Surviving A Hurricane

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be on an island in the middle of the ocean and knowing a hurricane was heading your way?

A while back my wife and I were on a cruise to Bermuda, where a hurricane had been through just a couple of months earlier.  We asked about the effects of the recent hurricane, and found out the homes did not experience any significant damage.   We asked how the homes survived so well.  

We found out the homes are made of concrete and many have flat concrete roofs.  So the roofs don’t blow away or leak easily.  There is also a cistern below the house that collects water from rainfall.  A storm can blow over the house without any concern for flooding or damage.

Unlike Florida, there is no I-75 or I-95 freeway to provide an escape route from a hurricane.  You either fly out early or take cover.  Most people must remain on the island, and the houses must be built to survive.

Are there any lessons that we can take from Bermuda and apply to building houses in Florida?  That includes single-family and multi-family housing.

Harland has also seen pictures of hurricane devastation in the Bahamas where the only things left were shipping containers used as homes.  They appeared to be solid and indestructible.  

There’s a guy in Chattanooga, Tennessee who is using shipping containers and converting them to homes that will be used for AirBnB.

There is a lot that can be done with those container homes.  We are looking at that in DeLand.  A transition housing, tiny home community that can be quite affordable and sustainable, even in hurricanes. 

We Have A Process

We are looking at four things. 

You observe something on a cruise or vacation, then you ask questions versus just seeing it. You want to learn what you could from that. You learn about the

construction there and then how do we apply it here?.

We can use that process in a lot of things, such as our acquisitions of multifamily properties for Attune Investments.

We do look at a lot of properties.  The process starts.

OBSERVE.  We will take a look at the offering memorandum, which is basically a document describing the property.  It will have the big picture, describing the property itself, but also the local area. It will provide some financials, possibly what the current owner has done with the property and what they see the prospects are.  

ASK. And if we like what we see there, then we will start asking more questions.

Do we like the construction, such as concrete block or concrete built homes?  Starting the process we observe these in the offering memorandum. And then we start asking questions. If it is something that draws our interest to it. What kind of questions are we asking when we look at an offering memorandum?

We’ll start asking the broker, what is the real potential with the property? We want to know if it is in the path of progress, what is changing around there, what is making the area better or not. Is it declining or growing?  We want to see something that indicates growth.

We’ll ask questions about the property itself, what has been done on the property, what needs to be done. We will ask about the local rental market.  What do you think the market rents might be if improvements were made? And we also ask some other questions about the seller and their motivation.

We want to know why the seller is selling the property. Are they selling it just because they have met the goals for the investors, maybe they have been able to improve the value enough and that they are satisfied and just want to sell and get the returns for the investors. Or is there something else going on? 

LEARN.  Sometimes you have a landlord who may be ready to retire and they just want to sell the property and use the money to go buy an RV and travel the country. Or it might be a landlord that is out of state and they are having trouble managing the property. They really need boots on the ground to run it well  

Maybe they are having trouble with property management companies and they may just have too many turned overs. Or is there an underlying problem, something else that they just don’t know how to deal with?

Asking questions helps us put together an offer that works for both the seller and for us.  We ask all these questions, we learn about the property and the seller, then we are able to make an offer on it.

APPLY.  We apply what we learned to make it work for us, our investors and the seller.  So we are observing, asking questions, learning, and then applying those things that we learned.  That’s the whole cycle or process. 

It works in lots of ways and there are other places where we can observe. 

I read a lot of books and that is a place where we can observe things that an author is writing about. 

Like The One Thing book.  That book was one that helped me focus.  Or the Tiny Habits books. Those can get us started to do something. 

We continue this process of observing, asking, learning and then applying.

Repeating The Process

We continue to repeat this process where we find opportunity.

One is at the real estate meet up groups, such as at Central Florida Realty Investors, or CFRI.  And then there’s another West Volusia group that meets monthly.  

OBSERVE.  So we can go there and hear what other people are doing. Sometimes there will be a national speaker, or another speaker that comes in, who has a specialty. And we’ll learn some of the techniques they are using.

ASK and LEARN.  Another example is the flooring that we use in our rehabs.  This was learned by going to a real estate investor group.  We have gone to pretty much LVP and not very much carpet. We try to avoid carpet because in a rental, LVP is more sustainable for pets. If there are a significant number of people who have pets, a lot of renters want to have a pet, and if they are going to have a pet, that means there’s pet rent available. So if you can get an extra 50 bucks a month, that is $600 a year right there. 

APPLY.  If you go with LVP instead of carpet, it’s going to be more durable and you might be able to collect more rent, but then also if and when you have a turnover, the turnover is faster because it’s a matter of cleaning the LVP as opposed to replacing the carpet.

So again, we are trying to hit these four things: observe what other people are doing that makes a whole lot more sense. Ask questions such as why, why fiscally, does that make sense?  Learn from that, and then start applying it in your own real estate investing business.

Another Great Source Of Creativity

Masterminding is another place where we get inspiration.  In some ways it is kind of like taking a cruise. You get out of the normal way of thinking and get to see things, hear things, learn things that you wouldn’t otherwise, and then consider how to apply those.

OBSERVE.  Recently we met with our mastermind group in the Dominican Republic and we stayed at an AirBnB property. There were about 12 people and we come together and focus on our business operations for about 3 days. Each couple or individual gets about an hour and a half. 

ASK.  We all do a deep dive on that person or couple and they explain what’s going on with their business and what questions or issues they have. What do they need help with?  Friendships are developed.  Spouses are involved.  Most people are involved in real estate, but not necessarily in their particular business or in their part of the country. So we get a lot of different perspectives, excellent observations from experienced investors, and it has opened our eyes to other things that are possible.  

LEARN AND APPLY.  So again, in a way it is like going on a cruise. By participating in a mastermind you see things you wouldn’t see otherwise.  You get questions asked of you and you get to ask others.  You learn from them and then you can apply that in your own lives personally and in our business and investments.

And it helps us to focus and put ourselves on a good path of progress.


It is our hope that you will be able to get out, enjoy some traveling and keep your eyes and ears open. Always keep asking WHY.  Ask lots of questions.  What do you see out there that can make your life easier or your business better?

There are four simple things. Observe. Ask good questions. Learn all you can, and then start applying that to make your life better.

Help Us Get to Know You Better

Join us at noon Eastern time on the third Wednesday of each month as multi-family investors network and engage in conversations about how to be better investors.  We discuss opportunities and what we are doing in the current market. 

Our next Multifamily meetup is this Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at noon (Eastern).

Here is the Zoom Link:

Engage with other multifamily investors like you.  See you on Wednesday

Attune Investments provides a better return for our investors.  And we make a positive impact in people’s lives and in our world.

If you want to learn more about how others are investing with us then we invite you to join our club and request a conversation with us.  See below.

Through the power of a syndication partnership with other investors like you, working with managing partners who are experienced in managing apartment complexes, you can own multifamily assets.  

Or you can choose to loan money, get in with a clear return, and get out earlier.  If you haven’t already subscribed to our BLOG, you can increase your knowledge and comfort with this asset class by subscribing now.  It’s free.  We publish an article every week.  SUBSCRIBE HERE And take one more step. Become a member of our ATTUNE INVESTORS CLUB in which you have more personal access to us.  JOIN HERE.

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