Episode 135 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Liz Faircloth and Paula Nichols, hosted by Brian Briscoe. Transcript by Otter.ai – please forgive any errors.
Brian Briscoe 0:00
Paula, we got Liz on the line here. What do you want to ask her?
Paula Nichols 0:02
What are like three key lessons that kind of changed your whole perspective on sales skills?
Liz Faircloth 0:07
You know, I think selling it to me is service. I wouldn't sell something to someone that they didn't need it. And I never did that. capital raising i think is the biggest thing, the biggest hang up people have to grow it and investor base My opinion is that you need to make their goals probably bigger than your own. Because if you're going to serve them and give them what they need and want by building their wealth, you're going to bring you're going to build your own wealth. Now I'm not saying you get in a situation where you're giving them what they need and you like lose on every deal, but there are times that you have to forego something to give them what they needed before you got what you needed.
Brian Briscoe 0:49
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 episode number 135. And part of our Ask the Expert series. Today we have experienced investor Liz Faircloth and aspiring investor Paula Nichols. Keep listening to learn how to use your sales skills to raise capital for your real estate investments. And now the show. Welcome to the Diary of an Apartment Investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe with Four Oaks Capital very excited for today's show. We have two amazing women on the line with us today. We've got Liz Faircloth and Paula Nichols. So first we're going to talk about Liz and Liz is absolutely amazing. And first thing I want to talk to you about Liz is the real estate InvestHer community. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Liz Faircloth 1:50
Yeah. So so nice to be here, Brian on your podcast and everything. So thanks for having me. And Paul, nice to connect with you too. So yeah, my my partner and friend at the time on just about three years ago, we were kind of partnering on on a lot of different projects and deals together. We were doing some flips in new construction in Philadelphia, and long story short, would get together over coffee and be like, wouldn't it be great to get more women together and supporting each other in this business because you go to a lot of these events and you feel like you're the only woman in the room often so. So he's googled it googled it like as, as most of us do, and we couldn't really find much. So he said, you know, we have nothing else going on. We had, you know, young shot being kind of funny. But we were like really passionate about empowering women and creating like a circle of women in lots of circles of women to support each other. So we started the podcast, which led to like an online Facebook community, a free community where women can get and give support, which then led to women saying, Hey, you know, let's do let's, you know, let's maybe do some meetups. So I'm Justin, I launched a Philadelphia meetup about two years ago, where women would come and again, you know, similar to some meetups, but more so like a safe space for women to get the support they need. And you know, that thing grew to 45 meetups we have around the country and three in Canada. And our goal is to have a meet up in every single geographical area of our globe, the big goal, but we're you know, really focused on it. So women have a local community, and have a global community that they can kind of pour into, but also get the support they need. And that's what our mission is, is to empower women to live a financially free and balanced life where we're doing memberships and you know, a lot of non paid things, a lot of free things. And then as women have asked for things, we're putting things together to give them what they need in our summits coming up, which is really exciting as well on June 12. So I love it. I feel like all my skills and all my passions have come together. And I literally I'm just I literally love what we do with building this community. So
Brian Briscoe 3:38
I can tell you're absolutely passionate about it. And I think that's something this community needs. I mean, it's has been historically a male dominated industry. And you know, there's just lots of women that want to get in need to get in. And I think for a lot of people, it's almost like the doors closed for women so very much appreciate what you're doing. I do notice you have on the wall behind you the Ashley Wilson's book, only one in the room. I actually bought that and sent it to my daughter. So she's 21 years old. And she'll she'll be reading into Incidentally, she's the podcast editor at AOL. So she'll, she'll hear this. And she's she's the biggest fan. She listens to every single episode. Oh, great in more detail than anybody else. Of course, she's editing. But anyway, appreciate that. And tell us a little bit more about this meetup. June 12. You said, How can people learn more about that? And where can they Yeah, exactly.
Liz Faircloth 4:30
So we started, you know, as women have said, what are we doing an investor summit? When are we doing an investor conference? Let's all get together because there's a close to 7000 women in our Facebook community now, which you know, there's a lot of women who want to like or who are helping each other, right, they want to connect. So we launched our first summit last year during obviously during COVID and the craziness we did it virtually, last June. And then we said let's let's do it virtually again, but we're really building out more of an experience. So it's June 12. It's gonna we're gonna have a pre event we're gonna do like a mastermind session. We're even putting women in accountability groups. So from a networking perspective and an accountability perspective, they're actually going to get teamed up with a nice small knit group with contact information. So after the conference, right, Brian, you know, you go to these things, you learn some great information, and then you do nothing with it. And we really wanted to avoid that this year. There's gonna be some amazing speakers. We have Lisa Nichols on to she's gonna be speaking, she was a star in the secret. So she's our keynote. We're really excited about that. But yeah, it's pretty much to our website, the real estate investor, comm slash level up. And that's our theme. So yeah, pretty, pretty excited that we're just all of our energy in our time, and our are definitely pouring ourselves into that prep, because of the amount of money.
