Real Estate

Seven-Figure Flips and Opportunity Zone Investing


House flips, opportunity zone investing, student housing—name a real estate strategy, Evan Turner, former NBA player, has probably done it. Unlike most professional athletes, Evan left the league with more assets than at the peak of his career. He was buying real estate, building homes, and making moves while working a grueling six days a week schedule, knowing that he had to use this opportunity to build something that went far beyond basketball.

Evan grew up in the inner city with a single parent. The realities of struggling for money were all too real for him when he got hit with millions of dollars in his early 20s. He struggled to spend any money for the first few years of his NBA career, which led him to have a surplus that he used in all the right ways. Relying on NBA veterans around him, Evan knew that to build wealth, he needed to up his assets. The most tangible thing he could think of investing in? Real estate.

Now, with many deals under his belt, Evan has become proficient in almost every aspect of buying, funding, and profiting on a real estate deal. He, like many other investors, is seen as lucky for buying consistently throughout the past decade. But Evan knows that the rewards he reaps today came from smart decisions he made years ago. Now, even after he’s out of the game, Evan is still able to bring in seven-figure paychecks. But this time, thanks to smart strategizing, he’ll get to keep most of it.

David:
This is the BiggerPockets podcast show, 686.

Evan:
I’m a competitor and I compete at basketball at a high level, but I’m good on a journey and minding my own business. You understand? I think one thing that occurs as you get older, even doing contract negotiations, the humility in that is making sure you don’t miss out on your money or the right deal or situation worrying about what the person left the right has. You know what I mean? It’s like a marriage, that relationship has nothing to do with anybody besides those two people.

David:
What’s up everyone? This is David Greene, your host of the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast, the best, the biggest, the baddest, real estate podcast in the world here today with an amazing episode for you. Today, my co-host, Rob Abasolo and I are interviewing our friend, Evan Turner. Evan had a very impressive NBA career. And while he was in the NBA doing his thing, he was also buying real estate. He’s now a businessman and entrepreneur, and a real estate investor and has been making bigger and bigger moves since he first got started. And he comes on the show to share with us his process, his journey, what he’s buying, how he’s buying it, and how he looks at the world. And you’re going to love what you hear. Rob, what were some of your favorite parts of today’s show?

Rob:
Oh man. This is a favy-fave, as I call it, this is one of my favorite episodes, man. We were just really having a lot of fun. And for those of you, if you stick around to the very end, you’re going to see me drop, I don’t mean to be so intense about it, but some pretty intense basketball analogies there at the end. So I would definitely stick around to the end.

David:
You cannot miss this. Everybody, you have to listen to this show. Rob and his basketball, I don’t know if analogies is the best word, references are worthy of being made into a T-shirt. You definitely need to say these words to Rob when you see him in real life. It was so bad it was good, in a way that only Rob Abasolo can do. By the way, guys, this episode’s a little bit longer, so we’re going to make a shorter intro for you, because we took advantage of as much as we could to get as much out of Evan’s brain as possible, which is why it’s such a good show.
Before we bring in Evan, today’s quick tip is, consider looking into opportunity zones as a way to save in taxes and still help the community. This is a wonderful marriage of social improvements along with smart business moves. And it’s one of the best moves that I think the government has made in a sense where you can get massive tax savings by investing in opportunity zones that also help the community where those properties are. And another part of Evan’s success was his understanding that you win better as a team. So look for ways to surround yourself with like-minded people on the same journey as you, with the same goals as you that are highly skilled in what they do, and find a way for you to contribute as well. All right, enough of that. Let’s bring in Evan.
Evan Turner, welcome to the BiggerPockets podcast. Great to have you here, my friend.

Evan:
Thank you. Thanks for having me. Appreciate you guys.

David:
Yeah. Now if anyone hasn’t heard of Evan Turner, I’ve never actually said this, so this will be the first time Evan’s hearing it, he was one of the people that I actually, actually followed your NBA career, Evan. When you first came out of college, I loved the way you played. A lot of people, they hear me talk about jujitsu, but basketball was my first love. And I don’t know, you were just the person who got it. You understood the game at a pretty high level. I really liked watching you play. We’ve talked about the stuff that we like and the things people don’t like. I was a San Antonio Spurs fan. I hated when people were like, “Oh, they’re boring.” It’s like, no, they just play basketball the right way. They’re good.

Evan:
Yeah, yeah.

David:
Yeah, they don’t dunk all the time, they’re boring. So you were like that San Antonio Spurs style of, you understood the game as a whole. So I’ve been following you for a while. I had no idea that you were actually a real estate investor. It’s very cool to get to know you here. And now you actually have your own podcast. So you can tell us a little bit about that and the stuff you guys talk about.

Evan:
Yeah, sure. Thanks for having me, for one, I’m a big fan of your platform. And everything you’re doing is definitely dope and this is cool. I’ve been telling all my friends I was going to be on this podcast, so everybody’s been like, “For real?” I’m like, “Yeah, I’m really going to be on there.” So…

David:
Yeah, Rob dressed up just because he knew that you were-

Evan:
Really? Yeah, I heard he added a pocket to his black T-shirt he used to wear. So…

Rob:
That’s right. I keep all my snacks in here.

Evan:
Hey, that’s all that matters.

Rob:
If you hear me crunching-

Evan:
Hey, don’t worry.

Rob:
… just a few pretzels hanging out.

Evan:
I appreciate that. But like you were saying before, David, I just retired recently, in 2020, from a 10 year NBA career and right now myself and Andre Iguodala, we started a podcast. We just start our second season, it’s called the Point Forward Podcast. Much like David was saying, it’s a play on words from a certain type of position in basketball, which myself and Iguodala were point forwards. And obviously we talk a little bit about basketball, but it’s not fully a basketball podcast. We go over business elements of the podcast, we go over current events and we like to have a overall good time, just like this show. So the basketball part is the second element. But we’re really trying to give free game and have the real conversations that most people won’t have in their position.

Rob:
Yeah, man. So I’m curious, you were in the NBA here for about a good decade. So how did your day to day look? Your entire career, did it change or was it always a pretty regimented day to day for you?

Evan:
It’s always a pretty regimen day to day. I think you guys know as well as anything when you’re focusing and locked in and you’re passionate about something, I felt like it had been basketball 15, 16 hours a day since I was probably 12 years old. So entering the NBA, it was the first real time I had an opportunity to do it as a career. So the first, you have to really wake up and it’s six days a week. You usually get to the facility around 8:00 AM practice usually starts at 11:00. In between there you’re getting your preparation going, you’re eating meals, you’re getting stretching, you’re probably doing body work. Then you’re also lifting weights and then you’re going through a two, two and a half hour crazy regimen practice. And you probably leave the facility each day by 2:30 or 3:00 PM if you’re lucky after healing and icing and taking care of your body. And you go back home and do it the next day. So it’s usually off and on, even if you’re not including game days, a 10 hour thing sometimes.

David:
With that downtime, I got to imagine a guy you who’s a very cerebral player, you’re actually a very cultured man as well, we talked for about 15 minutes before we started recording and, man, you were all over the place. That was pretty cool to see. What was your thought process like? What emotions were you going through when you were in the middle of the career and you realize that real estate was a road that you wanted to explore?

Evan:
I think it was just a door I was thankful that I could knock on because at the end of the day, when you make it to the NBA and you’re living such a fast life, the opportunities that you have, you have access to a lot of money, you have access to the best of best things. And like everything else, you have to govern yourself in order to explore it and also in order to learn. And I think that was one thing I was able to do where real estate somewhat gave me the flexibility. I knew if I bought a piece of property, it wasn’t going to pick up and leave on me. And when I first started out at, which was Columbus, Ohio, I was able to have a familiarity with the people and the environment in order for me to invest and be able to leave and have a time demanding job like the NBA.

