Mindset of an Entrepreneur with Eric Martel and Derek Clifford

Episode 134 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Eric Martel and Derek Clifford, hosted by Brian Briscoe. Transcript by Otter.ai – please forgive any errors.

Listen to the episode here

Brian Briscoe 0:00

Derek, we have Eric on the line. What do you want to ask him?

Derek Clifford 0:02

How did your mindset have to change as you went from your journey from being a W-2 professional to becoming a full time entrepreneur?

Eric Martel 0:12

For me, though my mindset has always been entrepreneurial. So even when I had a W-2 job, I always viewed in my mind that I was working for myself, and I was That was my client. And I was Yeah, I was getting I was getting a W-2, but really, that's just the way they pay me. I'm working for myself at that job. So I had that like from the very beginning.

Brian Briscoe 0:45

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 Diary of an Apartment Investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe with Four Oaks Capital and I'm very excited for today's show. It's one of our Ask the Expert episodes and we have two amazing people on the line with us right now. We've got a man with a ton of experience, Eric Martell and a very motivated aspiring investor Derek Clifford, who, incidentally is no longer aspiring because he just closed on his first project. But anyway, Eric. So what first thing I want to talk about is your book. And I love the title. I just want to hear a little bit more about it. It's stop trading your time for money, right?

Eric Martel 1:40

That's right, yeah, stop trading your time for money. It's about really helping people break down the barriers, that standing between them and achieving financial freedom. And also, what's the other component to that is building legacy. We talked a lot about multi generational legacy. I think this is critically important. My parents told me that, you know, when I was growing up, I said, Don't count on any inheritance. And I don't I think in this day and age, I don't think we can we should have, and I don't think we are kids should have to start from ground zero. Every time this is a road to nowhere. If you want your family to be successful, I think it's very important that you build a legacy and that your your raise your children to the next level that they can continue to grow.

Brian Briscoe 2:27

Yeah, I love I love it. In my case, it was it was a little different. My my parents had to replace the sewer pipe, you know, between the house and and the the main on the road. And one day, I was probably 16 at the time. You know, one day I was outside with my dad, and he pointed to the big long hole in the ground. And he said, See that trench right there? You know what that is? And like, yeah, they're replacing the sewer pipe. He's like, now that's your college fund right there. You know, so, I mean, that was, that's what I had. But I will say my parents actually gave me a much better standard of living than they had. So, you know, success. I think that was a the ultimate success. But sounds like a great book. And I think it's it's something that will resonate with a lot of people, you know, if you can unlock time and money, I mean, the potential is just endless. So, but that said, let's talk a little bit about you. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and history and kind of paint the picture on how you got into apartment investing?

Eric Martel 3:26

Yes, I mean, my very first apartment building I bought when I was 18 years old. And that was still at university. And I had met a mentor, somebody that was a real estate investor, he was just a regular community college teacher. And yeah, he had built like a 36 unit apartment building he had, he was looking at building a shopping mall when I last saw him. And it's just very successful, but just also like very kind of, like normal person. Not. So that really inspired me. And I decided to ask him if he can mentor me and all of that. And that's how I got on that journey. And I managed to buy an apartment building eight unit. No money down because I had no money. And yeah, and it was cash flowing at the end. Wow. So he said he was a D class property might away but you know, but it was still cash flowing. It was a good experience, I think for me to kind of like really kind of understand that, hey, I can I can make money without me having to work like nine to five. And so that's that's what's important from that perspective.

Brian Briscoe 4:32

Yeah. And that's what's super impressive about that. You said you were 18 when you bought your first one, no money down. I mean, I think that just illustrates that this is this is a business that you don't really have to have money to make money. It helps. I mean, it definitely helps but, but you can get into it. So

Eric Martel 4:51

in commercial and especially in commercial and just single family rental. It's a little bit different than commercial. Yeah.

Brian Briscoe 4:57

Yeah. So so 18 years. You had this eight unit D class property cash flowing. Tell us about what happened from there, you know, career

