Building Trust with Your Investors with AdaPia d’Errico and Aileen Prak

Episode 90 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with AdaPia d’Errico and Aileen Prak, hosted by Brian Briscoe. Transcript by – please forgive any errors.

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Brian Briscoe 0:00

Aileen, we have have AdaPia on the line here. What do you want to ask her

Aileen Prak 0:02

in your apartment investing, you want to create these partnerships with your investors? What are some of the tips or advice that you have in order to build that strong relationship with your investors?

AdaPia d’Errico 0:13

Fundamentally, it's going to come down to the conversations that you have and trust that you can build, especially with your earliest investors. We have a tendency in culturally to like, Oh, I have to be perfect and I can't get anything wrong. And I can't say that I had a bad deal and when in reality, what an investor wants to hear is, I'm a responsible person, I'm going to be transparent. And here's how we're going to do right by you.

Brian Briscoe 0:51

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 journal entry number 90 and one of our Ask the Expert episodes. Today we bring on experienced investor at a PA dairy CO and aspiring investor Eileen prac. Stay tuned for more information on how to do right by your investors. And now the show. Welcome to the diamond apartment investor podcast. I'm your host Brian brisco with four oaks capital and I'm super excited for today's show. It's another one of our Ask the Expert episodes. We have two amazing women on the line with us right now. One with a tonne of experience in this and other endeavours at a PA dairy CO and a very motivated and energetic aspiring investor Eileen prac. So first of all we'll talk about at a PA she's a visionary leader with 20 plus years of experience across countries cultures, and both corporate and startup environments. She co founded businesses, launch brands and redefined industries. She's respected FinTech, entrepreneur, executive, and evangelist who brought real estate crowdfunding mainstream. Now for everybody listening, there's a lot more to her that's in her bio that's going to go in the show notes. But just for the sake of time, we'll end the bio right there and just add appeal. Welcome to the show.

AdaPia d’Errico 2:19

Thank you. Yeah, I love that, that you just say like read the bio. Later. So let's get into it. That's a great one.

Brian Briscoe 2:27

Yeah, we'll just get right into I mean, I read your bio, and absolutely fascinating. We could probably do a four hour episode talking with you and never lose interest. So one thing I do want to ask you about real quick is you just published a book recently, right?

AdaPia d’Errico 2:42

I did. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about that. Thanks for that. Yeah. So I published a book in late 2020, called productive intuition connecting to the subtle, and this is a book about finding what I call inner authority, and connecting to our intuition and understanding that every single one of us is intuitive. We all have a gut feeling. We all have multiple signals in our body, biologically, of how intuition works. But more importantly, it's really about trusting ourselves, which is so important. You know, especially in business, especially as investors so the book really is geared very much for business people, because we use it, we might use it, we don't know. But you know, it's so important to have that connection. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 3:29

yeah. Something I've always heard a lot is trust your gut, you know, if your gut is, is telling you something's wrong, you should probably listen to sound sounds like this is helping you to really dial dial into that, that feeling.

AdaPia d’Errico 3:42

Yeah, and you know, a lot of it is like my experience of, you know, like, I tell a lot of my own stories, including like a huge broad loss where like, My God, like everything was telling me this is wrong. And I went forward with it, because I over rationalised it, and I wanted it to work. And then I like lost all this money. And, you know, and then all like in that is one example of multiple things where I didn't trust my gut where I didn't listen to my intuition. things went wrong in my life. And then all the times that hadn't been fast experiences like fast investments, best partners, is when I just trusted trusted myself like trusted my gut, trusted my intuition. And so actually include like a lot of science in there. For anyone who's like me that's like, Well, I'm not just gonna believe it, because you say it, because I'm like that, too. So I'm like, well, let's go find the science, because I'm going to show you that like, we're like, we're hardwired for intuition. It's fast.

Brian Briscoe 4:36

Yeah, you know, I I've read a lot of psychology like literature like this. And it sounds fascinating. And sounds like something that I'm definitely gonna pick up and read. And I love how you're relating it to business too, because I think a lot of the business decisions, if you learn how to trust yourself and trust your intuition, I think you probably have to train that intuition a little bit first, but if you learn how to trust that it's going to help you out business and all aspects of life so absolutely

AdaPia d’Errico 5:02

especially as in for investors to I mean, we can get into all I mean we're gonna get into that anyways but like relating to people you got to like know how to read someone that's your intuition to super important when choosing partners when talking to investors. So yeah, definitely. Yeah, I definitely geared it for for the business person.

