JF1841: From Trading Commodities To Trading Real Estate with Allan Szlafrok
With the advancements in technology, Allan’s job as a commodity trader was shifting from the yelling and screaming on the trading floor to behind a computer screen. With many people in his position losing their jobs to technology, Allan decided to explore real estate investing. It was not a tremendous start, but Allan overcame some bad deals and relationships to ultimately succeed, and he keeps on succeeding. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
Best Ever Tweet:
“The reason it wasn’t a great deal is because I didn’t know enough about the neighborhood” – Allan Szlafrok
Allan Szlafrok Real Estate Background:
- Investing in real estate since 2010
- Has been involved in over 100 real estate transactions ranging from single family homes to multifamily apartment buildings
- Based in Long Island, NY
- Say hi to him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/allan-szlafrok-b86b0128/
- Best Ever Book: Against the Gods
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. With us today, Allan Szlafrok. How are you doing, Allen?
Allan Szlafrok: I’m doing well, Joe. How are you?
Joe Fairless: I am doing well, and looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Allan – he’s been investing in real estate for nine years. He’s been involved in over 100 real estate transactions ranging from single-family homes to multifamily apartment buildings. Based in Long Island, New York. With that being said, Allan, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Allan Szlafrok: Sure. I was working as a commodities trader out of college on Wall Street, and the industry kind of pivoted away from floor traders. I used to be one of those guys who did all the screaming, and throwing the papers on the floor, and making hand gestures, sometimes not the nice hand gestures… But that business kind of got disrupted and it went electronic, and I was forced to look for a new job. I was fortunate to have a little bit of capital saved up, and I’d always wanted to get involved in real estate… And I had some friends who were involved in the industry and I started investing alongside them.
Eventually, I went out on my own and I’ve been buying smaller multifamily properties across the country – well, really in Northern New Jersey – ever since, and I was involved in the tax deed space also, down South in Atlanta, and I’ve bought a few properties also outside of my geographical area. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since – I’ve been using the BRRRR method, I’ve been building my portfolio, and now starting from that point [unintelligible [00:03:37].06] when I wasn’t sure exactly where I was gonna go, I’ve built up a nice portfolio, and this is what I do full-time now.
Joe Fairless: Well, I would love to dig in here… So let’s talk about you investing alongside your friends to start and get acclimated. What were some deals that you invested in?
Allan Szlafrok: That’s actually a funny story, and it’s a little bit covered in my book.
Joe Fairless: What’s your book title?
Allan Szlafrok: The name of the book is “How not to make money in real estate.” It’s available on Amazon. Basically, it’s a lot of tough lessons I learned in this industry, being in this industry for so long, starting from a place where I had no idea what I was doing, to where I am today. It’s pretty humorous, some of the stories, and some of them are pretty scary, but definitely some lessons from investors in there that I think people should definitely take heed to.
Joe Fairless: Okay. So let’s talk about that, investing alongside with friends.
Allan Szlafrok: Basically, all I was doing was giving the money that I had earned, and they were investing it for me and flipping the properties in some of these lower-income areas. They were doing well, but partnerships did not end well, because they weren’t really buying these properties. It was a little bit of a Ponzi scheme, whatever… Long story. But the bottom line is —
Joe Fairless: [laughs] Can I just quote you on that? “It was a little bit of a Ponzi scheme… Whatever.” What?! We can’t just skip over that. Please, elaborate a little bit more.
Allan Szlafrok: It seems that what was happening was that — this is after I got out and I started going out on my own; they were just taking properties for investors, saying “Hey, I bought this and this house”, wash-rinse-repeat, keeping the money, and they left a lot of investors on the hook. That’s pretty much what happened. I didn’t necessarily get burned; I was already out well before some of this stuff started to happen…
But here’s where I cut my teeth though – I would go to properties and I would check them out and get a feel for the market, and how these renovations work, and what I should be looking for… So it wasn’t the worst thing for me. I got a little bit lucky not getting hurt.
Joe Fairless: Did they go to jail?
Allan Szlafrok: No. Not that I know of.
Joe Fairless: Huh.
Allan Szlafrok: I don’t keep in touch, I don’t have search alerts on these guys; I don’t care, I don’t wanna know.
Joe Fairless: Right, fair enough. Alright, so you were investing alongside people who were allegedly flipping properties. It turns out they weren’t but you got out… You said you were looking at the properties, so you were attempting to follow along as they were allegedly doing their business model?
