The Dos and Donts of Private Lending

by : Michel Lautensack

Copyright (c) 2008 Michel Lautensack

I have received a number of email questions recently on very similar issues and thought I would address them as a group versus individual emails. The questions are broken down into general areas and include things to do and things not to do. The Don'ts include advertising on Craig's List and the use of the word "Guarantee". The Do's include what are the best marketing methods. My comments on each are below....

Advertising on Craig List - I do not recommend that you advertise on Craig List. It is too public and there are state and federal watchdogs looking for people who may be violating securities rules. I have said on many occasions that I do not recommend any advertising that is on a national scale including your own web site. This kind of advertising will get you into trouble with securities regulators and may be considered a securities offering to the public.

I know this from personal experience. Several years ago a person responded to my Craig's List ad requesting information about my investment program. After several emails, the individual said he was ready to invest and I directed him to my title company to prepare the appropriate documents. Strangely, I never heard from the individual again after that.

A short time later, I received a "cease and desist" letter from the Pennsylvania Securities and Exchange. The letter had several direct quotes from the emails I had exchanged with this individual. The State did not fine me, but asked that I never advertise on Craig's List or on my web site. Needless to say, I am complying.

Guarantee - Do not use the word "guarantee" in any form in any of your advertising. Do not use the word "guarantee" or ever imply that somehow your investments are "guaranteed". This is a sure fire way of attracting the attention of the wrong people. You may say your investments are secured by real estate, which is accurate, but do not use the word guaranteed.

Schedule at least one breakfast meeting per week - This simple advice might be the best and almost certain way to attract large amounts of capital. Schedule a breakfast meeting every week with someone who has extra cash available and is interested in your lending program. You will not get everyone to invest, but the chances are you will get enough to support a reasonable real estate buying business. At these meetings, be sure to ask the person for the name of at least one other person they know who might be interested in your programs.

Hand out 5 to 10 business cards per week - AgainArticle Search, this simple but very powerful advice will ensure that you have plenty of people on your prospect list. These are the people you have breakfast meetings or schedule a group meeting with. Everyone you come in contact with may be a potential lender. Do not overlook people just because they do not fit the perfect profile. You would be shocked that people that you would never think of as investors may become one of your best clients.