The long term cause & effect of a surplus of expatriate real estate vendors had the ultimate cause & effect of driving the offshore real estate marketplace to complete collapse. Why?
One of the better ways to make an income is with big ticket items, it involves selling less, and earning more. Real estate is certainly a big ticket item. A big ticket item can be described as any product that sells for more than $1,000. (Depending on what your income earning history entails. $1,000 may not mean much to some, it may mean a great deal to others.)
Selling foreign real estate seemed like the perfect product. You move to a nice country, the cost of living is low, the real estate a bargain. You buy a nice house for $50,000. Then it begins. You tell others what a great place you've found. Maybe you write some articles for Escape From America Magazine. You tell your reader how nice life is Costa Bravo. [a fictitious name] You tell them you've got a great house for sale in Costa Bravo for only $100,000. (You double your money.)
What could be better? It's like a chain letter, or a sleepwalkers ponzi scheme.
But, your buyer also wants to earn money overseas, . . . so he sells the nice house for only $150,000 to another stupid foreigner, who immediately puts it on the market for 'only' $200,000 . . . and so on.
Abracadabra! -- everyone becomes a real estate vendor. The market is over-priced — and the market is overrun — with real estate agents from Beverly Hills selling real estate in Costa Bravo for higher prices than they did in Beverly Hills.
Do you know why nobody with a third grade education puts money into a chain letter scheme?
The same person who knows that chain letters are a loser cannot seem to comprehend that foreign real estate is subject to the same facts of reality as other commodities, (based on land costs, building costs, labor costs and individual GDP.) Real estate is like any other commodity in that it cannot support unsustainable prices based on unsustainable reasons. Real estate in most nations isn't just a little bit over priced; its twice over priced, and in some Latin American nations it's three times over-priced. Add to that fact, the curious exigency that having no precedent to guide them, the local agents (especially) who've never seen such a parade of rubes, don't know how to lower the prices back to reality. Like a dog watching a dog dish; they know that there was food in there once, they assume that there will always be food in there. After all, they've seen for themselves that dumb foreigners will seemingly buy anything at any price! . . . But they're wrong.
The attraction for the land rush was lower prices in Latin America, now that the price in most Latin American nations exceeds Miami prices, what's the attraction? The snakes?
We'll discuss what can be done about the real estate market in another article. I promise to tell you some horror stories of buyers paying ten times (yes, 10 times) over value for offshore properties. (Bought for $300,000, sold simultaneously for $3,000,000, and in my opinion worth no more than $30,000) Keep in mind that it is a fact, not an emotion, a fact, that building costs and personal GDP in most Latin American nations does not come close to supporting current prices. Those who bought at unsustainable prices are not going to double their money. The chain letter has run out of suckers.
I would like to discuss other ways to make money overseas.
How To Make Money Overseas
Most readers of this magazine want to make money overseas. I have been looking at various ways to make a sustainable income overseas. In order for me to analyze various methods of earning an income overseas I am signing up, or having colleagues sign up for various affiliations. If I determine the affiliate has merit I will report it and give you my analyze of the program. If anyone wants to suggest a money making program I am willing to look at it. Note that after 15 years of living overseas I have seen every ponzi get-rich money making scheme imaginable. I'm not interested. I want to hear about solid ways to make money overseas.
Making Money Overseas As A Sales Rep
Many companies that manufacture goods are looking for overseas sales reps. Don't sneer at this possibility. If you speak a foreign language and live overseas you have one up on the 'traveling' sales rep. You're on the ground and have a local phone number. Find out which goods are imported into the nation, or group of surrounding nations where you live. Electronic and high tech equipment is a good place to start looking.
It is smart to represent several 'like' companies or products. If you are successful look at what China or other manufacturing spots may have that you can label and add to the list. My friend Geno manufactured and sold scooters; not by the scooter, but by the container. He went to China, designed his own scooter's and had more business than he could handle.
With a five-star product you can even sell into the USA via the web. Import/export is no longer rocket science with the existence of the web. Geno's secret: Look for products that are unique, manufactured by those who do not know how to advertise. 'Number one golden best scooter' are words which do not communicate with consumers. 'Scooters For Less' communicates. Geno even sold plastic skeletons to schools. He thinks creatively.
