Meet Luka Malkovich
I am Luka, the founder of Nonresident Investor — a full-cycle agency that helps foreigners buy real estate in the US. Here is my story.
I was born in Montenegro (Southeast Europe) and since I’ve known myself, I have been interested in IT, and I entered the digital entrepreneurship world at a very young age. With over ten years of entrepreneurial experience, I can proudly say that I haven’t spent a single day of my life working for others. Ever since I was little, I had the right mindset and was aware that working from 9 to 5 would not ensure the future I dreamt of.
THE STORY BEHIND NRI
How it all started
And how we got to this point.
I was lucky to develop several companies in my serial entrepreneurship career, but I would especially highlight the software development company. I co-founded this business with my friend Chris at the very beginning of our university days. I owe him gratitude for introducing me to the entrepreneurship world when I was only 19. An early start is crucial. Even though we were young and inexperienced, we’ve had all the time in this World and an incredible desire to learn and make progress.
Since 2013. we are providing software development services for clients around the world. I had the pleasure of leading teams of developers on over 100 different projects for clients in 15 countries. This process made me realize I like working with people and that management suits me well.
Addria brought together ex-Yugoslavia. By hiring talents all over the Balkans, we got the opportunity to challenge ourselves on big, global projects. That is where I learned that it doesn’t matter where someone comes from or what religion they belong to, but only that they are a good person and a hard-working professional.
Burnout awakened the passive income idea
Besides the IT company, I have several other businesses, which took all my free time. I became the slave of the companies I made. I had too many meetings, decisions to make, and deadlines to meet – which brought me to burnout. I used to spend around 16h hours per day in front of the computer and gained 20kg. I knew I needed the change.
In 2018 the company made a noticeable financial growth which allowed me to invest in some source of passive income. As someone who achieved everything through hard work, I’ve never been a fan of investing in something that sounds too good to be true. NFT, crypto and the stock market were out of the question, as I didn’t have enough knowledge and trust.
By researching different asset classes and led by the real estate investments my family made in the past, I became interested in this industry. Somehow, on a software project we’ve been doing for one of our US clients, I met a colleague Mark, who invests in US real estate.
And that is how everything started…
As someone with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, I always liked to keep things under control. One of the first duties I had as a kid was answering the landline phone and presenting the apartments we were renting to the tenants. Each new shift of tenants represented a new set of tasks for me – minor repairs, painting and placing an ad for the apartment in the local newspapers etc.
I grew up in an international family and started travelling at a very young age. I believe that travels are the most beautiful and valuable thing in life, that can be paid for with money. Travels are a big part of modern entrepreneurs’ and investors’ lives. A part of my life is to travel the world and get to know new markets, people, and problems they face, to better understand the issues of the global village, in which we live today.
Since I was young I have fallen in love with travelling. Firstly I travelled the region, and when my software business started booming I travelled entire Europe. In the last 10 years, I visited over 40 countries and more than 150 cities around the world. The majority of my software clients were and are based in the US which brought me to the States very often. Addria presented its services at dozens of conferences around the world, from LA to Dubai.
Taught by family experience, I knew that time passes quickly and that real estate ROI is steady and inevitable. 45% of the US population lives as tenants, which makes this country an excellent choice for investment. After Mark showed me how the numbers work in the real estate world, I quickly realized that he had found a city worth investing in. The decision fell on Milwaukee, a city in Wisconsin.
It turned out that the Milwaukee housing market was the perfect choice for real estate investment. As the market is currently recovering from the recession and with housing prices slightly dropping, there is no doubt Milwaukee is still a tempting offer.
worth of property were purchased by Nonresident investors in 2022.
more foreigners bought real estate in the U.S. compared to 2021.
Source: National Association of Realtors
or higher ROI can be achieved by Nonresident investors.
Pulling the Trigger
The next few years of my life were dedicated to real estate education. There was so much learning and consulting with several industry experts. It wasn’t easy to get into US law related to LLC formation, international taxes, account opening limitations, different contracts… There was so much confusion, dead ends and questions that bothered and kept me awake for months.
