Air Date: 05.04.2021
Multifamily Investing For Beginners
Multifamily investing for beginners can be quite daunting. Read this guide to equip yourself with the right knowledge and build your success with confidence.
Making your first steps in multifamily can be daunting. By equipping yourself with the right knowledge, you can build your success with confidence. Today we speak to Anthony Vicino, a best-selling author, former professional athlete, and serial entrepreneur who is committed to helping people maximize their return on life. In this episode, Anthony opens up his multifamily playbook to share his best tips and advice for aspiring investors. To kick things off, Anthony tells us about his professional background and how he first got involved in real estate. After hearing about his varied history as a pro athlete and science-fiction author, Anthony tells us how his ADHD supplied the foundations to his success. Following this, we hear about what frightens investors most, and what they can do to mitigate their fears. He touches on the wealth of opportunity that real estate provides, and helps boil down its nuances to simple concepts. Later in the show, we go into detail about Anthony’s company, Invictus Capital. We find out what their purpose is in real estate, as well as how they fulfill their aim to provide positive experiences for residents and investors alike. We also uncover how Invictus Capital adds value to its properties, as Anthony shares helpful company ideologies, like, “a dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned.” Wrapping up the show, we ask Anthony about his keys to success. He tells us about the most influential books he’s read, what you should ask your sponsor before every deal, and much more. Join us today!
Key Points From This Episode:
- Introducing today’s guest, Anthony Vicino, and his mission in multifamily.
- Anthony shares how he first got involved in real estate.
- How Anthony’s ADHD affected his choices early on in life.
- Hear about Anthoney’s varied professional life before he came into real estate.
- The moment when Anthony realized that real estate was the best way he could help others.
- Here about what frightens investors most, according to Anthony.
- Some of the ways Antony helps people take their first steps in real estate.
- Anthony shares more information on Invictus Capital and its position in real estate.
- How Invictus Capital adds value to its properties.
- Hear more on the Twin Cities market.
- Some of the ways Invictus Capital is sharing knowledge through marketing.
- Join us for our Keys to Success segment.
“When it comes to investing, I think a lot of us feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, especially in the early days when you’re first starting out.” — @AnthonyVicino [0:02:11]
“That’s what we try to do now, is combine the best of all these words or we can serve our residents, we can serve our investors, and we can hopefully make the community a better place through that.” — @AnthonyVicino [0:07:12]
“If you understand how multifamily assets are valued, which is very easy to wrap your head around. Once you understand that, you understand 90% of what it means to succeed in this market.” — @AnthonyVicino [0:10:00]
“We look for light value opportunities, where we’re freshening up the units more so than going in there and doing big plumbing or roof fixes, things that don’t justify a rent upgrade.” — @AnthonyVicino [0:19:41]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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—Full Transcript Below—
“AV: So we focus exclusively up here in the Twin Cities for a couple of reasons. One is, from the very beginning, we looked at ourselves and said, “What kind of investors are we? Are we the type of guys who are okay investing out of state in a market that we can’t see every day, we can’t go see our assets if something goes wrong in the middle of the night? We answer that question and said, “Nope, that’s not us, so we have to invest in our backyard.” Also, we said, we like to be in control. That’s just a part of our personalities. Instead of outsourcing the property management to a third-party company, we decided just to build that in-house and start hiring employees and building that capacity ourselves.”
[00:00:38] KR: Welcome to Ritter on Real Estate, the show about how to passively invest like a pro. On each episode, I interview real estate experts who give their top investing advice, strategies and tools, and I break down the insights and the practical steps to avoid the pitfalls and make better investments. I want to help you passively invest like a pro. This is Ritter on Real Estate, and I’m your host, Kent Ritter.
[00:01:01] KR: Hello, fellow investors. Welcome to Ritter on Real Estate, where we teach you how to passively invest like a pro. Today, my guest is Anthony Vicino. Anthony is a best-selling author, former professional athlete and serial entrepreneur committed to helping people maximize the return on life. I love that. I love that concept. Anthony is the co founding partner of Invictus Capital, a multifamily acquisition firm based in Minneapolis, providing passive investing opportunities to busy working professionals. He’s also the host of Multifamily Investing Made Simple podcast, and the author of Passive Investing Made Simple.
Anthony is spreading the word that investing doesn’t have to be complicated, scary or overwhelming and he believes everybody should have the opportunity to invest better. Thanks for being on, Anthony.
