Ep #383 – Ola Dantis – Coming to America with $180 in his Pocket
Here is some of what you will learn:
- The importance of mindset
- Self work
- Keys to success – Self confidence and Discipline
- Where attention goes progress flows
- The importance of Branding
- The power of meditation
- How to crush it on Instagram
- How to find off market deals
To find out more about our guest: click here
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Full Transcript Below:
Ep 383 – Ola Dantis – Coming to America with $180 in his Pocket
Hi! I’m Rod Khleif. Each and every week I record an interview with a thought leader that I know you’re gonna get a ton of value from. Now here on YouTube are the video versions of my podcast, Lifetime Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing. Now to make sure you get the latest information please subscribe and hit the notification bell. Let’s get started.
Rod: Welcome to another edition of How to Build a Lifetime Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing. I’m Rod Khleif and I am thrilled you’re here. And it is a real delight to interview the gentleman that I’m interviewing today. His name is Ola Dantas, and Ola was born in Nigeria. He’s an immigrant, like me. And just closed on a hundred and sixty-unit property in Texas but when he immigrated, he had a hundred and eighty dollars in his pocket. So, what’s your excuse, my friend, those of you listening that haven’t made it happen. I wanna know what your excuse is because I’m not gonna sit and listen to it. I’m just telling you right now when I hear a story like this. Now, we’re gonna talk about a lot of things on today’s show but without further ado, Ola welcome to the show, brother.
Ola: Thank you so-so much, Rod. It’s an absolute pleasure. I’m a big fan. Huge-huge fan of, you know, the Lifetime Cash Flow podcast as well so thank you for having me on the show. I really appreciate it.
Rod: Yeah. We’re gonna have a lot of fun, today buddy. And, you know, we’re gonna talk about how, you know, you’ve raised money for deals. You just closed on this 160-unit deal and you started with nothing. So, we’re gonna talk about what it took to do that and I know you’ve got some strategies around finding off-market deals. We’re gonna talk about that and you’ve got 52,000 freaking followers on Instagram and I’ve got maybe three thousand so we’re definitely talking about that because I wanna know how you did that because, guys, that’s how you raise money in this business by creating reach and Ola’s got a podcast that I’ve been on. Ola has a podcast called The Dwelling Show as well. So, we’re gonna dig into all of this guys because he has just taken the bull by the horns and made it happen. So Ola, talk, back up and tell us a little bit about moving here. I know you lived in the UK for a while. We were just laughing before we started recording because I have a Brit, Siri on my phone and we are… quite regularly. Anyway, so tell us a little your story, brother.
Ola: Yeah. Thank you so much again. Yes. So, you know, like I said, born in Nigeria, lived in the UK for a bit and then moved here to the United States. So that’s kind of like the really quick overview. But just kind of dive into that a little bit. I went back home, you know, during the recession, set up my business in Nigeria, was doing okay but my wife at the time was my girlfriend, now wife. I was basically like, look, you know, you gotta do something like, you know, do you wanna, maybe, try the United States. At the time, she was actually, interning in Orlando, Florida. And she’s like, you know, jump on the plane, come to the US. I was like, “okay. No problem.” Landed in the US. But before I landed, I just looked out of the plane, I was like, “oh my goodness. Florida is beautiful.” That was my first impression of America. I was like, “oh my goodness. This is just amazing.” Long story short, two years later, my wife and I moved here. We had about 180. My wife keep savings is 180. I thought I had nothing in my wallet. Well, you just said, we had about a hundred and eighty …
Rod: Hundred dollars is nothing, brother. Let’s make it sure with you, okay? That’s a nice meal at Ruth’s Chris.
