Monthly Archives: May 2011

ZackChildress.Com Reborn!

Hey guys! Welcome to the brand new look to Hold on tight because there is tons of new content flying your way!!!


Welcome To The New A.R.E.S. Site!

Hey Everyone,

I just want to thank each and every one of you guys for sticking around while we were building and redesigning this site. We have some awesome and amazing plans for this site! So welcome and take a look around! More information will be coming along!!


Zack Childress


Found this inside the Huntsville Times Newspaper. Check out what this guy has to say about the development in Huntsville & Madison.


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — When Oscar Gonzales was named the CEO of the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors in 2008, he called Huntsville a “diamond in the rough” and “probably one of the bright spots in the country.”

In the following three years, Gonzales has helped lead Huntsville’s real estate market through the uncertain economic times, adding to the belief that Huntsville is one of the nation’s foremost cities of its size.

Gonzales is considered an “industry icon,” in the words of Broker Agent magazine. Realtor magazine has called him one of the 25 most influential people in real estate nationally.

He’s the founder of Gonzales Group, a Houston-based business consulting firm focusing on multicultural marketing and business strategies for housing and related industries. His comments about the housing market have been published in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other national publications.

Recently, Gonzales addressed some questions about the local real-estate market for BusinessFirst.

During the last couple of years, the housing market has not been as robust as we are used to in Huntsville and Madison County. How does it look for the spring and summer?

For spring and summer home sales looks promising. We have seen a consistent increase in home sales over the past year. Pending home sales are also on the rise which is a strong indicator of what actual sales will be in the next 30 to 60 days. We have experienced some months where the numbers appear to have fallen significantly by comparison. Those were the months where the home buying tax credit from the previous year influenced sales and skewed the numbers.

There was an early overbuild of high-end housing based on the BRAC decision in 2005. Is there still a surplus of homes on the market?

I wouldn’t say there is currently an over built high-end housing inventory. When you look at the pricing strata in any market, the higher-end segment tends to experience longer days on market by comparison. The key to managing housing inventory is knowing what the consumer wants, needs and expects in a home and keeping those dynamics in check before you build. The builders and Realtors in our area have done well in monitoring this.

Are sales of existing homes improving now that buyers may be looking for bargains?

Sales of existing home sales have been consistently improving but it’s not being driven by bargain house hunting: that doesn’t really drive our market. We have a sound housing market that doesn’t accommodate the “bargain market” dynamic like you see in some markets where foreclosures and short sales make up a majority of sales. Homes in Huntsville/Madison County have always been a bargain. You can get a lot of house for your money here and my colleagues around the country agree that’s the case in Huntsville … they’re just a little jealous.

As new residents move here to take BRAC jobs, what effect is this having on the housing prices?

Home prices are market driven. A home will sell for what the market will bear regardless of the inward or outward migration patterns you see in a community. In Huntsville/ Madison County our median home prices fluctuate seasonally rather than in reaction to the market changes. Our median home price growth has been steady and has not fluctuated wildly as we saw in markets like California, Nevada or Arizona.

What is the average number of days on the market for a house? How has that changed in the last couple of years?

We tend to hover around the 90-day mark but that changes based on time of year and demand. Within the city and county we see areas that experience shorter days on market than others which is influenced by multiple variables such as proximity to work and commute times, lifestyle, etc.

What price range of homes are the most active?

The $300,000 and below home pricing strata are the most active. Many families are astute enough to not live beyond their means. Many qualify for a higher-priced home but elect to not push the high end limit for several reasons such as maintaining a lifestyle and the overall uncertainty of the nation’s economic recovery.

Has the tightening of credit affected home sales?

Lending has become one of the bigger challenges of home buying. Data from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae show requirements to obtain conventional mortgages have been tightened, with the average credit score rising to about 760 in the current market from nearly 720 in 2007. For FHA loans the average credit score is around 700, up from just over 630 in 2007. Sales would be stronger if mortgage lending would return to the normal, safe standards that were in place a decade ago before the lax lending standards became the norm.

