Starting Your Drip Campaign with Spencer Gray and Aharon Goins

Episode 138 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with with Spencer Gray and Aharon Goins, hosted by Brian Briscoe. Transcript by – please forgive any errors.

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Brian Briscoe 0:00

Aaron, we got Spencer on the line. What do you want to ask him?

Aharon Goins 0:03

How do you start off by finding new investors?

Spencer Gray 0:06

So you know, we have a lot of different ways for investors to get in touch with us going on podcast is a great way. podcasts are just amazing because it allows you know, potential investor to kind of get to know you to kind of get your thought process. And if that resonates with them, you know, when they get in touch with you, they're getting in touch with you because they like what you said and they've already kind of sold themselves on you. They're just trying to get more information. So I think that's a great way to kind of get yourself out there and then you know, just being an active participant you know, whether that's on bigger pockets or LinkedIn or on a Facebook group.

Brian Briscoe 0:48

Welcome to the diary apartment investor podcast with your host Brian Briscoe. In this podcast we bring some of the top professionals in the apartment investment field to discuss various aspects of the apartment investing journey, with the sole purpose of educating listeners to make wise investment decisions. The Diary of an apartment investor podcast is sponsored by four oaks capital bringing you high yield returns through apartment complex investing. This is journal entry number 138. And part of our Ask the Expert series. Today we have experienced investors Spencer gray and aspiring investor Aaron Goins, keep listening for tips on how to set up your drip campaign and how to start looking for passive investors. And now this show, welcome to the diary and apartment investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe with four oaks capital very excited for today's show. We've got two amazing people on the line with us for one of our Ask the Expert episodes. We've got a guy with a ton of experience in the real estate arena, Spencer gray, and we got an energetic Aaron Goins along with us as well. So that said, you know, Spencer, you're up first. First of all, welcome to the show. Thanks for being on.

Spencer Gray 1:53

Hey, Brian, I really appreciate you having me on. I've been looking forward to this. And yeah, it's gonna be a great show.

Brian Briscoe 1:57

Yeah, that'd be awesome. So let's start with this. Let's start talking about your background and history. And, and you kind of lead us up into how you got into apartment investing.

Spencer Gray 2:07

Yeah. So you know, kind of how I got started, I've got I've taken anything, but kind of a straight line to kind of get to where I am today. But there's only been a constant which has been real estate kind of the route, I guess, my entrepreneurial career. But kind of rewinding back, I flipped my first house. When I was a senior in high school when I was 18. I kind of got roped got kind of got roped in, a buddy was doing it, really his father was doing and teaching him and he wrote me into the project. And I kept flipping houses. But I my real I was passionate about really two things. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. And I also I love music and I loved recording music. So I went to Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University to learn all about that. I wanted to open a recording studio and kind of build a business doing that. You know, after I kind of finished at IU, I moved out to New York City. And I was working as a freelancer trying to kind of build a book of clients and I just couldn't figure out how I was ever actually going to make that much money doing it. And that's where that entrepreneur in me started taking a little bit more of a lead role than just my passion for music. I started looking for other avenues other businesses eventually moved back home to Indianapolis, Indiana, because I just love New York but didn't love it so much. I wanted to pay the prices to live there. And I started a business with my wife and a friend of mine. We wanted to start growing and selling hops to all the new craft brewers that were popping up locally. And so I hopped on a plane, I flew to Yakima, Washington, and started pounding on hot farmers doors to try to one see if I could learn what they were doing and to see if I could sign a couple of contracts for their crops to be able to sell to brewers. I'm ended up doing that we were the fastest growing hot brokerage in the Midwest, one of the fastest growing small brokerages really in the country ended up selling that business around 2015. And it wasn't the most It was a successful, successful business, but it wasn't very scalable. And so I was looking for a more scalable business to kind of move into and I had to continue to flip houses and I was getting really into bigger pockets reading about multifamily. And I said I think this is the business that I want to pursue. And so I've started networking and my first multifamily deal I co sponsored multifamily acquisition 220 unit value add project here in Indianapolis, Indiana still didn't know really what else I was doing. But I was able to partner with a great team where I was able to learn a lot leverage their experience. And since then we've been kind of take it one step at a time and you have fallen to multifamily investing and now we're syndicating our own projects

Brian Briscoe 4:43

nice and 220 units that's a nice size property for your for your first deal. So you know congrats on that one. Thanks. Um, now what what do you like about the the Indianapolis market obviously you're familiar with it which gives you a competitive advantage but what what are some of the bumps wishes are the things that are going on that are good. And yeah plus?

Spencer Gray 5:04

Well, the first thing is is exactly you said is just that I knew the market more than I knew any other market. And so I thought that would give us a competitive advantage. And I just didn't like the unknown, traveling to other markets. Now you can invest in any market in the country and make success out of it. If you have the right systems in place, you do your research, but you know, I still thought I don't know what I don't know. But that kind of we almost downplayed Indy, because we're like, well, it's where we're from, maybe it's not the best market. But what we love about Annapolis is that flies below the radar from a lot of other investors that are focused on some excellent markets, and the thing of the southeast and the Southwest that are, you know, growing like gangbusters, but that's where all the capital flows to, and your prices get driven up. And when Indianapolis we've got steady population growth, you know, we're growing at least 1% a year steady job growth, we have very diversified economy. You know, we had some of the lowest amount of job losses in the nation last year during COVID. So in general, very robust economy, very politically friendly, landlord friendly environment, low tax states and the lowest tax lowest tax regime in the Midwest. But we still trade 50 basis points higher and cap rate compared to most other markets around us, even in the Midwest, not even compared to some of the higher growth markets. So we can get access to, you know, a market with some really strong fundamentals, but getting just a little bit better yields and returns out of it. And then we know it, so

Brian Briscoe 6:27

yeah, yeah, I think that's a recipe for success. I mean, flying under the underneath the radar. You know, I think like you said, a lot of the focus is on south southeast, you know, the Sunbelt people are calling it Yeah, so a lot of people are moving from north to south. So I think a lot of investors don't even think to look at Indianapolis, and I understand Columbus, which isn't too terribly far from Indianapolis, it's also doing very well as Yep, at this time, too. So you lots of goodness going on there. And the key point in all of this is you guys know that market better than than anybody else, you know, that's, that's not in the market yourself.

Spencer Gray 7:00

Yeah. Yeah, no, I mean, we could go to the southeast in just about throw a dart at the board, pick a market, and there's going to be some strong growth. I mean, yeah, roughly. But in the Midwest, you know, you don't want to do that, because they're not every market is created equal equal. You know, they're the, you know, the Cleveland's, that have seen a lot of, you know, a lot of decline. And the the st. Louis's that are, you know, relatively kind of just stagnant. And then there's a handful of markets, like you said, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Kansas City, and Cincinnati, also, to a slightly lesser degree that are, you know, performing pretty well. But if you don't know that, and if you don't know, the specific areas and the networks, it can be a little a little bit challenging and harder to get into.

Brian Briscoe 7:37

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So yeah, well, a lot of good points there. You know, and I, I've said this a dozen times, if you can invest in your backyard, that's probably the best place to start. But not everybody's backyard is created equal. And if you're not in a, you know, you're not in one of those areas, where you have the strong economic fundamentals, the population growth, the job growth, you may want to start looking elsewhere and pull out your dartboard and towards the south, southern part of the US, and, you know, like you said, you're going to find some some cities with strong fundamentals. So, but good idea. So. So one question, I always love to ask, you know, what's, what's your big burning? Why, you know, what's your motivation for doing this?

Spencer Gray 8:15

Yeah. So, you know, on the surface level, you know, like I said, I've always been passionate about building a business. And I think that, you know, multifamily syndication is a great way to build a business and scale. But, you know, my real why for, you know, why do I even want to build a business is, you know, really financial autonomy, and really just personal autonomy and freedom I want for myself and my family, to be as in control of our lives as we possibly can and really be, you know, as self sustaining and self reliant as we as we can be, and have as many choices on the table as possible. And so we want to choose to be lived somewhere different travel somewhere, you know, take a makeup change, you know, we have the ability to do that. And it was after you investing in multifamily for a couple years, you know, both as a co sponsor and as a limited partner, not really raising a lot of capital with some friends and family money that I, I saw the benefits that it was doing to our life, my family's life. And I think I saw that it was pretty powerful. And honestly, I just got a little I was inspired to, you know, be able to help others kind of find this investment vehicle in this path as this is as an option you have to invest in and so if I can help others, you know, pursue that same goal, so many people are, you're looking for some degree of financial independence. So that's really what drives me.

Brian Briscoe 9:38

Yeah. And I think that that resonates with a lot of people. I mean, just just being able to have the time to enjoy the things that you want to enjoy the economy, like you're talking about, you know, being able to, like I guess, not be tied to a location, you know, and I've, for the last 20 years, most people who listen to podcast know I'm retiring from the military in about a month, but unfortunately that has reduced my autonomy. And it's really kind of made me realize that Man, I wish I had that autonomy and push me in the same direction as you went into. So good, good, good for that. Alright, so next question for you. Can you walk us through one of the deals you guys that you've done you either your sponsor co sponsor Yeah, or whatever.

