In this week’s episode, Mark is joined by Vish Iyer, a veteran real estate investor who built a massive portfolio in the mid-2000s, got caught badly in the 2008 crash, then picked up the pieces and rebuilt.
Vish is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, coach, devout yoga practitioner, and actor who holds graduate degrees in information systems and business.
To know him is to know you can’t keep him down. Listen below to find out why.
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
As a new investor, scaling your size out of the gate scales your risk, mistakes, and ignorance.
Learn from your mistakes, take ownership of them and view it as an opportunity to rebuild yourself into something greater than before .
Don’t assume taking management in-house will always equal more cashflow.
Keeping your mindset positive takes work, but it will help your persevere through tough times.
Ideas Worth Sharing:
“Everytime you meditate you grow and dwell up the emotional strength.” – Vish Iyer
“You give it your all, but you play to win. You don’t play to lose, you play to win, but you need to have the right attitude if you lose.” – Vish Iyer
“Caution has been more of mantra for me this, rather than bravado.” – Vish Iyer
Resources In Today’s Episode:
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Mark: Today’s guest is a veteran real estate investor born in India. He holds graduate degrees in information systems and business, and has had a wild ride in real estate. He built a massive portfolio in the mid 2000’s in nine different States then got caught badly in the 2008 crash, then picked up the pieces and rebuilt. To know him is to know you can’t keep him down. He’s also a bestselling author, entrepreneur speaker, coach, devout yoga practitioner and actor. I’d like to welcome Vish Iyer.
Vish: Hey Mark. Thanks for having me.
Mark: So we’re talking halfway around the globe right now. You’re in India. Hopefully our connection stays stable.
Mark: Where in India are you?
Vish: I am in Southern India in a city called Chennai.
Mark: So you moved from India to the States?
Vish: I moved from Chennai to Africa first. So I lived in Southern Africa for a couple of years because my dad spent 21 years in Africa. He had an engineering Institute in Southern Africa in Botswana. And I joined him after I finished my undergrad, then spent a couple of years in Botswana. And then from Botswana, I went to Indiana.
Mark: Indiana. Okay.
Vish: Yes. With the intention of doing a PhD in genetics, that was my passion, biology.
Mark: Genetics. Was that Bloomington?
Vish: Yes. So that has been my journey. And then I had a like a spiritual experience when I was in Indiana.
Mark: Most people do.
Vish: Which change. People ask me why did you choose Indiana? I was looking through the US map and I wanted someplace similar and India and Indiana sounded very similar and it turned out to be opposite. I didn’t know two letters could make such a big difference here. It was just a phenomenal experience. And I spent a year and two months, three months in Indiana before I moved to San Diego.
Mark: So you were going down a science path. How did you end up in real estate?
Vish: Everybody in my family is just engineers from some top notch schools, you know Indians are high-performers but I chose Biology basically because everybody went engineering route. I chose Biology because I was going to be a passionate scientist. And I always believed in myself, wanted to do everything by myself. And before I left Africa, I asked one of my relatives. I didn’t get scholarship initially. And he said if I came there if I can get a student loan for a couple of semesters before I get my act together and get a scholarship. And he said, yes. And when I landed in Indiana, he said, no.
Then I moved from here and I actually taught French at my dad’s Institute in Botswana for a couple of years, made enough money to buy my ticket. And I had another $2,000 or whatever. And then I ran out of money which I’d never done. I come from not a super wealthy family, but we never had hurting for money we were always comfortable. But first time in Indiana, I experienced poverty. I had no money for food. And then I couldn’t call my parents and ask them for money. I just wanted to do it for myself. At that time I started getting spiritual experiences about my future of what I was supposed to be doing.
And it became very clear to me that I was not going to be in the science path. I was going to be in the media. I was going to be in Hollywood as this bridge between the East and the West. And if all these things kept certain, I’m going to be an author like, whoa, whoa, whoa all these revelations happening in one go. And then I followed this guru called Paramahansa Yogananda who wrote this book called Autobiography of a Yogi. And he wrote the book in Encinitas in San Diego. And I said, man, I have no money. I ended up using one razor for an entire year. And then I would sleep on a frame bed with all the iron thing jutting out. And so it was just seeing poverty, crazy poverty in Indiana. I moved to San Diego. Somehow I got admission in Grad School, UCSD. Then couple of my friends paid for my Master’s Degree.
Mark: Oh nice.