Brian Briscoe 5:40
Yeah, I think it's gonna be an awesome event. Um, everything you've done, I've talked to a lot of people on this, this particular media who have or this particular podcast, who have talked about your meetups, and even offline, you know, when you talk to him, they're like, Hey, I really got started to the investor meetup in Los Angeles, or Seattle, or whatever. So great program you have. And for anybody listening, the link that she just mentioned, is going to be in the show notes. So just go to the show notes, tap it, and you'll get all the information you want. So that said, let's let's talk more about you specifically, Liz, what's can you tell us about your background, your history and kind of what got you into apartment investing?
Liz Faircloth 6:18
Sure. Yeah. I wish it just like, you know, we woke up one day and like, I want to, we want to buy apartments, right? It just doesn't happen that way. But anyway, you know, long story short, my I was actually getting my master's degree in social work, actually wanted to open my own practice, and be a counselor. And I think I still am a counselor, I just don't have a great designation, right. Yeah, that's, I just love helping people and talking with people. But anyway, during that time, I was in my 20s, went straight on from college, and my brother in law, who was the only entrepreneur I ever met, had, you know, my dad was a school teacher, my mom was amazing. But she worked in insurance, I had no kind of exposure to investors, or entrepreneurs or people in business, quite honestly. And he handed me Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and said, Yeah, you gotta read this. And I liked personal growth books. And I said, you know, I'm like, 2120, and I might read this bucket, oh, I rather going out my friends. He's like, no, read this. So I read it. And that just kind of blew my mind. Things that I've never even thought about or even more familiar with, or even heard of, you know, the idea of passive income, right, like money, money working for you like, Whoa, what a concept that planted the seed, I did finish my degree that actually created a, an opportunity or possibility for me to actually get a sales job after after grad school. So I never went into social work. I worked for a consulting firm, doing like, basically team buildings and consulting in that way. But I wanted to learn how to sell because I was one of the things that Kiyosaki says, straight out of his book,
Brian Briscoe 7:44
Liz Faircloth 7:45
and I'm like, No, gotta learn how to sell. I love helping people. Like I could do that with my eyes closed, but selling. I don't know the first thing. So it was a really neat way to like trajectory, right at the same time I met my husband, boyfriend at the time, gave him the book, I got him into real estate investing, by the way, not not the other way around. And, you know, we started learning together. So every weekend we'd get together, we go to like Ria meetings and learn and learn and learn. year later, my father loaned us money loaned us a $30,000 to buy our first property, which is a duplex right outside of Philadelphia little row home, a little town called roxboro. And we just door knocked, we like bootstrapped every weekend, we literally just walk around and knock on doors and see if people want to sell their houses to us. I literally, that's what we did on our weekends. But I kind of think about that. I'm like, God, we really worked hard just to find that first deal.
Brian Briscoe 8:34
I was thinking that sounds very romantic for a portion.
Liz Faircloth 8:36
I know, right? I mean, most people in their 20s were going like drinking and partying and him and I would get together and write business plans and talk about you know, all that kind of funny stuff, you know, but it was important to us. So long story short, that got us into multifamily that got us into investing, he quit his job and we got married. In 2005. I kept doing the work that I was doing for the next eight years. And we start building up our portfolio from there, I'd like to say was like, you know, one property and the next property and then we were financially free and yeah, like that's just that wasn't our path. We've been doing this for some time and we had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of mistakes we made but then once we really focused on multifamily things really start to grow from there and then we were able to scale in a much more effective way than we did probably in the first number of years of our of our business self. Yeah, yeah. And that's our focus now.
Brian Briscoe 9:25
I think I think a lot of people have the idea that you go in you buy one or two properties and you're financially free and honestly, I have not talked to a single person who's done it that way. You know, so it's one of those things where you know, I think this is gonna be Episode 135 so you know, 34 prior to this, zero people have gone well yeah, I bought a property and now I'm financially free doesn't work ups and downs for everybody. But so let's let's talk a little bit this is this is one of my favorite questions. And if if anybody's listening to podcasts a lot I have a lot of favorite things, you know, everything is my favorite but what is your big burning Why your motivation for for what you do?
