Podio is indeed very useful for business people. With note investment, it provides one-click access for everything on your e-file. Note investor Alira Morstadt teaches us how to use Podio, a CRM system that is designed to make tracking your leads and sales as lightweight and easy as possible. Alira is a real estate investor at AM Squared Investment Group based out of Jacksonville, Florida. She walks us through the different features and uses of the application. When you’re dealing with notes, it’s important to keep things organized and keep track of all the information. Podio is a turnkey solution for this.
Listen to the podcast here:
Podio: Organization And Information Tracking Made Easy with Alira Morstadt
It is not Technology Appreciation Month. However, we desperately need to get this out in the open with this system that Ali Morstadt had developed with Podio, and it’s badass to use a Steve Lloyd term. I think it will be a helpful tool to put it out there to the group as we’re all looking to enhance our CRM systems. We’re looking to enhance borrower management and all these other kinds of features as we all build our systems out as note investors. I want to first have on Richard McGrew who had been with us before during Technology Appreciation Month. He gave us a full demo on Note Rules and Podio and some of the things he’s doing. Richard, why don’t you just give us a little insight into Podio in general and how you’ve developed it for the note industry.
Thanks, Martin. Ali and I’ve been working together working on building out the junior lien solution. I started working on the first solution, which is what we presented on your site. Ali is focused on the junior lien position. I wanted to talk about general Podio for anybody who’s not familiar with it. It is basically a database with a customizable front end where any person without a degree in engineering or anything else can go in and create their own forms and they have access to that data in an organized structured way. Ali is going to talk about the apps that she’s developed. I wanted to orient you on the page. The blue bar underneath the buttons that you’re used to seeing on your normal browser.
That blue bar across the top is a Podio feature. It allows you to have a menu like any application you are used to using. The apps down below, the black icons that are the icons that Ali is customized to create the solution for junior liens. On the far right of the menu bar, there’s a bunch of icons over there. Podio is full of features that you get by using Podio. Things like chat, messaging notifications, search capabilities. They’ve got million-plus users, so it’s full of robust backup storage capabilities. We’re building these solutions off of the baseline Podio and adding functionality and added value on top of the baseline Podio, which you got that when you’re using these tools from Ali. She’s going to go ahead and walk you guys through the app that she’s built and show you how it works for junior liens.
Before she does that, can you let us know a little bit about your background?
I’ve been at Intel Corporation for many years writing software. I’m a software developer and program manager. I got into the note investing business with Eddie Speed’s crew doing first liens. I’ve got 34 assets all across the Midwest. I realized right away as I was getting into the note business that I needed to be organized. The first few months I built out a Podio solution that allowed me to organize my data because I knew I’m a systems guy. At Intel, I’ve been successful because I always build systems in place as I’m getting started so I don’t wind up lost. The note business is full of paper, people, and all kinds of data that you’ve got to track. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I wanted to get the 80 notes and I knew I would not be able to manage a business of that size with paper.
I started building this out and then I got it built out. I realized there are a lot of people that could use what I’m providing and that’s when I started talking to people like Martin and others about, “Can we start marketing this?” Because there’s a huge value opportunity for people in the note business. Ali was telling me, one of the people she was talking with had paper all over the place for phone numbers for the same people they had contacted. He kept writing the piece of paper down the same thing over and over again but they forgot where that piece of paper was. This system here that she’s put together and the same thing for the first that we have allows you to get organized and have all your data in your hand, on your cell phone, on your tablet, wherever you go. You can be in Mexico on vacation and have all your data with you and you can fire off an eNotarize on a document that you’ve got stored in the system and have it done while you’re still drinking your beverages.
That was one of the feedback that you and I discussed was when you went through your Podio presentation, it was geared towards the first because that’s your sandbox. You built it around it. That’s where it’s important to do this follow-up Podio episode so that we can see another sandbox and that’s the sandbox I play in and Ali and many others in the group. Ali, welcome.
Thank you for having me.
We’re all dying to go through the whole program. I know you’re going to take us through everything, how you’ve set it up in full. Try to give us a little background about Podio and what you’ve done.
