During the first weekend in October my company, Agents Invest, hosted our second group investing trip, this time in Spokane, WA. In this post, I’ll share with you what we do on these trips, and how they got started.
First things first, these events got started because people asked for them, and I’m a believer in – if enough people are asking for something, you need to find a way make it happen.
My friend and colleague Deena Iverson and I have been going on our own investing trips since 2013. We both love to travel, and we both love real estate and are #addictedtoroi.
We would fly in to a city we were interested in, meet with the local agents that I had been interviewing, and go look at properties and check out the city. Us both would share our feedback on social media, along with prices of properties and rental rates. Then the PM’s would start pouring in, sometimes from people we didn’t know who wanted more info. Many asked when our next trip was, and if they could come with us.
We never intended to make these trips a group event, but we realized that other investors are just as curious about other areas as we were, but often with less time and lacking in local connections. We also realized that amazing things happen when you get like minded people together. Since Deena and I are both full time investors, we have the freedom to travel whenever we want and we have the time to put teams together.
So we decided that we would do one event in Oklahoma City, and we dreamed up what we believed would be the perfect event outline, which would accomplish the following:
Attract amazing people who were interested in, or already successful investing in real estate, that wanted networking with other like minded people and grow their portfolios
Be inspired by local people who were having success investing in that city, and having them come speak to our group
Get out and tour properties, to get an idea of what prices are, what finishes achieve the highest rents, and check out different neighborhoods
Investors would leave with contacts for agents, property managers and other vendors that were knowledgeable, trustworthy, and could help them invest
Oklahoma City was our beta test, and even though we had a few bumps in the road (too heavy of meal choices, hotel was a “party hotel” and super loud at night), the attendees loved it, and wanted more. As we were leaving that event, multiple people came up to us to ask – when is the next trip?
To be honest, I hadn’t planned a second trip. Having never planned a trip like this before, I was so focused on making the first one a success that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind to host a second. The week after coming back home I started planning our second trip.
The town of Spokane was an easy choice for us, I started referring investors to Spokane in 2016 because the Seattle multi-family prices were skyrocketing, and the return on investment become less attractive. Spokane being the underdog market in Washington made it an excellent place to invest, and investors would benefit from no income taxes in Washington State and being only 4 1/2 hours from Seattle.
Spokane is also an excellent place for our of state investors due to it’s affordability, high return on investment potential, and diverse economy.
For this Spokane trip, we were joined by 32 other real estate investors from three states including Washington, Hawaii and Texas.
Here’s a glimpse into what these investing trips look like:
Most of us locals made the drive over from Western Washington to Eastern Washington on Friday morning. The drive takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes depending on traffic.
We arrived around 2pm, and grabbed lunch at Cochinito Taqueria for some of the best street tacos we’d ever had.
At 6pm the event started, our entire group met up at the Davenport Grand Hotel Terrace Bar, a rooftop bar with outdoor fire tables and a view of Riverfront Park, for networking and to meet fellow attendees. A big part of these weekends is to network with other like minded investors, and to share contacts and learn from each other. We spend two hours meeting with other investors, and learning more about each other before heading off for dinner.
From there a small group of us walked to Steelhead bar & grill where we enjoyed appetizers and drinks. We laughed as Eric & Alin ordered large beers, only to realize they were served in huge glasses that were probably over 30 ounces.
Saturday was a full day of learning, networking, property tours, and an evening event. This is our busiest day of the weekend, and we always start with inspiration before heading off to check out the city.
First, I presented on the reason why investors should consider investing in Spokane, WA.
From it’s diverse economy (Healthcare, Agriculture, Aerospace, Manufacturing, IT, Distribution, Air Force Base) to it’s high quality of life (76 lakes, 5 ski resorts, 35 golf courses), we talked about all the reasons why Spokane is a great place to invest.
Next up was a presentation from my friend Eric Bowlin, an investor and real estate blogger at idealrei.com. Eric lead a presentation on escaping the mental box, and forgetting what we be taught over the years about investing, and that working 9-5 is “safe.”
This was Eric’s second time speaking at our events, he gave such an inspiration talk in Oklahoma City that I had to have him come to Washington to share with this group.
After Eric’s presentation, we heard from Scott Isaak, a local investor who started buying apartment complexes in Spokane three years ago and now owns over 850 units in Spokane.
Scott gave us some amazing advice on how to level up, and the importance of investing in people and relationships.
After hearing Scott’s speech, many investors from the event have decided to level up and start focusing on apartment complexes and think bigger.
Afterwards we enjoyed a lunch and learn session with the amazing Cody Touchette, my personal mortgage broker and fellow real estate investor.
Next thing, we jumped on a greyhound bus to check out the city and tour some properties.
We viewed several apartments, including a 76 unit, 50 unit, 20 unit, 12 unit and a 5 unit.
Then we looked at a portfolio of student housing near Whitworth University and three different duplexes.
We ended the evening at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, an award winning winery with incredible views of Spokane.
The winery closed at 8pm, and our group headed to Chaps for dinner where we enjoyed their comfort food menu, and vintage decor. Their chocolate mousse was to die for! If you’re ever in town, you have to stop in for their famous oatmeal! It’s baked with heavy cream and is unlike anything you’ve ever had before.
I’ve been to Spokane many times over the years, but have never taken the time to visit the Steam Plant, and we were blown away by the renovation, and how the developer saved most of the original machinery and renovated the building around them.
After working up an appetite, we returned to the office (some of us on Lime Scooters) for a lunch and learn with Aaron Cunningham, CEO of Inland Capital.
After Aaron we listened to a presentation from CoStar’s Q2 Spokane report, which was very insightful and reiterated the research we had done on Spokane.