Liz Faircloth 10:03
Yeah, this really stems back to like, literally 15 years ago, in talking with with my now husband and you know, him and I would get together and be like, you know, what do we want to do with our lives? Like, he is really tough. You know, we were very deep, both of us, you know, it's nice to meet someone like that, because, you know, you meet people are like, oh, what's the weather? And I'm like, What is your What is your, like, greatest goal, and you're like, She's like, Whoa, this is intense, you know, like, slow down yet slow down. But anyway, I think it's probably similar to him. But I've always been someone who I wanted to do a lot, I wanted to give a lot. Um, I wanted to contribute a lot. I didn't know what that meant. At the time. I didn't know what that looked like at the time. But that was a, that's a big, burning, why, for me, money is money, right? We need money to sustain ourselves. I love bill, the idea of building something generational, that my kids can benefit from, but then there's, you know, there's other things that you start to think about, right? You start to think about, do you really want your kids to be given things? Okay, you know, and you want them to work hard, just like, I was talking my husband the other day, and he's like, you know, if we were given so much, would we have worked as hard as we did? I don't know, I'd say probably not, right. So. So anyway, the idea of building wealth, it for our families is a really important thing. But I'm surely not going to give it all to my kids, they're gonna work really hard, and they're not going to know about it. Quite honestly, there's a whole, you know, we're putting our heads together around that, that kids are young. I don't have to worry about it right now. But I'd have to think about it. But um, I think the why of the contribution, and really helping a lot of people. And my husband, I wanted to do that 15 years ago, I literally remember talking to him about it. We both have had this like inner pole of just wanting to be of service to people. I didn't know what that meant, or how but, you know, that was always an important part of my life. Yeah, and that's a big why for me,
Brian Briscoe 11:53
yeah, I know, I know, the real estate investor, you know, community that you've built is doing that. Absolutely. So, you know, kudos to you for that and for your generous heart. I mean, I think that's important. I think giving back is, you know, probably one of the most what's the word I'm looking for praiseworthy things that that someone can do so well, let's shift gears one more time. And there's a lot a lot of shifting gears in this podcast. We'll we'll find that out. I guess that's that's one of my favorite phrases too. But let's talk about one of the the apartment deals that you've done. Can you give us an idea of how things panned out and in why it's your favorite?
Liz Faircloth 12:33
Yeah, I think about like the path right because there's certain certain deals that kind of like bring you to the next level or it's like the trajectory shifts for you you know, and we had started raising money we had done small Maltese we had done a 10 unit and then we did an 18 unit and then from an IT everything was within a half hour of our radius so the first eight years of our investing we did not invest out of state or out of state it was in Philadelphia but it was within 30 minutes of our
Brian Briscoe 13:03
your your southern New Jersey right?
Liz Faircloth 13:04
We were in like central jersey Yeah. Yep, we're in the Trenton area. So we did all of our investing in central jersey and and like I said, Philadelphia, and we were presented an opportunity about an hour and a half from our from our house, which kind of you know, blew your mind. You're like, how's my how's my leasing person gonna get there and how's my bookkeeper gonna do this? And you know, we were such in our own little mind that we're like, how are we going to do this, you know, it's an hour and a half drive. And you know, so we started to source it and figure it out. And we went up there it was a 49 unit ran out of Lancaster pa great area about five years ago. And that kind of like shifted our whole business model going from really the idea of you know, small Maltese to larger multi and also going outside your comfort zone really, you know, and having to work potentially with a third party management company which would have been the first time we managed everything ourselves our team so we said okay, we're open to the possibility we're not sure exactly how we're going to make this work but let's let's let's explore it so you know, the long and short of it the we made it offer we did our numbers and I always like to say you know, you got to know your numbers you got to make your offer you got to stand by your offer especially in this market.
Brian Briscoe 14:17
Yeah. Now especially
Liz Faircloth 14:19
Oh my god, people are paying crazy amount of money for properties and I think that's unfortunate. And it's not going to be helpful in a few years when they start to be like what was the thinking behind that? You got to know your numbers you got to stand by your numbers and you got to be willing to walk away and we loved this property This is converted factory like like really neat last style apartments like totally the next level for us this wasn't the wasn't the type of apartments we were investing in at the time. So we were excited about it we really liked it we love the areas we explored right by at train station maybe then check them every box right? You know, think about Brian, like, you know, every box Yeah, so long story short. We We made an offer or it was the Ask Was 3.8 million we offered 3.3 owner laughed at us said I, there's no way we have all these people interested. We're like, Okay, I'm locked away. And we knew the broker because he had sold us the 18 units, we had a relationship with him. Six months later, he calls us he goes, you know, that building that you guys made an offer on? Yeah, the owners. Even still, he doesn't make a deal happen because the other the other offer that he got fell through, buyers couldn't get to the, you know, the buyers couldn't get to the closing table. If he doesn't do something within the next six weeks, he's gonna lose the building. Well, he's motivated, you know, he's very honest with us. And he was fine to be honest with us. He says something's gonna something has to change here. He's got to get this thing to closing. So yeah, he's more open to talking to you about your offer. So you know, long story short, we ended up settling, I think, at 333 fingers right there. And it was such an interesting story. Because when we went to closing, and because of what we offered what we were buying it for, and what it actually appraised for was so different. We had to actually sign a letter, the bank had to sign a letter saying there was not a relationship between us. And the the owner. That was the first time we ever had an either sign. So really interesting. We're like, wow, that's that's actually something where, yeah, maybe we'll make a handshake deal. And it's so off. Right? The bank is like, this doesn't seem right.
Brian Briscoe 16:23
It's a tax is a tax evasion is probably the right thing they're looking at. Yeah, sure. They're not part and parcel to it.
