Author Topic: I've started a RE blog  (Read 1386 times)

Neo

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I've started a RE blog
« on: August 23, 2018, 10:10:43 PM »
I know I know. Yet another real estate investing blog. I just love talking about my rental property business so I thought why not share it with the world. I was a journalism major in college so I'm a decent writer though admittedly a bit rusty bc writing isnt my day job.

I invest mostly in multifamily properties in lower/working class areas. I self manage and have 25 units at present. I plan to cover the typical rental property topics but with a greater focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of investing in lower level neighborhoods. These areas are more affordable for the average person to get started investing in and can be quite profitable, but also have certain pitfalls you wont find as much in other markets. I plan to present the real world experience with all the pros and cons, not just make it seem all sunshine and roses.

It would be great if the blog actually made a little money one day but right now I would just love to get people reading and interacting. I really just love talking to other investors or would-be investors and sharing my experiences.

It's pretty rough right now bc I've been more concerned with writing content than working on the actual website, layout, presentation, etc. But if you'd like to check it out and give me some feedback the address is www.uglylandlord.com.

mozar

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 11:28:23 AM »
I really like your website. Can you get rid of that foreboding black outline? At least make it a lighter color. From a graphic design perspective it could be nicer (if it were me I would copy some elements of mmm in terms of font, positioning and having a graphic logo) but it's fine. Also a forum would be good. I would be interested in talking to other people who do similar things because I am blown away by your profit margins. You could also do a "ugly landlord recommends" page for products you use and affiliate marketing. There are a lot of real estate apps etc that would be willing to give you a %.

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 11:35:59 AM »
Wow thanks so much for the thoughtful comments! I 100% agree with all the recommendations you made. The site has a long ways to go in terms of look and SEO-friendliness,  but I'm glad some of the content resonated with you. I will be working on all your suggestions as the site evolves. Thanks again!

ToTheMoon

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 11:46:54 AM »
I like it - simple and easy to read without a million other things going on on the page.

I know you are just getting started on it, but nowhere do you mention the opportunity cost of your down payments when you are talking "real-world math" nor including the cost of management if/when you no longer want this as a job/side gig.  I know this is where people go very wrong in my part of the world where $400K will barely get you a crumbling single family home.

Hoping you will include mention of these in your next post about determining true profitability!

Otherwise keep it up - if your posts remain straight forward and easy for a layman (ie. non-MMM) person to follow, I could definitely see recommending it to some of my financial literacy workshop participants when they start talking Real Estate.

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2018, 11:56:37 AM »
I completely agree with your feedback. One of my biggest challenges so far has been keeping each post contained and digestible. There are so many caveats and asides to every point I'm making that I feel like my posts could be 5,000 words long if I fleshed out every aspect of it. My strategy so far is to keep each post to less than 1k words. Every time I have another thought (like opportunity cost or management cost) I put it on a list for a future post. At some point I will go back and include all those posts as internal links to the other posts that cover those topics. Does that make sense?

Anyway I really appreciate feedback and it would be so cool to be included in a financial literacy workshop if the content warrants it. What an honor that would be.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2018, 02:39:41 PM »
Thanks for sharing. I read it as a complete noob, here are my thoughts:

1. How did you get the money for the 20% deposit for 25 and growing properties?
2. What’s the rest of your investment strategy look like? Is it all wealth through property investment?
3. Have you made this your full time career or is this a side hustle?
4. How do you manage and track 25+ properties, and how do you service them all yourself?
5. What’s your overall strategy and rationale for so many properties? It feels like monopoly. When will you reach your max?
6. Are there tips and tricks to get endless mortgages?
7. Have you set up some type of company to protect you?
8. What’s your actual process? Do you search the net for potentials, then go to the neighborhoods, walk aroundm, talk to neighbors, research the areas online, run reports for each dwelling? How much time does it take for each and how much does that cost?

Also, ideas wise: you should look at creating a course for you to teach others how to do this. Check out entrepreneurs on fire podcast and website to get ideas on how to teach others what you know. You could easily run masterclasses and workshops.

If it were me, I’d reach a limit for the property buying, invest the profits, automate as much as possible, then get a small team to manage them, while focusing on building courses to teach others. Also, write a book. You could either take a years worth of blog posts and turn them into a book or write your book and expand on that with the blog. Consider your own podcast, you could interview other ugly landlords and intersperse that with case studies of problems and solutions from the properties.

You’ve got a great niche that has wide appeal as it is achievable, manage this well and you have a goldmine in your hands. Good luck.

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 05:36:41 PM »
Wow, again great recommendations. I appreciate all the positive feedback and constructive criticism. Please also keep suggesting topic ideas for what you would want to read about.

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2018, 09:31:47 AM »
I just posted my latest article on finding good tenants. I promise I'm not going to post in here every time I publish an article. I'm just still looking for a little feedback while this project is in its infancy. And also to let those who were kind enough to leave feedback know that I am working on their recommendations. Thanks!

https://uglylandlord.com/2018/08/29/tenants-finding-the-good-avoiding-the-bad-and-in-this-case-running-from-the-ugly/

rab-bit

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2018, 10:05:57 AM »
I like the blog and plan to keep reading it. The things that I would like to read about are related mostly to the properties themselves:
  • I assume that many ugly properties are in not-so-nice neighborhoods. How to assess crime, drug use, etc. in an area? How to spot an up-and-coming neighborhood? Include pictures if possible.
  • I also assume that many ugly properties are old. What special things to look out for with an older house? How do you factor age into your offering price?
  • In general, ugly properties will require repairs and/or capex. How to factor this into the price and negotiate it with sellers?
  • Discuss examples of the kinds of renovations that you have done, including costs and pictures!
We just had an offer accepted on an 100-year-old duplex in an okay but not great neighborhood. I have to admit I'm a little nervous about it, so the kind of information above would have been very useful for me.

