August 9, 2022

JF2898: Why Teaming Up Is the Key to Scaling ft. Ismael Rey Reyes

Ismael “Rey” Reyes began investing in single-family homes during his 28-year career in the U.S. Army. Just before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, he learned about syndications and how they could allow him to continue to scale his real estate business and build wealth despite his hectic schedule. 

Today, Rey is president of MI Real Estate LLC, which primarily focuses on the acquisition and asset management of class B and C multifamily properties. In this episode, Rey discusses the system he uses to continuously improve, what to look for when it comes to the ideal contract timeline, and how he’s grown his team to compensate for his increasingly limited time. 


1. System for Improvement

“The military’s big on, when you do something — first of all, the idea that you’re going to have a foolproof plan for anything is foolish,” Rey says. “Things happen, life happens, the world happens.” To avoid analysis paralysis, he has learned to plan as well as he can before diving into a project, making any necessary adjustments along the way. 

After an acquisition or after fully executing a deal, Rey and his team discuss what they did well, how to ensure they continue to do well, and how to systemize those actions. They also examine what they need to do to improve their strategy. “It’s all about standard operating procedures,” Rey says. “It’s all about action. You have to take action; otherwise, it’s never going to be perfect.” 


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2. The Ideal Contract Timeline

Rey says one of his biggest past mistakes was getting into a deal without a good timeline. The ideal contract, he says, should have at least 30–60 days set aside for financing, depending on the asset and how much capital you are sitting on. He also recommends including extensions — if he can’t get them for free, he pays to ensure he has the option to lock in another 30 days after the first 60-day period. 


3. Growing His Team to Scale Faster

After retiring from the U.S. Army, Rey worked independently, joining different groups on different deals. However, he realized the more deals he took on, the less time he had. His solution was to team up with five partners that form the Admirable Group. 

“It’s essentially five partners that have done multiple deals together, and we’ve joined forces to go after deals,” Rey explains. “It allows us to raise additional capital, it allows us to do multiple assets and not feel like we are so constrained.” By teaming up, he has freed himself up to focus on what he truly loves about commercial real estate — introducing others to the business. 


Ismael “Rey” Reyes | Real Estate Background



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Ash Patel: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the Best real estate investing advice ever show. I'm Ash Patel, and I'm what today's guest, Ismael Reyes, also known as Rey. Rey is joining us from Orlando, Florida. He's the president of MI Real Estate, whose primary focus is acquisition and asset management of Class B and C multifamily properties. He is a GP on 14 properties across five states, and also an LP investor. Rey, thank you for joining us. How are you today?

Ismael Reyes: I'm great, Ash. Thanks for having me.

Ash Patel: It's our pleasure, man. Hey, 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?

Ismael Reyes: Yes, so I'm a retired military; I did 28 years in the US Army, I retired as a lieutenant colonel... And Florida is home, as you mentioned. I really enjoy giving back; I've got my pension, I live well, but one thing I realized is that I want to give something back to others, and I want to give back more to my family. So I looked at what I could do with my life and how I could help those that I want to help most, and this is the way to do it, multifamily. I love it.

Ash Patel: How did you get into it?

Ismael Reyes: I was one of those kids that always loved Monopoly, but I got into my military career and you're kind of busy, really busy sometimes, after I had multiple deployments, multiple combat zones... And so you can only do so much, and then you want to do more. And as we got into the tail end in my career, I realized there was another way to do it. I learned about syndications, I read Joe Fairless' book, I read other books, I've written a book, and I really wanted to do things in a way that could get others a headstart on the multifamily business, or just investing if they wanted to diversify and not have to worry about landlords, not have to worry about managing assets.

We moved around all the time, it was very difficult. We had a single family property that we owned, and the property manager quit. And I'm in Mexico City, so you have all these potential hurdles, and syndication is a way that we could move forward, and either as a passive investor and now as an active investor, and really continued to scale this business and build wealth for myself, for my family, generational wealth, and for others, that I can help along.

