Welcome back to the Share the Wealth Show! In today’s episode, we have the privilege of sitting down with Avriel DuVerney an incredible entrepreneur whose journey is incredibly inspiring.
Join us as we delve into the life and accomplishments of a remarkable Black woman rehabber who has not only broken barriers but also built a flourishing business in a male-dominated industry.
Avriel DuVerney is the real estate visionary on the path to redefine generational wealth for investors. As a 20-year veteran, now highly recognized real estate investor, Avriel owns Stone 2 Stone Solutions, Inc., a real estate business solutions and property management agency that specializes in driving revenue growth and increasing market share through strategic analysis, partnerships, acquisition/retention, and cost development.
On a mission to make real estate investing accessible to all, Avriel is leading the way in providing top tier education and coaching to new and rising investors. With her own fast-growing portfolio of properties, Avriel to date has been influential in securing and flipping over $2.6M in real estate. As the Conference host and the investing guru behind the new real estate investing course, Sidelines to Success – she will personally teach, coach, and support the new generation of real estate investors.
“Regardless to what life gives you and life may knock you down a couple of times, you still just get back up because as you go through real estate it’s gonna be something that you’re gonna have to endure, if you wanna stay in this game, because real estate is tough, entrepreneurship is tough.” – Avriel DuVerney
“I say to anyone that’s going out here and you really and truly don’t know, I’m telling you, you need to get a coach, you need to get a mentor, so, you don’t make the same mistakes that some of us have already made.” – Avriel DuVerney
Connect with Avriel!
You can find her on
Or Visit her website :https://s2ssolutionsinc.com/
Let’s get connected!
You can find Nicole on
or Visit her website https://noirvestholdings.com
[00:00:03 – 00:00:56]
Nicole Pendegrass:: Hey, hey, hey! Welcome back everyone to another episode of the Share the Wealth Show.
This is the show where we discuss strategies on how to build, grow and protect minority wealth.
And today I have with me Ms. Avriel DuVerney, said it right? every time. Because it’s so, I just never wanna mess it up. It’s so beautiful. Okay, oh my goodness. So I just met Arielle last month, but she’s been… phenomenal, a powerhouse already, like given so much value. We’ve been on calls, like she’s just so giving with information and resources and I love it. And I’m so glad that she agreed to be with us here today because guys, this lady is busy, busy. And so super blessed that you took out time today. So thank you so much for coming and joining with us.
[00:00:57 – 00:01:51]
Avriel DuVerney: You’re quite welcome. Thank you for having me.
Nicole Pendegrass: Of course. Okay. So, Just start off, the listeners know nothing about you, who you are. Well, some might, your followers will, but tell them who you are and what you do and how you kind of got there.
Avriel DuVerney: Okay, so thank you again for having me on. So my name is Avriel DuVerney. I was born in Brooklyn, New York. After two short years in Brooklyn. My mom was born in South Carolina, so I grew up in Fort Mill, South Carolina. where I attended Fort Mill High, graduated. I went into the military. I did 20 years in the United States Air Force. After leaving the Air Force, I started in real estate. And so I met Nicole on last month and real estate is what I do. I eat, breathe and love real estate. So I’m glad to be here to talk about real estate today. So that’s what I do.
[00:01:52 – 00:02:42]
Nicole Pendegrass: Nice, nice. Okay. So I know from your… presentation speaking
at the conference that you are contractor, right? Like you’re, so guys, as I say, guys, sorry, ladies, guys, listeners, anybody listening right now, this is a black woman contractor. That’s super rare. It’s already rare to see us in real estate in certain capacities. But as a contractor, one, to be a woman in a contracting world, and two, to be a Black woman in the contracting world, like I haven’t seen that really. Like that is super rare. So what made you get into being a contractor and wanting to do flips?
[00:02:43 – 00:04:04]
Avriel DuVerney: So I started out on this journey as an investor, right? And so as I went along on this journey, I started to add things to my tool belt. And so contracting was one of them. And the reason that I got so intrigued about the contracting work is because I was in the field working a few times and there were you this field is a male dominated space right so I felt myself being taken advantage of in the field. And its because I didn’t know my numbers, I didn’t know how much material cost, I didn’t know how much it was to, maybe to lay a tile,to lay flooring. So, I felt myself being taken advantage of into field, And so for me, I wanted to make sure that I knew my numbers. And when I am doing a flip to cut down on costs, to make sure that I’m not overpriced for the things that the contractors were charging me, I went and got my contractor license, right?
