Traveling Salesman: The Best Job For A Real Estate Investor

In this episode of The Best Job For a Real Estate Investor, I’m joined by Michael Zuber and Jamie O’Brien, both traveling salesman but at different points in their careers.

Michael has been investing for 15 Years through his One Rental At A Time concept, has now retired from his successful W2 career and focusing on real estate full time. Jamie is at the opposite end of the spectrum by recently expanded his sales territory and been investing for just a couple of years.

After talking with Michael and Jamie, I’m CONVINCED that being a Traveling Salesman IS THE BEST JOB when it comes to investing in real estate on the side. And THE BEST part of this conversation happens toward the end, so be sure to stay until then or skip ahead.

Key Takeaways:

  • Difference between a “rookie” race horse and a grey haired stud in the barn.
  • “One of the worst days of my life was receiving a Platinum Travel Rewards Cards.”
  • Know YOUR investing criteria.
  • Thriving through a real estate downturn; not just living but thriving through the 2008 crisis.

YouTube Link for this interview, subscribe here.

If you think you have THE BEST JOB to invest in real estate on the side, and aren’t camera shy. I want to talk with you. Let’s connect.

Links Mentioned:

The Best Job Series:


Think you have the best job to have REI as a side hustle? Contact me.

Auditor: The Best Job For A Real Estate Investor

In this episode of The Best Job For a Real Estate Investor, I’m joined by Bo Kim. Bo lives in LA (and for my Alabama friends, that is NOT Lower Alabama). While Los Angeles is an expensive market to invest, Bo has focused his efforts and found success on long distance investing in 11 out of state units (something I hope to do later this year).

Not only does he share the name with one of my childhood heroes, but he he has also incorporated one of his catch phrases: Bo Knows Cash Flow. And yes, I still have a box full of baseball cards. The only time I’ve ever been star struck was while eating dinner approx. 5 years ago and in walked Mr. Vincent Jackson (how can I get him as a guest on here???). Anyways…after talking with Bo Kim, I’m CONVINCED that being an Auditor IS THE BEST JOB when it comes to investing in real estate on the side.

Key Takeaways:

  • Know YOUR investing criteria.
  • Why Cash-on-Cash Return is important to Bo.
  • Auditors deal with Business Risk Management and SEC Regulations -> key for RE investors.
  • I am not Bo Kim – he is!!

YouTube Link for interview, subscribe here.

If you think you have THE BEST JOB to invest in real estate on the side, and aren’t camera shy. I want to talk with you. Let’s connect.

Links Mentioned:

The Best Job Series:


Think you have the best job to have REI as a side hustle? Contact me.

Financial Analyst: The Best Job For A Real Estate Investor

Today I’m joined by the tough loving, dynamic personality of Alex Felice. Alex is a Financial Analyst / Underwriter by day and a savvy long distance real estate investor on the side. After talking with Alex I’m CONVINCED that being a financial analyst/underwriter IS THE BEST JOB when it comes to investing in real estate on the side.

Key Takeaways:

  • “20 Year Olds are idiots.”
  • “You manage risk, you should never fear it.”
  • “It is so easy to make money in this country. Being broke is a choice.”
  • “Suck it up buttercup!”

If you think you have THE BEST JOB to invest in real estate on the side, and aren’t camera shy. I want to talk with you. Let’s connect.

Links Mentioned:

The Best Job Series:


Think you have the best job to have REI as a side hustle? Contact me.

Serving in the Military: The Best Job For A Real Estate Investor

Today I’m joined by a few of my heroes (mainly because of their service but they are also kicking A$$ in REI). After talking with them I’m convinced Military Service Men and Women have THE BEST JOB when it comes to investing in real estate on the side, but don’t take my word for it. Hear it straight from these active duty and veteran service men and women:  

  • David Joseph Pere: active duty Marine, serving in Hawaii
  • Patrick Daniel: active duty Navy, serving in Florida
  • Tim Kelly: active duty Navy, serving in Florida
  • Shelby Osborne: Army veteran, residing in North Carolina

To all of you service men and women, THANK YOU. Connect with all of us through my Facebook Group and individual contact info is below.