Rob:
Was there a little bit of a real estate bug at any point during your career or was it really something that at the very end you decided to go into it? Did you see other friends investing in real estate? What was really that catalyst for you?

Evan:
To be honest with you, I don’t know you all’s background, but where I came from, the typical stuff, I was an inner city kid, single parent home and everything. So to comprehend money, I wasn’t too familiar with that. And then going to the NBA and have a large lump sum of money and you hear all these crazy stories around that time, you’re just coming out of one of the biggest financial crisis and everything. So when my finance company is trying to suggest in investing in stocks, I never really believed in that. I was more so, humbly speaking, just being like, “No, show me what I own,” more so than tell me about what’s going to happen and hit me with the [inaudible 00:08:04]. And I think to say that story was just an understatement because I wanted to make sure my money worked for me. And, David, like what you said, money’s energy.
So I wanted to make sure I had money going somewhere in an asset with the finances that I had much more than just sitting on it and not making it work for me. And I was always fortunate enough to have family and mentors like my mom to tell me that basketball isn’t always going to be there and I got to make sure that my plan B is being worked on before I need it.

Rob:
Totally. So going from not having a lot of money to getting that large lump sum payment, that’s pretty weird. I’ve gone through this in my real estate entrepreneurial career a couple of times and it’s really hard to comprehend.

Evan:
Yeah, for real.

Rob:
Yeah. Did you ever look at your accounts and everything and just not really believe it? What was that whole thought process?

Evan:
Now, to be honest with you, I don’t know how you feel when you look at some of your stuff, but I’m so grateful that sometimes when I look at my accounts and stuff, it’s not like it brings a tear up to my eyes or anything, but I’m just saying, I’m just grateful that this is really mine. You know what I mean? This is what hard work really brings. And I guess, as you guys comprehend, it takes years and years and years to see the fruits of your labor. So I’m just appreciative to really have stuck in with a dream, a passion, and all the sacrifices I’ve made to see it come back in that type of form is a blessing. And it’s something I never take for granted because in this situation there’s a reason why they call it the 1%. Not many people are able to experience that. So you have survivors remorse, but at the same time when you’re on your hustle, you are appreciative towards it and you deserve it.

Rob:
100%. Yeah, I really do struggle with this a lot because, I’m not going to say I came from nothing, that’s definitely not true, my parents were immigrants from Mexico and money was tight growing up, right?

Evan:
Yeah.

Rob:
And so it’s been very hard to break out of this because I have this big fear of losing it all because I’m just like, “Oh, I don’t know, I don’t want to go back.” But I don’t know, what was your first big mindset shift going into this new phase of life where money was plentiful? Were you using that as an opportunity to learn? Were you going back to your family with that? What were some of those big changes for you?

Evan:
I think the biggest changes for me, obviously the first thing you do is go take care of your mom. You know what I mean? And I wanted to take care of my mom, get her house and everything. But I think the biggest change for me was trying to fully comprehend what money was. That’s an understatement. It is a huge lump sum of money. I wanted to make sure I came in with the right opportunity and plan to have it work the right way for me. I was more so scared of losing it more than anything. And that was a big fear to me, almost so much to the first point, my first three or four years, I barely spent money on anything. I think I was fortunate enough to have reached a certain financial mark by the age of 24 that would’ve took care of me for the rest of my life in that certain realm.
So I was still touching the water, seeing how hot it was. But during that time I wasn’t hesitant to dive into real estate and to invest in that because I knew for sure I want an asset along with keeping the money with me.

David:
Okay. That is very insightful because-

Evan:
Yeah.

David:
… it’s odd that you hear a person who… You hear about lottery winners, the majority of them don’t keep their wealth, hardly any of them do. In fact, their life tends to go to crap when they get that money. The analogy that I use is it’s like you never worked out and you held this barbell above your chest for bench press and someone throws four plates on each side when you hit that. You had no foundation to handle that and the money crushes you. So I’m sure a lot of the people that were making money through being a professional athlete that you’re around, it was a scenario for them. They never had it, they got a bunch of it all at once. They weren’t trained for how to handle a weight of that, they lose it.
You were in almost the opposite scenario, you’re saying, I was afraid of losing that money and I had to overcome the fear of losing what I had gained as opposed to the discipline of saving it. What do you think led up to the moment when you received the money and you wanted to keep it that was different in you than in some of the people that were around you?

Evan:
I just think the upbringing, I’m not trying to make my situation seem like, “Oh I came from this,” or try to write a documentary on myself. But I think a lot of times as simple as fact as this, if money doesn’t mean something to you, you weren’t broke enough. You know what I mean? And it is a God-honest truth. So when you break it down, I believe in Darwinism, survival of the fittest. You understand? And there’s a game we play, a life, and there’s certain things that you really have to take into consideration in order to win. And it’s all the stuff they taught you as a kid, make your next move your best move. And I think the environment I hung around as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the right type of people around me.
I came into a locker room as a rookie where I had Elton Brand who was huge in investing in real estate, investing in movies. I had Andre Iguodala speaks for himself, he’s a tech entrepreneur and he is very business savvy. I was fortunate enough to be around the right people. And with my notoriety the right type of people came into my circle that can give me, even if it was bad finance advice, it was more than I ever heard growing up. You know what I mean? And I think that type of environment really was able to mold me because I was able to stay in the right rooms and somewhat get the leftovers of game.

Rob:
That’s really cool, man. So was one of your first pieces of real estate that you bought the house for your mom?

Evan:
First real piece of real estate I bought? Honestly, so the first one I bought, we had rented a spot for her and I bought a five unit in Columbus, Ohio, while her spot was being built. So we could say 50, 50, whatever, got closer. But, I was able to buy a 5,000 square foot crib in a up and coming community outside of Columbus that was able to make a pretty penny when we sold it. We bought in and I think the land in 2010 and the house was done at 344. We were able to sell it for 655 as of a year ago.

David:
So that I think is one of the huge, huge, huge foundational pieces for someone that becomes a real estate investor. It’s so important that you have a good experience on your first deal. We all have this amazing amount of fear. People don’t realize it, I’m sure the two of you would agree, the three of us, even today when I buy a house, I still have fear. There’s always that, what if, that hangs over your head. And it’s amplified in the beginning when you get that first one. And if you have a bad experience, you’re like, I’m never doing it again. You have a good experience, it really helps to overcome that fear. So what I love that you’re describing is it was a primary residence. That’s what you’re saying, the first house you bought was a place for your mom. Right?

Evan:
Yes, yes, yes.

David:
Yeah. That is why we talk about house hacking so often because it gives you an experience to get your toe dipped in without getting your foot bit off by the shark or without drowning. Was that how your experience was?

Evan:
Yeah, basically we were able to buy into an area early, build a house up, and there was no real pressure that was just an asset, you know what I mean? It was a very good asset, in my opinion, at that time, that when we sat on it we were able to live and made memories and it’s time to move on. I was grateful we bought it because, like I said, prior to, we were able to double our investment on it and it taught me a lot as an investor in buying into something and seeing how it builds. And like you said prior to, money’s energy. I put however much money into that house and without looking and just living and enjoying myself in it, we were able to make double off at what we put in, so that was a blessing. That’s one thing I always take with me when it comes to continuing to try to build and keep my patience.

Rob:
Sure, sure. So you buy a five unit, you sell it, you make a really good profit, and then what happens after that?

Evan:
So after that I went on a campus and I bought two six bedrooms on campus where students could rent properties from and I own that. Obviously, with real estate, I was able to get that on campus. I put it in a LLC. And one good thing about that is we’re able to do from August to August type situation. You can guarantee that most of the students, especially back then, student loans, all that money, all that rent, is going to be guaranteed each month. So I was able to take advantage of a open real estate market in Columbus and finesse from there. And with that, which I was fortunate enough to occur, is with those same builders, I took that money and the profits from that money and I invested into a new apartment condominium that was built in 2014.
It was called 600 Goodale. I invested a couple 100,000 with a 8% rate of return. And within the first two years I was able to get all my money back, which was big time. And then from there, once they sold it, fortunately enough, it’s been an annual return of 36% since then.

