Ep #545 – Robert Martinez of Rockstar Capital – 4200 doors

Robert Martinez of Rockstar Capital has built a name for himself and his company through hard work, a savvy marketing mind, and commitment to his staff. We had a great interview that I know you will get value from. Here’s some of what we covered on the wide ranging discussion:

  • Control the game
  • What to measure – KPIs
  • Controlling the story
  • Importance of Pipeline
  • Reputation management
  • Impact of Covid
  • Landlord liens
  • Importance of being proactive in a crisis
  • “Adversity sharpens the knife”
  • The value and importance of investing in staff
  • CEO
    • Concentrate on Goals (C)
    • Execute on Strategy (E)
    • Optimize Systems (O)
  • Don’t let the “good” get in the way of the “great”
  • Doing it for love of the game
  • Helping each other get to the mountain
  • Don’t believe in fear

To find out more about our guest:

Full Transcript Below:

Rod: Welcome to another edition of “How to Build Lifetime Cashflow through Real Estate Investing”. I’m Rod Khleif and I’m thrilled you’re here. And I know you’re gonna get tremendous value from the gentleman I’m interviewing today who’s been on the show before. His name is Robert Martinez and he’s the founder and CEO of Rockstar Capital. Now, they own, I don’t know, over 4,200 doors in 22 communities. You know, I think he’s one of the most decorated property management companies in Texas, two-time Owner of the Year, nationally. You know, he was in the Houston Business Journal Fast 100 for the third consecutive year. He was on Houston Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO list in 2019. I mean, the list goes on and on. We’re gonna have a lot of fun today. Again, Robert, great to have you on the show brother.

Robert: Whoa! Nice to see you, Rod. I’m excited to be here. You’re right, this is my second time here and, you know, I feel like a little bit of alumni. I think if you get invited twice, you must have done a pretty good job the first time.

Rod: It’s a big– it’s an overrated experience but thank you for feeling that way. No, I’m kidding. Awesome. It’s good to have you man. And we’ve got so many topics that we can add value with today. It’s almost hard to figure out where to start. But let’s start, you know, give us an abbreviated version of your story because you’ve done it before and they can go back and listen to that. But an abbreviated version, just to bring us back up to speed and then we’re gonna dig into all sorts of incredible topics.

Robert: Yeah, for sure. So, I’m from South Texas originally. And my father worked at Whataburger, which the fast food chain in Texas. I did that for 40 years and my mother worked for Levi’s, and later Hager’s. Before, both of those jobs were exported down to Mexico during NAFTA. So, those are both my earliest mentors, my mom and my dad. And they preached to me, go to school and get good grades so you can get a good job. And that’s what I did. I went to Texas A&M University. I have an engineering degree, and of course, you know, your next ventures are your teachers, your professors, and they tell you to work hard and they tell you to pay attention and provide value for your employer. And so, that’s what I did and I did that for 10 years. And right around the 10-year mark, you know, Corporate America started to rear its ugly head. And what I wanna make here, Corporate America wants you to make here. And I was a commissioned sales guy, any good sales guy wants to be a straight-commissioned as possible. So I work really hard on my calls and my territory, and the last thing I want is for that territory to get redistributed. You know, redistribution of wealth? Yeah. I don’t believe in that. I think if you work hard for it, you should keep it. You’re planting seeds from yesterday and you’re trying to harvest them tomorrow, and then see that go to somebody else really takes the fun out of it. It happened two or three times in that 10-year period. So I realized that I didn’t have control of the game, that my employer did. He was gonna determine the kind of school my kids were gonna go to, the kind of house I was gonna have, the cars that would drive, and essentially my financial future in retirement. And so, I looked around, I decided to see what else could I do to supplement the income. At first, it wasn’t to find a new career. It was to supplement the income that my employer was taking for me. You know, call it $5,000 or $10,000, $20,000 a year. And I stumbled into a real estate club, Aria club, here in Houston. I walked in, I thought it was an amazing experience. I paid money to come to the two-day boot camp on the weekend and I learned about single-family homes. I was like, wow, I came home, I spoke to my wife and I said, hey, we’re gonna buy rent houses. This is amazing. And then, I walked in on Sunday and by the end of that Sunday was multifamily. I’m like, nope. I’m gonna buy apartment complexes because of what I learned, the power of evaluation, the magic formula. I heard it all on that Sunday and that it was off to the races from there for me. I partnered with another member at that club. Over the next three years, he and I would acquire 10 properties, 2,000 units.

Rod: What year was that again?

Robert: That would have been in 2007 to 2011.

Rod: Okay.

Robert: And he served as the figurehead of the company and I was the operating arm. In 2011, he decided to change, again, change the rules of our relationship and basically, what I’d like to say, try to cut my throat. And when you’re trying to cut my throat, you’re trying to cut my family’s throat, and I’m not gonna let that happen. So I walked away. I started Rockstar Capital in 2011. I took one of my key members of staff with me and over the next 10 years we’ve gone on to buy 24 different apartment complexes, 4,600 units. In change, we still have 22 properties with 4,200 units. We have 18 City State National Apartment Association Awards. We’ve done 13 cash out refinance events that resulted in 100% back to the investors and I’m the country’s only two-time National Independent Owner of the Year.

Rod: Awesome. Well, let’s drill down to how come you got those awards. Okay? So, let’s start with property management because that’s really, asset management, property management is probably the secret to success in this business. So, let’s talk about some different strategies around how you manage your properties, you know, that maybe people haven’t heard before. Some of the little, you know, the differences that you make. So, in fact, let’s start with your KPIs, really what you measure on a regular basis. Can we start there?

Robert: Yeah, for sure. Well, first of all, my background is sales. And I believe that in this job and I believe that in most careers, if you have an ability to speak, and a personality, and a sales background, you’re gonna do really well because life is about sales.

Rod: Sure.

Robert: And so, it was my job to teach my team how to sell because that’s what we’re doing. We’re selling a product and we want that end user to buy the product again. They buy it again when they take the renewal. So, I measure renewal rates. We wanna make sure that we have the highest renewal rates we can because all the money you make in owning that investment happens on the renewal not when they move in. On the renewal, it’s like a gratuity. They will take a 3% – 5% increase, right? If they move out, you now have roughly $3,000 of moving expenses between make ready costs, leasing commissions, marketing, whatever. That $3,000 on a six cap is worth $50,000 of valuation. So, if they renew, you gain $50,000 evaluation and you gain a little bit more because we’re now renewing at a higher metric. So renewals are the name of the game for us. With that, how do you get the renewals? Well, when we do our renovation, we do it with the renewal in mind. The number one thing that we wanna do is we wanna replace all the air conditioners day one when we do a renovation because I live in Houston Texas and they can get to 100 plus in here, and the last thing that I want is my customers, my tenants, my residents to have 80 degrees in their apartment. Because that’s gonna kill the renewal. They’ve been working all day somewhere that’s been where they’ve had an air conditioner probably and now they come home where they sleep where they’re gonna be there 8-12 hours and their air conditioning doesn’t work. That kills your renewal. So we eliminate that right away. The number one maintenance headache is renewals and that’s the number one– I’m sorry, it’s air conditions.

