Episode 135: It's never too late to start investing in Multifamily! with Ed Modzel - Apartments Operators Podcast

Episode 135: It’s never too late to start investing in Multifamily! with Ed Modzel – Apartments Operators Podcast

Joining Joseph Gozlan, host of the Apartments Operators Podcast, Ed Modzel shares how he started his multifamily journey when he turned 60(!) showing that it’s really never too late to start investing in multifamily.

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Show Transcript

Welcome to the Apartment Operators Podcast, where you can learn from experienced operators what it really means to be an apartment operator. No fluff, no sugarcoating, just the raw, unfiltered truth of  the ups and downs of operating multifamily communities. 

Welcome everybody to the Apartments Operated podcast. Today we have Ed Mozel. Ed, welcome to the show, Joseph. Thanks for inviting me. Absolutely. Yeah. Great.

Awesome, ed. We usually stop the show with letting our guests tell the audience who they are, how they got started, and where you are today. Like where, what is the portfolio looking like today? Yeah, sure. So I’ve had a, I get, a long, strange trip, an interesting ride. After getting out of the Navy in 1979, I very quickly started getting into real estate at a young age.

I wish I would’ve done it a little differently, of course, but the first property I got was a five family, and then I got smaller after that and did that for the next 35 years. I’d buy one property at a time, fix it up, rent it out. And so I did the burn method without the refinance part.

I just And I didn’t do a lot of ’em. I did probably about 20 of ’em over 35 years. Okay. And so I had a W2 job and, raising my family, three kids W2 job. I worked in television all my life. And then fast forward. Okay, it was seven years ago. I’m thinking about retirement.

I’m about let’s see, what am I maybe 60 at that time. And I said I’m not gonna be able to retire. At least not in the United States. So I decided to leave my job. Without any real cash flow, and get into real estate full-time. So I did the flipping route, like a lot of people do flipping houses except here’s my excuses.

I live on Long Island, New York, not the greatest place. Prices are very high. Holding costs is high competition is high. So I did that for a year and a half, and I only flipped five houses. So I said, oh man, I really, I’m a failure, at this. I had a great job. I love my job in television, and here I am going to Home Depot seven times a day, right?

I found out at the RIA club, a Rhea meetings about multi-family, and I got, I invested in two limited partnerships at the same time back to back. And immediately I said, okay, I’m gonna do this full-time. And that was my transition. I never did another property in New York and only in the, the southern states and about eight states.

And now I’m working on my 22nd and 23rd syndication. I’ve come a long way there. And I also do some coaching both private and for a guru out there that has a big network. And that’s my story. Wow. So what does it look like today? What’s your involvement in how many properties?

Which states roughly, we don’t need the exact numbers. Yeah. Yeah. I’m in eight states right now, but I’m gonna reduce that because I got spread out too far and wide. I’m in 21 deals, right? I’m in, I’ve done 21 deals, not in 21 deals. We sold seven of them. So here’s the count I did.

Right now I have 1,324 units assets under management. I sold 879. And I have 315 under contract. I was in eight states and I’m pulling back to just three states. The Carolinas in Georgia. I would’ve said Florida, but the insurance here is killing me. In, in Florida, I’m sure you similar in in Texas is, oh, it’s killing me.

Not so great. It’s killing everybody. This year we had operators we talked to the minimum I heard of was a 25% increase in insurance cost and we’ve had people with 50% increase. And I even heard about a guy that got hit, a hundred percent increase. Yeah. And that is just absolutely insane. Your insurance doubles overnight.

Yeah. So not fun. And we got hit, personally, we got hit about 30, 35%. And I was shocked. I went out and I reached out cuz I I know a lot of insurance agent being a broker as well, and I called a few friends that are very well connected in the multifamily insurance world and they all looked at my deal and said I can’t do any better.

You you’re just better off staying with your current carrier because we can’t find anything better right now. Yeah. Everybody got hit across the board you’re in eight states, you’re saying you’re gonna pull back. Sounds like a painful lesson over there. What’s behind that? Not really painful lesson.

