This episode features Chastin Miles, a real estate agent and investor, discussing his experiences in owning single-family rental properties and his move towards commercial and multifamily properties. He talks about the importance of understanding the market and the benefits of having good connections and relationships in the real estate industry. He also touches on his preference for appreciation over cash flow and the challenges of being a landlord. The conversation also covers topics such as the South Dallas market, co-working spaces, and the impact of digital trends on the built environment.
Vikas Gupta 0:59
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the hacking real estate podcast. Today's guest is chased in miles. Chased in is a distinguished entrepreneur, Best Selling Author and influential real estate expert who empowers entrepreneurs nationwide. From a broke solo agent to leading a fast growing real estate team. His innovative approach has made a significant industry impact. He holds high profile roles including CEO of CJM international LLC, and nationwide influencer leader at exp Realty. And has been featured in publications like Forbes, The New York Times, and more. Jason, welcome to the show.
Chastin Miles 1:38
Thank you for having me.
Vikas Gupta 1:41
In your own words, can you tell us about your real estate journey?
Chastin Miles 1:45
Sure, my real estate journey started back in 2015. About well, 2014. So I've been in the game a little over 10 years now. And I started out as a broke solo real estate agent, I decided to pack up my bags and move from Georgia, to Texas to start on his real estate career. And it was my plan to only work as a real estate agent for a year, then I was going to move to LA, I had other goals and dreams. So got into the business. And like most people who get into real estate, I was trying to do any and everything that I could to make some money. But this career in this industry was not what I thought it was going to be. And so it got to the point where I was literally sitting in my apartment, about to head out to go to a property, and my electricity got disconnected. And I still had to go out there and do the job. And, and I'm in this open house at this property. And nobody's coming in. I'm not getting any type of traction or business. And I remember just locking that front door an hour early. And I had a full on breakdown. Because here I was, had packed all my stuff and moved across the country. And I was trying to build this business and build this career. And nothing was happening to me now to the point where my electricity is off. And I knew at that moment that I could either go out and get a job or try to really figure this thing out, figure out what's the problem, what I can do differently. And so I realized that the big problem I had was nobody knew me, you know, I was fresh to the area, I didn't barely know the area myself. And that's what started me on a journey through social media. So I just started documenting my experiences and what I was going through and it wasn't pretty by any means. But I was just being very honest about what I was experiencing. And over time the business picked up started growing a team. And you know, as I was making money started to get exposed to other parts of real estate as I was working with investors helping them find properties, then that kind of went into me working kind of for the investors were Yeah, I was finding them the property but then I was picking out finishes and this and that and the other and then marketing and selling the property. Few times couple years doing that. I was like, I want to do this myself. I want to go down this road myself. And so I just had to figure out the money side of things and then I was off to the races on the investment side. And so here I am. I'm still in the industry. I'm an investor A landlord speak You're an author. I mean, I've come a long way since I started. But I did start out total newbie not knowing anything.
Brandon Hall 5:09
And what does your portfolio look like today?
Chastin Miles 5:11
Sure, my portfolio, I currently have five rental properties of my own, and then my primary residence, and then I've done a handful of flips.
Brandon Hall 5:24
And on the handful of flips, like, has that been something that you are trying to skip? Are you trying to scale that business out? Or is it just something where you were testing the waters? And if you decided not to scale it out? My question is, why not?
Chastin Miles 5:39
Yeah, so the the flipping for me started out as testing the waters, like, oh, I want to try something new. And then I didn't know what I was doing. And I was just kind of flying by the seat of my pants. And after making some mistakes, that's what kind of transitioned a couple of my flips to properties that I that I still hold today. But it was a huge time commitment for me. And it was it was a lot of people and paperwork and just needing to be here needed to be there. And I'm a very busy guy. And I realized, like, Okay, I can't necessarily do it this way, and do it the right way. So I ended up hiring a general manager for my whole investment side of things, then I was thinking that was going to be the solution. But even that I felt like I was paying so much money, I was still having to be just as involved, the timelines were now way longer than they should have been. And I was just kind of over it at that point. I still do it now. I mean, if if an amazing deal comes across my desk, then you know, I may hop on it. But kind of right now, I'm more so focused on just the acquisition side of things. We're transitioning over to multifamily and some commercial stuff. And so yeah, I'm just letting the flip and chill right now.
