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Brentin Hess

Investor Interview With Brentin Hess From RECN

Brentin Hess is a real estate investor and entrepreneur from Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to becoming a full time real estate investor, Brentin worked as an accounting and finance analyst for the Department of Defense, talk about a difference in career paths!

What I love about Brentin Hess is he is so knowledgeable and successful at such a young age, yet he’s always willing to share his knowledge and expertise and truly wants to inspire others to fund their life’s purpose through real estate investing.

Brentin Hess is a co-founder of and currently the chief visionary of the RECN Network, which provides educational events for millennials wanting to learn about investing.

Brentin Hess was recently featured on the Bigger Pockets Podcast (take a listen here) and I’ve been dying to interview him for my blog and share with all of you what amazing things he is doing in Baltimore!

Here’s the investor interview with Brentin Hess…

When did you first decide that you wanted to invest in real estate, and what made you decide to invest in real estate?

Real estate investing was the perfect entrepreneurial vehicle that permitted me to do something once, such as buying a rental property, that could pay me for a lifetime.

It is also something that has the ability to impact more than just me… for example, neighborhoods, future generations, other investors, etc.

Do you have a background in construction or real estate?


My background is an accounting major in college with absolutely NO background in construction. I have had, and still experience, quite the learning curve.

Learning through experience and YouTube videos has saved me so much money.  I strongly encourage not letting any lack of experience hold you back from anything.

What is your real estate investment strategy? Do you flip properties, buy rentals or both?


Over the past 3 years, I have flipped 15 properties.

Over the past 9 months, I have bought 13 rental units.

What does your real estate investing team look like? 


Just me and an Acquisition Specialist who goes out to the properties and is charge of finding deals.

What are your top 3 sources for finding deals?


MLS, other agents, Wholesalers, Mailers – in that order

What do you do for financing on your flips and buy and hold properties?


For flips, I use hard money and then raise the differential needed through private money via friends.

For rentals, I use a local community bank and I raise the 25% down payment from friends, do a value add play, then refinance their money out of it.  It’s the BRRRR strategy.

Do you have a target profit or rate of return for each flip? What about for your rental properties?


15%+ ROI on flips (must be at least $20k)

30%+ cash on cash return of the stabilized asset for rentals

Talk to us about the short term capital gains taxes as it relates to flipping. Doesn’t that drastically reduce your profit?


I build it in because to my knowledge, there is nothing I can do about it other than do my best taking advantage of any and all tax benefits available.

This goes to the point of having a great CPA on your side who works with real estate investors.

Do you think we are headed for another recession?


Yes, when? I don’t know.  I just know we need to act as if we are in the next cycle… so cut expenses and run a lean operation.

What are some of the biggest investing mistakes you’ve made?


Under renovating properties and under estimating the renovation. Build in a big cushion and ensure you’re renovating the properties to the level of your competition.

What is your asset protection strategy for your rental portfolio?


I buy on cash flow (minimum of 30% cash on cash), not appreciation. I also have insurance on all properties and set aside an escrow fund for future renovations.

Do you self manage your properties or use property managers?


I self manage my properties to learn the ins and outs, with the intention of hiring a property manager in the future.

How has investing in real estate changed your life?


I am already working towards financial freedom rather than collecting a paycheck. It also expands my understanding of money, valuation, running a business, etc.

What is your craziest real estate investment story?


Pipes have burst and flooded the entire house a week before settlement…. Insulate those pipes and keep the heat on!

What is something you wish you knew when you were first starting out that you had to learn through experience?


Learn how to create your own deal flow (i.e. off market deals… mailers, calling, radio, tv, social media, etc)

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get started investing in real estate?


Learn how to create your own deal flow (i.e. off market deals… mailers, calling, radio, tv, social media, etc)

How long do you think you will continue to invest in properties? Is there an end goal in mind?


I don’t ever see myself leaving this space. My first goal is $10k/m in passive income.

What is something that no one asks you about, but they should?


Great question. The power of mentorship.  It has been everything to me.

There are mentors all around you and in the virtual world.  Find them.  Help them.  In return, they could change the trajectory of your life!

What is the best way for our readers to connect with you and follow along with your journey?


I do one-on-one coaching, so contact me for more information. Also, join our FB Group… “RECN Stories”.  THANK YOU!

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About the Author

Jennifer Beadles

I’m Jennifer Beadles, and together with my family, we are living the day-to-day of a financially independent family thanks to our rental properties.

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