May 01, 2017
Inspired by Love, Driven by Integrity and Compassion
Sometimes tragedy breeds new life. Perhaps that is the case with Kim Pittman and Lifetime Investments. In 2012, her husband was killed in a car accident. The proceeds from the wrongful death suit allowed her to establish Buckner, Mo.-based Lifetime Investments, LLC, (4 W. Monroe Street), a real estate company that meshes traditional real estate with investment management. “I started this business in my husband’s honor,” said Pittman, a realtor, investor and broker. “That’s how Lifetime Investments got its name and our logo colors are the Pepsi colors because that’s what he drank all the time. This was our tribute to him and a way to keep his memory alive.”
Lifetime Investments and Lifetime Solutions Realty, LLC, Pittman’s other company, are family owned and operated. Her eldest daughter, Jessica Weis, serves as Lifetime Solutions Realty’s property manager. The subsidiary provides turnkey property management services, including screening services, credit checks, online payment services for tenants, among other things. (See ad on the back cover for a complete list of services.)
Pittman’s youngest daughter, Jenny Pittman, works as a receptionist one day a week while earning a nursing degree. Her middle daughter, Lacey Inman, also supports the business with property cleanouts and other small projects while working as a CNA in Independence. “They all share in the vision,” the Independence, Missouri native said. “We keep it in the family. I have definitely been blessed to have been surrounded by the right people to help guide me in this field and to have a supportive family. I hope to build this legacy and leave it as a family business for generations to come. I currently have four grand kids all living in the Fort Osage area. Kylen Weis is nine and attends Buckner Elementary and the other three are not old enough for school yet.”
Pittman’s real estate track started in 2004 when she first became licensed. She said she worked with successful investors early in her career, many of whom are now millionaires. “I learned early on what investors looked for, what’s a good deal, how to negotiate, and how to handle foreclosures and know what they can sell for.” Only working in real estate part-time at that point, she was working for Sprint full-time as a programmer. As fate would have it, she got laid off. Looking back, Pittman called it a blessing in disguise. “I didn’t like what I was doing. The pay was good, so I would have stayed forever,” she said.
Today, Lifetime Investments – which serves Clay, Jackson and Lafayette counties in Missouri – affords her the opportunity to work as a realtor/investor and with other investors. But she doesn’t stop there. She started an investor networking group that meets once a month. A venture that was started from scratch now boasts of 431 members and growing. She brings in speakers and leverages her large pool of investors as partners and collaborators. “We discovered there were really no good property management companies out there that would take care of a property as if it were their own. That’s how Lifetime Solutions Realty was formed,” she said. “We have come full circle providing traditional real estate, investment real estate and property management.”
This is an added benefit to Pittman’s clients because she can access off-market real estate deals, listed real estate deals and even deals that allow her or another investor to purchase properties from homeowners looking to sell. “We are really a one-stop shop,” Pittman said. “I can accommodate many needs – whether the homeowner is looking for investors, or they have fallen on hard times and need to turn their house quickly and don’t have time to list it traditionally. That’s when the investment side kicks in.” Pittman said her experience has taught her to master the art of negotiation.
In more extreme cases where a homeowner needs to sell their home quickly, even with a lien on the property, she works with them, too. “We take care of all of that for them,” she said. “We deal with their lenders and get them paid off, and we work with the title company to get them paid off. The title company I deal with closes very quickly. We also close cash deals and if it’s a super emergency, sometimes we can close in three days, but always within 30 days.”
Pittman said they do all the heavy lifting so all the homeowner does is show up to sign papers. On the investment side of things, no money comes out of the homeowner’s pocket, not even the closing costs. And, she said they can accommodate any time frame that is required.
As for homeowners who are trying to decide whether to sell-by-owner or engage a realtor, Pittman recommends they go through a realtor. “The realtor is going to know the market. They’ll know what the house can sell for, what upgrades are needed to sell the property for the maximum amount and where the homeowner’s dollars are best spent, she said.
In addition, she said the real estate agency is going to do extensive marketing through MLS (which is short for Multiple Listing Service) and other venues that reach other realtors to maximize exposure. Pittman adds that the money the homeowner spends doing the same advertising that a realtor does would more than likely equate to what they would spend on commissions, if they had gone through a realtor. She adds the homeowner may have little return on investment because of a lack of market knowledge.
There are also some perks for homeowners who are considering selling their property to an investor. For starters, the condition of their home is a nonfactor. “The investor doesn’t care,” Pittman said. “You don’t have to fix it. You don’t have to do anything with it. Investors are used to doing repairs. They have crews that will go in and fix it up.”
Pittman added that the investor will also know how to liquidate the contents in the house, and this doesn’t mean taking things to landfills. “I give a lot to the Salvation Army,” she said. “Even if the bed or frame are not in the prettiest condition, there are people out there who don’t have a bed. I’d rather give back to the community as best as I can. That’s one of the things that sets Lifetime apart. We are active in the community. We volunteer our time and give back any we can.”
Pittman also mentors other investors. She works with them one-on-one to help them grow and help them avoid some of the “pitfalls” of property investment, like those who negate ethics and integrity. “There are some investors out there who will tell you they are working with you to give you a good deal but they are not. I try to help new investors avoid those pitfalls,” she said.
When asked about the current real estate market, Pittman said, “It’s a great market right now. Houses are not staying on the market long. Foreclosures are being sold at an all-time high, with buyers paying close to retail.”
A strong real estate market and a one-year milestone in Buckner, Pittman has a lot to celebrate. An open house is planned for May 2, at her office in Buckner, 4 West Monroe Street, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The public is invited. Later this summer, Pittman and her daughters are planning the Baby Grace Craft Fair, September 3, to raise funds for the organization. Pittman plans to make this an annual event.
Anyone needing event space rental can contact Lifetime. A conference meeting room, party space for up to 30 people, and tables and chairs are available for rent. A large reception hall is coming soon.