Why Due Diligence Matters
I wrote an article that was published this afternoon at BiggerPockets.com, which meant it was time to send out this email. Many who are reading this email have come to know our company very well and many have come to know our family too. We receive thank you cards and letters nearly every week commenting on the impressive company we have built and how impressed they are with the hard charging leadership that comes from Kent Clothier, Sr. We affectionately just call him Senior!
White Board Real Estate Investing Plans
Whenever we speak to real estate investors around the country, always sharing the story of our great city Memphis, Tennessee and more importantly what is happening with our real estate investing company, we tell investors that there is no White Board hanging on a wall with a business plan outlining the path to where we are today. It would make a great story if that were the case, but the reality is that we made some very good decisions early on and put ourselves in position to take advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves. Recognizing those opportunities and taking advantage of them has been the hard part. When you mix good decisions with the right opportunities and a little luck, you get a small, family-owned company that has grown from a handful of employees to a Inc. 500/5000 fastest growing company employing almost 40 employees, nearly 300 vendor employees, managing 1,600 plus investment properties with a value approaching $150 Million for over 600 real estate investors! And there is more to come...
Dotting "I's" and Crossing "T's"
We have always considered ourselves as business men first and real estate investors second. With such rapid growth over the past two years, like any good business owners would do, we have been on a constant search to surround ourselves with excellent people who can help guide our growth. In addition to simply looking for great talent and even better advice, we have also had to adopt new rules and the guidelines of a large and growing company by developing HR best practices, vacation policies, travel schedules, new computer systems, a more diverse roster of partner companies from closing attorneys to insurance providers, along with letting go of contractors who simply could not keep up to our standards.
We have also committed our company and staff to sharing data publicly so that interested real estate investors along with our current clients can track and compare our data with their results. Data such as property management numbers graphed and reported monthly, sales numbers reported quarterly and beginning during the 4th quarter of 2012, renovation permits reported monthly. The permits was a big issue to us as our contractors pulled over 400 permits on properties in 2012. Of course, not every property needs a permit and not every action taken on a property has to be permitted. None the less, we have begun reporting the numbers of permits that contractors are pulling monthly on properties we are renovating and managing. None of this is required and certainly not necessary to conduct business. We do it as a way of providing transparency for our clients, interested investors and unfortunately, because sometimes we have to do it to set the record straight!
With all of the changes that the company has undergone in 2012, we thought now would be a perfect time to look back at those changes, report some final numbers and take a look at where we expect to go in 2013. Be sure to let us know what you think at the bottom of the article!
New Faces & A New City
We will remember 2012 for several reasons, but mainly because it wore us out! Very quietly in the fourth quarter of 2011 we began exploring opening a second office in another city. Dallas, Texas was a natural fit for us since it is where we had lived for so many years and we had family and business ties to the area. We opened an office in Dallas during the Spring of 2012 and opened Dallas Invest, GP and had a fantastic year. We were able to complete 55 transactions, open our property management company, hire three full time employees, host two small tours of our properties to help us work out the kinks in the new city and over-all finish with what we felt had been as smooth a process as possible. We have been repeatedly asked about the website DallasInvest.com and all I can say is it is coming, but not until the time is right for rapid growth in Texas and we are not quite ready yet. We still have some work to do to ensure that the investment process and the customer service experience are the highest level possible.
Whew! We made it. Barely. Through a series of last-minute sessions, Congress somehow managed to hash out and pass the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. In doing so, they narrowly averted the fiscal cliff. So…what does that mean, exactly? Will it have any effect on Memphis real estate or the investors what are buying investment properties here in Memphis?
As a valued member of our extended family and a Memphis Invest client, we wanted to bring something to your attention and address it openly and in an upfront manner.
This past Friday, one of our local closing attorneys was indicted on a single count of fraud dating back to 2003. Sharon K. Anderson was charged and will now have the opportunity to defend herself and her company as it relates to this charge.
Turn on your phone. Check the date. Does it say it's January of 2013? Good. Now take a look out the window. Did the sun come up? Sky still blue? Grass still green? Super. The world didn't end. Someone somewhere read the Mayan Calendar wrong and has a lot of explaining to do. The country didn't tumble over the fiscal cliff into oblivion and believe me, real estate investing is still an excellent bet for investment dollars. And dollars to dough nuts that somewhere right now Michael Bay is working on a summer blockbuster. (It's Ninja Turtles, and it's due out in May of next year. What? I checked IMDB. I couldn't help myself.)
86% of Customers Will Pay More For Better Customer Experience
So today I was researching different Memphis real estate terms and I just wasn't finding anything that excited me for the blog. I will definitely have something out tomorrow highlighting some local real estate news with a wrap up of 2012 tomorrow. However, while I was researching, I came across an excellent article in The Daily News from Lori Turner-Wilson, Customer Pay More For Better Experience, and seeing as how we are customer experience fanatics, it grabbed my attention.
Fortunately for real estate investors everywhere, there are a lot of real estate titles that have some great information on real estate investing. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of books on real estate out there by get-rich-quick schemers and authors who may have completed a small handful of transactions and now want to tell everyone else how it is done. Many of these books are little more than promotional fluff to get you to buy whatever "can't lose" investment system these fast-talkers and new-comers to the real estate world are shilling. It can be difficult to wade through all the snake oil and "too-dumb to know I was lucky" books to find quality information. Here at Memphis Invest we have done some of the work for you by selecting a few good books. Here are three real estate book recommendations, in no particular order, that can actually leave you smarter than they found you.
So now we know that the Bass Pro Shops plan to be right on track with the opening of the Memphis Super Store in Downtown Memphis Pyramid and just in time for the Holiday season of 2013. I think this gives Memphis real estate investors a big reason to cheer. The positives of a project like this one go far beyond simply economics. As Memphis continues to reach out and recruit more major international companies to relocate to Memphis, having family friendly attractions that also add to the tourist draw of the city can do nothing but improve the cities positives. That growth makes for a stronger over-all real estate market in Memphis.
In case you've been asleep for the entirety of the smartphone era thus far, here's a news flash: There's an app for everything now. If you can think of it, there's probably an app for it; if not, there's probably one (or more likely 50) in development for it somewhere. Heck, even if you haven't thought of it, there's probably an app for it. (If you don't believe us, check out Ghost Radar. It's an app that supposedly gives you everything you need to measure paranormal activity.) Here at Memphis Invest, we released our first real estate investing App about 2 years ago and are already working on two new Apps. One will be just for our clients and the other will be for any real estate investor out there that finds it useful. We certainly are not going into the App business, but we definitely see it as a way to continue to put distance between ourselves and other companies. Plus there seems to be an App wave going on!