Multi Family Wealth with Technological Precision, with Neal Bawa

by Neal Bawa | Smart Real Estate Coach

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INTRO: Does it feel like you are in a never-ending treadmill working for someone else?
Are you an investor that does not have the support to succeed?
Author, investor, and real estate master Chris Prefontaine Is here to help as one of the nation’s top-producing investors with over 25 years of experience. Chris can be with you in the trenches to take your business to the next level. Whether you’re all alone looking to do your first deal or you already have a team established and you’re looking to grow to the next level this is your master’s class. Let’s get started!

CHRIS: Good morning and welcome smart listeners, I’m Chris Prefontaine and my focus weekly is to bring you an expert who can help you make a quantum leap in your business, your finances and or your life. Buckle in here with us while we bring you the next masters class, you guys know that if you’re listening to this show for a while that on purpose I don’t bring you just people in our niche and a whole lot of people in their podcast do that I on purpose bring you variety, bring you people from all different niches in the real estate industry this reason that is not so that you get caught up in the next [Johnny Audritch] I don’t want you to do that what I want you to do though is be equipped, be equipped so when a deal comes your way and an investor comes your way, something, an opportunity comes your way you know either which way to pivot which way to handle it or who to call to go ahead and get it handled. We’re going to spend some time today with Neal Bawa from San Francisco; he’s the CEO, founder at Grocapitus, a commercial real estate investment company. Neal sources, he negotiates and he acquires commercial properties all across the US for 200+ investors. The current portfolio, get this, is a thousand units projected to be 2,000 in another 12 months. This portfolio includes multifamily and student housing properties in 6 different states right now. He also serves as CEO at MultifamilyU; it’s an apartment investing Education Company. He speaks at events, meetup, all across the country. Nearly 4,000 students attend his multifamily seminars series each year and hundreds attend his Magic of Multifamily Boot camps. Thousands hear his podcasts and you’re about to hear some talk with him right now and are you going to value that I know you are going to get some great takeaways so grab a pen and paper. He’s been featured on over a dozen podcasts and radio shows actually. His management techniques and revenue optimization techniques for multifamily is considered unique in the industry, so we’ll talk a little bit about that. He’s a co-founder of the largest multifamily investing meetup network in the US, BAMF. I’ll have you talk a little bit about that when you come on, Neal. It’s a group of investors with over 3,000 members, he’s taught about the fundamentals of multifamily investment, real estate trends and deal analysis to over a thousand plus students. I’m not going to read to you the whole portfolio but I’m going to read to you some of the things I got before this interview just to get you guys thinking a little bit about who we can we are going to be chatting with here. Managed, co-owned with investors 235 unit multifamily in Dallas, 388-bed student housing in Vegas, 355 units student housing in Buffalo, New York, 102 units mixed housing project in Utah, I could go on and on that’s only half the list, so I want to welcome to the show here today Neal Bawa. Neal, welcome!

NEAL: Thanks so much Chris I’m delighted to be on the show thanks for having me.

CHRIS: Well I’m super-psyched to have you and as I said in the introduction I love these guys to get exposed to as many people as they can because, look, I’m not the multifamily expert and I want them to know who to turn to. So do this for them because I don’t know you take us behind the green curtain a little bit and get some context as far as the when, how, why you get started and investing in real estate, in general, I will kind of hone it in.