Ola: You know, so, surely thereafter, you know, I got a job. She got a job. Obviously, I didn’t have my green card at the time, you know. Literally, just came here, you know. But then we got that sorted. Got a job. I was working. I had a pretty good job. Well, there’s something else missing, right? I just felt this, you know, thing. This void I could never feel like, I feel like I could do so much more with my life and it was kind of like during that time, you know, we had a little nice apartment. My wife and I would, you know, living there, paying the rent. Life was good, you know. We don’t have to worry about too much but then, one day my friend called me and he’s like, “hey Ola. Can you meet me in Dubai?” Of course, I’ve got a meeting with some investors there. Can you meet me in Dubai? I was like, “wait, Dubai? He’s like, “yeah. I want you to fly over to me in Dubai.” So, I was like, I did, you know, what a smart man does. Obviously, I prayed about it and then asks for my wife like, “hey. You know, my friend said I should meet him in Dubai.” And she’s like, “wait, do you guys know about FaceTime? Do you guys know about zoom? Or Skype? Why do you have to go to that place? And I was like, “Well, you know, this friend of mine is a pretty tough nut guy. For him to say that, it must be something really interesting. What if I go and I learn something interesting that might help us, you never know?” So, I was on the plane to Dubai. I spent about three days. Yeah. I paid for my ticket, by the way. You know, was on a plane to Dubai. Go to Dubai was masterminding for about three days in this hotel room with my friend as I basically unpacked his real estate business and so much he was really doing well in the UK. Really helped him a lot. So, I was like, “oh my goodness. What if I can do the same thing in America.” I mean, he is based, it was based, he’s based on in London. And I was like, “what if I take this idea and bring it back to the US.” I knew nothing about real estate. I just knew about real estate like everybody else does; pay my rent, you know, live the American dream. And as I got back, I was listening to other podcasts, picked up Rich Dad Poor Dad and everything changed.
Ola: About two three months later, bought my first duplex. I was also excited.
Rod: Nice. Where?
Ola: In Baltimore, Maryland. In a Class A area. A Class A area in Baltimore.
Rod: Class A. Wow.
Ola: Yeah. Very nice area.
Rod: By the way, it’s raining really heavily here which I can’t prepare for. Is it distracting? Do hear?
Ola: No, no, no. I actually I kind of, yeah.
Rod: Okay. Good, good, good. Okay. So you bought your first duplex. So, how did you do that? Did you live in it?
Ola: I did. So, we house hack
Ola: Yeah. So, we lived downstairs. It was a one-bedroom. It was just me and my wife. We were never in the house. We were always just, you know, at work.
Ola: So, we rented at the top. We had two tenants upstairs. And when I had my epiphany was when I got the first rent check. I was like, “oh my goodness. Wow.” Like, somebody’s actually paying me for a service, you know, for my space, essentially, right? And, you know, I think, a few months down the line, I had another epiphany. I said to my wife, I was like, “I was trying to notice that I actually have money in my account and is growing.” And she’s like, “me too.” And I was like, “yeah.” Like, what if we do this and keep doing this. That means we’re gonna have a good look, you know, booklet of money but before we bought that duplex, I wanna quickly rewind back, we’re living the good life in suburbia America. You know, had an apartment. Didn’t worry about parking. Didn’t worry about lawn. Didn’t worry about, you know, the water heater going down. So, now moving from our comfort zone into the city where we can never find parking, where we have to carry our shopping of the, you know, the stairs. It wasn’t easy but for me, success is never easy. I’m having to do this now so when I’m, you know, 65 years old, I don’t have to be doing a job where somebody is in warm. I not saying it’s a bad job, just, that’s no kind of way I want to be. So, I was kind of, you know, putting the sacrifices now so I have a much-much better future.
Rod: Of course. That’s the name of the game, my friend. That’s the name of the game. So, I wanna circle back because there’s some parallels to my experience as well but certainly with Florida. I think Florida is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I love the fact that that’s the first thing that you saw that you’ve moved here, you know, but I don’t wanna minimize what you did either because especially to where you are now. Having very little money, coming to the United States, finding a job, but then, building this infrastructure that you’ve built to capitalize on this incredible business that we talked about and so, you know, I wanna, I really wanna get into that but let me ask you something. So, you told me about the epiphanies which is fantastic. I had the exact same epiphanies when I first started in real estate when I bought houses. It was like, “holy cow. I’m making money.” And, “why isn’t everybody doing this?” And, “why aren’t they doing as many as they can?”
Rod: And, you know, for me, 2000 houses later, you know, it was, you know, I went and ran with it. But let’s start with mindset. Tell me, you know, did you get discouraged when you first got here? Or what were you focused on? Let’s talk about how you pushed yourself.
Ola: Oh man, there’s so many things. I can go all day. We don’t want the course book. Mindset is the foundation of everything. I do. I’m a big, big fan of Jim Rohn. You have to walk on yourself first. You have to walk on yourself first.
Rod: Love it. Jim Rohn is who taught my mentor Tony, Tony Robbins.
Rod: So, you know, I have an affinity for him as well. So, you listen to his work …
Ola: Yes, yes.
