Insider Secrets Podcast Episode #93

 Guest: Vessi Kapoulian

 

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Guest Bio:

Vessi Kapoulian has 17 years of business experience that includes 13 years of commercial lending and 4 years of business management/sales/marketing. Vessi started her real estate journey in 2017. Today Vessi controls a small portfolio of investor real estate properties in Tennessee and Central Florida.  

Her lending experience has served her well in developing a conservative and analytical approach in assessing risk and investing prudently in real estate to maximize returns. Her business experience has helped develop a solutions-oriented and execution-focused approach, which has served well in asset managing her real estate portfolio.  

Vessi is an active Bigger Pockets Pro member and active in various real estate professional networks. Vessi’s mission is to help others attain their financial freedom while at the same time providing a clean, safe, and pleasant home environment for her clients (tenants) and improving the local communities she invests in.  

Vessi has earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from Northwestern University. Vessi enjoys running and spending time with family, friends, and her fur baby Rickie in her free time.

SHOWNOTES

Key Takeaways

There are definitely deals in the market, but it’s also important to stay true to your criteria.

Stay true to your criteria, and that’s my belief that then the right deal will come.

Of course, I like appreciation, but cash flow is something you can control.

Timing the market is challenging. And if you could do that we probably would be doing something else or something different.

It comes down to mindset, really having that thought that even if things don’t go perfect all the time, you take away the lessons learned and you build on that.

You need to be nimble not so rigid from that perspective because you want to be realistic right in your expectations.

In Florida, you may be under budgeting that. I guess the percent is more of a guideline. Sometimes you may come over, sometimes you might come under, but I also like to look at the dollar amount.

Standout Quotes

“Generally speaking overall, when I look at expenses, 50% expense ratio is what I target and that’s probably okay for the market on that I’m currently pursuing, which is Florida”- Vessi

“And as far as the projections, definitely, I’m more optimistic about rents over the course of the next year, but it’s important to adjust expenses accordingly” – Vessi

“When I purchased my first investment property living in California that meant the first investment would be out of state because my goal at the time was and still is to invest for cash flow” – Vessi

“I believe that people can learn from our experiences. So there’s strength in the struggle” – Mike

“Here’s always been my opinion of the underwriter, the underwriter is the person who sits six stories underground in a dark basement, has a big light above them and they make decisions on people’s lives” – Mike

“My first investment was in the city of Memphis, Tennessee, and I was so nervous and scared, but really happy that I took that first step” – Vessi

“There are certain trends you can look for in the market that can help guide your decisions. But if you are trying to time the market you’re more or less gambling.” – Vessi

“There are two different paths. One can take appreciation or cash flow. There is no right or wrong. The reason why I like cash flow is that you can control and execute on the business plan” – Vessi

“Making sure you have adequate reserves for vacancies, maintenance. Because even if you buy a brand new property, things do happen, things will happen, things don’t go perfectly all the time” – Vessi

“IRR is the overall return that you make on the investments from the beginning of the deal, through the end that captures your annual returns generated from the property, including the gain that you make at the sale” – Vessi

“What I recall is coming to the US when I was straight out of high school, didn’t know anyone or anybody, but I had a lot of faith in myself, in my abilities. And I had that burning desire and positive outlook or positive thinking to succeed” – Vessi

Timeline

[00:44] Intro to show and today’s guest, Vessi Kapoulian.

[03:54] One word that describes Vessi personally and professionally.

[04:38] Vessi’s background and how she got into real estate.

[07:39] Your personal home is an investment property.

[09:39] Talking about Cash flow.

[11:43] Vessi’s typical target return.

[12:34] Defining IRR (Internal Rate of Return).

[13:53] Vessi shares moments from her past that made her Resilient.

[17:08] Lisa shares why she likes underwriting.

[21:16] The formula Vessi uses for expenses.

[24:22] Top three markets Vessi likes and the reason behind it.

[26:41] Do you have a couple of favorite tools that you use from a technology standpoint in doing what you do?

[29:14] Vessi shares her Insider Secret.

[37:19] Favorite restaurant of Vessi.

Contact

LinkedIn: Vessi Kapoulian (https://www.linkedin.com/in/vessi-kapoulian-1475172/)

Email: vesi@thevesik.com

TRANSCRIPT

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 cash flow 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.

