Finding Great Properties in Growing Markets

Real estate investing can seem complicated … but it’s really very simple. 

Successful real estate investors buy great properties in growing markets. It IS simple. But it’s not always easy. 

We’re talking to a real estate investor with experience in evolution. He’ll share how he finds properties that make sense in markets that are poised for growth and resilience. 

And … he’ll give a few tips for how YOU can evolve as market conditions shift. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your resilient host, Robert Helms
  • His shifting co-host, Russell Gray
  • President and Co-Founder of Southern Impression Homes, Chris Funk

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Getting creative in a good market

It’s fun renting real estate … especially if you can make a return. 

We love real estate. We really do. But every market is not the same. It’s important that you pick your markets well … now more than ever. 

People who look at what’s happening in the economic world at the macro level look at real estate as an asset class … but it is so much more. 

Every market is different … every property is different … every property niche is different. And the ownership, motivation, and structure of each deal is different. 

Real estate deals are unique as a fingerprint … and there’s always going to be an opportunity. 

Today we are talking about a market that we have spent a lot of time in and that we know pretty well. But we haven’t talked about it in a while … Atlanta. 

The other thing we’re going to talk about today is buying new. 

It’s rare that a new property can give you the same financial performance as buying used for a variety of reasons … not the least of which is that to develop a property takes the money for the land AND money for materials and labor. 

But there are rare opportunities when you can find a brand new property that actually performs. 

We’ve currently got a real estate guy in the White House … and whether you like him or not, he knows that there is a lot of expense in development … and much of that is regulatory. 

Recently, he signed an Executive Order to reduce the cost of regulation in building … and the National Association of Home Builders loved it. 

That’s because the cost of building a single-family home for them is 25% regulation. Wow. 

So, with regulation taking less of a cut … there are some things happening. 

Why not buy new?

Our guest today is a creative entrepreneur who is building new builds in a couple of great markets. 

Chris Funk is the president and co-founder of Southern Impression Homes. We last met him in his office in Jacksonville, Florida, where he has an amazing property management team. 

In addition to many Florida markets, Chris and his team are making great inroads in a couple of new markets. 

“We are in Southwest Atlanta at the moment,” Chris says. “We’ve been there for six years, and our model has turned fully to build-to-rent.”

Chris and his team started looking at build costs from a brand-new construction standpoint. They found that if they were self-developing properties without a developer markup … they could still provide inventory at a discount. 

New construction has a lot of benefits … like decreased insurance costs and lower maintenance costs. 

For Chris, the answer quickly became clear. 

“You can have a house that was built in 1950, or you can get the same yield for a house that built in 2018 or 2019,” Chris says. 

A new build also offers a consistency of cash flow. 

“The sad thing for us is that after our investors close on a home and we put a tenant in, we don’t hear from them again. The check just comes every month,” Chris says. 

Many of the tenants stay for long periods of time because they are happy to be raising families in new construction. 

Another reason for low turnover is that Chris and his team can spec out the houses exactly how they want them. And they can buy great materials at a bulk price because of the volume. 

“We got the best price on granite, so everything has granite,” Chris says. 

Another great aspect of new builds is that if investors want to sell the home down the line, it already has the specs they need to sell competitively on the market. 

All about Atlanta

Chris and his team are operating in a lot of different markets … but there are lots of reasons to love Atlanta. 

“It’s a market that just can’t be ignored,” Chris says. 

Atlanta is the fourth-largest, fastest-growing market in the United States. Many Fortune 500 companies have bases there, and the population growth is tremendous. 

The market in Atlanta is also very consistent in its growth and rates. 

Currently, job growth is outpacing population … which means more people are coming to Atlanta. 

But the market isn’t a one-trick pony. There is a lot of diversity in the area. For instance … Atlanta just surpassed Hollywood in movie production dollars. 

Chris says that the rents are great in Atlanta. With population growth the way it is … people need more housing. 

And they might as well buy new. 

To learn more about Atlanta and Southern Impression Homes … listen in to our full episode!

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.


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Halloween Horror Stories 2019

Another year … another Halloween … another classic collection of creepy catastrophes from our listeners. 

The stories you are about to hear are all true … terrible, but true!

And while these investors paid the price, YOU don’t have to … if you learn from their experiences. 

Tune in for terrifying tales of toil, trouble, and real estate!

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your spooky host, Robert Helms
  • His cooky co-host, Russell Gray 

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Halloween horror stories … and important lessons learned

Welcome to another bone-breaking edition of Halloween horror stories! 

Alarming anecdotes and deals that went wickedly wrong can contribute compelling lessons for real estate investors. 

It’s our annual edition of Halloween Horror Stories!

Real estate is a messy business … but this episode isn’t designed to scare people off. Instead, it’s a way for us to share tribal knowledge. 

Somebody paid full price for these lessons … so you don’t have to. 

The never-ending cosmetic refresh

Curtis Drake and Ryan Pedit acquired a property in a market that they were previously in. It was light rehab … and they wanted to do the cosmetic piece. 

They met with their on-the-ground property management company and went over the timeline and expectations for the updates. They closed on the property … and took off. 

But the whole project went sideways with no revenue income. 

What they learned was that they were doing things that were outside of their management’s wheelhouse. That team typically just managed property … they didn’t handle cosmetic overhauls. 

Many property managers have a bevy of contractors in their network. So, when you say you want to do some light rehab, they think, “Yeah, we can do that.”

But rehab isn’t the same as upkeep. 

Curtis and Ryan also share the importance of having a written agreement with dates and times established. Their handshake agreement left them without any leverage to fall back on. 

Should have built from scratch

Loe Hornbuckle has been on the show before. He is a super syndicator … but even he has a horror story to share. 

Loe did a project where he bought an existing assisted living facility. There was a lot of due diligence involved … but even then, some things slip through. 

