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Ep #379 – Jamil Damji – From Solopreneur to Team of 30

Here is some of what you will learn:

  • Building your team
  • Getting to a Realtor’s pocket listings
  • The importance of being prepared
  • Where to find deals
  • Driving for Dollars
  • Agitating messages
  • The value of targeted lists
  • Taking advantage of the wholesale labor force
  • Foundation of fear vs foundation of love

To find out more about our guest: click here 

To find out more about partnering or investing in a multifamily deal: Text Partner to 41411 or email

Join us at a Multifamily Bootcamp, visit:

Full Transcript Below:


Ep #379 – Jamil Damji – From Solopreneur to team of 30

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 put lifetime cash flow through real estate investing. I’m Rod Khleif and I am thrilled you’re here. We’ve got kind of an interesting guest today and I’ll explain why in a minute. His name is Jamil Damji and his company name is KeyGlee. Now Jamil is an expert at wholesaling. Okay? Now he wholesales single-family but he also wholesales multi-family. So you’re like, “why do I have a wholesaler on this show”, because we’re talking about lifetime cash flow. And I’ll tell you why. Because he has built his business from zero to 30 employees and he’s great at finding deals and he’s great at creating systems. And every business is nothing but people and systems. So we’re gonna dig into all of that. Welcome to the show brother.

Jamil: Thank you for having me.

Rod: Absolutely. So why don’t you take a second and talk about your story. How you built your company to where you are and then, I’m gonna, you know, segue into some of these topics like finding deals and systemization and we’ll probably talk about leadership as well because you’ve also, obviously, become a leader and, you know, to be a success in business requires leadership skills. So let’s just talk about your story a little first.

Jamil: Absolutely. Thank you. So about three and a half years ago, my sister and I were business partners and we came into contact with a couple of young individuals who had a real understanding of current technology and systemization. They brought to the table the ability to systemize what was happening in our heads. So the strategies that we were implementing to find deals is what they did a core evaluation on from us, my sister and myself, to really deconstruct the strategies and the processes that we were using and find way to turn that into technology that we could scale it. From there, we went from doing anywhere from three to five deals to today, we will crush anywhere from 65 to 95 houses in a month.

Rod: Okay.

Jamil: And houses or multifamily. We do a lot of small plexes as well.

Rod: Okay, okay. So, and now these this Josiah and this Hunter, they’re partners of yours?

Jamil: They’re, he is.

Rod: Okay. Did you find that they had different strengths than you did and you guys and you had, you know, strengths that complemented each other, was that the dynamic?

Jamil: Absolutely. So I’m an extrovert. I love getting out, talking to people, meeting people, shaking hands and really engaging with the public. Hunter, you would call him more of a, well, he’s definitely an introvert but he’s the highest level of introvert I’ve ever met. He’s the kind of person that doesn’t want to speak to anybody at the same time, his mind works is such a high level that he’s able to take systems and refine them down to the smallest detail to find an inefficiency and when he finds an inefficiency he removes it. So Josiah. Young guy. 25 years old. For me, was a little bit of a struggle. I have to admit, in the beginning, to give up leadership control to him being 40 myself but he brought to the table a tremendous amount of energy and vision, you know. He’s …

Rod: What role does he play?

Jamil: He’s the CEO. I’m the president.

Rod: Oh. Wow. Okay.

Jamil: Yep, yep. He’s the architect of the culture in the company and I have to hand it to him. He’s one fantastic guy.

Rod: Wow. Okay, okay. Well, so and that’s why I wanted to bring that up because this is a very common dynamic in the multifamily space. Particularly, is that you’ll find some of the greatest partnerships are someone that’s an extrovert, like yourself, that’s out there making the relationships, building the relationships and so on that aligns with someone that’s analytical because really multifamily real estate is numbers and your finding that same dynamic in your organization where you found, you know, people that were strong where you were weak and that’s really how you maximize your ability to execute and really make things happen. So that’s, I’m really glad that came up. So let’s talk about, let’s talk about for a minute, you know, so you’ve got Hunter doing the tech side. So he’s tech savvy and you’ve got Josiah helping with really running the company. What is your focus then?

Jamil: So my focus is relationships. A big part of what we do to generate our deals is to get out there into the world and make relationships with the people that control this type of product, right? If your listeners …

Rod: For example. For example.

