Tips for Delivering Value to Your Tenants

 

People often think of real estate as an asset, not a business.

But real estate investment is ALL ABOUT the number one tenet of running a business: keep your customers happy.

In the real estate world, your customers are your tenants.

It’s important to remember that you’re not just collecting properties: you’re collecting tenants.

So how do you reach the ideal—low turnover, low vacancies, stable income, and high profitability?

Our guest in our latest show, innovative turn-key developer, Terry Kerr, offers tips gleaned from making ugly 1,500 houses pretty in Memphis. Yes, you read that right. 1,500!

Whether you’re a property manager, a turnkey operator, or someone rehabbing houses in your spare time, our podcast today is chock-full of practical tips for keeping your customers happy.

In this edition of The Real Estate Guys™ show you’ll hear from:

  • Your #keepthecustomerhappy host, Robert Helms
  • His tips-not-tricks co-host, Russell Gray
  • President of Mid South Home Buyers, Terry Kerr

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Happy tenants, happy you

What are the best ways to keep tenants engaged? The NUMBER ONE thing tenants want is value.

Our guest, Terry Kerr, offers three insights into what property managers can do to create value for tenants (and for property owners):

  1. Offer nice amenities. Terry says he wants his tenants to be able to say they can’t do any better. He makes sure his properties include new and high-quality fixtures, woodwork, baths, and kitchens.
  1. Keep rents slightly below market rates. In Terry’s case, he rents properties in the $700-$1000/month range. For his customers, $25 or $50 can make a big difference. Terry wants customers to be able to say his properties are the best option for them.
  1. Provide friendly and responsive service to tenants. We’re particularly impressed with Terry’s system for repair requests and fulfillment, which gets problems like a broken water heater fixed within a day.

As a real-estate investor, you’re not just dealing with property. You’re dealing with people who expect the best from you.

Providing them with the best in terms of cost and facilities can make a HUGE difference for them—and for YOU.

The “Wow” Factor: nuts and bolts that make the difference

Before Terry’s prospective tenants even get out of the car, he wants them to be able to say “This is the one I want!” He calls this the “WOW” factor.

A key component of the “Wow” factor? “Everything’s brand new,” says Terry. “We make the house new.”

New floors, light fixtures, counters, sinks, faucets, bathtubs, showers, doors, closet rods, hinges, doorsteps: you name it, and Terry’s thought about it. His houses look like they’ve just been built.

At this point you may be thinking, “That’s a LOT of money!” We agree, but it’s money well spent. It’s an investment. And one that can pay off.

Terry makes his investment count by assembling a team. His company has contractors, technicians, electricians, plumbers … and they’ve worked with these guys for 10 or 15 years. He knows them and they trust them. In fact, they trust their work so much that Mid South Home Buyers can offer a one-year warranty on all homes they sell.

Terry also is able to be efficient by buying high-quality materials in bulk, saving his company, his homeowners, and his tenants money.

This kind of economy of scale saves money for everyone in the long run. The initial investment may be steep, but the long-term cost will be dramatically lower.

Getting the most juice is all about efficiency

We’re particularly impressed with the tips and tricks Terry gave us about increasing efficiency.

Terry’s locked into the best strategies for keeping turnover and cost of maintenance down and occupancy up.

They’ve paid off for him: the 1,500 homes he manages have a 98.7% occupancy rate. That kind of rate is STAGGERINGLY good!

One strategy Terry uses is the cookie-cutter strategy: every house gets the same materials. This has several advantages. Terry buys materials in bulk and saves money. Mid South Home Buyers maintains its own warehouse of materials. This also means that maintenance is incredibly simple and incredibly quick.

Mid South’s philosophy for technicians is unique too.

A technician coordinator manages all materials, repairs, and technician routes, figuring out how technicians can do the least amount of driving and repair reported problems in the most efficient manner.

A property manager should ALWAYS be concerned about maintenance, and Terry’s figured out a strategy that gets problems fixed within a day, always.

Small tweaks make a HUGE difference. For example, easy re-key locks can cost more initially, but they save Terry and his team the $150 they used to spend on a locksmith every time a tenant moved out.

High-quality paint means houses don’t have to be painted as often.

A system that allows tenants to text, email, OR message about needed repairs makes tenants happier and repairs easier.

You get the picture—the better the system, the happier the tenant, and the more successful you are.

Did the above advice get you nodding your head, or wondering what else you can do? You’re in luck: Terry goes in depth on these tips in his special report, Terry’s Tips for Happy Tenants … just for YOU. Send an email to happy (at) realestateguysradio (dot) com to get your own copy.

Capitalism at its finest

We say what Terry’s unique business structure is capitalism at its finest.

When we spoke to him several years ago, he was rehabbing 20 houses a year. Now he’s up to 300.

He’s working hard, making small adjustments to the machinery and process of his business, tweaking his team—finding better ways to get things done.

Terry buys better, rehabs quicker, has a higher occupancy rate, higher retention rate, and offers high-quality customer service. He provides a better deal to his tenants and competitively priced investment properties to investors.

He’s meeting needs and leaving houses (and neighborhoods) better than he found them. He’s creating win-win-wins for himself, his investors, and tenants … and his bottom-line profits are higher, too. Isn’t that the goal?

Terry didn’t get here magically. It all starts with worthy goals. You have a real estate dream? Like the old adage, “A dream not written down is merely a wish.” Put your goals on paper, gather people who can help you, keep keepin’ on … and maybe someday we’ll get to hear about YOUR success on our show!


 

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.

Add a Zero to Your Thinking

 

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In this mind-expanding episode, we’ve uncovered some great ideas to help YOU think bigger.

Thinking bigger is all about the people you know—your mentors and your team. To step up your game, it’s important to move out of your comfort zone and get comfortable getting uncomfortable.

The key is to step back and look at the bigger picture so you can add a zero … to your bottom line, to your profits, to whatever you’re doing.

We’re not talking about incremental improvements here. We’re talking about expanding what you do EXPONENTIALLY.

To help you get there …

We met with a dynamic investor, world traveler, and creator of website Sovereign Man to talk about how YOU can add a zero to your thinking.

So live from New York … it’s The Real Estate Guys radio show, featuring:

  • Your big-brained host, Robert Helms
  • His zero co-host, Russell Gray
  • Global investor and creator of Sovereign Man, Simon Black

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Introducing dynamic investor, Simon Black: Starting from scratch

Simon Black started investing in real estate when he was just 21. He had just graduated from West Point when he read the life-changing Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.

To Simon, buying large properties and investing in real estate had always seemed like things “rich people” did.

He started asking himself “Why not ME?” The book was the kick in the butt he needed to get started.