Brandon Hall 7:13
Okay, now, why are you switching to the multifamily commercial stuff, what's prompting that?
Chastin Miles 7:19
Just the opportunity, just just the opportunity to be honest with you, I'm that type of person, where I want to try everything and try anything at least once. That's, that's how I've done most things in my career. And this was the next step. For me. Even on the real estate agency side, I pretty quickly transitioned more so into a ce o type of role, where I was bringing on other agents and kind of building a brokerage of my own. And I realized I truly love the management side of the business and not so much the emotional side of things. And even with the flips, it was kind of more emotional than I wanted it to be. And so I was like, I want to deal with mostly numbers, you know, what makes sense, the investment side of things. And so that's what's carrying me there.
Vikas Gupta 8:17
I want to go back to something you said, when you were telling us about your journey, the flips, and you hired the general manager, and you found that you were still you're paying a lot of money, the timelines are getting longer, and you were still as involved as you were before. One common theme about in this in this podcast with all our guests has been sort of the importance of the team and getting the right team around you. I think we often don't hear about or so far, we haven't heard a lot about times, you don't get leverage from having someone so can you tell us a little bit more about like, what you thought you would get from having a general manager, what you actually got, and sort of where that disconnect came from?
Chastin Miles 8:54
Sure. So that actually started with a recommendation from one of my other colleagues, you know, he was telling me, hey, I have this great guy, he does awesome work. And he pretty much charged you wholesale for everything, you know, sold me the dream. And so we started with a full on invoice of everything that was going to be done along with just a flat bottom dollar pricing. I was only responsible for paying this dollar amount. And the dollar amount was like $80,000. So it wasn't even, like super low. And so he was going to Well, him and his team, they were going to be doing everything from start to finish. I was going to have to be completely hands off, everything like that. Come to find out along the journey. There wasn't really much a team on his side and it was mostly him doing all of the work. In addition to that, I believe there was Um, poor money management and time management going on. Because I didn't find out until we were probably a few weeks in that he was still finishing up another job. I mean, we discussed that like, Hey, you're I mean, this is your only job right now and all this kind of stuff. So not only did it get revealed that he was finishing up another job, but he was also kind of commingling funds, because I guess maybe he under budgeted on that job. And so was using some of the money that I paid him upfront to finish that job. Then when it came to mine, not only was he taken such a long time, because it was just him. And he would have a buddy, sometimes, I guess, do stuff. But also, when it came down to what was actually needed for my property, he couldn't afford it. So I found myself giving him more money, right on top of more money, then, once the project was actually done, I found so many corners that were cut. And I'm talking like, just putting primer on the walls thinking that nobody would notice, you know, because it was white, and trying to bring in supplies, I guess that were ordered for another property. And they didn't want them and this and that. And I was like, I don't want them either. And so lots of empty promises. Then on another on another property, I went the route of Hey, okay, I know what to look for someone with a team, you know, that actually has people and found someone they did great work. However, they weren't any shorter timeline wise. And then secondly, I was still having to be just involved in picking this out picking that out and always coming there and checking on things and then dealing with a bunch of stuff with the city, they were a considerable improvement on
rent, don't pay for expensive. out a way to manage your rental property also came Azibo. You can automate, find quality renters by accounting and just dealt with all that right get a bank account designed for real estate owners deal with during this, these services are free through his still join 1000s of real estate investors Azibo to manage their rental business for like Christmas up today at azibo.com/hr aggressive flipping ibo.com/hr Eat.
Vikas Gupta 13:18
So if you were to go back and do it again. Would you just avoid at all hiring someone? Or do you think that you know now having gotten on the path but two folks, you know, there's a different set of questions you would ask there's a different level of diligence that you would do?
