Podcast Details

Episode 15

Alik Levin

Get ready for an intriguing exploration into the world of real estate investment with our guest, Alik Levin.

Alik, an ex-IT professional turned real estate aficionado, reveals his journey into the industry, starting with the purchase of a condo in 2016 and evolving into managing a portfolio of rental properties for income generation. Listen in as Alik reveals the 'broken numbers' that led him to real estate, how he transitioned from his IT job, and how his portfolio looks today.

In the second part of our chat, Alik shares his unique approach to managing his investments remotely. Learn about his strategic decision to move his investments from Washington to Arizona, based on factors such as regulatory conditions, low-priced properties, and job/population growth. Hear how Alec manages his portfolio using a ticket tracking system like JIRA and the challenges he faced finding reliable subcontractors in Arizona.

Lastly, Alik provides insight into his methods of managing late payments and tenant communication, sharing his proactive approach to vetting tenants and handling delayed payments. Discover Alik's perspective on the importance of understanding money and his book recommendations for anyone looking to get into real estate. We wrap up the conversation discussing the importance of unlearning outdated approaches and embracing contrarian views and approaches.

Alik's story is an inspiring lesson in perseverance and innovative thinking - don't miss out on these valuable insights.

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Key Takeaways

- The importance of establishing a reliable team of professionals or subcontractors on the ground was emphasized for remote property management.

- Alec stressed the significance of understanding money and recommended books like 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad', 'The Bitcoin Standard', and 'Ninja Selling' for anyone interested in real estate.

- He also highlighted the need to unlearn outdated approaches and embrace contrarian views for success in real estate investing.

- He emphasized open communication with tenants, which has led to prompt payments and avoided the need for late fees.

- His tenant selection process involves choosing areas that attract high-quality tenants and rigorous vetting processes.


0:00:00 - Vikas Gupta

This is the Hacking Real Estate Podcast, episode 15. 

0:00:04 - Alik Levin

One of the things I like to repeat this day is unlearn, unlearn and learn, and make room for seemingly new and contrarian views and approaches. 

0:00:16 - Brandon Hall

Welcome to the Hacking Real Estate Podcast, where we dive into the stories of seasoned, hands-on and tech-savvy real estate investors. We'll learn the strategies and tools they use to maximize returns and minimize hassle, all while navigating the rapidly changing real estate market. I'm your co-host, Brandon Hall, and Managing Partner of Hall CPA, and I'm sitting alongside my co-host, Vikas Gupta, CEO of Azibo. With our combined 15 years of experience in real estate investing and entrepreneurship, we're here to help you up your real estate game. Let's get hacking. 

What's up, everybody? Welcome back to another episode of the Hacking Real Estate Podcast. Here today we're with Alik Levin. He's a real estate investor who started his venture in 2016 by buying a condo, and he continued acquiring rental properties and generated enough income to support his family while also working as an information technology professional. Alik wrote the book Own your Future With Real Estate, and it's informed by the relentless notes and experiences he had along the way. Alik, welcome to the show. 

0:01:17 - Alik Levin

Thank you, Brandon, happy to be here. 

0:01:20 - Brandon Hall

If you don't mind, just start off by giving us a brief background on yourself and what, maybe what led up to that first purchase and then what made you want to get into real estate. 

0:01:31 - Alik Levin

Gladly. My name is Alik and I'm a geek at heart. I love to learn how things work and how they break, and even further, I like to know how to make them work better. I used to be a computer geek that turned into a real estate aficionado. I have 20 years a career in IT. 

I started 1999 as a trainer on emerging dynamic webpages. That was all the rage. Moved from teaching to actually doing things, writing production code. Then managed the developers, the team of developers. Then I managed a team of cloud operations. At one point I was doing memory dump analysis and fighting vulnerabilities into computer code and finding performance bottlenecks. You can't go geeker at that. That's true hacking, I'm telling you. And then I was fired from my job. The company actually employed financial ego figure and my last IT job was as a program manager, which I left voluntarily last January. So IT is no more for me. But you can get geek out of me and to them even geeker than before. But this time I'm a geek about real estate. 