Vish: And then I got one Masters at UCSD and other ones at San Diego State. And then having this, cut a long story short, I got my first job, big job as software engineer to work for Camp Pendleton.
Vish: But always having this desire that, Hey, I was going to be in the movies. I was going to be the son of the first Indian lead guy in Hollywood, just being my passion and started working out and my body developing myself, working on myself, that’s been my passion. And I said, alright, one of my associates in my software engineering team, she said Vish, if you want to be an actor, you need to build passive income. And I said, yeah. And there’s nothing better than real estate. I said, “Oh yeah, I know I have all this education behind me.” So I always knew that I could take care of myself and then wanted to get into real estate because she said, yeah, I don’t want it. You know, most actors become struggling waiters.
A place full of waiters now Uber drivers. No, I don’t want to be that. And I said, alright, let me try real estate. I started studying, I’m a science guy. So I like to study. And then I have two friends who actually pay for my Master’s Degree. They are also very wealthy guys and they gave me full freedom. The next thing I know in 18 months I built a $55 million portfolio because these guys were just loaded with some deep pockets. And then another close friend’s brother who’s also multimillionaire. He came on board. So it’s just these three very wealthy guys supporting me and saying, go for it.
Vish: So I started with a 70 unit building in Wichita, Kansas. That was one of my first investment which we bought for 2 1/2 million dollars.
Mark: And now how did you make that decision? So you’re in San Diego. You want to get into real estate and by the way, I don’t know if we ever discussed this, but you and I got into real estate for the exact same reason. How unstable the entertainment business is. You need something else if you’re going to dive into that. So how did you choose what asset class and Wichita, how did you land on Wichita, Kansas?
Vish: I’m a big networker and I like to talk to people and really like to learn and question. So just learning, reading a lot, going to all the meetings and you get a sense of, okay, what’s creating passive income and there was a big talk about out of state multi-family is where it’s at because California, even at that time, just numbers couldn’t work and you could get a 9, 10 cap in Dallas, Texas. So I was focusing on Texas a lot and did so many trips.
I was on a plane every week from Monday to Thursday, then eventually we’re looking, and there’s a lot of money chasing a few deals. And of course we signed on with another broker, a broker investor, and they’re pretty experienced. And so with their guidance and they said, yeah, we looked at a nice 40 unit in Lubbock, Texas A-Class and then the contractor did the contract, then it didn’t pan out. By then my friend was ill. He started going down the drain and then we are under pressure because we were doing it for him. And that’s how we got into that deal.
Mark: Into the Wichita deal?
Vish: In the Wichita deal.
Vish: Because I wanted a distributor and I like to distribute risk a bit. I said, alright, okay, I’m going to do multifamily. Then also a big subscriber of the Adiel Gorel formula. So I said, alright, so we’ll buy multifamily. Then we’ll also buy single family homes. So we ended up buying on 30, 35 houses in Dallas. We were in Dallas, Austin just on and on. I lost the plot because it is like you’re keeping a candy store. You have a lot of cash and you really don’t know what you’re doing, except that (a) you buy real estate and you hoard. And then buy as much as possible as quickly as possible. Then you hoard. My thing is not having a plan and going too fast, too quick.
Mark: What years was this happening when you were building this massive portfolio?
Vish: The acquisitions are mostly for 2005, 2006.
Mark: Okay. And you’re building this in Texas and Wichita, Kansas?
Vish: Yes. Wichita, Kansas, Texas, Austin, then Louisiana, we went and bought around 40 condos in Louisiana and Baton Rouge. Because you had the hurricane Katrina, you remember Katrina?
Mark: Of course. Yeah.
Vish: And Katrina at the time what the government was doing, because they wanted to encourage people to build. They said, if you bought property in those areas in Baton Rouge, one of those areas, you can claim five years of back taxes. And some of my partners had paid a lot of taxes because they had cashed out on their stock. And this is a great way to claim all those five years of back taxes. So we went and borrowed on 40 condos in Baton Rouge.
Mark: What did your leverage look like? How much of a loan were you getting?
Vish: So the leverage for each asset, it’s different leverage. For example, for the multifamily, when you’re buying 72 units 2 1/2 million, there’s no way around it you need to borrow minimum of 20 to 25%, even at that time. And that’s what we did, but for the 35 homes in Dallas and the 38 condos in Baton Rouge, a lot of them was a 100 percent financing.
Mark: Really amazing.