What I’ve done was I got involved with many different partnerships. There’s some that I’ve done over and over, like one person I did eight partnerships with another, about four. And then, a couple one-offs. So nothing really terrible there. I’ve been pretty lucky there, but I am, I’m a control freak, so I wanna be more in control than I am on a few of the properties.

Especially when I bring in friends and family to invest in the deal. I want to have information on my fingertips and things like that. I’m an operator a co operator on all the deals. Some. Some more than others, if you will. Okay. I’m like on the biggest deal, I’m like 43% ownership down to maybe 5% ownership, but luckily I’m a kp That’s a loan guarantor. I sign on the loan on most of the deals that I’m in. So that gives me a little extra clout there that I can have a little bit more say so in the deals. The ones that you have more engagement, right? Are you guys self-managing anywhere?

Are you third party everywhere? What’s the kind of structure? Yeah it’s a mix and That’s one of the reasons I’m pulling back to a smaller geographic area. Out of the 21 property, 16 of them, we have in-house property management. Now, that’s not me per se, that’s my partner. The partner that I partnered with has an in-house property management, and I love the way those run, they run, swimmingly and Other ones, I probably had to fire about five different property managers already.

And that’s a painful thing. You it’s not easy doing that. You don’t wanna wait too long to do that. And, it takes a couple months really to recover from that. We have third party, we have in-house property management and we have a third thing we like to call a hybrid.

So we use a third party, but we have like a regional, it’s like our asset management slash regional. And they’re regional goes so far as to train the onsite manager and. And, shows them the business plan and how to implement it. And so that’s worked with us, for us. Yeah. With one property manager likes let’s us do that.

Yeah. That’s interesting. That’s a model I haven’t heard of before. Yeah. Maybe we invented it. Maybe let’s circle back to the partner a little bit later, but let’s talk about the third party. You mentioned that you fired five of them already. We fired too. So I share your pain. Let’s talk about the process, right?

So you, so we’ll start from the hire, then we’ll talk about the monitoring and then we’ll talk about the fire when needed. So when you hire a property management company, a third party, what are you looking for? What kind of questions are you asking? What kind of metrics are you looking for? How do you pick a partner?

Yeah. We have a. Believe it or not we have a very long process. We’ll get on the phone for two hour, not on the phone, but on a Zoom call, with the partners and the property manager. And we’ll have a two hour conversation with them. And, we have a list of, I don’t know, 90 questions, something like that.

We have a lot of questions. It’s best than, anybody listening. It’s definitely best. To get a property manager like you get any, anything else through referrals, it’s best to, for me to ask you, Joseph do you have any property managers? And you tell me, and I use one that you use.

Chances are I’m gonna have a good experience if you are right. But you can’t always do that. So the process is, I think it’s very comprehensive, but. What I find is property management and I don’t mean to, that they’re all bad. Okay?

There’s some good property managers out there, but the person you’re talking to is a salesperson and you’re gonna fall in love with ’em because, That’s the kind of person they are. They, that’s their business. You feel real, real good about it. The, some of the reasons are hidden costs not doing things that they say they’re gonna do.

These are some of the problems I had. The first property I had. I got was in Atlanta. It was a 40 unit. And here I am at this point, I’m like 62. And this is after me doing the flipping. And now I’m in the in the multi-family. And I gotta make, this is my last chance. I gotta make this a success.

My wife and I actually moved down to the property. I wouldn’t suggest anybody ever do that. We moved down to it, moved on the property, and we also hired a property manager. Okay. And they were there for six months and we had to fire them because they were just like incompetent. And then we got another property manager and they lasted five months and we had to fire them.

Similar reasons. And now I’m thinking, all right, I had a fire, the first two property managers I ever had. I think it might be me, my wife and I, we were only gonna go down there for nine months, but it turned out 17 months. And we managed it for the last six months. By that time, we knew we were already selling the place.

