Summer’s around the corner, students are graduating, and lots of folks are getting ready for summer vacations.
Including us! We haven’t taken a break in 16 months so we’re ready for some relaxation. We’re headed to England and France and super excited for it!
I’m glad to release our May income report just before we leave. Also just released a big fun new post to coincide with college graduation season (details below). Meanwhile, as of now, I’m officially all-in on part 2 of my side project until late August, so new stuff on HYW is gonna slow down from now until then.
Here’s how we did in May: booked net revenue of $2,686, down -33% from last year.
Ouch. Pretty big drop. From investigating, there wasn’t any single culprit. I fixed a bug that could have been hurting conversions, but it’s impossible to know what its impact was. I’ve also been pruning my email list pretty aggressively recently, and I wonder if I may have deleted some good emails with monetization value. Will be keeping a close watch in June.
What else happened in May?
1. House hunting combat continues….
No new offers this month. Took a bit of a break. Partly because we knew it would be hard to coordinate closing a house purchase while on vacation – and we didn’t want to ruin vacation by having to constantly be on call to get on the phone, assemble documents, answer questions, etc. The only way to avoid this is to set up a power of attorney, but we decided not to do that unless the property was spectacular…and that’s pretty much gonna be a black swan event in this market.
We’re also just taking a break from the abysmally low inventory in the market right now. Which is exacerbated by would-be sellers who are simply deciding to keep their old houses (and low mortgage rates) even when they move and simply becoming landlords themselves.
So we may end up continuing to rent locally for now, and just being landlords on our current units, while investing in property elsewhere in (somewhat) more reasonably priced markets. To be sure, there’s still local inventory that pumps through in the summer and early fall, but if spring was indicative, the rest of the year will be darn challenging for buyers.
So, as I always ask: if you have an old house you wanna sell but don’t want the hassle of cleaning, staging, marketing, and dealing with nosy neighbors parading over your nice stuff, give me a holler. I’d love to buy your place. I can close fast and pay all cash.
2. New big fun blog post
In time for graduation season, I just released a new post:
Check it out and leave a comment to let me know what you think! I put together this post because I thought it’d be fun to ask a bunch of financially independent real estate investors for their advice to the graduating class of 2017.
What do they wish they’d known when they were graduating at 22? What would they have done differently?
Rounding up their insights was a huge effort but very insightful to hear from a large group of financially independent investors like this, some of whom control tens of millions of dollars of real estate assets…all built from scratch. Talk about taking massive action and building life-altering wealth.
Young graduates, take note!
3. Twitter followers: ~1,366
My new little robot is humming along, day in day out, without much oversight. It’s throttled by Twitter’s own traffic robots (it’s funny to see robots talking to each other), but slow and steady our HYW follower base continues to grow. Nice.
4. New credit card bonus captured
Last month we got the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card. It was an easy score because it only requires $1k spend in 3 months in exchange for a 60k point signup bonus. Unsurprisingly, we easily met that spending requirement and captured the signup point bonus. Future free hotels stays await – sweet!
5. List building tactics
Made slower progress going through my backlog of list building videos I mentioned last month. My side project and the big roundup post above (plus house hunting) took up most of the time. However, during side project breaks over the next month, I’ll definitely be watching more of these!
1. House hunting pivot
Our real estate search has deliberately slowed as we’re getting ready for vacay, and inventory has shrunk. We’re still looking, but very opportunistically in the Bay Area – not much out there.
So we’re also looking equally diligently out of town. We may well shift our investing focus to out of town / out of state properties, while continuing to rent locally. To be sure, if an attractive or special property situation comes up locally, and we still have sufficient dry powder to deploy, we’ll certainly run as hard as we can toward it, just as we’ve always done. But we’re not putting all our eggs into that one basket for sure….
2. Grow traffic
Even though I’ll slow things down a lot over the next few months finishing part 2 of my side project, I’ll still devote time to growing HYW. Traffic and email signups. As well, I’ll be going through my backlog of list building training videos to pick up new techniques and inspiration for growth hacking.
Current subs: 441
June target: 500
Until next time!