Networking Relationships with High Net-Worth Investors One of the most important tasks for people just getting started is networking with real estate investors. As Chris Garrett breaks down on his website, there are five key reasons why networking is important in the 21st century.

  1. Friendship Benefits: It is crucial to have friends in the real estate industry who have your back with no strings attached. Says Chris, “Having someone who understands [you] is extremely valuable on a psychological and emotional level.”
  2. Opportunities: By developing the right contacts, you will inevitably be exposed or introduce to new, beneficial opportunities. People want to make sure they work with and help out likable and trustworthy investors—especially when the stakes are high.
  3. Advice: No matter how much time you dedicate to your craft, you can always learn more from high net-worth investors. Even the smallest piece of advice can steer you in a profitable direction.
  4. Assistance: If you spend a significant amount of time investing in real estate, there will be moments when you need someone to help you out. A great way to ensure you’re covered when you need a favor in a pinch is to build relationships with high net-worth real estate investors.
  5. Positive Influence: Chris couldn’t have said it better: “You become who you associate with.” Surround yourself with the honorable, successful people, and their positive qualities are bound to rub off on you.

In this section, you can learn about a variety of ways to network effectively with high net-worth investors, how to build referrals, how to generate more leads, how to network via social media, and plenty more.

Meet Best Ever Conference Co-founder Ben Lapidus

Meet Best Ever Conference Co-founder Ben Lapidus

We sat down with Ben Lapidus, co-founder and host of the Best Ever Conference, to find out what he’s looking forward to most at BEC2022.

First, a little about Ben: He is the Chief Financial Officer for Spartan Investment Group LLC, where he has applied his finance and business development skills to construct a portfolio of over $300M assets under management from scratch, build the corporate finance backbone for the organization, and organize over $100M of debt capital from the firm.

In addition to completing over 50 real estate transactions at and prior to Spartan, Ben is the managing partner of Indigo Ownerships LLC. Before Spartan, Ben founded and sold a multimillion-dollar study abroad company and worked with several start-ups through IPO or acquisition. He graduated from Rutgers University with dual degrees in finance and economics, where he founded the Rutgers Entrepreneurial Society.

We asked Ben some questions about what to expect at this year’s conference — here’s what he had to say:


What are you most excited about for the BEC2022?

“What I’m most excited about is the opportunity that has presented itself in the operating environment for commercial real estate investors. Since this conference began in 2016, we’ve been talking about a market correction from which syndicators can execute a scaling strategy. For all of its destruction, the silver lining of the global health crisis is that it has accelerated or formed new trends that will allow for new creative investing and operating strategies.

“To take advantage of this for BEC2022, we are marrying all of our learnings from the past five years and compounding them with new partnerships. We are incorporating the components of virtual programming that worked in 2021, the networking that worked in 2020, the location that worked in 2019, and the late-night networking that worked in 2018. We have our biggest production budget yet to make sure it’s high quality, peak energy, and massive impact.”


Tell us about the experience. What can attendees expect?

“From the moment you register, you’re going to feel like you’re coming home. This is not a conference for beginner investors or tire kickers. Ninety-six percent of our attendees have transacted or invested in one or more commercial real estate deals in the last six months. There is no other conference with this kind of concentration of high-quality networking, and those who have attended before know that, so they treat every new handshake as an opportunity to make a new friend or partner. It’s an incredibly inviting atmosphere.

“When you first enter the main stage, you’ll be drinking from a fire hose. We like to start off the conference with back-to-back economic updates from those with access to massive datasets who are fantastic presenters. We’ll keep you well-fed and intellectually stimulated throughout the day so that you have the energy to carry the relationship-building into the evening where the real connections are made.

“You won’t find yourself avoiding the gaze of our sponsor tables as we’ve filtered them in advance and they’re likely to be highly relevant to your business or investing needs. Two years ago, we had a deal funded by a lender two business days after the connection was made at the Best Ever Conference.

“Finally, this will all take place at the newly built Gaylord Rockies in the peak winter season, which means you’ll have access to indoor water parks and some of the best skiing in the world.”


In your opinion, what are the top three reasons to attend the Best Ever Conference?

“Learn. Network. Invest. People come to the conference attracted to the speakers and subjects presented on stage, and this year will be the best yet. Our lineup is next level and with such a volatile year, there are endless subject matters to touch on to support the professional investor navigating the year ahead.

“But the true value that our audience walks away with is the networking, which ultimately leads to a new investment of dollars, time, or energy. Countless companies have been formed out of Best Ever connections, and hundreds of millions of dollars in capital have been placed in our community’s deals.

“And of course, we can’t forget the partying. If you are active in the syndication space, you’ve likely corresponded with dozens of folks who you’ve never met in person; the Best Ever Conference is the place to finally connect in person over a beer — or three.”


Any other exciting tips or best practices for attendees?

“Don’t set out to peddle an investment offering at the Best Ever Conference. There are dedicated spaces where that’s appropriate, and you can reach out to the Best Ever team if you’d like to take advantage of that. Rather, set out to make a few deep, high-quality relationships without an endpoint in mind.

“The deeper you can make a single relationship, the further it will carry your business or portfolio to success. Take the blinders off your periphery and identify how adding value to someone else’s life could creatively compound an outcome in yours. The more you learn about someone under a non-transactional premise, the deeper the reward will ultimately be.”


How will this year be better than ever?

“This year, we are leaning into the mantra, ‘collaboration beats competition,’ and partnering with several other communities outside of Best Ever to create an audience composition that will surely be the ‘best ever.’

“In partnering with investment groups, we are increasing the amount of available capital searching for real estate syndications. By partnering with other sponsor-facing organizations, we are increasing the exposure of high-quality commercial real estate sponsors to the passive investor community.

“Our audience might show up for the marquee content, but they leave pointing to the networking opportunities as the most valuable component of the experience. By investing in getting the right people in the room, we know more deals will get done, more capital will be placed, and more lifelong partnerships will form.”


How can attendees plan to make the most out of the Best Ever Conference?

“Set an intention — one relationship or one nugget of wisdom that you’d like to walk away from the conference with.”

To learn more or purchase your BEC2022 ticket, visit us at


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Key Players Every Real Estate Team Needs

Key Players Every Real Estate Team Needs

If you are a regular on this blog, you have seen Joe Fairless talk about getting your team together. I have counted no less than 42 blog posts on this website about this issue. Thus, you, by now, know that having the right team is essential to your success. Joe could not be where he is today without a good team around him. And while I am sure he had to kiss a few frogs along the way to find his winners, he has that team in place. Creating a successful mix of personalities, expertise, and “get-it-done” team members is a very difficult recipe.

Whether you are putting a team together for your real estate investments or for something else, these are the players you have to save on speed dial.


1. CPA/Bookkeeper

I have used the largest accounting firms, the local 800-pound gorilla, and the local mom-and-pop shop. You would be surprised to know that the winning player for me was the mom-and-pop shop. I found a local accountant that loves to geek out on tax talk. She gets into the details that CPAs and tax lawyers talk about at tax conferences. Once she understood how things were structured, we discussed the goal of the project, ideas were bounced back and forth, and we found common ground that has been very satisfying. This does not mean that I didn’t switch up my accounting firms a few times before finding her. It took time, but once you find the right fit for you, things move much more efficiently.


2. Lawyer

Having a good lawyer that understands business, real estate, and taxes is paramount in this world. Not only does your lawyer need to understand your business, but they need to understand your industry as well. From those two perspectives, it benefits you that your lawyer can speak fluently with your accountant or CPA. Your time needs to be spent finding deals and managing your real estate goals. Your professionals need to take the legal and accounting off the table for you so you can focus on what you are good at — real estate.


3. Banker

The right bank and banker are make-or-break players. You need a relationship banker who understands what you are trying to achieve, will help guide you and your projects to get there, and makes your life easier. Get recommendations from friends, colleagues, and other investors. Banks make money on you, but really good bankers help you make multiples of that spent money back.


4. Insurance Agent

If you are buying real estate, or just running a business, you need to have a good insurance agent. They understand your needs and are the ones you call when things go south. All of my insurance is with one agent. That agent in turn has not only told me about deals, but he has also connected me with possible deal makers that have the potential to become deals. Plus, you only need insurance when you need insurance.


5. Property Manager

Do you take the 11 p.m. phone call about a clogged toilet? I don’t and won’t. Property managers are the buffer between tenants and owners. Good property managers solve problems, act as good stewards of your property and money, and make sure elevators work, the landscaping is clean, and the facilities are operational. Property managers usually don’t get paid unless the rent gets paid, so they are incentivized to make sure everything is in working order.


This list is not exhaustive, but it is a good place to start. Once you have a good team, the synergies will begin playing off each other and deals happen more frequently. More deals mean more success. Do not be afraid to kiss some frogs. Your team is mission-critical to your success. Good luck out there.


About the Author:

Brian T. Boyd, JD, LLM,


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Top 7 Lessons Learned from The Book on Negotiating Real Estate

Top 7 Lessons Learned from ‘The Book on Negotiating Real Estate’

Negotiating sometimes gets a bad reputation for haggling, but true negotiators know that it’s really just solving differences between multiple parties. Good negotiators are able to focus on terms other than price and great negotiators are able to get the other party to do the same. The Book on Negotiating Real Estate: Expert Strategies for Getting the Best Deals When Buying & Selling Investment Property by Mark Ferguson is a wealth of knowledge for small and large investors alike. Here are my seven takeaways:


1. Information

Gather as much information as you can because information is leverage. This may require putting on your detective hat and doing some investigating. It can be as simple as performing a Google search, scouring social media profiles, or looking on the county auditor’s website. When speaking to the other party in person, be sure to listen with intent and build rapport with the other party because people tend to do business with people they like.


2. Motivation

Acquire the seller’s motivation and determine if there are motivating factors other than price. In short, you’ll want to learn if there are any pain points as to why the other party is selling, their timeline to sell, the condition of the property, and lastly, price. By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to gauge the seller’s expectations and their willingness to work with you.


3. Terms and Contingencies

In a sense, you could make the agreement contingent upon pretty much anything and it’s all deal-dependent. The most common contingencies are the financing and inspection contingencies. With terms, you could get a little more creative. Some general terms include but are not limited to earnest money deposit, seller financing, closing times, and personal property. Before putting together an initial offer, it would be best to make a list of all the terms beyond the price that you’d like to get from the deal and believe the other party would like to get from the deal.


4. Delivering the Offer

When delivering your offer, present it in writing because people put more weight on the written word versus something that has been simply discussed. It’s also a good idea to go through the agreement with the other party. Start the discussion with information and ideas that the seller finds agreeable, which allows you to create a positive emotional state leading up to more controversial aspects of the offer. Listen after you present your offer and resist the urge to justify a low price or some term or contingency in the contract.


5. Tactics

Plan your negotiating strategy beforehand and tailor the conversation to the other party’s personality because by doing so, you keep them involved and in their comfort zone. Always focus on things that both sides can agree on because by focusing on agreeable issues, the other party will get the feeling that progress is being made. In tough situations, you can always appeal to a higher authority like your partner or your boss, even when they don’t exist. And always remember that no deal is better than a bad deal.


6. Concession Strategies

Instead of giving concessions, try trading concessions. Suggesting conditional concessions could also be advantageous. Make sure that you get equal value when you give. And lastly, always ask for a final concession because the other party will learn to stop asking for things once they essentially have what they want or need from the negotiation.


7. Defense

Defense is just as important as being aggressive, especially when negotiating against expert negotiators. When you get lowball offers, this is a good time to reject the offer outright to let the other party know you are refusing to engage in a negotiation until they are willing to be reasonable. When your offer is being criticized, the best way to react is to let them know that this deal might not work out. Lastly and most commonly, with threats of competition, the best way to defend is to figure out if the other party is telling the truth and to gather more information in terms of whether they are motivated to work with you and why they haven’t accepted other offers.

Negotiation is a muscle — the more you use it, the stronger it gets!


About the Author:

Tanh Truong is a pharmacist by day and an investor by night. A thoroughbred of Cincinnati, he invests locally in high-yielding assets and higher-yielding relationships.


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How Mini Masterminds Set Investors Up for Success

How Mini Masterminds Set Investors Up for Success

In some of our previous blog posts about the Best Ever Conference, we’ve mentioned something called Mini Masterminds. These educational small-group sessions are a favorite among Best Ever Conference attendees, but how much do you actually know about them? Here, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the Mini Masterminds experience and how it may be the key to reaching your business goals.


What Are Mini Masterminds?

Every year The Best Ever Conference welcomes the best-in-class real estate professionals who are looking to make an impact on their business. BEC2022 attendees have the exclusive opportunity to join our Mini Mastermind program once they register for the conference. These sessions are made up of small groups with 6–8 peers who meet virtually to connect prior to the conference. 

