The July 2020 Commercial Real Estate Investing Newsletter

Why Sam Zell Is Considered A "Gravedancer" -- And Why That's A Good Investment Strategy

Sam Zell is the largest owner of mobile home parks in the U.S. He’s also been the largest owner of apartments and office buildings. But regardless of the sector, his strategy has always remained to buy assets that are near death and then bring them back to life. Why has this strategy worked so well?

Read More

The power of Real Estate to create Wealth

John Jacob Astor was America’s first real estate millionaire – and that was back in 1800. But much of what fueled Astor’s success still holds true today, and that’s the powerful combination of factors that makes real estate capable of creating huge returns.

Read More

The necessity for Creative Thinking in Real Estate

Webster’s defines “creativity” as “the use of the imagination or original ideas”. And success in real estate today demands some use of creativity to get an advantage over the competition.

Read More

How i creatively got into Real Estate (Twice)

How can a recent college graduate get into real estate from his coffee table and build it into a giant business? And then after selling out to a public company start from scratch and do it again?

Read More

Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 5 - Old-Fashioned Theories That Still Work Well Today

Even though we’re in a new age, there are still some basic theories about investing that hold true for self-storage today as well as they did decades ago. But what are these old-fashioned words of wisdom? In this episode of the Self-Storage University podcast we’re going to look at some of the best classic thoughts and sayings and see how they are as relevant today if you want to be a smart storage investor.

Listen To Episode 5

RV Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 6 - The Top 3 Action Steps To Being A Smarter RV Park Seller

You may not even own an RV park yet, but you eventually will, and at some point it will come time to sell it. In this episode of the RV Park Mastery podcast, we’re going to review the top 3 action steps to maximize your sales price and better ensure that you get top dollar as well as a faster closing. Since the price you achieve will tell the tale on your total overall return for the RV park it’s essential that you do as good a job in selling as you did in buying and operating.

Listen To Episode 6

A Tip on Mobile Home Park Mailboxes

Mobile home park mailboxes are generally ignored by most buyers, but there is a science to them that is focused on safety, reliability and cost.

Watch The Video

Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 4 - Billboard Frankenstein

One of the most profitable methods to make money with billboards is to find old abandoned ones and bring them back to life. But this “Frankenstein” strategy also requires careful planning and attention to detail. In this week’s Billboard Mastery podcast we’re going to review with granular detail the necessary steps to successfully make old abandoned signs income-producing again.

Listen To Episode 4

Should You Build An RV Or Buy An Existing RV Park?

A common question for most investors is whether it’s more profitable to build an RV park from scratch or to buy an existing RV park. There are many issues to consider on this topic, but here is a basic explanation of the good and bad aspects to both.

Read More

The Art Of Negotiating To Purchase A Self-Storage Facility

There are few skills as important in buying a self-storage facility – or less understood – than the correct way to negotiate. Those who have this skill do well and those that don’t never end up with a deal at all, or they end up overpaying for the asset. So how do you become a pro at negotiating a storage property?

Read More

$3,000 Of Lumber = A Lifetime Of Income

What’s the value of $3,000 of lumber? Around $3,000. But not if it’s assembled into a billboard sign. Then it becomes an income property that can pay out dividends forever. So how is all that possible? What’s the story of wooden billboards?

Read More

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 154 - Speaking Softly But Carrying A Big Stick

President Teddy Roosevelt was a supporter of “Big Stick” diplomacy, which he defined as having five traits. In this week’s episode of the Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast we’re going to review Roosevelt’s premise and apply its wisdom to your mobile home park. Although Roosevelt died in 1919 –a decade before the first “trailer” rolled off the manufacturing line – his thoughts are as true today as they were in the early 20th century.

Listen To Episode 154

Common Issues That Happen To Homes In Transport - And What To Do

Mobile homes are an engineering marvel: they are the only form of housing that can go down the highway at 55 miles-per-hour. But even though they have this unique skill, transporting a 15,000 pound object down the interstate can frequently cause minor damage to the home by the time of its arrival. What do you need to know when you order a new home to be delivered at your property?

