From Auto-Tech to Multifamily Exec, Lessons Learned Along the Road from 0 to 700 Units with Juan Vargas

From Auto-Tech to Multifamily Exec, Lessons Learned Along the Road from 0 to 700 Units with Juan Vargas

Juan Vargas is a self-taught son of immigrants who decided to pursue multifamily investing as a way to avoid the seven-day-a-week work grind he saw his parents doing with little results. He’s the founder of GenWealth Capital Group, with over 700 units under management in Texas and Arizona, and is the host of the Commit To Wealth Podcast.

Mark and Juan discuss work ethic, when you know enough, and how being a great passive investor can help you become a great sponsor.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • Juan grew up observing his parents working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. This influence primed him to look for better alternatives. But after skipping college, going to trade school, and starting his career at BMW, he fell into the same trappings of skilled-trade success. The more his skills developed, the more he began to make, the more time he spent at work. However, Juan was able to pivot by investing his increased earnings in real estate.

  • Applying the same work ethic that made him a successful technician, He was able to push past the hurdle of closing his first multifamily deal. Noticing that brokers didn’t seem to be taking him seriously, he went direct to sellers to find opportunities. Once he finally had a deal under contract, Juan exhausted all options to find the financing and equity he needed to close, even going so far as to explore the sale of his primary home.

  • If you’re serious about taking the step into running a syndication, then starting out as an LP is a great way to get started. This allows your to see the inner workings of a deal and start to figure out what you like and don’t like about the process. It can also open your eyes to the vast amount of time and effort that sponsors put into making these investments successful.

Key Phrase:

“The better you get at a skilled position, the harder it is to get out of it.” – Juan Vargas

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Scaling Up, Adding Value, and the Power of Self-Managing with James Kandasamy

Scaling Up, Adding Value, and the Power of Self-Managing with James Kandasamy

Today’s guest was a former engineer before transitioning to multifamily investing. He’s the author of Passive Investing in Commercial Real Estate, a speaker, podcast host, and a principal at Achieve Investment Group with over 1700 units under management.

Mark and James discuss vertical integration, the stock market, and how to be the Warren Buffet of real estate.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • The stock market has the best advertising and the worst returns, whereas real estate has the worst marketing and best returns. In the stock market, the person who benefits the most is the middleman, brokers and money managers. Working in real estate is different, you’re an entrepreneur buying a business and have control of the asset. Success is contingent on your efforts.

  • James came to the U.S. from Malaysia in 2010 with no retirement and no savings. After working a while and watching his wealth slowly grow, he took matters into his own hands. Starting first with side-hustles, the stock market, and finally ending up in real estate, he had the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset to make things happen. In his own words, having a great mindset is crucial, but it’s not enough. You have to have a burning desire, a want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe.

  • Real Estate gives you more control and the ability to vertically integrate. James not only buys large apartment communities, but he also manages them. Having day-to-day control over the property can be a thankless job, but the benefits to your overall operations are well worth it. This vertical integration allows James to find properties with poor management and feel confident that he can add value on day 1 through streamlining operations and reducing expenses.

Key Phrase:

“Stocks are crazy, very volatile, but I thought I could solve the world’s biggest puzzle.” – James Kandasamy

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Early Morning Routines, Following Your Intuition, and Being of Service to Others with Kavitha Baratakke

Early Morning Routines, Following Your Intuition, and Being of Service to Others with Kavitha Baratakke

Kavitha Baratakke is a principal at Cherry Street Investments and a syndicator who retired from her 20-year career in tech to pursue real estate investing as a full-time sponsor. She’s been an investor since 2009, is currently invested in over 2000 doors, and runs the popular Facebook group, Purely Passive Investment Group.

Kavitha and Mark sit down to discuss intuition, the correct mindset for raising capital and setting your day up for success.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • Kavitha’s invested on her own for several years, and turning points in her career happened when she went to meetups, networking events, and met key partners. Meeting the right people and forging trusting partnerships can really help launch you to a new level.

  • What you do with your early morning impacts your entire day and how you approach it. Adopt an empowering morning practice. Shape your mind, don’t let it shape you.

  • Raising capital can be tough when you’re coming from a place of need. Kavitha observed that she’s never struggled to raise capital as long as she’s made helping others, and not herself, the priority. You will be successful in direct proportion to the amount of people you serve.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“Suddenly I was a part of something bigger than me, and that was great.”– Kavitha Baratakke

“One of the big lessons I learned from that was to not let winning or losing control me.” – Kavitha Baratakke

“It takes a little bit of dealing with the uncertainty in your mind.” – Kavitha Baratakke

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Finding Great Partners & Managing a Mobile Home Empire with Ryan Murdock

Finding Great Partners & Managing a Mobile Home Empire with Ryan Murdock

Ryan Murdock spent a decade in the electronics industry before transitioning to real estate in 2007. He’s the VP of Open Door Capital with Brandon Turner, where they focus on mobile home parks and have acquired $14M worth of deals in the past 18 months, with another $30M currently under contract.