Rod: Okay. And expand on it a little bit.
Ola: Yeah. So, you know, for me, if you cannot walk on yourself, there’s no way you can walk on the outside, whatever that is. What about the outside means? When you write success, you know, getting better relationships, having a better marriage, having a better business. So, it’s all about the inside. So, I’ll give you a quick example. When I first got here, I couldn’t work, right? I mean, for those are listening to this, like, I couldn’t work because I wasn’t legally allowed to work. It was like until I get my green card. But during that time though, I would drop my wife, when my wife at work right in Virginia and I would sit in Starbucks all day studying about, you know, business analyst which is what I was doing. I got my job inquiry.
Rod: You study to be a business analyst. Is that what you’re doing in Starbucks?
Ola: Correct, correct. I was inside all day. Every day, right? Because when folks listen to the, you know, this story, you’re like, “Well, this guy just got there and then, may be kind of got luck.” No, there’s a precursor to this, right? And I’m very, very, very certain on how to be successful. There’s two things that you have to do. You have to have self-confidence. Note the self, the adjective. Self-confidence. Don’t wait for anybody to come and motivate you or get your confident. What if they don’t show up, right? What if that person does not show up? So, make sure you can …
Rod: I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I need you to repeat what you said because I didn’t quite understand. And yes you have to have self-confidence, operative word is self. But what did you say after that? What if who doesn’t show up?
Ola: If you’re waiting for somebody to instill confidence in you …
Rod: Oh, got you, got you.
Ola: What if that person doesn’t show up and, you know, motivate you or teach you?
Rod: Confidence comes from knowledge. Confidence comes from taking action. Okay. So, please continue.
Ola: Yes, and then, the second thing is discipline, right? And that’s why I share that story with you. Every single day for at least six months, I would be smelling of coffee learning this particular craft, right?
Rod: Love it. Love it.
Ola: So, when I started real estate …
Rod: Let me circle back. Hold on. I wanna stop you for a second. I just wanna stop you, forgive me. I don’t wanna pass these two huge pieces by, okay? So, self-confidence. So, how do you get self-confidence? Like I just said, you learn what it is you’re doing like Ola was doing in the Starbucks. Although you shifted gears but I’m sure you put that same discipline and attention to multifamily real estate that you did to business development or business coaching and what you were, you know, studying at that time. And so, the discipline. To do whatever it freaking takes. Now, but let’s, if you don’t mind, and I’m sorry. I don’t wanna derail because you’re on a roll here, but I kind of wanna circle, I wanna come back to what caused you to have that discipline? What was in your head that caused you to spend the entire day studying?
Ola: Hunger. Hunger.
Rod: Hunger. Okay. Hunger. Love it. So, I wanna dig deeper again. Sorry. I’m sorry to do this.
Ola: No. Don’t be. Don’t be.
Rod: So, what, where’d that hunger come from? What was in your mind’s eye? I mean, had you, you know, I don’t wanna give you any hints. I just wanna see where this is gonna go. So, where do the hunger come from?
Ola: How I was brought up. You know, my previous life. I mean, I used to speak to, I used to speak at my previous job and I would have this town house where I would speak to a roomful of people and I would tell them that America is the best country on the planet. Now, for those living here, maybe you’re born here, of course, naturally, you don’t feel that. You don’t, you know, you don’t have that appreciation cuz, I mean, I’ve lived on three continents. Started on two continents so, I have that expansive view and I have this helicopter view, right? So, my hunger came from, you know, how I was brought up, where I grew up, the things that my eyes’ captured, right? So, when I go to America, all I saw was opportunities, right? So, my, you know, issues, problems, but I saw opportunities, right? And I knew that if I continued with my discipline and my self-confidence, eventually, I would get to my goal whatever that is.
Rod: Okay. Alright. I wanna stop you there. I wanna stop you there because two things: one, you knew, okay? You knew that whatever you put your attention to would flourish and guys, if you’re listening, okay? You need to own that mindset. That whatever you give a hundred and ten percent of your energy to is going to succeed period. Okay? It just is. And so, own that mindset because that’s what got me through, you know, a lot of those setbacks that I’ve had was recognizing that dynamic. Now, the other thing that you talked about which is hard for someone that would grew up in the United States to experiences you saw contrast, okay? You saw Nigeria and you saw the United States and there’s just a little bit of difference there and as far as opportunity and so, you know, alright. Alright. So, please continue because this is really good stuff for the people listening.
