THE SELLER I first met our seller when a friend connected us as he knew I buy problem houses. In this case, the seller had allowed her adult grandson to move into one of her rental homes as he got his life together. To hear her speak, she did it because she loved him, but she needed the income

work in this case and we should be ready for an eviction that could take 90 days if he chooses to fight it. Once the house was vacant, we could see the destruction caused and that we could be looking at 6-10 weeks depending on the amount in damages. Once finished, we would put a new tenant in at market rent and then sell the property to a landlord looking for a property cash-flowing day one.

from that property to support her life. Apparently, he had agreed to pay a reduced rent, stay only 90 days, and promised to keep the unit clean so she could rent it again easily when he moved out. A year later, she had seen only one rent check and the home was full of people she didn’t know as her grandson invited friends

THE BUYER The buyer in this case was a busy professional living out of state who didn’t have time or the desire to take on a

fixer upper. He just wanted a property that was ready to go, leased at market and would produce some cashflow day one. Lack of time was his issue given his work and family commitments. He was happy to pay market price for a unit that had been totally remodeled and already producing income. OTHER PARTIES I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight all the other parties helped by this transaction. The neighbors are happy as the party house is shut down and all the cars are gone that flooded the street parking. The contractors and trades peo- ple employed on the job are happy as they had work during the remodel process. The City is happy as we reduced police calls and raised their property tax value when we sold. The tenants are happy as they are living in the best rental they have ever seen, and I am happy because after a long process I finally saw a little profit at the end of the journey. I believe real estate investors are some of the most selfless people around as we work to make sure everyone else is good before we get our small piece. We are the chefs that eat last after everyone else is done. Depending on the deal, sometimes there is food left and sometimes there is none, but we can help others in the process. • Michael Zuber worked in the Silicon Valley since graduating from Santa Clara University 20+ years ago. After wasting time and money in his 20s, he began investing buy and hold rental properties and never looked back. Michael grew his rental property portfolio from a single rental house to financial freedom in 15 years. Now that he no longer has a day job, he shares his story via his self-published book and YouTube Channel, both called One Rental at a Time.

to live with him and party all the time. She reached out to me after finally going over to see the place and crying at what she saw. The destruction was more than she could handle. She still loved her grandson and didn’t have the heart to evict him. I told her I would handle the eviction and I would pay cash to avoid surprise inspection, credit requests, and agent fees so any amount I gave her she would walk away with. She was so thankful of the speed and the fact that I took the property as is with headaches and all.

THE INVESTOR Real estate investing can be a cash-intensive busi- ness when you are run- ning multiple projects, and thus it is common to raise private money to keep individual projects afloat. In this case, the private investor acted as the bank and received both a monthly interest payment and

A People Business


by Michael Zuber

part of the profit of the deal once sold. The investor was able to take money out of the stock market which she considered as too volatile and be the bank with recorded interest for security. The investor signed up for a six- to nine-month project as I shared the plan with her. We needed to issue a 60- day notice to vacate the house. I told her this might not

eal Estate Investors are sometimes thought of as selfish, greedy, and only out for themselves. While many investors might fit this mold, I am here to tell you that of the thousands of investors I have encountered over my career, 99 percent of them base their business on helping people. R

Most successful real estate investors know that it is a people business first. To be in this game for a long time, you must be able to interact, listen, and help peo- ple long before you see any profit. Here is a story that highlights what I mean:

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