JF2245: FireFighter & Teacher Grabbing Hold Of Real Estate With Will Pritchett

Will Pritchett is a full-time firefighter and real estate investor with 8 years of real estate investing experience. He has a portfolio of 18 rentals, private lending, and a couple flips a year. His wife was a teacher but now runs their real estate portfolio full time and they both believe if a teacher and firefighter can do this, that anyone can. They started this journey into investing because they wanted to supplement their retirement and help for future college tuition however they quickly found out they can use this to change their lifestyle.

 

Will Pritchett Real Estate Background:

  • Full-time firefighter and real estate investor 
  • 8 years of real estate investing experience
  • Portfolio consist of 18 rentals, private lending, and a couple flips a year
  • Based in San Antonio, TX
  • Say hi to him at: www.homeagainsa.com/blog/ 
  • Best Ever Book: The Go-Giver

 

 

 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

Best Ever Tweet:

“The power of private lending is what changed our business and accelerated it dramatically” – Will Pritchett

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2239: Real Estate Is Not My Passion With Stephen Davis

Stephen is the Founder of Real Wealth Academy LLC, and started investing at 27 with wholesaling. He has experienced flipping, buying rentals, and now holds over 4,000 apartment units. He now focuses on consulting and mentoring people to help them begin in real estate, and today he shares advice, lessons, and what he believes people should have before looking for assistance.

Stephen Davis Real Estate Background:

 

 

 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

Best Ever Tweet:

“I love my real estate, but I don’t like managing it” – Stephen Davis

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2229: Wholesaling Deals With Emilio Basa

Emilio Basa is a full-time investor with 6 years of real estate investing experience who started off by wholesaling his first property within 4 months of learning how to wholesale. He consistently will wholesale about 3-5 a month and with this experience, he shares how he goes about growing his business so you can take the same steps.

 

Emilio Basa Real Estate Background:

  • Full-time investor
  • 6 years of real estate investing experience
  • Portfolio consists of 5 rentals, 2 flips, and over 30+ wholesales
  • Based in Detroit, MI
  • Say hi to him at: www.quickpropertysolutions.co 
  • Best Ever Book: Traction

 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

 

 

Best Ever Tweet:

 

“I network with other wholesalers to share deals and grow my business” – Emilio Basa


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, best ever listeners and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today, we’ll be speaking with Emilio Basa.

Emilio, how you doing today?

Emilio Basa: I’m good, Theo. How are you doing?

Theo Hicks: I’m doing good as well. Thanks for asking and thanks for joining us. Looking forward to our conversation. A little about Emilio; he is a full-time real estate investor with six years of experience. He has five rentals, two flips and over 30 wholesales under his belt. He is based in Detroit, Michigan, and his website is http://www.quickpropertysolutions.co/.

Emilio, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Emilio Basa: Absolutely. I’ve been doing it for six years. When I started, I primarily was strictly wholesaling. When I first started, I say six years, but to be honest, the first two to three years, I was doing it part-time because I was always doing other businesses. I did web design. I was also a musician in the Detroit area, so I was still doing gigs and things like that. I really was doing wholesaling just to try it out and just to do it part-time.

And then just over the years, I just started realizing that—I kind of took to it really quickly. I think I did my first deal in—after learning wholesaling, I did my first deal in four to five months. It wasn’t like a big deal. For me at a time, it was a lot. It was a $1,000 assignment. I started doing wholesaling. And then what I started doing was I started gradually trying other investing methods like rentals and flips, and I’m actually doing my first note this year, and just trying different strategies. But the core of everything has always been wholesaling for me.

Theo Hicks: How many wholesales are you doing per year or per month or whatever frequency is you wanna say?

Emilio Basa: It really depends. Consistently, I’m doing three or four a month right now. I think in December and January, I think I did six a month. It comes and goes. I think with the COVID thing too, we kind of slowed down a little bit.

Theo Hicks: Sure. What’s your preferred method for finding these deals to wholesale?

Emilio Basa: Funny enough, 70% to 80% of my business was actually joint ventures. In my market, you’ve got to be careful with some wholesalers, because some of them are kind of shady and they kind of try and steal the contract from underneath you. But I’ve always been somebody really easy to do business with and I always worked really hard to get a deal sold. A lot of the times people just started bringing me deals, and then more and more, I guess word got out because people just started reaching out to me.

I wanted to say, the last two quarters of last year, almost all my deals were joint ventures. I focus on [unintelligible [00:05:48].21], joint ventures, direct mail… That’s been trailing off. I don’t really do cold calling. And then Lately, I’ve been doing text blasting, which has been working phenomenal, actually.

Theo Hicks: I definitely want to talk about the texting, but I want to circle back to the JV. You said that people are bringing you deals.

Emilio Basa: Yeah.

Theo Hicks: What does that look like? They’re coming to your house? They’re calling you up? How do they know who you are?

Emilio Basa: They just call me up. Yeah, they just call me up. What I do is, whenever I have a deal, I put it on every social media platform you can think of, and then people reach out to me. When people reach out to me, I’ll just ask; are you a cash buyer? Are you a wholesaler? Most of the time people will say, “I’m a wholesaler looking for deals for my client.” And then I really just kick it with them, and just talk about their business and how their wholesale deals are going. And then I just pretty much say, “Hey, I’m growing my buyers list and I’m very transparent. I’m fair.  I’m easy to do deals with.” And then I really just pitch the pros of doing deals with me, which that’s pretty much it. Everybody works hard together to get the deal done, and people just like doing deals with me. So people just started bringing me deals.

To this day — the one deal that we’re closing on now, it’s three houses, online contracts; that came to me from another investor that I did a wholesale deal with. They’re actually his houses, and we’re doing that deal together right now.

A tip for a lot of people too is if you’re trying to build your wholesaling business, whenever you see, “We Buy Houses” signs in the road,—I read somewhere some people take those signs and they take them out, they throw them in the trash. I call all those signs and then I just say, “Hey, are you a wholesaler? Because I’m a wholesaler and a buyer.” I call all those signs. And then a lot of the times you find some really good people.

Theo Hicks: Nice. Basically, you’re networking with other wholesalers, so that a wholesaler brings you a deal. And then you’ll put it on social media and then another wholesaler will reach out, and you’ll kind of JV together to sell that deal.

Emilio Basa: Yes.

Theo Hicks: Okay, I just wanted to make sure I had that right. Is it just a 50/50 split of the assignment fee?

Emilio Basa: It depends on what the deal is. That’s the thing. It’s like, when you’re doing a deal, you just wanna be transparent with everybody. Whoever has it in the first position, you say, “Hey, how much do you have it under contract for?” If they trust you and they want to do deals with you, they’ll tell you. At the end of the day, I’ll tell them, “I don’t care how much you make. You can make 20 grand, 30 grand. If I make two, then I make two. But if it’s a good deal, and I could find a buyer, then that’s what it is.” Because some people won’t tell me and then some people are like “I want 10k, and I’ll take nothing less.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s fine. Well, I’ll try and do this. And I’ll try and work the deal this way.” And then what I do is I have a JV agreement.

What I used to do was either splits, or I had two contracts; one was a 50/50 split, and the other one would be where I’d add my fees on top. And usually, that worked out pretty well, until sometimes with some deals, I’ve had up to six wholesalers on one deal. It was definitely—it was a daisy chain, that’s for sure, because one guy had it, and then another guy told me about it, so he wanted to cut… And then I told another guy about it, who told somebody else and that somebody else brought the buyer.

Theo Hicks: Oh, man.

Emilio Basa: I know, it was a big mess. The way I work out in my JV contract, I literally have six blank lines. And then I put down everyone’s LLC, and then next to the LLC, you write the amount down, and then at the bottom, it says ‘total’ and then everyone has to sign it. So then when you take that agreement, you send it to the title company. There’s two ways you could do it – everyone could get paid straight out of the settlement statement, or one person can take the lump sum check, and then pay everybody out. But that takes a lot of trust. A lot of people won’t do that. They rather would be on the settlement statement, on the HUD, and get paid out that way.

Particularly, I don’t like doing daisy chains, but sometimes some deals that’s what happens. It just unfolds that way. If you have a deal and no one else is buying, but this one guy found a buyer, but it’s not his buyer and it’s another one’s buyer, at the end of the day I’m like, “Dude, let’s work it out.”

Theo Hicks: Yeah, so it sounds like it’s pretty negotiable, right? It’s kind of like what people want.

Emilio Basa: It is. Yeah, yeah.

Theo Hicks: Okay.

Emilio Basa: The tricky thing is that when you’re dealing with two people like me and another wholesaler, our values pretty much match up. Everybody just wants to do a smooth deal. No one gets too greedy, things like that. And then the more people you add, the more personalities you add. So sometimes somebody actually might get really greedy. If you get one person that kind of messes up and messes up the deal, then that’s where it could kind of derail the deal. But for the most part, especially when they start finding out how many people are involved, there’s not a lot of meat on the bone, but everyone wants to get a deal done, so let’s get it done.

Theo Hicks: Sure. Let’s transition to talking about the mass texting you do. Walk us through that.

Emilio Basa: I just started doing it. I’ve probably been doing it for two months now. I’m not going to lie, I pay about $3.50 a bandit sign, and I used to put them up myself. But now I’ve got one guy that delivers them for me, so I pay him three bucks. So my cost per bandit sign is usually $6.50 or $7 a sign.

My response rate was, let’s say 10-15 percent, and sometimes I get some pretty good deals. But with text blasting, it’s 20 cents a text and you could send out 1,000 texts. If you just get one deal, the cost per lead is extremely, extremely low. You’re spending $200 to close out on a contract as opposed to doing like a bandit sign or direct mail. Let’s see, I’m closing one today and that was from a text blast from four weeks ago. I closed one, two weeks ago, that was also from a text.

Theo Hicks: Are these text to wholesalers or are these to the actual sellers?

Emilio Basa: The tricky thing is for text blasting wholesalers, a lot of them are already on my email blast. If ever I need a deal, I’ll either just send out an email blast and just say, “Hey, wholesalers, anybody got a deal that you’re looking to sell, reach out to me,” or when I call people on the bandit signs, I’ll say, “Hey, what’s your name,” and then his name’s Jason. I’ll put in Jason-wholesaler. So whenever I need a deal, I’ll literally go on my iPhone, type in wholesaler, and maybe like 50 wholesalers pop up, and I just text them all the same message. I just copy and paste it and I say, “Hey, I need a deal, what do you got?” And then I paste it to the 50 wholesalers, and you’ll get a deal by the end of the day for sure.

Theo Hicks: Nice.  So for the 20 cents per text, though—

Emilion Basa: That’s to the seller.

Theo Hicks: Because you’re going to find a deal to put under contract. How are you getting their numbers? Is there like a service that does it all for you, who you’re targeting? Walk us through that.

Emilio Basa: I just started using Prop Stream.

Theo Hicks: Sorry, what’s it called?

Emilio Basa: Prop Stream.

Theo Hicks: Prop Stream. Okay.

Emilio Basa: Yeah. Prop Stream is a software where you can look up different lists. As a wholesaler or as an investor, your best deals come from motivated sellers. What you want to do, instead of targeting a blanket area, let’s say you’ve figured out one county’s got 80,000 leads or 80,000 people that own homes. But then what you want to do is you want to find the motivated list out of there. There’s either pre-foreclosures, there’s bankruptcies, divorces, things like that.

With Prop Stream, what you could do is you could type in a county or a city and then you could start adding different attributes to filter down to your criteria of what you’re looking for. You could target specific lists, so you could target — absentee owners is a really popular one. You could do absentee owners. And then what you could do is you could filter down by—if you only buy three bedrooms and up, so you could filter that.

An important one that I do is I get rid of all the LLCs. I do individual owners only. So that filters out a lot of LLCs. And then what you’ll do is you’ll get a list at the end of it. What you could do is you could export that list. What I do is I take that list, and you can either skip trace it in Prop Stream, but whatever text blasting service you use, and there’s a ton of them. I think there’s one called Roar, there’s one called Sherpa, there’s Batch Leads… You could take that list, and then you could put it in your text blasting software, and then you just start sending it out and then see who’s interested.

Theo Hicks: So you’re having a lot of success with that. You’ve done two deals so far. What was the assignment fees in those?

Emilio Basa: One was 15 and this other one that was a double close, it’s a five.

Theo Hicks: How quickly are you able to get these deals under contracts after someone reaches out to you? Is it pretty quick? Is it that day? Or does it need a little bit more work?

Emilio Basa: No, it depends on their motivation and it depends on their situation. Ideally, I would love to get it under contract after the first call. But a lot of the times the sellers – some of them might be motivated, but they’re not really motivated to close that day. A lot of the times, you really have to work a lead by just following up with them, and then just building that rapport.

I’ve got a deal right now – it’s in Moore, Michigan. The lady, I probably called her four or five times. Really all it is, is just like you catching up with her to see how things are going. One thing that I’ve changed this year is I actually learned wholesaling from a few people, but the one that it’s honestly is like my mentor and my largest influencer is Sean Terry. A lot of people that know Sean Terry – that’s the Flip to Freedom students… With Sean Terry, he’s a really good salesman. I don’t want to say it’s the hard sell, but when he goes into an appointment, he’s leaving with a signed contract. That’s the goal. A lot of the times if somebody isn’t terribly motivated, or they’re in a situation where they’re kind of getting to that point, there’s no point in trying to do a hard sell.

What I’m doing lately is I’m actually not trying to do a hard sell. If listing it with an agent might be better for them. I actually don’t think I’m the right buyer for you. I actually think an agent is better for you. Have you tried being an agent? Have you tried doing this? Have you tried doing that? What happens is is that whenever you start suggesting them other options than you buying it—because they’re on pre-foreclosure list, they’re used to people bombarding them trying to really pitch him to sell that day. When they talk to somebody that honestly says, “I don’t think I’m the right buyer for you,” it kind of puts their guard down, and they could start talking to you as if you’re not trying to sell the house, you’re really just giving them your honest opinion.

They appreciate the transparency more than somebody that’s just looking for that person that’s truly motivated, because I think some wholesalers – if they’re not truly motivated, they’ll really probably just walk away from the deal. But a lot of the times, if you just build that rapport, and you’re there, and you call them up and just see how things are going, they appreciate that more than somebody that’s just trying to buy their house.

Theo Hicks: Okay, Emilio, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Emilio Basa: I would say be uncomfortable, which means I talked to a lot of newer investors, and a lot of them, they’re making that first call or they’re doing their first walkthrough, and sometimes — I know a ton of them that have a bunch of calls that they have to make and they just stare at the phone… Or bandit signs. They have to put up a bandit sign. I was just talking to somebody the other day. They ordered 50 bandit signs and they were ready to go and then they went out that night and literally they didn’t do it. A month later, the bandit signs are still in their garage, just sitting there. That’s the thing – be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because when you start off with one thing like wholesaling, wholesaling is to me the—I don’t wanna say kindergarten. It’s like elementary. It’s like the basics of real estate investing.

What you’re going to do is you get out of your comfort zone and then when you start graduating up to other things, like when you start doing your first flip, or doing your first rental, you’re going to do things that are very uncomfortable, and you have to get used to that, because by you being uncomfortable, you’re stretching out and you’re growing as a person, as an investor.

Theo Hicks: Okay, are you ready for the best ever lightning round?

Emilio Basa: Sure, do it.

Theo Hicks: Okay.

Break: [00:16:48] to [00:17:39]

Theo Hicks: Okay, Emilio, what is the best book you’ve recently read?

Emilio Basa: A book by Gino Wickman called Traction. That’s a really, really good book. I just started it, I haven’t finished it, but it’s a really good book about scaling out your business and trying to put a team together and creating a vision for your business. It’s just been a great book so far.

Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Emilio Basa: I’ll be honest, I’d probably would start the same business. I’d just starting another same business. That, or — I was a musician before. If I could try and make money as a musician, then I might go back to that.

Theo Hicks: Tell me about your best wholesale deal, your biggest assignment fee. Kind of walk us through how you found it, who you sold it to, things like that.

Emilio Basa: Well, I got two that are tied. My biggest one was in Detroit. It was a double close. We made about 26k on that one. That came off of a bandit sign lead. That was an amazing deal because I didn’t even have to negotiate the price. He said his price and I was like, “Holy crap, that’s a really good price.” I was like, “I’ll meet you there tomorrow,” and he met me up there. I built the rapport… It took them a week to sign it, but that was a pretty good one.

But I think honestly one of my favorite deals, my best deal that I remember was – I do virtual wholesaling too, and I was doing deals out in Washington, out in Seattle. I wasn’t doing houses, I was doing vacant land. I remember I just bought the course on how to do virtual wholesaling land, and then three months later, this deal pops up and that one was a $20,000 assignment off of virtual wholesaling.

Theo Hicks:  What is the best way you like to give back?

Emilio Basa: I give a lot of advice over the phone. I don’t really mentor, but I get a lot of wholesalers that are new to the industry, and I love to just talk to them about how to grow their business. Any advice I could give. Oh plus, I also have a YouTube channel where I cover Detroit real estate investing. It’s https://www.youtube.com/quickpropertysolutions. I also look out for out of state investors that are buying in Detroit, because a lot of them get burned or get their money stolen or something like that. I created a YouTube channel where I’m starting to give advice on that channel as well.

Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what’s the best ever place to reach you probably just reach you?

Emilio Basa: Probably just reach out to me — I think the YouTube. I’m very active on YouTube. If anybody was interested, they could go on there and leave a comment, or just go to my website, http://www.quickpropertysolutions.co/, or the YouTube, which is https://www.youtube.com/quickpropertysolutions. I’m on Instagram too and Facebook, so they could pretty much find me anywhere.

Theo Hicks: Well, thanks for joining us, Emilio. I really enjoyed our conversation; lots of interesting takeaways. I definitely like your mindset. It seems like you go against what most other wholesalers do, which is helping you be successful.

A few of the things I hold from this was I liked how you mentioned how some wholesalers see a bandit sign, they want to yank it out of the ground and throw in the trash, light it on fire.

Emilio Basa: Oh my God…

Theo Hicks: Whereas for you, you actually call them up because you found a lot of success doing joint ventures with wholesalers. It’s kind of like 70% to 80% of your deals have been JVs, you put your deals on social media, and you’ll have people reaching out to you that actually happen to be wholesalers, and those are people that will do deals with.

You also mentioned that you do text blasting, so you kind of walked us through that and why it is kind of a much lower cost per lead.

You said if you use a Prop Stream as a software, you talked about how to create the list, make sure you’re targeting a specific county, find motivated sellers list, like pre-foreclosures, delinquencies, divorces, absentee owners; you can filter by the number of bedrooms. You’ve personally filtered out all the LLCs, you only want to target individual users. Then you export that list into the text processing software that will send text messages to all those people.

I also liked how you said whenever a wholesaler calls you from a bandit signs or whatever, you’ll save their name in your phone as wholesaler. So whenever you need a deal or you have a deal, you just have your own kind of customized text blasts with your cell phone, you just blast all the wholesalers in your phone.

You also mentioned that when you’re talking to them, you don’t do the hard sale. Instead, you kind of just build a rapport and be honest, even if that means that you believe you don’t have the best option for them. By doing that, you found that they open up a lot more and are willing to work with you a lot more.

Lastly, your best ever advice, which was to be uncomfortable and you gave a lot of examples about that.

Emilio, again, thank you so much for joining us today. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening, have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2226: 7 Figure Flipping With Brad Smotherman

Brad Smotherman is a full-time real estate investor with a 7-figure flipping business and 11 years of experience. He started as a realtor at 17 years old after finishing highschool and he saw how the successful realtors started to struggle after the 2008 crash and he quickly decided that he did want to deal with that himself in the future when he was near retirement so he decided to pivot to focus on investments. His long term goal is to become the bank and own all of his properties on paper through owner financing.

 

Brad Smotherman Real Estate Background:

  • Full-time real estate investor who owns a 7-figure flipping business
  • 11 years of real estate investing experience
  • He’s completed 550 transactions focusing on flipping
  • Based in Nashville, TN
  • Say hi to him at: www.bradsmotherman.com 
  • Best Ever Book: 12 Rules of Life 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

Best Ever Tweet:

“Focus on your mindset first to make sure you are ready and willing to pay the cost of success” – Brad Smotherman


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, best ever listeners, and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today we’ll be speaking with Brad Smotherman.  Brad, how are you doing today?

Brad Smotherman: Very good, Theo. I appreciate you having me on.

Theo Hicks: Absolutely. And thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. A little bit about Brad. He’s a full-time real estate investor who owns a 7-figure flipping business. He has 11 years of real estate investing experience, and he’s completed 550 transactions, with a focus on flipping. He is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and you can say hi to him at his website, which is https://www.bradsmotherman.com/.

Brad, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Brad Smotherman: Certainly. I got involved in real estate when I was 17 years old. I woke up one morning and decided to get my real estate license. Now, Theo, I have no idea what made me do that. I didn’t go to bed thinking about real estate, but I woke up and I was like, “Well, I’ll do this.” And I was just finishing high school, so I got my real estate license. I sold real estate through college. That worked out extremely well until the crash happened.

What I saw in middle of the real estate collapse was that the real estate agents that I knew that had done extremely well in 2004, 2005 and 2006, had once again began to struggle. I didn’t want to do that in my 50s and 60s. The people that I saw that weathered the storm the best, were the people that had long term assets with long term cash flow, so I decided, well, I’ve really got to become an investor some way, somehow.

In 2010, I retired my real estate license to do investment. From that point, we went from startup to success to scale, and at this point, we’ve bought in 21 states and we’ve had a lot of fun doing so. That’s kind of a recap of my previous 15 years.

Theo Hicks: What is your focus now?

Brad Smotherman: In terms of the focus, a lot of what we do now is we create owner finance notes. We’re buying creatively, we’re selling with owner financing, we get a down payment, we get a note, and then we get cash flow in the interim.

Theo Hicks: You’re buying properties and then you’re fixing them up, and then you’re selling them to people using owner financing, so you’re basically a lender in that case?

Brad Smotherman: Yeah, we’re becoming the bank. And my long term goal is to own most of my net worth in paper. I have this idea that property equals problems and liability. If I owned everything in a file cabinet, which was my notes and deeds of trust or my notes and mortgages, then I’d be extremely happy. But one caveat there, we don’t really fix the properties. Whenever we’re doing owner financing, one thing that I found is that there’s more money in financing than in fixing. If we look at the tallest building in any major city, I have yet to see the tallest building in a major city be a construction company. But I’ve certainly almost always seen it be a finance company, either a bank or an insurance company. We’re trying to get more into the interest income and the note side of the business versus owning property and fixing property.

Theo Hicks: Okay. Do you buy just straight up notes too or are you just focusing on this right now, where you buy the property and then do owner financing?

Brad Smotherman: Yeah, I’m not really much on buying notes. The reason for that is, it’s really cash-intensive. Whenever we’re creating notes, we’re able to do that with very little cash in the deal, and that just makes it to where our yield is, I hate to say the word obscene, but we have very, very high yields on our notes because we keep cash out of the deal. Whenever we understand negotiation deal structure, then we can do these kinds of things that are pretty high level.

Theo Hicks: Can you walk us through an example of one of these deals?

Brad Smotherman: Sure. Certainly. My first deal ever, and I still remember when the lead came in because this was August of 2010… A very hot day, gas was $4 a gallon, I barely had money to put gas in my truck, I had a Dodge Ram at the time, and for those of you guys that are pickup truck owners, you know what I’m talking about.

I still remember the lead came in and I thought, “Gosh, I just don’t want to deal with this person.” I’d had eight months of failure. I hadn’t bought a house, and I was just really struggling. But then I checked my commitment.  I was like, “Okay, well, Brad, you wanted to do this business, and you quit accounting to do this business. So let’s go do this business.” The voicemail was not unlike any other, just a basic, “Hey, I have a house I need to sell. Call me back.” I called him back, set the appointment, it was a divorce situation.

Here’s kind of the numbers behind it. In first position on this deal, the sellers owed $97,000. And they were 100% fine with me taking over payments on that 97k. What I did before I closed on the deal—and there was no walk away. The purchase price was $97,000, and what was owed was $97,000, so they weren’t getting any cash at closing.

Before I closed it, I turned around and I marketed the houses with owner financing, and I sold the house for $135,000 with $20,000 down. In this scenario, the $20,000 cash went to me as a down payment and then I had roughly an $18,000 note at closing, which was the difference in what the buyers owed and what was in first position. So that $18,000 note threw off about $400 per month. That was my first deal. That’s not really uncommon in terms of deals that we do today.

Theo Hicks: One thing I’m confused—so where did that $18,000 number come from?

Brad Smotherman: $135,000 is what I sold the house for, we got $20,000 down that left 115. The $115,000 that the buyer still owed is all-inclusive of the $97,000 first mortgage. The difference there 115 and 97 is the $18,000 note profit that we had. That was money that was owed to me.

Theo Hicks: I got it. Basically, the person who bought the house gave you 20 grand, and the payments they gave you, most of that went to paying the seller financing that you had. And then the difference between what the person you found was paying and what you owed to the seller was your $400 a month.

Brad Smotherman: Ballparking it, yes, that’s correct.

Theo Hicks: Okay, perfect. This is essentially what you do full-time now – you will find homes, that you’ll buy them at seller financing and then resell that house to someone else.

Brad Smotherman: Correct. 70% of our purchases are still done even today with some kind of built-in financing from our seller. And then at that point, we have options. We can either sell the house with owner financing, but we can retail out if we choose.

Theo Hicks: Okay, so the two things I want to focus on here then is one, how are you finding these deals? And then two, after we answer that question, I want to talk about how you’re finding these buyers.

Brad Smotherman: And that’s a great question. In terms of finding the deals, it’s really market-specific. To put it in perspective in terms of a scale, I bought in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I bought in Dallas, Fort Worth. What worked in one market really didn’t work in another. That’s why I’m really kind of against this one size fits all kind of marketing strategy, because it really depends on number one, what is someone’s goal? Number two, how much time do they have? How much capital do they have to invest in their marketing machine? And then also, what’s the demographics of that market?

When you look at Pittsburgh versus Dallas, Fort Worth, you see that they’re exceptionally different markets. One is highly appreciating, one is not. One is a different price point than the other. What I found across my career is that marketing is really market-specific.

The short answer on how do we find the deals is it really depends on the market and what we’re doing at the time. In terms of finding the buyers, it’s really interesting. Depending on the month—and it really depends, but depending on the month, between 10 and 25 percent of the buyers in the overall market that are applying for mortgages are denied. That means that roughly between 10 and 25 percent of the overall buyer pool for real estate right now need owner financing. And that’s a big number, guys.

Whenever I looked at the numbers in Nashville—my home market is Nashville, but we bought all over the place. But the last time that I checked in Nashville, there were 2700 houses on the market on the MLS. That’s supposed to service, let’s say, 90% of the buyers. Well, I think you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find five houses that are offered with owner financing that are supposedly supposed to service the other 10% of buyers that need owner financing. As we can see, there’s a big disparity in the supply-demand curve when it comes to these markets.

When we come to finding buyers, we can generally within two or three weeks, sell a house with owner financing just based off of Facebook marketplace, and really, Craigslist.

Theo Hicks: Let us know the messaging you include in those Facebook marketplace and Craigslist ads.

Brad Smotherman: One of the questions that I often get is are we just offering owner financing and just trying to create a buyer’s list, or are we selling the property and offering specifics on the property?

One thing that’s different than wholesaling – in the wholesaling model, you build a buyer’s list and those buyers generally they stay in the market. I’ve been buying and selling real estate for almost 11 years now. Just like me, there are other people that have been doing it for a decade or longer and so they’re constantly in that market, right?

The owner-finance buyer pool is a little bit different, because they’re constantly either in the market or out. What I mean by that is, if someone is at the end of their lease, and they’re thinking about, “Well, do I want to buy a house or do I want to sign up another lease?” then they have maybe a two or three-month window there, where they’re looking at “Well, what are we going to do with this situation?”

So if I’m marketing a house with owner financing today, which is in let’s just say, July, that buyer pool is going to be different than October, because there’s people that were interested in July that have either signed the lease or they bought something. It’s a constantly changing market. It’s a little bit different than the wholesaling model, if that makes sense.

Theo Hicks: If you were listing it right now, what would you say?

Brad Smotherman: In terms of what?

Theo Hicks: On your Craigslist and Facebook marketplace add.

Brad Smotherman: We’re going to market the house. So owner financing, must sell [unintelligible [00:12:50].08], three-bedroom, two baths, has a big yard or needs work or whatever the interesting thing is about that house. You’ll have probably 20 to 30 inquiries a day off of Facebook Marketplace. If you’re doing this, it becomes a little bit difficult to manage the lead flow from the buyers. But we’re going to market the property, the specifics of the property, the terms of the deal. We kind of go through an FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions, based on owner financing, and we want to drive traffic to the house.

Once people are in front of the house, they know that they have to have a down payment, they know the price, they’ve seen the area and they’ve seen the exterior. Then at that point, we’re comfortable in terms of speaking with someone, getting them inside the property. If they want it, then we’ll set an in-person interview to see if they qualify for the loan.

Theo Hicks: Okay. I want to circle back to how you’re finding these deals. I know you said it depends on the goal, the time, the money, the demographic. Can you just maybe give us an example of how you found some of the more recent deals you’ve done?

Brad Smotherman: Yeah, and the thing is that there’s a big difference in push versus pull marketing. There was a point where we were mailing out roughly 70,000 yellow letters a month. It got to where the effectiveness of that medium really collapsed. Most of what we’re doing now is online, so either YouTube, Facebook or Google ads. It’s a big difference whenever someone contacts us for us to buy something, versus we’re contacting someone hoping that they’ll sell something, like direct mail has been in the past few years.

A lot of what we do is PPC, whether it’s Google ads or its Facebook marketing, but we want to be in a position where people are contacting us because they have a problem, versus we’re interrupting their pattern and putting them in a position where maybe they contact us because a lot of the people from the direct mail world in terms of the sellers, they think they’ve hit the lottery, because they just got this handwritten letter that says, “Well, somebody is interested in buying my property all cash, and they haven’t seen it, and I’m probably the only person that they mailed this to.” Right?

We want to be in a position where we have motivated people that have a problem that we can solve, versus being in a position where we’re chasing people… Because that really completely destroys the negotiation frame.

Theo Hicks: What does your team look like? Is it just you or do you have other people on your team who are helping you with this process?

Brad Smotherman: Now, I’ve pretty well delegated myself out of a job. I have a controller, I have an acquisition person, a disposition person, a marketing manager, and assistant, a bookkeeper, a construction manager, and we have a couple of other just VAs and that kind of thing. We have a, I wouldn’t say a big team; I’d say actually, frankly, we’re pretty lean based on what we’re doing, but I do have help. It’s kind of to the point—it’s been a long time that we bought and sold houses that I’ve never personally seen. But now it’s getting to the point where we’re buying and selling houses I don’t know about, and that’s kind of a fun and scary position to be in. But we have a pretty good team in terms of creating what we’re creating.

Theo Hicks: Looking at the first example – you bought the house for 97k, no money down, and then you sold it for 135k with 20k down. How long are these people typically holding on to the house? What happens when they sell? Are you done at that point, once you’ve sold it the first time, or do you have involvement on the backend when they decide to sell the house?

Brad Smotherman: That’s a good question. In terms of our paper that we create, we look at it and say, well, either the people are going to default, or pay us off within five years. And that’s held pretty well across our career. In terms of how are we involved after the sale – we’re not involved when it comes to vacancy and repair like a rental. And that’s a big reason why I want to own notes and not rentals is, I get out of vacancy and repair. So I don’t have tenants and toilets and that kind of thing.

Now, the one thing that we do is we service the paper. We have a payment coming in, we have a payment that goes out to the underlying, and we manage that process. And whenever the buyer that we have in place gets ready to either refinance or pay the loan off, then we have to generate a payoff. So kind of the conversation comes it’s like XYZ title company calls in and says, “Hey, we need to pay off on 123 Main Street, can you get us a payoff?” So we send the payoff in and wiring instructions so that they can wire in the payoff, and that’s kind of how that works.

Theo Hicks: Do you have any prepayment penalties if they pay off before five years?

Brad Smotherman: That’s a great question. We don’t do prepayment penalties and we don’t do balloons in general. We have 30 year amortized notes. On some of those notes, we’re going to have rising interest rates and some of them are going to be fixed.

Theo Hicks: Okay, Brad, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Brad Smotherman: It’s a couple of things. I’m going to go from a macro and then a micro perspective. On the macro perspective, we have to focus on our mindset first, to make sure that we’re ready and willing to do this business. It is an amazing business. It can absolutely change your life, but we have to be ready and willing to pay the price that that success entails.

On the micro perspective, marketing is an investment, it’s not a cost. If we can change our mind on that, and focus on our marketing and lead gen – it’s a lead gen business, and if you’re able to effectively lead generate, it makes the rest of the world a lot easier.

Theo Hicks: Okay, Brad,  are ready for the best ever lightning round?

Brad Smotherman: Sounds like fun, man. Let’s do it.

Theo Hicks: Okay.

Break: [00:18:06] to [00:18:56]

Theo Hicks: Okay, Brad, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Brad Smotherman: I think 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson.

Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Brad Smotherman: That’s a really great question. Whenever it comes to being proficient in something, once you’re proficient in something, it never really leaves you. Let’s say I was dropped in a market that I’ve never been in before, and all of my assets and everything is taken away – I’m going to continue doing what we’re doing. And that’s three things – we lead generate, we negotiate and we deal-structure, and that creates a lot of profitability.

Theo Hicks: Tell me about a time where you’ve lost money on one of these deals. If so, how much did you lose? What lesson did you learn?

Brad Smotherman: There was a time when I decided I was going to do some land development. I bought a piece of land and I really had an amazing deal. The land was bought well, in a great location. I had it engineered well, we got through planning everything, and then it came down to the county engineer decided he didn’t want this much density, even though the zoning allowed for it.

I went to litigator attorney, and he said, “Brad, you will win this, but it’ll cost you 100k, and three and a half, maybe four years.” I decided that cost really didn’t make sense. We ended up having to go with half the lots that we had been promised on the front end. That makes profitability pretty difficult, because your fixed costs are the same. I was in a situation where we ended up losing money, maybe 30 or so thousand dollars on that.

Theo Hicks: What about the deal you made the most money on?

Brad Smotherman: Oh, man. That’s tough to say. I bought a property for 70,000 one time and we sold it for 245k as is. That’s the first one that comes to mind. We may have something better, I’m not sure, but that’s the one that we were able to catch it at the right time. I would say probably that one in terms of what’s top of mind awareness.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?

Brad Smotherman: I get a lot of gratification in helping others do these kinds of transactions. So helping others do these kinds of deals, especially deals that they didn’t know existed before, is really gratifying for me.

Theo Hicks: Lastly, what’s the best ever place to reach you?

Brad Smotherman: Yeah, for those that are interested in me, you can check me out on my podcast Investor Creator, or you can email me directly, brad@bradsmotherman.com.