How I got started Broken numbers, the broken numbers that got me started. I was doing pretty well as an IT geek, enjoying my work, making an impact, making decent money. And then I tried to look ahead and see where it's all going and the numbers just didn't work. The numbers didn't work the 401k and all this stuff. So I searched for alternatives and I couldn't explain why. 

But I picked up a book named Rich Death for the Go Figure. I don't know why I picked up this book and I couldn't believe what I read. I really couldn't believe what I'm reading. Then I followed up reading a book by Tom Wilwright named Tax Free Wealth, and that was the red peel for me and I just swallowed it all in and never looked back. As I mentioned, I bought my first townhouse condo just to test things out. I followed up with a couple more single family rentals, since I didn't want to deal with the HOS anymore, and since then it was quite a roller coaster, and overwhelmingly in good ways. So the broken numbers no more. The numbers since then looked really, really good and better every day. 

0:04:16 - Vikas Gupta

Congratulations. That's quite the story. So can you describe what your portfolio looks like today? 

0:04:24 - Alik Levin

I am into single family homes. I manage two portfolios into states, one in Arizona and one in Washington. Washington is the state I'm aggressively divesting from Washington, where I have started, and similarly, I'm even more aggressively growing my portfolio in Arizona, a portfolio of single family rentals, and these are long-term well, they are long-term rentals. I'm not doing Airbnb and that's how my portfolio looks today. 

0:04:56 - Brandon Hall

How many units do you have today? 

0:04:58 - Alik Levin

You know I ask these questions quite a lot and it's not that I'm not comfortable answering how many doors or units, but if I told I have only two and these two are super-duper high-income, producing $20,000 a month? Or what if I told it's 100 doors that make $500 a month? So I don't look at those things that way, but I'll tell you it's a little over a dozen. I like converting this question into more of a from the business angle. So let it put it this way I've been in the career of 20 years in IT. It's a decent job, decent money, and I was able to change it completely by having this portfolio that supports my family. So I believe, when people ask me how many units you have, I think it's the real question how much money you make. If I may assume and I think that it shows that it makes decent money if I was able to give up on an IT career and now switch onto this portfolio that supports my family, does it make sense? 

0:06:08 - Brandon Hall

Yeah. So talk to me about the cash flow, how you think about the cash flow and supporting your family. Did you have a number in mind where you knew if you hit it, then you would be able to quit your IT job and kind of retire? And my second question is for those of us that might have portfolios that do bring in cash flow. I'm thinking about mine selfishly right now. How do you think through how much cash flow you need if you're going to quit your job? I'm trying to come at this from a way. I'm basically thinking about how do you budget in the maintenance costs, the capex costs, and still know that you're going to have enough to take out of the portfolio to live on? How did you get comfortable with that number and pull the trigger on retiring? 

0:06:51 - Alik Levin

I think I hear you, what you're trying to say and I feel like what you're trying to say, and it's not easy to ask this question. That's easy to answer this question with a simple number and I think the idea behind my approach is what kind of a lifestyle you want to have? What are the income streams do I need to have to support this lifestyle? So, when you have a job, it's easy, right, you have $10,000 gross a month or whatever $100,000, $150,000, or $200,000 if you're an IT professional, and it's easy. You know every month you have that much money coming in. You have exactly the number how much federal tax withholding will be. You know exactly how much you will bring home. 

On the flip side, when you no longer hold W2, it's a completely different mindset. It's a cash income streams that need to support you, and I can name it three. So number one is a cash flow from the rental properties. Right, that's probably the easiest and comparable to your day job. So you have a rental that you collect $2,500 a rent and you pay $2,000 in expenses. You have $500 in cash flow. We have 10 of those. You have $5,000 coming in easy. But then the other one is I do and I'm licensed realtor. I need to disclose this. So that's another income stream which is not very much predictable, right? So if you make a sale, you bring some bacon home. If you don't make a sale, no bacon. And the good thing is that, me being an active investor, I'm my own client. So I'm getting a cut as a realtor when I buy or sell my own rentals. But again, as a realtor it's an income stream, but it's unpredictable. 

