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From Maintenance Guy to 4500 Doors with Glenn Gonzalez

From Maintenance Guy to 4500 Doors with Glenn Gonzalez
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Dave Debeau [00:00:09] Everyone, Dave Debeau here with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast today from my favorite city in Texas, Austin. We've got Mr. Glenn Gonzalez. How are you doing?

Glenn Gonzalez [00:00:20] Dave, thanks for having me. I'm doing pretty well, staying safe and enjoying it, so.

Dave Debeau [00:00:24] Well, that's good. That's good. And you guys were in for a real treat today because Glenn's got an amazing story. He's gone from being a maintenance man to the point where he actually owned four thousand five hundred units cashed out and I was living the good life. So we're going to learn all about how he did that in just a second. But, Glenn, first of all, tell me in the end, the audience I mean, I think I got a pretty good idea. But what is has been your primary investment strategy? I'm assuming it's multifamily properties.

Glenn Gonzalez [00:00:55] It is multifamily. Yep. That's it seems like that's all I know. And I don't know much beyond that.

Dave Debeau [00:01:02] Hey, you know what? There's something to be said for focus, that's for sure. So and it just kind of like thirty thousand foot perspective. What do and what did you like the most about that investment stuff, that investment year?

Glenn Gonzalez [00:01:14] So your most of my product has been the Class B property workforce housing. Right. So although I owned some nicer properties, the classy stuff, it hasn't been my most profitable ventures. So I syndicate bring investors together and we buy just workforce housing for the most part. I will renovate and sell those at a profit and return the money back to the investors. Some of them I've held on for five years, some of my flipped in as little as one year. So kind of all over the board. You know, I usually go into a deal with an exit and an exit price in mind. If I can hit that exit price before I'm done working on my magic or before maybe I maybe I estimated it was a three or five year old, but if I hit that sales price in a year or two, I'll sell, you know, and I usually tell the investors that going into it, if we can hit this number, we're selling.

Dave Debeau [00:02:11] So, so interesting. So then why do you prefer to sell versus hold on to them long term?

Glenn Gonzalez [00:02:19] Well, part of that was where I was in my station in life. I wanted money in my pocket and that was the quickest way to put more money in my pocket. Now my strategy is a little different. I'm actually my partners are going to build a ground up development and our goal is to hold it for 20 years. So it's a little different now.

Dave Debeau [00:02:39] So now you're more interested in cash flow than the big pops of cash, is that correct? That's correct. That's right. All right. Very interesting. So tell me you started out as a maintenance guy working in apartment buildings. How did you make that transition? Because correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think maintenance guys are making tons of money doing the maintenance work to do it. All right. I'm OK, I'm sure. But how do I switch from that to actually starting to buy apartment buildings?

Glenn Gonzalez [00:03:06] You know, that's a great question. And it's a kind of a funny story. I was working as a maid. I got a call from my wife at that time who said, hey, they're behind on work orders. Do you want to come and help out a little bit, you know, helping out the maintenance? At the time I was going to college and I was working as a waiter at the Marriott, one of their restaurants, you know, working full time and going to school full time. And I got this maintenance thing on the side. So I was busy. Yeah. I eventually quit my my restaurant business and kind of helped full time and and actually got jealous because the manager, the leasing office, they're in there talking on the phone, showing apartments and they're going on the tours. It's warm inside. I was cold on the outside and you know, and I was always dirty and and I'm like, man, I really want that job. I don't want this job, you know? So when the regional manager came to visit the property, they said, hey, can I talk to you about something like, how are you? I'm like, I'm good. I'm working. She's like, how are the units going? Oh, my God, they're going to turn. They're OK. I said, I want a shot of being a manager. She kind of looked at me. She's like, Aren't you one of the maintenance guys? I'm like, Yes, I am. She's like, Have you ever managed apartments before me? No. She said, I'll keep that in mind. Thank you. See you later. And then off she went. Was it too much longer that I got this call, were like, hey, this is kind of weird, but we have this little 60 unit apartment complex. It can't really afford a full time manager, but it can't really afford a full time maintenance guy either. So do you want to try and do both? I'm like, I'll take it. And that was my foot in from maintenance to management. David didn't go very smooth. I mean, I was trying to do make redis. And then when somebody moves into a apartment, you know, they bring their make ready checklist when they come in on the condition of the apartments and they would move in and they would give me this sheet and it was the dishwasher didn't work and the toilet water was running. And, you know, one of the burners didn't come on on the electric stove, you know, I know I know how to fix all that stuff, but I guess I wasn't. Diligence on the maintenance side. But I had to go back and correct all those things

