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AARE Monthly Newsletter - Catching a Last Minute Rehab Problem... Don't Let it Happen to You!




AARE Monthly | May 2013    




Hi Kevin,


In this issue, read about the surprising rehab problem our professional designer helped us avoid and the key networking tactics you could be lacking.


Also, last month, we launched our Worcester Black Diamond meeting and saw a great turnout of over 100 attendees. We love all the open space at the Fiddler's Green, providing room for so many more new faces!



Happy Investing,

Julia & Nick


In this Issue:





Calling in a Pro to Kick it up a Notch


Not Your Average Rehab

Our recent acquisition is up in North Hampton, NH – 4,000 sqft overlooking 13 acres and ocean views. Being a coveted coastal town in New Hampshire, this house is surrounded by million dollar listings. As you know, with that higher AVR comes increased expectations and even different design preferences.


North Hampton Houses


Don’t reinvent the wheel—Modify it

When it comes to our mid-grade rehab projects, we stick to our standards, defaulting to whatever is most simple, commonly-liked, and cost-effective. Finish standards derive from trying things out in one project, getting feedback from agents and buyers, and tweaking it until it is right. The same principle applies to higher-end projects. Our job is to modify the systems we have to fit this type of property and its buyers, while still being realistic about the cost/benefit of upgrades. This North Hampton project will establish our standard finishes for similar properties going forward.


One of these finish standards is wall color. Normally, all the walls in the entire house get painted one neutral color, because the cost goes up with each additional color. However, with 4,000 sqft, that can end up looking redundant and just plain boring. Tossing in a couple different accent colors is worth it in higher-end houses. Instead of trying to guess or scour through online articles about “Best Colors for XYZ,” we opted to cut down on the guessing, testing, and feedback gathering by getting an expert opinion.

Time for a Pro

To maximize the benefits of using different colors, we called in Designer and Stager, Julie Chrissis, out of Manchester, NH for a “color consultation.” Being a stager, she understands the investor’s goal of creating a homey feel, while still appealing to as many people as possible. Also, her experience in designing for high-end clients in Greater Boston up to the Lakes Region of NH gives her more frequent insight into what the buyers in this price-point usually request, like, dislike, etc. Possible rooms include the dining room, master bedroom, and bathrooms.

Solving a Problem before it Becomes One

While she was walking through the house, she noticed an issue we hadn’t thought about yet. Vaulted ceilings. The Great Room as well as the Master Bedroom have these wonderfully high ceilings, but it’s not clear where the wall should end and the ceiling should begin. This is something we would not have noticed until project completion when we’d be asking ourselves, “Why does that look funny?”



Look at the shape of the room. No matter where the white ceiling starts, it will look choppy—defeating the whole purpose of a grand space. So, Julie suggested painting walls and ceiling all one muted color, creating a clean and finished space. See the pictures in her blog post to get the idea.


Where’s the Value-Add?

Painting cathedral ceilings won’t add to our resale price. It only optimizes the existing selling feature, while hopefully minimizing Days on Market. (Fewer Days on Market = lower holding costs = increased profit margin)


Instead of guessing what buyers want, we went straight to someone who hears it all. By using an expert, not only do we have an updated color scheme for high-end projects, it turns out we minimized an issue that would have otherwise detracted from the house’s appeal.


Contact Julie at Chrissis & Company Interiors




Networking Necessities

You already know networking can be highly beneficial to your business; we don’t have to tell you that.

But we can offer a first-hand example of this – most of the people we work with at AARE were originally connections we made at REIA events. So, it’s surprising that people don’t always jump at the opportunity to attend a networking event, when it can be a huge business-boosting tactic. Instead, networking is sometimes dreaded because of the chance it can feel awkward, frustrating, and ambiguous. We get it; you’re not crazy about the risk of possible social torture. But there are plenty of approaches to make networking the exact opposite of that. Here are a few ways to ensure an easy and rewarding networking experience.


Tips-for-Networking-Events cropped

Find out about their Personality, Not Just Their Job Description

Don’t get hung up on only learning about the other person’s profession and what they can offer. Just because you are technically there “on business,” doesn’t mean you can’t veer from career topics of conversation.

