Ep #415 – Patrick Antrim – From Yankees Baseball to Multifamily Investor
Here is some of what you will learn:
- The new American Dream
- Adding value through new technologies
- The ROI of technological improvements
- The IOT as it applies to Multifamily
- Company culture
- Vivid Vision Statement
- The power of your story
- Removing friction to enhance experience
- Revenue solves all business problems
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Full Transcript Below:
Ep #415 – Patrick Antrim – From Yankees Baseball to Multifamily Investor
Hi, my name is Rod Khleif and I’m the host of “Lifetime Cashflow through Real Estate Investing” Podcast and every week I interview multifamily rockstars. We talk about how they built incredible wealth for themselves and their families through multifamily properties. So hit the like and subscribe button to get notified every Monday when a new episode comes out. Let’s get to it
Rod: Welcome to another edition of How to Build Lifetime Cashflow through Real Estate Investing. I’m Rod Khleif and I am absolutely thrilled that you’re here. And I know you’re gonna get tremendous value from the gentleman we’re interviewing today. His name’s Patrick Antrim and he’s the founder of Multifamily Leadership. Now he started his career believe it or not as a pro baseball player with the Yankees and I’m gonna let him tell you his story because it’s very very interesting and I know that he’s gonna add tremendous value today. Patrick, welcome to the show my friend
Patrick: Welcome Rod. Its great to be here with you. I love what you’re doing in the community and just hearing some great things so pleasure to be here
Rod; Thank you my friend. Yeah yeah so you were actually introduced to me by one of the members in my multi-family boardroom mastermind and she said you’ve got to get this guy on the show. So here we are and you know we had a little bit of time before we started recording that you kind of gave me kind of a hundred thousand foot overview but you know talk about your progression in this business, how you got started and how you got to where you are today because it’s fascinating and I want my listeners to hear it. And then and then we’ll dig into some you know we’ll see where this takes us
Patrick: Sure sure so you know unusually I was, I trained early in life as a professional athlete you know was riding around in bus rides playing for the New York Yankees with you know the dream set out since you were probably five years old to choose something like that and once I experienced that, I realized after about four years that it’s a very repetitive, everyday four o’clock stretch, six o’clock pregame game time, you know next day and it’s just I knew that I want a little bit more freedom, a little more control over my life. And I think it was a comedian that said, it’s one thing to make the big money and in sports but you want to be able to write the check for it that person. And so kind of open my mind to thinking bigger and what I learned was you know traveling you know back when I retired in 1998. So we didn’t have Facebook and social media so you’re on these long bus rides and on those bus rides, I started to study you know those that have done some great things after sports. They’ve leveraged their either their name, notoriety and they were involved in real estate and so piqued my interest talk to my agent and I said hey listen I want to really get to know real estate and see what the opportunities are. He connected me with the former owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team which for me was the soft landing that I needed to retire and do something significant. So I had essentially the desire to do something big that could prove to all those that doubted me of you know retiring early, why would you do something like that. And I took a leap and you know basically
Rod: What year was that Patrick?
