559 S. Washington Ave., Kankakee,IL 60901

P.815.929.9258 P.815.929.9200

Thank you for your words of wisdom and experience. I have already benefited from some of the techniques in your materials. My return on investment will be huge! Thanks again. Mike Fortin, Platinum Group REALTORS®


“Insiders” Have a Down Payment Machine, Pt. 3 September 26th, 2016 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

We’ll start putting some of this knowledge into the “nuts and bolts” of investing tomorrow, but let’s continue with the rest of the foundation for your down payment machine system.

It is important to understand that you have chosen a business that requires you to be available to your clients frequently.  In fact, your clients do require your jumping through hoops all the time.  Sometimes it is difficult to take vacations to avoid the guilt of missing “that big deal.”

The burnout ratio for real estate agents, especially top producers, seems to happen somewhere between the 10 and 20 year mark of a career.  At the time when you wake up and realize that you are not as excited about the brokerage business as you once were, it is nice to be able to fall back on savings and equity in real estate that produces a positive cash flow.

Every aspect of this system has been thought out and proven from years of experience and hundreds of interviews with agents who enjoy living off their investments!  The story is always the same – they ran an outstanding real estate business that produced them huge amounts of net income.  They have invested in the asset that they knew best – real estate.

In the later years, they were able to pick and choose aspects of the business that they enjoyed better than others, leaving the more energy-zapping aspects of real estate to the younger and more enthusiastic agents.

Soon, real estate rental income will replace commission income.  Some of these agents will open management companies that come from managing their own properties.  Some will become speakers.  All can retire while being financially independent real estate agents/brokers who have positive cash flow!

For me, I started transitioning from comfortable entry level, residential real estate to larger priced transactions in residential property, therefore working the same amount of time while netting larger commissions.  As my client base continued to grow, I then transitioned into the investment-oriented and commercial aspects of real estate, which accelerated by exposure to investment real estate.

I obtained the status of being a mentor to other top agents because the systems that I developed actually worked.  While working toward my professional career goals, I slowly built my real estate investments (a second time!).  This was not to say that I did not make thousands of mistakes in accumulating those real estate investments, but it was a constant goal with the end gain of having my money work for me so I did not have to work so hard for it.  This time, I was doing it safely, too!

At this point, I would like for you to complete an exercise that will allow you to start determining how much real estate brokerage business you have to do to accomplish your goals while obtaining down payments to buy real estate.  It might be too soon for you to determine how much money you will need for your investment program.  Because you might have to make improvements to your brokerage business, there are some items you may want to consider before you actually earn money for your down payment and “our” investment program.

There are investments that I would consider before real estate…can you believe I said that?  You must make certain that your tax-leveraged investment accounts are fully vested and that your non-secured debt is minimized.

Tomorrow, we’ll include a worksheet to give you some idea of the minimum goals that you should try to achieve.  The philosophies used in this worksheet are based upon age-old laws and rules for financial success.  If you follow them, you will win.  If you do not follow them, you have a very good chance of not maximizing your input to family, faith, fun, friends, and of course – personal finances!

My goal is to make certain that you have an end date of your “have to” working life and to help you create a time to retire while living off the fruits of your labor from properties you have purchased with your “insider” advantage.  It is an exciting exercise.  Please seriously consider the outcome.

Finding a down payment is sometimes one of hardest parts of your investment program.  For me, as my real estate brokerage career took off, I started making more money.  I found that my taxes went up so I was consistently looking for everything that I could add to my schedule C as an expense.

Many of my early years showed extremely small net income because of my search to find the keys to the kingdom of real estate sales.  I used those expenses to mitigate the net income, therefore reducing my taxes.  Sometimes, this made the banks not consider my loan application seriously.

My real estate income did not take off for a couple of years!  I was forced to make some compromises to my edicts of 10% down and no partners.  I can understand if you bring in a client to financially assist you or if you use notes and trust deeds that you had previously taken back as part of your commission.  I understand using your commission dollars toward a down payment.

In rare cases, where the deal is just an amazing opportunity, I can certainly understand borrowing money from family, friends, or even institutional/hard sources.  Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part, especially when your real estate net profit income has not kicked in.  In the past, I have even written a no-money down deal or two where I did not compromise the other important factors of a real estate investment.