In these sessions, attendees will begin to learn from one another, share best practices, and continue to build relationships in an intimate setting. The groups meet monthly to discuss various real estate topics such as:

  • Business goals
  • Identifying opportunities
  • Marketing to the right audience
  • Networking and building connections
  • Preferred asset types
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Vulnerabilities and risk mitigation 


Who You’ll Meet

Mini Mastermind members enjoy the immediate benefit of networking with other BEC attendees, generating ideas to build their businesses, and receiving feedback and support. The sessions provide the rare opportunity to connect with other professionals in a way that fosters education and growth. What do you want to learn? Who do you want to meet? It’s a group that you will continue to grow with leading up to the conference.

Below are testimonials from just a few Mini Masterminds participants:


Andrea Weule of AC Investment Group

Andrea said, “I love being able to meet with a group of investors with different backgrounds from across the country. I’ve gained new insight into our investments. It’s great to be able to contribute to others’ success and pick their brains for ideas as well. Looking forward to continuing our relationships for years to come.”

Frank Rush of East West Property Management 

After completing his first meetup, Frank said,It seemed like a diverse group of entrepreneurs, and I am excited about the upcoming sessions and to eventually meet in person at the conference. I am sure there will be some great benefits that come from it all with the possibility of working directly with a member of the group on a future deal in some shape or form!”


Kris Kohlstedt

“The Mastermind has been a great networking tool allowing me to build deeper relationships than what I’d get in person in one meeting,” Kris said of his experience. “I get to ask questions and share in a group that I feel can provide great experience and knowledge to my obstacles in business.”


How You Can Get Involved

The Mini Mastermind program is included with the purchase of each BEC2022 ticket, and once you sign up, you will have the opportunity to start connecting with other attendees immediately. 

Participants who sign up now will have the opportunity to begin connecting early in the year and to continue to build these relationships well before finally meeting in person at the conference. The BEC team will coordinate your Mini Mastermind group with you and send out the invitation details.

Purchase your ticket to the Best Ever Conference today to see for yourself what you can gain from Mini Masterminds.


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From Internship to Partnership with Jenny Gou

From Internship to Partnership with Jenny Gou

It finally felt like the right time for Jenny Gou to take one giant leap away from her corporate life. She had spent 13 years as a sales director for Procter & Gamble working with some of the company’s most beloved brands, such as Dawn, Cascade, and Swiffer. But in February 2020, Jenny decided that it was time to move on to a new experience where she could blend her passions for helping others and real estate to create the next chapter of her professional career.

Jenny’s interest in real estate started in 2017 when she and her husband jumped into the industry with several single-family rentals in Cincinnati. Following a real-estate-focused meetup in the area, Jenny’s husband asked the meetup presenter, Steve Louie, to coffee, where the two continued to connect after the event. Jenny’s husband introduced her to Steve, and they quickly clicked and started working together.

“We spent the last 18 months working together doing underwriting,” Jenny said. “Steve let me help him manage some of his properties because he knew I had just left my corporate job. That was kind of like interning for him — I’ll call it an interview— really getting hands-on experience in the marketplace.”

Within 12 months, Jenny had narrowed her focus to acquiring properties and building her network while continuing to absorb all the knowledge she possibly could. During that time, Jenny acquired 950 units and started a real estate investing company, Vertical Street Ventures, with Stevie as her business partner.

Having opened their doors to investors in January 2021, Jenny is excited about their accomplishments thus far and what their team can continue to achieve in the future. But, for her, the real reward in managing a syn-dication portfolio comes in two forms: the ability to help others secure financial freedom and to continue their mission of educating others about real estate.

“I find a lot of passion and energy when I hear great things from our investors. A lot of folks we know are, at least in my network, maybe newer to real estate, and the biggest compliment that gets me going is, ‘Wow, thank you for spending the time to educate me on real estate,’” Jenny said.

The scalability and growth of the vertical Street Ventures group is another area of excitement, as the team is on track to exceed its goal of having $25 million in assets under management. The team is expanding as well, with three current employees and a steady roadmap to grow sustainably.

“Beyond Steve and I as the founders, we have an underwriter. He’s a former rocket scientist who is super, super intelligent. Sowe feels very good with his help on underwriting when we have a good property on our hands,” Jenny shared. “Then we will continue to expand. We will have someone coming to do marketing and more investor relations, and then more administrative help coming as well.”

Along with helping her find financial freedom through multifamily syndications, Jenny also found that Vertical Street Ventures and passive investing were the ideal scenarios to allow her to achieve the lifestyle goals that a corporate job wasn’t able to deliver.

“As much as I loved my corporate job, I just didn’t love the lifestyle that I had anymore, and that’s why I left and started this company. This new industry and this role allow me a lot more flexibility to leave my office at [3:00] to go pick the kids up and go to the park,” Jenny said. “It was just so much easier and less stressful because I had more flexibility, and that is what I want for our investors.

“And everyone can get there. It just starts with one thing. Start with your goals and priorities, and that’s your vision. Then consider the strategies and the tactics to get there. Passive investing is the strategy to get to whatever your vision is for how you want to spend your time.”

Combining vision and action creates what Jenny believes is the foundation for setting yourself, a business, or an investment up for success.

“I always tell people just to take action because you can learn, you can read, you can go to meetups all day long, listen to podcasts — but nothing happens until you actually do something,” Jenny reflected. “Just go take one small step somewhere, and then it’ll blow up into something bigger.”


About the Author:

Leslie Chunta is a marketing consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in creating dynamic marketing programs and building brands for startups to enterprise organizations. She has worked agency- and client-side with high-growth companies that include Silicon Valley Bank, JPMorgan Chase, SailPoint, EMC, Spanning Cloud Apps, Ashcroft Capital, Netspend, and Universal Studios.


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Meet Best Ever Conference VIP Richard Guy

Meet Best Ever Conference VIP Richard Guy

Richard Guy wants what most commercial real estate investors want: freedom. Freedom of time. Freedom of money. A life where the entire family lives and works together. He wants to be a multifamily investor. It lies at the intersection of his passions: passive income, time freedom, and flexibility.

Richard has wanted the next chapter of his life to be an entrepreneurial one; however, he has struggled to find a business that he can pursue with passion. Finally, with multifamily investing, he’s found it.


The VIP Difference

We recently spoke with Richard, who purchased the exclusive VIP ticket pass to the 2022 Best Ever Conference. We realize that making the decision to upgrade your ticket to any event is a major one, so we asked Richard what encouraged him to purchase his VIP ticket to BEC2022.

He told us that he’d recently attended the Deal Maker Live conference in Dallas, and described his experience as amazing. “I’m kinda hooked now!” he said. “Also, I just started reading Joe’s book, and that’s how I learned about the Best Ever Conference.”

According to Richard, his goal is to gain the Three E’s from BEC2022: education, exposure, and experience. Luckily for him, the VIP ticket pass delivers on all three, including exclusive opportunities to meet conference speakers and attend private events.


Laser Coaching

Richard said what he is most excited about for the BEC is, “filling the day with knowledge and discussions with other people who are as passionate about the space as I am.”

In addition to the speaker sessions and Mini Mastermind groups general admission attendees will get to experience, VIP ticket holders will also receive laser coaching with a Mindset Mastery coach to help them soak up even more knowledge.


Networking Perks

Richard added, “I need to network with experienced multifamily investors and find ways to provide enough value to them to bring me alongside them on these deals.”

While the conference provides countless opportunities for attendees to connect with other high-net-worth individuals, the VIP ticket pass goes one step further. As a VIP, Richard will have access to private meet-and-greets with keynote speakers, where he’ll be able to engage in one-on-one conversations with the experts.


Looking Ahead

When asked about the biggest impact he is looking to achieve for his business, Richard said, “I’m hoping my business can provide me and my family with the time and financial flexibility we desire. Further, I’m hoping to grow and scale my business so that I may eventually step out more and focus on more philanthropic endeavors — using my skills and business’ scale to accelerate progress.”

Want to meet Richard and other like-minded attendees to connect with? You can learn more about the Best Ever Conference and purchase your ticket at


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The First Timer’s Guide to the Best Ever Conference

The First Timer’s Guide to the Best Ever Conference

With a name like “Best Ever,” it’s easy to get excited, and maybe even a little intimidated, about attending your first Best Ever Conference. You might be wondering what makes it the best ever, and how you can get the most out of this conference. And we want to help!

That’s why we’ve developed our First Timer’s Guide for your first Best Ever Conference to ease your mind and help you get the most value out of your time.


How the Best Ever Conference Is Designed

The Best Ever Conference, known throughout the commercial real estate industry as the BEC2022, is designed specifically for commercial real estate professionals to focus on relationships and education that will directly impact growth for both you and your portfolio.


Our Speakers

Our speaker selection process isn’t about who we know, it’s about what YOU want to know!

Our team listens to and actively engages with commercial real estate investors like you all year round to ensure we stay at the forefront of the commercial real estate investing industry, choosing speakers with expertise and topics that you want to learn about most.

Past speakers have included industry giants such as:

And more importantly, past topics have included:

  • How to Scale Your Syndication Business
  • Lessons in Becoming a Better Leader
  • How to Build a Powerhouse Investing Team, and
  • Multiplying Your Real Estate Portfolio


Here are some tips for getting the most out of your time at the BEC2022:


Before the Conference

In the weeks leading up to the conference, take some time to create a game plan for your experience. Consider who you want to meet, which services and vendors you might be interested in learning more about, and what topics and insight will be most valuable to you and your goals.


Set Your Speaker Session Lineup

First, we encourage you to check out the BEC2022 speaker lineup on our website at We will update the conference website regularly as new speakers are confirmed.

Research each of the BEC2022 speakers before the conference. Get to know who they are, what they bring to your table, and the type of information that will be presented. Consider how this information can help you grow your business and portfolio.

It is also a good idea to make note of any questions that come up during your research that you would like to ask the presenters.

Now, break the different speaker sessions into three categories to set your custom speaker session schedule:

  • Must attend
  • Would like to attend
  • Don’t need to attend


Shortlist Your Exhibitor Interests

Another good way to make the most of your time at your first Best Ever Conference is to take a look at the exhibitors that will be present. Which exhibitors do you want to learn more about?

Next, go ahead and make a shortlist of the exhibitors you’re most interested in and keep this in your back pocket to make the most of your downtime between sessions at the conference.


At the Conference

Balance Your Time

As with most conferences, the top three things you’ll do at the BEC are learn from speakers, network with speakers and other attendees, and browse the exhibitor booths. To get the most out of the Best Ever Conference, you’ll want to strike a balance for the way you spend your time.

Set your speaker schedule into your calendar with locations and reminders so you’re never late to your “must attend” speaker sessions.

During your “don’t need to attend” sessions, try to make your rounds to the exhibitors based on your preparations. Spread these visits out to allow for plenty of time to take care of your basic needs and stay comfortable, fresh, and energized throughout the conference.

And last but certainly not least, plan to spend the rest of your time networking with speakers and other conference attendees.

Most likely, you’ll have questions for the “must attend” speakers — either prepared questions from your pre-conference recon or questions that came up during the presentation. Here is an insider tip: Don’t try to talk to the speaker immediately after their presentation. That’s when everyone is going to want to talk to them and you’ll spend a lot of time waiting in line or look like a weirdo running up to them to get to the front of the line. Instead, talk to them between sessions, at private events, and in the additional group events and parties that will take place at night.

All Work and No Play — Not Us!

Lastly, we’re excited to announce that the BEC2022 will be held at the Gaylord Rockies Resort in Denver, Colorado.

Many BEC attendees use the conference as an opportunity to vacation in Colorado either before or after the conference — skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities. If this is the case for you, don’t forget to pack your snowboard, skiing, or sledding gear!


After the Conference

The value from the BEC doesn’t stop at the end of the conference, it only continues. The relationships you will develop and the knowledge that you take away can be implemented immediately and last a lifetime.

If you haven’t already, check out to learn more about the Best Ever Conference and reserve your ticket today. Check back often for updates, and we’ll see you at the Best Ever Conference in February 2022!




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Managing Up With Jonathan Ghaly

Managing Up With Jonathan Ghaly

As he looked back on his real estate career, Jonathan Ghaly realized that he first worked for a syndicator before he started doing deals with one. In the mid-2000s, Jonathan got hired as a property manager for a 100-unit apartment building. On his first day, he was handed a keychain full of keys and a cell phone that rang non-stop.

Around 2007, the syndicator started to take risky gambles, unbeknownst to the tenants. He began to take on additional investors while subsequently not paying down the mortgage. With the economic crash, the syndicator turned all of the properties into foreclosure, leaving Jonathan to find his next steps.


Early Success

“I learned a lot. He introduced me to ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad,’ and the cash flow game. I saw his mistakes, of course,” Jonathan recalled. “During the crash, I had my real estate license already, and no one was hiring. So I just said, ‘Well, I might as well try to sell real estate.’”

