Real Life Lessons – Raising Capital to Fund Bigger Deals

Periodically, we like to bring you stories of real-life investors … investors who’ve been in your shoes and made it up rocky paths to emerge better than they started!

The investors on our show today all fell into real estate investing in different ways, but one thing brings them together … they all attended our Secrets of Successful Syndication event … and then turned their education into effective action by becoming successful syndicators!

We asked each guest to tell us more about how they got started, what happened when they ran out of money, and some of the setbacks and successes they’ve each experienced.

Behind the mics for this edition of Real Life Lessons:

  • Your psyched-about-syndication host, Robert Helms
  • His seriously silly co-host, Russell Gray
  • Engineer turned syndicator, Sep Bekam
  • The deal hunter, Peter Halm
  • Self-storage empress, Linda Murray

Listen



Subscribe

Broadcasting since 1997 with over 300 episodes on iTunes!

real estate podcast on itunesSubscribe on Androidyoutube_subscribe_button__2014__by_just_browsiing-d7qkda4

 

 


Review

When you give us a positive review on iTunes you help us continue to bring you high caliber guests and attract new listeners. It’s easy and takes just a minute! (Don’t know how? Follow these instructions).

Thanks!


Why syndicate?

At some point, every real estate investor reaches a crucial moment where they have, for all intents and purposes, run out of money.

At that point, investors have two paths … they can take the path of least resistance and simply give up … OR they can harness their expertise and provide investment opportunities to other investors through syndication.

Syndication is a more effective version of “no money down.”

The truth is, there’s a ton of money floating around out there if only you have the right value proposition.

Syndication offers you the opportunity to build a big business with cash flow, long-term gains, and profit sharing … and all you have to do is find and broker decent investments.

You have the chance to create your own perfect life. Ask yourself … What do I want to get good at? What do I like to do?

Then focus on building specialized skills. You can’t be an expert in everything.

Syndication is like assembling a puzzle … you might only be a small piece of the whole (albeit a crucial one).

All of our guests today have taken the leap of faith into the world of syndication … let’s take a look at their stories!

From fear to freedom

If you met Sep B. years ago, before he started investing, it might be hard to make the connection between the shy, analytical engineer of yesteryear to the full-time syndicator of today.

When Sep started out, he had invested his personal money in two fourplexes in his own state. He had no business background and lots of fear about the unknowns of investing out of state.

“I was very motivated but didn’t know where to start,” says Sep. But Sep knew he had no money of his own left … and his family and friends were starving for yields.

So what did he do? It’s simple. Sep constantly looked for deals.

Six months after his first Secrets of Successful Syndication seminar, Sep closed on his first syndication deal.

Some of Sep’s major takeaways from his syndication experience:

  • Match potential investors with their needs and wants. Sep found investors were more likely to come to him when he emphasized his team, put strong systems in place to protect capital, and crucially, matched investors and investments appropriately.
  • Always be okay asking questions and learning from others. “It takes a certain level of curiosity to ask questions even if everything isn’t going right,” said Sep.
  • Find ways to mitigate obstacles. Sep and his team ask everyone they work with a series of questions to preemptively make sure companies and investors are the right fit for Sep’s syndication business.
  • Make small, controlled mistakes and learn from them. New syndicators will experience challenges along with success … and Sep’s certainly had his share of missteps. These days, he’s constantly fine-tuning, making sure he is adapting to changes, working with the right team, and offering the right product to tenants and a reliable source of passive income to investors.
  • Transition gradually from part time to full time. Before transitioning, understand how much passive income you need, Sep advises. Then break your goals into actionable, realistic steps.

From house flipper to deal hunter

Peter H. started out flipping out houses in Los Angeles. It was slow, hard work … paychecks only materialized when houses were sold, and prices in LA started skyrocketing, making deals hard and hard to find.

In January 2016, Peter attended Secrets of Successful Syndication. A year and a half later, he’s on his fourth syndication deal.

Some lessons he’s learned along the way:

  • Don’t tie yourself to one particular asset class. Peter’s deals have ranged from a mobile home park to multi-family apartments and currently to workforce housing. “If we discover a natural demand, we’ll jump in,” says Peter.
  • Align yourself with people who have great experience and access to funds. When Peter started doing deals that were big enough to be uncomfortable, he made sure he put himself out there and recruited people who knew what they were doing. “Everything was an interview process,” Peter said. “We asked a ton of questions.”
  • To build a network of prospective investors, listen to investor needs. By listening to people and discovering their wants, needs, and worries, Peter can file away what he’s learned until he finds a deal that fits a potential investor’s philosophy. It’s a win-win situation.
  • Syndication is not for everybody. “If syndication were really easy, everyone would do it,” noted Peter. If you are determined, want to work with people, and are willing to listen, syndication might be the path for you.

What is Peter’s philosophy? Treat everyone as a partner. “We’re all in this together, and we’re working toward a common goal of everyone wins,” said Peter.

