Robert Hammond: Building Partnerships For Rapidly Growing Wealth And Income

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Several years ago Robert did a few flips to get some capital to start investing. Then over a two year period he purchased 75 properties. 10 on his own and 65 in small partnerships. Partnering enabled him to get much more done, but early on he learned the hard way what makes a successful partnership.

In this interview Robert shares what he learned about partnering, growing wealth quickly, and how he now has $11,000/mo income and over $1.1 million equity after just a few years. Robert got bored with all this success so now he mentors other people for fulfillment and to keep things interesting.

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Damon: Welcome to Eyes on Investors. I’ve got a great guest with me today, Robert Hammond, who’s had lots of experience investing in single-family properties. So, welcome to Eyes on Investors, Robert. It’s good to have you here.

Robert: Thanks for having me.

Damon: Sure, it’s my pleasure. So, let’s talk about what your experience is and you’ve done a lot of partnerships. You’ve been doing some of your own properties. You’ve got quite a few properties. How many properties do you have right now?

Robert: Seventy-five.

Damon: Seventy-five properties. So, how many of those are your own versus properties you’ve done with partners?

Robert: About ten on my own, for my wife and I, and then the other 65 are partnerships.

Damon: Okay, excellent. So you’ve had quite a bit of experience. How many years have you been investing in real estate?

Robert: January 2007 is my official start date as an investor. I got educated in 2006, in Lifestyles. I did a couple of flips that I didn’t really . . . and that’s how I got my seed money, but I don’t really include that as investing. Investing to me is buying a house and renovating it and holding it, you know leasing it out. The Lifestyles model.

Damon: Right. So why do you consider that investing more than say flipping a house?

Robert: Because I accumulate equity, or I guess I grab equity. I grab equity and I get the cash flow and I get the depreciation. That’s really why is because I’m making money in different ways, plus I’m getting principal paid down. There’s a lot. I’m making money in about five different ways, as Lifestyles says.

Damon: If you’re flipping a house, then you’re not getting all those benefits. You’re making some money but . . .

Robert: You’re not getting a lot of the tax advantages. You’re taxed on a higher bracket. It’s earned income instead of passive income. There are others on flipping. I mean, flipping, those first few gave me the seed money to do . . .

Damon: Yeah, that’s what I find really interesting about your experience because you used the flipping to actually build up some capital so you could go out and invest in more properties. Then once you had enough capital, then you . . . like the 75 properties you have now. Those were purchase and hold and lease them out. So you’ve got the passive income coming from those, and you built up your equity at the same time. How much equity have you built up over the last . . . it sounds like you’ve been doing this for about four years now. So how much equity have you built up?

Robert: Well, that’s a good question. If you’re looking at today’s prices, I haven’t recalculated. I mean, at the time when we did it in 2008/2009, we were looking at I think $2.5 million in equity capture. That included for everybody. I think we were, actually I do these numbers in my video.

Damon: Oh, yeah.

Robert: I think it was $1.5 million is my wife and I’s equity. Now, I have not taken the time to go back and say okay, what’s today’s market value and how much . . . the market value has gone down. So I’m guessing it’s definitely less than the $1.5 million or the $2.5 million total.

Damon: Right.

Robert: But I don’t have those exact numbers. I would guess it might be, if it all went down about 20%, I don’t even know if that’s about right.

Damon: Yeah. These are all in Houston, right?

Robert: Yeah, southwest.

Damon: Okay, because I think the Houston might have gone down maybe 10%. I don’t know if it’s gone down 20% per se.

Robert: Maybe 10% then.

Damon: Yeah. So maybe it’s $1.1 million or $1.2 million now, something like that, which is not bad for four years of investing. That’s just the properties you and your wife own.

Robert: Well, it’s really two years of investing, and then the last two years was really just stabilizing. I haven’t been extremely active the last two years. Those two years where I was just going gangbusters, I was so busy that my wife wanted to have a baby and she’s like, “Okay, you have to stop buying houses so that we can have a baby.” She was right. It took me a while to kind of get off the freeway. I mean it was like I was going freeway speed, you know?

