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BP Podcast 051: Small Multifamily Properties, Working a Full Time Job, and Training Tenants with Mike Sherwood

by Brandon Turner on January 2, 2014 · 22 comments

Mike Sherwood

On today’s episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, we cover a huge range of really important topics with real estate investor Mike Sherwood, including investing while holding a full time job, working with a partner to grow quickly, getting started with a small multifamily property, and a lot more.

Mike has invested in the Buffalo, NY for several years now, doing both rentals and is getting into fix and flip, so he has a ton of insight for both those just getting started and for those with a lot of experience already.

This show has so much good information and helpful tips for any real estate investor, this is going to be one you’ll want to listen to over and over just to make sure you get all the great nuggets out of it.

Listen to The Show on iTunes

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here

BiggerPockets-Podcast-Cover 300 300In This Show, We Cover:

  • Buying a small multifamily to live for free
  • The secret to living next door to your tenants
  • Training your tenants
  • When is an emergency an emergency?
  • Managing your own properties vs. hiring a property manager
  • Tips for working a full time job AND investing on the side
  • Finding good deals on the MLS
  • How Michael found a partner to invest with
  • Legally structuring a partnership for real estate
  • Ways to systematize your business
  • The key to finding partners on BiggerPockets
  • Flipping houses while working a full time job

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in the Show

Tweetable Topics

“Establish guidelines upfront with your tenants to save yourself a lot of trouble.” (Tweet This!)

“I wish there were more agents who understood what investors want.” (Tweet This!)

“You can make any real estate deal look good with 80% down.” (Tweet This!)

“The most important thing in a partnership is being able to constructively handle differences.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Mike

Mike’s BiggerPockets Profile

Mike’s Website:

Email *

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Gerald K. January 2, 2014 at 3:35 am

Good interview. Seems like a right of passage for all landlords to get all spun up by their tenants about water issues.. I’m with Brandon – turn off the valve and deal with it in the morning.. Then there’s the bad tenant discussions late at night. So easy to intrude into family life with the wife… Got to just put it away until later… much easier said then done… And the ring on the special line set up just for tenants. Ring… Yikes! What’s it about this time?? Wrong number.. Whew!!

Looking forward to the next one. Somehow I get the feeling there will be mention of Detroit and page 27 of the 4-hour work week.. ;-) Can’t imagine why.. Haha!


jason January 2, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Add Buffalo to the growing list of cities who WONT be holding Josh Dorkin Day anytime soon.


Joshua Dorkin January 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Jason – Hahaha! I definitely didn’t think I was in the running for Mayor ;)


Michael Sherwood January 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Yep ripping on ol’ Buffalo… not to mention he was confused on what part of NY is downstate :)


Joshua Dorkin January 2, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Come on, Michael . . . you and I both know that Upstate New York State (everything outside LI, NYC & Westchester) plays second fiddle to the real New York ;) j/k


Tom Sylvester January 3, 2014 at 9:52 am

Sounds to me like Joshua Dorkin would like to have a discussion about why taxes are so high in New York. :O)


Michael Sherwood January 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I am so used to Josh yelling at me by now… the only thing scarier is my wife :) haha.


Joshua Dorkin January 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Hahaha — nice!

Nate Green January 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Great podcast once again guys. The Buffalo BP meetings have been great so far. I’ve meet some really nice and great people at the meetings and developed relationships with some of them. I encourage everyone to attend or start their own local BP meet ups.


Michael Sherwood January 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm


thanks for the props. A lot of doing this podcast was motivated to open up others to the idea of setting up meet ups to help others. I hope to see you at the next meeting, I agree with your email I will bring in a property we purchased so we can ‘run the numbers’ and show you what it looks like.