Rod: HVAC.

Robert: And that’s the reason why people move out so we take all that out. And then, we also focus on resident reviews. We wanna make sure that when people find us online, we control the story, we control the narrative. Back in the day when I first got in, I would see a negative review back in ’07, ’08 and I would be like an ostrich with his head in the sand. I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t handle it well. I was very thin-skinned. I’m like, man, people are gonna see this. I’m so embarrassed by this. And then, it just kind of came to me. I went to go see Gary Vaynerchuk. A couple times actually and the first time I went to go see him, it was about storytelling. And I’m like, man, I need to control the story here. I need to control the narrative. So I told my team, you need to solicit reviews. You need to ask for them just like you’re asking for the close when you want them to sign the lease, you need them to also give you a review. Aren’t they happy when they move in? Sure, let’s do a review. Aren’t they happy when they renew? Sure, you know, let’s solicit that review and drown out the noise so that one negative review from the guy that is mad because you told him, because he parked in a handicap spot, or you parked in the fire lane doesn’t control your narrative. Because nobody shows up on a Saturday anymore with apartment guide book. They do all the research online during the week. And what are they gonna find? They’re gonna see their reviews. Have you ever been to Best Buy or anywhere else, you don’t know what kind of TV to buy, you don’t know what kind of camera to buy, what do you do? You ask the guy there. Hey, what’s the one everybody’s buying? And he tells you, there everybody’s buying this one. So, I wanna control the herd mentality. So reviews have to be great. Then, you know, from visiting Gary, I realized, man, we need that storytelling. We need to have video form. So, we’ve had a videographer on site since 2017 which has not only made our properties spin well and tell that story, it’s also helped with my personal branding as well, right? Because somebody’s got to be the face of the company as well.

Rod: Sure.

Robert: You know, when you’re going out there and you’re trying to syndicate deals, raise money, they need to know who you are and you need to show them in action. You need to show who you are and why you’re different than the next guy. So it’s what you’re doing, you’re trying to show why your property is different than the next guy. So, they’re seeing all these positive reviews, they’re seeing this videography of your property, and then, virtual tours. We’ve had virtual tours on site since 2018. So, when Covid came, we were ready for it. We didn’t have to like, you know, scramble. We had virtual tours. And in fact, our virtual tours took off after Covid.

Rod: Sure.

Robert: Because obviously, people are worried about coming in.

Rod: By necessity.

Robert: We never stop leasing. We had a great 2020. Covid was the best thing that ever happened to our company. We had a fantastic 2020.

Rod: Interesting. Wow. So, you know, you talked about sales. Yes, I mean, guys in this business, if you don’t have the ability to influence which is sales then, you know, frankly you can’t get through life, honestly. But it’s definitely a huge piece of this multifamily business, you’re influencing investors, residents, you know, sellers, brokers, and so on and so forth. So, you know, what’s fascinating about your background is that you have an engineering degree but you’re also a kick-ass salesperson which is frankly unusual.

Robert: It’s very common, Rod. I’m one of those guys.

Rod: Yeah, whatever.

Robert: Yeah. I’m one of the guys that had the two point something GPA.

Rod: Okay.

Robert: So, I know enough to be deadly. I’m very good with numbers in my head but I’m not necessarily gonna invent that with the wheel, right? But I can sell the wheel so I’m social.

Rod: All right. Again, my brother, I think he’s the only one I’ve met with a high engineering degree that can sell so it is unusual as far as my experience. But anyway, so let’s talk about, you know, besides– so talk about, drill down a little bit on what you measure as it relates to sales on the complexes. I mean, I’ve heard it because I’ve heard you interviewed in somebody else’s show and you got into it but I’d like to hear, I’d like my listeners to hear it as well. So, talk about the different stages of that sales process that you’re looking at.

Robert: Oh, yeah. Well, wait, so are you talking from the eyes of the prospects?

Rod: I’m talking about really what you’re measuring. Okay? So, you know, sometimes–

Robert: As the operator?

Rod: As the operator, yes sir.

Robert: Okay, good. Well, obviously, you got to have leads, right? You got to have a funnel. You got to have a sales pipeline. I once heard Grant Cardone say that small businesses fail because they don’t have enough leads in the pipeline.

Rod: Right.

Robert: You know, in fact I have our whole company, we’re on Cardone U, because I recognize the importance of salesmanship.

Rod: Sales. Yeah, good.

Robert: My frontline people to be able to communicate and be able to speak to the prospects. So, number one, you got to have as much leads as you can. We have a full digital marketing team in-house now. It’s a two-person team internally plus some support staff and their whole job is to make sure that we’re advertising. Because if you don’t exist on this–

Rod: Right.

Robert: You don’t exist today, at all. You have no–

Rod: He’s holding his phone up for those of you listening. Yeah, exactly.

Robert: Yeah, you know, for sure. And what happened to me was, and it was by necessity. Through adversity did I discover that we had bought a property, a 51-unit class A deal called Midtown Grove, and I think it was 2016 now. And when I bought it, I’m sorry. When I underwrote it, oil was $130 a barrel. It was fantastic time. When I closed, oil had fallen down to $70 a barrel.

Rod: Wow.

Robert: By of December of that year, oil had fallen down to $30 a barrel and we were also coming in with 40,000 units coming into Houston in a two year period of time and there was now oversupply.

Rod: Right.

Robert: And here I am with a 51-unit deal, and I thought I was made a low cost, a provider. With these guys that have the hot yoga room, and the fitness centers, and the tanning beds, and whatever, all of a sudden realizes, man, we need the lease up. They started bringing their rents from like $3 a square foot down to $1.50 where I was at because they needed the lease up. So I’m now like, crap, what are we gonna do? And it was through necessity through adversity that we discovered social media. We discovered website management, we discovered reputation management, and we learned it all. In fact, that property became my very first property to rank in the top 1% of the country for resident satisfaction. And if I had not learned those lessons, we would have died because I literally showed up to a gunfight with a knife.

Rod: Right.

Robert: But I was able to outmarket and I was able to out social media them. And so, we were just to get enough leads, right? Because 51 units isn’t a lot. It doesn’t take much to stay full but it also doesn’t take much to go the other direction. So, we learned a lot through that. So those are the key metrics. I got to be able to make sure that my teams can sell and they have to be able to sell the product themselves.

Rod: Right. So sales, you gotta have the leads come in the door, they’ve got to be able to sell when they come in the door. Let me ask you this? Do you measure response time to those online leads? You know, when they come in the door, do you look at that?

