December 22, 2023

JF3396: Why There Won’t be a Soft Landing and How to be an Effective Thought Leader from a Data Scientist ft. George Roberts




George Roberts, data scientist and principal at Roberts Capital, shares his insights on how to get your foot in the door with a GP team, steps to becoming a thought leader, and why he thinks interest rates may fall sooner rather than later.

Key Takeaways:

  • Economic Insights and Challenges: George discusses the challenges posed by the ever-increasing national debt and its potential impact on interest rates and the economy. He emphasizes the importance of understanding historical data and market sentiment when making investment decisions. George highlights that success in commercial real estate requires a deep dive into market specifics, as real estate is hyper-local, and what works in one area may not work in another.
  • Multifamily Investment Strategies: George's journey from single-family to multifamily investments underscores the value of partnerships and networking in the real estate industry. He explains the importance of driving for deals, being patient, and playing the long game in finding lucrative opportunities. George sheds light on the concept of "value over price," urging investors to focus on the fundamentals rather than simply chasing after deals.
  • Navigating LinkedIn and Building Authentic Content: When discussing success on LinkedIn, George emphasizes the power of authenticity and storytelling. He suggests sharing your journey, including challenges and successes, to engage your audience and create relatable content. George encourages investors to use social media as a platform for education and connection, building relationships and trust within the industry.

George Roberts | Real Estate Background

  • Principal at Roberts Capital
  • Portfolio:
    • 310 units 
    • One single family rental
    • 3 single family homes in the process of construction
  • Based in: Macomb, MI
  • Say hi to him at: 
  • Best Ever Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Greatest Lesson: Don't fall victim to FOMO and commit to a deal that doesn't truly make sense. A bad deal can hurt you more now than ever before. 



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Ash Patel (00:03.542)
Hello, best ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I'm Ash Patel and I'm with today's guest, George Roberts. George is joining us from McComb, Michigan. He is the principal of Roberts Capital. George's portfolio consists of five apartment properties with 310 total units, one single family rental and three single family homes under construction. George, thank you for joining us. And how are you today?

George Roberts (00:32.012)
Doing well, Ash, and thank you so much for having me on the show.

Ash Patel (00:36.138)
It's our pleasure. George, before we get started, can you give the best ever listeners a little bit more about your background and what you're focused on now?

George Roberts (00:43.956)
Yeah, absolutely. I came from bioscience and I decided I was going to take all those tech skills and apply it to the world of real estate. So I go out as the data scientist of real estate. I like to make it fun and exciting to learn about things like macroeconomics and housing. And so what I do these days is I go out and I buy apartments. I like to help people come along with me. I like to syndicate. I think it's a it's a great business to be in. It's a lot of fun and a great way to build wealth.

Ash Patel (01:15.99)
How did you get started in real estate?

George Roberts (01:18.528)
Well, it was maybe 12 years ago, at least over a dozen years ago now, I became an accidental landlord. It was the depths of the great recession, not a good time to sell your home. So decided we'd hold onto it. And we've sort of moved up. That's when we moved out to Macomb County, the neighboring county where home prices were just a whole lot cheaper, not just because of the great recession. And over the years, we did really well with that first investment because we would have gotten maybe half of what we had purchased it for if we had sold it to move up, but by keeping it as a rental, got some great cash flow, introduced me to the great world of real estate. And from there, years later, I decided that when I wanted to go into real estate full time that I would do it at scale.

Ash Patel (02:05.142)
What was your first multifamily purchase?

George Roberts (02:08.428)
So this was in Orlando. We bought a 14 unit apartment, really beautiful little project. It was in a very decent area actually, just a few minutes south of the downtown area. And all the apartments around us had been repositioned. So that gave us the idea that, look, hey, this really makes sense. The only reason this thing was left there is it was a lot smaller than its cohorts, 14 units versus, you know, a lot of these were 100, 150 or more.

So that really validated the business plan. We bought that over three years ago, refinancing it right now. We've more than doubled the rents. We had great tailwinds. Orlando has done extraordinarily well. And then with our renovations, I mean, wow. Rent's just have gone through.

Ash Patel (02:55.874)
Were you uncomfortable buying something across the country from Michigan?