Damon: Right.

Robert: But I eventually slowed down, and there was a lot to do in the stabilization mode. We’re in stabilization mode still. I’m doing one or two or there. Nothing much to speak of but . . .

Damon: So, the amount of time you’re putting in now is a lot less than it was when you were purchasing all these properties over those two years?

Robert: Yes.

Damon: That brings up a good point I want to ask you about because a lot of people want to get into real estate investing because it’s relatively passive. What activities have you found are passive? How do benefit from it there? Some activities, it sounds like in your experience, are not necessarily passive and they do take some work. So what’s the differentiation between those two?

Robert: Acquisition mode, I feel like in investing there are two modes. There’s acquisition and then there’s property management or long-term holding. The acquisition phase, it’s almost like a startup. Just like any other business where there’s a startup, it takes more time and energy on the startup side. Then once you’ve been through all the initial, acquired the property, rehabbing it, getting it refinanced, getting tenants in there, and then getting long-term tenants in there. Hopefully, you can get good tenants the first time. If it takes you a second try, then getting the property stabilized, good tenants in there, everyone’s happy and it’s cash flowing. Then it becomes [inaudible 06:35].

Then you’ve got to oversee the bookkeeping and put the systems to manage it with less effort. We bought software for property management that actually it’s a no-brainer. It’s taken a lot off of my wife’s plate. We outsource the bookkeeping. We’ve learned how to for a reasonable cost . . . on the front end phase, there’s building your team. There’s a lot of startup. All your different guys that you need to work with. The right CPA, all of that. All the legal aspects.

Damon: The expectation people should have is when they’re in the acquisition mode and they’re buying, they’re making offers on properties, buying them, fixing them up, getting tenants, that does take time and it requires work.

Robert: Does take time having to [inaudible 07:35] yourself, which I did. I GC’d the properties to try keep the acquisition expenses as low as possible.

Damon: That took more time because you were working with all the sub-contractors, scheduling them. Okay.

Robert: Then I did all the property management myself too.

Damon: Okay. At this point in time, with all these properties, you’ve outsourced some of the things, like the bookkeeping and stuff. How much time do you spend doing real estate investing? I think you mentioned you’re still doing acquisitions here and there. How much time do you actually spend now managing these properties?

Robert: Maybe 15 to 30 minutes and day.

Damon: Really?

Robert: Yeah.

Damon: Okay. So, pretty minimal.

Robert: I just outsourced, and I need to outsource myself, another aspect of what I use to do again. I just outsourced the marketing of the property, which means taking the phone calls from the prospective tenants, screening the tenants, showing the prospective tenants the property, that kind of thing. That takes some time when you have a lot of properties. Now, if you’re talking five properties, it’s a different conversation. But if we’re looking at 80 properties, because we also property manage, we have a little property management company that we do about another 10 properties on top of the 75. So, overseeing 85 properties and then keeping them leased and all that kind of thing . . .

Damon: That becomes time consuming.

Robert: It can become time consuming.

Damon: But then there are enough properties and enough income, I would assume, there’s enough cash flow that you can outsource those and free up your own time and it’s still profitable for you.

Robert: Exactly, and it is. It’s a load off, actually. That’s part of the reason why I wanted to come join, come on board on Lifestyles is because it would force me to let go of the things I really didn’t want to do. If I’m just sitting at home, it’s easy for me to hold on to things that I don’t really need to be doing, because what else am I going to be doing? I mean, you kind of can get bored if you’re just sitting at home . . .

Damon: You want something with purpose, yeah.

Robert: Yeah, something of purpose. I’m letting Lifestyles mentoring, being a mentor, become more my purpose and my passion and outsourcing the other stuff. In fact, I just had a conversation with a gentleman about outsourcing the other thing I do, which is overseeing the repairs. Because when tenants have an issue, they call me or they e-mail me or something and say, “Hey, my AC’s not working,” or “Hey, this light switch went out” or whatever. Then I coupled them with the contractor. Call Hank, or call Fred, or call this guy, and so, I’m trying to formulate a way that I’m out of that equation as well.