Allan Szlafrok: Yeah. And again, I think it started off just like a lot of these things do – it started off where these things were legit, and then eventually they got to a point where they got in trouble, and then they just started taking on new investors to pay off the old investors. That wasn’t when I was around. But that’s when I started to understand the process of renovating and flipping houses. Eventually, I would transfer to the BRRRR method so I can grow my portfolio.
Joe Fairless: Alright, so then we’ll transition into that part of your investing career. So you had been investing passively, learning a little bit, and then you went into your own deals. What were the first couple deals that you did on your own?
Allan Szlafrok: Well, the first deal I did on my own was actually an absolute nightmare. It’s in the book. It was a three-family home, I got a really good deal on it; it was a short sale. It was in really good condition, move-in condition; I was paying about $120,000 for it. Three units, that were each gonna rent for about $1,000/piece. It’s a grand slam as far as the BRRRR method, the 1%, 2% and even 3% rule.
Joe Fairless: And where is it located?
Allan Szlafrok: It was located in Northern New Jersey.
Joe Fairless: Okay. What’s the town? Just curious.
Allan Szlafrok: This one was in Newark.
Joe Fairless: Newark, alright. That can be a tough area.
Allan Szlafrok: It can be, but you’ve gotta know the block, and the different neighborhoods there, because there’s a lot of opportunity there, but you really need to be specific on where you’re investing. At that time I did not; I just took someone’s word for it, like “Yeah, yeah, it’s a great block”, and it was not a great block.
We were closing on a Friday, and I went to do the walkthrough on Thursday, because I didn’t have to be there on Friday for the closing; it was a close-by-mail kind of thing. So we go there on Thursday, we try to get into the house to do one final check-up, and the keys are locked in the lockbox, and the broker can’t get them out. Okay, the place is secure; I looked in the windows – no damage, nothing going on in there, no floods… Fine.
So I don’t show up on Friday because I don’t have to, it’s a close-by-mail… So I come back on Monday, and I need to get the keys, but it turned out I didn’t need the keys, because over the weekend somebody had kicked in the door, destroyed the entire house, took out all the heating elements, all the electric elements, took a sledgehammer to everything, for no apparent reason. There was no profit for them just to destroy my kitchens and bathrooms. I understand they were trying to get to the pipes and everything, but they did way more damage than they had to do.
They threw these 150-pound cast iron radiators down the stairs, again, for just the metal value… Destroyed the entire stairs. They wound up doing as much damage to the house as I’d paid for the house. That’s how much the repairs cost.
Joe Fairless: Oh, my god.
Allan Szlafrok: I didn’t make [unintelligible [00:08:11].24] like it sometimes happens with insurance claims… But that’s just how much the insurance claim was. I hired an adjuster and it took another six months to get the renovations done, to get the tenants in… And then, since it wasn’t the best neighborhood, I had problems with tenants. I wound up selling it for a little more than I paid. It wasn’t a great deal, and the reason it wasn’t a great deal was because I didn’t know enough about the neighborhood to know that this wasn’t really a great place to invest. And on top of that, I didn’t secure the place fast enough.
What I do is when I buy a vacant house, especially in an area that’s kind of rough, is we’ll put on those metal gates that I’m sure you’ve seen around. We didn’t even use plywood; they’ll just take that right off, like some of the banks do. We’ll put on those metal gates, secure it, and at that point it becomes too much of a hassle to break into, and they’ll move on to another house.
Those are some of the lessons I learned from my very first deal, which wound up obviously being a little bit hairy.
Joe Fairless: The insurance claim – will you elaborate a little bit more on that? …how you were having to be out-of-pocket 120k?
Allan Szlafrok: Well, the cost to repair the damage that they did was 120k. The entire inside of the house had to be rebuilt, and that’s what insurance paid me, and that’s roughly what I paid out… Because it was a lot of damage. And this was in the pit of the crisis. This was when properties were really cheap, so I was buying a house for 120k. Off the bat it was worth 200k, so I was already getting a good deal. That’s without me putting a nail in the wall.
Joe Fairless: So the insurance company paid you 120k, and it cost you 120k to do those repairs… So it was a net zero effect.
Allan Szlafrok: Yeah, exactly.
Joe Fairless: Okay, got it.
