Due Diligence and Giving Back with Whitney Sewell and Jun Shin
Episode 87 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Whitney Sewell and Jun Shin, hosted by Brian Briscoe. Transcript by Otter.ai – please forgive any errors.
Brian Briscoe 0:00
Jun, we got Whitney on the line here. What do you want to ask him?
Jun Shin 0:02
What advice would you give to a new investor who's conducting due diligence for the first time?
Whitney Sewell 0:07
Don't do it by yourself. You know, have a team member. So one of the problems I made on my first deal in 2009 was not doing proper due diligence. I thought, well, I'm going to I'm going to do this really good. I'm going to hire a professional company, you know, this company came in very well known think, okay, you know, I've got, I've got this, you know, we're going to figure out what we need to know here. It didn't help me to think through Okay, well, these AC units are 30 years old. You know, I mean, that seems so simple, right? But you're so motivated for that first deal. Yeah, you know, you're so ready. When you trust I trusted the seller, the most trusted or that realtor too much.
Brian Briscoe 0:50
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 87. And part of our Ask the Expert series. Today we bring on experienced guests Whitney school, and inspiring investor June Shin, and today we talked about due diligence, giving back and finding a mentor in multifamily. And now the show Welcome to the Durban apartment investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe with four oaks capital. I'm super excited for today's show. It's one of our st extra episodes. And we have two absolutely amazing people on the line with us right now we've got a man with a tonne of experience in this and other businesses Whitney Sewell, and a very motivated aspiring investor Jun Shin. So Whitney is the president of lifebridge capital, which is a syndicated multifamily investment firm with over $100 million in assets under management. He also hosts the real estate syndication show, a daily investment podcast where he has interviewed over 800 experts in the field. He's the founder of lifebridge Foundation in a nonprofit that supports orphans and their adoptive families. That said, Whitney, welcome to the show.
Whitney Sewell 2:14
Thank you, Brian. Absolute pleasure to be here. I love to set up by the way, I think it's just a great idea. Brian, hats off to you. Yeah,
Brian Briscoe 2:22
thanks a lot. Thanks. I have to defer that compliment to my my business partners. You know, we were brainstorming this. And I think it was Eric Shirley who who brought up this idea. And quite frankly, we realise that everybody was jumping into the to the podcast business. And we want to do something just a little bit different. And this is this is what we came up with. But speaking of podcast, you have a really great podcast, you want to tell us a little bit about that? Sure,
Whitney Sewell 2:49
we've done 800 and actually, I just recorded 808 160 show this morning. And so moving right along there. Yeah, it's just in the last about two to just over two years now. So daily shows seven days a week. It's been an amazing journey was definitely got our own university, no doubt about it, getting to ask that many people all those questions, but also a way to provide a tonne of value to people getting started in this space. And and just a network, you know, as hard as I can go. So it's been great, though. It's been it's done very well for us. And I think it's it's, you know, teaching a lot of people about syndication business.
Brian Briscoe 3:24
Yeah. And it absolutely does. I mean, we first met, let's see, November 2018. I remember it was Michael Blanc event here in the DC area. Yeah. And somebody pointed you out and said, You know, he he's a podcaster. He does his daily podcast. And they also mentioned that you you have some military ties, so I was just like, military guy. Yeah, absolutely. I'm going to talk to him. But I've been listening to your podcast quite a bit lately. I haven't, I haven't listened 800 of them, I'll be honest, but I will say it's one of the better podcasts out there. And there's a lot of value to be had from from the podcast. So appreciate that very, very much. So let's, let's start with this. Let's talk about your background and your history, you know, and kind of, you know, lead us up to what got you into apartment investing,
Whitney Sewell 4:08
you know, started my apartment investing or real estate investing starting started in 2009. I had been in the military, I was overseas or actually I'll back up a little bit more. Because I think that military training says a lot about you know, how we've progressed in business as well now, but back in March in March of 2001, I signed up join the National Guard at that time because I was still in high school and that you know, had no idea obviously then that in just a few months our nation would be at war you know, and I'd be spending a year you know, very soon Iraq and and really, you know, just praying every day I get to go home and unfortunately not everyone in our squad made it home, you know, so very fortunate to be home and and but I'm very thankful for that military time as well. A lot of things learn there and that, you know, I just couldn't have received anywhere else. But one thing that I did learn there is it's just kind of like a never give up mentality. And it's so important, right? And Brian, you know that as well as one, I mean, when you're on the battlefield, or you're, you know, it's not an option, right? There's other people that depend on you, and you have to perform. And so that was it was just, you know, something that was key and in what I learned in the military, then also when I came home, trying to figure out what I was going to do, you know, for a career after coming back, and and becoming a police officer was kind of just an easy transition, right? I love the natural love the discipline, man just seemed like a good fit for me. And so I did, I became one of out of one to five positions, 1200 applicants, you know, got one of those that prefer a Kentucky State Police very blessed to have received that position, and loved working the road as a police officer, quickly, though, determined after after, you know, working there, you're getting married, and then my wife and I just passing each other in the hallway. You know, it's like, Okay, this