Eric Martel 5:06

so I mean, so yeah. So then I graduated I was studying actuarial math. So which is and so I became an actuary or consulting actuary. So that's, that's a science of financial risk. So we work a lot with pensions and insurance companies and stuff like that. So I worked in pension, and basically destroying the the defined benefit pension plan or the corporate pension plans. I was basically converting them all into retirements, savings, account, IRAs, and 401, K's and stuff like that. And, yeah, so that really shifted kind of like the risk of retirement from the employer to the employees. And, and I didn't like that every day, that was very depressing to work in that environment. Then I got into the high tech bandwagon, got lots of stock options, moved to California. And then I was always all the cities that I was in the big cities, and I was always trying to invest again, in real estate, find more properties to invest in. And the numbers didn't make sense. I was in San Francisco Bay Area. And I always wanted to have something that cash flows and couldn't find anything that cash flows. Of course, you could put a ton of money in it with cash flow, but then the return on your money. Yeah. Returns Yeah, exactly, then you're gonna have 1% return. So I said, Okay, well, I'm just going to, with my stock option, I'm just going to diversify in the stock market. So but in 2001, when the.com bubble, so basically, I didn't get quite wiped out, but I lost a lot of money on that.com bubble. And then I thought I want to be I want to be in control. I want to know what's going on. And all these things doesn't make sense. And so in control and passive income, so I started to do all kinds of things, different businesses, and all of that. And basically, like, 556 years ago, I went back into real estate, and, and started investing out of state. So I was still living in California at the time. And then I thought the numbers make a lot more sense out of state. So yeah, starting that first house in Memphis, single family rentals. And coming from California that was like, Okay, well, what's the worst can happen? I lose $60,000. Yes. Right. So it was no big deal.

Brian Briscoe 7:25

Yeah, and I mean, that the prices the different price differential between, you know, Southern California and Memphis it's, it's almost night and day difference. I mean, a house in Memphis cost about what kitchen costs in Southern California. So yeah, I mean, that's, that's the I, my second single family rental was in San Diego. And, you know, we paid an arm and a leg for it. And like, like you said, it actually never cash flowed. It appreciated amazingly well over you know, eight years. But it's really hard and in certain markets to make cash flow. So, so you, you saw that same thing, obviously, you started investing in Memphis got some turnkeys. And you take it from there.

Eric Martel 8:07

Yeah. And then so our whole plan was to build a portfolio for ourselves. So that was the plan. And so we bought like, a couple of house, a couple more houses that went very well. And then we bought a couple more and all of that. And yeah, I said, and then some friends and family had asked us like, What are you guys doing and blah, blah? Because we had been doing all kinds of different things, different businesses. And so I told them, and then they say, Well, I want to invest with you, I want to do this. And, and that's kind of like when we got the idea of our maybe we should do, like, turnkey, be a turnkey provider. And we did that didn't Memphis, Cleveland, and then we started advertising was going advertising has been already here but socializing what we were doing, and then yeah, then it's things were going so well I say, Okay, well, it's time to this is we have the formula now pretty much. So let's, let's change gear. I sold my house and then with the gains from the house basically invested all in, in single family rentals, and also bought we had a couple of apartment buildings that well one apartment building that basically was offered to us, because they had seen all the single families that we had done in Memphis and they say, maybe these guys would be interested in multifamily and then they just contacted us out of the blue and we put an offer we and then I just happened to have cash in my hand at the time it was perfect timing and bought the apartment building nice

Brian Briscoe 9:37

nice yeah, it's it's very rare that you know the single family success most people who go from single family to multifamily find a big Rift, you know, and it's kind of like that they expect it to go easy because, you know, hey, I'm going to single family how much different can multifamily be? I think you may be the first case where we're the single family really landed you an opportunity for for apartment building. Just like that, so yeah, that's, that's amazing. That's absolutely amazing.

Eric Martel 10:03

Yeah. So we were we were buying a lot of property. I mean, right now we're buying like 10 properties. But actually, this this year, we've been buying 12 properties a month. And actually this month in April, like we've, we've already, we're gonna buy like a 21 properties. So in Memphis, Cleveland St. Louis, so yeah, so, but my point here is like we were, in Memphis work, kind of like known a little bit for what we were doing all the houses that we were renovating. They were kind of like the same color the same kind of like design. And yeah, and then a realtor contacted us and out of the blue because of the work that he had. Yeah. Nice.

Brian Briscoe 10:43

Nice, nice. So so your your ability, you've basically taken this this turnkey, you've scaled it, you've been able to systematize it sounds like so you're you're taking the same type of fiber. I imagine you're doing the exact same finishes on everything, probably same paint colors, right?

Eric Martel 10:58

Yeah, absolutely. Same toilet, same everything. Yeah. So

Brian Briscoe 11:02

you know, and something that's really nice about that, and it actually works well in multifamily is, is you can do the same thing with with many units, you know, so you're, you're buying 20 units in April, and you've systematized it. So you're your cookie cutter, you got a cookie cutter template that you place on everything. And you can do the same thing in multifamily with all of your renovations, you know, you buy 100 units, you know, you buy 100 toilets or 200 toilets, you know, and they're all the same, you get a little bit of discount, and you know exactly how to work with it. So, yeah, awesome. That's amazing.

