Episode 182 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Tim Bratz and Rodney Robinson. Transcript by Otter.ai – please forgive any errors.
Brian Briscoe 0:00
This is Brian Briscoe, hosts the diary apartment investor, podcast and partner at four oaks capital. So we have something that we've been working on for a really long time we are building and we'll continue to build an educational community that we're calling the tribe of Titans. And it's going to be a community of multifamily investors based around education and his house on the mighty networks. What you're gonna find in there is a lot of events that are exclusive to the tribe of Titans members a tonne of educational content, and you're gonna find great people. So if you're listening to this podcast, because you're looking for community or you're looking for education, go no further the tribe of Titans is something you need to look into for the price of about $1 a day, you're going to be able to have access to everything that we have an elder content that we continue to produce for years to come. And just so there's no pressure and there's no obligation, the first month is free. So sign up first month free and give it a test drive if you'd like to keep hanging out and you'll continue to have access to Well, me and my partners are four oaks capital in a lot of other experience and aspiring investors. And where can you find it the tribe of Titans dot info. There's a link to that at the bottom of the show notes of every single episode right now. So if you're interested type in www dot the tribe of Titans dot info or go down to this bottom in the show notes and just tap the link hey Rodney we got Tim on the line, what do you want to ask him?
Rodney Robinson 1:23
It took you some time to get where you are. And you have children now. And you are now down to I think he said six hours? What do you spend any time on right now
Tim Bratz 1:31
the best thing that you can do early on is hire an assistant to take non revenue generating activities off your plate, all the stuff that that's just noise. And you have to know what revenue generating activities are like what is a direct correlation to making money which activities and really in our business, Ronnie, it's, it's finding deals, raising capital, and it's whatever your dispositions method is whether selling your properties or refinancing and holding and refining your operations kind of thing. So those are revenue generating entities. And that's it. Right everything else is noise. So you've got to get away from the noise and just focus on those things.
Brian Briscoe 2:15
Welcome to the diary of an apartment investor podcast with your host Brian Briscoe. In this podcast, we bring some of the top professionals in the apartment investment field to discuss various aspects of the apartment investing journey with the sole purpose of educating listeners to make wise investment decisions. The Diary of an apartment investor podcast is sponsored by four oaks capital bringing you high yield returns through apartment complex investing. Welcome to the diary of an apartment investor podcast. I'm your host, Brian Briscoe. With Four Oaks Capital, very excited for today's show. It's another one of our Ask the Expert episodes and we have two absolutely amazing people on the line with us. We got the Tim brought and Rodney Robbins, Tim, first of all, you know, welcome to the show. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself? Yeah, man.
Tim Bratz 2:59
Hey, I appreciate you having me. I know we run into some of the same circles. So it's good to finally connect in person or at least virtually. But yeah, appreciate the value you putting out there, man. So thanks for having me.
Brian Briscoe 3:09
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I know we got several mutual friends, they all think very highly of you. And I'm excited to hear from you. You know, one on one well, 192211 whatever. But sounds good, man. Here we go.
Tim Bratz 3:22
Now I you know, I was grown through, you know, high school and college and always wanted to it was very money motivated when I was going through college was Oh, 3207. And I was making money in real estate, right? There are people that really had no business making money, and I was just like, this person is making money. I'm gonna get rich doing this stuff. Try to try to understand what's happening with real estate dynamics in 2006 2007. So I'm a kid from Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Cleveland or, you know, graduated college moved from Cleveland out to New York City really just because my brother lived there not because, you know, I wanted to let the world on fire but I got involved in real estate with a real estate licence. Right? I went and got licenced, and for some reason, I parked my licence with a commercial shop instead of some residential brokerage and I brokered retail and office leases and got bottom of the barrel scraps. But broker You know, my first deal to me like seven or eight months, it was 400 square feet on some side street Greenwich Village. And we still signed a lease for $10,000 a month for 400 square feet on it. Well, if your lease term with 4% annual escalations. And as a money motivated kid at the age of 22, I started doing the math and I'm like this Lando is gonna make almost 2 million bucks over the next 12 years, producing 400 square feet. Yeah, 400 square feet, not to mention the other seven retail spaces and 15 stories of apartments and everything else. And I was like, I'm on the wrong side of the coin. I need to be owning real estate not brokering it and so I got a crappy winter and I wanted to get out of the snow and I wanted to move down south and so he told me great things about Charleston, South Carolina, went down to Charleston, loved it, and just went through that hole and now Phase of just studying and, you know, buying the courses and all that stuff for about six, seven months and then getting ready to invest in real estate and then the entire market collapses at the end of 2008. I was like what he could. But yeah, but it was fortunate because, you know, I was able to go and start buying property for pennies on the dollar and very different market than what you see today, you know, back then, you couldn't walk down the street without seeing four or five bank owned houses offered for pennies on the dollar. But there was no money, at least for newbies like me at the time to invest in those deals. So there's plenty of deals but no money today, there's a lot of money and not as many deals right. And so I bought my first house on my credit card, didn't know what I was doing, fix it up, flipped it sold 110 days later and made, you know, 13 $14,000 on it. So now I'm hooked.