Ola: Yeah. And just understanding that, you know, when there are opportunities, there’re certain formulas for you to take that opportunity, right? That’s one of the reasons I got a coach, right? I understood that, yes. For you to be successful in the particular game you have to understand how the game works. That’s why, you know, footballers and basketballers have coaches, right?
Rod: Yes, yes. Athletics have coaches. We have coaches. Coaches are critical. I’ve had numerous coaches through the years. We talked about one of them, Tony. He’s one of my coaches and I’ve had many since then and many before then and so, okay? Coaches. You got a coach.
Ola: Got a coach.
Rod: So you could learn the formula because every success is nothing but a formula. In anything you do, there is a formula for success. So, I’m really glad you said that as well. Alright. Please continue.
Ola: Then, I basically said to myself. So, I got this duplex, you know, I’m actually getting money and I’m, you know, I’m saving some money in too so, this was really exciting. So, I said, hey, you know, I’m gonna get a coach. You know, I really, you know, narrowed down the strategy to multi-family syndication. Obviously, it took some time to set up my business dwellyn.com. Shout out so check that out. Dwellynn and that was a new infrastructure. I have to create that from scratch. The website, obviously. Now, the podcast the Dwellynn Show as well and then, got a coach to kind of …
Rod: Okay. Alright. You’re going too fast. I wanna slow you down and talk about the steps that you took because that ties in to the next topic that I wanna talk about which is branding yourself, okay? In fact, I’ve got a coaching call. I awarded somebody a one-on-one coaching with me for free. We did a contest and I found this single mom with four kids and she babysat kids like my mom did and she’s the reason, my mom’s the reason I got into the business so I award her this coaching and I have a call with her today and we’re gonna talk about branding. So, this is perfect timing because you have kicked ass with branding. Sorry. I didn’t mean to say. So, you have totally made it happen with branding because like I said, you know, you’ve got, what is that, more than 220 times the number of Instagram followers that I have. You’ve got your own podcast. You’ve been doing it consistently for two years. I’ve been on it and so, you’ve branded yourself. So guys, those of you listening, there are such incredible opportunities with social media to get reach, to create a brand, add value. Now, that’s the operative word. Ola has added value. That’s, and to add value via a podcast via your Instagram page. I was looking at your Instagram page when we first started talking because I’m like, “holy cow. You’ve got 50,000.” We need to talk and so we’re gonna drill down on Instagram a little bit. I’m not letting you slide by. We’re gonna do that publicly, but the big message here is, with Instagram, with Facebook, with YouTube, with LinkedIn, with Twitter, there’s so many effectively free opportunities that just require you to roll up your sleeves and make it happen. There are no freakin excuses because this business is a team sport. You’re gonna bring in money from other people. How do you do, that’s the reason I started my podcast. That’s one of the two reasons. One reason was I wanted to share my story about, you know, getting my butt kicked in single-family if I had just been in multifamily, I’d been great, but the second reason was I hate asking for money and I thought you know what, I start a podcast to add value, I’ll be able to get investors and of course, you know, anytime I mention a deal or phone rings off the hook because I’ve built, you know, I’ve built trust and I think I come across authentically like you do and so, guys, that’s the message here. If you’re gonna do this multifamily business, start creating some reach, like my coaching students. They set up their own meetups. I’m putting the other whole national network of meetups for my coaching students with my brand Lifetime Cash Flow and we’re helping them get set up and there’s got over a dozen that have already done it, and very successfully. Have raised millions of dollars already for deals, like you have Ola, and so, that’s how you brand yourself, guys, and there’s so many ways to do it that really don’t cost money. They just take time. So, did you wanna add anything to that what I just said?
Ola: Yes. So I think, like with the branding is all about, adding value to, you know, folks that following you, listen to your story, just kind of, you know, giving back with the Dwellynn Show every week which I just get guests, you know, awesome guests, like Rod, to come and speak about the story. You know, if you’re trying to get into this business like, you know, Rod said, the operative word is just give him back, right? Just constantly give him back and not expecting anything back from, you know, those that care about …
Rod: Right, right. And guys, you know, Ola does it through his podcast, he does it on Instagram. So, he’s got two platforms he’s working and you can do it with one. You know, you can do a Facebook group. I mean, we’ve given all sorts of ways to do it and you don’t even have to create the content like in my meetup groups that my students do, they’ll use my materials but also they’ll bring in experts, like Ola does, he brought me on his show. When I first got started, I brought lots of experts on my show and I still do and they’re adding value and by the fact that you’re curating and curating these people and bringing value, it builds your brand and that’s how you build your brand by caring about other people, caring about pulling them forward, that’s how you build your brand. So, let’s, if you don’t mind, I want to, I want, we talked about mindset, let me ask you this. Did you do anything with goals? Did you have goals for yourself? And …
Ola; Oh, yes. Oh, yeah.
