Feedback on RentToRetirement and Zach Lemaster

63 Replies

Zach has recently helped and guided me to closing on my first out-of-state investment property. With me being a beginning investor, Zach has been very patient in listening to me sort out my inner doubts/conflicts while also helping me better understand the stages of purchasing an investment. He has responsive teams in place that smooth out the process. He is easy to talk to, has had an answer for every question I've had and has helped me feel more confident in making big decisions. His mix of reassuring wisdom and genuine passion for real estate is special and I am grateful to have him as a resource. I am now waiting for my first payment. Otherwise, I am looking forward to strategizing with him, and seeing how I can expand my portfolio from here! I would fully recommend scheduling a call with Zach. Feel free to contact me on my biggerpockets profile if you have any further questions. Thank you Zach!

Disclosure: Part of Company

@Marcus Paras Thank you very much for the kind words & feedback.  Looking forward to working with you on many more future investments to build a well balanced passive income portfolio!  The first one is often the most difficult to acquire, but also the most important to set the foundation to build upon for future scalability!

If anyone else has any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

Zach

Great thread! I’ve been researching on Zach and team, as well and glad to hear such awesome feedback. I’ll be in contact with them soon! 

Hi Everyone, 

I would like to get feedback on your experience working with Zach and his team specifically 1. the projected cash flow per month and how close were they to what you actually receive  2. Were your properties rented out when you bought them, if not how long before the PM was able to fill your vacancy and 3. did you go to see the property when you were in the process of purchasing, why or why not?  I know there has to be a great deal of trust that has to exist with the owner and his or her team  but being a first time investor I would like to know what successful investors with rent to retirement have done in the past. 

Looking to purchase my first property before the year ends!

Thank you all for your help!

Hi @Roushel Asuncion ,

Nice goal to get into a rental before end of year!  I actually closed 3 homes with rent to retirement & @Zach Lemaster  a few months ago, and have had a very positive experience overall.  I wrote about my experience on a different thread here:  https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/92/topics/765347-rent-to-retirement-review?page=1#p4497440

So far my cash flow is exceeding their initial projections as I really haven't had any vacancy or maintenance.  I'm sure that will come into factor as I own my homes throughout the years.  All homes were rented at time of closing.  I did not choose to see the homes in person as it did not make logistical sense for me at the time, but I'm sure I will at some point down the road.  They did provide me with a lot of information about the general market overview, the neighborhood, the home & repairs that were done.  I also went on google maps to virtually "drive" the neighborhoods, which all looked like nice locations with well kept homes.  I also relied heavily on the appraisal report as a 3rd party verification that all information was accurately presented to me.  The bank required and ordered the appraisal for each home.

Have you seen the first page to this thread? There seem to be a lot of people that have successfully worked with renttoretirement and happy with their rentals. I actually learned about them from a coworker of mine that has purchased with them for the past few years. We started talking real estate, and about all the benefits of owning rentals in different markets that have higher cash flow & returns. He then put me in touch with them. Overall I was very impressed by their communication, professionalism, and willingness to take as much time as I needed to walk me through all the important steps of investing in a market I'm not familiar with or close to. That was crucial for me doing this for the first time. I'm now working to set up my LLC and entity protection with their guidance and legal support.

I'm very excited I was able to get into 3 rentals in 2019, and my goal is to add 5 more to my portfolio in 2020, and hopefully be at 20 doors by 2022!  Feel free to pm me any specific questions you have.  Good Luck!!

Disclosure: Part of company

@Diana Jing

Thank you for the great feedback!  I'm also very excited to assist you with building your passive income portfolio!  We love to work with investors that are serious and able to take action!  I speak to a lot of newer investors that can never seem to simply take the steps necessary to purchase their first rental property, which is frustrating all around, and ultimately a time waste for everyone.  That first investment property is so essential to shift your mindset to that of an investor, and to build the foundation to be able to scale upon in the future!  We do our best to have all the systems already in place to easily allow investors to purchase rentals in these excellent cash flow markets.  As the old saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink."  Glad you are a motivated investor willing to take action towards aggressively building your rental portfolio!  I have no doubt you will accomplish your passive income goals within your timeline or even sooner!  As always, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you in the meantime.  Looking forward to the next round of properties!

@Roushel Asuncion

Nice speaking with you the other day.  Feel free to reach out with any additional questions you have as I am happy to schedule a follow up call at any point in time.  As we discussed, the next procedural steps would be to get a pre-approval from one of our recommended lenders, then we can work together to identify some specific properties that fit your investment criteria and get you started!  I do think we have enough time to get you into an excellent rental by end of year if you are committed to doing so!

