November 2, 2018

JF1522: What To Look For When Visiting Your Management Company's Apartment Communities #FollowAlongFriday with Joe and Theo

Joe and Theo are back with another week’s worth of updates. Theo provides his takeaways from visiting four properties that are managed by his property management company, as well as from touring a 292-unit apartment in Tampa, FL. Joe read two books this week and explains four lessons that he learned and how he has already applied those learnings to his business.


Best Ever Tweet:



Get more real estate investing tips every week by subscribing for our newsletter at


Best Ever Listeners:

Do you need debt, equity, or a loan guarantor for your deals?

Eastern Union Funding and Arbor Realty Trust are the companies to talk to, specifically Marc Belsky.

I have used him for both agency debt, help with the equity raise, and my consulting clients have successfully closed deals with Marc’s help. See how Marc can help you by calling him at 212-897-9875 or emailing him



Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff. We don’t like that fluffy stuff, so we don’t get into it.

We’ve got with us today Theo Hicks on Follow Along Friday. How are you doing, Theo?

Theo Hicks: I am doing well, Joe. How are you doing?

Joe Fairless: I am doing well, and looking forward to talking about what we’ve got going on… And most importantly – who cares about what we’ve got going on, but how about how that helps and relates to the Best Ever listeners; that’s really the reason why we do this show… So what do you want to talk about today that can help some listeners out?

Theo Hicks: Two things. One, I went and visited four of the properties that my management company manages this past weekend. As I mentioned last week, I reached out to them to get a list of properties, and they needed to get approval from the owners first. It sounded like they wanted to set up formal tours at the property; it was taking too long, and I realized that they had sent me a marketing package when we initially met, and there was a list of some of the properties they managed.

I wasn’t able to locate all of them just because some of them weren’t named specifically – there were just pictures of them – but I did find four. So me and Marcella drove to those this weekend. It was on Saturday, so no one was in the leasing office. We couldn’t go in there and talk to the managers. But for some of the properties I’m not really sure if it would have worked anyways, because they would have known right away that we probably didn’t wanna live there, just because the properties were in pretty bad condition.

So we went to four of those… One of them was beautiful. That was one property that we definitely could have posed as tenants, but the gates were locked, we couldn’t get in… It was one of those gates, like one of those arms that would go up for each individual person, so you couldn’t sneak in behind… But it was a gorgeous property, so that made me very confident in our property management company’s ability to reposition a property and maintain it.

Joe Fairless: Did they reposition that one?

Theo Hicks: Yeah. But two of the other properties were in pretty bad shape. One of them was actually a condominium… So essentially what we did is we just drove around and took as many notes as possible about the condition. Our main focus was 1) we wanted to see what the condition of the property was, and 2) see if we could notice any sort of renovations that were occurring, that way afterwards we can go back to the management company and ask them questions on if a property is not maintained well, why, and then if we did find a property that we could tell that they’re in the middle of renovations (which they were on one of them), we could get an idea how long it would take for them to complete those renovations. So I said, “Hey, I know this is a four-unit property. How long have you been working on these renovations for and when do you plan to be finished?”, that way I can gauge how long it would take for them to do it on the properties that we buy.

After the trip I would say I was concerned, because one of the properties was really bad. [unintelligible [00:05:42].14] windows, there was construction paint on some of the exteriors… It looked like they were renovating it and then they just stopped.

Joe Fairless: Okay.

Theo Hicks: So I reached out to the management company and I said, “Hey, I went to your properties. Here’s what I really liked about this one specific property, but [unintelligible [00:05:56].27] I feel concerned, because some of those properties are in pretty bad shape.” And what they told me – I know we’ve talked about this before, but…

Joe Fairless: Can I guess first?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, guess.

Joe Fairless: Well, the property management company isn’t the one that brings the money or creates the business plan initially. Ideally, they approve the business plan, but a lot of the times the owner does not get their approval prior to purchasing or agreeing upon the terms with the seller. So once they get the property, they’re set up to fail, because they don’t have the proper funding and support in order to actually execute a business plan, and/or the owner just doesn’t wanna do that; they just bought the property and they just wanna sit on it, and that’s their approach. So what did they say?

