Using Your Competitive Edge with Matt Brawner and Esther Min
Episode 126 of the Diary of an Apartment Investor Podcast with Matt Brawner and Esther Min, hosted by Brian Briscoe. Transcript by Otter.ai – please forgive any errors.
Brian Briscoe 0:00
Esther, we have Matt on the line here. What do you want to ask him?
Esther Min 0:03
How do you know you found the right partner? The right broker, right contracting? What is your due diligence? Finding the right attorney right people on your team and how do you seek them out?
Matt Brawner 0:12
As it comes to finding partners? I think it's always important to remember, are you equally yoked here? Especially as you get to know one another before you have a track record? They're together? And then are you able to find people who share your values? That's how I made initial decisions. In terms of how you build a team. There's just nothing that beats relationships.
Brian Briscoe 0:44
Welcome to the diary of an apartment investor podcast with your host Brian Briscoe. In this podcast, we bring some of the top professionals in the apartment investment field to discuss various aspects of the apartment investing journey with the sole purpose of educating listeners to make wise investment decisions. The Diary of an apartment investor podcast is sponsored by four oaks capital bringing you high yield returns through apartment complex investing. This is episode number 126. And part of our Ask the Expert series. Today we bring on an experienced investor Matt Brawner, and aspiring investor Esther Min. Keep listening to hear about how to use your competitive advantage and how to know when you found the right partner. And now the shell Welcome to the diamond apartment investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe. With Four Oaks Capital super excited for today's show. It's one of our Ask the Expert episodes and we have two amazing people on the line with us. We've got a guy with a tonne of experience in this this business, we got Matt Bronner, and we also have a motivated and energetic aspiring investor, extra men. So Matt, welcome to the show, first of all, and thanks. Thanks for being on.
Matt Brawner 1:51
Awesome. Glad to be here. Brian, thank you for having me.
Brian Briscoe 1:53
All right, let's do this. Let's talk a little bit about your your background. And you know, what got you into the apartment investing industry.
Matt Brawner 2:02
You know, I'd love to tell you that I was so smart, I could talk about the risk profile. And right away after evaluating all these different options, I was ahead of the curve and said you need to invest in apartments, but then I would be lying. The fact of the matter is, is I stumbled into real estate, my partners and I started buying townhomes up in the northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities simply because they got hit the hardest during the last recession. And we had pretty limited capital. And the thought was, well, if the roof and exterior is covered, this is a good way to break in here. And we did that. And like that was the only thing we thought you could do in real estate was just to buy more townhomes. There's no other options. We drove by perfectly good apartment buildings every day and just didn't even think we can buy those. Yeah, Rachel. More townhomes. There. We had the horse blinders on. First time somebody brought us a deal. We like we're questioning whether or not it was legal. Like how do you do this? And we're like, super into the weeds. Like what happens if one of the tenants doesn't pay rent, what are the maintenance calls go, who's going to be in charge of that I got kids now I don't need that. And then as we work through that it was just very fortuitous. There was an operator who had just left his job was putting together deals. And he had done a great job structuring these he needed capital, we had capitals, were able to come alongside him. And that was a tremendous blessing. Because that just helped us build credibility in the market. One of the things that I work with some coaching students and I tell them over and over again, you've got to prove yourself a credible buyer. In so many other areas of real estate, it's who can write the biggest check, obviously, prices, you're buying real estate as tight as top of mind for everyone. But that's not going to get to get the deal done. Right. There's plenty of people with money to burn and they're a dime a dozen, they don't get their phone calls return because they don't know what they're doing here. And so we were as I said, incredibly lucky incredibly blessed to work alongside some really competent people and that helped us build credibility in the market. And then we've expanded to other markets we do a lot here in the cities because you know so often can happen one deal led to another we started seeing and I'm happy to dig in but just some light bulbs went off for us as to why apartments and ended up down in Memphis, Tennessee. And again, I'd love to tell you like oh, this is why you want to go invest in Memphis, Tennessee, but it was relationships that took us down there. We've continued to invest in continue to spend time there because we've seen the fruit and we understand why it's a good market now but a lot of this is driven by relationships, being willing to ask questions and then researching it on the back end.