Chastin Miles 13:33
Sure, there's definitely a different level of diligence that I would do, because I do know what questions to ask, and I know what to look for. And I know what can prevent me from having nasty conversations down the line. Another thing that I would do differently is I would actually use one of my team members to manage whoever needs to be managed and kind of train them from the get go of what should happen. Just to have that in between person. Those are two big things that I know I would do differently, I would be a little bit more skeptical with the whole one price type of deal. Like I need to see a breakdown of where this is going what's being paid this that in the other because I'm telling you, once you get started and they get the money, you're just kind of at their mercy, and I'm not going down that road anymore.
Brandon Hall 14:34
I've never done a flip but we've done these like prolonged I guess you could call them live in flips. And my experience dealing with contractors has been somewhat similar and even when you try to get all that cost breakdown at the beginning, they're very hesitant to give it to you right and it's like dude, I want you to make money. Don't get me wrong, but like I just want to know where the money's going because I just I just feel like I need to know for my Decision Making purposes on who I'm going to work with. But yeah, that's I've had a very similar experience.
Chastin Miles 15:05
Yeah, it's Well,
Brandon Hall 15:07
you said you had five rentals. These are all single family rentals.
Chastin Miles 15:12
Brandon Hall 15:14
When did you purchase them? And why did you choose single family,
Chastin Miles 15:16
I was just getting started with this. And my first two rentals, were actually flips that I was having a hard time selling. So I started back in 2019 2020. Ish. And I was having a hard time selling these flips for what I had eventually put into them. And so I was just like, I just want to hold on to these. And then once I did those two deals, more people started dropping deals on my desk, and I was like, Okay, these are great deals, let me just get them I can afford them. And I knew that they would quickly get rented out. And I mean, for premium like on like, on one of mine, the mortgage is like $1,200. But I'm able to get $2,000 a month in rent on that. No, Airbnb, no, no, none of that. And so these margins and spreads were so good that I didn't want to pass up anything. But luckily, on those additional ones, I didn't go balls to the wall as far as like the makeover and upgrades and rehab of them. Because I was like these are going to strictly just be rental properties. It's been working out where I mean, it's helped that I'm a real estate agent, too. And in a very well connected one, too, because I haven't had to do a lot of the things that other investors are wholesalers, you know, the bandit signs or door knocking. People just send me stuff, right. And if it's a good deal, we can all get paid off of it. I don't, I'm not even worried about like an assignment fee type of deal. Like we can all get paid, I would just quickly get them and you know, put put a little bit into them and then rent them out. We're in a phenomenal rental market here in Dallas,
Brandon Hall 17:07
you also mentioned that you are switching to multifamily that commercial space is part of that reason, because you're seeing these rent to price ratio is kind of contract, like it's not as good as it used to be or talk to us a little bit about that.
Chastin Miles 17:19
I would say that reasoning is 100% selfish to me, I want to keep going bigger and bigger and bigger, you know, so I've done the single family. Now I want to do the multifamily then the commercial and we'll see where it where it ends up and what I want to go just like full on with, but I at least want to try each of them even building like I want to, I want to try each of them to see which one I really really truly like. But the single families are so easy for me now that I kind of got the little groove of them. And so I'm ready to challenge myself on a new project and experience different things.
Brandon Hall 18:00
Going back to the single families, what have you liked most about owning single family rentals? And what have you like least,
Chastin Miles 18:07
I would say I liked most just knowing that I have these assets with equity. And it's it's allowed me to leverage the equity in order to make other investments. I like the fact that all of my properties are in appreciating areas. So it's really good for me, it's definitely set me up for the future. Now what I am not the biggest fan of is being a landlord. Luckily, I've had some pretty great tenants. I mean, I haven't had to deal with anything crazy or evict anybody. I have my little process for everything. But I'm not very, like we don't talk a lot or anything like that. But I tend to be able to select really good tenants. So I like that they pay their rent on time. It's all good. It's very easy for me, I'd say that.
