Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

087: A Masterclass in Flood Risk for Real Estate Investors with D.J. McClure


Flood risk is often an under-considered topic for real estate investors. Investors should think about flood zones for several reasons, including using them strategically to discover new properties.

On this episode of Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing, Jonathan interviews D.J. McClure from National Flood Experts, the number-one resource for flood zone solutions nationwide. D.J. is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development and has been with National Flood Experts since 2019. He’s also an investor who bought his first property at 25 and used it as a house hack with roommates.

Jonathan and D.J. dive into the episode by explaining why real estate investors need flood insurance and how you can shop premiums. You’ll also hear how flood zones are created and maintained, the effect climate change has on flood zoning, and the opportunities that may present themselves for investors when other buyers are scared off by a property in a flood zone. D.J. also shares some strategies cash investors implement to hedge value and how it can bite them later, the reason most people don’t realize how many flood zones may exist in a particular town, and how D.J. has leveraged the relationships he’s built while working at National Flood Experts to build a portfolio.

There is so much more nuance to flood zones and flood insurance products than you would expect, and if you’re an investor or want to become an investor, this is an important topic you need in your toolbelt.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • How D.J. McClure began his real estate investing career at 25 years old with house hacking and what he would have done differently with that experience

  • His introduction to National Flood experts

  • Why flood insurance is a crucial product for investors and D.J.’s tips for getting a better premium

  • The creation and maintenance of flood zones and how often they’re updated

  • The effects of climate change on flood zoning

  • Opportunities for investors when others are afraid to buy in a flood zone

  • How FEMA’s adjustments of flood zones impact new construction projects

  • Some value-add solutions for residential and commercial properties in flood zones

  • Density’s impact on flood zone solutions

  • The strategies cash investors implement to hedge value and the ways it can bite them during a refinance

  • Getting properties removed from flood zones and how a building’s composition affects flood insurance rates

  • Why most people don’t realize how many flood zones there are in a town

  • The real estate relationships D.J. formed through his job and how those have helped him build an investment portfolio

  • The reason he believes there are no bad investment markets based on his professional experience

  • Mindset’s role in making a sound investment

  • The strategies D.J. uses to help reduce or eliminate flood insurance costs for commercial real estate

  • His advice for brand new investors looking at a property in a flood zone for the first time

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If you enjoyed this episode, we’ve created a PDF that has all of the key information for you from the episode. Just go to the episode page at to download it.

Supporting Resources:

National Flood Experts website –

Connect with D.J. McClure on LinkedIn –

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