Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #38
Guest: Chris Levarek & Ashton Levarek
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Chris Levarek is a former firefighter in the United States Airforce, graduate of Arizona State University, holds an Information Technology leadership role in the Banking Industry, and is a full-time real estate investor/managing partner of Valkere Investment Group. Since starting Valkere Investment Group, Chris has partnered with W-2 earners and fellow investors to achieve more choices and opportunities through real estate investing.
His experience includes single-family residential acquisitions, private lender loans, joint ventures, and multifamily real estate syndications. Chris is a published author, active BiggerPockets blog/forum contributor, and has been featured on multiple podcasts to include Military to Millionaire, The Best Ever Show, and Military Cashflow. Living in Phoenix, Arizona since 2010, Chris and his wife Jamie are enjoying the journey as new parents of a baby boy born August 2018.
Ashton Levarek is an Air Force Special Operations Pararescue Jumper, holds a B.S. in Sports Health and Science and is a full-time real estate investor/managing partner of Valkere Investment Group. Ashton acts as the network facilitator and acquisitions lead for the Valkere team. Understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, Ashton is passionate about building a team of opportunity minded investors focused on creating equity, passive income, and generational wealth for everyone involved.
Action-oriented and results-focused, Ashton brings 20 years of Special Operations experience to the investment market. He has been featured on podcasts such as Generational Wealth, Deal Closers Show, Military to Millionaire, The Best Ever Show, and MilitaryCashflow. Married to Vivian and the father of 2 little girls, Keilana and Alayla, Ashton and his family reside in Portland, OR, where he enjoys rugby, traveling the world, and teaching his girls to surf.
“We want to empower you with sound Real Estate principles for investing and property management while you still can have a well-balanced life” – [Mike]
“Success leaves clues, so let’s do what others did” – [Mike]
“I think that’s one of the big problems in today’s world… people don’t know what they want; if you know what you want, the decision is easy” – [Ashton]
“There is no such thing as ‘Fail’, I’m either successful or I learn, and that’s what real commitment is” – [Ashton]
“Even if you do know where you want to be, Why do you want to be there?” – [Mike]
“Go fast alone or go far together” – [Ashton]
“When you realize that this business is a team sport, now you just have to figure out what you’re good at” – [Ashton]
Chris explains that when faced with high-stakes decisions he accepts the reality that he might not be making the best decision, however understanding that a decision has to be made means he will take a step, fully commit to it, and learn if he makes a mistake.
Ashton explains his approach towards making high stakes decisions: Being clear about where you want to go is first and foremost; the keys to getting what you want are clarity, commitment, and taking action daily.
The main component of their strategy in fundraising is building relationships.
Tips for meeting new investors; monthly meet-ups, masterminds, Facebook groups, you don’t necessarily have to join Real Estate groups to talk about Real Estate.
Advice for new investors: when you realize that this business is a team sport, now you just have to figure out what you’re good at.
One of the tools to figure out what you’re good at is first figuring out what is required in the business; recommending the ‘Traction EOS model’ book and the Disc Profile.
Ashton shares that the big plan is to create a lifestyle that allows them to work around 6 months a year.
[01:15] Meet today’s guests: Chris and Ashton Levarek.
[03:34] In one word, what describes you and your business strategy?
[04:15] Chris and Ashton each share their backstories.
[12:20] How do you make high-stakes decisions?
[17:21] Chris and Ashton describe how they were able to close a 120-unit deal.
[24:06] How do you raise money when syndicating a deal?
[29:00] How do we reach out to new investors who want to learn about Real Estate?
[32:50] Regarding Systems and Technology, what works for you?
[35:15] Advice for new investors
[41:15] How to contact Chris and Ashton Levarek
Free eBook: “Your path to freedom”
[43:43] Where do you see yourselves in the next 3-5 years?
Valkere Investment Group
3317 E Bell Road #101
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Kristen: [00:00:00] Welcome to this edition of insider secrets, the weekly podcast that turns real estate investing goals into reality. Each show we interview guests who are seasoned real estate professionals, actively closing and managing real estate deals. Mike is the founder of my core intentions and would like to help you make your real estate investing dreams a reality.
Mike coaches you to buy investment real estate, creating short-term cashflow and long-term wealth, your host and real estate coach. Mike Morales has more than 30 years of real estate investing and property management experience. Here’s your host, Mike.
Mike: Hey, good afternoon, everybody. It’s Mike with insider secrets and I am joined today by my guests, Chris and Ashton Lavarack. And guys, can you tell our listeners where they’re going to hear a little bit about.
Chris: Definitely. So we dive into making some decisions, high stake decisions, some technologies we use in our [00:01:00] business and 120 unit we closed just this last month in Texas.
Ashton: Great. Yeah. As well as talking about how to get clear about your goals and actually create the lifestyle
Mike: that you want. Awesome. I’m glad you guys are here. Looking forward to the episode and listeners for everybody here, you’re going to have to tune in and listen to the whole show season.
