the best ROI. Expert real estate investors recommend: • Rooftop replacements • New washers/dryers • Gyms • Fast internet • New doors The best interior improvements include kitchen and bath remodels, which HGTV states could have twice the resale value of a new bedroom. Beyond that, adding space, if possible, adds value. Adding unique and creative features inside the home and amenities within the community can also increase rent prices or resale value. Your renovations should also account for preferences among different generations. If you bought a multifamily property where most of the renters will be in their 20s and 30s, make renovations that align with their lifestyle. As a Business Insider article notes, the younger generation doesn’t necessarily want size. Rather, they focus on quality and seek homes equipped with modern technology. To attract them to rent a unit, you have to deliver what they want. Considering 75% of Millennials alter buying and living habits with the environment in mind, your property should have features like smart lighting, energy-efficient appliances, and even solar panels (if possible). The younger generations also want open floor plans, stainless steel appliances, and wood flooring (no carpeting!). And within the community, they seek convenience, so your property should have ample amenities, such as a gym and dog park. Finally, let me give you a word of advice on handling renovations: When taking on larger renovation projects, ensure your scope of work is tight. Get multiple bids for each project, and make sure you have the capacity and liquidity to handle all the necessary work. Working with a reliable capital partner that’s focused on your success can ensure you mitigate capital risks, enter the right deals, and navigate through the entire investment intelligently. SHIFTYOURSTRATEGY As a real estate investor, you may have a niche or a comfort zone. And you may excel at it. But more opportunity awaits beyond that little corner of your earth. If you find your yields declining, get creative and adopt different, yet similar investing strategies. If you’re geographically centralized and hitting a plateau, explore other markets that make sense (similar makeup and close proximity). Had success investing in Columbus, Ohio? See what deals you can find in Indianapolis, Indiana. Before moving to other markets, however, make sure they are comparable to your current investing grounds. Research

these markets well and make certain that they’re growing. Many of the fastest-growing markets now actually aren't major cities on the coast. As a MarketWatch report states, the hottest real estate markets are places like Boise, Idaho and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Within such markets, you may find higher yields, less competition, and more reasonably priced inventory. Those are three things you want, right? EXPLORE INNOVATIVE EXITSTRATEGIES You could continue flipping to retail buyers. But you have other faster and potentially more lucrative avenues. Many real estate investors have started to sell their homes as “turnkey investments” to other investors. With a turnkey property, investors first renovate the property and place tenants. Then, they sell the property to other investors who are looking to buy cash-flowing rental assets. What’s the advantage? As a turnkey operator, you’ll most likely focus on out-of-state buyers or those who don’t want an active investment role. These potential buyers look at the investment from a cashflow perspective, and not just a valuation based on similar home sales. This means you could sell the home for a higher price. Furthermore, as a guide in Fit Small Business notes, “turnkey properties are ideal for long-term, buy-and-hold” investors who hire others to oversee the asset. That leaves the opportunity for you to retain a property management role and earn consistent income from the rental homes. If you can position yourself as a turnkey company to passive investors, you can execute an exit strategy that earns you a profit and delivers cashflow for years to come. ALITTLE CREATIVITYGOESALONGWAY You may not have thought so before, but creativity should serve as a key ingredient in your real estate investment strategy. In fact, it could be what gets you out of an investment rut. As we move further into the 2020s, stay updated on real estate market trends and work on identifying ways to take advantage of what’s happening. You can’t predict the future. However, you can get ahead by knowing how to navigate the seas you face today. By noticing and identifying unique opportunities, you can get on the path to sustained prosperity. •

Nathan (Nate) Trunfio is a real estate lending and investing expert, with a career that has spanned the entire real estate financing spectrum. He is the President of DLP Direct Lending Partners, a national private lender, and has developed a multimedia platform, Talking Loudly with Nate, which leverages his expert position to provide other investors insight into all aspects of real estate investing.

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