Theo Hicks: Both. So for one of the properties — it looked ugly. It looked like they hadn’t painted in a while, they weren’t really maintaining the landscaping, and for that one they said that the owner doesn’t wanna pay for any of that. Because of the area, he thinks that having nice landscaping and [unintelligible [00:07:03].17] property isn’t worth the expensive cost, because he won’t get that back in rent. That was the first one.

Another one you also mentioned was the funding. On the property that looked like it had been hit by a bomb, apparently they’re all condos, and someone owns a fifth of the condos, and that’s who they represent. So he kind of has [unintelligible [00:07:22].17] but they were talking about how it was HOA, and everything has to get approved, and they have no control… At the time I didn’t necessarily believe them 100%, but after I toured this property on Tuesday I definitely reinforced my reason for selecting these people, because they definitely know what they’re talking about.

It was a little bit of both – the first one was that the owner just didn’t wanna do it, and the second one, it was hit by a storm and the owner couldn’t afford to fix anything.

Joe Fairless: Did you ask about insurance on the storm?

Theo Hicks: I did not, no. It’s a good question to ask though.

Joe Fairless: Yeah. Well, it’s getting into the weeds with them, and they might not be able to provide that information. I was just curious.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, but I think it’s still a good question to ask, because you’re kind of probing more to see if they’re actually telling the truth, you know?

Joe Fairless: Yeah. Well, appearances can be deceiving, and there’s always two sides to every story. So if you had spoken or were to speak to the owners, they might have a slightly different slant, they might back them up, or they might have a different story, who knows… But a question that I would want to know is how long they’ve managed each of those properties. Do  you know that?

Theo Hicks: Mm-hm. I had that information. The one that I know off the top of my head is because it was the property that was the most concerning, the one that had been hit by the storm… It was in receivership for two years, because they got it through a foreclosure, and then they were managing it for two years.

Joe Fairless: Okay. What I was looking for is if it’s been a shorter timeframe or maybe a longer timeframe, but you said they’ve been managing it for four years.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. The property was actually owned for two years… Because they were trying to buy some of the condos up initially, too… So that’s what their involvement was; they were in a receivership, and then they either didn’t end up buying them, or they ended up selling them to this guy–

Joe Fairless: The management company?

Theo Hicks: Yeah, because they’re also investors, too.

Joe Fairless: Okay, got it. Well, the only thing I was getting at is sometimes a property management company will have certain standards that they have to live up to, that is dictated by them, and they’ll fire owners who don’t put the money into the properties, because it’s just not a good reflection of their management. And that’s their choice; it’s just up to the team. I’ve seen management companies who won’t work with owners who don’t put money into the properties, and I know some, and then I know some who do. It’s just their preference and how they choose to operate their business, which is totally up to them. Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing.

Theo Hicks: So the two main things I learned – one was actually the third immutable law of real estate investing in practice, which is have adequate cash reserves if the storm comes, literally… So that you can be able to afford to fix anything. The condominium property was a perfect example of how that can spiral completely out of control, and have super-low occupancy rates because people move out, because units aren’t habitable. That’s number one.

Number two is to always have a backup management company in mind. The second I got home, I e-mailed all the brokers I’d been talking to and asked them for management company recommendations. Number one, to have a backup, but number two is another kind of point of contact with the brokers, to stay top of mind.

Joe Fairless: Yeah. And I know investors who have bought into condos in hopes of getting majority control and allocating repair dollars, and it’s just a hot mess… Godspeed  if that’s what you’re looking to do, because it’s tough to buy all of them or buy the majority unless you already have a way to do that. But if your business plan is dependent on being able to control where the maintenance dollars are allocated from the condo board, then that’s a flawed business plan.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. And speaking of hot messes, I did a property tour on Tuesday, a formal property tour. I talked about this property last week, and how I visited it and certain comps, but I wasn’t able to obviously go inside the unit; I was just walking around the community.

So I did that, I went there with the president of the management company. She was able to come with me, and my main goal going into it was just to get a much better understanding of the exteriors… Because before I only had about 500k allocated towards the exteriors, just a kind of placeholder, but I needed to go there with her so that she could look at the property with me and give me a ballpark, even if it was within 20% of what the actual cost would be.

