Investment Trail Blazing With Jamisa Bennett - How She Accidentally Succeeded in Real Estate
Jamisa bennett joins us for this week’s episode of the myndful investor podcast. At 26 years old, she owns 20 investment properties and climbing. How’d she do it? Keep reading or listening to hear her story.
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Steven Rozenber…: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of the Myndful Investor Podcast Show. I’m Steve Rozenberg and I am with my good friend and always companion guest, our host, Alex Osenenko. Alex, how are you doing buddy?
Alex Osenenko: Hey, I’m doing great. It’s going to be a great show, very excited to be with you Steve, as always. We’ve been so busy lately doing so many things that I love to just sit down, take an hour and talk real estate with some smart people. And we do have an incredible guests today. I’ve seen her other podcasts, in preparation for this show, and I think I’m becoming a fan myself.
Alex Osenenko: [inaudible] introduce Jamisa?
Steven Rozenber…: Yeah. So today on our show we have Jamisa Bennett. And this young lady is just amazing. I saw what she was doing online, I saw some of her shows and I thought, wow, this is a girl that we need to have on our show because she is definitely blazing the trail. I’d like to hear more about her story. Jamisa, without further ado, thank you for being on our show today. Appreciate it.
Jamisa Bennett: Thank you guys for having me.
Steven Rozenber…: Just so our viewers know, where do you live?
Jamisa Bennett: I now live in the outskirts of Pennsylvania, but I’m originally from Philadelphia. I lived in Philadelphia, my whole entire life.
Steven Rozenber…: Okay, so for your whole entire life. Let’s talk about that. How old are you?
Jamisa Bennett: 26.
Alex Osenenko: Is that a question you ask a lady?
Steven Rozenber…: Well, [crosstalk 00:01:53].
Alex Osenenko: I guess in this construct, yes.
Steven Rozenber…: It’s in her bio. And that’s I think is awesome because this 26 year old powerhouse, owns 19 properties [inaudible 00:02:05].
Alex Osenenko: Yeah.
Jamisa Bennett: Yes. It’s 20 now. And there’s one mortgage. One mortgage, we got a mortgage.
Steven Rozenber…: Mortgage. Okay. This is a great story, Alex. You can learn something from what she’s doing, right? Maybe some action, some positive thinking, some focus and intention. But-
Alex Osenenko: What I’m going to do, Steve, sorry to interrupt. I’m going to talk to my grandma and see if I can get a deed.
Jamisa Bennett: You should. You should hurry up and do it and if it’s too late and grandmom’s just not with it. You can go get somebody else’s grand mom’s deed. All the same thing. Doesn’t even have to be your grandmom at this point.
Steven Rozenber…: All right, so Jamisa, I’d love to hear your story. If you could just tell our viewers and listeners so that they can understand, how does this even happen? Maybe just take us back to kind of your childhood and what got you into real estate and what got you to just explode into real estate, really?
Jamisa Bennett: Okay. It was by accident. I say that all the time and people, they’re like, no way. No, but it was literally an accident. It just came from integrity. So I’ve always possessed very strong leadership skills. I’ve always been innovative. Even since like this big. What happened was one day I was 19 and my grandmom asked me if something was to happen to her, what would happen to her property? Now, she has owned that house for, I want to say maybe 20 years before I was born, so pretty much my whole life and a little bit before then. This is my dad’s mom. So when she posed the question, I actually didn’t have an answer. I’m a 19 year old kid not worrying about what’s going to happen to her or when, or not understanding the dynamics of the question. So when she said what happens to my house, I’m like, nothing, it kind of just sits here grandmom. That’s the typical 19 year old answer, at the time.
Jamisa Bennett: So she gave me a set of rules. She said, no, look, I really want you to take care of the house, look over it. You are the most responsible one in the family. Just a little bit of family background if I’m 19. And at that time she deemed me most responsible, you can imagine the type of people I’m related to. And I was like, okay, cool. No problem. So the rules were if anyone needed somewhere to live, that would be the house. I was supposed to be a landlord, they would pay me rent. She didn’t want anybody to fight over it. And it was like one more, I couldn’t really remember? Very vague. Very vague instructions. I was like, okay cool.
Jamisa Bennett: So what do we do? She had no answer so I had to figure out what that would even look like in terms of the ownership piece of it. So I asked a few questions, I Googled a few things and I came up with what was called a Dollar B Transfer. So I’ve got this from a guy who owned like a ton of real estate, and he mentioned something about transfer tax in a way to alleviate it. Well at this time I’m a cashier, so if I can avoid any tax and money that I don’t have, that was the route that I was going to take. It was like a trial and error type of thing. We ended up signing a piece of paper. We had to pay title insurance. So I think that was like $300 out of my $500 cashier’s check and we had to submit it to a title company. Literally, a random hole in the wall. I searched, “Title company near me”.
Steven Rozenber…: [inaudible]
Alex Osenenko: You millennials. You know.
Steven Rozenber…: Yeah, Google right?