is not what's best making 35,000 a year, you know, in a good, good year, like, what is it going to be, and that's what pushed me into real estate that was 2009. And to speed up, you know, bought two triplexes learned a lot the hard way made a tonne of mistakes, or a lot of sleepless nights as well. And then, but then Sam became a federal agent. And that moved us to Virginia got better pay better benefits, all those things, but still was in that jlb. Right, and still pursuing real estate. And but it's But finally, a few years later learned about syndication business. And I honestly, I couldn't believe that I had known about this so many years before, I'd still been buying, buying and selling some real estate up to like a 15 unit. But that was as big as my mind could say, you know, at that time, if you just said Whitney, you know, what about this 100 unit building out? So I don't know, I don't know who that guy is, I can buy that maybe 20 years from now. Yeah, I never imagined, you know that we would be where we're at now. But started digging in and learning that, hey, there's a lot of guys that were buying 100 unit complexes that hadn't been in it much longer than I had, and maybe some even less time. And so I'm like, Okay, again, if they can do it, I can do it too. And that's really when the journey on syndication started. There's a tonne of tonne of other things there that that kept us motivated, kept us going, because it definitely was not easy. You know, the first couple years doing a daily podcast and deals and working full time happy to get into any of that, and how we kept it together. Because it was definitely a family unit. Or Maui and my wife played a massive role in that and happy to go into that. But but that's how we got to real estate. That's how we got briefly how we got to syndication. And and then obviously, tonnes have happened since then. Yeah.
Brian Briscoe 7:40
So I mean, one thing that I do want to dive in, you know, a daily podcast. So I mean, I do three episodes a week, and two of them are the interview types. And it's very time consuming. Number one, what possessed you to do a daily podcast? And number two, would you do it over again?
Whitney Sewell 8:01
I would definitely do it over again. And a lot of people say, you know, has it been worth it? Because it has, and I try not to paint a rosy picture here by any means. Because it's been crazy. It has absolutely been an insane commitment. You know, one thing that made it simple to me at the time was only to have one other daily podcast in real estate and he knows you're doing well. Yeah, in real estate. And I thought, okay, there's no reason to reinvent reinvent the wheel here. Let's just make it happen. And it was just really my mentality. I was just go figure it out. Obviously, there's numerous things that had to happen, because it has been absolutely insane. And just mentioned managing calendar, you know, had to take that to a whole new levels in building a team really quickly to make all that happen, just like you're talking about. Yeah,
Brian Briscoe 8:43
yeah. Yeah. Interesting. So what's what's been the best thing for you about running a daily podcast?
Whitney Sewell 8:50
The networking. I mean, I'm networking with seven times as many people as most people, you know, that run a weekly podcast. So that's increased my network just extremely fast. And so everybody talks about whether your net worth being compared to your network, well, you know, you you do the math there, however you want, but, you know, seven times compared to most and it's not been easy, but that's probably one of the biggest things because whether it's partners or whether it's investors, or whether it's people like you, Brian, that hey, you know, is there may be some time we bounce things off each other. You know, we've got to know each other. So many, so many people, so many, so many opportunities and open doors like that came from the podcast.
Brian Briscoe 9:28
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I noticed the same thing. A lot of times I get people almost every time the experienced investor I get on the podcast is far more experienced than I am. And quite frankly, you know, when when you bring an experience in an aspiring investor on the same show, you got to draw the line in the sand somewhere. And my first line in the sand was they've got to be more experienced than I am, you know, so when I started the podcast, I think we had, you know, roughly 100 units, you know, three properties that we owned in a fourth under contracts, that was that was my line in the sand and so Bringing somebody more experienced in on every show, I get to learn. And I get to double up on my networking because I'm bringing two people on every show. So but yeah, 100% agree with that. That's, that's been an amazing thing for me as well. So, so let's talk a little bit more about some of the roadblocks you had getting started with syndication. I know you said you had, you know, several smaller apartment complexes prior to what was it like moving from that into syndication?
Whitney Sewell 10:28
it's gonna sound cliche, cuz I hear it all the time on my podcast as well. But the mindset of just being open to it is a reality. Like, it could be a reality that you could go purchase 100 unit building within a year or so. I mean, it is a reality. That's, that's one big thing. You know, one big thing that had to happen when I started to was structuring my day, in the mornings having a very structured morning routine that helped change things. But that was still the mindset, right. And that was a roadblock like cultivating that time being very diligent and disciplined about that, obviously, the first deal finding those first partners, getting connected with enough investors initially, you know, we're all roadblocks. But you know, one of the biggest things probably, that kind of helped all that we've talked about a little bit was figuring out how to do that daily podcast, making that happen. I just spend so much time on that, that I didn't get to probably spend time on things that maybe a lot of other people do initially, like calling brokers, building those relationships, and, and doing different things like that, that I had to be so focused on this marketing piece in the podcast and that team to make that hoppings my time was so limited. I had to create that well. machine, really, before I ever launched.