Brian Briscoe 4:36
Now I love something you said you said that you have to become a credible buyer, you know before you get a lot of traction. I use the term viable buyer which honestly I I stole from your fellow coach Phil Capron, you know, a couple years ago, but it's absolutely true. I mean, it's not price. It's not money. That's part of it. You have to be able to bring the money to the table, but you have to be I have a buyer to get the attention of brokers and everybody else so so I very much appreciate you saying that. So So one question I mean, going going from, you know, townhomes and more townhome models, you know, what was the biggest challenge getting into multifamily? And how big was that first multifamily deal of yours?
Matt Brawner 5:18
The first multifamily deal we did, it was actually a portfolio of properties that ranged everywhere from I think it was 16 units up to there was a condo conversion that you're trying to take back to apartments still, that was 48 units all in it was probably like a 72 unit portfolio, in terms of you know, what propelled that it was frankly, talking to people that we trusted in real estate, when people asked me, and hey, how have you built the business? It's been, I try to provide value to smart people. And I'm just willing to talk about what I do, because that's how I've learned along the way. And so we kept having it reinforced that multifamily apartments is where you want to invest. And then as you get into the business, I'm super grateful for the fact that we had a background in property management because it was really easy to understand when you do property management, that fewer roofs and more doors is a good thing, right as opposed to Alright, I've got 30 townhomes all scattered across the Twin Cities. My day is even exhausting just booking appointments for what comes up, let alone showing properties. A couple other things stuck out to me along the way, the first time that we did a refinance into an agency loan. It was this 64 unit, kind of funny slash sad deal is owned by a widow, she was using half the units for storage, she just didn't understand what she had. And there were some fireworks as there always are right before closing, the bank got a little bit nervous, we had to come up with another quarter million within 72 hours between all the investors and we get it done. But then 18 months later, we were able to refinance, pull back all of our capital plus 30%, and put it on a nice 10 year fixed rate note with Freddie Mac. Well, that just totally blew our minds. Because again, when you're in single family, you only think Alright, one mortgage, one property only work with this bank, you're so limited in your financing options, which is one of the special parts about multifamily. But then we also we own our own property management company, we only manage what we own. And I have this really distinct memory. And this is when I was still going in really involved in planning out a lot of the turns for the stuff that we have here locally, I had a maintenance guy at the time, and we were walking through this is a building we inherited. And the previous tenant had been really rough on the place I remember coming out of there thinking like Oh man, this is gonna be like two to three weeks, this place is gonna be vacant for another month and a half after that. And he was able to get it done the whole turn in four days. But then I stepped back and like, you know, this is only a 700 square foot apartment Previous to that we do with like 2000 square foot homes, tenant can do a lot of damage and a 2000 square foot home, but at a 700 square foot apartment. All right, things are a little bit contained. And you know what was happening the whole time while he was doing that turn. The other 11 tenants in the building, were paying rent. So it's not like I was totally without any income as you are when you're dealing with single family.
Brian Briscoe 8:17
Yeah, you know, I had a handful of single family you know, several years ago, I sold, I sold them to get into multifamily. But that's that's exactly what it is you lose one tenant. You know, I had one property that had like zero vacancy for the entire 810 years that I owned it. But another property I had a period two periods of three months where I had zero tenants in there and I still got to reach in my back pocket and pay the mortgage every month. So yeah, big thing about scale. And I you know, highlight a couple things you said, you know, when you can put 30 units under one roof that's going to economise. A lot of things, you know, your repairs, you know, the smaller size of the the unit's themselves compared to you know, a single family or a townhome makes the turns faster that the vacancy periods, you know, shorter. And it's just easier to manage in a lot of ways. So appreciate saying all that. So, one question I'd like to ask everybody and looking for your your motivation, but then I call your big burning, why? You know, what motivates you to keep on doing what you're doing and to find success?