The important thing is to get started in your investment career!  I know that it could look like an insurmountable task.  I understand that you have to generate leads for sellers and handle buyers while making enough profit to handle your personal living expenses, but if you make investing part of your goal, you will find that some of the properties you struggle to get into will be the crown jewels of your investment portfolio in a few years.

The magic of equity pay downs through fully amortized loans, coupled with the appreciation of real estate and the cash flow of that property, can substantially increase your net worth.  Whatever your goals are — make them bright and shiny enough for you to go through this initial pain of the acquisition of a down payment.

Many of the hot buttons in my life created the motivation and desire for me to get started in my investment program.  My motivation and desire changed over the years, but at one time or another my goals were any of the following: 

  1. The search for financial independence and material comfort
  2. A waterfront home
  3. Proof of self-worth
  4. Vacation properties and automobiles
  5. Proving others wrong about my abilities
  6. Being a local celebrity
  7. Proving my self-worth…to myself
  8. Fear of failure
  9. Being able to be a mentor with enough money to help others
  10. Prestige and freedom


I felt that to be successful — I needed to have the light at the end of tunnel be very visible.  Many times you will run into road blocks.  As long as you can anticipate the feeling that you will have when you achieve any of your goals — you will find that breaking through that barrier is much easier.

Invest in your business, invest in your future, invest in real estate!  Insider Trading for Real Estate Agents is a thick manual full of Walter’s personal investing strategies, forms, checklists, and letters with the data CD (digital copy for easier implementation).  It also includes audio CDs for you as a real estate investor and audio CDs for your investor clients.

Check out the details:  Call 800.792.5837 and ask for the $50 blog special on this system!

“Insiders” Have a Down Payment Machine, Pt. 2 September 26th, 2016 | Posted in General Real Estate, Newsletter Archives, Real Estate

We’re on day two of a series talking about how “insiders” (real estate agents) have a down payment machine.  Be sure to catch up by reading yesterday’s post.

It is paramount for an “insider” real estate investor to have a savings account prior to investing in real estate.  This account will be funded by your successful real estate brokerage business.  Without access to liquid cash, you will have to either find one of those extremely rare, “no money down” cash transactions with the potential problems from yesterday’s post, borrow the money, bring in an investor, or sell something to obtain the down payment.

The smartest financial move is to have ready cash available for the real estate transaction that meets all the goals of this book.  One of the questions you might ask is “Why not refinance another piece of property to obtain enough money for a down payment on a rapidly appreciating piece of real estate?”  There really is nothing wrong with that as long as real estate keeps appreciating, and as long as the piece of property you have refinanced can service the debt and the expenses by way of the income that it produces.  However, this ignores one of my goals…


Many of you will say that it is a slower track to buy well-performing property and wait for the tenants to pay off the mortgage.  Like my ex-wife’s response when the subject of horrendous alimony came up, her answer to my pain was “Work harder!”  Make more money in your real estate brokerage using my systems and look harder for the best real estate investments!

The concept of earning your money, investing it correctly, and allowing the tenants to pay off the mortgage is a tried-and-true concept that works in every market.  Many real estate agents do not have any experience with sideways or falling markets, but as in any business cycle – it does happen.  I would like for you to be able to weather the good times, the boring times, and even the “where’s the bottom?” kind of markets!

In Southern California between 1980 and 1985, we experienced as much as 15 to 30% drops from their 1979 highs.  In 1990 to 1995, a good percentage of the transactions happening in Southern California were actually being closed at prices less than the amounts owed the banks on mortgages.  We were receiving concessions from the lenders to achieve a closed property and then eventually a commission.  This is called a “short pay.”

These types of ups and down (although not as pronounced in some locations) do happen everywhere.  Any investment program based upon future appreciation is bound to fail.  Owning a well-performing piece of real estate that is able to weather the storms and obtaining equity pay downs by way of the money that the tenants give you is one of the safest and believe it or not – after you see how my snowball effect works – is one of the fastest, most exciting roads to real estate wealth.

This whole system is based upon your ability to put down a 5, 10, or even 25% down payment.  I am going to have to come up with some ideas for you on how to get this money; many of you will not like the answer because it involves discipline!