Ash Patel: Rey, can you give us the timeline of what came first? Did you educate yourself first and then get into those single families? Or did you get into the single families, then decided "The property manager quit. This sucks", educate yourself and then get into syndication? So how did that work?

Ismael Reyes: I've done a lot of self-educating. I started educating myself, and really, I became an accidental landlord, but it wasn't really by accent, because I knew I wanted to get into this business. I just didn't realize -- when you first get in, it sounds like it's very easy. You just buy a property, and you do this, and you do that. And then you start realizing all the issues that come up.

So I had a good sense of how to do it, but when you really do the first one is when you start realizing, and then you feel the extra wrench of having to move around and not really controlling your own time, and you really have to figure out a better way to do things. So I would say I self-educated, started working on single family, and then as soon as I learned and networked on how to do multifamily, I started passively, to make sure I understood the business, and then I moved into the active side once I retired out of the military.

Ash Patel: What was your first multifamily deal?

Ismael Reyes: The first multifamily deal was a passive deal in Birmingham. I partnered with Michael Blanc on a deal, I essentially used that as a launching platform, as I explained, to be able to go active. But I was actually on my way overseas for two years, and I realized that that was the only way that I was going to be able to invest in multifamily at the time.

So I learned the markets, I picked a partner that I felt I was comfortable with, and I knew their business, and then I figured out "Okay, what markets am I looking at? What markets are my preferred partners investing in?" and we came up with Birmingham.

Ash Patel: Why Birmingham?

Ismael Reyes: At the time, and even still, it's a very good market; it's got good value. This was 2016... And it was on an upward trajectory. We look at things -- now I've kind of defined them a little bit more, but essentially, you want to look at the economy of a place, you want to look at where it is on the real estate cycle... It was in the absorption phase, where it was starting to move up, and there was a lot of activity. And unemployment was low... So there were a lot of positive trends that kind of pointed to that place. And I had others that I was looking at, but that was one that coalesced with a partner that I was comfortable working with.

Ash Patel: And Rey, how did you put together your first active deal? Can you walk us through the partner, the acquisition, the investors?

Ismael Reyes: Yeah. So it's real simple. And I tell people all the time how to short-circuit into this business, that's what I did. I essentially started looking for a partner that could bring me into their deals. So I was essentially looking to buy into an existing network of an operator network. So I had some money that I put together, I sold one of my properties, and I essentially started going to conferences. And when I met people, you know, that I was comfortable with and we started talking about potential business, I was very willing to say, "Listen, I've got some money that I'm willing to put in as risk capital, for the right deal with the right partners. Please consider me." And essentially, about six months to a year later, I get a call from one of those individuals saying "Hey, I remember we talked, and we were looking at potentially partnering. Are you still interested?" And I said, "Well, tell me the deal, show me the deal." And I got into a deal in Tampa with them. Essentially, I put in some risk capital, and my goal was to raise capital on the deal as well, is kind of where I wanted to focus my business. But I ran into some hurdles. But at the end of the day, you have to start incrementally moving your business forward and create some goals. So did I answer every part of that question, or was it something --

Ash Patel: Yeah. Listen, I love your hustle. So when you say "risk capital", is that earnest money?

Ismael Reyes: That was earnest money on the deal. So I said, "Listen, I'm gonna buy into this deal with this risk capital, and allow me to also do other things. I want to do other things on this deal. I want to learn and grow with the team, and essentially be able to get in there and do some more in-depth work." So yeah, absolutely. Earnest money.

Ash Patel: And you were a co-GP on that deal.

Ismael Reyes: I was a co-GP on that deal. Yes.

Ash Patel: And what were your other roles and responsibilities that you took on?

Ismael Reyes: Essentially, raising capital was a big one, and part of the asset management. And really just being on all the meetings, participating, providing value wherever I could; if there were some questions we had -- essentially, we had some people that [unintelligible 00:08:44.00] those roles, but I was able to potentially add some value there. And then as part of that, also looking at potential future deals, and underwriting deals. So I learned how to underwrite, and as part of even that deal, with that team, looking at potential future assets.