[00:01:48] AV: Yeah. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
[00:01:51] KR: Yeah. I’m excited to chat. I mean, a lot of what you’re talking about in your bio there really aligns with the purpose of the show, which is to help people be better investors. That really is why the show exists. So excited to dig in and talk a little bit about that, and help folks simplify things and make better investing decisions.
[00:02:11] AV: When it comes to investing, I think a lot of us feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, especially in the early days when you’re first starting out. A podcast like yours, this is a fantastic avenue to learn in a safe environment, where I think a lot of people feel maybe a little bit of shame and maybe a little taboo to talk with like friends and family at home. So that’s a good service you’re doing here.
[00:02:31] KR: I appreciate that, man. Thank you. Let’s give the listeners a little bit more background on yourself. Tell us where you came from and how you got into multifamily investing.
[00:02:41] AV: Yeah. The key thing that you need to know about me is that I have severe ADHD and it’s something that I’ve been dealing with my entire life. Coming out of college, what was really clear with that particular quirk of my biology is that I’m a really bad employee. Like when it comes to working for other people, I’m unfocused, I’m undisciplined, I’m lazy. It’s not good. All through college and all through high school, I would work these jobs and it felt really meaningless to me. I couldn’t put my full self into it. So very early on, I knew that I was going to kind of have to find my own path through life, that working, going the corporate route and just going the American dream of, get the job, work 40 years and retire. It wasn’t really going to work for me, just because I was probably just going to get fired over, and over, and over.
Coming out of college, I started looking at what could I do that would give me the most control over my life, so that I could go live on my terms, where I want, when I want with who I wanted. For a while, that took me down the path of professional athletics. I was snowboarder and rock climber. That was great, but it didn’t actually give a lot of financial freedom. It’s just, you live inside of a van for 200 days out of the year, you sleep under the stars. It’s a very free lifestyle and that you can go where you want when you want, but you’re also limited in terms of your financial situation. And that can be really frustrating because I think a lot of us, money is this anxiety in the back of everybody’s head. If you don’t have it, it’s all you can think about. So you have to have that base need met.
Then I started looking at other opportunities and saying, “Okay. What can I do to make money that would still let me take control of my life?” That led me down the path of writing books and so I started writing science-fiction and fantasy novels and did that for a number of years. That was a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, it was just me in a room all by myself telling stories. And that didn’t feel very rewarding in the grand scheme of things because it just felt like I was living in this world of entertainment all the time. But I wasn’t giving back, I wasn’t making impact on the lives of people around me.
I was given this unique opportunity when a friend approached me and said, “Hey! I’m looking to build this business, would you like to help me do that?”: At that point, I had never thought about building businesses. I was like, “Okay. Let’s give that a shot. That sounds like it could be cool.” We went and we built a high-rise window washing company in the Bay Area. Within a year, we realize that we’re really good at building that type of business, which was the systems that had allowed me to kind of take control over my ADHD, and like get control over my life. They were actually the same skills that lend themselves really well to building businesses.
For the next six, seven years, I just started building businesses left and right and they’re all doing pretty good. But there was this moment where a friend, a mentor, he asked me a question. It was something to the effect of like — it wasn’t even a question, it was just a statement that, you do the world no good by playing small or you do the world no favors by playing small. Then his challenge was to me like, how are you going to make an impact on the people around you? I looked around me. My brothers and sisters, I have six siblings. I looked at them and I said, “Where are the things that they struggle with the most? What are the things that I struggle with my life the most?” It came back to that money question again. Like investing or knowing where you’re going to be having enough for retirement or if you wanted to take a vacation, you could. I was like, “Okay. How can I help in that avenue?”
For a number of years, I have been buying real estate. It was that moment where I was like, “Okay! I can create this opportunity, because I’ve already been doing this for a while. I understand how it works. I can bring in friends, and family, and siblings into these investment opportunities alongside of me and give them access to this vehicle that most people don’t think is even available to them. So that’s what we started doing. We started buying larger, and larger apartment buildings here in the Twin Cities and we did that with the help of initially just passive investors in our first ring of our network, our friends and family. Then that’s grown over the years, and now, we bring in investors from all over the country. It’s been really rewarding, because now we can have impact not only on these people who don’t necessarily have access to these investment opportunities, otherwise. But it’s also an opportunity for us to treat our tenants, and our residence really, really well.