If you think you have THE BEST JOB to invest in real estate on the side, and aren’t camera shy. I want to talk with you. Let’s connect.

Soldier Contact Info

Links Mentioned:

The Best Job Series:


Think you have the best job to have REI as a side hustle? Contact me.

General Contractor: The Best Job For A Real Estate Investor

General Contractors have THE BEST JOB when it comes to investing in real estate on the side, but don’t take my word for it. Hear it straight from 10 year GC veteran Darron Hay: https://youtu.be/1dasiCn1Nik

Darron and I connected through my Facebook Group, when he commented on a post I made about the danger around relying on just one stream of income. When I saw his story I knew this was a guy I wanted to talk to. Darron’s amazing story of how he and his wife, in separate incidents, not only lost their single flow of income but almost lost their lives in a span of 6 days is something you do not want to miss.

Be sure to click the YouTube Subscribe button so you’re notified as I bring you more of these videos. Doctors, nurses, general contractors, & servicemen interviews are coming up.

Links Mentioned:


Think you have the best job to have REI as a side hustle? Contact me.

Firefighter: The Best Job For A Real Estate Investor

Firefighters have THE BEST JOB and the best job when it comes to investing in real estate on the side, but don’t take my word for it. Hear it straight from Lt. Mike Webb (theinvestingfireman.com) and Capt. Ryan Kinyon on how they balance fighting fires and building wealth during their off-time: https://youtu.be/6K27_lFeZy0

Be sure to click the YouTube Subscribe button so you’re notified as I bring you more of these videos. Doctors, nurses, general contractors, & servicemen interviews are coming up.

Links Mentioned:


Think you have the best job to have REI as a side hustle? Contact me.

I Have $10k to Invest in Real Estate. Where Do I Begin?

One of the more common questions I see or hear. “I don’t have a lot of money and by that I mean, I have approx. $10k and I want to invest in Real Estate. Where do I begin?” Some people will tell you to wait until you have more money, $100k even. I’m not that patient and I see how our net worth has exponentially grown since purchasing our first buy and hold property. So what do you do?

First…You give it all to me! Bwhahahaha, BWhahahahAA, BWHAHAHAHA <- my attempt at an evil laugh (think Dr. Evil / Austin Powers).

Seriously, first, you have to decide what type of investor you want to be. There are many ways to invest in real estate (flipping, wholesaling, buy & hold, notes, etc.). For the sake of this post, we’re going to focus on Buy & Hold, because, quite simply, I focus on buy & hold :).  Here are a few options to get started in Buy & Hold REI if you have just $10k to invest:

REI Strategies. Lessons Learned. How-Tos. No Spam…Learn More. 

Option 1 : FHA a Small MFR

Find a small multi-family (2-4 units) and get approved for a FHA loan. At the time this article originally published, down payment requirements are 3.5%, as long as you meet the criteria (i.e. you have to live in one of the units for a certain period of time). At 3.5% down payment you can purchase a $100,000 property and still have money to pay all closing costs. This is also known as House Hacking.

Option 2 : Buy an Inexpensive SFR

To obtain a conventional loan for an investment property typically requires 20-25% down payment. With only $10k to invest you will target a $50k single family residence, however, banks typically won’t provide a mortgage for less than $50k. With a $10k down payment, loan would be for $40k and if you find a lender willing to do this, please send me their contact info (I’m at jay@helmsREI.com). But if you can convince the seller to owner finance 10% on a 2nd position mortgage (or seller carry back), then your $10k is now 10% of the down payment, meaning your now looking at properties with a price of $100k. Which leads me to Option 3…

Option 3 – Buy a Property with Owner Financing

One of the best strategies to leverage your money!  In this scenario the seller becomes the bank or provides part of your down payment by what’s called a seller carry back. Best case scenario is the seller owns the property outright and y’all come to terms. No silver bullet here in deal structure, just up to you and the seller to create a win-win scenario using whatever terms y’all agree to. Always have a lawyer review these terms and represent you at closing.

