JLM Blog | Episode 37: How to Get Started In Multifamily From An Investing Coach & Owner Of Large Multifamily PropertiesReal Estate News, Updates, and Tips
Multifamily Real Estate Agency San Diego
Podcast Episode by Jason Lee – Premiered March 25, 2022
What You’ll Learn in the Podcast:
- A look at Edna’s background and what she’s doing these days in real estate.
- In Edna’s multifamily real estate coaching what is the most common obstacle she finds she has to help her students overcome.
- Why Edna see’s more value in multifamily properties that are 5 units and above and what the financial incentives of going this route are. – Advice for what your first steps should be if you are looking to get into real estate investing for the first time.
- The challenges that Edna faced when she first started buying properties.
- How Edna was able to raise capital when she first got started in real estate investing.
- The importance of having a coach help you and be your partner when you are first figuring out the real estate game.
- Why multifamily real estate is your best bet against the effects of inflation.
- Where Edna is looking to invest right now and how exactly she is going about finding her investment opportunities (hint: your relationships may be your best bet).
Summary and Highlights:
What is the secret to success? Out of the many expert advice and life stories that exist, sometimes it seems that success is only a matter of luck. Maybe you’re not one of the lucky ones. If you agreed with that statement, that’s exactly why you need to read this article. In the pursuit of success, the first step is to believe in yourself even if it seems that no one else does. One of the most well-known fields especially in financial abundance is real estate.
If you’re an aspiring real estate investor or real estate agent San Diego, then this read is for you. The path towards success is never easy, but with the help of an investing coach, you’ll be up on your feet in no time!
How To Get Started in Multifamily
With the help and experience of Edna Keep, a successful investing coach, and owner of large multifamily properties, you’ll learn the basics of investing and making your money flow. After all, who doesn’t want financial freedom, right?
Change Your Mindset and Start Investing
The first and most emphasized advice by Edna Keep is to change your mindset. She believes that this can make or break your journey towards becoming a successful millionaire. This is because the wrong mindset can end your momentum way before you even start, so it’s advisable to claim your wants as early as now and start working for them.
Understand What Investing in a Multifamily Actually Means
Contrary to the usual single-family houses or units, investing in multifamily can leave an overwhelming impression on some people. This is especially true when it comes to those who are just beginning to venture into real estate. Just to be clear, opting for multifamily doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to shell out more than you can afford. It actually depends on your income and expenses.
Additionally, it also doesn’t mean that you have to wait for ten to fifteen years before you own it. In just a few months’ time, you already can!
Don’t be Afraid to Start Small
Your budget plays a big role in what you invest in. There are a lot of options out there, and you should really take your time to consider the pros and cons of each decision. For example, based on the experience of Edna Keep, the first investment she made was a condo unit. Despite being a small investment for some, this is where she gradually invested into larger units such as the multifamily she has now.
All in all, there are only a few important things that should guide you on the way to success. First, make sure that you have the mindset of a winner. This may take some time, but you can do it! How you view yourself plays a critical role in how far you’ll go and what risks you’ll be willing to take. Next, keep track of your budget and expenses. Being aware of these details can help you gauge what you can or can’t invest in at the moment.
Episode 37: How to Get Started In Multifamily From An Investing Coach & Owner Of Large Multifamily Properties
Watch the Podcast | Read the Transcript
00:00 [Intro]Welcome to the multi-family millionaire podcast. The show that interviews multi-millionaire real estate investors and top producers in the real estate industry. If you’re looking to create passive income and achieve financial freedom so that you can do what you want whenever you want, you’re in the right place. Our goal is to simplify and make real estate investing easy for you. For more information, you can find us at www.JLM.realestate.
Jason Lee: All right, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. Thanks for being here today. Today I have my friend Edna Keep on the show. Edna, how you doing today?
Edna Keep: I’m doing great. Jason, how are you?
Jason Lee: I’m fantastic. Can’t complain whether it’s great here. Things are going good. How about you?
Edna Keep: Really good. Yeah.
Jason Lee: Good. So, to get started I like to ask kind of what your background is and what you’re focusing on today in real estate.
