Category Archives: Ventures Quarterly

I write a quarterly update on my business ventures.

Ventures Update April 2019, The “Stop Doing List”

695 Riverview Drive

Still renovating, landlording, and taking notes about it for an operating manual. My favorite part is actually selecting the items to install and doing the work.

Here are the pictures from the most recent renovation, apartment B2:

https://www.nathanruffing.com/riverview/march-2019-b2/ 

I’m about to finish another renovation, apartment B4, within the next few days and I expect it to rent quickly. It is pretty much standard.

The next apartment, apartment A2, is more exciting. It will be the “Skunk Works” apartment with several major top-secret design overhauls that take some of my materials selection strategies to the extreme. It is unique, and minimalist but functional with high-quality materials. Should be done by the close of April. Stand by for photos next quarter.

Landlord’s Operating Manual

This is a double-down on the apartments. The manual describes my system in detail. I am looking to make it available to other landlords and aspiring investors.

PI Time
Piano

Kineomen

I remain the Secretary at Kineomen and record a monthly summary for the company.

Kineomen is trimming down to its winning parts.

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Great product, great people.

www.simplekneads.com

These are the only money-making ventures that make the cut. I am trimming everything else out.

Friends’ Venture of the Quarter

Check out Travis and Marcus’ Paveway.

https://paveway.io/

They are five years out of the military, and this project has several years of momentum now. Paveway is about business development, and they just put up the website complete with a few blog posts. Read, comment, interact!

Below this point did not make the cut!

“Stop Doing List”

and lessons learned from four years of trying to do everything.

Real Estate Agent

(Maintaining the license!)

I am supporting my current clients, and maintaining the license, but not taking any new clients. I really appreciate all those who took a chance on me as a new agent and I feel fortunate that my clients are happy with their transactions. Real estate really is a lot of work, but it is fun too. Thanks everybody!

This was the most difficult to say ‘no’ to because I was just starting to gain some momentum and the money is great.

Don’t worry, I’m a part-timer for life! Any questions, let me know. Free advice, free guy with MLS access!

Meet Cbus TV

I would love to make this happen, but I simply do not have time. This is not a side-job. This would be full-time. Producing videos is time-consuming. Once you are reasonably good at it, figure an hour per minute of video, and that is if you already know what the content will be.

Clean video requires an hour per minute, PLUS thinking up and planning the content.

Nate TV

I still have the structure, the video equipment, and the editing software. I still have many videos that I really want to make! Down, but never out!

Park City Holdings

This ended some time ago, but I wanted to list it because I learned so much looking into the note business. It really helped me understand lenders’ motivations and value quality lenders as a real estate agent.

Columbus Area Technology Club

I love talking about tech.

Real Estate Agent by Location

This arose from my desire to do real estate close to home, and I hoped to help other agents do so as well, around the country! However, making money by referring is really hard to do. You are like the broker to the middleman and it is too many steps removed from the value creation.

Nate the Columbus Commuter Biker

Maybe with all these projects off my plate I can actually ride my bike again sometimes!

Art Gallery

I’ve dabbled in the idea of transporting art from Brazil for sale in friends’ establishments here in Columbus, but it’s another thing that just takes time time time. I will still blog about it!

Uber Driver

People, my car is just too old and I’m not buying a car just to make $12 / hour!

The Stock Market

Every time I hear somebody talk about the stock market, whether up or down, I am so glad that I have reclaimed the time and energy by not paying attention to that pie in the sky to which I’m always an outsider.

Vino de Coco

I still plan to visit the Philippines. Still.

Ventures Update September 2018

695 Riverview Drive

I have been renovating apartments consistently since May. The rent is paying for the renovations and the apartments keep getting better and better as I develop my system.

There is one empty right now with a waiting list for when I finish it.

Click here for the building’s website.

Writing Landlord Book!

Together with my neighbor landlord who has 40 years of experience with 40+ units, I am writing a book. For a title, I am thinking:

The Real Estate Reality Book: How to Make 10s to 100s of Thousands of Dollars Doing Actual Work, Creating Actual Value as a Real Estate Investor

Chapters:

  1. What is a Landlord Really? A Short History and the Modern Landlord
  2. Should I Even Do This? Guiding Principles for Your First Purchase, and Property Evaluation Spreadsheets
  3. Do It Right. Pride of Ownership and Money Come Hand in Hand
  4. Do It Myself, or Hire It? The “Money Flow Chart” Decision Tree
  5. The Numbers. Quantitative Analysis of Owning Real Estate
  6. Just Pick a Number and Use It. The “GRM Continuum”
  7. Operator’s Manual: Which [_____]I Buy and Why
  8. Operator’s Manual: Tools Required
  9. Operator’s Manual: Spreadsheet by Unit
  10. Operator’s Manual: Dimensions Reference
  11. (Almost) Passive: Hiring a Property Manager

Real Estate Agent

I am selling my parents’ house:

I also made a video for another agent on his listing just like that. It came out great, and I’m looking to do more of them for a fee.