George Roberts (03:01.16)
Well, I would say that it takes a little time to get comfortable with that. The whole concept of multifamily or commercial real estate in general, buying something that's large enough to make it worthwhile to take a quick plane trip out. Now I'm in Michigan, a couple hundred bucks, hop on a plane, round trip ticket. I can be out there. It's not a big deal. It's not easy to do that for a single family home. Not easy to justify that. So, yes, it took a little getting used to, but I wouldn't say that it was terribly worrisome knowing that it's been done before.

Ash Patel (03:32.43)
What were the biggest challenges in remotely managing and renovating that property?

George Roberts (03:51.672)
Well, you know, we still had to have boots on the ground. So one of my partners moved out there. He supervised the construction and also did a lot of the early property management. So I'm not gonna say that you should ever attempt this without somebody as boots on the ground. But again, one's plenty.

Ash Patel (04:10.67)
As part of the deal, your partner had to move to Orlando, not bad.

George Roberts (04:15.225)
That's right. Not bad on his end either. I think he enjoys it and really intends to live there a little bit longer. And hopefully we do some more deals out there. We got two there now.

Ash Patel (04:25.126)
Yeah, that's where I meant. I meant not bad for him. Like there's a lot of worse places he could have gone. What was your next purchase?

George Roberts (04:42.468)
Oh yeah, so from there, you know, did a co-GP deal that really introduced me to syndication. It's something I'd always wanted to have done. The first one was the JV and from there moved up into the ranks of the GP, did some more deals as a GP and also more JVs. I mean, I think a lot of the smaller deals really make sense. So I don't intend to stop doing JVs just because syndication is also good.

Ash Patel (05:08.738)
When you say smaller deals make sense, explain that please.

George Roberts (05:12.6)
Sure. I think there's a lot of competition. You know, there are a lot of people turning out students very quickly over the last maybe 10 years. Market's been going up. And hey, that's all well and good. We needed a lot of people. We needed an army to go out and recondition these old apartments. These repositionings really helped to revitalize the housing stock. But now you see interest rates have increased and there's a lot of competition.

So I think you've got to go and look where other people aren't if you want to be successful, particularly if you're a little newer in the game. And I've been at this for over three years now. But again, I never really got into the 200 plus unit apartments. I have some in the hundred range, but again, it really makes sense to get something from say mom and paw, they don't necessarily optimize their asset and you have this opportunity to buy something perhaps below market, something that's not optimized, and something where you as a professional have the opportunity to add a whole lot of value. So, less competition and the ability to add more value, I think, make a whole lot of sense.

Ash Patel (06:21.038)
George, can we dive into the details of that co-GP deal?

George Roberts (06:26.5)
Oh yeah, the first one. Yeah. So some people I met through, let me see, what was it? Yona Weiss's LinkedIn challenge. And it was great because I was at the point in my life where I really wanted to step up and they really just needed some capital and they were getting close to the end. It was an assumption. So as you could imagine, as prices had shot up and at the same time offering an extraordinarily low interest rate, there's a little bit of balance there to get that interest rate.

Well, then they had to raise a little more capital and that's where the co-GPs came in.

Ash Patel (07:02.491)
You were a co-GP. Does that mean you raised capital for that deal?

George Roberts (07:05.968)
Yeah, I did. And obviously some other things like looking at the comps and, you know, asset management, etc. But yeah, that's really the thin edge of the wedge, you get into the deals by the ability to raise capital. So they were willing to take somebody who was a little newer because there was so much capital required for the deal.

Ash Patel (07:22.738)
You had not raised capital before, is that correct? How did you do that? Well, this is your first time raising capital and it's on a co-GP deal. How do you go about doing that?

George Roberts (07:33.408)
Right, so I had a little bit of a following. I want to say at that point, I believe I was already about six or seven months into my podcast. Of course, I got the idea from reading the best ever book. Joe always tells everybody, go out and make that thought leadership platform. So I did that through Yona Weiss, helped to build myself hugely on LinkedIn. And so I just had a following and I think that was seen as a bit of currency, but things were different back then. It was a lot easier to raise capital.

Ash Patel (08:02.706)
Yeah, a little different now. What's changed in how you raise capital today?

