My wife and I spent the weekend in Denver with some of the brightest minds in real estate at the Best Ever Real Estate Conference. The event was the brainchild of my friend and advisor, Joe Fairless and hosted by Ben Lapidus.
I know some people hear real estate conference and envision some TV guru trying to sell them on how easy it is to make millions in real estate, but this was not a sales pitch event. In fact, 90% of the attendees had completed at least one investment deal and most were full-time investors with budding portfolios seeking advanced techniques to maximize their investing.
Amongst a group of seasoned investors, the bar was high and I can honestly say, the weekend was simply magnificent. Not to mention that as an extra bonus, BiggerPockets held a meetup at their new headquarters on Thursday, where we engaged with other investors and the founder of BP himself, Josh Dorkin.
At the Best Ever Conference, we gained incredible insights from speakers providing tips on acquisitions and property management, maintaining a winning mindset, and preparing for the upcoming economic shift. But my favorite part was the new relationships cemented over a connection to real estate.
The networking and discussions were developed organically and provided new perspectives for growing our business. In fact, Memphis Invest's Chris Clothier said, “you will become the six investors you seek advice from,” so I’m pleased to have met some of the brilliant minds we encountered over the weekend. Though, we focus on multifamily and syndication, it was enlightening to hear others detail their areas of expertise. The real estate diversity from different parts of the country, different sectors and different strategies made for an illuminating experience and I wanted to share some of our key takeaways below.
Key Takeaways from Best Ever Real Estate Conference
Lots of concern on the stability of our economy and when the next recession may hit…one way to stay ahead is to focus on cash-flowing properties and creating equity
Self-storage continues to be one of the hottest commercial segments and should thrive even during a recession
Lease options give you the chance to leverage the best of wholesaling, flipping and rentals without some of the drawbacks
While the stock market has reached new highs, many investors believe we are in a stock bubble, even President Trump as quoted in Sept. 2016
Today’s multifamily environment requires creativity to find opportunities and create value that others miss
Goals should be rooted in the experiences we have left in life - “We’re all dying, think about life by the number of experiences remaining, not years” said Joe Fairless
Verify work to ensure your team operates at your standards at all times - “Inspect what you expect, the moment you accept less then what you expect, you have lowered your standards” said Chris Clothier
“A business without systems is a job….if you can walk away and someone values it without you, then it’s a business” – Scott Lewis
There were so many great speakers such as Brie Schmidt, Reed Goossens, Theresa Bradley-Banta, Al Williamson, Linda Liberatore and others. In fact, 33 industry leaders shared their stories and expertise as speakers, panelists and hosts. I took a ton of notes and there were so many great quotes and tips, that it was difficult to keep it paired down. Nonetheless, I tried anyway, so check them out below:
Best Ever Conference Top Quotes
Scott Meyers on Self-Storage – “The top 50 DMAs are seeing 100% occupancy for self-storage…built up demand won’t be met until 2021”
Kevin Bupp on Mobile Homes- “In a recession, people can always trade to a lower neighborhoods, but mobile homes are the lowest. If you can’t afford this you’re probably living under a bridge.”
Dennis Quinn on Assisted Living Communities– “When taking care of senior citizens, the children are the ones who pay the bills, market to the children…pick a place close to where they live, not the senior citizen”
Jimmy Vreeland and Bob Scott on Lease Options – Instead of only selling to retail buyers, eliminate 90% of the competition by selling to motivated buyers
Steve Bighaus on Banks and Recessions - Watch for changes in delinquency rates and late payments
Jeremy Roll on Syndication Investing – “More complicated structures reduce the probability of an investor participating”
Doug Ruark on Regulation D – “The SEC does not have friends and family in its lexicon.”
Kathy Fetteke on The Year Ahead – “find the markets that are investing in their infrastructure”
Chris Clothier on Rental Portfolio Mindset – “There are two ways to do any job: right or again”
There are probably hundreds of ways to make money in real estate and listening to everyone’s niche was eye-opening, but it could also create the shiny object syndrome for someone starting out. There is always a balance of remaining focused, without being close-minded to new ideas. For us, we try to find the nuggets in different strategies and see if elements can be applied to multifamily. We certainly walked away with some key strategies to move our business forward and better deliver on expectations for our investors.
Even more, we walked away with some great new relationships and strengthened some of our existing ones. It also gave some perspective on how to improve our personal lives and maximize our time on this planet.
As Joe so soberly stated, we are dying everyday, so we have to push ourselves to optimize living, learning and loving as much as we can with the time we have left. With a focus on our family, we started investing in real estate with a distinct goal to achieve financial freedom. And when it comes to identifying the strategies, tools and connections to reach this goal, the Best Ever Real Estate Conference certainly lived up to its name.