Spencer Gray 10:20

Yeah, so you know, we kind of have two different investment silos one's more of a, it's a value added silo that which a lot of your listeners are probably familiar with. And then we also have a core plus silo, which is a little bit newer, kind of addition to our acquisition criteria. And so we, we acquired a property last year, kind of in middle of COVID, we closed in December 2020, we never bought a property, you know, this news 2018 construction. So essentially, you know, more or less brand new, right, a large, it was a 264 unit project. And, you know, it was a, it was a big challenge for us, you know, from a capital race standpoint, you know, in just a business plan, kind of putting the team together, obviously, there's large loan guarantees that you have to set up. And, you know, putting defining earnest money putting down our earnest money, but it's also the most intimidating project we had ever pursued to date, but it ended up being the easiest project to actually get through and close once the pieces were all put together. And it's been one of the, you know, our, it's, it's still fairly early on, and we've only owned it for, you know, six, less than six months at this point. But so far, it's one of the smoothest projects that we've operated. So and it's one of those lifestyle, you know, assets that has new the full resort style swimming pool, you know, beautiful, you know, workout facility, and, you know, individual private access garages for every single unit. And it's a it's a, just a very attractive suburban, you know, luxury apartment community. And because of the time in the market, we were in the middle of the pandemic, it's, it's located in the South Bend, Mishawaka, MSA, technically in a sub market called Granger, Indiana. And nobody wanted to fly into South Bend, Indiana during a pandemic, even the investors in Indianapolis in Chicago, they're like, I don't want to drive three hours to go to Granger, Indiana. I've never even heard of Granger, Indiana. No one really, there's a little University called Notre Dame, that's, yeah, 444 miles away. And Granger has, you know, it's a median area income of over $100,000, and strong population growth. But if you look at South Bend, it looks a little dismal between the pandemic and then where rates were at the time, we were able to put together a pretty exciting project. And so, you know, you can make assumptions, and I made assumptions for the longest time that I don't want to pursue these newer assets, because I don't want to accept a lower return. That being said, we were able to, we're able to get a very similar rate of return a lot of value add deals, because you know, so many value add deals are, they have so much the upside kind of priced in and teaching the trader to just a lower cap rate? So yeah,

Brian Briscoe 12:58

you know, that that is interesting, you know, something that I had a hard time coming to grips with, you get more parador on a value add sometimes then you get on something that's fully renovated, which, you know, in my mind, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's, it's where the money is, you know, people start bidding up the value adds because of the returns, and Yep, the seller ends up getting credit for having a crappy property, you know, yeah, I don't understand. I do understand it. But you know, my math brain turns on, and it starts making sense. But now Exactly. I'm going to go back to one of the things you said, you said, that was one of the easiest closes you had. Now, Was it because of size? Was it because of it's a newer building? What do you think made that an easier closed and everything else?

Spencer Gray 13:40

So Part Part of it was the seller was very sophisticated, and they were really great to work with. I mean, initially, we had some issues once we were trying to get under contract, because I frankly, didn't think that we would be able to close on the project. But once we were able to kind of convince him that we were going to do everything possible to get it done. I mean, they were the most transparent in terms of and they developed the project. So I mean, they sent us a dropbox folder of more due diligence items than we could one we'd ever seen before, or more than we'd ever had would ever wanted to request. So they were just very straightforward. We stayed in constant communication with them. And so from just that aspect, it was it was very smooth. And then because it was new construction, you know, there it's not like we had to go back 10 years and what happened 10 years ago, what happened 20 years ago? Yeah. You know, everybody knew the whole story from the beginning.

Brian Briscoe 14:31

How's the roof? Two years old? How old? Ah, facts two years old. How old are that? Yep, two years old.

Spencer Gray 14:37

It's all the same. Yeah. And then and then in terms of the capital raise in that I felt a little crazy that I'm saying this, but I was having a conversation with our Director of acquisitions. And I said, You know, I raising $100,000, for me is easier than raising $10,000 because you're talking to a different type of person. I'm thinking that maybe raising a million dollars, maybe even 10 million Might, it might be easier, because I'm just going to be talking to a different type of investor. And that ended up being true it was about it was about a $12 million raise, and we were done in a fraction of the time, compared to our last two raises, which were both around a little over $2 million apiece. And, you know, we were working on those up until you know, you know, a couple weeks before, close, you know, sleepless nights have, you know, met, you know, making calls, getting it done. And then this was more than way more than double it was, you know, five, six times, and we got it done. And we had, you know, 30 or 45 days left of, or 40 days left and due diligence, and we were fully committed.

