29 May 2023

In this week’s episode, Patrick Donley (@jpatrickdonley) sits down with Ashley Kehr to chat about her new book, “Real Estate Rookie: 90 Days to Your First Investment.” They discuss how her life has changed since becoming host of the BiggerPockets Rookie podcast and becoming a published author, how to select the right strategy for your investment goals, how to structure your real estate business, how to finance your first deals, and so much more!

Ashley Kehr is the host of the BiggerPockets Rookie Podcast and Author of “Real Estate Rookie: 90 Days to Your First Investment.” At 26 years old, Ashley Kehr was deep in debt and working at a career she no longer loved. Now, less than a decade later, she manages a portfolio of more than 30 properties with complete financial freedom.



  • How Ashley’s life has changed since becoming a podcast host and published author.
  • Why she’s inspired by rookie real estate investors.
  • What her writing process for the book was like.
  • The importance of SMART goals and figuring out your “why?”.
  • How to select the right strategy for you.
  • Why you should build wealth and cash flow before pursuing passion projects.
  • The importance of time blocking.
  • How to find an accountability partner.
  • Why house hacking is one of the best strategies to get started in real estate.
  • How to structure your real estate business.
  • What productivity tools she recommends.
  • What new investors can offer to experienced partners.
  • How to finance your first deals.
  • How to do market research and source deals.
  • What are the metrics to look at to determine whether or not to make an offer?
  • How to make offers that are likely to be accepted.
  • How to keep your motivation and momentum up.
  • And much, much more!


Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

[00:00:02] Ashley Kehr: That’s what fuels me. That’s what lights my fire, is those types of people, and I love that The Rookie Podcast is all new real estate investors that are coming on because you talk to somebody who’s been investing for 20 years, they don’t have that spark in that fire under them, like somebody who’s just starting out.

[00:00:22] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. In this week’s episode, I got to sit down with Ashley Kehr to chat about her new book, real Estate Rookie, 90 Days To Your First Investment. We discuss how our life has changed since becoming host of the Bigger Pockets Rookie podcast and becoming a published author, how to select the right strategy for your investment goals, how to structure your real estate business, how to finance and Find your first deals, and so much more from the book.

[00:00:46] Patrick Donley: Ashley is a host of the Bigger Pockets rookie podcast, an author of the book I just mentioned, real Estate, rookie, 90 Days to Your First Investment. At 26 years old, Ashley was deep in debt in working at a job she no longer loved, and now less than a decade later, she manages a portfolio of more than 30 properties with complete financial freedom.

[00:01:05] Patrick Donley: This was Ashley’s fourth appearance on the podcast, and each time she brings a wealth of knowledge and insight on how to be a better real estate investor. This is the perfect episode to absorb and check out if you’re just getting started doing your first few real estate deals. And so without further delay, let’s jump into this week’s episode with Ashley Kehr.

[00:01:28] Intro: You are listening to Real Estate 101 by the Investors Podcast Network, where your hosts Robert Leonard and Patrick Donley, interview successful investors from various real estate investing niches to help educate you on your real estate investing journey.

[00:01:51] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. Welcome to the Real Estate 101 Podcast. I’m your host today, Patrick Donley, and with me today is a really special guest I’m excited to have on the show, Ashley Kehr. Ashley, welcome to the show. 

[00:02:01] Ashley Kehr: Thank you so much for having me, Patrick. I’m excited to be on. 

[00:02:05] Patrick Donley: I’m really happy to have you on this.

[00:02:07] Patrick Donley: As we mentioned kind of before we started talking, it’s the fourth time that you’ve appeared on the Real Estate 101 Show, which is an all-time record for guest appearances. The first three were with my co-host Robert Leonard, and I really love those interviews that the two of you did together. I listened to all of them before, you know, in preparation for this, so I’m excited to get the chance to talk with you.

[00:02:26] Patrick Donley: We’re gonna touch a little bit on your adventures in real estate, but mostly I wanted to focus on discussing your book, which I’ve spent the weekend reading, which is called The Real Estate Rookie, 90 Days to Your First Real Estate Investment. I wanted to talk a little bit first before we dive into the book, about how life has changed for you since becoming a host at Bigger Pockets, The Real Estate Rookie Podcast, and then now becoming a published author.

[00:02:50] Ashley Kehr: The change all started with Instagram really was, I didn’t even have a personal account for a long time on any social media and it was great. I loved it. And then I wanted to really start sharing about what I was doing with real estate. And so I started an Instagram account that just showed what I was doing, the rehabs, the property is I was buying, how I was renting them out, things like that.

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[00:03:14] Ashley Kehr: And I was also paying down debt at the time. I had found Bigger Pockets around that time and started listening to the podcast, and this was in like 2017, and I just wanted to be on the podcast so bad. So that was my goal of Instagram, was to get in Brandon’s attention and get onto the podcast. So I would tag him at everything, get, you know, sometimes he would share my story.

[00:03:38] Ashley Kehr: And eventually I got reached out by the producer to schedule an interview. And shortly after that interview, they asked me to come on and apply for, they were starting a new podcast, so they had asked for people to submit applications. So I went on and I submitted an application and they teamed me up with my first co-host, Felipe.

[00:04:00] Ashley Kehr: And we went through a series of interviews and then we were selected to become the new podcast host. After that, it was just like a whirlwind of what was happening in my life. Things were changing. I was going to events, conferences, I was asked to speak at things. My social media following even tripled at that point right away.

[00:04:20] Ashley Kehr: And then now with writing the book, it’s definitely given me a lot of exposure to network and connect with people. It’s amazing how people look at your Instagram following and they think, oh, she must be credible. She is a follower. Like that is such the wrong way for people to look at things. But that is so true in society today.

[00:04:41] Ashley Kehr: You have a lot of followers. You’re deemed more credible than somebody who has very little followers. And being on the podcast, going to events for Bigger Pockets, things like that, helped me meet people and helped me grow that social media following. And so it’s just, it’s really been life changing for sure, all, everything that has happened with Bigger Pockets.

[00:05:02] Ashley Kehr: But I would say the biggest advantage is meeting everybody. I’ve met so many wonderful, experienced investors, and also so many rookie new investors are people that want to get started and there is no one more inspiring or motivating than somebody who wants to get that first deal and is, you know, ready to take action and that like, That’s what fuels me.

[00:05:27] Ashley Kehr: That’s what lights my fire, are those types of people. And I love that. The Rookie podcast is all new real estate investors that are coming on because you talk to somebody who’s been investing for 20 years, they don’t have that spark in that fire lid under them, like somebody who’s just starting out. 

[00:05:44] Patrick Donley: I wanted to ask if you have found that your credibility has increased even more so now that you have the book I know that I have a tendency to put writers on a pedestal.

[00:05:52] Patrick Donley: So has the, has writing the book even enhanced the credibility? Have you found that? 

[00:05:57] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, I think so. I actually went and read the reviews the other day that I have come out and it just like made my heart burst. But I think there’s a big difference between, a lot of people are more visual learners. Like there’s somebody who can listen to somebody talk and comprehend it.

[00:06:13] Ashley Kehr: But also I think there’s a lot of people that just talk talk. So what I did in the book is I did a lot of bios, I did a lot of visuals. I did a lot of like, here’s are the steps you can take and you can go back and read through them. I think that did give some more credibility as to like, here’s the plan.

[00:06:29] Ashley Kehr: It’s all packaged together for you, it’s $20. You don’t have to pay $20,000 or so course. But yeah, I definitely think that it has. 

[00:06:38] Patrick Donley: It’s a great book and we’re gonna dive into it. Thank you. I really wish something like that had existed when I got started. I mentioned to you prior to recording here that I got started at around 2014 in earnest in real estate.

[00:06:50] Patrick Donley: You know, listening to Bigger Pockets and at the time, having something like this as a blueprint would’ve saved me time and energy and money and all kinds of things. So I’m glad that it exists now. And to your point about talking to rookie real estate investors, I completely agree. It’s like there’s nothing more motivating and it gets your own energy going, talking to them because like you can see their excitement and it kind of fuels your own excitement to just speak to them and share what you know.

[00:07:14] Patrick Donley: And it’s really a great thing and you get to do it all the time with your podcast, the Real Estate Rookie, which is really cool. But I wanted to hear first about just how the idea for the book came about and hadn’t you ever, had you always dreamt about being a writer? 

[00:07:28] Ashley Kehr: Well, I definitely did not think that I would ever write a book, never writing a non-fiction book for sure.

[00:07:34] Ashley Kehr: It started when I actually became the host of Bigger Pockets. As you know, they. Start telling you like reasons why you should accept the position of being the host. You know, you get book opportunities and speaking events, all these different things that came along. And so it was my first co-host and I were gonna write a book and then, you know, that kind of fizzled out and then he ended up leaving the show.

[00:07:57] Ashley Kehr: Then Bigger Pockets Me again, like, you know, we’d love for you to write a book. What ideas do you have? So the best thing I could think of was taking, I actually teach a boot camp course through Bigger Pockets where it’s basically the same thing as the book. But we go through modules, almost like the chapters, and then there’s a live Q&A session with me.