Robert: Yeah. Our team measures that strictly. They’re doing it every single day. They gotta hit that typically within the same business day.

Rod: Right.

Robert: On top of it, we have voice recordings so that every time somebody calls, we know what they’re saying, we know what they’re sounding like. And if we can’t get it by the third ring, it rolls over to a call center that we have hired. Not an answering service, a true call center that’s trained leasing staff that can pick up the phone, that can answer any feature and benefit question, and that more importantly, can schedule the tour. Then, once my team member who wasn’t able to answer the phone, it’s freed up. They go back. They listen to the voice message and then they do a second engagement with that person, the prospect, and make sure that they’ve got every single question out and that if there’s any follow-up like, oh hey, you know, like, I have a pet. How much is the pet fee? How much did the pet deposit? All those kind of questions and then they re-secure the appointment again.

Rod: Yeah. Love it. Man, that’s fantastic. And then, I’m assuming you measure how many people actually show up to those appointments, how many of those appointments turn into applications, and how many of those applications turn into leases, yes?

Robert: Yes. So there is a conversion rate from the number of prospects that come in to the actual that turn into tours, and from the tours that actually turn into leases, and from the prospect to the leases is about 10%. So you’ve got to keep getting in the prospect. You got to just slam that pipeline because whatever comes through email, whatever it comes through phone, you’re gonna assume only 10% are gonna make it to the finish line.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: So, then you have the conversion from the prospect until do they actually tour, right? And that’s a whole, I think, that’s about 30% there. So it’s, you do, we have these internal metrics and we have a spreadsheet, a scorecard, that with every one of our properties and we see who’s in the green, who’s in the yellow, who’s in the red, we send that out to the regional management. I see it. I ask follow-up questions because there’s not a single review that comes into my communities that I don’t read personally.

Rod: Yeah. I love it.

Robert: We use a service called “J Turner Research” which is the product that they offer there. It’s very affordable, very inexpensive, J Turner Research, and you can see every single review of all the social media sites. Google, Facebook, apartmentratings.com, wherever, and you can respond to it. You can even hire them to respond for you if you don’t have the time. But at the minimum, I still see everything and if I see something I don’t like, I forward it on.

Rod: Nice. So, circling back to, you know, how you had to pivot, and innovate, and outperform on that 51-unit, what did you do? Go micro just a little bit. So what did you do from a marketing standpoint to kind of set yourself apart? I mean, at a micro level, was it Facebook?

Robert: Yeah.

Rod: Okay.

Robert: It was the early days of social media marketing, right? I mean, I said like five years ago.

Rod: Right.

Robert: Nobody was doing social media ads. Very few people. And so, you know, it was trial and error. I was the only, I didn’t have a digital marketing team. I didn’t have a marketing team at all. It was me. And that’s one of the benefits that I think from the real estate club that I joined 10 years earlier was that I don’t syndicate, I operate.

Rod: Right.

Robert: If I raise your equity with mine, I’m gonna guard it with my life because that’s my kids’ money so, you know, I’m gonna take care of it. But I understand every single role, I sat in that leasing chair, I know how to lease an apartment, I know what people ask, I’ve signed the manager wrote chair, I’ve gone outside and I’ve managed the renovation, the maintenance side. So, you understand the different aspects of that. But here, all of a sudden, now I’ve got to understand marketing. Marketing to me was like a banner and a bandon sign. That was it. What else, right? Because we were too lazy to learn marketing 20 years ago. So we gave birth to apartments.com, we gave birth to rent.com, they became the toll booth between us and our end-user customer. And most people are still very lazy. They don’t wanna learn it. They rather spend $1,500 with apartments.com to get the diamond ad or the platinum ad that learn it themselves and we’ve done that differently. We’ve now, our goal is to get all that back, and use those marketing dollars internally on a digital marketing team that only focuses on this portfolio. But in those early days, I learned social media advertising and it was trial and error. I’m like, okay. Well, here’s a demographic. I wanna go for this. Here’s my circle. Here’s my zip code. And man, I tell you what, it worked. I mean, there was nobody on it, so you see an app pop up where if I could do $500, I could get five, six leases, seven leases.

Rod: Okay.

Robert: You know, and it would go right away. And so, we did that for that one property and then at the same time we were doing the resident review management, the videos that we were doing, so it all played itself out. But the biggest lesson I learned was not social media. The biggest lesson that I learned was, size matters. My most recent deal, 458 units. I would never ever buy a deal 51 units again if I could because, you know, more units equals more options, more flexibility. The manager that I had sitting in the chair there was making $35,000. She was in my leasing agents and I thought, well, I can promote her, give her a manager title, give her good, heavy commissions and bonus, and now I’ll handicap it myself. I’ll use my own personal knowledge and I’ll help her grow. Can’t do that. With a 458 unit deal, you can pay a good manager $70,000, $80,000. Maybe more. And she’s gonna be excited about it. And so, and then guess what? With 458, your marketing, that $500 Facebook ad for that 51-unit deal costs the same amount as it does for a 458 unit deal.

Rod: Right.

Robert: Same amount. But you can do more of them now, right? So, I learned, that was the biggest lesson I learned is that size matters.

Rod: Size matters. Love it. So, let’s kind of talk a little bit about, you know, current events because this will air fairly quickly. Let’s talk about the impact of Covid. You talked about, you know, you said it was fantastic for you but let’s drill down on why, I mean, you talked about the video tours of there any other strategies that you implemented to maximize what happened during Covid and we’ll start there. So talk about that.

Robert: Number one, Covid was really an opportunity for us to take our focus off of the expansion and put it back on operations and it taught me some very really good lessons. You know, I was around during the great recession. So I’ve survived the ’08 recession, I survived the oil crash in Houston around the time I bought Midtown Grove, I survived Covid now, and now I just survived this ice storm. It’s about making sure that who’s the wartime general and who the peacetime general is. I’ve been through the recession. I know what an economic slowdown looks, like I know what to prepare for. So as we came back to our focus from expansion operations, I recognized we had weaknesses inside our company. And we recognized that we had changes that we needed to make and we needed to improve systems in there as well. So we did a variety of upgrades, we changed off staff. My regionals right now could work anywhere. I have two regionals right now that could work at any company. Great start Kevin, I don’t care who your name is. They could work there. And that’s our goal is to recognize, man, do I have people here that could work somewhere else? And if I don’t, that’s a weakness for us, right? Because I need to be able to be market. I got to be industry standard. Because if they can’t work somewhere else, that means that I’m going to have to subsidize their effort for them. Out of my own hand. Out of my own knowledge.

Rod: Oh, interesting. I see what you’re saying there. Okay.