I could write a whole book on the discipline of earning and keeping money as a real estate professional!  The success basics of a top real estate professional include the following:

  1. Master many seller lead generation systems to produce leads no matter how busy you get.
  2. Master the ability to determine whether or not a buyer is profitable indicated by their actions and commitment.
  3. Develop checklists and technology to systemize the steps necessary to success in real estate including lead generation, listing presentations, marketing, inventory locating for buyers, negotiating, closing, transaction coordinating, follow up, running your business, and maintaining a balance in your life while you are doing everything else.


As you might know, I am one of the top real estate trainers in the country for the last ten years, and I was one of the top real estate agents in North America during the 80s and 90s.  Over time, my company has developed numerous systems that allow you to duplicate the systems that many top agents (including me!) have used to accomplish the above goals.

This book is about real estate investing, but since obtaining a down payment is paramount to your success in real estate investing — it is necessary to use your “insider” advantages to become a better real estate agent, thus creating a higher net profit.  The goal of this book is to…



Invest in your business, invest in your future, invest in real estate!  Insider Trading for Real Estate Agents is a thick manual full of Walter’s personal investing strategies, forms, checklists, and letters with the data CD (digital copy for easier implementation).  It also includes audio CDs for you as a real estate investor and audio CDs for your investor clients.

Check out the details:  Call 800.792.5837 and ask for the $50 blog special on this system!


“Insiders” Have a Down Payment Machine, Pt. 1 September 26th, 2016 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

This may be one of the most controversial philosophies in my real estate investment system.  Having a property perform correctly with little or no money out of your pocket is every investor’s dream.  It is possible, and it has been done before.  It is just not probable that you will obtain a performing piece of real estate with no financial commitment on your part.  Let’s address the basics of performing real estate assets.

With my years of experience I have found, in most instances, that when the down payment is minimum or non-existent, the “insider” investor (real estate agent) will be giving up some attribute of a performing piece of real estate.  These attributes may include location, condition, a positive or break-even cash flow, the potential for future appreciation, safety in regards to the financial terms, and possibly, control.

Obviously, location has a lot to do with any real estate investment.  It not only determines how easy it will be to collect rent (no guns should be needed to collect rent!), but also, possibly, the quality of tenants and the rate of future appreciation.

Condition has a lot to do with your future cash flow.  Deferred maintenance needs to addressed, and major problems with any of your systems need to be improved during your ownership.

A positive or break-even cash flow is paramount because it gives you holding power.  Many investors have found that investing for speculation and trying to squeeze the last few dollars of appreciation in an unbelievably hot market can be elusive.  If the rebound they’re looking for (whatever “that price” is) isn’t forthcoming, then many of these appreciation/speculation investors will find it very difficult to hold on to a property with a monthly “alligator” biting them in the rear!

Though my system is not based upon future appreciation, it goes without saying that when you buy a property in a mediocre-to-good area, there is always the opportunity for appreciation.  It has been proven that appreciation is consistently positive in real estate.  It is those short term drops you have to weather so you can take advantage of the next climb to find where your appreciation will come from.

Appreciation has a lot to do with the safety of your financial terms.  Not only do we like to see low interest rates that lead to the possibility of positive or break-even cash flow, but we also like to see long term loans that are fully amortized, which will eliminate the need to refinance or sell the property.

The final and one of the most important attributes is that I would like for the “insider” investor to be able to control the investment for themselves.  Whenever investors bring in a partner, they bring in the potential for pain.  Seldom do partners have the same needs and ideas on how to manage, utilize, and market any piece of real estate.  My philosophy – if the investor is not married to the partner, in every sense of the word, he should avoid partnerships.  This is a personal decision; however, my experience has been that partnerships breed distrust and disagreements making someone an eventual loser.

We’ll continue to break down how “insider” knowledge as a real estate agent is greatly beneficial as you build your real estate portfolio.  Check back with us tomorrow.


Invest in your business, invest in your future, invest in real estate!  Insider Trading for Real Estate Agents is a thick manual full of Walter’s personal investing strategies, forms, checklists, and letters with the data CD (digital copy for easier implementation).  It also includes audio CDs for you as a real estate investor and audio CDs for your investor clients.

Check out the details:  Call 800.792.5837 and ask for the $50 blog special on this system!


Fifteen Minutes of Fame and Fortune September 23rd, 2016 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

This week, we’ve covered the benefits of creating and utilizing an unpaid team.  We even shared a few options for mutual lead generation with your lender in pursuing FSBOs.

Today, we’re wrapping up with a system that made me good money…and made me locally famous.  This will show you how to have fun how to have fun and how to meet every seller and buyer in the neighborhood.

