Partnering with Experienced Investors with Leslie Awasom and Brad Smith



Episode 151 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Leslie Awasom and Brad Smith. Transcript by Otter.ai – please forgive any errors.


Listen to the episode here




Brian Briscoe 0:00

Brad, we got Leslie on the line here. What do you want to ask him?


Brad Smith 0:02

Why would you partner with me if I was bringing you that deal on something that you may have already seen


Leslie Awasom 0:07

you being this another person is another head to do some of the work and an experienced person coming in and being a Kp on there, they get a they get a piece of the deal as well. You know, and they get to benefit from the peace of they do and get to benefit from the work that you're working. And you know, the multifamily space is a team sport from my mentality is you never know the person that you helping today as a newbie is probably going to be the person that you're partnering with tomorrow to take over 500 unit property. So it's all about building these relationships.


Brian Briscoe 0:48

Welcome to the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with your host Brian Briscoe. In this podcast we bring some of the top professionals in the apartment investment field to discuss various aspects of the apartment investing journey, with the sole purpose of educating listeners to make wise investment decisions. The Diary of an Apartment Investor podcast is sponsored by Four Oaks Capital, bringing you high yield returns through apartment complex investing. This is journal entry number 151. And part of our Ask the Expert series today riona. Experienced investor Leslie Awasom and aspiring investor Brad Smith. Keep listening to learn how to attract experienced partners and whether to do a 506 B or 506. c when you're raising money. And now the show Welcome to the Durbin apartment investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe with four oaks capital. Very excited for today's show. It's one of our Ask the Expert episodes. We have two amazing people on the line with us. We got a man with a ton of experience in this business and other businesses. Leslie Awasom, or as I like to say, Leslie, awesome, and a very motivated and energetic aspiring investor. Brad, let me say this name. Right, Smith. All right, Brad Smith. There we go. So first of all, you know, Leslie is the director of operations, and co founder of excite capital investments. And I'll put all the bio in the show notes. You guys can all read it. But I'd rather just introduce Leslie and let him tell you about himself. Leslie, welcome. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks, Brian. Thanks for having me on your podcast, your platform. Yeah, this is this is awesome. So for everybody else. You know, Leslie and I have known each other for probably about two years now, Leslie, did a hell of a meet up in the DC area that I would try to get to as often as I could. So Leslie, great to have you on the podcast. Finally. Thanks. Thanks. Hopefully, things are opening back up. And we could get back to all having some of these meetups again. Yeah, there's nothing like you know, physical meetups. I mean, zoom is nice. You can talk with people, you know, across the nation. And there's nothing like face to face meetings. And I'm happy that we're at a point where we're able to actually start doing that in some areas again, Anyway, enough about that. Leslie, tell us about yourself. Tell us about a little bit about your background, your history and and what got you into apartments.


Leslie Awasom 3:01

Again, Brian, thank you for having me on this platform. I'm Leslie, my journey into apartments just started. Without me asking questions. You know, it doesn't matter what background you come from, or where you come from, at some point in your life, you got to make some tough financial decisions. And that was where I was that when I discovered our apartments when I got into real estate investing. Back in 2008, I was a new graduate, just right out of nursing school got a great job at one, one of the prestigious hospitals in the Maryland area. And that was around the time when the financial crisis happened. And I got to experience I saw some healthcare providers that I was working with lose a significant portion of their retirement like I remember the one senior nurse that I was working with getting ready for retire for to retire losing about 60 to 70% of our nest egg. And that she had enough things that that look stuck with me for a very long time. And I just kept asking myself questions, if this is really like, if I'm gonna end up where I have this job, I work for 24 years, and then I end up with something like this happens to me and I pursue my money. And at that point, I'd worked all day encourages you having a 401k and doing this so I started asking questions and wanted to seek alternative methods. And back around 2008 I learned about real estate but then at the same time I looked around me a lot of people that I knew I'd gotten into real estate with the craziness that was happening back then. And they were beginning to lose their properties. You know, so now real estate too was scary for me at that point in time. I wasn't quite sure what to do. So fast forward a few years later after going back to school and having more degrees, which is what we thought that if you need to make more income, more stability, you get another degree Coronavirus degree in anesthesia. Again that same feeling came back when I was sitting at work I'm making a good salary but sitting there asking myself this was it for me it did not seem right. So at that point, um, as luck would have it, I was calling to my phone I saw an article on Yahoo it said, the author of a famous book Rich Dad, Poor Dad has published another book for millennials that talks about managing money and dealing with student loans. I'm like, this is exactly what I need to purchase the book. The name of the book is second chances, your money and your life by Robert Kiyosaki produce the book. And I started reading it. And it just felt like I had this this mentor that I'd be looking for was talking exactly to me. So I started following the steps that Robert listed in that book, which is me encourage investing in real estate, and then going over to networking events and meeting people. And that's how I started going out to networking events, bought my first rental property in 2016 did a big model on it. That worked tremendously. Well, you know, I had a good return on that, then. So I said, this real estate thing works. So let me deep dive into it more. And as I was doing that, I met my first initial partner, Tony, Tony Ferrari. And we decided to partner out together to focus on real estate. And as we were doing research to decide what area of real estate to focus on, we came across multifamily real estate and everything about it just made sense to us. So we started exact capital investment, started hitting the ground running, I think that's when we started meeting, Brian, that networking event, had a couple of failures in the beginning, then kept going. And then things started looking up towards 2020, we had a third partner come in, and things just took off from there. And right now we find out ourselves in a position where we feel very grateful and blessed to be where we are where we are acquiring properties and could be an example for other people too, that I've been to situations that have jobs that are looking for better alternatives out there. So


