Dave Debeau [00:00:00] Everyone, Dave Debeau here with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast, and today we've got a special treat. We got one half of a dynamic duo, the Clark Brothers. This is Daniel Clark and very, very impressive story. You guys, these these young men definitely didn't grow up with silver spoons in their mouths. And they've done some amazing stuff with real estate very, very quickly. So, Daniel, welcome to the interview.
Daniel Kwak [00:00:29] Thank you so much. Actually, it wasn't a silver spoon. It was a pair of chopsticks.
Dave Debeau [00:00:34] All right. Well, let's start at the beginning. Tell us a little bit about a bunch of guys, his background and how he got into real estate.
Daniel Kwak [00:00:41] Yeah, well, I mean, I think a lot of people can assume with the joke that, you know, my brother and I were Asian-Americans. We actually immigrated to the United States of America the age of I was six, five or six. My brother was seven. And we're actually pastor's kids. So our dad is a minister and my mom helps out with the church. And, you know, we certainly indeed did not grow up with the silver spoon in our mouth, grow very poor. And it was very difficult. And fast forward to when I was 19 and Sam was twenty one, I actually had negative one hundred eighty seven dollars and sixty five cents in my bank account and maxed out credit cards. And you know, life was tough. That's our background. That's pretty much where we come from.
Dave Debeau [00:01:19] All right, where were you guys from originally, where did you immigrate from?
Daniel Kwak [00:01:22] South Korea.
Dave Debeau [00:01:24] OK. Nice. Nice. All right. And you're based in the outskirts of Chicago right now. Correct?
Daniel Kwak [00:01:29] Yes, sir. Yeah. A little place called Warrenville, Illinois, which is right below Naperville. And Naperville is kind of a more well known area
Dave Debeau [00:01:37] where a lot of our listeners are up here in Canada. So it may not be that well of a known area for us, but we do know where Chicago is. So that's good. So tell me a little bit about how you got into the whole real estate thing and what you and Sam focus on as your primary real estate strategy.
Daniel Kwak [00:01:54] Yeah, so, I mean, we started out in real estate because we actually had a former friend, former youth pastor, who still our friend reach out to us. And he kind of said, you know, you guys have always been very entrepreneurial. Have you guys ever thought about investing in real estate? And we said, what is that? So we went to the seminar. And course there was sort of a pitch. And but we quickly realized that real estate investing is a very viable and phenomenal way of building wealth. And I've always had big dreams ever since I was a little kid. And I knew that just working a regular nine to five job wasn't going to accomplish those dreams, especially considering that one of my biggest life goals is to own an NBA team, specifically the Chicago Bulls, which I grew up watching. And I'm still a die hard fan. And there's a lot of things that I want to do in this world to help people. So I knew that I had to go big or go home. And so we decided to start up a real estate investing business. And in the midst of that, we started an education company. We started teaching a lot about finances in general, and now we have a YouTube channel. So our main strategy today is probably buy and hold real estate. We love acquiring multifamily apartment complexes and also developing. So we do a lot of our deals down south. But right now, I'm more so focused on recruiting potential passive investors because I think there's a lot of things up in the air right now and I don't think it's a great time to buy. Others may see it from a different standpoint, but just based on my opinion and the research I'm doing and the people I've talked to, I don't think it's a great time. So for the short term, for us, it's organizing, raising capital, focusing on education. And in about six months, we're looking to be a little bit more aggressive with purchasing the family.
Dave Debeau [00:03:28] All right. So did you start right out of the gate with multi-family or do you start with single family homes and build up and tell us? Yeah, it's pretty impressive. You guys did a lot very quickly. So you went to how many doors and how much time?
Daniel Kwak [00:03:41] Yeah. So we our first deal was a portfolio of single family houses. So we went to school at a little small town. And I guarantee you hardly any Canadian is going to know where this is. But in a town called Bourbonnais, Illinois, and I went to a private, small Christian school and we actually bought for single family houses in a neighboring town. But obviously, a lot of people, when they first start, they want to do their first deal right away. They can't wait to hop on a property and buy it. I actually didn't do my first deal until my third year. And I'm very glad in hindsight that that happened
Dave Debeau [00:04:16] during a lot of, what,
Daniel Kwak [00:04:18] my third year of actually knowing what real estate investing is. So that you
Dave Debeau [00:04:23] studied real estate, you took courses, you got training, you did that for three years before you bought your first deal.
Daniel Kwak [00:04:29] Yeah. And I'd recommend a lot of people take that route. It's a very unpopular route. But one of my favorite athletes of all time, Kobe Bryant, says if you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I'll spend four sharpening the ax. And I feel a lot of it.
Dave Debeau [00:04:43] I think he heard it from that. I've heard about that from Abraham Lincoln or somebody like that.