Brian Briscoe 15:39

You know, and I think there's something to say about that, you know, that the larger raises, you know, when you're dealing with that next level of investor, you know, number one, they're a lot more used to writing big checks, you know, so if you're talking to a first time investor, and it's like, I don't know, 50,000, you know, different story than we were talking to somebody who's been into several private placements before various types, you know, they have a little bit more money to deal deal with. And so they're, they're much more likely to just Yeah, sure. $100,000 I can do that.

Spencer Gray 16:10

Yeah, where do I wire? Exactly, you know, and I love working with more beginning, investigate investors, sophisticated investors, and kind of like, you know, trying to help chart that path and what kind of the next steps are, but often, you know, we spend the most time with those investors who want to invest, you know, 25 or $50,000, you know, kind of holding their hand, you know, versus the investors are investing maybe $250,000 or a million dollars, you know, it's a quick conversation down to brass tacks, and you know, yes or no, and yeah, we'll send over the wiring instructions. Let's

Brian Briscoe 16:40

do it. And then if there's further questions, you're talking to their assistant, you know, like, you got up so yeah. Hey, so, so sad. You're putting in 300k? You know, okay, you know, that? Yeah, different conversations. So great. Yeah. So lots lots of reasons to go big. And I think in a lot of cases, you know, it's more of a mental hurdle than it as is an actual hurdle. You know, it's Yeah, adding zero to the end of your cap raise, you know, is, or six times in your case, the cap raise, and you're saying exactly what I've thought for a long time, it's not six times as hard to do it.

Spencer Gray 17:17

No, it's not, you know, it's so it is. So just a mindset piece. And we almost didn't pursue the deal, or we didn't put in our final offer, because it was intimidating. And but at the same time, we said, you know, well, we, how are we going to know until we give it a shot? And let's do it. Let's put it all out there on the field. And let's get it done.

Brian Briscoe 17:38

If we're able to do it. Be careful, you might convince me to start doing core plus. So

Spencer Gray 17:43

I know. I know. Right? Yeah. Come on over the dark side. Stop right there. Stop.

Brian Briscoe 17:46

All right. So what what's next for you and your team?

Spencer Gray 17:50

Yeah, so you know, obviously, I was looking for new deals. It's very competitive market over it. So I'm on contract under contract at some point. But we've got a very exciting kind of new thing that we've been working on for a while, is we're launching a new website. It's not necessarily great capital website. It's the it's called gray report calm. And it's essentially an aggregator of multifamily articles, news, research reports, podcasts and videos. So essentially, you're a one stop spot for all things multifamily content related, you know, we'll have updated market information, you know, where, where the where, where bond rates are, you know, where different commodities are moving, you'll have your podcasts up at the top and new pot when new episodes get released, basically pulling in a lot of different RSS feeds from a lot of different sources, but also curating it. And so if you instead of just popping over to, you know, whether it's globe street or national family housing Council, or multifamily executive, will basically have all that content in one place updated throughout the day, and just really wanted to create a resource for the industry, because we, you know, we were doing this research anyway. So why don't we formalize it and kind of put it out there so that it's in a soft launch right now? I think the website's la live Fishel launches? A little bit later in May, but um, right. Yep.

Brian Briscoe 19:08

Great. Report calm. All right. Sounds good. And we'll put a link to that in the show notes. And this will this will air probably third week of May. So hopefully right around your your lunch date. Yeah, go check it out. All right. So check it out. Link is going to be in the show notes. You know, so tap, swipe, tap, and that should should get you there. Sounds like a great, great resource. All right, that said, we're gonna shift gears and we got Aaron on the line with us, Aaron, welcome. Hey, Brian. How you doing, man? Thank you for having me on. This one is wonderful podcast. Hey, thanks a lot for coming on the podcast. I appreciate it made it super easy to schedule. You know, I mean, I literally opened my computer thinking okay, I got to find somebody to link up with Spencer and Aaron calls. You know, it's like, perfect. Yeah. Boom, there you go. So appreciate making it easy for me. This is awesome. So Aaron, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Aharon Goins 19:59

It's like Do you remember I'm a veteran was in the military for 16 years, got a retirement out, got a W two. And at some point in my w two, someone told me, I'll be there for another 20 years. And I said, well, whoa. And, you know, that's where my entrepreneurial spirit came and did different things, but got into real estate and the single family, like a lot of people do wholesale and things like that. But I really, I really thought about I sat down, I said, I think multifamily is the best way to do it. And I really shift my focus a lot. Because I because you can build your wealth much easier doing one side and getting the house in the house getting the house in there. So that's my masters. Yeah.