  • Find out about the person’s hobbies, history, and family members. Learning that Jay the wholesaler has two sons and likes to play golf will make you appear genuinely interested in building a relationship with him, rather than merely seeming interested in what he can offer professionally.
  • Your follow up will sound more thoughtful and therefore get more notice. You’ll be able to ask a specific personal question about how Jay’s son is doing at x school or with x sport rather than just generically asking how his family is.

Be Mindful of Your Body Language

Being nervous is perfectly okay. But letting others see this nervousness is when it becomes a problem. Moreover, you could be presenting negative body language without even realizing it.

  • Just smiling and having a look of interest on your face is not the only thing to consider. Princeton University researchers found in a recent study that body language likely has a higher impact than facial expression in how one is portrayed.
  • Crossing your arms gives a negative cue to others because it portrays tenseness and restriction.
  • Turning your body away from your potential connection can give him the feeling that you aren’t fully interested in what he’s saying and are looking to leave the conversation. But if you are in a small group and want to ensure others can easily join the conversation, standing at a slight angle to your companion can be beneficial in leaving more open space for others.
  • A strong handshake with direct eye contact immediately establishes confidence

Carry a Pen and Those Business Cards Help Too…

If you are like most normal humans, your brain can only remember so much. So why risk forgetting that vital company name or website that so interested you?

  • Writing down others’ suggestions, will not only help you remember what to look up later. It will also show new acquaintances you’re not just all talk and actually plan to use their advice.
  • You’ll look prepared and organized. Instead of simply referencing that recommended program for email marketing, take out your business card and write down the name of it while you’re talking to the new colleague. It will show them that you’re genuinely interested in helping and will give them a way to remember you.
  • Your follow up process will be ten times easier. After chatting with someone, write down something unique about them on their business card. Later on, when you’re going through a huge pile of cards, you’ll be able to put a face to each name.


Click here to read more......





The Perfect Networking Opportunity:

Start practicing these approaches at the Black Diamond “Networking After Hours” event in Worcester on May 21st, at the Fiddler's Green.








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 Office: 978-384-0032
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AARE Partner's mission is to provide our investors with solid private lending opportunities and equity partnerships in real estate, resulting in returns that far exceed the traditional markets.
AARE Mentor's mission is to provide our students with solid and tested information, strategies,& win-win partnerships, that allow them to TAKE ACTION and succeed in today's real estate market.

AARE Investment News Update - 3rd Qtr 2012

Hi Kevin,

I hope you've all managed to stay warm and safe during our recent bout with Hurricane Sandy.  We only had our lights flicker a bit, and still, I didn't participate in the mad rush at the local grocery stores - if I was going to float away, I was going to do it having spent my extra time breaking into foreclosures (my real passion in life).  

MAKE SURE you "Enable Pictures" to see the pics of our newest project, included below.

As an investor working with both on & off-market deals, we always see a huge influx of competition whenever a national guru brings a training into town.  In this case, Than Merrill from Fortune Builders came into town a few months back, and trained a whole bunch of investors on how to "buy properties cheap".  I'm not sure on their business success, but as a pattern, we always find competition for on-market foreclosures soars with people paying too much - perhaps to get their first deal going?  We aren't sure.  The net effect is that it's always tougher to get deals on-market when this happens, so we rely heavily on our off-market sources - wholesalers, agent relationships, marketing efforts, and short sale company - to continue our influx.    

Our most recent deal we are working on is in my homewtown of Chelmsford, MA.  A referral from my financial planner (whoever needs an independent, non-partial guy, I'm happy to introduce you), we really spent time on finding out the best way to help this poor woman.  Her mother and father both passed away (one recently), she was disabled and also had hoarding tendencies we had to get over.  We were able to strike a deal with her which did not only involve a cash sale of her house, but also included hiring movers for her for as much as she wanted to keep, leasing out a climate-controlled storage facility for 3 months while she found a new place to live, and we set her up with a great real estate agent contact that could best suit her needs. 


A quick "feel good story", the day before closing she was taking me through and showing me all the electrical switches, and labelling them.  "My dad was one hell of a carpenter," she said.  "But definitely not much of an electrician."  (It was then I realized we would spend an additional 7 full days trying to figure out what wires went where in the basement, with an $800 change order associated.) 