Brian Briscoe 5:48
So you bought you bought a house on a credit card? I think that is extremely, there's no risk there. But it's very creative. I mean, you see the value, the market crashed, you know, I
Tim Bratz 6:00
use I refer to that as like the great real estate sale of 2009. But I think you took advantage of an opportunity. No banks weren't lending. And I tried to get a couple of loans that year as well. But, you know, banks just weren't lending are they they tightened their standards so that they weren't lending to people like me who didn't have a balance sheet or didn't have any money. Right, like, but people who had big balance sheets and people who had experienced people that have cash flowing assets, like banks make money by lending their money. So it's not like they went out of business, they just only loaned it to people with big balance sheets. And those people went on buying sprees of just you know, picking up everything. So yeah, you know, I think somebody thinks, oh, you bought something about a house and your credit card, what do you think, and especially in the greatest recession of all time, or in past 100 years, at least. And to me, it wasn't that risky to me, I was buying a house a duplex for $15,000 that I could rent each side out for 500 bucks a month and make $1,000 a month on it. So like, to me, at least like I was I didn't know anything about real estate other than like, from basic economics. I knew I could get my money back in 18 months, you know,
Brian Briscoe 7:05
there's a simple math works on that. I mean, 15 months you pay me obviously there's interest charges, but you put two renters in there, and your your credit cards getting paid for so yeah, you know, at that price, you know, I wish, I wish 2009 you know, I knew enough pull up my credit card and buy a $15,000 property, but
Tim Bratz 7:28
just it was probably ignorance on fire. You know what I mean? It was probably one of these I didn't know any better. What's the worst thing that could happen? I just moved out of my parents house. I just moved back in with my parents, you know, like, Yeah, I just didn't care. So that was already broke, I was just gonna be a little bit broker, I guess if if it didn't play out, but I made money. And so I got into wholesaling, I got an A fix and flips, I got into like buying rental properties. And just kind of went through that whole whole phase had a lot of ups, a lot of downs went broke in 2012 started all over, moved back to Cleveland, Ohio and 2012 2013 and kind of press the reset button then and then it's because I chase too many shiny objects. After I thought I knew what I was doing in real estate, I sold my real estate and then tried some other businesses that didn't play out. And then real estate was what saved me I still own my primary home sold that was able to pay down some debts, and then just move back to Ohio and started from scratch again in Ohio, and built a portfolio of about 140 doors over the course the next few years and transacted many more beyond that and had some had some business partners, I got married to like an exclusive relationship with these guys, they put up the money, I did all the work. And what happens is like when they put up a certain amount of money, and then they don't put up any more money, their value doesn't really increase anymore. And my value continuously increased as I continue to, you know, have more business acumen and experience and connections and resources and opportunities and stuff. And it just ended up you know, souring the relationship. We ended up going our separate ways. We liquidated everything. So I press the reset button again in 2015 2016. But it really let me kind of spread my wings, I was able to go out and start working with other private money lenders and joint venturing with other operators and partners and, you know, sponsors and loans on some deals down out of state and stuff. And so got me in to a couple of different other circles. And it was you know, the best thing that could have happened to me looking back on it. So got out of that relationship, that business partnership and then just now
Brian Briscoe 9:25
I can't hit the pause button. You mentioned 140 units is about what you had. Were those small single family or combination single multifamily. What would that portfolio look like?
Tim Bratz 9:35
Yeah, when I when I went back to Cleveland in 2012, I had these guys essentially came to me and said, Hey, man, we'll give you a 300 grant to go play Monopoly. And so but that was my best option and and they have 67% of the company I had 33% of the company was two brothers. And so I ended up going to work and I just kept on rolling the money forward. We did everything from high end flips, low end flips, single family rentals, duplexes. Plexus and I fell into my first eight unit apartment building around Christmas of 2012, I guess it was. And after that first year of doing a whole bunch of different kinds of stuff with those guys, I realised that the apartments had a scale that I was looking for. And so I stopped doing anything single family and just focus on apartments. So bought a few more about another eight unit on a 14 unit a 2331. It just kept on trading up into bigger and bigger portfolios. And so I had, you know, I don't know, I'd say 10 buildings for a total of 140 units probably. Okay.
Brian Briscoe 10:31
Nice. Nice. Nice. Yeah, that's a good way to get away to grow.
Tim Bratz 10:35
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, liquidated that before the market got hot. Unfortunately, those properties and probably worth way more, like three, four times what I was what I was into it for, but it's still all good. I was glad to kind of just get out of that, that business partnership, and just start doing my own thing. And so I got back into like the turnkey single family space, we're flipping about 80 to 100 houses a year, I built up a small team, with an acquisitions guy and operations guy and essentially a dispositions guy. And we just went to work and had some success in 2015, started a management company 2016 that took our eye off the ball. And that was pretty tough year. And then in 2017, started, you know, gotten into a groove again, and built up, you know, a few 100 units actually kind of passively in some deals that I was sponsoring loans on and raising some money for down in like Georgia area, and then had, you know, some units up in Ohio, too, and then still have this transactional flipping business. And by, you know, August 2017, I sat back and looked at my net worth, where was I spending my time and what I want to do with my life, and realise that 90% of my net worth came from my apartments, it was only like, 10% of my time. And so I was like this, this epiphany occurred, and I went back to my team, and I said, Stop doing anything single family, we're only looking at multifamily now. So acquisitions guy, no more single family houses, only looking at apartments, project manager, no more renovating houses only renovating apartments, dispositions guy, instead of selling houses, you're only going to asset manage apartments, and that's what we ended up doing. And it's wild man, when you draw a line in the sand and kind of burn the ships from what you're doing. All of a sudden, it was apartment after apartment after apartment that just showed up as
Brian Briscoe 12:16
focused on that. Yeah, I think, you know, burning the ships, you know, a lot of people use that phrase. And I love it, that it's basically what I did. I literally retired from the Marine Corps last week, right. And so three years ago, I decided to burn to future ships. And I told myself, I am not looking for another job ever. You know, I put my retirement date on the board three years ago, and, you know, did the same thing. I think what that does for somebody and, you know, let me know if it's the same for you, but it commits you 100%. You know, once once you're committed to that course of action, it's just like, I'm doing this, there's no no turning back. There's no going to the left or going to the right. It's um, it's your bust. And I think for me, that was one of the keys that led to, you know, the success that I've had so far.
Tim Bratz 13:01
Yeah, absolutely, man. And first of all, congratulations. That's amazing. And yeah, like humans, guess what, we are resilient beings, right? If our backs against the wall, and our our options are either succeed or die, Gavin's tend to succeed, like, we'll figure it out, right? You got to almost put yourself in that constraint in order to make that happen. And I think what, why a lot of people don't have the success that they that they could have is because they're just, they have this little safety net, they feel comfortable. It's not, it's not uncomfortable enough for them to have to get outside of that zone. They have to start doing things they really don't want to do. And I think one of the things that I've done unintentionally at first, and now very intentionally is I create these constraints in my life. And I create these constraints where like, screw it, I'll just burn the ships, right? Like, All right, now I need to make this happen, right? So I got to think more resourcefully. I need to figure out the resources, the connections, the time, all that kind of stuff in order to make this this other thing work, whatever I'm doing, and I still I still try to do that I try to put constraints at like, I'll go and contract the property without knowing anything about it, just to contract because then it forces me to go do the due diligence and underwrite and negotiate if I have to, and, and learn something new. So you know, I, I'm, you know, almost, you know, it's kind of scary to some people. But to me, I just have to go and create that constraint in order to, like, get a lot of stuff done. It's like packing for vacation. When you pack your pack. Three hours before you leave for the airport. You're gonna love me and like, yeah,
Brian Briscoe 14:32
you know, and I think you know, what, you mentioned it, there's perceived risk there. I think a lot of people perceive the risk, and they don't go after that. And they think, Oh, my gosh, he gets something or contract with, you know, sight unseen. But, you know, if you understand the reality of the game, there's a lot of contingencies built into most contracts. I mean, now, nowadays, in a competitive market, you're not seeing as many contingencies, but you can buy something like that sight unseen and know you've got, you know, 30 days. are so to conduct due diligence, you know, and get in and figure things out, you know. So I think you've made a good point. A lot of people look at it and say it's risky, but I think it's more of a perceived risk than it is an actual risk. You got to know, know the game a little better.
Tim Bratz 15:16
Yeah, for sure. I agree. 100%. Man, I think I've been around the block enough times where it's not really risky to me, right, like, I know exactly what to look for. And when you spend 10,000, let alone You know, I don't know, probably 30,000 hours in commercial real estate to the point where it's very hard for somebody to pull the wool over my eyes. So even though like I'm looking at something, contracting something without ever seeing it, I still know what to look for. And I can kind of Judge an opportunity without having to see it physically. Yeah.
Brian Briscoe 15:47
Yeah. You know, and the better, you know, markets in areas and the whole real estate game, I mean, if you know, a market very well, and something comes with the market. I mean, it doesn't take much more than looking at a price per door, to say, that's probably a good deal. You know, so there's very simple math that you get, from your experience, where you just look at something and say, boom, that's it. That's going to be a good deal. Let's go. So absolutely. A cool, cool. So let's let's talk about, you know, one of these apartment complexes that you've done, you may be one of the more recent ones. Can you tell us a little bit about the the type of stuff that you're doing now, and and what it looks like? Yeah.
