4/8/12: Choosing the Right Market – An Engineer’s Perspective

Is there a scientific way to approach market selection?  Something the average real estate investor can do – or at least understand?

To find out we went deep into the heart of Silicon Valley where we rustled up a left-brained engineer turned real estate investor.

In the laboratory for this electric episode  of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show:

  • Your right-brained host, Robert Helms
  • Your hair-brained co-host, Russell Gray
  • Special guest, our mad scientist of market methodology, Tom Wilson

What you do when you’re an “A” student with a 30 year career as an engineer and corporate manager, and you take a critical look at your financial future and see a nuclear meltdown?

For Tom Wilson, he called upon his engineering background and managerial experience to design a better outcome.

Now we talk a lot about how a market “feels”, and going with your gut, and using the Force to guide you in your investing.  But guys like Tom just sit there with their arms crossed over their lab coat and slide-rule waiting for the formula.  In Tom’s case, he actually did a thorough analysis and designed a formula to real estate fortune.

But did it work?

Well, Tom’s no Donald Trump or even a Ken McElroy, but in the 10 years since he walked away from the corporate life of Silicon Valley, Tom’s done multi-millions of dollars in deals and has managed to accumulate 230 rental units.  Not too shabby for a propeller head.

So we sit Tom down and interrogate, er…interview him.  How did he do it?  What did he learn along the way?  Will he loan us some money?

Tom introduces us to the concept of a “sensitivity analysis” (and you thought engineers were all cold, clinical and calculating).  So we reach for our Kleenex and are all set to get in touch with our inner investor. Then Tom explains what a “sensitivity analysis” is and it isn’t what we think.

We find out that there are a number of factors (“variables”) which all affect outcomes in any experiment. In this case, we’re talking the financial performance and risk of real estate investing.

Now some of those factors are more important than others.   Some are WAY more important.  And wouldn’t you just like to know exactly what those super important factors are?  Of course you would.  But you’ll have to listen to Tom, because we wouldn’t do the topic justice – and goodness knows, you deserve justice.

But enough about Tom’s engineering background.  You’ll learn all about that when you listen to the episode.  And when you order his free report (details at the end of the episode), which is replete with charts and graphs, you’ll really get into the deepest recesses of his analytical mind.  Ooh Ahh.

For now, let’s talk about Tom’s managerial experience.  After all, to build a portfolio this big, you need to have a team.   This is where Tom’s success as a high tech manager kicks in.

He tells us about the character qualities he values most in himself and what he looks for in others.  He says he makes it a point to surround himself with people smarter than himself.  So both of those people work with him now. ;-)  He shares some valuable tidbits of managerial wisdom and a dose of real world reality.  Let’s face it.  If people are involved, there’s going to be some brain damage.

Tom says he believes having patience and tenacity are essential to success.  It reminds us of a concept from Midas Touch by Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump: FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Successful.  We agree.  For guys like Tom, he’s smart enough to plan his work and work his plan.  Other guys (like us) are just too dumb to quit.

One thing’s for sure:  it’s very cool being radio talk show hosts because we get to hang out with lots of people smarter than us…like Tom Wilson.  And it’s our privilege to go find these big brains and bring the interviews back to you.  You’ll enjoy this one!

LISTEN:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources that help real estate investors succeed.

 

 

The Disappearing Middle

Recent reports from the U.S. Census Bureau declared that the U.S. middle class is getting squeezed.  Shocker.  Thank you, Captain Obvious. We were hoping the disappearing middle referred to our beer bellies, but no such luck. ;-)

Of course, our good friend Robert Kiyosaki has been saying for years that the rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer and the middle class will get squeezed.  So if you’ve been paying attention, the report from the Census Bureau isn’t a surprise.

The big question is:  what are you going to do about it?

If you’re in the middle class and you’re feeling the squeeze, it may be time to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur.  Yes, it’s hard work.  But so is being poor.  If you’re reading a blog like this, you’re probably already committed to being successful, so we won’t waste time preaching to the choir.

So let’s talk about what a disappearing U.S. middle class means to you as a real estate investor.

