Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #35

 Guest: Brian Briscoe

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Guest Bio:

Episode 35 guest Brian Briscoe
Brian Briscoe is cofounder of the multifamily investing firm Four Oaks Capital, which currently controls 250 units and $12m in AUM. He is also the host of the exciting new podcast “Diary of an Apartment Investor”, which brings an experienced and aspiring investor together on each episode. He is an active duty Marine lieutenant colonel stationed at the pentagon and will retire in 2021 after 20 years of service.


Standout Quotes:

“When we really discover what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, it makes a lot of things in our life change” – [Mike]

“The first thing I had to learn is I don’t have to do it by myself, I can find a team…and be able to scale quicker” – [Brian Briscoe]

“We all deal with those kinds of fears, and unless we hit them head-on and we walk through them, we’ll let them stop us and hold us back” – [Brian Briscoe]

“If it’s something you’re not good at, you need to find somebody who is good at it, I think it’s better to find somebody who is good at it than going through the whole process of learning to do it yourself” – [Brian Briscoe]

“Be brilliant at the basics” – [Brian Briscoe]

“Always take the next step,  If you look at how big a mountain is that you’re trying to climb it may discourage you, look at the next couple of steps” – [Brian Briscoe]

Key Takeaways:

  • Brian set a goal for himself to ensure after retirement from the Marine corps, his income from Real Estate would be up to his income while in the corps.
  • While trying to download and read as much as he could on Real Estate, Brian inadvertently downloaded a book that gave insight on the path he would take in Real Estate
  • A major paradigm shift was realizing the need for a team
  • Brian also had to learn to overcome his fears and the mindset that he was asking people for money
  • You’re only as strong as the people in your network and your team.
  • A lot of the decision-making process is in preparation and training.
  • The synergistic power of a team has played a major role in Brian’s success.
  • Regarding capital, the goal is to always be raising capital, you don’t wait until you have a deal.

Episode Timeline:

[01:44] Meet today’s guest “Brian Briscoe”

[02:28] How Brian got into Real Estate, and the journey so far.

[09:20] Brian shares the source of his inspiration for defining his path in Real Estate.

[16:28] What did you have to learn differently to do what you’re doing today?

[19:15] About Brian’s team and team members

[25:26] What fear did you have to overcome to get to the point you’re at today?

[31:09] How do you make high stake decisions?

[34:12] Brian describes factors he considers when searching for investment opportunities in today’s marketplace

[38:09] An insider secret from Brian

[39:35] How do you go about raising capital?

[43:10] Most memorable moment in the last 6 months: Brian’s podcast

[44:04] Brian’s advice for new investors

[44:35] How to contact Brian


Podcast: Diary of an apartment investor



Mike: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. It’s Mike with insider secrets. Glad you’re here today. It’s Tuesday 12 o’clock and it is our time for a podcast today. My guest is Brian Briscoe. Brian is a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and he is stationed at the Pentagon. Hey Brian, tell our guests really quick. What they’re going to be able to learn from you today.

[00:00:21] Brian: [00:00:21] Hey, today we talk a lot about, how I’ve used kind of the military to help me to invest, just moving from one place to another, every couple of years, picking up a bunch of single family houses. we’re also going to talk how, I transitioned to multifamily when I looked at my own exit plan, I realized that if I stayed.

[00:00:40] If I didn’t come up with an exit plan of my own, that I would end up staying in the Marine Corps until they kicked me out. So the exit plan that I developed ended up involving multi-family real estate to be able to scale and to be able to replace my current income. we also talk a lot about the power of a team, and you need good people around you and, your teammates, your team will just accelerate your growth and, basically, The synergistic effects from the team is absolutely necessary in this business.

[00:01:11] And the last thing is just taking action. Take, put one foot in front of the other and move forward. Excellent.

[00:01:16] Mike: [00:01:16] And everybody you’re going to have to tune in at 12 o’clock on Tuesday, just to get a little bit more of that information. Thanks. And we’ll see you there.

[00:01:27]Kristen: [00:01:27] Welcome to this week’s edition of insider secret grits. 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.

[00:01:49] 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.

[00:02:06]Mike: [00:02:06] Hey, good afternoon, everybody. It’s Mike, your host of insider secrets and, insider secrets is brought to you by my core intentions. So let me ask you, what have you been thinking about lately? What are your intentions better yet? What’s your, why? Why are you doing what you’re doing? You know what, when we really discover what we’re doing, And why we’re doing it.

[00:02:29] It makes a lot of things in our life change and be different. MCI is invested in our client’s future and educational platforms on teaching, on coaching. our goal is to create short-term, cashflow and long-term wealth for each one of our clients. Empowering them to execute sound real estate and investing property management principles while living a balanced lifestyle.

