More about Ken Lemal President and Founder of the Landlord2Landlord RenterNet.
BIO Ken Lemal
Hi and Welcome to my Landlord Web Portal. I am Ken Lemal, Founder and President of the Landlord2Landlord RenterNet. The following is my story and the story of how the RenterNet began. This is important to you as well from the stand point that there may be resources available to you that you did not know existed. I have been developing products for many years for use in my own businesses and now they can be available to you as well.
Back in the mid 1990 I got a phone call from a property owner by the name of Staci Williams. That call that went out to a dozen property owners near Staci’s properties and quickly grew into an organization of over 400 landlords in metro Atlanta, Ga. The focus of the organization was to develop a system to quit trading tenants no one wants among the group. I was nominated to run that system for the organization. Seeing an opportunity I began offering processing services nationwide and by the year 2000 had built a web portal to handle the processing for me.
Lesson One- Expand Your Network Expand Your Wallet.
I frequently hear that you want to increase your income increase your network. In the network we built, I saw many properties exchanging hands within the group. As the L2L service offerings were in expansion mode and I drew on past experiences, the following offering was born.
L2L Connect- Expand your network and expand your pocketbook. Opt in to the L2L Connect and tell us what type of properties and what area you have an interest in. Let’s see if we can help you fulfill your needs whether it is buying or selling.
Lesson Two- Came from the years I used the Communities Software.
I was actually renting properties in tight rental markets, sight unseen, to renters who found me on line. Not to mention the time and money saved by not showing properties to someone who needed something I could not offer.
L2L Communities- Get your properties on the web. In multifamily communities, it is imperative you have a web presence. In addition I have used these sites to advertise my single family properties as well. The sites are designed to be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like by simply turning off links you don’t need. Most single family home owners who manage their own properties spend many hours showing properties to unqualified or uninterested people once they have seen the interior. So load some pictures on line and have your prospective tenant review your properties before you waste time and money traveling. Example site Click Here
L2L Appointment Source Tracking- Need appointment calendars for your properties? Want to know what advertising is effective and what you should turn off? This is a system I use in one of my businesses and learned the $15,000.00 A month I was spending on PPC advertising was not making me money. It is not enough to get reports on how much traffic came from your different advertising if you have a system that gives you this level of information your doing better than most. What you need to know is what source delivers actual business and money in your pocket.
L2L Communications- PBX phone system using DID numbers; what does this mean to you? $2.00 per month per number. Cell phones at $19.95 a month and .03 cents a minute on the (sprint) cellular network (not including phone). Free on your home or business wireless network. Purchase a $20. To $50. Phone set, point a $2.00 phone number at it. What do you pay now? Even if you have phone numbers you have had for a long time. We can port in these numbers and service them for $2.00 each per month. Or you have a manager who moves around a lot set them up with a cell phone that gets your office calls wherever they go.
So now that I have told you what is available let me share with you the WHY. Many years of my career have been in the multifamily investment arena. Luckily prior to 2008 crash, I had sold off the last of my multifamily properties. From the sidelines, I helped coach many of the investors who were my clients and friends. A lot of them pulled thru many did not.
Lesson 3- Never just walk away from your real estate holding due to a market adjustment.
Many investors I know simply waited for the banks to take their properties ended up collecting rent for years without making a mortgage payment. Not that I am advocating this. But when the banks get into such a log jam of properties to deal with you are actually doing them a favor to keep the property up and safe until they can get around to you. Once they do, help them by making smooth transition, and by then you may find the bank may be willing to renegotiate the loan.
And finally this has been my career in a nutshell;
My real estate investment career began at the age of 23 (37 yrs ago) after listening to Robert Allen talk about Nothing Down Real Estate Investing. After a three day seminar and reading his book I set out to practice his teaching. Within 3 months I had purchased 3 properties and got paid at closing for all three homes.
My then corporate job presented a new job opportunity to relocate to Atlanta in order to manage 43 business locations throughout 10 states. On my 10th year anniversary with the company and just minutes after being offered another promotion to become a VP and manage hundreds of locations across the US and over 900 employees; I announced my intentions to resign. I gave a 6 month notice that I was leaving the company.
Over the 5 years I spent in Atlanta with the corporate job, I had spent all my evenings, weekends, and holidays locating purchasing and renovating real estate in order to release the grip of having to work a full time job.
The craze the last few years in real estate has been on flipping houses. In many parts of the US the flipping market is getting much harder finding good deals due to the fact that the home sales market heated up in 2013 and has remained strong into 2014.
Flipping properties was something I did a lot of in the beginning but decided it was not my cup of tea. I didn't enjoy running all over town to keep up with renovations and crews. It is very hard to maintain your staffing without strong consistent cash flow thru all market trends. This is when I found what could be accomplished with many of the properties I already owned. A blueprint of this process I lay out in my eBook named the Paper Millionaire that will be released soon.
