Today is the 5th post in my series “Success Stories in Real Estate Investing” and the spotlight is on rehabbing pro Shaun Reilly from Newton, MA. Shaun is also a buy and hold landlord. One thing I find interesting about Shaun's business model is that he is willing to take on houses other investors think are too risky.
Here are the 5 questions each of these successful investors answered:
- What are the top 3-4 things a brand new investor should focus on initially?
- What is the best marketing advice you can give someone just starting out?
- What factors do you attribute your success to?
- Is there something you wish you had done sooner or done differently when you first started your business?
- Do you have any tips for newbies for managing their mindset during those inevitable “ups and downs”?
Here are Shaun's Answers:
What are the top 3-4 things a brand new investor should focus on initially?
The number 1 thing someone getting in the game needs to do is learn about their market and understand value. No matter what niche you want to get into, you can’t do anything without understanding what a property is worth. The next big thing is understanding costs. Break this down into construction/rehab costs as well as holding costs.
Again no matter what you want to do in real estate you need to know what it will cost to fix up a property (the work done might vary for a landlord vs. a rehabber but the skill set is the same). You also need to understand that it costs money to own a property and need to account for that. That is one of the biggest things I see new people forget about. The last things are lead generation and making offers. You need to get possible deals in front of you and then you actually have to ask to buy them!
What is the best marketing advice you can give someone just starting out?
The best advice I can give is to actually do the marketing. Don’t over think it, start doing something! Maybe you don’t want to just drop $2K on a direct mail campaign without putting some thought into it especially if that is almost all your money, but do something.
Get a website up, post we buy house ads on Craigslist, answer for sale and for rent ads there too, start getting in touch with local real estate agents, get out and network at all your local REIAs and other real estate meetings and lots of other things. This stuff isn’t likely to give you a sustainable business alone but it gets you in the game and my secondary advice is to not focus on only one thing so this will get you in the habit of looking at multiple lead sources from the start.
What factors do you attribute your success to?
Taking action towards achieving my goals is first and foremost. I was like lots of people and just spun my wheels for awhile since there was always something else I needed to learn or some impediment in my life that I just needed to get past to really jump in.
Once getting past that barrier I would say sustained persistence at making things work and not taking failure as an option. I don’t like to quit on things or to fail to do something I set out to do so that dogged stubbornness keeps me on the right track when things can get tough.
Is there something you wish you had done sooner or done differently when you first started your business?
Going back the end of marketing question, I wish I had done more diverse marketing sooner. When I started ramping up my business there were still a fair number of deals on the MLS and I was good at digging them up and getting them at a discount so I focused on that. Worked great and still a good skill to have, but the pickings are a lot slimmer now. Getting more direct marketing going AFTER having a little hiccup in deal flow was not fun.
Do you have any tips for newbies for managing their mindset during those inevitable “ups and downs”?
Things can get tough at times and it is easy to get discouraged. I think the best way to get past tough times is to have a clear set of goals you are working to and a well developed plan on how to get there. If you are in a rough patch it will help to be able to look at some highly motivating goal and the plan you have for your business to get you to achieve it. It will invigorate you and get you refocused. I like to say that there are 2 kinds of people that invest in real estate, those that make a ton of money and those that give up to soon. Don’t give up!
Did You Miss Shaun's Podcast – Rehabbing Houses Other Investor's Won't Touch?
If you missed Shaun's podcast you can listen to it here.
Connect with Shaun
Shaun Reilly is the Co-Owner of Reilly Real Estate, LLC a company that specializes in whole sale and rehab properties throughout Massachusetts. The company specializes in finding blighted properties at discount prices and rehabbing them for the retail market.
Shaun has been involved with real estate since 2007 when he and his wife became accidental landlords, but quickly acquired several more rentals. Shaun went full time in 2010 when his former employer decided he no longer needed to work there and he agreed!
Since 2011 he has been focusing mostly on local rehabs and building his rental portfolio both locally and out of state.
Shaun resides in Newton, MA with his wife and two young daughters.
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