There is always an element of risk when it comes to real estate investing, so every investor is looking for ways to mitigate that.
But with the post-pandemic increased market volatility, Cesar Yepes quickly realized the regular mitigation strategies wouldn’t help if the market crashes.
That’s when he turned to Stoa.
Hailing from the Houston area, Cesar first began real estate investing by entering Texas’ rental market. While he enjoyed renovating and renting properties, he found relying solely on the rent income didn’t allow him to scale his business.
“It would take a while to build up capital and be able to buy more,” he said. “So I got into fix-and-flips as a means to more quickly acquire rental properties.”
Even though he had started flipping houses, Cesar still looked at each property as a potential rental.
“For all of my fix-and-flips, they also had to be good rentals in case I needed to hold on to them,” he said. “That would be the only way I would buy a property”
However, if the margins for flipping the home were such that he would make a profit even if the market dipped, he would still buy it solely for that purpose.
This strategy worked well for Cesar for a few years, but then things happened in quick succession: the pandemic, rising interest rates, and the threat of a housing market crash.
“My biggest challenge was market uncertainty,” Cesar said. “I knew it was going to crash the way it was inflating.”
As fate would have it, Jack Irving, a partner development executive at Stoa, reached out to Cesar around this time. Jack told him how Stoa not only acts as the lender for fix-and-flip projects at rates as low as 7%, but that the company would also buy the properties from him with an up-front sales contract.
“I thought, ‘This will probably be better than selling it on the market,’” Cesar said, laughing. “So I sent them a couple properties to just test out the numbers.”
When he saw Stoa’s loan terms and purchase offer, “I was like, ‘Well, this is the way.’ Stoa took that uncertainty out of the equation.”
After he started working with Stoa, Cesar realized he could pick more properties more quickly because he could get funding at low rates as well as sell his house to them within five days of the renovation being completed.
“This is a great way to build up capital in this uncertain time of the real estate market,” Cesar said. “So I started focusing mostly just on flips.”
He disposed of most of his rental properties and “dove head first” into flipping houses with Stoa. This partnership allowed him to scale quickly, build up a remodeling crew, and purchase his own equipment.
“I was able to create a waterfall method in which I had a timeline for all of my projects with Stoa,” Cesar said. “I knew that I was going to sell it to you quickly, so I wasn’t uncertain of how long it would take from listing to being sold.”
When Cesar first started, he was flipping three houses a month. Within just a few months of working with Stoa, he was able to average eight houses a month. And even though the real estate market faces further volatility, he said working with Stoa continues to give him peace of mind.
“Stoa takes out the uncertainty of selling on the market,” Cesar said. “It’s just been great.”