023: The Unsexy Traits That Make Investing Sexy
Hello all of you beautiful and brilliant Cashflow Multipliers! 🤩😎 We are so excited to be back with you this week to talk about something a little… well… unsexy. All of the things that aren’t sexy and cool about apartment syndication.
In today’s episode, we are talking about what makes a high-level entrepreneur from good to great. And the way to achieve that is through areas you may not even realize are very important skill sets.
In the land of apartment investing, we mostly think through events and milestones such as investment opportunity webinars, doing community activities, increasing income, decreasing expenses, and Palmy’s favorite– high rent collection.
The traits we are talking about today may not be a J. Lo in terms of sex appeal, but they are definitely Ben Affleck. Quiet, unassuming and will make people ask “how?”
As in how did you become so good at investing and securing deals with a high return?
Well, the answer to that is simple, it’s because you listen to us and are about to dive deep into the following traits that will make a world of difference.
We’re speaking from experience. As the years have gone by and we learn from each deal, we look back and see how these skills have leveled up our game and taken us to where we are today.
And before we move on any further, know this: We are about sharing the wealth of knowledge. If you know someone who is trying to change their financial future through apartment syndication, share this podcast! Follow us on Instagram, and have them check us out online.
Our passion– in case the podcast, social media platforms, and website didn’t already give it away– is to support high-level entrepreneurs and get people out of that rut that they might be feeling. We believe that people can live a life full of love and joy without the stress and worry– like when you get those 2 am night sweats– wondering if you’ll ever see the day to retirement or if you’re dying at your cube.
Yeah, we don’t want that for you either. So let’s dive into why these skills and traits will help you bring your passive investing game into a new dimension. And, hint, there’s no math involved. 🤓🤓
NO. 1 Get Uncomfy to Get Comfy
We’ve all heard this before, you have to effectively communicate to get what you want. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, or a negotiation, or heck, even had a hard conversation with a friend or family member, you know they aren’t fun.
Take us for example, we’ve had our fair share of conversations. It’s what keeps us so close!
Yes, of course! But beyond us, we actually have an amazing team we work closely with. We know their hearts and intentions, but that doesn’t mean conflict doesn’t occur. We also noticed, it occurs more frequently when we don’t say something.
Now, for all of our conflict-avoidant people, we can understand this can be a tough skill to master. Because, yes, having uncomfortable conversations is a skill. We are always walking a fine line because we don’t want to make things awkward, and we definitely don’t want to shine a light on negativity– but here’s the catch, when we don’t speak up, we would feel resentful moving forward.
And being resentful? That feeling lasts. Like, after you eat a really good meal at all-you-can-eat sushi and you feel like you’ll be bloated from rice and fish forever. 🍣
Okay, now I’m hungry.
The point is– when we start to feel resentment, we tend to lessen it and lessen our expectation of the person, and start saying things like, “no worries!” or “it’s all good!” When, what we’re really feeling is, it’s all worries!
In the past, we’ve mentally discredited people and made an excuse that they weren’t the right fit for us. Here’s the other thing: people will have their own opinions and ways of doing things. When we don’t speak up about how we view things or where we may differ in opinion, that’s where resentment happens. So, we have to have these necessary but uncomfortable conversations to help grow as a team, and listen to others.
The skills we’ve learned through active listening, asking questions, and being clear and succinct are the keys to effective communication. And trust us, we know that’s easier said than done. And for some of you, these traits may not come as naturally. But over time, through cultivating and nurturing this part of you, they will be the cornerstones to your success.
NO. 2 Listen More, Speak Less
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and to be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols
Have you ever been around a toddler? 👶 Or, are you a mom who is exhausted from saying “I need you to listen!” when your three-year-old won’t stop getting into the dog’s food? Listening is something we have been trained to do since a young age, and yet people are rarely good at it.
Active listening is a key contributor to how we’ve been able to work with and manage people. The key? Listen more than you speak. Listen with your whole body, and by that we mean, be alert and interested in the other person, refrain from interrupting (ahem–mansplaining–ahem) and reflect on what you’ve heard.
What is this person trying to communicate? Do they seem nervous? Are they guarded? Do they seem confident and open? Listening is more than something we do with our ears, it’s a key sense into tapping into what people are actually saying without saying anything.
NO. 3 Q without the A
Have you ever been at a social event or on a date where someone is asking you really pointed questions?