Brian Briscoe 20:40

Yeah. I mean, I mean, scalability, you know, like, like, we were just talking with Spencer, I mean, you can multiply the deal size by 10. But you don't multiply the effort the same way. You know, it doesn't take 10 times the effort to, you know, do a 10 Plex over a single unit. And it's not 10 times harder to do 100 than it is 10 Plex. So yeah, a lot. A lot. A lot of goodness there. So where are you currently looking for multifamily projects? Well, I'm

Aharon Goins 21:04

a capital raiser. So right now I'm just trying to build my investor base up and put the best deals possible for my investors.

Brian Briscoe 21:12

Nice. And you got a meetup that I that I know of that you run was every Wednesday, every Thursday at 7pm. Every Thursday at 7pm? Yeah, good. Good. Good. Tell us a little bit about that.

Aharon Goins 21:23

So it was called all in on real estate. It used to be called our last line of defense. I changed the name. Yeah. But the main purpose of it is, when I was in the military, as you know, Brian, a lot of times, people don't talk about real estate. They don't talk about they talk about different things like a we call it tsp. And they talk about stocks and bonds and things like that. And a lot of times when people deploy, you see a lot more people, you see a lot more Dodge Charger pickup trucks on the road at certain times, like real estate. Yeah. So I want the educational platform meetup to help people so that they can, you know, watch it and learn and build generational wealth for them for themselves and their families.

Brian Briscoe 22:00

Yeah, that's, that's so true. I mean, I, I don't think it's the military's responsibility to teach people finances myself, but there's, there's just a lack of knowledge. And exactly, we said, it's true. I've seen that repeat many times, you know, you send a young 22 year old corporal on a deployment, you know, he's got zero living expenses, he's getting a paycheck tax free plus all the extra pays, comes home with you know, $50,000 in the bank, and they get a Corvette, you know,

Aharon Goins 22:27

exactly. Yeah. So, or another thing is, you'll see somebody, you'll see a new, a new e4, e three brand new car, because it wasn't it wasn't taught these things, you know, it wasn't taught to finance and things like that. So do you think I'm in the military? I use my star card, I buy a car, and then you know that they're

Brian Briscoe 22:49

broke? Yeah, exactly. You know, and it's, yeah, I think there's a huge need for financial education out there. And, you know, for me, I think one of the biggest game changers was, you know, it's very cliche now to say it Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you know, that was my, that was my financial education. And that's what made me realize that, yeah, maybe this isn't the best way, you know, maybe maybe I should think differently about things, you know. And then there's a Tony Robbins book that really impacted me, as well as money masters of the game just kind of made me realize that, you know, the finance industry is not really set up to help you. It's set up to help them. Yeah. Right. But yeah, good to good on you for doing that. And lots of you know, I've heard a lot of positive feedback about your meetup. haven't been able to attend yet, but I will in a couple of weeks. Promise. I know. Right? I know. Right? So yeah, I think June 3 is that so to speak? Awesome. So yeah, I'll try to get on to a couple of them. But you know, evenings tend to be family time you know, picking pick and choose the ones that I can make it to love you meetup. Man, I love your meetup. I love your networking. That's great. Yeah, thanks. Thanks a lot. And incidentally, anybody listening every Friday 1pm Eastern 10 o'clock Pacific in the morning we have a virtual meetup so you maybe I'll throw a link to that in the show notes too. But good idea. So Aaron what let's talk about your big burning why you know what, what motivates you What keeps you active in this business? Well, I

Aharon Goins 24:17

think a lot of people just like myself, you know, we want to be financially free you want to get to that point, but I also my big Why is I want to spend more time with my kids being military being away from them so much I want to be able to spend more time on during the high school years is very very important especially for dad who's not there all the time to to really help them doing this path frame says valuable time so my big why's to spend more time with my kids and also travel the world. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 24:45

yeah. You know, and that's something that definitely resonates with me I've missed years of my childhood my kids childhoods just to you know, deployments and military service and can't get that back. So you know, part part of my big burning Why is the exact same thing to not miss, you know, my kids growing up. So I got two older kids 21 and 18 right now. And, you know, I wish I was more involved in their childhood just because of what happened. But you know, I got three younger kids that I saw the chance to do that. So, yeah, but anyway, very, very much resonates with me. And you know, I think a lot, a lot of guys in our position are saying the same things. So let's said, Aaron, we got Spencer on the line. What do you want to ask him?

