Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #18
Guest: Dante Belmonte
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As a lifelong resident of Central New York and with years of marketing experience, Danté combines knowledge of the local community and outstanding skills to assist you in buying, selling, or building a home. His attention to detail, professionalism, and integrity shape his unique style for quality performance.
As a full-time Realtor, Danté offers exceptional service with a client-support team that provides you results. When he is not helping people realize their real estate dreams, you can find Danté enjoying time with his wife Madelyn or participating in community events.
At “Hunt Real Estate”, Danté strives to maintain his “Top Producer” status across Central New York. Danté is currently the host of a Real Estate Podcast “Make Money, Makes Sense” that can be found on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and other major streaming services.
Not only does Danté assist home buyers and sellers, but he also specializes in helping investors buy or sell investment properties. He owns his own portfolio in Syracuse, NY, and has helped dozens of investors get their start or add to their portfolio.
[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 Morawski has more than 30 years of multifamily, real estate investing and property management expense.
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: Okay. Hey afternoon, this is Mike, your host of Insider Secrets and Insider Secrets is brought to you by My Core Intentions. You’ll let me ask you if you’ve been thinking about your [00:01:00] intentions lately, what matters most in your life? What’s your why? Why are you doing what you’re doing in life and in business?
How about your disciplines? Have you been thinking about your daily disciplines and the things that, that get you closer or further away from your goal and where you want to be professionally and personally? My Core Intentions is, are it has invests in our client’s future through an educational platform.
Teaching you how to create short-term cashflow and long-term wealth. And we do that really through a small multi-family properties, and we empower you to execute sound real estate investing principles and property management skills, and try to do that all while helping you live a more balanced lifestyle, because really that’s what it comes down to.
I think our guests today, we’ll talk about a little bit of balance in his lifestyle. So we have some exciting events coming up over the next couple of months that you’ll probably want to go to. We have a three-day virtual event [00:02:00] coming up. That’s called the multifamily global summit. And you’ll be hearing a lot about that over the next few weeks.
Actually, our guest today is going to be a speaker on that summit and you will, this is a precursor for that. So you really going to enjoy what he has to talk about today? I’m excited about today’s show. I’m joined by a friend. Long time, real estate investor, Dante Belmont from Syracuse, New York.
Dante has been selling real estate in Syracuse as a top producer for several years. He started when he was 21 years old and he started selling small multifamily properties and investing in small multi-family properties and single family homes. He grew his cash flowing portfolio. To where he was able to live comfortably off his investments in less than a year.
And that’s really an incredible feat. And that’s something that we all want to try and do is get out of the rat race. So Dante hosts his own podcast. He continues to sell real estate and Syracuse invest in small Singh multi-families and has [00:03:00] started a syndication firm. In Dante’s free time, you can find him spending time with his wife, Madeline or participating in community events.
Dante sounds like a lot about my past, my investing in small multifamily and how I got started in selling real small residential realtors. But I believe multifamily properties are really the best place for an investor to get started. You don’t have to buy big, huge properties, but we can start in that small multi-family space.
And I’m glad we’re going to talk a lot about that today. So let’s see if we can get Dante to talk about his strategy and his focus. I want to thank you for being here today. Dante. I think my listeners are going to get a lot out of this show and your expertise and your knowledge. Here’s what I’d like you to do.
If you would say hi to everyone. And in one word, sum up your investing strategy and who you are as an investor, just in one word.
Dante: Awesome. Thanks Mike so much for having me on the show. I’m very excited to be. I mean that one we’re, we’d probably be crazy. It’s just, it’s coming in from every angle and we’ll definitely dive in a little [00:04:00] bit of that today, but that’s honestly the first word that comes to my mind.
When we go over all this of how crazy it all is that we can do so much in such a small amount of time and how we can use leverage. And again, we’ll get into all that today on the show. But Mike, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited. I love that
Mike: word crazy. I, and I have to tell you, you’re the first one, I’m one of my shows that has used the word crazy.
So I didn’t know about getting into it because I think we come from a little bit of the same kind of mentality based on, what things we’ve talked about. So it’s interesting, what, why don’t you do this? Why don’t you start with your backstory? Just start telling us a little bit about your backstory and how you wound up in real estate and where you came from.
And, just go ahead.
Dante: Yeah. Most definitely. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss that. I’m fairly young. I’m actually 22 years old right now. Growing up, my father sold a lot of real estate. He sold primary residence. He knew nothing about multi-family investing investments at all.
He was a key player in the community for single family homes. Very well [00:05:00] known. Top producer looked up to him, always saw what he was doing as it was growing up on the phone, negotiating contracts, showing houses, and it always interest me. And he said, would you ever want to do this?
