Build-to-Rent Residential in Central Florida – Affordable and New

Many people ask us what the best way is to get started in long distance landlording.

THE ANSWER … buy an affordable, brand new property in one of the best markets in the country. 

We’re taking a deeper look into how one innovative developer is building new residential properties especially for investors like YOU. 

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

  • Your good as new host, Robert Helms
  • His very affordable co-host, Russell Gray
  • Veteran Central Florida real estate broker, Jean Gillen
  • Build-to-Rent real estate developer, Wagner Nolasco

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Sunny Central Florida

All real estate markets are not created equal. With the current COVID-19 crisis, there are markets that have weathered the storm pretty well while others are in complete disarray. 

The thing is … people and money and business don’t just go away. They do, however, move around. The key is to see where they are going. 

When you can see that, you see that there is going to be an opportunity on the opposite side of a problem. 

Today, we’re taking a look at a market that’s cheap, cheerful, and affordable … Central Florida. 

As more people are realizing that they can work from anywhere, they are asking themselves where they would like to live. 

Central Florida has great weather, sunshine, and things to do. It has been one of our favorite markets for many years … and it’s not really one market. 

It’s a huge area with multiple exciting markets within it. 

Today we’re learning why it is that Central Florida continues to do well in spite of COVID-19 from two people who really know this market well … Jean Gillen and Wagner Nolasco. 

People want cheap and cheerful

Jean Gillen has been in this business for a long time as a realtor … and her specialty is helping investors. 

As a realtor, Jean understands that the investment market is kind of unique. She knows what investors are looking for and what they need to make a great deal happen. 

“The biggest thing we have found out through this pandemic is that one of the places a lot of people want to move to is Florida,” Jean says. “We’re cheap, and we’re cheerful.”

For example, someone moving from California and buying a $200,000 house is getting a home that is equivalent to a $1.5 million house on the West Coast. 

If you look at a Central Florida parking lot and take a look at the license plates, you can see where folks are moving from … Illinois, New York, Arkansas, Missouri. 

Central Florida has tons of new jobs in growing industries like space and tech … with over 400 new employers on the “space coast.”

And don’t forget about those lovely retirement communities and the fact that there is no state income tax. 

One thing that is important for investors to know and remember is that only 60% of the land in Florida is built on. 

Jean and her team target homes on infill lots at about a quarter of an acre with amenities and neighbors already in place. 

But what about hurricanes?

“We do not worry so much about hurricanes. We do have hurricanes, but we are able to prepare. And, with 2020 construction, the homes really can withstand a lot,” Jean says. 

In Florida, investors will want to purchase a cement block house. The facade can be different, but the cement block structure means you’re ready to weather any storm … and the resell value will be higher. 

Standards for 2020 construction reduce the amount of insurance you have to have on your home. The average insurance for a $215,000 home is about $49 a month. 

Why brand new?

A couple of years ago, Jean introduced us to Wagner Nolasco. Wagner is a home builder who has teamed up with Jean to provide the type of housing that is in demand for investors today. 

They’re building single family homes … ground up construction, brand new … but literally in the path of progress and growth in these Central Floridian communities. 

There are many advantages to an investor buying a brand new house. 

“I’ve done over 400 turnkey properties in my career, and from that experience, I tell my friends that are doctors and investors, ‘You can put a brand new heart into a person, but you can’t guarantee that the arteries are going to be unobstructed,’” Wagner says. 

When you buy a 40 or 50 year old house and fix it up, there are always going to be more problems down the line. 

When you buy brand new construction, you can safely bet that your capital expenditure is going to be minimal over the next several years.

Florida has one of the toughest building construction codes in the country … concrete block construction, brand new hip roofing, energy efficient air conditioning, windows that can withstand 140 mph winds, tile floors throughout, and the like. 

“It’s more bang for your buck,” Wagner says. 

Together Jean and Wagner have re-engineered what the typical individual moving to Central Florida will be looking to pay for housing and determined what they can build brand new to offer a win for both investor and tenant. 

