This year has been pretty good so far. Things never go as you plan, but that is what makes life fun. I have had many challenges and successes and tried out many new ideas and techniques. I have sold 11 flips and purchased 11 flips. I bought one rental property, and there was quite a bit of change on my real estate team. I think I have a good chance of reaching many of the goals I set for this year, but I won’t have as good of a chance with others. I set challenging goals on purpose so that I am forced to think of new and better ways to do things. I will go over the basics in these show notes, but make sure you listen to this episode of the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast to hear the full story.
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How has my flipping business grown and changed?
I flipped 18 houses last year, and by flipping I mean sold 18 properties that I rehabbed and always intended to flip. I also sold two long-term rentals, but I am not counting those as flips. The most houses I had flipped before this year was 12, so that was a huge jump for me. Part of the reason I flipped so many houses was I stopped buying rental properties. The market is still going crazy in Colorado, and single family or multi-family rentals do not make sense to me here. The median price has jumped from $110,000 in 2011 to over $280,000 in 2017. This is great for the value of my rentals, but rents have not increased nearly as much as prices. Houses I was buying for $120,000 and putting $15,000 of work into historically rented for $1,400 per month. Now, I have to buy houses for $200,000, and after putting $20,000 of work into them, they may rent for $1,500 or $1,600. There are very few homes below $200,000 that I would want as rentals, and those houses also command much lower rent.
I have continued to build my flipping business since the market is much more suited for it than rentals. I made a goal to flip 30 houses in 2017. I have flipped 11 houses to this point, which is on pace for well below 30 houses for the entire year. However, I am not that far away from hitting my goal. I have five flips under contract and set to sell before the end of July. That would put me at 16 completed flips, and I have 16 flips in my inventory right now. I will get all of those houses sold in 2017, which would put me at 26 flips if I don’t sell any more. I have another flip under contract, and I am not going to stop buying. I think I will hit 30 flips in 2017, or at least come very close to it. For the details on how I find deals, finance them, and repair them, make sure you listen to the podcast.
How has my real estate team done this year?
Typically, when the market increases in value so much, it is a great time to be a real estate agent. However, there are almost no houses for sale ,and that is why prices continue to rise. We have had record low inventory each of the last five years. When there are no houses for sale, it makes it really hard for real estate agents to make money. My team is still surviving and doing well, but we recently lost a great agent. That agent decided to move to another office that was closer to his house and provided a more steady income but with reduced upside. Our current agents are doing well, my other team members are doing great, and we are adding another agent next week!
I will not come close to hitting my team sales number goals this year, but that is okay. Our team is also a huge part of my flipping business, and there is no way I could do everything I do without them.
How has my rental property portfolio changed this year?
I have not bought any single-family rental properties this year, but I did buy a rental. I bought a 1,000 square foot commercial shop where I can store building supplies and a car or two. I have been using storage units to hold carpet, flooring, fixtures, and other materials I buy in bulk from Home Depot. I purchased the shop for just over $70,000, which was a decent deal and will save me a lot of monthly storage unit costs. I also could rent out the unit and cash-flow much better than I could from single-family rentals in the area. Here are the details on that shop. I am also making progress towards buying more commercial properties, but nothing else has been purchased.
How has the blog done this year?
The main goals I have had with the blog involve my books. I enjoy writing them, although it takes forever and is very tedious. I published two new books in 2017:
Both books have done great, and books are also an awesome way to create passive income. So while I have not been buying as many rentals as I would like to, I have been creating passive income streams. I am also working on making The Book on Negotiating Real Estate an audio book. You can find all my books here.
2017 has been a fun year and has included a lot of flipping. I have also been learning a lot about the commercial world. I look forward to the last half of the year to see what happens and what exciting things I can share.
[0:00:13.9] MF: Welcome to the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast. My name is Mark Ferguson and I am your host. I am a house flipper. I flip 10 to 15 houses a year, I own 13 rental properties with a goal to buy 100 by 2023. I’m also a real estate agent. I’ve been licensed since ’01, I run a team of nine and we sell close to 200 houses a year.
So on this show, we’d like to interview house flippers, landlords and the best real estate agents in the business. So stay tuned for some great shows, if you want more information on my rentals, on the numbers, on how I buy properties, check out investfourmore.com.
[0:00:58.3] MF: Hey everyone, Mark Ferguson with Investor Four More. Welcome to another podcast, another episode of the Investment Four More real estate podcast. I’d like to thank everybody for tuning in. I appreciate all the listeners and support I get. This week, I’m going to give update on my team, my flips my rentals for the halfway point of the year. It’s June, which seems crazy. I don’t know how it got to this point already. Kind of seems like it shouldn’t be 2017, but here we are halfway through the year already.
I’m going to talk about all the flips I’ve been doing. I’ve bought 11, sold 11 so far this year. My rental properties, which haven’t had a lot going on, but I did buy a small little commercial unit. Talk about my contractors, my team. We actually lost an agent on my team, but we’re hopefully gaining two more soon. All kinds of things to talk about.
Before it get started, one way people can help me out is by review. If you guys like this podcast, if you think it’s beneficial to you, please leave me a review on iTunes. Please rate it. That helps me out the most. It lets other people know it’s decent. I am also in the process of giving away some books to people who leave me reviews on Amazon for other books they’ve bought. If you’re interested in that, send an email, [email protected] and then I can let you know how that works.
My new books have been doing very well. The How to Buy a House book done very well. I think it’s a huge benefit, huge resource for anybody whoever buys and sells a house. The book on negotiating real estate, which I wrote with Jay Scott, has been doing extremely well too. We’re pretty proud of that.
For those of you who keep asking me, we are in the process of making that an audible book. It is being recorded right now. Hopefully, that is ready before the end of the month. It’s always take some time to get the recordings done, get those all figured out and then get audible to make the book live, but hopefully, in the next few weeks, that book will be available in audio version. Then I’m also going to work on making a couple of my other books, a fix and flip book in audiobook as well. We’ve got all of that coming up.
Let’s get to how this year has gone so far. The beginning of the year, or actually before the beginning of the year, I did a podcast or what my goals were, what I wanted to accomplish this year, and one of the big things was my flips. As many of you know, I have not been doing as many rental properties. I haven’t bought a single-family residential property for almost two years now, which seems crazy, since part of my goals is to buy a hundred properties. The reason I created this entire blog was because of the rental properties I was buying.
I don’t feel bad about that. I don’t feel stressed. Really, you have to adapt to your market. You have to figure out what works best, what the best choices are for you. You can’t push things. You can’t force things. The prices in our area continue to just go up and up and up and rents have been going up but they have not come close to keeping up with prices.
For example, when I was buying my rental properties, I would buy them from 100,000 to 150,000 for the most part, spend $10,000 to $15,000 in repairs and rent them from $1,300 to $1,500 a month. This is towards the later part of the years when I was buying my last rentals.
Now, even if I’m getting a really good deal — I always want to get a good deal no matter if I’m flipping or renting. I might be able to buy a house for 200,000, put 20,000 of work into it and rent it for 1,500. Instead of having $130,000 into a house that rents for 1,300, I’d have $220,000 into a house that rents for 1,500. I’d have much more money into it because my down payment would be bigger, the repairs are costing more now. It just does not make as much sense for me to buy rentals in this market. It’s awesome that prices continue to go up and I wish I would’ve bought more. I did buy a lot, so that was good. I still do not want to depend on appreciation to make my money. I do not think that’s a good strategy. I do not think that’s a solid strategy. You need to have cash flow and hope for appreciation. I’m sticking to that rule.
I have bought one rental this year. I’ll talk about it later. Just as far as our market, the median price in 2011 was as low as 110,000 here. It’s now 284,000. In six years, it’s gone up 150% or something like that. It’s crazy. I don’t see it slowing down because they’re not building enough. Water is so expensive and there’s a ton of people still moving in here.
I heard from someone — I’ve not verified this, but I heard that the unemployment rate in Colorado is 2.3%, which is one of the lowest unemployment rates ever recorded in any state ever. There’s no shortage of jobs. There’s no shortage of people who need housing, and they just aren’t building enough and that just forces prices up higher and higher. We’ll see happens. It’s been good for my flips. Have been really good for my car rentals I only. They keep going up in value. Again, rents just aren’t keeping up with those values, so it doesn’t make sense for me to buy rentals, but I have been flipping more and that’s what my whole point to this was.
