Last Updated on January 2, 2020 by Mark Ferguson
2013 has been an incredible year thanks to aggressive real estate goals and I believe 2014 will be even better! My real estate investing continues to pick up momentum thanks to some major changes in 2014. I changed my attitude, hired a personal coach, bought a new personal residence, took over my parents’ business, bought three long-term rentals, purchased three fix and flips since September and sold four fix and flips since September. I also hired a good friend to help manage my business and help our real estate team continue to grow and expand.
My goal articles for other years
What were my 2013 goals?
I started making big goals in 2013 for the first time in my life. I have no doubt they helped me achieve more than if I did not have goals, or had small goals. I won’t go into all of my goals as they constantly change throughout the year, but I will mention a few. I wanted to sell 200 houses as a real estate agent, I wanted to buy 4 long-term rentals, I made a huge income goal for myself and I wanted to improve fix and flips (not a good goal). I’ll go over how I did on these goals and how I did on other items that were not goals. I did not reach all my goals, but that is okay!
My plan to purchase 100 properties progress
Many of you have read my plan to purchase 100 properties and I am making progress! I was hoping to buy four long-term rentals in 2013, but it doesn’t look like I will get to there. I did buy three long-terms rentals and I think that is an accomplishment even if I didn’t hit my goal. I have plenty of time to buy an extra house in the next 9 years to catch up to my goal (I give details on my rental properties in the rental property section of the blog).
Right now I have 8 long-term rental properties and I am bringing in over $4,000 a month in cash flow each month. For those of you wondering about rental property number 1 being paid off in 2013; it’s not going to happen. Due to the storm and some renter issues I wasn’t able to accumulate enough cash flow to pay off the house. The biggest issue was the massive hail storm that damaged four rental properties. I had to get new roofs on four properties and replace the siding on one home. Insurance covered most of the costs except for deductibles, but the way insurance works I still have not been paid in full. I was paid the insurance money for the cost of repairs minus the deductibles and recoverable depreciation. I don’t get paid the recoverable depreciation until I send in the invoices for the completed work. I have sent those in, but I am still waiting for the insurance company to send the recoverable depreciation which is around $4,000. Right now I owe about $7,000 on the mortgage on rental property number 1. Three renters are behind in rent right now! One had a heart attack, one lost his job and the other said the government shutdown delayed their retirement checks. We are on payment plans with all of them and hopefully they can get caught back up.
2013 was a huge year for me as far as personal improvement
I was never much for self-help books and working on myself before 2013. I figured working hard on my job was what made people successful. What I didn’t realize was it is just as important to work on yourself as it is to work on your job.
I started listening to self-help audio books and reading as many books as I could find. I learned about the law of attraction, being positive and many other techniques to help me succeed. I even started a new blog with some friends at www.victorycoaches.com to talk more about using your attitude to succeed. A few of the people I listen to are Jack Canfield, John Assaraf, T. Harv Ecker, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins and many more. I have even started researching the history of the law of attraction which dates back to ancient Egypt. It is fascinating to see the history and how far back these ideas originated from. The thing that got me hooked was not the spiritual side of the law of attraction, but the scientific side. I learned our subconscious can help us succeed if we give it a blueprint for what we want.
I took Jack Canfield coaching, which was an amazing experience. My coach was great and a huge help personally and with my business. Personal coaching allowed me to see why I needed to take over my parents’ business. The program claimed it would increase my free time and triple my income in a year. I was skeptical about those claims, but I think I may actually triple my income in 2014! My free time has definitely increased even though I have much more on my plate now than last year.
I started InvestFourMore in March of 2013 and it has been a wonderful experience. I would not have started the blog without my personal improvement discoveries. I have learned new investing techniques, met many new contacts, and much more from my blog. My blog even allowed me to publish a few books on Amazon (PDF versions here), which I had never thought would happen.
I bought a new house in July and we love it! I wrote an article about it here that describes the entire process. I wasn’t planning on buying a home, but it worked out perfect and the new house felt like home right away. This was not a goal of mine, in fact many of my goals revolved around our old house, but I was able to adapt to new opportunities. Buying the new house actually took care of about ten goals I had that involved the old house or buying a shop.
I mentioned I made a big income goal in 2013 that seemed very hard to reach in the beginning of the year; well I will reach that goal. The main reason I will reach my income goal is because I sold my old house. I don’t know if I am supposed to count it as income, but I made almost $100,000 on the sale of my previous home. It won’t be taxable since I lived there for three years! That is why I love big goals; you never know what will happen to help you reach them.