And I was like, not really, something I wasn’t always into. I was never really good at the whole school thing. I had trouble focusing. I tried a semester in college. It didn’t really work. And then I said to myself Hey, maybe I should get my real estate license on the side. So I did do, as I was working and that first semester at school, I went and got my real estate license and I started to practice real estate on the side.
Then I was looking at podcasts one day and I came across the bigger pockets podcast with Graham Stephan. He’s a YouTube very young, very similar to me. And that’s when it kinda clicked in my head. And I was like, oh, real estate investing. So then I went and got the book buy it, rent it profit by Brian Kevall layer, I believe.
And rich dad, poor dad. And I read those two books and they clicked in my head. I was like, okay, how can we, [00:06:00] make this thing happen? So after reading a lot of books doing a lot of research, figured, this is the route I need to take. And I told myself every day, you didn’t go to school.
You are still in real estate, which you know, can be frugal, depends on how much work you put into it. But this real estate investing thing is the end all be all. If it doesn’t work out, you’re not going to really go anywhere. So that’s when I really started focusing in and honing in on real estate. Just kinda quick go over that first property.
How I jumped in was I had the analysis paralysis as most people do, analyzing the properties, looking at them figuring out how is everyone getting these deals on that same, these deals? I met up with a gentleman that was quote unquote, my mentor. He’s really what gave me the starting tips.
He had 170 units in, in my area and he said, listen, Selling a few of my properties. Would you be like the first crack at them? And I was like, oh yes, like finally, I can get some off market properties before everyone else does. So I, driving over to this property to go meet them there. And I told myself, I said, you need to buy this place.
I don’t care. What happens today? You don’t buy this first one. You will never get started. It’s that law, the first [00:07:00] deal, once you do the first 20 get con for you to move in, you start to scale quicker. So I don’t advise anyone to do this, but what I did was I walked through the first unit. It was a duplex.
I walked through the second unit. I said, okay, I’ll take it. I didn’t look in the basement. I didn’t look at the attic. I didn’t do a home inspection. Probably the worst decision I’ve ever made. Luckily nothing bad happened and nothing has happened. Cause I still have that property in my portfolio. But yeah.
Just that mindset to make it happen. I had to get over that first hurdle. The first one’s always the hardest, no matter who you ask, I work with a lot of new investors and that first one for them to pull the trigger, you got to push them off the cliff to make it happen. So that’s just a little bit of about me, how I got started and the background I came from.
So that was really just about when I turned 21 was when I got that first property. So in the last year I feel like I’ve taken down a lot. I’ve accomplished a lot and I’ve got a lot going right now that I’m moving in.
Mike: Sure. Sure. Boy, that’s an interesting, I always liked that first deal. Everybody’s first deal has that. Oh man. And I’m so excited and I’m not [00:08:00] going to, who cares about the inspection and I’m going to do this. I’ll never forget my first multi family deal. Was it 11 unit deal? And boy was I sorry, after we closed that in that one months of age and anxiety. That’s where I learned you.
Can’t always take the seller’s word for everything. You have to do your due diligence, right? Yup. Listen, what really intrigued you about real estate? There was that point where your dad was asking you, Hey, do you want to get into real estate? And you were like, eh, I don’t know. But something clicked for you.
What, what clicked, what was that defining?
Dante: So in the beginning, when my dad asked me about it, I was like, nah, it’s like a grown up thing. I don’t really care. I’m 19, 20 years old. Then I really started to mature quickly because I figured out I need to start doing something with my life. And I did a lot of research and I found that real estate is really a vehicle that works well for a lot of people.
I actually bought my first property before I got licensed. And that w again, it was That maturity motives. That’s where the switch flipped. When I started reading books, I started doing the due [00:09:00] diligence and I figured out, something needs to be done here. I can’t keep going around doing it.
I used to DJ when I was in high school, it’s something fun I did, but I was like, this is super immature. I need to mature from this. I need to take the right step. So what really clicked was, my dad was kinda telling me about it and he’s oh, maybe you should buy an investment property is I know people that do it.
And I was still a little bit on edge about that, but then once I did the research, that real due diligence, I pounded through 50 books in a year. I really started to understand everything and see everything. Boy, I’ll
Mike: tell you that education piece. And that’s the one thing I really try to teach my coaching clients and people I work with, is.
You know what, spend 30 minutes a day, pick up a book and just read through it because, cause we learned so much from that, and one thing about real estate is that you continue to learn. There’s so much to learn. Hey, talk about this. Talk. You talk about your sales career as a real estate sales agent.
What was that like? What is that like?
