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.