This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 314.
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‘Well, here is the thing, I have general contractors and I managed them and they manage the subs and everything else because when you get to scale your business to five, ten, fifteen deals at the same time it is basically impossible for one person to deal with the all the subs and invoices and all of that so I managed the general contractors.’
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Brandon: What is going on everyone? This is Brandon, host of the BiggerPockets podcast. Here with the co-host of the hour or hour and 15 minutes, David Greene. How are you doing, buddy?
David: I am doing great, Brandon. I am off to a really good start in 2019. We have like eight houses in Escrow right now in my real estate agent business and I am pretty excited about that and we have a tremendous show today.
David: Today’s guest brought heat like you people have.
Brandon: Yes, it was fantastic. Our guest today is Andresa Guidelli. Andresa is a fantastic investor who is really really really really good at one thing that most of us really really really really suck at and that is managing rehabs contractors. Finding them, getting them in line, making sure you do not get ripped off. We cover all that plus her growth from getting started from coming to the states from being an immigrant to US to grow in this awesome business. It is fantastic. Definitely stay tuned for all of that. Before we get to that, let us get to today’s Quick Tip.
David: Quick Tip. Alright, today’s quick tip was actually brought up by today’s guests where she mentioned that she worked for somebody for free, learned the business and then went on. Actually, she paid money to work for them then went on to earn way more money than she ever paid for education. Many of us are willing to spend money on a college education but we will not spend money to learn the trade that we want to get into.
My advice is you find someone who is crushing it at what they are doing, that you want to learn from, and you offer to work for them for free knowing that what you are learning is much more important than what you could be earning. If you want to do this well, start off by knowing yourself just like today’s guests. Andresa is going to talk about how she knows her weaknesses and strengths and offer that person something that has to do with your strength and see if that is something you can help out with.
As you do good at a few projects, they will start giving you a few more and at a certain point they will realize I want this person in my life. Brandon is doing that right now with his buddy, Ryan, who is in Hawaii and is slowly taking over more and more of this stuff that Brandon has going on in his life and his business. I am looking for the same thing. If you want to learn from a rock star, know the things that you yourself are good at, offer to do it for that person for free, prove yourself then you will find yourself getting more and more opportunity and then you can make a bunch of money.
Brandon: That is a great quick tip. Yes, today’s show is largely like even if you do not care about construction stuff like managing rehabs like almost everybody should know how to do that but what the real goal that I got from today is what you just said about like finding somebody who is really good at something and not always working and doing everything yourself. Now, you mentioned Ryan. Ryan Murdoch, he has been on the BiggerPockets podcast. He lives now in Maui with me. Like he is really really good at some stuff that I am really really bad at and like we are seeing a lot of growth in like in my business and his business because we are working together more often.
David, you and I are the same way in a lot of ways. We were just good at different things and that is great and that is what today’s show is really about. I want to actually get over to the show but before we do let us hear from today’s show sponsor. Our sponsor this week is a company a lot of you been talking about on the forums called Roofstock. Roofstock is the number one marketplace for buying and selling single family rental homes. Their marketplace of cash flow and rental properties makes it easy to invest in income producing real estate across the US.
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Brandon: Alrighty, let us get to today’s show. As we mentioned today, our guest is Andresa. But before we get in there, I wanted to make a couple of quick announcements or maybe even a second Quick Tip. I want to encourage you all to get together with other real estate investors more often. Go to BiggerPockets.com/events and see what is happening in your area. What event you can go to, where you can get connected. I know, David, you host an event like what, every month?
David: Three times a month at different places in the bay area and I teach people high level concepts for absolute free.
Brandon: Yes, that is awesome. Definitely check that out. Also, I am going to be actually speaking at the Best Ever Conference. If you guys remember Joe Fairless, he was on our show. He is hosting a conference called the Best Ever Conference in Denver on February 22nd and 23rd. I am actually speaking there of 2019 of course. I do not know if it is sold out or not but if it is not, you should totally come and I will hopefully see you there. It should be a lot of fun. Again, in Denver at February 22nd and 23rd. Alright, let us get to today’s show with Andresa. Andresa, welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast. It is great to have you here.
Andresa: Thank you so much guys for having me.
Brandon: Yes, so let us talk about your story about how you got into real estate. Kind of walk us through the beginnings and what got you into investing in real estate.
Andresa: Sure. I always say that I started with a big huge no in my face. I was born and raised in Brazil and I came to the US for my master’s degree. Got approved by the university and when I went to the embassy to get my visa, I got a big ‘No’, and then I turned around and I was like okay why is that? They said, well, you need to show proof of funds. You need to show that you have $75,000 in your bank account in order to start here. I was like that is not happening at this moment, right? But I knew people who did have the money. We made an agreement and they signed up for me.
The family that hosted me over here, an American family. Wrote a letter and showed proof of funds showing that they did have the funding case. In case I did not pay, there were going to pay for me. I got a scholarship and thank goodness I did not have to pay a penny anymore. I graduated with zero student loan. After that, I did a door to door sales, very cool. Got tons of No’s every single day until I got my yes, right? One day, I came to my manager and I said hey I want to take my team to the next level. Tell me about like a sales book that I can learn more about it. He is like no and I was like why? I make more money? You make more money. I am not getting it. He is like no, I am going to give you this book called Rich Dad Poor Dad. I had no clue what he was talking about.
He was like, ‘One week from now, you come to me and we talk.’ Then that is what happened. Then at that time they were doing workshops around and I went to one of them. My husband at that time was also interested in investing in real estate and within six months we purchased our first house. Rehab it, living in, HELOC it and then started the journey and here I am.
Brandon: Alright. There is a few things I want to unpack there. Let me start with this though. Before I get to that first deal, what brought you to the US to begin with? Like why leave Brazil and come here?
Andresa: Sure. Some people asked me that question. It is such a beautiful country and I have an amazing family there. I did not have to come here. However, I finished my Business Administration Master’s Degree there and I did not have a family and it was time for me to have a different type of experience. I wanted to come here and improve my English. The plan was to stay here one year, understand the culture from my own eyes not from a TV a broadcast.