[00:02:56] You guys know that I talked to you all the time about our lives, getting out of balance we’re in real estate, we get so stretched out. We’re trying to do so many things that the quality of our life starts to deteriorate. And the one thing I found is that the better imbalance that you can keep yourself and the more in check, the more business you’re going to do, I share a lot of those principles with people.

[00:03:19] And you’ll see in my newly released book, here’s a shameless plug, the exit plan. I’m going to cover a lot of those principles for you, but exit planning, your complete guide to multifamily investing and why you need an exit plan before you buy. So if you’re looking for some direction and you’re looking to put some intentionality in your life, give me a call.

[00:03:40] If I can help you do that. I certainly will. guys, I am really excited this afternoon about my guest. I’m joined today by my friend and multifamily syndicator. Brian Briscoe. Brian is the co-founder of the multifamily investing firm for Oaks capital. He’s also the host of the exciting new diary of an apartment investor podcast.

[00:04:03] If you haven’t tuned in, you probably should listen to that one too. And he’s an active duty Marine Lieutenant Colonel currently stationed at the Pentagon. Hey Brian. Thanks for your service. Really appreciate that. Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. Yeah. You bet. Why don’t you say hi to our listeners this afternoon?

[00:04:22] Brian: [00:04:22] Hey everybody, how’s it going? like you said, Brian Briscoe and, ready for a fun little 40 minute section of talking about real estate. There we go,

[00:04:31] Mike: [00:04:31] Hey Brian. So one thing is I always like to get some backstory, so I’ll talk a lot in your bio about who you are. I leave that to you, but tell us how, how you came about real estate, how you got involved and where you’re at in the process today.

[00:04:46] Yeah. being, a couple of days after veterans day today, when we record, I’ll start out with, what got me into the military because it’s hard to separate, my investing from my military career. But, I was a graduate student. I wanted to be a college professor, so I started working on a PhD at the university of Minnesota.

[00:05:06] And lo and behold, September 11th happened, so that was, 19 years and a little bit longer ago. and that changed my trajectory, went from working on a PhD to ma in mathematics to, Officer candidate school with the Marine Corps, and now it was just that quick.

[00:05:21] I went from one to the other, and I fully intended on going back to get a college, to finish the PhD. I still have a letter today that says from the university of Minnesota saying that I can come back whenever I want into the program. But, so I, I did a couple of years in the Marine Corps.

[00:05:39]19 now, but, a couple of years into it, I was, mid twenties and this rich dad, poor dad book was like all the rage, at that time. And everybody was talking about it, So I picked up a copy, and a lot of things in there, he said, you just make perfect sense.

[00:05:56]like I said, a couple of days, recent math. So numbers work really well for me. And I, I remember. Hearing about this concept of leverage, with real estate where you can go out to a bank. And you can get a $75,000 loan on a hundred thousand dollars property, and it amplifies all of the returns that you get and you have inflation, that’s working in your benefit as well.

[00:06:19] Cause inflation over time is going to make the price of real estate more expensive. Yeah, it was right in line. Robert Kiyosaki talks a lot about real estate. And I remember thinking, man, I’ve got to do something. I got to get this, do something to real estate. and right about that time, I started leaning towards staying in the Marine Corps longer than my initial, four year obligation.

[00:06:39] And, I started thinking if I pick up a new house at every duty station that I go to, every two to three years. but by the time I’m ready to retire, I’ll have a lot of houses, it was basically what I said. I didn’t. And. You being a math guy, that the weird thing is I never really put pen to paper on the plan.

[00:06:58] I never really crunched the numbers. I just figured I’ll start buying houses and see where this leads me. But, you bought our first investment property in 2007, bought our second investment property in 2008. 2007 before the crash 2008 after the crash, and. Something that happened.

[00:07:16] You, I deployed in 2009, 2010 was, getting ready for a next deployment, so two deployments, three years. so I ended up getting sidetracked off of that, but, a couple of years later I tried to get back into it. And this time I did put pen to paper, I pulled out a trusty spreadsheet and I started thinking, okay, here’s my passive income goal.

[00:07:38] All right. Here’s how much we would need to maintain our current standard of living and how many houses would need, so I looked in my, I actually used a house in my sister-in-law’s neighborhood as my standard, this is how much the houses are worth right now. This is what they’re renting for.

[00:07:54] And. Started putting pencil to paper, figuring out how many single family homes I would need to be able to retire. And the number was a lot, and I started, just looking at it. I’m like, okay, what if I buy two houses a year? What if I buy three houses a year? And just looking at the numbers, I kept on thinking, man, it’s going to take way too long for this to work out.