Allan Szlafrok: Which is what they want.
Joe Fairless: Right. So you got reimbursed for everything.
Allan Szlafrok: Yeah, I was covered… Minus the deductible, whatever.
Joe Fairless: Alright. So it was an inconvenience, and it also delayed your renovation plan.
Allan Szlafrok: Yes, but it was also an educational delay, because I learned a lot about what I’m not supposed to be doing, and what I should be doing going forward.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in this business. Every investor does. And one thing – I say it in the book – is that I never make the same mistake twice. I learn from it and I move on and I do a better job next time.
Joe Fairless: Alright. So deal number one, nightmare, starting out. What about deal number two?
Allan Szlafrok: Deal number two is actually a property that I still own. It was also in not the best area, it also needed a lot of work, and we had issues with break-ins, and things like that… But this was a newer construction, so it was a little bit easier to fix. The renovation cost wasn’t that high, and at that point I decided some of these properties — because this was before the market really started to rally. I’m talking about 2013, especially like Northern New Jersey; the market only really recovered within the last few years, because of the long foreclosure process – there was still a back-log of those.
So at that point, once I did the renovations, there wasn’t enough spread in there for me to flip it, so I decided “You know what – I’ll keep this, I’ll rent it.” I’m in for very little, and now it’s six years later and it’s been doing very well for me. So that was kind of when I started thinking of pivoting towards being a landlord.
Joe Fairless: So with your BRRRR method, you mentioned that you’ve been doing the BRRRR method… How many properties have you done the BRRRR method on?
Allan Szlafrok: At this point probably around 20-25.
Joe Fairless: And you’re not living in each of those properties, you’re just renovating them and then refinancing out and moving on.
Allan Szlafrok: Right, exactly. I had some capital and I raised a little bit more to start this, and now it’s just — once the ball starts rolling downhill with the BRRRR method, it gets easier and easier. It’s the first few deals that are always the hardest to get and the hardest to finance, and just the hardest to get started in this business. But once you do the first few, or once that ball gets rolling, it just snowballs and your business can really increase.
Joe Fairless: So let’s talk about — you said in addition to the properties that you’re doing in your area, you also did tax deeds in Atlanta. How did you get into that, and can you just describe the business model?
Allan Szlafrok: Yeah. I had a buddy of mine who was in that business a few years before we got in. Basically, they go down and what they do is you’ve got a tax lien on the property – most people are familiar with tax liens; somebody doesn’t pay their taxes – the government will put a lien on the property for the amount due, plus interest. Now, once those liens go unpaid, in a lot of deed states – for example, Georgia is one; I believe Texas is one… Most states use tax deeds eventually, but it’s not necessarily a viable business… So they will auction off the deed to the property in a place like Georgia for the amount owed in taxes, plus the premium that you pay, plus a 20% interest on top of that. At least that’s what it used to be; I’m not sure if they changed it, so nobody come shoot me about that.
So we’d go down there, and let’s say it was a property that was worth $50,000. If I buy that tax lien at $25,000 and I wind up having to foreclose on it – which you can do after a year – and I’m only gonna be in it for $25,000 plus the court costs, and those foreclosure fees will be about 7k… So I’m in for $32,000 on a 50k house – I’m doing pretty well. And I would just wholesale them and sell them. Or on that $25,000 I would get a 20% interest penalty, which is state-mandated – it can’t be lower, it can’t be higher. I mean, you could negotiate this stuff, but there’s no reason to. So I’d be getting an extra $5,000 on top of my $25,000 investment.
Joe Fairless: How did you get into that, and are you still doing it today?
Allan Szlafrok: Again, a buddy of mine was doing that, and we went down there and we started doing our research; attended a few auctions before we bought. And it was a little bit of a pain for me to fly down from New York to Atlanta, but I was going there once a month. Once we learned the business, we bought a few, and then we took on some investors, and we bought a bunch more… And we were managing this portfolio of tax deed properties. We had our legal team down there, we had people there to do the renovations, secure the properties after we bought them.
I was doing that for a while, but it became a little bit of a hassle for me to fly up and down there. It also got really competitive, and a lot of money was coming down from New York and the other coast, trying to invest in that as well… And I really wanted to focus on building a portfolio of long-term wealth, because we were making money, we were paying investors and we were making a living, but I wasn’t building any equity really, because I wasn’t hanging on to the houses; and I didn’t wanna hang on to the houses down there, because out of state it just seems a little bit cumbersome for me. So I wanted to pivot and focus towards my home market.