Aharon Goins 25:31

So Spencer, man, thanks a lot, man. And thank you for opportunity. Now. Absolutely, Aaron. So my first question is as a capital raiser, how do you find materials that are normally more advanced? But how do you find materials for your drip campaigns?

Spencer Gray 25:46

Yeah, so like, I get the email, like, drip campaign? Yeah. Yeah. So you know, we, we use a variety of content, mostly for our drip campaigns, it's all original content to us, you know, whether that is, you know, original blog posts, or, you know, videos that will do so primarily in the cotton, the emails that we send out, it's mostly original content. That being said, for like our, like the newsletter that we put out, that's aggregating content from all over the place from from different sources. So we definitely do a combination. But you know, when we're trying to kind of front load our potential investors, we want, we want to front load as much value as we can you to them. And if that's coming from us, we feel like that's even better. But I think as long as you know, you're setting something, something's better than nothing. Yeah, right.

Brian Briscoe 26:35

Right. Yeah. I like the original content, especially up front. I mean, if you keep on pointing them to other directions, they're gonna go off there, they're gonna go off in other direction, you know, yeah. If you're, if you're the one that's creating the content, and you're giving them original content, there, they're more likely to stick with you.

Spencer Gray 26:51

Yeah. And I think it just goes to show that, you know, you have just robust amount of information, and the fact that they're going to be consuming that information written by you, you know, there's that thought of, Okay, well, they know this, they're the expert on this, they're not delegating this out to some other sources writing it, they know what they're talking about.

Aharon Goins 27:09

So my next question is, and is more basic question, but how do you start start off by finding new investors?

Spencer Gray 27:16

Yeah, so we have a lot of different kind of lead magnet magnets, and I guess a lot of different, a lot of different things going on. So you know, we have all of our original content that we put out just organically. So whether that's we have a YouTube channel, we're going to be launching a podcast here in the next couple weeks, you know, our website that's going to be coming out as well, which isn't like a direct marketing platform for us. But the idea is to kind of eventually, you know, funnel people over to the gray Capitol website. And we also do a lot of, we do some paid ads. So we do a lot of Google paid ads, as well search ads, display ads, YouTube ads. So you know, we have a lot of different ways for investors to get in touch with us going on podcast is a great way, podcasts are just amazing, because it allows, you know, potential investor to kind of get to know you to kind of get your thought thought process. And if that resonates with them, you know, when they get in touch with you, they're getting in touch with you, because they like what you said, and they've already kind of sold themselves on you. They're just trying to get more information. So I think that that's, you know, a great way to kind of get yourself out there. And then you know, just being an active participant, you know, whether that's on bigger pockets or LinkedIn or on a Facebook group, you know, like, Brian, you're very active on LinkedIn, you've been active on bigger pockets. I'm pretty active on bigger pockets. I'm active on LinkedIn, I could be more active, but just being, you know, like, there's old saying, you got to circulate to percolate, you got to be out there, you have to be present. And, you know, there's a lot of people getting in this space, a lot of syndicators, a lot of capital raisers. And I think, you know, obscurity is the biggest enemy, because when an investor decides they want to invest in multifamily, it's, you know, who do they know, who have they heard of what name they've they seen, and they're gonna look up that person, they're not going to necessarily seats, continue to search and search and search and find you, you have to keep popping up to be on the top of mind. So that leaves a lot of just consistent material being put out. So when they do make that decision, okay, I'm going to take this step, I want to get in touch with a couple sponsors, who are the sponsors that I know, well, you know, these two or three guys, they've popped up enough, I'll get in touch with them. Yeah, I've

Brian Briscoe 29:25

had people speaking, I'm just just, you know, adding on to what he said, I've had people call me up and say, I feel like I know you already. You know, I've never talked with them. But they they've heard this podcast, or they've heard me on other podcasts, or they follow me on LinkedIn. And I get a lot of calls where, hey, let me introduce myself. Like, you know what, I know you. So let me introduce myself. I've had several conversations start out that way. And the other thing about you know what he's saying that the LinkedIn presence, you know, a lot of the people like yesterday, I had somebody call me I haven't seen him in three years haven't heard from him. Three years he was my neighbor in San Diego called me and said, Hey, Brian, I got some questions for you, you know, and you know, people who you've been connected with a long time ago, they're going to start seeing it, you're going to start seeing you in a different light. And you're no longer in my case, I've stopped being Brian, the Marine, and I'm now Brian D. Apartment investor. So yeah, Mike,