Jonathan’s real estate career started to flourish. He started with two deals his first year and steadily grew upwards. In 2013, he transitioned from only selling properties to buying properties of his own.

“I partnered with a friend because I was just too scared to pull the trigger in the beginning, and we bought eight units together,” Jonathan said. “I bought him out a few years later, and then I just kept buying more.”


Coffee Talks

Today, Jonathan’s portfolio consists of 15 rental properties and an assisted living facility, in addition to his investment in multifamily syndications. Reflecting on the community of people who helped elevate him to this place, he said it all started with one friend and a morning coffee session.

“I felt the need to call a friend of mine who I had helped buy his first couple of properties. He was a teacher and he quit to be a fix-and-flipper. I said, ‘I would love to just talk about this stuff — what we’re doing and what to invest in and what not to invest in — with you. Would you have any interest in meeting on Thursday mornings and having coffee at my house?’” Jonathan shared. “He said, ‘Perfect. My kids go to school right near there. I’ll drop them off and come over.’ This beautiful friendship came out of that, and we put everything on the table as far as investment stuff.”

Jonathan’s inner circle of like-minded investors continued to grow larger, with others interested in their open and honest discussion of real estate and real life.

“These investor-mentor meetings or inner circle meetings are amazing, even if it’s once a month. After my experience with it, I would highly recommend it to any investor because you never know what good can come out of it,” Jonathan said.


Shifting the Game Plan

Even with a trustworthy network, Jonathan Ghaly believes that the work is never done with self-education and believing in your own intuition on a deal.

“Experience is a big word in the industry. But even with that, a lot of people can have experience but still go through a protocol. So, are you like a machine just going through protocol without common sense? Or do you really understand real estate where you can get creative, and you can see through these blind spots? Because it’s all about shifting the game plan. Keep educating yourself in real estate, and don’t get distracted,” Jonathan shared. “I can get really distracted, but when I do all this research about these other things, I come back and realize it doesn’t beat the real estate return.”


The Importance of Trust

Reflecting on his journey to date, Jonathan Ghaly believes that the fundamental element of any successful real estate partnership is similar to that of marriage: trust. While some things are learned the hard way, it’s essential to surround yourself with a team that complements your strengths and can compensate for your weaknesses.

“Find a partner you can trust with your life because it is a marriage. I find myself constantly partnering with people who are exactly like me,” Jonathan said. “We should build our teams up so that the strengths and weaknesses, and skills and non-skills, are really evening out and covering everything across the board.”



About the Author:

Leslie Chunta is a marketing consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in creating dynamic marketing programs and building brands for startups to enterprise organizations. She has worked agency- and client-side with high-growth companies that include Silicon Valley Bank, JPMorgan Chase, SailPoint, EMC, Spanning Cloud Apps, Ashcroft Capital, Netspend, and Universal Studios.

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Meet Best Ever Conference Attendee Suzy Sevier

Meet Best Ever Conference Attendee Suzy Sevier

Active and passive investors alike can agree — building relationships is imperative when it comes to real estate success. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, essential networking opportunities have had to be adapted to take place mainly on screens. After the virtual Best Ever Conference in 2021, attendees are even more excited than ever to be back in person in Denver, Colorado for the upcoming 2022 event.

Like in previous years, the Best Ever Conference 2022 will provide attendees with the opportunity to network with other top commercial real estate professionals and create lasting relationships proven to build wealth and evolve success. One of those professionals in attendance will be Suzy Sevier, co-founder of Adventurous Real Estate Investors.


Meet Suzy Sevier

We recently sat down for a quick Q&A with Suzy to learn more about her prior virtual BEC experience and her expectations for 2022.

Suzy has been involved in commercial real estate since August 2020, and she’s already accumulated an impressive portfolio. She is the owner and asset manager of 188 units totaling $12 million AUM.

Through Adventurous Real Estate Investors, Suzy and her husband and co-founder, Michael, work to create a positive impact through real estate investing. They specialize in “Return on Impact,” and they share in this journey by offering their partners investment opportunities and mentoring others.

Suzy has several reasons she will be attending the BEC 2022. “I have been told many great things about this conference by a diverse set of individuals, so I knew that this was a conference worth attending!” she said. “I loved the virtual conference in 2021, so afterward it was a no-brainer to purchase the ticket for next year.”

She has high expectations for the upcoming event. “The biggest impact I am looking to achieve for my business is more exposure,” she shared. “I love chatting with like-minded real estate investors, so this will be a great opportunity to meet more people.”

When asked who she looks forward to meeting in person, Suzy responded, “Everyone, since it will be my first in-person conference!” In addition to meeting like-minded investors, she is also excited to explore Colorado while snowboarding before and after the event.


Make Your Own Connections

Want to meet Suzy and other like-minded attendees to connect with? You can learn more about the Best Ever Conference and purchase your ticket today at


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Big Goals in the Big Apple With Melissa Jameson

Big Goals in the Big Apple With Melissa Jameson

With big goals for her professional development and real estate portfolio, Melissa Jameson shares how nurturing the growth in others has helped her thrive in both.


On the Move

After growing up in Connecticut, Melissa Jameson decided it was time for a total change of scenery. She moved to California to earn an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of San Diego before crossing the continent again to land in Washington, D.C., where she would work on Capitol Hill while also obtaining her master’s degree from George Washington University.

While in Washington, D.C., Melissa earned a job as an advisor to the Department of Justice, where she worked closely with the FBI and DEA on money laundering investigations. She continued to excel in a constantly evolving field, providing investigative support and specialized knowledge to support active federal criminal cases and help the government “follow the money.” That is, until 2014 when an opportunity presented itself to join PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Financial Crimes practice in New York City— somewhere she had always dreamed of living.


Becoming a Real Estate Investor

With her new job away from Washington, D.C., she could now focus on other opportunities. A family property was Melissa’s first entry into real estate and where she started developing a genuine interest in the potential of real estate investments for wealth generation.

“I had always been interested in real estate and then ended up with this family property that I decided to renovate and rent out. And as I started to do that, I realized there’s definitely more money to be made in real estate, and I got my feet wet,” Melissa said. “I realized lots of people were making a lot of money in real estate. I can be doing something here, too, even though I’m obviously working a full-time job. I started getting an interest in buying other properties to rent out, so I started actively investing in Atlanta. I also started passively investing, partnering with operators investing in high-growth areas in the U.S.”


Keys to Success

As Melissa has continued to grow her real estate portfolio, she realized that many skills fluidly transfer between the corporate world and the world of a real estate investor.

“Having good mentors is really important, and personally, I’m still trying to develop those mentoring relationships in the real estate industry. I have those mentors more on the corporate side, just because I’ve been in the industry for so long,” Melissa shared. “The network and mentors, in particular, can be so helpful because you can bounce ideas off of them and potentially avoid making the same mistakes.”

Learning from the past is another foundational element that drives Melissa’s investment strategy. In her formative years, she didn’t have financial role models in her life. Healthy money management wasn’t practiced or discussed.

Taking the Lead

Today, she is looking ahead and lives her life in a way that positions herself for a secure financial future, focusing on building a portfolio of diverse financial investments, and taking calculated risks.

“If other people can do this, other people are making money off of it; I had that confidence in myself that I can, too,” Melissa said. “I’m not perfect. I’m still learning and making some mistakes along the way, but it’s just that I have that confidence in myself that I can really learn, that I can make the connection and that I can be successful in this industry.”

With confidence comes support, and whether it is in the professional realm or with a team of fellow real estate investors, giving support is a fundamental element of every successful team. For Melissa, it’s essential to how she’s grown and managed her own team to ensure their continuous success.

“I love leading people. I’m really passionate about it because I like to see people grow and develop, and I love mentoring, building relationships, and building that trust,” Melissa reflected. “At the end of the day, we all want to succeed and we all have the same objective, so I want to make my team feel like I really support them and that I’ll do whatever I can to really help them in whatever ways they need.”



About the Author:

Leslie Chunta is a marketing consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in creating dynamic marketing programs and building brands for startups to enterprise organizations. She has worked agency- and client-side with high-growth companies that include Silicon Valley Bank, JPMorgan Chase, SailPoint, EMC, Spanning Cloud Apps, Ashcroft Capital, Netspend, and Universal Studios. 



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How to Provide Value to a Partnership Without Capital

How to Provide Value to a Partnership Without Capital

How does one bring value to a partnership? I was asked this question last week while speaking with a young man who is interested in real estate investing. His conundrum is that he only has a small amount of capital. Thus, he wanted to know how he could provide value to a partnership that would provide him an equity stake in a deal. Unsurprisingly, this exact question is bandied about among new investors and old. Not all partnerships are on equal footing from day one. Within this blog post, I hope to provide some insight into how to provide value, earn equity, and become a partner when there is no money to invest on your end.


Bird-Dogging the Deal

The first and most popular way to obtain an equity stake in a deal is to be the one to find the deal. This means that if you are the hopeful investor with no money, your value is in finding the property, seller, or bringing people together. So how does one find the deal or bird-dog? Answering that is not as simple as it sounds. The short answer is that there is a lot of time spent scouring neighborhoods, property listings, tax records, looking over tax dockets at the courthouse, going to those properties, talking with the owners or agents, and becoming familiar with every aspect of the property. Once a property is identified, what is the deal?

Any investor that will bring money to the table will want to know the numbers. The non-money investor needs to have all the numbers crunched and know that deal backward and forwards. Know the value add and how this deal can be a good buy. Is it simply return on investment or is it an appreciation play? What is the value of the deal? Know the goal of the deal. Simply buying a property is not enough; it is important to know how the deal will bring value to the partnership.

Once you have found the property, be it commercial or residential, you then have to be able to show the money investors how they are going to see returns on their investment. There are numerous apps, programs, and websites that can help you prepare a pro forma on the property. Investors want to see numbers. Numbers control the deal. Know your numbers.


Finding the Right Partners Once You Have the Deal

Once you have a deal put together, how do you find the right partner? It is simple to say “networking” and shrug, but that is not a genuine answer. Websites like Best Ever Commerical Real Estate, meet-up groups, and talking with your banker, real estate agent, lawyer, accountant, or insurance agent are good places to start. Those points of contact need to be cultivated to grow relationships. Organic relationships will generate more leads than you can possibly imagine. That said, there are plenty of money investors out there that are looking for deals. If you look enough, they will be everywhere. Investors are always on the lookout for new deals.

Once you have found a potential partner, it is paramount that you and they start the vetting process. You need to learn as much as you can about your partner. That does not mean their blood type and mother’s maiden name, it means that you need to make sure that your soon-to-be partner has the capital, has experience in investing, and is willing to be transparent with you — after all, this is a marriage of sorts.


Structuring Your Equity Stake

What does all your effort calculate up to in the deal? Is it 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or more of the deal? Is there an equity earn-out? Meaning, does your equity in the deal increase once the money investors have recouped their down payment? The answer to this question is that you need to have this number in your head when you create the deal. You need to understand and realistically value your efforts in putting this deal together. In the context of syndication, this is the role of the general partners. The GPs bird-dog the deals and it is the limited partners (the money investors) that bring the cash to the table. However, not every deal is a syndication. Most deals are simply buying a building, house, or multifamily property, but the concepts are the same.

Spend the time with your potential partner in outlining your partnership agreement. It is time well spent. Speak with a lawyer who handles partnerships, LLCs, and does real estate work. Do not cheap out on getting the right advice — these boxed agreements online will do you more harm than good. Get a tailored partnership agreement. Ask questions and understand the agreement as well as you understand your deal. Learn about the new ideas of the lawyer or your partner. Structuring your deal is as much an art as is putting the deal together. Find the right structure for you.


Good luck out there!


About the Author:

Brian T. Boyd, JD, LLM,


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How to Make Financial Freedom Your Reality in Just 10 Years

How to Make Financial Freedom Your Reality in Just 10 Years

There comes a time in our lives (or maybe a couple of these moments) when we pick up our heads, look around and realize that we aren’t where we thought we’d be by this point in time. Maybe it’s just before a milestone birthday or when one of your kids hits a milestone of theirs.

Maybe it’s at a rock-bottom moment where you’ve been passed over (again) for a promotion, your relationship is waning, and you feel like you’re always working. You ask yourself how on earth you got to this point and attempt to trace back your steps from years ago.

Sometimes we can’t quite pinpoint where it went wrong or what went wrong, but the glaring truth is that things don’t look the way we imagined when we were young, naive dreamers.


Why Are You Stuck?

Maybe you followed all the rules, got the degree and the corporate job, saved diligently into your 401(k), budgeted, and even snagged a couple of rental properties. Unfortunately, you’re still feeling held back, hampered by an invisible ceiling. In complete opposition to your grand vision in your twenties, you still managed to become a cog in the wheel, get stuck spending time to earn money, and the life you dreamt of seems a little out of reach.