Because of that, I’ve kind of focused from buy rentals to building my flipping business more and more and more. Last year, I think I sold 18 flips. This year my goal was to sell 30. So far, I have sold 11 flips in 2017, which is pretty good. Not quite on pace to hit 30, but I have 16 flips in my inventory right now. I’ve got four under contract to sell in the next month, and three or four more ready list in the next month.
I should be up close to 20 flips sold sin the next two months, and then I’ll get my other flips in my inventory sold, which would put me up to 27 flips in this month if I just sold out the rest my houses. I have one more under contract and I’m working on some more new techniques to go a lot more under contract.
I think I can hit my 30 flip goal this year, which would be supercool. The really nice thing too, part of its luck, part of its always being conservative in my numbers is I have been averaging more than I normally do on profit on my flips this year. Part of that was helped by the high-end flip I did that I sold for 800,000 and made — What was it? $160,000on that. Even without that that property, I’ve been making more — Historically, I’d average about $33,000 in profit per flip. I’ve been averaging more than that on each of my flips this year because the market has been going up while I’ve held them. That’s not a strategy I want to depend on. I still want my profit to be based on current market value, not what it could be in the future, but that has helped my profit go up. It’s been a really good year for flip so far, and I want to continue that, keep building that business. I’ve develops more systems and just keep learning and keep doing different things to try and make it as smooth as possible. Even though I think I’m up close to 130 flips I’ve completed in my career, it’s never an easy process. It’s not a streamlined system where it doesn’t take any work for me. I’m constantly changing, constantly trying to make things better.
Part of that is the contractor process, which is something I’ve struggled with for years, as many of you know, who’ve kept tabs on me. This year’s has been no different. With our flips, I think I’ve hired four — Probably more like five or six new contractors this year to work on our flips and a couple of them worked out great, a couple of them have been okay, and a couple have been horrible. I’ve just come to learn as a process when you’re flipping houses, you’re going to have to constantly find new contractors, fire ones that aren’t working well when you’re doing as many flips as we are.
I’ve just got to have so many contractors to get these houses turned fast that is just — The number game, some will be good, some will be bad, some will do worst. You just have to have constant turnover.
In some the contractors we hired this year, they worked on one house and did fairly decent, but on one particular house, they didn’t do a high-quality. We had to send them back three or four times, keep correcting pain issues or things they missed. Then you bring them to the next house and all of a sudden they’re not showing up on the job. It’s taking them way longer than it should, and you find, “Oh, they’re doing another flip for somebody else they didn’t tell us about.” That’s why their work is suffering. They’re not doing it on time. Their excuses, “Oh, well. We just didn’t have enough money doing your job to just work with you. We had to take another job.”
But it’s simple math. If you work full-time on my job and get it done quickly, you’ll get paid more. If it takes you twice as long as you bid and you aren’t working hard, you won’t get paid. We’ve had a contractor go who did that. Another contractor who did four houses for us this year and he had a buddy who is also contractor and he swore up and down to get two houses at once.
Again, took him twice as long to finish the houses as it should have. He quoted us 6 to 8 weeks. It took him over three months on every house he did. His work, again, was decent, but not amazing. A lot of things, we had to go back and blue tape and show him and get him to fix. In a couple of cases, we actually sent our handyman to go help him to finish up a job because it’s taking him so long to finish.
Again, we didn’t see him working that much. You show up to the job site, he’s never there. He’s always at Home Depot or somewhere else, but I just don’t think he’s that hard of a worker. When we called him out on some of the things he is doing, he basically argued with me for an hour about why everything was my fault, why he was set up to fail and it was just everything was my fault. Part of that was we gave him subs to use; our plumber, our hardwood guys. According to him, it wasn’t his job to ever communicate with those people. If there was a problem that they told him about, which our hardwood guys told him or our plumber told him about, he won’t even tell us.” He’s like, “It’s not my job. You’re a sub, you should be talking to him.” Stuff like that over and over again.
There’s electrical problems in the house, that we’re not up to code, we’re not passing inspection, and he tells us the day before the house is supposed to be done. He’s like, “Oh, yea. There’s some electrical problems my electrician found, but I told him you guys wouldn’t want it done because you don’t want to spend the money.” I’m like, “Are you serious? You don’t even ask us. Of course, we want that done. We can’t have a house that’s going to burn down or has safety issues. Yes, we want the electrical work done.” Things like that over and over again, just very frustrating.
