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Diary of an Apartment Investor

First Deal Episode with Alex Escobar

Brian Briscoe | Alex Escobar

The importance of networking with Alex Escobar  as he talks about closing on a 64-units apartment complex in Danville, VA.

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Alex Escobar
Alex is on a journey to financial and time freedom, to set an example for his daughter, and to have fun along the way.  Whether you're buying your first home, selling, or investing to build wealth, you might want to connect with Alex.   He's a realtor and an investor that buys income-producing apartment buildings and offers the opportunity for others to partner with him, sometimes for less than it would cost to buy a single family investment property. 
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And check out his Podcast "Screw the Stock Market" on any podcast app

Your host, Brian Briscoe, is a co-founder and principal in the real estate investing firm Four Oaks Capital.  He and his team currently have 629 units worth $36 million in assets under management and are continuing to grow.  He will retire as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps in 2021. Learn more about him and the Four Oaks team at  or contact him at - be sure to let him know where you found him.

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Mon, 5/9 10:30AM • 42:07
deal, people, closing, real estate, felt, investors, podcast, unit, raise, wire, money, investing, big, worked, notary, apartment, property, danville, multifamily, lender
Alex Escobar, Brian Briscoe

Brian Briscoe 00:00
What advice would you give an aspiring investor that's trying to get their first deal closed?

Alex Escobar 00:06
What worked for you ended up being networking, right? It's about kind of making sure you know what your strengths are and what you bring to the table. And it's hard when you're new because because you're new, you don't necessarily have specialized skill set in fundraising, or analyzing or anything. So it's just just be in the game and surround yourself with people who are like minded because it encourages you, it keeps you going. Like I said, I mean, I was shopping for years. And I could have given up and I think the big reason is that I network then I just was motivated by the energy.

Brian Briscoe 00:48
Welcome to the diary of an apartment investor podcast with your host, Brian Briscoe. In this podcast we bring some of the top professionals in the apartment investing field to discuss various aspects of the apartment investing journey with the sole purpose of educating listeners to make wise investment decisions. The Diary of an apartment investor podcast is sponsored by four oaks capital, bringing you high yield returns through apartment complex investing. Welcome to the diary of an apartment investor podcast. I'm your host Brian Briscoe. Very excited for today's show. Bring it on a friend, somebody I've known for a couple of years now. We're going to do a first deal episode. It's actually a first and second deal episode. So today we're talking with Alex Escobar. Alex, welcome to the show.

Alex Escobar 01:32
With Brian, I'm really excited to be here. It's, you know, it's kind of cool to be on this side of it of listen your show, pretty much since the beginning, man. So it's really cool.

Brian Briscoe 01:42
Thanks a lot. I appreciate it. Yeah, we've known each other for quite a while. It's fun to hear you talk about this. And I'm really excited. So let's start out with this. Tell us a little bit about yourself, you know, what's your, your background? And how did you get into apartment investing?

Alex Escobar 01:58
Okay. Well, you know, my dad was an entrepreneur, right? And so very early on, I remember maybe I was like, 1716 years old, he bought me the Carlton sheets, real estate investing

Brian Briscoe 02:12
the one that used to be on late night TV. Yes, yeah.

Alex Escobar 02:16
So that was kind of the first introduction. And I actually want remember watching the videos and be like, Wow, this will be cool. Someday when I'm when I'm grown. I'm just a kid, um, that, you know, I'm not there yet. And I was just focused on making it to the NBA at that point. But that was kind of the first bug that kind of put real estate investing on my radar, grew up, got a job, got my MBA, did all this stuff. And then eventually, I came back to the US after being abroad, I had a nonprofit that I started with some friends. And when I came back to the US, and I got this, I got a government job in DC. And it was great. It was something that is a job that a lot of people would kill for it was a job in international development at the US Agency for International Development. And it was doing very meaningful work. And I was, you know, really motivated by it and everything it was, it was really good. But at the same time, I always had that entrepreneurial thing inside, I always knew that. That wouldn't be my kind of forever destiny. Like I saw, I was really thankful for the job I had. But at the same time, I knew I wanted more. I wanted something different. Yeah. And I remember, it started when I first got passed over for promotion, as you know, no hard feelings, I get it. But I still wanted a promotion. And so I went out and got it myself, I got my real estate license. And I started selling houses on the side did all that stuff. And I was making extra money. I was paying off my student loans. I was doing all this good stuff. And I was feeling really good about myself. And I did that for years honestly. And my plan was essentially do real estate as an agent, so that I can grow in knowledge and skills so that eventually I can become that real estate investor when I had money when I had that extra income. In the meantime, I was still doing deals as a real estate agent on the side while I was doing my nine to five and diving into my education on real estate, you know, bigger pockets, books and all that stuff. And eventually I came across this book on real estate investing called financial freedom with real estate investing. It's all about apartments.