What’s worse is, looking into the future, you can’t see how this path could ever change. Maybe a property appreciates, and you sell it; perhaps the stock market spikes, and your retirement savings get a boost, but then what? How is it protected? How can you depend on appreciation and Wall Street spikes?

You can’t. So, you start trying to crack the invisible code. You know there’s a way that the ultra-wealthy do things that must work, so you begin exploring how to get there.

Ryan D. Lee felt this same way. That was his story before he founded Atlas Wealth and Cashflow Tactics. You see, as Ryan says, most financial advice is archaic, and 97% of it is dangerous, misleading, or flat out wrong.  However, it’s what most of us are taught, and what so many of the financial gurus out there are peddling, thus what the majority of the world believes.


Your Most Valuable Asset, Revealed

It took Ryan a few years of suffering through a high-travel career, a diminishing connection with his wife and family because he was gone so much for work, and the 2008 stock market crash for him to step back and start to question the path he was taught to follow. Does any of this sound familiar or parallel to your experience?

The number-one thing you can realize is that YOU are your greatest asset. Now, that doesn’t mean you should silo yourself and struggle harder, longer, alone. That means you can and should harness the power of knowledge, connection, and innovation when it comes to your wealth strategy.

To get out of a rut — any rut — you’ve got to surround yourself with others who are inspiring, more intelligent than you, maybe a couple of steps ahead of you, and who share (or are already on their way to achieving) your same goals or desires. If you want to lose weight, surround yourself with really fit friends, a nutritionist, a health coach, yoga instructors, runners, and the like. Lifestyles and habits are contagious, and Ryan knew that, so he surrounded himself with people who craved financial freedom.

He began to examine how other successful, wealthy people lived and noticed that they have a team on which they rely. He immediately immersed himself into a mastermind/book club where the group read Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Creature from Jekyll Island, and Becoming Your Own Banker, and would discuss how they could implement these books’ principles into their lives.


Leveraging Life Insurance Differently Than “Everyone Else”

Once you cross into that alternate mindset of educating yourself and leveraging your relationships, you become unstoppable by the standard money myth-conceptions (Ryan’s words). Ryan and his now co-founder started to reverse engineer the banking system, explore new interest and appreciation-earning opportunities, and evaluate how they could increase their control while decreasing their tax liability.

Together, they learned a little-known way high cash value life insurance policies are used to create your own banking system. At first, the idea of using a life insurance policy while you’re still alive seemed ludicrous, especially as a part of a wealth-building plan, but the concept goes so much further than that. When a high cash value life insurance policy is set up and used properly, you can earn interest inside the account while also using the cash to propel your real estate investment strategy.

This is where the knowledge-gathering piece collides with the networking piece. First, you learn about the tools and how funding a high cash value life insurance policy can efficiently fund your real estate investments.

Next, leveraging your network of property management professionals, brokers, financing, insurance professionals, and other key relationships creates accessibility to the components needed for your accelerated wealth-building strategy.


Connecting the Dots

Maybe you’ve done the math and it’s already clear to you that $300K in your retirement account earning an average of 8% or even 10% or 12% per year just isn’t going to cut it. So, there are two options, right?

  1. Invest more principle.
  2. Earn more interest.

Wrong. This is the archaic way — the old way. This way is assuming your money can either be spent or saved, not both and definitely not at the same time. So, take a step back with me once more.

You already know real estate syndications are a great way to invest, earn great returns, reduce your tax liability, and protect yourself and your money from the volatility of Wall Street. Right?

So, combine that knowledge about real estate syndications with this fresh perspective on life insurance policies. An investment strategy that combines high cash value life insurance with real estate syndications opens up a new world of possibilities because it allows your money to work for you in two places simultaneously.

When you fully fund a high cash value life insurance policy, borrow against the policy, and use that to fund your real estate syndication investments, you’re successfully making your money work for you in two different places.


The cash value policy continues to grow while your cash flow from the real estate syndication deal begins to trickle in. Suddenly you’re earning interest inside the life insurance policy AND getting checks in the mail. Mind. Blown.


Final Thoughts

You’re already on the right path because you’re here, reading this. But know this with all truth and conviction: Your success with investing well and achieving financial freedom depends on your ability to increase control over your cash, increase the appreciation and returns you’re receiving on your investments, decrease the risk you face (overall and per deal), and decrease your tax exposure.

Like you, Ryan craved time freedom. He wanted to be home with his family while also being confident that he could provide financially now and in the future. So, he became obsessed with implementing a set of core principles within his personal financial plan to achieve that goal as fast as possible. He now teaches others about the Core 4 and how to use them to create velocity with their money.

We’ve found that investing in real estate syndications with cash borrowed against our fully-funded high cash value life insurance policies is one of the best, most lucrative ways to make sure our money is working as hard as possible for us and not the other way around.


About the Author:

Annie Dickerson and her partner Julie Lam are founders of Goodegg Investments — an award-winning real estate private equity firm — and creators of the Real Estate Accelerator Mentorship Program. They are authors of the book Investing For Good and hosts of the popular Life & Money Show podcast: 


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5 Best Tips for Investor Relations

Over the years, I have had the privilege of serving in investor relations with a number of firms. Starting out, I worked for a brokerage firm that had trillions of dollars in assets under management. I later made a 180-degree turn to a startup real estate syndication firm where I built an investor relations platform and served as Director of Investor Solutions. Currently, I serve as Director of Investor Relations at Ashcroft Capital, a group I have grown with and have been investing with for years.

I have never written a blog or article on the topic of investor relations. My primary focus has been on helping others learn how to invest and create wealth for themselves. Today, I felt compelled to share five tips for investor relations that can help you. Whether you are involved in investor relations yourself, or if you’re hiring for an investor relations role, or even if you’re simply an investor looking to partner with a firm, these five tips will help you create better conversations and awareness. Let’s get right to the point:


1. Discuss the Good AND the Bad.

Everyone loves to talk about the positives, best-case scenarios, and strong past performance. The truth is, it can create skepticism among some investors if you fail to mention the risks or the downside scenarios as well. You create more trust and transparency if you do not gloss over the negatives, but instead, proactively put them out in the open.


2. Be Visible.

It may not be a great idea to start raising capital or promoting your deals without a network, community, or online presence. Make sure to create content on social media outlets, be a guest on podcasts or host your own, and build a thought leadership platform.

Some firms and/or general partners have thousands of followers on one outlet and post there frequently (on Facebook, for example) but they are missing thousands of potential investors who prefer using LinkedIn or YouTube instead. It is better to post a small amount of content on multiple social media outlets than to go heavy on one outlet. The key is to be visible in as many places as possible when someone Googles your name or firm.


3. Professionalism.

Newer syndication groups have reached out over the years and asked me to take a look at their website, slide deck, or deal overview from the perspective of a Limited Partner investor. I always circle back to professionalism. For anything you post or distribute, it is critical to remove typos, glitches, or anything that might suggest your team is unprofessional or simply doesn’t care.

Also, what you say and how you say it is really important, so be aware of your messaging. When I join investor Zoom calls or podcasts (for example) I always wear a clean pressed button-up shirt and/or a sports jacket. It may seem unnecessary while working from home, but impressions go a long way. Always be professional.


4. Know Your Target Audience.

Funny story… I gave a speech years ago when I was first trying to network with more accredited investors. I had an investor/realtor friend of mine in Orlando who was wanting to start a local meetup for real estate investors. I decided I would partner with him on one of the first meetups.

I marketed the event, created a PowerPoint, rehearsed my speech, got all dressed up, traveled to the event, and gave it everything I had. When I finished the presentation, the audience applauded, and I remember thinking, “I killed it!” Only one problem: It turned out that nobody in the audience was an accredited investor. Lesson = Know who your target audience is, where they hang out, what they do, and get out in front of the right crowd to avoid wasting time and energy.


5. Respond Quickly.

Oftentimes it is not about whether YOU are ready to pitch your deal, it is when YOUR CUSTOMER is ready to invest. If one of your investors decides out of the blue that they are ready to deploy $100K today, and they email, text, or call, you better be ready to help them out ASAP. You can lose an investment simply by not responding quickly enough.

On a personal note, a couple of months ago I was looking to make an investment with an operator. I emailed three quick and easy questions after reading their project overview and never heard back. I placed that capital with another operator a couple of weeks later. We work in a very competitive space — something to keep in mind. Responding is also a form of professionalism.


In conclusion, I will leave you with a bonus tip…


Be Adaptable.

Things change rapidly in today’s world. New conferences, new social media outlets, COVID — you must be adaptable and open to experimenting to see what works. When one door closes, pivot and look for another. If one strategy stops working, be adaptable. One of my mentors told me years ago: “Double down on what works.”



To Your Success,

Travis Watts



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How to Save Your Commercial Real Estate Company From Catastrophe

Real estate is a wonderful way to make lasting relationships, create wealth, and provide society with something it needs in the form of housing.

These are things people say when things are going well, and everyone is making money. However, what happens when things go bad? I am not talking about the kind of small “b” bad. I am talking about the big “B” bad. The kind of bad where you and your partner(s) are saber-rattling and lawyers are being called, big litigation budgets are in the offing, and you can see this very profitable business venture nose diving over things that should have been dealt with on the front end of this venture.


The Agreement

I cannot count the number of times I have met with a client who has been sued by a partner or is ready to sue their partner. From a partner refusing to allow access to the books and records, to one partner taking too much money, to cutting off a partner’s distributions, these are the issues that a little pain on the front end with a lawyer would have obviated.

How so? By writing a partnership agreement or operating agreement detailing who will do what, when. The best place to start drafting your problem-solving document is at the end of that document. What does this mean? This means that you draft a partnership agreement or operating agreement by breaking up the company first. It is best to agree on how to close the company and split the assets and profits when you and your partner(s) are getting along and everything is rainbows and butterflies with a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

Dissolution agreements or clauses help you construct the front end of the document. It is here that you can find out who is going to put some skin in the game. At the beginning of a venture, it is easier to have everyone agree that they will only get out their pro-rata share of what they put into the company. Thus, when the venture buys that apartment building, everyone knows: 1) how much equity everyone has, 2) how much each person paid for their equity, and 3) how much each person will get back if this venture ends.


Discuss the Details

Far too often good friends, business colleagues, and/or family decide it would be a good idea to be business partners and fail to approach business as the transactional matter it is. Not only will this naivete lead to hurt feelings and irreparably damaged relationships, but it will also lead you to the courthouse steps.

A partnership or other business venture that has not had the foresight to discuss the hard issues about its inner workings will ultimately find itself strangled to death by lawyers and the legal system. Notwithstanding the legal fees each party will pay their attorneys, the Judge has the ability to order a receiver to take over the business, wind up its affairs, and sell the assets. This means that your largest investment could go on the market against your wishes, sold for less than you and your partners think the business is worth, and you will only get what you can prove your equity is or was.


Understand Your Dynamic

In the context of syndication, it is important to know and understand these issues very well, either as a general partner or a limited partner. What do the documents say? What do those clauses mean? How much do you get if things go sideways?

Typically, a syndication deal is very well papered with documents, and you should be able to know how you get from A to Z. If you do not know your exit strategy or how you get your equity/money out, then you have some homework to do.

Syndication is successful because of the general partners who put the deal together. But those deals cannot work without limited partners who fund the projects. GPs and LPs need to understand their dynamic in a syndication relationship. Take the time to sit down with a pen and go over your partnership agreement. Know what you can expect in good times and bad.



About the Author:

Brian T. Boyd, JD, LLM,


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Scaling a Commercial Real Estate Company with Other People’s Money

What does it take to become a successful investor? Do you need years of study and decades of practice? Does it require special connections? Well, the story of Collin Schwartz proves you don’t need any of those things.

Collin is a devoted husband, a father of two, an avid reader, and a podcast devotee. And, in the spring of 2017, he launched his career as an active investor in the commercial real estate market. Today, just a few years later, he owns 245 rental units, and he’s already signed contracts to buy 70 more.

How has Collin made such an impact in real estate in so short a period of time? His fascinating journey offers lessons for potential investors everywhere.

A Bit of Collin’s Background

When he was a child, Collin’s family frequently moved. In fact, it wasn’t until he started his MBA program in 2007 that he finally put down roots. He moved to Nebraska, and he’s been based in Omaha ever since.

After college, Collin got married and worked jobs in insurance, marketing, and information technology. However, while those positions supported him, they didn’t fulfill him.

Then, on New Year’s Day 2017, Collin read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” the groundbreaking 1997 book about personal finance by Robert Kiyosaki. A mental light bulb went on and he just knew he had to get into the investment game.

Right away, Collin started consuming investment-related books and podcasts — as many as he could. He networked with investors. He joined the educational website Bigger Pockets. On April 24 — not even four months after reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” — he closed his first deal.

