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1300 Units in Real Estate Development at 30 years old with Evan Holladay

The BiggerPockets Podcast
55 min read
1300 Units in Real Estate Development at 30 years old with Evan Holladay

The harder the problem, the bigger the reward… and real estate developers who can solve affordable housing problems can do very, very well.

Enter today’s guest, Evan Holladay, who reached 1,300 units before the age of 30 through a combination of focus, relationship-building, and a deep understanding of the rules of the game.

In this high-level episode, you’ll learn how Evan and his team apply creative financing techniques to multimillion dollar projects; how they takes advantage of tax credits and grants and put together public-private partnerships; and why patience and persistence can lead to huge profits in the development game.

Whether you plan on getting into bigger deals in the future or not (Evan wants 100,000 units!), this episode will inspire you to start thinking like a big-time investor, strategist, and leader.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon: This is the BiggerPockets podcast show 414. I mean,

Evan: you know, the whole idea of finding your blue ocean. This is exactly what this is because it is so hard. It huge barriers to entry, but once you’ve figured it out, it’s really the sky’s the limit. There’s millions of affordable housing units needed all over the country.

And there’s not enough developers to match that demand. You’re listening to

David: BiggerPockets radio,

Evan: simplifying real estate for investors, large

Brandon: and small.

Evan: If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing

Brandon: without all the hype you’re in the right place,

David: stay tuned.

Evan: That’d be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from

Brandon: biggerpockets.com.

David: Your home

Evan: for real estate investing online.

Brandon: What’s going on. And when it’s Brandon Turner hosted the BiggerPockets podcast, here’s my cohost. Mr. David Green, David question for you. What problems do you see in the real estate world today? We’re going deep. We’re starting deep. What problems do you see that you could address in the world today?

David: That’s so good. First one is that there’s a shortage of good agents, just straight up. If you’re trying to buy real estate and you’re scared, you’re nervous, or you’re doing it from a financial perspective, not just a traditional, I want a cute house to live in. There’s not very many people that understand how to help you.

So you have to be, you have to know what you’re looking for. Not all agents are the same. There’s another problem. I would say that with inventory right now, there’s a huge housing shortage and that is causing the. Price of existing homes to become very unaffordable because there’s too much demand and not enough supply.

Brandon: Hi. Good. Now, the reason I ask that, because I want everyone listening to the show to be thinking the same thing, like what problems exist in the market, in the world, in my own life. And this is how great entrepreneurs start any business. Right? If they see a problem like Josh Doerksen 15 years ago, 14 years ago was like, Hey, there’s no place to get free information on the internet about real estate.

So he started a little forum called BiggerPockets, right. We find a problem when we solve that problem. So. I love thinking about big problems because that’s where there’s a lot of money to be made. Today’s guest is actively solving a really, really big problem. So today we’re talking with a guy named Evan holiday who is solving a big problem, and that problem is.

We’ve got a lot of people in this country and around the world who can’t afford to pay their bills anymore because the cost of housing is so expensive. So he’s figured out a strategy that brings in like government help alongside private help. They call it public private partnerships to put together these deals that can make a lot of money for the investor, but also do a lot of good for the world for the local economy.

Uh, and anyway, we dive all into that today. Now today’s show I’m going to watch it. You know, it’s a little higher, like, I don’t know what you call it. What’d you call it David like higher or in depth, maybe like we go deep into this topic. And some people be like, well, it doesn’t concern me, but I want to encourage courage you to listen all the way through, because even though the stuff might not apply exactly your situation, it’s the mindset.

I want you to pull out of heaven today. More than anything you agree, David.

David: Yeah, this is one of those things that even if this isn’t what you want to go pursue this strategy, what you learn here will help you in what you do want to pursue. And I think that’s what you’re getting at Brandon, you know, I’ll probably right now, I’m not buying mobile home parks, but every time you tell me about a problem you’re having and how you solved it with mobile home parks, I immediately see a parallel with the ways that I am investing or the businesses that I’m running.

And that’s, what’s so amazing is that Evan ventured into waters that. Very few people do. And he saw problems that very few of us will even see. So I would rather learn from what Evan’s already done and have to go figure it out myself.

Brandon: Yeah. Good. So that’s the show we’re gonna get to in just a second, but first let’s get to today’s quick

Evan: tip.

Brandon: Follow the fire. That is a phrase you’re going to hear throughout this show several different times. And I wanted to throw this out there. Hey, we got a new, t-shirt a bigger pockets. It’s literally just says follow the fire. That will make any sense to you right now, but here’s what I want you to do is after the show, when you’ve done, listen to it, you’re gonna hear what that means.

Uh, you can pick up his t-shirt just as follow the [email protected] forward slash. Shirt has that bigger pockets, that complex shirt, and you can have a rocking, some BiggerPockets swag that says follow the fire and people will be like, what’s that shirt mean? And I’m like, well, let me tell you about my real estate investing and boom, you got a conversation going.

So that’s why we put out these kind of different swag items and why we’re increasing our line of clothing, just so that people will talk to you about real estate. You can raise money, you can find partners, you can find mentors and just kind of reach out there. So again, bigger pockets that comes to my shirt, check it out.

Alrighty. Alrighty. Alrighty. Let’s get to today’s show. I think that’s all we really got before we jump in. Anything you want to add David, before we, uh, we bring in the interview with Evan.

David: Oh, let’s grab Bevin. Bring him in.

Brandon: All right, here we go. Guys. This is Evan holiday teaching you how? As a 30 year old, he’s able to pull off some over 1300 units built in the last few years.

You’re going to love it. Here we go. Evan. Welcome to the bigger pockets podcast, man. Good to have you here.

Evan: Yes. So glad to be here.

Brandon: Yeah. So let’s talk about your story a little bit. I, you do some really interesting, I’m gonna even call it fancy things with real estate that we have never, never talked about it in 400 and some episodes of this show, because I want to get into that, but first people are going to listen to that and go, like, how do you get to that point where you’re doing these crazy awesome investments.

Uh, so how did you get started? Why real estate and what was kind of your introduction to it?

Evan: Yeah. So it is kind of a crazy niche to be in and kind of a roundabout way of getting there. But basically I was in college, you went to university of Louisville, was doing the pre-med route and realized very quickly.

I hate science. I hate chemistry. I saw this big development on campus announced. It was just announced. I was like, man, something about that gets me pumped up, gets me excited, gets me going. And so I figured out a way to connect with the developer. And it was ended up being like a $55 million student housing mixed use development.

And he’s like, well, I’m not going to just hire you. You need to impress me or do something to help us. So I ended up bringing a few, a hundred people to his groundbreaking. Basically convinced some buddies of mine gave him pizza and, and they handed out flyers for me and so impressed them enough to get a job.

I ended up working in development and property management in college. And then from there I loved it so much. I was like, man, just like being able to change a neighborhood, literally changed the face of a neighborhood. Change the experience for the people that lived there. And then on top of all that myself and four others, we started a modular development company in college using houseboats.

To actually do the modular development. And that’s what really got me kind of geared towards workforce affordable, attainable housing, and being able to do that in a really quality way. Um, and yeah, we originally were working on it in the modular sense, but it really just kind of like, wasn’t it deep dive into creative financing, public private partnerships, like cities out there really need this development.