Jamisa Bennett: I didn’t know. Firstly, I didn’t know what a title company was, but just given the specific instructions, I was like okay, we need to sign this and give it to a title company. Let’s find a title company. Really no brainer stuff, to be honest. It didn’t take much of a plan. It just was some following of the instruction. So I did it all in all, I want to say maybe $500, $600? I got the title insurance, we got the deed recorded. I didn’t have to pay any taxes cause she’s my grandmom, immediately. And that was that. And that was okay for a while because she lived there, in the property. Still. So I had a house but I didn’t really have a house, it was still hers and this is what I’m used to because she lived there my whole life. And a year after that, when I was 20, she died. And that’s when I kind of became a reality to me, like an actual responsibility. Cause once we signed the paper, I didn’t do anything to it. You still pay the utility. She had her own little… whatever she did with her taxes and everything. So I didn’t really have to do anything except be a co-owner on a piece of paper.
Jamisa Bennett: When she died, it became different. It became a reality check. Wait, there’s a real house and there’s real bills associated with the real house and you have a real family and you are the most rational one because now they’re all coming at me. What I had to do was literally just think fast. And in the beginning I was very timid about it. Being the youngest, just being completely uneducated about the whole process and just trying to follow some of the rules that she had given me.
Jamisa Bennett: She wanted that to be the family house. I knew that the condition of the house wasn’t ideal for me because in the beginning I wanted to actually move into it. And then I seen, the paneling and the drop ceiling and the plastic on the couches and I was like, this is ugly. I actually have to fix this. And then I realized a few things very quickly. I needed money and I needed resources. And that was two of the things that I did not have much of at the time. So I tried to pull the family together like, Hey guys, let’s come together to fix it up. That was horrible. It just didn’t work out. Almost instantly, and I want to say instantly, she died, and a week later everybody was homeless. Like everybody. Everybody needed a place to live.
Alex Osenenko: Yeah.
Jamisa Bennett: It was sick and they wanted to pay me rent. They wanted to pay me $300, which was beautiful. Considering the fact that the taxes are like four times that, what do I do with $300? It just ended up not being a good situation in the very beginning for me. So I decided to sell it. I had the neighbor that was nextdoor and he was really adamant about making sure I was okay because I’m the only one that I think he ever really saw in the family. Cause I would always come by and give him the groceries. I’m picking him up, I’m dropping him off, something like that. We were familiar with each other, at the time. And he had a really nice house. Three story, rooftop deck, really cool guy. And I think the chaos that was happening next door to his home was disturbing. And in his defense, if I paid 300 and something thousand dollars for a house, I probably won’t want to hear that either. Now that I’m in my own house, I understand the peace of mind that comes with when you make a really large purchase like that.
Jamisa Bennett: He introduced me to his realtor who helped him purchase the house and his realtor’s saying, hey listen, we’re gonna list it. We want to put this on the market. I think he said 115, if I’m not mistaken. I believe we listed it at 115 and after a week, literally a solid seven days, we were at a bidding war. In my mind, I was not understanding, first of all, why are we listing it at 115 when a [inaudible 00:08:48]on a trash hauler said I wouldn’t get any more than 60 for it? And I’m telling you those guys were aggressive. They would like me walk to the truck right now. We can sign a check, right now. And I was like, no, I don’t want a personal check cause at the cashier’s place we don’t take that. We don’t take personal checks. I knew that much.
Jamisa Bennett: But when he said 115, that was a much larger number than what I was actually expecting it to be worth. Cause at this time, again, I don’t know volumes. I’m not really understanding the dynamics of watching the community change and I don’t know comps, I don’t know any of those things.
Alex Osenenko: Now let me ask you this real quick. When you sold it, was there some kind of agreement that you would have to split this with any of the other family members or this is just your money?
Jamisa Bennett: [crosstalk] This is just all mine. Nope, it was just my house. It was just all mine.
Alex Osenenko: Okay.
Jamisa Bennett: So what ended up happening was I listed it at the 115, as he said. I know I walked away with 152.
Steven Rozenber…: Wow.
Jamisa Bennett: After taxes, I walked away with $152 000.
Steven Rozenber…: Wow. Nice. Very cool.
Jamisa Bennett: I was 21. It was great. I was like, “Yes!”.
Alex Osenenko: So most people at this point would be like, I’m rich. Let’s get into a Lexus. Let’s get a nice apartment. I quit my job and I go on vacation. Did you do all those things?
Jamisa Bennett: No, I didn’t. I didn’t do any of those things. I was afraid to do all of those things. When you come from a place of poverty, it’s something to be accredited to be people who have humble beginnings. You get this survival instinct. Some people, not all people, I can really just speak for myself at this point. You know what being broke feels like. You get it. You get a chance at a second light. Like why would you… okay buy a Lexus and then, what, run out of money? I’ve always had that inclination. What didn’t make sense, didn’t make sense to me. I was always that person. So again, when she said most responsible, I didn’t actually realize how responsible I was or how the things that I was doing was demonstrating me being responsible.
Jamisa Bennett: I remember at 18 or 19 I bust my ass to get this BMW. I had to get $5,000 as a down payment, from a buy here, pay here, mind you. Interest rates, probably 100%. It was sick. But I remember putting everything that I had down on this BMW and ultimately I lost it cause I got it from a jinky dealer that didn’t have the title. It just was a bad thing. It was just really bad. And that was my last 5,000, but I made financial mistakes before. So now once I got the money, I was like, nah, I’m kind of scorned by the whole BMW thing. Let’s just try something different. So my immediate thought was, okay, replace your income. So yes, I quit. Yes.