Daniel Kwak [00:04:47] Yeah. I'm sure you know, these type of coats that get spread around right. At this point, you don't know who said it could have been Elvis, but that really spoke to me. And I was like, wow, like I have a lot of time on my side and I want to use it to my advantage. I spent three years shadowing people, learning, buying every single possible course I could on real estate, reading as many books and podcasts, and it paid off for me. So, yeah, that first deal was a portfolio for single family houses.
Dave Debeau [00:05:13] All right. So you were when you first got started, you were 19, your brother was twenty one. You're both dead broke. How did you save up an amazing amount over those three years that you're studying, or how did you how were you able to afford and and qualify to buy four houses in one fell swoop?
Daniel Kwak [00:05:29] Yeah. So after the second or third year of me learning, I'm going to be very honest with you and say that I was very frustrated with myself and my real estate investing career in most rooms I've walked into. I was, I say above average in terms of knowledge and textbook, I guess, knowledge in real estate investing. But I wasn't making any money, so I decided to talk to God because that's usually what I do and I get frustrated. And he said that I'm focusing too much on myself and I needed to provide value for other individuals. And so I kind of took with it and ran and I started asking people, hey, what are some of your biggest obstacles? And before you know it, I had a lot of individuals come up to me and say, hey, listen, Daniel, I have money saved up, but I don't have the time and I don't have the knowledge. I don't have the team and I don't have I don't want to put in the effort. Right. I want to focus on my job being a doctor or a lawyer or whatever it may be running my business. And so I found a very interesting way to create win win scenarios where individuals would invest in deals that I would find through other individuals. And I would pretty much syndicate the funds and do put a lot of the sweat equity. So it would have taken me a long time to save up money for a down payment on my first deal. And fortunately, I had people who believed in me and who held me accountable and make sure that I had all my ducks in a row. And that's kind of how I started.
Dave Debeau [00:06:50] Very, very cool. So it's you and your brother working together on the business, correct?
Daniel Kwak [00:06:55] Yeah. So my brother is actually a partner of mine in my real estate fund called Nyathi Partners Capital. But we have actually about six other partners in that as well. And myself and a gentleman named Kevin were the senior partners. But my brother and I, we do a lot of great things together with the YouTube channel and education. But in terms of the real estate, yeah, my brother and I are involved.
Dave Debeau [00:07:15] Very cool. So how did you guys, especially when you first got started, how did you determine what the division of responsibilities was going to be?
Daniel Kwak [00:07:23] Yeah, so one of the big things that I recommend to people all the time, when you first start out, whether you have a partner or not, partnering with somebody in real estate is inevitable. You know, people can say all they want about, oh, I'm going to do this all myself and maybe that's great, but eventually you're going to need capital partners. You're going to need partners who could do the rehab for you or who can manage. You're eventually going to have to work with people. So I always recommend to find out what your value propositions are and what a value proposition is, is the two, three things that you do very, very well. And that's something that somebody can do. Even if they don't know anything about real estate. They can write down, sit down and have a list of three or five things, maybe even nine to ten things that they enjoy doing that they're good at. And they can formulate their blueprint on how to scale their portfolio around that. And that's something I recommend everybody do. And fortunately, my brother and I, you know, throughout the years that we've developed a self-awareness to just regarding ego, because that's something that can stand in the way of good business partnerships many of times.
Dave Debeau [00:08:21] And with brothers sometimes.
Daniel Kwak [00:08:23] Yeah, especially with brothers. Right. Because there's always that competitiveness in the sibling rivalry. That's right. Yeah. So I always tell people, you know, regardless of ego, focus on being good humans first and being good business partners. I think that's a very good way to put the horse before the cart. And I don't think that's something people do enough.
Dave Debeau [00:08:41] All right. So, Daniel, it took you three years to finally get your first deal on the go. Nice little portfolio of four single family homes. How quickly did the business progress after that?
Daniel Kwak [00:08:54] Yeah, so I did my first deal and I think it was two thousand late, twenty sixteen. And I remember I had a goal in twenty seventeen and I wanted to acquire twenty units. That was my goal in January 1st to Dallas seventeen. And then I had a very wise friend of mine tell me, hey, don't set goals, set standards and expectations, because when you're setting goals for the end of the year, even if you don't do anything that day because you have a goal, you're going to say, hey, I'm going to just put that off. As long as I hit my goal, everything's going to be all right. And now your entire business is predicated on you hitting that number for a certain standard time. And and you don't want to do that. You want to create things. You want to create mental thoughts and thought patterns that create sustainability well beyond just one year. So instead of setting goals, I set standards and expectations. And I told myself, hey, these are the five things that I'm going to do every single day for the year of twenty seventeen, whether that's networking, whether that's getting better, whether it's no matter what it is, I'm going to do these five things every single day. And I did. And my former goal was twenty units by the end of 2017 and by the year 2017 we're at I believe eighty seven or eighty three. We are in the mid eighties, let's put it that way. And I couldn't believe it. Right, like December 21st of 2017. I was like, wow, like that is super true. So within a span of a year we've got about eighty something doors and we say zero to seventy five units because it's more marketable. Way, but I recently just wrote a book on how we did that in one year, so I highly recommend everyone read it.
