Approaching Experienced Sponsors with Jeff Greenberg and George Roberts

Episode 163 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor with Jeff Greenberg and George Roberts. Transcript by – please forgive any errors.

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Brian Briscoe 0:00

This is Brian Briscoe, hosts the diary apartment investor, podcast and partner at four oaks capital. So we have something that we've been working on for a really long time we are building and we'll continue to build an educational community that we're calling the tribe of Titans. And it's going to be a community of multifamily investors based around education and his house on the mighty networks. What you're gonna find in there is a lot of events that are exclusive to the tribe of Titans members a tonne of educational content, and you're gonna find great people. So if you're listening to this podcast, because you're looking for community or you're looking for education, go no further the tribe of Titans is something you need to look into for the price of about $1 a day, you're going to be able to have access to everything that we have an elder content that we continue to produce for years to come. And just so there's no pressure and there's no obligation, the first month is free. So sign up first month free, and give it a test drive, if you'd like to keep hanging out and you'll continue to have access to Well, me and my partners are four oaks capital in a lot of other experience and aspiring investors. And where can you find it? The tribe of Titans dot info, there's a link to that at the bottom of the show notes of every single episode right now. So if you're interested, type in www dot the tribe of Titans dot info or go down to this bottom in the show notes and just tap the link. So George, we got Jeff on the line, what do you want to ask him? So how would you recommend approaching someone who's able to sponsor a big deal like that maybe somebody who has Fannie and Freddie experience on the roster? The main thing is, is what what are you bringing to the table? What do you have to offer? There's lots of sponsors out there that would be glad to jump in. But it depends on what you have to bring in. If you go and find a fantastic deal. You know, you go and find 100 200 300 unit property that you can't take down yourself and you need a sponsor. You know, I mean, if you've evaluated this property, you've you've got at it and looked at it and you think hey, this is a great deal. You will be able to find people that will come in with you and join in with you.

Welcome to the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with your host Brian Briscoe. In this podcast we bring some of the top professionals in the apartment investment field to discuss various aspects of the apartment investing journey, with the sole purpose of educating listeners to make wise investment decisions. The Diary of an Apartment Investor podcast is sponsored by Four Oaks Capital, bringing you high yield returns through apartment complex investing. This is episode number 163. And part of our Ask the Expert series today we bring on experienced investor Jeff Greenberg and aspiring investor George Roberts. Keep listening to find out how a new syndicator can attract experienced syndicator to partner on deals. And now the show welcome the diary of an apartment investor podcast. I'm your host, Brian Briscoe with four oaks capital. This is one of our Ask the Expert episodes. And I'm very excited today to have on the line with us Jeff Greenberg and George Roberts. Now if you want to learn more about them, we're going to have their bios in the show notes. But that said, you know, Jeff, welcome to the show.

Jeff Greenberg 3:19

Well, thank you very much for having me, Brian.

Brian Briscoe 3:22

Yeah, no problem, no problem. We've known each other for a while now, but in a lot of different meetups and networking groups together. And I'm excited to finally have you on the podcast. So appreciate you and your time. I'm excited to be here. Yeah. So let's do this. Tell everybody a little bit about yourself. Give us an idea. You know, your background, where you come from and what led you to apartment investing?

Jeff Greenberg 3:44

Well, I came in to our I was in IT. I was in the corporate world. And yeah, I knew that that wasn't going to get me where I want it to be as far as in my retirement. And so I started to dabble in real estate while I was still working, and mainly single family. But this was brown in 2005 2006. And that wasn't a real good time to be trying to get into the single family business. Especially when prices were dropping through the floor. It was a great I mean, 2006 was a great time to get out of family, you know? 2007 you're almost too late.

Brian Briscoe 4:25


Jeff Greenberg 4:26

yeah. And so when I realised that I wasn't going to be getting Oreos or bank owned properties, I heard someone talk about commercial real estate, and how you could get into commercial real estate and to use other people's money. And since I was in the middle of a divorce, and had a limited amount of money. That sounded fantastic to me. Yeah. And so that's pretty much how I got into it started to learn about multifamily and so the first property I ever bought of than my own personal residence was a 20 unit property.

Brian Briscoe 5:05

Wow. Wow, that's nice. I at least, you know, took a little, you know, scale up, I had a handful of single family investment properties and, you know, one or two that I had lived in before I bought my first but it nice. So you got your 20 unit property. And you know what, what then?