[00:08:17]and this is right about the time where I realized that my Marine Corps career would soon end. I was at my 16 year Mark and I did my own exit planning. that’s exactly what I was doing. I came up with an exit plan to get out of the Marine Corps and. Anyway, long story short, I quickly realized that single family wasn’t going to get me there as fast as I wanted it to.

[00:08:39] And, started looking at other options to be able to purchase things quicker and to scale and stumbled upon multi-family. I realized that with multifamily, you buy a 50 unit and it’s almost like a buy one, get 49 free sale, because, you’re able to scale a lot quicker.

[00:08:54]you can buy one building that has multiple units, but only one roof, one parking lot, one yard to take care of, I really quickly fell in love with the scale that’s available with apartments. just like I fell in love with the leverage that was available with single family homes that exists with multifamily.

[00:09:12] I just really quickly fell in love with the fact that, now instead of, 50 or 60 individual purchases that I would need to reach my goal. I could get 50 or 60 with one purchase and then move on to the next. So that’s really what God got me into it, about two and a half years ago, incidentally I’ll retire summer next year.

[00:09:34]late summer from the Marine Corps, two years ago I made the goal of. I need to be able to replace my active duty income, by the time that I’m eligible for retiring and I’m well on track to do that, it’s something that, worked really hard to be able to do, but I’m on track for that.

[00:09:54] So that’s interesting. so you, your goal two years ago that you set was by the time you retire from the Marine Corps, that your income. From real estate would be the same that you’re making in the Marine Corps. And what’s really interesting is you realize somewhere along the way that you couldn’t get there in the single family arena fast enough that you could get there at some point you would get there, but the economies of scale with multifamily gets you there a lot quicker.

[00:10:27] Yes. so here’s the question. What do you think was the, what was the realization. what was the defining moment that you went, Oh man, the light went on and all of a sudden I understand this now, it was a little book. It was a bigger pockets book by Brandon Turner. And, I’m going to butcher the title, but it’s something like how we bought a 24 unit apartment with little or no money down, And. at the time I was on a deployment, on a big Navy ship in the middle of, some big body of water in the middle East. I was reading everything on real estate. I could get in every time we would go ashore and I had wifi, I would download five or 10 books, and I was downloading purely single family books.

[00:11:11] And somehow I think I accidentally downloaded this, but, one of those back on the ship, during the month or two between port calls and I remember reading it and that’s what really set the light off is, he talked about a 24 unit and how they went through the whole process of buying it.

[00:11:30] And woven into the story. He talks about the benefits of multifamily and that’s really what made it click for me. And I thought, at the time, I had just finished that spreadsheeting exercise. And I think my number was 60 single family homes is what it would take, 60 single family homes.

[00:11:47]but when I picked up that book and I saw that he went from zero to 24 in one fell swoop, I was just like, man, I got it. I got to learn how to do this apartment thing, I’ve got to be able to like, that’s the answer I’m looking for? Cause I was really frustrated just by the fact that, it was going to take so long with the single families, but that’s really the w that led to my paradigm shift, and from there, on big Navy ships in the middle of the ocean, you don’t get, podcasts, you don’t get, you don’t have the luxury of all that stuff.

[00:12:18]most of the websites that you want to go to are blocked. just to preserve bandwidth. So yeah, as soon as I got home, I started, jumping into podcasts and, Michael blank, rock leaf, Joe Fairless, I was listening to those guys, all day, every day from that point on.

[00:12:31] But yeah, that was the moment that defined. That kind of led to that paradigm shift, it was just seeing that it was possible. Yeah. Yeah. when our eyes open up to possibilities of things, our whole world can change. it really doesn’t matter what you’re trying to accomplish.

[00:12:47]I tell a story in my book, in the book I just released that I had a coaching client who was, who had four boys. He wanted to put through school. And this is about 15 years ago, 18 years ago now. He had four boys that he wanted to put through school. And he knew that in order to do that, he was going to have to, do something other than traditional funding.

[00:13:09] So he said, w we laid out a plan for him that he could buy 20 single family houses, fix them up. If he got an all-in cost on him of 98,000 with an after repair value of one 75. He knew that after a period of time, he could start to liquidate them. He liquidates the last two this year. He’s put his boys through college and now his wife and him are going to take a great vacation.

[00:13:35] Nice. you can build these plans and once you execute on these plans, all of a sudden your life really starts to transform. So I have no want to hear more. So are you going to meet your goal when you retire of. Your income goal. So will you match your income? it depends was on, how many more we close on next year, but we’re pretty close, we’re going to be really close to matching my income and unfortunately, once I retire, I’ll have the retirement pension that pays about a third of my active income, but, we are right on track. I think what I’ve made personally this year, there is about a third of my active duty income.