Ash Patel: Do you remember the numbers on that deal?

Ismael Reyes: It was a 56-unit deal in Tampa. We bought it at about 55k a door. It's hard to believe, but this was 2019, and you could still get things in the 60s and 50s.

Ash Patel: So around a $3 million purchase?

Ismael Reyes: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. So initially, it was supposed to be a portfolio of 81 units; one of the pieces of that portfolio fell off, and we were left with that 56. And essentially, it was two properties very near each other. It's been a while... But yeah, we actually just sold that one this year. We sold that, we just about doubled the investor money. I want to say 1.9 or 2.0 return. So it was kind of nice.

Ash Patel: What did that sell for per door?

Ismael Reyes: It sold for 119k a door, I want to say. So when you subtracted everything out, it ended up being about basically double your money for investors, in a little under three years. So it was a very good deal.

Ash Patel: That's a good win. And how did you recruit investors on that deal?

Ismael Reyes: It was tough, and that's where I ran into my biggest hurdles on that deal, because I was actually still on active duty . I had just come back from overseas, and essentially, where I worked, I didn't have access to a phone. I couldn't bring in my phone, it was a government computer... That's kind of a hard thing to overcome when you're trying to talk to investors.

I honestly didn't raise any capital on that deal. So when I bought into that deal, that was extra; this is what I wanted to do. But what I was able to do was create my processes, understand how to get my investor list going... And one thing I was able to do is I brought in another general partner that was willing to come in with $300,000 to kind of close that deal out. So technically, not a passive investor, but certainly did bring in some capital, that kind of closed that deal out. So it was kind of nice, but I realized -- and that's when I decided I really needed to pick my poison. Was I going to stay in and try to get to colonel in the army, or was I going to get out and do this thing full-time? And I decided to get out. And so that was it. I couldn't do both, and I realized that just based on my type of business. There are other businesses are very easy to mix the two; mine was not one of them.

Ash Patel: After you closed on that first deal, you've got to be feeling pretty good. You brought an investor to the table... What was your next deal?

Ismael Reyes: The next year was another deal in the Tampa area, in a place called Apollo Beach. And this was a B class property. I want to say it was 59 units. So a little bit bigger, not much bigger; still in the 50s. And it was with the same group that we got that other deal. I was able to raise some capital [unintelligible 00:11:27.18] actual passive investor capital, so I was happy about that. And we still own that property; it consistently stays full, and a very successful property. We're sitting on long-term debt now, which is nice.

And essentially, the team brought it, we underwrote it together, and my piece with that was obviously facilitating asset management, and generally bringing in capital. That's kind of where I focus. Honestly, Ash, I'll tell you - this is something that I like to do. I like talking to brokers, but I'd much rather other people talk to brokers and bring me good deals. Let them filter through that. Let them do initial underwriting, and then bring me in. And that's kind of where I've kind of focused my business. And I think -- that's one thing that I tell people; there's a lot of operators out there, they're like, I can't wait, I'm gonna find my deal. I'm gonna find my deal." Listen, just get into a deal, whether you find it, or whether someone else finds it. Get into a deal, otherwise you're gonna be talking about this next year. It's a lot of competition out there; everybody's looking for deals and brokers have their preferred operators. So I like to get out a little bit further and let others find the deals.

Ash Patel: How do you teach your team to penetrate brokers?

Ismael Reyes: You have to build a relationship with them; you have to provide feedback for what they give you. Take a look at the deals, underwrite the deals, tell them "This is a good deal. Here's why I liked this deal" or tell them why it falls outside your criteria. But give them something. Because they have to go back to that seller and provide input that they're getting from potential buyers. So whether you are actively going to buy or not, they will take that input and it will also help them continue to maintain the sellers informed of what's going on. And if there's some good feedback that you can provide, maybe it's something that they're willing to take back to the seller and say, "Hey, I'm getting a lot of friction on this price, or I'm getting a lot of friction on the timeline." Whatever that is that's really preventing you from making that deal work is something to help the broker go back to that buyer, and maybe adjust that, so that the deal will work.

