Business: Sylvester Enterprises
Online or Offline: Offline
Industry: Real Estate Investing
Year Established: 2007
Business Structure: Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Income Source: Monthly cashflow from leasing residential/commercial real estate
Sylvester Enterprises is our real estate investing business. We started the business in September, 2007. Tom started this business jointly with his father and they are 50/50 partners. With this business, we focus on purchasing distressed property, renovating them and then either selling them or keeping them to lease. The business initially started out by purchasing residential real estate, starting with a duplex. Over time, the business has expanded, including mixed use and commercial properties as well. This business focuses on creating a win-win-win scenario, which is the focus of a Conscious Business .
Win #1 – Community
When we purchase distressed properties, these are typically draining on a community instead of contributing to it. By renovating the properties, we increase the appeal of house and therefore the neighborhood. The value of the property also increases, which means the community receives more income from tax revenue.
Win #2 – People
Our focus is on quality. When renovating properties, our motto is “If we wouldn’t live or run a business from there, then we don’t rent/sell it”. We provide high quality properties and as a result our tenant get a great place to live or operate their business.
Win #3 – Income
Real estate investing is an excellent way to generate income. We actually create income 6 different ways with real estate investing:
-Purchasing Under Value: Real estate is known as an “inefficient market”. This means that there is not a single exchange that sets the prices of houses (such as their is with the stock market). As a result, if you solve a homeowner’s problem, you can purchase a property for less than market value but still create a win-win situation. So if you purchase a property worth $100,000 for $70,000, you instantly gain $30,000 in equity.
-Leverage: Real estate is one of the few investment strategies where you can borrow most, if not all, of the money required to invest. Banks will often lend 80% of the value of the property, which can allow great return on your cash investment.
-Appreciation: Over the long term real estate values tend to increase. This is obviously based heavily on the local market, but historical data shows an upward trend. So your property value will increase over time.
-Cashflow: When purchasing buy-and-hold properties, they provide a monthly cashflow after mortgage and expenses are paid. This cash can be withdrawn or reinvested back.
-Tax Benefits: Owning real estate allows for various tax deductions, including depreciation, which can lower your overall taxable income.
This mindset has allowed the business to grow and develop a great reputation and allowed us to grow to currently owning 24 units.
Learn More About Real Estate Investing
Real estate investing is one of the most lucrative business opportunities that there is. As a result, there are a lot of people and companies out there who are looking to sell it as an easy business. Trust us, real estate investing in anything but easy. With that said, it can be very rewarding, both financially and lifestyle wise. Below are a series of blog post and other resources that are useful for anyone looking to get into or grow their real estate investing business.
Don’t Get Scammed By “Free” Real Estate Training! Read First!
Most of real estate “free investment training” session that you hear on the radio or see on Facebook are a scam, eventually resulting in an upsell anywhere from $5,000-$50,000. Please don’t waste your money. Educate yourself on these training sessions by learning from our experiences.
Unfortunately we fell for these session and the promise of riches. Read how both of us reacted to spending $7,500 for these training sessions, on a credit card no less.
Real Estate Investing Posts
Real Estate Business Posts
Real Estate Mindset
Tools That We Use
Dropbox – We are often on the go and not in our office, so Dropbox allows us to access all of our business files from any location/device. Additionally, it is where we store all of our business paperwork. Essentially it is our electronic file cabinet.
QuickBooks – Accounting and keeping accurate books is essential for any business. Real estate businesses tend to have a lot of transactions, so we need software to help manage. Additionally, we get a lot of very useful financial reporting on the performance of each property.
Gmail – We’ve converted much of our business to paperless, which means that we do a lot of electronic communications. One of the best things about Gmail is that we can combine multiple mail addresses into a single inbox.
Google Voice – We signed up for a FREE phone number in the local area that our properties are in. This number allows us to forward it to whoever is answering our phone.
Canon PIXMA MX922 Printer/Scanner/Copier – There is a lot of paperwork involved in real estate, from closing documents to tenant leases. We rely heavily on our printer for being able to scan and send these documents, as well as to be able to scan and electronically store these documents in Dropbox.
Smart Phones – We are constantly using our phones, whether it be for call, email, pictures, video, material list or the internet. They are essential. We use Samsung GS4 and Samsung GS5 phones.
First Alert 3060F Steel Key Cabinet – With so many properties and multiple people who may need access (our cleaning woman, our maintenance guys), we consolidate all of our keys in a lock steel cabinet.