Brian Briscoe 04:33
That's the Michael blanc one, right?

Alex Escobar 04:35
Correct. Yeah. God, I remember I Yeah, it was it. You know, I'm a slow reader, but I read it in four hours on a four hour bus ride from visiting, you know, from one city to another in Honduras, just visiting some family. And I said, wow, like, here's all these things that he says you should do. And as a realtor, I'm already doing a big chunk of these things. I already had a database, I'm already communicating with them. about real estate, for whatever that's worth, I was seen as a real estate expert, you know, at least with some of these people. And how hard would it be to say, Hey, if you need to buy a house, call me if you need to sell a house, call me. If you're considering investing in real estate, come call me. Yeah. And I started to kind of just have these conversations with my network. I was just really excited about us, I can do this. And I had never considered something this big of apartments, I always thought I flip a house here and there. And, and that was it. And so I saw this roadmap, I started to follow it. And very quickly, I was really encouraged. I had $600,000 of soft commitments, which is, you know, people saying, hey, yeah, if you find a deal that looks this good, I'll give you 100, I'll give you $200,000. And it was not hard. And I was like, Okay, I didn't. And I just extrapolated, if I have $600,000, which I didn't really have, but I had promises, then I can go out and buy a bigger building. And maybe this will be my my entrepreneurial venture, which is something that I've always known that I've wanted to do. Yeah. And so, you know, that kind of got me into this real estate investing? World. We'll leave it there for now. Because I know,

Brian Briscoe 06:18
yeah, we'll talk a lot more in detail about some of the specifics. But before we do, you know, question I asked everybody on the show. And part of reason I ask is because it wasn't I kind of dabbled with real estate. And it wasn't until I found my own. Why that, you know, I really was able to get a lot of traction. And I, I credit that that big burning why that I had to, to a lot of what I was able to do later, but what is your big burning? Why for doing this?

Alex Escobar 06:51
You know, I'll say that it's, it's a combination of things, right. And one of them is obviously, the the freedom and I'll say I'll kind of tie it back to my youth, which is, I was very carefree. I was spoiled for lack of a better word, right? I had all the opportunity in the world. And I just didn't need to worry about money ever, really, until my adulthood. And I remember how liberating that was, I remember how I had all these creative and all these other things. So there was part of it is just, I want that freedom. I want that freedom back that I know that I once felt right. The other part is, is connected now to the fact that my first deal came, I got the phone call two weeks before the birth of my first child. And so you know, there's one line in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which is, you know, a lot of real estate investors really love that book. And I'm one of them. There's one line in there, where he talks about how some people will use the fact that they have a child as an excuse and say, oh, you know, I can't take risks, I can't do these things. Because I have a child. And some other people will say, I must do these things, because I haven't tried it out. Yeah. And so I really feel like setting an example. And and also obviously providing is is a big part of that for me. So because I have this child, I want her to experience this other path in life,

Brian Briscoe 08:25
you know, and since you since you brought that up, I've been on both sides of that coin. You know, I think the the first opportunity I mean, I most people know I spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, but my first opportunity to get out the reason that I stayed in and I didn't do something real estate related or more entrepreneurial, or more what I wanted was because I had two kids, and I needed to stable income is what I thought, but my reason for getting out was because I wasn't seeing my kids enough. And I had to I had to build the multifamily business so that I could spend more time with those kids. So I was at different points in my life. I was on both sides of that coin. You know, one was before I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and one of them was many years after but yeah, I've used my kids as an excuse to, you know, claim to the W two job and I've used my kids as an excuse to liberate myself. So good excuse all about perspective. Yeah, perspective. So Well, cool. So let's, let's go a little bit into the real estate journey and dive a little deeper. What were some of the challenges you had getting started in multifamily?