Mike: Hey everybody. Welcome back to today’s episode of Insider Secrets. I am so excited about today’s show. I’m joined by Vessi K from Los Angeles. Vessi is an underwriter and has a wealth of knowledge. Vessi, why don’t you tell our listeners a couple of things that they’re going to hear in today’s episode.[00:01:00]

Vessi: Absolutely. We’re going to talk about one of my favorite topics, which is underwriting, and we’ll dive into key criteria, market insights, and the art of underwriting.

Mike: Absolutely. And you guys are going to have to listen in to hear the rest, see you inside.

Hey everybody. Welcome back. It’s Mike and I am your host of Insider Secrets. And Insider Secrets is brought to you by My Core Intentions. Just glad that you’re here today. And the question that I always ask people is, Hey, what are your intentions? What are you planning to do? Did you get up this morning and plan your day out?

Did you think about what you wanted to get done this week? Are you on track this year for your goals? I always ask because I want to know where you’re at. If I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out. Always we’re here every week. We bring you great relevant content for what’s going on in the marketplace.

Somebody who is always smarter than I am [00:02:00] that can bring data and information to us and teach us how to do the multifamily business a little bit more efficiently than how we’re currently doing it. Today, I’m excited I am joined by my guest Vessi. Do you want to say hi?

Vessi: Hi everybody. It’s a pleasure to be here and an honor to be a guest on your podcast Mike.

Mike: Oh, thanks vessi. I’m so glad that you’re here. And I just want to remind everybody, please go to your favorite social media platform. Like us, love us subscribe. Whether it’s Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, just go out there and subscribe on YouTube to this and you will get a notification every time a new episode drops.

Let me tell you a little bit about our guest today. Vessi has 17 years of business experience that includes 13 years of commercial lending and four years of business management, sales, and marketing. Vessi started her journey in 2017. Today, she controls a small [00:03:00] portfolio of investor real estate properties in Tennessee and central Florida.

Her lending experience has served her well, developing a conservative and analytical approach in assessing risk and invest prudently in real estate in order to maximize returns. And we’re going to talk a lot today about underwriting. Vessi is skilled at that. And I’ve been talking a lot about underwriting lately and how important it is, how we look at things today. So Vessi, welcome to Insider Secrets. Glad that you are here.

Vessi: I’m glad to be here, Mike, and very much appreciate the invitation and look forward to adding value to your listeners.

Mike: Awesome. Hey, Vessie, one thing I always ask all my listeners when we start the show is in one word, what best describes you personally and professionally?

Vessi: That’s a great question. There are a few words that come to mind, but the one I will choose today [00:04:00] is Resilient.

Mike: Okay.

Vessi: And there’s a lot of thought behind it, but ultimately there are ups and downs in life. There are lessons learned and it’s important to acknowledge that, get up, keep going and go after your dreams and goals. Hence, Resilient.

Mike: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s what I live by today too. Cause we can’t look at our past, we can’t let our past define us. So Vessi, I gave a brief overview of you, why don’t you fill in some blanks for people, let people know a little bit more about your history and your background, and how you got in this crazy space? I always say real estate is a crazy space.

Vessi: And it’s a lot of fun as well, but yes, born and raised in Bulgaria, came to the United States over 20 years ago with two suitcases and a lot of hope, faith, and burning desire to succeed. My path started probably like everyone else’s. I was taught to go to school, get good grades, get a job, [00:05:00] climb the corporate ladder.

So this is really the path I took in the beginning. With that said, my parents at an early age always planted that seed about real estate. And again, I grew up in a country where you don’t have the stock markets or other options for investing in real estate was or investing in hard assets viewed as really the only investment opportunity. So I guess I always had that at the back of my mind but didn’t really take action until about 2005 when I purchased my first home. And sold out right before the crash, but it was a great investment in the sense that it paid for graduate school.

And then that’s when things became really real. And I decided to take the next step a few years later that time I was moving across the US for a job. So things had slowed down for a second. So didn’t really do much with that until about 2017. When I purchased my first investment property living in [00:06:00] California that meant the first investment would be out of state because my goal at the time was, and still is to invest for cash flow.