By building the same model house on infill lots in various communities, their team can buy in volume and lower costs while creating a better product than a turnkey property. 

And, 80% of tenants that rent a new house will stay for three or more years. Less turnover means more money in your pocket, fewer repairs, and better quality tenants. 

To learn more about investing in brand new construction in Central Florida … listen 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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Podcast: Build-to-Rent Residential in Central Florida – Affordable and New

One of the best ways to get started in long-distance landlording is to buy an affordable brand new property in one of the best markets in the country.

In this episode, we look at how one innovative developer is building new residential properties, especially for investors.


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.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!

Real Growth, Resiliency, and Diversification through Agriculture

Everyone needs a place to live and EVERYONE needs to eat. 

In good times and bad, we all need food. For centuries, agriculture has been synonymous with wealth and productivity. 

(Maybe that’s why they call it “produce!”) 

Agriculture relies on real estate. It also provides investors with an opportunity to create cash flow from cash crops. 

So, we’re revisiting the opportunities in agriculture … even in the midst of a rapidly changing world. 

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

  • Your high-growth host, Robert Helms
  • His fruity co-host, Russell Gray
  • Agricultural investing expert, David Smith

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Opportunities in agriculture

We love all kinds of real estate investing, and we’re spending a few weeks talking about what you might consider to be alternative investments. 

Today, we’re talking about a real estate investment that can make a ton of sense if you’ll just open your mind … agricultural real estate. 

Agriculture was THE original use of land. People have been investing in agriculture for thousands of years. 

Agriculture produces something of high value … food and commodities for textiles! 

The population is increasing. Everyone born needs calories … and yet the resources to produce calories across the globe are either diminishing or the costs are increasing. 

So, today we see lots of opportunity in the agricultural space. 

If you will, your tenants are trees … so things like tenant and landlord law go out the window. 

And you don’t have to get the geographic market as exactly right as you do when you’re buying an apartment building.  

Agriculture also offers an opportunity to diversify some of the risks that are present in other assets during changing times. 

What does agriculture investing look like today?

David Smith is an agricultural investing expert. Why does he think people should consider agriculture?

“First and foremost is the diversification of your investment portfolio,” David says. “Also, agriculture in general creates generational wealth.”

Agriculture is a long-term investment in many cases. You’re looking at 10, 20, or even 25 years of producing … while most tenants typically stay a year or two. 

When you think about agriculture, you may envision fields with corn or wheat or rice. But a lot of commercial produce grows better in a greenhouse. 

“You just have to open your mind to see that agriculture doesn’t mean just rows out on a highway. There’s lots of different kinds of agriculture,” David says. 

So, part of agriculture is picking the right market and product for you. 

Paraguay

Let’s talk about markets. There are areas of the world that are just more prone to agriculture. 

“It’s just as important to pick the right product and the right country,” David says. 

David’s team focuses, for example, on Paraguay. Paraguay exports produce all around the world. But David and his team work with the internal market within the country. 

Paraguay has more freshwater than any country in the world by way of aquifers and rivers. It also has very small changes in climate. 

There are about six weeks of winter that take place between August and September. Then, it goes right back to warm weather … making it conducive to growing year round. 

The land in Paraguay is also very fertile. “You can grow anything,” David says. 

In farmland, the composition of the soil is critical. You need to know the nutrients, the density, and what is going to grow well there. It can also help you determine the best tactics for pest control. 

David’s team uses a unique strategy in Paraguay. Instead of exporting to other countries, they focus on selling in the local markets. 

Paraguay currently imports large amounts of food. But by growing locally, David and his team can sell their produce locally for a lower price than the imported products and carve out a solid piece of the market for themselves. 

Getting started in agriculture investing

So, how does investing with an organization like David’s work? 

There are currently two investments … oranges and greenhouses. And there are two main components. 

The first component is simply a real estate transaction. 

“You have a  purchase contract for buying land. Then, the land is dismembered from the main master plan of the plantation. A new title is created in your name or the legal entity that you prefer to use,” David says. 