Rob:
Dang. That’s cool.

Evan:
Yeah, so that was shout out to the-

David:
It’s a good experience there too.

Evan:
Yeah man, it is good experience mixed with a lot of good luck. Like I said, coming to Columbus, Ohio, you guys are all familiar, I live a couple blocks away from campus. But being out here you have a lot of real estate developers such as the Kaufmans, the Schottenstein families, the Schiff families, the [inaudible 00:18:06], the Diamonds, where I was fortunate enough with basketball to do well here that had opened doors and open opportunities to invest in some really good opportunities where Columbus was being built up as I was making my wealth. You know?

Rob:
Sure. I don’t know if it’s really all that much luck. Obviously you made it into the NBA and had a successful career because you had hard work. Luck is a component that comes into play when you’re really good at something. So you’re obviously crushing it in the real estate game at this point. You get the house, you make a sale, you get a couple of six bedrooms and then you invest in this apartment condominium. At what point do you feel you told yourself, I’m pretty good at this?

Evan:
I keep it humble in that sense, because I thought, respectfully, if you ask me what I’m an expert at, I was an expert, it’s proven, at basketball. You understand what I’m saying? So I think, after a first couple, talking with some of my mentors, some of my advisors, I was like, man, this is turning out pretty good enough to the point where I’m passing up on trying to buy certain cars and being like, “Yo, I’m going to get this car after I flip this to take that,” almost to the point where I would leave my city in the fall, go work where I had to work at and come back in the spring and feel as though I was going to come back and reap the rewards of a pretty good investment. So I don’t know if that was a sure thing much, but I thought it was going to work for me and luckily it has.

David:
Well something that I learned in basketball, I think a lot of people who played that sport or other team sports learn, is that your individual skills of whatever type you have manifest very differently within a different group. So you could take a certain player and put them on a team and they are lackluster and then they get on another team and like, boom-

Evan:
Absolutely.

David:
… They’re amazing. Right?

Evan:
Absolutely.

David:
And I think that doesn’t get talked about very often because, most of the conversation, let’s use the basketball example here, would be about how you improve your own skills, ball handling, defense, shooting the ball, strength, speed, jumping. But the really smart players are the ones who say, now I know I would be good in this environment. And they actually make that a part of their career, is they’re willing to take a little bit less money to play longer on the right team. That works in business too.
You can have an incredibly skilled person who can analyze properties great, network really good, they have some version of skill within real estate investing, but they never get around the right team. They don’t have the right advisors, they don’t have the right environment, there’s no deals where they’re looking. They don’t have a bookkeeper, an accountant, a construction… Sometimes just having a contractor that’s solid can make a deal work for you that would not have worked if you didn’t have that one piece. You’ve mentioned you were blessed enough to be surrounded by some mentors and some guidance in the right piece. What role did that team that you found yourself around play in helping you be successful in this endeavor?

Evan:
I think everything. I think they helped a lot due to the simple fact of their willingness. You understand what I’m saying? It’s one thing for people to work with you, it’s another thing for people to help you. And I think along those lines, in regards to us doing good business together, each time we were able to make a flip or do something or when I would come up to somebody and be like, “Hey, I’m looking for some deals, I’m looking to invest,” I was always fortunate enough to be turned in the right direction. And also I think in regards to just behind the scene things, in regards to funding, you might get into a deal where the developers are guaranteeing all the risk. You know what I’m saying? And we’re able to just invest freely. I thought the support and the timing of the people in the city of Columbus helped the most with me.
I think my finance advisors finding the right type of loans, making sure, from day one, my business and my finances were in order to make sure I had ways to free up lines of credit. Making me comprehend how important the lines of credit is in order to get things done. Because right now I’m playing in a situation where my interest rate is still at four when everybody’s still at 10. You understand what I’m saying? So those type of moments where I’m able to be able to have a team that can foresee a forecast and have me steer towards less turbulent air is everything because I haven’t really felt a bump in the road yet. I’ve been able to keep adding more and more points to my portfolio.

Rob:
And that makes sense to have those mentors and the people that you’re working with and the people that are helping you. I got to imagine, too, that you probably had some buds also coming out of the league and everything like that, that were also doing real estate. Were you surrounding yourself with more people that were like-minded at that point? Or were you keeping your network the same for the first couple of years?

Evan:
I’ve always been told, even my mentor, my OAU coach, Coach Mullins, he used to always just tell me, even when I was in college and stuff, just like, “What book are you reading? Make sure you read something.” Or if he heard I went to a rap concert or whatever it’s like, “All right, bro, stop going to rap concerts, go up the street, go see Hamilton,” or, “Go…” You know what I mean? I always-

Rob:
Good choice. Good choice.

Evan:
Yeah. But I’ve always been encouraged to go outside of my element and go learn more. And I’m a stubborn individual and some people say I might not listen a lot, but in certain areas I made sure, for whatever reason, I listened at the right time. And that was one thing I always knew that was important to my development, because crossing into an unreal world in the NBA, I was more so wary of making sure I didn’t lose myself or my footing and to really keep in touch with the people and the elements around me, whether it became real estate or it became some other hobby, was part of my everyday regimen. And I think that’s where it helped benefit me in the right rooms of meeting people who wanted to buy real estate.

David:
I think it’s very easy for anyone in any capacity to just zoom in on their own thing and not take that perspective, like you said, getting exposed to more stuff. So I see this with investors where they’re very comfortable analyzing a property. They’re the people that like to use a spreadsheet, they like to run numbers and they just do that over and over and over and they never zoom out and take a look at, is the market I’m analyzing a good market to be in at all? Or what does the appraiser do? How do they come up with the numbers that they’re looking at? The more you learn about the different people’s jobs that are in whatever you are doing, the better your chance of being successful in that. And I think you stumbled into that without realizing that was necessarily happening by just exposing yourself to more than the little stuff that was around you. Right?

Evan:
Absolutely. And I think one thing that occurs as well is, with anything, is humility. Sometimes when I get too cocky on a basketball court, the basketball guys are going to teach me my lesson. You know what I mean? So even coming around into this business world, I think I was able to keep my ears open because I was humble because I comprehended who the experts were. The same way I got off my butt, rearranged everything, when I found out about the BiggerPockets conference. Because at the end of the day I need to go around and be around like-minded people and go talk to the people that have been doing this at a high, high level and that can show me different ways of thinking and maneuvering. It is never changed. It’s just me want to learn and when my direction’s going that way, I’m going to knock on those doors and try to walk through them.

David:
Have you seen a pattern of others around you that want to get a piece of what you’re doing, whether it’s business, entrepreneurship, tech, real estate, and you’ve noticed the thing that stops them from pinning through the doorway of where you’re at is a lack of humility?

Evan:
I think a lack of humility always turns into ignorance because you mix humility in with learning. And when you learn, that’s where innovation comes from. And I think a lot of guys, they’ll stop at the door when they see how hard it takes or how many loops they have to jump. Or sometimes the number one thing, as you guys may know, everything ruins when the percentages come in and we’re fighting over money that doesn’t even exist yet. You know what I’m saying? I think a lot of times those dudes are so wary of coming into those problems mixed in with, if you don’t surround yourself with the right people, there’s a lot of crooks in this day and age as well. So I think guys stay on the stoop more so than going to adventure off.

David:
So you’re referring to the people that are arguing over the split of an endeavor before they even understand how the money flows or what they’re going to be doing, right?

Evan:
Yeah, just that type.

David:
Which is really ego, that’s what you’re getting at, right?

Evan:
Yeah, absolutely.

David:
I need to have the bigger share because of my ego, even though they don’t really understand. I’ll give you an example that makes me think about in sports. Sometimes you see a player negotiate a ridiculously large contract for them on a team and then the team has no money left in the salary cap to bring anybody else in, and then they lose.