Rod: Talk about that.
Ola: Yeah. Absolutely. So, I used to have an, I haven’t, I stopped doing it this year but when I wake up every single morning I have a particular format that I follow when I wake up like I drink a bottle of water, I drink my oolong green tea and then, I’d blend fruit shake. …
Rod: And you do what? I’m sorry, you’ll drink water, you drink tea and what was the last thing after that?
Ola: I blend a fruit shake.
Rod: A fruit shake.
Ola: Yeah. Had some wheat grass in it. So, that’s kind of my morning routine but before …
Rod: I’m drinking my veggie shake. Yeah, yeah. I can’t get all that sugar with the fruit but I’m drinking a veggie shake as we speak. Alright. But then, what else? So, that’s the body. What else does the body …
Ola: That’s the body, right? And then, I write my goes down 29 times, right? I’m will write it down. I wanna hone extra amount of units, you know. By age, I put that every single day. I’ll write it down. I’ve stopped doing that now. So, that really helps me a lot and I also meditate so, that really helps with my creativity. I’m just kind of to help my, to just declutter out of my mind. I do that …
Rod: You do this in the morning. This is a morning ritual.
Ola: This is before the world wake up and wakes up. People say to me, “how are you able to read so many books in a month?” Cuz I wake up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. in the morning. I don’t have an alarm clock. I just wake up at that time and I read …
Rod: That’s very along the lines of the Miracle Morning. Hal Elrod’s book, you know? And he talks about this and, you know, you wake up, you meditate, you do gratitude. This is what I do. I do gratitude and as, for the things that I have, and that I do gratitude for the things that I want as if I already have them which is very powerful and, but everything you said here is important. The water is important, the nutrients are important, the focused on the goals because when you, and when you focus on your goals enough, it triggers, you know, your reticular activating system so that subconsciously you’re pulled towards things that are gonna get you those goals and it’s incredibly powerful and, of course, the meditation is critical. The focus, focus is power, my friends, and when you meditate, in fact, I meditate almost every day myself. You know, meditation sounds all foofy and stuff. It’s just clearing your head. Like, I’ll just lay in bed and sometimes and focus on my breathing or I’ll, you know, I do Transcendental Meditation sometimes. I had a practitioner come to my house and show my whole family how to do it where you just focus on a sound. Just a just a very sound that has no meaning but you say it in your mind, you repeat it over and over again, and what that does, guys, is, it enhances your focus, and to be success in anything requires focus because, you know, what you focus on grows. Positive or negative, okay? So that’s why it’s so important to start your day off thinking about the things that you want and being positive but, anyway, did you wanna add anything to my response at all?
Ola: No. I think that’s totally wraps it. I really like that.
Rod: Alright. So, now let’s talk about, let’s talk about how you built your Instagram following to 52,000 people because I need to know for my own purposes. So, the magic work.
Ola: Yeah. That’s like a whole another podcast. So, I tried to squeeze that down in like to …
Rod: Just give me a high level. The pieces that you did. That, you know, just to share with my listeners who were thinking Instagram. You know, I have a lot of Millennials on the show and there’s lots of guys that are very, become very big influencers on Instagram. So, let’s help the wannabes. Okay?
Ola: Yeah. Absolutely.
Rod: Like myself. The word is like myself
Ola: So, the most important word as well is adding value, right? But for an Instagram perspective it’s really about engagement, right? So being an active member of that community and what does that mean from a tactical perspective? So, you’re posting at least five stories a day.
Rod: Five. Wow.
Ola: At least five but then, you also, I mean, I actually try to do this myself in a distant perspective and then, you post, you know, at a specific time of the week, right? And I’ve tried, I have experimented with, you know, daily. I’ve experimented with, you know, Thursdays and maybe, you know, Saturdays, and I use different formats. I’ve experimented with scheduled posts where, you know, Instagram just post on my behalf using third-party, you know, apps.
