In our engaging conversation with Andrew Postell, an experienced real estate investor, we unpack the strategies that have served him over two decades in the industry. Andrew enlightens us about his journey, which began with observing a family member owning a handful of properties and has grown into a portfolio of 15 properties with two more under contract. He shares his preference for part-time investing and his decision to outsource the management of his properties, stressing that real estate is part of his long-term planning.
Andrew further shares invaluable insights into his approach to investing, highlighting the importance of asking lenders the right questions when seeking flexible financing. He encourages even average individuals to explore real estate investing but emphasizes the need to have the right expectations. He also talks about his transition from real estate investing to the mortgage business, proving that diversification within the industry can yield great rewards.
The episode wraps up with Andrew sharing his experience of investing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where he has been able to build a network of reliable partners. He explains how investing in your local area can be beneficial as it allows for a more hands-on approach and a better understanding of the market. He emphasizes the significance of cash flow versus appreciation in real estate, advising listeners to keep learning, networking, and sharing knowledge to become successful investors. Listen in to learn from Andrew's wealth of knowledge and experience in real estate investing.
1. Andrew Postell, a successful real estate investor, emphasizes the importance of patience and long-term planning in the industry. He suggests starting small and gradually growing your portfolio, ensuring each property contributes to your overall financial plan.
2. The speaker underlines the significance of networking and seeking advice from experienced investors. This can help you understand the local market, build a reliable team, and optimize your investments.
3. Andrew Postell highlights the importance of asking the right questions when dealing with lenders. He advises checking the lender's seasoning requirements, their usage of rental income for loan qualification, and their loan minimums. These factors can greatly affect the flexibility and success of your investments.
4. Postell sheds light on the cash flow versus appreciation debate in real estate. While cash flow can provide a steady income, he believes the real wealth comes from the appreciation of the asset value in your portfolio. He suggests focusing on the long-term potential of properties rather than the immediate cash flow.
0:00:00 - Vikas Gupta
This is the Hacking Real Estate Podcast, episode 20.
0:00:04 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, I want you to keep listening here, like remember, this is a tool I did not have. I'm a millionaire today from real estate. You can be better than Andrew. Keep learning, keep that team think going that group thought. The way that we learn is by networking and the skill that you will continually sharpen through your career. Learn here, share with others and you're going to be a great investor.
0:00:27 - 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.
0:00:59 - Vikas Gupta
Welcome everyone to today's episode of the Hacking Real Estate Podcast. Our guest today is Andrew Postell. Andrew has over 20 years of real estate investing experience, is consistently ranked in the top 1% of all loan officers in the US and might be known to enjoy a concert or two. Andrew lives in Fort Worth, texas, with his wife Teresa and their dogs, phoebe and Finnegan. Andrew, welcome to the show.
0:01:24 - Andrew Postell
Hey, thanks for having me. Vikas Really appreciate being here.
0:01:26 - Vikas Gupta
Thank you In your own words. Can you tell us your real estate journey?
0:01:30 - Andrew Postell
Oh sure, yes, I've been doing real estate for over 20 years. I started out like pre-911. So I invested during 911. I invested during the housing crisis, I'm investing now. So it's like three different economic scenario, challenging areas we've gone through. But the thing that got me started was I had a family member that had seven real estate properties seven, that's it and his life was pretty good. So I said, hey, I think I want to try that and that's what got me interested and that's how long I've been doing it.
0:02:04 - Vikas Gupta
Do you specialize in investing in sort of down markets, or is it just you're consistently investing throughout?
0:02:13 - Andrew Postell
Oh yeah, I am consistently investing every year. You do this long enough, you're going to come across some down markets, you know, every eight, 12 years somewhere in there. So you know, I hope that your listeners go through several of these, because then that means they have a nice long life.
0:02:27 - Vikas Gupta
And what does your portfolio look like today?
0:02:30 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, I am a buy and hold long-term rental residential real estate investor. I just happen to have mostly single family homes because that's the market I live in has her dominant numbers for single family properties and I'm a long term tenant 12 month lease residential real estate the old, boring one but it works.
0:02:55 - Brandon Hall
And how large is your portfolio today? How many units are you managing?