Evan:
Yeah. And then they’re talking about, I’m trying to win, I’m trying to win. It’s like, bro, with all due respect, all the great gave up money. If you want that 20 point score… You know what I mean? 35 million and 40 million, it’s a difference, but it ain’t much of a difference. You’re going to get it back some way.

David:
In other ways, that’s exactly right. One of the things we’ve been talking about within the businesses I run is, stop talking with words telling me what you want. So you’d hear these people say, “I’m doing everything I can to bring a championship to the city.” That’s what your words say, but your actions say, “I’m getting every dollar I can for myself,” and now they got to go bring in a 38 year old veteran or draft a rookie who can’t play yet to fit within the salary cap. Your actions are telling me, no, you’re actually just trying to get paid and the championship would come second. Now we’re not trying to win championships in real estate, but there is something to be said about what your actions are saying to the world and to other people versus your words.

Evan:
No, bro, that’s a understatement. You hit the nail on the head because when you break it down and you’re working with certain teams, it’s like, “Yo, this is about the development, this is about the bigger picture.” And sometimes you look at guys you would think they got a reality TV show following them around, you know what I mean? And I think one thing, the humility is, I’m willing to work as a team with this real estate group, I want to make sure I’m investing the best things and whatever can happen best for the group. It’s great for us because like Warren Buffet said, “You don’t want to lose a dime.” So if it comes down to like the urgent care campus I own, I just sold recently in 2021, I partnered 50, 50 with someone out there. You know what I mean? We took a responsibility, took the accountability. But I partner 50, 50 with someone out there in 2019. 2020 hits, pandemic occurs and we’re booming and all that type of stuff.
And just recently I was able to sell that at a 50, 50 split and got a sizable profit from there just off being able to partner up and not trying to control the situation and financing what is a right and good idea and good play. You know?

Rob:
Yeah. Well that’s awesome. So obviously you were crushing it there at the very beginning and you were diversifying there with all the different types of units. Now that you’ve spent some time in real estate, can you help us understand what your goals are and how you set those goals for yourself?

Evan:
Being honest with you, next thing I invested in is block housing. So it’s basically, in Columbus we got funding from the city or whatever, but it’s just more housing. Everybody’s screaming out that we don’t have enough rental housing and rental property. But I want to make sure we’re able to develop something where it’s providing more homes for people that grew up in my situation. You know what I mean? I definitely have ambitions of making sure… I do like to luxury real estate and the vacation real estate, but I definitely want to go back to my old neighborhoods and stomping grounds of that matter and building, buying portfolios and foreclosed homes and rebuilding a block. You know what I mean?

Rob:
Yeah. Is that something that’s important to you just because of your upbringing and everything like that?

Evan:
Yeah, I think it’s very important because at the end of the day it’s like, how hard is it to put something decent for the youth to grow up in? You understand what I’m saying? I used to hoop in the alley. It takes nothing to pave a spot, go put a basketball court over there or… You know what I mean? Go put something that is really going and help the families, but then also help the future. Whether it be a area with a decent swimming pool, an area with a decent computer lab or… You know what I mean? I want to make sure, in those city areas, much like, I don’t know where you all are from, but in the city areas, in those isolated dead areas, sometimes our resources, we get cut off from the rest of the world. So we don’t get the Whole Foods, we get the Dollar Generals or Save-a-Lots, you know what I mean?
We don’t get the Sunkist, we get the orange pop. You know what I mean? Like the knockoff stuff.

Rob:
Dr S.

Evan:
Yeah. Yeah. And I want to make sure we bring back positivity towards the hood because it starts with yourself. Once you start appreciating your environment and what you have, that’s going to breed confidence and everything else, so that’s one thing I really want to do that’s a big picture. And then other than that, I would love to own vacation real estate all over. I would love to do that in Lake Como, own in Bali. I want to own in Barcelona. It’s tons of places I visited. I definitely want to tap into those markets.

Rob:
I haven’t really dived into the international vacation rental market yet, but, hey, Barcelona sounds nice.

Evan:
But you’re diving into something that’s pretty cool though. What is it? The hotels?

Rob:
Yeah. Yeah, we bought a unit motel in New York-

Evan:
Yeah, yeah.

Rob:
… few months go.

Evan:
Yeah, I love that idea. That’s going to be unbelievable because that way you can theme everything, you guys are going to have theme type vibes. I think, obviously I want to steal your idea, but in the grand scheme of things, curating those type of environments and everything is something I would really be interested in, for sure. I think those type of getaways, even if you see my condo, it’s filled with art and just the type of vibe and theme that really curates your energy and mood.

David:
One of the things I really liked about what the government did with the tax code in the last couple years was the creation of opportunity zones where they rewarded investors with tax benefits if they invested into areas that they deemed as an opportunity zone, which were typically lower income, struggling. They’re not getting the same influx of resources that the nicer areas are going to be. What are your thoughts on that principle as a way of building wealth that as the investor improves the area, they also make themselves money and you have a win-win scenario?

Evan:
Yeah, I think it’s necessary because you have to entice people. You know what I mean? I don’t think anybody’s going over there or any smart investor is going to try to go over there and start with rebuild where there’s no guarantee of anything coming to support you. So I think that’s a perk you get for taking that type of chance and trying to rebuild certain parts that literally been systemically forgotten. You know what I’m saying? When we talk about those opportunity zones, we’re going back to the 1940s when we’re talking about the racial wealth gap in America and everything that’s happened systemically, the housing loans only granting 98% of the best real estate to whites. You know what I’m saying? That type of situation. So I think when it comes down to it, we hate talking about reparations, but in certain areas you have to have that to support, especially, when it comes to black athletes or black entertainers that made it out that area. Odd are, a lot of times, unless it’s super beneficial or developers haven’t talked about building that area up prior to or trying to gentrify it, nothing’s ever coming.
And the only people helping other people that climb out that barrel from the other crabs, you know what I mean?

David:
Yeah, for sure.

Evan:
So it’s deeper than rap. I hope the city and everybody in the government keeps trying to do more to help invest in those upbringings. Because at the end of the day, much more than real estate, we’re only as good as our worst guy, you know that ,David? We’re only as good as the last man on the bench. I’m not saying anybody in those low income areas, but at the same time it’s just a truth. There’s no such thing, I’m not okay if I’m making a bajillion dollars and the guy the street is messed up, that’s just not ill.

Rob:
Yeah. Yeah. I think opportunity zones do create that win-win for a lot of people. We actually did a whole episode with Malachi Sims, episode 599, for everyone at home listening. I would really recommend checking that one out.

Evan:
Yeah.

Rob:
Oh yeah, I have all the episodes memorized. No, I’m just kidding. I looked it up. But have you done much investing in opportunity zones yet or is that a big goal for you moving into 2023?

Evan:
So recently, with the block housing, I just invested… Actually, from a shoe company that I signed with, David, coming out I took a bunch of stock back in 2010. That stock was at a few pennies that grew to a bunch. I was able to take money out of there and invested strictly into opportunity zone. So like I said-

David:
Did you avoid some of the capital gains from the gain you had in the whatever?

Evan:
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. So like I said, that’s one, in circles from having a great team, that don’t let me take all. Shout to Steve Vujevich, [inaudible 00:36:13] Financial, that was the team doing that. Matt Anderson, that was the team doing that and making that play. So when we were able to do that, we’re able to put it into opportunity zones, the block housing. And with that, the city was able to work with us as well. So we’re able to be able to build some stuff coming up. We’re in production right now.