And there’s not a lot of people that know how to do it, or want to do it, or want to learn it, do it, or deal with all the headaches that come along with it. And so that’s when I just, I got like, just really passionate about it. Cause I’m like, man, I can build new buildings and be able to do, do good with it and create massive impact and not just build super high end high end, like $4,000 a month apartments.

Brandon: Yeah, so this, this what fast there’s already, we’re going like zero to a hundred. I love it. We’re getting right into this thing. So I want to unpack a little bit of what you said. So I love the idea. Uh, first of all, I want to bring up that you said like, it’s almost like you don’t even know why somehow some reason like the idea that development, where you’re just like, Oh, that’s awesome.

That sounds cool. I’m going to, I’m going to lean into that. I’m going to, I’m going to move toward that. The other day on my Instagram, somebody asked me I, I made this video and then we put it on YouTube. It was called like how I would spend $8,000 getting started investing in real estate or something like that.

Uh, you can find on the show notes. I think what are the biggerpockets.com/show four 14 anyway. So I have this video out there on, on how to spend money and somebody sends me an Instagram message and they said, yeah, but you didn’t mention, I don’t know some other way, uh, tax deeds or tax liens. Why didn’t you mention tax deeds?

And I was like, cause it just doesn’t appeal to me. Like, I’m sure, like we’ve interviewed people on the show. Who’ve do who love tax deeds. And they go all into that. But like I never had the fire to pursue that. Right. But what fired me up in the beginning was like, I’m going to buy a duplex. That was, or I’m gonna flip house.

Those things fired me up. So you were fired up by. This idea of this big $55 million development project, which is super cool. So I guess the first bit of advice I want to tell anybody I’m just pulling out of this. This is like follow that fire, like fire. Like if you’re feeling it. Like I have no idea why you were in Nevada.

And while I was in the whatever and why David was feeling the fire about being a cop and then later into buying, you know, houses in San Francisco and then later long distance real estate, who knows why we have that fire put inside of us, but we have that fire. And like when you follow it, it doesn’t really feel like it’s work as much as it is.

Like, that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s what you’re meant for. So my first point there, second thing I want to ask about. Is this, this guy you just connected with like, Oh, he’s just, you know, the developer of a $55 million project. I just went and talked to him like, Oh, let’s, let’s go into that. How do you just go and talk to the guy?

How’d you find the guy? How did you figure out who the guy was? Was it a guy like, I mean, like. Tell tell us that let’s unpack that a little

Evan: bit. Yeah. Yeah. So it was actually, so I was in a fraternity in college and I was talking to one of our alumni. I was very well-connected guy and I didn’t think anything of it other than I was like, you know, Hey, that development seems really cool just down the road, they just announced it.

And he’s like, Oh, really? He’s like, you’re interested in that kind of stuff. And one thing leads to another. He’s like, Oh, I’m actually good friends with the developer. And so for me, that was the gateway, right? Like that got me in the door, but it just getting in the door. Isn’t the whole thing. It’s like you, once you get in the door, you still have to impress, you still have to follow through.

For me fall through was probably the most important thing there, but big chunk of the story that I didn’t say earlier is that I impressed him with the groundbreaking. And I w I was like, after that, I was like, all right, he’s got to hire me. Like, it’s a no brainer for him to not hire me, but then he didn’t return my calls for like six months.

So I had to, like, I literally called the guy like once a week, he probably hated me at the beginning. And he’s like, man, this guy won’t stop calling me. But I was just like you said, like I had this passion. I didn’t know why, but I was like, that just seems really cool to me. And you know, it was an old, like rundown.

Now a restaurant building on a huge parking lot. And they were going to build this massive five story building with underground parking and 12 stores. And they were going to use new market tax credits and just all these crazy things going on. I was like, man, something about that gets me filled up. And so I just couldn’t let it go.

So I think like that. And then also we had this entrepreneurship department that in our school program that that’s what pushed us to start the company. Uh, I think those two things were probably what, what literally like shaped my trajectory.

Brandon: That’s cool. And, and other, they, David, you kind of, I remember back in the day you went and worked for wasn’t it Tim Rhodes, like what door knocking or put up signs or something.

Right. We had him on the show back. I don’t even know Tim I’m searching Google, Tim roads, bigger pockets podcast. I don’t know what episode it was.

David: Uh, I got to go ahead and you find

Brandon: three 53, three 53

David: 53 he’s. He was my original mentor. And that was back when people were getting foreclosed on, but they still had equity in their house.

So I would get these notice of default lists and I would call them all. And when I found somebody who said, yeah, I might want to sell, I would go to knock on their door. Or even if they didn’t take the call, I would go to the house. And say, Hey, we know you’re losing your home. Do you want to sell it before it’s gone?

And your credit doesn’t get hit and we can get you some cash rather than losing it completely. And that was what sort of baptized me into real estate. I didn’t catch this huge bug. I didn’t go like the world on fire. I just got a seed planted in me. I went and I did the other things in life. Like you said, Brendan, that was great.

You follow your fire. And then when the timing was right, I kind of looped back around and started buying rental property. And I’d love to get. Get your 2 cents on that

Evan: apprenticeship

David: model in a sense, it’s kind of gone away. We don’t do that in America anymore. We’ve got. Minimum wage. We have all these things that make apprenticeships tough for companies that want to train somebody.

But my opinion is this is the best way to learn, period. You’re never going to learn better. And if you force somebody to pay you, they’re not incentivized to teach.

Brandon: You know, and

David: I feel like the six to 12 months you might take learning a job and you don’t earn that much money is nothing compared to what you’re going to do when you get going.

So do you mind sharing.

Evan: With us,

David: like what that experience was like for you and what you learned from that so that the listeners can have an idea of what opportunities might be open to them. Yeah.

Evan: And that actually makes me think of, so one of the summers in college, I was, I got a job with student painters.

And I was, you know, was selling the crap out of it. I was doing really well. And, but I got to a point, I was only like a month or two in, and I think we had just started painting houses and I’ve had a bunch more clients lined up. I’d already sold. And I was like, you know what, I’m just not passionate about this.

Like, I can’t get excited about painting houses. It’s just not me. And I had been talking with this other developer to basically work with him as a, as an intern. And I had the possibility of making with student painters, like 50 to 60 grand in the summer if I really sold everything. And so I literally turned that down to work a $10 an hour internship because I knew exactly what you said.

I was like the knowledge that I’m going to gain working for this developer. And I’m literally going to share an office with him. I’m going to go on-site visits. I’m going to go talk to politicians. I mean, I, I was like 19 or 20 at the time. I, I, I think at Nively kind of jumped into it, just thinking I would learn something, but looking back, I was like, that was, and the other experiences I had in college pivotal for me, because it gave me this momentum.

Some at a young age helped me find my passion along with like, literally just peeling back the curtain and being like, Hey, this is, Oh, it’s done. Here’s all the numbers. Here’s how you apply for credits. Here’s our, you get public support. Here’s how you work with general contractors. Like. I, I got, uh, like a crash course in all of that.

So I, I tell everybody, I’m like, if you can. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend it’s like, you don’t need to start day one working for yourself. I went on after we did the modular company, I worked for another development company who ended up, they were, they still are the number one affordable workforce housing developer in the country.

They weren’t when I started there, but over the seven years I worked there, we were doing deals all over the country and they just threw me right in the deep end day one. They’re like, literally Monday morning, I started they’re like, all right, go find deals in South Texas. And I was like, I don’t know anything about South Texas, but I’ll figure it out.