In the Clues in the News segments of our Mentoring Club meetings, one of the things we watch for is what “the big dogs” are doing when faced with market shifts. And it isn’t just real estate investors we watch.  It can be fund managers or corporations.  We can learn from anyone who’s watching the economy and managing cash, cash flow, debt and equity.

We saw an article in the Wall Street Journal, As Middle Class Shrinks, P&G Marketing Aims High and Low, that talked about how big corporations are shifting to an “hourglass” marketing strategy.  (When it comes to hourglasses and figures, we understand getting excited…but marketing?  We must be getting old.)

You can read the article yourself, but the point here is that big corporations are making major adjustments to their businesses to adapt to a disappearing U.S. middle class.  Similarly, is there anything a real estate investor should be doing to adjust to the new American reality?

Here are some things to consider:

People will move to where there are jobs.  Duh.  The million dollar question is where in America are their jobs?  If you’ve been watching the Presidential debates, you’ve been hearing about all the jobs in Texas.  Dumb luck or great leadership, it’s no surprise that more people and businesses are moving to Texas than moving out.

People and businesses will move to where it’s cheaper.  State income taxes take a big bite out of most budgets, so look for good investment areas in a no tax (there’s only seven) or low tax state.  Two of our favorites right now are Tennessee and Texas.  Businesses also look for low cost land, a big labor pool (population), and nearby educational institutions.

People will move down before they move away.  They have families and friends and don’t want to leave them.  As the affluent fall down the food chain,  prices will likely soften in the affluent areas, while demand will increase for lower priced properties near those affluent areas.  Watch what’s happening in whatever markets you’re investing in.  Talk to property managers, real estate agents, local resident (it’s amazing what you can learn in a coffee shop!) and the Chamber of Commerce.  Which sub-markets are people and businesses moving away from and to?  As in all investing, the trend is your friend.

Pick markets carefully with “geographically linked” economies.  That is, industries that must be located in the region and can’t be easily moved, if at all.  It’s also important that those industries be permanent (you don’t want to buy all the houses next to video cassette manufacturing plant).

Two great examples of permanent and geographically linked industries are commodities (like oil, gas, lumber, etc.) and distribution.  It might be easy to move a widget manufacturing plant to China or Mexico, but you can’t move mining or farming offshore.  Those jobs have to stay in the area – and those commodities are always in demand.

Similarly, moving boxes from point A to point B is a logistical operation.  Even if the U.S. is poor, there will still be 300+ million people who need food, clothes, household products, etc.  All that stuff might be made in China or Mexico, but it’s moving through the U.S., so those distribution jobs are linked to the real estate.  And it’s not just location, but huge and expensive infrastructure like airports, roads and railways.  Two cities that come to mind are Dallas and Memphis.

Now if the U.S. shakes off the doldrums and comes roaring back to economic life, any market that’s sound in a tough economy will only be more sound in a great economy.  Either way, you win. :-)

 

 

 

 

 

7/3/11: Apartment Investing Opportunities – Moving Up to the Big Deals

Moving up to the “big deals” is the goal of everyone who plays Robert Kiyosaki’s Cash Flow game, just like going from little green houses to big red hotels is the path to riches in Parker Brothers’ Monopoly.  The bigger the property, the more profit potential there is.

In the real world, the natural progression for real estate investors is to go from single family houses to apartment buildings.  But the real world also means real money, which can be scary in a tenuous economy.

So what’s happening in today’s apartment market and how do you make the transition to the big leagues?

To find out, The Real Estate Guys™ invited a long time investor, CPA and real estate broker to share his pearls of real world wisdom.

Behind the microphones, diving deep into the depths of real estate experience:

  • Your host and daring pearl diver of diction, Robert Helms
  • Co-host and peerless puller of precious pearls, Russell Gray
  • The Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms
  • Special guest, seasoned investor, CPA, CCIM real estate broker, and really smart dude, Steve Fithian

This episode has a few facets to interest you.

First, Steve has an interesting history as a conservative, corporate CPA turned swash buckling real estate investor, broker and entrepreneur.  Well, swash buckling compared to being a corporate CPA.  But he gave up the “security” of the corporate grind to get on the rocky road to real estate riches.  Along the way, he’s used his education and training to survive a couple of market downturns, so there’s some valuable lessons right there.