Tim Bratz 16:23
So, you know, today, I think chapter one of my life was that first seven or eight years of messing up, and doing bad deals, and being in bad business partnerships and having tenants burn me and contractors burned me and all that kind of stuff. That was like chapter one, I think of my life. Chapter Two probably started when I started getting a little bit better at Real Estate about four years ago, and built up this portfolio. So today, I have a portfolio of north of $4,000 over $400 million. And we've transacted 1000s of units above that, as well as kind of what I'm currently holding. And and I think chapter two is just like, growth mode, build your balance sheet, is what I would kind of like that, too. So I was taking out any property, especially a couple years ago, early on, I'd buy a you know, 24 unit, I buy a 36 unit, I'd buy a 14 unit now just grow the portfolio. So that way I could I could then sponsor and be a GP on all these other bigger apartment complexes and stuff. And so that's what was like really my goal. And then, you know, a couple years ago, I was able to start sponsoring $10 million $20 million deals, and we just kept on growing, growing growing that way, today, this year has been a lot of refinement. For me, that's kind of how I'm closing down chapter two, which is selling off all the small buildings, selling off all the C class heavy management intensive type stuff, you know, selling off my storage facilities selling selling off my office buildings. 90% of my portfolio is apartments and that's I want it to be almost 100% of my portfolio. And really the only two asset classes that we're focused on right now are workforce housing apartments and like B kind of areas, B class a class areas, but workforce, I don't do anything luxury, I don't do anything C class or D class. And then and buildings over 100 units in mostly the Sunbelt, and that's my, that's my buy box. And then I buy these like kind of unique assets that are that are just a little bit different, like historical building that'll turn into like micro offices, I have this ridiculous Mountain House in western North Carolina, that's 12,000 square feet on 50 acres. That's just all timber frame just absolutely stunning. And we have like a it's like a high end Airbnb on that. And I use it for personal use too. Right and then I just bought an island in South Carolina Hilton Head and we're doing some cool stuff with that we're gonna put like a kind of a glamping tent, campsite and upscale kind of camping on this private island 110 acres of lands plus 357 acres of Marsh lands that I bought around it and it's going to be a cool kind of like event venue masterminds corporate retreats, weddings, and just kind of like unique pieces of property like that that you cannot duplicate anywhere else. So we do one or two of those a year and then the other thing is it's just otherwise just boring ass blue collar apartment buildings
Brian Briscoe 19:17
right like you know,
Tim Bratz 19:18
middle of the road insulated. They're not sexy, but man they they you know print money and they're great long term, almost like bonds of just predictable cash flow and appreciation. They're like ATM machines, you
Brian Briscoe 19:31
know it's not sexy you look at it and it's like you know, everybody's seen an ATM machine before and it's not exciting but you know, the cash flows there you know, they just keep on spitting out money and it's nice I think you got you got kind of a nice mix of sexy and then just the the boring cash flow stuff. You know,
Tim Bratz 19:48
what am I early mentors? Technically anybody you take advice from as a guest mentor, but there's a guy I knew who he actually sold his company. He had like a commercial supply account. Companies sold it to Home Depot and turned into Home Depot commercial division. So like he's he made a lot of money. And this guy was in a mastermind that I was in. And I was talking with him one time and he's like, and he was like, get into the private equity and his buddy had a $2 billion real estate trust or something like that. He's like, Listen, you need a couple of properties in your portfolio for the front of the brochure. They're not the moneymakers, but they look beautiful, gets people to open the brochure, right, they judge the book by the cover. And then the returns are made through these boring, being class, middle of the road. Just Just a cookie cutter kind of deals that you just do over and over and over again. So he's like, you need both of those. So now
Brian Briscoe 20:40
that you know set with me, we got some mansard roof properties. I think we got five properties have Mansard roofs, all in South Carolina, all 70s built, you know, those are not the front of the brochure properties, those those are the other ones you're talking about that are paying all the bills, but you know, it's there, they're not sexy, and they're they're producing, we're chasing, you know, we'll have a couple of for the brochures, or we're chasing those right now. But
Tim Bratz 21:06
here's the thing, guys, you don't you don't need those, right, I think it just makes it easier to attract the masses. So I Grant Cardone is doing a great job right now. He's had a lot of success, because he's got all these sexy properties, right? And yeah, and he's gotten so much exposure there, that people they'd rather have a sexy property and be able to say that they're in that deal versus have the highest return. I've just always attracted the people who who their sexy was what's the return on my investment, right? Like, what's the return on equity and that's always been their sexy is those those automatic dividend payments mailbox money hitting their, their account every single month, that's sexy to a lot of the people that I've worked with, but I'm seeing there's an entire another demand dynamic, that want to be able to say I own 1% of an island of a private island on 1% of this castle up on a hill, you know, like, and so it's, it's a it's, you know, it's unique, it's a little bit different new for me even. And, you know, I think I think, especially with where the market is, right now, it's very, you know, a perceived tough market to be in, if you're not creative. And if you're not listening to what people want, like, what are they looking for? What are they willing to invest in, and, you know, we've just been able to kind of take the temperature of some of our investors and some of them are looking for more sexy stuff. Some of them are looking of just, you know, ego and image driven, some of them are looking for more equity growth, some are looking for more coupon cutting of, of dividend distributions, and so just kind of figuring out and then and then overtaking and then going and finding that asset that that meets that bill.