The funny thing is after us arguing for a very long time in the middle of the street. We weren’t really yelling, but we’re definitely arguing. He probably text Nikki, my project manager, for or five times asking for more houses since then. Even though he hates working with those, everything is our fault, he still wants to work with us, but we are done with him.
Some other more positive stories for contractors, we did hire another one who did one house for us. It was the ugly house that I just wrote about this week, if you saw that article. A flat roof house, a concrete block house, very unique house, but we made $60,000 on that flip. That contractor, he took longer that he said which I always expect. It’s always going to happened, but he’s honest about it. He told us about it. He apologized. He is working hard. He is always there. I’m okay with that. If you’re being honest and you’re trying, and we found stuff that we didn’t know about. Of course, that takes longer than you think.
He’s been doing really good. He just finished up another house for me. It’s actually a rental property I’m thinking of selling. Then he’s going to be starting another flip for us and soon. That was a new contractor who’s done well.
We hired a full-time handyman who has been absolutely awesome. I love it. He actually had his brother come help. He’s working on our team too. We have a couple of guys who are in-house handyman. We can send him to houses to do the rehab or we can send him to houses to fix small items on, flips that are inspection issues or rentals that have issues. We can just control everything he does, and it’s so nice having that control. I’m trying to add more and more people to the side as well.
We’ve got a couple of people who were thinking about bringing on to our team, as in kind of building out my own crew. Hopefully that expands more in the end of the year. We’ve got a couple of guys who’ve done really well on a contractor-wise who we might ask if they want to work full-time for us.
What I’ve done is I have not — Whenever we post ads, we’ll post ads on Craigslist, on Thumbtack, on on Facebook to find contractor. We go through a very lengthy interview process. We’re not just meeting and talking to every single one, because it can be very time-consuming. We’ll send them a very detailed request on what we want from them; work history, experience, referrals. About 80% of the contractors who reply won’t give us that information.
We figure if they’re not taking the time, they’re not serious enough to take 15 minutes to fill out the information and send us that information back, they’re not worth pursuing or probably have issues with them. That’s really cut down our time to find new contractors, and the ones we have found been much better after going through that process.
My whole point was when we find those contractors who we like and who are decent to work with, we’ll always give them kind of a small job first. We’ve got lots of small jobs all over the place. Maybe a garage needs fixed or some repairs. See how they do on that small job, see how well they communicate, see how fast they do it. Then maybe we give them a bigger job, see how they do. They do all right on that, then depending on how they’re set up, if it’s a crew, a contractor with his own crew, they probably don’t want to work for us full-time. They probably want to stay a contractor. If it’s just one guy, then maybe we’ll approach him and say, “Hey, are you interested in working full time with us, joining our crew? Guaranteed work, guaranteed money, and we may even do some benefits packages. We’ll see.”
I think that’s going to be very appealing to many contractors, because just like the one we fired who keeps asking us for work over and over again, if they don’t have a job, they make zero money, nothing. We can guarantee them some work if they’re working for us. Contractors are constantly changing, constantly evolving. We hired another new one this year who’s working in a property, doing well, but he’s finishing up his first one, and then we’ve got another contractor who we’ve worked with for a while a couple of years who’s been doing a very good job. He’s done probably four, five rehabs for us this year and a bunch of other little jobs as well. He’s been going well.
Another contractor who we had to fire, did a bunch of jobs for me last year, start out really well then he just completely fell apart. His bids ended up being half of what he’s trying to charge without doing any extra work. His timeframes were three times as long as he said. I’m pretty sure he’s getting sued by other people who he’s doing work for, just doing horrible work on jobs. Obviously, we let him go.
It’s tough to fire a contractor. It’s not easy. At the same time, once you do it, once you cut ties, it feels so good because you know there’s so much hassle; so many headaches are going to disappear when you’re working with a bad contractor. It’s worth it to take the time to find new people than to keep working with people who you know are going to drive you crazy and not do a good job.
That’s just a constant process with my flips, with the rental work. Definitely trying to build out my own crew more and more, and we’ll definitely keep hiring more contractors. Hopefully develop better relationships with the good ones we have now and, yup, keep building that part of it out.
All right, more to talk about in the flip still too. Definitely had some big changes this year as far as how I’m buying my flips. In past, 90% of my purchases have been from the MLS. Being an agent is a huge advantage. I save money on commissions. I can get better deals because I can act faster. My networking with other agents allows me good deals as well, but there have been less deals on the MLS this year.