And so I began to learn about contracting because it was very important I you’re investing and if you’re doing anything in this field, you need to know your numbers. So that’s why I thought it was important for me to go get my contractor license, learn the game inside and out so I could not be taken advantage of again while working.
[00:04:05 – 00:05:28]
Nicole Pendegrass: Okay, give me an example of how you know like you were taken and taken advantage of.
Avriel DuVerney: So what happened was I had someone that was charging me to lay floor.
And so I was looking at a nearby home. And so oftentimes when I’m doing a flip, I’m walking
in nearby homes just to see the material, to see what the design plan that they have in there. And so there were people, there were contractors in there that were laying floors. And so I started having a conversation with them and I discovered that the individual that was laying the floor in that house was charging the investor $1.25. I was being charged $5.46 for laying floor and I was right around the corner from this home.
Nicole Pendegrass: It wasn’t the same team though, okay, they would have known your
face. Okay, so it was different team, but still that’s a difference.
Avriel DuVerney: Yes. So that’s how I discovered that I was being taken advantage of. So I went back to the contractors that were working on my home. I questioned them about it and they became very aggressive with me. So at that point in time, I knew that if I didn’t get out here and learn the contracting work that I was going to be taken advantage of again. It may not be about the same team, but I’ll be taken advantage of again. So that was my whole reasoning for going and getting my contractor license and learning everything I could about contracting.
[00:05:29 – 00:06:08]
Nicole Pendegrass: Okay. And how long do you feel like it took you, because you start learning and the more you do, the more you learn, right? And the more you do, the more you learn, the more expert you get and niche you get with the numbers and being really granular there. So how long did you think the process, like from the time, the first time you started, you decided to start doing contracting work, what was the timeframe before you got your contracting license and then about how long in doing did it take before you felt like you were competent enough to call contractors out on their BS or subs out on the BS when they’re mispricing you or probably scouging you?
[00:06:09 – 00:08:00]
Avriel DuVerney: So every flip is different, right? And so every team that you bring in, the contractors that you bring in, they’re gonna quote you something totally different. So it’s still times where I feel like I’m being taken advantage of. And so I have people that I really, really rely on now and that I run numbers by them if I feel like something is off. So I’m still learning. So I can’t say that guys still are not trying to take advantage of me because it still happens, right.
But I’m comfortable because I know the market that I’m in. And so this is why it’s important knowing the market that you’re in. So I know this market that I’m in. I stay in the areas where I know, what the cost of laying floor, laying tile, doing sheet rock, I know the cost of that area. So I stay in areas that I’m familiar with. And if I’m not familiar with that area, I’m making sure that I go out and I do my market research to make sure that, hey, in this area, what is it costing them to lay tile? What is it costing them to do sheetrock? What is it costing them to do mud, paint, texture, and all of that?
So I think just knowing the area that you’re flipping in or knowing the area that you’re renovating in, that’s like really cheap. So there are still times I have to run. I mean, I have partners, right? So I’ll run it by and be like, “Hey, does this sound about right?” And then they’ll be like, “Mm, yes, kind of, it’s kind of high.” So then I’ll go back and have a conversation with the contractors and be like, “Hey, I think that I can find another
crew to do it for this. Would you consider doing it for this? I want to work with you,
but would you consider doing it for this?” And so then they’ll come back and be like, “Mm, that’s really not what we want to do, but yeah, we’ll go ahead and consider.”
So, but yeah, I’m still learning every day. So the contracting work, got me into the project management also, right? Of actually learning how to manage my project too. And so I know that we’ll talk about that later, but the contract thing got me into project management. So that’s where I really, that’s where I really liked to play is project management.
[00:08:01 – 00:09:04]
Nicole Pendegrass: Nice. And I just want to call out to the point that Avriel just dropped a major negotiating gem there in case you didn’t hear it. She… framed her negotiation in the way of, “I still wanna work with you, but I can find someone else to do it this way. I’m bringing it to you first because I would rather work with you.”
You know, like that’s the negotiation tactic that I have heard of in just, in so many different facets, even like in lending, if you’re working with a broker, like, or a bank, you build in a bank relationship. “Oh, I really wanna work with you guys. I do know another lender that could do these terms. Would you be able to match that? because I would rather work with you and build this relationship.” So when someone knows that there’s gonna be future activity and business relationship and you’re an active investor and you’re gonna be doing more business with them in the future, a lot of people see that as part of their business plan and are growth minded enough to want to build that relationship because that’s future revenue for their business as well.
Avriel DuVerney: Absolutely.
Nicole Pendegrass: So that was great.
