On our very first episode of Turnkey Saturday, Mercedes Torres is joined by Jennifer Ohmari, a resident of Japan and investor of America. Learn how she put a property under contract from overseas, her two biggest challenges throughout the process, her two pieces of advice for new investors, and much more!
What You Will Learn About Lives in Japan, Invests in America:
- How Jennifer Ohmari lives in Japan and invests in America
- Where Jennifer initially heard about passive income from
- Jennifer’s solution to not being able to rely on Social Security or pensions
- The very first step in Jennifer’s journey to investing internationally
- How much Jennifer cash flows from her very first deal
- What turnkey operations did for Jennifer’s investing
- How Jennifer overcame her fear of international investing
- Why Jennifer will never forget her first home inspection experience
- The two biggest challenges of Jennifer’s journey
- How Jennifer closes deals overseas
- Two pieces of advice Jennifer has for new investors
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Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media.
You want to be a real estate investor, but you don’t want to do the work. If there were only a way where someone else could do it for you. Now, there is. Tune in here each and every Saturday on the Epic Real Estate Investing Show for Turn Key Saturdays with your host, Mercedes Torres.
Mercedes Torres: Ladies and gentlemen, without further review, lets welcome Miss Jennifer Omari to this show directly from Japan. Jennifer, thank you so much for joining us at these wee hours of the morning for you. Welcome to the Epic Real Estate Investing podcast, on our turnkey portion. How are you today?
Jennifer: I’m good. Thank you so much Mercedes for having me, I’m so excited to be here.
Mercedes: Awesome. When I cut right to it, Jennifer, introduce yourself, tell me a little bit about you, tell me a little bit about Jennifer. And how did you end up living in Japan and investing in America? Let’s start from the beginning.
Jennifer: Okay. Well, I’m from the States, I’m kind of all over. So I lived in Ohio and moved to Virginia, and then most recently I spent 10 years in Hawaii, and that’s where I met my husband, who’s Japanese. And then we decided together to move back to Japan. For him back to Japan, for me the first time. And we live now in Nara, Japan, which I love. I love the people, I love the culture, I love the food, I love the onsane or hot springs that they have. It’s just a really good place to live. I was in marketing for many years for a long time, and then when I moved to Japan, I became an English teacher.
Mercedes: Awesome. Do you teach English to adults to children? Who do you teach English to?
Jennifer: I’m an English high school teacher, I teach in a public high school here.
Mercedes: Oh, that’s so awesome. Okay, so how did we go from living at the States to living in Hawaii, now living in Japan teaching English to passive income on real estate investing? Like, tie that all in for me.
Jennifer: Well, it’s not a recent thing for me, I’ve always wanted to do it. I’ve been a Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad, Poor Dad follower for many years in fact and still on his newsletter and he’s always talking about passive income and so I knew I wanted to do it, I knew it, I just didn’t know how. I didn’t know how to start it and I knew also that when I’m older, there’s not going to be any social security that’s going to take care of me. There’s not going to end with the volatility of the stock market. I don’t know that my 401 will still be there when I’m ready to take it out. So I was like, “What am I going to do? Like, how am I going survive when I retire? There’s no pension anymore”. I just started asking myself for my generation, “What are we supposed to do? We don’t have the same securities that our parents had. I have to make a different choice”.
Mercedes: Yeah, there are lots of ways of creating passive income. Why specifically real estate?
Jennifer: I’m fascinated by real estate. I love it, I love looking at homes, I’ve always loved looking at homes. I love the whole… and of course, being in Hawaii or some of the gorgeous homes, but I just, I thought I’ve looked at different avenues before and I just felt the most comfortable with real estate.
Mercedes: Awesome. I know you acquired your first property and we will certainly dive into the first property that you acquired, which is about a year ago that’s doing really well. We’ll dive into those numbers because our listeners always want to know about the numbers, but you are a little bit different because, although you are an American you live in another country. So tell me about the pre-qualification process that you had to go through in order to jump into your first Passive income property.
Jennifer: Well, thankfully, you actually introduced me to the mortgage lender that you connect me with and she really helped me walk me through the process and being as I am in Japan, it was a little bit of an extra challenge because how we do things here in Japan is a bit different. We don’t have pay stubs. Our banking system is a little bit different. Our W2s are also a little bit different. So I have the extra step of having to not only find a workaround for those because there’s a work order required for the pre-qualification process, but also having it translated from Japanese to English, but it worked out and to me, it was good. They helped me very much. Chilly is the one who helped me and she really took the time to answer my questions and there’s a lot of terminology too I didn’t know.
Jennifer: I had no idea.
Mercedes: Yeah. How did she communicate with you? Was it a phone call? Did you guys use a Skype phone? How did you guys connect?
