For Mileage Monday, we’re happy to spotlight the amazing work MileIQ users do every day. If you’d like to recommend someone, please let us know on Twitter @MileIQ.
Today, we’re happy to speak with Emily Du Plessis. She teams up with her husband (an investing partner) to run a real estate investing business. She’s also teaching others how to invest in real estate at RentalRookie.com.
Tell us about your business. What does a typical day look like for you?
I am a part-time real estate investor who focuses on buy and hold properties. Together with my investing partner (and husband), we buy properties and rent them out with a focus on obtaining positive monthly cash flow and self-manage the properties to keep as much profit in our pockets as possible. Each month, after all expenses are paid, we are able to earn income from these properties that can be used to further our financial goals.
My day is really anything but typical. Because this is a part-time endeavor, my days are typically focused on my full-time job (teaching) and my children. I’m often doing real estate work whenever I get a free minute, i.e. searching for new properties while riding in the car, doing accounting work after the kids go to bed or driving to view new properties or manage our own properties when the opportunity occurs.
How many miles do you drive in a typical week? Where do you drive as part of your job?
There are some weeks we don’t drive at all for our real estate business. It truly just depends on the timing of our rentals and whether new tenants are moving in, units are vacant, repairs are needs, or we are driving to see new properties. We may have a month where we drive anywhere from 200-400 miles for our job and other months where we may drive 50.
What’s changed since you started using MileIQ?
With real estate investing, mileage can be used as a tax deduction. Prior to using MileIQ we always said we would keep track of the miles we put in for the business but never did. We’d lose track or forget trips. It just never happened. Once, we found out about MileIQ we’ve been able to track every drive we’ve made for our real estate business and it has saved us thousands.
What other apps do you recommend to other small business owners?
My advice is to find an app that allows you to do fast and easy accounting of your expenses. For instance, with real estate, there are great apps like Buildium that allow streamlined accounting and tenant screening. For general small business owners, apps like Trello can allow you to keep organized and also communicate about projects with any team members you may have.
What’s the biggest challenge you face running your business, and how do you address it?
Managing time. With a full-time job, 2 young kids and life it is hard to dedicate time to yet another thing. I’ve found that having systems in place and streamlined ways to manage the accounting, renovations and tenants are huge in helping use the time I have available to dedicate to this business effectively.
What do you enjoy the most about the kind of work you do?
I truly enjoy the fact that we are in control of our financial future. Rather than putting all of our money in the stock market and hoping for the best, we really have a lot of control of what these properties can do for us in the short and long term. We are making money every month that we can put toward whatever we want i.e. traveling, paying off debt, saving to quit a 9-5 job, or reinvesting in new properties. At the same time, we are building long-term wealth, that will help us later with retirement, our children’s college endeavors and/or their weddings. (We have 2 girls!)
I also really enjoy taking a property and fixing it up and making it a nice, clean place for someone to live. Many of the properties we buy are distressed or below market value, so they require some fixing to make them meet the caliber we hold for our own properties. That process is really gratifying.
What tip would you share with other business owners?
I think one of the biggest tips is to have an accountability partner. Whether this is a partner with your business, a spouse, business coach or close friend, have someone who you can turn to for advice when needed. At the same time, you need these people to motivate you to keep going when you feel like giving up.
Where can people learn more about your business?
You can learn all about our real estate investing journey and how you can get started investing (even if you know nothing about real estate) at our website RentalRookie or on our Facebook Page I have such a passion to help others start controlling their life and their finances and you can find tons of free resources at our site.
You can also tune into our Podcast and learn the ins and outs of investing in real estate for short and llong-termwealth.
MileIQ’s blog does not constitute professional tax advice. You should contact your own tax professional to discuss your situation.