Robert: So that was number one. Number two, we got a chance to really dig down and talk to our residents, and communicate with them, and educate them on what the financial aid packages that were out there from the government extended benefits and what have you– but I’m going to tell you right now, Covid is nothing like the great recession.

Rod: Right.

Robert: Covid is completely different because there was not this level of government aid available back in ’08, ’09, 2010. And that’s why you’re not going to see pricing go down because there was no PPP loan. I was in business. There was no government loan for me and my company to keep my staff employed. But I tell you what, that’s everything you better do. You better keep yourself employed. Because if you lose your staff, the game’s over. So we were able to offer Covid benefits for our staff as well. We knew that their kids were going to be home, we knew that there was not going to be any school, so we offered additional bonus for them, for their efforts during the day to come help us with our 4,000 units while their kids were at home eating food, you know, and using up utilities so we did that a couple times as well. But it just gave us an opportunity to talk to our resident and educate them, and again, control the narrative. You know, right now there is abuse of the system from the eviction moratorium. And people were getting CDC letters and submitting them and all that, and you’re seeing balances jump dramatically. I’m sure with your students they’re talking, hey Rod, what do I do? What do I do? I’ve got people that haven’t want to pay and, you know, we’re real fortunate I live in Texas, right? It is a landlord-friendly state. And having been in the recession in ’08, on the back of the lease contract it shows you very simply what the residents, the tenants rights are, and what your rights are. And one of the remedies for collecting rent that we have here are called landlord liens. That is an actual form that is in the property management software that we use that says, we have entered your apartment and due to your delinquency we are now going to lien something of value in there. We now have rented storage lockers, we’ve invested in a bunch of bubble wrap and shelving, an inventory management system, and we have landlord lien TVs, PS5s, bunch of items to get the attention of our residents and let them know, hey, you know, I understand you may not pay but we got to stay in business because the government’s not going to shut me down. I’m not just going to sit here with my hands like this, you know, and I’m like, well, I can’t evict you for rent. I need to survive. I have $120 million of private equity that I’ve raised. That’s your money, that’s my money, it’s my kids money, that’s my neighbor’s money, it’s my dentist money. They look to me to protect that so I’ve got to take these what I feel is extraordinary steps, right? To make sure that I safeguard their investment. And guess what’s happening? People are paying. People are writing $4,000 checks for balances that they’re behind or they’re leaving with two days notice because they don’t want you to come back and take anything else of value, right? So it’s winning. We’re winning both sides. We’re getting the balances that are owed for those who didn’t want to pay. Because outside right now, I’m seeing brand new cars, Rod. I’ve seen empty Samsung boxes by the dumpsters.

Rod: Right.

Robert: And what does that do to your property manager? It’s sitting there thinking, I’m powerless. I’m defenseless. I can’t do anything here. I mean, I feel like, you’ve ever had a cat and you declawed them? That’s what it felt like. You’ve taken away all their defensive capability. And so, I said no, we’re not going to do that anymore so during the last eviction moratorium we decided we’re going to implement landlord liens just like we did. I said, hey guys, are you excited about it? Every single manager raised their hand and said yes. And I said, how many of you were around the end of recession? And about half of them raised their hand and said, did you do this? And they’re like, yes. So you remember how to do this. It’s been very peasy to not do it. But in the end of the day, it’s going to be survival of the fit here.

Rod: Right.

Robert: It’s either going to be you or it’s going to be them. And it’s property management 101. You either going to enforce the community policies that you signed and written off on or you’re not.

Rod: Right. Yeah. It’s honestly a shame that landlords don’t have that remedy in every state because it is an incredible leverage tool not to steal somebody’s stuff but just to get what you’re entitled to.

Robert: It’s not “steal”.

Rod: Right.

Robert: It’s liening.

Rod: Right. Well, even then, not to lien. You know, it’s not about that. It’s about survival in many cases. And so it’s absolutely, in my opinion, a strategy that can be utilized and, you know– yeah, so talk about this, you know, your wartime general scenario inside of this recent ice storm and we had an asset that was completely out of water for three days. The whole city was out of water in Louisiana. So, you know, I was reeling from that so– you know, Robert was handling our Texas assets but, you know, we only had some laundry room breaks. But what happened in your portfolio?

Robert: Yeah. So we have 4,000 units. They’re all in Texas where they were all exposed to whatever was going to happen.

Rod: Right.

Robert: And I’m not against that policy. So what happened, we just have to do with what happened. So first thing we did, we knew it was gonna happen so we weatherized our properties as best as we could knowing that it was going to get cold. Did not realize how cold it was going to get and how long it was going to stay there. So what happened? And then, we also had our contractors on notice. We have three main people that we use. And so, we need to make sure that you are ready to go and your crews are there. So, first thing we did was number two– the first two days, we were gone. Nobody was at the office, nobody was anywhere, so the first two days we told our team, hey, no matter what happens we’re gonna guarantee your compensation. So, even though we didn’t come to work, you’re gonna get paid for coming to work because I need you the rest of the week when the sun comes up.

Rod: Right.

Robert: And so, we were able to go and take care over the next five days, 384 pipe breaks.

Rod: Wow.

Robert: And the biggest issue that we had was not labor. We took care of that. I didn’t think about parts.

Rod: Part, yeah.

Robert: I think about supplies.

Rod: It’s funny. I’m sorry, I want to interrupt you because literally, I sent my guy, my maintenance guy, I have a compound here in Florida and I had to send my personal maintenance guy with a trailer up to Louisiana and he brought, well, not only to bring 80 cases of water but I had him buy thousands of dollars worth of plumbing parts here because I did think about that, because I’ve been through that before. But anyway, so how did you solve that?

Robert: Yeah. And so what, yeah, it’s pretty much, right? You have the whole town looking for a little PVC, you know, condo like that or some sort of fitting–

Rod: Shutoffs, whatever. Yeah.

Robert: Yes. And so, my director of operations was telling me, I can’t, I don’t have any. I said that you need to find them outside somewhere. You need to go to other states. And so, he had a flight booked for somebody to go to the Mexico the next day, and someone go to Wisconsin I’m like, and this is on Sunday, I’m like, this is ridiculous. I can’t believe that there aren’t any parts, right? We just got to get our message known, right? I use social media, right? Like, you got to get your face down. You got to get people to know who you are. Attention is everything. So I put a Facebook post, no ad, that said, I need the following parts. And I did that at 10 pm on Sunday. By 10 am on Monday morning, I secured every single piece that I needed.

Rod: Okay.

Robert: And I was so excited, right? Because like, man, this was a survival of the fittest. I know people who were up in Dallas who after we were done hadn’t even gotten started because they couldn’t get parts. So we were done, we had water turned off. and of course, there’s all kinds of lessons in that too Rod, because just you turn the water on, you pop another break somewhere else. So we had a cap so we learned this you got to cap everything before you turn the water on and then you start to release the caps on the different pieces, right? And it was a whole process. We had never done it. Our pipe breaks fortunately, 90% of them were in the laundry rooms. They were outside of the patio.