We got there and we did the tour, and afterwards we sat in the car and talked for a while, and then right away that day they sent me their feedback. The owners are pretty well-known in the area, and they’re known for the pump and dump strategy. Have you ever heard of that before?

Joe Fairless: Yes, I have, but please elaborate.

Theo Hicks: Essentially, when they get ready to sell, they do not screen tenants properly anymore. Anyone that comes in, they just put them in the unit to boost their rent roll and to boost the NOI and to get the highest purchase price possible. And this is an assumption, but I’m assuming people that do those types of things also likely don’t keep up with maintenance, because this property has a ton of deferred maintenance.

Joe Fairless: It’s a fair assumption.

Theo Hicks: I believe they’ve owned the property for about five years… And they’ve done a few things – they’ve replaced about half of the roofs, and they’ve replaced 50 of the 300(ish) HVAC systems, but I think that’s all they did.

We went inside two of the model units. The property has three property types: a standard, a premium and then a signature… And they weren’t very nice. The countertops looked like they were spray-painted on, like some sort of coating. The flooring wasn’t nice… You could tell they put in new cabinet doors, but they were hung incorrectly… So it was a perfect example of a pump and dump property.

Fortunately, I had a property management company that’s kind of tapped into the markets, and they recognized the property name right away, so they were able to send me 40 pages worth of information on the property and the owners, and what to expect if I buy the property. The two main things that they said was “Expect to pay at least four million dollars for the renovations.”

Joe Fairless: That’s not $500,000…

Theo Hicks: No. That’s six to eight times more than I expected. And also, they said “Expect to roll over approximately 30% of the units because of the pump and dump strategy. You’re not gonna know for certain what they did to qualify those residents until you the lease audit once you buy the property.” So once I plug in a four million dollar rehab — they want 23 million dollars, and if the rehab is 4 million dollars, then the amount of money I have to raise… There really is no purchase price that makes sense, unless you do some sort of bridge loan, which – I’m not opposed to doing a bridge loan, but the problem is that there’s so much deferred maintenance on the exteriors that it is impossible to make that up in the rents you’re gonna raise… Because most of this stuff is just making the property semi-habitable again.

All the windows are [unintelligible [00:14:18].13] need to be replaced. They have railings on the second floor that aren’t [unintelligible [00:14:22].27] they’re too short; thank god I brought my property management company with me, because I would have not noticed any of that. Most of the roofs are completely falling apart… They have three pools that work, but are hideous-looking, and the landscaping is in very bad condition, and you probably need to [unintelligible [00:14:37].14] And that’s just bare minimum. They also have a playground, barbecue area, dog park, really outdated laundry facilities, clubhouse…

Joe Fairless: Are there rental comps that support significant increases?

Theo Hicks: No. The nicest property on the market, even at those rents, it still wouldn’t make sense. It would be impossible to get this property up to that, because that property was built within the last 5-6 years.

At first I was like, “Oh, I’ll just go home and find a low-ball offer”, but it doesn’t even make sense to submit an offer on this property.

Joe Fairless: You say low-ball offer, but it’s actually an offer based on its current value… Or the value that you place on it, not necessarily a low-ball offer. You probably mentioned low-ball offer because you know what they’re looking for…

Theo Hicks: Oh yeah, I know exactly what they want.

Joe Fairless: Yeah… Those types of deals, where they are looking for a whole lot more – I think I mentioned this last week – than what it should be or what it is worth, just give them time; stay in touch, give them time, and then come back later.

You can also try and do some seller financing, but if they haven’t gotten a reality check yet on their valuation, then they’re likely not gonna be interested in seller financing. It’s just once they get the reality check from the market, then you can come in with seller financing or something else that might make more sense for you.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. If I had to guess, either someone that’s not from this area will buy it; someone from Seattle, or the West Coast, that’s used to $300,000/door purchase price… Like, “Oh, this is 80k/door! I’ll just buy this up before someone else gets it!”