Brian Briscoe 5:22

You know, I'm talking about you as investors. I mean, if you're ever talking with somebody now, I'm a big Marvel comic books fan I grew up you know, with with Spider Man and everything else like that. But, you know, I always look at the spidey senses. You know, if you if you ever remember listening, watching Spider Man, my spidey senses are tingling. You know, I've used that phrase a lot. I think that's the same thing. That's that's your intuition, your gut, you know, you're talking to somebody and something's just not feeling right. You know, turn and run is, you know, maybe not physically, but, you know, definitely turn around and run. But where can people pick up a copy of the book? Is it on Amazon?

AdaPia d’Errico 5:58

It is, that's gonna Yeah, it's on Amazon. It's gonna be out on Barnes and Nobles, and a bunch of indie distributors soon. And you know, if they want to learn a little bit more, there's a landing page at productive intuition calm,

Brian Briscoe 6:11

okay, we will put a link to that in the show notes. And anybody who's looking for that, you know, head down to the show notes, read her entire bio, because there's a lot of good stuff in there, and then check out her book. So anyway, super excited to get into a lot more than meat in here. So let's, let's talk a little bit more about you, specifically your your background and your history, and kind of walk us up to the point to where you got into apartment investing.

AdaPia d’Errico 6:35

Sure, so I got my start. When I was 18 years old, I started working in a bank, and I got all my first securities licences at that age. So I kind of made a decision that this was a career that I wanted to, to take, and I'm really grateful that I did, because everything that I learned around financial planning, and securities and everything has really, like helped me set myself up, just generally in life, and obviously, fine financially. But I had these like dreams of like, I wanted to be like, at that time, like a branch manager, you know, all these kinds of things, but I was really young. So like, 1819, I ended up moving to Europe, where I ended up staying for 11 years, but I still, like I still pursued my career. So I was in insurance. I worked for a hedge fund, I kind of like, bounced around trying to like find this place because I was really am vicious around, I really just wanted to be this successful business woman, like it was always this, this dream this this idea, you know, this like business woman in a suit with a briefcase, like it was just like this thing that I had ever since I was little. And so you know, I that's where I got my, that's where I got my start. But I've always been really entrepreneurial. I've always been really visionary. I've always had this ability to like, know, and see and sense, like something like kind of like the next thing. And I always like to fix things. So I'm what you would call like an intrapreneur. So I would step on a lot of toes inside of like a corporate or like established environment. And but I was at a hedge fund in Switzerland, when Lehman went down in 2008. But around the same time, like things were kind of conspiring in my life. And you know, that was a really intense time. And the fund was fine. It was just like a long, short equity like really simple. But I ended up leaving the fund after things after things stabilised, and I went into business with my sister who was an artist. And she was getting courted by like publishers around like, Hey, we want to, like use your art for licencing and merchandise and things like that. And I was feeling like, kind of like done with this whole like finance thing. Like personally, there were things going on so actually went into business with her at like the start of the Great Recession. She was in Vancouver, Canada, I was in Italy and so we like we basically just like globe trotted and created this global brand based on her art because my business background was was saying, there's this thing called licencing which is I'm going to pay you as an artist to put your art on merchandise, right marketing that pays the artist and in most artists are not you know, they're not allowed to make money with their art unless it's within gallery. So I have like a whole lot to say about that. But anyway, we like totally change everything for so many artists because people will tell us you can't do that with her art. She's like this pop surrealist painter you she's an oil painter. And we're like, yeah, yeah, watch us. And so we put her art on everything she wanted, handbags, furniture, just you name it, you know that that's what we did. And we built this whole brand for her and she's still she's thriving, best selling art books, all this kind of stuff. So that really got me started in entrepreneurship. Like truly as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, just like going into this industry. I didn't know anything about But like through that whole process, I was also doing consulting, I got started in social media fan building all these like all this, like really interesting stuff that was going on, which eventually brought me to Los Angeles. And it got me into crowdfunding because we're always looking for ways to make money. So we started as like crowdfunding our own art books like crowdfunding our own stuff. So I heard about crowdfunding. Like the JOBS Act. I immediately like that business me, like the finance me was like, Oh, I get this, I can turn fans into shareholders. So I get this. So I started to dig in. And and and that's actually what led me to real estate crowdfunding. So I was like, doing I was doing a lot of work at that time. I know, this is a really long story, but it's, it's