From housewife to self-storage pro

Linda H. got her start in investing the hard way … when she realized she and her husband didn’t have enough IRA savings to sustain themselves during retirement.

She attempted to solve the problem by starting and then selling a business, but unfortunately, the business crashed before the deal could go through.

At that point, she switched to real estate, where she figured she could have more control.

She bought a fourplex, then a farm, then an apartment building. Then she ran out of money.

Listening to podcasts while she drove to each job site, Linda realized she didn’t necessarily have to go through the banking system … she could syndicate.

The transition from investor to syndicator was an uphill battle, Linda says. “It took a while to figure things out.”

Starting out as an inexperienced housewife, Linda had to wing it … but with some hard work, eventually her efforts paid off.

Today she just closed on two properties, has 850 self-storage units, and is currently working on building units at another site.

Her insights:

  • Find the right partners. Linda started out as a lone wolf, but after attending a seminar on self-storage, she met some people who gelled with her personality and they pooled their money.
  • Complementary skillsets can enhance your business. Linda had trouble raising money herself, but was skilled at the business side of syndication. Her partners were better at raising funds. Each person was able to focus on their own strengths.
  • People want what you have to offer. Linda noted that a lot of average people think the only option for investing is the stock market, which doesn’t offer a high degree of control. People are looking for options but don’t have the time to manage an investment … and as a syndicator, you can provide an answer, she says.

Making a REAL difference with real estate. One of our guiding philosophies is that “everything we do matters if it makes a difference in the life of real folks.” We think it should be one of yours, too.

As an investor or a syndicator, one of your goals should be to make sure people are better off with you than without you.

Another maxim to stick by? We like the words of Dave Zook, who says, “You can be conventional or you can be wealthy. Pick one.”

If you’re a real estate investor … heck, if you’re listening to this show … you’re not normal. And that’s a good thing!

The world needs you. You have an opportunity to add value to other people’s lives, to fill holes left by bad stewards and uninspiring investment options.

Are you ready to take the leap from investor to syndicator? We highly recommend getting around smart, successful people.

One of the best ways to do that is to come to our Secrets of Successful Syndication seminar.

As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues.” So get around people who are super successful … and pick up some clues about how to find more success yourself!

Be the captain of your own ship. And remember, this business isn’t just about making money … it’s about making a difference.


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

Real estate wins …

Real estate investing can be lonely.  Very few financial conferences or commentators even talk about real estate … much less endorse it as a wealth building vehicle.

So real estate investors huddle together in obscure corners of the financial community … quietly making money and muttering about the trials and tribulations of tenants, toilets and 1031 tax-deferred exchanges.

But recently, mainstream financial headlines seem to be painting a rosier picture of real estate …

Several news outlets published articles referencing this Bankrate.com article and survey which says Americans prefer real estate over cash, stocks, gold and bonds …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The article says …

“… for the third consecutive year real estate is the favorite way to invest money not needed for at least a decade …”

“… home prices have gone gangbusters recently, climbing back above their record pre-crisis levels … according to CoreLogic.”

Click Bait and Switch

But then the balance of the article is essentially dedicated to telling readers why the survey respondents are wrong for preferring real estate over stocks …

“Still, ‘it’s a rather poor investment,’ says [a] RBC Wealth Management financial advisor.  ‘It’s highly illiquid, and markets aren’t always rational.’”

“One study … found that housing only returned 1.3 percent per year after inflation from 1900 to 2011, while stocks tended to perform more than four times better.”

As you might guess, RBC Wealth Management deals in paper assets.

Their trite critiques of investment real estate reveal a lack of understanding at best … and a dishonest bias at worst.

Let’s break it down.  Because whether you’re raising private capital to invest in real estate …

… or just trying to convince your spouse or in-laws real estate is a viable alternative to stocks, bonds and mutual funds …

… it’s important to be able to rebut the financial fake news bias against real estate.

Liquidity – LOL

The flip side of liquidity is volatility.  When traders can move in and out of an asset quickly, it makes the asset price volatile.  So liquidity isn’t automatically a good thing.

The survey asked about money “not needed for at least a decade” … so liquidity isn’t what investors are looking for when they buy real estate.

Besides … to say housing is “illiquid” is inaccurate. 

“Illiquid” means “not easily converted into cash” and “of a market with few participants and a low volume of activity”. 

Sure, you can’t day trade houses … but we see that as a plus.  It keeps prices more stable.

And when you can usually sell a house at a fair market price in about two months, that’s hardly “illiquid”.   Drop the price, and you’ll sell it faster.

Market Rationality – ROFL

A paper asset promoter saying real estate “markets aren’t always rational” … are you KIDDING???  That seems a LOT like the pot calling the kettle black. 

Way back in the 90’s before the dot-com stock crash, Alan Greenspan famously accused stock market participants of “irrational exuberance”.

Of course, a few years later the stock market crashed … and scared investors flocked TO real estate in the early 2000’s.

With the stock market at nose-bleed levels today, we’re guessing that’s why people are preferring real estate over stocks again.

