Interacting with Investors with Nathalie de Vos Burchart and Zachary Bryan

Episode 197 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Nathalie de Vos Burchart and Zachary Bryan. Transcript by – please forgive any errors.

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Brian Briscoe:1:19

So Zack we got Natalie on the line What do you want to ask her?

Zachary Bryan:1:22

As you kind of brand the Natalie brand and speak with people you meet people, but you want to have these these ongoing touch points. How did you flesh that out? You know, what did that look like for you

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:1:31

having the momentum and I know it doesn't help an early syndicator. But once you have the momentum, you have a natural touch point of a monthly interaction with your investors in terms of updating them on a deal and things like that. The way I've promoted myself as again, the old fashioned, keep myself in front of people in person, but you do try to try to be personal because I would want somebody to know know me personally, personally and interact with me that way, if I was going to be investing with them.

Brian Briscoe:2:08

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. Welcome to the dialogue and apartment investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe with four oaks capital. I'm very excited for today's show. It's another one of our Ask the Expert episodes, we have two amazing people on the line with us. We have our experienced investor, Natalie divorce birth chart, and our motivated aspiring investor, Zach, Brian. And incidentally, our aspiring investor has more units right now than some of our experienced investors. But we'll get to that later. So Natalie, you're up first. First of all, welcome to the show.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:3:00

Thank you. Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having me. So, uh, you want a little bit of my background?

Brian Briscoe:3:06

Yeah, let's let's roll right into that.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:3:08

So like a lot of folks, I have a tech that get interested in, in apartments. I do have a technical background. my undergrad is in chemical engineering. I have an MBA as well from UT. And actually I thought about it, I'm wearing my McCombs MBA follow today so there you go, I'm,

Brian Briscoe:3:28

I'm wearing the Polo from my alma mater, which my my daughter bought for me. So

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:3:32

yeah, so if you don't like burnt orange, or you're an Aggie, I apologize at the time. I went to school in St. Louis. And my first job out of school was on the refined products commodity trading floor for Exxon Mobil at the time largest corporation in the world, was on the trading floor, and then one of the traders and I started bouncing back and forth on business plan for our own company. And in 2006, two of us left ExxonMobil together and started our own refined products trading company called by Georgia, and was doing that for 11 years through that from the ground up was two of us for the first first two years. So all of the operations, finance everything. If it wasn't on one of our plate, it was on the other and managing, managing that that growth was was a big deal. And, you know, the way you do apartments is with those, those loans will for our company, it was large bank lines, and we didn't get a bank line until a couple years into it. And that was just like oxygen for the business. And working with large syndicated bank lines, I bought a lot of experience on that end. So part of that prepared me for apartments. And then my last two years of biologia was all mergers and acquisitions where I was valuing the equivalent of apartment complexes in the energy space. So storage facilities, production facilities pipelines. And the idea was to normalize our financials because it gets volatile with trading, you can make your your urine in a few months and then and then just sit on your hands the rest of the year, but that doesn't look nice and smooth. For for those banks and those bank lines I was just mentioning so acquiring more of those cash flowing assets for the business last two years. There we acquired six companies are our assets, which meant a lot more that we looked over due diligence, etc. So if you imagine valuing, say, a refinery in Hawaii with crude coming from Asia, forward curves, a whole distribution network with storage facilities and gas stations. It gets a lot more complicated than than a five tab spreadsheet. Yeah. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe:6:04

I can imagine. Yeah,

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:6:06

yeah. But and during that time, I was pregnant, had a had a child and didn't see him for the first year because I was on the road all the time. Yeah. And that and that, we'll get we'll get to my why with that. But I already had a an interest in apartments and starting in Oh 809 I bought 30 single families in Houston all in the same zip code and self managed that nights and weekends. And between the demanding work at by Georgia baby on the way and 30 single family rentals was like what's the best return on time? And that's where you know looking at looking at the options in the in the space apartments came up as this glaring, glaring answer to to scaling up and being more efficient with my time.