Edna Keep: Sure. Well, my background before I got into real estate was I as a financial advisor for about 15 years. But you know, Jason, when I got introduced to real estate, I couldn’t sell mutual funds anymore. So, I had to sell my practice. I just didn’t relate to that kind of stuff anymore, you know, so that, so that’s kind of my past, we got started in real estate in 2007 and we ended up with 50 doors within our first 18 months and that’s when I knew we really had something going in the real estate world. And so, I sold my financial planning practice and went into it full time at that point.
Jason Lee: Very cool. And today you’re also a coach now, right?
Edna Keep: Yeah. For both the last eight years now, I’ve been coaching and training others on how to buy multi properties primarily with investor capital, primarily other people’s money and just the mindset. It takes Jason to become a multimillionaire real estate entrepreneur, because I believe that, you know, everything happens between your ears first and if you don’t have the right mindset, you’ll never really get anywhere.
Jason Lee: That is great. Great advice. It definitely comes from your head for sure. So, when you’re teaching your students, what is kind of the number one thing that that kind of is the biggest obstacle when they’re trying to get started a big hurdle or…
Edna Keep: Well, most people are lone wolfs. You know, they want to do everything by themselves and it’s kind of natural. And so, then they maybe buy a house which is just a natural progression from buying their own house. All they do is just add tenant from that point. And transition into multifamily a little bit different because they’ve got to understand the whole strategy part of it. They got to understand that their finance, like a not like single family homes where they look primarily at you, can you afford to pay for all the bills. If the tenant goes awry with multi, as you know, with multifamily, they finance it based on the income expenses. So just getting people to understand that is one hurdle. And then the financing of multifamily seems to be another big hurdle that people find the first hurdle though, is just understanding that they don’t have to wait 10 and 15 years to go into multifamily that they can do it sooner than they might think they can. And you know what very much how we thought at the beginning, I remember sitting at my realtor’s office after you know about the first 12 months in, and we’d bought a bunch of houses and I was telling him we’re going to buy a bunch more. And he said to me, I didn’t want to buy a multifamily. I said, oh, I don’t have enough houses yet. It was just like, don’t even know where that came from. I said, oh, he said, what makes you think that? And I said, well, I don’t know, don’t you have to have a whole bunch of money to put down a multifamily and stuff like that. And he said, no, not really. You guys have been raising capital for your houses already. You just, and if you’re thinking of buying 20, which was our goal, why don’t you just buy a multifamily? And I said, well, tell me more. So, I sat in his office for an extra hour or so, just learning. And before I left that day, Jason, I put a 24 unit building under contract. And we became proud owners about six months later. So that was our jump from, I don’t think I can do multifamily to, Okay. What do you got? And then you put it up.
Jason Lee: That’s amazing. How did you initially get into real estate? Like why’d you decide to move from financial planning into real estate?
Edna Keep: Well, you know, I had been through several market corrections in the financial, in the mutual fund industry, which is what I sold, and I really didn’t like the ups and downs. You know, you think you had somebody else set up for retirement, then the market would take a huge hit and they’d have like, you know, 50 or 60% of what they were hoping to retire on. And I found that very, very frustrating. And I had a couple clients actually come into my office, wanting to withdraw some money outta mutual funds to invest in real estate. And I remember saying, you’d want to invest in an asset class that only pays you 3% a year. You know, I really did not understand real estate.
And one of my clients said “actually you should look into a little bit deeper. It’s a lot more than that.” cause he was buying in, in the same city I was living in which the history was 3% inflation, which is where I got that number. Not understanding the concept of tenants, paying your mortgages off and the whole leverage ability and all that sort of thing. So that got me checking out and there were some classes brought on by the Robert Kiyosaki group. They kind of came into our city and kind of educated people. And we took the three-hour evening and then we signed up for the three day weekend. And by the end of the weekend, we were sold on going at least going to the next level and see what we could accomplish with it. And then we never looked back. It was exciting, thrilling, fun. We’d found lots of really good deals right in our own province right at the time. And it really took off for us.
Jason Lee: That’s amazing. Could you tell us a story of how your first real estate deal went?