Craig Horton January 4, 2014 at 7:48 am

Here is a counter to Joshua’s statement about Buffalo as a city. My Navy Ship Reunion for the USS Bausell (DD-845) will be in Buffalo, New York, in June, 2015. We could have selected other cities but chose Buffalo, New York. Joshua may want to revisit the area with Mike on a guided tour which may change his point of view.
Fine interview with Mike Sherwood. I am good friends with Jay DeCima and John Schaub that wrote his favorite real estate books. I have been to seminars by Jay and John which are excellent education tools for real estate investors.


Michael Sherwood January 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Thanks Craig we appreciate it! Buffalo is a nice city people just don’t give it enough credit. I wouldn’t worry about Josh he is just kidding with us of course! (at least I hope so :) ) anyways the harbor area has changed a lot if you haven’t been here in awhile they are also putting a lot of money into new hotels and new ice skating rinks for some of the minor league teams. This should pull more tourism from Canada even! Plus as some of you know many Canadians come over to shop at the Galleria Mall!

That is awesome you know Jay and John , when I was starting out I didn’t find Biggerpockets immediately so I used those books as a guide. I would love to send my copies to get them signed because their books really did change my life. So did BP!



Michael DuVentre January 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Very good podcast guys!!! Glad to hear great info and incite


Joshua Dorkin January 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Thanks Michael!


Elizabeth Blazina January 6, 2014 at 11:54 am

Hi Michael,
I was hoping that you could explain how you use stock to invest. I may have misunderstood but I think you mentioned using a mla. Could you explain briefly what that involves?

Thanks for the great Podcast! Always learning.


Michael Sherwood January 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm


You did hear it correctly the account is a loan against a stock portfolio. Usually if you have a large enough of a portfolio they will let you borrow against it usually up to a certain limit probably around 40%. You pay the interest back to the company that this facility is with. In most cases it is based off of 1- month libor which is about 17bps with a added spread our 360bps , so overall pretty cheap money.

The other thing that I have heard people doing is using their 401k to take out a loan. I normally don’t recommend touching retirement but you can borrow against it for usually up to 5 years and the payments come right out of your pay check. Many people find this difficult to swing both the payments and the usual contributions together so please use with caution.

The interest is paid back to you technically but remember that money is removed from the market during the loan. The interest rate is usually set by the company as is the limit amount (usually 50k) but it is a start. In most cases you can pay it back in one lump sum without a penalty but you can pay a partial larger sum ( it is all or the payment)

The other risk you might want to consider is that if you lose your job or switch companies the loan might come immediately due. One final piece of advice is that you will be paying back pre tax earnings with after tax tax monies so depending on your tax bracket this can be a significant disadvantage.

I hope that helps!



Elizabeth Blazina January 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Thanks for clarifying Mike. It’s always nice to know what options are available.



Dawn Anastasi January 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm

If you are paying back a Roth 401(k) then you are paying back after-tax earnings with after-tax earnings.


Michael Sherwood January 11, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Good point Dawn :)

Shera January 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I have a question about the target $/door for multi-family properties. I think you said $100 to $200 was your target for $/unit per month. I have heard other people mention figures in the same range. That just seems low to me as a basis for passive income. If I want to have $8000 per month pre-tax income then I would need 40 to 80 units. I had hoped to accomplish that with many fewer units.


Michael Sherwood January 11, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Hi Shera,
This really depends on your market. $100 a door might be a good profit in certain areas. You need to look at the total picture of appreciation and cash flow. In the case of Buffalo we consider any appreciation to be a nice bonus ( we don’t expect it) the other thing you need to take into consideration is how your financing it. That plays a major role in how much target profit per door you can expect. Now if you have all cash then it doesn’t matter as much . As Brandon always says, begin with the end in mind. 60 to 80 might be what you need in order to accomplish your goals it could be more or it could be less.

I hope that helps, if you have more questions send me a PM



Klee January 31, 2014 at 9:45 am

This was a very informational pod cast, but one of the key thing that stuck out to me was the comment Joshua made about negative credit history; how it depends if negative credit resulted from carelessness or medical bills. As a newbie that was my concern, all of my negative credit history result from medical bills, otherwise I’m in good standing with all other creditors, . This was good info!



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