Brian Briscoe:7:00

So there's a lot to unpack there. And I think your your story with bio ership parallels what a lot of people do in the apartment business, you were working for corporate America, and you ended up venturing out on your own. If I could unpack that a little bit, what was what was going through your mind what was part of your decision process before deciding, hey, I'm going to leave Exxon, you know, one of the largest companies in the world, at the time, the largest company in the world, corporate America to found a company of your own.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:7:30

So it was too slow, you know, had I not gone to work for Exxon, I would have done a Master's PhD at University of Michigan and Environmental Engineering. So I wanted to be part of changes on the environmental front. And I've okay largest corporation, that's where it's gonna happen. That's where they're going to have the money and the ability to make an impact. But once you once you get in with all your energy from undergrad, you realize Wait, this is this is really, really slow. And when the Renewable Fuel Standard RFS came to be law in 2005 2006, that that's that is the genesis of bioreactor, that is what caused the company to be created. And if the the leap was an easy one, so anything in trading, you think about, you know, whether you're hedged or not, early on early in my career, I'm leaving on good terms from Exxon Mobil, I could always go back. I mean, it was a bet on myself, where I can control my own destiny. So really, it wasn't even a choice. It was, of course, I was going to going to do it. And I didn't feel you know, exposure. Like I was like, I was taking this big risk. Nobody around me agreed with that. So my parents were like, you don't leave ExxonMobil your management track? You're on the the two year rotation program, what are you thinking? And I was like, I'm going to be able to make decisions, even if there's not as many zeros behind it, management level decisions that I won't get to until the tail end of my career, I'm going to be able to make them now. And it's either I can handle it, or it can't, but I want to do it. Yeah. So yeah, you

Brian Briscoe:9:06

know, I love that there's a lot of good reasons there. You know, a lot of people look at corporate america climbing that corporate ladder, and you bring up some good points, you know, to get to the top of the corporate ladder, it takes decades. And then I like how you said that you bet on yourself, you know, a lot of people will just stick with that. The corporation for the paycheck, you know, and a lot of people look at that paycheck is stability. And, you know, you thought, Hey, I'm going to bet on myself, I think I can be in a much better position personally and professionally by betting on myself, which, you know, I wish I would have done earlier to be honest with you

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:9:41

know, the the paycheck is false. For security it is and the sooner you realize that the better.

Brian Briscoe:9:49

Yeah, took me, you know, 1718 years to realize that and by that time, I was really close to retirement. So I just loved the last two out but yeah, it is absolutely false and corporate

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:10:02

America, your your you, because every time we go into work, you're looking for that, why are that what's pushing you. And when you start boiling it down to Okay, it's returned to shareholders, it gets a little hard to dig in and be motivated. Whereas if you're building a business and you in the middle of a slowdown in the economy, you're able to hire people, you're able to grow, you're able to book trends of what other people are doing. I mean, that's exciting in and of itself. That's that's a return. It's not a financial one. But it's an exciting growth. I mean, it's one of those things that you look for in terms of life satisfaction, and you have that growth component with with a business.

Brian Briscoe:10:42

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, I think a lot of people who are jumping into multifamily have kind of that same that same realization that you had going from Exxon to to byelorussia, but just just slightly, slightly different. No, it's like I'm in the corporation. I want to be my own boss. I want to make those decisions. I want to, you know, have the extra flexibility and the same type of decision process leads a lot of people to multifamily but so you know, fast forward you said 2008 2009 you bought a 30 something single family in Houston. Great time to buy postcrash I assume that had something to do with with when and what you bought

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:11:23

I was fortunate enough to have liquidity and that it seemed like it seemed like it was good values

Brian Briscoe:11:31

yeah I bought one in 2008 after the market crashed and I wish I would have figured out a way to buy more that was the you know had I had I a crystal ball at the time I would have bought as many as I could but anyway that said So you talked a little bit about getting into multifamily and you kind of brushed upon your why let's let's talk about your big burning why right now?

