Table of Contents - Apt Investing for Busy Professionals with Brian Briscoe
Dave Debeau [00:00:09] Everyone, Dave Debeau here with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast today, zooming in all the way from the outskirts of Washington, D.C. We've got Mr. Brian Briscoe. How are you doing today?
Brian Briscoe [00:00:22] I'm doing great. How are you doing, Dave?
Dave Debeau [00:00:24] Well, I'm doing great. And today, as we are recording this, this is actually the day after Joe Biden's inauguration here in D.C. You're in the military. It's been an exciting time the last little while, that's for sure.
Brian Briscoe [00:00:38] It's been a little bit turbulent around here, needless to say. I mean, they actually built a wall around the Pentagon because of worries of what might happen. So fortunately, I have actually been able to stay away from the Pentagon all week, but that's my normal place of duty, so I'm not going be able to avoid it for too long.
Dave Debeau [00:00:56] All right. So Brian is not only a full time Marine, in fact, I believe your lieutenant colonel. Is that correct? Correct. Yes. All right. And you've been in the Marines for 20 years. You're actually set to retire this year. Twenty, twenty one get work full time in the Pentagon. That's I imagine you've got very exciting military career behind you. But what we're going to focus on here today, the fact that Brian is also a very accomplished apartment building investor. He's built up a significant portfolio over four hundred doors in his portfolio while at the same time working full time and then I'm sure in the military. So, Brian, that's really what I'd like to focus our conversation around is, number one, let's start in the middle. Why is it that you decided to focus on multifamily properties instead of what a lot of people, other people do, which is single family homes or the burbs strategy or fix and flips or mobile home parks or whatever, the plethora of different options out there. Why did you pick multifamily?
Brian Briscoe [00:02:05] So I started with single family and quite frankly, there was proof of concept there. It just wasn't scaling fast enough. You know, I had a handful of single family properties and I made a couple of six figure paydays off of them. And when I started looking at reality of, OK, let's what is it going to take for me to get away from my job? You know, and that's I've always looked at the Marine Corps as a temporary thing. It wasn't it wasn't going to be a a career till I'm 70 by any stretch of the imagination. So looking at real estate to to be able to be my exit plan from the Marine Corps and single family was working well, just not fast enough. So I think the logical step was multifamily. You know, how how do you scale residential real estate? Well, you move into commercial multifamily and that's really what it was in. I think it was when I finally realized that I was within two or three years of retirement that I thought, you know what, I'm going to have that pension and it's going to be really nice. But then I sure would like a change of scenery. I sure would like to to not have to go where the military wants me to go every day.
Dave Debeau [00:03:12] Well, that makes sense. And so how did you how did you make that switch from single family homes? What did your first multifamily property look like and what else are you doing now?
Brian Briscoe [00:03:24] The first multifamily property was a fifty five unit in Spartanburg, South Carolina. So it was a long road getting there. It wasn't it wasn't like I flipped the switch one day and went from single family to multifamily.
Dave Debeau [00:03:35] But that's a pretty big jump from about fifty five years. I sounds a big, big jump.
Brian Briscoe [00:03:41] It is. It is. You know, and I started looking at things that were a little more reasonable that I thought, you know, five units and six units or 10 units or stuff like that did what a lot of people did and or a lot of people do. And I listen to a bunch of podcasts on it after touring properties and not really realizing whether I knew it was a good deal or not, I decided to put a little more money into educating myself. So I got into a online program, a coaching program, and that's what really helped me get to that fifty five unit mark on the first deal. Obviously, I don't do it alone. I've got a couple of partners, three partners that help kind of spread load everything that we do. So yeah, that's that's basically how I mean glossing over all the extra work, that's, that's kind of a short story of how I got there, was it took took a little bit of money to educate myself and just a lot of action, a lot of daily activities getting to that point, though.
Dave Debeau [00:04:43] So one of my points of curiosity, especially when somebody makes that big of a shift, single family homes, I'm not sure exactly how are you doing it. You might have been self-financing or or with a few money partners, maybe partners, what have you. But making that shift into a fifty five unit, I'm and correct me if I'm wrong, I'm assuming you probably used other people's money to help. Yes. Get into that. So how did you raise the cap. It'll for that first really big deal.
