Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #89

 Guest: Josh Mercer

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Guest Bio:

A product of Chicago’s South Side, Joshua Mercer graduated from Howard University (BBA, Marketing; 2003) in Washington, DC. After graduating from college, Joshua began his career in retail banking and financial services with Chase Bank on Chicago’s south side. Noticing the lack of financial literacy in his customers and community, Joshua integrated himself as an Entrepreneurship/Financial Literacy Instructor in Chicago Public Schools after having earned his Master’s (Education; 2006). In 2009, Joshua founded Swish Dreams Sports & Educational Foundation, whose mission is to use sports as a vehicle to teach youth literacy and leadership. Since inception, Swish Dreams has served over 300 children annually. Later is early 2010, Joshua also founded the MOVEMAKERS, a promotions company that hosts a combined over 60 events annually in both Chicago and DC. In 2019, the MOVEMAKERS partnered with the Chicago Football Classic to spearhead and procure all 21+ social events. Each event was a sell out and touted as the Classic’s most attended weekend since its inception. The MOVEMAKERS own and operate HomecomingAtHoward.com and the HU Movemakers Podcast. HomecomingAtHoward.com is the one stop shop for the ultimate Alumni & Friends Howard Homecoming experience and is credited with organizing the world’s largest Black Bar Crawl. The HU Movemakers Podcast highlights prominent Howard Alumni. As the son of one of Allstate’s most successful agents, joining the Allstate family was always a childhood dream for Joshua. Since childhood, he has seen, firsthand, the peace of mind and high standards which Allstate provides its customers and believes insurance is a necessary component of any sound financial plan. Today Joshua owns and operates the Josh Mercer Agency, serving over 3,000 household throughout the Chicagoland area. Most recently, Joshua co-founded Eventnoire, an online event platform that pays a commission to event organizers, he currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys real estate investing/podcasting, traveling, dining out, and spending time with his beautiful wife Kenya and two children, Charli (girl; 3) and Joshua (boy; 5).

SHOWNOTES

Key Takeaways
 
Be open to new ideas and opportunities, you never know which door will lead you to something exciting. 
 
You will go through a lot of failures in life, but don’t give up. 
 
Be thorough in your process with vetting tenants, it’s about quality, not quantity in order to ease future headaches and keep people long term.
 
Josh’s non-profit, Swish Dreams, uses sports to teach youth the fundamentals of education in a way that is fun and easier to understand. 
 
Standout Quotes
 
“I really struggled in corporate America, it was almost like culture shock. It was like college would past like that and the next thing you know, you expected to find a job and that’s your life. So for me, I hopped around from job to job, I think I got fired from a few places. But that really afforded me the opportunity to learn by myself and write things down. I remember one thing I said, I was like, “man, I’ll never work on Saturday again.”- Josh

 

“We have to do all these studies about poverty, about low education. And every study that you raise is about low income and black people, like every single study and so that made me realize how blessed I was to have a high school diploma and a college degree.” – Josh
 
“I do ask for a report card because report cards are going to tell me how many times your kid was tardy. You don’t have to be a straight-A kid, it can be all C’s but you gotta be proactive in this because you want to build community in these buildings because you don’t want people moving out. When a tenant knows that you’re checking out for all that information and other tenants know, they trust you, they’re like, okay, he’s thorough.” – Josh

 

Timeline

 

[01:21] Introduction to today’s guest, Josh Mercer.
[02:44] One word that describes Josh personally and professionally.
[03:58] Where Josh came from, and how he grew up.
[08:38] Starting the nonprofit, Swish Dreams.
[10:28] How Josh’s mother broke him into the real estate scene.
[14:17] How Josh’s mother changed the course of their financial situation.
[17:43] Setting tenant standards as a landlord.
[20:45] Where the market is headed and expectations in real estate.
[23:15] Technology that Josh likes to use.
[23:55] Josh’s podcast, Go Fish Village.
[25:42] Bonus question round.
[28:08] Best ways to get ahold of Josh.
[28:46] Closing remarks.
 