Of course, I like appreciation, but cash flow is something you can control. Appreciation, you’re at the mercy of the market more or less. My first investment was in the city of Memphis, Tennessee, and I was so nervous and scared, but really happy that I took that first step. And did my homework, did my diligence, that investment started off slow but turned out well in the end. And that gave me the confidence to take that next step and purchase the second property and third and fourth.

I ultimately also decided to diversify in other markets, which is what led me to central Florida, where I continue with those investments. And that has been going well. All of these have been in the residential single-family space but eventually, I would like to be able to do this [00:07:00] full-time, and naturally, that led me to the next step or question really ask myself, how do I scale this? And multifamily came as a logical and natural next step. So I’ll pause here and be happy to dive into any of this further.

Mike: Yeah. So let’s unpack a couple of things. So you said something that caught my attention and that was that you bought your house that you live in, and then you said that it paid for your school for you. Explain that to me. And the question around that I have is, do you believe that your personal home is an investment property for you? Does it act as an investment for you?

Vessi: It was at the time and frankly, I think I was probably lucky at the time because I bought in at the right time. I sold at the right time. Now I also wasn’t greedy when I sold my house. I think that helped tremendously because a few months, or a couple of months later, that’s when the market crashed.

So had [00:08:00] I tried to maximize the price, I probably would have found myself in the worst-off position. But effectively the game from that sale helped subsidize my graduate school. And from that perspective, it was a great investment.

Mike: Yeah. So you said you bought it the right time and you sold it the right time, but you think you get time to market?

Vessi: That’s difficult. And that’s why I made the comment. I think I was probably lucky, but at the same time, also thoughtful about it by not being greedy. Timing the market is challenging and difficult. And if you could do that we probably would be doing something else or something different.

There are certain trends you can look for in the market that can help guide your decisions. But if you are trying to time the market you’re more or less gambling. And so I think that’s probably difficult to do, which is why you really need to rely on the underlying parameters, whether that’s the market, the property, or [00:09:00] combination of all of the above. And making that step recognizing that there is a risk like with any investment and taking that calculated risk when you make that investment decision.

Mike: Yeah. It’s interesting. Yeah, cause I’ve never thought you could time the market, people always say should I be buying real estate right now? Yeah, you should be buying real estate right now. There’s that old saying that says there’s two times in life to plant a tree, 20 years ago or today. I don’t think we can time it.

Hey, I like what you said that you invest for cash flow. So talk about that a little bit. Talk about that design a little bit. How you evaluate that, how you look at the cash flow piece?

Vessi: Absolutely. So it’s important. There are two different paths, right? One can take appreciation or cash cashflow. There is no right or wrong. The reason why I like cash flow is because you have the ability to control and execute on the business plan. And it’s also important for me to have that additional steady stream of income.

How do I evaluate [00:10:00] that? It really comes down to several factors. One is starting and what I call the funnel. One is starting with the market and then the sub market, because the property you can improve there are certain things you can change about the property to influence the cash flow, but the market dynamics that could impact your cash flow or business sometimes. Those you cannot change, right? You cannot move the house and so forth. And then I look at the individual property starting with the top line or the rental income comparing that to other properties in the area and having those realistic expectations of what the rents would be.

And the second piece is of course the expenses. Making sure you have adequate reserves for vacancies, maintenance because even if you buy a brand new property, things do happen. Things will happen, things don’t go perfectly all the time. And eventually making sure you have a profitable bottom line that is consistent with [00:11:00] your Target’s returns.

Because if you’re just making a dollar, yes I guess you’re profitable. You have positive cash flow, but it’s not sufficient to give the return on your investments. So those are the parameters. I know I went through a lot of things rather quickly but making sure you have ultimately profitable bottom line that achieves the target returns that you have established for yourself.

Mike: And don’t worry about going through and fast. I always tell my listeners, Hey, rewind, go back listen to it again, because you’ve covered so much information already that it’s vital stuff. It’s things that we need to look at and control. What’s your typical and we’re going down this rabbit hole already, but what’s your typical target return?

Vessi: Usually there are a few factors that I evaluate cash on cash. I would say a minimum of eight to 10, particularly if I’m looking at a smaller property, like a joint venture that naturally I’ll probably buy and hold forever. I want at least 10% cash on [00:12:00] cash return. For larger properties, syndications for example where the hold is shorter, there are a few other parameters that I look at. Internal rate of return is another one, that’s 15 to 20%. And then the average annual return I would say around 15%. So those are the targets and Happy to dive into it further.