One. Hey, good morning, everybody. It’s Mike with insider secrets and that’s brought to you by my core intentions. Hey, have you been thinking about your real estate intentions and where you want. Here we are at the end of the year, right? And we’re looking at a new year in front of us. What are your intentions for the new year?
You know what MCI we invest in our client’s future through an educational and teaching platforms. And our focus is to help you learn how to create short-term cashflow and long-term wealth. We want to empower you with sound real estate principles for investing in property management. While you still are, have the [00:02:00] ability to live a well-balanced life.
So we try to do this by developing foundational practical principles. And hopefully our guests today are bringing some of that to the table. And we’ll be able to talk about that. One of the things shamelessly that I’ll talk about real quick here is my new book exit. Everything you need to know about multifamily investing and why you need an exit plan before you buy.
You should grab a copy because we talk a lot about these techniques in it, but I am really excited about today’s show. I’m joined by my guests and that’s right. Plural to guests. Usually we just have one but brothers today of. Chris and Ashton Lavarack. Chris is a former firefighter in the United States air force.
He graduated from Arizona state university holds an information technology and leadership role in the banking industry. We’re going to have to hear a lot about that. And he’s a full-time real estate investor, managing partner of both [00:03:00] Valcarie investors. Since starting Valcarie investment group, Chris has partnered with W2, earners and fellow investors to achieve more choices and opportunity through real estate investing.
His experience includes single family, residential acquisitions, private lending The joint ventures and multifamily real estate syndications. And we’re going to let Chris talk a lot more about his background and all of that, but his brother, Ashton is in the air force, special operations, pararescue, or jumper holds a BS in sports, health, and science, and is a full-time real estate investor key.
I’m sure that keeps him busy. We’re going to find out a lot about. But he’s a partner managing partner Valcarie investment group Aston acts as the network facilitator and acquisitions lead for the Valcarie team. Understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Ashton is passionate about team building and the [00:04:00] opportunity minded investors focused on created creating equity and passive income for generational wealth.
Both are married, enjoy life with their wives and their children. And we’re going to let Ashton and Chris talk a lot about that. Hey guys, welcome. And the first thing I want to say is really thank you for your service. Appreciate you, what you guys do for us and for the country. But thanks a lot. You guys want to say hi, real quick.
Chris: thanks for having us. And thank you. Appreciate that. Yeah. I’m going
Mike: be here. Yeah. Glad you’re here. So we’re just talking about how Ashton’s in Oregon and it’s 6:00 AM there and we’re recording and Chris is in Phoenix and it’s seven and I’m in Chicago and it’s eight. So we have the time zones covered, which is cool.
But Hey guys, listen, one thing I always ask people when we say. Is in one word, describe for the listeners, what your focus is, what your vision is, what really describes you and your business strategy. When do you want to [00:05:00] go first? And
Ashton: I think freedom.
Chris: Yeah. Choices. Yeah.
Mike: Great words. I I’ve been doing this for a while now, and it’s interesting.
I don’t know that I’ve ever really had anybody double up on words that somebody else has said. And it’s interesting. It just shows where everybody’s thought preferences different. Anyhow, what I like to do is just talk about your backstories a little bit, Chris, if you want to go first and tell us a little bit about your backstory, how you got into real estate, what your passion is.
And then we’ll find out from Ashton a little bit about his and you guys can talk about how Valcarie came together.
Chris: Sure. Yeah. Pretty funny. I joined the military 2006 after college. I did a bit traveling overseas lived in France for two years before that, and then decided to military, went in, became a firefighter.
My brother was already special forces. So I tried the physical, really active role in the [00:06:00] military and I enjoyed it, but I did find. That my passion wasn’t completely into it. And so when I exited the military and I went back to college, I decided to go in it. It was great. A lot of big salaries there.
So I thought it’d be good. And lo and behold, I found I was really good at it. So I started a career I’ve been at about 11 years now, information technology. So I do network administration server administration. I’m actually in a lead role. And really quickly though, I did find out that, we’re putting all this money aside in our big salaries that we make.
And the more you make, the more you put aside into 401ks and the more you get taxed. And as there’s gotta be something else here, because this is this isn’t gonna I’m, I’m not a math Wiz, but I could tell really quickly that, that wasn’t going to even out very in the end when I’m, in my.
Retiring that 401k was going to be pretty small if I’m taking a big contributions or distributions. In 2018 I looked into real estate. I said, Hey, there’s a lot of people doing this. Who hold wealth, there’s gotta be something there. Why are all these wealthy people [00:07:00] holding real estate?
And how did they get into it? So we started looking at North Carolina, actually, and we started investing into duplexes and that’s kinda how we got started. There it’s really that idea that this 401k or these retirement vehicles were not enough. And there has to be a better way into that.
We started in that direction in that manner.
Mike: Yeah. It’s interesting. What you said about discovering how wealth is created. If you really look in history and you look at some of the richest family, some of the wealthiest families in history, when you start talking about Rockefeller and Andrews and all that wealth was created through real estate, or a good portion of it was held in real estate, which is.