Damon: I see.

Robert: That’s my 30 minutes a day, or 15 minutes or 30 minutes a day.

Damon: Both of those things sound like you’ll be able to outsource yourself, and then that time is going to be freed up too.

Robert: Yeah.

Damon: With all of these properties, can I ask you how much passive . . . well, how much cash flow are you getting, say, on a monthly basis from these? How much income are you making?

Robert: I wish I had an exact answer for you. Two or three of the partnerships, we’re still pumping money back into the partnerships. We try to be as creative and not replace every AC and not replace . . . there’s a lot of stuff that we kind of roll the dice on.

Damon: Okay.

Robert: So like when the AC went out after the second year and it was $3,000 or whatever, that came out of our cash flow. So some of that we’ve used our cash flow to actually pay for capital expenditures. Three of partnerships, now, we generally cash flow, we take home about five grand a month.

Damon: A month, for the partnership, and then you split it up amongst the partners?

Robert: That’s my wife and I.

Damon: Oh, so your part of that partnership is $5,000 a month.

Robert: Now, the theoretical cash flow is a different story. It’s like $22,000 if everything is leased and there’s no . . .

Damon: No vacancy.

Robert: . . . vacancy. Perfect occupancy and no repairs whatsoever, then you’re looking at $22,000 a month for all the partnerships. Our share of that would be about ten grand.

Damon: I see, okay.

Robert: We’re realizing about half of that right now. Lisa and I are realizing about half of what can’t be realizing, because again we’re still pumping some of the cash flow into two of the partnerships. All the partners are okay with that. It’s just the way we need to do it. What happened was, at the end of 2008, a lot of the financing dried up overnight.

Damon: Right.

Robert: We still had about 30 properties in a pipeline. They were in the hard money loans. So instead of walking away from the table with five or ten thousand dollars, which is what we were doing, we were doing cash out refinancing. Instead of getting that money back to replenish our capital, all of a sudden, now we had to come to the table with ten or fifteen thousand to close them.

Damon: Right.

Robert: That ate up a lot capital, and we actually . . . we had reserves built up for each partnership, like, okay we want a contingency fund, this much per property. So, we had these reserves, and all of a sudden now we had to deplete all our reserves in order to fund the closings for these. So we’ve been slowly building our reserves back up. Also, while we’re building the reserves back up, we’re taking hits with some of the vacancies. We’ve had some turbulent times, a little bit of vacancies, and then some ACs and other repairs. The learning curve of how to become a really good landlord, that’s a whole other ball game.

Damon: Right. My phone is ringing, I’m sorry. I need to turn that off before I start these interviews. I apologize everybody for the ringing phone.

Robert: I will say there was a big learning curve on being a really good landlord. Acquisition mode, that’s why I said there’s acquisition mode and then there’s kind of landlord mode. Landlord mode is the science of really teaching people how to live in your house. I don’t have that science perfected yet. I’m still learning that science of teaching people how to live. You know, like, okay, you’re going to live in this house and you’re going to treat it with respect. You’re going to treat the house . . . you’re going to pay on time. I mean, certain principles, we have to train people on that.

We’ve done pretty good, but, like I said, there was a learning curve and there’s still a learning curve on all that, on that aspect of the business. So, when you fail on that and some of the failure is maybe economy related, where there are more people losing their jobs. I mean people that checked out perfectly on the screening process and unfortunately, one or two of them lost their jobs. One of the spouses lost their jobs and couldn’t pay anymore, they had to move out. So there’s a cost on turnover. We had a lot of turnover last year. Just a lot of turnover from people losing their jobs, and they’d had them ten years, five years. But we absorbed all those costs. One of my partnerships, we built up all that contingency fund that we wanted to, and we’ve been cash flowing now for a while and then, of course, people get much happier when they’re getting checks and all that. So it’s nice.