[00:14:18] And, next year, we plan on doing four acquisitions every year. And this year we’ve done two and we should get our fourth by December. We’ve got two, 300 contract right now, actually. But, yeah, we’re on track. We’re definitely on track. I’m not gonna have zero worries at all about where the money’s gonna come from, after I retire.

[00:14:39] So how big are those acquisitions? You’re buying. The smallest one we’ve had is 16 units. the largest one we’ve closed on is 82 and we have 167 under contract. And, we have two smaller ones in our contract as well, a 40 and a 28. the 40 and the 28, we’re not doing syndications. Those are basically JVs, but the 167 units going to be a syndication.

[00:15:04] Okay. Great. So you are syndicating a portion of them. So here’s what I want our listeners to really pay attention to. Is you came from the single family space. You made the transition from single family. Into multifamily, the small multifamily sector. And now you’re coming up from small multifamily, into larger multifamily acquisitions.

[00:15:26] It’s a net it’s a natural transcript transition. Don’t you find that all of a sudden, here, when I was syndicating deals, I knew that I didn’t. Ever think that I could close a 200 unit deal before I knew what I was closing 350 and 400 unit deals. So it’s amazing how, when you put your mind to it and you just do it, the transition happens.

[00:15:50]Go ahead. Yeah. I was going to say, it’s something that you need to be able to slowly build up to, every once in a while I’ll come across somebody that wants to go from zero to 500, but, you have to, I think you have to slowly build up to it, just like you said, when we started, I thought 200 units was out of the realm of possibility, we’re well on the way to closing on 167, and 167 is just a hair short of 200.

[00:16:13]the next acquisition who knows maybe 200 doors, maybe 300 doors per acquisition, the nice thing about multi-family is the work doesn’t scale with the number of units, so it’s not much harder to close on 160 unit than it is to close on an eight unit. So the process is all the same.

[00:16:30] You have to raise a little bit more money, but everything else is the same amount of work and the income that you get off the properties. Is a lot more, so what did you have to learn differently? what new strategies did you have to learn or what, where did you have to educate yourself to do what you’re doing today?

[00:16:50] Oh, geez. I’ve had so many, paradigm shifts. I think the first big one passed let’s do multifamily. The first big one was that I needed to. To do it. I needed to have a team. I, when I first started doing it, I had the idea that, okay, I eventually want to get the syndication, but before I syndicate, I probably need to buy a fiveplex or a 10 Plex or, make, maybe get, 20 or 30 units under my belt before I try to syndicate.

[00:17:16]so the first thing I had to learn is. I don’t have to do it by myself. I can find a team, leverage my teammates and, be able to scale quicker. there’s a synergy that comes when you have teammates. and the other thing is, I really had to learn, To get past some of my fears, at first I was, and that’s probably the biggest thing.

[00:17:37]at first I was very reluctant to tell people what I wanted to do. And I was very reluctant to ask people for money, and that’s how I looked at it. I looked like, I felt like I was asking people for money. And one thing that I’ve learned is I’m not asking people for money. I am provide providing them an investment opportunity.

[00:18:00] That is open to very few people in this world, so I’m providing a vehicle where people can earn, 15 to 20% annual returns on their investment dollars. So I think that was one of the big keys is just being able to reshape the narrative in my head of asking somebody for $50,000, almost like I’m trying to get them to lend me money, as opposed to.

[00:18:27] I’ve got a really good deal for you and believing it when I said it, believing that this is going to be a great deal, and that’s, it’s taken quite a while to get to that point. now when I talk to people, I’m talking to people about. What these deals will do for them as opposed to can you pretty pleased investors.

[00:18:47] Yeah. It makes a big difference. So you said you’ve talked that you’ve touched on two really important things that I want to cover. So you remember all those notes I sent you, it said these are probably the questions we’re going to ask out the window, because you’ve got me totally off track now.

[00:19:03]One thing. I always coach people on is your team, right? The people around you, you’re only as strong as those people in your network and that team. So talk about your team a little bit and how you have built that team, who you have on your team and maybe who you need to have on your team, but they’re not there yet.

[00:19:25] Yeah. So as far as our team goes right now, there’s four of us, which is why the company is called forks capital. it all came around on the very first deal. I think at first I realized I needed a team. So I started looking for team members and I thought, okay, with my math background, my strengths are.

[00:19:47] I would be able to analyze deals. I would be able to, look through the numbers, and with my military background and get a lot of leadership, a lot of management, I thought that would be able to put deals together and manage them afterwards very well. and so what I really needed upfront was people to help me bring the capital in.