0:02:58 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, so, brandon, I have 15 properties and I'm under contract for two more.
0:03:03 - Brandon Hall
Okay. Do you outsource management or do you self manage?
0:03:07 - Andrew Postell
Outsource. In the beginning I did self manage. In the very beginning. We only had one or two or three. I could manage that myself, but I still have a regular full time job. So at this point I need to pay somebody else to do it. And the side benefit of this they've actually charged more rent. So even though I give them a little fee, they're charging more rent than I could have gotten. It almost is a wash.
0:03:30 - Brandon Hall
So it feels pretty good to have somebody manage it and justify their expense and if that relationship with your property manager has that been good for you.
0:03:41 - Andrew Postell
Very good. I think for me and this is just my story, right, no competition here, but for me I liked the idea of self managing in the beginning. It taught me what to look for in a property manager. So then when I went to go interview I was like hey, what about this, what about this? All those little challenges that I faced. I knew what to ask and it's been a very beneficial relationship Even during COVID and the shutdown. Not a single tenant missed a payment. Not one payment was missed. That counts for something.
0:04:10 - Brandon Hall
Yeah, no, that's amazing. Are all of the rentals close to you? Are they driving distance they?
0:04:16 - Andrew Postell
are now. So previously I live in Texas. Previously, before moving to Texas, I lived in New York, and in New York you can't afford to invest in New York I mean maybe upstate or something, but in the city you couldn't. So most of my properties when I lived in New York were in Florida, because that was the market that I could afford and I had a trusted network already there. So I knew people. Since I moved to Texas I have slowly sold off my properties. I just sold my last one. I was down to one, I just sold. It closed in the 15th of July. I'm in a 1031 exchange and that's why I'm under contract for two other properties. Because I sold that one in Florida, I'm buying two more here in Texas.
0:04:59 - Brandon Hall
Makes sense. When did you? Was your growth linear, or was there ever a period where you were closing on multiple deals? I mean, you've got two under contract. Sounds like it won't Right now. So over the years, was it linear growth? Or did you pick one up and then you pick four or five up the next? Go Talk to us about that growth.
0:05:20 - Andrew Postell
Yeah. So I consider myself a part-time investor. I only do one, maybe two, a year because I have a regular job. So for me, my regular job, you know, and that's what I cash flow with, that's what I pay my bills with, that's what I provide my family with. The real estate is for long-term planning, like a state and at the end of my life, retirement type of thing. So when I first began, my homes were like 50,000, 30,000. They were really low price points because that's all I could afford 20 years ago. I don't own any $30,000 homes anymore. So to me it's been a slow progression, but it's been low risk and very little out of pocket each time. So it's slow but it works out. I have you know, I feel very good about where I'm at as an investor today.
0:06:11 - Vikas Gupta
So take us back to that first deal. So you're in New York, you have a family member who you're looking at and saying you know what that looks good to me. You want to make an investment, can't afford the city, so did you immediately settle on Florida? Did you look around a bit Like tell us that story and how you made your first investment?
0:06:32 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, okay, yeah, no problem, all right, it's even simpler than that. So I went to college at Florida State University. So in college I bought a home to live in my own primary home and a house. It was a three bedroom, one bath. In Florida they had these cinder block houses. It was built in the fifties and I rented out one room to my friend and out the other room to my other friend and they paid for half the mortgage and half the mortgage and I lived rent free. That was, technically, my first investment into real estate.
Now, when I moved, I graduated from college and moved to New York, I kept it and I still rented it per room Under, just to other students and people that I knew, and that's why I had a Florida connection. So one of my friends in college, who was my roommate, became an insurance person and moved to Jacksonville, florida, and then he knew real estate agents and property managers. So I had a connection, I had a trusted network and that's why I chose Florida, just because I had the trusted network, and that's why my first home was in Florida too. I house acted, it was great, and I would tell you one interesting fact about that home when I sold it. I sold it to a friend of mine who still owns it to this day. So this is 20 something years later, but he purchased it with a cash out purchase. That's how crazy it was at the time Cash out purchase transaction, and that was a lot back then. It's changed a little bit since then, but even then we had very interesting methods to acquire real estate.
