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The Landlording Show Episode 02: 5 Ways to Make Money with Investment Properties

Hello, and welcome to The Landlording Show. I'm your host, Tim Harstead. Today, we delve deep into the nuances of managing and maximizing your investment properties. While many resources teach you how to acquire investment properties, our focus here is on what to do once you have them, aiming to maximize your profits and minimize stress.

Understanding the True Potential of Investment Properties

Investment properties represent one of the most lucrative ways to make money. Unlike stocks and other investment forms, real estate offers multiple streams to generate revenue, making it, in my view, the best investment strategy for your money. However, it's crucial to look beyond just cash flow, which has been the main focus over the last decade due to unusually high returns driven by low interest rates.

Five Ways to Make Money with Investment Property

  1. Cash Flow: Cash flow is the basic form of income from real estate, where you collect more in rent than you pay out in expenses and mortgage. It's important not to spend this income frivolously, as significant property expenses are inevitable. For instance, properties, especially older ones like those commonly found on the south side of Chicago, will require major repairs eventually, which can turn cash flow negative if not planned for.

  2. Mortgage Paydown: The part of your mortgage payment that goes towards the principal is essentially forced savings. Over time, this builds equity in your property, which can be substantial depending on the amortization of the loan and can be accessed through selling or refinancing.

  3. Appreciation: Property values generally increase over time, which can lead to significant profit upon selling or refinancing. Even modest appreciation can result in considerable gains, making real estate a powerful wealth-building tool over the long term.

  4. Value Add: Enhancing a property can significantly increase its value. Simple improvements or management changes can boost property income potential and thus its overall value. This strategy is especially potent in real estate, where slight increases in rent can dramatically improve the property's market value.

  5. Tax Benefits: Real estate offers depreciation benefits, which can offset income and reduce tax liability. This aspect of real estate investment is critical and should be managed with the advice of a CPA, particularly to optimize tax benefits related to property ownership and operations.

Economic Shifts and Real Estate Investment

The recent economic changes, including rising interest rates and inflation, suggest that the era of easy cash flow may be waning. Investors need to adapt by evaluating deals more stringently to ensure long-term viability. It’s no longer as simple as during the low-interest-rate years; real estate investing now requires a more strategic approach to stay profitable.

Building a Sustainable Portfolio

Building a substantial real estate portfolio doesn’t happen overnight. It often requires accumulating multiple properties over time. For many, it might mean starting small and scaling up, using profits from earlier investments to fund larger deals. The goal should be to reach a point where your real estate investments generate enough income to replace your primary job, facilitated perhaps by leveraging professional property management to turn it into a truly passive income stream.


Those are my insights for today. Real estate is not just about finding the right properties but managing them in a way that aligns with broader economic trends and personal financial goals. If you have ideas or questions, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you and continue this discussion in our next episode, coming in two weeks.