Managing Attorney Brian Boyd started representing contractors at his practice when he decided to look into the business further. Now, he’s looking for new investing deals daily. Brian talks about the potential tax changes this year as they relate to real estate investors, plus things you should be doing now to avoid litigation.
Brian Boyd Real Estate Background:
- Owner and Managing Attorney of Boyd & Will Legal
- Lawyer working on commercial litigation, real estate litigation, business advisement, and tax resolution
- Portfolio consists of 17 properties and 24 doors
- Based in Franklin, TN
- Say hi to him at: https://www.boydlegal.co/
- Best Ever Book: Rich Dad Poor Dad
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Theo Hicks: Hello Best Ever listeners and welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Theo Hicks and today we’ll be speaking with Brian Boyd. Brian, how are you doing today?
Brian Boyd: I’m doing well. Thank you for having me.
Theo Hicks: Thanks for joining us. Looking forward to our conversation. A little bit about Brian. He is the owner and managing attorney of Boyd & Wills Legal. He’s a lawyer working on commercial litigation, real estate litigation, business advisement, and tax resolution. He’s also a real estate investor, and his portfolio consists of 17 properties and 24 doors. He is based in Franklin, Tennessee and you can say hi to him at boydlegal.co. Brian, do you mind telling us some more about your background and what you’re focused on today?
Brian Boyd: Absolutely. Just a little bit about me… I got my law degree in 2004 and went to tax school. I know a lot of people kind of freak out when they hear taxes, but I really leaned into it. I ended up working in Washington DC for Ernst & Young in their corporate tax division, and eventually I migrated to Nashville where I have my own practice. Along the way, I started representing some contractors. That led me to look at what they were doing and putting my tax knowledge to use, and figuring out “This could actually be a great way to grow wealth while also achieving passive income.” That today is what we are doing. My wife and I invest –goodness– just about every day we’re looking for a new deal. It has been a wild trip and we’re very fortunate. We have amassed 24 doors and 17 properties in a little over three years.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. You’ve mentioned that you’re a tax expert… Maybe something we can talk about is some of the potential changes to taxes as it relates to real estate investors in the coming years, with the new administration. Do you have anything to say about that?
Brian Boyd: I do have quite a bit to say about that.
Theo Hicks: Perfect, let’s hear it.
Brian Boyd: I really want everybody to just calm down. I don’t think the world is turning upside down. We’re going to be fine. One thing that we all need to take a look at is what is going to happen to the 1031 exchange. This administration has made clear that they want to eliminate the 1031 exchange, which could be a problem for us investors, especially when you have appreciation within an asset. Obviously, you don’t want to pay the capital gains right away, and to defer that, you use the like-kind of exchange. I don’t know that that is a code section that will be eliminated. Right now, while there’s some talk around it, I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe it’s going to actually be eliminated. Let’s all just cool our jets; we’re going to be fine, we’ll figure this out. But as this administration gets its footing in DC, I think we’re going to learn more. We’re only a week into this now, so let’s give them some time to put forward tax policy ideas and see if we actually do have something to worry about. Let’s not put the cart before the horse on this one.
Theo Hicks: So you would not recommend that anyone does anything too rash right now. Just kind of relax and hold, or do you think people should start preparing now just in case?
Brian Boyd: I think it’s always good to have a plan B, but I think holding through this year is probably the wiser course of action. In order to eliminate sections of the tax code, you’re talking about, literally, acts of Congress. We’ve seen how that works. It’s going to take a while to get anything done. Again, like you just mentioned, let’s calm down. Let’s look and see what’s going on, but always have your plan B. If you are an investor out there, talk to your CPA, talk to your tax attorney, get an idea of what may be happening, stay up to date on this… But I think we’re all going to be fine. I really do. I don’t see the tectonic plates shifting out from under us right now. I just don’t see that happening.
Theo Hicks: Thank you for sharing that. Something else in your bio was about you’re a lawyer working on commercial litigation and real estate litigation. From your experience, what’s the one or a couple of things that people can start doing right now in order to avoid being litigated against if they are to avoid having their shirt taken?
Brian Boyd: I think that goes back to basic investing fundamentals. Do your research and do your due diligence on every property you look at. Many properties have disclosure statements on them where the owner of that property has to disclose to you anything that may be negative about that particular property; if it’s ever had issues, if they’ve had to repair something… But it is up to you to get the expert out there, to get the electrician, to get the plumber, to have an inspection of that property. Typically, that is the area that creates the litigation. Somebody believes they got sold a bill of goods and what was delivered is nothing close to what they thought it would be.
Just to kind of give you an idea… I’ve got a potential case right now here in Tennessee where there is a gas easement on a piece of the property that was sold as the place to build your perfect dream home. Well, now there’s no egress or ingress to that property, because you cannot cross over that pipeline. That client is really frustrated right now. We’re looking at damages into the six figures just to get it to be a piece of property you can drive a piece of heavy equipment over. That is something that due diligence may have caught if somebody gone down to the titles in the registrar’s office and look through the liens on the property and then had a surveyor out to find where that lien actually is.
I say that so that people don’t go out and buy a piece of property with the idea of developing it, and now you’ve got a piece of property you can’t use without spending multiple thousands of dollars. That’ll throw your ROI off. So do your homework.
