BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

BiggerPockets Podcast 441: House Hacking as an NFL Player? How Former Tight End Hakeem Valles Grew His Real Estate Portfolio

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When most people think of professional athletes, they usually think of superstars being paid millions every month (or even every week). Most people don’t come to realize that for everyone on an NFL team, that pay grade isn’t as high. That too, is what Hakeem Valles found out after being signed on by the Cardinals.

Hakeem wasn’t making a lot, and realized that he was essentially throwing away $2,000 a month on rent. After one season with the team, he decided to go on BiggerPockets and ask around for agents and leads in the area. Hakeem ended up with a LOT of responses and found a great agent who helped him close on a fourplex, which he house hacked while practicing with the team.

It’s hard enough to house hack when your tenants know you’re the owner, but it can be even harder when your tenants know you’re an NFL player. Hakeem’s advice: be a tenant of your own property and don’t let the other tenants know that you own the place. Doing this can help reduce some awkward encounters you may have.

After retiring, Hakeem went on to do bigger real estate deals and partnered up on a 40 acre farm! He also owns Perspective Global Media, where he counsels other real estate professionals on how to grow their reach through social media platforms like TikTok and LinkedIn. Hakeem drops some gems towards the end of this episode on how you too can use TikTok to gain followers, clients, and partners!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Brandon:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 441.

Hakeem:
And I credit… Overcoming that traumatic experience is why and who I am today. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about it, but it allows me to frame my day-to-day against gratitude. You could lose a deal, it doesn’t matter, you’re not dead. You could get cut from a team, it doesn’t matter.

Intro:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Stay tuned and be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

Brandon:
What’s going on everyone? It’s Brandon Turner, host of the BiggerPockets Podcast, here in the sea shed with my friend, Mr. David Greene, joining me in the sea shed live in Hawaii. What’s up, man?

David:
Well, the weather is beautiful.

Brandon:
It is.

David:
The guest was awesome.

Brandon:
Yep.

David:
The conversation was stupendous.

Brandon:
Fantastic.

David:
And I feel like this podcast is going to make a lot of our listeners some money. So, I’m in a pretty good mood.

Brandon:
All right. Good. [inaudible 00:01:03]with a amazing dude named Hakeem, Hakeem was an NFL player. Let me get his last name right, because I don’t want to completely butcher it.

David:
Valles.

Brandon:
Valles, or Valle? The Valles. Valles. Valles?

David:
Valles.

Brandon:
Okay. We’re going to go with Valles. Hakeem Valles. Hakeem was an NFL player who got really into real estate investing as well as business. He does both real estate, he has some other really interesting farming activities… We’ll leave it at that, you’ll figure out what that means later. He runs a social media consulting business, and he’s just super mindset solid, he just gets it. And everything we talked about today was so… I felt like we could make a t-shirt and a book out of every topic today. We make that joke later on today’s show. So, you’re going to love it. But before we get there, let’s get to today’s quick tip.

David:
Quick tip.

Brandon:
All right. Today’s quick tip is brought to you by David Greene, go. You knew I was going to do it.

David:
Today’s quick tip is to think about real estate from a business perspective, okay? It’s easy to think real estate is a one size fits all thing, I buy a house, I rent it out, I repeat, and that does work, however, there’s many ways you can make money with real estate. There’s buying commercial buildings and renting out part of it to yourself, and part of it to other people. There’s buying a house that you live in and rent out the rooms, but you operate a business from your house. There’s a lot more options than people tend to think about, and Hakeem has really kind of nailed that. He understands how to look at an asset and say, “What’s its highest and best use? How do I take advantage of it?”

David:
I think there’s a lot of creative people that are not using their creativity when it comes to how to use the asset that we’re talking about. So, as you listen to this, as you think about your plans, ask yourself, what else could I use this property for other than just renting it out in a residential way?

Brandon:
All right. Good quick tip. All right, big thanks to our sponsors as always, and now I think we’re ready to get into today’s show, anything you want to add? I guess we kind of covered it.

David:
No, let’s grab Hakeem and bring him in.

Brandon:
All right. All right, Hakeem, welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast, man, it is amazing to have you here. How you doing?

Hakeem:
I’m doing great, Brandon. I’m excited to be here on the show.

Brandon:
Yeah, good. Well, I’m pumped to talk to you… I’m always pumped to talk about professional athletes, I mean, they’re just cool people. But you’ve got kind of a cool story, and I’ve been digging a little bit, and we’re excited to kind of introduce you to the BiggerPockets world. So, why don’t we start at the very beginning, and how did you get into real estate? Why real estate? What was your entry?

Hakeem:
I was always just that lifelong entrepreneur kid and my uncle had properties when I was super, super young, and I was cutting grass at one of his properties, and I thought that was like the coolest thing in the world. And once I made it to college, I figured, I wanted to get into real estate. And Monmouth University was one of the few schools in the country that actually offered a degree in business with a concentration in real estate, so that was my major. And by my sophomore year, the girl I was dating, her dad had just started a house flipping business. And I honestly, called it… It was a real life Rich Dad, Poor Dad relationship.

Hakeem:
My schooling education was like Poor Dad, I was learning how to be an employee at a big Marcus & Millichap, CBRE type of company. And then, in real life, my Rich Dad or my ex's dad was… We were in the field every day, I was putting in offers on preforeclosures. I hand wrote our direct mail pieces. I was knocking down walls, putting down floors. One time, I hired a couple of my teammates to come up, because we were putting a master bedroom in an attic, and the stairwell wouldn't fit through the front door, but it fit through a second floor window, so we had to actually lift the stairwell through a second floor window-

Brandon:
Oh, there you go.

Hakeem:
But that’s where kind of my itch started. In over about a three-year period, we flipped around 10 houses. Me and his daughter broke up, that relationship kind of abruptly ended.

Brandon:
Oh. So then, the flipping business went away.

Hakeem:
Yeah. Surprisingly enough, actually, right before we broke up, he literally just started to offer me equity into his business, and I messed up too.

Brandon:
How did you mess up? You can’t just say that-

David:
We don’t need to get [crosstalk 00:05:07].

Brandon:
You can’t just say that without telling-

David:
I think he should have the right to be able to leave that [crosstalk 00:05:10]. Hakeem, don’t worry about that question [crosstalk 00:05:13]. I did think about that scene in Friends where they’re trying to move the couch up the stairs, and you were describing… Have you guys seen that one?

Brandon:
No.

David:
You know what I’m saying about Hakeem?

Brandon:
I don’t watch trashy shows.

Hakeem:
Actually no, I have seen that episode [crosstalk 00:05:25].

David:
[crosstalk 00:05:25]keep saying, “Pivot,” when they’re trying to get the couch up the stairs, that’s really [crosstalk 00:05:29].

Hakeem:
It’s a mess, but yes, that’s exactly what it was like, but we were able to do it from the outside, which was probably an insurance nightmare, but it worked.

