May 6, 2019
Ep#2 From Selling Books to Flipping Apartments with Vinney Chopra
Achieve Wealth Vinney Chopra
Title : From Selling books to Flipping Apartments with Vinney Chopra
James: Hi, audience, welcome to Achieve Wealth Podcast and my name is James [00:12unintelligible] today, we're going to be talking to Vinney Chopra who has been in many podcast that most of you have heard, but I strive to make my podcast different from everybody else. I'm going to be asking different questions.
But at a high level, Vinney Chopra has done more than 200 million multifamily portfolios, you know more than 3,100 apartments under management. He spent a lot of money on his internet education, it's been more than 37 years and he's also a motivational speaker with more than 10,000 speeches given. He's an investor, educated motivator and well known for his smiles, welcome to the show. Hey Vinney, welcome to the show.
Vinney: Thank you, thank you so much, James.
James: [01:00crosstalk] something on your introduction, you can continue giving your part of the production.
Vinney: Oh, totally; no you did a fine job. I came from India with seven dollars, some of the friends know me and I'm a mechanical engineer and sold books, encyclopedias, just to let your audience know and also, I became a promotional speaker.
We've been investing in single-family homes, James, for over 35 years and just found out that a single family is not going to get us where we wanted to go. As a family with two children and my wife and I, we moved to California near San Francisco. A lot of people talk about real estate here somehow, you know, and of course, the houses have gone in value, a rental property is beyond, have gone in value.
Then I got stuck; I became like, you know broken in 2004 in California. And at that time, I had to make a decision, do I sell single-family homes and make money that way or do I do something different? And I wanted to do something different so that's when the world of syndication hit me and multifamily and I've never looked back; it's been an exciting journey.
James: Good. Well, you are like me, I started single-family. I'm an electrical engineer, I came into the US, somewhere in 2008 and we were here before that but 2008 was when we fully relocated here. It's basically a mind-blowing thing on how much you can achieve in the US.
Vinney: Yes. Yes.
James: So question for you; when you came with six dollars or seven dollars in your pocket, did you come in as an engineer or did you come in as a student or how did you come up?
Vinney: You know, I came as an engineer. I was working for Larsen Toubro so actually I resigned there so I had just the qualification of a mechanical engineer, but then I came here to go to George Washington University as a student of MBA in marketing.
James: I did my MBA too but I did it before I came to the US. So question for you; when you're a single family, I mean, I have my own perception about single-family and multifamily, but why not you tell me what is the difference that pushed you from single-family to multifamily? What was that point?
Vinney: You know, the big thing was, we were owning every money. I have the amount, you know saving Streamwood will go ahead go to Arizona go to this place that place buy you know, single-family homes, 450,000, 180,000 like that and then lease them. Actually, we used to do the master lease in that one with the option to sell, the option to buy actually, back then and we'll get a little bit higher down payment from the residents, but then they started looking into staying in our home as if they're going to buy it in two years, by fixing their credit and things like that.
But what I found was that a lot of these buyers were not able to buy after 2 years, first of all, so the property was still in my lap. And then we were living in California so it was quite tough to manage them so 10%, 8% of the rental was going into the management companies anyway who were living there. Then I was able to do my own contractors and everything because they would charge me too much money so I try to make contractors and keeping them in my iPhone and if they tell me there is something needed in their apartment like in Arizona or in Georgia or in Texas,
I'll go ahead and send my own contractors and make deals with them.
So it kind of involved me more than I wanted to and yet at the same token when the boiler went out, James or something went out, it was total cash flow gone, you know the whole end of the year you work hard a little bit, but then at the end, nothing happened. So that's why multifamily made sense to me; like in 2004, where if I buy 20 units and if one person leaves, I still have 19 intact there or two people leave, we have 18 intact economies of scale all that stuff.