Ash Patel: Right. What were the numbers on that second deal?

Ismael Reyes: Oh, good question.

Ash Patel: And you said you locked in long-term debt. What does that look like right now?

Ismael Reyes: We locked it in at just under four, and it was a seven-year term. And essentially, because it was a stabilized deal - it wasn't a value-add. So we did some basic work to it, but essentially, we got through that pretty quick and was able to lock in their long-term debt, which is kind of nice right now, as that is going up every year. So it's kind of nice to lock that one in. I don't remember the numbers off the top my head. I want to say it was in the 80s, it was B class, nice area, but I can't remember off the top my head.

Ash Patel: What was the value-add on that property?

Ismael Reyes: Just making the property look like a resort-like property. It was already a B class, but there were some things that we were able to add to it. For example, it didn't have a screen back door. If you're in Florida and you don't have a screen... You may not be outside for long, even if it's cool and it's nighttime, because you [unintelligible 00:14:17.01] So providing some livable space outside of that.

The other thing that we did was we cleaned up -- it actually is right on the river... Actually, access to the water, not river; access to the water. And we cleaned up some of the general areas where essentially boats can park, and actually come in. If you're actually on a boat and you want to just park there. We received some extra income from that, and it's another amenity that we were able to add.

So really just making it like a resort property, which - the location was perfect for it. And because you're not dealing with C class workforce housing, it doesn't have the fluctuation. In fact, there's a lot of retirees there, so it doesn't have the fluctuation that a lot of us their potential properties have if you really have to depend on people receiving income. So it was nice to have.

Ash Patel: Rey, 28 years in the military. Thank you and your family for your service and your entire family's sacrifice as well... But I've got to imagine you're a big systems guy. What systems have you put into your real estate operation?

Ismael Reyes: I think the biggest one that we continue to refine is essentially a lessons learned. The military is big on when you do something -- first of all, the idea that you're going to have a foolproof plan for anything is foolish. Things happen, life happens, world happens, and you have people that inject in too things that you can't control. So what you can do is you can kind of plan as good as you can, but get into something; don't wait until you think you have the perfect plan. A lot of people get into this paralysis analysis situation where -- the deal is never quite right, and it's never going to be. What you can do is get an 80% to 85% solution on your business plan, go forward and make some adjustments along the way, and stay in the deal, as opposed to not getting in the deal. And then learning from that.

So what we do is after we do an acquisition, we come back and we go, "Okay--" Not just right after the acquisition, but when we fully exit out of a property... And just go back and say, "Okay, what did we do well? How do we ensure that we continue to do these things? How do we systemize that? What do we need to improve on?" And essentially, provide some recommendations.

It's very easy to say, "Oh, we didn't do this right, we didn't do that right", but when you provide that kind of input, what can you change and provide that recommendation so we can potentially implement some things and make the deals better going forward, and adjust that? So it's all about standard operating procedures, it's all about action. You have to take action, otherwise it's never going to be perfect.

Break: [00:16:49.01] to [00:18:38.24]

Ash Patel: Rey, what's an example of a mistake made and a debrief where you learned some valuable lessons?

Ismael Reyes: Yeah, I think one of the biggest mistakes we've had to accommodate and overcome is when you're getting into deals and you don't have a good enough timeline and you don't have extensions built into a deal to allow you to really not be backed into a corner into a deal. So you've got your standard 30-day due diligence, you have your standard 30-day for financing, and then maybe you get yourself another 15-day extension. Okay. Well, that's great. But first of all, have you built that into your contracts, so those are automatic when you need them? Or are you going to wait until you no longer have those, or you're at the tail end of your final extension, and then you're kind of stuck, because you've got to go back to that seller and essentially ask for an extension? And the seller is probably going to ask for additional earnest money, or maybe change the price on you.

