Podcast #111 – Interview – Brent Kawakami – Saying NO to a measly $300 a month & Networking on Facebook

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/dgdMLNq73TM

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Pardon the grammar – I’m an Engeneer, Enginere, Engenere… I’m good with math!

________Here are the Show Notes________

1) How much CF are you making today and how are you doing it?
Generally I’ve fluctuate based on buying/selling of real estate. Right now it’s all from passive investments in apartments. My peak was couple thousand a month.
So as I started investigating other investment activities I dabbled in:
P2P investing – Returns were decent (I think I made like 18%), extremely passive once you funded loans. I was fortunate that none of the ones i lended on defaulted so that’s real risk. While you are earning interest payments, it goes back to account so extremely illiquid. You wait out the loan term which can be long. No control. I’d rather do private lending that’s backed by a physical asset.
Dividend stocks – Lot of research, reading investment newsletters, etc. You’re still at the whimsy of the stock market. I could see doing this in future maybe if there’s a crash and you can pick up trophy companies cheap. Again no control.
Gold/silver – I got caught up by the Gold bug rhetoric of “the dollar not backed by anything” “ the crash is coming” “ look how much debt we have” blah blah . A lot of similar stuff you see some Cryptocurrencies saying now. To me you need treat as a store of value and something you don’t care about price. And you need to hold physically. It’s a chaos hedge. But it doesn’t cash flow. And if shit really did hit the fan, you’re not going to need gold, you’re going to need guns, lol.
Internet business (I did sell it later for a small gain). A lot of work…it’s a business. You can get caught up in the 4-hour work week thing, sell your ebook, etc but this takes consistent cultivating like any other business. I had an instance where a change in Google algorithm killed my profit.
Infinite banking (which i’m all in on still) – You’ve had podcasts before on this topic about all the benefits but it’s an amazing vehicle that complements real estate. Personally I don’t think of this as a true investment, it is a savings vehicle. I treat it as my cash war chest and foundation. Downsides to me are that you have to understand and treat as a system otherwise you’ll fail miserably. It’s also literally a lifetime commitment.
Ultimately I settled on real estate starting the single family route in Dallas area (buy, rehab, rent, self manage, etc). I eventually saw the light (What was the light) of multifamily and started investing passively, sold off my single family houses and now a new aspiring sponsor/operator. There’s all the typical things people say (econmies of scale, non-recourse, etc) but my a-ha moment (my 2nd Han Solo moment I guess you could say) was when I started looking for another rental house. I realized adding another $300/mo cashflow wasn’t going to drastically change my life. If I wanted to level up faster, I needed scale faster. Multifamily can do that. When you get a large check for hundreds of thousands from a disposition event on an apartment complex, that’s life changing and can get you places.

(So now you are in the stage where you are doing all the hard work before the success… lets go through this list of things that you are doing… this add value to the listener and maybe we can have a discussion about best practices – Just think in the future when a future investor listens to all the shit you did to get into this)

1) Joined mentorship program (I would rather not say who they were) No problem. Main best practice to me is it’s almost a requirement for MFH. This is a must in addition to all the other education (reading, podcasts, etc)
2) Regularly Contacting brokers/Signing up for lists
3) Evaluating deals
4) Scheduling in-person meetings with with brokers to connect (what did you do). My partner and I specifically reach out to have a meetings at a broker’s office. We’d talk about what we’re doing, looking for, etc and it gave us an opportunity to meet other associates. I’ve tried to do in-person at their office or if I can take them to coffee. For out of town brokers we’d do over phone or if we travel to see a deal (leveraging a current listing of theirs as a talking point to get convo started).
5) Making regular LoopNet rounds
6) Going on property tours
7) Networking on BiggerPockets/LinkedIn/Facebook, etc
8) Going to Meetups, events, and conferences
9) Partnered up with another new sponsor/operator to duplicate efforts, fill gaps, etc (What do you do well and what does he compliment).
My partner is better at making connections and relationships than I am. I’m more analytical and investigative. He’s an eternal optimist, while i’m Mr. Engineer worst case scenario. He can get shiny object syndrome whereas I’m much better at keepings things on task. We’re both at the same level/point in our investing so we have a good synergy with the perspective we’re coming from. One of the things we like is if it takes looking at 100 deals to get 1, maybe us both looking cuts that in half lol.

2) What is your Han Solo moment…

I had two.

1- One was a couple years into my career and i started think there was more than this for 30-40 yrs and began exploring other stuff (as mentioned before)

2- Shift from single family to multifamily. My a-ha moment mentioned before.

3) Worst life/business moment what did you do a er? Lesson learned?

I’ve had those crappy issues that come up with rentals, like plumbing issues, tenant issues, foundation issues, etc which sucked. Although one big one was not listening to my wife about a single family house. I had a tenant turnover in one of my rentals and I had been mulling about selling and focusing on multifamily. Instead of listening to my wife who encouraged that, I did the easy thing which was find a new tenant. I had gotten so in the routine and it was the easy option even though I knew I was ready to step into next thing. It ended up being my worst tenant ever (she paid but was really needy) and a headache. I ultimately sold it a few months later.

Lesson learned: Listen to your wife more. While she isn’t involved directly in the nuts and bolts, she is a better judge of character and intangibles in both myself and others.

4) Current 2‐week experiment and 6‐month project? (90‐180 day goal) A mark of a high performer is to put your ego aside and accept the help of others and mastermind maybe folks can help you by you asking.

2-week: Let’s see when we get there. Lot of personal type things likely going on (not sure if that’s valuable for your audience?)

6-month: Sponsor a 75+ unit, class b/c apartment. That’s my one thing.

5) What is your simple passive Cashflow number? Now imagine you had 2x that amount… Describe your ideal day, detailed rou ne, and what projects you are working on.

6) Something that you have recently or thought about “burning your cash” on for me savings or an improvement in quality of life.

Meal service, not the recipe in the box but the fully prepared, proportioned individual meals. I enjoy cooking but not thinking about what I have to eat is something that I find makes my day easier, especially now that I have a baby. It’s just fuel, i can eat the same thing everyday and be fine. Plus it helps me stay on the straight line nutrition wise.

There’s a good book on this topic called Happy Money I recommend.

7) Something that you changed your mind on? Our ego o en gets in the way of greatness.

2 Things:

1. I used to think of insurance for the financial aspects only but now I think about the riders, disability kickers, etc. Having a kid changes your thought process so now i’m more thoughtful about things like insurance, estate planning, etc. I’m still behind on that stuff, but now these long term planning things are in my thoughts.

2) Owning a house isn’t a big deal. We recently sold our house and moved to an apartment for a number of reasons…yada yada yada. I’m not full Grant Cardone though.

8) In this sellers market… what are you inves ng in? What should a someone who does not have a substan al level of cashflow yet be inves ng in?

My cash value life insurance/infinite banking strategy is my core foundation. I see that as the warchest and can let me sit on “cash” without losing too much. I’m obviously still actively pursuing multifamily, it’s harder of course with the current market, but deals can be found in all markets.

Nothing wrong with being patient if you think things are frothy. 100% of nothing is better than any percent of a bad deal. Being patient is the hardest thing.

brent@hellomultifamily.com

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