As the founder of Platinum Properties Investors Network, real estate expert Jason Hartman long has harped about how Wall Street and investing in the stock market in general amount to a scam — and how investing in real estate is the wisest way to plot one’s investment strategy. After all, the latter strategy is what made him a multi-millionaire.
Well, a recent report from Forbes magazine indicates that maybe people have been spending some time at Jason’s pulpit all along and are realizing that real estate, the world’s most historically proven asset class, is the best path to investment success.
Citing statistics from Gallup, the Forbes report from this past May said that in 2007, nearly two-thirds of Americans were investing in the stock market but that in 2016, just a little more than half of Americans were doing so. And, what really must be tickling Jason Hartman and the other experts in his Platinum Properties investment network, is this: The Forbes report says that millennials, particularly, are the generation that may be looking at real estate investing in the years ahead.
At the Commercial Investing Center hub, we’re here today to continue harping with Jason Hartman about how real estate is the only investment that all generations should consider for their portfolios. This would include those millennials who are just now beginning to build their investments.
And we’re also here to talk with Jason Hartman about what’s hot in commercial real estate investing right now — namely, mobile-home parks, self-storage units and apartments.
More About That Heartening Report From Forbes, and Why Jason Hartman and the Platinum Properties Investors Network Are a Good Hub From Which to Start
Millennials, or those who become 20 to 36 years old in 2017, nudged past baby boomers as the largest generation of Americans last year, which is why their interest in investments is so important. The Forbes report said there were 75.4 million Millennials last year, compared to 74.9 million baby boomers. As the largest age group in America, then, millennials will be the most influential group to shift the market as their net worth builds. This makes their views on real estate and investment opportunities a key to future investment strategies overall.
Forbes further noted a recent Real Estate Investing Report that put together by RealtyShares and Harris Interactive, which surveyed Americans on their investment preferences. And — surely, Jason Hartman and the Platinum Properties Investor Network already have taken note of this— that report’s survey showed that 55 percent of millennials are interested in investing in real estate. That was the highest percentage of all demographics questioned.
And, yes, Jason Hartman, you can widen that grin that helped make you a multi-millionaire: The survey also showed that millennials are highly skeptical of the stock market that they watched crash as they grew up and went to school.
So, welcome, millennials, and other generations as well, to our school, the CommercialInvestingCenter.com, where you can search for available property nationwide or list a property you want to sell — for free!
Yet another outgrowth of Hartman’s work with the Platinum Properties network of investment, CommercialInvestingCenter.com is a hub not only for investors but also sellers and agents. Investors can search commercial properties that make sense today, such as mobile home parks, self-storage facilities and apartments. Sellers and agents, meanwhile, can list commercial properties which make sense today, including mobile homes, self-storage, and apartments.
If you are already a listener to “The Creating Wealth Podcast” or “The Commercial Investing Show,” both of which are brought to you by Jason Hartman and the Platinum Properties Investors Network, you already know that Jason is not a fan of office or retail investments at this time.
More About Investing in Mobile Home Parks (From a Source Who Became a Multi-Millionaire by Investing in Real Estate, Just Like Jason Hartman)
Before becoming founder and CEO of Platinum Properties Investors Network and becoming a multi-millionaire, Jason Hartman, while still in college at the age of 19, embarked on a career in real estate. While brokering properties for clients, he invested in his own portfolio along the way. He would soon join the ranks of the top one-percent of Realtors in the United States.
The story’s sort of similar with Frank Rolfe, who bought his first mobile home park in Dallas, Texas and turned a “dump” that housed “the absolute dregs of society” into a nice neighborhood community that was worth $1 million more five year later. Today, he and his business partner, Dave Reynolds, are ranked as the fifth largest mobile home park owner in the United States, overseeing 250 communities in 25-plus states.
Rolfe and Reynolds also are the co-founders of Mobile Home University, a great source of knowledge for those who are looking to invest in mobile home parks. Rolfe notes in one recent article on the MHU website that there are five top ways to locate a mobile home park to buy. They are:
- Rolfe says the chief source to find mobile home parks online is MobileHomeParkStore.com, which offers between 1,000 and 2,000 mobile home parks for sale from day to day. He also cites LoopNet.com, Auction.com (which lists real-estate-owned auctions of mobile home parks and even eBay.
- Via brokers (especially “pocket listings”). Next in line, Rolfe says, are brokers who only sell mobile home parks and offer “pocket listings.” Pocket listings are those not publicly on the market but those that brokers will disclose to whomever they consider to be qualified buyers. Some of the best deals are found in “pocket listings,” but they can be time-consumin because you must contact brokers individually. However, Rolfe reports, “The majority of the great deals we’ve bought over the past four years came from this source.”