Alex Osenenko: So you did one of those three things. That’s good.
Jamisa Bennett: Yeah, I did one of those three things. Yes. Let’s quit. But let’s replace the income. I’ve always been one to want stability. All the time. Just things that just made sense to me. One house got me this much money, let’s go find places to buy more houses. And then I realized the pressure that was coming from everywhere. All of my family wanted money once they realized that the property was sold. I had an uncle who wanted to buy a truck but he didn’t have a driver’s license. My dad wanted $40,000. My aunt, she didn’t really put a dollar on what she wanted. Everybody just needed something at the time. And then I had the real estate agent who was like scared to death for me.
Jamisa Bennett: I’m going to be honest, he sent me down with a financial advisor, like, listen, she has a lot of money, we have to help her. And I’m like, I need help? I didn’t even know I need help. And the guy was like, listen, we should do a, what did he call it, a Roth IRA and I remember him like, you sit the money here until you’re 50 something and then you just come back later and you get it. I’m like, well what if I need it in the meantime? He was like, well, it’ll be a small fee if you ever need to borrow ahead of time, but you can put it in the college fund. He was giving me all of these, great ideas that just didn’t really sit well with me. I already went to college so I kind of got an idea that the first few years I would be doing Wasted Wednesdays and Thirsty Thursdays. [inaudible 00:12:46], the whole time. Finding myself before actually getting a hone on a career only to decide that I don’t even want to do that anymore. So now I’m not really interested in college funds, stuff like that. So I said, listen, I’m willing to take this money. I respectfully decline and I’m just going to go buy more houses. And that was really the beginning of my journey.
Jamisa Bennett: I just liked the way one house got me that much money. I need to buy more. Then the real estate agent was like, okay, I have another guy for you to meet. I’m like, Oh my God, not somebody else to sit at a table that wants this money. But this guy was an investor. He was really, really cool but all about seven minutes into the conversation when he realized, cause his first question was how old was I? And I think that that’s something I have to get used to. Cause no, you’re not supposed to ask women how old they are, but you don’t actually look like a woman, first. So as a teenager, I’m scrolling up to this table and I’m like, I want to buy houses right now. I’m a cash buyer. I’m not even knowing what that means as I’m saying it. But I’m like, yeah. He said I was, I’m a cash buyer. He was like, if you don’t mind me asking, where’d you get this money? So I’m like explaining the situation and he was like, you sold it? You actually sold a property in point breeze. I was like, yeah. But 152? You know you could have sold it for 350?
Steven Rozenber…: Renovate it, right?
Jamisa Bennett: Renovate it. He didn’t give me all of the dynamics of what should happen. But You should have sold it for 350. That’s what he said. So I was like, well, where’s the rest of the money? Well, what did I get wrong? So he goes into a whole other world of like hard money lending and just the equity in a property. How much equity was in it? So I’m like, what? He’s like, how much equity? That’s the value of the property. What was this? Well, what was her mortgage? I’m like, Oh no, there was no mortgage. So he’s like banging his head on the table at this point. And I’m like, did I do something wrong? And I feel like at that point, that’s when I realized it is silly how much I didn’t know about real estate. How much I didn’t know. I felt like I did a really good thing by selling it. And I beat myself up about it a few days after our meeting. I was like, Oh man, I did [crosstalk 00:14:48].
Alex Osenenko: Jamisa, we arrive at a point where some of our listeners, right now, are on the edge of their chairs. So you now have little bit of a cash to go out and invest. Once you met with that investor and you realized you made a mistake, now you have the money. Real estate seems to be the place to start investing and growing your wealth. But you know, nothing. What’s the first step, Jamisa?
Jamisa Bennett: He actually had properties. Because I’d made it a point to mention that I wanted to buy properties. So just being really intentional about knowing what I wanted. I knew that I needed to replace my income cause at this point I hadn’t purchased anything. I hadn’t spent any of the money. He had maybe five houses. I only purchased two of them. One of them I got for 6,500, from him. He had purchased it for 2,500 though, which was my first aha moment. I got that one property from him for 6,500. It was horrible. I call it the tree house, to this day. Cause when I first got it, it was like a tree inside of it, like [inaudible 00:15:57], it was really bad. So I called it the tree house, but then he also had another property that had a tenant there. She was already paying $1,000 a month. He had had a mortgage on it that was like $300. So what he did… it ended up being like-
Alex Osenenko: $300 a month, Jamisa?
Jamisa Bennett: $300 a month. Yes.
Alex Osenenko: Okay, go it.
Jamisa Bennett: It ended up being a subject two deal. What I know now as subject two, but at the time I didn’t know. The tenant stayed in place, the mortgage stayed in place. I just inherited everything. Now this is what we would call a subject two, at that time I had no idea. I just was like, okay, if I do it that way, I end up coming out of pocket less money at the time cause at this point I’m just spending cash. So that was that. When I realized, when we got into the paperwork with the $6,500 property though, I found out he purchased it for 25 from an auction. Cause obviously you’re curious. Well, 65 is not a lot of money considering, but how do you get it for the 25? He had mentioned auction to me. So that was like mental note, you should visit an auction. I didn’t really pry too much into what he did and how he did it, but I made a mental note. $2,500 properties at an auction place. Let’s go to that auction place. So that was that. They were my first two properties. Then, I ended up going-
Alex Osenenko: Jamisa, I’m sorry, the second one was how much? You assume the $300 a month mortgage and a tenant with a $1000 rent, but how much was the purchase price?