Jamil: For example,some of the most powerful realtors in the space, they have these pocket listings that you’ll never see if you don’t have the capacity to break through their BS barometer and strike right to their fact that you’re a player in the space. You’re somebody that they need to have on their short list of individuals to send product to and that’s essentially what I’ve been able to do, is break through the different segments of individuals where I feel are holding the product …

Rod: Let’s talk strategy. Let’s talk strategy for a minute.Let’s talk about how you build those relationships and how you separate yourself from all the flack that’s out there that, all the, you know, all the noise that’s out there and all the people that want what you want. How do you separate yourself? Give me some examples.

Jamil: So, I think execution and just the way that I approach an agent, right? When you’re talking to a high-level commercial agent who has pocket listings. The first thing they, they’ve got money so they don’t care how much you have. They’ve got buyers already with money so they don’t care about your flashy watch, your car, how much you own, it’s really not about that. It’s who you are. How easy of a person are you gonna be to deal with. Are you gonna be the guy calling them and 9 o’clock at night pissed off because you bought a building from them and now you’ve got a crazy tenant or somebody broke in? That’s not the individual they wanna do business with. They wanna do business with somebody that doesn’t bug them, that understands the numbers that they’re giving them, that sees the opportunity that they’re looking for and then, executes and completes. If you can be that person, those relationships, they expand and they become bigger and bigger and then, you start to become a part of that circle of influence and your deal flow grows.

Rod: So, yeah, of course, they need to see you close on that first deal. That’s …

Jamil: Absolutely.

Rod: That’s like such a key point. What advice would you give the person that hasn’t closed on that first deal yet? Any suggestions, you know, what I tell people from stage is align with somebody that hats for that first deal or two, particularly, you know, the larger property demographic, but what would you suggest? Any anything else?

Jamil: I think you have to come to the fight armed. When you’re showing up unprepared and you show up asking the wrong questions, and the wrong questions are the elementary questions that if you’re in this space, you should know the answers to it. If you can come to the table armed, fully armed with that knowledge and you speak to that person from the same language that they understand, that is going to elevate you to their level. You’ll resonate with them and you’ll complete.

Rod: Yeah, yeah. You have to know the nomenclature. You have to know the terminology and that’s critical and that’s really good, really good advice. Now, you know, I know you’ve done a couple thousand single-family and maybe over a hundred multifamily but let’s talk about finding deals for a minute, Jamil. You know, you’re obviously an expert at that, if your turn those kinds of numbers. Talk about the different places that you look to find deals and give us some ninja tricks.

Jamil: So before I was systematized, my favorite, favorite way to do it was to get into my car, drive around and find the multifamily properties that had the For Rent sign on it, that were handwritten, that looks so junky that there was no way this was a property management company. I knew the person on the other end of that line was an owner or was close to the owner and being able to identify that, I made so many phone calls. What I would do is drive around with a notepad and a pen, I would write down the address, I would take a picture of the property, I would write down the phone number, I would give an estimate of what I thought that building was, come home and I would compile a whole list of, you know, 10 or 20 properties that I saw that day. Come home, do research on and figure out what I was looking at, get an understanding of what I needed to pay and start making the calls. So that’s what I did, free systemization. Now we …

Rod: How long did you do that? I’m just curious because this resonate a little bit.

Jamil: Year of 2012.

Rod: Wow. See. The reason that’s dear to my heart is because I did that. I did, you know, you’re giving an example of doing what other people are willing to do and I did the same damn thing. I knocked on doors of people are in foreclosure. Almost for a decade. Every night, I was out there knocking on doors and, you know, who does that? Just like you. Who’s gonna get out there drive around and look for For Rent signs, go home, you know, look them up, do the research and then, make outbound phone calls. Very few people but I’m telling you, that’s why you’re a freaking success. What’s why I was a success and I am a success because of being willing to do what others won’t. So that’s awesome. So then, so you did that for a long time. Then, you, then, talk about the progression into the systems.

Jamil: So what we did after that is, you know, we compiled lists so we would say okay. We wanna target 4-plexes now. So with compiled list, what a list source, we’d get a list of all the 4-plexes in Maricopa County. We would scrub that against any that showed up in the MLS or any that had like an agent attached to it. One, for there was no property management that we could find attached to it. We would begin our onslaught of outreach and we have a process that we call targeted outreach where we spend very high level text messages to these phone numbers.

Rod: What do you mean by high level? What do you mean by high level?

Jamil: I mean, we curate the message. We’re not asking stupid questions. Again, just like I described earlier, come to the fight armed. So the messages are all scripted, they’re templated, we have them all set prior. When my reps are out there sending the message, it is to the point, “I’m not wasting your time. I’m not pretending I wanna rent the place. I’m talking to you because I understand you have multifamily property right now in Maricopa County. It is time to sell. We don’t know what’s going on, what’s coming around the corner. Are you interested in selling your building today?” And …

Rod: Okay.