Spencer Gray 30:25

I think I think that's huge. Because you don't you don't your existing network, you don't think that they may be interested, but you don't really know. And I've had a handful of investors who I never thought that they would be investors, but they saw we were doing, they got in touch. And I mean, I got to say, Brian, I think you did a really good job. Because, you know, one of my I don't know if it's a weakness or fault, but I you do a good job in kind of showing, I feel like a more holistic view of what's going on in your life, I feel like I've ever sorted out you are just because I follow you on social media also, and you do a good job of balancing kind of business apartments, but you also kind of give a little bit of a glimpse to your personal life, also, you know, stuff going on with your kids and everything. And again, that just makes that personal connection, because people want to do business with people. They like know, and trust, they don't want to do business with a faceless, nameless Corporation. And so, you know, it's alright, I see what this, you know, this guy's doing, he seems like a real person. Okay, I can have a conversation with him.

Aharon Goins 31:25

While sex makes a lot of sense, makes a lot of sense. So next question I got is how do you find your niche? Now? What I mean is how do you find your niche of, of investors? Or what what made you target certain investors? For your niche?

Spencer Gray 31:39

That's a really good question. And it's honestly, it's a, it's a process. And it's been an evolution. And, you know, I still don't know if we've like, absolutely narrowed it down. Because, you know, as soon as we think that we kind of have our investor kind of avatar figured out or whatever, you know, we get in touch with all these other individuals who don't really fit that mold. And, you know, we're always nervous, we don't want to pigeonhole ourself. But at the same time, you do kind of have to have been a really have a specific brand. You know, and if I had to kind of sum up our, you know, a typical investor, it's a old, you know, it's an older millennial, that's, you know, working in the in the Bay Area, maybe in tech, or, you know, they have a high paying w two job, they love the idea of investing in real estate, but they don't have the time, maybe they have a couple turnkey rentals somewhere, but they've learned about syndication recently, and they want to start allocating, you know, their net worth over to multifamily investments. And so part of that is because, you know, slightly older millennial and the intimate, so assuming that that's who I may resonate with, but then we also get, you know, folks that are getting ready to retire, and people in all different stages of their life. And so, you know, we haven't wanted to, again, kind of pigeonhole ourselves, but also just kind of be be us be who we are, and kind of figure out alright, who is that attracting, and then kind of just going deep in that niche, you know, there, there's a massive wealth transfer that's going on right now from the baby boomer generation over to millennials. And, you know, that's not fully taken steam, but we're starting to see that. And so we're, we're kind of trying to position ourselves to try to, you know, take advantage of that

Brian Briscoe 33:16

ride the wave, yeah, I did something. The way I came up with with my avatar is I looked at people that I naturally attracted know, I started doing a lot of LinkedIn posting and a lot of Facebook posts. And I realized that the same type of people kept on coming to me, you know, and it was active duty veterans, and he was people who wanted to get started in real estate, you know, those were the people that I naturally appeal to. And fortunately, you know, our business model is such that, you know, those are the type of people that you know, are going to have a little more money, you know, so obviously, if you're a syndicator, your minimum investments $50,000, you know, somebody who's like me, mid 40s, you know, been active duty for, you know, 20 years or so, they can usually handle that they can usually make that that investment amount without a lot of coaxing, if that makes sense. So, for me, the avatar would have as simple as I looked at, you know, who I naturally attract, do they check the box can't? Or is this a fertile field? Yes, it is. And most of my posts are geared to those two audiences, you know, people who want to be apartment investors, and people who are veterans. And incidentally, this podcast is aimed at one of those two.

Aharon Goins 34:31

Right? It's awesome. And I mean, Thanks, you guys for information. I mean, it's awesome. Yeah, it makes it puts you more perspective on certain things, especially as a capital raise, especially when you go run to fail. You gotta be consistent and just going, it's me, going after certain niches have been a little struggle because like, just like you've run through the military, but maybe I want to shift a little bit. And that's been a struggle for me. Sometimes I'm saying who do I really want to target and And that gives me a better scope bang. So I think you're both, I think, I think one thing I want to ask you is for you, and I know you just kind of answered already, but now you establish relationship with some of these investors, and they're not there. And you have deals Come on, and Okay, they're not they don't go through efforts, certain views. How do you continue to foster relationships where people, when your deals come up in this in a be taken by these investors, but they're still on your list?