Turns out the property had an illegal fire suppression system that was not caught by any of the previous inspections. 

Instead, it was caught when they filed for a permit to expand the property footprint into the garage. 

Loe began working with the city to resolve the issue. It took six weeks for the city to articulate why the system hadn’t been caught and what the next steps needed to be.

Turns out the city allows certain fire suppression systems in single-family homes and others for businesses. When the property applied for a permit, the city thought it was an SFH. 

But the property actually had an assisted living component … and with a certain number of residents, a different class of fire suppression systems is required. 

So, Loe and his team had to rip out the old system and install a new one … about $15,000 worth of unexpected cost … and they lost 15 to 16 weeks of time. 

Lessons learned … there may be more to your due diligence than you think. Really focus and take account of the physical pieces of the building.  

Just because something has been checked off … it doesn’t mean it’s correct. 

Another lesson Loe walked away with is that there is power in building from the ground up. 

When you purchase an existing property, there are things you will need to tear out and replace. Sometimes, you might as well start from scratch. 

Tragedy turns into lawsuit 

Our good friend and wonderful attorney Kevin Day shares one of his own client’s horror stories.

This particular client had an apartment building. One of the tenants had a boyfriend who was home babysitting her son, left food on the stove … and went to sleep. 

A fire started, and only the boyfriend was able to get out. The family went after the apartment owner in a lawsuit. 

It ended in a settlement with insurance, but there are lessons to be learned. 

Kevin says the big lessons are to separate targets. As you do your business and estate planning … remember that privacy is important. 

The lower profile you have … if they don’t know you have five other rental properties … the less of a target you are.  

Fully occupied … or not

Patti Hussey and Andrew Thruston from PJ Hussey … a property and construction management team in Phoenix, Arizona … have their own Halloween horror story to share. 

The team was taking on a 28-unit apartment complex in the northeast portion of Phoenix. 

One thing they noticed was that all of the tenants’ leases were month to month. 

It was a hundred percent occupied with rents through the roof … but the day the deal closed, they lost 10 tenants. 

The previous owner was calling tenants and telling them that they were free to move into the next property. The strategy was to build up residency in these multi-family apartments, sell them … and then move tenants to the next property. 

Everything was to give the allusion of high residency. 

The PJ Hussey team jumped in and worked to fill apartments with appropriate leases … but it was challenging. 

The big lesson the team took away is to really be careful how you do your vetting. Talk to the tenants and ask them how long they have been there. 

If things look suspicious … trust your gut. 

For more Halloween Horror stories … and lessons learned … listen to our full episode!

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Creative Value-Add Real Estate Investing in Today’s Market

Everyone wants to add value to their investments. 

Value-add real estate investing does just that … often accelerating equity growth by increasing income. 

Each time you work to make a property more appealing to a tenant or a buyer, you make the property a more valuable investment … and you don’t have to wait for inflation to do it for you. 

Another bonus of a value-add investing strategy … it reduces some of the price risk of acquiring properties near the top of a market cycle. 

The growing movement to cap how fast investors can raise rents on certain properties means it makes sense to take a look at niches that are less likely to become targets in the rent control fight. 

That’s why we are chatting with a veteran value-add investor. Discover how … and where … he is finding opportunities in this market cycle. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your valuable host, Robert Helms
  • His bang-for-your-buck co-host, Russell Gray 
  • Author, podcaster, and investor at Wellings Capital, Paul Moore

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Finding a formula for adding value

The more value we create … the more cash flow we can have. And the more our property is worth over time. 

Today we’re talking about value creation and specific niches within real estate that can be exceptionally profitable in the current market. 

In real estate, one of the greatest things is that we get to create value. The reason that people will pay rent to live in your unit is because it’s of value to them. 

In our real estate vernacular, we talk about forcing equity … creating value in a property by doing something to change it or make it better. 

One of the greatest things about real estate compared to other assets is that many of the things that will increase its value are in YOUR control. 

The key is finding the right formula, if you will … the secret to adding value in the right way for the right returns. 

When a real estate entrepreneur figures out how to go into any asset class or niche and create value by formula … or by routine … they can learn to repeat that process fairly efficiently. 

More often than not, they can produce a predictable result. 

Two niches ripe for value-add

Today we’ve got a guest who has got a wide variety of background in real estate. 

Paul Moore has done a lot in the past 20 years … and he is here to share a glimpse at his formulas for creating the most value. 

After selling his company at age 33, Paul wasn’t sure what to do next. 

That’s how he found real estate. Admittedly, Paul says his first experiences were more speculation than true investment … but he learned there was a better way to create value. 

“There is a value formula in commercial real estate. It’s income divided by the rate of return … specifically, the net operating income divided by the cap rate … and that means we can force appreciation,” Paul says. 

Lower interest rates have also been part of that formula … but now there is international money coming in at a record pace. 

So many factors are driving down the cap rate … and it’s making it really, really hard to get a good deal in this day and age. 

“But there’s never a bad time to invest in real estate if you’re smart about it … if you pick your markets, if you pick your product types carefully,” Paul says. 

After chasing multifamily deals for a number of years, Paul and his partners at Wellings Capital began to look at self-storage and mobile home parks. 

There was a factor for those two asset classes that was very different. 

Only 7% of multifamily properties over 50 units are owned by individual investors or operators. About 93% are owned by companies that have wrung the value out of the property. 

But about 76% of self-storage and about 90% of mobile home parks are still owned by mom and pop shops or individual investors … there is a lot of meat left on the bone. 

It’s a unique opportunity that won’t last forever. 

When you have fractured ownership and operators who are inefficient, you can come in and figure out how to increase efficiency and therefore add value. 

And a lot of those individual owners in these two niches are in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. 

Some of them live at the beach … some live on site … but most don’t like to rock the boat with their tenants. 

