Erik left corporate America after 20+ years and the catalyst to push him towards another path was getting laid off for the second time. He started by reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and the rest is history. He now is the Founder/Co-founder and Host/Co-host of multiple businesses and podcasts.
Erik Cabral Real Estate Background:
- Founder/Co-founder and host/Co-host of multiple businesses and podcasts
- Left corporate America after 20+ years, and jumped headfirst into real estate investing
- Helps investors grow their capital with different real estate investments and sits on the board of the South Jersey Real Estate Investment Association (SJREIA)
- Based in NYC, NY
- Say hi to him at www.podmax.co
Best Ever Tweet:
“Doubling down on your strengths” – Erik Cabral
Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless. This is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast where we only talk about the best advice ever; we don’t get into any fluffy stuff. With us today, Erk Cabral. How you doing, Erik?
Erik Cabral: I’m good, man. I am a long-time listener, first-time caller. Big fan.
Joe Fairless: Well, I’m looking forward to talking to you and learning more, and a little bit about Erik – he’s a founder, co-founder and co-host of multiple businesses and podcasts. He left corporate America after 20 plus years, jumped headfirst into real estate investing. He helps investors grow their capital with different types of investments in real estate and sits on the board of South Jersey Real Estate Investment Association. Based in New York City. So with that being said, Erik, do you want to give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Erik Cabral: Absolutely, Joe. Again, thanks for having me; it’s really an honor. So I left corporate America after two decades, and there was a catalyst there after being laid off for the second time in my career. There was a spark. I needed to find another way, another goal, and I started to think about ways to invest, because I had some relative success in stocks, but it wasn’t something that I wanted to really continue doing, and real estate was the next vehicle that made sense to me.
So as I started going down that path, I bumped into and took the purple pill, like most of us do, with Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It really changed my mindset, it really allowed me to see the zeros and ones, and I got really passionate about educating and saturating myself in as much real estate content and education as possible. So as I started to continue down that path, I started to realize this is really the way I want to create financial freedom for me and my family; I started to grow my network, I started to go to more meetings, and surrounded myself with people that were just doing it and crushing it.
I took down my first multifamily in the first year of investing… And what happened Joe, which is unique to my story, is as I started to do more and more networking and helping others and finding help from others, people would ask me, “Who does your logos? Who’s doing your website? Who’s doing your social media?” and it was all me. I was building it on my own. One person to another, “How can you help me?” “Oh yeah, I’ll help you,” and it became more like clients, and then it grew a creative agency. Then during that time, I also launched a podcast, and I realized then too that this is such a powerful platform. People started to listen and asked me, “Who’s doing your podcast? Who’s creating it?” And I said, “Well if you need help, I can help you.” That turned into a business. So now we produce and create half a dozen podcasts internally with 12 in our network… And then that evolved into a podcasting event, where we bring a bunch of entrepreneurs in for one day, and they all get to record four or five shows on top-rated business podcasts. Yeah, it’s a really wild ride I have to say. It’s pretty cool; a lot of fun.
Joe Fairless: Wow. So your focus now is clearly growing this network and building that business. Is that fair to say?
Erik Cabral: 100%, absolutely.
Joe Fairless: Awesome. So you did some real estate, but obviously, you’re being interviewed on a real estate podcast. So podcasting is relevant to real estate investors, for sure, so we’ll talk about that. I want to spend a lot of time talking about what you’re currently focused on, but just to backtrack a little bit – from a real estate investing side, what have you purchased?
Erik Cabral: My first deal, I started to dip my toe into flipping as most people do. What is wholesaling about? What is flipping about? I experienced some bad things, not necessarily losing my shirt or anything, but finding oil tanks and things like that, which– and I would lose my earnest money deposit. Then at the same time, I was still looking for buying holds. So a deal came to me, there was a multifamily duplex right down the road from me, and I took that down with the confidence of my team and the people and coaches around me that this was the perfect deal. A good friend of mine, a business partner, who you’ve had on your show, Justin Fraser, was like, “You need to manage it yourself so you get the experience.” So I started to do that, which I still manage, and it’s great. It was a great experience. It was a great way for me to leverage that experience and try to start positioning myself as a thought leader, because I knew that that was the path in any type of business. But then it really started to shift into more creative and more marketing and branding yourself.
Not a lot of people have a stigma attached to the word brand or have an idea about that, and I think it’s more about reputation, and I really, really doubled down on trying to help build not only my own reputation, but others in my network. So I started to really get comfortable obviously with real estate and investing, and talking to people every single day in that language. I still invest, more on a passive level. I’m a partner in the Renault Winery over in Egg Harbor Township, which is a massive project by another business partner of mine, Josh McCallen. I’m heavily involved in that, not on a day today, but I would say, more like a week or a month to month, in helping to promote and find investors for that deal and for next deals that are with that partner. So I’m still involved in a passive way, more also for the creative side of things. I’m the creative on the team, and coming up with ideas on how to get that performing, and how to grow the audience and the brand awareness for that.