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2018, 10:24:48 AM »
Rab-bit - that is awesome, congratulations! Thanks for recommendations. You are spot on with your comments. I will add them all to my list of future posts.

Eckhart

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2018, 07:24:09 PM »
Love the blog, Neo!  Read it all.  Good info and layout.

A couple ideas for blog posts and questions I had:

1. Did you start an LLC for your partnership, and has all the income and expenses run through the business?

2.  How do the finances work with your partnership?  Are you or your partner taking any kind of salary or keeping all cash in the business for now?

I'm considering a partnership like yours and am curious how you have set everything up.

Keep up the great work on your blog!

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2018, 08:06:20 PM »
Thanks Eckhart! I will definitely cover your your questions in future posts but I will answer them briefly now.

Yes we set up an LLC. All expenses and income run through the LLC. The only time personal money flows in is right before a purchase. Lately we have been splitting purchases 3 ways. A third from me, a third from my partner and a third from the LLC. My partner and I each put our share into the business account right before a purchase and then wire the total amount to the title company from the LLC account.

My partner and I both have day jobs so we live off our w2 incomes and dont take any cash out of the company for personal use/salaries. This is critical in my opinion if you want to scale up and make sure you have money for repairs and maintenance.

Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you found the content interesting!

Cubert

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2018, 05:04:54 AM »
Love it! I'm a big fan already. I'd like to add a multi-unit dwelling to our portfolio. Looks like you found a real gem with the one covered in your "Shocking Math" post.

Blog tips - add some sharing icons (I like the SocialWarfare plugin) and see if you can add breadcrumbs and dates to your posts. I do like the minimalist feel of your site!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2018, 07:26:10 AM »
Some advice here
  • Make the landing page your latest blog article, not the welcome.
  • Change the welcome page to your "About" page
  • Add a list of articles on the right
  • Provide options to share the article (Digg is nice and free if you use wordpress)
  • Provide commenting ability(Edit: I see that you have it, but it is not visible)
  • Add SEO for your posts (Yoast for wordpress)
(Edit: I do see that you use WordPress and I do see Yoast as one of the plugins)

One question, which part of the country are your rentals located? If you do not want to say, it is fine or you can PM me the area if you do not want to post it on the forum.

Best of luck.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 08:13:30 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

BicycleB

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2018, 08:13:02 AM »
Wow, Neo, good work! Both on the outstanding purchase (the multi unit described on the blog) and on starting the blog.

Re brevity vs completeness, of course it's hard to do both. I like your plan to cover topics one at a time and add links. Your current article that I read has an excellent balance of facts, general description, and concrete examples. It's informative yet brief; reminds me of the early and middle days of gocurrycracker.com.  Keep it up.

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2018, 03:27:10 PM »
Thanks again for all the responses! I'm torn in terms of whether the landing page should be static or just lead to my latest posts. Ideally I'd like to make it like MMM: static but with very obvious links/previews to my latest post. Problem is, I don't think the WP theme i'm using allows for that kind of set up. I need to tinker with it more.

The reason i want a static homepage is so i can explain the ugly landlord concept to newcomers. i think they'd be a little lost without that explanation right off the bat.

Thoughts?

clarkfan1979

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2018, 07:34:00 PM »
I like the website and personal story on the main page. I look forward to reading more content at a later date. I have properties in "A" and "B" neighborhoods. I have many questions about "C" neighborhoods.

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2018, 10:18:22 PM »
Latest post is up: HOW UGLY RENTAL PROPERTIES CAN HELP YOU BUILD A LOW-RISK, HIGH-REWARD PORTFOLIO.
www.uglylandlord.com

I put in a text box on the main page that will let people jump to the latest post if they already know the background. I'm not in love with it aesthetically, but it serves its purpose.

I'm also excited to report that I made the front page of google if you search "uglylandlord" (all one word). Of course the very first google result is some very specific NSFW content lol. i don't know why anyone would search "uglylandlord" in the first place, but it's a start. The more traditional search terms my audience might use, such as the very generic "real estate investing," have so many results that I'll likely never make Page 1. That's why I'm doing my best to promote traffic through referrals on facebook, instagram, twitter, this site, etc.

Best of all I'm having a lot of fun with it. It's fun to watch a post go up and then watch the traffic after I promote it. My best day so far is 112 unique visitors.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 10:21:12 PM by Neo »

matchewed

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2018, 05:25:28 AM »
While I don't feel you've drifted into the realm of spammy be careful about rule number 5 of the forum and the remaining clarification added on 5/21/14.

:)

Neo

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2018, 06:13:05 AM »
Yes thank you. I definitely dont want to be spammy. I will refrain from updating when I do a new post. I really appreciate all the advice and input from everyone!

Stachetastic

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Re: I've started a RE blog
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2018, 07:11:23 AM »
I like it! We are currently considering adding to our portfolio with an ugly property in a C neighborhood, so I'm particularly interested in this topic. We have had bad experiences with multi families, so we now concentrate on SFR. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences!