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Bankers: Who’s Really Lending with Guest Co-Host Robert Orfino
We were in the hunting grounds all day. I was sending some pictures to some friends of mine and I’m like, “Check out my new office.” They’re like, “Where are you? That looks like a fun place.” I’m like, “Send me a picture of what office you’re sitting in right now.” What’s your office? Let’s do a little office check. I think I’m going to win that battle. We had a great time looking at a handful of our properties. Some we have closed on and we’re in the middle of rehab. Some we will close soon. We’re having a good time. While we were down there, we looked at two houses, a duplex. I’m trying to remember what else we looked at. I feel like whenever we go down there, word gets out we’re in the hunting grounds.
I do a Facebook Live at every single stop. If you are following me on Facebook and you saw me go live 100 times, I go live at every single stop that Rob and I can share with you. Somebody has under contract, let’s say wholesalers bring it to us or we have under contract. There’s a lot of stuff we weren’t able to show you. I think I went on Facebook Live six times. If you go to my Facebook page, you can see the properties we were looking at. Some were nice, some were not so nice. For example, the one I called “we’re at home or we’re home,” that’s going to be our office and our big Airbnb. It’s a beautiful property. The views from the rooftop are pretty much amazing. We had a great time. We’re now looking at some commercial space down there. If you want to make an offer on that deal, we can do it.
I think maybe just go on about 10% off and see what they bite.
We were doing a little reconnaissance too. When I go to a sub-market and do a little reconnaissance, I’m looking for two things. I want to talk to the bankers, and we had a banker meeting, and another good referral. We were looking at Class A and Rob’s joke is he’s looking for the hipsters. We found the hipsters.
There’s a little four-square block area in Corpus.
You know immediately when you drive in, you go, “This is nice. There are nice little cars in here. There are a lot of people sitting out on a patio.” Let me explain what sitting on a patio is in Texas, for those of you that are outside of our market. When we talk about hanging out in a patio, whether it’s for happy hour, for coffees, what that means is you’re sitting in a parking lot. It’s not like overlooking some big, beautiful something. It’s literally like here’s this outdoor space right up against the sidewalk next to a road. That’s what we call patio down here.
The greatest patio I’ve ever been on is Orange County. It’s in San Juan Capistrano. It’s next to the Starbucks, you can see the entire city below you and the Pacific Ocean. There are a ton of deals that get done there. It is all guys. I told you that in California, you can always tell someone’s wealth by their shoes. Look at their shoes. They’re all in shorts and they’re all in $100 silk shirts. They all have got $100 flip flops on, nice kicks and everyone is doing deals there. I’m like, “I need to be here every day. This is where I need to be.” We’ll go down there and do a Facebook Live.When was the last time you were the most interesting person in the room? Click To Tweet
We were talking about the Benz dealership down there where guys are on putting green.
There’s a little putting green right there, Newport Beach Mercedes-Benz. There’s a little putting green right there. They gave free car washes and the cars back all the way up on Saturday morning. Everyone goes in and there’s a free Starbucks there and there’s a free putting green.
I’d buy a Merc just to do that. Let’s bring in the old SLS in and go, “We’re going to go over here and play dollar whip out.”
Imagine that networking sitting there. That’s pretty powerful.
It’s going to be fun. What’s so funny is I will say this and I think we’ll be the first ones to do it. There are small events that happen like that in Houston. For example, I’m on a group. There are about ten of us now and it’s a landlord group. It’s all high-end landlords. They get together monthly. I’m making about once a quarter and we’ll have lunch. I’m so tempted to build that here in Houston, whether it’s a Saturday morning thing.
If there are any fixed ops managers out there, sales managers or general managers of any dealerships in Houston, and this is a major car market. Probably one of the top three in the country. We’d love to come to and just hang out after your group twenty sessions. We’d love to hang out and let us know if you want to talk real estate. Do you want to get some insight? If you are a general manager, sales manager, fixed ops manager at a car dealership, we’d love to start networking. Let’s go have a coffee.
Put a little green just off to the right side of sales floor.
That car dealership world, that’s where Grant Cardone came from. That’s where he made his bones. He was a sales consultant for car dealerships. He partied hard after the sales meeting or so it’s told.
Allegedly. I think you can read that on Wikipedia.
I always tell folks, “Just get out of the real estate rooms.” Once you get to another room, you’re the most interesting person there.
I did that a Facebook Live about the ID badge being like this scarlet letter, like the downtrodden corporate guy. I got some interesting comments back on that one. It’s hanging from your belt loop or it’s hanging there. You’ve got the little the retractable thing that can get you in your building. I don’t want to get on that. It’s depressing. The one thing I talked about is when was the last time you were the most interesting person in the room?
Last time, I was walking my dog and I think I barely eked him out. I was the most interesting person.
You’ve got to start asking yourself when was the last time you were the most interesting person in the room. I get not everybody wants to be that, but is your life as exciting as it could be? It’s one of the things that Tom had said years ago. He’s like, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” If you’re just miserable at what you’re doing, let’s make some changes here and see if we can get that fixed. If you’re a real estate investor that’s actually doing this, every place you go, you are the most interesting person. I am reluctant at this point. When people ask me what I do, I’m like, “Here we go. I’m going to end up talking.” I’ve been very coy about it with our bike team, but the cat’s out of the bag on that one.
I tell people marketing. “What do you do?” “I do marketing.”You can always tell someone’s wealth by their shoes. Click To Tweet
You’re just like a normal worker dude. When you go, “What do you do, Jason?” I’m like, “I do a little real estate. I own a couple of real estate companies in town.” They’re like, “Really?” Usually they’ve heard one of the companies. I’ll say something like, “I used to own Houston House Buyers.” “Those big green billboards around town.” I was like, “Here we go.” It’s an hour and a half of me talking the whole time, which is not a bad thing but know that if you’re doing this business and you’re networking, you instantly become the most popular person in the room. I have not met one person yet. Not statistically zero. This is a zero, an absolute zero. I have never met a person that said, “I don’t like real estate. I don’t want to talk about real estate.” Maybe I will run into somebody who says, “I tried that. It didn’t work out. How is it working for you?” I’ve never run up against the, “I’d never do that in a million years.” Your life must be terrible. Maybe it’s because I’ve been good at vetting who I hang out with. That might be it. I’ve never run into that person. We were down in the hunting grounds, hung out at some of the hipster places there. We had a good time.
The Texas Surf Museum.
We were at The Executive Surf Club. It was great.
My feet were sticking to the ground. The bathroom was horrible, but there was a good bar and with good food. Everything is served in a basket, which is you can’t ask for more. Right next to The Texas Surf Museum, which I absolutely adored. Of course, as soon as I walked in, there’s a huge picture of Dick Dale right on the wall. I was like, “This is my home. I have my DK shirt on and it’s all good.” I was like, “If we get that building right down the street, that’d be awesome.”
We’re actually looking at a building just down the street, let’s say less than $15,000. We’d like to set up a home base down there. Every time I go down there and I start looking around, and we had a meeting with a banker. I will say this. Here’s a quote for you, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” You’re in this Houston market. Let’s say you’re in Corpus Christi, you are in Waco, you’re in some market here in Texas, and you’re like, “I don’t know of this real estate market. I’m not sure. I don’t know.”
I heard good things about Ohio.
“Ohio is great. Jen and I went to a big multifamily investor meeting and we just think because of our three days experience in this weekend retreat, we think that real estate is too expensive in this market. We’re going to go buy in Ohio.”
“We want to buy one of the seven multifamily buildings in Cincinnati.”
“That’s supposed to be a great deal. My friend’s a designer.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?”
“Have you looked at Florida?” Everyone has.
No one’s heard of Florida.
Going back to Queen Isabella, everyone is looking at Florida.
I hear this all the time and it’s so funny. It’s a conversation I had with one of the agents that we’re working with down south and we have this conversation. She’s been in that market for four or five years now. She’s like, “I see so many opportunities here that the locals that have been here for ten, twenty, fifteen years, they can’t see it because they’re so familiar with it.” Familiarity breeds contempt. Here’s the next step of this whole thing. We’re going to end up with a show. It’s going to be a beach real estate show.
