Donald Trump’s For-Profit University Under Fire

CI - Jason Hartman Rental Property InvestingAs a self-professed news-addict, Jason Hartman can’t resist a good Donald Trump scandal, and since everyone’s favorite real estate mogul turned reality television star can’t seem to keep himself out of the spotlight for more than thirty seconds, here we go again. Hang on tight.

The charges and counter-charges are flying fast and furious in the $40 million lawsuit filed against “Trump University” by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The state’s case claims that developer and reality television star (Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice), Donald Trump, used the “university” as nothing more than an “elaborate bait and switch” scheme designed to sucker people into spending “thousands of dollars they didn’t have for lessons they never got.”

Trump appeared on Fox and Friends to question the legitimacy of the lawsuit, suggesting that President Obama, in a snit over The Donald’s incessant public bashing, dreamed up the idea of suing Trump’s profit-oriented, unlicensed school.

During his appearance, Trump said: “They meet on Thursday evening – I get sued by this AG Schneiderman – Saturday at one o’clock. Think of it. What government in the history of this country has ever brought a suit on Saturday? I never heard of such a thing.”

He went on to allege that the legal action could be an IRS/Tea Party type witch hunt, saying, “…They obviously did it very quickly, but probably Obama – maybe this is a mini IRS. Maybe we have to get the Tea Party after these people, because this could well be a mini IRS.”

Schneiderman made an appearance on CNN, where he said the subject of the discussion between himself and the president was not the real estate mogul. “The president and I have much more important stuff to talk about than Donald Trump,” he said. “I’ve never discussed Donald Trump with the president.”

Regardless of who ultimately wins this game of he said / she said, Mr. Trump can’t help but be happy that his name is being plastered all over the headlines again. The man is living, breathing proof that all publicity is good.

So what is “Trump University” being accused of? Essentially, there have been scattered complaints that $35,000 spent on “tuition” earns a student little more than a photograph with a life-sized Donald Trump cardboard cutout and a front row seat at the school’s lectures (or infomercials as some say). One complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego says, “The primary lesson Trump University teaches its students is how to spend more money buying more Trump seminars.”

While Trump’s lawyers say the seminars have a customer satisfaction rating of 95 percent, the Better Business Bureau has awarded the program a D-minus rating. In case you’re wondering, that ain’t good. Where do we go from here? Who knows? Only time will tell how this drama plays out. One thing is for sure, when Donald Trump is involved, it’s guaranteed to be interesting. (Top image: Flickr | Imaginary Museum Projects: News Tableaus)

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The Commercial Investing Center Team


Is THIS Habit Costing You Wealth?

It’s so tempting to put off the hard tasks until the end of the day. You know, do the fun (mostly UN-constructive) stuff first, like checking e-mail and sharpening pencils. The problem with this seemingly innocent tendency towards procrastination is that it can be costing you BIG bucks. Here’s how.

After more than two decades using real estate sales and income property investing as his sole source of income, it’s safe to say Jason Hartman has seen a lot happen in the industry and learned a lot more. And if there’s one thing he’d like to suggest to all the up-and-comers or even the old-and-still-kicking-gluteus maximus crowd is that it makes all the difference in the world to start your work day strong. Most people acknowledge the value of being a strong closer, but to use a sports analogy, most coaches prefer to play from ahead than behind.

What you get done in that first hour can set the tone for, not only the day, but the ultimate fruit of your working life. Does that sound too heavy? Trust us, it’s that important.

Resist the E-mail Temptation

If your boss had any real idea of how much precious time you fritter away jumping over to check or respond to e-mail dozens of times a day, he’d probably fire you. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that because he’s too busy checking his e-mail to notice.

Here’s the lowdown: don’t check your e-mail for at least the first hour in the morning. It won’t kill you; we’re pretty sure of that. The early morning inbox train wreck is, in our humble opinion, the #1 derailer of productivity in the known universe. You’re not going to miss anything urgent. That’s what phone calls and texts are for.