As long as I can remember, it’s been in my ear, “You should think about a CRM.” I was using Excel and it was working for me. I had folders and everything was organized, but to get from one set of information to another set, I would have to click through many different folders and levels because I had it all set up and organized. I was losing track of data that I wasn’t putting into the system because it was too many levels to click into. I wasn’t recording the data. We’re definitely guilty of it. Writing the information down on a notepad and then having intentions of putting that into the system but it didn’t happen. It was falling through the cracks. We’ve taken out a couple of big note deals. When you’re onboarding seventeen notes, 22 notes, that information is important to keep track of and especially in seconds.The Comments section is a good communication field to provide updates with the process. Click To Tweet
It’s complex. There are a lot of facets that you need to keep track of. I watched Richard’s Facebook Live and I was like, “This is something that we need to do.” We jumped straight in, called Richard, got set up and then I was like, “I think I need to tailor this.” Richard’s talking about his set up and it was so good and excellent first, but he’s like, “We can keep track of insurance and more about the property.” I’m like, “I need to know about the borrower because I’m in the seconds.” That doesn’t even come across my radar. I need to know the taxes and I need to do a title search. Literally over a few days, I sat there in front of the computer, ignored my husband and child and got the information in that I needed. I spent the next few weeks playing around with all the formulas to try and get the calculations right, rewriting it.
We’re in the process of onboarding 24 notes. It’s a joy to do because I’ve got the system exactly where I want it. It’s giving me the information, it’s saving me time, it’s saving me money in places that you wouldn’t even realize because of the links that it creates. An example of this is the City of Philadelphia County is $15 a day to do title searches. If I was doing this one-by-one manually, I wouldn’t have noticed that two of my notes are Philadelphia County. I could do two title searches for $15 as long as I did them within a 24-hour period. That seemed like a small amount of money, but if you broaden that out to a big note portfolio, it’s going to add up.
I should have given Richard the heads up that you guys would be doing tweaks and giving feedback. Ali, walk us through it.
The biggest advantage for us is that we’re a husband and wife team. Alex can be working on something. I can be working on something. We’re getting feedback from each other through the system as well. I wanted to start off with the assets screen. It’s one of the apps that I created to track your notes. It’s a dummy screen so it’s not real information. I tried to base it off what real figures would be. In the screen you’ll see some details. You’ll see an index on this side, and then you’ll see reports and add assets. To add an asset, to input a note. That’s the process that I’m going to be taking you through. How to input a note into the system and how it populates for you, generates for you, and can save you time.
Press asset and the screen will come up. The information is information that I have put into the system. You start with borrower last name. I generally do the borrower last name in caps to keep it different. I put in the borrower first name, the Social Security number, the date of birth, phone, email, mailing address, employer, and borrower attorney and borrower comments. That sums up all the information that I need to know about the borrower at a glance. If I have two phone numbers or two emails, you can write in the email or the phone number and then you can add another. It keeps track, especially in the seconds where you’re trying to contact the borrower and you need to know what phone numbers work. There is another option. I would write down in the comments, “This is a potential phone number.” Keeping track of all those phone numbers that you find during the skip tracing process is important.
You get the skip trace report and then it gives you nine phone numbers, and sure enough only one works. This is how you manage that.
What I would do is actually populate all nine and then I would delete them out or say put notes against them. Once I find a number that works, I would put it up in the phone number section. The same with co-borrower. The co-borrower quite often we have two borrowers that we’re dealing with. Social Security number, date of birth, phone, multiple again, and email multiple again. Also, the co-borrower mailing address sometimes can be different if there’s a divorce or separation. The next screen is going to show you the property. All of these links have back to the top because it can be quite a long-form, so we can navigate through the page by using these links. When you populate in the asset address, it will bring up a Google Maps image automatically.
The next option is to add in a property image and you can add in as many as you want. It’s as simple as drag and drop. They make it easy. It’s user-friendly. I’ll preface this by saying I’m not a computer person. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I will play around with it until I can make it work, and then Richard’s there over my shoulder, making sure that I can do it effectively. This is one of the most exciting features that I think I’ve put together on is the county section. When you’re working with seconds, knowing the information of the county takes a long time.