I told you I’ve already pitched it.Banks deploy capital to assets that they understand best. Click To Tweet
Yeah. I was over at the big agency in Beverly Hills. I was with two former Baywatch stars. We were pitching, rehabbing at the beach with the Baywatch stars. It got me a good insight or understanding of how that production works, how payment works and how they are desperate for houses.
This is why I don’t worry about social media. I don’t worry about, “Do we put our content out on Facebook? Do we do it on Instagram? Do we do it on YouTube or do we do a real TV show?” I’m like, “Good content will be found.” I’ve had this idea because I know what it costs. We’ve shared some of the costs before we shoot an episode. I’m sitting there thinking, “If we spent half of that, what could we get? What could we show?”
I’ll tell you the numbers. You pay for someone to write a treatment, which is like an executive summary of what’s going to happen. That’s $5,000. You shoot a little teaser reel, which is three and a half to five minutes. A-Rock could do it, but usually you hire someone out for that. That’s another $5,000. Your $10,000 is to get your audition together in front of someone. You shoot a pilot, which is $25,000. We are way ahead of that curve. When you shoot that $25,000, if they’re interested, they pick you up and they’ll sign up for twelve to sixteen shows and you get paid $5,000 a show. You get paid nothing and the production costs you get stuck with. What happens is if they like the show and the ratings are good, you get picked up for year two, three and four.
In year three is when your life changes completely. You can look at the guys out in Waco and you can look at the dude who went crazy in Southern California. He’s running around the woods with a gun. You get famous or get crazy. I had an opportunity to talk to one of those stars and I said, “What’s the big difference? I’m a real estate investor, so tell me what the big difference is.” He said, “Cheap money. We get money now at 6% for anything we want to do.” I was like, “Brilliant.” He was like “We’ll do a couple of shows.” They white labeled those guys into a bad coaching program, a garbage program. All those guys, like even the million-dollar LA flip or whatever it was, that guy has got a bad program too. The New York City guys got a bad program. They just get scooped up by this company that I know. I’ve talked to those guys too. They’re like the real blue suits.
They take these reality show celebrities. They get on stage and say, “I’m Joe Blow of million-dollar whatever it is. I’m going to teach you how to do real estate.” They do a little bit of that and then they disappear and somebody else comes up on stage and then sells an education program that’s actually white labeled. If you guys don’t know what white labeled is, how can I put this?
You have a bottle of wine. It’s a red wine. You don’t know anything about it. You just know that it’s a red wine. I put my label on it and it says Robert’s Red Wine. You choose to like Robert’s Red Wine or not. That same exact bottle can put a label on it says Jason’s Wine and you can like Jason’s Wine or not. You can put the two side by side and say, “We clearly like Robert’s better than Jason’s.”
Robert’s cost ten times as much.
It’s the same exact bottle of wine. You white label. Literally, the white label is the label that goes on the bottle.
I’ll tell you where this happens a lot. That’s actually in alcohol sales. Vodka is a great one for me because technically vodka has no taste. It’s different than tequila. Vodka is like a colorless, tasteless white liquid. It’s like drinking gas.
It’s like a fuel for the generator.
There’s no difference in vodkas. When you look at alcohol, that’s a great analogy because a lot of that stuff is white labeled. In the beer world, they call it contract brewing. You can contract with a competing brewer to actually make your beer, you white label it and then now you’re a “craft brewer.” In any case, that’s white labeling. These guys get famous on these reality shows. They’re now teaching real estate, but they’re not really teaching it. They put on an hour-long presentation, you’re enamored because you get to meet the stars.
There are two companies out of Utah that do it. That’s what they do. At the high level, they make the stars get on and do a little motivation call once a month. I forget what her name is. She has a Breakfast with Joanna. That’s an extraordinary amount of money and real estate agents love it. Suck it up. Successful real estate just throws their money all around. Sometimes it’s such nonsense like this. They’ll pay to sit down and have a lunch with her. I’m like, “That’s awesome.” Photo op, that’s it. Get it on your Facebook up. There’s the man behind Donald Trump. The man who he made his millions. If you see anyone on Facebook who’s got the picture of the man who made Donald Trump millions and they sit down and do a three-question live interview, I think that costs $15,000.
