Southern California Flipper Keeps Winning with Sundae: Here’s How

This Southern California flipper gets the majority of his inventory from Sundae. Here’s how he makes it work.

Los Angeles-based home flipper Michael D. (CalDRE #02124971) has been using Sundae’s investor marketplace for about a year. In that time he’s seen big growth in his business. Since joining Sundae, he’s doubled the amount of homes he’s purchased to flip. He started with somewhere between 12 and 24 homes and now nearly flips 50 annually.

“I’m on the platform every day looking at what’s coming up for that day. And then I’m placing bets every day,” he says. “The majority of my inventory is coming straight from Sundae.”

Michael has been in real estate in one way or another for many years. With his extensive experience, he’s had a chance to see the industry from a variety of perspectives. To him, it’s clear that Sundae provides a number of benefits to his real estate investment business:

Sundae saves time

Sundae has allowed him to stop wasting his time driving to properties, a real issue in traffic-clogged Los Angeles. Before Sundae, he might spend an entire day getting to and from a prospective investment property. But with Sundae, he never has to leave his computer. “Now I have a platform that has Matterport and the inspection reports, so it eliminates my need to drive everywhere, ” he mentioned.

Sundae also saves Michael time at his computer. Prior to Sundae, he wasted time searching multiple real estate sites or making back-and-forth calls or sending emails to hunt down a property. Now, he simply logs in to Sundae. “The Sundae platform has the inventory that’s ready for the week,” he explained. “And then I go search. I start off in the areas that are closest to my house that I know the most,” he continued.

When it comes to the business of real estate investing, more time to make deals means more deals. The time-saving nature of the Sundae platform has “allowed me to purchase a lot more inventory,” he says, as evidenced by his ability to double his amount of flips in a year.

Sundae saves money

Of course, any real estate investment tool or trick of the trade that saves time also saves money. But there’s more to Sundae’s ability to affect the bottom line than simply allowing Michael and others like him to make more deals. The amount of in-depth information available on the Sundae platform allows Michael to make precise calculations on what a home is worth, how much he should offer, and the cost of any renovations he’ll need to make before the resale.

Michael found it easy to transfer his experience doing it the old-school” way into the online world of 3D walkthroughs and inspection reports. Before, he would look at a property himself and do the analysis afterwards. Online, “is just as good. And I think it shows you everything you need to know for interior and exterior” without ever having to set foot on the premises.

Michael also saves money using Sundae because he doesn’t need to pay for expensive leads from other sources. For example, other platforms he’s tried. And he doesn’t need to market himself in the same way. Instead, he can focus on the deals on Sundae’s Marketplace and whether or not they make sense for his business model.

With high-cost platforms and marketing efforts that don’t deliver, “if you had a bad month, you had a real bad month because you paid a lot of money out marketing and … you didn’t get a property,” Michael relayed. Sundae brings leads to him regularly, so this isn’t a part of the equation he’s solving for now.

Sundae helps you find new markets and opportunities

Michael runs his fix and flip real estate investment business in the Los Angeles area because that’s where he lives. He is familiar with the neighborhoods and the ins-and-outs of real estate landscape and laws. He stated that if he were to transition out of California to do rentals in another state, Sundae would make it easy.

Everything in one place

The value of a real estate investment tool that puts all the information in one place and keeps all the communication on a single platform can’t be understated in streamlining workflow. Michael noted that:

“I get like two emails and it’s, ‘Okay, you’re closing,’ which is great. That ease takes a lot of stress off me, trying to coordinate between different parties. Being vertically integrated with everything and the lending and inventory has been really nice.”

He’s also taking advantage of Sundae’s funding options, since the Sundae funding team has “matched or beat my terms with my other outside lenders. And now it’s obviously more streamlined because they handle everything,” he gloated.

Michael’s tips for new flippers in Los Angeles and beyond

Start small

One of Michael’s first deals was wholesaling in what was then a relatively inexpensive vacation town outside of Los Angeles. He made a lot of quick money and that got him interested in doing more deals.

Leverage the skills you have

Michael has a background as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant, and he uses that financial know-how to make smart decisions around his real estate investments.

Seek out new skills

Michael got his real estate license, which makes buying and selling properties easier. Plus, it saves him money.

Use your existing network

In the fix and flip business, the right contractors are key to a healthy business. Michael started with referrals from friends. He stated that “it was a long trial and error process of finding which ones worked. I had two good crews to start, and then I was rotating in and out of different friends and family recommendations until I found good people that I trusted.” His three top contractor qualities are timeliness, price, and quality.

Look for ways to save money on your rehab without affecting resale

Among Michael’s favorite hacks, are:

  • Using quality materials that look more expensive, such as veined quartz that mimics marble,
  • Buying in bulk from suppliers he trusts, especially when items he uses often are on sale, from construction materials to appliances, and
  • Working with set color schemes and interior themes, which makes bulk buying easier and more predictable.

“I really do pride myself on my rehabs being the best in the market. Maybe not the most expensive, but everything’s tied neatly together and appropriate for the market,” he mentioned when discussing his winning fix and flip formula.

Make updates according to market demands and legal environment

Michael says he doesn’t do many additions in his L.A.-area rehabs, but he has converted garages into ADUs, as it’s something California now incentivizes.

Get your finances in order

Having a strong financial base in your real estate investment business includes everything from understanding what updates will cost to having your lending system down. Even simply understanding the financial process before you jump into a deal is important, he says.

Michael doesn’t mince words when it comes to how the Sundae’s Marketplace has transformed his business. Michael shared his affinity in three words: “I love Sundae.”

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Erin B

Erin Behan is a writer and editor covering real estate investor strategy for Sundae. She's lived in L.A., New York, and Atlanta and currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where she writes and edits for a number of outlets, including WebMD, Farmers Insurance, and Vox Creative. She spends her free time hiking with her two boys, snuggling with her cat, and enjoying the best of the Pacific Northwest.