Home Real Estate This Army Veteran and Real Estate Investor Shares His Top Tips

This Army Veteran and Real Estate Investor Shares His Top Tips

by Ozva Admin

“I always knew that I wanted to do business for myself since I was very little” veteran and real estate says investor Andrew Davis. “I think a lot of kids like to make a Lemonade stand — I got very excited about it when I was younger. So it was already in the back of my mind.”

Courtesy of Andrew Davis

Before starting his own business, Davis graduated as a signal officer from the United States Military Academy in West Point. He served eight years in the Army after that, five of which were on active duty. But Davis knew he didn’t want to spend his entire career in the Army.

So he started exploring other options. Davis had relatives involved in the real estate business already, and after talking with them and doing more research, decided to give it a try. In 2014, she launched her new career at New Western, a private repair and renovation residential housing market. properties.

Davis began buying rental properties slowly, working at his new company part-time while he was still in the military. Then, when his time on active duty was drawing to a close, he got his real estate license.

“I wanted to learn a little more about the industry and be closer to the front lines of where the action was happening,” explains Davis. “I graduated from just trying to buy and hold properties to rent to fix up and sell properties, using the proceeds to buy more properties.

Entrepreneur sat down with Davis before Veterans Day to discuss how his time in the Army helped prepare him for a successful career in and what potential investors should always keep in mind, no matter what the market is doing.

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“When you’re studying the art of war, you’re dividing wars into a strategic, operational and tactical level. And you can do the same thing in business.”

When Davis left the Army, he felt confident in his ability to pursue a full-time career in real estate investment. Much of what he learned at West Point and beyond could be applied to his new business, he says.

A particularly useful course at the Academy was called “The Art of Military Warfare.”

“That’s the best business class I’ve ever had,” Davis says, “because the funny thing is when you’re studying the art of war, you’re breaking down wars into a strategic, operational, and tactical level. And you can do the same thing in business: how does your business operate strategically, operationally.

Additionally, Davis’s time in the Army taught him how to lead and run an organization effectively.

“It helped me wire my motor efficiently,” explains Davis, “and I attribute a lot of success [to that].”

Another critical skill Davis honed in the military? the ability to adapt and plan accordingly.

Real estate is always fluid, Davis says, which means you have to assess a situation or obstacle as it arises, and react in a timely manner.

The impact of Covid on real estate serves as a perfect example. Although the market heated up quickly, it is since it got coldrewarding those investors who continued to stand on sound business principles.

“It’s important to learn the fundamentals of the business early on so that no matter what the market does, you have a business plan that you can change and mold to [suit] what’s happening now,” explains Davis. “Stick to the fundamentals of It goes a long way, although there is a lot of talk about raising interest rates.

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“The principles remain the same no matter what is going on.”

What does holding on to those trading fundamentals look like in practice?

“The principles remain the same no matter what,” says Davis, “buy properties that are quality, buy with a built-in markup. Stuff like that keeps my business going no matter what. And then a bunch of hard work also: being persistent and working hard goes a long way, especially during the toughest of times.”

When he began his real estate investing career, Davis prioritized buying and holding properties to rent. He says that being a rental owner comes with a certain stability, since you are basically guaranteed a monthly residual income. Generally, those properties are rented out, he explains, it’s just a matter of how much and what makes sense on the back end.

For those who are early in their real estate investment career, Davis recommends “honing in” on easy projects, like a cosmetic rental renovation, before exploring what can be more complex and risky properties to fix and change.

Once you’ve bought a property to flip it over and attached that “value-added component,” you’re confident that it will be worth more when it’s finished. But that assumes the market will remain constant, doing what it did in 2021 in 2022, for example. Of course, that is not always the case.

“There’s room for things to twist when you peel the onion on a property,” says Davis. “Maybe you’ll discover things you didn’t originally anticipate. Maybe the project will take longer. Maybe supply chains are messed up. So while [fix-and-flip] can be a profitable business, there is more risk associated with that business model, in my opinion.”

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“There’s a steep learning curve and a lot of people have a negative experience early on.”

Regardless of whether you’re interested in buying to rent or buying to flip, Davis suggests keeping a few important things in mind.

For those younger investors Just starting out, Davis recommends making the process easy.

“I see a lot of people who get aggressive early on,” he says, “and maybe they’re not that well established with the real estate process or real estate investing. And in real estate, there are always walls and it’s up to that individual.” [if they’re going] hitting a wall at a million miles an hour or ease [into it]hit a wall and be able to bounce.

Davis also warns against believing what you see on many TV shows that make fixing and flipping “look like a piece of cake.”

“There’s a steep learning curve, and a lot of people have a negative experience early on because most flipers cut their teeth on a bad project,” he explains. “Many of the seasoned investors I know are people who just stuck to the process and were persistent: when there was a lesson to learnthey learned it and then applied it to the next project.”

Additionally, Davis suggests having several things going. That way, if one area slows down, another component can help make up for it.

“So, for example, I started a property management company in 2020,” says Davis. “It has been very difficult to find the same amount of fix and flip opportunities, but not impossible. The property management business came into focus while some of my investments slowed down. As the real estate market slows down, it could be a good buying opportunity. So things are definitely changing inside and out.”

Those who are willing to ease their way into real estate, applying what they learn along the way, and eventually spearheading multiple projects at once, can build a lucrative business.

“As far as real investments, I only have real estate,” says Davis. “It’s a timeless company. If you look at a lot of investments, it all comes down to supply, demand, and ability to pay. I’m a big fan of consumer staples like groceries and real estate. There’s always demand.” of housing”. or usable space. And a lot of these structures are going to last for generations, so it’s a great place to park money.”

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