I think that’s another thing that’s always been a source of friction when I was younger, which was living in apartments and having a landlord. It was always a really fractious thing, so that’s what we try to do now, is combine the best of all these words or we can serve our residents, we can serve our investors, and we can hopefully make the community a better place through that.
[00:07:23] KR: I love that, man. I mean, I feel like a kindred spirit here with a lot of the things that you’re talking about, and just this idea that you can improve the community around you, right? I think that’s what a lot of this has become for me as well, so I love hearing that and that it’s amazing now that my personal experience in investments, I’ve got most of my friends, a lot of my family, people in my inner circle that are now in these deals and are starting to see kind of what I’ve been talking about for so long, right? They’re starting to realize the benefits and really see the power. I think that’s just such an incredible experience. It’s definitely very rewarding personally. But also, like you said, just the ability to have an impact on other people, and alleviate one of the largest concerns like you said for other people that anxiety-provoking thought of, “Do I have enough money? Do I only have —” maybe it’s just one income stream, my job was. If I lose my job, what happens? And being able to help people with that I think has become self-fulfilling.
That’s awesome to hear you say that, I really relate, so very cool. You have your podcast, you’ve written a book now, both focused on making investing simple, and making it approachable for people. But what are the things — you made a comment earlier actually ini your bio, you said your multifamily doesn’t have to be complicated, scary, overwhelming. What are the things that you experience as you’re talking with investors that makes it seem complicated, scary, overwhelming? What are the things that people are telling you?
[00:08:53] AV: It’s interesting. I think so much of the reason people feel investing is complicated or overwhelming is because historically, if you look at the vehicles most people have access to, which is like the 401(k), stock markets, bond. Like those are very confusing instruments and they’re guarded by these gatekeepers of financial advisors, stockbrokers, hedge fund managers. And they’re guarded in this terminology and lingo, that makes it very impenetrable and scary. For a lot of people, they just go, “Oh! Investing is hard, and scary and overwhelming. That’s just what it is. I’ll put my money in, close my eyes and pray to God that it’s all okay in the end.
When they approach real estate, they’re coming from that same perspective, that’s what they think investing is. They expect real estate to be that. What’s been fascinating for me and the reason I like this vehicle so much is because, at the end of the day, the business model is very simple. I mentioned before, I’ve built a lot of businesses and a lot of those, whether it’s service or product, they get complicated really, really quickly. The real estate, at the end of the day, it’s a simple supply and demand issue. Then if you understand how these multifamily assets are valued, which is very easy to wrap your head around. Once you understand that, you understand 90% of what it means to succeed in this market.
Now, you can go infinitely deep on your market analysis and sub asset type analysis. You could do that. But for a passive investor who just wants to know enough to know that they’re not making a stupid mistake, then this is a very accessible vehicle. Whereas, when you’re investing on the stock market, I don’t even think people care anymore if they’re making a stupid mistake, because they don’t know what the alternative is. What we do is we try to approach everything we do through the lens of education. We don’t try to sell this service, or this product. Because once people understand how this works, the light bulb goes off in their head and they go, “This makes sense. I understand this.” With that understanding comes comfort, and confidence then to take that next step. Because we don’t want to take money, we don’t want to invest alongside anybody who’s not confident in what they’re doing, who feels overwhelmed and stressed out. Like they’re not ready yet to take that next step.
[00:11:08] KR: No, I think that’s a great perspective. Give me some of the details. How are you simplifying that process and alleviating those concerns? How do you step people along that path?
[00:11:18] AV: I think it starts with putting yourself in their shoes, and asking yourself, “Okay.” We take for granted where we’re at along our journey. We must also be where everybody else is at in their journey. Surely, everybody understands all the terms and lingos, they understand cap rate and CapEx and NOI, they understand all this stuff, but they don’t. For most people, they’ve never even stopped to think about the fact that most of the apartment buildings you drive by every single day, they’re owned by somebody that’s not terribly different than you, and they might be owned by a group of people. So just that initial concept of, “Oh! You could buy this.” That this is something that you could participate in. That’s a huge watershed moment for most people. That’s where they’re starting. You have to put yourself in their shoes and say, “Okay. Assuming I knew nothing about any of this, and I just have the slight inkling that real estate is this great investment vehicle, it’s made more millionaires over the years, and anything else. I want to participate, but I don’t know where to start.”
