What is BetterREI?
BetterREI stands for Better Real Estate Investing. If you are looking for help to improve as a Real Estate Investor, without the high pressure sales pitches and the empty marketing hype.
You can read more about me below if you want to, but in summary, I have been a Real Estate Investor since January of 2000, and built a 100+ unit, $10M portfolio before health problems led me to sell it all, take some time off, and then and start over again with a smaller, less stressful operation.
I learned a heck of a lot while I was building my business, and now I am giving back by creating a resource for other Investors to:
And I believe it is possible to do all of that without getting screwed over by famous gurus pitching "free seminars" that end up costing you $20,000 before it's all over.
I started our Better Investing Club as an affordable resource for investors at any level, with training, a forum, and coaching available at reasonable prices, and 1-1 help available too for those who need a little more assistance.
Click here to see why our Better Investing Club has the help and resources you have been looking for.
My name is Chris Kearns, and I am a recovering landlord. Just kidding… sort of.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a “Professional Investor”. Since I don’t like to shave or wear pants, it was clear that a career in banking was not going to happen. It was going to have to be as a Real Estate Investor. I chose to study Construction Management in college, seeing that as a good background for Real Estate Investing.
After graduation, I worked for a company that did Development, Construction, and Property Management all in-house. The part of the company that I worked in made our money by actually building the apartments, but I quickly figured out there was a lot more to it than I was aware of. I saw that the company owners made their money on the land deals on the front end and collected rent forever on the back end. It didn’t take me long to realize if they stopped building, everyone in our division was out of a job, but they got to keep collecting rent. My full-time, career job in the construction business lasted only 8 months. I quit on a Monday morning in March of 1999, and I’ve been on my own ever since.
I took out a loan and bought my first property when I was a 5th year Senior at Auburn University in 1997. It was a 1 bedroom condo, for only $36,000 A few years later I bought a house, moved into it, and that little condo became my first rental property in January of 2000 - so that’s when I say I started as a Real Estate Investor. Things started slowly at first, but by 2004 they really started picking up speed as I started buying small apartment buildings. Like most people in my business, I barely made it through the Great Recession, but in 2013 I more than doubled my holdings and grew to just over 100 units. During that time, I built the #1 rated Property Management company in my market, and had no trouble keeping those units full. To grow so quickly without any income from a “real job”, I had to try some unorthodox things. Some worked, and some didn’t, but lessons were learned each time, all of which I will share with you here.
It wasn’t always easy, but I enjoyed the process as much as the results. For almost all of that time, I was a one-man band, which eventually took it’s toll on me mentally and physically. On July 4th weekend, 2013, I hit my breaking point, and gave myself 5 years to re-examine my business and make some serious changes. I needed to get back to the “Professional Investor” plan I had in my younger days. I laid out a strategic plan, and moved toward this goal the same way as the others before it. Things never go according to the plan, but if you don't have a plan you aren't going anywhere!
I spent the next 3 years dealing with growing pains at work, and back pains at home. Eventually, it was probably the health issues that helped me make the final decision to sell ALL of my properties and step away for a while. In June 2016, at 40 years old, I “retired” from active involvement in Real Estate with enough money to last me a while, and I traveled around the US for most of the rest of the year. Before long, I got bored, and started buying single family rentals, because they are much easier to handle than apartments. In 2017, I took a 2 month European backpacking vacation, and spent another 2 months on various trips around the US, or back in Paris. I've spent the last few years taking care of a handful of rental properties, working as a Real Estate Broker, and building an online Real Estate coaching business.
As I started buying back properties one at a time, I was able to apply the management lessons I had learned running my apartment business. Even with a smaller company, I am enjoying the efficiencies of things like automated rent collection and master key systems to make repairs easier. All of this traveling gave me a chance to do a lot of thinking. I decided to get more serious about teaching all that I have learned over the years, so I hired a business coach to focus my thoughts and create programs that would help other investors. Yep. it was time to make the change from dreamer to do-er, just like I had done when I started as a Real Estate Investor almost 20 years ago.
Better REI is a way for me to share my past experience with others to help them learn from my successes AND failures. Real Estate Investing and TEACHING Real Estate Investing are like anything else – money is earned when value is created for the customer/client. In the past, my job was to create the best living experience for my tenants. I still have rental properties that kick out a steady income that more than covers my living expenses, but now I have this avenue as well. With Better REI, my job is to help you get better results, and reduce your odds of making mistakes. If I can do those things, we will both benefit from working together.
Thanks for visiting, let’s get started!