Real Estate Invest: A Lifelong Journey

Real estate investing is often seen as complex and exclusive, reserved for professionals or the wealthy elite.

However, the truth is that real estate investing is accessible to anyone willing to put in the effort. 

Below are a few points on why real estate investing is a lifelong learning journey that can be undertaken by anyone, starting at anytime.

1. Low Barrier to Entry

Unlike some investments, you can start in real estate at any financial or education level.  You can start with wholesaling, house-hacking, a small residential property, a fixer-upper, or invest through Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) or crowdfunding. The diversity of options means you can choose a level of investment that aligns with your financial situation at different points in your journey.


2. Education is Abundant

There are countless online resources, courses, books, local meet-ups and podcasts dedicated to real estate investing. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced investor, there’s always more to learn.  My journey started with BiggerPockets, countless podcasts and Zoom calls.  A lot of great content costs no money, though it takes time to learn.  I’m still learning – it’s why I include “Great Things to Share” with every newsletter so I hope you all can keep learning with me.


3. Hands-On Experience

Learning by doing is an integral part of real estate investing. Every property you invest in provides unique experiences, challenges, and opportunities. Whether you’re dealing with tenants, negotiating with sellers, or overseeing renovations, each transaction becomes a lesson in itself. I view investing in properties as investing in my education, as well as a way to get to financial independence.


4. Networking and Collaboration

Real estate investing relies on interacting with people, including real estate agents, property managers, contractors, and fellow investors. Building a network provides opportunities for knowledge, joint ventures, and mentorship. Every person you meet is an invaluable resource, and you never know when that “let’s get a cup of coffee” will lead to a great partnership later on.


Remember -> Real estate investing is long-term.


It can span generations, offering a way to support your family and community outside of a typical W-2.


It doesn’t discriminate based on background or financial status. With the abundance of educational resources, low barriers to entry, and the prevalence of online networking, it is filled with opportunities for growth, personal development, and financial success.


Taking small steps in whatever direction you are interested in yields astonishing results over time.


Remember that you have the tools and resources to embark on this journey, regardless of your starting point.


Still not sure what to do next?


We are here to help – please reach out so we can talk through your situation and find the right real estate investing path for you!

Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

We’re here to help.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


3 Tips on Leadership (in Real Estate)

Real estate investing, which we love to do, is based on simple concepts.  That doesn’t make it easy.

The biggest challenge by far is that it involves SO MANY PEOPLE with competing incentives, varied backgrounds, and often big personalities.


How do you get them to all work together to achieve the business plan on a particular property over a particular time?

1. Listen more than you talk.

Yes, you are the leader so get final decision and to say when there is enough information to make that decision.  However – you hired (or teamed up with) these people for a reason.  They know something you don’t whether through background or perspective.  Ordering people to do things without listening carefully each time is a sure way to end up with mediocre talent and compiled mistakes that lead to an average or below average result.


2. Focus on clear & consistent communication processes

Communication drives the team.  As the leader, you set the communication expectations as well as the process.  It’s one of the first and most critical things to establish in any team.  What platform(s) do we use and for what? How often do we communicate? How do decisions get made and documented?  Once established, it is also the leader’s job to enforce it.  Just because Jack decides he likes Teams better than WhatsApp doesn’t mean he gets to switch if everyone else is on the latter already.  Unless the whole team makes that move together of course.  Disparate communication systems can wreak havoc on any team.

3. Establish a culture of doing the right thing

This sounds complicated, but it really isn’t.  You’re the leader.  Do the right thing.  When you talk with your team about decisions they are making, encourage them to do the right thing. If someone does the right thing but it backfires, praise them for doing the right thing and figure out how to pivot from the backfire together. 

After doing this even for a short time, the people who work with you (always “with”, never “for”, even if they are direct reports) will get the message.  Then all those little decisions people who are not you make about types of plumbing fittings to use and contractor grade vs residential grade outlets, will add up to a much more robust portfolio of investments.  This is preferably to a ticking time bomb that happens if the culture is about cutting corners.  Like draws like – be the person you want your teammates to be.


Ensuring you have an outstanding leadership team is a great way to #buildyourownluck!

Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

We’re here to help.

You can start making an impact  sooner than you think.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


What is Asset Management?

Property Management (PM) is a common term – anyone who ever rented a place to live has interacted with one.  They collect rent, organize maintenance requests, respond to questions, and are generally responsible for day-to day operations that a resident can observe.

So why in commercial real estate is the term “Asset Management” (AM) used? 

Are a Property Manager and Asset Manager the same thing?

Short answer is no – the two roles are different. 

However the same person can perform both roles.  Let’s step up to the plate.

The Asset Manager is ultimately responsible for if a property performs or not.  If they drop the ball, then not only tenants but investors, owners, the bank, even the government hold them accountable.

To keep everything on track, the Asset Manager directs the Property Manager and contractor activities to align with the business plan.  They implement the strategy laid out at purchase.

If the strategy is fix up a property then sell after 3 years, that drives different day-to-day decisions than if the strategy is to hold an already stable property for 10+ years.

For example – say a roof started leaking.

Just like on your home, there are 2 choices: patch repair or put on a new roof.  Which do you chose?  The upfront cost of patch repair is much lower, but the long term cost of multiple repairs (and possible secondary damage) will add up over time.  While a new roof is a plus to a buyer, the return on investment (ROI) at sale is almost always less than what you paid for it.  

So, if the strategy is only a 3 year hold, the Asset Manager may decide to patch repair.  There will be a bit of a lower purchase price at sale, but hopefully not too significant.  On the other hand if the strategy is to hold it for 10 years, the Asset Manager may decide to put a new roof on.  That protects the building and keeps from having the ongoing headache of roof repair after roof repair.

This decision is not something a Property Manager would be expected to decide.  The Property Manager reports a roof leak to the Asset Manager and asks “what do you want me to do”?

The Asset Manager looks at the business strategy including the budget and makes a decision best in line with that strategy.  That’s why the role is so important.  Without someone that has their eye on the ball, a great strategy can easily go sideways or miss an opportunity to improve the property performance.

If a pivot is necessary due to market conditions, it’s the Asset Manager that brings it up to the team.


Ensuring you have an outstanding Asset Manager for each property & portfolio is a great way to #buildyourownluck!

Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

We’re here to help.

You can start making an impact  sooner than you think.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


Will the Team Hit the Target?

You’re investing in real estate – but will the team actually hit the target?

The most important step before investing is vetting the team managing the deal (aka the sponsor). By performing your due diligence and vetting the sponsor, you can be sure that your investment is in good hands.

Sponsors are not all created equal – some are more experienced and qualified than others. If you do your homework up front, you can avoid potential problems down the road. You don’t want to be the one who puts their hard earned money at risk and loses it all because you didn’t do the due diligence.

Here are a few tips to help you vet the sponsors:

1. Ask for references from past investors. If the sponsor(s) can’t provide any, that’s not a good sign. You can also do a background check on them.

2. Check their track record. How long have they been doing syndication? How many properties do they currently manage? Have they sold any of their properties and what were the results for passive investors?

3. Take a look at the business model. Are they focused on completely renovating all the units or taking a property from low occupancy to high occupancy? Or do they achieve returns using more simple value-add techniques? Have they executed that type of business plan before, and if so how did it go?

4. Ask lots of questions. Are the sponsor(s) taking the time to walk you through the plan and numbers in detail? Can they answer your questions concisely, clearly and quickly?  Remember before you invest is when you have the most leverage – if you don’t like the way they are treating you before you invest, then it is likely to only get worse afterwards!

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to feeling confident that you’re working with a qualified and trustworthy sponsor.

Real estate investing is all about working with a team you know, like and trust.

If any of those don’t line up for you, keep asking questions or find a new team.


Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

We’re here to help.

You can start making an impact  sooner than you think.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


How Do You Know a Deal is Good?

Is your inbox full of real estate investment deals from lists you’ve joined but you just can’t figure out what really makes sense?

Or maybe your friend calls you up and has “the deal of a lifetime” – how do you know?

Feeling unsure or even intimidated to “make the right call” with your hard-earned savings is completely normal. It’s a big decision with complexity and potential rewards that may seem daunting at first glance. 