Once you start down the real estate path, there’s so many ways that you could make money, you could lose money. You could do fix and flips, you could do self-storage, you could do mobile home parks, like you could do wholesaling. The sky is the limit and so that feels very overwhelming. What we need to do is put ourselves in their shoes, realize that they’re drinking from this firehose of possibility and say. “Okay. Let’s focus in and focus on what’s important on those few concepts, that once you get that, everything else falls into place.” We just try to start there, very foundational. What is multifamily? How does it work? And start with those big building blocks, because it’s like Legos. They only go together in so many different ways.
Once you understand how to stack them together, you can make anything. You can make a Death Star, you can make a tractor, you can make an alpaca. Like you can do anything with Legos. It’s the same thing with real estate but you have to first understand those basic building blocks.
[00:13:12] KR: Yeah. I definitely appreciate that concept and how you break it down and keep it simple for folks. Because when I started hosting my monthly meet up and, especially when we’re still doing it in person back, seems like forever ago now. I had a lot of people that would come up to me that hadn’t invested before, and they’d say, “How do you get started?” At the beginning, I was kind of throwing the firehose at them saying, “Well, you could wholesale. You could do this. You could do that, all of this.” I noticed that people’s eyes just kind of glaze over and just be like, “Oh!” I realized that I just need to keep it simple for folks and what I started saying, I was like, “Look, if I had to do it over again, here’s what I would do. I would house hack, I would buy duplex, I’d live in half of it and I’d ran out the other half.”
Just keep it simple, one strategy, that’s what I recommend. I found that by keeping it simple in that way, people were able to take that away and a few of them actually started to implement that. But I think just my example of going back to your point of like, there’s a million different strategies. You got to help folks kind of keep it simple and kind of identify one and stick to that. I think that’s what you’re saying with multifamily, right?
[00:14:21] AV: That’s the big struggle for all of us, regardless of where you are in your journey. It’s always, let’s not overcomplicate when you have too many things coming into our view at a time. Like we can only do so many tasks and multitasking, people might think that they’re really good at it, but the reality is that the research proves out, we’re not good at multitasking. Whether you’re building a business and you’re far away in your real estate journey or you’re just starting out, in all cases, it’s important to identify what are the most important next steps, and then focus there. When you’re brand-new, I think that’s really, identify your investment parameters, like what type of investor are you? Are you risk-averse? Can you sleep at night knowing that your money might all just double tomorrow or disappear? Like if that’s you, cool, then that’s good to know. Like self-awareness is critical.
But if you’re on the other side like, I don’t like the idea of giving somebody else my money. I want to be able to touch the building, that tells you a lot about your investing parameters too. Once you understand you as an individual investor, then it’s helpful maybe to sit down with somebody who’s further along the path and say, “Here’s who I am. What do you think would fit with that.” They might say, actually for you, you’re really risk-averse, you might just be best in a reach or in a private syndication, in a Class A, that is not generating huge returns or anything like that, but it’s nice and solid cash flow. That’s going to be good for you.
That’s where somebody further along in the journey can help. But when you first start out, the worst question to ask somebody is, what should I do next or first. Because it’s like, I don’t know, I don’t know where you are. You have to tell me. I have to know where you’re trying to get to, first of all before we can even plan a course there.
[00:16:05] KR: Yeah. That’s great advice. Tell us a little bit more about Invictus and what are you guys doing there with the business.
[00:16:14] AV: Yep. We focus exclusively up here in the Twin Cities for a couple of reasons. One is, from the very beginning, we looked at ourselves and said, “What kind of investors are we? Are we the type of guys who are okay investing out of state in a market that we can’t see every day, we can’t go see our assets if something goes wrong in the middle of the night? We answer that question and said, “Nope, that’s not us, so we have to invest in our backyard.” Also, we said, we like to be in control. That’s just a part of our personalities. Instead of outsourcing the property management to a third-party company, we decided just to build that in-house and start hiring employees and building that capacity ourselves. So that we could at the end of the day have the full control over our resident experience and our investor experience. From very beginning, all the way to the very end of the process.