The second component is the farm service agreement … an agreement between the investor and the farming company to operate the plantation and care for your land and your crops, harvest the produce, and take it to market. 

From that point on, it becomes a completely passive, hands-off investment. 

“The only exception is in the case of greenhouses where after 10 years, an additional amount has to be paid for refurbishing and renovation,” David says.  

The greenhouses aren’t the small backyard version you are familiar with … each is 6/10 of an acre!

In the greenhouses, David’s team is growing vegetables that are used in almost every meal in Paraguay … tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. These can grow year-round and offer year-round cashflow.

The oranges on the other hand are a once a year crop with a large once a year payout.  

Essentially, these are a hard asset, passive turnkey investment.

To learn more about agriculture investing … listen to the full episode!


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Podcast: Finding and Creating Value in a Hot Market

Robert Kiyosaki’s real estate partner Ken McElroy sits in as we tackle the timely topic of finding value in a hot market.

Markets are hard to time. And no one likes to sit on the sideline missing out on opportunity. But when cap rates are compressed, finding deals that make sense is a challenge.

Fortunately, Ken McElroy has been in the game for quite a while … and has found ways to thrive through all kinds of markets.

So listen in as we learn how to find and create value in hot markets … with Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Advisor for Real Estate, Ken McElroy!


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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Paradise in Your Portfolio — Exploring the Resort Market of Belize

We can’t say enough about resort property investing. 

Like all real estate investing … everything starts with market selection. You’re looking for the right mix of supply, demand, location, team, and demographic. 

Belize is one of the most uniquely positioned resort markets in the world … and it checks A LOT of boxes. 

We’re visiting with a U.S. expat who is very active in the Belize real estate market. Is now the right time to put paradise in your portfolio?

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

  • Your resourceful host, Robert Helms
  • His last resort co-host, Russell Gray
  • From RE/MAX 1st Choice Belize, David Kafka

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Welcome to Belize

One of our personal favorite opportunities is markets that are outside of the norm. Today, we’re going to talk about investing internationally … specifically in beautiful Belize. 

For many years, Belize was basically undiscovered. We first started visiting about 15 years ago. 

Since then, Belize has really grown. It’s definitely been discovered … but there are still great opportunities to ride the wave. 

It’s easy to see the possibilities for the future when you look at Belize through the lens of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, or Hawaii. 

So, the next thing to do is your homework … making sure that the underpinnings, the things that you think you see, are really there. 

When we first went to San Pedro, Belize, there were 600 rooms for overnight accommodations. Today there are nearly 2000. 

Until two years ago, there wasn’t a single branded hotel on the island. Today, one just opened and three more are opening soon. More airlines are coming too. 

Still, it’s not a very populated place. It’s a small market. Belize only has about 4,000 people that call it home. 

Belize has a mainland … with beautiful rainforests, the largest Jaguar preserve in the world, and Mayan ruins … and then there are the islands with white sand and palm trees. 

With any new market, there are stories of investors and developers who have come in and failed. But there are plenty of people also seeing an amazing increase in equity and cash flow in tourism. 

We get it. Thinking about somewhere like Belize as an investment opportunity is an adjustment. But you have to learn to think bigger than your local market.

The hotels, airlines … they all go where the people, money, and opportunity is. Why should a real estate investor be any different?

There are also many advantages to organizing your business internationally … like tax laws. Belize has been a tax haven for a long time. 

So, if you think an international investment might be the next step for you … look at the market drivers and dynamics. Find out if it is going to help you accomplish your personal investment goals. 

Then, it’s time to build a team. 

Building a Team

You want to find people on the ground who really know the market. 

The best people operate in the market on a daily basis and can help you make tactical decisions and strategic introductions to the resources you’re going to need to go from an idea to implementation. 

David Kafka is one of the most successful real estate brokers in the country of Belize. He has one of the largest brokerage offices with about a dozen agents. 

The average real estate office in Belize has less than two people. 

So, how did he end up in Belize?

