Macario Escamilla wanted a change.
A successful sales manager for a local car dealer in San Antonio, TX, Macario wanted a quicker path towards building true wealth and financial freedom. After asking a local licensed real estate agent for advice, he was soon introduced to Gabriel Esparza with New Western Acquisitions.
“The first thing I noticed about Macario was the number of questions he asked, because he asked a lot,” Gabriel remembers with a smile. “Good investors always do.”
Within several years, Macario, Gabriel and New Western successfully turned three different properties around together. One of which was a historic home in downtown San Antonio that required considerable skill and even more patience when it came to permitting.
When asked about advice for other investors in general and their relationship in particular, both Macario and Gabriel had plenty to offer.
What’s it take to be a successful real estate investor?
Macario: “You can’t be afraid to ask questions and must have the right mindset. Don’t cut corners, either. Do the right thing every time and it’ll help you on the next investment.”
Gabriel: “Top-tier investors like Macario know how to solve problems. They also learn how to negotiate. But the biggest thing is attitude. Having a positive outlook, regardless of the problem, makes it much easier to tackle it head-on.”
Any words of wisdom for someone working towards their first investment?
Macario: “When the time comes, spend money to stage your home. The chance of you getting a contract on a flipped property goes up 77% if you stage it properly. I’ve never had a property go beyond three days because I have a great team that stages well. And this includes having a great photographer.”
Gabriel: “Cities are really cracking down on permits. A lot of investors are doing work and not permitting it. Don’t do that. Pay what you need to pay in order to get things done properly. One other thing? Don’t shy away from big projects. To make money, you must be willing to do something others aren’t willing to do.”
Are there any common mistakes you see investors make?
Macario: “Do your homework. Not just on the business or the properties but on wholesalers. I noticed early on there were a lot of wholesalers who would say anything to sell me a home, even if what they said wasn’t 100% accurate. That’s a deal-breaker for me and should be for everyone.”
Gabriel: “Don’t pay contractors up front. Just don’t. If they’re good, they’re going to have enough cash reserves to float projects. If they’re not, the contractor is going to take your money to pay another job they haven’t paid for yet and, very likely, not finish the work for you. On top of that, be open with people about your hopes and goals. I’ve worked with investors in the past who had unrealistic expectations. If you don’t voice your assumptions early, you can quickly lose out financially. Don’t hold your cards close to the vest.”
What about financing advice for a new investor?
Macario: “From a cost perspective, I source material from different websites. I don’t just run to Lowes or Home Depot every time I need light bulbs. You have to dig for great deals but they’re out there.
Gabriel: “When you’re first starting out, don’t park all your money into that first deal. Don’t shy away from loans. It actually mitigates your risk. Yes, you’ll pay interest on the loan but the margins will be there and it gives you the freedom to do more than one deal at a time.
Is there anything special about New Western?
Macario: “You’ve got to be educated when you decide to do this for a living and a lot of wholesalers aren’t. New Western is on a different level because they coach and train investors on hot markets, great deals and current trends. They pass that knowledge along to people like me, and honestly not a lot of other companies do that. One other thing I love about them? They find properties that are impossible to find. That’s a real advantage.”
Gabriel: “For me, I don’t know any other work environment that surrounds you with people who are so positive and so driven. People who have done so much that it’s just amazing. You think to yourself ‘Wow, they were able to accomplish THAT? There’s no way I can’t do that, either.’”