San Francisco Summit Wrap-up

What an amazing event.

While I was not overtly involved in the organization of the summit, I did get a couple chances to influence the outcome. A long discussion with the organizer a couple of weeks ago led to the inclusion of the panel format. It was unbelievable! Near 200 attendees were on site to make the event worth the price of admission just for the networking events. Here are my thoughts on each speaker panel.

Saturday's Agenda
Saturday’s Agenda

Look at those powerhouse California and BiggerPocket’s names! How can you not learn something actionable and worth the price of admission? It was an amazing feat to get all of these people in the same room. It was an even harder feat to believe that I was there and learning so many amazing things.

Economic Outlook

Howard Blum

Howard BlumI share a lot of Howard’s view on the upcoming economic situation. I believe that a second sharp downward turn is on the economic event horizon. It is not going to be nearly as drastic as the one in 2007. The indicators are here in the current market, in local markets and national markets. Global economic indicators are also pointing to a constriction which will cut into the credit availability in America. His data points were not as solid as I would have liked to see but the news media has enough of those for your perusal. Listening to the other attendees it seems as if most are of the same opinion that a downturn is coming.

Walk-away tip: Freddie Mac: The Mimi Report

Out of State Investing

William Robison, Chris Clothier, Jeff Ader, and Brie Schmidt

Out of State PanelNot quite the panel discussion that I was looking for. A sentiment I think most of the attendee’s shared. It turned out to be more a discussion on the value of using a “Turnkey” rental company. I have to say that going into the panel I was not a very big turnkey person. All I have ever heard is nightmare scenarios on what people were buying and the horrible events that followed. In fact I once heard a story from a woman who bought 3 out-of-state turnkey properties, and 2 of the three properties were burnout properties that they had claimed they had repaired. The panel members made great points that you can’t trust blindly. Which most people do when they hear the words turnkey!

Walk-away tip: Out of State is hard, find a trusted team to manage it for you. Vet turnkey opportunities as hard as you would vet any investment opportunity.

Alternative Strategies

Al Williamson and Dave Van Horn

Creative Solutions PanelUnfortunately this panel did not work out the way that it was intended. I think the idea behind it was great, but the execution and the focus of the attendees distracted from the intent. Al Williamson has a ton of knowledge and ability and truly thinks outside of the box on how to increase the operating income of a property. Most of the questions and comments however were directed towards Dave Van Horn who is a note investor. Everyone was hungry for more information about Notes. Most investors don’t think about notes until they get tired of the three T’s Toilets, Tenants and Taxes!

Walk-away tip: As Landlords or Real Estate Investors, we should look for Alternative (or Diversified) Income Streams.

Entrepreneurial Insights

Brian Burke

The Big Question“Keynote Speech”. Personally this should have been the second speech in the agenda for the day. Brian Burke is a prolific speaker whom I’ve already talked to since the summit to give me some advice on one of the deals that I am working on. The guy has done so much that it’s not hard to be jealous of his success. And he is a great speaker! As a toastmaster myself, it was amazing to see the way he spoke and conveyed his message. It was great, unfortunately the speech was about mindset. After lunch, halfway through the first day my brain was accelerated and trying to reset my brain to accept mindset messages was difficult. Placed earlier in the day it would have helped to make everyone more receptive to the messages of the other panels. However Brian did an amazing job of getting the audience emotional about real estate. When I began down my path to real estate wealth, I would roll my eyes at the concept of “Mindset” speeches, having been through enough promotional ‘Guru’ speeches, but it’s so important to focus your energies every day. Brian’s speech was brilliant for doing that.

Walk-away tip: Flying Airplanes is easy, Real Estate is easy too.

Property Management

Geraldine Barry, Marcia Maynard, Mark Ainley, and Brandon Turner

Property Management PanelManaging Property is a difficult job. For aspiring Buy and Hold Investors there would have been more value if there had been a stronger differentiation between self managing and hiring property managers. As a panel discussion with a Question and Answer we weren’t able to fully explore a topic that a lot of Investors face… “Which way should I go?” When provided the opportunity to bounce thoughts and problems off of a panel of people a crowd turns to trying to answer specific, sometimes unrelateable issues that they have faced.

Walk-away tip: Property management is hard to do yourself, but maybe just as hard as with a property manager.

Flips and Builds — Where from here?

Bryan Hancock, Brian Burke, and Jeff Pollock

Fix and Flip PanelWithout getting into a lot of detail these guys laid out where a successful flipper can get to. Developing housing tracts, flipping million dollar homes, doing it day in and day out every day! One very striking moment the panel was asked, “How many house should you rehab for each you hold.” The panelist asked the audience to hold their hands up if they had rehabbed properties. And then to keep their hands up if they’d been able to execute that strategy. More than 90% of those hands went down. The point being that when you are successfully flipping houses at the right volume, you either don’t need to move into buy and hold, or you attract a different methodology to get into large buy and holds.

Walk-away tip: It’s all about your deal flow and having the marketing behind it.

Professional Panel

Bill Exter and Loren Lopin

Professional PanelComplicated Asset structures! I love this stuff! Can you ask for anything more gamey then trying to fit your peg into all these complicated little puzzle pieces that the government has hidden from you? Most of the Q&A revolved around the how to structure trusts, surprisingly. It’s not often that the talk revolves around trusts more than it does LLC types. The crowd was pretty focused on Asset protection and not tax strategies. But we all learned a lot and took note. This panel could have gone on for way longer than it did, and as the last panel of the day probably should have kept going. However we were hustled off to networking and cocktail hour.

Walk-away tip: Network more with 1031 Exchange Administrators.

Saturday Wrap-up

A standing ovation for J Martin to bring this amazing production together with only 5 or 6 months of planning. Having never attempted something like this he attracted some fantastic names in the industry, brought together people from almost every aspect of real estate investing, and spent most of the time encouraging people to get together. We can’t make money if we don’t work together. I overheard offers of partnerships, one on one mentoring sessions, networking and promises of getting together again real soon.

And then he gave us food and drink! Hurrah!

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