Vish: Yes. Because you had those loans, the funny loans where you would do the 80 to 80, 10, 10 or 90, 10, or 100, 0 you just come to closing with closing costs.
Mark: Right. I remember that.
Vish: And that was one of the worse things we did. And I thought, okay, Hey, maybe, yeah, that’s [inaudible 09:24] are this thing. But once we rent them and we are in a little negative and we just float,
Mark: Because what you had seen for the last decade was just prices going up and going up faster and faster .
Vish: And prices kept going. So you’re confident and you’re speculating.
Mark: Digging into the anatomy of a portfolio meltdown is fascinating to me because it’s rarely talked about and it happens and it’s devastating. And it’s valuable to talk about those steps. What goes wrong, the over leverage and the domino effect. And I know multiple investors that it happened to, but you don’t hear much about it.
Vish: Right. And then due to increase of trouble, the Wichita property was just dressed up just to sell to us. It was just a piece of junk. And we were the suckers who went for it.
Mark: They put lipstick on a pig.
Vish: Exactly. And everything started going wrong. And we made a big mistake. We had a good management company. They were doing a pretty decent job for eight months, but we didn’t make a single penny. And at the end of eight months, when we said no cash flow we’re not making, I went and fired them and they told me, don’t do it.
Mark: You fired the management company? And they were the ones who told you not to do it. They told you don’t fire us.
Vish: Yeah. They said, don’t do it. That’s how it is. It will turn around and slowly. And I said, no, we need the cash. So I put an in-house manager, I hired an in-house manager and let them live on the property. And they tried to do a good job, but it just dwindle and just went down the drain. It was crazy. I should have kept on the old management because they look, they did a good job, but we are not making any money. So we bought this to make money, not to just sit down and have zero.
Mark: Were you breaking even with no cash flow or were you going negative and having to go out of pocket to sustain these properties?
Vish: our As long as I had the management company, we were breaking even we didn’t need to put anything and the moment I fired them and I thought I could, but no, that’s when the vacancy started increasing, we started getting more different maintenance. I made maybe made money for a couple of months, but there was the negligible because it was just had to go back to sustain the property.
Mark: And then when you put your resident manager in there, that’s when vacancies started to increase. And that’s when you started to have more and more problems.
Vish: Yes. So just one after the other, eventually led to where a couple of our apartments were taken by drug addicts, drug Lord making meth inside the apartment.
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Mark: I think that’s a familiar thing that people who invest is that often you’re frustrated with the management company, thinking that you can do a better job yourself, but obviously you tried that and I’ve been tempted in my experience. But, there’s something to be said for professional management. Who’s been doing this for 20 years.
Vish: Yes. And they really knew somehow they manage it so well, they’re like, Hey, don’t bother me. I’m not bothered. It’s nothing going from my pocket. I was like, Oh, maybe I should just skip that hindsight is 2020. But see, it’s a lot of the decisions were driven by you have a fairly sick partner and you’re doing it for him. And then so many of the decisions were led by Warren Buffett said, no, you should be making it right. And I would say, of course I made tremendous mistakes because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. Even though I thought I knew. And I was learning and just making novice mistakes, which is who I am as a person as well. I’m just an aggressive go-getter and it’s just my personality and real estate you don’t want to show that level of bravado.
Mark: I always think there’s this mentality that’s touted in real estate investing like go big or go home scale. And you never hear people like Warren Buffet say that you never hear him saying like, just grow as fast as you can. Like, there’s this macho thing that in real estate, it’s like, how come you haven’t jumped in? How come you haven’t done your deals? And now, as soon as you do your first deal, you got to scale as fast as you can. But I don’t think that’s the best investment advice. That’s great if you’re an entrepreneur building a business, but if you’re an investor, caution is a huge part of that.
Vish: You are one of the few people I’ve seen who has done a phenomenal job, and I think at some point you should end up writing a book.
Mark: Oh. Thank you.
Vish: I see that you’re not brash. You’re very calculated. You really understand your risk, very deliberate do your research even though I don’t know you that much, that’s the sense I get and I really respect you for that..
Mark: Oh, thank you. Yeah. I think fear is healthy in investment because sometimes people say just jump in scale, go big. And even if you fail, the education will be worth it. But I don’t really think so. Warren Buffett, isn’t saying, Hey, let’s make a huge mistake and we’ll learn something from it. Don’t make mistakes. Don’t lose money. His number one rule of investing is don’t lose money.