Which has always interesting, I believe in success leaves clues let’s do what others did, right? Exactly. Absolutely. How about you, Ashton?
Ashton: So yeah, I did about, I was on 18 years in the military, just at 2018. And Chris came to me talking about this real estate thing [00:08:00] and I had been looking for that next step.
So where was I going to go? And the backup, like I’ve always been in the military. I joined the military at 19. I did the rescue swimmer program with the coast guard. Then I jumped over the air force to the pair rescue. So I’ve always been very active. Never really, all I ever wanted to do was just travel the world.
I go on adventures and have a good time. And so coming up on my 18 years, I was what am I going to do next? I got two little girls. Continue to travel. I want to continue to have the freedom to do this stuff, but I don’t want to spend as much time working for that opportunity because in the military I was gone a lot.
I was traveling for either training or I was deploying. But I was always gone, 250, 300 years or 300 days a year. And I’m not exaggerating. We used to have to keep track of that just because, the military wants to make sure that people are home with their families a certain amount of time.
So yeah, so it was like a. It was a I have two little kids, I [00:09:00] gotta be a father now I want to be a father. How can I create the income that passive income? Cause I didn’t really know what passive income was. I just thought, how could I create the income and still live the life I want and be with the family that I know that I have now that and really put that time in to raise my daughters.
And when my brother brought that real estate model to me in 2018, I just jumped on and I was like, that sounds great. That makes sense. Rent needs to be paid being the owner of a property like that. So we, at that time, him and I both just jumped into the education of it. And like you said, We, I think we did a challenge.
We challenged ourselves to get something under contract in 90 days. And then we were off to the races. Analyzing properties, talking to property management is doing market research, doing property research, all that stuff. And we just went full steam ahead. We got a quad under, under contract in 90 days and we.
We were gone, just partnering with people, raising [00:10:00] money, learning as we go, doing it the hard way, doing everything yourself in the beginning. We learned a lot since then. And the business has grown a lot where our roles have shifted. Our brand has changed. Our has changed. We’ve been through quite a few changes in the last two years, I’m happy to see.
And I’m sure we’ll go through a lot more moving forward because everything’s always changing. But yeah, we’ve had a lot of fun building this as it is right now. It’s been a great experience.
Mike: Yeah. What’s interesting is. It sounded almost like you wanted to, you were going to spend your life in the military at one point, that’s really what your focus was going to be.
And then all of a sudden, it, this opportunity arose and it was like, wow, this could be the next stage of my life, and I like what you said about, wanting to spend more time with your daughters and family. And I think that, we come to a point in our lives where that becomes really.
And, the, one of the things that I like to teach is, how do we live a more balanced lifestyle, a quality of life that, that other [00:11:00] people will admire, but not only admire, but will want a part of, so I think that I commend you for that for doing that. And it’s interesting that, so many people don’t know about opportunities in really.
Whether it’s just owning a rental property or whether it’s passive income. I talk to people every day that, God, I didn’t even know real estate existed, I just kinda find it interesting,
Ashton: It’s not talked about, in school, like when you go for a financial education, it’s not even that.
I don’t know if they even touch on it, but yeah, we find the same thing. It’s always. Work till your work till retirement put 10% or more away in some type of retirement fund or savings, no one ever talks about how your money gets devalued sitting in a savings account. Nobody talks about all the taxes that go into retirement plans and how volatile the stock market is.
Instead it’s almost like they want you to do that stuff. Ah, I don’t know. I don’t want to go on the conspiracy of it, but it’s just,[00:12:00]
yeah, it is too early for that. I’ve only had one cup of coffee,
Mike: the wrong guy to talk about conspiracies with cost. We could go all day. Yeah,
Ashton: but it’s almost like they, they want to keep you not stupid, but uneducated on it. No one ever touches on it, but you’re absolutely right. Like it’s a great vehicle.
And there are so many opportunities just to be. How you want to do it, if you want to be active, if you want to be passive, if you want to do small, big, whatever, commercial, residential. It’s awesome. Yeah.
Mike: Listen, one of the questions I want to ask you guys is how do you, and you both might have different answers for this because of your military background, but how do you make high stake decisions?
Something important is going on, something that really needs attention. And how do you go about making high stake decisions in your life?
Ashton: Because you want to go?
Chris: Yeah, that’s tough for me. It might be easier for Ashton because it’s personality based, I think can. If you’re a kind of big picture person, or if you’re a detailed person, sometimes the [00:13:00] detail you get bogged down in the details and you can’t make that quick decision.
You want to analyze everything you hear about that in real estate analysis paralysis, you’re just waiting for that right deal. And you never pull the trigger. So for me, sometimes that does happen. It gets. I get hung up on that. For me, it’s a lot of operational decisions because I do a lot of the management of virtual assistance we work with.