Jeff Greenberg 5:22

Well, we went from that. And this was a syndicated deal, which we did have to raise money, which was scary as hell, yeah. But we we did do it. And then we went to 64. And then got into some student housing. And then the most recent one we got was a 225 unit out in Texas, but been doing that for about the past 12 years. Nice.

Brian Briscoe 5:49

What markets do you like right now?

Jeff Greenberg 5:52

Well, the markets that I that I'm in his I'm in some of the Texas markets, I'm in Ohio, I'm in I'm in Georgia, and I'm in Arizona, there's plenty of others that I do like, I like the Carolinas, I like some Florida markets, there's quite a few. But we could get into as far as what markets I'm looking for, you know, as we get on to the conversation. Yeah, yeah,

Brian Briscoe 6:19

absolutely. And those are the markets that come up frequently. You know, when we ask people where they're at, and what they're doing, I mean, there's, they're, they're hot markets, they're, they're the areas where there's a lot of growth happening, population dynamics as they are, that's where a lot of people are moving. And so ends up being a supply and demand imbalance when too many people move. And hence, apartment investments are very, I don't want to say the word safe, but they're less risky. Let's put it that way. They're less risky than others. So yeah, like all those markets myself, and we're heavily into the Carolinas and Georgia. But so let's let's do a little deep dive on on one of your one of your projects. Or you can just kind of tell us generally what you guys look for, but give us an idea of what a Jeff Greenberg deal looks like.

Jeff Greenberg 7:06

Well, the ones we're looking for now we're moving a little bit away from some of the C products that we've done in the past. I'm essentially looking for 1980s and earlier, trying to stay away from some of the 60s and 70s. But c plus b minus even a minus or excuse, yeah, but a minus products. But I'm interested in not only multifamily student housing, but also assisted living in and self storage. Are those are some of the areas that have interest.

Brian Briscoe 7:38

Yeah, I mean, the the student housing the the assisted living that, you know, very related to the apartments. I haven't haven't dove a whole lot into the Self Storage yet. But tell me what you like about, you know, the student housing, assisted living and self storage?

Jeff Greenberg 7:54

Well, the student the student housing up until we came up with the Coronavirus, was a very stable asset that was very recession resilient, it did very well in the big recession. And, you know, I liked that aspect of it. And also being able to buy a property and get more revenue profit. It was just very unique in that there wasn't as much competition was one of the things that I like, there wasn't as many people going after it. A lot of people were more scared of the student housing. And, and because everything was getting so hot. I figured, okay, let's go and look at that. And in fact, I accidentally got into the student housing, it wasn't really planned, I had an intern. And he went and found the property. And I looked at it, and I liked the numbers, and we ended up going for it. But it wasn't something we actually were trying for, at least the first one wasn't.

Brian Briscoe 8:56

Yeah, you know, and looking at you said how recession and resilient it was, I mean, nobody saw COVID coming. So I mean, let's, you know, forget about COVID for half a second. But during recessions, you know, the numbers show that a lot of people go back to school, you know, and that's, that's what happens a lot of times is, you know, somebody may lose their job and they're like, Okay, well, I've got free time on my hands, I might as well go get that degree that I wanted to, or, or whatnot, but not only

Jeff Greenberg 9:25

that, when if you've got a high school kid, and money may be tight, but you're gonna do the best you can to get them into college, because if they don't do it right out of high school, and I can do it, you know, they may not go So, you know, even with the money being tight there. They're going to try to get them into college.

Brian Briscoe 9:45

Yeah, yeah. So I mean student housing, I think it's, it's a good it's a good area to be in. We have a couple in college towns you know, so we have, you know, 100 and something units, you know, right next to Clemson University. And they're not officially student housing, but it's it's the university that's driving the market. You know, it's something that I think is a solid move. Obviously COVID threw a wrench into everybody's, you know, plans, especially when schools didn't, didn't meet for a while. But anyway, that's, uh, that's beside the point. I guess. We actually

Jeff Greenberg 10:23

had our we actually had our best year, really in my Ohio property. Okay, my my Arizona and my, my Georgia property were hit. I bought my Ohio property. We had the best year because the school that had required sophomore, sophomores and freshmen to be living on campus, let the sophomores go off campus. Oh, they wanted more rooms for the freshmen so they could spread them out. So in within an hour of their announcement, my property manager had over 50 emails asking for units. And we ended up renting up every single one of our units for a higher price than we had done ever before. And so that was a windfall for us on that particular property.