David:
That’s what I loved about the opportunity zone approach is it didn’t try to guilt people into investing money into something that would lose them money. And it didn’t say, “Well, forget it, they don’t pull themselves out so let’s just ignore.” There was a way of saying, “Listen, rather than, us, taking your money and the government trying to make this better, which is going to be 10 times more expensive than it should be and be a terrible job, let’s take the people that are good at real estate investing, give them a tax break to get them to go in and do what they are good at. And then everyone wins.” And I love, Evan, how you tied it together, where you added the team aspect we talked about earlier. You had people that understood the shoe business. I’m sure your contributions to that company, when you bought the stock for pennies, you realize some of your direction, council, guidance, whatever resources you’re bringing to that investment would make it more likely to be successful.
Then it does well. You take the profit out, you reinvest it into the thing that you care about, it benefits you because you don’t get hammered on taxes. So now you’re not dis-incentivized to do another project just like it. And you get to invest in the area that matters to your heart, which gets you more motivated and amped up to do it again. As opposed to, like we said, you had that bad experience on your first deal, you don’t want to do it anymore. If you have your bad experience with your first, I’m trying to help somebody at my own expense now, you don’t want to help anymore.

Evan:
Yeah. Right, right, right.

David:
Everything worked well, now you want to play the game harder.

Evan:
Yeah, no, and that’s absolutely right. I think one thing that’s occurring now that I retired, just being an adult, I want to take the gloves off, and obviously have my team with me, but have my hand held a little less. You know what I mean? And in order to go from being an investor and developing smaller things to, like I said, getting groups and me being a forefront of the funding and developing big commercial buildings where there’s a seven 11 at the bottom or whatever cool chain store there is and there’s luxury buildings up top. You know what I’m saying? So I think that it’s a next level of playing harder and trying to make it to the Hall of Fame to say the least.

Rob:
Yeah. Well, we have a understanding of where you were growing, but can you give us a snapshot now of the different types of bigger projects and developments that you’re working on? Because I know you’re doing a lot of development now, right?

Evan:
Yeah, so I’m doing a lot of development now. So even as of recently, I invested it into a unit right off on, it’s called San Marcos residence. It’s in Austin, Texas. So I invested that with Schiff Capital. So it’s about 95% occupied. It was a old, I believe, hotel or something. We invested, we refurbished it back in 2018. It’s a college apartment building, probably 150 doors, 200 doors. So I thought that was a pretty big one I invested in. Right now I have a vacation property that I bought during pandemic for two. I put a little bit into it, probably three. I have it on the market right now for 11. So it’s 8,000 square foot, three houses, guest house, pool, seven acres inside Brier’s Creek golf community right outside Charleston, South Carolina, three miles from Kiowa. So you see that little area, that little area’s been booming.
Obviously, everybody knows about Charleston. It’s one of the most tourists visited cities in America. And we got with a group down there, I think when I first bought the spot during the pandemic in 2020, and obviously as a fixer upper, but I was looking into just using as a vacation property for family and everything. But halfway through, the market, it jumped crazy up. And the house I was building was already pretty spectacular. And I was getting a lot of compliments on it to the point where I was like, if I can make this flip and sell this, I would love to continue on, take that money, buy acreage, and start doing a little 12 unit development.

Rob:
Man. Okay. I don’t want to gloss over this. That’s a crazy, crazy project. So-

Evan:
Yeah, I’m trying to be humble about it because-

Rob:
Yeah, I know. I know.

Evan:
If you and I were off this, I’d be hyping be like, bro, guess what I just did. Do you understand what I’m saying?

Rob:
Oh yeah. Definitely.

Evan:
But I’m trying to be calm and not make eye contact and hold my smile.

David:
Oh, no, no.

Rob:
I like that.

David:
We’re going to change that right now. You’re going to tell us exactly how you did this?

Evan:
Yeah.

Rob:
Hey, look, I’m turning off the record button. Click. Okay.

Evan:
All right.

Rob:
Now you can tell me and David. So, all right, you stumble upon this property, you say it’s a vacation property. Let me clarify. Do you mean a vacation rental? Is that the idea? Like it a vacation rental?

Evan:
Oh no, no. Just a vacation for me and my family. Family home. Like a getaway. From Columbus is an hour plane ride. You land three miles at the airport, three miles, you’re right there into 85 degree weather nonstop. So I’ll go back into how it started. So I was looking into vacation properties and rental properties and I kept hearing about Charleston, Charleston, Charleston. And obviously I don’t like being on planes like that. So I was checking the time limit and everything for flights and I found I was only an hour away. My mentor once again, had people in the area that were very familiar with it. So I was able to go out there, start house hunting and start searching. And we stumbled across Brier’s Creek golf course. And the developer of the golf course was actually selling his own house.
He built it and everything, he was selling and he was trying to get out of there. I think he’s trying to move somewhere to some part of South Carolina, and we showed up. And prior to that we had went to Kiowa. And if you go to Kiowa with anything under 10 million, you’re not finding anything with space. And on top of it, if you’re spending that much money, to me, I want land. So that’s why I ended up in Brier’s Creek. And once I saw the seven acres and the three houses, and I knew it was a fixer upper, I was like, okay, I’ll be able to get this for a pretty good price. The price wasn’t terrible, but the number one thing that I did was try to go out there, find a house and find a contractor that I could trust. You understand what I’m saying?
A contractor that knew the area. And that was my guy from Redwood Contracting and that was Tom Cresanti. And from there we tried to figure out the best way to build the best house and not lose money into it. I like lavish things, I like nice things. So some of our tastes are a little up to par, but when I bought it for two, I was able to put three into it. During that time, I don’t know what happened to the housing market or anything, but my land, my space, everything just catapulted to the point where, by the time it was getting done, we were able to put it on a market for damn near double. You know what I’m saying? And –

Rob:
Yeah. Did it sell?

Evan:
So we just put on a market two weeks ago and-

Rob:
Oh okay.

Evan:
… so we have somebody coming tomorrow to take a second look, so it’s people all over. Not to brag on it, if it doesn’t sell by then it’ll be on Selling Kiowa being recorded on the 15. I’ll send you guys a link over after so you can see. But it’s a beautiful crib. And to go deep into it, I think timing and luck, and not just luck but timing and when you know it’s right, it’s right. I didn’t hesitate on this feeling because I went out there trying to probably spend one something or something under, I wasn’t naturally going out there to go in and refurbish something. But once I realized the investment in the property and I saw the opportunity, I’m like, okay, I understand what my budget was, but if I’m up here and it’s an opportunity to do it, I’m going to do it right.
And I think that commitment was what really allowed me to reap the fruits of this labor because I wasn’t hesitant. I was like, I believe in this area, I believe in what I bought, I’m not about to do what prior homeowners did and just buy a crib and just not invest what it should. You know what I’m saying? And it’s like, if this area’s worth it like they say, I’m going to set the tone or at least follow up with my next door neighbors and refurbish the house and add value into the community. And I think that’s one thing I committed to doing that really, I guess, made me look genius, which wasn’t.

David:
Well, I don’t know if I’d say it wasn’t. Part of the genius that expresses itself on a basketball court is when you see the right play to be made in that moment. It’s very hard to translate that onto like Xs and Os, you can’t write it down on a piece of paper and say, this is how you know when you’re right you’re right, it’s a feeling. You’ve played enough basketball, you see the opening, you know what you should do in that scenario. Investing works out the same way. A lot of times I think geniuses express through feeling. It’s very difficult to describe how Eminem can write a rap that is different than someone else, or Beethoven can create a symphony that is different. With this project you recognize through a feeling, I need to rehab it, I need to remodel it the right way. Other people don’t see the angle of how important this is, but you did.
Now, on the flip side, you mentioned timing and luck. You actually probably had some bad luck and some bad timing. You had some good timing buying the property and the vision. But then interest rates have been skyrocketing right after you bought this thing and you put it on the market as rates are going up, and more expensive properties are absolutely more susceptible to more… What’s the word I’m trying to say here? The higher a price is, the more sensitive it is to the interest rate. So an $11 million property is much different than a $400,000 property when rates go up. So how have you handled that, oh, I wasn’t expecting this, right? You just got a double team thrown at you. They put a full court press as soon as you caught the ball. You’re going to have to adapt, in a sense. How have you handled the struggles that have come from, this isn’t the best market to be selling a luxury property now that I’m ready to put it on the market?