Many haven’t raised the rent in years. Some of them don’t know or care to fill vacant lots. They just want an easy life. 

So … there is a big opportunity for a professional operator to acquire these assets, upgrade them to institutional standards, and then sell them off for profit. 

The magic of mobile home parks

Mobile home parks are an asset class we’ve had our eye on for a long time. But not all mobile home parks are created equal. 

In some cases, the park owner only owns the land and rents out the spaces. Sometimes the owner actually owns some or all of the homes. 

Most of the professional operators that Paul and his partners run into really just want to own the dirt and the infrastructure and lease out the lots to individual owners. 

Unlike apartments, mobile home park tenants tend to be “stickier.” 

If someone is renting an apartment, and the rent is raised by 6%, they’re likely to look for another apartment. 

But if someone owns their own home and is renting the lot … let’s say for $400 a month … a 6% increase is only $24 more dollars a month. 

It costs several thousand dollars to move a mobile home to a new location … so paying $24 more a month is still the better deal. 

“It’s really important to us that we don’t take advantage of that fact. We don’t want to gouge people. We simply want to go in and bring a park up to institutional standards,” Paul says. 

The goal is to make the park a beautiful place to live, make it a community, and then potentially be in a position to sell it to an institution. 

Another great aspect of mobile home parks is that they have a longer duration of tenancy than virtually any other asset class. 

Most mobile homes that get abandoned are due to someone passing away and the family not wanting to move the home elsewhere. 

Even this situation is an opportunity. An owner could rehab the home for a few thousand dollars … and then sell it to a new tenant. 

Learn more about value-add opportunities in these niches … and how to get started with help from Paul and his partners … by listening in to our full episode!

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Unconventional Funding Solutions for Real Estate Investors

Lending is a big part of real estate investing … but sometimes your situation doesn’t fit the traditional lending mold. 

If you … or your deals … require out-of-the-box funding … have no fear!

There is a great, big, wide world of alternative funding solutions just waiting to be discovered. And the payoff can be just as big. 

Today, we’re sitting down with a veteran loan broker who is here to share the details of some of the creative loan products available for unconventional real estate investors. 

It’s time to optimize your portfolio … and find new ways to claim needed capital. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your fund-finding host, Robert Helms
  • His fun-loving co-host, Russell Gray 
  • Investor and financing strategist, Billy Brown

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Locating leverage and getting cash for deals

One of the most important questions in real estate is … where do you get the money?

Great news! Things have changed in the lending world … and today, there are opportunities like never before … all while protecting your equity. 

One of the first challenges many investors have to figure out is leverage. Leverage is what helps us magnify returns. 

In a nutshell … it means the bank loans you money so you don’t have to come up with all the money to buy real estate. 

Leverage is like a chainsaw. It’s a great tool … but if you use it wrong, it can cut you. 

So, today we’re going to focus on alternative funding solutions. 

True investing is about focusing on cash flow. If you do that, then you can weather pretty much any storm. 

Right now, the market is pretty hot. There are people out there who have wisely built a nice portfolio … but now they have five, six, seven, or more loans and they can’t get any more. 

And yet the rates are down. That leaves those investors staring at a lot of cheap money that they can’t get their hands on. 

So, those investors look at the equity they have in their current properties … and they want to get at that equity. 

If you’re not liquid … you’re going to be like a kid locked out of the candy store. 

If the credit markets seize up … all that fabulous equity that you have disappears. But if you have strong cash flow … you’ll weather it. 

How can you liquefy equity? How can you take advantage of lower rates in your portfolio and free up money so you can continue to invest? 

Loans designed for investors

Billy Brown is a seasoned investor and loan officer who specializes in helping investors and syndicators figure out the finances of investing. 

One of the big problems Billy sees is that investors get successful, start to build their portfolios … and then get what we call Fannie-d and Freddie-d out. 

They no longer conform to those guidelines Russ was talking about. They suddenly have a hard time getting a loan. 

Billy has the ability to sit down with these people and help them be able to take individual loans and restructure that in a way that frees up their qualification. 

“I love infinite returns,” Bill says, “so that’s how I wear my hat. I focus on how we can use the tools available to us inside lending and our lending partners to go create infinite returns.”

Billy has a few different strategies in place to help people access equity. 

The first is portfolio lending. 

There are a lot of portfolio lenders out there. Banks and non-banks will do it. The idea is to take everything and put it together as an investor loan. 

The rates might be a little bit higher … but what it buys you back is the qualification of those loans. Plus, you get the option of one loan servicing multiple properties. 

This type of loan is better than going through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac because it is designed for the job you are trying to do. 

You go from 9 or 10 loans with 9 or 10 mortgage payments that may or may not be escrowed down to one mortgage with escrow … and a whole bunch of cash. 

Billy says that if you have a simple written rule or schedule of real estate owned and your personal financial statement, he can come up with a plan fairly quickly. 

“Usually within 48 hours I have a pretty good idea of whether I can get you a recourse or non-recourse option and set out the strategy,” Billy says. 

Billy also says that these portfolio loan options are fun because they are designed for investors and have a cash flow of their own. 

Special considerations for special loans

What happens if you want to sell one of your properties?

Billy says that is one of the first questions he asks when he consults with investors. “Are there any ugly children in this portfolio that you want to get rid of? If so, leave them out of the loan.”

This type of lending option is really designed for the investor that wants to buy and hold a portfolio and keep hanging on to it for at least 3 to 5 years.

The reason there is a prepayment penalty is that lenders put a certain amount of resources, time, effort, and capital to be in a position to collect the interest rate from you. 

Lenders want to make sure they’re making a return … so you can’t use this type of portfolio strategy and then turn around in 10 days and sell it without paying a heavy fee. 