In the same step, this system will also show you how to create a massive personal promotional campaign and form an alliance with your lender while being a hero to your sellers.

I never liked open houses much.  They were always too slow.  I never could control the quality of client for whom, out of courtesy, service, and reputation, I had to wear a smile.  Even though I was missing my favorite “F” words – faith, family, fitness, fun, friends and freedom, I trudged through.   I met a speaker who said, “Just say “no” to open houses.”  The sellers sometimes do not understand so I devised a system to make it fun, massively profitable, and effective.

After almost twenty years of doing these open houses and watching others do them, here is the finished system:

Assemble no more than eight properties for a 15-minute open house on the second Sunday from today. Get all the homes to have something in common, i.e.: same general price, or size or all within your local historical district.  Keep them within a mile of each other if possible.  Call all the sellers so they can get the homes ready for your big event.  Explain it could bring out hundreds of people and that you will have two salespeople in the home while it is going on.  You will have an ample supply of brochures and maps.  Ask them if they might prepare some sort of refreshment.  Inform them we will be there and be gone within 15 – 20 minutes (watch or hear the smile).

Also, mention that your lender will be present to pre-qualify, that there will be a sign announcing the event in their yard, and that some of their neighbors will be invited by written invitation.  If you can’t find enough of your own sellers to make the event, try the in house listings.  Everyone needs an open house to be done.  Give chances to win 100 lottery tickets at each home!

Next, contact your lender and request his/her services.  Explain they will be meeting most potential sellers and buyers for a given geographical area.  Then explain that they will be made famous for their ingenious service and will share in the glow that comes from a unique, effective real estate system.  Tell them to have their notebook computer for pre-quals and see if you can get their help in a joint ad that announces:


Walter Sanford of Sanford Systems


Joe Lender of XYZ Mortgage

announce a wonderful real estate event –

eight homes in the Riverview District will be open in

15-minute intervals with 5-minute travel times.

Here they are:

1026 Cobb Blvd. — open 1 – 1:15

825 S. Chicago — open 1:20 – 1:35



Joe will be on hand to pre-qualify buyers and he will be giving out pre-qualification certificates with the amount of loan that you qualify for.

  • Refreshments will be served at many of these fine homes (watch the crumbs).
  • Maps of the tour will be available including a brochure on each home.
  • Walter will be on hand to inform you about all the recent sales in the neighborhood and even tell you what your home is worth! Ask for his free dream home search.


Bring your tennis shoes, your car, your appetite, and, if you like a house — your wallet!

P.S.  You will be given a ticket for every home you visit.  All tickets will be put in a bowl at the end of the tour; at the last home, we will pull out one ticket and the lucky visitor will win a $100 gift certificate to America’s Bistro or 100 lottery tickets – your choice!  If you need more information, call Sanford Systems at 815.929.9258 or E-mail my assistant, Cyndi at


You can probably split the cost of the gift certificate or lottery ticket with your lender.  How many new buyers, sellers, and refinance connections is he/she going to make?

We now should have the sellers and their properties that are necessary to make this a success.  Make sure you have keys and the lockbox pad!  Next, start making a tour map to hand out to everyone (include all your contact info) and have up to 200 brochures ready on each property. Also, get plenty of business cards or personal brochures ready.  Counsel the sellers on what it means to have a “show ready” home.  Explain to your lender that their real job is to quickly determine buyers from sellers.  Then they are to sort the ready buyers from the not so ready buyers and introduce only the ready buyers and sellers to me.  The contest tickets will be the foundation of your database.  Place the ad so it runs a week before the event.

Some finishing touches are to get out the reverse directory and invite thirty neighbors, by post card, from around the block of the homes on tour.  Furthermore, you will need a minimum of ten-yard signs that you put up at least five days before the event.  They should have your name on them (you should get the credit) and someplace to announce: OPEN HOUSE 1PM to 1:15 PM. (or whatever time), the day, and the date.  I had chalkboard signs made up after I got tired of taping paper signs over my regular signs!  You might want some directional signs, especially for the first house.  Once you have them at the first house, you probably have them for the tour.

It is Sunday at 12:50PM; you, your lender, and one helper (family member is okay) are at house number one.  It is not unusual to have 20 – 40 people waiting to get in.  You let them in and the fifteen minutes are up.  Your helper stays behind to clean up and lock up.

