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Passive Investor Spotlight #3 – An International Investor’s Perspective On U.S. RE Investing w/ François Braine-Bonnaire

ILB 15 Francois Braine-Bonnaire | U.S. RE Investing

On this show segment, we interview successful passive investors about their journey’s investing in private alternative investments. Join us on this episode with French entrepreneur turned investor, François Braine-Bonnaire. Learn how he built his investment portfolio through single family rentals in the Southeast U.S. François has also helped over 200 international clients invest in US real estate. Tune in to hear more of François’ story, why U.S. real estate is so attractive, and what he considers the most important factors in a successful real estate portfolio.

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Passive Investor Spotlight #3 – An International Investor’s Perspective On U.S. RE Investing With François Braine-Bonnaire

We are joined by Francois Braine-Bonnaire and we are very excited to have him on. This is a continuation of our Passive Investor Spotlight Series. Francois, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me. I’m very happy to be here with you.

We are glad to have you here. He’s from France and is a dual citizen of France and the US. Francois is an investor of Aspen Funds. He’s got a cool story and we want to highlight that. In this series, what we like to do is interview successful passive investors and hear about how they’ve got to where they are at now, the story, the journey, and pull back the curtains a little bit.

What are you doing? How are you thinking about your investments? What’s your strategy? Are you looking more for yield or growth? What spaces do you like? I’m excited to dive into this. These are more candid conversations. It’s fun for our readers to be able to hear from another fellow investor. We are all investors here, what has worked well for you and what you are thinking about going forward. I’m excited to dive in.

Thank you so much. I want to disclose that even though we are at Invest Like a Billionaire, I’m not one of those but I have been investing as successfully as I could.

You have done very well so far. I’m excited to get into that. Here’s a real quick background on Francois. He moved into the US in 2010. Before that, he had cofounded an advertising agency. He moved to the US, quickly saw the opportunity in the residential real estate space. He started acquiring rental properties, and single-family rentals in his own portfolio, as well as being an intermediary for some international investors who are looking to get good cashflowing properties in the US. He became that go-to resource for a lot of international clients in advising and consulting. He has built up a pretty great rental portfolio.

He purchased over 700 homes himself and with help from others. It’s going to be good to dive into the SFR space, which a lot of people are thinking about.

Also, you still do life coaching as well on the side. Francois, tell us a little bit about your story and how you’ve got to where you are now. I would love to hear it.

After being an entrepreneur in Paris, I was excited about moving to the US. I knew the country. After my business school in France, I had the opportunity to be an intern in different setups in fun cities, which were LA and New York. In France, we are above the subprime and this wave of massive foreclosure.

It’s the great financial crisis.

There was an opportunity there. I was fortunate enough to not lose any of my savings during this crisis, being invested in very secure assets at that time. I moved to the US and studied the market. I knew nothing about real estate investing back when I did that. That was a bet but it went very well.

Why did you pick single-family rentals at the time?

It was because the prices were so cheap. I was a cash buyer thanks to my saving and the fact that at a company, I was able to sell my shares. The opportunity was amazing, especially coming from Paris where the price of real estate is terribly high and there is no yield. On top of that, the legal system in France is the landlord is the bad guy and the tenant is super protected.

Do the best you could with two hands, one brain, and 24 hours a day. Click To Tweet

I was like, “It’s very easy to create a portfolio because the price per property was extremely cheap.” We are speaking about 2011 and 2012. They had an incredible yield. I started for myself and it’s true that at that time in Florida, Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia, which are the four states that I’m the most invested in, I was able to buy a 3-bedroom and 2-bath, put a new roof on them, be all in for $60,000 and rent this for more than $1,000 a month.

You did the math and realized this is an incredible opportunity. I remember in 2008 looking at Miami beachfront condos you could buy for $35,000 and thinking they are not making any more of these and now, you would be a 10X-er. When you landed in 2010, the market hadn’t even bottomed yet and the prices were still dropping. They didn’t finish dropping until early 2013.

You bought even in a declining market. You were a fundamental buyer and bought based on economic fundamentals. If the price continued to drop from $60,000 to $50,000, what do you care? You are earning $1,000 a month. I love that. That’s the right way to be looking at this. In these declines, it’s the time you can make outsize gains when fear is not dictating your actions. As investors, we’ve got to get rid of that.