NEAL: Sure! Well, I’m not real estate royalty, right? I haven’t done a thousand loans I haven’t done it a hundred flips I’m a technologist that got into real estate by accident work because of my day job where I was building large technology campuses that were 30,000 square feet each and I was building them from scratch so I was doing this as a tech executive and was part of my job as a chief operations officer and so I kind of stumbled into real estate that way that point it was a multifamily was commercial office space and that was 2003 and then after that, I realized I liked real estate and I was good at real estate and then I went backward and I went to the single-family about 10 homes in Madera, California. Loved it! I still own those homes, run out of loans, refinanced, got my wife’s name off, went the Chicago bought 10 triplexes, loved that experience, but of course run out of loans again for her and then I started looking at multifamily just to invest my own passive money I was a partner in a technology company I was cash flowing like crazy so I was just investing my own money, not anyone else’s, no family money, it’s just me. So when I ran out of all of those single-family loans I said what the hell do people do when they run out of loans? There must be something else and I discovered multifamily, and realized, this is my kind of stuff. I’m a chief operations officer for 400 employees and I understand how do you scale businesses and to me I realized a multifamily, a $20 million multifamily is just a business you’re buying a business and improving that business and that connected with me on a metrics level, on a dashboard level this is what I was used to doing I was just doing it in real estate and then I started teaching that at multifamily the skills that I was learning as a passive investor I’m not active at this point I’m a passive investor I’m teaching those skills and I’m open to meet up and I started telling people, hey this is what I’m learning from all these syndicators that I’m passively investing, then people started to love that. My goal was to get 200 investors for that meetup and then 500, then a thousand and then 3,000 and as of today we’re at 4880 people in that meetup. It’s the largest in the US. The story just kept going and along the way, I just got swept along sold my technology company, exited, reinvested that money in the multifamily and then basically started doing active syndications myself and I know you mention about a thousand unit portfolio but on the 20th of September i will hit 1600 units nationwide so it’s been a fantastic journey and all along I haven’t changed from the fact that I’m a guy made I’m a technology guy and I’m a data and analytics guy that looks at real estate with a very different kind of a lens than most people do.

CHRIS: Cool, thanks for sharing Neal, you know what was neat that you said’ I’ve had oh I don’t know 2-3 maybe 4 multifamily people on the show, different, you know, different niches within the niche and you said something logical to me but I bet you no one has said this and out of all experts we’ve had on, was the simple statement that you treat the multifamily or the building so to speak as a business. So simple, so effective, pretty cool.

NEAL: It is! I mean if you think about it, we are in the business of raising net operating income, and how do you do that? You reduce expenses and you increase income, but only in real estate, and you know there are other few niches like that, but in commercial real estate the magic is simply this: that when you increase your net profit by $1 by a single dollar you end up making $21. That doesn’t happen anywhere else, it’s the magic of cap rates. Why? Because when you increase your income by $1 well you got that $1 every single year so if you’re in the project for 5 years now you’ve made $5 by increasing it a buck and when you sell at a 6 cap or a 6 and a half cap that $1 that you increased your profit? Whoever is buying it will give you 15 bucks for it or 16 naturally, 16 buck worth. So now you’ve already made 5 bucks in cash flow and now you’re making 16 bucks when you sell so it is so easy to be enthusiastic about wanting to bump up your income by a dollar knowing that you’re about to make 21.

CHRIS: Yeah it’s really cool so it’s kind of like when I say to people, would you go, doesn’t matter what niche, but what I’m talking about mine, would you go into whatever course at whatever affiliate program, whatever it might be, doesn’t matter the cost would you go if you knew you could double your return and you knew with certainty you could, well if you’re doing a dollar and turn it to 16 and you say them, I can try to get from A to Z I don’t know who would not want to do that with you.

NEAL: It’s huge and that is one of the reasons why I found it MultifamilyU. MultifamilyU is a website that has dozens and dozens of data-driven analytics webinars. You can call it multifamily for geeks and it would still work, because it really is for people that are data-driven, analytics-driven, I’m a data scientist myself on the technology side, so what I’m trying to do is to basically read the [tea leaves] when it comes to various operational things and say which one of this leads to the most amount of profit or which one of these saves me the most amount of money and implemented in that order. So a lot of my webinars are really about the use of data science to figure out various things, for example, the that’s most popular is, yeah I do have a webinar that is called “Figuring out the best cities in the best neighborhood in the us to invest in 60 minutes” for either single-family or multi-family, doesn’t really matter because it’s the same presentation and it’s a 60-minute presentation with no PowerPoint it is just a demo’s of live processes that you can do on the internet and 60 minutes later you would be practically a genius at any city or any neighborhood in the US because you’re applying data analytics principles. That’s what I don’t see people do in real estate, they talk about it a lot there’s a lot of lips service, there’s a lot of clausing over the data, but I don’t actually see people applying data to everything they do and that really is the differentiation to me, that’s the differentiation to MultifamilyU.com. If you were there you’ll notice that the presenters that I’m bringing in, they are like me. Engle Windsor is CEO of Local Market Monitor; it is the best company in the US for predicting cities & neighborhoods to investing. Brian Hennessy is the author of Commercial Due Diligence or Due Diligence for Commercial Properties, it’s an Amazon bestseller and he is a master at making sure that when you go into an office property or multifamily property you actually do your due diligence correctly. Those are the sort of guys that I connect to my ecosystem of 4,000 people that are taking webinars each year at MultifamilyU.com. The focus is really on how you make good decisions using good data.