So if you’ve spent the last several years acquiring a portfolio of single family homes that are working for you … but you would like to have access to the capital … this is probably a great tool. 

Each lender has their own set of circumstances … and most require you to have property management. 

The property manager is the least respected and most important person on your team. 

If you have commercial properties, you probably already have management in place … but if you have single family homes, you could still be managing yourself. 

“That’s a great way to learn for the first couple of years, but eventually you want to hand that job off,” Billy says.

Discover the method that works for you

No matter what your circumstance is, Billy and his lending network can help. 

“We can do anything from $100,000 cash out refinance of a single family rental up to a $100 million CMBS loan,” Billy says. 

To learn more about unconventional funding solutions for investors like YOU, listen in to the full episode!

More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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Exploring Huge Tax Benefits and Unique Profit Strategies in Oil and Gas

Land is at the heart of real estate investment. Some investors build on the land. Others profit from growing on the land. 

But today we’re talking about the opportunities that lie UNDER the land … oil and gas. 

Many investors hop into real estate because of its tremendous tax breaks … but that often only applies to PASSIVE income. 

Oil and gas offer huge tax benefits that apply to ACTIVE income … that’s why high-income earners love this niche. 

No investment is perfect … some forms of oil and gas investing come with high risks along with high rewards. That’s why we called on a seasoned Texas oilman to learn more. 

We’re exploring exciting strategies for finding more predictable profits and tax benefits in oil and gas. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your drilled-in host, Robert Helms
  • His drilling-down co-host, Russell Gray 
  • Founder of Panther Exploration (PANEX), Bob Burr

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A unique way to catch a break 

Today we’re talking about a niche within real estate that has some unique upsides and some great tax benefits … and it’s something you might not have considered before. 

Oil and gas is a very different type of investment … but there is a huge tax advantage to oil and gas investments that doesn’t exist in too many other investment categories. 

So, if you’re at the end of the year, and you’ve got a big tax problem, and you’re trying to figure out where to deploy some capital … you could make an investment and get a tax break. 

Energy is forever. It’s not a fad. It’s not an industry that shuts down … and any type of economic recovery is going to require the development and consumption of energy. 

Oil and gas has a history with the petrodollar in association with the dollar and other currencies. But it also acts as a hedge against currency, because it’s a commodity like gold. 

Another interesting aspect of oil and gas is it’s not JUST oil and gas. There are many peripheries of the business. 

There are actual businesses that are associated with the industry that aren’t directly oil … so you can make a profit based on the oil business without having the same level of risk.

We’re hardly experts in oil and gas … but we are learning. And that’s why we hang around with smart people who know a lot more than we do. 

One of those people is our guest is Bob Burr, founder of Panther Exploration (PANEX). He has been in the oil business for over 45 years … and he has plenty of expertise to share. 

Opportunities in oil and gas

The first thing to know about oil and gas is that there is certainly an economic benefit. Everyone goes to the pump and sees what happens to oil prices. 

But this time of year there is also a tax benefit. 

We often say that we don’t let the tax tail wag the investment dog … but this niche might be the exception. 

If you invest a dollar in oil and gas, the federal government will let you write off all the intangible cost of that drill. 

“That means if you drill a hole in the ground and it has no value, it’s a hole. They used to make us depreciate the equipment out over seven years and eventually you would write off 100 percent. Now we get to write off the equipment also,” Bob says. 

Bottom line … you’re talking about a 90 or 95 percent write-off against ordinary income the first year, right at the beginning. 

So, how do you get started?

There are really a couple of different ways to invest in oil. The first is exploration … trying to figure out where the oil is. 

Many of these properties are not owned. Instead, they are leased with wells that produce oil. 

Most people looking for the tax write-off don’t want to be involved in exploration … because most of the time you don’t hit oil. 

Instead, they want to be involved in wells that are already producing. Wells produce different amounts of oil each day depending on the location … but some wells have been producing for decades. 

The other option is to find other businesses associated directly with the oil and gas business that makes sense for investors. 

Three years ago, Bob and his team started to look at saltwater disposal wells. 

As wells produce oil, they also produce tremendous amounts of saltwater. You can’t dump saltwater on the surface … it kills everything. 

So, the government requires producers to pump this water back down into the earth at a safe level. 

Bob pays a landowner to lease their land and builds a well to safely pump this saltwater … and other drilling companies pay him to take care of their saltwater waste for them. 

“We’re operating a well now that in the first two years it was in production, it made $4.8 million,” Bob says. 

Bob has also built off of this business by finding a way to clean the water before pumping it … allowing them to separate and remove any leftover oil and “skim extra off the top,” if you will. 

“We’re disposing of 10,000 barrels a day, and if even one percent of that barrel is oil, that oil is ours, and it adds up,” Bob says. 

And the saltwater disposal investment gets the same tax benefit as oil and gas. 

For a niche like Bob’s saltwater well, investors can expect to put in $100,000 per unit. 

They can then … depending on the details of the deal and after consulting a tax professional … write off 90 to 95 percent as ordinary income. 

Syndication is sacred

Oil and gas investment has the potential to be higher risk than other investments … that’s why Bob and his team take their job so seriously. 

“I’m interested in one thing: Making money for us and our partners. That’s why I tell my team that they have a moral responsibility to get serious,” Bob says. 

That is one of the great messages that Bob has shared with us and with other investors at our Secrets of Successful Syndication event. 

Syndication is a sacred thing. You are working with somebody’s hard-earned money. They’re entrusting it to you. 

That’s why an investor who is looking for this type of potential upside in terms of returns, as well as tax benefits, needs to understand and be educated on their prospects. 

To learn more about oil and gas investing, listen in to our full episode. 

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.


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Mastering Market Trends to Find Late-Cycle Opportunities

They say the best deals go first … so it is too late in the cycle to find great real estate investment opportunities?