Eric Martel 11:37

Yeah, I mean, that really helps. Also, I mean, when you have a new contractor coming in to like, said, What do you guys do and stuff like that? Well, this is what we buy, this is our shopping list, normally, for the things that we do, and we we show them kind of what the unit should look like at the end. So that really helps kind of like the the training or the onboarding of new contractors. Nice. And I think you're ready to also to point out the systematization. That's a mouthful. But But you know, having system I think is very important, especially when you work remotely. I mean, we have enslaved and we have like 12 construction crews. in Memphis, we have like three construction crews. So you know, you want to have make sure you have your process your everything is taken care of your quality control, and then you know, your payments and all that kind of stuff. So,

Brian Briscoe 12:27

yes, fascinating. Now, do you have somebody that's boots on the ground? Because you're I mean, you're obviously la half a country away?

Eric Martel 12:34

Yeah. So I very important to so when you do this, you know, you want to have somebody that's reliable on the ground. So in Cleveland, we have a very good kind of like, you know, leader on the ground that we rely on for everything. But he has a team behind him. We have the contract. So you basically managed a contractor or somebody managed to contract the projects for us over there. in Memphis, my son just moved to Memphis in January. Two, yeah, no. So I was interested in doing that. And so we started Martel construction, actually in in Memphis. So he's handling all our project. So that works out pretty well. And then, but yeah, that I mean, the team is very important, obviously, some something that are very, you want somebody that's very reliable, and very responsive, more like getting, you know, we can have that we couldn't have done this business like 10 years ago. But it's really with the iPhone and the DocuSign. And all of that, that we're able to do this. I mean, yeah. Otherwise, the old ways of doing it would be like the courier and then flying. Oh, yeah. Then all that kind of stuff or send pictures or something like that.

Brian Briscoe 13:43

Yeah. Mobile notaries and FedEx and Exactly. It's, it's, it's not fun. I mean, it was funny. I mean, you talked about the old ways of doing things, you know, this is completely off topic. But I have somebody review a document that I put out, and he mentioned that I was putting two spaces after every period, I just thought I learned how to type on a typewriter. And that's what they taught me, you know, so, ways of doing things. I mean, that's that's just one of the things that came up yesterday. I'm like,

Eric Martel 14:14

You're right. I have been putting two spaces after every period for about 35 years now. So but that was that was kind of like how the grammar was none of it's called grammar. But the the punctuation was was it was not even about the typewriter. It was about just how you would do it. And of course when your handwriting you don't have to put two spaces. Yeah, but ya know, My son also mentioned that to me, so when you put two spaces after that,

Brian Briscoe 14:41

yeah, so sorry. Sorry for that, but that's just something that made me chuckle when I got him up. I'm like, well, that's why absolutely, but yeah, old ways. You know, some of the old ways just need need. It's good with the technology we have I mean, DocuSign I signed something for the the house that we live in, we're selling it right Now, it's so easy, you know that they send me a paper, you know, I had, I don't understand this, okay? They specifically said no electronic signatures alone this paper, but they allow us to print it out, sign it by hand, take a picture of it and send it. But anyway, just just that the iPhone technology, I love it,

Eric Martel 15:19

I think that I don't get the thing that I don't get it some time. They say you want an earnest money deposit for some properties? And they say, okay, write a check, printed it, scan it and email it to us. So that you know you have and why What is that for? Like I said, I know, you know that I can print a check, or I still have ownership in my mind.

Brian Briscoe 15:42

Yeah, I yeah, no, I agree. I agree. You know, and same thing selling our house who when they sent us the offer, it was a check you there's no proof of funds, it was just like, Okay, well, I can put the number 6000 on a check, too. Yeah, that's, that's crazy. Like, tell me what number you want to see. Yeah. And so, anyway, yeah, it's interesting stuff. But Alright, so let's, let's talk a little bit about your big burning, why, you know, it's something that I like to talk about a lot your your motivation for doing what you do and just being successful.

Eric Martel 16:19

For me, I mean, that I've always been driven, you know, since even before, 18 years, 18 years old. But, so that's just, that's just kind of what I do. I, you know, I've started numbers of businesses, and a number of, you know, a number of companies and all of that. But this time it was, and, you know, since 2001, I mean, my focus has been on the passive income. So because I was already kind of seeing that a, I need to kind of like, get on that bandwagon. Because I know that at one point, I want to retire, I want to enjoy life, I want to travel and all that kind of stuff. So, so that's kind of where my focus has been on finding businesses that generate passive income. So that was the first thing financial freedom is kind of like the number one goal. And then the second goal was to build a legacy for for my children. I've seen a lot of people, you know, they invest in the restaurant business, or this kind of business and stuff like that. And it's hard to transition that over to your children if they're not interested in right, in buying a restaurant in food. Exactly. So it's pretty demanding kind of business. And but luckily for me, like my two sons are very, they love real estate. So we're involved in that, like, 100% of the time. And so that's, and that's something that even if your kids are not really that interested in real estate, you can always pass on like an apartment building or a portfolio of real estate investment. That is self managed. I had some property management in place, and all of that, and then they just handle the cash flow and some of the other things. I think it's still it's pretty easy to to handle, I think. And yeah, song

