The Note Closers Show Podcast: Real Estate Deals in the Tar Heel State with Jonathan Taylor Smith

With strong job growth, population increase, health care access, education opportunities, and so much more, the Tar Heel State has become a haven for some of the best real estate deals.  Today, Scott Carson interviews realtor, real estate investor, the owner of Blue Chariot Realty, and the podcast host of ….and Landlord, Jonathan Taylor Smith, on the North Carolina real estate market and how he is leveraging his knowledge and resources to succeed. Johnathan shares what makes him different from other realtors, how he started as a note investor, and why he loves the Raleigh-Durham market. If you want to know your chances of becoming successful in the area, listen to Jonathan as he highlights some great real estate experiences.

The Note Closers Show Podcast: Real Estate Deals in the Tar Heel State with Jonathan Taylor Smith

I HATED Being An Employee! – (From My First Job At Age 15 To Starting My First Business In 1996)

Cover Photo of the blog post I hated being an Employee

The 5th episode of the [… and Landlord] Podcast begins with a quote…

“Don’t let the best you have done so far be the standard for the rest of your life.”

- Gustavus F. Swift

This quote relates because I’ve been seeking and working towards something more for my life since I became an adult almost 29 years ago upon graduation from high school. I’d been an employee since my first job of age 15 at McDonald’s – and I HATED every minute of it! I had been able to get steadily better jobs in food service, retail, etc… But I was still an employee, so they were only slightly less excruciating.

While attending ITT Tech in Tampa FLA, I got my first permanent office job as a “Lien Release Coordinator” at Chase Home Mortgage Corporation (prior to that I was working as a Temp in several office positions, aided by my fast typing speed and being good on the phone). At Chase, when people paid off their home mortgage, I processed the paperwork to release the lien against the property… It was the best and highest paying job I had to that point in my life, and it was STILL excruciating.

You see, I was NOT cut out to be an employee. I did not know what or how, but I always new that I would eventually start and run my own business. I did not know it at the time, but I wanted to move from the [E] to the [S] Cashflow Quadrant. I graduated ITT with a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology (I did not go to a traditional four year college because of the cost, time and just didn’t see the need). As part of the graduation job placement assistance, I applied to what was then GTE Mobilnet in Sarasota FLA (now Verizon) as a “Cellular Tech”, but instead got offered and accepted a position as “Installer”, installing cell phones into cars. It was 1993 and I was 21 years old. It was a fun job with good people, but again, I HATED it, as I was STILL an employee.

I had to be at work at 8 AM; got a couple short breaks; went to lunch around Noon (and had to be back within 1 hour); could not leave until 5 PM, but only if I was finished with the installs for that day (keep in mind, this was at a time when cell phones only made phone calls and they were mostly installed in cars). I repeated this process 5 days per week and often worked overtime on Saturdays. I further had to go to bed each night around 11 PM or before, so that I could be up and ready for the 30 minute drive to work each morning from Bradenton (where I lived) to Sarasota by 8AM – as you cannot be late. So my entire day, night and week was dictated by job… Did I mention I HATED being an employee!?

I did this for 3 years (the longest I had been on the same job since starting work at age 15). But I wanted a promotion to the “Cellular Tech” position that I had originally applied for and had since started to do that work in addition to “Installer”. I even relocated to the new Bradenton store to get that job, but they gave it to someone else, so I returned to the Sarasota store. Then I found out that others (who I had trained) were getting paid more than I was… I was pissed! I won’t go into the details here, but I was now determined to leave.

Now back when I had graduated from ITT, my girlfriend at the time took me to Durham NC to meet her parents (another story, but she was the only person who came to see me graduate). On this trip to NC, it had stuck in my head that I liked Durham and it wouldn’t be a bad place to live someday. So when I started looking on the computer at the GTE internal job listings for the “Cellular Tech” position that I wanted, I found one had just been listed in Durham. I applied, they flew me out for an interview, offered me the position at a nice increase in pay, paid my full relocation, etc… Thus I began 1996 at a new job in my new home in Durham NC – where I had no family and no friends, since that prior relationship that made me aware of Durham had since ended.

I was now officially in what felt like a “Career”… and yes, I HATED it! Despite having the job that I wanted for years and still being blessed to be working with good people, nothing had changed, as I was STILL an employee – just now a slightly higher paid employee with better benefits and a slightly more rewarding job that felt like the start of my Tech Career.

But being higher paid and now being salaried instead of hourly, it created a little more freedom – for example, no one jumped all over my case if I was a few minutes late returning from lunch or had to arrive late or leave early on occasion. And I now had some extra money that allowed me to start my first business on the side… Finally!

