Property Management. Sounds scary? It’s really not! It’s also not as hard to get into as you probably think. Before I get into all the details, I figured I’d do more of an introduction, and give you the quick version of what I have done with property management so far.
My dad was a handyman. From small renovation projects to simple painting jobs, I remember wanting to help. My grandpa owned rental properties, and way back when, he had theaters, hotels and liquor stores, so the concept of owning real estate was always there.
A few years after high school, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to have my own company, but at that point, that was it. I went to school for business entrepreneurship, and I was set on starting up a mini storage facility. Sounds exciting right?! If you looked at the numbers, it WAS exciting!! But…I was young. I didn’t have money or land, and building a facility was beyond what I could do at that point.
So, what next? “Let’s flip properties!” Same problem. I didn’t have cash, and this was right when the housing market crashed, so selling those properties would have been difficult. I moved on to starting a photography company (my other love), which I successfully ran until my son came along.
I still loved houses, and wanted to someday get into investing.
We started small and slow. My husband and I bought our first house in 2008, and it was pretty crazy. We were ‘looking’ but not really ready…but I saw a house that dropped $20,000 and said we had to just look at it. So we did, and without really talking about it, we made an offer right there. Just a month or so later, we were homeowners!
Having a business mind, we rented a couple rooms to friends, and started to save for another house. In 2010 we bought our first investment property, which was a lot harder than buying a house you’re moving into. We refinished the floors, painted, updated the kitchen and bathroom, and started renting it out.
We wanted more, but doing another 20% down can be pretty difficult. But, this is where we learned that really, anyone can do this. We moved a couple times, but kept the previous houses to rent out, sold the first investment property we bought, bought our first property to flip, sold that and bought another rental.
We currently have 3 rental properties and we’re looking for our next project. This isn’t a ‘get rich fast’ business—maybe if you already have the capital to put towards deals, it can be. It’s a lot of work and takes time, but we now have a good income stream from just our rentals, and a start to a good retirement fund.
I’ll share the details of how we find houses, along with the entire process of finding and managing the tenants in the next couple posts, so stay tuned!
If you would like to take a look at some properties, or you have specific questions about the buying, selling, renting or flipping process, I’d love to chat!