Vish: And the second rule, don’t lose money. Right. Absolutely.
Mark: Wow. That’s really interesting, so what happened then? So you’re hemorrhaging money and then you just start telling the lenders that you can’t pay. Is that how that works?
Vish: The thing is when we were still closing on properties and the cascading started around May of 2007, by then we were in real trouble with my original property. We are in real trouble in the entire portfolio. Maybe only 30 or 40% are rented. So there’s tons of negative cash flow, I think maybe like 70, $80,000 in negative cash flow every month. And my partner passes away in April of 2007. The main money guy.
Mark: Oh no.
Vish: Just to add to the whole thing. And I remember his funeral was there literally the next morning I had to go to Wichita to put out some fire.
Mark: Sure. So in addition to losing a good friend, you had the financial repercussions of that.
Mark: It was devastating probably.
Vish: Oh my God. And then we put deposit on a bunch of properties and they yanked at a subprime loan. I clearly remember May or June they yanked it and that’s it. We lost a ton of money there. And then the tax bills started coming and my other two partners start freaking out. And then I started seeing personalities, which I never saw. And these are old friends. It was absolutely crazy. And I made the mistake and I take full responsibility for it. And they were just innocent, innocent victims. All they did was just give their money. That was my responsibility because I was supposed to be the professional there.
Mark: And it becomes like a perfect storm. It’s not only are you dealing with your financial stress desperately, probably working all the time, not sleeping, trying to salvage everything. And then you’re losing not only property, you’re losing some of your best friends.
Vish: Yes. And I did permanently at the time and it’s still not mended so it’s been a crazy journey.
Mark: Yes. That’s got to be really hard.
Vish: That’s the reason I went and wrote my book. Yoga and Love.
Mark: And that’s like a bestselling book, right?
Vish: Yes. The book was a therapy. More therapeutic for me then because I don’t want to be a love bird. That’s the last thing I wanted to do. So I spent 3 1/2 years writing the book.
Mark: If you go through that, I just envision it. And I’ve encountered people who have had their entire multifamily portfolio get wiped out, but then it becomes this perfect storm. It damages relationships, it damages your health. And that’s interesting to hear how do you deal with that? What’s your therapy? How do you get out of that and start over? And you did it through a book
Vish: Yes. My thing is there are two aspects to it. One is the personal aspect. And then what you do as a professional. And the first thing we were forced to file BK bankruptcy. And we did, I lost my primary residence. So that’s a consequence of this whole thing, the whole debacle. So I did, and I also have a very strong meditation practice and that’s why my meditation and my wife’s belief in me these are the two things which kept me.
Vish: Otherwise this could have killed any, put you in a really bad spot emotionally, which it did. And I’m a pretty strong cookie. I was strong character, but just these two, my prayer, meditation practice which is why I highly recommend it. And even in the book and all the talks I give, all my students I coach I say, Hey, if you can fix this, if you can have that relationship with yourself, the higher self you may not come out really successful on the other side, but it’ll give you enough strength to go through it. You just got to keep afloat. That’s it.
Mark: That’s amazing.
Vish: Don’t try to thrive. There are some people who thrive in times like this and that’s okay. Those are the exceptional sorts, but all you have to do is just get out with minimal damage. And really the book I wrote as my offering to the world, in my mind, I was like, okay, I messed up and I’m going to give the best of what I got to the world as an offering. And that’s why I took my prime years. And I’m going to prime this thing. I said, man, heck with this, I’m just going to go into Hollywood and start banging doors. And get more opportunities and then my wife say no, you have this gift of meditation. And how you found me and manifested your soul mate ideal mate. And people are struggling here.
That’s when I started connecting with the pain and relationships in the United States because they have a 59% divorce rate. And when I had lost friends, close friends, that’s when I understood relationship pain. I never had the relationship pain for me to relate to a romantic relationship pain. But then I said, Oh my God, if losing friends can hurt so much. How hurtful must’ve do to lose a spouse. There are people get married 15 years, 20 years, 30 years. And the lawyer calls you that it’s over. It’s really humiliating. And that’s when I said, Oh, what can I do? The pain. I said, all right. So I gave the best of what I got, which is my knowledge and my experience.
Mark: It seems like you have an amazing temperament. You seem very resilient. Is that something that you were born with or did you develop that through meditation and yoga?