Jamisa Bennett: All of it together. I ended up giving him 24,000 but he had a 30… all the guys I would have been like 52,000 so I assumed about 30 something in debt at that time.
Alex Osenenko: Okay. Would you do this deal again? Now, knowing what you know now?
Jamisa Bennett: Yeah, I did it again. I did it a little better. But [inaudible]
Steven Rozenber…: With the tree house, did you put a tenant in there? Did you have to take the tree out or what did you, or did you flip? [crosstalk]
Jamisa Bennett: So that property ended up sitting for two years before I even touched it. Because at that point it was really frightening. Just seeing something in that type of condition. That was kind of like a piggy bank. It’s like you put your money to the side, while you get a vacant property permit. That’s what the city requires. It was already like [inaudible 00:18:14], so to speak, cause they had a new roof on it, which was good and it was already boarded up. It’s not bothering me. I won’t bother it, pretty much. I made my mind up that I wasn’t ready to do a full rehab, even though that was his advice.
Jamisa Bennett: Going in, he said, Hey, you can purchase this, you could do a full rehab to it and then you can pull the equity out. So at that point he was pitching the BRRRR method to me. But again, I was kind of not comfortable with just exploring different avenues at that time. And I didn’t have any credit. So this is the thing, a lot of the things he mentioned, as an investor. I’m novice. He’s telling me about hard money loans and equity and stuff like that. I didn’t realize what was needed and what wasn’t needed, but I know that you needed credit. I didn’t have any credit.[crosstalk 00:18:59]
Steven Rozenber…: Let me ask you this, Jamisa, and I think this is important for our listeners to take away from this is when you were doing this, you did not have a strategy, right?
Jamisa Bennett: No.
Steven Rozenber…: You were just taking action.
Jamisa Bennett: Yes.
Steven Rozenber…: So my question is, because a lot of people that I talk to, they want to build out a strategy, first. Which, you should.
Jamisa Bennett: Right.
Steven Rozenber…: I think that’s very, very important. But in your opinion, do you think action beats strategy, in certain instances?
Jamisa Bennett: Yeah, I think it trumps strategy all the time because you have to keep in mind, if you’re building from the ground level, the best thing to do is to build. From the ground level. Sometimes people get really vested in creating a strategy and they start to discount the process. Or they’ll take away from the actionable steps because they’re like, I’m going to do this, that, and the third first. That’s the whole climb.. that’s the upper.
Jamisa Bennett: So just imagine if I held on to grandmom’s house and my strategy was fixing my credit, hard money loan, get the deposit, which I think would have been like 10% down, on the hard money. You have to have some type of skin in the game. If I would’ve went that route, in the interim, life is still happening. So then do I lose her house to taxes in the meantime? Cause I don’t have any money. You know what I’m saying? Sometimes the best thing to do is to start exactly where you are. But that all depends on the type of person that you are too. Everybody’s not starting from the same place. But I do feel like the best thing to do is to start. If I had to do it again I would probably do it the same way. Minus a few things.
Steven Rozenber…: And so from your bio and seeing what you’re doing, you coach people and you help people.
Jamisa Bennett: Yes.
Steven Rozenber…: Is that kind of what you… I’m sure you have a plan now that you help them with but is the mode to basically get people to take action and not let fear stop them? Or why… cause I’m sure you get many people, especially you’re dealing with young people, they’ve got every reason in the world why they can’t or shouldn’t do something. You’re kind of the example that says, you can. And you didn’t have a plan. You just started taking action and it’s working out for you.
Jamisa Bennett: I want to say 50/50. The majority of my clients are actually not young. They’re a little bit older, meaning they’re complacent too. When you’ve lived your life a certain way for a very long time, it’s kind of hard to see anything outside of that. So now it’s not just about taking blind action, it’s about kind of coinciding the two. Taking actionable steps from where you are. So definitely creating a strategy, but just getting people to realize that there is a strategy that exists from where you are. Some people don’t think. They think right now I’m at the very bottom, I have nothing. There’s nothing I can do. There’s always something that you can do. So it was kind of both of them together.
Alex Osenenko: How would you… Steve, sorry, this is interesting. How would you recommend someone get started if they really don’t have that initial pool of cash they can deploy, right away? What would be your choices now? How would you recommend somebody to do this?
Jamisa Bennett: I’m very upfront and honest. You either need money or you need an immense amount of time. You will never get something for nothing. If you’re somebody who has no money, I’m broke, I have no credit. You have to wholesale. Real estate, it’s not really complex. It’s very strategic when you think about it. You have houses, doors, numbers. But you have to have one or the two or resources which ends up being time cause you have to spend time making resources.