Theo Hicks: Perfect, Brad Thanks for joining us today and talking about this very creative strategy. I personally had not heard of this before. Basically, you’re buying properties from distressed owners via seller financing, and then you’re reselling them to someone else via seller financing and then you get paid with the difference between those two notes plus whatever downpayment you get from the buyer. Very interesting.

You walked us through a sample deal, your first deal that you did in August 2020, where you bought the property for literally no money down, and then you resold it and you made $20,000 from that downpayment plus a couple hundred dollars per month in interest from that loan.

We talked about how you are able to find the type of seller financing deals, you mentioned it is very market-specific. You don’t believe in the one size fits all marketing approaches. It depends on what the person’s goal is, it depends on how much time they have, how much money they have and how the demographic is.

And you mentioned how you used to send out a bunch of direct mailers, but you don’t really like that; you’d rather have people contacting you that have a problem, as opposed to people thinking that they’ve hit the lottery by you sending this letter. And so now you focus on YouTube, Facebook and Google ads, more specifically, the pay per click type.

And then once you have that deal, you mentioned how you’re finding the buyers. I like the way you mathematically broke it down and said that 10% to 20% of buyers in the market applying for mortgages are denied, which means that their only other option is seller financing. So if you look at the MLS, all those houses are servicing 75% to 90% of the buyers, but not many properties are servicing the other 10% to 25% of people who need seller financing. So you said that supply and demand is way off there. So that’s definitely a need you identified.

You mentioned how to find these buyers is with Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist ads. And again, you walked us through the fact that for these types of deals, the buyer is either in the market or out of the market, so there’s really small window to track these people. So just like on the front end, how you find these buyers is also depend on the time of the year. But you gave us an example of whenever you are creating a marketing piece in say July, you talk about the house, you talked about the term of the deal, you have a FAQ for questions they might have about owner financing. And then you mentioned how you’ve got basically five-year terms when they’re paid off or default. You don’t do any prepayment or balloons. And you kind of broke down that you have different members on your team that allow you to delegate everything.

And then your best ever advice; macro, was to focus on the mindset to make sure you’re ready and willing to pay the price of success, and you’re ready for that. And then on a micro perspective, you want people to realize that marketing is an investment and not a cost.

Again, Brad, I really appreciate you coming on the show. Best ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a best ever day and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2222: Active Investor & Podcast Host Steven Pesavento

Steven Pesavento is the Host of “The Investor Mindset Podcast” and an active investor himself who has flipped over 200 homes within his first 3 years in business. Steven started out in AirBnB before focusing on flipping homes, house hacking, rentals, and now is working on his first commercial deal. 

Steven Pesavento  Real Estate Background:

  • Host of “The Investor Mindset Podcast” and active investor
  • Full-time real estate investor for 6 years, the first 2 focusing in on AirBnB
  • Has flipped over 200 homes within his first three years in business
  • Based in Denver, CO
  • Say hi to him at: www.theinvestormindset.com 
  • Best Ever Book: Never Split the Different

 

Best Ever Tweet:

“I look for a partner who is good at something that I am weak in” – Steven Pesavento


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, best ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today I’m speaking with Steven Pesavento. Steven, how are you doing today?

Steven Pesavento: Theo, I am doing phenomenal. How are you doing today, my friend?

Theo Hicks: I’m doing phenomenal as well. I like the energy, looking forward to our conversation. Before we dive into that though, let’s go over Steven’s background. He is the host of The Investor Mindset Podcast, as well as an active full-time real estate investor for six years, with the first two focusing on AirBnB, as well as flipping over 200 homes within his first three years in business. He is based in Denver, Colorado, and you can say hi to him at his website, which is https://theinvestormindset.com/.

Steven, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Steven Pesavento: Absolutely. I got into real estate just like so many others, kind of fell in through Rich Dad Poor Dad, but it took me about 10 years before I finally got into my first deal. I read that book when I was 17. But I actually started in AirBnB land, and I had no idea at the time that I was investing until years after I was already doing it. But I was essentially renting out my personal home and two other homes that I had leased from another owner, and then I had furnished those, and I was renting them on Airbnb. I started making money that way.

When I finally got into real estate full-time, and I really actually saw myself as a real estate investor, I started flipping houses, and in those first three years I had flipped over 200 houses. A portion of those were wholesale deals, but over 50% were full-blown flips, or new construction projects or land development.

And then I kind of shifted gears and I’ve focused on multifamily. I’m working on a 220 unit apartment building right now in Columbus, Ohio, so I’m excited to get that closed and over the finish line. Real estate has just been an amazing vehicle to create wealth, but it’s also been an amazing community, because I’m a real big believer in personal development and mindset and growth. Being surrounded by so many people who really believe that it’s possible to live a life different than what the norm is and that we can go out and create what we want, it’s been amazing to be surrounded by those kind of folks in this community.

Theo Hicks: Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. I want to ask one quick follow up question on your AirBnB, kind of how you started. You mentioned that you went out and rented out someone else’s house, and then re-rented that out to other people. What made you get into that, and then why did you stop doing that?

Steven Pesavento: What I was doing essentially was doing a master lease. I had the right to sign a lease with the landlord and I had the right to re-lease it to somebody else. Why I started doing that was I actually was dating somebody who lived out of state, and I was traveling to go visit quite often. I had heard about this thing, AirBnB, and it was right when it was just beginning back in 2014/2015. I rented my house one weekend, and actually, I made money after travel costs, after everything by going out of town that weekend. It was this “A-ha!” moment of, “Wow, Holy smokes, I can make money doing this.” It ended up being a vehicle. I used the money I made from AirBnB to fund a startup with a few friends that had just graduated from Stanford, on this on-demand storage startup.

That ended up not working out, but the experience of being able to rent out my home and know that no matter what, I knew that it was possible for me to make a pretty big chunk of money… I was making seven times rent during the busy season, about an average of four times rent on average over the year.

But what shifted or what changed for me was that in the state of Colorado, and specifically in the city of Boulder, they changed the laws, and a lot of cities across the country have made sweeping legislation that stops people from doing AirBnB for this specific type of strategy that I was doing. I just didn’t want to really play in that gray area. After about a year after the regulations changed, and things were becoming more clear, I made the decision to shift gears.

Theo Hicks: Sure, perfect. Okay. So then for your first three years, you focused on flipping after doing the AirBnBs; you did 200 flips. When did you transition into multifamily? Is this 220-unit your first deal?

Steven Pesavento: The 220-unit that I’m working on right now is my first commercial deal. I’ve bought plenty of residential multifamilies over the years and raised tens and tens of millions of dollars for that business. But this is the first deal that I’m working on where I am a managing partner and raising capital. I’m working with some extremely experienced operational partners that have experienced 25,000 plus units of management, they typically own 3,000 units at any given time.

One of the things for me that was really important, and it was the same way that I got started in the single-family space, was going out and finding operational partners that had a track record existing.

My first partner in flipping, he had built hundreds of houses, he had flipped hundreds of houses, and he had lost tens of millions of dollars back in 2008. Having that kind of experience ends up allowing us to move much faster forward and skip a lot of the challenges along the way, which is why we were able to flip so many houses so early on in my career, was because I was able to bring skills that he didn’t have; how do you go find the deals? How do you go raise the capital? How do you go and build the structure to make that a machine? And he knew how to manage the operational side of the business. I’ve essentially done the same in multifamily; I’ve been working at becoming educated for about a year, and about six months ago I made the hard switch to really ramp down my single family business almost completely out of the single family business at this point, and focused 100% of my effort on the commercial side.

Theo Hicks: Before we talk about the 220 deal, I wanted to focus on what you mentioned about finding partners with experience. You’ve already mentioned one characteristic you want to find in an experienced [unintelligible [00:08:52].14] experience, and number two would be complementary skill sets. Is there anything else that people should be looking for when it comes to finding a partner? And then also, what did you do to actually find these people? And then, I guess maybe on that same track, how specifically do you go to Google and look up experienced partners? How do we literally find them? But also, how did you make yourself, or what about you, was attractive to these people?

Steven Pesavento: Love the question. This is phenomenal. I actually just answered a lot of this in Episode 129 on The Investor Mindset, so I highly encourage you guys, head over there, check it out. If you like what I’m talking about here, you’ll probably like that episode where we dive deeper. But essentially, what I was looking for in a partner was somebody who had the track record and was good at what I wasn’t good at, who their unique ability was not the same as mine.

Where I looked was I went to networking events. I went out into the community and I was coming from a place of giving value, of always offering something without asking for something in return. One of my first mentors – I ended up making a deal to create a $10,000 website to allow me to follow her around. It’s a very, very good value delivery ratio there.

The same thing was true here. I built this relationship with this partner at some local events, and I think what really did it for him was that I had the background experience on marketing, about how to communicate and handle sales directly with homeowners, with investors, with people on that front, as well as the hustle, wanting to go out and grind and put this together, and the energy to go and do it.

When you meet somebody, and you get that feeling that you know they’re going to be successful, it’s just a matter of time – it creates this kind of energy. I feel it whenever I go to events with big players there as well, that are on their way up, it’s that feeling of knowing that you can either work with them, or potentially they’re going to be a competitor. Or it’s that feeling of, “Okay, I see this person coming to this event, and they’re continuously growing, they’re making progress.”

When you can bring that kind of energy to a conversation, when you can bring that energy to a relationship, to a partnership, people are attracted to wanting to work with you. That’s what I did to find these partners. Over time, you build those relationships and you start to understand, who do you trust, who trusts you, who do you connect with? You want to find someone that has the same core values as you. I think all of these things are super critical when it comes to partnership.

Theo Hicks: Thank you for sharing that. Something else you mentioned as well was that you raised tens of millions of dollars for your flips. I’m assuming that you’re responsible, or at least partially responsible for raising money for this 220-unit deal. If that’s the case, I’m just curious, how did you find that transition with your investors? They were used to investing passively in fix and flips, which is obviously a different structure than investing in large apartment deals. Were they on board? Did you have to do some convincing? Maybe walk us through that process.

Steven Pesavento: You know, it’s such a good question. For anybody who’s listening who wants to connect, just reach out to me, happy to share any advice on this front or if you’re interested in passive investing, put the same thing out there, you can just find me, Steven Pesavento, on LinkedIn or anywhere else.

But what I did was, I really don’t believe in convincing, right? I really believe in educating. I’m a big believer that you put good information out, you put good vibes out into the world and the right people and the right things are going to come back to you; you kind of create this space for greatness to happen in the middle.

What I did was I was working with these folks, delivering for them over and over again. When you flip 200 houses, you’re going to have some that are losses. When you’re able to say to your investor, “Hey, we wrote a check for $70,000 to sell this house, which means we’ve lost that $70,000; there’s good lessons learned. But guess what, here’s a check for you for 30k or 15k, or 20k”, or whatever it might be, and they’re seeing themselves get paid, it builds a huge level of trust. Because when you take care of your investors, they really believe in what you’re doing.

What I really did was when I had this “A-ha!” moment about commercial when I realized how powerful it could be for building my business, as well as building other people’s financial freedom, that I had to share it with them. I started calling my investors, started letting them know, “Hey, we’re going to be going in this direction, it’s going to be a long-term transition, but once we’re focused there, that’s where the sole focus is going to be.” And because I spent a good solid year building relationships, becoming educated, and really laying the foundation, when I essentially brought up that “Hey, we’ve got this deal,” they already were primed, they already knew about what we were doing, we knew why it was valuable to move this direction. For many of them, they were ready to jump at the opportunity because the structure that we have offers them all of the benefits that they were getting on the note side, but with a lot of the equity benefits that come along when you’re investing in a syndication.

It was really just creating the space and educating folks so that they could then opt-in and say “Hey, yeah, I am interested in joining you on this next deal.”

Theo Hicks: Okay, Steven, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Steven Pesavento: You know, Theo, as somebody that is a go-getter and go-giver, just going out there and trying to do as much as I possibly can, the best advice ever is to be patient, is to slow down and to realize that you can accomplish more than you think in five years and less than you think in one. Be willing to double down on the things that you know are important and stay focused, but to be patient that some of the best things take time, and it’s worth it to wait for them.

Theo Hicks: Are you ready for the best ever lightning round?

Steven Pesavento: I sure am.

Theo Hicks: Okay.

Break: [00:15:10] to [00:16:08].

Theo Hicks: Alright, Steven, so I saw behind you had Go-giver books. Obviously, it’s probably one of your best ever books. Besides that, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Steven Pesavento: One of the books that I constantly keep going back to—well, actually, there’s two books I keep going back to. It’s the book Never Split the Difference and  The ONE Thing, and I read The ONE Thing every single year because it’s a baseline for me to be reminded about the focus that’s necessary to succeed, and Never Split the Difference because it’s a way about communicating more effectively. And yes, it’s about negotiation, and it just happens to be that I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to interview both of those authors and The Go-Giver, author, Bob Burg on the podcast.

If you guys haven’t read those, I highly recommend them. They’re books that will change your life for sure.

Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Steven Pesavento: I would immediately take a deep breath. I would recognize that I have to accept what’s going on in my life right now, and that, “How are we going to move forward?” The way that I move forward is I would go and find a way to add the most amount of value in the quickest amount of time to somebody or an industry that can afford to pay a lot for it. Finding a way to add so much value that I could make a large windfall of return, and would be able to get right back up on my feet pretty quickly.

Theo Hicks: I guess this next question would probably apply to your fix and flips. But tell us about a time that you lost the most money on a deal. How much did you lose and what lesson did you learn?

Steven Pesavento: Well, there’s going to be some bumps and bruises along the way when you’re focused on appreciation in real estate, when you’re just focused on pushing that value of the price up, which is what you’re doing in flipping.

I bought this large house, it was outside of Raleigh, North Carolina in a town that should have been able to afford this price point; but it was a unique house, it was in a unique area and it required a very specific type of buyer. We bought it thinking we were going to make 100 to 150 grand on it, we thought it was a home run. It was just a list and we would end up rolling in the cash.

Well, after having it sit on the market for about a year, because of some failures in our own systems while doing that many deals at a time, when we actually sold that property, we wrote a check for about 70 grand. It was one of the best days, because there was a huge realization, not only in the power of having multiple streams of income and not just focusing on appreciation, focusing on cash flow and having a hybrid approach, but it was also that feeling of knowing that once you’re able to close something out, sign that away, I wrote that check and obviously that money was gone… But it was such a relief to know that that was off of our plate, and that we could move forward. That was definitely one of the big lessons learned.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?

Steven Pesavento: I love directly working with young people through Junior Achievement. I go into classrooms, teaching mindset and entrepreneurship in schools. I believe it’s a big thing, because I think the school system is broken in so many ways. For some folks, just having the opportunity to hear another way of living or to hear that somebody maybe wasn’t the best student or wasn’t always doing the right thing in my youth, but to be able to then take myself and put myself into a successful position, it creates a really cool level of inspiration for these young kids who maybe were thinking there’s no other option for them, but to take some crappy job… But to really be able to go and see, “Hey, it’s possible for me to maybe create my own thing, go find a mentor and go down that path.”

Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what’s the best ever place to reach you?

Steven Pesavento: You can definitely reach us on social media. You can find me Steven.Pesavento on all the platforms, but I really encourage you, if you found this conversation valuable, to definitely subscribe to the podcast, The Investor Mindset. But if you’re a passive investor and you’re looking for more resources, we’ve put together a phenomenal deep dive guide on passive investing, and you can find that at https://action.theinvestormindset.com/passive.

Theo Hicks: Okay, Steven, I really appreciate you coming on the show today and giving us your best ever advice. I guess the main takeaway that I got, and I’m sure our best ever listeners got, was your advice on partnering up with experienced people. You mentioned how you did that for your flipping business, and you’ve also done this for your commercial apartment business you’re beginning to launch.

And you said, obviously, the main benefit of that is being able to scale faster, as well as skip a lot of the mistakes you would make on your own. And then more specifically, you mentioned that you want to find someone who has a strong track record, and is good at what you aren’t good at, has different unique abilities. You mentioned that you were able to find these people at networking events, and that you were offering value to these experienced individuals without asking for anything in return. You gave the example of creating the $10,000 website in order to basically shadow someone. You mentioned that for your business partner for, I believe, of your multifamily business, they really liked that you had experience in marketing, handling the sales process, investors, as well as the hustle.

And then you talked about how best ever listeners can attract those types of experienced people. It has to do with energy and making sure that whenever you’re going to these events, you’re consistently improving. So each time to go there, you’ve done more than you did before, and that is able to attract people towards you.

And you also mentioned that you also want to find people who have the same core values as you. And you also mentioned some advice in transitioning investors from one asset class or one real estate niche to the other. In your case, it was investing in fix and flips to investing in apartments. And you said you don’t believe in convincing, you believe in education, so you focus on educating and making your investors aware of this transition, and how it will benefit them. And this transition for you was about a year, so by the time you actually had a deal, they were primed and ready to go. They knew that they were getting the same benefits and then some by investing in these apartments.

And then lastly, your best ever advice which is to be patient, to slow down, and then realize that you can accomplish more in five years and because more than you think you can in five years in 10 years, and you’ll probably accomplish less than you think you can in one year. So doubling down on what is important to you, but also realizing that the best things take time.

Again, really appreciate you coming on the show and sharing your advice. Best listeners, as always, thank you for listening, have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2193: How To Go From Navy Pilot to Owner Of Two Businesses With Bill Allen

Bill is a former Navy Pilot and Founder of BlackJack Real Estate and CEO/Owner of 7 Figure Flipping. He initially started flipping one house a year and as he started to gain the confidence he then went full-time. He recently bought a new real estate company called 7 Figure Flipping. Today he shares how he has been able to grow from Full-time Navy Pilot to business owner.

 

Bill Allen Real Estate Background: October 15th air date

  • Navy pilot, Founder of BlackJack Real Estate and CEO/Owner of 7 Figure Flipping
  • He and his team at BlackJack RE currently flip and wholesale 200+ deals per year
  • Based in Nashville, TN
  • Say hi to him at: www.blackjackre.com 
  • Episode JF905 – May 2017
  • Best Ever Book: Extreme ownership

 

 

 

 

Click here for more info on PropStream

Best Ever Tweet:

“Listen to a podcast that is educational, and surround yourself around people who are strong where you are weak” – Bill Allen


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today, we’ll be speaking with Bill Allen. Bill, how are you doing today?

Bill Allen: I’m doing good, Theo. How are you?

Theo Hicks: I’m well. Thanks for asking and thanks for joining us again. So Bill was a guest all the way back in May of 2017, on Episode 905. So make sure you check that episode out. We’ll be talking about what Bill’s been up to since then. But before we get into that, a little bit about Bill – he’s a Navy pilot as well as the founder of Blackjack Real Estate, and CEO and owner of 7 Figure Flipping. He and his team at Blackjack currently flip and wholesale over 200 deals per year. He is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and his website is blackjackre.com. So Bill, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’ve been up to since we last had you on the show?

Bill Allen: Yeah, you told me May 2017, so I can’t believe it’s been that long; over three years now. So I have a Navy background. I was an engineer and went through as a Navy pilot, and I thought that’s what I would be doing my whole career. I bought a couple of houses as rental properties. I moved around 15 times in 18 years that I have been a Navy so far, and just bought a house everywhere I went. I started to expand into doing a flip on the side; made a bunch of money. You make $45,000 in a couple of months, it starts to feel really good, and you figure out how you can do more of that. So I did one a year before I started scaling up a business, and then eventually I was able to leave the Navy full time and I’m a reservist now. So I fly part-time.

Over the past four or five years, we’ve been able to do over 100 deals a year. I have a team of about 15 or 16 people in that company, and it’s pretty nice. I’ve got to the point where — I talk about passive income a lot. I don’t really do a lot in that business anymore in Blackjack Real Estate, so my COO runs the company. He does the day to day ops. I spend two hours a week with him on a call and he does the magic, and the team’s awesome. It’s really incredible to get to that point. So that’s my background.

We primarily wholesale houses in the southeast. So Nashville, Chattanooga, Pensacola. We do some deals in Atlanta, Birmingham. If something pops up, we might do some marketing in some different areas. It’s pretty much all virtual now. COVID pushed us into a virtual world. So we’re closing everything over the phone. We’ve got a system set up where we don’t actually have to go see the house anymore. So it’s been a great journey. I don’t know — last three years, my COO’s got up and running, and I’ve been able to remove myself, and then I bought another business and I’m running that now. So that’s where I spend my world in that 7 Figure Flipping company you’re talking about now. It’s where I spend about sometimes 80 hours a week doing that.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. So the Blackjack is a machine that’s running on its own. Well, not on its own, but you’re not running it, and then your focus now is on 7 Figure Flipping.

Bill Allen: Yeah, I spend all my time in that mastermind company for single-family wholesaling, flipping. Blackjack’s great because I have a phenomenal team. We have a great leadership team. I don’t have to look over their shoulder. They hold each other accountable. We operate off with a system called EOS, so the Traction by Gino Wickman, that system… And everything runs. I can just pop in there, look at the scorecard, see how they’re doing. I show up every month and give them a meeting over some rah-rah, talk about how amazing things are doing. The Inc. 5000 list just came out yesterday and we were number 206 in growth from 2016 to 2019, which is amazing to see that. So I can celebrate those things with them and do something else. My passion moved somewhere else, and to be able to do that and build another company and put the right people in place has been fun.

Theo Hicks: So in my notes here, this is from your first episode, is that in 2016, you had flipped 13 houses and wholesaled 54 while you were working full time, and now you’re telling us that you’re spending a few hours on that business. You’re doing over 200 deals a year. So double, triple what you were doing at the time. What are the two or three things that you’ve done that have allowed you to not only increase the amount of deals you’re doing, but decrease the time investment on your end involved in doing those deals?

Bill Allen: Well, I think the first thing is listen to podcasts like this. Understand that it’s possible. When you hear somebody that you can relate to and realize that they’re just a normal person doing things like this, it’s possible for anybody to figure out how to do it… And then surround yourself with the right people. I brought in staff members and team members that were better in areas that I was bad at.

A lot of people say strengthen your weaknesses, and I really believe in that work on your strengths, know what your strengths are, and then surround yourself with the people who are strong where you’re weak, and that’s what I was able to do. I was able to put this team together that when I’m sitting at the conference table and I’m talking about marketing, I’m not the know it all at marketing. Somebody else knows a lot more than me. So when I started listening to other CEOs, other business owners to figure out how they got to the place that they got, it was mostly about the fact that every decision doesn’t have to go through them.

So putting the right people in the team, and — you guys have that here, right? You guys have a great relationship here with your team, with Joe and you, and it’s really cool to see that. So when you can bring the right people in on your team to do the things that you’re not very good at or don’t want to do, it frees you up to do the other thing. So first of all, a little bit of education and just really honestly, it’s all pretty much mindset. Believing that you can actually do it, that’s the first step. And if somebody else can do it, so can you. Lots of different people have been able to do this. It’s possible. It’s real. There’s a lot of people out there doing it. And then finding the right people. Those are the big things. We talked about systems and automation and process. It’s the people that are involved that are most important. Whether it’s the people in the deal, the people on the team and staff, that’s the important part in business as far as I go.

Theo Hicks: How did you find the team members? Did you just post a job listing? Did you get a recruiter? Are they people that you knew previously? Where did you find them? And then how do you know that they are the right fit? You mentioned that you want to find people who are good at what you aren’t good at or don’t like doing, but I guess tactically, how do you know that this person is actually good at these things?

Bill Allen: I think the first step is knowing yourself. So once you know yourself and what you’re good at — because people ask me all the time, who should I hire first? The answer to that question is it depends. I can tell you who I hired first, but who you hire first might be somebody totally different. It might be a project manager, it might be a bookkeeper, it might be a salesperson.. It’s really where are you weak and what do you not good at; that should be the first person that comes in. So knowing yourself, get to know yourself, your personality, what you’re good at, what you’re not good at and be honest with yourself. And then you interviewed me in 2017; 2016 is when I started hiring people, in early 2016, and it was like a Craigslist posting. We don’t do that style anymore. You can still do that…

The thing that I think you need to do is you need to cast your vision. You need to know where you’re going. Because that first person that comes in when you have no company and you have no track record, why should they leave another job or believe that coming to work for you is a stable way for them to do what they want to do? Casting the vision for them is the most important thing. Getting them on board and getting him to believe and buy into your vision. So what we do now is we hire off Indeed. That’s the only place we post, and we have ads running all the time. We look at the personality profile that we want somebody to have. So you can use a free resource like the DISC test. Kolbe is another one, Myers-Briggs is another one. We use a paid service called Culture Index. They cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 a year depending on the size of company that you have. But I have two companies, we have about 50 people that work for the two companies combined. So it’s a great resource for us. I actually pay two licenses, one for each company. It’s that valuable to me.

So we set the personality profile that we’re looking for, and that’s who we are. What’s in your DNA? From the time that you’re 12 years old, you have these characteristics and traits that are in you. It might not show up, you might be able to work through it sometimes, but when you get stressed out, and things are going wrong and everything happens, you go back to that natural state that you’re in, and we’re constantly under stress as a real estate business. I think it’s safe to say that 70% or 80% of the time, there’s problems and things are blowing up. So I want the people that show up that can naturally go back to being salespeople or naturally going back to being admin people or naturally being good at bookkeeping at that point in time, and they’re not going to miss the details. So we look at that personality profile, and then we look at skillset. So a lot of people do it backwards. They look at skillset and they look at the resume, and then they hire somebody.

So I want to know who you are as a person, what your core values are, what you believe in, and if you can fit in with the team. I have a team member of mine, she’s amazing. She said one time, “They’ve got to pass the beach test. Would you go to the beach and sit on the beach and hang out with them for a little bit, especially as a small company?” I’ve hired some people before, they just don’t really fit the culture and it’s just the wrong fit. They can be great at that position, but they got to fit into the culture, the core values and all that stuff that we believe in, who we are.

So we post on Indeed, we create the personality profile that we’re looking for, and then we write the job ad on Indeed based on attracting that personality profile. So we use adjectives that when somebody reads it, they’re like, “That’s me, that’s me, that’s me.” Instead of talking about what the job is, we talk about who the person is that would be interested in this, and then we look at the resume.

So it’s like a funnel, just like your leads are. If you look at hiring just like you do going out and looking for leads for houses or for buyers or for raising money, whatever that is – same thing with hiring. And then we ask the same questions, we compare apples to apples. We write down the questions that we’re going to ask. We don’t change them, because a lot of times, you’ll go one way with the candidate on an interview and you’ll go another way on a different candidate on an interview, and you can’t compare apples to apples that way. So we ask them the same question. It’s very clear, it’s very obvious that we’re just being systematic about our approach. So that’s a short answer on hiring. There’s a lot involved in this stuff, but if your gut says no, don’t do it.. If your gut says this might not be the right person, but they have the resume… I’ve gone against my gut a couple times, big mistake.

Theo Hicks: That’s something I wanted to ask too, is how do you know when it’s time to fire someone, and then how does that approach work? Is it just one day it’s done? Is there a warning system? How much time do you give them to turn it around? I’m just curious of how that works.

Bill Allen: Yeah. That’s the answer again – it depends. For me, the problem is, I know that I’m an emotional decision maker, so I’ll hold on to people longer than I should. When my confidence runs out in somebody or it’s in question, it’s very hard to climb back up and get back on the good side of me and the company. Once I lose a little bit of trust and confidence in them because of their performance or what they’re saying or it doesn’t line up and my gut starts telling me this is the wrong fit, that’s the time that I should be letting somebody go, or having that first conversation. Usually what I do is I’ll have a basic conversation with them. I’ll give them some time to turn it around, and it’s never worked out for me. So from the HR side, I’ll say yes, we’ll give people a couple chances.

We use EOS. So we use something called the people analyzer as a tool inside of this EOS system that we use, and when they get below the bar on the core values or the Get it, Want it, and the Capacity, that’s when we go to them and say, “Hey, you’re below the bar. This happened, this happened, this happened.” So what I do is I give them three different times of things that they did in the past that highlights this core value being below the bar, and then I say, “You’ve got the opportunity to get back up, but this is what you need to do. You have two weeks or one week or three weeks or whatever we put a plan in place to get above the bar.” Because if it’s one instance, they say, “Oh yeah, but this happened,” or, “Oh, it was because of this.” But if it’s three times, they really can’t defend the fact that three times, they’re not showing up. And for us, it’s extreme ownership, stewardship, hard-working, integrity and personal professional development.

So if they’re not showing up with integrity, for me, you’re pretty much gone. There’s not going to be a warning for integrity. But if there’s some hard-working, maybe they had something going on with their family, they’re just not working as hard as they should be or showing up the way that they should, then that’s something that’s coachable. Personal professional development, if they’re not putting enough time into developing themselves professionally, then we can have a conversation and try to start to talk through some of that stuff.

Ownership, if they show up to that and go, “Yeah, but that was this person’s fault or this person’s fault or this person’s fault,” then they’re not even going to get through that meeting. We’re just gonna fire them right there. So it just depends on who the person is. But when your gut tells you that it’s time for somebody to go, it’s probably too late. Don’t be afraid to fire somebody in the first couple weeks, the first month, the first two months. You pour a lot of time and effort and energy into these folks, but there’s a lot of opportunity cost lost by holding on to the wrong person for too long.

We just had a quarterly meeting. One of our teammates was below the bar, and we had the opportunity to coach her, but she just wasn’t coachable and it was time to go, and we just parted ways on good terms. I’ll tell you, every single person that we let go so far, pretty much every single person, has written me back a year later. Every person I let go, I said, “Look, this is the best thing that I could possibly do for you. You don’t understand that this is not the right fit, you’re not in the right seat, this isn’t for you. You’re going to go find your dream job. Believe me that you’re going to be happier somewhere else. Here’s a couple of recommendations I have based on your personality profile, what I’ve seen; maybe go try this,” and I’ll get an email or a phone call six months, a year later, and somebody will say, “You know what? You were right. I found the incredible job. I love my job. I love what I do now. Thank you. Thank you for firing me. Thank you for letting me go. Thank you for caring about me that I’m actually not doing what fills me up.”

I think it’s pretty rare that employers actually look at their staff to see if they’re happy, if they fit the culture, if they’re enjoying what they do, and looking out for them. That’s the way I look at it is if they’re not happy, we’re not happy; they’re just working for a paycheck. Let me figure out where to put them and move them somewhere else, and if they can’t fit inside of our team, then what can I recommend for them?

Theo Hicks: That’s probably even more rare, is not only looking out for what’s best for them and for you, but also saying, “Hey, here’s what you probably can do based off of your personality profiles. So I wanted to ask a quick question about 7 Figure Flipping, the mastermind group. Is that traditionally an in-person event or is it online?

Bill Allen: Yeah, it’s traditionally in-person. So we have a big event every year in October called Flip Hacking Live, and last year, we had over 600 people there. We were planning on having it in Orlando this October. And then it’s traditionally quarterly meetings in person that we have, mastermind meetings, that we have transitioned to virtual meetings recently. So it’s been quite a challenge. We even just had one here in Nashville. I live in Nashville. We had it scheduled in Chicago. About a month before, we said, “Nashville is opening on July 1st. Let’s move it to Nashville because Chicago’s a no…” and it was in the middle of July. Two weeks before the event, we moved it into Nashville, got the contract in place, and then sure enough, July 3rd, they were just like, “Shut down Nashville, too.” We had to plan three events in a month. It was crazy.

Theo Hicks: Well, I wanna ask you, what are some of the things you’re doing for these virtual events to engage with people through their computer? What are some of the things you’re doing to engage with people?

Bill Allen: Well, you’re looking at some of it right now. So you can’t see, but I have four computer screens here. So when I’m presenting at these events, I’ve got a professional camera, lighting, set up my studio, I’ll move things around, and I can see every single face that’s at the event. I got the standing desk because of this. I got a lot of different new tech and things like that. I invested a ton of money into figuring out how we could deliver an experience to them. We learned a ton of things in Zoom. We do Zoom breakout sessions. We gamify some of the stuff. The biggest thing for me was to be able to see everybody, look at their reactions, and make sure that the content that I’m delivering is strong, and also coach up some of our other team and saying, “Hey, I need you professionally dressed. I need you with a nice background. I need you in a quiet place. Make sure that your internet is strong.”

We’ve put on probably six virtual events that we have learned how to do things. You can do a lot of cool stuff with zoom. You can do breakout sessions where you can send them to breakout sessions and then bring them back into a general session.

We’ve run two simultaneous events in the same weekend with six breakout sessions with different speakers and people running the room. So we’ve had to get lots of different licenses, do things like that. It’s been interesting. This October event that we have, we have the same event planner that does Tony Robbins’ event. He just did this Unleash the Power From Within; it had over 40,000 people. At his event, he had a 360-degree monitor. So what we’re doing for October is we’re building out a studio in Charlotte, where I’m gonna be there, I’m gonna fly the speakers out, and we’re gonna present a live event from stage to everybody and stream it to them.

We’re sending boxes ahead of time, we’re sending all the stuff that you would normally get at an event like that to their house ahead of time. We’re giving them point systems to gamify it, win some prizes and stuff, using private Facebook groups to get them interested and excited and network ahead of time. Networking sessions, breakouts, bringing keynote speakers in that we couldn’t afford before, all that stuff. Just taking it–  elevating it to a point where it’s not just a Zoom call or another webinar, because people are tired of that right now. I’ll tell you – a three-day Zoom call, they’re just not gonna be interested.

Theo Hicks: Okay Bill, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Bill Allen: Best real estate advice ever. I would say looking back, build the foundation and the mindset of what you want to do. I usually say take action, but I feel like that’s so played out. I really feel like when I look back, my success is because of what I tell myself in my mind all the time. So your mindset and the way that you show up with failure, with loss, with issues, with problems and the stories that you tell yourself in your head, that’s the most important thing. So if you can start with that and understand that you’re building the foundation on rock instead of sand with your mindset and where you’re going, you’ll be unstoppable.

Theo Hicks: Okay Bill, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Bill Allen: Ready.

Break [00:19:26]:04] to [00:20:28]:03]

Theo Hicks: Okay Bill, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Bill Allen: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Absolutely amazing book. It will change your life. Make sure your entire team, your family, your friends all read that book. It’s amazing.

Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, and we’ll say Blackjack, what would you do next?

Bill Allen: I’d keep doing what I’m doing. I’ll tell you what I would do if Blackjack fell apart. I would probably look at what the marketplace looks like and figure out how to pivot the people that I have inside that business to something else. If it was because of the fact that we’re wholesaling real estate and that started to tighten up or close down, I have phenomenal people that we could have a rockstar donut shop right here in Spring Hill, Tennessee if we needed to. So look at the marketplace and look for opportunity and figure out how to pivot.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?

Bill Allen: I’m actually the Tennessee Director for Operation Underground Railroad. So I absolutely love giving my time and money and raising awareness for that. That’s an organization that frees trafficked kids from sex trafficking, sex slavery. In the US, about 500,000 sex slaves here in the US that are kids and almost 2 million total, so over 1.5 million abroad. So it’s a pandemic, it’s an issue. We’re fueling the problem as Americans and that’s it. Operation Underground Railroad, ourrescue.org. You can check it out. It’s absolutely amazing. It’s changed my life, opened my eyes to something I had no idea was a problem.

Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?

Bill Allen: Well, that event, Flip Hacking LIVE, absolutely amazing. I recommend anybody to check it out. But 7figureflipping.com, you can reach me there.

Theo Hicks: Alright Bill, thanks for coming on the show again. I really appreciate you catching us up on what you’ve been up to, and congratulations on such massive growth since we launched talk. Again, went from 13 houses flips, 54 wholesales, full-time to working a few hours and having a self-generating machine of 200+ deals a year.

So we talked mostly about team. So we talked about the two main reasons why you’re able to scale – one was education and mindset; the other one was, surround yourself with the right people, complementary skill sets. You mentioned that you’ll post a job on Indeed, and rather than looking at the resume first, you’ll focus on the type of person, the values that you want, the personality you want for that job.

And then as you create the job listing based off of that, they’ll take the personality test, then you’ll look at the resume and then when you interview them, you’ll ask them all the exact same questions so you can compare apples to apples, and then ultimately, it comes down to your gut. If your gut tells you no, well, it’s probably not gonna be a good fit. We talked about the process of firing someone and your three examples of if they weren’t aligned with specific values. But again, if your gut tells you it’s not working out… You said that you’ve never had a time where you’ve lost confidence in someone, and then they’ve been able to turn it around. But I really liked what you said that when you do fire someone, you don’t just say, “Good luck.” You actually will try to give them advice on what might be a good career field based off of their personality test. You gave us a lot of advice on how to effectively do virtual events, whether it’s a meetup group as you’re doing every single month or a one-time yearly conference, and that would be your 7 Figure Flipping.

You talked about investing in a studio and making sure your team also has a nice camera, lighting, background. You said you use Zoom a lot for the breakout sessions. You get point systems, games, private Facebook groups to get people excited. And then something else you said that I thought was interesting was you can get bigger name speakers to talk. So you don’t have to fly them out, pay for their hotel. They don’t have to do an in-person event and spend a full day or full weekend. Now they can spend an hour at their computer doing it. So that was also interesting. And then your best ever advice was to build a foundation and a mindset first before you go out there to start taking action. So Bill, thanks again for joining us. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Bill Allen: Thanks, Theo.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2183: The Texas Property Manager With Danny Webbers

Danny is a real estate broker, and owner of The Texas Property Manager and The Texas Builder. Danny shares his expertise in purchasing notes and how he plans to continue to grow his personal business. 

 

Danny Webber Real Estate Background:

  • Real estate broker, owner of The Texas Property Manager, and The Texas Builder
  • 15 years of real estate experience
  • Flipped approximately 150 flips, wholesale 40+ , 30+notes
  • Based in Austin, TX
  • Say hi to him at: www.myhomesimple.com  
  • Best Ever Book: Minimalism

 

Click here for more info on PropStream

Best Ever Tweet:

“Find a mentor, and pay him if needed. You need someone you can call anytime you have a question” – Danny Webber


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. My name is Theo Hicks and today, I’ll be speaking with Danny Webber. Danny, how are you doing today?

Danny Webber: I’m doing great.

Theo Hicks: Great. Thanks for joining us; looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Danny – he is a real estate broker, the owner of The Texas Property Manager and The Texas Builder, he has 15 years of real estate experience and he’s done approximately 150 flips, over 40 wholesales and over 30 notes. He’s based in Austin, Texas, and you can say hi to him at myhomesimple.com. So Danny, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Danny Webber: Sure. Background going way back in military and law enforcement. I’ve got an MBA in Business Management and Finance, lots of hands-on experience. I believe in getting dirty on job sites, learning how to do all the trades, which is one of the reasons I started the construction company. My focus today primarily though, is I’ve been liquidating a lot of rentals and getting cash-heavy, just with all the craziness going on in the world. I really have a lot of dry powder on the side, ready to deploy as deals become available. So focus for me right now is macro and micro economics and trying to take the big macro picture and drill down to how it specifically is going to manifest itself in Austin’s market because we’re a little bit of a strange market comparatively speaking to most other places in the US.

Theo Hicks: Let’s talk about that a little bit. So you said you have a lot of money and you’re in the researching, educational phase right now.

Danny Webber: Mm-hm.

Theo Hicks: Okay, perfect. So what are some of the things you discovered particularly about your market?

Danny Webber: Well, there’s a lot of dynamics going on, and obviously with what we’re going through with the pandemic and everything, and so what I’m doing right now is I’m following the macroeconomic picture, meaning the Fed money printing the financial stimulus and incentives from the government, and then how that’s affecting current mortgage market and real estate market, both nationally and locally. So for instance, in normal times, in a nondistorted macroeconomic market, when the Fed prints trillions and trillions of dollars, and then they’re deployed to the folks on the ground, typically you would see some type of inflation, or typically you would see some type of devaluing our currency, but we’re not seeing that because there’s such a shortage of dollars in the world, which is counterintuitive to a normal macro investor or even a real estate guy… Because as a real estate guy, when our currency devalues and you’re in fixed long term debt, that’s good for you. When a loaf of bread goes to $10 and the house that you paid $100,000 for five years ago, now costs a lot more just because of the devaluation of our dollar – it’s good for you, especially if you’ve got long term low-interest rate debt. So throw that in the mix with the deferments of the evictions, the foreclosures, and then add on top of that the fact that a lot of the lenders that did that are going to want three months plus one when the deferments are over.

The increased delinquency rates on both autos and home loans– I can go over 100 other macro and micro indicators, but you take all that information and you’re like, “How is that going to affect Austin?” because Austin’s one of the strongest real estate markets in the country. It’s been that way for probably a decade, and there’s no signs of that slowing. So some of the problems that we face in Austin, for instance, is our rental prices have not kept up with our purchase prices and sales prices. In addition to Austin not having state income taxes, we’ve got a high property tax rate. So if you looked on the MLS right now in Austin and specifically looked at single-family residents, and you were looking, “Hey, I want to buy a rental, I’ve got the traditional 25% down, going conventional. Let’s just say, four, four and a quarter percent interest rate”, you’re not going to find probably more than five properties in the entire MLS that would cash flow with their traditional 25% down investor purchase, which is a big problem for us. So we end up having to go further and further out in the concentric ring theory until we’re outside of Travis County proper, we’re outside of Williamson County. Although you can still get some deals in farfetched Travis, farfetched Williamson, but you need to go into two or three counties away to get deals that make sense for monthly cash flow.

Now, the flip side of that is that the appreciation often is pretty substantial compared to a lot of other places in the country. So some of the strategies the investors’ using this area is they’re okay breaking even every month or not making any money or even being upside every month because the appreciation rates are so high. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but that’s what a lot of folks are doing. The other thing we’re doing a lot down here, and we have been for years, but we’re really, really trying to acquire properties through non-qualified loan assumption strategies, and then doing mortgage drafts on them so that we’re carrying notes and not rentals. Does that make sense?

Theo Hicks: Yeah. Do you mind expanding on that? So you said, instead of buying the property, you’re buying the notes on those properties?

Danny Webber: Typically what we’re doing – I’ll give you generic numbers here – if we find a distressed home seller or even a non-distressed home seller, and they’ve got a $100,000 property, which is nonexistent in Austin, but we’ll just use that for simple math, and you do the research on the tax database and you find out that their payoff is approximately $87,000. So they’ve got $13,000 equity minus closing costs, commissions and everything. You would go to that person and say, “Hey, I want to take over your note, non-qualified loan assumption for five years. I’m going to give you $10,000 at closing and I’ll have the note paid off or refinanced in five years.” So what that allows you to do is it allows, number one, a quick closing, assuming title work and the property checks out. It allows a quick closing, no banks are involved, no approvals are involved, and you can put that property in whatever entity you want it to be in, so you can avoid the debt to income ratio hit on your normal credit. You’ve still gotta do the tax thing at the end of the year; there’s no tax implications, but you can at least avoid the debt to income ratio hit on your credit. So from there, say I have acquired a property in Company A, non-qualified loan assumption; I could then put it on the MLS the following week and sell it to Buyer B at $110,000, $115,000 because people are going to pay a premium for owner financed properties. I’m going to hold the note to the end buyer and I may have an underlying lien from the person I bought it from at for 4%, 4.5%. I’m telling it to the end buyer at 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 12%, whatever the negotiated interest rate’s going to be, and I’m pocketing the interest rate spread from the underlying lien to the rep note to Buyer B every month, and I’m avoiding the maintenance, late rent and all this other crazy stuff that I have to deal with. And if the person never stops paying, then I just foreclose on the property versus evict him.

Theo Hicks: Let me just say this back to make sure I’m grasping this properly. So you find out someone who owns a home and when you say they’re stressed, that means they’re delinquent on their taxes, they’re delinquent on their mortgage payments…

Danny Webber: It could be any and all the above. It could be notes, taxes, they got HOA liens, or the other thing we’re going to do a lot down here is people just want to sell the property quick. They don’t want people in their house checking it out, kicking the tires, nickel and dime; they don’t want negotiations. So they’ll just say, “If you bought my house today, how much would you give me and can I live with that?”

Theo Hicks: Okay. So you need to determine how much debt they have in the property. So in your example, you said a $100,000 house with $87,000 debt, and so you’ll go to them and you’ll say you’ll take over their note, you’ll give them some down payment, and then you’ll pay that note off in five years. So I guess one thing I have a question on is, are you just paying them, and then they’re paying their mortgage? Or are you actually paying the bank directly?

Danny Webber: No, I make it sound simple, but there’s a few moving parts. So when we sign the agreement and we’re at closing, we get obviously some really tight POAs and borrow authorizations to communicate with their bank. We typically want the login for their bank system, and then we change the address for all correspondences with the underlying lien and bank; and then from there, typically, what we’re doing in my operation is we’ll just set up the payments going out auto-draft every month so we don’t have to worry about them. But if we can’t set up auto-draft, then we’re just gonna hit a local branch every month. We’ve got a few that we do that with. We don’t like [unintelligible [00:10:46].04] reality. And we make the payments directly every month, and then the person that we sell it to, they pay us. So the selling point for the underlying lien holder borrower is that we’re going to help your credit. We’re going to have 100% on-time payments for the next 16 months.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. So you have some agreement with them paying you something on top of the mortgage payments? So the mortgages plus 4.5%, you said?

Danny Webber: Yeah, it’s gonna be a negotiated rate. Back in the day when QM came out, Dodd Frank and all that other stuff, there was a max overage for lending rate; I think was 3.5 APOR, which is the average rate of the day, and so you were locked into that. And then as Dodd Frank lost his teeth in the QM standards, they didn’t go away, but they’re just not enforced right now at all. So the last three to five years – not a specific time, but there’s a lot of national lenders that have non QM products, non Dodd Frank compliant products, and so everybody just went in that direction now, where if you ask somebody about Dodd Frank, QM compliant, it’s really not an issue, whereas before when it first came out, the world was ending, the sky was falling, and you couldn’t do owner-financed deals, you couldn’t do adjustable rate mortgages, you couldn’t do this over five years… So there was a lot of issues, people were scared, but that’s gone away now. I’m actually a mortgage broker in our [unintelligible [00:12:04].00], so I do a lot of the compliance side. If I get an industry that says, “Hey Danny, I know I don’t need to do this, but I want to make sure that this is as close to QM, Dodd Frank compliant as I can get,” and what we focus a lot on is focusing on the end buyers’ ability to repay the loan and making sure that if at some point you’re saying, “Hey, we didn’t take advantage of this,” but it wasn’t like the old days in California where they had the option arms and you could put out $300,000 yearly salary working at Walmart. So we actually dig deep, we verify income, verify assets, pull credit and look at atleast one or two years tax returns, and that gets the ball as close to Dodd Frank QM compliant as you can get, even if you are charging over the 3.5 APOR on an interest rate. I’ve got some investors I know that have done 12% interest with an underlying lien of 4%. So they’re pocketing 3%, 4%, 5%, up to 8% in interest per month in a note, versus $150 to $300 per month in rental income, minus vacancies, minus maintenance. So it’s a much stronger strategy to use. It’s a lot more hands-off, and to date – I’ve been doing this for about a decade – to date, I’ve had to take back probably three properties, and all three of them have gone the route of cash for keys. So here’s a couple thousand dollars, here’s a deed to sign the property back over to me.

I think the biggest part of the strategy that’s the most exciting for investors is you don’t stay out of pocket. On that same scenario, the $100,000 current value,  $87,000, let’s say that I give the underlying — so the $10,000 and then I’ve got another $3,500 in closing costs. So I’m out of pocket $13,000, let’s just say $14,000 for easy math. Typically, when I’m reselling that property on the MLS or [unintelligible [00:13:52].20] there’s a bunch of agents that do nothing but owner finance deals and so they’ve got buyers lined up… I will get back about 80% to 90%, sometimes 100%+ of my cash out of pocket on the deal.

So if I’m doing a $20,000 down payment – follow me on this – to the Buyer B, I’ve got to pay a commission out of that. So I’m a few thousand dollars out on a commission. I’m a broker, so I don’t have to pay sellers; they get commissions. But long story short – it’s about you pay a commission, I get all the money back that I put into the deal, meaning the first $14,000, I paid a $3,000 commission, and then I’ve got $1,500 in closing and I’m up to $18,000, $19,000 at the second closing. Well theoretically, I’m completely whole out of any dollars out of pocket, plus I’m a $1,000 above. I’ve made $1,000 plus, and I’m getting monthly cash flow in the form of a note versus rental income. So that happens less than 50% of the time, but it still happens where you’re made completely whole at the end of the transaction, the second sale, and the other time that it’s not [unintelligible [00:14:48].00] you’re out of pocket $3,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, but the benefit is if I bought this property traditionally, I’d be out of pocket 25 grand upfront, just for the 25% down, plus closing costs.

Theo Hicks: I was gonna ask you, how do I find these types of properties to buy the notes off of?

Danny Webber: It’s the same process that you use to find properties in distress – delinquency lists, foreclosure lists, tax delinquent lists, and also what I consider a pretty advanced investor market compared to other areas that I have talked to folks in, is they’re still doing the door knocking and they’re still sending mass letters to areas, and one of the tricks is just to get on the MLS, and then there’s statistics out there that say people sell their homes an average of five to seven years after buying them, in most instances; some large number over, 50%. So if you just do a search on the MLS, the very neighborhood specific properties and areas that you want to be in, that property and just not the blanket, the whole city. Pick out a few areas, few neighborhoods, few zip codes, and just focus on those and just be the king of that area. So that’s what I’ve done.

I’ve got a few neighborhoods around where I live, really within walking distance of where I live, that I focus on, because it’s easy to reproduce success if it’s close. So you can just send out mailers, you can go bang on the door. As a traditional real estate agent, one of the big things I see in the industry is most people are just lazy. So if I walk to my neighborhood and just bang on every door on my street, just my street alone and said, “Hey, I’m Danny Webber. I’m a broker, I live down the street. I want to be the guy you call if you sell your house or you’re looking to buy another one. And oh, by the way, do you know what your house is worth?” 90% of people are never going to turn down an offer just to get a house value, because they’re gonna go to bed at night feeling better. “Oh, I guess that I’ve got $20,000 in equity or $30,000 in equity.”

Long story short is you’re just starting conversations, you’re building relationships. But at that point, once they say, “Wow, I would sell if I had $50,000 in equity,” and then you’re like, “Okay, let me run the numbers and see if you can walk away,” and long story short is you can’t walk away with $50,000 if we go traditional sales, because you’re paying 6% commissions, you’re paying closing costs, you’re paying that which is going to decrease– you’re gonna be 12%, 14%, 15% out of pocket at closing. But if you go on to finance, do a non-qualified loan assumption, I can give you $45,000, which is a net to you of $7,000, $8,000, $9,000 that you wouldn’t have in a traditional sales cycle. Does that make sense?

Theo Hicks: 100%. So it sounds like they don’t actually have to be distressed, either.

Danny Webber: They don’t.

Theo Hicks: So even without them being distressed, you just have to figure out how much cash they want to walk away with, and then see if it makes more sense for them to do–

Danny Webber: If you can make the deal work, yeah.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, exactly. This is very interesting, because I like the whole note idea. It sounds very, very complicated, and I think it actually is, but it sounds like once you do it a few times and you understand the process, you definitely talked about why it’s a lot more beneficial than going the traditional rental route.

Danny Webber: Yeah… And two things on that. So once you get used to doing these – number one, there’s additional disclosures, there’s additional paperwork. You have to go to a very specific title company that’s used to do these transactions, because most of your corporate title companies, if you brought them, they’ll say, “Hey dude, you’re crazy; you can’t do that,” and the reality is you can. You violate the due on sale clause, but there’s some disclosures that you sign from the seller that says, “Hey, we’re violating your due on sale clause because the property is changing hands,” and it’s really a who cares type thing, because at this point, it could change in the future. But at this point, banks are not calling notes due that are performing. They’ve got a performing Wells Fargo note that they’re paying on time every month at 4%. You’re not going to spend the $10,000, $12,000, $15,000 to foreclose on that property because you’re getting your money every month and there’s no delinquencies. So should that ever occur, there’s a couple of workarounds, because at that point there’s a defect on title, and the defect on title can be cured just by transferring the property back into the original seller’s names and Wells Fargo to approve, and then they go away, and then you can put it right back into your name. Again, I’m getting a little bit deep into this, but there’s a whole strategy and process behind it. It’s simple once you do it a few times and you see it laid out, but to wrap your head around it, the first time, you’re gonna have a million questions on how this actually works.

I’ve been doing it for a long time. I’ve got attorneys down here that do the transactions and they manage the transactions, they have their title companies, and it’s all pretty flawless. Mistakes are still made, but as long as you’ve got a good relationship with the seller, anything you need to get defined later or get done later, you’re not gonna have a problem.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. Okay Danny, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Danny Webber: Best advice is to not think you are Superman because you went through a two-day or one-week course. One of the biggest problems I’ve seen – and it’s been that way for a long time – is somebody getting some business cards made that say, “I’m an investor”, they take a weekend course, they could take a one-week course that costs them $50,000, and then they fail. Being a real estate investors – it’s not equivalent to putting a band-aid on your kid’s finger because he’s got a cut and you’re a doctor. That’s not the way it works; it’s in-depth. So I think people fail to do proper planning, proper homework and proper preparation before they become an investor. They think it’s easy and it’s really not. Statistically, I think 60% or 70% of investors lose money the first year or two because they just don’t know what they’re doing and they just don’t have the right team of people around them.

I absolutely believe in mentorship. I think it’s the best money you can spend, I believe in finding a local mentor that’s in your market, that is doing the same strategies that you want to do, meaning if you’ve got a real estate investor that doesn’t do a lot of non-qualified loan assumptions, mortgage wraps, but they do a lot of flips and you want to do flips, well stick with the guy. But if you’re a long term investor and you want more cash flow, more notes, payments coming in, and you’ve got a ten year game versus a one year “I need cash” game, then you need to find that specific mentor and pay him. Mentors do not come free. If you want him to pay attention to what you got going on, then you’re going to have to pay him something whether it’s $100 bucks or $10,000, who knows? But you need a paid mentor that’ll answer your phone and answer your questions when you have them.

Theo Hicks: Okay, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Danny Webber: Let’s go.

Break [00:20:41]:04] to [00:21:53]:03]

Theo Hicks: Okay, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Danny Webber: I don’t have a best ever book, because I get a little bit of greatness from all the books that I have. I’d say a topic that I’ve been reading a lot about lately around last year is minimalism and how to filter out all the non-productive, the non-value added tasks and things from your day so that you can work less, but be a lot more effective and efficient while you’re working. So that’s a big body of knowledge that I’m really into right now and it’s already paid off, in my opinion.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever deal you’ve done?

Danny Webber: Well, in dollars, it’s probably going to a flip. I made a couple of times $100,000+ on flips, but what I think is a cool transaction, I did three wholesale assignments in one day at one time, and I made $20,000 per assignment. So this was back in the day when in Texas you could do an A to B, B to C, but the C buyer was paying off to A’s lien, a double closing. The title company just got away from those in Texas, but I made $60,000 sitting at a table with the title company, same title company, in probably about an hour and a half. That’s as long as it took me to buy three properties and sell three properties at the same table. I made 60 grand, without thought. It’s just a neat thing.

Theo Hicks:  And then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?

Danny Webber: Probably my email. The danny.webber@gmail.com is probably going to be the most efficient place, because I’m on that every day. danny.weber@gmail.com.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. Well, thanks for sharing your email address and also sharing your in-depth explanation of how to do note buying. I’m not gonna try to explain it again. I’m probably gonna have to listen to it again, just to make sure I fully understand it, because it’s one strategy that I personally haven’t talked to people about a lot. So I think this is gonna be a very valuable episode for Best Ever listeners, especially as you mentioned during these strange times. So Danny, I really appreciate you coming on the show and speaking with us today. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Danny Webber: Yes, sir. Thank you.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2181: Don’t Ignore Low Hanging Fruit With Andrea Weule

Andrea is a real estate investor, author, and educator. She has completed 100’s of deals across the United States and continually shares her knowledge with new investors. She has completed numerous wholesale deals, rehabs, lease-option deals, private money lending deals, and owns a number of rental properties. Andrea always has constant new deals in the pipeline. She is always growing their retirement money through deals with other investor partners. Even living in Colorado, she has completed deals in twelve other states.

 

Andrea Weule Real Estate Background:

  • Full time real estate investor and President of Archway Investment Corp 
  • 13 years of investing experience
  • Currently holds 24 rental properties and has completed over 500 deals; wholesale, flip, lease options, etc.
  • Based in Englewood, CO
  • Say hi to her at: https://wealthhealthgrowth.com/ 
  • Best Ever Book: Doing Good Better

 

 

Click here for more info on PropStream

Best Ever Tweet:

“One good thing about being a wholesaler is you get to keep the really great deals for yourself and pass the good deals to others” – Andrea Weule


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today, I’m speaking with Andrea Weule. Andrea, how are you doing today?

Andrea Weule: I’m doing awesome. How are you, Theo?

Theo Hicks: I’m doing great as well. Thanks for asking and thanks for joining us, and looking forward to our conversation. Before we jump into that, a little bit about Andrea’s backgrounds – she’s a full time real estate investor and the president of Archway Investment Corp, she has 13 years of investing experience, she currently holds 24 rental properties and has completed over 500 deals; these are wholesale, flips and lease option deals. She’s based in Englewood, Colorado, and her website is wealthhealthgrowth.com. So Andrea, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Andrea Weule: Absolutely. I actually started out in real estate for the homebuilders. I got a traditional job out of college, worked in every department of the homebuilding industry, from warranty to construction to sales and marketing, and I definitely enjoyed that, and then decided that I should be making a lot more money myself if I’m doing this much work. So my husband and I dove into real estate full time. Actually, I guess part time, while I was still working our day job and all that, but really just loved taking communities, neighborhoods houses and fixing them up and improving them and helping people grow their wealth through real estate including ourselves, and it’s been quite a journey. It’s been awesome. I live here in the Englewood, Colorado area, south of Denver, but we’ve invested in 16 different states now. So we’ve been able to take our business on the road, if you will.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. So based on what you’re saying, it sounds like right now you’re doing a real estate yourself, but you also have a coaching or consulting type program as well?

Andrea Weule: Correct. Yep. I focus real estate wise, mainly on wholesaling and rentals right now mainly because I think they’re the ones that I enjoyed the most, and I think the market is prime for both of them right now for sure. And then I love helping other people find their niche in real estate, helping them grow their real estate or their wealth through passive income, if that’s their strategy, or if they’re more creative and like doing flips and different things like that, helping them find their passion and their future profitability through real estate.

Theo Hicks: So let’s base our conversation on those two categories. Let’s first talk about your portfolio, and then let’s talk about your consulting coaching program. So you said you focus on wholesaling and rentals right now, you said that you have 24 rental properties?

Andrea Weule: Yep.

Theo Hicks: How many wholesales are you doing per month right now and how many rental property deals are you trying to do per month? Or it can be per year too, whatever time frame you want to use.

Andrea Weule: Well, I like to always keep things as real as possible. So in the wholesale world, we are doing one every month for sure. Some months are great. I’ve done a couple of months where I’ve had eight different closings, and then again, some months, things just don’t stack up the way that you want them to, and that’s just how real estate world works; we only get one. But I do a lot of investing here in the local market with helping people find fix and flips and projects that way, and then I do a lot of wholesaling in the Midwest, helping people in more expensive markets like Denver, Seattle, California, find cash flowing rentals and wholesale them deals in the Midwest. So that’s where I focus a lot on that.

And then for rentals, we’re averaging one a quarter. We’ve been a little slower the last couple of years just because I felt like the market was hitting the top of the market. I still wanted to grow our portfolio, but definitely wanted to not be too aggressive and buy something that I’m banking on appreciation that’s not going to happen for 10, 15 years. And then we also took some of our properties and did a lot of evaluation in the last six to nine months. So we bought a handful of properties, which is why we’re down to 24, because we wanted to make sure that the properties we’re holding long term are the properties that we want to hold forever. And so those properties that were good, but not maybe amazing are the ones that we wanted to liquidate for now, while the market was up, take that cash and then be able to have that cash available to capitalize on maybe slower or lower price point market over the next couple of years and continue to build up that rental portfolio.

Theo Hicks: Is your wholesaling business the lead pipeline for your rental business or are those two separate things? Are you getting leads for your wholesaling business and buying some of those, or you’re getting leads, wholesaling all of those, and then getting leads separately for the properties you’re buying as rentals?

Andrea Weule: Both. So in Denver, I’m not interested in buying properties here as much, just because our price point is so high. So the wholesaling that I do in Denver is a lot more for a fix and flips type investor. Whereas again, in the Midwest, all the properties I’m seeking out, I’m always going to consider myself. And I think that’s the beautiful thing about being a wholesaler – I think you can always focus on finding great deals, passing them along, but keeping the really great deals for yourself. So that’s definitely been our strategy in the Midwest.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, that [unintelligible [00:07:50].27]. It sounds like a good way to– because as you mentioned, you’re buying every quarter. So when you’re not buying rentals, you’re wholesaling, and then you’ve also got a continuous lead of deals coming in that you can always find a way to make money off of. That’s what I was getting at.

Andrea Weule: Absolutely, absolutely, and it just definitely keeps bringing the funds so that I have a reserve of cash to buy properties when the great ones appear.

Theo Hicks: Can you tell us a little bit about your lead generation strategies? Maybe more specifically, just talk about– it sounds like you’re wholesaling the deals in Denver, and then in the Midwest, you’re wholesaling and then also considering buying those, but you don’t live there.

Andrea Weule: Correct.

Theo Hicks: So let’s talk about that. What’s your lead generation strategy for these deals that are out of state?

Andrea Weule: So any market that I love, I always have a good agent sending me deals at all times, because I feel like when you ignore the MLS, you are ignoring the low hanging fruit. If somebody lists their house for sale, they want to sell it. So I try not to ever ignore that. Yes, there’s a lot of competition. Yes, they might want to sell it retail, but it seems silly to me to ignore it. So I’m always making offers via the MLS. But I would say my favorite off-market strategy is getting lists. I usually use ListSource, I pull lists. Most of my listings, I’m focused on active adults. So I look at 55 or better, people who have lived in their house for 20+ years that may be considering downsizing, maybe moving to more of a assisted living or low maintenance living, and I focus my mailers on those leads. So a lot of the verbiage that I’ll use in those mailers will be “Are you looking for your next adventure? Are you looking for less stress?” things like that, so I’m hopefully talking to them more directly. And then in addition to sending the mailers to them, and I always do at least three mailers for every address that I call, I also try to do bandit signs. I get people in those remote markets to put out bandit signs in areas that I’m focusing on. I just post ads via Craigslist under the Gigs category, hire somebody, have signs shipped to their house and they can put up signs for me. I use a couple of different programs to have them- -make sure that I get the signs out there. They take pictures with them and I can see the geotag on where the bandit signs are. I can pay them very easily through PayPal. Sometimes I have people that will continue to put out signs forever for me, I have people that they do it once or they don’t ever do it, and maybe it cost me the amount of signs, but I get boots on the ground without me flying out there. And then lastly, I also take that same list and I put each of the addresses and people’s, individuals’ information into Spokeo, and I look up phone numbers and emails and I cold call and shoot emails to them.

So I figured if I approach them three times, I have a better conversion rate and I’ve been fairly successful that way, and then I found once I get somebody talking to me and interested, it’s pretty easy to do things remote. With technology these days, people can take pictures with their phone and text it to me, we can get on a Zoom call, a Skype call, a FaceTime call, and they can walk me through the house and I can get a good feel for the condition of the house right there, and have all the data that I need just from what’s on the internet and my conversations and pictures that I get from those leads.

Theo Hicks: Well, thank you for sharing that. I don’t have any follow up questions. You answered every question; you gave us a step by step process, so I appreciate that. Let’s transition into the other part of your business, which is your consulting coaching business. So your website, which I’m assuming this is the website of your coaching business, wealthhealthgrowth.com. So you already mentioned that you help people find the niche that they want to do, help them grow their wealth, but what about the health aspect of that? What’s your approach with that?

Andrea Weule: My husband is obsessed with biohacking, and again, I’m actually listening to the book Superhuman, which is all about biohacking right now. But really, the healthier you are, the more that you can accomplish, the more you can grow, the more you can learn, the more money you can make. I found people that take good care of their bodies, their minds and their spirituality, they can accomplish so much more. They have more energy, they have more focus, they have more drive and can get more done for themselves, for their family, for their businesses.

So again, it’s more whole approach to investing in real estate because I find when I’m working with people, a lot of their struggles, it’s not really real estate based. It might be time management based, it might be struggling with objections with their family, it might be they’re exhausted all the time, whatever that may be. So we can incorporate just small tweaks. We don’t have to completely upheave somebody’s life, but we can make small tweaks to their life, to their daily schedules, to how they approach things to help them be more successful with their real estate business, and actually live a more fulfilled life.

Theo Hicks: What is the most unique or interesting biohack that your husband’s done?

Andrea Weule: You know, that’s a fun thing. He loves cryotherapy, he loves infrared saunas. We have grounding mats all over our house. So you plug in these mats to the ground in your house so that when you’re just sitting on the couch watching TV, you’re getting the benefits of grounding like you’re standing on the soil outside. We have a Trusii machine which hydrogenates water. So you can get hydrogen in your water which is supposed to help with clarity, your skin, energy, all kinds of different things. We have a daily calendar. He’s got me meditating, which I’m very type A personality, so meditating has been a struggle. So we’ve compromised on I will work on my meditation practice, but we’ve moved on to doing yoga which has a lot of the benefits of meditation, but I actually get to move and do something. So it’s definitely been a journey to learn all that our bodies can do and our minds can do if we hold ourselves accountable.

Theo Hicks: Alright Andrea, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Andrea Weule: My best real estate investing advice ever is pick a swim lane. Especially when you’re new to investing in real estate, everybody wants to try everything. They want to try the latest, greatest strategy, they want to try whatever it may be, and the struggle with that is you never get to the other side of the pool. If you’re changing lanes all the time, you’re never going to get the results that you want. So I always, especially when I’m working with people, have them take some time to think about what got them excited about real estate in the first place, have them spend a lot of time going through what their actual current resources are, what do they have and how does that apply to what they want to do in real estate, what resources do they need to potentially plan for or partner up with somebody for to focus their real estate investing, and then to truly set that goal and work it daily.

I think people struggle so often with coming up with what is the latest, greatest and they have all these big plans, but their day to day activities are not aligned with their goals. Their day to day activities are not getting them the results that they need to moving themselves forward. So ensuring that they have the right passion, they have the right resources and they have the right goal, and then they’re working it every single day. And I truly believe in creativity and that’s why we’ve done so many deals. I believe creativity is amazing and there’s all kinds of different options, but the baseline end goal strategy should be defined, and then you can add perks to it if you will. So you can add a kickboard, you can add water wings, you can add some flippers if you want, but stay in your swim lane until you get the results that you need, and then branch out from there.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. Okay, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Andrea Weule: I am.

Break [00:15:33]:09] to [00:16:45]:02]

Theo Hicks: Okay Andrea, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Andrea Weule: The best ever book that I recently read was Doing Good Better by William MacAskill. It’s a data-driven book about how to be more effective with your altruism. So how to give better if you will, and it’s just is very Malcolm Gladwell-esque and it’s a lot of statistical data, but it really definitely opened my eyes about how to be more effective and more efficient with almost everything I do.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, I think I remember seeing him on Joe Rogan’s podcast a few years ago. Okay, if your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Andrea Weule: What would I do next? That is definitely a scary thought. I think I would focus a lot more on personal development. I think I would go into more coaching with helping other people build their business. We’ve built up our business very successfully, and I think I have so many tools and life experiences to help others grow their business with whatever that may be, breaking through a lot of the things that I talked about earlier – time management, what are your fears, obstacles and moving yourself forward.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever deal you’ve done?

Andrea Weule: Best ever deal we’ve done. It was probably a lease option we did here in the greater Denver area. My father in law’s one of my best bird dogs. He met somebody at his office that got a new job, was trying to sell this house, and this is in the 2009, 2010 downturn of the market, and the guy called his realtor and his realtor said, “You’re going to have to this, this, this, this, this,” and just listed off all the negatives about him selling his house right now and all the costs that it was going to take. So the guy was just like, “I don’t care, I’ll just let the bank have it.” So he’s venting to my father in law. My father in law says, “I don’t know what Andrea does, but can she call you?”. So I called him, I offered to buy his house on a lease option. So in three years, we’ll buy your house, we’ll pay your mortgage, and I think I even gave him an extra 50 bucks a month; taxes, insurance, all that plus an extra 50 bucks a month, but the option price was what he owed at the time we purchased the house. So he wouldn’t make any money at the end. So he just gets to walk away and that’s that. We leased it for two years, and then sold it for about two and a half years in and made $35,000 on the closing costs of it, and it really cost us nothing. We had never put anything into it because we cash flowed about $250 to $300 every single month after paying him his fees, and again, it was in great condition. So it was a long term lease option deal that was a homerun for us.

Theo Hicks: Nice. And on the flip side, tell me about a deal that you lost the most money on, how much you lost, and then what lesson you learned.

Andrea Weule: So I would say it’s probably one of the rentals that we have right now is probably our least favorite deal. It’s one of those deals that I trusted, but I didn’t verify. So I had this deal brought to me by an investor friend and all the numbers looked right on paper, and we’ve done a couple of other deals in the market, so we didn’t think much of it, so we moved forward.

The issue was when we looked at the tax rate for this rental, the tax rate that had been paid for the last several years had been homesteaded. So it was a much lesser rate than the actual tax rate for an investor like myself. So that was a shocker, but then also at the same time, they were passing a large mill levy in that area. So the taxes went from what I thought was going to be somewhere around $40 a month to $260 a month. So our cash flow pretty much went down to negative $10 a month for the property. Granted, it’s appreciated and we’ve just used this property with our other properties that are in that same LLC to float it out. So it’s definitely worth more equity [unintelligible [00:20:37].11], but it definitely was a shocker when I didn’t pay enough attention, I didn’t do the research. So again, you can trust, but always verify.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?

Andrea Weule: I love service organizations. They’re a dying breed in today’s world, but I’m actually starting my fifth year as Kiwanis Club president. We sponsor key clubs, do all kinds of different service work throughout our communities, and I think being involved with service organizations is huge, and that’s really what I do with Archway as well. I am the president of their investment corp, which is– Archway is an affordable housing nonprofit here in Denver that has over 600 units of affordable housing. We work with the VA to get veterans off the streets and into housing, and have services there to provide food banks for them. Also, I do career education. We have after school activities for parents that have kids. So the parents can work longer and make sure the kids are getting their homework done and staying out of trouble. So again, just being involved in your community, and a simple way to do that is to get involved with a service organization. Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, Optimists – any of those are great organizations that are always doing amazing things in the community that people are not really joining anymore due to lack of time and different priorities, but service organizations are amazing.

Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?

Andrea Weule: Through my website, wealthhealthgrowth.com or you can shoot me an email directly at info@wealthhealthgrowth.com.

Theo Hicks: Alright Andrea, thanks for joining us today and walking us through your business. We talked about your three main focuses – wholesaling, rentals, and then coaching.

Andrea Weule: Yep.

Theo Hicks: So from a rental perspective, you told us how you do an average of one per quarter, and that you recently sold some of those properties, and then you’ve got your wholesaling business where the goal is to do at least one every month, but some months, more than one; other months, just one. And that you focus on, for the wholesaling at least, out of state, finding really good deals, and then always trying to hand pick out the best ones to buy yourself and then wholesale the rest, and then you’ve gone into a lot of specifics on how you generate your out of state leads.

You mentioned that first and foremost, you don’t want to ignore the MLS. So you always have good agents in those markets who are sending you MLS leads, because  there’s a lot of low hanging fruit on there. And then you said for your off-market strategy, you get a list from ListSource and you focus on 55 or older, people that have lived in their house for 20 or more years. So people who are most likely looking to potentially move out to a retirement home or some vacation home or something. And you talked about you send those people mailers. First of all, you do three mailers per address, and you said that you direct your verbiage toward that target market, which is saying things like, “Are you looking for your next adventure? Are you looking for less stress?”, you talk them more directly.

You also post ads in the gig section on Craigslist to have people post bandit signs. They have to take pictures and prove that they actually did it. You got trackers on the signs, and then you pay them through PayPal, and then you also use Spokeo to find the phone numbers of the people from your list to do cold calling. And then you also mentioned that once you’ve got a lead and you’re trying to work your way through the deal with them, it’s not that difficult with the technology because you can do FaceTime or Zoom calls, do property tours, they can send you pictures, so you have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into.

We also talked about your consulting business. We focused mostly on the health and how your husband is into biohacking. You mentioned that you have a more holistic approach to real estate investing and that the healthier you are, the more money, more energy, the more you’re gonna accomplish, and then you gave us some examples of some biohacks like cryotherapy, grounding mat, hydrogenating your water, meditating, doing yoga.

Then you also mentioned that with some your clients, something that you realized is that people’s issues aren’t really real estate related, like not knowing how to do a deal, but it’s something else, like a relationship problem or a personal problem or a mindset problem. So I thought that was also interesting.

I also really liked your best advice, which was to pick a swim lane, because if you’re trying to swim across the pool, the fastest way is to stay in one lane and go as opposed to keep changing lanes constantly, going back and forth. So what that means is that when you’re new, there’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of different niches, strategies, people. You need to find the one that makes you the most excited, and you said, then you figure out what resources that you currently have, it’ll help you do that specific niche, and then figure out what resources you don’t have that you need to outsource, so you can be successful in that specific niche. And then you need to go out there and set a goal and work towards it daily.

So that’s everything we talked about on the show today. I appreciate you coming on, Andrea. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a best ever day and I will talk to you tomorrow.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2180: Sight Unseen Offerings With Gabriel Petersen

Gabriel Petersen is a full-time real estate investor with 5 years of real estate experience. He is also the owner and founder of Great Northwest Home Buyers and Equal Housing Group. He used to be in digital marketing for many years and has implemented digital marketing into his real estate business to help him generate deals. He also shares how he decides what to offer properties when it is a sight unseen deal. 

Gabriel Petersen  Real Estate Background:

  • Full-time real estate investor with 5 years of real estate investing experience
  • Owner and founder of Great Northwest Home Buyers and Equal Housing Group
  • Portfolio consist of 3 flips, 2 wholesale deals, 2 doors under management & contracted a 50 pad mobile home park
  • Based in Seattle, WA
  • Say hi to him at: https://therealestateinvestingclub.buzzsprout.com/
  • Best Ever Book: War and Peace

 

 

 

Click here for more info on PropStream

Best Ever Tweet:

“Paid advertising is like a switch, you turn it on, and you get leads” – Gabriel Petersen


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today, I’ll be speaking with Gabe Petersen. Gabe, how you doing today?

Gabriel Petersen: I’m doing fantastic. How are you, Theo?

Theo Hicks: I’m doing fantastic as well. Thanks for asking and thanks for joining us; looking forward to our conversation. Before we hop into that, a little bit about Gabe – he is a full-time real estate investor with five years of real estate investing experience. He is the owner and founder of Great Northwest Homebuyers and Equal Housing Group; his portfolio consists of two flips, three wholesale deals, and then a duplex, and he’s currently under contract for four mobile home parks. He is based in Seattle, Washington, and you can say hi to him at his podcast, which is called The Real Estate Investing Club With Gabe Petersen. So Gabe, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Gabriel Petersen: Absolutely. So I actually got into real estate from digital marketing. I started in the corporate world, did that for a very, very long time, and just wasn’t super-thrilled about it. I wanted something different so I started testing out different fields. I got into digital marketing, did an e-commerce store, and as time went by, me and a friend, we decided we wanted to buy a house, and so we went bought a triplex out in Tacoma, Washington, and in doing that, I decided to use my digital marketing skills to start to get leads and I found it it’s pretty easy to do that and I figured I was onto something, so at that point, I focused my attention on to real estate since then. I stayed in corporate for a little bit too long, in my opinion, and then probably about a year ago, I switched gears to full-time. So have been focusing on mobile home parks in Washington State specifically, but also nationally, we market for mobile home parks, and single and multifamily.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. Do you mind telling us some of the skills that you learned in digital marketing and how you apply that to finding leads? You mentioned it was easy, so tell us how we can also easily find leads through digital marketing.

Gabriel Petersen: There’s a caveat there. It took me a long time to figure out how to do it, but once I figured it out, it became easy, but it’s not a secret. I’m sure everybody listening, they’ve watched some show or some guru out there that explains it, but we do PPC, so both Microsoft and Google PPC, and then Facebook ads. Facebook, we mostly do for remarketing, but we’ve also done just standard Facebook ads. And then on top of that, we also do everything else behind the scenes – drip campaigns, email marketing. We’ve tried text marketing, as well as ringless voicemails, so the whole thing together works pretty well, but the thing that really got me started in the beginning was PPC, Google PPC.

Theo Hicks: Sorry, PPC is pay per click, right?

Gabriel Petersen: Yeah. So Google ads, Google search, search ads.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. So it’s pay per click, and then what’s the other one, because I know there’s two versions. Pay per click and what’s the other one?

Gabriel Petersen: Pay per click, and then organic SEO. SEO is a little bit harder. You’ve gotta have a lot more time, in my opinion. Our site’s ranked, but that’s not where we get the majority of our leads. Everybody who’s getting started in digital marketing for their real estate business, I would recommend either hiring somebody to do SEO or just get started with paid advertising, because paid advertising, it’s like a switch. You turn it on and it goes, you start to get leads. But with SEO, you really got to build it up and it takes time and little bit more effort than a lot of people are willing to get going with.

Theo Hicks: So let’s focus on the four mobile home parks because it sounds like this is what you’re transitioning to. So do you find all those through PPC or something else?

Gabriel Petersen: See, I think three of them, we found with PPC and then the last one was cold calling. So sellmymobilehomeparks.com is our landing page. So we run national campaigns, and that’s PPC across the entire USA, and once we start getting leads coming in, we send them an offer, and based on our specific criteria for buying mobile home parks, if it really fits it, then we’ll buy it ourselves. Otherwise, we wholesale it to other people; but that’s how we got three of them. The last one in Washington State, we actually called the owner.

Theo Hicks: You mentioned before we went online, the breakdown of how you plan on approaching these four. Do you mind saying that again? So you said you’re gonna buy some and then wholesale the others.

Gabriel Petersen: Yeah, we’re actually going out there today, George Washington, it’s a little city out in Washington, and that’s the one that we think we’re going to buy. And the reason we’re going to buy that one is because we got killer seller financing terms. It is 80,000 down, and then 3.5% interest. So we think we’re going to go pull the trigger on that one. The other ones don’t quite fit our criteria for MSA, so we’re going to be wholesaling those ones.

Theo Hicks: How do you, just for your business in particular– so you mentioned that you do the national campaigns, and then once the leads come in, you’ll submit an offer, and then I’m assuming that this one you plan on buying, this will be your first time going to see it in person?

Gabriel Petersen: Yep.

Theo Hicks: So how do you come up with an offer price, sight unseen?

Gabriel Petersen: Actually, I do this with single-family too, is we offer sight unseen, and the reason is because when you’re doing digital marketing, when you get a lot of leads coming in, you just don’t have the time to go to all of the properties. So what we do is we create an offer options letter and we look at the demographics of the area, we ask the seller questions for mobile home parks, we’ll ask them, “What’s the pad rent? Are you on city sewer, city, water?” etc, etc. So once we get a picture of what the property is like, be it a single-family or a mobile home, then we’ll go back, we’ll plug it into our formulas, and we’ll pump out and offer options, and that’s really just to make sure that we’re all on the same page. That us as the buyer and the seller are on the same page of where we think we’re going to end up with our actual PSA signed.

If they agree to the range that we send them and they like what we’re talking about, what we think we can offer, then we’ll go out to the property, we’ll actually see it, we’ll walk it and we’ll get it under contract. But this mobile home park that we’re going out to today, we actually got that under contract before we signed it because we love the terms of the seller financing; you don’t get that very often, not many sellers who are willing to do that, especially when it comes to mobile home parks. So we’re giddy about it; we’re excited.

Theo Hicks: So you offer options. What are the factors in that? So obviously there’s a price range, but are there also one that says seller financing and one, you’re buying all cash or other ones, you’re financing it? Is it like all the different offers you’re willing to do on the property and if any of those makes sense to them, then you go out into the property?

Gabriel Petersen: Yeah, exactly. For a single-family, there’s three options. There’s gonna be two seller finance options, one all cash, and when we look at the all-cash, we’re looking at it as a flip, and then for the two seller finance options, one will be interest-only, and then one will be just standard seller finance, and with each one of those numbers, we can pay a different amount based on the rent and the cash flow that we can expect. So we’ll give that to them, they can look over the three options, figure out which one fits best for their specific situation, and then we can go forward with that.

With the mobile home parks, it’s just two options. We do seller-financed and we do all-cash. Seller finance is always going to be higher than all cash, because, well for one, it’s easier. It’s an easier transaction for us to do seller financing, so we’re willing to pay more for the property because there’s probably going to be less down, there’s going to be less of our time involved getting it to the finish line.

Theo Hicks: So when you’re coming up with these numbers, what’s the target return metric that you’re basing it off of?

Gabriel Petersen: That’s tough. I should have a better answer for you there. We should have one metric, 20% IRR; we don’t though. So we look at each one individually.

For single-family, I like to have at least $200 — well, I’ve been going a little bit higher, so at least $300 per door in cash flow. That’s what I’m offering on there. For mobile home parks, we like to get it between a 9 and a 12 cap. It depends. If it’s on septic and well, then we’re going to want a higher cap rate. If there’s other aspects of the property that make it less attractive, we’re going to want a higher cap rate. If it’s in a great area, we’ll go lower, 9% actually. If it’s in a really great area like near us, Tacoma, Seattle, we’ll go down 6%. So I guess we do have metrics that we go for. So cap rate for mobile home parks, cash flow for single-family.

Theo Hicks: What made you decide to transition from or at least add mobile home parks?

Gabriel Petersen: Well, that one was actually my partner. He had been really interested in this for a while and got us excited about it as well, and then once I started looking into it, it just made a lot of sense. I’ve always wanted to do large multifamily properties, but there’s a lot of capital involved with those ones. They’re just really expensive. Mobile home parks, they’re not as expensive. You have the same number of units and you don’t have to deal with a structure. So there’s no leaky pipes, there’s no broken windows. You think about the headache that comes with owning a property and managing a property, that’s usually gone with mobile home parks, because what you’re dealing with is the electrical is the infrastructure; electrical, the water, the sewer, things that don’t normally break and are easy to be maintained.

Theo Hicks: Alright Gabe, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Gabriel Petersen: It’s tough. I asked this on my podcast too and never thought about it myself, but I like the advice “Don’t give up.” I know it’s trite, but it is honestly, in my opinion, really good advice. There’s so many times when I have just been like, I don’t know– leads aren’t coming in as well as we thought they were or the deal didn’t turn out as well as I thought it was going to do, and I just feel like, “Oh, I just want to give up. I’m tired of this”, but if you just keep going, it is gonna work out. You just have to just pedal to the metal and just keep going forward. So don’t give up. That’s the best advice I can give.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. Okay, Gabe, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Gabriel Petersen: Let’s do it.

Break [00:12:21]:03] to [00:13:25]:05]

Theo Hicks: Alright, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Gabriel Petersen: That’s tough. So I’m reading War and Peace right now I have this thing about reading the best books critically acclaimed. So I started reading War and Peace; it’s really big. I don’t know if it’s the best book ever recently, but Seneca, On The Shortness of Life is probably the best book that I’ve read in the past year.

Theo Hicks: I think War and Peace is like Crime and Punishment. I had a hard time reading that book, too.

Gabriel Petersen: Yeah, it’s long. There’s like [unintelligible [00:13:50].00] pages.

Theo Hicks: I know. It’s long and super detailed, but I’m gonna check out War and Peace. I like reading older books. Okay. What is the best ever deal you’ve done?

Gabriel Petersen: The best ever deal we’ve done… Actually, probably the wholesale that I did just two months ago. It was a duplex near me here in Washington, and I ran the numbers and I had this number in mind that I was going to buy it for, and then in conversation, we had talked to another real estate investor friend of ours, and he offered to buy the contract from us for $70,000 more than we were going to be in the contract for, and we were like, “Well, that’s a no brainer. Let’s do it. $70,000 – that’s an easy paycheck. Let’s close it right now.”

Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Gabriel Petersen: Oh man, probably just start another business. Corporate – some people like it; it’s not for me. I really like being an entrepreneur, doing my own thing. So I’d probably just start a new one. There’s tons of different ideas out there. I did digital marketing for a bit, I might do that, but I want to stay in real estate. I do really like real estate a lot. So hopefully I can just restart the same thing I’m doing right now.

Theo Hicks: What is the best way you like to give back?

Gabriel Petersen: Probably my time; in my opinion, that’s the biggest, greatest gift you can give somebody is the gift of your time. So if anybody needs advice or just wants me to look over a deal or anything like that, that’s probably the best gift I could give is just my time.

Theo Hicks: On that note, what’s the best ever place to reach you?

Gabriel Petersen: Go to www.therealestateinvestingclub.com, that is the website for my podcast. Or you can reach out on LinkedIn. Just search Gabe Petersen, real estate investor. I’m sure I’ll pop up; my pretty little face with a blue shirt.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. Okay Gabe, thanks for coming on the show today and giving us your advice on digital marketing and mobile home parks. We talked about how you’re able to find most of your deals and that’s through PPC, pay per click. The other one is SEO and so you mentioned SEO is a little bit harder, takes a little bit more time. So your recommendation was when you’re starting out to focus on a paid advertising, and then maybe hire someone else to get the ball rolling on SEO.

We talked about your transition into mobile home parks. Your business partner was interested in it for a while, and you’d always wanted to do multifamily, but multifamily is a little bit more expensive than mobile home parks, plus there’s a lot less structural things that can go wrong with mobile home park compared to multifamily.

Currently, you’ve got four deals under contract. You found three of them through pay per click and national campaigns and one of them was through cold calling, and then you’re going to end up buying one of those, which you’re actually going to see– I think you said today or very soon, because of the really solid seller financing you were able to get.

We talked about how you’re able to submit offers on these properties without seeing them in person because obviously when you’re doing mass marketing, you’re not gonna be able to see every single deal in person. So you mentioned that you create an offer options letter. So you ask the seller a bunch of questions, do some research to get a picture of what’s going on at the property, and you plug all the information into your calculator to get offer options.

You said for single-family homes, you’ve got three options – two seller financing; one of those being interest only, the other one being standard, and then one being all cash. And then for mobile homes, it was two offers – one seller financing, which is gonna be the highest and then other one, all cash.

The metrics that you want to see to come up with these numbers, the offer numbers for single-family homes is about at least $300 per door in cash flow, and for mobile homes, it is a 9% to 12% cap rate depending on the location and a few other factors. And once you get that offer, you send those in and then if they agree to the offer range or one of the offers or they’re interested, then you will go out and actually see the property.

Then lastly, we talked about your best advice which was to not give up and you gave examples of times where you wanted to give up but had major breakthroughs. So again, Gabe, really appreciate you coming on the show. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Gabriel Petersen: Thanks, Theo.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2173: Investing Long Distance With Mike Wilkinson

Mike is a full-time real estate agent and broker with 4 years of real estate investing experience. He currently owns 4 units in Cincinnati and 3 in Denver with a few flips under his belt. He shares why he started off by investing out of state and explains what factors he paid attention to before jumping to out of state investing and the steps he took to invest out of state comfortably. 

Mike Wilkinson Real Estate Background:

  • Full-time real estate agent and broker
  • 4 years of real estate investing experience
  • Portfolio consisting of 4 units in Cincinnati, 3 units in Denver, 3 flips
  • Based in Denver, CO
  • Say hi to him at: https://embarkdenver.com/ 
  • Best Ever Book: The Go Giver

 

Click here for more info on PropStream

Best Ever Tweet:

“A good property manager is a huge part of your team in making out of state investing relaxing” – Mike Wilkinson


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today, I’m speaking with Mike Wilkinson. Mike, how are you doing today?

Mike Wilkinson: Good. Yourself?

Theo Hicks: I’m doing good, thanks for asking and thanks for joining us. A little bit about Mike – he is a full-time real estate agent and broker, and also has four years of real estate investing experience; his portfolio consists of four units in Cincinnati, three units in Denver, and three flips. He is based in Denver, Colorado, and you can say hi to him at embarkdenver.com. So, Mike, can you tell us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Mike Wilkinson: Absolutely. So I think like many younger investors, I got going interested in personal development, financial independence, freeing myself from needing to always work a job and pay the bills and have some assets do that for me. So that all got started back in 2016, 2017, and I got my real estate license right out of college, I think the same way week that I had graduated, and jumped in and out of the industry for the first year or two there. I got started with the house hacking strategy as a first asset, and for the last couple of years here, I’ve been a full-time agent and focused mostly on the residential, single-family, small multifamily asset classes.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. So you have four units in Cincinnati and three in Denver. Did you do the ones in Denver first or the ones in Cincinnati first?

Mike Wilkinson: The house-hack in Denver came first, and then a couple of deals in Cincinnati, and then a few more deals here in Denver. So I hopped back and forth.

Theo Hicks: What made you do Cincinnati?

Mike Wilkinson: I actually had a roommate and very close friend of mine living with me in Denver at my house-hack there, and he had a girlfriend, now wife, who was living in Cincinnati, grew up there. She had just bought a house out there, and was charging her roommates very similar rents (over $600 a month) for living in her $100,000 house out there, nicely fixed up… And I was charging my roommates the same rent out here in a $380,000 house, and a light bulb went off in my head and I said, “Hey, man, it might make some sense to try and invest out of state,” especially when my then-roommate moved out there and I could go and fly and have a close connection and someone to enjoy some time with out there.

Theo Hicks: Those four units, are those four single-family homes, two duplexes, or what’s the breakdown for those Cincinnati properties?

Mike Wilkinson: It is one single-family home, which is the first place that I purchased, a straightforward 2% rule deal, a $50,000 house or $45,000 house with $1,000 rent, and then a triplex that actually has a commercial unit below that was being treated as a residential unit, and two apartments above; that was actually also purchased around that $50,000 mark. So a little different pricing out there than here in Denver.

Theo Hicks: Sure. So when you decided to start investing in Cincinnati, do you mind walking us through the different steps you took for anyone else who lives in a pretty expensive market and wants to venture out to a market where they can buy properties for significantly less? So setting up a team, finding the deals, managing the deals, just A to Z.

Mike Wilkinson: Absolutely. I think a common thread through a lot of my clients here who invest out of state is the property management aspect, and that being a huge determinant as to whether they are successful and enjoying out of state investing. I’ve experienced that myself recently, fired and hired a property manager and feeling a lot better about those investments now that I’m having a little bit more of a trusty relationship with the property manager. So that’s a huge aspect, and I’d say probably the most important aspect of your team out there.

Another huge aspect is just networking your butt off and actually going out there. I had the opportunity of having a friend out there who I could go and stay with and drive around with and use his truck and leverage some connections that way. So meeting up with other investors out there, and not just focusing on the real estate agents and the property managers and the lenders, but also networking with other investors out there who have years of experience investing in that market was a huge thing for me to bounce one investor’s idea off of another to get a clear picture of which parts of town, which neighborhoods I wanted to be in, what price ranges I wanted to be in there, and talking with people who have already decades of experience there, who aren’t looking to make money off of me, I think, is an important thing that not too many folks that I talked to out of state investing wise do. They seem to jump straight into talking to property managers and agents and the like.

Theo Hicks: Do you mind telling us why you had to fire that property management company and maybe walk us through the timeline? Because I know and I’ve talked about this on syndication school that I do in the past, that it’s typically a high timeframe in which you want to wait before firing just to make sure that they’re actually the reason why the property’s not doing very well… So I’m just curious what happened – was it an instantaneous firing thing? Was it three to six months of poor management until you made that decision? And then on top of that, what lessons did you learn that allowed you to not make the same mistake in hiring the next property management company?

Mike Wilkinson: So this particular property manager, so they had an in-house maintenance division, which can be a positive thing and can also be a negative thing. It’s a difference that you’ll see across a lot of property managers; depending on the area, maybe it’s a half and half. Some people do have that some people don’t. This property manager, when I originally started with her, had a separate maintenance team manager through the year or years that I’ve been with her, then her new husband had taken over the maintenance division there… And in checking in with my portal, all property– a lot of out of state property managers have some portal where you can see your expenses, and I do a fair amount of rehabs here in Denver and help clients manage rehabs, so I understand the costs quite well, and things started to not add up. I wasn’t getting the explanations when I was asking for them and therefore, I just quickly lost trust. It seemed all of a sudden that they were making their money in the maintenance division as opposed to helping me manage some profitable properties.

So that was the gist of it, and I think it’s an important question to ask a property manager right off the bat and ask if you have an option to go that route or not, and then making sure that you have some checks and balances there to make sure that those maintenance costs are competitive and appropriate, and that you’re not just being up charged and they’re making money off of you in that aspect.

Theo Hicks: An important question was to ask if you have to use their in-house maintenance?

Mike Wilkinson: Yeah. My new property manager out there, they do have an in house maintenance team. The real important question is, “What is your guys’s protocol? How do you do maintenance? Do you hire everything out to a third party?” A fair amount of property managers do do that and you ask, “What is the typical protocol here? Do you have one handyman that you always go to? Do you pay some people hourly? How does this work? Who owns it?” things like this to get an understanding of, “Okay, is this one of the most profitable parts of their company?” That’s not what you’d like to see, as opposed to this being just a necessary part of the job. And some people do run maintenance in house and therefore that’s helping save you money, especially when those are just simple jobs like changing locks or installing a new appliance or something like that… But it can also go the other way where you’d rather just pay a third-party $100 and they have the interest of keeping up their reputation and charging competitive rates and things like that. So I think the main question there is how do you run your maintenance division? Do you have one in house? Is this all third-party? And from there, asking the appropriate questions to see how things are handled.

Theo Hicks: You do own some properties in Denver and then in Cincinnati as well out of state, but which one do you like better? Do you like out of state investing or do you like in-state investing better?

Mike Wilkinson: More and more my perspective, especially leading up to my purchase around Christmas time this year, around New Year’s, that was a huge debate of mine going into that, the three or four months prior to that, and I had met with plenty of different investors chatting about it… And more and more, I have a leaned towards in-state investing. Here in Denver, I really believe in our market and have a lot of connections and efficiencies that I can utilize here. So being at a younger age, I’m not interested personally in using my cash flow right now, and getting a sprinter van and going across the country or anything like that. I see myself working, I enjoy my job a lot. I don’t need the income in the next, say, decade. So therefore, I think what needs to be considered is with the non-passiveness of real estate, we need to think about, if I have reason to believe these assets are going to appreciate. And here in Denver, I really do believe that they’re going to continue to appreciate, especially in these little pockets that I truly know, being a broker here.

So for those reasons and having connections here, having complete control, being able to go meet with a contractor face to face, line them out and then have the understanding of, “Oh, I’m going to make this right,” or, “I’m not going to see any more work from this person,” is huge.

Theo Hicks: Okay, Mike, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Mike Wilkinson: So the best real estate advice ever – I would say that networking your butt off and providing value to your network without strings attached is a huge thing, and that is something that I leverage to stay top of mind in my database and network.

Theo Hicks: Perfect, and do you have any examples of ways that people can add value without any strings attached?

Mike Wilkinson: Yeah, asking the simple questions of “Who do I need to keep in mind to introduce you to, what are you looking for in your business, in your job, in your life?” For example, a couple of weeks ago, I found a colleague of mine a great job, and that goes a long way in a time like this, and is something that I’m not seeing anything out of, but I know we’ll go to pay dividends in the future, and I think that just providing value in ways that extend far beyond your interest in real estate is a huge thing to do.

Theo Hicks: Okay Mike, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Theo Hicks: Let’s go for it.

Break [00:15:09]:03] to [00:16:12]:05]

Theo Hicks: Okay, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Mike Wilkinson: I would say along the lines with this providing value and my best ever advice, a book that I love is The Go-Giver, and I recently read the other edition of that it’s called Go-Givers Sell More. These are quick little books, but have a super meaningful message that is very simple and if you take that with you in your network and in your day-to-day, it’s a pretty foolproof way of having a big life.

Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Mike Wilkinson: Wow, if my business were to collapse today – well, I would go ahead and start a new one.

Theo Hicks: Besides your first deal and your last deal, what’s the best ever deal you’ve done?

Mike Wilkinson: I would say, best ever deal was a flip project which I was taking a client through, realized that the numbers were awfully good, and they didn’t want to act on it. I got their permission to act on it myself, and in a matter of five months acting as GC, we turned an 83 grand profit on it.

Theo Hicks: What’s the best ever way you like to give back?

Mike Wilkinson: I’ve work as a volunteer with an organization called Families First, and do a weekly volunteering for them. They do a great job to help parents in need in ways of raising a family with the right support.

Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what’s the best ever place to reach you?

Mike Wilkinson: Sure, I would say by email is a great way. I’m always responding to email, and that is mike@embarkdenver.com.

Theo Hicks: Perfect, Michael. Thanks again for coming on the show and sharing your advice with us. Mostly, we focused on comparing in-state versus out of state investing, and why you prefer in-state investing. We talked about how you’re able to know the market a lot better, especially because your job is as a real estate agent and a broker. It allows you to have more control, you have more connections in your local area, it allows you to meet people face to face, and just overall, you like the in-state investing more than out of state investing, even though you do have some properties in Cincinnati.

We talked about some of the tips you do have for people who do decide to invest out of state and the two things you mentioned was one, that the property management company is the most important, and you told us how you had to recently fire a property management company because the maintenance costs didn’t seem to add up and you weren’t getting a good explanation as to why. So you said that an important thing to understand with a property management company is how maintenance is handled and what the typical protocol is, and making sure that there’s checks and balances so that the costs are competitive and appropriate. The second thing you mentioned about investing out of state was networking, but more specifically, making sure you’re actually going out to the market to meet with people and network with people face to face, and this includes property managers, brokers, lenders, but you also mentioned it’s important to meet with other investors too, people who aren’t there to make money off of you and are gonna have an objective opinion as well.

And then you also gave us your best ever advice, which is to network and provide value to the network with no strings attached, and you gave examples like introducing them to different contacts, maybe referring them to people, and then you gave a specific example of how you were able to help someone find a job. So just asking questions, probing questions to figure out if there’s any way you can help them in order to strengthen that relationship. So again, Mike, I really appreciate you coming on the show and giving your best ever advice. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you soon.

Mike Wilkinson: You too. Thanks, Theo.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2162: Knowing Enough To Be Dangerous With David Ounanian

David grew up in a middle-class family with the mentality to go to school to get a degree and find a job to work for the rest of your life. He actually started out doing really well, having a corporate job, working remote, and making six figures but living paycheck to paycheck. He soon realized he was trapped in the rat race and wanted to get out. He shares how he went about escaping his 9-5 within 2 years and the process he followed. 

David Ounanian Real Estate Background:

  • Founder of Transform St. Louis, LLC
  • Full-time investor and agent
  • 3 years of real estate experience; 7 years as an agent
  • Portfolio consists of 12 properties using the BRRRR method and flipping 3-4 properties a year
  • Based in St. Louis, MO
  • Say hi to him at: https://www.transformstlouis.com/

 

 

Click here for more info on PropStream

Best Ever Tweet:

“If you’re not investing in real estate, then you’re probably not hanging around people who are investing in real estate.” – David Ounanian


TRANSCRIPTION

Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless. This is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast where we only talk about the best advice ever; we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, David Ounanian. How are you doing David?

David Ounanian: What’s up, Joe? Thanks for having me. Long-time listener, first-time caller.

Joe Fairless: Well, awesome. Well, I’m looking forward to our conversation and you know the drill then, you know how we approach these conversations.

David Ounanian: Yeah, yeah. I’m excited to dive into it.

Joe Fairless: A little bit about David – he’s the founder of Transform St. Louis LLC, he’s a full-time investor and agent, he’s got three years of real estate investing experience and seven years as an agent. His portfolio consists of 12 properties using the BRRRR method, and flipping three to four properties a year. Based in St. Louis. So with that being said, David, do you want to give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

David Ounanian: Sure, Joe. So like so many of us, I was raised in a middle-class family and told that I needed to go to college and get a job working for somebody else. So that’s what I did. I got my degree in Computer Science and became a software engineer at a big corporate company, started climbing the corporate ladder there, spent about ten years before I realized I was miserable, and the scariest part of that was I didn’t know why. I had a great job, where I could work from home and I was making six figures a year, beautiful family, new vehicles, new house, lake house, boat, everything you could ever imagine, but I wasn’t happy, and I had to do some soul searching to find out that I was actually caught up in the rat race and I didn’t even know it. So I had financed everything. So every time I got a raise, we went out and bought something nicer for our family… And before you knew it, at the end of my career there. The paycheck would come in on one day and the very next day, all of the direct deposit that I got from my corporate job was gone to pay all these bills, and it was absolutely a miserable feeling that I was going to have to stay in my job for the next 30 years before I could retire and do something that I wanted to enjoy doing.

Joe Fairless: What was the epiphany that took place?

David Ounanian: So I had got my real estate license on the side back in 2013 because I had a miserable experience with buying my first home to live in. I had to learn how to become the agent myself; my realtor was so bad. So then when I started hearing about family and friends buying and selling their houses, I was like, “Well, I might as well get my license to help them on the side.” So that was part of it, but I had my real estate license or four years before I decided to become an investor… And most of that time, I didn’t know I had all these false beliefs about investing; it had never even crossed my mind of the possibility that I could invest in real estate, especially now that I was licensed and now in the industry. The one thing that came to mind was — one of my good friends from college approached me and he wanted to buy his first investment property, and it was this little $35,000 single-family home near the airport here in St. Louis, and I told him he was out of his mind. I told him he was crazy. You’re going to lose money, you’re going to get called to fix the toilet in the middle of the night, and it’s going to be absolutely miserable. I don’t know what you’re doing. And here I am years later thinking, “I was worried about trying to figure out how to fix a toilet, but at my corporate job, I’m debugging thousands of lines of computer code and fixing all these problems.” It’s like that problem seems a lot easier to solve, but I wasn’t in the right frame years and years ago. But I saw him execute this deal. He did the BRRRR method to a T. He put about $5,000 to $7,000 into this property, it appraised for $75,000.

Joe Fairless: $75,000?

David Ounanian: Yeah, this was a grand slam in the terms of a BRRRR deal, and he pulled out a 75% loan to value refinance, so he got all of his money back plus some, and then he had this thing rented. It was a three-bedroom house, he had three girls going to the University here in [unintelligible [00:06:26].24] move into the property, and they wanted to pay the rent six months in advance. So he hears from them twice a year, he gets $1,000 a month, and I think his mortgage payment on that $50,000 loan is something like $250 or $300 a month. I saw that happen, I was like, “Holy cow. I got to get out and do this myself, because this is the way out.”

Joe Fairless: Wow. That is a textbook case study of the BRRRR method. So you had your full-time job as a software engineer and you kept getting the raises, but then the income kept going out the door because of the direct deposits. What was the conversation like with your family members whenever you’re like, “Okay, now I want to pursue real estate”? Was there pushback, and if so, how do you navigate that?

David Ounanian: Oh my gosh, yes. So you’ve got to understand that if you’re not investing in real estate, you’re probably not hanging around anyone that invest in real estate either. So that was a completely foreign topic.

Joe Fairless: That’s an interesting observation. Yeah, yeah it’s true.

David Ounanian: So it’s a completely foreign topic to anybody in my family. None of my friends except for the one friend that I told you about. So everybody that I tell about all these– it took me about, I want to say, eight or nine months before that epiphany happened, and then I bought my first deal. And during this time, I’m telling everybody about my plan. “Oh, I’m gonna start investing in real estate,” and not one person was saying that’s a good idea. They said, “You’re crazy,” just like I told my friend when he bought his first deal.

Joe Fairless: You were just repeating the party line that you’ve been told many times.

David Ounanian: Yep.

Joe Fairless: Okay. Were you married at the time?

David Ounanian: Yeah.

Joe Fairless: Okay, so how did you have that conversation with your significant other?

David Ounanian: That was just by repetition. So during these eight or nine months where I’m gearing up to buy my first investment deal, I am just going crazy with listening to podcasts, I mean, hundreds and hundreds of podcasts were listened to; your show, Bigger Pockets, any other show you could possibly think of. I’m reading all these books because I heard on all the podcasts the investors are saying that Rich Dad Poor Dad was the inspiration; literally, 99% of everybody said that book, and I wasn’t even a reader at the time. I hadn’t read a book since I had been required to in college, and I was like, “Well, I better get this book because everybody said they read it.” And I read that book and then what that did for me was just got me addicted to reading, and so I started reading books and consuming audible books about this and just trying to learn investing, learn personal growth, all that stuff over these eight or nine months… And what happened was every night, I would come home from work and I would spill all this new stuff that I learned about to my significant other, and of course, eight or nine months of this goes by and she’s like, “Will you just go ahead and buy your first investment deal?”

Joe Fairless: You just bored her down. [laughter]

David Ounanian: That’s how it happened.

Joe Fairless: When you look at the deals that you’ve done, your portfolio consists of 12 properties within a three-year span. How do you do 12 properties using the BRRRR method within three years?

David Ounanian: Really, this was done very easily. So I had a full-time job that was at least 40 hours a week. I’ve got young children at home, so there’s not a whole lot of extra time. What was beneficial to me is that I had the ability to work from home, so I could swivel the chair from one laptop to another to do something on the real estate side… And usually when you’re acquiring a rental property, the stuff that you have to do is 5-minute tasks. Unless you’re the one over there rehabbing it and stuff like that, you can outsource pretty much everything and just be the manager of the investment. So it really wasn’t that large of a time commitment to acquire that many units in the time that I did.

Joe Fairless: So let’s talk specifics for some deals. What was your first one?

David Ounanian: First one was the only one I lost money on; it was an absolute nightmare. So you listen to all the podcasts, you read all the books and you know enough to be dangerous. Let’s say that. So I went into this deal. It was a property that I found on Craigslist from a wholesaler. It’s a single-family home here in St. Louis, and the wholesaler was telling me that it was a $20,000 rehab to make it rent-ready. So this was going to be my first deal. I was going to do the BRRRR method. All the numbers checked out. I went to the house. Never had estimated a rehab before, but I read some books, I looked up some stuff online. I thought I knew enough. So I went in and I said, “You know what, I think that’s a little low. I think I’m gonna go with $25,000.”

Joe Fairless: Okay. Yeah, you want to cushion it. You want to be super conservative.

David Ounanian: Yeah. So over the next six months, this deal became an absolute nightmare. I ended up putting close to $50,000 into the property. I made the mistake of using all of my own cash to finance this deal. My spouse and I had a savings account with ten years worth of savings in it, and literally, every dollar was into this property, and I remember at the end of this time that we held the property it was like, if anything else goes wrong, I don’t know how we’re going to pay for it; it was getting really scary. Luckily, we were able to get it sold, take a small loss on it and get most of our capital back, but it was one of those things where you, in the moment, you’re like, “What the heck is going on? Why did I do this? How did this happen?” But then looking back on it, I got my Ph.D. in rehabbing a property, because I learned every single thing that could possibly go wrong on this property. So it was well worth the education, I guess.

Joe Fairless: And it’s certainly well worth you sharing that story, because anyone listening doesn’t have to go over their budget, $25,000 or so because you’re telling the story. So I appreciate that. What specifically in the budget was not accurate that you initially projected?

David Ounanian: So one of the big problems with this house was all the utilities were off and it was vacant, and it had been vacant for years; I want to say at least two or three years. So I had the property inspected by a home inspector, and I’ve used this particular home inspector dozens and dozens of times as an agent. He’s awesome, he usually covers everything, but one thing that I didn’t put together was because the utilities were off, there was no water, electric… He really couldn’t test a whole lot of stuff. So when we got all the utilities turned on after closing on this property, all of the plumbing was shot. Every single pipe had to be replaced. Even the sewer lateral underneath the foundation of the house, we had to go end to end, dig up the entire foundation, replace the sewer lateral; that’s an $8,000, $9,000, $10,000 job there. The bathrooms weren’t to code, so that added more expense. None of the outlets were to code, the wiring was off. We needed new electric panels, raised a service wire. He got on the roof… Luckily, we were able to save the roof, but then when somebody was purchasing it, they had an inspection and their inspector said that the roof needed all these repairs, so we ended up putting a couple of thousand dollars into the roof as well.

One of the other big ones was the foundation. So they had a finished basement with paneling in the basement. Little did I know that the foundation behind it was crashing into the house. So that was a big surprise, and I remember the day I was at the property when we figured this out, because my contractor was down there. I think there’s some pipe behind the paneling that they had to get to. So I wouldn’t have never known about this unless they had to get to this particular pipe. So we took down the paneling, and the whole wall was just leaning in and had all these cracks in it… And I decided to call a foundation contractor out to estimate it, and the first guy that got there said it was going to cost $15,000 to fix, and I literally broke down and cried when he left. It was the low point of this rehab, and I’m sitting there in my house and I call my one buddy that bought that first property, and I’m telling him what happened, and he’s like, “Just get two more bids, Dave, get two more bids” and I was like, “Okay.” So I get the next bid, and the next bid is $10,000 to fix the wall.

Joe Fairless: Get five more bids [unintelligible [00:15:18].05].

David Ounanian: Yeah, keep getting them.

Joe Fairless: Eventually, they’ll pay you.

David Ounanian: Yeah. So long story short, the third bid came back at $6,000 and we signed off and gave a warranty to the buyer, and so it was perfect. So I was able to stomach that number a little bit better.

Joe Fairless: Oh, man. Some of the things you mentioned, I totally get. It was vacant, so utilities were off. So when you turn them on, all hell broke loose, and some of the stuff. I’m wondering from your initial inspection– and I get it, this is your first deal, so there’s a Ph.D. as you mentioned, but as far as wiring and it not being to code – and this is where I need to be educated – were you not able to tell, or not you, but your inspector, not able to tell that it wasn’t to code without having the utilities on?

David Ounanian: I think one of the things he was able to tell us was the service wire was too low. So that was one, but what we didn’t know is when we turned on the panel, all of the outlets were not grounded properly. So now we had to pull electrical permits to swap out all the outlets, and I think we put two-prong outlets on there to make sure– so that we didn’t have to run the ground wires to them.

Joe Fairless: Okay, got it. So that was your first deal; the only deal you lost money on. Did I hear that correctly?

David Ounanian: Yes.

Joe Fairless: How much did you lose?

David Ounanian: It was $5,000 or $6,000.

Joe Fairless: $5,000 or $6,000, but yet you did it again.

David Ounanian: Yeah.

Joe Fairless: Or you did another deal, I should say.

David Ounanian: Right, yeah.

Joe Fairless: What was the conversation like with people who are closest to you, after you told them – if you did tell them – that you lost money on this first one but, “You know what? I’m doing it again.”

David Ounanian: You know what? It’s interesting, because before we were actually done with this first deal, we went under contract with the next property, and that one was a home run. Much like–

Joe Fairless: Thank goodness.

David Ounanian: –the example that I gave you from my friend of mine… I really wasn’t public about this back then, because almost–

Joe Fairless: What about your wife, when you talked to her, and you’re like, “Yeah, we just lost money, but you know what? I’m gonna go and put this other property in the contract because I want to double down on this strategy”?

David Ounanian: Yeah. Now, it was a different animal because I really give credit to listening to shows like yours because you hear time after time, investors say that you’ve got to be persistent and you’ve got to learn from failure and fail forward. So even going into this first deal, I had that mindset, and there was a bigger why that was powering us, that one deal, no matter how much I lost on it, was not going to stop me from being successful at this and getting out of my corporate job… Because that was the ultimate goal for this.

Joe Fairless: Okay. So the second deal, quickly, what are the numbers on it? You said it was a home run.

David Ounanian: Yeah. So this was a $60,000 property that we put about $5,000 in to make rent ready; it appraised for $99,000, and then rented for $1,050 a month.

Joe Fairless: Wow. Yeah, and you still have that property?

David Ounanian: Yes.

Joe Fairless: I know when I introduced you, I said – because it was in your bio that you flipped three or four properties a year, so how do you determine which ones you’re going to flip and which ones you’re going to hold?

David Ounanian: Sure, sure. So real quick, what’s nice is when you learn how to rehab a property once, it’s fairly easy to do it over and over again. So after learning on that first deal that was a complete nightmare, now at least we knew how to rehab a property successfully, what could go wrong and what’s going to go into it. But to get to your question here, when you’re looking for these rental deals, a lot of times, the property is too expensive to cash-flow as a rental. So if you’re talking like a nicer area like an A or B neighborhood, sometimes it’s not going to cashflow very well as a rental property, just because the property values are too high. But as you come across these, if you know how to rehab houses, now they can be fix and flips for you, and so that’s where we don’t let anything fall through the cracks just because we can’t add it as a rental; let’s see if we can make this work as a flip.

Joe Fairless: Besides the first deal, what’s been the most challenging property?

David Ounanian: The most challenging property. Man, besides the first one, I guess it was another property that I bought that was sight unseen. I bought this one off the MLS. It was listed for $37,000, it was a Section 8 tenant paying $708 a month, I believe, and it was under lease for a year. I think it was a new one-year lease at the time that I bought it. So picked it up and it was like “Easily, I think this property could appraise for higher.” We got it appraised at the six-month mark, because that’s when you can finance using a conventional loan that isn’t going to go off a new appraisal. So I do the new appraisal… I did nothing to this house, but maybe a little bit of landscaping and paint on the outside, some curb appeal, and it appraised for, I think, $59,000. And so instantly I had some equity in it.

The problem that became is when that lease came up– so the lease came up, the tenant decided to vacate the property at that time, and now I’m into the property… And I had been in there once or twice after going under contract, but I knew it was in a little rougher shape, but it wasn’t to the point where I was going to back out and lose my rapport with this agent that I was working with… And we got into the property after she got out, and it was another foundation problem downstairs. It had — the foundation walls were returning to dirt. They were deteriorating, and so we had to do some pretty extensive foundation work on that property. But that all said, the deal still cash-flowed. So it’s still a win and we still have equity in it.

Joe Fairless: How much was the foundation work?

David Ounanian: That was $10,000.

Joe Fairless: Why did you buy it sight unseen?

David Ounanian: I thought the numbers looked good. So $37,000 property in probably a B-, C+ area that’s running at $708. I always look at the 1% rule. So if I can buy it for $37,000, can it rent for more than 1% of that a month, which this is almost double that, so it’s almost at that 2% rule. So that’s what I was looking at.

Joe Fairless: Taking a step back, what’s your best real estate investing advice ever?

David Ounanian: My best real estate investing advice ever is to not forget the mindset component of this. Before I got started in investing, if somebody were to ask me how much mindset had to do with being a successful investor, I would’ve said maybe 5% of the equation; and today after doing dozens of deals and helping other people as their agent get started in investing, I can say with 100% confidence that 80% of the success is attributed to mindset and the 20% is really the mechanics or the blueprint for how to do the deal.

Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

David Ounanian: Yeah, let’s do it.

Break [00:22:30]:04] to [00:23:40]:07]

Joe Fairless: Best ever book you’ve recently read.

David Ounanian: Best ever book I recently read… I’m gonna have to take this back to the Bible, Joe, because I’ve been consuming so many books, and when you look at the messages and all these different business books and all these different life works, it’s so easy to take that message and say you can find that in the Holy Bible. And so now I really like to– I’ve got an app on my phone where I can search for answers on there, and so that’s something that I’ve gotten into heavily recently.

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever deal you’ve done that we haven’t talked about already?

David Ounanian: I’d say it’s a four-family that we acquired off market. So this is a property that, on paper, cash-flows about $200 a door, but we were able to take heavy depreciation on it to make all that income essentially tax free. So we did something called a cost segregation study on it, and last year, that alone was responsible for a $33,000 write off on a property that gets $9,000 or $10,000 a month in cash flow. So now that that’s all tax-free cash flow, or deferred cash flow, which long-term the plan is to just 1031 the property into something larger and keep trading up. So ultimately, that’s probably the best ever.

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever you’d like to give back to the community?

David Ounanian: Through Big Brothers Big Sisters. I’m a big brother myself, and I’m super, super passionate. I believe everyone is one mentor away from greatness, and there’s so many kids out there that don’t have it as good as we do who are on here listening to this podcast or talking on this podcast. There’s all these kids on these waiting lists that Big Brothers Big Sisters that have called out for help, and in many communities like my own they’re just waiting because there’s not enough people to step up to be a mentor for them.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing?

David Ounanian: Yeah, you can get a hold of me at agentdavido.com or follow me on social media at @agentdavido.

Joe Fairless: David, thanks for talking about the BRRRR method that you did on specific properties, how you got into it or why you got into it, how you thought about it, so the mindset, and then deal-specific stuff and some things to look out for for us when we enter into deals like this. So thanks for being on the show. Hope you have a best ever day. Talk to you again soon.

David Ounanian: Thanks, Joe. It’s been great. Appreciate it.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2151: Construction Owner and Investor Point Of View With Jorge Abreu

Jorge Abreu decided to leave real estate because he was not passionate about working in the corp world. He ended up developing a construction company called JNT Construction and now is the CEO of Elevate, a commercial investment group. He is now a full time active and passive real estate investor with 14 years of experience. 

 

Jorge Abreu Real Estate Background:

  • CEO of Elevate Commercial Investment Group and owner of JNT Construction
  • Is a full-time active and passive real estate investor with 14 years of real estate experience
  • He has wholesaled 200+ properties, flipped 100+ and developed several construction projects from the ground up
  • Current portfolio consists of 1,720 doors as a GP and 1,400+ as a LP
  • Based in Dallas, TX
  • Say hi to him at: www.ElevateCIG.com 

 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

Best Ever Tweet:

“If a contractor doesn’t have a presence online, it is a huge red flag.” – Jorge Abreu


TRANSCRIPTION

Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, Jorge Abreu. How are you doing, Jorge?

Jorge Abreu: I’m doing good, Joe. Glad to be on your show.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, I’m glad to have you, and looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Jorge – he’s the CEO of Elevate Commercial Investment Group, and owner JNT Construction. Full-time active and passive real estate investor, with 14 years of real estate experience. He’s wholesaled 200+ properties, flipped 100+ properties, and developed several construction projects from the ground up.

His current portfolio consists of 1,720 doors as a general partner, and over 1,400 doors as a limited partner. Based in Dallas. With that being said, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Jorge Abreu: Yeah, definitely. As far as the background, I graduated from university with an electrical engineering degree. I went to work for UPS in the engineering department. Probably my senior year before I graduated I knew I didn’t wanna do engineering, I didn’t wanna be in a cubicle, crunching numbers all day, so I started looking at some other successful individuals and noticed that a lot of them built their wealth through real estate… So I started getting educated on real estate investing, did some single-family deals, decided to quit my W-2 job, start doing real estate full-time… That’s where I’ve found my passion.

Then, while trying to scale the single-families, I started doing a lot of fix and flips, and ran into some issues with some general contractors, so I decided to open a construction company to help scale that aspect of it. So then the construction company kind of took off on its own as well, and then about 3,5 years ago I kind of looked back, looked at what I had built, and realized that a lot of the stuff I had done was very transactional, and I didn’t have that constant cashflow coming in, and I also hadn’t built that legacy, or that wealth… And that’s what kind of turned me into looking into multifamily.

Luckily, I had some clients through the construction company that were multifamily syndicators, and they kind of opened my eyes to that world. Before then I never thought about purchasing a 200+ unit property, didn’t think it was possible… But with the syndication, that kind of changes things. So at that point — at first, I tried doing both the single-family and the multifamily. I’m a big Tony Robbins fan, and he always talks about focus is where the energy flows, so I decided to just stop doing single-family altogether and just put all my focus into multifamily. Since then, it’s really paid off.

Joe Fairless: Well, let’s talk a little bit about your story. Your senior year in college you worked so hard — you were about to get a degree in electrical engineering and you realized your senior year you don’t wanna do what your degree is in. Electrical engineering, for people I speak to, is  a very tough degree to get…

Jorge Abreu: [laughs] Yes, it is.

Joe Fairless: Were you demoralized by that, or what was your mindset?

Jorge Abreu: That’s a great question. Thinking back, it’s a five-year degree. A lot of math, so a lot of hard work to get past those classes… And I wasn’t demoralized. I had found what I knew I wanted to do, so more than anything I was excited. And I knew this was gonna have to be part of my path to get there – to come out of university making a decent  salary, and then do what I really wanted to do on the side, until I built that up enough to where I can do that full-time.

Joe Fairless: You said you looked at successful people and a lot of them got money through real estate… Who were some of the people you look at?

Jorge Abreu: Donald Trump was one. I know there’s a lot of people that love and a lot of people that hate him. Back then he was mostly a lot of real estate… And then Ron LeGrand I don’t know if you’re familiar with him. He’s been around for a long time.

Joe Fairless: Yup.

Jorge Abreu: So he was the first seminar I went to when I ended up signing up for his coaching, and that’s really what got me going.

Joe Fairless: And then you decided to quit your job at UPS in the engineering department… I imagine, since you majored in electrical engineering, you’re a very thoughtful, logical thinking person… What was your thought process that led you to say “I’m ready to leave this cushy W-2 job and go full-time in real estate”?

Jorge Abreu: It took a couple good deals to close for me to really prove to myself that I can do this, and I can pay consistently… And it got to the point where it was costing me money to be going to my W-2, and I think that’s where I’m very numbers-driven… So when I saw that, it just made sense.

Joe Fairless: That makes a lot of sense, if you have proof that you’re making more money doing your own thing than your full-time job, and it’s actually costing you money to be there. As far as GC issues –  you said you came across general contractor issues, and then you started your own construction company… What were the issues? And maybe if you have a story that you can share about some issues, even better.

Jorge Abreu: Just overall getting burned, paying the contractor too much in advance, and then having them disappear… That happened to us twice. This was back in South Florida; now I live in Dallas, like you mentioned… But I’m originally from South Florida.

Then when we made the move to Dallas after the ’08 recession, the same thing happened here. I think that was the last draw, when it happened here in Dallas; I was maybe thinking “Okay, maybe it’s something in South Florida.”

Joe Fairless: There’s crooks everywhere.

Jorge Abreu: Yeah, that’s for sure.

Joe Fairless: Why did you pay too much of an advance the second time, after being burned the first time?

Jorge Abreu: That’s a great question, too. Just not the right move, obviously… But when you’ve got a lot going on, and trying to scale… I can definitely say that – and this has always happened – I always trust individuals right off the bat, and I’m very optimistic. I finally have learned – it took maybe a couple more times, but… Yeah, that’s mainly why.

Joe Fairless: Let’s talk about some specific deals. So you’ve wholesaled 200+ properties, flipped 100+, and developed several construction projects, and you’re also a GP on deals, and an LP. As far as the development of construction projects from the ground up, tell us about one.

Jorge Abreu: So as the market go hotter – residential is what I’m talking about right now – it got harder to find good deals… And what we decided to do was leverage our construction company to create deals. It started doing a small addition – I know I can add 500 sqft to this house, and it’s gonna cost me $100/sqft, but I can turn around and sell that extra square footage for $200/sqft. Then we started ripping the  roof off of houses and adding a second floor, to the point where we just finally went to the next step where we demolished the house and started building new ones. And then on the multifamily side, actually working on the first one, on a large multifamily scale, which – we’re just in the entitlement phase right now.

Joe Fairless: With the renovation process where you’re building out 500 sqft more, compared to building a brand new house after you demolish it – what are some main differences, other than it’s just larger? But besides that, maybe from an approval process, or from some other type of consideration that we might not think of, and that you’ve discovered when you got into it.

Jorge Abreu: Most people would actually think that addition would be easier than the new construction, which is not necessarily true. Building a new construction is easier. The permitting is harder, obviously, and that’s one reason why we were ripping the roof off and adding a second floor, versus just tearing the whole house down – it’s because the permitting process is a lot quicker, a lot easier… You can get off the ground quicker, because you already have your foundation… But on a new construction, once you have that foundation poured and you start building it, it’s a lot easier than the existing, because you don’t run into plumbing pipes that are broken… You never know what you’re gonna find behind the walls that you’re tearing down.

Joe Fairless: That makes sense. Permitting is harder for new construction, but the construction aspect of it is easier. You gave the example of $100 versus $200. $100 to build the 500 sqft, but you can get $200 on the sale… What were the ratios that you were looking at with new construction when you were doing them?

Jorge Abreu: So we started doing some higher-end single-family  homes, and that was more of the ratio maybe — we were building it for more like $130 to $140/sqft, and then turning around and selling that for $240. I’m not sure exactly what the ratio is there, but…

Joe Fairless: That’s fine; that helps, that comparison. When you say higher-end homes, what’s the end price point range?

Jorge Abreu: Most of them were a million to — I think the most expensive one we did was right around 1.5 million.

Joe Fairless: Any of them sat on the market for too long and made you sweat?

Jorge Abreu: Absolutely. [laughter] Unfortunately.

Joe Fairless: What happened with one of them?

Jorge Abreu: There was one that location — they always say “location, location, location.” It was a good location overall, but it was a little closer than we realized to a main street, and we kept hearing that comeback in the feedback, that they didn’t like the fact that it was — we’re talking about maybe 4-5 houses in from a main street. So it sat out a bit longer than we expected.

Joe Fairless: Out of your deals, thinking back, what deal have you lost the most amount of money on?

Jorge Abreu: Hm… It’s a tough question. We’ve definitely lost on some deals. I won’t say we haven’t. I know there was a renovation we did… It was something with a neighbor… I can’t remember the exact deal, but I know we ended up losing maybe 20k or so on it.

Joe Fairless: You don’t remember — not specific, but high-level, why you lost the money? In case we can learn from that, that’s the only reason I’m asking…

Jorge Abreu: Yeah, for sure. We ran into some issues, so we had to replace all the plumbing. You’re originally from Texas, I believe, so you know about the foundation shifting…

Joe Fairless: Yes… [laughs]

Jorge Abreu: Okay… So the foundation had shifted quite a bit, which we saw that going in, but we did not expect to have to replace all the sewer lines, which we did… So that cost us some money. And then on top of that, it ended up sitting longer than we expected, we ended up having to drop the price… So  a mixture of spending more on the renovations than we had expected, and then having to sell it for less.

Joe Fairless: Do you still have your construction company?

Jorge Abreu: Yes.

Joe Fairless: Knowing that you have a successful construction company, what are some things that you can share with people about the construction process, that you know because you own the company and you see from the construction side what things are like? That maybe are either missed, or things that other investors should realize about the construction process. I know it’s a broad question, but maybe think of it from the standpoint of “When we get quotes from construction companies”, or the payment process, or “Here’s some unique things you could do to work with a company…” Just anything that comes to mind.

Jorge Abreu: No, for sure; I’ve actually done quite a bit of webinars and stuff on these things, because I feel like it is an aspect of multifamily investing that a lot of people don’t have a background in, and they do some of these things wrong…But I think it starts with the contractor that you hire; you need to do your homework. You need to call references, you need to make sure that they have insurance – that they have general liability insurance, and enough to cover if something was to go wrong. That they have a presence online… Nowadays if a contractor doesn’t have a presence online, it’s a huge red flag. So that’s one – do your homework when you’re hiring the contractor.

And then while the project is — well, not even while the project is going on… So once again, before  you hire them, dig into how they communicate exactly. How are you going to communicate with me throughout this project? Are you going to give me a weekly report? Are  you gonna give me daily reports? Do you have a software that you use to actually manage the project? Are you gonna give me schedules? How do I hold you accountable? Those kinds of things. How do you handle change orders? That’s big, because if you’re picking a contractor solely on price, you’ve gotta be careful; you’ve gotta look at the details and make sure that they have a detailed scope of work. If not, they may change-order you to death, which I’ve seen several times… So yeah, I’m not sure if there’s something else… I can keep going on and on.

Joe Fairless: That’s good. So when I meet with a general contractor, what are 2-3 things I need to make sure that I either ask him/her, or get from him/her? I know there’s more than that, but what are 2-3 things that “Hey, you’d better ask or get this information from him/her before they do the job”?

Jorge Abreu: For sure you need to get a detailed scope of work, that lays out exactly what you’re getting. If they delivered a paragraph with a price at the bottom, I will not accept that. Make sure that if they’re supplying some type of materials, that you have an actual allowance of what they’re supplying and how much they’re budgeting for that. And their insurance – make sure that they supply a certificate of insurance, and that it has the owner of the property’s name on it.

Joe Fairless: What do you mean by owner of the property’s name?

Jorge Abreu: You know, each property is gonna have its own LLC, most likely… So that should be mentioned on there as additionally insured.

Joe Fairless: Okay, cool.

Jorge Abreu: Yeah, it just makes it easier if something does go wrong – it makes it easier to file the claim on that insurance, if it goes that far.

Joe Fairless: Okay. Got it.

Jorge Abreu: And the third thing I would say would be the communication – really dig into how they’re gonna communicate with you, and have them lay that out for you.

Joe Fairless: Got it. You actually gave a bonus; you gave four, so even better. Detailed scope of work, materials allowance, make sure that you’re additionally ensured on their certificate, and the communication.

Taking a step back, based on your experience, what’s your best real estate investing advice ever?

Jorge Abreu: Best real estate investing advice ever… Get focused. Don’t get distracted with all the different noise that’s out there. That’s a pretty broad statement, but that can go for so many things. Real estate alone – if you decide that you wanna be a real estate investor, get focused on what type of real estate you’re actually gonna do, what area you’re gonna do it in, what type of properties you’re gonna look for, and then go all-in… And don’t try to be a real estate investor while selling things on Amazon, while doing something else. Conquer the one thing in front of you, focus on it, and then possibly start adding other streams of income.

Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Jorge Abreu: I’m ready.

Joe Fairless: Alright. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:18:55].23] to [00:19:38].15]

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Jorge Abreu: Recently, it would have to be Atomic Habits, which mainly goes over the fact that every day we have habits, a lot of them we don’t even realize it; it’s our subconscious mind just doing things. But if you become aware of that, you can actually replace those bad habits with good habits… And then when you really break it down, the outcome of your life depends on those habits.

Joe Fairless: Best ever deal you’ve done?

Jorge Abreu: That would have to be our five-property portfolio of 1,275 units we closed on end of November, last year.

Joe Fairless: How did you find it?

Jorge Abreu: Found it through a broker.

Joe Fairless: And where are they located?

Jorge Abreu: Houston.

Joe Fairless: Why is that the best ever, because it’s the largest?

Jorge Abreu: Because it’s the largest, yes, and there was a lot that went into getting it closed… So it felt really good getting it there.

Joe Fairless: What was just one of the challenge?

Jorge Abreu: Raising 22 million dollars.

Joe Fairless: Fair enough. When you take a look at that deal and the challenges you came across, what’s one thing that you learned?

Jorge Abreu: If you’re going for a institutional or an equity partner, have several back-ups.

Joe Fairless: Best ever way you like to give back to the community?

Jorge Abreu: I know our company goals — by the end of this year we wanna have a non-profit organization that we support 100%, and we’re gonna start doing a yearly event, where all the proceeds would go to that organization… And probably doing some other things throughout the year. So that’s not something we’re doing this second, but it’s definitely in our plans.

Things I do right now – I like to educate others. I feel like some people get trapped in the “Okay, I’m supposed to go to the university, get my degree, go work a W-2 job, have my 401K or whatever retirement plan, and that’s it. That’s what I’m gonna do.” And there’s other ways to really be able to build wealth, and other investments, like multifamily and things like that, that aren’t really taught in our school systems.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing?

Jorge Abreu: They can visit my website, which is ElevateCIG.com, or JNTConstruct.com. They can also shoot me an email if they like, at jorge@elevatecig.com, and if they do that, I can send them a couple different contents. I have a free checklist for due diligence for multifamily properties, and a couple other things I can send them.

Joe Fairless: Jorge, thanks for being on the show, talking about your construction management experience, lessons learned, talking about the deals that you’ve done, and what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and the differences and the thought process with new construction versus adding on, versus what you were doing before that, buying existing product and wholesaling.

Thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you again soon.

Jorge Abreu: Thank you.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2127: Cross Collateral Deals With Matt Deboth

Matt served 8 years in the Marine Corps as a force recon marine and has 9 years of real estate experience with a portfolio consisting of 174 rental units and has 25 flips. He shares how he uses cross collateral financing to help him acquire more properties with little to no money down. 

 

Matt Deboth  Real Estate Background:

  • Served 8 years in the Marine Corps as a force recon marine
  • 9 years of real estate experience
  • Portfolio consists of 174 rental units and flipped 25 rental units
  • Currently rehabbing a 48-unit apartment in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Located in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Say hi to him at: www.TripleHoldings.com  
  • Best Ever Book: Titans by Rockerfeller

 

 

 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

Best Ever Tweet:

“One tip that will help you grow your business is to bring value to brokers without looking for something in return.” – Matt Deboth


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks:  Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks and today, we are speaking with Matt Deboth. Matt, how are you doing today?

Matt Deboth: Good, good. How are you?

Theo Hicks:  I’m doing great. Thanks for asking, and thanks for joining us today. Looking forward to our conversation. Before we begin, a little bit about Matt – he served eight years in the Marine Corps as a Force Recon Marine, he has nine years of real estate experience, portfolio consists of 174 rental units, and he’s flipped 25 rental units. He’s currently rehabbing a 48 unit apartment in Des Moines, Iowa. So we’ll definitely talk about that. Also located in Des Moines, Iowa. You can say hi to him at tripleholdings.com. So Matt, before we dive into that 48-unit deal, would you mind telling us a little more about your background and what you’re focused on now?

Matt Deboth: Yeah, I spent eight years in the Marine Corps. I was on my last deployment to Afghanistan, I was ready to get out, didn’t really have a plan or knew what I was going to do, I started reading a ton of books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, investment books, I decided to give real estate a try. So while I was on my last deployment, I was scooping the MLS, I found a 20-unit apartment building, contacted the realtor, the realtor told me, “Hey, the seller is interested in owner financing,” came back, talked to the owner face to face, worked out a deal, I ended up getting out of Marine Corps in end of August, closed September 1st, and essentially, I house-hacked a 20 unit apartment building. From there, I started buying all these houses off the MLS, because it’s a good time to buy all these foreclosures. I buy them, flip them, rent them out. I was doing that for a while, and then eventually I got tired of the single-family houses and started going to apartment buildings, and that’s primarily where I’m focused at now, is value-add apartment buildings, usually 24 units or more, usually a mix of at least half two-bedrooms.

Theo Hicks:  So you house-hacked the 20-unit. What were the seller financing terms? Maybe walk us through that negotiation and how did you even determine what would be a good price, since you were so new?

Matt Deboth: Well, I’ve done my research. I realized how to use Microsoft Excel, how to run all the numbers… And the seller couldn’t sell it because the market was bad, nobody in town is really buying large multifamily like that… His terms were $50,000 dollars down. I think it was 12.5% interest for three years, and the first six months were interest-only payments. And even with those crazy terms, it was still cash-flowing like crazy, and I was living there rent-free. So to me, it was a good deal. Plus I bought it at the bottom of the market, had a ton of equity into it about a year and a half later. I purchased it for $500,000; a year and a half later, I think it appraised at $950,000, and then about a year ago, it appraised for $1,150,000. So it’s been one of my better deals I purchased.

Theo Hicks:  After the three years, did you refinance it into a loan to pay back the first owner?

Matt Deboth: I did. I had to pay him the payments up for the first 18 months ,and at month 19, I walked into the small hometown bank and threw it all on the table and said, “What can you guys do for me here?” They helped me out, they got me, I think, at the time, 5.25% was my interest rate.

Theo Hicks:  Okay, and so after that, you said you transitioned into buying single-family foreclosures; you’d buy them, fix them up and then rent them out?

Matt Deboth: Yeah. At that time, you could throw a dart at the MLS and hit a foreclosure and get a good deal. So I was buying them like crazy. I was cross-collateralizing them with the 20 unit apartment building. Sometimes I’d have a little bit of cash to put into them. I was doing all the sweat equity myself, getting them ready to flip, getting renters in there, and then I would refi out… And I was doing the BRRRR method before I think the BRRRR method wasn’t even coined or I didn’t even know what it was at the time.

Theo Hicks:  Okay. And then after that, how many deals did you do before you decided to transition back into multifamily?

Matt Deboth: I think, at the time, I was around 30 houses I had done. I sold off about half of them and I currently have about 14 single-family homes I’m holding on to.

Theo Hicks:  Okay, and then what was the first multifamily deal you did after buying all the single-family homes, and maybe walk us through that deal the way you walked us through that 20 unit?

Matt Deboth: The next big deal I bought was a 17-year-apartment building in the same town. It was actually owned by my property manager, who was going through a divorce. He wanted to get rid of it, I was in the time to buy… I had a ton of equity in that first 20 unit building, so I used that as cross-collateralization for the down payment. I think I paid $425,000 for it at the time, and it just appraised about 30 days ago for $750,000. So I get a lot of equity in that. I’m gonna use that to roll over to another project here soon.

Theo Hicks:  So when you say cross-collateralization, are you saying that you went to a bank and rather than give them money, you put up your 20 unit as collateral?

Matt Deboth: Yeah, in these larger deals, and even when I first started off in these houses I was doing, I had so much equity into it that instead of doing a refinance cash out, I would leave all that equity on the books in the property, which helped me out a lot, because it keeps my mortgage payment low, my debt to income is low, it keeps my DSCR (debt service coverage ratio) high. So the banks love that because they’re in a better position, and I use that equity in property A to finance a down payment for property B, and then as soon as property B is stabilized and on its own, usually within six to 12 months, I’ll refinance that so the two properties are not tied together anymore. That way you don’t have a house of cards; in case you lose one building, you’re not losing them all. So it’s usually a short time, usually between 6 to 12 months that they’re actually tied together on the same mortgage.

Theo Hicks:  That’s very interesting. So it sounds like this cross-collateralization strategy is very low money down, if you can find the right deals and force that appreciation… Because it sounds like you used this 20-unit deal to buy a lot of different deals, and then you just refinance once you’ve added equity to the other deals. Is that what you did? Is that your strategy?

Matt Deboth: Yep. The only deal I’ve ever really had to put money down to these multi-families is that first 20-unit; I put $50,000 down and that was part of a savings that I had from deployment. It’s on a credit card and peer to peer lending. But everything else I bought from then on out has all been zero money out of my pocket. And I’m not buying deals that are at 3, 4, 5 cap. They’re all value-add, they have a ton of equity in them already, they’re a distressed seller, they need a little bit of rehab, the banks love them… So it’s a pretty good money down strategy. I haven’t had any problems with it yet. I don’t see that many things since I’m buying on actuals and cash flow and not proforma.

Theo Hicks:  Then that’s huge. So let’s talk about the 48-unit deal. So before I go into detail, is this another deal that you’re using cross-collateralization on, or did you put money out of pocket for this?

Matt Deboth: No, I cross-collateralized the 22-unit building to buy this. So I purchased it for $2.5 million, 100% financed and the bank also financed $1.2 million for the rehab.

Theo Hicks:  And it’s 100% financed because of the cross-collateralization, right?