Joe Fairless: Every listener from Seattle just got upset with you, by the way…

Theo Hicks: I’m repeating what my broker told me…

Joe Fairless: Okay, there we go…

Theo Hicks: They were saying how people come in from California and Washington and  buying properties–

Joe Fairless: Oh, now you’re bringing other people into this… Stop it, Theo! The highest number of people who listen to this podcast are in California.

Theo Hicks: Well, I just gave you the opportunity to defend them, so now they’re gonna love you even more… [laughter] So, just quickly, takeaways… One of the main takeaways is it actually reinforced my thoughts on our management company; because again, I was concerned — and you do have a great point about it’d be ideal to have a management company who would refuse to work with owners who don’t maintain their properties, so I do have some backup ones in mind that I’ll talk to, but these people are still at the top of my list, just because of how they treated me during this property tour. First of all, they showed up… I’ve never had a deal before, and they actually showed up and spent half a day with me at the property.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, that’s huge.

Theo Hicks: And they sent me feedback the same day, too. They e-mailed me and they sent me a document that they put together the exact same day, with the rent comp analysis and a high-level renovations quote. They also knew the owner, which means I know that they’re at least semi-tapped into the market and know who the movers and shakers are… And then they also sent me a deal as well, that they’d just recently listed, that fell through because someone’s 1031 just didn’t work out. So that’s what I did this last week.

Joe Fairless: You’ve been active.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, I learned a lot last week.

Joe Fairless: Well, on my lessons learned, I finished two books. One is Outrageous Advertising by Bill Glazer, and the other is Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. Anytime I read a book — well, not anytime; most of the times I read a book, afterwards I take notes on the book, and I put it in a Word document. So I’ve got a folder on my computer that just says “Book Notes”, and then each Word document are my notes on a book. So while I’m reading a book, I’m circling pages and highlighting, and stuff… So I’ve created notes for each of these books, and I wanted to share some lessons I learned from these books, and what I’ve done as a result of learning those lessons… Because I think that’s the key – it’s learning stuff, documenting it afterwards, and then applying it immediately, because if you don’t apply it immediately, then it’s less likely you’re gonna apply it in the future, because you wanna do it when it’s top of mind.

So I’ve got four things – three from one book and one from another book. And one of the things doesn’t apply to my business, but I thought it was interesting, so I thought I’d mention it as one of my four things in total. So three things from Outrageous Advertising by Bill Glazer. Overall, would I recommend the book? Yes, if you are needing help on copywriting or direct response advertising – this would be a good book. Otherwise, I don’t know how valuable it will be for you… But I could get some lessons learned, and here are three of them.

One is to collect testimonials and make a document for that collection of testimonials for the business. He talks about what people say about you is at least ten times more important than what you say about yourself. And I know from my experience in advertising – and this is backed up by research – that word of mouth referrals are the greatest influencer of purchase intent. So if we get word of mouth referrals, some person talking to someone else about your business, then that is going to be the number one driver of purchase intent, compared to other types of ways they hear about you – Facebook ads, meetups, whatever else.

So what I did after seeing how he methodically collected testimonials – and he goes into it a little bit – is I created a form, and I had a team member of mine put it in DocuSign… So I’ve reached out to a couple investors who have invested with us multiple times, and asked them if they would provide a testimonial… And the key here is not just asking for a testimonial; the key is the type of prompts that you give him/her to respond to. What you ultimately want is for them to describe a specific outcome or a specific objection that we overcame. So a specific outcome we’ve achieved for them, or a specific objection that they initially had, and they overcame and now they’re really happy.

For example, a specific outcome is we’ve generated X amount of cashflow for them, or we now have allowed them to earn more passive income and also gain credibility with lenders whenever they do their own deals, because the lenders will see that they’re a limited partner on a larger deal. And maybe they’ve closed on a deal as a result of it. So that’s a specific outcome.

A specific objection is “I’ve never invested passively in a deal before, and now I got comfortable with Ashcroft Capital, with Joe and his team,  and now we’ve invested in multiple deals and it’s great.” And the reason why you do the outcome is because others can see something quantifiable that was achieved. The reason why you do a specific objective is others might have that same objective and when they read this testimonial, then they see that we have addressed that objective.