Part of it, again, is our market. In my town of 100,000 people, it’s gone up slightly, but there were 84 active listings in the entire town a couple of weeks ago, which is absolute bottom record low inventory ever. It is funny, because the last five years we’ve had record low inventory every year. Next year, it just gets lower. It’s just been five years ago when we had record low inventory, and every year after that is been lower than the previous year until at this point now where there just so few houses for sale. It’s driving up prices and it obviously honestly makes it harder to get a good deal.
I still am buying properties. I said I have one under contact from the MLS right now. I’ve bought a few more from the MLS, and then I’ve also bought a lot of properties from wholesalers. That’s been a nice bonus. I’m really glad I’ve found some of them or else I would have bought half the properties I did this year, maybe less. They’ve been really good to work with. It’s a wholesaler out of Denver who does some stuff up here. I haven’t seen many deals from him lately, so I’m hoping that is in the side of things to come. Definitely like working with wholesalers. They found me because I’m an agent. They simply emailed all the agents around saying they have deals, they work with agents, and that’s how I found them.
Another wholesaler I bought a property from this year found me through my blog. That’s always nice. I know that doesn’t help a lot of you out there who don’t have a blog, but that’s how he found me. Then I bought another house. I guess that was last year, not this year, but one we just listed that was from another investor who kind of wholesaled it to me. They had too many properties and wanted to let one go.
I’m always looking for new wholesalers, finding them or them finding me. Probably the best way to find wholesalers, I’ve had a podcast on this article, is look for their marketing. When you own properties, that makes it easy because they’ll send you letters and postcards, look for bandit signs, look for Craigslist ads, look for billboards, webpages. Try to find the wholesalers who are actively marketing. Those are the ones who probably have deals, and there are lots of people trying to get deals in our area. I’ve gotten postcards from probably 10 different investors in my properties this year. There’s a lot of people out there trying to find off market deals, trying to find deals, because it’s a really really crazy market.
We are also starting our own direct marketing campaign. I’ve been doing direct marketing off and on for last years with some degrees of success. I’ve bought a house, listed many other houses for people as an agent. The biggest challenge for me was always the time it took; getting your lists; getting the mailings put together; answering the phone; calling people back, and meeting people. It’s very time-consuming and your follow-up have to be really good with the direct marketing campaign.
I was approached by someone this year who asked me if they could run my direct mailing campaign if I’d tried them out. I have pretty much outsourced almost the whole process where they create the letters, they create the envelopes they’re sent in, they create the list, they even have someone who answers the phone and will set appointments for me. It is so nice. It is awesome. It’s a big commitment for them to help me how to send out quite a few letters. We’re sending a couple thousand letter — Post. They’re actually letters, out a month.
We just sent out our first batch and we got three decent leads from it. It’s already working well, really excited about sending out the other ones. I think that’s going to be a really great way to get new deals, a new way to market for buying houses and possibly giving leads to my team for people who don’t want to sell them to me but maybe they want to list their house. That’s something new that will be happening in the second half of the year. Hopefully I can write about it and that about it a lot more, how successful and awesome that is.
Again, another thing we did this year. We signed up with the company to manage all of our flips online. We can put all our properties on an online portal, create tasks for us. As soon as we enter a property, it creates all these tasks, know what we needed to do, get insurance, figure out a value, pictures, videos, all the stuff, and submit offers when they’re in the MLS through that system, keep track of all the bids, all the pictures. It’s really nice. It’s really helped get organized instead of using whiteboards in our heads and text messages to keep track of everything. It’s all in a central location. That has really helped us out as well. If anybody’s interested in those programs, the direct marketing, send me an email, [email protected] I can get you some more information on those.
All right. That’s everything that’s going on with the flips. Not everything, but most of it. They’ve been going very well. Of course, it takes me longer than I think to sell them, get them repaired, but we’ve doing very well in the profit side. Still finding deals, selling quickly once we get them on the market and just constantly trying to improve.
Nikki, who’s on my team, my project manager, I did a podcast with her earlier this year. Been an awesome resource. She’s been amazing working with contractors, keeping them in line, keeping track of invoicing, all of that. I definitely have a really good team behind me, and I could not be doing it without them. Thank you to them. Yeah, hopefully we can keep going and keep building that business, and then maybe eventually buy some more rentals.