James: Yeah, so I think just to clarify some things that we may have touched; the lease option is basically an option to buy when you get a single family and basically it's a very good model single-family rental because now the tenant could have a higher down payment and they are taking care of the house like their own house, because they think that they're going to be owning it in two years and for us, we think that they're going to take care of this in two years, but sometimes it doesn't work that way [05:54crosstalk] single family I think, you are talking. A lot of times, you make a lot more money in single-family in terms of cash on cash return if you buy it right out, I would say, right?[06:06inaudible] you can have a big cap X and wipe out your entire cash flow and I see the big money you make in single family or the more stabilized cash flow you make is when people are staying there for long term.
Vinney: Yes. Yes.
James: [06:21unintelligible] two years, four years that they don't disturb you anymore, then you start making money [06:24unintelligible] in one, two years, you are not going to be making any money in a single-family.
Vinney: Yes, that's so true James.
James: Yeah, but one thing I realized is I try to do the lease option in Texas and I realized in Texas, they have some kind of six months restriction or they just don't allow lease options in Texas.
Vinney: Oh, I see I see, I didn't there. Yeah, I didn't. That's really good information over there. So let's go to multifamily; I mean, why did you choose this asset class? I mean I try to make this podcast independent of asset class because, for me, any asset class goes in cycles so why did you choose multifamily?
Vinney: Very good point, you know, I think being an engineer and you are also an electrical engineer, we have a logical mind, right? So when people told me that you know, hey, do you want to go into office space? I started learning about office space, and I said, okay, what are the factors that will really affect that office space if the business leaves or their business goes down and they have a five-year lease? Then, of course, you know if they don't pay your rent, I mean, they can't pay rent if the business is going down and things like that, kind of made me realize that I'm stuck with that resident or that tenant, I should say in the commercial lease that I'm thinking. And then we looked at Hospitality again the hotels and all that. I looked at in the industrial but something which really made sense to me was multifamily apartments.
Because in apartments my paycheck was not based on one tenant, that was the biggest thing which kind of logically made sense to me. That I had 100 tenants in 100 unit; my first one was only 14 units as many of you people know and 14 units, next one was 109 units, right away and it just made sense, logically. Even if we have two three four people leave, it doesn't matter because we have so many others, you know to take care of the residents and take care of the mortgage and expenses and everything.
The other factor, James, was also the value-add function, that was a huge factor. The value-add was amazing because you are able to do forced appreciation, is the word we use now, in multifamily as compared to like leasing a building for 10 years or five years, five years plus, five-year clause with a small appreciation; you can only do so much.
So the numbers don't really work that high with IRR and the return on investment. I find with the multifamily by increasing the rent and increasing the NOI, decreasing the expenses, you're able to bring the value of the multifamily much higher than a commercial building I could make so those things kind of made sense to me.
James: So one of the challenges in multifamily is, I mean as many income streams, you can see rate but one of the challenges in multifamily that I've seen and a lot of operators have seen is basically a property management. Because now, I mean compared to office, office is you know, that's high vacancy and all that but you're dealing with professional tenants [09:58unintelligible] here, you're dealing with class B and C, I'm sure that's a focus that you are looking at as well. So how did you solve that property management problem? Because that's a big problem.
Vinney: You know, it is a huge problem, James. You are 100 percent, right and your audience would really like to look into this one because we did hire, by the way, a well-established company out of Dallas when we bought in Midland, Odessa areas there; the nearest one was Dallas and they did a fine job, by the way, they did a fine job.
The only trouble was that we were not really getting hold of the situation of cash flow because they were doing cash and accrual together and that can mess you up very badly because what they are saying then is, at the end of the month we say, "Oh, how much cash did we make?" They said: "We made this much, oh, by the way, you can't touch it. You cannot touch it because we have so many bills from this month, we need to pay yet." They're going to come next month so they keep 10,000 per month in the balance and give us this small to give to the investors, I mean that was really, really sad.
