Please introduce yourself.
My name is Thomas Mosera and I am a real estate investor based in New Jersey and Florida. I have been investing for two years, and have closed 40 doors in New Jersey and 32 doors in Florida since I started. My strategy is employing long-term holds avoiding too many flips (I completed six flips in the last two years).
I am also a real estate agent with Keller Willams Team Realty in Clifton, NJ. My agent business has awarded me the silver circle of excellence for two consecutive years.
My team includes three partners, and I also mentor newer agents at Keller Willams on both the agent and investor sides of real estate. I currently train ten mentees.
How did you get started in the real estate business?
I caught the real estate bug 15 years ago when I invested in tax sale flips in Philadelphia. That deal was an exciting learning experience and allowed me to understand the rehab end of the business. I also realized that there is a lot of money left on the table when you don’t act as your own real estate agent.
At the time, I was working in the hospitality industry. Being a restaurateur took up all of my time, and I couldn’t focus 100% of my attention on my real estate business. As a result, the projects were not as lucrative as I had hoped. I decided that it was time for a change in 2017. I sold my restaurants, enrolled in real estate school, and dove headfirst into a new career–being a real estate agent and build a long-term hold portfolio. I obtained my real estate license and partnered with a brokerage that put education ahead of everything.
What are some hot markets for real estate that you are excited about?
I am always excited to invest in areas around big cities. However, navigating these markets can be tricky due to the asset premiums you have to pay. I will only invest in a property if it has positive cash flow. My mentor discourages investing for appreciation due to significant investor risks. If the market turns before you stabilize the asset, you can be upside down on that project.
I like B-class areas. There is always a tenant for this class of asset. If times are good, people increasingly move up to these areas, and downsize if times get bad. There is always a client for a class B property.
Essex County is my focus in New Jersey. In addition, I mostly invest in Citrus County in Florida.
How do you source your real estate deals?
Social media has been one of the best sources of deals for me. These platforms opened up the doors for many wholesalers to showcase their deals. I also find plenty of deals right on the MLS when I take the time to research. Many investors are always looking for A Deal but they don’t realize there are cash-flowing properties that you can buy for retail.
What are some checks and balances you’ve put in place to protect your real estate transactions?
I make sure I have three outs on a property: hold it for a small return; renovate it and flip out of it for a profit; renovate, rent, refinance the property, and hold it in my long-term portfolio.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting their real estate career?
Do not go it alone. There are many moving parts in the real estate business and it is easy to make mistakes. Seeking a coach/mentor is vital for success.
If you are considering getting into this business, you should educate yourself. Enroll in a Real Estate school and earn your license. There are a lot of novice investors or wholesalers out there, and they tend to overcomplicate the deal due to a lack of education.
What is one software you use for your business and recommend to others?
Buildium is a property management software that I started using from day one. Learning how to properly manage your property’s income and expenses is essential. Buildium helps you address problematic areas quickly. I saved time because my tenants can put in repair requests and pay their rent through the portal. What’s more, the money is directly deposited into my bank account. Balancing my books at the end of each month is also a breeze.
What is your superpower in life?
I am able to read people very well and adapt to their personalities. To succeed in the real estate industry, you have to fit in many different situations and read the room. My background in the hospitality industry definitely helped me acquire these skills.
What is a failure you’ve had in life that set you up for eventual success?
I struggled with the first real estate deal due to my inexperience and an over-reliance on others. That experience made me realize that I would only do other real estate transactions after I had completed my education.
What is one book that has influenced your life the most? Why?
The One Thing by Gary Keller and Private Parts by Howard Stern. The One Thing hits on focusing on the one thing that is most important to reach your goals, and Private Parts taught me that the level of drive and determination you need to succeed is immeasurable.