[00:08:18] Ashley Kehr: With that, I just kind of wrote that and I took it and I just like detailed it even more, as much as I could write out. As, you know, I had went through all of my, by that time I think I had maybe done that boot camp course maybe three or four times already. So like going through every YouTube video and being like, okay, I want to make sure that I’m getting every detail that I’ve ever said about this and I’m not leaving anything out.

[00:08:39] Ashley Kehr: That I think was, it was definitely a grueling process for me writing this book. It took me a year and a half. Never thought that I would actually write a book, but I got it done and I’m very excited as to how it came up. 

[00:08:52] Patrick Donley: It’s really well done and I encourage all our listeners to buy it, read it, implement it.

[00:08:57] Patrick Donley: I talked to you earlier that my co-host Robert, also wrote a book called The Everything Guide to House Hacking, and he also said it was a r a pretty grueling process. I think he wrote for. I want tosay like four hours a day just focused on this thing and pounded it out in a pretty short time. 

[00:09:13] Ashley Kehr: He and I started, got our book deals at the same time.

[00:09:16] Ashley Kehr: Oh you did? He finished way before me. Yeah. Yeah. I remember his yeah, his, he was way more I guess a lot more endurance as to sitting down for those four hours a day and doing it. 

[00:09:28] Patrick Donley: Yeah. He’s a super efficient worker. I know like he can pound out a lot of work. So I read at the beginning though, I wanted to know, there’s a simple dedication that reads for Mr.

[00:09:38] Patrick Donley: Emerling and I wanted to know who Mr. Emerling is. 

[00:09:41] Ashley Kehr: So in the book, it was into a little bit of detail about him. He is the first investor that I’ve worked for. So after I quit my accounting job, he was the father of my childhood friends. So they were my, our neighbors growing up. They lived a couple houses down the street and I went on family vacations with them.

[00:09:58] Ashley Kehr: I’d go to their lake house. I did a ton with family growing up. And it is the father of the family that I ended up working for and being a property manager for, he just like really helped change my life and the trajectory of it. So I’m always so appreciative of him and I learned so many lessons through working for him that it’s probably, I know I’ve made him money, but I probably cost him money too, trying to navigate and learn investing and property management.

[00:10:24] Ashley Kehr: So yeah, that’s who the dedication is. And as we were growing up, I always called him Mr. And so even to this day, it’s still really hard for me to call him by his first name cause I was so used to, so that’s why I put it in the book that way. 

[00:10:39] Patrick Donley: And then his son is also Mr. Emerling, and he was who you did your first deal with, is that correct?

[00:10:44] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. Yeah. So he was my first ever partner. Still one of my partners now. You know, I joke that they’ll never know which one it actually is. Right. They’re both technically Mr. Emerling. 

[00:10:53] Patrick Donley: That’s cool. I told you I had a chance just to kind of spend the weekend reading it and reviewing it and as I mentioned, I really wish something like this had existed when I was first getting started.

[00:11:03] Patrick Donley: I mean, it’s really a perfect blueprint really from start to finish on how to buy an investment property in 90 days. And so I want to do a couple things during the interview here. First I want to just kind of go chapter by chapter and talk about the high level concepts because you’ve done a really great job just synthesizing just the information that someone new is going to need to take and the steps they’re gonna need to make to buy that first rental.

[00:11:25] Patrick Donley: And we’re gonna go kind of step by step in what you recommend. I think you and I both just really want people to take action on what we’re discussing today. In the first chapter, you talked about the importance of setting goals and having a clear destination. I wanted to dive into that and kind of talk about some of the things that you recommend in terms of figuring out what you want, how to set goals, how to achieve them.

[00:11:46] Patrick Donley: And you touched on some really important topics like the idea of smart goals, having an intention journal, time blocking, and then accountability partners. Walk us through some of those that I’ve mentioned, some of those that are important to you and why you recommend them to somebody that’s just starting out.

[00:12:02] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, I think the biggest reason when you’re first starting with this is to why you want to do this. What part of your life are you looking to change that you want toget into real estate investing? And there has to be some reason. It’s not just for nothing. You woke up and you want to do this. It’s because maybe you want to build wealth, you need some kind of retirement, you want toget out of your W2 job.

[00:12:24] Ashley Kehr: Or maybe it just because it looks really fun and you need a hobby, whatever that is, you have to know why you’re getting into this and what you’re doing it for, because that is going to play into the strategy that you choose. And I think a lot of people, they have their W2 job, they hate it, and they want toget into something that is more of their passion that really fulfills them.

[00:12:44] Ashley Kehr: But if your goal is to build wealth and you really want to, you know, build up some cash flow, whatever that is, that strategy that you choose, the passion one, may not be the right one for you. I think really look at what opportunities do you have in front of you when selecting a strategy. For me, I worked for an investor that did long-term buy and holds.

[00:13:07] Ashley Kehr: I knew the market because I was his property manager in that market. I had an advantage because I already knew a market. I knew how to price an apartment. I knew what people wanted in that area for an apartment. I knew what housing prices were in that area. That is a big advantage than me going outstate into a different market and starting.

[00:13:27] Ashley Kehr: You could have the advantage that you have a cousin that is a real estate agent in a market and works directly with investors like you have leg up. Then somebody else coming into that market, brand new. If you have somebody who owns a staging company or maybe a furniture company and that’s a good friend, and then willing to give you a good discount, maybe you have a leg up then on flipping or even furnishing short-term rentals.

[00:13:48] Ashley Kehr: Think about what kind of opportunities and connections you have around you and use those as kind of a starting point as a strategy. If your strategy is to build wealth. Start building wealth by doing a strategy that’s going to give you the best return. Then you can go ahead and pivot after you’ve built that strong foundation.

[00:14:09] Ashley Kehr: So long-term buy and holds, they’re boring. I could buy a duplex in my town, in my sleep, rent it, you know, rehab it, whatever. It’s boring. But that is what has like helped me get to where I am today. So now I can pivot. I can go out, I can buy land with cabins. The last cabin I did, we went $40,000 over budget.

[00:14:31] Ashley Kehr: If that was my first deal, that would’ve crippled me. Crippled me. It would’ve been awful. But I have no experience in that. That was my first one doing it. So I think really look at what’s gonna help you build wealth or reach you to where you want to be first and find a strategy that compliments that. Then once you build that strong foundation, you can go ahead and pivot and try out something that maybe it fulfills your passion a little bit more.

[00:14:57] Ashley Kehr: And I think there’s that little misconception there that I’m getting out of my W2 because I hate it. I want to do something I’m more passionate about. Trust me, you will be passionate about whatever that board real estate strategy is, because it’s more fun than your W2 working for yourself. 

[00:15:13] Patrick Donley: So you talked about finding your why.

[00:15:15] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear what your why is. I thought this was really interesting in the book. 

[00:15:19] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. So my why is to live spontaneously and I think. You know, you first may think like, oh, so you can wake up and just, oh, decide you’re gonna go on vacation one day. And yeah, that’s part of it. But I think a large part of that is also waking up and being like, you know what?

[00:15:36] Ashley Kehr: I want tolearn this today, or I want tostart a new business today. So having that flexibility to be able to rearrange your schedule. I still really love to have a schedule. I love to know what’s coming up. I don’t like to, you know, find out day of I have to do something, but I like the ability to have a schedule that’s pretty flexible, that I can change it if need be, so that I can live a spontaneous life.

[00:16:01] Ashley Kehr: So like doing things with my boys, just randomly one year, a year and a half ago, me and my son just decided one day we booked a flight to Florida and we went to Florida for two nights and it was just something really cool like that. But that is my why to live spontaneously and also to be able to sleep at night too.

[00:16:19] Patrick Donley: I wanted to touch on something that you mentioned about, I think there’s a lot of people that recommend, and you hear it all the time, like follow your passion, you know, follow your bliss. Are you saying I, I kind of wanted to make sure I understand. Are you saying that may not be the best advice? Like maybe do something boring, get your cash flow in order, and then you have the time to figure out your passions?

[00:16:43] Ashley Kehr: 100%. I think that people should go after building that strong foundation as to what’s gonna give them the best return over their passion first, because you may not even know what your passion is until you have that financial freedom to really explore and discover. And you may look at flipping and be like, I would love to make $50,000 flipping one house.

[00:17:04] Ashley Kehr: Like that seems like the best way to go. But flipping is an active job that is more active than you know, having a rental property. So you have to really kind of analyze what your role and responsibilities are going to be too. And you may not even like what’s involved, like wholesaling. That’s a great way to get started with no money to get into real estate.

[00:17:26] Ashley Kehr: It is a lot of work. It is a lot of door knocking and it’s a lot of direct mail. It’s a lot of phone calls, it’s a lot of people telling you no, you knows the door to your face. So it may not be for you if you don’t even like to call the doctor’s office to make your own doctor’s appointments. Okay. So there’s a lot to look at when kind of picking out your strategy and I think it plays a really big role into how successful you do become.

[00:17:51] Patrick Donley: So in that first chapter, you had a couple of things that I liked reading about, which was, one was time blocking and one was just the importance of having an accountability partner. Explain to us what time blocking is, and then I want to follow that up with about how to find an accountability partner that has your values and goals that you can bounce ideas off of each other and keep each other focused.