Clover Capital is here to help.

Here are 6 key terms to look for in a real estate deal as an investor:

  • Team Experience – Experience and reputation are huge.  It’s first because it is THE most important thing.  The team operating the deal isn’t going to change, so if you don’t have confidence in them, move on to someone you do.

  • Off-Market – The property wasn’t publicly listed for sale.  The sponsor team got the property under contract without having any competition and they are likely getting very reasonable terms for it.

  • Value-Add – The value-add investment is the purchase of a real estate asset with the intent to create additional equity through operational and physical improvements. The concept is simple: buy low and upgrade the asset to sell high.

  • Location, Location, Location – This holds true in commercial the same as residential.  A strong market where population growth, job market, and the local economy are all moving in a positive direction is a boon to any investment.

  • Rent Growth Assumptions – Every market and type of investment has different rent growth.  This assumption has a big impact on your returns.  Deal sponsors doing their research will not just account for the last year, but also the past 5-10 yrs of history.  For multifamily apartments in the Southeast US, 1-3% is a typical rent growth number to look for.  More than that and the sponsors owe you a deeper explanation as to why they are so good at predicting the future…

  • Exit Cap Rate – A bit more technical, but the simple tip here is look for an Exit Cap number higher than what it is being bought at.  Both numbers are shared in any legitimate pitch.  This is a “big lever” in how returns are calculated.  If Exit Cap is less than or equal to Entry Cap during the investment pitch, beware the numbers are likely quite non-conservative.  Ask more questions (of the sponsor and others in your network) to understand if it’s real or too rosy of a picture.

Curious about other terms from an investment offer?  We’ve created a quick reference here – just for you!

There are a lot of good multifamily investment deals out there.  RE investing is a fantastic way to get a strong return and diversify your portfolio while benefiting from tax advantages.  There’s a reason the majority of high-income earners invest in it! 

However, you’re looking for a property that will get you results that work for your goals.  To get that, it’s important to take your time and make the best decision for your situation.

Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

We’re here to help.

You can start making an impact  sooner than you think.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


4 Ways to Fund RE Investments $$$$

Your nest egg unfortunately doesn’t build itself.

Saving and scrimping only gets you so far.  Wealthy people leverage their money to create passive income, then do it again and again to create a snowball effect.

But where does that initial money come from?

There are a lot of different places to find investment funds – below are 4 of the most common.


Option 1: Individual Investor

Do you want a quick and easy way to invest?

Do you want to invest with free cash that otherwise sits in a savings or CD or money market earning way less than it could?

If you answered yes, becoming an individual investor may be the best option for you!

Individual investors can:

  • Move in and out of deals quickly, rolling their returns into the next deal to speed up that most powerful of financial forces – compounding.
  • Receive distributions directly into your account
  • Reap many of the tax benefits of owning real estate (depreciation is amazing!)
  • Take advantage of all the benefits, tax breaks, and distributions that come with being a real estate individual investor – without all the pesky property maintenance and paperwork.

Option 2: Joint Investor

Do you and a partner (spouse, family, friend, etc) have enough between you to invest?

Do you still want access to all the awesome benefits of passive real estate investing?

Joint investing may be for you. It is more common than you think!

Joint Investors can:

  • Get all the same benefits of Individual investors
  • Leverage each other’s financial position to get into more lucrative investments than they could alone
  • Have a partner to talk through deals with that you know is acting in the best interest of the investment.

With Joint Investing, asset protection strategies are highly encouraged. Put legal beneficiary designations in place and written out plans to keep your investments protected.

Then start enjoying all the same benefits individual investors do – but as part of a team!

Option 3: 401K Real Estate Investing

Do you have a 401k or Roth IRA?

Are you frustrated with its performance and wish you had more control/options?

Surprise – You can use your retirement funds to invest in real estate!

With a self-directed IRA, you can:

  • Invest in commercial real estate passively – on deals YOU chose, with partners YOU know. Not stock bundles a company picked out.
  • Diversify your retirement into a fantastic asset class, without coming up with free cash elsewhere
  • Learn more about how real estate passive investing works by getting into deals with experienced operators

If you invest $100,000 passively in real estate with a five-year hold and a projected 2x EM, you may double your investment over that five years. Then do it again, and again!