Driving down the road one day after reading the book, Simon saw a Century 21 office, and he asked himself … “Why not me? Why not NOW?”

He hopped out of the car, still in his military uniform, and told the real estate agent exactly what he wanted. The agent said, “I got just the thing.” And THAT’S how simple it was for Simon to get his start!

Learning to learn: Two ways to figure out what you DON’T know (yet)

When Simon started out in real estate investing, he knew NOTHING.

Maybe you’re at the same place Simon was when he started out? If you feel so fresh you don’t even know what there IS to know … you’re in good company.

Simon admits it was a steep learning curve. He says the most important thing for him was to learn HOW to learn.

How can you transform yourself from a know-nothing into a successful real estate mogul? Simon tells us it starts with just two steps:

  1. Self-assess ruthlessly and constantly.

Self-assessment isn’t a skill, it’s a habit. Get in the habit of asking yourself hard questions about your performance: What did I do poorly? What do I need to learn? What do I need to do differently next time?

Self-assess constantly. And don’t sugarcoat reality. That’s lying to yourself. Be ruthless. It’s the only way you can figure out how to do better the next time.

  1. Find a mentor.

This is THE most important thing you can do as a new (or current!) real estate investor. Seek out people who are smarter and more experienced than you.

When Simon got started, he spent HOURS looking at public listings.

He realized the same names were coming up over and over again, and started keeping his own internal database of all the people who owned a lot of property.

Then he reached out to them.

He told them he was a young guy, new to real estate investing, and asked if he could take them to lunch.

He only got one response … but that’s all he needed. He took the investor to lunch and picked his brain—and kept doing it for years.

“I think I paid twenty dollars to take him to lunch, and I got to suck in all this knowledge that he’d spent years and years accumulating,” Simon says. “It was an incredible return on investment.”

Finding a mentor can be intimidating. It’s easy to look at smart, high-achieving, hard-working people and their accomplishments and feel inadequate. (Right?)

But we have learned the people at the top of their game are more than happy to share. They’re gracious, generous with their time and wisdom … and they’re extremely curious too! They want to learn from you as much as you want to learn from them.

Stepping back so you can add digits, not decimals

At some point, every investor or business owner will get so deep into their own thinking that they stop thinking of the big picture. But Simon reminds us, “We’re only limited by our own thinking.”

To really be successful, you have to step back and self-assess. Ask yourself:

  • How do I apply my experience to leverage this and make it ten times bigger?
  • What resources do I need?
  • Who can help me?
  • How do I add a zero to what I’m doing? How do I turn 100s into 1000s?

Ask yourself those questions, and you start seeing things in terms of projects and procedures. You start building teams. And you step back and stop seeing individual investments. Finding the big picture is a skill EVERYONE can acquire.

People power: Building your own team

Building a team is an ESSENTIAL part of adding a zero. Simon learned quickly that he couldn’t handle everything himself.

Robert reminds us “It’s easy to say yes; it’s hard to say no.”

To be successful, you have to learn to do two things: say no, and delegate.

Once Simon realized his biggest limiting factor was his own time, he starting learned to say no. Now he doesn’t say yes to a project unless there’s a guaranteed, dependable manager that he can hand the ball to.

If you’re juggling twenty opportunities at a time, you’re not getting a lot done. You’re not able to step back and ask yourself how you can add a zero. That’s why taking on people who can juggle those opportunities FOR you is essential.

Everyone has their own way to delegate and build a team, and there isn’t one right way. Some key factors? Maintain very high standards. And experiment!

You DON’T have to have someone on your payroll for them to be part of your team. But you do have to be able to depend on them.

And THEY have to be able to depend on YOU.

As you grow, you will become a mentor too. Spend more time coaching and mentoring so people can take over for you, and you multiply your experts, expanding your impact exponentially.

It takes time and a serious dedicated effort to form a good team. But it’s doable.

Learning from Sovereign Man

Simon Black does a lot of different things to ensure his success … and YOURS. One of those things is his website, Sovereign Man.

Simon says he often doesn’t particularly like what he sees in the world around him. The United States has more than $19 TRILLION in debt. The Federal Reserve isn’t solvent, the FDIC fails to meet minimum capitalization requirements … all these things cause concern.

But Sovereign Man has an optimistic outlook. “We hold the opinion that the path to prosperity is in production and savings and not debt and consumption. We try to help people find the right way forward.”

One way Simon does that is by hosting an entrepreneurial camp, Sovereign Academy, once a year. Fifty people are selected from thousands of applicants to attend a weeklong camp that tries to help people shine a spotlight on what they don’t know and step up their game.

Interested in attending? Visit sovereignman.com learn more and start your application.

Optimism is key!

There are two ways to think: scarcity and abundance. We want YOU to believe that there are an abundance of people who want to connect with you! Create a future where you’re offering the world your best, and that effort will be returned to you.

Your challenge for the week: Add a zero to your thinking. What can YOU do to step back and add a zero to your investments? Who can you reach out to this week?


 

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.

Ask The Guys – Market Indicators, Wholesaling, and Raising Money

 

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There’s always twists and turns in real estate, creating a labyrinth for investors. Who can you trust with your questions along the way?

When you find them, let us know. In the meantime, we’re happy to share our thoughts 😉

(Our lawyers make us add this friendly reminder: We’re not lawyers, accountants or financial planners. In fact, we’re not even all that bright. We just share ideas and information for you to consider when working with your own professional advisors.)

In this latest edition of Ask The Guys, we take a deep dive into our email bag and pick out some great questions, including…

  • Should I flip homes or rent them out?
  • What are some market indicators I should know about?
  • How do you recommend I raise money?

Tune in and see what we have to say in our latest edition of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show with:

  • Your on-a-quest-for-answers host, Robert Helms
  • His (trusty?) answer-finder co-host, Russell Gray

 


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Question: Should I flip a house or hold and rent it out?

Andrew from Portland, Oregon, reached out to us, “tired of getting a paycheck while someone else gets the profit.”

The Real Estate Guys don’t do a lot of flipping. In our mind, flipping is not real estate investing, but flipping IS a way to make good money.

The essence of business and investing is to build a machine that accumulates the efforts of others (time, money, etc.) as an organized “asset” with a cash flow.

Investing is putting your dollars out to work instead of your labor.

When renting to people, they pay you rent out of their earnings. That’s their effort, turned into a cash flow for you.

A lot of folks think in terms of: Cash > Asset > Cash. (Taking cash to build an asset that creates more cash.)

We encourage you to think in terms of: Asset > Cash > Asset (Using an asset that creates cash flow so you can invest in more assets.) Assets are our end goal.

So you could use your skills to rehab a home, tenant it, and keep the income.