We focus up here in the Twin Cities on multifamily assets, and it’s just like, I would say 90% of other investors out there who are focused on Class B, Class C value-add multifamily. It’s the bread and butter for us because it works. We’ve done it over 12 times now. It works because it’s replicable, and it’s controllable. The whole beauty of the value-add model is that we can go in there and we can force appreciation through increasing the operational revenue or decreasing the expenses. In both of those cases, skill is a thing that’s rewarded, and so that’s what I really enjoy about this model. Whereas, when I first started my investing career, I started with duplexes and triplexes. Then I was fine, but it was really frustrating because the way that those buildings are valued is fundamentally different than they are for multifamily large assets, right? They’re based on comparables.
I had my very first property. I house hacked it with a triplex. I think that’s really good way for people to get started. But that property for me, I owned it for nine months, and it appreciated by $125,000 in that time. It was like 70% growth overnight and it wasn’t due to anything that I did. It just happened to be riding the market wave, and I didn’t like that feeling of being unjustly rewarded or penalized. It could have gone the other way just as easily. That’s what lead us towards that value-add side of the equation saying, “Let’s find a model where we’re in control of the ultimate value of these buildings.” It’s worked really well for us so far.
[00:18:33] KR: That’s awesome. Dig into that a little more. Tell people that aren’t so familiar with the value-add process. What are you guys doing to add value to your properties? Couple of things. One is, we always try to buy with some kind of baked-in value from day one. That means, buying below market rate if possible, that’s great. But we’re really looking for assets where there’s a delta between in-place rents versus market rents. Right now, we go and buy property, has two bedrooms and they’re all renting out for thousand dollars. But we know because we have other assets in that area that they should be renting for 1200 per month. Well, right there, we have a nice $200 delta. We want to go into that asset and we want to make improvements that are going to allow us to reap that rent premium. That usually takes the form of in-unit upgrades, in the form of new floors or paint, new appliances, freshening up the kitchens and bathrooms because those are the things that tenants when they walk in, they’re going to look at and go, “Okay. Yeah, I’ll pay extra for this. This feels comparable to everything else in the market.”
That’s what we do, is we look for light value at opportunities, where we’re freshening up the units more so than going in there and doing things like big plumbing or roof fixes, things that don’t justify a rent upgrade. Then on the other side is that we try to mitigate our operational expenses, and this is one of the most valuable lessons I ever learned in business was this idea that a dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned. Because the dollar earned is always on a margin. If you think about a good business, let’s say has a 50% margin. So for every dollar that comes in, $0.50 of that goes towards creating that product and distributing that product. That means you get to keep $0.50. Whereas if it’s an expense, well, that’s just a dollar. You just saved a full dollar. We try to focus really hard on how do we save money on her assets, and that can be through utilities, and doing racial utility billback services, where we have the tenants take responsibility in payment of their utilities rather than paying for it ourselves. Or finding ways to decrease say payroll or property management expenses.
That’s one of the reasons that we like having property management in-house, is because when we do it ourselves, we don’t have to make a profit on our property management. We just need to pay for our employee salaries, right? Whereas if you’re hiring that out to a third-party, they need to make money to justify existing. Whereas, we make our money through the deal performing, not through the management of the asset. What that allows us to do is, our property management expense ratio is say 4%, whereas if we to hire it out is 10%. Right there, we’re able to save 6% off of expenses. Those end up being really massive boost of the end valuation over a long-term.
[00:21:37] KR: Now, that’s awesome. It sounds like you guys have a sound strategy up there. Tell me a little bit more about — Twin Cities is up there in the market. I don’t know too much about the market there, so how are things going? What are you seeing from a growth standpoint?
[00:21:48] AV: Yeah. Most people do not think of the Twin Cities when they think of really hot markets. It’s funny to us, because if you start looking at all like the big national reports about which metropolitans are trending, and which ones are hot and which ones are not. Minneapolis and the Twin Cities are usually like number seven or eight on that list. But most people don’t look past like the top five. If you’re on the top five, you’re dead to the world. Nobody ever notices that the Twin Cities are consistently up there. There’s a couple of reasons for that. One is, we have more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other city in the country. So we have this really crazy diverse economy up here. We have Best Buy headquarters, Target, 3M, General Mills. We have the third largest university in the form of the University of Minnesota. We have the number one healthcare system with the Rochester Mayo Clinic here.