Patrick: That was 1998 okay and so I basically had the opportunity to become the apprentice for a billionaire you know one of the 700th richest people in the world and learned how he ran organizations. And for 18 months I studied him boards of companies, owned Airlines, all these wonderful things but it all came out of his ability to generate cash flow from the 5,000 units that he owned. And so after 18 months you know I thought I was on top of my game and you know I knew everything and I wanted to be the president of the organization. Well he sent me out into the apartment portfolio to scrape curbs, collect coins and laundry rooms. I became an auditor I did all the aspects of the business from the ground up and there were times when I wanted to quit and I didn’t really want to do it because I was like you know I didn’t think I didn’t retire from the Yankees to do this and what I learned was I was being taught on how to create cash, how to keep cash, and how to run an apartment business that was built off of people. So they were really good at finding the right people, believing in them, developing them, getting them to essentially rent apartments for more than the competition and that became basically my sales organization you know learning. So after I did that obviously, had some wonderful introductions from other and you know other high net-worth individuals and I’ve been started at being asked to solve business challenges. So I took over companies, multifamily companies, expanded management companies, built management companies, developed properties, nationally ran companies in thirteen states north of 1.2 billion dollars and started to look at what I was doing in real estate had nothing to do with the real estate, had everything to do with my ability to collect the right people, get them working effectively lead together so they can rent more apartments right. And when we did that we had more capital to reinvest in the business, more capital to buy more properties, more capital scale the business. And so I looked and decided that it was 2009 and I said you know what I’m actually running a people management business. So I started to look have multifamily what was going to happen in the future and when you look at markets being cyclical, up and down and tracking trends and demographics and household formations and all of those things, I knew as an investor at this time we had collected about 1,300 investors and you know once you get to that scale it’s like you now have an investor relations department. You have a whole new way of how you want to live life and operate. And I knew I didn’t necessarily want that. I wanted to go back to the roots of what this billionaire did. He had 5,000 units and bought Airlines he put you know technology on Mars. I mean he did took color photography in cinemas and the black and white made it color all from the cash flow from these you know 19 properties that he had. And so while I was paying attention to you know the multifamily marketplace where everybody wants to buy more, get more, go big, and I realize you really don’t need more than maybe1500 units to just make fundamental transformational wealth shifts in your life and the impact you make with others. And so I kind of pulled back and pumped the brakes and started to look at the business differently. I started to look as an investor you know really your job is to look at what’s going to happen next. And sometimes the way that we look at deals and the way that we look at markets, we look at what had happened, we look at trailing numbers, we look at historicals, and we making decisions off that. But I started to question the future the customer not necessarily the market and where trends are going and things like that. I started to look at what Airbnb did you know right – the hotel industry. They’re the largest hotel in the in the world and they don’t as a single piece of real estate. So I started looking at what uber did to the taxi companies, what Instagram did Kodak. And the world is changing in how we decide where we’re going to live globally the workforce is changing. So it used to be you would go to you know Albuquerque and get a job worked for Intel for 20 and 25 years save up buy house. So I think the idea of the home ownership model changes to where the American Dream is probably cash flow now not necessarily owning a home. And so I think there’s just tremendous opportunities now in multifamily not just from the basics and the obvious which is you know buying it, you cash flow, the tax advantage is all those things those are the obvious what I’m focused on is the not so obvious, the customer what they expect tomorrow, smart home, operating differently with technology, Internet of Things, basically going into a property and paying more for it if you have to knowing that you can create value through technology, through understanding how customers want to have a seamless experience, maybe putting leak detection sensors and knowing that your maintenance cost is going to operate differently because you have the right technology and things like that. So I started to look at those things and realize that there’s a speed of change, the exponential growth in these technologies is not anything that one person can understand right. So I started to develop a platform to collect these conversations and truly just shift my focus to understanding what’s next to multifamily. So that’s kind of a quick journey a long story but I can’t be more excited about the apartment industry and I think for small operators, I think that’s really where the opportunities are
Rod: Interesting. Well in fact that last statement is is very interesting. So tell me what you mean by that from smart operators, I’m sorry small operators
Patrick: Yeah smart and small right so I think historically you know you look at single family you can finance it you know very easily right. You have a lot of buyers for that flipping homes all that it’s you know that’s easy as you go up to you know even the four-plex is you can even finance those but similar financing but once you get into the commercial, requires a little bit different approach, a little bit different understanding the business, but what’s typically happened historically is the companies that are investing in these technologies and investing in understanding what’s next, they’ve ignored properties 50 units, hundred units even because it cost too much for them to operate and the reason why is they couldn’t find talent for a small property, 16 units, 40 units, it’s hard for a big company tothey have you know fixed a property management fees, asset management fees, it doesn’t make sense. So they ignore those types of properties. In fact, you know I used to pick up management accounts from big operators so like we’ve got a 90 unit we just it doesn’t make sense right like we need we’re looking at portfolios and so there’s been this sort of dis-focus on the small units, 20 units, 50 units, 75 units. But now with technology, the way that you can operate these properties is you add an advantage. So to me as an investor, I’m looking at those small deals I’m looking at
