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Understanding Passive Real Estate Investing: Key Insights from Spencer Hilligoss' Podcast Interview

Dive deep into the world of passive real estate investing with key insights from Spencer Hilligoss' podcast. Discover strategies, challenges, and opportunities tailored for passive investors.

Recently on an engaging podcast, Spencer Hilligoss, co-founder of Madison Investing, delved deep into the nuances of passive real estate investing. As many of you might already be aware, Spencer comes with a wealth of experience, particularly in the fintech sector, which has greatly influenced his perspective on investing. If you haven't listened to it yet, I strongly recommend you click here to check out the full podcast episode.

Back to Basics: Viewing Investing from a Passive Lens

In a world brimming with investment opportunities and strategies, Spencer emphasized the importance of understanding the basics. A significant portion of the interview was dedicated to the perspective of viewing investments from an LP (Limited Partner) or passive investor's standpoint.

But what does it really mean? Let's break it down.

1. Setting Clear Goals

Before jumping headfirst into any investment, it's crucial to understand your endgame. What do you aim to achieve with your investment? Some investors prioritize cash flow, while others might be more inclined towards growth. Setting time-bound goals, understanding your investment's purpose, and revisiting these goals periodically can help steer your passive investment journey in the right direction.

2. Evaluating Deals for Cash Flow vs. Growth

An essential lesson from the interview was the differentiation between investing for cash flow versus growth. It's all about perspective. For instance, a tech professional earning a substantial annual salary may view passive real estate investing differently than a retiree. The former might be looking to diversify their portfolio, while the latter could be focusing on a steady income stream. Understanding this distinction is key to making informed decisions.

3. Market Education and Context

We live in a digital era where beautifully designed marketing documents often influence our decisions. But Spencer warns against being swayed by mere aesthetics. Delving deeper into the market, understanding its trends, and basing decisions on solid research is the way forward. It's not just about pretty pictures of properties, but about the real, tangible benefits and risks associated with each investment.

Overcoming Challenges in Passive Real Estate Investing

No investment journey is without its challenges, and real estate is no exception. Spencer's candid account of dealing with high debt service, fluctuating interest rates, and distribution pauses was an eye-opener. It underscores the importance of due diligence, constant learning, and being adaptable.

Moreover, current global events, like the COVID-19 pandemic, have further highlighted the need for adaptability and resilience in the real estate sector. The situation has also ushered in changes in the way deals are presented, especially in terms of tax implications and insurance costs.

A Future Full of Opportunities

Despite the challenges, Spencer's outlook on passive real estate investing remains optimistic. Emphasizing the importance of taking the long view, he reminded listeners of the pressing need for housing in America and the potential opportunities it presents. With volatility a constant companion in the investment world, the mantra should always be about focusing on value rather than short-term price fluctuations.


In essence, Spencer Hilligoss' insights into passive real estate investing serve as a reminder of the importance of a holistic, educated approach. For those eager to delve deeper into this world, connecting with like-minded individuals, and continually expanding one's knowledge is the key. If this resonates with you, revisit the podcast for more insights and consider joining our community at Madison Investing.

Remember, as Spencer eloquently put it during the podcast, "There's no such thing as bad assets; there are just bad prices." The onus is on us to discern the difference.



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