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Atlanta RE Mogul: Building an Empire of Multi-Unit Rentals

Atlanta has been a hotspot of real estate investment for several years. After bouncing back from the housing crash, there were many properties in need of repair and upgrades. The growing job market, flourishing city amenities, and the warm climate are all factors that attracted newcomers to the city. This combination of distressed inventory and need for housing created a huge opportunity for real estate investors.

While much of the inventory has since dried up in the post-bubble recovery years, Ayesha, an RFG borrower, has found a sweet spot in multi-unit apartment and condo buildings. Instead of starting small with a single family house flip, she decided to use her ambition and strong resourcefulness to focus on long-term wealth building through bigger properties she’d buy, renovate, and hold. Her most recent acquisition was a 12 unit apartment building in a great area of the city. Her bold decisions have created massive success.

Off to a Smart Start

While we typically recommend a more risk-averse strategy, Ayesha had all the right things in place before making the leap into multi-family real estate investing. First, Ayesha is a successful physician and planned to keep her day job. This would provide her and her family with ongoing income should anything hit a snag in her real estate dealings. Second, Ayesha saved cash and made sure her finances were stellar so that she would look good when applying for loans from private money lenders. She also planned the expansion of her real estate empire intelligently, refinancing finished projects to pull out cash that could be used to fund her next venture. She perfectly positioned herself for success before purchasing her first property.

“If I can figure out medical school, I can figure out how to be a real estate investor.”


Ayesha started real estate investing in 2016 with a quadplex in Tennessee. Ayesha’s goal for real estate was to build long term wealth that she could pass on to her children. She wanted to own income generating properties that would not be dependant on her employment as a physician.

While she started in Tennessee, she knew she wanted to make it to Atlanta, GA. To get there, she started where she was and did a great job improving the quad-plex property before renting out all 4 units. She kept the property for a year before selling it and cashing out her equity.

To ensure her success, Ayesha studied all the available materials she could find. She frequented online forums and read a lot of blogs and how-to articles. Ayesha viewed her salary as a fallback plan and she says you “can’t rush and quit your daytime job.”


Ayesha's Real Estate Investing Strategy


Ayesha knew that property values and land appreciate over time. It may take a while but real estate buy and hold it is a good, stable strategy for gaining wealth. To build her portfolio, she looks for properties where she can add significant value, to the point where she can pull money out in a refinance to use the cash to acquire other properties. As the incoming rents pay the mortgages, she uses the equity to expand her empire, supplementing with private loans where necessary.

In a smart move, Ayesha maintained her dayjob by hiring reliable team members to handle the day-to-day of real estate investing. “A good property manager is worth it,” she says. Even if it somewhat cuts into the profits, she can’t be handling calls and disruptions from her many properties while holding her job and managing her family.

Another key player on her team is her realtor and project manager. Ayesha trusts this person to find great deals, evaluate the condition of properties, and manage contractors as necessary. In fact, Ayesha bought her most recent apartment building without ever having seen it in person! Her reliable realtor helped with scouting the property, and would send videos of it’s condition to Ayesha for context.

Case Study: Ayesha's 12 Unit Opportunity

Ayesha’s current project is a 12 unit apartment building in a great area of Atlanta. The building was very interesting to her because of a low asking price, and strong ability to raise rents with some moderate upgrades. She felt like the deal was unbelievable, because the seller was very motivated, the area was very desirable, and the improvements were only cosmetic. She got a great deal for being savvy and organized!

With her realtor’s help and RFG’s funds, she was able to purchase the building and make the necessary improvements. Average rent went from $700-800 to $1500 with improvements.


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Ayesha’s REI Tips

  • "Have money ready to prove you are reliable. If you don’t have that much start with a small single family and refinance to get more cash to make you look stronger to lenders."

 

  • "It’s easier to grow a portfolio than she expected. Because she was strategic about looking for equity in the properties, it was somewhat self financing."

 

  • "Never underestimate tenants or the process of evicting them. If you are not experienced don’t take it lightly. They know the laws!"

 

  • "RFG is a great lender.. The whole process is so smooth, no complaints!"

 

 

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