09 Jul Brant Phillips – Navigating The Realities of Residential Real Estate Investing
Today our guest is Brant Phillips. He’s a best-selling authority. A corporate escapee. He comes from a corporate background. He’s a real estate investor. Owner and founder of InvestHomePro, a construction company, a remodeling company.
But really what I want to talk to him about is the way that he helps, not just real estate investors, but people that are in that position, that point in their lives where they may have a job that they love. They may not want to escape, necessarily, the rat race. Maybe they enjoy what they do. But maybe they do want to escape.
But really, what it is, is that they want an alternative in investing and they see. They see it every day on infomercials, the TV and seminars, the opportunity to invest in real estate. And it can be a fairly hazardous course to navigate.
And that is what I feel really makes him an influencer is his ability and willingness to go out there and help folks navigate the terrain, when it comes to deciding on how to use real estate as an alternative investment to grow for retirement, to build a better life for themselves and their family.
Brant Phillips, welcome.
Brant: Thank you so much for having me on.
Jack: All right. So here’s what I want to know. You actually founded your construction company, your remodeling company back in 2008 – 2009?
Brant: Yeah. 2009 was our first year.
Jack: 2009. This was right on the cusp of the collapse of the mortgage industry. One of the worst times in the past probably 10 years, 20 years, even 30 years in the real estate industry, real estate market. And you had the bright idea to start a remodeling company.
Brian: Yeah, I raised a lot of eye brows when I had that idea. And in hindsight, looking back, I would like to say that I planned it all this way, but what happened was I got to committed to pursuing my entrepreneurial dreams and lifestyle dreams, that I just put together an informal business plan and just made a decision that no matter what happens, I’m going to give this a shot.
And as you mentioned, my focus on construction is in real estate investments and doing construction services for real estate investors and investment properties. So kind of the genius thing that happened, that I didn’t necessarily plan that way, was that despite the collapse, there were a lot of construction companies going under at the time and there was not a construction company that specialized in just that, helping real estate investors. At least not in our marketing, in the Houston, Texas market.
So what ended up happening, that was really, really cool, was that a lot of foreclosures started coming on to the market and a lot of real estate investors started buying properties at really discounted rates. And we kind of filled that void in, providing the renovation services on those investment properties.
So in hindsight, it worked out. I think we completed close to 80 or 90 renovations, our first year in business. And we had a project to do possibly 30 to 40. So it was a great year. I worked a lot. I can tell you that much. But in hindsight, everything worked out really, really well. I just wish I could say that I planned it to be that way. I can’t take credit for that. But everything worked out well.
Jack: Well, I’ve got to say that I think that’s what I love about your transparency is that you don’t claim to have this clever plan that. You know, 80 houses. Eighty remodeling jobs, construction jobs when construction companies were fighting and starving for work!
You managed to fill a niche, by accident or not, that was actually almost a little cottage industry that came about because of the collapse of the mortgage industry, because of the collapse of the real estate market.
And the way that you dove into this, like you said, it’s nothing unique for people to jump into business with blind enthusiasm of I’m going to do this, kind of ignoring a lot of the signs that maybe this isn’t really a good idea. But you made it work.
So obviously, going through that time and being an investor yourself, you had some insight that helped you resonate and connect with real estate investors that were taking advantage of the opportunities that were coming up, and the fact that you could speak their lingo, as far as when it comes to remodeling.
What are some of the things that you had insights to that made you particularly attractive to investors, versus all the remodelers out there struggling and starving?
Brant: Well, I think that’s one of the most enjoyable part of what I do. Because whenever I was in Corporate America, I was buying ten plus houses every year, pretty close to a house a month while I was working my full-time corporate job. And I worked long hours at that job.
And I can tell you that I lived through every contractor horror story and headache that we’ve all heard and we’ve all seen, and many of us have experienced those. I’ve experienced all of them.
And it was very contrary to what I had read in a lot of books, and even learned through some coaching clubs, was that the contractors really had the capacity to make or break your deal.
Meaning, if they turned in poor quality or if they mis-managed a job or if they picked the wrong colors, things like that. And what I saw was that a lot of real estate investors were relying on contractors for a good portion of the profitability on their job, and a lot of the aesthetics on the job, the paint colors, floor colors, all that type of thing.
So I always viewed myself, whenever I got into the construction business, that I was a real estate investor first and that was how I was making the majority of my income and what my real business passion was, if you will.