On that day, Collin and a partner bought a triplex. It was a pocket listing, which means it was sold through the owner’s personal contacts instead of a public listing.

After the purchase, Collin got to work refurbishing the building. He knew that, given the property’s solid location, it could fetch healthy rents after some sprucing up.

In short, Collin was well on his way. Obviously, though, he was still very green and he would learn some important lessons over the next few years.


1. Cast a Wide Net

In mid-2017, Collin was still working his regular office job. He figured that, in his spare time, he would contact brokers, collect commercial real estate prospects, and bid on the leads that seemed promising.

This plan soon hit a snag, however. Collin discovered that most brokers aren’t interested in giving leads to newcomers. He had trouble finding new properties.

Fortunately, Collin had no intention of giving up. Instead, he created an account on ListSource, an invaluable website that provides homeowner leads and lists.

With the information on that site, Collin compiled a long list of people who’d owned a multifamily residence for more than five years. Then he went old school. He mailed each person on his list a handwritten letter to introduce himself. Approximately 191 letters went out.

Collin didn’t get many responses, but this project definitely paid off. He was able to buy six properties from those contacts.

On top of that, those six homeowners recommended other commercial properties to Collin, all of which were located nearby. Even better, after he closed those six deals, the sellers talked to the other properties’ owners and endorsed Collin. Thanks to their assistance, he was able to buy even more units.


2. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

As time goes by, Collin continues to improve his skills and build his base of knowledge. That growth has taken different forms.

For one thing, Collin always makes time to study. During his first year of investing, he kept practicing his negotiating method. Even today, with all of his success, he still devours books and podcasts about real estate, eager to acquire new techniques and gain new competitive edges. As he once tweeted, “If you’re not constantly learning, you’ll soften a little bit.”

He keeps growing his professional network as well. For example, a few months before the pandemic, he formed a meetup group. Today, it has 500 members, and about 100 people attend each monthly meeting.


3. Partner Up

In any field, an experienced partner can be a great help, especially for a newcomer. Indeed, that person can assist in numerous ways, a fact that Collin can attest to.

One of Collin’s crucial early collaborators was a local real estate investor named Steven Sykes. In 2017, he met Steven in a circuitous way. The fiance of Collin’s wife’s cousin was an attorney who knew a good deal about real estate. He told Collin about a real estate agent he knew, and that agent recommended a different agent. Finally, that third person gave him Steve’s contact information.

Collin and Steve hit it off right away, and they had long conversations about their investing goals. When they met, Steve owned and managed about 50 rental units. Collin showed him the triplex opportunity, and they became active investing partners.

Given Steve’s expertise, he was able to explain every aspect of the deal to Collin. And they each contributed half of the money for the purchase.

Steve also provided Collin with a sense of security, promising him that he’d buy out the entire complex in a few months if Collin didn’t like real estate management.

In short, having a seasoned partner like Steve can often mean the difference between success and failure — and between enjoying a project and not enjoying it.

Since that time, Collin has had no problem attracting business partners when he wants to. Part of the reason he’s so appealing to potential allies is his penchant for self-management. Indeed, he describes himself as a “control freak,” and he runs his properties whenever he can.

As such, Collin meets with contractors and personally fills tenant vacancies. Thus, he’s able to handle problems faster and keep his rates of occupancy high. And he has an outstanding reputation within the industry to show for this hard work.


4. Get Outside Financing

Collin relied on his own money for the first 18 residential units that he purchased. As he scaled up from 18 to 245 units, however, he had to depend on financing from others. He couldn’t have scaled up without it.

For one thing, Collin found many deals through his own personal leads and not through public listings. Thus, whenever he brought a financing partner on board, he could charge that person an acquisition fee. Those fees definitely added up.

Flipping buildings has been another source of funding for Collin. To date, he’s completed about 12 flips.

In addition, he’s received a number of second-position loans.

One of Collin’s largest sources of funding is the BRRRR strategy. “BRRRR” stands for “buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat.” This technique is fairly simple:

  • The active investor purchases a distressed property.
  • He or she beautifies it and, if necessary, brings it up to code.
  • The units are rented out.
  • The investor refinances, typically by receiving cash for equity by way of a larger mortgage.
  • With that infusion of cash, he or she can then look for another distressed property to buy, starting the process all over again.

In a similar vein, Collin has, at times, gone to hard money lenders for cash. Then, after completing a deal, he was able to refinance, pay back the money, and attain ownership of the property.


Creative Financing

If you look at the largest of Collin’s commercial properties, a residential complex that has 87 units, you can see how intricate his financing strategies can be. Collin and a partner serve as this property’s managing members, and the two of them brought equity to the deal. Two other partners have contributed funding. Collin also earned an acquisition fee for this complex, and he gets an asset management fee as well. On top of all that, the group received a fixed loan from the lending company Freddie Mac to complete this purchase, one that’s amortized over 30 years.

This property wasn’t a candidate for the BRRRR method because it wasn’t distressed; it was in great shape at the time of sale. Even so, Collin estimates that his group can raise the rents by 25 percent or more. And they’re giving the units a makeover, one that includes new flooring, new colors, and other improvements. Moreover, Collin is planning to refinance in about 18 months, after which his group can take out their cash.

As a final note, Collin keeps the cash reserves from his investments in the bank. He doesn’t try to live off of his cashflows. As a result, he’s well prepared in case of a sharp downturn in the economy, an event he has yet to live through.


Scaling a Commercial Real Estate Company with Other People’s Money

In the end, Collin’s example demonstrates that active investing opportunities are out there waiting for you, no matter your age, occupation, or level of experience. If you love learning new things, finding and working with partners, developing creative financing plans, and taking a hands-on approach to asset management, you may enjoy a level of investing success you never realized was possible.


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Three Secrets to Finding a Commercial Real Estate Mentor

If you are new to commercial real estate investing, it is generally in your best interest to find a commercial real estate mentor. This person can help you learn more about different investing strategies, help finance large transactions or provide general advice to help you avoid making rookie mistakes. Let’s take a look at some tips for finding the right person to serve as your coach, guide and confidant.

1. Find Someone Who Shares Your Vision

Ideally, your commercial real estate mentor will be someone who shares your overall investment philosophy. For instance, if you prefer to be a passive investor, it is important to work with someone who understands how to maximize returns without having to make too many decisions.

Your mentor may highlight the benefits of hiring a property management company to find tenants, handle maintenance requests and collect the rent each month. He or she may also teach you about private placements, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other investment options that may help to meet your needs.

If you want to be an active investor, a mentor may suggest that you buy properties close to home as they will be easier to manage. This person might also give you tips about how to improve a property without spending too much time or money doing so.

It is also important that you work with someone who has roughly the same amount of money available to invest in various properties or trusts. Doing so ensures that the advice that you receive is relevant to whatever strategy you’re trying to execute.

Regardless of what your goals, risk tolerance and timeline is, make sure that you work with someone who shares your values. If this person isn’t in the commercial real estate investing game for the same reasons that you are, he or she might not provide you with the insight that you need to be successful.


2. Look for Someone Who Is Still an Active Investor

Your mentor should be someone who still buys office buildings, multifamily homes or warehouses. While a former investor may be able to teach you about the various types of investment opportunities, this might not necessarily help you when it comes time to close on a deal.

As with anything else in life, there is a huge difference between what you learn in the classroom and what actually happens in the real world. Perhaps the biggest difference between theory and reality is the impact that your emotions can have on your ability to make the right deal.

It isn’t uncommon for newer investors to want a property so badly that they will pay more than it is worth. Furthermore, investors may buy properties without inspecting them or taking other steps to protect themselves if an unexpected problem arises. Aligning yourself with someone who regularly buys and sells commercial assets may make it easier to learn how to manage your emotions.

Additionally, working with someone who is still active in the commercial market is important because you want to work with a person who understands today’s market conditions. For example, it’s important to know that forces such as rising interest rates, a sluggish economy or societal changes in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic can play in making a successful investment. Only someone who is currently in the market can provide the context needed to help you determine which deals make sense and which deals don’t.


3. What Can You Bring to the Relationship?

In any successful relationship, both parties benefit from having the other in their personal or professional lives. Therefore, it is important that you are able to provide something of value to the person who is tasked with setting you up for long-term success.

For instance, an established investor may choose to work with you because of your knowledge of how younger people think about real estate. In the 21st century, small businesses have abandoned formal offices in favor of shared workspaces. These shared spaces allow individuals from various companies to network and create ideas that can help their companies flourish.

Helping your mentor understand how the market may be evolving can help that individual make better decisions about his or her portfolio. In addition to your views on modern business trends, you may be able to provide value to an established investor by offering access to social media contacts or others in your network.

It can be much easier to be a profitable commercial real estate investor if you have someone who you can lean on for support. This person may be able to help you control your emotions, anticipate changing market trends and offer other advice that can help you grow your money in a timely manner. Ideally, you will spend time talking to several prospective mentors before choosing someone to work with. Doing due diligence can maximize your chances of finding a partner who can help you fulfill your goals.

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How to Plan the Best Ever Real Estate Meetup

In real estate, it’s not just what you know that can help you to take your business to the next level. As with anything else, it’s who you know. You get it. And that’s why you’re passionate about planning a real estate meetup this year.

The question is, where exactly do you start and how do you make sure it’s worth your attendees’ time? Investors plan meetups every day in their communities, but not all meetups are created equal. How do you make yours stick out for all the right reasons?

Here’s a rundown on how to plan the best real estate meetup ever—one that actually adds value to the lives and careers of its attendees.

Connect with Influencers Early

One of the most critical things you can do to create winning real estate networking events is to connect with the right industry influencers. The quality of your influencers is the difference between the success and failure of your real estate business networking meeting attempt.

So, first and foremost, begin networking with high net-worth investors. After all, you can’t bring in the best experts and accredited investors to your real estate meetup if you don’t know who they are personally first.

Networking Ideas

For starters, check out social media sites, like Facebook, to see if any real estate professionals in your area have formed online social media groups centered on real estate. You may discover a group filled with individuals who are real estate brokers or investors in a wide range of commercial properties or residential properties, for example.

The more you engage in conversation with these professionals and build a relationship, the more you’ll learn about the knowledge they have to offer, and you can begin building relationships with them. Then, you can introduce to the major local players the idea of taking part in a physical real estate meetup, and you can ask if they’d be interested in presenting at one. These players may also know of other experienced individuals who wouldn’t mind presenting or attending your real estate business networking meetup.

Another way to network with local real estate industry influencers is through local community groups that focus on real estate. Those who run these in-person groups may be able to point you to a few outstanding experts who may be interested in speaking at your local real estate meetup.

Plan Ahead

While networking with local real estate experts, you’ll need to take time to explore your local area for the perfect place to hold your real estate meetup. You may need to reserve a room to ensure that you’ll have that space on a certain day and at a given time.

Great locations for real estate networking events include shared workspaces or even a local real estate influencer’s current rehabilitation project. You could even have a meetup at a pizza restaurant or a bar. The place doesn’t have to be formal or fancy; as long as it fits everyone who wants to attend and the open sharing of ideas and information can occur, you should be good to go.

Announcing Your Meetup

Be sure to announce your real estate meetup as early as possible. Ideally, let people know about the real estate business networking event three to four weeks ahead of time. This is enough time for potential attendees to plan for the meeting, but it isn’t so much time that they’ll forget about it.

You can announce these types of real estate networking events on social media, meetup websites or in your local newspaper. Also, feel free to post flyers in public areas where this is allowed in your town, or at your local eatery, for instance. Wherever you announce your event, be specific regarding the date, time, and location.

Keep Your Attendees in Mind

While you’re hosting your real estate meetup, don’t forget why you put together the real estate business networking event in the first place. You’re there to help your attendees, so promote the sharing of contacts, educational tidbits, stories, pitfalls, and strategies. For instance, your influencers should feel free to talk about things like how they got started in the business, the most horrendous buildings they’ve seen, second mortgages, and purchasing multifamily properties.

The reality is that your local real estate influencers, and even those attending the meeting, may technically be your competition. However, there are plenty of opportunities to go around. So, the more you create an environment where people are comfortable with being open and sharing, the more everyone will gain something valuable from your event.

Also, keep in mind that the benefit of hosting a meetup is that local real estate professionals will not only grow their knowledge but also network and find possible partners, sellers, buyers, and lenders over drinks and food.

Should You Charge for Your Event?

Avoid charging for real estate networking events. And along these lines, avoid upselling.

Many formal clubs are based on the idea that organizers have to generate money. For this reason, they end up partnering with traveling experts and focus on pitching specific products during their events. Then, they divide the profit.

Today, though, the most effective meetups aren’t investment clubs with the agenda of a for-profit entity. It’s okay if you want to provide specific training or have a particular agenda, but your event shouldn’t be about making money. It should be about helping both experts and novices to come together to increase their knowledge and take their local investing to the next level.

