Meet Ryan Basye

Ryan Basye was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. After stints in Minnesota and Colorado he moved back to his hometown during the 2005 real estate downturn. He now lives with his wonderful wife, Ali, and their three girls. He convinced her to “flip” their first house together which was a huge success. Ryan works full-time at Nebraska Realty and owns several other real estate inspired businesses. In addition, Ryan owns and runs a real estate non-profit called On Deck Housing. Ryan is a member of Omaha REIA, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ryan Basye

Please tell us a little about who you are and what you did before getting into real estate investing:

I have always been one of those people who just can’t sit still.  In high school, I played two varsity sports and worked multiple jobs.  My favorite part-time job was working at Rosenblatt Stadium for the Omaha Royals and the College World Series.  This is where I met Warren Buffett for the first time.  Mr. Buffett purchased the AAA team to keep it in Omaha. That experience helped me realize that any level of success was achievable.

After college in Minnesota, I soon worked for a Midwest bank.  That bank was expanding to Colorado so I jumped at the opportunity to trade winters for 300 days of sunshine.  I worked my way up to Regional Manager & VP of Lending for the bank during my 7 years there.  My background in financing has helped my understand the numbers to get the most out of each project.  It was also during this time that I was working on renovating homes with my best friend at nights.  A chance encounter led them to network with other real estate investors and mortgage brokers.

Where is your current market and what is your focus or area of expertise?

The metro Omaha area is my prime focus.  I am licensed in Nebraska and Iowa.  The majority of my work is based on real estate that makes people money.  That can include for my own portfolio, clients or even the non-profit. My favorite part of the day is exploring a new property and analyzing the best way to operate that real estate for maximum value.

In my personal experience, I have “flipped” over 70 properties.  On the majority of those, I was on site every day and involved in the renovations.  This gives real-life expertise for those clients looking to get into real estate investing.

How did you get started?

Like a lot of real estate investors, I was inspired after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad early in the millennium. My best friend, Duke, and I worked on renovating our own properties.  Since we both had full-time jobs, we would go change after work and meet at the project.  The hours made for long days, but the experience and profits made it well worth it for us.  Since my friend was 6-foot-5, he could hold up drywall on the ceiling as I went around and screwed it to the studs.

Describe a typical work week for you as a real estate investor:

My work week is always about finding and analyzing deals.  My goal is to look at every deal as something I would buy for myself, that way my clients get an honest assessment of the property.

I enjoy getting into the properties and seeing, for myself, how to make them work better.  Not every deal looks great on Day 1, so you have to have a plan for years 1, 2, 5 and beyond.  There are too many times I hear a potential investor say the Cap Rate is too low to buy it when I know that I can make it very profitable in 30-60 days.

How long have you been investing in real estate? 

I bought my first investment property in 2003 and I have never looked back.

Tell us about your first deal:

The first deal was a live-in renovation project.  I found a brick ranch in the suburbs of Denver with an unfinished basement.  While living in the property, I added 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a family room in the basement.  In addition, there were plenty of other updates that included fixtures, landscaping, flooring, lots of paint and new appliances.  Since I had a full-time job and needed a place to stay, I was in no rush.  After 2 years, I put the home on the market and made a tax-free profit!

How do you fund your investments?

In the beginning, funding was easy with the NINA (no income no asset) style loans that were offered by mortgage brokers in the early 2000’s.  Today, I use a combination of line of a credit and cash on hand to make it work.  Since I don’t partner up on any deals, it’s up to me as to what will be invested in each opportunity.

Do you have a real estate license?

Yes.  I am licensed in Nebraska & Iowa.

What projects are you currently working on?

Lately, I have been looking at commercial use projects.  There are properties that have commercial and residential usage.  Those places have great appeal in a high inflation market to rent to entrepreneurs.  The tenant saves money on live/work space while I get a stable resident who is more likely to stay with their established business.  The other project I’m working on is making transitional housing.

How much time do you put into your real estate education?

As soon as you think you know it all, something new will come along.  I make the time to keep up with continuing education for my licenses.  There are always new and exciting things to learn in this business.  Who would have thought that you could buy a house with crypto-currency just a few years ago?  The more I know in this industry, the more I can help my clients and colleagues.  If this is your profession, you should try to become an expert at all aspects of what you do.

Has coaching or mentoring played a part in your success?

I’m fortunate to have been linked to some of the most successful real estate people in the Omaha area.  One of my best friend’s dad was a landlord of over 100 properties and would talk openly about the process of real estate.  My neighbor growing up was one of the first female brokers in Nebraska and sold thousands of properties.  Both provided insight would prove to be invaluable.

I feel networking with like-minded real estate investors has played a role in my success.

What are your current and future goals?

My current goal is to get my portfolio performing well and get it up to around $1 million gross income per year.  That will create a residual income for my retirement and family time.  In the future, I hope to teach my kids the value of real estate investing and how connecting with people can make that world even better.

What has been your top struggle in this business? 

Time.  As I stated earlier, I don’t work with any partners.  That forces me to make decisions on which projects to take on based on my time, my family and my financial position at the time.  I try to balance work and home life so I don’t get burned out.

What do you like most about what you do?

I truly enjoy getting up every day for real estate, I never know what kind of property I may be walking that day.  I’ve been in the business long enough to not be surprised, but each day brings something I didn’t expect.

Since I am a very visual person, I like being able to see a property for what it could be and explaining that vision to a contractor or client.

Do you have a tip or advice that you would pass along to other investors?

For new investors, you have to get in by doing it.  The first property can be the hardest to buy because you don’t want to make a mistake.  If you never get started you are never to going to be successful.  Even the best of us make mistakes, we just learn from them to make it work out better the next time.

How important is joining a local REIA to a new investor?

Very.  Networking can be your biggest asset in this business. There are always folks out there who have already solved the problem you are dealing with today.  The connections we make at REIA meetings can lead to new contractors, property management, deals and even long-lasting partnerships.  Whether you are new or experienced we can all use some advice.

What is your favorite self-help or business book?

Read what inspires you!

Personally, I operate on a mix of Dave Ramsey and ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’.

Do you have any interesting hobbies or something unique that you like to do?

Today, my hobbies are baseball and whatever my kids are doing.

Does your business have a website?

Social media accounts?