Brian Briscoe [00:05:11] It was that was probably the hardest part of the whole deal is is the raising capital, you know, and we had about a one point eight million dollar raise on it from the get go. When I realized that syndication was the way that I would go, I started doing everything I could to to advertise what I was doing and not advertise opportunities for people who were aware of SEC regulations. But to advertise, hey, I am I am now a syndicator. I'm still a Marine. I think a lot of people had to hang up on that. But I am now in a multifamily investor too. So I spent a lot of time doing that. A lot of social media posts, Facebook and LinkedIn, and then hopping into groups where people were interested in real estate to begin with. But really, that was I knew that was going to be the hardest part for me was raising capital. So I also marketed for partners who could help raise capital. And when we got that first deal together, there were three of us. It was me, Eric and Brian. We sat down and we basically said, hey, we need we probably need one more person to help us raise capital. And Eric introduced us to Todd and the four of us are now Farouk's capital. So a couple of things on there. I mean, just just recap. I mean, I looked for people who could help, number one. And number two, I did everything I could to to get the word out to the people who I've I've known for years and years and years. And we ended up we ended up getting there. It was it was stressful. It was hard. It was a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails, a lot of. Yeah. A lot of trying to to keep on getting the word out over and over again.
Dave Debeau [00:06:50] Yeah. I would imagine it's it would be a little bit challenge trying to raise almost two million dollars for that deal. So how long did it take you to raise the money between the four of you? And do you remember more or less how many investors did you have on board as part of that said?
Brian Briscoe [00:07:08] Yeah, the first that one we had mid thirties number of investors, and we were very fortunate that the the owner of the property prior to us, when we when we were doing the contract negotiation, made a mistake. And he measured everything in business days. Contractural. Wow, contracts are normally measured in calendar days and he measured everything in business day. So we we had four months to raise everything, which, I mean, ended up being a blessing for us because it took that long to get that that amount of money were a lot, lot better at it now two years later. But yeah, it it was a four month ordeal of calling people, taking people to lunch, you know, and and just every single day was there.
Dave Debeau [00:08:01] Yeah. So, Brian, a lot of our listeners, our American a lot of our listeners are Canadian. That's a bit different rules, different places. But were you focusing in your syndication, were you focusing a lot on trying to bring accredited investors on board, or is that your main focus or were you able, because of your structure, to offer this? Pretty much anybody.
Brian Briscoe [00:08:23] We offered anybody. So we do have a minimum investment amount just to make it worth our while. But, yeah, we're able to do I mean, in the US, it's a five or six be offering, so it's open to up to thirty five non accredited investors. And so far we've been able to to let everybody in. The last one we did we I think we had like thirty or thirty one non accredited investors on the last opportunity. So we were getting close to that number. But so far it's been open to everybody.
Dave Debeau [00:08:54] Yeah, very, very cool. And is it is it a big gain? Is a big hassle. Is it a big expense to get things set up to be able to raise capital that way?
Brian Briscoe [00:09:04] You know, you can you can put as much money into it as you want, is the answer. You can make it as expensive as you want or you can do it as as inexpensive as you want. One of one of my mentors doesn't have a website, doesn't have a CRM, and he's raised a lot more money than than we have. He currently manages roughly two thousand units and his method is a very personable go out to lunch with people. So depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are and what you're who you're targeting and what your network currently looks like. You could do this for almost nothing. But, you know, there are still a lot of effort involved, a lot of networking, a lot of going from place to place and meeting new people who are interested in it.
Dave Debeau [00:09:53] Yeah, for sure. And actually, I was going to refer to the legal structure of the whole thing to make sure. But right now, going to jail.
Brian Briscoe [00:10:00] So, yeah, legal structure, it is somewhat expensive. I mean, our attorney is all inclusive for everything and the going rates usually roughly fifteen thousand dollars for it. So but you know, when you're looking at a four million dollar purchase price, that's that's not really a drop in the bucket.
Dave Debeau [00:10:19] Yeah, most definitely. Very, very cool. So reading between the lines here, it sounds like you've done a hell of a lot in a very short period of time. So you went into a single family homes. How about if I recall, you said you're about three years away from retirement at that time. As we're speaking right now, you're like six months after retirement. We're looking at it two and a half year time frame. There's a couple of years ago you got in that first five unit. I think if I recall from your bio, you're at over four hundred and fifty units right now in your portfolio. So taking the experience you had from that first deal and going to your next deals, what are you guys doing differently that's created more smooth sailing for you when it comes to finding deals and finding capital for your deals?