I have bought one rental this year, which I don’t know. It’s not the same thing as what I have been buying. It’s a thousand square foot kind of commercial shop storage space. I bought that to put materials for our flips. I had two storage units before we’re putting stuff in. They got filled up really fast. Kind of expensive to have a storage unit, and so I ended up buying this shop from a friend of mine who wanted to sell it, and I can not only put a couple of my cars in there that I don’t have room for, but we can store a carpet, building supplies, appliances, flooring, all the stuff that we have left over from houses that we might want to use on a new hour or the bulk items we can buy from Home Depot.
We’re buying almost all of our materials from Home Depot. We have a manage pro account, which gives us huge discounts, and we have an actual person at Home Depot who will talk to us night and day, help us with any problems, any issues. If we buy in bulk — Yesterday, we had four rolls of carpet. What — 9, 10 rolls of carpet pad delivered. It’s a huge discount when you buy in bulk like that from Home Depot. We can store stuff in there. The contractors can go to that storage unit, pick up what they need. Of course, we don’t give that to all our contractors, the ones we trust or we meet the people out there. It saves us a lot of money.
If we have decent appliances we might want to use in a rental, maybe we buy a flip and had a decent appliances but they’re not good enough to sell, we can store those. If a stove goes out in a rental, hey, we’ve got a stove sitting there. We can use that. It’s nice to have those supplies and space.
While I’m not really making any income off this so called rental property, I’m not going to have to pay for storage units anymore, so it will save my money. I can actually kind of rent it for myself, my business, so rent it for myself, and it will cash flow if I were to find something else bigger or do something else different with my space. I could rend this place out and it would definitely cash flow from another user. That’s kind of my first commercial purchase
I have another rental property that’s been under contract like four months. It’s a commercial property as well. I thought we’re going to buy that earlier. It’s on a contract for 110,000. It should rent for almost 2,000 a month. Needs little work. The thing is the owner has federal tax liens he’s trying to clear up before he can sell it. That’s what the delay has been. I don’t know for sure if I’m going to buy, but I’m hoping.
Eventually, he can get those federal tax liens cleared up, he can sell it, and then I’ll have another new rental property that I bought this year. Then I also still — I’m working on some big projects, big commercial properties, but it’s very challenging. It’s very tricky getting that done. I’m learning a ton about costs, repairs, different things like that on some larger properties. By large, I mean greater than 100,000 square feet.
That’s still in process. I’m still working on that, but I don’t know how soon or if that will happen or not. I’ll update you as soon as I can. I am buying rentals, just a little different. I still like the Florida market where I went to before, but I’ve been focused on my flipping, building that business, focusing on more local things here instead just because it’s so much easier. The flipping side has been very successful. I’m not forcing myself to buy in other market. It just takes so much time to learn that market to build your team, to find people down there to help you. As for me, I’m not going to buy out of state eventually. Just for the time being, I’m still doing fairly well here locally.
All right, last bit of rental news is I said I’m fixing up another rental property that I’m going to sell. It wasn’t my plan to sell my properties. This is the last one I think I’m going to sell. For the immediate future, I sold a couple last year that we’re not my most desirable properties. This one is kind of in that same boat. I did an article on it a few months ago. The tenants there trashed it pretty good. They had bed bugs. Super dirty. We actually got our lawyers involved, got a judgment placed against them. Don’t know if we’ll ever get paid on that, but I bought that property for $96,000 I think. It was either $96,000 to $99,000 back in 2014, I believe. I’ll have to go back and look at my numbers.
Spent almost nothing on the rehab when I first bought it. Maybe $2,500. It’s really clean. Just had to clean some stuff up, a little bit of pain. We had it rented for $1,250, $1,200 almost the entire time until we had this tenant who really fell apart. She’s good to start with and then just completely fell apart. We had to evict her, goes to that. Then we had to repair house, which we’d spent about $20,000 on the repairs for that property, and that’s because we’re getting ready to sell. If we’re just going to rent it again, probably won’t have to spend that much, but we’re hoping that property will be worth around $190,000 to $200,000 when we sell it. It’s almost doubled in value since I’ve had it. Then, again, it’ll give me some more cash, more money to either keep building the flip business or if I find a new other investments for the rental properties. I may or may not do a 10/31 exchange depending on what I have coming up when we sell that and if I’m buying anything else.