Timing in the market is the dream of everybody. It’s like, “Did I buy it at the perfect time?” I don’t know. I’m starting to sell some of my rentals. Am I sitting at the perfect time? I don’t know. The future will tell. What I do know is that the experience has been amazing. My motivation was mostly income-related and getting $1,000 and more of rent from that property, which was amazing.

Have you been traveling to the US before that and were familiar with it? Is it a big jump of, “I’m going to take a risk and move to the US,” knowing that you wanted to go do this? To me, it takes a lot of guts, especially in an opportunity that you saw and took advantage of.

The waves of foreclosure were massive in well-known states like Florida, Nevada and Georgia. I have to say that, for example, I was not interested in Nevada because it’s based on the tourism industry. I was thinking it was too risky. Detroit is a city I have always neglected and I’m happy with that because it has lost too much of its population.

I have been traveling in the States. I was interested in Florida and was looking all around. The City of Tampa got my attention more than Miami because Miami was more condo-related. I don’t want to pay HOA because they are not good for your yield. There are also cities like Atlanta, Georgia. I traveled to Birmingham, Alabama. It’s not very well-known. It’s an incredible city.

I was able to pick, choose and find after studying all the players for between 6 months and 1 year. I will find people I wanted to rely on because I did some of the stuff by myself, which is buying directly from the bank and managing the renovation. It’s very time-consuming. Sometimes when you can find turnkey providers who are going to do that for you against a small margin when you do the math, it’s worth buying through them. They have a lot of value and you can invest your time in something else.

What drew you to the Southern and Southeastern states? Those are the states that everyone wants to be investing in. You heard the Smile States. It’s the Southeast and Southwest as well. What were you thinking? Were you thinking about these markets in particular that you saw and were attracted to?

Florida was a magnet for foreclosure so it was interesting. After that, it was a component of easiness to travel. Georgia is the unofficial capital of the South and Atlanta is. I was interested. It was next door to Sanford, Alabama, where I was able to go. It was easier also for me to be working on states that are touching each other and are neighbors on the map.

I did work a little bit with Phoenix, Arizona but it was 6 or 5 hours of flight away. I have to say that because of that, I was not able to go as much as I could. If it was closer to me, I would have invested more. Ultimately, there are only 24 hours in a day and I’ve got 2 hands and 1 brain. I did the best I could with that.

The South is becoming an industrial powerhouse because of the affordable wages. A lot of car companies and others are moving down there. The real estate and wages are inexpensive. Generally, they are business-friendly climates and politically. That’s a plus. It’s interesting because when you’ve got into the single-family rentals, it was not a very popular thing.

Generally, investors have favored multifamily because you get hundreds of units. They are easy and cost-effective to manage, whereas single-family rentals are costly to manage. There’s not a lot of efficiency in managing an SFR. Let’s talk about the SFR space. What do you love and not love about the SFR space?

ILB 15 Francois Braine-Bonnaire | U.S. RE Investing
U.S. RE Investing: The cocktail recipe of an excellent single-family rental investment is 40% property, 60% property management.

To be clear, SFR is Single-Family Rentals.

It is a home that somebody rents.

What I love about those is that you can diversify your portfolio and at that time, with a limited amount of cash per property, I prefer to have twenty houses.

They are spread over multiple cities and geographies.

For example, small multifamily with ten units is more efficient in a way because you’ve got only 1 roof and maybe 2 or 3 HVAC versus 10. If someone is building one next door to you out a mile away that is looking better, everybody is going to move out. You put so much money in one single property. There are ten doors but it’s a single property. I didn’t like that from the diversification standpoint. That’s why I focused on single-family rentals for diversification. It’s indeed more work and maintenance. That’s for sure. I’m always being helped by a property manager.

You hire a property manager, which makes sense. Is it one property manager for all of it or do you have different property managers?

I believe that a good property manager is local and not nationwide. It’s expertise to know your tenants and also your different neighborhoods. I’ve got different property managers per city.

We are focused on passive investors. I had a condo that I bought and rented out and it was a nightmare experience. A lot of people I’m sure love rentals and made a lot of money on them. I lost money and hated the experience. It was not passive. I had a manager but I spent money on roof, termites, plumbing and electrical. I had two doors. I had 3 evictions in 7 years on 2 freaking doors. It was a horrible experience. I’m sure I did everything wrong and I’m a single-family idiot. Is it really passive?

It can be. Is it as much passive as an alternative real estate investment with Aspen Funds? No. Is it passive? Yes. In helping those 200-plus families around the world to invest in single-family rentals in the US in those past years, I told pretty much every single one of them, “The cocktail recipe of a good single-family rental investment is 40% of the property. Don’t make a mistake. I’m going to help you not to make a mistake about the property selection. It’s not too big, not too large. That 60% of the recipe is the property management.” It’s more important than the property itself.