Get Started with Your Local Real Estate Meetup Today!

Now is the perfect time to start planning your local real estate meetup. According to famous author Timothy Ferris, you’re the average of your five closest associates, so it only makes sense to surround yourself with successful real estate investors who are experiencing the types of achievements you’d like to have.

Meetups are taking place regularly around the United States, and they are giving birth to lucrative real estate deals time and time again. Get in on the action by planning your own meetup or join me at the Best Ever Cincinnati Meetup!

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How a $10 Million Agent Generates FREE Leads With Facebook

Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on online marketing is a great way to obtain quality real estate leads. However, some real estate professionals – and I would say especially those who are just starting out and are strapped for cash – implement creative strategies to reduce or even eliminate their marketing budget, either out of necessity or to just increase their overall bottom line. But regardless of your experience level or spending capabilities, all real estate professionals and investors should be actively searching for ways to decrease their cost per lead.


Trish Williams, an agent and broker out of Las Vegas, started her real estate career in 2014. She devised a FREE marketing tactic which accounts for 90% of her $10 million in real estate transactions. Trish’s primary source of new customers are through referrals from Facebook. Essentially, she offers intriguing content on her personal Facebook page on a consistent basis, building up her credibility, so that whenever someone is ready to buy or sell their home, or personally knows someone who is, she’s the first person they reach out to. In our recent conversation, she explained her process for obtaining referrals through her personal Facebook page. You can apply these techniques to your business, regardless of the real estate niche you pursue.


How to grow your Facebook friend’s list?


One of the main focuses of Trish’s referral process is to build and grow your personal Facebook friend’s list. The more friends you have, the more potential direct and indirect referrals you’ll receive (as long as you’re posting the right kind of content, which will be discussed in the next section).


Besides organic growth, she has two active methods for adding new friends. First is through networking…EVERYWHERE. She said, “Every time when I meet somebody, if I meet you at the grocery store [for example] and we have a conversation, I ask you your name and I’m going to add you as a friend to my Facebook.”


Two is through her business page. She said, “I haven’t really figured out how to convert those people or grab them, so I add them as friends. I just add them to my personal page, because I have such a better conversation rate of converting people through that.”


Both of these tactics can be applied to any real estate niche. When you’re out and about, talking to people with passion about your real estate business, ask them for their name and add them to your friend’s list. Also, you should already have a business page or group on Facebook, so every time you receive a new like or a new member joins your group, add them as a friend.


What should you post?


The key to Trish’s referral process is the type of content you post. Since the goal is to establish credibility and trust with your followers, she said, “I’m not marketing. I don’t ever want to sound like a commercial. I’m just talking about what I do.” So, your content should be natural, genuine, authentic and add value, as opposed to gimmicky marketing or obvious advertising.


The specific content you post will vary depending on your niche. Since Trish is a real estate agent, her posts simply show what she is doing on a day-to-day basis. One approach she uses is to post pictures. “If I have an experience, if I’m out at a house and it has an amazing kitchen, I’m going to post it. If I see something that has great investment potential, I’m going to post it,” she said. “If I get an award, I’m posting a picture of me with the award, or if something happens – every success I’m posting about.”


Another approach that has a great response rate are videos. Trish posts videos all the time. She said, “If I’ve been out door-knocking, I post a video. I show people the yard of the neighborhood or the view of the street. If I’m at a new construction home, grand opening for a model home, I post a video of it.”


The video approach is a great way to build relationships without actually having to meet people in person. “People get used to seeing me,” Trish said. “They know me because I’m always posting videos, and they’re not professional videos. Sometimes my hair is crazy or whatever, but I’m still a person and people really like that.”


Since it is her personal Facebook page, not everything she posts is business related. She will post things about her personal life too. However, she did recommend that you avoid posting about divisive topics. She said, “I stay out of politics. I stay out of any kind of things that are controversial. I never ever post about anything that has to do with those. I don’t want to alienate people whatsoever, so I always keep a neutral stance, stay positive, and try to be that person that people really want to work with.”


When should you post?


Trish posts the type of content outline about at least every other day.


On top of that, she is on Facebook every day, commenting and liking other people’s content. However, that doesn’t mean she’s mindlessly scrolling through her news feed, liking and commenting on every single post. Remember, the goal is authenticity and genuineness. If you like every post, eventually people are going to catch on to what you are doing. Instead, Trish said, “I take interest in what other people are doing. I see what’s going on in their life and that helps me too to know who may need assistance. I do just make it a habit every day to scroll through, take a few minutes, see what people are doing. Whatever is at the top of my newsfeed.”

Finally, she always reaches out on birthdays. “Just Happy Birthday! If there’s something I know special about them, or what’s going on in their world, I mention it.”




Trish attracts the majority of her real estate business through Facebook referrals. She accomplishes this by networking to build her friend’s list, then posts genuine, natural content at least every other day, as well as likes and comments on other people’s posts and wishing people happy birthday.


Besides being simple and low cost, an advantage of this approach, as Trish mentioned, is that you’re establishing rapport with people before meeting them in person. It’s a completely different conversation when someone already knows you prior to sitting down or jumping on a call with them, compared to being complete strangers and then have to build up from nothing.


What FREE marketing tactic have you used with success in your real estate business?


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The 3 Pillars for Building Relationships with High Net-Worth Investors

Any real estate investor can attest to the fact that relationships are one of the keys to growing a business. As an apartment syndicator myself, one of the main ways I have directly benefited from relationships has been my ability to meet potential passive, private investors.


Being a key to our success, we should be actively seeking out tactics and techniques for sharpening our relationship building skills. And, if we are raising money for our deals, this should be one of your top priorities – how to find high net worth investors.


Jason Treu is an expert in this field. He is an executive coach who specializes in teaching his clients how to strengthen their relationship building skills. Through his coaching, his clients have built relationships with industry titans such as Tim Cook, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. In our conversation on my podcast, Jason provide his expert opinion on where to find high-net-worth individuals and outlined his three pillars for building relationships with them.

How to Find High-Net-Worth Individuals?

Building relationships, like building a business, is all about strategy. You need to have a plan, which starts with knowing where to go to maximize your chances of meeting the high-net-worth private investors or entrepreneurs who can help you along your real estate journey. Jason said, “I’ve found through a lot of research [that] some of the best people to meet are in charities and non-profit groups.”


Not only are these places where the people in attendance will have money, but they will also likely be altruistic. If it is a nonprofit or a charity, the whole premise is built around giving. “When you’re around people that have the mindset of giving and you build a relationship,” Jason said, “they’re much more open to helping you.”


Jason recommends Googling terms like “young professional,” “charity,” and “non-profit,” building a list of organizations and places in your local market and attending the ones that align with your interests the most. Go one or two times and determine if you like the people, the cause, and spending time there. If you do, get more involved. If the answer is no, find another one and repeat the process.


I can back up Jason’s advice with my personal experience. I’ve found that volunteering at local non-profits and charities is an effective, long-term approach to building relationships with high-net-worth private investors. And I’ve raised millions of dollars through these relationships. You can read more about my specific strategy here.


Additional strategies that I have found to be effective ways to meet high-net-worth individuals is to attend real estate conferences (more on this below), create a thought leadership platform (to build relationships in your sleep), get interviewed on other people’s thought leadership platforms, and start a meetup group.


Now that you know where to go, what are you supposed to do when you get there? How do you approach the conversations? Instead of winging it, follow Jason’s three pillars for successfully building relationships: 1) rapport, 2) likability and 3) trust.

1 – Rapport

First, you need to build rapport with potential private investors. To build rapport, you need to focus on your non-verbal and verbal communication skills.


Strengthening your non-verbal skills – like body language – is time intensive, but well worth the effort. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, specializes in this type of communication. Here is her TedTalk where she introduces her ideas. For a more in-depth explanation, Jason recommends reading her book, Presence.


Effective verbal communication is all about asking the right questions. When meeting someone for the first time, instead of the standard “how are you doing?,” Jason advises that you ask questions like “what’s the most exciting thing that’s going on in your life right now?” or “what are you passionate about outside of work?” or “what projects are you working on that you’re passionate about?”


Jason said that asking these types of questions will “connect them to their emotional side, and we’re all emotionally-driven people.” Have them talk about the thing in which they’re most interested. Then, draw something from your experience or interests to find common ground. Jason said, “that person will instantly like you significantly more because you found some common ground and you’re discussing something that they want to discuss, not what you want to discuss.” At that point, the conversation will flourish naturally.

2 – Likability

The second pillar is likability. The easiest way to get the other person to like you is to just listen. It’s not rocket science. “If you just look at someone and practice being present and don’t worry about who else is walking behind them, around them, you’d be amazed at how the tenor of your conversations and interactions will change, because they can tell when you’re distracted in the back of their mind.”


This pillar is simple – when having conversations with private investors and other professionals that may help you succeed, act as if the person sitting or standing in front of you is the most important person in the world. Listen intently and then, following the advice in pillars 1 and 3, build rapport and trust from there.

3 – Trust

Finally, the third pillar for building relationships is trust. The key to building trust is by showing them that you care. The most effective way to show that you care is by adding value.


Jason said, “You add value in the conversation in ways by suggesting things like maybe there’s a book, maybe there’s a person you can introduce them to, maybe you can say ‘I may have some ideas, let me follow up’ and then follow up with some ideas. You can also introduce them to people at the event.”


For those of you who are extroverted (or want to become extroverted), you can follow one of Jason’s favorite ways to add value to others, which is specific to events or conferences – he introduces strangers to other strangers. He will start a conversation with a stranger and, after asking the questions outlined in the section on rapport, will get the attention of another stranger nearby and say “Hey! You two should meet each other. I think you’d get along.” In doing so, next time he runs into either one of the strangers, they will introduce him to anyone they know, or even other strangers. With this tactic, two relationships with private investors can turn into 10 or 20.


Another level to this approach is to invite a group of strangers out for a meal. Again, this is specific to an event of conference, but it could also work at a charity or nonprofit event or meeting too. “[My] other option is inviting people to go and get together for brunch, for dinner, for lunch, and just inviting a bunch of people along, because everybody wants to meet new people.”


Even if nothing comes out of the actual meal (which is unlikely), by being the influential hub that brought all these people together, they will be more open to hearing your ideas and will likely return the favor by inviting you to other events. One of Jason’s friends used this tactic and met the nephew of Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Now, he gets invited to a few Cowboy games each year and sits in the owner’s box!


My final tip regarding how to find high net worth investors for your next deal is to seek accredited investors who have the experience and capital to really help your business succeed!

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To Source Real Estate Deals And Generate More Wealth, Start A Monthly Meetup

Originally featured on here


Having interviewed over a thousand business and real estate entrepreneurs on my podcast, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve gotten is how to start an in-person meetup group. From a business development standpoint, the educational benefits, relationships formed and the potential for direct monetization have been instrumental to the growth of both the investors who attend and a business’s growth. In fact, it’s been so successful for my business that I require my clients to start their own in-person meetups within their local market.


In general, the advent of the internet has given us the capability to connect with like-minded strangers more easily than ever before. And while forums, blogs and social media allow you to join any number of virtual communities, other platforms promote the formation of in-person communities. One such outgrowth I take advantage of is meetup websites.


No matter how mainstream or obscure your interests might be, there’s a meetup group for you., one of the more popular meetup sites, boasts a membership of 32.3 million people participating in over 288,000 meetup groups across 182 countries.


Interested in joining a community of psychic vampires? There’s a group for you. Want to relive a cherished childhood freeze tag experience? Don’t worry. There’s a group for you, too.


Of course, as a real estate entrepreneur, I’m not as interested in meeting vampires or playing freeze tag as I am in leveraging popular internet advancements to scale my business. Since online-generated meetup groups is a relatively new concept, and monetized meetups even more so, many people don’t know how to get started.


And starting a meetup can be nerve-racking — especially if you’re an introvert. This anxiety will be the No. 1 enemy keeping you from actually scheduling your first event. That’s why I advise you avoid spending an inordinate amount of time planning and structuring the perfect meetup event. Instead, simply focus on starting it.


A successful meetup group can be pretty informal. One investor I interviewed, Anson Young, has been hosting a meetup for over three years with very little structure. Once a month, Anson and about 70 other investors meet at a local beer hall. For three hours, they just drink beer and talk real estate. There’s no agenda or scheduled speaker. It’s just good old-fashioned networking, a time for investors to chat, solve any problems they’re facing, team up on real estate projects, and most importantly, learn from each other’s mistakes and successes. Even so, in just three years, Anson’s made six figures directly from partnerships and relationships formed at the meetup. That’s a return of nearly $1,000 per hour spent simply drinking beer and networking.