At first you’re like: whoa– you’re really trying to dig deep into my childhood trauma! But on further inspection you realize, they’re just really good at asking questions?
Luckily, apartment syndication and therapy are two very different worlds. But where they overlap is with your investing team. Asking them questions shows you’re interested and engaged and want to know more. It simply shows you care.
And when good questions are asked, good answers follow. Suddenly, you’re sharing everything from how you grew up, to your dream deal. And that’s what we like to call trust. 🤟
NO. 4 Clear, Concise and Everything Nice
It doesn’t matter what you do or where you are– nothing is worse than a lack of clarity. Have you ever worked for someone that left you more confused than when you entered the meeting? Why do you think define-the-relationship AKA DTR conversations are so hard?! People have trouble stating what they feel.
When we speak, our goal is to be clear, concise and articulate. So we often find, less is more.
In the world of investing– trust can be just as valuable as the deal’s return. Our goal, and one thing we want to make evidently clear, is that our team members know they can trust us. And so our team knows that if we’re going to speak up, when we feel strongly about something, or things don’t go according to plan, they can trust we’ll use our voice.
I think it was the infamous words of our matriarch– Taylor Swift– who told us to Speak Now? Having those awkward conversations with our team is what is needed to build on that trust!
Awkward is the new trust builder.
NO. 5 Leverage is the New Black
Nothing makes us happier than the use of leverage. 😗😗 And some of you have been here long enough to know that leverage– ahem especially leveraging debt– gets us excited. And even more excited to share with others. Now, there’s a different kind of leverage we’re talking about here, and that’s leverage with your apartment investing team.
We are definitely not ones to micromanage, that’s why having our pulse on various projects gives us the freedom to look into other projects, and gives us space to do things we’re passionate about. So when we’re not spending our days wondering how things are going, how our managers are doing, or the details of the apartment– knowing the leverage we have with our team to keep us in the loop about what we have coming down the pipeline has made the world of difference.
Simply stated: leverage gives you more time. More time to succeed in your business, financial freedom, and invest in your relationships. Don’t be fooled, apartment syndication is a full-fledged sport and that means you have to have the right team by your side. Making us love leverage even more! How do we do this? We start with a weekly meeting and various 1:1 check-ins with individual team members to see how they’re really doing– beyond the scope of the work.
As apartment syndication sponsors, we view what we do as an honor and a privilege and feel a sense of responsibility to care for our team well. Basic leadership 101 stuff. Here’s the other thing to know about our check-ins and meetings: We often don’t go into that much detail or specifics of each apartment we’re owners of. We just need to know how to operate and manage the property managers, delegate tasks among co-sponsors, and keep the KPI’s in check.
We also recognize our team is made up of different talents and skills and each team member has their own specialized areas of expertise. Whether it be financing, investor relations, or asset management.
Honestly, leverage is the new gold standard ✨ of leading and has saved us so much time and energy. And in exchange, we’ve gained expertise and more.
The dictionary definition of leverage is: using a lever to exert force on another object. We know how that sounds, and no we’re not telling you to exert force on anyone.
To really understand at the heart of what leverage does, it’s critical to understand the many different types of leverage in business and in life. Here are the top three to know about.
💰 Financial Leverage: Financial leverage means using other people’s money to gain rewards. In the apartment investing world we employ monetary strategies like non-recourse debt financing and raising capital from our passive investors to increase financial leverage.
⏳ Time Leverage: Time is the most sacred resource we have– yet we all trade it away every day when we go to work. Time leverage is therefore one of the most important types of leverage. There is power in delegation, and in return it gives you more hours of the day back. And don’t sleep on the power of using tools/technologies as other ways to increase your time leverage such as project management softwares and calendars.
👭 Personal Leverage: Personal leverage, or relationship leverage, is vital to every area of your life. When you surround yourself with the right people and use those connections to get things done, you’re using the power of leverage in the best possible way. Your net worth is your network!
Friends with Benefits (of Leverage)
You know what sounds almost too good to be true? Doing more with less. In our humble opinion, creativity and success doesn’t come from abundance, it comes from scarcity. When you have less to work with, and yet massive goals to accomplish, that’s when you see all of the potential come to life.
The main benefit of leverage is that you can do more with less, maximizing achievement in every area of your life. Here are some of our favorite ways we see that come to life.
By building wealth. The power of leverage is that it boosts your returns on your financial investments, so that you can build wealth in a sustainable way.
By growing your business: Leverage in business allows you to save time and money, find new efficiencies, get new information and grow your business to new levels.