Mike: Yeah. Do you have a short definition for our listeners? A lot of new people listen to this podcast. So do you have a short definition for IRR internal rate of return?

Vessi: I would say that’s the overall return that you make on the investments from the beginning of the deal, through the end that captures your annual returns generated from the property, including the gain that you make at sale.

Mike: Okay. So it encompasses more than just your return on investment. And I want people to understand what you said. You said from [00:13:00] the beginning of the deal till the end. So it’s a time value of money. How much time the money’s had to mature in the market and how much money gets used and when it gets put in. And so it’s the time factor of that money, which is interesting.

Hey, so I have to back up for a minute. So I just want everybody to know Vessi is gonna looking at some deals for us and, will probably do a little bit more underwriting for us this year and this is a really good place for Vessi and I to get to know each other a little bit more. So I have to back up and ask this question, so you said your word is resilient, right? And I’d like to know, is there something specific that’s happened in your life that you’re willing to share that you want to share that says, I have to be resilient. I can’t look back at that. And I got to look in the windshield and move forward and bounce back from.

Vessi: There are a few moments that come to mind. Really what I recall is coming to the US [00:14:00] when I was straight out of high school, didn’t really know anyone or anybody, but I had a lot of faith in myself, in my abilities. And I really had that burning desire and positive outlook or positive thinking to succeed. It wasn’t easy to get started. First of all, I had an open mind coming to a different country, different culture, absorbing everything with a positive mindset, and looking to understand versus judge.

And that helped me over time connect with people, meet people from the city that I was at the time residing in as well as people from all around the world. And that in and of itself and building those relationships was very enriching. At the same time, it also gave me the opportunity to give back to the local communities. And that was also very rewarding. And through those experiences, I felt like I was able to grow tremendously and learn a lot and things that I can apply [00:15:00] now in the day to day life. But of course, it wasn’t easy being here all by yourself in the beginning, right out of high school.

So that really helped me develop that discipline, that stamina. It wasn’t all perfect all along the way and I can probably talk about other examples, but it really comes down to mindset, really having that thought that even if things don’t go perfect all the time, you take away the lessons learned and you build on that. And then you grow more and you could learn from your own experiences, but you could also learn from experiences of others and you don’t take that for granted.

Mike: Well-spoken Vessi. Very well-spoken and I really believe that people can learn from our experiences. So there’s strength in the struggle, right? Where I believe sometimes our story, your story of resilience coming from Bulgaria to here and, there’s people that can say, wow, if somebody can do this, I can do this. Whatever it may be, because I think [00:16:00] so many people in our world, in our society are trapped in past stuff.

Might be somebody died, could be a divorce, could be a drug or alcohol addiction, could be so many things that keep us in prison could be prison. There’s so many of those things that keep us imprisoned in our own mind that, I think people can get that sense of hope from others. Well-spoken, good.

Hey, I want to ask this. So my opinion has, I don’t know that I’ve ever met an underwriter, right? So like I have been in real estate 30 years and I think recently I’ve met just like a couple underwriters. But here’s always been my opinion of the underwriter, the underwriter is the person who sits six stories underground in a dark basement, has a big light above them and they make decisions on people’s lives. So they’re the little bean counter sitting in the corner gone. Now give him this mortgage. Okay, we might be able to do this mortgage. [00:17:00] So obviously you don’t fit that profile. But what do you like about underwriting? What’s exciting about it to you? What do you like?

Vessi: There’s so much I like about it. And I often like to call, it’s an art and a science, right? Because the science part behind it is there is structure. There are certain basic guidelines that you need to follow, but there is also a lot of art to it. Two people in the same room evaluating the exact same deal and coming to very different conclusion, whether it’s to buy or not to buy or maybe purchase a varying price.

And the art aspect of it really comes down to knowing your markets, having the business plan that you establish, and also the team as well that you’re counting on to execute that business plan or provide that boots-on-the-ground knowledge. I like underwriting because it’s always evolving.

It feels like you’re constantly underwriting during when you’re evaluating a deal [00:18:00] then during the diligence, and then after you close the deal, and it’s always evolving. So it’s very dynamic, very nimble. Yes, there is structure to it, but you also need to be aware of the surroundings and the market.