So that is one thing we’ve done. We’ve already gotten, I believe, a couple back from investors. And I don’t plan on doing it often. I plan on maybe doing it 15 times over the course of a year, because I don’t wanna bombard investors, although I would only ask one investor to do it once; I wouldn’t ask them to do it on an ongoing basis, obviously. So that’s number one.

Theo Hicks: Just a quick follow-up question – what do you do with that document? Do you send it to investors?

Joe Fairless: Good question. Yeah, I should have addressed that. The short answer is I don’t know. I just know it’s valuable to have. I still have to figure that out. Ideally, I put them on the website, on, and/or, but I’ll have to ask our securities attorney to see if we can do that. I don’t know. I’m not sure why we wouldn’t, but I don’t know. I’ll have to ask the securities attorney. I think I should just talk to him about the testimonials I’m collecting and see where I can use them. So I don’t know that answer. It would be a whole lot easier if we weren’t selling securities for our deals, and then I know exactly what I’d do – I’d put them on the websites, I’d have a one-page document, I’d send it out to everyone that reaches out to us… But I just wanna do it the proper way. So that’s number one, a testimonial document.

Number two is, on a related note of testimonials – this is something that does not apply to my business, but it’s something for anyone who has a brokerage or any type of company where you have customers call into, and there might be a time where they’re on hold; instead of hold music, have testimonials be playing while they’re on hold. It’s such a simple addition to a process where someone might not have a good experience because they’re on hold, but at least they’re hearing other people who work with you and who have had good experiences, and so you’re priming them a little bit. I just thought that was a cool little trick that should definitely be implemented for everyone who has that type of setup with their company.

Number three is enter the conversation already in someone’s mind. It’s a powerful statement. Enter the conversation already in someone’s mind. What does that mean? It means basically be relevant to your audience, and think about what they’re thinking about, and then enter the conversation based on what they’re thinking about, because it’s so much easier to have a conversation with someone if they’re already thinking about that topic; so much easier.

So how did we already put this into play? Well, we already put it into play because Halloween just happened, and we wrote a couple articles on spooky things, like “Ten real estate tours turned Haunted House experience.” If you want to see some creepy things from real estate investors who we polled through our Best Ever Community and then wrote a blog post on it, just search “Ten real estate tours turned Haunted House experience Joe Fairless” and you’ll see the article and you’ll see some things that perhaps you’ll want to unsee… But you can’t, because you just looked at it. [laughs]

Theo Hicks: One picture – you know what I’m talking about – is still stuck in my mind.

Joe Fairless: Me too, me too… So “10 real estate tours turned Haunted House experience Joe Fairless” and good luck to you unremembering that one. So that is more of a topical thing that we can do – focus more on what’s top of mind for the customer at this point in time… But then also it’s much more strategic and deeper than that, because we always want to be thinking about “What are their concerns? What are they thinking about? What do they need to resolve in order to move forward?” That is why you and I are putting together the outline for our next book, which will be for passive investors. And that is why we sent out an email to our passive investors and asked them “What would you like to see in this book?” because we wanna know what’s top of mind for them, and that way we can incorporate into the book; it’s not rocket science, but it’s very important and it’s something that is necessary in everything that we do.

Theo Hicks: Really quick, another powerful thing if you’re writing a blog, or I guess even doing a solo video or podcast where you’re explaining some topic… You write a paragraph, and once you wrote the paragraph, you read it and be like “Okay, so if someone’s reading this, what’s a natural follow-up question they’ll have?” and then literally write that out. Like, “Now you may be thinking this…” and then answer their question. That way — obviously, if you didn’t put that transition sentence in there it’d still make sense, but it just lets them know that you’re thinking of them and you’re trying to get inside their mind. I just know psychologically it’s a really powerful writing technique.

Joe Fairless: Absolutely, yeah. That’s great. And just to take that a step further, whatever you come up with there, what they might be thinking about, think about the exact opposite stance, and see if that’s a logical stance, and if so, address that one, too. Sometimes it won’t be relevant, sometimes it will. That’s a great point, I’m glad you’ve mentioned that.