0:08:09 - Brandon Hall
Your main portfolio is in Texas and I believe that I know Florida has been experiencing this and I believe that Texas has been experiencing this too. So correct me if I'm wrong, but how have you been managing increasing property tax rates and increasing insurance rates? Are you just passing that onto the tenant, like raising your rents, or is because I know the insurance, especially with past 12, 24 months, has caught a lot of people by surprise? So talk to us a little about that.
0:08:37 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, so this is something that's happened. Year comes in waves, right. For many different years there've been increases in insurance or taxes. But it comes in ebbs and flows. Interest rates, right. When I got started all the rates were seven and 8%. Cash flow wasn't even a discussion, if you can imagine that, brandon, nobody talked about cash flow in the early 2000, because there was no cash flow to be had. We knew that. If you wanted to be a full-time investor, then you just went and flipped and then the properties that you held were for the long-term outlook, the appreciation, the principal buy-down those. Eventually you cash flow. So every year I absolutely increase my rents to the market rent and every year I give my tenants who are in there a little bit of a discount. Hey, market rent might necessitate $200 increase. I'll do 150 for you or 160, because I do wanna keep them in there. But I tell them hey, if you move out I'm gonna charge more. So I wanna keep you, but yes, I do mitigate those costs to the tenant as best as I can.
0:09:44 - Brandon Hall
That's interesting. I didn't know that early 2000s there was no cash flow that we had. I didn't realize that.
0:09:51 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, it's very similar to now.
0:09:54 - Brandon Hall
Because that's like all the rage, right? I got started in 2015 with my first three-unit property and I got started on bigger pockets, and bigger pockets was all about cash flows. Buy where your rents are 2% of the purchase price and then it moved to the 1% of the purchase price and like half percent. I kept going down as the market heated up, but, I guess, erroneously. I always thought that that cash flow was just always something that you could find. But that's interesting. I've not heard that before.
0:10:22 - Andrew Postell
Do you mind if I say something controversial here? Cash flow, it is sexy, it sells books. I'm on bigger pockets. I see all the videos and the YouTubes and read the books and the articles that you do. They all talk about cash flow. But that's not why I'm a millionaire. I'm a millionaire because of the asset value in my portfolio. If I took an average $250,000 home and looked at it for five years, even if I had, let's say, I had 200 bucks of cash flow a month 200 bucks, that's 12 grand. My mortgage gets paid down like 18,000. My principal buy down on my mortgage beats cash flow. It doesn't sound sexy though. You know it's not very exciting, but that's how it works. And then through my real estate history, I use 5% appreciation a year. 5% and that's gotten me in the great place where I'm at. Hopefully that's not too controversial, but that's the reality. If you're doing long-term real estate, that's not that controversial.
0:11:29 - Brandon Hall
I think that a lot of people would agree with that. They would say cash flow is more protective than anything. You know, it's something. It's great if I can scrape some money off the top, but I'm gonna be using it to cover repairs, maintenance, capex that comes in the future. That's how I've treated my portfolio. I've never taken money out of my portfolio, I just it accumulates in a bank account and I either go buy the next property or I use it to replace the HVAC or the Roof or whatever.
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0:12:35 - Brandon Hall
I would also say that, like high income professionals, we work with a lot of physicians, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and you talk about 300 bucks a month in cash flow to them and they're just like what. My time is worth way more than that. So it's just interesting. I think a lot of people would agree with you on that.
0:12:54 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, from the average perspective, like I don't have a lot of money. I mean, maybe I have some money now, but I need to put as little down as possible. As little down, which means I'm borrowing as much as I can, which is fine, but I'm eating into my cash flow. You put down enough. You're going to cash flow every time, you put down enough, but a lot of us don't have those options. You can still do real estate just fine, being an average person, but I want you to have the right expectation, even if you don't cash flow. If you gave me 50 bucks a month and in five years I gave you 100,000, would you do it, Of course? Of course, I just need to have that expectation sometimes. That's my perspective on it.
0:13:40 - Vikas Gupta
Back when you were first getting involved in real estate? Were you in the mortgage business back then?