Contact
 
 
Instagram- @josh4insurance, @josh4realestate
 
LinkedIn & Facebook- Josh Mercer

TRANSCRIPT

Kristin: 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 Morawski has more than 30 years of real estate investing and property management experience. Here’s your host, Mike

[00:00:45] Mike Morawski: Hey everybody, good afternoon. It’s Mike and we’re back again with this week’s episode of Insider Secrets brought to you by My Core Intentions. I am really glad that you’re here today. You know, my intention today is that I’m going to deliver great content to you, some relevant information, some things that are going to help inspire you, maybe help push you personally so that you grow professionally.

[00:01:06] I have a great guest today, somebody I’m really excited about. This is a guy that I had the opportunity to meet at a couple of events here in Chicago. We’ve just started to build a relationship and I look forward to having the opportunity to build a little bit longer relationship with him, I’m joined today by Josh Mercer. Josh, why don’t you say hi to everybody?

[00:01:25] Josh Mercer: Hello everybody, Mike, thanks again for having me on. Really excited to be a part of the podcast. I love the work that you’re doing, super excited to be here.

[00:01:33] Mike Morawski: Appreciate you being here, Josh, and taking the time out in between the holidays and that. Let me tell you a little bit about Josh, everybody. Josh grew up in Chicago, south side, and if you know anything about Chicago, there’s some neighborhoods that aren’t the best neighborhoods in the world. We’re going to see today how he fought through that. If you know anything about those sub-markets, we can only imagine what life must have been like for Josh.

[00:01:53] He graduated from Howard University with a BA in marketing. He went on into the banking and financial services industry, earned a master’s degree in educational foundational in educational foundation. Founded Swish Dream Sports and Educational Foundation. Josh joined the family Allstate business, and today operates Mercer Agency in his spare time. Josh enjoys real estate sales and podcasting to fill in his empty spots. Josh, I always say that it’s interesting when people have a side hustle or their side hustle becomes their way of life and their business.

[00:02:33] As much as you’re doing insurance and running the family business, that side hustle will creep up on you a little bit from time to time, too. One question I ask all my guests when I kick off my show is, in one word what best describes you personally and professionally?

[00:02:49] Josh Mercer: I would say resilient. I think that’s been a part of what has made me who I am. Just a lot of failure, and a lot of learning, but not giving up. I think that over time, people that have really experienced success in life have major stories of failure and great comeback stories. So for me, I would say resilient, I’m still learning.

[00:03:13] Mike Morawski: I like that word resilient, that’s how my life is too, and I have to say, I’ve been doing this podcast and probably 80 some episodes in now almost 90 I think and nobody’s ever said resilient. So I honor you for that because that’s a big word and it’s not something that comes easy to people and I think that I’ve seen a lot of men and women just lay down and say, I give up, I quit. That’s the one thing that I got when I first met you, was that you weren’t somebody who did. You were somebody who wanted to move forward, wanted to help other people. I was attracted to your spirit, and who you are. Hey, do me a favor, fill some backstory and tell us what it was like growing up on the south side and how you got to where you’re at going to college and all that today.

[00:03:57] Josh Mercer: Sure. I grew up for a little bit in the Woodlawn area, 65th and Vernon, that area is turning around now, that’s where my mom grew up and then in third grade we moved to Beverly. My mom, she got an opportunity to be an insurance agent and go into business for herself. That’s really when life started to change because she became a successful business owner over time. But we were a single family household, so there were struggles here and there, but in terms of neighborhood that I really grew up in, Beverly, which is on the south side of Chicago. That was great, it provided me with a lot of structure.

[00:04:32] I had a lot of positive families that were in my area. My mom made sure I was raised in church, always put me in a ton of sports. When I went to high school, I went to Brother Rice High School, which is all boy high school. Mom didn’t want me to be around any girls at that time, she just wanted me to focus on graduating. Then I went away to school, went to Howard University. I had an amazing time in Washington, DC, historically black college, a lot of history. Everybody from Thurgood Marshall to Camilla Harris to Puff Daddy, Chadwick Boseman. That’s really when I guess the light bulb went off for me because for the first time I had role models in every facet of life that I could touch. They also looked like me. Growing up, we didn’t have too many of those type of examples.

[00:05:20] My mom was a great example, but she was in the insurance industry, but I just got exposed to so much. When I graduated from college, I really had a hard time finding myself career wise. So I really struggled in corporate america, it was almost like culture shock. It was like college would past like that and the next thing you know, you expected to find a job and that’s your life. So for me, I hopped around from job to job, I think I got fired from a few places. But that really afforded me the opportunity to learn myself and write things down. I remember one thing I said, I was like, “man, I’ll never work on Saturday again.”