Only Returned 1.3 Percent – LMAO

The idea that “housing only returned 1.3 percent per year after inflation” is so off the mark it borders on absurd.

The argument is the PRICE of a home in 1900, adjusted for inflation to 2011, only grew on an annual basis of 1.3 percent …

… and that during that same period, stocks grew by “about four times that.”

This argument assumes the only financial benefit of real estate ownership is price appreciation, which is a false premise.

We won’t bore you with all the math, but you should grab a calculator and do it all so you can quickly blow-up this ridiculous idea that stocks beat real estate over the long haul.

Here it is in simple terms …

Leverage

When you put 25 percent down, you own property at 4:1 leverage.  So 1.3 percent appreciation is a 5.2 percent equity growth rate.

Right there, you’re even with “about four times that”.  But wait!  There’s more …

Cash Flow 

Also missing from the comparison of stocks versus real estate is the rental income.  

Even if you’re before tax positive cash flow is only two percent, with 4:1 leverage, your cash-on-cash rate is 8 percent. 

Amortization

A 30-year fully amortized loan at 5 percent reduces the loan balance (i.e., builds up equity) at a rate of over 2.6 percent per year.

Add 4:1 leverage, and you’re growing equity at over 13% per year.  Now you’re destroying stocks.

We’ll skip tax benefits, which make it even BETTER, and let you tally the total. Any ONE of the three beats “four times that” all by itself.  Together … it’s a wipe out.

People Aren’t Stupid

Main Street investors have common sense … and at this stage of the information age, they’re able to research and fact check quickly.

They know stock prices are being propped up by cheap money and corporate buybacks … and with the Fed raising interest rates, the party might be ending soon.

The Bankrate.com survey reinforced what our anecdotal conversations tell us … Main Street investors are nervous about the stock market. 

Their preference for cash over stocks for a ten year hold says a lot.  Main Street is looking for safety and surety.

And Main Street investors like real estate.  They understand real estate.  They TRUST real estate.

But it’s not just Americans seeking financial safety in real estate.  Foreign buyers just purchased a record amount of U.S. houses.

Real estate is where people park money for long term wealth development and preservation.

Go with the Flow …

Even though home ownership in the U.S. remains at decade lows, it’s actually a boon for real estate investors.  Less homeowners means more renters.

For flippers and syndicators, real estate is highly regarded and in demand.  Money wants to be in real estate … so there’s a big opportunity helping it get there.

And while anything can happen, it seems the appeal of real estate isn’t abating any time soon.

Until next time … good investing!


 More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

Jim Rogers, Steve Forbes and Peter Schiff from Freedom Fest

Although real estate investors deal with real assets and not volatile holdings, we think it’s crucial to understand the larger economic picture.

We’ve been attending Freedom Fest since the 2008 financial crisis.

Conventions like Freedom Fest bring together leaders of all types and set the stage for respectful dialogue between smart people with varying opinions.

We’re thrilled to bring some of those smart people on the show today and get their insights on U.S. and world economics.

A disclaimer … our guests today lean right, politically. The Real Estate Guys™ don’t endorse any political viewpoint.

Whichever side of the spectrum you stand on, we recommend you step back for this episode … and look at the information presented from the edge of the coin, objectively.

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show you’ll hear from some pretty smart guys:

  • Your freedom-loving host, Robert Helms
  • His fun-loving co-host, Russell Gray
  • Billionaire publisher, Steve Forbes
  • Legendary investor, Jim Rogers
  • Economic pundit, Peter Schiff

Listen




Subscribe

Broadcasting since 1997 with over 300 episodes on iTunes!

real estate podcast on itunesSubscribe on Androidyoutube_subscribe_button__2014__by_just_browsiing-d7qkda4

 

 


Review

When you give us a positive review on iTunes you help us continue to bring you high caliber guests and attract new listeners. It’s easy and takes just a minute! (Don’t know how? Follow these instructions).

Thanks!


Steve Forbes

We hope you’re already familiar with Steve Forbes, head of one of the world’s most influential business magazines (and two-time presidential candidate in the U.S.!). We asked Steve for his thoughts on the world of media.

Steve shared a quote from his grandfather, B. C. Forbes, the founder of the magazine, who said, “The purpose of business is to produce happiness, not pile up money.”

“I always try to remember the spirit of Forbes,” Steve told us. That means adapting to the age of online media and “fake news.”

“Businesses have an incentive to get their message out there,” said Forbes. Forbes publishes approximately 110,000 articles a year on the web, always aiming to maintain a unique angle … one that doesn’t resort to tabloid journalism.

We asked Steve how people can be smart consumers of media. “Compartmentalize when you read the news,” he told us, “and concentrate on what’s actually being done.”

For example, Steve sees exciting things happening in the areas of deregulation and tax cuts. He’s keeping his eyes peeled to see what will happen.

What does Steve think about the state of real estate investing in the U.S.? “Location, location, location!” (We agree wholeheartedly.)