[00:09:05 – 00:09:39]
Nicole Pendegrass: Okay, so I want to backtrack a little bit.
Avriel DuVerney: Okay.
Nicole Pendegrass: So did you come, like, how did you get introduced to the idea of real estate investing and how they, and I know you said you were looking at all different aspects of being an investor and making sure that you were competent. So that’s what led you into the contracting and project management side of things. But like, what even got you into real estate and into investing at all? Did you come from that kind of family as a background? Did you go to a seminar? Like, what happened there?
[00:09:40 – 00:11:05]
Avriel DuVerney: So I got intrigued with real estate because I seen my uncle, Uncle Jackie take care of it. And so I thought that my uncle was gonna be my coach. I thought he was gonna be my mentor. I seen him take care of our family during crisis using real estate, right? And so I got intrigued at that time. And so I was like, hey, when I graduate or when I finish the military, when I retire, I wanna come and work with you and I want you to teach me everything that you know about real estate. And tragically, six months after my retirement, I lost him. So a whirlwind trying to find someone that I really and truly trusted to teach me the game, right?
So one, I had seen the way that he handled some of the men in the field. And so in the field as a woman, I got kind of intimidating. And I was like, I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to learn it and learn it the correct way. So what I did was I went and I worked for about a year for district judge because I have a degree. I have a… I have a Master’s in Criminal Justice and I also have an MBA. And so I was like, well, I’ll just go work for, um, you know, a judge or at the jail or something. And, um, one day I was driving to work and it was almost like my uncle was sitting in the passenger seat. And he said, “You’re not happy. I need you to go out here and I need you to pick up the phone, call some of the people that I was working with to see if they will actually bring you on as a coaching client.”
[00:11:06 – 00:12:26]
Avriel DuVerney: So I remembered a couple of friends that he had. So I reached out to them and asked them if they would teach me the game and that I was, you know, I was Jackie Steele’s niece. And so they took me in, I went and I set up under them and I learned for a little bit. And then I said, “Hey, I’m gonna take this bull by the horns.” And so I started down here in Texas and I bumped my head a couple of times. And then I was like, you know what? I really want to do the fix and flip. So let me really and truly like buckle down, let me learn the game of fixing and flipping.
And so I went and I invested in myself. I made a large deposit with a company and people look at me now and they’d be like, “You’re crazy, are you kidding me? You spent $50,000?”, So yes, I spent $50,000.
Nicole Pendegrass: Oh my, oh my, a company like a mentorship company?
Avriel DuVerney: Yeah, it was a mentorship company. It was a mentorship company. So I’ve always invested in myself, right? And so, for me, this investment yielded a return that was a six figure flip. My first flip was a six figure flip. $1000 yielded me six figures coming back in. And so I think for me, the investment was worth it, but that is really how I got intrigued by watching my uncle take care of our family using real estate. So that’s how I got into real estate.
[00:12:27 – 00:13:44]
Nicole Pendegrass: Wow, okay. So I like that you said it was an investment in yourself.
Avriel DuVerney: Yes.
Nicole Pendegrass: A lot of people don’t want to spend any money on a mentor because they just think, oh, the information is out there. I could do it on my own. So I don’t know if one, if that’s like an ego thing, like, oh, I could be self-made. I can figure it out myself. You can eventually,
how much time is that going to take? How many more errors and head bumps are you going to
experience? Just going through it by yourself because you wanna be able to, maybe you wanna
say, oh, “I did this all with myself.” But I also think people don’t realize no matter how,
like no matter how successful you get, no successful person, even if they’re “self-made” air quotes,
it actually did it by themselves. Like there’s always a connection, there’s always a resource,
there’s always information given like, so and so’s dad knew so and so’s uncle and they gave
you a job over here or gave you the internship or whatever it is. So it’s always some kind
of somebody helped along the way somewhere, even if it wasn’t physical labor and doing it
for you and handing it to you on a silver platter. That’s not the definition of self, of not being self-made, I don’t think, but anyway.
[00:13:45 – 00:14:50]
Nicole Pendegrass: You said you bumped your head a few times on the first way. So tell me one of the earlier flips or real estate investing scenarios or whatever happened. That was a big learning lesson.
Avriel DuVerney: So I came back, so I had partnered with a few people out of Chicago, so I did a couple flips in Chicago. And I said, you know what, I’m going back to Texas and I’m gonna do this. Avriel got this now, so I’ve done a couple deals up here. I’m about to take my talent to Texas.