Brian Briscoe 7:03

yeah, you know, a lot, a lot A lot of things that resonate with me and your story. I mean, it was a Robert Kiyosaki book that leads lit the fire under me is your Rich Dad, Poor Dad, probably a decade before you read, you read that, but it just took me a lot longer to get into apartments, and it took you and the other thing is, is just, you know, how, how volatile new the stock market can be. And that's, that's something that, you know, in 2008 when the stock market crashed, my dad was getting ready to retire, you know, in his 401k equivalent and took a gigantic hit. So, you know, it's it's something that affects a lot of people. And if all you have is that nest egg and the stock market, you know, people talk about diversifying, but unfortunately, all people talk about diversifying, they're talking about diversifying your stock portfolio, but man, you really need to diversify into other things like, I don't know, real estate, right. But yes, so you bought a single family home just just curious. Where was the single family home that you bought? It was in Greenbelt, Maryland, it was actually a con. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, real close to where you're at. So we're good enough. And so you met Teddy, you started Exide capital and hit the ground running from there. So let's talk about one of the one of the projects you guys have done. I know you guys got done a few of them right now. You know, pick your favorite one and give us kind of a rundown of, you know, how you found it and how it's doing,


Leslie Awasom 8:24

I have to pick the one we just closed recently, which is view as Santa is Churchill as analogies, we just rebranded to the view. So this is 132 unit property, classy property in kind of like a B neighborhood. And the way we found this property is I give a lot of credit to director of acquisition study to the Ferrari again, and I also want to point out our other partner, Dr. Julius only was a director of investor relations and CEO. Um, so tenny when we started Bran, you know, both of us lived in DC, we're running the middle in DC. So doing the research to identify the markets that we wanted to go into the south east, seemed like the best place for us to invest in so wanted to focus our attentions in the Carolinas, and Georgia. And we were reaching out to brokers talking to people trying to build these relationships. But then we found that we were not making a lot of leeway. So Tony decided to sell his house in Maryland, move his own family to North Carolina, so that we could be competitive in that market so he could start interfacing with brokers. And when he got to own Charlotte, to hit the ground, running, going out meeting with brokers having these meetings, and onto finally one broker decided he was going to give us a shot. And now, again, from his efforts, because we talked about somebody driving three hours to have a 15 minute meeting with a broker. And that really impressed the broker that somebody would take this amount of time to do that. And he was like, I'm gonna give you guys a shot. And if you get this one shot, you mess it up. You know, that's it, you know? So we got this offer. market, it was an off market deal and took it down. Everything went well. 130 units again in Columbus are called


Brian Briscoe 10:08

value property. Yeah, you know and St. Andrews I love that area, good direction on the right side of the freeway, you know, because the other side of the freeway of St. Andrews is, you know, C class and maybe a C minus area, but you my wife grew up in that area. And that's that's one of the areas that we target as well. We have we have an asset in Colombia. But yeah, when I saw that offering, you know, I started looking at it, put it on the map. I'm like, yeah, that's, that's gonna be a good one. That's gonna be a really, really solid play there. But we have congratulations on that one. So 100, DC. 132. Right. Yeah. 132. Nice. It's a


Leslie Awasom 10:40

nice kudos to our property management company that work with us sourcing deals down there, because we had a lot of deals come to us from Colombia. And they kept saying no, no, that, like you said, it's on the wrong side of the freeway. And then one came along, and it made the hit all the pieces that we needed. So we went up very aggressively. Yeah.