Rod: Right.

Robert: And what happened was those pipes weren’t insulated. We didn’t even think about insulating the laundry pipes.

Rod: It’s Texas. Why would you need a pipe?

Robert: Well, it says, it’s not in code so nobody ever done it. And so, that’s where all of our pipe breaks for but they’re all– I’m really excited that we’re now on the cleanup phase. We’re now patching. We’re patching the sheet rock and what have you but I know people in Dallas who were asking me, hey, do you have labors? Do you need help? Yeah and here’s, you know, here’s the name, like the names of the construction crews that we use so, but that’s what I mean, it’s just having been through this before, managing the crisis, making sure you know what it looks like, understanding the rules of the game.

Rod: Being proactive though. You know, as it relates to the ice storm, being proactive, being in advance of it, preparing, you know, and that’s just critical when you have something like this happen. Yeah. So, let’s see, what’s another direction we can take our conversation, buddy?

Robert: Well, you know, I just want to make sure it’s clear in this, right? Like, you’ve got to take control of your property because your investors invested with you. Your residents have chosen to live with you. You’ve got to be the man, right? You’ve got to make sure that you’re making that call and you’re gonna stand behind it and you’re gonna enforce it. I read a stat that 94% of the restaurants in New York city did not make the rent payment last month.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: And I’m like, man, I’m not gonna let government put me out of business. I refuse that.

Rod: Right.

Robert: You know, maybe it’s the Texas attitude or whatever, I don’t know. I’m not gonna let that happen to me and my investor, and to my staff. So we’re gonna do whatever it takes. During the recession, I lived that. I knew what it was like to go 30 move-ins, 30 move-out, 30 move-ins, 30 move-out, and it was just like that every month. And just as you put somebody into the dirt, right? Because you have to stay alive and they can’t make their payments, well, you know, what happened after that? They came back to life, a zombie. Somebody would buy that deal at a lower basis in you and come right back to work so you just got to work twice as hard now to put them out of business. And so, it’s having lived the battles, having been through that, having to understand that adversity is good for you. It sharpens the knife. You know, there’s no losses. There’s learning experiences. And so, if you’ve had those adversity lessons along the way when this one comes up you don’t panic. You’re not freaking out. You’re like, okay, what can I do? And you go off your historical legacy, how did I handle this problem before? Yeah. Every one of those gray hairs, right? Your–

Rod: Oh, yeah. I got plenty. So, let’s circle back and just kind of step back from all this for a minute. I’d like to ask you some more global questions brother, just because I think you could really add value to my listeners. You know, as you were moving through your career, talk about some “aha” moments. Obviously, one was at that event, you know, he was like, you know what? I’m not gonna do single family. I’m gonna do multifamily. But, you know, you’ve had so many, you know, you’ve got so many battle scars like I do and experiences to lean on, what were some really pivotal “aha” moments for you man? You know, I think to understand that this is a people game, first and foremost, and that your most important asset is your people. You know, real estate’s easy, people are difficult, and somewhere in the middle is your profit. And so, I’m very big in investing in my staff.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: That means, sending them to training. I mean, understanding who they are, helping me understand what your goals are, because my belief is if I give you 51% of the relationship, you’re going to be there for me when I need you. If you’re looking for mentorship on how to buy your first house, I’m going to show you, or how to get out of debt, or how to get your first car. I’m going to help you. I’m going to connect you with who I know, right? Because it’s not that I’m some sort of god, I just have been around the block a little bit and I know who to call when I have an issue like that. If you have a credit issue, I’ll send you to somebody that I know can help you with your credit issue. If you need to get help financed, I know a banker that will help you get financed, right? So it’s about helping them. Helping them just a little bit in their life so that when it comes time, they return the favor to you. So for me, people is the name of the game. You know, and for a long, long time we had very little turnover because we put so much into our people and they knew that I was there for them. We would have the biggest and the best, this and that because it was for my team. You know, and so, I just think that, you know, if you just take care of the people around you, and make sure they know that you’re with them, that you’re not anything special, you know, that you’re gonna be there side by side with them and you appreciate them, you know, taking care of them during Covid, taking care of them during the winter storm, whatever issues were– I made sure too that, you know, once we had all these pipers we had this extra capacity. Make sure our teams are ready to go. My regional managers, I just hired them. They have pipe breaks. I’m like, I can’t have my regional manager with pipe breaks or no water. I sent the construction crews to their house and said, go, fix their house. Because I need their head here with me.

Rod: Right.

Robert: I don’t need them worrying about, how am I going to find a plumber later on? When they’re trying to solve the plumbing needs of, you know, five properties.

Rod: Yeah. I lived that way myself. I’ve put furnaces and employees homes and so on and so forth, hot water, heaters, etc. You know, so let me ask you this and maybe it’s the same answer. What’s the most challenging part of your role now as the CEO of Rockstar?

Robert: You know, I’m glad you said that Rod because as I’ve grown this business, I ran every single role. So I know what’s supposed to be done. So, as I’ve grown and where I bought my life back in some ways, but what I really bought was free space. I don’t have to worry about everything–

Rod: In your brain. He’s pointing to his head, guys. Those of you who are listening. He’s got free space in his head. Yeah.

Robert: I’ve got free space now. I bought myself, you know, when I hired my videographer, that’s 40 hours I just hired. I’m sorry, that’s 40 hours I just freed up. When I had my head of digital marketing, that’s 40 hours. When I had the brand strategist, that’s 40 hours. When I have the head, my regionals, that’s 40 hours each. The VP of operations, that’s 40 hours. And so to a point now where I’m like, okay, I can breathe and I can think. Now, what? Now what am I supposed to do?

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: I walk away from this business and let the professionals that I’ve hired run the business? No. It’s taken me a while to figure this out. So CEO stands for a few things. I found this meme once and it made so much sense that I showed it to the team on Monday. And I said, each of you has your role but I need to tell you what my role is so you can understand what I’m here to do. And so when I ask you a question, it’s with this motivation in mind. “C” stands for “Concentrate on goals.” I got to set the goals and make sure that I’m asking the questions and pushing us in the direction that pushes towards those goals. “E”, “Execute on the strategy.” How are we going to get there? If my goal is to get the $4 billion in real estate owned, what is the strategy to get there? Well, I got to open up my pipeline. I gotta get out of state. I cannot buy 4 billion in real estate in Houston Texas or in Texas as a whole. I’m going to have to get to the Carolinas, I’m going to have to get to Arizona. I’m going to have to get to Arizona to open up the pipeline for me to get more opportunities. And then “E” is to make sure. I’m sorry.

Rod: You just did “E”.

