Ditched Corporate Job, to Rock Residential Rehab Market

Rob Anderson, of Rocking Horse Redevelopment, has quickly become a pioneer in the residential rehab market, and recently was awarded the Green Remodel Project of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders.

Not long ago, Rob Anderson was a Commercial Insurance Broker for the Entertainment Industry. Based out of Los Angeles, Anderson was inspired to ditch his corporate job and align efforts with his business partner, Fred McNab and Rocking Horse Redevelopment (RHR). Now, and nearly four years later, the two entrepreneurs are redefining the housing industry by providing rehabbed homes that are custom in design, emphasize energy efficiency, green certified, and sell between $145 – $390k.

Anderson says he enjoys the rehab process, which resonates with his passion for creativity. Anderson’s motivation to create a near custom rehab for each house often means more work than a traditional fix and flip, but to him it is about more than just profit; it allows him to create cool design resulting in market differentiation.

Although Anderson and McNab are embracing success in the rehab market, not all has been a smooth road, and there have been obstacles to overcome during the past four years. Anderson says in 2009 there was a lot of available inventory and it was hard to do wrong, then it became more difficult to acquire properties. This, along with removal of the buyer tax incentive in 2010 and increased competition in the rehab market, contributed to RHR’s decision to stay ahead of the curve and make their rehabs green certified and include energy efficiency upgrades.

“A focus on energy efficiency meant spending more money in some cases, and investing in mechanical improvements,” says Anderson. Anderson believes this additional investment pays dividends in the form of less holding time and fewer days on market.

Anderson states that green certification can potentially add a distraction to the rehab process. In order to alleviate this issue RHR turned to G Street. Anderson states, “When making a property green certified we choose G Street as our resource. They make the process pain-free and turnkey.” Anderson says green certification is worth it because it underscores a quality product. When crossing paths with the occasional naysayer or critic of green improvements, Anderson says it usually means education is needed. He adds that many want to be competitors or ‘flippers,’ care only about money and often do not pay enough attention to detail or quality. Anderson says that Buyers should expect a lot more from a remodeled home than just lipstick; including low utility bills, improved air quality, and good design.

Moving forward, RHR plans to take their formula for success and eye the residential new construction and the commercial rehab markets. Anderson states, “We plan to continue with a quality and well designed product. It’s our hope that the marketplace continues to take notice and that RHR can continue to increase buyer expectations when it comes to investor-owned homes, new construction, and commercial properties.”

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