What kind of new trends are you seeing in home construction in our area?

Without a doubt homebuyers want a home that is energy efficient and earth friendly.

Perhaps the most exciting and most important trend in home design is the increased sensitivity to the environment. I commend the builders in our area; they are in tune to this consumer expectation and for the most part exceed the minimum requirement for eco-friendly housing. Other trends we see are flexible floor plans, outdoor living space and accessible home design.

We hear more people, especially young professionals, talking about wanting to live in or near downtown? Are there signs that point to new or existing areas being revitalized or redeveloped for those buyers?

Absolutely. Community revitalization and redevelopment is one of the most exciting things to watch transpire in a community and I get to watch it unfold down the street from my office. The Five Points area and Blossomwood are two communities that immediately come to mind. They are undergoing revitalization which is being driven by young professionals and families who are creating a community that fits their lifestyle. They are accommodating “smart growth” which concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use with a range of housing choices. Their actions can contribute significantly to the future economic well being of Huntsville’s downtown.

In your opinion, what is the five-year outlook for housing in Huntsville?

Our overall economy is bench marked against the housing industry both locally and nationally. Our market will continue to experience steady and solid growth and our median home prices will grow at a 1-2 percent increase per year, which is good for new arrivals to our area and for those folks that currently own a home. When home values grow steadily, new arrivals don’t experience over-inflated housing markets and current home owners preserve the equity they have in their homes: this helps to protect our most valuable investment.

By Curtis Coghlan, The Huntsville Times


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Branding tip of the month

Zack has mentioned it plenty of times. You don’t have to join EVERY social network. A lot of people confuse social branding with the social network takeover scheme. You don’t need 50 dozen social networks.

What’s wrong with doing the takeover? It turns into an insane juggling act which burns you out on branding. If you focus your attention on the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn, and YouTube) you can focus on your branding strategies and never get burned out.

If you find yourself still juggling, back it down to the top three (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube). One way to keep yourself from burning out is using tools that will help post things automatically or on a timed basis. Right now, this can only be done in Twitter.

FutureTweets and HootSuite are great for this, and the best part is they’re free.


Updates on SBO – IFRAMES

If you’re looking for good news when it comes to Social Branding Optimization, then stop no further! We’ve pulled out all the stops now and have started creating landing pages inside Facebook by harnessing the power of IFRAME technology. This is great news because this combines two marketing strategies.

We all know the numbers. Almost everyone is on these powerful social networks, but there just isn’t a way to capture information from the internet masses. Everyone has seen a landing page at least once in their lives as well, but there just isn’t a way to really spread that landing page around. Until now! Now we can use IFRAMES inside Facebook to create a landing page with an opt-in box. And the best thing? It’s also done for you. All you need to do is follow a few easy-to-follow steps to give me the AWEBER information and I build it out for you along with your social network pages!


– Social Branding Optimization Team

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Stick to Your Guns to make Quick Profits by Wholesaling

One of the simplest ways to make money in real estate is to wholesale properties. Wholesaling is a method of investing in real estate wherein a person buys and sells houses to make quick cash. If you can go out and find discounted properties with motivated sellers, you can make money wholesaling. Take action out in the field and get the experience all the books and cd’s can not teach you

Don’t simply go out there and make offers on properties at random. You need to have a strategy going into the deal to make money on the exit when you flip it. Make smart decisions when going after deals, stick to your formulas, and criteria and don’t force the numbers. You have to find deals you can sell to your buyer at a discount.

Make sure that all your deals will have what your end buyers want. You can do this by finding out the characteristics and the types of properties that most people are buying in your market first before making your offers. By arming yourself with this information, it will be easier for you to wholesale the deals you have under contract to specific buyers based on their needs.

The location of an investment property is also very important because it is one of the factors considered by every buyer when they determine the amount of their offer.