Brian Briscoe 11:40
Yeah, that's, that's key. So we're in the process of that first syndication, calm. I mean, where like, episode count where you like Episode Number 100? You know, we're in that process, where are you? When you're able to get that first contract signed?
Whitney Sewell 11:53
That is a great question. And I think I was probably, I'm just thinking back, timeframe wise. I mean, I may have been 300 episodes, even before I, before I partnered with another operator, you know, in the first deal or two, in that it was probably the anchor that was very picky about who I was going to partner with, I'd spent so much time and energy and money, you know, building my investor base up to that time, and building this brand. And, and the podcast that I finally did, I partnered with someone, and that was just that just helped me to move so much faster. Because I had the brand I had the investor base at that time, I couldn't raise a lot yet, because that was the first deal that my investor base had seen. Right? You know, that's first thing they saw for me. And so that's not always the one obviously, you're gonna raise the most on. Right. But you know, hopefully not right. But that really pushed me to the next level, but it probably was roughly 300 days in or so. Okay.
Brian Briscoe 12:49
Yeah. Well, that's a good point. And what I what I like, I think he did it smartly as well. I mean, you said something that you were very particular on your partners, which is, you know, I think absolutely crucial. You want to make sure you're, you're linked up with somebody that you're compatible with number one, but you also want somebody who had experienced already an experienced operator, which I think is probably one of the best ways to basically to get into the business, no doubt. So, alright. Well, that said, you talked a little bit about your why and reason for doing all of this. Can we distil your your big burning lie down in a couple of sentences?
Whitney Sewell 13:24
Yes, so big burning Why? When my wife and I moved to Virginia, we were exposed to the thought of adoption. And, and we were listening to a pastor talk about how there's 160 million orphans in the world. 40 to 60 grand to bring one home, we had never even thought about adopting before adopting a child. But on our way home that night, the only thing we could think of was why would we not? Yeah, and so that that just has changed our lives completely. Within our actually, within a week, we turned an application to adopt from Ethiopia. You know, two years later, our first son came home from Ethiopia, within a within another nine or 10 months, our second son came home to adoption. And then about a year and a half ago, our daughter was born to adoption as well. But the first couple of those, it was such a struggle to pay for the pay for the adoption. I mean, we we had a failed placement lost tonnes of money. I mean, you know, just it's difficult, right? And so many families now that we talked to say, Whitney, that's more than I'm making a year. No, how can I How can I do that? You know, and we're talking 160 million orphans in the world. I mean, it's just ridiculous that it's that it's that burdensome to families that would make good parents and so our goal from the very beginning was also started foundation that we've had half of our personal profits to, that will help these families with this burden, you know, of adoption, if they'll commit to bringing their child home, we want to commit to helping them financially and and it's incredible how the Lord's work through that it was formed this past year. And we've just actually just yesterday talking to some other partners who are going to help us you know, find those families and help them in big way. So, so it's neat to see that moving along, but that that was a big why. Now, another part of that that's crucial to people getting started, you know, if you're gonna, you know, undertake something like a daily podcast trying to get in syndication business, all this while you're working full time you have kids all these I mean, my schedule was insane. To have it I'll tell you, you know, if it wasn't for my wife and I still had a little bit to this earlier, we couldn't have done it, you know, she's not into real estate. However, she's very passionate about our Y, right, she's very passionate about that mission. And so that also helped her to stay focused, and then just helped us to paint a bigger picture for our children to long term when they see just week after week, Daddy's not available, or ultimately, except on Sundays, maybe Saturday afternoons to do anything. And that was the reality of it. But that why was so important to all of us.
Brian Briscoe 15:40
You know, and the reason I asked about the big burning why's because I found in my life, that's been the motivation. Before I had a deep and deep seated burning, why, you know, in the centre of my chest, I had a couple of rental properties, but it was more of a hobby than a business. And I think once once I really wrap my head around and got that burning, why fueled up and go, and that's when I started getting a lot of traction. And it's really what helped me create the discipline that you were talking about. And you Oh, by the way, for those who are listening, you know, after I met Whitney in 2018, you hit hit a calendar link, I remember how I scheduled but contacted him, he's like, hey, let's let's let's get on the phone for for a quick chat. I went to his calendly link, and his appointment started at like five o'clock in the morning. You know, so he was open from like five to seven in the morning. And then from seven o'clock to like 10pm every single day. So talking about work ethic, you know, Whitney has done exactly what he said he did, you know, waking up early structuring his mornings, and basically building a dawn to dusk work schedule. So so let's shift gears a slight bit here. And let's talk a little bit about, you know, one of the deals you've run or kind of a an idea of what type of project you're looking for.