“Some friends and I decided we wanted to move internationally. I came to Belize on vacation, and I pretty much never left,” David says. 

David didn’t start off in real estate, but he has always liked it. Several times, he has bought a house, fixed it up, lived in it for a few years, and sold it. 

But once he came to Belize, he was ready to go all in. Now, he splits his time between Placencia and San Pedro. 

David says that one of the unique aspects of Belize is that it is one of the sparsest populated countries in this area of the world … but it has lots of land. 

“It takes an adjustment coming from the bustling United States, but I’d rather have no traffic, no air pollution, great food, and great people,” David says. 

The population of Belize is very diverse … ethnically, culturally, and economically. But they all love the area. 

Most of David’s customers want to purchase a house or a condo now while there is a market opportunity, rent it out for a few years or use it as a vacation home, then have the option to move in permanently. 

But he is starting to see more investors who see Belize as an investment opportunity and more than just a personal experience. 

Investment Opportunities 

David says there are many investment opportunities in Belize. 

There are standard vacation rentals and a high demand for affordable housing. 

Many people who owned apartment buildings saw a rise in tourism and turned their workforce housing into accommodations instead. 

It makes sense. A unit that might rent for $1000 a month would rent for $250 a night. 

But these changes are displacing the locals. That’s where the opportunity lies. So many people come to San Pedro for a job and can’t find an apartment within their budget. 

The result is substandard living. 

If an investor can come in and give someone nice, quality living accommodations and affordable pricing, there will be locals, contract workers, and others ready to take advantage. 

The key is … and you’ve heard us say this a thousand times … great property management. 

When you look at the property management side of the equation, long term rentals are more stable and simple than vacation rentals.

So, there’s a balance either way. 

The good news is that there is no reason investors can’t do a little bit of both. 

And don’t forget, there is a lot of land in Belize that is suitable for agriculture, development, or commercial investment. 

“There’s always some land for any budget,” David says. 

To find out about more opportunities for putting paradise in your portfolio … tune in to the full episode!

More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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Podcast: Paradise in Your Portfolio – Exploring the Resort Market of Belize

Resort property investing starts with market selection … just like all real estate investing. You’re looking for the right mix of supply, demand, location, team, and demographic.

Belize checks a LOT of boxes. It’s one of the most uniquely positioned resort markets in the world.

In this exotic episode, we visit with a U.S. ex-pat who set up shop in Belize and is very active in the real estate market.

Is it time for you to consider putting some paradise in YOUR portfolio? Tune in and find out!


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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Top Real Estate Trends for 2020

Well, hello … 2020! 

It’s a new year and a new decade … and it’s a TERRIFIC time to talk about the top trends in real estate investing. 

Many factors are affecting the path real estate is heading down this year … demographics, economics, technology, politics, energy, and interest rates. 

So sit back and take note … these are the top trends in real estate in 2020. 

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

  • Your trending host, Robert Helms
  • His trendy co-host, Russell Gray

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Trends in single family homes

Today we’re going to focus on some of the top trends that experts are predicting for 2020 in real estate. 

Real estate markets are diverse and always changing. On the demand side, the way that people interact and use real estate is essentially the same … but nuances change and create opportunities for investors. 

On the supply side … we have whatever we have built at this moment and the plans that developers and builders have to put more inventory into the ground. 

When it comes to real estate, you’re always looking at supply and demand and the flow of people and money. 

Let’s start with Realtor.com and its housing market predictions for 2020. Remember that these predictions have to do with single family homes. 

The National Association of Realtors is calling a 4.8 percent growth in home prices and a 1.8 percent decrease in existing home sales. 

That’s a modest growth in price and less sales for a variety of reasons. 

If we stopped right there, you might say that it doesn’t sound like a great real estate market to be in … BUT we’re not stopping there. 

To us, these predictions mean that most of the opportunities are going to come in niches .. and we’ll dive into that later. 

But keeping with the big picture, nobody is predicting a huge rise in interest rates … they’ll probably stay consistent. And overall, mortgage rates will remain low. 

That’s good for a couple of reasons. 