We have a good friend Terry Kerr who has built a portfolio of properties in a thriving business in Memphis using that model.

Question: Should I buy a home before an investment property?

Sonya from Pembroke Pines, Florida, is a smart woman looking for the best way to use her $32,000 VA loan.

She’s renting right now, “because it’s tough to find a home in order to afford to buy an investment home. Which should I do first?”

We say where you live is a personal choice based on where you want to be and the type of home you want to live in.

Sonya isn’t sure she wants to stay in Florida long-term, which is part of her dilemma in choosing a property.

She’s got this VA loan eligibility for a primary residence. The nice thing about the VA is that once you buy a property is that even though it’s an owner-occupied loan, if you live in the home and move, the loan can stay in place after you move.

You could even buy another home as an owner-occupied loan. Keep in mind, you can generally only have one VA eligible property at a time.

If Sonya buys a home to live in, and there’s a possibility of moving, it’s probably best if she feels comfortable it would be a profitable rental, in case it’s not easy to sell.

(That’s the thing about home ownership: You will pick up some tax breaks but you’re also tethered to the property.)

There’s always the chance you may end out getting stuck in a property.

Sure, home prices have been going up, but it doesn’t mean it will keep going to the moon.

Based on the chance you may or may not be trapped in a property you may not want long-term to take that VA and use it somewhere else.

As far as renting goes …

We say there’s really no harm in renting today if you’re figuring out how to put your assets to work.

Question: David in Boise, Idaho, asked: “Are there limits, as a percentage, to invest my self-directed IRA? Can I invest it into one property?”

We definitely recommend you talk to a tax advisor. If your IRA is self-directed, then yes, you are legally allowed to invest as you please.

While you can, the bigger question is should you invest it all into one real estate project?

Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to put all your eggs into one basket. It may be prudent to diversify.

We don’t have all the details on David’s portfolio, but the general principle is it’s never good to be greedy. Sometimes you swing hard and get the Grand Slam, and sometimes you strike out. If you’re not prepared to strike out, it might not be the best route.

Question: Looking to diversify in several markets, what do you think?

Rick in Michigan is looking to raise money through a syndication, and has a plan to acquire four or five properties in several markets, including one or two vacation properties in Belize.

We love his idea to syndicate, putting together a lot of people’s resources to do something bigger.

Rick wants to have all the properties managed except those in his own area, which he plans to manage himself.

At the high level, we love the idea.

It’s wise to diversify across markets and property types. We like that he’s throwing in some vacation properties. But here’s our hang-up: Why manage it yourself?

Rick, you’re going to be attentive to what’s going on in the other markets. You’re managing money and time.

Time is tricky. You can’t raise more time.

If there’s room in your business model to have a property manager, then get someone else’s help to manage the properties in your area.

Also consider this …

Since you’ll be having investors as part of your building this portfolio, you have to disclose every way that you may be compensated. Being a property manager could appear as a conflict of interest.

You need to build a team and build a relationship with the team. If you’re managing the properties purely to save money, raise more money.

As Simon Black says, “Add a zero to your thinking.”

If the only gating item is the amount of money, that’s largely a mental block.

Question: What are the market indicators?

Everett in Coral Gables, Florida, reached out to get more clarification on the market indicators.

We suggest looking at net migration, which will be either a net positive or negative. You always want to look for a POSITIVE net migration.

There are some markets where more people leave than come in. That’s bad news.

For example, look at Detroit, Michigan. It had a population of 2 million people. Now it’s somewhere between 600,000 – 800,000 in population.

In Detroit, they are literally tearing houses down – removing inventory – because it’s more of a liability to have squatters in them.

Detroit’s an exaggerated scenario.

The point is these markets shift slowly and if you’re not paying attention, then you get left holding the bag.

Another indicator of market health is how long it takes to sell a home.

Not just annually, but from a month-to-month basis. What are the average days on the market?

There’s a whole lot of other indicators … check out our podcasts for more!

Question: What’s the legality of wholesaling? Do I need to be a licensed realtor?

Shawn in Fort Meyers, Florida, reached out to us to learn more about wholesaling.

Wholesaling is the idea of getting into a contract for a property that you’re not going to buy, then finding another buyer.

Since you did the work of finding the property, other time-strapped investors may pay for your efforts in finding it for them. They’ll take it off for hands for a small fee.

The legality portion is tricky.

The smartest thing is to ask a real estate attorney the question. Tell them what you want and ask how to do it within the law.

We’re guessing wholesaling would be fine.

To have a license means you are brokering, or representing a third party.

When you make the contract as a wholesaler, you’re NOT representing anyone.

Make sure you understand HOW you should sign the contract …

This will be either as a “signee” or a “nominee,” depending on what your attorney tells you.

What you’re effectively being compensated for is tying up the property at a decent price and getting a buyer.

Again …

The smartest thing to do when you have a legal question is to spend a couple hundred dollars and GET COUNSEL from a qualified real estate attorney.

Question: With fixed-rate loans, backed by real estate, am I making a bet on inflation?

Patrick in Belgrade, Montana, reached out to us with a great question.

Looking at history and trajectory of U.S. dollar, it’s tempting to think it’s going down. Is it possible the U.S. could have a lost decade of inflation?

If you’re investing for the long-term, our opinion is the trend is your friend.

If you look around the world and the economic uncertainty globally, you’ll see the dollar is less flawed that in other countries.

If all the currencies are sinking, then long-term the dollar will be in the same ship.

We see you having a better chance of inflation than deflation.

In a lot of markets in the world, the U.S. dollar is the de facto for real estate purchases.

As a real estate investor, you need to be prepared for either side – whether the dollar loses or gains value in the global marketplace.

How?

  • Structure yourself conservatively, not razor thin on the cash flow.
  • Pick markets that are more in demand, and think more about where they are GOING then where they are now.
  • Go to cheaper places, where the cost of living is lower but quality of life is good.

These are big, strategic decisions.

If you are serious about understanding about macro economy, this is more than we can dedicate to an episode. That’s why we dedicate and entire, fabulous WEEK to it: Summit at Sea™.

We commit ourselves for a week of intense discussion with some of the greatest minds in banking, commodities, real estate, and investing. They give us a 360-degree look at all of these different topics and come out with actionable intelligence.

It’s a big investment of time and money. It’s also a blast!

Question: I’m just getting into investing, partnering with my dad. What should we be sure to include in our portfolio?

Andrew in Yucaipa, California, is 31, using his dad’s retirement to build a portfolio.

We’ve learned the hard way …

Structure your portfolio to weather a storm!

If you are betting on financing to take you out of tight spot, be cautious. If you’re being conservative and you’re picking a good demographic, have adequate reserves, and not letting yourself get to the point that you might have to sell.

