When you have financial freedom, you have options. You have enough savings, investments and money on hand to afford the lifestyle you want for yourself and your family. The next time a pandemic or recession hits, you’ve got a safety net. It also means growing a nest egg that will allow you to retire without being driven by the need to earn a certain amount each year.
With a passion for building wealth and helping others achieve financial freedom, Omni Casey, widely known as Omni The Investor Guy has been a real estate investor, broker and coach for nearly twenty years. His real estate career started in Hawaii where he grew up. Over the last few years, he and his family have lived in Northern Virginia and have been very active in both growing their real estate investment portfolio and growing a top performing real estate team and office in Loudoun County Virginia. Omni has coached hundreds of real estate investors, real estate agents and clients alike to build the life they want.
Real estate is such a competitive industry; as someone who’s been able to stay in it and succeed in it for over two decades, what personal and professional attributes have enabled you to build such a lasting company and legacy?
Over the years, I have become really good at identifying my weaknesses and finding coaches, mentors and masterminds to help me strengthen my points of weakness or add people to my team with strengths that make up for my shortcomings. I have treated every obstacle, every market shift and every problematic transaction as an opportunity to grow and an opportunity to seek out new coaches, mentors and masterminds.
Tell us about the mission of New Leaf Redevelopers, the goals you set out to accomplish and your plans for the future.
New Leaf Redevelopers is focused on improving communities and providing quality housing at fair prices. We buy barely habitable properties and make them new. Most of the properties that we purchase, we plan to keep forever as long-term rental investments. However, when we occasionally decide to sell a property, it is because we have the opportunity to provide a starter investment property to the buyer with a chance for them to house-hack or receive income from their primary residence.
Describe the experience a client can expect when working with New Leaf Redevelopers. What sets you apart from other companies?
The main interactions we have are with sellers we are purchasing properties from, buyers that we are selling properties to, and tenants that we are renting to. In every interaction, our goal is to establish win-win scenarios and provide free education to further their financial literacy through hands-on interactions and housing transactions.
What role does your family play in your real estate investing endeavors?
Family is everything. They are the reason that we choose to continue to grow today. It is not for money. It is for the opportunity this business presents to provide hands-on financial literacy education to my three kids spread out over hundreds of transactions. My beautiful wife Chara is my business partner in all decisions and also plays an integral role with regard to property-specific designs. My oldest son Kingston is thirteen and he takes on manual labor and maintenance opportunities on some of our nearby projects. My nine-year-old daughter Brooklyn is our mini-CEO. She spends hours on the road with me most weekends visiting properties that we’re thinking about buying or checking in or renovation projects underway. My youngest son Auston is seven, and he’s a carbon copy of me which means he’s looking to carve out his own path and identity in this world.
How do you teach your children the value of money?
I’m ok with my kids doing anything they want when they grow up, as long as they have the financial education and the ability to achieve their own financial freedom. It’s not my plan to give my kids a bunch of money or a bunch of properties when they grow up, and they know this. Instead, I want them to have the financial literacy (that’s not taught in schools) and leverage that knowledge and hands-on experience to grow their own portfolio, their own business and control their own destiny. After each project, we share a detailed breakdown with the kids outlining the work they put in to contribute to that project. We then allow them to “name their price” and tell us how much their efforts were worth. That’s what they are paid. For every project, they get a lesson in time value vs. productivity value. Three kids spending the same weekend at the same project understand that they spend the same amount of time there, but they also recognize that their individual contribution and productivity are at different levels, and that is why they each choose to be paid at a different level their siblings.
What has changed in the industry since the pandemic began and what has stayed the same?
Since the pandemic, we made it our goal to grow much more aggressively. Generally, when there is fear and uncertainty in the market, we see that as an opportunity. When the market shut down for a few months, we made a commitment to ramp up our property searches and increase the number of properties we were buying. We ended up purchasing forty-six properties in 2021 due to those increased efforts. As we come out of the pandemic, we are now dealing with inflation and drastically rising interest rates, which will completely shift our markets again.
What trends are you seeing in residential real estate?
As housing affordability continues to drop, more buyers are looking to offset their housing costs with house hacking.
Tell us about your just-released book.
The Cash-Flow Breakfast Club is a story and a manual. It is set up in a power parable format that allows the reader to vicariously experience and live through a real estate investor’s ups and downs, successes and failures. Along that journey, they learn a unique yet straightforward five-year plan to achieve financial freedom through real estate investing.
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