Liz Faircloth 16:29
Yeah, tax evasion, though. So we're gonna sign off that we weren't related to the owner. And that that was interesting. And but yeah, the praise for a lot more than than we bought it for, we had finally had someone who was motivated, it was a very fair price for what we saw as the numbers, quite honestly, it wasn't like this lowball is actually very fair. And now it's five years ago. And it's probably one of my favorite assets in the portfolio. And where we have actually it's on we had, it came with land. So we're building on that land as well. So we're we've teamed up with a construction team, and we'll be adding units. So just a, I can't say that for all of our deals, quite honestly, it's one of those projects that I see the case study and not being willing to walk, being knowing your numbers, being willing to walk away, standing firm to your numbers, and then being able to really get into a market and stretch yourself. So we hired a third party company, they're managing it for us. And then that opened the door to all the properties we ended up buying after that in the southeast, working with third party companies, and so we don't self manage anymore. So that kind of shifted our trajectory. I can't say it's been, you know, there's just an it challenges when you're not managing it anymore yourself. Right? Because we're used to we were used to that, but I'm appreciative of that project, being that kind of like a little bit like that pivot for us, if you will. Nice.
Brian Briscoe 17:42
Yeah. And that's good on a lot of different levels. I mean, I love how you you pick that example. Because it, it changed your trajectory. You know, and I think a lot of people have that that one moment where, you know, hey, this is my favorite deal, because it opened my mind to the possibilities. And the third party management now opens so many more doors, you know, it's just like, okay, now I can knock and invest outside of, and quite frankly, 90 minutes away, you know, for most department,
Liz Faircloth 18:10
hindsight, it wasn't very far. By the time it felt like it was on the other part of the country. It really did. It felt like we were going into like another country. And obviously, that's not the case, you know, so
Brian Briscoe 18:20
yeah. And I think that a lot of people have the same little mental blocks. It's like, well, I've always invested in my little, my little circle, you know, what happens if I go outside? Oh, you know, so. But yeah, great, great example. Thanks a lot for that one. Now, one question for you before bring Paul on. And one more question for you What's next for you,
Liz Faircloth 18:39
you have to keep asking that you're for yourself, like, and I'm not a fan of someone who just says, Oh, I want more units, or I want this or that without knowing why, you know, and really the purpose of it. Because as you grow, you know, a business, more people need to talk to you, right? There's more things to do, right? So there's always pluses and minuses to growing anything and being mindful of like smart growth and lifestyle growth. Right. So, you know, for me and my husband, we're actually using that he's in the throes of building out a fund. That's gonna be a little more diversified. You know, and just, you know, that was a big thing we learned, you know, with COVID. I mean, our multifamily, like the property that I just spoke of, and some of our properties literally never had a better year than COVID. And so I mean, multifamily, I think is a very stable asset class, if you will. But it also showed us like how important it is to have some more diversification. So you know, this fund is going to be a little more diversified, like lending out money for hard money to people and operators we respect so I'm excited about that, because we're not gonna just invest in our own deals, which has always been the case we're going to like really be a little more diversified in terms of working with other operators. My husband, I've operated everything like literally bootstrapped, operated everything. So as we move into this phase of, Okay, what do we want to be doing with our time and energy? It's also about I don't want to be operating everything. So even being more passive, working with other people and passively investing I've, you know, we've always been the active people looking for the passive investment investors. So we're actually getting into the space of partnering with people who were we're not doing all the doing, but actually, you know, which is new for us, quite honestly, we like for a long long time are doing all the doing. So I'm excited about that and, and what have you and, and invest her I I'm just I love, it's a passion, it is a business, but it started as a passion that is still a passion of mine. So I don't know where that's going to lead. I just want to help a lot of women. And you know, and that's if I do that, and I hear women are like buying properties and taking care of their families and happy then I'm going to be very, very happy my students. Oh,
Brian Briscoe 20:40
yeah, I love and what you said about you going from active to passive, you know, I think that's personally my goal, you know, right, right now we're active, we're deal sponsoring your, you know, we got something under contract right now and trying to syndicate it and look for passive investors. But, you know, eventually I want to make that same switch, eventually, I want to be 100% passive. I'm also at the point right now, where I'm starting to look at other people's investments for passive investing, which is neat. It's fun, you know, and yes, it's gonna be a lot easier than bootstrapping, you know. Yeah. But great. So here we are. Now we're at the point where, you know, we're going to bring Paula on. And Paul has been patiently waiting. So Paul Nichols, welcome to the show today.
Paula Nichols 21:22
Thank you, Brian. Thank you for having me.
Brian Briscoe 21:24
Yeah, not a problem. And incidentally, BIOS for both these amazing women will be in the show notes. If you want to check out the BIOS there. They're down there. But Paul, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, give us an idea of what your background in history is. And kind of lead us up to the point to where you decided I want to be an apartment investor.
Paula Nichols 21:43
Yeah, similar to Liz was started with bootstrapping, my husband was an aerospace engineer for a battle. And I was a management consultant with a finance background. And we read Rich Dad Poor that. And that changed your whole perspective on real estate. So we started investing in single family, Dan did some short term rentals, which we currently still have. And kind of what you were saying like as you start seeing, and your mind is being open to different asset classes and investing opportunities, we realized that multifamily was kind of like something that we really wanted to explore and focus on. And so last year was when we started our multifamily journey. And through the Michael Blanc program started investing passively first, and now we have her first deal under contract.