Brian Briscoe 11:00

Yeah. So and that's, that's a key right there is having somebody with local knowledge. I mean, you get any who's close, but you talk with that property manager who has, you know, one level deeper of knowledge, and you really got to know those areas, to be able to make sure you're getting the right asset and being able to use that property manager to guide you to Yeah, not that one. Not that one. Yes. This one is a perfect asset is is absolutely key. And I think the property manager is an integral part of any team, you got that? any successful team in multifamily. So yeah, so that said, let's, we got a question for you. What is your big burning? Why? What motivates you in this field,


Leslie Awasom 11:40

we got into multifamily investing, I started learning about how you could really generate wealth. And we started going out to conferences and meeting other people, we realized that there were not too many people in the business that look like us, that are from immigrant an immigrant background like we do, we also realize that in our medical profession, I have a background in health care. Our CEO is a medical doctor, we realize that in the medical profession, a lot of people did not know that this asset class existed out there that, that you could actually use this as a means to grow your wealth. Most of the people that we're interacting with usually followed that traditional path of getting a job putting money in the 401k. And hoping that the stock market keeps going up onto the day you retire. Right? So we saw that knee that there was a need for us because I could have stayed on my job and make the money I make and invest in apartments and get the great returns because the great investment vehicle, building this company takes a lot of hard work and effort. But we saw that there was a need for us to bring this in our community. So the why of excite is really to create that vehicle where we could go out and teach people and let people know that this opportunity is out there it exists for them to take advantage of it if they want it to. Then on top of that, though, just to have people have that exposure to financial education. Because for me growing up, I probably didn't know what an investor was, until maybe I was a teenager, almost 20 years to actually understand that somebody could actually invest in other people. Yeah, but now I can pass this knowledge over to my kids. I have two young girls and a son. And my daughters sit on my zoom calls. And she knows when she knows when an appointment is for me. That is the reason why as that's what gives us the energy every day to go out and keep doing this. You know? Yeah, yeah, I


Brian Briscoe 13:34

love that. There's a lot of things about that, that I'd like to unpack. I mean, number one, you're right. You know, you go to the big conferences there. There's not a lot of people like you, you know, and I applaud you for what you've been able to do in this field. You know, you're you're an immigrant and you're in minority, and you go to most of the conferences, and a lot of guys look like me and look like Brad, you know, there there's not a lot of minorities, there's not a lot of women. So for you to do what you've done in this this field, just just because of the way it's set, it's harder for you than it is for a guy like me. Incidentally, you mentioned you antennae are immigrants. Where are you from?


Leslie Awasom 14:08

I'm from Cameroon. My other two partners are from Nigeria tinian. Elizabeth? Yes, yeah,


Brian Briscoe 14:14

there we go. not been in those countries. I've been on the other side of the the African continent, but I imagine things are a lot different there than they are here and your background and upbringing a lot different than we get here. So awesome. Great for you for for everything you've done. You know, I really appreciate and applaud you for your successes. So that said, what what is next for you?


Leslie Awasom 14:35

So we feel like we're still in the beginning phases of our growth. When we when we got into this we knew that there was a need but it looks like we actually on that estimated the amount that has been in need of being able to go out there. Initially when you start something like this. You might have a lot of doubts from people not that I've never heard about this before. But as you keep going and keep educating people now people start to see those See the authenticity and the genuineness in whatever it is that you're doing. So now we have a lot of interests of people in our community that want to learn and know more about the multifamily investing. So what's next for us is to keep educating our community, keep providing the right opportunities, finding just the right opportunities that we could expose the members of our community to so they could continue to grow their world. And just keep growing real estate has been really good to me in particular, and my partner, so we continue to grow in the space and then give back to our community as much as we can and give back to other people that are hoping to learn how to invest in multifamily or build their own businesses as well.


Brian Briscoe 15:45

Yeah. Love it. Love it. All right. Well, we're going to do a slight transition here. And we're going to bring Brad on the show. So Brad Smith, welcome to the podcast today. Yeah, thanks for having me on, Brian. So same, same first question for you. Tell us a little bit about your background and your history and what got you into apartments?