That’s really how I learned so quickly was kind of trial by fire and learning from my mentors and taking that apprenticeship approach.

Brandon: Yeah. The apprentice model is just so under. Utilize today. I mean, people will go and pay for four or five years of college and go a hundred or 200 grand in debt and then go and work a $9 an hour job.

They don’t like for the next couple of years until they finally get it accompany, I think can make 35,000 a year at, and then work up to 60 you’re 70. So after 10 years now, they’re making a decent living, maybe out of college. When you could just go and work for like the actual business you want, even if you’re making $10 an hour there who cares work there for a decade.

You’ll move up there and you will learn, and then you’ll get out of that thing so much further along, like, I’m just such a big proponent of the apprentice model today that it’s just, again,

Evan: overlooked,

David: curious. Did anyone try to talk you out of it? Did you have family members or people that said, why would you ever work for free?

Don’t go do something. I hear a lot of that from people that are meaning well, but don’t really understand the industry that talk people out of apprenticeships situations. Was that an issue for you?

Evan: You know, I, I think I was, I was kind of lucky. I was surrounded by people that really supported me, which I think is another important thing, part of the equation, because if you don’t have that, you’re, you’re fighting an uphill battle with your own mind because people, especially in your formative years, like, you know, your early twenties or teens, like you have a lot of pressure from your friends and your family, but no, I didn’t really, I was fortunate.

Brandon: Well, and if you are in a position where you don’t have the people around you that are supporting you, and honestly, even if you are in that position, we have people around you and still why like David and I are huge fans. I know I haven’t, you are as well of like getting together with other real estate investors, like form a mastermind group with three, four or five other people that are working towards the same thing.

Like. Get together, people who can help encourage you and push you and help you grow. It’s like, it’s not enough just to listen to a podcast like ma you know, like this one or like yours. Evan’s like, yeah, those are helpful. But what people need to do is get into the real world. People that can like. Let them continue with moving along, like on their, on their business.

So yeah, definitely everyone go ahead and do that. If you are not in a mastermind group and by the way we are launching next year, we’re doing a little bit more. We have right now mastermind groups at bigger pockets. Like if you buy the intention journal that we’re taking to a whole new level next year, I’m not going to talk about it now.

But something kind of cool is coming in bigger pockets now, sometime in the next few months. So keep an eye out for that, but I want to go into, so you went to this like houseboat that we said, how, like, w what was that like in college? What were you, what were you doing?

Evan: Yeah. So that, that was quite an experience in and of itself.

But basically like we had a class and entrepreneurship and they were like, Hey, you need to start a business. And it wasn’t really like, you had to go start it. It was more like, you just had to put a plan together, but we being who I was, I was like, no, we got to take this a step further. We got to really do this.

I just got so excited about it. I, you know, we were deciding ideas and I was like, Hey guys, I’m really passionate about real estate. And I was working for that student housing developer at the time. And so we ended up we’re like, what can we do that is unique. That is impactful. That helps others. And you know, when we get to do development out of it.

And so we ended up hearing that another school university of Kentucky, they were putting together these plans called houseboat to energy, efficient residents, each beer, basically, they were like, how can we put these 1100 skilled workers? And Southern Kentucky, Somerset, Kentucky. How can we put them back to work and use the same facilities?

Literally the same dormant facilities that they were using to build houseboats and create modular housing, both single-family and multi-family. And so they were actually at classes where they developed all the plans, uh, the students and the professors. And then they ended up building some single family version and we’re like, Hey, this is a great idea.

Like, I love the concept, both putting together Curry, creating jobs that had been taken away and being able to create some, something that was more energy, efficient, and quicker to market. And so we got the rights from the school, all the planes they’d already created for multi-family. We had gotten the rights and then put together a business plan.

Put together investors put together a board of directors and started pitching this thing at business plan competitions. And we started winning a couple of competitions and that’s when we were like, Hey, I think we’re onto something. And then, so we were taking that a step further and trying to do our first multi-family development and I was looking for partners.

And then that’s when I met the development company that I ended up working with. They were like, Hey, how about you? Come work with us. And I was like, you know what? These guys have combined a hundred years of experience. And multifamily affordable workforce housing development. I was like, I could probably learn something from these guys.

And so that’s was the kind of the tail end, but man, that was like crash course amazing experience. Cause it was like, w like looking back, I was like, man, we knew nothing. And we like went full steam ahead and we’re just so naive, but, but so energetic and passionate and, and it was contagious. It just kept building on itself.

And it led to, to where I am today.

Brandon: You were following the fire oven. That is awesome. All right. Let’s unpack a little bit about affordable or attainable as you called it earlier. And I want to unpack that phrase a little bit attainable housing. I want to, I want you to have you define a few terms because some things, again, we haven’t covered this topic very much in on the show here.

You know, most people start with buy a house and then they buy a duplex and then they buy a triplex and they buy another house and maybe they flip some houses and do some wholesaling. You’re like. I’m going to go work for some development companies, and then I’m going to go develop these large properties, which we’re going to get to here and your story in a minute.

But first let’s talk about what development, first of all, let’s go very basic. What is development? When you talk about development?

Evan: Development can mean a million different things, but it basically is. The creation of new housing, it’s where you typically new construction ground up, anything that you are building and developing.

And really if the act of like wearing a hundred different hats and being able to kind of pull everything together at the right time and get it all done.

Brandon: Okay. And then what is, when you say like attainable housing or affordable housing, what is that? And what’s like, why is that where the fire is at in your life?

Evan: Yeah. So attainable housing. The reason why is that? I like that term is because to me, and I actually heard this from a groundbreaking that we did in Lake Charles, we did 264 units, multifamily attainable housing. The city desperately needed workforce and affordable housing. They had $76 billion of economic development and this smaller town, and nobody was building any workforce housing for all the people moving there.

And so we had the groundbreaking and the mayor said, he’s like, you know, I just don’t like the word affordable and it doesn’t do a good job of, of explaining what this really is because at the end of the day, what we’re building is quality housing. I mean, it’s brand new. It’s maybe one step below a class, a community.

And he said, I think we should call this attainable housing. And the reason he said, this is like, you know, this is something that any working person can reasonably pay for and can reasonably call it attainable and their eyes. And that just stuck with me ever since I was like, all right, that’s what we need to rebrand this as.

Because this isn’t the kind of the stereotypical definition of affordable housing or section eight housing, kind of this negative stigma that a lot of people have of this 1960s kind of like cinderblock style housing, that’s all in the same row. You know, 10 story buildings, all facing the same direction.

That’s not what this is. This is on par with class, a new construction, and we’re building it at an attainable price point. So, you know, Nashville, for example, where I’m at. Or we’re doing brand new construction, a thousand to 1200 square foot units. And we’re renting them for 800 to $1,200 a month, depending on the bedroom size.

And these are for families making roughly 35,000 to 75,000 a year. So you can imagine there’s a lot of people that fit into that income bracket and who are currently being priced out of Nashville and other like crazy growing Metro areas all across the U S. So Nashville has 24,000 units that they need right now of just workforce attainable housing, uh, for those making that income range.


Brandon: I hear that most of the building, I mean, then when we got into mobile home parks, we started this a lot and it seems like most of the development is not in that price range. Right.

Evan: Exactly. Yeah, that’s the biggest thing. It’s all supply and demand at the end of the day. I mean, it’s just, economics were not enough.