“In a vibrant economy, people want spaces to work and live,” Steve said. “Prosperity solves a lot of problems and covers a multitude of sins.”

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers is a legendary investor, and we’ve been itching to do an interview with him for years. We asked him for his thoughts on the state of today’s markets.

“Interest rates have never been this low,” Jim told us. “The central banks have made mistakes. Debt has gone through the roof across the world.”

His conclusion? “The next time we have a problem, it will be worse than 2008 because there’s so much debt.”

What do U.S. investors need to know about the global picture? “All investors have to understand the world now in 2017,” Jim said. He advised investors to think … which nations have the largest economies? Which nations are the biggest creditors? A clue … all these countries are in Asia.

And which are the largest debtor nations? “Look out the window,” Jim said.

What can folks do to stay sharp in a multi-media world? Jim had a few words of advice. He told us investors need two essential things … knowledge and judgment.

How can investors obtain both knowledge and judgment? Read and listen to a lot of different media types from different sources and countries. “You won’t understand just by reading the American press,” he said.

Once you obtain a wide variety of perspectives, that’s when you use your judgment to sort out what makes sense.

And what about real estate? “Many cities are in a bubble right now. But in rural areas, there isn’t quite as big a bubble,” Jim told us. He sees the most promising opportunities in agricultural investing (a topic we love to discuss!).

“I don’t know how to farm,” Jim admitted. Luckily, there are many ways for non-farmers and small investors to align themselves with agricultural investments today.

How about gold and silver? “I own it. I haven’t been buying it since 2010. I hope I’m smart enough to buy a lot at the right time,” he said.

Jim predicts that people will eventually lose confidence in paper money. When that happens, he says people will buy land, gold, and silver. “Why not start today!” he said.

Peter Schiff

We asked Peter what’s changed and what’s new since the advent of the Trump administration? “Not much has changed with Trump,” he said.

He told us he sees a lot of talk and very little action, a lot of hypocrisies.

What about the Fed’s interest rate hike? “They’ve raised rates, but not much.” Peter noted we’re at the same levels we reached at the bottom of the housing recessions and told us the Fed’s talk of quantitative tightening is “a bunch of talk.”

In an age of conflicting reports, what does he think investors should pay attention to? “Actually look at the markets,” Peter advised. “Look at the dollar, the price of gold. There are still lots of bubbles in the market.”

He noted recent high-profile disasters happening in the stock market and the possibility of less market protection from the Fed. “The key is to pay attention and be prudent.”

What can investors do in tiring times? No. 1, “Diversify out of the U.S. dollar,” said Peter. “The dollar is a tailwind for foreign stocks, which will be a safe haven.”

We also asked Peter about the advantages of obtaining residency and doing business in Puerto Rico. He has first-hand experience … he lives there with his wife and kids.

“What people don’t understand is that Puerto Rico holds all the benefits of being in the U.S. without the cost,” Peter said. Residents of PR don’t have to pay federal income tax and gas tax, Obamacare penalties and taxes, or tax on capital gains.

Choosing the right ingredients for your investment blender

While none of our three guests today are primarily real estate investors, they possess a wealth of knowledge on business trends and economics.

These guys study the key components of what you put into your own investment blender … taxes and investing, owning property, job markets, financing, and more.

We love talking to knowledgeable people like Steve, Jim, and Peter because they take those essential components of the U.S. market and try to figure out where we’ll be years in the future.

If you’re trying to build a real estate empire, there’s nothing more important than being well-informed about a market you might be married to for years or decades to come.

We hope you were taking notes … because like we always say, education is the path to effective action!


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

Cash in on consolidation …

One of the age-old adages of real estate investing is to invest in the path of progress.  Or as hockey legend Wayne Gretzky says … skate to where the puck is going. 

It’s just a lot easier when you’re riding a wave of demand … especially if you can find a substantial supply and demand imbalance

That’s why land near water is so expensive.  People want it and there’s just not that much of it. 

Similarly, homes inside top school districts often command higher prices and rents for the same reason. Ditto for a local market with a lot of jobs. 

But sometimes it’s not just a geographic amenity that attracts people, businesses and money. 

Consider the role of demographics … 

There are two mega-groups of people … at least in the United States … which warrant your attention.  You’ve probably heard of them … and likely belong to one.  

First are the baby-boomers.  The 76 million babies born in the mid-1940’s to the mid-1960’s continue to be a MAJOR economic force. 

Even BIGGER than the boomers are the Millennials … those born in or after the 80’s and entered adulthood in the first decade of the 21st century. 

From a real estate perspective, boomers have created opportunities in over-55 housing communitiesassisted living facilitiesresort areas … to name a few. 

Millennials are also impacting real estate … but not because of housing demand.  At least not yet, though a recent study suggests this could be changing. 

Sure, there are other groups and sub-groups to watch, but these are the two main demographics to pay attention to. 

