I love working with individual real estate investors — but many of them don’t come to me as investors.
Instead, they are looking to leave their landlords behind and join the ranks of homeowners. I’m always happy to work with these first-time homebuyers because it is such a pivotal point in their lives. They have invested in a long-term asset that will allow them to start building personal wealth, provide tax deductions and, eventually, provide a way to leverage their home’s equity.
Education is key
Building personal wealth, tax deductions and home equity are all things my first-time homebuyer clients learn as I educate them about the financial benefit of homeownership. I then take that conversation one step further and share what I know about the different investment opportunities in real estate.
From existing properties such as single-family homes, duplexes and apartment buildings to buying land, building homes and even subdivisions, the opportunities are plentiful. People don’t know what they don’t know, and it’s very satisfying to provide useful information that can literally be life-changing.
One of my early first-time-homebuyer-turned-investor clients was a bus driver. I helped him and his wife buy their first home. When I found a good deal on a duplex, I offered it to them as a great rental property. Market values had increased enough that they were able to tap into equity on their residence to fund the purchase of the duplex.
Over the next few years, they bought two more duplexes and not too long ago, they purchased an apartment building. Together, the couple managed their properties full-time. Not only do they love working for themselves, but they also enjoy the financial security these investments provide.
Investors have different drivers
One of the things that’s different about working with investors is that it is far less emotional than buying a home to live in. Decisions are made based on whether the numbers make sense. I always put together a solid plan for how to best manage the purchase, so that clients can understand how to maximize their investment.
I know this from personal experience as well. I bought my first three investment properties all at the same time. It wasn’t my plan to buy multiple homes, but the numbers made sense, so I went for it.
The person who had committed to help me renovate the houses backed out after the sale, so it took me about a year to get the properties ready to rent. It was a trying process, to say the least, but I now have a great retirement plan in place considering that the homes’ values will have 30 years to appreciate.
Delegation makes a difference
When it comes to managing real estate investment properties, I am a big advocate of outsourcing. I always recommend a property manager and firmly believe that hiring a professional for home-related services is preferable to an owner trying to figure it out for themselves. DIYers lose their time and possibly even their money if their work is not up to par.
Finding the next great real estate investment is definitely a passion, and I am always scanning the market for investment opportunities, from fixer-uppers to turnkey rentals to land in up-and-coming areas primed for future development. From my business to my personal portfolio, I am fully invested in real estate investments.
Brittny McKay is the broker-owner of ERA Realty All Over, serving New Orleans, Louisiana, and surrounding markets. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.