plish this goal leads directly to community growth on an impressive scale. For example, when Bruce McNeilage of Kinloch Partners and Harpeth Devel- opment bought an apartment complex in Nashville seven years ago, the property was certainly “on the fringe” of town. “We re- named the complexThe Park at Five Points and began thinking about using an adjacent

Millennials in their first homes enjoying the benefits of substantial positive equity. “There is a shortage of high-quality, low-cost housing in Nashville,” McNeilage observed. “We feel that offering that initial access to affordable homeownership in that area helped the neighborhood turn and be- come the attractive place to live it is today.” TomOlson, president of real estate mas-

struggling in value the way it has been, and I think part of the answer is to bring in real estate investors who will help improve the state of local properties and eventually change the entire culture of the city.” Olson will host his inaugural “Commu- nity Go-Giver Event” this July in Gary. The event will focus on different ways that real estate investors can contribute to rebuilding

“The timing is perfect for Gary and for investors because there is definitely not a lot of opportunity for investors [in a lot of ma- jor metro areas] so they are already coming into the Midwest,” Olson explained. “The city will thrive with increased, responsible, deliberate investor activity because cities really need three things: good schools, safety, and something to do [employment and recreation]. We can do that deliberately and with cognizance in Gary, Indiana, and create better home values, profits for our investors, and a vastly improved community situation at the same time.” A strong community within a multifam- ily development can directly affect returns as well. Tammy Phelps-Keglovich, founder of Capital City REIA and the owner of several multifamily developments on the east coast, believes that the “strong bones” of community that make a residence a home are as vital to the success of her real estate investments as the “literal strong bones” that she and her husband, Jim, install when they upgrade and renovate a new acquisition. "We force appreciation in our properties by putting in the time and capital to make the right kind of improvements to make these properties real homes for our residents, but we also force appreciation by building com- munity within the community,” Phelps-Ke- glovich explained. The results, she said, are indisputable: longer tenancies, less damage to the property, and improvements that reach outward into the broader community andmake the entire area more attractive to potential residents and business owners. “What you build today affects your tomorrow, particularly in multi-unit in- vesting,” she said. “In this space, building wealth for your future involves reposi- tioning, stabilizing, and building up the community today so that it is a stable part of your future and your residents’ future.” Linda Liberatore, president of property management service provider Secure Pay One, agreed. “Taking the time to build relationships in the communities where you invest will always pay off in one way or another when it comes to your literal

returns,” she said. “Build relationships with neighbors, local business development of- fices, the school district, and local business leaders. Those strong community relation- ships help you better serve your tenants directly because you will have a relation- ship with the community where they live and indirectly because your contributions to the community will improve it.” NO. 2 INTENTIONAL INVESTING AND OUTREACH YIELD A LARGER, MORE PROFITABLE & PRODUCTIVE INDUSTRY Community building is not just about fiscal returns, however. Sometimes, the results are farther reaching. Many real estate investors find that as they evolve in the industry and experience success, they feel a certain sense of responsibili- ty to the industry and to those who are not yet active, intentional investors. “One of our proudest accomplishments at Renters Warehouse is helping people who were ‘accidental landlords’ after the housing crash realize owning rental property was not a failure, but the key to future financial security,” observed the company’s CEO, Kevin Ortner. Ortner lost his job as a corporate pilot during the Great Recession and relied on his own rental portfolio to support himself and his family. Renters Warehouse spear- heads what is probably one of the largest investor outreach advertising campaigns targeting “non-investors” in the industry through its vast radio presence and Ort- ner’s book, Rent Estate Revolution™ . “From a business perspective, when we promote the idea of intentionally purchas- ing rental investments, of course we are creating our own clients,” admitted Ortner. “But we also feel really good because we are helping people out of a bad situation with real estate strategies they often had no idea were even available to them. That option to really turn a financial fortune around is what drives me personally forward.” Philip Viti and MiriamMcKinney have a similar drive, albeit for a different popula- tion in need of the advantages that come

with real estate investing. Their company, This Land, sells vacant, rural land to people across the United States and provides low-cost, low-interest financing options. “We want it to be as easy for someone to purchase a piece of property as it is for them to buy an item off Amazon,” Miriam said. “We cater to the bookends of investors,” Philip added. “Young, first-time investors, Millennials with student loan debt, anyone trying to prepare financially so that they can get to the next investment. We want people who are first-time savers to have the ability to put their money to work for them in a mean- ingful, rewarding way, and that also builds up the community of real estate investors out there who will accumulate wealth and hopefully be more active in the future.” NO. 3 SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND CHARITABLE INITIATIVES SOLIDIFY LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND INVESTORS’ PLACE IN THEM As innate entrepreneurs, real estate in- vestors tend to be more likely than most to simply start a new organization to address a need in their communities. Take as evidence the 18 finalists for Think Realty’s 2017 Honors: Those 18 individuals alone either founded or provided key support to more than 22 charitable organizations. “As a real estate investor, you inter- act with the community around your investments in very surprising, personal ways,” said Rob Barney, CEO and owner of Texas-based DHLC Investments, a pri- vate-money lender, and the founder of as- sociated 501c(3) organization, DHLC Now, which serves active military members, first responders, veterans, and their families. “DHLC Now exists because we saw a need in the community that we felt as real estate investors and real estate professionals, we could address,” Barney explained, noting that many times real estate professionals have insight into these types of projects that a service provider may not offer. “For example, last year we helped a veteran who was caring for his mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's, in a

Real estate investors incorporate community outreach into their businesses in traditional and nontraditional ways by supporting local charitable organizations, founding their own initiatives, and creatively involving community members in real estate.

three acres for affordable condo housing called Solo East,” he recalled. “We wanted to push homeowner- ship,” McNeilage explained, noting the development of both properties spurred additional growth in the area both in terms of retail and residential devel- opment. Recently, The Park sold for a record-setting $12.7 million, and about 80 percent of the owners in Solo East are

termind Good Success and a seasoned real estate investor with experience in turnkey rentals, fix-and-flips, and new construction, has an ambitious goal for his community as well. “I want to flip Gary, Indiana,” he said. “The geographic location is perfect already thanks to all the railroad infrastructure, interstate infrastructure, and proximity to Chicago and Lake Michigan. There is no good reason for this community to be

communities through different real estate strategies, including fix-and-flip, turnkey and active turnkey rentals, and low-income housing. Each day of the event will also feature a community tour highlighting op- portunities in Gary, where Olson describes the investment opportunities as “amazing” if investors could bring in more homeowners and renters who would have pride in their residences and the city itself.

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