Rod: Like, what third-party apps have you used?
Ola: I’ve used PlanOly
Rod: What is it?
Rod: How do you spell that?
Ola: It’s PLANOLY.COM
Rod: Got it. PlanOly. Okay.
Ola: Yep. And then, you know, using just quotes but I think the real key here is, on Instagram you can say go to, you go to the search button and then, you go on tags and then, you put in like real estate investing or multi-family investing and then, you basically go on to that particular, you know, on the recent page. And you’re basically like at least 50 pictures and sometimes leave a comment as well on, you know, on the post and say, hey, you know, good job on your deal or I really like the to find out the pictures, like not like, you know, a lot will say like, things like, yeah, great, you know, Instagram. That’s just not, you know, that’s not engagement loss, you have to be very intentional, and you have to do those kind of things and eventually you kind of bring up your follower. Obviously, I encourage folks that listen to my podcast to follow me.
Rod: You encourage what? You encourage what?
Ola: I encourage folks to listen to my podcast to follow me on Instagram.
Rod: Oh, yeah. Sure. Any place you have some reach. You’re telling them, hey, don’t forget about you know Facebook, Instagram, whatever. Follow me there, okay
Rod: Just to drill down a little bit on one of the things you said. So, you’ll search people in the multifamily space and you’ll go on there, and like a bunch of pictures, comment on one or two posts.
Rod: And by doing so, people will see you and then, follow you. Is that the strategy?
Ola: Correct. So people will see that, people will see that you’ve obviously comments their page. You’ve like maybe, two or three pictures and then, you know, put a really-really, you know, thoughtful comment not just like a, hey, …
Rod: A thoughtful comment.Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Rod: Got it. Okay. Now, you said you do five stories a day. So that’s the thing that disappears where you’re talking about your breakfast and you’re showing you’re, you know, that’s the thing Grant Cardone does extremely well …
Rod: in his place and he’s just talking about whatever. Is that what we’re talking about here?
Ola: Yeah. It’s really an ephemeral in nature which means it’s very short-lived. So, it’s about 24 hours and it goes away. So, you know, on those kind of, you know, avenues you can be yourself more a little bit because it doesn’t stay there forever, you can be more authentic, you don’t have to look up a particular way and it goes away so you can be extremely, you know, vulnerable and talk about things that you might not wanna put on a post. So that’s a really good avenue.
Rod: Interesting, interesting. So, what are some other things you, so you say you can be vulnerable. What are some of the things you’ve talked about on your stories?
Ola: Oh man. I’m from like just motivational stuff to like telling my story, you know. How I came here with nothing. How, you know, I feel down as well sometimes. How I feel like I made a mistake, I had a shiny object syndrome, you know. Going into flips. So I flipped, you know, a few houses last year which was, you know, in my opinion, a learning process for me.
Ola: Yeah. Which I’m not gonna do again, you know. So those are kind of things I share but also like, I have a very strong, you know, CTA which is call to action. So every, you know, caption, I’ll make it, I can make it like a microblog sometimes which just means you can go my Instagram and I look at my last picture. You see I have like a micro blog which is just like a, you know, little blog and then, you just basically, you know, just spill your heart on and just, you know, share what you’re feeling, you know, and basically encourage others to tag somebody or to let people know what they thing because if you get more comments, you know, other people start to see that and maybe start to follow you.
Rod: You ask questions too, right? You’ll like, you’ll ask a question to try to get engagement?
Ola: Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely.
Rod: Okay. Now, what’s a microblog?
Ola: Microblog essentially is a blog were very-very short.
Rod: And now, is it is a video or written?
Ola: Oh no. It’s written. So, on the picture, yeah, it’s usually a picture but that you don’t want to put microblog on a video because, you know, if I’m watching something I don’t necessarily wanna read a long caption underneath the video, whereas the post or a picture it’s saying …
Rod: Did you get any education on this? I mean, did you go to a course? Did you read a book? Is there anything you did for any of this that we’re talking about?
Ola: I did not do a course but I watched a ton of YouTube videos that I really, I’m really interested in, you know, marketing, right? So, I love to see what Instagram is doing. How the algorithm works and, basically, I can view the following, I really like that so I can get my message to average people.
Rod: Okay. Well, obviously, you kicked butt with it. So that’s awesome and okay. And so, I know, tell us about this deal you just closed in Texas. 160 doors. You’re a GP on it, you raised money for it and, you know, guys, so, you know, again, this business is a team sport and so you aligned with people in this business, correct Ola?