Alex Escobar 09:35
Okay, so, you know, like I said, I read this book. And I think it's very common with a lot of these books. It's like, oh, yeah, you do this, do this step 123. Then you're successful. And the devils in the details. There's all these challenges along the way. So I had my roadmap of what I needed to do step one, step two, step three. And like I said, I felt like I was already on step three, like I had step one and two, I had my network Rick, I had some credibility with them. And I was already kind of had these soft commitments where I felt okay, now I have some, I have some money in the bank, which I didn't. But then I said, Okay, now I can go out and shop. And I extrapolated, and I said, Okay, any deal under 2 million, I think I can take down with this amount of soft commitments. And I went out and shopped and negotiated and analyzed. And I shopped it to analyze and negotiated and I did that for two years. And, you know, the closest I came was a breakeven deal, where, if everything went, Well, I would make $0. And it wasn't a good deal. So I couldn't move forward on anything. And I just wasn't making progress. I was really frustrated. One thing I also want to say is that this whole time, while I was shopping, and analyzing and negotiating, I was actively still getting educated. I was still listening to podcasts like this one. Yep. And one thing I would do is actually follow up with the people, the guests on the podcast, because everyone has some sort of a, you know, here's my website. Yeah. And I would actually call them or email them and say, hey, you know, could you give me 20 minutes, you know, just wanted to connect them, I would actually do that. And I connected with some people who were doing this at a very high level. And I was hoping, oh, you know, like, maybe I could come in and mop the floors for them. Or I could come in and do something and just kind of be friends with these people and learn and I didn't know what would happen, but

Brian Briscoe 11:32
you're putting yourself out there. And that's, and you're learning from people. And here's a secret that a lot of people don't realize, is there. There's two types of people, there's a type of people that go on podcast, and as a type that don't know, the type that go on podcast, want to be contacted. That's, that's why they go on podcasts. And, you know, I was always reluctant to reach out to people. And I think one of the biggest turning points in my journey was that I heard on a podcast was Michael blanc podcast, that, you know, really, like, man, there's a lot of similarities between what he's doing what he did, and what I want to do. And I reached out to him, and that was, that was one of those turning points for me. But anyway, to people listening, you know, Alex and I both, you know, realize this, but reach out to people, you know, so if something Alex says, you know, hits you and strikes a chord, reach out to him.

Alex Escobar 12:24
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And I'll say that exactly happened. Right, like one of these people who was at a very high level, I remember, you know, you get you get the 20 minute call. And I had my kind of prepared questions of what I wanted to ask him. And I said, Okay, well, I don't want to take up too much your time. Thank you for your time. Goodbye. You know, wait, wait, Alex, you know, let me ask you some questions. And he actually took it a step further than, than anyone that I had talked to before. And I mean, I felt just so encouraged by that call that, you know, it just, it was someone who kind of reached through the phone and just kind of put his hand on my shoulder, he's like, you're going in the right direction, you're going to be successful, and I'm going to help you get there. Yeah. Wow. You know, that blew me away. Like, I've never had that kind of mentorship by someone who was at that level. And so that relationship stayed in place. But we ended up not, you know, he was at another he didn't need me at that point. But, but it was still just really nice. And it was something that they were giving value to me. And I was struggling. I was like, How can I give value to someone on this level? You know? And the truth is, I feel like I've given adequate value, right. But the point is that I kind of took their advice, and I kept going. So that specific person, I told him, Hey, I've been shopping for two years, and I'm pretty frustrated. You know, I don't know what's going on. Yeah, he just said, he said two things for me. He said, Keep doing what you're doing, you're on the right track, focus more on networking. That's where you're gonna make your breakthrough. And so I just did what he said. And I just kept doing it, I joined the community of other investors. And what I did is I looked in that big community of people, and I just said, Hey, who's in the DC area, let's meet in person. And I just started calling people and just saying, Hey, if you're in town, let's let's try to connect and to thoroughly so I wasn't asking people to get married with me right away. But I was just saying, hey, you know, let's connect. Let's see what you're talking about. And we're, we're building relationships. And like I said, this is maybe a year or nine months later. You know, right before my baby was born, I got the call. And one of these people that I had connected with and we kept in touch, and he said, Alex, I got a great deal. Do you want to help me raise money for it? And I said, I'm interested. I'm intrigued. But you know, I got this event coming up. And he said, You know, it's good, it's a sweetheart deal, think it over, here's some information, get back to him. And, and it was, you know, that was the first deal. And what was good about it is it was someone who was more experienced than me. But he was maybe two steps ahead of me, instead of 10 steps ahead, he was at a point where I could still actually contribute meaningfully to the work and to the, to the venture. And so it was really a match made in heaven. So yeah,

