James Pockross

James Pockross

James S. Pockross has been a real estate investor for twenty-six years and currently controls 270 rental units. He is past president of Lakeview Developers Association and served as an officer of Lincoln Park Builders Club of Chicago. The City of Aurora, Illinois selected his property for its annual Excellence in Property Improvement award. Mr. Pockross is author of, ""Confessions of a Real Estate Mini-Mogul"" and received a B.S. from University of Illinois, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and a Master's in Business Administration, with honors, from University of Chicago. James also owns an insurance agency specializing in health insurance for small companies. Mr. James Pockross enjoys sports, the stock market, duplicate bridge, and travel. James Pockross is married and claims the boss of the house is their cat, Mimi.

    James Pockross's Articles

    • When Is It Best To Sell? – 4 Good Circumstances

      Once you own a property, you have two basic decisions as to what to do with it: Hold on to it or Sell it. I’ve owned several properties that I have made the decision to sell based on various reasons. Some of my reasons have had to do with good circumstances, some with less fortunate circumstances. In my view, there are four good circumstances under which to sell a building.4 Good Circumstances When Best to SellGood Circumstance to Sell #1 – Improve PortfolioYou find an investment opportunity that yields a higher return on investment. For example, let’s say you own…

    • Snapshot of a Real Estate Syndicator

      If you decide you want to put together a group of investors for an acquisition, it’s important that the investors’ objectives coincide with your own. For instance, if you are considering purchasing a half-vacant retail center, upgrading it, leasing it out for higher rents, and then selling it in two years, make sure all the investors agree to this plan.What Does A Syndicator Do?Here is a personal example. In my case as a Syndicator, paying off the building so that it becomes “free and clear” was always my primary objective. I was managing partner so to speak that handled day…

    • Multi-Units vs. Single Family Conversation

      For some of you just starting out, it is hard to decide which type of property is best to start investing in. Many of you are probably just like me when I first started out in real estate. Attending meetings with recent graduates of the “how to get rich” weekend seminars. Working with real estate agents that are not investor savvy. Endlessly driving by and walking to properties that might offer the best deal.Most of the investors who attended the meetings were newbies who were purchasing single family homes and renting them out. I wondered whether this was a better…

    • How The First Apartment Rehab Can Change Your Life

      When I first started out investing in Apartment Buildings I noticed that some of the other buildings in the neighborhood were being rehabbed. After I had majority of all the units rented in my second apartment building, my building manager suggested I rehab one of my apartments and see what happened. I thought why not and I would pay for the rehab from the income from my job.I figured that the apartment in question could be improved by trading some of the space in the very large kitchen for a bedroom which could handle a bed and a dresser, that…

    • How I Bought My Second Building

      So, in the summer of 1983 I began the search for my next building. Rather than spread myself out in different directions, I decided to work with a local real estate agent who had been recommended by some associates. The Realtor would pay attention to the listings that came up, and I would visit his office weekly.I really had no money, as I was diverting my job income to upgrading Building Number 1. Also, my job in a precarious position, I was saving whatever I could for an emergency cushion. If I bought anything, I would have to do a…

    • Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Mini Mogul? Part 3

      Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Mini Mogul? Part 3, addresses the ingredients you will need to produce the success that you desire and are capable of achieving with real estate investing.So how did an ordinary guy like me end up with a portfolio consisting of hundreds of rental units and a cash flow that’s more like a cash torrent? How did I become a real estate mini-mogul, enjoying freedom and self-confidence?I practiced some of the essential traits that most successful investors possess as was outlined in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Mini-Mogul series, such…

    • Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Mini Mogul? Part 2

      So how did an ordinary guy like me end up with a portfolio consisting of hundreds of rental units and a cash flow that’s more like a cash torrent? How did I become a real estate mini-mogul, enjoying freedom and self-confidence?I practiced some of the essential traits that most successful investors possess as was outlined in Part 1 of the Mini-Mogul series: determination, energy, persistence, people skills and decisiveness.Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Mini Mogul? Part 2, addresses the ingredients you will need to produce the success that you desire and are capable of achieving with…

    • Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Mini Mogul? Part I

      My story ends with me having a net worth of millions of dollars, an annual income in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the liberty to do what I want when I want. When this story began twenty plus years ago, I had nothing but fear and low self-esteem on which to build a future. Doubts plagued me. I worried about pleasing my boss and keeping my job.So how did an ordinary guy like me end up with a portfolio consisting of hundreds of rental units and a cash flow that’s more like a cash torrent? How did I…

    • Commercial Property Management Nightmare

      I took over managing the second apartment building I bought promptly upon closing. My attorney promptly informed me that the tenant in the lower front apartment had unexpectedly moved. Now I had to fill a vacancy in the heart of a Chicago winter. This did not bode well.I think it is important to know that this was a neighborhood in the beginning stages of gentrification. I learned later that I was “pioneering” with my new acquisition. Let’s navigate through my Income Producing Property woes:Rent Collection – Need To Borrow Armored TruckJanuary was rent collection time. The tenants were very different…

    • 6 Easy Steps To Get Started With Real Estate Investing

      Are you a new investor? Many aspiring real estate investors have come to me for guidance to help them with the following real estate investing questions.Q. I’m really excited about real estate and want to become a mogul. How do I get started?A. Assuming you are starting at zero, I would build my strength and knowledge about real estate. More specifically:Read books to increase your knowledge.Save money for a down payment, or find other sources of money such as investors or assets you own from which you might borrow.Build your resource network by connecting with lenders, real estate agents, and…

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