All those perceptions and stereotypes that I had in my head. I wanted to have that experience in one year. However, in six months, I found a Master’s Degree in Business Communication that I really enjoyed the curriculum and I decided to apply and here I am. But the plan was not to come and build my family and business here at all.
Brandon: Okay, alright. Okay, Let us go to that first house. You bought a house and it is the house you lived in, correct?
Andresa: I still own it. I do Airbnb with a house still.
Brandon: Okay, cool. We can talk about that. But then you mentioned you said you used the HELOC?
Brandon: What is that? Can you explain what that means and the process?
Andresa: Yes, absolutely, I love to. We bought the house for $175,000. We put about $65,000. Now, the property is worth at about $385,000. At that time, we build equity with the rehab, it was a full gut rehab, we build equity in the property and we were able to pull that equity out, 75% we pull out. At that time was very funny story though. When we received the appraisal, it came at $25,000 and I was like something is off. Let me read through the entire document, to the entire report, and see how did he come up with that? Because on my number, it was higher than that.
I looked at the report that we had access to and I found a ton a ton of mistakes there and I wrote my own report, send it back to the bank, not knowing that if it was right or not or if I could do that or not, contacted the appraisal and said, ‘Hey, I found a couple of things here. Would you mind taking a look and here is my report to you?’ That report back at $68,000. That was the change and that made a difference for us to buy the next investment property. From $25,000, we went to $68,000. Since then, I did that three times already.
Brandon: That is cool, that is a good idea. Good strategy. Challenging the appraisal a little bit to try to get them higher.
David: Andresa, you have done that twice right? Two different appraisals.
Andresa: I did that three times in three different appraisals.
David: Okay, three times. Brandon was right.
Andresa: Three different properties.
David: What have you found out is the key to challenging an appraisal and getting it to stick?
Andresa: That is a good question. A lot of the appraisals, they are not local. In Philadelphia, we are very dense so we cannot use a mile radius for an appraisal. You are in a completely different neighborhood. If they are not local, that is the number one thing. I know that they are not familiar with the property. When I buy the property, I buy it as an appraisal. I look at 0.25 miles, I want to know what is going on there. I run very tight comps, it is between three to five comps. If I do not have that, it is either a good thing or is a horrible thing.
Now, let me explain why. If it is bad, it is basically because nobody wants to buy there or if it is that good that I do not have comps because there is no inventory bid. There is a high high demand there. I know my market as a palm of my hand and that allows me to really understand what is going on. When I send the information to the appraisal, I tell them exactly what type of finishes I use and why my numbers are that way.
Brandon: I want to jump in here real quick and explain. For those people listening to this, because this is so powerful and it is just so important, right? When she mentions comps, right? We are talking about comparable sales. What does another property sell for?
Brandon: That is how you know on a single family house. Anyway, that is how you know what your property is worth based on what other ones are. You are saying if there are no good comps, if there are not any properties around, that you can say hey yes this is a similar property, that could be a very good indication that it is a danger, right? True story, one time I bought a I bought a huge house up on the hill in this town that I was going to flip and I could not find any comps when I bought it, could not find anything. I was like well, this is close enough. Anyway, I ended up buying the house. Ended up being the only flip I have ever lost money on because the first thing you said was true.
There was just nobody interested in that type of property. I wish it was the other way, I wish it was just that there was no inventory but this was 2012. There was a lot of inventory, it is just nobody wanted it. Anyway, I think that is a brilliant point you make there about like you have got to know the comps. You got to know and if there are no comps you need to ask yourself why? Do not assume it is because there is no inventory. Assume it is because they are probably nobody wants that kind of property. Okay, you knew the value because you ran it.
You were not just relying on somebody else. You were saying no, I am going to run my own comps. I am going to look at the number. I am pretty confident in that. I mean knowing what a property is worth the ARV is like one of the most important skills an investor can have and you just walked us through exactly how to find that. You look at the comps, you make sure that it is within a quarter mile if you can, your recent sales not something two years ago.
Andresa: Yes, absolutely. You are in Philadelphia, two major things for example that might apply to other markets is if the basement is finished, we are a very dense here. The properties are next to each other. We do not have space in between so we got to either create a space going down by finishing the basement or going up by creating a roof deck. It does make a lot of difference in one thing or another and if there is a garage we are talking a big big difference there. Being aware of those differences is m… When you are buying and I run up the comps when I am buying it. I am very confident that I will get the number that I want when the appraisal brings up their report.
Brandon: Yes, I love that.
David: Let me jump in, for people who are listening, you may be a little confused like well there is no comps, is that good or bad? How do I know? You do not want to just guess or you do not want to be hoping that you are right. I talk about it all the time, do not get addicted to hopium to where you are just like man I hope this works out right. A lot of people run their business that way and it does not work out.
David: What you do is you look at the comps that there were, like the you have to go back pretty far and you see how long they sat on the market for. If you had a really high day on market like a hundred days or so for houses to sell and there is no recent comps, that is a really bad sign. It means nobody wants to buy over there so nobody’s bothering to sell. If the house is sold really quickly when they were selling, that is why you do not have a lot of comps now because nobody wants to move out of that neighborhood. It is a lot of high demand and that is what Andrea was mentioning earlier. It is either really good or really bad. That is how you tell which way to go.
Andresa: That is exactly it. My number one thing is I if I am rehabbing a house, I want to be in those neighborhoods that are 30 days or under days on the market. That is exactly what I am looking for. If I am in an area or in a place where I am not familiar, I do a lot of due diligence with a local realtor and how do I know him because I look who sold the most in the area and I want that person. I want that person to walk with me and let us do and let us go on what is for sale right now. Let me see what the competition is using for their finishes, I want to know everything. That is a homework that I do before purchasing the house, that helps a lot.
David: That is so good and I just hear all the time that people have this impression that every realtor is the same. They are saying I do not like realtors or they are fine or they are like a necessary evil but it is not like… Not everybody is the same at everything they do and realtors who sell a lot of houses in general are much better at it because they get way more repetition. They have more experience, They know what buyers are looking for they know what could go wrong and how to fix it when it goes wrong. Trying to find a realtor who does not sell houses very often, maybe that is a part time, maybe they are the cheapest one and you are they all the same so I will go with the cheapest one. It will cost you so much more money in the long term.