Brian Briscoe 11:13

Yeah. Wow. Interesting. So it's not something I would have realised. Now my daughter and aka the podcast editor, she's a student, the University of Utah right now. And I mean, she stayed buttoned up close to the university. She's not in student housing. She's just off campus. But you know, close enough, but, you know, it didn't change her plans. Any she stayed there, and a lot of the other students stayed stayed there as well. So I think even through COVID, you know, I think was student housing, I think student housing was kind of a hit or miss, you know, you did well, you did not that goes, but you also mentioned assisted living, tell us tell us a little bit, well, that's

Jeff Greenberg 11:51

assisted living, that's going to, there's going to be such a demand for that as we get older, you know, I mean, I'm, I'm in the baby boomer generation, and there's a tonne of us getting older, and not everybody is going to be able to stay in their home, or to be taken in by family members, some of them are going to have to go somewhere. And so there's going to be a huge demand for that. Now, again, here COVID pops in who expected, you know, something like that, that would hit them hard. But, you know, this is an outlier.

Brian Briscoe 12:25

Yeah. And I mean, I think COVID I mean, and this is me speculating COVID may have actually pushed more people into assisted living then, than otherwise. Because, you know, if, if you're normally looking at kids to support you, and they're not doing well, I mean, the assisted living may have been the only answer for a lot of people. But, you know, speculation may work for some people. I think you're right. I mean, my, my dad is the very front of the baby boom generation, you know, born 46, you know, and he's, you know, he and my mom are still, you know, very, very active, very self sufficient. But, you know, five to eight years from now, you know, I think more and more that baby boomer generation is going to be in. And I mean, the bulk of the baby boomer generation is, you know, five to 10 years after him. So I think I think it's something that's smart to get in now. And I think we're going to see that aspect grow tremendously, the next couple of years,

Jeff Greenberg 13:25

and who knows if the millennials are going to want to take care of us. Exactly. Right.

Brian Briscoe 13:30

So I'm, I am Gen X, you know, the, the the divide that I that I see most common, you know, I'm end of Gen X, and my wife is beginning of the, what's after Gen X. I don't remember my kid. I can't keep track of I think, I think millennial starts after that. But I think she's like front end of the millennial generation. And my oldest daughter is the back end, like the last, you know, tail end of the middle millennial generation. But anyway, I'm not 100 sure how that works. But we'll see. We'll see. But well, cool. Let's let's shift gears a little bit. One question. I like to ask everybody. And that's going to be about your big burning, why? What is your WHY? And, you know, once again, looking for more motivation, not why commercial real estate?

Jeff Greenberg 14:21

Well, the motivation for needing additional funds came initially when I was going through my divorce. And knowing that what I had, well, first of all my, my personal residence was going bye bye to my ex. But I did keep my retirement funds but that still wasn't enough. It gave me the opportunity to really look at that. And so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to be a burden on on my my children. And so that was the the big thing is I wanted to make sure I was going to be able to take care of myself. And then once it got passed That, then it was more of what can I do for my family? You know, what, how can I make my my children's life and my grandchildren's life better? You know, and also being able to spend more time with them, you know, given that opportunity,

Brian Briscoe 15:17

yeah, a lot, a lot of good stuff there. I mean, first out of necessity. And then once once the ball started rolling, you started looking more towards, you know, Hey, I got I got kids want to make sure they're taken care of I grandkids want to make sure they're taken care of. And, you know, definitely something that's, that's on our mind a lot, too. So. So next question. And last one before we bring George on. But what's next for you?

Jeff Greenberg 15:41

Well, I've, I've changed my focus somewhat. And this was prior to COVID. That rather than being the main GP on all of my deals, which, which I was, I decided to move a little towards the equity raise side of it, that over the years, I've met a lot of fabulous deal sponsors, and operators, and I would much rather come in and let them be the lead, let them run the deal. And I come in and help raise equity. So that changes my focus to finding more investors and working on investors and helping them get into good quality deals. And that limits what I have to do. And that goes back to being able to have more time. Yeah, I could get a little piece of a lot of different deals and be a lot happier.