CHRIS: So you know what I’m thinking right? And I love just chasing where this goes; I think this is so cool on such a neat level to come at this at. So tell me if there’s something wrong with this observation, sounds like some people come and say “ok I will do exactly as I did, you know, run my path” sounds like you’re even a step above that, saying; “look, here’s what I do because I had the specialty but because I had the specialty now I have the MultifamilyU, now I have the meetup and now all the stuff is exposed to the audience”, am I projecting that properly?

NEAL: It is extremely exposed, I am very transparent and I don’t just tell people to do what I did I tell people to do what I did and it blew up and I lost money or my investors lost money so here I do analytics of my failures more often than i do analytics of my successes because I find that success is a little bit overrated it’s failure that’s really valuable right so and I feel before I made huge mistakes before so I feel that for my audience is more important to know but my failures and my success but yes I am all into showing what I don’t want to tell people is do what Neal Bawa does because he is Neal Bawa, I want to say, “do what Neal Bawa does because of these 17 steps”, and oh, by the way, I didn’t invent the steps, right? These are steps that I’ve learned over time. What I’ve done is I have taken steps that are buried in books somewhere and I’ve turned them into technologically easy to take steps, I’ve turned them into templates, I’ve turned them into flowcharts, I’ve turned them into excel spreadsheets, but I’ve turned them into something that you can do on a step-by-step basis without being an expert and without needing to hire me as an expert or a consult really it’s meant to be you being independent and on your own and that’s what I really like I do not want people to talk to me because they don’t have the confidence to do things by themselves. I find that almost everything can be broken down into a series of steps.

CHRIS: it’s interesting, I see here to parallel my situation, one is of the very beginning when you said you were in real estate you did that through a company in & running some commercial buildings that way or the build-out. When I grew up in a family company my dad wasn’t in real estate, it was actually a welding supply and an industrial gas business but he build his buildings and then rent them back to himself from this company, that’s what exposed me so we kind of entered in this very similar fashion, which is unique. Then when you said at the end the second thing I notice as you said just then and that question nothing that’s not out there you just compiled all these information and kind of, I’m going to say, very facetiously spit it out the other end very sophisticated so I said people, look, what we do in our niche, it’s nothing new, it’s been around for decades and decades before we all existed as we took it and put it into a system. Very similar the way you and I came at this, I didn’t know that obviously prior to this live conversation. I want to go back to the two things: the MultifamilyU and the meetup. So the meetup, talk about that a little bit, say 4,000 people so is this all, I’m assuming a meet up online? And how often? Talk about the meet up a little bit.

NEAL: Sure, so the meetup is for the San Francisco Bay Area. So we have locations all over the San Francisco Bay Area and all those people come to the meetup, and I do four presentations a year. Once again, very entertaining, very eye-candy you got to make it entertaining, right? So, you know, a mentor I used to know said: “If you want to teach, start by entertaining”, right? Make it entertaining, make it interesting, because if people zone-out right at the beginning they’ll never get to your “aha!” moment, so I do these very creatively designed presentations. when I grow up we were very poor, so I used to do graphic design for a movie companies in India that’s where I learned the skills so I make these interesting presentations, I deliver them in the San Francisco Bay Area in three or four locations, when I’m done then I take a smaller version of that presentation and I deliver online. So the audience online is all over the US, probably mostly coming from my dozen podcast, they’re coming from Bigger Pockets, they’re coming from YouTube or the other places where my presentations are and so I have about, say 2,000 maybe 2,500 people that are actively engaging with us that are not in the San Francisco Bay Area and then there’s about 5,000 people or almost 5,000 people that are in the San Francisco bay area meetup scene and those are the people that I meet in person. And so to me these are two different ways of learning and I have some students that actually do both, they’ll come in person, they’ll get to learn and then they’ll get to network, whereas the online folks I haven’t found any effective way of getting them networking together but they’re coming into my website constantly to learn the new webinars that I’m putting out. The key is quality; I mean I spent 30 to 40 hours of work when I’m locked away with my phone turned off to design one of my webinars.