You need to manage the manager pretty much and make sure they are doing their job.

As long as they are good and I’m working with the best. I made some mistakes but I have been working with the best for years and you can rely on them. Ultimately, the proper one, they are making a commission of your net income, which is not the case in all of them. For example, in Vegas, some property management companies are going to take a flat fee, which means they have no motivation to keep you.

There’s no incentive.

It’s ridiculous. That’s not the case with the people that I’m working with. We understand both. I’m sorry, Bob, that you had a bad experience. I’ve got stories. Is it stressful sometimes despite the deficiency of property management? It is stressful. Do you find yourself in crazy situations? If you have a large portfolio and you are holding your rental for several years, you find yourself in crazy situations. Ultimately, the returns are amazing.

You need to rely on people. Click To Tweet

It’s like anything. There’s a learning curve to it.

I made every mistake in the book, I’m sure. The frustration was that on paper, I should have made a lot of money. There was always deferred maintenance or something that happened that ate into my returns. Even on a cashflow basis, I never made money. When I sold it, I didn’t make money even though the price was hard and I put so much money into the place. I did it wrong. The paper was always great but the experience never matched what I thought it should have earned. You’ve got to be so good at thinking through the costs. When you underwrite, look at deferred maintenance issues and plan your maintenance. What are the keys to running a successful operation? It’s getting the manager, it’s 60%.

Property management is key. A good one and not being cheap on the renovation. It’s better to put a new roof and a new HVAC and do the due process when you start versus having bad surprises.

Pay for it upfront rather than pay later as you go.

Especially if you are financed because in that case, you want your cashflow to be steady. It’s buying the right location. Insurance is a big topic. I spend a lot of money on insurance, in my opinion, you always get what you paid for. It’s specifically in insurance. In case of a big claim, you don’t want to be cheap on the insurance. You want to have the replacement cost and not the actual cash value.

You want to have enough liability because a tenant might try to sue you for a crazy reason. You want to work on that. That’s my expertise and I have been doing it for many years. After all the people I have helped and benefited from my expertise, I have done some mistakes and corrected them. That’s the way to do it.

When you started doing these, you are buying more foreclosed and dilapidated properties. You would fix them up and put renters in there. That strategy is a little more work on the front end.

It’s the value-add strategy. You build in equity.

Later on, it sounds like you moved more towards buying turnkey properties.

I did. At the time, I was interested in the fact that I had the opportunity to do it myself because I was able to understand the nuts and bolts of everything but it’s extremely time-consuming. Ultimately, the money you are saving is not necessarily there versus the time you are spending on that. Turnkey properties have been my go-to after learning it by myself. That’s my advice to my clients. Those people are abroad. Most of them are not going to be from Paris. They are not going to say, “Are you sure that the new HVAC has been properly installed and changed for potential assessment.” They are not able, so you need to rely on people.

What has been your experience with turnkey providers? Not being super involved in it, you hear mixed things where it matters who you are buying from and the types of properties. Essentially, they have built their profit and already captured that when they were selling it. There are things to be aware of. It’s maybe not as passive as it could be sold as. To your point, you sound like you have had success with buying some that are pre-renovated and already have a tenant in place. Has that been a generally positive experience?

For the most part, yes. I have always forced myself to buy properties for myself before offering that to the client I have been helping to make sure that the process was going to be smooth and the experience was good. I have always been the guinea pig for the clients I have helped. It has been successful. After a few years, you know what questions to ask and it went well.

What are the things that are not to love about single-family rentals? You are still doing it and it’s a good business but what is the reason not to do it? When would you advise someone not to get into single-family rentals?

ILB 15 Francois Braine-Bonnaire | U.S. RE Investing
U.S. RE Investing: You have to look for a good market and the right people.

Look at the market and where we are now. All the markets are not the same. For example, buying a single-family rental in Florida would be a terrible idea because the market is so high. Some niches are still very exciting and Alabama is one of them because it has been a little bit under the radar of the big operators. For example, Warren Buffett said in 2011, “If I could purchase myself 250,000 single-family rentals, I would do it tomorrow.” Blackstone started their company Invitation Homes.