Edna Keep: The very first one? Sure. You know, it kind of got an interesting twist to it. We were scared of everything. Jason, we were scared of tenants and toilets and roofs and everything. So, we bought a condo. Our very first purchase was a condo. And what it was, was an apartment building that had been converted to condos because in our city, at that time, there was like zero vacancy, like really, really, really low. And people were needing places to live, and people were moving here. So, they condo converted these buildings. And the realtor took us by to have a lucky, got us to meet him over there. And when we pulled up, I went, oh, this, this interesting.
I was a single mom, Jason, I’m not sure if you read that on my bio, but I was a single mom at age 16. And my daughter had just moved into one of those condos. She just moved in as a renter. And when our realtor was telling us that these, some of these condo units for sale, not all of them, they were still going to keep rent some, an apartment building. I said, well, is that one for sale? Cause they knew that she’d just moved in. And he said it is. And I said, well I’ll buy that one cause then I got, I know I got a good tenant. And then she ended up meeting the people next door who had been living in their condo unit for 17 years and I thought maybe we’ll buy two. So, we bought two side by side. That was our first big purchase.
Jason Lee: Very cool. Very cool. And then after that you kind of moved into single family homes, right?
Edna Keep: Well, the next purchase was actually a duplex which we ended up buying with none of our own money. So, it was our first creative deal with none of our own money. And what we did is we got the seller to leave the down payment in the property and we paid her a 6% interest on it. And at clothes we took our money out and put her money in as the down payment. And yeah, we still own that property to this day too. You know that little house cash flow is just over a thousand dollars a month.
Jason Lee: Very cool. Very cool. And do you only invest locally around here, or do you invest in like at other areas where you can, you know, drive too easily?
Edna Keep: No, actually most of our properties now are outside of our area. For example, we have 140 units under contract right now in, well we’re we just put in a bid, we don’t know if we have it under contract because it’s, they’re finalizing the last few bids we’ll know in the next couple days, 140 units in Jacksonville, Florida. And prior to that, we bought 278 doors in Memphis, Tennessee. So, we’re moving more and more into the US right now. But our first few years was primarily in Canada.
Jason Lee: Got it, got it. And why do you see more benefits? In multifamily rentals and bigger multifamily versus small, you know, one to four single family, four units, one to four units.
Edna Keep: We concentrate exclusively in five units and above because of the way that the financing is, the four units and below our considered residential and like guess said, a lot of people have trouble being able to get the financing for those like with us, we got, I think we got quite a few cause we started out with a pretty high net worth and pretty high income. So, we got to 11 houses before we got cut off. But nowadays people are lucky if they can get three or four houses, like absolutely lucky if they can get that many, most people it’s like one or two doesn’t matter or how much cash you have for a down payment its they just find that loaning on houses is higher risk. So that’s a reason we moved into multifamily and in our area, we concentrated and I think it’s a good place for people when they’re first starting to concentrate on the smaller units, like, you know, 12 to 36, something like that. But as you get more established, then it becomes economy of scale and that’s where we’re kind of at now we’re looking at the larger and larger units.
Jason Lee: That’s a great answer. And to add on that, I mean, I think getting loans for one of four units, like is so much harder. I mean I just bought a duplex in Pacific beach, and they underwrote my entire, you know, life in order to get that loan. It was all based on me based on my income and I’m self-employed on my own business. So, it’s much worse for me [10:24 inaudible]. So, it was a painstaking process. And then my 13 unit building in San Diego it was so easy to get a loan because it was based on the income and the expenses, like you said, so there’s much less hassle as well.
Edna Keep: Yeah, it is it. And you know, it might be harder the first time you went through it. But after that, it’s just rinse and repeat, you know, once you’ve [10:45 inaudible], it’s not like you know, they’re going to turn you down. As long as you’ve got buildings that are performing and you’ve got investment partners to keep providing the capital, you can grow as large as you want.
Jason Lee: Exactly. So, for someone who’s listening that, you know, has no partners and has never done a real estate deal, what would you recommend them to do First thing when they’re starting.
Edna Keep: They have to get educated first. That was our first step. You know, we didn’t even know what we didn’t know, Jason, we had no clue. Like I said that I was a financial advisor. And you think that financial advisor should be pretty savvy, knew nothing about real estate. Like nothing. It just wasn’t even on my radar, we had our own house, we knew it had done well. We knew we had mortgage pay down different stuff like that, but really did not understand all the benefits investing in real estate. So that’s the first thing to really understand and then how to find and analyze the right deal is huge too, because so many people buy on appreciation and that doesn’t, you know, if you got to be funding that deal every month, that’s not a good deal. You know, I say there’s people in our area right now where, you know, the realtors are telling me, oh yeah, if you put 50% down, it’ll cash flow. Yeah, well that doesn’t make it a good deal. You know what I mean?