Evan:
Honestly, it’s like what you heard at the conference. Sometimes when you’re hitting a home run, you can’t worry about the outfielders. You know what I mean? And one thing, know what you know. Not everybody’s buying cribs. Not everybody’s doing this and the other, but I’m not pertaining to a certain type of market. You know what I mean? So the people that can afford an $11 million crib or afford this, that, and the other-

David:
Yeah.

Evan:
They haven’t stopped shopping.

David:
That’s a great point.

Evan:
They haven’t stopped living, they haven’t stopped hopping on their jets, they haven’t stopped hitting their yachts. You know what I mean? One of the conversations the dude had with me was like, damn, I low-key want a deeper water. So it’s like, damn, baby, you want $20 million worth of stuff. You understand what I’m saying? So I think the number one thing is, you’re a shark, you’re a lion, Rob, you’re the same thing. When you swim with sharks and lions, you don’t really worry about eating grass. You understand what I’m saying?

David:
I’m so glad to hear you say that.

Evan:
Yeah.

David:
Because the people listening to the podcast that are the most discouraged, they’re buying the $220,000 property in the worst area where there’s 100 more of them in the same space and they’re having a hard time making that deal work or they’re having a hard time finding the opportunity. You went out and you found a property that other people were not looking for, you remodeled it better than the other homes around it, knowing that would be a good return on your money. You did it in an asset class where, quite frankly, and this is the point I was going to make but you made it for me, a lot of people buying 11 million properties aren’t getting loans in the first place. So they don’t care what the interest rate is.

Evan:
Yeah, they don’t care, yeah. The lady’s just like, I wish we had more space on the first flight. They’re worried about that type of thing.

David:
Yeah, they’re going to go spend $2 million to knock walls down and add it to make it bigger. Money doesn’t mean the same thing to them that it does to us. Right?

Evan:
Yeah. And that’s humbly speaking. So I’m not trying to say anything from that sense, but that’s literally what the mindset of-

David:
It’s smart, that’s what I’m getting at. You zigged when everyone else zags and that’s why you’re seeing opportunity when other people are just getting discouraged and saying, our real estate’s not working.

Evan:
And, Dave, what do you think…? And, Rob, you guys can tell, I have the same mindset for everything. I think it’s almost like, was it the Battle of the Alamo? They burn the ships. You know what I mean? I’m a burning ship type of dude. Obviously, not throw all my money in it or anything, but I’m not going into anything with fear. Do you understand what I’m saying? Granted, with my preparation and everything prior to that, but I put great mojo, great belief, and great energy into my team and a preparation into it that it’s like, yo, when they come see this or whatever work that I have, when they come see this, they’re going to understand. You know what I mean? I believe that the right people showing up are going to understand and they’re going to want to purchase a property and love the property and see it far out amongst the times.

Rob:
Yeah, totally. I don’t know, I think a lot of people just aren’t down with mistakes and failures and so when that mistake happens, they get to that point, it’s a lot harder for people to grasp and they’re like, I’m going to be real stubborn about I, I’m not going to learn from this. For me, I’m just like, look, real estate is all a journey. I always say we don’t become real estate experts by everything going right, we become real estate experts by everything going wrong. So I don’t really go into stuff with fear either. But I’m also down for whatever happens. I’m like, I will become better, smarter, wealthier, from whatever happens from whatever deal I make.

Evan:
And I hope we never lose that invincibility, for real. You know what I mean? Because that’s a skill, that’s a talent because, for whatever reason, whatever God gave me, I don’t worry about the serious stuff and then I’ll flip out over if somebody ate my last brownie. You know what I mean? Something stupid like that.

Rob:
Yeah. Well, but it really is those little things, that’s what makes us invincible, genuinely. I’ve had so much stuff happen to me in my short term rental journey. A couple weeks ago someone said an intruder broke in. Cops came, there’s a manhunt. It turned out that they just turned on the light switch and scared themselves. A couple weeks before that, I had four bears break into my cabin. And the intruder situation happened when my neighbors were at my house having dinner and they were just like, “How are you so calm? This is a big deal.” And I was like, “Well, it’s probably not really what you think.” And all those things that blow up are really never a big deal to me. I feel I’ve got such thick skin because of all the little bruises that I’ve encountered along the way. And now I’m just like, literally, effectively, anything can happen to me and I’m going to be okay because I know that there’s always a solution. It just may not be convenient.

Evan:
And you also need that poise because you comprehend, once you handle one solution, it’s always going to be another problem. You know what I mean? So I’ve been trying to just learn how to be a solution maker and keep my poise through there. And at the end of the day, with the solutions, it allows you to comprehend, you’re staying focused on the big bigger picture.

David:
One of the ways that I’ve found to help overcome that fear of making a mistake, fear of losing something, is I stop looking at money the way I used to, like you’ve mentioned a couple times of, Evan, I see money now as a store of energy. I put an eight hour work day in doing this thing. I was given money as a way of storing the energy that I put in on that workday. And I can take that energy and I can convert it into real estate where it will grow, stocks where it might grow. I could go spend it on Air Force 1s and I’ve converted into shoes that don’t store energy very well. I’m like Neo in The Matrix where I’m seeing the code as opposed to just seeing the wall that everybody else is looking at. And money comes and it goes, you’re going to make mistakes.
If I use the same analogy of basketball, when you’re learning to play, you’re going to make turnovers, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to lose, you’re going to get shots blocked. It’s weird, I could tell you the stories learning to play basketball where I first learned the painful lesson that if you’re not really fast and you’re dribbling the ball on the open floor, people will come up behind you and steal it. I remember just thinking, I think it was probably around the time I went from eighth to ninth grade, damn, these varsity guys, they will jump in between and intercept the pass you through. You can’t look right at the guy you’re going to throw it to.

Evan:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

David:
If I get a rebound and I don’t hold it really hard, someone’s going to smack it out of my hands. This stuff sounds silly, but it was a paradigm shift at the time. I have to approach playing basketball differently and then I adjusted to it. But if I wouldn’t have put myself in this situation to make those mistakes, I wouldn’t have gotten better at what I did. And by trying to avoid money, if you never invest it, if you never jump into a new endeavor, you just don’t get better, and you live in a state of fear your whole life. Even though I made the turnover, I learned a skill. Even though I threw a bad pass, I left my feet to pass, I missed a shot, I learned something about basketball, and that can’t be taken away.
That’s how I tend to see business endeavors in entrepreneurship. If you are looking at how you become better, the turnovers don’t matter. That means you can’t have an ego. You can’t be looking at these scenarios and saying, “Well, if I failed, that means I may failure.” You have to look at it like it’s a game. If I lost the game, I got better, I’m more likely to win the next one, and I ascend into higher levels of competition with more rewards. And that’s what I’d like to pull out of what you’re describing right here, is this humility you have is such a powerful force in your success because you’re saying, “I’ll burn the ships and I’ll figure it out as I go and they might kill my whole army, but, man, I will learn a lot about warfare and I’ll build a better army and come back and I’m going to win that time.” Those skills never leave you. And that’s the real value in what you’re doing.

Evan:
Absolutely. And I’m glad it translates, you know what I mean? And one thing my mentor always just told me, take full advantage in the NBA., Take full advantage of basketball, because it’s going to teach you everything you need to know about running your own business one day. So a lot of times we correlate it sometimes. Number one things just coming back from what I learned on the court and learnt from the people around me, you just take it step by step.