Matt Brawner 9:18
Really, it comes down to the fact that I have to be planted. I learned a long time ago that money is neither good nor bad. Money is a tool. And I had actually, we started our company in Minnesota had ended up down in Austin, Texas, I married a Texas girl, we had a home in the hill country. I thought that's where I was going to spend the rest of my life. Right. And I was still involved in real estate but I was getting on a plane. I was a professional fundraiser just about every week. And I was gone like I wasn't physically there with my family and in terms of how I believe I need to be a husband and a father. I don't believe you can have quality time without quantity time. So I had to Step away, and give myself more time with my family, I had trading time for money. And we were blessed that the real estate company had continued to grow. And because I travelled, I could kind of be a part time landlord, because I was working from home, I wasn't in a cubicle. So my boss wasn't looking over my shoulder when I was getting calls about broken toilets. And so it made sense for me to step in. I've got five other partners who own the company with me equally. And so it just made sense for me to step into that role came back here. But it's why we made that move again, we loved Austin, we love Texas, but I had to be able to work, worship and play all in the same place. And this kind of funny asked is, because there's two things, one that I thought of this read, as you were mentioning earlier, I don't think I'm getting in trouble. When I say like you, you edit the podcast, but you mentioned like, it's your daughter that doesn't with you. But fantastic opportunities, you have to be able to work alongside with your daughter, I'm coming back from lunch. It's why I'm looking in the camera here to make sure I don't have barbecue sauce in my face. I took my little guy, he did a really good job last week controlling his emotions. So I said, My dad is going to take you to lunch, we have a restaurant in town that we own. And it was his first time eating chicken wings. And so we did a chicken wings lesson right before this episode, and I'm just, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude that I get those type of opportunities and that you do as well to be able to build a family business like you have.
Brian Briscoe 11:23
Yeah, I love it, you know, and it's it is something it's definitely for us. It's a couple more touch points every week. And you know, it's led to a lot of things, you know, so every time I endorse a book on on the show, you know, I send her a copy. And it's definitely something that works in my little one, my little guy about four girls and boy, but remember about a year ago, you know, I was trying to explain to him now I have a full time job. So this is this is my side, hustle nights, weekends, and we're gonna call this lunch break today. But I had to explain to them, Hey, you know, this is why I can't be with you for the next 30 or 45 minutes. And I kind of explained to him, you know, we buy apartment complexes, and the people who live there pay us money to live there. And he thought about it for a second, his eyes got really big. He's like, Dad, you need to buy as many those apartment complex as you can then, you know, and it was just like, you see that light bulb go on. And it's just like, okay, so he gets it. But you know, eventually, in about 127 days, when I say eventually, I won't have a full time job anymore. And I'll be able to control my time, a lot more just just like you're saying, Now I'll be able to be there with my family. Would you say work, worship and play in the same area? Yep. Yep, I love it, you know, work, worship and play all in the same area. So
Matt Brawner 12:42
I want to just mention one quick thing about what I really appreciate what you did with your son there, there is a fatherhood podcast that I follow where they talk about all elements of being a dad, it's called the five minute fatherhood podcast, and they actually had on this, and I forget the gentleman's name, or even what business he had. That's not the important part of the story. You had been incredibly successful. He's a billionaire, actually. And they had talked about, you know, what advice you have in terms of how you teach your children about money, and how you how you teach your children about work. And what he did was he said, he said, You need to demystify work, right? Like, you need to make it very clear for your children. Here's how, because it's something we all have to do. Like, again, money is neither good nor bad money. But here's how I go out and get money for our team. And I, it's what came to mind. And you talked about, like, here's how I get money for our team. I buy apartment complexes, and then people rent them from us. And I just think that that's great. And it's one can kind of be like a, you know, a billboard for multifamily. But it's one of the many things I love about it is how clear it is to show people how you create value. You know,
Brian Briscoe 13:51
he was probably six at the time, he's eight. Now this this was this was about the time that I actually joined the Michael Blanc coaching programme myself. So it was it was closer to two, maybe three years ago. But oh, my goodness, I mean, it was just the simplicity, I am not usually that good at explaining things on a on a six year old level, but the simplicity just connected with them. You know, we buy apartments, people pay us money to live there. And, you know, looking back at it, I think, you know, if we can break something down that simple, the kids are just going to really, really understand it. So, so let's talk about some of your deals, you know, pick your first pick your favourite, you know, tell us tell us a little bit about something you've done here.