Brian Briscoe 18:01

used to be called mailbox money, but checks are mailed anymore. So you know, I don't know what the new term is. But yeah, passive income, but digital money and digital money. Yeah, the direct deposit, I guess. But yeah, so cool. And I don't think it's coincidence. But the things you mentioned, were the same things that that come out in your book as well, you know, the financial and exactly the legacy. So it makes sense that that's, you know, what would into your book, so yeah. So let's talk a little bit about, you know, one of your apartment deals and tell tell us a little bit about it, how it came about and how it's doing,

Eric Martel 18:37

or how it did if it's up. Yeah, so basically, a realtor contacted us, and it was an apartment, Midtown Memphis and so it was a 2020 unit apartment building and, and the rent, the rent was like, you know, 500 550 $500 a month or something like that. Per, for the apartment. And, yeah, it was kind of like, it was okay. It was maintained somewhat. And it was managed by the, the, the landlord, the owner, and self manage. And then he was gonna he wanted to move on, he wanted to move on to like a triple net investment. So he was kind of done with that. He knew all the tenants and, you know, who was paying and all of that he has a couple of he had a couple of vacancies. And yeah, we can tell like he was, he was tired. He was tired of that. He was tired of managing that by himself. And so yeah, it was kind of funny because we're looking at some of the vacant unit. And they were kind of renovating, quote unquote, renovating one of those units instead, and said, Well, why don't I move kind of like not arguing with him? not suggesting because why aren't you just curious why you're not doing like vinyl planks on the floor. Why are you doing this? Why are you doing that and stuff like that. So there's no point in putting money into this. You know, you're not going to get any more money. Then this and this is kind of like this is maxing maxed out, you know, there's no, there's no more increase, you can do blah, blah, blah. And so waste of money and yeah, that good attitude. Yeah. And so but we were looking, I mean, we're coming from outside right. So we're so this is we have a brief completion detached, we're looking at it purely as an investment. I think he had a little bit more emotion, I think attached to that. And we're looking at this and said, No, I think we can get the rent, like 850. Like, they were like, 550, let's say, and think, yeah, we can get the rent. I paid 50. So we based our numbers on that. And we bought the there was no, he was just he didn't have a price in mind. So we put an offer for 980 95. And then we got it. Yeah, we so we ended up like I think the the renovations I think we're about I think we had like just for the outside I think was like $120,000 outside just improve the curb appeal. And there was also like an outside kind of thing. More tr that we completely kind of it looks like a jungle, and all of that. And so we kind of like made a pad and then two picnic tables and stuff like that. And yeah, so it looked very nice looked. And then we we got like $850 a month in rent, and it's fully occupied. And we just, we just sold that actually in March. So nice.

Brian Briscoe 21:27

So how long did you own it? And, you know, tell it tell us about the profits on the back end.

Eric Martel 21:32

We we owned it for about our just about two years, I think, yeah, about two years. So to do the renovation, and we were not planning to sell it either. So we're just kind of, we were planning to keep it and then was just like, okay, yeah, but somebody made us a great offer. And basically we they doubled our money and said, Okay, well, we can we can refuse that. And then yeah, so we said then we put the money. Okay, we're gonna put it back into the turnkey rental. So

Brian Briscoe 22:08

So double your money in two years? Yeah, I mean, I was kind of tracking some of the numbers there. I mean, buying seeing close to 40,000 a door putting another five to $10,000 in per unit, you know, double your money in two years that those are some Those are some good numbers, you know,

Eric Martel 22:25

yeah. Now were you able to take your turnkey template and just apply it to the to the multifamily as well pretty much the same contractor that did the that did the the single family basically went in there and did the pretty much the same thing. The same tiles the same? The same toilet the same everything. Yeah, so we really a lot of these kitchens were also that kind of like, like all like into they were almost in a closet in the center of the of the unit. And we kind of like broke down all the walls. Open it up. Brighton Brighton did, and dance would look fantastic. Also redid the laundry room there. So yeah,

Brian Briscoe 23:05

yeah. And I would imagine that opening up is part of what got you guys to the 850. You know, the open floor plans right now are a lot more popular than the kitchen in the closet. So,