Brad Smith 16:06

Yeah, well, I live in Minnesota and I work currently for a large general contractor in the Twin Cities, does over three quarters of a billion in revenue a year. I've been working there for 15 years, I actually started as a labor pulling the hard groundwork. I remember jackhammering sidewalks when I was in college, it was some some brutal work and then made it made it managed to make my way into being a project manager and doing that for for quite a while. I've managed over 330 million in almost exclusively healthcare. So it's kind of funny that Leslie's on in the healthcare industry. That's awesome. Yeah. And I have a wife, two kids, one three year old one eight week old. We love to go out west and ski. I hope my boys will be skiers someday. Otherwise, I'm really screwed. what's what's your favorite place to study? I got to ask that question. You know what, you've just moved to Idaho Falls and guess where I went two years ago was Jackson Hole. Okay, love that place. That's that's not too far from I grew up in Salt Lake City. And I mean, the license plates in Utah say best snow on earth. And I'm, I'm somewhat of a ski snob. So interesting. It's a great place. And it's huge. So don't get me wrong. Yeah, it is. It is.


Brian Briscoe 17:11

It's a definitely. I lived in Twin Cities for a little while and moving from Salt Lake to Twin Cities looking around for ski resorts. I think there's one in the Twin Cities metro area. And it's like 300 feet vertical drop. You know, it's like the bunny Hill.


Brad Smith 17:27

You spend more time in the chairlift? Yeah, yeah. No question. Absolutely. But anyway, go Go ahead. Getting into real estate. I actually started back in 2009, kind of just accidentally were one of my best man in my wedding. And I split bought a house together. And we just did a live in flip. Sold that and then my current wife and I bought another house and we did a live in flip. And then actually last year, we just bought our first short term rental in the Smoky Mountains.


Brian Briscoe 17:55

Nice. Nice. So So you got a couple of you know, single family short term rentals. What What drew you to apartments.


Brad Smith 18:01

So as soon as we bought that short term rental last year, about exactly one month after we closed, I told Jordan, my business partner that we need to scale this, I mean, this, this is great, right? This is this is gonna be awesome. And we already doing well on the books already. And I am a visionary. So I was already like, we have to do this faster, because short term rentals just wasn't going to get us there fast enough. And I said, we need to, we need to do some research on apartments. So we we did a bunch of research, we actually invest in a mentorship program in October, and we've been doing that ever since and trying to learn the ways of getting into the completely different realm of apartment. Apartments versus short term rentals are going up. Great. It's been a good learning experience and a very interesting learning experience to get us to where we are now, which is right. We're still very early in our venture.


Brian Briscoe 18:46

Yeah, yeah. And incidentally, for those listening to Jordan Gregg was also a guest on this show a couple months back and got an email for him this morning. And some some good news. You guys couldn't fly out this morning. Right?


Brad Smith 18:58

We did. We put it in and we're gonna we're pumped. We hope it has a chance. We'll see.


Brian Briscoe 19:03

Yeah, we'll tell it tell us a tiny bit about the the property you put the yelloweye in Where's it at how many units and whatnot?


Brad Smith 19:10

Yeah, so it's located right smack dab in the middle of the Twin Cities. It's not Minneapolis proper. And it's not St. Paul proper, which we didn't necessarily want to do. It's got a fantastic location. It's two buildings, one that's multifamily has affordable housing and market rate and a senior housing building right next to it. So they're selling these together. Total it's 175 units.


Brian Briscoe 19:31

Nice. Nice. Well good luck with that one and definitely let me know how it's going for you guys. But so what once again that my favorite question, a lot of favorites. favorite question on the show is you know, what's your big burning? Why, you know what, what drives you?


Brad Smith 19:45

So really what got me motivated to to buy that short term rental last year was the project that I was on about three it started three years ago for a large hospital with a complex project $80,000,000.54 phases, renovate And new build. And the client was a real bear like really hard to work with, they made it very difficult to manage it on top of how difficult it was already. At the same time my son was born. And we weren't that lucky in that he decided he doesn't like to sleep. And so I was tired. And I had a very difficult client to work with working seven to five. And it just created an atmosphere where I was just not happy for for three years, right? And actually, at the time, you're like, gosh, this really is unpleasant. And I hate it. I want to quit, I want to quit. But you know, looking back at it now this was this was a couple years ago. But it really motivated me to move to the next level and say, do I really want this for my life, kind of like what Leslie was saying is, is this what it's going to be about working seven to five, you have young children, you come home and you're kind of cranky, just because you just burned up all your mental ability already for the day, and then you come home and you're short with your wife, your kids, like I just don't want that. So I want a different life where we can create passive income and have ultimately I guess it comes down to time, right? I wanted to have time with my family time to go skiing time with my kids and teach them kind of like what you were saying, Leslie, I just want to I want to be able to teach them everything that I've learned so far. And even more to that not necessarily working seven to five every day is not the way to go. And then have your 401k lose it in 2008. Like your dad Brian. I mean, that's that's often how many people are really stuck in something like that if it happens again. Yeah, which is, which is why this just gets so exciting. We're coming into this side of the investment world.