So really getting educated on what’s a good deal cause so many people don’t know. And then if you’re unless you got really deep pockets and can buy all the deals that you want on your own, you got to learn how to raise capital and you got to learn how to, you know, what investors are looking for, how to talk to them, different stuff like that as well. Because if you don’t do that, then you’re very best people, you know, that could likely invest with you. If you don’t know how to speak to them properly, you blow them outta the water. And then your kind of scrambling there too. So, I think lots of times people leave it too long to get themselves educated or get themselves a coach that could help them through some of that.
Jason Lee: Very cool. Yeah. I mean, I couldn’t agree more. I think, you know, rushing to get started is not the thing to do. I think you got to be aware of what could come, but then there’s the other side where I see some people get too educated and, you know, study for so long and then they never buy their first deal. So, it kind of goes both ways.
Edna Keep: I totally agree. I always tell my students, you know, what you can study till the cows come home. It’s not till you’re working on a live deal that you’re really even going to know what you know, so, but you’re right. Lots of people study themselves right out of buy because they know too much, they know everything that could possibly go wrong and that’s all they want to concentrate on and they talk themselves outta buying, especially if they’re trying to do it all by themselves. And they don’t have some handholding through some of the challenges because we know the real estate business is not an easy world. There’s challenges, always challenges. And if you don’t have the mindset and the team around you to support you through those challenges, then it just gets overwhelming.
Jason Lee: Couldn’t agree more. It’s a great answer. What were some challenges that you faced when you first got started?
Edna Keep: Well, one of the very first things that we faced, Jason, you know, that building that I told you that we were buying, that 24 unit, we had a huge challenge getting financing. Because although what was going on in our market, right then value per door was $75,000 a door, which was like kind of a top-of-the-line price that had sold in that city at ever.
So, the sellers thought, oh, this is great. We’re getting some beginners who, you know, going to pay us top dollar, but they had not increased their rents enough to really make it worth that. So, we were actually initially only offered 50% financing on our deal. So, we had to raise private capital to close on that deal. But you know, through working with the realtor that we were working with, who was also an investor, he owned his own apartment building. He was telling us, and teaching us that at the time, a great thing to do with your building was to condo convert it. So, we actually condo converted that 24 unit building and sold off those individual units. Cause so you know how I said, we paid 75,000 a door. We sold them off between 125 or 120 and 1 42.5 a door.
Jason Lee: Very cool.
Edna Keep: And that was our first big deal. So, when we went through that, it was like, wow. Like we could really, really see the difference. And that was the difference between, you know, the people that owned it, who maybe paid $20,000, $30,000 a door, sold it at 75, to them It was like, whoa! That is so much difference. And yet what we were able to do on top of it within the next two years was I don’t even think they would’ve thought that that was possible.
Jason Lee: It’s amazing. Did you have to put any work into the building before you sold it?
Edna Keep: We did a little, but not a huge amount, you know, it was already rented. So, most of the people that bought the units were buying them as investment properties. So, they just wanted something small. Like when the place cost between 120, 1 40, the mortgage is small, the down payment is small. That’s what most of our people were buying them were as investment condos.
Jason Lee: It’s an amazing investment. Very cool. So, you struggled with financing in the beginning and for someone who’s buying their first multi-family property, they want to see a track record of, you know, properties you own, right. How do you get past the hurdle of, let’s say I’m someone who’s buying my first 70-unit building, how would I get through the bank to provide the financing?