[00:18:12] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, so time blocking was presented to me by Steve Rosenberg. He was one of my first real estate mentors, my coach, and he would have me write down my schedule and what I was doing. So I would have to write down like from 9:00 AM to nine 30, I went to the post office or whatever I did the whole day, and I’d have to take a picture of it and text it to him.

[00:18:34] Ashley Kehr: If I didn’t text him, he would text me at nine and be like, Hey, I didn’t get your time study, either send it to me or Don’t ever talk to me again. I always said it to him for two weeks and then we kind of went through it and even before the two weeks are up, I started to realize, How, you know, there was time wasted, there was things that were doing, were not to my benefit, but there was also things that were really helping my business that I should be focusing on more.

[00:18:59] Patrick Donley: And then how do you recommend finding an accountability partner? How does somebody that’s just getting started go about finding somebody that’s, you know, in the same boat or maybe not even in the same boat, somebody that maybe is further along the path. What do you recommend in terms of an accountability partner?

[00:19:14] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, definitely going online. When I first started investing, I had my first business partner, but he was completely passive. He had no interest in it. So for me, the best thing was on Instagram, connecting with people through social media. Join the real estate rookie Facebook group. I also, the first like little mastermind I was in was just from one girl messaging, like 10 people that talked about real estate on their social media and said, Hey, every six weeks you guys want to get together for a mastermind and we’ll just talk about, you know, whatever we want and just try and help each other any way we can.

[00:19:50] Patrick Donley: I want totouch you, you talked a little bit about strategies, but talk to us about some of the main strategies that do exist for a first time investor and do you have any that you favor that you think make the most sense for somebody just getting started? 

[00:20:03] Ashley Kehr: 100%. They should read Robert’s book on the house hacking strategy.

[00:20:07] Ashley Kehr: I think house hacking is the most efficient and effective way to get started in real estate. If you have that capability of doing that is to living in a property and renting out the other units or renting out the other rooms. I think that’s a great way. I had already built my house by the time I even learned about house hacking, and there’s no way someone was coming in to live in one of the rooms at enough point.

[00:20:33] Ashley Kehr: But so I did it vicariously through my sister. We actually purchased a duplex together, her first house, and she lived in the upper unit and then rents out the lower unit. 

[00:20:43] Patrick Donley: Robert’s book is excellent and it is a great guide as well for how to get started in house hacking. I did an interview with a gentleman on Twitter called, his name is Donovan Adesoro, really young guy, started with a house hack and he really wanted to buy another duplex.

[00:20:59] Patrick Donley: He bought a duplex, rented out half, lived in the other half, even rented out some of the rooms in his half. So he was real, I, he had, you know, no, no mortgage cost. He was actually making money on the whole thing and he ended up wanting to buy another duplex. There was nothing in his city, which was Houston.

[00:21:15] Patrick Donley: He ended up buying empty lots in building a bunch of duplexes throughout Houston. He’s really like taken off and done, you know, really great. And the whole reason he was able to do it was that, that first house hack. So without that, you know, I don’t know that he would’ve been able to pursue actually developing duplexes.

[00:21:33] Patrick Donley: So it’s definitely a great strategy. I wanted to talk about the importance of building a business actually around your chosen strategy. I think this is an area that really trips up a lot of people. What are some of the biggest considerations you think people need to take into account when they structure their real estate business?

[00:21:51] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, so the first thing is how are you going to handle the books? How are you gonna keep track of your income and expenses? That is the biggest thing because no accountant or you want to end up with a shoebox full of receipts at the end of the year and then having to go through them all. So whether that’s an Excel spreadsheet, Stessa, S T E S A is a great software if you’re doing either short-term rentals or, but primarily long-term rentals to keep track of your accounting.

[00:22:24] Ashley Kehr: It’s very specific to real estate investors. Or if you’re using QuickBooks and then some property management software even has a accounting integrated into it. But I think figuring that out and sticking to that process, getting yourself a little scanner, scanning in your receipts, keeping it into, you know, cloud like Google Drive or iCloud, whatever that may be.

[00:22:46] Ashley Kehr: So that would be the first step, is know how you’re going to keep track of those income and expenses. And then setting up a separate bank account, even if the property is in your personal name. I still recommend setting up a separate bank account that’s in your personal name for the rented to be deposited, for checks to be written out of, to keep that separate.

[00:23:07] Ashley Kehr: So if there is any discrepancies, you can see right where it is. You don’t have to legally, if you own it in your name, keep it separate, but especially if you’re going to transfer into an LLC later, things like that, it just keeps it a lot simpler and it’s free to open a new checking account and a lot of times the bank will even give you something for free for opening the checking account.

[00:23:28] Ashley Kehr: So it’ll make your accounting a lot easier by just having those transactions all in one bank account. So the next thing would be is if you plan on growing and scaling, is finding a CPA and an attorney who are real estate specific or who specialize in that when you’re interviewing a cpa, is if they say that they’re skilled or specialized in a ton of different things that they can do whatever you need, they’re probably not right for you.

[00:23:57] Ashley Kehr: You want one that sticks to maybe a couple categories, and that’s where they are an expert on, because there is no way someone could be an expert on 50 different industries. So unless maybe they work for a big accounting firm where they have the different departments that specialize on things, but try and find yourself a CPA and then also an attorney.

[00:24:17] Ashley Kehr: And you’re going to want to, especially after you get your first couple properties, is get them on a call together and set up your actual entity structure. But those are probably the big three things that I would recommend when starting out is to building a business. And then actually, a fourth thing I would say is documentation, like maintaining documentation.

[00:24:37] Ashley Kehr: So keeping track of all your LC documents, any of your mortgage documents, and having some kind of filing system. Keeping your property taxes, because if you go and get a loan, especially on the residential side, if you have all that documentation already together, it’s gonna be so much easier for getting that those refinances done.

[00:24:59] Patrick Donley: I know you’re kind of a productivity person. Do you have any productivity tools that personally I love getting things done. The David Allen program, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that, but do you have any ideas on how to just stay organized and keep the documentation in order? 

[00:25:14] Ashley Kehr: Yes. We use

[00:25:17] Ashley Kehr: It’s kind of like a project management board. So that’s how I communicate basically with my assistant is everything is through there so it can be tracked. So if there is a task that I need to be completed, I can forward the email right to her Monday board and she’ll get an alert that there is a new assignment and then she can update me as to the progress on it and then let me know if it’s finished.

[00:25:41] Ashley Kehr: So instead of me texting her, emailing her, Hey, what’s the status of this? Or did you finish this? I can just go into the Monday board and look. So it’s a great tool for that as to kind of working with others on a project managing that part. And then also I have somebody who’s building me out right now.

[00:25:58] Ashley Kehr: A new rehab template. We had this one that we kind of put together ourselves, and then we hired a consulting firm to kind of take it far and above what, you know, our computer skills are capable of, right? To actually manage rehabs and track all of that in there. for project management and then for property management.

[00:26:17] Ashley Kehr: We’re currently using AppFolio and I love them. They’re more expensive than most other property management software, and there’s definitely cheaper options out there, but I do that. P Folio is, has all the bells and whistles, things you definitely don’t need, but things that make your life a lot easier. So a lot of automation that way.

[00:26:38] Ashley Kehr: And then for the short term rentals, we use remote lock to set up heat codes for everyone before they check in. And then we use Hostfully to kind of manage our channels. And yeah, so that’s kind of the big software that we use right now. And then we use Google Drive just for storage of all of our documents and everything like that, and have a good little organization system in there.

[00:27:02] Patrick Donley: I wanted to talk a little bit more, you talked about banking, you mentioned LLCs. Do you think someone needs to have a background in accounting? I know you have a background in accounting. Is that something you would recommend that they learn basic accounting skills. And then I also want to hear your thoughts on using an LC from that very first deal.

[00:27:18] Patrick Donley: Is that something people also need to do? 

[00:27:20] Ashley Kehr: So, as far as the bookkeeping and knowing accounting, I think the bookkeeping is one of the easiest things to outsource for someone. You can go on Upwork or Fiber and. You can hire someone in the Philippines for $6 an hour to do your bookkeeping that has experience doing it for real estate investors.

[00:27:40] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. So if you start doing syndication deals, things like that, you may need to expand and you know, pay a large company to actually oversee your bookkeeping. It’s starting out. It’s something very easy to outsource. So I don’t think that you need to take an accountant class or have a ton of knowledge on it.

[00:27:56] Ashley Kehr: I think that you should be able to read financial statements. So I do kind of go over some of the financial statements in the book that you should be able to read, like a balance sheet and a profit and loss, because you still want to be able to understand the health of your company and where it’s at. But if somebody is listening to this and they’re in high school and your high school offers an accounting class, 100% take it.

[00:28:19] Ashley Kehr: Or if you’re in college or you’re going to college and you already know you want to be a real estate investor, Take an accounting class, take marketing classes, take business classes that are going to help you with real estate. And I definitely think accounting is definitely an advantage that most, if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, it’s going to help you no matter what industry it really is.

[00:28:40] Patrick Donley: Yeah, absolutely. And then what are the thoughts on the LLC structure? 

[00:28:44] Ashley Kehr: Yes. For an LC, if you are doing it with a partner 100%, I suggest that you do an LC with a partner or a joint venture agreement, but I do not recommend that you go and put it in both of your personal names starting out or ever even.

