2018 is more than halfway done, and I thought it would be a great time to update everyone on what has gone on in my real estate world. I set goals every year, and one of my challenges is making sure I am reviewing and paying attention to those goals. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business activities and lose sight of the big picture. Luckily, I have a blog that keeps me mostly on track and accountable for my goals. I created house-flipping goals, rental property goals, real estate agent goals, and a few personal goals, including buying a car. It has been an exciting year to say the least, with a lot accomplished and much more to do. In this post, I will go over what my goals are for 2018 and how things have gone so far.
What were my major real estate goals for 2018?
You can read the full article I wrote on my goals for 2018 and a recap of 2017 here: My goals for 2018 and a recap of 2017. Below are the main goals I set for 2018:
- I want to make $100,000 per month flipping houses. My goal in 2017 was to flip 30 houses, which I almost did (26). This year, I decided I wanted a monetary goal instead. You can see all my house flips with videos here: https://investfourmore.com/flips/.
- I want to add $6,000 per month in passive income. Instead of creating a number of properties I want to buy, I decided to create a passive-income number since I think that is more important. I had stopped buying rentals in 2016 because I could not find cash-flowing single-family properties. But I started buying commercial properties in 2017.
- I want to start my own real estate office. I had a large property under contract to buy, and part of that plan involved starting my own real estate brokerage.
- I will buy an Aston Martin V8 or Lamborghini Countach this year. I love cars and already have a few other exotics.
How have my rental property goals gone?
I knew I would hit a big part of my goal to create $6,000 per month with a 68,000-square-foot commercial property I had under contract when I made my goals. In February, I closed on the deal, and it has been a great investment so far. It has gone much better than my partner and I thought it would. Rent comes in on time every month; there are have been no unexpected expenses; we got one of the vacant units rented out; and we are making more money than we thought we would. We have had some expenses with the building like repairing the roof, but we knew we would have that, and it was actually much cheaper than we thought it would be. We spent about $9,000 on the roof when we thought we may have to spend $50,000 or more.
I wanted to add $6,000 per month in passive income too, and I am coming close to doing that with just this property. I think I am making close to $5,000 per month from my share of the property. The tenants pay just about all of the expenses for the building since they have NNN leases. I am one of those tenants and the reason we leased out one of the vacant units. I have not bought any other rentals, but I have my eyes open for more and hope to pick up another $1,000 per month in passive income from some kind of property.
Another thing I did that added more cash flow to my business as well was refinance one of my current rentals. I had bought another commercial property in 2017 with private money. I leased that property out and refinanced it a few months ago, which gave me a ton of cash back and a much lower long-term payment. You can see the details on that here: How I used the BRRR method to buy a commercial rental property.
Was I able to start my own real estate brokerage?
One of the more exciting goals I set this year was to start my own real estate brokerage. I have worked at the same company since I got my license in 2002. I knew at some point I would start a brokerage. I had not started one in the past because much of my business came from REO and HUD listings. The contracts I have with banks are with the broker, not the agent, so I would risk losing those accounts if I started an office. I do not do HUD or REO work anymore, so there is no risk in losing those accounts.
It also worked out perfectly to start a brokerage once I had purchased a building with vacant space. I could rent office space from myself, which would save me money as well. Yes, I could be renting that space to another business, but it is not always easy filling office space. It could take a very long time to rent out the space, and it was a huge advantage being able to rent it out right away.
It was interesting starting the brokerage. I told my broker at the old office that I was buying the building and most likely starting my own office to give him a heads up. I had three offices in that brokerage, and I wanted to give him warning since that would be a big hit to him. When I told him I was moving for sure a couple of months later, he seemed super surprised. I was planning to leave June 1st, and he ended up saying I needed to be out April 6th, 10 days after I told him! Luckily, I had already taken my broker classes and was set up to be an employing broker. I had to register my new office, create the documents, and find a place to move within 10 days! I managed to get it all done, and we moved into another vacant space in the big commercial building I had bought while the other space was being renovated.