0:13:47 - Andrew Postell
No, no. This is what's so frustrating. When I first got started, I went to some banks. I was doing the Burr method, but we didn't call it the Burr. Then I was just buying challenged homes and fixing them up. I went to some banks and I'm like, oh, you can't do that, that's illegal. I'm like illegal. Okay, well, I didn't know. I had no idea. There was no team speak like this. There weren't any podcasts for me to go listen to. I just thought that they couldn't lend on it. Even the first company I worked at, they didn't even do investment properties as a loan officer. I was a real estate investor for 10 years, wandering in the desert, not knowing any better. The minute I worked for a smaller broker, I learned oh, I can do this, I just got to work at the right place. Being in the industry helps me now, but in the beginning it certainly did. For those first 10 years I didn't know how to solve the lending solution.
0:14:47 - Vikas Gupta
Is your real estate investment experience? What got you into the mortgage business?
0:14:52 - Andrew Postell
No, no, it was completely off base. The mortgage company that recruited me was like hey, you've got like 10, 15 years of sales experience. You want to be on a management track, come on, help us, trainer. Sure, that sounds good. It had nothing to do with mortgages at all. Blind luck, I guess. Like I said, the first few companies even worked for.
All of them had a very different perspective about investment properties, which is why we preach work with a local lender. You want to be flexible. You can certainly find lenders that are very good for us, but sometimes it's hard to find them. It was hard for me to find them too. As somebody who was a loan officer, I didn't even know what questions to ask, but now I do. So it took me a little bit, but I'm okay.
Now here's the three biggest questions I want you to ask any lender that you choose to work with. If you're a buy and hold real estate investor, if you're flipper, it's really easy. There's lots of different short term money challenges or money outlets out there, but if you're a long term person, you've got a lot of different, challenging perspectives from lenders. So number one seasoning. Do you have seasoning? And the answer should be no. There should be no seasoning on any loans that you get. All right, I mean you can do what you want. If they say three months, all right, maybe it takes me a month to rehab the property and you really like that person, okay good, fine. But if it's six months or a year, you cannot work with that lender. There's too many other lenders that'll be more flexible. So seasoning is number one.
0:16:24 - Brandon Hall
And for people that are listening that maybe don't know what that means what is seasoning?
0:16:30 - Andrew Postell
Seasoning is time. So sometimes seasoning is described in how much has your bank account been seasoned for? So just time. But for this purpose we're talking about how long have you been on title, how long have you owned the home. So if I'm doing a rehab project and I want to get out of that short term high interest money that I used which was good but I want to refinance, I don't want to be in that high interest rate for very long at all. I want to refinance right away. If your bank says, hey, one day of seasoning okay, one day sounds cool, but as short as the amount of time that I can be, that limits my costs and makes me more effective. That's what seasoning is and that's what I want to avoid it.
0:17:14 - Brandon Hall
And is that on the refi then? So the bank that you are going to do the cash out refi with, they need to see seasoned title essentially Mm-hmm, correct.
0:17:26 - Andrew Postell
The second question I would tell you to ask when do you start using rental income? None of this, it's got to be on my tax returns. None of this, they've got to be in there. For you know, you got to have two months of collected rent, no Signed lease or less. Like, the tenant should not even have to move in, so I need you to use my rental income immediately to help me qualify. That's a requirement, especially if I'm doing the Burr method. Remember, this is buying hold right, Buying hold.
And then the third thing I want you to ask this is a good test what's your loan minimum? If your lender says we don't have one, then you're in a great place. There's several other questions you can ask. I mean, there's almost endless, but if you can ask those three that'll show you that you're working with a very flexible lender, at least you're in the right place. Always, though, Brandon, I would tell anybody to get a referral from another investor in your market. That to me it's not foolproof, but it certainly helps me find those lenders that might be flexible, and then just ask those same three questions to that lender.
0:18:34 - Vikas Gupta
That should get you in the right foot and for those three questions, you know, seasoning, underwriting on income or on the rental income. Sorry, what was the second one?
0:18:46 - Andrew Postell
Loan minimum. Do you have a loan minimum?