You NEVER want to HAVE to sell.

Instead, you want to do determine your own timing.

We recommend recession-resistant product types. When times are bad, the wealthier are going down t middle class homes. When times are good, people are getting raises and upgrading their homes.

How to protect yourself?

Stay away of high-end stuff and choose more of the bread-and-butter middle ground.

Create your future

All of these were great questions. If you’ve read this far, you’re interested in investing BECAUSE you have goals. Good for you. That’s where it all starts.

You want to improve your life.

You want to create cash flow.

You want more freedom.

You can do it! Go out and make equity happen!


 

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.

Halloween Horror Stories 2016

Sunshine and unicorns are part of what get real estate investors chasing after that next … great … deal.

Don’t get us wrong.

We encourage you to believe good things will happen to your real estate portfolio. Otherwise, no one would have the courage to try.

But every now and then, ugly, terrible, BAD things will happen, even to the most successful people.

That’s what our annual Halloween Horror Stories show is about – letting you know that nothing’s wrong with you if you make a mistake or get stunned with an upset.

When something goes sideways, learn from it.

Once, Russ heard about a business downfall happening to Robert Kiyosaki. When he saw Robert in person, he genuinely said he was sorry to hear about it. Robert Kiyosaki shot back, the way only Robert Kiyosaki can:

“Don’t be! It’s going to be great. The company’s going to be better, my marriage is going to be better. I’m going to become a better businessman. If you’re not stressed, you’re not growing.”

Hopefully these spooky tales shine some light on what YOU can do when proverbial “haunted houses” happen.

Continue … if you DARE! Tune in to our latest edition of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show with:

  • Your haunted-house-tour-guide host, Robert Helms
  • His ghastly co-host, Russell Gray
  • Host of the Wealth Formula Podcast and real estate investor, Buck Joffrey, MD
  • Mobile home real estate investor, Mike A. 
  • Real estate investor and broker, Randy Hobbs
  • Real estate investor, Paul Anthony Thomas
  • Author of Magnetic Capital and real estate developer, Victor Menasce
  • Real estate turn-key provider in Orlando, Greg Bond
  • Real estate investor, Eric Tate, MD
  • President of Mid-South Homebuyers, Terry Kerr
  • Real estate investor, Sep B. 

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“The Case of the Disappearing Tenants”

When Buck Joffrey, MD, bought his first apartment building, he looked at the numbers. It was a Class-D property, but the rent rolls were full, and the cash flow looked great. Buck found a property manager who owned several buildings in the area and could handle the property management for him.

After making the deal, Buck realized there was very little money coming in. What was going on? On paper, he had a completely occupied building, but he wasn’t seeing any rent collected.

He learned the previous owner, who owned other buildings, had told his tenants if they moved into the Class-D building, they wouldn’t have to pay rent!

That’s right … his building was stuffed full of non-paying tenants!

“A little bit of scar tissue goes a long way,” says Buck, who learned big things from the nightmare situation.

Lesson: Although the numbers looked good, it was a Class-D building. We recommend not buying Class-D for your first property. Wait until you have more experience. Also, do a thorough due diligence on the property manager and make sure you have some track record from the area.

Another thing to consider: Who’s the tenant standing in line to rent? You need to be aware of how easily a property manager can fill up your building if you need to re-tenant.

“What’s that Smell?”

Real estate investor and owner Randy Hobbs owns a two-bedroom, one bath home, where his tenant he says is “like a grandma” to him has lived for 28 years. She’s a great tenant, who sends in her checks like clockwork.

All was going well … until Randy received a call.

His tenant said there was a funny smell in the house, coming from the cold cellar crawlspace beneath it.

He sent someone over to check it.

Aghast! The plumbing had fallen apart under the kitchen sink! Every time his tenant washed dishes or use the water, it was spilling into a huge puddle (more like a lake) under the house. The toxic waste had destroyed the foundational supports, a costly project to fix.

Lessons: Insurance only covers water losses if they are due to a sudden water loss. Don’t let yourself get complacent if you’re managing a property yourself. Make sure you’re checking things like the attic and crawlspace (or hire someone to do it) regularly so you don’t have surprises.

 “Water Park Fiasco”

When Paul Anthony Thomas wanted to get in on the hot trend of water parks and outlet malls in Texas in the 1970’s.

During the due diligence process of a water park and outlet mall combo, he spent $100,000 on a feasibility study, plans, and incidentals. “At the time, that was a lot of money for me,” said Paul. “Any time you pay for a feasibility study, they just tell you what you want to hear.”

Paul happened to get to meet with the top water park developer in the nation, who looked at the plans and told him the reality.

There wasn’t the right mix of population and traffic to make it work. Due to the demographics of the area, the retailers wouldn’t be successful.

Lesson: You don’t know what you don’t know. Before spending any appreciable amount of money, consult experts. When you understand the experts analyze the opportunity, you can study it and become an expert yourself.

“The Dreadful Cut”

Developer Victor Menasce has a condo building in Philadelphia where there is very little parking. For one condo project, they needed to create a way to get into the parking level, and the only way to enter from the street is to get over the curb.

“To make a curb cut, you have to apply with the city,” said Victor. “The rule says if you’re sharing with three or more properties, you qualify to do so.”

Although he had the go-head from his architect, Victor learned that because his three properties were adjacent to each other, they were considered “consolidated” into one, meaning he no longer had the required three properties.

In order to make the simple curb cut, Victor would have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to his lawyer in an appeal process with the city, and he was losing time- which meant even more loss of money.

The horror!

Thankfully, he learned that each condo unit could be considered a unique property, allowing him to bypass the appeals process and move forward with the curb cut.

Lesson: You hire an architect often based on creativity. Sure, you want some curb appeal, and an appetizing mix of form and function. However, when you evaluate your architect, make sure their skill-set goes beyond aesthetics and they understand zoning laws.

“A Luxurious Disaster”

When experienced real estate investor Greg Bond, based in Orlando, had a deal come his way for luxury home, he didn’t want to let it pass by. Already a pro at flipping rental homes, Greg figured it wouldn’t be too different to fix up this stripped-down luxury home.

“I figured I’d buy it and make some money,” said Greg. “I’d just take my crews from other properties to fix it up.”

However, he soon learned this was not his typical rental home! As the rehab costs started piling up, the ghastly numbers told their deal-killing story.

There were much higher costs for the flooring, fixtures, detailing … and Greg would have to use a realtor, which added up more costs.

“There was no profit here,” said Greg. “I was on a different learning curve and walked away with less than the realtors made on the deal.”

Lesson: Get crystal clear on what works for you, your personal investment philosophy. If you veer from your core competency, prepare for surprises.