Whitney Sewell 16:54
So the majority of our projects, and I would say, well over 700 of our units, maybe closer to 800 are all classy, I would say C plus they're in great areas. But however, because when they're built a mid 70s, late 70s, they're classified as C Class C projects. Most are nicer than I would lived in when I was renting. But but there was an, you know, a problem, right? We found these properties. And it's usually mismanagement or under market rents, they haven't been updated in, in many, many years, most people have heard that value add type plan, and that's what we've done, you know, we found those properties, a lot of that's usually through broker relations or property management relations as well. But you know, these properties, they'll be anywhere from, say, 15 to 40 million, you know, dollar purchase prices we've done for property for projects this past year, and three of those were 30 to 35 million, you know, another about 15. And so, yeah, that's the type of properties our Colorado Springs is where those 700 750 or so are. And then we have another project in Boise, Idaho as well. That's a good project.
Brian Briscoe 17:57
They're both both great markets. Yeah, I spent some time in Colorado Springs. And incidentally, I'll be moving to Idaho in about 200 days. So Wow. Yeah. Not always the other side of the state. But both are amazing markets. And I know they're, they're both growing extremely fast. So yeah, so I like it. I mean, see class value add? there, there's a lot lot to be said about that asset class. And you're right. I think that's kind of the standard profile for a lot of people who are in the syndication business, really starting out So one question about those now, you said earlier, you partnered with your first deal at least you partnered with somebody and brought capital is that still what you're doing? Are you guys doing pardon the expression cradle to grave on on these?
Whitney Sewell 18:40
We're doing cradle to grave so I did partner on a couple projects early on to obviously to get started and learn more about the business to grow our network and, and really our investor base to see us doing larger deals and what they'd ever seen us do before. And that that just goes so far, you know, to expose them to that. But no, now, my business partner now and I are doing the complete, complete. It's just us. Okay.
Brian Briscoe 19:03
Okay. Good to know. Good to know. And yeah, I mean, one thing that I think everybody realises is your you can only grow as fast as you can bring in money in this business, you know, so that that investor base is crucial and going back to what you said, you know, quite a bit ago in the in this episode is, you know, you've spent a lot of time growing that investor base before you jumped into actually syndicating And personally, I think that's that's the right way to do it. I wish I would have spent more time doing that myself. I actually spent a lot more time on the hard skills, the analysis and the going through you know, paperwork and such. And when it came time to actually raise money It was not easy. I'll tell you that. Alright, so what's what's next for you and life bridge?
Whitney Sewell 19:49
Now that's awesome question and I think important in our one of our big focuses this year is on the obviously get the nonprofit better branded and promote it and not be going strong. But on the business side, we want to do four to six deals this year, we'd love to move into another market and potentially even another asset class.
Brian Briscoe 20:10
Okay, interesting. Any markets? In particular, do you have your eye on? Or is that still a work in progress?
Whitney Sewell 20:16
It is a work in progress. I mean, we are obviously mostly in the West, all in the West, is where our focus is. And so other Western markets, I mean, between Salt Lake City or Cheyenne, or you know, there's a few in there that could potentially be one that will, we'll consider strongly
Brian Briscoe 20:32
All right. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, and, you know, try to keep my finger on its pulse. And it's, it's a good market to be in a lot of growth expected. So Good, good. Alright, one more shifting gears here. We've had, you know, June, waiting patiently on the line here. So we're gonna bring him in right now. First, a quick introduction. He's an active duty Navy officer. And he just started a company, brighter future capital, graduated from the Naval Academy in 2019. And started his real estate investing career by house hacking a duplex, he's determined to achieve financial freedom through commercial multifamily investing within the next five years while serving as an information professional in the United States Navy. That said, June, welcome to the show.
Jun Shin 21:16
Thank you so much for having me, Brian. And yeah, like I said before, what you're doing is amazing. You know, I have a lot of friends who are in my age range, a lot of aspiring investors more than the experience side. So they told me, you know all about it, how great it was, how they got to meet someone, you know, that they want to be in the next few years. And it's just been great. I've been just waiting my turn to be on this awesome podcast. And I'm so glad to be here.
Brian Briscoe 21:45
Yeah. Hey, thanks a lot. I appreciate it. You know, and I know, let's see, Julia is one of your business partners who has been on the show. And I mean, she was absolutely amazing. So good for you for finding a great partner like that. But I've been excited. I've seen you on on social media for a while. And I think you went on was at the adpi podcast, talking about your house hack. So for where you are, you know, age wise, I mean, you graduated Naval Academy in 2019. So you got shot in the dark? I'm gonna assume you're 2223 years old. 2424. Oh, so you were you were one of the older guys going to the Naval Academy? No, but that's, you know, where you're at right now. I wish I was there. You know, if I if I could rewind my life, 20 years. And I wish I could say 20 years ago that I owned a duplex. So So that's it. Let's let's talk a little bit more about your background and history. And what really got you into apartment investing?