Joe Fairless: So you live in Long Island… A lot of investors who are in the New York City area would say – and I was certainly guilty of this when I was living there… I lived in New York City for ten years… I would say “It’s just too expensive to buy around here. I’m gonna go to the South, to the Midwest, South-East.” But you’re buying in New Jersey… Describe the process for how you find deals please, and then the typical numbers on the deal.
Allan Szlafrok: You’re definitely right about that. A lot of people in New York find it extremely difficult to buy here… And it’s not just because it’s expensive and taxes are high, [unintelligible [00:14:34].22] but it’s super-competitive. There’s a lot of money here chasing very few deals… And it’s New York, people hustle. It’s really hard to find deals here. But what people didn’t realize was that in their own backyard there was a really excellent market, who was just showing a ton of growth over the last years, and that’s some of the cities in Northern New Jersey, like Newark, like Jersey City, like Elizabeth.
People say “Oh, it’s New Jersey, it’s terrible”, and all these things, but there was a huge opportunity over the last few years, and people kind of missed out on it. Since New Jersey and New York also have the longest foreclosure process in the country (judicial foreclosure process), there were still REO deals – a lot of the – up until let’s say two years ago… Which suppressed prices, and also gave investors a little more time to get into deals than they would have in other parts of the country. So that was one of the advantages sticking it out here and being in this business since 2010-2011, waiting for that appreciation. Also, I got bank-owned deals, which I think are a lot harder to come by in other parts of the country.
Joe Fairless: What’s the last deal you purchased?
Allan Szlafrok: I actually just closed on something last week in Jersey City. It’s a two-family house. Most of my properties there are two-family houses because that’s just the way the housing stock is made up; there’s not a lot of single-family houses in these cities, and the ones that are just aren’t profitable. When you’ve got two units, you tend to get more rent per square foot than you would for the same amount of beds and baths on a single-family. That’s just the way it is. So the two-family – it needs a lot of work. Our tenant’s in there, we’ve just contacted them; I’m not sure if they’re staying or not, but it’s fine if they don’t, because I know that I can go in, do the renovations, force appreciation, do a couple other things that need to be done…
There’s an oil tank to be removed that we already have a quote on; [unintelligible [00:16:10].28] needs to be replaced, which I already have a quote on… And we’re gonna either rent it or we’re gonna sell it, depending on how the numbers work out. And I’ll tell you this, I got a call from a broker yesterday – she wanted to buy something else from me, that I’m not selling, and she can get me already $40,000 more than I paid last week… So it’s always nice when you hear that, but we’ve gotta see. I’ve gotta do the renovations, force that appreciation, because that’s really the only way to make money, especially in a super-competitive market like New Jersey. You have to find things to renovate and force that appreciation, and therefore force up the rents, if that’s what you’re doing. Otherwise there’s really no way to make money.
Joe Fairless: What’s the purchase price for that two-family house?
Allan Szlafrok: It was around $310,000.
Joe Fairless: $310,000… And when you’re running the numbers to force appreciation and think about where you’re headed with the property, what numbers are important to you?
Allan Szlafrok: Basically, the rent roll and my cost of money. I’m fortunate that I’m able to get really good financing from community banks… And again, that’s something that gets easier with time. You’re not gonna be able to do that the first one, two, three deals you do. Once you get a reputation and you’ve got some seasoning on your property, and you’ve got some seasoning on your own career, you’ll find that you’ll be able to get better financing.
So as far as the numbers are concerned, it’s not impossible to get that 1% rule in Northern New Jersey… But as long as I’m around there, I know I’m getting a good deal because that’s just the way the market is here – super-competitive, the rents are high and so are property values. So that’s just a rule of thumb. But I need to [unintelligible [00:17:31].23] my cost of money by about 4%. I used to have a saying, “I don’t get out of bed for less than 10%.” You know that famous supermodel who said she didn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000/day… But I used to say I never get out of bed for less than 10% on a deal. But it doesn’t always work out that way, especially now that the market is a lot higher.
Joe Fairless: And it’s 10% annualized cash-on-cash over the lifetime of the project, including the exit, or is it just cashflow?
Allan Szlafrok: Just cashflow.
Joe Fairless: Just cashflow.