And I came back to Texas and again, not knowing the ins and outs of all of the contracts, the paperwork. And so I was thinking about becoming a realtor so I could get more leads and get more deals so I could build more relationships. Cause I’m always thinking about how I can add to what I already have. And so I went to this real estate class and I met a realtor, a licensed realtor there. And so we sat beside each other, we were just talking. And so she was like, “Well, what, you’re planning on getting your license? You already have your license?” I said, no, I said I’ve done a couple flips.
[00:14:51 – 00:16:04]
Avriel DuVerney: And so now I’m looking to see if I want to add a license to my tool belt, but I’m not sure right now. So this is why I’m taking this class and it was a three day class. And so we started talking and you know before we left, she was like, “Hey, let me give you my number. I think we probably can partner on some deals together”, and I got excited because she’s a licensed realtor she has a fiduciary duty not to take advantage of anyone. So I partner with her on a couple
deals. not knowing that there are certain things and certain language that I need to look for
in a contract. So she wrote up a contract, wrote up a promissory note. She was like, “Hey, we need to partner on this.”
I was so excited and I wired her $15,000. $15,000 and a week later, guess what? She changed her telephone number. She just like, it’s almost like she fell off of the face of the earth, right? So I-
Nicole Pendegrass: It’s not funny, I’m sorry, it’s not funny.
Avriel DuVerney: I still had a business card and I was like, so this lady just changed her telephone number on me? So I was like, okay, so I called her broker, had a conversation with her broker, her broker said, “They has nothing to do with me, you need to take that up with the Texas Real Estate Commission.” I was like, okay.
[00:16:05 – 00:17:30]
Avriel DuVerney: So took it up with the Texas Real Estate Commission. They told me I had to file criminal charges, went and filed criminal charges, took that back to them. So I kept getting the run around. And so- that I found out in that moment was that you can trust, but you need to verify also, right? And so I trusted that because she had a license, she had a fiduciary duty that she would not take advantage of me, but she did.
The second thing is that I should have gotten a title search brand on the house when she gave me the signed contract and when she gave me the promissory note, I could have easily took that to the title company and say, “Hey, can you run title on this to tell me if this really belongs to her?” Because what I found out was that she cultivated this contract that was, it was false. Right.
Nicole Pendegrass: So I was going to say it’s cultivated a nice name for like fabric, like fabricated. Like doctor.
Avriel DuVerney: Absolutely. So she gave me a fake contract. So she came to the table and she knew what she was doing out the gate. Even the company that she used had been out of business since 2013.
Nicole Pendegrass: Oh my God.
Avriel DuVerney: It was in 2017 when we did this deal. So I had to go through the litigation of hiring an attorney, sending demand letters. It was just, it was a whirlwind, right? But then I thought that for people that this may be their last, right?
[00:17:30 – 00:19:04]
Avriel DuVerney: So for her, she didn’t know if it was my last or not. She asked me how much money I had. And I said, oh, I got 15,000. I had 15,000 to spare, right? So. For me, I took the 15,000 and I invested it because I’m always investing in myself. But if that had been someone that didn’t have 15,000 to spare, they wouldn’t have been able to hire attorney to go after her because I still had to hire attorney. I still had to retain him. So that was another $10,000 that I had
to pay out. And then all of the work that you had to do on the case.
So by the end of the case, I ended up spending well over $40,000 just to get my $15,000 back. But I wanted her to know that I was not going to take this laying down and you won’t do this to anyone else. So I ended up pressing criminal charges against her and I also did a civil suit against her
and then I won the civil suit. And so I was awarded $150,000. I don’t know if I ever see $150,000 I’ve seen my $15,000 but I don’t know if I ever see the $150,000 because pennies of what she’s supposed to be paying me each month.
So, I say to anyone that’s going out here and you really and truly don’t know, I’m telling you, you need to get a coach, you need to get a mentor so you don’t make the same mistakes that some of us have already made. I’ll make the mistake for you, right? So just make sure you find somebody that’s really and truly doing this and they’re doing it the right way and hire somebody to help you. Just don’t go out here and do it because people, they’re looking to prey on new individuals that are coming into the field.
[00:19:05 – 00:20:22]
Nicole Pendegrass: They are, that’s crazy. And so, and that just makes me think of, I mean, I’ve had my own situation with tenants not paying and having to take them to court and do that whole eviction process. And even a lot of people think mistakenly because you win a judgment from a court that equates to money in your bank account. And it does not.
Avriel DuVerney: It does not.