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:11:52

Well the The reason I left by orsha and then switched to focusing more intently on apartments was family. So our son was one and I wanted again that that return on time but more of it with with a balance and the unfortunate reality is I've worked too hard and front loaded my life so much that I'd reached a point where I could I had the luxury of being able to say I've earned the ability to spend a disproportionate amount of my time even though I'm in my early 30s with with family and I'm going to make that choice and I'm not measuring that as a financial return I'm measuring it as a personal return and it's worth it Yeah, yeah so and since then we also have a daughter she's now two two and a half almost three December and healthy beautiful kids and I'm involved with drop them off picking them up taking them to their activities and that's what I want

Brian Briscoe:12:58

Yeah, it's nice it's nice and I just just left my w two and I tell you what, you know being there when kids leave for school my wife works at the same school they're at so I don't take them to school it's obvious you know she does but you know they're when they leave for work or for school they're when they get home and taking them to their after school activities it's it's something that I didn't have for a long time and I'm glad I do have it now and I appreciate what you said there so

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:13:23

yeah, well you start counting how many Christmases or holidays you have left with them and then you go home wait there's not much of a window do to help you know put put in as much as you can as a as a parent before they start making their own independent decisions. What made me sound

Brian Briscoe:13:42

what made me jump into multifamily is the opposite of counting how many birthdays Christmas and holidays that I missed? You know and when I when I realized how many birthdays Christmases and holidays that I missed I realized I have to do something different you know I've been I've been gone too long I've got to do something different and that's so our wives are very similar and you know I appreciate what you said there so let's let's talk a little bit about apartments for a second. Can you give us an idea of the type of stuff you look at you know pick pick a favorite deal pick a recent deal and let us know what's going on.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:14:17

So I like now you add BNC space and being in Texas Houston now Fort Worth area I like that triangle of Dallas San Antonio Houston so I look in those markets. I have passive investments in Houston and I have been underwriting this year in Houston but haven't syndicated a deal there but I've syndicated deals in Dallas and San Antonio. Nice nice and and those have done very well. Okay, I've been involved with deals in Oklahoma and there's a mixed bag there.

Brian Briscoe:14:51

Yeah, I mean it's not not every deal unfortunately not every deal does as well as people project but now you're you're you're refinancing a deal today, right?

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:15:00

Yes, yes. So we bought 174 unit deal in South San Antonio 60s vintage so an old one but when I toured that property in late 2000s we bought it in from bobbum 2019. So was late 2018, early 19 we were touring it and doing due diligence. It was one of the cleanest seas I'd ever seen right next tool, an opportunity zone but one that was actually thriving and had the the traction and success and international businesses moving their education universities, etc. So Brooke city base on on the south end of San Antonio and a lot of low hanging fruit asset had been held by a family for 35 years. No debt on it, it was part of a portfolio of six it's either six or seven properties now my my memories not quite clear on that anymore. But we did an all except for one, the diamond or the one that they really wanted too much money for. So the reason we were able to even get that property was because we were going after a full six apartments, many many of them in As greater shape as the one I just described, and somebody else came in wanted all of the ones that were geographically proximate on the north side of San Antonio leaving leaving this asset available and we were able to get the be the first bite at the apple and secured in February of 2019, a little under seven and a half million dollars. Fast forward to today, we've had cash flow around 14% a year so we've we distributed throughout the pandemic 96%, occupied, almost 98% occupied even during the pandemic so very stable interestingly, a lot of retired military as the the tenant base, so older demographic very, like very stable and also there's a lot of referrals to you know, fellow retirees and then think so sorry, I'm getting pinged here works maybe I should figure out how to meet that there we go. So very, very stable. The other choice we made with that property is to keep the office staff that had been the leasing manager been there for also about over 30 years. And to that that wasn't an easy decision. Because there was no computers in that office, ladies didn't know how to use computers and use the paper ledger for their accounting. So it took a while to train them up and they're still they're still things where we have to rely much more heavily on the regional and the back office of the management company and let the leasing manager do what she does best which is the relationships with the residents because the stability of that property is is that leasing manager she knows the residents she knows the families that like that that community sense of community is so so tight and makes that property a fortress and an area that's rough all the all the properties around it are struggling by comparison Yeah, so yeah, I'm gonna get to the numbers which is the interesting part So fast forward to today it's valued at at least 12 and a half million and we completed a refi for $9 million remembering that we bought it for seven and a little under seven and a half. So we've we've said we're essentially returning all of the investors money at this point. And with the refresh on the IPO and the lower interest rate or interest rates 2.7 sometime it's basically going to have the same quarterly check size as it did before the refi no