Joe Fairless: Okay, got it. So what I heard is – perhaps, you didn’t go over all of them, but you bought one buy and hold single-family house and you’re a limited partner in a winery. What other deals have you purchased?
Erik Cabral: That’s pretty much the extent, because I really came to a crossroads, Joe, where I realized, “Do I continue down this path?” I started to look at larger deals, I made offers on 22-units, and I started to realize, “I think this is probably the place to go, in terms of creative,” because whether you love or hate Gary V, it’s all about doubling down on your strengths. When I really adopted that concept and that idea, I was like, “The industry and the people around me are really beckoning me to help them create within real estate. What can you do to help me in social media? What can you do to help me with a podcast?” So that was when I just decided this is a way I could service the community for now, while still trying to continue my financial freedom path and building my wealth from a passive side of things.
Joe Fairless: I’m a firm believer on doubling down on your strengths. Let’s talk about your single-family house, lessons learned, and then let’s talk about what you’re doing now. Just a single-family house, you manage it yourself. Is it New Jersey?
Erik Cabral: Yeah, it’s in New Jersey.
Joe Fairless: Do you still own it?
Erik Cabral: I still own it.
Joe Fairless: How much did you buy it for?
Erik Cabral: I bought it for $86,000.
Joe Fairless: 86k. How much do you put into it to date?
Erik Cabral: I’d say, we probably put $3,000 to $4,000 into it.
Joe Fairless: Okay, alright. So very little relatively speaking.
Erik Cabral: Very little.
Joe Fairless: What does it rent for?
Erik Cabral: The first unit rents for $1,000, and then the other unit rents for $800.
Joe Fairless: Okay. So, $1,800 rent, all in, for $90,000. That’s a screaming deal. That’s the 2%.
Erik Cabral: I know.
Joe Fairless: A lot of people aim for the 1%, rule but you upped the game to 2%.
Erik Cabral: And we recently refinanced it. So I pulled 75 k out of it, brother. Oh man, that was a big day. My wife finally said, “Why aren’t you doing more of this?”
Joe Fairless: What was your answer?
Erik Cabral: My answer was, “I want to build this agency with the same concept and idea that–” syndicators and operators, when we buy multi-families, you want to get it performing with the ultimate goal of selling the business.” So I have received offers to buy my companies, the seven-figure range, which is proof in the pudding for me that, wow, this is exactly like real estate.
Joe Fairless: What would they be buying?
Erik Cabral: The company, and everything we do, and all the people that are involved.
Joe Fairless: What’s the company name?
Erik Cabral: It’s On Air Brands.
Joe Fairless: What are the main assets of On Air Brands?
Erik Cabral: We produce podcasts; that’s our main bread and butter. So we have six shows that we produce, we create from scratch and we push out every single week, and then we have a network that we’ve built, of a dozen podcasters that are all part of the network. They get to join our events, they get to have us help promote their shows. We all have that abundance mindset, so everyone is all-in in promoting and helping to gain the followers and the listeners on each other show. The other things that we do for clients is social media marketing, and we also do live streaming events when we go to expos or conferences; we’ll Livestream there. Then on a lighter end, this is a heavier lift, Joe, is marketing, deep-dive marketing, and trying to figure out their business and new avenues and channels and platforms that they can really help to grow. They’re leads, we’re trying to create new leads for them.
Joe Fairless: What are some interesting ways that you’ve helped them find new leads?
Erik Cabral: Well, it’s always about social credibility; credibility that you’re an expert. We got to establish the “know” first, and then we get the “like”, and then we get the “trust”. So we first identify if that’s the path that they’re on. A lot of them already have it, because they’re small to midsize businesses, but then they don’t have a lot of social media presence. So what we do is we really clean up what they have. If it’s outdated– usually websites that look like they’re from the late 90’s early 2000’s, they all need refreshing, they need to be optimized for social media. A lot of brands out there don’t have logos that you can read when small on a phone. So we take it and we refresh it, and then we start to make it consistent, because a lot of these business owners don’t realize there’s LinkedIn, there’s Facebook, there’s Instagram, there’s websites, and it looks different on every single platform.
Joe Fairless: So on that note with social credibility, you mentioned having a social media presence, making it consistent. When you first work with a client, do you have a checklist of things that you want to make sure that you’re addressing with them, and if so, what are some things on that checklist?
