How Many Real Estate Deals Could You Do With an Unlimited Supply of Money?

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This is a great question that one of my mentors asked me many years ago. Another way to pose this question is to say, “How many deals could you handle if the deals were free?”

Whichever way you say it, though, what this question is really trying to determine is scalability.

In the beginning, we tend to think small. For example, when I started out in real estate, it was just about finding capital for next deal, exiting that deal, and then looking for another one. Back then, I really didn’t have any systems or teams in place to find or work through deals for me.

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The 3 Pillars to Every Business

My mentor went on to tell me that there are three pillars to every business:

  1. Capital
  2. Sources of Product
  3. Scalability

He also mentioned that these three pillars tend to individually rear their head as the primary need or focus for most businesses.

For example, if there are many real estate deals available in the marketplace, then you may need more capital to take them down. As you take more of them down, you may need more crews to rehab them, more property management resources to manage them, or more administrative help in general to track everything.

Related: How to Scale Your Wholesaling Business to 120+ Properties Per Year

As you hire more and more help, you need more money and deals to feed the monster, and so on and so forth. The cycle continues.


Employees and Partners

It’s funny that when I meet and talk with some real estate entrepreneurs, they often remind me of my younger self, especially when they say that they don’t like partners or employees.

Sure, there can be many issues with both, but this philosophy still makes me laugh. Many of us start out as a one-man band, but we quickly realize that we can only play so many instruments at once. Without employees, you are all of the employees.

For some, this situation may be OK for a while, but as it continues, it will likely stunt their growth.

There are other advantages to having partners and employees as well, like adding more valuable skill sets to the organization or being able to go on vacation without the whole business grinding to a halt.

As for me, having partners is more like a marriage. You have to have the right ones, or it could end in divorce. The biggest reason for a failed partnership is probably poor planning, where ownership and roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined.

Also, if you don’t want the house of cards to come tumbling down, you should probably know each other’s personal goals before setting out to accomplish your company’s goals.


Systems and Processes

Another major decision is whether you are going to invest in real estate or build a business that operates in real estate.

If you’re really looking to scale up your investing endeavors into a full-blown business, as it says in The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber, it’s all in the systems and processes.

Related: How to Use Owner Financing to Create Wealth And Grow Your Portfolio

Do you treat your real estate business like an asset that you can sell one day?

In his book, he describes how McDonald’s knows every last detail of every last function and process before even opening the next location. Are all your processes in writing?

As you can see, running a business can be much more involved than owning a few properties, but the rewards can be worth it. It’s like the difference between an investor doing some private money for one real estate rehab versus a hard money fund that lends money nationwide.

So, BP folks, how many rentals or flips could you do in a month with an unlimited supply of capital (5, 10, 20, 100, etc.)?

Let me know your thoughts with a comment!

About Author

Dave Van Horn

Dave Van Horn is President at PPR The Note Co. – an operating entity that manages several funds that buy/sell/hold residential mortgages, both performing and delinquent. Dave has been in the Real Estate business for over 25 years, starting out as a Realtor and contractor and moving onto everything from fix and flips to Raising Private Money.


  1. Daniel Hanson

    Interesting question, @DaveVanHorn. I haven’t flipped before, but rentals with minimal rehab and a property manager handling rent-up, we could probably handle 2- 3 new per week, or 8 to 10 per month Currently, if the new acquisitions required rehab, that would throw a wrench in and slow everything down, because we only have a limited amount of go-to contractors right now. With time, that capability could be built up, and I’m sure some of the other investors on here could handle many, many more new opportunities per week.

    • Dave Van Horn

      Hi Daniel,
      Thanks for sharing.
      It sounds like you have a good model, having your tenants buy properties for you sooner. I agree that full-blown rehabs can slow things down, especially if there are capital constraints or a smaller team of contractors or handy-men. That being said, there is a place for both. The model we choose often depends on our available capital, what kind of yield we’re looking for, and how long we want to tie the money up. For me, I’ve done both. After a few years and several tenants, though, my rentals required more renovations than quick clean-ups. So, your goal of developing your contractor list seems to be on the right track.