David:
Someday they’ll make an Allstate commercial about you. That’s awesome. But basically, you got the real estate bug, right? And once you get it, we all know who have it what it’s like, because you’re not going to stop, it’s going to take whatever it takes to get there. And something I think about your personality from what we know about you so far, is that you are definitely the type who once you set your mind to doing something, it’s going to happen. Do you mind sharing a little bit about your background with how you got into the NFL, basically? How you got into college? And then, how you transitioned that into the NFL, and then what you did when you got there?

Hakeem:
Absolutely. So, my background… You mean as an athlete? I was a bench player. In college, literally did not get my first catch until my senior year at Monmouth University. I made the move from wide receiver to tight end. The only reason why I made the move is because I knew I wasn’t going to be granted a fifth year, which would allow me to get an MBA for free, if I didn’t actually play. They’re not going to pay for a fifth year, because I was on scholarship for my four years. But I obviously redshirted my freshman year because I was a bench player, and moved to tight end. First game, I have my first catch, second game, I have my first touchdown, started every game after that.

Hakeem:
And that off season, as soon as that college season ended, my little brother, first, he got drafted, because he dropped out of UVA as a sophomore, 20 years old, and got drafted sixth-round to the Oakland Raiders. And that was the one motivator of… All right, that’s my little brother, we used to share a bathtub, and if he can do it, I obviously can do it.

David:
If you can tie into the big brother doesn’t want to get outshined by a little brother aspect of your brain, that’s where you’re going to become a superhuman.

Hakeem:
Oh my gosh. That’s a real-life autopilot secret drug of no shot. Even though I have three touchdowns in 400 yards, I’m making it to the freaking NFL.

David:
Uh-huh (affirmative).

Hakeem:
And got granted a fifth year that off season. But what really changed for me that off season, and what honestly changes my mindset moving forward with everything I do is, that off season, I actually went on a missionary trip to Haiti, and our mission was to give out medicine in different churches and orphanages across the country. And while we were there, essentially, to make a long story short, our compound was ambushed by eight guys with guns, they shot through the front door.

David:
Oh, wow.

Hakeem:
I was shot at point blank range, hogtied, blindfolded, came to peace with the fact that I was dead. It was a wildly traumatic experience, that happened in May 29th of 2015, and that happened on a Thursday. Monday, we started grad school and summer sessions of workouts for football for my next season, and I was a mess, PTSD, out of this world, and I credit… Overcoming that traumatic experience is why and who I am today. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about it, but it allows me to frame my day-to-day against gratitude. You could lose a deal, it doesn’t matter, you’re not dead. You could get cut from a team, it doesn’t matter.

Hakeem:
If I’m working out and it’s a hard workout, it’s not as bad as being tied up in a third world country. Once I got that mindset shift, it’s easy for my mind to go there with any type of adversity, and kind of bring me back to center and back to my true north. But that’s what I credit to making it to the NFL, and making it to the person who I am today.

David:
Any advice you can share on how you switched that from a debilitating experience into an empowering one?

Hakeem:
Two things, one therapy. I say, in 2020, mental health is the real flex, most people are… If you can be cool in between your ears, you figure out what your true north is, that’s what’s going to help you essentially get through everything. But therapy for me, when that happened, that’s what helped me adjust and reframe that mindset. But when you can just try and frame… I think everyone has their version of that story that’s pretty extreme and intense, but I think we’ve all been to the bottom. And I think in a 2020 world, a lot of us have been close towards the bottom, especially in a mental state, just considering what everything is like right now.

Hakeem:
I genuinely believe that if you can… I meditate on things, but if you can meditate to the point of understanding that… For me, it’s so simple of just like, oh man, this client is pissed off and they just fired me, we just lost $6,000 of rev on a monthly basis, but it’s like, I can still breathe, I can still eat, my child is safe, and I’m still not dead. For me, whatever your experience is, that’s how I try and… I was talking to a group of college students last week, I’m just trying to challenge them like, we all have those moments, but if you can kind of… It’s hard because we try and suppress everything that happens to us that’s bad, but if you can kind of flip the switch and turn a bitter experience into something sweet, that helps your mindset. It’s super valuable for me.

Brandon:
I feel like you need to write a book called I’m Still Not Dead [crosstalk 00:10:12].

Hakeem:
I’ve always thought about writing a book, but I-

Brandon:
That’s your book title right there.

Hakeem:
I like that.

Brandon:
I’m Still Not Dead.

Hakeem:
I’m going to credit you [crosstalk 00:10:19]or something of that sort.

Brandon:
There we go. I’m Still Not Dead, that, or a t-shirt would be a little more easier. But I’m Still Not Dead t-shirt. Somebody is going to make a t-shirt of that and send it to you, I guarantee it, now that there’ll be 50 people do it [crosstalk 00:10:28]. That’s a crazy story, dude, I don’t know, we could spend an hour just talking about that, but we’ll go on to real estate, but man.

Hakeem:
Got you.

Brandon:
Wow. Okay. So, you got to the NFL, you started playing, who did you start playing with?

Hakeem:
So, I started off with the Arizona Cardinals, and from an NFL standpoint, I actually… I got to take you back six months to where BiggerPockets actually comes into the picture, when I found you guys, I’ll be honest with you, I was pissed off, pissed off-

Brandon:
[crosstalk 00:10:54].

Hakeem:
… because I didn’t find you three years earlier when I was actually in the dirt-

Brandon:
[crosstalk 00:10:59].

Hakeem:
… handwriting direct mail letters, doing stuff like looking for properties on Zillow for hours, on hours, on hours, and not knowing all these different tactics, all this knowledge or information was out there. But when I started training for the NFL, I made the decision… I literally watched my little brother… When he was on the Oakland Raiders, he got cut from the Raiders and signed to the Bills overnight, but was still locked in for six months, a $3,000 month lease, and 18 grand poof, go into air. And I'm like, that can't happen to me if I make it. And when I make it to the NFL, I'm figuring out how to get involved in real estate some way, some shape, some form, and that was when I found the podcast, super, super, super early days of the podcast.

Hakeem:
I remember your Hawaii trip was a journey that… All of your OG podcast followers, I’m sure, followed you along that entire journey. I literally had 12 hour days of training and four to five hours of downtime every day. During that time, I listened to every single episode of your podcast. But then, I also downloaded the audio books that every guest recommended-

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

Hakeem:
… during your Famous Four, and literally listened to the audio book. For six months… No, January through April, four months straight, that’s all I consumed. And I was like, “Whatever city I make it to, I’m doing real estate.” Made it to the Cardinals, it was 2016 in Phoenix, I’m like, “This is a perfect city to do real estate in.” But then, quickly realized, you don’t get paid until September comes around, and I also need to actually make the team. A lot of people have a short cup of coffee in the NFL, meaning just April through September and not actually play. So, I need to focus on making the team, and then figure out what my angle was into real estate.

Brandon:
Yeah. Okay. So, I want to make a point here real quick about… Because a lot of people are listening like, “Oh, NFL player, you probably got drafted in making $40 million a year the first year, or a $100 million.” That’s the numbers that we hear on the news. But what does the average athlete actually make when they get in? For the people that are not familiar with the sport world, how does that work? I mean, a lot of people get drafted, it’s only some of them end up playing, and some of them only make a little bit money, what’s that like?