Erik Cabral: We do have an assessment form, and they fill out the forms so that we can identify if they are the right match and we can help them. Some of the things are “Do you have social media, are you active on social media?” Some of the other things– one of the big ones honestly, Joe, is do you have a marketing budget? There’s a lot of people out there, especially in the real estate space, that are just starting up or solopreneurs, and they can’t necessarily afford to hire a team. So what happens there is, we’re more than happy to recommend them to someone, say, on Fiverr or Upwork; that’s a better fit for you as you build and grow, and then give us a call when you have a marketing budget.
Joe Fairless: How much is an actual budget?
Erik Cabral: Industry standard usually says you should be using about 10% of your revenue. So I often tell that to folks and it’s like sticker shock. But yeah, a lot of people don’t realize that they need to devote dollars and invest in marketing. Marketing is a broad term, but it could be something as simple as your business card, it could be something as simple as hiring a VA to help you manage social media, because I know it’s somewhat daunting for those who don’t do it or not comfortable in front of the camera. They could and should hire someone on the backend to help them out a little bit. But that is some of the criteria that we discuss with potential clients.
Joe Fairless: 10% of marketing budget. So you just found your ideal client, they’re ready to invest 10% of their revenue into the marketing budget; at least 10%. What is your ideal client’s business and what are their challenges?
Erik Cabral: Ideally, our clients – they’re in real estate. So whether that’s syndicator or whether it’s a flipper or whether it’s a self-directed IRA company, there’s a lot of different things in our space. Real estate agents… So their challenges are mostly leads. Everyone wants to spread the word out on how they can help and how much value they add to someone’s life for business. So we help them generate leads, or at least, what I love to do is create that credibility for them, that reputation. Like I said, that brand where it’s recognized. That was where I came from. I was a branding guy, I developed logos for Fortune 10 companies, and so the benefit of how powerful a brand can be if you do it right and you’re consistent about it.
But there are backend things that I can’t speak too much about because I have teammates that do that well, in terms of building those lead generation tools like landing pages and offering things of perceived value, like lead magnets we call it in the industry… And then that is a funnel, the first touchpoint; someone sees it, and they say, “I’m interested in that,” and they download it and now you capture their information, hopefully their phone number, and it goes into your database. So we help with clients on that end, but we really love creating podcasts and we love creating all that other front end stuff.
Joe Fairless: You’ve got this ideal client – they’re in real estate, they want to continue to build credibility and generate leads, they’re ready to invest 10% of the revenue into marketing, but there’s one caveat, and it’s a big one. You can only put that 10% of the revenue that’s going into marketing into two things. What are those two things you’re investing in for them to accomplish their objectives?
Erik Cabral: It depends honestly on their goals, where are they now, where do they want to be, what are they trying to accomplish. So it’s a different answer for everyone.
Joe Fairless: So, I guess, pick a scenario and what would those two things be for your scenario?
Erik Cabral: Yeah, it’s a biased answer, because I love podcasts and I’m doubling down on it, but if they meet that criteria and they seem like someone who could be a thought leader or they already are a thought leader, they’re just not leveraging it the way they should or could, then I would recommend a podcast, and what does that look like. But I’ll tell you, Joe, and you know this, podcast is a business; you can’t do it really as a side hustle. If you intend to use it as a lead gen and credibility play and positioning yourself as a thought leader, you really, really need to understand that this will grow and become a business if you’re doing it right.
So I tell people that, “Hey, I know it’s hot and everybody’s trying to do it now and they want to create one, but I implore you to really think about dedicating at least six months to a year, really figuring out what the strategy is, and what you’re going to be talking about. Is it adding value to people’s lives? And then also carving out time in your day, in your week to content and how you’re going to start, when you’re going to record, if you want it to be an interview format, who do you have connections with that can be on your show, are you going to be a solo person, is your personality big enough or interesting enough to be in that space?”
So there’s a lot of things and I always now push people just to “Don’t do it if you think you’re not going to commit to it.” But the other answer, aside from podcasts, is how does everything look? We’re painting a picture, like a tapestry, and we’re putting all the pieces together in a mosaic that is your reputation and your brand. What does that all look like from a 10,000 ft level? So that’s where we really look at and audit our clients and say, “We can help you here because there are pieces that are missing, and in order for it to all work together, we’ve got to do some tweaking and modifying here.”
Joe Fairless: What are some mistakes people make when creating a podcast, either the mechanics of it or the actual content piece?
Erik Cabral: Some of the mistakes are not being consistent. So, say you recorded 10 episodes and you stack them, and then, you get lazy about it, and you say, “Oh, I’m good for a couple of months,” and then they fade away. In the industry, we call it podfade, and statistically I hear– I think it’s a large percentage, Joe. I think there’s 800,000 podcasts currently and honestly, 60% of them are not active. It’s something crazy, and don’t quote me on that.