Brian Briscoe 22:40
Matches nice, guys appreciate it. So I'm gonna switch gears here a little bit. You kind of brushed around your motivation, but if you could you talk about your big burning why for a little bit? What is your WHY? Yeah, I
Tim Bratz 22:52
mean, you know, I think early on people, like I want money, right? And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think, you know, society has shamed people for wanting that, but it's not, it's not the money that you want, right? It's what does the money do? That's Noble. And for me, I used to want the fancy stuff Dude, I'm, I'm not a fancy guy, right? I drive a Jeep Wrangler. I'm just more of a Wrangler kind of guy, and I can buy a Lamborghini dealership, but I just don't want that it's not my vibe. I'm a crappy driver. And I hit a bunch of potholes and be pissed because I've been to rim anyway. So I'm just more of the Wrangler guy and more the beach, you know, paddleboard, like that's more lifestyle driven. And that's that's really became the driver for me. After it was money that it was more like lifestyle driven. And, and now it's more impact. I guess it's as almost cheesy, corny, or whatever that might sound. It's more about making an impact on my kids on other people's families. And it's why I have my kids book series, little legacy library. And, you know, I think a lot of people, they want the fancy stuff, they want the vacations and they want you know, and there's a lot of noble purposes, retiring your spouse, retiring your parents and taking your family on a vacation that people only read about magazines, I think that's amazing. And but you know, there's there's a lot of things that they don't tell you about either, right? Like one of my best friend's daughter was just like, She's like, my niece, like a tiger with her that I am my actual nieces. And she just got diagnosed with brain cancer, right? And just absolutely horrible, horrible, horrible, that's something that they don't prepare you for. And they don't tell you like, what to what to go build wealth for, you know, and I'm in a position where I can say, Hey, man, what do you need? Right? Like, like, let me let me help anyway, that if your work will not support you, guess what you come in on my payroll and to take care of you whatever that looks like. And, and that's the kind of stuff that they don't, not a lot of people talk about, of why to pursue wealth, personal finance and building portfolios, like not what not the money but what the money can do, right and the impact it can make the churches and hospitals and libraries that it can build. Um, you know, people you can retire the impact the, you know, just the positivity that you can that you can create in the in society. So that's you, that's where the
Brian Briscoe 25:10
bigger options so yeah, I appreciate that the
Tim Bratz 25:13
options you get man, it's a big deal but there's also kind of like an internal flame drive desire of just like achievement also, it's more of like a way of keeping score almost of like, How big can I push this in order to inspire other people that they don't have to go and stay at their dead end job for their entire life. Like, there's more out there. And if you believe in yourself, let me show you what what this can possibly look like. And there's there's a little bit of that that really drives me to
Brian Briscoe 25:39
Awesome, awesome. All right. And last question before we bring Rodney on what's next for you? Oh, man,
Tim Bratz 25:47
I used to set goals out like 1015 years and what I wanted to accomplish, and then you realise like, this stuff starts compounding, like substantially, where I can't even like there's new opportunities. And there's, there's new things, right? Like, I got two little kids, a six year old or four year old. And I realised once I had kids, and then once they started going to school, there's different things that I actually care about things that I want out of my life, not instead of just growing a massive portfolio, if that ever would take me away from the family wouldn't want to do that. So now I'm asking myself questions like, Alright, over the next 24 months, I want to hit a billion dollars in assets in my portfolio, right? And I want a billion dollar portfolio of real estate and these unique assets and these apartment buildings. And that's kind of like, how do I do that working 20 to 24 hours a week, I'm willing to work six hours a day, Monday through Thursday. And that's it. So it kind of creates those constraints that I was talking about before? How can I do that? What are the most important activities that I can be spending my time on? What is the highest return on my time and my team's time? How do I set my team up to be able to handle and manage more of these things without taking on too much more overhead? And those are the kinds of questions that I'm asking myself right now. So that that way I can design my life. And then my business kind of fills in, in those six hours a day, four days a week that the kids are at school, and then I can I can be 100% present with them. So yeah, that's that's kind of where I'm at right now. I love it.