And then there's another and third one is the equity. So I do consider it as a source of income, unlike most of the time. When I was wearing my W2 hat, I had my savings of 401K and that was my savings for the retirement. No, today my equity in my portfolio is considered as an income stream. And if I'm short on either of those so for example, for particular month, I have some massive expense on my rental and my cash flow is going to zero and I don't have any sales as a realtor, so I bring zero home hey, I have my equity I can tap into and supplement my income. Does it make sense? So you ask about number. I used to have kind of a metaphor $5,000 is a game changer or something like that, $10,000 is a life is good. So if I get to $10,000 a month in cash flow from different income streams, I think it's a good life. 

0:10:00 - Vikas Gupta

No, thanks, that was really helpful, I guess, to ask a follow up question there, sort of along the lines of what Brandon was getting to, but thinking about sort of expanding your portfolio. Like how much of that cash flow that you're generating are you sort of mentally separating out for I'm gonna use this to grow my portfolio, and how much of the cash flow are you sort of mentally separating out to I'm gonna use this to support my family? So, to make up some numbers, if you're generating $10,000 a month in cash flow, are you saying you know what, I'm gonna manage my lifestyle to eight and then anything above that I'm gonna use to expand the portfolio? Or sort of like. How do you think about that trade off? 

0:10:44 - Alik Levin

It's a great question and seemingly warrants very precise answer, which I don't have, but I do have come in a mental model, actually two. So during my W2 days, when I did have my day job and I have great income that support my family I was not focused on my real estate cash flow growth. What I was focused on, my portfolio growth. So think about the startup company that's focused on growing itself, growing the customer base, not really focusing on a free cash flow right, sometimes it becomes lethal, but hey, we can always fall back on your W2 job to support it. So now. 

So my first, the phase number one, was to grow my portfolio, less focus on cash flow. And cash flow for me was like if I'm positively cash flowing at least $1, I'm in good shape. So I'm not subsidizing anyone's housing right. Now that I flipped to the other side. Now the only thing that I have is income from the real estate. I no longer have W2. I do focus on cash flow very much so I cannot control when the plumbing will blow or roof will leak. I cannot control it. I do know things will happen and when they happen and I do need to pay for those expenses, I tap into my equity to cover for this. So my normal cash flow seemingly becomes intact. But to make a point is that now, on the other side, I do focus on cash flow, and very diligent, and I don't grow that aggressively in terms of the portfolio because it wouldn't be possible without affecting my cash flow to the downside. Does it make sense? 

0:12:34 - Vikas Gupta

Yeah, I think that makes a ton of sense and that's super helpful. Mental model. 

0:12:38 - Alik Levin

Let me add another mental model. Now that we're on the second phase, me and my wife, who's my partner in crime we think about our units as a winery or even whiskey making a whiskey. When you make a whiskey, you probably put it in the barrels for several years and it does nothing, you just sit in the way. I don't know the business of whiskey, but this is how I imagine you just put it in the barrels for several years. Wine you can pop it up in like after whatever very short period of time, started journey, but whiskey is not, so it's a lot of patience. 

Now that we're in the second phase, several units the early units start to mature and so we can pop them open and that means we can roll them over through a 1031 and use aggregated equity as a down payment for the bigger properties that weren't bigger rent. But now, because we rolled out the equity as a bigger down payment, our monthly payment is lower, so a cash flow is Higher, much higher. So it plays into the second phase when I'm focused on the cash flow. 

0:13:53 - Speaker 4

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0:14:32 - Brandon Hall

How do you know it's time to uncork that barrel and enjoy the fine wine? How do you know it's time that it's aged enough where you need to do that tender to exchange and roll forward? 