We say the answer is no. 

We’re visiting with a multi-market investor who is finding plenty of deals … even this deep into the economic cycle. 

Join us as we push past talk of bubbles and compressed cap rates to uncover deals still up for steals!

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your dealing host, Robert Helms
  • His reeling co-host, Russell Gray 
  • President of ROI Turn Key Properties, Jared Garfield

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The complex market ecosystem

It’s not just important what you invest in … but where. 

Markets are different across the world. So, today we’re going to focus on studying market trends to find excellent real estate investments. 

There is a lot of talk about “the market cycle.” But you see, there’s not just one market cycle. And some market cycles run concurrently. Others lag … and some are completely opposite of others. 

The key is to make decisions on where to invest depending on where you think the puck is going. 

Remember that markets are more than just geography. They also take in demographics. 

Economic cycles affect markets too … and they are affected by the business cycle … the ebb and flow of supply and demand. 

It’s an extremely complex ecosystem. 

Because real estate moves slowly, you don’t day trade. You look out at the horizon and think about the long game. 

There’s also a lot you can learn from other people’s experiences. There are plenty of resources from people who have been through a market downturn or downward cycle before. 

Just don’t forget that in real estate, there is no one great, perfect real estate market. 

The trick is to match a market with your personal investment philosophy … who you are as an investor, what you’re trying to accomplish, your goals and dreams. 

Focusing on a handful of markets can make a lot of sense in the long term. 

Our guest is in a lot of markets and does a lot of thinking and research about this very topic … and he is here to talk about some of the markets he likes for investors today. 

Identifying and adapting to markets

Jared Garfield used to go to his grandfather’s real estate office, drink soda, and talk real estate. 

“From the time when I was a kid, I wanted to be in real estate and follow in the family business,” Jared says. 

But Jared learned from his family’s successes and failures … and what he learned was the power of diversification. 

Jared started buying houses in college. He bought foreclosures and flipped them for modest profits. After graduation, he built up a pretty large real estate portfolio. 

But Jared recognized that markets change. A market that is more cash flow oriented becomes more of an appreciation market over time. Dallas, Texas, is the perfect example. 

So, Jared spends a lot of his time watching that evolution and … to the best degree possible … anticipating it. 

“I developed a spreadsheet that analyzes 278 metropolitan statistical areas across the entire country on about 80 different metrics,” Jared says. 

Jared incorporated everything from poverty level to crime to test scores to media to affordability … and he looked at appreciation, building permits, job growth, population and more. 

“With that, we’ve identified some markets where you can really outperform many of the other markets,” Jared says. 

Jared also says it is important to think about submarkets. Investors tend to be the first in when there is an opportunity and the first to leave. 

So, Jared likes to look at secondary and tertiary markets. Take Huntsville, Alabama, for example. 

Huntsville is known as the Pentagon of the South. It’s home to NASA, Boeing, Lockheed, and Raytheon, and the FBI just moved 4,500 jobs from Langley to Huntsville. 

Jared bought foreclosed houses in C or C+ neighborhoods for $28,000 to $35,000. They put in an average of $30,000 into rehab. Five years later, those homes are selling for about $120,000. 

The cash flow is really good. 

But, Jared says, you have to deploy different strategies at different phases of the cycle

Now that Huntsville is no longer an absorption project … it’s expansion, full tilt … there is no reason to buy turnkey in C class neighborhoods. Instead, it makes more sense to buy new construction. 

“A market gives you what the market gives you, and you have to decide how to take that and turn it into something that makes sense,” Jared says. 

Selecting the right market for you

There’s a lot to learn about selecting and profiting in high cash flow markets … that’s why Jared has prepared a special report for our listeners. 

In this report, Jared shares how to choose markets … the metrics you should use and how to understand the difference between high cash flow markets and others. 

Jared also shares what things you should watch for in each of his top market picks. 

One of those big factors is the one-horse town. 

A one-horse town doesn’t mean small. It could also mean a big town with a very segmented workforce. 

Seattle took a bath when Boeing laid-off workers in 1990. Houston had it rough because it used to be pretty much just oil. You’ve got to have a diversity of employment and industries. 

“I like to invest in towns that are at least 300,000 in population and have a variety of employment sectors,” Jared says. 

With single-family investing, all the data is there for you to pick the right market and get high returns … you just have to know how to look. 

For more tips and experiences from Jared, listen in to the full episode!

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.


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Clues in the News — The Fed, the Repo Market, and Real Estate Investing

When you’re an investor … the state of the financial system is always on your mind. 

The Fed shocked the world when it pushed an emergency infusion of cash into a distressed financial system. 

In 2008 … it took $85 billion per month to stabilize the U.S. financial system. 

Today, the Fed is injecting $75 billion PER DAY. 

Does this mean our financial system is in trouble? 

We’re searching for Clues in the News about the Fed, the Repo Market, and what it could mean for investors like you. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your stable host, Robert Helms
  • His fabled co-host, Russell Gray 

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Staying Smart in a Changing Market

We look at a lot more than just real estate. That’s how we stay smart in an ever-changing market. 

This week, we’re looking at what’s going on at the Federal Reserve … and we’re not just talking about the interest rate change. 

But let’s start there. 

The Fed came out and dropped interest rates by 25 basis points … which is one-quarter of one point. 

It’s important to note that the Fed doesn’t actually drop interest rates, because they don’t set interest rates. 

What they do is set a target and a range. 

They dropped the high end of the range down 25 basis points … and that manipulates the markets. 

The Fed also goes into markets and buys and sells bonds … again manipulating interest rates. 

So what is the effect of those actions on a real estate investor?

Sometimes it can be confusing … but it starts with understanding that yields … which are interest rates on bonds … are a function of supply and demand. 

