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Victor Menasce

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Recent episodes featuring Victor Menasce
Special Guest Marco Santarelli
Episode of
Real Estate Espresso
We're talking about market cycles this weekend. Love what Marco has to say, To connect with Marco, go to NoradaRealEstate.com or listen to the Passive Real Estate Investing Podcast. 
Market Expose - The Island of Groix
Episode of
Real Estate Espresso
Today's show is coming to you live on location from the French Island of Groix. If you've ever wanted to know about what owning a piece a paradise off the Atlantic coast of France, this show is for you.
Retirement at Sea
Episode of
Real Estate Espresso
On today’s show we are talking about a growing trend in retirement or pre-retirement living. A number of people are selling the family homestead and opting for life on the high seas. I’m not talking the billionaire mega-yachts. I’m also not talking about slumming it on a 25 foot wooden boat either. There is a large spectrum of options in the middle and I personally know of many people who have made this lifestyle choice.  In some cases, they maintain a land based option but often as a second vacation home. One story is of a friend named Ian, a former executive with the Nielsen Group of Companies. These are the folks who are responsible for the Nielsen TV ratings and all kinds of other statistics that businesses have come to rely upon. Ian retired sooner than most. He was in his mid fifties, a little unsure about whether he had enough saved up to last the next 40 years.  He sold his home in New Jersey about 5 years ago and bought a 45 foot yacht. He and his wife spend the winter months in the Bahamas, sailing from island to island.  When it’s too hot in the South, the boat gets pulled out of the water in Florida and spends the summer in a cradle. From there, it’s off to another vacation home in the Azores. This vacation property was purchased for about $45,000 dollars and is a small piece of paradise overlooking the other islands and the Atlantic. A large expat community means that finding English speakers on this Portuguese island is not difficult at all.  Modern navigation and communication equipment has come down in price in recent years. The latest systems use a collision avoidance system similar to what aircraft use in the skies. It’s now possible to get real time weather updates on your electronic charts. These systems are so much more sophisticated and have increase boating safety dramatically.  My wife and I are routinely spending time aboard our boat in Europe. Marina fees average about $500 per month, and it’s an extremely affordable way to keep a home base. Daily rates can run anywhere from $40 a day to $300 a day depending on the size of your vessel. We feel extremely secure on board everywhere we go. Living on board means careful planning. Things like getting a haircut, or a large laundry requires more time than at home on land. We have a washing machine for clothing on board, but it lacks the capacity and features of the land based counterpart. On those days when we are not connected to shore power, we have a large solar panel that keeps the batteries topped up. Our largest electricity draw is refrigeration, and we can go several days on battery power alone without having to run the engine to charge the batteries. One of the latest trends in boats for retirement is the popularity of catamarans. The two hull vessels are very wide and stable. They don’t roll in an anchorage. The downside is that they are a bit more expensive to purchase. They are also more expensive to own since they occupy the same space as two boats in a marina, the marina’s charge double the price of a monohull boat. In some cases, finding space in a marina can be more difficult because not only do you need two spaces, you need two spaces side by side which is more difficult to find. So your operating costs can be much higher. Some areas are experiencing a significant increase in permanent live-aboard residents. One of the larger marinas we recently visited in Europe has over 4,000 boats. I can tell you from walking the docks, you can tell which boats have live-aboard crew. If there is a small herb garden of basil and mint, chances are high that the owners live aboard.