Brian Briscoe 22:28
Exciting. Yeah, amazing. Now, if I remember, right, Oklahoma, right. Yes. Okay. Great. Great. Yeah. And incidentally, for everyone else, her husband, Jonathan was on the podcast a couple of weeks ago. And you can just scroll back and listen to that one, too, if you wanna get the full story for the nickels fan. So yeah, congratulations on having that under contract, you know, that that's a huge first step. You know, I was also a Michael Blanc, you know, coaching student a couple years back, and you know, great program, great way to get started. So congratulations to you guys. Now, I'm asked the same question. I asked Liz, you know, what's your big burning? Why?
Paula Nichols 23:06
Yeah, I would love to provide like a quick history of my burning why I am Colombian. And so my family moved with political political asylum to the US in 2006. And my parents invested in the stock market, without knowing how to work through all of that. And in 2008, it crashed and so all of their life savings were in the stock market. Same thing, they also bought a house with that arm. And so that did not go well. And so I just saw with my eyes, just why being uneducated and maybe just unaware, could do to your finances. And so I really wanted to create a way that I'm able to use my finance background and provide tools and opportunities for people to passively invest grow their wealth, and in that way, have the time and resources to leave their calling, right because sometimes, we're not able to leave our calling if we don't have the resources on time to do so. So that's kind of our burning why and why Jonathan and I decided to co found Apogee capital, which is the multifamily syndication business we have Nice,
Brian Briscoe 24:11
nice. Now Incidentally, we're in Colombia where you guys living
Paula Nichols 24:17
we were living in Neva, it's a capital of a state around four hours from Bogota. Now many people know about it. But yeah,
Brian Briscoe 24:24
you know, I I've spent a couple of weeks in Bogota and a week in carta haina. So, you know, my my day job that I'm retiring from, you know, I'm a foreign area officers what it's called. So, you know, I get to go to places like Bogota and Cartagena, pre COVID it was at least once a year, but using it and knowing a little history, understand why your family, you know, wanted to come here in 2006 timeframe, because it wasn't there was a lot of things there that just weren't safe. So
Paula Nichols 24:49
they work for the government as well. So it just didn't make sense for them.
Brian Briscoe 24:53
Yeah, yeah, a lot of lot of bad stuff happening back then. But you guys made it here. And I imagine that was not easy. By itself, but I got a lot of respect for, you know, immigrants who come here and you know, start a new life and learn new language and new culture and everything. So you know, hats off to you for and your parents for what you guys have done. So you
Paula Nichols 25:15
are very thankful for leaving us.
Brian Briscoe 25:18
Alright, so here is my other favorite part of the show. It's where I get to say, hey, Paula, we got Liz on the line here. What do you want to ask her?
Paula Nichols 25:27
Yeah, well, let's thanks again for your time. And I'd loved hearing about just your experience. You mentioned SEL skills, and they don't teach those in business school. And so I'm curious to hear I'm bringing you to the sales rodez role as well, as I'm focusing on my capital raising for a business, what are like three key lessons that kind of changed your whole perspective, our sales skills, and maybe anything that any bugs or anything that you read or learn from, that really help you.
Liz Faircloth 25:59
So I taught a lot of workshops, in my with my corporate role, we worked with a personality assessment, number one, that did teach the managers to help them figure out their management skills and what you know, their hang ups are their strengths, their gaps. The other course that I taught a lot was is a course called customer focus selling. So I want to share some of those things that I learned, as I taught that, and that I use, quite honestly, you know, in my own approach, because yeah, certainly raising money, working with brokers working with banks, working with, you know, candidates, right, it's all, you know, I think selling it to me is service. Number one, I wouldn't sell something to someone that they didn't need it. And I never did that. Because that's, to me, that's not even sales, right? It's like literally someone giving, you know, selling something that they don't need is not my way of approaching anything. So just put that to the side. So I see sales is service. And I always have, and I really believe that it can help if I'm going to be talking with someone. So capital raising, I think is the biggest thing, the biggest hang up people have is number one, they talk about themselves and their own goals. And to really build out an investor base. I mean, we started with one investor, and we have over 200 investors. And to grow it an investor base, my opinion, is that you need to make their goals probably bigger than your own. Because if you're going to serve them and give them what they need, and want by building their wealth, you're going to bring you're going to build your own wealth. Now I'm not saying you get in a situation where you're giving them what they need, and you like lose on every deal with that would make any sense. Obviously, you're not building your wealth, you're not helping yourself, but there are times that you have to forego something, to give them what they needed before you got what you needed. And there's not everyone in this world