Dante: So it’s funny because the way it [00:10:00] started was right out of high school. When I did start in college, I actually went and sold cars. It was something I wanted to do on the side. My family, actually, my mother’s side owned a dealership back in like the seventies early or mid sixties.
It was the first Mazda dealership in New York. And they owned it until about 2011. My grandfather passed away. We sold it, he owned it. So I figured I was like, all right I’m at school, let’s do a job that makes a little bit more income. So I thought and so I sold vehicles for Mazda from about 18 to 21.
I always had sales in my blood being at Mazda. I was actually a few quarters. I was the number one sales person in the state of New York for Mazda. I loved sales. It’s just, it was my thing. So I kept figuring what’s that next thing I can scale up to that has higher reward for the sale. So I started at a carwash when I was 17 selling carwash sales.
And I did really well with that. I was like, but this isn’t very rewarding. What can I move up to? That’s a little more rewarding. I’ll say cars are pretty expensive. There’s got to be a good commission split on that. My mom was like, do not go into car business. I’ll kill you. I did it [00:11:00] anyways. Cause she was in it for 30 years and the administration side really enjoyed that.
I made a decent amount of money. I worked at an auto mall with 14 dealers underneath one roof, which was pretty cool, but Mazda was my home dealership. So then I, I said, I’m making okay, money here. What’s the next thing that people buy, that’s more expensive. And I said, huh. And that’s when it also clicked with what my dad was saying.
So I was like, all right, I’ll get my license. And I started with that part-time so it was pretty cool because my manager at my dealership, he said, he actually let me, yeah, I have Saturdays off the busiest day of the car business. He said, as long as you can produce more than anyone else here, I’ll give you whatever day off you want.
So I produced more than any sales person there. And I got Saturdays off. He also, because I did very good production with him. He let me practice real estate on the side of it. So during my day at the dealership, I didn’t have set hours. I’d be able to run, show a house. I’d come back and sell a car. I’d run, go shoot, sell a house, I’d run and go sell a car.
So I was back in until it turned out to be, he did leave the dealership. And when he did he [00:12:00] sold his house and bought a new one and he used me. And that was actually my biggest transaction has a half a million dollar transaction at the time, which in New York state, the average median sales, 150,000.
So then I started to get some real estate deals going, new management. Wasn’t very fond of me going in between jobs. So I did end up leaving that place and I went full fledged into real estate. That was probably one of the better decisions I made of going full-time in real estate, investing in sales.
They worked very well with each other. I had access to MLS. I didn’t meet ups. I was able to get invested your clients, primary clients for primary residence. So would that sales career? I really piggybacked off my dad of learning, but he knew nothing about the investment side. So I was very responsible for teaching myself that and since I was able to hone in a majority of my time towards the real estate sales.
I’ve done phenomenal. I’ve had a really good month. So far this July I’ve put a Levin properties under contract this July alone. And I, I’m beyond blessed with that. I don’t know where all [00:13:00] that came from, obviously a little bit of hard work, but really enjoy what I’m doing right now. The place I’m in and with my sales career as well.
Mike: Yeah. Nice. Here’s one thing that, that, I’m sure is that there’s a strategy behind selling houses and about getting clients. And that might be that you’re solely a listing agent or solely a buyer agent, or, but that strategy has to go around prospecting. And it’s the thing that I talk about people in, in.
They’re multifamily businesses. You still have to go out and prospect to find those deals, to find those off-market deals. You even mentioned that, are there a couple of strategies that you use that work in your market for finding those deals or for not only ones to sell, but for your own investment
Yes. So I would say it comes down to two things like you said, prospecting. But networking. I would say networking almost a little more than prospecting is good. Yes. Because there’s only so many [00:14:00] people, and you need to expand your marketplace, but networking. Is the big hitter and I’ll hit on that in a second.
I’ll go to the prospecting though, but for finding properties. So you’re asking how you’re prospecting to find investment properties or find a buyer and listing clients.
Mike: I would talk more, I think that they both lead into each other because you have to have that skill in the residential side in order to carried over into what you’re doing now.
So just talk about an in general, we can do.
Dante: So again, going with being an agent or an investor, they really play off of each other and I’ll explain. A quick story. I had I have a very large social media following about 20,000 followers on Instagram. And so I had a marketing company reach out to me, direct marketing, and they said, Hey, we’d like to use you to, as an ambassador, you advertise for us.
We’ll give you an X amount of percent per sale. We get from your advertisement. I said, okay, that’s great, but I’m not going to advertise your product, unless I really believe in it. So I need to see it works. I said, you need to give me a trial or something. I can see that you, I believe in your product and it, and the [00:15:00] functions and shit, they said, okay, we can do that.