So anyway, the other thing was, they were spending money like nobody's business because it's not their money anyway. Every dime, everything was being charged, which I can understand; every travel, everything. I mean, they bought something for the thing, they charged it, right? So that's when my partner and I decided: "Oh my gosh! We're not gonna do it."
So we hired a professional consultant who had great Property Management skills and she was also teaching; also, by the way, we paid her 35,000 at top, 35 or 30 thousand. We always believed in paying the money to learn from the very best people; that's what happened with me with Trowbridge, with Kim Taylor our syndication attorney who's done 26 syndications, 27th now; my big fund, 50 million dollar fund, they have done that too.
But the thing is I believe to get from the master, learn from them quickly and then apply just quickly apply that you know. That's what we did; we started our own management company and we have never looked back.
Of course the hiring and keeping the morale up, I would say, having the challenging issues.
James: When HR issues, right? So now [12:38inaudible]
Vinney: Exactly; we didn't have it before, we have an accounting department, big one, accounts payable department right here. Then we now have with Moneill Investment Group, Moneill Management Group, we have a full HR person full-time, benefit person and payroll in a consultant.
James: How many staff do you have in your [13:03inaudible]
Vinney: We have 67 full-time staff right now, we are thinking to hire more so if we're going to go higher and then of course as we sell, we just sold two properties. I'm so happy because we had some pretty big paydays, you know last few times, you know, and so we are selling some assets but we are looking to buy more too.
James: So how's the structure of your property management? So you say you have 67 staff, do you have a CEO for your property management?
Vinney: I'm the CEO of the company, but then I have asset managers or team leaders, we call them, asset manager or team leaders and then there are Community managers at each property. Like we own 10; we owned eight now over there in the [13:53crosstalk] yeah, they are Community Manager or Property Manager.
We don't use the word property manager, we use the word community and we never say apartment complex, we always say community, Moneill communities.
James: Oh, that's good.
Vinney: Yeah. Moneill Premier Communities; that's how we promote ourselves.
James: Yeah, and we call our tenants, residents right?
Vinney: We always call our tenants residents; residents lifestyle of the Moneill communities that kind of thing. We bring cafes, we bring dog parks, we bring a lot of great stuff, media centers. Every time when we buy an asset, I put 10,000 easy into the restructuring of the leasing office, you know, and buy brand-new computers, brand-new everything, brand new desks, all that because it just says a lot to the residents; that a new company is taking over and they are not slumming it, you know, they're going to invest in to the property.
James: You don't have Regional Managers; you have Asset Managers and you have Community Managers.
Vinney: We do; every property has Community Manager then Assistant Community Manager or leasing agent, we call it slash leasing agent, plus lead maintenance that will be the lead tech and then the fourth employee or team member at that property is called porter or helper.
James: Who does the Community Manager report to?
Vinney: The Community Manager reports to the Asset Manager; team leader or asset manager.
James: You are doing exactly like what we do; we spend a lot of the office and our office looks really nice, new computer, we take care of our staffs and all that. So among the amenities that you have installed, you have 3,100 units, which community do you think is the most appealing to class B and C residents?
Vinney: Okay, good point. You know we made a lot of money in Midland Texas, by the way. We were making 45 thousand dollars net-net every month, literally so that is a Premier Community Cornerstone; we sold it, by the way, now and we gave our investors 40 percent IRR, 40 percent returns per year for years and three months in a row.
James: No, no my question really, is the community; is it the dog park is better [16:29 crosstalk]
Vinney: Oh, I see.
James: The community that you think is the most valued by Class B and C [16:36crosstalk]
Vinney: I would say you can get good mileage, I'm so glad you said it, curb appeal. I would say definitely flagpoles; I buy these flagpoles from Georgia, these are 30 feet high. Flagpoles, not just 20 feet slim ones, I pay $700 per flagpole, but they make a statement. I mean people going [00:17:00unintelligible] by the road, they look at it, they say, "Oh my god! Wow! How beautiful it's like and four of them." I always put four, I never put two. And then I buy the biggest flags like, 8X4 or whatever they are so they fly high and we change the flags also every 3 to 4 months; we have different colors, things like that. So curb appeal is big in my thing, right?