Damon: Absolutely. So, I want to talk about financing then because you’ve done a lot . . . actually, what I want to focus on is partnerships. Have you done anything in the partnerships that you’ve learned from that you would do differently or that you are doing differently because you’ve learned from those mistakes?

Robert: [inaudible 16:30]

Damon: Really? So, you’re pretty happy with the way the partnerships have operated and worked out?

Robert: I am. The only one that was I would say was a failure was there was a small partnership I did with two gentlemen and they weren’t really educated on real estate investing.

Damon: Right.

Robert: So they took a lot of time on the front end. They wanted to be intimately involved. They wanted to be trained and everything. Then they really didn’t live up to their agreement, which was we were supposed to have joint accounts, where I’m managing the process and I’m writing checks. All of a sudden, somehow they cut me out of the joint part of the account, and all of sudden I had to come and beg for every check. It got more and more like that where they had a lot of control over everything. It was just a major pain.

Damon: I see, okay.

Robert: There needs to be a little bit of a mutual trust there. I like transparency. I have no problem with transparency, but the trusting has to work both ways.

Damon: Absolutely, yeah.

Robert: We could kind of see it coming, because they were very hard to get to pull the first trigger and they were just so time consuming. They wanted to walk the property three or four times and all this stuff. It was more of a just, the beginning, just getting into that partnership really. All of the partnerships, there have been challenges, but communication and transparency was kind of the key to overcoming and dealing with all the challenges that go along with it.

Damon: Communication, transparency. How about structuring the partnership? How has that worked for you in terms of what do the different partners bring to the table? How do you set up your structure?

Robert: I set it up in a LLC. Generally, we get an operations agreement first, and this is the meat of the . . . and it’s really not that complicated. It just says this is what I’m going to do and this is what you’re going to do and this is what the split’s going to be. You kind of implant that into the LLC documents. Of course, the LLC kind of covers all of the what ifs. You know, what if so-and-so gets a divorce and we need to dissolve the corporation, or he needs to be bought out, how does that work? If somebody goes bankrupt, what happens then? There’s just a lot of what ifs. You sleep a little better at night knowing, okay, if this happens, this is how it will be handled according to the LLC documentation.

Damon: Do you find that going through the steps of creating of the operating agreement kind of forces the partners to put out on the table what all the expectations are in a way that helps the partnership function better?

Robert: Yeah. You could say that, you could say that. It’s going to be cut and dry. Generally, my partnerships were you bring the money and the credit. You need to show up at the closings. You need to be available for annual business meetings, occasional business meetings, to some degree. We didn’t expect too much of their time. A lot of more passive partners to that degree and then here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to do everything from A to Z on the acquisition and the property management, and I’ll orchestrate the bookkeeping while I’m at it.

Damon: So, you partnered with people. You had available time and you had experience. So that’s what you brought to the table. They would bring the money to the table, and then that’s how the partnership worked.

Robert: Time, experience, skill sets, I mean, there are some skill sets involved.

Damon: But how did you, how did you start, when you first . . . you know, you did two flips originally, and then you started doing buying and holding. But how did you get partners to believe in you before you had a lot of experience?

Robert: Well, I had ten houses under my belt.

Damon: Oh, you did before you partnered?

Robert: Yeah. Well, I did the two or three flips. I had the 70,000.

Damon: Okay.

Robert: I did ten houses all within four months, five months, which was pretty interesting. You know, do ten in four months.

Damon: Yeah.

Robert: Then, it’s like, okay, I’m about out of money. I’m kind of Fannie Mae’d out, you know, the Fannie Mae debt.

Damon: Yeah, the ten cap limit, yeah.

Robert: Then the debt to income ratios starts, you know, it kind of goes [makes sound] each time. It’s like, well, you’re kind of close there. You’re right . . . so you start to not qualify for the loans and all that.

Damon: Right.

Robert: But I could at least articulate, okay, I’ve bought ten houses and I’ve made $28,000 on this one, $34,000 on this one. Total, I made $300,000 equity capture. Houses that’s an average of 30. Here’s the cash flow projections and what it should be. Here’s the PITI, here’s the gross rent, here’s what that is. This is the portfolio.

