Earlier this week, my hometown of Meridian, MS got hit pretty hard with winter weather. It snows about 3-4 years in that area, however if 2020 wasn’t enough to put everyone on edge, the winter storm of 2021 sure did.
After checking on my immediate family, I reached out to the Property Manager I have looking after my rental property in the area to check on her and the tenant in my property. I was not surprised to hear something had happened. However, I am pleasantly pleased at how she has handled the situation.
The tenant was not at home at the time and a pipe under the second bathroom burst and she was already on it. She’s already hired someone to fix the issue and turned the water off to prevent a large bill for the tenant. She said, “I only want to involved you when I really need to”. That to me is a sign of a great Property Manager. She knows I don’t live in the state and that I have other things going on and understands the importance of her position to take care of the tenant needs and the property.
In this moment, I couldn’t be more happy that I actually pay someone 10% of the rental income to have someone to take of things like this. I’m also reminded of a book I read named Long-Distance Real Estate Investing By David M Greene that recommended hiring a property manager as well. My advice to anyone especially, if you are a long distance real estate investor is to add a Property Manager to your team. It will be better for you in the long run.
One of the things, that I found to be tough as I began my real estate investment journey was building my team. It’s something that I still struggle with today and it’s partly because I don’t live in the areas I invest in.
As a newbie real estate investor, you hear people say, you have to build a team and you’re like okay. That involves a variety of people with different skill sets. Since I invest in Mississippi and I don’t currently live there, I had to network via Facebook. I was fortunate to reach out to a couple of people who came across my Facebook newsfeed from the area I am investing in who were also investors in the city and had connections and contacts and didn’t mind sharing. Of course there are other ways to connect with people via the internet and other social media platforms. On my first property, I knew I was going to need a Contractor, an Insurance Agent and a Property Manager. I thought that would be my team and I was good.
But later I found out that, building a team involves a lot more people. In order to grow the business, I’m going to need several Contractors, not just one, a Property Manager, a Realtor, an Insurance Agent, and a Lender, and a few people in my life to talk to when I need to vent or bounce ideas off of. It’s a whole system of people who I can rely on to get the things I need that will help me reach my goals. Of course I read a couple of books about it and one of the best ones, I read that helped me is Long Distance Real Estate Investing by David Greene.
It’s not an easy thing to do and it will take some trial and error, but I know once I’ve gotten my team down solid, the sky is the limit and at that point.
The first question people ask me when I tell them that I invest in Real Estate is “why did you decide to start investing?” Although my purpose has changed since I made the decision. It all started because of my budget. I purchased my current home in 2017 after renting for a while. Then I bought a new car in 2018. Yes, I bought it brand new and after buying the car, I started looking at my monthly budget and noticed that I wasn’t saving as much money as I used to nor that I wanted to.
Of course, me being the over analyzer that I am sometimes, I took a deeper dive into my finances as a whole. I looked at how much I was spending on everything. I created an Excel spreadsheet to look at how much money came in and out of my bank account. Every month after I looked at the money I would have left after I paid all my bills, I took the remainder and either put it aside or I invested it. I did this process for about 8 months and was helpful to know where I can take some risks with investing and saving.
For anyone looking to invest, I highly recommend that you analyze your monthly finances first. I often hear people asking questions such as what should they invest in or how much money do they need to start investing. The answer is simple. What can you afford?