George Roberts (08:04.616)
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Are you asking me what are the differences? Well, what I notice is that there you generally have a lot more co-GPs on deals these days. Deals are just getting bigger. It's harder to close deals. You have a lot more deals that are falling through. And as we continue, I think people just have to be more professional. I think it's the people that have great platforms, people who have taken the time to get their name out, and people who have shown a great track record, not just of getting people's money back with a solid return, but also integrity. Do you communicate? Are you the sort of person that people really want to work with? I think the poor communicators, the people that really haven't done as well for the investors, they're gonna get swept out pretty quickly. Already are.

Ash Patel (08:52.078)
George, on that co-op deal where you were a co-GP, I shouldn't say co-op, let me rephrase that. George, on that co-GP deal, how much did you raise and how were you rewarded for that raise?

George Roberts (09:07.744)
Gosh, that's a great question because I didn't really raise a whole lot. I want to say it was only like 150,000 first time out, if I remember correctly. And, you know, I got some of the acquisition fee and, you know, that's fine. It was good. It was first time out again. And, you know, I did stick with the team and make sure that I'm helping with the asset management, but really, I mean, they did me a favor. Forget about the acquisition fee. This was an opportunity to step up. And that was really the greatest value of that deal to myself.

Ash Patel (09:40.974)
So it's your job to interact with your investors that you raise capital from.

George Roberts (09:44.64)

Yeah, among other things, yeah. I think that's standard. You know, you let people's investors be their investors. And that's fair from a lot of standpoints, including the workload. So if you bring them on, it's your responsibility to take care of them. And you should because you want them to invest in your next deal.

Ash Patel (10:05.29)
How's the returns on that deal?

George Roberts (10:07.484)
Oh, really good. I mean, we're already getting, we're getting many offers, millions of dollars above what we paid. I mean, we really want to hit our numbers. And that was only, I want to say, November of 2021 that deal came into my world. So, you know, the deal is, you know, not really terribly long in the tooth. And again, there's already the possibility that we could, we could, who knows, have an exit even soon and hit the numbers. But either way, doesn't matter because we're cash flowing very nicely. And if we hold on for that top dollar offer and we do hold it three, four, five years, it's good.

Ash Patel (10:43.938)
Do you get to benefit from the upside as well, or is it just your investor?

George Roberts (10:49.16)
So yeah, I mean, I did put some cash in as an LP in the deal as well. So, I mean, I will get some from that. But to be quite honest, I really wasn't too worried about getting a full slice of the GP, etc., etc. Really, the whole thing is that I just really wanted to join the team. To be honest, I wasn't even really sophisticated enough to ask ideas like full slice and, you know, what does this consist of really didn't entirely cross my mind, probably would have been a good idea, but perhaps more importantly, you know, I did get on board.

So I guess I would tell people if you're going to go and do it, yeah, you should be as sophisticated as possible. Since you're listening to this podcast, you'll have a couple of ideas that you might not have had otherwise. But again, most important thing is just getting that first deal, that law, the first deal is powerful.

Ash Patel (11:41.865)
What is full slice?

George Roberts (11:43.432)
Okay, so you were asking, hey, do you get any benefit from the upside? So let's kind of decode that. The idea is like when it's sold or when there's a capital markets event, like a refinance, you know, do you get any of that? Actually, I should say really it's the end. But the full slice refers to that you're getting all the fees, everything from the acquisition to the disposition fee. So if you get a full slice, essentially you are fully and completely a general part.

Ash Patel (12:10.782)
Understood. Thank you.

George, you seem very methodical on what you're doing, when you're doing it and how you're doing it. In terms of the thought leadership platform, you mentioned the podcast. What else are you implementing?

George Roberts (12:25.184)
Well, so many different things. I've got a weekly call every Wednesday at noon Eastern. We get on Zoom and I call it CRE Network where deals are made. I also like to get out on a lot of podcasts. Let me just see. I mean, I feel like there's like all these things I'm doing. And then we also split up the podcast. We've got a lot of segments there that even go out on their own, like the final seven questions, et cetera. But I'd like to talk about housing economics on YouTube. That's another thing. So you might see my housing reports out there.

So the biggest thing for me is the podcast and the weekly call, but all kinds of stuff. I have all kinds of material that goes out on various socials.