Brian Briscoe 15:33
that's, that's kind of typical. It's, it's something I've noticed, and we talked about this before we hit the record button. But, you know, the bigger the gap between two people that the harder it is for a real value relationship to come out of it, you know, it's not impossible. I mean, there are ways that you can add value to people who are, you know, 90 steps ahead of you. But I see more and more frequently, you know, people latching on to people who are three and five steps ahead of you, you know, one or two deals ahead. And they're just trying to scale or trying to reach the next level. And it's like, Okay, I think I see that a lot more frequently, then, you know, hey, this guy's got, you know, 2000 units, he's gonna bring you on as a full partner, that doesn't happen a whole lot. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but it doesn't happen a whole lot.

Alex Escobar 16:23
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, at least in my case, it worked out, it's someone who, and we have complementary skill sets, right, he's a lot more in the construction side. And I'm much more on kind of these Investor Relations and Marketing and, and that kind of thing. So it's, it really is working out very well. And, and so that's how I got into that first deal.

Brian Briscoe 16:45
So let's let's, let's talk briefly about the 26th unit. And then we'll we'll launch into the 64. So So you said that he called you up wanting you to partner with him. And in Part of the reason he wanted to partner was to raise capital. Take it, take it from there talk about getting into the deal, the capital raising experience, and how it went.

Alex Escobar 17:10
So, like I said, first the baby was born, then there was chaos, no sleep madness, then a few I don't know, maybe a month later, my wife still will hold a grudge. You know, I was on paternity leave. And but here's this opportunity I've been working towards for years. And I said, Well, I gotta make this happen, you know. So I really dove in first was my own due diligence on him as a person on this partner, and on the deal, because he was already a few steps ahead of me, in his own due diligence of the of the property, so I kind of needed to get up to speed and make sure I really believed in him. Yep. And I really believed in the deal. Yeah. And so I asked some hard hitting questions, I really tore apart like all of his assumptions in his analysis, and really just made sure I was on board. And, you know, once I really believed in it, then I picked up the phone and started calling and communicating with my network. And so I just hit the phones. And again, like I said, Before, I had 600,000 in the soft commitments. And our, you know, our sales price was 600,000. For this channel, it was very small compared to a lot of syndications. And so we were only going to raise I think 300,000, which would be enough to buy the property and then some some capital expenditures to improve it. And all those soft commitments kind of disappeared. And I maybe that's normal. But for me, I was kind of wait, I've been working towards this for you

Brian Briscoe 18:40
very normal, if the answer it is very normal, you know, and I think, because a lot of times it's all hypothetical, you know, you go out to your friends, and it's a hypothetical, it's a it's a low pressure, it's like, hey, if this happens, would you and you know, it's really easy for someone to say yes, you know, and, and sometimes it's, you know, I don't want to disappoint my friends. So I'll just say yes, anyway, but yeah, it's, it's actually very common for a lot of those soft commits, especially on the first deal to not pan out, you know, and so that is absolutely common. So, anyway, go ahead with the story. But,

Alex Escobar 19:17
you know, if that happened, and then we were struggling to make ends meet, even though my role was primarily to raise money, my partner, you know, brought in people from his network and, and I was able to bring in people from my network, and we got enough to close the deal. We had to make some adjustments to our business plan, you know, based on a little bit less money overall, but we still, you know, it's still going to be just as good of a deal if not probably better for our investors, because it's kind of a, you know, they get bigger pieces of the pie. And then, you know, we were able to close I mean, it was it was amazing for me, you know, like all these is at this point, it had been a few years of work and and it's just kind of a sweetheart deal. You know, we'll fast forward and now we're starting to think about our exit for that for that deal. And so, you know, I, what I guess I'll say is I just stuck to even though those soft commitments dried up, people who hadn't soft committed ended up putting money in and, you know, people who I least expected it was actually people, past clients from my real estate, who weren't necessarily like very close friends. But, you know, they saw me as a professional, I had done a good job as a realtor for them. And they, they saw my expertise, and they said, Hey, we can we can apply that to this. So it worked out really well. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 20:38
relate, you know, relationships in your personal reputation, especially on the first deal, that's probably the key to raising capital is leveraging your your personal reputation leveraging your your pre existing relationships. And that's, that's how most people get through the first deal. So. So 26 unit, you made it you closed it, you're you're operating it, you're looking to come full cycle here soon. How much how long after this one did the 64 unit come along?