Jun Shin 22:40
Absolutely. So I was actually born in South Korea, our family moved to Guam when I was a little so Guam is considered home for me. came to the States Naval Academy for college. And yeah, here I am just graduated about a year and a half ago, currently stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, my first tour, thankfully, I'm not on a ship yet. I will soon be. So I'm just getting ready for that. But right now, I've been just working on my qualification process, and just kind of learning the ropes of the Navy. And on the spare time, also trying to learn about real estate investing, like you said, my exposure to it was the VA loan, specifically the VA rehab loan, which not a lot of people know about, actually, Yeah, awesome product where you can roll in the cost of the renovation into the mortgage, and still come up with 0% down payment. And it was perfect for someone like me who just graduated, not a lot of capital, and who can really get the experience of like, a lot of things in the real estate investing world, the whole buying process, run the numbers, the renovation process, and if you want, you can also manage the property yourself. So that first deal first and only right now has been great for me. And I've been house hacking it for about a year now. And when I finished the whole process, I was thinking about what should I do next? You know, okay, once I finished the renovations and got the renters in and I'm living in it, what's next for me? And so I kept going to the real estate investing meetups as I have done. And actually, apartment syndication was a topic that kept being brought up to my attention. But you know, it sounded awesome, but it didn't seem that realistic for someone like me. I've done one deal. I don't know if I'm ready for 100 unit, but actually I met a couple of investors who were just around my experience of obviously a little bit more but like they will do a triplex and then their next deal will be 105 unit in the area. And that just blew my mind. You know Like, what did you actually how did you go from just residential owning one or two properties to managing or owning all these apartment complexes and I was able to learn about the whole syndication business, went to a lot of conferences and started listening to podcasts like Whitney's syndication show, you know, that was one of the first ones I've discovered and still listened to. Yeah. And for the past few months, I've been just educating myself and trying to build a brand and investor base and hopefully do a deal. Well, in 2021.
Brian Briscoe 25:34
Nice, nice. Yeah, I like that. I mean, you got it, got a little bit of width of it, and basically decided to jump all in, you know, so good on you. So what's, what's your big burning? Why what's, what's your big motivation for this?
Jun Shin 25:45
Yes. So actually, when I was in college, at the Naval Academy, I knew nothing about real estate investing, I knew nothing about finances, actually, financially illiterate, you know, going out all the time, credit card debt. And I mean, obviously, that's just what I knew. And I don't really think much about it until actually, in senior year, I was diagnosed with cancer. And I'm all healthy now. And I'm good. But when it happened, at the time, I was, everything was just basically, nothing really matter, except for me and people that I care about. So I did a lot of self reflection. And I came to realise that I want when something like this were to happen, again, to someone I love, I want to make sure that, you know, I want to be there for them. And it was, it was really hard, because my family was in one, and I was in Maryland, I'm going through the process. Thankfully, the cancer itself, the type of cancer was not very, very high likelihood of success, ended up being recovered. So I was never really too worried about actually, you know, getting too sick. But just, you know, the idea that I was away from, you know, people I love, and I know, they were worried and hurting was very stressful for me. So that's when I started to really just read about financial literacy was one of the topics I decided to get into, and become, hopefully one day, you know, become financially free, and live my life on our own terms, basically. So as I kept reading books, discover real estate investing, that's how I was able to learn about the house hacking and VA loan. And that's why I decided to jump in it right after graduation. And once I learned about apartment syndication, the ability to scale so much faster. I thought it was the best way overall to get to financial independence. The quick.
Brian Briscoe 27:59
Well, that's powerful right there. You know, first of all, I'm glad you're healthy now can imagine having gone through that. But going through that, like you did, and coming out on the other side, saying I want to help other people is just powerful. And it's amazing. And hats off to you. That said, let's let's help you along in that apartment investing journey in June, we got Whitney on the line here. What do you want to ask him?
Jun Shin 28:19
Thank you, you know, I think to Brian earlier, but I also want to thank you, Whitney, because you were one of the first figures in the apartment syndication world that I came across. Like I said, or before we went online, that I first heard you speak at our local meetup. And you know, we got connected on bigger pockets. We didn't say anything, but I just added use they Thank you. I love your show. And I'm very excited to be here. And I also want to say that you actually inspire me a lot to also give back to the cause that I care about. Because when I learned about how you donate 50% of your profits, into adoption and things like that, I was like, wow, like, that is another way to give back that I never thought about. So actually, you inspire me a lot to personally donate 20% of my profits to help children with cancer. Obviously, haven't. I'm not there yet. But, and I hope to increase the number over the years. But I just want to say thank you so much.
Whitney Sewell 29:23
That's incredible. Thank you for sharing that. That's a that's a win in my book right there just to encourage you to give back and, and others. Thank you.
Jun Shin 29:31
Okay, actually speaking of that topic, my first question is related to that. So how do you streamline that process of giving back? You mentioned briefly earlier about foundation? Is there any software you use? Is it done manually? Or like the timeline of it? Can you just talk a little bit?