People are building at that price point and everybody’s building at the high end because they know that’s where the highest margin is. And so you’re, you’re just like market is left with this huge gap. And so what do renters do? They move to the cheapest available option, which is on the outskirts of town, which is where land is more available and more cheap.

And so you just have this like mass Exodus of the actual workforce, which is like the backbone of your community, which is helps your economy thrive, which gives people jobs. And so it’s just, it’s a domino effect of where people don’t have quality housing in the neighborhoods where they work. But, you know, they’re living paycheck to paycheck.

So if their car even breaks down, a lot of times, they can’t afford to even get to work. They lose their job. And then I’ll, you know, it’s a, it’s a downward cycle. And so that my why kind of started with the modular development. And when I learned about. How much housing affects a family’s ability to survive and thrive in this world and how important it is.

Just like a shelter over your head, a quality home, a quality like stable place to call home is so important to a children’s development to a family’s development. And so for me, I just got like so passionate about that. I’m like, man, we can really actually make a difference in people’s lives. If we can provide brand new housing for a fraction of the cost of what a normal market rate community is charging.

Brandon: You know, and why, why I love this idea of again, the same, why I got into mobile home parks and why you’re doing affordable housing I’m sure is very similar is that we’re looking down the road. Like, I don’t know, I’ve said this before in the show, but I don’t invest for tomorrow necessarily. I might flip houses and make some quick money or wholesale, but mostly I invest for 10 years from now, 20 years from now.

30 years from now. I also love investing in things that like in problems, right? We’ve talked about that on recent shows as well. We wait to invest in problems. And so when I think, what are they growing trend or problem in America over the next 20 or 30 or 40 years? It’s very obvious to me that a huge problem is the fact that there’s just not enough housing in America for that huge segment of the population.

And so I like to be in areas that there is a huge demand. And there was a big problem. We can solve another problem though, with development, as I see, is it I’m in a queue, correct me if I’m wrong, please hear it. But my understanding is it doesn’t cost that much more to build an A-class that you’re going to go rent for 2000 a month in, in Nashville as the wood to build the, what you’re building that rents for 800 to a thousand.

So why would I, as a developer ever think about workforce housing, why would I just go and do it at the top of the scale? That’s what most of the developers are doing, and that’s why they’re doing that. So. How are you able to make money or make a profit doing it at the low, at the lower price point? Like how does that make logical sense?

Okay. I guess to summarize, explain it to me, like I’m five, you know, like w what is this you’re doing and how has this, how does this work?

Evan: Yeah, it is, it is honestly, it’s hard to boil down, but in a nutshell, basically, we couldn’t economically do what we do at the price points we’re doing without some help.

Uh, and so that’s where the public private partnership plays into this. So we are typically there’s different ways to create attainable housing, but the majority of our work is within development of we use tax credit financing. So we get either grants, loans, and tax credits from the federal government.

They typically come into the state housing agency. Who helps create attainable housing throughout the state. And so they partner with us as private developers. There’s, non-profit, for-profit developers that specialize in this, and they give us the credits, which cover anywhere from 40 to 70% of the project costs.

And that Delta, that credit that they give us basically is immediately goes into the project. As, as equity that in essence their return, because we ended up selling these credits to investors, actual banks and private investment groups, their return is that tax credit that they can take and then wipe out, you know, dollar for dollar off their taxes.

So in essence, that allows us to cover the Delta of, of our value, because if you think about. Any, any apartment, community, multifamily community, your value is based on your net operating income, your NOI. And so we’re obviously going to have a lower NLI based on our lower rents, but that Delta has helped cover by our we’re basically getting that equity in the form of almost like free equity that we then sell for a cash infusion into the project.

And so you combine the credits with grants or loans that we also get from state and local governments. And plus we also do tax abatements where basically you’re thinking about this as like a capital stack. And you’re saying, okay, out of a hundred percent, you have maybe 40% covered by credits 50% covered by loan.

And the last 10%, that’s always what we’re trying to go after is the 10%, because that is the hardest to come by. So that’s grants or tax abatements. So like a Nashville, they have this pilot payment in lieu of taxes. They have all kinds of acronyms, but pilot basically allows us for 10 years. We get 10% of normal taxes or close to 0% of normal taxes.

And that helps us be able to borrow more money for that 10 year period. So we use a lot of creative financing, different, unique tools that are out there for affordable housing. There’s also special. Like we have private lenders that will do 40 year debt. We also do like tax exempt bonds. So we can basically pass those on as a loan for tax exempt bond instead of a normal bond or a normal loan where somebody is paying interest on that, or they’re paying for the income that they’re making on that tax exempt bond.

They won’t actually pay any taxes on the income that they’re making off of that loan.

Brandon: Okay. So if I’m going to explain this, like I’m three, I’m going to go even more. Basically. You’re basically you got this big project and the government in several different ways, whether it’s giving you a discount on your taxes.

They give you a bunch of money because they just write you a check. I don’t know if they, that’s probably not a check, but you know, like they give you some credits, whatever you can buy, all the, you got a loan from this bank, you raise some money from this person. And all of that combined together allows you to go and buy this property or build a property that then I’m assuming the government has some conditions.

Like you can only charge a certain amount of rent, right? Like they have, they have some kind of. Thing and play that. Right.

Evan: Right, right. So in essence, we are, we’re working with state local, federal governments, public private partnerships, bringing all that capital together, building the community and in return for basically getting the free tax credit equity or lower taxes.

We agree to cap our rents and it’s all a product of the area, median income. So Nashville area, median income, I think is 88,000 for a family of four. So we have to be, to get credits. We have to be anywhere from 60 to 80% of the average. So that’s why we’re we’re depending on your family size, where anywhere from 35 to 75,000.

And so it depends based on your Metro, but we have to cap our rents for those income ranges and then basically to consider it not overburdening, a family, a HUD and the federal government have said that any family should only be paying up to 30% of their monthly income. For their housing expenses. So we can’t charge any more than 30% of that income range.

Brandon: That makes sense. That makes sense. So they want to keep it a attainable for all these people with their egos. Then I like the fact that like th this stuff works in markets where people are like, well, it’s too expensive to invest in real estate here. Well, you just did it. You just figured out a way. To invest in real estate in those markets that like people think is too expensive, which is just super cool.

Uh, is it easy? Of course not, but it’s like David and I always talk about on the show, like we run towards things that are hard, this sounds super complicated and hard, but that’s because there’s a million steps. Like what’s that phrase we’ve talked about? Like, like nothing’s hard, it’s just like, step two, you haven’t defined or practiced enough.

So like, yeah, it sounds hard because I don’t know what the first steps are. I don’t even know how I would start this process. So. Why don’t I ask you, I’ll ask the expert. Evan, I want to start working. I want to explore the idea of private public partnerships here in Maui, Hawaii. It’s crazy affordable housing issues out here.

I know the government is willing to work with me because I don’t really want to do this, but I know they’ll work with me because they, everybody understands the problem, affordable housing here, and they don’t, politicians are running around like, yeah, chicken with her head cut off trying to figure how to solve it.

And they have no solutions. So what’s my first, like what’s, what’s my step one. Step two, step three. To be able to start exploring this idea. Besides go work for, uh, another company doing this

Evan: great question. I would start by saying echoing what you said. And I see this niche within real estate, as I blue ocean, you know, the whole idea of finding your blue ocean.