Brian Briscoe 10:53

keep going. I'm

AdaPia d’Errico 10:54

yeah. So um, so here I am. I'm like in Los Angeles, the beginning of silicon beach. I'm like networking with VCs. I'm like, trying to like figure out this whole like space around crowdfunding real estate, I thought I would crowdfund a home on the Venice canals. And if I hadn't actually been able to do that, I'd be really, really well set up right now. But unfortunately, you couldn't crowdfunded residential property for like, respa, all these different things. But I went to the one of the very first crowdfunding conferences, and I met all of the early sort of like the early all the earliest firms, and I joined one, and I helped launch it. And then I really became, like an early, like, you know, founding executive of this company called cup patch of land. And around that time, like, just before that happened, is when I was when that fraud happened. So I lost all my life savings, I was going to use, wow, all that everything. And I lost it to it ended up being fraud. And so that left me with not very many choices, and not any any money. So it really actually was one of the catalysts that pushed me into Well, I have to, like, do something now, because I thought I would be an angel investor. And instead, I, you know, I went into it, I went into the industry, that's how I got started in real estate was like, I joined patch of land and join the real estate crowdfunding industry. I knew intuitively just like so strongly that this was going to be a really pivotal industry. But I didn't really know anything about real estate. And so I went into it. And I honestly, like, that's what got me into real estate. And, you know, now, I do equity investing. And, you know, we invest in apartments and senior living and, you know, commercial real estate. But that's how you know, but that's how I got my start. And so just kind of like following, you know, following these threads and following innovation and following technology. That's basically how I got into, you know, commercial real estate investing.

Brian Briscoe 12:59

Yeah, yeah, I love I mean, crowdfunding has changed a lot of things. And I hear something you said just kind of may make complete sense. He's turned fans into investors. You know, that that's that mental leap you took right there, I think was it was a key right there. But, you know, crowdfunding, I am a huge fan of it. We haven't done anything. I mean, we do syndications, which is a similar way of crowdfunding just a little different way. But I love the story. I love how you move from one opportunity to next and true true entrepreneurial style, but awesome. So let's, we talked a little bit about you know, inner intuition. You know, what is your What is your big burning? Why, what do you have inside you that keeps on driving you?

AdaPia d’Errico 13:38

Yeah, to me, it's all about empowerment, but in like this is, I do a lot of inner work, like I do a lot of personal other do a lot of personal work. And I centred around self mastery and knowing knowing the self. And what's become really evident and important to me is, when I talk about inner authority, it's because we give our power away constantly. Some other expert, some other institution, something outside of ourselves, it's an external validation, society, culture, parents, whatever. And we have to take that power back. And so whatever I do, right, I talk about like, I'm financial empowerment, especially for women. Spiritual empowerment, personal empowerment, I don't care what it is, I want you to have your own power. And so everything that I do personally is around finding my own my own power and in living and anchoring to it. And then and then helping others in whatever way that is, professionally personally, to find that for themselves, because life is so different. Your entire world reality, however you want to call it changes when your centre is is yourself. Instead of living for someone else, everything changes and so I'm really passionate in everything that I Do about showing others how to do the same?

Brian Briscoe 15:02

Yeah, I love that. I love that. One of my, one of my favourite books is seven habits by Stephen Covey. And it sounds like there's a lot of a lot of parallels there. I'm gonna have you read that book and talk to how he talks about centres as well.

AdaPia d’Errico 15:15

And I read it years and years and years ago, it's probably one of the first books I read when I started a personal development practice.

Brian Briscoe 15:22

Okay. Yeah, interesting, very interesting. I think it's absolutely true. I mean, if you're living for something else, you know, whatever that something else is, and you're putting all your hopes and dreams, in basing your reality around something else, you're giving someone else or something else control over your life and your feelings. So I think that's super important. Well, let's, let's shift gears a slightly here, let's let's talk about some of the apartments that you guys have invested in now you can either talk about, you know, one in particular, that the maybe your favourite, or a good, good one to learn from, or kind of your overall investment strategy. But go ahead,

AdaPia d’Errico 15:57

sir. So I'll talk from the perspective of alpha investing more, I'm a principal and VP of strategy. So when I say we, I'm talking about alpha, because it did, it's taken me years to rebuild financially to be able to even make any kind of like active investments. And so, you know, I'm going to talk about it from the perspective of alpha, because we do sort of, well, we work with, like, institutional sponsors. And so, you know, for example, like we're working with sponsors that are purchasing, you know, I can use an example of a property in Phoenix is one of our sponsors, like 100, unit, garden style, multifamily, that has, you know, like a light value add component with, like, you know, leasing up, you know, turning it over in about five years. So basic, you know, basic syndication, we also do a senior living affordable housing, so, but kind of on a larger on a larger scale, or sponsors tend to have half a billion or more of transactional experience. So, I'm learning a lot from people with this kind, you know, with this kind of experience, and coming from a background of let's say, like, pure, just like stock bond, mutual fund ETF investing when I first started learning about, like, true real estate investing, because like, I own a condo, like here and there, but it's, I don't really think that as true, like real estate investing, it's just astonishes me that it's, it's not something that that industry knows about. And it should, because to me that it's the the idea of what I call healthy financial foundation, is in real estate investing, it could be active where you own your own, if you love doing active or, you know, passive, but it's just such an important piece of your wealth building strategy. And I'm actually really passionate about helping people to see and understand that. Because I think more people can have real estate as part of a baseline portfolio. I can't tell you how many investors I speak to who just they all they have is ETFs in their 401k.