Brian Briscoe 16:40

Yeah. And it allows you to hyper focus on one aspect, I mean, for Oaks, you know, we do everything, you know, so you know, we're involved in, you know, writing the the offer letters, I mean, first analysing property, writing offer letters all the way until, you know, the property sold. But, you know, going that route allows you to, I mean, number one, pick and choose who you work with, you know, find the good operators who are doing a solid job, but then you can hyper focus on just, you know, one part of the business and I think that's, that's a model, a lot of people use, you know, very, very attractive, but I think it works well, it works well. So,

Jeff Greenberg 17:17

you know, rather than rather than me looking at 100 deals to make 10 offers to maybe get one deal. I could look at the deals that somebody else has already looked at 100. And they've already filtered it all the way through, and now they've got this one that they feel is a great deal. Now I just have to look at that one and see if I agree with them. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 17:36

yeah. And I'm sure a lot of it deals with actually vetting sponsors, and you're probably you probably have a handful of sponsors, like you said that, you know, do a good job, you know, and that's one thing that that I've learned over the years is, and this this applies to me when I passive passively invest now is I spend more time vetting the sponsors, than I bet the deals, you know, I mean, what's on paper depends on the person who, you know, holds the pencil, you know, not the property itself. So, but yeah, allows you to spend a lot of time vetting the sponsors. And once you have a handful of sponsors, then you get to look at the the needles they've already found in the big haystacks. Pick your favourite one. So Well, great. Well, let's shift gears again and kind of bring George on the show. So, George, welcome to the diary of an apartment investor podcast. Well, thanks, Brian. It's great to be here. Yeah, thank you. For people who are listening. George also has a podcast. And before we go into your history, George, why don't you just throw out a shameless plug about your podcast?

George Roberts 18:43

Great. My podcast is the foundry where leaders are forced daily. And the idea behind it is that entrepreneurship is a great way to develop leadership skill, and a proving ground where many leaders have found their place in the world.

Brian Briscoe 19:02

All right, perfect. So check out his podcast if you have a second we're gonna end we're gonna put the link to his podcast in the show notes. But I mean, that said, you know, shameless plug aside, let's let's kick into who you are. So George, go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and What's got you into real estate.

George Roberts 19:20

So a few years back, I founded a construction company with my sister and brother in law, Walnut Grove homes. It was wonderful. It was a great way to to get into entrepreneurship. great time to be in construction. Still a great time to be in construction. And just to maybe rewind a few years before that I became an accidental landlord in 2010 is a great time to buy a home but maybe not a great time to sell one. Yeah. And so I kept the family home as a rental and then around 2017 I sold it is a good decent time to sell I suppose, but really missed that cash flow. Not not a great time to sell as it is now. But it seemed like a great idea at the time. Well, anyway, you know, I resolved that I wanted to get back into landlording business. But I want to do it right this time. So after a long period of self education, I decided that it was going to be multifamily. And I actually met one of the principles of rising multifamily at our local anthon Detroit meetup. And that's a meetup that Dr. Pablo prokop and I are going to be restarting this first Monday in August.

Brian Briscoe 20:35

Nice. Nice. Nice. Now restarting, I'm assuming just because of the COVID, shutdowns, right.

George Roberts 20:42

Yeah. So in terms of restarting, so we actually sold in 2017. And for a little while, you know, I mean, I had already gotten the sort of Rich Dad Poor Dad mentality, the idea that you want cash flow, right. But still, it just surprised me What a wonderful investment that was separate apart from the appreciation which of those seven years was outstanding. I truly miss that cash flow. And so then, it was it was a little bit later than that. By the time I found my first multifamily deal. That was August of 2020. And a great time to buy too, because a lot of people were getting hit hard by the Coronavirus, people. were wondering what's going to happen to my multifamily asset we saw, you know, maybe not some price declines, but maybe a little bit of softening there. And we decided to purchase in Orlando, and that was obviously a market where there was a lot of fear. And fast forward a few months, we got a vaccine and things are looking up. And Orlando is seeing some great rent and price appreciation. So it turned out to be a great investment.

Brian Briscoe 21:44

Nice, nice. Well, congratulations on that one and being able to take care of that. But So one question, like I said, Everybody gets asked this question on the podcast, but what is your big burning? Why?

George Roberts 21:57

So for me, it's leaving a legacy legacy for my family and for my community. And hopefully it grows far beyond financial independence, I'd like to be able to do something big for my community. I that's all dependent on how far I can go with this. But you know, just say, like a big, hairy, audacious goal would be, you know, maybe like, you know, build a wing of a hospital or something.

Brian Briscoe 22:21

Yeah, my next big, hairy, audacious goal, and I recently, you know, threw this out on social media, but two years from now, so 2020, gosh, what year did I say? I think I said, 2024. You know, I want to be able to give, you know, a six figure sum to, you know, to community to charity to, you know, other organisations to do well, so, you know, I've got my own big, audacious, hairy goal, yours is probably, you know, a lot bigger, but and maybe more, a little more audace. But I haven't set a timeframe yet. So yeah, yours is more. Yeah. Well, you know, what, we'll sit down and compare notes, you know, a couple years from now, you know, we've got the George Roberts Memorial wing, you know, to, you know, big hospital and what we'll see who's was bigger and more audacious. But anyway, that said, let's move into the Ask the Expert portion. So George, we got Jeff on the line. What do you want to ask him?

