Welcome to Business Innovators Magazine…Please introduce yourself and a brief thumbnail of your background.
MV: My name is Mike Vigil, originally from Nicaragua I arrived to the US to go to college at age 17 and stayed here thereafter. Although my college degree was in Psychology, I took an interest in entrepreneurship early on. Over the years I managed an optical, owned a mortgage company, evolving ultimately into many aspects of real estate investing. Fort Lauderdale is home, where I enjoy living in an area where many people come to vacation for its beauty and beaches.
BI: What would you say is the area in business that you are most passionate about and why?
MV: All aspects of real estate draw my attention, from wholesaling to rehabbing to being a landlord. Currently, I am exploring leveraging my knowledge by purchasing apartment buildings where I can add value to increase the property’s worth. This can be accomplished in any part of the country so I’m not limited to my area of South Florida.
BI: How are you different than your competitors?
MV: I am different than most of my competitors as I do not focus on one aspect of real estate investing only. Even within the narrow scope of any specific type, I have educated myself to approach each transaction from more than one angle. So if I were in the market to purchase properties in need of rehab so I can fix and flip, I always give the seller more than one type of offer rather than the proverbial “offer only a low cash offer.” This makes me a transactional engineer, with multiple ways of creating exit strategies for each deal.
BI: Please tell me about any recent business accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?
MV: Recently this year I purchased a single family house in a very hot area of town. It was an estate sale so the heir did not want to keep the property. The house needed updating and we agreed on a price. After inspecting the property I realized it needed more work than initially assessed. The seller gave me an additional $20,000 credit to a house that was being bought under market, to begin with. Once I remodeled the home with fine features, I had it sold before it was even finished. The seller was very happy to “unload” this asset, the buyer was extremely happy with his purchase, my general contractor was very content with his fees, and I netted over $100,000, all done within a few months!
BI: What Leadership qualities in Leaders do you most admire and why?
MV: I admire many leaders in business, some that stand out: Bill Gates, for his tenacity to build a company from nothing to a multimillion dollar industry, and now he leads in philanthropy, unlike most leaders. Jeff Bezos, for having the vision to create a business that has grown to an unprecedented level, despite what his shareholders expected from him. With his recent purchase of Whole Foods, I will have fresh organic kale delivered to my door! Also, I admire Tim Ferris, for his ability to endure sacrifice and delay gratification to achieve his goals, as he experiments with improving his body, mind, and soul.
BI: What has been a key element of your success?
MV: Perseverance! I can be a slow learner and have experienced many lessons the “hard knocks” way. However ultimately, after navigating through many lessons the results come in. In life, I have gained a lot, lost a lot, and gained again because when I fall down I don’t waste time on self-pity or why me’s, All challenges and adversities I encounter are lessons to be learned. Life is too precious and there are many dreams not accomplished to be stuck in one rut. Every goal will bring its challenges but the journey is what makes it worthwhile and that can only happen if I persevere.
BI: What are some of the business projects that you are currently working on that you are excited about and why?
MV: I am currently searching for small apartment buildings that are located in areas that are up and coming but not quite gentrified yet, where there’s a strong job market. The buildings I am seeking will have some value plays to them such as deferred maintenance, poor management, in need of rehab, with the ability to add extra amenities such as a pool, laundry facilities. After purchase and completion of the work, these properties can be sold at full market price or kept in my portfolio with an ability to refinance and cash out to buy the next one. This project keeps me very enthusiastic.
I am also actively searching for single family houses in areas that have restaurants, bars, maybe close to beaches, and amenities within walking distance to rent out as vacation homes. Ideally, they would be purchased under market in need of rehabbing.
BI: What are 1 or 2 things you would like to say to a prospective client who stumbles across this interview?
MV: I would say if you have one or many properties you would like to sell us, my philosophy is that any one house or building has potential. This can be any situation, condition or even if it is an outstanding house, we often times can make the sale happen at full market value. Each case is different, and once we have all the pieces of the puzzle together rest assured that an offer we can both agree on can be made.
BI: What are your sources of inspiration and motivation?
MV: I’ve been blessed to have a wonderful family and a close circle of friends. Relationships are my inspiration, positive and thoughtful people are the lubricants to the stressors of life. When the time permits, I volunteer for nursing home visitations in local hospices. Nobody should be deprived of the touch of a human being.
BI: To wrap this up, what are you most excited about in the upcoming months in your business?