[00:05:55] I wrote that down, I didn’t want to work on Saturdays, I had another job. I worked at the train station, I had to be at work at 4:00 AM. When you’re 21, 22, 4:00 AM is when you’re supposed to be leaving the club, not going to work. So that was tough, so I just wrote things down. I had so many failures when it came to my career and I’ll say failures, cause my friends, their careers were taking off. They were making like 90 grand. I’m like, damn, I’m struggling, I’m making 30 grand working 4 jobs. They’re doing their thing but what it allowed me to do was just really think and put pen to paper about the life that I really wanted to have. So I did work in banking for a little bit in Inglewood and that was really tough because we were expected to open up checking accounts and do mortgages for a population that really didn’t have the financial literacy. It was a struggle just to open up a checking account.

[00:06:47] I did that, like I said, I worked at the train, I was a bartender, I refereed basketball games, I did everything. Then I eventually ended up going back to school to get my master’s degree in education. Honestly that really was the game changer for me, going back to school would allow me to sit down and then they also paid me a stipend so I was able to support myself. It was like a scholarship, I was able to support myself, go back to school, learn some things and really prepare for being an adult. Cause I wasn’t really prepared mentally coming out of school, I was good in the classroom, but I wasn’t ready to go to work every day and have that type of structure that working for somebody else requires you to have.

[00:07:30] So when I graduated, master’s degree in elementary education. One of the things I’m noticing while I’m getting my master’s degree, we have to do all these studies about poverty, about low education. And every study that you raise is about low income and black people, like every single study and so that made me realize how blessed I was to have a high school diploma, have a college degree. But I was surprised that the poverty rates, I was surprised at the low education and of course, anywhere there’s low education and poverty, there’s going to be crime. It was cyclical, it was like a constant cycle, I was learning this in the books. After a while you go to the classroom, and of course me being a black male, they put me in the worst of the worst school. They’re like, “yeah, immersive, you going over there.” I’m like, oh man. But I was excited, I was young, I had a thousand ideas, I love sports. So there was things that I wanted to introduce.

[00:08:27] This segment of a population that I really wasn’t used to being around, I had experience of going. I grew up watching my mom as an entrepreneur, so I had a ton of ideas and I was ready to get into the classroom. So while I was getting my master’s degree, I started a nonprofit called Swish Dreams Sports & Educational Foundation. What we do, we teach kids math and reading through sports. So for example, we might say if LeBron James takes 10 shots and makes 5, what does that look like as a fraction, as a decimal, as a percentage, as a ratio? Write a poem about your favorite player, give me the sports rankings. When you’re not playing, they were required to keep score.

[00:09:06] They had to write about the games. I was using the state standards for math and reading to teach these kids sports. Cause when I grew up, I was a huge Jordan fan. I grew up collecting baseball cards and you look at the back of the baseball cards, teach you batting average, on base percentage. These are things that when I was a kid, I was really into. I knew that if I got the kids to buy into learning about the math related to sports, I could teach them, hey, if you shoot at 20% from the three point line, you probably don’t need to be taking a shot. That’s a bad shot. I could break it down beyond just, oh, that’s a nice dunk, that’s a nice move. We can break down the percentages and we can break down probability, I can introduce all these other languages that are transferable skills.

[00:09:47] I was so surprised at how many of these kids realistically thought they were going to go to the NBA. I used to tell them if you can’t beat me, I don’t care if you in the 8th grade. If you can’t beat me right now, you’re not going to the NBA. If you’re not taller than me, I’m 5’6″, you’re not going to NBA. So you need to learn how to apply math and reading and speaking and social skills. So long story short, that program grew to about 700 kids, it was huge. So I got a ton of sponsors, created a board of directors. I ended up teaching for about seven years. Of course, as you know, teaching doesn’t always pay the bills. So my mom she saw the idea with Swish Dream and she’s like, “okay, this is cool. I like what you’re doing.” So she helped me purchase my first building. So she was like, “you know what? I’m going to co-sign for you to get a building and you going to live in the basement.”