His current product? Tankless water heaters like they have in Europe and Latin America sold into the USA. Americans, once they understood what they were, lined up to buy them. Geno is a very smart guy.
Aquaponics - An Interesting Opportunity
Another possibility that has interesting attributes is Aquaponics, a method of raising both fish and vegetables in a low water / low power consumption modality. This would be especially lucrative in the Caribbean where many islands have a lack of water and a shortage of fresh vegetables.
Colle Davis developed a system of fish tanks and pumps and flow rates that grows vegetables and fish. Read his article in EFAM entitled, How Fish Poop Can End Poverty and World Hunger. Yes, it's a comical title . . . but an intriguing article. [Includes a video.] It has been made known to me that 50 inquires went out to Colle the first day the article appeared. I myself intend to set up his system here in Panama, not on a commercial basis, but for my own consumption. One of the problems I have faced here in Panama with vegetable gardens is cutter ants, I can see a way with one of these units to ant-proof a garden. I have given some thought to whether Red Claw Crayfish would work in this system. It is something I asked Colle. Here is what he told me:
The Australian Red Claw (Cherax quadricarinatus) Crayfish can be grown alone or, best of all, in the same tanks as the tilapia or other herbivore fish being raised. Their presence in the fish tanks will actually improve the overall productivity of the system because these delicious morsels spend their time cleaning up the bottom of the tank and utilizing the detritus produced by the fish. Yes, I know it sounds a bit yucky, but if you enjoy lobster (same habits) or crayfish, you already look past their diet and enjoy the results.
You will have to add some housing for your Red Claw tank residents to keep them safe during their molting period (when they shed their old skin and expand into a new one that’s slightly larger). The addition of the housing (or as we call it ‘crayfish condos’) is as simple as using short sections of PVC pipe fastened together and placed on the bottom of the tanks. This condo can be easily removed when you harvest your fish and replaced so your growing stock can remain safe.
Raising the Red Claws is like a nearly free gift or side benefit from your aquaponics system. That’s because you are feeding your fish the same amount of feed as you were before and all that high nutrient material, that they no longer need, drifts down to the bottom for the Red Claws to put to good use for themselves.
The only modifications you need for your aquaponics system, other than the condos, is to place some type of filter over the pump intake so you don’t suck the small ones, think future table fare, out of the tank. Believe it or not, that’s the extent of your work. Put the Red Claws in, feed your fish as usual, five to seven months later begin to harvest your freshwater lobsters and know that they have produced multitudes of young so your system is always giving you that little extra because of that small gift from Australia.
Numis Network (graded silver and gold numismatic coins)
Here's another money maker called Numis Network. It was also featured in EFAM. Here is some feedback: "I learned about the Numis Network opportunity from the EFAM newsletter, and so far I’m blown away. This program fits perfectly into our travel plans and this is something that we can build from any location in the world. The feedback I have gotten so far has been fantastic. I plan to continue my current business projects as we travel for three months this summer, but also dive head first with my Numis Network business."
Make Billions With Google AdSense
Yeah. Google has a great search engine. What they have done to the internet is another question. How many websites do you come upon that are 95% Google AdSense and 5% content? You go to a page, what do you see? There are Google AdSense Ad Links covering the top of the page, so when the page opens that's all you see, there are also Google AdSense Ad Links at the bottom of the page, . . . and yes, there are Google AdSense Ad Links on the right hand side of the page. Where's the steak & potatoes? . . . if you look closely you'll see that dead center in the middle of the AdSense there are three (3) lines of content.
Of course, it was not, and is not Goggle's intention to turn the web into a giant slot machine of mindless links. The question as applies to this article is, can you make money with Google? More specifically, can you make money overseas with Google? There are countless books and websites that all claim to tell you how to make money through Google AdSense Ad Links. Make millions! Some of the websites and schemes are worthwhile, some are pure junk. In my next article I'll tell you my view of how it may be possible to make money with Goggle. I will supply flow charts, helpful hints based on what I have experienced, and recommend a few websites. I have nothing to sell you, I'm not going to write a book for you to buy, I don't have an affiliate program. I will tell you what I myself have found to be true.