Joe Fairless: I think– I bet it’s higher. My guess is higher, yeah.
Erik Cabral: It’s drastic, yeah. So that’s what I want to tell people. Don’t be a statistic, create a podcast that’s going to add value. Here’s another thing that I want to make sure your listeners and audience understands. There’s so much out there. What am I going to offer? How am I going to help people? There’s too many podcasts. Well, there’s no podcasts with you and your experience and your voice. You’re unique, whether you believe it or not. So if you trust and believe in yourself, then it will resonate. You don’t need 8,000 downloads, 100,000 downloads per episode. If you have 100 people that are following you every single day, every week, then there are clients. Do you need more than 100 clients? Probably not.
Joe Fairless: Yep, I love your points, and it’s so true, and it’s also who you surround yourself with. So if you’re around a bunch of other people and you’re hearing that they’re doing podcasts– well, your friends might be doing podcasts, but if you take a step outside of your circle and you really look at the population in total, percentage-wise, 800,000 podcasts, that’s 800,000 people. That’s not a lot of people, relative to the population and relative to who actually listens to the podcast. So there’s still a lot of opportunity, and they’re becoming a more prevalent media channel, and it’s been great in a lot of ways. Okay. So taking a step back, based on your experience as an entrepreneur who’s also involved in real estate, but really your special sauce is on marketing and building brands, what is your best advice ever for real estate investors?
Erik Cabral: There’s so many good things out there, but I highly recommend you surround yourself with people who are just crushing it. Our mutual friend, Matt, he was one of the first people that I [unintelligible [00:19:14].18] myself next to and became a shadow, and really learned a ton just by being around people that were doing what I wanted to do. Really, when I started to analyze deals and get more and more comfortable with the concept of investing, then I would leverage them and say, “Hey, what does this look like? It looks great to me. Am I right?” and just having that voice and having that option to say, that guy’s done hundreds, if not thousands of deals, and he says it’s good or she says it’s good, then it’s good for me.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, we are a product of who we surround ourselves with, and if we want to elevate, we elevate our peer group and we’ll get to that level, assuming we follow what they’re doing. We’re gonna do a lightning round. Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?
Erik Cabral: Absolutely.
Joe Fairless: Alright. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.
Break: [00:20:08].23] to [00:20:57].19]
Joe Fairless: What is the best ever deal you’ve done, whether it’s business or real estate?
Erik Cabral: Yeah, I would have to say, I lent money, so I held a note. For roughly 90k – so let’s just round it up to 100k – and I got two points upfront, meaning it was 2%. So they paid me $2,000 just to get it started. Really just paperwork on the backend that’s done by my self-directed IRA company. Then I asked for 12, we negotiated to 11, and it went over a year, Joe. So they said they needed it for a year. I was like, “This is cool. I’ll make 11k,” and they went for a year and a half.
Joe Fairless: Even better.
Erik Cabral: Yeah. It was like it was inconvenient. They’re like, “We’re so sorry.” I’m like, “All day, just keep it. It’s okay”
Joe Fairless: Yeah. As long as you pay me back, eventually.
Erik Cabral: As long as you pay me back, yeah.
Joe Fairless: Right. What’s a mistake you’ve made in business?
Erik Cabral: In business. Staying in corporate for too long. But no, I would say, it was probably staying in corporate America for too long, brother. I really should have started my own company sooner.
Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever way you like to give back to the community?
Erik Cabral: Just networking and helping the people around me, constantly. I was telling you off the mic, I’m on the Board of Directors for SJREIA and we have a thousand members. So it’s nice to be able to give back to those thousand members, whether I’m in front of the room or not. I really, really love helping the community, since that’s where I received a ton of help, and if not one or all of my business partners now, I met through that REIA. Also, giving back and adopting the abundance mindset is something what recently was new for me… And when I started to realize that a rising tide lifts all boats — I heard it and I got it, but I didn’t implement that, and once I started to do that, Joe, I was like, “Wow, it’s changed my life.”
My staff, friends, my network; how do I help you and your goals, how do we get you to where you want to go? And the wonderful side effect is, it helps you in the long run. You just have to trust in that process and that it will help you.
Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’re doing?
Erik Cabral: They can go to podmax.co. So that’s our podcasting event. Or they can go to onairbrands.com, and that is our media agency.
Joe Fairless: I enjoyed talking to you about your focus, and that is your media agency, as well as podcasting, also learning about the results of your single-family home purchase. Thank you for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day. Talk to you again soon.
Erik Cabral: Absolute pleasure, thanks Joe.