0:18:48 - Vikas Gupta
Yeah. Loan minimums, yeah. Do you see variance in like, what does that look like today? Right, are there just fewer people who check those boxes relative to three years ago? Or how did those parameters flex with the market environment?
0:19:04 - Andrew Postell
The thing that's hard to grasp is that investment properties foreclose at a higher rate than primary homes, so by default they're riskier for me as a bank, and if I am a publicly traded bank, I might have too much investment properties in my portfolio and that might actually hurt my stock price and then my shareholders see it so like there's all these different avenues that affect business decisions in lending. That's why we don't work with those larger national, publicly traded banks that they're out, because they do change. Well, as Fargo just announced, they're not even writing mortgages anymore. But we never worked with them, did we? I hope not. I hope you didn't, because there's better lenders out there. I don't mean to name call them I don't think I'm talking to out of school with that one because they have other purposes in our market.
Smaller, local lenders usually do not change their parameters as much as large places. Of course, things can absolutely change, but you should at least start with three lenders in your toolbox when you're new. As you grow, that will grow to five and then 10 and then 12. And then you'll have ancillary lenders. So just start with three local, lean on other real estate investors who they recommend and that should be a pretty safe space for you to operate in.
0:20:28 - Vikas Gupta
Are you doing investment loans in your mortgage business?
0:20:31 - Andrew Postell
Oh yeah, man, so I work for. Can I say the name? Is that okay? Okay, all right, guaranteed. Raise the name of the company I work for. If you're into baseball, all the white socks play on guaranteed rate field. But I interviewed here with those questions and others because wherever I work, I need to use their money on my own investment properties. If I'm here, I want to use your money. That's why I work here. I want to get access to that money. So, yes, I use my lender to do the Burr method and other strategies. We have the SCR loans, all those things, because this is the network and all the loans I write. Every 90% of my transactions are investment property transactions. I have to work at a good real estate friendly place.
0:21:17 - Brandon Hall
What have you seen in terms of trends? I mean, obviously acquisitions are down, but what are you guys seeing in terms of next 12, 24 months?
0:21:29 - Andrew Postell
Oh yeah, man, we might be in a bumpy space. I mean, I appreciate people predicting what rates might be, but I would encourage you remember this is the third time I've gone through this I want you to use your pre-qualification letter that you've got with your interest rate on it. Work under that assumption, whatever rate, that is, that you cannot refinance. If you cannot refinance next year or the year after, do your math and your numbers and your offer based on that information. Again, I appreciate how people sell it and they earn business, but if you can't make your offer, so that you're okay and then if you can, it all works out. But work under the assumption that you can't.
0:22:20 - Brandon Hall
That's good advice, because I've heard I'm in Raleigh and I've heard in the Raleigh market people saying things like that of oh, we'll just refinance here in a little bit. And for me, I got started investing in 2015. I launched my CPA firm, which services real estate investors. I went full time into it in 2016,. Technically so, I haven't really been around the block that long. But even I'm sitting here like dude. There's no. Just that hope is just not a very good strategy in my opinion. So I wouldn't be buying property with the hope that rates go down to make my numbers work, which should also change. Well, I don't know if it'll change anything, but I think it'll kick a lot of prudent investors out of the market. You just have to pass on a lot of buying opportunities.
0:23:08 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, if you're self sourcing your own transactions, you've got a lot more flexibility. Even me, I don't self source, I don't have time, I have a regular job. That's in the way. I rely on wholesalers to do it. So the concept of like, hey, I can just go out and do anything by any property that's really rare, that the ever happened in the history of ever. Even when rates were 2 and 3%, you're going to have to overpay. Many people did because that was the only way they could earn that property. Because there's so much competition. So market fluctuations, people's opinions, interest rates, costs going up all of those things affect real estate.
But the baseline understanding that we made when we started investing in real estate still lasts today. It is a long term plan. My stock if I invest in stock, which I do my stock goes to zero. I don't have anything. Even if real estate goes to zero, you still have real estate and in the 5,000 year history of real estate it's never gone to zero. Countries go to war over real estate. You are in a safe place if you invest in real estate. Sometimes it's going to be hard, but if you're investing there's always risk and this is the risk that we tolerate in order to see the long term plan on it. You're going to be fine In five years. If you bought a house today, in five years you're going to be very thankful that you did.
