My guest today is Derek Marlin. He’s been on quite a few podcasts including the ELEVATE Your Flip Series talking about what he’s doing in Denver with fix and flips through his flipping business Elevation. His sister business, Elevation Apartments, buys and holds multi family legacy assets. Derek wrote a chapter for both the 2019 and 2020 Guide to Denver Real Estate Investing book.
Derek started buying rentals in 2009 and got into flipping in 2013 at night while he was working in sales and marketing for a boutique bond trading company. He looks at real estate with a trader's mentality and views buying and selling real estate as a trade. If the trade is losing money, he stays objective and exits.
His Denver-based company Elevation is a real estate investment company that offers multiple services. He works with individuals who are interested in flipping in three ways:
- 1 on 1 consulting
- Partnership flip where the individual brings him the property that he/she most likely owns
- 2 day Flipping Academy
The COVID pandemic changed the structure of the 2 day Flipping Academy to be smaller and more of a boutique class structure with only 12-15 people maximum in order to maintain physical distance in the classroom. The next one will be July 23 and 24 in Englewood. The first day and a half are spent in the classroom and the second half of the second day in the field at a job site meeting with general contractors and Elevation’s property manager. Attendees and alumni have access to Elevation wholesale deals, contractors and real estate investing insight as well. For instance, when the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020, the Elevation flipping business in Denver pivoted to investing in one bedroom one bath condos in really nice areas due to the discovery of an arbitrage opportunity. This type of insight is shared with academy participants and alumni through the Elevation network on an ongoing basis.
Derek enjoys creating systems and works diligently to continually perfect his various flipping systems and organizational flipping spreadsheets. He finds about half of his deals off market with most of them coming to him from adult children of seniors who are moving out of their family home and into assisted living. These homes usually have good bones but also deferred maintenance items and need updating.
He’s found that Elevation can manage 4-5 projects well at any given time. He started wholesaling, because he often has more than 5 deals available to him and didn’t want to hire more people to grow his flipping business.
Derek actively monitors real estate markets and trends. As a result, he started investing out-of-state in Cincinnati three years ago after researching the market for a year. At one point, he owned 115 doors but just sold off 65. The initial plan was to hold the property for 5 years, but he decided to sell it after 3 due to rent maximization on the property, excessive turnover of tenants and the availability of an interested buyer. He did a syndication deal on an apartment building that sold in February 2020.
Terrance and Derek discuss their experience and frustration with various property managers and the unique challenges that arise when investing out-of-state. When underwriting a property, it’s important to be very conservative with your estimates and have a good property manager dialed in. You should also budget in surprise visits no matter how good you think your property manager is. Unannounced visits to check on properties are key.
Connect with Derek Marlin
Connect with Derek or get more information on the next 2 day academy in Denver on June 23 and 24, 2020.
If you have a property you would like to run by Derek for a partnership flip, reach out.
Submit a Chapter for the 2021 Guide to Denver Real Estate Investing Strategies Book
To submit a chapter for consideration for the 2021 Guide to Denver Real Estate Investing Strategies book, bookmark this page.
Grab a copy of the 2020 Guide to Denver Investing Strategies book for yourself.