And that may change some of your underlying criteria. So the fact that it’s always evolving, it keeps me learning, keeps me growing and that’s very satisfying to me. And so that’s why I’m in love with underwriting.

Mike: It’s a very fluid space. I think the whole multifamily business is very fluid. There’s always something to learn. Something’s changing, something’s different, whether it be technology or AI or whatever. Vessi, do you have anything that you don’t like about underwriting?

Vessi: Nothing specifically comes to mind and it’s clearly one of my strengths, but also one of my passions. I’m probably biased from that perspective, but I enjoy doing it.

Mike: I remember being in school and arguing with my math teachers saying, I’ll never use this stuff. [00:19:00] What do I need to learn excel spreadsheets and geometry and angles for. I’ll never use any of this. He goes, yes, you will. I said, Mr. Thomas, I never will. And he was so right, like today I love it. I love the numbers. And I don’t know sometimes that I love the detail of putting the numbers into a tool to try and see what it is. But I love being able to look and see what happens.

Cause I’m a big, what if guy? So what if the market changes? What if rents drop or what if we can’t increase rents like we thought? What happens if the cap rate does this? I think there’s a lot of questions in it.

Vessi: It’s definitely, and then the numbers tell a story, the story of today, the story of tomorrow or the vision that you have, people may have different business plans. But yes, I like that aspect of it.

Mike: Yeah, and it has to always be math over a month. And that’s one thing I like about you is you’re like that, your math over emotion, this deal doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. Let’s go on to the next one. And, sometimes I think [00:20:00] investors try to stick a round peg in a square hole, and they probably make a deal work when it clearly doesn’t work. And people overbid and overpay for things based on a proforma that may or may not ever happen. Or as the new buyer, you have to do a lot of work to hit those numbers. So I think that’s where some of the disparity comes in and some of the pricing today in the market.

Vessi: I think so too. And especially if you’re trying to get your first deal done, there are a lot of emotions in that you really want to get going and get started. And it’s difficult, especially when you see postings here and there about deals getting done. There are definitely deals in the market, but it’s also important to stay true to your criteria.

Adjust some of those criteria with the market and one that comes in minus expenses given the current rate of inflation. So you need to be nimble not so rigid from [00:21:00] that perspective because you want to be realistic right in your expectations. But stay true to your criteria, and that’s my belief that then the right deal will come.

Mike: So do you have a formula that use for expenses and year after year, how do you increase those?

Vessi: So I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily cause a lot of it is deal-specific and it’s also dependent on the property, for example, the property age. Generally speaking overall, when I look at expenses, a 50% expense ratio is what I target and that’s probably okay for the market on that I’m currently pursuing, which is Florida. But I know there are other markets in the country where that’s 50% it doesn’t necessarily work. So Denver is one that comes to mind where if you’re underwriting at a 50% ratio and deals are actually operated 30%, you’ll never get a deal done.

So as far as expenses it’s very market property specific. Usually, I normalize for taxes and [00:22:00] insurance, again, that’s where the market comes into play if you’re expecting $400 per unit for insurance. In Florida, you may be under budgeting that. I guess the percent is more as a guideline. Sometimes you may come over, sometimes you might come under, but I also like to look at the dollar amount. Taxes is another one that comes as an example.

And particularly when I’m closed on a deal, I always like to have that sounding board in this case, a local property manager to confirm those numbers because they are on the ground dealing with and managing those assets on a day-to-day basis. So that’s another control prong that checks my sanity.

And as far as the projections. Definitely, I’m more optimistic about rents over the course of the next year, but it’s important to adjust expenses accordingly. So if you are assuming, for example, a 15% growth in rent, which again, it’s probably achievable in a lot of markets, at least for this [00:23:00] calendar year.

Assuming 3% expense growth is probably too aggressive, right? Given the current rate of inflation. So probably 7% or larger is something I would target in that scenario. So again, not an exact formula. It really comes to a judgment call, but the judgment is based on the data I gather from market information as well as the boots on the ground.

Mike: So how much of it comes down to this though? Okay. So I’ve underwritten a bunch of deals in this market. I’ve talked to other investors, I’ve talked to other sponsors. I’ve read some data. How much of it comes to a feeling like, I think that this is what’s going to happen? More so than even math or calculation. Does any of it ever come to that?