- Through cold calls. Simply call the “mom and pop park owners” and see if they are ready to sell. This route takes even more effort than contacting brokers individually for pocket listings, but it is a strategy that has been successful for Rolfe and Reynolds.
- By direct mail. Send postcards or letters to park owners to see if they want to sell. It’s like cold calling, but you can create a higher volume of deals faster. Rolfe and Reynolds average a response rate of 1 to 10 percent. “However,” Rolfe forewarns, “many of these will be people who want far more than you’re willing to pay.”
- Do drop in. This is the most labor-intensive plan of all: Driving into mobile home parks and talking directly to the owners. It “takes forever to do this,” Rolfe notes, adding, “We only use this strategy on specific parks that we like and have shown no response to our direct mail and cold calls.”
More About Investing in Self-Storage Units, From an Investor Who Prefers Them Over Other Types of Real Estate
In one episode of his popular “Creating Wealth” podcast, which is a production of Jason Hartman and the Platinum Properties Investment Network, host Hartman interviews Scott Meyers. The latter made his millions in real estate investing by forgoing single-family home and apartment properties for self-storage units.
“Once I bought my first self-storage property, I never looked back,” Meyers tells Hartman.
During economic booms and busts, Meyers says, self-storage units historically have been stable in either cycle. Tenants who rent self-storage units continue to consume and have nowhere to put all of their stuff during booms or busts. The overall rise of the rent class, which now surely will continue to rise as more and more millennials enter their working years, means people move more often and will need a place to store their personal stuff.
Asked what type of market is best for a self-storage property, Meyers tells Hartman: “Look in a one- to three-mile range, and if there is a lot of competition, you may want to move to the next town and evaluate if they are underserved.” Meyers recommends visiting the self-storage association, the local chamber of commerce and the web when looking for self-storage.
Additional tips for seeking self-storage investments come from none other than Frank Rolfe. (Yes, that would be the same Frank Rolfe we already have profiled here because of his success in mobile home park investing.) Rolfe invests in storage units, too, with these sorts of strategies:
- Seek a property where there’s a population of 50,000 people or more within 3 miles of the facility. Quite simply, if there’s an absence of population, you have no demand.
- Seek units where the traffic count driving past the property exceeds 25,000 cars per day. The majority of self-storage customers find their storage facilities after driving by them, Rolfe says. They look at convenience and often just pull in to the first one they see near their home or work.
- See whether the area’s median household income is $50,000. People with higher incomes amass more stuff and thus need to a place to store it. And, more importantly, they can afford to pay rent on their units.
- Find a property that comprises 400 units or more. There are some major fixed costs in a self-storage facility, the largest of which is the manager, Rolfe writes. “You have to have enough units to support the necessary staff to run the complex,” he says. “You cannot run a self-storage facility from a kiosk, contrary to what some folks may suggest. And you cannot run it without any form of management. That’s why small complexes in rural markets are always on the market for sale.”
More About Investments in Apartments, for Which Jason Hartman and the Platinum Properties Investor Network Particularly Suggest Student Housing
With college enrollment expected to rise through 2022 and other studies showing that student-housing investments performed better than other real-estate investments during the financial crisis of 2008, an investment in student housing certainly seems well worth a plunge.
Enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities is expected to reach 19.8 million students by 2025, which would be an increase of 14 percent from the 2014 enrollment of 17.3 million, the National Center for Education Statistics has reported. This should ensure that there will be demand for a housing supply in college towns across the country in the years ahead.
Sure, becoming a landlord to students can come with risks. Those risks might include: Dealing not only with younger adults who have yet to assume the responsibility of paying rent; turnover of tenants perhaps from year to year; and, possible involvement of parents, who now in effect are placing trust in you to make sure that their Johnny or Susie will be OK now that they live away from home.
But Hartman and his Platinum Property investment network say that if potential investors in student housing follow these three steps as part of their research, they should find their real-estate venture to be worthy of an excellent grade:
- Location, Location, Location … of course. Yes, class, this longtime maxim in real-estate investing certainly applies to student housing, “and in the student market this means choosing properties located in walking distance of a campus,” Hartman said. Consider whether grocery stores, laundromats and other essential services that students might need are nearby, too.
- Be familiar with university rules. Colleges and universities often offer housing bureaus to help their students find off-campus housing. These services can be a key resource in helping student-housing landlords find tenants, and it’s also important to learn what expectations the bureau might have when matching students with properties.
- Seek out an investment tutor. Most college towns also play host to a variety of real-estate firms, most of which staff an expert in student housing or solely specialize in the field. Says Hartman: “Look for a mortgage broker or real estate agent experienced in the student-housing rental, including any special license or occupancy limitations that apply, or other requirements to convert a single-family home into student housing.”