Eric Martel 23:14

I mean, it was clean. So we put like vinyl planking as well. So that that looks good. The exterior also makes a big difference. I mean, you know, if you're, if you have an appointment to see an apartment, and you you drive in front of it, and then you look at it say, all right, you can try to keep driving. Right? Yeah. So you know, because it's important. I mean, you invite people over and you know, it's a reflection of you. Yeah, I'm

Brian Briscoe 23:40

active duty military, and we move every two to three years. And, you know, we have done that a lot. You know, we've we've gone through the finding a new place to live, you know, way too many times to, you know, count, but there have been a lot of times where, you know, hey, we're gonna go look at this and you have an appointment. And there's a lot of times we've done just that we just arrived right by it's like, no, we're not even stopping here. But, yeah, curb appeal is big, you know, you you want residents to like living there, you know, you want to give a reason and give them a reason to stay, you know, and if you give them a nice place to live, and it looks nice and it's clean, and it's you're gonna have a reason to stay. So let's talk about what's next for you.

Eric Martel 24:23

So I'm in right now. So we're kind of like we're changing gear on the on the Martel turnkey. So we're really kind of like blowing that up as much as possible. We hired another salesperson who to work on that we're bringing to expand the acquisition side, the acquisition team as well add another person there. Last year, we also started a company called rocket offer that does basically wholesaling so it's doing a bunch of wholesaling and we have a lot of technologies to do automatic texting, some AI to to get the conversation going. And then we have Live agents and stuff like that. So that team is growing pretty well, I think there were at 1010 people right now on that, on that team, actually, that's going very well, then we're looking at, we're really looking at kind of like virtualizing what we're doing. So we're looking at captive insurance, we're looking at starting a title company, that kind of stuff,

Brian Briscoe 25:22

everything related to what you're doing. So

Eric Martel 25:24

yeah, kind of likes virtualizing. Because I think this, you know, we see a lot of opportunities, you know, things that amount that we pay on a on a certain, you know, for things like home warranties, for example. So we're looking at a maybe we can do our own home warranty program that we would make make money on on that as well. And then title company, obviously, that's, we do a lot of transaction. So if it

Brian Briscoe 25:48

was made on tight on time, exactly.

Eric Martel 25:50

So if it goes from our right pocket to our left pocket, then you know, we're all good. Yep,

Brian Briscoe 25:55

absolutely. That's a smart business there. We're gonna shift gears and bring bring Derek along on the line. And for the listeners, Derek and I, we've known each other for several months now. Very impressed. You got a great podcast, elevate your equity and a brand new book, part time real estate investing for full time professionals. Tell us a little bit about the book a little bit about podcasts. And then we'll we'll talk

Derek Clifford 26:19

about your Well first of all, thanks for having me on. And it's good to it's good to spend my, my Wednesday with Eric and Brian today. It's a great honor to be here. Yeah, so the podcast is centered around married couples and married w two couples trying to find some other way other than just hammering away to W two for 40 years. So the conversation kind of goes around, you know how these successful investors, how they started off when they were very, very early on, and what techniques and tools they use, including working with their spouses, either having a spouse on board with them to either push them or bring give them the financial time or physical space to be able to pursue this investing full time. Because, you know, it's funny, when I talk with many successful investors, they say that without their significant other or their spouse, there'd be no way that they could pursue financial independence or the dream of real estate investing. And it's just funny how it never really gets mentioned. And so we spend the time debunking that and really getting digging into the details and even having the spouses on board on the podcast with us to explore that. So that's about our podcast. And then our book is full time or I'm sorry, part time real estate investing for full time professionals. And this book is written for people like me who have a W two job, but are investing on the side, and just don't know where to start at all. So we talk about the mindset, what to expect the advantages, the disadvantages, my blueprint of building up a single family portfolio out of state, and then eventually transferring into multifamily syndications. And then kind of walking the reader through that entire risk reward spectrum and everywhere in between. So that's nice.

Brian Briscoe 28:02

Yeah, so sounds amazing. And for anybody listening, you definitely pick up a copy. We're gonna put links to both Eric and Derek's book in the show notes. If you want to pick up at any one of them. Just you know, tap on your phone swipe up. And there you go. Oh, yeah, both. Yeah. Both of you both get both. Absolutely. So Derek, let's, let's talk a little bit more about you. We heard about your book and your podcast. Tell us about Derek.