Brian Briscoe 18:12

Yeah, you know, I think I see the same thing, you know, play over and over and over again. I mean, I think there's a big part of the financial industry, that is pushing people towards certain products. And I've had a couple of people who did this. And this is one of the one of the things that when I'm talking with a potential investor, I almost hate hearing, it's like, well, let me go talk to my financial advisor first. Because I almost know what the financial advisors are going to say, you know, stocks, bonds, ETFs, 401 K's you know, and it's just one of those things where so many people just don't know that this is an option. Yeah. And like you said, when they when I think a lot of people, when they think about real estate investing, they're thinking about that condo, you know, they're thinking about the single family house with, with a renter in it, and it's just such a small sliver of the industry. But yeah, so anyway, that's fascinating. I love what you're doing, working with some very experienced operators, you know, half a billion is a pretty, pretty good spot to be, you know, and I think there's the experience level that you're you're investing in is going to do going to make sure your your your investments are performing very well. So, um, well, that's it what's next for you?

AdaPia d’Errico 19:26

I mean, I guess what's, what's next for me is I've, you know, actually interesting because we're in Well, right now is January, I don't know when this airs, but like, we're still in that sort of, like, beginning of the year phase. A lot of it is a continuation of what started in 2020. So, you know, it's it's not anything new as much as it is just growing like sometimes we get caught up in like, always, I was new, and it's just like, actually, I'm going to double down on what's working. And so that's really like, that's really what's going on. So like more about, like, you know, like my book and getting out there. And for alpha. You know, we're looking at several deals right now and You know, it's already shaping up to be a pretty strong year off the bat, which is great. So you know, just just more and more connection, more community, more relationships, more building around things that are working. And more focus. real strong focus.

Brian Briscoe 20:16

Yeah, I love how you put that double down on the things that work, you know, reinforcing the things that are working. I think that's, you know, absolutely crucial. For a lot of people, you know, don't put a lot of effort into things that aren't working, you know, learn to focus on the things that are and I really love how you how you worded that, we're going to shift gears one more time and bring Eileen on. Eileen is a co founder of bonobos capital and bought a best to focus on helping others achieve their time freedom through multifamily real estate investments. She was born and raised in Southern California has a background in finance. And she's a co host of The Real Estate podcast, how do they do it, where she interviews top experts in the real estate industry to provide resources for listeners to apply to their own real estate investing journey. So that's definitely welcome to the show.

Aileen Prak 21:04

Thank you, Brian, thank you so much for having me on. And thank you all to pa for joining us today to really appreciate it.

Brian Briscoe 21:11

Yeah, this is this is fun. And let's let's talk about your podcast first. Because I think it's a really, really great podcast, I think you and your husband do an amazing job. So you're until everybody a little bit about it.

Aileen Prak 21:21

Sure. Thank you for that. Yeah, so we do a five day a week podcast, and we invite guests on, and we talk about their real estate journey from how they started, how they got into real estate, and then walking kind of through, you know, the steps that they took in order to become where they are, you know, the lessons they've learned, challenges that they faced, and then how they've been able to create, you know, this type of legacy, wealth, or types of time, freedom, everything like that in there, from from Melissa eight. So it's been really great. having those conversations with all those wonderful guests. And then we talk about, you know, how real estate investing has really impacted their lives. So me and my husband do do recordings together. And sometimes we'll alternate, we'll do alternate. And so sometimes I'll do the podcasting interviews, and sometimes I'll do the podcasting. And sometimes they'll do them together. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 22:12

yeah, it's gotta say, it's one of the funnest ones that I've recorded. And I've been on several, several podcasts, but I think the two of you are just absolutely genuine. And it was, it was a pleasure recording with you and getting to know the two of you, you know, a little bit before and a little bit after. So anyway, for all the listeners, we're gonna put a link to her podcast in the show notes, definitely go check it out. And the other thing I gotta say is five days a week is, is a big commitment. You know, we're doing two a week, and that consumes a lot of my time already. So good on you guys for that. Thank you. So let's talk a little bit more about you and your your background in history. And what got you guys into apartment investing.