CHRIS: Hey smart listeners, just a quick break for an important message. We could ask all the time exactly how our family team continues to do several profitable deals every month in real estate and what you can do to copy our success yourself; we’re constantly updating our systems, our checklists internally, our deal-finding tools, our scripts, emails, attorney agreements and all kinds of other tools, tips, techniques and protocol that help you have a profitable business. We bring all that and a lot more to our students and our associate-level members. So any pains, successes and stumbling blocks you’re going through, I promise you we’ve been there, the difference is we figured out how to break through all the roadblocks and can shortcut your learning curve by allowing you to do in have the same tools and secrets that we used without having to suffer the way we did to figure it all out and incurring the cost. You can literally just step in using all of our systems and tools and copy what we do for yourself. Sounds interesting? If you would like to discover more about how we can jump-start your success I invite you to check out our free webinar and grab you over $1500 worth of gifts and bonuses that we offer after you attend, which includes: a free strategy call with us. If you’re serious about developing a business the easy way, the simple way, the predictable way without being forced to spend years trying to figure out yourself a business that literally creates three distinct paydays per deal, averaging right now around 75,000 dollars per deal. Just text the word REAL to 66866 that’s capital R capital E capital A capital L to the number 66866 and we’ll send you some info about our free eBook, as well as our webinar, hope to see you there!
Talk to me a little bit more about you mentioning India and growing up poor there when did you come to the States and what brought you here? I want to make sure we add that to the whole picture.

NEAL: Sure! I came in 1997 and I was a technologist and a network engineer came in here and started working for a network engineering company. A year later they promoted me to the senior-most manager in the company and then I stayed with them all the way to 2013. That’s the company that I built technology campuses from scratch and that’s what I got my real estate box. So, large classrooms, right? And what the beauty of it was, I realized that the same large classrooms are empty in the evenings, so I got permission from my boss to allow meetup there. So if you think about how my meetup group grew very quickly, the secret sauce is that people, when they go to evening meetup, do not want to go to a crowded office where there is only space for 20 people and 15 of you are standing. They want to go to a learning environment. Where do we learn best? In a classroom. And I had all these huge empty classrooms, so my meetup accelerated and grew 10 xs faster than everyone else is because the environment for learning was perfect.

CHRIS: All right, love that! I couldn’t agree more and everything about what you’re telling me and sharing with the audience is all about learning. Talk a little bit about, speaking of learning, what you referenced earlier when you said you can, and the audience can learn more from your mistakes, because we all make mistakes, right Neal? And every guest that’s been on said “yup I made them, now I make them and I’m glad I made them, and that’s how I learn” so maybe talk about one that stands out in your mind as a major learning experience, maybe because of it, helped the success you created.

NEAL: Absolutely! My greatest failure and greatest success with the same project. So this is a project that we bought. It was my first syndication project, isn’t it amazing how many of us learn so much from the first one, right? Because we simply don’t know what we don’t know. So we bought this property in Chicago and it was in a neighborhood that I thought was like a C but actually, the neighborhood was rougher than that. It was a C or a D depending upon you know which year we were talking about and what I felt was that because it was right next to the area where the Obama Presidential Library was going to be built in Jackson Park in South Chicago, I was done, I was done because of that. Later on, I realized that Tiger Woods was building a PGA Championship golf course right next to the library, right? So when I say all of this stuff, Chris is thinking “wow, this is really great! Why is he saying that this was bad?”, and the answer is; because none of those things happened when I bought the property and none of those things would’ve gone into construction for another two or three years. So, what I learned was, you don’t buy bad demographics just hoping for future improvements, you buy based on today’s demographics, today’s tenants and their ability to pay today, and then you use event things that are happening in the neighborhood as your gravy. You use it to exit quicker or you use it to exit at a higher dollar number than you projected to your investors. You don’t buy in a certain area just because something awesome is going to happen 4 or 5 years in the future, and so the lesson I learned there was demographics. So the people that in that apartment complex do not pay on time, my delinquencies are always about 15%, I always have 30+ evictions going and that churn, that constant eviction means that my maintenance cost is through the roof. So what I learned from there is when you’re starting out the first thing you want to learn is truly understand the demographics of the area, you want to know population, you want to know rent growth, you want to know income growth, you want to know what the real cap rates are at that place, not the cap rates that brokers are telling you about but what is really selling in that marketplace. Is there a distress inventory? Are there real jobs in this area? So I learned all of these things and I put them all together into my presentations so if you go to MultifamilyU.com/toolkit, there’s a toolkit there and this toolkit is years & years of learning, it’s all of the videos, all of the articles, all of the reports, all of the trends that Ii have basically captured over time and a hunger to do all of those things came from my failure with this building. I learned from a colossal failure that I could not, could not, and could not ignore demographics. I thought that I was buying below market as it turned out I was buying significantly above market, so it was a shock to me but I realized Chris, that I’ve gotten professional training on, which was you know my degree was analytics and data science, I should be applying that in real estate. I thought that in real estate you do things differently, well actually you don’t. You’re doing the same things; you’re just applying it to a different platform. So with the huge learning you, for you guys it’s hard for you to visualize this but the toolkit is massive amounts of learning gathered over years just so that you can hopefully not make the same mistake that I’ve done.

