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Having a Real Estate Portfolio Roadmap Can Help Investors Identify and Visually Communicate Their Vision.
What is a Real Estate Portfolio Roadmap?
A real estate portfolio roadmap (REPF) is a top-down view of your future real estate holdings that you desire to accumulate over the life of your investment career. The roadmap begins as an idea, becomes a plan of action, the steps needed to reach your end goal – the accumulation of real estate – and works as a punch list throughout your journey.
Because of the difficult nature of real estate transactions, namely their many interrelated pieces, the timeframes presented on this type of roadmap are more like aspirational guide posts rather that steadfast directionals or exacting deadlines.
Your REPR is a working, evolving document. It’s goal is to lay the foundation to reverse engineer your investment agenda over the next five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years.
Do I Need a Real Estate Portfolio Roadmap?
For the novice private investor, a REPR outlines a specific growth path to follow which can help move you towards your end goal faster and with less surprises.
For the investment team, such as a REIT, it moves all stakeholders in the same direction, at the same rhythm, helping them achieve their business objectives with more clarity and synchronicity.
Moreover, using a real estate portfolio roadmap does all of the following:
- Provides clarity
- Communicates investment impact
- Guides the investor (or investment team) along the journey
- Creates the initiative to forecast future income & expenses for each investment project (deal)
- Assists the project manager in forecasting required resources for specific initiatives
- Bolsters accountability, and
- Tracks milestones and progress
- Develop a Real Estate Investment Portfolio Vision.
- Ask yourself, “how much money do I want to net in retirement?”
- Talk to other investors, bankers, and real estate brokers to learn about income and expenses for any given investment.
- Create your investor dream team, which includes an accountant, a lawyer, a banker, and a real estate broker.
- Decide on your internal management team. (Are you a solopreneur or an entrepreneur?)
- Create Your First Draft Picks – a ‘Bird’s-Eye’ View of Your Real Estate Investment Portfolio Over the Span of Your Career (the roadmap).
- The private investor or management team should brainstorm investment options to meet the investment portfolio vision.
- Identify specific purchase initiatives, cost estimates, and management (holding) expenses.
- Decide on how to best structure each deal, taking into account the availability of investment and working capital, funding, tax implications, legal, government restrictions, and internal level of priority.
- Create an Internal Investment Roadmap.
- Start with your first purchase objective. Walk through the entire transaction to identify and document all of the potential moving pieces, costs, timing, potential pitfalls, risk reduction strategies, management duties & expenses, and BTCF.
- Decide who will be the project manager for the first undertaking (and each project thereafter).
- Hire your ‘dream team’ and ask your real estate broker to “shop the market.”
- Implement your plan!
- Rinse & repeat!
As your portfolio grows, so will your ability to scale up small projects or take on bigger projects. Thus, your roadmap will undoubtedly be edited several times throughout your career.
Remember, not even “…the best laid plans of mice and men” ever happen perfectly. Be flexible. And, above all, enjoy the journey!
In closing, if you want to be (or already are) a real estate investor who has several properties in mind, then you should create a REPR. It will help you to organize, evaluate, prioritize, forecast, track, and communicate your investment initiatives throughout your investment journey.
As a real estate broker, my team and I want to help you understand our markets and identify potential investment opportunities for you. We want to become your ‘go-to’ real estate consultant, “your source for real estate investment solutions!”
The Groover-Stewart Building
25 N. Market Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
By Appointment Only
- Job Type: Commissioned Sales
- Number of Hires: 50
- Qualifications: Florida Real Estate Sales Licenses
- Work Authorization: U.S.
- Hours: Flexible
- Job Responsibilities: As a Real Estate Agent, you will be tasked with representing buyers, sellers, landlords, or tenants in the acquisition or disposition of real property (residential or commercial).
- Training: We offer a free 7-module post-licensing residential real estate sales and marketing training series and first-time homebuyer course, available on Udemy at: https://www.johnwtanner.com/courses
- Duties: Assist sellers with determining the value of their home, demonstrate the benefits of showcasing their home, and help them find a buyer by promoting their home via online marketing, MLS listing syndication, and hosting open houses. Assist buyers by determining their wants and needs, discovering neighborhoods and the lifestyles associated with them, and viewing new construction homes and resale homes in those sub-markets. Present offers, facilitate inspections, and negotiate changes as necessary for our client’s best interests. Schedule the final walkthrough and closing. Follow up with clients after closing. Assist landlords with locating tenants or assist tenants with locating a property for lease, negotiating contracts, and conducting due diligence (qualify the person or the property).
