the largest national full-service solution out there.” With the new Renters Ware- house marketplace, investors can research, buy, manage, and sell properties from their computer. The platform will also provide access to stock-like analytics and day-to- day property management, making it America’s first full-service real estate investment company. Functionality and services aside, the new platform already has con- siderable heft behind it. Before sell- ing to Renters Warehouse, OwnA- merica had more than $21 billion in total assets on its platform with more than $200 million in assets for sale. Renters Warehouse managed more than $3 billion in residential real estate, servicing more than 14,000 investors across more than 22,000 homes in 25 states. The com- bined company also has 250 em-

ployees and 175 contract advisors across the United States.

CONNECTING THE PUZZLE PIECES About one year after that text message, on Jan. 1, 2019, Renters Warehouse closed on its acquisition of OwnAmerica for an undisclosed amount. By merging one of the nation’s fast- est-growing real estate management firms and the second-largest sin- gle-family rental investment market- place, the combined entity creates a powerful and entirely new platform. “We could take a lot of the work out of it for investors and make it something more manageable, but we didn't have half of the puzzle, which was: how do we find those properties, how do we help facilitate those transactions, and really tee up great rental properties for people,” Ortner said. “Even though this is just getting started, we are already

REAL ESTATE FOR THE REST OF US Core to Renters Warehouse’s mission is the belief that real estate investment is more accessible than many people may believe. It’s in part why the company coined and trade- marked the term “Rent Estate.” “Rent Estate is essentially using real estate over the long term to cre- ate wealth,” Ortner said. “Rent estate is real estate for the rest of us. It’s about democratizing real estate in- vestment and making it less scary or unknown to the ordinary American.” In creating the term, the compa- ny hopes to differentiate the visual many people have of real estate investment being that of fixing and flipping homes, Ortner said. Real

Real estate advice Kevin Ortnerwishes he had received

We’ve all made mistakes. Learning from them is what propels us to higher levels. Even though he’s the top

scarce or too expensive. Looking back, Ortner wished he had the plethora of free learning opportunities that are now available to all types and levels of real estate investors. Now years later, Ortner is in the position to not only encourage new investors to learn, but also provide valuable tools for growth. “We're passionate about making sure people understand what they're investing in,” he said. “Today, education is aplenty. You can Google and YouTube whatever you want on real estate. There’s a lot of free education out there, whether that’s from Think Realty, Renters

Warehouse, or other real estate influencers out there. You can dive into investing philosophies, how to calculate your returns, and the market you’re looking to get into.” Build the right team When starting out in real estate investing, you’re bound to encounter many new processes, terms, requirements and obstacles with which you’re unfamiliar. That’s why Ortner recommends that all investors surround themselves with smart, trustworthy people. With a smart, honest team, you can attain and even surpass your goals, he explained. “Whether it’s the real estate agent

executive of a rapidly growing firm, Renters Warehouse CEO Kevin

Ortner has made plenty of missteps in his real estate

career. Here are few pieces of advice that Ortner wishes he had received years ago. Commit to educating yourself

When Ortner was first starting out in real estate, educational tools were

18 | think realty magazine :: may / june 2019

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