You can spend a lot of time digging your tax records and also title records. To be able to centralize that and not only centralize it but use it for multiple times. I’ve got a number of properties that are in the same counties. That information is at your fingertips and you don’t need to re-enter it. That was my goal with this system to make sure that when I’m doing data entry, which I don’t particularly enjoy, I’m only doing it once. When you click, it will link to the county app. You put it in the city of Alexandria. This automatically generates the net or online URL. You can click on that. What that will give you is a link. You can pick any state and it will name the counties and most of the time it will give you the assessor’s office for taxes. It will give you the online court records, link the county recorder. That gives you the ability to populate the screen and keep it as a contact under the city of Alexandria.
I know at a glance that if I click on this link and I put in the address details, I can find out ownership information. The last paid date, next due, tax status, amount due, tax liens status and mailing address. There’s no subscription required. The title information unfortunately for the city of Alexandria, it is $500 per year or $50 per month. Subscription is required. I can use this information to say, “I might pull a ProTitle on this and spend $115 on it instead of doing a title search because it seems inaccessible. I also have the contact number and if I wanted to I could populate the address.
This is information that I regularly use, especially when doing due diligence, and that’s always linked back to the borrower. What I didn’t show you there is that when you scroll down, it shows you that I have two borrowers that are in this county, and that’s where I came across. I was doing title searches and I found that two borrowers were in the same county and it was the $15 for 24 hours. I was able to do those title searches concurrently and that saved me some time and money. Moving on from county and I could go scroll down straight through property address. I put in the section block lot, parcel number. The fair market value, if you’ll notice is in caps lock and that means that it’s populated from another screen. The fair market value is actually populated from loan management and it will be published.
Richard has done a fabulous job of having some great links. It’s automatically published with the asset address. When I click that it automatically comes up with the property and I can quickly grab the number of beds, bathrooms, the square feet, and some features of the home that I can use to fill out this section. Bedrooms, bathrooms, original purchase price, last sold date. You can click here if it’s owner-occupied, investment, vacant and authorize tenants. Good information to know, the schools, it’s always good to know what’s going on with the schools. The crime is also good and they’re all color-coded as well.
This is great because when you’re connecting with borrowers, especially on the second side and you’re trying to delve into their situation, this helps you navigate that conversation a little better. I’ll say, “I know this is an investment property, are you still looking to salvage it or do you want to sell it to get past the default with the second?” or, “This is your home. You’ve lived there for several years, I assume you want to stay.”
If the schools are excellent and they have a six and eight-year-old, it’s good information to know they probably want to stay in that school area. Our next section in assets is the original note details. You can write whether it’s a fixed rate, variable rate or HELOC. The original note date and the maturity, then the originating company. This links to companies this time and you can keep track of the originating company. In this case Test Originator. Quite often that’s a repeat. That information is all stored and you can pull that in. It’s as simple as adding it.
That’s the originating company for the second or the first?
This is for the second because we’re talking about the original note. The original note is the second that you’ve purchased. Sometimes it’s good to keep a loan sale agreement and anywhere that says link you can type or paste the web address. I keep everything in Dropbox so that I can just copy the Dropbox link and then sit in there and it will populate there and I can press on that and it will take me to the loan sale agreement. The purchasing entity, we are AM Squared Investment Group. That’s good when you’re doing joint ventures or even managing other people’s notes, doing anything for someone else, you can keep track of that. The purchase price, purchase date, the seller, the prior servicer. It’s always good to know and keep track of the prior servicer. I couldn’t even imagine me writing that into my old CRM. I wouldn’t have cared to put it in, but because it’s at the click of a button, I have that information and it’s not going anywhere. Your team, your servicer, your attorney, your document management company. You can have multiple fields if you have more than one attorney working on something or if you have more than one document management company as well.
That is the information that you would put in on a note to populate the entire assets screen. We’ve got all the details in and we need to manage that note. When we come into the loan management, I’ll add a loan management screen and it will bring up the screen. At first, the screen won’t be populated because this is a summary, loan management overview of everything that’s down below. There’s so much information that you need to know with seconds. I’ve actually put a navigation box throughout so you can jump. If you find out a senior status, you can jump down to senior status. You want to go back to the top to bankruptcy status. You can jump around through the page.
This is your dashboard for that asset. Alex is chiming in, “The assets screen is primarily for information that doesn’t change over time.” That’s important to note.