Our business plan was to, do the renovations then get a broker, a B o b, broker’s opinion of value. And if it was good, we would sell or we would refinance. Okay. That happened to be some really great years. The last. Six or seven years, so things were going up like crazy.

So we sold in 17 months and we learned a lot about property management because, we worked alongside them. In other words, we shared, we were sitting, I was sitting in the office doing other things while the property manager was doing their things and I watched how they did stuff and Anyways the most successful properties that we have are ones that we manage ourselves, and that’s one of the things I’m gonna be doing moving forward, probably in another year, between a year and two years me and my team. Which is gonna be five people. We’re all moving down to our market from New York to North Carolina within the year. And the first thing we’re gonna be bringing in-house is gonna be the all the unit turns.

From painting to turning the unit flooring and. That, that gives you a lot of control right there. We have costs that, it’s, it, especially on the smaller properties, it’s really hard to keep an eye on that. And you’re really at the mercy of whatever contractor that they have come in there or the property managed their themselves.

So that’s the first thing we’re gonna do. And then we’re gonna. Do the in-house property management. Yeah. Have you done them? I’m sorry? Do you do any property management? Oh, we did. We unfortunately went through two property management that just did not do the job. And in February of 2020 we took over management and then the world exploded.

Yeah. May, if you asked me in May or June of 2020, I would’ve told you I picked a absolutely wrong time to, to start doing self-management. But hindsight, that’s the only thing that saved us. Yeah. That’s the only way we could have survived Covid o And the impact of Covid is by the fact that just like you, I went down and I got on the property and I was on site every week, all week.

And it took a big toll, at the end of the day, nobody’s gonna care about your property as much as you do. That’s right. That’s right. Absolutely. And we found things that you look at and you go, it’s just absolutely insane that these things are happening. And you’re right. When you talk to the property management person, usually.

It’s a sales guy or it’s the owner of the company that somewhere along the way got disconnected with what happens on site, right? And things that they would tell us, this is what we do and this is how we do it, which gets you to buy into this company, is things that are just not happening.

And when you talk to them, when you start realizing that things are not happening the way they promised you. The surprise on the face is what do you mean that’s how we do things? No, not really. That’s not what happens in the field. That’s not what your people are actually doing. And so nobody’s gonna be able to do help you with what you do.

And funny story like the first few quarters after we took over and we started sending reports to Fannie Mae, I used to get like hysterical phone calls from the asset management at the lender. What’s wrong? What do you mean what’s wrong? Your expenses drop 35%. What’s wrong? Are you deferring maintenance?

No, I’m just not spending money on things shouldn’t be spent. And it’s just, A little example, right? I walk into one of the shops after we took over and I find a brand new box AC condenser, and it’s a three and a half ton AC condenser, but there’s not a, there’s not a single AC on the entire property that is three and a half ton.

Not even the office. Yeah. It’s one and a half, right? Or two. So why did you order this? Why did we spend this is like a thousand bucks compressor. Yeah. That was a mistake. Mistake. So why didn’t somebody send it back? Nothing. Nobody. Nobody had an answer. And so that’s the kind of thing that you gotta tighten up control and you gotta realize that nobody’s gonna tighten up control if it’s not their money.

Yeah. Here’s a good point I think for the listeners perhaps, is that when you are looking at a property manager and you’re talking with them, before you hire them, you wanna make sure that they buy into your business plan, okay? Because if they don’t, either your business plan is wrong, or you need a new property manager.

So you gotta get in alignment there. Very important. The challenge is, and in our audience if they listen to our podcast then they know that I keep repeating the same thing on that one is that this industry has a really big problem, as we still haven’t figured out a good way to compensate third party managers.

There’s just no good model, which is why. I’d say 95, 90 6% of all the guests we had on our show, and we had operators from, I don’t know, 80, 90 units all the way up to tens of thousands of units. And they all, 95, 90 6% of them said they switched to self-management at some point for the control. Yeah.