Vikas Gupta 19:10
So it sounds like you're managing your properties yourself. Yes. Can you tell us a little bit why you chose to do that instead of hiring a property manager?
Chastin Miles 19:20
Yeah, I mean, it just hasn't gotten too much of a headache for me, I guess to the point where I feel like I need that. For me personally. I've been in the real estate industry, you know, for over 10 years. So I know all the laws with it. I have access to all the systems the contracts, so I have enough knowledge and I can do it like the back of my hand because I've done it for so many other clients of mines, I mean written their properties out and things like that. So there wasn't a knowledge gap to the point where I felt like I needed to get someone who was super knowledgeable about this. So for me, I mean, I was able to save that 10 15%. And it hasn't been too much of a headache for me yet.
Brandon Hall 20:11
Now, you also said something when you're talking about being a landlord that you don't like being a landlord, can you expand on that?
Chastin Miles 20:18
I just feel this, like, wait on my, you know, like, Oh, somebody's living in one of your houses. And I don't know, it's like, every time for instance, on one of the properties, like the tenant never gets to the alarm in time to like, disable the alarm, and I'm, you know, a secondary contact on it. And I know nothing's going on. But But it's like, every time that alert goes off on my phone, it's kind of like, oh, and then just just like little things like, oh, it's, it's not super cold. Like, for instance, one of them. A more recent move in was like, got a washer and dryer installed in there delivered. And they told her that the fuse or, or that we didn't have electrical wiring for the dryer, to the breaker box. And I was like, You're not the first tenant in here. Like, yes, we do, I promise we do. And so I had to have my assistant go over there, he, he went over there, and they, and then he was like, everything was fine. They just needed to flip the breaker on for it. And I was just like, you know, in his in his little stuff like that to where if I didn't have him, that would have annoyed the crap out of me, you know, that that would have just like, probably sent me over if I got in my car and went over there. And then I'm always worried about you know, like, the grass getting too high or things like that. And the city's calling me, you know, just just because I just don't want any issues. And so, you know, those are all things I don't like, I mean, I don't I don't like sitting there sending out the like rent notices and stuff like that. It's just those little types of deals. But it's not it's not horrifying, I guess.
Vikas Gupta 22:13
With that last one, we got to get you on his EVO just automate all that rent collection for free.
Chastin Miles 22:17
You know, I just set up an account here last month because I had a move in and I was like, I want to try this and see how it is. And so I put one one property on there. So I'm just experiment and
Brandon Hall 22:32
we'll get you back in six months. And you'll be like, I love being a landlord. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Thanks for explaining all that. With the move to like multifamily, commercial, what type of buildings are you targeting? And are you going to be taking these buildings down by yourself? Or you're gonna be working with partners?
Chastin Miles 22:53
Yes, sure. So with the with the move to commercial and multifamily, I'm going to start out working with partners. And it's crazy that you asked that because I was thinking that I was just gonna dabble into it and maybe start with a with a duplex triplex type of deal. But unfortunately, all of my partners and connections are bringing me like huge deals, but I guess I'm a little bit more comfortable with that. Because not only are they bringing me these deals, but they're willing to, you know, go in with me and they have more experience in them. So I won't say that my first or second deal is going to be small, but I will be very active and kind of knowing what goes on and after that I'll choose whether I want to go smaller personally or Hey, keep keep doing the big game.
Brandon Hall 23:46
What what markets are you targeting for your next investment?
Chastin Miles 23:49
Yes, so we're right now focused on South Dallas. So south of the metroplex, a lot of investments happen and building happened here in Dallas that went north. So Frisco past Frisco, Salina I mean, it's far, far, far north now to where it takes an hour plus to get to downtown Dallas from a suburb. So now there is a migration starting to happen that way south. And historically, you know, people were like, Oh, we want to go build up north. But I was, I mean, even now all of my properties are in south south of downtown. And so we got a lot of builders starting to come in do tear downs, built up single family residences. So that's a huge cue for us working on some multifamily stuff down there.