So one of the things that we've learned is if a seller is not willing to have some built-in extensions there - and there may be a cost to those; that's okay. But something that we are comfortable that we're going to have enough runway to close these deals out, and some additional time in case we need it, then maybe the timing is not right with the seller. Maybe we need to wait and see if the seller is willing to accommodate us later. And we've actually had sellers come back to us after the deal didn't go the way they really wanted to and came back and said "Hey, we're willing to consider these extra extensions on the deal."

Ash Patel: So what does the ideal contract look like today in terms of timeline?

Ismael Reyes: It's changing. Honestly, it's changing with the time. I would say one of the biggest things -- so let's go with the basics, right? We need at least 30 days due diligence, we need at least 30 days to 60 days for financing. And that'll take you through hopefully the entire deal, getting the debt and the equity side. So I would say you need at least 60 to 90 days as kind of a standard. If you can get closer to 90, that's better. It really depends on the asset, it depends on how much capital you may be sitting on, how much dry powder. So that kind of makes a difference as well. But I'd say 90 days.

And then the other key to what I feel is changing now in this market is initially you go into a view and you essentially are going in hard with your money up front. In other words, if you wanted to get this deal, it's a seller's market, you had to come in and say "Hey, 50k, 100k, 150k hard" depending on the size of the deal. And you're kind of stuck with that. So first, it is risky, so you have to have people on your team, and you have to have done the evaluation, and be comfortable that you're going to be able to execute, one. But two, that creates a problem, because right now you're in a floating interest rate situation, where especially on the value-add where you're having to do essentially bridge loans to get to that fixed loan later, and the Fed funds rate is pushing up the mortgages. So how do you insulate yourself as a buyer?

Well, one, you can assure that that hard money's not going hard right away; maybe you do it right after due diligence, that'll give you a better idea, and if you're doing your work right, you get ahead on that loan as well. So you're getting that stuff locked in, and still giving yourself some flexibility to go back to the seller at that point, since you don't have any hard money, to go back to the seller and say, "Hey, rates just went up. We really need to look at this price point in order for it to work, because it's no longer working based on our initial assumptions."

So that's one thing that I think is changing, is that money is no longer going hard on a lot of these deals. What I haven't seen yet, but I think we're getting to, is some sort of financing contingency; maybe some caps built in, so you can say, "Hey, I'm in this deal up until this kind of rate. And then once we go beyond that, if something changes, we need to be able to walk away on it." So that's a little bit tougher, but I think we're kind of getting there as we continue to adjust a little bit upwards, and sellers aren't able to get the price points that they were looking for. And a lot of sellers are retrading. We're in a deal right now where we had a $1.5 million deduction price point, simply because we went back to the seller and said, "Hey, these numbers, based on where we were estimating to acquire this at from an interest rate perspective - it's not going to work for us anymore." And the seller understood that, and we were able to get that.

Ash Patel: Interesting. Do you ever build in paid extensions?

Ismael Reyes: Yes, we have. We'd rather not, we'd rather get them free, but if you want to ensure that you have your timeline and the seller is kind of pushing you on that, then that's how you kind of get over the hump. Say, "Listen, if we need this time, I'm willing to pay for it." But it's certainly just additional earnest money, it isn't additional price. If you don't lock those in, and you're working later, you may be looking at additional earnest money and additional price. So yes, we have done that; essentially, right at that 60-day period we essentially could lock in another 30 days; if we only had 15, lock in an extra 15 for a cost. You definitely want to do that.

Ash Patel: Yeah. Rey, what's an example of a deal that you lost money on, and what was your lesson learned on that?

Ismael Reyes: I had to think about that... I listen to your show, and I know that's one of the questions. It was one of my first deals that wasn't a single-family. And even though categorically it still counted as duplex... I still remember; I just come back from overseas, and I had some money, I'm like "I need to get into a deal." And so we went in and we were looking for a duplex; I was in San Antonio, and we bought a single-family home that had a mobile home with it. It was on over half an acre. And I still remember, the numbers worked. So we got the numbers, we're looking at it, "Okay, this is how much rent, expenses..." Except for we didn't anticipate that the septic system was gonna go bad. And we had a septic system that was essentially a standard septic system, and when we tried to get a new one put in, the county changed the regulation and we were not able to put a regular septic system in anymore. We had to put it in what was called an aerobic septic system, which essentially took away the space that we had available for that mobile home.

