My Journey as a Beginning Commercial Real Estate Investor

Posted on January 15, 2012 by

“The journey of ten thousand miles begins with the first step” – Lao Tzu

Sophie TingSo I  took my first step to look for a commercial real estate investing which will give me the immediate cash flow, potential income and opportunity to expand. After more than one and half year I found it!

My name is Sophie Ting. I would like to share with you my journey. I started with Robert Kiyosaki’s free seminar, and then moved on to the 3-day $500 seminar. I turned down the next course, which costs $25,000.

My first venture into commercial real estate investing was student housing. I chose it because I was very familiar with it, but it did not work.  I am really glad today that it did not, because the net income has no comparison to what I am getting today.
My next venture was Mobile Home Parks. I read books, listened to CDs and visited about 30 mobile home parks.  I was on mobile home park sale websites every day.

I had also gone all the way to Dallas TX to attend an apartments short sale seminar and looked into apartments.

About a year ago The SBA allowed loans on self-storage for the first time as now they considered them to be businesses. So I started taking a course and looking into self-storage. I did a lot of mailing and talked to many owners.   
Then I discovered Atlanta REIA Have & Wants meeting. I sure wish that I knew about it right in the beginning. I came almost every Thursday and met real people doing real deals.  This is also where I met Steve  Brown. Then Steve started Cash Cows group and began teaching  commercial real estate at the Cash Cows meetings.  On the first day, he taught the class on what it takes to be in commercial real estate. He recommended the book “The Wisdom of  Wolves”. I bought the book right away and read the book religiously to even better prepare myself mentally to be a commercial real estate investor. I continued to attend every Cash Cow class. All the information and knowledge was absolutely great, and to get all that for free was like winning the lottery.

One day Steve told me about this assisted living deal.  He showed me a package on the home and the high profits it made. I visited the site, and it is really a beautiful piece of property. I was very impressed with how well the owner had maintained the property and how friendly the staff was.

At that time I made the PowerPoint presentation in which I applied the principle I learned from the Cash Cows class.   The bank was sold on my project after my presentation.

After the seller signed the purchase and sale’s agreement, I started working on the business plan by following the blueprint that Steve gave out in the Cash Cow class. With so much help from Steve and Josh (the listing broker), we finally perfected the business plan after many revisions. When I said we had a perfect business plan, I really meant it. In the last meeting I had with the banker he told me after the closing of the meeting that I should start a course teaching people how to write business plans.
We faced some bumps in the road with banks because the seller’s tax return did not agree with the P&L. Finally Josh found a bank that does not count on tax returns only. I got 20 years amortization, 10 year term at 5.75% fixed rate, which is unreal in today’s market.  

This was the best alternative in more than one and half year of searching for a commercial real estate property in terms of the location, price, income and market. Not to mention the potential income to be generated by adding 2 rooms and bringing in 4 new tenants, which will increase the value of the property by $400,000. There are two more tracts of land on which I can build more assisted living or senior day care centers, so there is an ample opportunity for expansion. It is like a gift.

Looking back on where I was, and where I wanted to go, I recognize that I have now found a lucrative opportunity. This is just the beginning of many profitable years with this property. I would like to thank Atlanta Real Estate Investors Alliance for honoring me with “The Deal of the Year” Award . This is a significant milestone of my entrepreneur Journey.


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