Andresa, you are right on because if you find the realtor who does this all the time and they see potential problems that could come up, you do not have to know everything about everything. You just have to know the people that do. I found that as realtor all the time. People come work with me and they are like, ‘Oh my God, you are so good. I did not know people could be this good.’ I know that is because they did look. They just said, I will use like my buddy Bob. He has got his license.
David: They are all the same. It is very good point.
Brandon: Yes, cool. Alright, let us go over where you went from there. You said you have got that first house, now you still own it, you Airbnb it which is awesome. You took the Home Equity Line of Credit that you got which is where you tap into your property or the equity and which is one of the strategies I talked about in The Book on Investing with Low or No Money Down which is a way too long of a title for a book but one of it has got to do on HELOC, Home Equity Lines of Credit or Home Equity Loans. Anyway, okay. What did you buy next? What did you get into and then kind of walk us through your journey from there to where you are today?
Andresa: Sure. Next thing that I did was partner up with somebody that did more than what I did because looking back I overpay on my construction because I did not know what I did not know and that was a big big mistake. I was not willing to do that again. I partner up with somebody that… We brought the deal to the table and he brought the finance and then we split 50-50 and from there started duplicating that money. That fund never went to my pocket. We put back over and over again to buy all their properties. Then we went for doing one property then two at the same time, three and then transitioning to new construction in larger developments.
Brandon: Alright, there is so much in there I want to unpack. First of all, I love that your story includes what I tell people all the time. Like we do these webinars every week on BiggerPockets and one thing I constantly tell people is, David you tell the same thing, if you can find a really good deal on a property, you can find somebody to finance it or help finance, bring the down payment, it is exactly what you did.
Brandon: What we talked a lot about as a single we call the deal delta. Basically says to put together a deal, you have to have three things. Knowledge and experience, hustle and money. Those three things are needed, right? Knowledge or experience, however you want to call it, it is kind of the same thing because you get to experience knowledge. Anyway, hustle and money. What you did is you brought the hustle and you brought the knowledge and experience that somebody else brought the money. You do not have to have all three of those things. You just got to have one or two of them in order to put together a deal and have somebody else bring the rest. Anyway, I love that. Then you said you took the money all the profit and rather than spending it on a trip to Cancun, you rolled it into the next deal.
Brandon: That is a discipline that a lot of people do not have. How did you, I guess, overcome that temptation to just go and spend it instead of a re-investing it?
Andresa: I was laser-focused because for five years I did not take a penny. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the company. I wanted to scale and I needed to spend my time creating systems that would support that and creating the teams that I needed in specializing on the construction part of it are how can I create the biggest things that I have found the challenge was around contractors? What can I do different here so I cannot get screwed over and over again but instead create a win-win relationship with contractors that I really trust and we can expand. I have limited time, I have only 24 hours per day, how can I delegate and created the team that have what I do not have, their strengths and we can benefit from each other.
Brandon: Yes, that is fantastic.
What is going on everyone? It is Brandon. Hey, I am going to take a quick break from this podcast to invite you to this week’s upcoming webinar, How To Analyze Rental Properties for Maximum Cash Flow? I mean look, I think you all and we all know rental properties can be one of the best ways to build wealth and passive income but if you do not have the right math, a scary word, going into a deal, you will never get the right profit coming out of it. Level up your analysis skills by attending this free webinar. Just go to BiggerPockets.com/analysis webinar. That is Analysis Webinar and we will talk all about how to estimate the current future value, income expenses repairs, cashflow CAPX, and more. Again, BiggerPockets.com/analysiswebinar and that is free. I will see you there.
Brandon: Let us talk about contractors a little bit because I know today in your business you do a lot of dealing with contractors? What does that look like? I mean like how did you morph into that role and what does that role look like today when you deal with contractors?
Andresa: Sure. Well, Liz Faircloth, my business partner and a good friend of mine. We did a personality tests at first for our team and to really understand what our strengths and where we really suck at. My strengths were on dealing with the contractors, managing the budget, scheduling the finishes and making sure that the projects were moving forward in a time manner. That was my strength. I started developing systems that we can, not just on my projects but for other people, how can we do that in a systematic way where you are doing multiple but you are in control of what is going on and not getting crazing and losing your hair while doing it because it can get pretty messy.
Brandon: Yes, that makes sense, that makes sense. You mentioned Liz Faircloth, by the way Liz Faircloth was on episode 203 of the BiggerPockets podcast. One of my favorite people in the world, Matt and Liz Faircloth are a fantastic couple.
Andresa: They are.
Brandon: Yes, you are a partner with them, you are working with them which is awesome. Alright, very cool. I definitely recommend people go and listen to that one. Let us talk about kind of how you handle the construction management. First of all, what does a construction manager do?
Andresa: Well, that is a good question because sometimes I got to ask another day in a speaking event about that and I was like well here is the thing, I have contractors, general contractors, and I manage them. They manage the subs and everything else. Because when you get to scale your business to five, ten, fifteen deals at the same time it is basically impossible for one person to deal with the all the subs and invoices and all that. I managed the general contractors. How do I find them is that the key. First, I know my criteria. I know what I am looking for. The first thing that I tell people is that a quick tip, I go on to MLS, or Zillow Trulia, whatever you have access, and I look at the properties that I the quality of and I figure out who did that. In Philadelphia, I can easily find that by looking at who pulled the permit and I get in contact with that contractor and I schedule a meeting with them.
Andresa: I meet them at their job site, not on mine.
Brandon: That is so good.
Andresa: That is going to tell me a lot about how they work, how he treats his employees, especially if he is on time. I arrive 10 minutes earlier all the time because I want to see if he is already there or not because that tells me a lot of how he deals with time and from there make a lot of assessments about what is going on, how long this project is staking. I look at the finishes and the details will tell me a lot about how he run his business.
David: That is fantastic. I love that. I mean I am just thinking about you walk in there and you are automatically going to see are his employees hard at work, getting stuff done, or is everyone kind of hanging out laughing or joking or screwing around? Are they communicating well with each other or is he bringing in subs that do not talk? The painters are not communicating with the drywall guy? Like because if you go in there and it is a tight red shift that they are more likely to hit the timelines that they give you whereas if everybody’s kind of unfocused and not doing a very good job, they are not really paying attention to what they are doing.
