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Resources

Here is a compilation of resources and tools that I believe can help you with real estate investing and internet marketing. These are just some of the same tools that I personally use, or have used in the past. I often talk about these tools all throughout this blog and also when I am invited to speak about real estate investing and internet marketing. I plan to add more as I find more useful tools.

Don’t forget to bookmark this page or add it to your favorites for easy access.

Real estate calculators

More calculators coming soon!

Useful Links

  • BIR Zonal Values – Access the official zonal values used for real estate taxes from BIR’s official website.
  • OMI Land Title Services – This is the title company to whom I outsource my land title service needs as mentioned in this post. OMI is now Conveyance Realty!
  • Real Estate Acronyms – Checkout this list of acronyms and abbreviations used in real estate in the Philippines.
  • Blogroll – If you already have a website, you can exchange links with me through this page.

Blog platform and themes

  • WordPress – ForeclosurePhilippines.com runs on the WordPress self-hosted blog platform. I used to run this blog in a blogger.com based blog but when I encountered a problem with one of their widgets, with no support in sight, and with a total lack of control, I decided to move to Wordpress and take charge of my blog. I believe it was one of the best choices I have ever made. I just wish I had moved to Wordpress sooner.
  • Thesis Premium Theme –  If you ever wondered how I am able to customize the design of ForeclosurePhilippines.com, it is actually very easy, thanks to the Thesis Theme for Wordpress. Although it is not free, I believe it is well worth it if you consider the time and money you will save, as compared to doing a lot of the coding yourself, or having this done for you. Thesis also offers better search engine optimization, lower server CPU and RAM usage, faster page loads, and it simply looks better!
  • This blog is currently using the Genesis Framework from Studiopress plus the Dynamik theme from CobaltApps. I also use Thrive Content Builder for my landing pages.
  • I am now using the GeneratePress wordpress theme.

Domains

  • GoDaddy – When I moved to Wordpress, the first thing I purchased was my own domain which was foreclosurephilippines.com. You can buy your own domain for your own website at GoDaddy.com.

Hosting

  • Hostgator – I moved to Hostgator when the first hosting company I was with folded up. Hostgator offered excellent service but I decided to move when I noticed my blog was growing fast and anticipated that I would need to move to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) service soon. Hostgator’s VPS service was quite expensive for me back then, so I decided to move to Dreamhost. Save 25% by using my link to signup with Hostgator.
  • Dreamhost – My blog is currently hosted with Dreamhost where I started from shared-hosting and upgraded on-the-fly to a VPS. I just wish there would be no need for me to  move to a dedicated server for another year, even with additional traffic (which is always welcome). If you use my link to signup, you will get USD50.oo off on your first year with Dreamhost.
  • We have just moved from Dreamhost to Hostgator. If up-time and reliability is important to you, then you should STAY AWAY from Dreamhost. The past few months was like a nightmare! We are now happily back with Hostgator, using a Level 3 4VPS. (Note: For those looking for hostgator coupons, here’s one that will let you save 25% : save25percentonme)
  • This blog is currently hosted with Siteground from January 2017 onwards. highly recommended!
  • Kinsta – Since 2019, we moved our website hosting to Kinsta to handle resources used by our foreclosed real estate database.

Internet marketing resources plus tools I use

  • Jomar Hilario – Jomar is my mentor when it comes to internet marketing. I helped facilitate his internet marketing workshop and learned so much (even if I was just a facilitator) so I also joined his online club afterwards. If you want to learn from the same guy who taught me the knowledge I used to start this website, Jomar is the man!
  • Maven Secrets – I wanted to “level-up” my blog and I found what I was looking for in the Maven Secrets program of Anton Diaz (founder of OurAwesomePlanet.com). Check this out if you want to learn “secrets” when it comes to becoming an internet marketing maven.
  • 30 Day Challenge – The 30 Day Challenge (now simply referred to as ” The Challenge”) is an easy to follow and 100% free online training program which will show you how to  make your first dollar online, step-by-step. I took the challenge twice (2009, 2010, I have not yet finished 2011) and I can assure you all that you will learn so much from Ed Dale and his gang of internet marketing gurus! If you want to learn how to earn from the internet, or if you want to improve your real estate website, take the challenge now!
  • Market Samurai – This is one of the tools that you will use in the 30 Day Challenge. The Keyword Research module is free and will remain free always (according to the developers) and I believe this module is the most essential. Use this to find which keywords to use on your websites and get traffic! Click on the link to watch the video to learn more.
  • Google Keyword tool – This is the free keyword tool from google which I use to validate or confirm the research I have done with Market Samurai. Actually, they are for the same purpose but google’s keyword tool lacks a lot of features available to the keyword Research module of Market Samurai.
  • Google Analytics – They say you cannot manage what you do not measure and this holds true with real estate blogs/websites. If you want to objectively know how your website is doing in terms of the total number of unique visitors, pageviews, search engine traffic, etc., you need to use Google Analytics. All websites should be using this from day 1, and the best thing about this is it is free!
  • Google Docs – I use this free tool from Google to create online forms to handle inquiries efficiently. It can be used to effectively create a buyers/sellers list. I stumbled upon this when I answered an online survey and thought of using it for real estate and it worked! Just click on “Create” -> “Form” and follow the wizard to create your first online form.
  • Max Blog Press Subscribers Magnet – This is the tool I used to increase the email subscription rate for this blog. I can honestly say that my subscription rate increased between 100% to 200% by simply using this tool. This helped me get 10,000 subscribers in a little over 3 years, without using “squeeze pages”, or other common techniques used for list building. This tool relies on making subscribing easier for those who want to subscribe.
  • Max Blog Press Ninja Affiliate – I use this to automatically convert keywords in my blog to links. Imagine this, I used to add links manually to all posts that had those keywords, very tiring, tedious, and time consuming. With this tool, I just configure the the address a link should go to, and which keywords should be converted to a link. This saved me a lot of time and effort!
  • OIO Publisher – This is the tool I use to provide an automated Direct Advertising system in this blog, which you can see in action through this page where advertisers can purchase banner ads.

