Real Estate investors come from all sorts of backgrounds.
Many have degrees in real estate or related fields, but others have degrees in seemingly unrelated fields.
Take John Maxi for example.
John has a background in Predictive Modeling from his work in a hospital system. While it may seem that his field has nothing to do with real estate, he has found success as an investor.
He credits his knowledge of the market and his ability to assess risk as the main reasons for his success.
John believes that anyone can be a successful real estate investor if they’re willing to learn and take risks.
Who is John Maxi?
John grew up outside Dayton, Ohio, in the suburb of Centerville. As soon as he graduated high school, he followed the “traditional” college path and then moved to Columbus where he earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from The Ohio State University.
His love of school and learning led him to attend Louisiana State University with his wife in New Orleans. During his time there, he earned a Ph.D. in Human Physiology. It was an incredible experience for John, especially since he had a mentor who truly pushed him to go above and beyond.
In the years since he graduated from graduate school, John has worked as a data scientist. The first job he held was at a startup where he developed experiments and built computer models to test the level of engagement of people in different activities.
Their goal was to build a headset that records brain waves while people work, learn, or listen to music. Using the classification program John wrote, he could determine what activities engaged the individual most. The goal was for people to use the information to understand how they learn and work best.
From Programs to Portfolios
Having worked at a startup company, John then moved on to other companies. At the moment, he is developing predictive models for use by doctors and nurses in a hospital system. The model helps doctors and nurses make better decisions about patient care in the hospital system where he is employed.
In one of his software programs, John helps clinicians identify patients who might have certain types of blood infections. Once they are identified, the doctor then examines the patient’s medical chart to determine whether they need to order additional tests to confirm the infection.
So, how does this all fit into real estate investing?
Working with programs greatly contributed to John’s success in real estate investing. However, his entry into real estate was neither accidental nor by chance.
John has been interested in real estate since 2013 when he first became intrigued by the idea of owning an asset that would produce income independent of his time. Since then, he has pursued this interest with vigor, studying the market and honing his skills.
In fact, when he was working in the lab, he would listen to Bigger Pockets podcasts to learn more about real estate investing. As he began learning more about computer programming, he did several projects where he built tools that helped him analyze properties or scrape the web for real estate listings.
First Double Investment
John’s first real estate investment property was actually two!
The properties were both purchased on the same day. The first was a single-family home in Neenah, and the second was an upper/lower duplex in Menasha.
The SFH was rented to good tenants. It has been a cash-flowing property since the day it was acquired. The duplex was his first BRRR, and, in general, it’s been a good investment.
The duplex taught John about awkward layouts, though. One of the units ended up renting for much less than expected because one has to walk through a bedroom to reach the bathroom.
Fortunately, he ran his numbers conservatively, to begin with, so that did not impact his finances much.
John’s Real Estate Investor Portfolio
John is a buy-and-hold investor. He has already done one BRRR deal, with another one in progress. He has also participated in wholesale transactions as a joint venture partner.
He began his career in the real estate investing sphere by driving for dollars. He turned that profit into the money needed to acquire his first rental units in August 2021. Currently, he has 14 units spread across Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, and Green Bay.
John realized that the first step toward learning is buying. Each of his properties had some quirk or problem he never considered until after he purchased it.
It hasn’t been bad enough to ruin the deal, but it has been annoying enough to understand why the last owner sold the property.
Real Estate Investing: The Good and the Bad
One of John’s favorite things about buying troubled properties is meeting the neighbors. He enjoys improving the property and bringing quality tenants to the neighborhood.
John uses property management, so his ongoing time commitment to the properties is relatively minimal. He still cares about his properties, however, and still spends a lot of time thinking about them.
Although he does not lose sleep over his ETFs, he stays up late thinking about rehabs, financing, and tenants. Just because owning an asset can generate passive income, doesn’t mean it is low stress.
What You Need to Know to Succeed in Real Estate Investing
When asked what John’s advice is for other real estate investors, he shares this:
“For a new investor, figure out how to limit your downside and then jump in. You won’t be able to think of everything before you have gone through it. You will miss things. Ask for help, do your best, and keep learning.”
He went on to say that,
“The network of investors I’ve made in the area has been a huge part of my progress and development as a newer investor. I owe a lot of thanks to those people.”
John is in the process of stabilizing his most recent purchases and focusing on apartment properties next. He is looking for 8–16-unit buildings in the Fox Valley or Green Bay area with a maximum purchase price of a million dollars.
Connect with John
If you want to look into investment properties in Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, and Green Bay, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with John!