Jennifer: Well, I would call her through Skype, basically, is what I would have to do and many times at that in through email, we communicate a lot through email as well.
Mercedes: Awesome. You’re an exception to the rule just because I mean, in addition to just getting over the fear of investing in real estate, you have to then go through an extra process because you’re out of the country just to pre-qualify. That speaks volume of how determined you were intended this happened. Awesome. You decided to work with us. You found your first property. Tell us about your property in itself.
Jennifer: Well, I have a three-bedroom, one bath property in Birmingham, Alabama, which I never would have believed I’ll buy a property in Birmingham, Alabama, but it’s there and I love it. It’s a really cute house it’s about a quarter of an acre of land and I’m cash flowing about 300 to 350 per month.
Mercedes: And do you mind sharing how much you paid for that property?
Jennifer: I paid about just under $100,000.
Mercedes: Yeah, awesome. You purchased that property at a great time, you got amazing rates. And so that really helped just what your cash-on-cash return. Tell me about the proforma that I provided for you when you were in the process of selecting the process, how is that in compared to how it’s performing in real life?
Jennifer: It’s so funny because I was actually thinking about this. When I started receiving some of the cash flow after the property is going through and I’m actually receiving cash for a month after month and I went back and I looked at it was pretty close. The proforma and what was, in reality, was very close. Everything from closing cost to cash flow to taxes, the home insurance, everything was very close.
Mercedes: Yeah, I work really, really hard to ensure that those proformas are as accurate as possible. I mean, we actually use taxes that were just paid on the property, we use the insurance that’s being paid. I try as much as possible. The only thing I have no control over is the rate and just the closing fees, but I try to exaggerate that number a little bit just so that the numbers can be super real and conservative and then make you happy if I out-performs the proforma. Awesome. So when you found us, did you interview other turnkey operations?
Jennifer: This is funny because I didn’t even know what turnkey operation was. So I researched what that was, I research what turnkey operations were, and I researched by going to the website but I didn’t research other companies. I think from the moment we had our first conversation, I knew this was going to be a game changer for me and I knew that you were going to help me get my first property. I didn’t see any need to go anywhere else.
Mercedes: I do remember our conversation and your list of about 25 questions. I remember that, and I remember I usually allow 25 minutes per call, and I think we well[?] into an hour after answering all your questions but, did I answer your questions?
Jennifer: Yes, again and again. And I think, like I said, I think I even asked you the same question multiple times. It’s just I had so many… It was a new process for me, it was a new start, and I didn’t know anything, so I had a lot of fear and so you walked me through every single one of them several times, through several conversations.
Mercedes: And why fear? Where was the fear coming from?
Jennifer: From everything. From just dipping your toe in. I think not knowing the market, not knowing the process, not knowing if I’m going to buy the right property or if it’s going to cash flow. Am I making the right choice? Am I picking the right person? Everything is so new. It just causes fear.
Mercedes: Yeah, and so what helped you overcome that fear? What was it that said, “Okay, this is it, I’m doing it”? How did you overcome that fear?
Jennifer: I think that was our conversation, our very first conversation when you took the time to lead me through those questions that I had. And I could tell you a very patient and you made everything very understandable for me. That really helped a lot because again, there’s a lot of terms and stuff I wasn’t familiar with but you simplified it for me and that helped. And then, like I said, you would lead me to the next person. You helped you find the mortgage lender and then helped me any time I had a question about a property, and in after that, you helped me find a home inspector and then an appraiser. And it just goes on and on and on in there. So, I always knew I was in good hands.
Mercedes: Yeah. That’s interesting. You said it helped you find a home inspector and I think I remember you sending me an email about this 40-page inspection report that you had just received and I think it was a little traumatizing for you. Tell me about that experience.
Jennifer: I will never forget it, ever. I’ve never bought my own home property yet. This is my first purchase ever have any home isn’t in real estate investment property. I’ve never received a home inspection report. And so just the tiny things, it’s overwhelming how much information it was. But even the home inspector that you helped find was really helpful. He took my calls he walked me through the whole report and I learned a lot from that process. I learned what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not. What age home I’m looking for. It was good, it was a good learning I enjoyed it. It was overwhelming and kind of a challenge to push through that, but I enjoyed learning about it as well.
Mercedes: That’s awesome. If there’s one thing that I pride myself in its just really the people that we consider our team members. I mean, we have our list of inspectors and we have our list of property management and we have teams and construction teams and one of the things that is very important to me is that I give you a list of trusted professionals in whatever field, whether it’s our inspector or an insurance guy. And then I make you kind of choose the one that’s going to be a better fit for you because there’s a professional for everybody. So, I love that you did the research on the inspectors that we gave you and in addition to that, you personally, connected with them about the report that they prepared for you, I mean, that’s what you pay an inspector for. And inspectors are notorious for giving you a 75-page report on one property. So you did great with that. What would you say, Jennifer, has been the biggest challenge during this process?