Ash Patel (13:04.874)
Understood. Where do you see yourself in the next three to five years?

George Roberts (13:09.312)
Well, I'd really like to grow and I think that interest rates are falling. They may already be falling. Let's hope this is not a fake, a fake out as they say. But we could very easily see interest rates falling and we could be back to the good old days. I'd certainly like to expand. I've been working to expand my network. People send me deals. I vastly prefer that to talking to brokers. Brokers are great, by the way, if you're listening, brokers.

But, you know, I I really enjoy working particularly with newer people, helping to mentor them. And that's how I plan to grow. So hey, send me your deals. Let's talk about it. Let's see if we can make things work. And especially because I'm somebody who's willing to work on these smaller deals, I think that makes that an appropriate way for growth.

Ash Patel (13:54.146)
George, what makes you think rates are going to fall?

George Roberts (13:58.184)
Well, you know, inflation has to some degree been tamed and perhaps maybe even more to the point, how long can we keep rates at this level and sustain our national debt? We haven't really seen any signs of slowing down. In fact, in recent years, particularly with COVID, we've sped up in terms of national expenditures, the deficit and, you know, as it contributes to the national debt, which is just monumental.

The funny thing is I could have said that any time in the last 20, 30 years. Same thing. It was always true and unfortunately it probably always will be. So I don't think that we can really sustain high interest rates for terribly long. I think that the Fed is going to have to blink whether it likes it or not.

Ash Patel (14:43.086)
That's an interesting theory and not enough people are talking about that. People were panicking when the national debt was 40 to 50% of GDP, right? Today we are at 120% of GDP and our annual deficits are, it's a parabolic graph where our annual deficits are rising faster than they ever have. And you're right, there's a huge impact with high rates and US government having to repay their obligations.

My pushback on rates being reduced anytime soon is historically the Fed has overshot in both directions, right? They've kept rates too low for too long. Then when they rise, they raise them too high and they overshoot. The other thing is market sentiment is one of the weapons in the Fed's arsenal.

Right now, the market seems to have priced in the Fed taking a break and perhaps reducing rates. And that doesn't really help the Fed's mission. Their mission is to slow down the economy, kill jobs, reduce inflation. So historically, haven't they always overshot? And what is market sentiment? Yeah.

George Roberts (16:01.26)
Well, I think that's very true. I mean, if you want to go right down to the data, I am an award-winning data scientist, love talking about data. 1996, I want to say is the only time that in recent history that they've ever had a so-called soft landing. If you look at how much the increased rates, I want to say it was about 250 basis points, paltry compared to what's gone on here. Can we even call that a soft landing? So absolutely, I think that they do keep rates too low for too long.

Last most recent example of that, really, we're still kind of living through the tech bubble right now. We had the tech bubble, and then we had a slight recession. We saw rates go down. We had the great recession. They went down again, went down to zero. They stayed at virtually zero until 2018. Essentially, we're living with 20 years of zero or virtually zero interest rate policy.

The hangover on this might be significantly greater than that on prior recession. So I will say, I did express the opinion that I think rates are going to go down and that it won't be terribly much longer, but I can also see the other side of it. I do tend to think probabilistically. I built probabilistic models, that predictive models, I should say, predictive models. And making predictions is very difficult. There's always that possibility that, you know, no matter how unlikely that the other side of the coin is that which emerges. And, again, it could be that we have higher for longer. We don't know.

Ash Patel (17:35.082)
Yeah, I love having these conversations and I don't know either, man. I'm spitting in the wind myself. So thank you for that conversation. But you know, the one thing, there's a lot of talk about a soft landing. And I tried to research the previous economic downturns. I never found evidence of any soft landing. What happened in 96?

George Roberts (17:58.24)
Well, yeah, as I said, it was pretty paltry. I don't remember exactly off the top of my head, but again, I want to say that it was less than 3% between 2% and 3% of the increased rates and then brought it down a little bit. Back in the days that Alan Greenspan would say things like, I know you heard, or you think you heard what I said, but that's not what I said. I mean, he's talking out of both sides of his mouth.

You know, really the guy just kept things really low. I don't mean to sound negative on him. I think he's quite brilliant. But again, we're living through the consequences of those decisions now and it's not an easy time and things may get much worse.