Of course, economics is also a very important factor … 

But stepping beyond the obvious importance of job creation, real wage growth, availability of loans, and interest rates … 

… there’s another economic phenomenon occurring now which may create a unique kind of opportunity for ambitious and alert real estate investors …  

Pension funds are in big trouble … 

So much so, this article says … 

“Institutional investors, including pension funds, are stepping outside of the box, beyond core asset types of office, industrial, retail and apartments, to consider a growing menu of alternative real estate options. 

“ … property types that were once viewed as ‘alternative’ that are now moving more into the mainstream as accepted institutional caliber assets.” 

And what might those “alternative investments” be? 

“…self-storage, student housing and resorts …” 

Hospitality, seniors housing and student housing are among the former outliers that are now big targets for institutional investors.” 

“… investors are continuing to push the boundaries of ‘traditional’ investments to include a wide range of options, including single-family rentals, data centers, workforce housing, land, timber, golf courses and prisons …” 

And not only are pension funds moving toward “alternative real estate options” … they’re planning to cut out Wall Street and invest directly

So where’s this puck headed? 

Somewhere between mom-and-pop investors and big institutional investors are small and mid-size investment businesses. 

It’s what a mom-and-pop investor might eventually become if they just keep at it long enough.  Like playing Monopoly. 

But until you’re there, no pension fund is coming for your collection of 10 houses, small apartment building, frat-house, or single residential assisted living facility.  

You’re too small for them. 

BUT … someone who sees the opportunity to aggregate a portfolio big enough to bring it to a pension fund might be very interested.  

Of course, if you sell, you lose all that fabulous passive income you’ve built up.  That’s not good. 

Or maybe YOU could raise money from investors who see the opportunity, and be the small business or mid-size business a pension fund would like to buy. 

Conceptually, it’s just a value-add play.  

But instead of just buying a tired house and sprucing it up to make a few thousand bucks, you’re building a much bigger portfolio (with the help of your investors’ money) and flipping it to a whale. 

It’s the same game, but at a much higher level.  And ironically, it’s a lot LESS crowded because most people don’t think that big. 

When you’re done, you take your profits and plow them into your own, privately owned, cash-flowing portfolio.  Best of all you don’t lose whatever you already have … you ADD to it. 

Of course, the opportunity won’t be here forever … but it’s also not going away any time soon.  The pension crisis in America has just begun.  

And we’re pretty sure if history’s any indication, politicians aren’t going to solve the problem.  That’s up to entrepreneurs … like you. 

Until next time … good investing! 


 More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

Finding Your Paradise Market and Property for Fun and Profit

Perhaps you’ve got a lot of investing under your belt and you’re looking for a picturesque place to retire. Maybe you’re interested in a second home or a vacation spot. Or you’re part of a new generation of nomads, working from exotic locations across the globe.

Whatever your situation, finding your paradise shouldn’t just be a far-off dream. In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ episode we’ll discuss lifestyle investing … and why now may be the prime time to invest in your own personal paradise.

On the show today, we chat with an American ex-pat who now makes his life … and his living … on one of Belize’s beautiful Caribbean islands, Ambergris Caye.

You’ll hear from:

  • Your pro-paradise host, Robert Helms
  • His not-so-picturesque co-host, Russell Gray
  • The Paradise Guy, real estate pro William Narod

Listen




Subscribe

Broadcasting since 1997 with over 300 episodes on iTunes!

real estate podcast on itunesSubscribe on Androidyoutube_subscribe_button__2014__by_just_browsiing-d7qkda4

 

 


Review

When you give us a positive review on iTunes you help us continue to bring you high caliber guests and attract new listeners. It’s easy and takes just a minute! (Don’t know how? Follow these instructions).

Thanks!


Making the leap from stateside to the Caribbean

William Narod spent 26 years selling real estate in the United States.

After all that time in one country, William got the diversification bug. He started doing research, then headed down to the Caribbean to scout out several different markets.

That’s where he met The Real Estate Guys™ … lucky for both us and him, William joined us on a field trip his very first day in Belize.

William wanted to find an investment opportunity outside the U.S. … and he ended up finding a new life as well.

Today, William lives with his wife and kids on Ambergris Caye.

But he didn’t make the move without a significant amount of research. Before he settled on Belize, William looked at the leading indicators … tourism numbers, prices and appreciation, and so on.

Like William, the very first step you should take when you’re considering making any sort of investment outside of your native country is getting educated.

Every country has different laws, protocols, and customs.

We certainly went through the ringer the first time we took our investments out of the country. It took a while to get our heads around ideas like land trusts.

The key to successfully educating yourself? Don’t get overwhelmed.

Instead of focusing on the HOW, figure out WHAT you want and WHY.

No one else can tell you what you want or why you want it … but once you know your goals, you can find someone who can help you out with the how.

Your scenario, your goals … they won’t be unique. And that’s a good thing! Because it means the issues you’re facing have been faced … and conquered … before.

A paradise that pays YOU

It’s important to note that William Narod didn’t move to Ambergris Caye to retire. He moved there to invest, work, and help other people invest … but he also moved there to have fun!

We want you to think further out than the immediate future. Imagine your life in 5, 10, even 20 or 30 years.