They are going to go over their timeline on all the jobs they have and you do not have to worry about what he tells you because you are seeing it for yourself. That is what I love about your strategy. We get this question all the time, I am sure Brandon gets it too, how do I find a good contractor? It is kind of like you got to be an FBI hostage negotiator to interview somebody to find out the details of if they are good or not. None of us have that skill, it is better just to like you are doing. Go to their site and see how they work and get a read on them from there.
Andresa: Yes. Then from there, I have my three major things. Of course I am all about having your word and my word has value. If I shake your hand, that is what is happening. However, I want to have a contract with my three major addendums. My contract, my real estate attorney reviewed, it is not his contract. It can be his contract but I am going to review it as well but I have my standard contract that I can use all the time I prefer but if he wants to do it, that is fine. Then attached number one is a very detailed scope of work because believe it or not sometimes people think that hardware on the cabinet and in the kitchen is not needed.
Andresa: I got to point it over there. Yes, you got to put toilets in the bathrooms. Yes, that is basic.
Brandon: A part of the job.
Andresa: Second thing that I do is my finishes list. I know all my finishes already. I am not in a design business, I am not. I am a developer, I am an investor, I use the paint that I used on my first house as the same thing that I used now. I do not want to spend time on that. That is basically it. They know what type of finishes I am looking for. Where to find the link, the picture, the amount, everything is there. The third and most important thing for me is the payment plan. It is divides, there is the deposit, the phases, and it runs like any other bank. The bank will not lend it to me unless it is 100%. Even though if I sometimes just cash our own funds, I run as if I am the lender as well. I will not pay until is 100%, not 80%, not 90%, a 100% and that is it.
David: I would say, almost every single story I hear of an investor who says, ‘What do I do? My contractor ripped me off, they will not finish the job.’ I say, ‘Well, how much have you pay them?’ They always tell me the same thing, I gave them all the money or I gave them almost all the money, right? It is just there is no incentive for that person to do the job the way you want once they have already been paid whereas if you wait until the job is done, you can pay him a little bit up front and then you pay them after their work is finished.
David: There is a natural incentive because they want to pay their guys that are working on it. Other guys are putting pressure on them, I want to get paid. Well, if you have already paid him, he does not need to go finish the job to get the money to pay the guy. You want to create that system where this person is thinking I need to do X if I want to get Y. If you give them X right away, you have lost all your leverage.
Andresa: Yes, absolutely. As you said, the guys are pushing him to get paid and I hear tons of stories. They are come up with me saying X, Y, and Z is sick or this happened or that happened but we are doing, this is business. I can just make… Sometimes, I might do a little bit because I build a relationship with that person and we are doing tons of business together. But if that is not the case, it does not cut. But my word is also very important. If the job is done, they need to get paid within 48 hours. That is also something that I am committed to. Otherwise, it is just not a good deal for both parties.
David: You know what I find all the time is when I… Again, I will review the three things you did right here and then explain what I am going to say. The detailed scope of work. Number one, you said you got to have a detailed scope of work, the finisher’s list of whatever is it going to be so they can know exactly what they are getting into and then the payment plan. If you do not have those things in play, like that is how you go dramatically overboard on your budgets in a lot of ways. If you have those set ahead of time, it also takes a lot of the weirdness out of the conversation.
Like how many times do I work with contractors where they are like it is part of like, ‘Hey, man, can I just get a bump? I just need to get paid. Look at my contract. I am like it is really easy when you have that document. That is what changed everything for me I am managing. When I had that document and I am like they do not ask me because they know very clearly when the flooring is done and the grout is down and the sealer is on, that is when you get $2,500.
It is like yes, no problem, you can do. You might have to stay until 10:00 at night to get but you know what? They do not ask that point. They know they got to stay until 10:00 at night to finish that if they have to if they are behind, right? I do not have to tell them. That is them. It is like they said they would get done at this time and this one will get paid. It takes all the weirdness out of it. Well, yesterday I was talking with a bunch of people about managing contractors and they were complaining about how they struggle and be ripped off or whatever. I was thinking about that Jocko Willink book, Extreme Ownership. This book basically says like when you are the boss, everything is your responsibility.
Then I think it was a story in that book, it might have been another book, but they basically said if you have multiple employees that have constantly are like late on things or not delivering or not doing a good job, it is not the employee’s fault, it is your fault. Because you are clearly managing incorrectly. I would say the same thing for every investor out there. If you are constantly having problems with contractors, it is not the contractor’s fault. You are doing a bad job managing contractors. Anyway, I love those three things. I love having that. Getting a detailed scope of work, the finishing list, and the payment plan. Then always making sure you have the leverage and the payment plan.
Brandon: It is when you fall behind, and that they are ahead basically, that they have no incentive to show up.
Andresa: Right. You can get a very good idea how quick they process their stuff. Once I meet them and my job site for an estimate and I gave everything that they. I time how long do they take to get the estimates, and if they approve, how long did they take to give me their W9 because I do not start the job without that. How long did they take to add me or my company to their insurance as an additional insured. All of that are going to give me a lot of feedback of how quick this person works.
Brandon: What do you mean the additional insured? I do not do that. What is that?
Andresa: I always asked them to give me a proof of insurance. Right at the bottom, they can add a no cost me and my company as an additional insured, just adding me there. Because in case if their insurance expired, I will receive notification as well. Wow, that is cool. What a great tip. I have never heard that. I have never done that before but now I am going to start so it is very cool.
Brandon: Alright. What about this? Let me let me ask you about when I am doing a project sometimes, managing contractors, I might have a good detailed scope of work and finisher’s list and a payment plan and then they open up a wall and there is termite damage or they pull up the floor and it is rotted. Like things come up in a rehab project.
Brandon: How do they handle that? How do you handle that? What is your process look like for change orders?
Andresa: Sure. Well, I hate change orders in terms of, hear me out, majority of my projects they are a full gut. There is no such a thing as an unforeseen item because I get it good at first, everything is open and then I asked them to come to give me an estimate so they can see everything. But change orders are based on unforeseen situations that are not on this scope of work, they are not on my finishes, it just happens. There are not there. If they are legit, of course we move forward but all change orders needs to be documented.
