The past 12 months have been both incredibly challenging as well as rewarding. As I look back on 2020, it is important to start with what my goals were to start the year.
- Listen to the podcast “#251: 2021 Real Estate Investing Goals – Terrance Doyle” on the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast
- Watch the YouTube video (at the bottom.)
- Read the blog post. Note, the blog is Terrance’s chapter from the 2021 Colorado Real Estate Investing Guide.
2020 Goals in Review
1. Acquire larger multi family properties. In 2019 our average size building was 20 units, and the average purchase price was $1.5m
In 2020 we were able to execute on purchasing larger properties. As I write this on Dec 13, 2020, to date we have closed on just over $28m in multi family assets (purchase price + construction), with an average purchase price of $5.2m. This goal was successfully achieved.
2. Streamline our bookkeeping and accounting duties, improve on our back office infrastructure
In 2020 we hired a full time CFO as well as a full time project manager that had a construction background. These two hires went along with our existing CPA, and bookkeeper that we have had since 2018. Although we did hire really good people, we are still tweaking the systems and process surrounding all of the details, and paperwork that comes along with managing hundreds of tenants as well as millions of dollars in construction related expenses. This is definitely an area of our business that will continue to be a focus in 2021.
3. Hire a full time construction manager
I started off 2020 with this being my number 1 priority, and by mid March I had found a guy that I really liked and thought would be a perfect fit. We offered him the job on March 12th, and by March 17th the world was crashing due to COVID. I had to make one of the most difficult phone calls I have ever made and let him know that we could no longer offer him the position.
As fate would have it, Zach called me the second week of April to let me know what he had just been laid off and wanted to see if we would be interested in letting him come to work for us for FREE while he was on unemployment as a trial run. Zach worked for us the first 4 weeks for basically gas money, and by the first week of May I told him that he was hired and we would work out the compensation as soon as things go back to normal.
Zach has improved our construction side of the business immensely, and I am really excited to see how we continue to improve under his leadership. Hiring Zach has been one of the best things that happened to my business in 2020. It has freed me up to focus on other higher margin aspects of the business such as raising capital, creating more content, and sourcing larger deals!
4. Film and record 20 Ride Along shows with Chris Lopez
This was one of the big marketing initiatives that I had going into 2020, and we were able to record 16 episodes of the “Real Estate Ride Along Show” on the BiggerPockets YouTube Channel. Although we did not get to 20, we were able to deepen our relationship with BiggerPockets through the show, and we have some really exciting things in the works with them for 2021.
5. Twelve Mastermind Meetups with Chris Lopez
Masterminds have always been one of those things that I was skeptical of, because I thought it was a way for people to make money off of other people that wanted to network. Chris and I share common feelings around typical paid mastermind groups, so we decided to start our own in 2020 for the two of us to meet 1x per month and brainstorm together.
Through this monthly meetup Chris and I were able to start several new marketing initiatives that I am really excited about. We ended up recording a monthly “Deal Analysis” podcast as well as doing a podcast series on the 2020 Denver Real Estate Investment Guide.
1. Raise $30m in equity for Value Add Real Estate Fund I
2020 was the first year that I raised outside capital from Limited Partnershipss to invest alongside my capital in multi family projects in Denver. We were able to raise $11.5m from outside investors. The majority of that money came from a small group of people that chose to invest in every deal that we did.
That same group of people approached me in late 2020 and communicated their desire to do larger deals as part of a fund structure that would offer them diversity and the opportunity to invest outside of just Denver which is all that I did in 2020.
My goal is to close the first fund by March 31st with a minimum of $30m of equity committed. That means investors would sign a document stating their capital commitment level, and then when we have a deal that we are going to close on, they are responsible for funding their pro rata portion of that deal based on their commitment.
2. Hire a COO to run the day to day operations of VareCo
As many of you know that have heard me speak in the past, I am a big believer in the Gary Vaynerchuk business philosophy that is “double down on your strengths, and hire people around you to do the rest.” The question I am constantly asking myself is “what is the highest and best use of my time” along with what brings me the most joy and fulfillment.
The answer is I love doing deals and creating opportunity. I also enjoy the construction aspect of executing on the business plan for each property. In addition, I get a lot of fulfillment from creating content that helps people around the country solve similar problems that I have experienced through my investing journey.
This year I want to continue to double down on my passions of doing deals, creating opportunity, and creating content. This means I need to hire someone that can run the day to day operations of the business. In 2020 I hired 5 brand new people for my company: a project manager, construction manager, CFO, property manager, and administrative assistant.
In 2021 I believe the most important hire will be a COO to manage everyone on the team and make sure everyone is executing on their piece of the business and doing it with excellence. As many of you know, the hardest part of running any business is managing people!
3. Create more content with Chris Lopez and BiggerPockets
Chris and I met in 2017, and we have grown our marketing together every year. Last year we did a real estate show on the BiggerPockets platform called “Real Estate Ride Along” where we brought on guests that were new to real estate investing and recorded the conversations and questions that they had. We would then go into the studio and do a deep dive into the numbers for both purchasing the property and then holding the property as a long term investment.
This show, although a lot of work with planning, preparing, and filming, turned out to be a great investment in our relationship with BiggerPockets. In 2020 Chris and I are planning to launch a new podcast on the BiggerPockets YouTube Channel as well as some other content. The goal is to be consistent and create GREAT content in the multi family space on YouTube.
4. Start every day with deep prayer and reading the Bible at 5 am.
In 2021 I want to go back to my childhood roots of reading scripture every single day. The past several years I have slacked off in my discipline of daily prayer and scripture reading. This year I want to be intentional about starting every day before I do anything else in prayer and reading the bible. For me, this is the best way to keep a healthy perspective between what really matters and the day to day grind of playing the high stakes game of real estate investing.
2020 was a difficult year for a lot of people. Even though there were many unforeseen challenges and fires to put out in business, 2020 was one of the best years of my life. My second child Noah was born in May, my wife and I moved into a brand new home that we recently renovated together in one of our favorite Denver neighborhoods, and my family was able to get together for the first time since my wedding in 2016 for Thanksgiving.
I have so much to be thankful for, and going over my goals from last year and writing goals for next year only deepens my sense of gratitude for what God has done in my life and the ways he continues to open doors. Thank you to everyone that has supported me on my real estate journey either through investing in one of my projects or simply watching one of the shows that Chris and I filmed and passing it along to a friend. Thank you!
Submit Your Own Chapter for the 2021 Colorado Real Estate Investing Guide
We are currently accepting submissions for the 2021 Colorado Real Estate Investing Guide, so write down your goals and share them with us.
To see what goals other real estate investors in Colorado have set for themselves for 2021, check out this blog post from Jenny Bayless, agent and investor in Colorado Springs.