So one, collect testimonials, make a document, then do something with it, because purchase intent – its greatest win is a word of mouth referral. Two, if you’ve got a recording when people call in, have your testimonials recorded there… By the way, there’s a checkbox on the forum that says “Yes, you can use this in any and all marketing materials”, so I wanna make sure they check that. That’s two.

Three is enter the conversation already in someone’s mind, talk about that… So those three were from Outrageous Advertising by Bill Glazer. The fourth one is from the book Small Giants by Bo Burlingham, and I have about a page and a half of notes from Small Giants… I won’t go into most of that, I’ll just go over one thing I learned… But I took away a whole lot from Small Giants. I would recommend that to everyone listening. It’s not a fast read, but he puts in a lot of case studies and it’s pretty interesting.

What I found most interesting in the book is he goes through case studies, and then the book that’s out now – I think ten years later he’s going back and talking about the case studies that were in the original edition, and how those companies have done since then. So it’s pretty cool that you read about what they’ve done during when he wrote it initially, and then in the same book, ten years later, here’s some things that — some companies he said he wrote about failed, and so he had to talk about how they failed, and lessons learned there. So it’s got the benefit of a ten-year fast-forward if you read the latest version.

The whole purpose of the book is to identify how a company can remain relatively small in number of employees, and that’s defined differently… I forget exactly how he defines it, but 5 employees to 500 employees, which some might think 500 is not small, but relatively speaking it is, and with larger companies… And how they thrive. And one of the things he said is – and this is a lesson – “Companies who are small giants are deeply rooted in their communities.” That’s been a focus of mine for the year, but when I read that, it reinforced it. So then the question becomes “What communities am I a part of that I really want to go deep into?” and I have three that I’ve identified, although certainly they can grow. One is Junior Achievement – I’m on the board for Junior Achievement. Two is Texas Tech, and three is Bigger Pockets. Those are the three communities I’m already in, I’m already highly involved, and there’s potential for growth.

My target audience is accredited investors, so there’s potential for growth within each of those communities to grow my accredited investor relationships. So specifically how I acted on something since I read this – I just completed the book this week – I saw that Texas Tech is playing their first exhibition game in basketball against UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso). The game was on Thursday of this week, and they are donating all of the proceeds from that game to the victims of the school shooting in Santa Fe… And I thought “What a great way to contribute to helping those victims”, if I were to donate tickets to the game, so that people in Lubbock, Texas — I’m not going to the game; my wife is due in a week and a half, so I’m not going to the game, but people in the community in Lubbock could get free tickets that I purchase (it’s free to them, I pay). The under-served people get to go to the game, I pay for the tickets, and then the proceeds from that go to victims from a school shooting. So I thought “Let’s do it.”

I bought 100 tickets to the game, $10 each, so $1,000, and they’re being donated to people in Lubbock who are not able to pay or are in a tough position, and those proceeds are going to people in Houston. That’s something that I was initially interested in, in terms of going deep in communities, I had already identified these three, but then this book inspired me to take action immediately, and I will continue to take action.

For example, Bigger Pockets, by the way – I’m gonna be sponsoring their newsletter starting November 22nd; that’s the first day where their e-mail newsletter that gets sent out three times a week, Ashcroft Capital is gonna be sponsoring the top ad in the newsletter. We’re gonna do it eight times over the course of the year, and test ROI and see how that goes. So going deep and big with Bigger Pockets from an advertiser’s standpoint. We’ll see what type of ROI we get from that. Then Junior Achievement – to stay and engage there.

Theo Hicks: Yeah, anyone who’s listening to this can engage in the Bigger Pockets community. I post there ten times a day; it takes an hour, and I cannot tell you how many messages I get from people thanking me for my posts, or people I meet in person saying “Oh, I saw you posted on Bigger Pockets.” Mostly they know me from this show, but I do have people thanking me for the info that I post on the community, and obviously, that’s great to hear that I’m helping people, but you never really know what’s gonna happen in the long run. I’ve been doing it for about a month. I can’t imagine what’s gonna happen after doing it for a full year – the people I’m gonna meet, the relationships I’ll build, the messages I’ll get. So everyone could start with that, and then grow up from there… Because not everyone’s gonna be able to buy the tickets for the basketball game, but everyone can go on Bigger Pockets (it’s free)  and everyone can spend an hour of their day, in the morning or at night, going through the threads and posting on topics that are relevant to you and that you actually know how to answer.

