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JF1384: Paying Off All Debts & Living Debt Free – How Did He Do It? #SkillSetSunday with Jeff Anzalone

As a practicing Periodontist, Jeff obviously had student loan debt. He also had a mortgage, both are paid off now. Jeff is here to tell us how he was able to do pay off all of his debts while also investing in real estate. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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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. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.

First off, I hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because today is Sunday, we’ve got a special segment called Skillset Sunday where we invite a previous guest to come teach us something that can be helpful for us as we go about our real estate journey.

Today we’ve got Jeff Anzalone. First off, how are you doing, Jeff?

Jeff Anzalone: I’m doing fantastic, Joe. How are you?

Joe Fairless: I’m doing fantastic as well, nice to have you back. Best ever listeners, you might remember Jess – I’m sure you do – episode 1133, titled “Struggling with student loan debt, a periodontist schools himself in real estate investing.” We didn’t quite touch on the debt part of it as much as we did just his overall story. Today we’re gonna be talking about the debt part, and the skillset within this conversation is when we’re in a whole lot of debt, and in particular physicians, but not just physicians – it’s other individuals who have mountains of debt… When we’re in this type of debt, what do we do to get out of it, so what specifically did Jeff do to get out of it? And then now, fast-forward — so when he was right out of residency, he was 300k-400k in debt; now he’s got a seven-figure net worth, and he’s actively investing in multiple deals. He has invested in my deals, so full disclaimer there, that we do have a pre-existing relationship… And we’d love to learn more about how he did it, and then how we can do it if we are in that situation.

With that being said, Jeff, will you just give the Best Ever listeners a little bit of a refresher for your background and what you’re currently focused on?

Jeff Anzalone: Sure. Whenever I was getting ready to get out of my residency back in 2005, the partnership deal that I was gonna be joining – a group practice – fell through about a week or two before graduation day… So I had several hundred thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and other debt, a two-month-old, and didn’t have a clue what to do, basically. It wasn’t a lot of fun.

So after a lot of prayer and networking with people, the man upstairs kind of led me to a situation where I could start reading, learning from somebody that really helped me in the area, helped me network with some of the other local people, built up my practice… It took about six years to finally get out of all the student loan debt, and then last year I finally finished paying off our house and everything. I’m 43 now, completely debt-free, including the house.

All those kinds of struggles and different trials and things that happened to me, I think for me — there’s so many people now that are going through that. It’s even worse now. People are getting out of dental school, medical school, chiropractic school, whatever – anywhere from probably 250k on the low end, to some of the people that I’ve talked with a million dollars in debt to some of these private schools.

It’s tough, so number one, they’re wanting to know “Well, can we get out? Can we start making a living? Where do we start? Should we focus on debt reduction, should we focus on investing, should we do both? Where should we start investing?”, those sorts of things.

That’s kind of the background, a little refresher for your listeners, Joe.

Joe Fairless: Well, 250k in debt would certainly jolt individuals, and up to a million – that’s quite daunting; for 99% of the people that would be quite daunting, right out of school. I wanna talk about that, because that’s the focus of our conversation, but I wanna ask you about your financial approach. You’re debt-free now, you paid off your primary residence… What are your thoughts on the opposite opinion of being debt free, where when someone hears you say you’re debt-free, and they’re like “Yeah, what was your interest rate?” So first off, what was your interest rate on the house payment?

Jeff Anzalone: It was 4.5%.

Joe Fairless: Okay, so a 15-year mortgage, 4.5%. So the contrarian to your perspective is gonna say “4.5%? I can make 8% doing XYZ. The market’s returning whatever. I can make the spread, and then I can pay down from the profits, plus I can then invest the difference, and I’m gonna be much farther ahead.” What are your thoughts on that approach?

Jeff Anzalone: My approach – I don’t push this on anybody; this is just me, this is what I was comfortable with… Just like some people wanna do risky stocks and risky options and risky investing, some people are more conservative. Everything in my life goes back to one source, and that’s the Bible. Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” So what I say is if God didn’t want us to be in debt, that’s enough for me.

Joe Fairless: [laughs]

Jeff Anzalone: There’s nothing else I can say about that. He tells us we have to work. The working people – if you work, you get food, you get to eat; if you don’t work, if you’re lazy, you don’t. Then if you’ve gotta borrow stuff, then you’re gonna be a slave to that lender.
Some of my family members actually had to borrow money. When I first started for my family members, I had to mow yards again; I used to have a lawn service… So it was very humbling, Joe, to be a doctor and have to go to my grandparents to borrow money just to get a practice going, to cut yards again…

Debt to me was just like the worst thing ever. You could probably do what you said, “Hey, we can invest over here”, whatever, but for me it’s like, I’m debt-free. If somebody comes in my practice now, they need work and they can’t quite pay for all of it, or if they can’t pay for any of it, I can do it. I don’t have to worry about paying for something; if I wanna just give back [unintelligible [00:07:19].24] I can do it, and that’s a great feeling.

Joe Fairless: It’s almost becoming like a soapbox thing for me, because I have so many physicians who are investors, and I hear your story, I hear their story… And the perception among most people – myself included – prior to having all these conversations with investors of mine and other physicians is that doctors are loaded, and they’ve always been loaded, as soon as they graduated… But that’s just not the case. That is absolutely not the case. Physicians have to dig themselves out of debt – most of them – before they’re able to really enjoy the lifestyle that quite frankly they very much deserve, because of what they’ve put themselves through to get to the point where they’re at. All that schooling, all the debt paydown… It’s insane how much they go through, so I’m glad you’re telling the story, first off just to educate some people who might not know the type of debt that doctors and physicians have coming out of school.

Now that that’s kind of brought to light – 250k or a couple hundred thousand, or more than that in debt… Now what’s the approach that you took and what would you suggest for people who are in a similar situation?

Jeff Anzalone: I basically took the approach — well, actually I had to take that approach, because I started from nothing, whereas most people I know don’t start from absolutely nothing; they actually have a job, they’ll probably have a salary, and that sort of thing… But I kind of use a Dave Ramsey approach, and that’s who really helped me a lot. I still listen to him to this day… Just use his principles. When you get out, you’re already used to living on nothing, because you’re a resident.

And one of the things that you said, Joe, was you thought doctors are loaded, you thought this and that… Well, think about somebody that’s getting out of their training – in their mind, they’re looking around and go “Hey, look, these doctors are loaded. They’re on the tennis court, they’re on the golf course, they drive a Mercedes… I want that now”, and then they’ll put off things, they’ll put their student loan payments on minimum payments, they’ll buy the big house and all that, and then the next thing you know, they’re a million and a half in debt, including their mortgage, and it’s like “What do I do?”

Joe Fairless: Yeah, that’s exactly what happens.

Jeff Anzalone: I’m doing a little bit of financial and practice coaching on the side, and it’s amazing how many people over 60 that I coach, that have no money. They’ve been practicing their whole life. That was like a wake-up call, like “You know what, I’m never gonna be 60 years old and not have $5,000 in the bank” or whatever.

So there’s a lot of people hurting out there, so I think people can just share their story, because there’s so many people that have helped me get to where I am, and I’m just turning around and just giving back and saying “Hey look, use the Dave Ramsey principles, keep living like a resident, throw everything you can at the student loans initially, completely get out of student loan debt, and then — I didn’t rent, but Dave recommends that you rent until you can afford your 20% down payment of your home.” 99% of the people getting out of training aren’t gonna do that, but if you’ll just do that, just sacrifice a few more years, man, you’ll be so quick to be financially independent, it’s crazy… Because we all have a great income and income potential; that’s the great thing about our profession.

Joe Fairless: And I imagine credit is incredibly accessible right after residency, too… So if you look at the lifestyle that other people are having for themselves, and then you probably have access to a whole lot of credit that you didn’t have before…

Jeff Anzalone: Yeah, and I called my banker, and he didn’t have to meet with me or anything, he said “I’ll give you an interest-only loan for your house, knowing that you’re gonna be going in with this group.” We bought the house, the deal fell through, so it was just like “Yeah, we’ll give you whatever you want”, you know? I was like “Really?” It’s crazy…

Joe Fairless: Now you have the house, but now you have to mow your neighbors’ yards to make the mortgage payment.

Jeff Anzalone: Exactly.

Joe Fairless: Wow, okay. Some takeaways that I’ve got so far – this is what worked for you… You used Dave Ramsey’s principles; you live like a resident, you threw all of your cash that you had from working into paying down student loans, and then the even more extreme approach – or conservative approach, depending on how you think about it – would be to rent instead of buy… And obviously, I love hearing that; I’ve got a lot of apartments for any doctor who wants to rent… We can rent you an apartment, as long as you’re in Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston. [laughs] Anything else?

Jeff Anzalone: I get people that ask me questions like, “I’ve got a lot of debt, but I’m making a good income. What do you think about maybe doing some investing? Should we do stock market, should I buy a house and rent it out? Should we do real estate, or what?” Those are some of the questions that I’m getting, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to maybe share my experience. I know we don’t have a whole lot of time left, but a little bit about my crowdfunding experience, and then doing a couple deals with you, if you don’t mind…

Joe Fairless: Yeah, sure.

Jeff Anzalone: Once I got completely debt-free and had a good chunk of money in investments – stock market mainly, index funds – I wanted to take a portion of the money that I’d saved up, and I kind of earmarked initially 10%, and invest in real estate. So I started researching some of the crowdfunding sites – Realty Shares and Patch of Land were the two I eventually went with… I did that, and then you told the listeners I was on a couple deals with you… And I think just for me, moving forward, I like doing the deals with you based on — the main thing is when you go to some of these other companies, they’re not the ones that have the money in the apartment deal or in the house deal. They’re putting the deals together. So you may invest with them, whatever crowdfunding company; it may take two months, six months… I’m still waiting right now on a deal – it’s been almost 12 months and I haven’t even got my first distribution yet. They’re having problems.

Joe Fairless: Was that planned?

Jeff Anzalone: No, it was not planned.

Joe Fairless: Which platform is that?

Jeff Anzalone: That was Realty Shares. And the problem was with the management, they’ve turned over the management; they’re having a hard time filling the vacancies, a lot of marketing issues… So my money’s just been sitting there for like 11 months now, and I don’t really like that at all (who would…?) Versus the two deals that I’ve done with you – well, you’re the one that’s in charge typically of handling everything, so you have more skin in the game, and I don’t think I’ve waited longer than 45-60 days before I started getting my first distributions from you.

Now, I do know that investing with you is a little bit higher versus some of these platforms, just like $2,000 or $5,000, but still, once you get to the position to where this becomes an option, that’s my experience, and I’m glad I kind of went through both, because I can see both sides now… But I really like going with somebody that’s got skin in the game, they’re on top of it… You do a great job sending us e-mails, knowing about what you’re doing to the property, the vacancy, your improvements, what the goal is… That sort of thing.

That’s kind of my experience with it, and moving forward, I’d like to earmark a little bit more money towards the real estate, versus so much an index fund. Some of my things I went through with that deal – I’m kind of helping people, and they’re asking me technical questions, either online or calling me… So just from my experience from that is kind of how I’m helping them.

Joe Fairless: And I did not know the conversation would go towards that direction; I’m glad to hear the feedback, that’s for darn sure. I’m gonna play devil’s advocate – so a disadvantage in that scenario would be diversification of sponsors, because with the crowdfunding platform they work with hundreds, maybe thousands (I don’t know, it depends on the platform) of different sponsors, so you’ve got a diversification of probably both sponsor and also geography… Whereas with one sponsor – I’ll use myself as this example, since we’re talking about you investing with me – it’s one sponsor group, plus we’re concentrated in one state right now (Texas) and in a couple markets in that state.

Jeff Anzalone: Correct.

Joe Fairless: So when you look at your portfolio, how important is that diversification part?

Jeff Anzalone: Especially now – the stock market is not just going up like crazy like it was, but I think now as I’m getting older, I wanted to have more diversification. I have most of my money in the stock market, but having something to kind of buffer that with the bonds and real estate… And some people will wanna do that right off the bat; they wanna focus more on real estate, not so much in the stock market, but I love the compound interest effect. It takes a while to get to that first million, but after that, it’s amazing how quickly — and I’ve read books about it and I’ve seen it first-hand… After the first one, the second one is a lot quicker, and then the third one and fourth one, and so on and so forth.

So that’s cool, and a lot of these principles I’m able to teach in my kids as they’re growing up. There’s only a few things you can do with money – buy something, save something, or give it away… Again, those are Dave Ramsey principles. So just teaching them that walk as well, and to make sure they’re giving back as well, too.

Joe Fairless: I was reading an article – they were looking at the world’s billionaires, and they were seeing how long did it take them to get to the first million, and then how long did it take them to get to the first billion, and on average, it was 37 years old for the first million, and then it was only 14 years later (on average), 51 years old for the first billion.

Jeff Anzalone: Yeah.

Joe Fairless: Anything else as it relates to this topic that you wanna address as we close this out?

Jeff Anzalone: Yeah, and I’ve mentioned this before the call – I’ve started a new blog, a free blog… I’ve love to give the listeners the address, if you don’t mind.

Joe Fairless: Absolutely.

Jeff Anzalone: I’m basically just kind of going through and started a blog actually maybe about a month or so ago, and it’s called DebtFreeDr.com. It’s basically the principles, kind of my story, what you guys just heard in a little more detail, and it’s just the principles that have taken me from a lot of debt, to getting out of debt, to where I am now… And as I continue posting information on there, I’m going to be going a little bit deeper into investments, investment strategies, real estate etc. so I’d love for you guys to go there and sign up, put your e-mail address in and then you’ll be updated as I update the site.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, it looks great… I’m looking at articles. “Top Ways Docs Can Become Debt-Free In 3 Years”, “Financial Advice For The New Doctor, The Thrifty Doctor…”, all sorts of good stuff.

Well, Jeff, thank you for being on the show again. I enjoyed catching up with you, I enjoyed hearing your perspective from where you were, where you’re at now, and how you got here, and lessons learned along the way… Taking the Dave Ramsey approach, living like a resident, so living below your means, having the money being paid towards student loans that you earn…

You didn’t do this, but perhaps renting, and then once you have the financial ability to start investing, then identifying what is your preferred method. You’ve done crowdfunding, you’ve done investing in private syndications… You mentioned the private syndication route is your cup of tea, that’s what you’re really focused on, and I’m really grateful that you’re investing with my company, and I’m grateful that we had a conversation, because there are a lot of lessons learned for a lot of individuals.

I hope you have a best ever weekend, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Jeff Anzalone: Yes, sir.

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Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show Podcast

JF1133: Struggling With Student Loan Debt, A Periodontist Schools Himself In Real Estate Investing with Jeff Anzalone

Jeff was cutting grass while being a full time periodontist just to make ends meet. He started learning real estate and investing passively through different platforms. Now he is wanting to be a landlord mostly for the education it can provide for his children. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

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Jeff Anzalone Background:
-Periodontist in a solo practice in Monroe, LA
-Dental Specialist Consultant at JeffAnzalone.com
-Investor Mentor with Dentists Based in Monroe, Louisiana
-Say hi to him at http://www.periosuccessacademy.com
-Best Ever Book: Think and Grow Rich

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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. We’ve spoken to Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank, Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad; Emmitt Smith – he’s a former football player, hall of famer, and he’s also a real estate developer (go listen to that episode) and a whole bunch of others.

With us today, we’re gonna be speaking to a periodontist who recently got into real estate, has a full-time job and was trying to figure out how to invest in real estate, and we’re gonna hear his story. Jeff Anzalone – how are you doing, Jeff?

Jeff Anzalone: I’m doing fantastic, Joe. Thanks very much for having me on the podcast today.

Joe Fairless: Well, my pleasure. Nice to have you on the show. A little bit more about Jeff – as I mentioned, he’s a periodontist, he has got a solo practice in Monroe, Louisiana. He’s also a dental specialist consultant at JeffAnzalone.com. He is a real estate investor, and as I mentioned, he is in Monroe, Louisiana. With that being said, Jeff, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Jeff Anzalone: Sure, Joe. I’ll try to make this as short as possible, because it’s kind of a pretty interesting background how I got to where I am now, which probably many of your listeners have probably had situations or setbacks or things in their past that have put them where they are now or made them better.

So long story short, about a week or two before I graduated from my residency program at LSU, the group that I was supposed to join here in my hometown let me know that for whatever reason they were not going to be acquiring a partner, even though I had been speaking with them probably for about the last three years.

As I hung up the phone, I kind of started thinking in my head, “Well, several hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt between my wife and I, I’ve got a two-month-old, I already purchased a home back home…”, a friend of my was a banker and he allowed me to purchase an interest-only loan for this house, bearing the fact that I was gonna be joining this group and he knew them, so that was kind of back when you could just do deals like that, just kind of a good ol’ boys deal. But probably the worst part about it was I had no clue how to start a practice, how to hire people, anything like that, because we’re not taught that in dental school and residencies, and probably many of your listeners out there that are in jobs, maybe they own companies or whatever – you’re just not taught that.

So needless to say, I started to network with people back home. Luckily, I had another specialist in [unintelligible [00:03:58].16] kind of took me under his wing. He allowed me to rent space from him, use his equipment, and he started introducing me to the other dentists in the area, and slowly but surely I started to build my practice.