Damon: Yeah.

Robert: Basically, what I told them is we can create a portfolio together.

Damon: Right. Yeah, okay that makes sense. I didn’t realize that your ten properties were done beforehand. I thought they were more recent. That makes sense. So, you did have experience, you had that portfolio, you could show that to your potential partners. How did you find people to partner with?

Robert: Well, Curtis was one of the key people for that.

Damon: Curtis Ward, and I just interviewed him yesterday. Those of you watching this will be able to see that interview as well.

Robert: He was very instrumental. My first partner was actually a contractor, who just loved what I was doing. He was just kind of a go-getter. He said, “Can we partner up?” So I said sure. We did two houses together, it was a small partnership. He’s a good friend now and good partner. Curtis was a pizza customer. I had a pizza shop at the time.

Damon: I think he mentioned that. He said it was just 300 yards away from his house, your pizza shop was. He would go there and buy pizza.

Robert: He would come and pick up pizzas, and he would always talk to me and try to pick my brain as an entrepreneur. I think he tried to get me to use his credit card machine processing company that he was a rep of. But we would just talk. He’s very talkative. Like I said, he’s very entrepreneurial.

He would come in and he started watching me do this. Oh, yeah, I’m buying a house, and we would have conversations about it. So, he kind of watched me become an investor. We talked a lot on the phone, and he’d be like, “Well, can we partner up? Can we do something?” I’m like, well, and this was after I had a conversation with Del Walmsley. Dale was the one that said, “Hey, you know, you’ve got the ten houses, you’ve got the track record, why don’t you go get some partners?”

That kind of opened my eyes. I decided to open my brain to that, be open to that idea. I reluctantly said, “Okay, I’ll be open to that.” That’s like saying, “Curtis, well, I’ll tell you what, why don’t you bring me some partners and you can be the third partner and we’ll figure out a way to make that work.” He was getting trained to be a broker, I mean an agent. He became the agent, really, for about 60 of these deals that we did.

Damon: That worked well for him, being the agent, he got the commission. I think he told me yesterday he had a really small percentage of the partnership. What’s interesting here is that he went out, if I’m understanding this right, he went out and found the people with the money for you to partner with. So you didn’t actually have to go do that yourself. You found somebody who that was just a natural thing for them to do.

Robert: Right. Curtis, he set up this meeting at this church, and like five people showed up and said, “Hey, can I meet this investor?” I don’t even remember what it was called. I stood in front of them in this little classroom, in front of about five people and said this is what I’ve done. Here’s the addresses and this is the numbers. I’m here. Just to be honest, I don’t have everything figured out, but we’re making some serious money here, some serious equity capture, and this is a great market. Everybody was interested, but one of them actually had money and credit and everything. He became my second partner. It was he, Curtis, and I formed the second partnership that we got. That partnership did 22 houses. Then another like a friend of Curtis, through church, kind of got word-of-mouth of this, and Curtis kind of hooked him up. We created a partnership with Curtis’ church friend, myself, and Curtis. So that was the second partnership. Then the other church friend was like another partnership, the one that I said didn’t work out. We only bought one house together and then . . .

Damon: It didn’t make sense to continue doing more.

Robert: I don’t know. I think Curtis withdrew and I think I withdrew eventually too. I said, “Look, I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you just keep the house, you manage it.” I wasn’t really happy with the situation.

Damon: Too much work.

Robert: Well, I was, you know . . . so those are really the partnerships that Curtis and I. Now, the second partnership was like eight properties. So, two of the partnerships with Curtis, I think we have about 30 properties.

Damon: Between the two partnerships.