It’s all these big networking events.Determine what it is that drives your business. Click To Tweet
They didn’t network with that guy. They didn’t find this guy at The St. Regis in New York City and start up a conversation. He sits down and they marched people through and you get your three questions. You look like a total schmuck standing next to the guy and you move on. That’s how that world works.
Let’s talk a little about business banking and how that whole world works. There are gurus out there that will sell you on your Bradstreet number, which is like your credit rating for your business, the Dun and Bradstreet. Here’s what I’ll tell you. I’m going to blow this whole up. It’s like how much do you explain without blowing people’s minds apart? It’s an absolute joke. You get sold into this, like, “I need to work on my Dun and Bradstreet number. It’s just like my FICO score, except for my business.” That’s not how it actually works. Banks are risk management firms for capital. They’re trying to manage their risk based off what their expertise is in their banks in order for them to lend on certain things. Some banks are good at real estate, some banks are good at hotel and some banks are good at gas stations, all that sort of stuff. Their mix of what they’re willing to lend on changes depending on what’s called their value at risk calculation. It’s all a bunch of nerdy stuff.
At the end of the day, they’re willing to deploy capital to certain assets that they understand best. It could be with real estate, it could be businesses. We like steel mills or transportation companies, but they also get into these businesses for unsecured lines of credit. If you’re a transportation company, you bring in $5 million a year gross, we know that business well because we lend to 1,000 of you guys. We’re willing to extend you a line of credit for $500,000. The conversation we had with our folks over at Credit Sense was, “This is what we’re doing in real estate. This is what we’re doing in our other businesses. What banks should we be working with to secure these long-term relationships and build these credit lines?”
We asked a question, “This is our dilemma where we’re starting a relationship with local banks. Is it smarter for us to start our business banking with them or should we stick to the real estate with them and then just process the income out of that property through them?”
Before you get into that, let’s talk about there are different tiers of banks. There are big tier-one banks.
Tier ones like Chase, Wells, all that.
There are these regional banks, which will be like down here those are Texas banks. When you really get down to it, they’re Texas banks because the market is so big. There’s the local bank. We were in Corpus Christi. We were hanging out there at The Executive Surf Club. We met with the local bank. In fact, they have a branch up here too. They said, “We’ve got three branches. This is what we do.” We walked out of The Executive Surf Club, BBVA Compass was right there. There was a regional bank, I can’t remember the name of, as we were walking out, it was up there. They had a big building. There was a charter, a regional, a national and we just met with the local. You’ve got different tiers, you’ve got different risk appetites and you have different “lending products” depending on the type of business you’re on. There’s this big matrix, if you could put it all in your head. A big giant table where depending on what you do, then you need to work with a certain type of bank based off where you’re trying to go. It gets complicated pretty quick.
There’s a big difference when you have these conversations with them with hard money or one to four-unit mortgage guys because there’s unlimited money over there. They’re like, “We’re still building that portfolio in our bank.” At some point they just call and say, “No more loans. Our portfolio is built. We don’t like this class anymore. We’re going to time out. No more loans,” which also should signal they’re probably not doing the refi on you. In this aspect, you need at least four. You probably need one good national, a regional and two locals to work with. At some point those locals get filled up or the regional gets filled up, it’s like no more, “No more. We’re not investing in this asset class anymore.”
We’ll give you a call in six months when we decide when some loans pay out.
“If you want to do C-stores though, I’ve got a lot of money for you.” I was like, “No, I don’t want to do C-stores.”
Here’s the other thing. I think what’s fascinating is when people approach a banking relationship, they approach it like, “I’m putting this banker on a pedestal.” That’s not how it works. You’ve got to understand, they make money when they sell you money. When we go in to have these banking conversations, it was so funny. One of the comments you got from somebody was, “Nobody talks to these guys like that.” It’s like, “We’ve done this rodeo, so we’re looking for this and this and can you do this and can you do that? If you can’t, just tell me now so I can go on down the road. We’ve got other options here.” It’s no different than interpersonal relationships. It’s like, “We’ve got these things we’ve got to fill. If not, then we need to go on down the road.”
We have a local and regional at 80% LTV and five-year. The guy on the phone said, “I have better. I have real estate-specific banks in Texas that will do 85% and 90%.”
85% and 90% loan-to-value.