George Roberts 23:17

All right. So Jeff, do you understand my basic story here, I am an investor in real estate, and multifamily specifically, but I want that next big deal. And to get that, it's probably going to take a sponsor. And so I'll take a co sponsor role. So how would you recommend approaching someone who's able to sponsor a big deal like that? Maybe somebody who has Fannie and Freddie experience on the roster?

Jeff Greenberg 23:43

The The main thing is, is what what are you bringing to the table? What do you have to offer, there's lots of sponsors out there, that would be glad to jump in. But it depends on what you have to bring in. If you go and find a fantastic deal. You know, you go and find 100 200 300 unit property that you can't take down yourself and you need a sponsor. You know, I mean, if you've evaluated this property, you've got at it and looked at it and you think, Hey, this is a great deal, you will be able to find people that will come in with you and join in with you. So it's what can you bring, it may be that you know, a tonne of people with a lot of money, and you could bring in a whole bunch of money. And maybe that's a way for you to get into a deal or get in with a sponsor. So it just depends on what you have that you can offer them. Okay,

Brian Briscoe 24:36

deals or money, you know, is is the currency in this business, you either have a good deal or you have money and you bring one of the two. Now, every every sponsor, you know, maybe looking for one or the other, you know, some sponsors may be looking for deals, other sponsors may be looking for money. The only thing that I'd add to what Jeff said is you just got to do a lot of a lot of networking, and overall end of the day, it's still a relationship business. So start building relationships with some of the sponsors, and you know, figure out where you're a good fit, and figure out what people need. And if you find somebody that you like, and you realise that they're looking for deals, and that's your forte, we're gonna deal.

Jeff Greenberg 25:15

also find out what a deal is to them. What what are they looking for? So if you meet some of these people on networking, and you know, I mean, you meet it on Brian's meetup or you made it, do it on clubhouse, where you're there's tonnes of people on clubhouse, syndicators that you are you go to something in person, where you meet some of these people that you think really would be a good fit, find out? What are they looking for? What area are they looking for? How can you fit in and find them a Deal?

George Roberts 25:46

Great. So I've got a database of sponsors and their acquisitions criteria. So that's exactly how I'm going about it. I'm on the investment relations, and I am focused on networking. And so one of the things I'm doing is, as Brian mentioned, building my thought leadership platform, the foundry. But it looks like Jeff, you've taken maybe a different approach, I see that you go on a lot of podcasts, that seems to be your approach. So maybe you could compare and contrast somebody who's maybe newer to the business, and they want to build that name, should they try to build their own thought leadership platform, or maybe just work off of others?

Jeff Greenberg 26:22

Yeah, just because that was the direction that I went doesn't mean it's the direction I might recommend people going. And the direction I went, was I've been running a lot of meetups. Well, at first, I was doing a lot of writing in bigger pockets. So a lot of stuff in bigger pockets. I was on there all the time. That was the first podcast I was on was bigger pockets. That was what I knew at the time. And anytime I can get on a podcast, anytime I could get on the stage, at a boot camp, a conference or seminar that you know I was there. But the where I am right now is I'm trying to get myself to the next level, where I could have more people coming to me, rather than me going to them. And so I'm in a similar spot that I'm working more on the thought leadership, I am not really anxious about doing my own podcast. But I find if I'm on everybody else's, I get their audiences and I get people to see me on on their their podcasts. But I'm also working on some of the the deal magnets and the the funnels and doing a lot of the digital stuff that I've never done before. So that's all new to me. So I'm going that route. Also, it's just the direction I came was just in person meeting people,

Brian Briscoe 27:43

then there's new compare and contrast the two, it's a lot easier to get on somebody else's podcast, you know, it's just a matter of marketing yourself a little bit. And you can have several podcasts. Once you've been on one of the major podcasts, it's really easy to get on every other podcast in the industry, right? But having your own podcast is obviously a lot more work like you. I'm sure you found already. But you know, finding your own audience, you know, I think you you end up getting a little more loyalty and more stronger following by building your own brand, you know, and having your own podcast, but that doesn't mean going on other people's podcast can't do that for you. It's just you know, what, what are you good at? What do you What are you looking to get out of it? It's a it's a big business. There's a lot involved in this. How much time can you get a cake to that one thing? So in my case, you know, we started a podcast on the face of the podcast, and I have partners who are doing everything else in the business so I can dedicate time to it. But if I were trying to hustle, you know, me and one other guy. I wouldn't be doing a podcast. I would be going on other people's podcasts.