So we actually had to go from a two properties to one income, we had to move that thing... We were able to negotiate with a person that installs the aerobic system and say, "We will trade this mobile home, you take it, you install the system for us." So we were kind of giving it away for the service of putting in a septic system. But needless to say, my numbers didn't work that much anymore.

So I was in the red several years on that. It wasn't a ton of money, but when I started looking at it, it was probably about $10,000 over the life of that, $10,000 that I lost. But more importantly, when you're trying to build your business, that doesn't sound like a lot, and frankly, it isn't, even in the terms of when it was. But when you're trying to build a business and your first real foray into "multifamily" you're losing money, it kind of takes away some of the motivation. So I kind of took a step back, and it kind of hurt me from that perspective more than anything else. I'd say I lost about 10k just trying to recover from the loss of one household.

Ash Patel: Yeah, that's a tough one. It's hard to anticipate that. Rey, what does your team look like today? Do you still look for operators that are best-in-class wherever you go? Are you a one-man shop, or do you have permanent partners?

Ismael Reyes: Great question. After I retired, I was kind of working independently, essentially joining with groups. I worked with one group, the group that I started with, we did multiple deals there. And now since then, I started working on separate deals. But one thing that I realized is your time that you have starts to shrink very quickly the more deals that you have. And right now actively we have just under 10 deals that we're asset management on, and your time is limited. So I've actually grown my team; we now have a company, it's called The Admirable Group, if you want to find it... Essentially, it's five partners that have done multiple deals together, that we've joined forces to go after deals; it allows us to raise additional capital, it allows us to do multiple assets, and not feel like we are so constrained.

So what I like to do in my business - I really like talking to people, and I like helping those that are getting started. So it got to the point where I couldn't do that anymore. So bringing in essentially five additional partners is now allowing me to come back to what I really enjoy, which is talking to folks that want to do this business.

Ash Patel: And is this an ad-hoc group, where if one person finds a deal, they structure it based on that deal? Or was it always you guys are equal partners on every deal?

Ismael Reyes: The question. No, there's flexibility built in. So we have five partners, and essentially, on any particular deal, a partner can decide they don't want to get into that deal. But it's a decision that they have to make before we consider bringing in another potential joint venture partner onto that deal. So they essentially have to say no, and then we can adjust from there. They've already bought into it, it's part of being in other deals, they're part of that team, unless they decide they don't want to do one. And what we do is we create an operating agreement for each one. It's essentially a series LLC, with children underneath it. And each one of the acquisitions is a different child, and it has its own operational agreement and terms that we abide by. But essentially, we always give first pick of the litter, if you will, to the partners who are on the deal with us now.

Ash Patel: And does each partner bring in an equal amount of capital to the deal?

Ismael Reyes: No, it depends on the deal, and it depends on where that partner is. So we essentially have minimums. So we do have that, we say "Listen, you need to buy in with at least 15k, 20k, 30k", depending on what kind of leverage we need to essentially partner on a deal, on a syndication. So we'll start from there, and then partners can bring in extra if they want to bring an extra. So there's a minimum, but you can bring in extra, and then we can create -- essentially. a percentage of the company is what they're buying into. So depending on how much they provide, they get additional parts of that company going forward, but a minimum amount that they have to come in on.

Ash Patel: Yeah, this seems like it can get very complex. You have very specific roles for each partner, I'm assuming...

Ismael Reyes: Yes. And essentially, what we've done is we built in essentially a lead player on each of our acquisitions. We all do asset management, we all meet on all of the different deals, but essentially, a different person of the team is leading the project, if you will, on that, and leading that deal. So it has created the ability for us to be able to work different ones without everybody being completely focused on the minutia on one deal. Somebody just runs that.