Brian Briscoe:19:10

debt service because you're resetting the i o you're getting a lower interest rate and you're returning all of member capital Wow Yeah, yeah, that's that's awesome.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:19:21

And anecdotally and I don't want to spend too much time on it but as we signed our first refi app we got an off market lol I pursued that and then decided wait this is a cash flowing asset at a time where we're able to boosting rents like never before and if you if you're in the apartment space right now particularly in Texas you know that this summer was just crazy so we're seeing that and I made the decision to pull the plug on our on our we accepted the yelloweye which Yeah, but I pulled the plug on the on the sale and so we refi is the way to go on this because over the next year or the compressed time timeframe we can take it to a whole nother level with these red bumps

Brian Briscoe:20:08

that we see yeah you know I was I was talking to your you're not the only one to do that I was talking to somebody that's local to me about an apartment complex it's local to me and the numbers worked out and we were about to put an offer in Europe for I did he said the same thing to me he's like you know what? I'm gonna refinance this one it makes more sense to me, you know, I was just like, Ah, you know, being on the buy side that's that's the last word you want to hear. But I mean, if you guys were cash flowing, you know, 14% every every year and you're able to return all of member capital back and keep up that cash flow. I think it's a no brainer. I think that's the best decision for for the investors and for you all around. But anyway, that said, What's next for

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:20:49

you? Um, so I've got two deals I'm working on in Texas. And generally speaking as my profile I like to syndicate two deals a year and invest passively in five to six deals a year. So I'm on both sides of the fence. And some would argue Hey, you got more passive than you do? active but that's that's a choice and that ties back to return on time for me. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe:21:14

yeah, absolutely. And I honestly that's, that's where I want to get you know, I'm on both sides of the fence to it. I want to get to the point to where everything's on the passive side of the fence, you know, but probably still a couple years from that, but that's that's my goal. So that's it. Let's shift gears a little bit and introduce you know, Zack Brian. So Zack, welcome to the show.

Zachary Bryan:21:35

Hey, glad to be here. Brian, thanks a lot for having me on and was such a distinguished guest. Great reading over your bio Natalie's very impressive. Yeah.

Brian Briscoe:21:45

Awesome. Well, Zack, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Zachary Bryan:21:49

Yeah, sure. I, I've been in the Indian Army National Guard for a little over 17 years now. Looking to finish up that 20 plus and retired from their civilian side of life, I worked for the federal government for the United States Department transportation as a safety investigator. I've been there for about five years now. And I've done a number of things in the military that were working with the federal government, one of those jobs was was with the US Department or us Drug Enforcement Administration as an Intel analyst. And that job kind of really piqued my interest on the analytical side of government work. And then I started kind of developing my taste for real estate and seeing that those two worlds could kind of mesh up a little bit with with my interest in hobbies. educationally bachelor's degree from in psychology from the University of Southern Indiana and follow that up with a Master's in Public Service Administration from the University of Evansville family, married for 17 years, and we have three beautiful children. Livia, who's eight Eli who's five and my youngest is three so I definitely definitely see family in that return on time that you were speaking about. That's definitely one of my big why's

Brian Briscoe:22:59

awesome awesome well you know since since we since you brought it up Why don't you just go full into your big brain? Why tell us what that is?