David:
There’s so many times where people like you that have been very successful have had a foundation in something, for you that was basketball, applied it to a new endeavor, business, and your learning curve was much shorter than everybody else’s. You hit that point of success quicker because you had this foundation to build on. And that’s why I’m always preaching the message that, quit looking at real estate as the escape from the life you don’t like, you’re bad with girls, you hate your job, your boss doesn’t like you. If you can’t be good where you’re at, you’re probably not going to be good when you get into the new thing. Instead, develop excellence in whatever job God happens to happen you in that moment and then apply that to the next opportunity that you get. And it’s like this staircase approach. And that’s what I love about what you’re sharing is you didn’t have an advantage over anybody listening to this or anyone else doing it.
It’s not like you just had advisors fall from the sky and angels come up to you and say, “I want to help bless you.” You had a foundation that was helpful to you and you just built on it. And now you’re talking about, how do I get bigger? I have a vision, I want to get into development. I want to have luxury condos with a 7-Eleven and a CVS at the ground floor. I want to pair stability, which is low risk, low reward, with luxury, which is high risk, high reward. And you see these angles because of the stuff you’ve done before. And so that’s one of my favorite parts about the story that you’re sharing is it’s encouraging that whatever team you’re on, whatever sport you’re playing, whatever thing you’re doing, give it everything you have, show up and do your best every single day. And then look for the people to start passing you the ball rather than the guys that say, “Well, when I get the ball then I’ll try. When I’m the man, then I’ll give my effort.”

Evan:
No, and you’re absolutely right and I’m glad we hit that point because a lot of times, even with friends, and I’m sure the same way, people think it’s some type of pill you take. You know what I mean? Or some type of drink you have or you go to the store and grab medication, it’s like, “Nah, dog. It started 10 years ago, back when you thought it was unsexy and cool.” You know what I mean? Or, this hard work or whatever you’re going to get isn’t going to be cool. By the time you reap your benefits, you probably don’t even care about them because you’re already on something else. But you know what I mean?

David:
It’s a great point.

Evan:
You’re literally that locked in-

Rob:
That’s exactly how it works.

Evan:
You’re literally that locked in and passionate about it and then six years down line you’re like, I did that six years ago. I was a real life animal and I hadn’t… But before you know it, and luckily so, you pick your head up and it’s a consistency of greatness or a certain level that you maintained that allows you to cross over like we all have in order to be successful. And I’m just grateful to be-

David:
Especially with real estate.

Evan:
Yes, yes.

David:
Rob, wouldn’t you agree that the best deals you’ve got going right now, were probably the ones you bought the longest time ago.

Rob:
Oh, of course. Yeah. We’re all a genius because when you buy 10 years ago, you’re a genius at any point in the cycle. so-

Evan:
Yeah.

Rob:
Yeah.

Evan:
And everybody’s like, “How’d you do that? How’d you do that?” It’s like, well, during this time I picked up weight, I went and did this. Literally you just invested and left. You know what I mean? In certain areas, it’s not like you’re standing there working it, working it, working it. But there’s certain stuff where you invest it, leave, make sure it’s getting ran and just stay and keep it set up on a certain form of consistency to be the go of the times.

David:
Which is so funny because everyone’s looking for the opposite. They’re like, “I hate my job, I want to just focus on my one property all the time.” And that never works. It’s literally the best properties I have are the ones I forget I own, if I’m being honest. When I forget that that is my property, I’m like, damn, look at this, it’s been making all this money for all… The ones that are crossing my path all the time are the ones I didn’t like. And there’s definitely a trend with the more recently I bought it, the worse it performs. And that stops a lot of people because, what I say is they look at year one. They run an analysis, does it make me an 18% return right off the bat? It doesn’t, bad deal. I’m moving on to the next one.

Evan:
Yeah, you might as well go hop on Robin Hood if you looking for that type of return. You know what I mean?

David:
Yep.

Rob:
I often get people that are like, “Well, of course you’re doing well. You bought the property five years ago.” And I’m like, “Well, guess what? 10 years from now you’re going to be saying the same thing when I look smart for having bought consistently.” It’s funny.

Evan:
And I always tell friends, just buy something. Not buy something, but eventually it’s year four or five and we’re still pump-faking on you buying your first property. It’s like, “Dog, this is pointless. You could have had three or four by this time and we could have been having this conversation in a completely different atmosphere as opposed to my condo.”

David:
I’m so glad you said that. That’s exactly right. I look at it like, okay, in five years, how will this property perform? I almost don’t even look at year one. I make sure I have enough money in case it goes poorly, I can float it. But I want to know how am I going to feel in five years to 10 years and all of a sudden the metrics of decisions you’ve got to make become a lot more clear. That $32,000 Indiana property that you’re like, “Oh, that’s so tempting, man.” No it’s not, when you look at 10 years later and it’s worth 33,000 and every day you’ve had a new issue with it.

Evan:
And those are usually people that go and tell everybody, y’all, I own this property, I own this property. And it’s like, bro, that’s the worst property you could have ever chose.

David:
Yes.

Evan:
Literally.

David:
Yeah. It’d be like buying a bunch of terrible cars that you dump all your money into all the time, but you’re bragging because you’re like, “Oh, I got 12 cars.” You’re like, “No, you have 12 problems.” You don’t want that. Right?

Evan:
Yeah. No lie. That’s real. That’s real.

David:
And that’s why humility’s so important because it’s ego that leads people to say, “Man, at the next conference I go to, I want to say I got X amount of doors, I got X amount of units, right?

Evan:
And, bro, that’s one thing, I’m a competitor and I compete at basketball at a high level, but I’m good on a journey and minding my own business. You understand? I think one thing that occurs as you get older, even doing contract negotiations, the humility in that is making sure you don’t miss out on your money or the right deal or situation worrying about what the person left the right has. You know what I mean? It’s like a marriage, that relationship has nothing to do with anybody besides those two people. So when it comes to my real estate journey, it’s like, hey, if I’m going to do this 10 unit over here, I would love to come back to the next conference with 10 or 15 more units, but the interest rates aren’t hidden on that property right way, or I might have to wait until this sells or that sells. It’s like, that’s my situation and God willing I’m around for 100 more years to keep turning flips and keep making the next move my best move.

Rob:
David, I’ve got an analogy as we wrap up here to… I think I’ve got two.

David:
[inaudible 01:01:54] pocket have led to some inspirations.

Rob:
Yes, that’s right. I would say that this podcast interview was a slam dunk.

Evan:
That wasn’t even supposed to be funny. It just shocked me. That shocked me.

David:
Oh that’s so bad. That’s so bad that I laughed at it.

Evan:
It was a triple double, I’ll say.

David:
You also reminded me of what it was like to host a Brandon Turner who knows absolutely nothing about every sport.

Rob:
That’s me.

David:
He would impressed me with how little he knew about any sport at all.

Evan:
That beer was impressive though. And he’s six, six. So I’m surprised he never played any sport. But he’s a surfer though.

David:
Well, he got into surfing mostly because he’s terrible at sports. And so…

Rob:
One of the first jobs I ever got out of college was I was a copywriter for Gatorade. So I would write all of their tweets and all of their Instagram posts and Facebook posts and then when they were interviewing me, they were like, “Yeah, so are you a sports guy?” And I was like, “Me? Yeah. Oh, yes. Love all of them.” And then when I got hired, they were all like, “You’re such a liar.” And I was like, “Well, you like me though, so it’s all good.”

Evan:
Man, I feel you. But any job, when he asks, “Why are you here?” It’s like, “Bro, I’m trying to get paid. Don’t ask me that question, why am I here? I can do it all, sir.”

Rob:
That’s right. And I did all right. I did All right.

David:
I love the Gatorade marketing campaign. Did you have anything to do with this one, Rob, where they would take the black and white athlete and they would make their sweat the color of the Gatorade? Do you guys remember that?

Evan:
Yeah.

Rob:
Yeah. That was literally when I was born. That was like 1990, 1991. But I’d love to take credit for that.

David:
That was a cool thing they did.