The second thing we do is definitely get the restructure or do new flooring if you need to, for the resident Center or office, the leasing office because that needs to really show class; class is important and then, of course, the furniture, right? For the residents Media Center, I go to Del company dell.com. I have a business account and I buy for $483 all-in-one, 24-inch, these big monitors, which is already included with that CPU and also $483, beautiful. And then I buy desks, very beautiful ones, you know, I may send some pictures to you and that way, it gets also the residents can use that anytime. Keurig machines, always Keurig machines, K-Cups, cookies, an ice chest, you know, all that so that you know, that is big but then dog parks, let's talk about that.
Some people have talked about dog wash, I have not instituted that at all yet, but dog parks, yes. We are very cheap, $99; $99, you could buy these beautiful dog waste green, whatever the stations we call them and we put them six seven eight of them all around the community right away, that's shows.
And then also I am very big in bind sign. It's been big in signs and the best things to get it is actually from Amazon. I'm buying my products from Amazon like crazy. I have, you know, like set up each of my properties even the lights fixtures, I'm finding them 40% cheaper on Amazon compared to [19:29unintelligible] supply, HD Supply.
James: Correct. Correct.
Vinney: It's amazing.
James: So what about in the miscellaneous income right? So in your miscellaneous income, you have your covered [19:40unintelligible]
James: I know what other things like insurance and all that, which miscellaneous income gives you the most bang for the buck?
Vinney: Okay, the number one, which I do it right away from the get-go, is the utility reimbursement, utility reimbursement drop systems is my number one priority and I go to the hilt. I try to get to the maximum; 90% collections of my bill after water, trash, pest control, and gas all that Because electricity is given to the residents, individually meter, but then I'm very big in also looking at our vacant units electricity bill, how much are they and outside lighting. If the sensors are not working, I buy the sensors right away because we don't want the outside exterior light to be burning 24 hours, they need only come to on dawn and dusk so that's a huge part.
You were asking me some things about what other facilities, playground. Playgrounds are great.
James: What about the washer-dryer income, do you tend to buy washers and dryers?
Vinney: Oh, big time; I have written most of my properties brand new contracts if they are expired. I get paid about six to seven thousand dollars as a sign-up bonus. At Cornerstone, I got 35,000 sign up bonus, by the way, for bringing cable inside my community. So I gave to this local company my contract for cable for all the residents and they gave me 35,000 bonus and I've done that several other places also.
Now in New Houston, I have one property, we charge $20 per resident for cable; it's all central and then we pay, I think we make about half of that is profit, by the way. But I love the coin Max new machines, which are the card reader machines; card reader, no more coins. So whenever you actually get in to buy a new property, you talk to the rep of that Community, even though they have already five more years or ten more years still coin max lease is there but you could ask them to change the machines and make the laundry, we call it clothing Care Center or like that nice fancy name or laundry, clothing center.
James: Under a contract, they allow you to change?
Vinney: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, you say: "Oh my God! These machines are no good, they are breaking down."
James: What if I tried to terminate the whole contract first?
Vinney: Well, I don't think you can terminate, they have strict laws and all that but they would love to help you and work with you. That's what I did, by the way, and they will help you paint and all floating also, I use some of the money from them to do that. Like the property I just sold [23:04unintelligible] Nasa; very nice property, beautiful gardens everything and the seller put in 3.6 million into it, renovating it when I bought it. But the laundry facilities, both of them were like shambles, totally shambles so I took up on that and got brand new machines, brand new everything so it was nice.
James: What about the interior rehab; usually, what's your budget and what do you think is the mix the most bang for the buck?
Vinney: Okay, I would say the fixtures; see the thing is like I find of course counter-tops, kitchen counter-tops and the bathrooms many of the bathrooms, I even changed them put the one single shell in there or some times I even do the tiling, depending on the community.
