Following a long-standing career in the music industry, Jason Swartz now continues to evolve professionally, bringing his knowledge and expertise to new areas of business. Most recently, Swartz has found success as a social media and tech entrepreneur with the anticipation of the debut of his new social media platform called SoClose. Fusing both his experience in the music business with social media, Swartz looks forward to launching the platform, as it will provide music artists, celebrities, athletes and influencers with a way to make passive income through social media interaction and engagement.
Despite SoClose being a new addition to his repertoire, Swartz has a long history of success in social media monetization. For over six years, he’s actively found uniquely creative ways to make passive income for music artists and talent without the use of brands or endorsements. From working with celebrities and artists like Snoop Dogg, Akon, George Lopez, Ludacris, and more, for Swartz, developing a concept like SoClose was inevitable.
With a subscription-based structure, fans and followers alike will have access to exclusive content from their favorite artists and celebrities. Subscription rates start at just $1.99 per month and vary depending on the access each user desires. And for the artists and celebrities, they simply use SoClose as they would any other social media platform, organically posting and sharing content that is exclusively made for subscribers. As a turn-key platform for artists and celebrities, SoClose is the ideal medium of social media as it acts and functions like every other platform, but with every piece of content created and shared, they receive passive income. Furthermore, it helps them aggregate and target their audiences for specific types of content
Thanks to a proven business model, Swartz has already seen a large number of investors interested in SoClose that is also in part due to his previous track record and success with celebrity and musical clients. Even so, with interest from executives of top tier entertainment and tech companies, Swartz remains very selective about who will join him as strategic partners at SoClose. In fact, the company’s valuation has already established itself with high profit margin and monthly income even as SoClose is still in a beta stage. Until its official launch later this year, SoClose is invite only for celebrities and artists. And while Jason enjoys helping artists tap into new opportunities via social media monetization, he looks forward to developing new ways to help the music business and social media business continue to evolve.
The Perfect Investment: RAD Diversified and Income-Producing Farms
Amidst the global lockdown of 2020, Dutch Mendenhall, founder of RADD America, began looking for an alternative to standard residential real-estate investments. So, he turned his analysis to farms and was blown away by the immense potential he saw. After going public in late 2019, RADD America purchased US farmland and made slices of the real estate available at minimum investments of $10,000.
Income-producing farms vs. other real estate asset classes
According to Mendenhall, an apartment complex in today’s US real estate market commands approximately a 4% or 5% cap rate. Farms offer somewhere around a 15% to 20% cap rate.
“When I first began looking at investing in farms, I compared each acre to an apartment or housing unit,” Mendenhall recalls. “The variety that income-producing farms provide is what I really love about them as an opportunity. With one season producing wheat and corn the next, you can double tap — you can raise livestock on top of agriculture. Putting money into the farm only pays off in time. Everything from improving soil to increasing irrigation makes a major impact on potential income, and so much of America’s farmland has fallen into disrepair during the last 20 years.”
When Mendenhall began investing during the early days of the pandemic, sustainable acres of producing farmland sold anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000. Today, he finds that income-producing acres of farmland easily sell for $9,500 to $10,000.
“I’ve seen farmland values almost double during the last couple of years,” Mendenhall says. “Currently, we’re in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Idaho, but we are analyzing land all over America. What reports don’t show is the difference between a properly maintained acre of farmland and an acre that is in disarray. There’s only so much workable farmland on the market today. We’ve hit the tipping point, and now, there’s a scarcity of land for people to buy. If you have the opportunity to purchase amazing agricultural land, you have to pull the trigger quickly.”
Income-producing farms as an asset class
Mendenhall is no stranger to investors. Since 2006, he’s connected them to deals in short sales, wholesaling, residential properties, and storage units, though he admits that every asset class has caused the same excitement as farmland. “At this point, we can’t find enough bargains for our investors,” he says. “They take real pride in their investments and keep asking us for more.”
RADD America takes a true grassroots approach when connecting its investors to farmland. “The farming world is different from any other in real estate,” explains Mendenhall. “We start by having our acquisitions and agricultural teams meet with farmers. When we get ready to brand cattle or plant, all the local farmers come and help. In the same spirit, our teams go out and help the local farmers when it’s their turn to brand and plant. To do it right, you have to build a relationship and a connection that’s quite different than other types of investing.”
RADD America is composed of expert investors and expert farmers. The company offers its investments through fractionalized ownership. In other words, the company purchases one farm and then allows a joint pool of investors to own it together.
“If you don’t have a team that knows how to farm and maximize income, you’re not going to get the best possible return for investors,” warns Mendenhall. “Thankfully, our team isn’t so big for this type of investing that we forget who we are, and we have the economy to scale at a great pace.”
The impact of global competition on income-producing farm investments
RADD America closely monitors global trends. In Mendenhall’s experience, investors win when they move before the market. However, when they move after the market, they lose.
“When Russian first invaded and sparked its war with Ukraine, for example, we kept a close eye on its global impact,” he says. “As one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, we knew that Ukraine — now in the midst of a war — wasn’t going to be able to produce wheat at the same scale, so someone else needs to step in and fill the gap. We’re constantly monitoring what’s happening in the world to stay on top of evolving trends.”
In terms of global competition, Mendenhall is frustrated by foreign entities staking ownership of American farmland and agriculture. In this area, China has positioned itself as the number one threat to the sovereignty of the United States.
“When foreign powers have ownership of agricultural land in the US, it puts us all at risk as Americans,” remarks Mendenhall. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen soil quality erode, closures of meatpacking plants, and numerous fires. The likelihood of nuclear war in this age is very small. The quiet war of buying American agriculture and unsettling the American dollar is the threat we face today.”
Clearly, RADD America has a lot to pay attention to at home and abroad. “We’re monitoring weather patterns and making one-year, three-year, and five-year predictions,” Mendenhall explains. “We’re also paying close attention to interest rates to see where this shifting economy is headed. The up-and-down cycles are faster than they’ve ever been. Monitoring the industry is critical. With expert investors and agricultural specialists from RADD America on your team, farmland can be one of your most promising and rewarding investment opportunities.”
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