Obviously, to acquire property with leverage, you’d like to see a low interest rate. And if you already have a property with higher interest rates, your properties have better profiles today. 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also ranks markets that they see as having a potential increase in growth … both in sales and in price. 

The number one market that they chose only has 0.3 percent growth in sales projected … but 8.1 percent projected in price growth. 

That market is Boise, Idaho. 

Other markets that made the top 10 include Tucson, Arizona; Columbia, South Carolina; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Memphis, Tennessee. 

Along with growing markets, the NAR predicts which markets will decline in both sales prices and number of sales. 

Those markets include Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, and San Francisco. 

The NAR said that the offset of the decrease in demand in some areas is that there will be new housing starts. 

In fact, according to Fannie Mae’s economic and strategic research group, new home starts will jump from a 1 percent increase in 2019 to nearly 10 percent in 2020. 

Niches that make sense

One trend that we have been talking about for some time is senior housing. 

The demographics are undeniable … look at how powerful the baby boomer generation is moving through all phases of their economic life … and now they’re entering their senior season. 

Anything related to seniors is going to probably be pretty solid for the next couple of decades. 

You hit a season of life where you need some special assistance and accommodations. 

There are lots of places to play … from the 55 and older communities to assisted living and residential assisted living to skilled nursing and memory care facilities. 

There is demand here that will be exceeding supply … and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognize the signs. 

The next niche has some overlap when it comes to seniors … and that’s multifamily.

Multifamily has been huge in terms of demand for many years, and that’s been both good and bad … the bad part is that we’ve had a lot of money chasing a particular set of increasing assets. 

There has been a demand for multifamily on the tenant side and on the investor side … and on the investor side, the demand has meant a decrease in return. 

For 2020, we anticipate growth to be in the niches within multifamily .. like 55 and over apartment campuses or millennials looking for micro apartments. 

Micro apartments are small apartments that cater to younger tenants … usually fairly affordable … in city centers with unique amenities like shared workspaces. 

Another great trend … and one of our favorite niches … is resort property. 

This is a wide niche … but we tend to like the higher end as opposed to spring break on the cheap. 

It’s hard to go out and buy a 400 room hotel … but there are other ways that people are investing in resort properties. 

Some will allow you to own an individual unit that operates as part of a big resort or a hotel. There’s also the segment of vacation rentals in condos or single family homes. 

Not your cup of tea? Maybe take a look at agriculture instead. 

There are so many opportunities to come alongside successful operators in this space and invest offshore. 

The great thing about agriculture is that the underlying industry is probably not going anywhere … every human and animal needs to eat. 

The population is growing … and we are going to need more food. 

Take care with trends

Looking for real estate investment trends can reveal great opportunities. 

The only caveat … and this is true of any property that is use or trend specific … is that if that trend or use changes, it can be hard to repurpose. 

Anytime you are investing in a trend, you want to make sure it’s a trend that has some longevity to it. 

And remember that anytime a niche gets hot … it gets CROWDED. So, the earlier you adopt it, the better. 

For on 2020 real estate trends … 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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Getting Off to a Great Start in the New Year

The start of a brand-new year is a great time to reflect on lessons learned and make bold plans for the future. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or starting over … the possibilities are endless!

We’re sharing practical tips for getting off to a great start in this new year … and new decade. 

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

  • Your practical host, Robert Helms
  • His practical joker co-host, Russell Gray

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Vision, Mission, and Values

For our last show of the decade, we’re going to talk about how you can gear up and prosper in a brand-new year. 

When you have clarity of vision, strategy and tactics become evident. 

We all want to know how to make money in real estate … but sometimes the true vision isn’t that clear. 

It’s a great time in history to be thinking about clarity of vision because we’re entering 2020 … and we all want to see with 2020 vision. 

So, today we are talking about how you can figure out how to go from where you are to where you want to go. It starts with getting a vision in your mind of what success looks like for you. 

Anytime we have a challenge or an uncertainty, we sit down and ask ourselves … what is the vision? What are we trying to accomplish? What is the why?