Spencer Gray 35:32

Yeah. So you know, we take a approach with, you know, everyone who's a an investor, or potential investor of not focusing on doing one deal, and not just not do one deal with us, but just one deal, in general, we really look at it from an entire, you're going to build a portfolio of syndicated investments, you're not just going to invest in one property, you're going to try to build a portfolio of at least five investments, because that's when you start to really get advantages of diversification. And we tell them, you know, don't just work with us get operator diversity. And so if this that one deal doesn't check all their boxes, you know, that, that that's okay, there's going to be a deal that comes up that does check your boxes, but you know, don't stay in communication, we're going to continue to send you information. And you know, when that next deal comes up, and we'll have the conversation, okay, we understand that this is a right for you, what is the right deal, you know, what is the kind of criteria that you're looking for, and then when that deal does, you know, come across our desk, get under contract, you know, it, they should check all the boxes, and if not, you know, some people just, they're never going to invest, and that's fine. And a lot of investors also, especially when they've just kind of come into your, your platform, a lot of folks don't want to invest in the first deal. They want to see how the first deal goes, and they say, you know, all so I like it, it looks good, but I'm just not ready to jump in. Now, of course, you know, they're going to regret not investing in that deal. Because, you know, all of a sudden prices are going to go up, and what's the deal to actually get into, it's not gonna look as good, but you know, that that's okay, I think that's a natural part of the process. So

Brian Briscoe 37:08

yeah, and I agree a lot, not everybody's gonna invest in every deal. And that there could be, I mean, one, one investor, for example, you know, in this, this was an unfortunate case, told us that she was going to invest in in a certain deal, and her father passed away, she did not invest, you know, and it's just one of those things where, you know, you look at everyone situations, there might be something a lot bigger than your investment that's going on at a certain time, you know, so keep an open mind, keep a perspective of several years, you know, so if they don't invest on on one deal, that's not a no, forever, that's a no for right now, and then just continue to foster the relationship, you know, continue to, you know, the emails are super easy, because you can send those to, you know, 100 200 400 people at the same time. But, you know, we also keep a list of people that we want to keep close to us that we're doing, we're doing more with, you know, so unfortunately, our investor list is big enough that I can't call everybody you know, and talk to every single one of them. But there's a core group that we are doing that with, so if they if they miss an investment opportunity, they're still on the list. But we're about at a time here. So one question for for each of you to bring this to a close. And Spencer, you get to go first, how do listeners learn more about you?

Spencer Gray 38:32

Your best way learn more about us besides just Google gray capital, you can hop over to gray capital We have a I think it's the best multifamily newsletter that's out there right now. It gets sent out weekly, every Thursday morning. It's called the gray report newsletter. It's kind of what inspired us building out this website. Great And essentially, any new research report the name of the major brokers or research firms put out that week, you include that in the major articles, you know, snapshots of rates and markets, you know, we have quotes from, you know, financing rates, you know, whereas Fannie and where's Freddie at Where's a HUD 223 f loan we kind of track all of this stuff so you know, hop on over to gray capital LLC comm check it out. And then there's you know, you can get in touch with us through a variety of means on the website.

Brian Briscoe 39:20

Awesome. And we'll have a link to that in the show notes again, and if you guys want to be part of that newsletter, you know, a lot of good information there that you should be tracking as a multifamily investor. Aaron, same question for you. how can listeners learn more about you?

Aharon Goins 39:35

They can always come to my meetup is every Thursday at 7pm so on real estate, go to Look, put it all in on real estate and you'll see it also have a website is a l l i n h S is all in You find out great information about me and learn about my company and also I'm on clubhouse every Wednesday at 530. It's called a military real estate investing our moderator Other than that, And we try to help veterans out. So

Brian Briscoe 40:01

thank you to both of you guys for coming on the show today. I think this was a great conversation, a lot of the pearls of wisdom that came out. So appreciate your time. Appreciate the value

Spencer Gray 40:11

you brought. Yeah, Brian, really appreciate having me on Aaron. It was pleasure meeting you. Appreciate the questions is awesome. Yeah.

Aharon Goins 40:17

Thank you so much. Special. Thank you so much, Brian. And Brian. As always, Massa you

Brian Briscoe 40:22

want brought on Friday. See you on Friday. best best weekly meetup ever. Yes, sir. All right. All right. Thanks, guys. Thanks, Brian. 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 podcasts or email us directly. If you're still listening, you obviously like the show. So pull out your phone, app, subscribe, and leave us a five star rating on your favorite podcast app. And we'll see you again next week.

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