Hakeem:
100%. When you get in in April… So, for me, for example, I went as an undrafted priority free agent, my signing bonus was $7,000, which was really like $4,000 after taxes. And I then had a stipend of… Everyone gets a stipend of… You get your signing bonus of… You’re a first round draft pick, you’re getting anywhere from 15 to $5 million as a signing bonus, all the way until the seventh round, you’re getting a $50,000 signing bonus. But then, if you go undrafted, some people, they’ll give a signing bonus because you have the… I had the decision to choose between teams as a priority free agent of what team wants to give me an actual contract, but the Cardinals gave me a bonus to incite me to come there, $7,000, and then 1000 bucks a week until September. So, this is April.

Hakeem:
And with that, once you actually make the team… So, you’re on TV, you’re doing all that type of stuff. People think you’re living the life. And it’s hilarious, because there’s some people who now try and conform and fit in to the guys, there’s a massive wealth gap-

Brandon:
[inaudible 00:14:06].

Hakeem:
… in professional sports. And September comes around, if you make the team, you’re going to be making a minimum of $450,000 a year. But if you also make the practice squad, that’s actually $110,000 a year after taxes off of all, or after all of that. Honestly, we can go into it, why most players go broke, and what the outside doesn’t realize is most professions, people get paid 52 weeks out of the year, the NFL, unlike any other profession, unless is a lottery winner, you’re getting paid only 17 weeks out of a 52 week year, and when you’re giving a 22, 23 year old who’s never had a relationship with money… Because of NCAA rules, they weren’t hustling and flipping houses like me when they were in college, they’ve never had a relationship with money.

Hakeem:
So, now you’re giving that 22, 23 year old $26,000 a week? It’s very easy to spend $10,000 a week and think that you just saved 16, and do that for 17 weeks straight. And then, January 1st comes around and you’re making nothing, but you have those types of spending habits-

Brandon:
[crosstalk 00:15:09].

Hakeem:
There’s just a massive wealth gap. A guy like me is making $26,000 a week, the guy in the locker over from me is making $721,000 a week, and it’s like-

Brandon:
Ooh.

Hakeem:
The guy next to him is making $1.3 million a week, and it’s just like… When you see that, and when you’re in the same circles, and you’re going to the same places, around the same crowds, it’s easy to conform into doing the wrong things.

David:
I would imagine that keeping up with the Joneses when you’re in a locker room with a person making that much money, versus you, the pressure you feel, plus how quickly you burn through your $110,000 trying to keep up with the guy who’s making 50 million.

Hakeem:
It’s real. I mean, it’s the realest thing you witness, because everyone wants to keep up, everyone wants to hang out. The most popular guys are also making the most money, so everyone wants to hang out with those guys as well. So, it’s like, damn, now we’re at the club, who’s paying? Now we’re at dinner, who’s paying?

David:
Yes.

Hakeem:
Now we’re at this place, who’s paying?

David:
Yes.

Hakeem:
But then, it’s just like, this guy is wearing these type of shoes… I can’t believe how much people spend on shoes.

Brandon:
Shoes, yes. Have you ever heard of that Instagram account, Preachers… I think it’s PreachersNSneakers?

Hakeem:
[crosstalk 00:16:12].

Brandon:
It’s so funny. It’s just an Instagram account, all they do is just take pictures of preachers, and then they show pictures of their shoes, and how much those shoes cost. It’s hilarious.

Hakeem:
[crosstalk 00:16:21].

Brandon:
It’s like, these are $12,000 shoes that this pastor is wearing.

Hakeem:
It is wildly incredible, and watching that happen, and then… I mean, there’s a lot of gambling that goes on in the locker rooms as well, where it’s like… I’ve watched guys… One of my buddies, same pay grade as me, went over to a gambling circle with 400 bucks and turned it into 15 grand in 15 minutes. And literally, [inaudible 00:16:44]bought his first car [inaudible 00:16:45]. It was the craziest thing to witness in first-person. But the wealth gap, the wealth disparity is staggering, and it’s hard for everyone to be on the same type of playing field, because you got one guy who’s making four grand a week, because he’s on the practice squad, another guy making this much a week, and another guy… It’s a lot. It’s definitely a lot.

Brandon:
Yeah. Well, let’s take this and talk about it in terms of like people listening to the show. They might be thinking, well, I’m not an athlete, I don’t have that problem, but let’s be honest, right? We all do the same thing, right? Like, “Oh, look at that guy, he’s got a new truck.” I mean, I got a 1997 truck, I’d really like a new truck. And so, they go and up their lifestyle a little bit. We call it the income creep at BiggerPockets, I wrote that in the book, How to Invest in Real Estate. I talk about this income creep, it’s like, you just got to make a little bit more because that’s what the next person does.

Brandon:
And then, you spend that much money, then you make a little bit more, and then you spend that money, and you’re always trying to keep up with the Joneses. So, before I just… Word of warning to people listening to the show right now, don’t just think, oh, NFL players, look at them idiots that are trying to live this extra lifestyle, we all do it just to different degrees, right?

Hakeem:
100%. I mean, 80% of America lives paycheck to paycheck, whether they’re making six figures, or whether they’re making minimum wage. It’s so easy to slip into that type of gap or… Think of the lottery winner, no one feels bad for the lottery winner when they lose all their money, or… Not feels bad, everyone understands how or why it happens, because someone who does not have financial literacy has now assumed a lot of money. And if you don’t have financial literacy, you will inevitably go broke.

David:
Man, there’s so many people that are going through the grind and they think they’re doing something wrong, because it’s hard. I see this all the time. I’ve literally heard people say, “I don’t think God wants me to do this thing, because there’s obstacles that keep coming in my path.” And I’m thinking like, okay, assuming that God is good, he would have to make it hard for you, so you could carry the weight of what you’re asking for. This applies to everything in nature. If you want to get a big body and you just go juice up on a ton of steroids, and you can pump up your muscles really big, but your joints didn’t actually keep up with it, it’s only a matter of time before you’re going to rip something-

Hakeem:
That’s real.

David:
… and that big body is not going to be able to hold it. Wealth comes with weight, there’s a gravity to that. That’s why you see these people that come across money so quickly, and they never keep it. Professional athletes, that’s a good example of that, no one’s trained them how to handle this incredible… I don’t know what you want to call it. Like having a great weapon that you’ve never been trained how to use right, you’re going to hurt people and you’re going to hurt yourself with that. So, when you’re going through the grind, you got to be grateful for the grind.

David:
If you don’t have it… And you’re a great example of that. You’re someone who… You weren’t the first round draft pick that just stepped in there and said money was showered upon you, and everybody was kissing your butt, okay? You had to work to get in there, you had to strategize how to get in there. You had to go through some bad experiences that unleashed a piece of you that you probably didn’t know that you had, that made it so you could do that. And you’re the guy that if I could buy stock in a human, I’m like, “Buy it in Hakeem right now.” Where he’s going, he’s ready to hold that weight.