Theo Hicks: Does most of your practice focus on transaction litigation? Or would you also be dealing with tenant-landlord type litigation?
Brian Boyd: I don’t typically deal with tenant-landlord issues. Here in Tennessee, that is something that falls under the jurisdiction of what we call the General Sessions Court; it’s like a small claims court. That is not really my area. My area deals more with breach of contract somewhere. The landlord-tenant – of course, I can help you out, but at the end of the day, the bulk of my real estate litigation focuses around the contract and what was or was not done within that contract.
Theo Hicks: I want to ask you the money question, but I’m going to make it a little bit more specific, because I do want to ask another question about how you’re able to create an investment company as a lawyer, assuming you work a lot, because my understanding lawyers work long hours… So I want you to give your best real estate investing advice ever, but I want you to give it to someone who is working a full-time job right now, similar to yours.
Brian Boyd: Okay. The best advice I can give anybody, and I know this is going to take time – you need to do your research; you need to listen to shows like this, you need to read blogs, and listen to podcasts. If you are in the car and it’s a 20-minute drive to work, turn that on, listen to it. It may take you two or three days to get through one podcast, but you need to do it, you need that education.
Another thing – go to lunch with people that invest. Pick their brain at lunch; everybody has a lunch break. I do work long hours, but I try to have lunch with somebody every day. Whether that person is investing, or it’s another attorney, it’s part of my team, we talk all the time. Build that community around you and get involved in it.
This community – it’s unlike any community out there. I want everybody to make money, just like you do, Theo. This is how you do it – you help other people. If somebody is asking to take you to coffee, to ask you, “I’ve got this real estate issue. Can you help me with it?” Or “I was thinking about investing.” Go. Go, go, go. Be a part of that community. That’s really what is so great about real estate investing. We all want to see each other succeed. We really do.
Theo Hicks: I love that advice. Just to build off of that, that’s how I got this job, was going out to coffee with Joe. So Brian is not lying. Alright, Brian, are you for the Best Ever lightning round?
Brian Boyd: Let’s do it.
Theo Hicks: Alright. First, a quick word from our sponsor.
Theo Hicks: Okay, Brian, what is the Best Ever book you’ve recently read?
Brian Boyd: Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I read it again, and every time I read it, I pick up something new, some sort of nuance. The deeper you get into real estate investing, I think there’s another layer you can peel back from that book. Look, I’ve got the tax background, I understand that, I understand the corporate world, and how to structure a company, but the community is what I really pulled out for the book this last read. That’s what I just mentioned earlier in the podcast, is that this is a community; we’re here and we’re going to help each other. We want to see everybody succeed. I really think Rich Dad, Poor Dad really speaks to that. It really does.
Theo Hicks: If your business were to collapse today, what would you do next?
Brian Boyd: Start again. I’m a serial entrepreneur, I’ve bought and sold companies, I’ve built companies and sold them. I never see myself working a nine to five for somebody else. I would start saving, I’d do something to earn money, and go buy another piece of property.
Theo Hicks: What is the Best Ever way you like to give back?
Brian Boyd: By participating in online forums, taking people to lunch, spending time with them, giving them knowledge that they didn’t know. One of the most recent things was I explained cost segregation studies to a client that came in. I didn’t charge him for it. Like “You really need to look into this. It’s going to help you. You need to consider how to shelter your current income with these cost segregation studies.” I ended up doing a lot of research for her and sending it over to her. And she’d never heard of it. She has 50 properties and nobody had ever mentioned cost segregation studies to this poor lady.
Theo Hicks: The last question, what is the Best Ever place to reach you?
Brian Boyd: You can always get me at the office. I’m here every day and I’m happy to talk to anybody or point anybody in the right direction. If I can’t help you, I will point you in the direction that you can get help. I want everybody to succeed.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. Brian, thank you so much for joining us today and providing us with your Best Ever advice. We talked about taxes in 2021. Your advice was to relax and to make sure you obviously have a plan B, which you can get by talking with your CPA and tax attorney. But at the end of the day, we’re going to be fine. The tax code’s going to affect everyone the exact same, so you’re not going to stop investing in real estate because the taxes change.
You also talked about some tips on how to avoid litigation, and it really comes down to doing the right inspections by the right experts. This kind of also went into your Best Ever advice, which was to do your research, specifically on each deal, but also more high-level research on the real estate industry. Listen to podcasts, some blogs, and also gain this education by going to lunch with different people and picking their brains.
You mentioned that you do this every single day. Everyone’s got a lunch break, as you said, so rather than spending it by yourself… Or at the very least spend it listening to podcasts and reading blogs, but even better would be to eat lunch with someone and pick their brain. As you mentioned, you could go with lawyers too, just to get general business advice as well. Brian, anything else that you want to say before we sign off?
Brian Boyd: The only thing I would leave everybody with is get into this real estate investing community, get in and participate. Everybody has something to offer. If you don’t have money, that’s okay. You might bring something else to the table. Just get involved.
Theo Hicks: Perfect. Thank you so much again for joining us today. Best Ever listeners, as always, thank you for listening. Have a Best Ever day and we’ll talk to you tomorrow.
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