If you invest in any commercial real estate or 5+ unit multifamily deals. You know that getting a fixed interest rate for more than 5 years is almost impossible. Interest rate risk can be a bonafide threat to the performance of our business plan when underwriting investments in a rising interest rate environment.
Enter: Interest Rate Swaps.
Today I had breakfast with a company who sells a product to community banks called an interest rate swap. What they do is help you effectively fix your interest rate for 10 years as opposed to the traditional 5 year. Your interest rate will be marginally higher than if you stuck with a 5 year fixed however it may be worth paying a little extra for the safety of not getting caught in an interest rate reset when rates are high 5 years from now.
In addition to the predictability that this option provides, some of the other benefits are:
1.) There is no prepayment penalty with your bank when you use this product.
2.) You can potentially make a windfall if interest rates do rise. Meaning, if interest rates rise, you can sell the interest rate swap for a profit. However, if interest rates fall, you would have to pay out of pocket if redeeming a swap contract.
Being a real estate investor, you can probably relate to getting a ton of junk mail, especially around the holiday season. You may be missing some great opportunities for growth by discounting EVERYTHING as junk.
I am a value investor so I take a contrarian approach to business activity and... well... life.
What is considered junk or undervalued are where I find my opportunities. These opportunities can even be found in junk mail!
In this video I cover a couple things I pick out of junk mail that have turned into great opportunities for learning and relationship building!
What value opportunities have you found in unlikely places?
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As real estate entrepreneurs, we oftentimes think that we have it all figured out. When this happens, we are usually about to get dealt a tough but valuable lesson.
In this video, I document how a current project has not gone according to plan. When a project throws you a curve ball, you need to learn how to pivot quickly and revise your game plan.
Being able to quickly identify when your plan starts to get derailed is key. Many real estate professionals and entrepreneurs alike let problems persist for far too long. Doing the same actions and expecting different results. If you don't spot the problems quickly and adapt your plan, than the process can become far more painful than it has to be.
“The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.” - Michelangelo
This is also true of our human potential. The act of investing in our own personal development is in fact chiseling away the superfluous material and revealing what's within; what's always been there.
We are almost done with the demolition on your office space and I got to thinking about this. The wall that I thought was going to have this beautiful, perfect brick underneath.... well turned out, not so much. I was disappointed. However, I knew this was a risk before we even picked up a chisel and started work. In my disappointment, I had to reflect. Wouldn't I had been more disappointed had I not taken the risk and wondered forever "What would this wall had looked like if I didn't expose it?" I would have definitely been regretful for not taking this action.
And so that leads me to think. What makes us human is our power to believe. To have faith in ideas and possibilities that may not reveal themselves to our senses. This unique power to believe has empowered us to bend the world to our will, for better or for worse. Seeing is not believing. Seeing is only validation of our beliefs and in the moment of seeing, belief ceases. So we must continually believe and have faith in what may or may not be there; to endlessly chip away the superfluous material in order to grow and fight stagnation.
The election is over. Thank you for voting. The reach of your civic duty does not stop there. What about your energies and your influence? You can change your community for the better regardless of what happens in City Hall, Albany or Washington. A better world starts with YOU.
We are excited to say that we are officially on the Avenue (Monroe Avenue that is). Well maybe not yet! We have a lot of work to do to make this happen!
First things first... Demolition! I thought that the cement covering the brick would come off like Plaster off of Lath. Not the case! Without the right tools, it would have taken me longer than Andy Dufresne escaping Shawshank!
The yearly turn over of residential rentals can be a grind at times. The beauty of commercial real estate are the long term leases. However they take time and lengthy negotiations.
In this video, I wrap up negotiations on a seven year lease renewal. You will learn a couple of my key takeaways.
1.) The longer term the lease and the larger the space usually means more negotiations, and therefore more back and forth.
2.) Start early when you have a large space coming up for renewal. Don't just assume that they will stay. You don't want to get surprised.
3.) Set aside TI (Tenant Improvement) dollars in your property budget. When you are negotiating larger lease deals, there is bound to be some build out or improvement dollars involved.
4.) Be patient. Since negotiating lease renewals can take time. You need not get frustrated if the target gets moved on you a few times. This particular tenant, changed their plans on how much space they were keeping and how much they were giving back a few times until they finalized it. In the end, they made the decision to give back space that will be extremely easy to rent and for a high dollar per square foot!
Inaction is the root of failure. It’s what we don’t do which leads to our stagnation or downfall. Procrastination, we all do it. We say things like “I’m too tired”, “I don’t feel like it”, “I’m not ready”, “Maybe tomorrow.” These excuses are DREAM KILLERS. But what do we DO about it?
What you need to do is shut up and do it. Simple as that. And then you need to keep executing the daily critical tasks that are accretive to fulfilling your goals. At first it takes discipline, but guess what? Discipline starts turning into habit. And habit is action that comes natural.
Don’t you wonder why the wildly successful make it LOOK so easy? It’s because at one point in their life they decided to stop cheating themselves and started making SUCCESS their habit, not making bullshit excuses.
If you are a real estate investor, the world will stomp on your throat if it hasn't already.
Real Estate is simple... but not easy. Nothing worthwhile is.
Development of your mindset and your grit will carry you extremely far in this business. There are bad things that happen all the time in real estate investing. That's why so many people get crushed under the pressure.
Nobody is born with a winning mindset. You need to continually invest in your personal development in order to stay strong.
In this video, I witnessed a protest march outside of one of my buildings with many people who vehemently oppose real estate projects like mine. I am working amicably with the Tenants Union to find a solution that will displace fewer residents, but it's not easy, and not everyone will be a fan of the outcome.
This past week I was invited to Saint Joseph's homeless shelter on South Avenue near downtown Rochester. I was invited because there are members of the community who were concerned that my development project along with future development projects will contribute to the homeless population numbers.... not aid it.
I have done extreme things to avoid our city's homeless: ignored them, pretend they didn't exist; even been downright rude. I've been to soup Kitchens but I have never, ever stepped foot into a homeless shelter.... until now. Even this extremely limited encounter profoundly changed me.
I was so overwhelmed with emotions and thoughts after my visit that it took me hours to sit down and process what I witnessed.
I ended up learning that everyone has a story... and everyone is a person who deserves love and respect.
I also learned that we can receive wisdom, inspiration and understanding from the most surprising places. "Variety is the spice of life." They say. Inspiration usually comes from a path of thought outside of our normal day to day habits. It usually comes from the unusual person in our life. Expose yourself to what is outside your normalcy; you might be made uncomfortable but you will become inspired.
Matthew Drouin is a full time real estate investor and REALTOR with 12 years of acquisition, disposition, development and management experience in Rochester, NY.