Zachary Bryan:23:07

Yeah, great. I see it kind of three different reasons all wrapped up into one first foremost generational wealth you know it kind of cliche everybody everybody gotta intends to say that that same same cliche generational wealth tidbit there but definitely like looking at traditional retirement vehicles in IRAs 401k is all of the above seeing how they you have to save your way to retirement that just seemed like a long road to go with possibly not a lot of not really you know, making ends meet in the end possibly depending on your spending habits while you're working. So generationally, I would like to you know, build a business that self sustaining that gives me assets that cashflow and produce their own income. So they can replace income in older age and not have to be dependent on how much I have saved in another vehicle. That return on time aspect that you you spoke about earlier. You know three kids I'm definitely knee deep in soccer practices gymnastics, you name it. You know, we're big camping family. We just had a camping trip this past weekend, and we just love that stuff. So you know just looking at that longer term it's only going to get busier it's never going to really slow down so I definitely want to build this business out so that I can give me that return on time that can I can kind of last generations

Brian Briscoe:24:32

agree wholeheartedly well here's my favorite part of the show we're jack I'm going to hand you the mic essentially. So Zack we got Natalie on the line What do you want to ask her?

Zachary Bryan:24:41

Man Natalie where to start I mean your your resume and your portfolio is so impressive there's there's a lot of different ways to go you know I'm a guy that works a W two job right now you've had those in your past and it seems that you transition more to full time real estate. Can you kind of give me your best advice for when you're time strapped on the W two side what was your best lessons learned to kind of get into multifamily real estate full time and kind of get over that? That time hump as I see it?

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:25:10

Yeah, I utilize all my, you know, evenings and weekends. So my first foray or start in apartments was back in 2015. And I didn't go to apartments full time until two years later. So two years of time I was using the you know, all the downtime I could find to meet and interact with people as much as possible in person. Because what you realize with apartments is the transaction while there's money involved, is really a trust transaction that's happening so you're somebody has to trust you or you have to trust somebody that you're investing with. And it's it's something that takes time to build. And I while I've loved zoom and they use zoom, I don't like it as much as as the in person interaction. I had monthly at least monthly or probably every couple of weeks even at one point meetups in Houston which started I had five people MBA class. My fellow apartment investor coming to my first meetup to gradually filling a room and having to go to a larger space and a larger space to work my last loans before the pandemic in Houston, we're at the quest, quest IRA classroom style space in there, you know, 30 4050 people a time easily, depending on the weekend, or the it was Wednesday night, so depending on so those in person interactions, I think a lot of people say oh, I need a website or I need but what you're what you're selling, if you're a syndicator is the oh and what people are investing in is you. So you have to put yourself out there be vulnerable enough and for an engineer, which I am an engineer, it's hard to do. But be vulnerable enough to let people get to know you and let people ask some of the hard questions about how you would handle things. If something went wrong, you know, tell them and tell them how you handle it but communicate, communicate, communicate over communicate with people because your deal whether it's, you know, syndicating or it's gonna happen through and with other people and the more of those touch points and interactions you you can have the better and that's that's really that was the longest lead time item was that people say

Brian Briscoe:27:43

Yeah, I agree you know, just looking at what's propelled my business forward it's been mostly interactions with people meeting other people finding the right people hearing just the right thing from from other people. Obviously there's there's some skills involved as well with underwriting and everything else but very much a people business and that's I agree wholeheartedly that's that's probably number one focus is people.

Zachary Bryan:28:08

Yeah, you definitely hear that term a lot. This is this is a team sport, right multifamily is a team sport that's definitely set all around and I can understand that fully. Could you flesh out a little bit more on the kind of the systems you may use as you kind of brand the Natalie brand and speak with people you meet people, but you want to have these these ongoing touch points, then I'm kind of thinking for my own from my own perspective here about the Titan Capital Group newsletter, you know, the the ongoing updates to my passive investor network, how did you flesh that out? And, you know, what did that look like for you.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:28:43