Keep that compounding rolling through into retirement age.

Transforming a 401k into a self-directed IRA is a very common and effective way to add real estate investing to a portfolio.  Even if you are still at the company, you can use funds you personally contributed (not the company match).

This is a great way to help your nest egg grow faster even while working full-time.

Option 4: Bring the Asset

Do you have a piece of land, 2nd home no one really uses, or other property asset other than your primary home?

Are you unsure of the best way to leverage that property into cash for your family or business?

Do you not have the cash or knowledge to get the property to its highest and best use?

Bringing the Asset Option may be for you!

If you Bring the Asset, you can:

  • Decide who you partner with
  • Gain access to partners with experience you can learn from
  • Stay passive or go active depending on your level of interest
  • Still get great benefits from RE investing!

This is great for people who inherited real property of some kind but are not in the real estate business. Not all property is worth developing or improving on. However, there are many cases of “you don’t know unless you ask” – and if you move to sell without the right knowledge first you could be walking away from a great opportunity for passive income!


Hopefully this gave you some ideas on how to get started passively investing. Consider your family situation and personal financial goals, then pick the right option (or options!) for you.

Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

We’re here to help.

You can start making an impact  sooner than you think.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


Create Financial Freedom (in 10yrs or Less)

Have you ever caught yourself thinking one day you would be able to wake up and do exactly what you want to do every day without worrying about the cost?

But right now you don’t feel like you have enough financial freedom to do that.

You’re stuck spending time to earn money.

You are working harder than ever to earn more money but you keep finding yourself in the same position as when you started.

If this sounds like you, then it’s time to discover your most valuable asset – YOU.

It’s time to take back control and boldly activate your wealth strategy!

Here is what you can do:

1) Learn About Options

  • Did you know you can use IRA funds NOW to diversify into real estate?
  • How about funding a high cash value life insurance policy can efficiently fund your real estate investments?
  • What about going in with a group to buy a property instead of doing it all (or even most of it) yourself?

2) Leverage your network:

  • Start asking around if anyone else invests in real estate – you may be surprised at how many do!
  • The more people you know, the more options you have and the more you can learn.  –> Talk to your realtor, your property manager, your banker, your insurance agent and other key people to understand the unique contacts and options you have.

3) Create a Strategy:

  • Your financial goals CAN BE ACHIEVED.  Just allow your money to work for you, instead of the other way around.  Identify places your money is not working hard enough and adjust your investments to align with your plans.
  • By continuing to let your money work harder for you while you still earn an income, you cut down on the time to actually achieve it drastically.  A cash flowing, tax efficient asset like real estate can replace your income faster than you might think with less time needed to manage it.

If you’re interested in giving real estate investing a try, there are plenty of ways to do it either on your own, through REITs or as a group purchase.

We’re happy to support you in any way we can, and specialize in group buying (also known as crowd funding or syndication).  

Since real estate investing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, it does require a time commitment (~3-7 years) and some financial resources (typically $25k-$100k+).

However, if you’re ready to add real estate investing to your portfolio Join Club Clover to keep learning and be the first to hear about new investment opportunities

Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

We’re here to help.

You can start making an impact  sooner than you think.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


Stabilization is A Process, Not An Endpoint


That’s what our partners at Voyage Holdings celebrated with us in January for our MHP.

 It was a great moment to enjoy all the hard work of the past year. 

But what does “achieving stabilization” really mean? 

Stabilization is a Process, not an Endpoint

When first looking at a property, a lot of the business cases are centered around what will happen after it is “stabilized”.  

What the asset managers and general partners are really looking at is property performance after the first stage (Stage 1) in the business plan is complete.

Stage 1 for a B/C class property acquisition (the ones Clover focuses on) is almost always a big-shift value-add. Think renovations, exterior updating/design, adding new property features, and more – all to allow a quick increase in rental income and resident expectations.

For the MHP, stabilization was initially defined as all lots having resident owned homes at market lot rents. 