Are you saving right now to pay for a paradise when you retire? Why not flip that idea on its head and let your paradise pay YOU … right now!

Start by figuring out what you’re looking for. What activities and lifestyle options are most important to you? Where can you see yourself thriving?

In his real estate advising business, William Narod often sees two types of investors.

The first are the retirees … folks who headed to the islands to retire, only to discover they weren’t satisfied spending their days just scuba diving.

The great part about where William is located is business opportunities abound. “You almost need to put on blinders down here because there is so much opportunity,” he said.

So folks who moved down to Belize intending solely to enjoy their retirement days lazily strolling the beach often end up getting involved in local business and real estate.

The second type is people who’ve been in Belize for 24 hours and want to buy right away. For these folks … and any new investor, William recommends taking three key things into consideration:

  1. What your objectives are (i.e. what you want your investment to do for you)
  2. How you’ll use your investment (and for how long, with what time frames)
  3. How you want your property managed

Speaking of management, finding the right management solution is key, especially if you’ll be operating mainly offsite and need to be less hands-on.

Not in Belize? What you’re missing out on

Like many Caribbean destinations, Belize is a strong market with escalating prices. For people who want to retire there in 10 years, now may be the time to make a move before prices spiral out of control.

William told us that folks come for many different reasons. He gave us a run-down of some of Belize’s strengths, which include:

  • Warm sparkling water for scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming.
  • A location that’s very close to the United States (two hours from Miami)
  • A primarily English-speaking population
  • A large, welcoming, and very friendly American ex-pat community
  • Fantastic, affordable food
  • Potentially low cost of living
  • Excellent school systems
  • A very diverse culture with very little prejudice

Although Belizean culture can be quite different from fast-paced American lifestyles, William loved the slower-paced environment of Ambergris Caye from the beginning … enough to move his entire family there.

Today, his kids attend schools that William’s wife, a teacher, has given two thumbs up.

They play in the ocean, scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing a few days a week. Other days they splash in the best pools on the island.

Every day is a play day … and even better, his kids get to grow up in a melting pot full of people from around the world, a place where everyone is treated as an equal.

A paradise within your reach

We chatted with William about some of the current development happening in Belize.

Despite its rising popularity, Belize hasn’t seen interest from big developers until recent years.

The new proactivity of these big brands is a strong indicator of the future of the area, William says. It indicates that interest is there … and is strong enough that bigger corporations see opportunities for growth.

Development outside the U.S. can sometimes spell disaster … irresponsible decisions that harm the local environment, for example, or cut-rate developers who can’t cut it in the States.

But in Belize, developers work with local communities to ensure responsible developments that fit with the environment.

Like William says, “There’s only so much opportunity you can turn a blind eye to.” The entrance of big names onto the scene spells out a short period where properties will be accessible to the little guys … before Belize gets too hot to handle.

If you build the right team and execute your vision strategically, your future in Belize is really bright, William says.

Belize sound like the place for you? Listen in for exclusive access to a report William Narod compiled just for our listeners.

Not sure if Belize is the place to go? Take a look anyway! The report offers great perspective about questions to ask and things to look for as a fledgling lifestyle investor.

And if all this talk of Belize has really piqued your interest, take a look at our discovery trips … educational events in a picturesque location that offer you the opportunity to check out everything Belize has to offer for yourself.

There are so many ways to be a real estate investor.

Investing shouldn’t just be about surviving … it should be finding ways to thrive!

Whether Belize appeals to you or not, we encourage you to ask yourself the questions: What do I really want real estate to do for me? What is my ultimate paradise?

Whatever your idea of paradise, we want you to think about whether it has to wait. Chances may be that paradise is within your reach … today!


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

The TRUTH about the June jobs report …

Last week’s U.S. jobs report has been largely reported as positive. 

Of course, real estate investors prefer their tenants actually have jobs, so we agree … any economy creating jobs is preferable to one which isn’t.

Here’s a few of the headlines and some notable excerpts …

June U.S. jobs report beats expectations – Yahoo Finance, July 7, 2017

“The economy added 222,000 jobs in June, more than expected, while …”

“… the unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4%.”

Weird.  So it looks like the U.S. is still creating more job seekers than jobs. 

Meanwhile …   

“ … the labor force participation rate also rose slightly, to 62.8% from 62.7% in May …”

That’s pretty slight.   

So there’s more people back in the game,  but labor force participation is still among the lowest in 40 years.

Wage gains in June, however, were disappointing with average hourly earnings rising 0.2% over the prior month and 2.5% over the prior year.” 

In May, wage gains were disappointing, rising 0.2% over the prior month and just 2.5% over the prior year … revised down in Friday’s report to show gains were just 0.1% over last month and 2.4% over last year in May.”

Okay …  let’s take a breath and digest some of this …

First, these are just macro numbers … but all real estate is local.  So don’t get too happy, sad, or confused. 

Also, these numbers are seasonally adjusted (no one knows what that really means) and are frequently revised later (as you can see with the May wage gains).