would be able to do that. So so to me going back to sales, is it's not just sales, but it's a mindset and working with people and working with their money, you're managing their money, you know, your one share of religion, and people who do that, like, right, it's, it's like you're protecting their money. And I take that really seriously because we've had really bad things happen to us along the way, not just losing five grand here or a flipped in go way we thought I mean, like literally millions 1000s of dollars being stolen from us, and our investors and and really managing that process. So not that's what you asked here. For what I want to say though, is it's really important in sales is that you think of it is a service, and that you put their world and their goals ahead of yours. But but yours are there, you know, your annual project has to make sense. So you meet your goals, they meet theirs, and you really create that win win. So that off the bat is just philosophically something I would get, you know, thinking about because not every project is going to be perfect for that person. So in other words, people are trying to like, you know, capital raise, and they're like, I got this long term deal five to 10 years, and this person wants to retire in a year, I may not work for them, you know, or, or Everyone has different goals. So getting to know what they want and need, really getting to know what they want need by asking like I always say investigative questions I used to teach that like, not like, what, what are your goals, but like, tell me a little bit more about where you want to be in five years, I would ask every investor that question, you need to know that if you're going to be working with them and their money, you need to know what their goals are. Because the sooner you get them to their goals, the sooner you'll be able to get to your own goals. And that's just philosophically something that Matt and I have always believed it wasn't about making a short book, or we want these people to work with us ongoing. Like, it's like Brian does, like you do, right? You want these folks to be like part of your team. I think the other thing with customer focus, like really thinking about the customer or the person you're serving, the last thing would be building a long term relationship. You know, most people are just like, they go in and out. Oh, you know, have this project that like now it's not the right timing. I have my money tied up with Brian or whomever you know, that you know, and it's a small world in our syndication world, right. And there's a lot of good people out there. So it's nice to be able to refer each other and work with a lot of different syndicators. But anyway, you need to be able to Okay, great. How can I keep adding value to this person? Yeah. So creating like that thought leadership for yourself, whether it's a podcast, whether it's a YouTube channel, whether it's a daily post about something that you Your husband are doing. Think about your story. Your story is super inspiring. I mean, it's so inspiring. I would play into that, like, that's your story like, you know, and what does that look like? And what can you share with the world and like you have such a beautiful story. So my point saying that is I don't think most people when they think about influencing people, they think that getting really clear on your kind of like, like position, and you're like, what can you give to the world is going to attract more people, there are people who call us and say, Hey, I know you from this, or I've seen you this, I read your book, Matt, I want to invest with you. And that's like, Well, I'd love to know more about your goals. No, no, I'm ready to like, it's so it's like, wow, like, I still want to get to know you and your goals. But uh, wait, why I'm saying that is because people want to get to know you. They're vetting you out more than the deal deals important. But if people want to invest with people they trust and like and know, they're gonna protect their money. So I guess that's a long winded answer. But I think thinking you're not a salesperson, you're in service, you're trying to figure out a win, win, put their goals ahead of yours. Make sure you get your goals met, though don't do it at the detriment of your own. And lastly, is build a long term relationship by ongoingly creating value for people on some level. So if they're not ready, now, they're going to keep hearing about you versus just when you have a deal. Like, oh, that's it. So set. A couple that, you know, did you do? Did you do you know, so I'm not enough people do that. They just want stuff. And they want to close on things. And they don't think about the ongoing value. We're in this for the long term, he my husband, for the long term. We always happen. We're in this, this is a long game. This is a long game. And if you come from that place, you're creating value and you're being service. I don't think you could ever go wrong.
Brian Briscoe 31:38
I mean, great, great answer. I can't I can't improve on that. Be honest with you. Yeah,
Paula Nichols 31:44
thank you. That's awesome. super helpful. And taking notes. The second question I had was a little bit separate from, you know, capital racing, but mainly business focus is, I know, you started with bootstraps, right? Like bootstrapping and doing all the work. How did you sought and achieved healthy growth for your business? So how do you do the tournament, okay, now we're going to invest the money here, instead of saving it, or instead of us going door knocking? We're going to hire someone? And so how do you transition? And how do you evaluate that step?
