Last Straw Moment

The first time I felt drawn to the world of investing/real estate was when I:

Getting my first large commission check from sales, and when I opened up the pay stub, I was gutted at how much had been withheld for federal income tax. Basically half my large check, never even made it into my hands. Because ordinary income is taxed at the highest bracket, it was withheld and I had to figure out how I could keep more of what I earned. There had to be a better way. So I started researching how I can minimize my tax liability, which led me to researching different ways to make money. I found real estate, which is a very broad industry, with lots of ways to get involved and create and keep wealth.

I didn’t want another job (at the time), so fix and flip, or wholesaling didn’t make sense.

I didn’t want to buy single family homes for renting, the risk was too great.

Note investing sounded cool, but I couldn’t find anyone to teach me and it didn’t seem scalable.

But apartments, that made sense. It made 100% crystal clear sense.

But then, I hit this hurdle that felt nearly impossible to overcome:

I started reading as much as I could about apartment investing, listening to podcasts, trying to get as much information as I could into my very curious and motivated mind. As much as I tried to build a baseline of what I need to know about the industry and how it makes money. I didn’t know HOW to do it. How do you learn to underwrite? What software do I use? Where do I get the money to buy large apartment complexes? How do you buy a large apartment complex? Who can teach me this? How am I going to find time to do this? What market do I pick? How do I select a market? What is the right “niche” for me? 25 to 50 units? 75 to 100? What do I ask a broker? How do I sound credible?

I also had a big hang up about money, about asking people to join me in a venture to buy real estate, to take on that responsibility of ownership for their capital. There was a lot of personal growth moments and opportunities that I had to work through, but at the time, was very difficult and difficult to see past.

I was emotionally devastated because I wasn’t sure if I could (e.g., accomplish my goal, get past my fears, etc.):

I felt like I hit a wall. I was tired of giving all my cash to uncle sam. I was making more money than I ever had before (which I was grateful for), the more I made, the more I was paying in taxes. This went on for years. You get to a point where it’s like, “wow! I’m working to pay taxes, what’s the point?!” I saw a path forward that interested me in real estate. A mechanism or a path to create massive amounts of wealth, a legal and well worn path to reduce my taxes and even have a stronger chance to put those taxes that I paid back into my pocket.

But, I had a lot of things to overcome, fear of failure, fear of losing my money, fear of not finding the right people or resources to get me into doing what I felt was a logical next step for me, to become a multifamily real estate investor. Heck, I remember how much fear I had with just talking to a broker. Remember, talk to people for a living, but that scared the crap out of me. I needed help.

(Hint: this is your Last-Straw Moment.)

But I knew there had to be a better way because:

Other people had done it. Grant Cardone was doing it, he made it look easy. Plus, I was a tech guy, I had built a computer from scratch, I stood up storage and virtualization systems, things that would make the average person’s head spin – I could figure this out. Plus, I had recently completed the Tony Robbins workshop, UPW so I was firing on all cylinders!

After many trials and tribulations, I eventually took a new course of action (e.g, met a mentor who shared with me/read a book that taught me/learned for myself) that:

About 8 months have passed since the decision to invest in multifamily real estate, I was still reading books, and listening to shows. I found a real estate educational platform that provided the resources and the network to help me learn everything I needed to know to do my first deal. I felt empowered and supported. I joined a group that provided exactly what I needed and realized, how much I enjoy the real estate industry, specifically multifamily. I found, would would be a new career for me to embark on, one where I wouldn’t be a passive investor, one where I was actively involved in apartment investing.

Of course, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, I had a partner, and I allowed myself to get distracted with buying a handful (together) of single family homes for rent in Midland TX, and I inherited a terrible renter, a string of two of them back to back by the way. I did learn that single family rental homes are awful investments, both time and money. If you’re going to endure the brain damage of a transaction, make it worthwhile – buy an apartment!

After years of focus, it finally worked! I knew I had succeeded when (list your accomplishments):

Working two jobs as Technology Value-add Reseller (VAR) sales executive with an engineering background, it was still hard work winning deals and growing my book of business and learning how to successfully buy a multifamily apartment, while growing a family. After 5 years at this, I have found tremendous success in both aspects of my life;

  • Found a values-aligned business partner (after a few failed attempts)
  • Purchased my first 28-unit complex in Houston TX (from NJ) and syndicated the equity for the deal from strangers – we raised $1M – Hint – don’t syndicate your first apartment deal!
  • Sold this in 2022 for $1.25M in profit
  • Purchased a 12-unit complex in Atlanta GA with some people from my real estate group.
  • Started our own property management company after having poor success with 3rd party property managers.
  • Joint-venture with an experienced apartment sponsor to purchase a 96-unit complex in Augusta GA and raised capital for the deal
  • Sold this in 2021 (during COVID) for $1M in profit
  • Purchased a 57-unit complex in Atlanta and raised $500K for the deal, which we self managed and construction managed
  • Sold this in 2022 for $1.55M in profit
  • Met a tremendously impactful mentor, Howard Primer in 2019, who helped us shape and inspire a new direction for our real estate business. 
  • Branded and launched Significan Lifestyles Communities in Jan 2020, with in-house property management and construction management capabilities.
  • Raised $4.5M in equity to purchase a 6-building portfolio of 278-units in an affluent suburb of Cleveland OH during COVID (one of the hardest things, for a variety of reasons, we have ever done) – a $16.7M purchase
  • Managed a $3M in capital improvements budget
  • Valued at $30M 1.5 years later, almost 2x in value
  • Relocated my family from NJ to GA in 2019, a year after making the decision to make Atlanta my real estate focus and away from 99% of my clients from my sales job.
  • Achieved #1 in sales at my VAR job for 6 years
  • Raised $3.3M in equity to purchase a 92-unit complex in Riverdale GA
  • Managed a $2.2M in capital improvements budget

Now, I can serve others by:

  • Showing elite level technology and software sales professionals how to turn their sales commission checks into passive income and passive wealth generation, which will;
  • Create passive income
  • Reduce tax liabilities (discuss with a CPA)
  • Put your money to work without stopping what makes you so successful – selling
  • Creating a sustainable future where you’re not one lost sale away from being on the streets
  • Helping you build F-U money
  • Diversifying your exposure, apartment investing does very well during economic downturns, recessions and inflationary times, the same cannot be said for your tech sales job

Institutions We Have Worked With