[00:20:04] So when I first started looking for teammates, I was looking for people who could bring capital in. but something happened along the way. I found that, I started talking to a guy named Eric, Shirley. he’s also one of the co-founders, but, I just started talking with him, met him in a form that’s, centered around multi-family real estate.

[00:20:23] And pretty soon we realized that we were talking to the same brokers, and inevitably we were looking at the same deals and we found out that we had both put offers in on the same properties, when we realized that was happening, Eric just said, Let’s just try to collaborate. He’s anytime you get anything across your desk from South Carolina, that was the area where we were both looking at.

[00:20:46] He’s let’s collaborate. it’s a lot better to collaborate than it is to compete. And so I agreed to do that, And so every time something came across my desk from South Carolina, I’d pick up the phone and call Eric, every once in a while he’d call me or sometimes I’d call him that was.

[00:21:00] The beginning of the partnership, right? There was just collaboration. at first it was literally just sharing notes, Hey, I’ve looked at the comps on this one. I think this, Hey, I think the renovation budget’s going to look like that. and from there we decided to start putting in offers together, so our offer letter would be co-branded here.

[00:21:18] It would be, Eric’s brand and my brand and incidentally, Eric had already partnered with, Brian Mellon at the time, We ended up getting a first, our first deal under contract. And we basically sat down. It was a little larger than, we thought we could handle all by ourselves. it was a 55 unit deal, $4 million purchase price.

[00:21:38] And we were going to have to bring somewhere around a million and a half to 2 million to the table to close. So we sat down and we said, we probably need to bring one more person in to help us raise money on that one. Okay. Eric says, Hey, I think I know a guy who’d be interested. and so income’s Todd Butler and that’s for Oaks capital right there.

[00:21:56]we came together for one deal. And what we realized after a couple of months of trying to put this deal together is. We work together amazingly. we all had the same goals. I had a three-year timeframe, but they all had the same timeframe to get out of the rat race. they all want it to be out of their day jobs in two to three years, so everything aligned with us and, we are.

[00:22:22] Our skills complemented each other very well too. we got, you got to, you’re getting really close to close on the first deal. And we just had the discussion was like, Hey, we worked well together. Let’s just do this together. and from there we had to basically sit down and figure out what the roles would be.

[00:22:38] And, Eric ended up coming out as the acquisition manager, I think, It took a lot of convincing because that’s the role that I wanted. that’s a fun job, going on the hunt for new apartments. But, his day job was better suited to it. he’s a medical device salesman and his job takes him across the Carolinas on a daily basis to meet with clients.

[00:22:58]yeah, he got the acquisition, his job, and I started out being our asset manager, Todd’s made role up front was raising capital, finding more people to invest in deal deals. and Brian melon took care of everything else. You who’s doing the bank accounts, the investor port, the investor portal, the website, all the other things that are required to keep the business rolling.

[00:23:17]and we’ve since shifted a couple of times the roles, but yeah. end of the day, you know where we’re at right now, we’ve got 250 units under our belt, in just over a year and a half. And we’ve got another, I guess math in public, another 230 or so under contract right now.

[00:23:36] So the team is what makes that possible. I was talking with my partners earlier today. I’m like, yeah, without you guys. I’d probably be sitting at one acquisition right now, but, just being able to lean on the others and for us to specialize in one single role, like Eric’s job is to acquire new properties.

[00:23:56]Todd Butler is our asset manager right now, So his job is to take care of the current properties, right now my job is, I’m, I have the podcast. I’m very active on social media. You, my job is to attract people and we’re also building an educational arm on the site as well.

[00:24:11]we look, our roles go, we are able to focus on what we’re really good at. And just being able to focus on one small piece of the overall business has actually propelled us to more and more success. Nice. So you mentioned fear. What fear did you have to overcome in order to get to the point that you’re at today?

[00:24:36]Wow. there were a lot of little fears, fear of rejection is one thing, I didn’t know what people were gonna think of me. what happens if I tell everybody that I’m going to be an apartment investor? And I can never get my first deal. Okay. That slowed me down.

[00:24:51] That really did. and so when I first decided I wasn’t really talking about it, I was very reluctant to, post something on Facebook about, Hey, I’m trying to get into apartments, or very reluctant on LinkedIn. I don’t even think I had a real estate investor in my LinkedIn profile at all until, into the process because.

[00:25:13] I was worried about what if I tell everybody I’m going to do this? And I don’t, that was probably the biggest fear that I had. and at one point I realized that’s what was keeping me back. And I immediately went into all my social media profiles and I changed, I actually took the Marine Corps off my LinkedIn for, probably, six or eight months until I put it back on there.