Edna Keep: Well like I said, first of all, they look first at the building with us, we did have some experience by then we had bought a few houses, but the biggest thing for us, Jason was the people that we’d partnered with. So, we had partnered with a couple who already owned their own property management firm, and they’d already ran their own property management firm and their 20 or so houses for like three, four years by that time. So, they had the experience to qualify. We had the net worth and the money to qualify. So, it was a really good partnership, you know? And that’s the part too that I think a lot of people forget about is you can’t always qualify a hundred percent on your own. So, it’s who you partner up with. That makes such a difference. And when we were presented the opportunity because I was out actively looking to buy 20 more houses and they were actually off at a training convention that weekend, that happened when they came back, I phoned him up and I said, hey, do you guys you know, want to talk? I’ve got a deal that I want to see if you guys want to partner with us on.
And so, they came over and we talked about it and I said, I put a 24 unit building under contract over the weekend. And they went, wow! Like that was our goal for the year. We set a goal that we wanted to add 20 more houses, you know, that was both of our goals to add 20 more houses. So, they said, you just did that in like one deal and they go, yeah. And I said, but I don’t know even where to start. So, do you guys want to partner? And they said, oh, absolutely. And that was what got it going.
Jason Lee: That’s amazing. And how are you to raise capital for when you first got started?
Edna Keep: Well, you know, when I first got started, I was still working as financial advisor the first couple years, first two years basically. So, I didn’t, I worked with my partners to raise to capital and stuff. I had a few family members and really close friends that did invest with us. But my partner raised most of the capital then, but as once I gave up my license wasn’t a financial advisor anymore. Then you know, we would do education nights for people where we just kind of you know, the Ben of investing in real estate, as opposed to some other stuff. I got really good at selling engaged mutual funds and had lots of people that were interested. You know, we had just went through a market in our city where most people’s houses had almost doubled in value. So, there was a lot of interest, a lot of capital that people were wanting to do stuff with. And so that was our first, our first foray into raising capital for deals.
Jason Lee: Nice, nice. Yeah. Cause I get that question all the time and I feel like you have to have, you know, kind of your family and friends first start with you and kind of believe in you before you do your first deal or you got to have some sort of business track record or have at least one or two tools under your belt to make that person trust you.
Edna Keep: Yeah. Yeah. We have a coach that you’re working with that is part of your team right from day one, you know, like that’s one of the things I always tell my students consider me part of your team right from day one, cause I’m going to walk you through the whole process. It’s not like you’re going to be off, you know, jumping in the wild waters all by yourself, it is like, we’ve been through this many, many times. I’ll just walk you through the process and then, you know, then it’s so much easier, right?
Jason Lee: Definitely. Definitely. And what do you like the most about real estate Edna?
Edna Keep: You know, there’s I’ve got a few different favorite things. One is it always it keeps up with inflation and you know, with the inflationary market right now with all the money printing, we’re definitely going to be seeing lots of inflation. So, I believe that having your money in asset like, like real estate is much better than is even better Like you always hear over the years, oh, cash is king cash is king. Cash is not really king; your asset very much is a king. You know, if you can get interest rates that are less than what inflation is, it’s like we’re getting paid to hold mortgages. That’s my favorite part. You know, my absolute favorite part, we’re getting paid to hold mortgages.
And then the second thing is the mortgage paid out that the tenants pay every single month. Big fan of Robert Kiyosaki, that’s who the group that we started doing our training with. And he always taught that the number one thing that the wealthy do that the most people don’t do is they buy assets that other people will pay off for them. And that’s the key, you know, getting your tenants to pay off your mortgages for you. And a lot of people don’t think that through, but that’s one of my favorites is the mortgage paid out.
Jason Lee: I love that answer. Yeah. I mean, I think when someone, you know, buys a house, it’s an expense, right? Because you’re paying your own mortgage, but when you understand the concept that when buy an investment property, you have someone paying your mortgage, which is paying down principle and your cash filling. So, it’s a very powerful concept.
Edna Keep: Yeah, it is. And then, you know, the amount of leverage you can get for it, like with multifamily, in Canada right now we can get up to 85% financing on our buildings less than, oh last year my students bought deals for, or less than 3% on that interest. 35-to-40-year amortizations well, that allows for pretty good cashflow, you know.
Jason Lee: Exactly. And Edna, where are you finding your opportunities right now in real estate?
Edna Keep: Right now, we’re actually finding them in Florida. Like I was saying earlier, we just made an off for 140 units in Jacksonville.
Jason Lee: Very cool. And how do you find these properties just through brokers that you know, or relationships?