Also, here is a link to my personal page where 40+ investors have left reviews for me that have work with us in the past.
https://www.biggerpockets.com/users/ZacharyCole/references  

This should help to build your confidence in our team as well, but again, it all goes back to getting that first rental under our belts so you have some first hand experience to judge from.  Then we can focus on scaling up in the future to accomplish your overall passive income aspirations!  Our goal is to develop long term business partnerships with our investors!

Thanks,

Zach

Disclosure: Part of company

@Tiago Camilo @Trevor Williams

It was very nice speaking with both of you during our initial phone consultation!  We look forward to hopefully working with you in the near future, and please let me know if you have any questions I can address in the meantime.

Right now is an excellent time to secure very attractive long term financing.

We look forward to building long term business partnerships with you!

@Jake Tolton

We've enjoyed working with the rent to retirement team the past few years, and are still working with them.  We own a total of 14 doors at this point, and we should be up to 16 by the end of Feb.  Most everything has been performing as expected with very little unexpected occurrences.  We've only had a couple vacancies so far, and both those properties were leased to another tenant in under a month so I would say our cash flow has been better than initially projected.  I'm sure over time that will average out, but we have owned many homes for close to four years now so I think that is long enough to give a true evaluation of performance.  We haven't really seen any impact due to covid which has been nice.  We did waive a late fee for one tenant back in April & May when they had a temporary pause in their employment due to shutdowns, but they applied for unemployment benefits which more than covered their rent, and they quickly caught up.  I believe that is the benefit to investing in the locations & housing classes that we do since these locations seem to always have rental demand & affordability.  Plus many of these midwestern states do not have as much economic impact as the densely populated costal states where we do not invest.  Other than waiving the one late fee, our rentals have performed as expected with no issues throughout covid.

I would like to point out that I used to own & manage my own rentals which was a nightmare. I didn't know what I was doing, and was not able to truly commit the time necessary to do an effective job at managing my own properties.  I did eventually hire a local mngt team that did an even worse job that I did!  Because of my previous bad experience I took a few years off from investing not knowing another way to do it. When I was introduced to rent to retirement from a friend who had invested with them it blew my mind that this was even possible to invest this way. Naturally I was skeptical at first, but I decided to purchase my first couple of rentals to see for myself how things would work out. So glad I decided to take that first step!

On a more higher level I would like to mention that @Zach Lemaster & the rent to retirement team has been a tremendous help in us developing our overall investment strategy! Up to this point we've not only purchased many cash flowing properties in numerous markets, but we've also been very creative to expand our portfolio beyond what we would have likely done on our own. We've completed a HELOC loan, invested through a SDIRA, completed two 1031 exchanges, and we just now are doing our first cost segregation study on our portfolio to reduce our 2020 taxes to zero even though we made over six figures! It's crazy how many tax benefits there are to investing in RE. Once you fully understand all the benefits you wish you would have started to invest many years earlier! In summary, we are still working with the rent to retirement team, and would fully recommend them to anyone looking for guidance on how to build a successful, long term portfolio in excellent cash flow markets. Hope this helps, and fee free to send over any specific questions you have.

@Jake Tolton

We are overall still very happy with our properties we've purchased through rent to retirement with the assistance of @Zach Lemaster ! We really haven't had any issues beyond the typical expected maintenance stuff that comes up over time. We did just close on a new build w/ RTR that appraised for $29,000 over what we paid for it!! That was a huge win to have immediate equity in a brand new built home in an A class location that still cash flows well! Best of all worlds really. We will likely do a refi to access some of that equity at some point to reinvest. I think we will be purchasing more of the new build properties as we expand our portfolio. We were able to put less money down on the new build to be creative to dramatically increase our ROI. Very cool strategy that the rent to retirement team helped coach us through. So yes, we are still happy with our rentals, and still recommend their team to anyone. We have had zero issues due to covid. Our rentals have remained rented this entire time, and we are still at 100% rent collection on time every month. We have also been able use a lot of the same creative strategies that @Riley Schaefer mentioned in his post to expand our portfolio.  It's all about about staying consistent with your goals over time & continually scaling up!

@Brooke Andrea @Riley Schaefer - thanks for the additional feedback.  Have either of you sold any of your properties?  One of my concerns was paying at the top of the market for TK and the appreciation being slower.  From the thread it seems like homes appraised for higher than purchase price and you all have kept homes but also picked up did 1031 - not sure if that was of TK homes or other properties.

thanks in advance.

