What Should I Re-Name My Real Estate Investing Business?

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I have a real problem and I hope you can help.

You see, I have this real estate investing business that’s doing pretty well right now, growing really rapidly and is doing better than I ever thought possible…but I have a really big issue…

The business has a horrible name.

Usually here on BiggerPockets, I do best to help you the real estate investor to flip houses and invest in real estate…just not today.

Today the purpose of this post is to ask for your help. Help in a dilemma we ALL face at one point in time as real estate investors.

You see, we all need help at times. And no matter how successful you may be – or think you may be – we all need to keep on improving and learning. In fact, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t learn something new or improve a process in my business.

A lot of it is from reading other bloggers here on BiggerPockets from investors like Danny Johnson, Brandon Turner, Tracey Royce, Chris Clothier, Ann Bellamy, Ali Boone, Karen Rittenhouse and Sharon Vornholt…just to name a few.

So it you’re new to real estate investing – make sure you read those guys’ post here on BiggerPocketsthey are REALLY good.

The Best Way to Create a Real Estate Investing Business

But the other ways I learn is just from just doing and taking action. In my opinion, there’s nothing like on the job experience. Personally, I feel that’s where I learn the most.

I honestly don’t think you can write about all this real estate investing stuff without actually doing it. Not just investing once in a while – but doing it every single day.

Doing it full-time and learning every step of the way is the best education – which I do.

The Real Estate Investing Business Dilemma

So I want to share with you about my actual investing business.

Although I do coaching and create educational products – 99% of what I do is actual real estate investing – and in particular house flipping. So I’m not one of those guys who just writes about real estate and doesn’t actually do it – I actually do it.

And right now, I’m doing it so much that I’m acquiring about a property a week to flip or hold. Business has never been better and I am really thankful.

What To Name a Legit Real Estate Investing Business?

So about my real estate investing business…

As you may it may already know, I am a full-time investor and although here on BiggerPockets, I’m know as a “house flipping guy”, I buy and hold and flip houses almost equally – with a focus of reinvesting my profits into long-term holds for wealth creation and passive income.

I’ve been doing this full-time for the last four years as I wound down my flooring business and passed it on to my brother. With the expectation of future growth, I recently purchased a new office (after renting for two years) and brought on board a full-time acquisition manager as well as a full-time wholesaler.

Business as I said is really good right now...things are humming…

I am very fortunate to say that although the market for our kind of properties has dried up a bit, we are sourcing new deals almost every day and are busier than I ever thought possible.

Help on a Name

If you have a real estate investing business, you need a name. I have one for my investment business – which is different from the educational business – but as I said it’s all wrong. I actually went on Facebook and posted a $100 reward for whoever could rename my business…

So here I am looking for your help. You see, as I go through the next stage of growth I want to brand a name for various platforms as my business grows.

My current name is Hold Em Realty, LLC and although it seemed like a great name back in 2006…it simply doesn’t work now.

I love Texas hold ‘em poker and that was the reason the name, but as my business grows, the name portrays the wrong message.

I’m sure we’ve all made mistakes like this – and I am sure when you first started out, you may not have named your business what you would name it today if you had to start all over, right? Or would you have kept it the same?

If you would have kept it the same, then that;s pretty impressive.

All In a Name?

For me, my current business name portrays the image that our business is based on a run and gun, riverboat gambler kind of investing mindset.

This is the EXACT opposite of how we actually operate.

We are anything but gamblers. In fact, we strictly adhere to rules that minimize downside risk and we always have a rock solid exit strategy should things go south – although they rarely do so that it’s cataclysmic.

Based on our business model, I can’t stand the name any more – although there is an emotional attachment to it that I’ll probably never get over.

Another thing is the name Hold Em Realty is confusing. Some people think we are a traditional real estate office – which we are not. Although based upon our current growth, we will eventually bring in house…just not now.

Bottom line is this: I want to portray the image of integrity, honesty and transparency – much of which is lacking in this industry, but I’d like to highlight that fact nonetheless. This is because this is how we operate in all our business dealings and intend to do so as long as the business exists.

So what do you think? What should be a good name for my business?