I wanted to show you how easy it is. eFile, I still have my folder system to keep information like credit reports, pacers, skip tracing. I have property information, collateral information and all this information that’s great to have access to. Usually, I would have to click through AM Squared Investment Group notes, nonperforming and then go to the borrower. With this, I can just go up to the borrower, copy the Dropbox link and paste it. I have one-click access to everything in my eFile. That’s a great thing to have. For correspondence. I have a text box for borrower correspondence, for attorney correspondence, for other correspondence. For other correspondents, if your servicer needs something, any details that you want to keep track of and all I do is just pop the date in, pop whatever I need in there, and that will populate this borrower correspondence and keep it as a story so that you always have that information there.
It sticks to the right under comments in that box.Having a CRM system gives you an insight of exactly what is going on or not going on. Click To Tweet
Comments are used for a different purpose. We use comments which relates to the individual note. Because I work with my husband, I can tell him to check the credit report or I can tell a third-party. In a case where I’m managing someone else’s notes, I can give them an update. A quick snapshot of what I’m doing, what process I’m in, anything in those comments. That’s a good communication field. You can use tasks in Podio as well and you can use the option Next Step. There are a lot of different avenues to communicate, which is great. For monitoring, we’ve got nonperforming. There’s a dropdown box so you can choose what status the loan is. Lien position is second but we also earn a couple of first position notes as well. I’ve got firstly notes, hopefully, no third lien notes, but it’s there and then stages.
This can be updated, onboarding, borrower outreach. You can be with legal, paying in forbearance, paying in delinquent. Different avenues for stage and the same with legal status. If there’s no legal status, I leave that blank. If you’re negotiating workout, pay off, you can have that populated there with first-lien foreclosures. It’s in strategy. I like this field because it just gives you a little bit of a snapshot into what your strategy is going to be and obviously that can change but usually my strategy is borrower outreach for a loan modification.
I think if you have several partners in on the note of note purchase or the note work out or you have an investor that’s passive that wants to check in on things, they can have access to this.
They can have access to this.
They can have real-time updates on where their files are at.
They can have access to the whole workspace or they can have access to individual assets as well.
You can set up notifications so that they get notified if you make changes and if you give them write access, they can make changes and then you’ll be notified if they make changes. That’s definitely interactive across both your employees and your external third parties.
If you’ll go on the activity, it’s recording everything that I’m doing.
This is great to keep all communication.
This is so valuable. I’ve done a number of joint ventures where I spent the majority of my time asking what was going on because I didn’t know what was going on. I would want a monthly update or a two monthly update. I would have to chase it every time. If we had a system like this, I could see exactly what was going on or not going on. It gives you an insight there.
If you’re marketing and you’ve got an advertising website, you can publish a web form from any one of these pages and have that webform be dropped right into a webpage and they can see the fields that you want them to be able to see and they can interact with them in that format.
I’ve on-boarded with an attorney and I can send him the asset. He has all the information that would give him the background information on this note. You could also use that when you’re selling an asset. You can give them a snapshot of the note and everything is there. That could be a good tool.
That reminds me when Alberto had Note Dashboard and I use that initially for a few years. I think it was called Note Edge, where once the note became performing, it can funnel into the note sale exchange that he had. That was a neat feature.
We’re going to go a little bit deeper into the property because of this the loan management. This is information that’s going to change all the time. You’re going to want to keep addressing and keep going back to it to double-check. We’ve got the Zillow URL and it’s in caps because it’s automatically populated. When you want to look at for fair market value, you want to look at a number of different websites, as many as they have. This gives you the opportunity to add to the websites to have access. Say you want to go to Realtor.com, you can copy and paste and then it’s there forever. You don’t need to keep looking. The amount of times I’ve put an asset address into Google to pull up all these websites and I know it’s only a few seconds, but that times 100 notes is a lot of time.
I’d be interested if I could pull from RealtyTrac. Have you tried because that’s subscription base?
We’re working on third party integrations with people like that. There’s no reason that we can’t pull that data in. RealtyTrac has an API. If you’ve got an account, you can store your credentials and we can pull that data in. We are working with a couple of the major services out there to pull their data in and if RealtyTrac is a high-value feature for our customers, we can absolutely get that coded up.