In this episode, Ryan and Mark sit down to discuss property management, mobile home parks, and how to find great partners (hint: offer up some value!). 

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • Property management can be extremely difficult. You need to have systems, processes, temperament, and time. Multiple times throughout his career Ryan shifted to either having 3rd party property management or managing it himself, based upon what was the best use of his time.

  • When it comes to buying mobile home parks, Ryan is finding most of their leads using direct-to-owner methods, going as far as to set up a website called Bring Brandon a Deal, that offers a $100,000 referral fee for anyone who brings them a deal they close.

  • Partnerships often get romanticized, and most people make the process too complicated. Ryan was able to team up with Brandon Turner, and later join Open Door Capital’s All-Star team, because offered value. Whether it’s finding, funding, or running a deal, locating a partner should start by evaluating your own skills and resources, and then finding someone with complementary qualities.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“Make sure you’re well capitalized on any size deal, whether you’re buying a duplex or a $10M shopping complex. Don’t get stuck.” – Ryan Murdock

“I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I got punched squarely in the face for it.” – Ryan Murdock

“Try to find partners that have skills or resources that complement what you don’t have.” – Ryan Murdock

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The Road to Financial Freedom, Fulfillment, and Passion with Gino Barbaro

The Road to Financial Freedom, Fulfillment, and Passion with Gino Barbaro

Gino Barbaro spent 25 years as a chef and restaurateur before pivoting to real estate and building a multi-faceted empire, including a $100M+ multifamily portfolio, Rand Capital, Jake & Gino, and the highly-rated Wheelbarrow Profits Podcast. He’s a professional coach, teacher, and speaker.

Gino and Mark sit down for an epic discussion, touching on a range of topics including financial freedom, developing your passion, navigating partnerships, and when to check your emotions at the door. 

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • A partnership can accelerate your growth, but it takes time, communication, and accountability to be truly in sync. In the beginning it can be messy and chaotic, but over time as roles are defined and processes implemented, you’ll begin to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • It’s not about retirement, it’s about developing your purpose. Significance and passion make life more fulfilling and happier. Finding that thing, whether it be coaching, writing, or real estate, that you enjoy and can commit to being the best at will breed passion. In Gino’s words, “Getting really good at something and helping people out is ultimately going to make you happier.”

  • When it comes to investing, you need to be able to check your emotions at the door. Passion is essential to success, but so is being able to shut that passion down when emotions cloud your judgment. Whether it’s analyzing deals, negotiating terms, or dealing with vendors, you can’t allow that passion to get in the way of common sense.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“Success comes from committing, you commit to something and then you take the action.” – Gino Barbaro

“I wasn’t successful in multifamily until I started identifying as a multifamily real estate investor.” – Gino Barbaro

“I think getting really good at something and helping people out is ultimately going to make you happier.” – Gino Barbaro

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The Key to Great Financing, Growing a Portfolio to Match Your Lifestyle with John Brackett

The Key to Great Financing, Growing a Portfolio to Match Your Lifestyle with John Brackett

John Brackett is an investor and president of Fidelity Business Partners in San Diego, a private equity firm focused on multifamily investing. He has over 20 years experience, he’s the host of the We Build Apartment Communities Podcast, and has been a member of the International Economic Honor Society since 1997.

John comes on the show to discuss how he survived the 2008 recession, the key to getting the best financing for your project, and the benefits of investing in complementary markets.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • Make financing work for you, and don’t be afraid to get creative. In John’s words, “the key to financing is to make sure you marry up the [debt] to whatever the terms of the opportunity are.” 

  • John uses a hybrid approach to investing that has worked very well for him. By choosing markets that complement each other, such as Houston  and San Diego, he’s able to capture both the higher cash flow of Houston and the strong, equity producing headwinds of a major coastal market like San Diego. 

  • Look at your overall business strategically. Make sure you’re building a business/portfolio that complements your lifestyle. Whether it’s partners or property management, think big picture and make sure it aligns with your long-term goals or ethos. “What’s the character behind the capital?”

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“It was a challenging time, but also a very unique time. There was definitely some pressure, but the pressure was good, it sharpened me.” – John Brackett

“I understood from banking that we’re going to need to hold some of these assets, that the market wasn’t always going to be as great.” – John Brackett

“The key to financing is you want to make sure you marry up the financing to whatever the term of the opportunity is.” – John Brackett

Resources In Today’s Episode:

Books Mentioned In Today’s Podcast

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