You and your lender go to house number two.  You and your lender are both pre-qualing and pressing the flesh like crazy!  There is certainly not enough time to be bored!  People are slapping you on the back and telling you this is a great idea!  They are telling you that you are a real estate genius!

House number three is across the street from a competitor’s listing.  The seller of that house is out mowing the lawn.  He sees 85 people go into the home across the street (the pied-piper effect) and he goes in to call his listing agent to ask where his buyers are!

As you move on to new houses, you are meeting more sellers and buyers – some want you to make an appointment with them!  At house number four, two buyers come up to you at the same time and tell you they “love this home!”  Both see each other and return to separate rooms to plan their acquisition strategy.

You get to house seven — but wait, in the newspaper ad, house seven was only listed as a SECRET, NEVER BEFORE SEEN, SUPER BONUS LISTING!  It is true.  I actually called two FSBOs whose houses met the criteria, negotiated a fee over the phone, and told them to get their homes ready for a lot of buyers at 3PM and 3:15PM!  Those FSBOs have not seen or heard of that many buyers in one place, except in urban legends.  You are a hero!

Everyone has a great time.  The nice young couple wins the dinner at the last home.  Your helper picks up the signs and flags then you sit down to look at your winnings!

Both FSBOs thought it was great, and one of them wants to talk to you in a week.  You double ended one of the properties by the Wednesday after the event, and one of the lookers brought their agent back to see house number five again.  All of the sellers cannot believe the amount of activity.  You have two “down the road” new sellers to follow-up with.  Three “ready to buy” new buyers that are pre-qualified have appointments with you this week.  Your lender has a couple of refi’s and some more buyers to work with on financing challenges, plus all the new business you are going to give him/her!

You now have new database entries to add to your follow-up system, and do not forget to write thank you letters to everyone.  Do not forget the sellers!  Give them the feedback they deserve!  If you borrowed the listings, then give the feedback to your agent friends.  Call the local paper and tell them about the success – maybe they will cover the next one.  Maybe you can start a local neighborhood renaissance.


Lead generation is what builds your business and keeps your pipeline full, no matter what the market says!  Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter is a hefty book full of detailed and complete prospecting systems, and it includes the data CD (digital copy).  This is also a great manual for an assistant.

Call 800.792.5837 and ask for the $50 blog special on Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter.  Check out the content details here:



Lender FSBO Letter/E-mail #2 September 22nd, 2016 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up this week’s conversation about building and utilizing your unpaid team.  Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog post because it might make you a local celebrity, too!

Below is another letter that your lender can utilize on your behalf in contacting for sale by owners.




City, ST  ZIP


It was great speaking with you last week.  Every pre-approved buyer contact brings you closer to success!  While visiting different real estate offices to obtain more loan business, I thought it might be a great idea to distribute some of your flyers.

I have prepared a program analysis showing you five ways in which your home can be financed.  This will allow the buyers to make their decisions regarding types of financing.  This may increase the value of your home because of the financing possibilities!  I will attach these to the flyers that you have made on your home and distribute them to my REALTOR® friends all over town.  This will help you compete with the Multiple Listing Service and make sure that the top agents are aware of your home.  Obviously, you can negotiate a commission with anybody who brings you an offer, if you so desire.  Take the program analysis sheet and give them to the buyers you also meet.  I have enclosed twenty copies for you to use!

As I have discussed, it is my goal to continue offering many services to you that normally a real estate broker would supply.  If there is anything further that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to call and as always please keep E-mailing me those buyer pre-qualification requests so you know who is qualified.

The market in recent weeks has seemed to become a little stale, and I would like to brainstorm with you in regards to marketing ideas.  Do not hesitate to call me on my cell phone at XXX.XXX.XXXX.



Company Name

P.S.    There are some free services available at  One of which is a very unique twenty-four hour phone value analysis for no cost and also a seller section that will give you some of the forms that you will need in the sale of your property for free.  Check it out!  It is free and open twenty-four hours, seven days a week!


Lead generation is what builds your business and keeps your pipeline full, no matter what the market says!  Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter is a hefty book full of detailed and complete prospecting systems, and it includes the data CD (digital copy).  This is also a great manual for an assistant.

Call 800.792.5837 and ask for the $50 blog special on Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter.  Check out the content details here:




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