She started to cry as she wrote on the walls, saying her mother would never have allowed this.  I encouraged her to bring in her neices and nephews and have them all write on the walls prior to closing - which she happily did.  On my post-closing walk-through, we found drawings, inspirational quotes, and one wall that gave me a directive - to "take good care of her home." 

We look forward to showing Dawn the "re-emergence", and also have a few gifts we are dressing up from her old memories as well, that we came across.  Enjoy the pictures.  This one will be our next round of Rehab Chronicles too - so you can see the rehab take place as it happens.     


Local Market Update:

Our average hold time after a project has completed has gone up, but specific to New Hampshire properties only.  We find that NH properties, with the same finishes as MA properties and in comparable areas (good school districts, not busy streets, etc), take roughly 6 times what MA properties take to sell (under agreement in roughly 8-12 weeks, vs. 2).  This is in line with what we felt the absorption rates in the NH towns were - on average, a 1 month absorption rate in Massachusetts (i.e., Chelmsford, MA in the $250-$300K range) is comparable to a 6 month absorption in NH (i.e Hampton, NH, $250K - $300K).

We are still buying at between 57 and 68% of after-repaired value.  Our profit figures are up from 10% in 2011 to 11%, so we are holding strong.  Our average relist & resale price has gone up slightly from listing at 92% of fair market and selling at 91%, to listing at 95% and selling at 93-94%.  As we are still sure we are "the best property at the lowest price", we still feel this is a conservative approach, and are seeing success for both ourselves and for our investors.

We have yet to air on A&E's "Flipping Boston" TV program, as their most recent season filled up fast.  The host, David Seymour of City Light Homes, has let me know we are first in line for the next season, provided the right deal comes along (they want more drama than anything).  I've learned a lot about the TV techniques during this time - the biggest lesson I learned, is that there's a lot that goes on "behind the scenes".  The film crew is the one who approves or rejects sites for the show, and we're working on a couple deals that should be great candidates; but at this point, they would have to be timed for next season. 

Our subscription amount of $300,000 for 2012 has officially been filled (thank you all for your loyalty!) for our Noteholder programs, but we are still accepting smaller investment amounts (minimum is $20,000) for our Private Lending programs, with annual returns ranging from 6-9%.  If you've not yet joined our team, contact us today so we can set up an appointment to see if one of our programs is right for you.  We also work with personal contacts at all the self-directed IRA companies, and are happy to assist in transferring your accounts over and with the paperwork involved in directing the investment.

As always - we appreciate your interest and support in our endeavors, as we hope you're seeing success as well.  Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and - dare I say it - a very Merry Christmas!


Happy Investing,


You are receiving this message because it has been shown you have a previous relationship with AA Real Estate Enterprises LLC, now the AA Real Estate Group.  This is not a solicitation to buy or sell any registered security with the SEC, nor can it be treated as one.  AA Real Estate Enterprises LLC does not hold any financial or legal licenses, and advises you utilize your own professional advisors if you have questions on any investment opportunity presented.


And in case you need a refresher...


Who is the AA Real Estate Group?

AA Real Estate Partners is a professional real estate acquisition company that serves to create opportunities for our investors. This is done through buying, selling, and managing single-family and multi-family homes.

AA Real Estate Enterprises, LLC (now, the AA Real Estate Group) was established by Nick Aalerud, our Managing Member, in 2005. Shortly after, he created AA Real Estate Partners as a division within this entity to serve our investors.

Within the past 7 years, AA Real Estate’s experience has spanned millions of dollars in closed transactions. As of the summer of 2011, we completed our 100th redevelopment deal. We continue to grow each year as well as additions to The AA Real Estate Group.

How Do We Invest in Real Estate?

• Buy and sell properties quickly.

• Renovate others.

• Hold onto others for cash flow and long-term appreciation.

• Occasionally make loans on other properties.

With our field expertise, conservative mindset, excellent track record and established relationships with all our contacts, we have a well-developed sense of what makes a good real estate opportunity, and what’s not worth getting involved in.