Ash Patel (18:40.562)
Yeah, and Greenspan had a lot of pressure on him because that was the that was tech's heyday, right? Every time he raised rates, man, he was the hated guy. Nobody liked them. And then every time he raised rates, everyone took a sigh of relief. OK, good. We're done now. We're done. We're done.

George Roberts (18:57.224)
Yeah, that's right. I can read a story if you don't mind. If I remember, I think it was in fact that the first time that he did raise rates, he got a letter from Paul Boker saying, well, you're a real Fed head now. Of course, because he was famous for taking the heat. And I think that we're all quite thankful to him, even the people that were hurt, because obviously there were people that were hurt by those actions.

Ash Patel (19:26.89)
Yeah, man, we were living in high times back then where everybody's 401k statements were going through the roof. No matter what stock you bought, you look like a stockbroker because they were all winners, right? Those were the good old days. George, coming back to real estate and rates, it seems to me that only real estate people and Wall Street people think rates are coming down. What are your thoughts on that we benefit from that?

George Roberts (19:56.468)
Well, I don't know. I'll tell you this. Look, I've been in the mortgage industry for many years. I've been out for a few now, but I can't even tell you how many years we said rates are going up this year. Okay, 2013, 2014, 2015, finally 2018. So, you know, these situations can persist a lot longer than anybody expects, right? I mean, that's why I don't sell short. Whenever you have unlimited downside, it's a little bit frightening.

As they say, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. So don't count on anything. But again, I want to say I know that better days are coming. It's highly likely that they are. And timing it is not easy. I mean, for a long time, what was it, 2017, I think we had sideways earnings, but the stock market decided that it was going to continue going up. I'm not sure if I've got exactly the right year there.

We've been expecting the stock market to decline significantly, and it took COVID for that to happen. And that was almost a fake bear market there. What was it, like three months or something? I mean, seriously. And that was completely unexpected. The entire country shut down. We've been predicting a lot of things that just don't happen. Smart money is off and wrong.

Ash Patel (21:18.526)
Thank you for going down that rabbit hole with me. I appreciate that conversation. You've got three single family homes under construction. What are you doing? I thought you want to go bigger. I thought you wanted to do more multifamily.

George Roberts (21:30.996)
Well, I say construction is big. So wherever you're at, residential or commercial, it's a great place to be. And I really have my sister to thank for that. She started that business. I worked with her a little bit on that, the outset, but as I alluded to, I wanted to have my own gig and that's when I went into multifamily. So she's still doing that, carrying the family banner, started our construction industry, our construction business, and put a toehold in that industry for our family.

And it's interesting, we were just having a conversation about that the other day. And she said, you know, there's a lot of fifth and sixth generation builders, but there aren't a whole lot of first generation builders. And so my hat's off to her for doing that. It's going to take a whole lot more first generation builders to get us out of this housing crisis. I mean, we may be building enough for replacement now. We're close to 1.5 million. I mean, almost, sort of. But the problem is the backlog, right? We can't just go at replacement, you know, building 1.4, 1.5 million a year, we're gonna need a whole lot of first-generation builders out there.

So I think it's a great industry to be in if you're able to do it right, we're not leveraged, and so we can do it. I mean, as you know, what's gonna happen is a lot of them are gonna get washed out. We're gonna see those housing starts decline in a big way, and we've already seen that start, you know, it's already started.

Ash Patel (22:49.662)
You are the perfect person to ask this next question to. I hear from a lot of single family investors about the housing shortage, right? We have how many years worth of inventory that we're short on, but on the flip side, I see places like Atlanta are oversupplied with multifamily and what's in the pipeline is gonna make things even worse. What does that mean? I don't get it. How are we oversupplied and then we don't have enough?

George Roberts (23:16.096)
Well, I think you got to start at the top and drill down. So yes, we are vastly undersupplied, but real estate is hyper local. You just can't move it. I mean, even mobile homes, you really can't move them. So you've really got to look at your own market, look at things like absorption, look at the construction that's coming online. But yeah, in general, we're hugely undersupplied, like maybe 5.8 million units. It's just ridiculous.