One of the things that kind of inspired me along the way was that group told me that there was way too much competition in my area, and there was no way I could make it. That kind of inspired me to definitely do everything I can to prove them wrong… I’m not the type of person that likes being told what to do or take no for an answer, so that really inspired me along the way to do that, but I’m probably one of the few board-certified periodontists in the country that could say that I also used to mow yards at the same time I practiced dentistry.

Joe Fairless: Wow…!
Jeff Anzalone: I used to have a lawn service in high school and college, and man, when I got out, I had to make ends meet. So I was working in other offices, I was working at my office, I was cutting grass, doing everything I could to make the mortgage payment, to keep the student loans current. That’s kind of how I got started.

Looking back on it, it’s probably the best thing that happened, because that whole experience I went through me allowed me to write my first book, “What They Don’t Teach You In Dental School.” It’s kind of my journey of what I went through, and all the little things that I learned and I was taught along the way about building a practice; it’s basics about building a practice, because we’re just not taught any of that stuff.

Joe Fairless: Help me understand this – you’re practicing dentistry, but you’re mowing lawns to make ends meet. Was your mortgage payment way above your means, or were the loans just that much that you had to do that?

Jeff Anzalone: I would say a little bit of both, because we had several hundred thousand dollars worth of student loan debt. For people that had student loans – or at least they did back then – they give you about a six-month grace period to get on your feet, and then after that they automatically start sending you bills. And I just wasn’t used to having bills that large, because when you’re in residency, everything is deferred pretty much… But that really inspired me to work hard and to do whatever it took.

Looking back on it, what I’m learning now about real estate, I really wish I would have started the process of learning about real estate and maybe starting to acquire some properties at that point, or at least doing something at that point, so as I’ve gone along the way, I could have a larger real estate portfolio. But that wasn’t the case, and we’ll get in a little bit into what I’m doing now. But for listeners out there that are kind of starting to want to dip their toe in the water or they have kids — currently, I’m encouraging my kids to do everything they can to learn about real estate, to network with people that have properties, just to go and work on-site if you want to, to start with construction maybe, if that’s what you wanna do, and kind of go from there.

Joe Fairless: When you say you’re encouraging your kids, what are some things that they would do? Because you have a 12-year-old, right?

Jeff Anzalone: I have a 10 and a 12-year-old, and they’re very curious, very inquisitive, they’re always asking questions. A lot of times they’ll ask about money questions, or they’ll ask about different things, “What should I do for a living?” or this or that, and I say “You need to do whatever you wanna do for a living, whatever God calls you to do, and whatever you like to do, but consider having real estate or having houses or having apartments or doing something like that.” We’ll ride around town and we’ll say “Hey look, you see that apartment complex?” I did this to my 10-year-old the other night… I said, “Look, there’s 12 families, there’s 12 doors on that, so that means 12 people are paying rent every month to whoever owns that.” He said, “Well, what does that mean, dad?” I said, “Well, let’s say all 12 of those people are paying $1,000 a month. How much is that?” He said, “That’s $12,000 a month.” I said, “So just think about it. You’re wherever you are and you own that, and somebody’s paying you $12,000 a month. Is that pretty nice?” “Wow! Can I do that now, dad?” [laughter]

Joe Fairless: Start mowing some yards.

Jeff Anzalone: Yeah. Little conversations like that, because everybody’s always talking about “You’ve gotta stay in school. If you don’t go to these big schools, or do this or that, you’ll never be successful or make money.” I was always told that; I don’t know what you were told, Joe, but I wish somebody would have started a conversation, at least piquing the curiosity when I was younger… But just to kind of open their eyes now a little bit.

Joe Fairless: With your practice – it is a successful practice… And then a year ago you started looking at real estate. What was your approach and what was your first investment?

Jeff Anzalone: Probably many of the listeners on the call right now have a full-time job, or maybe a couple part-time jobs, and you may be considering, as I was, learning about real estate. Also, you mentioned a little bit earlier about my consulting job. I started helping other dentists and periodontists several years ago and I formed the PerioSuccess Academy. And as I started acquiring clients, a part of that whole process, people wanted to know about retirement, about investments and that sort of thing, and some of them started asking me about real estate. Well, I didn’t really know much about it, because I didn’t really have much investing, so I started to read books, network with people, I started listening to your podcast, which is fantastic, and all the information you give out…

Then I was to the point where I wasn’t ready to jump in and buy houses or buy apartments or anything like that with having a full-time job, with having a consulting business and a family. So I have a lot of my plate, which I’m sure many of your listeners do as well. So the issue of crowdfunding, which I learned a lot about from your podcast, especially Patch Of Land and Realty Shares, and also some of the deals that you do as well, Joe – that really piqued my interest.

So about a year ago I did my first debt deal with Realty Shares, and since then I’ve done several debt deals, several equity deals with not only them – with Patch Of Land, and then the deal that we’re currently doing now with yourself, Joe, and your company… So that’s what I did last year. Now I am starting to network with local people, friends of mine that have real estate currently, or they work for somebody that does, and getting ready to dip my toe in the water, so to speak, and get into some local properties here in the area that I live in.

Joe Fairless: So a couple questions… One is how did those deals go with Realty Shares and Patch Of Land? Or how are they going, if they haven’t completed?

Jeff Anzalone: I’ve got three right now that are currently paying me, two of them monthly. One of the equity deals is paying me quarterly, and then I have a couple that have just recently closed and they haven’t started paying yet. So it’s pretty cool… I opened up a separate checking account that I do the real estate deals through, and it’s pretty neat just watching the account slowly but surely start to grow… Just the 8%-10% returns that I’m getting from those deals, for many people aren’t getting near that in the stock market. So I wanted to diversify, because pretty much 100% of my money was in index funds. So my goal last year was take 10%-15% of that money and invest it in some sort of real estate. I thought that crowdfunding, after I learned about it and spoke with enough people about it, was where I wanted to start, learn about and educate myself about. Now I’m more educated as I move forward with regular properties.

Joe Fairless: Since you’ve invested in two crowdfunding platforms – Realty Shares and Patch Of Land – I’d love to know if you’ve done an assessment, or just your thoughts on pros and cons of each.

Jeff Anzalone: I would say probably the main pro would be with Patch of Land it seems like because I believe they’re pre-funded, when you invest your money there’s not a big long waiting period to start getting paid. I really like that. Versus Realty Shares and maybe some other platforms as well, you’re having to wait several weeks, sometimes several months for the deals to close, and a lot of times they’re larger deals, so your money is just kind of sitting there. And it seems to me like Patch Of Land has smaller deals, around $100,000 or less, or a little bit more than that of course, but it doesn’t take as long to fund that, versus a million dollar or a five million dollar deal that Realty Shares is doing. So I would say that’s the main pro of both, and then the con would be just taking longer to start the payment process with Realty Shares.

Joe Fairless: So as you’ve mentioned, you’re an investor in one of my deals, and I ask this so that other Best Ever listeners who are putting together deals and they’re looking to build relationships with accredited investors, I wanna ask why did you invest with me and my company in one of our deals – and it’s not to hear compliments about me, it’s more so that we can learn your thought process, so that other Best Ever listeners who are doing this can know what one accredited investor thinks through before they invest.

Jeff Anzalone: Sure. I reached out to you after I had done several deals with the other crowdfunding platforms, so I kind of knew a little bit about the process and how it worked. And what I really liked about your company was 1) you talk with people before you do deals. That was completely different. All these other crowdfunding platforms – you can just go, sign in, most of them you need to be an accredited investor, of course, and then you can just start doing deals. Of course, I like that, but that was something that stood out to me, that you were different in that aspect.

I was able to ask you questions about the process, and you explained that very well, and probably the best thing that I like that differentiates you from the others was you actually are putting your money in as well to the deal, so you have skin in the game. I was really impressed with that, with not only taking time out to speak with someone that you didn’t know, but you’ve got skin in the game… Whereas these other companies – I don’t know if they do or not; maybe some of them do, but these are bigger companies, where you’re throwing your money in there. So those are the two main things that I really liked.
Then I liked the whole process – we spoke about the deal, the apartments, what you were trying to accomplish, kind of the short term and long-term goals that you had… I really liked that, and I was really comfortable with that, and just decided to invest.

Joe Fairless: You made me wonder about crowdfunding platforms like Patch Of Land and Realty Shares, I don’t know the answer to this – I wonder if they do invest in their own deals. I think it’d be a no-brainer to do that. I mean, making 8%-10%, just put in whatever percentage they want per deal, and then I suspect they could grow their money as fast as they do within their current business model of charging whatever fees they charge in the deal. I’m gonna have to ask them that the next time I talk to them.