Vessi: There, and that’s the art piece of the underwriting, right? So that’s the feel where the experience you’ve gained over time. The learnings from conversations or educating yourself comes into play. So I guess that’s [00:24:00] the feeling or the art piece of it. So there’s definitely an element of that as well when you’re underwriting.

Mike: Yeah. Very cool. Awesome. Hey, top three markets today that you’re looking at? I know you’ve talked about Tennessee and Florida and Denver, top three markets today that you like and why?

Vessi: So the ones I’m pursuing in terms of deal sourcing are all in Florida, central, Florida, Tampa, and Jacksonville. There are definitely a lot of other markets outside of Florida that are doing well. And I often get approached with help for underwriting. So Texas is one that I tend to come across very often. But I’ll stick to Florida since this is a market I’m actively pursuing in terms of deal sourcing. And when it comes to market selection, it hits all the key criteria that I have in terms of not only historical, but also future population growth, job growth, income [00:25:00] growth, job diversity as well rent to income ratios. Those are just a few metrics that I like. And again, they are important because it ultimately influences your ability to raise rents, the demand for properties, and a lot of other factors, and again, you start with what I call the Fano, which is the market. And it’s key in determining how successful your business plan.

Mike: Interesting. Anything that you see, you mentioned a pretty high number, like a 15% rent growth in markets for this year. And I know that there’s markets out there right now that we’re even seeing higher projections than that. Does that scare you in any way?

Vessi: I wouldn’t say it scares me, but it is important to acknowledge we’re likely the top of the market. Again, if anyone took time the market or knew where exactly where we were in the cycle, I would probably be doing something else. But it’s important to [00:26:00] acknowledge that, be aware of that. And for me, being more diligent during the underwriting process, staying true to your criteria, and being conservative and again, listening to the numbers and making sure those make sense.

So with those rent growths in last year of 2021 rents picked even higher, the growth rate is starting to normalize. It’s important to understand the rents will not always keep growing at 15, 20% a year. So probably we’ll moderate over time and one needs to take that into consideration as they evaluate properties.

Mike: Yeah, I would agree. Hey, how about technology? What do you like? Do you have a couple of favorite tools that you use from a technology standpoint in doing what you do?

Vessi: Absolutely. I think the one that comes to mind is a deal analyzer tool. And people often ask me what is the right deal, analyzer tool? And my response is usually the one that’s [00:27:00] right for you. Because there are a lot of tools out there that people use. It really comes down to one that you’re most comfortable with.

No tool is perfect. There’s always something that you feel like you want to add to make it perfect. But the one I use is the “Syndicated Deal Analyzer” by Michael Blank it’s done well for me so far, it’s Excel-based. So as long as you’re comfortable in Excel, you can play with it. You can add to it. And when I came across recently that I want to explore closer is Robert Beardsley and his underwriting model. So those are just a couple that come to mind.

Mike: I think you’ve seen our underwriting model. Again, like you said, the one that’s comfortable for you, I’m comfortable with it. And what I like is it’s unlocked, right? So it’s not like some app or something else, but my model is unlocked. And if I think that I can add something to it or unlocked something that’s hidden, I can do that [00:28:00] and I can get other data, extra data other things. And so you’re right. It’s about what you’re comfortable with.

I know that sometimes we can look at somebody else’s data and look at our data and go, wow, they might not make sense, but I think we all get to the same answer somehow. How do you source deals today? What’s your best source for uncovering real estate that might be out there?

Vessi: So in my market, 92 to 93% are sourced from brokers, and following the 80 20 rule I’m choosing to source the deals through brokers. Of course, you can go direct to seller, but I have a full-time job, at least 40 hours a week, I’m also dedicated to something else. So I need to be very strategic and intentional about how I use my time. So how I source deals is through broker building, broker relationships in the local market.

Mike: In the local [00:29:00] markets that you’re looking in?

Vessi: Correct. The local markets I am looking at.

Mike: Good. Good. Listen, this has been great. This show is called Insider Secrets and I don’t know if you have any tips or a secret that you want to drop, but any last comments or thoughts?

Vessi: I have two come to mind. One is about mindset, the other one about underwriting. They have a preference or it can cover both.

