JF2357: Attacking Old Goals With New Methods With Matthew Faircloth #SkillsetSunday

Matthew is a returning guest from episode JF1432 and today he talks about figuring out new ways to accomplish old goals. Matt has been a full-time investor for 15 years and in that time has successfully completed projects involving dozens of fix and flips, office buildings, single-family homes, and apartment buildings.

Matt Faircloth  Real Estate Background:  

  • A full-time investor for 15 years 
  • Completed dozens of flips, office building, single-family, and apartment deals
  • He started with a 30,000 private loan and has completed over $40 million in transactions
  • A previous guest on JF1432
  • Based in Trenton, NJ
  • Say hi to him at www.DeRosaGroup.com

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Best Ever Tweet:

“Move forward with faith and take action” – Matt Faircloth


TRANSCRIPTION

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

Matt Faircloth: I’m awesome, Joe. So great to be with you today.

Joe Fairless: Well, I’m glad to hear that, and I’m looking forward to our conversation. Best Ever listeners, because today is Sunday, we’ve got a special segment for you called Skillset Sunday. And first off, a little refresher about Matt, and then that will help tee this up. So Matt’s a full-time real estate investor. He’s completed dozens of flips, but also now focuses on office buildings, commercial real estate, apartment deals. He just had a rather large closing that he and his team done. Yeah, woohoo, nice work on that! And that actually leads into our conversation.

The conversation and the outcome of this conversation for you Best Ever listeners is to learn about some ways to have some stretch goals and to try new methods to reach old goals. So maybe you’ve been trying to reach certain goals, you have not achieved them – well, we’re going to talk about the thought process to take to try new methods to reach those same goals that you’ve been trying to achieve. So with that being said, Matt, what’s the best way to start out this conversation?

Matt Faircloth: Well, I’ll tell a little bit of the backstory to lead us up to the point where I hit that pivot where I said “Okay, I can stretch myself, or I can keep doing what I’ve been doing.” So let me give you a one-minute background story. So my company, as your business is too, we are regionally focused on specific territories. We are not a company that will buy anywhere in the continental United States. That’s not what we do. We are focused on North Carolina and Kentucky. That’s it. So a deal came up in a market we had been shopping in North Carolina, in Winston-Salem, and it came across our plate… And we have been a company that’s been able to put together say, I don’t know, maybe $5 million to $8 million transactions. In the apartment building world, that requires an equity raise of somewhere in the two to three million dollar range. We’ve gotten pretty good at that. So I’ve got a really good mechanism down for raising two to three million dollars for a real estate transaction, to the point where I can repeat it over and over again, as often as I need to, for deals. And we had built a pretty good wheelhouse of doing it.

So this deal in Winston-Salem comes up and the numbers work, everything checks the boxes, the location is phenomenal, everything’s awesome about it… And it’s an $18.5 million purchase, which is more than double anything else we’d ever put together before. 336 units, so more unit count than we’ve done, more equity we need than we’ve ever done, more loan amount than we’ve ever done, more everything.

Joe Fairless: What was the highest amount of equity you’d raised up until that point? On one deal.

Matt Faircloth: Just over three. Like three and a half.

Joe Fairless: Three. Okay. And how much was this one requiring?

Matt Faircloth: We’re doing this a little differently… This one is a total of $12 million in equity, but because the bridge debt world has changed and it’s very hard to get construction dollars from banks, what we’re doing is we’re going in with the Freddie floater product, which is a floating rate mortgage, lower loan to value, and we’re going to raise construction dollars as we need them during the process. So we don’t have all the money we need at closing, we’re going to get it as we go, which is an interesting process as well.

Joe Fairless: So in total 12… But how much to close it out?

Matt Faircloth: To close the deal. Eight.

Joe Fairless: Eight? Okay.

Matt Faircloth: To close the deal. Yes.

Joe Fairless: Got it. So a significant jump from three to eight, and ultimately 12. Okay.

Matt Faircloth: Right. There was some faith in there, and just crossing my fingers and knowing, “Okay, listen. I’ll just get in and do it.” That was the crossroads that I was at, Joe. It was the fork in the road to say, “Okay, do I tell my team that worked very hard to find this deal, do I say, “You know what, guys? A little too big, we probably should refer it to a larger outfit that can take down something like this, that has a long track record on taking down something like this.” And that conversation did come up. Are we okay? Do we want a stretch like this? And we decided to take it on and to go for it and we’ll figure it out. And that’s really what you and I were talking offline about, it’s about the growth that happens when you get into something where you’re not exactly 100% sure how you’re going to make it happen. But you got to move forward in faith that it’s going to work out. You’ve got to take action, too. But I decided to go for it and just had the confidence that me and my team would figure it out. I was just crossing my fingers.

And what’s interesting, Joe, is what happened was we put it under contract, and we tried the method, amd we went, “Okay, let’s go raise money.” Well, I used my method that I know to raise two to three million dollars. I did that, and guess what? We raised two to three million dollars.

Joe Fairless: What are the things that you do to raise two to three million like clock–

Matt Faircloth: There is a number of emails you need to send out to enroll people in your webinar. What we’ve been able to do is develop a pretty good magnet of people that reach out to us, that say “Hey, I want to invest in real estate with you.” So you call the last couple months worth of folks that called in… So the hot leads, if you will – we phone call those folks. We came in and we sent out two announcements to a webinar, and saying “Okay, we’re having a webinar.” We had 300 people show up on the webinar. Not show up, they registered. Because you know how these things go, right?

Joe Fairless: Yup.

Matt Faircloth: So they registered for the webinar. They watched the recording, and everything like that. Just webinar, and then present the whole deal, and then send out the recording, and that with some phone call follow-ups, in our world has been what we needed to do to raise two to three million dollars.

Joe Fairless: How many days in advance do you give them notice that there will be a webinar?

Matt Faircloth: We give them a week’s notice. About a week, a week and a half. And we just did a general presentation on the deal. “Hey, guys. This is what we’re going to talk about. Here’s the deal, here’s this, here’s that, here’s the opportunity, and everything like that. It was just here “Here’s everything.”

Joe Fairless: And you said phone calls, too. So you called the hot leads, but do you only call them? Or do you call everyone in your database? How do you approach that?

Matt Faircloth: We don’t call everyone in our database. That’s the two to three million dollar method, Joe. We didn’t call everybody in our database. We’ll talk about them…

Joe Fairless: Okay. Alright, alright. Cart before the horse. Okay.

Matt Faircloth: It’s okay. I love it. We can talk about the newly-discovered and soon to be patented $8 million methods that I had to come up with. [laughter] But the two to three million dollar method is you call your hot leads. Because I’ve had people that called me up that they were hot, and I didn’t have a deal.

This is a true story. I’ve never told you this story, but it’s a true story. A guy called me in August, and he was like, “Okay, I want a deal. Ready to go.” This isn’t this August. This was August a couple of years ago. And he said “I want to invest with you. Find me an opportunity.” That’s great. “Okay, listen. Hang out. I’m going to go find you an opportunity, my friend.” So October comes around. And not just for this person, but we put a deal under contract and I did my hot lead method and called back through my hot leads that had called the last couple of months… I had called this person up that called in August, and you know what he said?

Joe Fairless: “It took too long.”

Matt Faircloth: No, “I gave that money to Joe Fairless.”

Joe Fairless: Oooh… [laughter]

Matt Faircloth: I swear to God, it’s what…

Joe Fairless: So you did take too long.

Matt Faircloth: I said, “Well, it’s in good hands.” That’s what the point of that story is – that when people call, they’re not just shopping. Sometimes they’ll tell you this, “Well, I want to invest in a year or two.” But a lot of times when people call, they’re looking to place capital now. And if you don’t have something that’s available now… And it’s okay that you don’t. But if you don’t have something available now, they’re likely going to go — below Matt Faircloth’s name on the list is somebody else. And so if I don’t have anything at that time, they’re likely going to keep going. And that’s what he did. And God bless, he had money he had to put to work. And he did, and he put it to work. It’s in good hands, and all that. So I was happy for him. I said “Great. Joe’s a friend. That’s great.” But it’s that call the hot lead method that these folks hopefully have not gone somewhere else by the time you’d launched that webinars, so you let them know about it ahead of time; that was my two to three million dollar method. Then you do the webinar. Then you email everyone the recording to the webinar, and then you do a follow-up phone call to folks that were on the webinar.

Joe Fairless: So only those that were on the webinar that you were doing follow-up phone calls, for the first method.

Matt Faircloth: Yes.

Joe Fairless: Okay. Got it.

Matt Faircloth: Then you also had some sort of means for them to do a soft commit on a webinar. For us, back then, it was a Google doc saying like, “Hey, this is my name. This is if I’m accredited or not. And this is how much money we want to put in [unintelligible [00:11:02].00] list, whatever.” And that Google Form was the soft commit that they did. And that right there, given the database that we have, will get you two to three million bucks, and we had gotten pretty good at that. And also, the presentation on the webinar was solid enough that we could produce that. So we did that for this deal, and then we got two to three million dollars. And I said, “Oh, okay. We’re a quarter of the way there. That’s great. So now what?”

And we called that database again, and called the folks that are on the webinar again, and had another webinar, the same webinar, we just did the same show again. We had 50 people sign up this time instead of 300, because a lot of our database had already seen the first one, so why would they want to go to the second one? So we got it up a little bit. And my team and I, we had to drop back and punt and have a huddle up. We’ve got to try something different. So again, we’re in the middle of Corona, crazy, COVID, potential recession, all this other kind of stuff right now… So what we realized is some investors are looking for something that’s a bit of a hedge, or want to know a little more detail about the deal that has to do with how the deal is recession-proof, or how it’s COVID-resistant, and everything like that. So we said “You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to do a webinar that’s just on that – how is this deal COVID resistant and recession-proof” That’s an interesting conversation. So we came up with those bullets, and we came up with a way tighter webinar. The first webinar, the one with the 300 people, went two hours. That’s another mistake. That’s too long a webinar. With the presentation, with Q&A, it went two hours.

Joe Fairless: What’s the right amount of time?

Matt Faircloth: I think that you should be presenting the opportunity in 30 minutes or less. And then another 30 minutes for Q&A, and then wrap it up.

Joe Fairless: Got it.

Matt Faircloth: People are busy, man. Get to the point, don’t spend too much time on the fluff or on spending 10 minutes introducing your team and everything like that. Just get going, because people are busy, and you want to respect that. So we tightened it way up and did a 30-minute thing on COVID and the recession. Now, we had a way bigger turnout for that one, because people were curious about that.

Joe Fairless: So this is a third webinar?

Matt Faircloth: Yes.

Joe Fairless: This is the third webinar about the same deal. Okay.

Matt Faircloth: About the same deal, but we did two things. We cranked up our email activity. I went to my assistant and I was like, “I want you to do an email every other day. Just stay on people’s radar.” Because again, maybe we needed to just kind of — given everything going on… And maybe just to raise a lot more money, you’ve got to kind of scream and yell a little bit louder.

Joe Fairless: Were you concerned about people unsubscribing from your list as a result of that?

Matt Faircloth: Sure. And I’m sure they did, and that’s okay, because if they really are not that concerned — if they really don’t want to hear that much from Matt, then that’s okay, they unsubscribed. And I think it’s a risk you have to run if you’re going to wave your hand in the air. I think list attrition is something that happens all the time, if you use your list; not that you have to email every day, but if you email every couple of days or once a week or whatever, you’re going to have attrition. Because people just might not want to hear what you have to say. And you can’t make that a reason why you don’t send emails, I don’t think.

Joe Fairless: And how long did you email every other day?

Matt Faircloth: We did that toward the last 30 to 45 days of the deal. We were every other day emailing. And what we did – we took snippets of the COVID webinar… And I’m jumping around a little bit. We did a COVID webinar, and we did a tax savings webinar, because we’re doing a cost segregation study. We’re hiring Yonah Weiss, if you know him… We’re hiring Yonah to do the cost seg.

So we realized that some investors know what cost seg is, and some investors know how it helps, other investors don’t. So I interviewed my CPA and took some video clips from him, took video clips from an interview I did with Yonah, and I took those two video clips and assembled them into a dozen emails that we sent out on a drip campaign about what is depreciation and why is it important. We had one couple invest in this deal, they came in later, after we started this cost seg conversation… They had sold a business and the wife was filing taxes as a real estate professional. And we saved them $200,000, because they put a significant amount of money into the deal; they were able to pretty much save every nickel that they were supposed to pay in income tax; it got deferred through cost seg and through the negative K1. Incredible. What a difference we get to make in this business. So I touted that in the email, obviously…

Joe Fairless: I remember reading it.

Matt Faircloth: Yeah. Leaving the personal information out. Think about the tagline on that one. We got a big open rate on that email, because it’s interesting, “Wow, $200,000. That’s crazy.” Now, it takes a specific investor under specific circumstances to get those savings, but it’s still at least a good conversation.

So we started thinking outside the box on ways to get people’s attention. And I think that lesson learned, a few lessons I got out of this whole thing, was to raise a lot of money you’ve got to get a lot of attention. And people care about different things. So some people cared about the hedge, about like, okay, recession and COVID-proof. That webinar got over 100 registrants.

Joe Fairless: And it was the third one.

Matt Faircloth: Yeah. So my registrations went up…

Joe Fairless: Right. From the second one.

Matt Faircloth: …because we had this conversation. Yeah. And Joe, we had people that had gotten in after the first webinar. They increased their investments after that one, because [unintelligible [00:16:06].09] “I like what you guys are doing.” “I see what you guys are doing.” We had one guy go from 100k to 200k because they saw that we had really thought this thing out. And we had a lot of new investors come in.

But the biggest thing was being willing to have conversations with people in a manner that they cared about. “Yeah, I care about taxes; that’s my main thing.” And realizing that people that invest in real estate, they may want all the different things that real estate offers, but likely they want one thing or two things, and the other stuff is all just gravy. So we got connected to what people really want out of what syndicators can offer, so we pumped out emails that spoke to those specific conversations.

We also got a lot more personal. I got each of my team members to record a three-minute video and talk about what you love about this deal. And I got one of our investors, who is one of our larger investors, to record a three-minute video on what he loves about this deal. A lot of our investors are doctors, so he was in his scrubs, the mask, and everything, talking about what he loves about DeRosa Capital 11. So through all those efforts, we were able to clear a benchmark.

Joe Fairless: What are the categories of things that people care about? You mentioned you pivoted with the COVID-resistant, and recession-proof, and tax savings… What are they?

Matt Faircloth: Well, let’s go COVID-resistance beyond what that really is… Because people say, “I want something that’s recession-proof, or whatever.” What do you really want? You really want security. So I think that we as syndicators – and this is to your audience – if they’re able to address the security question on “Is my money safe?”, that’s really what they want to know. So if you can explain to them in their language how their money is safe – and in today’s world, that means are you recession-proof? Are you COVID-resistant? People ask the same security question. Maybe they’re asking in a different language, where they’ll say, “What kind of collateral do I have?” These are folks that have done a lot of private loans, but have never invested in equity, so they want to know, what kind of security do I have in your deal? What kind of collateral do I have? I don’t have a mortgage on the property; what do I have? So you explain what equity and ownership in an LLC gives you. So that was one conversation. Security.

And then the other thing is general taxes. Folks that earn a lot get it that it’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you get to keep. So that tax level conversation is something that some investors don’t care about. Interestingly enough, anyone with an IRA was like, “Next, let’s talk about security. I don’t want to talk about taxes.” Because they know that the IRA does kind of defends them against that already. You have to watch who you’re talking to. If they have an IRA, don’t even bring up the tax savings, because they really can’t take advantage of it. So we went there; we tried some of the things ongoing to our personal story. Other people care about the market, because like, “Tell me why Winston-Salem, North Carolina is a great place to invest.” There were some folks that cared about that, too, so we did some e-blasts on why the markets amazing. So to answer your question, Joe, people also want to know why should they invest with you, the syndicator, and why should they invest in that market, and then why should they invest in that particular deal. And typically, it’s in that order that they want to know it. You can answer those questions in that order, and then there’s the security and the tax questions that come on top of it, too.

Joe Fairless: So I’m on your list, and I got 15 emails in the month of September. So it looks like you were doing it…

Matt Faircloth: We were busy.

Joe Fairless: ..,every other day. Yeah, you were busy. Every other day in the month of September, basically. Did you take a look at what your subscriber list was before and then what it was after, and just see what type of unsubscribe rate you got from that?

Matt Faircloth: What attrition we had. It’s good to know. I wish I could tell you that.

Joe Fairless: So it wasn’t a red flag with your team, like, “Hey, Matt… We can send out another email, but you realize we’re going to lose 20% of our database? Because yesterday we just lost 20%.” It wasn’t anything like that?

Matt Faircloth: No, I don’t think so. I don’t believe it was, and I don’t think that we lost anywhere near what folks would suspect that you would. Because at end of the day, people just auto-delete, skim through it, and everything like that. They tend to just look past emails, sometimes they go through the effort of unsubscribing, but at the end of the day, it does take a little bit to unsubscribe from something, versus just taking the time to delete. It’s not a big deal, you can just delete the email.

Joe Fairless: I ask that because I think some people would be concerned about the investors that we brought on to the list – it’s so precious, because we’ve worked so hard to get them, and then I don’t want to send them all these emails. But in your case, it worked. And that’s a surprising lesson that I learned from this conversation, in addition to other lessons, too.

Matt Faircloth: I have an admin that was sending out those emails, and I know she would have flagged it. And I’d be willing to bet that it was very low on attrition. If you give me one second, I’ll give you the number on what it was, because I’m able to log in here while we’re looking. You know what it is, Joe – I hope I can use this word when you show… People worry too much about pissing people off, and everything like that. And I think obviously, once folks are investors, you really don’t want to do that, but I’m thinking if people worry about from a marketing perspective about shouting too loud or anything like that… We obviously don’t want to be bold or audacious or too over the top on things, but at the end of the day, I think that we’re also looking to get noticed. And when you get noticed, it’s okay that some people are like, “I don’t want to pay attention to that guy.” So we lost about 4%.

Joe Fairless: That’s nothing.

Matt Faircloth: Yeah. Regular attrition is less than that. Maybe 1% or 2%. But we lost four during the lifecycle of that campaign. It’s okay, people are going to do that. Sorry, if I went there, but I think that people worry too much about ticking off people on your list. Because at the end of the day, if they’re just on your list out of general curiosities, they’re likely not going to do much with you if you email them a lot. If you email them a lot, they’re either going to get interested or they’re not. If they’re not interested, but they want to see what else Matt has to offer in the future, they’ll probably just delete the email and wait till the next one comes around.

I’ll tell you one thing – it did confuse some people that were already in the deal. “Hey, why are you still emailing me? I’m already in this opportunity.” So you can’t just do a general shotgun email everybody. You’ve got to watch to see who’s on your email list. Take the folks that have already…

Joe Fairless: Segment it.

Matt Faircloth: Yeah, we learned that one. People were getting confused. “I’m in, man. You already have my [unintelligible [00:22:28].02] thing. Why are you still emailing me?” We had to watch who we’d already emailed. We also took out people that had roundly said they weren’t interested, just out of respect. So we’ve learned that you’ve got to segment, you can’t just literally blast everybody.

Joe Fairless: This has been a productive and such an educational conversation because of you and what you’ve shared with us. Thank you so much for that, Matt. Before we wrap up anything that we haven’t talked about, that you think we should, as it relates to this topic?

Matt Faircloth: I think that you and I got into the nuts and bolts and all that, which is awesome, because I think your investors are going to get lots of great nuggets. I think the big thing for them to take home, in general, is that if you don’t stretch yourself, you’re not going to grow. There’s a book called The Way of the Superior Man; it’s good for everybody. But The Way of the Superior Man – there is a chapter in that book that talks about being okay with a little bit of fear. And people sometimes won’t engage in change or won’t engage in growth because it makes them a little bit afraid.