I took over my parents’ business in 2013
I had the idea of taking over in the back of my head for years, but never acted on it because I knew it would be a lot of work. My parents have always run the team, paid payroll, taxes and all the other fees associated with our real estate business and flipping business. My role was to sell houses, find flips, help manage repairs and make the majority of the money.
The problem with our previous deal was my parents did not like running the team and they did not do a lot to promote sales by the other Realtors on our team. I made a lot of sales, but had to give a large percentage to my parents and I made a small percentage on the fix and flips compared to what I did.
With the new deal I basically bought out my parents, which gives them long-term security and I get to run the team and keep the profits. It is scary taking over a business as we have high overhead with 8 team members and all the fees associated with the office, licensing, advertising and REO dues. I really don’t like accounting work and paperwork and that is one reason I didn’t take over earlier. I knew taking over the team would entail learning payroll, paperwork and many other unpleasant tasks that would take away from my selling houses.
The reason I made the switch, was I was able to hire my friend who took care of all the stuff I didn’t want to do. He wanted out of the corporate world and has a ton if management experience; perfect solution for both of us! He figured out the entire payroll, has been working in lead generation and helping manage everything. I love it! My free time has actually increased since taking over the team because I let others do the work I don’t want to do. My friend also bought my house, which allowed us to move quickly into our new house.
Taking over fix and flips
Part of taking over the business involved taking over the fix and flips. The fix and up operation was not small and took a lot of money and work. I had to set up financing, a bankroll and management to take over the fix and flips. Luckily the deal we worked out allowed me to obtain all of these things.
With our deal, I took over 6 properties that we were working on, which helped provide me with a bankroll to pay for down payments and repairs. Once those properties sold, I had money available for new purchases. We have sold four of those six, one is under contract and another is being worked on.
I have been able to purchase three more fix and flip properties since taking over the business and I have been able to do that with help from my portfolio lender. Not only have they been awesome with my rental properties, they gave me a commitment to do short-term financing on my fix and flips. They will give me 75 percent loan to value, can close in less than two weeks and don’t require an appraisal if the loan is under $100,000. They charge 5.25 percent with 1.5 points; hard to beat that deal.
I also have another fix and flip that should be under contract soon and two short sale offers we have accepted by the sellers that we are waiting to see if the banks will approve.
Real estate business goals
I wanted to sell 200 homes in 2013 as an REO agent. This was a huge goal and well above my totals from any other year. I mentioned I like big goals and that is because they challenge me and constantly motivate me. If I were to make a small goal, then I may slow down or stop once I reach that goal. I was going to fall well short of my goal to sell 200 homes, but taking over the business almost got me there. Since I was able to count all the homes sold for myself for other agents on our team after September first; we sold 184 houses in 2013. There are still a few days left and we have a couple of closings scheduled, but not 16 to reach that 200 mark.
I was able to drive a Lamborghini and Ferrari!
I have always loved cars since I can remember, especially exotic cars. I have never driven a Ferrari, Lamborghini or other exotic car before this year (unless my Porsche 928 counts). This summer I found a special on Travelzoo to drive a Lamborghini Gallardo! I wrote about my experience here and it was awesome! I also signed up to race a Ferrari F430 around a race track a few times and I have the video of that here. I was at a conference in Dallas in September and I was able to see a Lamborghini Diablo they had for sale there. I always wanted a Countach, but I barely fit in the Diablo and the Countach is a smaller car. It probably is for the best as the Diablo is a newer and better car than the Countach.
My other 100 goals
I have a plan to purchase 100 rental properties and I also have over 100 other goals. Part of my coaching was to create a list of 100 goals, which I review constantly, update and change. I won’t go into all of those goals, but they range from extremely small to very large. The list helps me keep fresh in my mind what I want and when I want it. Making small goals makes me feel great accomplishing them and big goals motivate me. Many times I forget about the small goals I had a few months ago, and that is why I have a list that reminds me of what I want.
Conclusion and a sneak peak for 2014
If you know me at all, you know I will have a lot of real estate goals for 2014. I will write another article for those goals and plans, and I hope to have it ready for Monday right before the New Year. Some of my goals for 2014 are going to include big jumps in all aspects of my business and possibly a new car.
My complete guide to investing in long-term rental properties