[00:25:38] But, instead of saying, I’m a Marine Corps officer, I’m a foreign area officer I’m, air aviation command and control officer, all my Marine Corps titles. you look at my LinkedIn, it says I’m a multifamily investor. And I think that was another paradigm shift that I had to go through to be successful, And it was, yeah. I just find it an amazing year. Here’s the, here’s an individual 10 years in the Marine Corps. Probably been to some pretty scary places that he’s walked through some great fear and all of a sudden he’s. Got this fear about building the business and moving forward. What was the point of trying to make around that is that we all deal with those kinds of fears and unless we hit them head on and we walk through them, we’ll let them stop us.

[00:26:23]And hold us back. And what I what’s interesting is you finally made, came to the realization and made the decision, Hey, enough of this. Let’s move forward and who really cares what people think, right? Yeah. and I also realized, yeah, number one, who cares what people think, but I also realized more importantly than that was the fear of what other people thought was holding me back, And that’s, that was the catalyst right there. When I realized that the fear was holding me back, I just realized it was stupid. To worry about what other people think, and that was, and that went into every time I was talking to somebody about a potential to talking to potential investors, I think that fear came through, the fact that, I would go to real estate conferences and people would walk away thinking that’s Brian, the Marine Corps officer and not Brian, the real estate investor.

[00:27:13] I think that paradigm shift was necessary. for many reasons, Yeah, it was holding me back, but it was also the narrative that I was telling everybody else, people were, people knew me as Brian, the Marine and not thriving the multifamily investor, which, if you’re trying to raise money for a big deal, they need to know you as the multifamily guy.

[00:27:33] Not the Marine. Yeah. You almost have to make that own shift in your own mind. In order, once you believe it, now you can get everybody else to believe it. I think it makes things seem a little easier. How about from a standpoint of technology systems, things like that. Excuse me? What did you have to, Learn or implement to go to the next level, this has been, we’re slowly implementing, a lot of the technology.

[00:28:00]we do have a portal for our investors and unfortunately for me, it’s not my forte, but fortunately for me, Brian Mellon is. Really good at it, and I think the, what I’ve learned is, partner with people that are good at what you’re not good at, when we, when something needs to happen on our website, you know, or with the investor portal, I can either go in and try to fumble around and take an hour to do something, or I can call Brian and say, Hey, I need you to go into app folio, or I need you to go on the website.

[00:28:31] Can you do this one quick change? And he can do it in 30 seconds because he’s really good at it. But, yeah, we’ve got a website. We’ve got we’ve got our lead magnet. We’ve got a free investor guide on there, So it’s basically a point and click, you click it, we capture somebody’s email address and set up a call with them to bring them into our investor pool.

[00:28:50] So that w we have a lot of automations. but once again, I didn’t set any of those up. I said, Hey, we need stuff like this. And, Brian Mellon did the vast majority of the work. So I’d say absolutely leveraged technology, leverage the automation that it brings. but if it’s something you’re not good at.

[00:29:09] You need to find somebody who’s good at it. And I think it’s better to find somebody that’s good at it. then going through the whole process of learning and doing yourself, goes back to team building and building the wrong team. who do you need to have around you? Hey, Brian, how do you make high stakes decisions?

[00:29:26] I’m sure you’ve been in situations where you’ve had to make high stakes decisions and people’s lives were counting on those decisions. What’s your process when you have to make those. So in the military, it all comes back to your training. you train like you fight, you train, like you’re going to actually operate.

[00:29:45] And the mentality we have in the Marine Corps about training for combat is we want to make the training much more stressful than the actual combat situation is going to be. And it’s hard to do that. in the Marines. Hopefully when you get to combat, it’s all muscle memory, which takes a lot of the thought out of it.

[00:30:05]So if you’re in a situation where, X is happening, you’ve already practiced that a dozen times, and we have these things called remedial actions and immediate actions. if this happens, then this, so you go through all of those decisions before you get in the situation.

[00:30:22]so that’s how I’ve dealt with it during combat situations. but you also lean on your team again, once again, if there’s something where you have a deliberate decision to make, me as a leader, I’ve deployed to combat, a couple of times as a captain and as a major, which is always been in leadership decisions.

[00:30:41] Don’t forget, you have that team around you, you can look to your subject matter experts, take their advice and then make a decision. And we approach multifamily the same way. there’s four of us. we all have different opinions. We all have different strengths. If we have a big decision to make, we’ll talk about it.