When money floods into the bond market, it means that the interest rates come down. When money leaves the bond market, it means that interest rates go up. 

Many people think that if the Fed lowers the interest rates, mortgage rates are going to go down … BUT really the opposite is what would happen. 

Today, it’s different. 

The money that is moving around isn’t coming from the market. The Fed is putting more money into the system. 

That means investors are playing with new money that is in the system … and bonds go up and stocks go up. 

For the last decade, there has been a big infusion of money into bonds … so much so that it has driven interest rates yield down. 

There are $250 trillion of total bonds out there … $17 trillion of them are negative yields. 

It’s important to understand because, at the end of the day, a real estate investor is a user of debt. 

As investors, we have to pay attention to what the Fed is doing … and we should watch other investment categories like stocks and oil and gas and metals. 

All these things play together and play off of each other. 

The Repo Market

Now, something happened this week that hasn’t happened since 2008 … and it has got a lot of people nervous. 

The repo market dried up. People were going in to raise short-term cash … and there was no money. 

The repo market is like a pawn shop. It’s where Wall Street traders go to hawk a bond. It’s the same thing that house flippers do … but it happens in a day instead of over the course of several months. 

Remember that the bond that you hold is valuable because it has a rate of return. 

There’s a payment associated with it. It’s a poker chip in the Wall Street casino. 

Healthy markets require certain components. There has to be cash. There has to be assets. There have to be buyers. There have to be sellers … and there has to be trust. 

If any one of these components breaks down, then the system locks up until people fix whatever the problem is. 

On September 16, 2019, people showed up at the repo market … and there wasn’t enough. 

So, in order to get cash, they had to start bidding up or discounting what they were selling. 

Interest rates went all the way up to nearly 10 percent … and the Fed’s target is about 2 percent. 

So, the Fed had to step in. They pumped in $53 billion the first day. 

It wasn’t enough. The next day they had to put in another $75 billion. 

Still not enough. The third day, the Fed added in $75 billion more. 

That’s more than $200 billion in three days. And it STILL wasn’t enough. 

So, the Fed lowered the rates … and every single day of the following week they pumped another $75 billion into the market. 

The question for investors is … why did this happen?

Well, nobody knows. It’s a big mystery. 

Ultimately it all comes back to those key components … buyers, sellers, cash, assets, and trust. 

If there’s no cash, you can’t have buying and selling … and people don’t trust the marketplace enough to come in. 

What You Can Do To Prepare

Every listener out there that didn’t live through 2008 really needs to wake up and understand what can happen. 

For those of you that did live through 2008, this is probably like deja vu. 

But there are things you can … and probably should … do to be prepared just in case this is a real crash. 

It may not be. It may be just a little crash … but if you’re prepared, a crash is a great wealth-building opportunity. You can go into a marketplace and pick up bargains. 

The best thing you can do is get educated. Education is not just consuming knowledge and perspectives … it’s processing and thinking and conversing with experts. 

The second thing you can do is pay attention. We obsess about the news because there is so much you can learn from what is happening around you. 

From a practical portfolio management standpoint … right now you can lock in low rates for the long term. Take advantage of that. 

And you can take the combination of cheap interest rates and equity and pull some of that equity out and get liquid. 

Store that liquidity in something that allows you to pivot to other currencies. 

All of this is so you can be prudent as you look ahead into the unknown. 

Listen to the full episode to learn more about today’s Clues in the News!

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.


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Short-Term Rentals for Long-Term Profits

Why do we like short-term rentals as an investment niche? Short-term rentals lead to long-term profits!

But don’t take our word for it. 

We’re talking with a real-life short-term rental investor to discover what it takes to be successful in the world of short-term rentals. 

Learn practical tips and tricks … and have some fun along the way. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your long-suffering host, Robert Helms
  • His short and sweet co-host, Russell Gray 
  • International real estate investor, world traveler, and short-term rental guru, Tim Hubbard

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A Unique Investment Opportunity 

There are many ways to invest in real estate. 

You can put a tenant in a property and just let them stay for a long, long time … but there are actually reasons that shorter occupancy lengths can be really profitable. 

In fact, short-term rentals can be one of the most profitable ways to invest in real estate … and it can be one of the lower risk ways to invest in real estate. 

So, let’s set the stage. 

In most buy-and-hold situations, you have either a month-to-month rental period or an annual rental period. Sometimes a commercial property has a 5, 10, or 20-year lease. 

The amount of time that you’re tying up a property with the tenant completely depends on you, the property, and the marketplace. 

Recently, everyone has been enamored with vacation rentals. 

You buy a property in a niche market that people love to visit. Instead of renting it on a month-to-month basis, you rent it on a nightly or weekly basis … and that can up your returns. 

But there are also corporate rentals and contractor rentals … all kinds of ways to rent for shorter periods of time. 

And apps have made it possible for you to reach consumers without spending large amounts of money on advertising. 

One of the great things about short-term rental properties is that you can build up a clientele of repeat customers … people who fall in love with an area, have regular business in the area or come to visit family. 

When you develop that relationship with a client … just like you would with any tenant … they come back again and again … and maybe even tell other people. 

Another consideration is that many short-term rental opportunities also come with the potential for personal use. You could use the property when you travel and rent it for the rest of the time. 

But this is an area of real estate that takes a little more thought and education. You don’t just put a yard sign out in front of your property that says, “Available by the night.”

That’s why today, we’re chatting with an expert.

Making the Most of Your Short-Term Rental

We met Tim Hubbard many years back when he attended the Secrets of Successful Syndication. He then came on the Investors’ Summit, and he has been on every one since. 

Tim on his own account has more than two dozen of these types of short-term rental units. 

“All the properties I’ve acquired had long-term tenants in them. I just found traveling that you can get a lot more by the night, so I started doing that instead,” Tim says. 