Dave Debeau [00:05:13] that he had to go for being the manager

Glenn Gonzalez [00:05:15] to the front of the tool. But it was kind of awkward because I went back to do the work order hoping they were at work or something. I knock on the door, you know, management. I come in and they're like, what do you hear? I'm I'm here to fix all the stuff that, you know, didn't get fixed when you moved in. And then I. Who did that? I did. Yeah, I did. Like, oh, and you're going to fix it now. Yeah, I'm going to make it right. I'm like, OK. So anyway, I learned a very valuable lesson then about how important it is to have a good maintenance guy and a good manager, because really you can't have a successful apartment complex without both of those people being on the same, you know, team and on the same sheet of music and working together. And I learned that kind of firsthand as both. So the property they hired before I turned it around, I applied just some business common sense to it and ended up leasing it up. And it did really well. And then they eventually asked me if I wanted to go help out on the street doing a deal that wasn't doing well. And I did. And you didn't invite anyone.

Dave Debeau [00:06:17] You didn't have to be that they on the three hundred year that you got to be full time management.

Glenn Gonzalez [00:06:21] Yes. Yeah, I was done with maintenance after that. I saw know

Dave Debeau [00:06:28] how long were you in the in the management business before you stepped into the ownership role.

Glenn Gonzalez [00:06:34] Yeah. And out of that happened a long time. Twenty five years. Wow. I went from being that little manager on site. My next step was I got promoted to be kind of a regional manager. And then I and then I went all the way with that same company for four years. I got my CPM designation, which for your listeners is a certified property manager from the Institute of Real Estate Management. I got that designation. I got my real estate license. So I was kind of all in property management at that point. I got my degree in behavioral science and health. I was going to be a hospital administrator. Didn't want to do that either. So I made property management my career and this management company I kind of outgrew. My boss, who's in my book is my mentor fired me and my you're firing me. He said, I got to cut you loose. I'm like, why are you doing a great job? But you will never spread your wings unless I keep your company, keep your holy smokes. And at first I

Dave Debeau [00:07:36] was doing it for your own good, not for their good. It was he was

Glenn Gonzalez [00:07:39] he he saw my potential. And, you know, at that point we managed maybe two thousand units. So it was a very small management company. And that was I didn't understand because of how young I was. But now I see the wisdom in that because I went and got a job with a larger company that did construction and they managed about six thousand units and they did tax credit and new development and all that section forty two stuff. So I grew with them and I became that director of operations for that for that property management company. So I went from a management company to kind of an owner tax credit management company. And then there was wisdom in getting fired from that job before. So I actually started looking in and I joined Equity Residential, which is a big national rete nationwide. And then I oversaw ten thousand units. So for twenty five years I navigated through property management with several different management companies. And along the way I was just getting more and more and more experience for sure what to do and what not to do now.

Dave Debeau [00:08:43] So how did you make that leap from having the good, solid, secure job? To buy actually buying your first apartment building?

Glenn Gonzalez [00:08:53] Yeah, I dabbled in the I was, like you said, full time to job Kalbi, but I knew that I had met some pretty wealthy people and they were like mentors, one of them. His name is John Gibson. I'm a John, you know, how do you make all the money? He's like, I buy an own apartment complexes. We met each other donating our time on the apartment association that's made up of a bunch of volunteers. And I was on the board of directors for the Apartment Association in Washington, Seattle, Washington. And I said, John, I want to I want to own them like you do. And I have a 60 unit deal. We look at it and see my numbers make sense. I mean, how to put together a budget. You looked at it and he said, yeah, you probably do OK on that, but I've got a better deal. I've got a little forty four unit deal that I've completely neglected because he's very wealthy and has all this really nice apartments that's really old. Forty four units. He's like, you want to buy it. Like Yeah. Buy it so and checked it out. And sure enough he totally neglected this property. So I'm like I can do this. So he's like, I'll tell you what, I'll carry the note back for you. You can buy it but you need to come up with one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Now, keep in mind, but I had five kids and I was living paycheck to paycheck, so one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He should have asked me for one point five million. So I went to my boss and I went to a vendor that I worked with and I said, hey, I want to syndicate this deal. It's a great deal. I think we can all make some money. Let's go in a third, a third, a third. And you put up seventy five thousand and you put up seventy five thousand and I'll put up zero. Do all the work. How does that work? Well, I found a good deal. I lined up the loan because it was seller finance and I said I just need to come up with some money. But they were pretty smart people. They were also in the industry. One was a vendor in the multifamily industry and one was my boss. And they all said, you're right, this is a gold mine. So we bought it. They put up the money, we bought it, we fixed the down units that were down and then sold it about a year and a half later for almost a million dollars more than we paid for it. Wow. That was my first deal. And I still had my job. I said my W-2, so I dabbled in it. Right. And that's that was exciting to me,