If it is not documented and signed by both parties, it is just very confusing when you are doing multiple projects at the same time. It needs to be, If I am doing project management for another investor, it needs to be signed by that investor as well. Everything, you might think oh my gosh it is so complicated, actually not. Everything, I do it online. I use HelloSign or you can use DocuSign everything. You can be everything online, seamless, the contractor can sign it with the tip off his finger as well as the homeowner and me if I am not the owner.
Brandon: That is fantastic. Alright, you are talking about managing contractors. I am wondering how does that play into your investing strategy? I mean you say you do it for other people, you also do it for yourself I am assuming, like what is your overall today business look like? Like what is that like?
Andresa: Sure. Majority of the projects that I am managing currently, I am involved. I have ownership on those. Those are my primary. We are doing larger development deals. More new construction and doing things that… We have found that doing a single family or doing three or six at the same time, I can leverage much more the supply, my time, and the general contractors skills if I am doing multiple at the same time. I started partnering up with other folks that are doing the same thing. Both here in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Matt and Liz are my partners in New Jersey. Now, I start, this is kind of of like brand new. I started doing the construction management for our apartment complex that I will have ownership as well. But Matt and Liz needed somebody to step up on that area so we kind of like share a couple of things there and that is basically.
Brandon: That is cool. That is cool. I love that you like found your niche. Like something that you are really good at, it is construction management. You are like I am going to use this as my thing, that I am world class at, you sound like you are probably one of the best if not the best like construction manager I have ever talked to. You are like this is what I do, and this is what I am a rockstar at. I am going to use this to leverage into deals. Like this is how I work towards financial freedom and wealth. Like be really good at this.
Andresa: That is exactly what we do it. For example, if you look Matt Faircloth, he raises private money, right? We work as a team. He raise private money. Once he is done, the balls come to my court. From that on, I take to the final line. That is what we do.
Brandon: I love that, I love that. Just so many people want to do everything themselves and it is not always a bad thing, right? But when you can put together a team and like that guy is the best to use, I am going to steal David’s thunder and be an analogy guy, right? That guy is the best thing in his hits and that guy is the best at throwing a fastball. That guy is the best they could catch him in the outfield. Like that is what wins championships. When you have a team of rockstars that are good at individual things rather than trying to be a jack of all trades.
Andresa: I could not agree more but I think that looking back, that was my biggest challenge. As a women in this industry, I did try to do everything on my own and prove that I could do it but it gets to the point where you either stay still, enjoying three or four deals at the same time and that is it or you start delegating and growing personally. You got to hang out with people that are doing bigger deals and then yours became very small and really really understand how you spend the time. I started spending more time knowing myself and what I am good at, what I do not like or not good at and really delegating it. But that was a challenge, it did not come easy to me.
David: Yes, that is great advice. In fact, most people when I asked them why they have not got started investing, they give me the reasons but all the reasons are different ways of wording. There is parts I am not comfortable with and I cannot get comfortable with it, right? If you just found someone who is comfortable with those parts and you just focus because nobody likes everything about everything. Like we are all different. There is people that love to analyze deals, they just want to talk about information and analization and it is almost as fun as actually doing a deal just to talk about it, right?
Brandon: That is me actually. I love analyzing and putting together deals.
David: That is 100% true. Brandon will talk about exactly how this make belief thing would go and it will be just as fun as if we did a real deal. Then it gets done and I am like okay so what is the next step? He is like, ‘I do not even know if I want to do it.’ Like throw the whole thing together, right? Then you have got other people that all they want to do is network. They just love to connect people. They like to find this guy and this guy and bring them together. But actually like what do we do? Want to start together? They are like, ‘I do not know. I do not want to do it,’ and they do not take action with.
You can find the people who are good at the things that you are not be honest with yourself like addresses saying that is what I love about what you are doing is you are humble enough to say I know it is my ego that is trying to prove to the world, I am a woman and I can do everything but I am really not good at everything. I am good at this. You partnered with people that are really good at this stuff you do not like doing and I am sure they were so glad to have you because who wants to manage construction? I mean that is one of the toughest parts, right?
Andresa: That is nuts, right?
Andresa: I wish I like something else.
David: Right. It is like property management. If you find someone who is really good at property management, everybody wants them because God that is horrible. Why would you?
Brandon: My wife loves property management. I mean like that is why she wrote the book on these rental properties just because she loves that part and she is good at it. I hate that part but like you find people who are really good at certain things and there is somebody out there that is good at everything. I mean like there is somebody for every role that you just got to find those people. Find the person who likes doing book. Like there is somebody out there who loves doing book work. Like I think that is insane but there is people who just loves sitting down with a pencil and a spreadsheet and running numbers. Like keeping tracking. No, that is not me.
David: That is the most boring dry part.
Brandon: Yes, but if somebody gets done with their day at work, you are like yes I feel so good from eight hours of book work.
David: Unless they are looking at a spreadsheet, they are not happy. There is a box that I need to put a number in it. I so badly want to do this. But see, Brandon, I bet that is why you and Heather built a good portfolio because if you had to do all the property management yourself, you would have got three houses and said screw this, I do not want to be a real estate investor. I am doing way too much stuff I do not like and Heather would have probably never wanted to do it on her own either because she does not want to have to go like meet people, talk to people, analyze deals, put things together. You get that marriage and that is where it all comes out.
On that note, Andresa, I want to ask you because you are good at something that very few people are good at which is organizing and managing several projects from the construction aspect, do you have some tips for anybody who wants to do the same? How do you get good at keeping all these little balls in the air with all the moving pieces flowing smoothly?
Andresa: Well, that is a good question. If I knew that a long time ago, I will have done it. I think that the three tips that I give it to you guys, the scope of work, the finishes, the payment plan, it can be a good start. But I think my number one thing, if I look back, partner up with people that do not know what you do and then learning front end. I was very straightforward with my first contractor. I said, ‘Hey, I am not going to be here bugging you but I am going to ask a couple of questions because I am looking to learn.