Is this your typical morning? Stumble into the office bleary-eyed, shirt mis-buttoned and socks on backwards, plop yourself down in front of the laptop or tablet with coffee in hand, thinking you’ll ease into the day by responding to a few e-mail messages before getting down to serious business. Before you know it, your fingers are hopping here and there and everywhere as you fire off a few dozen responses to stuff that barely registers on the scale of importance.

This, my friend, makes you a time waster, and while you’re occupied with irrelevance, Donald Trump (brilliant self-promoter or near psychopath?) just closed three more real estate deals.

We’ll finish this thought by saying you should start every day by picking up a frog and eating it. Not literally. The idea comes from writer/humorist Mark Twain, who commented that if you ate a live frog first thing every morning, the day couldn’t help but get better.

There’s much wisdom in that way of thinking. Rather than running to your computer and obsessively checking e-mail for the latest Groupon deal, try buckling down and getting one of those tasks accomplished that you’ve been avoiding.

In other words, eat that live frog for breakfast. You’ll be a better, more successful human being and business person when you do. (Top image: Flickr | cheetah100)

The Commercial Investing Center Team

3 Reasons to Invest in Mobile Home Parks

Mobile home parks are a hidden investment opportunity compared to other commercial real estate. This is because it isn’t as widely advertised.

Let’s examine three reasons to invest in mobile home parks from the long-term cash flow angle:

1.Low Rent – Americans have downgraded their homes and lifestyles due to the recession and other factors. The low rents in mobile home parks make it appealing to renters. How does low rent boost profit margins? By calculating the total revenue of all the homes within the park, as well as the land space, the figures add up to a significant amount. Experts agree that pricing rent low contributes to sustained high-demand.

2.Low Supply and High Demand – There are over 50,000 mobile home parks within the United States. In addition, construction of new mobile homes are somewhat at a standstill. This means that old and available supplies are met with high demand.

3.Success Rates – One of the best ways to become financially successful is to gain the wisdom of those who have already accomplished the feat. Warren Buffet, unlike Donald Trump, is reportedly the biggest investor in mobile home parks, whereas Donald Trump invests in luxury real estate. Which market do you think is easier to tap into? Another Fortune 500 maven, Sam Zell, made his riches through mobile home park investments. Average men and women also have the opportunity to succeed in this market through due diligence research.

Despite these appealing factors, investors will need to exercise business savvy to get a good return on investment.

Jason Hartman advises:

  • Buying in a Central Location – This key tip is the difference between having a large vacancy or full occupancy.
  • Keeping Prices Reasonable – A low-price strategy contributes to long-term clients. Consider this: What would make a consumer remain in a mobile home park if they were able to relocate to a bigger home for the same price? The key to keeping mobile home park renters is low rates.
  • Cutting Expenses – Despite keeping rental prices low to secure a low-income target market of renters, mobile home park owners should additionally seek ways to reduce expenses on their end. A good example is researching the most affordable utility companies in the area, verses sticking with the most popular service provider.
  • Securing Insurance – In the event of a natural disaster, make sure you’re covered. In the same breath, ensure that the location is one that isn’t prone to hurricanes or a popular route for natural disasters.
  • Cooking Up An Exit Strategy – For mobile park owners who are not satisfied with the investment, the alternative would be to sell for a tasty profit.

Ultimately, lucrative mobile home park investing boils down to accessibility for the target market in terms of low price and convenience to the metropolis. (Top image: Flickr | KOMUnews)

The Commercial Investing Center Team

CI 33 – Getting Rid Of A Bad Property and Lawyers Are Liars

Jason explores some ways to get out of a bad property then he interviews author/attorney Mark Kohler about his book “Lawyers Are Liars: The Truth About Protecting Our Assets.” Mark is an attorney, CPA and entrepreneur who has owned numerous businesses since high school, through college and even as a professional. Mark’s principal career has been as a partner in the law firm Kyler, Kohler, Ostermiller, & Sorensen, LLP. He specializes in the areas of business, estate and tax planning. Mark owns several commercial real estate projects and loves the people, transactions, and everything to do with real estate. You will be pleasantly surprised at how exciting and interesting a discussion regarding tax and legal planning can be. Jason and Mark will distill complex legal and tax strategies to common layperson terms, adding interesting stories and anecdotes.

