A Playbook for Growth: This Investor got $500,000 in Value With Sundae

September 23, 2022

Armando B. built his fix and flip empire from the ground up. Now he operates across California and beyond. Take your business to the next level by following Armando’s playbook for success.

Investing in real estate is a lot like farming: you plant your crops, water them, then patiently wait to harvest.

In a nutshell, that’s been Armando’s approach to growing a fix-and-flip behemoth over the last 17 years. As the son of a farmer in the Central Valley of California, he learned that growth in any capacity takes patience, hard work, and dedication. His journey started unexpectedly with one deal and snowballed gradually over time.

The lessons he learned over the years have enabled him to grow exponentially. Here are Armando’s words of wisdom on creating a successful real estate business.

Putting in the work

In the backdrop of Armando’s office you can see a big sign that defines the word execution. It reads “stop talking and do the work.” At the beginning of his investment journey, he didn’t have any experience or a background in flipping. What he did have was a willingness to learn and to get his hands dirty.

After graduating from college, Armando worked as a consultant for both Hewlett-Packard and then Deloitte. His life took a turn when he was laid off. This was a blessing in disguise that propelled him into the world of real estate. He partnered with his former college roommate to try flipping a house without any prior experience. Though that alone would deter many people, he viewed it as an opportunity to grow.

Today, his team could be in the process of flipping dozens if not more houses at any given time. The best part? He doesn’t have to get his hands dirty anymore because he’s built systems and made the right hires.

4 Things you need to grow your business

The best business use leverage. Real estate is no exception to this. Armando has been able to expand by harnessing the power of four key elements within his business.

People are the foundation

As an investor you need to be able to work with people in a variety of capacities. One day you might be training an employee how to analyze deals. Another day, you might need to go over a job scope with a contractor. Moreover, all of these people need to be in sync in order to successfully complete a project.

Armando measures his success as follows: “it’s not just about how Armando makes progress, but how the team does.” That means being there as a mentor and a lifeline. In fact, he equates leading a team and training them to swimming. “ I’m a firm believer that you should give them the tools, throw them in, and be there along the way to help,” said Armando.

Where technology and relationship building intersect

In addition to managing and training an internal team, Armando believes in establishing long term relationships with people in the space.  He originally relied upon wholesalers for deals. Eventually, he came to the realization that “wholesalers just care to maximize at that specific moment–even if you just buy one deal. For us, it’s about building a long term relationship where we are buying multiple deals.” That’s where Sundae came into the equation.

Our marketplace stood out due to the sheer volume of deals, customer service, and the value proposition it offers. Armando feels that our team wants to help him win and if he doesn’t get one deal, he knows there’s more in the pipeline. Additionally, he noted that “there’s still money to be made in any deal…and enough spread to make it work.” Just this year, he has already closed 12 properties on Sundae’s Marketplace.  He now uses our premium membership, Edge, to buy properties across the state of California.

A premium membership that gives you an Edge

When asked to quantify the value gained by using Sundae, Armando said that he’s received over $500,000 in value. Armando uses Sundae Edge because it offers a wide variety of benefits  including:

  • The opportunity to invest in multiple markets
  • Automated offers with our AutoOffer
  • A mobile app for investing on-the-go
  • Sundae historical sales data
  • And much more

To illustrate ways that he’s been able to profit using our platform, he shared an example of a recent deal.  He purchased a property for about $158,000 and completed about $40,500 worth of repairs to the property. When everything was all said and done, he’d made roughly $45,500 on this one deal.

At a cost of $399 per month when billed annually, Edge+ more than paid for itself. In fact, Armando was able to more than 9x his investment.  All you need to do is win one deal and Edge will likely pay for itself and then more.

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Putting it all together with processes

Armando has consistently combined great people and great technology to build scalable processes. When he was starting out, he only invested in one market. Once he proved the concept, he was able to replicate success elsewhere. Here are some key points that he emphasized about building systems and expansion.

  • Adapt. Real estate ebbs and flows. Armando’s team uses what they learn in a given market to adapt their investment model. For example, adjusting his offers based on current ARVs rather than in the past. Staying up to date has enabled him to win deals with safe margins.
  • Stick to your buy box. Armando sticks to entry level homes in every market. That way, it’s the same general process for renovating and offering, regardless of location. By becoming an expert in this space, he’s also able to help his teams operate more efficiently.
  • Be decisive.  Armando cites Sundae as the main reason he’s able to move quickly and decisively on deals. His biggest pain points were always piecing together information from a variety of sources and driving properties to validate that information. Sundae offers pictures, inspection reports, and other due diligence materials that have simplified this. In fact, “we do not visit 80% of the properties we buy. You’re detailed enough to help us make investment decisions,” Armando stated.

Unlock your potential

At the end of Armando’s interview he had some parting words about investing. He said that “real estate is a beautiful vehicle that can change lives.” It has come to shape his life and give him the freedom to do what he wants. Using his tips and recommendations, you too can build a life that you desire.

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Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.