Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Albright.
Hi Nick, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hi, I am Nick Albright. I’m a Realtor with Century 21 Advantage. I am currently in year five of a plan I started in 2016. I now own five rental properties worth about 1.2 million, am married to my amazing beautiful and supportive wife who has helped give me the confidence to take the risks I have, I have enough passive income to spend lots of time with her and we are expecting our first baby boy in December. I truly believe anyone can do what I have done, it’s been slow and steady, a lot of sacrifices, but I’m finally above water and thriving. I love my life, my career, and I am so thankful and blessed to have had the opportunities. I trust that everything, even the bad, has lead me to where I am now and where I’m supposed to be.
I think there are a lot of stepping stones that lead me here and I’ll just start at the beginning. From 8-18 years old I played sports. That’s pretty much all I did or thought about and had big dreams of playing college football. I was on my way to doing so when I tore my ACL just before my senior year and made me have to rethink what I was going to do.
I graduated in 2005 and knew I liked being creative but also knew I needed to make money to survive. I tried different things like designing and selling t-shirts (that was a huge bust), got an associates in graphic design, all the while I worked at a restaurant to pay rent. I don’t remember what lead me to real estate so early (I think I just didn’t want to pay rent to someone else). I do remember hearing of Sir Richard Branson developing Necar Island that he purchased for a few million dollars and after he fixed it up it was worth over 20 million. So I started looking into the cheapest way to buy a house.
I was 19-20, working at a restaurant, and I remember telling others what I wanted to do. They just said that was impossible, I couldn’t do it. So at 20, determined to prove them wrong, I bought my first house in De Soto MO for $65,000 it was all I could afford. Within 6 months I fixed it up myself. Small things like painting, redoing carpets, making it look nice and I sold it for $95,000. I thought this was amazing, I loved it. So I bought another one this time for around $110,000. I used all I had made to get that one in February 2008. From the research I did I should’ve been able to sell it for $165,000 after I finished. Then the market changed and the crash happened. I had to live there for the next 5-6 years just to break even, and at the end I didn’t make anything.
During that time I went back to school and graduated with a bachelors in business. Remained working at restaurants but also tried 3-4 different corporate jobs. Marketing, software development, customer service, insurance and none of them I liked. I always had so many ideas on how I felt things could be improved but no one really wanted my opinion and I hated sitting at a desk. I have always valued my time more than anything and sitting at a desk seemed to waste a lot of it.
I started looking at what jobs would allow me the most time off, to make my own schedule, and also be creative again. I landed on two, teaching or real estate. My first choice was actually to be a teacher but then I’d have to go back to school and I didn’t want to get more in debt with student loans. So I got my Realtors license.
Getting my license and learning what really goes on in the background of real estate changed everything. In the first 3 months I sold 5 houses including purchasing an investment for $71,000 that I moved into to fix up. When you occupy a home you can often just put down 3-5% and that’s all I had to my name so I had to do it. I also learned about a cash out refinance so I set my sights on something bigger and made a 10 year plan. The plan was to buy 10 investment properties for long term rentals over the next 10 years and at the end buy an island. To start I needed to buy a multifamily property where I could live in one side, fix up the other, rent it out, reappraise, cash out refinance, and use that money to buy the next. It was ambitious and I was scared but I also figured what have I got to lose. Worst case scenario I fail again and I would just start over again. I was still in my 20s so why not. (I read somewhere Henry Ford didn’t create the model T till he was 45 so I had time) Fortunately the plan worked and is still working. I think that being in a spot of nothing to lose can be a great starting point for the most successful plans and you just need to take the first step.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The market crashed in 2008 was tough and had to start over. I couldn’t use my new degree because the jobs were taken away. There were times I worked two jobs 70 hours a week and took 20 college credits all at the same time. Times where I took cold showers because the gas was shut off and didn’t have hardly any money. Only had a toaster oven and microwave at that time as well.
All kinds of little bumps one property I bought had a tenant who refused to leave when their lease was up. Had to have sewer lines replaced, leaks in buildings, had a roofer replace a whole roof only to make it worse. Cost me $5,000 when he did it and another $6500 to replace what he did.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a Realtor with Century 21 Advantage licensed in both Missouri and Illinois. I think a couple things set me apart. 1. I answer my phone. I have heard so many times from clients tell me they called ten people and I was the only one that answered. I think it’s important because there are a ton of moving parts in a real estate transaction. From contractors, to title companies, to lenders, to other agents and I make myself as available as possible to make sure everything goes smoothly. Relentless is a word that my company often uses, and I think being relentless is what allowed me to convince another agent to allow us in at 10:45 PM to a property and get the offer accepted by 2 AM before anyone else had a chance to view it. Those kinds of things help my clients get better deals.
2. My background in investing has given me insight on what could be major issues/deal breakers. I know what to look for in sloping yards, foundations, moisture damage, and by spotting them upfront, I can help the client avoid losing money paying for inspections.
I’m most proud of my referrals and reviews. I think it shows that I always have my client’s best interest and not just trying to sell a house. If I see something that’s a red flag, I will tell you because my hope is that not only does the buyer love the house but that it is a smart investment for them. In a time where some are waiving appraisals, not doing inspections, etc… my advice has been patience and persistence. Eventually, the right one will come along and it will work out. By not waiving appraisals this year alone, I saved one client $15,000 and another $20,000.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I think the big thing I have taken away from the Covid-19 Crisis is to really take advantage of every opportunity out there. It’s really important when one presents itself that you seize it and don’t wait.
- Email: Nickjalbright@gmail.com
- Website: https://nickalbright.c21.com/
- Instagram: @allwaysalbright
- Facebook: @allwaysalbright
- Twitter: @allwaysalbright
- Youtube: @humblerealtormo