So it was a direct mailer campaign. I’ve done small direct mail campaigns in the past. But I had these guys come in with a 2000 piece mailer and twos and CO’s I chose, so I leveraged it two ways. One, it was we’ll buy your house or your multi-family quick cash as I said, okay, perfect. I’ll buy the best and I’ll sell the rest is basically what I said.
So all the deals that came in first data’s campaign goes out. My phone rung rang, excuse me, 50 times. At least I’m sitting there working on a project with one of my guys and my phone just keeps ringing. All these leads are coming in and these people are saying, Hey, I got your letter in the mail.
I’m just a postcard will be by your house, quick cash, as it is. I do the vetting. Okay. How many units, what are they renting for? What’s the address? What’s your name? All that good stuff. Awesome. Let me go to my office, run some numbers, drive by the property and then I’ll call you. So what I do is I go and look at these properties and I’d say, [00:16:00] okay, what number are you looking for?
Or we try to come to a number. And I would know either a, if it works for me or B it didn’t. If it worked for me, I was going to pursue that property a little more in the, see if I could buy that off market B, if it didn’t work for me. Hi Mr. Mrs. Owner. Here’s what I can do for you. It doesn’t meet my model, but what I can do is I have a mailer list of over a hundred local investors.
I can put that property out to that Mallory list. You don’t have to list it with me. There’s no contract. We’re not tied together. And, this is the X amount of fee I want for doing this. So whatever you want, I’ll sell it for over that kind of like a form of wholesaling. And I’ll get this property sold for you.
Minimum traffic, you’ll get the price you want for it. It’s not marketed to the whole world. You’re not disturbing tenants. So I found that to be very frugal because it worked in both sides. I got to pick what I liked the best first and whatever. I didn’t like it didn’t meet my criteria. I was able to gain real estate business off of that.
And I was very surprised at how well that.
Mike: Yeah. So here’s what I want to be clear on too, is that we’re not talking to people about that. They [00:17:00] need to be a licensed real estate agent selling retail. They can use this strategy in there, their own investing business, right? Because you can get that list. You can go to the county assessor and pick up a list like that.
You can mail to that list off-market properties and find those deals for yourself to capitalize on. And I think that’s a really great stress.
Dante: Exactly. It’s like a form of wholesaling, but you’re really not taking the property under contract. I’m not a big wholesaler. I don’t believe in wholesaling too much for a few reasons, but I won’t get into that, but it’s like a form of wholesaling you’re taking control of this property.
You’re marketing it to your list that you’ve put out. And therefore you’re becoming like a market expert. I’ve had people go to a meet up of nine people, something that, I wasn’t a part of. And I get phone calls from three of those nine people. Three of the people already know me there. Those three people recommend me the whole group.
So the other three people called me and said, Hey, I need to be on your list. I hear you got this great list. I hear you’re doing meetups. Hey and stuff like that. So again, that comes back to that networking that [00:18:00] when you’re putting out all that info, when you’re going to meet ups you’re
are we coming like a market expert?
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Or your meetup groups V meeting virtually these days.
Dante: So I started a meetup group, basically the beginning or probably September of last year. So I actually do it right in my real estate office. Cause it’s nice. I’ve got this open space and I open it up and I’ve had, 20 to 30 investors almost per meet up.
COVID hit, obviously we had to put the brakes on that. I tried doing some virtual ones. And that’s where I also gained a lot of my clientele from, I’ll do a virtual meet up with 30 people in it, and I’ll have five of them call me an hour later. I’d like to work with the you obviously know what you’re talking about becoming that market expert and this Tuesday, so three, three days from this recording, we just finished our million dollar office and I’m super excited because that’s going to be our first new moon.
And I’m just so excited to have [00:19:00] everyone there. It’s been six, seven months and I’m excited to meet with everyone and do a presentation network and just see some of my investors. I haven’t been able to see in a little while because of COVID meetups are extremely important. I used to think, oh, I’m not taking away.
Some, I might not take away anything from it, but I can say I’ve literally taken away something from every meetup, whether I’m hosting it or I’m going to. Yeah, I’ve taken one little nugget away and that one little nugget can be a $10,000 nugget and it’s totally worth an hour and a half year.
Yeah, it’s funny where
Mike: learn those little nuggets or pick those things up, and get that little bit of education. I host a couple of meetups myself, one for property management and one for multifamily. And it’s interesting, the conversations you can inspire on the phone and you get other investors who are start talking and all of a sudden this conversation rolls it, morphs into this big thing.
So meetup is a good place to be in. I’m surprised at the people that don’t know about meetup, which is interesting. Still, if you’re looking for a meetup [00:20:00] group or a place, and you’re in New York, look up Dante, and if you’re looking for something virtually there’s plenty of those.
