A real-estate investor with 150 units says he almost quit after problems like termites, flooding, and tenants selling drugs. He shares 4 tips for overcoming them — and why investing is still ‘100%’ worth it.

  • Guido Nunez almost quit real-estate investing after facing several problems in one of his buildings.
  • But he stuck with it, and now has a portfolio of 150 units.
  • Nunez said having cash reserves and a Rolodex of contacts can help landlords overcome problems.

Guido Nunez has dealt with his fair share of issues as a landlord of multiple multifamily properties.

Nunez says one building in particular was a nightmare that nearly drove him out of real estate investing.

He had pipes burst, resulting in flooding throughout the building. He discovered termites in it. He even discovered that one of the tenants was selling drugs from the building.

“It was just one thing after another,” he explained. “‘I’m done with the building,’ I said. ‘I’m finished with this.'”

So he listed the building, found a buyer, and was ready to sell it. However, the transaction fell through while it was in escrow, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Nunez. He decided to keep it and try to make repairs to the building in order to force appreciation.

According to tax documents obtained by Insider, Nunez has accumulated a portfolio of 150 units over the course of several years.

Despite the difficulties he has encountered, Nunez believes that investing in real estate has been “100%” worthwhile because it is a hard asset that holds its value well over time, and it has allowed him to gain financial independence after being laid off from a corporate job in 2011.

Nunez shared four tips for new investors to navigate the roadblocks they’ll face in an interview with Insider.

4 tips for navigating roadblocks as a landlord

Nunez’s first piece of advice is to keep a cash reserve for when problems arise. Saving some of your excess cash flow, he says, is a good way to build up this reserve.

“What you don’t want to do is live off your cash flow and not think you’re going to have any problems or any capex expense,” he explained.

Nunez also advised to take a calm approach and learn to solve the problem. He claims that having a “sky is falling” or “world is ending” mindset will not help you.

When Nunez discovered that one of his tenants was selling drugs from his building, he had to get creative in order to get them to leave because he couldn’t prove what was going on behind closed doors, and the county where the building was located had many laws that made eviction difficult.

His first step was to install cameras around the property to monitor traffic entering and exiting. Then he casually mentioned to the tenant how many people he noticed coming and going. He then began sending emails to the building about visitors and quiet times, and the tenant eventually caught on and left.

“We handled it quietly,” he explained. “They were aware that we were on that path. We were aware of what was going on.”

Nunez’s third piece of advice is to make a lot of contacts with handymen. He claims that doing so will improve your ability to deal with problems.

“I’m always approaching people at Home Depot, on the street, or if their truck is advertising something that isn’t in my digital Rolodex,” he explained. “I’ll approach them, introduce myself, and get their contact information and business card.” I’ll discuss costs depending on how much time we have. So whenever I need something, I just need to use my phone.”

Finally, Nunez advised that you try to learn more about specific problems you face, even if you can’t fix them yourself. This will enable you to make more informed decisions about which contractor to hire and what price to negotiate.

“You become a better negotiator with contracts because you know the process,” he explained. “You also reduce your risk because you know what it entails.” Nobody is going to try to take advantage of you.”

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