Robert: Between the two partnerships. Then the other ones were, I think a PIG member at Lifestyles approached me through word-of-mouth. He said, “Hey, I’ve got this much money. I would like to buy some houses. Let’s partner up.” So we bought 13 together. Then a friend of mine who, actually, maybe 20 years we had talked about doing this together, he came over at a party and he saw my whiteboard. On my whiteboard, all of the houses and the numbers and all this, and he and his wife go . . . his wife said, “You need to get into this.” He’s like okay. So, he approached me about, and so we did about six houses together, in that partnership. Then my dad became a partner too. He was like the last partner.

Damon: Okay.

Robert: Until the one that we just did.

Damon: Right. Okay, interesting. I want to get your opinion on something. When I first started doing these interviews, which has been about two months ago, I thought I really need to dig into the technicalities of how to acquire properties and how to lease them and screen your tenants and all that sort of thing. In our conversation today, we’ve talked very little about that. We’ve talked more about how you built your business, how you’ve networked with people. What I’m wondering is, if you were to weigh the value of learning how to network with people and build a business versus the technicalities of actually doing real estate investing, which one do you think is more important or more valuable to people that are interested in doing real estate investment?

Robert: Depends what part of the real estate. Are they just going to build a small portfolio for themselves? The technical is good. I think the former, you know, the sales skills, the networking skills, the ability to learn quickly and put your ego aside. I think those are all invaluable.

Damon: Okay. I had a feeling you would say that. That’s what I’m coming to find out as I talk to more and more investors is that it wasn’t the technical knowledge that enabled them to be successful, but it was their ability to talk to people, to network with people, and to learn. They had to have a desire to learn. Were you, I’m looking at your experience and seeing, well, back in 2006, you decided you were going to do this. So you went and flipped two houses, got some capital, then you went and did ten more houses until you couldn’t do anymore because you kind of reached the limit on your financing side.

Then you built, like crazy, your business with these other partners to where you’ve got over a million dollars in equity. You’ve got $5,000 at least a month of this income coming in. I guess what I’m saying is you learned how to do the stuff you needed to do very quickly, but that wasn’t really the key to your success. The key to your success was getting out there and doing something and talking to people and making things happen.

Robert: Yeah. Pull the trigger, overcoming your fear. That’s the initial hurdles, getting over the . . . yeah, and building that team. I think you were saying that. Talking to people, that’s all about team building, and you really have to keep those skills. The real estate game changes all the time. The market changes. A lot of variables change. So you have to learn . . . what worked last year might not work right now. You have to continue to be open, to improve your systems. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m still improving, improving my systems. There can be a lot of money making just by doing that and not necessarily acquiring more.

Damon: Right. Let me unplug my phone. Hold on just a second. Okay. I’ve learned my lesson. Next time I do an interview, I will unplug the phone before I do the interview. Now, you mentioned something a minute ago that I wanted to follow up on too that’s tied into what you were just saying. When you had that little meeting with the five people at the church and you kind of laid out, look, here’s what I’ve done. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know everything right now. That kind of struck me, that comment there. Why did you tell them that you didn’t have all the answers and that you didn’t know everything?

Robert: I don’t know. I didn’t want to come across like an expert. I don’t know. It’s just kind of natural. I guess I try to be as honest as I can as a person. I don’t recall what the motivating factor to say that was, but I’ve noticed that the more honest I answer, like shock myself, because I’ll say exactly what I’m afraid to say, it’s almost become a compulsion. I did that in all my partnerships. It’s not like I’m saying what do they not want to hear. But that would be a lot of the times the first thing I say is what they don’t want to hear.

Damon: I see.

Robert: Put it on the table. I just like to live my life that way, not kind of hiding in fear, but just put it on the table. A lot time it’s not nearly as bad as you think it’s going to be once you kind of put it out there.

Damon: Right. Well, I wonder if people see you as more a real, down-to-earth, credible person too when you acknowledge something like that. It probably helped build that credibility.

Robert: That’s my real desire. I’m trying to create this facade of . . .