Matt Deboth: Yeah, I had to use the cross-collateralization for the purchase price, but the building appraised– can’t remember. I think the building appraised for about $3.8 million. So I had a ton of equity into it for after repair value that the bank pretty much gave me the repair costs to put into it. So I’m using that right now to rehab the entire property. And as of right now, I think our rents are going to be about $100 more than what we’ve forecasted, so that’s just icing on the cake for the deal.

Theo Hicks:  So the $2.5 million purchase price, and then the bank gave you $1.25 million in repairs?

Matt Deboth: Yes.

Theo Hicks:  Okay. So correct me if I’m wrong, but 50% of the purchase price, you’re using that amount to repair the property. So does that take a while to do? That’s a long process?

Matt Deboth: Yeah, it will. It’ll probably take about 18 months. It’s one property, but it’s four 12-plexes. So we’re just doing it one building at a time. That way, we have the other three buildings paying rent, we still got cash coming in. So we’re just– as soon as one building is up and ready, rehabbed, we’ll rent that out, see what we can get for actual on rents, and then we’re going to move to the next building and go from there. Just do it chunk by chunk, instead of kicking everybody out and trying to do everything at once. Especially now with the market the way it is, nobody knows how this whole Coronavirus is hitting everything, so we’re just taking it slow and doing it step by step.

Theo Hicks:  How did you find that 48-unit?

Matt Deboth: I had a broker bring it to me; a broker that had brought me a few other deals. He had been working this one for a while. The seller never wanted to sell, she was just dead set on holding, and I think one day, she just randomly called him and said, “Sell the place. I’m tired of dealing with tenants.” So he knew I was in market for something that size and that price range, and I was the first on his list.

Theo Hicks:  Why were you the first on his list?

Matt Deboth: Networking. I had already done about $4 million with the deals with him in the past. I would talk to him on a regular basis, probably two, three times a week. I’d referred him multiple times; he’s got a couple of good clients from me. I think it’s just networking and staying in a circle, keeping in front of him the whole time, telling them what I want, and he knows I’m a closer; I’m not retrading on deals, I had the financing already in place for something of this size and he took it serious. Is that how you’re finding all of your deals now through these broker relationships, or do you have another method for generating leads? Mainly brokers. I’d say my next biggest one is just networking, meeting people that want to sell. I’m not doing any direct mailer or anything like that. I’m just going to real estate meetups and talking to people, trying to get out there and see what value I can add to other people, and then it turns around and gifts you with things like other deals and stuff. I don’t buy everything that I come across, but I definitely try to hook people up with other buyers that I know that are looking to buy stuff.

Theo Hicks:  Are you still having a pretty easy time finding these value add deals in this market?

Matt Deboth: It’s a little tougher than it was a few years ago, but they’re out there. Obviously, they’re not gonna be blast on the MLS or LoopNet, but there are definitely a lot of brokers out there with pocket listings that they’re trading at a decent price. I think the networking part is how you get those good deals though. They’re not gonna be blasted all over the internet for everyone to see; they’re going to be in that broker’s pocket and–

Theo Hicks:  For someone who wants to start the process of building that trusting relationship with a broker so that they can receive those off-market value opportunities, what’s the first thing that they should do, or what’s one thing that you do immediately to get the ball rolling on that?

Matt Deboth: I’d say, bring them value. If you can bring somebody value without looking for something in return, they’re gonna look at you higher than somebody who’s just wanting to get everything they can out of them. Network constantly, meet people, get out of your comfort zone, just start shaking hands. Oh, I don’t know now with the Coronavirus… Don’t be shaking everybody’s hand, but get out there and just meet people and go to real estate meetups.

Theo Hicks:  When you say bring value to brokers without looking for something in return, do you have any examples that people could follow?

Matt Deboth: Yeah, if you know somebody that’s looking to sell or buy and they’re in a certain niche, and you know another realtor that’s in that niche, look them up, see what you can do, don’t try and get something as far as a commission or a finder’s fee or anything into it. Just try and help people out. That’s probably the best way, I think, to meet people in this industry.

Theo Hicks:  Yeah. If you don’t know anyone who’s buying or selling, you can use the going to real estate meetups. That why people are there for – to find deals and things like that. Alright, Matt, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Matt Deboth:  I would say, network. Get out there, meet people, go to real estate meetups, get on websites, forums, constantly interact with people, get uncomfortable, educate yourself as much as you can.

Theo Hicks:  Alrighty. Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Matt Deboth: Let’s do it.

Theo Hicks:  Alright. First,  a quick word from our sponsor.

Break [00:15:22]:04] to [00:16:17]:08]

Theo Hicks:  Alright. What is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Matt Deboth: That’d have to be Titan, the story of John D. Rockefeller.

Theo Hicks:  If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Matt Deboth: I’d start over. I’d start hustling, start from the bottom again and try to get to the top.

Theo Hicks:  We talked about a lot of your successful deals. Is there any deal that you lost a lot of money on, and if so how much, and what lessons you learned?

Matt Deboth: I haven’t lost any money on any deals, but there has been a few deals where I thought I had lowballed them quite a bit, but then they accepted my first offer so then I started second-guessing myself. And then one deal, in particular, I went to the closing table and realized I probably could have got it for about $100,000 less, but at the time, I was too scared to go any lower, because I knew if it went to market, it would be gone and it’d be out of my price range.

Theo Hicks:  What is the best ever way you like to give back?

Matt Deboth: Probably attend meetups, educate people, get on the forums like BiggerPockets, help people out as much as I can, try to get people educated into real estate.

Theo Hicks:  And then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?

Matt Deboth: I’m on Instagram @MattDeboth, Facebook, LinkedIn, BiggerPockets and tripleholdings.com.

Theo Hicks:  What types of things are you doing on Instagram?

Matt Deboth: I’m just posting some deals that I’ve got, some rehabs stuff that we’re doing. I’m not as active as I probably should be on it, but I’m trying to get out there and reach people, and I meet a lot of people who have questions and I try to answer them, do some zoom calls with them and just help them out.

Theo Hicks:  Well, Matt, thanks for joining us today and sharing your story, your journey and what you’re doing today. I think the biggest takeaway, at least for me, and I’m sure for most of the listeners is this – a very low money down cross-collateralization strategy. Obviously, I’d heard of it before, but I hadn’t heard about it in this way. I haven’t heard about this rinse and repeat process. So you buy one property– for you, it was this 20-unit building that you bought for $50,000 down. It was an owner financed property, and you said that you bought it for 500k and it appraised for over a million dollars a few years ago. And then after 19 months you refinanced, got out of that really, really high-interest loan into a new loan, and then you created a bunch of equity in that property, and then you used that equity as the downpayment for another property, and you kind of rinsed and repeated. So after 6 to 12 months, you refinanced. They had to be value-add deals, so you can add value and force appreciation, and then you refinance so that those properties are connected, and then you got that collateral to use for another property. So it sounds like you’ve really just had $50,000 out of pocket upfront and were able to do all of these deals.

Matt Deboth: Correct.

Theo Hicks:  We talked about all different deals you’ve done – the 17-unit deal that you did, then we talked about your 48-unit deal that you did, all with cross-collateralization. We talked about how you’re finding your deals. Number one source is through brokers. Then you gave us some tips on how to get brokers to send you their off-market deals. One was to do deals in the past. You had done $4 million for the deals with this particular broker before he brought you the 48-unit deal. Speak to them; you speak to them three times a week, and then bring them value without looking for anything in return, and the best way to do that is to refer them people.

Matt Deboth: Yep.

Theo Hicks:  You also mentioned that your other way to find deals is through networking. So attending real estate meetups, browsing the forums and things like that, which was also your best ever advice, which is to network and also to get uncomfortable, and you gave the example of not a deal you lost money on, but a deal that you could have made more money on, but you were too afraid to get outside your comfort zone and offer something really, really low. So I think that’s really good, solid advice, as well as the cross-collateralization strategy. So again, Matt, thank you for joining us. Best Ever listeners, thank you for listening as always. Have a best ever day and we will talk to you tomorrow.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2096: Going From The Medical Field to Investing With Victor Leite

Victor and his wife both started off in the medical field and started to feel burned out after working 70hr work weeks for 5 years. They both decided to leave their jobs to go backpacking and upon their return, they decided to purchase their first home and discovered it would need a lot of work. This started their journey into real estate investing, and now they have a business with 17 investors. 

 

Victor Leite Real Estate Background:

  • Entrepreneur and investor who owns multiple rental properties
  • Portfolio of rentals includes a mix of single-family homes and multifamily properties
  • Manages a high volume Fix & Flip investment group, they successfully completed over 100 rehab projects in 2019 – mostly with funds from private individuals
  • Based in Virginia Beach, VA
  • Say hi to him at https://www.lvrinvestments.com/ 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

Best Ever Tweet:

“Difficult roads often lead you to beautiful destinations.” – Victor Leite


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m your host today, Theo Hicks, and today’s guest is Victor Leite. Victor, how are you doing today?

Victor Leite: I’m good, Theo. How are you?

Theo Hicks: I’m doing great. Thank you for joining us today. I’m looking forward to our conversation. So Victor is an entrepreneur and investor who owns multiple rental properties. His portfolio of rentals includes a mix of single-family homes as well as multifamily properties. He also manages a high volume of fix and flip investment group. Their project has successfully completed over 100 projects in 2019. Most of the funds come from private individuals. So we’ll be talking about that. And he is based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and you can say hi to him or learn more about his company at 258capital.com. Alright, Victor, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Victor Leite: Yeah, sure, Theo. My background is not like most traditional stories. I was born in San Paulo, Brazil, which is one of the largest cities in South America, and during the late 70s, Brazil went through a lot of political-economic turmoil. So my family, we immigrated to the United States towards the idea of achieving that American dream. So I followed the traditional paths – I went to school, I got good grades, I worked multiple jobs, I went to university, I went to medical school, I got my various degrees and accolades, and I thought I finally had reached that level of American Dream that everybody’s in search of. But after five years or so, working private practice, working 60, 70-hour workweeks, being on overnight call, the corporate structures with the pressures from the medical business world, it started really taking a toll on me, and really felt that burnout coming than most medical providers feel. My wife also practiced medicine; she agreed.

One day after a long day, I came home and had a strong conversation about our lives and what we really wanted. So we decided that we needed to make a change, and we decided to press the reset button. So we literally packed our lives into two small backpacks and decided to take off to travel the world for a year; nomad style.

So during these travels, we did a lot of soul searching and during the process of soul searching, I did a lot of reading. I read a lot of the motivational books, the Tony Robbins, The One Thing, The 4-Hour Workweek that took me to the Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and then I started listening to a lot of podcasts, including the Best Ever Show. I listened to it; it’s a great show. And what really started resonating with me is that in real estate, it’s a place where anybody can get started, with or without any experience or money, and then with a little bit of hard work, it can really bring you some form of financial freedom.

So once we got back from that year-long travel, we had a little bit of money saved up and so we decided that we’re going to buy our first little home. It was a fixer-upper to us, and it was located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. So we got all of our small little items out of storage. We drove down to Virginia Beach, we had the keys in hand, really excited, put the keys in the door lock, we open up that door, and our mouth and our hearts just dropped. The whole entire first floor of the house was flooded. We think that the pipe had burst in the wall a few days prior and just ruined everything, and we were completely devastated. We didn’t know what to do.

So there’s that saying that difficult roads often lead you to beautiful destinations. So we brushed ourselves off, we became motivated, and we decided to connect with local contractors, handymen that really helped us repair and elevate this property to a state that it wasn’t even close to before. And we did such a great job that we actually turned this one into our first flip.

And then we thought to ourselves after finishing this experience, why can’t we just replicate this over and over again? So we began our process. We educated ourselves on this vehicle of real estate investing, we networked heavily, we became close contact with local contractors who focused on rehabs, we met with local brokers and agents who focused on foreclosures, HUD homes, VA homes. We networked with wholesalers who brought us off-market deals, we networked in JV with a few investors, and we finally got to do another project of our own. And then, like that law of those first deals, it snowballed, and two became four, four became eight, and so on, and now, which is point here today, just like you said, we’ve done numerous of projects, and now today we’ve transitioned our model over into the commercial multifamily space.

We had a thesis that we wanted to prove and that thesis was that we can take our systems from the residential rehab side and transition over to the commercial side, specifically multifamily, and we feel like we did a great job so far, and we’re looking forward to growing our goals and continue scaling upwards.

Theo Hicks: Thanks for sharing that. So a few questions… Before we talk about the multifamily, let’s about the fix and flips. So you mentioned in your bio that you raised money for these deals. So at what point did you tap out of your own funds, and maybe talk to us about that decision-making process to go from funding the deals yourself to raising capital?

Victor Leite: That’s a good question. In the beginning, we had a little bit of money left over. So we were able to start slowly by ourselves and we leveraged a little bit of the money with credit cards and things like that, but we got to the point where we looked at our funds, and we looked at the project that we were going to do and we hit a roadblock. So we reached out to our network and we reached out to family, reached out to friends, and we showed them our business plan, we showed them what we were doing and they believed in us. They came in and started investing with us, and then from there on, we wanted to scale even further out. So we really began a philosophy of OPM – other people’s money. So we started with word of mouth, going off to friends of friends and college friends and co-workers and things like that, and we’ve definitely been using private money to get our business scaling to the point that we are today.

Theo Hicks: How many investors do you currently have?

Victor Leite: Currently, our company holds about 16 total investors. They’re a mixed bag – they’re retirees, they’re self-directed IRA investors, they’re cash investors… A very mixed bag of people investing with us.

Theo Hicks: Okay, and then what I’m leading to is I want to know what types of returns you’re offering to them, but I guess I’ll ask it in a little bit different way. So you say you’re transitioning into multifamily. So what has changed about your approach towards your investors from fix and flips to multifamily? So when you were doing the fix and flips, what was the compensation structure, what were the returns offered, what was the frequency of those returns, and then now that you’re doing multifamily, how has that changed?

Victor Leite: Okay, so in regards to residential real estate, we really began with more of note lending. So we were trying to offer something that was competitive with the market, but also not too high that we couldn’t guarantee those returns. So we went initially between some years ago, but we started at 5%, 6% returns, up to 10% to 12% returns for investors in residential real estate, and then now when we’ve transitioned over to the commercial space, we really try to push for larger returns with our investors in the low to high teens, and we try to give them their regular mailbox money returns, and then our goal is to run a product through the whole cycle and give them a return also in the end.

 

Theo Hicks: Then what types of conversation did you need to have with those investors when you transitioned from the fix and flip to the multifamily? …just because again, the returns are different for both. So were they onboard right away, did you guys do something convincing, or how did that conversation go?

Victor Leite: That’s another good question. We’ve developed these relationships, and everybody trusting us with their investments, and the majority of our conversations was that we really wanted to scale into a larger space where we had better returns, better asset protection, more consistent returns. We had depreciation and deduction opportunities for everybody… And because of the relationship that we’ve built, they were trusting of us to really follow through with what we were seeing, since we had done it so far over the last years that we’ve been working with them.

So we explained to them the differences of benefits from a residential fix and flip investments from a long term commercial buy and hold investments that we’ve been discussing with them. So that’s more of the differences in conversation. There was not much fight from that standpoint. Everybody was really happy to really have their investments grow for long-term.

Theo Hicks: How many multifamily deals have you done so far?

Victor Leite: So as a company, we’ve only done one official multifamily deal by ourselves. We have been working on junior venture partnerships, general partnerships and limited partnerships with other operators, but us as ourselves, we’ve done one so far in 2020.

Theo Hicks: Okay, and can you tell us about how you found the deal, purchase price, how much money you raised and the returns you offered to those investors and how many investors you have in that deal?

Victor Leite: Okay, so we did a small multifamily. We found this through a lead that we had, through one of the brokers we had a relationship with. It’s a small project. It’s a six-unit in Downtown Norfolk in Virginia. It’s literally a block from the hospital, a block from the university, a block away from the downtown shops and restaurants. We purchased this deal for $400,000, so it’s a $67,000 per unit, and like I said, we developed the same system to fix and flip and we moved it over to the multi.

So when we purchased this property, two of the units were vacant because they couldn’t get them rented out. It was the two top units. So what we did, we decided to go in there and we did our full interior upgrades of the units like we always do, and I can go into details about that if needed, but we did a full interior upgrade of the units, we brought them back up to pretty much be the best units in that building. We did two units and we found that there was a basement area of this property that in the entire history of this property nobody has ever utilized.

So we went there and we’re looking at opportunities of whether we can put a unit down in that basement, and the city gave us a little bit of a tough time doing that. So we transitioned over to our plan B which we turned it into an amenity. We did washer dryers, we did storage lockers, we did bike hookups, we did seating area, TV down there and we put a [unintelligible [00:13:08].12] on the outside, things like that… And we got all this done in ten days. We spent a total of $12,000, and we took the rents from where they were, which were $700 per unit, which was about 85 cents per square foot, and we moved it up to now they’re $1,000 per unit which moves our rent per square footage at $1.66. So we were pretty happy with how it turned out.

Theo Hicks: So you bought it for $400,000, you put 12k into it… Can you tell us a ballpark of what it’s worth now?

Victor Leite: Yeah, we had it appraised. It appraised at $510,000. So we have a little bit of equity left in it.

Theo Hicks: So when you bought that deal, did you bring investors in it, or was this out of your own pocket?

Victor Leite: This was out of my own pocket, because we wanted to show that we could transition our teams over fluidly without any hiccups… And it was a smaller deal so we really didn’t need any private investing for this deal. But now we’re using it as a case study for all of our future projects.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. The future plan– is the next deal you’re gonna buy on your own or are you gonna raise money?

Victor Leite: No. Next deal, like I said, right now we’re currently working on general partnerships on a 100-unit deal, on a 96-unit deal, on an 80-unit deal with partners in our Mid Atlantic region, and we’re going to try to be a strong partner. What I didn’t mention is that 258 Capital is our Capital Group, but we also have in-house, 258 Contracting. So we’re an all in one investment group where we have in-house contracting and labor force that can really go into a deal, and we can really make a really nice deal, a really great deal by controlling the renovations.

Theo Hicks: That makes sense, how you were able to deal with those two units and all that stuff in the basement, for 12 grand. I was like, “Wow. 12 grand…” are you just saying the basement or is that all in? Because it sounds like you were talking it was all in.

Victor Leite: All in.

Theo Hicks: It sounds like it’s definitely an advantage of having the contractor.

Victor Leite: Correct.

Theo Hicks: Alright, Victor. What is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Victor Leite: Okay, best advice ever. So I mentor a lot of young investors and things like that, and I say, the best advice I can give somebody ever is don’t be afraid to just take the action. Going back to my story, if we let our situation really discourage us, we would never be to the point we are today. I took action without really knowing where it really would lead us. So I say to the listeners that are listening now, you’re learning a lot of information, you’re taking it all in, but if you’re doing nothing with that information, information is just worthless.

So taking action on the information, whether it’s educating yourself on the vehicle of investment that you want, or developing or building your team. I can’t do this alone; I have a large team behind me that backs me up, and I’m talking about not just from contractors, but from partners, from project managers, from attorneys, CPAs, from my landscapers – everybody’s got a piece to play in this game. And then also you’ve got to network with like-minded individuals who are doing what you want to do. It will really raise your standard and your standard bar.

Theo Hicks: Alright, Victor. Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Victor Leite: I’m ready.

Theo Hicks: Alright. First, a quick word from our sponsor.

Break: [00:16:03]:03] to [00:16:48]:06]

Theo Hicks: Okay, so you said you like to read a lot of books… So what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Victor Leite: Okay, so I’ve read a few books recently. Now I gotta say, you guys are not paying me this or anything like that for the plug, but the Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book, we as a group just finished that and that book is awesome. It is a roadmap to really doing an apartment syndication from different angles, that other books don’t really talk about. So y’alls book is really a great book that you put out there. And I read a lot of mindset books, and The Power of Positive Thinking – I just recently just finished that. It really was a great mindset shifting book to really focus on confidence and restoring confidence and focusing on what are your fears and attacking those fears so that they don’t hold you back from inaction.

Theo Hicks: Well, thank you for that shout-out for the book.  It’s  The Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book, pick it up on Amazon, people. Okay, if your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Victor Leite: So if our business were to collapse today, which we have a lot of diversity, so we hope it never happens, but I think we’d go back to what really inspired me to do real estate in the first place. I’d go back to traveling again. Traveling opened up our eyes to different cultures and different mindsets and really allowed us to really press that reset button and get off our ridiculous crazy hustle, 9 to 5, and just say, “Hey, what is really truly important to us?” Also maybe, possibly volunteer. Volunteer medical services abroad. When we traveled, we saw a lot of people who are in need. There’s a lot of people in need all over this world. So I think that’s what we would do next.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever travel destination?

Victor Leite: Oh, do you want my top three?

Theo Hicks: Yeah. Quick top three; just give them to me.

Victor Leite: Okay, quick top three. So obviously, I’m from Brazil. So a lot of people don’t know Brazil because Brazil doesn’t speak a lot of English, but the Northern part of Brazil is some of the most beautiful coastlines you would ever see. Also, Brazil is vast. So there’s a lot of things to do, but secondarily, if not Brazil, I would say, Vietnam. I know the US and Vietnam are not the best of friends based on history, but Vietnam – also beautiful landscape, beautiful ocean, beautiful people and great food. And lastly, we really enjoyed spending time in Bali. We really were able to really spend time in doing all that reading and tapping into our mindsets and focusing on ourselves. So those are my top three for your listeners who are looking to cut the cord and travel.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. I had to switch out one of the other questions because you answered it already.

Victor Leite: Oh, I did? Okay.

Theo Hicks: Yeah… Which is a good thing. So thank you for sharing that. So what deal did you lose the most money on and how much did you lose?

Victor Leite: We’ve done numerous rehabs, and to be honest, we’ve never really lost money. We’ve not made the returns that we were projecting. There was a deal where we made 1,000 bucks, but we didn’t really lose any money because we bought the deals right. We don’t just buy everything and anything that comes on the table; we have certain specific criterias that we look at with our business model and we try to avoid making mistakes, especially from others, who just think they can do anything and sell anything. So we’ve really not lost much. We just haven’t really met the marks we really wanted to on certain deals.

Theo Hicks: And then lastly, what is the best ever place to reach you?

Victor Leite: Alright, so to reach us, you mentioned it, 258capital.com. It’s a place where you can reach out to us with regards to the commercial space. Lvrinvestments.com, that’s our rehab fix and flip business. You can see the projects we’ve done there. We can do a lot of stuff on social media now. We have Instagram and Facebook @LVrealty; you can follow us there. And right now, we’ve been really working on providing educational content on YouTube, so we started a platform called Thinking Thursdays, and that’s where we really try to interview high-performing people and try to learn their various habits that drove to their successes. So those are the areas that you can reach out to us and we respond pretty quickly.

Theo Hicks: All right, Victor. Well, again, thank you for joining us today and telling us about your journey into real estate investing. You talked about how you started off doing the typical corporate job and then ended up a nomad for about a year, and then eventually got into real estate, bought your first fixer-upper in Virginia Beach. It didn’t initially start off as planned, but you were able to connect with local contractors, fix the property up and now it’s your first flip, and you asked yourself, “Why can I just do this same thing over and over again?” So that project lead to another project and it has snowballed into a fix and flip business, and then you talked about how you wanted to essentially take the systems and processes that you created for your fix and flip business and use that in multifamily. That’s what you’re focusing on today.

We talked about raising money, and how you started focusing first on family and friends, showed them your business plan, they started investing, and then when you wanted to scale further, you reached out even more to friends of friends, college friends and co-workers. So you have 16 investors [unintelligible [00:21:28].00] retirees, self-direct IRAs and cash. You talked about the differences between the returns offered on residential and multifamily and that you were able to transition those investors into multifamily because they trusted you and you were able to tell them about better returns, better asset protection, and you really just followed through on what you said you were going to do in the past, so they trusted you to do it again in the future.

We went over your multifamily example where you bought a six-unit in Downtown Norfolk, Virginia. That came through a broker relationship, bought it for 400 grand, two units were vacant, you upgraded those units and then added some amenities to the basement. All in 12k because of your in-house contracting and labor force, and you were able to increase the rents from $700 a month to $1,000 per month increasing the value of the property to $510,000, so a great success story in the first deal.

And then your best advice was threefold, which was one, don’t be afraid to take action; two, make sure you develop and build your team and recognize that everyone has a role to play and you can’t do it all yourself; and then three is to network with like-minded individuals who are doing what you want to do.

So again, thanks for joining us, very solid advice. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for joining us. Have a best ever day and we will talk to you tomorrow.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2085: Fake it Till You Make it With Aaron Fragnito

Aaron is the Co-Founder of Peoples Capital Group and the Host of New Jersey Real Estate Network. Aaron is someone who developed a plan to become a real estate investor and went after it right away. He shares his journey from no experience to a realtor, wholesaler, flipper, and now syndicator. He shares some of the mistakes he made with management companies and how he is able to keep his 4 core investors even when he was making mistakes to now 30 investors.

 

Aaron Fragnito  Real Estate Background:

  • Co-Founder of Peoples Capital Group (PCG)
  • The host of New Jersey Real Estate Network
  • A Licensed NJ Realtor and a Full-time real estate investor.
  • He has Completed over 250 real estate transactions, totaling more than $40M, Fixed & Flipped over 50 houses, wholesale 100+ properties, and Manages an 8 Figure Portfolio of Private Real Estate holdings
  • PCG Works with qualified investors to create passive returns through local commercial real estate.
  • Say hi to him at: https://www.peoplescapitalgroup.com/
  • Best Ever Book: Mel Robbins books

 

Click here for more info on groundbreaker.co

Best Ever Tweet:

“I am always educating” – Aaron Fragnito


TRANSCRIPTION

Theo Hicks: Hello, Best Ever listeners, and welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Theo Hicks, today’s host, and today we are speaking with Aaron Fragnito. Aaron, how are you doing today?

Aaron Fragnito: Very good, Theo. How are you doing today?

Theo Hicks: I’m doing great, thanks for joining us. Looking forward to learning more about what you’ve got going on. Before we get into that, let’s talk about Aaron’s background. So he’s a co-founder of Peoples Capital Group, PCG. He’s the host of New Jersey Real Estate Network and is a licensed realtor in New Jersey as well as a full-time real estate investor. He has completed over 250 real estate transactions totaling more than $40 million. This is included over 50 fix and flips, over 100 wholesales, and he currently manages an eight-figure portfolio of private real estate holdings. PCG also works with qualified investors to create passive returns through local, commercial real estate. You can learn more about his company at peoplescapitalgroup.com. So Aaron, do you mind telling us a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on today?

Aaron Fragnito: Sure. So I got started in real estate about ten years ago. Initially I was turned on to do it by Rich Dad, Poor Dad, of course. I’m sure everyone says that same story. I hear it all the time. So I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad around senior year of high school. I was an entrepreneur, major at Rowan University, wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I figured I did have a passion for real estate, and after reading that book, I recognized that the tax code is actually in favor of people who pay themselves through ownership of real estate. So I figured that out, and then I started reading David Lindell and Trump University, and I think I even looked into some Joe Fairless stuff at the time.

About ten years ago, Joe was getting started, the syndication space was really new then as well. So I knew I want to own a lot of real estate and want to make passive cash flow throughout, but just didn’t know how to get there. So I made a list and I said, “Okay, I want to own $10 million real estate and have a net worth of a million with $100,000 passive cash flow in ten years.” So that was about ten years ago; that was my goal. I wrote it down, and I said, “Okay, well, I’m gonna work backwards from here. I need to make connections, learn the industry, save some money, figure out how real estate syndication is created and run… And to do that – maybe I’ll get my real estate license to start.”

At the time, I actually moved out to Colorado to teach kids how to ski for six months after I graduated college, read a bunch of books on how to start a real estate investment company, they all made it look so easy, moved back to Jersey, got my real estate license and started executing on that plan.

I made a lot of mistakes, teamed up with the wrong people for my first fix and flip, lost a little money, did a lot of the wrong things, didn’t do the right due diligence, hired the wrong contractors – I got tons of stories – hired the wrong management companies getting started, ended up having to develop our own management company… But a couple years into the business, working as a realtor, you learn short sales and start to make some money.

I started working with Seth Martinez who is my business partner today, and we really complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. So he’s great at operations and management of the real estate and improving our systems and strategies here in our business, and I’m more on the branding and fundraiser investor relationship side. So we work really well together. We bought a six family from a We Buy Houses sign that used to work really well, that I would staple on telephone poles in a suit and tie in the middle of summer. I’d get a bunch of listings and deals with those We Buy Houses signs. So we’ve had a six family back in 2013 or so, I bought it for about $220,000, put $50,000 into it, bought, renovated, refinanced out, it appraised for well over $400,000, got our money back and a little bit on top, and raised some capital and built on to the next level and got up to about 100 units over five years, all while flipping a lot of houses as well, and wholesaling at the same time with our residential division. So pretty busy and engaged so far.

Theo Hicks: That’s great to hear, and we do apartment syndications, so we’ve got a lot in common and I’ve got a lot of questions for you. Let’s talk about your first syndication deal. So did you syndicate that six-unit deal?

Aaron Fragnito: We didn’t actually syndicate it. Our first syndication deal was a 25-unit in South Jersey, and we put together four investors who all brought in $100,000 each, and we bought a 25-unit for below market value. We took the cash flow from it, put it back into the building, hired a few management companies. One was stealing money from us, it was a disaster, we had to take them to court. Another one just really over promised and under delivered. So by doing that 25-unit, we learned that sometimes you want something done right, and if you’re going to build a big portfolio in one central location, it makes sense to actually have your own management company.

So we developed our own management company through necessity with that first 25-unit, because like I said, the two management companies we hired, one was bad, the other one was worse. So we were like, “Well, if we switched to a third management company and they screw us too, we’re going to look really bad to our tenants in this building, and we’ll go downhill.”

So we developed our own management company about seven years ago, and that is our competitive edge now today that allows us to really reposition these buildings like a fine-tooth comb. So many moving pieces when you buy a mismanaged apartment building, and you’ve got to really knock it out of the park for your investors. So relying on other management companies was a risk I found and a flaw in the overall syndication model. So we tried to correct that with developing our own management company here. It does limit where we can buy, but we love this North Jersey market, and we do very well here with this North Jersey market.

Theo Hicks: You’re really good at proactively answering my questions. I was gonna say, “Oh, what are some of the pros and cons of having a management company?” but you answered all those for me. So we’ll talk about the investors instead. So your first 25-unit deal, you said you had four investors. Who were they and how did you get them to invest?

Aaron Fragnito: Well, let’s see. One of our first investors– great story. Well, the first monies I raised in real estate was actually for fix and flips, but those investors, I rolled them into buying the apartment buildings over time… Because in the fix and flips, we weren’t successful. I would like fail at a fix and flip, and be like, “Here’s what I did wrong. Here’s how I corrected and I got rid of that partner etc” They would reinvest me, so I salvaged those relationships. I also wrote checks to the closing table to make sure no one ever lost money as I was learning the business… But what I did is I went to real estate networking event and I made a beeline for the owner of the event, and I said, “Let me talk about what I’m doing. I’m learning short sales, I’m getting into a fix and flip, and my topic is going to be Fake It Till You Make It.” So I literally did a presentation called Fake It Till You Make It, and it was probably not a very good presentation. By the way, my wife today was in the crowd. I met her that night, ended up marrying her few years later. So just a wild story. The first presentation I did in real estate ended up being about how I met my wife, but different story…

So there were some people in the crowd that were intrigued with what I was doing, and I always enjoyed public speaking. They saw my passion for this industry and they decided to invest, and that was how I got one investor around $100,000 and another investor was from Seth’s network, actually. He knew a very wealthy individual in New York City that owns his own real estate, that he had worked with before in the medical building industry. So Seth had sold a medical building company, and he knew this doctor. Yeah, it’s great business to meet doctors. So just because Seth knew him through medical building and that relationship, it didn’t mean he couldn’t convert that trust into investing in us in real estate. Even though it was our first syndication and we, really looking back now, didn’t really know what we’re doing and had a lot of challenges in front of us.

So again, one investor I had messed up with a flip and made good on it, and she decided to reinvest in me. Another guy was a doctor I knew from a whole other industry, and doing business with years earlier, and just cultivated that relationship into investing them, and then one was actually some people on Seth’s family as well, and then just another investor, but I think it was actually one of Seth’s aunts. So luckily, Seth was a little older and had a little more capital and had good resources there. So I think, actually, three out of the four investors were from his network and I brought in one investor as well. That’s why it’s so important to have partners that have great networks and complement what you’re doing so that you can make sure you raise the capital and have those resources of private investors that Seth brings in and I bring in as well.

Theo Hicks: So for your first deal, you had about four investors, you said, and you mentioned how you found them. That was five years ago, you said?

Aaron Fragnito: That was back in 2013.

Theo Hicks: Okay. So six, seven years ago. How many investors do you have now?

Aaron Fragnito: Over 30.

Theo Hicks: Over 30 investors. So do you wanna talk about how you grew from 4 to 30?

Aaron Fragnito: Sure. Well, it was quite a journey; a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Just recently, I have really, in the last two years, made a conscious transition in my business to not only just stop working so much in my business and more on my business, because as any entrepreneur, I get really caught up answering emails, moving deals, and I’ve really got to focus on my systems overall, and what’s my main goal five years down the road… So in the last two years we really redeveloped our branding system into being more of a thought leader, more polished and professional, but also aimed at just high net-worth individuals, people in this area in North Jersey here. There’s a lot of wealth, and we do events in our office.

I have an office here in Berkeley Heights, and I used to throw a lot of money into fundraising. I’d go into the Hyatts, fancy hotels; I’d put down $3,000, get everyone dinner, and I would do a lot of networking events in there, and that was great; we raised a lot of capital that way. So we started a real estate networking event. We went on meetup.com, we started New Jersey Real Estate Network, and this was about eight years ago or so as well, and I started raising capital that way.

So I would do dinners every month at a hotel and people would come, and I don’t think I made any money on the events. I would charge money to get in, I’d have some sponsors, and at certain times, it felt like I was more of an event planner than a real estate investor, but those events really helped us build our brands. I would then go out and speak in other REIAs. Again, I would go to networking events, I’d make a beeline for the owner of that group, and a lot these guys, they need investors, they need people to come in and speak. They want people to speak at the events, they need a new speaker every month. So even if you’re starting, that could be a great story. Talk about your first fix and flip or whatever it is, your first gig you’re doing, and that’s how I would also meet investors. So I’d speak at events, I’d be honest, I’d talk about my starting points and then my struggles there, but how I powered through them and made good to my investors, and I built the brand that way.

I’d get people to come to my event, I’d feed them dinner, I’d tell them about what we’re doing, and I’d raise capital, and quite frankly, it was very easy to raise capital for fix and flips. So I kind of got off track for about three or four years with Seth, and we did about 50 fix and flips. We had some crazy projects going on, and we got off track with that, but it was a great way to bring in a lot of investors, because people love the idea of getting a first lien position, getting a 12% interest rate and getting their money back in a year or they could take the property back. It’s a pretty good position and it’s pretty quick turnover for investors.