You don’t have to just look for me, but there’s plenty of them out there that might fit your name. So Dante talk about the multi-family space and specifically small multifamily. When you talk about small multifamily, how many units is that? What does that look like for you? And
Dante: so small malty is typically two to four units.
The small multifamily is a great space to start. It is the, the pinnacle of your learning. That’s where you’re figuring everything out. That’s where you’re learning. And I always say the analogy. You’re never going to learn how to swim unless you jump up. So you’re never going to learn how to manage a rental property unless you buy one.
And that’s true. You’re buying education. You can read 50, 60, 70 books in a year or whatever, and you’ll never learn the true emotion of what it takes for when a furnace goes out and you in the middle of the night, when a tenant’s not paying, there’s certain experiences you can’t purchase. So would that small multifamily, I think it’s a great place for anyone to start in the [00:21:00] house hacking around.
So buy a duplex with owner occupant loan. It’s very low money down. Anyone should be able to do. Live in one side, run down with one tenant first instead at 20 tenants learned from that smaller space. First, I think that’s super important and that’s, we’re going to learn a majority of what you’re gonna learn.
Is that right? Yeah.
Mike: So you got a lot of the, a little heartaches out of the way you get that experience. I like that house hacking thing because you can live in one of the units. You can learn how to manage and deal with people, and then you move on from there and you can explode that.
I actually do a lot of coaching around that. So I really feel that’s a good space to be. What’s interesting is you have duplexes by you where, and those are those side-by-side or do you have flats where they’re on top of each other? What’s your market like, like that
Dante: it’s typically so being in central New York, not to be confused with New York city, our population is about 150,000 in Syracuse, New York.
The way you got to look at it is like this. [00:22:00] And I know it sounds. Is where were the original 13 colonies? New York was one of them. So we have a lot of older builds being one of the original 13 counties. We had population up here first. So a lot of our buildings were built in the year 1900 or 19. So we have very old buildings and is traditionally flats.
So a three bedroom, one bath, and an upstairs is a three bedroom, one bath. That’s typically how you’re going to see the duplexes set out here. Triplexes quadplexes are a little bit more far and few between, but the duplex is do you know, rule this market, this area for the most.
Mike: Yeah. That’s interesting.
I think all the markets are different, right? They might have a lot of similarities, but they’re really different. Like in Chicago here, any block you look down, you’re going to see, multi-families some have been converted to single phase. But your typical two flat we’ll have a three bedroom upstairs, two bedroom on the first floor.
Or if it’s a three unit you’re going to have two, three bedrooms and a two bedroom. A lot of them, most of them have basements in this market, which is nice to [00:23:00] here. You can always put in that unqualified, unit on that, in that basement level or some laundry, a laundry facility or something.
So it was a lot of things that you can do with them. Do you actually think that an investor can create wealth in that space, in that small multi-family space? And if Canon investor actually create wealth and how would they go about doing that?
Dante: Definitely. So I think there’s so many different realms of real estate and there’s been proven.
Yeah. In all those categories. I think it’s very possible. I know a handful of individuals in my market alone that have creative, amazing passive wealth through small multi-families two to four units. The gentlemen I was talking about before that was quote unquote, my mentor. He really showed me the rains.
He owns about 170 units, a small multi-families he’s completely financially free. He lives out of the country half time a year. He lives in Florida, Israel and Syracuse all the time. Rotating and he has everything on autopilot. So [00:24:00] the way that this can work is there’s really two types of small multifamily investments.
I say, turnkey or value at bed. And you could say distressed goes hand in hand with that value add, but that turnkey is the property’s done. The tats are placed for the most part. You’re buying with a 20% down loan and you’re looking at 10 to 20% cash and cash return, which is great.
Yeah. That route takes a little bit longer to build wealth because you’re traditionally saving up for that 20% down payment each time. It takes a little bit of time to do that. If we’re talking $150,000 asset, you do the math. You’re looking at between 30 to $40,000 with closing costs prepaids and down payment to get them to that asset.
Not a lot of people have 30, $40,000 sitting in their bank account multiple times so they can continue to. The other aspect is that value? Add the burn method. We’ve all heard of it. You’re buying distressed value, add properties. You’re buying them below market value. So a duplex for let’s say easy math, $60,000.
You’re putting [00:25:00] $60,000 into it and renovations it’s then worth 150,000. So you do a refinance for the 75 or 80% loan to value. So now what you’re doing is you’re pulling out all that equity. So you don’t have any, all that equity you put into the deal. You’re pulling it out with a refinance. So there’s no more equity left in that deal.