Vish: I would say I had it naturally a bit. Even in school, I just had a natural strength inside me where I could take. So that was one. And then I started practicing meditation when I was a very young kid and meditation definitely helped. And one of the things I also give credit to is my sports. I played a lot of split cricket team sports and I always say this, you play a team sport. If you want to be a good entrepreneur. And I see this even today in business, I have some partners who are past NFL players and their spirit and their attitude is you give it your all, but in the end, if you lose, you just move on to the next step.
Mark: You’re warriors.
Vish: Yes. And then I’ve seen people who are super successful, sort of a little nerdy, and have done really well in academics. And they’re not done much sports. They’re not able to take you on a bit of failure,.
Vish: They lose a little bit and the whole world collapsed. So for me, it’s been, yes. I know we all have our own strength. My strength is national resilience, just physically and mentally that’s one. And number two is of course my mother’s special practice medical practice since I’ve been young and third, I would say sports. I was just naturally in sports. You learn when you lose part give it your all, but you play to win. You don’t play to lose, you play to win, but you just need to have the right attitude if you lose. It’s just the combination of these three things. And then just every time you meditate, you grow and you develop that emotional strength. And of course I have my license as well. So when you have strengthen and so you obviously have weakness as well. The weakness is just being brash, being aggressive, not thinking about things and just trying to do them. And in the second innings of my real estate, I’ve tried to curtail all that. And caution has been more of a monster for me this time than bravado.
Mark: How long were you away from real estate? And then how did you start getting back into it?
Vish: Three years, that time I wrote the book. So in 2012, I started going to the LA area and started attending seminars, attending training, the workshops and training. And I never discussed my real estate pass with anybody. I said, I don’t know anything. I’m going to learn from A, B, C, then I’ll be like, Oh, then I had instructors who have done maybe one tenth of the deal I’ve done.
Mark: I’m sure.
Vish: The builders say, “Oh, there’s no way you can close on $100,000 property. Lease options are so tough. There’s nobody in this room who can do lease options unless bought.”
Mark: You had a past life.
Vish: Oh multifamily is the talk. And I just had to keep quiet. And I said, Nope, I’m going to learn. I don’t know anything. But having the attitude and having a little bit more humble attitude really has helped me a lot.
Mark: It’s humility. Absolutely.
Vish: Yes. And I was not like that before. And that’s been one of my great transformation.
Mark: It’s good to be humble.
Vish: You just can’t go wrong with humility. That’s really what I’ve seen.
Mark: Right. I think a recent guests that we had as I asked for a quote, and I think I’m going to forget his quote, but I came back. I was like, it was basically “A great man can be humble” And I think my quote that it reminded me of is Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, that was “Great people are willing to be small.” Spiritually a wise, a generous thing to do, but it’s also savvy.
Vish: Right. I agree.
Mark: How have you stepped back or waited back into the real estate investing space recently?
Vish: In that time, my whole thing was do big deals. This time I said, let me do small deals. And that’s when I started. And then I saw one of the first deals was in Chicago. It started with a small deal. I bought the house, I think for $85,000. And I put $35,000 into it, sold it for 190.
Mark: Oh, great.
Vish: Yeah. Then I was like, Oh, so that’s the range I want to be in. I’m comfortable in when hard money route. Then I was like, okay, one thing led to another. Then I bought another house in Cincinnati. I bought it for $38,000 and I put around $18,000 into it to fix it up. It appraised for 115 and I still have the towers it rent for 1350.
Mark: And it’s in Cincinnati?
Vish: Yes. Baby steps, baby steps, very small properties. But my absolute rule was I will not touch anything unless it’s 60 cents on the dollar ARB.
Vish: Max 70 and that’s done a world of good for me.
Mark: That’s great. Stick to that, right?
Vish: Yes. It’s getting tougher of course. But I’m able to still find those. It’s not like its lying around everywhere.
Mark: It sounds like you’re willing to wait for those now at this time around.
Mark: You’re not rushing to scale.
Vish: Right before it used to be. I look at 100 and make offers on 20. Maybe get one. Right now is looking at maybe 300, 400 to get a good deal
Mark: Having the ability to be patient is a real asset.
Mark: I think some people who need to get that deal flow going in order to either make money. If they’re syndicators, the need to have to buy consistently is a hindrance to finding great deals.
Vish: Yes. And when you get restless. And I’m also guilty of that sometime you just tend to make mistakes.
Mark: Too eager, overeager.