David:
And I know there’s so many people that have that toxic attitude, that if it’s hard, it wasn’t meant to be. That life should always be a downhill road, the wind should always be at your back. And the minute that the wind’s blowing in your face, you should stop, it means you shouldn’t do it. And in my experience, it’s almost the opposite of that. When it’s coming too easy, you should be very afraid, because you’re not going to have it for long.

Hakeem:
That’s real. When you’re most vulnerable it’s probably when it’s… When it is the most easiest is definitely when you’re the most vulnerable. I feel like… Oh man. I think the biggest issue is that people haven’t really developed their true north. My true north is happiness, so I don’t need a million dollars a month. But if I’m happy and as long as my inner circle is happy, then I’m okay.

Hakeem:
But it allows me to now, with everything I’m doing, be wildly patient, because I don’t… I can work as hard as I can, I can set up my days to be as efficient as you want to be, but if you don’t adjust your true north… Your true north is need to make X amount a month… I think people got it backwards when it comes to reverse engineering and what their process is leading to, because when you put money, or objects, or the next step on a pedestal, the top is not that fun, if that makes sense. The process is what you’ll look back on as to, damn, that was the best. I’m sure the greatest days of probably this podcast were those super, super, super early days. You guys are rock stars now. But the process I think, is what we need to start putting on a pedestal.

Brandon:
Yeah. Ooh.

David:
Put the process on a pedestal, that was good.

Brandon:
That’s another book title.

David:
Be grateful for the grind. There’s a lot of liberation going on. We have a lot of books coming out [crosstalk 00:21:25].

Brandon:
Yeah, a lot of books and a lot of t-shirts being made. You can get them at biggerpockets.com/book… No, t-shirt, I don’t know where-

David:
[crosstalk 00:21:33].

Brandon:
The store. Store? Maybe we have t-shirts there, I don’t know.

Hakeem:
That’s awesome.

Brandon:
I don’t know who will make these t-shirts, but we need some t-shirts. All right. So, let’s get back to your story a little bit. So, you’re in the NFL, you’re making all this money-

David:
In Phoenix playing for the Cardinals.

Brandon:
In Phoenix and… I think the Cardinals is a baseball team.

Hakeem:
They are, they are St. Louis, St. Louis Cardinals.

David:
Isn’t it weird that you took an animal as innocent as a little red bird and said, “We want to make that [inaudible 00:21:56]team’s mascots.” I get why there’s a lot of lions and bears. The cardinal inspired fear to the hearts of birdwatchers everywhere.

Brandon:
All right. So, you are playing for the little red bird, and you decide to get into real estate, what did that journey look like? What’s your first deal that you did then?

Hakeem:
Yeah. So, it was as soon as that season ended, literally… I got to look back on the dates, but it's got to be anywhere from January 1st to January 3rd. We didn't make the playoffs, and the last game was New Year's Eve, I believe, against the Rams. And I literally, put a post on BiggerPockets in the Tempe new member introduction forums saying, "Hi, my name's Hakeem Valles, I'm a tight end for the Arizona Cardinals, interested in multi-family real estate and house hacking, looking to learn more networking with other like-minded investors." That's probably pretty close, if someone wants to pull that up at some point and look at it verbatim, that's exactly what I said. 60, 70 people responded to that, and all wanted to meet for coffee, all wanted to take me on their property tours.

Hakeem:
Half of them wanted to pitch me some BS product or something to invest into, but it was… I literally spent January 3rd or 1st to mid February, every single day, I spent four hours at the same Starbucks literally people rotating in and out, and all these people just pouring value and bouncing ideas back and forth. And then, I finally met my investor/realtor, which was awesome, Ryan Swan. He's unreal. He took me around his property tour of Phoenix and Tempe, and got me set up on the MLS. We probably got set up in March [inaudible 00:23:35], had properties coming in and out. Got pre-approved for an FHA loan. I knew I was going to do a house hack. And it's so funny, it's something so small. I didn't really go foot on the gas… I was getting all the pieces in place, but I was not executing until I actually talked to my dad about it.

Hakeem:
It seems like it’s so small, but I had to throw this in here, because honestly, it was my unlock. I was doing everything, I just felt like until… My dad is kind of like my superhero to me, personally, and when I called him, I was like, “Dad…” I didn’t know what he was going to say, because he’s always making sure I’m doing the right things, whether it’s investments, whether it’s opportunities, but told him like, “Hey dad, I’m trying to do some real estate, I think I’m going to house hack, already got pre-approved, already found the properties.”

Hakeem:
I did everything, but I wouldn’t put the offer in until I had a conversation. And I didn’t tell him about anything that I was doing, literally head down for two and a half, three months, and then told him, and he was freaking out, super excited, I was like, “Oh my gosh, he’s excited too.” Put the offer in, it was a back and forth process. We didn’t get the first property to put an offer in, but the property we finally got was a $268,000 fourplex in North Phoenix.

Brandon:
[inaudible 00:24:42].

Hakeem:
I had to commute 55 minutes a day to the practice facility. I had Section 8 tenants living in the building with me, and I got to house hack a property, and it was my first property. It was awesome.

Brandon:
Did they know you were an NFL player [crosstalk 00:24:58]?

Hakeem:
I made that mistake. I did not listen to you in your Managing Rental Properties book you and your wife wrote-

Brandon:
Yeah, the book on managing?

Hakeem:
… of hiding the fact that… I tried to hide it honestly at the beginning, what happened was, my car was… I bought a used car, but I matted it all black, so it looked pretty cool. It looked like a Batmobile, it was a Camaro. I would come back from practice and I’d have my gear on, and a kid ran up to me and asked me about it, he told his mom, then on top of that, every morning, when the bus came, all the kids would literally sit out… I was on the second floor of the fourplex with 15 kids sitting out on the balcony waving at my ring camera, all that type of stuff-

Brandon:
[crosstalk 00:25:37].

Hakeem:
… because they knew who I was, and I would talk to them through it. Sometimes I’d go out and sit out there with them. But that honestly, it was the biggest mistake, because that… It didn’t screw me long-term, but it puts so much stress on me in the long-term. Looking in retrospect, and I tell everyone that I give advice to to house hacking or buying a fourplex, is factor in property management, act like you don’t live there, and literally just be a tenant of your own property, because that one day when you decide to move or something happens… What exactly happened with me was, I was doing cash for keys with a tenant, and that same week… I mean, honestly, it was like everything came crashing down at once.

Hakeem:
Literally, the mother of my child and I, we had a miscarriage, which was awful, it was terrible. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Then I got cut from the Cardinals. After getting cut from the Cardinals, I was doing the cash for keys with the tenant as well. Very next day, I get signed to the Detroit Lions, and now I’m literally in a… It was a workout for the Lions. I only went to Detroit with a backpack. Mother of my child is dealing with all of the madness going back on in Phoenix, plus you just had the surgery from the miscarriage, and then that tenant who we were doing cash for keys with, she tried to kill herself.

Brandon:
Oh, man.

