Please introduce yourself.
“Zenhomes21” is the name we decided for our company when we started on our real estate investing journey in 2021. We are a husband (Krish) and wife (Suchi) partnership that is looking to learn, live and grow in this industry. We have done 5 single-family home deals in the past year and now looking to scale to our next goal – apartment complex syndication. We own approximately $1.8 million worth of real estate. We are operating primarily in the Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas markets and are setting up a trusted team of contractors, realtors, and property managers in each of these locations to expand our real estate portfolio. This has been the most grueling, exciting, and “breaking out of our shell” journey and it is crazy to think this has just been a year of focus, hard work, and determination. We can’t wait for so much more of the good, bad and ugly sides of Real Estate Investing.
How did you get started in the real estate business?
Suchi: We got married in March 2020 and soon after, I got furloughed from my job. I guess taking a step back from my job was all I needed to gain some perspective on my life goals. In August 2020, I made the decision to get licensed as a realtor without realizing that it was just the start of a very long and exciting road ahead. The biggest blessing came when Krish was also willing to experiment with real estate. A lot of lessons and heartbreaks later, we are still right here enjoying our wins and our rookie mistakes and taking life one day at a time.
Krish: For me, going into real estate came with no choices. When the wife goes on and on about everything she learned in class and heard on podcasts, you just follow along. And I’m so glad I did. She always found the financing side more exciting and I always loved every aspect of rehab that goes into the house. And so luckily, we both found our individual passions!
What are some hot markets for real estate that you are excited about?
Well, we are biased towards the markets we invest in – Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina. We definitely can see the potential that these 3 markets have in just one year and it is partly the motivation to keep acquiring more properties in these states.
Depending on our goals for appreciation and cash flow, Midwest (Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio) and Florida are some other states on our radar.
How do you source your real estate deals?
MLS, driving 4 dollars, Facebook groups, and bigger pockets forum. Networking – any form of networking – is the way to a successful real estate career.
What are some checks and balances you’ve put in place to protect your real estate transactions?
We will be honest about this. We definitely are still in the process of getting our systems in place for asset protection.
LLCs: We have LLCs for individual properties and are now looking to set up a holding company LLC to protect ourselves first and then our assets.
Insurance – Good insurance coverages for all properties have been set up and we are in the process of looking into umbrella policies that take up any amount that is not covered by individual insurance policies. I know most of us have insurance policies but we hardly educate ourselves with regards to our coverages. This is a big mistake that can be avoided by being proactive about knowing our policies.
Quickbooks, budgeting, separate business bank accounts, and a good CPA are just some of the other must-haves to run a successful business.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting their real estate career?
Don’t take shortcuts. It is important to realize that there is a price and you need to struggle to make slow consistent progress towards success. It is important to educate yourself, network, and learn different ways to grow. You might have beginner’s luck but that might only take you so far. However, a calculated risk with thorough knowledge is what will set you up for success, even if that comes with a few roadblocks.
What is one software you use for your business and recommend to others?
What is your superpower in life?
Suchi: Networking – with lenders, realtors, contractors, anybody – I am capable of reading the other person’s personality to get my logic across, and 8 out of 10 times I get my way! In other words, I’m stubborn and it works for me in certain situations in this industry to have a clear goal and stick with it.
Krish: Execution – I don’t give up. I am able to bring tasks to the finish line with patience, hard work, and learning along the way. There is no cutting corners when you are trying to problem-solve during rehab and my engineering skills come in handy.
What is a failure you’ve had in life that set you up for eventual success?
Our first BRRRR (distressed property that we rehabbed to add value to it) was more like an obstacle course. Bad contractors, permit issues, over budget, overestimated rehab time, and a lot more. But what kept us going was our knowledge that everybody has been through this first rehab disaster and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Networking and reading other people’s stories have changed our mindset and helped us focus on the bigger picture. We knew every obstacle was just learning and nothing more than that. The only time we were allowed to get mad at ourselves was when we repeated the same mistake a 2nd time. The first time was always excused.
And now for the good part, we did win at this deal! And that’s our silver lining!
What is one book that has influenced your life the most? Why?
“How to Invest in Real Estate” by Brandon Turner. That’s the book where it all started! It changed our lives. It is the most basic real estate investing book just to test the waters if you even remotely like real estate. Give it a read! This is your sign!