Aileen Prak 22:52

With real estate, you know, my family does some real estate as well. So we kind of knew real estate was a good place to be, but haven't really, you know, deep dived into it that much on our own. I mean, back in like, 2014, we had bought our residential property, our primary residence, and so that's kind of where we kind of started, but we always knew real estate had a good, you know, it's gonna be a good source of income for passive for passive income. And so, living in California, you know, we always thought, like, Oh, we want to invest, where we can see the thing, we can see the property we can visit. And then we never really understood, we never really knew anybody who had done like outside of state or even heard of something called apartment investing, or syndications in general, you know, we never knew like people, just normal people could really pull their funds together and invest in these large apartments. You didn't have to be these like multimillionaires. And so when we came across it, it was just kind of like mind blowing. And so we're like, well, let's look into it a little bit. And then we started doing some research on to it. And then we came across, you know, we started talking to a lot of people started networking, having conversations with them, and just really kind of getting to understand like the players in the field and who's doing what, and then you kind of start hearing the same names over and over again. And so from there, we decided to invest passively in a couple of syndications to kind of get our feet wet and understand really, what is this? What is apartment investing? What is what entails it? How are they doing it, you know? And then though, so that's basically how we kind of got started in with investing in apartments. And then now, after learning about it, you know, we started doing some more coaching programmes, who got really really deep diving into it and really just fell in love with the process.

Brian Briscoe 24:38

Nice. Yeah, it's it's a great community to be in a lot of good people around. And you know, it's it's something that that works financially, you know, so now how has investing passively helped you in your your aspirations to be an active syndicator

Aileen Prak 24:54

I think that it has definitely helped a lot because it was a way for us to kind of dip our toes in the water a little bit and kind of see, you know how these successful people are actually running these apartments? What What are they doing? What are they looking for, as a passive investor, like, what are our goals that kind of helped us open our eyes and kind of, you know, define those a little bit, kind of see what we liked and what we didn't like. And then just, you know, just really getting a more comfort on the whole entire process. And just like a proof of concept kind of thing. Nice,

Brian Briscoe 25:27

nice. Now, let's talk about your big burning, why you know why you're doing this, I know you both you and your husband have solid careers, why apartments.

Aileen Prak 25:35

So at first, it kind of started off as finding trying to find a way to make a little bit more passive income, you know, in case something happens to either one of us that we have income coming in, and we're not too concerned about it. And then also, you know, we work pretty far away. And so being in California, you're always driving in traffic. And so we were spending a lot of time on the road. So we were trying to find a lot of different ways to you know, create a little bit more time freedom for ourselves as well. And so when we came across the apartments, that was kind of the starting point of it was trying to find some more time freedom, trying to find some more passive income. But the further and further along with him on our journey, it was started to become a shift in mindset. And it was more of a developing yourself and like, this past year alone, you know, just learning about and everything like that it has become so like, it has definitely like, helped us so much become so much more, better in ourselves, and developing and everything like that. So for us, it's becoming more of a passion and more of a journey of learning about ourselves. And then learning about and just growing in general. And so that's kind of like our biggest why now is more of a journey to find ourselves and growing.

Brian Briscoe 26:49

Love it. I love it. Awesome. Well, here comes my favourite part of every episode, right to say, Eileen, we have had a p on the line here, what do you want to ask her? Hi, add

Aileen Prak 26:59

a pm. So glad to have you on. And I really love your background, and just how your entire journey has led you to where you are. And it's really inspiring, especially being, you know, women in the industry and everything like that. So really appreciate really appreciated. Thank you so much. Yeah, thank you. And so, in your apartment investing, you know, I'd like to talk a little bit about, you know, a lot of the parts is you want to meet, and you want to create these partnerships with your investors. And so it's one of the biggest pieces in apartment investing. And so we want to make sure we're doing the right things by the investors, we want to, you know, communicate the right things. But what are some of the, I guess, tips or advice that you have in order to build that strong relationship with your investors?

AdaPia d’Errico 27:44

Hmm, yeah. And you nailed it, that's it's everything is building that relationship with investors. And I've always said everything, even from the days of crowdfunding, this is a trust building exercise, right? I mean, you can run all your funnels, you can have all your content and link in that helps. But fundamentally, it's going to come down to the conversations that you have, and, and the trust that you can build, especially with your earliest investors, because they're going to invest, because they believe in you and what you're capable of doing. So, to me, it comes down to this level of just really like authentically relating, right, just really being yourself, we have a tendency in culturally to like, Oh, I have to be perfect, and I can't get anything wrong. And I can't say that I had a bad deal. And I can't, you know, and it just like this crushing weight of perfection, when in reality, what an investor wants to hear is, I'm a responsible person, I'm doing my best, I'm gonna be transparent. Here's what went wrong. This time, here's what I learned. Here's how we changed based on on how we've learned, and here's how we're going to do right by you. So it's all about aligning your yourself with your investors. And so it is it really is about showing up truly, authentically as who you are. And saying like, this is what we're going to do. And you know, these are the plans, this is the risk and not holding anything back, you know, like not thinking that we have to put on this facade of like, I'm so good, and it's going to be so great. And you know, really just like trying to take it down a notch into what you know, you could call it vulnerability to

Aileen Prak 29:37

thank you so much that that definitely makes a lot of sense. And I really appreciate that.

