How to start investing: Investor Origin Stories Part 3
First Come, First Served: Best for Burgers, Not Property Managers
Last Week was the second installment in our Investor Origin Stories series: How to Start Investing. In case you missed either of the two previous week’s newsletters, you can access the first one here and the second one here.
We left our story of the beginnings of my investing career with me checking into an extended-stay motel in Syracuse, NY.
My message to Powers Contracting was simple: I am here until we are done with the renovation. Remarkably, the pace picked up on the job site, and what hadn’t been done in months began to be completed in a number of days.
Every day, I would try to beat the contractors to the jobsite and walk around to assess what was done the night before and what would be prioritized that day. I still had no clue what I was doing, but I started to learn the impact of presence.
Eventually Powers Contracting and I were able to get the two units renovated and rent ready. I still had zero dollars a month cash flow, but I felt good about the progress we had made. Not knowing the best place to market our property, we ran the ad below in The Post-Standard, the Syracuse newspaper:
NorthSide: HUGE, CLEAN 3 BR apt, new renov and bath, 500+ utils, avail immed, sec 8 or PA ok. call 256-9357
I don’t remember being overwhelmed with interest but Joe proved to be a better leasing agent than a project manager. I wish I could say our rental criteria was stringent. Unfortunately, I think we followed the fast food strategy of first come, first served.
Soon our renter/squatter also vacated–accepting our $100 cash-for-keys offering. There was not even the remote possibility of income, but I felt the benefit of having positive control of the asset for the first time since acquiring it. Even though the squatter left the unit broom clean, once we assessed the last unit, the reno budget continued to climb. When the dust settled, we spent over $12,000 total but had a renovated-ish triplex.
We rented out the units and had $1500 a month gross cash flow on an asset we had a $45k cost basis in. It was at this point, I made one of the best decisions of my investment career; I decided to leave the frozen tundra of Syracuse in order to relocate to the greener pastures Augusta, GA.
Being that I was about to move even further away from my investment, I made the second best decision of my nascent investment career: to sell the stabilized asset, 1513 N State Street. We priced the triplex at $60k and there was a decent amount of interest for a $60k asset grossing over $1500/month. Eventually we went under contract, with Joe this time playing the part of agent. We sold the property and when we paid everything off, we made just under $10k.
I felt I was officially an investor.
What I failed to reconcile in the ledger of this transaction, and hundreds after it, was my time in the investment. It would take over a decade for me to recognize the value of my time and that was the first time I was truly an investor.
If you are an investor looking to regain some of your time, reach out to one of our team members to see how we can serve you. We have learned a lot since our days of “First come, First served.”
Check back next week for Part Four of our Investor Origin Stories!
Some things you need to know to grow, below: