Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #01
Guest: Mike Morawski
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Michael Morawski is a 30 plus year real estate investment veteran. He has controlled over $285,000,000 in real estate transactions. Mike is an entrepreneur, author, real estate trainer, public speaker, and personal coach, with strong personal resilience and a deep desire to help others live an extraordinary life. He has coached hundreds of real estate investors to fulfill their dreams.
Michael’s background began as a general contractor in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago with $5 mm in annual revenue he sold his company. Michael entered the real estate industry as a sales agent building a team and selling over $20 mm per year in production. In 2005 Michael started a private equity firm, raising $18 mm in private equity and acquired $60 mm in multifamily apartments 4,000 units in five different US markets. As part of the company’s growth, Mike built and developed a property management division, which managed 7,500 units.
[00:00:00] Kristen: Welcome to this week’s edition of Insider Secrets. The show that turns multifamily investing into reality. Each show we interview guests who are seasoned professionals, actively closing and managing real estate deals. Your host Mike Moraski has more than 30 years of multifamily, real estate investing and property management experience.
Mike is the founder of My Core Intentions. And he’s been involved in over $285 million of transactions. Focuses on helping you create short term cashflow and long-term wealth. Here’s your host, Mike.
Mike: Hey, good afternoon. And welcome back to another episode of Insider Secrets. And Insider [00:01:00] Secrets is brought to you by My Core Intentions. At My Core Intentions our key focus is that we hone in with our clients and help them to discover on their own what they innately already know inside about techniques and ways to grow personally, as well as professionally.
And all I really want to do is be able to work with you and help you discover those Insider Secrets, your own core intentions that you really have on your own. Listen, before I get started here today, what I’d like to do is ask you a favor. Would you please go and follow me on all the social media platforms?
Follow My Core Intentions, follow me personally on Instagram, Facebook. LinkedIn. If you’re watching these Insider Secrets videos, please go to YouTube and subscribe to the channel. Every Tuesday we drop a new one and a new episode, the whole goal behind [00:02:00] Insider Secrets is that I bring you relevant content, relevant to what’s going on today in the marketplace and how people have grown their business.
We’re going to talk about multifamily investing. I’m going to meet with multifamily investors on a weekly basis and the support people around them. So that could be an office assistant, that could be an attorney or insurance agent. It could be someone who brings value through the mortgage business or the private equity sector. There’s a lot of things in the multifamily space that we can cover and talk about. And what I want to do is I want to help you learn as much as you possibly can learn, because really knowledge is the beginning of power.
They used to say that knowledge was power. But I don’t believe that anymore. I believe that knowledge is only the beginning of power. Because we can have all the knowledge in the world, but unless we move forward and execute on that knowledge, we really don’t grow a lot. So here’s what I would suggest to you. [00:03:00] I would suggest you keep getting knowledgeable, but then make sure you have a mentor or a coach or somebody in your life who you’re going to be able to go to and they’re going to be able to give you guidance and direction and help your business grow, but then holds you accountable.
At My Core Intentions, our goal is to help you do that, help you stay and held accountable and help you scale your business. You know what? Our goals are all to create short-term cashflow and long-term wealth. Let me help you do that. So today I want to do a little something different. I’m going to talk to you about my story and tell you about my background. There’s some people that have had some questions and I just really want fill in some blanks.
One thing that I want people to understand is I don’t come from a family or I don’t have a family history that is being an entrepreneur. That was not a thing growing up that we did, we talked about or even entertained. I think the only thing that ever came up was my dad used to say, if you’re [00:04:00] ever going to go into business for yourself, go into food, shelter, clothing. And you know what, I chose shelter, whether it was a construction business, whether it was the real estate business, but shelter has always been a great medium, a great means to an end to build a business.
So I would have you think about that when you take the time to think about things like that, it gives you direction and guidance where you want to go. So real estate obviously was not anything that we talked about growing up. There were comments made about real estate buildings and properties, but my family just was not investor oriented. They didn’t have real estate in their background. There was no real estate sales.
I think some of the things that happened to me along the way that caused me to look at real estate, I tell this story, but I was eight years. And I was sitting on the side of a swimming pool with my dad. We’re on family vacation and I asked my dad about the [00:05:00] resort we were staying at and all the rooms and the people that were coming and going. And he in his infinite wisdom, not knowing a lot. And when I look back on it and I just think it’s amazing
Mike: he knew what he knew, but he said, listen, people come here, they stay here and they pay the owner money.
And from that moment on, I knew I wanted to be the owner. I knew I wanted to be the guy that people were paying money to stay in the real estate. We’ve all heard that old expression, other people’s money. That’s how we pay our mortgages off. You have a piece of real estate.
You have people living in that real estate, they help you pay your mortgage down. So it’s that leverage ability. I remember driving around and specifically would be getting off the expressway and a couple of certain exits my mom’s driving big buildings. And I would ask her, I’d say, Hey, who owns that?
And she would tell me all the time insurance companies own those big buildings. I never understood that. But then years later I [00:06:00] closed my first institutional deal, and it was with an insurance company. It’s amazing how those little things tend to stick with you and how we start to design who we are at the core as a result of that. I think real estate has been in my DNA for years.
I had a general contracting business. I had a number of jobs all in the way I worked for a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, concrete mason. We built a number of things. I worked for a swimming pool company and had all kinds of different skill sets that I knew a little bit about. What’s that old expression, Jack of all trades, master of none.
That’s what I was. And I probably still am at some place in my life. But I talk about this because what I have found is that I took all those skillsets and I was able to put them on one platform and go into the general contracting business. So I was doing kitchen and bath remodeling, room addition remodeling, had a very successful company, [00:07:00] had 25 guys working for me, 18 trucks on the street. We had some heavy equipment and I was growing a business, but I just wasn’t happy.
It was one of those situations where I woke up one morning, I looked at my wife at the time and I said, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I was still banging nails, doing all the office work, doing all the sales, doing the financing work and just wasn’t happy. And part of it was, I didn’t understand how to scale a business. I didn’t know how to grow a business at that point. So what we did was we sold the company.
I took a year off and during that year did a couple of fix and flips and multiunit, a couple small two flats. This was long before house hacking was really famous right or sexy. This was long before it was a thing to do. So I went into the, took that year off, took some time to just really think about what I wanted to do.
I’ve always been a advocate that [00:08:00] success leaves clues. And I think that if you follow successful people and you model them, you’re ultimately going to be successful. So I met a real estate agent along the way, who was really successful. And I went to him and I said, Hey Todd, I said, I think I want to go in the real estate business.
And he said, man, I think you’d be great at it. And I’ll never forget that conversation because that was really encouraging me to move forward in this space. So I said listen, here’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to shadow you and come and spend some time with you and your team. And he said, No. He goes, I’m going to do better than that.
I’m going to make you a cassette tape. Now, some people listening to this might not even know what a cassette tape is. I might be dating myself, but you know what? It’s just like a podcast today. And I could rewind that and listen to it over and over again and take notes and write things down. And it’s the same thing we can do with podcasts today.
But I listened to that. And my first eight months in the real estate business, I sold 78 houses all to the for sale by owner [00:09:00] market. I was Remax rookie of the year. Wasn’t anybody that I even knew. But what I did was I became a listing agent, and I went out there and I started to sell residential real estate.
I built a team selling over 125 homes a year. We’re very successful, really growing a business, growing a team, worked with inside a major brokerage. And I had a really good time. But I learned a lot. I learned those skill sets that I was missing in the construction business. I learned skill sets around bookkeeping and sales and the things that needed to be done to drive a business.
One of the philosophies that I took on was that you have to be a marketing company. So I became a marketing company wrapped in a real estate sales blanket. And I really believe that’s what you are too in anything that you do, whether you’re a real estate sales agent, whether you’re a lender, an attorney, whether you’re an investor, you are in a marketing blanket.
Because you have to [00:10:00] market yourself, you have to brand yourself, you have to brand your company and your business. If you don’t do that, nothing grows. You don’t grow at all. Your company doesn’t grow. Hey, nothing happens until there’s a sale made. And that’s what we’re all ultimately trying to do. And I even talked to that about being an investor.
And as an investor, that sale being made is you working with that seller to solve the seller’s problem and help the seller sell their house. So that’s where the sale comes in. Anyhow, so I went into the real estate business and I was very successful, built a team selling 125 homes a year. In 2005, I saw the market was starting to soften and I wasn’t really sure what was happening or what was starting to happen, but the market started softening.
What I decided to do. And I had always wanted to go into the private equity space, the apartment business. Back when I was in the construction business, I did a lot of work for Inland [00:11:00] Real Estate. Inland, one of the biggest REITs in the world today and a REIT is a Real Estate Investment Trust. It’s like a mutual fund. You invest money and you get a return on your investment. It’s a little bit more liquid than just being a sponsor or the general partner in a real estate deal. And that liquidity gives you the ability to get in and out.
But I watch these guys, four high school teachers that decided to go into the apartment business one day. They bought a four unit building in Chicago. And they took that four unit building and today they’ve grown into the largest REIT in the world, in every asset class, all around the world. Isn’t it interesting how you can grow, but I understood that model. So you raise private equity, you marry it with a great real estate deal, as long as everything goes everybody makes money.
And that’s exactly what I did. 2005, I syndicated my first deal. I put a little ad in the newspaper. I said, real estate investors wanted.. [00:12:00] My phone rang off the hook that weekend, and I was able to raise about $200,000 for that first syndication. Was a small 11 unit building. Boy was I excited? I just was jumping up and down. I was really grateful that I was able to raise the money and that people were going to be my partner. And we were going to do this deal.
I didn’t do any due diligence. And then it’s a story for a whole another podcast that I’ll talk about another time. But I just bought myself a bag of bricks and needed to figure something out, which I went and did. Over the next 30 months, I was able to raise $18 million and I bought 4,000 apartments in five different states. It was about $60 million worth of real estate. And I tell you that not to impress you, but to impress upon you that I was able to take a skill set that I had learned, and that was just building relationships with people and scale that business. That’s unheard [00:13:00] of to raise that much money in that short period of time to grow a business that quick and to scale it to that level.
Boy, we had a good time though. Also built a property management company managing 7,500 units during that time. So really scaled the business and grew it. It was very interesting how the market started to change. And as the market started to change, a lot of other things started to change as well
Kristen: thank you, Mike, and thank you for joining us for another great episode of Insider Secrets. As always, Insider Secrets is brought to you by My Core Intentions. Join us on social media and visit mycoreintentions.com where you can get expert coaching on all things, multifamily investing and property management.
We’re looking forward to having you back again next week for more Insider Secrets.