– Written by Bec (B1)
Wow I’m exhausted… that’s what I was feeling when we finally landed back in Sydney after two weeks in the USA.
I’ll be the first to admit that I had always thought what Todd did on his USA buying trips really wasn’t a lot. Yeah you look at a few houses and get some offers out there, no big deal right? Wrong.. OMG…
So, we start each day at the first house at 9am, and with back-to-back houses finishing at 4.30-5pm, we would look at 20-30 houses in a day easily… It’s really a matter of sifting through what looks like a great house, when in reality, so many we looked at needed a lot of work. The houses we loved, we jumped onto the offers ASAP.. to ensure we secured for our clients (we had 35 to buy for on this trip).
What a job it is to set up the locations, from educating the Realtors we have working with us to find us the best properties. So when Todd is in town, he is inspecting the best 20+ houses per day. That way we can secure the best houses we look at. But, on some days, we’d look at 20+ houses and not consider an offer on any… yep, I call that a big waste of a day? But it doesn’t stop there… we then have to spend the evening getting the offers out to the agents… that’s a process in itself… from downloading photos in specific house files, adding all his notes on each house to the file. To Dropboxing them back to Sydney and then putting offers on all the good houses we inspected. Not to mention the head twist after you’d just looked at so many houses and trying to remember all the specifics on each deal. Then we’d have to review the counter offers from the previous days and make a second counter offer. All on a huge spreadsheet of course! Now it’s dinner time and Sydney wakes up, so Todd then has his usual emails and phone calls with our office back home.
Twelve to 14 hour days are the norm!
Oh yeh, did I put in there that he has also deal with Jetlag… I so don’t envy his job…
Few things I learned about the USA from this trip with Todd;
• A house on the outside is never the same on the inside, and vice versa… It’s always worth a look inside; sometimes you find a little gem under the weeds.
• You realistically need half hour at each house, so you can check everything, including windows, furnace, A/C, kitchen appliances, and roof.
• But there’s no way to inspect 20 to 30 houses in a day if you take half hour in each house. So when you walk into a house that’s no good, we had to walk out straight away and head to the next to save time.
• Building and maintenance is nothing like here in Australia..
• Dealing with people in the USA is all about face value – we secured so many relationships from having a face to face meeting, that prior, I really think they thought we were just joking when we said we are Aussies wanting to buy property in the USA.
I’ve included some shots of the houses we bought over there.. Seriously, they build their houses so solid. I struggle when I see newly built homes here in Australia that after 5 years are so worn and tired, yet in the US, we are looking at some houses built 90 to 120 years ago, and they are solid as a rock..
Check out the results of 5 properties we secured;
Secured for $57,000 USD
Needs a works to complete renovation,
budget $12,000USD and will rent for $1200 per month
21% Yield (incl the cost to renovate)
Secured for $74,000 USD
Needs minor works, will rent for $1400 per month
Secured for $63,000 USD
Needs minor works at a cost of $2,000,
will rent for $1300 per month
24% Yield (including renovation expenses)
Secured for $61,500 USD
Needs minor works including painting for $1500,
will rent for $1000 per month
19% Yield (including paint expenses)
Secured for$62,500 USD
Nothing to be done, will rent for $950 per month
So, we ended up securing 19 properties for clients in our last trip… but as negotiations can take weeks, we are still securing houses for the next two months after coming home. This is because some owners think their house is worth more than what we offered so me must let them sit and wait until they see reality and come down to our price. Also there are houses we have inspected that coming onto the market in the following weeks but we must wait until they are “Officially” for sale before we can make offers. And Short sales or Foreclosures can take months to negotiate with banks.
We were there for two weeks, but if you follow us on Facebook you’d see we also spent 3 days with Infusionsoft in Pheonix Arizona, setting up a better customer experience. In the coming months we will be releasing a complete online portal for clients to self learn everything there is to know about investing in the US. Thanks to client feedback, we know everyone wants to know more about the USA and how Todd has achieved the great results over there, so we are building exactly that. Watch this space…
I now have a new appreciation for Todd’s buying trips. It’s damn hard work being on the other side of the world, sitting on the other side of the car & driving on the other side of the road. Add to that, dealing with a new world of buying that feels nearly opposite to how we buy here in Australia, while still running a business back in Australia. Whilst posting walk through videos on Facebook to keep everyone updated with jet lag… we worked 7 days a week no less then 12-14 hours each day, and caught 10 flights in 14 days… I got home, completely exhausted!
Now, it’s a matter of securing the deals so our clients can reap the investment returns.. Todds back in the USA late October and we already have another 40 clients ready for the USA again, so he will be busy busy… if you think you want to get in on the action, best to act quickly! For more info, Register your details here