So we raised a lot of capital that way and flipped a lot of houses and made some money and lost some money, and around 2016 or so, we started to recognize that scaling up a house flipping business is, in my opinion, really not all that profitable. It’s not the most profitable part of the business. What’s the most profitable part of real estate is being a listing agent or owning apartment buildings, in my opinion. So we realized that and about two to three years we focused on our apartment building syndication business. As we sold that 25-unit, we made a nice profit, our investors were very happy, and we said, “Wait a minute. It’s actually easier to buy and reposition a 25-unit than it is to flip a dozen houses in a year, and we make the same amount.”

So what we figured out was we want to really double down on that, and then I changed our brand a little bit to attract longer-term investors who were looking for a passive investment, and that’s really a different person than the house flipping individuals you meet at REIAs and such. They’re looking to be more hands-on, and they’re looking to really do a quick investment, get in and out, maybe make an interest rate. What works better for us are individuals that are busy working nine to five, maybe they’re a doctor or a banker or just a high net worth earner, or they just have an IRA with $30,000, they can self-direct into a syndication with us, and they’re looking more for a longer-term passive investment. It’s a different type of investor than the ones you might find in a real estate networking event.

So I had to consciously convert my fundraising brand and my fundraising message to attract the right type of investor over the last two years, which has been one of the bigger challenges for me, not only raising capital, but figuring out who I want to get in front of, what’s that ideal investor I want, and then getting in front of them, whatever that means. Facebook ads, marketing ads, whatever it takes to get in front of that person in the right professional manner, and then know what to say when you finally meet with them.

Theo Hicks: So for the fix and flipper investors, you’d find those at the meetup groups like in-person events, and then for these longer-term passive investors, you’re finding them through online ads?

Aaron Fragnito: Correct. Facebook marketing. I do four seminars a month here in my office in Berkeley Heights. I do six webinars a month as well. I teach how to self-direct your IRA, I go over case studies, I go over current offerings we have on buildings, I have realtor events, I have luncheons, I have evening events, we feed you here as well. So I do roughly the same seminar twice a week or so, but I get all new people coming in to see it, I put different spins on it, but I am just always, always educating. Fundraiser in the syndication space is really just an educator. Now we don’t sell education, we don’t sell books or CDs, we focus on just selling one product we have here which is a turnkey investment into New Jersey apartment buildings, but I’m always educating and it’s all free, and that’s how we raise capital. We build relationships with investors, they come to our events, they see us here, they see another 12 or 15 investors here at the luncheons and whatnot, and it’s chance to ask a lot of questions, listen to a 60 minutes seminar, and about half the crowd usually decides to fill out a form to move to the next step, and that’s a great turnaround, I think, as far as sales goes.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, thanks for sharing that. So we focused a lot on the raising money. The other thing I wanted to talk about a little bit more was the property management company. So I’m going to merge that together with the money question. So what is the best ever advice you have for– well, I guess, a little more context. I know a lot of syndicators will do third party, and you mentioned why you don’t do third party, but now I want to talk about the how to start your own management company. So what’s your best ever advice to an apartment syndicator for starting their own in-house property management company?

Aaron Fragnito: That’s tough; there’s so many moving pieces to a management company. I’d say, the first thing is working with good technology. We do work with AppFolio, which is a very helpful technology, and there’s tons of things like that. We feel like AppFolio is one of the best, so we went with that, and that really helped organize our business and it  allows us to scale up to managing 100 units without having to staff up. It’s almost like bringing on a staff member. Secondly, I have a phenomenal property manager. I have a phenomenal employee, A. Delgado, who does all of our property management, and she’s one of those individuals who, I think, was born to be a property manager. She’s so organized, she’s so good with the tenants, she’s so patient. I couldn’t do what she does. It’s really hard to be a property manager, it’s a thankless job, and there’s so much little nitty-gritty detail to it, and of course, tenants are going to lie to you and break your heart and it’s a tough gig. Same like working with contractors; Seth’s really good with that and I’m not.

So a good system overall also, just not only working with AppFolio, but working with our systems here in office. When work orders come in, working with the right contractors – that took years. I used to have a really good contractor, then I’d put him on payroll and started paying him hourly, and all of a sudden, the jobs took twice as long and cost me twice as much. So I realized you’re actually better off having the contractors as independent contractors, get multiple quotes, make sure they understand they’re not always going to have a job here, they’ve got to give us good production, good service and show up on time and get the job done properly. So we have a lot of good boots in the ground, great contractor relationships here. We’ve got the right small handymen, mid-level handymen, plumber, electrician etc, the right people for the right things… And then just the small guys too that bring out the garbage and clean the hallways. When you have enough units in one place, you have economies to scale, so I can have someone do all that, shovel our walkways when there’s snow, for a lower price, because we have a bunch of units in one area, and these individuals will work for us for a better price because of that.

Theo Hicks: Alright, Aaron. Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Aaron Fragnito: I think so.

Theo Hicks: Let’s do it. First, a quick word from our sponsor.

Break: [00:19:32]:04] to [00:20:18]:04]

Theo Hicks: Alright Aaron, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Aaron Fragnito: That’s a tough one. I get that a lot on podcasts. I never really have a good answer. The book I’m reading right now is by Mel Robbins. My wife actually turned me on to her. She dragged me to a thing in the city that she was doing the other week, and I actually enjoyed it and got the book and I’ve been reading it a little bit. So Mel Robbins is a self-help coach, and her thing is when you’re grounded by anxiety or stress– and there’s a lot of stress and pressure being an operator, being a syndicator, having to raise the money in time, find the right deal and execute on your projection, so it’s a stressful gig; it’s not for everyone. She does this thing where you count down five, four, three, two, one to get yourself moving in the morning or get yourself not thinking about an issue and just move on. So it’s a lot about just motivating yourself to take action.

One thing I loved about what she said, you’ll never feel like doing it. “If it’s the right thing, you’ll love it every day and you’ll always feel like doing it.” Well, no, that’s not it. I love real estate, I love what I do, but there are days that I don’t want to be here. It’s a tough job. I work 60 hours a week, I got a luncheon on Sunday. I don’t want to be here on a Sunday. I want to go be with my family and friends, but I work hard at it, and I have a passion for it. So not every day’s fun, and that’s what she’s saying. You just got to go for it, get yourself moving, and just keep that mental focus, and she’s like just count down from five, four, three, two, one whenever you’re in a spot and you’re stagnant to get going.

Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?

Aaron Fragnito: Well, first of all, I have a ton of real estate equity. So we do stress tests here. How much can the market drop? What if rents just stopped growing? What if this deal didn’t work out? So I have a good amount of real estate equity. So everyone’s like, well what if the market drops out? Well, we just buckle down the hatches and keep collecting cash flow. Our business is based on actual holdings of real estate, so I could slow down now and still be okay. The North Jersey real estate market is strong, the demand is strong. If there is such an economic collapse or New York City gets nuked or something and disappears, then we have bigger problems than our real estate values.

So whenever people say worst-case scenario, what if there’s no demand to live around Manhattan anymore? Then I say, well, honestly, where would your stock market be then? What’s this terrible, terrible scenario where no one has any money anymore and no one can live around Manhattan? So we do think we’re pretty recession-resistant. I’m not sure what will cause our business to fall, but we don’t have to sell any widgets. We have the buildings with the cash flow. We’re not selling coaching, we’re not selling anything else. So really, at the end of the day, we just have to keep raising capital and buying buildings, and if we decided to stop doing that, we could just maintain our holdings and maintain our rent growth there through time.

Theo Hicks: What is the best ever way you like to give back?

Aaron Fragnito: We give back in a lot of ways. I personally donate about 10% of my income between my church and different things like World Vision and Compassion International, which is great. If you go to their website, you can actually sponsor specific kids in third world countries. It’s really crazy stuff. So I love it. It’s such a great feeling. I have almost a dozen kids I sponsor between those two things. And there’s also in general here at Peoples Capital Group, we give back to Mission Clean Water, which brings clean water to Africa, and we are a member of three different Rotary clubs, donate to all the Rotary clubs and different events they have going on, and we sponsor lots of Rotary events, things like that locally. So big Rotarian here.

Theo Hicks: Then lastly, what is the best place to reach you?

Aaron Fragnito: Our website is peoplescapitalgroup.com, and you can check us out there. I have a podcast myself called The Passive Cashflow Podcast, but our website peoplescapitalgroup.com has information about our business. You can apply to qualify for an upcoming investment opportunity. We actually have buildings people can invest in in the next 30 days. So again, that’s our website, peoplescapitalgroup.com to qualify for that investment.

Theo Hicks: Perfect. Alright, Aaron. You’re [unintelligible [00:24:14].26] full of knowledge. I’m gonna try to summarize it, but I’m not going to look at everything because you said so much, and just a lot of solid advice. Everyone who’s listening should definitely relisten to this podcast. We talked about raising money and we talked about private management companies, but we first talked about how you got to where you are today; started off with Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you had made a list of what your goals were – own $10 million with the real estate, $1 million net worth, $100,000 passive income, and then made your plan of action to get that. You started with your real estate license and fix and flipping, and then moved into syndications. We talked about your first syndication – a 25-unit with the four investors and how you’ve had issues with your management company and eventually started your own.

You found your first investors from your fix and flips. So this is your first syndication – from your fix and flips, and then your business partner had a doctor and then this aunt or someone in the family invested, and then one of them came from your Fake It Till You Make It seminar, which also resulted in your wife. That’s awesome. Then we talked about how you grew from four to 30 investors, and you talked about the differences between raising money for fix and flips and raising money for syndications, and you realized that the type of person who’s interested in investing in fix and flips is different from the kind of person who’s investing in syndications. So you had to redevelop your brand in order to start targeting those people who are interested in longer-term, more passive investments, as opposed to the fix and flip investors who are more interested in higher returns, being active and getting their money back early quickly.

So you said that going to meetup groups, and REIA meetings was good to get fix and flip investors, whereas doing something more personal seminars and webinars and lunch and dinner events, Facebook ads and marketing ads to get the passive investment leads.

One thing you did say that was interesting was that these meetup groups and REIAs are always looking for a new speaker. They need a new speaker every single month or week or however often they’re doing it. So just because you haven’t done a ton of deals doesn’t mean you can’t speak at these events. If you’ve done one fix and flip offer, talk about your fix and flip, and then that will help you get the ball rolling on your brand.

You talked about your management company, which you started six-seven years ago, and your four pieces of advice on starting on time management company was one, make sure you’re focusing on technology. So you use the app Appfolio. AppFolio helps you scale without having to bring in a bunch of team members. Number two is have a great property management company, and the characteristics were organized patient and works well with tenants, and your property management company, you said, was born to be a property manager. You talked about having independent contractors as opposed to having one GC on staff, and then you talked about the advantages of having a scale by having a lot of units in one area. So you could have one handyman apply to all properties, one person shoveling snow and raking leaves and things like that. So again, jam-packed with information, definitely worth a relisten for Best Ever listeners. Aaron, thank you again for joining us today. Best Ever listeners, as always, thanks for listening. Have a best ever day and we’ll talk to you soon.

Aaron Fragnito: Thank you.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to www.bestevershow.com.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF2023 : Teacher Flipping Houses With Eric Helbock

TRAEric Helbock is the definition of hard work and making things happen. He is a full-time teacher who did his first flip in 2010, which took 2 ½ years for him to sell because it needed so much work. He ended up picking up odd jobs to help fund his flip and he was doing the rehab himself because he didn’t have the money to finance anything out. His story is inspiring because he purchased a property most would have given up on, but instead, he figured it out by putting his mind to it.

Eric Helbock Real Estate Background:

  • Full-time technology teacher.
  • He is also a Real Estate Investor; Has bought 8 SF rentals, 10 condos, and 15 unit building, he does his own rehabs, self manages and never buys from MLS, only buys distressed deals.
  • First Flip was in 2010 and it was a flop, taking 2 ½ years to sell it.
  • Poughkeepsie, New york
  • Say hi to him at ibuybrokenhouses@gmail.com 

 

Best Ever Tweet:

“If you’re going to waste the time to go look at something, make the offer. Even if you think it’s too low, there might be someone like me on the other end who might really need it.” – Eric Helbock


TRANSCRIPTION

Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, Eric Helbock. How are you doing, Eric?

Eric Helbock: I’m doing very well, thank you.

Joe Fairless: Well, I’m glad to hear that. A little bit about Eric – he’s a full-time technology teacher. He is also a real estate investor (surprise, surprise). He’s bought eight single-family rentals, ten condos, and a 15-unit building. He does his own rehabs, he self-manages, and never buys from the MLS. He only buys distressed deals, under market.

His first flip was in 2010, and it was a flop. He took 2,5 years to sell that puppy. Based in Poughkeepsie, New York. We’re gonna have a fun time, I think. Eric, first, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Eric Helbock: Sure. So my current focus is I’m looking larger, I’m looking at either multifamilies, maybe 15 to 30-units, or I’m looking for self-storage units. I’ve put out a very small, handwritten batch of yellow letters – I think it was about  22 – and I got a phone call almost right away for a 75-unit self-storage with four commercial and four residential apartments.

I didn’t actually end up being able to close the deal. 1031 money got in the way, and someone [unintelligible [00:02:08].05] we were supposed to have our second meetings. So then I said, “Alright, I keep buying these single families, I keep buying condos, and looking at small multifamilies… What am I gonna do if I really do get an accepted offer? How am I gonna pull the trigger on this right away?” So I started selling off some of my smaller stuff, and I stacked a bunch of cash, so hopefully I could pull the trigger next time.

Joe Fairless: Okay… Well, let’s rewind. Let’s go back to the first flip that was a flop – your words, not mine. It took 2,5 years to sell–

Eric Helbock: No, no. I appreciate it.

Joe Fairless: So what happened?

Eric Helbock: So I was as green as the [unintelligible [00:02:39].29] I went to a couple of tax sales, I went to a couple of foreclosure sales… I was looking everywhere; I was looking at MLS properties… And one day I tried the Putnam County tax auction, which is probably about 45 minutes from my house… And there was a house that really no one was bidding on. I ended up picking it up for $30,000 site unseen. I got there very excited… I think I had $3,000 to my name. $2,700 of it was with me, and $300 was in another bank account. You need 10% down to close, so I had them transfer the money so I could actually at least accept my deposit.

Within 27 days I needed the other $27,000. I begged, borrowed and stole from friends and family (minus the stealing part), and I was able to close. I got there, it was a shell. The front looked pretty decent. It had new windows… There was a huge gap under the front door, and when I went in, it was a hoarder. The person had crazy signs on the wall that I think used to be posted on the front lawn, about the town. It was  a very bad situation. There was [unintelligible [00:03:42].01] there was no sheetrock, there was no electric, there was no plumbing… It took me almost a year just to get permits. They just kept fighting me on everything, and I think it was bad blood from the last owner.

The walls were 2 by 4, the ceiling was 2 by 6. They would tell me I had to go to 2012 energy codes, and they wanted me to build out all the walls, build out the ceiling. It was pretty much a nightmare.

Joe Fairless: Okay, so you have $2,700 in one account, $300 in another. That was your 10% down payment, and you still hadn’t seen the property…

Eric Helbock: Yup.

Joe Fairless: Did you see the property before you then borrowed from family and friends the remaining 27k?

Eric Helbock: I saw the outside… [laughs] I will say, I’m very enthusiastic… So I was going through it no matter what. I wasn’t gonna lose my $3,000. The lemons was gonna become lemonade. I kind of peeked through the window… I had an idea of what I was getting into, but not really.

Joe Fairless: You didn’t have access to go inside at that time?

Eric Helbock: Oh, not at all. Now.

Joe Fairless: Okay. But you could get a good idea by looking through the windows from the outside, what you were about to undertake…

Eric Helbock: Oh, yeah…

Joe Fairless: So you were full-steam ahead regardless at this point in time, and you’re like “You know what – I’ll find a way.”

Eric Helbock: And that’s it. That goes into my best real estate advice ever – no matter what, take action. I hear guys all the time, that are green as I was, that listen to podcasts… At that point I didn’t know anything about podcasts, I didn’t know anything about even meetups, or anything… I just knew I wanted to do this.

I hear guys tell me that they’re not finding any deals, and I’m like “Well, how many offers did you make last week?” “Well, I looked at one house…” “But how many offers?” At the end of the day, you’ve gotta take action. Without it, you’re really not gonna be able to find any deals.

Joe Fairless: So 2,5 years… How did it turn out financially?

Eric Helbock: It was great. I’ll tell you a horrible story; I thought it was funny. Chase came out with the “Take a picture of your check and it’ll go right into your account.” In New York state you need lawyers. I didn’t bring a lawyer, and I still was able to close somehow. I took a picture of the check as it was being handed. I sold it for 130k. I bought it for 30k. I put a little time into it… I didn’t lose any money; I didn’t make a ridiculous amount. I think I made 50k or so profit, but it took a long time.

Joe Fairless: 50k?

Eric Helbock: Yeah, I think I made 50k or maybe 60k. It was my college education. So I took a picture of the check and the lawyers asked me what I was doing. I said “Oh, just depositing in my account.” He thought I was being funny. They were totally freaking out, because I didn’t actually close on it yet.

Joe Fairless: [laughs]

Eric Helbock: I thought this was funny… You know. They didn’t find it so funny. I said “To be honest with you, I’ve just never seen a 100k check before.” I grew up with not so much money, so… That was my first deal.

Joe Fairless: Alright… And why did it take 2,5 years? Because the permits took a year?

Eric Helbock: The permits took a year, I was doing everything nights and weekends, and like I said, I really had no money, so I was taking on side jobs to pay for material… And then I was doing the work myself after work, and on weekends. Again, still not knowing about the network, not knowing about hard money or private money… At some point I actually even got so desperate that I saw those signs that we call bandit signs; at the time, I didn’t know what they were. I just knew that I was hurting. And I’ll tell you the truth, I still use that pain every time I make an offer; I think about I might be actually helping them by buying their place, because I know if someone made me even a halfway decent offer, it would have been really helping me. But the tenacity got me through it, and I ended up doing pretty well because of it.

Joe Fairless: You made the phone call… What happened as a result of that conversation?

Eric Helbock: I think they made me such a low-ball offer… Almost what I originally paid. And at this point I was already a year-and-a-half, almost two years into it, and I think they made me a $45,000 offer, or something like that… And I think I was probably about 60k or 65k into it. I just said “You know what – I’ve made it this far, I’ll figure it out. I’ll get this done.”

Joe Fairless: What were those closest to you saying about the project when  you were at that stage in the process?

Eric Helbock: It’s really crazy, because I didn’t really have too many naysayers… Even my wife was very supportive; when I brought her to the house, and the trees were growing into the house, and there was a pile of dirt in the front of the house, and I walked her in and  it was literally a hoarder, so it was full… She’s like “Alright, cool.” And when I brought my mom there, I’d cut down the tree… And the tree was hollow on the inside, so it actually fell into the house… And I grabbed the extension cord and I pulled it out of the house, because it was a pretty thin tree… And she’s like “You’re gonna figure this out. You’re gonna do it.”

So it was kind of crazy, because everything says I should have failed, or everything in my head said I should have failed, but I didn’t. Like I said, I still use that same feeling to this day. Every time I’m gonna make an offer, I think about “You can do this. You’re probably helping the other person… Do something that works for you.”

Joe Fairless: How many family members were involved on that deal?

Eric Helbock: It was me, and actually my mom lent me some money. I think she lent me 20k or 25k. Then I basically worked a lot to get the rest of the money to finish the rehab.

Joe Fairless: So now let’s move on to how you parlayed that into building your portfolio. How did that take place?

Eric Helbock: So shortly after it actually closed – I think it was a matter of two months – I went to the Dutchess county tax foreclosure auction, and I picked up a condo. I got there and I opened the door; it was unlocked. I’m looking around, and it was a drug den… And it was actually in a pretty nice area.

Joe Fairless: How did you afford it? It sounded like all your money was going towards that house at the time.

Eric Helbock: Oh, once I sold — I’m so sorry. I sold it, I got 130k, I paid back my mother, I went to [unintelligible [00:09:13].29] with my wife, and I bought a small backo, because every guy needs a backo, right? I still had a large amount of money left, and I went to this tax foreclosure auction, and I said “Hey, I might as well try this again.”

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Eric Helbock: So I bought this condo that was a crackhouse, and I’m looking around like “Oh, my god, I did it all over again. What am I getting myself into?” And one of the neighbors comes in and says “Does Anthony know you’re here?” And I said “Who’s Anthony?” He said “The guy that lives here.” I said “I just bought this tax auction.” And they’re like “He’s in jail.” I said “Uh-oh… What for?” They’re like “He’s a violent man, and he assaulted one of the neighbors…” I said “Alright, great. It sounds like I have to go to prison.”

So I went down to the jail. I had to call my lawyer, my lawyer told me I had to evict him… And it took about three meetings with him, and he basically said “What are you proposing?” I’m like “I’ll put all your stuff in self-storage until you get out, and I’ll give you a couple hundred bucks.” He more or less told me that anything of value was stolen already, so I didn’t have to put anything in storage. I said, “Great. So I’ll double the amount of money I was gonna give you.”

So for the next week or so I put money in his [unintelligible [00:10:16].06] because you can only do a certain amount a day… And within a week I pretty much had that place gutted, bathroom redone, kitchen redone, the walls painted, and I was just waiting for carpets. So I think about three weeks after I spoke to Anthony and had him agree to our terms, I had a tenant in there.

Joe Fairless: That’s great. That’s a quick turnaround, because if one would describe the situation leading up to that – hey, you’ve got a house that has had a lot of drug activity, and the person there is in jail, so you’ve gotta work this all out and then turn it around… I’d bet the over on — if someone said a month on getting it turned around, I’d certainly say way more than one month.

I just wanna clarify – it was three weeks after I actually spoke to Anthony in the prison and he accepted for me to discard all of his stuff. So it was probably a little over a month. Maybe a month and a week, or so. But yeah, the condo turnaround was really quick… And within that time, the same real estate agent I continued to call over and over called me, and I was just at the last legs of turning this, and he said “Hey, I have an off market deal.”

Then within the next couple of months I bought a couple more condos, and condos became my wife’s favorite thing, because she knew I was in and our really quick. I think the fastest condo we ever did is two weeks from the time I started talking to them… And the thing that takes the longest was getting carpets.

Joe Fairless: And you’re flipping these condos, correct?

Eric Helbock: At one point I had a nice portfolio of condos as rentals. I think I had seven. But I did flip quite a bit of condos… And one of my favorite techniques is I get the owner to agree to allow me to do the work before I own them. So basically, for them the only risk would be if someone got hurt, I guess… But I’m not that type of guy anyway. But the reward was if something was to happen and I didn’t close, they got all the repairs for free.

So yeah, I did that quite a bit of times. I wanna say not this summer, but the summer before I did two condo flips. I was able to do the rehabs before I owned them. One had an accepted offer before I even owned it… And I was selling them off-market, like Facebook, Craigslist… And it was through an agent — and the agent called me and said “Eric, your name’s not on it. I have to write the address”, and I said “Let me just send you a copy of my contract from the other owner. I want you to know that I’m not lying here, and I’m closing next week.” She said “Alright, I’ll explain it to the new homeowner.” The day I closed we went under contract for me to sell it to the other person.

Joe Fairless: What is it about condos that makes it so quick relative to homes?

Eric Helbock: On the condo the only thing I’m really rehabbing is either one or two bedrooms. Usually, we’re painting the walls, patching the holes, we update all the lighting and all the outlets, as well as all the switches… Stainless steel appliances… If the cabinets are in decent shape, I paint them; if they’re in horrible shape, I buy [unintelligible [00:13:03].23] And the bathroom – we usually can keep the tubs, and we just do the tiles around the bathtub over.

So it’s really in and out. Literally, I’ll drop a guy off for work, and when I get there, I’ll work until 9, 10 o’clock, and then start all over the next day. So it’s a lot of painting, a lot of fluff and buff, or lipstick on a pig, get her ready, take her to the dance.

Joe Fairless: So let’s talk about the 15-unit building… How did you get that deal?

Eric Helbock: Alright, so I was finishing a house… It seems like the last ten years has been non-stop – finish one house, start over, do it all over again. So I was finishing a house, and I bought another tax sale… And now it’s probably February, late February. I just got a tenant, and I tell my wife “I’m gonna take a little time off.” We have two crazy dogs, we [unintelligible [00:13:54].10] and my mind just keeps going back to real estate. So I’m mowing the grass every night, I’m calling every wholesaler I know, everyone I know from networking, from going to all the local meetups and real estate meetings, and nobody sees any deals. We’re talking 2018, March.

So the market is actually pretty strong, and nobody has anything. So I said “You know what – I’m gonna start cold-calling.” And I started going on Craigslist, I started going on Facebook… People that had things listed for rent, I’m asking if they ever thought about selling. A good friend of mine, Bob – he’s a genius, he’s great. Me and him sit together and we made a list of 4 to 20-unit buildings in the Dutchess county area, outside of Poughkeepsie city or  Beacon. And basically, I just sat there and I looked up all their names, I’d find them if they had an LLC, I would basically find out what address their mail was going to, and a lot of times it was their own primary address… So I’d look up who owns that house and then I’d call.

I got to a lady named [unintelligible [00:14:53].21] who owned a 15-unit building in Wappingers. She was like my third appointment out of the 144 unit list. I had three appointments [unintelligible [00:15:02].27] so something about her said “Go to this one first.” Which I did. I sat with her for probably three hours, for three days in a row. On the third one, I’m like “We have to talk money.”

I think he had it listed two or three years prior to that at 1.2 million. She tells me that she wouldn’t take a dollar less than 800k. So we talked back and forth, and then I said “Oh wow, this is gonna happen.”

So I said “I have to raise some money.” I put it out to my network, and I was very surprised I had 300k-400k lined up within a couple days… And then I wasn’t sleeping at night. So I called up everyone and said “Hey guys, I’ve done a lot of single-family, I’ve done a lot of condos… I’ve never done a multifamily. I’m a little nervous, and I can’t do this to you guys, so I’m gonna bow out gracefully.”

So I took money out of my retirement, I took money out of whatever funds I had – I think I refinanced a property – and I came up with 180k. I think she wanted 350k down. So I reached out to a guy that I mentored, another teacher, who had just finished a BRRRR. He did a nice rehab, and then he took all his money out a year prior. I’d been mentoring him probably a year, a year-and-a-half… I said to him “Hey, I know you have the cash… I’m gonna offer you something and I think you’d be crazy to say no.” And he jumped all over it. Within 9-10 months we had the rent roll…

Joe Fairless: What did you offer him?

Eric Helbock: I offered him half. I gave him everything, 100%. 50/50.

Joe Fairless: So 50/50 ownership… And then what was his role?

Eric Helbock: Basically, we self-managed everything, we rehabbed everything ourselves, and we basically are partners. He had to come up with 175k and I came up with 175k. I think it was roughly 350k, and I think she was gonna hold the note at 454k. I think the total was 754, but them we wanted a little slush fund for repairs, because there was a lot of deferred maintenance… So I think the total we brought together was 805k or something like that.

So we went from a rent toll of $10,200 to around $14,300 right now, a year and a couple months in.

Joe Fairless: Wow.

Eric Helbock: Yeah. But within the first nine months we were pretty stable at $13,800 or $14,000, something like that.

Joe Fairless: What were some challenges post-closing that came up?

Eric Helbock: Actually, there was none. The hardest thing for me was to finish up some projects… Because of my cold-calling efforts, not only did I get that property, but I also grabbed two condos and another house, and I was flipping all three of them. So the two condos already had sold, and the house I was trying to finish… I tried to actually sell it off to a couple other investor friends I know. That didn’t work out. I was so close to the end, and I think I was just asking 140k [unintelligible [00:17:46].21] But I think at that point I just said “You know what – Barbara, do you mind if we just hold off a couple more weeks, so I could just wrap up this current project?” I was also having my second job, so I had a lot going on. The day of my inspection I had my daughter Olivia… She actually told all the tenants that we were gonna do a walkthrough, and then she postponed it. She was great throughout the whole process.

Since I’ve sold a lot of properties, this year my goals was to get ready for a larger unit or self-storage and have a nice down payment; a couple hundred thousand. Because I wanna look at 2-3 million, so I wanted to have a nice chunk down. So when I was selling off my properties, I actually offered to buy her out of the mortgage that she’s holding for us… And she started to cry. She said “Eric, you guys have been great to me. Please don’t sell it. Please don’t refinance. Please don’t give my money. I look forward to this money every month. You pay me early…” I didn’t need to buy her out; I just assumed it would be a win/win. So she’s still holding to the note…

Joe Fairless: When you started cold-calling, you mentioned it briefly, but I’d like to learn more about it… What sources did you use to find the owners to then call?

Eric Helbock: See, I’m 41 years old, but I’m so technology-illiterate, it’s insane. I literally go on Facebook if I see someone renting a place. “Hey, how are you? I’m Eric Helbock. I buy houses. Have you ever thought about just maybe selling?” I go to the town, I ask if they have any leads, or if they know anyone that’s been hit with violations…

Joe Fairless: What office in particular?

Eric Helbock: Dutchess county — the building department in Dutchess county, in Poughkeepsie.

Joe Fairless: Okay, alright.

Eric Helbock: So I talk to everyone, I’m very friendly, I offer people money… I currently am working on a flip that my lawyer gave me… I gave him a nice tip, I gave his assistant a nice tip as well; paralegal, I apologize. I believe in taking care of the people around you, but I’m not very computer-savvy… So if I see someone listing a place for rent or for sale, I call them.

Joe Fairless: And before the 20-unit building…

Eric Helbock: Oh, now — my friend Bob is very computer-literate. He’s also an agent, so I told him to pull any off-markets… And he asked me “how far back?” and I said “As far as you can go. I don’t care. As long as it’s from 4 to 20 units” that was ever on the MLS, on LoopNet or whatever sources he has. So we get together once a month to network and just to hang out, [unintelligible [00:20:11].04] and he handed me a list and I went right to town on it. I actually still haven’t even phoned everyone on the list.

Joe Fairless: How many were on the list, approximately?

Eric Helbock: 144.

Joe Fairless: 144. Now, an ambitious guy like you, it surprises me you haven’t called everyone. How come?

Eric Helbock: Because now my mind is thinking bigger, and I’m afraid that [unintelligible [00:20:34].25] one shoulder; he’s always saying “Eric, what are you doing? Stop getting distracted. Stay focused. Do you want multifamily?” Because I’m an opportunist. Right now I’m JV-ing two deals. If I see an opportunity to make money, I get involved. I love this business, I really do.

So I do tend to get distracted, and I’m afraid if I start cold-calling these people, I’ll be busy tied up for another six months. I wasn’t looking for the current flip I’m involved in, and now I’m hopefully closing in the next month or so on another flip, which I wasn’t looking for as well… But they keep happening, and I guess when you fill up that funnel, it just keeps dripping down. So these are old things that just kind of happen.

Joe Fairless: You mentioned it already, but if you have any additional advice, we’d love to hear it – what’s your best real estate investing advice ever?

Eric Helbock: One was take action, and make the offer. If you’re gonna waste your time looking at something, if you’re gonna go there, make the offer. Even if you think it’s too low, there’s someone like me on the other end that might really need it. You might actually be helping them out.

The lady that we bought her building – her husband was very sick. Timing was perfect. The last time [unintelligible [00:21:39].27] I think about half the building left, because it went up for sale. So I happened to reach out in a perfect timing. Same thing – just make the offer. That’s my best advice.

Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round? First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:22:02].13] to [00:22:48].27]

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever resource you couldn’t live without as a real estate investor?

Eric Helbock: The people around me, the network. It’s really unmatched. It’s really nice to have good people around you.

Joe Fairless: What deal have you lost the most money on?

Eric Helbock: I’ve never lost money.

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever deal you’ve done?

Eric Helbock: Last summer when we bought the building, one of the three flips I bought for very little, and I’ve made a little over 100k in less than two months.

Joe Fairless: What would you attribute that to?

Eric Helbock: Against what everyone says, I’m there, I’m working, I’m there doing the work with the people. I’m managing myself.

Joe Fairless: But you’re doing that with others, so… Comparing that one to the other ones, what made this one stand out?

Eric Helbock: I bought at the right price. I bought that for 54k, I put 50k or so into it, and we sold it at 212k.

Joe Fairless: And what allowed you to buy it at that price, versus others buying at that same discount?

Eric Helbock: [unintelligible [00:23:39].04] best resource was, the one thing I couldn’t live without – my network. I happened to sit next to someone at a real estate meeting, and the guy asked me if I’d look at a house with them. I did. He asked me what I thought of it, and how much I thought the repairs would be. I told them 90k if you’re paying people. And he said “Oh my god, I bought into this program. We buy only houses”, and it came up exactly 90k. He’s like “That’s way too much work for me. Would you wanna buy from me?”

We went back and forth on the price. I think he had it under contract for 40k. We settled at 54k that I’d buy it from him. Instead of 90k, I did work with some contractors as well, and I think we were at 50k and 54k, so like 104k.

Joe Fairless: Best ever way  you like to give back to the community?

Eric Helbock: I host a local meetup, I help people… Unfortunately, sometimes I’m brutally honest with them. I’ll say things like “How many offers do you make? What are you doing?” There’s a famous quote that I love – if it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

I talk to other investors, I talk to my students at school… I tell them “You can’t be upset with the results if you didn’t do the work.” I talk to people, we meet up on Saturday mornings at Starbucks before my kids are awake, and I’ll drive people around, show them what I’m doing… I love networking. That’s how I give back.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing?

Eric Helbock: They could call me. I think you’ll put my phone number and my name on your show notes. Ibuybrokenhouses [at] gmail.com, or my phone number is 845 444 6053. That’s my cell. I answer my calls. I’ll call  you. Leave me a message and I’ll call you back right away.

Joe Fairless: Partnering up with someone, picking up the phone, calling people who have a place for rent, and then also when you found those 4 to 20-unit properties, or specifically the 15-unit that you purchased, and have increased NOI substantially in a year and change.

It is partnering up with someone who can pull off-market leads, and then reaching out to them, and giving them a call. Simple as that, but it takes effort, it takes consistency, and there you go. Thanks so much for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and Eric, we’ll talk to you again soon.

Eric Helbock: Thank you so much. I really do appreciate it, and I appreciate your podcast.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF1952: FOMO Leads To Flipping 1100 Houses with Michael Green

Michael has flipped over 1100 houses in his 10 year flipping career. Joe and Michael will discuss some mistakes he’s made, and what we can learn from those mistakes. We’ll also get some actionable tips from Michael on how to find and negotiate deals. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

 

Best Ever Tweet:

“Take everything to the next level” – Michael Green

Michael Green Real Estate Background:

  • Investing in real estate for the last 10 years
  • Has flipped over 1100 houses in that time
  • Based in Baltimore, MD
  • Say hi to him at www.theflipfactor.net
  • Best Ever Book: Start with No

 


The Best Ever Conference is approaching quickly and you could earn your ticket for free.