Nate TV

The What to Watch series got too much too handle weekly and I covered too many subjects to effectively get people involved.

I am starting the very specific channel, Nate the Columbus Commuter Biker

Kineomen

The venture capital thing is challenging. I am getting with my brother to make a list of lessons learned as we go forward in this type of pursuit. Kineomen is alive and well.

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Simple Kneads is consistently producing its quality product and growing as a brand.

www.simplekneads.com

Vino de Coco

I still plan to visit the Philippines. Still.

Ventures Update January 2018

695 Riverview Drive

Click here for the building website.

Real Estate Agent

This is the slow season, but I am getting going in 2018!

Park City Holdings and Kineomen

Kineomen has several projects in the works, one of which is my Park City Holdings.

Meet Cbus TV

I am working on my camera presence and editing, but I and Matt DeNoble are ready to go.

www.meetcbus.tv

Nate TV

How much does it cost to make videos that are available around the world? I now know.

  • $3250 for the equipment including quality sound, tripods, computer, screen, everything.
  • $120 per month for editing software, internet, hosting, everything. That is less than most people pay for cable TV. What a deal. I can’t pass it up!
    • Late 1800s: motion pictures developed.
    • Early 1900s: motion pictures long enough to tell a story.
    • 1920s: music added to motion pictures.
    • 1920s: sound synchronized to make talkies.
    • By 1930: silent films almost extinct.
    • 1950s: televisions at home become commonplace.
    • 1950s: color becomes the norm.
    • Feb 2005: YouTube created, which was purchased by Google in Nov 2006. Users begin creating the content.
    • Currently: commonplace for users to create the content. Finally, we aren’t just being talked at and shown. We can respond.Don’t just watch, catch the wave, join the movement.

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Simple Kneads is available in several Whole Foods stores in the North Carolina area and growing fast.

www.simplekneads.com

Vino de Coco

I still plan to visit the Philippines. Still.

Other

www.meetohio.tv

Ventures Update November 2017

695 Riverview Drive

I have been taking my own advice by improving what I have in lieu of buying more. Click here to see renovated apartment B4 available now.

We (my brother and I own this jointly) were contacted again with an offer to purchase. We shared stories with the prospective buyer about how we love our buildings, and turned the offer down.

Real Estate Agent

I went door-to-door in Clintonville and it was actually a very pleasant experience. It helped that there was nice weather and the people were nice, but also because I had something besides real estate to talk about. I was also pitching Meet Cbus TV:

Meet Cbus TV

I teamed up with videographer Matt DeNoble who is graduating from Ohio State this winter. We are going to do promotional videos for small businesses and have larger businesses sponsor them. The small businesses get free exposure. The large businesses get an authentic connection with the small business clientele, and the city of Columbus gets quality content from our own back yard!

www.meetcbus.tv

Park City Holdings

I continue to adjust course on Park City Holdings. There is a huge opportunity. We need to tap it.

Kineomen

Kineomen’s founder has graduated from Duke Business School, so full steam ahead.

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Simple Kneads is now available in 5+ Whole Foods stores in the North Carolina research triangle area and growing fast.

www.simplekneads.com

Vino de Coco

I still plan to visit the Philippines. Still.

Other

www.meetohio.tv

www.coldcall.tv

www.youtaxi.tv

Art Gallery

Videos and Marketing

Local internet. Relevant advertising that people want to see, rather than trying to trick people for 5-30 seconds. Informative advertising. People are smart and getting smarter. Attention marketers! Trying to trick us just isn’t working anymore.

 

Ventures Update July 2017

695 Riverview Drive

I said I would never live in it. I live in it now. I said I would never manage it myself. I manage it now. So glad. Awesome location, saving money, and making money all at the same time.

Real Estate Agent

What a great deal. I highly recommend becoming an agent. It costs ~$2,000 and a couple evenings a week for 2 months. You learn a ton about something that affects everybody. $2,000 is the commission on a $70,000 house. Worth every penny.

Kineomen

Kineomen has several balls in the air. Each is unique. Success in any single venture would be very good. They are all early stages, but each is going well.

Park City Holdings

Park City Holdings will invest primarily in mortgage instruments, focusing on discounted non-performing mortgages.