[00:10:44] So initially I was like, I want to get a condo, I want to be downtown. But to be honest, I couldn’t afford a condo and I was surprised to see at how condos and houses were like the same price. A downtown condo with like a one bed was the same price as like a three unit building on the south side. My mom, she told me, I remember her telling me she was like, condos are for people that got money and you don’t have money. So you need to get a building and that didn’t make sense. So she was like, you can stay right here, stay in this basement, they could pay your mortgage. At the time I’m a teacher, I’m making probably like 50 grand a year, and that’s working, teaching, and coaching. So she co-signed on a buildinig and then she gave me her credit card to rehab the basement so I could have a bathroom down there, I could have a kitchen, all of that. So I know everybody’s parents don’t have the ability to do that, I did pay her back, took me like five years to pay her back.

[00:11:34] This was also during a period where you can do like a state of the income on your home to buy a place. So of course I stated my income, it got qualified, but this is when the light bulb went off. So I had entrepreneurship, I had my Swiss Dreams camp. At this point in time, I had 16 teachers, but oddly enough, it’s a non-profit. So I was only making maybe 5 or 10 grand a year doing that, despite me having 700 kids. It turned off the wheels in terms of, if you can create something and you can add value, you can make money. So I did that and of course I was throwing parties on the side, so I was building up a database and every now and then I would make $500 here, $1000 there for throwing parties.

[00:12:17] The main thing was I had this building. So I had, I believe the mortgage at the time was like $2,600. My income from teaching at the time was like $2,400 after taxes. I remember getting tenants in there and I remember looking at the income like there. Cause my mom, she told me she was like, “look before anybody moves in, go over their leases. I want you to get a month and a half plus the first month rent, I need you to collect.” Her name is tied to the building so she was making sure that I was on point. So she was like, “I want you to get their paystubs, I want you to run their credit.” So I’m looking at their pay stubs, I’m like, “damn, you make more than me. Why are you living over here?” I was surprised to see that. So like I said, the mortgage is $2,600.

[00:12:58] I got one tenant in there. They pay me $1200 a month. I’m like, damn, that’s half the mortgage right there. I get another tenant in there. They pay me $1,050, but they were paying their own heat and utility. So you add that up, $400 is left for me. I’m like, oh, this is nothing. So automatically, even though it wasn’t really making more money, my buying power was increased because now my friends that I had, they were working in corporate america making 80, 90 grand a year. It leveled the playing field in terms of that bill that they have for rent, where they paying $2000 and $1500 a month. I didn’t have that anymore, I was living the same life. Now I have a 3000 square foot building, producing income. I remember when I filed my taxes after that first year, it was like a question on like the electronic tax form.

[00:13:45] It was like, do you own a multi? How much did you put into it? I remember, I rehabbed it so it was like 30 grand. My tax refund, I got back. I was like, damn. So you telling me I could buy real estate, have people pay me to live here that can pay off my mortgage for me, and then I can benefit from a tax perspective? So all these light bulbs were going off.

[00:14:06] Mike Morawski: Hang on one second here, so here’s what I want to do. I want to zone in on this piece right now and I want to go back. You said something early on that your mom all of a sudden became an entrepreneur, where did she get it?

[00:14:17] Josh Mercer: Single parent, she’s working her way out in Skokie, Illinois. A guy came in and he was like, man, you’re too cute to be in corporate, you need to be in sales, you need to quit this. That’s what he told her and she was like, what’d you mean? He was like, look, take a chance. He was trying to build his team. So he got her to come out and at that time got her to quit her job with Allstate in the corporate sector and become an Allstate agent because they were trying to really like focus on the south side. He basically broke it down to her and said this is what you can make. So of course you know how business is, you start off slow, you ain’t making nothing and stressful, all of those things, but she was highly motivated having been a single mom. She got me to take care of, she got herself.

[00:14:59] I just looked at one day and we went from a house that was like this, sharing a bed. The next thing I know, I have my own room and a few years later, we had a house. Then a few years later she had her own office. This is over a period of 20 years, I distinctly remember I was living with my grandma and me and my mom sharing a bed up until I was like 10. Then two years later, my mom had a condo and now I have my own bed. When you’re kids, you’re not thinking about none of that, but when I play it back in my mind and by the time I got to 7th grade now we got a nice house with an extra bedroom and a yard. I’m like, damn, this is different. Then by the time I go into college, mom got a nice condo downtown and she’s rented out the other places that we had previously lived. But she doesn’t like real estate, she don’t like it at all. She appreciates it, but she don’t like it.

