OMAHA, Nebraska (MO.Properties) – Katy Klesitz owns 66 single-family rental properties in Omaha, Nebraska, and Waco, Texas, and she purchased nearly of them after launching Katy & Frank Home Buyers with her husband in 2019. That may sound unremarkable except that she did it all virtually while staying at home to take care of her two young children.
It helped that the 34-year-old mother of a four-year-old and five-year-old had a background as a real estate agent. So did the assistance and financial support of her husband Frank, an ad agency executive. Still, buying all those homes during a pandemic without even opening the front door of her own home is impressive, to say the least.
How did she do it? “Technology is what makes it possible to do this now,” she says. “My support team is in the Philippines, and my estimators on the ground have the latest iPhone that takes great video. There’s no need for me to see a house in person. Money is cheap to borrow now, too. We bought all the homes with the bank’s money, yet it’s still profitable.”
Klesitz likes to share her top tips for working mothers who might also want to consider getting into real estate investing even when money, resources, and time are limited.
Find fellow investors to buy wholesale from you. Klesitz recommends purchasing a mailing list of people who have purchased two or more non-owner-occupied, single-family homes under the median price point in the local market in the past 12 months. Phone numbers can be found in public records. Call, introduce yourself, and ask if it’s okay to call them again when you have a below-market-value purchase contract that they can close on and still be profitable. You find the deals, they’ll close on them, and you get paid a wholesale fee for arranging it all.
Seek out newly distressed homeowners. Subscribe to an investor service that will send you an email notification when a homeowner in your market is in distress (divorce, bankruptcy, tax liens, failed to sell, foreclosure) and likely needs to sell their home fast. Call and ask if the homeowner would consider an offer. If they agree to one, get a contract signed, and then you can wholesale it to another investor for a fee, typically between $5,000 and $20,000. Follow your local laws.
Hire others to help. Wholesaling is the perfect low-cost entry point for new investors to build cash reserves without much risk. Once you have accumulated enough money, hire a nanny or babysitter to come to your home so you can focus on work, and then get an overseas assistant to call homeowners on your behalf to save you time. Your calling assistant will live-transfer you to homeowners who want a cash offer fast.
Obtain local community bank financing. You’ll need a bank loan to buy rental property. Contact CoreLogic for a list of all the banks that lent to local non-owner-occupied, single-family properties recently. This will tell you which local banks work with we buy houses companies. Call them up, introduce yourself, and find out about the loan programs they offer.
Get comfortable working late nights and early mornings. If each day is a whirlwind of kids, errands, and other family obligations, the time to get to work is once the kids are in bed. You can usually reach homeowners on the phone as late as 9 p.m. and as early as 8 a.m. You can also email local investors anytime to start those relationships.