Vish: Yes. And the whole of last year, I just did one deal, but the deal has been phenomenal.
Mark: Are you still in Chicago?
Vish: Yes. There’s a three unit and I rezoned it had a coach house in the back and I rezoned it. Got it as a four unit, which increased the value by another 300,000 in a B-plus location. Bought it for around 510. And we put 250,000 into it. It’s appraising around 1.4 million. I just rented two of the units for 2100 each. Then the other two the coach houses we rent for 2,500, the other unit should rent for 2100. So gross cash flow around 86, $87 hundred.
Mark: Amazing. Now, how often are you going to Chicago? Are you traveling there a lot or do you have a good team there?
Vish: No, I don’t need to go at all because I have solid team, but I tend to go once a month for a couple of days, two, three days because I have new deals. Just to–
Mark: — keep an eye on it.
Mark: Who is your team?
Vish: I have a very solid broker. She’s spent 20 years in construction, so it’s been great. Instead of most people get a broker, get a deal on the contract and they’ll send them the contract. Yes. They potentially send maybe two, three contracts just to give them a bid. And that’s how they do their due diligence. Mine is when my broker walks through, she is able to give me a contract as detailed estimate because she’s got so much experience.
Mark: That’s great.
Vish: So I’m able to go over a lot more deals than an average person, because I don’t need to tie up the deal to know what it’s going to cost.
Mark: You’re skipping a step.
Vish: Exactly. And that saves a lot of time. When there’s a deal, I know this deal is going to work.
Mark: And you’ve obviously built a lot of trust with this broker.
Vish: Yes. We’ve been working almost five years now together. And then she doubles up as a project manager as well.
Mark: She does. So she oversees, she’s basically a partner?
Vish: Yes. So she’s a broker. And also my policy is I don’t negotiate with performers. If somebody is a great performer, I don’t negotiate.
Mark: Just pay them.
Vish: I give them what they ask. If its top-notch sales its top-notch sales, so you just pay them. We don’t negotiate penny pincher with those people.
Mark: They’re too valuable.
Vish: They’re too valuable because if you try to penny pinch they’ll just go to another person who knows their worth. And that’s one of the things. I always be like that I believe that you just need to be generous in this business and eventually you’ll win. You might lose here and there.
Mark: Right. And if you’re on the other end of that, make yourself invaluable, just go the extra yard and you’ll get paid.
Vish: And now I built a solid leasing agent. He takes on a listing and he has only a 45 day contract for listing your property.
Mark: Got it.
Vish: And he will lease it in 45 days, but most of the time he’s able to lease it within a couple of weeks. Then my lenders, having a lender team, that’s been a big thing for me.
Mark: I agree.
Vish: Not having a good lender right now. Just end of last year, I found a solid lender.
Mark: Is that a loan broker, or is that a bank?
Vish: He’s a loan broker.
Mark: I think it’s really key to have a good loan broker because there’s so much risk on lending side and you need someone who’s got your back.
Vish: Yes. And pretty easily with the model, the parameter. So many things need to line up. Some lenders have seasoning requirements after you refinance because I use our money. I do my work and then I refinance out, I need to get a good loan and I’m paying down 10%. Then I want to be able to go get it out to anywhere from four to 5%. So many things need to work out. The appraisal needs to come and write, so that you can pull your cash out or if it’s written terms so that you’re not going to closing with cash. And then the rent needs to make sense. So my goal is when I exit out into refinance, I need to have at least 30% equity, and then I should be performing at more than 1% rent.
Vish: So if I have a $700,000 mortgage, I should be bringing in seven grand. One percent is phenomenal. So on a B- plus, if you’re doing 1%, I’m doing 1.25 on a B-plus product.
Mark: Yeah, that’s good. And I think the loan aspect of it is you need predictability. If you’re an operator who does a lot of deals, you need predictability on the lending side. And there’s inherently a lot of unpredictability in that. A lot of them can get spooked by a deal. They can pull your funding, they can change your loan terms. And if you have someone that you trust and has got your back, and that will fight with banks, particularly if they’re a broker and that has weight, they carry some weight with these banks. They could use their leverage on your behalf. I find that really invaluable.
Vish: Yes. And you are dealing with a much bigger scale for you. I’m doing it at a little smaller scale. So I can only imagine a $7 million, $8 million deal. That’s how important a loan broker is.