And we, I, now that we branched out our roles, I do have people coming to me and they need a decision right there. We just had one, should we sell this quad? Or should we not sell this quad? Sh should we wait and try to find a better opportunity? And sometimes, we just have to say, okay, look, maybe we didn’t get what we want on this.
There are some downsides, but we need to make a decision and I’m going to take that decision full front. I’m a commit to it. And if I was wrong. We’ll learn. We’ll go forward. But that’s kinda how I do it. I have to make peace with it that this might not be the best decision, but it is a decision and we’ll learn going forward either way.
Yeah, for sure.
Mike: Very good analogy. [00:14:00] How about you, Ashton?
Ashton: I think I think Chris and I have talked about stuff like this at nauseum, I think but being clear about where you want to go is first and foremost, if you’re having trouble making decisions, if you’re having trouble, I can almost pair this down or use this analogy for every instance that people get into.
I think that’s one of the big problems. In today’s world is people don’t know what they want. If you know what you want, the decision is easy. If you know where you want to go in your life, if you know that I want six pack, abs, you need, you shouldn’t be eating that donut, it’s pretty simple.
You should be at the gym. If you want to make more money, then you need to find a way to do that. If you want more passive income, you need to, like you really, I really think that’s where it starts. If you, Chris and I have done this, my, my wife and I do this, we w we look three years in the future and we figure out where we want to be.
So where [00:15:00] do I want to be in three years? What’s my office look like how much time do I have to go do the things I want to do? How much time am I spending with my family? How much time I’m spending with my wife? How much disposable income do I have? Am I. Am I working each year, like that kind of stuff, you have to be absolutely clear about what you want.
In the military, we always look at, in special operations, you’re always looking at a target. We’re going to go hit this target. We’re going to rescue somebody. We’re going to get these bad guys. We’re going to do whatever, but we always look at the target first and that defines the whole mission that defines how we’re going to get there.
That defines what equipment we’re bringing that defines who’s coming. All that stuff. And no decision is taken lightly, like who comes on the mission, who doesn’t, you know, what we’re bringing in, how those are huge decisions. And sometimes things need to be made at the last minute. But if you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish in your life, it’s actually pretty easy.
And I always say the keys to actually getting anywhere and getting what you want. Clarity knowing exactly what you want, [00:16:00] commitment being committed to that and nothing less, because I think a lot of people let that go, that they don’t commit. They’re like, yeah, I would like to spend more time with my family, but I don’t have, they don’t make the commitment to actually find a way to do that.
And then and commitment means, I accept that and nothing less. And if I fail, there is no such thing as fail. I either succeed. I’m either successful or I learn. And that’s what real commitment is. And then the last one is just taking action daily and that’s something that Christina.
Really hammered down as far as like accountability partners, business partners is brothers being accountable and sometimes it’s tough, but you do need to take that action daily if you want to get somewhere in life.
Mike: Yeah. Good stuff. Ashton, very good stuff. And I you’d be surprised how many people don’t have clarity and even if you do know where you want to be, why do you want to be.
I think that’s a big piece of it too, right? Is the Y because the Y is the driver and it’s [00:17:00] not just I want to make more money. Why do you want to make more money? Because if it’s just making more money, here’s 10 bucks, there’s more money go away, it’s why, what does that represent?
Hey, you guys just closed 120 unit deal. You wanna, you want to tell us about that and how that went for you? Some of the things that happened along the way.
Chris: Yeah, it definitely it was it’s interesting when you’re closing properties during all this COVID going on. There’s a lot of shifting parts and moving pieces.
And especially when you’re working on something as big as the 120 units, we had, multiple partners, multiple vendors, contractors, involved, different banks. And so I just wanted to say it was a great achievement. I, it. Probably 6, 6, 8 months to bring everything to close. And that’s a lot longer than a normal closing in normal closing might be 45 to 60 days.
But yeah, it was in Texas right outside of Dallas for. C class C plus just doing it’s a value add project. So we usually target value, add projects that [00:18:00] we’re just looking to slowly turn the units and raise rents by a hundred, hundred 50 up to a proven rent that we can see from competing different properties around our property.
But it was a great achievement with multiple partners and we were happy to play a part of it. And yeah. Yeah. Do you have anything add actually,
Mike: Hey, I got a couple questions real quick. Maybe you can help add some light, Ashton. How much did you pay per unit on a C class deal outside of Dallas.
And is your, being a value add, do you think you can take it from a C to a B or can you move it a half a point or, what’s your thoughts around that? Or what’s your focus and where you’re headed with that?
Ashton: I man I’m guilty of a data dump. Okay. So let me see, we closed on it. What was it per door, Chris, who was like seven
Chris: 70, 6,000,
Ashton: 76,000 a door.
And can we yeah, off market it was brought to us by our asset manager actually. And that [00:19:00] just goes back to networking and then relationship building. But. Yes, I think it can go to a, B the B class property. It’s got a strong market there. It’s within commuter distance to Dallas.