[00:15:49] The money is too slow for her and she don’t have time to go back and forth with tenants. But the light bulb for me, because I had so much, I struggled so much in corporate america. By the time I got to a situation where somebody was paying for my overhead for my house, that was crazy. Then when I refinanced, the mortgage went from 2,600 to 1600, so now I was cash flowing. I was like, “yo, this is nuts.”

[00:16:15] Mike Morawski: So let’s back up for a minute, here’s the point I wanted the listeners to take into their heart, is that Josh’s first piece of real estate’s a small multifamily. He house hacked it, he lived in the basement. The things you learned, right? You put all this money in, you got a tax deduction, and then you got money back on your taxes. So you know, all the things you learned along the way about how to meet a tenant, how to screen a tenant, market a tenant, rehab a place, put a tenant in. Where did you go after that first multi-family deal?

[00:16:48] Josh Mercer: I’ll tell you this too, I bought this building in ’07 when the real estate market was like at a high, when everybody was excited about buying stuff in Chicago and probably nationwide. I remember I had friends that bought condos and overpaid, they bought houses and overpaid. I overpaid for my three flat, I paid 340 and then a year and a half later, it got appraised at 150. But even still, because I had tenants, I didn’t feel that loss. But I have friends, they bought houses or condos for 300, and then other condos in the building were getting foreclosed for 50,000, 60,000, so I was really unaffected by like that crisis. That goes back to picking really good tenants to stay in there. You can’t be really thirsty to just put anybody that can breathe in your unit. You really want to follow the best practices when it comes to that.

[00:17:43] Mike Morawski: What are a couple of your tenant standards? In that space, you have to have tenant standards. So what are some of your standards to rent to a tenant?

[00:17:51] Josh Mercer: So for me, number one is as a landlord, you have to keep your places nice. Meaning, you can’t neglect your building because there’s going to come a day where the tenant is going to move out. You want that place, you want to be able to turn it over quick. So if you’re neglecting your building, you’re going to have big improvements that you’re going to have to make that are going to be costly. Also if you respond to tenants and you stay on top of them, they’ll keep your place nice, for the most part. It might not be up to your standards, but it won’t be a huge cost like somebody just tearing stuff out. Now, for me in terms of standards, I’ll look at anywhere from 2.5-3X the monthly rent.

[00:18:33] That’s what I want you to be making in terms of income. I’m looking at no evictions in the past 7 years. At that time I wanted a month and a half plus the first months rent. Now I don’t do a security deposit, I just do a move-in fee. I’m getting references from your employer, of course I’m getting pay stubs. I’m looking at stuff that’s on your background, criminal activity. When it comes to criminal activity, if you went to jail or something and if it’s something minor fine. But if it’s a murder or rape, that’s a no for me, anything else I can overlook. I’m looking for references from your job and if you have kids, I want to see a report card. I just want to know that I want to be with somebody that when I’m waking up for work, you’re going to work too. I’m looking for somebody that is respectful. I’m entrusting you.

[00:19:17] So I do ask for a report card because report cards going to tell me how many times your kid was tardy. You don’t have to be a straight A kid, it can be all C’s but you gotta be proactive in this because you want to build community in these buildings because you don’t want people moving out. When a tenant knows that you’re checking out for all that information and other tenants know, they trust you, they’re like, okay, he’s thorough. Then when we do the lease, we have to read it word by word together. So I read the whole three or four page lease word by word and then we both sign together. The two times I didn’t do that, I had to evict somebody. The other thing that I look for, I always charge a little bit less than market rent cause I want you to stay.

[00:20:01] All my tenants have been there at least 14 or 15 years, so I want people to stay. So I might put something small, like a washer and dryer. I look for buildings that may have good parking and I won’t charge my tenants for it. So market rent is 1400, I might charge 1350 or throw in something extra, cause I want people to stay and pay. So those are like the main things I look for. I know it sounds like a lot, but when you lose money as a landlord when people are moving out, you might have to pay 2,500 to paint that place and maybe replace something. That’s just not something that you always want to do or you may be wanting to put that money somewhere else. But I’ve never had a problem with replacing a tenant I should say.