Rod: Let’s talk about those, I’m sorry sorry. So let’s talk about some of those methodologies, some of that technology and let’s drill down on how you can better manage a smaller asset like that utilizing you know leveraging technology can we drill down on that a little bit
Patrick: Yeah well in the obvious if you’re building it’s easy right. You’re already putting thermostats and door locks and these types of things in the property you already have that cost so you would just do right the most innovative things but I think in the retrofit and the renovation process, if you’re looking at building or managing long-term and owning long-term then I think like simple things get attention to get rent growth. So before it was, hey let’s do these things because we can get 58 dollars a month in rent and that’s true that’s happening now. When a resident comes into apartment and there’s a lock that they just need a code for right. They can control their thermostat, they can control their oven on their way home like from work they are warming up their oven and these types of things then you’re able to get a competitive advantage from the property down the street. So higher rents of course cap out that’s wonderful thing. But if you look at it beyond just creating a sort of interesting and differentiation amongst competition, you’re looking at leak detection. Imagine a plumbing leak where the resident doesn’t have to tell you that there’s a leak because you’ve installed leak detection sensors in the property. Now your maintenance person doesn’t have to go back to the shop, look for a master key or some code to get into the thing meanwhile the place is getting flooded, floor one, floor two, floor three, and you just you already the meanest person already knows where the leak is right. So they know where to punch the drywall they know where to get it and you’re minimizing costs. So now you take that into negotiating better insurance and you know when you look at the whole picture there’s some real opportunities to explore. What I’m speaking of is smart home. So Internet of Things this could be from access control, to leak detection, operational stuff, just simply not making key
Rod: What sort of operational stuff ?
Patrick: Well you know you can have the impact, looking at, depending on the size of the property looking at the impact of like having a dog walking service connecting to another platform that allows a resident to say, hey look I’m accepting pets and now you know here we have something that no one else has. Like I could get my pet walking service on an app. I can connect that pet walking service to the door at my apartment and I know who’s in I know ones who’s out and I don’t need to interrupt business as an investor to the leasing agent to let, hey I need to get into 101 or package deliveries you know with Amazon delivering packages more and more you know grocery delivery. I mean it’s just gonna get harder and harder. So what’s the impact now you have to hire more leasing people just to service the customers needs. So with automation of these technologies from simplifying the customer experience you know that’s important but beyond that I think leak detection you know there’s, they’re putting sensors on HVAC equipment that’s knowing in advance when they’re stressing so then you can preventively get out in front of that negotiate better rates on the repairs because you know you think about you doing HVAC or water heater or anything that goes wrong, it’s an emergency situation. It’s when you don’t negotiate pricing because you know like tenant/resident needs it and you’re paying premium. So you got to think with the money eyes and the real estate eyes. The real estate eyes are buy at this price cap rates you know NOI growth all that stuff but I think you can start to rethink payroll cost so you can start to re-envision the experience somebody can do with self-guided tours. You have AI that can artificial intelligence that can answer phone calls. A large majority of phone calls to leasing offices go unanswered because offices are closed but the people that have jobs are working when the offices are open so your ideal resident maybe wants to look at an apartment at 7:30 at night if you have the smart home and access control. You can get people to rent more
Rod: Very fascinating. I mean you’ve drops so many things here. It’s kind of hard to drill down to some
Patrick: I know I’m sorry.
Rod: It’s okay. I didn’t want to interrupt and you know just kept coming and coming and coming. So let me ask you a question you know and I know this might be tough to answer but maybe you can just give me some ranges as to let’s say somebody buys a 20 unit you know a 80’s built product or 70’s built product and they want a retrofit some of this stuff in do you have any you have any ideas about what some of these things might cost like the locks for example that’s huge obviously because then it’s all electronic you can somebody moves you don’t have to do anything other than push some buttons but and even the you know the thermostat business, so start there. But I’m really interested to also dig into if you know any pricing around the sensors, the HVAC, and the leak detection sensors. But let’s start with the smart home piece, the locks and things of that nature
Patrick: Sure I can tell you the ROI is incredible. I won’t speak specifically to the actual cost because it really depends on a lot of the platform to use but let me back up that okay question to. Sometimes there are things that you need to do on your own right and sometimes we look at this as investors we say, oh I can do that and go down to Home Depot and get a ring doorbell or you know whatever it is. But there are real things that need to be understood here and you need to be thinking about this as a platform versus just plugging things in because there’s a lot going on here you’re with Wi-Fi, Z-wave all kinds of different technologies that provide trust in security and it’s not something you want to take on yourself. I can give you a couple of companies you can go to that they’ve sponsored our events. I will disclose that but they’ve done a great job of really just helping executives understand how to think about these things instead of you know you build a new apartment community, you don’t just rush out and go to you know the lumber store and start building, you have architectural plans, you have engineers, and those types of things I think you need to think about this like another layer of real estate on top of your building that can be capitalized at some point I think lenders and they’re talking about it now will start valuing this higher in your assets like granite counters right. So I think you know you could be looking at hundreds of dollars for locks and then it could be you know thousands of dollars depending on what you deploy