0:24:32 - Vikas Gupta
You were all in Florida, now you're in Texas. We've heard from different folks with different perspectives. Some invest across multiple geographies. Others like to keep everything in one concentrated geography. What's your perspective on that? Do you feel like you're just becoming an expert on your area and that's giving you an advantage, or how are you thinking about geographic concentration?
0:24:56 - Andrew Postell
Oh yeah, so okay, everybody's different. I write loans for people who do it just like you were describing. Someone do it all across the country, someone just do it in certain geographical areas. This is all about personal preference and if you're new you may not know what your personal preference is. But when you are new it's easier if it's in your area, because now you can go drive to the home, now you can go see your asset. If I'm investing out of state, I may never see my asset. I really have to have a trustworthy network there that can protect me when I'm not there.
For me, the reason why I invest where I live is because I'm in one of the best real estate investing cities in the whole country. We're in the top five, sometimes top 10, but always in the top. Dallas, fort Worth of Texas, that's where I am. So there's about 8 million people live here and it's three bedroom, two bath homes, which there are plenty of under price point of 300,000. So even the price point itself is easily reachable here. There was not this price point in New York City. Forget it, that's out. So not only is my property manager here, but my contractors are here, like you know, just through attrition. My network is here local, so that helps me mitigate the risk of acquisition on properties. You can certainly make this work in other places, but for me it's helpful because of the market that I'm in and I've got a great network of people that can support me and do you visit your properties, do you drive your properties, even with your property manager?
I do. Yeah, man, even if I'm like I'm half a mile away from this one, I will swing by and check it out and then if there's something that's going on, I will let my property manager know. Now they do. They do an inspection every year. They go into the properties, but sometimes I've driven by in the yard might need to be mowed, and I just let them know. You know, it's always good to keep a little eye on it. What else are you looking for? Yeah, I'm again.
This is just boring stuff, but boring works. It is three bedroom, two bath homes and what we found in most markets is, if you can be under your median price point under. So my market, the median price point is 380. I don't even want to touch 300 because if I'm under there, that's where most of the renters are. So if I target half a million dollar homes, I mean you can, but I'm going to have two $250,000 homes that will smoke your half a million dollar rental every time, because that's where the tenants are that compete and pay me more as a percentage. The lower the value, the higher the percentage of rent.
There's a price point at some point where because if I do have to replace the ceiling fan. Replacing the ceiling fan is the same whether it's a half a million dollar home or a $500,000 or $50,000 home. So the maintenance cost does increase as you get low. That's why I like that $200, $250,000 home range. The maintenance expense seems to be in a good place. I have a good competition for people competing to rent my homes. The other reason why I would suggest this price point under your median home price in your market if things do get dicey in the country, people downsize into those homes. That's one of the reasons why none of my tenants missed a payment during the shutdown during COVID, because at that price point those people had careers and career jobs.
When I own $30,000 homes, they were just hourly wage, mcdonald's, you know hospitality, they could have been anything, but they had to hit them hurt the worst during the last shutdown. That's always how it works. Anytime there's an economic uncertainty, people's discretionary income goes away and hospitality and temporary jobs, entry level jobs get hurt the worst. So if you can, three bedroom, two bath, the reasonable price point will get you in a good, safe space to weather any kind of storm.
0:29:01 - Brandon Hall
So you mentioned that you get most of your deals, or all of your deals, from wholesalers. Is that right? That's right.
0:29:09 - Andrew Postell
Oh, I'll make one exception, brandon. Right now I'm doing a 1031 exchange. I have to go on the MLS for that because I'm under a time crunch on it, you know. But everything else is through wholesalers.
0:29:22 - Brandon Hall
And how has that experience been? Was your first deal through a wholesaler too?
0:29:28 - Andrew Postell
My very, very first deal was my own primary home, which I bought from Off the Market.
0:29:32 - Brandon Hall
Yeah, I'm an investor and I don't want to be on the MLS. I want deals. How do I find good wholesalers and how do I get them to take me seriously?