You own the property, not free and clear. There’s a mortgage. Yeah. And you’re using that those funds that you put on that first property and you’re putting in the next one and the next one, and you keep moving and I think that’s the best strategy for creating wealth and small multi-family because you could do it much more rapidly the pace in which you need to use the turnkey methods.
We’ll take a very long time. And I talked to a lot of my clients about that. I say, it’s a great first investment because you’re learning, you’re not having to do any work. I never encourage anyone to give that value out on their first property. But it is completely possible. And like I said I see a lot of individuals that do it, but they are starting turnkey.
And they’re slowly morphing into that value, add where they’re buying properties that need that. Putting that work into it, stabilizing [00:26:00] it and refinancing the Pall of those funds and go to the next one. I hope that does answer your question. Yeah, no, it
Mike: does a lot. And what’s interesting about that refinances.
It’s a type of an exit strategy, right? So you can. Because you’re exiting and you’re pulling your cash out. Nice thing is you’re pulling that cash out tax free so you can use it all. You don’t have to pay the tax on it because you can use it all. Now in the next investment. You’re not doing any type of exchange or anything, which is really interesting.
If you were a new investor today, or you are coaching a new investor going into the real estate space, how would you coach him about going into the multifamily, small multifamily arena? What would you help them design as a strategy?
Dante: Yeah. So I tell them to figure out their goals.
First, what kind of returns are they looking for? Is this a long-term play a short-term play because I do have through my podcast, through my meetups, I have a lot of people reach out to me and ask them this question. And it comes down to their goals. What are they looking to do? Or are they looking to make a hundred percent return on their money?
This isn’t the place to do that, [00:27:00] and unless you’re using the strategy properly. So I asked them, figure out what you’re looking to do. Is it a long-term play, short-term play. What returns are you looking for? Then then I’ll ask them to figure out the area that they want to invest in.
Is it going to be locally? Is it going to be at a, long distance once they figure that out? They need to hone in a little bit more because. It’s still a large area on Dodd county or Syracuse, New York. You need to go, are you doing city? The suburbs, the south side, the west side, there’s different areas.
They need to hone in on that. And then I tell them, you need to get familiar with that market. Start driving through those neighborhoods. If you’re afraid to drive down the street, then you’re probably going to be afraid to invest in that street. You’re going to be afraid to go collect rent. So I tell them, you need to get out in the trenches and look around.
And while you’re doing that, you need to educate yourself as well. Give them some good tools. Just good books to read some good podcasts listened to, but I also tell them, you need to go out and drive by these properties. I sent them properties. I sent them financials and I say, you need to practice analyzing properties as well.
I’ll give them a quick coaching lesson on how to properly analyze a property. And I tell all my clients to, or any investor, when you [00:28:00] work with me, you work with my team. You get a CPA and attorney, a home.
Push everyone through to that next. Sure. And they continue to move forward.
Mike: Yeah, real estate really becomes a block by block kind of business. Do you think that it’s, do you think it’s really still a localized business, or do you think that you can do real estate outside of your local market?
Dante: I think real estate can definitely be done outside your local market.
I would always tell people to start in your local market because there’s no market, better, and you can keep an eye on your properties in your backyard. But most qual, I don’t want to say qualified, but yeah, most big investors do invest at a distance. You look at larger properties, syndications.
They go to emerging markets. That’s [00:29:00] not to say that your market’s on an emerging market wherever you are. There’s always going to be a tenant pool. You just gotta be careful. Cause if you’re looking for a large property and a dying market, it’s gonna be very difficult to stabilize that asset or add value to it.
Where in any market you’re in, let’s say Detroit, for example, obviously it’s been a tanking market for a few years now, if you had a duplex in that market, odds are it’s going to do fine because it’s such a small amount of rental income that you need on it. And a small rental pool that you can stabilize that asset.
Yes, it’s always good to start in your local market, but. Multimillionaires in real estate who real estate, long distance only they buy real estate long distance. And they’re very successful at the top of their game, honestly.
Mike: Yeah. But you’re right. I think you hit it right on the mark, when you talk about starting in your local market, cause it, here’s a funny thing about that.
And here’s what I was thinking about when you were talking about it is you go to work every day and you drive the same. And you notice the same things. And after a while, you don’t even look [00:30:00] at those buildings or that real estate anymore, because it’s there, but what if you drove to work at different.
And you started to look at things differently. So when we talk about sourcing deals or locating deals, when you start to drive a different way and you start to see different pieces of real estate where the grass is too long, or the house looks like there’s some things going on, are there some problems and issues?