Robert: Oh, I’m sorry. “O”, “Optimize the systems.”

Rod: Hmm.. Love it.

Robert: I got to make sure you have the right systems in place on how you’re going to get there. Right now we’ve done a property management conversion that we’ve kind of f****d up a little bit and we’ve got to fix it. I’m going to have to get personally involved and make sure that the systems that we brought in are the right systems and that they’re trained properly and they didn’t move properly. I know it’s the right move, we just made a mistake where instead of test ballooning it out like we should have, like we did in the previous conversion.

Rod: You’re talking about a software transition?

Robert: A software conversion. Yes.

Rod: Yeah. Oh my god. My ears are bleeding thinking about that right now.

Robert: My previous director of operations made the call to pull the band-aid. And I don’t know if he was trying to impress me, but at the end of the day it was my fault because I sat in my office thinking that he had done this. Because he said he had done this before. I should have said, hey, are you sure you shouldn’t just do three sites at a time?

Rod: Right.

Robert: Versus doing all 22? So, sure enough we have some issues right now that we’re working through–

Rod: That’s life, man. That’s life. You just duck and weave and you make it work.

Robert: But that was, I should have optimized that system myself. I should have made sure that I went with what I knew and not what he knew. Because at the end of the day, it’s my fault. Every decision this company is my fault. Whether I hire the right guy or the wrong guy, every decision that’s made wrong is my fault. So, you know–

Rod: And when you take 100% ownership and 100% responsibility for everything, it’s freeing frankly because there’s no one else to blame. It’s you and you make it happen. I love that. So “C, Concentrate on goals. E, Execute. O, Optimize.” I freaking love that. So guys, those of you listening, you’re gonna get into this business. You’re going to be the CEO of your business until you hire that stuff out so, I would, I hope you wrote that down. That’s an awesome–

Robert: And the hardest part of this is that I never imagined getting to 4,000 units. That wasn’t my goal, where my story was to free up $400, $500, $1,000 of money that my employer was taking for me. I never imagined having a 120 person property management company.

Rod: Sure.

Robert: I never imagined having 22 sites. And so with that, I never imagined being the CEO of all that. I have to understand that, unfortunately, I’ve run every single role so I know pretty much what it takes. Now, I’ve got my– some people that are more experienced at it than I do or are a little sharper out than I do but I know the concept of that role. So now is understanding them, giving them the right tools, the right team when they say they need more team help, I’m going to give them help because I’m not going to burn out my team. You know, you can’t do that. You’ve got to make sure you get when they’re asking for a reason, but then you sit back and it’s amazing, right? Being able to take your nose from ground level and now take it to an aerial view and you can see from 30,000 feet, right? If you’re watching a football game, or a soccer game, or whatever and you can see the play develop? Well, that quarterback or that striker cannot see that and you’re like, kick the ball, pass the ball, he’s open. He can’t see that. But as you come back like that, the general manager can see that because he’s sitting in the stands. The ownership can see that like, okay, we’ve got to help that guy get the ball from here to there. And that’s where I feel like my role is today.

Rod: No, I love it. I love it. So, you know, a lot of my listeners are aspiring. They haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Maybe they’re in analysis paralysis or, you know, whatever. They know they want a better life. They know, you know, they love what they hear on the show and people that have bought hundreds or thousands of doors. They believe they might want to be an operator. What would you say to those people, Robert?

Robert: I think you should do it. I think you should invest with someone like me or somebody similar first, but at the same time watch what they’re doing. And within three to six months after that investment, go buy your own deal.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: And learn it yourself.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: Right? Learn it yourself. Anything five units or more is considered a multifamily. So anything, buy anything five or a small little deal that you and your husband or you and your wife can do together and learn the business together because it takes teamwork. It takes a partner. Because when you’re not home, they know where you’re at. They understand why you’re somewhere because they were there with you the day before. They were with you with, you know, a month ago. They understand that you have a legitimate excuse on why you’ve got to be away from home, to take care of your family’s investment and your future. So I’m a big, big proponent of couples doing this.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: I’m a big proponent of investing with somebody even it’s just 50,000 or 100,000 whatever the number is, enough that you get into that deal and you pay attention, and you ask a few questions, and you run your own deal simultaneously so you understand you can implement because I share everything. I’m very vocal. If you watch my YouTube videos or whatever, I share strategy. I’m an open book here in the office and I’m an open book on social media. If it’s in my head, I’m going to share. Well, someone’s going to get those ideas as well. And then, once you’ve mastered that a little bit, don’t go do it again and do another 10 unit deal. Jump up in class. Go get a hundred unit deal. Figure out what it’s like to have a team member now other than your spouse, right? Where you can have enough income coming in to pay for a property manager, where you can have enough income in to come to pay for a full-time maintenance guy, not a guy you find off of a one ad or a craigslist or whatever, you know, somebody work. And then, just keep challenging yourself and figure out, do I want to do this? Is this something that I want to do? If you understand the magic formula where I’m talking about the force appreciation, if you understand how to create valuation, if you understand that a $10 rent bump on a 200 unit property can create $400,000 evaluation, you’re gonna fall in love with this.

Rod: Oh, yeah.

Robert: Because it’s all about money. We’re trading time for money here, right? So, if I’m gonna take time for my kids at night or during the day or whatever, I’m gonna make the most value I can per hour. I think you’ll fall in love with it and you’ll want to grow.

Rod: You know, in light of what you just said, what did you have to sacrifice to get to where you are today, bud?

Robert: Well, I don’t have the same friends I had in the beginning. I’ve talked about a few things and I’m going to be very honest with you, Rod. I’ve never really said this on social media so, but I feel a connection with you and so, you may have gone through the same issues. I don’t have the original friends I had when I got married. You know, we had a big church group and we would hang out on Friday on the weekends and barbecue at each other’s house. We’d do several parties and it was the same group. But what happens is, is that when you want to grow, they don’t really want to grow. When you talk about your real estate goals, they don’t have those goals. So they’re like, are you sure you want to do that? It sounds risky. You’ve got this great life right now. Are you sure you want to do that? And yeah, I do because what gets in the way of a great life? A good life, you know.

Rod: Yeah, exactly. Guys, I want to reaffirm what he just said, listen to what he just said, what gets in the way of an outstanding magnificent life is a good life. Okay? And those peers, those people and, you know, we don’t proactively choose, most people don’t practically choose who they hang out with. They basically, just end up with the people they work with or people they went to school with. And those people out of their fear will hold you back, and they’ll do, it’s very subtle and maybe it’s because they love you even. But, you know, like you’ve heard me say before, love your family. And sometimes it’s family, love your family, love those people, but choose your peers because– all right, so you had to give that up. How about, you know, anything on a personal level, you talked about your kids.