@Jake Tolton

Overall very good experience working with rent to retirement. I've purchased many turnkey rentals from them, and have no plans to stop anytime soon. Good communication, quality rentals, growing markets, etc. All the right things I'm looking for to build a rental portfolio in a market. All tenants are paid in full on time every month so no affect from covid thankfully. We have a total of 16 doors with them at this point. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

@Gohar Shafiq

We've seen fairly decent appreciation in these areas, and have successfully done a 1031 on a few properties to expand our portfolio.  No real different in buying off the mls vs TK in terms of being priced at market value.  If you want to find below market prices on properties you will likely need to put in some work on them, or inherent an unfavorable tenant, so it really depends what you're looking for.  Rehabbing homes to force equity can be another full time job, and have a lot of risk.  I like being more hands off & letting homes naturally build equity over time through appreciation & debt reduction as the tenant pays the loan down.  Add the cash flow & tax benefits/depreciation to RE investing & the returns are very attractive, even with modest appreciation.

@Jill Thomas I haven't done any purchases with Zach yet,but strongly considering it when I am ready. I did have multiple conversations with him, and feel like he is a good source for investments and has been working hard to know everything about investment properties and will be a great resource. I have worked with clients that has done purchases with him and it has all been good feedback.

@Gohar Shafiq

We have done multiple 1031s on the TK properties we've purchased. Our typical holding time is anywhere from 4 to 6 years, and then we look to refi or 1031 to expand our portfolio. It doesn't really matter if you're buying at market value via the TK route, or via MLS because simply owning rental RE over time will naturally build equity through appreciation & debt reduction (not including cash flow or tax benefits). To use a simple example, one of our homes we did a 1031 on we purchased was about $100k 4 years ago. We put 20% down ($20k) initially to purchase it, so we already had $20k equity in it. After selling it late last year, we found that we averaged about 6.5% appreciation each year over the past 4 years (we sold it for $126,000). During that time the loan principal was also paid down about $7k. So we had about $33k of equity along with the original $20k we put down for a total of $53k to invest which we put down on a duplex that cash flows almost triple of what we originally were seeing. This is a great way to creatively expand a portfolio over time without adding any additional capital to buy more doors, and to drastically expand your ROI/cash flow! Our plan is to keep trading up over time! Hope this helps.

@Riley Schaefer and @Eric Nguyen ,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Are there any other paperwork or admin you need to do on a monthly basis for bookkeeping and tax returns purposes? How much time do you need to put in on a monthly and annual basis when you are owning more than 5 or 10+ properties? Are there any other add-on services R2R team will provide?

Thank you!

@Eileen Wang

I'm happy to help, and I'll gladly recommend anyone I've had a good experience with like rent to retirement because I feel it's actually quite rare to find people that really go above and beyond for customer service.  Once you find the right people to work with, your success has no limits!

For us this is a pretty passive process, and that is why we decided to invest with rent to retirement in the first place.  We are busy professionals focusing on our careers so we really don't want to be involved in the day to day.  We are always kept up to speed on how the properties are performing, but it's minimal time involved.  Every month we get a detailed statement of accounting & performance of our properties, and we can easily reach out to management if we have any specific questions.  If there are ever any maintenance or tenant issues they simply handle it, and let us know the situation & how it was resolved.  So pretty hands off, and that is the goal.  We do have our CPA that does all our taxes for us, and we simply forward the management reports to our CPA.  As mentioned previously in this thread the RTR team will assist with all aspects of investing from tax, legal, accounting, financing, SDIRA investing, 1031s & overall strategic planning to scale over time, and that is at no additional cost to investors.  We have found that to be extremely beneficial.  Even our CPA is a professional real estate investor, and was referred to us from the rent to retirement team.  They are an invaluable resource! If you haven't already, I would recommend reaching out to them directly to ask some of your specific questions about how much time is involved as I'm sure this can vary, but feel free to message me with any questions as well.  Just forewarning though, I'm likely slow to respond. 

@Eileen Wang

I agree with Eric.  It's important to have a good CPA on your team to ensure you are filing taxes appropriately.  The majority of the accounting/book keeping is done by the management team.  You may have to manage your mangers sometimes if they aren't providing the level of information that you need, but I've been pretty happy from the experiences I've had so far with management.  So I would say to carve out a few hours every month to review the performance of your properties, and check in with your management team to make sure everything is operating smoothly.  

As long as tenants are paying rent every month, your rentals should be on autopilot for the most part.  I think the best application of your time is focusing on how to strategically build your network/team in the locations you want to invest in, and how to scale your portfolio over time.  This are the things the rent to retirement team will assist you with.  Concentrating on growing your education & how to creatively purchase more cash flowing properties is the most valuable hours spent regularly.  It's best to delegate the operational tasks for things like management to the local professionals to give you time to focus on the higher level concepts.  Just my two cents on the matter.