Nobody says that property manager is a profit center. It’s more like a brain damage center, right? Yeah. But the control is what makes the difference. Yeah. It’s like laundry. Yeah. And then you look at it in a way of we compensate them from the top end of things. They get a percentage of the gross income that they bring in.

So let’s say they get 4%, if they. Don’t work hard enough and they don’t collect $25,000 a year at a five six cap rate for US ownership. $25,000 a year in the, no, I is half a million dollars in that. But if you do the math at a 4%, $25,000 a year is $83 a month. As a business owner, I understand that they cannot invest.

More than two work hours of a person total, that’s $83, two hours. They cannot invest that person to do all the hard work that’s needed to really maximize every dollar. So we have a problem with that. So you say, okay, let’s compensate them from the bottom side of things, we’ll give them a piece of the noi.

All they have to do is defer maintenance to increase their noi. Yeah. So you incentivize the wrong behavior here. Yeah. So the only model that I can see working is if the property management has ownership in the property, which means it’s in-house property management. I cannot see a clear path into compensating a third party and making them.

Making it a viable business model for them to maximize profits. Yeah. Yep. So that, that’s really is the challenge and I’m hearing you struggling with those as well. So what do you guys do to work with the property management in order to be as much in control as possible? You’re not fully in control, but as much in control as that, are you guys meeting daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly? Yeah. What does it look like? We have a, an asset man. Okay. First off we have an asset management meeting once a week and that could last anywheres from 10 minutes to a half hour, so we have we instituted a certain amount of KPIs, key performance indicators that we’d like to see each week.

Everybody’s, yeah, maybe you’re familiar with them all. We have collections. Collections for the week. Delinquencies. Any evictions? What is the occupancy? What is the pre-lease occupancy? That means how many units do you have ready? They’re, you already got deposits, you got the lease sign, but they didn’t move in yet.

And various other things, work orders, how many work orders are coming in, how long does it, it is a big one here. And this has, again, to do with the property management as well, is I’m a big stickler. I have I have a bunch of, I’m charts, I love charts, right?

So every time a unit goes vacant, I put it on a chart and then I track it. Because I wanna know how many days it takes. Now some are gonna take more than others. Maybe this is totally, in terrible condition. Maybe it’s gonna take three weeks. Maybe you have to order some cabinets and it may take even longer, but you track it okay.

From the day that it’s vacant. I asked my, the property manager, I want to know, okay. We have, I don’t know, six vacant units. Okay. Vacant unit number one. It was vacant two days ago. Okay. When is it going to be rent ready? That’s in the beginning. I was like pulling teeth, but now they know that I asked that every week.

So you know, I want a date from them. Is it gonna be this Friday? Is it gonna be next Friday? Whatever it is. You gotta think about it a little bit, so whatever that date is, I put it down. Okay. And then next week when we have the meeting, we see how close they are and I think after a while they start giving me better dates.

Okay, this is when it’s gonna be ready. Okay? How is the leasing going? What’s the traffic look like? Are we priced right? Where are we advertising? Zillow apartments.com. Are we getting enough leads? All of that I’ve seen with property managers. Hey, you could pay apartments.com $500 a month.

But if you don’t return to phone calls, it’s, you’re throwing money out the window, right? You gotta be able to answer the phone and call people back in a timely manner, which is another thing I want to institute when I do when I get my team together down in North Carolina, that is having a central answering service where calls are coming in and those calls are getting answered.

Not just going to an answering machine, but somebody has to give back with them and so on and so forth. Okay. Anyways, those are the the key metrics. We have a meeting every week. Like I said our regional on those maybe seven properties, she’ll go down there once a month. I make it a point to visit my properties at least once a quarter.

Sometimes I mix it up every other time. I’ll come there, announce the next time, I’ll come unannounced, I just wanted to see what it’s like, and you get a pretty good picture if you go there and there’s trash all over the place. That tells you something, have you ever used services like TaskRabbit or something like that for, to send somebody, just take pictures.