If you do not mind explaining why you are digging the basement and what is underpinning? Would you mind explaining that to me and I will take a couple pictures of the process and he was actually like, ‘Sure, I love to. I can talk about this all day long because I really enjoy doing construction. That was a good thing for me. Another tip that I will say that always helped me still look at the home inspections. I started building my scope of work and I constantly edit things based on the home inspection.
They put a lot of things out there that are very valuable and they find meeting an inspector, a seating inspector here, I always want to build a relationship with them and I have a great relationship with those here in Philadelphia. Somebody might be hearing me and saying this lady is nuts. Well, you got to do what you got to do. It is not very respectful but I want them to tell yes tell me what everything that is wrong here so I can add to my scope of work and then next time you are going to come here and say it is Andresa’s project and he is going to like looks great, bye. That is exactly what happened. You build that trust and they know you are doing the right thing.
David: Gary Vaynerchuk says you should find someone really good at what they do and work for them for free. Do you agree with that?
Andresa: A 100%, a 100% and I did that. I did that and I will do it all over again. I get a chunk of my time and then say how can I do? I will do whatever. What do I need to do? Do I need to clean toilets or you sit down with me for an hour? I am the type of person that if I am looking to get the knowledge, I do not care what do I need to do? A Saturday or Sunday, whatever it is. I did door to door sales. That is the hardest thing that somebody can do. I think my skin got thicker so much to the point I could care less about what people say or what they do but I am eager to get the knowledge and I will do whatever.
Brandon: Yes, that is fantastic. Really, really, I love that mindset. I think people need to like rewind the last minute of this show and just listened to that again, it is so good. Alright, but I want to move on because we had a lot more to talk about today and I am going to head over to the next segment of the show, our Deal Deep Dive.
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Brandon: Alright, with that let us get to the Deal Deep Dive. This is the part of the show where we dive deep into one particular deal that you have recently done. Andresa, you got something in mind? You have got a property in mind?
Andresa: Yes, I do.
Brandon: Okay. First question, we got like eight questions we are going to fire at you real quick for details. Number one, what kind of property is it and where was it?
Andresa: It is a triplex. It was a mixed use. A candy store at the bottom and two units at the top and we converted it to a three residential unit.
David: Alrighty, next question. How did you find this deal?
Andresa: I was doing a rehab on the same street and I saw lots of garbage bags being put outside and some furniture and we started getting contact and that was a state sale. We got in contact the attorney that was doing the project, helping them out with the house and was an off market deal.
Brandon: Love it. Love it. How much did you pay for it?
Andresa: We paid $230,000.
David: How did you negotiate that price?
Andresa: Well, they wanted a little bit more. Of course they are in south Philadelphia, a triplex there.
Brandon: South Philadelphia, born and raised. It is where I spent most of my days.
David: I think it is nice Philadelphia.
Brandon: Oh, you are right, it is.
David: Shows how little Brandon knows about Philly. Go ahead, Andresa.
Brandon: It was Philadelphia. Yes, you are right. Okay, fine.
Andresa: Basically, we needed to do a full God there. There was no way that we could salvage anything. We explained to them the situation and there were ton of ton of things inside. They were like furniture, lots of candy store, the furniture for the candy where you put the candy and all that stuff. They have like collections and collections of glasses and different stuff. There are a lot so that that is how we were able to negotiate the price down considering all the things that we have to do.
Brandon: Cool. How about funding it? How did you pay for this thing?
Andresa: We used a lender. We got the money down and we got a lender and 75% LTV and 100% of the Rehab. What kind of loan or what kind of a lender is that? Private money or was that just a bank?
David: You said you converted it?
David: Okay, what did you do with it after you converted it?
Andresa: That is a very important topic that I do not want to forget. A very important thing over here that we do find deals that needs to be converted but the conversion process takes a long time. It might take a long time. What we did, once we put it under contract, we also had an agreement between the seller to start designing process right away. That shaved a lot of our time. We went through the zoning process here because it did not make sense to keep the bottom commercial and went through the community meeting and there was a funny story there because this property has a roof deck and one of the members of the community and raised his hand and he was like are you guys looking to keep the chicken coop?
We are like what are you talking about? I look at the board and I said I have no idea what he is talking about. Then the guy started laughing hysterically. He is like sir that is not a chicken coop, that is called pilot house. That is for the roof back. I was like, well, whatever. We passed up the zoning board and converted to triplex. Everything separated, all three different units.
David: How much did you put into that deal on the rehab?
Andresa: The Rehab, we put about $200,000 into it.
Brandon: Alright, what was the outcome like then? Like what was it worth, what did you end up doing with the deal afterwards?
Andresa: Guess what happened?
Andresa: When we got the appraisal…
Brandon: It came in low.
Andresa: It came at low. It came at 560. I was like, alright, here we go again. I sat down one more time and did exactly what I told you guys. Here is the thing, you do not know if they are going to sap you or not, okay? But you got to try, you got to be nice to the appraisal and say, ‘Hey, I do not want to make you wrong or anything but this is what I have found here.’ They were from Harrisburg. No idea what Southfield. They were calling South Philly a neighborhood. I was like nah, not really. Anyway, they evaluate and then came back as 675. It raised a $115,000.
Brandon: That is amazing. You got it appraised, you bought it for $230,000, you put in $200,000. Then it gets appraised for six $675,000 after you challenged it which is awesome.
Brandon: Then you re-financed it then to just a new loan, got all your money back out again?
Brandon: That is awesome. That is like the BRRRR deal of the century, I love that. Now, you just hold on to it. You guys are taking care of it?
Brandon: Cash flow?
David: How much money are you making from the chickens and the eggs laying on the top?
Andresa: Oh God.
Brandon: That is funny, that is funny. Alright, what did you learn? Maybe that was David’s question. Well I stole it, sorry David. What did you learn from this deal?
Andresa: Well, you got to be very… Like having the courage to be like the perseverance in this deal because there is so many hoops and it was not like a smooth deal where you make an offer day, accept the offer, and everything goes well. There are so many challenges. I had to change contractors in the middle, I had to really pull things off. There were different types of learning process but the latest one was about the appraisal again, that everything can be negotiable, everything.