0:29:44 - Andrew Postell
Oh, this is so simple. You're going to love this Facebook meetupcom, even things like this. There are communities out there that you know. We can't go to college for this, we have to learn it on our own, but there are communities where we all go out there and share ideas real estate investor groups in your local market. So I live in Dallas and Fort Worth. There's probably 20 or so of these groups that I can go meet around with. I'm in a big city enough, and I can just look for them on Eventbrite, these kind of websites. But if you're in a rural area, facebook is your friend.
I want you to type, you know, let's say, texas real estate investor group, and then on Facebook there'll be 30 or 40 of them and some of them will have 15,000, 30,000 members in the pages. Join those and say hey, I'm an investor, add me to your buyers list. You're going to get people who are better than others, so that's part of it. But you can absolutely find out who the good wholesalers are in your market network at some of these groups with other real estate investors. And how do they take you seriously? Your hard money lender will tell them that you're serious. Being pre-qualified with your hard money lender will give you the validation that you need.
If you need to also partner up with some other gurus or local people, there's no shame in partnering up on your first deal or two to get some experience so you know where you're doing. Even if it costs you some profit, it's going to be well worth it. I didn't partner in the beginning. Remember, there was no network for me and I did everything wrong. I mean, I turned out okay. But if you can share some ideas with another investor, partner up with them on your first couple of transactions, that will help you limit your mistakes, because you're still going to make them. I don't want you to be afraid of mistakes. That's what we as business owners do.
0:31:35 - Brandon Hall
We make them because we're learning, but partnering would help you get that experience that you might need for some places that need it, because I've heard horror stories about wholesalers where they'll say that they have a property locked up but they don't actually have the property locked up and it can just be like a nightmare and waste your time. But I like that. I mean that makes sense. When people ask us about how to find a great attorney or something, it's the same advice Go to your local real estate group and ask there, because if multiple people recommend one name, then that's probably a safe bet for you in terms of getting services.
0:32:14 - Andrew Postell
That's right, man. It's just like your barber, your plumber, anything that you haven't. It's much better to have a friend who's like you should go, use this person. They were amazing. Trust those same people in this industry and that'll get you pretty close to being okay.
0:32:30 - Brandon Hall
In scaling your portfolio. What would you say has been your biggest learning experience so far? What's the thing that if you were to go back and tell yourself at the very beginning, you wish you would have known?
0:32:43 - Andrew Postell
Oh okay, but for me what I needed to know in the beginning was how to calculate the after repair value, because I didn't know what that was, how to put the rehab costs in relationship to my acquisition costs. I didn't know that those had to go together. It's like the first Burr method that I bought. I bought the house for $7,000, $7 grand because that's all I had. I put 23 into it. It was worth $30,000 after I did it. You're not supposed to do that. That's not how the Burr method works. You're supposed to build in equity. I didn't know that. I know what I was doing. For me, if I could go back and do it again, I would know those concepts. Even on that property, though, Brandon, I rented it out for $6.50 a month. That's 2% cash flow. I then sold it on owner financing. When I went and sold it, it never appreciated the asset when I bought it for $30,000. Five years later, it was still only worth $30,000.
This was a very tough neighborhood. You own this neighborhood today. The house is still on your cell for $55,000. This is a tough neighborhood, but you can make money in those neighborhoods. For me, what I would tell myself before was hey, just get this understanding about how your value and your rehab budget all play together with your acquisition price. We make our money when we buy On scaling. What I've learned is, even with that $30,000 home, you hold that asset long enough. It will help you leverage into more properties. Now I'm to the place where I'm selling one property every year to buy two. When you talk to me, in five years I will own 30 properties. Then, five years from that, I'll own 60. Sounds weird for me to say it like that, but this is how we leverage long-term real estate into greater assets.
0:34:38 - Brandon Hall
I love your emphasis on a long-term plan. I think that when people get into this, they're really thinking about financial independence, retire early or something to that degree. It's how do I create cash or wealth as fast as possible? But your long-term in 10 years, in 20 years, in 30 years? This is where I'm going to be. I think it's really important that people build that vision. I can attest to it at our. I'm young, so I can't personally attest to it. What I can say is that we have clients that are at the end of their real estate journey. When you take a long-term view in real estate, you have to try really hard to not build pretty significant wealth. I think At least that's been my experience in seeing these folks that we service at the firm.