- Consulting & Property Management: Provide clients with assistance in determining investment strategies, exit strategies, and asset management.
- Networking: Develop a robust list of contacts with third parties who service real property owners.
- Maintain Confidentiality.
- Computer literate
- Valid driver’s license
- Motivation and grit!
- Witty and creative team players with extroverted personalities are encouraged to apply.
- Locations: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, The Palm Beaches, Naples, Tampa, Orlando, Pensacola/Destin/FWB, Tallahassee, Jacksonville/Fernandina Beach/St. Augustine, and Daytona Beach.
Send resume to: HR@colemantanner.com
Are you thinking about getting into the real life game of Monopoly? If so, you probably have a few questions you want answered before committing yourself to your first investment purchase, such as:
- What is the property worth?
- How do you calculate return on investment? (ROI)?
- How much equity will I earn through appreciation?
- What are my tax burdens going to be?
The answers to these questions vary with every property as no two transactions are ever identical. That notwithstanding, let’s take a look at the basics and figure out how to analyze a property to determine whether or not it is a good deal for you.
Q1. What is the Property Worth?
The answer to this question depends on whether the property is a single-family residence, a 2 to 4 unit property, or a 5+ unit multi-family property. Generally speaking, the market dictates the value of 1 to 4 unit residences using a valuation model called the sales comparison approach. The sales price/rent price of comparable properties that recently closed within the immediate area of the subject property are analyzed to determine an opinion of value.
For commercial real estate, 2 to 4 unit properties, or 5+ multi-family properties, the income approach to valuation is widely used by real estate agents, appraisers and lenders. This approach requires determining an annual market capitalization rate (based on the income of comparable sales) and a property-specific cap rate, based on projected annual income of the subject property (a pro forma statement of rents), using a gross rent multiplier, divided by the current value of the property.
Example: If a 1 unit condo costs $120,000 to purchase and the expected rental income is $1,200 per month, then the expected annual income is: $14,400 divided by $120,000 (cost to purchase), equals a cap rate of 12%.
The cap rate Is helpful for comparison purposes, but for a closer look at your potential investment, you’ll need to consider inflation and deduct for it using a discounted cash flow model. You’ll also need to factor in the costs of a mortgage, known as annual debt service, property taxes, property insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses such as water, electricity, landscaping, security, reserves for replacement, preventative maintenance, etc.
Q2. How Do You Calculate ROI?
When comparing investment options, properties with a higher ROI will help you make the best choice with regard to the greatest return on investment. To calculate your ROI, divide your profits by your investment cost. For ROI to be meaningful, you must input the most realistic expenses that can be expected for the subject property. Otherwise, any costs that are manipulated or omitted, which would reduce the ROI, will paint a picture that is unrealistic, increasing your opportunity cost (that is, The cost of not investing in other investment options), and may burden you with additional operating costs every month during the holding period.
You should also consider the option of using a mortgage to acquire the property, versus paying cash, and consider the annual debt service, which are the mortgage payments, and how they impact your monthly and annual cash flows. Additionally, the upside of leverage (buying an asset using other peoples money, or OPM), may significantly increase your ROI.
Note: Don’t forget to factor in your closing costs, real estate commissions, etc. into your purchase price and sale price of the subject property; these are acquisition and disposition costs.
Before we examine ROI on a financed property let’s look at the ROI for a subject property purchased as a cash transaction.
As you can see in the case study the overall rate and a five year period for rental ROI is 8.8%. The overall rate (OAR) on value appreciation is 29.6% for the five-year period or 5.92% per year. Added with the rental income the total annual ROI per year is 14.72%!
Now, let’s take a look at the same investment property but, in this case, let’s use a mortgage to purchase a property.
As you can see in the second example the ROI on rental income is an overall rate of 16.9%! Wow! the ROI on the appreciation is 134%! Combined together, this property produces an annual ROI of 43.7% per year!
Q3. How Much Equity Will I Earn Through Appreciation?
It depends. The market dictates the sales price, and, as we all know, that fluctuates based on a variety of variables, such as political, social, cultural, “acts of God,” (such as hurricanes and tornadoes), and economical and business changes in the immediate environment (such as the installation of an Amazon distribution center or an Apple research park coming to Your Town, USA. That said, on average, real estate doubles in value every 10 years. Put another way, a property owner can estimate a 10% per year appreciation in a healthy market in the growth stage of its economic life.