Brian Briscoe 29:42

I love that answer. I mean being being vulnerable. It's just one of those things if I learned this a long time ago, and this is also a Steven Covey quote, but if you want to be able to influence people, you have to be able to be influenced and i think that you know, being vulnerable and being open to other people. Sharing your your faults with them really helps build trust. And that's something that investors need to be able to park a lot of money with you as a, as a real estate investor.

AdaPia d’Errico 30:13

Yep, yeah. And it really is like doing right by them, especially your earliest investors, because they're taking the biggest, you know, the biggest risk. And I know, at alpha, the way the firm was, was built and continues to be run is, you know, everything is referral and recommendation. And the earliest investors that came in with with the original founders, before I joined as a partner and a principal, and I've brought a lot of friends and family in to is like, we will do right by our investors. Like, it doesn't, it's not about us making our profits, like we take all of our profits at the very end, right? Like, that's one thing. And the other is just, we're gonna do right by them. Like, everything is about downside protection, everything and if like, you know, maybe as as, like an earlier, you know, when you're getting started to like, if you have to take a haircut, so that your investors are made whole or at a minimum better. Like, that's what you do, right? Like, that's kind of like, I think that's like, that's like par for the course, right? Like, they're the ones that took that took the biggest risk to sometimes I've met a lot of people who could get into it, and they're like, I'm gonna make all this, you know, I'm gonna make all this money. And it's like, yeah, maybe later, right now, your investors have to make money first. And that's how you build trust. And that's how you start to build your portfolio. And then and then move forward. So it's a slight shift in thinking to and obviously, like, I have this background, having come from this venture capital backed world, where it was like all about the VCs and how much they're gonna make and in, it wasn't about how to help an investor make money, which is why I really disliked the venture backed model in this industry. So you have so much more control as an independent operator, a lien like that, where you can make those decisions, you can say, Hey, I'm going to give you this piece, because the project didn't go well, or whatever, you know, whatever it is. So it's like, I also think little things like that are so greatly appreciated by investors. And they'll, they'll stick with you because they know that you're going to do right by them. And that's a lifetime. Like that's a lifer. Kind of an investor.

Aileen Prak 32:24

No, yes. I totally agree with that, especially having that mindset of putting the investor first, and then and then building up the trust from there. And so the other question I had was, How do you stay on top of the investors mind? Like, for example, if you maybe don't have a project or anything like that coming up? or anything like that? How do you stay in communication with them? And you know, you don't want to overwhelm them with and bother them, you know, too much. But at the same time, you want to stay on top of mine? What is some advice that you have for that?

AdaPia d’Errico 32:59

Oh, my God, this is like the weekly conversation at alpha, it really is. Because we're, we're, we only do like nine or 10 deals a year. So you know, it's not that much. We don't think it's that much. And so we always have this conversation about how much should we email people, because that's obviously one way, it's like, the easiest way. And, and so we have a podcast too, you know, we do it only twice a month, because we're really, we're interviewing people in our network and just kind of like, it helps the same way you're doing it to helps potential investors or existing investors get to know you as a person. Right. And so we have that, that we do. And so we have like a kind of like a monthly newsletter, but that's not really I think, how we stay top of mind, we do a lot of personal outreach. So we'll email call we text a lot of investors, you know, just checking in with them. And obviously, when we when we have a deal in nine or 10 a year keeps us you know, relatively I would say like enough Top of Mind, especially if they're, if they're spread out, but it's hard because we also we are also is capital raisers. In the world of the internet and marketing we get we get a lot of this messaging around, like, have a funnel and you know, have your landing pages and have your email and have your sequences and have your pixels and how about like all this kind of stuff? And like, yes, definitely like there's, there's some validity there. But nothing beats a phone call, like, Hey, how are you doing? Just wanted to check in. And then if they are invested, then obviously like your ongoing, you know, whether it's monthly or quarterly communications, we did a lot of communication during the especially the first six months of COVID last year, which was like, here's the situation. Also, here's what's going on in our portfolio. Here's how we're approaching it. And we kept people apprised of how that was changing, and how our underwriting was going to change. And so we use email very lightly. And we actually use the phone very heavily.