I look forward to seeing what you, the BiggerPocket family thinks. What do you think I should re-name my business?

Please leave your thoughts below – I would be most appreciative to see what you think.

Photo: Vanderlin

About Author

Mike LaCava

Michael LaCava is a full time real estate investor, house flipping coach and the President of Hold Em Realty located in Wareham, MA. He runs the website House Flipping School to teach new real estate investors how to flip houses and is the author of "How to Flip a House in 5 Simple Steps".

44 Comments

  1. Kris Knight on

    Hi Michael, do you want it to represent something local/regional? Or do you want it to be personal, or business model related? Is there a logo or other marketing materials you’ll tie to it?
    Seems you have a good area to find something fun that would be tied to a local image if that fits…Or maybe a play on your current name…”Holdham Real Estate”. I supposed that only works depending on how you pronounce it…hold-um or hold-ham…
    I’ve barely gotten started and am already thinking about name change!
    It’ll be fun to watch the comments here, and thanks for the info/help you put up here on BP.

    • Hi Kris- I am thinking a name that doesn’t regionalize because I am already buying in other states although most of what I do is regional for now anyway. More business than personal that is why I am not using my name. If i ever sell the business it will be better that way and also give you room for possible franchising although that is not in play right now.
      Thanks for your assistance and I look forward to what you come up with.

  2. Boy Mike, that is a tough one. Names are just tough.

    I have considered doing the same thing though. It’s not that my business name is really bad, but it is not memorable in any “catchy” sort of way. It could be that I just haven’t branded it properly. But I have been having the same thoughts lately.

    I know of several people that have successfully re-branded themselves when either their name no longer fit their business model, or they just plain didn’t like the name anymore.

    With your success, I definitely think you should start to think about personal branding as well. Be sure you buy name domain; ” your name.com” if you haven’t already done that. I will be anxious to see what everyone comes up with.

    Sharon

    • Thanks Sharon. I appreciate the feedback and it is tougher than i expected but between facebook and BP I am getting some feedback and gets me thinking more and more on it.
      Don’t want to ever change it again so it has to be right this time.

  3. John Thedford on

    Mike I have almost the same problem. Hopefully my website will be up and running within a day. When searching for names there were so many already taken and I didn’t want to be confused with other guys buy simply using an extension such as .net or dot.co. My new site is geared to buying houses, not selling or rentals. This might be a mistake if I am successful at growing. At some point the plain vanilla “we buy houses” site may not convey the current needs. Maybe I should try to brand it differently right out of the gate. Now,I currently have a website that generates somewhere between 10K-12K actual views a month, The problem is that the site is not RE related. I have questioned how to transition that site into real estate but don’t feel that will work. Your $100 fee for helping name a site seems like a great idea. Keep us informed. Thanks for the article!

  4. Julie Oldham on

    Hey Mike, I like your theme, I used to deal poker in a casino. If you stay with it, you could go with “Full House Properties”. Or “River Realty”… 🙂

    • Hi Julie – Well you understand but most don’t. I am a passionate Hold Em player although don’t have much time these days. Just too much explaining and it doesn’t work on the other platforms of the business divisions as I grow.
      Where did you deal?

      • Julie Oldham on

        There are casinos in a few of the small, old mining towns in the mountains west of Denver, I threw cards there for years before I became a Mom. Casino hours just didn’t go well with motherhood. I had a terrible time picking a name for my real estate venture, too. Finally went with Pandora Homes for several reasons. First, it was a little girly. Aren’t too many girly general contractors around, I wanted to stand out a little bit. Also, it has so many meanings that it gets people asking me about it. My second choice was going to be Atlas homes or real estate or whatever, after my favorite book “Atlas Shrugged”. I thought that had a few cool meanings attached to it as well.. What’s your favorite book? Maybe there’s something there for you. Or you could go the mythology route, as I did. Hercules Homes? Parthenon Partners? 🙂

        • My wife named her company Atlas Broadcast Services – to say we are huge Ayn Rand fans is an understatement. How about Fountainhead Investments? Howard Roarke would be proud of that name!