Horror Stories Wrap-up

This is just a handful of the terrifying tales – listen to our latest show to hear more!

In the end, each of these real estate investors lived to tell their terrible tale. You’ll survive your next blunder, too.

Looking to avoid regrets?

We say the best way is to create your future, and have a goals approach that covers every aspect of your life – financially, spiritually, socially, and physically.

That way you’re prepared for anything – no matter what comes. 


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

Finding Great Properties in Strong Markets

Finding a property can sometimes be the HARDEST part of getting a deal.

With an influx of real estate investors flooding the market, there’s less inventory available and ALSO lower returns.

Think about it …

When more people are interested, you have to pay more to acquire a property. That means your returns go down.

Why not skip the house-hunt hassle and have someone else do the hard part for you?

It’s like buying a “FAT cow” instead of buying a “skinny cow” you have to fatten up yourself.

We met with President of Greater Orlando Home Buyers to hear about another option for you … the turn-key real estate investment property.

In our latest show you’ll hear from:

  • Your beefcake host, Robert Helms
  • His cow patty co-host, Russell Gray
  • President of Greater Orlando Home Buyers, Greg Bond

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Evolution of the single-family investor

When Greg Bond and his wife were newly married, they decide to live on one of their incomes and invest the other salary in real estate.

As a couple, they had a vision of building a stream of passive income for retirement.

They bought their first investment house in 1988. Two decades later, after Greg’s job in the paper-based map business was starting to dwindle, he jumped into real estate full-time in 2009.

Perhaps it was his affinity for maps … but Greg had a knack for finding properties. It was one of his passions.

“I started buying as much real estate as I could, not realizing it was the bottom of the market,” said Greg.

He would pick up houses that needed some work, usually from short sales or foreclosures. Something they had in common? They were the worst houses in the best places.

He quickly ran out of cash and approached the bank for a loan, oblivious to the nationwide housing crisis at the time.

“They looked at me like I had three eyes,” Greg said. “It took me going to a few banks before I realized I wouldn’t get a loan.”

Greg already had performing properties, so he captured some equity, and continued to renovate to force more equity.

He helped other people who didn’t have the patience to find properties and had an “A-HA!” moment.

“I didn’t realize how unique I was in the market”

“In the early years I just didn’t realize I was providing a tremendous service for people,” said Greg. “I didn’t realize how unique I was in the market that I had TIME to look for properties.”

At first, Greg built a business called The Property Management Guys to help folks with their property management.

This grew into another business, Greater Orlando Home Buyers, which provides a turn-key operation for investors.

Greg and his team acquire help-needed properties, give them some fix-up love, and get vetted tenants in them.

Then they are available for purchase as a secure stream of income for investors who don’t have time, expertise, or patience to navigate the market.

Turn-key operation for investors

“You have to have discipline in this business,” said Greg. “The new, eager investor may underestimate the costs of rehabbing.”

It takes a professional team to find and source a property, do the RIGHT repairs, vet tenants and make sure the tenant sticks.

Greg’s learned some really useful tips and tricks for property management, including the right rental pricing.

Because of this turn-key product, the cost is higher than if investors did the work themselves.

We see turn-key real estate investing to be like getting yourself a good lunch.

How, you say?

Well think about it like this … some folks pack a sandwich to save a few bucks, while others show up and eat something prepared by someone else.

It can be really nice to have it all prepared for you!

We think turn-key is the ideal solution for someone who is long-distance.

Any good deals left?

With an increase of real estate investors flooding the market, it’s crucial to have a team to help you find deals.

Greg has learned he doesn’t have to find all the deals himself.

Greg used to go through 40-60 homes a week and make offers on half of them. He’d usually have ONE of those deals work out.

It takes a lot of patience, sometimes.

For example, Greg had a stretch that he made 280 offers and didn’t get a single one of them.

So, he adapted and looked for help.

He joined local real estate organizations, such as Real Estate Investors Association (REIA). He made connections with people who were bird-dogging properties.

Before Greg knew it, people were bringing deals to him.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, and I’ve been able to put together vendors and the team,” said Greg. “You can end up with a big mess on your hands and a big expense if you’re not careful.”

An insider’s look at the Orlando real estate market

Orlando, land of sunshine and theme parks, is a booming real estate market.

“Look at the indicators and Orlando’s got them all,” said Greg. “The traffic infrastructure is growing in anticipation of growth, the airport is expanding, there’s potentially a rail that will be placed from Miami.”

Besides being a theme park capital of the world, Orlando is also one of the biggest convention centers in the world. Entire industries are based there, including many prominent medical companies.

It’s something of a perfect storm!

But, as Ronald Reagan once said, “trust but verify.” Make sure you understand reports about Orlando being much more than a Mickey Mouse town for yourself before investing.

With all of this in mind, the market looks strong, but is it too late?

From the expert’s point of view, it’s not. Greg’s still continuing to accumulate his own portfolio in Orlando.

For his clients, he “leaves some meat on the bone” so they can enjoy cash flow, too. It’s a win-win-win for Greg, the buying investor, and the tenant who gets to live in a nicer place.

Don’t miss the boat

Greg Bond’s a great guy to know in the real estate world. Want to meet him in person?

Whether you’re an investing beginner or veteran, it’s a whole lot easier to hit your investing goals when you know people who’ve been where you’re looking to go.

That’s why we love bringing like-minded investors together. Being in person creates a synergy and contagious energy you’ll never find starring at a screen. Don’t miss the boat!


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

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

Real Estate Retirement Account Riches

Do you have a long-term plan for your capital?

Whether you’re among the few, the proud, the informed … or if this is a brand new concept, in our latest show we talk about some recent changes to know about investing in real estate with your IRA.

While many real estate investors are aware of self-directed retirement accounts can be used to buy, finance, or option real estate …. MOST paper asset investors do not realize this.

It’s a HUGE opportunity for those looking to get in on bigger deals.

In our latest episode we sat down with our favorite self-directed IRA expert for his tips on wealth-building. Listen in to learn how YOU can untapped treasure chest.

Tune in to our latest edition of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show with:

  • Your IRA-myth-bustin’ host, Robert Helms
  • His gut-bustin’ co-host, Russell Gray
  • NuView Founder and President, Glen Mather

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Introducing Glen Mather

We were pleased to welcome Glen Mather, NuView Founder and President, to our show again.

Glen left his corporate job to open NuView in 2003, wanting to help others take control of their IRA. He speaks nationally on the topic of self-directed IRAs and has been featured in print and on television.

Glen saw the billions … no, TRILLIONS of dollars tied up in “non-traditional” investments and the opportunities available for savvy investors.

