Episode 172 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Eng Taing and Claudia Becerril Clas. Transcript by Otter.ai – please forgive any errors.
Brian Briscoe 0:00
This is Brian Briscoe, hosts the diary apartment investor, podcast and partner at four oaks capital. So we have something that we've been working on for a really long time we are building and we'll continue to build an educational community that we're calling the tribe of Titans. And it's going to be a community of multifamily investors based around education and his house on the mighty networks. What you're gonna find in there is a lot of events that are exclusive to the tribe of Titans members a tonne of educational content, and you're gonna find great people. So if you're listening to this podcast because you're looking for community or you're looking for education, go no further the tribe of Titans is something you need to look into for the price of about $1 a day, you're going to be able to have access to everything that we have an elder content that we continue to produce for years to come. And just so there's no pressure and there's no obligation the first month is free. So sign up first month free and give it a test drive if you'd like to keep hanging out and you'll continue to have access to well me and my partners are four oaks capital in a lot of other experience and aspiring investors and where can you find it the tribe of Titans dot info there's a link to that at the bottom of the show notes of every single episode right now. So if you're interested type in www dot the tribe of Titans dot info or go down to this bottom in the show notes and just tap the link got hang on the line right here. What do you want to ask? How do you handle like dealing with like problem tenants?
Eng Taing 1:24
I think if you see a palm tenant, you really want to make sure you find the root cause tenant lot of times the root cause is because you had so many discounts on your rent. When you discount rent and you're desperate for tenants and you pick anybody don't lower your standards retention starts at acquisition retain good tenants it's you'd save that leasing fee you save that turnover time that they can see the marketing fees NASA when you're chasing, just occupancy and chasing just need someone to move into I'm gonna give somebody two months rent free. That's unfortunate, but then potentially, they might not be the greatest tenant to continue the renters.
Brian Briscoe 2:15
Welcome to the diary 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 diamond apartment investor podcast. I'm your host, Brian Briscow, with Four Oaks Capital, very excited for today's show, we've got two amazing people on the line with us. We've got someone who's an expert in this industry and Tang and someone who's up and coming, Claudia best real class. And first of all, we're gonna bring on Eng and just for anybody listening, we're gonna put their bios in the show notes. So check those out if you have a second. But that's it. And welcome to the show. He's having me. Appreciate appreciate you. And this is this always a lot of fun all we get to meet new people and learn more about other ways of doing things. So that's an angle, go ahead and, you know, lead us off by telling us about yourself.
Eng Taing 3:20
Happy to first many people is one of the finest parts of this. I actually think this industry is have been in many industries, one of the friendliest. There's lots of people who want to help each other out. It's not like zero sum game. This is so much opportunity out there. Yeah. So partnerships is key. And just you never know, small road. Right. So my background, I have been a real estate investor for 12 years. But I want to go a little bit back into personally. Yeah, I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. My parents are Cambodian. And that was a very dark time in history. It was a tumour root and genocide there. And I remember, we're not I don't know, but my parents told me if times were essentially we were hit hiding in the jungle, and you had to evade the soldiers, I was lucky enough to be a refugee in America. Come here. I was three, I'm lucky enough to be good to have grown up in America lucky enough to grown up poor, growing up and hungry. And lucky to have all those situations not really feel like I was any of those things. And they were my parents worked 20 477 days a week, like any in most immigrants parents do, especially when they don't have any education. You know, that was sort of my upbringing. And it gave me a really strong hunger and desire to have economic security. You don't have economic security. You want to pursue it. Yeah, I was lucky enough to ask to be very good at math. Very good. Add data and data patterns. And so like anyone in my shoes, I was day trading and playing poker, and got into Wharton and for agonised investment banking, that helped shape sort of my mathematical understanding of finding patterns and leveraging data to make informed economic decisions. And so I, those two things in terms of the hunger, the background, and my abilities helped me propel myself into financial freedom. And financial freedom, for me has always been about having enough to provide for your family, to secure their security, and to have the freedom to do whatever you want. And when I was, and I'll go to my projects in risky stuff, but when I first got my first apartment building, I was aged 23 got lucky, unlucky, because fashion crisis, I helped causes it sorry. Book 4 billion loss and subprime acids. Yeah, because i prime for a reason. The net effect of that was I it turned me off from really investing that much in stock market, I didn't like volatility, I like sort of the the activity as they get the regular nest, calmness of monthly checks in the kindness of tenants, but not the checks. It also prices went down by two thirds, good buying up to 2008 to nine.
Brian Briscoe 6:39
State was on sale. So yeah, that's great. I should have I should have bought more. Yeah. And I said the same thing. You know, I bought as much as I could, which is one condo. And that was, you know, just down the road from where you're at right now. But I was I if I were able to go back to that time, I would have bought up as much as I could. But
Eng Taing 6:57
yeah, I actually bought three properties before I bought my first house to certify, yeah, I always say that, try to make sure you can have your passive income streams before, you know, focus a lot on yourself, because I think that helped build the engine faster. But one of things that really helped me was his passive income, getting $1,000 a month around there. And having that freedom to make better, or least bolder decisions. After the financial crisis, allow my cohorts and friends rent to MBA, I went to the Peace Corps, Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia making $20 a month, which didn't include housing, you have to get my own housing. And it's tough as college I had my parents say, Hey, I'm gonna go to this board foreign country, they think I was not saying when I was making a lot, not me, and what are you doing, they just be sassy, the same situations they've had. And I wouldn't work when reasons. I was lucky to meet my wife there. But also lucky to have an income stream that is safe to use. I didn't use giant, very prodigious saver. But to just have that security. And going forward during my corporate career, where I switch jobs I made moves, career rice, I was lost different industries. I always saw real estate as sort of my side hustle my thing that I really loved. But that gave me better decision making. I could go to my boss and asked for that race. I could make a counteroffer, I couldn't make bold decisions, because I wasn't afraid of getting fired or losing a job. That was my entire income stream. Having just a little baselayer gave me a lot more confidence to make bold decisions. That's how I was able to 5x my compensation in 10 rafter you know going out peace, bro. I want to highlight that too, because that's part of the motivation that I've always had. That is financial freedom to do whatever you want, and you can make dumb decisions and recover from them. You can make this you can you have the ability to make those decisions. And yeah, I think for me, that background of being hungry, trying to help my family out and achieving that. And then now the last corporate job was at Apple, I lead lead data science on Siri. So if you're using Siri, it's not working very well. blame you. But anymore. Sorry, Sammy.
Brian Briscoe 9:39
All right. All right. So so you caused the financial crisis and all series problems are your fault too. So got it. I know who to call now. Great.