Rod: Okay fair enough fair enough. So you said it’s an extremely high ROI and I’m assuming you’re calculating in saved labor costs, you’re calculating in all the pieces of this, you know when we do a capex on a property we like to see you know something that’s gonna boost the rents like covered parking or something. We like to see a three year payback maximum ideally okay. We’ll go as high as four but with three is our number can you give, do you have any idea of what the ROI on some of these things might look like and
Patrick: It’s better than any ROI of anything I’ve ever done before right. So if you think about those paybacks, those would be a lot longer because there’s a couple of things. There’s the residents are paying for them now right. Secondly, even if they’re not paying for them you’re talking about leasing faster because it’s interesting and new and you have you know six days rented that weren’t rented because you know you just leased faster you converted better. And then you have the you know you can operate less business interruption, easier staff time, things like that I’m not even calculating those things just from the dollars in to the revenue in, their ROI is much better than you know kitchen remodels and those types of things. And then yeah so I think but I’m happy to connect you with you the teams that
Rod: Go ahead and go ahead and go ahead and name those companies that do this and I’m assuming these companies have platforms and integrate it you know a whole lot more than just some door locks yes that’s what we’re talking about
Patrick: Yeah absolutely absolutely you know a couple to mention and they’ve already tested this in a single-family market and a lot of these innovations came out of single-family because of the necessity not the amenity okay. So they’ve done self-guided tours, put people in and out of units, converted the lease all from the apps in the interfaces, but two companies come to mind would be Point Central which is basically an alarm.com company. So you have the trust and the platform there and another innovative company is called Smart Rent and they’re a platform, tremendous knowledge, both of those companies they’ve supported everything that we’ve done and they’re really not looking at trying to sell stuff to you they’re really looking at how do you help them think about the business because there’s a lot of people that have done these types of things and they’re paying the price by you know just jumping into it and realizing that you know the thermostat didn’t connect to a Wi-Fi and we needed to have a different you know setup
Rod: Wow this is actually this is really timely for me frankly because I’m being educated and we’ve got assets that we are you know looking to integrate smart technology into. We’ve got one in Lexington and we’ve got five hundred doors under contract right now in three states. And by the way, plug, if you’re accredited please text “partner” to 41411 and get on our calendar. We’ve got some Screaming deals right now. So that’s “partner” to 41411 but so so yes some of the stuff you’ve talked about here is just kind of mind-blowing in a way you know to have your dog walker connected to your app and let them in and all these other things you know so back to the sensors for a moment. So I’m assuming that that these sensors will be placed in front of or you know each unit in the water lines and then attached to the HVAC and the hot water heaters and you know have you been involved with is that brand-new technology that hasn’t been tested yet? or is that in place in you know in complexes right now?
Patrick: Yeah these technologies are in place. These technologies are gathering data and if you just look beyond the world of apartments, this isn’t something new. This is you’ve got autonomous driving vehicles you’ve got all kinds of things that are connecting the world together and it’s just going to better understand parking. If you’ve got a parking problem think about sensors at your parking understanding you know you can even create smart rents has created a solution for one of multi-families biggest pains which is parking. And so those are the types of things that that can be done but they’re already I think they’ve done I don’t know 70,000 units, 80,000 units already just with some of these technologies. So it’s not something where you know you’re out there, taking a risk, the consumer market has these things ring.com, Amazon bought ring.com you’re seeing like security with like simply safe and I’m being able to you know I’m having my kitchen remodel right now and the granite person comes in, I just unlocked the door from the app I have a camera that I know who comes in it’s a unique code. I don’t have to leave my office to go let somebody in and things like that. So it’s already happening and I think that the question your audience might be thinking is, okay well I’m not an A property I’m not trying to be you know amazing. I just want to cashflow. I have a property that it’s in a market that people aren’t you know you know expecting these types of things but the reality is, the biggest growth right now is in the beep properties because of operational efficiencies but I just encourage you to think then start being curious about it and start you know researching the opportunities because you’ll be surprised when you look at your next deal. You might be thinking hey, there’s something I can create here in terms of that forced appreciation
Rod: Sure and set yourself apart from you know the people that aren’t forward-thinking in this realm for sure especially in the you know sub 90 door properties sure because you know that’s kind of a sweet spot for this for sure based on what you’ve said and I completely, I can see it. Now let’s shift gears. I mean that’s that was fantastic by the way but let’s shift gears for a minute. Let’s talk about something I love talking about which is culture and so I know that you study this in large management companies and big operators and you coach on this, your podcast speaks to this. What’s the name of your podcast by the way?