Brian Briscoe 21:28

Yeah, a lot of stuff there. I mean, a lot of people love people have the same same type of story. And it's, it comes down to the things that matter to you, most you the things that matter to you most are usually your family, you know, the people, you're your children, you're your spouse, and a lot of times, you know, you want to spend your time and your efforts with the people that matter most yet, but you know, sometimes that job gets in the way. I mean, and I'm not saying that a nine to five job is bad or anything, but it's it's necessary, you know, for for the world to work, you know, for people to to work in in jobs. But when it takes away from the thing that's most important for me, I think a lot of people start looking for other things. That's what I did. That's what Leslie is doing. And Brian is what you're doing as well. So,


Brad Smith 22:10

you know, and it's funny that you guys were mentioning kind of that diversify earlier with the 401k is right, we actually just pumped out an article that was I did some research on like the three legged stool. And if you Google that you pump pumps out the old school adage of pensions, social security and personal savings, right? And it just goes to show you how much how much has the world changed in just 20 years where or even 30 years where the social security was created, what 1935 and, you know, the average life expectancy then was 61. Well look what people are making now and to survive on Social Security. Just I mean, it's just so not realistic, right. And then one other way, you know, diversification is not just paper assets get into real estate. And that's exactly where I'm passionate about what Leslie was saying to us. I'm passionate about hopefully helping other people get to their retirement goals so that they can have a life too, right?


Brian Briscoe 22:59

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Awesome. Well, Brad, I'm gonna hand the mic over to you. And here's my favorite part of the podcast, not my favorite question. You like that? Lots of favorites. But Brad, we got Leslie on the line here. What do you want to ask him?


Brad Smith 23:12

You know, my biggest thing right now is we're raising money from our personal network, Leslie, and we're we're sending out educational content through my LinkedIn, we're trying to get people kind of off to our website. And we just started this about a month ago. It's been okay, and our target is working professionals. You know, I guess for me, I'm connected to a lot of construction professionals. So that's really what we're trying to go after is people, architects, construction professionals, people like that. But we're not getting enough traction through that route. What is what has been your best method to reaching out and raising money for what your company's goals are for like the healthcare industry, right?


Leslie Awasom 23:48

Absolutely. Oh, by the way, congrats on the fly. And I hope you guys get that deal as well. Thank you. Yes. So we can attend or had similar journeys, doing the newsletters reaching out and feeling like we're not getting enough traction, right. But what what we realize is, people read, they just don't respond sometimes. And just just stay stay with it. And one important thing is give, give, give, continue to give by, right, and being identified as the apartment guy. As soon as I have some of those people that are seeing your content, we start reaching back out to you, and I'm asking questions. So that's what we did for us. A lot of our growth came from word of mouth, our very first opportunity that we had, we had an opportunity to code up on a deal very early on in our journey, and we could not even raise $5,000. And that was not because we didn't have the investors. It's just because we were going out there asking people for money instead of giving people value. Right? It's a different mindset when you feel like you're giving people value when you're asking somebody for something. Now that energy the person can feel it. So and when we had that experience, we had to go back to the drawing Excellent. So it's the same questions, and then now started educating ourselves on the philosophy of giving. Right? And we went out and started giving, like giving more value. So I, when I work, everybody knows me as a real estate guy, people want to buy their homes, they come and ask me questions. People want this, they asked me this. So now that knowledge gets passed around, and when people get used to you given present another opportunity to them, yes, they know that you're giving them something of value. So it's much easier that way, then. And then once you have a proof of concept, then the world starts getting our own in that community, this person is that's telling that person, this person is nothing and be true to your word. Be true to your word, when you say gonna do something, always try to do it. And if you are able to do it, just be upfront about it, and just keep going, you're gonna start getting the traction, it usually doesn't come immediately, but it comes over.