Whitney Sewell 29:49
Yeah, it's been a whole new learning. You know, ballgame for me. You know, we're running a foundation or starting a foundation. There's been a lot to learn there. You know, a couple team members have also had to learn a lot, a bit that's been it's, it's kind of its own separate thing over here, you know, and obviously, that's something I'm doing. My whole team's not doing that they're not required to do that, of course. But ultimately, it's not that complicated and until least get started, like we wanted to start giving as quickly as possible. And so we got the foundation started that took some time find somebody to help me with that, make sure we're doing it legal, you know, there's no grey area and that it's done properly. And then and then ultimately, it was almost the end of the year, last year before we, we like gave, we're like, Okay, this is what we need to give this year because it was almost in before the foundation was, was formed, you know, so we had to wait for that. But we gave, and then now, ultimately, we've created other partnerships, and really people that we that helped us when we were adopting early on. And now we've reached back out to say, Hey, you know, this is what the words led us to do. And we just wonder if there's a way for us to partner, because just the like application process and thinking through what families do we help? And how much do you help and, you know, it's hard, right? Yeah, turning people away, or helping some more than others. And so since we don't have that figured out just yet, we don't want to wait to give. And so we'll partner with a couple other these nonprofits who are already have families that are in need, they're in the process, they're ready to go. And we'll be able to help speed that process up, or also help encourage people like Brad providing what we're wanting to provide a matching grant for those families. So they can quickly you know, encourage, encourage them to get started in the process, right. So maybe they, you know, they're there to have that mindset of, we can come up with the amount 40 to 60 grand, but if they already knew they had a matching grant to do a fundraiser, and we help them with the front end fundraiser, then it may encourage them to go ahead and take the plunge to make it happen, you know, help them commit. And so and nothing too complicated on the, you know, financial side, other than in now, you know, pay myself, I paid the foundation, you know, so now it's a lot easier. But getting started, it wasn't that way or to wait to get the foundation started and things like that. Nice.
Jun Shin 32:01
Awesome, thank you, I'll definitely have to do more research on that part. But um, that that made it a lot more simpler in my head. So thank you for that. Also, right now, you know, very hot market, I'm sure across the US in general, I've been having hard time actually trying to always getting outbid by other investors. And just whenever property is listed, and I contact brokers, it's just been hard getting information, especially with lack of experience. So I wanted to ask you, what percentage of the deals that you do are found off market? And do you have any advice on how to how I should go about finding these?
Whitney Sewell 32:48
Yeah, so first, what kind of properties are you looking for? Like, what are you when you say like, you're looking at some you're underwriting you want to make an offer? What type of deal is,
Jun Shin 32:55
um, my partners and I are looking at around 40 to 80 unit or 100 unit, see properties in my local area, actually, under around 4 million to 4 million.
Whitney Sewell 33:10
Okay, all all of ours are through brokers. They are I mean, those broker relations have been just crucial. And we spent a lot of time on those broker relations, especially after we've done numerous deals, you know, that becomes a lot easier. And now we're not having the burdens that you are to some extent. But to back up, you know, I'd like let's talk about your team a little bit. You said, your partners, you're looking forward to 40 to 80 unit properties, who are your partners, and what's their experience?
Jun Shin 33:34
Absolutely. So actually, they were on this pocket as well, Brian marucho and Princess. We met on dealmakers live and they are based in California. They said they expressed their skills, they're able to raise money they're able to underwrite and things like that, but because they're in California, and especially with the pandemic, it's been harder to travel outside. So they were looking for different markets. And so we got connected, they knew that I was in Hampton Roads, Virginia area. So they said, Hey, if you find a deal and bring it to us, and you can do due diligence, maybe we can work something out. So that's have they done any deals before. So they have other teammates, or anything they have like
Brian Briscoe 34:19
they have one other contract. They were actually I mean, literally the last two episodes that I released, but they have one under contract right now that they should be closing on the next couple of weeks.
Whitney Sewell 34:32
Awesome, awesome. Well, congratulations on that. But you know, one thing I was thinking about, you gotta have somebody has experience a lot of times or a lot of times partnering with somebody just like I did, like so many people do a partnering with somebody that has experience. So when you're talking to that broker, you talk about the team, everybody's heard this, but it's so true. You talk about the team and what the team has accomplished and what deals they've done and their track record and things like that, as opposed to saying you know, or you're going to tell them maybe you've never done a deal but but the team has done the same here. To be transparent, honest, for sure, but but that may not be the focus of the conversation when you can talk about the team and what they have done. And because that broker or whoever that is needs confidence that you can raise the money and that you know how to close the deal those things, you know, that's what they're judging when they're interviewing you. That's what they're trying to figure out, you know, how high is this person going to go on my Rolodex here, you know, to call, you know, when I have an opportunity, and obviously, the more experience that you can share, the better you do have to get started somewhere. So, you know, you do have to just hustle until you get it, I mean, until you make it happen. But there are things that can help you, like I said, like leaning on your team's experience, you know, and not just yours, but thinking through that. And maybe you know, this deal that they're doing, maybe that will give you that boost or give you you know, your team, that experience, but you think about how your team structured, you know, and who's a part of that team and who you're partnering with those things, but happy to go into any of that.