Zillow has that feature as well. Fair market value, I’ve looked at all of these. I’ve looked at the comps and I’ve determined that the fair market value is $645,000. I can put the date in. I can also put the history. Often, I’ll say on the tape it was represented as $625,000. You can keep track of the history so you can see if the market is actually warm, hot or you can watch the market trends by recording your FMV history whenever you check the fair market value. Property story as well, nice townhouse, great neighborhood, good schools. Just an overview here.
On smaller note buys, it’ not as feasible in larger ones. Anytime you can dig in to understand everything about that note property and borrower-wise, the better.
We’re going to jump into the note. We’ve got an unpaid balance of $90,000. The date that we put it in, the interest rate, the monthly payment. LTV and CLTV and equity over senior are all automatically populated. This information is a calculation that’s embedded into the system so that you don’t need to work out the LTV, the CLTV or the equity over senior. Every time that’s doing that, it’s saving you time not having to do that calculation. The original balance we actually put in from the other screen but it’s good to know. I bring the data over and that’s why it’s in caps lock as well. Sometimes it’s good to have notes about the original note, especially regarding late fees. Sometimes they can have complex late fee structure. This is where we spend a lot of our time in the note workout. Alex is the note workout guy and he uses this time of date link. I’ve put it in there for you because having to populate a website takes time. If you click that, it’s going to bring up your details for you and time and date.
You can let them know you’re getting the per diem, you’re calculating late fees.
When you put in the last payment date and the next few dates, you can use the last payment date in that calculator to work out how many days delinquent they are. From their per diem interest arrears gets automatically populated. That helps you to calculate your note reinstatement and your note pay off. Once you have those fields populated, the note reinstatement and note payoff are automatically generated. I did put a notice that it is an estimate only and you can get your servicer to verify, but it does give you a rough idea of how the note read statement or the note payoff would be.Everyone should begin with the end in mind. Click To Tweet
It gives you a better idea what some of the servicers come up with.
That’s the thing as well. We find out services aren’t perfect. If your reinstatement is $22,000, then there’s this $11,000, you can go back to them and say, “What’s going on here?” It’s nice to be able to have that over overview.
I’m thinking how many people were turning off to the second space with this topic. Look how complex it is. They seem like, “I thought seconds would be much easier.”
It is complex, but it’s worth it because you get those workouts with borrowers and you keep people in their homes and it makes your week. It’s a good feeling and a good market to be in. There’s a lot to keep track of. You can lose money. That’s where you want to be able to do your research. You want to be able to keep track of this information so that you can make informed decisions and keep all that data there at your fingertips. That’s why I find value in this. I have this automatic delay populated in my workspaces, but not everyone uses Credco. For Credco, I need the borrower social.
I didn’t need to type that in. In fact, I can’t type in over it because it’s been populated from the assets screen. I don’t like to do things twice. I use that and the borrower’s name in details and I can generate a credit report. I can store the credit report that I’ve saved in my eFile separately. If I have five credit reports, they can all go into a link area. I can’t tell you how much time that saved me not having to click out and click into many different levels in different borrowers. I have their credit reports at my fingertips and all times. It’s the same with skip tracing links. If you have TLO or Traces, you can keep the reports there. You always have that for your borrower and you can then produce a great borrower story using that information. The way I’ve done this is how I logically do my due diligence on a note. The first thing I check is credit reports. I do my skip tracing and then I jump into bankruptcy. I tried to keep it as structured as possible to save time and also make sure that you’re doing the same steps with every note and you’re not missing anything. That’s value there as well.
This gives you the flow for due diligence. It allows you to capture all the information from due diligence, which will enhance the workout process.
Also, it will save you time, but it’s also a big deal. A lot of people have full-time jobs, so they do note investing on the side. Anything that you can do to save time helps, but also it gives you clues and guides on how to complete due diligence cheaper and more effectively. That was my goal. I have the PACER URL populated. That will take you to the login screen. My login details are automatically saved. That’s one click. For PACER, you need the borrower’s Social Security number. I have that there. All I do is copy it across, click the link and I’ve got their bankruptcy history. In this case, I’ve made it up, but it’s a dismissed Chapter 13 and the bankruptcy status date is April 3, 2019.
With BK type, would you do a box for just no BK or is that the other box?