Jamisa Bennett: I say wholsale, I say go to auctions. There are auctions where you do not need a pool of money. At all, literally. There’s the Philadelphia auction in which the minimum deposit on a property is $600 or 10%. It ends up being whichever is highest. So when I got that $1,700 property, I put down $600. You then have 30 days to come up with the remaining balance. In my case it was 1700, I put down 600. I would’ve had 30 days to come up with 1100 additional dollars. Obviously due to the circumstances, I had the 1100, but I also still had 30 days to sell that property. So it’s kind of like whole selling. I feel like it’s less invasive. You don’t have to knock on the door like, “hi, are you selling?”. The inventory in there. Cause they’re auctioning it off. But I just feel like $600 is something everybody, even if you’re like at your lowest, you can save $600 or you can find people who have money and get at least $600, $1,000. That’s still 10%. That gives you buying power up to 10,000 so at that point, you at least now are creating an opportunity for yourself.
Jamisa Bennett: But I do feel like it’s one or the other. It’s always time or money. So when I say, do you want to invest in real estate with no money, I’m like what you about to tell these people to do. I never tell them that. I’m always really honest about what it’s going to take. At the time, I had money and time, so I was really, really lucky and I spent a lot of my time learning how to use my money.
Alex Osenenko: Yeah. Sorry. I have to try to understand this because I’m in San Francisco Bay area. The $6,000 is a monthly mortgage, Jamisa. It’s not like a house price. I’m sitting here fascinated. You get a house for 6,000, let’s talk through it a little bit. It’s probably not in a A-type of neighborhood, right?
Jamisa Bennett: Yeah.
Alex Osenenko: We would assume like C neighborhood. What would it cost to renovate and then rent it out? What would rent be there for that particular type of property?
Jamisa Bennett: That would depend on a few things if you actually wanted to fix it and rent it. I actually have people from California who come to Philadelphia for our numbers.
Alex Osenenko: Yeah. Cause we don’t want to hear, it’s crazy.
Jamisa Bennett: What you pay for the flight and a hotel is actually more than what you might pay on the house. It’s so funny. So obviously you get a really high return on properties that are in the urban areas. I’m just going to be honest. I think people who are in a lower financial caliber don’t realize how much money they actually do have. It takes so much money to be broke. It actually cost more to be broke than it does to have money. If you are fixing the house and that’s an if, because the strategy that I just mentioned did not require me fixing the house. I sold it as is. I’m purchasing it for one amount, selling it for more than I purchased it for, for profit, prior to renovating. I’m not renovating it, I’m just keeping my numbers cost effective for the end buyer. So the person who gets it after me, from me, will fix it up. And obviously you do the 70% of the after repair value type of thing, but if you get a property at $6,000, you can assume you are way below the market value of that property.
Jamisa Bennett: Now if you’re fixing it up, for example, tree house, even with the tree in it, I got three or four quotes from contractors. The highest came in at 56,000 and that included removal of the tree. 56,000. That was the highest. The one that fell under that was still in the 50s one was like 54,000. I want to say between 54 and 56. That’s what all of the quotes came in as so I’m going to say safe to say I’ll max out and say 56. During the time of me just holding it, it appreciated.
Jamisa Bennett: The property up the street sold for 125,000, and it was actually smaller than mines. So mine’s zoned as a duplex. I could have made it a duplex and zoned it as a multifamily. So that’s whether I made it a duplex or triplex. That’s optional for me. But the house up the street was not zoned as the multiunit and it was two bedrooms and that sold for 125. If you’re speaking in terms of comps, obviously mine’s is bigger, it’s going to be worth more. So if you just think about it and that term it’s like double the equity, pretty much. Even if I went in all cash. Which would makes sense? I just felt like it’s not enough to borrow, for me.
Steven Rozenber…: Right. So just so that we can walk through the numbers. Let’s say you’re at a $6,500 house and you’re at 56 in repairs, so you’re going to be at roughly 60, 61 ,62,000 and you’re saying the ARV is going to be about 120, right? After repair value of the property.
Jamisa Bennett: [inaudible]
Steven Rozenber…: So you’re in about a 50% equity position in the property?
Jamisa Bennett: Yeah.
Steven Rozenber…: Okay. Just so people understand what taxes and insurance in your area, what would be the… if you got a loan on it, let’s say you got a loan, and maybe you’ve got a hard money loan. You just like our buddy, Darryl ,Alex, you know, you get a hard money loan, you do the repairs, you do a refile on it, you pull your money back out. So now you’re nothing into the property. You’re into it, it’s worth 120. You’re into it for 60, so you’re still good on that. You can even take more out if you want. What does it rent for?
Jamisa Bennett: So at that point, in the area, if I’m doing multi-units, cause now you’re asking two different questions, but I can do each floor like 875, each. If I’m doing a whole thing, I’m between 12 and 1500 a month. Like if I just wanted to rent the house as a whole house, 12 to 15 a month. Easily.
Steven Rozenber…: Now in that, in that scenario, the duplex, are these normally single meter where you have to do all bills paid or are these split out the meters, split out the [crosstalk]
Jamisa Bennett: You can do [crosstalk] meters. If you’re doing something that’s zoned, you want to do separate meters, for each unit, of course. But then in a situation… we have row homes, I mean Philadelphia’s filled with row homes, some of them are single families. In situations like that… also water bill too. A water bill is a utility to some people, but it’s a tax, really when you think about it. The water bill does not follow the tenant. It stays with the house. So somebody like me, I’m going to say water is included and then I’ll charge you per usage because it just makes sense. Your water bill is not going to exceed a certain number anyway. Most water bills are between like $40, $50 a month. I would do that. The electric bill, obviously the tenant pays that because the electric goes directly into their name so that’s something that would be on top of the actual rent. So that’s not inclusive. And then everything else, you pay. Like you said, the insurance and it just depends on if you are in a very beginning cause you get good deals when you do homeowners insurance in bulk. You can imagine once you get-
Steven Rozenber…: [inaudible]
Jamisa Bennett: a certain amount of profit. Yeah. Like, hey listen, I have 10 properties, insure them all. Obviously you’ll get a better rate. And then the taxes, on this specific property that I’m talking about, is $150 a year.