Mark: You’ve got a contract that you remove contingencies after 20 days, 25 days. And you’ve got over $300,000 on the line or more, if the lender gets temperamental and decides we don’t like this deal anymore, the more we’ve looked at it, you’re exposed to huge risk.
Mark: I love it. Like what a great story. I’m glad you’re back to it. It sounds like you’re finding and executing on some really great deals back in the Midwest. That’s my home turf. I grew up in Ohio.
Vish: I know. You’re from Queensland.
Mark: So, I’ll move on. I usually ask people what’s a trait you possess that has served you best both in real estate in life. I know you’ve kind of answered that, but do you want to add anything to that?
Vish: Yeah. My thing is my trait I would say courage. I wouldn’t say I’m not scared, even if I’m scared, I just keep on, I go and attempt. And that’s a trade which has served me well and it also pulled me back in the last big deal, but I would say overall, that’s the trait, which drives me. I just act. I just do. I just keep moving forward. Maybe I’m not that bright to see every possible way I can sell and I just go do it. I just do it. And that’s sort of the Nike thing. That’s who I am.
Mark: The Nike. As you were saying that I was thinking like, it’s probably from your sports. I grew up in organized sports. I loved football. And you learn these things. You learn to build these aspects of your character, like courage and the willingness to push forward, even when you don’t have total certainty or even when it’s hard. And really, hard.
Vish: Right. Right. Right.
Mark: I think I try to train myself. Like I want things that are hard. I know want things to be easy because I like what hard experiences do to me, it forces me to grow.
Vish: Right. Right. And being in the entertainment industry, there’s a trade, which I think we both need and plenty to succeed.
Mark: We have this thing in our writer’s room. So I’m on Family Guy. Around the comedy world. There are some of my friends say if there were looking at a new writer, what we’ve experienced is that a writer isn’t really funny until life has punched them in the face. And it’s people, the funniest people, we know you look back through their personal history and they’ve been through hell and the writers that come into the room and have had a really pretty pleasant life, easy life. They’re never that funny. And it certainly applies to my experience it was the toughest experiences, the biggest rejections, the poorest, when I was penniless, poor and rejected looking back on that, I love those experiences. Those were ones that forced me to step up and become stronger.
Vish: Right, right. And humor is a mechanism to deal with it.
Mark: Don’t take it that seriously.
Mark: So on the other side of that, the multifamily psychotherapy, is there a trait that holds you back that you feel like you still need to work on?
Vish: I can still get a little restless. I still can work on. I’m still not a very detailed guy. I’m a more a strategy, big thinker. And I would like to work more on just being more detailed, more diligent.
Mark: Yeah. Take it one step at a time.
Mark: That’s great. If you were to pass on some advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Vish: Well, buy a house as early as possible. Those times in 2001 when I finished my Masters and I got a very high paying job working for and I was a database guy, through my consulting firm for Camp Pendleton. And I would just save the money and I had good amount of money, making good salary. And I never bought a house at the time in San Diego, I was renting. Nobody came up to me and say Hey, you’re a perfect candidate. You’re earning two income. This is the time. Go buy properties and do the house hacking. Buy a fourplex, duplex, and live in one rent the other, it just never occurred to me. And that’s one.
And then the second thing I would do is go for your passion earlier. And I spent some time, a little way too much time in academics when I still knew what I really wanted to do. And I’m an action guy. Even for me, I delayed, I just kept studying. I started a third Master’s Degree, which I stopped in the middle. I didn’t need to do all that. I know exactly what I want to do. This is what I want to do. Just go for it.
Mark: Get to it.
Vish: Yes. And also the third thing I would say, it’s just been a disease to believe in quantum leaps. I always say, okay, initially I was thinking, okay. Oh, this feeling of getting discovered, okay. I’ll maybe do one movie, but the second movie would be this big budget movie, $40 million movie. And that’s how my mind operates just large, big, that’s who I am, but I’ve since changed. I said, no, make a couple of $500,000 million dollar funds get known. Let the producers make money. Maybe that lead to a 2 million, $3 million fund on from that point. Which is what I’ve done in real estate. And that’s the same attitude I want to have. And that’s what I would’ve told my younger self.
Mark: I love it. So are you ready for our question round?
Mark: And now our question round. The book you’ve recommended most over the past year.