Brandon Hall 24:47
Got us you just kind of following the trend of the award with the builder to targeting Next, the Market. Yep. Yep. Yeah, that's pretty smart. And do you have any sort of inside knowledge given that you're an agent because I always say about like, how do people like me? Right? Like, how would I identify this move, other than just driving, driving the streets on an ongoing basis? But I guess my question is like, Do you have any inside access through being a broker? Maybe it's your connections, maybe it's the MLS? I don't really know where I'm going with this. I'm just trying to figure out like, what do you what's like the competitive advantage you feel like you have that other investors might not have? Or they might realize it too late that South Dallas is the place to target?
Chastin Miles 25:33
Sure, yeah. I mean, all of the above. And it's not just access to the MLS, because I mean, most of the MLS data you can access from other websites, too. But really the connections, the classes that we get as as realtors, so we have a realtor Association, that pretty much manages all real estate agents. And every year we have these forecasts, seminars or trainings, and they're done by economists. And I mean, they're deep to like, what's opening, what's building, what are the plan, so having having that type of information. And most times, they're giving you projections for not just that year, but 234 years into the future. And I'll say they haven't been wrong yet. I don't know, where these guys are getting their stuff, but they haven't been been wrong. But you have to be a member of our association to even take part in that. Another thing is the access to agents. And so lots of agents will get these deals that either they don't know how to sell, or it's out of their their market area. If they know that I work in that area, or they think that I have clients over there, they'll send them to me, I mean, agents, as agents, we send out email blasts to each other like all day. And if it's something good, then, you know, I can scoop it up for myself. Another thing partnering with hard money lenders, they get properties all the time, you know, from these wholesaler lists and all of that. So I would say connections are a huge part of it. It's not necessarily a platform or system with data that tells us, you know, what's what, we do have another platform that I find pretty useful, where we can kind of set predictability as to if someone would be wanting to sell soon or needs to get out of their property, you know, kind of putting those parameters on it, how much equity are they live in, in the home? All that kind of stuff? But I would say it's the connections that that really do it.
Vikas Gupta 27:51
Just curious, what's the name of that platform? That's that's predicting whether or not someone's ready to sell,
Chastin Miles 27:57
remind our E m i n t?
Vikas Gupta 28:00
Got it. And switching gears for a second, or I guess going back to the conversation on investing in commercial how, if at all has the current interest rate environment affected sort of your investment decisions, and I think it's interesting for me to hear that you're thinking about going bigger and bolder. In this, this market environment, this interest rate environment relative to you know, two, three years ago,
Chastin Miles 28:27
one thing about it for me, I have a really good relationship with my bank and bankers, and they have a program that taking advantage of were for commercial properties, as long as I'm 51%, occupying it for myself, then I can get some super competitive terms and in in rates on it. Well, I've always had a commercial office space for myself and my whole operation, that lease is coming up to be to be do I'm at the end of my four year lease on that. And instead of me going out or renewing that lease, I'm just going to own or occupy one of the commercial properties and you know, rent out the rest of it. So that's my plan for how I'm getting into it. And I'm pretty sure I mean, I'm in the Dallas market like Dallas and Texas. We have a very, very moving economy here in spite of everything that's going on everywhere else. It hasn't slowed down yet. I don't see it hitting just like super hardcore lows or anything. And, you know, we still have a need for for office space and commercial phone.
Vikas Gupta 29:52
That's super interesting to hear. I mean here in California, like all we're seeing in the news is vacancy rates are Rob, you can see rates are up. There's
Chastin Miles 30:02
they're all moving here. Yeah.