So 30 minutes is what we look for when we look at like commuter, how long people are willing to commute. And then with the rising price of real estate in Dallas itself, it’s pushing a lot of people to these outer smaller markets, greensville. Yeah. And then there’s also some strong economic drivers in that market itself.
There’s some big companies like some big contracting companies that work for the government actually right in that market. So I think there’s a lot of potential there. It’s a nice property. In fact, it’s the one behind us right now? Both of us. Yeah. There’s a lot of there it’s made up of a good mix of studio, one bedroom, one bath, two bedroom, one bath.
And I think there’s some three bedroom. Is that.
Chris: It’s two there’s four, four types of the studio, the one bed, one bath, one, [00:20:00] a two bed, one bath, two bed, two bath,
Ashton: too bad to laugh. That’s right. Yeah. So yeah, there’s definitely some upgrades that need to happen, but yeah, a lot of potential it’s gonna, it’s gonna come out really nice.
We were just, or I was just out there what, a week and a half ago meeting all the tenants, doing a meet and greet. We had like a. Had a bunch of food out for them and we’re talking to them about their concerns, just so that they put a face on who’s managing the property now and in charge of all these changes.
So there was a lot of things brought up, but then a lot, it was nice to meet everybody. Some really cool people.
Mike: So let’s talk about some operation stuff. So when you took that over, obviously a value add play did you leave the current staff in place? Talk about your onsite staff. Did you leave them in place?
Are you replacing them? What are, what’s your plans with the current.
Ashton: So we have, so we’re working with a asset, a nationwide asset management company [00:21:00] that we actually partnered with on this deal. And they’re the ones who brought it to us because we’ve worked with them on another deal prior to this one.
So earlier this summer, we closed on an 84 unit in Columbus, Ohio, and they worked with us on that one. And so they turned around and brought this deal to us. So obviously they wanted a part of it. They set up all the all the management, they did all that. They helped us with the due diligence, of course.
And then, they’re going to be in charge of a lot of the turns. We’re getting managing the progress, but yeah, they’re going to be in charge of the actual asset itself, but they put boots on the ground operators to manage it and be right there.
Mike: No, it’s interesting. And I want the listeners to pay attention to this.
Eh, one of the things that we talk about is buying criteria and that’s a great market. I bought it. I had a pretty big footprint of properties in the Dallas Fort worth market. And sub-markets because it’s a great area, and the price point worked. And when you talk about buying criteria, [00:22:00] one thing that.
The listeners to hear is when you talked about driving distance to Dallas, 30 minutes, these are things that, that a lot of people don’t think about. They might buy something an hour out of town or 45 minutes out of town and not think about where’s that tenant base going to come from or that rental base.
But that was, that’s a good call. And I liked that you brought that up because that was a good teaching point for buying activity. Here’s the other. You mentioned 78,000 a door in that market value add when you are all done. What’s the after repair value going to be estimated at
Ashton: Chris. You remember that one? So we had that after the
Chris: five-year holding me. Yeah. So if we bought it a nine point, we bought it a 9.2 million. We’re looking to sell in year five at 12.99.
Mike: Okay. That’s a great increase. I asked that because I talked to a broker last [00:23:00] week in Phoenix and his average C class deal in Phoenix right now is 189,000 a unit.
So you can see where the activities at right. And all the money’s pouring into right now. So did you guys syndicate that deal?
Mike: it, yes. Yeah. So how do you guys syndicated deal? How do you raise money? Family and friends, or what’s your secrets around that? Hey, remember, this show is insider secrets.
So now I’m going to ask for some
Chris: secrets. There we go. Yeah. So we’ve niched down into our role where we do play a big part in the investor relations, the capital raise the due diligence. That’s like our role in, in a partnership on a syndication. So we actually built a fund for this. And how we did that.
We went to a course of securities attorney but we get all the documentation of PPM and just like a normal syndication, operating documents you would need, except it just spells out that, this can be multiple [00:24:00] properties. There’s a certain timeline associated with the fund.
But it can be associated with one or, one to three, depending how many you put in the document different properties or just multifamily and. And that really allowed us to use that same fund on the 84 unit and this 120 units. So it gave us that leeway, we really needed during the year of 2020 when those closing times stretch.
So that was useful for us. It was a very it also lets our team maintain our investor base and the communications with our investors because the fund acts as a single investor into a sponsor deal for us. So that way we maintain that communication. You’re not simply just passing off investors to a bigger deal.
For example, that’s a little secret there.
Mike: Okay, good. Good. You want to add anything, Ashton?
Ashton: I apologize. I muted myself. Oh, that’s right. Yeah. So I think one of the things. [00:25:00] Cool to note. So yes, that is the specifics how we did it. But I think one of the things that when I talked to new investors, when I talked to me real estate syndicators, when I’ve talked to people that are looking at getting in real estate people always ask that a lot.
How do you, where do you get the money for it? And how do you raise that money? There’s a lot of different ways, but how do you get in front of people? And so this is one of the things that we’re really. On is building relationships with people, key people that want to be involved in this kind of thing.