No. What is it? Task Rabbit? Yeah, we had some out-of-state investors that would basically, it’s expensive to go down to a property out of state. You can’t go as often, right? Like you said, you go once a quarter. So they would send once every few weeks or once a month, they would send somebody basically, It, it’s a, the gig economies, like ordering Uber or DoorDash, right?

Yeah. You send somebody out there, they take pictures, you tell them what you want, they send you the picture back, you pay them like, I don’t know, 10, 20 bucks. It’s worth it because like you said, if it’s piling up trash in the back and all that, then you can call the property and say, Hey, what’s going on?

And then well, how does he know? Is he around? Did he cause did he come to town? That’s one way, another way is. I don’t know if you guys installed security cameras on your properties, but if you do, then you can have a few extra ones to make sure you cover the back and the trash area as well. Yeah. This way you can pop up the phone, take a look, it’s Hey, why is the back area full of mattresses?

Yep. Yep. That’s that’s something, yeah. I definitely recommend when you’re looking at a property to put that in your CapEx budget is the camera system. If you don’t have one, And they, they could be revenue generating. I like that. On my first property I’d sit there in the office, I’d go outside.

I was out there picking up trash every day. I, getting right down. I don’t, I didn’t care. So I’m picking up trash, and this is trash that people are just strolling there on the property. So I’d go back, look at the cameras, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Rewind it, ah, there’s the culprit.

And I’d give ’em a $50 fine. And they’d say, then it started cleaning up after a while. Once they all knew that they were gonna get fines on that. Yep. Yeah. Especially right before move at, we have to remind every time somebody’s moving out, we have to remind them if you are gonna throw bulk PR trash outside the the dumpsters, like furniture is matches, stuff like that, then we’re going to hold it off and charge you back.

So if you don’t wanna get that charge back, Don’t throw the big bulk stuff next to the dumpster. Yeah. Cause otherwise we could find by the city. Makes no sense. Yeah. The other thing about the cameras a way to when I said revenue generating, especially if you’re not on site hats, okay.

We charge pet fee, right? Like you should, but somehow, There’s always more pets than there is pet fees. It’s my sister’s dog. I’m just babysitting. Yeah. If you happen to be looking at a camera and a dog, and they’re bringing them in, bringing them out, and then you look on the, the property management software, are they paying her a pet fee?

No. Okay. We charge ’em now, I would do that when I was walking a property and it’s when you walk you’ll see the animal at the window, the animal at the balcony or whatever. So I would just walk around. It’s okay, J six dog. J five. Yeah. Yeah. Cats K one, a peacock.

We’ve seen all I think the weirdest one we saw was Prairie Dogs. Oh, wow. Yeah, so that’s a whole different story. So yeah so speaking of income, that kind of leads us to the next segment that we usually ask is we’re all looking for value add or a property where we can come in and find ways to increase the value because we love the multipliers.

We love the way that commercial real estate works is NOI divided like cap rate. So every dollar we add in income or dollar, we reduce your expenses. Helps us with the No, I. So we, we’ll circle back to expenses in a second, but let’s talk about income for a second. So the standard is if the rents are not high enough, we can raise rents.

If they don’t charge rubs or utilities back, we can charge utility back. Th those are pretty obvious. Give us like two, three ideas that are creative. That you guys are doing to increase income and then we’ll circle back to expenses. Yeah, sure. Most of the properties that I’ve done have been c class properties.

I’m starting to raise the bar on that a little bit, looking ahead towards the B side of things. But we do valet trash at one of the apartments. I think it is. It’s not much. It’s $25 a month, something like that. That’s where actually we don’t even use the maintenance guy.

We use the service and they come in and they pick up the trash and they, we make a few bucks on that. Another one is renter’s insurance. We want to make sure that all our tenants have renter’s insurance and, for good reason. Like we had we had a fire at one.