Brian Briscoe 25:52

You know, I feel a lot of the things that Leslie said, I mean, a lot of it has to do with with your mindset. And I wrote a post, you know, last week about the exact thing thing that Leslie said, you know, there's a difference between asking people for money, and providing an opportunity for other people to invest. And if you've got the mindset that you're asking for money, you're not going to get a lot. If you've got the mindset that you've got the best deal in the world, and you want to share that with others, people are going to open up their checkbooks and start writing checks. And, you know, similar to what Leslie said, You know, I started making regular posts on social media. And a lot of people that, you know, I've known for 810 12 years that I may not have seen in the last couple of years, have crawled out of the Woodworks and said, Hey, I want to know more about what you're doing. So a lot of its consistency. And a lot of its you know, like like Leslie said, it's, you are giving other people a great opportunity to invest a great opportunity to diversify, and a great opportunity to start building passive income, and that that really resonates with people.


Leslie Awasom 26:57

It translates into everything, just listen to everything you do the way you the intention that you're going about it right. If you say no, I'm going to go ask the 100 people for money and see what they're going to give it though, even the way you communicate, is going to be different from when you say I'm giving this people value, I'm giving them an opportunity.


Brad Smith 27:16

You know, you mentioned people at work know you as the real estate guy. Did that come after your first deal? And how did you do that? Where you became the real estate guy, cuz I think there's good value in that, right? Where people know you as the real estate guy. And that's, that's huge, but you already have that reputation going on. And I think that's part of your brand that would go with it, too. So I'm just curious what you've done to get the word out to your co workers at work.


Leslie Awasom 27:38

So one of the things we did was that started to go we started going on podcasts, right? That gives you a ton of credibility when you have podcast and you share it on your social media platforms. And then people read and say, Oh, I heard you doing this stuff. What is this? Then one person comes and asks you a question. And then you talk the question. And now when you talk when you were talking about I'm talking about multifamily. Anybody around me knows I'm passionate about it, because I'm usually a very quiet person at work. And then when you ask me about real estate, then that passion comes out, then you have more people coming in to listen and hear about what you're saying, you know, so they see that energy coming in. But we started off going on podcast, putting those podcasts on social media, then people started asking questions, they will talk to them about it, we have the meetup that we do that our platform is very important. Right? It gives you that invited more a lot more people to our middle meetups, we more we more about giving value educating people aren't even trying to sell something we're trying to push people in one direction or the other. And those people usually turn around and even come gravitate towards you by you doing that. Just like what Brian is doing with the podcast and other platforms.


Brian Briscoe 28:50

Yeah, podcast, LinkedIn, you know, people see that something else is I mean, when you show up to work on Monday morning, it's a very common question. How is your weekend? Just throw something real estate in there? You know, hey, well, my weekend, I looked at a couple of properties, you know, or if you take a couple of days off of work, that's what I did. I every in the last three years, almost every day I've taken off of work has had something to do with real estate. I was either driving down to South Carolina to look at properties or, you know, underwriting properties. So so when I come back after three or four days out of the office, and people say hey, how was your time off? The answer was, hey, it was awesome. I looked at 104 unit property in St. Andrews, Columbia. I looked at a 72 unit in Greer, South Carolina. And you know, I looked at a place in Spartanburg I looked at a place in Greenville, I talked to the brokers and your your excitement gets through and where it gets around everybody in my office, you know, which I don't work at anymore knew me as the real estate guy. And I had several people at the office buy me lunch just to talk about real estate, you know, it's like, hey, I want to take you out to lunch. We can talk real estate and you know, slowly you get the reputation of being The real estate guy,


Leslie Awasom 30:01

and he's gonna come with you stay consistent. Don't be discouraged if you're not getting the results that you want right now, right? It's gonna come and it's gonna feel like it's happening exponentially because all of a sudden, like everybody's gravitating towards Brad, oh, I hit Brad is doing this, then you start getting all that interest. So just stay consistent with it. And it will come. No doubt about it.


Brian Briscoe 30:23

consistency. That's that's the name of the game being consistent over long term. Right, thank


Brad Smith 30:29

you. Another quick question with with your experience now and where you're currently at Leslie, are you raising money via 506 pd or 506? c, and then I guess why or why not.


Leslie Awasom 30:41

So both of our last day was five or six C, but probably next, there's probably gonna be five or six. And one of the reasons why we did five or 16 is because we wanted to take advantage of that marketing aspects such that we could get the brand or brand out there to more people, even some of the people that that are not investing. So we have that authority to market the deal as much as possible to reach out, because we want to reach out to more people and let them know that this opportunity is out there. And the reason why we felt comfortable working five or six years was because most of our investor base accredited investors because of the Avatar that we target. But we do have members of our community, like we had a lot of people that reached out to us that cannot invest on our last two because it was 560. And we looking forward to do a five or six, B do next acquisition so that we could bring some of these people on board too, as well. And give them an opportunity to grow their work.