Detailed work included:

    • Increasing current resident rent to market
    • Infrastructure maintenance
    • Clearing and prepping unused lots for hookups
    • Acquiring homes to place on vacant lots
    • Getting those homes through inspections
    • Selling those homes to new residents

All that in year!  That’s a lot of change in a short period of time.  We completed the initial business plan.  But that doesn’t mean we’re done…

Enter Stage 2 – Additional value add and operations

Now that we finished the initial business plan successfully, spotify music promotion we are looking at other ways to increase the property value. For instance:

    • Discuss with the city to let us have more lots since we have additional land (now that we did a good job on the others)
    • At what rate can we continue increasing lot rents to keep pace with the local growing economy?
    • Are there nearby potential acquisitions that would reduce operations costs or increase the land value?
    • What other amenities could we offer residents to drive up their happiness enough to pay more than average rent?
    • Are there other financing options that would better position the property financial performance?

There are many more questions like this which can (and should!) be asked by an asset management/ownership team after the initial stabilization is complete.   

After Stage 2 is complete?  Repeat Stage 2. 

And keep repeating until the best financial decision to make is a sale.  Sometimes in this cycle the Stage 2 business plan value-add will be small (3% rent increase), CoinPal and sometimes it will be big (need to upgrade to new fixtures to keep up with competition). 

The point is to not get complacent and think “this property is performing the best it ever will”.  Once you start thinking that, it’s probably time to sell to someone who sees opportunity where you see stagnation.  

Stabilization is a process where you are constantly reassessing and adjusting property operations to achieve the best and highest use in the ever-changing local/macro environment.  Aka – investment optimization!


Want to use real estate to build your own luck, but need more time/money/education?

No problem! 

Clover can help.  

You can start making an impact  sooner than you think.

Join Club Clover and start building your own luck today!


Step 3: Communicate and Operate

Based on the team’s answers to the questions from Step 2, we now dig into the nitty-gritty of asset and property management.  

If you hire a great property manager (PM), this section will be easy because they already have the knowledge and robust processes for it all.


If you instead have a good PM, an ok one, or are self-managing then you’ll need to check and/or develop the processes and measurement systems to keep the property (and your business) on track.


This boils down to one question:

How will the team communicate?


The more time you spend on how, where and what will be communicated by who up front the smoother the whole business plan will run.

What communication platform works best for your team?  

For us, we use a combination of Asana, regular meetings, email and (for time sensitive issues only) text messages.  This way we drive as much as possible communication in written form.  This helps avoid confusion and can be referred back to over and over.

The Asana platform also automates a number of great things like:

    • Recurring maintenance task reminders
    • Recurring CAPEX reminders (inspections needed for roof, HVACs, water heaters, sewer pipes, etc)
    • Recurring asset/property management task reminders (taxes, insurance, filings, 1099s, K-1s, etc)
    • Alignment between vacancies, turn work and up coming move-ins
    • Documents/photos embedded right in the tasks
    • Email reminders to the people for that task when the due date is coming up
    • You can even get fancy and use workflows, templates, goal trackers etc all in one place.
[We have no affiliation with Asana, we just like it a lot]

Other teams use Notion, Google Tasks, spreadsheets or really anything that works consistently where communication can be as centralized and standardized as possible.    The point here is to DECIDE on something and get your team on board with it.  

Don’t take this part for granted.  It makes keeping everyone rowing in the same direction much easier.


Once you have a platform, now you (preferably with your PM) has to fill out all the process and decisions that can be made ahead of time.

This way, the team can act more independently (no one wants to be micromanaged).  Even better, if someone has a question, they can write it down in the platform.  Then everyone sees it, you can update the standard process, and now it doesn’t come up again!