So I'll confess to not being a burning shining example of what what to do. The reality is I keep in touch, and I'm still very, very old fashioned, where it'll be phone calls and things like that. I get enough newsletters to know that if my passive investors are anything like mine, they don't open a read read them anymore. That's the reality. So I haven't, I haven't done a newsletter. But having done enough, I haven't having the momentum and I know it doesn't help an early syndicator. But once you have the momentum, you have a natural touchpoint of a monthly interaction with your investors in terms of updating them on a deal and things like that. And then the way I've promoted myself as again, the old fashioned keep myself in front of people in person. So what I said earlier, so it's it's less of a web based presence with with a name and everything else, as opposed to boots on the ground. Me and it's not the not the fancy answer. I mean, I use systems like context plus for capturing cards and having scraping the metadata from, from Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. so that the contacts are flushed out with that with that information. And when I talk to people, the notes go into that as well. So it's all in one place. So if I'm going to call somebody I see my history of when I met them, what we've talked about what they what, what their experiences as of the last time I talked to them. So it's organized, but it's, it's a little more. Yeah, one person at a time. Yeah, very, very personal. And it was easy when it was a couple of 100 people in the beginning. And I pride I was I was proud of the fact that I knew people's background and and when you get to 1000s of people turn starts blending together. And it's an It's embarrassing, like, remind me again, is your spouse, you know, in this XYZ field and they'll say no, it's that and I have to apologize. But But you do try to try to be personal because I would want somebody to know know me personally, personally and interact with me that way, if I was going to be investing with them. What but a lot of my investors are older too, so that that works well with their communication style. They don't want a bunch of emails. They want You say catered service but they want if they have a question they can call pick up the phone and bounce it off of me I'm available

Brian Briscoe:31:28

Natalie I'll say I mean you haven't automated it like a lot of people do but I bet your closure rates a lot higher if you were to calculate how many people you talk to versus investing I bet you have a larger percentage of your investor list it's investing as opposed to the you know, talk to them once put them on the district list and send out the monthly emails. I think the personal

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:31:49

money is if you've worked most of your career for the money that you're about to put it out into apartment complex it doesn't get much more personal than that right? This is this is your kids college This is your retirement this is this is a lot of the dreams and things that that that are that are on the on the line and and you Yeah, it is

Brian Briscoe:32:12

personal. Yeah, I think especially if you're doing the 506 B's you know and you're looking at the non accredited investors investing that's going to get them you know night and you know, more often than just being thrown in a distro list and getting the weekly or monthly updates and, and whatnot. So I I very much applaud that approach. I know a lot of people that are doing the same thing and looking back at who's invested with us. You know, most of our people we put the time in with the people who've been on several calls with so I don't think that's a I think a perfect answer actually. I mean, no, no, no need to apologize whatsoever.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:32:49

There's always optimizations like I don't I do like to think of what what could I do better, but I struggled with with you the newsletter and and even I mean, the need for a website people, people that invest aren't investing in a fancy website.

Zachary Bryan:33:07

And I'm sure once you've once you've had some success, you know, multiple syndications, you've got repeat investors, I mean, you know, the recipe seems to work. So you like you said, optimization is probably more applicable than just getting a massive web presence if what you're doing is already working. So yeah, I appreciate the answer, thank you.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:33:24

But it ties into letting people get to know you. So being being, you know, full, this is my background, this is what what I know, this is the role that I'm playing. These are, these are the other things I've done, and laying it all on the table. And one of the things about my meetup that it wasn't always, you know, oh, these are the success stories, we would discuss something that went wrong, and then I'll go to dinner afterwards. And it was just like, okay, and how did that and what the end, you know, the horror stories of apartments, because there's risk involved, right. And people like to see the older all the sides and feel like they're coming out as a more informed, educated investor.

Zachary Bryan:34:11

In the same time, you probably came across as being very transparent, you know, and very just all cards are on the table. And, you know, you let them know, the good, the bad, the ugly, so that probably bodes really well for you.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:34:21

Yeah. And being a passive investor, I know what I would want, right? as an investor. So I view investors as owners in the, in the entity, and if they want information, they they're entitled to it. So if it's not part of what we provide in a standard, standard way, getting it to them is part of the asset management job.