0:14:43 - Alik Levin

That's a fantastic question with whiskey and again, I don't know anything about whiskey but yeah, it's eight years or six years or 12 years. It's time to uncork right. With real estate it's not like that. The maturity can come very sudden. For example, very unpleasant development with the local jurisdictions that become very hostile toward landlords and you just need to pack and go. Or very pleasant developments when the local jurisdictions invite businesses, reduce property taxes aggressively, bring new businesses that bring their employees. What happens in Phoenix, at least recently, right, but if those combine, then okay, I'm wrapping up things in Washington, I'm moving into Arizona. So this kind of maturity. So the market tells me hey, here's a maturity over here, why don't you uncork some bottle of whiskey and start pouring? 

0:15:47 - Vikas Gupta

So is the reason you're shifting from Washington and doubling down in the Phoenix area regulatory. 

0:15:54 - Alik Levin

Partly. Yes, there are several categories. I think it was four. First of all, we decided it's time to go For several reasons and business is time to go from Washington and business-wise it was one of the key ones. You couldn't find lower at the lower prices units and cash flow was not that good because of the high property tax and other things. So we were looking at the four areas, one and four categories that we were using. One is regulatory, yes, the jurisdictions with the landlord-friendly vibes, I don't know how to tell it. So landlord-friendly jurisdictions, low-priced properties, job growth or population growth and cash flow. So we look at Florida, we looked at Texas, we looked at Idaho and we looked at Phoenix, arizona and all categories, phoenix won by a long margin. 

And where do you live? I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

0:17:00 - Vikas Gupta

Got it, so you're a local to your properties. Are you managing them yourself? 

0:17:03 - Alik Levin

Well, if you consider my Arizona portfolio, which I started when I lived in Washington, so I lived in Washington and I started in Arizona remotely. Now I moved myself and the family to Arizona. I managed my Arizona property locally, but my Washington portfolio is remote. 

0:17:23 - Brandon Hall

Do you still manage that Washington? Yes, I do self-manage it all around. What are the key systems that you have in place to self-manage remotely? And my follow-up question to that is going to be how do you deal with major problems remotely? Where do you feel proper managers could really add a lot of value? 

0:17:42 - Alik Levin

I think property management can have a lot of value in two cases. When you have a lot of units I don't think I have enough units to justify property management yet. Second case is when I want to be completely, completely hands off, like sipping margaritas. I don't know where. There is no internet and I'm not there by choice. So systems I think you nailed it in the hand Systems is what makes a Brexit, and I come from IT and this is where things become hectic and overwhelming very quickly and this is where systems, or lack of it, make it a break. And I bring this knowledge from IT and I'm glad you guys are sitting, but my major system that I'm using today you laugh at me, but it's what I brought from my IT world and it's JIRA. I don't know if you heard about it, have you? Yeah, yeah, okay, that's because of me, not a gig, right? 

0:18:44 - Vikas Gupta

Well, I'm also laughing, because I've migrated. Every company I've been at that used JIRA. We migrated away from JIRA. 

0:18:50 - Alik Levin

Now you know, since you work with this, you know understand how completely giggy I am right. But knowing JIRA, there is no reason why not to use it. But it's a general purpose, general purpose item or ticket tracking system, world-class, fantastic system. So I just created my own system. I used if you're familiar with the ad, it's called Structure. Now I can build a hierarchical views of my LLC, my portfolio, my tenants, and it's click, click, click, click very fast. So, brendan, to answer your question, there is a system, the mindset, that is system, but then there's an IT system that you need to wrap around this mindset, and I try different other systems. 

0:19:32 - Brandon Hall

Appfolio building. 

0:19:33 - Alik Levin

That's for big portfolios and they cost a lot of money. There's the free ones. I can't remember the name, but the problem with them was that it's a predefined box and this is how it works. You need a little customization around here. Oh, my portfolio doesn't look like that. Oh, my entity structure doesn't look like that. I don't want to track it this way. I want to track it. It's impossible. It's impossible and I don't want this view. I want this report and I want to structure it this way. It's impossible. They box you into something that is not. You Screw it. I'm going to build my own and it was very fast for me, and this is it. I'm using that system for myself. What are some? 

0:20:08 - Brandon Hall

challenges you've run into managing your properties remotely. 