It was exciting and fun. In the end, I was glad that we moved earlier than I planned as it forced us into action. We moved into the permanent space the middle of June, just a little later than I had planned. All of my team came with me except for one agent, and it has been really cool having my own office. I am working on adding a few great agents now and have a few people who are hopefully going to join soon.
Below is a video of the commercial property when I bought it:
Below you can see what our office looks like now:
How have my fix and flip business goals gone this year?
I had a goal to make $100,000 per month flipping houses, which was really ambitious. I usually average around $30,000 to $33,000 in profit per flip, and I flipped 26 houses last year. It is possible to make $100,000 per year, but I would be pushing myself. The year did not start out amazingly. I sold quite a few houses but was not buying very many. I think I was slightly distracted from buying a building for $2.1 million and starting the brokerage. Nikki, my project manager, has done an amazing job, but her main focus is on repairing and selling the properties, not buying them. I have always loved finding the deals, and I was not doing an amazing job of it. I wanted to buy about 3 flips per month, and we only bought 7 the entire year through the end of June. However, things picked up lately with 9 purchases in the last 6 weeks.
I keep track of how much I make on each flip on my fix-and-flip property scoreboard (at least a rough number). I have sold 14 flips so far this year with some doing great and others not doing as well. I am behind on my goal, but I may be able to make up for it in the later half of the year. There are always surprises with the flipping business, but it has evolved immensely over the last three years and done much better with Nikki keeping track of things. We have multiple contractors, subcontractors, and employees working on the flips. Although I did have to fire one of my most used contractors in the first part of the year. You can see the story below on a flip that I did not do so well on.
Most of the recent flips were bought either with direct marketing or through the MLS.
Did I end up reaching my goal to buy an Aston Martin or Lamborghini Countach yet?
In February, after buying the large commercial property, I bought a 1981 Aston Martin V8 Volante. I had talked to the owner of the car in 2017, and we came to an agreement on price then. It took a while to get a pre-purchase inspection done before I bought the car. I think I got a great deal picking it up for $125,000 when similar cars are all well above $150,000, with the best cars selling for $200,000. This car was in great shape and was actually in the show Dynasty in the early 1980s. The designer, Bijan, ordered the car new and was friends with Aaron Spelling. He let him borrow the car for the show, and I even found a few pics of the car. The designer owned the car for almost 20 years before it was donated to the Peterson Museum. It was stored for a few years before it was bought by the current owner who is in Colorado. The current owner actually has two of the cars, and we think they may be the only ones in Colorado. They only made about 50 cars for the entire world that year.
How has the blog done in 2018?
The blog has done well this year, although traffic has stayed relatively the same. I was hoping for a big jump after hiring an SEO company to help me, but that turned out to be a huge mistake. They ripped me off and did more harm than good. I would not recommend Ardor SEO or Kris Reid to anyone! I did a full review on them, including overcharging me, admitting it, and then refusing to refund me. They also keep leaving fake reviews on my Facebook page from fake accounts. If anyone wants to leave a real review on our Facebook account, that would be fantastic! https://www.facebook.com/InvestFourMore/
I also hired a company to help me market some of my coaching programs as I do not have time to do everything! I spent a lot of time building those programs, and I feel they provide tremendous value for relatively little money. I am still fine tuning their marketing, but it has helped me sell more programs and help more people. We have had some great calls on the Complete Blueprint for Successful Real Estate Investing program. I have some coupons available for that program as well. Just email me [email protected]
My books have been doing very well, especially Build a Rental Property Empire. Last week, two people or companies bought 99 and 50 copies of the book! It could have been bookstores, which would be awesome. I am thinking of writing another book but am not sure yet if I want to take that on. If anyone has some ideas for a new book, comment below to let me know. You can find my current books on Amazon here: Mark Ferguson Books.
It has been a crazy first half of the year! A lot of unexpected things happened, but I am very happy with how things have gone. The house flips are going well; the rentals are going well; the office is going well; and I bought an Aston Martin that I have dreamed of for years. I was beginning to think I would never get one with prices skyrocketing on them. I hope to smooth out the businesses the second half of the year and stabilize the office as well as get all the flips I just bought sold.