Simply visit https://www.bec20.com/affiliates/ and sign up to be an affiliate to start earning 15% of every ticket you sell.

Our fourth annual conference will be taking place February 20-22 in Keystone, CO. We’ll be covering the higher level topics that our audience has requested to hear.


TRANSCRIPTION

Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff; we hate that fluffy stuff, so we don’t get into it. With us today, Michael Green. How are you doing, Michael?

Michael Green: I’m doing great, Joe. Thanks for inviting me on, man.

Joe Fairless: Well, I am glad to hear that, and it’s my pleasure. A little bit about Michael – he has been investing in real estate for the last ten years. He has flipped over 1,100 homes in that time. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, which I was commenting to him prior to recording, I really enjoyed visiting Baltimore a year or so ago. Not enough good things get said about Baltimore; just a great town. With that being said, Michael, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Michael Green: Absolutely. I’ve been investing, like Joe said, for ten years in real estate. I got started in 2009. I started in there — I’m an analytical guy, so I read books for six years before I made my first offer; it’s just the way I am. I like to read, study… It wasn’t until I was playing poker with a friend and I was telling him I wanna invest in real estate, and do this stuff… He was like “Let’s just do it.” Obviously, for him, seven seconds in he’s ready to flip  a house. I’m six years in and I can’t even make a choice… He was like “Let’s do it!” I gave him about a hundred reasons not to; he actually started just seeing houses, he was like “Dude, with or without you…” And eventually, I started to get some FOMO, so I’m like “Alright, I’ll do it with you.” He was the reason I did my first deal. I’m very thankful. Obviously, awful business partner, because he didn’t think through things, and all that… But so much gratitude, so much love for him, because without him I might still be reading books and waiting to make my first offer.

So I got started about ten years ago; it went really well, surprisingly. The first house was hard, it took us like four months, but because of the six years of studying, I think I was pretty well prepared for it. I made some good choices; I still made money (about $30,000 on my first deal), split it with him, he was really happy, and then we went on to do a bunch of deals after that.

So to this day, I’ve done about 1,100 deals. The spread for me is kind of the separation. I’ve done about 800 flips, fix and flips, and a bunch of wholesale deals, too. I like to balance everything out. When deals come in, I wanna make sure that — if the deal fits really well, they don’t keep it as a rehab. If it doesn’t, I’ll usually wholesale it off. Just timing, money, manpower…

Joe Fairless: Yup. What were you doing over those six years?

Michael Green: I was a hardwood floor installer. That’s how I got into it. Everyone says “Well, you’re a contractor, so it was easy for you.” I was like, “Well, I only do the hardwood. There’s like 50 other items that you have to do.” So yes, the hardwood was very easy for me, but nothing else was. I didn’t know anything about construction other than how to put a hardwood floor in. That was it. So yeah, that’s what I was doing. And I hated it, by the way. I got in trouble as a kid, didn’t graduate high school, I didn’t have very many options, so my stepfather was willing to teach me how to do hardwood. It was the biggest gift I could ever have as a kid who really didn’t have a lot of prospects, didn’t have an MBA, a college degree… So I ended up making pretty good money. Obviously, I was making well over 100k a year as a high school dropout, and I was impressed with myself.

Joe Fairless: Wow.

Michael Green: Now, the problem was I was making about 100k a year and spending about 120k. The American dream, right?

Joe Fairless: [laughs] And you said you were studying over those six years… What did you study?

Michael Green: Well, back then we didn’t have YouTube, podcasts, all this stuff ten years ago it wasn’t really out.

Joe Fairless: So 2003 to 2009, I guess?

Michael Green: Yeah, you got it right. So it was books, some random books by random people… And it was some online stuff, we had online, but it wasn’t like today, where there’s a million people teaching so much amazing stuff. Getting access to that stuff was near impossible. As I started to put it out into the world when I decided to do this flip, I actually was out doing some hardwood for  a guy who was actually a flipper, and he invited me to a free seminar, which is very common now, but there was like one in the country going on back then… And this guy said “Hey man, you’re making all these mistakes”, and he was 100% right; he’d been doing it 30 years… And I ended up paying him 15k to coach me, and that was my first coach.

Joe Fairless: What were the mistakes?

Michael Green: I didn’t know anything. I was just making offers, I didn’t know the numbers… My numbers made no sense, obviously. So he started to teach me the numbers, he started to teach me how to go direct to private seller versus MLS, and really how to compete, how to negotiate, just how to do everything at a much higher level.

Books are really big at just giving you a very vague overview. He really got me into the science of negotiating and marketing, and going direct to seller, and creating processes and systems. He was really good; he wasn’t the best coach, but some of the stuff he was great at was how to find a deal and how to negotiate a deal, and I obviously still use his stuff today.

Joe Fairless: Well, let’s talk about how to find a deal and how to negotiate a deal. Let’s talk about the first part first. How do you find a deal and go direct to a private seller?

Michael Green: Finding a deal direct to private seller… Everyone asks me “Michael, what’s your secret?” I do a lot of volume every years, and they’re like “What’s your favorite thing?” What I’ve realized in the last couple of years for me, my big takeaway, and how I’ve really shifted my business in the last couple of years has been everything about being productive and being efficient.

Right now I do about 20 deals a year on the MLS, I do 10 deals a year from wholesalers, I’m doing direct mail, which everyone’s saying it doesn’t work anymore… It’s definitely taken a downturn as far as conversion as far as how many calls you get for how many letters you send out… But where we’ve made up for that is instead of worrying about the fact that the mail is not working as well, I’m now converting at double the rate that I was converting before. Three years ago, one in 22 calls I would get a deal. Now I’m like one in 8 to one in 10. And what I do differently is I’ll spend about two hours on an appointment, where before, because I had so much volume, I would only spend 30-40 minutes and it was all about getting in, getting out. Now it’s about building rapport, and really taking it to that next level.

So really everything works. It’s hard for me to say, “Hey, Joe, this is my secret weapon, this is my thing.” If you really take everything we’ve always done and you think of it at a higher level, you realize that you can actually do everything that you’ve done before, but just take it one or two steps above, really roll out the red carpet, treat your sellers with a high level of respect, build rapport with them… Actually come from a place of gratitude and giving back to them in service… It’s really been my secret weapon.

My new sales technique is I don’t sell anymore. No more closing. I literally am just super-transparent and people are really loving it right now… Because I think they’ve been indoctrinated with all the car-salesy stuff over the years.

Joe Fairless: Let’s talk about that… You said you’re converting at a rate double as what you were converting before, and it’s because you’re spending about double the amount of time per appointment, building that rapport, having the giving back mentality… So talk to us about what a typical meeting was like when you were doing well, but you were spending 40 minutes, and then we’ll talk about the two-hour meeting.

Michael Green: When I would do 40 minutes — obviously, five years ago the market was amazing for us. It was so easy to get deals. We were totally in a buyers’ market then, and now we’re in a sellers’ market. Back then people were very distressed, so you could just be a jerk and get deals. It wasn’t really an indication of you doing a great job if you went out and got deals, because people were so motivated. Now they’re not as motivated. They know they have options, they’re certainly in power. So now they’ll pick you based on whether they like you and wanna do business with you.

Joe Fairless: I doubt you were being a jerk, so tell us just high-level – will you walk through the 40-minute meeting first? Like, you arrive, you knock on the door… What next? Or maybe we should start a little bit before that, you tell me.

Michael Green: Basically, the 40-minute – a quick call, the basic information, what condition is the house in; everything you’ve heard, you’re learning, we were doing back then. We learned from FortuneBuilders and all the different gurus. It worked really well. It worked enough for us to do a lot of houses… But we would really cut things short. If they wanted to talk about their grandkids, and pictures and all that – I’m a very impatient person, so I would always circle things back and I’d be like “Alright, let’s get down to business.” And that worked really well back then.

Now I can spend  two hours and legitimately 10 or 15 minutes will be about business, and the rest will be about personal stuff. I’m actually encouraging them to talk about personal stuff. I want them to like me so much that if I can’t buy the deal because they have a higher offer, I’ll be very honest and tell them to take the higher offer, but I want them to be sad that they’re not working with me. That’s my different approach today, and it’s what I’ve had to do in order to combat how competitive it is. And it feels better, by the way. I feel like I’m coming from such a better place these days than I was back then.

What questions do you ask them to generate the type of feelings of “I want them to be sad if they don’t work with me?”

Michael Green: A lot of them it is building rapport and just showing a true empathy. When you’re really honest and transparent with people, it’s gonna gain a  lot of rapport. Questions I’ll ask is “Tell me what’s important to you about this deal, or what are you trying to accomplish? How long have you lived here?” When I get into those – those questions are my starters. But when they give me the answers, instead of just stopping there, I’m using questions like “Oh, that’s interesting. Tell me more about that.” “Oh, I’ve never heard that before. What made you do this?” It’s just these [unintelligible [00:09:58].18] to the questions. So it’s literally like this rabbit trail that we can go down.

We start with a question you’ve probably heard and many people are using, but it’s really what I do after the question, where I’m going and taking it. We’ll go from “Tell me what’s important to you about selling the house” and they’ll be like “Okay, this, this and this”, the standard stuff you hear… And they might just say one little thing “It’s important so I can spend more time with my grandson.” “Oh, your grandson… How old is he? What’s important, what do you love to do with him?” “Oh, I love baseball.” “Baseball? Really? I used to play baseball when I was a kid.” “What positions did you play?” And from there, next thing you know we’re talking about politics religion… Who knows. All the stuff we shouldn’t talk about, but I take a very neutral position, easy to get along with…

And man, we’re just the best of friends at some point, because it starts from there, but it’s about being willing to just let it go anywhere it wants. And I used to hate this, by the way. I was totally against this, because I had a partner at the time, and he was that guy; he was the guy who wouldn’t close the deal, but we would get invited to a cookout…

Joe Fairless: [laughs]

Michael Green: He was just so awesome. When I look back at it, the perfect version of a real estate investor is half him, half me. I got to the point, he just built rapport, they hugged him at the end… Now I’m getting the hugs, but I can’t get the business… And I know when it’s time to  get to business, but it’s often well after we’ve really gotten in some deeper, personal stuff. And I think it’s meaningful to them, because a lot of my competitors are coming in and are like “Hey, don’t waste any time…” It’s a very surface, a very superficial conversation, where ours is very deep and very personal.

Joe Fairless: Well, I’m really glad you mentioned the former partner, where you wouldn’t get the close, but he’d get invited to the cookout… I love that. And you just mentioned that you got the rapport built, now you know also how to make sure it connects back to business… So that can be a tough transition; clearly, it was for one person that you know… What are some tips for how to transition into the business side of things, and make sure that you are getting invited to the cookout in order to sign the contract to close?

Michael Green: I love that. It’s free burgers AND a signed contract. That’s amazing.

Joe Fairless: [laughs] Almost as amazing as free burgers and free property. That’s how you’d really know you built rapport.

Michael Green: Yeah, that’s the ultimate peak. So look, I let them choose. I’m very regimented; I’m like “Okay, at this point we’ll do this, and that…”, and I’ve really let loose of that, because I believe that’s been my downfall in the past, and what’s really taken away from my ability to do this at a high level. So if they wanna talk for two hours about family, at some point obviously we’ll have to stop, but I can tell when we’re starting to get winded…

Or I’ll say “Well, man, it’s been great talking with you, Joe. You’re really awesome to get along with, and we just have a lot in common…. And I really wanna do this deal with you. Let’s talk a little bit about the numbers, let’s talk a little bit about business, because I really would love to do this for you and help you out, and get this deal done, and get you the money your family wants.” By that point I know everything that’s important to them, so I can really just list the benefits of what they want and how I can help. And I kind of went from telling, where I would just be like “Here’s what we do, here’s how long we’ve been in business”, to just really repeating now what they’re into and what they want, and nothing more. It’s really all they care about, by the way.

Joe Fairless: Now let’s talk about what you said earlier, the science of negotiating and marketing. So you’ve built rapport with them, you know they’re selling because they wanna spend time with Junior, who is playing baseball and they wanna play catch with Junior all the time, and be closer to him… And they have certain terms that would not work for you to do the deal. How do you approach negotiating?

Michael Green: For me, it used to be I would tell them what the market values were, and I’d say “Okay, here’s what things are…”, kind of do the math for them essentially… They would hear it, and it would work sometimes. What I’m doing very differently now is I went from telling to showing, so instead of telling them, I’ll literally say “Let’s talk about the numbers a little bit. Let’s look at some properties. You know the neighborhood, Joe. I’d love to get a little bit of feedback on what your beliefs are, the values, and how these are comparable to you.” So I start with like “Hey, 123 Main Street – are you familiar with that property?” and they’ll literally say “Yeah, I know that one.” “Is that one pretty similar to yours?” and they’ll be like “Yeah, it’s just like mine.” I’m like “Great. Well, that sold for about 110k.” And I’m showing them as-is comps, because essentially, most people just wanna know they got a fair deal. When they give you a number, it’s just really not based in any factual thing; it’s tax assessments, what a friend told them… It’s no real facts there. But they don’t wanna take and go from that belief to another belief without facts and proof… So I now get them engaged and I really work on getting buy-in from them.

So buy-in and a couple of things that are really important… Number one is buy-in on what the as-is value of the property is based on other properties that are similar to theirs, and I show them the properties, I get their feedback, and I really lead them to telling me “Yeah, that’s just like mine. Well, that only went for 110k… I felt that would have been more.” And then I show them two more… Now I have the buy-in. I now ask them at the end, before we move on, “Is there anything different about that, or do those houses seem pretty consistent with yours as far as the value and condition and everything?” They’re like “Yeah, man. It’s pretty consistent.” Then we’ve got buy-in on what we would call the as-is value.

The next thing is I show them the renovation costs, because I wanna be transparent and show them what I’m gonna put into it… And I show them “Look, here’s my costs, here’s what I’m doing. Do you agree with about 50k? Does that sound about right to you?” If they say yes, we move on. If they say no, I literally have a line item budget where I can start walking them through and then saying “Okay, let’s walk through this  a little bit, and just give me some feedback on what I might be overdoing, or just not doing correctly.” And by the time I walk them through the list, they’re usually completely bought it, because most of the time the reason they thought it was 30k instead of 50k is they just weren’t considering a lot of the things that were gonna be done. This happens to a lot of renovators too, including me, by the way – we’re just not detailed enough and we miss a lot of things.

So once we get buy-in on that, on what the house is worth and how much I’m gonna put into it, I literally have a computer, I pull a deal analyzer out, the standard one – we all have our own deal analyzer, a little tool that works – and I just show them the math. I’m like “Look, I’m making money; obviously, you know why I’m here. I’m not gonna try to hide that. I don’t make a lot. I make a small amount, because I do a lot of value… And here’s what I’m making,  by the way. If you were doing an investment like this, Joe, you’d wanna make about that, wouldn’t you?” And I get 100% yes on that, every single time… So now I’ve gotten buy-in that it’s okay for me to make money, so at this point it’s really been working well…

Now, this is a process, by the way, but when I do this, 100% — I won’t get yes’es every time, because that’s impossible, and no one can create that, but what I get is I get a lot more people who are bought in, and even if it’s a no and they just need more, or for whatever reason they’re just not gonna take this now, I always get the “Hey, I see the numbers, I really appreciate you sharing those with me. We just need more.” And now we can start a dialogue around numbers, math, and how I might be able to help.

If they’re at 130k and I’m at 100k, it might be “Hey, listen, if you really need 130k, I’d be willing to put it under contract and present it to my investors, and see if I can find one willing to pay 130k.” This is usually how I back into a wholesale, but it’s very transparent and honest. It’s not “Hey, I’m gonna buy it”, and then lie to them, and come back later, and fight with them… This way I’m leaving the door open to come back later and have a conversation. They’re usually very willing to do that, as long as they get their 130k.

And then 30 days later, if I couldn’t find someone to buy it for that number – because there’s a lot of people that have different investment criteria than me. So I might find someone willing to pay 135k for it. If I do, I’m just gonna sell it and make 5k, call it a day. I did a great service for them, got them a great number, makes me feel good… Great way of doing business, in my opinion.

If however everyone’s coming in at 110k and I can’t get anyone above the number or closer to the number, I’ve left the door open to come back and have a conversation. “Hey, I got all my investors through… Here’s where they’re coming out with.” 30 days later it’s usually a very different story, because now they know that I’ve went out and worked hard for them, that I’ve put a lot of effort in getting that number for them, and it just isn’t gonna happen.

This is what I call staying in the inner circle, because a lot of times we make offers, it doesn’t work out, we just send them out to the world… We know a wholesaler is gonna put them under contract, or an agent is gonna list it for them… My belief is stay in the inner circle with them, so that way if 30 days later they are gonna take a little bit less, I wanna be the guy there. So it does require a little bit more work, but I get a lot of deals done because of it.

Joe Fairless: And how do you stay in the inner circle?

Michael Green: I stay in the inner circle by either getting it for the price that makes sense for me, or tying it up for a price that’s higher, but being very upfront and honest that I’m only gonna be presenting it to investors to see if I can get them that higher number. And they’re usually more than willing to do that, because it’s no cost to them, there’s no risk to them. It literally is just me going out, seeing if I can get another investor to pay more.

Joe Fairless: You go into the conversation very prepared then…

Michael Green: Yes.

Joe Fairless: And the conversation you just mentioned – and educate me on if it’s one conversation or many… First off, is it one conversation or is it usually many conversations?

Michael Green: We’re getting into a lot like deep stuff, obviously…

Joe Fairless: I’m talking about when you present to them the comps and the renovation cost, and you show them the math. That part. Is that a phone call, or is that multiple conversations, phone calls and in-person?

Michael Green: Two ways to decide that – I have a way of rating the prospect. The prospect is anywhere from one star to five stars. If they’re four or five-star prospects, they usually have a sense of urgency. So if they have a sense of urgency, I’m gonna go there prepared to present to them and try to close the deal. We usually book three hours for that appointment. I’ll come there prepared with comps, prepared with a renovation budget that I can do on my computer, right in front of them, and a deal analyzer I can pop up, and I can do it all in real-time right there. In ten minutes or so I can run these numbers.

I come there prepared to do business, because I know if I don’t, someone else might get them under contract, because they’re highly motivated.

If they’re a one to three-star prospect, then the timing would be incorrect to present to them. They might need a few weeks to make  a decision. Then I would intentionally stall it out a little bit, before I presented the numbers to them.

So I would break it into a two-part series, where I go and build rapport, spend time, look at the house, and then schedule a second appointment, and I would be very slow about it if I knew it needed to be slow. “Hey, how about we talk in 7 to 10 days. You need about two weeks anyhow to get this and this together. We can meet then and I’ll present all the numbers to you and make you an offer.” I’m doing that intentionally, because I don’t wanna present now and then they just sit on the offer for two weeks, and then give the whole world an opportunity to just one-up my offer, and potentially lose that offer. So that’s usually how I do it… It’s depending on how hot the prospect is.

Joe Fairless: Last question and then I’ll ask you the question I ask everyone on the show – how do you determine the difference between a three and a four-star when you rate the person?

Michael Green: How I rate people is if somebody is willing to talk to me on the phone and share information, that’s a star. If somebody is willing to be friendly and conversational, that’s a star for me. If they’re selling their house in the next 30 to 90 days, that’s a star. It’s a really big star, by the way. If they know what they want, it’s pretty big to me, meaning they know they’re gonna sell their house 100%, and there’s no plan B. “We’re not gonna potentially stay if we can’t get a number. I am selling this house, I just wanna get the best number for it.”

And then the last piece  is if I know that they need me and they would like me to help them. So if they’re really “Mike, we’d like to have an offer from you.” If all five of those things happen, that’s a five-star. If you start taking a couple of these things off and only got two or three our of five, then that’s a three-star. When we start to get to four out of five, you really have a hot prospect, someone who’s really checking a lot of the boxes. I generally just try to get in front of those people. I don’t qualify them like crazy  on the phone. If they’re only hitting about one or two stars, I dig deeper and I try to get those stars up. If someone they don’t get up, then that’s gonna be a really bad use of my time, to spend three hours with that person.

Joe Fairless: What’s your best real estate investing advice ever?

Michael Green: Best advice ever is just take everything to the next level. When it comes to doing sales and negotiation, and really trying to get deals done, we often are just minimizing things instead of maximizing. So let’s take as much time… Treat it like you can make 30k-40k on this deal if you renovate it. A lot of times we go out and we’re treating it as if it’s just an appointment for an hour, but it really represents the potential to make 30k-40k, so treat it as that.

Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Michael Green: I’m ready, man.

Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:21:44].19] to [00:22:27].03]

Joe Fairless: Okay, best ever book you’ve recently read?

Michael Green: Best ever book is Start With No, Jim Camp. I’m loving that book, I’m reading it for the second time now. It states and says that all of us are so afraid of getting rejected and getting a no that it’s really important to just go ahead and start with no. A lot of people will qualify and come back. So it’s pretty different than the way I believed, but when I was reading it, it made a lot of sense, and it’s been really impactful to my business.

Joe Fairless: A mistake you’ve made on a transaction.

Michael Green: A mistake I’ve made on a transaction – probably my biggest loss I’ve ever taken in flipping was a 55k loss. I bought a house with well and septic, and I got a very loose opinion that the well and septic was good; come to find out it was not good. And not only did it cost — normally, it’s about 20k-30k, but we ran in a lot of problems with it and it ended up being about a 50k-60k problem. So really doing more due diligence with things that are out of your control, like well and septic.

Joe Fairless: What was the role for the person you asked about it, who ended up not being right?

Michael Green: It was actually a well and septic guy,  and he came out and said “Hey, it’s all good. You need like 5k in repairs.” So we were like “Cool, 5k. No big deal.” Well, we go to pull the permits and the county disagrees and says “No, you need to do this… And not only it’s not Perc-ing, so you have to go from a normal septic system to a holding tank”, which really decreases your value, because somebody asks to pay money to pump it out every couple months, and it’s just very undesirable. So that was number one.

Number two part of that was the well ended up not yielding like he thought, and we had to draw a hole for a new well. That hole didn’t hit water, so we had to drill a second hole at 7k. Five holes total, it ended up being 28k later… So I now try not to buy well and septic, because it’s not needed where I’m at… But if I do, I make sure that I pull permits and everything before I settle, just to make sure I know what I’m doing.

Joe Fairless: [laughs] What’s the best ever deal you’ve done?

Michael Green: The best ever deal I did was about nine months ago. I bought a house about a mile from DC. We’re very close to DC and Maryland. It was in a really rough neighborhood; I was definitely not sure about this one. Actually, in the middle of the renovation a guy just came and walked in the house, and  locked himself in the bathroom and started smoking crack. My guys called me and said “What do I do?” and I’m like “I don’t know. Hopefully he’ll leave. If he didn’t leave in 20 minutes, call the police.” He did eventually leave, and I was just completely weirded out by this house, thinking “What did we get into?” I come to find out a big lesson for me was this was a very desirable neighborhood, because it was on the Maryland side of DC, and DC is highly expensive… This was still a very affordable place, so we ended up selling this house for 289k list price, and we got about 15 offers, so we got up to almost 60k over list. So it ended being about 105k net profit after my hard money fees and all that… In a house where someone walked in and smoked crack in the bathroom, so who would have guessed…?

So yes, it was a bad neighborhood, but it was a highly desirable bad neighborhood, apparently…

Joe Fairless: It might have been a good luck charm. Maybe take him to all the houses to christen them before you flip them.

Michael Green: I have a different perspective on it now, for sure.

Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever way you like to give back to the community?

Michael Green: Best way I love to give back is last year I did an emotional intelligence training at this place called ChoiceCenter, and it’s been really big. I like to give back to people in our industry. Everything we do is about giving back, and for me it’s been — anyone who reaches out and says they wanna have lunch, they wanna do a quick call with me, I literally jump on the phone. I make time every week for the last year just to talk to people that are aspiring to get into the business, struggle in the business… And it’s just been a lot of fun doing that. I’m very connected to the community, and it’s just been a great way for me to give back.

Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing?

Michael Green: You can reach me at the TheFlipFactor.net, that’s my website.

Joe Fairless: Well, then I will make sure that is in the show notes. Michael, thank you for being on the show and discussing with us how to find private sellers, and also how to negotiate with them, and how to close more deals by building rapport, having true empathy… You said at the very end of our conversation that you took a class or a course on emotional intelligence training… I’m gonna look that up. You said Choice Center? Being a good listener, and then knowing how to combine that with business, and how you’re closing twice as many leads when you do visit with them through those techniques… And it’s almost not giving them justice when I call them techniques, because really it’s just an approach; it’s just how you interact with people. I feel like technique makes it sound gimmicky, which it’s not, and I appreciate you sharing your process. It was very valuable information, especially for those who are doing wholesaling and fixing and flipping… But even those who are doing apartment investing and bringing in private capital to deals, this is certainly some things to take away.

Thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you again soon.

Follow Me:  
FacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram


Share this:  
FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

JF1914: From House Flipping To Mobile Buying To Mobile Home Park Investing with Andrew Keel

Andrew is here to add some value that we don’t get a lot of on this show. We cover a lot of investing areas, but mobile home parks are not a common subject. That changes today and Joe and Andrew dive into his investing story and then get into specifics on a couple of mobile home park deals. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

 

Best Ever Tweet:

“When buying a mobile home park, due diligence is very, very important” – Andrew Keel

 

Andrew Keel Real Estate Background:

 


The Best Ever Conference is approaching quickly and you could earn your ticket for free.

Simply visit https://www.bec20.com/affiliates/ and sign up to be an affiliate to start earning 15% of every ticket you sell.

Our fourth annual conference will be taking place February 20-22 in Keystone, CO. We’ll be covering the higher level topics that our audience has requested to hear.


TRANSCRIPTION

Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, Andrew Keel. How are you doing, Andrew?

Andrew Keel: Good, thanks for having me on the show.

Joe Fairless: My pleasure, and looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Andrew – he’s a mobile home park investor and has been one since 2015. He owns and operates 971 lots in 16 parks across seven states. He’s based in Orlando, Florida. With that being said, Andrew, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Andrew Keel: Yeah, definitely. I started out actually rehabbing and flipping houses down in the Orlando Florida area. I also was wholesaling… Eventually, through my marketing efforts, I came across a couple of mobile homes that were very cheap, and I didn’t really know what to do with them, because they didn’t have a deed. They were a lot different, because they were personal property, kind of like a vehicle; they have a title. So I ended up doing some research and on YouTube I found a guy by the name of Lonnie Scruggs, who wrote this book called Deals on Wheels, which I highly  recommend, and I ended up reading. It just talks about buying mobile homes, and selling them on contract, and creating mailbox money.

I ended up buying about 19 of those individual mobile homes, selling them on contract, and then through the process I met a couple park owners. One of them told me the real wealth is built through owning the land, not the individual mobile homes. That was like a game-changer for myself, and I instantly just dove in — I went to Frank and Dave’s bootcamp, I went to another mobile home park specific investing bootcamp, and dove in. I was fortunate enough to have the wholesaling background, so I was cold-calling and sending letters at the same time to find motivated sellers. I ended up at the Frank and Dave bootcamp actually meeting some passive investors that wanted to invest in deals. We put some deals together; since then we’ve done five deals together with the guy that I actually met at the bootcamp, and I’ve brought on other JV partners since then, and other private equity partners from doing syndications and so forth.

So it’s been an awesome ride. We’re looking to continue buying properties, larger properties. We just closed a few months ago a five-part portfolio, and we have a couple under contract now, so… Just continuing to grow and acquire more affordable housing units.

Joe Fairless: Where is the five-park portfolio located?

Andrew Keel: That is in LaSalle County, Illinois. It’s about an hour and a half west of Chicago.

Joe Fairless: Tell us about that deal.

Andrew Keel: So that deal – it was a pocket listing through a broker. We ended up doing quite a lot of due diligence on it, and negotiations were very slow. From when we actually went under contract it was March or April, and then it ended up closing in December of 2018… So it was just a long, drawn-out process. The sellers really wanted to go through and vet everything through their attorney, so… It kind of dragged on a little bit, but thank goodness we did. We were able to get a decent concession from the seller after due diligence and doing some research.

I actually moved on-site February, March and April of this year, and through that process we bought and brought in 23 used mobile homes, along with 17 brand new mobile homes. Just a massive infill project, value-add to the max… And now our property is worth about double, so I’m really excited about that property.

Joe Fairless: You’ve given me so many things to ask questions about. Thank you for that. [laughs] Okay, a lot of due diligence you said was done on that… Will you elaborate?

Andrew Keel: Yes. When you’re looking at five parks versus just one, it’s very intensive, because you have to look at the utility infrastructure of each… When buying a mobile home park, due diligence is very, very important. Utility infrastructure specifically can make or break a deal. So some of the properties had private utilities, which means that they would have a well, or a septic that we would be required to maintain… So we did specific inspections through experts in plumbing and electrical in those private utilities to make sure that the infrastructure was intact and was going to last in the future… And if it did need repairs, what was the number that we needed, either as a concession from the seller, or that we would need to budget for to improve it moving forward.

Joe Fairless: Is it ideal to have public infrastructure?

Andrew Keel: 100%. If you can get city water, city sewer, that is the best type of park to buy.

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Andrew Keel: Some of our parks — just because they’re city water, city sewer doesn’t mean that that’s the end-all, because most of the parks are master-metered, meaning there’s just one bill that comes in from the local utility company that charges the park for all of their usage, usually for water and sewer… So then what a lot of park owners should do – if they haven’t already – is sub-meter; put individual meters on all of the homes, and then read those meters on a monthly basis and bill the tenants based off of their usage.

A lot of the mobile home park owners today are mom and pop owners, and they don’t have it sub-metered, and they just include the utilities with lot rent, so that’s a value-add component that we can add immediately when we buy these properties to increase the asset value.

Joe Fairless: So utility infrastructure was one thing that you did… And you said there five different parks. How far away are they?

Andrew Keel: They’re about 20 minutes apart from each other. Two of them are very close together… But they were a good distance apart, so when we would set out — when I was on location, I’d literally be hopping from park to park every day, and it made for long days.

Joe Fairless: What’s the smallest lot and what’s the biggest lot of the five?

Andrew Keel: The smallest one had 31 lots, and the largest had 78.

Joe Fairless: So what were some unique things that you came across from a due diligence standpoint that you wouldn’t normally come across if they were just all in one location?

Andrew Keel: That’s a great question. One of the items is — we’ll go back to the private utilities, because that’s where most of our headaches come from…

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Andrew Keel: One of the properties that was probably in the best city in terms of demand and size and employers – it had both private utilities; it had well and septic. So that just – for a lack of better terms – opens up a can of worms… Because you’re now charging people — we go in and sub-meter that park, because it wasn’t metered… So now we’re charging people for their water usage to basically cover our costs to run both the well and the septic… And the septic system was an aging system (we knew that going in), and we had three different excavations/septic expert companies come out and inspect this system… And one of them told us we had a 50/50 chance at surviving and lasting another 5-10 years, and then the other two said it was completely fine.

So with that information we had to make an educated decision on negotiating with the seller as to that septic system. We basically got the seller to guarantee the system for a period of 12 months, and if it failed during that 12 months, they agreed to pay a certain amount of money to help with either a new septic system we would have to install, or connecting the city sewer, which is by far the best bet.

Unfortunately enough, the septic system went bad in the spring, when we have the high water table… Luckily, we did have that guarantee–

Joe Fairless: Unfortunate for them, but really fortunate for you, I imagine…

Andrew Keel: It is, and we’re in process now, working with engineers to get it hooked up to city sewer, which is by far gonna be a way better situation… But yeah, that’s just the kind of stuff that we have to deal with. Actually, all of the other parks have public water and sewer, so that right there makes it a good deal. That was the only one that was kind of a headache.

Joe Fairless: How much does it cost to get it hooked up to public?

Andrew Keel: It really depends on the distance away from where the current main line is. In this situation it’s gonna cost roughly $200,000.

Joe Fairless: My eyes got really big. You can’t see me, but… [laughter]

Andrew Keel: Yeah, it’s a big ticket item.

Joe Fairless: How much did you buy the portfolio for?

Andrew Keel: We bought the portfolio for 3.2.

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Andrew Keel: It makes sense. Even if we would have paid that extra 200k, the purchase price made sense. We’re purchasing these at a 10%-11% cap, so the returns were there, it was just — mainly the project management of now having to oversee that is the painstaking process… But on the other end of this, the property will be worth maybe 8% or 9% because now it has that connection.

Joe Fairless: Right. And you mentioned earlier that you got concessions from the seller, so clearly that was one thing where you had that contingency… Anything else?

Andrew Keel: Some of the electrical… We always inspect the electrical in these parks, and a lot of these parks were built in the ’70s, so they have older electrical infrastructure… And a couple of the parks actually had electrical issues, that weren’t immediate — it wasn’t like “Oh my goodness, they don’t have power”, but they were rusted meterbanks and things like that, that needed to be addressed to help us out. So they agreed, they had an electrician that was going to take care of all of that before closing… And that unfortunately didn’t happen, so we had to put some money in escrow at closing and oversee that project to make sure that it got finished… Which it did, it just took a little bit longer than we would have liked.

Joe Fairless: And you moved on-site for three months… Tell us about that.

Andrew Keel: Yeah, my wife is by far — she’s fantastic.

Joe Fairless: Very understanding.

Andrew Keel: Very understanding, very flexible, and she gets what we’re building, so I’m so thankful to have her in my life. Her and my two-year-old daughter moved up to Ottawa, Illinois, and we rented a little Airbnb up there, a nice little spot… And they moved up with me, and I was working on the parks day in and day out.

The main thing – when we purchased the property, there was poor management in place. There was one manager overseeing all five parks, and it was kind of like chaos. Every day you would talk to her there was some new fire that she was putting out… So we ended up putting a new on-site manager at every property. That instantly gave us eyes and ears in each of the five properties, and helped with our communication of what was going on inside of those locations. That helped tremendously.

Joe Fairless: What are some benefits from a bottom line P&L standpoint that you saw as a result of being there for those three months?

Andrew Keel: Yeah, the toughest part in this business in terms of creating value is gonna be bringing in new homes and used homes, and also renovating existing homes that for whatever reason are not occupied, and in some sort of disrepair. Because unlike traditional multifamily and other asset classes, you can hire a general contractor that’s licensed, insured, and has been doing this and has a track record of doing these construction projects… However, when you’re renovating mobile homes and doing work on mobile homes  you get a different quality contractor, and they require more babysitting, quite frankly. And with that, if you’re on site, you can save yourself money, compared to being a thousand miles away and trying to make a decision off of photos or walkthrough videos.

So we’ve been burned and learned from that experience, and found out that it’s just so important to be on-site. We saved thousands of dollars being able to point out, “Hey, you did replace the glass in this window, and you can send me a picture showing me you did that, but if I didn’t walk through after you did that, I wouldn’t have noticed all of the broken glass that’s now laying on the ground… Just laying there. You sent me a picture of the windo