This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Ali Boone. Ali is the founder of Hipster Investments - a company that creates turnkey real estate investment for buyers. When I met Ali, I was really impressed with her story…she started out as an aerospace engineer and found her way into building wealth in the real estate markets.
She then took everything she learned and the connection she made it and turned it in Hipster investments where people that want to invest in real estate, but don’t want to manage properties or worry about the day to day can invest and make money, but leave the management to the pros.
Hipster is ranked as one of the top Real Estate investment websites to follow for 2018 and has been featured everywhere from FOX Business to the Motley Fool.
Ali didn’t start out on a path to investing in real estate or creating a business but found her way there and it’s the lessons she has learned that I can’t wait for her to share with you today.
Ali’s background is in Aerospace engineering and she spent over 5 years in the space as a top secret flight test engineer. She has what people perceive to be a “dream job.” She had a great salary, etc., but something was missing. When stepped foot in her cubicle each day, she knew that she was destined for something more.
From the time she was a kid, she had always wanted to be her own boss and lead her own life. She was always very independent and even during her time as an engineer, she was exploring and looking for her way out.
She looked at all kinds of mediums but found she could invest in real estate while she worked and grew it to a point where she could leave and go on her own.
Now, she lives the life she wants on her terms.
How did you know when its time to make the leap and leave your job?
• Don’t just follow your passion – some things are better left as hobbies
• Find the thing that works and organically happens
• Start building your income on the side
• Make sure that your “thing” is somewhat established
• Save money and build a nest egg if you can – but run things like you don’t have it.
• No matter what, there will be some element of missing security
How did you start into real estate?
• It was going to be either a business or real estate for Ali
• She originally decided to start a business
• She came across a webinar for real estate and attended
• This sparked things for her and she even able to network with the people who put on the webinar and still works with them today
• She followed them during the 2008 crash and started investing in “turn-key” rental properties
• She found a niche in turn key rentals
• She has found how to outsource much of the aspects of the business around managing properties
Tell us about Hipster…How do you do what you do?
• Turn keys can sound to good be true
• Ali works with “Turn key” companies that work in specific markets that have good inventory, but also support a healthy expense to rent ratio so they can truly cash flow.
• These companies go out and buy properties in bulk and get the lowest price possible.
• They do all the rehab, if needed, source and find tenants, and rent the property
• Investors can then buy the properties from companies like Hipster
• No, they are not totally “hands off.” You can still have tenants that don’t work out and have to manage your property manager around things. You still need your head attached. But as far as real estate investing goes, turn key managed property takes the bulk of the issues off your plate.
• At it’s core, Hipster is a boutique referral company for these types of investments, but holds clients hands through the whole buying process and supports them as client-owners.
At the 22 min mark, Ali talks about what makes a great real estate investment…
• It’s all about the numbers
• About 80% of properties make terrible investments
• You really have to understand where you are going to make the money
• Are you investing for cash flow or for appreciation through flipping?
• Find the thing that works best for you in your life situation.
• Make sure to understand the expenses – Mortgage, taxes, maintenance, repairs, property management. Don’t estimate – get actuals
• Make sure to get a realistic rental income number for your market and area
• Focus on positive cash flow as appreciation is not guaranteed – it’s a bonus
• Most properties don’t cash flow which is why the numbers are so important.
What are your thoughts of the current market in 2018-2019?
• We are close to peak pricing. It’s not as easy right now. You are looking for things to go on-sale and that is hard right now, but deals do still exist. •
Wherever the market is, you need to find out how to make it work
. • Right now, the markets Ali says are most appealing are Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland. A lot of Midwest.
• But, Hipster only works in growth markets. For example, Detroit is in the Midwest, but not currently a growth market in their model.
What have you learned from buying real estate that translates to business and life?
• The idea of control is tougher as an entrepreneur or property owner
• You cannot always control what is going to happen or plan for it
• You have the best you can do at what you can each day
• We don’t have control over much, except for our attitude and our effort
• Be present and ready for what comes at you
Top 3 things entrepreneurs need to succeed in today’s world?
• Open mindedness.
• You have to realize that it is a rollercoaster ride and be ok with it.
• Self-awareness. Keep learning about yourself and what is best for how you operate.
At the 45 min mark, Ali challenges Tim Ferris to a “lifestyle design” duel…
Best Quote: “Don’t’ take advice from people you wouldn’t trade shoes with…”
Ali's Misfit 3:
1. “Don’t’ take advice from people you wouldn’t trade shoes with…” find the people who are doing what you want to do and get advice from them.
2. Strive to follow what happens organically for you.
3. There are 3 currencies: Money, Time, and Sanity. Which ones are you willing to sacrifice for the others?