My name is Seth Struiksma I am one of the two interns at Gabhart Investments. The other intern, Anthony Espinoza and I have been interning for a month now. For the rest of my time with Gabhart Investments I’ll be writing weekly blogs updating and sharing about my progress, educations, and activities I have accomplished.

Interning for a company is an opportunity to explore a certain area one believes is of interest to them. This past spring a friend of mine, Sean Bascom, had the opportunity to intern with GII. After his time with GII Sean told me the company was looking for summer interns. He spoke about the company and what it is doing right now. Everything sounded great so I decided to check it out. Curtis interviewed me and a few weeks later I was interning with GII.

At first I wasn’t to excited to work for free, but after a couple of days I realized what I was learning was far greater than any pay I could receive.

Starting this internship I wrote out several objectives or goals I wanted to accomplish before the summer ended:

  • Understand how to estimate the amount of materials for a project
  • Learn how to value a property
  • Determine what needs to be replaced, fixed, painted, installed.
  • Understand a market
    • What’s selling
    • What price
    • Demographics
    • Learn how to sell a property and make a profit
    • Raise capital!!
      • Hard money lending
      • Attract investors
      • Learn how to find new deals
      • How to effectively market a project
      • Do my own project
      • What’s a good investment
      • Construction mgmt

Before the internship started I thought real estate investing combined many aspects of the real estate industry. I also thought it was a lot easier than it really is. After a month of interning my views have not necessarily changed. Real estate investing is extremely chaotic and spontaneous. If an investor is presented with a great deal they need to drop everything and go view the property before another investor purchases the deal. For me this is the chaotic part of the business. Once a property is found everything else seems quite structured and fun. The investor finances, renovates, markets, and sells the property to ultimately earn a profit. The most attractive part of the business for me is the aspect of design involved and the fact you can possibly earn a $50,000 profit in one month.

When I first started the internship Curtis had me start looking at properties online to find comparable properties. Finding comparable properties gives us an idea of what the after renovated value (ARV) would be. I still compre properties, but a few weeks ago I helped Curtis write his business plan which will eventually attract investors for the new micro investment fund. Beyond those tasks Curtis asks for my opinion on colors, ideas for renovating, thoughts on the property, contact realtors in the area, search for potential deals online, create websites, and write about my experiences with the company.

In one month most of my goals I wanted to accomplish have already been accomplished. I still want to create a business plan for myself and learn how to finance my own property. The thing I feel is the greatest accomplishment so far is helping Curtis write his business plan. By having this knowledge of writing a proper business plan is priceless. Without a business plan it’s extremely difficult to get investors who will help finance future projects.

Starting this internship I felt I knew a good amount of information about real estate investing, but once I started learning I realized I didn’t know much at all. The biggest surprise to me was the intense amount of spontaneity in an investor’s day. Every day is different for an investor. I thought each day would be somewhat the same as the day before. This makes the real estate investing profession even more attractive to me because I know each day will bring surprises and excitement.

Even though it has only been one month I’ve learned an immense amount of information. If tomorrow was the last day of my internship I feel I could immediately start writing a business plan for myself. This is the most valuable thing I’ve learned up to this point in the internship.

Every person has their strengths and weaknesses in anything they do.  My strengths are being able to envision the future results without letting anything get in the way, effectively communicate information to others, and stay organized when things are chaotic. Every day I strive to improve myself but the things I need to focus on improving the most are always putting 100% of effort into things and writing excellent professional documents.


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