This is exactly what this is, because it is so hard. It huge barriers to entry, but once you figured it out, You know, it’s really the, sky’s the limit. There’s millions of affordable housing units needed all over the country and there’s not enough developers to match that demand. And so if you really are interested in getting started in this, I think one a is.

Soaking up as much as you can about affordable housing, which is honestly another thing that is hard to find, which is why we’re working on, we’re working on a book right now, and a mentorship program to help more people because we want more people to get involved in this. I don’t want to keep it to myself.

I want people to know about this. And beyond that, I would say finding a mentor, doing exactly what we talked about earlier, like showing your passion, you know, giving it your all, delivering, being persistent, adding value to that person. And then once you, once you have that base level knowledge and you have that mentorship, I would say the next step really is.

Finding your target market finding a hot area. Like you said, like Maui, like Maui has massive, massive demand because so many people want to live there and there’s not really enough development to match that. And so there’s a massive affordable housing problem there. And so I would start with. Once you’ve learned the financing, what you understand, how all these tax credits work start talking to city leaders, start talking to council members, start talking to the mayor’s office, economic development, community development, housing authority.

Like those. If I’m going to a new market. You know, those are the first people I talked to. I try to figure out what is their appetite for affordable housing? Are they going to be supportive? Because at the end of the day, like there’s so much demand all over the country. You don’t want to waste your time working an uphill battle where the political leaders and the community leaders are not even on your side, because at the end of the day, they are probably your biggest advocate.

And in what we do, you can’t really get much done without them. And so I I’ve, I’ve learned the hard way that you don’t want to go against them at all. You want to find allies and you want to find them in every part of the government, because you’re going to be working with. A city council member, they’re going to help you do your rezoning.

They’re going to help you with your going through the entitlement process, getting your land zone for 200 Bush units. That’s a big deal of, and in and of itself, and then the mayor’s office and economic development, they will help you with the pilot. And getting the tax abatements, uh, and then all the way up to the state housing agency, they’re going to help you with the tax credits and the tax exempt bonds that you need to finance this.

Um, so I think hands down, mentorship. Soaking up as much as you can getting that base knowledge. Once you have that, finding your target market and doubling down on making relationships with the city leaders and the civic leaders, I think that’s where the real magic happens. If you have those relationships, you are going to be massively valuable and affordable housing.

David: So let’s dive a little bit into your business. How many of these properties do you currently?

Evan: So to date, uh, I’ve completed just over 1300 units, mainly in Tennessee and Louisiana. All right.

David: Now on a deal like that, can you share with us a little bit about what your profitability is like and then maybe how you’re measuring it?

Evan: Yeah. So the way they incentivize developers, because like you said, Brandon, it’s like, you know, it’s like, why would I do this? If I could do a market rate development, get the top of the market rents and not have to deal with all this regulatory, you know, crap that we have to deal with. Uh, and that’s a good question, but the, one of the biggest things is we don’t really have to bring that much capital into our own deals.

Uh, that is the beauty of this deal is that we get 90, we as the developer GP owner, our group and our partners, we get 90% of the cash flow. We get a 15% developer fee and they want to incentivize you to do this. So they put those financial incentives in place. And so we can, we can also, once we’ve got it built, we are required to keep it affordable for 15 years.

But really after that 10 to 15 year period, our tax credit equity investor, they actually want out of the deal. And so at that point we can own the deal a hundred percent and just let it cashflow even keep it affordable and let it cash flow. And we get 90% of that. And that’s after we’ve collected our 15% developer fee.

Now we usually have to defer some portion of our developer fee. That’s. That’s more or less our equity, but our main risk on these deals is that we are in the development space. There’s a lot of unknowns and it takes 12 to 24 months to get these things out of the ground that, that pre-development before, before dirt moves.

That’s our biggest risk. Once we get under construction, there’s still more risks, but. It’s not nearly as risky as a, as a high-end luxury community where the market could turn tomorrow and your demand could dry up. You know, that’s not our risk. We know that there’s built in demand. So we know we just have to get this thing built and it will lease up.

So our main risk is on the front end. And so typically per deal, we’re. Risking anywhere from half a million to $2 million. And we get all that capital back at closing at construction loan closing.

Brandon: Okay. And are you raising money from private land? Like kinda, you know, I have a fund, right? So we raise money from a private investor.

Are you doing the same thing and now they’re part of your thing or is it just you guys? And then it’s all a government money and loans besides that?

Evan: Yeah, so we it’s different. Every deal. Uh, we do some on our own. We do some JV where other groups bring the capital and we co-develop it together. We’ve had ones where we’ve partnered with the land owner and their land could be used as the equity.

And then we also are starting to do more fundraising where we actually fundraise per deal. And then 2021, we’re going to do just like you, Brandon, we’re gonna do a, uh, do a fund.

Brandon: Nice. Yeah,

David: you mentioned we, in that conversation, are you doing this with a lot of partners with one partner? How, how is the partnership structured?

Evan: Yeah. So to give you an example, one development we’re working on right now here in Nashville, it’ll be, it’s a really unique project. It’s 193 units. Uh, just in phase one. We’re partnered with a nonprofit who is rolling in the land. Um, so they’re a partner in the deal and in return for contributing the land is equity.

Uh, we’re actually gonna build a brand new facility for them. They do substance abuse recovery. They’re located right near downtown Nashville. And so we’re going to build them a brand new facility in the process as part of the development, doubling their space. And then we have another partner, uh, and basically we’re just, we split tasks.

We split capital, we split risk. And so we have partners like that per deal. So right now we’re working with four, four different partnerships. And

David: are you doing on every development you’re picking different partners based on the skill set that they bring? Or do you have like a core group of you that are all doing this together?

Evan: That’s a good question. It really depends on the deal. Like one of them, for example, we’re working on right now as senior affordable development here in Nashville. And that partnership just came about because I knew the developer and he wanted to do affordable. He had no experience in affordable, but he already owned the land.

So he, he was very good at the new construction, the luxury housing, but he didn’t know affordable. And so we, we have our core three to four partners, but that’s actually something we constantly talk about is how do we make those partnerships as efficient as possible? Because it’s a lot of work working with other groups and partnering with others.

And that just adds another layer of complexity that

David: I guess my last question, before we get into the deal, deep dive here. You brought up a good point and I want to kind of unpack it for the listeners. You sometimes will go find a specialized partner is what you’re mentioning. That brings a specific asset or skill into this deal.

Like you mentioned, this person knows how to develop land. They have connections with city council here. There may be a rezoning specialist, but then you’re also going to have this core group of people that you probably split tasks up. And I think that’s a great point to highlight. But you can have a core group with a deal finder and an analyzer and operations person, and you basically split those tasks up amongst each other.

And then you go bring in a fourth or fifth partner on individual deals when they can bring something to the table. And I think that there’s a lot of people, they get pigeonholed into this idea of thinking, this is my partner. This is the person I do every deal with when that person isn’t ideal for this situation.

Did you have to learn that lesson the hard way? Can you share like some of the lessons you learned along the way.

Evan: Yeah, definitely. I’m glad you brought this up because I think a lot of people overthink this and sometimes make the wrong decision, including mine. So I learned first from my mentors previously, the company I worked at, it just, you know, partnerships, sometimes people on different levels of the partnership and over time, over 20, 30 years, you know, people are just doing different levels of work and contribution.