Hakeem:
And I literally get a call from her daughter saying, “My mom tried to kill herself, I know she was moving out of the property, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I’ll help… Your fiancee helped move out the stuff out of the property.” We go into the property, didn’t even know this, she had a dog living in a back room that knocked over a candle, room caught on fire, there’s sweat all over… It was madness.

Hakeem:
But having to deal with the weight of all of that, plus moving to a completely new city, plus learning a completely new playbook, plus just the social dynamics, it's like going to a new school as a high school kid of… Like new team, and all of that was so much weight. Obviously, I got through it, but man, I would recommend, if you're going to house hack a fourplex, get a property manager, and act like you don't live there.

Brandon:
Wow. All right. There’s a few things that are interesting to unpack there. First of all, let’s go back to… I mean, there’s a ton [inaudible 00:27:38]I want to go through, but talking to your parents, why did that matter so much to your dad? Why did that matter so much to you?

Hakeem:
I was always an entrepreneur. In college, I was the iPhone repair guy. I fixed four iPhone 4s a day, but getting that… My dad’s a former state trooper, but also, he has an entrepreneurial hustler type background. He used to be in New York City selling roses and flowers on Mother’s Day and stuff like that. But getting that nod of approval, I don’t know, but that chemical feeling that I can… I’m thinking about it right now, it gives me goosebumps thinking about it, of him being excited over the fact that I was about to make this jump into real estate.

Hakeem:
But I was also anticipating that he was going to almost say, “Be cautious,” and it’s like, slow down, you’re doing too much. Because maybe subconsciously, I felt like I was doing a lot, and should be just focusing on football. But once he said like, “Go,” it was like, I could care less about what anybody else says, that’s 150% what was going through my mind when that happened.

Brandon:
That’s cool, man.

David:
Brandon, have you had experiences where people realized who you were, and knew you were managing the property, and it made it harder?

Brandon:
Well, many times, yeah. When I got started, I’d tell everybody, right? The reason I say today that you shouldn’t do it is because, it makes it an emotional decision later on. I mean, I had people… When I was at home, angry tenants stopped by pounding at my door, [inaudible 00:29:02], because they were upset about, we gave them a three-day notice to pay rent, because they didn’t pay rent, things like that. And then, me feeling bad for them, and me thinking like, “Oh, I’m going to see them uptown later at the store, that’s going to be awkward.” [crosstalk 00:29:14].

Hakeem:
I think it’s self-awareness.

Brandon:
Yeah.

Hakeem:
If you’re good at that, I think you should do it. I know I’m not good at that type of radical-

Brandon:
I’m not good at it. David is good at it. You’d see your tenant at the store, and you be like, “Yeah, why didn’t you pay me, man?”

David:
I would try to make it so my tenant was more afraid of seeing me at the store than I was afraid of seeing them.

Hakeem:
That makes sense. [crosstalk 00:29:33].

David:
But what I love that you said is self-awareness, that is-

Brandon:
[crosstalk 00:29:37].

David:
… massively important in any business, especially real estate. If you know you’re not good at it, just don’t even start it. Just find the person that is good at it and double down on this stuff [crosstalk 00:29:47].

Hakeem:
I mean, once the people knew I was on the Cardinals, then asking for two weeks later on rent, it’s like, you’re a super jerk if you’re not going to give me two weeks, you know what I mean? So, it was like, oh, my gosh.

David:
Yep.

Brandon:
Yeah.

Hakeem:
But self-awareness is everything.

David:
I mean, you learn that on a football team. A football team is designed to operate at peak performance it possibly can. You could save money having your linebackers kick field goals, none of them do that. You just pay the same guy to do both jobs. You get a specialist to be a linebacker versus a defensive end versus a safety. And then, even amongst the linebackers, you have specified types, you’ve got a middle linebacker, you’ve got an outside linebacker. If that’s how the best teams in the world run their stuff, we should be mimicking that same philosophy with our own businesses.

Hakeem:
That’s very real.

Brandon:
That’s a really good point. Another question for you, I want to get on with the fourplex of what came next here. But I want to tell a quick story, and then relate it to yours, and ask you a question about it. I was at Costco yesterday, shopping at Costco, and some guy… We’re all wearing masks, whatever, but some guy comes up, he’s like, “Hey, you’re Brandon from BiggerPockets.” I’m like, “Yeah, I am.” And I said, “You live here?” And he said, “Yeah.” He lives on Maui. Because we have a lot of tourists that come through obviously. And he’s like, “Yeah, I live here.”

Brandon:
We started chatting for a little bit, and he goes, “Yeah, I do Brazilian jiu-jitsu, I just got my black belt.” And I said, “That’s awesome, man. I do jiu-jitsu as well, I just got my white belt.” And it was like a joke, right? And he said these words that I feel like it’s another book title, he said… And maybe this is like a thing I don’t know about in the world, but he said, “Yeah, man, the white belt is the hardest belt.” And I was like, “Ah, that’s so good. The white belt is the hardest belt.”

David:
That’s true.

Brandon:
In other words, just getting there the first time is the hardest thing. The white belt… And it is the hardest belt, which is now going to be a book title.

Hakeem:
I really like that.

Brandon:
Yeah. Isn’t that good? So, getting that first deal is the hardest deal.

David:
Yeah.

Brandon:
Right? The first deal is the hardest deal. Why are you different? A lot of people talk about real estate, want to get into it. A lot of people have been listening to this show now for one year, two years, five years, they’ve not yet taken action. Why were you like, “You know what? I’m doing, I’m in?”

Hakeem:
I think, one, it definitely helped witnessing my brother and what he went through, I knew I didn’t want that to happen. And then, to mitigate that happening to myself of being locked into a lease, I was paying two grand a month to live in an apartment month to month, and I’m like, “Man, I just did the math.” Math is my favorite subject always. And I was going to spend 24 grand that year on air, and I’m like [inaudible 00:32:14]. Now doing the math of this $268,000 fourplex, three and a half percent of that was 9,000, I was like, “I can put down even more and still I’m going to save money, and have an asset that I can sell years later for more money.” And it was just like, being logical and practical, and then my thesis is shoot first and aim later.

Hakeem:
Just like the white belt is the hardest belt, I think once you get that momentum going, once you get it going, it’s just like a snowball. When you try and build a snowball, it’s hard to build the base… I was in Jersey this past weekend with my daughter and we’re trying to build snowman, I just remember, once you got the base of it going, once you start to roll it, it just gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger.

David:
That momentum.

Hakeem:
Momentum is everything. I tell everyone like, you say everything you're trying to do about getting into real estate, you say you want a house hack, you say you want to do all of that, you still haven't gotten pre-approved for your FHA loan. That is a 15-minute conversation, go do it. If you're not doing that, then let's have a deeper conversation as to why you're not, maybe you're not ready, maybe you're not educated. Maybe you don't really want to do real estate. Maybe you see everyone else doing real estate and you think it's the cool thing to do now, and that's why you're hopping into it, but you're not confident that you're going to be successful in it. I genuinely think it's a do, shoot first, aim later.