Brian Briscoe 27:10
I love it. I mean, I think society has kind of gotten away from that, you know, where you're so busy with your job, your career and trying to, you know, make money that you forget to live your life. And I think I think everybody should take a step back and design their life in the fit their work in. But that's, that's what I'm trying to do, too. I'm still I'm still in the 40 hour work week trying to get down to the four hour workweek. So anyway, we'll see,
Tim Bratz 27:35
I think I think it's, it's one of those things where like, I also need to be 100% focus while I'm doing the work, right. So like, my kids also know that they don't bother Daddy, when I'm at work six hours a day, Monday through Thursday, but they're not really here anymore. But my wife knows I'm in the zone. Like, you'd be surprised how much more focused you are though. Like during those work hours, if you have those constraints on, you're not checking social media all the time. You're not, you know, touring around on YouTube and watching whatever and, and you're actually doing the activities that matter in order to get the results. And you're able to accomplish in 20 to 24 hours, the same thing that you were doing in 40 to 50 hours a week. So it's, it's again, those kind of go back to the whole burn the ships kind of mentality in a smaller way. But yeah,
Brian Briscoe 28:21
absolutely. Absolutely. Cool. All right. Well, let's bring Rodney on the show. And hey, Rodney, why don't you take a couple minutes Introduce yourself. Tell us about you. And we'll go from there.
Rodney Robinson 28:33
Hey, guys, thank you, Brian, for having me on. Tim. I'm really enjoying this dialogue. Feels like I'm in a networking session. But I forget people are going to be listening to this. So yeah, I actually am a working professional. That's how I communicate with others that are have some sort of interest in real estate. I've been in my career for about 10 years. I'm a supply chain manager. And I've always been interested in real estate, I feel like it's my thing. I've always had a heart for it. I started studying in 2013 to understand in real estate investing. And my wife and I got married, and we just went down a path of what's our next step. So our first step was, we bought a house in 2016. And that ended up being our second rental and in 2019 we bought our first rental fixed it up 2020 that was actually when I met you, Brian, you may not have met me, but I met you. I was at it was a big deal for me because it was my first conference for multifamily. I went to Michael Blanc dealmaker live, it was virtual. And that was one of the benefits of 2020 in spite of the many challenges, I was able to do something like that, that I otherwise would not have been able to do and so I got to learn from a lot of great people what syndication is about multifamily is about we have four young children. That first house we did all it took was one time for me to say I don't want to do that again. I mean it's it's cash flow, and it's great. But I'm not going to do it 20 times 40 times Yeah, at times like YouTube. So,
Brian Briscoe 30:07
two before I realised I needed to step it up. So yeah,
Rodney Robinson 30:10
yeah, yeah, yeah. I said, I'll either work harder or not do this at all. So I said, I'm, I'm not going to do this, I'd like to get the same results, but are the same effort and more output. So that was my desire for multifamily. So this year, I was able to passively invest in real estate funds with someone that I know well. And I feel like I'm moving along. So I got an opportunity to be on the show and listen to you, Brian. And you, Tim, talk about your experience. And I'm pretty fired up.
Brian Briscoe 30:35
Awesome. Awesome. Now, you touched on it a little bit. But I also want to dive into your big burning why as well. So tell us tell us what your why.
Rodney Robinson 30:46
So my why I think it'll, you know, just like you, Tim, when I started, it was, I was always let's grow, well, that was a big thing for me, especially when you get first job, you realise you have an opportunity to save so much, especially when your expenses were as low as mine, you know, just my wife and I starting off no children, then we got to a place where all of our needs were met financially. And, you know, I'm thankful I still want more, I want multifamily, I want to be able to put large apartment deals together and create wealth for others. I think there are two sides of it, I want others to know the options that they have available to them. And my specific area of focus. And in terms of a target group, that's working professionals. So I want other working professionals to understand that outside your 401k outside of stocks, there are other options for passive investors, they choose those routes, because it's most convenient. And the second part is I want to make a difference for residents. Aside from that, you know, with the wealth, you know, of course, you want to grow your personal wealth, and you want to feel that sense of achievement. But we have a vision as well to help others that need help, just like you said, you know, you just never know where it's gonna come from. But there are a lot a lot of people that are hurting in this world. And we have opportunities.
Brian Briscoe 32:02
Awesome, awesome. Appreciate that. Well, here Here comes my favourite part of the podcast episode is where I say, hey, Rodney, we got Tim on the line. What do you want to ask him?
Rodney Robinson 32:14
All right. So yeah, Sam, you, you had such a breadth of experience. And it sounds like you were a little critical of yourself from, you know, some of the the different, what you call distractions over the over time? I mean, would you say that you got more focused over the later years? Or when did you When did the light bulb go off? And, you know, what would you say you're focusing on today? What does that journey look like for you? Yeah, great question, man.
Tim Bratz 32:39
I think you know, you see all these entrepreneurs on social media and stuff, and they call themselves so like serial entrepreneurs, I thought it was so cool. Oh, my gosh, they own all these businesses, they must be such good business people. And that was like a sexy thing. And so I thought, like, maybe I should go and dip my toes in this business, and that business and all these different things. And when you're, that spread out, you're not focused on anything. And now when I hear somebody talking about them, being a serial entrepreneur, I think, I feel bad for this person, right? I bet they're completely broke, completely lost, they have zero direction, like, I almost want to help them if they're a serial entrepreneur.