No BK or dismissed or active or discharged. That’s your status, and the type is a 7, a 13, 11 or other. You’ve got the comments section and you can add in any additional details that you want. If you want to put a case number in there or links or anything, you can do that.
I would always store the voluntary petition.
We can do that. Senior status is something that you want to keep track of because sometimes you get foreclosure information that you didn’t realize that they were paying the second and not the first. Definitely a hint to you and a tip to everyone who’s reading. Make sure you’re witnessed being paid or you can get foreclosed on and that’s not a good feeling. Senior lienholder, multiple times you are going to have the same senior lienholder. I wanted all the details for that senior lienholder. Senior status, is it current, delinquent 30, delinquent 60, 90, charged-off or unknown? Quite often it’s unknown. Your senior availability, do you have third-party authorization? Do you have a credit report? Is there phone banking that you can do or is there an agent or is it not available or unknown?
You can use this information not to waste time calling the bank or doing something or checking a credit report when it’s not reporting. You have that information there to save you time. When the first mortgage is quite often pertinent to know a borrower’s Social Security number and their date of birth, the senior information is available. Will you find out the senior balance, the last paid date, next due date, the monthly payments? You’ll use that information to publish the information and then in the comments. You can say, “The senior’s not reporting on credit.” There’s no use doing a credit report if the senior’s not reporting on credit. Keeping that information. This is information that we wouldn’t keep. We would write down on a notepad and it would become the next notepad and we would lose track of it. For taxes, the county, the city of Alexandria, but we’re using it to look at taxes. I’m going to take my link. I can put in the street number, street name and then search and I have their tax history.
I think we all have done the county search on the same property multiple times. For whatever you need an additional piece of information. You have to search for what county is this city in.
Many times, many hours, I’ve wasted looking, especially the recorder link. Sometimes that is hidden and you can’t find it. What I’ve done is you have the county there and one there you have the net or online link and then you put in the link. You can also pull the link out so you don’t need to click on county. An online title search is yes. Titles status, complete, incomplete and unknown. The title search, is it available? It is, but it’s a subscription and we know that it’s $50 a month or $500 a year because that’s published in the county space. That is basically everything that you need for learning management. That’s everything that I use. I check things regularly. I could set up a task and it’s assigned to this note and says check taxes in six months because I know that taxes are due in five months. In six months I can check and make sure that they’ve been paid.
Is that particular system, are you able to go into your Podio and see everything that you have to do?
Yes, not only can you see it, it would publish all of the tasks that you need to do but also in your activity screen. The next step I have is onboarding. I use it as a basic overview, make sure everything is done. You have the navigation. You have the borrower, it’s always linked to the asset and you can use this link here to navigate. I have the next steps and a follow-up date. For servicer I have the different fields that you can click to make sure that in the process, in your pipeline or getting your note boarded and then the collateral status, getting it through to having it scan to your eFile.
I like to keep track of what’s in my physical collateral file. I can say whether there’s a complete assignment chain, whether there’s a loss note affidavit, then I can write collateral comments like I need to email the seller and say that I’ve got a lost note affidavit. That’s not going to fly in that county and see if they can go back and find that note. You can keep track of the comments there, set up a task to contact the seller or do anything that you need to, to cure any issues with the physical collateral.
The next step I go through is recording. My recording status, I use Simplifile. If you use a recorder you can use that as well. A recording company and I keep track of the recording date and then my due diligence. I’ve confirmed the AVM. I’ve checked PACER. I’ve confirmed tax status. I’ve completed the title search. I verify the senior balance. I’ve completed skip tracing and my due diligence is done. When I scroll up to my screen, everything is at 100%. I don’t even need to scroll down because I know that this is completely done. I’m done with that note. The summary is going to tell me exactly what’s going on. That could say 61% done. I know that I still have stuff to do on that note.
You’ll see a list of all your assets in this field.
Yes, you would add them each time.You can use Podio as a tool for due diligence and pre-purchase. Click To Tweet
In terms of income and expenses, you have a ledger. I don’t know if you’re touching on that.
This is a fantastic add on by Richard that he’s kindly sharing with everybody. I will add a ledger for every asset that I have and save it. Because everything is in caps, you know that you don’t need to enter anything into this field. It’s for information purposes only. That’s basically all that you need to do with the ledger screen. Expenses are something that I use every day. Anytime that I spend any money, I record it as an expense.