Jamil: … when get a response, that’s when we engage in a conversation. That’s when one of us gets on the phone who understands the space has a conversation with the seller and we take it from there.

Rod: Okay, okay. And so, besides the tech, high level text messaging, you call it high level just because, would you say it’s high level, is it like one-off? Is it’s each text handwritten? Or are they done in mass? Or, I just wanna be real clear what you mean by high level. I’m not completely clear

Jamil: So, the software that we use in the way that we’re able to compile it is, so there’s template messages, but it’ll actually insert the address of the property in the message. So we’re not having individually type out a message. We’ve got a template. We’ve got a list that integrates the addresses into the message. It’s coming from a real telephone number not like that three or four digit fake kind of thing and we have to individually press each button just to be

Rod: What was software, is that an off-the-shelf software application that we could

Jamil: It’s one we built, actually.

Rod: You built it. You built it. Okay. Alright. Is this like hosted on Podio and you plug it in, you guys work with that as your framework?

Jamil: Yes, sir.

Rod: Yeah. I know a lot of those single-family guys. I just joined the Collective Genius mastermind. We’re talking about that before we started recording and I know a lot of those guys and these are the largest flippers and wholesalers on the planet really and, like yourself, and they all use Podio. That’s why I was just curious. So you did an add-on and wrote that. I’m guessing Hunter helped you with that and you put that together and

Jamil: Yes.

Rod: Yes? Okay.

Jamil: Him and some other developers. Correct.

Rod: Love it. Love it. Okay. So it actually integrates the address. Love it. So what else are you doing besides text messaging?

Jamil: Well, oddly enough. Direct mail won’t work so well today in the single-family space but it works in the multifamily space.

Rod: Right. Because nobody’s doing it. Because nobody’s doing it. Yeah, right.

Jamil: Nobody’s doing it. Everyone stop so direct mail has been a fantastic resource for us in finding multifamily properties. Typically, the owners of these properties are established. They still look at their mail, right?

Rod: Yeah.

Jamil: And so, we’ve been having great luck with that.

Rod: Let’s drill down on that a little bit if you don’t mind, Jamil. Let’s talk about, let’s talk about what your mailing campaign looks like. What, you know, how, let’s talk about frequency, let’s talk about what pieces you send. Do you use envelopes, cards? Let’s get really specific on that as to what that that whole mailing system looks like. If you humor me

Jamil: My favorite is a postcard with a disruptive message on the front and when I say disruptive message, I mean something that’s going to agitate. “Your multifamily property is devaluing every day. Tenants are destroying your property”. Something that’s gonna agitate the mind. Something that’s gonna make them take a look at it and say, “yeah, you know what”, it’ll resonate with a story or some situation that’s going on in their life and so, the way that we like to do multifamily mail outs would be every other month we’ll send out, you know, 1,000 to 2,000 postcards depending on what our volumes been looking at and what the necessity is for our buyer pool so, but the consistency is the key. Right? So if you’re not keeping those mails going and if they’re not seeing

Rod: How often, how often your mailing the same person?

Jamil: Until we’re told not to. So we’re …

Rod: What I mean is that frequency like every month, every two months, every three months.

Jamil: Every month.

Rod: Every month.

Jamil: Every month and occasionally we miss a month so we’ve had spaces where it’s been every two months but we like to do it every month.

Rod: Is it always a postcard? Do you ever do a letter? Do you ever change it up? Invitation envelope? Do you ever do any unusual stuff?

Jamil: We haven’t. We’ve stuck to the disruptive, you know, agitating message on a postcard just because we’ve we found great success with it.

Rod: Just any of your face headline …

Jamil: Yes.

Rod: “Hey moron. It’s time to sell.”

Jamil: Correct.

Rod: Okay. Alright, alright. Got it. Love it. And you know, guys, those headlines work everywhere. You can run craigslist ads with those disruptive headlines. You can, you know, put them on a letter. Believe it or not, you can put letters as well but, you know, just to further that conversation a little bit if you’ve just done cards, let me just say this to the listeners, you know, invitation envelopes were look work really well but the key with this, if you’re not doing postcards, if you’re doing envelopes, the key is that they have to be handwritten. So keep that in mind and a stamp, not notes. People are pretty smart now. If it’s got a automated postage on there they know even if it looks like it’s handwritten it’s, you know, that they’re actually companies out there, they can use blue ink and make it look like a handwritten letter, make it look like a handwritten envelope but it’s the postage always gives it away. Okay. So you like postcards and of course, this is a really honed list, yes? Talk about the parameters you put in on your multifamily search to get a really honed list.