0:20:11 - Alik Levin

It's the team that puts on the ground. So it's completely a paramount to build team of trusted subcontractors who can, or professionals it doesn't have to be subcontractors, it's a professional who can, you can reach, you can rely and they can do the job for you. It's completely, completely paramount. I can tell you this. So now I'm local here in Arizona and all my clients who are mostly circle of my friends, who now bring friends of their friends and now their friends bringing them friends, they will be removed. They're all removed, so they're not in Arizona, and I support them as an agent, I support them as a sounding board with my thinking, but also have an extensive list of subcontractors. They do have a landscaper yes, here's the number. Oh, you have a cleaning team? Yes, do you have this? Do you have a plumber? Yes, this. Do you have a roof Roofer? Yes. So it's a paramount to have boots on the ground that you can rely on. 

0:21:10 - Vikas Gupta

And then, how are you collecting rent? Is that checks? Have you digitized it Like, how are you managing that process? 

0:21:16 - Alik Levin

It's all digital. So for managing my books I actually using QuickBooks and I do it. Until recently I used to issue invoices and until recently a tennis would pay through this and it was very convenient. Until QuickBooks decided to charge $10 every time you're being paid and I said I'm not a fan. So I reached out to all my tenants and said do you, will you be opposed to pay via Zell? And I said no problem. So now with Zell and I like Zell because it's free, it's instant money. There is no way to be charged for check or QuickBooks payment that doesn't have cover in the back. The only downside is sometimes people are limited in their how much they can transfer via Zell a day, and I say I don't mind if you follow up the next day. So it's a little cumbersome at a time, but so far it was great. 

0:22:15 - Vikas Gupta

And do you run into issues with tenants forgetting I mean, one of the things that we've heard from some of our customers is when they were on Venmo or Zell and without the reminders that some other systems would give, like people just forget and then you're chasing them down and then you also have to follow up and charge them the late fee and that makes you the bad guy, like how does all that stuff work? 

0:22:35 - Alik Levin

All of my channels are phenomenal channels tenants and I can tell that in all possible ways and I encourage open communications. If something on their end they need to postpone the payment or so if they open communication go, I don't mind If they forget, that's not not a problem. I have JIRA that every month generate monthly task to go and remind tenants to pay the rent. So JIRA reminds me to remind them and until I collect all the rent, this task every day in the morning sends emails to me to remind me. So there's very little room to forget things. But yeah, it's open communications. People are people sometimes forget. Sometimes they just been swept away by their daily routine and that's normal. And when they're late, I'm very open and say late fees is not how I want to make money, this is absolutely not the way how I want to make money. But if this is the case, I will have to do it. But generally I can't remember. I can't remember when I charged late fee because people paid on time. 

0:23:47 - Vikas Gupta

So what are you doing to make sure that you have such excellent tenants? 

0:23:50 - Alik Levin

Oh, that's fantastic question, you. It starts with picking areas that attract I don't know how to put it high quality tenants I don't know how for the lack of other word. So, and that's normally high pain job, the healthcare facilities, the manufacturing jobs, high tech, like here in Phoenix you have a lot of microchip plants, I have a lot of financials so and those institutions already vet their workers, right. So that's number one. Second is, when you publish your rental for rent, you go through the vetting process. And that's the key, and I can tell you this I'm dealing now with eviction, now going into the third year. Third year, I cannot evict a tenant in Washington. This is the only way, the only time when we made our decision based on our heart versus our mind. So, to answer your question, it's how you, how you make sure you decide to run the business. So you decide you're on a business, you're on a charity or you run a heart. If you're running business, you need to make decision based on your mind, not heart. 

One time we made. We looked at the application. It was screaming don't rent to this. It was screaming don't. And we looked one another and said, hey, we believe in second chances and we're allowed. And now we're into third year. We lost two eviction courts. We just yesterday filed a second, a third someone's in complaint with the third attorney. I'm in about $30,000 loss in uncollected rent and over $10,000 in eternal fees and I can go and blame this and jurisdictions and that it was me. It was me. It was me. It was me who made this mistake. Very expensive mistake, very expensive tuition. But hey, lesson learned. 

