The Every Day Impact of $9.2 Billion Spent on Investment Property Renovations
For the past few years, I have been on a mission to shape a narrative for real estate investors that at best, is not understood by the main stream media and at worst is completely ignored. I place a lot of the blame for the lack of coverage of this particular narrative on real estate investors and even investment companies like my families. For too long we have failed to tell the proper story early on and have focused too much on our success as investors. The story I am talking about features the one group that has felt the biggest impact from the estimated $9.2 Billion spent by real estate investors renovating their investment properties; the local, small business owners.
I noticed that many of the press releases I had put out over the past two years had focused on our numbers and the success we were having as a local real estate investing company. These were important press releases and they were certainly valid, but they also allowed for the clouding of other more important stories. Too often, the narrative around real estate investors and investing companies is one of opportunity and the success we are having because of that opportunity. Many of my companies releases focused on the rapid growth of our company and featured numbers that large corporations might be releasing such as revenues, forecasts, growth and expansion. They could have easily been interpreted by the media as releases about people making money in an economy where others are suffering. They could have written stories about greed. Very few in the media actually fault investors for participating in the market, but they also are in no rush to paint investors as a group that is helping the housing market.
Yet, when we pull the data, as a company we have spent nearly $9 million in the first nine months of 2012 with local small businesses from buying supplies to paying for labor. We have spent an additional $1 million with other small companies on the continuous upkeep required when you are managing 1400 properties worth over $130 Million! In the recent real estate investor study that was sponsored by our company with BiggerPockets.com, self-identified real estate investors answered how many dollars they spend on an average job and the survey pointed to over $9 billion in total dollars spent by investors. Some of those dollars go directly to small business owners and help them grow their businesses by purchasing new equipment and hiring new employees.
So why are we not telling the story about helping the economy? How about the story of supporting small business owners and bettering a community? Why are those stories not being told? Because, as real estate business owners and entrepreneurs, we have been too busy talking about HOW good we are doing and not enough time talking about THE good we are doing. Here are some of the stories that need to be told.
Small Business Are Great At Providing Exceptional Service
I’ll never forget meeting Danny Williams and hearing him tell me how close he had come to closing up shop. He was a one-man show with one truck and struggling to keep ahead. He was one of the hardest working people I had met and with the downturn in the economy, had considered going to work for his competition. Danny owns Victory Electric and has been in the electrical industry for over 15 years. When I met Danny, he still had one truck and was working by himself, but thrilled that he was still working.
Over the last 7 years, I have watched as Danny has grown his business from that one truck and working 12 hour days to hiring several employees and being able to have young men serve as apprentices under him to learn the trade. Danny has multiple trucks today and has been able to give back in huge ways. “I am able to not only earn a living, but I am able to help others in my community by offering them jobs and teaching them a skill.” Danny views it as his obligation to provide for his family, his church and his community and has built his business on those values. Our company is Danny’s biggest client and the hundreds of thousands of dollars we have spent on electrical upgrades on homes has enabled him to grow and give back. One of the reasons we have been able to work with Danny and his staff for so long can be found in his motto: “If you do great work, you clients will help you build your business.” I told Danny recently that his commitment to providing great service is why our commitment to him is so strong! (read more)