Nicole Pendegrass: Like I still have not recovered any of that rental loss. And I had to then on top of not having income for the whole year. since they weren’t paying, I had to go hire an investigator to find their bank accounts and find where they work. And look, the investigator, I spent a few thousand dollars for that and he came back with nothing. He had one bank account that was negative. They didn’t have no jobs. I’m like, oh, they have jobs. I saw them going out in school. Every day they work and they attack somewhere. Like, so it was just stuff like that. And I would think, oh, you have an order from a judge. They can just garnish their wages. They can take from their tax return or something. The court does not help you do anything.
Yeah, so that’s why I was like, ooh, did you get 150,000? Cause I got excited for a second. And then you were like, I don’t know if we’re gonna see 150,000. But you got your 15 back. Did you get the 40 back for the attorney fees?
[00:20:22 – 00:21:04]
Avriel DuVerney: Mm-mm. That was roped into the 150. So that wasn’t judge–
Nicole Pendegrass: Oh, okay.
Avriel DuVerney: But I doubt that I ever see that, right? I mean, there’s still hope, but, you know, I wanted to make sure that she knew that you couldn’t go out here and do this to individuals and people. And so we, you know, while going through my suit, I also found out that she had did it to someone in California. That’s why she had left California and came here to Texas. And now she’s left Texas and now she’s in Michigan. So she goes to each state and she does the same thing, but I wanted to make sure that… even though she’s in Michigan, I made sure that I sent letters up there to let them know that, you know, they have a criminal in the state. So just make sure you watch her.
[00:21:05 – 00:22:12]
Nicole Pendegrass: I love that. And so it’s, it definitely sucks for you. It’s a big learning lesson, but I feel like you kind of bit the bullet in spending that extra money for the attorney fees just to show her like, look, you can try to keep playing this game, but we’re gonna come after you and you can’t just keep doing this to people. So at that point, it wasn’t just about you. It was about future people who she might be able to take advantage of because like you said, you don’t know if somebody can lose their shirt and think, oh my God, like I took a chance, my life savings on investing in real estate and now someone defrauded me and I have nothing left. And now they start over from scratch. They probably won’t even go back into real estate because they’re too scarred, you know?
So thank you. I appreciate you for even taking that. that chance taking that bite and that
bullet for the betterment of society in general. So thank you. Thank you for even going through that journey. That sounds, oh my gosh. I just think a couple of more gray hairs sprouted just hearing that story. Because that was stressing me out. Yeah.
[00:22:13 – 00:22:44]
Avriel DuVerney: It’s part of the business, right? So. It’s a risk that you take when you’re investing in real estate. And so you have to be willing to take risks, you know, in order to make money in real estate, but I wasn’t going to allow her to, I wasn’t going to allow it. I mean, for me, um, because it happened to me and because she was smart with me when I finally caught up with her, she said, “I just file you in my bankruptcy.” Oh, okay. Yeah. Oh yeah. I’ll file.
[00:22:45 – 00:24:06]
Nicole Pendegrass: Yo. That just made my blood boil. I just want to like, if I didn’t just buy this computer, I just want to punch my computer screen. And like, not for you, for her, like pretending her face is here. Oh my gosh, who’s that? All right.
How did you develop such tough skin? Because I think getting in real estate, you have to learn how to be able to roll with the punches and take things like this as a lesson and not a loss because it’s not a loss until you stop. But some people are really sensitive, like very emotional with any little thing, but you have to have the tougher skin to be in this business. Is that something that can be developed or do you think you’re just born with that?
Avriel DuVerney: I think it’s something that can be developed, right? So I think the military gave me a sense of that toughness all the time.
I’m not going to say that I’m always tough because there are times when I’ll be like, I just want to cry right now. I just can’t believe that I’m going through this right now. Right, so I pick sitting and flipping, which is the most stressful part of real estate, right? But I love the construction side of the business and I love a good challenge. But I think for me, the military taught me, how to just take a lick and keep going.
[00:24:07 – 00:25:05]
Avriel DuVerney: But I always tell people that come into my coaching program, hey, you have to develop thick skin. So you have to learn how to have these hard conversations.
You have to learn how to, you know, when you get a lit, you just got to get up and you got to keep going, right? So I think over time, as you start to develop in this real estate space, right? Your why is going to get you up out of bed and your why is going to keep you going.
So I think that the advantage or, sometimes they say it’s the advantage. I think for me, it’s the military. The military got that sense of toughness. And sometimes I come off as being very, very harsh. And so, but I mean, the toughness came from the military. And so, but just seeing my mom as I was growing up, my mom was a tough cookie also. So I picked up some of those traits for her. Also that regardless to what life gives you and life may knock you down a couple of times, you still just get back up.