You mentioned something earlier – you said that you’re now looking to buy local, and I wonder why are you taking that approach, given what you’ve mentioned previous to that, which was you’ve got the full-time job, you’ve got the consulting thing, you’ve got two kids… Why now are you wanting to be  a landlord?

Jeff Anzalone: I would probably say the number one reason would be for my kids, because this is gonna be something now – and I’ve talked with local people that have real estate and they have kids, and I watched something about how Donald Trump was raised with his father in New York, and how he started in real estate… There’s so much that you can teach them and learn from that. Let’s say you’ve got a single-family home, your kids can pretty much be involved in it from day one. They can start mowing the yard, they can help with painting, they can do as much or as little — that was gonna be, for me, a great way to expose them to it… Versus it would be really hard to try to expose them to crowdfunding.

Joe Fairless: I don’t know how you would do that, yeah.

Jeff Anzalone: So that, plus the tax benefits as well, because as somebody that is in a higher tax bracket, once you get to the point where a lot of your depreciation, and as you get things paid off, as people realize, you’re just getting taxed to death, so that’s probably my second reason – for more tax advantages.

Joe Fairless: Based on your experience as an accredited real estate investor, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Jeff Anzalone: Best real estate advice ever is to do your due diligence, to connect with people and network with people, read, listen to podcasts… Even though you’re gonna do deals, or if you’ve done deals, continue to educate yourself. Don’t get complacent. Continue to learn, because there’s so much stuff out there, there’s so much new stuff, so much stuff that’s changing… So just have that desire to continue to learn.

Joe Fairless: Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Jeff Anzalone: Sure.

Joe Fairless: Alright, let’s do it. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:19:03].02] to [00:19:58].21]

Joe Fairless: Best ever book you’ve read? Speaking of continuing to learn…

Jeff Anzalone: Well, I would have to say that the best ever book I’ve read and I continue to read daily is the Bible, but also probably the second one that comes to mind is from Napoleon Hill, Think And Grow Rich.

Joe Fairless: Best ever deal you’ve done?

Jeff Anzalone: Hopefully it’s gonna be with you, Joe.

Joe Fairless: We just closed less than a month ago, that’s why you say that… For the record.

Jeff Anzalone: Probably my equity deal that I have going on right now with Realty Shares. They’ve been very good to me.

Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction, or the due diligence of a transaction?

Jeff Anzalone: I would say one particular deal I didn’t do enough due diligence – I was just kind of looking at the financials and just kind of got gah gah with the numbers, and didn’t really look at the sponsor as much, do my due diligence with that… And that deal got going through and was exited; I did get my money back, but hindsight, looking back on it, I probably shouldn’t have invested in it if I would have done my due diligence better.

Joe Fairless: And what would you look for next time, if presented the same opportunity?

Jeff Anzalone: Most of these crowdfunding platforms — sometimes they’ll have webinars, and I really like to look at those. I like to look at the sponsor who’s sponsoring this… Most of the webinars, they have frequently asked questions. For instance, Realty Shares will do a webinar on a sponsor… I think one of the ones that I looked at were doing some storage buildings, so they had a lot of frequently asked questions; I thought that was really good.
So I really didn’t take the time to do that and really learn about them, maybe do my own research on the sponsor to kind of get their history, instead of just kind of taking numbers on a whim.

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

Jeff Anzalone: With my consulting business… Because so much has been given to me, and pretty much I am where I am because of other people; that is the number one reason why I wanted to do consulting and coaching. So that’s kind of my way of giving back to others, whether they can afford my services or not.

Joe Fairless: And how can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you or your company?

Jeff Anzalone: Two ways. My consulting business is PerioSuccess Academy (periosuccessacademy.com), or my practice website, AnzalonePeriodontics.com, or you can just google “Monroe Louisiana periodontist” and you’ll see our website.

Joe Fairless: And the Success Academy website URL is what?

Jeff Anzalone: It’s periosuccessacademy.com.

Joe Fairless: Jeff, thanks for being on the show, thanks for talking through your thought process when you’re investing in deals passively, what you look for, what you’re experience has been so far on crowdfunding platforms, what you look for when you’re investing with someone who is a sponsor (like myself) on a deal, and then the types of ways that you’re teaching your kids how to approach investing, and some tactical tips that you have in there as well.

I really appreciate your time today. Thank you for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Jeff Anzalone: Thanks, Joe!

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