Staggering $7.4 Trillion in IRA Accounts

If you’re looking for a creative way to find capital, there’s a whole treasure chest available in self-directed IRA accounts. This year the tally is up to $7.4 trillion.

First, let’s back up and talk about different types of IRA accounts.

The granddaddy is the traditional, the most popular for when employees rollover their money from an employer account. In a traditional IRA account, you put money in without paying tax, and Uncle Sam takes his tax piece of the pie when you withdraw money in retirement.

Some encourage the traditional IRA with the idea they will be in a lower tax-bracket in their older age – but wouldn’t you prefer to have a higher tax-bracket, due to all of the wise real estate investments you made?

For those planning on a HIGHER tax bracket in their mature years, consider the Roth option.

With a Roth IRA, you pay tax upfront.

“This is paying tax on the seed instead of the harvest,” said Glen. “When it gets large and you’re excited about your large balance, it can be painful to pay taxes on it.”

One caveat: Not everyone qualifies to have a Roth. You have to have earned income, not just passive cashflow. This could include things like 1099 or W2 work, and you need to earn at least $5,500.

Self-direction puts YOU in charge

For those with self-directed IRAs, YOU have the responsibility to vet out investments.

There are a few retirement account custodians who believe in giving choices to everyone. NuView is one of them.

Of course, there are some legal restrictions. Glen explained, for a self-directed IRA, there are really only three things you CANNOT invest in:

  • Life insurance
  • Collectibles (baseball cards, etc.)
  • Stock of sub-Chapter S companies

After all, the idea behind retirement accounts is to have money put away that you’ll need an use in RETIREMENT, right?

“You can’t have a current benefit,” said Glen. “You wouldn’t use IRA money for a vacation home. You have to be a passive investor.”

This means, with a self-directed account and a willing custodian, you can invest in things like:

  • Houses
  • Land
  • Apartments
  • Syndications
  • Trust deeds

“People talk about diversification but true self-direction leads you to diversification in lots of ways,” said Glen. “Your strategies can change over time as you grow in knowledge of real estate.”

For example, you could be on the financing side, or you could invest in the first deed of trust.

Start where you are – plan for a bright future

Whether this is old news to you or opens the door to new possibilities – being aware is the first step.

Nobody cares about your money as much as YOU do. Want to find other ways to grow your retirement nest egg in “non-traditional” ways?

Don’t be afraid of starting where you are, even if you only have a few thousand dollars to invest.

“If you can’t think of ways to invest it, someone else will have that figured out,” said Glen. “People think they shouldn’t bother using their IRA for other self-directed investments unless they have a big amount.”

But will it grow a lot slower if someone else is making the decisions?

Take the reins on your retirement, and create a future you’ll thank yourself for later.

Some people spend more time planning a two-week vacation than they do the rest of their life – don’t let that be you!


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.

Unleashing the Millennial Mind – A New Generation of Opportunity

We hear about #Millennials in the news all the time.

Growing up in a social media world, they have a voice – and they’re not afraid to use it.

We felt it was time to talk about millennials on our show … after all, their generation is BIGGER than the Baby Boomer generation.

As an investor, it’s important to know about this group, since they will be your tenants, vendors, and even investing partners – if they’re not already!

Sure, some millennials are straddled with seemingly endless student debt, living it up in their parents’ basement until their thirties.

BUT …

Others are starting valuable businesses, creating world-changing foundations, and making a difference in their communities.

We see an investment in the rising generation to be the best one you can make – for all of our futures.

Who better to argue the case for Millennials than someone who IS one? Tune in to our latest edition of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show with personalities:

  • Your #MillennialLivesMatter host, Robert Helms
  • His Millennial-daddy co-host, Russell Gray
  • Entrepreneur and Millennial Success Strategist, Sean Gray

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Why Millennials are a REAL opportunity for real estate investors

Some folks in business don’t consider Millennials as a viable market. We DO!

Millennials, defined by the Pew Research Center in 2015 as those between the ages of 18-34, number at 75.4 million. Their numbers have overtaken the Baby Boomers, meaning you need to pay attention to the purchasing power of this unique group.

Every time a huge wave of humanity moves through the cycles of life, they bring their collective consumption habits.

Whether you’re a Millennial yourself, the parent of one, or simply an investor looking to grow your business – there’s no getting around the need to interface with this generation.

They’ve spent their formative years in their teens and 20’s on social media and accessing information on the Internet.

We see them as bright, bold, with real potential to be movers and shakers.

Standing up for the “selfie” generation: Millennial Success Strategist, Sean Gray

Sean Gray is first to say he was “22 without a clue” when he graduated from college a couple years ago. His friends were starting jobs and he was at a standstill, not sure what he wanted in life.

“I remember sitting in Belize with dreadlocks,” said Sean Gray, who now speaks about strategies for millennial success. “I wasn’t even thinking about adding value to the world.”

Most people ask themselves the question, “What do I do to make money?”

Sean says mentors helped him ask a better question: “What can I BUILD that will afford me the lifestyle I want to have?”

Sean sought freedom to go the places he wanted, to spend time doing what he enjoyed.

The tricky part was getting started for Sean.

After all, how about you start creating the lifestyle you want?

“You don’t have to wait 20 or 30 or 40 years for that,” said Sean. “You can build streams of income around the places you want to live, doing what you want to do.”

He found inspiration in an event with Brian Tracy, where he spent time with other folks his age in a master mind group. They were inquisitive, bright, and had great ideas.

A millennial strategist’s biggest piece of advice?

“If you really want to go places in your life, start hanging around people doing the kinds of things YOU want to do,” said Sean. “It’s key to hang out with like-minded people.”

The way you think and the way you behave is a product of the people you are spending time with.

A lot of times, even those who are closest to you might not understand your vision. That’s OK. Just be conscious about who you let influence you.

Entrepreneur Jim Rohn talks about limiting associations with those who don’t help you. So perhaps instead of being around negative Aunt Nancy for days at a time, maybe visit for a couple hours instead.

Tips for parents of millennials

You might have noticed the same last name – yes, Sean is Russ’s son.

Russ realized that Sean’s struggles to find what he wanted in life weren’t the sign of laziness or lack of motivation. He was just confused.

It can be easy to get discouraged in this economy, and even daunting to start a business yourself.

“The hardest thing and the easiest thing was realizing I wasn’t the answer,” said Russ on the show. “It bruises our ego as a parent to think we may not be the answer, but in reality Sean needed more than I had to give.”

So what did Russ do?

He exposed him to a whole network of successful people.

The Real Estate Guys™ believe we, as the older generation, need to help those who are coming next. Passing the torch is an act of enlightened self-interest. You can’t help but benefit when you help someone else.