What I’ve learned through reading that book, and just by living my life – that if I’m not a little bit afraid, a little bit scared about where I’m stepping, that I’m not stretching myself enough. Because fear is the indicator that I’m beyond my comfort zone. And I was a little afraid of this deal, of being able to take it down, and what happens if I don’t… But because I move forward anyway, I was able to bring things to the next level in my company, and I think that a lot of people don’t realize that the only way you’re going to grow, is by feeling the fear and acting anyway. Getting into it and jumping in and figuring things out. And hopefully these nuggets here on how to raise your equity game, too. Yeah, I agree, this has been an awesome interview.

Joe Fairless: Yeah. And regarding the faith and being comfortable with fear, I’m coming at it from a logical perspective too, or standpoint, because you had a lot of pieces in place that gave you the confidence to be comfortable taking a couple of steps, really, that are beyond where you had been. Whereas if someone’s starting out, then they’re looking at a $9 million equity raise, then that fear is very healthy, because they don’t have those pieces in place that you had already had.

Matt Faircloth: You would say reasonable steps.

Joe Fairless: Reasonable steps. Right.

Matt Faircloth: But you’ve got to know that the possibilities are there somehow. So I’m not saying “never invest in real estate before you go take down a $9 million equity raise and figure it out.” Again, don’t hear what Joe and I are saying the wrong way here, audience. I think you understand you’ve got to take reasonable steps forward into growing your business, and that a little bit of fear is good. A lot of fear is probably a sign that you probably shouldn’t be stretching that far. So you’ve got to find that even marriage where it’s outside your comfort zone and it’s a little bit of uncertainty; that’s healthy. But too much of it is probably a sign you’re not ready. You’ve got to know the difference.

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

Matt Faircloth: They can get a hold of us at our website, which is derosagroup.com. Everything’s out there – copies of my book can be purchased, you can connect with us, you can learn from us, you can invest with us. Everything’s out there.

Joe Fairless: Matt, a pleasure, as always talking to you, and learning about what you’ve learned… I can be educated too, I love learning this stuff, so thank you for sharing that. I hope you have a Best Ever weekend and talk to you again soon.

Matt Faircloth: Thanks Joe, for having me.

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JF1373: Friends Team Up For Real Estate Deals & A Podcast with Liz & Andresa

Liz Faircloth and Andresa Guidelli share a mission. They want to help women invest in real estate and live the lives they should be living. Their podcast was created in that light, as well as a mastermind meeting. Today we’ll hear a lot about how to form a successful partnership like theirs, obstacles they have faced, and how they overcome some inherent potential downfalls of partnering with a friend. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

 

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Liz Faircloth & Andresa Guidelli Real Estate Backgrounds:

  • Liz
    • Co-founded DeRosa Group with husband, Matt Faircloth in 2005
    • Manages 370 units of residential and commercial assets
    • Based in Trenton, NJ
  • Andresa
    • Began investing in 2012 after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad
    • Co-founded Corsa Home Solutions, focuses on gut renovation projects and building new construction SFH’s
    • Based in Philadelphia, PA
  • Together they host The Real Estate InvestHER Show
  • Weekly show details the journey of some of the most amazing women real estate investors
  • Say hi to them at www.therealestateinvesther.com
  • Best Ever Book: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

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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. With us today, Liz Faircloth and Andresa Guidelli. How are you doing, Liz and Andresa?

Liz Faircloth: Great.

Andresa Guidelli: I’m doing great, thank you, Joe.

Joe Fairless: Great, I’m glad to hear that. A little bit about Andresa – she began investing in 2012 after Rich Dad, Poor Dad, co-founded Corsa Home Solutions. They focused on gut renovation projects and building new construction single-family homes. Based in Philadelphia.

And Liz co-founded DeRosa Group with her husband, Matt, in 2005. They manage 370 units of residential and commercial assets. Based in Trenton, New Jersey. With that being said, will each of you tell the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus? And perhaps, Andresa, you can go first?

Andresa Guidelli: Sure, of course. As you mentioned, I started in 2012. We do full gut rehabs here in Philadelphia. We basically can save much during the rehabs. We started doing new construction a couple years ago, and we usually like to do several at the same time, so we can leverage both supply time and the price itself.

My focus right now is to manage the construction process, since I create systems that can integrate everybody that is working with me, and I can also provide service for other either local or outside state investors that are looking to have a construction manager in place, but either don’t have the time, nor the experience needed to get things done and scale the business.

Liz and I also are working on the Real Estate InvestHER community, and we’re gonna talk more about the podcast later on. We are looking to build a community for women and support and inspire them to create a financially free and balanced life.

Joe Fairless: And Liz?

Liz Faircloth: My husband and I started investing back in 2005. We bought a duplex really after obviously reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which many people — I think that’s the number one book that people read to get into this business. But more importantly, taking it one step further, we actually played — Robert Kiyosaki has a game out there called Cashflow. To describe it, it’s like Monopoly on steroids… But anyway, it was a great game to start getting me and my husband (my fiancée at the time) introduced to the idea of passive income, and all the different things… It’s a great board game; I recommend it to people. If they’re looking for something different to do, it’s a great, great game to get your head around the concepts that real estate investing involves.

Anyway, we got inspired by that, we took a lot of courses and got involved in educating ourselves, and then bought our first property. Then we moved to Jersey, got married, and started really investing heavily here. We’ve since extended our reach. We’re doing various projects with Andresa and her company, and we have rental properties in Pennsylvania, and now North Carolina as well.
So we’re definitely expanding our buy and hold strategy in terms of geographical areas, but we’re kind of focused on growing our multifamily portfolio, and as well doing (I call it) capital gains activities – fix and flips, as well as some new construction projects; we always have those going on as well.

Joe Fairless: The reason why we’re interviewing both of you at the same time versus individual interviews is because, like Andresa mentioned, but didn’t get into the details yet – we’ll get into it now – you two co-host the Real Estate InvestHER Show. It’s a weekly show that details the journey of some of the most amazing women in real estate. That is at therealestateinvesther.com website. You can go check that out, Best Ever listeners. And you two also partner up on rehabs, have been doing so for a couple years, and right now have three new construction deals in progress.

First, how has the partnership evolved to this point where you two decided “Okay, now we want to do a podcast and build a community together?

Liz Faircloth: Sure. I’ll start, Andresa, and you can jump in. We actually started a mastermind group, Joe, about the same time — no, actually we started that first. So we met on Bigger Pockets, Andresa and I; we kind of always supported each other, just like a lot of relationships begin. We kind of became friends first, went to each other’s kid’s birthday parties, things of that sort.

Then we got to talking, because we were just kind of sharing war stories in this business, and we said we really need to create or join into a mastermind group, and “How cool would it be to just have a great group of women to connect with?” We have nothing against men, we love men very much, but we just thought [laughter] — we love you, Joe, of course! But we just thought it would be really neat to have kind of like a women’s circle that you can kind of share not just what’s coming up in real estate investing, in the business, but also just the things that women deal with and that are unique to women, just like men have their own unique things.

So we formed this – what, three years ago, Andresa?

Andresa Guidelli: Yes. We couldn’t find one, so we formed one.

Joe Fairless: I love that.

Liz Faircloth: Yeah, which is still going on, and we really appreciate still… And then through that experience, I think Andresa you had that project that you were either gonna wholesale to us, or partner with us. That was our first project.

Andresa Guidelli: Yes, that was our first one. We had to close very quickly, it was a big project. We [unintelligible [00:06:50].06] the back of the house and the top of the house, and there were only three walls in our property… [laughter] It was cool… Our inspector came the first time, for the first inspection, he took one step in, and he’s like “I think I’m done.” I was like, “Yeah, there’s nothing else for you to see.” That was it. That property sold in 24 hours, above asking price, so it was a great project.

Joe Fairless: Wow, great starting out. With a women’s mastermind group versus a co-ed mastermind group, what specifically is the difference in terms of content?

Liz Faircloth: That’s a great question. The way it’s structured is it’s a pretty classic mastermind. I know mastermind gets thrown out a lot. I googled it and there’s so many versions of it. But this is really kind of the “Think and Grow Rich” kind of origin. In essence, we all kind of share a win in our businesses, and then we really talk about what’s coming up for us in our business, whether it’s a challenge, whether it’s an idea we wanna process, or if it’s just something we wanna share with the group and get some feedback on.

In terms of the actual content, when we look at our meetings month-to-month, I wouldn’t say there’s a huge difference from the content perspective, but I think it’s more of the way of being, Joe… I don’t know, Andresa, how you would answer this, but I would say when I connect with women and women are getting information, they tend to be a) more open, and they tend not to be as stand-off-ish, so to speak, so they’re less shy when it’s just women, in my experience… In general, of course. I’m talking super generalities. I see it in conferences – when it’s more of a women’s group, women are more open up-front about their opinions, and they’ll get more information, and they’re just a little more hesitant when there’s a lot of men, especially if it’s not an area of their expertise.

So I find that women are just a little more open, but in terms of the content itself, I would say it’s just like any other mastermind in terms of brainstorming… But it’s just the comfort level, I think.

Joe Fairless: What would you say, Andresa?

Andresa Guidelli: I tend to agree with Liz. I will add that I’m a big believer that you are the average of the five people – or six, I’m not sure what the number is – that you surround yourself with, so when we were building this mastermind, we hand-selected other ladies around the country that had bigger goals and even bigger values, and we connected with them. It’s an extremely solid group, and I can name the benefits of being in a mastermind group.

The content – we talk about things that are not working; sometimes we don’t wanna talk about it, but that’s exactly why we have to talk about it… Because either somebody went through the same thing, or knows somebody that did, and can give me exactly what I need to do. It’s not a chit-chat. We are not there to chit-chat and just give ourselves opinions. There are a lot of questions… Because sometimes during the questioning process, that answer will emerge from ourselves. We come to the conclusion that we already know the answer or how to get that result.

And there’s also accountability. We are very solid, and we make commitments to each other to take actions, besides an excuse that we might have or a fear that might occur… So it helped us to take our businesses to the next level, definitely.

Joe Fairless: Okay. The mastermind group, based on how you just described – it’s not a local meetup… Or at least I don’t think it is, based on what you’ve just said. It’s national, therefore it sounds like it’s a phone call, versus in-person. Is that correct?

Andresa Guidelli: That’s correct. All the ladies are in different states, so we meet once a month, on a Monday night, for two hours on Skype, and we discuss different subjects.

Joe Fairless: And is everyone on video, or is it just audio?

Andresa Guidelli: No, we are on video, too.

Joe Fairless: Okay. And how many ladies are on the call at once?

Andresa Guidelli: Six, total.

Joe Fairless: Okay. And help me with technology, what that looks like… Are you able to see the other five individuals’ faces?

Andresa Guidelli: Yes, we are. Everybody is — even one of our members, April Crossley, she was traveling in her RV for I think two months, and she was in Arizona, changing states every time that we spoke to her, and she was still able to make it happen. So sometimes they are on their phones, but still, Skype works very well, it’s free, and it’s been working for the past three years, so we’re continuing.

Joe Fairless: So when someone says the following: “I wanna start a podcast/meetup, and I know a friend or I know someone who I met on Bigger Pockets, and I’ve discussed with him/her starting a meetup or a podcast. Do you think that sounds like a good idea?” My response is always no, and the reason is because you don’t want your platform to be dependent on someone else’s priorities, someone else’s schedule, someone else isn’t prioritizing as much as you are… And you want to be able to have the show not be dependent of someone else. What would you two say to that?

Liz Faircloth: It’s a great question. In a lot of ways, when Andresa and I got together and we would be kind of sharing what’s coming up for us – we had a strong relationship… This podcast is not about us, it’s about the women we’re serving. When we talked and we had coffee, I just said “We are dealing with young children, or aging parents, and just the life of balancing it all. Wanting to be financially free, and grow your wealth, but also just be same and not be nutsy all the time in your life.

When we chatted about it, we said, what if we put together a community – and obviously, start with a podcast – of helping other women do the same? So our vision for this became a lot bigger than me and Andresa. So I would say to that person that comes up to you – or even comes up to us – it’s a lot of work, but it’s not about us. I think that’s really big for us – inspiring both of us to carve out… I work part-time, Andresa has got a million things going on… If you looked at both of our lives, how do you get this done?! I get up at 4 AM. Joe, I get up super early, because this is a mission for us. This is not just like a random thing that we have nothing else to do. This is a big thing for us – help other women get what they want out of their lives.

So you wanna inspire people through it, and really not just move your own business along, then don’t do it. But if it’s something that’s meant to really be a mission for you and be something bigger than just a business, or to hear yourself talk, or whatever the reason is people do podcasts, I would say don’t do it then, because it’s not the easiest thing to do.

Joe Fairless: Were you gonna follow you up anything, Andresa?

Andresa Guidelli: Yeah, I was just gonna say that it’s cliché, but you’ve got to know your Why. If my Why was not aligned with Liz’s Why and her values as well, it probably wouldn’t work. Sometimes people get into partnerships very quick, and I would not recommend that. Liz and I had a very strong relationship prior to us doing our first deal; I think it was about two years… So we knew exactly what we were dealing with when we started this project. As Liz was saying, it was beyond us. It’s us looking at our future and bringing that future to now. This is who we want to be for other ladies, inspire other ladies, get inspired by the ladies that we are interviewing, and living life as it should be.

We are very passionate about it. If you don’t have passion, if you already have a lot and you just want to do a podcast or something else to have fun, I would say that’s not your best bet.

Joe Fairless: I’m gonna ask a question here in the second… The reason why I’m gonna ask this question is because as our conversation has been unfolding, it’s gonna be really helpful for listeners who are thinking about taking a potential partnership with someone to a larger level. Because in real estate, we come across potential partnerships all the time. You go to a conference, “Hey, do you wanna partner on a deal?” All the time. So this is great, because you two met 2-3 years ago, and your partnership has evolved into something, so clearly you two saw certain things in each other that made you feel comfortable to go do more and more things together… So the question is you two have partnered on deals before – describe a circumstance on a deal that didn’t go according to plan, and then what did you see in the other partner that made you think “Okay, this could be more of a long-term partnership” versus “Ugh! I don’t like how they just approached that.”

Andresa Guidelli: Oh, many things… So many things…

Liz Faircloth: I would say, Joe, I think so much of a partnership, because like you and Andresa, being in this business for over ten years, we’ve had some amazing partnerships and we’ve had some disastrous partnerships. And I would say what we saw in Andresa and our husband when we partnered together on our first deal, we really said — it was like this “Do whatever it takes” attitude…

Joe Fairless: What was the deal?

Liz Faircloth: It was a gut renovation in Philadelphia.

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Liz Faircloth: One of Andresa’s roles – again, knowing all of our roles was critical, but one of her roles was to really manage the construction. That was something harder for us to do; we don’t live in Philadelphia, we’re 45 minutes away. We visited the project, but it was nowhere near anywhere that was to be managing it on a day-to-day basis… So Andresa was tasked to manage the GC and the team day-to-day. So I would say – and Andresa, jump in if I’m off – we had a couple… You probably know more specifically, because you were there every day, but we had a couple things that just didn’t go down the path that we wanted them to.