James: Are you talking about the back-splash?
Vinney: Back-splash tiles in the bathrooms also; that works pretty well. And you can buy these really cool ones which look like you have put like 20 different tiles, but they're in a mesh so you just put it in there and put grout in there and it' quickly done; it's amazing and it's beautiful.
James: And it comes in square sizes, right?
Vinney: Exactly. But we do try to do the light fixtures; that's a big one in the bathroom like in some of my nicer communities, we are putting these lights, LED lights, like when the water comes out, the lights come. And then switches, it's very cheap; you could buy these switches and then put USB in there, that's all.
James: I actually think I should try this; how much does it cost the switch with the..?
Vinney: Not that bad you go for bulk; I always put Google; whatever I want, I put Google and try to save your Amazon Beats somewhere else and I buy them 200-250. Sometimes even the Chinese; oh my gosh! I came across a supplier in Atlanta, they've got a big warehouse and they can sell what I can buy at Home Depot for whatever, 1495, they gave me for 695, oh my gosh! So every dollar saved is a dollar earned.
I tell my teams, I tell my community managers, I taught them now. I said you got to get three bids and then after you find out and you want that company to do it, ask them for 18% off again on top of it. James, most of the time, I get that 18 to 23 percent odd number; it has to be an odd number. I tried it nine years back and ever since I've been doing it and it's so important that you tell them: "Hey, I really appreciate you, I like your work, everything but our budget does not have that." Bring it back to the budget and then they would love to do it because they have these full-time employees and if they don't have a job, shew!
James: I mean when you have a big amount of a number of units, they are willing to really work with you so that's really good.
Vinney: They really do, they really do, exactly.
James: So you use vinyl flooring, I would say?
Vinney: Yeah, we do faux, those are really great; you can cut them, you could put them, they are very durable and some of them, I think we work with several different vendors and they give us really good things. Please, also some of your audience, if you are looking at me or seeing, please ask your district manager to give you some of their remaining flooring in the warehouse; they will deep discount them.
James: Oh, really?
Vinney: I don't mind.
James: Why not?
Vinney: No, I mean, we did it in some of my renovation deals just recently. They said: "Vinney, okay, we'll sell you at half the price."
I said: "I'm fine, sure."
James: Do you sell vinyl plank or do you do vinyl roll?
Vinney: Okay, vinyl plank also and rolls also, we do both.
James: Okay, depends on whoever gives the cheaper, right?
Vinney: Yeah and depends on if it's a 'B' asset in a nice area that way.
James: What about advertising? What do you think is the most effective advertising [27:42unintelligible]
Vinney: I am so glad you're asking me, James.
James: I know the details, right?
Vinney: You do, you know, you are a great performer, I can tell already, you know. See the thing is, 81 percent of the residents when they are looking into moving into a community, they Google search. When you Google search apartment in Angleton, for example, Texas where my assets are and other places, you will come to my property first; wow! Why? Because apartments.com has 81 percent of the market and I actually, worked with them and they gave me a discount of $150 per month to get all the assets as a bulk so I tried to do that. It's good to do master businesses and you know preferred vendors we call them.
James: Okay, so use apartments.com or?
Vinney: Apartments.com, our own website, Craigslist, we do everything; oh, yeah, all three.
James: Do you do Google AdWords?
Vinney: OK, Google AdWords; we haven't done that much because what we find is that, most of the time people are able to drive-by; I'm very big on drive-by that's why I buy those flag poles and everything and then we do Master canvassing the business. So we give 5 percent off and I would love to send you some--you know, my daughter actually Monica is very much involved in our business now and she is the graphic genius and she's actually taking care of all my CEO responsibilities, I love that. But the best thing is that she designs and our graphic artist in the Philippines,
they design a lot. Also, by the way, I can put you in touch with them, they've been with me like for the last 5 years, let's say, you know because my Moneill Investment Group, Management Group is only 4 years old.