Consider that your objective is to find deals not properties. You do not have to close on them to make money wholesaling. Go out there and find the deal and control it. Take advantage of opportunities that others don’t see. Find a niche and focus 100% on that and nothing else. Put the blinders on and don’t let yourself be distracted or pulled in other directions.

I want to leave you with a quote from truly the most successful man in business today Warren Buffet. ” When everyone is fearful, you need to be greedy; when everyone is greedy, you need to be fearful.”

Take a look at this market, people are fearful; they are not doing anything. If you choose to go against the grain, you too will start to see what Warren Buffet sees while most people are paralyzed by anxiety.


That’s your tip of the month!



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After the storms, we will stay strong!

A tornado near Seymour, Texas

Image via Wikipedia

On April 27, 2011 the Northern Alabama region along with several other states experienced a storm like no other. One made of heavy rain, thunderstorms and multiple tornadoes. (Studies have now revealed that over 300 tornadoes touched down April 27-28, 2011.) The worst of the tornadoes was clocked with over 250 mph winds. This Wednesday started off as any normal one for our office; answering phones, support tickets, and doing our ‘daily routine’ as it were. On this day we were also still continuing to answer questions about Zack‘s brand new product, the Automated Wholesaling Systems. A new product unlike any in its path that would teach and help students to do a wholesaling deal on almost any property in any area by one of six methods.

The day started off bright with lots of promise and soon the rain came and with it, a storm that none of us expected. We remember seeing the sky turn black and the clouds rolling in and twisting to build what would later become a tornado not too far from our office. Quickly Zack decided to close the doors and send everyone home to their families not knowing what would come in the future.

We remember rushing home and preparing for the unexpected. Trying to ‘hunker down’ and protect ourselves and our loved ones while waiting for the tornadoes and storm to pass. To try and explain what a tornado sounds like when it is close by or even on top of you, is practically impossible. Especially one with such high powered winds. In some ways it sounds like you are in the bag of a giant vacuum that happens to be filled with water and bits and pieces. Read more here.

The power in many cities went out as soon as one of the tornados made it way past TVA and damaged all of the 90 lines that bring power into our cities. Later we would find out that not just these power lines where hit but also many of the stations and the nuclear plant as well. And many of the citizens of the city would be without power for 5+ days after the storm had cleared.

After the storm cleared, we were in a stage of rebuilding. People went out in search of gas, food, supplies and anything else that they may need to get by for the days or weeks that laid before them without power. Pictures in the paper revealed the absolute devastation that hit our area when we saw not just buildings but complete cities wiped out from the tornadoes.

However the city, the state, and the people here are all not only resourceful but have a kindness of the south embodied in them. Neighbors were helping each other clean up the mess. Strangers came from all around us to come in and help clear debris and damage sustained from the storm. People flocked to the nearest hospitals to give blood. Others donated time, helping hands, food, clothing, bottled water and anything to help out.

The staff here started to find ways to get our support back up as quickly as possible so that we could both inform all of our students and clients that we were ok and continue to support you as well. We fought to get internet through a cell phone and a laptop so that we could stay in connection with all of you, in case it was needed. We were able to find it in the backyard of Zack’s home on his deck. That seemed to be a high point where we could get signal and internet access through our cell phones.

A few staff members got together to keep each other company while waiting for the power to come back. We played games, told stories and tried to keep our spirits up in the tragedy. Then, an even brighter light at the end of the tunnel–the kind words and wishes from many of you. We got emails and voicemails from many of you wishing us well.

On Sunday, many cities and areas began to regain power. Lights were coming back and businesses would soon re-open Monday morning. Slowly we are seeing our city come back to life. And with all of them, we are springing back as well. Luckily all of our staff members, their families, homes, and our office headquarters all made it out of this storm without much damage. There were some close calls, but we made it out.

