5th Women Real Estate Investors Network Meet Up: Toured 2 Uptown Buildings

The 5th Women RE Investors Network Meet Up was hostessed by Cari Cox, in her new building and home, 101 E. Broadway. Last night’s meet-up welcomed seasoned and new investors. Conversations clicked, the group broke up at 10pm. Times flies when your’re in a beautiful building talking real estate!

This meet up included a tale of 2 buildings located on the 100 block of East Broadway.  Cari’s building (in great shape and fully occupied!) and the Salvation Army building 3 doors down (vacant and needing all systems!).

1st building: Cari moved back to Butte from Portland with the goal of investing in real estate. She found her building pre-market by networking with her real estate agent, working with the URA and a local bank.  In the last few months, she has secured her anchor renter, Kinetic Fitness. This fills out her “commercial house hack” investment. She lives in her apartment upstairs while renting the other 4 apartments with a variety of short term/long term contracts.

Commercial storefront space is intimidating for many owners in our Butte, Montana market, Cari is making it work. She benefited from partnering her need for a commercial renter with the BLDC start-up program in Butte. The BLDC asked potential start-up applicants to check out her retail space. Start-up Kinetic Fitness found its dream space https://www.kineticfitmt.com.


Next building! The Salvation Army building is listed with Russ O-Leary and needs love from bottom to top. This historic building needs a group of investors to turn it into a community benefiting business and soon! We thought a theater downstairs with restaurant upstairs? Contact Russ O’Leary with Harrison Realty: 494-2200 ext 14.

Inside scoop, one of our investors tells us that the lot with the tree and the parking lot in the photo are not part of the sale. This brings up access issues if the building is to be used as a business. Surely, someone has worked on this problem and thought of solutions? Please comment with your ideas!

What I learned from the group while touring these beauties…

Recommendations from owners with low-income tenants on how to improve your buildings. One downfall of having low-income tenants is generating enough income to pay for upgrades.

Here are 2 strategies.

  • If your low-income renter requests heater replacement through the Lieap Program, (butteassistanceprograms.org/low-income-energy-assistance/),  your building may get new heating updates at no cost to you!
  • If you inherit a low-income tenant and are patient, the tenant can apply for section 8 and you may be able to make a building work without evicting a good tenant just to make financials work.

Enjoyed talking to investors who are looking and finding win/win-landlord/tenant relationships!

One meet-up participant was wondering about meeting the needs of about 5 short term temporary Federal employees who flux to the Butte area in summer. The needed time is also the hottest AirBNB time so, the rental hunters are finding rents high. Would be a good fit for owners with Tech attrition in June. This market prefers furnished. To learn more, contact Scott Haight or Mary Lou Zimmerman of the BLM: shaight@blm.gov or mlzimmer@blm.gov

And on the continual search for a deal; strategic buyers learn what the needs of the sellers are. “There are many ways to make money”. Don’t stop your negotiations when the strategy of buy-low, sell-high doesn’t pan out for the seller. Selling low may benefit the seller. If your RE Agent won’t make low ball offers for you, find one who will. There are always deals out there; if your original strategy is not working, talk with those who are making something else work.

Ideas for the next meet-up were thrown about: Landlord/Tenant relationships and laws, RichDad/Poor Dad game, invite Karen Byrnes of the URA. Great questions came up regarding tax strategies for when your building is paid off, need to invite an accountant and a banker. What about an exit strategy??

Come to the next meet-up! Monday, October 23rd at 6pm

Listen to Cari Cox’s interviews of investors on butteameriaradio.org Fridays at 5pm MST!