So I don't think it's been complex, I think it's actually helped. Now, it depends on who your team members are. All the members of my team have advanced degrees, they've been in this business a long time, so it's not like you're hiring to do only one particular thing. These are all operators that have decided, "Hey, the best way of moving forward is to form this entity and allow us to get into bigger deals", into more deals, with more leverage.

Ash Patel: I've got to share a story... So I had two partners on a deal, and I ended up doing all the work. But one of my partners was equal to me. I brought the capital, I managed the deal... I'd do it all, right? And I'm not complaining; that was the deal that I made. I stuck by it. But it wasn't a fair deal. And it didn't cause friction, but it makes me not want to do another deal with that same structure. Have you had that, where one person does an inordinate amount of work?

Ismael Reyes: Yeah. Not in my particular group that we have now, but I've partnered on a couple of deals where once you get through the acquisition, some people participate less. So yes, it has happened, and unfortunately, especially when you're raising capital - that's part of what groups are bringing in - you can't not work with them because they raised less capital than you wanted them to, or you needed them to. It's just the business that we're in. So you just have to keep that in mind for the next time, and then maybe the next time you just don't get into a deal with them.

But it's like you said, Ash - you signed up to something, you're gonna hold your end of the deal, but then moving forward, you work with a different group, or maybe not work with one particular individual, if you will. This is very much a people game, where you're networking with individuals, and sometimes personalities clash; it happens to me. I'm a very strong-willed individual, nd I have a certain way that I like to do things, and I'm very transparent with people that I'm potentially partnering with, and I say, "Listen, this is who I am, and this is what I bring to the deal. But listen, I like to be transparent with people that I work with. I don't like the games. If something isn't going right, I'm going to tell you. So I'm very forthcoming." And some people, maybe they don't like that; maybe they'd like a more softer approach. So you have to also keep that in mind. But you have to do your best guess; you've met people, you network and you ask others, have they ever worked with individuals that you're potentially working with, and you're able to kind of maneuver and figure out who are potentially good players and good partners. It's never going to be perfect. You just have to make it work.

Ash Patel: Yeah. Rey, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Ismael Reyes: I think the best advice is get started. Just get started. Don't wait for the perfect opportunity. It's not out there. And it may be a fantastic opportunity, but it won't be 100%. perfect, and you're going to miss out. So I think that's the biggest one, is there's too many people that are just waiting for the unicorn. It's not there.

Ash Patel: Rey, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Ismael Reyes: Yes!

Ash Patel: Alright, Rey, let's do it. What's the Best Ever book you've recently read?

Ismael Reyes: I read "Who, Not How" by Dan Sullivan. I love that book.

Ash Patel: Yeah, it was a game-changer for a lot of people. Great book. Rey, what's the Best Ever way you like to give back?

Ismael Reyes: I actually sponsor children through Children's International, I've sponsored children in the Dominican Republic, in Colombia... I like to give to people that don't have the opportunity. I think there's a lot of people that waste opportunities, and there's ones that never had it. So I looked for that. We're looking to also do some donations this year to Shriners Hospital.

Ash Patel: And Rey, how can the Best Ever listeners reach out to you? And also, tell us about the book you mentioned.

Ismael Reyes: Yeah, so the book is very easy. It's "BLUF, The bottom line upfront about investing in multifamily properties." And you can find that on Amazon. So if you just put "BLUF Amazon", it'll show up. And you can find me at, or

Ash Patel: Rey, I've gotta thank you for your time today. 28 years in the military - again, thank you for that service. Starting out with single-family homes, educating yourself, getting into syndications, and teaching other people from your lessons learned on how to fast­-track their way to get to where you're at. Again, thank you for your time.

Ismael Reyes: Thank you, Ash. Thanks for having me. My pleasure.

Ash Patel: Awesome. Best Ever listeners, thank you so much for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a five star review, share the podcast with someone you think can benefit from it. Also, follow, subscribe and have a Best Ever day!

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