Eng Taing 9:48
But in between I worked at productivity and gaming and I launched Apple Music and a bunch of different things. So
Brian Briscoe 9:57
yeah. Yeah, I was gonna say a lot, a lot, a lot of really cool things there. I mean, I can't imagine what it would be like being born in a war torn area, you know, I did. I didn't do Peace Corps I did, I served a mission for my church, which is very similar, except we don't get paid to do it, you know, is really the only difference. But I spent two years in South America. And I think I came back with that appreciation of the US that you had as well, where, you know, you said, you were very fortunate to grow up here, I didn't realise how fortunate I was, until I was about 20 years old. And I left for two years, and came back. But I agree wholeheartedly, you know, definitely we're, we're fortunate to be here. And incidentally, you mentioned your your math ability, I got two degrees in math, and I kind of chuckled when you said that, because we were working on, you know, algorithms to be video poker, you know, when when we were in grad school, but, you know, never never had enough money to really make it work out because of the minimum bets, you know, but you know, theoretically, we could have be video poker and made millions. But anyway, long story short, but so yeah, so good, good on you. And I appreciate what you said about the security for income as well, you know, if you have that extra stream of income, it gives you more options. You know, I think you mentioned specifically, if you're tied to one job, and you're so worried and you're cleaning and you're worried about losing it, you don't have a lot of options, you're not going to be bold, like you said, you're not going to be able to go in and ask for that raise or that new position or promotion that you're looking for. So the the extra income streams bring options, which, you know, I think is what everybody wants is they want options. But that said, you talked a lot about the reason you're doing it. But if I if I could get you just to narrow in on that one subject, you know, what is your big burning life? A big thing, right
Eng Taing 11:48
has always been my family. And now that run tozi capper, I feel like it's sort of a family business where I feel like my investors, my family, I have text messages of them, give me very grateful language and saying, you know, I'm very thankful. And honestly, I love that I love seeing distributions. I love doing all this stuff. But I just bought my parents house, I was able to give my family love great things that they couldn't afford. And that's for me, I've never really needed that much material wealth, but never had a sword never needed it. I know I can live off $20 a month probably won't be as helpful now since. But it's something that I always wanted. And then when I had kids, I just had a second kid. I have a seven month old, almost eight. Yeah, I think it's gives me a lot of drive. And I think that's a big thing. I had these periods of time where I first got some success. And my parents got into the middle class, and I kind of lost my reason why a little bit, I was so hungry to like, get them out of poverty. Then I met my wife, I feed my future wife. And I gave me a lot of reasons that I had my first kid, every one of these moments actually sort of drove me to be more ambitious and to do more to strive for more.
Brian Briscoe 13:10
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think I've seen the same thing. As my family grows, that there's more emphasis on being more and more I mean, successful not not for the personal accolades, but what it does for your family and for your kids. You know, the opportunity isn't provided them that you know, you didn't grow up with, I grew up with, you know, plenty that you didn't mean I say this all the time, I thought I was poor. You know, growing up, you know, you you had the opposite life where you really worked for and you didn't realise that but you know, I kind of wish I could go back and you know, erase those feelings that I had, because I was but end of the day, I think family is very, very tied to a lot of people's, you know, wise and do more for the people you love is amazing.
Eng Taing 13:53
Yeah, and I really like the fact that for me, it's always been a feeling of gratefulness. And when you're grateful for what you have when you're grateful for your you're not really, like jealous or envious of when you don't have, especially since you experienced it like I don't know what Yeah, having a regular Thanksgiving dinner. It looks like for a long time. I when I first experience it is cool. That Yeah, I think I tried to do that. It's hard. Now with my kids, I have like much bigger house have avocado trees, the same mountains. And they're gonna be very spoiling and I don't know how to not do it.
Brian Briscoe 14:33
Yeah, it's hard. It's hard, you know, but yeah, that's that's one of the the parenting you know, things is try and try not to try to give your kids more than what you had without actually spoiling them. And my, my oldest daughter edits this podcast. So you know, I'm not gonna call any my kids super spoiled right now because, you know, I get an angry phone call from her later. But that said she wouldn't she wouldn't do that. No way. Anyway, so let's talk a little bit about you. What are the deals you guys have done? Can you tell us a little bit about one of your projects?
Eng Taing 15:04
Yeah, I would love to go into my first project which is emblematic of sort of next five and I was doing these see every other year and mind you, I was working 4050 an hour job. The other more hours and same time, I bought a triplex in the LA area was kind of rundown, bought for $126,000 I believe, and put like $35,000 cash down, I was lucky enough to make some money out of flashbacking. And even though my portfolio went down, I have to add to my I renovated it. I remember very clearly I was at better I was doing this living in DC as well. I was at DC this time buying in LA my dad my parents were in LA so in my first many apartment buildings, real estate and all my receipt now essentially, it's it's not local to me. And that has been a very great learning experience to try to understand process. Yeah, because if everything was local, I would just buy locally and I always live somewhere in expensive various with buying real estate is probably not the best economic decision to do sir. So you know so for me I flew there you know, during some weekends to just paint to do 10 minutes really learned that white is very easy, Navajo white and yeah, get see spruce up, got three tenants and had some turnover that time but one thing I did was get a really strong stream of income right away, then create more value from the multifamily you know, three years to pad So talk to us all the time where you tend to get force appreciation, and did a refinance with them within a year. I think it was like eight to nine months. God basically all my money back from what paid for and was hooked. Did it again next year. Did it again next year. was how
Brian Briscoe 17:03
did you keep on doing like the three plexes? Or did you start scaling up from there?