Brandon: That is fantastic. What is cool about the appraisal thing that I never really thought about too much. Like when somebody gets a job like let us say you get hired somewhere, they say yes, we would like to hire you, we will make you an offer of $80K a year. There is zero downside at all of saying I really wanted 90K because worst case they are going to say no you are at 80K and you are like okay, I will take it, right? There is only upside. I mean unless you a jerk about it, you are like try to bluff your way and say no I will not take the job. But like there is zero downside to try to negotiate a little bit more. In a real estate deal, there is really no downside to after an inspection trying to negotiate a little bit lower as well because the worst they can say is no. You are like okay fine I will still buy the deal, right?
Brandon: Granted there are probably something that you do not want to like make people upset and not want to work with them but like there is zero downside some time to try to negotiate a little more. That is what is cool about the appraisal thing. There is absolutely zero downside other than maybe the hour it takes you to put together a nice presentation to try to challenge an appraisal.
Brandon: If it comes back high, great. If they say no, screw you, whatever. You wasted an hour. I love that. I want us to pull through a couple of things from this deal that I love. Why, David and I love the BRRRR strategy. If you do not know what BRRRR is, Buy Rehab Tent Refinance Repeat. It is like you found an off market nasty property, this works really well, you got a good deal on it because it was nasty. You put a bunch of money into it, fixed it all up and then pulled all that money out so now you can go repeat the process again and again. It works on single family, it works on duplex, triplex fiveplex, hundredplex, mobile home parks, mobile homes, anything.
Again, it just works and people do this. I just love the strategy and people are saying, ‘Well, I do not have any money for it.’ Great, be really good at finding deals, bring in a partner to fund the deal who is good at raising the money. I do not know where to find deals, figure that out. Like every single part of this you can do and people listening to this can do. They just got to have the right mindset and the right like attitude of yes, I am going to do this, right? Jim Rohn says if you really want something you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.
Andresa: A 100%.
Brandon: You found a way. Very very cool.
Andresa: Find the person that was in your situation. That person has already the answer so you do not need to re-invent the wheel. That are beyond the right place. Join Facebook groups, listen to the podcast, you got to do your due diligence.
David: How much of a role do you think all those No’s you heard over the years played in the way you handle these things where you go say well what if I challenged the appraisal? What if I get a contractor to come down on this price? Like all these little ways that you have looked at being a better negotiator, do you feel like that happened because you got thicker skin from going after things and been told no a lot?
Andresa: I do, I do. I was selling Verizon business to business so I got to talk to business owners and every time that I got a chance, I asked them tell me how did you do start? What was your story? Now, it came at me like 30 seconds ago and all of the sudden he is already saying, ‘Hey, here is some food or here is whatever.’ It was usually a restaurant so I ate for free all the time. It was funny but I do because sometimes I got doors slammed on my face. Literally, sometimes people are having a hard time and I had to deal with that rejection at that time, very hard.
First, I thought there is something wrong with me. What is wrong with me? What is wrong with the person or so you got to swallow and keep going and then all of the sudden you just hear that no and say okay that is why one more so I am getting closer to my yes. On the book, Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss, he always talk about like getting the no, get the no first and that is when the negotiation starts. I am fine with no’s, it is just the value that I give it to it, it is just like okay fine. Now, let us start a negotiation.
Brandon: So good, So good. Alright, well let us head over to the next segment of the show which we lovingly refer to as our Fire Round.
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Brandon: Alright, let us get to the fire around. These questions come direct out of the BiggerPockets forums. These are real life or real estate investors on the BiggerPockets forums who are asking these questions and we are going to see Andresa just what she got to say about it. Number one, ‘I am curious to know how hard or how easy it is to find competent and efficient architects. Like what do I look for if I need an architect?’
Andresa: Well, competent really depends on what you are referring to competent, right? I think you can use the same thing as the contractors. For example, if I am looking at a property I look around who did those properties around me. Well, who was that architect? I am looking for projects that I feel okay this has a good layout. Who did this project? My criteria will determ a good match and not the other way around.
Brandon: That is great.
David: Good. Okay, next question. ‘I invested in a small city that has had a population of 45,000 for the past 50 years. Appreciation is slow, house to sit for a long time on the market and there is not a lot of industry in town. This violates a lot of conventional wisdom but I absolutely love investing there. What do you think of investing in a market like this?’
Andresa: Well, find your niche. Are people coming to your town for Airbnb for example? This is the new thing for me. I feel that Airbnb is not tied to any local or national economy. It is global. People come in and out. You can create a very good experience on your town and bring people in. That might be the key. Otherwise, there is a book written by a guy called David Greene about investing out of state that you can check it out.
Brandon: Nah, it is a lame book. Do not worry about it.
David: Very nice. That is the best answer I have ever heard.
Brandon: Actually, that sounds a lot like my market that I invested in Grays Harbor, Washington for a long time and I still do invest there. Like a lot of my best deals are in this town that has not grown. In fact, it shrunk/. But if I learned what that niche is, I learned how to make it work and I figured out and now I make really good cash flow in that area. I always say like every town in America, every town in America has real estate investors. Just figure out what works there or go somewhere that actually works for whatever it is you are trying to do. Alright, number three, ‘I want to rent out.’ Speaking of short term rentals and Airbnb, ‘I want to rent out my basement apartment as a short term rental. What features should I have to attract the best guests?’
Andresa: First, you need to ask yourself is that a good location? It really depends how close you are from a public transportation, the attractions, what is gone on around you. Same thing, you got to look at the comparables. Are other people doing Airbnb in your area? How is the legislation? Is it allowed? Is it not allowed? There is so many question marks that needs to be answered first. The market analysis is my first thing that I look on Airbnb. If those are no, no, no, I do not really care if it looks great and you have like sound is amazing but the location really sucks. People are not going to come. How far you are from an airport for example? People are not going to come. That will be my first thing, look at the market.
Brandon: Okay. Anything inside the property that you think like does having an office help like a desk and a place to work or does that really helped to like what are things like that that you have seen worked?