Andresa Guidelli: Yes.

Liz Faircloth: I’m sure you can name them better than I even can… Because she just did whatever it took. “Hey guys, this is what’s coming up. This is how I’m gonna handle it. I’ve got it”, or she would say “Guys, this is what’s coming up, and I need some support.” I think what we got from Andresa and what we got from this partnership early on was you were like literally one of those upfront and honest people who have a high level of integrity. So the trust was already there for us. I trusted her, because we were friends, we worked together on the mastermind, I saw how she interacted, I knew who she was as a person, so that was never a question.

But in terms of partnering together on an ongoing basis, [unintelligible [00:17:17].25] and she’s a very forthright person; I’m never worried about “I’m not sure how Andresa feels about this.” [laughs] I’m more like “Let me think about how I feel about this. I don’t know how to say it, I don’t wanna hurt someone’s feelings.” Andresa is just “Bingo-bango”, tells it how it is. I’ve found that to be hugely complementary… Both me and Matt, quite honestly. Neither of us are — I can be like that, but it’s not my strong suit.

So that was huge for us, Joe – in the midst of day-to-day construction things that happen, Andresa was super straight with us, and it was almost like we were there with her, but not with her, because she handled it and did it with such grace, but directness.

Andresa Guidelli: From my point of view, I had the support from my partners. If things were not going as expected and I gave them the feedback, they gave me the support, “I hear you. Do you need any support? Do you need anything from us? Can we do anything to help you on this?” So knowing that I have their back and vice-versa – it just motivates me to just get things done.

When there are other people involved, like a private lender involved, my responsibility kind of like goes even higher, because I want to make sure that everything is just as clear as possible, and we are returning the investment on time, and there is not damage with the relationship. That’s very important to me.

Joe Fairless: As it relates to your experience as real estate investors, Andresa, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Andresa Guidelli: Well, in your future if you’re thinking about scaling your business, if you’re thinking about replacing yourself, you must start doing your SOPs – standard operating procedures – right now. I think that’s extremely important.

Liz and I have been working on improving that right now, and I think that everybody that is doing real estate in some shape or form is not looking to do the same thing when we are 65 years old; that’s not the goal. So I think that will be my number one priority right now.

Joe Fairless: That is something that I am focused on in my business right now, so certainly top of mind for me, too. We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you two ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Liz Faircloth: Yeah.

Andresa Guidelli: Yes.

Joe Fairless: Sweet! Alright, first, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:19:44].09] to [00:20:34].14]

Joe Fairless: Okay, best ever book you’ve read?

Liz Faircloth: Think and Grow Rich.

Joe Fairless: Best ever deal you’ve done?

Liz Faircloth: Probably the deal that Andresa just mentioned. In terms of selling it for over asking within 24 hours – it was probably one of the best wins we’ve had.

Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction?

Liz Faircloth: It’s not so much on a transaction, but a mistake in general I would say was not getting niche-focused early on in our business.

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

Liz Faircloth: I give a lot back to my church, because I feel like I’m getting spiritually-fed.

Joe Fairless: And how can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you two and listen to the podcast?

Liz Faircloth: Sure. We’d love for people to learn more about what we’re up to – it’s called TheRealEstateInvestHer.com. It’s a weekly show, it comes out Friday morning, and we’ve got some great women we’re interviewing. Also, we’ve just started an InvestHer community on Facebook. I think if you just put in “InvestHer”, you will find it.

Andresa Guidelli: Yes, The InvestHer Community.

Liz Faircloth: And then we’re also rolling out in the future (actually, short future) other ways to do masterminding and groups of women for them to get together across the country. That’s kind of our six-month vision, so stay tuned on all that.

Joe Fairless: Outstanding. Well, thank you you two for being on the show. This is certainly a template for what to look for when we evolve partnerships, and that’s why I’m glad that we got into the evolution of your relationship with each other… What you look for from a resourcefulness standpoint, a communication style standpoint, and shared values. Also, having defined roles at the beginning, and then seeing how that continues to evolve. The podcast certainly I will be excited to listen to some episodes. I know I won’t be interviewed on it for obvious reasons, but I’m excited to be listening to it… [laughter] Congrats on launching it; I’m looking forward to your continued success. Thank you for being on the show, and we’ll talk to you soon.

Andresa Guidelli: Thank you, Joe.

Liz Faircloth: Thank you so much for having us, Joe.

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Best Ever Show Real Estate Advice

JF616: How This Marriage Raised Over $3MM Without Using Any of Their Own Money

Today’s Best Ever guests are persistent! They struggled in the beginning and started with literally nothing. They first started with a duplex and then slowly built momentum with additional funding from their private circle, hear how how they do it!

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Matt and Liz Faircloth real estate background:

– Founders of The DeRosa Group and has done more than $10,000,00 of transactions using private money
– Raised over $3,000,000 in private money without investing any of their own money into the deals
– Based in Trenton, New Jersey
– Say hi to them at http://www.derosagroup.com/
– Check out landlord tips on their YouTube channel, Landlord Chronicles

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