Jun Shin 35:53
Awesome. I'd love to dig into that a little bit more later if that's okay. Another question is, what advice would you give to a new investor who's conducting due diligence for the first time,
Whitney Sewell 36:04
don't do it by yourself? You know, have a good one perience team member, but have so one of the big problems I made on my first deal in 2009 was not doing proper due diligence, you know, I did hire you know, I thought, well, I'm gonna I'm going to do this really good. I'm going to hire a professional company to come in and help me look at every nut and bolt and cook and cranny and crevice and, and all these things, which I did, you know, this company came in very well known fools in their truck, you know, all labelled up, and you know, it's all fancy, right? Think, okay, you know, I've got, I've got this, you know, we're going to figure out what we need to know here. And he did, he went out I followed him and every attic space and underneath and everywhere flushing ever toilet, and you know, everything in between. However, there, you know, he was more like, nothing's wrong. It didn't help me. You know, that was kind of, you know, his booklet, his nice print out booklet he gave me said, Well, you know, here's a few things that might need to be fixed, but no real big concerns. It didn't help me to think through, okay, well, these AC units are 30 years old. You know, I mean, that seems so simple, right? But you're so motivated for that first deal. You know, there's just things like, you know, you're so ready. When you trust I trusted the seller, the most trusted the, the or that realtor too much, you know, at that time at that has done that before and been through that before, even if they're not part of this partnership, hired them to come and help. Yeah,
Brian Briscoe 37:25
yeah, and same thing on our first one, we came in with an army of people, I think one of the one of the things that helped us a lot, we did have a property inspector, come with us, we had a contractor, and the property management company came out big for us, we had to pay them to do it, you know, they they kind of told us, hey, you know, we'll we'll send we'll send a rep with you to walk through it. But if you want X, Y, and Z done, you're gonna have to pay for it. You know, we don't we don't do that for free type stuff. So we paid their maintenance guy an hourly rate, and we paid the general contractor that works for the property manager an hourly rate for the entire day coming out walking the property with us. And fortunately, I was in a mentorship programme, I had a mentor. He wasn't there on the property with us, but he was pulling the strings telling us exactly what to do. And then when we got the reports back, he was looking over our shoulders as well. I think I think what what he said is is absolutely key you know, get help, you know, absolutely get people to help you get as many eyes on as you can and make sure you have experience behind you. But
Whitney Sewell 38:30
I think that's a great point. Brian, obviously our systems have changed a tonne now and hopefully if you're buying 40 to 80 unit buildings, you already know who that property management partner is going to be. And like Brian said, It is so crucial that they are there I mean that they're helping you through due diligence. I mean, we bring in people now that are experts on Route, you know, just roofing and they walk every every roof if there's 20 buildings guess what they're climbing on every building, there's hv AC experts, there's I mean, just you name it, plumbing and all you know, parking laws, you know all those things. There's experts about each of those things, and we want to make sure they're there during due diligence.
Brian Briscoe 39:04
And here's, here's the great part, most of those experts will actually do it for free. Right, because if the roofer gets on 20 roofs and 10 of them are old and bad, they've got a good shot at getting the contract. You know, it's the same thing for the H fac experts. You know, if they come out and look at all the facts for you. They may charge a little bit but it's worth your money. But you know, the I don't think that asphalt contractors ever charged us a dime for coming out and looking at the parking lots. Right? You know, same. Yeah, same with the landscape guys, you know, you come out and say, Hey, you know, what are some recommendations on on what you guys would do if you came out here and they'll give you an itemised price list. But you know, the one the one follow up, I'll say is while you're doing due diligence, make sure you're sharpening your pencil on your underwriting and all of your key assumptions. And that way when you walk out of the due diligence period, your numbers are tight. You know, your numbers are tight, and you're able to say to your investors, this is exactly how much it's gonna cost to renovate X, Y and Z. And that way you'll you'll make sure that you're, you're properly funded. That said, you know, we got time for one more question.
Jun Shin 40:07
Okay. Did you have a mentor? Do you recommend How do you recommend finding one? And what does it take to become a good mentee?