[00:30:58] And the other thing that I think is huge is we have a couple of people that have mentored us along the way. And, we can pick up the phone and call them if it’s something that we’re not comfortable with or something that we think we need guidance on. where I guess humble enough. I, if you say you’re humble, I guess you’re not humble, but I’m trying, you know what I’m saying?

[00:31:19] But, We know that the best way to do it is to pick up the phone and call somebody with experience and say, Hey, I’m dealing with X problem. What would you suggest? I do. and we’ve done that several times. Sometimes it’s been, one team member making the phone call reporting back, but there’ve been a couple of times where, we’ve had, for the four of us from forks capital on the call and we bring a mentor into the call and we all discuss it together.

[00:31:47] So that’s really what it is. you do a lot of preparation. A lot of the decision-making is in the preparation, in the learning and the training. And then you, when it comes time to make the decision. you talk to the experts, you talked to each other, you get advice and then you go, yep.

[00:32:03] So what do you look for in today’s marketplace? as a, as an investment opportunity, and, also talk a little bit about the markets that you look at, what markets are you focused on? So we’d like the Southeast and, the reason we’d like the Southeast is there’s been a lot of growth over the years.

[00:32:25] And I think COVID has just accelerated what the trends that are occurring in society, for the last five or 10 years, people have been moving from high cost of living areas to low cost of living areas. it’s the opposite of urbanization, that happened, in the seventies, eighties and nineties, but yeah.

[00:32:41] People are leaving places like New York and California to move to other places where the cost of living is lower. on the East coast, money is moving from North to South, essentially. And you, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida are the biggest benefactors as far as people moving in.

[00:32:59] And they’re also States where, No cost of living is low. So people want to live there and differently to businesses. So businesses are moving there. So that’s one thing we look at, as far as markets go. So Southeast we look for job growth, we looked for population growth, and we think those are the two driving factors in multifamily.

[00:33:18]And then the thing we look at in specific deals, we don’t want to speculate, there’s some areas of the U S right now, where in order to make a deal work, you have to assume that rents are going to grow by five to 10% every year. I look at that as more of a speculative investment than anything else.

[00:33:35] So we like to buy. Established assets with a long history of valuation. So we’re looking at, C class assets, things that were built in the eighties and nineties. And we’d like to find things that are a little bit, maybe not managed, maybe need a little bit of TLC, we want to be able to look.

[00:33:54] To let them the right of the properties and see things, renting for more, so that we know that if we come in and, we Polish the place up a little bit. We put a little money into the exteriors. We put a little money in the exterior interiors that we know we’ll be able to push the rents up because the comps puts push the rents up.

[00:34:13] So we’re looking for, value add in areas where. we don’t have to bank on, five to 10% year on year rent growth, which may or may not happen. You have a sweet spot in size. right now we’re trying to get, we’re trying to get things that have the consist stain. The onsite property management, because there’s a lot of efficiencies that you gain by having people at the property, during business hours, you have a grounds person or a maintenance guy, you have a leasing agent.

[00:34:48]and typically, in the Southeast any way to be able to afford that, you’re looking at the 120 to 150 units and above. so our that’s really where our sweet spot is. And, we. We have our first one in that sweet spot under contract. So I say our sweet spot is, somewhere between 125 and 300 units right now.

[00:35:08] Okay. Yeah. I asked that question because I know that my sweet spot used to be, one 75 to two 50, right in there. That’s where I tend to see the best cash flow. And that was, that’s going back a few years, I know some things have changed today, especially in some of those markets that we used to play in.

[00:35:27] So Brian, this show’s called insider secrets. And what I always ask my guests is. Give me one insider secret that you feel has been something that has benefited your, acquisition style, your operation style, something that, you really think might be outside of the box outside of the norm. I think most of the insider secrets are not outside of the box.

[00:35:56]to be honest with you, I think the secrets are be brilliant at the basics and that’s something we talk about a lot in the Marine Corps, and it translates to sports as well. Be brilliant at the basics, it’s not the. the upper level stuff that you have to be really good at, it’s blocking and tackling and football, it’s pitching and hitting in baseball, really it’s just be being brilliant at the basics. And I would say the other thing is the power of a team. that’s been our secret sauce is, we’ve got four guys who have the same goals and we’re all pushing for the same objective. And the synergistic power of a team is what has done the most for us.

[00:36:37] Yep. Okay, awesome. We’re back to that. We’re back to that topic on team, and really seems like that’s been the whole underlying of this whole call today, which has been pretty good. Yeah. So I want to ask one question. how do you raise money? So when you’re syndicating a deal, how do you go about raising capital?

[00:36:56] So I think that the goal is to always be raising capital, coming on podcasts and talking about it, anything that puts money, in front of people, in a positive light that’s associated with real estate is helping me to raise capital, so I’m very active on LinkedIn.

