Written by Jeffrey R. Armstrong – President/Owner of Armstrong Capital
Your favorite Master Note Buyer – Straightforward, Honest, Fair…
When I started in the Note Business in 1991, my vision was to work by myself, work from home, be with my family, do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it and have the money to do it with. However, as a huge follower of Napoleon Hill and his book Think and Grow Rich, I knew I could not do it alone. In his book he mentions the forming of a Mastermind Group. He describes the importance of forming a group of individuals sympathetic to your desires. They may be individuals with similar plans and goals or just people who will support you and believe in you.
A Mastermind Group can be made up of two or more individuals. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third. A third invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind. You may have noticed many times that by discussing something with another individual you suddenly get good ideas as a result of this association. Ideas you would not have gotten without this association. The same thing happens to the other person. Associating with your Mastermind Group is not meant as a means of letting others to do your thinking for you. It is to stimulate your own thinking through the association with other minds. No one knows everything. The more sympathetic (meaning working for a common purpose) minds you get together the more related information is going to be available, and great ideas are a combination of related information. So pick the member or members of your Mastermind Group with care. Make sure they are people you respect and who are hard working and conscientious. You’ll all reach your goals just that much sooner.
In addition to the backbone of support from your Mastermind Group, you need form a team of individuals that are experts in their field and available to help you in your chosen niche. In the Cash Flow Industry these individuals might include factors, note buyers, investors, funding sources, appraisers, title companies, processors, servicing companies, attorneys, accountants, other consultants, real estate brokers, escrow companies, computer technicians and even software experts. As you grow your business you will quickly learn which individuals you will need to be on your team. You might have as a member of your Mastermind Group a Master Broker, mentor, coach or investor that is willing to hold your hand and help you along the way.
The team that I now have has been added to and changed over the years as my business grew and changed. I can remember that one of my first team members was my Accountant. I have been with the same accountant now for 21 years. She knew me before I was in this business and has watched it grow over the years. All along teaching me and grooming me to always keep my books in order. She has taught me things like Income and Expense Reports, Profit and Loss statements and 1099’s etc. My accountant was one of the first members of my team.
Another member of my team is a nationwide Appraisal Company. When you are buying and brokering real estate notes all over the country you need to be able to make one phone call or send one email to get a quick appraisal or BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion). You want to know that you will have what you ordered in a timely fashion and that it will be objective and accurate. Having this member of my team saves me hours a week searching for an appraiser in some county of some state thousands of miles away.
The next member of my team is a nationwide Title Company. A good title company can save you a lot of money in the long term and wasted time in the short term. Being able to contact a title company and speak to a person about a particular title question is invaluable to a note buyer. A good title company knows what you do, understands the process of a transaction and facilitates the assignment and purchase without a hitch. A good title company knows how to clear any clouds that appear on title and corrects them promptly and efficiently. In our business we have always prided ourselves on being able to get people the cash they need as quickly as possible and a good title company can help you accomplish that.
You may have the same team your entire business life or you may add, delete or change team members as your needs change. After 15 years of stuffing, licking and sticking my own direct mail pieces I finally broke down and brought on a Mail House to do my direct mail marketing for me. I gave them the standards and requirements that I was accustomed to (I’m a bit particular) and so far they have been a wonderful addition to my team. They save me countless hours every month, not to mention the cuts I used to get on my tongue from licking the envelopes and the calories from each lick of the envelope (someone once told me it was one calorie per lick)!
For many years I processed all of my own transactions. The ones I bought and the ones I brokered. I did everything from gathering copies of documents and information to ordering appraisals and title commitments, clearing title problems, preparing documents and finding lost notes. Then I hired a competent and reputable Processing and Servicing Company. Not only do they do all of the items I just mentioned but then they service (collect the payments) on the notes I purchase as well! The time and frustration that they save me every month is well worth it. I now consider them an integral part of my team.
Whether you are a one man operation or a company with many employees the importance of having a good team behind you cannot be overstated. Your team might have different positions on it than my team or another person’s team and that’s ok. You are the only one who truly knows what your business needs are, which skills you possess and which skills and tasks you need assistance with. The strength of your business is directly related to the strength of your team. Stay positive, keep marketing and never stop until you succeed. TWITA!