Matt Brawner 14:32
Sure, you know, what's top of mind for me is a deal that we actually just closed in October of last year. And I think what resonates with it is it just touches every facet of my strategy, and why we've been so fortunate to have the business that we have, you know, continuing on with the theme of you gotta prove yourself a credible buyer. We started and I alluded to this, you know, we were primarily in the Twin Cities We started investing in Memphis because we had worked alongside fellow co sponsor here in the Twin Cities. We went and invested in Memphis, just as a limited partner. Our attitude has been, you know, if we can generate great returns while we learn to market, and while we meet the right team members, and that's absolutely a strategy we want to pursue. And so we invested for the first time in Memphis in March of 2019. And then I started making quarterly trips to go with the general partners, anytime that they were going to check on the asset, when we made a very significant investment. So I wanted to see how things were performing. But I wanted to watch how they carried themselves. I wanted to watch the types of discussions that they had, I wanted to listen to the types of questions that they asked. And it's amazing how true some of the first pieces of advice you receive in life are of like, so much of it is just showing up being there being willing to get on a plane, fast forward 18 months. And because again, I even flew down a couple of times to go look at deals I wasn't even investing in. But we met the right brokers, the right property managers along the way, there was the deal that fell out of contract because of COVID kind of a crazy story is this $35 million deal three properties. And they had a small permitting issue that pushed the escrow into COVID lender got nervous, the equity got nervous, everybody walked away. And it was a relationship with a broker who said, Hey, you guys want to take a look at this. There's some tremendous upside here, and we jumped on it. One of the things I also tell my students, I have never won a deal the first time through. I've never been picked, like, yep, you win based on price. And it's something I share with brokers too. I'm like, I'm not going to be your best on price. Every deal I bought, I've been the backup guy and I even joked that applies to my married life. Like, I've been the backup guy to come in here. And I'll still be here and I can I can close this. I can help you get paid.
Brian Briscoe 16:54
Yeah, I'll take that down as it comes up. Yeah. As it hits the rim and bounces off. I'll be there for the rebound. Just try. Right.
Matt Brawner 17:02
Right. Yeah. And so you got to understand that when you see my offering good brokers understand that and appreciate it, they still got to push for the price. They're doing their job. Well, we were able to pick this up. And it was incredibly complex we did. It was 122 units, and we're doing a significant lift, total renovation on it's like 4.2 million, we're buying it for 71 a door putting 35 a door into it. 1031 partners, we did bridge debt, and there's all sorts of you can kind of get an alphabet soup. When you talk about multifamily financing. Let's just say like banks always care when they give you money bridge, that means it's typically like the bank's personal money. And so they really, really care when they give you that. So going through that underwriting process, and then being able to close that in COVID. I felt like I got a Master's class in it. But we were super excited because our asked again, we were all in at 106, a door as stabilised appraisal came back at 170 a door place across the street just sold for 237 a door. So there's phenomenal opportunity. But we've got to execute the project that's in front of us. So we have completed the windows, we've done the boiler and now we're working floor by floor every unit is getting turned in, it's reinforced for me, we're able to take on that scope of a renovation project, cuz I've got a partner. His name's Todd excimer, who actually is a general contractor, my other partner on the deal is Drew Whitson. But Todd with his background, as a general contractor, it's what enabled drew and I feel comfortable stepping into this size of a project, I really understand property management because that's what I kind of grew up in through real estate. So it just reinforced that who's on your team is incredibly important. So right now we are, as I said, in the middle of that, and we even got into because it's such a unique deal. You know, there was really minimal cash flow early on. So we got into, like multiple share classes doing some preferred equity. And my students will always come to me and they'll say, you know, is that the way you always do it? Like, here's the thing is, essentially, we're doing private equity here. And private equity means there's no rules, right? As long as everything's disclosed to the investor, you can do deals any way you want. And this level of investment in this type of structure was new to me. But it's been really fun all along the way. And we've been able to reward investors who are choosing to, to take on such a large project with us. And then we have some other assets in the pipeline that are right in that same sub market. And it's been because of what we're able to do with property was called rose grass, renamed it Idlewild because of what we've done with Idlewild. It's open these other doors and what's hopefully leading to some good things coming to fruition here pretty quickly.
Brian Briscoe 19:40
Now, one thing that you said you're talking about being credible, and even though you had a track record, of buying in and closing on, on properties, you know, it sounds like you know, that this credibility is a whole different level than $35 million property. You know, that's that's a whole different level of credibility. I think at each, each level. You get up to You still have to establish that credibility in that Next, I guess, next tier of multifamily where it is. So now did you guys into buying the whole portfolio for 35 years you just pick learn one or two
Matt Brawner 20:10
picked off one. And there's another one within that, that we're hopefully close to some good news on here
Brian Briscoe 20:15
soon working on soon. Well, good. And incidentally, all star team right there had both drew and Todd on this podcast before I you know, I think both of those guys are fabulous. And I couldn't think of, you know, a better three people to put on a on a GPT right there. So share that. So one question that I also really like asking, you know, just to see what's what's on the on a boiler plate for you What, what's next for you what's coming up.