Read More

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 153 - Gambling With Big Chips

Risk vs. Reward is a huge topic with successful mobile home park owners. In this episode we are going to review what the concept of Risk vs. Reward is, and then go over in granular detail many of the top risks to be concerned about, and what your percent of success or failure might be with that trait. While Vegas offers you riches, it rarely delivers, and mobile home parks are more of a game of skill that always rewards those that used good planning and diligence and have done their best to mitigate chance.

Listen To Episode 153

Tips On A Successful Closing

Closing on a mobile home park can be a very stressful experience. Making it go smoothly requires proactive preparation and strategy. So what are some concepts to improve your closing experience?

Read More

Self Storage University Podcast: Episode 4 - Any Idiot Can Buy A Storage Facility – And Many Do

There’s no great success in simply buying a self-storage facility. Any idiot that can write the check for the down payment can accomplish that. Instead, the real trick to buying a storage property is to make money with it.

Listen To Episode 4

RV Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 5 - The Top 3 Action Steps To Being A Smarter RV Park Operator

One of the key goals to buying an RV park is to maximize your return on investment. So how do you do that? In this episode of the RV Park Mastery podcast, we’re going to drill down on the top 3 action steps that smart operators take to increase revenue, decrease cost, and stay on top of all things financial with their property.

Listen To Episode 5

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That RV Parks Have No Cap On New Construction

Some people consider the supply of RV parks in the U.S. to be completely fluid – that you can basically build them anywhere. I get at least a call a week from somebody wanting to build an RV park on some raw land somewhere. But the reality is that successful RV parks cannot be built with abandon and that, in many markets, the supply of RV parks is effectively static. So why can’t you just build an RV park anywhere?

Read More

Self-Storage Owners Should Be Careful With Lien Sales And Late Fees During Covid-19

Self-storage has long been known for its superior collections rate formed through the ability to auction off unit contents if rent is not received. However, this process has new hurdles created by the national Covid-19 pandemic, and every storage owner needs to be aware of potential changes in policy.

Read More

Don’t Be Afraid To Close That Billboard Deal: And Some Helpful Hints To Do So

There’s no purpose in proposing to rent some land to build a billboard, or put together that great artwork for that potential advertiser, unless you actually close the deal and get a signed contract. But closing deals is not a class in high school or college and most people don’t know how to get the job done. So here are some helpful hints to help you be a successful deal closer.

Read More

Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 1 - Why Invest In Billboards?

Did you know that billboards are regulated by the U.S. government? There’s probably a whole lot about billboards that you don’t know. But all that’s going to change with our review of the basic reasons that you should consider investing in billboard signs as part of your financial security plan. You’ll see that billboards offer some amazing advantages as well as the flexibility to make your portfolio as big or small as you see fit.

Listen To Episode 1

Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 2 - The Billboard Menu

There are many basic types of billboards – six to be exact. In this episode we’re going to review each of the types of billboard signs as well as the basic cost and reasons for investing in that particular style of unit. As you’ll see, there’s more than just one type of billboard, and one of the essential parts to successful investing is knowing which variety to select. This discussion helps make that possible.

Listen To Episode 2

Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 3 - How Billboard Economics Works

Most people have no idea how billboard investing works, and that’s a shame as it’s a very simple business model. In this episode we’re going to review in-depth the standard profit and loss statement of a billboard sign and focus on how to calculate the net income of any sign. If you want to know what profit a billboard can generate – which you should – then this will give you that knowledge.

Listen To Episode 3

Take The Mask Off And Use This Moment To Build Your Financial Future - With A “Trailer Park”

This is no time to travel, and that’s why we’re doing our July 17th to 19th Mobile Home Park Investor’s Boot Camp in a “virtual” format from the safety and security of your home or office. It’s the exact same material you’d have in-person, with Q&A throughout, and you leave with the same tools you need to be a successful investor.