Aileen Prak 35:10

No, that's great advice, especially, I think with a phone call, it adds that extra personal touch and that personal connection with them as well, which I think that they would definitely appreciate.

AdaPia d’Errico 35:19

Yeah. And then I think they'll open an email more to because they're just like, oh, what's alpha up to, you know, maybe sometimes, like, not everyone's gonna open an email, but they'll read the, you know, they'll read the headline, or I'm really active on LinkedIn. And so people can go and see what I'm up to there. And you know, like, I do a mix of content. And so we don't do 506 C, so I'm never like talking publicly about a deal. But just by way of just showing up in your own network. People, you're there, you just create that impression, which I believe is now like, you need like 24 touch points these days. And I remember you're like, not even that long ago, like five or six years ago, it was seven touch points of impression for people. And so it's like a mix of things. And I would also say don't overwhelm yourself with trying to, like create too much content, like one article a week or like, you know, we get really caught up in that thinking that that's the value add when, you know, it's actually just like maybe a personal email or a text and, and a catch up.

Brian Briscoe 36:31

Yeah, I think the the personal touch goes a long way. Never, Never underestimate that. And I, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said out of p i think that was, you know, best answer ever. But, you know, being able to, you know, and just just thinking about my life, I like to dissect things that work with me, you know, if somebody picks up the phone and calls me, I'm going to remember that a lot longer than I'm going to remember the email that they sent to me that also went to 600 other people, you know, so that's, that's definitely a key. And we we try, we actually, when we first established, our business did intentionally did not do the funnel and the drip campaign and everything else, because we wanted to keep it personal. And it's definitely helped. I think it's kind of hard to do that, once you scale. And once you start getting to have a certain amount of investors. But yeah, as long as we can do it, we're going to try to keep that personal touch in.

Aileen Prak 37:27

So another question I had was, so when an opportunity does come around, and you'd like to present it to the investors, what would your recommendation be with doing the personal touch and having phone calls with each of them? Or is it an email? Like, just kind of what is your advice on that side of things?

AdaPia d’Errico 37:47

Yeah, definitely the email, right, like have I don't know, if you have like a portal or just like a location where you might have like your underwriting docs, and like your executive summary, and all that kind of stuff. So like, have a location Dropbox, wherever you want it to be, where investors can access the information, so that they, you can, some people don't necessarily want to talk about it, they just want to look at the deal first, and then they might want to talk about it. So the professional presentation of the opportunity, like first and foremost, an email to let people know that an opportunity is available. And then you know, with email servers, you can always check and see, you know, we're always looking at like, Who's opening the email who didn't open it. You were always like, kind of like tracking that too. So that there can be some outreach like, oh, we're that person said that they really liked senior living. It's strange that they didn't open that. And it's like, probably because it went to their spam. So you get to reach out, and they're like, Oh, my God, thank you. Um, but definitely email. Right? Because it's just the presentation. Like, it's like, here it is, take a look when you can, or, you know, if they're, if there's a deadline on it, and then you can follow up like, especially if you, I mean, it depends on your timeline of I mean, it depends on your how you're set up to collect money, I guess, too, but, but I would definitely present it by email, and then do a follow up by it by phone. So like, if you're noticing that people haven't responded, in a couple of days, then I would, you know, if you're on texting basis, or like a phone call, just give him a call, Hey, I just wanted to make sure that you saw the email that we have this new deal, so that it does come back, top of top of mind, like especially if they're not responding for any reason. And then over time, as you're building your investor base, and they get to know you and they like your deals, though. They'll be waiting for that email to hit. And and then they'll open it and they'll start investing and so there's less of a following up of like, hey, like, did you see this deal? and more of them coming back to you saying, Hey, I'm interested, can we talk about it? So that's just a really technical note. ask everybody to whitelist your emails. Because spam filters these days, I tell every new investor, make sure you whitelist our email address. Because spam filters have gotten really strong, and we don't want you to miss a deal.

Brian Briscoe 40:04

That's a good idea. Now, I'm going to ask you a question. So when you go through your list and you find that, you know, certain percentage haven't opened email, are you calling everybody on that list? Are you just prioritising by the people you think are most likely?