Sometimes people stay in Tim’s properties for a longer amount of time … like for a month … but he is still getting nightly rates. 

Tim takes a unique approach to rentals. He doesn’t necessarily cater to just vacationers. 

“I try to find the best properties for business people first because they tend to come back more often, and they tend to travel alone. They’re professional, and they don’t have parties.” Tim says. 

But unlike a rental where tenants move in and out once a year, short-term renters are coming and going every few days. 

There’s a lot of housekeeping and a lot of operational pieces. 

It’s common for people starting out with their first property to clean themselves and handle guest messages … but by finding other ways to take care of that, you can scale quickly and continue to scale. 

Outside of having managers that run these processes for him, Tim has also found other ways to simplify the short-term rental experience. 

One way is by having digital locks with door codes on all the properties. This allows guests to check themselves in. 

Tim has also created guidebooks that go out digitally and give guests the necessary information they need to know about the property. 

“It’s really about figuring out what the guest is going to ask you before they show up and answering those questions before they even arrive,” Tim says. 

This cuts down on guest messages and increases the likelihood they will leave a great review at the end. 

You also need to offer some standard amenities. Think about the normal amenities you would find at a hotel like an iron and coffee. 

You Can Find Success

Many people think that you have to be in some big top market in order to attract guests … but that’s not true. 

There is a client that wants to stay at a unit like yours in almost any city that has commerce or industry. 

Like any other investment … it’s important to do your research. But with the right tools in place, you can find long-term success with short-term rentals. 

Listen to the full episode and learn more tips and tricks from Tim!

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.


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Ask The Guys – Recession Preparation, Note Investing, Gold Strategies

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. 

That’s right. It’s time for another segment of Ask The Guys … when we talk about trends, challenges, and investment opportunities. 

This time we’re tackling listener questions about investing in the face of a potential recession, the pros and cons of private note investing, whether it makes sense to leverage gold to invest in real estate … and more!

Remember … we aren’t tax advisors or legal professionals. 

We give ideas and information … NOT advice. 

 In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your knowing host, Robert Helms
  • His crowing co-host, Russell Gray 

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Preparing for a recession

James from Phoenix, Arizona, just moved to the area and is interested in purchasing a single-family rental property.

He wants to know what zip codes we feel offer the best opportunities for a solid cash flow, long-term equity investment.

He also wants to hear our thoughts on how we think a possible recession will affect the Phoenix housing market.

First off, we don’t get into the specificity of zip codes in any market. BUT we do know a great provider in Phoenix that absolutely has the answer.

It’s always better to find someone with boots on the ground knowledge to learn more about a marketplace. So, that’s our advice there. Find a good team member … and work with them.

But when it comes to recession … that’s something we can definitely talk about.

As a country, we recently had a tax code change. One of the biggest changes was that state and local taxes are no longer deductible on your federal income tax.

People who lived in high tax states like California are suddenly realizing what a big difference that deduction made … and they are moving to greener pastures.

Phoenix is a major metro that offers a lot of the quality of life amenities people want … and its close proximity to California makes it a hot destination for those fleeing the state’s high prices.

For investors, the key is to find properties with what we like to call “recession resistant pricing.”

If things go well, the value of the property moves up … but those rents are still in demand even when things in the economy aren’t doing as well.

So, your mission ought to be to get with a great local provider and work together to find properties that hit in this sweet spot.

The good news is that Phoenix is a market where we saw pretty good stability in the last downturn.

A look at note investing

Larry from Folsom, California, wants to know what we think about the notes business … and what we think about the notes business as a real estate business.

Some people like to invest in the property. Some people like to invest in the financing.

The note business means that you are writing mortgages, carrying back mortgages, placing private notes, or buying second-hand notes that are loans.

You get the note … and you get the interest … and you have the collateral against the property.

There are two primary reasons people invest in notes.

Some people invest in notes because they want the yield … they want the interest rate, which often can be higher than traditional mortgages.

Other people invest in notes or make hard money loans because what they really want is the property.

They make a loan to someone who is in need … if it pays off, great. If it doesn’t, they get the property.

So, the note business is an interesting business. It can be appealing because you are able to derive income without the hassle of landlording or the risk of the property going down in value.

But that doesn’t mean note investing is without capital risk. It all depends on whether you want to sell the note or not after you buy it.

Where the real money gets made in notes is when you’re trading in notes and you’re using distressed property.

You might go in and lend to somebody who may not be a prime borrower in an ideal situation … so they’re going to pay a premium.

That means you are going to get a little bit of extra interest … and maybe a little bit of extra protective equity.

You can also take things a step further and purchase loans from people who own them already and have decided for whatever reason they don’t want them.

So, you would offer them a discount to the face value of the note.

Now, you’ll be getting paid back more than you lend plus more!

And that discount is added to the interest that a person’s going to pay. That can bring your yield up quite a bit.

Another approach is to buy non-performing notes in the hopes that you can rehab them and get the person paying again OR that you’ll be successful in foreclosing on the collateral.

These types of notes can sometimes be bought for pennies on the dollar.

The key takeaway here is that there are a lot of different ways to get involved in the note side of the business for people who aren’t as interested in dealing with the real estate and tenant side of things.

You don’t have the landlord responsibilities … you do have the debt collection responsibilities.

Overall, we like the note business … but we don’t like the note business as a real estate business.

Now, this is just because of our personal investment philosophies. We don’t want to make a bunch of money because someone else had to be foreclosed on.

For us, it’s too messy and can be ugly. But if you have a more combative personality … it might work for you.

Leveraging against gold

Quentin from Mahomet, Illinois, is seeing the value of the dollar go down … and wondering why an investor shouldn’t just buy gold to use as collateral and leverage against it.

Quentin feels that if the dollar tanks, then your collateral … the price of gold … goes up all while your real estate cash flow asset makes money.