Whitney Sewell 40:16
It's a great question. And it's talked about so much in our industry. And there's so many different viewpoints on this. I always say a mentor is a must. But also say they don't have to be a paid mentorship. There's many good paid mentorships there's many paid ones that are not so good. As well, as I'm sure Brian has heard or talked to many people in a lot of different programmes, like I have a vetting that that person is so crucial. One thing, a few things that were very important to me, when I was looking for a mentor, is finding somebody that's in the business right now. You know, they're there, they've done it, they're, they're in the business right now. They didn't like make it big 10 years ago, or been in real estate for 30 years, and all of a sudden, they retired 10 years, no, now they're just mentoring, like somebody that was active, also wanted somebody that I could speak to a one on one, I didn't, I didn't want somebody that had a team of, and this is not always bad, but but it just was my preference that they didn't have, like a team of coaches under them. And I never got to speak to that person, you know, or, or it was like a group call once a month, or once a quarter or something like that. I wanted that. That one on one. So you know, we can hash out things that were happening with me right then. And I could ask those important questions kind of when I needed to. And, you know, one thing I like to think about too, when when I first signed up for a mentoring, I think my first month was like 12 and a half $1,000. And to us at that time, it was such a big commitment. I mean, we were starting another adoption process, we had lots of things happening. And I mean, I almost didn't do it, because I thought, Oh, we need this money. Like, I don't know, if we should do this, you know, that mentorship now is 50,000, you know, for that same person, you know, and so, but all that to say, even if it had been 50,000, I couldn't have done it then. But if I if I knew then what I know now, it would have been so worth it, it would have been so worth it to have had that mentorship to provide that confidence to have somebody I can call that's been there and done that a so many times I you know, there's people in this business who really questioned me about different things, especially doing a daily podcast, people that I really respected and thought maybe I should listen to them. And he was like, Whitney, that's, that's why you have to do it, you know, but that's all it took. And there's numerous times that that happened to help me to stay encouraged, you know, and keep going. Right? But But I say that to say to it doesn't have to be a paid mentorship. I looked at numerous programmes, I travelled to different conferences to hear different people speak, you know, that that offer mentoring and things like that and get to talk to them in person. That was that was a game changer as well. There's numerous that I've met in person and I'm like, Okay, this is I was considering, but I'm like, No, I'm not handing this person $20,000 you know, I just did not feel good about it for one reason or another. While I know many others who have done really well in that programme, so you have to kind of assess that another thing I did was go to bigger pockets, find people that are in that programme. And I asked them, Hey, you know, do you mind to have a call just for me to ask you some questions about your experience, numerous people were willing to talk to me, you know, about that coaching programme. And still I learned, you know, different things about different mentors, that that helped me to guide that decision to finally when I felt like was was perfect for me. You know, it has been and created a great relationship, you know, now and moving forward. But as far as being a great mentee, it's just know that the burden is on you to make it happen. And I mean, my mentor, he does no hand holding and I make that clear to people he's going to help you, you know, every way you can, but he's not going to call you and say you know, hey God, you know, if you've been working on this, you know, have you got this done? Or, you know, that's just not gonna happen for most programmes, I don't think but you have to be willing to had to be driven. Aram I like this. Henry David Thoreau. He says, you cannot dream yourself into character, you must hammer and forge yourself in one and not that's me. I mean, it really was like hammer and forging. To make this happen. I where we're at now and and you know, I'm continuing to hammer and forge but even finding that mentor and being a good mentee, I just had to be willing to push as hard as I can and not quit just like you've had to do through the Naval Academy and, you know, different experiences that you're going to have as well.
Brian Briscoe 44:27
Yeah. You know, that perfect answer. I mean, definitely vetted out. I'll tell you, I paid 25 grand for the coaching programme I went through and looking at it, almost three years later. The only thing I would have done differently is I would have signed up 10 years ago. I mean, that's right. That's that's the my honest opinion of it was the coaching programme. I went through perfect. No, it wasn't, but it worked. And really, I made it work is is right happened and a lot of people who talk to me about it, you know, I say the same thing. I'm like, look at If you're willing to make it work, it'll work. And, and that's that's absolute key to where I am right now. And I've said many times, I think it's accelerated my success. Without coaching, my first multifamily deal probably would have been somewhere around a six or an eight unit with a six figure price tag, you know. So our first apartment complex indication was a 55 unit with a $4 million price tag. So that was a difference between, you know, me know, coaching and me with coaching. But that said, we're pretty much out of time. I want to thank both of you guys, one more time for forgiving me some time today on the show. This has been an amazing discussion. One more question for each of you. And when you go first, how can our investors learn more about you?
Whitney Sewell 45:45
lifebridge Capital calm, you can learn a lot about our team there and the deals that we've done. Also, you can email me at Whitney at lifebridge Capital comm you can call or text 540-585-4338 and look forward to speaking with you.
Brian Briscoe 46:01
All right, there you go. That information is going to be in the show notes. Hop on his email distro list too, as well. I get it in my inbox every week. And it's a lot of good information. June same questions for you.
Jun Shin 46:14
brighter future capital calm. You'll have all my contact information, my social media, LinkedIn, all that. Or you can also email me at Jun at brighter future capital calm.
Brian Briscoe 46:25
All right, perfect. And that information will also be in the show notes. So if you're listening and you want to contact either Whitney, you're Jun, go to the show notes, you know, and should be able to just tap a link and it'll whisk you away to their their websites or social media profiles. All right. Hey, thanks so much again, to both of you for coming on the show. I think he added a tonne of value. And I look forward to talking with you guys again next time.
Whitney Sewell 46:46
My pleasure, Brian. Thank you. Nice to meet you.
Brian Briscoe 46:49
Thank you so much, both of you. And that's a wrap.
Thank you for listening to the direction 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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