Some lawyers, and others who are not lawyers, use fear tactics to sell the unsuspecting public various asset protection structures or strategies that are outright lies. Until now, no other professional has been willing to call out the frauds and cheats in this powerful industry where self-professed experts and do-it-yourself hacks wreak havoc on the innocent just wanting to protect their assets. This episode we will expose the liars. Undoubtedly, this book will become a desktop resource for not only the average middle income American wanting to protect his or her assets, but attorneys, estate planners and financial professionals guiding their clients through this complex area of the law. Learn the best kept secrets in asset protection planning, learn the truth about Nevada corporations, off-shore planning, land trusts and all of the so called silver bullet strategies! Mark and many other great speakers will be presenting at “The Masters Weekend: A Gathering of Experts”.

CI 32 – How To Save On Life’s Largest Expense with Diane Kennedy, CPA

Most of us spend lots of time shopping around for the best deal on the things we buy while spending more money on taxes than anything else. Why not “shop around” to save money on life’s single largest expense? Join Jason as he talks with famed CPA, Diane Kennedy, about the tax strategies of wealthy real estate investors and business people. Diane Kennedy, a preeminent tax strategist, is the founder of USTaxAid Services, a leading tax firm that works with clients throughout the U.S. and founder of TaxLoopholes, an award-winning online tax education site. Diane is the author of The Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestsellers, Loopholes of the Rich and Real Estate Loopholes, and co-author of The Insider’s Guide To Real Estate Investing Loopholes, The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in Real Estate, The Insider’s Guide to Tax Free Real Estate Investing and Tax Loopholes for eBay® Sellers.

CI 29 – Mobile Home Millions

Jason welcomes his friend and mobile home investing guru, Corey, to this episode of The Commercial Investing Show. Visit: Adding another entry to our favorite success stories, Corey started his real estate investing career in 1993 by selling his jet ski to raise enough money for a down payment on his first deal. Since then, he went on to build a sizable portfolio of real estate, including apartments, single family homes, self-storage facilities and mobile home parks. Over the past several years he has focused primarily on mobile home parks and self-storage facilities. Corey regularly shares his expert knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry at real estate clubs, national seminars and universities about investing in his favorite avenues of real estate investing: mobile homes, mobile home parks and self-storage units.

CI 27 – ROTH IRA Changes – Bypass Tough Lending Regulations – Invest in Real Estate Using Your IRA / 401k

The lending regulations have changed drastically within the past two years, causing investors quite a head ache when attempting to buy America’s most tax-favored investment, income properties. With a self-directed IRA or real estate IRA you can be in control by investing your retirement funds when, where, and how you want.

On this episode of The Commercial Investing Show Jason talks with Jennifer Williams, an expert from The Entrust Group about the current investing opportunities with your IRA and 401k. Don’t miss the latest Roth IRA conversion changes and cutting-edge strategies to invest in real estate!

CI 25 – Self Storage Investing

Jason talks with Scott Meyers, CSSM©, the nation’s one and only self storage millionaire maker. Scott’s company focuses solely on buying and selling self storage facilities, that’s it. At the present time, he owns and operates several facilities throughout Central Indiana. Listen in at: As a leading self storage educator, he travels the country revealing why self storage has become the hottest sector in commercial real estate over the past 30 years.  Practically every real estate investor and entrepreneur has uttered the words “I’ve always wondered about self storage, I’ve heard those things were cash cows.”  As a result of his research and 16 years experience, he’ll reveal the top 10 reasons to invest in self storage and how built a $10,700 positive monthly cash flow his first year in one of the best kept secrets in real estate: self storage! You will learn the following:

The endless opportunities available in the over 60,000 facilities nationwide
The two reasons why demand is projected to skyrocket in the next 10 years
Why self storage facilities are “cash cows” and why they have outperformed many other investments