0:25:50 - Vikas Gupta

What were some of the red flags on that application? If you don't mind sharing. 

0:25:55 - Alik Levin

I don't. So I'm very open with my tenants, with my prospects. I openly say I want a tenant who can do two things Keep the property in great shape and pay on time. And the way for me to decide is number one look at your background check and see your financial behavior and second, see your verifiable income. That should look like three times the rent. This is very standard in the industry. So if we see those two things, we should move forward. If I see red flags in either of those and that could be eviction, it could be collections. It could be a percentage of payment on time only 40%. If you pay on time only 40% of your time to credit cards and your medical bills, where I am in line, right, so this kind of stuff. But if you see 100% payment on time, credit score 680 and higher, you have no bankruptcies, no collections. Hey, this is great. 

0:26:57 - Vikas Gupta

Do you rent your property to other entrepreneurs who don't have W2 income or only to people who have W2 income? 

0:27:04 - Alik Levin

It's a tricky question. I can get into trouble answering to this, but I will answer this. I look at everything that's been submitted as an application. Obviously, w2 is easier, is easier right To decide. But if it's an entrepreneur, I'm openly saying, hey, we need to be creative here. Let's see your 1040. Let's see your balance, latest statements, let's see what's on your account and, be honest, if there is open communication going and I feel, based on this evidence, I'm speaking with a true entrepreneur. We're in the same boat it's going to be even easier down the road, right, so he understands what I'm doing. I understand what he's doing. We're speaking the same language. So, no, it's not only W2. Got it? 

0:27:54 - Vikas Gupta

Well, I appreciate your candidness there and I understand it's a tricky question. I'm just curious because it's always interesting to see how entrepreneurs think about. Personally, I have volatile income that makes certain things hard. Can understand why. How do they then pay that forward to other people who have that volatile income when they're on the other side? I think it's an interesting perspective to get. 

0:28:16 - Brandon Hall

One final question I have kind of just around this conversation is if somebody does pay late, how do you handle that? When I self-manage my property, I tend to be a little too nice, so what do you do? So somebody pays a couple of days late, or maybe the day that they're late, what do you do? And then when they pay, like, do you give them a warning? Do you say it can't happen again? If it does happen again, do you start the eviction process? How does that work? 

0:28:38 - Alik Levin

I will tell you I haven't hit any hardcore late payment exhausting situations. I believe the reason for that is because I was very proactive, to vet the tenants upfront. But there were cases that three, four days past the due payment there were silence, which is normally fine because there's a five days grace period. So normally on fourth day I start sending gentle reminders and normally I'm receiving yeah, you got it, you'll get it tomorrow. Or I need two days more, and that's fine by me. 

But I hear you you don't want to get into the confrontational. They hold your asset worth of a million dollars. If you get confrontational, who knows what they will do to you, right? But generally if things prolong and I have a couple of sticky situations I will go and start sending emails, making calls. One time I just called at work and I do. They still work here. Are they okay? I'm worried, I'm worried, they're okay. So it's not being I'm this and I'm that, but yes, generally I started with a genuinely worrying with people, but then if you realize they're trying to ghost you, then flipping the switch. And why should I be nice to somebody who's not nice to you, right? 

0:30:03 - Vikas Gupta

So the gloves off. Oh that's. I think that's a really interesting deescalation approach. Not even deescalation approach, but just hey, like, are you okay? What's going on? I think that's that's what we heard. You know, we talked to a leasing agent who also does property management, and that was her advice too. It's like start, start assuming the best, and then you can mitigate a lot of potential issues. Get paid right. Number one thing is get paid. Keep a happy tenant. 

0:30:28 - Alik Levin

Yes, you know. It comes to mind that you're probably all familiar with the book Seven Habits of the Highly Effective People by Stephen Stephen Covey. That's a really must read. I think number four or five is seek to first understand and then be understood, and that's what this one plays really nicely here. So you haven't heard from somebody about the payment like oh, they're ghosting me, they want to pay like hold on, hold on. Maybe something happened here. 