[00:29:02] Ashley Kehr: And then if you are doing it yourself, the property, and you want to go and get a 30 year fixed rate, lower interest rate mortgage, it’s going to be beneficial to keep that property in your personal name. 

[00:29:17] Patrick Donley: Let’s go into partnerships a little bit. Chapter four is about partnerships, and you talk about how there are four items that someone is gonna need when they get started in real estate.

[00:29:25] Patrick Donley: One is time, money, experience, and then security. And then generally starting out. Most people don’t have all four of those, and this is where the importance of partnerships come into play. You talk about five things that someone new can offer to a potential partner. Can you go into some of those five items?

[00:29:42] Ashley Kehr: Me, first, starting out I was afraid. I had fear. I needed that security blanket of a partner, so I took on a partner that had extra cash, that had a lot of savings. I also didn’t have a ton of money, so I took on that partner to bring the capital to the deal. And my benefit was that I had experience, I had knowledge, I had done a ton of research, and I was also working as a property manager.

[00:30:06] Ashley Kehr: I also had the time, which my partner didn’t have the time. So those were kind of the big elements that kind of, I say the pieces of the puzzle that put our puzzle together to make our partnership work so well. 

[00:30:19] Patrick Donley: How would you say to somebody that’s just getting started, how do they find a partner that aligns with their goals and their values that can be a tough thing to do?

[00:30:26] Patrick Donley: Do you have any tips on that? 

[00:30:28] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. I would start talking to anyone and everyone you know about real estate. I wouldn’t ask them if they want to partner with you. I would go up and ask if they know of anyone that’s interested in real estate investing, and it kind of takes the pressure. But also, you know, gives them the opportunity to say, actually I would, I have all this money that I want to get into a deal, I just don’t know how.

[00:30:53] Ashley Kehr: And I think that’s a great way. And then just connecting. I’ve had people in my boot camp communities that have partnered together just from meeting in the community of the boot camp, people in the real estate, rookie Facebook group on the Bigger Pockets forum. There’s definitely a vetting process you have to go through.

[00:31:10] Ashley Kehr: You definitely don’t want tojust partner with anyone, but I think a great way to do that first partnership, especially if you’re meeting online and matching online, is to do a joint venture agreement first. And it kind of, you know, takes away some of the liability of being stuck together as partners. And then LLC. 

[00:31:27] Patrick Donley: Do you recommend partnering for that first deal or do you think it’s too risky to go out on your own and start it off without any partners?

[00:31:35] Ashley Kehr: I think if you can start without a partner, it’s, you have everything you need, then yes, definitely. Go ahead go out on your own. I think it would’ve been a lot longer before I actually started. So if there’s something you’re missing and you don’t have that, go and find a partner to at least take action and get that first deal done.

[00:31:54] Ashley Kehr: Just because you take on that first partner doesn’t mean that they’re your partner forever. And make that clear too. Make that established like, we’re partnering on this one deal. You know, the next deal, let’s talk about it. Let’s see what happens. But this isn’t guaranteeing that I’m gonna be your partner forever.

[00:32:09] Ashley Kehr: You’re not getting married to the person. So for me, I partnered maybe four deals, I think with my first partner, and then I took on another partner for a deal because he had a different skillset than what my first partner did and something that I needed in this deal. And then I started buying some properties on my own.

[00:32:26] Ashley Kehr: And you’re able to, you know, have multiple different partners and all start building your own little portfolio too. That’s a great thing about real estate is that it gives you lots of options. 

[00:32:38] Patrick Donley: You had a really good money saving tip on how to use a lawyer and do the partnership agreement. Can you talk about that a little bit about what you’ve done to save money on the fees from a lawyer?

[00:32:49] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. I usually ask my attorney for the draft that she uses to basically fill in the blank of doing any kind of documents. So for example, operating agreement, a partnership agreement. I have her draft of that and I go in and I fill in the LLC name and I fill in mine and my partner’s name. I fill in what percentage we are addresses, different things like that.

[00:33:13] Ashley Kehr: You know, if there’s something different about this partnership as far as rules or responsibilities. I go in and change that and then I send it to her to look it over and she’s like, yep, good. Or maybe you should word this differently or change that and then sends it back to me. This saves time and money and legal fees because first of all, I’m not sending it to her typing out everything I want in it anyways.

[00:33:36] Ashley Kehr: And then her going through and then me waiting for her to, you know, have time to actually do it and then send it back since she’s not taking a lot of time. Except just like glancing through it, making sure everything’s correct and looks good. It’s a lot cheaper. And I’m pretty sure some of the time she doesn’t even bill me for doing that either.

[00:33:55] Patrick Donley: And if she does, it’s two or 300 bucks. It’s not the end of the world. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s get into financing. So obviously the financing’s a key part of investing and it’s another area that can trip people up and be a little confusing. What are some common financing strategies that you like for somebody new?

[00:34:10] Patrick Donley: Aside from partnership partnering with somebody, are there any things that you really like that you would recommend that people focus on in terms of financing a deal? 

[00:34:19] Ashley Kehr: The biggest thing I think is an advantage is doing seller financing to finance a deal. When I first got started, I had no idea what this was.

[00:34:28] Ashley Kehr: Until I was working with the other investor where he actually was selling a property where he held some of the purchase of the property as seller financing. So what he did on that transaction was the seller couldn’t afford the down payment, or the buyer couldn’t afford the down payment that the bank wanted.

[00:34:45] Ashley Kehr: So I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I know the seller, the guy I worked for ended up seller financing $60,000 and this was the amount he needed for the down payment. And the bank looked at the numbers and said, okay, you can pay us and you can pay the seller financing. And the deal still makes sense.

[00:35:04] Ashley Kehr: You’re still gonna be able to pay your other expenses, you’re still gonna be able to cash flow if you don’t care if you have that second lien on the property. So this was on the commercial side of lending. So this guy bought this property with zero money down and that was my first like eye-opening experience.

[00:35:20] Ashley Kehr: And then I went and did seller financing for a property where it was 7% interest only for 12 months. And it gave me time to give to improvements and then I went and refinanced the property. But I think that with seller financing, it’s so negotiable and flexible as to the different ways that you can get the deal done.

[00:35:41] Ashley Kehr: I’ve sat at a table with someone where they were just like, I just want $3,500 a month. That’s what I need to live on. So I went through and I was like, okay, this amount at three and a half percent amortized over, I think was like 25 years. That gives you your $3,500 a month. And it was like perfect, three and a half percent super low interest rate.

[00:36:00] Ashley Kehr: The payment was still low for me. Amortized over, you know, 25 years. I think just that you’re able to negotiate and that there’s tons of flexibility. The biggest thing you should do is if you want to do seller financing, is when you ask somebody if they are interested in doing seller financing. If they say no, obviously if they say yes, great, continue the conversation.

[00:36:22] Ashley Kehr: If they say No, follow up. Oh, I didn’t know if your CPA or account had talked about the tax advantages of it at all. And that usually just gets a little wheel turning. And most commonly the response is, well, I guess I could talk to them and see whatever. It’s interesting, just that little change that, that.

[00:36:42] Patrick Donley: So talk to us about those tax advantages. What is it that, is it advantageous to somebody to, that they would want to consider seller financing? because a lot of people initially, they’re, you asked them that and it’s no. If they don’t have any experience with it the answer’s gonna be no. But I like that idea, like, well, do you know about the tax advantages?

[00:36:59] Patrick Donley: Can you talk about this? 

[00:37:00] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. So yeah. So that like spreads out their taxable income in one year. If you are buying that property for $500,000, and even if you’re going to the bank getting a mortgage, however you’re paying it to them, they’re gonna get tax on that $500,000. Unless of course it’s been their primary residence and they’re not paying tax on it because of that, or if they’re doing a 10 31 exchange or something.

[00:37:23] Ashley Kehr: But if they’re just want tosell it, maybe they’re just all done with their real estate and they’re gonna be taxed on that 500,000. If you do sell financing, they can actually spread out the taxes that are paid on that, so the taxable income in each year that they’re paid on that. So having that tax benefit of not having to pay all of those taxes up upfront and spreading it out over the time period that you’re making those payments.

[00:37:50] Ashley Kehr: So, you know, maybe it’s amortized over five years and then you know there’s a balloon payment at the end or something like that. But also a really nice thing too is that maybe you’re offering to pay them 500,000 that you can say to them too, is like, I can pay the bank interest or I can pay you interest, so you’re gonna make that $500,000 plus 5% interest, or whatever you offer them.

[00:38:14] Ashley Kehr: And I love to print out an amortization schedule that shows like, okay, in year one I’m only paying down $30,000, but you’re making $50,000 in interest or whatever it may be. And show them that. And then how much, and usually like depending on when the balloon is or how long it’s amortized, I’ll be like, look at it.

[00:38:36] Ashley Kehr: Just after five years you’ll have made a hundred thousand dollars more on this property because of doing the seller financing too. 

[00:38:45] Patrick Donley: Yeah, it’s a great strategy. Do you have any other tips for people on how to get their financial house in order to get financing? 

[00:38:52] Ashley Kehr: Read Dave Ramsey’s book, The Money Makeover.