Robert: Absolutely. Yeah. I was about to hit that, you know, so that I gave up my first group of friends, and then when I joined this real estate club, those became my new friends, right? You’re my new five, my new fab five. Remember that from T-Mobile, you’re fab five.

Rod: Right.

Robert: And I learned though that if you’re number one in that five, you’re never going to grow.

Rod: Right.

Robert: So I started wanting to go out there and learn social media, and I got a chance to interact with Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone, and I was criticized for that. I was criticized for, back in three years ago on a bus road trip from the Rio club where they saw virtual tour technology. And they saw Alexa’s that we were using at the time and like, why are you doing all that? You know, just focus on this, focus on that. And they just didn’t understand so I got ridiculed. And in the end, I went up leaving that real estate club because of that and because I wanted to understand social media, I wanted to grow my business, and it was something that they didn’t teach so they excommunicate you. And so, I lost a group of friends there. So now I’m expanding my network–

Rod: Sorry to interrupt. I just want to interject something because, you know, there’s this and I hope I’m going to botch this but people ridicule what they fear. People ridicule things that are new and then ultimately they end up– then ultimately like, you know, they act like it was their idea at the end or their or it’s accepted. You know, there’s that progress of a new idea. All right. I’m sorry, I interrupted. Please continue.

Robert: It’s almost like a cancel culture if you think about it, right?

Rod: Right.

Robert: You know, as you move forward, but it’s reverse of that, as you move forward, things that they ridiculed, they now accept. We now accept legalized gambling in States. We now accept legalized marijuana but we didn’t 20 years ago, right? So it’s one of those things where it’s progressive but you were a heretic because you did it then but now it’s okay. And I guess the biggest thing I ever gave up was my personal relationship.
Rod: Yeah.

Robert: You know, what happened in this is that, I still want to grow. It’s not about money, Rod. I’ve hit my financial goals and then some. And, you know, I’m very fortunate, very blessed, and I’m very able that many of my investors have hit their financial goals and they’ve retired as well from having met me 10 years ago. But you got to both be on the page at the same time. You have to both want the same thing.

Rod: You and your significant other. Yes.

Robert: You and your significant other.

Rod: And very often, one stops growing and it just doesn’t work. It happen with me as well. It’s exact same thing.

Robert: One stops growing and they ask the question, when is enough, enough?

Rod: Right.

Robert: And you’re like, wow. If you have to ask me that question then you really don’t know me because this isn’t about money, this is about the challenge. I’m just some kid from South Texas who’s daddy worked at a fast food company for 40 years, you know. I never imagined having this kind of a growth, this kind of wealth, this kind of opportunity in front of me, and I have a duty now to myself, to my children, to the investors to be as successful as I can. And so with that, it’s your person, it’s what you live with. I mean, it’s what you’re going to bear with because no matter what, at the end of the day, you’re left with yourself. That’s all you have. That’s the only person that’s never going to leave you is you. And so, yeah, I want to get a divorce a few years back. Fantastic woman, love her to death, I see her every week at the soccer fields and, you know, I care very deeply for her but, you know, I also care about what makes me feel good about me and the things that I want to do. And I don’t want to be sitting on my deathbed Rod, when I’m 80 years old, 90 years old thinking of what if? What if I’ve done that?

Rod: Oh, no… Yeah, that’s the worst thing in the world having regret. But you know what? When you get right down to it brother, you love what you do. And so, how could you ever stop doing what you love, right? So it’s not just the money. It’s not just the fame. It’s the fact that you freaking love it, right?

Robert: I have three children and it’s my two babies which if you know anything about me, if you want to see my social media, you know how much my kids mean to me, you know I’m at the soccer field, I’m that dad. I’m the guy that’s yelling. Because if I don’t yell for them, who will?

Rod: Right.

Robert: I don’t care what anybody says to me because your opinion means nothing five, ten years from now. My kids are gonna remember that, that their dad was at the soccer field. Guess what? They’re gonna do the same thing for their children because that’s how they were taught. And they’re gonna be good parents and they’re gonna make sure that their kids are supported. But my kid just just lost the State semifinals, right? For he is high school and he started as a true freshman. And everybody’s in the stands and we’re not at our home stadium. We’re somewhere like in the neutral stadium and I didn’t care. I went out to the track and I waited for him. And he saw me and he bought it right to me and he just cried. He cried on my shoulder because it hurts.

Rod: Sure.

Robert: But there was no other parents doing that.

Rod: Wow.

Robert: There was nobody go anywhere else and there was no other kids and parents doing that, right? So, that’s really important to me. That same passion though, I bring to this business.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: This business is everything to me, you know. And I think we’ve hit now a level of where we have our first corporate office. I ran this business for nine years without a corporate office. I can’t believe how I did that but it’s because I wasn’t prepared to grow to, you know, 4,000 units. I never imagined, I thought, wherever I was is where the office was going to be because I’m going to be on site somewhere, you know. And I recognize now that with a corporate team, that you need to have accounting, you need to have marketing, you need to have this investor relations, you got to have the head of operations here and you’re all huddled together every day, brain sharing, and talking things, and we’ve grown so much because of this, Rod. But that’s what I love about what I do right now Rod is the unknown of where we’re going to be. We don’t look the same as we did six months ago, much less two years ago, you know. And so, it’s exciting from that aspect but those are my two passions, you know, and if, you know, whoever is with me, whoever I’m seeing, you know, I know you’re remarried and you’ve got a beautiful wife. I guarantee you, she shares your passions, she shares your belief system and you’ve got to have that because the most important thing Rod, I’ve learned from all this is peace and stability.

Rod: Yeah. But the other piece is she’s got her own source of power too. Okay? Like, she has her own, you know, things that she’s interested in. Yes, she absolutely supports me and that but you don’t want to get in a co-dependency kind of a situation either. Someone needs their own source of power as well. So let me ask you this, since we’re talking about this, what’s your definition of success, man?