[00:37:12]I’ve just gotten a lot more active on Instagram. We started, an Instagram account a couple of weeks ago that, that I’m really pushing on, but the more and more people that see my name associated with real estate is really the goal right now to start raising capital. one thing, being in the military, I move every two to three years and I’ve been stationed with, hundreds of different people.

[00:37:35] And so for me, what I’m finding is. I have two calls today with former Marine colleagues that I haven’t seen in, 10 or 15 years who are both going to invest with us on our current deal. so for me, it’s putting my name out there. Getting on a soapbox with, in front of larger and larger audiences at each point in time.

[00:37:56]and building investor list, so we, we talk to people, we get to know people, we asked them about their investor objectives, their investment objectives. And then when it comes time to raise money, to circle around Nash the question you always have to raise you don’t wait until you have a deal.

[00:38:14] You always have to be raising. And then when it comes time to pull the trigger, you’ve got a whole group of people who hopefully are there waiting to invest in whatever you have next. Interesting. And I think that’s a really good concept is, there used to be, I don’t know if you ever saw the old movie Glengarry Glen Ross, was about, almost like a boiler room type movie where they’re all on the phone making phone calls and the, whole premise of the movie was sales and it was ABC always be closing.

[00:38:46] How did the same thing always be raising money, right? Yeah. but it’s a different game today than that type of thing was. Yeah. So listen, we’re getting to the end. I always like to ask a few bonus questions, some fun, lighter side things. you’re in Washington. And so your favorite tourist attraction in Washington, the national mall, I think is it, there’s just so much history there.

[00:39:12]I’ve recently. Made it a point, I know I’m going to be here only for about eight and a half, four months. I’ve made it a point to get out there more often, I work at the Pentagon, which is right across the river from the mall. And two or three times a week, I’m walking out of the Pentagon with running shoes on and running around.

[00:39:29] But I would say the national mall area, you can’t miss it. The monuments, the museums, the memorials, the national capitals there, the white house is there. That’s gotta be it. Nice. Nice. How about favorite restaurant for the show? It’s a Brazilian steakhouse. yeah. And it’s wow. It’s amazing. Big protein.

[00:39:52] Yes. Yes. I mean it’s yeah. It’s one of those where you can get a month’s worth of protein in your diet in one day. Yup. Yup. most memorable moment in the last six months. Ooh. Wow. The most memorable moment in the last six months. Wow. man, nothing comes to mind the last six months has been like COVID. I’d say that the podcast is, has been something that I think I’m most proud of in the last six months. business-wise, take, yeah, business-wise, I’d have to say it’s the podcast, it’s something that we started in July.

[00:40:28] And, we’re at the point right now where we’re getting, triple digit listens to downloads per day. so that’s the thing I’m most proud of. I can’t think of one specific moment. That’s, the most memorable, but, that’s the thing I’m probably most proud of. Nice. Good for you guys.

[00:40:42] That’s great. So we’re, we’re about to the end. Give me one piece of advice or give a brand new investor. One piece of advice today. I would say, go as always take the next step. don’t look at the overall process. if you look at how big a mountain is that you’re trying to climb, it may discourage look at the next couple of steps, you can always take the next couple of steps.

[00:41:04] And then, once you’re three or four steps into it, steps number five, six, and seven, don’t look as daunting. For sure. Good advice. Brian, if people want to get ahold of you, they want to pick your brain a little bit more, maybe, see what kind of syndication do you have going on right now?

[00:41:18] How do they do that? websites for Oaks, all spelled out. the podcast is a good way. If you just want to listen to me, we released three episodes a week. So the diary of an apartment investor podcast, if you want to contact me directly, Brian Briscoe at forks, Nice. three episodes a week.

[00:41:37]that’s a pretty big commitment in itself. Good for you guys. Yeah. So good. listen, everybody. I’m glad you were here today, Brian. Thank you so much. I think that the information that you’ve provided today is really been, good and, informative for, the listener. So that’s good. Again.

[00:41:53] Thanks for your service. Appreciate you. And I will look forward to talking to you again soon. Everybody remember Tuesdays 12 o’clock we’re here every week. Insider secrets. You can find us on Apple iTunes, and on Spotify across those platforms go like us. Download us and subscribe. And I will look forward to seeing everybody next Tuesday.

[00:42:17] You have a great afternoon. Okay.

[00:42:20] 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 corn tensions. Join us on social media and visit my core where you can get expert coaching on all things, multifamily investing in property management.

[00:42:38] We’re looking forward to having you back again next week for more insider secrets.