Eng Taing 17:07
I hit three Plex, four Plex, three Plex, four Plex, single family four Plex. So it didn't really scale up from there. I did serve all I knew I didn't know what Burr was. And just finally what I did. I mean, you can say that you invented bird. I
Brian Briscoe 17:21
mean, go Go ahead. I mean, that's it. Right. Got me. I have had a couple of places before I knew what the term health pack meant. But then you just figure it out?
Eng Taing 17:30
Yeah, I think you just figure it out. And then if if you see sort of you put on a spreadsheet that is right there, like I saw, like you put this much money in to make this much money. That's better than a lot of my other options. And what I try to tell everybody now I talked to you I have zoom calls all the time, and investors are just people in general, know your options. Know how luck optimise your capital. That's finance one on one. That's what investing is to try to move money around low yielding things, maybe your bank account, or your home mortgage that you're you're underleveraged and you could get 3% and move it to something where you could get more. Now of course you have to have confidence to get the higher you have the 10 12% yield, which I think back then was easy as a 20% year on the man.
Brian Briscoe 18:19
Yeah, cool. Cool. I think Claudia is smiling over there because she's closing on a three Plex you know, hopefully was it next week? Yes, it's gonna be next Friday. Okay, yeah. When you said the angle you said three Plex. I saw her face light up and I'm like, Okay, I know. I know, this is this is gonna be perfect for her. But so a one one question for you. When did you make the leap from the small multifamily into the larger stuff?
Eng Taing 18:46
When my time was worth more, and I realised that when I needed to scale when I was going to mortgage limit caps. Right. Yeah. And I think you know, when you do residential loans, very different commercial loans ceci easier to commercial 16 question house. And I think it was like four years ago, I started scaling up to bigger properties. I actually started to invest with other I was very busy the time having a job and first kid caught my edge. I was an LP investment to other folks. And one thing I tried to deal with us learn from them. So I try to be an informed investor and understand what the process be very annoying, nagging, but fortunate to get a few folks who are receptive to it.
Brian Briscoe 19:42
Yeah, awesome. Awesome. I appreciate that a lot. I think you dropped, you know, a gigantic Golden Nugget right there. It's you said when I realised my time was worth more, you know, and I think that's what, you know, a lot of people don't realise or they don't maybe they don't value their own time enough. But when you realise you're Time is worth more it changes everything, you know. But, you know, there, you spend a lot less time down in minutiae. And a lot more time, you know that in different aspects of life. But I really appreciate that. So So one question and then last question for you before we bring clarity on what's next for you.
Eng Taing 20:18
So we've had a loss. And anyone doing this for the last five years is Pyrex. And so it's the Mark has been very good. So I can't claim assessment we did, we paid all the submissions, 10 COVID, to those fortunate to be in great economic areas. We're, we're about to close on hundreds for units, Atlanta, we got a few other partners in the pipeline closing past 1000 units now. And I've also pivoted slightly into senior living, Senior Living is a very strong asset, where I love the cash flow dramatically, what I try to do with my investment business is buy for cash flow, have some kind of moat around that cash flow, so that it's not as easy to get in. So that's why I kind of avoid where Claudia is buying, because it's a lot more people. But it's, you know, when you have that much money, that's where you have to go. I usually say within the juicy, medium, five to 25 million above 50 million, you're facing these big institutional funds to have low cost of capital, they can overpay you and I've been overpaid by 510 million dollars and like I was already making money on this. Now they'd like to gain it because they the cost gap is so much cheaper. And then finally, you know, we're growing and I've strayed a little bit to other forms of investing, you have some debt products, as well as Bitcoin mining is a big part of our portfolio now and doing data centres to support that. Pretty good, because
Brian Briscoe 21:51
Nice, nice sounds so fascinating. Fascinating. Well, that said, we're going to shift gears and bring quality on the lots of failure. Welcome.
