Featured Member: Damon Riehl
In 2020, Damon Riehl, CEO of Investment Property Loan Exchange and LoanBidz, a national marketplace for investment property loans that partners with real estate investors to match them with great lender and equity partners to support fix and flip, long-term rental, multifamily and small balance commercial acquisitions and refinances, joined the Think Realty Presidents’ Circle.
Riehl is a good fit for this think group not only because of his decades of experience in the real estate finance industry, but because he wants to surround himself with success-driven individuals. That is what the Presidents’ Circle is all about—inspiring and educating each other.
“My main reason for joining the Presidents’ Circle was to connect with real estate investors and lenders in the investment property industry. After meeting Think Realty CEO Eddie Wilson at conferences, I believe he has great insights into what it takes to be successful, no matter what industry he chooses. I hope to partner with other Presidents’ Circle members and find ways we can support each other, both personally and professionally,” Riehl said.
Here is more of what Riehl shared with us about his story and his advice for other real estate investors.
1. What is your start-up story? How did you begin your career in real estate?
After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a finance degree, I landed my first job with TransAmerica. I learned the “real life” basics of credit and lending, giving me an important foundation in the work I do today.
I have started seven lending divisions as the first, ground-level employee with an affinity for home improvement and construction lending. I’ve served as the Single- Family Products Director at Fannie Mae where I managed their HomeStyle suite of lending products, the Global Mortgage Product Leader for GE Capital, and the Head of Unsecured Lending Products for CitiBank North America.
Then three years ago, I decided to take my lending knowledge and form Investment Property Loan Exchange LLC. At IPLE, we connect real estate investors with top private lenders in the U.S. by modeling our company to be like a Lending Tree for real estate investors. Our clients use LoanBidz.com, our Live Auction Style bidding platform, to match with the best loan offer for their needs.
LoanBidz.com uses proprietary technology allowing real estate investors to quickly submit a loan request. Lenders in our vast network have 72 hours to make a loan offer on a new submission, creating true competition among lenders. Our clients avoid countless calls and voicemails from sales associates that may not even have a product available for their specific needs.
2. What advice do you have for beginners in the real estate industry?
If you’re a beginner, find an experienced mentor or partner for your first few transactions. Learn both what to do and not to do during the first few deals. From a lending standpoint, you will gain the involvement needed to receive better rates and higher loan amounts. Be sure you are an owner on the business entity investing in the property, which will allow lenders to give you experience credit for the project.
Liquid assets are necessary before you try to buy a property. Most lenders require you to have some “skin in the game,” so take time to raise the needed down payment, closing costs, and about six months of loan payments toward the project. IPLE finds our quality lenders do have low down payment options, but all require a basic level of liquidity to ensure that if cost overruns occur or a renter does not pay, you have reserves to make the payment for a few months.
3. What types of technology and/or innovations have helped you in your REI business? How so?
Our secret sauce is the “Live Auction” style bidding with LoanBidz.com. It provides offer transparency in key areas like rates, fees, and prepayment penalties. This allows investors to compare up to three loan offers side-by-side on each detail of the offer.
Clients love knowing they have an advocate for all their financing questions and concerns through the entire loan process, along with having someone to coordinate the paperwork. This gives them time to find their next deal!