Watch The Video

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 152 - Are Mobile Home Parks Really A “Predatory” Business Model?

Despite providing a terrific housing product to thousands of Americans, we continue to hear from the media that mobile home parks are a “predatory” business model. But is this true? In this episode of the Mobile Home Park Mastery podcast, we’re going to try to put this issue to bed once and for all, breaking down what “predatory” means and then applying those definitions to the actual methodology of mobile home park ownership and management. Here’s a spoiler: the media is horrendously off-base, based on sheer ignorance, and nobody ever calls them out on it. In this podcast we will.

Listen To Episode 152

Bad Times Are When Fortunes Are Made

Industrialist Andrew Carnegie once said “problems are only opportunities in work clothes”. And J. Paul Getty, the nation’s richest person during the 1950s and 1960s, held the belief that depressions were a great time to make acquisitions and to refine business operations – he, in fact, was only happy when times were bad. Throughout American history, most fortunes were built upon the bedrock of times of economic collapse, when values were lower, distractions few, and the fundamentals of business were easier to enact.

Read More

Why You Should Only Buy An RV Park Asset And Never The Stock

The typical RV park purchase is one in which the buyer buys the RV park asset from the seller, using a survey and property schedules to delineate what comes with the price tag. However, some sellers will try to convince you instead simply to buy the stock in their LLC, Inc. of LP – whatever the entity formation – as a method to attain the same goal. Sadly, this is not the case. And, in general, you should never buy the stock in an RV park instead of the basic asset.

Read More

Self-Storage Facilities And Third-Party Reports

When you go to college, there are certain items you must have obtained to graduate – such as successful completion of certain classes and attendance of a certain number of units. And buying a self-storage facility includes these same necessities, although in the form of third-party reports. But these reports are expensive and time-consuming to obtain. So which reports do you really need and which are optional?

Read More

How Covid-19 Makes Rural Billboards More Valuable

The Covid-19 pandemic has made many unusual niches of the American economy more in-demand (such as toilet paper) and others completely undesirable (airline revenues are down 90%). One lucky recipient of positive momentum from the nation’s quarantine has been the rural billboard. Why is that?

Read More

Mobile Home Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 151 - The Truth About Trailers And Trouble

The television show COPS would suggest that all mobile home parks are community crime centers. The movie 8-Mile, starring Eminem, makes it look like trailer parks are the “go-to” spot for drugs, violence and petty crime of all varieties. But is that stereotype true? The U.S. government answered that question in 2010 with the release of “Trailers and Trouble? An Examination of Crime in Mobile Home Communities” written by Professor William P. McCarty of the University of Illinois, which was part of HUD’s formal “Cityscape: a Journal of Policy Development and Research”. So what did HUD’s research show? Let’s just say that the trailer park crime narrative was more than just a little off-base.

Listen To Episode 151

Risk, Reward and the Perfect Mobile Home Park

What are the issues with risk and reward in this sector, and how can you model that into the perfect mobile home park? That’s the topic of this lecture. We examine what the typical risk vs. reward scenarios under various basic buyer tranches from low capital and high risk to high capital and low risk.

Listen To The Audio

RV Park Mastery Podcast: Episode 4 - The Top 3 Action Steps To Being A Smarter RV Park Buyer

In most real estate investing you make your money on the front-end, with your selection of property and your assessment of its traits and financial performance. RV parks are no different. So how can you buy an RV park in the smartest way possible, giving you the best chance of success with the least amount of risk? In this podcast we discuss the Top 3 Action Steps in successfully buying an RV park.

Listen To Episode 4

Successful Business Models Do Not Require Subsidies

The U.S. government frequently attempts to modify investment and business creation in support of policies that are not profitable. They do this through subsidies – either direct cash or tax savings. The wind turbine shown above – used to create electricity from the wind – are just one of the products or industries that the government has created through artificial subsidies. So what’s wrong with this behavior?

Read More