Alex Escobar 21:08
So that one we got under contract just about six months later. So that was January 2021. So maybe, maybe June or July 2021, we got it under contract. And so you know, what was cool is because my partner, his first deal was a 40 unit in that same city of Danville, Virginia. And so he had a few other deals outside of Danville, but then he kind of had this inside track with the property manager, any deal that kind of came on, in Danville, he was going to be one of the first people getting the call almost that first rider, right of first refusal. Yeah. And so, you know, the 26 unit was his second deal in Danville. And again, he just kind of got that call, said, Yes, I'll take it right away. And then now, this his third deal, in Danville, my second was right across the street from our first night, again, we got this nice inside track where thankfully, you know, we were the first ones in to some of these deals before they get competed before they get all this stuff. And, and, you know, I guess we, we've been kind of, I guess, wise enough to be able to lock them up before they had to get out there. And the truth is, they're very good deal. So,

Brian Briscoe 22:25
you know, and some, something that a lot of people don't realize is the property managers can be a very good source for deal flow, you know, property managers, I mean, if they manage properties, at some point, the owners, if they're thinking about selling, they're going to tell the property managers often before they tell brokers, because it's like, I mean, you know, how the game works, you know, you're gonna give their your T 12. Up, and, and people are gonna evaluate the property based on the T 12. And so, it goes like this, and, you know, owner, the property manager, hey, we're going to be selling this property in six months. So we need to be super duper efficient at the operations. And so the property managers are like, Oh, you're selling, huh? Hey, I'm going to pick up you know, and so if you'd let your property manager know, obviously, you have to have a deal first. But if you let your property manager know that you're looking for more deals, when something like this pops up, they know to call you. And I think this is what exactly, you know, a prime example of it is, you know, they they knew to call your partner because they knew he was buying in the in the area, and is interested in buying more. So anyway, that said, you guys got the deal. From the property manager, you know, my diatribe is over gang getting off my soapbox. And back to you.

Alex Escobar 23:45
This to add one point to that is we just got another call saying, hey, you know, the other building right down the street is interested if you are, and this was just another one, they actually picked up the phone on our behalf, just to make that connection. So it's very true what you're saying. Okay, so then, now we're on the 64 unit. This is our second deal. And what was cool, from my perspective, as someone who's primarily focused on the fundraising, obviously, I'm very involved in asset management to I really after, after that first deal, I just felt a great sense of gratitude and responsibility with the people who put money and trust in me, right. Yeah. And they knew me not well, especially the people who knew me who did it because of me and my name, like you said, my 40 years of of life and reputation or whatever, right. And so, so I really wanted to be very involved in the asset management to, to kind of be hands on and to be that communicator with these people. And so, that's been another part of my role along the way is to send our regular reports to the investors to keep them in the loop and keep them feeling involved in the process? Absolutely. Absolutely. And so with the second one, what was really cool is I felt like I had these months to kind of plan and prepare and communicate. I shared updates on the first deal with people who didn't invest with me, right? I said, Hey, we closed it. Yeah, here's, here's a monthly newsletter, hey, we actually closed it, hey, things are looking good. Hey, here's what's happening in the city of Danville. You know, there's, there's this development, there's this economic stuff happened. And even when I didn't have a deal, people were asking me questions about how to get phone calls and say, hey, you know, you know, I used to date a girl in Danville, you know, I like that town. If you get another one, let me know. And that stuff happened more frequently in those six months than they had in the previous years, just because I had stuff to talk about, right and stuff to share about. And so when it came time for this raise, it was much easier. Some people had already given me those new soft commitments, and they actually pulled the trigger this time. Yeah, it was, it was nice. And it was, you know, the numbers were more typical, right, this deal was priced at 2.6 million. So that's more of what you'd expect for a syndication. And our raising goal was a million dollars. And, and, you know, for me, to get my head wrapped around, I struggled to raise $200,000. And now I'm trying to raise a million dollars. Again, it's one of those limiting belief questions. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 26:32
it's a mental thing. You know, it's like, shoot, can I really do this? Yeah.

