2020 REI Succeeds by Using the Benefit of Hindsight as well as Anticipating its Customers’ Needs

Many people in the real estate investing space—whether they are the ones doing the deals or those providing the goods and services to investors—are so focused on what’s in front of them that they don’t take the time to reflect on the past. Or if they do, they may not seek to truly understand why their actions elicited a certain result.

Tim Herriage, a veteran real estate investor and businessman, knows better. He has been a leader in the industry for more than a decade, gaining firsthand experience in all aspects of real estate investing, as an investor (or as he puts it, “just a guy who buys houses”), founder of REI Expo, a HomeVestors development agent and franchisee and managing director of B2R Finance. Now he has created the 2020 REI Group of Companies, to leverage his and his team’s varied and comprehensive skill sets for the benefit of other real estate investors.

Herriage’s range and depth of real estate experience provide him with invaluable hindsight and the ability to see which strategies worked well and which did not—and to understand why. Herriage and his team then can reposition those strategies to maximize their effectiveness. Thus, the slogan for the 2020 REI Group: “Our hindsight is your advantage.”

The aim, Herriage says, is to shape the single-family residential real estate investment arena in new ways, via business arms ranging from A to F:

• Acquisitions

• Brokerage

• Consulting

• Disposition

• Equity

• Finance

“I really want to position this company as the one-stop shop for real estate investors and those that wish to do business with real estate investors,” said Herriage, who formed 2020 REI in August 2015 after leaving B2R Finance. He serves as CEO, and Jason Riney is president.

Not yet a year old, the company has grown to nearly 20 employees and has completed more than $20 million in real estate investment transactions, Herriage said. This year, the group of companies expects to exceed $250 million.

H&R Acquisitions, 2020 REI’s acquisitions arm, buys five to seven houses a month direct from the owners. 2020 REI’s real estate brokerage, Investable Realty, handles “the gamut,” from $15,000 homes to multimillion-dollar rental portfolios.

2020 REI’s consulting arm offers services to both “individual investors who want customized business plans and also many of the large funds and lenders that are interested in the industry,” he said. “We consult not only with the people who do this, but also with those looking to sell to them. Our ability to speak the customers’ language and genuine understanding of what they aim to accomplish enables us to guide companies and their product positioning in ways that make sense.”

A key to connecting with that customer base is to be where the investors are. That’s where 2020 REI Group’s DFW Investors comes in. Originally focused as a real estate disposition platform, DFWInvestors.com has expanded into a Dallas/Fort Worth real estate investor club, formed through a merger with the Metroplex’s largest investor group. By providing relevant, quality content and services that investors actually want, Herriage said, “we more than doubled the average attendance.”

On the private equity side, the 2020 REI Group has launched its first fund through Elevate Private Capital, the Elevate SFI Fund. The $20 million fund’s acquisitions strategy is initially focused on acquiring a majority of fix-and-flip assets in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, then transitioning to a predominantly buy-and-hold model. Herriage said such a dual-purpose fund “allows us to maintain flexibility with the market,” and continue to thrive even if the market turns.

Another area of innovation for the 2020 REI Group of Companies, he said, is its real estate investor finance brokerage, which informally launched in February.

This real estate investment financing service “is a little different from all the other products and services out there in Texas,” Herriage said. Whereas most real estate finance companies only offer one loan, 2020 REI’s financing brokerage has access to all of the loan products available in the space and can provide the best match for a customer based on that individual or company’s situation, needs and goals.

“We call it ‘the three L approach: Listen, learn and locate.’ It is the core principle underpinning the business,” he said.

Herriage credits the 2020 REI Group of Companies’ success and anticipated further growth not just to its hindsight, but also its steady focus on what lies ahead.

A distinguishing characteristic of 2020 REI, he said, is a demonstrated focus on its customers and what they need, whereas a lot of companies merely give lip service to that promise.

“There are so many people trying to get into business in this space without doing any customer research. Frankly, in my opinion, they don’t listen to or even adequately understand the customer. They come up with a new idea and just expect the customer to accept it,” Herriage said.

“My focus for the rest of this year is making sure that our ideas are meeting customers’ needs. We’re going to continually listen to our customers to ensure that what we provide is what they want and ensuring that what they need is available.”

If it’s not readily available, he said, “I’m committed to going out and finding it for them. I think that’s really exciting.”

Just as important not only to his business, Herriage said, but also to the industry as a whole, is a steadfast commitment to integrity.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve set up,” he said. “We‘re really focused on providing world-class customer service with the highest level of integrity. This is central to our core values, which we live by.”

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  • Linda Wienandt

    Linda Wienandt is Editor-in-Chief of Think Realty Magazine. Contact her at lwienandt@thinkrealty.com

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