Rod: You aligned with other people in this business and are you the one that found the deal or did one of the people, one of the other partners find it?
Ola: One of the other partners found it. My wife did find it. Do their way. Almost gonna close which then, what kind in the end.
Rod: Okay. Well, I wanna talk about how you find deals next but, you know, so you aligned with these people. How did you meet, were this a mentor that you met? Is that how you met these people?
Ola: So, we have a syndication group. A closed group with a coach so part of the same group so we all kind of coalesced together and kind of pool funds and, because like you said Rod, in this business in a apartment syndication is relatively complex compared to in the house so, you do need a team regardless. Even if you’re Saudi Prince, use a team of lawyers and yeah, you just made a team.
Rod: You got to pull it together. Okay. So, you have this team that you work with and you found this deal, you closed it. Let’s talk about, let’s shift gears. I wanna talk about how to find off-market deals because that’s one of your superpower. So, let’s talk about how you find off-market deals. Talk about some of the strategies.
Ola: So, direct marketing.
Rod: So, what it is mean?
Ola: So, direct marketing is when you write sophisticated letters and for some listening to this now, you’ve probably got a, you know, letter in the mail saying, “I want to buy your house,” right? From some guy in your area. Know that we write a well, a tailored letter, hopefully, to somebody in an acquisition department of a pretty big, you know, company that own apartments in the Texas area and we introduce ourselves, talk about some of the do’s done in the markets, if any. And then, you know, express our interest in some of their deals. Well, we don’t go too hard on them we just say, “hey, when the, you know, in the market, if you’re ever thinking of this, you know, in the, if you’re in the disposition phase of your deal, let us know,” and, you know, some folks might get, “woo, why would anybody want to sell their apartments?” “Well, for those of you who know who understand that asset class properly, you, typically, wanna exit between five to seven years because your IRR which is your internal rate of return start to depreciate, you know, start to compress after seven years. Dramatically.” So most companies would own an asset of, you know, from anywhere between two to seven years and dispose and kind of restart the process. So, that’s why that works and we also use, you know, a third-party app which is called Costa to basically reach out by phone to some of the, you know, the apartment owners and just introduce ourselves and say, “hey, when this market, let us know if you have a thinking of selling,” and then, we’ll pull, sometimes, we’ll pull the list if one able to get some folks by phone and just basically reach out to them through our direct mail as well.
Rod: Nice, nice. And your target market is Texas? Are there any other target markets?
Ola: We like Jacksonville. There’s been a lot of, you know, I know that’s kind of close to where you’re going …
Rod: No. Next time you’re in Jacksonville, you should drive down and we’ll hang out.
Ola: Yeah. You’re in Sarasota, right?
Rod: Sarasota. Yeah. It’s a bit of a haul. It’s a bit of a haul, but would love to host you if you ever come down this way but no, Jacksonville feels nice. It’s got some tough areas in it but it’s got military as well. Military component but it’s pretty diverse employment base so the military doesn’t scare me but no, I would absolutely look at opportunities there as well. So that’s a good market. Okay. Well, now, you started to talk about masterminding when you first, when we first started talking. Tell me your thoughts on masterminding.
Ola: I think they absolutely crucial.
Ola: I get another one this year in February. You know, I had my partner come from the UK and we just kind of mastermind on his business and one of my business here and …
Ola: …just see, you know, what are we doing wrong …
Rod: Spit balling. Spit balling.
Rod: Bouncing things off each other.
Rod: I love it. You know, I’ve got a mastermind. It’s, I’m blessed, it’s the largest, I think, in the world for multifamily investors we’re well over five billion in assets represented and it just so, I just want to hear what you had to say because, you know, I so believe in it and I’ve been in numerous masterminds myself. I’ve made millions of dollars from those relationships that I’ve made in those masterminds and the people that I’ve met are lifelong friends and it’s just an incredible dynamic, you know. It’s like a rise, it was like a rising tide raises all ships. Dynamic. So, anyway, listen, I wanna thank you for being on the show, my friend, and it’s been a lot of fun and, you know, let me know the next time you’re in Florida. We’ll get together, brother.
Ola: Absolutely. Thank you so much, Rod.
Rod: Sounds good. Talk to you soon, my friend.
Ola: Thank you.
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