Also, Steve’s evolution from small property investor to big apartment investor has more important lessons – especially when making the transition in an uncertain market.  He has strong opinions about how to do it in a safe and sane way.

And of course, Steve’s insights as a commercial real estate broker and property manager in one of the best apartment markets in the nation adds a whole other valuable dimension to this broadcast.  Even more so because he isn’t native to his market.  He chose it strategically and has the unique perspective of looking at the market as both an insider and an outsider.   Steve took our mantra “Live where you want to live, but invest where the numbers make sense” to the next level: “Find our where the numbers make sense and move there.”!

We think it makes sense to listen to an educated, street smart, seasoned professional when it comes to understanding market cycles and the apartment investing opportunities in today’s market.  So tune in to the conversation and prepare to pull some precious pearls of wisdom of your own from this podcast!

The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources to helps real estate investors succeed.

Why Now May Be a Great Time To Invest in Dallas Real Estate

Finding a strong market to invest in is as simple as looking for population growth, job growth, and a diverse economy. That’s why some of the smartest minds in real estate are focused on the long term strength of Dallas, TX.

POPULATION GROWTH: The Dallas-Fort Worth area’s population has grown by nearly 1.3 million from 2000 -2009.  That is more than any other metropolitan area in the United States.  The Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington MSA is the largest metropolitan area in Texas, the largest in the South, the fourth-largest in the United States (SOURCE: Wikipedia on DFW).

The Dallas, TX metro is forecasted to add 4 million new people from 2010 – 2040 according to the Texas Data Center  and the North Texas Water Board.   That’s one new person every 4 minutes!!! In 2009, the population of Texas grew by 231,539.  That is more growth than Florida, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado, combined.

A demographer at the Brookings Institution attributes the population growth to a more diversified economy in Texas and more conservative lending practices during the real estate boom. When combined with the state’s steady growth earlier in the decade, Texas is projected to receive three new seats in Congress.  (SOURCE: Recession Cuts Migration to Sun Belt, New Figures Show 
New York Times).

JOB GROWTH: “Diversified industry and relatively stable housing fundamentals have provided local residents with comparatively secure standards of living. Cities where home prices don’t fluctuate wildly are particularly well-positioned to ride out this recession, because they were spared the domino effect of foreclosures, lost jobs and lost productivity. Rather than chasing rising home prices or apparently plentiful jobs in one-industry towns, families looking for long-term economic stability should seek spots where industry is diverse and housing price shifts are benign.”  (America’s Fastest Recovering Cities
 – Forbes Magazine)  According to the US Bureau of Labor & Statistics, Dallas job growth is twice the national average.  An educated populace and a cost of living below the national average, make Dallas enticing to companies seeking a lower cost but highly qualified workforce.

DIVERSE ECONOMY: The Dallas economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, and transportation.  North Texas has 28% of the state’s workforce, employing more than 350,000 in healthcare, 225,000 in high-tech and 68,000 aviation-related jobs.  North Texas has 20 colleges and universities, 17 graduate schools, 3 medical/dental schools, 2 law schools and 20 community college campuses (SOURCE: North Texas Commission).  The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is home to over 10,000 corporate headquarters making it the largest concentration of corporate headquarters in the United States.  The Dallas metro area is home to 25 FORTUNE 500 company headquarters and 7 FORTUNE Global 500 companies which bring more than $819 billion in revenue to North Texas. (Source: Fortune Magazine 2009)