You have to look for a good market and the right people. Don’t invest in the market because you think Florida is going to keep going up. If you are not ready for some headache, if you want something totally passive with no decision-making, and no good and bad years, and if you want to stay extremely steady, it might not be for you. Ultimately, in the long-term, in several years, it’s going to be good. If you want something super steady with nothing in your mind, go to Aspen Funds.

One of the interesting things is we have done some research on the single-family rental market in America and particularly the public companies. I’m sure someone reading this is going to go, “I love Francois. That’s smart stuff. I’m going to do single-family rentals but I don’t want to do the work of it. I’m going to buy this company that’s a public company that does single-family rentals.”

We looked at a couple of these companies and it’s insane. I don’t know how much you are familiar with accounting but here’s what happened. These guys buy, let’s round the numbers and say, $100 million in real estate. They will buy a couple of thousand homes or whatever and put in $100 million in real estate. They buy this real estate and rent it out.

The market value of these companies is $300 million. In other words, instead of you owning a part of a $150,000 house, you are owning part of a $450,000 house that’s valued at $150,000 but you paid $450,000 for it as an investor. Do you understand? It’s insane. The public markets are brain-dead and overvaluing the properties. It’s because it’s public, it’s easy to invest and it’s liquid.

Someone on the show said that REITs or Real Estate Investment Trusts are not real estates. They are stocks. In fact, they are. It’s more like investing in Elon Musk or some technology than it is buying real estate. If you want to own real estate, buy real estate or alternative investments in real estate. That’s more of a rant. What are your thoughts on that, Ben?

In the market as a whole, there’s so much demand for yield. What is so interesting to me is you said you have represented over 200 international families from 15 different countries and purchased over 700 properties. To me, that says that there is a unique opportunity in the US for yield, where you can’t find in European countries and other places.

At the public market level, we are seeing a lot of this appreciation. Wherever there’s yield, you are seeing it being driven down. The cap rate compression drives up the price, whether it’s overvalued or not, still there’s demand. People are willing to take more risks for less yield than they ever had in a moment and then the next day, they are not.

The whole thing sells off by 60%. This volatility is what you have because it has all been driven by emotion and not by math. You are math-driven and a math investor. You invested based on Mathematics versus emotion. The public markets are all the more reason why we need to be heavily invested in alternatives, and why billionaires are doing this, and why everyone else should.

When it comes to REITs, I’m with you. I prefer private REITs, which are much less liquid but also much less volatile. That’s what I do when it comes to listed REITs. I’m much more cautious.

Let’s talk about the international angle. I spent some time in Europe. I have traveled quite a bit in Europe. One of the things that are astonishing to me as an American to go over there is real estate is tiny. They would put me in a room that was no bigger than a bed and think it was normal. I feel like I’ve got to get outside to have some air to breathe. It’s super dense and expensive. To me, one of the funny things about it is it gives you perspective.

Everybody in America, because the prices have risen for single-family homes is saying, “That can’t go up anymore and affordability.” If you traveled to Europe or Asia, you see property values are far higher than they are in America. The rents are higher too but the density is way higher. Here’s very much smaller square footage and much higher prices. This is where America is going. The more people you have to put someplace, it’s going to go smaller. You fell in love with America’s real estate for many reasons. Talk about European real estate and the contrast.

To give you an idea, the size of France is smaller than the State of Texas. That’s interesting to know and we see still have close to seventeen million inhabitants. When it comes to density, it’s dense. Nobody in Paris, for example, lives in a single-family or pretty much nobody. Maybe it’s 0.9%. Even in a single-family house, everybody is in a condo because we don’t have much space.

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What might a condo sell for in France and what might it rent for? Pick a typical scenario.

Let’s say it’s in square meters. I would say that a 1,500 square feet condo in Paris, it’s small and maybe we could still fit a 3-bedroom and 2-bath, would settle for $2.3 million.

What does it rent for?

It would rent for $5,000. That’s why I’ve got my clients because the range ratio is awful. Most of my clients from Europe did real estate investments. Some were very successful based on appreciation because one of the perks of Europe is the interest rate. You can leverage big time and borrow at 1% to 2%. It’s more than free money. It was inflation. It’s below free.

What are the leverage rates or ratios?

It’s approximately the same. We can put 20% or 15% down.

The rates are way lower because, in Europe, it’s very common to have negative interest rates. In America, people can’t even get their heads around that, “What does that mean?” Do you have any experience with negative interest rates?

I’m too Americanized.

Do you have a story? Can you tell us how does it work in France?