Here are a few ideas for standard processes to develop up front – even if you change them later after operating for a while:

  • How “Market Rent” is calculated
  • How often to calculate key metrics (also called key process indicators or KPIs), and what those are
  • What items are covered by Property Maintenance (very specifically) and what items are considered tenant responsibility
  • How will emergency situations be handled, and what phone numbers are to be called?
  • How to do a property inspection (checklist of items, what to take photos of, where to store the report, how to report issues so they get to maintenance, etc)
  • Script/QA resource for people speaking with tenants/potential tenants so all the answers are the same (or refer to the right person)
  • Which items are categorized CAPEX and which OPEX (yes, this is done wrong all the time by PMs who just don’t pay attention to it)

Hopefully, you’re beginning to see why setting up the right communication platform and process at the beginning is so important.  

Having a plan and the milestones to get there are necessary first steps, but the work to do it comes down to communication and standard processes.  The better you do those, the closer you come to your plan with less stress from the whole team.


How well is the team sticking to the processes?

How will you know this?

Measuring is very helpful, IF the right things are measured. 

Successful business plans and operations plans include key metrics, otherwise known as Key Process Indicators or KPIs.  These give insight into how well the team is working together and progressing towards the business plan goals.

If you can integrate these measurements into your processes, that’s ideal.

For example, lease-up time depends heavily on marketing and traffic.  Measuring how many people are seeing the listing, doing shows and ultimately converting gives you an idea of how effective the lease-up process and team are.  This can be done automatically with digital tools (Rently and both offer data), but also needs to be recorded by on-site PMs (how many people just dropped in, how many phone calls were taken and resulted in an application, etc).  Coming up with a few metrics that encompass all that data is really helpful.  In this example, we use conversion rate to help us see how many people have to be interested for a unit to ultimately rent.



Finally, have a team review.  

Go over the strategy, processes and communication initially and often.   It doesn’t have to be every aspect, every time.  However a stale process almost certainly isn’t helping the team perform at its best. 


You joined with this team because they are smart and capable.  Let them influence the processes and listen to them.  Your business will be better for it and your investors will thank you.

Now you know the process for success – 


Let’s get to work building our own luck!

Enjoy being part of the team but don’t have the time?

No problem! 

Let’s talk about how you can make an impact – both in your life and the lives of others.



Lower Your Taxes with RE Investing

Who likes paying taxes?


Don’t everyone raise your hands at once.


The reality is taxes are a part of living in a society – they help pay for our schools, roads, libraries, parks and much more.

What if you could choose where your tax dollars went to?

That’s why at Clover we want to help you understand how to keep more of your taxes in your hands.  Then you get control over what aspect of the community you invest in, and which ones are using the money the best.

Sounds good... how does real estate help me pay less taxes?

Real estate investing is considered a passive activity by the IRS.

All passive income is grouped together to determine overall income for the year.

That means if you have capital gains from any passive activity, you can use losses from any other passive activity to offset that.


Quick example:

  • Sell one property (or other passive investment) held for longer than a year in 2022 with $10k in profit.  Typically you’ll pay capital gains tax of 15% on that $10k, leaving you with $8500 in profit to reinvest.
  • BUT if you also invest in another property in 2022 that gives you $10k in losses, now you have $0 in income for the year.
  • Now you have been able to use the whole $10k into a new investment instead of paying 15% to the IRS.

Neat right? 


Wait...why do I get a tax loss for buying real estate?

Ah, good question.

Real estate is considered a depreciating asset – it loses value over time.

So each year you own it, you get a loss on your taxes since the asset isn’t as valuable.  Even if it’s in perfect working order and making a ton of money.

You can increase your income and decrease your taxes at the same time!


When you buy real estate, that first year you can *currently* choose to accelerate depreciation.  Which means you get up to 100% that depreciation in year 1 of owning the property!!!

Now, this is changing starting 2023.  It will decrease by 20% per year until we’re back to the historically normal depreciation schedule.


Oh wow, so for the most tax benefits investing sooner is better?



Check with your certified public accountant (CPA) and see how much passive investing can benefit your situation.  We are not accountants and all information herein is for education only.


You don’t have to buy real estate on your own!  All of these benefits are available as a part of a buying group (syndication).  


We regularly have deals that can help you reinvest all your money instead of part of it.


That helps you grow your wealth faster so you can choose how best to help your community.

Love the impact and tax benefits but not sure what the next steps are?

No problem! 

Send a note or set up a meet – we’d love to help get you closer to your goals.