Brian Briscoe 33:13
Tim Bratz 33:16
I'm in there, like this group of, I've kind of gotten through this phase, like there's a few different phases in business. And I think, when you're doing like, up to a million dollars, that's the proof of concept phase, you got to put put your head down just a focus, right. And then a million to about $10 million in revenue and revenue is it's kind of like the it's almost like hell zone, man, because it's really tough. Because you're making no money, you know, it works, you know, you got something, but you're not making enough where you can bring out all these like multiple, six figure talents in your organisation, and start building out a real network and a real team. So that was like, tough, but like, once you get past that, then I know a lot of people who have like multiple eight figure businesses and are making millions of millions of dollars a year, and they are serial entrepreneurs, because their businesses, you know, deploying money into other people's businesses, kind of a thing, they're divesting passively, and that's how they're serial entrepreneur. So early on, I thought it was just cool to go and try to operate and it's very, very difficult to operate even, like I have a couple different businesses but I have people who run each one of my different businesses, I have a who, who handles the operations for every single thing that I that I'm doing each business that I'm that I'm running, I really only have three businesses, but I have my education, business, my coaching, consulting, that kind of stuff. I have my real estate operations business. And then I have my kids books, which is really just you know, it's almost like an offshoot, but I have my wife and one of my best friends who are running that so like I you know, what am I? I guess what I went through that stuff and I got unfocused, I realised how important focus was on you know, I think we read about it, we hear about it, a lot of these things, but some things you just got to experience right like going broke. I needed to experience that and not being Focus, I need to do experience that because it makes me that much better of a steward of capital today and that much better of a focused entrepreneur today and it Listen man, I have a big social media following a relatively right. So I people hit me up all the time, crypto this and Amazon ecommerce stores there and these these new things all over the place. And I'm like, if so here's what I do, here's my secret. If I don't see myself dedicating dedicated to doing it for at least the next three years, I won't do it. And it goes back to kind of the the 10,000 hour thing of in order to become an expert at anything, you need to spend at least 10,000 hours doing it. That's, that's essentially five years at a 40 hour a week effort. as entrepreneurs, maybe we can get there because you know, we're thinking about it, we're more productive and more resourceful. And we're just thinking about business all the time. Maybe we get there in three years. But if I can't dedicate at least three years, I'm not willing to dedicate at least three years to doing whatever that one activity is. I'm not doing that business whatsoever. So that's kind of and that's it's pretty easy for me, right? ecommerce stores, I don't see myself, Tony, come for the next three years, done out of the way, right? Yeah, new opportunities or developing a hotel or something I'm just not interested in doing that. Not going to do especially for the next three years. And so just, it's easier for me to clean a slate and say no to things if I know that I'm not gonna be doing it for the next three years. And that's what keeps me focused.
Rodney Robinson 36:25
Yeah. That's, that's a great answer. I've been thinking a lot about that, too. I think that's where I am my journey. I heard someone say you can do anything, but you can't do everything. So it has actually been just about a year, or over a year since I dedicated my focus on multifamily. And I'm proud of that, because I was just like what you were saying it's like, you know, crypto stocks, businesses, and you know, to be able to stick to something, I'm already seeing the traction. So that's great.
Tim Bratz 36:55
Yeah, and here's the thing, when, like, I'm the, I'm the early on entrepreneur, like I like to get things going I like the excitement of the growth mode. Like that's, that's more my vibe. And so as soon as things get normal, and they get corporate, and they have slps in place, and KPIs and metrics and measurements all like that, that like gives me anxiety on the hell out of there. So that's not my vibe. And still like, my business is boring now, though. And it's it's systematised. And it has slps. And it has KPIs, but it's not me running it. But I realised that this is when you start printing money, right? When it gets boring as rents are printing cash. So I have somebody who runs that entire thing. And then I go dude, and chase these shiny objects, like not shiny objects, but like, I do these unique things that still like an island, kind of, like the island like the like the, you know, the Mountain House and like some of those things that keep me excited, but still fall into the same. It's only like, one branch removed from, you know, the core business.
Rodney Robinson 37:55
Still in your core focus, but it's Yeah, it's an extension based on what you've already built. That's awesome. So what would you say it took you some time to get where you are? And you have children now? And you are now down to? I think you said six hours? A day on your work? Yes. So what do you what do you spend your time on right now?