Brian Briscoe 31:41

Yeah, yeah, we do 506 B's exclusively, we haven't jumped into C's yet. And I mean, if you look at our investor profile, you know, two thirds of the people who invested with us are accredited, but we for the time being or stick with five or six B's, because there's a lot of people that, you know, we want to help darn accredited yet. No, and that's, that's part of our avatar. And that's part of just like, just like Leslie said, I mean, they're going back to a 506 B, because a lot of people that wanted to invest couldn't, you know, and now they're, they're opening it back up. So there's pros and cons to both, I mean, you have to keep the 506 b quiet, you know, so to speak versus bio succeed, but you know, you can you can allow more people to invest?


Leslie Awasom 32:27

Absolutely, he could help more people with a five or six B, for sure. It's not a bad idea. As long as you've been doing the pre work before the deal comes, then it shouldn't be a problem with you raising the money for it.


Brad Smith 32:40

So as you know, we we threw in our first Li but we're working on finding that first deal. And obviously, for us, we feel it's really important to team up with somebody that's experienced when we get into our first building, just because, you know, you'll learn a lot about in these programs, how to how to underwrite how to purchase and how to get to the point of closing, but then after that, you know, you really don't know how to operate a building, right? So we're focusing on trying to find that key partner, and we did with this last time I went Matt Bronner, Brian, who you interviewed not long ago, and we feel really strong with him. And luckily, we somehow convinced him to partner with us. But so that kind of is my question is, when you come up with a joint venture with somebody, because you listen, you're taking down a larger deal, as a newer investor? What would you look for out of them to bring to the deal in that


Leslie Awasom 33:26

partnership? That's a good question. Um, so it would depends on what your needs are. Right? You got to identify what your strengths are, it doesn't matter if you knew, but you got to identify what your strong when it comes to businesses, or what your strong strong suit what your weak and then you find somebody that is going to fill out those areas that you're weak and that cannot be copied by that cannot be covered, or the members of a team, like your property manager, etc, etc. So when you identify that, then you can bring somebody on board to come in, because they will not make any sense for you to bring an experienced operator that is strong in the same areas that you're stronger and that is weakened. So you wonder, you wonder is something meant that he was actually weak at and then obviously, you want to find somebody that your values align, you know, and you guys are looking at this the same way for some people buying apartment complexes is just to go there and to squeeze as much money out of the tenants as much as possible and then exit out. Some people may have that kind of a slumlord mentality. Others don't. You know, so you got to figure out exactly what your vision is, what your ideas are, you know, I know like Brian and the falls guys do an amazing job with some of the properties that are going live and uplifting. Some of the properties not necessarily for the income days, you know, that is the, that is a great mindset. You know, that's the kind of mindset we have to so if you have that kind of mindset, then you want to align yourself with somebody like Brian, if you on the other hand is somebody that doesn't think that all this property. Yeah, I'm not going to renovate anything. Unless it brings me money, then that might not be the right mindset that you work in. You guys might butt heads when you start wanting to ask.


Brian Briscoe 35:09

Yeah, you know, oh, I mean, I don't have much to add, I think Leslie's answer was was great. But the one thing that I would focus on is where you want to get, you know, so we had to partner with somebody on our first two properties to be able to get the loans. I mean, that's just how the world works right now in multifamily is you have to have somebody with experience on that loan. And, you know, we wanted to, to operate, we wanted to gain the experience of operating, we wanted to be able to, you know, build our name and our brand. And so what we were looking for was somebody who could serve as a strategic advisor, more than anything else, you know, there, there's four of us. I mean, there was four of us that founded frog's capital, we got five partners now, but there's four of us that founded it, and our abilities and our personalities and our skill sets covered down on everything we needed, we just didn't have the experience. So, you know, what we were looking for more than anything else was somebody who could be that strategic advisor or somebody that could, you know, hop on the phone with us once a month, and fill in the gap, the little gaps that we had. So you know, some people are looking for somebody to play a more active role, we were looking for more of a strategic advisor. So you look at your goal, look at where you're where you want to get. And I mean, less. Leslie already said that, but just had to throw my two cents in. But great answer, Leslie. Great question, Brad, too. So. And looking at time, we've got plenty of time for another question. What do you got bread?