0:35:30 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, it breaks my heart, man, when I see somebody who's doing pretty okay in the beginning and then six years later they're oh, I sold all my real estate. You were just. You were just turning the corner, man, you were almost over the hill, but that's because they didn't plan correctly or maybe I don't know. It's hard to say for everybody's story, but there isn't a piece there what you're saying. I know guys and gals. You know they have basic jobs. They might be clearing 60,000 a year at some charity that they work for, they love their work and they own more real estate than you and I. So if somebody can do it, who's doing that type of work? You don't have to be extraordinarily wealthy to do this. You just need a long-term, consistent plan and you will see the results. You absolutely will.
0:36:19 - Vikas Gupta
Great. Well, I think that is the right point to transition into our closing questions. This has been awesome so far, andrew, so, if you bear it with us, we have three standard questions we like to close every episode with. Question number one is what is your favorite book, and it does not have to be real estate related.
0:36:40 - Andrew Postell
Alright, because I'm gonna say something even more controversial. I don't read. I don't read at all, I'm just a doer?
0:36:48 - Brandon Hall
Just never like, just never, never read. Yep, have you ever read a book?
0:36:53 - Andrew Postell
I've read a comic book. Does that?
0:36:57 - Brandon Hall
Okay, I guess that's fascinating.
0:37:02 - Andrew Postell
So I will say, yeah, when I first got started like this was like the year 2000 I went to the library to look for a book and I picked one up off the shelf about something through. I'm like this thing's eight years old, all these concepts are out, you know it was, and I just I gave up right there. I was like for me, I'm just gonna go out and do it. So yeah, I've never read a book.
0:37:23 - Vikas Gupta
Brandy, you look, you have this look on your face.
0:37:26 - Brandon Hall
I respect it, I mean I just I mean I've read hundreds and hundreds of books and I feel like every business book that I pick up now says the same thing. So it's it's just hard to find books that have novel ideas, I think.
0:37:47 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, if you're, and I don't want to discourage people from reading some people it's great tool. Like I don't even watch TV, man, you ask me about what are friends, or Seinfeld, or walking, I don't know what those things, I mean, I've heard of them, I've never seen them, so I'm just a weirdo all together.
0:38:02 - Vikas Gupta
Friends, seinfeld and walking dead. I love it. That's like 40 years of TV.
0:38:06 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, I skipped it. All it's been great.
0:38:10 - Vikas Gupta
Alright, question number two and you touched on this give you a chance to expand, if you want to, or synthesize what's more important to you cash flow or appreciation.
0:38:20 - Andrew Postell
Appreciation, absolutely yep. Every time I've certainly found myself over leveraged on some property. I say over leverage but I found myself over leverage because I did not cash flow. I've got too much and it hurts. It hurts the soul when you're like, oh, I'm doing the numbers and this won't work. I've never regretted purchasing a property. I've only regretted the properties. I did not purchase Alright.
0:38:46 - Vikas Gupta
And our final question is there any other piece of advice that you'd like to leave our audience with? That we did not get a chance to cover.
0:38:55 - Andrew Postell
Yeah, I want you to keep listening here like this. Remember this is a tool I did not have. I'm a millionaire today from real estate. You can be better than Andrew. Keep learning, keep that team think. Going that group thought the way that we learn is by networking is a skill that you will continually sharpen through your career. Learn here, share with others and you're gonna be a great investor.
0:39:19 - Vikas Gupta
Right well, thank you so much, andrew. Where can our audience find you?
0:39:23 - Andrew Postell
Oh sure, you can find me on the Facebook. On the Instagram, I've got my own YouTube channel. It's all free. I give out as much things as I can about real estate. I do. I try to do a drew to two minutes or less every day on real estate. So follow me on Facebook, instagram, just search Andrew Postell and I'll show up on something.
0:39:44 - Vikas Gupta
Great well, thank you so much, andrew.
0:39:47 - Andrew Postell
Thanks guys, appreciate you.
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