I wouldn’t be able to describe that. The interest is super low. My clients, most of them bought rental properties and they will rate. You’ve got the impossible system. The taxation is extremely heavy. Even if you are a French fiscal resident, you should invest in the US than France. It’s more favorable. On top of that, the legal system is against you. The tenant is a good guy.

If you have a tenant in France and he’s not paying, in a good case, it’s going to take you eighteen months to get him out of the door. In the meantime, you don’t have cash for eighteen months of rent and he’s going to trash your place. That’s because there’s so much system to protect the tenant so that it’s totally against the landlord.

A lot of my clients burnt their wings doing real estate investment in France and they go, “I’m done.” They liquidate their real estate. Sometimes it’s the appreciation that was done well and I’m going to go to a friendlier country for a landlord. That’s called the US,” even though the US from one state to another has very different regulations. It’s better to be a landlord in Alabama and Florida than California or New York.

It’s an interesting point that you are making because it plays into a lot of the macroeconomic picture that we talk about a lot. We are seeing in real estate, especially in residential real estate where some people look at the past few years have run-up in value and get uncomfortable and say, “We are going to see another crash.”

ILB 15 Francois Braine-Bonnaire | U.S. RE Investing
U.S. RE Investing: One of the perks of France is that you can leverage the interest rate big time, and you can borrow at 1% – 2%.

All you need to do is go to Tokyo, Seoul, Korea or Paris, France and realize that, “This could go a whole lot higher.”

A lot of that will be driven by what the interest rate climate is going forward with the Fed. Do they raise interest rates if we hit higher inflation? We could see both sides of it. We could see the US following the trend of European countries going negative. If that’s the case, negative rates are only a boom to real estate pricing.

If there are negative rates, you will see all investment classes skyrocketing. When money is cheap, free or even getting paid to do it tomorrow, then you are going to see people do it. The other thing here is there’s this whole subculture in America that’s anti-America. America is a terrible country and has a terrible history and sins. We’ve got plenty of sins in our past. A lot of people are talking about the dollar collapse and gold. It’s almost laughable to me that people believe this stuff.

You look at the money, for example, of all these 200 families that you have helped. They are selling euros and buying dollars to put it into American investments, which are far superior. This is still the world’s top investment destination for all the reasons that you have said and the top industrial destination, too. There’s plenty of reason to invest in America and America is not going to collapse tomorrow despite a polarized political climate. We still have an economic powerhouse of a country that is undervalued still in an international sense.

I would love to shift a little bit towards some personal portfolio questions. From your standpoint, when you are looking at opportunities, you have a nice portfolio of these single-family rentals. You have sold some of them and placed them in other alternative investments, Aspen Funds, included. What are you looking for when you are allocating across these different opportunities? Are you more income-oriented, growth-oriented or hybrid? What’s your main goal?

My main goal has been income. I have been very fortunate because on top of the income, for years that I have been in single-family rentals, my net income ratio before personal taxation but after paying everything was about 9% on cash-on-cash. On top of that, because I was lucky enough to buy at the very low of the cycle, 2011 and 2012 for the most part, even though I kept on buying every year, the appreciation has been amazing.

I would say every year, even before the surge that I could call the COVID-19 surge and appreciation, on top of the yield, my portfolio of single-family rentals has tripled in value, which means it’s awesome. At the same time, when I’m looking at not based on how much I pay for the property but the cap rate, the yield is much lower versus the value of the portfolio.

That has been what triggered my decision to start selling some of my single-family rentals. At some point, you need to realize the capital gains. We saw 1031 as an exchange but it is important to do so. My opinion is that because we are printing so much money, the taxation in the US is poised to go up. It’s pretty clear it’s going to happen. I prefer at some point to pick capital gain now, sell the rentals and move steadily towards totally passive and not half passive real estate.

I have done some investments with Aspen. When it comes to global allocation, I would say that I’m still very heavy on purpose on any real estate. Maybe it’s 60% to 65% stock market salary and different assets like whole life insurance or private equity. Maybe it’s 5% to 10%. I don’t have anything in a hedge fund. I know that’s one of the topics you cover with the show but I don’t. That’s what I do.

What other real estate do you like besides SFR?

I like Aspen Funds for sure. I like private REITs versus listed REITs. I want exposure to properties that are too expensive for me like big multifamily, not the ten doors but the big sky-rise or even REITs in industrial properties. Like everybody, I’m away from the office space. This is what I enjoy.