AdaPia d’Errico 40:19

Maybe depends how many? And it depends what's going on with the deal. So we oversubscribed almost all the time now. But I do know like from my notes in my, in my CRM, or just like memory, like, like having spoken to somebody, especially if they're new, if they're newer, like there's a hurdle for them. And so I might just, like, reach out and say, Hey, like I, you know, we've been sending out, you know, usually do it by email first. And then I can follow up with with a phone call and just say, Hey, I just wanted to catch up. And, you know, see, you know, what's been going on maybe What's changed? You know, are you still interested? Is there any more information I can give you? Things like that just kind of just kind of going through, but from a prioritisation perspective, I would say yes. So if somebody had been investing consistently, and then they stopped investing, it's it's like, just, you know, hey, that person is like, you know, consistent investor like, Hey, what's going on with them? If it's somebody that was like a newer investor, maybe somebody, you know, and we do this, if somebody comes in, and they never open an email, never respond again, we will reach out and just say, like, Hey, are you still interested? You know, because if you're not, basically, we're going to take you off our list. Right? Because we're not this. We're not trying to be this public about all of our deals, you know, we really want to build these relationships. And so that's a two way that's a two way street. So somebody who's no longer interested, no big deal. Just let us know. And, you know, we'll take you off our list. And we're super cool with that, to take people off the list. Awesome.

Aileen Prak 41:58

Awesome. Thank you so much. So autopia, do you have any suggestions for how to continue to grow your investor base?

AdaPia d’Errico 42:07

Yes, I'm so just keep showing up. Like every day, like keep, like, it's keep doing your podcast, like keep, you know, keep going on podcast, keep calling your investors, ask them for referrals, you know, get on LinkedIn, or whatever it is like clubhouse these days, whatever, you know, whatever you're doing, like offer something new. Like we have a white paper that we update annually, we have an economic report that we do quarterly, you know, there are pieces that you do to also kind of stay top of mind. But in the beginning, definitely in the beginning, as you're building your track record, it is hand to hand combat, like it is like on the ground. It's like guerilla, like you're like meeting people, you're asking them for referrals. And that's how you build and start. And that's been the foundation and the basis of alpha and, and then it tips at some point. And then you have the track record. And then you have that there were then other people are speaking on your behalf, hey, you should invest with them. Right, they do it naturally. And then you can kind of do more of a PR type of an outreach. But definitely in the beginning. It's a lot of work. But but it really is worth it. Because the other thing that would be a lot of work is like multimillion dollar budgets for online marketing and funnels and the kind of like, like that venture back model, that's a lot of work to, and it's a lot more money than you know, than picking up the phone.

Brian Briscoe 43:42

I love one one thing you said there's just show up, just show up every day. And that's that's a big part of it is just getting that consistency. And getting out there. And something else that I keyed in on that I've seen personally is at a PA talk about that tipping point, you know, the point to where, you know, you start getting that momentum going and other people start saying good things about you. And I think that's that's actually that's happened very specifically with us and it's it's kind of fun to see, you know, I'm I've been in this business for two years not quite, you know, as successful as at a PA yet we're we'll catch up but you'll you'll be lightyears ahead of us still but yeah, finding that tipping point where, you know, you've got a little bit of traction, you've got some momentum, and then other people are helping push you know you forward in a lot of ways so well, that said we are out of time, unfortunately I'd love to. I mean, absolutely would love to sit and talk with you too for another two or three hours. But I know we all have things to do. So one last question for each of you. As a PA You go first how can listeners find out more about you?

AdaPia d’Errico 44:50

So to find out more you can go to alpha i comm al That's alpha and then Me I'm pretty easy to find with my name. And so you can find me on LinkedIn just you know, add a PA, I have a website, my personal website out of catering calm. But I do encourage people if you want to reach out to find me on LinkedIn, shoot me a message tell me you know, you know how you found out about me and then let's connect there.

Brian Briscoe 45:22

Awesome. So we'll put links to your your personal website, business website, LinkedIn profile all in the show notes. So one stop shop for everybody hit the show notes up if you if you ever wanna learn anything more kaeleen, same question for you. how can listeners learn more about you?

Aileen Prak 45:37

Thank you. And I just want to say again, thank you, autopia. And thank you, Brian, for setting this up, was really very, very valuable. And so for me, you can visit our website, it's bought of s bo N A VST capital comm or you can email me at Eileen at bonobos capital calm. And then also you can check out our podcasts. How did they do it real estate?

Brian Briscoe 46:01

Perfect. And once again, all those links are gonna be in the show notes. So awesome. Well, this has been an amazing, you know, 4550 minutes worth of time for me, and I so much appreciate you both coming on the show. Thanks AdaPia. Thanks, Aileen. Thank you, Brian bye Aileen. And that's a wrap.

Thank you for listening to the diode 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 on our show, visit our website at four oaks capital comm slash podcast or email us directly. If you're still listening, you obviously like the show. So pull out your phone, app, 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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