Vish: And it’s always been one book Autobiography of a Yogi. And I say this to everybody. It changed my life. When you read, think, and grow rich, Napoleon Hill says, “The great secret to success is the ability for a human to have power over your own mind.” That’s just the crux of the whole think and grow rich law of success. And then the whole motivation philosophy on which the US is built but how to gain control over the mind. For that you need to read Autobiography of a Yogi. You need meditation practice. That’s proven right now through science that you can slow the mind down. And the more you spend time in silence, then as the breath comes down, the mind comes down. That’s the book. I always recommend that every year. If you ask me next year, that’ll be the book.
Mark: I love it. How about a favorite quote?
Vish: “Fix the inside. And as day follows, night the outside will fix itself”
Mark: An online tool or app that brings you the most value?
Vish: Zillow, because I found some of my greatest deals on Zillow.
Mark: That’s a good one. Do you eat food past its expiration date? If it looks fine?
Vish: No. That’s one thing. I’m a little anal about, how strict I am with my diet. So I would answer no.
Mark: If you had to come up with a nickname for me, what would it be?
Vish: Mr Balance.
Mark: Mr Balance. It couldn’t be insulting.
Vish: If I had the insulting thought. Trust me. I would convey it. Because you’re in a very tough industry, entertainment industry, and consistently been there for 20 years, which is exceptionally a Reverend worthy and you’ve done well. And then you’ve done exceptionally well in real estate. And I talked about i to a lot of people just perfect balance. That’s why I call you Mr Balance..
Mark: Alright. Thank you. So speaking of movies, a bad or cheesy movie that you love.
Vish: Cheesy movie. I love The Notebook. This is one of my favorite movies. I just love it.
Mark: Your most impressive, totally useless skill.
Vish: I can drink more Chai than anybody on the planet. I drink a cup of chai.
Mark: Which decade created the greatest music?
Vish: I would say 80’s. I was a big Michael Jackson fan. And then in the 90’s, I like Rahman in India. He created phenomenal music. And he’s the one who composed the music for Slumdog Millionaire. He is from Chennai my city. Slumdog was one of his mediocre works.
Mark: What was your most awkward year?
Vish: I would say 2007. That makes sense.
Mark: Aside from real estate, one thing you could spend all day talking about.
Vish: Yoga and meditation.
Mark: Your favorite sound in the world.
Mark: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Vish: Yes. A few actually. I had one in Indiana. The other experience, a major experience, which pointed out that this girl is going to be my wife, my soul mate, which I wrote in detail about in my book. When you say paranormal I’m just interpreting that as a transcendental experience.
Mark: The most amazing place in nature you’ve ever been?
Vish: The Wilderness of Africa because you’re sitting there watching sunset. It’s probably the most gorgeous sunset you would see because the land is so flat. So it’s a desert. So the sunset takes forever and at some point the sun is at the same level of height as you. But the beautiful thing is anytime an elephant can come anytime and Seabrook can come. Being a wildlife flower it’s ecstatic for me and the stillness in the air. And it’s just incredible.
Mark: I love that. If you could have the answer to one question, what would it be?
Vish: Have you loved enough?
Mark: That’s great. Belly button. Innie or outie?
Vish: Belly button. Innie.
Mark: What movie can you quote from the most?
Vish: Either the Bourne series or James Bond. Both I love.
Mark: What country has the best accent?
Vish: Well, if it’s English, I would say, I really enjoy the British accent.
Mark: It doesn’t have to be English.
Vish: If it’s, growing up in India, you’re exposed to so many languages. And if it’s Hindi I like the way, which got a little bit of Urdu influence, which is spoken in Pakistan. I really love the way they speak. It’s very rich, very poetic.
Mark: A childhood cartoon character you had a crush on.
Vish: It’s Veronica and Betty, Jughead.
Mark: Veronica and Betty. Oh yeah, the Archie’s right?
Vish: The Archie’s yes.
Mark: Is that what that was?
Vish: I didn’t know much as a kid, but then I saw a friend of mine Oh, that’s so cute.
Mark: What’s one thing everyone on earth could agree on?
Vish: Delicious food and Shelter.
Mark: When are you happiest?
Vish: When I’m meditating.
Mark: Finally, where can listeners reach out to you?
Vish: They can go to my website, yogaandlove.com and the contact form. My email is there which is Vish, V-I-S-H at yoga and love dot com. Y-O-G-A-A-N-D-L-O-V-E dot com. You can reach me there.
Mark: Excellent. That’ll all be in the show notes. Well, thanks Vish. This was great.
Vish: Thank you.
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