Dave Debeau [00:11:08] I would imagine. Yeah, very, very cool. All right. So moving ahead in forty four units, they're all together. You've done like forty five hundred units. Yeah. So I guess one question that was almost sounds like a little bit of a stroke of luck. You have to meet the right guy, talk to the right guy. He offered you a deal on a silver platter with owner financing. How have you found your other deals since then? What's your typical

Glenn Gonzalez [00:11:38] day? You just you just nailed it, right? It was that relationship I had from I want to call my mentor, John Gibson. He sold me my first deal. I stayed in my job. I stayed with my W-2 because I wasn't really secure enough or confident enough to just take the plunge. So I ended up running. My own property management company is a partner with somebody and moved to Texas. And I was running apartments for a salary, basically. Well, one of my old friends called and, you know, and I had the opportunity to put together one deal. And then I had another ten year relationship with a guy named Ed. And I told him when he was 70 years old that if you ever want to retire, I'll buy your company from you. So he called me. He's like, I'll never retire. I'm seven years old. I love this. He called me on his 80th birthday. And I think I need to think about your offer. I'm like, let's talk. So he said, I'll say my management company, I get I don't want your management company at this point. I've been managing properties for twenty five years and now I've got my own. So really what I want are your eight apartment complexes that you own up in DFW. I want to buy those from you and if you sell me those eight apartment complexes, then in turn, yeah, I'll buy your management company for you. For me. And he said, OK, so all we did is we looked at the the numbers that we came to an agreement on the values. You know, he got some broker price opinions, but again. Someone elected four years and lots of upside. Now, Dave, that's what really launched me because that was fifteen hundred units, one seller, you know, over over six properties. So they were they were good sized properties. They were scattered, all of them. He allowed me to close them over a six month period because I had to go raise money. Yeah. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars that I had to raise. And I might as well. I mean, well, now I had to raise twenty two million dollars on this transaction, but relationships and people coaching me and teaching me who to call. And we scrambled. I had a business partner that helped me along the way and we're introduced to crowdfunding and family offices and all kinds of cool stuff that all led to. We were able to close on all of these transactions and we did very well. We bought them. We renovated met a contractor that renovated them for us. And and so how long did it take? Forty five hundred units. But, you know, it's not that simple, but yes, relationships and being in the right place and and

Dave Debeau [00:14:18] the track record, the experience, the twenty five years in the trenches, so to speak, that didn't hurt either did it.

Glenn Gonzalez [00:14:26] It gave me all the experience because I could tell what was a good deal and what was not a bad deal, because keep in mind, I used to manage four owners that either paid too much for their property or they didn't have enough in their renovation budget. And they called me the property management company. I'm in a bind. I really need you to figure this out. Well, part of that was his mistakes. Those owners in then I had other experiences where I managed some properties for some owners that did it all right. They paid the right price. They had enough renovation. And they hired me to manage our property through all of that. And then they sold it, made a big profit. And I got to see the financials of how these guys made a lot of money. You know, they got a check and I got a pat on the back when you did great. We love you, man. I got to go find another property to manage, could you? Soldiers. Yeah. So that was that was inspiring then to kind of make me want to get into that side of the world. I wanted to be them, you know, so,

Dave Debeau [00:15:23] so grand time flies when we're having fun. I know you've got a very interesting book that you've written about your own experience. Tell us a little bit about the book.

Glenn Gonzalez [00:15:31] Thanks. You know, it's called Maintenance Man the Millionaire, and it says it's real estate wealth creation for everyday people. And it really goes through and talks about what some of those things we highlighted on people in the industry, my successes, but also my failures. I was brave enough to share all the mistakes that I made kind of along the way as well, talked about how to find good partners or bad partners. So it's available on Amazon. If people want to look it up, they can look it up by my name Glennon's, or they can just look it up under Maintenance Man from Millionaire.

Dave Debeau [00:16:05] Sure. It's a picture of the book again, sir. You do a screenshot if they want that. That's awesome. Fantastic. Glenn, thank you so much

Glenn Gonzalez [00:16:12] and thanks for having me.

Dave Debeau [00:16:14] Hats off to you. That's a that's a wonderful story. And the story continues. You definitely haven't stopped.

Glenn Gonzalez [00:16:21] You're still defiant apartments. They're locked at a breakneck pace.

Dave Debeau [00:16:25] So keep up the good work, my friend. Thank you, David. Thanks. Thanks, everybody. Take care. We'll see you on the next episode. Bye bye. Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast and you like what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes, subscribe read us and leave us to review. Very, very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom Ticker.

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