  • WORLD CENTER OF AVIATION
    • DFW International Airport is the third busiest airport in the world
    • There are more than 850 aviation-related businesses in North Texas – more than any other area of its size in the world
    • There are more than 68,000 documented aviation-related jobs in the region
  • LOGISTICS HUB
    • DFW is a major logistics hub and has the lowest distribution costs to the top 50 U.S. consumer markets of any region
    • Since the passage of NAFTA, DFW trade to Mexico and Canada has more than doubled – in large part due to the proximity of Interstate 35 – the NAFTA Superhighway
  • FINANCIAL AND BANKING CENTER
    • North Texas is a major financial center and is home to one of 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, as well as several regional bank offices and corporate headquarters to Comerica
  • HIGH TECHNOLOGY CENTER
    • North Texas is a national and global leader in the high-tech sector, and 8.3% of the region’s total 2.7 million labor force is employed in high-tech fields, according to the Metroplex Technology Business Council
    • North Texas’ 225,000 high-tech workers account for 52% of Texas’ total technology workforce, and North Texas boasts 6,215 high-tech firms
    • Although the high-tech industry employs 8.3% of the North Texas workforce, the high-tech sector accounts for nearly 13% of wages paid to North Texas workers – indicating the relatively high-paying nature of these sophisticated jobs
  • RETAIL CENTER
    • North Texas is the 10th largest retail market in the country. Dallas Market Center, the world’s most complete wholesale marketplace, hosts approximately 50 markets each year attended by more than 200,000 retail buyers from all 50 states and 84 countries, and conducts more than $8 billion in wholesale sales annually
  • HEALTH CARE EXCELLENCE
    • North Texas is known for its extensive state-of-the-art health care facilities with more than 90 major hospitals and two major medical schools
    • Health care is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the Dallas-Fort Worth region with more than 350,000 health care jobs

LOW TAXES:

  • No personal or corporate state income tax
  • Maximum state and city sales tax of 8.25%

QUALITY OF LIFE:

  • North Texas features world-class athletes, teams and sports facilities, including the new Cowboys Stadium, host of the 2010 NBA All Star Game, 2010 World Series, 2011 Super Bowl XLV, and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2014
  • The region is growing as an arts hub with 7.9 million people attending arts and culture events annually
  • Low cost of living
  • Affordable housing
  • Plentiful water
  • Public transportation and excellent highway system
  • Strong k-12 schools and universities
  • Centrally located
    (SOURCE: North Texas Commission)

For more information about Dallas, visit our Dallas Market page or find a local market expert in our Resource Network.

Dallas Jobs are Up and Vacancy is Down

According to the latest monthly review of the Texas economy from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Texas is leading the United States in economic recovery.    The Texas economy experienced its second month of positive annual employment growth up 0.9 percent from June 2009 to June 2010 compared with a negative rate of 0.1 percent for the nation.

Over the past 12 months the Dallas metro added 27,300 more jobs than it cut.  That is enough job growth to warrant the development of a mid sized city!!!   If a city needs 3 jobs to support every 5 people, 27,300 new jobs justifies a population increase of 45,500 people.  Kids and retired people don’t work but they need places to live. Assuming 2.5 people per household, 45,500 new people need 18,200 additional housing units.

Is the supply of Dallas housing keeping up with the demand?

In the past 12 months Dallas County added 5,351 apartment units and absorbed 7,596.  The numbers show people are absorbing apartments faster than they are being built.  The demand for housing is strong but apartment construction has dwindled because of the lack of construction financing.  This positive absorption is lowering vacancy rate substantially, however rental rates have remained steady.

Dallas hasn’t experienced a boom in rental rates because while demographics are headed in the right direction, Dallas is still burning off a small amount of excess housing that was built during the easy credit building boom from 2001-2007.   Current apartment vacancy rates are around 9%, however if you look at the rate of vacancy for properties that are less than 15 years old and the residential occupancy rate is MUCH better.

Many people forecast a housing boom in Dallas because the job market is forecasted to bring more people to Dallas than the housing market can keep up with.  Land near Dallas job centers is scarce and people are starting to pay substantial rental premiums to live closer to work. Dallas commute times are increasing as people are choosing to live farther into the affordable suburbs rather than pay the higher cost of living associated with living near the city center.  While Texas still has amazing expanses of inexpensive land, none of that land is close to jobs.

Get ready for a Texas sized real estate boom!!!

The Dallas population is growing rapidly as a result of relative economic prosperity while developable land near job centers is scarce.  As traffic commute times increase over the next decade, it will become more desirable and more economical to pay a larger and larger housing premium to live closer to your job.

Statistics for this blog were taken from the real estate research center at Texas A&M University http://recenter.tamu.edu/mreports/

For more information about Dallas, visit our Dallas Market page or find a local market expert in our Resource Network.

7/11/10: Ask The Guys – Bankrupcty, Tax Liens, Cheap Houses and More!

