“FROM A STUDENT THAT ATTENDED MY WEEKEND TRAINING ON MULTIFAMILY DUE DILIGENCE
I just finished up with the weekend workshop that Mr. Dobens held in Charleston, S.C.
First, a little background about me so you can kind of get a feeling of my understanding of what I learned and how I found the information to be correct and useful.
Started in Multifamily in 1998 as a leasing agent in Denver Co. with Simpson Property Group (388 units) and worked my way up to an assistant manager. After getting to that level, I was privy to the numbers that were happening on the community and realized what kind of NOI was being realized and I had my first “light bulb turn on” moment if you know what I am saying.
I moved to Charleston S.C. in 2001 and stayed in multifamily and went through a lease up and then a condo conversion on the same property. When I saw what the return was (this was in 2005 by the way) on this “A” property, I knew then that I needed to get it figured out as to how I could own, manage and exit a multifamily property and make some great profits while moving onward and upward. So, that is kind of my “how I get started” story.
I live by a mantra, “I don’t know what I don’t know” and am always looking for information, classes, people and networking opportunities to increase my knowledge base and of course “people base” to get me further in my investing business. That is exactly how Mr. Dobens approaches his training…..what we are doing is a business and the business should be managed with out emotion and “gut feelings.” His approach is real data / numbers based and he clearly has high level business knowledge. Frankly, I would have paid $5000 for the weekend. There is real value in the information that is shared / taught.
So, here is the run down:
First, I did pay to be a member of the “Multi-family investor Academy” as a online student and attended 2 conference calls and went into the web site and downloaded materials and read as much information that I had time to. It was clear to me that the ROI just to be a member of the site and attending the conference calls was well worth the money paid. This is not a “RA-RA lets go out and make money by taking out a cash advance on your credit card and flip a property” type deal. It is a straight up business / strategy based program with facts and data and / or real life examples to drive home the concepts to make you understand the reality of what to do or NOT DO. That to me is the best benefit. Leaning what NOT to do or to put something into place to protect your deal.
The weekend class started right on time and we got right into it. Again, there is no, “welcome to the first day of the rest of your business life, we are going to be rich” RA-RA, BS. We went around the room and each person did a little intro / bio and I would like to speak to that really quick. I became aware that I was in the right place when I saw the people that I was surrounded by. To my left (and I am not making this up), was a 34 year old guy who started his business at age 26 I think it was and now owns/manages over 2200 units and talked about deals that he was doing that were out of this world interesting. To my right, a multifamily housing broker who has sold over 500 deals throughout his career. You ever hear the saying, “you are influenced and are like the people you surround yourself with?” Well, those were the 2 guys that I was surrounded by, so that validated the class pretty much right off the rip for me.
In my other “work life,” I am a part time Paramedic and I am a big fan of “order of operations” when it comes to anything related to learning and execution of a new concept. Charles presented all the information in the correct way in order to build on concepts initially presented. We started with letters of intent and moved onto the offer and then into due diligence. Now, if you have made many offers on a lot of properties in your career, then you may of course know what you need to know. Something that may sound as simple as a drafting a letter of intent and then writing up an offer to purchase probably sounds mundane and maybe you may think you have been there and done that. I assure you, the guys to my right and left were taking notes and of course all of us were learning. The dialogue that is created by the discussion of these concepts is beyond valuable. I was taking notes, on the notes I was taking, if you get my drift. Please understand the class went into may other subjects, just giving an idea of the start and flow of things.
The most valuable part of the class for me was the forensic accounting part of the due diligence process. It gives you the information and tools to dissect a deal even before you go walk on a property. There is good and bad income that comes into a property and line items in a historical budget statement can tell you a lot about a property and how it has been run and what may be inside the numbers that a current owner and/or broker may be trying to hide from a prospective buyer. The forensic accounting process discussion was of course much more in depth that what I am saying here, but I am just trying to give you a quick overview. That Sunday night (last night of class) I dissected my own books on a 12 unit deal I have and, well, made some changes as to how I was running things to be honest with you. I pretended I was going to put the units up for sale and wanted to see how I would do up against what I learned.
I could easily continue to write a few more pages to continue to get my point across, but the bottom line is yes, it is well worth the time and investment to become a member of MIFA and yes, you MUST go to the next weekend class that is held. You will not be disappointed. This is not guru, this is not hype. In my humble opinion, it is high level and a person should come into this training with some sort of property investment experience and maybe even owned and / or managed something over 10 units as what is taught / discussed is, well, multifamily driven and hopefully that made sense.
I don’t mean to come off like I know it all or someone who is just starting out would not benefit, but having a little experience will help you get more out of the class as you can apply concepts learned immediately to your day to day operations.Hence, the example of applying the information I learned to my existing business. If you are the type of person that reviews what you have learned immediately and then maybe go back to that information once a week while your getting initial experience, then you would benefit even if you were new to multifamily.
I hope this helps. I hope that I did not come across cocky or a know it all as I can assure you I DO NOT know IT ALL. I walked out of the weekend VERY aware I do not know it all, but I gained serious knowledge and increased confidence and that my friend in my humble opinion, is what is is all about.”
Steve - Charleston, SC