You only have so much. You only have so much energy. You only have so many resources. You only have so much focus … so you need to know what to say yes to AND what to say no to. 

If you can get a clear vision … and articulate that vision to other people … then everyone knows what they need to do without micromanaging. 

On the other hand … if you lay the ladder of success against the wrong building, you’re going to get to the top, look around, and realize you are in the wrong place. 

Your vision isn’t peripheral to your investing … It’s fundamental. It’s the foundation of everything you do. 

Vision, mission, and values are three different things … but together they can really chart your course. 

As we said before, vision is what success looks like in very clear terms. Mission isn’t about what success looks like … it’s the why behind what you do. 

Mission is the reason what you are doing matters. 

The best missions … in our experience … are those that are about making a difference for the better. 

This could be with your community, or for a spouse, for your children, for your friends, for your employees … if you get up every day and are motivated to support someone else and make the world better … that’s a mission. 

Values are really about the methodologies … what you’re willing to do and what you are not willing to do. 

A great exercise is to sit down and come up with the six top values in your life … the things that really matter to you in life. 

Stephen Covey says that highly effective people begin with the end in mind … all of these things help you do that. 

Today, we’re going to give you some tools that you can use to actually get to where you want to go. 

Start, Stop, Continue

One of our favorite tools is what we call Start, Stop, Continue. 

Simply put … at the end of the year, you step back and look at the year and see everything you’ve done and ask, “What are the things that I should continue doing?”

This could be a particular area, market, or partner that has served you well. 

Then, you have to ask, “What are the things that I need to stop?” Maybe it’s the way you spend your time or a personal or business partnership. Maybe it’s a market that you need to get out of. 

After you have decided what will continue and what will stop, it’s time to ask, “What should I start doing?”

These could be new habits, new beliefs, new partnerships, new markets, new product types, new activities, or new people.

This is an exercise that requires you take time, sit down, and confront the brutal facts. 

There may be things you are doing every week that aren’t serving you well … and these aren’t necessarily bad things. 

Sometimes you have to say no to the good in order to say yes to the great. 

If you’re busy … like most successful people are … you don’t have a lot of extra time. So, you have to make room in your schedule either through delegation or by removing items from your docket. 

You can’t really create more time … but you can leverage time. 

Once you have determined how to bring more good energy into your life, you need to create a productive structure to get it done. 

Then, you establish clear goals, strategies, and action plans because you can allocate them into the structure. 

Zero-based Thinking 

The next tool in our arsenal is something we learned from Brian Tracy many years ago. It’s called zero-based thinking. 

The question you ask yourself is, “Knowing what I know now, what would I do differently?”

Knowing what I know now would I get into this relationship? Knowing what I know now would I get into this particular deal? Knowing what I know now would I get into this marketplace?

And if the answer to any of those things is “no,” now is the time to change your course. 

Maybe your accountant isn’t that great … but they’ve been your accountant for so long you just haven’t ever really considered leaving. Now may be the time. 

Sometimes what you find yourself looking at is a personal relationship. If there are people in your life that don’t affect you in a positive way, it’s time to cut ties. 

Zero-based thinking only works if you are willing to be brutally honest with yourself. You have to admit your mistakes. 

But if you can, you can set yourself up for your best year yet. 

For more tools for getting off to a great start … 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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Low Vacancy and No Deferred Maintenance with Build to Rent

Vacancy is the enemy of real estate investment. But no fear!

You can invest in a property with zero deferred maintenance and a whole lot of attraction to tenants. 

Smart builders are helping real estate investors dramatically reduce the risk of vacancy and expensive repairs. 

Listen in as we chat with a man who is creating build to rent properties in some of the best rental markets in the United States … and see what opportunities await investors like YOU.  

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

  • Your helpful host, Robert Helms
  • His deferring co-host, Russell Gray
  • From Fourplex Investment Group, Steve Olson

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Discover build to rent

Today we’re going to talk about an interesting niche within real estate. 