Those are sometimes the, those best off-market deals. Nope, knock on the door, right? Try and find the owner or the seller. So I think there are strategies and things to look at. Let me ask you this. How do you feel? And here we are in, four months into the Corona virus piece. How do you think that the current environment is affecting your real estate investing or how’s it going to affect it?
Dante: I think we’ve all been taken by surprise. For the most part, we, I thought this thing was going to be a lot worst. I thought the stock market was going to take it [00:31:00] much longer, much larger and longer depth. I thought the housing market was going to take a large dip, the rental market as well.
If you look at some historical data from when this thing started to where we are. Are in, in this virus, this pandemic, some markets have actually had increased rents, increased housing values. I, our market alone, it’s a sellers market. Our real estate values are higher than they have ever been. Competing with 12 to 20 other agents on a house that’s been on the market for a day.
I’ve submitted offers 20 to $30,000 over asking without any contingencies and still not receiving properties. I think it’s a buildup of demand. And a lot of people aren’t supplying their homes. So supplies low and same for rental properties. I think rental properties are very popular at the moment.
So a lot of people are looking to get into. And with all that pent up demand because the virus and everyone looking to get into rental properties, and a lot of people are homes. They’re spending more time doing this. They, the market is moving very heavy right now. [00:32:00] Mortgage applications are up by 20% year over year.
It’s been a pretty strong market and I’m surprised I wasn’t expecting to be where we were. I was expecting there to be some panic. Some people not knowing what to do, being very scared, not wanting to sell their house, therefore not wanting to buy a house. Not looking to take on more debt. But I think the government’s stepping in with stimulus and unemployment has also helped some people out a lot too, because they have some people actually have more income coming in now than they did before.
Okay. So your question there
Mike: are your rent collection strong,
Dante: very strong, actually. So we’re at a hundred percent correct. I, yeah, I would try. I’m very blessed for, we don’t have a massive amount of units, like most people, but we did have, we have one tenant it’s on government assistance. They pay half their rent.
The government did become aware that individual became unemployed and stepped in and paid all of their rent every month for six months now, which has been great. So we’ve collected out that tenant. I was a little worried about one of our other tenants was the only tenant. Had an issue with paying the [00:33:00] first month when COVID happened, but they’re very proactive.
They approached me, Hey, we both get employed. We can pay half the rent. I said, okay, can you pay the other half on the 15th? Yeah, we can do that. Okay. And they were caught right back up and then unemployment started kicking in.
Mike: That’s awesome. Good for you. Hey where do you see yourself in the next three to five years?
Dante: So in the next three to five years, I see myself in the large commercial multi-family space, a gentleman and the Carolinas and myself just partnered to create a syndication firm called victory capital. Now we’re looking to start to take down large multi-family properties. I spent probably the last seven to eight months heavily researching syndications, large multi-family properties, talking to sponsors and the caters general partners in the next three to five years, I would say I’m probably going to have with my partner in our firm, I’d say about six to eight large multi-family properties under our portfolio under our.
Being [00:34:00] of 50 to 100 units on those first two deals and a hundred plus units on the remainder of the deals looking for value, add properties looking for not distress, but value. Add the D there’s a major difference there. I think distressed is extremely rundown and high risk, low class areas were distressed.
A B to C class to area, lower rents, deferred maintenance. That’s really what we’re going to be tackling. And that’s where I see myself. I nothing against small multi-family, it’s just not where I want to allocate my energy at the moment, because it does take a lot having separate properties in the separate areas.
I’d like to have everything under one roof and have a lot of investors that are looking to invest with me and my partner at the moment. And we find that this will be the best avenue for them.
Mike: Yeah. It’s always small, multi-families a great place to get your feet wet. And some people really like it and stay there.
Others want to grow like you’re doing, I always look at it like, I teach my coaching clients, if you’re playing monopoly, you’re going to bind four houses, put them on boardwalk. And then all of a sudden sell them and build a hotel or [00:35:00] build something bigger. So that’s where where you start to grow.
What is so one thing I know people on a call might not understand the syndication. So explain that a little bit and what you guys are doing at victory.
Dante: Yeah. So syndications are phenomenal. They’re becoming a little bit more popular, but we’ll see how that works because the barrier to entry is so high versus the small multi-family.
The barrier to entry is very low on an occupant’s, low money down. A syndication is basically a pooling of investors funds to buy. Larger assets is really what it is. So let’s say we have a GPS and LPs general partners, limited partners, general partners, or the sponsors are the people who find the deal, get the investors money, underwrite the deal, get the funding in place, the insurance in place take control of the property, put property management under place.
They typically don’t have to. Capital and the deal. Sometimes they don’t depending on the deal. And then you have the LPs, the limited partners, AK the passive partners. Those are the investors who are simply. [00:36:00] Funding the deal putting capital in the deal. And then they step back and watch from a distance.