Rob:
Sure. Yeah. I made that up. That was my thing.

Evan:
The coolest Gatorade commercial was Phil Jackson discussing Michael Jordan, when he is talking about the flu game.

Rob:
Oh yeah.

Evan:
And he was saying, that’s the first time I ever believed in Will. He was like, “That was the first time I ever seen Will really be a thing.” You know what I mean?

David:
We were talking about that the other day. Just how certain scenarios or environments will bring the best out of you. That’s what happened. His environment, meaning how he felt, was so hard that he had to rely more on Will to have the flu game, which is NBA iconic performance. And I think that’s so important of a lesson because there’s people that come from incredibly difficult environments that have a lot of pain and they waste that pain. That pain is a fuel that will propel you way past the comfortable person who grew up in Orange County and went to an Ivy League school and has nothing to drive them, right?

Evan:
Yeah, absolutely right. You don’t know how many kids that come from my AAU program or come from my background or even certain teams I played on, and I’ll be like, yo, he’s as good as you, he’s you were, and da, da, da, da. Then when it turns out he wasn’t, it’s like, bro, do you know what background or upbringing I came in where it is deeper than just if you put a ball through the hole, this is Darwinism, this is survival of the fittest. It’s either we’re eating today or we’re not. So I’m never-

David:
Those are people that win.

Evan:
Yeah. And I’m never losing, period, point blank.

David:
That’s a beautiful approach because whether people won’t admit or not, that’s the real estate environment we’re in right now. There are not enough of the best homes to go around. Interest rates were kept very low for a long time so people got into our game that never wanted it. But business people are now investing in real estate because they can get a better return here than they can in other things. The tax code benefits real estate more than other things. And so wealthy people… Everyone’s fighting over these things and you were just over here, man, I can’t find a deal, I don’t understand. They don’t understand, you’re lions and you’re all trying to find the few gazelle that are out there. And that’s why you’ve got to listen to a podcast like this and approach it with everything you have. Like you’re saying, it’s Darwinism and those that understand that are the ones that win and those that think that they’re in a communistic, kumbaya, “Oh, no, everything’s going to be fine,” are very frustrated that things aren’t working out.

Evan:
Man, when (beep) get tough man, like this, my fault for cursing, but I snap into a slim gym. This is crunch time, fourth quarter, I like these type of situations. So I’m sure you guys are the same way. So it is a hell of a time to be in right now.

David:
So on that note, I’ll ask you, Evan, before we get you out of here, where do you see the future of real estate or the economy going and what’s your recommendation for the moves that people should be making in the next two years?

Evan:
Well, the first one, I hope the interests rate drop sooner than later. I for sure want that to go on. And I think it’s going to be something in a similar fitting, the same way of how the world is going as well. I feel like everything is a borderline of improv mixed in with casual. So I think we’re going to see a lot of more developments, more properties and more innovative uses in the real estate market that is going to be cool. Similar to the 20 unit hotel you bought in New York and how you’re changing that type of real estate market. I can’t really put a thumb on it, but I think anything goes right now in regards to the real estate market, what you create and what comes about and I’m looking forward to that.

David:
Beautiful. So look for creative ways rather than just trying to push the same square peg through the round hole that isn’t working.

Evan:
Yeah, because you got to break it down. We had this argument earlier, I guess we’re turning to the cooler, older unhip guys, you know what I mean? Or the weird older unhip guys and that’s still pretty cool. So imagine what we’re going to create, you know what I mean? It’s not going to be the same, stick up your butt, suit and tie, weird type of stuff. I think it’s going to be some cool, hip creative stuff where hopefully it turns into one big game of Sims. You know what I mean?

David:
Well, if that art in your background is any indication, you will be one of the forefront leaders in that movement. So thanks for spending your time with us and your thoughts, Evan, I appreciate it. They’re both very valuable.

Evan:
I appreciate you guys for real. Thank you, again.

David:
If people want to find out more about you, where can they go?

Evan:
If you want to find out more about myself, please tune into a Point Forward podcast, everywhere where you listen to podcasts. It’s actually amazing. It really is. And then you check me out on Instagram. My name is Evan Turner. E-V-A-N, T-U-R-N-E-R, and then also on Twitter, the kid ET, T-H-E, K-I-D, E-T. Show some love, holler at me, give me some advice, keep it classy.

David:
Rob, how about you? Where can people find out more about you?

Rob:
You can find me on… Well, okay, well first of all, look, typically, I would say you can go find me on YouTube at Rob Built and you can go follow me on Instagram at Rob Built. Of course, I could say that. But what I’m going to say instead of following me over at Rob Built is to go over the Apple iTunes review center with the podcast app, leave us a five star review. If you like hearing these conversations, these real world conversations of how to get started in real estate, please go drop us a five star review. It means the world to us and it lets us know that you’re listening and it helps us improve how we do the show. What about you David?

David:
Well, now I’m really wanting to know where I could find you and you’ve left me with an itch I need to scratch. After I do that, is there a preferred way of following you? Where’s your best content?

Rob:
Oh yeah. You could find me over on YouTube at Nothing but Net. No, I’m just kidding.

Evan:
Like what?

Rob:
Yeah, it’s my sports channel, actually. You find me at-

Evan:
Why not? Why not, right? Nothing but Net.

David:
Oh my gosh, I forgot that was a phrase people used to say, Man, we were really corny in the ’80s. That is such a nothing… Yeah, that was a thing that was said.

Evan:
Swish.

David:
Yeah, Swish

Rob:
NBA, baby.

David:
Every one of Rob’s basketball references comes straight out of NBA Jam. He’s the guy that’s like, boom shaka laka every time he-

Evan:
From down town, and defense.

Rob:
I told you man, I’m an ’80s baby.

David:
What we used to say when you blocked a shot, you got packed. Remember that?

Evan:
You got packed.

David:
I haven’t heard that one in a very long time.

Evan:
No. The best thing I think that still hangs on that hasn’t been corny, and one of the best basketball commercials, was the Sprite, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant commercial. But anytime you miss the dunk, the label was like, you just got to Sprite it. You know what I mean? I thought that-

David:
That was good. I used to love the Sprite commercial with the three actors pretending to be hard basketball players, but they were like thespians.

Evan:
Wait, no, I got to look that up. I got to-

Rob:
Excuse me. Excuse me. What’s my motivation? That guy.

Evan:
I got to check that.

David:
Oh, that’s a really funny one. Rob, we talk about it all the time because he’s always asking for his motivation. He is a thespian. Pretending to be a podcast.

Rob:
I did letter in theater.

Evan:
Oh, did you?

Rob:
That’s how cool I am.

Evan:
Well, what role broke your heart that you decided to leave?

Rob:
And it was Snoopy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Evan:
That’s funny.

David:
All right, Evan, thanks a lot, man. It’s been great having you. I don’t know if we have plans from you to your podcast, but I’d be happy to do it. I think it’d be a lot of fun.

Evan:
No, I’d be lit. We would love to have you guys on. Thank you for the hospitality. This is lit. What you guys are doing, it’s unbelievable. I’m grateful for what you guys do week in and week out. And I once again, thank you for being so open when I showed up to the conference and everything. You guys are awesome guys. I really appreciate you. Thank you.

David:
Thank you, Evan. You can find me on social media at David Greene 24, and I just tagged Evan, so if you’re seeing this, go make sure you follow his account and get some good content.

Evan:
I’m going to repost, too. I hate when people don’t.

Rob:
All right, hold on. Let’s do this on air. I’m going to get a photo of us. Ready? That’s the first right there. That’s the first. Interrupting a podcast for a selfie.

David:
Yep.

Rob:
That’s good.

David:
That’s how narcissistic we’ve become.

Evan:
That’s how progressive the work field is.

David:
All right. Thanks, Evan. We’re going to get you out of here. This is David Greene for Rob, slim gyms in his shirt pocket, Abasolo signing out.

 

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