CHRIS: So it sounds like, if they got to MultifamilyU.com they can get plenty of information for free and then I’m sure you have courses in all the things they can delve into should they see it fit for themselves, correct?

NEAL: It is! So the vast majority that’s on MultifamilyU.com, the toolkit, all of the webinars both from me and other presenters and many other industry experts that are in that field, not just the multifamily field but the real estate field are all free. There is one product that I have on there and that is a boot camp, it’s a multifamily boot camp, it’s live online, it’s me teaching online just like this. I actually use Zoom to teach it, and that boot camp is designed for professionals that want to learn about multifamily and don’t have the time to fly to Boston or fly to the San Francisco Bay Area. So it’s live online in the evenings, two successive weeks and I basically poured all of my knowledge of technology and processes and systems into that boot camp, there is no follow-up, there’s no coaching, no mentoring, no tapes, there’s no secondary sale and the biggest promise I make about that boot camp is that even though it’s 12 hours of very accelerated dense learning; not one second of those 12 hours will be spent pitching you on anything. You come in, you’ve already paid the cost is extraordinarily low, I keep it at a thousand bucks and I know that there are 25 and 50 thousand dollar boot camps in multifamily, not sure why they’re at that price. To me, we charge I believe the price is $1295 and then we have a $300 coupon, I think it’s called Thrive that we give away on every podcast because my goal is: for a thousand dollars, you’re going to know if multifamily is for you. When you finish you may not be a multifamily expert but you’re going to know if you want you to be one and that is something that is achievable in a thousand bucks. The second thing that you will achieve as you’ll say: “for 12 hours I learn things that were specific, no fluff, no PowerPoint, just specific demos, sites, processes, and spreadsheets, all of the things that I need to really run a multifamily business. That’s what I learned”. Those of the two promises that I make and I keep.

CHRIS: Well I appreciated that, so for a thousand bucks, I say this all the time, similar to our online platform, man, anyone in our niche or I don’t care if you’re doing wholesaling or flipping which is not my niche, for a thousand bucks to go on, get an education as Neal said and then have that in your kind of bag of tricks so to speak and then if you want to delve deeper, fantastic, he’ll get you there if you don’t, you get a nice education, time well-spent. I appreciate you sharing that. So you’ve been at this Neal, I think you said since ‘03, am I accurate on that? Since 2003?

NEAL: On a part-time basis. I didn’t actually sell my technology company until 2013 and so I haven’t been full-time and you know and until after that but, yeah, building campuses was 2003, then building larger ones was 2007 and built many more all the way to 2013. For a single-family, the process was from 2008 to 2010 and then multifamily investing passive and active starting in 2011.

CHRIS: So you got some good background and some good time in the trenches so to speak what would you consider being one of your biggest wins and why. What comes to mind when I say “biggest win”?

NEAL: My biggest win was that I realized that the multifamily industry in the US is lazy. People are making money. There are lots of syndicators making money, making 20%, 25% a year for their investors but I found that the industry is lazy. It’s filled with fat cats who have been doing this for 20-30 years. They have all the connections, they know everyone, they have huge knowledge, and they’re leveraging their connections and their knowledge to double people’s money all the time, but they’re lazy because they haven’t used technology. I find that the stuff that would get implemented in a technology company in the first six months is not done and I realized this was a place for me and this place for all of you listening! If you’re going in multifamily, and you have some understanding of technology and processes of technology that can be used for efficiency. Let’s say you’ve been doing pics & clips or let’s say you’ve been in cold selling, haven’t you been using lots of software and technology? That stuff, if you take a bunch of it and reapply it to multifamily, you’re going to be ahead of all these fat cats that own 10,000 and 20,000 units because they’re not doing it. Time permitting, I can go into a lot of examples of this sort of stuff that I’ve done that people are just wowed by it and I look at it and say: “well, firstly in other parts of real estate, this stuff is standard and secondly in any other technological field, other than real estate, it’s no big deal”, the whole bunch of people would know what I know. So I’m always taken aback by the fact that people think that I’m something new.