So we’re wandering around the radio show one day trying to think of something to talk about.  Then we trip over a big bag of email and say, “Hey! We haven’t answered listener questions for awhile. Let’s do that!”  So today’s episode is all about you and your questions.

Taking the stand and promising to answer each question to the best of our admittedly limited abilities:

  • Host and Professional Pontificator, Robert Helms
  • Co-Host and Head of The Real Estate Guys Research Institute, Russell Gray
  • The Man Who’s Forgotten More Real Estate than Most Will Ever Know, the Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms

One of our favorite things to do is show off how smart we are.  For obvious reasons, we don’t get to do that very often, but we always look forward to the opportunity.  Then again, if you subscribe to the idea that people learn by making mistakes, we’re REALLY smart!

Anyway, we get lots of questions from people and we love it.  So please keep ‘em coming!  Go to Ask the Guys and ask away!  For this episode, we grabbed a handful from the email bag and here are some we found.

(For privacy purposes, we’ve omitted the names, phone numbers, social security numbers, birthdates, drivers license numbers, bank account information, picture, height, weight, race, religion, sexual orientation and favorite ice cream)

I just came out of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  How can I get a mortgage?

I found properties for $500 – $1000!  Seems like a no-brainer.  Am I missing something?

Is Dallas a dangerous place?

The Great Recession wiped me out.  How do I get going again?

What do you think of using retirement accounts to buy real estate?

Are tax liens a safe investment?

And our personal favorite:

Is it still possible to buy property for no money down?

Tune in for the answers to these and other exciting questions on this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show! (theme music plays here).

Listen Now
Don’t miss a show!  Subscribe to the Free Podcast
Want More?  Sign Up for The Real Estate Guys™ Free Newsletter!

Real Estate Field Trip to Dallas Texas!

Why has Dallas become one of our favorite US real estate markets?

  1. Texas is ranked the #1 business friendly state in the US. Last time we looked, tenants have an easier time paying the rent when they have a job.  And landlords have an easier time paying the mortgage when tenants pay the rent.  Jobs are good.
  2. Dallas is the nation’s 5th largest media market. Hey, we are radio guys.
  3. Dallas is in the top 10 big US cities where it makes more financial sense to rent rather than own.  That means tenants stay tenants longer.  Less turnover means less expenses.  Less expenses means better cash flow.  Cash flow is good.
  4. Dallas real estate values have held up very well throughout the mortgage meltdown and the resulting unprecedented drop in real estate values across the US.  After the last two years of “Drop Zone”, a Merry-Go-Round sounds exciting enough.
  5. Dallas is only 2-1/2 hours from Belize. Does that count?
  6. The Real Estate Guys™ TV show is taped in Dallas (Addison actually, but it’s close enough).
  7. Most rental residential real estate prices are well within the FHA / Fannie / Freddie conforming guidelines. That means it’s easier to get loans.  It’s also easier for resale buyers to get loans.  Life is easier when you can get loans.
  8. Our friend, Ken McElroy, says Dallas is one of his favorite markets for the next 5-10 years.  And we think he’s well qualified to have an opinion.
  9. Infrastructure! Centrally located in the US, a huge airport, a great freeway system, on the path from Mexico to the North and Northeast, a big labor force and good higher education.  Plus they have an amazing $1.2 billion football stadium.  That’s infrastructure, isn’t it?
  10. Big and diverse economy. Dallas is home to lots of huge companies.  But for every huge company, there are lots of little ones that support them.

We could go on, but you get the idea.  But why take our word for it?  Come to Dallas and check it out for yourself! Reading blogs and looking at stats on the internet is interesting in “student mode”.  To get to “investor mode” (where you actually buy, own and manage real estate), you need to visit the market.  How long does it take to learn a new market?  A lot longer if you go it alone!

Invest a weekend with us in Dallas and we’ll help you compress time frames. We’ll help you get the lay of the land (literally!), explore various sub-markets, meet local experts and service providers; plus we’ll introduce you to some of our key contacts.  And no one is going to ask (or pressure) you to buy anything including the next “boot camp” or any specific property.  That’s not the way we roll.  But if you find something or someone that interests you, you can follow up when you’re ready.  Sound fair?