Brandon Hall 30:07
You got people like me like I run a remote CPA firms. I've got 42 us employees just scattered throughout it, but he's working out there and home. So I'm like, a pro, probably not the guy you want to talk to. Yeah, but no, I office is always really interesting. We have a couple clients that have done really, really well in office. And yeah, I think you're right, like everybody is moving to like Texas, I believe. It was actually a lot of people were moving to North Carolina, they were positive to on the move in so we're not seeing as bad of a office is not experiencing as much of a rut as it is in California right
Chastin Miles 30:50
now. And business wise, I will say, because I don't want to make it seem like it's going to be all office, you know, mostly desks and chairs and stuff. Because our plan for it is, of course, me occupying one side of it. But when it comes to rentals, it's more of a co working slash studio type of environment. We have a lot of creators who have migrated to Texas. And we're seeing a huge demand for different studio style spaces. And so some of the things like you all have in California when it when it gets to even like YouTube studios and this and that. We don't have many of those, and there's major opportunity for it. So, you know, that's what's on the board for now for what we're doing to the to the space, but still trying to find that perfect warehouse the space that we want.
Vikas Gupta 31:51
That's super interesting. And I was fascinated by like how how like you Digital Trends impact the built environment? And who would have thought right, like 1213 years ago that YouTube studios would be an asset class. Now here we are. Cool. Well, thank you so much. This has been a phenomenal interview really insightful. And I think great, great insight into specifically the Dallas and Texas market as well. We have three closing questions that we'd like to wrap every episode with. So without further ado, question number one, what is your favorite book, and it doesn't have to be real estate related.
Chastin Miles 32:29
My favorite book, I would say Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. Yeah, I love that book, simply because it's been able to change my whole outlook on life and money and making me feel like I deserve to have and get everything that I'm getting.
Vikas Gupta 32:48
And when did you read that book?
Chastin Miles 32:50
The first time I read it was probably back in 2018 2019. I've read many other books. And this one wasn't even on my radar. It was one that someone recommended to me. Maybe I said something that the book contradicted at that time. And he was like, You need to read this book. And so I read it. And yeah, it's a solid, solid one for me.
Vikas Gupta 33:14
Yeah, I was just curious about where in your journey that came in. So it sounds like a few years into your journey, that that book came in and sort of changed the way you thought about things. Our second question is for you as an investor, what is more important appreciation or cashflow?
Chastin Miles 33:30
For me? Appreciation, appreciation for me. And I mean, because this isn't my full time, I guess just every single day business or cash flowing business that I have. And so when I chose to go down the investment route, I wasn't ever really thinking that it was gonna like make me rich, you know, by doing a flip here and there. And not to brag, I mean, but I've sold million dollar properties, you can make 30 grand by selling that property. And I was like, this is a lot more work to hopefully make that same 3040 grand on it. So I never really wanted it to be or now I never think real cashflow with it. I'm always thinking about that appreciation.
Vikas Gupta 34:25
And that makes a lot of sense. Our final question for you is what piece of advice do you have for our audience that we didn't get a chance to cover?
Chastin Miles 34:34
Oh, wow, I would say a big piece of advice. And this is something that really kind of helped me like down this investment route. It was it was a lot of training and blogs and videos about you know, contractors are finding the deal and this net, but I feel like the biggest asset and what's helped me the most is those relationships with with people. So those relationships with a banker, those relationships with a mortgage lender, those relationships with Heck, even hard money lenders, like you never know when you're going to need some some money, building business credit, having having a relationship manager at American Express, like those relationships have, I feel like saved me out of a few situations because I was able just to make a call. Even though on paper, I may have looked like I was deep in to something that I shouldn't have been. But those relationships really saved me because, you know, they were able to come through when I needed them. Right. Well,
Vikas Gupta 35:47
that's, that's fantastic advice. And I think that's been like a through line in this entire episode has been the network, the connections, the relationships and the importance of that, in being able to really build your business, right. It's the end of the day, it's all people. And so knowing the right people talking to the right people having the right relationships, and then that's gonna get you ahead. Before we let you go first wanted to thank you again, this is an excellent episode. We really appreciate you taking our time. And where can our audience find you?
Chastin Miles 36:18
Sure, just on my website, chastinjmiles.com. And I have links to all of my social platforms and videos and everything on my website.
Vikas Gupta 36:30
Well, thanks again. It was a pleasure having you.
Chastin Miles 36:33
You'll be the first to know when our first episode drops!