Claudia Becerril Clas 21:59
I thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here. And thank you for the opportunity.
Brian Briscoe 22:03
Yeah, no problem. So start off Same way, tell us a little about yourself.
Claudia Becerril Clas 22:08
So I'm currently in Germany, my husband station, he's an active duty army stationed in Germany. So we're here for until he retires in two years. So in the process of actually, when we were he got orders to come to Germany, is when I separated from the army, when I finished my contract, I was served for seven years, me and when, you know, with the transition, it just kind of worked out really well where I was gonna, you know, trying to figure out what it was going to do. And when I was gonna come in and come with him, and it's just real estate started to be a very, you know, real possibility. And I wasn't going to work, we have two small children, four and six year old kids. And so we did say that I was going to stay home, kids. And at that point, I started thinking of what was I gonna do with my time, and I started looking into real estate, and reading about real estate, listening to bigger pockets, and just like, being very intrigued by the possibilities. My background is in medicine, I'm a family medicine physician. So you know, I've been training for the past like four when, you know, I was working for the military was heavily training, you know, in medicine, and then I, you know, I was working and sold real estate, I've always heard the benefits of real estate, but it never really was something that I thought you know, I would be doing. And then when the opportunity came and I started learning more about it, I just, it was so appealing the enterpreneurship aspect of it, you know, the the opportunities, the multiple opportunities with real estate that I really got interested in it. And the more reading I did, the more research I did is learning that it could be done long distance, like I can do long distance investing from my overseas. And so I just done, I read David Greene's book, long distance real estate investing, that was like, such an eye opener and such, you know, like, breakthrough for me, like, this is doable. And so I really, we moved during the pandemic, we got to Germany, you know, we settle down. And then I took a real estate course just to teach you about the basics, you know, some criteria on what, you know, investing and learning more about investing, learning how to build my team, how to approach it. And so, starting January 1, I was like, January, you know, 2021 I'm gonna start actively like looking and putting offers in, and I did I started but with this market, you know, it's been a crazy market. And so, we put several offers in, I had to walk away from two other properties. And finally now we're under contract for a three unit property and we're actually closing next week. So that's been a real estate journey. And
Unknown Speaker 24:51
Brian Briscoe 24:51
yeah, that's, that's super, super exciting, you know, and it was I was about three years away from my retirement date when I started putting a lot of effort into And something else that ng said that I related to his military retirement, you get a pension, and I was able to look at that pension as the same security as ng was looking at that, you know, $1,000 a month. And that gave me a little more licence to get more bold. And I think prior to when that military salary was like, the only income for our family, I didn't want to mess that up, you know, but once once I get towards the end, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I mean, your husband's gonna have that same pension as I have, you know, but that that gave me just enough confidence to be able to, to go vote go big, you know, and knowing knowing that I had that to fall back on and, you know, come hell or high water, you know, once I hit my 20 year mark, which, incidentally, when this by the time this airs, I'll be fully retired. But that close, I'm that close. But anyway, knowing knowing that, you know, I had that little safety blanket really, really helped me out a lot, too. But so so Claudia, what's what's your big burning? Why?