[00:20:41] Mike Morawski: I have a couple other questions I want to ask outside of this conversation. Where do you see the market going right now? Here we sit coming out of this pandemic, we’re going into a new year. What’s your expectation for the real estate market?

[00:20:54] Josh Mercer: It’s a great question, the real estate market, it really depends on how the job market goes in terms of, are people going to be working from home? Is that going to become a normal thing? You got all these other considerations, this whole metaverse thing where people are buying virtual real estate, which is something I haven’t even really looked into. I think that houses are going to become more important for people that have the means to purchase and maintain a house. I think that downtown is always going to be an appeal, especially in Chicago, because everything is built around downtown, whether it’s shopping, whether it’s the lake.

[00:21:29] But I do see people migrating to communities where you have a nice yard, where you have a nice driveway, where you have an extra bedroom that can serve as an office. So it’s a lot of different factors, I was reading a report yesterday that housing prices are back down to where they were in April. It is coming back down, but we’ve got to look at interest rates. Banks aren’t doing the stated income that I was doing, you can’t do that anymore. Everything is a little bit tighter. I think houses are always going to be stable if you buy in a stable area. Condos I think will have less appreciation than homes, but I think multi-families are still a good thing. I think it’s going to be more on landlords to keep places sanitary and to offer things that maybe they didn’t offer previously, especially if you’re building something new.

[00:22:22] Mike Morawski: Yeah, it’s interesting. You just read this report about housing prices being back where they were in April. But yeah, I think you’re right about that downtown market is robust, will probably stay robust, but it’s interesting where the economy goes, and I think work from home is going to be a thing that everybody’s doing, right? Part of your job, part of what you do. I look at people around me that are working from home and they’re going to be there for awhile, there’s no plans to move back in an office. Which, when you look at office as a real estate sector, I had heard something about six months ago that there was like 5 years absorption rate to rent all of the vacant office space right now in downtown Chicago. Whether that’s changed or not, I don’t know. There was an awful lot of office space that was vacant. I think real estate comes in all classes, all sizes, all shapes. Talk about technology a little bit. What do you like to use technology wise?

[00:23:19] Josh Mercer: When it comes to real estate, I subscribed to like everything, whether it be Redfin, realtor.com. I’m a licensed realtor, so I am on the MLS, I read Crain’s magazine, I’m a subscriber to that. I’ll follow people like yourself. Oddly enough, man, when it comes to technology, I more so follow certain individuals who are active in real estate. Certain realtors that I follow, certain podcasts that I listen to. I listen to Earn Your Leisure. I listened to another one, I think it’s called Sleep is 4 Suckers.

[00:23:51] Mike Morawski: You have a podcast, tell us about your podcast a little bit. What’s that about?

[00:23:55] Josh Mercer: Yeah. My podcast is Go Fish Village. Go Fish Village is really like that saying goes, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish you feed them for a lifetime. So my motto is helping people create financial freedom through real estate. That’s really what my mom helped me do, she taught me how to fish. Cause at one point I was staying with her but she made me pay all the utilities in the house, cable, all of that. Then I moved in with my friends, paid rent there, and then she taught me how to fish. She said, “hey, I’m a co-sign for you to get this building.” She made me liquidate all of my retirement, every dollar I had, and put it into the building. So I got the building, she showed me how to read through leases, she showed me how to vet tenants. She linked me up with a contractor, so I managed the property.

[00:24:39] While we were doing the rehab, I was living in the basement. I only had a microwave and a bathroom for about six months and an air mattress, but I was only 24, I didn’t care. I was just happy to have privacy. My mom, she taught me how to fish. Had she just let’s say bought me a house or just paid my rent or had I experienced success early on in my career financially without falling on my face. These things wouldn’t have happened. So I was forced to learn and come in through the back door. So that’s what we talk about and I talk about how I bought my first place, then I refinanced it and I bought another place. Then I bought another place, then eventually sold the first one.

[00:25:17] To buy my dream home is just like moving pieces around. There’s a saying, the best time to buy real estate is always five years ago. That’s something that I subscribed to when I’m on the fence. If me and you are in the back and forth, I’m not concerned with what I’m paying you, I’m more so concerned with what I’m getting out of the deal. So yeah, I mean real estate has been great.