All these factors combined to create this really robust and resilient economy. If you back test 2008 during the financial crisis, you’ll see the Minneapolis, Twin Cities market, we took a little bit of a dip in 2008. But by 2010, we were right back up to where were pre-financial crisis. It’s a market that has consistent steady growth year over year, over year and it never goes down. But it’s not the type of growth that’s explosive and setting anybody’s hair on fire. So we refer to it as like a sleeper market, that a lot of people once they start peeling back the layers and digging underneath the surface, they start to realize like, “Oh! This is actually an incredibly strong market.” We’re seeing now more and more competition coming in from big institutional money from the coast. But generally. there’s not a ton of competition from small to medium-sized regional investors, looking from outside the state, which is a great advantage for us.
[00:23:29] KR: That’s awesome. It sounds that you guys have a nice little pocket up there. I mean, a lot of those fundamentals you talked about are the exact things that we look for. I mean, our portfolios primarily in the Midwest and we do have one property up in Minneapolis. But mostly, kind of the lower Midwest, but we’re seeing the same things of just the idea of being able to still find some values, being able to not chase the hottest new thing, like the rest of the competition. In doing that, get a really good understanding of the markets that you’re in because you’ve been in there for years, right? You’re skipping around to the next hottest thing. And find those pockets of value in those markets. I think that’s a really good strategy.
[00:24:09] AV: Earlier when we were talking about like from day one, when we go and buy a property, we’re always looking to try and buy below market rate. That’s the unicorn, everybody wants that. But actually, going and doing is a different thing. One of the things that we are uniquely set up for up here in the Twin Cities is that, I would say, there’s probably like 10 or 12 old-school guys and gals that own the majority of all the inventory in the Twin Cities. If you know those old-school players who have been in the game for 30, 40 years, and they’re starting to offload their portfolios. If you can be that next generation that they offload to, then you’re in a really good position.
We’ve adopted that relationship with a number of those old-school investors so that now, when things come on the market, they’re not even going to the brokers anymore, they just make a phone call. They’re going to call one of three people and if the deal makes sense for you, you’re going to get it without any competition. Your goal is to get on that phone call with those sellers, before it ever goes to the market. We’ve been fortunate in the last year or two that we started to make inroads in those relationships. More things are coming to us before they ever see the light of day.
[00:25:19] KR: That’s awesome. That’s a big competitive advantage you guys have up there, so great work. Thinking about just going back to the idea of simplifying this investing process and bringing more people into multifamily investing, and opening this up for folks. What are you guys doing on your platform? I know you have the podcast, the book and some of these other things, but talk about some of what you are doing to continue to spread the word here.
[00:25:47] AV: Yeah. I think those are the two really big avenues, is the podcast. We do two episodes per week. One is an interview episode where we talk to guys just like yourself that are crushing it in the real estate space, and saying, “How can we learn from you?” But then the other side of those episodes are, let’s take a term or concept and let’s just spend the next 20, 30 minutes breaking that down, going deep on it so we can really understand the nuances of how this works. You can get this in-depth education while you’re just driving to work every day, and that’s our goal. But to do in a way that’s fun, engaging, it doesn’t feel like you’re sitting in school, the book is another great resource because some people like to listen, some people like to read. We all learn in different ways, and so it’s important for us to put out content that can reach people where they’re at.
We do a lot on the social medias as well, in terms of webinars, so just putting out daily content, so that people can consume a little bit at a time. Because most passive investors, they’re not like us, they don’t live and breathe this. This isn’t like all they want to spend their time doing. It’s why they want to be passive, right? Putting out content that they can consume when it works for them in bite sizes, like that’s what we try to do as much as possible.
[00:27:00] KR: I love that concept of these bite-size pieces to allow people to get education without being overwhelmed. That’s awesome. Great, Anthony. Well, thank you so much for coming on. Before I let you go, I want to hit you with our keys to success section. Got four questions I want to ask you. First one is, what is one question that every investor should ask their deal sponsor?
[00:27:21] AV: Man, there’s so many questions you got to ask.
[00:27:25] KR: If you had one, what’s the top of the list?
[00:27:29] AV: The one is, I like to know what’s gone wrong in the past. Not necessarily in business, but in personal life or other areas. Like what’s the thing, where did you mess up the biggest in your life? What was your biggest mistake? What did you learn from that? How did you grow? Are you prone to making the same mistake again? Like you can learn a lot about a person from where they were at their lowest moment and how they dealt with that to get to where they are. Because when we talk — it’s always interesting to go on a podcast because we have our bios all prepped and ready to go, and it always presents like the great moments of our life. And very rarely are those bios like, “Oh, yeah! By the way, life had this many failed businesses, and this many failed relationships. Like, I’m a real mess over here, like we don’t do that.