By increasing productivity: Leveraging your time, connections and more helps you be more efficient, boost productivity and achieve your goals faster.
The whole point of leverage is that you feel already equipped to succeed. When you leverage your existing resources, they expand and multiply to produce new resources. So get creative! What are resources you’re not tapping into, or that you may not necessarily see as a resource but others might?
NO. 6 Always Be a Proactive Planner
One of the games that Nancy is notorious for playing too well is “what’s the worst possible thing that can happen?”. As apartment syndicators, looking ahead and tapping into new strategies is what keeps us savvy and at the top of our game. Even if that means playing out the worst case scenario in our minds. And especially if you are the leaders of your passive investor tribe, finding new opportunities that are the asymmetric risk to reward is key to planning for the future. Things to look for include below-average risks, above-average returns, other forms of passive income, extraordinary tax benefits, and an inflation hedge. So fix your eyes on the front of the ship captain, there’s plenty to plan for!
And please, we all saw the tragedy of the iceberg. Let’s not make the same mistakes twice.
Now before we take over any apartment complexes our standard protocol is to create a business plan and review it. After taking over the apartment, we implement the business plan we set for the apartment complexes. And it’s important for us to not just have a one year vision, but 5 year vision, which is the typical hold period.
So, we’re probably one of the very few people who can answer the question “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and not get freaked out by it!
During the investment opportunity webinar, passive investors will get to hear and make decisions on their own if our business plan sounds right for them. For us, as planners, it’s imperative that we’re answering their questions and have the data and goals to achieve what we’re going for to bring people into our process.
And during the hold period, it’s ebb and flow, but we always come back to being proactive planners.
Now one story comes to mind as we talk all this planning talk, and that’s the recent winter storm that happened in Dallas. As many of you can remember, in 2021 Dallas-Fort Worth had witnessed one of the biggest winter storms in their history. It was a blunder of a storm. Many of our fellow apartment investors’ complexes had damages such as pipes bursting and roof repairs. We were really fortunate at that time and all of our properties had minimal damages.
You know the saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. So fast forward to 2022 – we are nothing but prepared. ❄️ No winter storm will catch us slipping again!
As you may recall, last winter Texas experienced a once in “50 years freeze”. Ultimately, there was a systemic failure from the highest level of the Texas government. The government and electrical municipalities were completely unprepared for the inundation of their own power supply. This caused a forced roll out throughout most of Texas. As a result, any home that relied on electricity to heat their property had to endure below freezing temperature. It was a horrific time for the people of Dallas, and many people lost their lives. It was a complete tragedy, and one we hope and pray never happens again.
The power outages also affected water treatment facilities that ended up having to shut off their water supply; which ended up causing water supply lines through the state to freeze. Overall, there was a lot of unpreparedness on all parties– including ourselves. While we were caught off guard by this once-in-a-50-year event, it challenged us to think how we can prepare better for freak storms.
Fast forward to 2022’s winter freeze, and things were handled very differently. Kudos to the government of Texas and municipalities as they were well prepared to support the power usage during the water freeze. During the freeze in 2022, there were short-term power outages that occurred, but not in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area.
On the property level, we also had a plan in place to handle the freeze. Part of our plan included having plumbing supplies stocked ahead of time to avoid any supply shortages. Our maintenance team opened all sink cabinets, turned on all the faucets to drip, and turned on the heaters to ensure the pipes didn’t freeze on all our vacant units. We also provided our residents with similar instructions for their units as well.
Additionally, we also made sure that all our external water supply lines were not exposed to the elements so that they were not vulnerable to freeze. On the management level, we instructed our property managers to bring home the property’s laptop in case we needed to manage the property remotely.
Overall, we are very happy to report that we experienced no damages to any of our properties across our portfolio, and we can definitely attribute this to proactive planning ahead of time and having a very clear action plan. What can we say? The cold never bothered us anyway.
While it definitely took a lot of back-end work and communication with property managers and members of our team, it was completely worth it to know our residents were safe, and our managers felt confident in their jobs. We live, and we learn and while we would never tamper with the forces of mother nature, we definitely are a lot more prepared for her future cold shoulders.
And that’s it from us today, Cashflow Multipliers Team‼️ We hope you learned something today, and if you did– we hope you’re sharing that knowledge by hitting that ‘share’ button. Send some love and follow us @thekittisisters on Instagram and join The Kitti Freedom Club!
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