For your mindset

  • The Feast – If you feel you need to recharge your spiritual life, come to one of the happiest place on Earth. Click on the link and checkout the schedules at the right side of the page. Go to The Feast nearest you and be blessed in all areas of your life.
  • BoSanchez.ph – Get inspired and motivated to change and grow in all areas of your life through “Practical” and “Actionable” words of wisdom from Bo Sanchez.
  • The Truly Rich Club – Do you want to break free from beliefs that deprive us from being truly rich? Join Bo Sanchez’ Truly Rich Club and start changing your mindset for the better and get you on your way to becoming truly rich.

Recommended books

These are some of the books that I have read which helped me on my journey to becoming a real estate investor. I often mention these books in my posts. Check them out below.

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! – The book that started it all for me, when it comes to foreclosed real estate investing, even if it talked about foreclosures very briefly.
  • Think Rich Pinoy by Larry Gamboa – This is the book that showed me that real estate investing can be done in the Philippine setting.
  • Simplify by Bo Sanchez – This book taught me how to manage my money and get out of debt.
  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth – This book (with the help of an audio recording of the Millionaire Mind Intensive program) helped me fine tune how I managed my money and helped me save money faster for my first deal. I learned about the “Money Jars” concept from T. Harv Eker.
  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – A most dangerous book, this inspired me to set a goal of quitting my job, which I actually did a  little over a year after I read it.
  • The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich – This helped give me ideas on how to automate (applicable in the Philippines in a very limited way) and accelerate building my savings which I used for my investments. One of the highlights is finding my own “Latte” factor, and eliminating it, which translates to less expenses and bigger savings.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – This book taught me the importance of using correct principles in all aspects of my life. Highly recommended!
  • The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren – What’s your purpose in life? If you are reading this website because you just want to make money, I can’t help but say that there must be higher purpose. This book can help you find that purpose. My wife wrote about this and you read here article here: Holy Week Reflections: Thoughts on “The Purpose Driven Life”
  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – If you think you are ready to become an entrepreneur, think again! Read this book and learn what it takes to have a successful business (real estate investing in this case) in its true sense.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell – Want to learn more about the “Matthew effect”, the “10,000 hour rule”, and other principles that can lead to an accumulated advantage that leads to success? Read this book! I suggest you also read my article on how the “Matthew Effect” applies to real estate investing.
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – I just wish I had read this sooner as I believe a lot of the concepts discussed in a lot of the books above are already in this book.
  • I’ll also list down the following books before I forget any of them: The Millionaire Next Door, One Minute Millionaire, The Challenge (Road to Wealth), Money Secrets of the Rich, and “Pera na Hindi Bitin”. I’ll update this with links to book reviews (if any) along with a brief introduction as to why I loved these books…
More to come soon…
~~~
To our success and financial freedom!

Jay Castillo

Real Estate Investor
PRC Real Estate Broker License No. 3194

Text by Jay Castillo and Cherry Castillo. Copyright © 2008 – 2012 All rights reserved.

Full Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you purchase products through these links (at no extra cost to you). I only recommend things I have found to be helpful to me based on the fact that I have used them, or continue to use them myself, and not because I just want to make money. Please keep in mind that you should not not spend money unless it is for something you really need.

Leave a Comment

8 thoughts on “Resources”

  1. Hi Jay, I am a little confused about your hosting. So you first started with hostgator then went to DreamHost then again went back to hostgator? Is that what you really mean?

    Reply
    • Hi Dhruv, yes, I left hostgator adn stayed with dreamhost then went back to hostgator. In retrospect, I never should have left hostgator.

      Reply
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