SPIN’s Lee Kearney, broker and “REO rock star,” recently shared his investing expertise on The Space Coast Real Estate Show.

Kearney is buying 40 to 50 homes a month, and selling the same. His volume didn’t start so high, though. Like most beginning investors, Kearney got his start with one home. He’s now doing $100 million in volume annually.

His first step: seeking the advice of a seasoned investor.

Kearney’s Successful Start

The mentor Kearney approached gave him the advice that made his first deal a success: Buy an average-size three bedroom for around $130,000, and you can sell it for $180,000.

It took about four months to find the right property. Then he did the renovations himself, saving money on expensive contractor fees. His sweat equity netted him about $35,000 when the home sold.

His path over the past eleven years hasn’t been without its pitfalls. There was a time he made––then lost––a million dollars. But he stayed in it, knowing what not to do the next time around. Again, he sought the advice of a mentor to help him rebuild his business model, based on others who were finding success.

A Shifting Approach

His approach has shifted over the years as he adapted to the market. He now does a mix of wholesale and retail, and as a licensed real estate agent is able to keep more of his equity earnings.

His advice to serious investors: If you’re doing things the right way, and you’re operating ethically, there is no reason you should be paying an agent to sell your properties when you can do it yourself. Kearney says he’s saved millions since becoming licensed about ten years ago.

It’s a good time to be in real estate, Kearney says. “Business is booming and the market is good.”

Check out the segment and learn more about how Kearney built his real estate investing empire and tips you can use to build or expand your own investment business, including:

  • Why direct seller marketing is vital
  • Where to find the best deals
  • Why the MLS is the last place you should look for homes
  • Creating relationships with wholesalers in the areas you buy into, and why they’re worth buying from
  • Using auction platforms
  • Knowing the market cycle and using it to determine your investment strategy at any given point in the cycle

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