That’s exactly the premise behind Genesis One: a unique, eight-year-old Wichita-based business that’s proving how successful we can be when we work together instead of apart.

Since 2009, the members of Genesis One have been pooling their resources, buying houses at a price considerably under market, fixing them up and renting them out. There’s nothing very unique there. What makes Genesis One so unique — and so far successful — is the company’s business model.

The group started in 2009 with just 10 members, who each invested $3,000. When we first checked in with them in 2011, they owned two small residential properties in Northeast Wichita, both debt free. They always pay cash.

One of the homes was rented, the other they were in the process of fixing up.

Move ahead six years and the organization has 125 members, they own eight single family homes, free and clear; a commercial property, also free and clear; and their portfolio is valued at almost $600,000.

How did they get there? It’s the power of numbers.

First it’s the “number” of people involved.

Second: it’s making sure the numbers work to their advantage on the properties they buy. The model for the organization is based on 338 members, which means they’re still looking for people to join in and help them grow. While investors who joined early only paid $3,000 to be a part of the group, as their portfolio has grown, so has the price of buying in. They’ve had the current investment price of $5,000 since 2014, but they expect to increase the investment price to $10,000 in 2018.

If you don’t have the full investment amount, you can invest through monthly payments. Once your investment is paid in full, you begin the earn equity on your investment.

Their income comes from rentals. They shop and buy at a low price, then fix the properties up. Once they’re renovated, the clean and affordable houses, don’t last long on the market. So the model helps out the community also, by providing clean, well-maintained and affordable homes for rent.

In addition, the model also provides revenue for small business owners. They use all kinds of local contractors: plumbers, HVAC, electricians, lawn care, and other service providers.

Since they pay for everything in cash as they go, almost all of the income, minus small operating expenses for repairs and insurance, is pure profit. Members who have paid their investment in full receive an annual check. They put 50% back in the coffers and the remaining 50% gets disbursed.

This year’s dividend check was $100 plus and growing. Not bad for an annual return on a one-time $3,0000 investment.

The Genesis One concept was the idea of Sharon White, a Wichita native who lives in Seattle, WA. She decided Wichita was the best place to start the business because of the affordable price of real estate and numerous favorable state laws. White secured the services of an attorney who help set up the company’s legal structure and basic rules of operation.

They hope to replicate the model with Genesis 2, once they reach the

maximum membership of 388 in Genesis 1

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