The question is … are there downsides to this approach?

Leveraging against gold has been on our mind for a long, long time.

It has only been in the last 50 years or so that gold hasn’t been money … there’s a good possibility it’s going to come back and eventually be money again.

Central banks are loading up on it. So, we don’t think it’s a bad idea to take some of your liquid reserves and put them into gold.

Gold shouldn’t be considered as an investment. Gold is a place to store wealth … just like cash.

But gold protects you from cash failing and has a longer track record of success.

Borrowing against gold is just like borrowing against any other asset. The equation always just comes down to being able to provide the cash flow to service all the debt involved.

If you lose control of cash flow … everything leveraged unravels.

Still, if you’ve done the math … and you feel comfortable … it’s not a bad way of thinking.

More Ask The Guys

Listen to the full episode for more questions and answers.

Have a real estate investing question? Let us know! Your question could be featured in our next Ask The Guys episode.

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.


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Investing Where Real Estate, Healthcare, and Demographics Converge

Real estate is like surfing … it’s all about riding the waves. 

Smart investors catch a big wave early and hold on for a long ride … and one of the biggest economic waves in history is happening RIGHT NOW. 

It’s all being driven by baby boomers. No matter what phase of life the boomers glide through, the businesses that serve them prosper. 

Over the next two decades, the baby boomers hit senior status … and senior-centered industries are set to boom along with them. 

One industry we’ve got our eye on … healthcare … really, the place where healthcare and real estate meet. 

We’re visiting with a seasoned real estate entrepreneur about how investors can ride this particular wave through residential assisted living homes. 

 In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your booming host, Robert Helms
  • His waving co-host, Russell Gray 
  • President, CEO, and Founder of RAL Academy, Gene Guarino

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Get rich in a niche

Not all real estate investments are created equal. 

One of the things that drives demand is demographics. As a real estate investor, who are you going to serve … and how profitable can it be?

The old adage goes, “Get rich in a niche.”

Today we’re talking about a niche that has demographics firmly on its side … which means potentially years of profit for investors like YOU. 

We’re diving into senior housing. 

A new approach to senior housing 

Gene Guarino is president, CEO, and founder of RAL Academy … and our go-to guy in the senior housing sector. 

“Everybody’s going to get older and eventually need some kind of assisted living,” Gene says. 

With aging baby boomers moving our way, senior housing and assisted living is a great niche to be in. 

It works nationwide … and baby boomers are living longer. 

And senior housing is a pretty wide niche. It covers everything from 55 and over communities to hospice care and everything in between. 

Gene’s niche within a niche is somewhere in the middle. 

Gene caters to older seniors … typically in their 80s or 90s …  that still want independence but need some help with their daily living activities. 

Right now 4,000 people a day are turning 85 years old. That’s 120,000 people a month and more than 1.4 million a year. 

Not all of them need assisted living, but hundreds of thousands of them will … and there’s no room at the inn, so to speak. 

One of the biggest misconceptions we need to break is that assisted living is a three-story building with elevators and a common kitchen. 

“What we do is take a single family home in a residential setting. Not a big box facility, but a home,” Gene says. “You could literally be living next door to it, and you wouldn’t even know it.”

Gene and his team take a home in a nice neighborhood and do a little bit of conversion, get it properly licensed, and hire an expert staff.

And the payoff can be enormous. 

Think about it. You might have 10 seniors in a home each paying $4,000 or $5,000 a month. The net profit from this setup is significant. 

A home that might rent for $2,500 or $3,500 a month to a single family now rents for somewhere around $30,000 a month. 

These homes offer a moderate amount of care. The seniors living there don’t need skilled nursing help … but they do need some basic help. 

So, senior housing is really in two parts … the real estate side and the business side. 

How you can get involved

The beauty of senior housing is that there are multiple ways to get involved. 

You may have real estate investors who want to own one of these homes … but they don’t want to be involved on the business side. 

Or you may have some individuals who don’t have the funds to purchase one of these homes … but they are ready and willing to be involved in managing the day-to-day operations. 

Most people don’t realize when they walk into an average business that the business owner behind the counter doesn’t own the real estate. 

Someone else owns the building and leases it to the business. The business is making money … but the real estate owner and everybody in between is making money too. 

Senior housing means you can own real estate, lease it to an operator, and get it up to twice the market rent with a long-term, low-impact tenant. 

“The key to this transaction is to find a tenant first,” Gene says. “Find an operator you can lease the residential assisted living home to.” 

There are many reasons to find your operator before you find your property … the primary being taking their suggestions on potential home locations. 

The time is now

So what’s the end game? Gene says his students have found multiple profitable strategies from investing in senior housing. 

The first is acquiring multiple homes and then selling them off as a portfolio to a larger conglomerate. 

Another approach is to simply hang on to the properties over the years making really good cash flow and giving the property an opportunity to go up in value. 

Lastly, you can build your own brand and business into something that you can eventually sell as a branded package. 

No matter what you do, Gene says the time is now. 

“Business is good now, and it’s getting better and better and better. And once the spike from the baby boomers hits, it’s just uphill from there for the next 20 years,” Gene says. 

So, to get in position to ride this wave, there are a couple of ways to go. 

You can either passively invest in the real estate with an operator … or you can learn the business side of residential assisted living. 

“I wish there was a training like the one that I give people that I could have attended,” Gene says. “It would have saved me so much time, effort, and money.”

We always say that the best way to learn is to learn from the people who are already doing what you want to be doing. Through RAL Academy, Gene is enabling investors to do just that. 

Gene’s trainings take place over three full days in Phoenix, Arizona. On the second day, students load up and visit some of Gene’s operating homes in the area to see what senior housing looks like firsthand. 

To learn more about RAL Academy and opportunities that lie in senior housing … listen in to our full episode. 

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.


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