And the moment I started my own business, my job was not nearly as bad as it had been the day and all those years before. It was no longer the unacceptable thing that I was forced to do each day to survive, but suddenly became a completely acceptable means to an end, which end was freedom from being an employee (I’ll resist the urge to use a “buying my freedom from slavery” analogy here, as I hate those and they are ALWAYS un-applicable).

I’ll continue this story in another post…

Introducing Blue Chariot Management!

Cover Photo of the blog post Introducing Blue Chariot Management

Blue Chariot Management is here! #12 is a Special Episode of the […and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, titled “Elevate Your Real Estate Investment – Introducing Blue Chariot Management”.

Effective Property Management is an essential element of having a profitable Rental Real Estate Investment Property. This Special Episode serves as the official announcement of Blue Chariot Management. Professional Property Management by Blue Chariot for Single-Family and small Multi-Family Rental Properties in the Raleigh / Durham (Triangle) area of North Carolina.

Prior episodes of the [… and Landlord] Podcast have given insight into how you can more effectively self-manage your rental property… Like #8 | Don’ Let Vacancy Kill Your Rental Cashflow; and #9 | Rental Property Advertising How To Make Your Rental Home Stand Out From The Crowd – among others. But now you can hire Jonathan Taylor Smith and Blue Chariot Management to handle this on your behalf.

Here’s more from Jonathan Taylor Smith and what we have to offer for Triangle Property Management…

Durham Property Management

My personal rental properties are spread all over Durham. I love having rental properties and living in Durham. I moved to Durham from the Tampa Bay area of Florida, back in 1996. I met the woman who became my wife (of 19 years and counting) a short time later, and I’m still here over 23 years later. Durham is a great city to own rental property, with great things happening all over, especially in and around the Downtown Durham area. Investing in rental properties in Durham has required that I learn this city in detail – down to the street level.

Opportunities abound in Durham for: Luxury Rentals; Student Rentals; Section 8 Rentals; and everything around and in between. Rental rates are generally good compared to property cost, and appreciation is present for most areas. Durham was a great place to live when I first moved here, and it has only gotten better.

Raleigh Property Management

I live in Durham, but I’m in South Durham, about 5 minutes from Raleigh or 10 minutes from the RDU Airport. I’m near the Brier Creek area, so I’m about as close to Raleigh as you can get and still live in Durham. My office for Blue Chariot Realty (Keller Williams) is on Brier Creek Parkway. I’m just minutes from Hwy 70 (Glenwood Ave), I-540 and I-40… In other words, I’m no more than 30 minutes or so away from just about anywhere in Raleigh from my home in South Durham and KW office in Raleigh.

I’ve tried many times to obtain personal rental properties in Raleigh, but just keep getting outbid (once by only $100). I keep trying and I’m certain to get one soon and will end up with many as the years go by, but I refuse to over-pay. That’s the thing with Raleigh… All the great things underway in Durham in recent years, started years earlier in Raleigh. And Raleigh also has all the scenarios for: Luxury Rentals; Student Rentals; Section 8 Rentals – just the same, up and down.

Chapel Hill Property Management

My son was born in Chapel Hill at UNC Hospital in 2007. My wife graduated from UNC in 1998. I attend as many Basketball and Football games of UNC in Chapel Hill as I’m able (but I’ve also gone to several Duke games – both colors are in the Blue Chariot logo for a reason). And I’m driving all over Chapel Hill looking for rental properties before and after each of my appointments at UNC Medical Center. Chapel Hill is an awesome city for rental properties with both excellent rents and appreciation. And like certain areas of Durham and Raleigh, Student Rentals are popular in Chapel Hill, and can boost rental profits significantly higher than traditional rentals.

Cary Property Management

Cary (like Raleigh) is nearby my South Durham home and my Raleigh (Brier Creek) office, easily accessible within about 30 minutes via I-540 and I-40. Cary is a great rental property market, as it is ideally located for prospective tenants who may work in Raleigh or Durham, but prefer living in Cary. Cary has an overall upscale vibe, so properties can tend to be pricey, but rents can certainly cover it in many locations.

The Blue Chariot Management Team

While I’m the principle, Blue Chariot Management is not a one-man operation. I’ve built a team of people and vendors to aid me in offering Professional Property Management for Triangle Landlords. In subsequent posts, podcast episodes, etc… I’ll introduce you to the other members of the Blue Chariot Team.

Listen to the Podcast where Jonathan Taylor Smith speaks about this website and the property management services that are offered on [... And Landlord] Ep. #12 – Special | Elevate Your Real Estate Investment – Introducing Blue Chariot Management