Steven Rozenber…: A year?
Jamisa Bennett: A year. This is a lot of… the highest I paid on property taxes is in South Philly. Right now it’s 862 a year, I believe for this specific property.
Alex Osenenko: Wow.
Jamisa Bennett: But our property taxes are not really high at all.
Steven Rozenber…: Alex, what are your property taxes in San Francisco?
Alex Osenenko: It’s more than 862 a month. I promise you.
Jamisa Bennett: Is it double or is it triple? Look, I have a friend who lives in California. It’s a little scary. Even where I live now though, and I only live about two hours outside of Philadelphia, our taxes they’re like 16,000 a year? The house is huge. I live in a gated community, little stuff like that, but I’m like wow. In the hood? And properties I own that are smaller… like the house that I’m in now is probably equivalent to the size of four row homes. I have more equity in those row homes than I do in my own residence.
Steven Rozenber…: Wow.
Jamisa Bennett: It’s crazy.
Alex Osenenko: Jamisa, here’s a question. Let’s say a California investor or any kind of investor in Philadelphia, doesn’t matter, with some money listening to this podcast, like, “Man, this is a gold mine. I got to get in touch with Jamisa. We got to get this going”. What are some of the pitfalls? What’s some of the mistakes? What’s some of the risks? Some of the things where people can trip up? [crosstalk] with strategy?
Jamisa Bennett: As a beginner, I think the biggest mistake that I see on this is people just being greedy. Really not taking their time. Just don’t be greedy. Start with one at a time so that you can kind of master that process. Another one is people become a really analytical about it. Overthink it, just get one house and kind of figure it out. No two deals are the same. I don’t care if they’re on the same block, side-by-side to each other. No two deals are going to be exactly the same. So you’ll get a person who tries to master a specific situation instead of just working through it as they go along.
Jamisa Bennett: Numberwise, I see people do repairs that just are not accommodating to what they’re trying to accomplish. If you’re renting a property, you should do rehab that’s efficient to a rental. No marble floors, especially not heated. Please don’t put elevators inside of it. Just going over the top with materials and rehab. You cannot put the same materials in a rehab that you will put into a flip. Obviously you’re doing two different things there. So I see people do that as well. Getting too attached, I call it. You’re not going to live here, why are you doing this? No, but I want it to be this way. No, [crosstalk 00:31:48].
Alex Osenenko: So don’t get emotionally attached to the architecture and the way it looks like hey, do a remodel because I don’t live there.
Jamisa Bennett: [crosstalk] you spending so much more money. You don’t have to do that. Also, with the quick flips too, I’ve seen this, so many times. You go in, you put the 600 down, you’ve got 30 days to either come up with the rest or sell it. Some people have never owned anything in their life. When you get this receipt, they give you like temporary ownership. And they’re like, “Now it’s really mine. I’ll just come up with the rest of the money”, and at 30 days, no, you’re going to forfeit. I can’t count them out. I can’t outright say, “You’re not going to come up with the rest of the money”, but in my mind, just sell the first walk for profit and reinvest. But they get attached again like, “I have to keep it”. You can’t afford to keep it. Just sell it and start fresh. That’s the thing. And that is not hypocritical at all. I sold my grandmom’s house and I could’ve held onto it, “this is my grandmom’s, this is all we had”. That’s probably all we would have had, ever. But I was able to sell it, not be emotionally attached and just move on from it. And then also, taking a road less traveled. I think a lot of things pertaining to success, is cliche, I’m going to be honest with you. You hear it all the time. And you’re like that [crosstalk 00:32:57].
Alex Osenenko: Tell me more. I’m interested. What does that mean?
Jamisa Bennett: Okay, taking a road less traveled, people was like, “yeah do the right thing, blah blah blah”. No, I’m serious. When you are making really, really important decisions, you cannot expect everybody’s support. Do not try to sell houses to your family. If they were interested in purchasing property, they would be doing it way before you started selling it. But then you get discouraged cause I’m trying to sell a house to my aunt and she doesn’t want to buy from me. So I’m sad. They used to be the people who supported you your whole life. Move on. Meet strangers. Somebody will support what you’re doing and eventually you’re out with double back. Once she sees how great everything is going. I think people are not willing to take the journey alone. They just need a bunch of approval and pats on the back and head nods.
Jamisa Bennett: I’m going to be honest, it doesn’t come with it. Not in the beginning anyway. And even when it does, like toward the middle and the end it’s not really always genuine. So you still have to be really mindful of that. But that thing, also like manifesting stuff. That’s pretty cliche. People’s like you can do anything you want to do. [inaudible] People think that’s fake. No, that’s a real thing. Even as a cashier, I knew that I was destined to be something different and I’m not going to sit here and tell you like I knew I would be this, real estate was on the cards.