Robert: Wow. Well, number one, that my children are raising in a life where they know that they’re loved, and they know that they’re gonna have support, and it’s undying.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: That’s number one for them. Because if I raise them right, they’re gonna be good citizens, they’re gonna be good people of this world, and they’re gonna treat others with the way that I treat people and that’s with respect, number one. Number two, I want to make sure that the people who’ve invested with me, who– and I mean like, monetarily and emotionally are taken care of, right? Because, you know, and I’m hoping through that, they’re gonna share that story and try to help other people because they should have taught us this in school, Rod. They should have taught us multifamily and valuations, but no, they didn’t teach you that. They taught you how to go to school and get good grades and get a good job, and because that’s what they did. And so, you know, if I can go and spread this message with as many of those investors, they’re going to share with their children. They’re going to share with their closest friends and it will spread. And then personally, I just want to make sure that I feel fulfilled and just my cup is full every single day, you know. And it’s not going to be like that every day, right? But I’ve learned now that, you know, because post-divorce, right? You meet different kinds of people, you know, and you recognize how good you had it in some ways, you recognize how good it can be in other ways, and along the way you’ve got to find peace and stability. You can’t go home to something that’s not peaceful because you’re not going to live a quality life that way. You’re not able to come to work and focus, you know, because you got worrying about and you’re not going to want to go home. You’re going to want to work late. You know, been there done that where you have issues at home. So, I think a successful life in that is having somewhere that’s safe to go home to as well, to where you can recharge, you know, because for me I just– a little unknown fact, I drive the bus all day at work but when I come home, I want someone else to drive the bus. I don’t want to be the driver. Where do you want to go eat? Let’s go. What do you want to do? Yep, I’m good. Like, I’m the biggest follower at home. I really am. I just like whatever y’all want to do, I’m good to go. Let’s go. Just give me a few minutes to recharge and I’m good. But at work I want to lead. I want to grow. I want to push my influence somewhere and get us to the top of the mountain but, you know, that’s a successful life to me. You know, it’s just making sure that I’ve made a difference. You know, you got to have a target too, man. You got to have something to chase. I’m not sure what your personal target is but mine is, you know, I want to get the four billion units. Gary Vee wants to buy the jets. Grant Cardone wants to be a billionaire and then, you know, hit a billion people. I want to get the four billion dollars of asset management, of deals that we own. That would be successful for me.

Rod: Fantastic. Yeah, fantastic. Love it. Let me ask you this, you know, because this business is a team sport Robert, what do you think is your unique skill set or super power, the strongest skill set that you have that’s helped you achieve your success?

Robert: I can get the best out of people.

Rod: Oh, that’s fantastic. So, how do you do that? I mean, you’ve given us some of that. You care above.

Robert: Yeah.

Rod: I mean, that’s–

Robert: Yeah, you care. You’re number one and you challenge them, and you love them, and you give them the tools that they need, and you give them a pat on the ass. You go, go to work.

Rod: Yeah. Okay.

Robert: And then you’re there for them when they have a question but you don’t hold their hand. You send them out there, you love them, you give them the tool that they need, you compensate them the right way that they need to get so they feel valued here at work, so they’re not coming asking you for a compensation increase in three to six months because you short change them when you hire them or you shortchange them, whatever. You tell them it is a metric system. Prove your worth, you know. And if you can’t prove your worth, then we’re going to make a change.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: We just made a change recently with the head of our operations and I hated to do that, right? But it was a very quick one minute discussion when that change occurred. You know, because he knew that he had failed and he had all the tools, right? So, but my point is I think that with the right conversations, I can inspire the people, the person, the right way. And I believe that if you’re in this sphere, in this circle around me, you’re going to get better. You know, you’re going to be in a position where you’re going to be around something that’s special that’s going to happen because everybody in this company especially on our floor, at Rockstar Capital knows that we’re going to go somewhere. Everybody sees it. Everybody sees it. And I think that if you’re around that and you’re around that enthusiasm, you’re going to play better. It’s kind of the example where if you dress for success, you get your best suit, you get whatever you feel good, you get that nice car, whatever you feel good. I think it’s the same thing here. If you’re with the right company, you’re going to feel good and you’re going to want to grow. I mean, you know, everybody wanted to be with IBM, go blue back in the day. It was the premier company or they want to go work with–

Rod: Google, you know–

Robert: Google or whatever. Yeah, exactly. You feel it.

Rod: Right.

Robert: That’s what I want. I want to build that culture and I feel really good that we’re building that, that we’re going to get to those goals. And everybody knows that I’m a very generous and sharing guy, and that I have what I need to help me get to the mountain and I’m going to help you get to your own personal mountain.

Rod: Great answer. Great answer. Well, last question that I always like to ask is, if you could go back and tell your 20 year old self anything, what might you do differently? It’s usually the same answer but I just want to know how you might answer.

Robert: Fear. Don’t believe in fear. It’s false evidence appearing real.

Rod: Don’t believe in fear. You personally, though, is this you talking to your 20 year old self or are you just coaching right now?

Robert: No, I’m telling you right now.

Rod: Okay.

Robert: I would tell my 20 year old self that it’s gonna all work out and just don’t give in to fear because fear slows you down. Fear keeps you from taking action. Half the battle is, one, when you open that door and you walk through.

Rod: Yeah.

Robert: Right? But if you sit there and you’re contemplating, you don’t do it. The decision you could have made at 20, you don’t make it to your 25. Quick story, I rediscovered “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” when I was 23 years old. It was not until 30 when I rediscovered the book again and I recognized, holy crap! This is the best book I ever read, right? But when I first got it, I was in college and I was coming home to visit my parents on and I had it on tape in my cheap little car and I remembered, this sucks and I threw it out the window.

Rod: Oh, s**t. Wow.

Robert: Well, and I think, what if I could have read that today? And today, I meet these kids at Grant Cardones or I meet these kids somewhere else and they contact me, and they’re like 23 years old, and they own $2 million at real estate. I had a kid up here. He was 23 years old. His name is Alex Patton and he’s in Wisconsin, a real estate agent and he’s got $2 million of real estate owned. I’m like, phew.

Rod: Wow.

Robert: I was trying to figure myself out at 23 and he already has all his own. So, it can be done. And I wish I was one of those kids so I could have been a little further down the map.

Rod: I had three of those kids on my podcast. They had, I don’t know, somewhere between $70 and $100 million with assets between them in their 20s, man. It’s like–

Robert: It’s crazy.

Rod: Wow. Yeah, I love it.

Robert: You know, they got the right mentorship from somewhere and that’s what helps.

Rod: That’s it. It’s all about that. That’s all about that for sure. Well, listen brother. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s good to see you and I hope we can stay in touch. You know, one thing I want to circle back on that you just said. I just remembered that I’d forgotten to mention this. You talked about, you know, your nucleus, your core nucleus, and I host a mastermind now that I started here at my compound with 16 people. It was about a billion in assets here and now it’s up to 13, 14 billion in assets. And, you know, and so I did it for myself because I want to be around people that think what I think is hard is easy. You know, and so I created this core nucleus of hitters in this space. And so guys if you’re listening, do that for yourself, get around people that are making it happen and recognize that some of the people may fall away. I just realized that I forgot to mention that when you were talking about it. But anyway, back to you brother. I appreciate you and thanks for coming on and sharing your wisdom. I know we could go for another hour. Unfortunately, I’m gonna have a hard stop in about 10 minutes but I appreciate you coming on, my friend.

Robert: Thank you very much and if there’s anybody out there that needs information and wants to ask me a personal question, hey, hit me up at “robert@rockstar-capital.com” or if you’re interested in investing information go to “rockstar-capital.com”.

Rod: Yep. Awesome. Awesome, brother. Thank you. Take care.