Jamil: So equity and time. Time owned. In my opinion, feel the span that have a solopreneur or small multifamily owner can hold that building is going to be, it’s gonna have an ending. There’s gonna be a maturity date there. So if I’ve seen an owner has owned the building for 15, 20 years …

Rod: Right.

Jamil: Me, that is a person ready to call it in, right? And so, if somebody’s purchased a property in the last five years, they’re still in it. They’re still enjoying the cash flow. They’re just like your viewers. They’re enjoying the money. They’re enjoying the situation that they’re in but there is a maturity date and for us, it’s important to target the people that are at that level, at that maturity date.

Rod: Okay.

Jamil: So equity and time ownership is huge.

Rd: And that’s gonna greatly reduce your list as well. So you’re not mailing tens of thousands of pieces. It’s a very honed. You’re shooting with a rifle. Sorry about the analogy but that’s the bottom line. Instead of a shotgun, it’s a very hone targeted list when you do that. Okay. Awesome. So besides texting and mail, you know, what are the strategies and broker relationships, so there any other strategies that we haven’t touched on?

Jamil: So there’s one, and here is a bit of advice for the guys that are listening. There are wholesalers in your market who if you reach out to them, will go out and do the work for you. They will do the work for you. Call them up. Tell them what you are. Tell them what you have and what you’re looking for and bug them because once they realize that you’ve got, that they’ve got product that you want and you buy and close, they’re gonna do it again and again and again and again. And so, take advantage of the free labor force. Google them. Cash buyer in my city, cash buyer Florida, cash buyer Orlando, cash buyer Phoenix. Find the websites of those people that are in that space. Call them, make the connection, tell them what you’re looking for, get it done.

Rod: Yeah. Know, I love it. You know, my friend, Tim, brought some Cleveland on the show and he had a great strategy as a related to reaching out the wholesalers bonus them, I mean, you know, I keep tell the story about one guy or one lady that he gave a $10,000 bonus cuz she got him up, I don’t know 30, 40 unit complex and it changed her world and loved it. So, reach out to wholesalers in your market. How would you find them? What’s the best way to find wholesalers? Through REA meetings. What else?

Jamil: In REA meetings but a lot of the guys that are doing business stop going to REA meetings. Oddly enough I still go to them but for whatever reason that their heads get big. Google, a lot of these guys, they’re websites are on point. That’s where they’re capturing all their leads so just going to Google, right? Cash buyer and then, enter the city right after. Whenever you write cash buyer Phoenix in Google, that list to folks are all wholesalers, every single …

Rod: All wholesalers. Yeah, and guys, there’s no big deal paying somebody a fee to get a phenomenal deal on a property. So that’s a great tip. Great tip. Okay. Alright. So the last thing I wanna talk about really, well, actually a couple more things. First of all, let’s talk about you mentioned pre-recording, I did, that you’re really good at identifying distress. Can you expand on that a little bit?

Jamil: So, you know, physicality just the, when you type in an address into Google and you see the property is just not in good shape, there’s a lot of deferred maintenance. There’s distress there, there’s somebody at the end of the rope just not caring anymore. Pay attention to that. You’d be surprised. Everybody gives away how they’re feeling on the outside and a building thing, the outside is an exact analogy of how that owner is feeling. When an owner feels great about their property and about their situation, the building looks fantastic. When an owner is ready to call it a day, the building looks like crap. That right there tells you there’s some distress there. Also, if you see that somebody is on a foreclosure list and they may have other properties, look. Just because someone’s in foreclosure that doesn’t mean they’re broke. People forget to make payments. People forget to make their hard money payments and they end up in, you know, on the list and that doesn’t make them deadbeats but what you will find is if you take that list and you stack with other multifamily properties and you find them, you find a match where they appear on multiple lists, like the equity list or a list of owners that have owned for some time, and then, you find a foreclosure and they pop up there too, you stack that list together and they’re in multi multiple, three multiple, their multiple lists at the same time. That right there is a seller ready to go.

Rod: Okay. No, that’s interesting. Okay. So, you would you would actually put lists on top of each other and look for commonality where people are matching, matching all three in that case. Okay. Got it. So, you know, I wanna talk to you a little bit about leadership because you grew from, you know, solopreneur, force of one to now, you’ve got 30 people and I mean, I’m already seeing some of the strategy you’re utilizing and I’ll point it out here in a second but talk a little bit about how you became a better leader. If there’s anything you did to embrace learning how to become a better leader and speak to that a little bit. How you’ve developed your leadership skills?