George Roberts 28:56

Cool. Yeah, I appreciate every time I'm on somebody's podcast. I think I don't have to do the production this time.

Brian Briscoe 29:04

No editing. Yeah, I don't have to edit. I don't have to think about it. It's just log on log off. Love it. Yeah.

George Roberts 29:11

So my first multifamily deal. That was in Orlando, I am from Southeast Michigan. I remained here. We do have boots on the ground down there. But you know, that's a little scary. And I don't think it's the step I would have made if I hadn't moved into multifamily. And I noticed a theme in your investing career. I know you mentioned many states that you are investing in at the outset. And I think you have even more states listed in your biography. Maybe you could talk a little bit about the challenges of investing out of state and how you overcame them.

Jeff Greenberg 29:45

Well, the the big thing is, is with getting good management. I mean that's the whole thing is I mean I have had problems with management and had to fire management but that's the key is getting good quality management. So interview In the managers, and making sure you're in alignment on my my last deal that we closed on in Amarillo, we, we fired the management company about three weeks before we were closing, because they, we just couldn't get them to understand what we want to see in the budget. And we had another company come in and understand what our plan was. And they understood our business plan, and gave us a budget that we felt was in alignment. And as long as the lender was, was good with it, we asked the lender, if they were, it was good with them to change the management company, and they knew the other company. And we went for it. So three weeks just before closing, we change management company, which was a scary, a scary thing to do. But we did it and it was the best thing that we've done. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 30:51

echoing everything, he said, right now, all of our properties are probably within a three and a half to four hour radius of one of the four oaks partners, you know, and and so our asset manager is very drivable. But, you know, looking, taking it a step back, we could do the exact same thing from across the country, as long as we have that good property manager in place, now, you still have to get out to the property. So I definitely recommend you invest in areas that are still a quick flight from from where you're at, you know, so you know, look at the airport, you're at where some of the direct flights are. And you know, pick pick one of those locations, if you're investing out of state, because what you don't want to do is just happen to have that airport, it has to go like three connections to get you from one place to the other, because you will have to spend time out there, but management company is good, a good property manager, and that's going to take care of 90% of your headaches of you know, investing out of state.

Jeff Greenberg 31:47

So it's so important. And that's, and that's why I you know, it's people talk to me about going with these smaller properties, or single family or duplexes or whatever out of state. And it's much more difficult to get good quality management on the smaller properties, you're a little fish, and you're not that important to the management companies. So typically, I encourage people to go to go bigger get partners, you know, team up with somebody, it's better to get a small piece of a larger deal done, you know, 100% of a small deal, as is my feeling.

George Roberts 32:24

I love it. And then on the topic of partners, so I believe you did your first deals, you had one partner who sort of moved on to other things, then you had the intern who brought you the student housing deal. And then now it looks like again, you've moved on you're doing it looks like it's as opposed to having, you know, one or a small group of partners, as your GPS, you're just essentially mixing and matching at this point. So maybe you can help me understand which approach do you think is best and why?

Jeff Greenberg 32:56

Well, first, I I would not encourage anybody to jump in permanently with any one particular person. The nice thing about real estate is you could go into a couple deals with some people and see how things work. And if that works out well so Okay, let's be exclusive and let's do everything together. But you you can go into deals, you know with you know, do a little do a little courting beforehand. Now the lady that I was partnered with we we talk well, first of all, we knew each other but a year and a half from conference calls before we ever worked together. And we got on the phone and we were talking hours and hours and hours. It's a good thing. I had free minutes. She was in Alaska. I'm and I'm in California. And fortunately we didn't have to pay the the overages. But you know, and we were together for about five years. And it worked out well. It was just a decision that she made ends. And I do like that because you know, you know each other, you know what the expectation is of each other. And I think that's that's great. She wanted to move on to other things. We weren't moving as fast as she wanted to. And so actually, she went actually back into the military. She's on the Alaskan National Guard. And she decided she wanted to get the rest of her 20 in and get her retirement from the military. But the one deal I did by myself just with the intern, I would never want to do that again. That that was a pain in the ass. Now, the thing is, if I hadn't done a bunch of deals with my other partner beforehand, I would have been so far over my head, not knowing what to expect. Fortunately, I had done a bunch of deals prior to that. And I was able to pull it off by myself, essentially with a 19 year old helping me but that's not something I would want to do again. You know, it's much better if you've got two or three or so other people where Everybody's doing their Park. And you know, not only that I was, I still have, I still had a day job at that point in time.