Edna Keep: You know, mostly relationships. My partner actually all the way from Canada, he just moved down to Florida to spend the next six months there. So, and that’s his number one thing is just to build relationships, to meet the people. And you know, he’s already got invited to be part of deals that, you know, the average Joe just wouldn’t because you got to know the language, you got to know, you got to have some connections and he’s got some connections. That’s put him in front of some pretty big deals already.
Jason Lee: Very cool. [22:49 inaudible] himself in the area where he wants to start buying. He’s going to be there for six months. That’s very cool. Foods on the ground.
Edna Keep: Yeah, yeah. Well, and it allows him to when he’s got a local address that people tend to take him a little bit more seriously too, you know?
Jason Lee: Definitely, definitely. And you also made an offer on something in Memphis, you said, right. Am I wrong? Something,
Edna Keep: Actually, we own some in Memphis, but in March of 2021, we took position of 178 units and the March prior we took possession of 82 units. So that’s what we got in Memphis right now.
Jason Lee: Very cool. And how did you find that property?
Edna Keep: Well, that kind of came to us. Again, through my partner, that’s living in Florida right now, but he knew somebody who was actually a buying agent for a REIT, a Canadian REIT and just in conversation, he was telling him that he was still finding some deal that like the REIT could no longer participate in because with REIT there, you can only buy so many in each area and they’d already maximized how many they could buy in that area. So, he actually decided that he was going to leave that REIT and kind of do all the, you know [24:04 inaudible] on his own. And he found he found one of the deals and then my partner just did networking and stuff down there found the larger one.
Jason Lee: Very cool. Very cool. Edna it’s been a great show so far. I just want to ask you a few more questions before we go. Number one is where can, you know, our listeners go to learn more about you?
Edna Keep: The best place is on my website. If you can see that behind me for your listeners that are watching as opposed to just listening, but it’s, it’s my name, ednakeep.com.
Jason Lee: Perfect. And you are a real estate coach and a very successful real estate investor. So, anyone who’s listening, go check out. And if you want to learn more about her.
Edna Keep: Thanks so much, Jason,
Jason Lee: Of course. And then one more question for you is are there any books or other podcasts or any piece of information that people should look out for if they’re looking get into real estate that you like?
Edna Keep: Yeah. And you know, might not be told real estate related, but one of my favorite books that Robert Kiyosaki wrote is called why do A students work for C students and B students work for the government? Have you ever read that?
Jason Lee: I have not, but I should.
Edna Keep: Were you a C student in school?
Jason Lee: I was not, no. I was a, A and B student. I’d speak.
Edna Keep: You know what? I like the book so much because I was a C student. And I think for your listeners Robert Kiyosaki story, he was more of a C student too, you know, and what I learned from that, Jason is the same strengths that makes you Excel in school to get the, A marks and especially the, a marks is not necessarily the same strengths that you need to be a successful entrepreneur. And your kind of alluded to it early on when you were talking about how so many people get stuck in the analysis paralysis, they just analyze and analyze and analyze, you know, I’ve read that some of the smartest people on earth, the really high IQs, a lot of times get stuck in that. And it’s because they just know so much, they know everything that can go wrong. And so, then they don’t pull the trigger and trust that things will work out because I mean, things can go wrong, but also things can go right.
Edna Keep: Right. And that’s what I loved about that book was really pointing out that you know as an entrepreneur, you don’t have to know everything. You got to surround yourself with people who know what you don’t complimentary people, stuff like that. And that was a real catalyst for me when I was looking at real estate because with a lot of things, like I’m not really detail oriented. So, I need people around me who can dive deep into the details. I’m more of like, I can sell people on the idea, but I don’t need every single detail to be able to do that. And just understanding yourself, I think, and the role that you want to play is probably the biggest thing that you need to figure out.
Jason Lee: That’s a fantastic answer, Edna. Well, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate all the advice and the kind of words. It’s been a great show Edna, thanks for your time.
Edna Keep: Thanks so much for having me, Jason.
Thank you for joining us on the multifamily millionaire podcast. The show that interviews, multimillionaire real estate investors and top producers in the real estate industry. We’re here to help you create passive income and achieve financial freedom so that you can do what you want whenever you want. We’ll catch you next time on the multifamily millionaire.
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