And it. The person was killed, unfortunately. So the fire started like four o’clock in the morning on a stove. I don’t know what, but they weren’t really able to determine, but the unit on each side was also Not really fire damage, but smoke damage. They had to pull the meters and, that wound up being, with the permits and the towns and all that, it takes you think it’s gonna take six weeks, it takes three months, all that.

Yeah. But had they had renter’s insurance, which they didn’t, that would’ve paid our deductible, we did not. We just paid it. It was I think it, it came, they were small units, but it came to like about 120,000. We just paid it, so our insurance didn’t go up. So yeah.

Insurance. What other ones? Yeah. But a car run to the buil, into the building. More than, oh boy. More than once. Yeah. So the insurance can help cover the building, but the insides, the furniture and all that. That if the tenant has insurance, that makes life a lot easier. Yeah. And then they can go claim against the car insurance.

But in, in our case, one of them, the was a 16 year old girl that did not have a driver license insurance. They had insurance, but then, Long story short the thank you to the local police department that wrote whatever she made up on the spot, that there was a third driver that pushed her off even though there was no evidence of another driver.

But that insurance company looked at and said third driver, go find the, yeah. Horror stories of working with insurance companies. Yeah. Yeah so we’ve done parking preferred. Preferred parking. Yeah. Premium parking. I know down in Texas that, that would be good with the covered parking.

We we don’t have any covered parking right now. But that’s a good one. Yeah, that’s about all I can think of right now. Okay. So let’s take a, oh, laundry oh, we have washer and dryer hookups in units. So we rent a washer and dryer for $49 and we make about 50% r o i on that, yeah, no, that, that’s great. We, Have washer dryer hookups, and we have what we use the washer and dryer is not to make a little extra income. We make it as a in a call it a bonus, right? So we, our rents are, right now we have a, call it a minus community, and the washing dryer are included in the rent, but our rents are pretty high.

For us it is, we don’t like that they move their washer and dryer in and out cuz they scratch the floor and bank the trim and all that and yeah, good point. And then we tell them, look, it’s included in the rain. It’s usually like 70 bucks a month. This is our monthly special and, enjoy it.

So they’re happy, they’re getting something. We’re happy. They don’t damage the unit. And we have an agreement with a local supplier that when we need something, he just brings us a good looking used set. So it’s not brand new. It doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg. And then if we get warranty with that and if they come in, they can fix something, they’ll just fix it.

Otherwise they’ll give us a new machine. So having that arrangement in place makes things easy. Yeah. Yeah. All right. I just thought of a couple other ones. One obviously is pet fee but we also have a month fee. If they don’t wanna sign a year lease we’ll do a six month fee, which is less than a month fee.

Those are a couple other ones. Okay. What do you guys do for reducing expenses? Do you come in, into a property? Any initiatives, any? Suggestions to reduce expenses? We’ll, we know what expenses should be. We’ve done water conservation project projects where we’ve changed low flow toilets.

There’s some controversy on there. The first property I did, I put the low flow toilets in there, the Niagara still what was that, 0.9 gallons per flush or something, and it, they weren’t great, but what some people say, I haven’t seen the problem, but they say when there’s not enough water going down the lines, it doesn’t get rid of everything.

And, so you could have problems where you have to snake out the lines. Low flow depend on how old is the property usually? Yeah. Yeah. And if the lines are like bei, they yeah. Dip down a little bit. That’s a problem in Texas in some areas where the ground settles there yep.

As far as reducing expenses, we take a look at the the service contracts, like the landscaping, and, we know that if they’re o overcharging us or not. So we’ll take a look at the contracts like that. Flooring we, we haven’t done any Actually we are now, we are doing a cable and internet contract.

We’re doing that right now on a 236 unit and. The impetus for that, the prime reason is it’s, it’s 15 buildings and they’re spread out, and we don’t have any cameras there, so we wanna put cameras there, but we need wifi, so this is how we’re gonna do it. We’re just gonna provide everybody with wifi.