And so that, that to me kind of raised my eyes like. I need to be careful about who I partner with, because at the end of the day, you are, you are literally marrying somebody in your business. You’re sharing finances, you’re sharing, decision-making, you’re sharing everything with that person. And so that was another thing too.

I learned where sometimes you make. Wrong decisions about partners, and maybe you don’t get things written down at the front end, which happened to me on a, on a partnership deal where, you know, I thought we were on the same page. We had verbally agreed to something. And then we both started working and committing and coming a lot of time and a lot of money to things.

And then the pandemic happened and then things changed and, and ideas changed. And, and so I think just. Doing your due diligence, doing your homework on partners on the front end and making sure you put things in writing, even if, you know, for a fact, this is a great person we’re going to do great things together.

I think always getting things in writing, getting references, learning as much as you can do, not just dive right into things, learn as much as you can about your partners, because at the end of the day, anything that they put their name on, that includes that deal. They are putting your name on that too.

So I think that’s, that’s a huge, huge takeaway.

Brandon: That’s such good advice. I think people need to like, listen to that over again. Cause that applies whether you’re trying to buy a two unit or a 50 unit or develop a hundred unit, you know, it doesn’t matter like that. That knowledge is so important for like being able to vet your potential partner.

Like I love partnerships, you know, David and I talk about this a lot on the show. I love them. I use a lot of partnerships, but you have to be very, very careful. And so, yeah, good stuff. Let’s move this over to the next segment. I want to get to the

Evan: deal deep

David: down.

Brandon: Because we’re talking about the private public partnerships, a little bit, developing the stuff. I want to get a, a tangible example of it. And by the way, I’ve got a boat, a weed Wacker, and a leaf blower right outside my door or my studio right now. So anyway, if I, if I get a little bit loud and obnoxious don’t mind.

Okay. All right. So the deal deep dive is a part of the show where we dive deep into one particular deal that you’ve done. So, uh, you got something ready, Evan, that we can dive into.

Evan: Yeah, let’s do it.

Brandon: All right. So we’re gonna ask you a series of eight specific questions about that property. Number one, what kind of property is it?

Evan: I’m more of the same. It was workforce affordable multifamily development. It was called Buffalo trail

Brandon: Buffalo. Right now. I like it.

David: And how did you find this deal?

Evan: Like good, old fashioned way LoopNet. Okay.

Brandon: Well, may I ask this question? How did you, what was it when you found it? Was it, it was raw land. Did you demo into something?

Like, what was it when you found it?

Evan: Yeah, it was raw land. We put under contract with an option to purchase.

Brandon: Okay. All right. And then how much was it when you bought that

Evan: land? 1.75 million for 18.8, eight acres.

David: Okay. How did you negotiate that price?

Evan: So I think in summary, it comes down to four things.

Education, relationships. Experience and show, not tell so quickly going into that. So we actually had a groundbreaking on another development, another workforce, affordable housing development, right around the same time we were looking at this site. And so we invited the selling brokers to the groundbreaking before we even had had it under contract.

We’d been talking to them. We wanted to show them what we were actually doing. And show them that w you know, educating them on what we do, how we do it, and all the relationships we’ve built and how important that’s going to be to getting their development done. And we also brought the council lady whose district it was.

And brought her to the groundbreaking and then had a meeting with the sellers brokers and the council lady all at the same time, right after groundbreaking, and just immediately got everybody on the same page because of that. And so that allowed us to get a two-year option on that land, which is not easy to convince people to do, but combining all of that, the experience education relationships is really how we were able to do it.

Brandon: So can I, this might sound a couple of, couple of questions on this. I know we’re going really deep in here, but. So you had an op, so you put an option on the land. You didn’t buy the land and then go out and do all this work to try to develop it. You get an option on it. So that way, if you spend all this time and it doesn’t work out, that the city just says, no, we’re not going to prove it or whatever that you’re not, you’re not in for $1.8 million.

Right. Then, is that correct?

Evan: Yeah, exactly. That that’s something my, my mentors taught me really early on was. You’re it’s more valuable to control real estate than it is to own real estate. Because at the end of the day, you, you, you don’t need to buy it right away. You actually don’t want to buy it. That’s a liability cause it’s non cash flowing.

It literally costs you money every month to own something like that. And you can buy an option for it for 10 to 20 grand. And have the right to purchase it for two years, which is way more valuable than owning it for

Brandon: two years. Why would the fellow do that? Why would I as a seller agree to just have a property I can’t sell now for two years, it’s going to be sitting there is because it’s the only option.

Evan: Yeah, that’s that’s usually, so there’s usually two to three reasons why people will do that. Uh, one is nobody’s given them any offers. A two is because we’re going to pay them top dollar, but we need time to usually rezone it and entitle it. So, you know, there’s a, trade-off we say, usually it comes down to time or money.

Which one would you prefer? So, you know, sometimes we give people two offers. We say, Hey, we’ll close in six months, but we’ll give you half the price. And so that’s usually what it comes down to because time is valuable for us. So we’re willing to pay people a little bit higher than others. And typically too, we’re kind of on the emerging markets, the redeveloping corridors.

And so they don’t have as many market rate guys. Unless you’re in big towns like Nashville or Austin. Sometimes we do actually compete against the higher end guys, but that’s usually we’re on the redeveloping areas. So it’s less competitive.

David: Can I say, I believe that’s a JD Rockefeller quote. It was someone, he was the own, nothing control everything, but that’s the way, because when you own it, you have to take liability.

Onto you as opposed to controlling it, which has all the benefits of ownership without the risks. So high-level stuff right there. That’s some Blackbelt investing advice. Uh, next question in our ideal deep dive is how did you fund this deal?

Evan: So total development costs 49 million. The biggest piece was. Uh, $35.9 million loan.

We worked with key bank and basically we were able to get a bigger loan on that because of a 10 year pilot. And then we had 13.3 million

Brandon: pilot

Evan: payment in lieu of taxes. It’s like a 10 year tax abatement and then 13.3 million in 4% tax credit equity. Okay,

Brandon: can you remind me, can you, I know we’re going deep here.

Probably deeper than most people care about, but I, you know, whatever my show, I can go deep here. How does that tax credit thing? I mean, so like, when you say tax credit, like, does that mean the government is giving, writing you a check at that point? Or how does that. Like, what is that money? Like? What

Evan: sort of, that the, basically of all of your development costs, so of the 49 million, there’s a certain amount of what they call eligible basis.

So there’s certain things you can’t get tax credits on. There’s certain things you can, so like land, for example, they won’t give you tax credits on because they, I think mainly they just don’t want to people to sell land to themselves and get a bunch of credits on it. So you can’t get credits on land.

So there’s certain things you can get credits on. So they. Once they verify those costs, then they give you a certificate called an 8,609. There’s all kinds of acronyms, but basically they give you a certificate and then you go out and you have the ability to sell that certificate of credits for actual equity, like cash installments into the development, by private investors, typically banks, insurance, private equity, there’s, there’s a whole group of companies that their sole purpose is to basically find, buy that equity from us.

And then they have a group of investors who want that, those credits. Okay.

Brandon: So they give you this thing that says here’s $13 million in tax credits, and you’re going to make it, they say, you’re going to make 4% of this money. So instead he goes, give this to key bank or, you know, whatever us bank, some bank, and now they get 4% and they’re going to pay you $13 million for this.