Brian Briscoe [00:11:06] You know, it's it's interesting. I mean, a lot of people will talk about the law, the first deal. But just having that first deal under your belt is a game changer. I mean, prior to that first deal, we were trying to convince brokers to take us seriously. And once we had that first deal, we had proven that we could raise two million dollars. We had proven that we could close on a fifty five unit asset. So from there, I think we did the best we could to capitalize on that reputation, to be able to say, hey, look, you know, we are players in this game. We are players in this market. And as a matter of fact, the second deal that we had is actually smaller than the first one. But that came from me emailing a broker who I had met who honestly didn't return my phone calls after that first meeting. But I emailed him and said, hey, look, I understand why you didn't return phone calls, because we were unproven. But, you know, how do you like these apples? You know? And I sent said that's basically how the conversation went. And he started answering our our phone calls and he started sending us property. So really, the first deal is the game changer. And from then you just got to keep the momentum going and that's a strike while the iron is hot. So on the heels of that first deal before we close, we had two more under contract. One ended up being a marathon closing, one end up closing in about forty five days. But I would say go back and Shor's I the question you just got to strike while the iron is hot. Keep the momentum going
Dave Debeau [00:12:41] well and hats off to you for not getting your nose out of joint with that jerk of a broker. You got to gave you the cold shoulder there in the first place and be willing to keep going because that led into a lot more opportunities where a lot of people, myself perhaps included, would have said, OK, well, if you treated me like that before, screw you, I'll take my business elsewhere.
Brian Briscoe [00:13:02] Yeah. You know, and I I've realized what makes brokers tick. They get paid on commission. And one broker, incidentally, this broker told us two properties. When I first called him, he literally told me, it's like I don't spend time with one of the investors. I spend time with owners because owners are going to give me properties to sell and owners are the people to buy. And he literally said something like, I get twenty, twenty calls a week from people like you. If I spent ten or fifteen minutes every time, I wouldn't get my work done. So he explained that to me. And I think that was the first time where that real light bulb moment happened. And I'm like, oh my gosh, you know, and quite frankly, some people would say that's rude. But I was so much more grateful that he actually explained it to me than the other broker. And oh, by the way, these two broker conversations happened the same week that the first one to talk to me, they never returned my calls, you know, so much more grateful for him explaining it to me. But, you know, once he once he put it in that light, it was just like, OK, I get it now. I get it once I'm an owner. Now I've got more credibility. I've got the cards in my hands now because we can now purchase and now you can represent us in a sale. And so we are we are actual clients
Dave Debeau [00:14:24] out of a concept now. Exact money where your mouth is. Yeah. Because there's so many wannabes, you know, I mean, there's so many people that want to do stuff and actually never end up doing it. Just raise people's time. So time flies when you're having fun, that's for sure. But one thing I want to touch on as well is how do you manage your time between working full time and doing this and, you know, perhaps how you even have a family and that sort of thing. How are you juggling all the balls up in the air?
Brian Briscoe [00:14:56] You know, I like the juggling analogy. I've realized what balls bounce and what balls break, you know, and that's that's exactly what it is. I mean, you keep the balls in the air, the break and the ones that bounce, you can let them bounce, you know. So I will say my performances at work has suffered. And had I chosen to stay in the Marine Corps, I wouldn't get promoted again. I know that you my my evaluations have gone from being a I've been a top performer most of my career to not so much. So there there's been a lot of trade offs is all it is, and a lot of creativity in buying time back, you know. So I would say out of all the days of vacation that I've taken in the last two and a half years, you know. Eighty five percent of them have been to to work multifamily to to a properties before covid, I was taking the Metro to work every day. That was, you know, an hour, hour in the morning, hour in the evenings where I would sit with my iPad and do something in the business, write emails or look over spreadsheets or, you know, look at offering memorandums or something. So it's just been a matter of being very deliberate at planning my time and realizing that I come at balls bounce smart.
Dave Debeau [00:16:14] That's the first time I've heard it put that way. But it makes a lot of sense that the fragile balls, the breakable balls and keep the keeping the fragile ones up in the air for sure. Very, very good. So, Brian, if people want to find out more about you and yourself and your your company, what would you have to do?
Brian Briscoe [00:16:31] So we also have a podcast that's probably the best way to to do it. Diary of an Apartment, investor and websites, diary of an Apartment investor, dot com or our website, which has a lot of free resources for capital dotcom. And you can schedule call with us through the website, my email address. Brian Briscoe at Oaks Capital Dotcom.
Dave Debeau [00:16:52] Excellent. All right, Brian, keep on doing what you're doing and congratulations on your upcoming retirement. But it doesn't sound like you're going to be kicking it back and hitting the golf course too much. It sounds like you got too much going on, too much fun with a party right now.
Brian Briscoe [00:17:07] I'm going to have fun and I'm going to keep busy.
Dave Debeau [00:17:09] Awesome. Very good. Thank you, sir. And everybody, thank you very much for joining in on the next episode. Bye bye. Well, hey there. Thanks for tuning into the Property Profits podcast. If you like this episode, that's great. Please go ahead and subscribe on iTunes. Give us a good review. That would be awesome. I appreciate that. And if you're looking to attract investors and raise capital for your deals, that may invite you to get a complimentary copy of my newest book right back there. There it is, the money partner formula. You got a PDF version at Investor Attraction book, dot com again, investor attraction book, dot com ticker.