[00:25:06 – 00:26:02]
Avriel DuVerney: And so, I would say my mom, the military, it’s a combination of each other, but I think that it can be learned as you go through real estate and it’s gonna be something that you’re gonna have to endure if you wanna stay in this game, because real estate is tough. It is tough, entrepreneurship is tough, but real estate is really tough.
Nicole Pendegrass: Yeah. And I think what you said is the why, the why has to be strong enough to get you out of bed and strong enough to keep you going through whatever the obstacle is that you encounter.
And people probably hear, make sure your why, or what’s your why, what’s your why all the
time. And I don’t think they really understand like your why can’t just be the money, right? That’s not a strong enough reason because you will quit way too quickly. That’s the only thing making you move forward or your only motivation for getting into real estate or whatever other tough industry that you’re picking.
[00:26:03 – 00:27:08]
Nicole Pendegrass: Okay. So I do want to, pivot a little bit. I know you said contracting got you into interested into project management. And to me, I know listeners of this podcast are, I’m hoping I’m encouraging them to look at investing in rental property, specifically multifamily, but in project management that in my brain triggers the idea of like asset management. you’re overseeing the business plan for repositioning the property that you purchase. Like if you were gonna do some type of value add and increase the equity or the cashflow or whatever.
So in project management, what is it about project management that you like and what like explain what project management is, especially for on the construction side and how should people be going about, you know. getting started in project management and making sure they have their T’s crossed and I’s dotted.
[00:27:09 – 00:28:41]
Avriel DuVerney: Okay, so the project management, so I got intrigued because after I started doing the contracting work, the crew that I was working with in Chicago, they always had a project manager on site. So the project manager was there to oversee the whole entire project. They are there to make sure that your project gets from A to Z.
So, and if there’s anything that’s going on within the project, they are there to handle
- So, they didn’t bother the investors, right, and they didn’t bother the realtor that was
on the deal because I was working with the realtor, the project manager, and the contractors.
Because I wanted them to know everything about the project. This is my first time doing this,
and, you know, I got a lot of money tied up in this. So, I want to know about it.
So, watching this project manager, the way that he flows, the way that he has systems when he hit a roadblock,the way that he went around some of the roadblocks, I was like, man, I became intrigued, right? So I started digging in some of the material that he had. He had binders on site. So if there was something that was changed on the site, he was like, “hey, we got to submit a change
order.” I’m like, “what is a change order?”, And he was like, “oh, this is a form that they use.
And we have to get with the investors to make sure that they agree with the change.”
And a change order could be like, “hey, we wanted these finishes, we wanted gold finishes, but
they don’t have any gold finishes in.” So to keep the project moving forward, we’re gonna
use silver stain and then maybe we’ll paint it or whatever. So then a change order has to
be submitted and with the change order has to be sent to the investor and the investor
have to agree. And then the contractor has to agree because that may be a price difference.
[00:28:42 – 00:29:50]
Avriel DuVerney: So I started getting intrigued because I’m a systems girl. I love system, right? I love for things to flow the way they supposed to. So when things go right, I get on edge. I got intrigued and so I was like, man, I really want to learn how to do this, but I was in learning the construction part of it. And I wanted to make sure that The contracting part of it. I had that down and then I will move to something different.
So what they will learn with me like with people work with me. They’ll be like, okay, every you stick with one thing for six months to a year. I do because I want to learn in and out. And I know there will be things that I’m still going to learn, but I want to make someone comes to me. I’ll be like, oh, yep, that’s it. We need to move here. We need to move that So I got intrigued with the project management because I seen him, like the project just flowed the way it was supposed to. And even he hit roadblocks, he went around and he maneuvered around those and he didn’t have to pick up the phone and calling anybody else like, “yeah, I’m gonna project manage my own deals from here on out. So I’m gonna learn project management.” So I ended up doing another investment. It wasn’t a $50,000 investment,but it was a $15,000 investment. So I went and invested and I learned project management.
[00:29:51 – 00:31:44]
Avriel DuVerney: So now, I mean, you know, I just keep adding stuff to my tool belt, right? Because you know when you may need it. And because I went and got myself certified for this project management, now I have people now seeking me out saying, “hey, would you project manage my deal?” That’s another stream of income for me, right? So I’m not only doing my deals, but I’m also project managing other people’s deal.
Nicole Pendegrass: Okay, perfect. And I think you mentioned before that you’re Have you started you somebody hired you to project manage a multi unit right. Have you started that out yet?