Alex Escobar 26:38
And actually, you know, it's funny in talking about networking, I was talking with one another guy who's very much focused on raising and he said, Oh, yeah, you know, smaller deals are actually harder to raise, however, you know, and maybe that's been your experience, but he said, Oh, you know, anything under 5 million, whoops, it's gonna be tough to raise money for that. So who knew? I didn't know that. But yeah, it was very efficient. We, you know, I had some systems in place. By then I, we did a little webinar kind of summarized, it recorded it, anyone who was interested, I had like a little one page summary of what the deal looked like, here's what our projected returns are, if you invest this much, you'd walk away with this much. Let me know, if you're interested, click here to schedule a call with me. And all those things are a lot more automated. And, you know, it was just a very smooth process, honestly, it was just like, This is how it's supposed to be, it was very rewarding. You

Brian Briscoe 27:34
know, and there's, there's something about the deal size, you know, size does matter to investors. Our first deal was a 55 unit. And I remember talking to a guy that had money to invest. And he's like, I don't invest in anything under 100 units. You know, it's like, why? He's like, Well, this may sound petty, but I like unit count, you know, I like to tell my friends that I invested in a big, large, expensive apartment building. Right, you know, and yeah, you know, but there's other people who have good reasons for for the 100 Plus units. But there's also the perceived risk on the smaller investments, you know, if you're one of three investors, you know, it seems to be a riskier thing. And there, there is some truth to it. But it is often harder to raise for a small property than a large property, which, you know, it's when you're free for the new investors, you know, that's something you got to take into account. When you when you're talking to the people who have invested in several deals before, a lot of times they have their criteria. And a lot of times your criteria will involve, you know, you didn't count asset class or whatever. But, yeah, it does tend to be harder on smaller properties. And it's always easier on your second deal, because people's perception of you is different. You know, instead of the realtor trying to get into multifamily. You're now the multifamily guy. And so the people who may have been reluctant the first time around, I've seen those updates I've seen Oh, he did close in that 24 unit. Oh, hey, look, it is going great. Oh, hey, look, he can do what he was telling us. He could do and then all sudden, you know, the checkbook start coming out?

Alex Escobar 29:13
Yeah, that was, that was my experience. And so, you know, there was some surprises along the way that weren't related to raising money. Right. And so that there were some other challenges, but thankfully, raising money wasn't one of them for this one. And so, you know, I'll tell you a little bit about some of those challenges, essentially, you know, this is a smaller city. It's a, I guess, what we'd call a tertiary market, right? So it's, it's a smaller city, and it's, it's in the south. And it's, you know, there's just a different pace of life. And so, we had a title company who was, you know, we had kind of it's a smaller company, and we didn't have they didn't have a ton of resources to throw at our deal. And as we approached closing Oh, no, no, no first challenge was a lender. And we'll come back to that one. Yeah. So the lender, we had a previous relationship with a credit union from a from a nearby city. And they were interested in they offered us amazing terms. And time was going by, and the terms were good. They were better than what we had in our analysis and our projections. So we said, okay, maybe it's worth waiting, even if they're a little bit slower. And time kept going weeks, and months. And eventually, after, I think it was maybe like three or four months, they came out, and they're like, we're not interested anymore. And they dragged you know, it was very painful. And so, you know, all along, I'm getting phone calls from investors saying, Hey, did we close on the deal yet? Did we close the deal yet? And for you know, there's only so many times we can say, hey, we're still waiting on the appraisal, get a month later, hey, we're still waiting on the appraisal. Two months later, it's just kind of, I felt like a broken record. But I did just want to keep trying to communicate with people and keeping them in the loop. Eventually, we had to scrap them and go and find another lender. And thankfully, this one came through. The terms weren't as favorable. But they they did what they said they were going to do, and we moved on it, you know? Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 31:20
I think in that case, money is more important in terms, right. Yeah. So actually getting the money. Especially, I mean, the lender is always the biggest partner. And they're, they're often the biggest pain. And many times, I mean, I've been a general partner on on 10 properties. Now, a lot of times every, every single time that we have been pushed past our projected closing date, it's been because of the lender, you're waiting for the lender to get through their processes to finally approve it. And I've had to make that call several times, you know, just like, yeah, we're still waiting on the lender. We are still waiting on the lender, we are still waiting on the lender. So yeah,