        • Good idea’s here Julie. One of my favorites is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
          Someday I will playing in the final table in the WSOP. How cool would that be.
          Whatever the mind conceives and believes will achieve.

          Thanks again for sharing as it is very helpful.

  5. Name: MEDLOH LLC, reverse what U have now, learned from OPRAH!!! or HARPO.
    I named mine by first initial of family member, including the dog, i.e KAPS properties.
    or name by street: New Castle Lane, as NCL Management etc. Pick your choice. Thanks
    kris

  6. Dave Slaughter on

    I’m partial to having the word capital in the name to signify your growth goal.
    Maybe some play on ‘strategic capital’ possibly include your last name, depending on your feelings about that.

  7. Glenn Schworm

    Michael,

    I agree with Sharon to check online to see what is available. By playing around, some sites like GoDaddy gives you other close sounding names. That might get you thinking in a totally different direction. We are a corp and I had the name prior to starting my business so when we started RE I simply created a DBA off of the same corp entity, that way I am not going through all the hassle of changing everything, just the name the public sees most of the time. Hope that helps, good luck! I think searching for a name is a fun process and really can only be done by you. It’s your baby..now name her! 🙂

  8. LaCava Homes? LaCava & Associates?

    Not many names were catchy until the business marketed them. I think of all the large private companies in my city, and 99% of them are average names, that built great reputations.

    For instance the first example I gave “LaCava Homes”, in my area the 2-3 home builders took their last name, and built 50 million companies. The second example, the person took their last name + associates, and flips 200 homes a year, clearing 2 million dollars.

    I think all you want to make sure is that name is professional, doesn’t limit your scope, and is available in your state and online. We all can’t invent super catchy names that instantly give a sales pitch like “GoToMeeting.com”

  9. Melodee Lucido on

    Michael,
    I have just been thinking about this the last couple weeks but haven’t put much energy to it because I’ve been so busy.

    I can get lost for days playing with names. I’ve had many businesses in my life. One was “Your Bottom Line” a book keeping biz. Another was “A Cut Above” cleaning services. I was always trying to bring an image to the customers mind. Another one was Jump Fur Joy” a pet sitting/boarding biz.

    Mental pics make a difference.

    What you described in the article made me think of “Integrity Matters Home Buyers” A sub-line is a great tool too. Like, “Deal with people you can trust” or “Security is working with people you trust” That’s my 2 cents : >

    Can’t wait to see what you choose for your new name. It’s important to feeeel it in your gut. Well, so says the artist brained entrepreneur lol.

    I was so happy as I read your article to hear the level of success you are coming to. What a sense of satisfaction you must have. Congratulations Michael!

    • I love those names you came up with your other businesses. I actually like the integrity name
      I was talking to an english major and marketing girl and told her I like Integrity like
      Integrity home solutions
      Integrity real estate Investment
      Integrity real estate
      Integrity Wholesale
      then she proceeded to tel me you don’t want to use words like that as you shouldn’t have to say you have integrity and compared it to like you never say “Trust Me”.
      Hmmmmmm? so many opinions and I appreciate them all.

      I was thinking of putting together a random focus group and testing it out that way.
      Just want to get it right.

      Thanks again for your feedback as I so appreciate the time you take as I know how busy you are and everyone here on BP.

      • When we were thinking of adding a logo to our company name we setup a Facebook page and got all of our friends involved in it. We let them decide what would be the new “face” of the business. Was interesting to see that 90% chose the one we are currently using as our company logo and constantly get people saying it looks so good. Narrow down your choices to say 2 or 3 and then put it out there for people to vote on. You might be surprised what the “people” say.

        • Thanks Roy. I did put a request on Facebook and I will take your suggestion as we get it narrowed down i will repost the choices.
          Thanks for your input.

  10. Hi Michael,

    I’ve named a few different companies in my life, and the only times I’ve tripped myself up was when I tried to get too clever. If you want to display integrity, honesty, and transparency, just grab onto a good word that gets those things across, and a word about real estate. A couple of examples:

    Hometown Properties, Inc.
    Reliable Homes, LLC
    Honorhall Realty
    Right Way Homes

    Not that those are perfect, but I’d say don’t overcomplicate it. Hopefully that helps!