And you can put that into the deal. Uh, am I kind of tracking there

Evan: almost, almost so 4%. It isn’t the return. It’s actually just the name of the tax credit. Okay. Kind of confusing, but it basically means you get roughly 40% of the eligible basis. You get 40% of that in credits. So that’s why we like our capital stack is typically 30 to 40% tax credits.

Brandon: Okay. Okay. Let’s make it a little more sense to me.

David: So, if I’m understanding you’re out, you’re saying this is how much we would normally have to pay in taxes on this property. You are going to get 40% of that back as an incentive for taking on this project that we have rubber stamps and said, yes, we want you to do it, but you can sell that like an asset to someone else and they can take the credit.

So conceivably some company that’s making more money that wants that credit because it’s worth more to them can pay you for it. You can get cash upfront and it’s more valuable to them. It would be to you because they’re saving more.

Evan: Yeah, that’s fair. And there’s also, there’s one other layer to that is banks are actually required to invest in tax credits as part of the community reinvestment act of 1986.

Uh, basically like to stop red lining, which if anybody knows is like redlining neighborhoods was a big deal. Banks wouldn’t invest in the lower income parts of town. And so this CRA act, yes. Hey.

David: It would keep liquidity in the tax credit market, because if the government’s giving you a tax credit that you can’t do anything with, it’s no good.

So if they require banks to buy them, then people are going to sell it to the bank. And now they have more incentive to actually go to low income neighborhoods and put these projects together. Yeah. That makes sense. Cause if you got a tax credit that no one wanted and you just kept it for yourself, it would be as valuable.

Okay. I think we got you there. Thank you, Evan. While our minds are all swimming with this good information. So next question is, what did you do with this?

Evan: So it’s actually, it’s currently wrapping up construction. It’s 240 units, and I think they’re starting to deliver like one or two buildings right now.

And so it takes 18 months to finish out. And we started in July of 2019. So we’re leasing up massive demand, uh, and also wrapping up construction at the same time.

David: That’s cool.

Brandon: All right. So then the outcome, like what do you, what do you expect the outcome to be after the thing’s all said and done. Do, do you refinance then and just go get a normal loan.

Do you keep it? You’re you’re already good on the loan part. You just hold it for ever. I mean, what’s, what’s the long-term plan with us.

Evan: Yeah. So the, the tax credit program makes, makes it a requirement that you have all of your permanent financing lined up at construction closing. So we actually lock the rate and lock in our perm loan on the front end.

And then, so we’ll, we’ll basically go through after about 36 months, once we’ve had a full lease up, we have 90% for 90 days, we stabilize into our permanent loan. We go out of construction loan, which has recourse into non-recourse and that’s a 17 year term. And so we can refinance anytime after that, but we’ll typically hold that.

For at least 15 years, uh, at which point we’ll probably buy out our equity partner and probably refinance at about year 15.

David: Wow. Are you going to buy them out with the refinance?

Evan: It depends. I mean, you can buy out in any tax credit deal. You can buy out your equity partner after year 10 because they only get tax credits for 10 years.

So you get 10 years of the same amount every year. And those certificates that we sell to them are worth that amount for 10 years. So after 10 years there, their incentive to be in the deal is really the tax credits and the losses and the depreciation. And most of that is, is Bernoff and the credits are over.

So after 10 years, they’re not really incentivized to be in the deal anymore. They don’t want cashflow. They want losses and appreciation. This is like a tax write-off in essence, like they’re trying to. Offset a bunch of earnings. It’s

David: just an amazing concept that

Evan: I need to buy somebody

David: lost. That’s really what you’re doing is you’re like, we’re just doing so well.

We’re making so much money. I have to buy somebody else’s loss so I can put it against my

Evan: books. Yeah, it is why I tell people it’s like, this is like everything you learned about like syndication or investment or, you know, properties, flipping properties like this just throws all that out the windows.

Like, no, your investors actually don’t want to return. They want the losses. They want the credits they want everything’s right. Because if they’re paying

David: 35, 40% on the money they’re making that tax credit is worth a lot more to them as a loss than it would be. If they could make a 12% return. Especially if you adjust that return because they’re going to get taxed on the money that they made with it, right?

If you start thinking the way that wealthy people think is for them to make 12%, they’re going to keep, you know, 7% out of that 12, as opposed to being able to take a 40% loss on money they’ve already made. That’s really, really big. The concept of depreciation. It’s pretty wild. Okay. My last question for you here, what lessons did you learn from this

Evan: deal?

I would say biggest one. Patience is key. This took me about two and a half years, just a pre-development to get that done. And it takes about two years to build and two years to lease up. So you’re looking at like a five to six year period before you actually get a stabilized asset, persistency and consistency above all else, hands down.

That’s how you get these deal done as you one inch every day. Or 1% every day, it’s, it’s daunting. When you look at a piece of dirt and you’re like, man, I’m gonna have to work on this piece of dirt from see nothing move for two years. And then all of a sudden it, everything moves at once, but it’s just putting in the work every day before that also entitlements and rezonings are a little known way to really increase value and your land.

What do you mean? What does that so entitlements and rezonings basically, we took an agricultural zoned. 18 acres and, and, uh, and a very redeveloping part of town, but it was zoned agricultural. So we went through a six month long process of many, many community meetings, planning, commission meetings, Metro council meetings, and a lot of coordination with the city and the community to allow for the approval of rezoning, changing it from agricultural to, we changed it to be zoned, to allow for 240 multifamily units.

So we had it under contract for 1.7, 5 million. We had it appraised for almost, I think, over a little over 4 million, uh, by the time we closed just the land was worth that much. And so that, that is literally just comes from you going through that again, it’s arduous, it’s like numbing sometimes, and it, and it kind of like baffles you sometimes at like the things you need to put up with, with, with communities and politicians and going through that process.

But it’s hugely valuable if you are willing to go through with that process. So we’re, we’re going through that on a few other projects right now, and it also allows you, you can borrow against that higher value if you were to purchase that land. Um, so it’s just, it’s another way to really unlock value.

And even if you want to just know that you’re taking risk out of the deal, because you’re already have built an equity in the land. And that’s

David: why you need to use the option because there’s so many uncertainties variables in this that you don’t know if you’re going to get it rezoned. You don’t know if they’re going to prove it, that if you were to just buy it, nobody would ever buy this because there’s too much that you don’t know.

That’s the only way it’s going to be sold.

Evan: Yeah, exactly. I’ve actually three, three different council people in three different cities. Two of them being Nashville and new Orleans. I actually had council council people basically put moratoriums on multifamily development because they heard I was working on something.

And I was, I was just trying to be transparent and work with them. But in the process, They’re like, Nope, don’t want any multi-family. Even if you’re already zoned, I don’t want it. And that can happen to you all the time. Um, so that’s why I always say, look for counsel people who get it, who understand it, who know the need and know what their community needs and are willing to work with you.

Brandon: That’s awesome, man. Well, look, we gotta, we gotta move on this show, but man, I could spend like five hours talking to you about this stuff. Um, where are you headed in the future? Like what do you see the next few years? And then his follow up question to that. Is how can our audience provide value to you?

Like what, what are you looking for right now? Deal wise or people-wise or whatever. What, so again, where are you headed

David: and what do you need?

Evan: Yeah, I love it. I appreciate you asking I man, the biggest thing where we’re headed, I mean, our 20 year goal, a lot of what, like you did Brandon like vivid vision, uh, once you recommended that book to me, I dove in, I loved that combination of that and traction.

