BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 172: Breaking Into Apartment Investing with a 100-Unit First Deal with Jonathan Twombly

342 Articles Written

Have you ever dreamed of owning large apartment complexes? If so, don’t miss this powerful interview with Jonathan Twombly, a real estate investor whose very first deal had over 100 units! You’ll learn why Jonathan skipped the “small deal phase” and jumped right into big deals — and how he’s gone from nothing to over 400 units in the past several years. This show offers an incredibly realistic view of what it actually takes to break into the apartment complex market!

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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!

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Jonathan got out of the law industry and into real estate investing
  • The partnership that changed his life
  • How you can always find deals within 100 miles
  • The details of Jonathan’s first deal
  • What to do when someone cancels the deal
  • How financing contingency works
  • How he structures his deals
  • Tips for establishing yourself with brokers
  • The due diligence list to show to brokers
  • The importance of asking your friends for introductions
  • Why you should focus on the relationship aspect of investing
  • The details of Jonathan’s first successful deal
  • Why you should consider buying the “unsexy” properties
  • Tips on looking for deals
  • How he makes money through syndication
  • His strategy on making 400-unit deals
  • How he manages properties
  • What you should know about underwriting a deal
  • Things he would done differently if he started all over again
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “You don’t know what the heck you are doing, but you’ll figure it out when you start somewhere.” (Tweet This!)
  • “If you are a new investor, it’s not about how much money you have but about how many deals you have closed.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Persistence is 90% in business and then the other 10% is not being an idiot.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Jonathan

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 investors and other real estate professionals, who chat about failures, successes, motivations, and lessons learned.

    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thank you Bigger pockets
    Melissa N. Rental Property Investor from Charlotte, NC
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thank you, Jonathan! Great info. We are trying to break into over 5 units – live in NY looking to buy in NC so this hit close to home. We lived in Charlotte for 8 years so I’ll start asking friends for commercial agents. I’ll keep pushing because these ‘on-markets’ are just silly!
    Jonathan Twombly Rental Property Investor from Brooklyn, NY
    Replied over 3 years ago
    The off market deals are silly too. But at least you avoid a bidding war/feeding frenzy situation with the off market deals. Glad you`re following the advice about using your network. It is more powerful than you know!
    Marcel Duarte Real Estate Agent from Denver, Colorado
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great show this week Jonathan, Josh, and Brandon! It was really inspiring to hear about the perseverance it took to finalize the first deal after the initial two didn’t work out. I think most folks wouldn’t keep with it after that. It reminded me of episode 170 when Andrew Cushman said made over 4,000 phone calls to get his first deal. It’s no coincidence Jonathan and Andrew have had such similar accomplishments. I know you guys ran out of time at the end, but I would love to hear more about financing and syndicating these deals. I vote for a Jonathan Twombly Round 2 episode! Thanks again for another fantastic show.
    Jonathan Twombly Rental Property Investor from Brooklyn, NY
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks for the vote, Marcel. I had a great time on the show and would love to do it again.
    Joshua Keene from Mission Viejo, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Another great show! Lots of interesting nuggets of information and advice throughout. One part of the podcast that really caught my attention was when Jonathan mentioned checking the existing tenant’s credit when performing your due diligence to make sure the seller isn’t filling vacancies with unqualified renters. This can really hurt you and your deal if overlooked. Thank you Jonathan, Josh, and Brandon! Looking forward to the next podcast!
    Tek Chai from Podunk, Washington
    Replied over 3 years ago
    BP also stands for “Brandon’s Podcast.”
    Tek Chai from Podunk, Washington
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Jonathan. Great insight and like your tweetable quote, “Persistence is 90% in business and then the other 10% is not being an idiot.”
    Donavon Davies Investor from West Palm Beach, Florida
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks to Jonathan, Brandon, and Josh (yes Josh, in that order…) I just listened to this one today. Very informative. I have to dig deeper on that logistics cluster/ multi-modal transport idea, it’s intriguing. I checked out the Wall Street Journal RE book this week from the the library. I’m also Brooklyn baby, but now I’m raising my babies in South Florida.
    Nathan G. from Cody, WY
    Replied about 2 years ago
    This was a good overview of larger multi-family investing. It may be more than most will ever attempt but it was great for me because I’m trying to build up to it. Thanks, Jonathan!