Claudia Becerril Clas 26:00
For me, like, it was mentioned before my family, my children, so we have a foreign six year old, it, you know, I want to be able to have that freedom, financial freedom to be able to, like attend their events, be there for them as they grow, I don't want to be tied to like a job that's going to be, you know, very demanding and intense. And, and I think, and I know, real estate offers that opportunity to be able to have more flexibility, and be able to, like, do more with it, right. So be able to, if I do medicine part time, then I can do real estate part time and be able to just be able to build a legacy with real estate in that entrepreneurship spirit of real estate, I love that about it, the networking, the, you know, the possibilities, that diversity within real estate, so many opportunities within real estate, and like, we have a single family home, you know, we're under contract for a three unit property. And, you know, we want to keep on growing and just, I'm learning so much, and it's just so inspiring to see people like ng and what you've done, It's so inspiring. So thank you, or, you know, doing this, you know, being open to, to answering my questions.
Brian Briscoe 27:09
Well, I mean, without further ado, then, you know, since we've got hang on the line right here, what do you want to ask?
Claudia Becerril Clas 27:15
So, um, I loved your journey, I think, you know, you have so many obstacles, and it's, you've overcome so much. It's amazing. So I commend you for that, you know, and I feel like as far as obstacles, you know, going through real estate, there are benefits to it. But there are also things that happen within real estate, like unexpected, or you have to walk away from a deal. And so like for you, how did you feel when you have to walk away from a deal after you invested time? effort, you know, like, even money, right? So you spent money on the inspection, spend money on, you know, different things? How do you cope with, like, the emotions afterwards, when something doesn't work out, and you have to walk away?
Eng Taing 27:56
That's a great question. And I, I felt that a lot more personally, in my first few deals when I was doing this myself, you know, I think when you're putting so much effort, right, you're that you're birthing a baby, you're building a business and so it's all very similar feeling. And when you're going to close the signing contract, you get that tan, it's like an amazing miracle feeling. But when it falls apart, and when it falls apart when it's not, because of you because there's financing because of it's because of financing or because of you know, the sellers because of unforeseen, you know, things you found out but I've had a deal where I carry I fell through because I had I had something an issue with my credit that I didn't know about, and I dissolved the rafter, but it's prevented me from getting that that no debit and the seller said I gotta move out. Even though I spent like a lot of time trying to work looking at looking at this there was a triplex as well. I regret it because like markets going up a lot. That times I got that as like biting when you go for me and I love your story too. For me, when you really go into sort of a business of real estate investing, not just real estate investing to you know, to protect yourself passive income, you actually go through this process of you want deals to fall through, if it's justified. And so you put it it's more of a scale to try to make you go into it, thinking that most of these aren't going to go through right in fact, if you go one for one and everything, then like maybe you're not putting that wide of a net on things. So I make offers on five things every week and negotiate out things. I have been doing this for quite a while. You know the first iPhone is always very expensive to build prototypes, very expensive. And mail and iPhone, very cheap. So is very good to us. And so when you get better at these things, and I love that you're going to do more of this, if you have the mindset of that, I'm going to do more of this, that this isn't my only deal. You have this abundance mindset that I talked about all the time, when you don't think of as like my own anything, like, I'm gonna do more, I have the capacity to more than you think, shift your mindset definitely needed, that I learned a lot from that deal falling through. I learned a lot if not doing that again. Or maybe that fell through for good reason. Yeah, the market might be on top. Yeah. in some markets, and now in San Diego feels like it. So you never know, I think you learn from all these things, and you get better you apply rule of thumb is when you make decisions, you make faster decisions, and you can do more decisions and so that you can narrow down to that, that gem.
