THE "PROPERTY ACROBAT" MAKING AMERICAN REAL ESTATE GREAT AGAIN - FOR CLIENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD.
Steve started his first business at 13 years old. In 1994 Steve bought his first property, in Sunnybank, QLD. Then in 1997 he joined Cirque Du Soleil’s show “O” at The Bellagio in Las Vegas, USA. By 2000 Steve owned 5 investment properties, 10 by 2001 and over 30 by 2007. His portfolio includes US and Australian residential and commercial real estate.
A people person, with a passion for property, Steve began helping his Cirque colleagues with property investments from 2000. In 2003 he became a licensed US loan officer so he could be of more assistance to his colleagues and other referred clients. By 2008 Steve had completed over 500 property transactions, predominantly for non-US owners and investors to international owners and investors.
In 2011 Steve joined the Nevada real estate board and worked as an independent agent for Century 21 for 2 years. He then moved to Keller Williams and created the Steve Bland Group, with a team of 5 working with him.
Today Steve works with hundreds of clients from 35 countries on 5 continents, helping them achieve their personal and financial goals by utilizing Property as a Mini-Business. He currently owns a real estate brokerage, a property management company, and a private investment trust.
Today, what are your main business dealings with Australian clients?
I work with a lot of people from back home, assisting them to use property to help achieve their financial goals and also hedge against risk. So it’s common for me to help Australian investors create Nevada-based LLCs, plan their portfolio, purchase, renovate as needed, rent out, collect rent, maintain property, handle all tenant issues, and then sell when the property has “done it’s job”, getting their money back home.
What is it that you like so much about real estate in the US?
I like how in the United States you can fix the interest rate on your mortgage for the entirety of the loan. Then, when you have made a smart purchase, you end up with fixed costs associated with an appreciable commodity that pays you rent. Rental yields in Las Vegas are very strong too and you can act and invest opportunistically based on exchange rates and market conditions. Plus there’s no capital gains tax on selling personal residences.
Some people talk about how difficult the GFC was for real estate in Australia, I understand it was a whole different ball game in the US. Can you describe how the GFC impacted and changed the real estate industry in the USA?
GFC hit different areas in the US very differently. I purchased in San Antonio during the crisis because the city was relatively immune. Las Vegas on the other hand was hit very hard with many properties losing 40% of their value. It created a great buying opportunity when the bubble burst and “over-corrected” causing severely undervalued properties that lasted about 3 years. The US is so large with so many different economic environments and influencers that at any given time, different cities are going through different market cycles.Financing laws changed drastically. While they became restrictive for several years, overall it was a much-needed fix to put transparency and honesty and responsible practices back into the mortgage industry.
What factors do you look for when investing in US property?
There are many factors at play. I look at cash flow and buy in the path of progress so that we are making good returns plus getting capital gains. I buy in the sections of the market with weak movement. One example was Las Vegas condos (apartments) when they were not financeable due to the GFC. Now they are becoming financeable again and can be accessed by the whole market and not only cash buyers, the prices are jumping. Another example for now are homes between $600 000 - $1,000,000. These homes are above conforming conventional loan limits, making them difficult for average home buyers to purchase, and priced below the typical interstate buyer’s range who is moving from California to Vegas for tax or other reasons. So with the difficulty of finding buyers in the $600,000 to $1,000,000 range, many sellers will take offers considerably below appraised value. This is a cycle that is only true right now in Las Vegas, but it’s an example of what I look for – the current opportunity.
What’s in the future for Steve Bland?
Well, I’m launching a fund later in 2019 to open up real estate investing to a wider pool of family and friends who want to benefit but might not have the time or the resources to devote to building a portfolio on their own. I’ll also be growing our classes, where I teach real estate agents and the public how to invest, plus continuing to grow out my team at Keller Williams. There’s a lot going on and changing in the real estate industries at the moment and I want to help as many people as I can, worldwide, to do well financially through real estate.