Brian Briscoe 35:09

You know, I would say, you know, going into business with somebody, when you purchase an apartment complex, it's going to be a three, five or 10 year relationship. So I would approach it, you know, I think, you know, Jeff said, according, you know, I'd approach it like you would a marriage date before you get married, you know, and that's, that's how I would do it, you know, for oaks didn't come together and just say, hey, let's be exclusive to each other for a company and go find our first product property, it actually happened the other way around, you know, we, we got to know each other a little bit, you know, started, you know, potentially looking at deals together before we we slowly, you know, build a stronger and stronger relationship. But, you know, just, you know, using the marriage example, again, you have to have similar goals, you have to be going in the same direction. And, you know, we came together exclusively, because we all had similar goals, similar timelines, and we wanted and we were moving the same direction. So, for us, it made sense to become exclusive. But, you know, we do give up, you know, some a little bit of freedom of movement doing that, you know, so, you know, George, if you were to come to me right now and say, Hey, Brian, I want to partner with you on this deal, I would have to say, let me go talk to my partners, you know, so there's, there's pros and cons, both directions, you know, we have a strength of a team and we know each other well, we know how to work with each other. But on the flip side, we sacrifice a little bit of autonomy.

Jeff Greenberg 36:40

And I would say on that as far as not only when you're doing it by yourself, yes, you get to make those decisions. But yes, they're your problem. You know, I would, on that student housing deal, we were having trouble getting the lender, and I was probably I don't remember 100 100k going hard. And if I was with my partner, we she would have vetoed that, and said, No, we're not going to do that. Because we actually, were in a situation where we had to make a choice of pushing on or walking away. And she didn't want to go, she didn't want 50 grand to go hard. And so we since we couldn't come to an agreement, we ended up passing on that deal, which I still feel was a good deal. On the other side of it, where the the student housing one, it was my money. And I roll the dice. And it's a great property. Yeah,

George Roberts 37:47

nice. Well, in my career, I found it's been very helpful to focus. I started out looking at all the hot markets in which you mentioned earlier in the show, you know, I looked at various classes of commercial real estate, but it was really, you know, after I focused on multifamily, and specifically Central Florida, that I feel like things, you know, move forward for me. But Jeff, you've done the opposite, right? I mean, you're not only in multiple states, but you're also in multiple asset classes. So maybe you could comment a little bit on that.

Jeff Greenberg 38:20

Well, we were focusing on multifamily. Now, what we did, I wouldn't recommend people do that we were looking at deals that were coming in and then decided, if we like that market, and I don't tell people to do that, I think what you're doing is better. You focus on an asset class and you focus in on a couple markets, and you become a master of those markets. The big problem we had as a property would come in, we'd look it over as Okay, now we got to go check out the market. And there was a lot of spending time deciding whether we really wanted to be in that market, in that neighbourhood on that street. And, you know, then finding out now maybe we don't want to be there, that area is not as great. I think it's much better going where you become a master of certain markets, and specialise in that. As far as the asset classes. Student Housing kind of fell on my lap. As you seem to know my story that my intern brought it to me. He also didn't tell me that he wouldn't tell me until till we closed on it that he found it on loop net, but it ended up you know, I mean, and it still is still a great deal. So we expanded into the student housing after we'd already been in the multifamily. Now as far as the assisted living and the Self Storage, and even mobile home parks, that's because I'm going to be raising money. So I don't have to be become an expert in those asset classes. I know people There are experts in those areas. And I would be willing to, to hook my waggons to those people. Certainly, I'm going to look at those markets. And I'm going to confirm what they're saying. But as Brian said earlier, that it's much easier once I vet those sponsors, and I respect their opinions and their underwriting, then they're being conservative. And they're forecasting, then it's much easier, so I don't have to do that much work, I just need to find the sponsors. And that gives me the flexibility of being able to look at different asset classes.