Brian Briscoe 30:54
Yeah, and I'll just add in maybe, maybe it's the analytical math side of me, but you just try not to get emotionally attached to deals. And on your first couple, it's extremely hard not to get emotionally attached. I mean, even with my you know, hardest stone, you know, just trying trying to get these deals to work. You're just you get so excited about things, but really, you just got to have you have to step back and realise, you know, am I getting emotionally attached to this? Or am I making a business decision, you got to try to make that business decision. We had an early deal fall through and once again, not our fault property we got under contract was at a 90% occupancy when we got under contract when we started, we put the LL y in it was at 90% occupancy. And we were trying to get a Freddie Mac loan, which requires 90% occupancy for 90 days. And between the lLoY and the end of the due diligence period, the occupancy fell to 75%. And it was a 40 unit. You know, they they lost six tenants in 45 days, you know, but it took us out of the deal. And, you know, it felt terrible, because, you know, it's, it's always nice to talk to you, you want that next deal. And you want the reputation of always closing, but at the same time 90% to 75 percents a big deal. If we walked away, and it was, I mean, end of the day, it was a business decision. And that's what we kept on coming back to. It's a business decision.
Claudia Becerril Clas 32:24
And my other question is, when working on a deal, and you know that the tenants will potentially be a problem like going going into a deal? How do you handle like dealing with like problem tenants? Or do you have like confidence in cash for keys or negotiating with them or fixing them?
Eng Taing 32:42
Yeah. Great question. And if you live in California investing, and you play faces all the time, which is why I don't invest in California more, but I used to, and I have a lot of experience with this specifically. You know, in California when you buying a triplex, for example, or any thing is actually potentially more valuable when you don't have a tenant and is actually interesting, right? Like, do you want a tenant you want to cash flow? Do you want no tenant? I think when you have no tenant, you can have a clean slate. When you buying, for example, when I was living in San Francisco, or that area, houses that have no 10 investment houses and no tenant that went for five to 10% more, because you had to pay $50,000 worth today's rate $50,000 to just get a tenant out, because there's lots of restrictions with evictions. And that's, I think one of the things that we do now is, I think, first when you're buying properties, especially apartment buildings a scale, you want a certain occupancy to get rent. And I think if you see a palm tenant, you really want to make sure you have that. Finally, root cause tenant, a lot of times the root cause is because you had so many discounts on your rent. When you discount rent and you're desperate for tenants, and you take anybody, don't lower your standards, retention starts at acquisition, you really retain good tenants, it's each save that leasing fee save that turnover time that they can see the tenant, one month, two months, whatever it is, the marketing fees and all that stuff. But if you how do you do that? You have to keep your standards up for for tenants and you built for less over time in your mind and how you do it. But yeah, when you're chasing just occupancy and chasing just need someone to move into I'm gonna give somebody two months rent free. And they're the kind of person who needs that and the economic conditions warranted and you know, that's unfortunate, but then potentially, you know, they might not be the greatest tenant to continue the renters, especially if you want to raise the rent.
Brian Briscoe 34:57
Yeah, I agree. I mean, he had a hit a couple of notes. things, you know, square on the head, you know, first of all, it's, it's where you invest, you know, bring that back. He says he doesn't invest in California because of the restrictions. I we lean towards landlord friendly states, you know, and we make No, I mean no excuses for doing it, we go to landlord friendly states, you know, or at least neutral states. So that, you know, at least the deck is stacked in your favour. And we have some cash for keys right now with the eviction moratorium, you know, there, there's grey areas where you can still evict and you know, as of late, I think was last night, the CDC re extended one more time the eviction moratorium, you know, we have been able to go out to certain tenants who haven't paid, you know, for several months, do cash for keys, you know, and if some tenants are amenable to it, I mean, I think a lot of the tenants see their writing on the wall. And what a lot of a lot of people realise is, they're racking up a lot of debt, and that debt is gonna follow them once the eviction moratoriums over most of the landlord's, most of the property management's and owners are going to send those people to collections, and it's going to eventually bite them, it's eventually going to hit their credit reports and everything else. And so I think that the cash for keys does work with the people who are reasonable and realise that eventually it's going to catch up to them, and helping them to see that kind of helps to but ng had pretty much laid it out, you know, you you take care of that when you put a tenant in, you know, and if you find the right tenant, you don't have to worry about that on the backside now, inheriting tenants, you know, that's, that's a different story. The screening, really important. Yeah, absolutely.
