Hi, my name is Kevin Nelson, the purpose of this page is to explain to you the background story about how I first started in Real Estate and…
How Real Estate Changed My Life.
Thanks to the work I have put in over the years I have been able to travel the world, live within walking distance to my office in downtown, enjoy the freedom of creating my own schedule, educate and train team members, and learn from first hand experience how to build real estate businesses.
Traveling is a passion of mine and I have visited Barcelona, Stockholm, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Poland, Hawaii and throughout the US.
I attribute my ability to afford and have the schedule flexibility to take long trips to Real Estate.
It wasn’t always easy and didn’t happen overnight.
“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
How I got started in Real Estate.
My journey began in 2009 after graduating from College with what I thought were safe and secure choices as college majors. (Real Estate and Finance)
Never even considering these two industries could crash so dramatically by the time I graduated the stock market the DJIA had dropped 54% to 6,469 (before beginning to recover) from its peak of 14,164 on October 9, 2007, over a span of 17 months.
Housing prices in certain markets dropped as much as 50% from their previous highs.The News Stations were selling scary headlines creating fear and panic about avoiding these industries.
Even with all of the hysteria I persevered on to make my break into the Real Estate Industry.
My first position in real estate was as a Commercial Leasing Agent in the Retail Sector in South Florida. Newly licensed and eager to start making commissions.
This Frustrated me when I started.
I had little to no training by my broker and his expectations of me were to perform like a seasoned veteran. The main strategy to fill my vacant commercial spaces was canvassing (Door Knocking) competing shopping centers and asking businesses if they were looking to relocate or open an additional location.
At the time businesses were struggling to keep the doors open much less open another location. Not only the economy was hurting the retail industry but E-Commerce was taking market share from brick and mortar stores everyday.
The results of this strategy was a lot wasted time and gas in my car. The only positive I took from it was learning market from the ground up by pounding the pavement. Taking what I learned from this job I pivoted into a booming sector of real estate.
What Outcome was I looking for in Real Estate?
I was looking to create a successful career through Real Estate. I knew it was possible. I have seen others do it and knew I was capable, but just needed to pivot from the direction I was headed.
I took a position with a Multi-Family Real Estate Investment Trust (Camden Property Trust) The unfortunate mortgage crisis turned a lot of previous homeowners in to renters. This new supply of tenants poured into apartment communities all across the country. As vacancy rates fell rents began to rise. With my time working with Camden I learned a lot about leasing, property management, maintenance, leadership, and management. The company is consistently listed on Fortune’s Top 100 companies to work for. I even met the President of the company Keith Oden at a conference. He and Richard Campo combined their last names to come up with “Camden.” They have grown this company to almost $1 Billion in Annual Revenue since their humble beginning in Houston TX.
How did I discover the Solution I was looking for?
Before joining Camden I took a Real Estate Seminar at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fl. This seminar got me extremely interested in Real Estate Investing. In my time off from work I began to build the business and continue learning investment strategies (Reading books,online courses, webinars).
I created a website, started calling on motivated sellers, and building my cash buyers list. After posting a promotional message on Facebook I received a message from an old college friend I hadn’t spoken with in years. He was also working in Real Estate in South Florida and wanted to meet for coffee.
This meeting became the turning point in my career. My long lost friend Carl also recently left the brokerage he was working for to start a Real Estate Brokerage and Investment company with a friend of his.
How is my life different today?
Carl liked what I was doing on my own so much that he wanted me to join the team. After coming on board we ramped things up for the business. I started implementing marketing strategies I learned by reading and studying everything I could get my hands on. I started mailing postcards, then I tested letters, we tried radio, networking, and signs.
We started to see the success of our marketing efforts and started closing 2-3 investment deals per month and signing up listings as well. We were targeting motivated sellers that would be interested in selling at a discount in exchange for a quick all cash transaction. When a lead was less motivated but still interested in selling we would turn it into a listing opportunity.
The name of the game in real estate is talking to property owners and the best way to achieve that is to get your message in front of a targeted group of motivated people. Once they reach out to you just follow your scripts and sales process to service that lead. (Rinse and Repeat)
After 8-9 months of testing and successful transactions it was time to bring on agents to process the transactions my marketing machine was bringing in. This is where I discovered my talent for teaching and developed a passion for it.
We set up interviews and selected 4 potential candidates to come in for a 4 day training session where I would narrow down the candidates by the end of the week and choose 2 to join our growing team. This was the first time in my career I would have the stage so to speak to teach others what I have learned throughout my career. The interview/training process was very “Apprentice” like by having the candidates perform tasks and role plays throughout the week competing for an opportunity to work with us.
It started with teaching an overview training of the business and our strategies on qualifying the leads; then putting the lead through the sales process they were best suited for. (Investment Deal or Sales Listing) We role played the call scripts, visited properties to assess potential repairs, reviewed contracts, and by the end of the week I selected the 2 best candidates.
The new agent team thrived and increased the office’s production by 5 times the amount. After years of continued success another supplementary business was born.
A Property Management business was the next logical wing to develop. With so many people buying rental properties while the values were suppressed we saw a major opportunity to service those properties. There are 63,000 non-owner occupied single family homes (Rentals) in our market which doesn’t include all of the condos and apartment buildings for rent.
The #’s were there and although property management is less competitive than the brokerage industry we wanted a head start with the new company’s brand. After a lot of research it was decided to purchase a Renters Warehouse Property Management franchise. Technically 2 franchises were purchased to avoid another office being opened in our desired territory.
All franchise companies are different and each of them offers different options for support. They provide as much as they can but it is up to the leadership of the organization to make it successful.
A branded Website, sales material, Nationwide presence, and tech support were provided. It was up to us to hire a team to run operations and market to find leads and clients. The business model is straightforward. We offer 3rd Party property management services for a flat rate and leasing service for the industry standard 1 month of rent commission.
Naturally it was my role to hire and train agents but also to put together marketing campaigns to bring in clients. Our main source is through radio advertising. We were provided demographics from a radio advertising broker on which stations matched our ideal client. After selecting 2 stations we had Sean Hannity (Older male demographic likely to owner rentals) and a local radio legend Paul Castronova (Most popular morning show for almost a decade) record our ads and they played during their radio shows.
The radio advertising helped build the brand, we also use Direct Mail, SEO, PPC, Online directory leads, and Realtor Referral Program.
The social proof of our 5 Star Google reviews help set us apart from our competition when prospects search for property managers. Social Proof is one of the most powerful credibility builders for your business.
We have built this into a 10 team member business and it’s growing everyday.
I share my story with others with hope that they can learn from my experiences and jump start their Real Estate businesses. Business can be a scary thing.
Have you ever driven on a dark road at night and turned your headlights off momentarily to see what it looks like?
It is pitch black and you can’t see anything. It is extremely unnerving and I don’t recommend it.
The same thing can happen in your business if you don’t have a plan or blueprint for where you want to go. You could be driving your business around in the dark for years and not even realize you’re going nowhere.
No one is going to build and guide your business. You’re the only one who truly cares what happens in your business.
The best guiding light for a business is fantastic marketing.