For more information, about the next field trip to Dallas, click here.

5/9/10: Shifting Gears – True Confessions of a Reborn Real Estate Investor

A bend in the road is not the end of the road – unless you fail to make the turn! Your ability to adjust to a rapidly changing landscape can be the difference between staying on the road to riches or flying off a cliff.

For many investors, the last three years have been a total wreck.  For others, it’s been a challenging off-road excursion.  For some, it’s been a real test of their abilities to operate their investment vehicle under the most extreme conditions.  In any case, there are great lessons to be learned from everyone’s experiences.

So we decided to catch up with one investor who’s gone from rags to riches to rags and is coming back bigger and better than ever!

At track side for this episode:

  • Ace Driver and Show Host, Robert Helms
  • Crew Chief and Co-Host, Russell Gray
  • The Godfather of Real Estate, Bob Helms
  • Special Guest, the Comeback Kid, David Campbell

From Donald Trump to Walter Sanford to Robert Kiyosaki, we never get tired of hearing the riches to rags to riches stories.  Successful people are successful – even when they’re failing – because they know how to manage their fears, analyze their failures, get the lessons and take effective action to come back bigger and better than before.

David shares his humble beginning as a high school band teacher with big dreams but small means.  He then talks about his road to riches and the challenges he faced when his California Dream was taken down by the meltdown.

The faster you’re going, the quicker you need to react to changes in the landscape.  David takes us through his thought process as he shifted his investment philosophy, strategy and tactics.  Today, he invests very differently than when he started and is enjoying great success.

David reveals the markets, property types and investment objectives he is pursuing today.  Plus, he shares one specific technique he used to acquire property – even though he didn’t have much cash or credit to work with.  This is one of our favorite shows!   We think you’ll like it too.

Listen Now

Don’t miss a show!  Subscribe to the Free Podcast

Want More?  Sign Up for The Real Estate Guys Free Newsletter!

May 14-16, 2010: Field Trip to Dallas, TX

We just got back from our 8th Annual Investor Summit at Sea where we got to hang out with some of the biggest brains in real estate.  One of our special guest faculty members was Robert Kiyiosaki’s Rich Dad Real Estate Advisor Ken McElroy.  Ken has over 10,000 rental units and is adding more each month!  We’re not sure how many you have, but we’re guessing Ken’s a little ahead of most folks.

Market Selection Matters
Since we’re big believers in picking the market first and the finding the best deal in the right market, we naturally asked Ken which markets he likes best and why.  One of his favorites is North Texas and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  That made us feel really smart, since we’ve been fans of Dallas for the last couple of years.  Ken’s always been a die hard cash flow investor (even though he loves to force equity through re-hab), so no surprise he likes Dallas.  The GRMs / cap rates have always been pretty attractive there (if you don’t know what we just said, see Equity Happens pages 312 to 315).  But, good rents relative to purchase price is only one part of the market selection process.

One of Ken’s keys to successful market selection is jobs.  How may are there?  What kind are they?  How much do they pay?  How stable are they?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Texas is the top ranked stated for ease of doing business and has strong track record of job creation and preservation – even during the latest recession!  That alone should warrant a closer look.

Whenever we hear enough of the right people saying a market is worth looking at, we pack our bags and head to the airport to go check it out.  After we get to know some folks and do a little business, if we like the market, we invite our inner circle to join us for a field trip.  Since we’re broadcasters, our circle is pretty big.  And guess what?  You’re in it!

YOU’RE INVITED to The Real Estate Guys™ Field Trip to Dallas Texas on May 14-16, 2010!

Can’t make that one?  That’s okay!  We got so excited we decided to schedule not one, but TWO MORE dates:  June 11-13 and July 9-11. Now, you don’t have any excuse.

But, we only take one (small) bus load at a time, so SPACE IS LIMITED.  Our accountant says that’s stupid because if we did one trip with hundreds of people it would be more economical.  Maybe.  But it’s hard to see out the window with another field tripper in your lap.  And if we had more than one vehicle, someone is sure to feel left out.  Who gets to ride with the tour guide and who has to ride in the other van and read lips from across the traffic lane?  So, the accountant is overruled and we’re doing three cozy trips instead of one giant trip.  Plus we made it really affordable!