Claudia Becerril Clas 36:38
My last question is about, you know, when you approach like approaching upgrades for remodels and a new property that you're obtaining, do you have a software that you use to estimate the repair cost or any advice on that?
Eng Taing 36:53
So some of my recognitions be every time you walk the property bringing a contractor with you give them that incentive, and the vehicle cost a cent and duck spring one bring several to have lots of lots to come from. So that's it, just keep those notes in your mind of understanding what the repair costs in that area. Were and then you can get a good average. Yeah, I think knowing basically going with intention that you can do it before you do it gives you all the potential hopefully gives you other data points to make decision to do it by invest in whatever it is to remodel make decision to do I want to change the carpet to vinyl floors, we want to replace these cabinets do we want to put exterior renovations and all these things are just an noi to this, of this return ROI to it. Right? It's ultimately the business. It's all these investments, tiny investments, and I really recommend to also put yourself out of it from an emotional person decision. I think in some areas of the it makes sense to really put yourself into it and think I'm going to buy this and I want this to be a nice place and my tastes really good. And when and maybe that's in areas that have strong appreciation, I joined on the investor, appreciate that invest for cash flow, and invest for cash flow. And then I say wanting to live there that wouldn't. At this point in my life I you know, you can think of it like hey, what I want to live is if you start putting that lens into it, you will over pay your overbilled the over Megan's.
Brian Briscoe 38:27
Yeah, yeah. And I think what he said, there's absolutely key, you know, when you walk the property, bring a contractor, you know, and offer to pay them for their time, too. I mean, it's it's part of the risk capital that you put in, but you know, bring it bring a contract or offer to pay him an hourly fee to walk the property with you, you know, and that way, they're incentivized in a lot of ways they could, I mean, if you purchase the property, they can get a job. But the other thing is just, you know, we would talk with a lot of people coming up front, you know, we, me and one of my partners were both in mentorship programmes, you know, my other partners had informal mentors, but mentors, nonetheless. And we would also talk with people who are doing the same thing in the same areas, you know, hey, what does it cost for flooring in this area? What does it cost for? So we did a lot of a lot of both. Were we just talking to other people, hey, do you think 6000 a door would buy us X, Y, and Z? And listening to what the responses were, but really, I mean, end of the day, the contractors are going to have the best information because they're the ones that are going to be doing the work. Anyway, that said, we're about out of time here. So one last question for both of you. And you get to go first how can listeners learn more about you?
Eng Taing 39:36
please go to my website tozi capital, do easy. I capital comm sign up. I I love to do monthly educational webinars. These are all things that I sort of approach everything as a I am very self interested in learning how to not pay taxes legally and how to use First question, how do you invest in this and that, or how to get an SBA loan from your equity? All these things I try to provide? I'm signing this website financial freedom decoded, sent live now. But yeah, I'd love to chat if you don't invest. And I think educate yourself. Learning is one of most applicants.
Brian Briscoe 40:21
Awesome. And we'll put a link to the website in the show notes. So if you're interested in anything, he has to offer the show notes up, and you tap the link. Claudia, same question for you.
Claudia Becerril Clas 40:31
I'm in LinkedIn, Claudia, Bizarro Class B, EC E, R, I L. CLS and linking information. I don't have a website right now. And my email is class, capital firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Briscoe 40:48
All right, and we'll put links to your LinkedIn profile into your email address in the show notes as well, so people can contact you. And incidentally, you know, we didn't have a website until right around the time we closed on our first you know, big property. So, you know, not having a website is not necessarily good or bad, but took us a while to get that up to but anyway, thank you so much, the two of you for coming on the show today. I think this was a great conversation. You know, I learned a lot. I hope you guys had a good time, too. Thank you very much.
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 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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