SSS #138: Back in the Swing of Things 🏏


After taking a week off to enjoy Baby Luca's arrival, I'm back into the swing of things.

This week's email is going to be full of random work-related updates.

- Sun ☀️

PS - I'm brainstorming ideas for a new section of the newsletter dedicated to Luca.

So far I have...nothing - please help.

Livin' La Vida Luna


I had to beg Dia to let me bring Luna to school with her natural curls just hangin' out and I'm so glad I did. 😍

🐭 The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease

We’ve been under agreement or under contract to sell 3 properties for a few months now.

  • Duplex in Westfield, NJ - UC since March 22
  • 4-Unit Mixed Use in Riverside, NJ - UC since March 22
  • Triplex in Elizabeth, NJ - UA since Jan 22

Typically I take a passive / non-confrontational approach and let these transactions play out as they will.

This week I decided to get impatient. I sent daily text messages to my agents / reps / buyers asking for updates in an effort to move the process along.

Since then, we’ve set closing dates for 2 of the 3 transactions. Being a squeaky wheel is difficult for me, but boy did it pay off.

🦆 Getting New Construction Ducks in a Row

I bought my first new construction project back in December 2021, and we have yet to submit for permits. We’re closer than ever, but so much had to happen to reach this point.

Since we purchased the property:

  • We helped the two tenants move into new homes
  • We cut and capped the utilities
  • We had the property inspected for asbestos (positive) and scheduled the abatement (happening tomorrow)
  • We had the soil inspected
  • We re-finalized the floor plan to maximize our ARV (After Repair Value)
  • We received preliminary bids from many of our subcontractors

I’m scared as shit going into this new construction project but everything I see points to a decent exit.

For example, a similarly sized home built back in 2016 was recently listed for $1.4M and it ended up selling for $1.525M.

Another home, with the same exact floor plan I’m using, was recently listed for $1.5M and ended up selling for $1.55M.

The real estate market is so confusing right now. Despite the stock market taking a huge dump and the rapidly rising interest rates, homes are still selling for all-time highs because there is no inventory.

My friend, Amanda, just sold a banger home in Westfield for $335K(!!!) over ask for a total sales price of $1.685M.

Let’s see if these conditions persist long enough for me to secure the bag. 💰

April '22 Direct Mail Marketing Campaign

I sent 5,750 pieces of direct mail in April '22. Since then, we’ve received 25 phone calls. That computes a .4% response rate.

I expected my response rate to be 1%-2% so we definitely missed the mark on this set of mailers.

Of those 25 phone calls, 7 said they wanted to be taken off our list. That math makes more sense.

I expect the responses to be split into thirds between people who:

  • want to be taken off our list
  • are tire-kicking for a pie in the sky number
  • are serious about selling

It’s our job to quickly identify that final third of people who are serious about selling and try to lock up as many of those deals as possible. An acceptable close rate would be 30% of that final third.

With 25 total leads, 8 people should be serious about selling, which means we should be able to generate 2-3 deals off this campaign.

It’s still early, but I think we can meet that mark.

More to come.