An Extra 20 Pounds
Episode of
Real Estate Espresso
On today’s show we are talking about something that is rarely talked about. Entrepreneurship has been put up on a pedestal and it cool to be an entrepreneur. Today’s show is about the inner struggle of being an entrepreneur. It’s about handling the negative self talk that can surface when things don’t go as planned in your business. It’s when an employee or partner doesn’t fulfill their commitment. It might have been you. Maybe you made a mistake that needs to be corrected. Every one of these events results in managing an exception. It means having to work extra hard to fix something that should never have happened. Even if it wasn’t your fault, you, as the business owner feel responsible. It’s that sense of responsibility that is healthy for the business and heavy for you as the business owner. It’s a weight that you carry with you all the time. It’s an extra sack of potatoes on your back all day long, all night long, even when you sleep.  The amount of effort that goes into managing exceptions is many times the effort associated with managing routine items. I’ll give you a simple example. If a tenant pays their rent on time, the money appears in the bank account, the book-keeper records the entry. All is good. But if a tenant vacates early, or if they fail to pay the rent, the amount of energy expended in managing that exception is many times what it would be in the normal case. The effort to manage an eviction is orders of magnitude more than the effort to receive a rent deposit.  When something doesn’t go as planned there can be emotional baggage that makes the task much heavier emotionally than the task itself.  In many cases, you don’t leave enough slack in the system or the calendar to handle these unplanned events. The effect is that other commitments are delayed. Here too, the cascade effect can result in more missed expectations. The feeling of overwhelm can be paralyzing.  But the fact is, every single one of these issues can be solved. All too often, entrepreneurs fall back on the skill-sets that have made them successful in the past. It’s true, that this approach will fix the immediate issue, but it won’t solve the underlying problem. In fact, it is really perpetuating the problem. It’s instinctive to ask “What should I do?” But the better question is “Who do I need to be?”.  Sure things need to get done, but they also need to be done the right way, by the right person in the organization.  Michael Gerber in his ground breaking book called “Emyth” talks about the three roles in the organization. There is the technician, the manager and the business owner. If your instinct is to do the work, then you’re being the technician. If you are the manager, then you are assuming responsibility for the task, and often delegating the task, but not the responsibility. Sometimes, that’s who you need to be. But if you’re truly the business owner, you will find the right people in the organization to own the responsibility for getting the job done, and for getting the problem solved. When I say solving the problem, I’m not just talking about the immediate issue, I’m talking about the underlying issue. Your role as the business owner is to make sure the systems are put in place to make even these exceptions part of the standard operating procedure. When you engage with your team, the conversation should focus on the systems, and not the specific emergency. Yes, the emergency needs to be solved, but not at the expense of the systems. Otherwise you’re not solving a problem, it’s simply a bandaid and the problem will resurface. 
Erosion
Episode of
Real Estate Espresso
On today’s show we are talking about erosion. But not the usual form of erosion that happens when it rains. I’m talking about the factors that erode your business. When we encounter erosion, the natural reaction is one of dismay of disappointment. This shouldn’t be happening.  So what could erode your business?  These are the small things that you hardly notice. These are the inefficiencies that individually are hardly noticeable.  On today’s show we are covering the top 5 sources of erosion for many businesses.  Contractor theft. This is when your subcontractors order a little extra material. It’s natural that you need a little extra tile to handle the waste that results from cuts at the edge of the room. But general materials like lumber and drywall, fasteners, that you purchased often aren’t returned at the end of the job.  Subscriptions. These are the software services that might have been ordered a few years ago. Today you would not subscribe to that same software. I’m actually guilty of this one. I have several examples of staff that are no longer part of the organization. But it’s important to keep an archive of their email. Our email is hosted by Google. The cost is $6 per month for their business suite. It would take about 15 minutes to shut down that specific user account and create an archive file. But before you actually delete the account and save the $6 per month you want to make sure that the archive is readable in the future should you need to access it. That process takes about another half hour or more. As you can imagine, saving those $6 hasn’t come to the top of the priority list this month anywhere in the organization. It wasn’t a priority last month, and it probably won’t be a priority next month either. So we have $6 of erosion every month. It’s been over a year.  Increasing your tenants rent. In some cases, if your property is rent controlled, you might only be able to increase your rent by 2-3% per year. Sometimes, I’ve seen property management fail to increase the rent because it’s only an extra $22 a month, less than $1 a day. Increasing the rent isn’t urgent. You’ve got other more important things to work on. You have investor reports and accounting deadlines and the lady in unit 30 who wants her blinds repaired.  Property tax appeals. Everyone who owns property needs to pay their fair share of property tax. But the property tax assessment process is not perfect and there are numerous examples of assessments that are out of whack with other comparable properties in the area. I know one investor with a large portfolio. The savings in property taxes are sufficient to justify a full time employee salary in his case. That’s all that person does. They appeal tax assessments.  Insurance. Insurance prices and coverage vary widely. The easiest thing to do is to pay the same insurance company upon renewal. I have several recent examples where by shopping around I was able to save anywhere from 25%-65% on my insurance bill. I’m not talking about reducing coverage. I take the time to read the insurance policy and understand the coverage. In fact, many brokers are surprised when I request a copy of the policy. I’m told that I can get the policy after it is issued. But that’s like buying a brown paper bag and the salesman tells you that you can only see the contents of the bag after purchase. But trust us, you will like it.  All of these things are small on their own. But when your cash flow is a subset of your profit margin after debt service, that 1-3% erosion of the gross revenue can over time accumulate into wiping out a large percentage of your cash flow. Cash flow is the most important metric for a real estate investment business. It means that you need to pay attention. 
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Stats
Episode Count
546
Podcast Count
1
Total Airtime
2 days, 15 hours