Okay. Last, I’m going to talk about my team just a little bit. Again, I started this year, a couple of really good agents doing fantastic. Nikki is also an agent. Our team is doing very, but it’s very hard right now in this market to sell houses. Usually, in a market that’s hot that has a lot of price increases, it’s a really good time to be an agent. It’s not a really good time to be an agent right now because there’s no houses, there’s no inventory. There’s no houses for agents to sell. There’s a lot of agents struggling right now. A lot of agents getting out of the business, and it’s really tough for a lot of people.
Our team has still done well. We’re still selling houses, still making money, but we’ve got to work pretty hard to do it, and we actually lost one of our team members this year; BJ, who’s one of the best agents on our team. Moved to another team for a number of reasons, to be closer to his house, because he had to drive to work 30 miles every day, and he wanted a more steady pay, so he actually joined a team where he could get a steadier pay system than what we had with us. Love BJ. No hard feelings, but hopefully does very well there.
We’ve still got a couple of great agents in our team and we’re probably hiring at least one, if not two more in the next few weeks here. We’ve been interviewing, found some really cool people to work with us. We can kind of figure out we’d offer a different little structure on our team whereas if just having them be agents only earning money on commissions, they can do other work for us. Maybe hourly helping with contracts, helping with marketing, so we can offer them some stable income, which is a huge challenge for a lot of agents. I think that’s really helped us attract more agents to our team is giving that option. Hopefully, they do very well. We’ll have some new team pictures here when our team is changing, so I can show everybody our team again.
Nikki is doing awesome as I said. She’s an agent as well. Not only does she help with the flipping side of it. She sells houses once in a while, which is great. John, who’s our contract manager has done well. We’ve actually given him some more responsibilities to help with the flips and doing some stuff, so that’s made him happy. Justin is doing great managing our team. He’s also selling houses once in a while.
Ray, who’s also a newer agent who joined last year, has been doing great. He’s been doing great as a new agent. I did, earlier this year, get my managing broker’s class certification. So I don’t have any immediate plans, but I may at some point in the future open my own office. We’ll see how that turns out, but I’m qualified to do it now. I have all the classes done and all the education, so part of my — My commercial ventures may be opening a new office for myself in those building, but that’s a ways out. That’s just a tiny little thought now. A lot of work to do there.
That’s about all that’s going on. The blog has been doing great. I’ve got six paperback books published now, which are really fun. I love being able to provide affordable education. It’s very comprehensive to as many people as possible. Coaching programs are doing well. For those who want more personalized coaching, the emails, the calls, those have been doing very well.
I’m thinking about adding some new products as well, maybe doing a mastermind at some point. I’ll see. I won’t have anything solid, but I think that would be fun as well. Yeah, everything is going great this year. There’s always challenges, there’s always up and downs, but life would not be nearly as fun without those challenges. That’s for sure. I guess the only thing else super exciting that happened this year was I bought another car, a Lotus Esprit V8, twin turbo, which was 38,000. Super affordable car. Super rare. Really fun to drive. Really fast. Love that car. I love it way more than I thought I would before I bought it. Really fun car.
Then I took it to the car show, the Concours d’ Elegance in Denver last weekend and actually won first place in the Lotus group even though I didn’t enter it to be judged. So that was kind of cool. I think maybe they want me in their car club and that’s why they did that, but I was pretty excited to walk back to the car and see a blue ribbon, like, “Oh, sweet. I didn’t even asked for it to be judged.” Yup, that’s a really fun car. If anybody is in the mood or looking for a super car that’s rare, fun, and you won’t see on the road, I would recommend the Lotus Esprit.
Here’s my blog. Thanks for listening. That’s all I’ve got for the update this year. Hopefully things keep going well in the second half of the year with the flips. Hopefully I can buy some more rentals, keep building that. Hopefully our team can hire a couple of more agents, do well. Then I’m still working, like I said, on some really big projects in the big commercial side of things that hopefully something will happen with, but it’s a tough business. It’s a lot to learn, a lot of risk, a lot of people involved to get those done.
Thank you for listening. We’ll be back next week with another guest. Yeah, hope everybody is enjoying their summer, hitting all their goals, and at least keeping track of their goals and seeing how they’re doing.
All right, thanks again. If anybody has questions, you can always email me; [email protected], and don’t forget to leave me some reviews on iTunes and Amazon.