Zachary Bryan:34:45

We're Great, thank you. I kinda have an asset management question next. as Brian stated, I'm a general partner on a 68 unit complex, Augusta, Georgia. And so my role in this, this property has been mostly on asset management front, I just wondered if you could share some of your most important lessons learned from your experiences as an asset manager. So how's the deal going? deals going great, honestly, it's performing better than than our projections were, we did have to transition out of one property management company into another and we feel like we're in really good hands. And you know, with any transition, there's a little bit of balls get dropped in, you know, from month to month, and we're on the upswing and so things have been things have been going well.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:35:29

Well, congratulations on on handling probably the hardest thing that you can and asset management will just changing property management. Did you guys close a while ago, or how long have you had it?

Zachary Bryan:35:41

February of 2020 is when we closed it, so I'm not terrible.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:35:47

Okay, um, and is your new management company, local or

Zachary Bryan:35:54

their regional? They do some properties in that area. So we are one of a few properties in that area. And actually, I misspoke it was February of 2021. I'm sorry,

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:36:04

it was Oh, okay. Okay. So it's so it's a recent recent deal. And does it have a large cap x value add?

Zachary Bryan:36:11

There wasn't there was a light capex innovation but it was it was still pretty significant to our business plan. It was you know, right around about a half a million dollars. capex just like unit interior renovations and some some exterior upgrading of, you know, parking lots and concrete work and some things but not an overall heavy lift. I wouldn't say.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:36:31

Yeah, yeah. No. And if if it was in February hopefully, you know the unit interiors is going to be as people move out, but the the other items are you're on, underway or not. But managing that, what, what I still look at on it and ask about on a weekly basis is is delinquency in collections. And that's a carryover from from COVID, where we're focusing on that has helped keep things tight calls or weekly, I'm assuming that's the same case case for you. I don't go over everything on every on every call, I try to prioritize it. On some of them, I do sprint call with literally just 15 minutes, especially if the if the deals going going well. And then others can take can take an hour because we're working through things but focusing on on three top priority items. And if you don't already have something like that in place, which a lot of people do his weekly KPI report with, with everything that you do. So while you do see the financials, I hope or I would ask for access to the property management software systems, so that any reports that you want to pull operational or financial, you can do that for yourself directly. And I do that and have that on mine. Normally, it's not an issue with the the management company, sometimes they lock you out of part of functionality, but you just have to go back to them and say, Hey, unlock this feature, unlock this feature, give me give me the ability to, to do that. And in that that KPI weekly reporting what you're wanting to pull together, which you could do yourself, but that's not what you're paying a management company to do. But you want to look at your forward trend. So you're, you're assessing where things are today with the latency and the the collections, but you want to know what they're going to be 60 to 90 days out. So because that's what you can influence with with the decisions around either either pricing and renewals and things like that. So you're trying to assess whether or not you need to ramp up things or slow things down, based on what your what your outlooks outlook looks like. So you're moving Move, move out notices, the make ready schedule,

Zachary Bryan:38:57

I think we've been looking at our renovation budget moving forward, like you're saying 6091 20, and we're looking at about 40% of our remaining unit turns in the catback side of things is going to be happening and occurring in the next six months, which is pretty significant for us. So what do you think is a good way to incentivize RPM company to kind of get ahead of that and get a really solid plan so we can know we're looking at needing to hit about four to five units a month in that timeframe. So your idea

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:39:27

you How strong is your maintenance person because I've I've lost really good maintenance people this year and had to overpay to get new people in with signing bonuses. And I mean, in places like yeah, Oklahoma, Texas, I mean, there's for hire signs everywhere. If they can work at Walmart and get a signing bonus or McDonald's and get more along with a signing bonus you've got to compete with with that and more so yeah.