Derek Clifford 28:28

Yeah. So I've been, I grew up going to college as a chemical engineer, and then transferred into project management a couple years ago. And so now I work for utilities company in the San Francisco Bay Area. But on the side, I like to invest in real estate. And I've been doing this for about three or four years now and kind of entered it. First of all, by accident. My wife had a condo that she had bought, right, like literally a month or two before the 2008 crash. So she paid 250,000 for this condo in Washington State. And then the value of it in two months went down to like 90k or something like that. And it was underwater for even four or five years that she was there in grad school. And when she left, we had no other choice but to either write a check with money we didn't have for like 50k to be able to sell this under, you know, this underwater property. Or we give a little bit more time and try to rent this thing out. So we kind of fell into the landlording business. And luckily, we had some really great tenants and on the drive down from Washington to California was like, hmm, you know, I've been researching a lot of different ways to create passive income or to escape my w two job but this is looking pretty interesting. I wonder what would happen if we actually tried to do this whole rental property thing on purpose. And so that's kind of how we got started and I started off with a bang. I bought nine. I think it was 12 units in eight months from California, all investing out in Indianapolis with all single family duplexes and for plexes and then shortly after that, I got an 18 unit multiplex that I bought for 350k. Believe it or not in 18. And it was there was a reason though there was definitely a reason why it was that cheap.

Brian Briscoe 30:15

What was it the D class like Eric first deal? It was a D class, but it was in a C plus area. Oh, there we go.

Derek Clifford 30:22

So saving grace. Yeah, exactly. And so you know, after struggling with that for a little while and taking about a year to a year and a half to stabilize that thing, we were able to refinance it at about $1.4 million. So we were to pull out all of our original capital and it paid for itself. And then recently here started to step into multifamily syndications and just closed on a 36 unit deal also in Indianapolis, and just looking to expand my footprint into colorado springs in San Antonio, Texas.

Brian Briscoe 30:51

Nice, amazing, amazing and shouldn't ask you this on the air, but I'm going to but I'd love to bring you back on we've just started this version deal episode. You know, we're talking about people's first syndication. But if you're willing, you don't have to say yes, now, but actually, if you say no, I'm just gonna delete this out, you know, and nobody's gonna know. But love to have you back on for that.

Derek Clifford 31:11

Yeah, that would that would sound good. I do have to say that this very first one, this 3016 it was a JV. So it's not quite a syndication. But so yeah, we are looking at it at a 48 unit right now that will be a syndication. All right, well

Brian Briscoe 31:23

still bring it back on. That's the Easy, easy. So now let's let's talk about, you know, your big burning Why now? What, what motivates you?

Derek Clifford 31:33

Yeah, you know, when I first started investing, my, my biggest why that I thought, you know, really propelled me through was financial independence, right? Being able to say, Hey, you know, this is this is, I want to be able to make the choices that I want and work when I want to and work where I want to and on my terms, and that was the initial push. But as I started getting more and more involved in the multifamily space, I started understanding that it was a team sport. And really where I want to go now with it is I want to help 1000 people become financially independent 1000 couples become financially independent and break away from their jobs. So everything that I'm doing with my brand at elevate equity, and on our podcast, and our book is geared towards that particular goal of helping 1000 families escape from the rat race.

Brian Briscoe 32:22

Nice. Nice. That's that's a lofty goal, and I'm sure you'll get there. So yeah, it's awesome. Just just, it may take more than a couple of months. But yeah, yeah. 100 100% behind you on that one. I think that's, that's amazing. So Well, here comes one of my favorite parts of the show. And I everything's my favorite in the show, by the way, if you if you listen to my episode, you know, I've got a lot of favorites. I've got five kids, too. And they're all my favorites. But here we go. Derek, we have Eric on the line. What do you want to ask him?

Derek Clifford 32:54

Yeah, so I have plenty of questions after listening to, to him talk about his wonderful experiences. But you know, the one of the main things, is it all start out with this one? What How did your mindset have to change as you went from your journey from being a W two professional to becoming a full time entrepreneur? Because I know that that can't happen. You can't just turn on a dime like that. Right? Maybe you can explain that a little bit. Well,

Eric Martel 33:23

that's funny. Did you read my book? Because this is literally how I started book.