Brad Smith 36:38

Okay, let's say it was an on market deal. You saw it, but you passed on it. And I brought it to you what, what value would I bring to you by doing that during the due diligence in the period? Like, I'm saying that wrong, I guess but I'm trying to figure out if what I can bring to you, why would I be able to why would you partner with me, if I was bringing you that deal on something that you may have already seen? Well,


Leslie Awasom 36:58

you being there as another person is another head that to do the work to do some of the work away and me come as a an experienced person coming in and being a Kp on there, they get a they get a piece of the deal as well, you know, and they get to benefit from the piece of the deal and get to benefit from the work that you're working. And you know, more on the multifamily space is a team sport from my mentality is you never know, the person that you're helping today as a newbie is probably going to be the person that you're partnering with tomorrow to take over 500 unit property. So it's all about building these relationships, right? Sometimes people will do you bring a tremendous amount of value by going and finding the deal on the writing, making sure everything works, then doing all that work in the in the first place and presenting it to somebody else. And if that didn't make sense for them and their vision as well, then they're going to join you on board. If it doesn't, then there's this step aside for somebody else. So you are bringing a tremendous amount of value by doing by presenting a deal to somebody else? For sure.


Brian Briscoe 37:59

Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree. And part of your question that you asked is, if it's something we've seen before, I would say it depends on why we passed on it, you know, we have a certain we want, we want to get, you know, a certain unit count, if we're looking at the 100 plus properties and you bring a deal to us, it's a 40, it's still a good deal, you may not meet our criteria, but your criteria is going to be different than ours. And when we're partnering with somebody else, you know, if we come in as a key principle, our our criteria is going to be a little lower, because we're not, we're not putting it out to our investor base. Right. So my criteria and four criteria for partnering is we got to like the deal. And we got to like the team, okay. And that's really what it is, if we liked the deal, and we liked the team, we will partner will come in as KPS, and that that also means signing on the loan and putting our reputation on the line. You know, that's why we have to, you know, we're gonna bet the team, we're gonna vet the partner and like, like Leslie said, you know, in order for it to work, you know, we are going to get a percentage ownership in that asset. So, there is a benefit for us. You know, as long as we'd like I said, we liked the deal. We like the team, there is a financial benefit for us to come in and do that. So your end of the day, you know, like the deal like the team, and you know, if those things align, we'd be happy to partner with people. And the benefit you bring, like I've said, like Leslie said, is we get a piece of the pie.


Brad Smith 39:25

So I, I gotta start being more likeable. That's my problem. I know, that's, that's exactly what I wanted to hear. Because I think I needed to hear something like that, and why why you guys would even consider working with somebody who doesn't have that experience. And that was important. So thank you.


Brian Briscoe 39:39

Yeah, so and everybody had to do it. I mean, that's that's just the nature of the game. We had to Yeah, I was in the same coaching program. You were I mean, three years ago, I started the safe coaching program you're in and it was one of the coaches in that coaching program that came in as Kp on our deal. So it's a circle is how it works. You know, like, you know, the Lion King, circle of life. You know, at one point you're you're the student and then you end up being, you know, the teacher at some point. So, anyway, well, we're about out of time. So I'm going to ask one last question for each of you, Leslie, you get to go first, what's the best way our listeners can learn more about you?


Leslie Awasom 40:18

All right, the best way is to reach out, visit our website, which is www dot x as in xylophone, ss and Sam, as it does x s i t capital, come visit our website. And you can reach out to me via email as well or drop a note on our web.


Brian Briscoe 40:40

Alright, and I'll put the that information in the show notes excite capital and email address. So if you're interested in in reaching out to Leslie just hit the show notes, you know, tap and go. Brad, same question for you. how can listeners learn more about you? Yeah, we've


Brad Smith 40:55

got pretty good website built so far, I think where we got some good content on there. And you know, we talked about 401 K's on here, we actually have some of the pitfalls of a 401k on our website, too. So if people are interested, head over to lift bridge cap. com. You can also find me on LinkedIn over there. And then you can always email me at Brad at lift bridge cap, calm.


Brian Briscoe 41:15

All right. And we'll put that information in the show notes as well. So you know, anybody listening, I encourage you to reach out to these guys. You know, it's always, always good to hear somebody who's heard you on the podcast and wants to learn more. So thanks so much, the two of you for coming on the show today. I appreciate your time. Thanks for having me, Brad. And Brad. Thanks. Yeah, thanks, Leslie. Nice meeting you too. 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 favorite podcast app. And we'll see you again next week.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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