How millennials can let go of limiting beliefs and find CLARITY

What does Sean recommend for his peers who want to create a business that fits their lifestyle? Let go of limiting beliefs and take time to look at the big picture.

“Then five or 10 years down the road, you won’t be frustrated you plugged into someone else’s system instead of creating your own,” said Sean.

Why do so few make it? It takes real effort.

“If you’re down-trodden, take time to get clarity,” said Sean. “It doesn’t come overnight. It takes immersing yourself in positive ideas and having as many experiences as possible that help you achieve your goals.”

Listen in to our latest show for more insights on millennials in today’s real estate market. 


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

Practical Asset Protection Strategies for the Real World

After all the work you do building your portfolio, do you have it protected?

We all like to think that others have our best interest in mind. Unfortunately, there are some gold-diggers out there, looking for ways to mine easy money from deep pockets.

What does this mean to you as an investor?

You could spend a lifetime collecting and managing assets, only to lose them all in one stupid mistake.

We DO NOT want that to happen to you.

Creating an integrated plan to protect your assets takes time, but it’s worth it.

When do you do this? The best time to protect your assets was before you acquired them – the second best time is NOW.

As Stephen Covey teaches in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – always begin with the end in mind.

Pulling from our experience, we have put together this show to give you the basics of asset protection, all in non-lawyer terms, to guide you through the basics of entities and insurance.

Tune in to our latest edition of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show with personalities:

  • Your protection-pro host, Robert Helms
  • His check-it-don’t-wreck-it co-host, Russell Gray

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The three sides of risk mitigation

Although we could have easily invited one of our lawyer friends on our latest show, we chose not to. Why?

We are NOT attorneys and this is NOT legal advice. This episode was not about legal asset protection. It was more about MENTALLY how you prepare yourself to acquire assets.

Our goal is to give you the basic understanding so when you meet with professionals, you can ask them questions about things you learned and decide as a business person how to meld it together.

You’re going to need technical advisors who understand how these components work. When you put all their services together, you have a finished product of legal compliance, risk mitigation, and peace of mind.

Here are three sides in the “risk mitigation triangle” to consider and the type of professional folks who can help you with them.

  • Tax – Your CPA will help you take advantage of legal ways to minimize tax exposure.
  • Asset protection – Your attorney will look at asset protection through the perspective of entities (we get more into that below), while your insurance broker sees it from the perspective of insurance to cover risks. Your property manager will ensure you get your property rented correctly.
  • Privacy – This is where a lawyer can help as well as investing in your own education. When you know how to hold title, what kind of insurance to buy, where to have the mailing address, and how you’re supposed to sign documents, your privacy will be much better protected.

The foundation of risk mitigation

With all of that, where do you get started?

The top way to protect your assets is good business practices. Make sure you understand and fulfill your responsibilities, treat your investors well, and maintain capital reserves.

From the get-go, you must do your due diligence. This involves thorough property inspections.

Your responsibility to yourself and your investors is to vet as much as you can.

YET …

Even after all that, most of the things that go wrong, you can’t prevent. There’s no way you can see it coming.

What can you do to be as prepared as possible?

Talk to those who have stepped through that mine field before you. Benefit from the experience of those who won AND lost through that mine field.

The reward for successfully traversing it high, but you can’t dance through without paying attention. That’s naïve.

A bit about legal entities

First, what’s an entity?

A legal entity is a construct under the law that can act like a human being. It takes documentation to set it up, such as a: trust, LLC, Corporation, or foundation.

You don’t ever want to sign anything as YOU, an individual person, unless you have the title in your name.

The idea is that you want to set up these legal structures to separate YOU from these entities. Then you have them perform different functions.

The analogy is building a house. Each room has a different purpose. The kitchen is used differently than the bathroom, the garage is different than the living room – yet all pieces make up a whole.

For example, as a developer, you could set up one entity with the role of holding assets, like a treasure box. You don’t give anyone the key or let them know where it is. It OWNS things.

You could create another entity to be the operating company. It is the face of operation that interfaces with the tenants. Why set it up this way?

There’s a corporate veil between those two entities, a critical component in your risk mitigation.

Insurance, your first line of defense

After your foundation of good business practices is solid, you’ll want to implement insurance. Here are the common types of insurance you should know about in real estate:

Commercial liability insurance. This is your basic, must-have business protection.

Errors and admissions insurance (E & O). This can also be called professional liability insurance, and it helps you protect yourself from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client. For example, if you’ve hired a management company to take care of your property, this can protect you if they make a legal mistake.

Directors and Officers insurance. If you are acting on behalf of an entity, like as a president or vice president, you want to protect your personal assets with this insurance.

These are just three of the types available, and you want to make sure you get an insurance provider with a reputation of paying claims. There are also some umbrella policies that could make sense if you’re running a small real estate business.

Last word about asset protection

We go into much more detail in our podcast, and realize this topic will arise many more questions than we’ve likely answered.

Everything is hard until you know how, and you’re taking the first steps simply by reading these words.

As you increase your holdings and build your portfolio, do your best to NOT be low-hanging fruit for sue-happy folks out there.

We agree with Robert Kiyosaki’s advice to own nothing, but control everything.

Another way to protect your assets? We are huge fans of diversifying your portfolio.

So go out there, make some equity happen, and keep yourself protected!


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

Clues in the News – Jobs, Start-Ups, Jurisdictions and Policy

 

Will your tenants be able to pay rent in three months? In a year?

With so many unknowns, there’s no way you can see the future. We believe the best way to be prepared is arm yourself with information – and that’s where we can help.

No, we don’t have a crystal ball.

We DO have access to the same clues about the economic future everyone else has … the news!

If you know what you’re looking for, you can “read between the lines” and find useful information about job markets, legislation, and political changes that may impact your tenants (a.k.a. your property’s cash flow).

We’ve scoured the news, looking for clues on how jobs are changing, and what’s coming in the economy.  Join us in our latest episode of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show:

  • Your Sherlock Holmes host, Robert Helms
  • His wannabe-Watson co-host, Russell Gray

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Useful clues for real estate investors

Rather than catch up with the Kardashians, we encourage real estate investors to look for useful current events that help you see the path of economic progress.

You always want to follow the dollars … know where big companies are heading, where they are leaving, and how their imprint impacts YOU.

It’s important to pay attention. Policies at a local, state, and national level can impact your rental income.

For example, let’s say you’re a buy-and-hold investor. You want to know there will be tenants interested in your property in the future.

Let’s say the state taxes raised dramatically this year. What if, in response to that change, the biggest employer in the city jumps ship to relocate in a state with more tax advantages and takes 10,000 employees with them?

Although you may not have tenants that work at that company, don’t breathe a sigh of relief quite yet.

It’s likely your tenants work in secondary or tertiary jobs (like coffee shops or printing places) that service the primary employer.