Ali, maybe we should explain what the purpose of the ledger is to summarize the expenses and the servicer statements all into one collection of data about a given asset, and you linked the ledger to the asset. Otherwise, you had multiple service statements or multiple expenses. They would all show up as unique items inside the asset. The ledger allows us to collect it up into a P&L for that asset.
I wonder how that overlaps with accounting software that you use, but probably if anything, if you need to get information on how much you spent with a servicer or what have you, you can capture that pretty quickly.
Yes, you can track your expenses quite well. I advise everybody to use an accountant. If you’re in this business, this is not a business for using Excel to report your taxes or even Podio. You need to use QuickBooks and you need to have a CPA. I believe that’s the right answer. This is big business.
This is perfect if you have investors or some type of partnership arrangement where everyone can track expenses and income.
Who owes who what? It’s all can be tracked in here.
Not only that, but some expenses are recoverable expenses. I’ve got legal fees of a $2,000 legal bill. $1,100 is recoverable. I can add that into my reinstatement or my payoff.
That would be interesting on QuickBooks, if you would have a bucket for recoverable expenses. You probably don’t want to do something like that. That’s a weird bucket to have for QuickBooks. You would have that in Podio knowing that when it comes time for a payoff statement or something you would have that information.
This is what your expenses look like and it’s linked to the asset. I’ll be able to keep track of exactly how much I’ve spent on the asset. It’s linked to my company AM Squared Investment Group. I spent the money there on April 3rd and the expense amount was $1,100. It was a legal expense. It was submitted, approved, distributed, and it was paid to my attorney who I pay well by AM Squared Investment Group. Is it a recovery expense? Yes. It populates to $1,100. Is it to be reimbursed? No. What I use to be reimbursed is I manage people’s notes on their behalf. If I usually pay for it or a credit report or I pay for recording fees, management fees, I can put in the amount and I can say yes to be reimbursed. It will populate and that I can automatically generate a report on how much I am owed. When I get paid, I can come back and I can say it’s been done and it zeroes it back out. Not only can I see that, but my business partner can see that. He can see exactly how much he owes, what that expense was for, what that asset was. He can cut a check, send it to me and I can clear that out. It’s a great way to manage that thing.
If he’s got any questions, he can click right into the software and figure out what the expense was for and then click out. You never get the question in your inbox because he took care of it himself because he can see your system.
Incoming is quite similar. I’m linking that to the asset, I’m saving it, and you can put it in the transaction date, the amount, the transaction type, the status and the comments. It’s very similar. My balance is $27,155 which includes the purchase price, the expenses. Of those expenses, I know that $1,100 is recoverable.
The ledger is taking all of the expenses, all the incoming and summarizing all of it up so that you can see a snapshot of what your current balance is on that asset.
Ali, you’ve had quite a progression. You’ve picked up a number of notes for yourself. You’ve been loan modding those note, and then you have other investors that are giving you their notes to manage as an asset manager. From that point, you needed to be more organized and have a robust system that’s more transparent to other investors. They’re giving you their assets and then you put in an additional commitment into maintaining and growing the system because that’s exactly what you’re doing. You are enhancing this system on an ongoing basis.
We take that aspect seriously. Someone else trusting us with their money is very serious. We do his work before we do our own. That’s our policy. We’re always working on his notes, making sure everything is done. It has been so wonderful because we are waiting on a door knocker report. I get the report, I uploaded it into Podio and he has access to it straight away. He can see at the same time as me. He could click on a button and it’s there. He can click on the credit report that I pulled and have a look and he can see my summary on it. It’s interactive.
Martin, I’m curious. You pointed out that Ali’s using this because she’s moved to that next level where she’s got quite a bit of asset managing other people’s money, what’s your thoughts on this person who’s starting up and whether they need to get involved in something like this?
Everyone should begin with the end in mind. If you have two notes, you need to be building your systems as if you had 100 notes. That’s how you’re going to grow to 100 notes. This system is one of the ways to do it. I know to have multiple conversations and seeing this system unfold as Ali has been putting it together, I know that there’s a big a cost factor and time factor and everything involved. I also know too that Ali is using it. I’m getting set up myself as a user. I’m seeking to get more organized with my portfolio. With that said, Ali, you’re going to be offering this to our group at a discount and I’m going to put the link and the discount code that way anybody that’s interested. What’s neat about it is that you’re given a real customized feel here. You would go and set up a Zoom call and make a one-on-one connection with that person who’s looking to get set up for themselves with this system. You’re going to help them get it set up with their notes as part of the process of providing this service to them.