Brian Briscoe 33:29

Not Yeah, a couple of

Eric Martel 33:32

there's a couple of things. So yeah, you're right. I mean, this is for me, though. My mindset has always been entrepreneurial. So even when I had a W two job, I always viewed in my mind that I was working for myself. And I was That was my client. And I was Yeah, I was getting I was getting a W two. But really, that's just the way they pay me. I'm working for myself at that job. So I had that like from the very beginning. And I had kind of throughout my career. I had kind of like a like that kind of relationship with with a job. So I worked, you know, for a company for six years. That's when I got started from university. I got interested in, in high tech, I started a consulting company, I did consulting for, you know, five, six years and stuff like that. Then I joined a CRM company got transferred in in, in California, when I got my Employment Authorization Document, quit the job, started in consulting you know.com bubble started lots of different businesses and all of that. So I had this size been in and out of of that w two thing. So it's for me, it was very fluid, but you're right. So the W two, as, you know, a lot of things people think of it as security and all of that. But to me that's, you're blinded I mean, you don't know What's going on? You're not in control of the company. Any moment, the Euro in your. And it happened to me as your boss comes to you and said, you know what we, we don't need. We don't need your role anymore. We need you, but we don't need your role anymore. So goodbye. And then we'd really like you, but it's your role that we don't like. And then. So yeah, so it happens. So you kind of have to, you have to deal with that people think that they're safe, they're secure, and their job and all that. But it's not. You're just kind of like you're blindsided. You don't know what's going on.

Derek Clifford 35:38

Right. 100% agree. And also, I don't know if you caught this, Brian. But Eric said that he came from an actuarial like mathematics. Yeah, interview. And what makes me feel really happy about pursuing real estate is that Eric understands the math of risk. And he's devoted his life to real estate investing. So we know we're in the right field.

Brian Briscoe 35:57

So Incidentally, Erica, I have two degrees in math. And at one point, I was considering actuarial math myself. So I ended up ended up deciding to join the Marine Corps. But you know, that's a it's a completely different story. So yeah, I definitely keyed in on that. The the actuary part,

Eric Martel 36:16

that's awesome. So, but also, so that's one part of the mindset, right, so people that are trying to kind of like, move off the W two. The other thing too, is that there's a mindset where you kind of go from an employee, my boss is telling me what to do. And I kind of like do as little as I can to kind of not lose my job. And I think, or maybe it's just maybe I'm the only one with this attitude. But right, so anyway, but when you go and you do your own business, this is completely different now. So this is the area where you're the boss, you decide what needs to be done, and everything needs to be done. So you have to really prioritize, and then work on things and handle your own work. So this is, this is completely different. Some people are not meant they're not meant to do this. I mean, if you're not driven, if you're not somebody that's gonna be, you know, kind of, like, get up in the morning and say, Oh, I'm busy today. And, you know, and I have so many things to do and all of that. She's just gonna go and watch TV the whole day, that may not be for you.

Brian Briscoe 37:27

I would agree. Thank you very much. Yeah, after 2020 years of working for someone else, I think, for me, that's, that's been enough motivation for me to, you know, wake up every morning, and it'd be able to push this ball forward here, or, actually, in my case, On nights and weekends, you know, for for wide BI. Yeah,

Eric Martel 37:45

absolutely. And Derek was talking about the importance of spouse, and this is absolutely true. I mean, when we talk about that, you know, we started a low carb grocery store, well, that was my wife started the local grocery store, I handled the finances and the accounting and stuff like that at nights and weekends and, and did things at nights and weekends at the store and all of that my wife was dedicated 100% of that I would fund all of that with like, some other a lot of different other businesses. Same thing, you know, I worked at nights and weekends, my wife was the leader in that and I would support her to get that business off the ground and working so that I could get free. And now with this real estate business, the interesting thing is that it's my my son's that's actually got me started and got me got us going. That's phenomenal. That's something that I didn't expect. And, you know, and that's, that's why we are here today, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be financially free and working full time in real estate now without my, my kids really, and my wife too. So it's amazing.

Brian Briscoe 38:54

Yeah, my son is starting to understand it. He's eight. And I remember the first time that I explained it to him, you know, I basically said, we buy apartments, people pay us to live there, you know, as simple as I could. He was probably six at the time, his eyes got big. And he's like, Ah, you need to buy as many apartments as you can. But I mean, just last week, he was asking me about it, Dad, tell me tell me about how this works. So you buy apartments, anyway, incredibly smart kid, but I can see him doing the exact same things your son's doing,

Eric Martel 39:30

you know, 510 Yeah. And I think it's important. I think it's important to share with your your kids. You let them know that, you know, this is just for the family. Don't tell anybody, but to share financial information about what's going on with your job, show them a paycheck, show them a budget, show them all these things so that they understand that, you know, you get a check and all of it goes to the government. They give you a little bit less Yep. But you know, that kind of stuff. So I think I think this is really important so that people know that, hey, you know, this is this is it this is that and, you know, I think that this is important.

Derek Clifford 40:14

Excellent. So another question I had, if you don't mind me asking Brian. So one question that I had is, you know, over the years, it takes, obviously, a sustained effort to continue going down the path that you've that you've gone down Eric, right. Like we were alluding to, it doesn't take like, you can't just snap your fingers and overnight have this thriving business that you've that you've created. There's a lot of different things you got to do in order to get there, including building processes, right? So can you talk to how your processes and your team evolved. And then if we have time, I'd like to talk about what the most important process you've developed is.