[00:25:35] Mike Morawski: So listen we gotta wind down a little bit, I feel like I could talk to you all afternoon. We’ll have to get together and do that for sure. The last round of this is just some simple questions, some easy things. We’re in Chicago, what’s the best restaurant in your opinion in Chicago? What kind of food?

[00:25:52] Josh Mercer: Wow, that’s a tough question. It depends, man. If I’m getting some oysters, this place called Union Sushi that I love. I love Gibsons, man, it’s a great place for some good steak and some seafood. I love I-57, it’s on the south side, if you talking about some ribs, love that place.

[00:26:09] Mike Morawski: When are we going?

[00:26:10] Josh Mercer: Yeah, they got some really good ribs. Chicago has so many different spots. I love tacos, we talking about tacos, this place in the south loop. I don’t know the name of it, but they got 30 different types of tacos. Pizza, there’s so many different pizza places, I love Beggars Pizza.

[00:26:26] Mike Morawski: Here’s what I like about you, you talk about all these different places. I met you at this really cool little club down on south Wells street where you were having an event, you put on a great event. I tell anybody listening to this, that if you get a chance to go to one of Josh’s networking events, go there. Great people, great networking, great conversation, and presentation. So if you get an opportunity, go. Best tourist attraction in Chicago, Josh?

[00:26:52] Josh Mercer: Wow, best tourist attraction? There’s no feeling better than on Lake Shore Drive in the day. When you see the buildings right next to the lake, right next to Grand Park. I just can’t see a better selling point of why Chicago is a global city. Of course, you got Michigan Avenue and you’ve got the United Center. You could see Michael Jordan stuff, but for me, I remember when I was a teacher, I lived in Hyde Park for 2 years and I would take Lake Shore Drive for my start to work every day and it never got old. It never gets old, man. Especially in the summertime, when you can look and see boats and you can see the women. When you driving and buildings, it’s just instant motivation. I went to South America, in Rio, and they got something similar, but the architecture in Chicago is second to none. I took my wife on the Chicago dinner tour. That was amazing too, we went for our anniversary. So I would have to say just drivingon Lake Shore Drive. That’s priceless.

[00:27:47] Mike Morawski: I used to run this run called the Soldier Field 10 Mile and it started at Soldiers Field and would go down to 71st street, down by the golf course. I think that the south end of Lake Shore Drive is much more attractive than the north end, especially when you’re on that path and you’re running or biking down there. Josh, how do people get ahold of you? If they want to talk to you about insurance or real estate? What’s the best way to reach you?

[00:28:15] Josh Mercer: Yeah, I’m on social media on Instagram @josh4insurance or @josh4realestate. You can go with my name, just type in Joshua Mercer. You can find me on Facebook or LinkedIn. I’m very accessible, real estate www.listwithmercer.com, for insurance, joshuamercerinsurance.com. You can definitely find me there, I’m pretty active on social media, dropping tips and just sharing my experiences. Hopefully people can learn from me, I’m always down to chat, it’s something that I really enjoy doing.

[00:28:46] Mike Morawski: Awesome. I would just encourage my listeners to get on your social media list and hear about your next networking events that are coming up cause they’re always a blast. Hey everybody, thanks for being here. Josh, I appreciate you for being here and your time, wealth of knowledge. I want hope my listeners walk away with some real good input about tenant strategies, as well as small multifamily. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, how you grew up, where you’re at today in life, what matters is what the next step is that you’re gonna take forward. Again, if you’d like us, love us, subscribe to us, support us out on social media. Wherever you hang out, we hang out. Whether that’s Instagram, Facebook, go to YouTube and subscribe to the channel and we will continue to bring you good relevant content every week. Josh, thanks for being here and everybody we’ll see you next week.

[00:29:33] Josh Mercer: Thanks Mike, thanks for having me.

[00:29:35] Kristin: 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 like and follow us to get the most up-to-date real estate investing trends. Visit mycoreintentions.com, where you can get expert coaching on all things, real estate investing and property managers. If you’re looking to become an expert, Mike’s coaching will help you scale your real estate investment business. We’re looking forward to having you back again next week for more Insider Secrets.