You Don’t Fit The Mold: Why Real Estate Estate Investors Struggle

You Don’t Fit The Mold: Why Real Estate Estate Investors Struggle

2 min read
Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is a full-time buy and hold and fix and flip real estate investor with over 15 years of experience. He and his wife Terron operate Kevron Properties, LLC, a boutique real estate investing company in Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin was a past president and is a current board member of the Memphis Investors Group. He’s also a blogger and writer who has authored hundreds of real estate investing articles on BiggerPockets and his own blog,, some of which have been featured on The Motley Fool and MONEY: Personal Finance News & Advice.

Kevin is also host of the SmarterLandlording podcast.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Kevin moved to Memphis to attend graduate school at The University of Memphis. After receiving his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Kevin climbed the planning career ladder to eventually become planning director of a county in the Memphis metro area. He “retired” from planning in 2003 to pursue real estate investing full-time.

Since “retiring,” Kevin’s main real estate investment strategy has been to buy and hold, otherwise known as landlording. Generally working in historic Midtown Memphis, Kevin is also known to fix and flip grand, historic homes when the right opportunity presents itself. He and his wife Terron (who is the principal broker at Perk Realty) have participated in dozens of real estate transactions in the Memphis metro area.

Kevin has the heart of a teacher and believes in helping others through education. An instructor of college-level geography for over 25 years, Kevin also regularly participates in seminars and panel discussions at such forums as the Memphis Investor’s Group and the Single-Family Rental Summit.

In addition, Kevin has been interviewed in publications such as the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News, and the Foreclosure News Report.

Kevin earned a master’s in City and Regional Planning from The University of Memphis.

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I have been investing in real estate for over 10 years now.  Almost 8 of those years have been as a full time investor.  I always thought that once I went full time, real estate investing would become much easier, and in many ways it has.  But in a lot of ways, I had to change direction or find totally new ways of running my business.  I was not ready for that.  I was not ready for the fact that real estate investors do not fit in the mold.

The mold is not made for the real estate investor.  The mold is made for people who work 9 to 5, who commute, who have W-2 income, who own one, or perhaps two properties.  If you step outside of these criteria, you become weird.  You become something that does not fit, something that simply does not compute.

It is simply not “normal” to be a real estate investor.  It is not “normal” to own a bunch of properties.  It is not “normal” to have rental income as your primary income source.  Yes, you are a professional investor, which on the face of things should make things easier.  But many times it does not.  Being a professional is seen as a risk.

This perception of risk actually can make your job as an investor much more difficult.  You would think that it would get easier to get bank financing as you grow and become more experienced.  Not so.   Many financial institutions now see you as a risk and the funding will stop.  You don’t have a “job” anymore so how can you possibly pay the loan back?

You see, as a professional investor, you no longer compute.  You no longer fit into the bank’s molds.  As an example, I once had a loan processor at a major bank tell me he could not process my loan refinance application simply because he did not have enough slots for property addresses on his computer form.  You do not compute.

Insurance companies will see you in much the same way.  Insurance is of course all about risk and because you no longer fit the mold, you have become a higher risk.  You would think that the opposite would be true as you grow your business and become more experienced.  Not so.  Insurance can actually become quite a concern as you acquire more and more properties.  Insurers perceive more risk and can significantly bump rates or drop coverage all together.

So as you go through your investing career remember that the world likes to put things into neatly organized boxes and you simply are not going to fit.  That does not mean however that these problems are insurmountable.  What it does mean is that you have to work, sometime a little sometimes a lot, harder than the next guy.  It means that more barriers than you realized are going to be erected to try and force you back into one of those boxes.  It is a pain and it is frustrating, but you have to just go around or over them.  The path may be more difficult but the reward at the end is greater.

What experiences do you have not fitting the mold?  Let me know with your comments.
Photo Credit: JD Hancock

I have been investing in real estate for over 10 years now.  Almost 8 of those years have been as a full time investor.  I always thought that once I […]