Avriel DuVerney: Our project manager and a 22 unit and wake up right now.
Nicole Pendegrass: Okay, so the question I have, then, is when you’re doing a residential fix and flip. Those are you’re selling those to the end user like the homeowner who’s going to live in there normally have to have upgraded finishes and you know the wood real wood flooring and granted and all the other stuff. But when you have a rental property, you want things to look nice. You want them to look like they would or look like they’re granite, but you want them to be more durable, not stained, not chipped, all those kinds of things.
So like for people who are looking to buy rentals, what are some areas that like, is there any suggestion on types of material that you should use for like flooring or countertops or where you should source these from and to get like a durable. quality that will last through the, not abuse, but like the use of someone who doesn’t own the property.
So they don’t really care if they slam something on the desk, you know what I mean? Like something like that, because as you’re turning units, you don’t want to have to replace things every time you do, somebody moves out because you want it to be durable and just put that cost up front. So I know that was a long question, but yeah, any suggestions or ideas on the types of materials you should be looking for, where to source them?
[00:31:45 – 00:33:08]
Avriel DuVerney: So it depends. So the units that I’m turning over in Waco, right? They wanted something that was durable, but they didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for each unit because they’re 22 units, right? So they looked and they say, “hey, for each unit, we want to spend no more than $45,000 a door.” And I was like, “okay, so what are we turning in here for $45,000 a door”, right? So are we doing floors?
Are we doing walls, bathrooms? And so when I walked into these units, most of these units, the bathroom needed to be done in all of them because they had plumbing issues. The HVAC needed to be done. And also they had towel work that needed to be done in some of them. And the electrical in all of this.
So I was like, there’s no way that you can get these turnt with $45,000 in doing, right? So then we had back to the table and we said. “hey, what are some of the finishes that we may want to like do without for now until you start cash flowing in these assets? And then we can actually come back in and maybe do something different.”
So what we did is that instead of replacing the cabinets, we’re sanding down the cabinets, we’re staining the cabinets, and we’re going to paint the cabinets. So anything that we could salvage inside of the apartment units, that’s what we were doing. But like the mechanical things, those are things that you can’t get around, right?
[00:33:08 – 00:34:20]
Avriel DuVerney: So people of home where they can flush and stuff goes down. They need to make sure that the electrical panel is not working because they’ve had a fire in one of these units because of the electrical power. So she had a, I think you call it, I like a little strip. And she plugged through the wall and then she over searched the protector.
And so they had a fire in there. So it told me that, hey, we need to update these panels. Some of the homes have been updated with the panels, some of them were not. So I think when you go inside of a unit, you just need to see what needs to be done. And then, depending on how they tell you, I mean, for the amount of money that they want to spend for each unit will determine what type of finishes and flooring and all of that you can actually put in it, because I mean they wanted expensive paint right they want to silk finish looking pain outside not for no $45,000 a door that’s. Right.
Nicole Pendegrass: So there is the silk finished paint more durable, because I know I’ve heard some paint it has like a better quality so like you can wipe it clean instead of repainting like is all paint basically say that marketing or is there some paint that is better than other paint.
[00:34:21 – 00:35:51]
Avriel DuVerney: So they were they were doing it because of the appearance, because they are going to look. Three years right, so they want to be attractive they wanted something that could possibly last but I’m like you better get some there and you better keep it moving right so just get. the paint right now, you just, we just need to make sure that it looks presentable, that it’s rentable, and then we can come back in and do all of the other things.
But again, it goes to the sponsor, right? So the principles on this, um, was their second unit. I mean, the second asset that they purchased, and they overpaid for the other asset that they had, and they over rehab. Because it’s a rental, it’s wear and tear that’s gonna be inside of these homes, right? And it wasn’t in an area where you have like doctors and nurses, you’re looking in a lower income area. And so it’s gonna be a lot of wear and tear people that had vouchers with a whole bunch, a lot of kids, right? So you just gotta think about the area that you’re going in and you’re rehabbing in, and that will require like the material and stuff. And so we have… We have contracts and we have vendors that we work with, where we can get both things. And so just building those relationships and going to the vendor and be like, “hey, I need something that’s gonna be real sturdy. I need something that’s gonna be durable, but I needed to look presentable also.” So I don’t wanna, we don’t wanna lay floor and then they come in there and they, they’re moving stuff all over the floor and then the panels pop or whatever. So it just depends.