You have done an amazing job building your net worth and you have hit some amazing lucky and fortuitous timing in the single-family space. Also, you saw the opportunity, you are very educated and you take cautious risks. Who do you have in your circle? Where do you get the information when you are making these decisions? How do you network? I know you work with some advisors but what’s the decision process in your inner circle of resources that you use in protecting and growing your wealth?

I’ve got different financial advisors but I would use those guys mostly for the stock market. I read, research and have my network. I’ve got real estate mentors. Let’s keep in mind that I had back in 2010 zero experience with real estate, especially in the US so I wanted to surround myself with successful people, which I did in every single city I was invested in. I looked for super successful investors. Not necessarily public figures but people who have been successful in the cities.

Surround yourself with good people and get good mentors.  Click To Tweet

I have built and strengthened my knowledge on that. I would always consult with my CPA, too. It’s a great resource. I’m always putting into perspective the taxation when I’m deciding to go from owning single-family rentals to passive real estate. We saw non-qualified dividends. Those are the main people. As I said, I spent so much money on insurance on a professional and personal basis. That’s important and attorneys, too. Those are the people that I like to consult with.

You listen to podcasts. We met you through your podcast originally.

I love to listen to podcasts. I did that couple of times with Moneeka Sawyer called Real Estate Investing for Women. I have written one of the chapters of our book, which was about real estate investing in the US when you are a foreign resident. That was interesting. In 2020, I listened to the podcast. Here you are, Bob, doing the show about a topic that I didn’t know much about, which was mortgage funds. I was super interested in this episode. I contacted Ben and then became your client. I have become, since then, your growing client. Do research, network, surround yourself with good people and get good mentors.

These are the last few questions here that we always like to ask. What has been your most successful or best investment? What has been your worst? I don’t know if you feel comfortable sharing any of those but that’s always fun to hear the wild challenges.

It’s single-family rentals and the fact that some have doubled and some have multiplied by five since 2011 or later and tripled. Keep in mind that you are not keeping multiplied by three in your pockets. You need to pay capital gains and tax depreciation. You need to pay for stuff and it costs a lot of money. The seller is paying the cost, not the buyer. That has been very good. It won’t stay the worst for an indefinite amount of time but I have invested quite a bit in the real estate project A-Class building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is a US territory.

What type of A Class? Is it an office?

It’s a mixed-use. It’s very interesting. It’s a historical building. It’s going to be short-term rentals like a hotel or Airbnb plus a food hall and a rooftop bar. It’s an amazing location in the Old City. Ninety-seven percent of San Juan was declared an Opportunity Zone. That was interesting because it was a new section page then COVID hit so the property is still not open. It’s late.

The equity part of the investment has been invested in the renovation and now the debt component is very difficult to secure because lenders are not very excited about lending to the hospitality industry. It has been difficult but it’s a good team. It’s a good location. Puerto Rico being a US territory is going to be super successful tourism-wise in the coming years. For the long-term, it’s fine. In the short-term, it’s not good.

Francois, it’s awesome to have you on. Thank you so much for sharing your story and it’s fun to hear a cool perspective. I love having that broad perspective. Thanks for bringing a lot of enlightenment to our readers to have an investor that has seen other places outside of the US. I appreciate that. Thanks so much. We had fun having you on.

Thank you so much, both of you, for having me. Congratulations again for what you do with your team. This has been fun.

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About Francois Braine-Bonnaire

ILB 15 Francois Braine-Bonnaire | U.S. RE Investing

Francois Braine-Bonnaire, I’m a native of Paris, with dual citizenship French & American. I’m 47 years old.

After my business school in France, I’ve quickly become an entrepreneur and co-founded an advertising agency in Paris back in 2000. I moved to the US in 2010, after the subprime and the related foreclosures huge mess, to start from scratch a new career in residential real estate investment.

I’ve built a portfolio for myself of 30+ rental properties (being single family homes) located in 4 different states in the USA, that I own free and clear. Since 2012 I’ve been making a living off the net collected rents, and I very much enjoy those – more or less “”passive”” – incomes.

Beside my own investments in those rental properties, I’ve also – during those past 10 years – comprehensively helped more than 200 international families, located in 15 countries around the world, to acquire about 700 investment properties in the USA, held as rentals, those investors also motivated by passive incomes. Those houses have been wisely purchased in the 3 states I’m mostly involved in: Florida, Georgia, Alabama. In 2019, I’ve also co-started a Life Coaching activity (called ToBeOptimized.com) as I personally love helping people to define and achieve their goals.

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