Because what we found is, a lot of people, once they start to see the the benefits of real estate, they don’t know where to start. And so we always talk about. The first, people do it on their own. They own every mistake and they own every success and it’s high risk, high reward and it’s great.
It can be great. It can be terrible, but second, like people do mentorship programs, which are great because they provide a ton of value. They provide a ton of resources. But of course you have to pay to do that. And then you still have to do the work. And then the last one is partnering and that’s where a lot of people start is as a limited partner or as a [00:26:00] general partner.
And when people realize that they can come into these as limited partners, that’s, that is pretty powerful because we’ve had multiple friends come in as limited partners and then go on to do their own deals. And ’cause, you build that relationship. So that’s been a large part of our outreach of our networking is showing people how to get started, how they can get involved in creating passive income and protecting what they make through, the tax benefits of real estate.
So yes. And we could go into this. This has been a wormhole of a project of just going figuring out how best to educate our network and so that people can understand how to get started, how to partner, how to get involved in real estate syndication. So like we have talked about before we started as a work sample, working on active campaign.
So on how we educate our investors, educate our now. Through emails, through webinars, through eBooks, my brother wrote an [00:27:00] ebook that you can get at our websites free. And then of course the blog, my brother’s a great writer. He writes our blog at the at our website as well. And it’s all about education.
So providing that education because like we talked about earlier, there’s no. People that know about the benefits of real estate, I think. And if they did, they, there would probably be more people involved. And so that’s a large part of what we do is educate. And it sounds like that’s what you do a lot as well.
Podcasts will probably one of the best free educating education sources out there.
Mike: You brought, you bring something really interesting to the table is there’s a lot of people that don’t know about that real estate. We talk about that a couple of times on the call here, just briefly like that.
What’s really what’s an interesting conversation is how do we get to those people? How do we get to those people that don’t know, cause on social media we’re involved in these communities and with each other that, that’s how we met was on, on social media, right? And everybody already knows about real estate, but how do we get to the new [00:28:00] investor, the person who doesn’t know about real estate, who wants to learn that we can go and teach, right?
Cause that’s where our greatest value is. I heard a, I was listening to something this morning on YouTube and Jim Rowan was talking about learn, use it and give it. I thought, wow. What a great concept. And that’s what, that’s exactly what you’re teaching. You learned it, you use it and now you’re going to give it away.
And I think that’s really it’s commendable, but how do you get to those people and talk about your active campaign a little bit. I think I’ll touch
Chris: briefly on how we meet new people. Mainly we have a monthly meetup. We do, and that’s been really key for the year of 2020, of course. Physical meetups are great, but the power of online virtual meetups that we’ve seen over the 2020 year has been just amazing from your home.
You can go out and network with, hundreds of people. We’ve had, we, we bring on a guest speaker every year. We do a wealth and whiskey mastermind we call so you [00:29:00] can bring it. But we’re getting, 50, 60 people showing up and that’s really, I think one of the most powerful ways to meet new people.
And of course we advertise that, that event on social media. And so how do you get that event seen on social media? That’s another story, but you being in these Facebook groups that, that orient with what you like to do, I think is pretty a good way to, so if you are big into tech, go join some Facebook groups and maybe talk about.
You don’t necessarily have to join a real estate group to talk about real estate. You can go talk, go join an art club and talk about real estate. I think that’s a very missed technique that people are using. They think they have to go to BiggerPockets too, or some forum to talk about real estate.
Go talk about with people, have no idea that’s where the real power is, because then you’re going to find new people to it, especially if you’re looking for, investors or partners or that kind of thing. But.
Mike: Yeah. Interesting. I like, I liked the point you made about meetup, I’ve a couple of meetup groups and I have about a [00:30:00] hundred people that are signed up on, on both of them.
One’s for property management, one’s for multi-family, but I find it interesting how many people actually show up, for, four or five people. I did this marketing push. To about three weeks ago to do four weeks about goal setting. And how do we prepare for the new year coming up?
Hey, 2020s behind us, it’s been, good and bad, but how do we review that year? How do we set some goals? How do we build some systems and strategies now? How do we execute? And the first week I had about 22 people on and last week one person. That’s pretty
Chris: typical though.
From everyone I know who runs a meetup group. If you have a hundred people to join or a hundred people to sign up, you can expect about 30% to show you already
Mike: had 40%. It reflects life. People only stay committed or there’s another shiny object, then they run after the shiny object.
Yeah. One thing I’m sure you learned in the military is don’t chase shiny [00:31:00] objects. Yeah. So one of the, one of the things I’d like to know is a couple of technology, things that you. To use that are good for your business systems technology. What works for you guys?
Chris: Yeah. I’ll dive into that.
That’s my area. So we have got into active campaign recently. I recommended if you have a service product business that you’re trying to do. Automate communications, keep track of contacts, keep track of your, closing or sales. It’s a great product for that tool. Basically what it does is it can automate a lot of those pieces.