Jamil: So when we first started, I was coming from a place of I know it better and they don’t, right? So I came from a place of fear. In all honesty, I was always…

Rod: I gotta stop you man. That is so insightful because it really was, it was, people would think it’s ego but it’s not ego it’s fear. I’m so impressive. Okay. Please continue. I’m sorry. That was, I just wanna put an exclamation mark on that. Good for you.

Jamil: So that fear was creating the different behaviors in me, right? When you boil it down, it was fear and so, I’m sitting here saying, “this guy is doing it wrong. That guy’s doing it wrong. I don’t wanna give this away. I don’t wanna let them take control”. Look if you begin from a foundation of fear, everything to follow is gonna suck.

Rod: Right.

Jamil: What we did is we flipped to the opposite. When you start from a foundation of love and I mean that, in the purest sense …

Rod: Oh, God. Yeah.

Jamil: You’re really just there to serve. You’re really just there to grow and help other people grow as well. When you stop acting from fear and you act from a foundation of love, everything blossoms. It truly does. The people that you train are grateful for the training, the way that you speak to people is compassionate and understanding. You’re not blaming anymore. You’re starting to find commonalities, you’re starting to remember how hard it was for you when you began and you just, you exit out of that that bullshit spot of, ‘I’m the best and everyone sucks” to “hey, we’re all in this together and if I can groom some young cat to come out and change their life then, thank you God for the opportunity”, right? And so, …

Rod: So funny. I needed to hear that today, brother. You actually impacted me. You, Remember, we had a little conversation before we started about my morning and so, you know, you’ve absolutely added value to me today, my friend. So and you’re absolutely right. And so, the thing that I wanna point out is guys, you can’t do it all and you shouldn’t try to do it all and you’ve done such a great job Jamil. Surrounding yourself with people that are gonna help you take it to the next level. Complimentary skills that, you know, things that you’re not an expert in, you know, you’re great doing what you’re doing, yeah, but you defined, you know, you clearly define the areas you need help and you’ve brought in top-notch people to help you there and that is and, you know, that’s an incredible quality of really any super successful leader out there is. They find that best people they can to supplement, you know, their deficiencies so very-very impressive, my friend. As I know you’re 40 years old. You know, I got 20 years on you and that’s an inside, I will be honest, I probably only got in the last decade is to find the very best people to complement your skills so my hats off to you, my friend.

Jamil: Thank you.

Rod: Let me ask you this, you know, what advice would you give a listener that’s listening that maybe hasn’t taken action yet. They know they wanna get into this space, they know where they wanna build cash flow for themselves and break into this business, what would you tell that person?

Jamil: I apologize if I use a bad word here, Rod.

Rod: Okay.

Jamil: Fuck how. Fuck how.

Rod: Right.

Jamil: Just start. You’ll be surprised at how the world will align itself into your objective if you take the first step.

Rod: Yeah.

Jamil: Just the first step. And if you do that, the next step, it appears and the next step appears and the next step appears and you’re not perfect, you’re gonna lose money sometimes here and there. Things are gonna happen. You’re gonna get a crazy tenant. The world is the world. It is what it is but if you can just stop caring about the whole plan because I didn’t know KeyGlee was gonna be what KeyGlee is the day that KeyGlee opened its doors. We were four dumb shits trying and it is what it is today. So, I just say, “F how. Get out there. Stop letting your brain tell you you’re not good enough for it because you are”.

Rod: Yeah, love it. Love it. Love it. Take that first step, the next step will be revealed. I love it, man. I tell the story on stage that meaning drive all the way across the country at night only seeing 50, 60 feet in front of you but you’ll make it all the way across. It’s the same way with your goals. So many people get caught up in fear and limiting beliefs and they never take that first step or they get caught in analysis paralysis which is frankly the lowest standard because they’re a perfectionist. They think they have to do it just right. Love it. Love it. Alright, brother, we’ll listen, it has been my absolute pleasure to have you on the show. You’ve absolutely added value and, you know, and I love the uniqueness of what it is you do because anytime you can bring these other disciplines into different vertical markets, vertical things like you’re primarily single-family but you’ve absolutely added value on the multifamily front today. So, you know, I have nothing but wanna wish you continued massive success in everything you gained, my friend.

Jamil: Likewise, thank you so much for having me in the show.

Rod: You bet, buddy. Take care.

Hey thanks for watching. Please subscribe to my channel and if you listen to podcast join me on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to those podcasts just search for a Lifetime Cashflow to Real Estate Investing.