Alex Escobar 32:03
that's reassuring. Yeah,

Brian Briscoe 32:05
it's a pain. But it's, it's how things happen.

Alex Escobar 32:09
Yeah. And I'll say also, for the first deal, we were able to get seller financing. So a lot of that stuff we didn't, at least from from my perspective was my first deal. And it just seemed like it wasn't an event, right, we just had to agree and get to closing. Yep, this one, there's all these third parties, I guess, the important third party of a lender. By then we then as we approach closing, finally, we have our lender and everything's kind of falling into place. But then there seems to be this kind of back and forth between the lenders, lawyer or lawyer, and the title company, kind of just editing documents back and forth. But I don't know what's normal. But this was just an excessive amount of emails, it was hundreds and hundreds of emails in that last week. I don't know, it was just very scary, very painful. And I'll even like, admit, I guess the scariest part was, finally everything came through. And I think at 3pm, I was out, I was in Florida on vacation. And my partner says, Alex, do you think you could go send a wire? And it's on a Friday? And I said, Well, what if they can't, you know? Yeah, see to me, what if they can't help us? Because it's, you know, I had to drive I think it was 45 minutes from where I was. And just kind of pray that someone at the at the bank could send me you know, could help me wire this money, thankfully, very, very clutch, I really was very uncomfortable with how, how close that was? Yeah, but just all these moving parts were just very, very stressful and, and very kind of down to the wire. And thankfully, we know,

Brian Briscoe 33:52
something we learned with the wire everything down to the wire, but with wiring funds, you know, when you're wiring large amounts, the banks go through extra caution to make sure there's no fraud, you know, if you're wiring a million dollars, you know, it's almost like they're they're taking your first kid is, you know, collapse collateral until you can prove who you're at who you are. But anyway, yeah, that's, that's also something that if you don't know, it's kind of shocking and surprising. But,

Alex Escobar 34:23
yeah, yeah. So, you know, I think from now on, we'll try not to close on Friday. Make sure to, to get in there and kind of get that wire.

Brian Briscoe 34:33
No, no, when the wire deadlines are at, you know, most it's standard throughout the United States. You know, it's 4pm Eastern, but I don't remember what the wire deadline is, but you got to know what the wire deadline is when you're trying to get in and you gotta get that wire into the to the escrow company, you know, in certain amount of time for them to certify to the title agency, you know, to process the deed and whatnot. So it's a It's always last minute. I don't know. I mean, doesn't matter how many times you do it, it seems like it's always, oh, now we've got to wire funds. But anyway.

Alex Escobar 35:11
Yeah. And I mean, you know, I was always just so focused on the raising and finding a deal that I was just kind of shocked that in this case, closing was the hardest part. And maybe that's common as you get, you know, some inertia and you start to say, hey, finding a deal isn't so hard right now. Raising money is getting easier. I guess closing is still hard. I don't know how, yeah,

Brian Briscoe 35:33
it gets easier. And you're able to forecast more and more and you can you notice no certain things. I mean, here's here's something a problem we had on our last closing one of my partners is from India. And when we close on the property, he was in India and I didn't think about it, but US banks don't accept Indian notaries, you know, and it was just something like, that's what held up the closing on this one, you know, was, you know, he's signing on the loan documents, but he can't get a notary and his bank doesn't allow the video, notaries, you know, so it ended up being there. There's always something and even though it was the 10th 10th 10th time, we've closed on something, and we thought we had everything lined up. It was just one thing that I didn't think of is, oh, yeah, you know, and I just thought, oh, yeah, he'll he'll be able to find the notary there. I mean, they, they didn't know, I've notarized stuff overseas, you know, why can't he you know, but yeah, there's, there's typically something that pops up in the closing process. And even after 10 deals, there was there's still something that popped up that delayed us and was like, Oh, crap, you know, which meant the title company, or the the title attorney had to redo the closing statement. And I think we ended up having to do a second wire the next day for, you know, whatever the change in the, the the amount was, but anyway, we're running out of time. So let's wrap up. And a couple of quick questions to wrap up, you know, first question, what's next for you?