Matt Brawner 20:43
For us, it's more of the same. We are really dialled in on Memphis and the Mid South, it's been really beneficial for us, because Memphis is easy to get to, for me. And that's something is people look to invest outside their backyard that I encourage them to think about, like, you got to find markets that are close by, I can get to Memphis in an hour and 45 minutes, and I enjoy going there. I've developed relationships or professional relationships with people I really enjoy being around. And that makes it easier for me to go to prospecting trips, it makes it easier for me to jump on a plane on short notice. And then we've also been able to find other deals here in the Twin Cities, the Twin Cities is doing a few things with their rental laws that I'm still a buyer in the Twin Cities, but it has me a little bit sceptical based on what we're seeing out of the city council. So it's why we've kind of pivoted our attention a little bit further south. And that's as people look at other markets as well, it's some of the things that I think people can neglect. Obviously, we want to go with those population bases that are expanding, you want to see expanding job basis, but you also got to be able to run your business. So understanding the rental laws and how they affect your ability to run the property at a at a really basic level is an important thing to consider. So like I said, we've got a deal actually going to close here in the Twin Cities and 54 units in April, hopefully close to some good news in Memphis here shortly on other parts of that portfolio, and then just continuing to manage the renovation at Idlewild. All right,
Brian Briscoe 22:11
yeah, that's sounds awesome, you know, best of luck to you on closing those properties. And it just reinforced. I mean, when I when I started looking at multifamily properties, I had just moved to Maryland, which is one of the more tenant friendly states you know, and, you know, directly to my, my East is DC, you know, so DC, Maryland, you know, the whole areas is very, very tenant friendly and difficult to operate. So I glad you brought up that point doesn't come up very often on the show, you know, if you find landlord friendly areas, managing the properties is just a lot easier to do. All right, let's switch gears right here we got after min that's been patiently waiting. And you know, Esther, welcome to the show.
Esther Min 22:55
Hi, Brian and Matt, thank you for having me, Brian. Way to ask my question.
Brian Briscoe 23:03
So before you ask questions, I want you to answer a couple of questions first, okay. So not really a question more of a statement but please tell us about yourself.
Esther Min 23:12
Yes, absolutely. My background in multifamily began really with the ultimate Bible Rich Dad Poor Dad, real estate education after graduating from college last April and you know, where it really began was junior year in college. I got this 35 cake who started alone at zero point vigils was that interesting. I'm not to take in invest in at least the s&p 500. So, you know, I'd be urgent or I guess at the advice of my college professors. That's what I decided to do. And I went with financial advisor comm to find out after I graduated, you know, there was high management fees in my folio coming into my compound interest, and I realised through more research and more reading and more mentoring from my genetics Professor Michael Barnhart, real estate way to go. So I started in July 2020. And it's actually coming up on nine months since my real estate journey began. And, and along the way, I've jumped in as a limited partner four or 80 units in vacation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, within converting a Roth IRA into a self directed Roth IRA, and so it was awesome to do the process myself. And I joined a war a mastermind got to make amazing podcasts connected with awesome brokers and capital raisers. So the list really goes on as long as you do your due diligence and, and get to meet people and surround yourself with good people like you guys. So yeah, kind of where I'm at. I realised that my strength right now has been from connecting with people and, and and that's really what I want to do is to share my story. Share my resources.
Brian Briscoe 25:02
But that's amazing. I mean, graduated college last year, you're you're in your early 20s. And you've already been an LP on a syndication, which is, you know, most people 10 years older than you, you know, have even got to that point yet. So, you know, I'm, I'm excited to see all the things that you do in the future, I think you have enormous potential. But so let's, let's talk a little bit about your why your big brain why
Esther Min 25:25
we got to tell you, I start pilot training in June. So I'm an Air Force officer. So we'll be serving my country, I actually want to also respond to, you know, where my y came from. And it really came from illiteracy not knowing what to do with my money. And my father, you know, he was a Korean immigrant, but he told me Actually, with my career started alone, he told me not to take it. That was the first he told me to do. The second thing he told me to do was to put it in a CD or money market account, and return it as soon as you can after I graduate. I didn't either. But I know my intent, his intentions were well, meaning that he feared for me because of what? Yeah, right, that you thought all debt was bad debt, which is not necessarily the case, and come to find out. But again, that comes to where my passion or why in life is, which is to share my share, inspire and empower to share my thoughts, or others and then empower everyone to do the same. So I personally have an affinity for financial education and an abundance with, you know, being a part of multifamily syndications, etc. There are people out there that might not have that desire. But it is better to, in my personal opinion, to invest as a limited partner in something that has equity and has returns that are greater than the stock market. And there are plenty of smart people out there promising my classmates are just as the same Air Force officers and listed any service member. They're putting their life on the line. And, and I don't I can't think of anything riskier than that. So I think it's really more about let's educate, we don't know, I didn't know last year, and they'll know and they want to share. And that's what we want to do.