[00:38:55] Ashley Kehr: I don’t necessarily agree with his investing advice, but I think his debt paydown advice is really great and really motivating. 

[00:39:05] Patrick Donley: Is that’s something you did as well in your own life, correct? 

[00:39:08] Ashley Kehr: Yes. Yeah. I did that. I had already started real estate investing, so I used my cash flow to really do the debt snowball as to continuously pay off the personal debt that I had.

[00:39:20] Patrick Donley: So, go into that a little bit. Talk about the debt snowball, how you can get rid of debt, what he recommends in the book. 

[00:39:26] Ashley Kehr: It’s budgeting is a big thing and I’ve never honestly have never been good at budgeting just as like, I’ve always just like known what’s in my bank account and I’ve never spent above, so we never had credit card debt or anything like that.

[00:39:39] Ashley Kehr: It was, we had a line of credit on our house from when we built it that we had to pay off, and then we had our vehicle loans and then we had farm equipment and it just felt normal that we were paying these loan payments and I just, I didn’t want that anymore. We just did the death snowball. We started with the loan that had the highest interest rate and just put as much money as we could towards it every month until it was paid off and we went to the next one while continuing to pay the minimums for all the other ones.

[00:40:06] Ashley Kehr: So we did that. I think it took us a year and a half and we paid off the, about 150,000 I think it was. In debt that we had and it was a great feeling afterwards for sure. So highly recommend that book for anyone that wants to get started. And you can get out your whiteboards or your chalkboards, your Excel spreadsheets to keep track of, you know, every little payment.

[00:40:28] Ashley Kehr: I remember I used to like sit and look, okay, six months from now I keep putting this much towards it. Every month, how much will be paid off? And 

[00:40:36] Patrick Donley: I wanted to hear your thoughts on somebody that does have a partner over married or otherwise that is going to get into real estate investing. How do you get your partner on board?

[00:40:45] Patrick Donley: Because I think that’s a really key thing to make sure that your partner’s on board with you. Do you have any thoughts on that? 

[00:40:51] Ashley Kehr: I didn’t really have any trouble with this at all, but my husband was never involved at all really with the real estate. It was just, you do what you want, that’s fine. I think the biggest thing that I’ve seen just from having guests on the show and talking with other couples that are real estate investors is.

[00:41:10] Ashley Kehr: Actually showing them, like doing a visual of look at where the money is coming from. This is the money we’re making, and just like printing out a Bigger Pockets calculator report. Somewhere and saying, we’re gonna take this money because showing the visual instead of just saying it to them, will make a difference as to here’s how much money we have in, let’s say they have a brokerage account with a hundred thousand dollars to say, okay, here’s our statement showing we have a hundred thousand dollars in here.

[00:41:39] Ashley Kehr: I’m not gonna take this money, I’m gonna leave this money here, but I’m gonna go and get a line of credit and use this brokerage account as collateral. And so I’m gonna take that line of credit and let’s say they’re gonna gimme 30,000. I’m gonna use that 30,000 to buy the single family house. Here’s the listing of the property.

[00:41:56] Ashley Kehr: Okay, here’s a couple other properties that have just sold in the area. Look at how much they sold for. Here is what the rehab needs to be, here’s what it’s projected to cost, and I know I can do this and like have content in yourself. But I think doing that visual and really showing the numbers and then saying, okay, even if we go 10% over budget, we’re still gonna, you know, make this amount of profit.

[00:42:21] Ashley Kehr: So I think make it adds like foolproof as possible, but really show sitting down with them, taking the time to go over everything. because I’m definitely a person that things just go through my brain so fast that sometimes it’s hard for me to actually stop and slow down and explain it to someone else because I just want to like take action and get started on it.

[00:42:40] Patrick Donley: Do you have any other thoughts on financing? I know you’ve done some kind of interesting things on how to finance your own deals. Can you go into some of the ways that you’ve used personally? 

[00:42:49] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, so I did the seller financing deal and then I’ve also done a subject to deal. So if you guys have heard of Pace Morby, he talks a lot about sub two.

[00:43:00] Ashley Kehr: We actually purchased a farm doing sub two where the person that owned the farm could no longer afford their mortgage payments. They were behind and they were at the risk of foreclosure. We talked about doing a short sale with them where we would negotiate with the bank and buy the property. There was also a lot of back taxes on the property too, and the thing with the short sale was if we did a short sale that the person that owned the farm could no longer live there and the person wanted to stay living there and it was my husband’s cousin and all this stuff entailed in it.

[00:43:35] Ashley Kehr: So we actually went through with doing a sub too, where this way we didn’t even have to go and get bank financing. We just took over his current mortgage, which since it was his primary residence, it was a U S D A loan. It was a low interest rate and amortized over 30 years. And so it was way better terms than we could get.

[00:43:55] Ashley Kehr: We went to the bank and said that, you know, we’re buying this as an investment property. Basically had three rentals on it and then it had a hundred acres for farmland. We paid the back taxes and we paid the back mortgage payments and interest that was due, and that was less than what our down payment would’ve been if we would’ve won and put 20% down.

[00:44:17] Ashley Kehr: And then our monthly payments going forward. Just paying on his behalf that is way lower than what the mortgage would’ve been because of the rate that we would’ve got as an investment property. 

[00:44:29] Patrick Donley: And doesn’t Pace have a book that just came out that details how to do all of this? The Bigger Pockets is published?

[00:44:35] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, it’s Wealth Without Cash, I believe it’s called. Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s still in pre-order, but coming out soon. 

[00:44:43] Patrick Donley: Yeah. I just got a copy from Bigger Pockets with your book as well, so it’s kind of cool to take a look at. I wanted to hear too, don’t you, haven’t you used a line of credit that you’ll have in place to make some of your purchases and then you’ll get permanent financing?

[00:44:56] Patrick Donley: Can you go into a little bit about how that works when you do your deals? 

[00:45:00] Ashley Kehr: Sure. I’ve gotten commercial line of credit on three of my investment properties. One is a portfolio line of credit where it has two duplexes on it for collateral, and the other one is a single family house. That was actually my old primary residence before we built our own house.

[00:45:19] Ashley Kehr: And that property had no debt on it. So we went and got the commercial line of credit on the property. So the way I use the line of credit now is to purchase the property and to fund the rehab. And I’ve been playing around with hard money this past year and I used hard money to actually fund the deals.

[00:45:38] Ashley Kehr: And then for the rehab, I used my line of credits and it helped me be able to scale more and do more deals at once because I was using both of those things simultaneously. But I’ve also done private money too. I have a private investor that I do a lot of deals with that he lends me money on. And then the same thing, I usually just use my lines of credit to fund the rehab.

[00:46:01] Ashley Kehr: And then a couple times I have done a 0% credit card. Where I’ll open one up where it’s 0% for 18 months to fund materials for a rehab. And then when I go and refinance, everything is paid off because that’s one of the things, one of my why’s is I want to be able to sleep at night. So Right. Being overleverage is something that does not sleep.

[00:46:26] Patrick Donley: I’ve done the same thing. You really gotta keep an eye on when that 18 months or 12 months is up, because it, that’s when they whack you with an 18 or 20% interest rate. So you gotta be careful. But yeah, it’s a good strategy if you can use it in the short term. In terms of your hard money loans, what kind of interest rates are you paying on those?

[00:46:42] Ashley Kehr: So I actually just paid them off. I finished, I did three deals with them and it was actually a great interest rate. It was a line of credit through them. I still had to go. And so it was almost like I was pre-approved up to one and a half million. That’s what my line of credit was. And it was at 6.7%. So it wasn’t like a HeLOCK on your primary wagon.

[00:47:07] Ashley Kehr: I just pulled the money off or whatever. I still had to submit the properties for approval and then they would still put a lien on the property while I was doing the rehab on the property before I’d pay off the hard money loan. So 6.7% was a great rate for a hard, funny lender. Especially now like I see that it’s like nine, 10 or even more.

[00:47:26] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. Going. So that was a great rate to get. 

[00:47:30] Patrick Donley: Do you have a, like an order of your preference on how you would do financing for your deal? Like what you would try first, second, and third? Do you have any kind of preferences in terms of what you like to do? 

[00:47:40] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. Private money would be my preference just because the people that I do work with are so great and it’s so easy.

[00:47:48] Ashley Kehr: It’s literally like that morning, I need a check. Yeah. And afternoon I get the check. Seller financing would probably be second. My least favorite. And then probably I would say bank finance. After that, my least favorite has been hard money. It has been the most difficult as far as like customer service and just issues with the loan.

[00:48:08] Ashley Kehr: So I, I’ve had an awful experience with the hard money lender that I use for that line of credit, such as, you know, notifying me, but that I have, I don’t have insurance on the property. Me resending them, proof of the insurance that their loan officer actually got for me because I went through the insurance company that he recommended and just like all these little things that they need better systems and processes.

[00:48:34] Patrick Donley: Is that a niche that you’re interested in? I think I, I heard maybe in an interview that you might be interested in hard money lending at one point in like further down in your career? 

[00:48:44] Ashley Kehr: I think more of a private money lender than a hard money lender. Okay. 

[00:48:50] Patrick Donley: I want to get into a little bit about market analysis.

