RG 072 – Getting started in real estate investing at any age with Bill Manassero

About Bill

  • Bill is the host of the Old Dawgs REI Network and podcast
  • This network is specifically for people over 50, facing retirement.
  • Bill spent many years working in Haiti as a missionary.

Nuts and Bolts

Bill Manassero has had an incredibly varied career and has traveled across the world with many jobs before starting up the Old Dawgs REI Network. When he graduated from college he went into the corporate world and accelerated quickly, becoming VP at 20. After this he launched his own business in marketing consulting, advertising and public relations. He left the financial world when the internet bubble burst and he traveled in an RV with his family across the US playing with a children’s rock band. At this time one of his daughters began to sponsor a child in Haiti and collect money to one day open an orphanage in the country, Bill dismissed this initially as a childish whim but agreed to take the family to Haiti for a short visit. After spending time on the island working with the homeless children Bill and his wife made the decision to come back to America, pack up their lives and move the whole family to Haiti to work full time in the orphanage. Bill and his family survived hurricanes, earthquakes and attempted kidnappings and lived there for 12 years.

As Bill started to get older he began to look for a stable source of income for his retirement that didn’t involve the stock market and he discovered real estate investment. When the family moved back to the US he bought three properties in Memphis and Atlanta that began cash-flowing immediately and he realized that this investment would create all the legacy money for retirement and his family. Bill’s goal is to double the number of units each year until he reaches 1000 units, he currently owns 28 but will attain his goal by year 6. He chooses the properties in markets with promise based on his criteria of occupancy rates, job growth, incoming businesses, population growth and supply+demand. He initially bought a single family home and a duplex and quickly realized that for the same cost and property upkeep he was making double the cash flow from the duplex. He then bought a 22 unit property in Indianapolis.

When he first got into real estate investing he had to teach himself the basics by going to REI’s, reading and listening to podcasts. As he became successful he had lots of people asking him about how he did it and how he got into real estate so he started to write down his basic tips and what he did each day on a blog. This grew into an educational website and became the foundation of the Old Dawgs Network. He realized that by trying to learn everything he was going to broad so he picked the niche of multifamily homes and retirement income teaching the over-50’s. The podcast isn’t designed to make any money, it’s purely an educational resource for anyone looking to start in investing after retirement. Bill says there are 4 things a person needs to do to get into real estate; educate yourself, get a mentor, write a plan and take action.

After Bill had bought the 22 unit property he needed to upgrade the property unit-by-unit to improve the value. His aim was to improve the units, update the electrical and mechanical parts of the property and then charge $220 per unit. Half way through this upgrade process his property manager’s wife suffered 2 brain aneurysms and had to cut back on his hours to look after her. Bill traveled to Indianapolis and lived in a unit on a blow-up bed and helped with the rehabs of the property. While he was there he worked on a stealth tenant marketing effort. Normally to advertise a property a manager would put a sign on the front lawn and people would apply, however the area was in transition and Bill wanted to attract some different tenants. He put the adverts online and printed off flyers to give to local businesses. The flyers stated that anyone could get a free month’s rent if they worked at that business. While he lived in the property the occupancy went up from 68%-95%. He also became friendly with other local property owners and they got together and worked on the curb appeal of their neighborhood, eg new signage, repainting, cut grass etc, which could be used to improve the value of the properties.

Top tips

  • Most important habit – Rising early
  • Most influential person – His father in law who built a real estate empire from scratch
  • Most important tool – Podcasting microphone
  • Most important mistake – Not getting a mentor soon enough

Contact – olddawgsreinetwork.com

Listen to Podcast