I mean, we wiped out an entire generation of builders. And between that and the low rates, we saw a pretty major bull run in the market, which now we're having a little bit of a hangover there from.

Ash Patel (23:59.418)
And focusing on your forte being a data scientist, what models are you seeing for future development? Is it multifamily? Are you looking into flex commercial real estate at all?

George Roberts (24:13.488)
Oh, I see. I was thinking in terms of data.

Ash Patel (24:18.003)
In terms of research, sorry.

George Roberts
So there's gonna be a lot of, yeah, got it. Okay, so if you don't mind, if I just take it from that angle, yeah, I mean, when rates go up, I mean, you know, builders just get soaked. So we can expect that the starts are gonna continue to decline, you know, as for what we're gonna need to do. Well, people have already been in redevelopment. That's become a huge thing, particularly since the pandemic, things like hotel to multifamily conversion.

I think we're going to have to see some more of that. Who knows, office space is coming back. I've even seen some office to multifamilies. So without enough people in construction, we're not going to have enough of anything built in the future. And that means that we're going to potentially have to look at a lot of options, built to rent, maybe smaller homes. I mean, we've been building luxury stuff for years and years. Eventually, I think it stands to reason that the lower end has to catch up. And we've seen a lot of that with multifamily. Multifamily has seen a huge increase in building since the Great Recession, although it's taken a bit of a tumble since then. So I think that you're going to definitely see a lot of shakeout from this.

Ash Patel (25:25.122)
George, let's continue on your evolution in multifamily. So we got to the co-GP property. What was your next purchase?

George Roberts (25:33.668)
Oh yeah, so one of my great friends from Horizon Multifamily found an amazing deal for us right out by where he planted his flag out in Jefferson City, Tennessee. And this is what really got me excited about tertiary markets, mom and paw. I mean, I was excited about that already, but to see that there are places where you can have a tertiary market that people are moving to like crazy. When I say tertiary market, people are like, yeah mean stuff where people are moving out? No, I'm not talking about Rust Belt stuff. I'm talking about places like the Smoky Mountains where people are just moving there like crazy. That's one of the best deals I've ever seen. And it's something that really ticked all the boxes.

I mean, somebody playing the long game, tell you who was the founder, Tom Kirkpatrick, he just drove by one day, said, Hey, you know, that's an asset I'd like to purchase. Only way to contact the seller was the number on the pool house, which was self-managed, so it went right to the owner. Owner wasn't ready, actually it was the sort of onsite property manager slash handyman, wasn't ready to sell. Couple calls over five years and you got a call back after the second call saying, hey, we're ready to deal. So if you're ready and willing to do the hard work and play the long game like that, which I'm speaking primarily here to the newer investors, it's definitely worth it if you're willing to go out and make some calls like that, drive for dollars, that may be easier than underwriting a hundred apartments because when you do get one on the line like that, it's a lot easier than, quite frankly, to say the junk that gets sent to somebody new. If you say, hey, I'm in your market and I'm looking for Class C and, oh, they figure out you're new. I mean, they're going to send you their junk for a long time. You've got to underwrite a lot of deals.

So, that was really eye-opening for me, just to see the sort of amazing things you can find if you're willing to turn over some rocks, drive for dollars, and look at those smaller deals.

Ash Patel (27:36.142)
George, has that been your evolution is to just co-GP on deals and partner with others?

George Roberts (27:43.348)
Well, yeah, co-GP then to partnering with others. I tend to be very social. I do spend a lot of time on the web presence. So, partnering with others does really come naturally to me. Yeah, I love it because it leads me into new things. I got to get into a hotel to multifamily conversion that way.

Ash Patel (28:01.938)
In terms of raising capital, what have you seen in the last six months to a year?

George Roberts (28:07.316)
Well, I already mentioned that you're seeing a lot more co-GPs. It's getting a lot harder. People are turning to, you know, just higher sources. I mean, sometimes more commonly than in the past, people are needing gap funding. And once deals are even closed, often they're getting mezzanine funding. It's a very, very tough world out there. You know, a few things that I've learned, some people really thought ahead and they write up their docs.

Make sure that you have it in your docs, that you can add another class of shares if you think you need to do that. Or you're going to be stuck with the mezzanine funding, which can be rather expensive. They're both expensive, to be clear. Equity is not cheap.