Mike: Why don’t you want to share both? I love what you have to say.

Vessi: All right. So when it comes to underwriting, I would say, listen to the numbers, tell a story. Put emotions aside to the best extent possible and be nimble as the market changes, but also stay true to your criteria. Some days it may be challenging particularly if you’re in a competitive market, like we are in today, but don’t try to fit the square peg in a round-around hole. Be true to yourself and again, listen to the numbers that would be what I would say regarding underwriting.

Mindset what resonates with me is the concept of dream, [00:30:00] believe, and achieve why dream? Because it’s important to have clear vision, clear goals belief, because it is possible to make those dreams a reality, believing in yourself, surrounding yourself with positive like-minded community, and then role models who’ve accomplished what you would like to accomplish and achieve, because it is important to take action. Take that first step, don’t aim for perfection, but just get started in making those dreams a reality.

Mike: Nice. Well-spoken thank you. Let’s shift gears here a little bit. I’m going to ask the bonus round questions now. Some fun stuff, but what is the most favorite tourist attraction you’ve ever seen or been to?

Vessi: There are a couple that come to mind, but probably a more recent one is a trip I made before COVID and that was a group trip to Cuba. It’s a type of a [00:31:00] dance in Cuba. So that was a lot of fun. And I can talk a lot about it, but it was a very culturally rich experience. And one I’ll never forget.

Mike: That’s awesome. What kind of dance?

Vessi: It’s called Rueda, “Rueda De Casino”. It’s a group dance actually. And I liked that aspect of it. And there are a lot of different steps or moves or calls as they’re called. So it always keeps you learning as well. It’s very dynamic and I liked that aspect of it as well.

Mike: In English language or in a native language in Cuba?

Vessi: So the group was from here in LA and the instructors, or at least most of the instructors spoke English. However, Spanish is the local language and I think you’ll connect with people better. So I am fluent in Spanish and that also helped me in the local culture deeper.

Mike: How many languages do you speak?

Vessi: I speak five. So Bulgarian, English, Spanish, German, and Russian. [00:32:00]

Mike: See, I always tell people, I bring people on my show smarter than I am. So that’s amazing. Five languages. Good for you. Best book you’ve ever read?

Vessi: Best book I’ve ever read. I would say the Bible is one that resonates with me. There are a lot of truths about life, human nature in there that you find over and over in other books so that’s one. There are others that also come to mind, “Think and Grow Rich” is another one. Unlike the title suggests there’s a lot about building a rich life, about mindset as well. And that’s important then I find a lot of truth into that as well. So these are a couple I would offer.

Mike: Love that you said the Bible. Probably one of the most key things in my life. Very cool. Hey, last thing. How about the best food, the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at what do you like?

Vessi: That’s a great question. I am a vegan slash vegetarian. So the [00:33:00] one restaurant that comes to mind is the Grand Cafe. It’s a local place here. And then during the pandemic did a lot of takeout with the Veggie Grill. So not necessarily fancy ones, but ones I like.

Mike: Much as I like veggie. I love my state. Vessi this has been great. You’re awesome. You’ve been a great guest filled with knowledge and what’s cool is you love it. And when somebody really has that passion, you can tell, and I hope that my listeners pick that up today. So Vessi, if people want to get ahold of you, how do they go about getting ahold of you?

Vessi: There are a couple of ways. One is you can connect me with me via LinkedIn, or you can email me directly at dot com. That’s spelled vesi@thevesi k.com and I’d love to connect.

Mike: Absolutely. And we’ll have all that in our show notes and that for people. So Vessi it’s been great. Really I learned a lot today and I’ve been doing this a long time as well. Thank you. I appreciate your [00:34:00] knowledge and your spirit and for being here today.

Hey everybody, thanks for being here. If you have questions on underwriting or that you can reach out to Vessi, or you can reach out to me. Be more than happy to answer any of those for you. Remember that Insider Secrets is here every week. We bring you great content. Somebody who really is knowledgeable and passionate about what they did or what they do in the multi-family space.

So love that you guys are here. Vessi, Awesome to see you, look forward to talking to you soon. Thanks.

Vessi: Thank you, Mike.

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.

Visit mycoreintentions.com, where you can get expert coaching on all things, real estate investing [00:35:00], and property management. 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.