I started four companies, first of all, I can say four you know, like ideal investment, ideal management, with my partner. We did 14 syndications, then I did 12 syndications in two years and two months in my Moneill Investment Group in 2014, November, I started that. We were in 67 employees like that within the two-year span but I didn't count my old payroll, by the way, that was about another 35 before so in total, we had about over 100 at one time.
James: So you basically have given up on third party property management company?
Vinney: Oh, no, no way. No way because again, I don't want to sound very arrogant; they do a good job, but they have profitability built in every place. I mean, even the contractors I hired, it's amazing how much kickbacks to get in this whole business. There is profit profit profit profit; they charge you 30% for the materials, they charge you 30 to 40% above the labor even 50% above labor. You know, it's amazing.
James: Just so much because it's not their baby.
Vinney: No, it's not. That's the hardest part; you can find some great property management companies, but you have to work so hard to find them because the thing is, it just will not work for them. You know, I mean, you got to get honesty; honest people are there, they are there.
James: but do you think this property management company used---I mean what I've heard is, you have to still be a very active Regional Manager type of even though you give it a third party, you can't just leave it to them.
Vinney: No, you cannot; see the thing is, actually that's how I teach my students also to work with smaller property management companies because they will like to give you more weight. You have to learn the business; the idea is to make your own property manager, it's not rocket science. It seems like that way, it's not that bad at all because once you hire Property managers who have 15 to 20 years of experience, that's what I decided in my new company, right?
I said I'm not going to hire people who are like two years three years four years because they are just learning; I want to pay a little higher amount, but let's hire some better quality managers who know the fair housing laws who have gone through several CCIM, you know other property management32:35crosstalk] yeah, right exactly, who know the situations and then we train them, by the way now. So in our company, Monday at 2 PM and Friday at 2 PM, every week we train our team through Zoom meetings all across our properties, that's their set time.
James: So, what do you train them on?
Vinney: All different topics; like leasing 101, taking care of the MMRs and how to do this, how to do marketing, how to do all this and we record all that. So now we are designing a Property Management Academy from my Online Academy, which is going to be multifamily management Academy. I already have the domain name that I got five years back because I knew I'll be doing that.
James: That's very good. So, let's go back to a different topic other than the property management side of it; let's go to Asset Management, buying deals, acquisition, right? So, is there a deal that you thought was a bad deal and you walked out of it and later you realize it was a good deal?
Vinney: You know, that's a good point, James. I would say that once I walk out of there, I don't keep any contact with a broker because once I make a decision, I'm fast, quick, you know, I mean, I think Grant Cardone says that, yeah, I follow him little.
But the thing is he says winning--no, he didn't tell me; he tells his audience that you got to really do your due diligence even before you put 'LY'. Once you put 'LYs' go with a letter from my broker also, by the way, because whenever I get a pocket listing, I send it to, Brandon Brown LMI Capital, my broker and he underwrite it.
He gives me everything I need to know; I also give the address to my insurance agent and he gives me the real cost. Also then we go to the assessor's office, we find out the property tax also in real terms, what it's going to be. Those are the big, three things that you need to close on the property. I'm happy to tell you that I've closed on all 26 syndications on time and never faltered from LY to contract to closing.
James: That's good; that's a quality of a good buyer [35:14inaudible]
Vinney: People like that; like in Houston, I started buying and there was no property in the county I wanted to buy, James. I went to the big Cheese's and I shared with them, you know, I'm a broker in California, my humble opinion, I know you're saying in the area I want to buy that there's nobody there, there's no listing. Would you please call the buyers who you sold to five years back and tell them, are they interested in selling to this Indian chap who wants to buy their properties? I said that to ARA, to Marcus Millerchap, to Houston property; all these people, within three months, I started getting listings, bucket listings. I mean. they were just coming from every which way and I was syndicating, every second month, I was closing a deal.
James: Do you like Houston mark?