I was like, “Those are the conversations we want to have.” When you start getting into this part of our careers, it’s good to have a Merrill Chandler at Credit Sense and that team behind us. That was an absolutely amazing phone call we went through and even more so on top of that was he’s like, “I’ve got four or five places for you to go get business lines of credit.” He’s like, “I can get one up to $100,000. I don’t know if that’s good enough for you guys 720 FICO.” I was like, “That’s pretty good.” He was like, I can get another one for about $200,000, roughly the same FICO but we’ve got to be doing business.” Now we’re beyond the FICO score. We have another Merrill event. You go ahead and text me at (281) 401-9008 if you’re interested in coming and building out your business credit profile and working on lines of credit. I was shocked when he said he’s got as little as 720, $400,000.Building some wealth in real estate is not easy but the business model is pretty simple. Click To Tweet
I’ve had some small lines from time to time. They’re all secured though. These are unsecured lines of credit. It’s, “We’ll get you a line of credit.” I’ve seen this game played with hard money lenders. They’ll say, “We’ll give you $1 million line of credit subject to appraisals and loan approval,” and all this other stuff. It’s like, “It’s not a line of credit.”
I had one banker. I said, “This is what my credit score is because of twelve inquiries over the last year from all these brokers and I started three businesses and maxed out my credit cards.” He said, “On the first deal, do you want us to just to roll in a consolidation loan for you?” I was like, “What? I’ve never heard that one before.” He’s like, “We’ll secure it against the property.” “We can figure that out.”
We’ve got something new here. This is interesting. It helps when you run into the real estate guys that are bankers. That’s what’s really helpful because then they see both sides. “You haven’t done anything we haven’t seen yet.” It’s like, “You all are just moving a lot faster than most people.” “I can do this and this and we’ll structure it this way and off to the races you go.”
I’ll tell you one of the carrots that he held out to us. He’s like, “We have lots.”
I know you are pretty good in new construction. We were like, “We’re so about that.” It’s funny, as we develop these strategic relationships and we had some conversations about this. I actually need to fire some emails off. I will tell you where you will make the most money in your business will be on referrals. It will be on those personal referrals that you get from your business partners, spot your vendors. Those will be the best deals that you’ll ever do in your life. One of the things I’m beginning to measure is how much of those referrals are going back and forth between us and other folks. It’s not just the service in working with a vendor. It’s like, is there a real relationship here or is it strictly financial?
We’re going to have Casey. He’s coming out here. He teaches a strategy that this guy I met with absolutely did. If I’m going to go take a meeting with a bank, then I should bring my title rep and say, “I’m just bringing my title rep.” He sat down and he said, “Here’s my retail mortgage guy, there’s my insurance guy and here’s my assistant. We’d all like to crack at everything you’re doing.” I’m like, “You did it right.”
That’s the way to do it. You bring the whole team in.
The business cards are flying everywhere.
Here’s what I’m finding fascinating. We’re starting to get into a lot of people’s businesses that are partners of ours. The question I’m always asking is, “What is it that drives your business?” They go, “It’s this.” I’m like, “How do you generate the this? Do you know how much it costs in time and money?” When you get down to what my career has been for the last fifteen years, it’s putting numbers in boxes. That’s all I did. I was like, “We’re spending $250 million in this new research facility and we need X or we’re building this worker’s compensation program and we’re building Y.” How do we measure all those things? What are our policies?
How do we measure it? How do we go back double loop learning? How do we go back and change it, remeasure it to make sure it’s effective? When I sit in with a lot of these small business owners, I’m like, “What are we trying to accomplish?” A) Please tell me we got that. Good, we got that. B) How do we measure what it is that we’re doing? C) How do we measure the effectiveness of the changes? What I find is successful businesses figured out A. They know what drives their business. They’re not quite real clear on what number it is. It costs me $400 a lead and it’s $1,000 a client. My lifetime value of a client is $1 million. They haven’t figured that out yet, but they figured out, “If I do enough of this, I get some business.”