Dave Debeau [00:10:25] We'll give your book a plug here in a second. Yeah, that sounds great. That's impressive. So you went from the single family homes. How did you make the jump into multifamily?
Daniel Kwak [00:10:33] Yeah, so it actually wasn't up to me. I think a lot of our investors had this need of one to get some tax advantages with real estate. And around this time, I was talking to a couple of doctors. And for those of you listening and familiar with real estate, well, I guess doctors in general, they get taxed a lot, especially here in the US, especially if they live in the state of California, which, you know, there was a couple of doctors that were practicing in California at the time and they just had huge tax bills. And they came to me and say, hey, is there a way we could through real estate, we could help mitigate our tax situation? And I knew that multifamily had much more favorable tax scenarios for people who invested. So we ended up making the shift out of the need that the investors had. And also a lot of the team members that I was networking with at the time, they had a lot of experience, multifamily. So I decided, hey, why not just go with it, right? Let's go ahead and do that. And that's kind of how we made that transition.
Dave Debeau [00:11:32] Our most of your properties in and around the Chicago area, is that where you're focusing?
Daniel Kwak [00:11:36] Yeah. So we actually the first two years when we were buying, we bought it exclusively in Illinois. But, you know, the last two years of me doing investing, we've actually been looking outside of Illinois, mainly in the southern states. So that's where we're investing currently.
Dave Debeau [00:11:51] And what does the portfolio look like now? So you got up to the eighty five doors and what are you out now?
Daniel Kwak [00:11:56] Yeah, so that's actually a lower number. So in twenty nineteen after conversations with God, which I know for some may seem like a really weird idea, and after doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people, I kind of came to the conclusion that in twenty nineteen those were as high of a prices as prices could go, with the value not increasing as much as we think it is increasing. So I decided to actually make the move and start selling off some of my apartments. So between two dozen 19th and early 20th onea, thankfully, we sold off a lot of our apartments before the pandemic and covid hit. So right now we're probably at somewhere between 20 to 30
Dave Debeau [00:12:37] and you get in getting poised and ready to go on another acquisition tour. But further down south where the market makes more sense for you makes sense. All right. Cool, interesting. Well, that's an inspirational story. And congratulate hats off to you and your brother for taking massive action. So you talked a little bit about your book. Tell us about that and how people can get a hold of it.
Daniel Kwak [00:12:57] Yes, I wrote a 50 page pamphlet about two years ago because I was told that we needed to put something out for marketing. So I did. And it's 50 pages and like, the letters are really big. So it was more like twenty five pages. I'm not going to lie. I was very, very honest and say I was not proud to put it out. I felt like it was just something I threw together. It was very basic. There was no case studies or any teaching whatsoever. And I remember I was in the bathroom one time and I was looking through my phone and I was on Amazon. And because I was I wanted to see how well it was doing. And there was only one review and the review went something along the lines of a my name is this. I've been following the clock for this for years now on YouTube. I'm very disappointed in this book. You know, there's no case study techniques taught the lessons, no stories, no deals. And so I read it and I didn't feel bad because, I mean, it takes a lot to kind of, I guess, affect me emotionally. But it pretty much just confirmed what I felt about my own book. So literally, after finishing my business, I wash my hands. I literally walked inside my office. I opened up a new Google Docs. I started writing and I wrote for one year and it's two hundred and ninety two pages of case studies. My story of how I went from zero to seventy five units one year, how to raise capital, how to negotiate for seller financing, because that's how I bought a bulk of my portfolio. You know how to scale your business, how to network. I mean, there's so many unique and creative ways to find deals and raise capital in there, and that's something that I'm definitely proud of. So people want to go to zero to seventy five units, dot com. So that's the actual number zero total number seven and five units, dot com or they can go visit us at the clock brothers dot com. It's pretty easy to find the book. We're marketing it pretty heavily right now and so far I'm getting great reviews. Right. People are liking it. They're actually going out there and implementing it. So I couldn't be happier. That's all that counts for me.
Dave Debeau [00:14:48] Awesome. Good stuff. Well, Daniel, thank you very much for sharing some of your experience and your wisdom with us. And hopefully we'll get some folks to go check out your book as well.
Daniel Kwak [00:14:58] Thank you so much.
Dave Debeau [00:14:59] All right, everybody, take care and we'll see you on the next episode. Bye bye.