Zachary Bryan:39:58

Alright, so you would say maybe bonuses and just, you

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:40:02

you if you have a good person, do everything you can to keep them you can't, especially with a heavy, heavy, make ready schedule coming in, you can't afford to lose them. Consider supplementing them temporarily. I hate temp agencies. So Texas is an out well states got flexibility in terms of hiring firing. But if you if you have this, this surge and the management company doesn't have floating maintenance people that they could assign to your you know, to your payroll temporarily. The other alternative is is contracting it out because you've got to balance the schedule of staying on top of that with with the cost. And if the schedule slips, your costs are going to your costs are going to move up to because those units are going to be vacant longer. And so you're you're you're balancing that when it when it's moving fast things like painting the units and stuff like that we outsource, okay, because because because if we're going to stay on top of work orders on the occupied units, as well as maybe more mechanical type of activity, it's not generally The best return to have our maintenance painting units if it takes a long time. So if you get a crew in you that that would be the low hanging fruit of Hey, hope you stay on top, I'm assuming paint, paint flooring generally is part of these flooring is is typically always outsource but the paint sometimes you try to keep it in house. And if if it's going to get busy and heavy, that's one I would

Brian Briscoe:41:51

want. One thing we're doing is we're working bonus schedules for the actual property manager, you know, so we've taken our KPI sheet, and a lot of you we've had some issues with management and a lot of the issues with management is what you know Natalie alluded to is, you know, if you have a really good person keep them we've had a high turnover on our on site maintenance people especially so you know, some of our maintenance timelines have have gotten backed up some more value add renovation timelines have gotten backed up. But what we've tried to do is institute a bonus program where the things that matter to us are going to if they if they perform the things that matter to us most they're going to get paid better. You know, and it's it's just a simple, you know, what, what matters to us? How can we incentivize that? Now, we haven't implemented it yet. So we're hopeful that it works. But that was our, our solution to try to, you know, keep good people there. And to get the things that we want done, done quickly.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:42:52

I just wanted to add asset management, you better off playing defensively in terms of keeping the the tenants that are there, they're renewing them, making sure that they're, they're happy. And if you're going to have the level of term turnover, that you're going to have the you have to switch your mindset and go, Okay, this is going to be a challenge. But go Wait, this is our opportunity, we can get into all these units. If you don't have the capital to do that, I would consider going okay, do we need do we need to get the money is basically what because if you've got that opportunity, and the units are coming available, you're you've got to time crunch it and consider where you can get the funds alone or something to bridge and get past that so that you're seizing the opportunity that's there to bring the property to the next level. All right,

Brian Briscoe:43:45

well, we're about out of time. So we're going to finish up with one question to each of you guys.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:43:50

You can edit it right. You know,

Brian Briscoe:43:52

I can I can edit it. But you know, I just had a respect of your time. I assume you guys had an hour blocked for it. And you know, looking at the clock, we're banging on that door right now. But

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:44:03

I'll give a little more time. That's fine.

Brian Briscoe:44:06

All right. So So one, one last question. Natalie, you good to go first, how can people learn more about you,

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:44:13

uh, email me. My email is in full last name. DVSBU r CH, ar On Facebook, it's Natalie. And then my initials d. v. b. But that's the secret to finding me on Facebook. I abbreviated my last name on between those two as the best way to get in touch with

Brian Briscoe:44:38

me. All right, and we'll put links to the Facebook profile and the email address in the address if that's email address in the show notes if that's okay. And Zack, same question for you. how can listeners learn more about you?

Zachary Bryan:44:51

And just like Natalie said, probably email direct email is probably the best. Zachary, Brian at Titan cap And then as well as the website, if you come to Titan cap website, you can learn all about our team, the types of properties, we're interested in projects we have ongoing, and you can drop us a line and we'll get back to you.

Brian Briscoe:45:11

All right, sounds great. Well, thank you to both of you for coming on the show today. I appreciate your time. And I appreciate the conversations. This is a great, great episode.

Nathalie de Vos Burchart:45:20

Thank you, Brian. Thank you, Zachary.

Zachary Bryan:45:22

Thank you, Natalie. Thank you, Brian.

Brian Briscoe:45:39

Thank you for listening to the divergent apartment investor podcast today brought to you by four oaks capital. If you'd like to know more about how to invest in apartment buildings or want to be a guest in our show, visit our website at four oaks 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 favorite podcast app. And we'll see you again next week.

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