STARS & STRIPES
HEARTLAND INVESTMENT COMPANIES
WHY I STARTED MY INVESTMENT BUSINESS IN AMERICA’S HEARTLAND BORING IS BEST The Washington Post claims that only 27% of college graduates have jobs related to their majors, and I’m proud to put myself in the wandering majority. Though I was born in the small town of Algona, Iowa, I had glamorous dreams as a teenager. I wanted to become a criminologist, one of the guys you see on those FBI and CIA shows on TV. I thought it would be exciting and dramatic, but, after graduating college with my criminology degree, I ended up working as a guard at an Iowa prison — exciting, maybe, but certainly not glamorous. What was supposed to be my introduction to the criminology field turned out to be about as far from my thrilling, crime-solving dreams as could be. I did it for a while, then came to the conclusion that, unsurprisingly, pacing prison halls wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my working life. I had always been interested in real estate, particularly the investment side. I was fascinated by apartment complexes, shopping malls, and other large projects, so that’s the ring I threw my hat into. It seemed like a choice that would check all the necessary boxes, giving me satisfaction with my work, a comfortable lifestyle for my family, and a steady income. So, in 1991, I quit my job at the prison and took a post as an apartment sales broker. At the time, specializing in apartments seemed like the perfect way to set myself apart from the crowd. I had no idea I’d staked out the field I’d build a life on. Almost 30 years later, I’m still selling apartments, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been my own boss at Heartland Investment Companies for more than a decade, and I’ve built a solid reputation through stellar service. I’m also known for investing in Iowa real estate right alongside my clients and partners, proving I’m never afraid to have skin in the game. Over the years, a lot of people have asked me, “Why Iowa?” Well, the answer isn’t what you might expect. Most investors would probably cite our state’s country charm and friendly people, but I’m not one to beat around the bush. I think that what makes Iowa a unique opportunity for investors is its reputation as a “boring” place. People don’t realize that boring is profitable.
paced. That means in Iowa, you don’t see the economic, political, and social upswings that impact the rest of the country, nor do you have to deal with the downswings. Investing in Iowa real estate is predictable. Thanks to the conservative nature of the marketplace, we’re insulated from a lot of volatility. Even the Great Recession of 2008 hardly hit us. And, when it comes to buying up property, investing in a safe, predictable place just makes sense. I love guiding investors to the Heartland haven I call home. My company takes pride in providing all our clients with Iowa hospitality, and we offer packages to suit the needs of everyone, from the most active and involved landlords to the most passive ones, many of whom hail from out of state. We’re happy to give advice to first-time landlords on the ins and outs of running a
“WHAT MAKES IOWA A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR INVESTORS IS ITS REPUTATION AS A ‘BORING’ PLACE. PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE THAT BORING IS PROFITABLE.”
complex, but we can also provide full administrative support if needed, seeing to day-to- day operations, sending in reports and profit-and- loss statements, and even filing tax returns.
If you’re considering investing in the “boring” real estate that’s really America’s best-kept secret, give Heartland Investment Companies a call today. We’d be happy to do the heavy lifting and ensure you reap Iowa’s rewards. –Darin Garman
Stepping into Iowa is like turning back the clock to a simpler time. The lifestyle, the economy, and the way of life here are all very even-keeled and slow-
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