So if you have say a form on your website and someone signs up for it, you can trigger a month long or even year long automation where they’ll receive certain emails over. What’s called a drip. Can. Over a certain period of time. So you’ll have pauses. If they do certain actions, it will take different steps.
So for example, if they fill out the [00:32:00] form and they say I’m an accredited investor, When they, that form goes into active campaign that contact now says accredited, and you have a whole nother list of emails that will shoot off based on the fact that tag or that variable now says accredited. So really powerful to get those automations working for you.
You don’t have to go hire a virtual assistant. Follow up with someone or contact someone, especially in this game. It’s about building that relationship. It’s about providing free information. And so if that’s upon you as a person to log in every day and write an email and log it, that’s just going to you.
You can’t do that at scale. So having a tool like active campaign is really great. We’ve used a couple of the calendar. Everybody knows Calendly or these automatic call schedule tools. Those are a huge time-saver you know how I don’t know I’m in, in it. In the business or, the W2 world, sometimes you spend so much time just trying to schedule a meeting, are you available on Friday?
Are you available on Monday? How about 2:00 PM? [00:33:00] Yeah. So Kelly just allows you to, it looks at your calendar and people can pick up a meeting time. But we use monday.com to, for project management. If you’re familiar with monday.com, it’s like a sauna. Those are some of the big ones we use.
I could go on and on. We
Mike: have yeah. Yeah. That’s good though. That’s good information. Hey, so if you were given a new investor information, some advice, what would that look like today? Or what would that sound like to a new investor coming into the business?
Ashton: First I think we’d look at, where I know I come back to this, but what does he want?
What, what do you want, what are you looking for? What do you want to retire in three, five years? If do you want to build up a nest egg or are you just looking something to augment your current income? Excuse me. What exactly are you looking for? Because that depends. Are they looking for another job they might get into being an active general partner on on big deals like this, and then going in or do they like finding [00:34:00] deals?
Do they like doing the underwriting? Do they like managing, do they like, finding all the vendors that we’re going to work with? It really, I think is a tough one to say, what do you say to that person? Because I need to know, I need to know what they want but at the end of the day, I think if you look at it, like first get clear on your goals, but also what are you good at? And when you realize that, you just said, Jim, Keys that I love some of his quotes he’s has some of the best quotes. But I like this African quote that I’ve heard is go fast go fast alone, or go far together. Or as Jim Ray roam puts it, nobody’s smarter than all of us.
When you realize that this business is a team sport. Now you just have to figure out what you’re good at. And like you come in. Like when we first started, I was underwriting deals. Chris was underwriting deals. We were doing, talking to contractors. We were doing everything. We were in every hat in the business and you quickly realize.
That there is no way to do business. If you want to be efficient, you need to find people that are good at that [00:35:00] stuff. And yeah, I really didn’t like underwriting. I really didn’t. And but I thought I had to do it. And so it’s good to know it. Absolutely. It’s good to know how the, how it’s put together and how your business plan works off the numbers and why it works, but if you can find somebody that’s good at that, or likewise, like if you’re really good at underwriting, maybe you need somebody that’s good. At talking to brokers, talking to investors or partners and building those relationships. I think that’s a great place to start is like figuring out where you want to go and then what your goals are.
And one of the things that, or, sorry, what you’re good at? One of the things go ahead. Yeah. So one of the tool, like I said, so being clear about where you want to go and then figuring out what you’re good at. And one of the tools that we use to figure out what we’re good at as first Figuring out what was required of our business and a book that helped us with that was traction and the whole EOS model.
If you’re not familiar with traction and it’s written by Gino Wickman, really good on how to lay out your business and who needs to be in what seat. [00:36:00] And then another thing that helped us if we use the disc profile that Tony Robbins has always, he promotes it’s actually free on his website, I think, but if you want a more in depth, you have to pay for it.
But it’s pretty good because. When you look at okay, this business, our business, it needs this person, they all have different jobs. If there’s only two of us or if there’s, more who fits in those roles and. And to do that. You got to look at a person’s personality because if somebody is a people person and they’re not huge in the details like myself, I’m more of a big picture mindset building relations, that kind of thing.
Like I am a T I’m going to be a terrible person to be in the operations side. Cause I’m gonna miss a lot of the details. I’m a terrible person. That’s going to be on the on the underwriting side because. I’m going to miss the details or I’m going to not care about them. I’m like, yeah, this looks great.
Or, but you want certain people in certain roles and when you can identify what your strengths are, like, people always say what your superpower is, man. You can bring so much more to the team. And that [00:37:00] takes a well humility, obviously, because you gotta be like I can do that stuff, but I’m not good at it.
So let me get somebody
Mike: else. It’s good to know your strengths and your weaknesses like that. And then, where you fit and I’m like you, I’m a Rainmaker. I love building relationships and looking at deals but I hate I hate the little details, I get lost in that. And so yeah.