More and more, we’re seeing builders who don’t build property to sell to an owner occupant … they’re selling to investors instead. 

It’s called build to rent. 

With millennials fighting student debt and not forming households or buying property as soon in their life, it’s a great time to get into the rental game. 

We’ve dabbled in this niche ourselves … though it wasn’t firmly established at the time. 

We’d catch a builder in a phase of development and say, “What if we came in and bought the rest of your inventory?”

It was a real win-win. The developer no longer had to question which properties would sell … and investors could get inventory that they otherwise wouldn’t. 

The tenants benefitted too. They got to move into these brand new, beautiful properties. 

As the niche has grown, it has only become better. 

Now, you have builders building with the landlord and the tenant in mind … which means you can do some value engineering that maybe you wouldn’t do if you were selling to owner occupants. 

All of this means bringing product at a more competitive price … which means a better ROI. 

Our guest today is Steve Olson of Fourplex Investment Group (FIG). FIG builds brand new fourplexes in a variety of markets … ready for investors to swoop in and swoop up profits. 

Creating a valuable niche

The days of buying a home for less than it costs to build are gone. In many cases, developers, builders, and investors are finding that it’s more economically viable to just build new. 

If you want to be in the investment property business … you’ve got to find somewhere to get inventory … and you have to look at shifts in the marketplace. 

Two major demographic shifts are happening. 

One, baby boomers are looking for something more convenient … a managed community with some amenities to it. 

Two, millennials are more likely to rent than to buy … homeownership is getting more expensive, and many of them have a distaste for it. 

So, people want to live in these build to rent properties … you just have to pick the right markets. 

“More importantly, I think, you need to pick the right sub-markets within those solid markets. You’ve got to get to know the neighborhoods,” Steve says. 

And when you are building to rent, you’ve got to be able to look out at the horizon and be confident that there will be tenants in the area in 18 months … or more … however long it takes to get property standing. 

Steve and the team at FIG build brand new fourplex units … beautiful homes that are attached and have parking. 

They are an upscale rental … built in communities that allow them to offer amenities and services. 

“The idea is that we have to balance two worlds. We have a bunch of different investors but the feeling of a cohesive community. We do this by creating uniform standards through an HOA,” Steve says. 

As far as the tenant knows, they’re in a townhome complex or apartment complex. They have amenities. There is a property manager they report to … the same experience across the board. 

HOAs aren’t always popular … but that’s usually because homeowners are too busy to be bothered to come to meetings and be involved. 

Investors aren’t like that. 

Owners that are investors are very interested in the long-term health and viability of the complex. 

This type of investment is especially suited for someone who thinks a little more long term. The average investor doesn’t come in, buy a fourplex, and flip it to another guy in a year. 

With FIG’s approach, there is a certain amount of value engineering that can take place. 

“We deliver units cheaper than almost anybody I know of, but you have to strike a balance so you aren’t paying for it down the line,” Steve says. 

For example, Steve and his team have started using as a standard luxury vinyl tile floor … it’s meant to take a beating. 

“It looks good, like wood, but you can drag a couch across it. The dog can run around on it, and it’s still going to last a long time,” Steve says. 

But everything else is meaningless if you don’t talk about markets. 

The right markets for fourplex investment

A market is where we find tenants … so Steve and the team at FIG are very conscious of the markets they choose to build in. 

“Strategically, we’re looking for population growth. We’re looking for employment. You can get past a lot of things if you have those two things,” Steve says. 

FIG started in Utah in the Salt Lake City metro. Then, they expanded into markets in the Houston metro and into Boise, Idaho. 

Boise has tons of growth with jobs coming in from the Northwest and other less business-friendly states … and the vacancy is really low across the board. 

The team is also moving into the Phoenix metro area. 

For more information on this investment niche, 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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Investing in Houses and Small Multi-Family Properties in Phoenix

One of the most common paths into real estate investing is starting with residential properties … single family and small multi-family. 

To be successful … the secret is picking properties in solid growth markets … and teaming up with a competent and dedicated property manager. 