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Simple Kneads continues to grow into its vision of becoming the national gluten-free brand.

Vino de Coco

I still plan to visit the Philippines.

Other

www.coldcall.tv

www.youtaxi.tv

I started a small art gallery in my apartment:

Videos

I have decided that videos are the way to communicate on the internet. I tried making a “no more writing” rule and only do video. However, videos take time and I have a minimum quality level that I’m willing to put out there. I am hiring a video producer ASAP, starting with a college student at $12 / hour.

Around the World in Columbus

I want to do a video series of interviews with immigrant restaurant owners in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is often considered the token “boring city,” but we are a melting pot with many interesting stories waiting to be told! I am considering taking a film class to give me the connections required to take on this project.

The Stock Market

I have closed my retirement accounts in favor of actively managing the money and accepting that I will pay taxes.

Ventures Update April 2017

695 Riverview Drive

As I branch out into other sectors of the real estate industry, I first want to take an honest look at my first major investment.

The following P&L is for 1Q 2017. See the adjustments below that convert the Net Income to a realistic monthly cash flow. It shows my vision for the property, and hence my enthusiasm since I purchased. I can finally show it on a P&L.

1st Quarter 2017 Actual

Adjustments to Net Income:
+$2500: taxes. This Q’erly P&L includes an entire half year payment.
-$1500: principle payments are not cash flow, just equity.
-$1000: one quarter of insurance paid at once in July.
-$525: 27 rent payments instead of the 28 shown.
= -$525: total adjustments to Net Income.
= $3,945 of actual realistic cash flow for the quarter.

= $1,315 of cash flow per month.

With $102,280 of total cash invested, that is a ~12.8% annual return. That is not a “home run,” that is a “single.”

So why am I happy with this “single”? In the sense that I want to do better in the future, I am not happy with it, but here are some mitigating factors:

  • I have been absent for much of the ownership of the property, and have solved many of the problems with cash, not with my own time. It has truly been passive.
  • I learned to hire a good manager. Much of that $102,280 cash is bumbling around with poor management. I have learned from my professional manager, Panzera Realty, about landlording and management since hiring them in Nov 2015.
  • The property continues to improve. The condition is better every year
  • We continue to cut expenses and raise rents with the market. This year we will sub-meter the water, and new units will rent without wall air conditioning units included. Even with these changes combined, we expect the same rent from the new tenants.
  • My original goal was to learn.
  • 9% matches the market.
  • We are well positioned for an economic downturn with a quality property at reasonable rental rates.

Columbus, Ohio Occupation

Real Estate Agent

I love it so far. It puts you on the inside. A must for full-time real estate career. New website! …

https://nathanruffing.com/realestate/

Uber Driver

Fun. More than pays for gas, but a waste of time. I drive a couple times a month still. I hope I always do. I do enjoy it.

Handyman

I will probably always do some handyman work. I enjoy it.

Kineomen

The holding company in North Carolina is positioning to invest in some sector of the real estate industry. Probably non-performing mortgage loans (NPLs).

Click here for info on NPLs. More details in a future post.

Simple-Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

We have a shareholder meeting at the end of this month. There is investment opportunity currently. Your only commitment is to sign an NDA. I do recommend.

Vino de Coco

I still plan on going there in person as soon as possible.

The Stock Market

I’m still out of the stock market.

Real Estate Office

Next week, renovations will be complete on apartment A3 of 695 Riverview Drive. I will live there from 1 May until I find a great deal on a house. Until then, it will serve as an office from which I plan to find this great deal on a house.

I am seeking people who want to work out of this office doing real estate in the listed fields. The fields do not compete with each other. Rather, each one strengthens the others. This can be part-time or full-time and you will use the skills and experience you already have to succeed.

Payment will be negotiated on a deal-by-deal basis, beneficial to all parties. There are industry standards from which to start negotiations.

I provide the place to work and gather.

1. Choose the Right Market Location

Right now, Columbus is the market that I know. Therefore it is the right market for me.

2. Wholesaling

We need sources of good deals on properties.

A real estate agent cannot ethically or legally broker a deal with a large profit without work like with typical wholesaling. However, I can seek a good deal on a property to live in, which is what I intend to do to start out.

3. Real Estate Agent

I am an agent now with Signature Real Estate. That doesn’t stop others from working in this office.

4. Retailing

This includes renovating and selling great deals. (flipping)

5. Landlording

We can’t legally manage properties for pay without a broker, but you can get support in managing your own.

6. Lease-Option, Rent-to-Own

One of the more creative segments. It has its place. (Linden?)

7. Be the Bank, Invest

All deals need funding, and the guy with the money deserves to be paid. Non-performing loans coming soon.