Alex Escobar 37:07
Well, you know, after closing on this second deal, in January, I planned for it, and I was able to leave my job with the government. So now I'm a full time real estate investor and real estate agent. And a big part of that was, it's not that I've got all this money coming in. So honestly, it's a leap of faith. Because I felt a big sense of responsibility, like what I was saying, Now, almost $2 million, kind of managing for people of other other people's money. And I really want to be very hands on I really want to make sure it's successful. And, and that, again, aligned with my goals, you know, but it's not like I have all this passive income coming in just yet. It's just successful, so that we can get there. And so now, I'm just kind of doubling down on what I've been doing. I'm going to continue to sell houses, I'm going to continue to find deals and and I started a podcast called screw the stock market. And essentially, hey, you know, that's one route, you can go down, or here's another and we look at different alternative investments. It's just kind of like minded people, whether it's real estate, or I've talked, I've had note, people come on the show, and it's just cool for networking. It's fun, you know, yeah, I'm sure you would agree. And I'm just kind of doubling down on what I've been doing. So I'm, I'm really excited. I get to get up every morning. And I'm focused on the things that I'm most excited about, that I'm most passionate about. And I'm really loving life right now. So.

Brian Briscoe 38:42
So what advice would you give an aspiring investor that's trying to get their first deal closed?

Alex Escobar 38:50
What works for you ended up being networking, right? And it's, it's about kind of making sure you know, what your strengths are and what you bring to the table. And it's hard when you're new, because because you're new, you don't necessarily have the specialized skill set in fundraising, or analyzing or anything. So it's just just be in the game and surround yourself with people who are like minded because it encourages you, it keeps you going. Like I said, I mean, I was shopping for years. And I could have given up and I think the big reason is that I networked and I just was motivated by the energy. I'm you were honestly, the first in person networking. I have it. I went to you were the you were the speaker. That was the first time we met and at first I

Brian Briscoe 39:35
was arrested Jason Stubblefield event.

Alex Escobar 39:37
Yeah, yeah. And with that, you know, I was I didn't know I was still years away from closing on a deal. But you know, just that motivation to continue and kind of stay the course and see that other people have been successful at this is enough to keep you going because I think the biggest thing is falling off the wagon. I'll say that. That's my my advice, and that's what worked for me.

Brian Briscoe 39:59
Awesome. And I agree networking is a huge component in what we do in this in this industry and especially for people getting their start. Alright, last question for you. how can listeners learn more about you?

Alex Escobar 40:12
Well, you can tune into the podcast again, screw the stock market, we're on all those places, wherever you get the podcast. You can follow me on LinkedIn. And and then you can just call me or email I'll make sure to send my my callaloo link, so you can post it in the show notes and people who just connect. But yeah, I'm eager to connect, I'm eager to, you know, I'll say one quick thing I'll point out is in real estate as an agent, right. One of the things that really was a mind shift for me was when I first realized that I had enough of enough experience to be a mentor to newer agents. And I still felt new. And I still don't feel like I'm like this millionaire agent who's, but I still have enough experience that I can help someone who's one or two steps behind. And I can still take mentorship from people who are one or two steps ahead of me. And so, you know, for whatever it's worth, I've closed two deals. I have some experience and I'm happy to help anyone in any way that I can. Love it.

Brian Briscoe 41:12
I love it. All right. Well, hey, thanks a lot for your time today and very much enjoyed hearing your story and best of luck to you and hopefully we can hang out again and break bread again soon. Definitely. Thank you for listening to the diary of an apartment investor podcast today, brought to you by four oaks capital. If you'd like to know more about how to invest in apartment buildings or want to be a guest on our show, visit our website at four oaks or email us directly. If you're still listening, you obviously liked the show. So pull out your phone app, subscribe, and leave us a five star rating on your favorite podcast app. And we'll see you again next week.

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Diary Of An Apartment Investor

The Educational Podcast For Apartment Investors & Future Syndicators

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