Jamisa Bennett: I don’t think anybody outright knows what they’re going to do and how it’s going to play out. But if you stay true to who you are, like not settling. I knew, I’m telling you, when I went to work as a cashier, in my mind, I would say somebody’s going to get in my line and they’re going to fall in love with my personality and take me to their company. In my mind I was going to get saved, in some shape or form. But that was just me knowing that there was more out there, more to be had. And I didn’t know exactly how it was going to pan out, but I was expecting more. So inevitably I got more. That’s a real thing. It’s not like a meditation, I’m going to picture $1 million and it’s going to fall on my lap. We can’t really expect that to happen, but as long as we’re expecting something, we’re more aware when looking for it.
Alex Osenenko: Profound. So, that’s really interesting. I watched the last podcast… the podcast episode I watched, what was the show called? It was a better than success and-
Jamisa Bennett: Nicole. Hi Nicole.
Alex Osenenko: Yeah, so that was January 2018. You had nine properties. So we’re sitting here January 2020, that’s two years. You have 20 properties.
Jamisa Bennett: 20.
Alex Osenenko: What’s next? You’ve achieved a level of success, obviously. I mean, I don’t know obviously, but are you sort of covering right now, you’re living comfortably? Do you have enough money to live, but also continue to invest?
Jamisa Bennett: Yup, I can do both and I have knowledge. That’s the thing. Sometimes the best currency is resources. Tell me, who you are as rich as your friends. I’m going to be honest.
Alex Osenenko: Hey, Steve.
Steven Rozenber…: Yeah, there you go.
Jamisa Bennett: Hey, Steve! No, seriously though, because it’s not what you know it’s who you know. Another cliche thing and it’s not always somebody that will pass you a check. But they might give you a resource or they might give you an opportunity to then make more money. So right now I cannot do anything for the rest of my life. No, not the rest of my life, but just for a few years. I wouldn’t do that. I think that sucks. It’s pretty boring, but I can definitely reinvest and now I can reinvest in more things.
Jamisa Bennett: So now my interest is in multi-units, solely, because you’re able to maximize earning potential while minimizing liability. When I do these interviews, that sounds great. 26, oh my gosh, 20 properties. Listen, that’s 20 different things that can go wrong in 20 different places. Yes, that’s insane, but if you can condense it, there’s still, some liability attached, but just not as much. And just changing a world one place at a time.
Jamisa Bennett: I literally have clients in Texas, New Orleans, Detroit, just random places. Places that you would never think of. And it’s like, wow, my word is really getting there. But I really want to just touch people who have these opportunities that they can’t really can’t realize their opportunities, cause it doesn’t say “opportunity” on it, with a stamp. Most people are looking for that. And that’s not a thing. But if you have a grandmom, maybe you can get above the [inaudible 00:37:06]? Maybe you can start working on your credit before she dies and leaves you the property. So now maybe you can do the hard money loan and pull the equity out, or just different things. Just taking exactly what I did and just doing it better. If I can teach somebody the mistakes that I made just so that they can maximize an opportunity or create one, for themselves, then I feel like my job is really done.
Steven Rozenber…: So let me ask you this, Jamisa, I’ve got a question. You’ve got 20 properties and I know from owning a lot of single family, like you said, it can be a time drain, a time suck.
Jamisa Bennett: Yeah.
Steven Rozenber…: And you have a child and you’re married. So how do you… how much-
Jamisa Bennett: I [inaudible] have three.
Steven Rozenber…: Three? Oh wow. Okay. You need to update your bio by the way. How do you balance the work life and for the listeners, how many hours would you say you spend, a week, on your real estate? Just say rentals, not the coaching. Just the rentals. If I were to own 20 [inaudible] family homes, how much time would it take for me to handle those? And then, how do you balance the work life, family, business?
Jamisa Bennett: Right now, I’ll be honest, less than two hours a week, if at all. How you go in, is usually how you come out. Don’t put a tenant in a place that’s going to require them to call you 50,000 times. Just don’t do it.
Steven Rozenber…: I remember that, Ill tell you what.
Jamisa Bennett: Some people are rushing and they like, “Oh, I can make some money”. The thing is if it was leaking and squeaking when you put them there, it was leaking and squeaking the whole time. They’re going to call. I make sure that if I’m putting you in a place, it’s very rare that something will go wrong unless it does. My lease is literally like 13 pages. Every other page pretty much says, “Do not call”. Every other page, is like take this out the rent, show me the receipt, fix this, this is how you do it. Stuff like that. This has the maintenance guy if something is to happen. If something big happens, obviously you get the call and then you have to solve it. You figure it out. But in the very beginning, it’s not much that you going… do it right. And then [crosstalk]
Steven Rozenber…: I completely agree. I’ve learned my lessons over and over and it all starts and ends by putting the right or wrong resident in your property and that’s kind of where [inaudible 00:39:16].
Jamisa Bennett: That’s correct. But you get that early on too. I think some people are just following, check their credit score and check their house and I heard something like look at their car and I’m like, who told you? First of all, you have to get a feel for the person. I think credit is really good, but then again you could be spending all your money paying your credit card bills and not have any money to actually pay your rent. So I can’t solely go based off your credit scores. To some people that shows your responsibility, to other people your credit score can be… you could be an authorized user of somebody else’s credit card. How do I know that this is your credit? It becomes really a thing. I feel like you pick the right person by learning about that person. Obviously if you say, Hey, I’m going to do a walk through of your house, they’re going to clean up.