It’s those things that make I think sponsors really interesting is understanding, where are your works and how are you dealing with them?
[00:28:21] KR: Interesting. I think it tells a lot about the person, their resiliency, their ability to think creatively, right? Yeah. You don’t lead with a lot of that, but that’s a good follow-up question. What are you most proud of in your career?
[00:28:37] AV: Piggybacking on the conversation about successes and failures, I’ve been really fortunate and have had a fair number of successes. But behind that, there is a mountain of failures. I’m a firm believer in the idea that we fail our way to success and I’ve had a lot of failures in the past and a lot of struggle in the same way that everybody does. I think the thing that I’m most proud of is just staying moving forward, like continuing with momentum regardless of failure. I think Winston Churchill said something like, “Success is moving from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” I think that’s what I’m most proud of, is like, regardless of how many times I failed, and there’s been a lot of them, I’ve always kept moving forward.
[00:29:21] KR: Awesome! What’s a book that everybody should read?
[00:29:25] AV: There’s two. One is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, which is a book on stoic philosophy. I think at a score, it’s a mindset book, that you get this glimpse into this guy who was the ruler of the known world at that point in the human civilization. And you get to see the thoughts that he wrestled with of what does it mean to be a good person. Those same thoughts that he wrestled with, they’re still pertinent today. I find that really impactful. Then, I really like the book Antifragile by Nassim Taleb, which I read last year, and it was just a killer book about probability, black swan events, how do we know what we think we know, where are we likely to be wrong, and how can we create systems that aren’t prone to failure.
[00:30:09] KR: Cool. I’d love to check both those out. Lastly, what is your number one key to success?
[00:30:14] AV: It’s a cheating answer, but it piggybacks again off of the proudest moment, I guess. is just keep moving forward, find traction, get momentum, don’t lose it, just keep moving forward. It’s easy to say, but it’s really hard to put into action. Because whether you’re an investor, or in business. or just in life in general, life tends to move in like these spikes and dips. It’s not really like this linear equation that’s always trending upwards, so growth happens in these spurts, and failure happens in these spurts. And that can make it feel like most of our days are kind of wasted, but it’s in those days where we’re putting in the preparation so that when opportunity does finally arrive, we can take advantage and we can see that big spike. Or if we’re not prepared, then we see the big dip. My biggest key to success is, just putting in that daily grind every single day, even though it often feels just like you’re failing microscopically every day.
[00:31:15] KR: Yeah. I think that’s huge, right? It’s the little things you do every day to continue to move down the path. Because it may seem like big spurts and dips, right, but it’s like, people don’t see the work that goes on behind the scenes, right? It like all of a sudden their success is like, “Wow! They’re in overnight success.” No, they worked for 10 years. They worked their butts off in 10 years to get that and those type of thing. I love that idea of just keep grinding, keep moving forward every day, accomplish something each day. It doesn’t have to be big wins, but little things add up over time.
[00:31:48] AV: That’s exactly right. I love the idea that there’s 10 years to failure behind every overnight success. This goes into like, don’t compare yourself to where other people are at, because you don’t really know where they’re fully at. You just see what’s in front of you and social media specially can make that really hard, so just try to stab that comparison game as much as possible, put your nose down and just focus on that small, incremental improvement over time and compound interest will eventually work in your favor.
[00:32:15] KR: Yeah. That’s fantastic advice, Anthony. Appreciate you sharing that. If folks want to learn more about you, and your podcast, and the book, and Invictus, how can they reach you?
[00:32:26] AV: Find us over at invictusmultifamily.com. The book, it’s actually publishing in July, so it’s not quite out yet, depending on when this episode goes live, but it will be out here very shortly. And then you can find us, the podcast is Multifamily Investing Made Simple. It’s on all the places that people listen to podcasts and some of the places where they don’t.
[00:32:44] KR: Sounds great. Awesome! Well, thank you for being on the show today and sharing so much value with our listeners.
[00:32:50] AV: Yeah. I appreciate you having me.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[00:32:51] KR: Thanks for listening to another great episode of Ritter on Real Estate. Hit the subscribe button and make sure you don’t miss out on the content that will make you a better investor. Also, visit kentritter.com for articles, videos, and tools curated just for passive investors. Until next time, this is Kent Ritter with Ritter on Real Estate. Now, go out and invest like a pro.