The Art of International Web Development
This is a two article series that demonstrates how to get on the internet correctly. As it now appears that the internet is going to be more than any of us imagined, getting started on the internet correctly has become more and more important. I built my first webpage without knowing how to do it. (Multitudes will tell you that I still don't.) When I became hopelessly bogged down, I called a friend and asked him some questions. "Go to the drop down menu." He said to me.
Amigo. What in God's name is a drop down menu?
Now all that is changed. They have templates, SEO, and tools that I wouldn't have dreamed possible back in those early days.
Amazon And Commission Junction
After years of experience with Amazon and Commission Junction, I have something to say about each of these 'money makers' and their potential as overseas money makers.
Amazon is a very honest company that tries very hard to provide their affiliates the tools required for success. Amazon.com currently offers a base commission of 4% on sales. However the average book cost about $15.00. One would need to sell a lot of books to make any money at those rates. It was once easy to make up to $2,000 a month as an amazon affiliate.
With several large websites, and well over two million visitors a month, our company doesn't make $100 a month from its amazon affiliation.
Q: What happened?
Even if they paid a higher commission it is unlikely that an average website owner could make a substantial income as an amazon affiliate. An amazon affiliation should be viewed only as a possible source of auxiliary income. However with that said, it should be pointed out that amazon remains one of the best places to shop on the internet, providing expats with a source of goods they otherwise could not get, including, of course, books in English.
Amazon will ship to most civilized nations. They will not ship to Argentina, the government of Argentina is too corrupt, and the Argentine postal system as well as its customs service is staffed entirely by crooks and former government assassins. Also keep in mind that some nations have import duties that are usurious. Uruguay is one nation with usurious import duties, however even though the import duty in Uruguay is 60% on just about everything you import, there is no import duty on books. No civilized nation has an import duty on books. In Argentina they even try to hit books with an import duty. [This varies from thug to thug.] If they can't steal it, the Argentine government will sequester or charge a "fee" on anything you possess. They will steal your books even though they don't know how to read; they did mine. Fortunately the Republic of Chile is right next door, and Chile is a welcoming civilized place. So if you don't want your money stolen in Argentina, but you want to live in the Southern Cone, you can always invest in Chile.
Redlining is the practice of denying, or increasing the cost of, services to a specific geographical area. Commission Junction is the capital of Redlining on the internet. 75% of all Commission Junction marketers of affiliate programs deny affiliate membership to websites based in Latin America. Period.
Own A Country, Now You Can With EscapeArtist (Coming Soon)
Okay, this is under development. I will take it upon myself to give you this "heads-up" of what's coming so you can get in ahead of the crowd. They can't fire me, so I can say what I want feeling fairly secure that even if I say something too soon, the most that they do is tell me that I wasn't supposed to mention this yet and I'm an idiot. They've already mentioned that I'm an idiot, and I like watching them scamble trying to get six things in place at once. Here is what's coming:
Secure the Rights to Your Country and Partner with the Largest Website in the World for International Living.
In 2010 you can own your own country and become a recognized Media Bureau Chief with the most recognized name in international living; EscapeArtist. Imagine running an exclusive Media Bureau, shaping the image of your country and networking with the movers and shakers of the professional and social community. Now you can!
EscapeArtist is providing a very exclusive opportunity for qualified candidates to secure the rights to their native country. Candidates must possess first and foremost a high level entrepreneurial acumen with the ability to identify and produce high quality content, negotiate partnerships and sell media placements. Candidates will complete a thorough screening process which includes; background examinations, reference checks and board approval.
Approved Alliance Partners are responsible for building the content of the site, setting up social networks and identifying strategic media and brand alliance partners. More to come.
Update: Since writing this
article they did put the above online and wrote an article entitled, Own
A Country, Now You Can With EscapeArtist. The article includes
Revenue Opportunities & Available Sections.