Steven Rozenber…: [inaudible]
Jamisa Bennett: Just little stuff like that. But finding the right person, actually having a very transparent conversation with them, knowing that we all are human. I’m not going to expect a perfect angel tenant, but just knowing look, this is what I expect. These are my rules, this is how I go about stuff and then making that mutual agreement. If you can do this, then you can live here. You’ll be okay. But it’s not really much of a balance. I’m going to be honest for the parents or the moms who are listening. I don’t know about balance, I’m going to be honest. I do both. It’s time that I take my kid to the property. That’s just what it boils down to. It’s not like mommy time and then work time. You see I would just run a rampant trying to find a charger cause I had an interview prior to that, but right before it was lunchtime I had to feed the kids. That was the thing. [inaudible] bouncing back and forth. So to those people, don’t try to find a perfect balance or you will be stuck wherever you are, forever. Take the kid with you. They need to learn something anyway.
Alex Osenenko: I like that.
Jamisa Bennett: You don’t want to end up in an old folks home.
Steven Rozenber…: Yeah, I’m with you.
Jamisa Bennett: Teach them what it is that they need to know so that when it’s time for them to handle business, they can do it. I think there’s so many things we leave kids out of. That was the problem with my grandmom and I don’t think that it was much more that she knew that she could have taught me, but I don’t feel like that was an excuse. She should’ve learned something to teach my dad so that my dad could teach me. Maybe I would have known about credit. So I just feel like… try make it inclusive, take some of that pressure off yourself, feeling like everything has to be perfect. It’ll never be perfect.
Steven Rozenber…: Yeah. Jamisa, I wish we had more time to pick your brain. I’d love to hear how you’re doing in the future cause it’s definitely, it’s exciting. Congratulations on what you’re doing.
Jamisa Bennett: Thank you.
Steven Rozenber…: Let me ask you this, just as a final wrap. If you had to nail it down to one sentence that you would give people advice, what would that be to people listening that you would like to pass on? That maybe you wish you knew?
Jamisa Bennett: Everything that you need to take you to the next level is already inside of you. You possess it. And even if it’s… it could be the very thing that you’re overlooking. Or out of everything you’re not paying attention to. Maybe you’re really good with words or maybe you’re really good at facilitating or, it’s always something, but there’s always somebody that needs that specific thing that you have. It’s like we’re all puzzle pieces out here, in the world, and all we have to do is match our piece with a piece that’s missing. What we had.
Steven Rozenber…: Awesome. That sounded good, huh?
Alex Osenenko: Well said, Jamisa. We’re going to follow your journey and hopefully have you on the podcast maybe, in a year and six months or when you do something significant, just give us an email or call. It’s really been great getting to know you. Part of this passion for the podcast is to deliver, the education out there, but also meet people like you. It’s been a pleasure and very educational for me. I’m just beginning my journey.
Jamisa Bennett: Are you coming over? Are you going to fly in? I’m expecting you. I’m expecting you to come on over.
Alex Osenenko: I can fly and then waste, the same amount of money that would cost me the house. So I going to have to walk or something?
Jamisa Bennett: This is the thing. However you got to get here, get here. If you start walking now you’ll make it by the next day.
Steven Rozenber…: A journey starts with one step, Alex.
Alex Osenenko: [crosstalk]
Jamisa Bennett: Listen, a small step forward is still a step forward.
Alex Osenenko: Yeah, that’s right.
Jamisa Bennett: And then flip a house and then reinvest the money to get you back home.
Alex Osenenko: Well Jamisa, we’ll be in touch. How’s that?
Jamisa Bennett: That’s perfect.
Alex Osenenko: Yeah. And it’s just been very exciting. You’re an inspiration. And I think this has been a great episode and as I said, it’s an honor to meet you and all the best to you. You know, stay focused.
Jamisa Bennett: Thank you guys.
Alex Osenenko: Stay brave.
Jamisa Bennett: I was a pleasure speaking to the both of you guys.
Steven Rozenber…: [crosstalk] For those of you that want to join our Facebook group, you can go to the Mastermind Real Estate Investment Club. So the Mastermind Real Estate Investment Club. Tons of investors on there. People from bigger pockets, from mind, all the people, just talking and engaging, having conversations. It’s great. And also, you can go to our website, Mynd.co if you’d like to talk to about property management services or just find out some of our educational topics. We’ve got a lot of videos, a lot of education. Our main focus is being the thought leader in education and that’s how we do it. And luckily Mynd is giving us the ability to have these shows, reach out to people like Jamisa and other people and have them on and just get the word out there that it doesn’t matter where you are, what your price point is, what your financial situation is, you can do it. It’s just up to you and you make that decision every day when you wake up, what you’re going to do with your time.
Jamisa Bennett: Yes.
Steven Rozenber…: So again, from Alex myself and Jamisa, thanks for watching. Go to iTunes, subscribe, like, share. Do all that stuff. Make sure you find Jamisa we’ll have all of her information in the links down below. So you can get ahold of her and talk to her. What she’s doing. And everybody, thank you for watching. We’ll see you guys later. Bye.
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