Jennifer: There’s two, one is the mental part of it. Getting over that fear of making a wrong choice. That was my big thing, so just getting over that. And the second one was being in a foreign country, having these additional hoops that you have to kind of jump through and it’s not… I mean, it does have a challenge, but it’s just an extra step, it’s an extra step as an out-of-country investor we have to go through. We don’t have the same, like I said, banking system, the same pay stubs or W2s. We just have to make that little bit of extra step and go through it. But again, people will lead us through that. Even though it an extra step, there’s always somebody there holding your hand getting us through.
Mercedes: Yeah. Well, it must not have been so bad, Jennifer because I know you’re already working on a property number two despite the fact that there were several hoops. And like you said, I love your outlook on it. It’s an extra step that has to be done, but at the end of the day, you’re acquiring cash-flowing assets. I mean, that’s a big deal, and all you have to do is go through an extra step. Talk about the closing process. You’re in another country. So I remember, we had to send you the docs. Normally, we send a traveling notary to you. In this case, we weren’t going to fly traveling notary to Japan. What did we do to accommodate you? Walk us through that closing process.
Jennifer: Well, actually the closing, once you’ve chosen a property, the closing process is pretty quick. And I had to go and get a power of attorney, I was actually able to find a power of attorney the state, somebody that I trusted, and then they were actually able to file the documents with them. And they could sign the documents on my behalf. That was a workaround for that. It went pretty smoothly. Everything was… I went from, Okay, I found my house, and now I’m a homeowner investor. It just happened and I was completely blown away. Like how quickly it happened once you made that choice. Everybody really like I said, the whole hand-holding, I just keep saying it because that’s how it is. Every biggest picture hand and walk you through this step through this step to this step to this step, so it really worked really well.
Mercedes: The whole idea and concept of our business are we walk you through the process, we do everything for you, and after several properties, you’re not going to need me anymore. Now might need my properties, but you’re sure as heck aren’t going to need me. And the idea is that I’ve taught you so well that you’re not going to need me. I love that you actually are experiencing that through the process, through your learning processes. Now that you’ve gone through your first property, you’re working on property number two. I think I saw you going through the pre-qualification again, what would you do differently from this point on acquiring your next property?
Jennifer: I don’t know if I would do anything different. It’s just I’m more prepared. I’ve been through the whole thing, now, I know what to expect, I know that extra step and now it’s not such a surprise for me anymore. I can relax, and not have to worry or be anxious.
Mercedes: What words of wisdom, or words of advice would you give to that new investor that’s considering their first by and hold, or even using a turnkey operation?
Jennifer: I have two pieces of advice. The first would be, take the first step. It sounds so easy but it’s the hardest part. You just have to take the first step. Don’t think about the end result, think about taking the first step. And then as I said previously, you will lead us then you’ll help us take the second step and the third and the fourth, and so on but you just have to take the first step. The end result will come, just start.
Mercedes: As Matt Theriault always says travel as far as you can see and when you get there, you’ll see you further.
Jennifer: Right, and then the second part advice, I would say is, just trust the process. It’s going to happen, don’t worry. The property will come, a right property for you, the right people will come so just trust the whole thing.
Mercedes: Yeah, those are amazing words of wisdom, and it’s so hard to believe Jennifer that just one year ago you and I were talking and you just wanted one little property and look who’s a superstar. Now, we’re looking for property number two. I love that, absolutely love that.
I know it is crazy hours in Japan. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for really waking up and taking the time to take my call and just really sharing, sharing candidly your fear, and your wisdom. You said you’re a newbie investor. Oh no, Jennifer, you’re not a newbie.
You’re doing just fine, you’re working on number two. And I know that in several years from now, you’re going to be working with a portfolio of properties. Thank you so, so much for your time.
Jennifer: Thanks for having me it was fine, I enjoyed it.
Mercedes: For our audience, thank you so much for tuning in. I truly hope that Jennifer story was insightful for you and really helped you take the next step to create passive income. Whenever you’re ready I am here to help you. So, just go to www cashflowsavvy.com that’s two Vs in savvy. Download the frustrated investor guide to passive income. Book a call on me and I will be more than happy to answer your questions and to see how I can help you get out of the rat race. This is Mercedes Torres from Cash Flow Savvy brought to you by Epic Real Estate and Theriault Media. See you next week.
Speaker 1: Your portfolio has seen better days, but this too shall pass, and the best for you is yet to come. Together, we’ll get you there faster. We’re Cash Flow Savvy and we’d like to share some information with you that will show you how you can take control of your financial future and accelerated its arrival. Go to cashflowsavvy.com. More building less waiting, cashflowsavvy.com.