Given the science behind the economic life of a property and its community, the best time to purchase a home is when it is first built. Thus, the best time to sell would be at the end of the first 15 years of its growth or shortly into the stability phase. As a rule of thumb, a rental investment is less risky when the property was built within the last 10 years and the holding period should be no more than 10 years. Buying an investment property within these parameters will give you the best opportunity, external factors aside, to realize a 10% per year gain of appreciation in value.
Q4. What Are My Tax Burdens Going To Be?
That’s a tough question to answer because no two investors are examining their tax situation from the same position. If you lived in the home to out of the past five years prior to the sale, then you could be exempt from capital gains tax on the sale of the property buy up to $250,000 for a single person or up to $500,000 for a married couple. However, assuming the property was rented for all five years of the holding period, then you would report your profit as capital gains, which that amount would depend on adjustments such as depreciation and other taxable income which would shift your tax bracket up or down.
Note, however, that a 1031 exchange Allows the seller to roll over the profit into another investment property of equal or higher value without incurring any capital gains taxes. Another note worth mentioning is that if the owner sells the property due to divorce or death and unmarried widow or divorce may count any time that their former spouse lived in the subject property under the exceptions to the “time and use” test. If that sounds like your situation, you should consult a real estate attorney in your market with expertise in real estate law.
Disclaimer: The author of this article is a non-licensed attorney. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice.
- Return on investment (ROI) Can be used to calculate the value of an investment based on its monthly cash flow’s, as well as during the entire holding period.
- To see the true ROI, consider the return with appreciation over an extended holding period, such as five years.
- ROI tends to be much higher when buying an investment using other peoples money, or OPM, with a five year holding.
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step to Invest?
The residential rental market is now the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. In the United States, the demand for single-family rentals, defined as either detached homes or townhouses, has risen 30 percent in the past three years.1And in Canada, rental units now account for nearly one-third of the country’s homes, with particular demand for multi-family units, including apartments and condominiums.2
At the same time, the short-term, or vacation, rental market is also booming. The popularity of online marketplaces like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO has helped the short-term rental market become one of the fastest-growing segments in the travel industry.3
Now, more than ever, there is an abundance of opportunity for real estate investors. But which path is best: leasing your property to a long-term tenant, or renting your property to travelers on a short-term basis?
In this post, we examine the differences between the two investment strategies and the benefits and limitations of each category.
WHY INVEST IN A RENTAL PROPERTY? The Top 5 Reasons
Before we delve into the differences between long-term and short-term rentals, let’s answer the question: “Why invest in a rental property at all?”
There are five key reasons investors choose to buy real estate over other investment vehicles:
Appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. And history has proven that over an extended period, the cost of real estate continues to rise. Recessions may still occur, but in the vast majority of markets, the value of real estate does grow over the long term.
II. Cash Flow
One of the key benefits of investing in real estate is the ability to generate steady cash flow. Rental income can be used to pay the mortgage and taxes on your investment property, as well as regular maintenance and repairs. If appropriately priced in a solid rental market, there may even be a little extra cash each month to help with your living expenses or to grow your savings.
Even if you only take in enough rent to cover your expenses, a rental property purchase will pay for itself over time. As you pay down the mortgage every month with your rental income, your equity will continue to increase until you own the property free and clear … leaving you with residual cash flow for years to come.
III. Hedge Against Inflation
Inflation is the rate at which the general cost of goods and services rises. That means as inflation rises, the money you have sitting in a savings account will buy less tomorrow than it will today. On the other hand, the price of real estate typically matches (or often exceeds) the rate of inflation. To hedge or guard yourself against inflation, real estate can be a smart investment choice.
Leverage is the use of borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment. You can put a relatively small amount down on a property, finance the rest of the investment with a mortgage, and then profit on the entire combined value.
V. Tax Benefits
Don’t overlook the tax benefits that can come with a real estate investment, as well. From deductions to depreciation to exemptions, there are many ways a real estate investment can save you money on taxes. Consult a tax professional to discuss your particular circumstances.
These are just a few of the many perks of investing in real estate. But what’s the best strategy to maximize returns on your investment property? In the next section, we explore the differences between long-term and short-term rentals.