Let's go explore the Dallas metro real estate market!

For only $699 per person (double occupancy), you get:

  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Meals and snacks
  • Notebook with market information
  • All educational sessions
  • A guided tour of several sub-markets and properties
  • Introduction to local market experts and service providers

These items are NOT included:

  • Airfare or other transportation from where you are to the Dallas airport
  • Any investment properties you decide you want ;-)
  • Uncomfortable, high pressure, hard-sell from desperate real estate agents.  This is an EDUCATIONAL event.
  • An autographed Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys jersey (we have to draw the line somewhere)

Not sure it’ll be worthwhile?  Check out these comments from some folks who attended previously:

I definitely recommend this. The trip gave me different insights when evaluating a market. Really enjoyed spending time with other investors and the general real estate conversations.” – Leslye S., Mission Viejo, CA

“I likely will invest in this market soon. The field trip is absolutely a must if you are interested in Dallas and have not been there. – Markus M., Detroit MI

“It is great to actually see an area that is growing and makes sense to invest in.  Also, I got a better understanding of how a property manager thinks and sees things.” – Jerry B., Turlock, CA

As a real estate agent and regular listener of The Real Estate Guys, I learned many points when assessing an area. I would recommend this trip very strongly.” – Kathy B., Maui, HI

“Excellent source of information. Amazing! After this weekend, I have decided to go on the cruise!!!” – Peter E., Austin, TX

What more can we say? Download your registration form and make plans to join us in Dallas.  Then maybe we can add YOUR name to our list of happy campers!

Robert Helms and a Group of Happy Campers on a Dallas Field Trip

The Real Estate Guys Descend on Dallas – October Field Trip Report

Dallas, Texas – Oct 16-18, 2009

The Real Estate Guys Van Enters Downtown Dallas

In a whirlwind field trip, Robert Helms led a group of real estate enthusiasts on a guided tour of the Dallas area.  The group included people from as far away as Hawaii, California and Michigan and featured several guest speakers including a local real estate developer, a local property manager and a veteran out of state real estate investor.

Dallas is a huge geographic market with many diverse sub-markets.  Though impossible to cover all market areas, the field trip provided a great overview and focused on a few strategic marketplaces of particular interest.   Overall, Dallas is a very attractive real estate market.  It features a large population base, strong transportation and educational infrastructure, and a diverse economy – all nestled in the top rated state in which to do business.  According to the Governor’s office, Texas created approximately 70% of all the new jobs in the US last year.  Last time we looked, the best tenants were those with jobs!

Here's a Nice One! Let's Check It Out!

Oooh Aaah! Pretty Properties that Cash Flow!

One of the most attractive attributes of this market is the ratio between price and rents.  With today’s low interest rates, many very nice properties will cash flow quite well with a reasonable down payment.  The educational sessions on the trip focused on evaluating cash flow and how to recognize a good deal from a not-so-good deal.

The bottom line: The surveys said that everyone had a FABULOUS time on this field trip and felt it was well worth the time and money.  In fact, 100% of the attendees rated it a 4 (on a scale of 1-4) and would recommend it to others. Check out some of the comments:

Helped me focus on my goals…and learn what to research in markets and cash flow property.  Very strongly recommend.” – Peter E., Austin, TX

Absolutely a must! I will likely invest in this market soon.” – Markus M., Detroit, MI

Highly recommend!  It’s great to actually seen an area that is growing and makes sense to invest in.” - Jerry B., Turlock, CA

Bummed you missed it?  No worries!  Based on the success of this trip, we’re going again December 4-6, 2009! Join us!  Then YOU can put your smiling face in these pictures!

Robert and a Group of Happy Campers

Robert Helms (center) and a Group of Happy Campers

As you can see, SPACE IS LIMITED (that’s not sales pitch – we can only fit so many people in a van), so register now to reserve your spot!

If you have questions or need help, call 1-888-489-7723 or send us a message on our Feedback page.

A field trip with The Real Estate Guys is one very effective way to discover new markets and opportunities in real estate.  We hope to see YOU on our next field trip!