0:30:54 - Vikas Gupta

Well, great, well, thank you so much, Alik. This has been fantastic so far. I think you really some good mental frameworks for the investing side, some really good tips for the operating side. Before we wrap this up, though, we have three standard closing questions. We like to end things on with every guest, so question number one you've mentioned a few different books so far on this podcast. If there is one of those, or a different one, what is your favorite book? And it doesn't have to be real estate related. 

0:31:25 - Alik Levin

So I normally listen to books via audio. I have horrible reading understanding when I read books, but I do have around 200 titles in my audio. Sometimes I buy some more. But, to be honest, all of the books by Robert Kiyosaki, all of them. I just can't get enough of them. I'm now on the third round and every time I discover more and more things, so I read all of them, I recommend all of them and, again, I read all of them in the loop. 

The other one I'd like to recommend is a Bitcoin standard. It's a phenomenal book about money. A lot of us think we know what money is and it turns out we completely misunderstand money. So this book, bitcoin Standard, goes through chapter eight out of probably 12, talking about the history of money, about prosperity when money was hard, about ruin when money was soft and then only in the end it talks about Bitcoin. So it's a phenomenal book of understanding money and, I think, monetizing real estate. What we do is our way of shielding ourselves from debasing and softening of money of the world today. So understanding money is very important. And the third one I think I'd really recommend is called Ninja Selling. It's a book supposedly about how to become a better real estate agent, and it's so so much more than that. It's about how to become, through very simple and effective techniques, to become a better self, better version of yourself. So definitely recommend Ninja Selling. 

0:33:06 - Vikas Gupta

Well, thank you so much. That first recommendation. That's the author of Rich Dad, poor Dad right. 

0:33:11 - Alik Levin


0:33:12 - Vikas Gupta

Okay, great, just want to make sure that the audience knows who that is. 

0:33:17 - Alik Levin

He lives in Wisconsin. 

0:33:19 - Vikas Gupta

Have you met him? 

0:33:20 - Alik Levin

No, I haven't, hey, barry. 

0:33:21 - Vikas Gupta

Have you had him over for a barbecue? 

0:33:24 - Alik Levin

No, he's not really my gamer, but yeah, he lives in Wisconsin. 

0:33:28 - Vikas Gupta

That second book sounds right up my alley as an econ history nerd, so I'm definitely going to be picking up that one. Question number two and we've talked about this also a little bit on this on the podcast Appreciation versus Cash Flow. But for you, what's most important to you? What do you think is most important, cash flow or appreciation? 

0:33:46 - Alik Levin

Yeah, the answer is yes. I love questions or questions, and I love answering with yes, can I mean it? So it all depends where you're in your journey, right? So when I started, I had my day job, I was less focused on cash flow. I was more focused on appreciation and equity. Now, out of day job, cash flow is becoming more important or very important and less overgrowth. But generally the answer is yes, both are important. Like in any business, either grow or the business declines. And yeah, you need to pay your bills while you grow your business. And how you pay your bills is through the cash flow. 

0:34:28 - Vikas Gupta

And our final question is there any last piece of advice that you'd like to leave our audience with that you didn't get a chance to touch on? 

0:34:35 - Alik Levin

Yeah, I think one of the things I like to repeat this day is unlearn, unlearn and learn and make room for seemingly new and contrarian views and approaches, paraphrasing Mark Twain he has this complex quote, but paraphrasing it it's. You normally get in trouble, not because you don't know something, it's because of what you know, but it's actually false, right? So knowing all those false, fake things is my advice to unlearn and make room for new and contrarian things and learn them. 

0:35:16 - Vikas Gupta

Got it Well again. Thank you so much, Alik. This has been a fantastic episode. I think it's going to be incredibly valuable for our audience and we really appreciate you taking the time and sharing your story with us. 

0:35:27 - Alik Levin

Well, thank you very much, it was a pleasure. 

Transcribed by https://podium.page

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