Patrick: The multifamily innovation show
Rod: Multifamily Innovation so there you go guys. And so let’s talk about some of the things you see some of the best because I know that you I think I know if you give awards you do things for companies like a glass door kind of a thing where companies are great places to work and which of course looks great to investors. So what are some of the things if we can talk about some of the things that some of the best companies you’re seeing are doing to create you know a wonderful team and a wonderful workplace. And this is not going to apply to somebody that’s brand new so we probably won’t spend a ton of time on it but it’s still something I love talking about so to talk about some of the things you’ve seen in some of the better companies
Patrick: Yes so you know all companies are nothing more than a collection of people and so it’s you know an investor’s ability to put those people together even putting the team together to buy the deals that’s what makes you unique and you know you’re putting together your community and that’s what you’re doing to drive impact right and so I think what these big companies do, we do research on a key areas of these organizations and you know nationally. So we have six years of benchmark data on what it means to create a healthy organization. I think it’s important to always be in tune to the customer and I don’t mean the investor as a customer or your you know even your resident it’s your employee as a customer so we all know that if you get your employees lined right and they’re they shop to work exciting and they you know engaged and they’re going to show up for the resident, you’re gonna rent more and then of course your investor customer gets what they want which is the yield. So these companies that are doing these great things, I think the power of story is important. And if you think about every product, every job, every investor that you’ve brought on, every deal that you got, there was a story involved. And in order for a story to happen, there has to be a transfer of knowledge you know and so I think companies today if they can tell a better story about what they’re doing to create winning opportunities for the people that are engaging with their brand, people are gonna want to be part of that. So to me I hear people tell me all the time we can’t find good people, we can’t find contractors, we can’t find maintance technicians, and the reality is you’re probably not telling the right story because people want to work on winning teams and if you can show and document through even Instagram, social media, and highlight the people that are winning already where they are, other people are going to want to be part of that and if you’re a company or an investor, that can attract the best. Think about the yields that can be created. I think that’s what it comes down to, story.
Rod: All right I love it I love it. In fact, I’m creating of what’s called a vivid vision statement right now for my organization. It’s a Cameron Herald wrote a book called regarding that topic and you know it just kind of lays out where we think the business is going to be in three years and the sort of a team will have and just paints a picture of the future that you know is really attractive to perspective team members that we’re gonna pursue. Are you familiar with that?