David:
Well, I think it’s the same thing that keeps me from getting into a jiu-jitsu gym, right? I don’t want to show up on my own, not knowing anybody, not knowing what I don’t know, but you go with a friend, completely different. I go with you to the jiu-jitsu gym, or I work out with your person, it’s way different. So, if you’re in that spot that Hakeem is talking about, trying to figure out… Well, I’m just scared to even call the lender, find a friend who’s done it, have them make an introduction call, and have them just sit on the call with you.

David:
So, when you're like, "I'm too scared to ask this person the question," well, whisper it to your friend, and your friend can whisper it. Get that momentum going. Because I think, Hakeem what you're mentioning, when you're talking about building momentum, I don't know that in today's environment there is a better way to do it than house hacking. I helped so many people getting started in the Bay Area with house hacking, because it's massive to building momentum. You get in for a stupid low down payment, you're going to get a better interest rate. You're already spending money on rent, that's another thing people don't realize. That $2,000 a month that you mentioned is just dead weight, you're getting nothing for that. And it's dead weight that increases every single year, your rents are going to go up.

David:
You get into buying a house, not only did you take that $2,000 a month that you were spending on rent, that you can actually include it as income in what you’re doing, it makes your ROI projections skyrocket when you do that. And it’s even better than income because you’re not getting taxed on it like it was normal income, but it’s $2,000 you were spending, and now you’re not, that’s better than making $2,000 that you would then get taxed on.

David:
And then, every year, that 2000 that you’re now getting paid by the tenant, it’s going up for you, when it was going up on you. So, you’re getting a double win, and then you move out, and then you can rent out that space, and now you’re making… There is hardly any way to make an argument against house hacking other than it’s less convenient, that’s it. That’s the only thing that you’re giving up to do this. So, if a guy in the NFL can house hack, I don’t see who can possibly make an argument against it.

Hakeem:
It’s very true. I didn’t spend millions of dollars. I spent $13,000 and never paid a dollar again. Every repair funded itself, everything funded itself, and then sold it years later.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s awesome, man. Really good stuff. I mean, to kind of summarize three quick points here… I feel like this could be like maybe a YouTube video we make eventually someday, or a whole solo show. But why do people not get started? Why do they not take that first step? Why does the fear stop people? I’m going to just kind of lay out three things that you just said, number one, I wrote down here, start small. So, house hacking is what you did. It’s a very easy thing to do, it’s a very slow transition. So, house hacking is a good way to start.

Brandon:
It could be also, I’m going to partner with somebody in a real estate deal, I’m going to invest in somebody else’s fund, or I’m going to be a private lender to them. Just find little ways to like floss one tooth, you hear that analogy, right? If you want to get in the habit of flossing everyday, floss one tooth. It’s like a little thing, little step. So, the first thing is start small, number two, is take a friend with you, or partner with somebody, find a way to do that, just going… What you said about jiu-jitsu, right? When you and I do it together, it was a lot easier.

Brandon:
And then, number three is what I call MINS, most important next step, which is just identify what that next thing is. And, Hakeem, you just mentioned that a second ago how you… You’re like, “It’s a 15 minute conversation to get pre-approved.” But most people, they have not defined what that next step is. And as soon as you define the most important next step… This is a big part of the whole Intention Journal thing we sell at BiggerPockets, it’s like, everyday, what’s the goal? Ah, there you go, yeah, you got it right there in your hands. Yeah, everyday, what’s the goal? What’s your objective? What’s the next big thing? Like the weekly objective, and then what is the most important next step?

Brandon:
Is it picking up the phone and calling a lender? Is it going to Facebook and saying, “Hey, does anybody know a good lender?” Or is it calling up a real estate investor friend and say, “Hey, I need a lender.” I mean, it’s literally a five minute… In fact, I would say it’s like… Most tasks in life can be boiled down to a five minute or less thing. It’s a series of five minute tasks and that’s it. And so, those three things, the overcoming fear, is to start small, take a friend with you, or do it with somebody, and then identify what the most important next step is. That’s three things I kind of pulled out of your story. Hakeem, anything you want to add to that?

Hakeem:
I love that, and I think something that helped me, honestly, with reverse engineering, things like that, I think… I don’t know if you’ve had him on the show or not, but The One Thing. I know you guys have recommended that so many times on the show [crosstalk 00:37:34].

Brandon:
Yeah, we had Jay back on a little while ago. Yeah.

Hakeem:
Such a great concept of reverse engineering things to simplify… We have these… Okay, I’m going to buy a fourplex, that seems like a daunting task. But putting on a Facebook post saying, “Who knows a lender?” You could do it while you’re pooping, it’s not that hard.

David:
Or you could just email like me or message me, and I’ll say, “Hey, this is the lender I’d use.” There are so many easy ways to get started-

Hakeem:
Yeah, exactly.

David:
… especially when it comes to that.

Brandon:
Yeah. People totally overthink this whole real estate thing because it’s hard. We covered a lot of stuff today, but I want to make sure people at least get an idea of your overall journey through real estate now. So, what came next? What did the next few years up to today look like?

Hakeem:
Yeah. So, from there, I told you I went to the Detroit Lions and same exact thing happened. They had me in an extended stay hotel in Detroit, and I quickly realized that it was… Did the math, it was 2200 bucks a month of paying daily, because you could pay rent by the day there, because I didn’t know how long I was going to be in Detroit. Then realized I was going to be there… Actually, I didn’t realize I was going to be there for a long time. Crazy thing happened, first, I put out the post on BiggerPockets of probably exactly how that Arizona message looked, “I want a house hack here in Detroit, any brokers, any whoever?”

Hakeem:
30, 40, 50 people responded, met with all of them, went to all their meetup groups, did all that type of stuff, and finally found a broker who was also an investor. Found a duplex about 10 minutes from the practice facility, and lived in one side, and Airbnbed the other side. The rent in that market wasn’t going to work to actually counter the mortgage, but Airbnb brought in significantly enough more, because it was more or less longer-term tenants, two to three weeks at a time of people staying there. And with the Airbnb, if people are on there, you can sometimes bang out a better price by doing that, and it’s a lot less of a headache of the daily constant changing of the sheets, and all that type of stuff.

Hakeem:
So, we bought a duplex out there, and it was crazy, because I closed on that property on a Tuesday, and on Friday of that week, the Arizona Cardinals… So, I had just left the Cardinals, was on the Lions, somebody just got hurt on the Cardinals on a Thursday night football game, very next morning, I literally got meetings [inaudible 00:39:43]10 calls from my agent saying, “Hey, the Cardinals want to sign you to bring you back on the team on the 53 man.”

Brandon:
Oh, wow.

Hakeem:
Because I was on the practice squad on the Lions, and teams can poach you. But some GM’s give you the opportunity to say no, and you can negotiate to see if you can get a higher salary. I mean, I just closed on this property on Tuesday, and I’m like, “Man…” [inaudible 00:40:00]I could obviously make it work without… But I want to see this through. And I really loved my situation in Detroit, my agent was able to negotiate a 53 man salary while I stayed on the practice squad, which is super nice, and allowed me to kind of play that [crosstalk 00:40:15].

Brandon:
That’s cool.