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Option 4 – Partnership

Partnerships are great and here again there is no silver bullet to structure them. Find a deal that meets all of your criteria and find a partner or partners to make it happen.

We did this when we Purchased Our First Apartment Complex. We had $25k to invest and needed THREE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND to close. Partnerships made it happen.

Speaking of, Option 4B is partner with someone on a larger multi-family. When we were raising money for our apartment complex, we had a minimum investment of $25k. But if you and 4 of your buddies each had $10k to invest, bringing $50k of capital to the table, I would certainly take a hard look at it.

So if you want to invest and you think “I don’t have that much money”, there are options. You just have to be creative. Happy to talk through any of these with you. I’m at jay@helmsREI.com or 850-610-0966.

Related Articles

How We Use Our Tripod of Adopted Investing Criteria

We consider appreciation extra icing and don’t acquire based on assumed appreciation, but we also don’t want to be put in a position to exit a property and be required to bring money to closing.

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real estate investing pensacola fl

If you’ve been following us you know we have adopted a tripod of investing criteria we use to analyze ever potential acquisition. There are many criteria and tools used in real estate investing, but our current REI focus in the Pensacola area is buy & hold with an emphasis on cash flow. Since cash flow is the #1 goal, we start our analyzing there but each criteria I mention below must be met before we make an acquisition.

Prerequisite: Asset Must Rent @ 1-2% of Acquisition Costs
Also known as the 1 or 2% rule. I was introduced to this rule by the guys over @ BiggerPockets.com and is the first hurdle any potential asset must leap for us to pursue any further. I try to analyze at least 3 Pensacola properties a day with this prerequisite. Takes approx. 15 minutes or less with this prereq and if it passes, we move onto Criteria #1: Cash Flow.

REI Strategies. Lessons Learned. How-Tos. No Spam…Learn More.

The 1 or 2% rule is fairly straightforward – the asset must have a monthly rent of 1-2% of its potential acquisition costs. For example, using the 2% rule, if a potential asset has a total acquisition costs (purchase price, closing costs, capital expenses/repairs to make it livable) of $50,000, it must rent for $1,000/month. Knowing the rent values in our investment areas, makes this a quick prerequisite to jump through.

Criteria #1: Cash Flow is >=$100/Month Per Unit
I go into how we calculate cash flow on the Real Estate Investing Terms: Cash Flow post, but essentially you add up all your monthly expenses, subtract those expenses from gross rent. What you have left over is Cash Flow and our target here is $100/unit or in other words $100/door.

Criteria #2: Projected CoCR is >= 15%
Cash-on-Cash Return (CoCR) is a way we analyze Pensacola properties to see how they compare to one another, but also how well they compare against other non-real estate investment avenues (i.e. IRA/401k, stock market, etc.) In the post How We Used Our IRA to Invest in Real Estate, I talk about how previous IRA and current 401K provides a return of 8% on their money. While our criteria is 15%, anything over 12% we look at in more detail. I’m posting in detail how we calculate CoCR and I’ll link back here.

Criteria #3: Asset Acquired @ 20% Below Market Value

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This essentially means we make a lot of offers, low offers. My realtor team calls me Mr. Low Ball and I’m ok with that :). The primary reason we do this and especially right now, is preparing for a dip to happen. The Pensacola market has been on the upswing for a while now and many of the local experts are predicting a dip or slight correction in the next 3-5 years. As the market tends to shift, we will slide the % on this criteria. The biggest takeaway from this criteria is look for a deal!
We consider appreciation extra icing and don’t acquire based on assumed appreciation, but we also don’t want to be put in a position to exit a property and be required to bring money to closing.

Acquisitions are one thing, exits are another. We currently hold 2 criteria as our exit strategy and more to come on those later.

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