[00:48:53] Patrick Donley: There’s a ton of real estate markets, so many different possibilities, and again, that can be hard for a newbie just to figure out where they should focus. I had one guy that I interviewed that focused on just one zip code, and that’s all he focused on. I think that’s really great advice. What do you recommend in terms of researching a market and sourcing deals?

[00:49:12] Patrick Donley: How do what In the book go into some of the ideas that you have on figuring out a market that makes sense for you, and then how to source deals? 

[00:49:19] Ashley Kehr: If you already live in a market that makes sense, like go and tackle that market. The second thing you should look at is what are the laws though, especially if you’re going to be a landlord, are they tenant friendly?

[00:49:31] Ashley Kehr: Are they landlord friendly? Because that can definitely play a key role into the outcome of your cash flow. So I live in New York state where you know it is more tenant friendly than landlord friendly. And I have somebody right now that’s been in the apartment for a year, that’s still it. The case keeps going to court.

[00:49:49] Ashley Kehr: It keeps getting pushed because of some kind of funding they applied for. And obviously that has put a big damper on my cash flow for that property of having somebody living there for free for almost a full year. I would look into to definitely that if you’re doing that. But as far as you have no idea where to start when analyzing a market, look where other people are investing.

[00:50:12] Ashley Kehr: So look in the Bigger Pockets forums, look on Instagram. Where are people showing that they’re flipping, showing that they’re buying rental properties. Also Bigger Pockets puts out a data analytics on market data for different zip codes or even different cities. Dave Meyer puts that out, and I think you might have to be a pro member to get a piece of it, but there’s an article on there that really breaks down what are the best cash flowing cities.

[00:50:39] Ashley Kehr: So you shouldn’t just take any of this without doing your own research and finding your own data. Because the best city that comes up for cash flow is Detroit. Detroit is also high crime. It’s not, there’s really no appreciation in some areas of it that may not be the best investment for you. So maybe going through these lists and compiling and looking like, wow, Columbus, Ohio has good cash flow.

[00:51:05] Ashley Kehr: It also has good appreciation. You know, I see that there’s job growth. In the book, I include this spreadsheet, can you get it as bonus content where it’s like here’s all of the factors you should consider. And then almost giving them kind of like a score and like, okay, here’s the three properties or the three markets that actually look like they could be feasible for me for rental properties.

[00:51:26] Ashley Kehr: because you want to look at what is the housing price. If you have a down payment and you can only afford $150,000 house, you’re not gonna want to be looking in San Francisco or New York City for a property either. Just kind of going down through that list. So just off the top of my head, a couple things to start for.

[00:51:46] Ashley Kehr: Is there somewhere, like we talked about in the beginning of this episode, is there somewhere where you have an advantage, you have a boots on the ground, you have somebody that knows that area already to kind of walk you through the streets? Because I think of one area just right in Buffalo, where if you are above this one street, You don’t want to be there, but if you’re below it, you want to be there.

[00:52:05] Ashley Kehr: And there’s almost like this little triangle of like, that’s the sweet spot. That’s where you want to be. That’s where everybody wants to live. 

[00:52:14] Patrick Donley: What do you think about like going outside in tertiary markets? Like if you live in a, I don’t know, a San Francisco or I don’t know a Minneapolis or New York, what about going out like two or three hours?

[00:52:25] Patrick Donley: What are your thoughts on that? Is that something that you would recommend to people? 

[00:52:29] Ashley Kehr: I’m investing pretty much all of my investments except for two properties are within an hour outside of Buffalo, some even an hour and a half. So those rural areas, there definitely is cash flow there just not a ton of appreciation, at least what I’m seeing in my market.

[00:52:47] Ashley Kehr: I think you gotta be a little bit closer to the city to see that. Like really in the suburbs of the city, that’s where we see the most appreciation, like a little bit north of the city and a little bit south of the city. Now, I can’t speak to every market, but I’ve had great success in investing in the rural areas.

[00:53:05] Ashley Kehr: It rehabs go so smoothly because enforcement is not like in the cities where it may take, you know, I did a flip out in Seattle and you know, the permit process there, it take, can take forever just to like put a deck on. 

[00:53:21] Patrick Donley: What do you think about making a purchase remotely? I know my co-host, Robert, has done several remote purchases, I believe in Texas.

[00:53:28] Patrick Donley: What are your thoughts on that? If your investment is several hours, maybe even a plane flight away, what are your thoughts on that? 

[00:53:35] Ashley Kehr: I don’t ever drive to any of my properties or go to any of them. I think that if this is your first investment and you’re taking your life savings and you’re buying this $150,000 house or whatever it may be, I think it’s worth the plane ticket to go out and look at it.

[00:53:51] Ashley Kehr: For your first time. You definitely don’t have to, you can have a real estate agent take a video through. You can have a contractor go through and give you a scope of work of what needs to be done. So it’s definitely 100% feasible to go out and buy in a different market and never, ever even see the property.

[00:54:09] Ashley Kehr: One way that you can do that and find more comfortable is, or feel more comfortable is partnering with somebody who is in that market. That’s what I did with the, my Seattle house was that was like almost the farthest away that I could from Buffalo to Seattle, the farthest across the country that I could invest.

[00:54:27] Ashley Kehr: But I partnered, somebody invest, invested there every day, and so I didn’t see the house before we bought it. I flew out there a couple times just to do YouTube videos of I saw those, the process, but other than that, I think if you have the right people that can help you in that area. So even if you’re going to manage it remotely, which you keep perfectly capable of doing with so much technology these days, well you still need a handyman, somebody that’s gonna go and do repairs or at least contacts and vendors to do that for you.

[00:54:58] Ashley Kehr: You’re gonna need somebody to probably show the apartment for you when you’re leasing it or change the locks out. Yeah. If you can find those key people, then it’s definitely worth, and the way to find those key people is referrals asking in different Facebook groups or the Bigger Pockets forums. 

[00:55:15] Patrick Donley: Kind of on the flip side of that I interviewed a guy that refused to buy something that was, he would not buy anything that was more than a 30 minute drive away from his own house.

[00:55:23] Patrick Donley: So he just, you know, wanted to say, kind of concentrated and yes, not have to, you know, deal with stuff that was in too far away from his own home. In my own case, like all of my rentals are like a five minute drive away, so it’s convenient. I can check on things really quickly and I think there are benefits to that as well.

[00:55:40] Ashley Kehr: I think the biggest benefit is that you’re staying focused in one area. Yeah. Like that’s the main thing. And then maybe you pivot and you go to a different market if your stop’s working, but instead of like, oh, here’s four different areas I want tobuy in, it’s gonna spread you too thin. Yeah, a hundred percent.

[00:55:57] Patrick Donley: I agree with that. Let’s get into deal analysis. When you’re looking at a property, what are some of the criteria and the metrics that you look at on deciding whether or not to make an offer? 

[00:56:09] Ashley Kehr: The biggest thing is that I’m looking at first the price to rent ratio. And then I literally get out my phone and I estimate what my mortgage payment is going to be.

[00:56:22] Ashley Kehr: So I think about, okay, what are current rates at something? I check all the time and then I’m thinking, okay, I’m probably gonna do this on the commercial side, so I’ll be able to amortize it over 15, 20 years. I right away do, if I purchase this property at what they’re asking. Price is. Is this even going to cover the mortgage payment?

[00:56:41] Ashley Kehr: So yesterday I saw for Sale by Owner and we pulled in, we called on it and the person was like, it’s 875,000. And so I said, okay, can you let me know what the rents are? And she said, well, I’m sorry, but I don’t want togive you too much information unless you’re a serious buyer and you know, are you serious about this?

[00:57:01] Ashley Kehr: And I said, honestly, I can’t give you an answer until I know more information. I said, I can find a lot of information online, but if you could just tell me what the rents are, I can kind of figure out if it would be feasible or not. So the rents ended up being 4 75 for one unit, 4 25 for another unit, 4 75 for the other one.

[00:57:20] Ashley Kehr: And then the two others were vacant because she couldn’t get them rented for what she wanted. So right away we almost were like laughing like, okay, 8 75 is definitely not gonna work. And it ended up being that. It would break even at half a million this property. So it was way off what her number was.

[00:57:38] Ashley Kehr: But just going through and kind of running the numbers, doing a soft run on it. So we use where a lead will come in and my business partner, Darrell, that’s like, he does the lead flow as to like somebody calls from direct mail or whatever that is, he puts it into there. And then I go through and I pull the prop string report.

[00:58:00] Ashley Kehr: I’m looking at more the data side of it. Whatever we can get online, what are the property taxes, things like that. What information we know. So that way too, if we look at this deal and it’s ends up being a dead deal, we actually send it to a dead deal line item on our Monday board, but it’s always there if it comes back up.

[00:58:19] Ashley Kehr: So, We recently just had a property that we had offered on a year and a half ago, and the deal fell through and now the property has come back up to us and it’s like, okay, we have all this information still. We have, you know, documented all, we’ve kept track of it all so that we’re able to go back and analyze that.

[00:58:37] Ashley Kehr: But figuring out just like the numbers on it is the biggest thing. And then as far as your criteria, like really sticking to your criteria and what your kind of goal is, because there are so many shiny objects that are flashy out there, can get you sidetracked. Like there’s properties out there, they’re like, oh my God, this could be a wedding venue.

