I own apartments here in the South Bay. I got my first taste of income properties when I was still in Junior High School working for my father and helping him manage his motels. I began to grow an affinity for income-producing properties at that time, and by the time I was out of John Marshall High School, I was offered a job to manage two apartment complexes in the Hollywood area. I did everything from plumbing to painting to roofing to carpentry to contracts to renting to evicting to collections to landscaping to even advertising. Within one year I cleaned up the properties and increased their performance attracting working professionals to want to live at those complexes.
During the time I was managing the apartment buildings I attended California State University in Los Angeles and majored in Accounting. I worked preparing other small investors’ tax returns and financial statements. I procured my real estate license and began helping investors sell and buy properties in and around the Los Angeles area in the early 1980s. I also took a position at a Wall Street firm in Los Angeles to manage the operations cash for several companies daily. I managed hundreds of millions of dollars on a daily basis and made the company an average of $2.3 million annually by investing excess cash in conservative income-earning vehicles. I spent over a decade managing money and doing financial reporting. But, my heart still loved investment and commercial property.
With a full understanding of the financial model and how a business should operate, I began to purchase apartment buildings around the South Bay that were underperforming and needed good management. I designed financial models in Excel and worked the numbers backward to ensure every purchase had excellent ratios before entering into any investment. During this time I helped others do the same. Anyone can buy or sell an investment property. The key is doing it right.
Landlording is perhaps the single most important service anyone can provide because you are providing a roof over a family’s head. Landlording is probably the world’s second-oldest profession and certainly the most lucrative. Properly managed, a good piece of income property is the closest thing you will ever come to a real live, self-propelled, self-generating money machine.
But, I am not just a landlord. I get involved in the city that I buy-in. I am a member of the Chamber of Commerce and help create Landlord clubs to help eliminate crime in certain neighborhoods. In being a landlord one needs to remember that you are the owner of a small community, and you have the power to make that little community a better place for people to live in.