Vinney: I love it. I love it. I think if anybody's listening to me, you're missing the boat if you're not in Houston, especially after Harvey; rents went up, they stabilized, I own 10 properties there. I've sold two already, one to Sienna Willa; just to let your audience know, just to kind of give them a little taste of it, 3.550 I paid, three million five five zero but it had 16 unit burned down. Sixteen units, one building was burned down so I bought it and we just sold it for 8.6 million.
James: Wow! That's awesome.
Vinney: My investors are loving us and everything and I knew I'll double their money in four, three to three and a half years or something which I did so that's exciting. So Houston is there, just that it's not oil dependent as it used to be. It's medical, big medical center, IT, NASA and Retail Center.
So those are all very positive things along with oil also some portions of it and petroleum and gas and all but Houston is the way.
James: So really, let's switch back to slightly different more personal stuff so why do you do what you're doing?
Vinney: You know what, I don't need to do anything, to be truthful. We are fully, fully very well settled, everything and I just have passion. I'm 67, by the way; I'll be 67 in August, August 27, please send me flowers- just kidding - when I was doing W2 job, James, I would really get up at six thirty seven, quarter to 7:00, 7:00; I'm up at 4:30, I'm up at five o'clock now, doing my miracle morning, doing my chanting and listening and yoga and all that and my exercise and I'm on the vision board now for the next 25 years.
Vinney: Up to 92; I'll be 92 then but you got to have that passion and I'm so passionate. What would I do, otherwise watching TV, looking at all these news that I cannot do anything about it or volunteer? I love to do a lot of volunteer work, which I'm doing but the key thing is how much can you do?
You got to have the passion. So my real passion right now is that 50 million dollar fund to buy quarter billion dollar in real estate and then sell and then teach. I think my passion also is now I've been a motivational speaker all my life; 37 years career in motivational speaking and fundraising, that's what my business, by the way.
I only worked like four months in a year for 37 years, real work; each month I had almost fun, my life has been like that. So with my teams of people, I can delegate quite well, I can compartmentalize quite well and I just enjoyed traveling. My family goes out for four, five, six, vacations and I come into my office and just crush it.
I have a lot of topics I want to talk more and I do Master coaching now also for such a small price. I get people telling me, you should be charging 40,000, 50,000 easy for what you are giving us and I charge five, only five so it's ridiculous.
But I'm not here to make money, my money comes from Acquisitions.
James: Absolutely; I think that's important because the audience needs to know sometimes people do stuff not for money, right? I mean, yeah, we do it for money but there's a lot of 'why' behind it.
Vinney: Exactly; you know the family, the education.
I mean, why I got into real estate was to give good education to our children, you know, he went to Berkeley, Monica went to UCLA, not a single loan. No, nothing; Mom, Dad took care of everything, you know like that. Retirement, other things, buying, you know.
James: Family is the time when...
Vinney: Yeah, charitable trust all that, you know and building schools, all the good stuff, it's so important in life. So as you asked me in the 'whys'; I am so fired up at this stage in my life and I feel that I have a lot more years to give.
James: I think you're thinking you can contribute a lot more to humanity, right?
Vinney: Surely; and the passion also James, if you don't mind, it's with youth. I also own Youth Academy, youth multifamily Academy, youth school training, all that. My passion is to teach students from high school level to even College levels to really get into the entrepreneurship model. Getting into designing an LLC, forming a Wyoming LLC and cheaply, very cheaply but then saving the money and getting it to the 401k and all that and starting a business on the side as they are learning so that by the age of 21- 22 to have a duplex they own themselves. They could live in one side and the other side, the resident will be paying for there and it will be free and clear.
Vinney: You know, that's my passion and I want to convert my lectures into Spanish, Indian language and French and Italian like that.
James: So we are coming to the end so I know you have to run somewhere but one question; do you have like 3,100 units and [42:08unintelligible] operator, is there any funny story from tenants that you can share with the audience?