I needed cash flow to hire the needed help for a balanced life. So I spent my time turning average properties into high cash flow properties such as SRO’s, rooming houses, mobile home parks and under preforming single family homes. The kind of things I did was to take a $50,000 a year income property and make it a $500,000 a year income property.
LESSON 4- NEVER STOP LEARNING.
At the same time I added Real Estate and Money Guru Jimmy Napier's teaching to by abilities of buying and selling discounted mortgages to my toolbox. I also found this knowledge to be a good method of buying and selling real estate, and creating owner carried back wrap mortgages that could be exchanged for cash once the loans were seasoned. My technique was to make money upon buying/flipping and of course once the mortgage was sold.
In the money business I found that I could also originate mortgage/loans and make a % spread over the term of the loan. Soon I found some alternative funding sources that were insurance companies. I had also found a group of Florida land lot flippers that was making millions a month so I began buying and flipping the lot loans to my insurance clients. This business had grown so much my insurance client suggested that I needed to service some of the paper we were creating for their portfolio. Instead of creating a servicing company I looked for one to purchase.
In the late 80's and early 90's after the Ronald Regan years and (ACRS) that fueled the real estate investor market there was a real estate market crash. The federal government created the Resolution Trust Corporation aka RTC to liquidate the assets accumulated from all the failed S&L's the government shut down. One such asset was a 3.2 Billion dollars mortgage servicing company owned by a failed Texas S&L that I was able to win the bid to purchase at $55 million.
Lesson 5- Every Relationship Is Important.
A large national bank agreed to fund the total sale based on me paying them a big fee and based on the fact that they had known the company for years. If I failed they would of folded the operation into their own business. By the day of closing after some harrowing negotiations and a major error from the seller’s attorneys, the sale price had reduced down to $32 Million Dollars. I was set to walk away with $33 Million Dollars and a $5 Million a year cash flow company. The company was servicing $3.2 billion dollars a year in mortgage loans and was capable of processing up to $10 Billion a year in mortgage servicing, grossing the company over 10 million a year, and could be accomplished by adding one more mainframe computer.
In order to get to closing I needed a partner with the cash resources that I was not aware I needed until my contract was accepted, and I was only given 7 days to perform. I was notified I needed to show the RTC a bank account with $5 million available to carry out the purchase. I knew the national company I had once worked for had a wealthy family member in Atlanta. I contacted his staff and within 2 days met this billionaire in his boardroom where we cut a deal and I had my 5 million in my companies bank account 3 days later. The only reason this happened was due to the strength of the relationship and the reputation I had built with his brothers company in Delaware and that there was no risk of him losing his money.
This effort failed even though we closed the deal in escrow, because the bank was put on hold from funding anything until they could complete a FDIC audit. So long story short, funding for our project was cancelled 2 years later and I was out the 1.2 million spent to get to closing which was mostly legal fees.
I had to ask myself, getting too big for your ability?... Probably! So all of my investments since this failure have consisted of what I could pay for from excess cash flow. My real estate cash flow allowed me to fund the L2L screening software web portal and computer infrastructure. I had also built scheduling software and built marketing websites in order to grow one of my smaller in home appliance repair company’s www.abargainappliancerepair.com operations. We built a one city operation to operating in over 40 major markets and more than a thousand cities thru-out the US. Industry insiders knew us as the largest independently owned appliance repair company in the US.
These are just a few of the companies I have been involved with over the last 30 years. Friends aware of my internal operations have referred to me as the "serial entrepreneur". But as you grow older I find it is time yet again to reset goals and objective. My plan for the next 20 years is to work closely with real estate investors, flip some killer deals and acquire multifamily properties for my own portfolio.
A few years ago I had written a book I call The Paper Millionaire. The material covers what methods I used to maximize the cash flow of mobile home rentals, rooming houses, SRO’s (single room occupancy hotels) and single family homes. Many investors are not aware that you can use some of the same methods used for mobile home parks on their single family homes. This is especially true for those that have set empty for much longer than anticipated. This method can increase your monthly cash flow while reducing your vacancy.
Many of my product lines were created way before the internet curve of companies seeking property management solutions via the internet. So we focused our energy on areas we could make a difference. So even if you are not a current L2L client but want to participate in any of the services we offer such as L2L Connect please "Opt In" to our email list and expand your network with us.
Lesson 6- Get Involved In Your Community.
My community involvement has been with DEFAC. In the late 1980's my wife and I adopted 4 children thru DEFAC all from the same birth mother. The youngest is now in her mid 20's and these children have now produced 7 grandchildren. Being involved with the adoption system and dozens of other families who were going thru the adoption process the same time we were has given me a lot of insight that can help formulate a much better plan than what we currently have in place. I plan to use my time for future community involvement to lobby for changes in the adoption system sponsored by our local government via DEFAC. If you or anyone you know is also looking to adopt and just needs some insider information I am happy to assist. Just drop me an email titled Adoption through the contact us link on this site.
President and CEO.
VP Acquisitions and chief deal locator.
CPA New York and heads the deal structure review board.