Once I take you through putting in a note, we can import data for you as well. You don’t need to do a lot of the data entry, that would be taken care of. It gives you the opportunity to see the system, how it’s working, and then you can add in your information from there.
Why would you caution someone from setting this up for themselves based on this?
Why would I encourage someone not to use it?Whether you're selling a note or keeping it, it's important to keep track of that information, especially if you get involved in legal. Click To Tweet
No, not to set it up for themselves. Not go off-script look at all these fields and set it up for themselves.
Don’t do what I did because I went out and I copied and pasted. I googled and then I would change something and it would break somewhere. Richard would help me figure it out. We had to keep changing things over and over again. If you see the calculations behind these in the template screen, inches long.
Give us some calculations.
The way that I answer that question always Martin, there are two different classes of people. You’ve got folks like Ali and myself who love to tinker with software and spend all day and all night modifying these apps and getting them right. There’s a bunch of people who just want to buy their notes and they want to go back and hang out with their family and do their day job and night job. They don’t want another job managing it. If you’re in that primary category, like Ali and I, no matter what we say, you’re probably going to build your own solution. For everybody else who wants to use a system that’s pretty well baked, this is a turnkey solution and it works.
You guys know I’m going to be paying for this system myself.
The other thing to point out, what Ali has said to you guys is just the essential version. We’re working on a plus version that adds a bunch of features that are significant integration and add-ons to this. I think you’re going to like it.
There’s a maintenance element to this whole system.
Everything that we work on we can update into your system. I just wanted to say one last review. If they filled out all the details. I can go back into my assets screen and all of this information is at your fingertips. If you’re talking to a borrower, you can have this information up and then you can click and jump over to learn management and discuss anything. If I’m talking to an attorney or even if I’m going to sell it or look at a strategy, I can look at all of these fields and get a glimpse of my entire note status. It gives me all the information that I would need, that I would see in an entire Excel spreadsheet. There was never a summary. The data was all spread out. This is all organized for you.
You’re an organization on steroids. You’re more organized with due diligence. You’re going to make better decisions. You’re more organized on the asset management side. You’re going to have better workouts. You have your capturing better borrower and property stories. You’re going to have better dialogue and better loan modifications.
You don’t even need to own this note to put this into the system. I’ve designed it that you can use it for due diligence. You can put in the basic asset details and then do the loan management. You look at the status overview and you see nonperforming, second loan, senior status unknown, bankruptcy status in BK, tax status unknown, title status incomplete. That might not be something that you want to buy. You can use it as a tool for due diligence as well, even pre-purchase. That’s how I wanted to set it up as well.
Thank you, Ali and Richard. We appreciate your time. I think a lot of people are going to read this because everyone’s always wanting to upgrade or enhance what they’re doing from a technology and systems standpoint.
If I could have had this from day one, I can’t tell you how much better organized I would be. I probably would’ve made some different decisions and I would have had that information forever. The more history that you can have, the better with any note. Even when you’re selling a note or if you’re keeping it for the next many years, it’s important to keep track of that information, especially if you get involved in legal. The borrower was saying that you’ve said something and you have a history of your borrower’s correspondence. It’s information that supports, I hadn’t always been running down everything the borrower said, but if I’ve got my keyboard in front of me, I can type it up straight off of my people and keep that record.
It’s one thing if you have five notes, then you can keep it all up in your noggin, but if you have 50 or 100 notes on up, it gets all blurry.
Even when I had five notes.
Even with five notes, things go wrong. If you’re not tracking them, you won’t know about it. You wind up losing an asset because you weren’t tracking it.
How do you know how much you want to sell a note for when you don’t know what your expenses are? I can literally look and I see that my expenses are $1,155 and I paid $26,000. If I get an offer of $25,000, I can see straight away. That’s not going to be good for me.
Thank you and I appreciate your time. Thank you for coming on and sharing us your program.
Thanks for having us.