Liz Faircloth 32:18
Great question. That's, that's a continual question, right? Because, you know, it's always something that you're you never have the money that you want to pay people, like, you know, it's like, it's like, when when people are like, Oh, I'm ready. I'm ready for kids now, like most people don't usually, like, you're never ready for it or not, you're not, you're just never going to be. So I would say the same thing for people who hire their first person, you're not going to think you're ready, you're not gonna think you're gonna have enough money. Now, I'm not saying go, you know, spend six figures for someone to come into your company. But I know our first fire I also couple things. Number one, we never paid ourselves early on, we were just kind of reinvesting or doing this or doing that like to be able to pay yourself and create that financial wherewithal is really important. And I wish we did that sooner. And I think that's a good financial step to take, even if it's doesn't matter the amount, but just to be able to pay yourself to know like, I'm, I'm part of this company, I'm not just the owner, that's really important. And I think that's something most people don't do. So, before you go and hire people, make sure you're on some level, you know, and again, work that into your numbers. And in that, you know, you have to kind of see that, you know, might starts small and you grow it. But more Most importantly, we did invest with other people. You know, in other people, we brought a bookkeeper on you years, probably five years in, I was doing all the bookkeeping, so me and my husband here we are like dividing and conquering. You're doing the bookkeeping, I know. You're You're a finance background, I would actually I would actually think that's a smart idea. Like, nothing I've said about my background or my values or my my way of being says, I'm like really good with men. I like numbers, but not that's not my Yeah,
Brian Briscoe 33:55
I mean, social work and sales. That doesn't translate to bookkeeping. So yeah. And
Liz Faircloth 33:59
that's what I was doing. I was literally doing all of our bookkeeping, and the mortgages would come up, because you know, your small business, I do something. That's how we divide and conquer wasn't, there was no rhyme or reason to why we divided our responsibilities not in a smart way. That at that point, and in this, it's like, you missed the mortgage this month on our four unit. I'm like, No, I did. He's like, what is even your process of paying these mortgages like, well, they come in and I put them in a pile over here. And I had no process I was just like, making up my own process and pretty organized overall I can be, but not when it comes to that. And so anyway, like I missed two mortgages over like six months. He's like, I'm firing you. This is hard. We had the money. It wasn't like we missed it because we didn't have the money. But anyway, I just had to step back and say, What are my strengths? What am I good at? And we hired someone and at the time, we were going to bring her on in a part time way it was going to cost us $250. And that was a really, really big deal. And I spent i mean i'm i'm a really cheap person. spending any money on anything getting my lawn mowed is a big deal for me because I'm, I could do it myself, you know, kind of person. So but you have to let go. And we hired her, and is one of the best things we did. And that just opened up this whole, like, wow, we really can bring on some good people to help us. And she was great for the time. And we brought her into a full time role and then brought in someone to help us manage our properties. And then we transition to the third party strategy. And so we had to, like dilute some of our, our team, but because of you know that the shifts, so I think the most important thing you could do is like think about Okay, what is the what does the business need now? And what is the business going to need? Not just now, but in the next, like, one year, you know, one year from now, you know, and I think about that, like in one year? What are we going to need? And okay, and how can you bring someone on in a way that works for your numbers and works for your comfort level. But by stretch you a little bit, I wish we built a team earlier than we did. But you know, my husband, I are also people who are just like from very hard working families, and you kind of do everything yourself. And I don't I don't think that way, even now with our investor community, and we're building our team, and I need to do a better job of like, Okay, what are the needs? You know, what, what, what, what do I need to not be doing anymore? You know? And how do I let that go? I mean, we we literally edited all of our podcasts up into 100. Episodes mean andressa did everything ourselves. So I've attracted people like that in my life. But we don't anymore, which is great. And we're learning and we're growing. And as we build people, you know, so my point in saying that is don't wait too long. Be smart about it. But certainly say what is like the lowest hanging fruit, you may not need someone who's going to be like what you need in two years. But what do you need? Now that's gonna help propel you to get to that next stage, like, what's the low hanging fruit? What are the tasks that really are not the highest and best use of either you or your husband? would be where I'd start? And then say, Okay, how can we creatively get there, I even gotten to the place of Bart, not borrowing, but paying someone and also coaching, so giving, like our time and resources, right? And paying them where they would have maybe been double. If I didn't, we didn't do that. So get creative. And in turns people who want to learn from you doesn't have to be this straight salary of this high paid person, you can get creative.
Brian Briscoe 37:16
Yeah, super helpful. Our first hire was along the same lines, you know, first thing we did is we outsource the podcast. And like I said, My daughter does that. And great, obviously, we pair. But after that, you know, it was the finances. You know, none of the four of us that started the company have a finance background. And that's where we were spending the most time and spinning our wheels the most. And we just realized we need somebody to do this right now. We pay her for 20 hours a week. And that's it. It was it was the one thing that we we couldn't do well ourselves, and was sucking up a lot of bandwidth. And that that made sense.
Liz Faircloth 37:52
Yep. A lot of good accountants actually have bookkeeping services. So we loved our accountant, and we loved what because it was like you notice that's right. And gold is having a good captain in real estate, right? Especially as you scale and grow. It's like that's incredibly important. He had a service that once we let go, we you know, our team wasn't going to be the best fit. And our bookkeeper, they took on those responsibilities. So that's like a one stop shop. And paying that bill was four times what I was paying, or three times what we were paying the bookkeeper. And at that time was like, how are we going to do this? And we figured it out. You figure it out.
Paula Nichols 38:26
I know, I tried to tell my husband like finance is not accounting, like I did take many accounting courses. But this is
not what I love.
We're definitely hiring a bookkeeper after this.
Brian Briscoe 38:36
All right, we got time for one more question. So Paula, back to you.
Paula Nichols 38:40
Yeah. So when it comes to the way that you're helping women, when did you start? When do you feel like you transition from building your business to influence women? Or have you did you start influencing women since the beginning? And how was that transition?