CHRIS: Well I’ve got notes upon notes upon notes, so I think that this begs that we do an encore into at some point no question in the meantime and they can bridge that gap with getting their buds over to MultifamilyU.com. I wanted to jump with you so they again kind of see how this whole thing ticks and what makes you tick and get us some wrap-up questions maybe four or five wrap-up questions. Give us three or four, two, three, whatever works for you, productive things you do every single day to be the very best at what you do because you seem very, very disciplined to say the least. Give us some things that we can take away from it.

NEAL: I am a robot. I am actually a robot, so I need to go to a CT scan to confirm that. So, the most productive thing of the day is not done on the day, it’s done the day before. When you end your day, you need to spend 5 minutes figuring out what you’re doing the next day look at your calendar and write down three things that you want to achieve the next day. It’s very simple, it’s very straightforward. Whenever you write them down, make sure you write them down in the same software, so you can use something like OneNote so that each day you know what the previous day’s things were because not only do I go right down three things to the next day I scroll down and see how well am I doing on the three days that I wanted to do the previous days. So that’s one of my favorite things to do. The second thing is, I use a lot of virtual assistants and I strongly suggest that anyone in real estate use some. The first thing that I do every morning is I hold a meeting with virtual assistants, I go through my calendar, I talk about what it is they’re doing and we talk about the agenda for the day and what they’re hoping to achieve that day. Once again, I’m taking up the previous evening’s information, now I’m bringing it today and we’re having a meeting that’s specific to those goals. The third thing that I like to do is, I like to be organized. What people always say: “we’ve ever had time to be organized, we’re so busy…” and I believe that that is just pure bs. You’re just bullsh*ng yourself when you say stuff like that. So have a slot in your day where you don’t check email, where you don’t send out quotes. All you’re doing is saying; “what do I already know I need my team needs to do to be more organized”, right? Little things matter. For example, our team uses a software called Team Sync. It’s installed in Chrome for every single person across the US and the Philippines which synchronizes our bookmarks. Now you think about that and say: “no big deal”, no, it is a big deal! Because now every single bookmark on every single Google Doc, in every single Dropbox Doc and every other thing that we do is in one place, that’s all of our bookmarks together and from time to time I’ll go in and reorganize those bookmarks as my company changes, right? LastPass. We use LastPass so that every password in our company is shared with the right people so that as soon as they leave we can go into LastPass and change those passwords. Structure is something you think about every day, not once in a month.

CHRIS: Those things are huge and I have panelized each one of these as usual but from a time standpoint this afternoon I want to talk about just one and highlight one that you mentioned that’s the VAs. We spend now, Neal, about, and we’re just a small family company; seven of us, we spend 80 to 110 hours, billable. With VAs right now, it sounds like you do that and then some and I just want I want people to understand that there are so many different ways to go at that but every single person I’ve had on the show utilizes VAs in some shape, form or fashion. Sounds pretty cool. Again, there are a lot of similarities with what we do with how we build, how we scale. Could you share with us a favorite, two things actually, on the book front, what book are you reading now? I would love to hear it, and what is your favorite real estate book?

NEAL: Well, the favorite real estate book, you know, other than Robert Kiyosaki’s book is Multifamily Millions, it’s a book written by Dave Lindahl and really got me started into multifamily because it’s a thinker’s book. Right? It’s not going to give you a lot of tools but it’s going to get thinking about Multifamily and understanding the difference between multifamily and single-family and why so much wealth has been created over a thousand years keeping mind multifamily is over a thousand years old as a class and why so many of the richer people tend to gravitate away from single-family towards multifamily. So really helps you think about scale. Another favorite book, wow, that’s an interesting way, it’s actually been a while, I need to catch up on my reading. Any book that really talks about the process. The One Thing is actually a phenomenal book, you need to check that one out. It’s marvelous because it focuses, I find that a lot of really brilliant people are unfocused and so anything that I can find that helps me focus is very beneficial.