David:
So, that’s one reason you want to have long distance real estate investing in your back pocket, because you never know… You may not even plan on buying somewhere else, but you may buy somewhere, then have to move somewhere else, and the principles are the same. And as you were talking, I thought, you know what this sounds like to me? A lot of the time, I’ll make an offer on something for myself, or will do it for a client, and will lose, someone else will get the deal.

David:
And we always make a task in our CRM to remind us once a week to call that agent and say, “Hey, are you still in the contract?” And 15, 20% of the time, I’d say, they fall out, unless it’s a super hot house, and we are the first person to get that phone call, that’s the same thing that happened with you Hakeem.

Brandon:
[inaudible 00:40:53].

David:
Right? You were on the Cardinals, they let you go, someone gets hurt, “Get that guy back here, we need him right now.”

Hakeem:
That’s real.

David:
You could be that person where… We’re supposed to close, the buyer has just backed out, what are we going to do? And they come back to you, and you’re like, “Yeah, I can close in two weeks. Can you guys knock 25 grand off the price?” And at that point, that may make sense to them to do so. Don’t give up when you get cut, don’t give up when you don’t get that deal. It doesn’t hurt you to come up with a plan and say, “Well, let me just call that agent every week, and see if there’s any trouble in paradise.”

Hakeem:
That’s real. That’s super real.

Brandon:
All right. So, what next then? So, you did not end up going back to Arizona.

Hakeem:
Did not go back to Arizona, stayed in Detroit, negotiated a higher salary in Detroit, stayed there. That next upcoming off season, I bought a 40 acre cannabis farm in Michigan.

Brandon:
Wow.

Hakeem:
So, we were hedging that cannabis was going to go wreck in November of 2018… This is super early 2018. And it’s so funny, it’s back to those broker relationships that David was just mentioning, I got into the cannabis space because of BiggerPockets, an introduction through BiggerPockets.

Brandon:
[crosstalk 00:41:58].

Hakeem:
That same broker who sold me my duplex when I had my initial meeting with him… I always tell people, if you want to get into an industry, put it out in the universe, start talking about it. Don’t act like you know what you’re talking about, but just say you’re interested in whatever you’re interested in. And I told that broker at the time like, “Hey, I’m super interested in the cannabis space, I want to learn more about it. I know the real estate side of it is going to be very interesting as well.”

Hakeem:
And I literally, just out of the serendipity of it all, get a random call from him, and I just happened to be close to his office, and he was like, “Hey, I’ve got this cannabis guy here, if you’d love to sit down, we’d love to chat and talk X, Y, Z, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And I’m like “Wow, cool.” And we sit down, everything kind of just makes a lot of sense. It was about a four hour conversation, and they needed to buy this land with cash because you just couldn’t buy it with a mortgage with our intentions being cannabis. And I wind up coming in as an investor on the group. And eight months later, when cannabis went wreck in Michigan, we got an offer on that same patch of land for $7 million.

Brandon:
Wow.

Hakeem:
And we decided… We have all this leverage as investors, why would we sell the land when we know what the opportunity can be? Because essentially, we had the capacity to put 42 20,000 square foot warehouses on the land and grow up to 2000 plants within each warehouse. So, we kind of saw it as a real estate play and have spent the last two and a half years touring the country of some of the best facilities and growers across the country to partner with and grow in our land.

Brandon:
Crazy. I mean, we’ve never talked cannabis here on the show before really at all, if there is a real estate side of it, but how does that work in terms of… For those of us who are not familiar with the industry very much, I mean, you have land-

Hakeem:
Absolutely.

Brandon:
You grow it, where’s the money come from? How do you get paid? Do you sell [crosstalk 00:43:40]?

Hakeem:
We literally are in the process of breaking ground and development, right now just got our site plan approved by the town. Essentially, it’s multifaceted, you can get… We own 50% of the first company that’s growing on our land. So, that money that’s coming in, we’re able to… Essentially, what the market rate of a triple net per that square foot of a space, we can get that in actual clean rental triple net type of money. And then, the rest of the 50% of that money essentially, will come in. There’s a lot of loopholes, I’m not a professional, I’m not an accountant, I’m not a cannabis account… You got to put all those disclosures out there. A lot of loopholes with credit unions and things like that, and how all the investors have to be a part of the same exact bank.

Hakeem:
But we’re looking long-term. Yes, there’s going to be a lot of revenues, a lot of cash flows to make out of this. We’ve partnered with a private equity firm on the development side of it with the intentions of… When we get our revenues to a certain level, and when it does go recreational nationwide, we plan on going and intend to go public.

Brandon:
So, what did you buy it for?

Hakeem:
Half a million.

Brandon:
And somebody wanted to offer you 7 million, and you said no, explain that logic again. Why would you not take that and run? I want to know your longterm thinking there.

Hakeem:
Because, one, one of the largest patches of land that’s zone for cannabis in Michigan. I mean, the BPO we got on is for every warehouse we erect on the land, the value will go up by 4 million, and we’ve got the capacity to put 42 of them on there. And then, when you’re thinking, when it goes recreational nationwide, that value is going to… I don’t know what that X or that multiple is going to be, but it’s going to be more than 7 million in that sense. And back to my initial comments is, entrepreneurship is a forever game, and I’ve always been interested in the cannabis space. So, I own a media agency now as well, we do a couple of different things, but we’re actually doing the digital side and the branding for the cannabis space. So, it’s super interesting to almost double dip.

Hakeem:
And I’m an investor plus we’re now… I’m interested in the cannabis space and the industry, and the different verticals, and the opportunities that are within it, and real estate being able to be that initial avenue, instead of just getting the land and cashing out a few months later, that would have been a cool win, but now the opportunities, the introductions, the different brands that we’re working with now, and the people that we plan on working with in the space, we have the leverage by owning the land.

Brandon:
That makes sense. Yeah. Imagine a little bit of flipping houses versus rental. You can flip a house or doing BRRRR, right? You can flip a house, make the quick 30, 40, 50 grand, yeah, I did it, pay the government half their money in taxes, and then you're done. Or you're like, "I can BRRRR this, or I can hold it as a rental, and then keep it for the next 40 years, 30 years, 50 years, a hundred years, and it's going to help my family, it's going to help… I'm going to get contacts in industry, I'm going to become a better investor, my skill set is getting up." So, it's similar to the real estate… I mean, it is real estate, but it's similar to the small level of what you're doing on a large level, just with the [crosstalk 00:46:43].

Hakeem:
100%.

David:
You’re kind of combining business with real estate, and I think that’s a mistake a lot of investors make, is they just get into a single track, I’m going to buy a house, rent it out, I collect revenue in this one way, there’s nothing wrong with that. But you’re getting into an element now where we use the real estate to generate revenue through a business, and you’ve got this hybrid where you become much more efficient, you have economies of scale, and you have more than one way to earn revenue. So, I think that that’s a good thing to point out is, there’s ways to make money in real estate that are not just buy a building, rent it out to tenants, have a property manager move on to the next thing. That’s a great strategy, so a really easy way to get started and learn the business, but once you’ve got that down, there’s so many possibilities that open up to you like this one.