Tim Bratz 38:17
That's a really good question. When I, when I was a solo entrepreneur, doing everything, the best thing that you can do early on, is hire an assistant to take non revenue generating activities off your plate, you know, all the stuff that that's just noise, right? Like the things that just it you have to know what revenue generating activities are like, what is a direct correlation to making money, which activities and really in our business, Ronnie, it's, it's finding deals. It's raising capital. And it's whatever your dispositions method is whether selling your properties, or refinancing and holding and refining your operations kind of thing. So sourcing deals, sourcing money, refining your operations, those are revenue generating cities, and that's it. Right? Everything else is noise. So you got to get away from the noise, and just focus on those things. That's that's what gave me a lot of momentum to start building and growing the business because I just got obsessed with finding deals and raising money. And then my team was obsessed with the operation side of things. Today, it was kind of weird. And I actually heard Dan Gilbert, you know, the owner of like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans. Dan Gilbert said this in an interview and somebody asked him a similar question, like, what do you spend your time on? And it's almost the non quantifiable things now that have the best return on my investment. It's social media. It is being on podcast. It is the coaching the mentoring, the things that I don't know what can possibly come from me being on this podcast, but who knows dude brought it maybe you bring me a 300 unit apartment building deal in Melbourne, Florida, which I have, right like my wife's grandpa was from Melbourne actually. And so Maybe I come in and I fund this entire deal. And all of a sudden it grows your net worth by $5 million, and my net worth by $5 million, because we took it on this apartment building deal together. Like, I don't know, that sounds really good, you know? Or maybe it's right. Or maybe it's some listener ends up sending me a message and say, Hey, can I invest with you? Or, hey, I want to get coached by you timber. Like, I don't know what can quantify but I know that I don't do any one on one activities anymore. I only do one too many. That's it. multiplier activities. So I only do one too many. I don't do when I have people ask me, you know, Hey, I'll pay you $20,000 come and hang out for days. Not interested. Right? It's because it's not a one to many activity. And I like doing things that are evergreen, like being on podcast or posting on social media. That's the content always gonna be out there. And I have I've had people who saw me on Michael blondes podcast two years ago, hit me up and be like, Hey, man, I love your vibe, you know, can I come out to your project? Or can I joint venture can I send you a deal, whatever. And so like, that's why that's why I like doing this kind of stuff, the marketing stuff. If I can feed the marketing funnel, it makes the deal flow easier for my acquisitions guy, it makes the money flow easier for my money. Like capital manager, it makes the operation side easier for my CFO. So I see myself as kind of the the fuel that feeds those engines now.
Brian Briscoe 41:22
I love it. Okay, well, one point we just hired an assistant ourselves and oh, my goodness, it's just it's a game changer there. Yeah, absolute game changer. But yeah, a lot, a lot of golden nuggets there. I'm gonna go back and listen to this myself. But there's some stuff that I learned a long time ago. And this was, you know, back in college, a Reno real world example. And I'm a math nerd, right, got two degrees in math. But and this is true in a lot of different things. It's, a lot of times, it's that one connection that takes you a long way that really moves things, you know, and you can look at, you know, people in the world who move the world, you know, like, like Elon Musk's of the world, you know, it's not, it's not the people that are moving, you know, inches and yards, it's that one person that moves things, you know, miles down the road, and you never know when you're going to meet that person. And that's one of the things I like your one to medium philosophy. And, you know, I still spend a lot of one on one time, but, you know, I'm doing dozens and dozens of calls every week, because, you know, every once in a while, I find that one jam, that one person that's just going to move things way down the road for me. But anyway, we're about out of time. So I got one question for each of you that close things up. Tim, how can listeners learn more about you? Yeah, I'm
Tim Bratz 42:42
really active on social media. So hit me up on Facebook, Instagram, I answer all my own messages. So if you guys have any questions, connections, resources needs to point in the right direction, kind of a thing. Feel free to send me a message. I'm happy to connect with you. And I'm always trying to put out you know, quality content and help people not just with business, but with their lives kind of thing. So yeah, I appreciate you having me, buddy. Thank you so much. This is Ronnie. Great to meet you, too. But
Brian Briscoe 43:08
yeah. And we'll put your Instagram handles and links in the show notes for anybody who wants to reach out and touch him. So, Rodney, Tim, question for you. How can people learn more about you?
Rodney Robinson 43:20
So? Yeah, I'm very active on social media. My home base is my website. It's Rodney Robinson second calm. I have about 100 blog articles on multifamily real estate passively investing, and a free giveaway for people that are interested in becoming passive investors called the passive investor startup.
Brian Briscoe 43:40
All right, awesome. Love it. I'm just making a note to check out your blog article 100 blog articles on on real estate a bit check and find a lot right there. So thank you. Thank you. It's been a lot of writing. All right. Well, we'll put links to that in the show notes so people can check it out. And I highly encourage anybody listening to this that the check Checkout, if you're interested in what Tim says what Rodney says, you know, link up with them. That said, you know, out of time, thanks so much to both of you for coming on the show today. I really, really appreciate it.
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 app, subscribe, and leave us a five star rating on your favourite podcast app. And we'll see you again next week.
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