Joe Fairless: As far as the exit is concerned, I don’t necessarily project appreciation. It’s kind of like a happy accident if that happens. I never used to even think about it really, because I thought we’d be in a slump forever… Or at least I just played my cards that way, because it’s a lot safer to do it that way. And then one day you wake up and you’ve got all this equity and I’m like “Wow, it’s time to start pulling this out.” I’ve been able to pull out my money, plus, on a lot of my deals, which has been really nice.
Joe Fairless: So talk to us a little bit about the numbers on this two-family house. You’re buying it for 310k, and then what’s the rent roll come out at right now, and then how much are you gonna put into it…?
Allan Szlafrok: The rent roll right now is very low, but the tenants are probably leaving. They’ve stated that, which I kind of knew before we went in there. The current rent roll is $2,500, which is not a lot. Renovated, those units rent for about $1,600 for the first one, $1,800 for the second floor. So $3,400.
Joe Fairless: Okay.
Allan Szlafrok: So renovating the units economically, putting in a new heating system, I’ll probably put in another $40,000, so I’m in for 350k… And I’m pretty close to that 1% rule. And in this particular area – again, a lot of people don’t pay attention to the New Jersey market, but there’s some areas of explosive growth… Specifically in Jersey City, which I think is gonna be one of the hottest in the entire country, but nobody pays attention to it. So I know that my property is worth a lot more than I paid for it, which is nice, too. So I’ll be in at around that 1% rule.
Joe Fairless: You said you’ve got an oil tank removal quote… For how much?
Allan Szlafrok: Here’s what I did… In the book I talk about some of the nightmares I’ve had [unintelligible [00:19:23].13] “I don’t care. It’s gonna be $2,500 to pull out.” But if that thing’s leaking, you could be looking at 30k, 40k, 50k, and there goes your entire project. And that did happen to me once.
So now, [unintelligible [00:19:32].06] “I don’t know if there’s an oil tank.” I’m like, “Okay, I’m gonna pay for an oil sweep.” $200 for a tank sweep, fine. They discover a tank. Now, before I closed, I decided I wanted to do a soil test as well, which I paid for out of pocket. That was another $600. They put it in, and then at that point they were able to tell me that the tank is not leaking, and they gave me a guarantee on the tank, and it’s gonna be another $2,500, plus because the tank was pre-filled, it’s gonna be another $900… Whatever, all this nonsense. It was gonna cost me about $5,000 to remove the tank. But that’s a lot better than $30,000, and then when you wake up to a surprise like that, it ruins your entire project.
Joe Fairless: Is that common in that area, to have oil tanks?
Allan Szlafrok: Far more common than not. 8 out of 10 houses built before 1960, which is most of the housing stock in Northern New Jersey. This place has been developed and lived in for a long time. These aren’t new communities. Anything built before 1960 you should definitely do a tank sweep on, especially a lot of stuff is turn of the century; this house was built in 1911, for example. That tank might be 100 years old… But for some reason they thought it was a good idea to bury these things underground, as opposed to just sticking it in the basement, where if it leaks, it doesn’t cause an environmental disaster. It’s very common.
Joe Fairless: And it cost you 20k-30k on that environmental disaster scenario before?
Allan Szlafrok: It has, yeah. And I had to abandon the project. That, and there were some break-ins there… And that was actually my worst deal ever, it was because of that oil tank and a couple of other things that happened; I wound up having to call off of the property.
Joe Fairless: What were the couple other things that happened on that worst deal ever?
Allan Szlafrok: Again, this is something that was a little bit earlier in my career, and I bought it on an auction website. I didn’t check it out; it was fully occupied, so you couldn’t get in, which is the case in most auction properties – you won’t necessarily have interior inspection.
There were a lot of break-ins, and they came in and they destroyed the work that we had done.
One time I come in and I see the side door is busted open, I see that they’ve torn out some carpets, they’ve torn out some electric systems… And I go back outside and I see the cops, and I wave them down; I’m like “Hey, officer, officer, come here. I’ve been robbed!” And he comes into the house and looks around me; I’m like “Okay, I’d like to file a report”, and the cop’s like “Could you not? It’s just more paperwork for me, and we’re not gonna catch the guys anyway.” I’m like “Seriously?” “Yeah, don’t bother. I’m just gonna submit the report and we’re not gonna talk to you ever again.”