Although I felt ready for my first purchase, an adequate investment opportunity didn’t show up for a long time. After months of anticipation for the agent to find some decent leads, I took matters into my own hands. I was very active in Facebook groups and used to spend many hours per day browsing Zillow. No matter how difficult the day was, I always made time for that. It was worth it! I found the off-market deal that I dreamed of.
Knowing that I did everything I could to educate myself on the topic and make sure the foundations were set correctly, I pulled the trigger. I became the owner of two duplexes (4 units) in 2018. I didn’t use any financing options, as I was a cash buyer, just like the majority of foreign investors. I met my first tenants and did everything I could to make their stay as comfortable as possible. A long time ago I realized that the key to a successful business lies in happy clients.
When I look back and remember my beginner mistakes, the only thing I wish I did differently is STARTING EARLIER. As soon as you pull the trigger the fun things start happening! You will surely face problems on the investor journey, but everything is easy to solve if the basics are set correctly.
Not long after, I realized that the duplexes I bought were in worse condition than I first thought, so I started renovating. The tenants were changing, as well as the organizational structure of my business. The learning curve grew exponentially and the problems I was facing were being solved on the fly. I realized that I need a reliable team of people if I want to scale my real estate business.
It took me a few years to build a proper organizational structure and hire the right people. Real estate investing is a team sport. I need a reliable CPA, an attorney who has experience in working with foreign investors, as well as a banker who understands my needs. I extended my network and connected with as many people as I could regarding deal finding and property management.
How the NRI idea was born
I truly enjoyed learning new things every day. Passive income provided me with the luxury of having additional free time that I used wisely. I had consultations with people who have more experience, read, listened to podcasts and selflessly shared my experience. A few of my IT colleagues were aware that I entered real estate and they also wanted to invest after they saw my ROI. That is how the NRI idea was born.
Other people’s questions helped me realize how much my knowledge and experience would help a new Nonresident investor. I knew very well how much time, money and energy I could save someone who is new in this world. A lack of knowledge can get people into serious problems, and it is very important to do everything you can to avoid beginner mistakes.
I’ve got the idea to buy this domain name and start the NRI brand. I had a clear mission. Helping foreigners to invest in US real estate the easier, faster and cheaper way from any part of the world.
This project means to me much more than just a Nonresident investor as a brand. The NRI is another level on my IT entrepreneurial journey, which provided me with the funds for the investment. The transition from an entrepreneurship to investing is as difficult as the transition from a 9-5 job to entrepreneurship. On the fun scale, I’d say investing is probably the most fun thing a serious, business-minded person can experience.
Why Financial Freedom Matters
Passive income and financial freedom won’t solve all the problems in the world, but they will definitely give you back your free time. You will finally have time for everything you always wanted to do. Time for the people you love, daily physical activity and trips for pure pleasure. You will have time for a new business, consulting, personal development and much more.
Take advantage of the times we live in. A nonresident investor lives where taxes and costs of living are lower, and invests where the numbers are better. This is the main motto of NRI philosophy. Right now I have 7 units in America, which generate just enough passive income that I don’t have to work.
For me personally, financial and locational freedom means having enough time to do things I love. Life is endless learning and personal improvement should never end. I am ready to make this journey easier and faster for each of you. The goal for all my clients is to become independent Nonresident investors and earn passive income.
You are not investing in my fund, but buying real estate and building a business through your own LLC. Each investment is a story for itself and my team and I will learn with you along the way. We will support you in every part of the complicated investment process, with the common goal of making you a financially and locationally independent person.
Today I am a free man, who has complete control over his time and location. I work out at 11am, when most people are at work and there is no crowd in the gym. I tailored my life according to my wishes. I live on 2 continents, in several different countries a year. I have the freedom to choose whether I will spend the winter by the sea or skiing on the mountain because I prioritize my wants and needs over my schedule and location.
If you too dream of taking control of your life, real estate investing is the only right way. So why not hop on a call with my team and me to learn how to turn that dream into reality?
“Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President