Most real estate investors start off small by taking on one flip at a time, resulting in just a handful of projects a year. After seeing some success in their flips, many reach a point where they are ready to scale their business by taking on multiple flips at once. While this may seem intimidating to some, fear not! Managing multiple flips at once can be done with relative ease if you have the right preparation and systems in place.
The first question you may ask when considering going in on an additional flip is, “can I afford to purchase another property?” Securing funding is the first step toward tackling multiple flips. You have a couple of options if you either have some sort of private source of capital, or currently have at least 1 project in their name.
- Find an equity partner
- Seeking out an equity partner can give you the capital for either the down payment needed to secure a property via a lender, or (if you can find one) a partner who can cover the additional capital needed to purchase the property in cash. Sources for equity partners could be your friends, family, and other investors that you can meet through a variety of networking platforms (like our CAZA Investor Group Meetup) designed to bring partners together.
- If you have at least one flip that is complete and currently on the market, you can use refinancing services (like ours) to leverage your current property in order to secure funding for another deal. This is commonly called “cash-out” refinancing and is often used by investors to create a continuous stream of projects while eliminating lag time between the sales of their properties. Essentially – you get more paydays, faster.
Managing the Construction
Depending on your level of experience, and the time you can allocate to construction management, checking in on multiple properties in person will help you keep on top of things. For those who have never managed multiple projects at once – it is probably wise to delegate these day-to-day management duties to a general contractor or project manager. But before selecting a general contractor there is some significant vetting that needs to be done.
- Bandwidth for Multiple Projects
- It’s always best to know the experience level of a contracting crew before committing to one. Some crews may be great at handling single projects, but have zero experience scheduling multiple projects at once, making them a gamble. Additionally, it’s important to know the scope of their crew – can they do everything from light renovations to ground-up construction? Depending on the types of properties you are flipping, diversity of experience may or may not be important to you.
- Another great question for multi-property flippers to ask contractors is – “how many crews do you have available?” If only one crew is available to handle multiple flips, they could be spread too thin and delay your construction schedule. In this scenario, you could either hire on another general contractor, or just look for a single contractor with more than one crew.
- Licensing is important, so be sure to ask if company is licensed to work in the state(s) that your flips are located in.
- It’s always better to use a contractor who is both willing and able to sign a lien release form so that there is a written agreement in place should things go wrong down the road.
- Construction money management can be a murky area with some contractors, so be sure to know what type of system a crew uses to correctly document and allocate money, while also preventing co-mingling of funds with their other clients.
Once you have found the right contractor crew for your flips, don’t make the mistake of becoming an absentee investor. Regularly walking your flips is crucial even after hiring a general contractor in order to prevent problems and clarify any questions. We always recommend rewarding a crew when they do a good job. Something as simple as buying the crew lunch can maintain a prosperous business relationship and result in high quality of work.
If you have secured funding for your multiple flips through a lender, you may be receiving your rehab funds via a draw schedule. This means that funds are released in portions based upon the milestones that your projects reach. Having a detailed draw schedule will keep both you and your contractors on the same timetable and prevent your project from falling behind.
Never let your books get sloppy! This task becomes more difficult as you add multiple flips into the mix, but developing systems of organization and money management will help big time. At the very least you should be employing proven money management software (Quickbooks or a well constructed Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet should do the trick). If you find that your financing needs more attention than you can deliver yourself, consider hiring on a bookkeeper to keep your books clean and your sanity intact.
If you have several flips going on market at the same time, its probably in your best interest to seek out a real estate agent who has the backing of a full team to help carry the workload. Don’t get bogged down at the finish line by overloading an agent who doesn’t have the time or capacity to heavily market and show each property. Its always fair to ask, “how do you plan on marketing multiple homes at once?”
Rinse and Repeat
So your flips are on the market, ready for a buyer. What now? Refinance! Using the same method that we discussed earlier you can use cash-out refinancing to leverage these on-market properties. This will keep the cycle going and keep your invested money actively increasing your wealth.
Have any questions about finding the right contractors and agents? We have worked with tons of local professionals who we would be happy to put you in contact with. Just give us a call at 703.348.0549 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.