CHRIS: The One Thing is actually brought up by about 40% of the guests on this show and I read it actually way before I started this show several years ago when we were in Grand Cayman. I read that on the beach and I will never forget it and since then, again, it keeps popping its head up. I just finished it this weekend the Warrior Book and in that, it’s mentioned men, numerous times, super-valuable book. If the listeners have not grabbed that yet, The One Thing, Gary Keller, I forgot his partner but you’d find that if you search The One Thing.
So here’s my last question for you Neal, and then again I think this interview begs to do an encore, so much information to share, back when you were because you shared with us India, 1997 I think it was, tell me or tell the audience, what the heck you were thinking as a young student in your earlier years, I’m talking about grades 1 through 12 or however they had you set up there and what were you thinking you wanted to be? What were you thinking you wanted to do way back then?

NEAL: To me, back then, my aspirations are very simple I just wanted to be a better network engineer and build better networks and I hated living in India by the way because after I finish college I went to work for this big company called Larsen & Toubro and that company was in Mumbai and they had 27,000 employees and I work there and I would keep submitting suggestions and they wouldn’t go through. All they really care about is that people show up for work on time as opposed to changing, doing different things. The change resistance was phenomenal. So then in my mind I said I want to go to the United States because I think that people can, you know, have more flexibility towards change and I think I was right because I came here as an instructor and network engineering instructor wanting to teach and within a year became the senior-most manager in the company because I was constantly harping about the fact that the company was not doing things right and they had seven employees when we sold the company we had 400, right? So we took it from 7 to 400 because my CEO, my boss saw that I had a penchant for bringing about change, a positive change and he basically went along for the ride and he was very flexible on those sorts of things. So to me, the difference between India and the US and it’s not changed at all in the last 25 years, is this place, it allows change it accepts change and if you’re the change people around you are going to flock to you. That’s what I’ve seen and I absolutely adore my adopted country because of that. Nothing has really changed here; we’re still the greatest country in the world.

CHRIS: Well, that would mean noting that that was going to be your statement, that a super way to answer that, the latter part of that question. Thank you for being so candid and it sounds like I just want these guys to put a huge exclamation point on this story because you went from literally zero in India, zero real estate experience to a hundred miles an hour and then helping so many other people take that same path. Really awesome Neal, appreciate it. Could you also share just in case other ways besides the website you gave the best way to reach you and I’ll also include it in the show? Would you just want them to go to the site? It’s up to you.

NEAL: I think the site is really the best way because the philosophy, my philosophy is that site, my information is actually on the website so they’ll be able to connect with me very quickly once they go to the site but I suggested that they start with the trends toolkit because you need to understand what’s happening in real estate right now we are in changing times. I do not believe that this time will come again. It is a very unusual time because of what happened in 2008 and everyone needs to understand what that means for their area of real estate.

CHRIS: I think that’s good for everyone, I think I said it earlier in the show, I mean; I’m going to do it tomorrow morning. I think it’s good for anyone to jump on that.

NEAL: Well I’d love to come back, Chris and talk very specifically about some of the cities & neighborhood techniques that I have, that I can actually do on the talk and tell people how to pick the right neighborhoods and the right cities in the US. It takes 30 minutes and they’ll learn a tremendous amount.

CHRIS: We’ll jump all over that! Okay, smart listeners my closing thoughts as always; grab 1, 2, 3 probably more on this interview, action items that you can go ahead and run with. For starters, I would leave this besides listening to it again and again and jump onto MultifamilyU.com, jump all over two-box ideas just a plethora of amazing information. Also, be sure to see the show notes below the podcast if you’re on smartrealestatecoachpodcast.com, if not jump on over there now. Lastly, if you’re on iTunes or wherever you are right now if you enjoy the episode give us a rating, that’s going to help others discover great information and we greatly appreciate it.
Neal, we appreciate you spending some time with us today, we have the same 168 hours a week, they go by so fast and they’re super valuable and took almost one of those between your prep work and you’re with me today, so appreciate that. Now go off, enjoy and make super productive your remaining 167 and thanks for sharing with our listeners today Neal.

NEAL: Thanks so much! I appreciate you so much for having me on this show.

OUTRO: Thank you for listening to our Smart Real Estate Coach Podcast! Want more? Text the word REAL to 66866 and get our ePad sandwich eBook about creating fast, stable cash flow with sandwich leases packed with actionable, real-life examples and advice to help you move to the next level of investing.

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