Damon: [laughs]

Robert: Yeah, I guess it does. It does, and it takes the pressure off. If I set myself up as a guru, who knows everything, then they’re going to expect me to be perfect and to perform unbelievably well. I do perform very well. But I do the best that I can, and I can’t control everything and I do make mistakes. But I learn from them and so, as long as we’re all . . . that’s the kind of atmosphere I want. I don’t want someone micromanaging me, expecting me to be perfect. That’s why I got out of corporate America. So I don’t want new bosses, partners. Partners can be, they’re kind of like bosses. I became accountable again to somebody.

Damon: Right.

Robert: I’m accountable to my partners.

Damon: That’s true. If you have super-high expectations that aren’t even realistic, like if you go in there making it look like, “Hey I know how to do this stuff perfectly, I’m not going to make any mistakes. We’re going to make a ton of money,” and you can’t meet those expectations, that would be very stressful I would imagine to have that.

Robert: We did have some of that. In fact, we had some conflict in the beginning, and a lot of it was . . . it kept coming back to Robert, you really need to do a better job of managing expectations. A lot of what I did, I was good at saying, “Hey, I don’t know everything.” But I was also very optimistic. I said, “Hey, we’re going to make $30,000, equity capture. We’re going to make $250 cash flow.” Then when we had turnover and things happen, AC go out, and we didn’t have cash flow, “Hey, why aren’t we cash flowing?” People get ticked off, and say, “Why aren’t we cash flowing? I put this money in here. I expect cash flow every month.” So there was conflict.

They’re all good now. But there was times where it was rocky, and I think the communication that helped kind of get through that. It almost was like I’m bad because I’m so optimistic. You know what I mean?

Damon: Right.

Robert: I’m the bad guy because I’m so optimistic. But it’s my nature to be like rosy thinking, very optimistic.

Damon: Yeah. It wasn’t that you were promising those results. You were thinking in your mind, I’m going to try to accomplish this. These are the things that can be done. I’m optimistic about how this is going to go, and it sounds like what happened is that optimism became the thing that set the expectation. But since then, you’ve learned you can continue to be optimistic, but you also set expectations more realistically.

Robert: Yeah. Oh, I’ve been through more now. When I had ten houses, I was still in the front end of that. Probably all of my original tenants were in there. I hadn’t been through turnover yet, and I hadn’t been through my first winter where four of your ten units were rusted out and you had to replace the furnace. I mean, that’s expensive. There was a lot I didn’t know. I was still kind of fresh. Now, I’m four years into it. I’ve been through the wringer a few times. I know a lot. There’s a lot of things I wouldn’t say. I wouldn’t expect the ideal cash flow to be the cash flow.

Damon: Right.

Robert: Now, I would say, “Well, that’s our ideal cash flow, but there’s going to be turnover, there’s going to be expenses.”

Damon: Some repairs, yeah.

Robert: Repairs. And that’s what we’re going to split.

Damon: Yeah, excellent. Well, this has been a great conversation, Robert. I’ve learned a lot, actually, and have really enjoyed it. I appreciate all the things that you’ve shared. Are there any other thoughts you have that you would like to share with anybody that’s listening? Any important thing that we missed?

Robert: No, I can’t think of any. I think it was fine.

Damon: Okay, excellent. Well, thank you again for your time, Robert. It was great.

Robert: Thanks for having me. I enjoyed it.

Damon: Thanks. Take care.

Robert: Take care.

Damon: Bye-bye.

Robert: Bye.

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Leebaron2 April 11, 2011 at 5:07 am

your series of interviews are awesome…keep it up. i love them all
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Great information! The video had a lot of practical information.


Damon Janis April 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Excellent, thank you!


Larry April 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Great interview I learned a lot from it. How can I get started in meeting other people that want to partner up and buy properties and aquire monthly cash flow?
I have good credit but not that much money. If that matters.
Thanks again.
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Damon Janis April 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Hey Larry, so glad you learned from it. The best way to get started is join a real estate investing group. National REIA has a directory of groups across the country. If you are in Texas check out Lifestyles Unlimited (


Ric March 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Damon, excellent interview. I heard a lot of practical experience about the busines of real estate investing. Good job! Ric Hastings


Damon Janis March 29, 2011 at 11:49 pm



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