Joe Fairless: [laughs]
Allan Szlafrok: So I didn’t even submit the report, and the damage at that point I think was probably less than deductible, so I just had to eat it. And we were just having all sorts of problems — one of the subcontractors didn’t pull permits, they shut us down… That property was a nightmare. That was the worst-case scenario, I think. But the bulk of that was that oil tank, which cost me $30,000.
Joe Fairless: Based on your experience as a real estate investor for almost a decade, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?
Allan Szlafrok: I think the best advice ever I’ve ever received probably came from my commodity trading days. My boss would always say “Know your downside.” The upside always takes care of itself, especially in a rising market. You’re gonna make money, but you need to know what you can lose, what could go wrong… And let’s say you don’t know what you don’t know, but you’d better know what you can know, what can go wrong – like an oil tank, like problems with break-ins, bad neighborhoods, foundation issues… Things that you can detect before you buy a property.
If your downside risk doesn’t include those risks, you need to rethink your numbers and how you’re going about this business. And also, if you’re investing money that you can’t afford to lose, and the worst-case-scenario does happen, you probably shouldn’t be investing at this point in your life.
Joe Fairless: We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?
Allan Szlafrok: Sure, let’s go.
Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s go. First though, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.
Joe Fairless: Alright, Allen, best ever book you’ve recently read?
Allan Szlafrok: Against the Gods, by Peter Bernstein. It’s a book about the history of insurance. Really interesting. More interesting than it sounds.
Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction that we haven’t talked about already?
Allan Szlafrok: How about the time in Atlanta when I was at a tax deed auction and I thought I was buying a single-family house, and I didn’t read the parcel number correctly at the auction, so I wound up bidding on what was actually the common area of a condo development. Basically, the driveway to get into the condo development, for [unintelligible [00:24:00].18] So I was coming up with all these crazy ways how I’m gonna make my money back… “Oh, well, I’ll just build a toll, and the people who live there will have to pay me a toll to get to their house.” That’s crazy illegal.
Joe Fairless: [laughs]
Allan Szlafrok: But it turned out I got bailed out big-time, because somebody was foreclosing on the entire HOA, the entire condo development, and they needed my parcel to complete the transaction, so I actually got my 20% [unintelligible [00:24:23].04] whereas I thought I lost $40,000, I wound up making a little money. It was 20% of the purchase price, so I think it was about $40,000 and I made 8k instead of losing 40k… It doesn’t get much better than that.
Joe Fairless: [laughs] I would have liked to have seen you try to implement the toll for people to come in and out of their condo.
Allan Szlafrok: Don’t think I didn’t think of that…
Joe Fairless: I know you did, you clearly did. [laughter] What’s been the best ever deal you’ve done?
Allan Szlafrok: I like to think of that one as my luckiest, therefore it’s my best… But the best deal – and they happened more than once – is when I was able to buy a property… Specifically, I’m thinking of one in Jersey City which is actually around the corner from the one I bought last week… I bought it for next to nothing, and renovated it, and now I’m pulling out like 120% of my money. That’s the holy grail of real estate, if you can do that… So on that particular property, that’s what’s happening now, and then I’ll have that capital to reinvest in a similar property.
Joe Fairless: Best ever way you like to give back to the community?
Allan Szlafrok: One thing I really like to do is I like to talk to newbies, people who are just getting involved in the industry, and give them advice. I’m always happy to do it, and that’s really why I wrote the book; I barely make any money off this, believe me. If you buy from Amazon, I make like $4. It’s not gonna make or break my life. But I really do enjoy educating new investors about some of the pitfalls in this industry, ways you can go wrong, and how I got to where I am, because I wanna see them get to where I am as well.
Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing and get in touch with you?
Allan Szlafrok: I like to be reached on Bigger Pockets; it’s obviously a great forum. My name is right there, Allan Szlafrok. You can connect to me there. I’ve got a LinkedIn page as well, and on Facebook I’m at OG Property Investments. Occasionally I post things there. I don’t bombard people’s feed with 1,000 inspirational quotes a day, I’m not interested in that… But I do like to keep in touch with people and I’m happy to talk to people.
Joe Fairless: I think it would be a good investment of time and money to get your book, “How to not make money in real estate.” Thank you for sharing that. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these stories with the oil tank removal, with the three-family home, with the deals that you are making money on and you have made a lot of money on, and how you’re approaching the transaction.
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