Vinney: Oh my God, lots of them; oh my God James.
James: The funniest ones?
Vinney: The excuses we get from the residents, you would not believe. I mean, they said, oh we wrote a check and the dog ate it. I know this is ridiculous. What! You say, what! Oh, yeah, I had the money order and this happened that happened; we get so many different ones.
Now, we do texting; we do texting, by the way, through our software we could text, we can get them to opt-in and then we can text them, rent is due on the first, it's late on the fourth, but then they have all the sobbing stories. I mean, again, I have a bigger heart but my property managers, they align me. They say, Mr. Vinney, you got to just not give because we have to be fair housing laws, right? You have to be only fair, you cannot give any preferential treatment to anybody.
But you know, we do have within our company, I would love to mention, you know, we have like a grant we established. So that's where some of our team members need some extra money, we are able to do it through the grant. Harvey happened, we donated, my wife and I donated, into the grant for our team members and we got them trucks, we got them other stuff and cars and things like that, you know, because they were helping us.
You know, it's no fault of theirs that Harvey came and they lost their vehicles and things like that but funny stories, oh my gosh! And oh, wait a minute, not only just the residence; I know, I know, I mean, how about even the team members too, we have lots of community stories. One thing I would like to say that is no matter how difficult the situation comes, we should always take a first look at it because things happen for a reason.
We need to listen to what they are trying to say, we got to just listen and then find a win-win situation. And many times if we do that way a lot of times the residents feel better, they do, the team members feel better and you every aspect, vendors. I get really antsy when they're not doing their job correctly and this and that and shoot out some emails and all that but then I say, "Hey I was a little bit harsh, I apologize but we need to get it though."
James: So how can my listeners find you?
Vinney: Oh sure; actually, we have two different, very nice; they could text the word 'learn' 4 letter word to 4 7 4 7 4 7. So they can just text that and my team members will be able to send them my academy information, what's entailed, some testimonials; I'm getting testimonials like crazy from my students who have crushed it within three months, they are buying like 200 units and 150 units, raising two million dollars by using my deck of the cards, credibility kit and all the things and scripts. But then the other one is syndication; if they can text the word syndication to 474747, they can reach my team also, and that is to partner with me. They can also invest with me, partner with me on the GP side and invest as an accredited investor in the fund.
James: Good, thanks Vinney for joining me today. Basically, my first podcast and was really happy to have you here and my audience, you know, hope for me to bring more quality content to you guys.
As I said, I'm going to ask different questions, not the normal high-level questions, we want to go deep into the details.
Vinney: I would love to, James if I can refer any way and get congratulations to you. If you want me to hit certain other aspects even just going deeper for your audience as you get their questions, I would love to spend time with you.
James: Yeah, I mean, I think that's important because a lot of podcasts goes super high level and you want to learn. I mean, if I want to spend [46:41crosstalk] I want to learn as much as possible in this.
Vinney: That is so true, that's missing, I think you know. I know my friend Whitney has started syndication and we are going to do there also because people want to listen and they say what can I apply it right now.
James: And for those who do not know, we launched our book this week, Passive [47:02inaudible]
Vinney: Congratulations, I'm so proud of you.
James: Yeah. Thanks, in two days, we have international bestseller because even in Canada, we hit number one too so that was...
Vinney: I love it. I love it. That's so wonderful, congratulations.
James: You can go to Amazon and get it and there's a free audio-book which will be announced at the end of this podcast.
Vinney: Awesome. Well, I'm buying it right now, I'm going to go to Amazon. Hey guys, everybody, buy James book. Yes. Yes.
James; We have 21-star reviews right now and a lot of really good reviews, I didn't expect. It was a small [47:34unintelligible] project, you can't make money selling books.
Vinney: No you can't, it's like parting knowledge, that's so true.
James: I want to make sure my passive investors get educated as well because it's just mixed makes it much more better.
Vinney: Totally, totally, alright James. Thank you. Thank you so much.