Now, we are back up in our office and making our way through to forge on and forward. Zack is still coming up with ideas to help all of you through further training, mentoring, products and services. Our team is playing catch up but working fast to make sure that everyone is taken care of as needed and we continue to move forward. Someone on the news recently stated that “like the Phoenix, we will rise from the ashes.” We believe that we are in the same boat. We are lucky to have made it out of all of this without much damage.

The cities and families that were affected by this storm, still need help and donations. If you or someone you know would like to make a donation, please reach out to the American Red Cross to donate. You can text REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will be added to your next mobile phone bill. You can also donate online here.

More photos on the storm


Take care everyone and best wishes to anyone that was affected by these terrible storms.




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Due to such a overwhelming interest from a lot of our students in the wake of the launch of the Automated Wholesaling System with Next Step Intelligence, I have decided to write a little article on the art of Co-Wholesaling.

Before we get started with the strategy, let’s first take a look at the common mistakes made when wholesaling. First off, lets get something straight, there is no magic pill or shiny penny that will get you rich quick by doing absolutely no work. You are in the right place, at the right time, with the right team. We must crawl, before we walk, and walk before we run. In today’s market it is important to not be fooled by the hype and the flair that gets thrown our way every day. Always keep in mind that this is a business so we need to get to work. Do yourself a favor and choose one strategy so you don’t spread yourself too thin and get frustrated. Another common mistake is trying too many techniques at the same time. Avoid strategies that produce cash slowly. Focus on making money in the next 30-60 days. You don’t need to know everything to take action. Consider that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts, and 20% of what you implement will make you money. In conclusion the advice I want to leave you with is to focus on taking action that will produce results, there is no magic pill or short cut to success.

Now for the stuff y’all (yes, spending 8 weeks working in Alabama has me talking like a Southern Boy) have been waiting for. The best advice we can give to you is to go out and start Co-Wholesaling NOW. Let’s take a look at exactly how you do this. First, you need to shift your mindset and make friends with your competition. As a wholesaler you should always call on every “we buy houses” and “I buy houses” signs posted all over your market. We call every single one of these signs that we see. I actually keep a legal pad in my car so I can write down the numbers and take detailed notes when I call them. We typically ask them if they have inventory or if they have buyers. We ask what they are looking for, what % of ARV they are paying, what areas of town they are buying in, etc. While we are on the phone with them we also ask them if they have any wholesale deals they are trying to sell. If they say yes, we ask them if they would be willing to let us work on marketing the property to find a cash buyer. We tell them if the deal is right we can close within 2 weeks with cash. (We can do this because we have cash buyers already in place to buy these types of deals in specific markets. Once you identify your competition, you need to find out what they are buying, where they are buying, and how many properties they actually buy vs. how many they wholesale. You also want to make sure that before you take the time to start marketing another wholesaler’s property you need to work out a co-marketing or fee agreement and get it in WRITING before moving forward.

So let’s sum this up by leaving you with the important things to consider when Co-Wholesaling:

1. Make sure you ask what they have done to market the property, is it online, in the paper? You want to avoid the mistake of getting a property marketed by the wholesaler at $100k, and then create a flyer and market if for $110k when typically anyone who receives a property is going to Google the address to see what price it has been advertised at.

2. Work out a fee agreement in writing with the wholesaler. If they net $2500-$5000 less per property but you help them sell 5 properties that is a WIN/WIN.

3. Make sure you have the mindset of hitting base hits: For example $2,500-$3,500 per property is a good fee to earn for doing a little marketing. Don’t try and make $10k and price the deal out of being an attractive and discounted deal just because you want to hit a home run and make big bucks on the first deal.

4. Building relationships with other wholesalers is just as important to your business as having private money and a go-to agent on your team. After you have called them and asked them the questions you need to work with them, confirm their contact information and add them to your buyers list.

Taking action and applying this strategy will allow you to organically grow your buyers list fast. Imaging meeting a wholesaler who has a buyers list of 500, another one with 1,000 buyers, and two more with 500 buyers each. If you add these four wholesalers to your buyers list and send them any deal you have, you would get your deals in front of 2,500 buyers.


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