Joe Fairless: Absolutely. And you’re helping others along the way. You’re getting your name out there, but with Bigger Pockets you’re contributing and helping others. And then the only other thing I’ll mention on that – so that was the fourth, and this is kind of a sub-bullet underneath… They recommend doing employee gift matches, at least 2-to-1. So if an employee writes a check to a charity that they are passionate about, then you double that. Theo, I’ll be doing that for you and other team members; so any cause that you feel passionate about, whatever you donate, I’ll double it.

The reason for that is — well, many reasons, but one of them is it’s tough to always do research on what’s the best cause. The person in the book, the owner of the company that they’re interviewing who did this – he said “There’s some causes people donate to I personally wouldn’t donate to, but they have their own reason for doing it… So I write a check and it’s something that shows alignment of interest”, and ultimately, we’re not on this Earth very long, so why not do what we can to contribute and support others who want to contribute?

Theo Hicks: I’ll pick up that Small Giants book. I think it’s relevant to all real estate investors, because we are small giants; most people aren’t gonna have a business with more than 500 people.

Joe Fairless: Yeah. Cool. Those are my lessons.

Theo Hicks: Great. Just to wrap up, make sure you guys go to the Best Ever Conference website ( and pick up  your ticket. It will be the third annual conference this year, back in Denver. We’re upgrading to the larger venue in the Opera House, so I’m looking forward to seeing Joe and other speakers up there on the main stage. Each week we’re going to just have some sort of quick discussion about the conference. This week we’re gonna talk about another speaker, back for the third time – Trevor McGregor aka Coach T. If you listen to the podcast, you guys know who Coach T is. Joe, do you wanna talk a little bit about what he might be telling people when he gives his presentation?

Joe Fairless: Yeah, personal development. I don’t know exactly what the presentation is on, too early, but for anyone who attended last year, you know you’ll get value from it. Most of the topics that we cover at the conference – let’s say 97% of them – are very specific to commercial real estate, financing and asset management, those sorts of things… But we do have personal development sprinkled in, as it should be, and Trevor does a phenomenal job there. So when you attend, you will meet him in person, and then also benefit through developing in some form or fashion personally, as a result of hearing the conversation.

Theo Hicks: Yeah. If it’s something that you wanted to get done for a long time but have lacked the motivation, you’ll be able to do that once you listen to Trevor talk, because he has a way of getting you very jacked up and wanting to take on everything… So I’m looking forward to seeing him again and hearing him talk.

And then lastly, make sure you guys and girls pick up the Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book on Amazon, and leave a review, take a screenshot, and send it to us at info@JoeFairless, and we will send you a whole bunch of apartment syndication goodies, and we’ll read your review on the show.

This week’s review comes from Michael Taravella Jr. Michael said:

“I would rate this book 10 out of 5 stars. After doing nothing but reading this past week, I feel entirely comfortable with the process. Joe and Theo did an amazing job of going through the entire process, the costs associated to every step of the process, and who is needed. They provided a perfect roadmap to successfully land a deal. More importantly, Joe and Theo did an amazing job of walking through the paradigm shift it takes to become a successful investor.

They truly are remarkable people and I can’t thank them enough for this book.”

Joe Fairless: Well, thank you for that glowing review, and thank you for investing your time to read it, and now taking action on those tips. I’m very grateful. Everyone, when you buy the book and you read it, please leave us a comment on Amazon, so that we know your thoughts. That then also helps others learn about the book. We’ve gotten many e-mails from people who have sent us the receipt, because we give them a  document… And by the way, if you have the book and you haven’t sent us the receipt, then, just forward your receipt… And they say “After reading all the reviews on Amazon, I bought the book.” So it does make a difference.

Thanks everyone for hanging out. I hope you enjoyed our conversation, and most importantly, got value from it that you can apply to your real estate business. We’ll talk to you tomorrow. 


    Get More CRE Investing Tips Right to Your Inbox