I’m getting in there and I’m like, “How is that reflected? How do we capture that data? Who’s our ideal client? Let’s talk about the margins in each one of the services you provide.” If you do roofs versus HVACs and you start banging it all out and then you say, “Out of these five categories that produced the most net margin per deal, net margin per customer, which one’s the least expensive to get? Which one has the longest lifetime value?” When you start asking those questions, minds start exploding. They’re like, “I never thought of it that way.” Here’s why that’s important. You can take your sponsors, partners and vendors and tell them, “We’re going to spend half a day with a banker.” They’re like, “I’ve got to clear my schedule and there are all these conflicts.” You can’t then go back to them and say, “Here’s the value of meeting with a banker,” versus “Here’s the value of doing another networking event.” The people who end up building big, very successful businesses, those are the ones that figure that out. It’s classic, something that Bob taught me as compared to what. Why should I do this instead of this?
I think what I’ve become good at in the last ten years of my career, as an entrepreneur has been taking those meetings. I’ve been in meetings where I’m like, “What am I doing here? This is crazy.” We’re talking about $150 million casino purchases and I’m sitting in that room. I’m like, “This is great.” I spent four hours. The guy was from CB Richard Ellis. They went through how casinos work, sell, buy, left side, the right side. I was like, “This is amazing.” I was in that room. I was like, “I didn’t know a lot about this.” Now I feel good. I’ve taken big-time Manhattan real estate meetings and I’m up on the 110th floor. I’m overlooking Central Park. I’m like, “This is amazing.” I’ve just been able to find myself in those rooms and I’m about 50% proficient about keeping those connections. If I had a pure assistant, I would probably be 100% on that. Being able to connect people, I’ve watched a lot of people around me make millions and millions of dollars on my connections and I’m happy to do that. I finally feel like after several years, you and I are in a position where we can now make millions and millions of dollars on those connections.
When I start looking at it, I’m like, “You tell me what is better? Is it this or that?” They’re like, “We can’t tell you.” In the back of my mind I’m like, “This means there’s an opportunity to marketplace.” You’re starting to get to see enough businesses now where I’m like, “You’re right.” We’re joking but we may end up with a pest control company because you realize there’s an opportunity in that market space for real estate investors. If you want to go out and build some wealth in real estate. It’s simple. That’s not easy but it’s a pretty simple business model. We’re buying properties that produce cash. Buy two to three houses a year over the next five to seven years.
It’s that simple. We had a call with new member.
A new member signed up part of our new club membership, which is $1,000 a year. You get a 30-minute consult with Rob or I. We just happen to both be in the truck at the same time. I chatted with a guy. I looked at the clock, we were on the phone for 22 minutes. I don’t think he realized how close he was. He’s so close. I said, “I need answers to these three questions here.” They were related to two properties he’s got in his portfolio. I said, “You need to refinance or sell this one. The second one, you may need to just sell. It’s going to depend, but you will have enough capital within two years. You’re making somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 a month net. Done.” He was like, “Really?” I was like, “You’ve got it all.” It’s not like he wasn’t doing it right. He and his wife are doing it right. It’s the loading order. This step, then this step and everybody’s a little bit different. That’s the other challenge. You go to these weekend seminars, you sign up for the coaching package, they hand you the backpack with a six-inch thick three-ring binder and say, “Here’s your business.”
Here’s the problem. They’re handing out to every other person that signed up. Now you’re all on the same path. I’m like, “That doesn’t work.” It never works. That’s why personal trainers are so much better than gyms. It’s like, “Based off your situation where you’re at now, you need this and then you need this. Let’s get these three things done. When you knock one off the list and we’ll add another. When you knock this one off, then we’ll add this one.” That was a good example. We didn’t give him more than three things, “Do this and this.” I said, “Here’s the other thing, you don’t have to buy 100 duplexes. You don’t do the crazy stuff like I do. You’re going to do this and then you can buy one and we’re going to get that stabilized. We’re going to buy the next one and the next one.” He was like, “Really? You can do it just like that?” I’m like, “This is the greatest market in the country.” I don’t remember how old he is but a young family. I’m like, “You literally can be done, retired in two years. You will be done by this time two years from now.” He was shocked because he had been tinkering around with it since 2016 and I’m like, “You can be done.”
If you’re interested in our membership, if you’re interested in the business line of credit, building your credit portfolio, just go ahead and text me at (281) 401-9008. Thank you very much.