Liz Faircloth 38:56
Huh? So when I was in graduate school, getting my social work degree, I took a business course. And I just wanted to take a notch because after that book, I'm like, I gotta take a course. So I took this course. And they said, write a business plan. And the business plan I wrote 20 years ago, or more than 20 years ago, was really a women's organization. And it wasn't called invest her that would be really crazy, right? But it was it co that it was called, I don't remember what it's called. But it was basically supporting women with mental health, with mental health issues and helping them through because the business house and in the focus with social work. And I put that aside, I'd never did it and never, you know, jumped in it. But I've always had this and andressa has a similar different story, but similar poll when she was a lot younger of helping women. So that's always an even corporate life. I always loved working with my women clients and organization. So it was always something that was kind of pulled towards me in terms of my own values. And what I really enjoyed. I love working with men, they're great prior to revising, but I've always been pulled to to do that, you know, and helping women in particular. So when I met on dresser we became friends for many for a few years before we even partner together. We started women's mastermind, it was free, we just literally found some women in bigger pockets and said, Hey, do we want to like form a virtual, we use Skype, you know, before zoom, and met every every month. And that was six years ago, we did that. And that was great. It was a women focused mastermind long before invest her. So there's all these little seeds, right? It's all these little seeds of things that I was drawn to. And then working with Jessa. And working with her and her and I just bouncing off of each other. And we work well together. And we had different styles. Knowing the two of us were very different styles, it really complemented it. We said, let's let's do something together, I think we could do something this is really so it started as a passion, we did not even create a business until you're in, you know, and we're entrepreneurs too, right? So you can't, you can't like say, you know, money is bad, like money is great money is a resource, like in the sense of it's a resource to help more people. So we did start to charge for our summit or for we created a membership and but we also have bunch of free things too. So you know, you start to say, Okay, this is also a business but but more importantly, it's a passion and something that is kind of like a passion into business. So I guess the best businesses are passions, right? People will live in sleep and and you know, live in, you know, sleep and you get up thinking about ideas. And I get texts from undress, like at 10 o'clock at night. I mean, that woman's mind never, never shuts off. But anyway, I don't know if that helps. But I think when you start to look at your life and say, Okay, what are the seeds around me? What are the things I get pulled towards? were the things that bring me joy, I think we could start to get realized, like, whatever, whatever people's passions are, I mean, my passions are the same as yours, Paul, and same as Brian's. And I think we have to get quiet enough sometimes, because there's a lot of buisiness with social media and the world and just life that we will people go their whole lives and never even know what their passion is. And I think that's sad, because I think everyone has something in them. But you got to get quiet enough to listen to it. Um, I have small kids. So I was never quiet, except now that they're not here. But for for a few hours. But you got to spend that time getting quiet, like what do you feel pulled towards? You know, and I would be doing an investor if if we did everything for free, because I love it. But I love the idea of of then you're charging people and saying this is a value? And then what are we doing with that money? Well, we're investing in supporting more women so we can create a global community. That's why we're doing that. So that that's what pumps me up about the business aspect as well. Because things take money, things cost, you know, so, so I don't know what what pulls you and what what little kind of like look at your life in a sense of like, what breadcrumbs have been dropped and saying, What is kind of following me on this path? You know? Yeah, yeah.
Paula Nichols 42:42
It's fascinating. And thank you for investing in other women. I feel like that makes a huge difference. And I found many great women in this industry that have like, propelled me and encouraged me, so I'm glad to hear that you have investor.
Brian Briscoe 42:55
Yeah, and I mean, I have a wife and four daughters. And so by now, yeah, I'm very happy that you have invest her too, because, you know, it's a resource that, you know, my daughters could could reach out to and, and, and use if they want it. So that said, we're, unfortunately out of time. So one last question for each of you list, you go first, how can investors learn more about you?
Liz Faircloth 43:18
Where we're active on Facebook, we're active on Instagram, but certainly our, our website kind of has like kind of everything we're up to right now. So the real estate invest her h er.com. And we have meetups, you know, we are our everything, everything that is there. So please check that out. And some of the work that I'm involved in from an active perspective or like a multifamily perspective, we have a lot of content around multifamily, especially my husband, who runs some of that day to day work, his derosa group comm you can check out some of the active kind of projects we have going on there.
Brian Briscoe 43:52
And I mean, several years ago, I latched on to that guy that to the YouTube channel, you know, with with Matt in front of the whiteboard. Yeah, a lot, a lot of good content there. But thank you very much for coming on the show today. I very much appreciate everything that you've shared.
Liz Faircloth 44:06
One last plug, just really quick. Plugging anything but I I'm just so excited about our conference, so please check that out any woman in your life that could it you know, that wants to be part of an event where we're doing business mindset raising money, and we have just accountability stuff going on masterminding student wealth. So check that out. Yeah, it's forward slash level up. So I'd love I'd love to have as many women on there that we're empowering as possible, which is our signature annual event. So
Brian Briscoe 44:32
Alright, and like I said, that's going to be in the show notes. So anybody can just tap and whiskey away to the website. So Paula, same question for you. How can our listeners learn more about you?
Paula Nichols 44:45
Yeah, we also have a website and at Apogee MFC. com. That's a POG MFC COMM And you can also find me on LinkedIn.
Brian Briscoe 44:55
All right, and link to the website and we'll put a link to your profile in the show notes. Well so people can just like I said, tap and let the magical internet whisk you away. All right, thank you so much the two of you for coming on the show. I had a great time talking with you and there's a lot of value put out today.
Thank you for listening to the tiger one 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, tap, 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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