Patrick: I’m not I’m not but that’s exciting, exciting work statement
Rod: It’s like a vivid vision statement that just kind of lays out what your vision is for the future and then we’ve just got it written it’s done and we’re gonna incorporate graphics then it goes on a page on the website and it’s you know perspective anything really an investor someone that might be interested in my thought leadership platform or certainly a team member is gonna you know be inspired by that and as you said you know any good leader that can paint a picture of vision for the future and then rally that team behind it, even if it’s a team of two or three it doesn’t matter the size, and be aligned you know certainly in their core values and things of that nature that is the statement includes the core values includes a mission statement and all those things that the whole team can rally behind you know I mean that’s when these world-class organizations get created and frankly and they have longevity as well so yeah love it love it. Yeah so again your website is multifamilyleadership.com very cool and really I mean you’ve dropped tons of stuff. What’s another you know we’ve still got a few minutes left what’s another area that you give attention to as well? You talk about leadership correct. You talk about actually leadership which we’ve kind of touched on here
Patrick: Yeah I think what I see for the audience is, I think that investors and even executives that are already running large portfolios, I think that we have to look at, you’re running a technology business today just look at the way that you get your information on your apps, your phone’s, you’ve probably been in an Uber there’s a seamless transition that’s happening where if you can make life easier for people they’re going to want to stay with you as a brand. And I think that companies today, executives, investors, need to start thinking about technologies. So it used to be just pass it off to somebody to figure out the tech but if you can pay attention to these things, you can have bigger ideas for your business, operate more efficiently, create some value, and by the way the leader of tomorrow, the employee of tomorrow, wants to work for an organization that has those things. So I think it’s just you have to think about the business differently and it’s exciting because you can learn from what’s happened in automotive industry. You can learn this is happening in healthcare and other industries. You’ve seen Airbnb and this shared rental market where you just click click click and they have your payments that you don’t have to, there’s no friction and the experience is great. Ad so I think that’s really paying attention to you know your buying properties you’re looking to buy properties if you can think differently like this, you’ll have a competitive advantage to win over other investors I think
Rod: Oh I freaking love that what you just said because it’s really a mindset shift, fundamentally that’s what it is and yet if you think that way you know you’ve got a leg up on the competition. Now let me ask you a question, if someone is considering a third party property management company is there a, do you provide anything in in that realm as to helping someone because I know you’ve hired everybody in the country you told me that before we started recording you know for these assets that you were managing and we’re always you know wanting to find the best partners because you know you kind of live or die but the people they place at your asset and do you have any thoughts on that?
Patrick: Well you know I’ve been in that spot many times and what’s really interesting is the first thing I look at is their ability to put good people on site. That regional manager position is probably the most critical position because they’re the one closest engaging with the asset, putting that employee on site, and making sure that they’re excited about their day all that stuff you know the companies are being squeezed a lot too with asset management fees, property management fees, but what I did to combat, nobody washes a rental car right? At some point you get to a scale and you’re like you’re seeing all this money go out to management, you want to have speed better control over the hiring process stuff like that and that’s companies end up taking management in-house but strong asset management in my opinion is better and then you could have third-party management in place. In other words sometimes investors ask the third-party managers the wrong questions. All focus okay, all the results that you create come out of how you focus people. So for example, if I’m in a situation where my occupancy is down and I have a property that’s struggling 80% occupancy, 85% occupancy, and I’m the owner and investor and I’m asking questions about things that dis-focus the team. Then I’m now contributing right to that process. So I think as an investor, you have to be asking every time you talk to somebody on your team that’s responsible for keeping the occupancy up is, how did the calls go today? You know how many, does the phone ringing? All sales all the time, revenue solves every business problem right. So
Rod: Guys, write that one down because that’s absolutely absolutely the case. Revenue solves everything
Patrick: Absolutely and so I think as an owner and investor we have to make sure that no matter you might have all, there’s three thousand things that have to happen for the deal to you know you’ve got rehabs going on but you’re calling the property manager and you ask them about the roofs, the gutters, and things like that that’s important but the first question out of your mouth has to always be what do we do, well how did we rent today? What’s our vacancy? And really I think that’s so important because most people want to win for their boss or their client and they start to paint the picture of what’s important to you. And they’ll start to figure out that gutters and landscaping is important and usually those are costing you money because they’re gonna start improving things that you know maybe don’t even need to improve but if they know that every time you call, you’re gonna ask, how did the call go on the last phone call or whatever? It seems micromanaging but you’re basically focusing direction
Rod: That is freaking brilliant Patrick I gotta tell you and so simple kind of a duh that you direct their focus to where it needs to be directed. By the way guys I just created this awesome resource if you are interviewing third party property management companies. I’m really proud of it it’s a booklet and it’s got links on the back with a checklist and a whole bunch of questions you should ask, everything we could think of. If you want that booklet, it’s free, just text “management” to 41411 and you’ll really appreciate that’s an awesome resource. Well listen my friend. It’s been a lot of fun unfortunately we’re bumping up against a hard stop that I have which I wish I didn’t because I’d love to carry this another 30 minutes but thank you so much for your valuable time. You guys check out multifamilyleadership.com and man I really appreciate all the incredible value you’ve added today my friend
Patrick: Rod, it’s been great to be with you today, thank you for following
Rod: Yeah a lot of fun talk soon
Patrick: All right