Ash Patel (28:54.53)
Are current LPs seasoned real estate investors or is it still viable to recruit new people to invest in real estate?

George Roberts (29:05.832)
Well, I think it's still viable. You know, I think it gets a little harder when everybody's making a ton of money. It's easy. And that's sort of changed. So without a doubt, I think that there is a bit of watershed moment. But again, that's why I think my timing was perfect. Luckily, I got into the business early enough that I'm not trying to break in right now, which I think would have been much harder than when it was that I started in 2020.

Ash Patel (29:33.142)
What's the secret to being successful on LinkedIn?

George Roberts (29:39.104)
You want authentic content. It's good to bring people along with a story. If you just say, hey, you know, I'm really smart. I'm good at what I do. I make a lot of money. That doesn't help. But if you say, you know, hey, I started out, you know, when I was, you know, new, I didn't realize the importance of asset management. Well, hey, take a look. Now, this is something that happened at one of my Florida properties. We just had this beautiful community day and look at all these great pictures. You know, this is how we run our apartments.

We want to make sure everybody feels appreciated. So if you could take people along the progression, they can see themselves in that. Wherever you are in your journey, people can say like, okay, I get it. Hey, maybe I'm a little hesitant. Take the first step. You asked me about what is it like to invest out of state, that sort of thing. Let people know, hey, I had some butterflies too. It wasn't easy. There were some obstacles. This is how I overcame them. As they say, success is a poor teacher. Take people through your hurdles. They'll learn a lot more and that also be more likely to like and subscribe.

Ash Patel (30:40.694)
What is your best real estate investing advice ever?

George Roberts (30:45.38)
So I think that you really got to put the time in. For the longest time, we've had rising prices and it was enough to just, come on, just get a deal done. Just get your first deal. But now we're at a time where if it has always been true that a bad deal hurt you more than a good deal will help, that's definitely true right now. So make sure that you're meeting the exigencies of the situation head on. Don't just go through here and think that there is easy money to be made because the easy money has already been made.

When you get out there and you do look for deals, you know, watch out for the FOMO. I can tell you a couple of years back, what I was hearing all the time is, well, you know, we can't put an offer at that price because the markets moved on. We'll have the fundamentals moved on. We got to start looking at value rather than price. And I think that that's, that's not really news, I think to the community, but again, there are a lot more people that are going to be washed out. So if, if that sounds obvious now. I don't think it's quite obvious enough to everyone.

Ash Patel (31:45.322)
Yeah, George, you're you hit the nail on the head. I can't tell you how many people that I've interviewed when I ask for their best real estate investing advice ever pre rates going up. It was always just do the deal. Do your first deal. Just do it. You're right. You can get hurt a lot now. George, are you ready for the best ever lightning round? All right. What's the best ever book you recently read?

George Roberts (32:12.292)
Oh, I was going to say Dale Carnegie is one of the first that I read that really helped me to understand the value of people, helped me to become outgoing. I used to be a lot shyer, hard to believe. But for a new one, Tim Ferriss, four-hour work week, just amazing. The guy's full of ideas. And although I don't care a whole lot about e-commerce, the idea of how to structure your day and how to live life with a sense of adventure, I got a lot of that out of Tim Ferriss's book.

Ash Patel (32:40.846)
George, what's the best ever way you like to give back?

George Roberts (32:44.616)
Mentoring. It's just beautiful. It's fun. You know, I came from an academic background. Teaching comes natural to me. And just to be with people, to help other people. I don't know what else there is in the world that generates a greater sense of satisfaction.

Ash Patel (33:03.262)
And George, how can the best ever listeners reach out to you?

George Roberts (33:06.596)
Oh, best ever way to reach out to me is through LinkedIn. I'm there all the time, or you can hit me at

Ash Patel (33:15.214)
George, thank you again for sharing your time. You've given us great nuggets of advice. Thank you for sharing your views on the economy historically and potentially some pitfalls in the future. So we appreciate your time.

George Roberts (33:27.98)
Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to come on your podcast, Ash.

Ash Patel (33:32.15)
Best ever listeners, thank you for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a five star review. Share this podcast with someone you think can benefit from it. Also follow, subscribe and have a best ever day.

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