contract you can think up…cost plus, labor only (I pay for materials), labor and materials, GC, subcontract myself all trades, etc., etc. 

Cost Plus means you agree to an hourly wage and you pay whatever it costs for labor and materials plus a small fee for their profit…DON’T DO IT, there is no incentive for them to be timely when they are working by the hour.  If you are going to use this method, you might as well hire yourself a few handimen and pay wages, FICA and the like. 

Labor Only (I pay for materials) is problematic too.  In this scenario, we agree to a total for the job for the labor and I pay for all the materials.  Problem is, if they get sloppy or screw something up and it has to be redone, guess who ends up paying for the materials twice?  That’ right, you! 

Labor & Materials is better but still not fool proof.  The way it should work is they give you a price to include all labor and materials.  Problem for you is, if you don’t specify very distinctly what materials you require to be installed upfront, the contractor makes assumptions (usually on the low side) of what materials he is going to use on your project.  Or even worse, he makes an allowance for the materials and his estimate is usually low and you end up spending much more on materials in order to meet your standards.  Be careful with this method of contracting.  Usually in this method, and most of the others, there are gaps in the work that the contractor or handiman can’t perform and you will still need to hire certain parts of the work yourself, ie. HVAC, Roofing, Guttering, possibly Painting…you get the idea. 

The GC method, is very similar to Labor and Materials except that the GC (General Contractor) takes care of everything including any parts that need to be subcontracted.  He is responsible for all quality and you don’t have to deal directly with any of the “subs”.  This method is very convenient for busy investors that can’t spend a lot of time physically at the project watching over the work to ensure everything is getting done right.  If you use this method for contracting, make sure you have a qualified contractor that has lot’s of experience, you will pay a bit more, but it is more likely that the work will get done right the first time and you will have much better communication with your GC than you typically do with the other types of contractors.

If you want to “Git-R-Done” right, you have to take all responsibility into your own hands.  How?  Become your own GC!  Hire all needed contractors, ie. Carpenter, Painter, Electrician, Roofer, etc. yourself.  It’s a bit more management intensive for you, but you will have more control of the overall quality and timeframe of your project.  You will quickly weed out the good tradesmen from the bad.  If a contractor ever tells you that “I do it all”, that usually translates to ‘Jack of all Trades, Expert of none!”.  Beware, if you hire this guy, you will likely be unhappy with certain portions of the work and the project’s timeframe will drag on and on and wear on your patience.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some very qualified all-around guys out there that can do a perfectly respectable job doing it all, but when you only have one man working, it will take a while to complete.  If you have the time, sometimes this can save you some money but you need to weigh the extra time against your extra costs for holding the property longer than if it were done quickly.

Some key items to make sure you do no matter how you contract your projects.

1. Always have a written contract.

2. Get proof of liability insurance and workers compensation if they hire others to help.

3. Always have a defined scope of work at contract time.

4. Always have a projected completion date in your contract.

5. Always get lien waivers after payments.

6. If you do have to fire a contractor, make sure you do it face-to-face and settle up for work completed, don’t forget to have them sign a final lien waiver for any payment you make to get rid of them.  If they refuse to sign, don’t give them any money.

7. When the work is done, PAY YOUR CONTRACTOR IN FULL.  Contractors are people too, don’t rip them off.  If they get the job done and it is satisfactory, pay them.  You want them to do your next job if they did a good job on this project.  Also, Get a Warranty from them, make them put it in writing.

Hopefully you have gotten a few insights here.  Keep in mind I am not an attorney so if any of these ideas don’t work for you, I can’t be held responsible for your results.  Just use common sense and you will keep yourself out of trouble most of the time.  Also, follow your gut feeling, if you don’t get a good feeling about a particular contractor, don’t use them, even if they are the “Low Bid”.

Thanks for listening…   …Doug