It’s like an $80 charge. And you get, wifi internet and, Television. So yeah, tho those are those are great. When you are stabilized and you have high occupancy, those are challenging when you get hit with occupancy okay. Yeah. Makes sense. Because the contract is, you pay X dollars per unit times the number of unit on the property, regardless if they’re occupied or not occupied.

So there, there’s gonna be a certain break point, break even point between occupancy and the monthly charge. So I, before you get into a contract like this, I would look at the numbers and figure out where’s your breaking point? And if it’s anywhere near the market or just under the market a vacancy, then I wouldn’t do that.

But if it’s 60% occupancy and the market is at 95 then you’re pretty solid. Yeah. So it’s kinda it’s something to consider. Yeah, makes sense. Yeah. Same with laundry contracts, they’re always, they wanna do it for seven or 10 years and Yeah from my experience, the laundry contract they’re almost never paying out anything.

Yeah, you get one big payment when you sign the contract and then the next 10 years you’ll get nothing. Yeah. And if you read the fine print, the first $672 goes to them and then you split 60 40, yep. And there’s like a minimum daily and a minimum this and the moon that. So they write a contract basically, that means you’re gonna get this lump sum in for the next 10 years.

Nobody’s gonna get it dime by us. Yeah. And then if your property is performing well for them, then you’ll have great service. But if your property is not performing well, as much as well as they thought it would, then getting service out of them is really hard. Yes. Which impacts your property at the end of the day.

Cuz your residents are not gonna get service. But they don’t care. Yeah. I had a run in with. Let’s just say the largest company in the business and I, we have two and I had three initials. Yeah. Yeah. And I went to Twitter and I found their c e o and the c o of that company, and I hit them so hard on, on LinkedIn and Twitter until they had to pay attention to me.

But trying to get the field supervisor or the local region to talk to you. Good luck. Yeah. All right. But once I got their c o and c e o entangled, I got service real quick. That’s a great idea. We were I want property probably with the same company there, it took us like three months to, we wanted this company to remove the machine so we could.

Renovate our laundry room. Yeah. And then put ’em back. And we didn’t wanna move ’em, cuz I didn’t know if we were allowed to and everything. It took us like three months of like constant emailing, calling and everything else, yep. We had a big issue during Covid because they replace the machines with the ones that have the rechargeable cord.

And the rich order machine was inside the office, but when Covid started, offices had to shut down. So we asked them to move it. It took weeks to get them to move it. Then they moved it into one of the laundry room. That thing got broken into and out was broken and now we had to go for another month until we got them to fix their charging.

It was a whole story with them. Yeah. So yeah okay. Just the, just a fun part of operating an apartment community, and it’s not all rainbow in and lollipops like we, we say in our, on our podcast it’s, we say, we tell the truth. No sugar coating, no fluff. So how about a horror story or a funny story, cuz we all have those.

I’m, I was thinking we should all get together and write a book. Like each one of us write a chapter of a horror story and then we’ll do another book for funny stories. Yeah, that first property I went to and lived on a boy, I got like a, I got a bunch of stories on that one. I don’t know if there were worth telling here, but it wa it was, this property was, I called it a c class.

It was really probably a C minus or maybe even d class property. I evicted one tenant. He had done 28 years in prison for murder. And but I evicted him for a nonpayment of rent, and And I had also, I had a guy that was running a crack dealership there in one of the apartments.

And he was way at the back of the property and I’d see cars come in day and night and they would only stay there for 15 minutes, you know what it was, right? And I had the drug the. Like I had the cell phone numbers of the top four police people in this and it was in Atlanta there.

And so if somebody drove in there at midnight and I happen to be, I have not, like I’m watching the monitor, but I see the monitor there, and I see somebody driving in real slow and going to the end there. I would get garbage out of the kitchen and then go to the dumpster like I was dumping my garbage, and I’d be, flicking pictures of him and then, and texting it to the the drug I forgot what he was called, the head of narcotics or whatever at the police, yeah. But probably the funniest story is, I had a guy working for me doing, some painting and spackling and he helped me turn units, and I am already selling the property by now. But anyways, one morning this guy comes into the office, he’s dog, the bounty hunter. Have you ever saw that?

