SD native sees success in house flipping

Jordan Hanson covers up holes on the wall in a house recently bought in Mitchell, S.D. Matt Gade / Forum News Service
Jordan Hanson covers up holes on the wall in a house recently bought in Mitchell, S.D. Matt Gade / Forum News ServiceMatt Gade / Forum News Service

MITCHELL, S.D. -- Jordan Hanson is a risk taker.

He’s taken many in his professional life, gleaning a wealth of knowledge in the process. The 31 year old has started seven businesses, but his latest endeavor to become a property manager is what he calls the most intriguing and rewarding. Since 2012, he’s purchased six houses and flipped them into rental properties, aside from his first.

“I found Robert Kiyosaki’s and Grant Cardone’s books, and it led me to researching ways to get into real estate,” Hanson said while spreading putty on the wall of his most recent flip house. “Those two have greatly inspired me in this journey.”

But it didn’t come easy for Hanson, who lost roughly $12,500 on the first flip house he purchased in 2012.

“I was new to it all, and I found myself spending too much time and money remodeling the house,” Hanson said. “It was tough losing that kind of money, but it was amazing how much I learned from it.”

A key difference in Hanson’s five housing projects he’s flipped since suffering his first loss has been renting rather than selling.

A $145,000 house with three units is the current project Hanson is taking on, and he and his wife Emily plan to relocate and live in the main floor of the home, while renting the third story after completing renovations.

Investing in the house is key to finding good renters, he said.

To provide transparency in his house flipping journey with hopes of attracting trustworthy tenants, Hanson has created a YouTube channel that consists of episodes titled “Life as a Landlord.” With each episode, Hanson documents the work he puts into a flip home, something he believes has helped in the process.

“I spend at least $5,000 a unit, which is hard work,” he said. “I put $20,000 into the duplex I bought a while back. It’s a lot of money, but you’re going to get your money back after you rent or sell it.”

When Hanson bought the duplex, it was renting for $375 a month with utilities included, but he said his renovations now have it renting for $600 per month, excluding utilities.

A self-taught craftsman, Hanson’s goal is to renovate the houses and duplexes well enough so that he doesn't have to touch it for a decade. With each new flip house he gains more construction skills, helping eliminate overhead costs for contractors.

“The first thing I do when I buy a place is replace the toilets and plumbing,” Hanson said. “Reading and watching videos is how I learned most of the construction work.”

While strolling through a new house, scoping out areas in need of renovation, Hanson frequently quotes passages from books authored by businessmen that have inspired him.

“Kiyosaki says 9 out of 10 independent businesses fail, which gives you a near 100 percent chance of succeeding with at least one of them,” Hanson said. But before Hanson embarked upon a journey into investing in real estate and becoming a property manager, he was working as a car salesman in Mitchell.

“I sold cars strictly to save up for pursuing this journey, and I bought enough places to where I can do this full-time now,” Hanson said. “You have to save up a healthy amount of money to make it in this business.”

Above everything else, Hanson credits the freedom of his career as a house flipper for being his favorite perk of the job. While life as a car salesman ultimately provided the financial means for Hanson to invest in buying real estate around Mitchell, his endeavor into the stock market daytrading realm sparked his risk-taking ventures.

After Hanson got his first taste of success in stock market daytrading, he moved to Denver for roughly a year, but moved back after deciding it was time to begin his real estate endeavor.

Between flipping houses and collecting rent checks, Hanson runs two businesses that he owns: Erickson Tree Service and OK Arcades. He acknowledges the challenges of running multiple businesses but credits the example of his hard-working parents for his own dedication to succeed.

“I write everything down on a list, and when I wake up in the morning, I have clear goals and then I prioritize them,” he said. “It’s all about prioritizing, along with working all the time. I learned that from my parents.”

Not quite finished with his current flip house, Hanson’s already looking ahead to his next project, prioritizing financial moves for buying an apartment complex. As a local, he is pleased with the city of Mitchell’s growth to continue his real estate venture.

“My goal is to eventually own 1,000 doors,” Hanson said, which is the slang term he uses for counting the number of units and houses he flips. “It’s been a been fun venture so far.”