  2. Joshua D.

    Man you nailed that one on the head! I just read the question to my wife and we are both like “duh, that’s what we need to work on right now”. We are stuck doing about 4 deals a year and are worn out all the time. We need systems to help us launch forward.
    Thanks for asking educational questions!

    • Dave Van Horn

      Thanks for the positive feedback Josh!
      I can relate because my goal when I first started out was to purchase one house a year, but my one-off investing quickly grew into more of a full-time business. Besides the E-myth, which I mentioned above, one of my recent favorites is Traction by Gino Wickman. It goes more into tying together the vision of your business with the people and processes.
      Hope it helps!

  3. Gerald Rodriguez

    Dan thanks for the insight of what is ahead I’ve always have been on the contractor end of the business, though my family did have multi unit and single family rental properties. That is what made me decide not to get into the family business, the lost Saturdays helping change toilets filled with cement from a discontent evictions, holes in the walls from renters quarrels and all the missed pewee baseball games that my friends were playing and I was not. Not until now, that I’m quite older and I want a nice portfolio to leave my children for there college and start. My problem is marketing and finding the houses there is a shortage ( they would have you believe ) does the post card marketing work well or should I look into other avenues for attaining properties. Please help I’m all ready to go and need inventory, I could handle about 3 flips every 120 days hoping to increase that until I can buy and hold every other one.

    • Dave Van Horn

      Hi Gerald,
      Although I don’t have much experience with post cards, I have used print ads, online ads, and signs. I also worked with wholesalers (bird dogs) to find deals on my behalf, which is what worked best for me. Another thing that really enabled me to build my portfolio was looking for deals outside of my area. What other ways do you find deals now, and have you ever considered hiring bird dogs and training them to work for you?

  4. Pat Bournes

    Thanks Dave for another really informative article. Fully agree with making E-Myth Revisited a must-read. It opened my eyes to thinking of the long term and more specifically the importance of written , understandable and well-defined operating processes. I think the note business could well fit into the scalable, process controlled category, I am just trying to figure out how. I am currently in the SFR buy-and hold category and it has done well mainly because 1) I have an excellent property manager and 2) I bought at the right time. I have been dabbling in notes, mainly getting my feet wet. As I get more comfortable with the process it is starting to make more and more sense.

    I had a recent experience with notes that made me wake up to their possibilities. I bought a non-performing second just to try my hand at the business. I knew nothing about this business. My ignorance of notes was matched only by my confusion. After trying to locate the borrower via phone and googling their name, the foreclosure lawyer I had hired found them without difficulty. I penned a letter to the borrower asking, almost begging, him to call me of e-mail me or write me and that I did not want to foreclose on him. I said, “We can work something out but only if you answer my calls.” So the guy called me back. Super nice guy who has been on disability for years because of a back injury obtained working as an EMT . So we chatted – we had a lot of things to talk about. He said straight away that he owes the debt and was trying to figure out who to send his monthly checks to. He was frightened that he and his family were going to be homeless if I foreclosed on them. We worked something out after I gave him some ideas on where to find the money for the steeply discounted payoff amount I had offered him. Within a month or two the note was payed off. Although this one example probably does not represent the outcome of every note deal it was mighty encouraging. My limited experience in notes taught me that the notes business is great – one that I would love to get into big time. Why do I think it is great ? Because it was a Win-Win-Win-Win-Win (5 Wins) situation. The borrower wins because he and his family were able to stay in their house. The borrower wins again because he gets a huge discount on the debt he owed. I , the investor , win because I get a healthy return. The borrower and I win because we are now friends. The borrower and I win again because after this positive experience he and his relatives want to invest in notes with me as a partner. This is what investing and life should be – doing good while also doing well. I have been involve in quite a few real estate deals in my life but this one note deal really made an impact on me. All the best.

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