About us

Our Investment Criteria

If the property ticks these three boxes, we buy it!


1. CASH FLOW: Whilst many Investors focus on capital gain, we like to concentrate more on cash flow (income) and believe an increase in capital value is something to give to our children, rather than ourselves. Therefore all our properties must produce worthwhile income (ROI), meaning well in the excess of the 1-4% that many local property investments offer. For example, our Casual Investor plans start at 10% ROI whilst our Premium Investor packages can effortlessly achieve returns in the 15-25% range.

Follow this link to find out more about a Premium Investor

2. LOCATION: We all know the importance of buying in the right location, and although we have made cash flow our number one priority, we know that buying in the right area is also very important. Therefore, to protect ourselves and our Investors from buying property in the wrong location, we have developed a close alliance with a local US mortgage fund. This company, in addition to offering us 30-year mortgage facility for our properties, has developed exceptionally strong algorithms to check economic, demographic and geographical data as part of an assessment for the long-term viability of a property. Of course, they have not developed this complex check for our benefit, but more to ensure the bank’s money is safe when they offer a 30-year loan that is secured only by the property itself.

We call this added protection 'location assurance' and it is available as part of our Premium Investor plans.

3. RISK: There is little point in having good cash flow and good location if there are other risks that could bring it all to an end at some time in the future. For example, if a seaside property is renting well, the location is considered desirable, and therefore it has valued up. BUT we can see there is an erosion problem and the ocean is slowly reclaiming the land. In these situations, we play it safe and avoid the potential problem, even if it appears to be many years into the future.


Estero’s difference

We lead by example: after all, how can we promote this unique opportunity to Investors, if we are not prepared to do the same ourselves? This is why we bought 5 properties before we even opened our doors for business. 

We go the extra mile: we have flown 100,000 miles in the last few months to properly check out the market and properties so our Investors can be very confident we know what we are talking about. 

Guarantees and Assurances: Depending on which of our products an Investor chooses, we offer up to a 3-year Rent and Maintenance Guarantee and Location Assurance when we use a local US mortgage facility.

Legal and accounting: We have invested more than $50K in professional fees for legal and accounting so our Investors will have the correct corporate structure to be safe and efficient and avoid double tax. 

Last, but not least: Integrity. We will be honest with you, even if it costs the sale.

What exactly does Estero do?

We fly to the US every 4-8 weeks to meet with our various US business partners. At the same time, we locate and buy distressed (foreclosure) property from local wholesalers, refurbish as required, engage property managers and place tenants, then we offer the properties for sale as a complete turn-key investment with ROI's in the 10-25% range.

What was the motivation to start Estero?

It is not every day you see the most powerful economy in the world drop their property prices to a 30-year low and offer us such an unusually good chance to make some big money as the prices rebound.

And logically we thought, “Why would an investor want to lock up $300-500K earning 2-3%, when $75K will safely earn 10, 15 or 20% in the U.S. property market?”

What is Estero’s background/experience?

Estero is owned by Lindsay Jarvis, who has had more than 20 years’ experience in and around properties and buildings. Lindsay owned a construction company for a number of years and completed more than $40M worth of building work over several years and employed in excess of 100 people.

Lindsay has been able to use this experience to study, visit and understand the U.S property market, particularly where refurbishment is required and then form strategic alliances with people in the U.S cities where Estero has chosen to buy.

It is this experience that has permitted Estero to buy only the best U.S. investment properties and make them available to Kiwi investors.

Market research and deciding which US cities to buy in?

Initially we simply did a great deal of reading of economic and property investment news, forums etc. looking at risks/returns for NZ, Australia, UK and US markets. Eventually it became obvious that US property offered the highest yields and therefore best investment opportunity. Even though their economy had a couple of ‘bandaged knees’, it was still the most powerful in the world and without them there would not be a business world.

That had only left the question of location. The problem is that the US is divided into 50 states and each one is like a country with its own economy. So we started with the broad-brush approach and looked for headlines, feedback in property forums about which areas seemed to be providing the best investment opportunity.

This eventually pointed us to the mid-west of the US to cities like Memphis, Charlotte (North Carolina) and Cleveland (Ohio). Whilst there are a number of other cities that provide good investment opportunity, we decided not to spread ourselves to thin and just focus on three areas for the moment.

We can also say our research revealed many, many places not to invest and people not to do business with!


But ultimately this was all theory and required a visit to meet people! So we arrived in the US primarily to find out three things:


  • Could we really buy a good 3-bedroom family home for $75k in a good area AND return 10, 15 or 20% to an investor?
  • If the opportunity was so good, then why were all the US citizens not buying the properties themselves? 
  • Was there anything we should know about the local people, culture and business protocols that could affect our business and/or investment? 

And we found:

  • Yes $75K would buy a house returning 10-20% in a good area.
  • The local US citizens cannot buy houses because the banks won’t lend them any money.
  • And as for the locals, customs and business? We can confirm they drive on the wrong side of the road and are a few kilos overweight, but otherwise are similar to Kiwis in many ways as they enjoy sport, socializing, nice cars, success in business, and feel schools and family values are also important.

 And now we visit the US every few weeks and find ourselves owning many US properties that have hit 30-year lows and offering them for sale to Kiwi investors.

Buying services – We can build your property portfolio to return you 10, 15 or 20%

For serious investors, Estero can buy properties to order and build a portfolio to exact requirements. For example with $500K, we could buy you 8 properties averaging a net yield of 15% (i.e. the yield might range from 13-18%, but average 15%) or with the same money, we could buy 5 properties with an average net yield of 11%. Each portfolio would have its positives and negatives – ask us more here.

N.B. Buying to order is exactly what the private equity firms are doing in the US property market right now. One company we are familiar with has a fund of $250 million and is buying properties in 13 different US cities with instructions that the net yield must be 14.5% across all their purchases. (i.e. some returns are 12% and some 18% but averaging 14.5%).

We can arrange US finance

We can arrange US finance for some of our investors. It is almost impossible to borrow money in the US at this time (which is why we have this investment opportunity) but we have found a company that will lend 50% to non-US citizens using just the property as security at a rate of 8.20%

A loan on this basis would leverage (lift) an investor’s income from 15 up to 20%

Ask us how to get access to US finance for your property purchase here.

How much does Estero charge for their services?

The short answer is our services cost you zip, zero, nothing. Because we have promised to buy volume from our US contacts, we can buy the properties much, much cheaper than what a casual investor can get them for and then even when we add our small profit margin, it is still cheaper than what the casual investor can buy for. And this is making no allowance for time to travel 24hrs to the mid-west of the US and costs for airfares and accommodation that the investment will need to pay (N.B. we flew 50,000 miles over 6 months to investigate the market and decide which areas to buy in and who to buy from, and of course that was after studying the market for a year before we went there).

We have the following true example to prove the point:

We recently bought a 3 bedroom house in Charlotte, NC, spent $11K on the refurbishment and offered it for sale to Kiwi investors for USD$81,000 returning 11%.

But before we could sell it to local investors, our US contacts sold it to one of their investors for $93,500… (which could easily have been a local go it alone investor, and no, we did not make more profit because it sold at a higher value).

Where is Estero based?

Our offices are in Manukau Road in Auckland. Please come and check us out over a coffee if you wish to, but it would pay to email us first as we are very often in meetings or away travelling in the US.

Email us to arrange a ‘coffee’ or tea visit here.