BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 115: Getting Started with Apartment Complex Investing with Jeff Greenberg

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Have you ever wanted to invest in apartment complexes, but were unsure how to start?

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That’s the topic of today’s BiggerPockets Podcast episode, where we sit down with apartment complex investor Jeff Greenberg. Jeff shares a ton of actionable advice on how to analyze, find, and finance larger multifamily investment properties! If you want to benefit from the big potential profits this kind of real estate investing can offer, don't miss out on this informative episode.

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This Show Sponsored By

We just waRealtySharesnted to give a shout out to our podcast sponsor on today’s show: RealtyShares. RealtyShares is a crowdfunding platform that allows you to invest in professionally managed properties without leaving your living room!

Learn more by visiting RealtyShares.com/biggerpockets!

In This Episode We Cover:

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  • The details of Jeff’s first deal
  • How best to fund a commercial property
  • What exactly portfolio lending is
  • How to start out with no experience
  • Why professionalism works in real estate
  • What you need to know about LOIs
  • Why building relationships matters to your success
  • The importance of having a mentor
  • How to evaluate a commercial property
  • Tips on forming the team you need to start investing
  • Jeff’s methods for finding great deals
  • Mistakes he made during the course of his career
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show:

Books Mentioned in this Show

Connect with Jeff

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investo...
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    Deshan Kennedy Real Estate Agent from Fredericksburg, VA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Good show Jeff and thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thanks Deshan
    Fred Conway from tampa, florida
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Disappointing podcast, ive been wanting more info on multi family, how to get started, what to look for, tips, etc. but info was pretty standard. Find a good broker was the main takeaway.
    Drew Mim Mack Real Estate Investor from Vancouver, Washington
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Sometimes you have to Listen Between the Lines… I’m new and I did… what I received was a wealth of knowledge and relationships that started. I’m curious how many people you have in your life that are doing what you want to do? One of the many takeaways I got was to find a mentor and offer your services to learn the game. I now have a mentor whom I’m providing service for and they’re giving me knowledge. I spent an hour on the phone with this person today and because of it I’m light years ahead of where I was 4 days ago. Consider listening to it again… “Minds are like parachutes, they only work when they’re open”
    Sohrab Khosravi Lender from Houston, Texas
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Can be better, but still a lot of good info. Thank you
    Leonard L. Investor from Newport Beach, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I have to agree with Fred that this was a disappointment. Sorry guys but gotta keep it real. Not so much Jeff’s fault maybe as just bad questions. We never really got why someone should do multifamily versus SFR (Jeff just said more zeros), relative returns of multis versus SFR, no mention of excellent government backed financing for multis, no discussion of how management of multis actually works. For someone thinking about going from SFR to large complexes, this podcast offered surprisingly little.
    Ayodeji Kuponiyi Investor from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 5 years ago
    thanks for sharing your experience,advice, and tips with us listeners Jeff!
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thank Ayodeji
    George Calbert from FPO, AP
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I really enjoy my Friday mornings in Japan listening to the new pod casts. A couple of times now, your guest have mentioned of presenting a professional financial package to build credibility. What are some recommended formats and what should be included in this package. Thanks. George
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Fred, Sohrab, Leonard, Sorry that you were disappointed or felt that you did not get the details that you were looking for. As the interviewee you follow the path lead by the interviewer. The short interview process makes it difficult to provide a lot of details. If your desire is more information I suggest that you start a thread with some of your questions, maybe the ones that didn’t get asked, a I and others can help to answer them.
    Deshan Kennedy Real Estate Agent from Fredericksburg, VA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I think the podcast title was misleading based on the overall interview but it still providing valuable information. That fault is BP’s fault and not on the person who is being interviewed. Either way, you did provide good information but not what the listeners may have wanted based on “Getting Started with Apartment Complex Investing”. I did have two questions based on the podcast. You mentioned that the bank called you. Did you have a previous relationship with the bank or was it based on your relationship with the broker? Also, what information in your real estate resume did you include that all investors should include in theirs when they submit their paperwork to the lenders (if required)?