An Apple example—put yourself in the CEO seat

Here’s a real life example of what we just described.

Apple is the largest taxpaying company in the world. Perhaps you heard of the recent news that Apple allegedly owes Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, wrote an open letter recounting the Apple’s history of job creation and community support in Ireland. To date, Apple employees 6,000 people across Ireland. He didn’t threaten leaving, but if you read between the lines, that’s a possibility. What would you do if you were him?

With that thought in mind, if you own cash-flow property in Ireland – even if your tenants aren’t Apple employees – it would be naïve to think that Apple leaving the country wouldn’t affect your tenants.

Countless small- and medium-sized businesses count in Apple.

They are a primary driver. Others who work in secondary and tertiary jobs, like bagel places and dry cleaners, are catering to the people who have primary jobs.

Changes in start-up hubs

We’ve spent time on corporate giants. What about the start-ups that keep economies thriving?

There’s been a significant decline in start-ups in the last eight years in the United States, but now it’s starting to spike up.

Recently we saw an article referencing a Kauffman report ranking start-up activity in metropolitan communities.

(Hint for news sleuths: Anytime we see a report referenced in an article, we go to the report. It’s a way to read below the headlines. Some reports are worth paying for, giving you valuable information you don’t have to track down yourself.)

There were several changes from last year. Where Silicon Valley used to lead the start-up pack years ago, it’s now down to No. 8 on the list.

Austin, Texas was number one city for start-ups. Second, Miami. Third, Los Angeles. It gets interesting when you see which cities have changed spots.

For example, San Francisco moved up five places to be No. 4 for start-ups. Nashville jumped from 23rd to No. 16.

Why does this matter?

This shows you were there is economic movement, and where people are moving for new jobs.

As our gift to you, send us an email to: startup (at) realestateguysradio (dot) com and we’ll send you the report for free.

Observations of multi-family residences and millennials

From articles we’ve read, the United States is at an all-time low for the percentage of Americans who own their homes. There are more renters than ever now!

Multi-family properties are super-hot in the market, with rents rising.

It’s a cycle … and the pendulum will swing again in coming years.

When you think about what’s going on, millions of people lost their homes in the recession and had to become renters. We’re also still in a weak jobs market. Even though many new jobs are being created each month, they are low-paying or part-time.

Seeking out news clues is always about what affects your tenants. Look at it from their perspective.

Where will they work? Are they likely to get an increase in pay? If not, you won’t be able to increase the rent.

Looking at one of the largest demographic groups in the workforce, millennials, you see a common attitude that owning a home is not a primary goal. Millennials are marrying later, settling down later, and seeking mobile living.

When you are aware of what’s happening in the broader economy, you make more informed investment decisions.

So listen in as we discuss these and other topics as we search for Clues in the News™!


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

Farming for Profits with Agricultural Investing

Start your day with a cup of jo today? Yeah, we thought so.

We’re java-jazzed to share our latest interview with you. We spoke with David Sewell of International Coffee Farms about a unique real estate investment opportunity.

David and his team make it possible for anyone to become an agriculture investor. They produce specialty coffee beans in Panama, yielding both reliable crops and profits for savvy investors.

Yes, investing in offshore coffee farms is a way to perk up your portfolio and caffeinate your cashflow.

Tune into our latest java-driven edition of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show with personalities:

  • Your green-thumb host, Robert Helms
  • His greenie co-host, Russell Gray
  • International Coffee Farms Founder, David Sewell

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Why invest in coffee farms?

One way to diversify your portfolio and is investing in harvest-producing land, like coffee farms.

Think about it.

When you own the LAND the coffee beans grow on, the tenants are your trees (in a manner of speaking) and the coffee farmers are your property managers.  So the coffee farmers deal with the trees.

Wouldn’t you like to invest in something many people consume every day?

Millions of people DRINK coffee every day, which means they BUY coffee regularly.

Coffee is an interesting commodity because people are only drinking MORE of it over time. It’s a booming industry.

What sets International Coffee Farms apart?

“God provides the coffee cherry. The cherry turns red on its own. It’s what you do with it from there,” said David.

David and his team at International Coffee Farms have developed a premium process for their specialty coffee. This includes everything from how it’s picked, harvested, and profiled. “The process is key,” said David, “and all our cherries are picked one by one and the trees managed individually.”

International Coffee Farms buys underperforming, commercial coffee farms. In the company’s first year and a half of operations they have acquired six coffee farms in Panama, totaling 34 hectares (85 acres) with plans to acquire another 50 hectares in 2016.

“We turn them around into specialty coffee farms in three years,” said David. “It’s takes a bit of art with the people, science with the agriculture, and capital to make it work.”

Also, David treats his workers well, paying them more than other farmers, and offering them bonuses.

“We take a 20% slice of the revenue and use it for our workers,” said David. “It’s not purely altruistic, although it does do good. We do it for efficiency and because happy farmers equal happy coffee.”

International Coffee Farms invests that money in running water, showers, better working cloths, and overall better conditions, enhancing the quality of life for the coffee farmers.

Why Panama?

Panama is a well-proven, traditional source of high-quality coffee at high altitudes. In fact, many coffee buyers come to Panama to bid on the most premium types, which can go for $15-$35 a pound.

Panama is known for having a climate perfect for coffee farming, with no temperatures or hurricanes.

Also, Panama residents include many, many coffee farming harvesters who’ve been harvesting coffee all their lives – they are the world’s experts with coffee trees.

Turn-key ownership for investors

“We take a coffee farm, make it more efficient, and create an opportunity for investors,” said David.

We’ve been encouraging investments in real assets for a long time. Those interested in creating a future with asset protection should at least consider it.

The nice thing about owning a piece of producing land with a turn-key provider is YOU don’t have to manage it, pick it, or learn the secrets.

You get to sit back and rely on the company’s expertise to harvest it.

They subdivide into half-acre parcels for those who want to own a producing well-managed coffee farm.

Where you own your acre of the farm is irrelevant. All the income and expenses are divided among the number of owners.

Invest off-shore, reap the rewards

The minute you get a piece of land in another country, you are an international investor.

International Coffee Farms has a low entry point for investors: It’s an $18,000 investment for a half-acre, and over a 20-year period the average annual ROI is 12.5%.

Protecting your assets through diversification and off-shore investments is state of mind. It can feel scary, until you educate yourself, set the goal, and give it a try!

Then again, it’s everything like that?

Investing in these coffee farms allows you a chance to cross those mental hurdles, and you’ll have a legacy investment you can own forever and leave to your family.

If you’re interested in investing in this incredible opportunity, reach out to us at coffee (at) realestateguysradio (dot com). 


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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