[00:58:58] Ashley Kehr: It’s so beautiful. Like, we want tohang out here. Like, okay no, you gotta reel yourself. Back in as to what are you focusing on? So right now we’re focusing on land lip cabins. We’re turning these cabins into like super modern, nice. Inside. We’re doing like brand new kitchens. We’re putting in tile showers, different things like that you wouldn’t really see in like your hunter’s cabin in the woods, and then turning them into short-term rentals.

[00:59:24] Ashley Kehr: So along with still building the long-term buying hold portfolio too. 

[00:59:30] Patrick Donley: So kind of a mix of strategies you’re doing right now. 

[00:59:33] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. So I’d like to keep that strong foundation of the long-term buy and hold and then, you know, we’re kind of doing as our passion project, I’d say the cabins with the land to short-term rentals.

[00:59:44] Ashley Kehr: And then, you know, we’ve been casually seeking a campground too. 

[00:59:49] Patrick Donley: Nice. So are you buying existing cabins or are you actually building them? I wasn’t clear on. 

[00:59:55] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, we’re buying existing ones, so Okay. Like old, dilapidated, like you go into the bathroom and you’re like, there’s only been hunters that have ever stayed here in just bed.

[01:00:07] Ashley Kehr: And so we just like completely got them basically and remodeled them. 

[01:00:13] Patrick Donley: Let’s go into a little more about tools that you use to, to analyze a deal. You mentioned Bigger Pockets has some calculators. Are, is there kinda go into that a little bit, the tools that are available that somebody should be looking at and utilizing when they are running the numbers?

[01:00:30] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, so Bigger Pockets has the Bigger Pockets calculator reports. There’s pretty much one for every strategy that you’re trying to do, and so I think that’s a great resource because every line item has a little info box that tells you where to find that information and why you need that information, which I think is so helpful for learning about analyzing deals.

[01:00:51] Ashley Kehr: And you just want to like build that muscle memory is to like, analyze 1, 2, 3, even five deals a day. Even if you can look at Zillow listing and see like there’s no way this would make sense as a rental property. Just run the numbers just to practice, practice pulling the data. The property taxes aren’t always going to be accurate on the MLS listing.

[01:01:12] Ashley Kehr: Find out how to verify it. Usually you can Google your county along with gi s mapping system and you’ll be able to pull that data up. You don’t know what rents are going to be. So Bigger Pockets has a rent estimator tool where you put in the address and they’ll show you other properties that have what they have rented for in that same area.

[01:01:31] Ashley Kehr: So you can get an idea of like comparable size. So if yours, the two bad one back, if it was listed online, it will sometimes still show the photos. You can get a look at the inside as to how it compares to yours as far as finishes. So those are two really great tools. And then just keeping up on market data are the articles that Bigger Pockets puts out on their blogs.

[01:01:52] Ashley Kehr: So a lot of them are just for pro members. So if you’re a pro member, go and look for the Pro articles, but it’ll just, you know, what’s going on in today’s market, but also what are, you know, real estate strategies and markets you should be looking at right now. And different things like that. 

[01:02:08] Patrick Donley: Yeah. And the pro membership’s totally worth it.

[01:02:10] Patrick Donley: I mean, there’s so many, I mean, you’ll save what you spend on the Pro membership. You, if you utilize the tools that are available. On that. What, how much is a pro membership these days? 

[01:02:19] Ashley Kehr: I think it’s like 300. Okay. Or something. Yeah, that’s what I thought. 8 95 or maybe less than that. Yeah. 

[01:02:25] Patrick Donley: Yeah.

[01:02:25] Patrick Donley: Definitely worth the money. Let’s go into a little bit about building a team. You touched on this a little bit earlier, but I wanted to hear about when you are looking at your deals, are you using a realtor? Is that something you do at this point? Are you, do you just look at them on your own? What other team members are you using when you are doing and running your portfolio?

[01:02:45] Ashley Kehr: I love going to showings. I love looking at properties. I know it’s something that I shouldn’t do because it’s not the best use of my time, but like yesterday I drove around and looked at four properties. I think it was like, I just, like, that’s how I want tospend my day is just like, get to that point where I’m just driving around looking at property.

[01:03:04] Ashley Kehr: It’s fun. But I have a couple of real estate agents that I work with and it just really depends on what, like town it’s in, what agents send it to me or who’s available to do a showing first as to how I choose it. And then sometimes my partners will go and do. The showings last year was the first time I, besides the flip house, I bought a house site on scene, sent my business partner, he went with the agent and you know, I didn’t even see the property until after we closed and that was very unusual for me.

[01:03:36] Ashley Kehr: But that’s like finding good partners where you can trust them and you know, you don’t have to worry about making sure that you’re there. I think I was speaking at a conference or something like that and being able to manage doing different things. 

[01:03:50] Patrick Donley: What other team members would you recommend that somebody needs to have?

[01:03:53] Patrick Donley: I’ve got so many people that have come on the show and I’m sure you have as well, that just talks about the importance of their team and they just simply couldn’t do what they do without the great people that are around them. What other people do you recommend that people start developing relationships with and making sure that they have a great team in place?

[01:04:10] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, so definitely a bookkeeper because that can be like a big and just like, something you can easily just let pile up and forget about. And it’s very cost effective. As far as property management, that’s something that you can easily outsource. There’s tons of property management companies you can vet.

[01:04:28] Ashley Kehr: You just make sure that you really vet them to make sure that they’re a good fit for you. But you can also do a lot of automation with property management if you want to do it yourself. And that’s where hiring virtual assistants can come into play on Upwork or Fiber. You know, there’s companies that help you recruit.

[01:04:45] Ashley Kehr: So if you end up doing that, you can get virtual assistances to just do some of the messaging. Property management software is coming out now with call centers where you’re don’t even need somebody to answer the phone for maintenance, is that a tenant can just call into the call center. So having kind of, not even a team member, but taking advantage of, I guess I don’t even know how to explain it, but kind of like a pool of people, like almost like a co-op.

[01:05:11] Ashley Kehr: So like everybody that uses property management software, you have the village buy in to this call center or whatever that is, but taking advantage of the joint resources that are available too. So like hiring a va, like if you would’ve thought 20 years ago, I need an assistant, like I can’t afford the salary of paying somebody full-time to be my assistant.

[01:05:32] Ashley Kehr: Maybe not even part-time at 20 hours. Now you can find somebody as a virtual assistant to just do a meaningless task for you that you don’t want to do. Like pay a water bill each month. And that’s maybe all they do, but they’re doing jobs for 20 other different people so they don’t need, you know, that income provided by you.

[01:05:51] Ashley Kehr: And that’s one of the great things about having all this remote work and things being so easy through doing everything virtual now, taking advantage of those virtual team members that you can have. I also do have a consulting firm right now too that’s helping me with the Monday boards and also helping me doing, building out my property management company even more.

[01:06:13] Patrick Donley: And then in terms of property management software, is there one or two that you would recommend? 

[01:06:18] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, so if your first just getting started, rent Ready. If you’re a pro member for Bigger Pockets too, you get it for free, it’s completely included. But I actually use Rent Ready to teach my landlord boot camp too, so that’s been a really great beneficial for everyone that’s in the boot camp.

[01:06:34] Ashley Kehr: And then as you continue to grow and scale, you get to, you know, 30 to 50 units. Plus I recommend Buildium or AppFolio. Yeah. And I use both of those and highly recommend them. 

[01:06:46] Patrick Donley: Yeah, I’ve used Buildium before and also recommend it. Let’s talk about making an offer that first offer that somebody makes, again, a nerve-wracking experience.

[01:06:55] Patrick Donley: What kind of I, ideas, advice do you have for making an offer that will likely be accepted? Or how can you get the odds in your favor? Any thoughts on that? 

[01:07:04] Ashley Kehr: This is a lot easier if you are direct to seller. So if you don’t have two agents in between you, but is a listening and finding out their motivation for selling, so why are they selling?

[01:07:16] Ashley Kehr: If you go to a house showing and you see that maybe the person passed away or it’s like a hoarder house or just like there’s a ton of stuff left there and it doesn’t look like there’s somebody that’s going to be moving, or maybe even if they are moving, but they got all brand new stuff. Is we always like to put in, don’t worry about whatever you don’t want, just leave it and we’ll take care of it.

[01:07:37] Ashley Kehr: And that’s always kind of been like, you know, a little bit of leverage that we’ve added into our contracts to try to get deals done so that people didn’t have to worry about that. We had bought a hoarder house last year, and I think it was, I don’t know, maybe $2,500, maybe $3000, to have it completely cleared out everything put into the dumpster and just taken away.

[01:07:59] Ashley Kehr: And that was well worth it to get the property at what we put it into. So you just bake that cost into your numbers and make sure that it will work. But it was just a huge, you know, a nice convenience for the family that they didn’t have to worry about getting all of that stuff out of the house for the next person to take it over.

[01:08:17] Ashley Kehr: So I think the biggest thing would be like listening to someone and finding out what their motivation for selling is and how you can help them. Maybe it’s like. Letting them set the closing date because they want to enjoy their lake house over the 4th of July and, you know, don’t want to close before that or something like that.

