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Blurring the Shiny Squirrel – Trinity National Holdings, LLC

Blurring the Shiny Squirrel


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I have been accused (falsely, maybe) of having adult ADD. The argument never centers on the ‘adult’ part of that accusation, for which I am thankful. Rather, the focus (see what I did there) has always been on the ‘attention’ aspect. There may be some truth to that argument, although I get bored easily when the topic comes up. I remember as a kid not being able to sit still in church, or any other place for that matter; like school. One of the things my mom frequently said to me was “Would you sit still?” As an adult, I’ve been accused (again falsely, maybe) of starting projects and never finishing them. My rebuttal was I’d get back to them. Maybe.

For those of us in the real estate investing industry, we are constantly exposed to a whole variety of approaches to investing our capital. Those approaches could be wholesaling, fix and flipping, becoming a landlord, investing in multi-family housing, self-storage units, probate investing, and one can spend a whole lot of time and a whole lot of money chasing each of these strategies as each new one sounds better than the last.

I’ve seen this happen first hand. As the former President of Northwest Real Estate Investors Association in Portland, OR, part of my responsibilities was to bring in educational speakers for the group. We did this for two reasons; to provide the membership training opportunities, and to provide revenue for the association. If the speaker sold any product during the meetings, our Association would receive a cut. One problem with this concept is that members tended to purchase the product and not take action. Then the next speaker would come and that strategy sounded really good. And then the next speaker…………..well, you see where that goes. My advice to the group was this: If this speaker provides a training that fits within your model, then consider purchasing the product. If this wasn’t within your model, no matter how good it sounded, don’t spend your money. Real estate investors that didn’t have a defined model were especially vulnerable. Thus, they were always chasing the shiny squirrel.

I have overcome this bad tendency, at least for my promissory notes investing business. I won’t be talking about my unfinished household projects. With my background, and having a full-time day job, investing in promissory notes secured by residential real estate provides exactly the process and rewards I need, without running off the rails.

The two properties shown below were notes I purchased, with funding from a couple of awesome joint venture investors, in 2017. While we attempted to find a workout for the borrowers that owned the houses, they were just not cooperative. Apparently living in a house for free had become too easy. As a last resort, we went through the foreclosure process and took ownership within the past couple of weeks.

3 bedrooms, 2 baths with 1,152 square feet on the main living areas. Home has a full basement, built in 1929. Still, need to clean out and set some pricing. The sheriff’s sale just occurred on January 8th. This house will have a very attractive entry point and provide a great home for a first-time homeowner.

3 bedrooms, 1 bath with 1,370 square feet above grade. Home has a full basement, built in 1910. The sheriff’s sale just occurred on January 22nd, so we don’t yet have access until the deed is recorded. This home is located on the highly attractive east side of Cleveland, an would make an excellent turnkey rental.

We initially attempted to set an auction price at a level where they houses might be sold to a third-party at auction. That didn’t work. My next strategy is to sell these houses to local investors, and provide the financing while they complete their rehab. In preliminary marketing efforts on my Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages, this option is getting a lot of attention. Once the rehab is completed and the house sold, then my loan will be paid off, and I will be able to provide a handsome return to the Joint Venture investors that originally funded the acquisition. Laser focused. Right on target. Keeping on the rails, no side excursions. No clowns. Providing a bull’s eye for the savvy investor.

If your wealth-building strategy needs to be sighted in, let’s chat. Perhaps passively investing in promissory notes secured by real estate is the focus you need to get back on track.

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