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    First it was not the bank that called me. They called my broker because of a previous relationship. My broker then called me. I do believe that we provided a business plan, our financials, and since lacking in mf experience, training events that we had attended that could be related to mf investing. The fact that we were learning about mf, it was a small property, and the current owners were such a pain for the lenders, they wanted us in and them out.
    Deshan Kennedy Real Estate Agent from Fredericksburg, VA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thank you for the follow up.
    Simon Benson from Lanham, Maryland
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I found this to be very informative. Not sure why others didn’t. Great Podcast!
    Gary
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Is it just me or did Jeff sound like Dennis Miller? Great info, looking for my first small multifamily 10+. Thanks keep up the good work.
    Keith K. Investor from Portland, Oregon
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Wow, Jeff looks like you’ve got a tough crowd. People should know they aren’t going to get all the information they need from a podcast that’s spoon-fed to them – and with only one commercial break! Jeff, can you elaborate on your comment about having an intern do market research for you? What type of credentials and experience should this person have? Are they a college student/grad in Econ? Or they an established pro agent/broker? Is this a task that a virtual assistant could handle and provide reliable results?
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    My intern is a college student that wanted to learn the business. I have trained him on valuing MF properties and what I am looking for . I send him all the properties that come my way and he finds others on his own. The issue with using a VA is getting additional information when items are missing or not realistic. I need someone that can think and talk professionally to an broker. I give him my time in training and he gives me back my time by only bringing me properties that he feels will fit in my criteria.
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I forgot to mention that he does not get paid until we close on a deal. A VA needs to be paid if we close or not.
    Francesca S. Architectural Designer from Los Angeles, California
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This was a great intro to apartment complex investing. Thanks for the great podcast!
    Giovanni Isaksen Investor from Bellingham, Washington
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great show Jeff, there’s plenty of meat there if you’re paying attention. Really like the way you’re working with your intern too. One question; road or mtb? Was a roadie (raced for 20+ years) but I’m living 15 minutes from world class mtb trails so lately been doing more or that… funny I would never have guessed b/c I was such a die hard. Giovanni-
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This old body is too old for mtb. I will stick with road and just worry about the cars. Thanks
    Giovanni Isaksen Investor from Bellingham, Washington
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Keep the rubber side down! You do know that mtb suspension has gotten pretty good right 🙂 Was just watching Greg LeMond’s ‘Slaying the Badger’ last night, pretty interesting stuff including Andy Hampsten’s interview done in a bar (cafe) in Castagneto Carducci where we had a few glasses of wine back in the day. There’s also a great still of Andy on the snowy Passo de Gavia when he took the maglia rosa and held on to win the 88 Giro.
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Suspension only works while you are on the bike. LOL On the not so funny side, I was just getting close to my first corner on my residential street and a large SUV coming the other direction decided to cut the corner and take away my lane. Less than 2 second I would have been splattered. I had a few very choice words for him.
    R. Brent Jaquess Investor from Las Cruces, New Mexico
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Overall, I believe Jeff was very informative on how he started and the main priorties in his investments – broker relations, markets, and proper management. The proper management can’t be emphasized enough, in my opinion, if investing in areas away from where you live.
    Samuel DeMass Investor from Albuquerque, NM
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Jeff, Thanks for sharing your time by doing the podcast. I enjoyed it. You mentioned National Lenders in your podcast, vs. going to local/portfolio lenders. Can you clarify what you mean by National Lenders? Where do they live in the marketplace? What is the best way to contact with a National Lender to inquire about terms? Thank you for your time.
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    A commercial Mortgage brokers will know what lenders will loan on your type of deal. Working with a local bank has its benefits, but getting to know a Mort brokers extends your reach out more nationally.
    Jason Fraser from Salt Lake City, Utah
    Replied over 5 years ago
    @jeff greenberg Is there a book and or software that you would recommend to someone getting started on how to analyze the numbers and the property?