Starting a meetup group like Anson’s at a local bar is an easy and informal option, but maybe you’re a little more conscientious and orderly, like me. I created a meetup that’s much more structured than Anson’s, which is broken into four parts:


  1. Presentation: Each meeting begins with a short presentation from an active real estate professional or attendee.
  2. Share opportunities: Attendees have the opportunity to share deals with the group — maybe they’re trying to sell a deal, find a partner, or have questions on a deal under contract.
  3. Business updates: Each person provides a 90-second update on the latest in their business.
  4. Open floor: I allot the remaining time, about an hour, for networking, closing deals, sharing information and forming business partnerships.


Overall, the meeting lasts two hours.


Both Anson and I run our meetup groups on a monthly basis. Our primary objectives are to educate and build relationships — efforts that indirectly result in more deals, more business partnerships and more money in the long run. But if you want an even more direct avenue to financial gains from a meetup, create a rockstar-level meetup like real estate entrepreneur Taylor Peugh, and turn the group into a deal-generating machine.


Taylor hosts a meetup — not once a month, or even once a week — but four times a week. Three of the meetups are dinners and the other is a lunch. About 30 to 40 unique investors attend each meetup, which means Taylor networks with 100 to 150 real estate entrepreneurs every week. The result? Every rental property, wholesale, and the majority of the fix-and-flip projects he negotiates stem directly from someone he met at his meetup. For Taylor, a meetup group isn’t just a space to educate and build relationships; it’s the main source of his investment gains.


Want to replicate Taylor’s success?


Here’s the agenda for his meetups:


  1. Check-in: At check-in, attendees must answer: “What are you doing right now that will move you forward in the next 30 days?”
  2. Recognize wins: Each person describes what they accomplished personally, or in their business, that week.
  3. Needs and wants: Attendees have the opportunity to ask for anything they need. For example, “I need a plumber,” or “Does anyone know a good CPA?”
  4. Property pitches: This is where Taylor makes his money; anyone who has an active deal can present it to the group to see if anyone has an interest in buying, partnering, or funding it.
  5. Open floor: The end of the dinner/lunch is an open Q&A session where attendees can ask any questions they want.


Hosting a meetup is one of the best ways to create valuable relationships, learn about real estate from those active in the field, and find deals and create partnerships that generate wealth in other the short and long-term. I’ve provided three meetup examples above, ranging from monthly, informal beer hall gatherings to powerhouse groups that meet four times a week, but in reality, the sky’s the limit. There are an infinite number of ways you can structure your meetup group.


But don’t forget the most important step: Get over your fear or procrastination and host your first event!


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How to Make Over 6-Figures with This Simple Networking Strategy

Last updated: 8/31/18


Anson Young, a real estate investor with over 10-years of experience specializing in wholesaling and flipping, was able to net over $100,000 in profit by implementing one simple networking strategy – starting an investor meet-up. In our recent conversation, he explains the “structure” and benefits of his meet-up business so you can (and should) replicate his success in your market.


Structure of a Meet-Up

The reason why I put “structure” in quotations is because Anson’s meet-up is very informal. “It is a monthly pure networking meet-up,” he explained. “We don’t do any speaking or pretty much anything besides get together, … find somebody who does what you want to do or that you want to find out more from, tackle them, and pick their brain as much as possible.”

After three years of consistently hosting monthly meet-ups, the attendance has grown to an average of 70 people per meeting.

Over the years, Anson has hosted the event at multiple locations and found that a local beer hall is the ideal venue. “We got a pretty good deal going [at the beer hall],” he said. “Monday night was just a slow night for them, and so they love having 70 people coming on an off night. They don’t charge us. They don’t hassle us… We just take over their area and have fun for about three hours.”

Since 70 people is quite a large gathering, to help facilitate the meeting, Anson will work the room and try to pair up like-minded individuals. For example, he said, “If I know that you are a fix-and-flipper and you’re having a hard-time finding a contractor on the East side of town, and I go across the room and I find somebody who knows somebody, or somebody who is a contractor, I basically try to link everybody up, so that you’re not just blindly walking around with 70 people there. There’s at least one or two of use who’s walking around and trying to connect people who have needs.”


Benefits of a Meet-Up

Over these three years, Anson said he’s made $150,000 directly from deals from the meet-up. “I like to say that I’ve easily made six figures just by running this meet-up,” Anson said. “Probably in the neighborhood of 15 deals that I’ve done.”

$150,000 from 15 deals in three years may not sound like much, but based on the Anson’s minimal time investment, he was basically paid to hang out with friends and chat about real estate. Besides the three hours spent at the meet-up, Anson said, “I basically post a note saying, ‘Hey, this is all the dates that we’re meeting up for the whole year.’ Every month I just create a new thread [on BiggerPockets], I show up for three hours, and honestly, my voice is gone. I’m exhausted because I talk to a lot of people, answer pretty much any question that anybody has about nearly anything, and provide that value. But at the same time people come back to me and say, ‘Hey, yeah, you helped me out and I’ve been driving for dollars or I’ve been knocking on doors or whatever it is, and I came across this deal and I don’t know what to do with it.’ So I’m more than happy to partner up with them, help them with ARV, help them with repairs, contractors, whatever they need to be successful, and a lot of times we partner up and do that deal together. It’s very beneficial.”

Aside from finding deals by hosting a meet-up, other benefits include an education on other real estate strategies, creating relationships and perhaps even friendships, and bringing more valuable to the deals that you are working on. Then, the relationships formed and lessons learned through conversations with investors at the meet-up can result in additional business opportunities, such as partnerships or entering a new real estate niche.


Overall, Anson’s success is a testament to the effectiveness of starting a meet-up from a financial, educational, and relationship standpoint. Anson said, “I always say, if you wish something like [a meet-up] was in your area, why don’t you just start it? I’m living proof that it works. I have friends who I’ve met just through there, and we’re friends or we’re partnering up on things now. We wouldn’t have that opportunity if I didn’t just say, ‘Hey, let’s just see what happens if I start it up.’”


Related: How to Effectively Network at a Real Estate Event


Want to learn how to build an apartment syndication empire? Purchase the world’s first and only comprehensive book on the exact step-by-step process for completing your first apartment syndication: Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book

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The Secrets to Starting a Relationship with Someone You Don’t Know

As real estate investors and entrepreneurs, we likely want to gain access to people, get to know people who we don’t already know, and to grow our network. In order to grow our network, we need to approach conversations and outreach in a way that will get us a much traction in those relationships as possible.


One of my all-time favorite books is New York Times Bestseller “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene. Many of the laws can be applied to relationship building, but one law in particular stands out amongst the rest – Law #13.


Law #13 states “When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.” Robert Greene wrote, “Self-interest is the lever that will move people. Once you make them see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause, their resistance to your requests for help will magically fall away. At each step on the way to acquiring power, you must train yourself to think your way inside the other person’s mind, to see their needs and interests, to get rid of the screen of your own feelings that obscure the truth. Master this art and there will be no limits to what you can accomplish.”


How is Law #13 applicable to real estate investing? Whether we are having an in-person conversation with an investor at a meet-up group or reaching out to an investor who was a guest on a podcast, the more you “make them see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause,” the more successful and fruitful the conversation and relationship will be.


I have investors reach out to me all the time. Some completely fail to adhere to Law #13. Other’s follow it completely. Others are somewhere in-between.


Here are examples of messages I have received that I’ve put into three categories: Bad, above average, and outstanding.


Example #1 – Bad


“Good evening. I must say I listen to your podcast daily and it is amazing. Thank you for what you do there. I am a senior finance major that is living in the XXX area. I have emailed numerous people from your podcast (Not too many responses sadly). I was wondering if I could gain some knowledge from you about the real estate industry. I know you’re extremely busy. Maybe we can grab a coffee or something. If you ever have time, please don’t hesitate to give me a call, text, or email.”


Why is this example bad? Because it didn’t follow Law #13. The first two sentences were fine. They appealed to my self-interests by praising my podcast and stating that they are a Best Ever listener. But then it was downhill from there.


Rather than offer to add-value to my business, this individual did the complete opposite – he asked for value from me. Then, he acknowledged that I was extremely busy, but contradicted himself in the next sentence by asking to grab a coffee, which would be a time-consuming activity for me, especially since we live in different states.


Based on this message, it is understandable why this individual hasn’t received many responses from the guests on my show. There is very little appeal to my self-interests, so they didn’t give me a reason to reach out.


How could they have structured this message better? Let’s take a look at an above average example to see what they were missing.


Example #2 – Above Average


“Joe. It was enjoyable and educational to listen to the BiggerPockets podcast you were a guest on. In addition to purchasing and reading your book Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever, can you recommend a few other books on multifamily investing that you feel are invaluable to a new investor? Thanks for any help you can offer.”


This example may seem extremely similar to the “bad” example above, but there is one main difference: this person appealed to my self-interest before asking for me to add value to his business.


Rather than only ask for a book list, they explained how they are a current listener of the podcast, that they listened to my interview on BiggerPockets, but most importantly, that they purchased and read my book.  Praising my podcast definitely appeals to my self-interest, but not as much as actually purchasing something from me.


However, the reason this is only slightly above is because it was only a one-off appeal to my self-interest, rather than adding value on an ongoing basis. Listening to a podcast and buying a book is great, but if you want to be outstanding, you must go above any beyond…which leads us to example #3.


Example #3 – Outstanding


“I recently listened to you on the BiggerPockets podcasts and have started listening to your podcast on YouTube every day when I cook. I just wanted to reach out and hope that we could get in touch. I currently live in XXX between Fort Worth and Dallas so I was interested in hearing about your investments within the area!”


“I am sure you have many people in the area that report to you but I would be willing and would love to help you if you ever need any type of service on your properties in the area! I also work as a leasing agent for XXX in a XXX-unit apartment community in XXX called XXX so I have experience in knowing what people want when they are looking for a new home and I have a good feel for the market and terminology for multifamily…”


“Again, I would love to provide any service that would be helpful for you within the area whether it was fake shopping your communities, taking pictures of possible investments for you, shopping your competition, being there while a contractor is getting some work done, getting rid of trash left by a contractor, or even cutting grass! I would be grateful just to be involved.”


“Let me know if I can help and I would love to keep in contact.”


The only thing keeping this message from being perfect is its length. When initially reaching out to someone, try to get the message to 2 to 3 paragraphs and 2 to 3 sentences per paragraph at a maximum. But besides that, this is an outstanding example of how appeal to someone’s self-interest.


Like the previous two examples, they stated that they follow my thought leadership platforms, but the difference is that in this example, they specified that they listen every day.


Then, rather than ask for something from me, they offered to add value to my business. However, they didn’t simply say, “let me know how I can help.” They specified their experience and what it is they could actually help me with. Since I don’t know this person, unless they outline their real estate experience, I don’t know what they are capable of doing. In this case, they said they have experience in knowing what people want when they are looking for a new home and have a good feel for the market and terminology for multifamily. Now I know which areas of my business this individual can add value to.


The third paragraph is extraordinary. After providing me a high-level overview of their experience, they provided specific examples of ways they can add value to my business.


I actually waited to respond to this message. I wanted to see how organized this individual was and if they would follow up. A few weeks later, not to my surprise, they sent a follow-up message.


With such an outstanding message and after following up, I reached out to this individual and he is now conducting boots on the ground work for me in the Dallas submarket.




When reaching out to someone that you want to start a relationship with, follow Rule #13 from the 48 Laws of Power and adhere to the following:


  • Appeal to their self-interest by offering to add value
  • Outline your background and your unique strengths and abilities
  • Offer specific examples of how you can add value to their business
  • Follow-up a week or two later is you don’t receive a response
  • Don’t ask for something until you’ve offered something in return



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Three Ways to Cultivate Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Word-of-mouth referrals is one of the most, if not the most, powerful marketing tool to develop. According to a 2016 Nielsen’s Harris Poll online, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.

I can attest to this fact because word-of-mouth referrals is also one of my top sources of new private investors for my multifamily syndication business.

Mac Prichard, who is the founder and publisher of Mac’s List, an online community for people looking for rewarding, meaningful work, was able to create and grow a $600,0000 a year business through word-of-mouth referrals. “I started my business as just telling people about job openings,” Mac said. “I didn’t realize how valuable the information was that I was sharing, but the people that I shared it with did, and they shared it with others. That power of word-of-mouth and the relationship that I built as I grew my community has just been a huge part of the success of Mac’s List.”

In our recent conversation, Mac outlined the 3 ways he cultivates word-of-mouth referrals to generate $600,000 a year in revenue.


#1 – Collecting Testimonials

One way Mac generates word-of-mouth referrals is through creating testimonials from his satisfied customers. “We find that collecting testimonials from both employers and job seekers helps promote that word-of-mouth [referral business],” Mac said. “It also adds authenticity to our work because when we do publish testimonials on our website, we ask job seekers to share success stories on our blog, we ask people if we can publish their full name and their photos, and people who read these stories or see these testimonials, they see people who look like them, or are chasing jobs they want, and they can identify.”

