For almost a decade, Sacramento has topped the national market in year-to-year rent growth. With the right knowledge and decisions, this can translate to serious money for real estate investors. Our guest today is Scott Raymond—founder of Raymond Property Management, now part of Mynd. Scott is here to share his top five ways investors have found success, especially in such a competitive rental market.

Alex Osenenko: Boys and girls, today we’re talking about investing in Sacramento and how to be successful in doing so. My name is Alex. I’m with Mynd Property Management and my guest today is Scott Raymond. Scott, how are you?

Scott Raymond: I’m doing great, Alex. Thanks.

Alex Osenenko: Guys, it’s a treat to have Scott on this cast. With over a decade of experience, he’s a very successful investor in Sacramento and, I should mention, the author of an upcoming book. We’ll tease that out. Look him up later when he’s done with his writing—that should be a Bible for real estate investors. He is a founder of Raymond Property Management, which is now part of Mynd; so, very exciting. Today’s topic, we’re going to cover five reasons why investors are successful in Sacramento. Scott, what are your top five?

Scott Raymond: Alex, yeah, great topic. So my top five starts with number one: they understand the market. And what I mean by that is, they understand the price of purchasing a property—a condo, a single family or an apartment building—relative to the rents they can receive on that building. This basically keeps them from overpaying for a property where the rents don’t generate a sufficient return. Say, for example, you bought a condo in Midtown for $400,000, you put 20% down and your mortgage rate was 5%. And let’s say you were expecting a 5% return on your investment. The condo would have to generate approximately $3,500 in rent per month assuming expenses—typical expenses of, say, 40% on top of your mortgage. Now, if you didn’t understand the market and you bought that condo without understanding rents—you only ended up getting $2,500, for example, for that same condo—you’re going to end up paying out of pocket each month. Your return is going to be negative and you’re going to be feeding the property. So, understanding the price of rental units that you’re purchasing relative to the rent you can get from them is critical.

Number two is to keep expenses low. The big killer of return for investors is really the cost to fix things that inevitably break, or updating things that are past their useful life like roofs, appliances and water heaters. And then also the cost of getting the unit ready for the next tenant after the prior tenant moves out.

Number three: they keep the properties full. I can’t stress this enough. One of the costliest and most damaging aspects to an investor’s return is a vacant property that’s sitting there waiting to either be re-rented or fixed up. So, for every day or week or month that a property sits vacant, think about it; that’s lost income—income that can’t be used to pay the mortgage or taxes or ongoing expenses.

Alex Osenenko: And it’s lost forever, right? You’re never going to recover that.

Scott Raymond: You can’t get it back. So many owners we run into find themselves with extended vacancy for a variety of reasons, including that they don’t have a reliable maintenance person or contractor to help them get the unit ready. And so, weeks and weeks go by while they’re waiting for a painter to get out there and paint the property. Or they don’t have effective marketing tools to reach the broadest market for prospective tenants. Or the price of the unit too high because they don’t understand the market and tenants aren’t responding to it. Or they tried to show the units themselves because they don’t have a property manager and they keep missing showing appointment opportunities with prospective tenants because their schedule just doesn’t match up.

Number four, they keep up with rising rental rates under the lease renewals and new leases. Sacramento has averaged 5-8% year over year rent growth for the past eight years. This is phenomenal growth and (Sacramento) has led the nation in rent growth. And so, if investors aren’t on top of it, they find themselves well below the market. So really keeping up with rising rental rates.

And then, frankly, if they hire a professional property manager versus self-managing. Unless they’re a full-time investor—which I happened to be when I was investing in Sacramento—with the time to essentially look after the property on a day to day basis and show vacant units—if they don’t have the time to do that, they really should consider hiring a professional property manager and just factor in the cost—the very reasonable cost of what a management company costs relative to the overall investment expenses.

Alex Osenenko: Yeah. Very good. There are your top five reasons. And if you have any questions, go on mynd.co. We have a number of casts, these sort of short investor education episodes with Scott. Check them out. Scott, thank you very much for your time.

Scott Raymond: Thanks Alex.

Alex Osenenko: And thank you for watching.

Every dollar counts, especially when entering Sacramento’s increasingly competitive rental market. Having the right knowledge and making the right decisions is essential to saving money and getting a return on your investment. Whether it’s choosing the right property to buy or setting rental rates, successful investors secure their investments by knowing the right decisions to make.

For many, this means turning to an expert with an understanding of—and experience in—such a competitive market. By applying their expertise, property managers can help investors keep expenses low and properties full, giving them the knowledge and infrastructure to save money and make a profit.