So don’t get too attached to the numbers either.

Still, the numbers are important for a few reasons … 

  • They provide a general idea of the overall direction of things … probably more positive than negative.  It’s the macro sea your investments are floating in.
  • Power players like Wall Street, the Fed, the politicians, corporate CEOs, and credit issuers all think these numbers are important … and they use these numbers to make ivory-tower decisions about interest rates, lending, taxes, and expansion … which affect Main Street investors like YOU.
  • The numbers START you on the path of digging down into LOCAL challenges and opportunities … jobs, migration, taxes, etc.

For example, the Fed sees low unemployment, higher wages, increased labor force participation as a trigger to raise rates and tighten money. 

This sets off a chain reaction  

Wall Street’s extended love affair with bond speculation might be coming to an end … because when rates go UP, bond prices go DOWN.

Conversely, when bond prices go down, rates go UP.

And if you go talk to your friendly neighborhood mortgage professional, you’ll discover that mortgage rates very often pivot off ten-year bond yields.

So headlines like these mean more to real estate investors than you may realize … and sure enough …

10-year Treasury yield highest in 8 weeks as global debt selloff resumes –MarketWatch, July 6, 2017

Why a surge in bond yields could be around the corner – CNBC, July 6, 2017 

We could go on and on … but you get the idea.  

As we’ve been saying for many months, it’s probably a REALLY good idea to carefully review all your debt … and make sure you’re prepared for the potential of rising rates.

The window of opportunity to tighten things up may be closing.  And it’s usually MUCH better to be a lot early than even just a little late.

So that’s some of the macro-picture. 

Now let’s dig into the jobs report and see if there’s some intelligence we can use to identify local challenges and opportunities.

We like this chart from the Yahoo Finance article …

A few observations …

Notice the BIG gainer is Education and Health … followed by a fairly distant Leisure and Hospitaity, which is closely followed by an effective tie for third with Government and Professional and Business Services. 

The TINY contributors are (smallest to biggest) … ManufacturingTransportation and Warehousing, and Utilities.

You can see who the biggest LOSER is … and who’s in the middle.

So what useful insights can we glean from all this?

Big picture, you need to wonder about the REAL strength of an economy which is “growing” in education, healthcare, leisure, hospitality, government, and business services.

Think of it this way …

Is a business that’s hiring file clerks, bookkeepers, IT workers, human resource managers and trainers … actually “growing”?

Sure, they’re growing payroll and overhead.  But who’s bringing in outside revenue?  Who’s actually making things and filling orders?  

These are the activities which make a business profitable.

No wonder the U.S. runs a trade deficit.  The economy is largely overhead and consumption. 

So be careful about buying into a sustainable growth argument about any country, state, region or business that’s not growing by creating products and selling them.

Everything else are support services which should only grow in SUPPORT of real growth … not in place of it.

With that said, it’s obvious from the chart which sectors have the job growth, so regions strong in those areas are probably positioned to have more demand for real estate.

And while it’s smart to cautious in these markets, there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of growth in areas heavy in support industries … especially if the region attracts money from outside.

For example, government pulls money in from it’s entire jurisdiction.  So properties near government hubs can do well, even if the real productive engine is located elsewhere.

Mining and Logging is interesting for that reason also.  Those commodities are usually sold outside the region.  So they bring money in from afar.  

Meanwhile the jobs are tethered to the geography.  It’s hard to move a forest, natural gas well, or copper mine to China or Mexico.

Also, when it comes to commodity-based real estate investing, you can not only play at the residential and industrial property level … owning the building people live, work and shop in …

… you can actually own the very land that’s producing the commodity.

Leisure and Hospitality businesses located in the right place can also produce jobs and profit locally from prosperity located elsewhere.

If a hotel or resort location has broad and unique appeal, it can pull customers and money in from around the globe.  

 It’s why we like certain parts of Belize, and Orlando.

The lesson here is to dig past the headline numbers and look for the geographic, demographic, and product niches that are out-performing … or have the potential to.

Then start watching from afar.  When you think you see an opportunity, it’s probably time to go on a field trip and build boots-on-the-ground relationships to help you find and manage that uniquely profitable property.

Until next time … good investing!  


 More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

America’s MOST messed up state …

You may have heard … Illinois is a mess … at least financially. 

Of course, there’s opportunities in there for real estate investors paying attention.  So let’s take a look and see what we can learn …

Rauner: Tax burden driving Illinois businesses, people to flee state– Lake County Gazette, 6/7/17

(Bruce Rauner is governor of Illinois)

“As businesses leave, so do people.”

“The problem, Rauner argued, is the hostile business climate in Illinois, including high property taxes.”

“ ‘We have the highest property taxes in America.’ ”  

How Illinois became America’s most messed-up state – CNN Money 6/29/17

Illinois is on the verge of becoming America’s first state with a junk credit rating.”

“ … the inevitable result of spending more on pensions and services than the state could afford — then covering it up with reckless budget tricks.”