Eric Martel 40:54

So I think, so normally, I spend, we spend a lot of time I spend a lot of time on my own. And then my everybody kind of my other son and wife, we kind of like focus on and I focus on a couple of things. So I normally have like a triangle that I imagine. And at the top of the triangle is kind of like the strategy. And this is something that I'll talk in my book as well. And a strategy. So our strategy, let's say is multifamily apartment building, and all of that. And then I look at it. And on the bottom part is to other corners, I have the resources like time, money and skills and capabilities. And on the other side is the market. And all of this needs to be kind of aligned in order to support your strategy and for you to achieve your goal. So you can't have like a strategy. And I see that all the time. And that's why I want to mention is that people are kind of misaligned on this, on that strategy. So they have like they're in a market that doesn't support their strategy they're in, I don't know which market you're in, but you're in Indianapolis, so you won't be offended. So you actually like lot of people that invest in, you know, in California for a rental, like they rent a condo, and all of that and to achieve financial freedom, but their return is not is not that great. They're not they're not in the market is not ideal for that it's not a landlord friendly state, it's very expensive, the cost of the unit is very expensive. You You're in a condo, you're not even in control of the HOA fees, you know, all kinds of things. And so. So that's one aspect of it. So all these things need to be kind of like aligned to do that. Once you have these things aligned, is that is you constantly go through and say, Okay, well, this is what what are some of the tweaks? I constantly tweaked kind of like what what the system is what, what do we need to do in terms of felica? The resources? Do we need more money? What kind of money do we need? What kind of financing Do we need for for apartment buildings and stuff like that? Do we want to do syndication? and explore different ideas on kind of like getting more funds into into the multifamily business? and explore what's best for me for my bottom line? In terms of resources? So then you look, that's when I started looking at skills? So what kind of capabilities do we need? What kind of processes Do we need in place? to smooth it out? What are where are the bottlenecks? What is preventing us from growing to the next level? Right? So I mean, you can see kind of like the workload for everybody and say, Okay, well, like right now. So we just hired a new salesperson, because we want to grow to a certain level this year. So we're targeting like 120 single family rentals this year. But so we're looking at that. But now we're, in order to feed that we need to have a lot of acquisition, we looked at our strategy for acquisition, the market was a little hot and a bit harder to to get some properties. So we change our mix of properties that we did that so we work on the processes for acquisition, we're looking at how many properties we buy and stuff like that. So this might at the beginning of the day, especially but really, throughout the whole the whole day is about tweaking, being aware of these this triangle, and making sure that all these things are supporting one another in order to achieve achieve your goal. I love it.

Brian Briscoe 44:29

I love it. We're about at a time guys. It's been a great discussion. I know I mean, go so fast. Yeah, Part Part do yeah, we're gonna come back come back next week for a part in India. But yeah, that that Hotshots 80s movies, you know, but anyway, but yeah, we used to use that part D line like a million times. But anyway, that just made me chuckle but alright, so we are at a time And so one last question for each of you, Eric, you get to go first, how can listeners learn more about you?

Eric Martel 45:07

So on Instagram, I'm at the e m f, e, underscore Martell, on Facebook, I'm at Eric duck martell.ca. You can also go on my website, my personal website, which is Martell herrick.com, where you can see all my social information. And also obviously check my my company website Martel turnkey comm if you're looking to buy turnkey rental properties,

Brian Briscoe 45:34

alright, and we'll have that all in the show notes. And don't skip over the link to the book as you're going down to connect with him. Derek, same question for you. how can listeners learn more about you?

Derek Clifford 45:44

Yeah, so I'll just keep this pretty simple. Everyone can find out more about us at elevate equity dot o RG there, we have links to our podcast, our book, blog, free resources, all kinds of things that people would ever want about trying to achieve financial independence as a couple. That's really what we specialize there. And also you can get to me on Instagram at Derek loves equity. That's my, that's my handle. And then I'm on Facebook as well. And we have a tribe on Facebook to that you guys can apply to join. And there I kind of post some stuff in there that are kind of just for just for the members only, they can see a little bit more about what's going on in our world.

Brian Briscoe 46:23

Alright, awesome. So I encourage everybody who's listening, if something from either Eric or Derrick has resonated with you definitely reach out to them. I mean, this is definitely a relationship business, let them know that what they said really meant something to us. So thank you so so much to both of you for being on the show today. and wish you both the best. Thank you both Brian. Thank you for listening to the dialogue and 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 podcasts 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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