- Profit Strategy: Buy and hold
- Number of Units: 3
- Prior Experience: Politics, advocacy, financial services, etc. with some single family home investing in 2021.
Here’s his story:
One of the most unique aspects of Dan Tripp’s initial success investing in small apartments is that he was deeply immersed in Lance Edwards’ process, already sending out direct mail pieces to prospective multi-unit sellers, long before he was actually enrolled in the Boot Camp. Eager to diversify his IRA-centric portfolio, he bought two single family homes in his native South Carolina, and had another under contract, in the Summer of 2021. He loved the process, but quickly realized based on the numbers that he wasn’t going to be able to scale quickly enough to meet the five to seven year window he had set for himself.
Dan’s brother is a realtor in Northern Virginia who attended Lance’s bootcamp several years ago in Las Vegas and recommended he read Big Money in Small Apartments. Dan bought the book on Amazon, got through it in a couple of days and knew immediately this was the path towards the scalability he was looking for. Among other things, he loved the fact that investing in small apartments is based on rational numbers and versus feelings – or as he cleverly puts it, “real estate versus feel estate.”
Intrigued by what he read about Lance’s bootcamp, he immediately signed up for the September 2021 virtual class. When he received the home study course about a month before the boot camp, instead of waiting, he got right to work implementing the concepts and taking quick action. Within a week, even before receiving Lance’s trademark Doable Deal Generator (DDG) software, he was analyzing deals on Loopnet; by the second week he was already talking to brokers (an endeavor he found a little intimidating at first), and in the third he took a copy of Lance’s direct mail piece and started sending out direct mail to 150 multi-family property owners. By the time Dan attended boot camp, he was already familiar with and comfortable in dealing with all the details Lance was teaching.
“Since I had already delved into the home study course, it was almost more of a refresher,” he says. “I was able to get guidance on the DDG software, finding deals, doing analyses, marketing systems, etc. I very much appreciated Lance weaving the importance of mindset throughout the course. That’s a huge part of what it takes to be successful.”
Dan’s initial deal came from that first batch of direct mail. One of his early leads was the owner of a triplex in Myrtle Beach. He used the seller script and took notes feverishly as he spoke to the man, who Dan says was a “super nice guy and very organized.” Starting with a $315,000 asking price, the owner offered all the numbers and Dan – who had the software by then to crunch them – was a bit dismayed that it was flagged as a marginal “red light” deal. Dan called the owner and politely explained that although he loved the property, he couldn’t get the numbers to work because the asking price was too close to retail and his rents were low for the area. The two had several back and forth conversations in which the owner tried to convince Dan that the price was indeed reasonable and that his expenses were super low.
“I told him I would re-run my numbers, but I got busy analyzing other deals and forgot about it,” he says. “Several months passed and he reached back to me and said since there was no agent involved, he was willing to lower the price from $315K to $285K. I ran the numbers with some moderate rent increases and got the green light, but I was so damn busy I forgot to call him back. One of the distractions was another deal I found on Loopnet in Illinois, which I had gotten under contract. When I presented the contract, the seller gave it to his attorney who added 32 pages of legalese nonsense to my straightforward two pages. Then the seller backed out.
“The good news about my delay in giving a firm response to the Myrtle Beach seller was that when he came back to me two weeks later, he said he was willing to go down to $280K,” Dan adds. “The building had a new roof, new HVAC units and a newly painted exterior. It was a super clean property less than half a mile from the beach. I re-ran the numbers and sent him an LOI, which I received back the same day. I sent him a contract and got that back the same day as well. We closed in just over 30 days. It was the smoothest transaction I’ve ever done. I got it for 25% down and a 3.99% interest rate for a five year balloon – and am happy to say I currently have three additional properties under contract.”
One major advantage Dan brings to his newfound passion as an investor is a $500,000 pot of money to invest, with double that amount in liquid cash and retirement accounts, should he ever need more to work with. His professional background spans the gamut from politics and advocacy to the financial services world. He was elected to the South Carolina State Legislature at age 24, and during the 12 years he served in office, he worked in insurance sales and went on to become a mortgage broker in 2004. Leaving the legislature in 2006, I began working with a group in Washington DC that managed political and legislative advocacy projects in over 32 states. In 2011, Dan started his own advocacy company and has enjoyed a super profitable run for the last 10 years.
“About two years ago,” he says, “I started accumulating excess cash and got involved in real estate investing as a way to diversify my investments and build passive income. I have a 25 year old daughter and 23 year old son from my first marriage, but I would say my ‘why” currently are my two younger children, my five year old daughter and three year old son. We live in Greenville now, but my dream is to get them out of the city and live in the country the way I grew up on a 35 acre property. As a teenager, I loved all the outdoor activities like fishing, hunting and gardening, and I really want my kids to live in an area with beautiful natural surroundings. That’s what really drives me.”