Illinois is now grappling with $15 billion of unpaid bills and an unthinkable quarter-trillion dollars owed to public employees when they retire.”

The budget crisis has forced Illinois to jack up property taxes so high that people are leaving in droves.

Illinois loses more residents in 2016 than any other state – Chicago Tribune, December 20, 2016

“For the third consecutive year, Illinois has lost more residents than any other state, losing 37,508 people in 2016, which puts its population at the lowest it has been in nearly a decade, according to U.S. census data …”

Okay, let’s take a break (or a Valium) and process …

Illinois politicians engaged in over-spending, over-promising, using accounting tricks to kick the can down the road …

(is that part of ‘The Politician’s Handbook”?)

… and are leaning on property owners (the real estate connection) through property taxes … and now potentially all citizens (even renters) with a proposed 32 percent hike in the personal income tax …

… thus creating a “hostile environment” from which productive people and businesses flee.

Wow.  Surely there must be an opportunity in all this …

Yet another Illinois-based company flees to Indiana – Illinois News Network, September 16, 2016

“ … the Illinois Chamber of Commerce said many companies here are unhappy with their prospects in Illinois.”

“ ‘… they tell us very, very frequently that the business climate in Illinois is not suitable for them to be as successful as they need to be …’”

“ … the workers’ compensation system, which is much more costly for Illinois employers than … other states – including Indiana.

A quick glance at a map shows other cities who might benefit from Illinois business defections …

Of course, you need to do your homework.  Pay attention to taxes, regulations, worker’s comp and other payroll related expenses.  Think like a CEO … and watch what they do.

Now there’s more to the Illinois population loss than simply high property taxes and a hostile business environment. 

There’s also weather, retirement demographics, and housing affordability … issues which are occurring in other states as well.

According to the aforementioned Chicago Tribune article …

“Illinois residents are mostly leaving for Sun Belt states — those with the country’s warmest climates, like Texas, Arizona and Florida.”

“ … states in the South and West have better job opportunities and more affordable housing. Texas, in fact, attracts the greatest number of Illinois residents, followed by Florida, Indiana, California and Arizona, according to 2013 Internal Revenue Service migration data.”

That was back in 2013 and the current fiscal crisis is just adding fuel to the fire.

Bigger picture, Illinois is a microcosm of a macro problem. 

Too much spending, too many unfunded promises, too much political gamesmanship and kicking the can down the road is everywhere.

So what can real estate investors learn … and do … in response?

Lesson #1:  Starving governments will eat their citizens.

As governments are pinched, they’ll cut services and raise taxes, creating a more difficult place for businesses and people to live. 

Eventually, those people and businesses flee.  When they do, alert real estate investors can make moves too. 

Lesson #2:  Pay attention.

Fortunately, these trends usually move slowly. 

The Illinois situation has been developing for a while … three straight years of budget problems and population loss.

It’s not rocket science. There are plenty of clues in the news … and it’s easy to find supporting (or refuting) data. 

Just pay attention to what’s happening … and how decision makers (small business, big business, working class heads of household) are responding.

Lesson #3:  Do your homework and build relationships in the right places.

Real estate is a LOCAL game … right down to the neighborhood. 

You can’t possibly understand the nuances of multiple markets at the street level.  So do your remote homework. Then when things look promising from afar, build local relationships and go see the market for yourself.

That’s why we travel and promote field trips

Lesson #4:  Go where the intelligence takes you.

After 2008, we pay a LOT more attention to market drivers and dynamics … and not just the pro-forma of a deal.

It’s taken us into DallasMemphisAtlantaOrlando … and more recently IndianapolisCharlotte, and Kansas City

The idea, as legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky said, is to “skate to where the puck is going.”

Lesson #5:  Problems are opportunities.

A BIG part of Illinois’ financial problems are under-funded pensions … at a time when the stock market is at all-time highs!

What happens if stocks tank?  Then pensions are even MORE underwater. 

And if interest rates rise, pension funds may get a modest benefit on NEW bond purchases … but will take substantial losses on their current bond holdings.

Sadly, Illinois is far from alone.  According to ValueWalk …

Government Public Pension Liabilities Are Understated By Trillions

The great news is people are waking up. 

And while it’s disconcerting to learn their pensions are in jeopardy … it REALLY opens them up to taking matters into their own hands.

Of course, some won’t have enough money or expertise to go it alone. They need help.

YOU can help people take advantage of real estate by setting up syndications …  pooling capital from multiple investors to buy deals and share profits.

This is just one of many reasons we think syndicating real estate is one of the BEST business opportunities going right now.

Lesson #6:  Procrastination is the thief of dreams.

Politicians are infamous procrastinators.  But problems don’t go away … they just get bigger. 

We’re watching a lot of these back-burner issues boiling over before our eyes. 

The key is to see the opportunity inside the problem, then take effective action to seize it. 

Politicians might procrastinate, but YOU don’t have to.  Seize the opportunity!

Until next week … good investing!


 More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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