[01:08:34] Patrick Donley: Yeah, definitely. However, you can make life easier for them is a wise idea. I had one guy that actually, he would write like a, just a really heartfelt letter to the seller and it really worked. Like he said, oftentimes they would take his offer even though it was below what other offers were because he took the time to write, you know, a really sincere letter.

[01:08:53] Patrick Donley: And that was a strategy that I’d never heard of before and I think I might try out here sometime soon here and see how it goes. So let’s go to the next chapter, which is getting, once you’re under contract, at that point, it can feel like it’s time to sit back and relax, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to actually get the deal to the closing table.

[01:09:11] Patrick Donley: What are some things at this stage of the game that an investor needs to be doing to make sure they get the deal moving forward to ensure that it closes? 

[01:09:19] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, so the first thing is creating an acquisitions checklist and using, you know, maybe your attorney and also your real estate agent or your title company if you’re not in an estate that needs an attorney for closing.

[01:09:32] Ashley Kehr: But going through and asking them what are the things that I need to do before I close on the property? Once it’s under contract? And create a list so that every single time you just go through this checklist and you don’t even have to remember it. So, getting insurance in place, getting the utilities put into your name, however, you’re financing the property, making sure that’s all squared up.

[01:09:53] Ashley Kehr: Are you gonna be doing rehab? You know, get your scope of work in order, and start getting bids on the property. Are you listening to the property for rent right after, get your listing ready. Things like that. So really just create that checklist of things to do while you’re under contract so that the day you close, you can focus on what matters and you’re not scrambling afterward like, oh my gosh, it’s closing date tomorrow when I didn’t put insurance on the property because.

[01:10:19] Ashley Kehr: That is not a good feeling because I’ve actually dumped that before. So don’t wait. Like make your checklist and every time you’re closing on a deal, just go through it. 

[01:10:29] Patrick Donley: Yeah. That acquisition checklist that you’ve got is great. Like it’s, thank you. Really well, I mean, it’s worth the price of the book honestly.

[01:10:35] Patrick Donley: Like I think just having that alone is a great thing and people should check it out. Let’s talk now. You’ve closed, you’re a first time property owner. This actually is like a ton of responsibility at this point. Talk to us about some ways that a landlord, a property owner, can be a great owner. How, what are some ideas you have on, you know, a lot of times landlords get a bad rap.

[01:10:56] Patrick Donley: What are some ways that you have to recommend that people can just be a great real estate owner? 

[01:11:02] Ashley Kehr: Read the book, Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer. So this book is focused towards customer service, but it’s actually. I think grief for any landlord or property manager to read, if you’re gonna be dealing with tenants and it’s basically killing them with kindness and it tells you how to handle different feedback that you get, obviously you’re most likely going to run into a disgruntled tenant, whether it’s something that is your fault or not your fault.

[01:11:33] Ashley Kehr: You’re gonna have to find a way to, to kind of handle that. And I think that it will help you feel better about the situation and them if you handle it the way that Jake kind of talks about in the book as to just consider what they’re saying, listen to what they’re saying, and then just like kill them with kindness that, and don’t like argue back with them or whatever it is.

[01:11:54] Ashley Kehr: And it’s not necessarily saying the customer is always right. He definitely doesn’t say that in his book. But one of the biggest things that I’ve learned from doing property management is communicating with your tenant. Keep them updated as to what is happening. So if it is Friday night, Something happened in the unit.

[01:12:14] Ashley Kehr: It’s not necessarily an emergency, but it’s an inconvenience and you can’t get a plumber to come out, do whatever needs to be done, communicate that to them. Just let them know, like, we’ve contacted the plumber, no one is available to come out until tomorrow morning. You know, maybe even Duke, some kind of gesture.

[01:12:33] Ashley Kehr: Like we’ll take a little bit off the rent to, you know, I, we apologize for the inconvenience. This something, you know, that we wish we could do sooner, but they’re just not available, whatever that is. And I have found that just communicating what is happening and keeping someone in the loop is better than just like, oh, I can’t get a plumber there.

[01:12:53] Ashley Kehr: I’m just gonna ignore them until the plumber says that they can come. So that would be a big thing, is communication. And then just remember with the repairs and maintenance, there’s definitely gonna be times where you’re gonna get frustrated because you’re going to think it’s the tenant’s fault that something happened.

[01:13:09] Ashley Kehr: And that’s why you should have an airtight lease that kind of puts that in writing as to what those situations are so that the tenant will be billed back for those things happening. One of the first things I think of is a clogged toilet. So we started putting into our lease agreements that if, you know, when you move into the property within like 30 days, if there’s a clog, we will take care of it.

[01:13:31] Ashley Kehr: After that though, if there is a clog, it is most likely from something you put down the drain. It is not from something that’s been sitting there from a previous tenant and as your responsibility to have the, you know, every landlord’s worst nightmare is having to, you know, get that 3:00 AM call that the toilet is clogged.

[01:13:50] Ashley Kehr: So I think having an airtight lease that really writes out the rules and responsibilities of each the landlord and tenant, so that if you ever have to be the bad guy, you can make the lease a bad guy and refer to the lease and say, you know what? Actually, the lease states that this is your responsibility to fix this.

[01:14:10] Ashley Kehr: Since this was your issue. 

[01:14:12] Patrick Donley: The book you mentioned Hug Your Haters, is that real estate specific or is that just customer service tips in general? 

[01:14:19] Ashley Kehr: Customer service tips in general. I actually first learned about the book at an AppFolio conference. He was the keynote speaker. Okay, cool. At that conference.

[01:14:27] Ashley Kehr: Yeah. 

[01:14:29] Patrick Donley: I have not heard of that. I’ll have to check it out. I’ve, my challenge is I’ve become friends close to my renters and that can be challenging when a tough situation comes up, how to handle that. That’s one of the things I ended up with. Just getting a property manager for, in the end was a, I just didn’t have to, I let him be the bad guy.

[01:14:47] Patrick Donley: So I had a hard time dealing with some of those situations. Once you become, I’ve got one lady that’s rented from me for 30 years, almost a place, and she’s a little old lady now and you know, it’s just, those are hard situations to deal with when they come up. It’s like, I don’t want to be the bad guy to her for sure.

[01:15:03] Patrick Donley: So having a property manager is definitely something that can take that weight off your shoulders. The last chapter I really enjoyed, it’s talking about just keeping the motivation up once you’ve done that first deal. Talk to us about some of the ways that, in your own case, like how do you keep the momentum going?

[01:15:19] Patrick Donley: How do you keep the motivation going to continue to build out that portfolio? 

[01:15:24] Ashley Kehr: Honestly, the podcast guests that we have on is what helps me stay motivated and inspired. Having partners too, I think because it can get lonely working on something yourself and I think. You know, days that I don’t like, feel motivated, you know, I have a partner that’s like, come on, let’s go do this and get this done, and things like that.

[01:15:45] Ashley Kehr: So I think that definitely helps. So if you feel yourself in that situation, listen to a podcast episode, go into the Bigger Pockets forums, and answer real estate questions for other people and just like them thanking you or like, you know, starting a conversation with you, asking more questions will get you hyped up.

[01:16:03] Ashley Kehr: Also, attending an in-person networking event too. 

[01:16:07] Patrick Donley: Yeah, those are great. And again, I love talking to new real estate investors. I’m trying to sell a place right now, and this guy’s very interested, the showing I had yesterday, very interested in it. And it’s just fun to talk to somebody about Bigger Pockets, talk to them about my podcast, just talking real estate.

[01:16:23] Patrick Donley: I find energizing to somebody that, again, is new and hungry and just getting started. It’s a great way, to stay motivated. And again, your Real Estate Rookie Podcast is excellent. And for any first time, you know, somebody first getting started. It’s an excellent podcast to listen to and I highly recommend it.

[01:16:39] Patrick Donley: So Ashley, I want to wrap up your So much. Yeah, this has been a lot of fun. I really appreciate you your time. The book is excellent. I really want to recommend to our listeners to check it out, to buy it, to implement it, and to take action on it. It just really is a step-by-step blueprint on what you need to do to get your first property and get started.

[01:16:59] Patrick Donley: So thank you for that. For our listeners that want to reach out to you, learn more about you, talk to us about some of the ways that they can learn more about you, the book the podcast, et cetera. 

[01:17:09] Ashley Kehr: Yes, you can find me on Instagram at Wealth from Rentals. I’m also in the Real Estate Rookies Facebook group.

[01:17:15] Ashley Kehr: And then in the Bigger Pockets I have a profile, just my name, Ashley Kehr. Then you can find my book. I’m in the Bigger Pockets bookstore on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, 

[01:17:27] Patrick Donley: And it’s got great reviews, five star reviews. It’s I hope you do great with it. So I really, again, thank you for your time, Ashley.

[01:17:33] Patrick Donley: Thank you. 

[01:17:34] Ashley Kehr: Yeah, thank you, Patrick. 

[01:17:36] Patrick Donley: Okay folks, that’s all I had for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the show, and I’ll see you back here real soon. 

[01:17:42] Outro: Thank you for listening to TIP. Make sure to subscribe to We Study Billionaires by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Every Wednesday, we teach you about Bitcoin and every Saturday, we study billionaires and the financial markets.

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