We’re talking with experts in BOTH investing and property management who work in one of the hottest residential markets in the United States. 

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

  • Your invested host, Robert Helms
  • His multi-faceted co-host, Russell Gray
  • From P. J. Hussey & Associates, Patti Hussey, and Andrew Thruston

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Broadcasting since 1997 with over 300 episodes on iTunes!

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A market with room to run

It seems like it’s harder and harder to find deals … but we’re talking about a market where deals seem to be everywhere … as long as you know where to look. 

Phoenix, Arizona, is a great market for a lot of reasons. 

Phoenix has a great cost of living and lots of things to do. It offers diversity in industries and socioeconomic levels. 

If you look at the data on the best places to raise a family and where rent growth is the strongest, you’ll see cities that are part of the greater Phoenix Metro … like Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona. 

Phoenix is also the distribution hub of the American Southwest … which means a ton of merchandise moves in through its marketplace.

The silver tsunami favors cities like Phoenix that offer retiring baby boomers a warm climate with great medical care. 

If you’re sitting in California and looking for a place to relocate, Phoenix is one of the locations at the top of your mind. 

We’ve been involved in this market for more than 15 years … and it just continues to grow and improve. It continues to be stable … and we continue to see opportunities. 

This is a market with room to run. 

So, what does that mean in terms of specific opportunities for real estate investors?

Perfecting property management in Phoenix

Patti Hussey and Andrew Thruston of P. J. Hussey & Associates have been involved in the Phoenix market for a long time. 

They specialize in a unique part of real estate … property management. They also do construction … everything from rehabs to new builds. 

Their niche is in single family homes as well as small multi-family units of 18, 25, or 50 apartments. 

Patti started out in banking many years ago. But when a friend bought a property and asked her to run it, she thought it was a good idea. 

She found herself in property management … what we consider the most important … and least appreciated … part of real estate as the owner and broker at P. J. Hussey & Associates.

On the other hand, Andrew Thruston grew up in a real estate family … and didn’t want to go into property management. 

“Growing up, I saw how much my mother worked, and I swore it off. But over the course of time, I just saw so many opportunities in the industry to serve other people,” Andrew says. 

By bringing the property management and the construction piece of the investment puzzle under one roof, Patti and Andrew are able to serve investors more wholly. 

Many folks who flip houses are looking to do as little as they can to get the right price and then they move on. 

But when an investor is putting in the work alongside their property management company … you need to be prepared to hold the property for a long time. 

“We try to figure out what are the best improvements that will maximize the rent. That’s our focus,” Patti says. 

In the Phoenix market, some of those common improvements include having laundry in every unit and additional storage options for renters. 

Investors in the Phoenix metro benefit from fair landlord/tenant laws and tenants usually stay at least two years in a property. 

With the migration boom, there are tons of opportunities for growth in the Phoenix metro area. Thousands of apartment units are being built … and thousands more are needed!

But in a competitive market, there are always things to be aware of. Do your due diligence. 

The power of the property manager

The client base at P. J. Hussey & Associates has changed over time … just as Phoenix has changed and grown too. 

For example, in the last several years, positive exchange rates led to a surge of Canadian investors. 

They also work with everyone from large purchasers down to individuals looking to purchase an initial investment property. 

They have also worked with a variety of property sizes and qualities … from D to A … and cover a huge geographic area surrounding Phoenix. 

“One of the things that we have done to be able to manage an area of that size effectively is departmentalize all of our services. This allows experts in each field to focus on what they do best regardless of location,” Andrew says. 

P.J. Hussey & Associates also has technicians and maintenance staff in house instead of contracting out to third parties … helping them to respond quickly when needs arise.

“Without happy tenants paying the rent, we don’t have happy owners. So, we really focus on tenant service and responding promptly,” Andrew says. 

And that’s the hardest part of property management … keeping tenants happy. As an investor, you want to ensure your property manager is treating folks with respect. 

Remember … property managers are the boots on the ground team. They have valuable knowledge to share … so take advantage! 

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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