Brian Briscoe 40:40

Yeah, I'll say what I did to begin with, was, I was all over the map, you know, and for me, it was more of a deal flow thing, I wasn't getting deal flow. So I opened up my aperture as wide as I could, I would not recommend that, you know, I mean, and just just like, like Jeff said, and like you realise, you know, once you hyper focused on a certain area for a day you started getting deals. But you know, what I found was, you know, once you once I started hyper focusing, I was able to recognise a good deal when it came across my desk. And that was, that was the big benefit of hyper focusing number one. And number two, you can actually start building relationships with the brokers, because they start to see that you're serious, you know, so it's a lot easier to branch out to multiple markets or multiple asset classes, once you've built a stable foundation. And I think the fastest way to build a stable foundation is to focus on one market, maybe two, maybe three, focus on a small number of markets, get some traction, get some credibility, build your reputation, and then moving to other markets as simple. You know, you pick up the phone, you call a broker and say, I've got 600 units in the southeast, I'm looking to expand in your market. And that's a much different conversation, then. I'm a brand new guy, Trump starting out, and I'm looking for something in your market. So

Jeff Greenberg 42:07

I totally agree with you. I think you're you're exactly. Exactly right. That, you know, focusing in on the on fewer markets, and and the focus is the important part. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 42:18

I just restated what you said, that's that's all I did. So yeah, well, we're in agreement. Yeah.

George Roberts 42:25

They need to go back to raising money, Jeff. It's it's all about affinity. Right. Like you and Ryan have been in the military. i, you and i have both been in it. Right. And so I wonder if you're able to parlay that I actually really asking both you how well have you done parlay parlaying that into getting people that are in that group to to want to invest with you? Yeah, it is.

Jeff Greenberg 42:50

I don't know that I've got anybody from the it in, in Well, I know there's people that are in it that are in my deals, but I don't think it's because I was in it. And as far as people talk about friends and family, it took me about five years before I finally got my sister. Well, I mean, I stopped, I stopped even worrying about my friends and family. But one day, my brother in law finally said, Hey, you know, what's your next deal coming up? You know, I'd like to put some money in. But I stopped, you know, bringing it to his attention. So it's all just been people I've met people I met on the way somebody, I get people from bigger pockets, you know, say, Oh, I just listened to my podcast. I said, Wait a minute. I was on bigger pockets. 11 years ago, isn't Oh, yeah. Well, I just listened to it. I liked and I saw I heard you on Joe fairless. Right, or something else? And I say, Wow, okay, that was a while ago, but that's great. You know. So it's just people, people will invest with those they know, like, and trust. And I will get on a conversation with anybody. You know, we'll talk I'll talk for an hour or so. I've been told that I shouldn't be doing that I shouldn't make myself so available. But I do. And if people like me, and they trust me, you know, maybe they'll

Brian Briscoe 44:08

invest with me, that's the way it's been. If it takes a 45 minutes or an hour conversation to get somebody to know like, and trust you. I mean, that's that's good business right there. But I will say that most of the investors that I have brought into forex capital are either military members or veterans. And, you know, it's it's one of those like, attracts like in a lot of things. And the only thing I can say is I can speak the same language, you know, the end, we have shared experiences. And, you know, in general people in my my field, retire in air quotes for those who are listening to this retire young, you know, I'm mid 40s. And I'm retiring, you know, so that's something that a lot of other people don't understand that we understand. We understand the dynamics around it, and what somebody in my shoes are looking For so I can actually I know what they're looking for. So I can speak to that I can speak in their terms in their languages, and give them examples that they understand. But anyway, that said, we are out of time. And thank you so, so much to both of you have a great conversation, and very much appreciate you guys coming on the show. Last question for each of you at Jeff, you go first, how can listeners learn more about you?

Jeff Greenberg 45:28

Well, they can contact me my email address Jeff at synergetic i And I'm also on clubhouse on Tuesdays and Thursdays four o'clock Pacific. I open up a room, commercial real estate, all things. And we have discussions and I'll be glad to have love to have a conversation.

Brian Briscoe 45:50

All right, we'll put links to those in the show notes. Can you link to clubhouse rooms?

Jeff Greenberg 45:55

I don't know. The problem is is that you have to redo the room every single time. All right. Oh, the link is only good once. We will put money there is a club, the club, the club is commercial are all things they can find they can find the club.

Brian Briscoe 46:12

Okay, sounds good. We'll do our best to get that I'm not a club house guy. But we'll do our best to get that in the show notes. And George, same question for you.

George Roberts 46:20

Yeah, best way is either LinkedIn or find me at horizon George at horizon

Brian Briscoe 46:31

All right. And thanks again, guys. And that's a wrap.

Thank you for listening to the apartment investor podcast today brought to you by four oaks capital. If you'd like to know more about how to invest in apartment buildings or want to be a guest in our show, visit our website at four oaks capital comm slash podcasts or email us directly. If you're still listening, you obviously like the show. So pull out your phone, tap subscribe, and leave us a five star rating on your favourite podcast app. And we'll see you again next week.

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