Brian Briscoe 27:29
Yeah, I'm about 19 years ahead a view in military service right now. And I can tell you, you know, that there's a lot of people, like you said, that are willing to risk their lives. But when it comes to finances, it's interesting to see how little risk people are sometimes willing to take, I think you hit the nail on the head. You know, it's not that somebody is not or not, it's not that somebody is unwilling to take risk. It's just they don't understand the risks they're taking, you know, and consequently, they don't take the risks, you know, so Well, that's amazing. You appreciate your story. Appreciate, you know, what you're you're trying to do. And like I said, I think you got enormous potential, and you're going to absolutely crush it. But anyway, from here, Esther, we have Matt on the line here. What do you want to ask him?
Esther Min 28:14
That? So you have said that you are professional fundraiser, and that's kind of your niche and what you bring to the table as your value in a team? What is one thing that is kind of your competitive edge, your durable competitive advantage that allowed you to raise capital, versus people who tried and attempted to be raised fundraisers, and that they have to really squabble for it? Or you already answered that with showing up? You know, being there day one, having that client relationship with other people, but was there anything you can think of, you know, besides what you mentioned?
Matt Brawner 28:50
Sure. And I appreciate the question. And I just want to echo Brian's thoughts, by the way, what you've accomplished, you are lightyears ahead of where I was coming out of college. So just great work, and keep it up. You know, I was a professional fundraiser for a nonprofit, actually, before I went full time into multifamily. And although you know, asking for financial gifts is certainly different than raising funds for to where you're actually offering something in return versus the nonprofit world might seem different. There are some things that carry over there. The basics of fundraising are your ability to build relationships, your ability to identify somebody questions and concerns, and then your ability to communicate in a language that they understand. And I think that that's especially applicable to multifamily, because I actually wouldn't qualify myself as a capital raiser. I really cut across the whole spectrum. And I think it's actually been my involvement in our property management company. And again, we just manage what we own here in the Twin Cities. But one way you can build credibility specifically as you're starting to work with new investors, people who are looking for something different than the stock market, but their perception to real estate is going to be the same thing my partners and I had when we thought about apartments are like, does this mean I'm going to have 88 tenants calling me about leaky toilets and faucets? Like, you got to be able to under articulate the basics of how this works. And then especially as you get into larger deals, we can dress up all these apartment deals in a whole lot of complicated financing languages. But the basics never change. What's the rent? What are the expenses? And there are a lot of incredibly smart people out there who will invest in deals. But you got to remember, the confused mind always says no, the confused mind always says no, it's so if they don't understand at a basic level, even like Brian's son, oh, we have a place for them to live, they're going to rent it from us. It's your ability to show that can you articulate, okay, I'm going to make this unit look like this unit over here where they're getting this in rent, there, that's $350 more a month in rent, whatever the number is, if you can break it down like that, if you then you can show how the the the property is going to operate at a fundamental level. That's what's going to enable you to build credibility. And that's what's going to enable you to find other investors who are looking, as I said, for something different, but may not have considered multifamily. So that's what comes to mind is, I think, a bunch of question there.
Esther Min 31:33
That was really good. Yeah, on a different note, you had mentioned that you are so lucky, so blessed to be partners and people that just came along in your life that, you know, we're confident. How did you know that they were besides the fact you know, hindsight is 2020? Maybe during the process or before the process? How do you know you found the right partner, the right broker, right contract? And what is your due diligence? Finding the right attorney, right people on your team? And how do you seek them out?