They’re not doing too much of the work. They have a larger percentage of ownership of that property, where the general partners have a smaller ownership, but they completely control the project themselves. That, that is really S simply to say what a syndication is. So when you’re driving by it down the street and you see a hundred unit apartment building a mixed unit commercial on the first floor, the next three is apartment buildings.
Don’t always think one individual. Wow. How does that one person on that building? That’s not always the case. Sometimes it is. It’s usually a group of investors who are allocating all of their resources together to take down these larger projects. Yeah.
Mike: It’s interesting. I remember being a kid asking my parents and being, yeah.
Driving down the road, asking my parents, Hey, who owns those big buildings? And my mom’s answer was always, and I’ll think she knew what she was talking about, but her answer always was insurance company. That’s the other side of that business, right? It’s the institutional [00:37:00] side of the business, which is a big side of the business too.
So you know, your next step sounds like it’s a victory capital and doing passive investing. Let’s talk about if you were going to give some advice to a brand new investor coming into business today, what would that advice.
Dante: Like I said, come back to that analogy. And the thing when listens to my show, they hear me say it a lot.
Do you want to learn how to swim got jumped in the water? You gotta jump over that first hurdle. So get educated. You need to read as much as you can listen to as many podcasts, you can go network as much as you can get in front of real investors and ask them what they’re doing. Because taking that first step into buying that first property is going to be the scariest part of it.
After I got that first property under contract and I closed on it, I was like, Give me the next one, give me the next one, give me the next one. And that’s how it happens. So you need to buy something small. You need to figure out how to. Manage that property, how to manage tenants and manage a business.
Each individual property is an individual business that you need to manage. You need to be organized [00:38:00] from day one, as well as get these properties on a contract for every property I have. I have a three inch binder that has every document you will need for that property in it. And it staying organized from day one is very important as well.
And being conservative on your calculations when you’re underwriting a deal, if you have property management or not, you better. Account for property management in that property. If the property is not vacant, you better account for vacancy rate. If the property doesn’t have repairs or has a brand new roof, brand new furnace, you still should account for repairs, cap CapEx, because that property management, even though you’re not managing it, a bank still gonna underwrite that property.
If there’s property management, 10 years down the road, as you sold at that property and you don’t plan on managing anymore, you’re going to have to hire a property, man. A Lieutenant moves out. Typically you’re not going to have a tenant ready for the next day. You have to account for vacancy repairs.
They’re going to happen. No property will last forever. You’re going to have to replace the roof in pointed at 30 years, a furnace and 15 to 20 [00:39:00] twenty-five years, a hot water tank and tended 15 years it’s stuff that happens. That’s why we call it cap ex.
Mike: Yeah. And I think that’s all great advice that people don’t pay attention to.
And the thing that you said that really makes a lot of sense as the organization. I think we need to be organized because people get scattered and they misplace things. And it’s as simple as a key. Where’s the keys, right? Keeper
Dante: from day one, you need a bookkeeper. Listen,
Mike: I really appreciate you being here today.
I think we had some really good information and some knowledge, and I appreciate you sharing. It’s been great catching up with you again. If people want to get a hold of you to talk to you about victory capital or your podcast or meetup, how do they go about doing.
Dante: Yeah. So you can email me at Dante at victory cap, group.com.
You can find me on Instagram at Dante Belmonte. You can go to Dante belmonte.com. The podcast is going through a rebranding right now. It’s simply called and then you’re going left this one, the real estate investing podcast with Dante [00:40:00] Belmonte. I’m not giving out that name yet of what were the rebranding is.
That’s the best way of connecting with me. And I know when I talk it’s. Having water out of a fire hose. There’s just a lot of stuff coming out my mouth at the same time I get carried away. I will admit
Mike: that’s okay. That’s okay. That’s how we learn, and the more we put in people, the more that’ll come out eventually.
And the more they get excited. So that’s good. Thanks so much for being here today. Appreciate it to my listeners, you know how to get ahold of Mike core intentions. We’ll make sure that Dante is information is on the website so that you can reach him if you want to. And we look forward to each of you.
If you’re looking for some coaching advice, if you’re looking for some direction or help, don’t hesitate to reach out, be more than happy to spend some time with you on the phone, do a free consultation, just go to the website and a up. And I look forward to seeing and talking to each one of you, Dante.
Thanks so much for today. I appreciate your time. And look forward to talking to you soon,
Dante: Mike, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity. I appreciate it.
Kristen: [00:41:00] 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 in property management.
We’re looking forward to having you back again next week for more Insider Secrets.