And that’s what this guy looks like. And he shows me his badge and he is He says, do you know this guy? I said, yeah, he works for me. He was a tenant, but he wasn’t on the lease. His girlfriend was on the lease, and so what happened was my guy he was involved.

In a murder like 27 years or something like that ago. And there were three people involved in the murder. It was at a convenience store. And there was one guy in the car and then him and his buddy went inside and I don’t know what happened, but they shot and killed the owner. And my guy, I guess turned state’s e evidence.

So he only did eight years. But this was a long time ago. He’s been behaving himself since, but he skipped parole and the guy that’s in the prison for 27 years, he’s about to get electrocuted. They’re going to executed and some of the head politicians says, where’s this other guy?

You know that cuz they found some new d n a evidence. And they said, find him. And they found them at my apartments. And you know how they found them? He was stealing the internet from the apartment below him and he was on the internet on Facebook, and that’s how they found them. And they asked me to go over there.

He was waiting for two other people. They came in with all kinds of SWAT gear on, armor and, guns and everything. They said, would you come over with me so we could take this guy in for questioning? When they took him in, I was there another four months, I never saw him again.

And oh, that, that’s, I don’t know if that’s a funny story, but it’s definitely a story. I remember one of the properties we took over. Like the next day there was SWAT on the property, like taking out one of the resident and I’m looking at the onsite manager and I go, oh, who’s that person?

And she looks it up and she goes, yeah, he hasn’t paid rent. And three months it was like, okay, can you give them the entire delinquency list? And he was like, while they’re here, just take ’em all. So yeah, so they did us a favor. They took one that we needed to evict anyway. Oh, wow. Ed, that was awesome.

I wanna be conscious of your time. One question we ask everybody at the end is, if you could go back in time to Ed that just got out of the Navy, right? What would you tell your younger self? Oh boy. I wish I knew about multi-family back then. You’d think I would but I didn’t. What would I tell myself?

I wish they had Rich Dad, poor Dad, that book when I got started, because I lived my whole life the wrong way. I lived it. Work a bunch of hours, work as much as you can. Make as much as you can and you’ll do good. Now I’m trying to undo that teaching from my kids. Because you don’t want a business where you have to work in it.

You want a business, that pays you when you’re sleeping, yep. I guess I learned a lot of things that I wish I could go back and change. One is and a. The book was a slight edge. It had an effect on me. It’s about doing things small scale persistently, consistently all the time.

And before you know it, I mean it might be five years, but you look back and it’s oh wow, I can’t believe I did that. Like me, I’m looking back now, I’ve only been doing this like a little over five years and I’m going into my 23rd syndication. Because I was just persistent. I just kept doing it.

Another thing I really learned was coming from the single family world, I was I’m gonna do everything. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that. And I did not have the team spirit, it was like me against the world. Every property I do now is a team effort and.

I would say probably that’s, I wish I got into more of that. Gotcha. That’s awesome. That’s a great lesson, and thank you so much. If our audience wants to rechat, maybe invest with you, maybe partner with you maybe just brainstorm how can they find you and we’ll make sure to put all those links in the show notes.

Oh, okay. The, the best way is to go to my website because all the ways to get me are on there. And that’s Gimme shelter equity.com. Gimme is spelled like the Rolling Stone song, g i m e, gimme shelter. And it kinda goes with real estate. Awesome. Yeah absolutely. And we’ll put that in the show notes as well.

Ed, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. All right, Joseph. Thank you for having me on. Awesome. And for you, the audience, if you wanna hear more podcasts like this, Please subscribe, find us on, we have a YouTube channel, we are on iTunes, teachers and everywhere you can consume a podcast give us a review, one star, five star, whatever you feel we deserve.

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