Matt Brawner 32:05
You know, we actually found one another, my partners and I through similar interests. It goes back to a softball team there and you know, conversations, getting to know one another over frankly, what's been a lifetime now and that built in trust. So, you know, we could I think go off on a tangent, talking about finding partners, versus finding team members, you know, as it comes to finding partners, I think it's always important to remember, you know, are you equally yoked here, especially as you get to know one another before you have a track record? They're together? And then are you able to find people who share your values? That's how I made initial decisions. In terms of how you build a team. There's just nothing that beats relationships. And so I believe we've been successful, because we're curious. And we're always talking about what we're doing. We're always asking about who people are working with, you know, we found our sec attorney just by talking to other people and saying, you know, okay, who are using what's gone? Well, what hasn't gone? Well, same thing with our property managers, right. It's why I continue to go back to the markets that I invest in, yes, I have to go spend time at the property and make sure the work that needs to be done is being done. But there's no substitute for being there for being able to check in with brokers and hear about what else is happening around town, and then going in meeting with other people while you're there. That's what I owe my whole career to is just the relationships and the referrals that have generated from being present. So I was to give advice to people to how you build a team, you're talking to other people who are being successful. You're, you're, you're staying very humble, recognise that? I don't know all the answers. So I'm going to take any advice from wherever I can. And then you just never lose that inquisitive spirit of always talking to others, and finding out what's working for them and where they're being challenged.
Brian Briscoe 34:04
And I'll add on I mean, echo what he said, it's all relationships, and you never know the first time you talk to somebody, you know, where that relationships gonna go, you know, and it doesn't matter if it's business or life, get out there, talk to people. And it's one of those things, Matt had a lot of good, good answers good things on there. But, you know, you have to be able to trust somebody who's going to be a partner, you're basically you're building a relationship to the point to where you can trust them. And then partnership becomes, you know, a possibility after that. So but it 100% starts with the relationship. You know, get out there, talk to a lot of people, follow up with people, build relationships, keep in touch, and eventually something's going to turn into, you know, a very profitable relationship for you.
Esther Min 34:51
It's good. Yeah, well, so maybe the last question should be Do you have any referrals or people that I should talk to
Matt Brawner 35:00
Well, I think you're off to a heck of a start with Mr. Brian Briscoe here. But I want to applaud you for asking that question. Because you know, and we can talk about this more afterwards, whoever you'd like to be introduced to, I'll open up my contact book, happy to do what I can there. It's one of the things that I really appreciate about multifamily. We're kind of forced to take on this, this team role. There's and there's a growth and abundance mentality. And that's whether it's because, you know, you tend to do deals with different groups of people, I've often thought a lot of it was driven by the financing. So few of us can do these deals completely on our own. And so we're forced to work with others, which then forces us to help one another. But this the fact that you ask, and as you are getting started, you always clear what you're asking for, hey, I'm looking for a property manager in this market. Who can you recommend or being then willing to follow up? Oh, hey, you. You mentioned you had a really great experience talking to Brian about all his investments in and around South Carolina. Would you be willing to introduce me to him? It's that next step of putting yourself out there? Yeah, you have to ask for what you want in this business. So yes, I'm happy to introduce you to whoever I can. It's just what your depends on what your need is there.
Esther Min 36:19
We'll talk later, but no, The pleasure is mine. I want to extend that same hand to you whatever resource or contact my contact my Rolodex. Sounds great.
Brian Briscoe 36:32
My friends are your friends. That's awesome. Well, I got I got one question for each of you to tie this up. how can listeners learn more about you?
Matt Brawner 36:41
So the best place to connect with me is on LinkedIn. You can also send me an email at Matt at at nws properties Comm. That's n w s properties comm we'd love to talk to any listeners to the show. I just like talking about multifamily and financial independence. So we'd love to connect.
Brian Briscoe 37:00
Awesome. All right, Esther, same question for you. how can listeners learn more about you?
Esther Min 37:05
Absolutely. So I created a website 100% done by me not outsourced. Lester's notes.com that's where you can find my contacts. But you know, all my social media platforms, but just kind of seeing what I do and how I can help you learn a little bit of what I do and what I've learned from, from my time talking to people like Matt and Brian. So yeah.
Brian Briscoe 37:30
Awesome. And we'll put links to you know, websites, emails on the show notes. So if you're interested in reaching out to you, you need these two. And I encourage you to I mean, that's that's how deals are made. That's how partnerships are formed by reaching out to their people. We just just finished talking about that. But anyway, all that information will be in the show notes. But you know, Matt Ester, thank you so, so much for coming on the show today, very much appreciate your time and the value guys have added today. Thanks for having us, Brian. Thank you.
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