[00:35:52 – 00:36:49]
Nicole Pendegrass: Oh my goodness. So those were some major gems right there. So guys, if you are looking to buy rentals, don’t go in there, and I hear this all the time, because people want to renovate with what they would want to live in. Like they’re looking at it with the eye of like, oh, I wouldn’t live in here, but this is not for you. This is an investment. You are not going to live here. You can still make things nice, clean, and presentable, and lasting and durable without upgrading over what market will bear.
And it also depends on the class of tenant that you have and who are the tenants that are gonna live in your unit. So that’s gonna be a big, what kind of, what class area are you in a class A or B area? Is this a B or C building? Because that all depends on how your unit should look and what money you should spend on the inside.
[00:36:50 – 00:38:23]
Nicole Pendegrass: I’ll tell you, I went to my three unit the other day to resign lease with my tenants, they’re all vouchers and they are wonderful. I love that. It just like calls me no problems. Everything’s okay, right? And there’s never like an issue.
I went over there, signed the lease and I’m looking around and I’m like, “Oh my God, this is why you’re supposed to do regular inspections to see the, the quality of your place” because yeah they have a few kids and no matter how nice they are like. I their kids literally from because I could tell halfway from the wall down their height was just pen marks crayons markers all over all the walls that I just had this whole apartment repainted right before they moved in here. And I looked around, I was looking at the walls like, you don’t know how much like I had to, I didn’t say nothing, I just looked. But I wanted to bring up, spoke that like, what are they doing on these walls? Y’all can’t do that, but I left it. I’m like, they do have a security voucher.
So whenever they do move out, I can cash that voucher and get the place repainted and everything else. And just even like, there was a leak by the window in the living room. And I could see like from the curtains, like that the plaster at the bottom was kind of like wearing out and it looked like you could tell there was water damage. So I’m looking, and I, so I did point to that because water is not something you want to play with people. You need to get any water issues, you got to get fixed.
[00:38:24 – 00:39:50]
Nicole Pendegrass: So I pointed that said, “okay, so what’s happening here? Like, is that from water leaking from the windowsill?”, And they’re like, yeah, but it’s no big deal. It’s no, no problem. No big deal. Cause they don’t want to there. They just don’t want to, they just want to live in peace. They don’t want to cause any issues. They don’t want me to have to come out like six-a bunch of things. So they don’t complain about stuff, which is good and bad because I need to know when things are happening because I just need to, I’ve, I’ve tried to piecemeal that window a few different times. And this is a lesson for everybody listening. Please don’t do that. Just spend the money upfront to get things done correctly the right way the first time.
And learned to vet, because the contractor, air cold contractors, I don’t know what he is, but he had turned one of my units before. And so I contacted him and I said, “do you know how to replace windows? Because another set of my tenants were fighting and broke that living room window.” And so I had that replaced and he was like, “oh yeah, I know how to do it. I know how to do it.” Ever since he replaced it, nothing but problems. It just leaks in any time there’s rain or water or anything. And before it was worse and I’ve had, I haven’t had him and like two or three other contractors coming in and ceiling with rubber cement on the outside, climbing up ladders, doing all the things to make this not leak anymore. And it’s still leaks because I found out that first guy who told me, “Oh yeah, I could do this window, that.” That was the first window he had ever replaced.
[00:39:51 – 00:40:34]
Nicole Pendegrass: And he was like, “Oh, I’m never going to do another window like that before. That was the first one I did, and I’m never gonna do that again.” And to me when I had him back in there to see why I was leaking. “I’m like, really, dude, like, you just lied to me and told me you could do a window.” And I didn’t vet it more. I didn’t ask for pictures or references or how many windows they had you replaced before.
Like, I should have dug in on the questioning. So like, um, Avriel said before, “trust, but verify and get the information that you need to make a proper decision.” And if I had went to you know, another, a big window specific company that was like a licensed window company, I would have paid an arm and a leg, but guess what? It would have been finished right the first time. And then years later, I wouldn’t be having the issue.
[00:40:35 – 00:41:22]
Nicole Pendegrass: So now guess what I gotta do? I didn’t spend all this money on this window already, but now I gotta hire the licensed people that I should have hired the very first time. So everyone just learn from my mistakes. I shared that story to let you know how important to trust and verify your contractors and to also just make sure you put right products in and don’t over renovate all the things all the things so when someone is because you said, we are going to wrap soon oh my goodness look at the time, anyway this is a great conversation all right my people are very they’re used to me and my wonderful guests just chatting for a long time because we got so much gems and things to unearth here um but if somebody is looking to buy a building, and they’re looking at a—
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