Cory Boatright is a successful real estate investor and investing coach who started his journey off the same way many other investors get started. To date, he has more than 1,000 property transactions tallied at more than $100 million under his belt. He also owns and operates 422 multifamily units through syndications. Boatright has a wealth of knowledge from his extensive hands-on experience. He spoke with Joe Fairless to share some of his valuable insights with others.
From Single-Family to Multifamily
Boatright, who lives in Oklahoma City, purchased his first single-family house 21 years ago. Over the years, he transitioned from bird-dogging to short sales and loss mitigation. For the last six years, he has worked extensively on wholesale activities. Today, he is focused on finding off-market multifamily properties with between 75 and 150 units that have value-add potential.
Boatright sees a gap in direct response marketing to identify potential sellers without the need to pay for a broker’s fee. Because his wholesaling business only takes up approximately 15 hours per week, Boatright has ample time available to directly market for apartment projects.
He also spends time tracking his activities. By doing so, he trains himself to focus on things that move the needle forward in his life. This is a concept that he also teaches to his investing students. Essentially, he monitors activities over each hour and identifies those activities that were valued at $10 per hour versus $100, $1,000, and $10,000 per hour. By focusing on the things worth more and delegating low-value items to others, he is able to optimize how he spends his time.
One example of a high-value way to spend time is building a relationship that ultimately may pay off dramatically in the years ahead. Another example would be getting a small commission from lining up a deal and letting someone else handle the hard work on that deal.
Identifying an Ideal Target
When Cory Boatright reflects on his direct response marketing efforts, he talks about extracting data from ListSource to identify owners of apartment complexes with 10 or more units. Through his effort to date, he found that some owners were not aware of their vacancy rate, net operating income, and other critical factors that are tied to the successful and optimized operation of a multifamily investment property. Others have found themselves in over their heads because they failed to anticipate the amount of time and energy it takes to keep up with such a large property.
These and other factors are common in medium-sized apartment complexes in the Oklahoma City area, and Boatright sees the opportunity to target those owners through direct marketing. Often, after getting a phone call response from his direct marketing efforts, he asks the property owner to have coffee and discuss their pain points. This lays the foundation for a potentially lucrative wholesale deal.
A Personal Touch
Notably, Cory Boatright has been using direct response marketing with single-family homes for more than a decade. While he has found that postcards are a cost-effective way to reach those property owners, another approach is needed to reach apartment complex owners.
One approach that he has taken recently is to create a personalized letter and to send it out via a FedEx envelope. After all, everyone opens a FedEx envelope and looks at its contents. He looks for the best way to actually get in touch with an individual and to get them to take interest in what he is saying. He believes that spending a little more money to be successful in this area is a true value-add activity that yields incredible rewards through an executed deal.
Cory Boatright has used a variety of methods to identify potential deals and to build a database of apartment property owners. When a real estate agent is used, the seller generally has to pay a five- or six-digit commission to the agent. When Boatright does the legwork himself, he saves the owner that money and potentially builds value into the deal from the first step.
In addition to ListSource, one of the methods that he uses to find the owners of commercial projects is CoStar. The cost to use this service is steep, so it is up to the investor to analyze the pros and cons. Boatright also uses skip-tracing, but it is most effective with marketing to single-family homes. He uses American Tracers, Delvepoint, and IDI to save time and energy in this area.
Persistence Is Key
On a broader scale, Cory Boatright states that one of his best pieces of advice to other investors is to be persistent with single-family properties. He believes that many investors give up too soon and may find value if they keep going.
For commercial real estate investments, he advises other investors to take things slowly. An entire apartment transaction boils down to finding success in that last week leading up to closing. There can be extensive delays, so being patient as you navigate through the delays can ultimately pay off on a grand scale.
Today, Cory Boatright identifies distressed apartment complexes. He specifically focuses on the Oklahoma City area because he is familiar with that market and has a detailed list of property owners in the area. Once he purchases an apartment complex and turns the property around, he sells it for a sizable profit. These are often through syndications.
To be successful in his wholesaling activities, he has to ensure that he has all of the facts upfront. Missing out on a key piece of information upfront may ultimately cost tens of thousands of dollars or more down the road.
Looking forward, Cory Boatright strives to focus on being grateful. This concept reminds him that his worst day could be someone else’s best day. It also keeps him centered so that he can identify the things that are most important and meaningful in life despite the highs and lows.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.