Are like, kind of like my Bible for our company holiday ventures. And we, you know, I have it on my wall. We go over it every Monday. Uh, as a team we say, okay, we’re going to get in trouble years. We’re going to have the impact of creating or preserving either buying or building a hundred thousand workforce affordable attainable communities across the country.

That is our goal. And then above and beyond that, we, we really, I mean, I just know there’s such a big need out there. Like I don’t want to just. Make a small dent in affordable housing. I want to make a big dent. You know, I want to be able to help people all over the country and then even above and beyond that we’re working on right now, um, creating a nonprofit that will offer a at each of our properties and create a resident empowerment program where we will help educate on health, wellness, and mindset on, you know, creativity, you know, doing art, just different things to, to.

Get people out of their element and get people, learning, get people excited about life. And we don’t want people to be in affordable housing forever. We want people to work their way out, you know, maybe eventually, I mean, the dream for me is that we have residents that, you know, start out in our communities in workforce housing and work their way up to owning and investing in workforce housing and helping the next round of families.

That to me is the dream. I’m like, man, that would, that just gets me excited. So we’re always trying to push the needle on how can we really 10 X this every day. So we can hit that crazy big, hairy, audacious goal of a hundred thousand units.

Brandon: That’s awesome. And what do you need to make that happen? What can our audience bring you?

Evan: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I would say the biggest thing is. We’re always looking for impact driven investors. Those that really want to make a difference with their capital. Not only get a, you know, a very competitive or, you know, even recession resistant return and be able to have a real impact in communities.

That’s number one. And then the biggest thing too, is if anybody’s interested in learning more about how they can do this too, we’re starting to mentor because we’ve had really so much demand and we’re like, man, how can we 10 X, this it’s by teaching other people how to do this. Uh, and so they can either reach out to me or, or connect on our website.

But I think those are the biggest things. Cause I want to teach people how to do this. It’s crazy complicated. But once you figured out you have your blue ocean and you don’t have to, you know, for those listening in the multifamily syndication world, it’s like, it’s getting so competitive out there. And, and even a lot of real estate, you know, niches, it’s just getting so competitive.

And so this allows, if you put in the time and the work. Then you can really have a blue ocean and do good with it.

Brandon: That’s so cool, man. Very cool. All right. Well, let’s move on to the last segment of the show. It’s time for our

Evan: famous.

Brandon: This is the part of the show where we ask the same four questions every week to every guest.

And so we’re going to throw my shoe, but before we do Evan, let’s first hear what’s going on this week over. Around the bigger pockets podcast network.

Evan: Hey, it’s Ashley from the real estate rookie. And last week we had on Gary, he works at a gym, found a mentor who was one of his clients. And now he’s investing in real estate, two duplexes under his belt and looking to find a quadplex makes you guys go back and listen to last week’s episode.

Brandon: And with that, let’s get to this famous for question number one, current favorite real estate related book. Once you got Evan.

Evan: All right. I bent the rules. I’ve three better, better places, better people. James Rouse, raising the bar, the life and work of Gerald Heinz and powerhouse principles. George Perez.

Brandon: No, those are three books.

I’ve never read it. Come on, man.

Evan: They’re all, they’re all like big time developers that I just like, they’re my idols. And it just, each one of them dives into their personal stories and also. What they learned along the way. And it’s so cool. I mean, James Ross literally built a city out of nothing, Columbia, Maryland.

Like that, that one I would recommend to read first, better places, better people.

Brandon: All right.

David: So normally we would say what’s your favorite business book, but would that be included in those three,

Evan: uh, traction? There we go. Yeah, a hundred percent. Brandon

David: Good job spreading the gospel of traction.

Brandon: Right. And they got, I don’t know if you heard that from me and, uh, and vivid vision, you said with the other boy book, we mentioned earlier, by the way, just FYI people, if you want to, that was a good one, uh, for like casting that five, 10, 20 year vision for your F your business though.

David: Cool. Okay. So what about some of your favorite hobbies?

Evan: Uh, anything outdoors, uh, spending time with friends outdoors and just being like physically active outdoors. Like we, for my birthday, we just went out to Colorado when ATV in the Rockies and hiking. And that was like, that’s my ideal version of a, of a weekend.

Brandon: That’s awesome. Well, yeah, licensed time to come hang out. Well, we’ll do some outdoor activities here.

Evan: Yeah, let’s go surfing.

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah. How was that yesterday morning, actually, with Josh darken out there in the water, like in his girls, it was. It was phenomenal. It was phenomenal. Anyway. Uh, all right. Yeah.

Next question. Last question from me. What do you think separates successful real estate investors from those who give up fail or never get?

Evan: I think we, we dove into that a little bit. I think it’s find your, find your, why find your passion, find your fire and get clear on it. I think. For me reading traction about a year and a half ago was a pivotal moment for me because I knew vaguely what I wanted.

I knew vaguely the direction, but I took that book with me to Costa Rica, two weeks there, frontwards and backwards and did everything they said to do and wrote down everything they said to write down and visualized everything they told me to visualize. I just followed their program. And now I am crystal clear.

And now everybody on my team is crystal clear. And now all of my partners are crystal clear with where I’m going and where holiday ventures is going. And that I think is the game changer. If you can get clear. And I think a big thing for me is like putting down your phone, uh, Costa Rica. I didn’t have a choice cause we didn’t have great internet.

So it was perfect because I didn’t have distractions. I think we get too caught up in our phone and our, you know, all the million distractions. So I think if people even just like a Saturday morning, just set aside. Three hours and think about where you want to go and visualize it.

Brandon: So good, man. So good.

All right, dude. Well, thank you so much, David Green. You want to get us out of here?

David: We’ve got one more question. If people want to find out more about you, where’s the best place to do

Evan: that. Yeah. Um, monumental podcast, which we had Brandon on, uh, recently that’s Evan holiday.com. If you’re interested in investing or mentoring that’s holiday ventures.

Uh, and then of course at Evan holiday, social media, biggest on Instagram. So send me a DM

Brandon: and holiday is not as you’d imagine it’s spelled. Right. How do you spell it?

Evan: Yes, it is holiday H O L L a D a Y.

Brandon: It’s like Hollaback girl, but with holiday, that’s how I

David: think of that.

Evan: Holla.

Brandon: All right. Very cool, man.

Well, now David, you can take us out of here.

David: Thank you. That was all right, Evan. This was awesome. I think he made both of our heads spin, but you brought a perspective. I don’t think we’ve ever had on the podcast. So thank you very much for sharing something that isn’t. Talked about very often, but it has some huge upside.

If you have enough patients, this is David Greene for Brandon h-how Hollaback girl Turner signing off.

Evan: You’re listening to

David: BiggerPockets radio,

Evan: simplifying real estate for investors,

Brandon: large and

Evan: small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype you’re in

Brandon: the right

Evan: place.

Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited

David: from

Brandon: biggerpockets.com.

David: Your home

Evan: for real estate investing online.


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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Listening to “what fires you up” when getting started
  • Evan’s apprenticeship for a student housing developer
  • What a public-private partnership is
  • Using tax credits to make a profit building affordable housing
  • How he creatively finances big multifamily deals
  • How he manages risk
  • Why “it’s more valuable to control real estate than to own real estate”
  • Why development is such a big opportunity in markets where “it’s too expensive to invest where I live!”
  • And SO much more!

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Books Mentioned in this Show:

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.