  11. Hi Michael:
    Naming a company is like naming a baby – extremely personal and no one else could pick a name for me or mine.

    Only you know what you want. We like to add something local because it helps with SEO and web searches. We use “Trust” a lot because people can with us. If you invest regionally and want to sound large, use areas like Southwest or Mid Atlantic.

    We have never changed our name, but we have added a ton of new ones. When our first company had over 50 properties, we started another LLC with a new name and corresponding website. We have about 7 different sites and, if we ever stop using one, we keep the domain and forward it to one of our existing sites. Too much time and money has been spent marketing the old ones to let them go.

    Good luck with your thought process and let us know what you decide!

    • Thanks Karen. I appreciate that and in the end you are right it is personal and it just has to be perfect to me. Funny because I think it was easier naming my two beautiful girls Katlyn and Hayley and I alway joked with my wife if we had a third girl I was picking Kayley using both their names. Well I never got to test that theory. LOL.
      I will definitely let you know when it is picked.

  12. I know I’m a few days late to the conversation so hopefully you haven’t closed up shop and switched names on all your sites and business cards and letterheads! Earlier Adam mentioned using your own name and I’m aware there are certainly downsides to using your own name for your business.

    That being said, I wanted to chime in that to me personally, nothing says integrity and trust like putting your own name on your company. When I finally settled on a name (admittedly I’m small potatoes…for now) for my property management company I decided to use my own name for that very reason. I’m trying to change the way prop. management is perceived in my area by doing it right and I wanted to commit to that before my customers and tenants. So far I’ve had good luck and positive responses to the simplicity and honesty behind that.

    Whatever you choose let us know how it works! I’d love to hear about the experience of actually changing the name mid-stream!

    Thanks,
    Mathew

    • Thanks Matt and I do appreciate your feedback and opinion. I would love to use my name and other’s have suggested that because I am a proud owner and how better of a way to express that with your own name. It just has other challenges with it and doesn’t work I don’t thing across the board with different divisions of the company as I grow.
      I will keep trying and will certainly let you know what i come up with.
      Please let know if you have any other suggestions.

      All the best!

      MIKE

  13. If it’s not too late to make a suggestion, you said something in your post about providing rock solid exit strategies. What about “Rock Solid Investments” as a name? It screams confidence and performance, which is what all investors want. You could make some cool logos w/ that name too.

    You definitely need to get away from the Realty word – that is associated way too much with realtors. Good luck!

  14. Michael,
    I found your posts because I am doing the exact same thing… except I am brand new to the flipping/investment endeavor.
    I, too, want to make the first thought to clients be about integrity… AS IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF ME AND HOW I WANT TO LIVE LIFE AND RUN MY BUSINESS.

    I came up with Probity Investment Nexus and about a zillion more! I am playing around with it, but I fear people will not know what this word means (of high ethics and virtue) and will take it for a play on ‘probe’ which is not what I want my business to sound like… a bit shady comes to mind… So on I go… still playing with words. I am using websites for thesaurus, words beginning with…, and various language translation site.
    For me I may even go with something like Venus Investment Properties.
    The other thing I am doing is playing with acronyms of ‘flipping’… I FLIP, WEFLIP.

    a kind of funny one I came up with for my partner and my LLC is a play on our astrological signs of scorpio and that the S corp owing the LLC… so : S-Corp Investment Option Nexus.

    still a work in progress…

  15. Michael your thought on naming a business. I found when making offers on properties that some banks may not be as willing to deal with an investor verses a new home owner. I have also experienced some banks not giving loans if house has been (flipped) within 90 to 180 days of owning. The name of the owner tends to expose this, say it’s owned by (Ziegenfelder Properties LLC) defenatly reveals it’s an investor, therfore they will check and you may have to wait that time period out. However if the name is ZP Holdings or ZP Investment trust may seem like a bank that is trying to sell or liquidation company. May seem a little sneaky but, I’m just letting you know this is something to think about. I’ve been restoring & selling homes locally for over 10 years.

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