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    There is a book by Dave Lindahl called Multifamily millions. That is a good starter book. He also wrote one for Trump University.
    Stephen Lassiter from Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Jeff, Do you negotiate deals entirely with Letters Of Intent or do you do more informal back and forth communication prior to submitting the Letter Of Intent?
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    If you can get contact with the seller, it doesn’t hurt to open a dialog. Usually you don’t have that direct access and need to start the dialog through the LOI. This is a simple document that lays out your main conditions. This is a non binding document.
    Albert M. Investor from Bristol, Connecticut
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Jeff, good morning. I just wanted to write a note to express my gratitude for sharing your experiences and your time during this recent Podcast. I found it to be very informative, as I have previously done my own homework via reading, networking, listening to webinars & other podcasts, in the multi-family investing niche. So I have a foundation built. At the same time, I also wanted to tip my hat to you for showing grace and class towards those posters here who have expressed their disappointment with not getting the points or content they were expecting to hear. Not certain what folks expect to get within an hour’s worth of an interview. There will be seeds of wisdom dispensed here and there, but you can’t express every 1 minute soundbyte to guarantee you a $1M paycheck or to save you bucket loads of money. I wish more folks would subscribe to the MO that if you don’t have anything positive to say about something, don’t say anything at all – especially in public forums like this. Folks listening to these Podcasts should realize that folks like Mr. Greenberg are merely guests … they are not being forced or paid to appear on these shows (from what I understand), and it is thru their own volition, that they have chosen to share their time and lessons with us. We all have choices … we can choose to listen or not. Plus, one of our primary duties as investors or entrepreneurs should be to take the lessons we learn and to continue learning more – to sift through what we hear and read for those golden nuggets that will allow us to profit more or to avoid pitfalls down the road. Regardless of the referrals you’ll get or the 5-star reviews you’ll see, you’re not always going to read great books that speak to you, nor are you always going to get great advice from everyone you network with – even the experts. So, just move on. All that said, I took some great ideas away from this Podcast with Mr. Greenberg, and I look forward to researching some of his points to further strengthen my own knowledge base. I am most thankful for that. Best of luck with your future ventures there, Jeff. Hope to learn more from you down the road.
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Albert, Thank you for your comments. As a guest we go with the flow of the interview. I have done several interviews and found each interviewer has a goal in mind. It may or may not go the direction that I wanted. The expectation to learn everything that I know about RE in a short interview is setting oneself up for disappointment. Most investors have taken years to learn what they have learned and it certainly will take more than an hour to share it. The glass is half full, enjoy life, share what you know, reap the benefits of meeting great people and see where life takes you. Laugh every day. Good luck with your investing. Let me know if I can every help you out. Jeff
    Kingsley Siribour Investor and Realtor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great information! Thanks for sharing the experience especially with the professional tips.
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thanks
    Taheem Bellz from Atlanta, Georgia
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I’m so happy that I took the time out to check out this podcast , I have found some take aways from it and the host were being themselves as usual. In my opinion it was informative and it was another good show . Thanks Jeff for sharing your experience and time BP nation.
    Dustin Allen Real Estate Investor from Henderson, Nevada
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Jeff, I thought it was a great show. You did not go into detail of exactly how you evaluate properties or any specifics, but those articles are all over BP. IMO every podcast you listen to you pick something up, so the little things make all the difference, at least for me. Thanks!
    Jeff Greenberg Rental Property Investor from Camarillo, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Dustin, Thank you for your comments. Someone would have to spend hours creating an interview that would cover all aspects of purchasing a MF property. These interviews give you but a taste of the information. As you said, you away a little bit each time. You learn when you are prepared and ready to learn. As Jonathon Livingston Seagul stated “a gull see’s farthest that flies highest”
    Mike McKinzie Investor from Westminster, CO
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Just a quick note to say thank you. Just listened today as I am a long time SFR investor, (since 1980) and trying to learn multi family. This podcast was a basic intro to it, and I am sure it has changed a lot since 2015. But the basics remain the same, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Bad numbers equals FAILURE. What you CAN GET per a broker is probably 10-25% OVER inflated. Still learning and loving it.