Andresa: Yes. I have a, again, I am like all about spreadsheets and all the things that I got to have, but 100% Airbnb has a future there that it tailors to a business travelers. If you do have a desk, a lamp, a high internet speed also facilitates things a lot and will attract those people but the house needs to be completely furnished with everything that one person will want to have and on top of that the touch is what the hosts will give it which is a guide, a personal guide. I put them, ‘Hey, go to this place here to have the brunch and you know what I like most about it? This dish. It is my favorite, you got to try.’ They have an experience, that is my number one thing. Otherwise, they are going to stay in a hotel.
David: This is really good advice, really really good advice. You should write a book on this. Okay, last question, ‘I am a new investor and I see a lot of conflicting advice about getting a mentor. What is your best advice for finding a mentor who can show me the business?’
Andresa: That is a great question. I paid a lot for my mentors and I recover every single penny. Not saying to people that they should pay thousands and thousands of dollars, that was my personal choice and I recover every single thing and much more. But here is the thing, a lot of people are saying, ‘Hey you want to be my mentor?’ It takes time for somebody to mentee, it is a lot of time. What is the exchange there? What are you bringing to the table? A 100% you are going to either bring something to the table or pay somebody something for their time if they want.
Majority of the mentors that I want do not have the time to be mentors. You got to partner up with somebody. That was my advice, bring the deal to the table, partner up with somebody that is willing to share with you the entire process on the area that you are looking to get. If somebody comes to me and say, ‘Hey, can you mentor me in wholesaling?’ No, I am not the right person for you. Number one is what exactly do you want to receive information about and then handles people that you are looking to, so follow.
Brandon: Yes, fantastic answer. Really really good. Alright, we got to head over to the next segment. The final segment of the show which we call our Famous Four. Let us get to the world famous Famous Four. Number one, Andresa, what is your favorite real estate book?
Andresa: It is not about any real estate strategies, it is about negotiation but it is the book about Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. I really think that is a game-changer in real estate. If you understand that, you are ahead of the game.
Brandon: Great. We did interview Chris Voss on the BiggerPockets podcast. It was at show to 260. Go to BiggerPockets.com/show260 as soon as you are done listening to this episode and go listen to that one. Like Chris really brought the goods on that show, it was so good. Yes, very very good book. Very good real estate book even though it is not about real estate it is a real estate book because it helps us in our real estate business.
David: It is funny you mentioned that because I have been listening to Chris Voss the last three days in a row on YouTube. Like every speech that he has been giving, listening to all of it, and practicing it in my head for my real estate agent business, how to negotiate better. Okay, do you have a favorite business book other than Never Split the Difference?
Andresa: Yes, I have two. The number one is Traction by Gino Wickman and the number that I am really obsessed about, it is call The Code of an Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani. It is traction but most on the spiritual side, awareness side, that really helps you center yourself real good.
Brandon: You know if I had to guess, I have not heard of that book by the way so I am going to add that to my many lists of books, but at traction, if I had to guess what book you are going to say it would have been Traction. Because like Traction is one of those books that is just like here is how you organize and keep super straightforward and it gets your business just crushing it. Like it is an encyclopedia of how to run a scalable like sizable good business the right way without stress.
Brandon: A fantastic book and it is exactly what this whole show has been about.
Brandon: Like when you meet a contractor, stop winging it. Like have these three things you need. You got your contract, you got this, you got your employees, here is how you motivate them. I love that you said that. Yes, it is just exactly what I think you would say because how you run your life.
Andresa: I am so predictable.
Brandon: No, in a good way. Like so many people struggle like so many people struggle with knowing how to run a business. Like they can figure out how to buy rental or buy a flip or manage a rehab as a one off thing but how do you run a business which is what you have to do if you want to grow a sizeable portfolio of any kind of real estate or anything.
Andresa: Same thing with the disease though. You can find a lot of people that can swing a hammer but they have a hard time running a business or running multiple jobs. They mixed the money and then they get very confused.
Brandon: Yes, yes. Very very very common especially with contractors. Cool, alright, number three, David.
David: Number three, what are some of your hobbies?
Andresa: Well, I love dancing and that is something that I have not done a long time but I started doing it and I started 2019 dancing a lot. This year, that is what I am doing. I am scheduling time with myself and showing up.
Brandon: That is awesome. What kind of dancing?
Andresa: In Brazil, we do not dance salsa. We dance samba. I like salsa.
Brandon: Normally, when we have a person on the podcast here who is like a fighter, like a Brazilian Jujitsu fighter, I will challenge them to a fight. You, when we ever have like a BiggerPockets conference someday in the future, let us salsa dance.
Andresa: I am coming. I am totally down. I will be on stage.
Brandon: Alright, I am not going to fight you but I will salsa.
David: What is the dancing show called that everybody watches? Dancing with the Stars?
Brandon: Dancing with the Stars.
David: That is what Brandon always uses. It is like oh I could not buy a house because I was watching Dancing with the Stars, right? We should do like a previous BiggerPocket podcast guests Dancing with the Stars dance off, right?
Andresa: Oh my gosh.
Brandon: It is a dance off, it is a dance off.
David: Brandon will be the partner that they all have to use because he is so good at dancing.
Brandon: I spent many countless hours, countless hours, watching Dancing with the Stars on my couch with nachos in my face. Alright, number four, what separates successful real estate investors from all of those who give up, fail or never get started?
Andresa: I thought a lot about this and what comes out, keep coming to my head is just awareness. Awareness of who you are, awareness of where you want to be and what is the gap? What is the plan to fulfill that gap? I think that being aware of being present, if you are with somebody be with somebody. Be where your feet at and period. Because if you are laser focused and you have a plan, there is no way things are going to get you know on your way. You are just going to achieve it no matter what.
David: Perfect, that is beautiful. Tell us where can people find out more about you?
Andresa: Sure. I have a podcast called The Real Estate Invest Her Show. People can go to www.therealestateinvesther.com and find me there.
Brandon: That is a clever name, Real Estate Invest Her.
Brandon: That is clever. But the guys also can listen and participate. That is totally fine but that is targeted for the ladies.
Brandon: There you go. It is perfect. Alright, well, definitely everybody check out that show and we will put links to all that in the show notes as well. BiggerPockets.com/show314. Andresa, thank you so much for joining us today.
Andresa: You are welcome guys. It was a pleasure.
David: That was beautiful. This is David Greene for Brandon ‘I steal David’s questions’ Turner, signing off.
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