Anything you want to add Chris?
Chris: To a new investor? Yeah. We do these calls all the time. We have free scheduling. Like we really leave it open for, a 20 minute intro to a bunch of different people. I’m also on BiggerPockets all the time. So I’m connecting with really new investors and, I try to do it on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is look at a different crowd. So we have these talks and I just say, yeah, it’s about finding out what is driving them to come into real estate? What are they looking for? And then we can go from there. And the first of the calls that we do, and I got this, I forget which book, but it’s 70% about the person [00:38:00] 30% should be.
Are you talking the communication 70% about the new investor find out like really what drives them? What is making them have this desire. And then you can kinda, help guide them along, but we’ve found multiple different reasons, like you said, building retirement, tax deductions, passive income, I’m just curious, like it’s.
Mike: Yeah. Interesting. Listen guys, this has been very enlightening. I’ve learned a lot. I’m sure that my listeners have learned a lot today. So I want to thank you guys for being here. Hey I think that Ashton mentioned Chris, that you have an ebook. You want to talk about that and tell listeners how if they want to get a hold of you and how they would get ahold of.
Chris: Definitely. Yeah. So the best way, we put everything on our website. So Valkyrie group.com, V a L K E R E group.com. The free book is the first link right at the top and the menu bar. It’s also on the main page. But yeah the book is awesome. [00:39:00] It’s your path to freedom is the title, but basically what it does, it preps a new investor to understand the difference between passive and active investing and it details the high levels.
What there’s about six different variables that I go through that. Help you decide if you are active or you’re passive, or which one aligns more with your current life situation your current goals. And just to give a highlight, like time is a big one for a lot of people. If you have a lot of time, maybe you’re an active investor.
Maybe you want to be active. If you’re young and you got all that time in the world, but if you’re in your forties and you have a family and you have W2 job, maybe don’t have time. So that’s just one kind of variable that you might look at to decide if you’re passive or active. Go check out that ebook it’s on the website.
Belkery group.com. We got our contact information on their social media, me and my brother, Ashton. We’re on a lot of social media networks. You can search for our names as well. LinkedIn BiggerPockets. We’re all there, but if you want to just straight go to the website, we’ve got a lot of contact on there and a lot of different
Mike: [00:40:00] resources.
Awesome. Asked, what do you want to add to that?
Ashton: Yeah. If you are starting out, we’ll find somebody like Chris here because they make everything easy. Thank you. Yeah. He’s built our website. He’s built all the processes that go on behind the scenes, if I had to track every contact, every phone call, every man I would be lost and I would be, there’d be stacks of papers of contacts and people and notes, if you’re really starting out, I recommend that book traction, I’d recommend figuring out, getting clear about what you want and then formulating a three to five-year plan. Yeah. Yeah. Clarity, commitment, and daily action. So
Mike: real quick, you brought up an interesting point, a three to five-year plan.
Where do you guys see yourself in the next three to five years?
Ashton: We both have W2 jobs right now. Albeit they’re not full time, but yeah, the plan is to be able to walk away within what 2022 is [00:41:00] by the end of 2022. So we’re already one year into our three-year plan. Our plan initially was 500 units under management, cash flowing about 15 to 20,000 a month.
And We’re at 246 right now. So 246 units. So we’re about halfway there and we still got two years left. So we’re excited. We may have to shift some of the goals, but that’s where we’re going. And our big plan really is to create the lifestyle that would allow us to only work around six months a year.
And by work, like actually hunting down deals, closing on deals, setting up all that. But yeah, so that’s where we are. We just want the choice, it’s not necessarily, I love what I do. I have a lot of fun. I think Chris likes what he does as well. But yeah, we just want the.
I think that’s really important and is that we have the choice and, we talk about why we’ve talked about that a couple of times on the call. And I think a lot of times people just that ultimately becomes the why. I just want to be able to have the choice to [00:42:00] get out of bed today or not to go golfing or not, or to go to.
Or not, and it’s, it boils down to choices. Hey guys, I am really glad that you’re here. I’m glad that we connected Chris on LinkedIn. That’s where we met. And I think LinkedIn is a great place for building relationships with people and developing relationships. Here’s what I would say.
Anybody who’s looking for a syndication firm to be partners with, to be a passive investor in, I would give these guys a call and find out a little bit more about. I want to thank you guys again for being here and all my listeners for being here. Remember we’re here every Tuesday, so please follow us on social media, like us on YouTube, subscribe, do all that crazy stuff.
And stay in touch, write reviews for us. Tell us how much you love us. Hey, thanks for being here. We’ll see you guys next Tuesday, Chris. Ashton. Thanks again.
Ashton: Thanks. Appreciate it.[00:43:00]
Kristen: Thank you, Mike, and thank you for joining us for another great episode of insider secrets as always insider secrets is brought to you by my core intentions, wherever you hang out on social media, you will find Mike and my core intentions, please and follow us to get the most up-to-date real estate investing trends.
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