LONG-TERM (TRADITIONAL) RENTAL MARKET
When most people think of owning a rental property, they imagine buying a home and renting it out to tenants to use as their primary residence. Traditionally, investors would use their rental property to generate an additional stream of income while benefiting from the property’s long-term appreciation in value.
In fact, that steady and predictable monthly cash flow is one of the key advantages of owning a long-term rental. And as an owner, you don’t usually have to worry about paying the utility bills or furnishing the property—both of which are typically covered by the tenant. Add to this the fact that traditional tenants translate into less time and effort spent on day-to-day property management, and long-term rentals are an attractive option for many investors.
However, there are also limitations to long-term rentals, which often come down to your ability to control the property. Perhaps the most obvious one is that you do not get to use the home or closely monitor its upkeep (this is different from a short-term rental, which we’ll share in the next section).
In addition, while you can usually generate a steady, predictable income stream with a long-term rental, you are limited in your ability to adjust rent prices based on increasing or seasonal demand. Therefore, you may end up with a lower overall return on your investment. In fact, according to data from Mashvisor, in the 10 hottest real estate markets, short-term rentals produced “significantly higher rental income” than long-term rentals.4
SHORT-TERM (VACATION) RENTAL MARKET
Short-term rentals are often referred to as vacation rentals, as more and more travelers enjoy the benefits of staying in a home while on vacation. In fact, according to Wells Fargo, vacation rentals are steadily growing and predicted to account for 21% of the worldwide accommodations market by 2020.5
Investing in a short-term rental or funding your second-home purchase by renting it out can offer many benefits. If you purchase an investment property in a top travel destination or vacation spot, you can expect steady demand from travelers while taking advantage of any non-rented periods to enjoy the home yourself. In addition to greater control over how your property is used, you can also adjust your rental price around peak travel demand to maximize your returns.
But short-term rentals also have risks and drawbacks that may dissuade some investors. They require greater day-to-day property management, and owners are typically responsible for furnishing the property, upkeep, and utilities.
And while rental revenue can be higher, it can also be less predictable based on seasonal or consumer travel trends. For example, a lack of snowfall during ski season could mean fewer bookings and lower rental revenue that year.
In addition, laws and limitations on short-term rentals can vary by region. And in some areas, the regulations are in flux as residents and government officials adapt to a new surge in short-term rentals. So, make sure you understand any existing or proposed restrictions on rentals in the area where you want to invest. Urban centers or suburban communities may be more resistant to short-term renters, thus more likely to pass future limitations on use. To lower your risk, you may want to consider properties in resort communities that are accustomed to travelers. We can help you assess the current regulations on short-term rentals in our area. Or if you’re interested in investing in another market, we can refer you to a local agent who can help.
WHICH INVESTMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Now that you understand these two real estate investment options, how do you pick the right one for you? It’s helpful to start by clarifying your investment goals.
If your goal is to generate steady, predictable income with less time and effort spent on property management, then a long-term rental may be your best option. Also, if you prefer a less-risky investment with more reliable (but possibly lower) returns, then you may be more comfortable with a long-term rental.
On the other hand, if your goal is to purchase a vacation or second home that you’ll use, and you want to defray some (or all) of the expense, then a short-term rental may be a good option for you. Similarly, if you’re open to taking on more risk and revenue volatility for the possibility of greater investment returns, then a short-term rental may better suit your spirit as an investor.
But sometimes the decision isn’t always so clear-cut. If your goal is to purchase a future retirement home now to hedge against inflation, rising real estate prices, and interest rates, then both long- and short-term rentals could be suitable options. In this case, you’ll want to consider other factors like location, market demand, property type, and your risk tolerance.
HERE OR ELSEWHERE … WE CAN HELP
If you’re looking to make a real estate investment—whether it’s a primary residence, investment property, vacation home, or future retirement home—give us a call. We’ll help you determine the best course of action and share insights and resources to help you make an informed decision. And if your plans include buying outside of our area, we can refer you to a local agent who can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation! (904) 373-8453.
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.
- USA Today –
- The Globe and Mail –
- Phocuswright –
- com –
- Turnkey Vacation Rentals –
Not only is South Beach a fun place to live, it’s a great place to earn tenant income! Interested? Ask me how.
Employment sector expected to increase 2.2% in 2013; 2,000 new apartments will be completed this year; vacancy rate down to 2.9%; and rents increasing yearly since 2010 – expected to go up 3% (to an average rent of $1,169/month).
Source: Marcus & Millichap