Social proof is another powerful method of attracting and retaining customers, so testimonials not only result in word-of-mouth referrals, but has the added benefit of social proof as well. When you are seeking out a new restaurant, for example, not only do you ask friends and family for their thoughts, but you likely use services like Yelp! to see others reviews of the restaurant. Same thing when you are buying a book or product on Amazon. Your real estate services are no different. People will be much more likely to work with you if they can see others who have been successful with you in the past. And creating testimonials is the best way to show the success your service had with past clients.

Mac’s testimonials are simple. He just uses text and photos (click here for an example). However, if you want an extra level of engagement, consider creating video testimonials. Videos create an extra emotional connection that can be much more powerful than what you get with the written word alone.


#2 – Personalized LinkedIn Messages

Whenever Mac meets someone at a networking event, dinner, etc. and has a meaningful conversation (not just shaking hands and saying hello), he will connect with them on LinkedIn. When he sends the invitation, however, he will include a personal note, just a sentence or two, reminding the person how they met and what they discussed.

Sending these personalized LinkedIn requests results in word-of-mouth referrals, Mac said, “because so much of business … is about building relationships and getting to know people, and eventually liking and trusting them, and that’s how deals are made.”

In Mac’s specific business, most jobs get filled by word-of-mouth referrals. “There are estimates out there that up to eight out of ten jobs are never advertised and are filled by conversations between peers,” he said, which is in alignment with the 82% statistic I provided in the beginning of this post.

Mac said, “There’s no conspiracy here. You don’t have to have gone to a fancy school, it’s just human nature. People tend to want to work with people they know, like and trust, or who are recommended to them by people they trust.”

Another advantage of the LinkedIn personalized message is that LinkedIn will save all the message. That way, if you need to reach out to that person in the future, you can go back to the original message and remind yourself where you met them and what you talked about. That added personal touch will go a long way!


#3 – Never Turn Down Meetings

Mac gets approached all the time with people asking him for advice. He has always made it a point to never turn down an opportunity to have a conversation with someone. “If somebody wants to meet with me, even if I don’t know them, I will make the time,” Mac said. “Sometimes it takes a while to get on my calendar, but I will see people, and I do it without any expectation of getting anything in return.”

In doing so, Mac finds that he gets so much back in return. He said, “The relationships and connections that I make through those conversations – and I’ve been doing them for years now – keeps paying dividends for years to follow.”

Mac has the same approach for aspiring competition as well. He said, “I’m often approached by people who say ‘you’ve got a great business here. I think I’d like to do a job board like you’ or ‘I’d like to be a career coach.’ Some people might say ‘gosh, I’m sorry. I don’t have the time to talk to you,’ but for me, my response is always ‘the waters fine, jump right in. Let me share with you what I’ve learned about building this business online.’”

With this approach to speaking with the competition, Mac said two things will happen. “One is if they’re going to be successful – the person I’m meeting with who wants to get into this space – they’re going to specialize. They’re going to find a niche that I’m not serving. The other thing that’s going to happen is they’re going to be a partner and an ally down the road.”

I wholeheartedly embrace this approach. I raise money for apartments, so everyone I meet is a potential investor, either immediately or sometime down the road. Also, I have conversations with other investors all the time on my podcast to add value to my business, but my listener’s businesses as well.



The majority of a business’s new clients come from word-of-mouth referrals. The three main ways to cultivate word of mouth referrals are:

  • Collecting and posting testimonials from satisfied customers
  • Sending personalized LinkedIn messages to new people you meet
  • Never turning down a meeting, if with competitors


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Two Ways to Gain Direct Knowledge From Experienced Investors for FREE


Almost every investor stresses the importance of education. A common solution they offer is that you need to go out and hire a mentor. This can be costly, especially for newer, broke investors. Josiah Rosebury, who is a wholesaler that completed 2 deals a month in 2016, provides similar advice, but in our recent conversation, he explains how he discovered two approaches that allow you to learn from experienced pros without having to spend thousands of dollars for a mentor.


Strategy #1 – Be the Boots on the Ground


First, instead of just paying someone money, Josiah offered to be the boots on the ground for an experienced rehabber. “My exchange to him was I was able to go view properties that he may not be in the state or he may be out of town at the moment. When he found a property that he just couldn’t get to right away, he would call me and I would get there right away. I would take excellent pictures, excellent videos, everything to the T, and be able to send that back to him.” And what did Josiah get in exchange for his efforts? – “I not only got to go out there and start viewing more properties, doing walkthroughs, [but also, the experienced rehabber] was able to get on the phone with me at least once a week and tell me what I needed to do to improve my business.”


Strategy #2 – How to Get Paid to Learn


Josiah’s second strategy was not only free, but enabled him to make money while getting educated. After successfully wholesaling 2 deals a month for about a year, his company began financing some rehabs for other companies. “That slowly was our way of learning. We put a little bit of money in the deal with other companies that are rehabbing and they [allowed us] to get a return on [our] money. But on top of that, we get to be apart of the rehab.” Josiah is currently involved in a rehab deal that he is financing. “We put some money in that deal and they’re doing a full rehab. They’re actually tearing off the top of the roof and adding another 1,500 square feet. It’s been very interesting getting to learn from those folks.” Josiah is able to observe a complicated rehab first hand and attain all the knowledge that comes as a result. On top of that, since he has his own money in the deal, he gets an annualized return of 30%!



How to Find Experienced Investors


Both of these are highly proactive strategies that will take some effort on your part. It is likely that you will have to reach out to multiple rehabbers (or whoever it is that is experienced in your specific real estate niche) before you find someone that wants to show you the ropes and/or take your money. Josiah stated that “it’s up to you to find the right person that you can build rapport with and build a relationship with that wants to take their time and show you the steps 100% of the way.” Then once you do find this person, it is also up to you to determine “how much time do you want to be [on site]? How much time do you want to devote yourself to be around the construction and understand the process of what they’re having to go through.”


To find these investors, Josiah says, “I associate myself with any club that is around me. [It’s] honestly [about] networking and going to these clubs and making yourself a regular face there every single week and people will start to talk to you. They’re going to want to see how motivated you are and how dedicated you are to this business…There’s hundreds and hundreds of people who want to be apart of real estate but they don’t want to do the things necessary to stay in real estate.”


Related Post: Four Tips to Successfully Sell Yourself In Real Estate Investing




Josiah implements two very unique knowledge acquisition strategies. First, he has a mentor, but instead of paying cash, it is an exchange of value. In return for advice and knowledge, Josiah performs walkthroughs for an experienced rehabber.


Josiah also has a strategy that is not only free, but actually pays him money. He does this buy investing money into experienced rehabber’s deals and then hangs around the construction site to absorb as much knowledge as possible.


These two strategies will require some proactive effort on your part, especially in terms of finding an experienced investor. Josiah recommends that you attend every real estate related club around you and commit to going every single week. Become a familiar face and build that credibility so that the club attendees know you are truly motivated and dedicated to this business.


Comment Below: What are some clever, inexpensive or free ways you’ve been able to gain knowledge from experienced investors in your given field?


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4 Pro Tips to Building Rapport at the Town Hall

Today we welcome a guest post by Michael Sjogren of SNA Capital. Michael brings a wealth of finance, business, and real estate experience.


Any real estate investor who wants to be successful knows that he/she must know their market, sub-market and property(s) better than any of their competition. There are many ways to obtain market information. The internet, local broker(s) and property managers to name a few. But one of the best ways to gather information about a market you are thinking about investing in, is from the local leadership.

No one knows a market like the local Town Hall. Most of the employees have lived there for their entire lives and literally make a living off of their knowledge for the city/town they call home. Assessors can give you up to date, filtered property reports to help streamline your search. Economic development leaders can give you the Master Plan, path of progress and population/job data. Building Inspectors can give you reports and trends for construction growth. The list goes on and on.   Working in tandem with a Town Hall can put you head and shoulders above your competition. So why not learn how to get the most out of your relationship with a Town Hall?

I have spent the last decade of my life in the construction business and a large part of my job requires me to work hand in hand with the local Town Halls in order to be successful. I’ve learned a lot over the years about how to work with them and have built many long lasting, productive relationships. People often ask me ‘Ed, I can’t seem to get anyone to respond to me at the Town Hall, how do you do it”?

The truth is, it’s easy. Just follow these 4 tips and you will be well on your way to solidifying a great partnership with your local Town Hall.

#1. Be polite and positive

Most Town Hall employees are on the phone or meeting all day long with unhappy customers. People only want to talk to them when there is a problem. Being polite and positive can go a long way. A “Happy Friday” greeting on a Friday morning or a “I really appreciate you looking into that for me, it’s a huge help” can go a very long way to someone that has just dealt with (5) customers in a row who are complaining about why their building permit isn’t ready for pickup yet.

#2. Follow up but don’t be pushy

Let’s face it, if you are trying to get information on a new project from the local economic development committee or attempting to acquire a property report from the assessor, you are just one of one hundred phone calls/emails that they received that day. It’s very important to follow up, but not be a hound. People like someone who follows up with a friendly reminder. For instance, “Hi Sue, thank you for taking my call yesterday, I just wanted to follow up and see if it would be possible to obtain a copy of the city’s Master Plan today?” If you send an email that reads “Where is the information you promised me!” chances are, your request is getting moved to the bottom of the pile.

#3. Go down to the Town Hall

Better than any phone call or email is simply getting into your car and driving on over to the Town Hall. I know technology is wonderful, but you will always have the most success when you go down to the Town Hall and meet with them in person. It’s easy to ignore a phone call but no one wants to let someone down when they are standing right in front of them. One time, I was in a real rush to obtain a building permit so I could start a construction project and I had a building inspector’s administrator tell me “we are so backed up today that I have a better chance of marrying Tom Brady than issuing you that building permit sweetie”. I drove over there an hour later, asked really nicely and she called the inspector on his personal cell phone who then drove to the Town Hall to issue me my BP. Like I said, in person is always better.

#4. Send em something

Assessors, development directors, building inspectors, everyone likes gifts. If you happen to be in the area of the Town Hall, drop-off some cookies or coffee. If you don’t live in the area send them a platter. Especially if you plan on working in that market for the foreseeable future and you know you are going to need support from the local leadership. If 3 people ask the local assessor for a 50-page property report and 1 of those 3 brings a dozen donuts to the assessor’s office, I don’t have to tell you who is getting that report back first.




About the Author: Michael Sjogren is an active real estate investor and Co-Founder of SNA Captial. He is dedicated to helping people achieve financial freedom to pursue their passions. Get more content from Michael by visiting the SNA Capital blog.


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3-Step Process for Optimizing Investor Conversations

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Having trouble finding private money for your multifamily deals? Well, we have all been there. However, by adhering to a simple 3-step process when approaching investor conversations, I have been able to turn my “luck” around and raise millions of dollars for my multifamily syndication deals.    

Step One – Listen More, Talk Less

  Mark Twain famously stated, “If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two tongues and one ear.” Therefore, when first meeting someone, whether you’ve already identified him or her as a potential investor or it is a “random” stranger, don’t instantly jump into talking about your real estate business. Instead, talk about them. Listen and discover that they are interested in. Learn as much as you can about them.   If you’ve already identified them as a potential investor, get to know them on a deeper level so that you can see if you two are compatible enough to be business partners. If you haven’t identified them as a potential investor, still take the time to listen and learn more about them. You never know where the relationship may lead.    

Step Two – Become a Thought Leader

  If you want to achieve massive levels of success in multifamily syndication, and real estate investing in general, you MUST have some sort of thought leadership. Personally, I have chosen to provide weekly YouTube tips for raising money and buying apartments. I have the world’ longest running daily podcast, as well as a weekly email newsletter, a book, daily blog posts, and a monthly mastermind group. So, I have ongoing thought leadership that allows me to keep in touch with my new friends and with the new relationships I am creating. It allows me to stay top of mind because I am constantly providing valuable, free information. And essentially, it has allowed me to network with people on a global level, all while I am asleep!   However, I didn’t wake up one morning and tell myself, “I am going to start a YouTube channel, podcast, newsletter, blog, write a book, and create mastermind group today.” Rather, I took it one step at a time. So pick one platform and use that are your launching point. If you aren’t comfortable starting any of the things that I have, then at the very least, start by becoming more active on the BiggerPockets’ forums, by either asking great questions or providing great answers.   How do you know if you are a thought leader? By John Quincy Adam’s definition, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  


Step Three – Have a Great Deal

  Finally, once you’ve had the conversations and provided thought leadership, you need to actually have a deal that you can share with your new investors.   Now, you may be thinking, “But Joe, I don’t have people I can reach out to and share a deal with.” My response: see Step One and Two. Without the first two steps, you’ll have no investors to fund the deal. Although, if you have followed my advice – started listening and becoming a though leader – without having a deal, what the heck are your investors going to invest in? Therefore, you need all three-steps in order to be successful.  

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