Ready
to
Expand

Ventures Update January 2017

Columbus, Ohio Occupation

It is time for me to get a job. My credit card monthly balance is now roughly equal to my checking account balance. I need income.

Uber Driver

I have driven for Uber about 5 different occasions now over the last 2 weeks here in Columbus. The bad news is, you can be online for hours at a time sometimes without getting a single trip. The good news is, it is great fun, you talk to a lot of different people, during peak times there are plenty of trips to be had, and you can know exactly when those peak times are, they’re obvious. The peak times I’ve identified are 1. weekend nights when the bars close, 2. after sporting events like after Ohio State football and Blue Jackets hockey games.

I have averaged only about $10/hour so far, but a lot of the online hours that Uber counts include sitting at my house waiting and not getting a call. I made $75 in the 3 hours after midnight on New Year’s Day. Last night, I made $20 in the 1 hour following the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game by making 4 Uber trips from the Arena District.

I would now not say, “I drive for Uber,” but rather, “I use the Uber app to get paid to drive people home from specific local events.”

Handyman

I helped my uncle build his shed!

 

Real Estate Agent

I signed up for the real estate course at Hondros Business College. I am scheduled to finish the course on 18 February.

I also joined the Central Ohio Real Estate Entrepreneurs, COREE, yesterday. It’s a really great group of about 320 members.

Business Consultant

I am seeking to help lawyers implement accounting software and take a directed look at the business side of their practice in order to more effectively self-manage and consciously make business decisions.

695 Riverview Drive

Still running smoothly and fully occupied. We are saving money for a remodel in a few years depending on the market and situation. In October, I replaced the steps.

Mike was the first tenant on the steps. He’s giving them a quick inspection.

Kineomen

Kineomen is a holding company based in North Carolina. The president of Kineomen is also the CFO of Simple Kneads, the bread company . Kineomen holds a stake in Simple Kneads and owns 707 Brookgreen Terrace in Graham, North Carolina.

707 Brookgreen Terrace, Graham, NC

I lived at “The Terrace” for about 6 weeks in October and November doing upgrade work. It was like camping indoors. I really enjoyed it and I am now looking to do the same thing in Columbus, Ohio. Removing the vines from the side was one day out of many projects.

“The Terrace”

Simple Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Continuing to build the brand and expand sales. Exciting advancements each month.

Vino de Coco

I still plan on going there in person as soon as possible.

The Stock Market

I’m still out of the stock market.

Ventures Update November 2016

695 Riverview Drive

We are fully-occupied, 9 out of 9, and running smoothly.

Panzera Realty has been our property manager for one year as of the 1st of November. Comparing the year ending 1 November 2016 to the year ending 1 November 2015, we have a 20% increase in rent collected and a 22% decrease in overall expenses. We are making money and saving for a future re-model.

Moving to Ohio

I have decided to return to Ohio. I plan to start a business there, but haven’t decided what yet.

Kineomen

I arrived on 14 September in North Carolina as scheduled. We purchased a foreclosure in Graham, North Carolina for $65,000.

707 Brookgreen Terrace
Graham, NC 27253

We closed on the house on 6 October. The house will be used to for employees of Simple Kneads bread until summer, then we will rent it as an investment property. We expect to spend about $11,000 in repairs and improvements, plus about 6 weeks of sweat equity in order to make it marketable. Once prepared, it will be worth about $95,000 to sell or about $800 per month to rent. The rental market in Graham is high compared to the purchase prices.

"The Terrace"
“The Terrace”

Simple-Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

Selling bread, pushing every sales channel to expand the market share.

Vino de Coco

The wine is FDA approved and they have partnered with a liquor company to help distribute the product in the US. I still plan on going there in person as soon as possible.

The Stock Market

I’m still out of the stock market.

Ventures Update August 2016

695 Riverview Drive

We had to pay a lot in retroactive taxes because the county finally decided that we have to pay property tax based on the “new” value of the building, the amount that we paid when we bought in July 2013, instead of the amount that the previous owner was paying.

Other than that, the quarter went smoothly. Three tenants moved out, but the units leased quickly. We are 8/9 occupied currently with the ninth expected to lease quickly.

The insurance company mandated a routine inspection and we passed, probably largely thanks to all the repairs and maintenance that we’ve done.

Simple-Kneads Gluten-Free Bread

It’s going well.

Kineomen

I will arrive on 14 September in Raleigh, NC to work with them full-time.

The Stock Market

It keeps creeping up. I’m still out.

Vino de Coco

Nothing significant to report. I still plan on going there in December to see in person.