Hakeem:
Absolutely. And that’s exactly what’s kind of come out of it. Like I said, it’s been a two and a half year journey now of really navigating the space, meeting some of the biggest players in this space, and now being presented even more opportunities in different markets that are also in this space, like potentially getting involved in New Jersey, potentially getting involved in Massachusetts, potentially getting involved in a whole bunch of different verticals, and just investment decks that I don’t think I would even have the opportunities to see if I wasn’t in this space, if that makes sense.

Brandon:
Yeah. That’s cool. So, what’s your rest of your real estate look like, the rest of your journey? I mean, obviously, today’s show is about a lot more than just real estate, but what’s the rest of your investing story look like? And then, I want to move on and ask you about the media business and a few other things.

Hakeem:
Absolutely. So, as soon as I retired from the league… I retired from the NFL after… I couldn’t be the investor and an entrepreneur who I wanted to be, I had my daughter the morning of a game, and that really put things in perspective for me. I couldn’t be the dad that I really wanted to be and play in the NFL at the same time, so I walked away just unemotionally… As soon as the 2018 season ended, I walked away from the game and just tripled down on to what I wanted to do in the real estate space. It was actually right when this came out.

Brandon:
Ah, the Intention Journal? Yeah, that’s awesome.

Hakeem:
Yeah. I bought that while I was playing for the Giants. And within 90 days, I actually bought my last property that I bought, which was a smaller seven unit property in Des Moines, Iowa. It was a quick in and out type of property where we didn’t actually make anything off of it. We actually wound up breaking even. We had a few issues kind of going in with the historical district and couldn’t do the repairs that we needed to do. It was like a super small, quick value add, and the things that they wanted us to do, it was going to completely destroy our budget, so we wound up. We had prior relationships with other investors in that market who knew the best way to actually do what they could do with that property, and we wound up selling it off to them.

Hakeem:
Since then, from a real estate standpoint, I’ve been on the sidelines. I think that a lot of bold predictions are happening right now. I think we haven’t seen the true residual effects yet of COVID. My thesis of what I want to do with real estate is raise capital to buy larger value add apartment communities in different markets. But, back to what I said, I don’t think the residual effect… We just had a worst day in the United States every day. Every day is the worst day so far. It hasn’t slowed down. So, the Boulder predictions that come out every single day still do not logically make sense to me.

Hakeem:
And I’m a math guy, like I’ve been saying, real estate and entrepreneurship is a forever game. So, if five years from now is the next time I deploy capital, I’m super okay with that, but if it’s 12 to 18 months, I’m also okay with that. But I’ve been on the sidelines watching.

Brandon:
Yeah. Interesting. Okay. Yeah. I don’t disagree. I don’t think we’ve seen the full effect of the COVID mess, I think that it’s a crazy world and it’s just going to get crazier here. So, what I find interesting is that you’re doing so many things in terms of the cannabis farm, you got some real estate stuff going on, you still have some properties, right? You’ve got something in there.

Hakeem:
Still owned the duplex and still owned the cannabis form. We sold the fourplex in July, somebody was 1031-ing and I couldn’t say no to that offer. I was surprised that I even got an offer that high, that’s when I really knew this is a damn seller’s market right now.

Brandon:
Yes. Yeah, it really is. So, you cash in on those ones. And then you got the media business, what is that, first of all? And then, I want to ask you just how you manage your whole world there.

Hakeem:
100%. So, it’s Perspective Global Media. One of my biggest regrets when I was playing in the NFL is I was insecure, I was wildly insecure. No one knew I was buying properties, no one knew I was doing what I was doing in real estate, I was head down, when if I had just simply just documented what I was doing, I know it would have brought a lot of value, and the attention that would have been garnished, that would have brought value to all the things that I’m doing today, would have been wildly amplified. Do I regret it? [inaudible 00:51:29]I could have got hit by a bus if I actually did it, just considering how the universe works.

Hakeem:
But when I retired, I tripled down on my personal brand, and got to quickly, quickly realize what the effects of it was. And what I did, in real time… October of 2019 is when we started the LLC. But how I did it, and where it's transitioned into what we do today? We started off just bringing value to real estate professionals, investors, and helping them with digital content. Whether it was creating content for their LinkedIn, their Facebook, their Instagram, and running ads to whatever realm they were working in.

Hakeem:
But I wanted to prove a thesis to myself that I could create an actual event out of thin air by doing… So, one of my best pieces of advice for everyone that’s listening to this podcast, I don’t think anybody’s really broadcasted out in the world right now, the best way to meet somebody in a 2020 digital world is sending a video via LinkedIn video message. Most people don’t do that. For my company, that’s our number one sales metric, is… The people we want to meet, CEOs, CMOs of some of the bigger companies, if you can get them to actually accept your connection request, if you actually say, “Hey, Brandon, love what you’re doing. So, you’re crushing it at BiggerPockets, noticed you weren’t on TikTok, would love to show you a couple of tactical things on how I could bring some value to your business.”

Hakeem:
Because the rest of your inbox on LinkedIn is a bunch of copy paste BS, and automated software of everyone trying to scale their thing, video is just… It’s pattern disruption at scale, and it’s just wildly incredible. So, what I did was I sent 400 videos to real estate professionals in Detroit, and was able to get about 40 people to show up into an event at a wine spot in Detroit, and presented my theses on the digital state of real estate. And out of that event, got about four clients to come out of it.

Hakeem:
As the journey kind of continued… This is October of 2019, COVID obviously came around by February, March-ish. When COVID came around, we actually made a pivot and actually started to do podcast production work for real estate professionals and financial advisors. I realized personally that… One of my best piece of advice for people getting started in real estate, outside of going on BiggerPockets and making action happen, is starting a podcast. I like podcasts for the networking effect, and the effect of… Everyone has a story, and no one’s listening. And when you’re the person who actually provides a platform, that person tends to love you forever.

Hakeem:
I say you’re not going to be the next Joe Rogan, the next Gary V., the next BiggerPockets of the podcast space, but if you want to learn how to invest in, and buy apartment buildings in Phoenix, Arizona, it will be wise for you to start a podcast and interview every single developer in Phoenix, Arizona, because it’s going to be 10 times harder for you, especially in a COVID world, to sit down for coffee, walk their properties. But hopping on a Zoom call for 15 minutes, it’s the not so invasive way of picking someone’s brain. People don’t like to get their brain picked, people don’t like to get a message saying, “Hey, Brandon, love what you’re doing in real estate, I’d love to pick your brain over coffee.” Probably not going to happen.

Hakeem:
But if that same person maybe said, “Hey, Brandon, I’ve got this show called The Hawaii Real Estate Network, we’d love to have you come and tell your story about the things that you’re doing.” That person has a 50% more of a chance of actually sitting down with you. And I from a tactical standpoint, that’s what I was hacking and reverse engineering, and that’s what we were providing as a service as a media company.

Brandon:
Well, I’ll just wrap the podcast thing then with this, it’s like… The reason why is because, when you have a podcast, you are now providing value. Because they’re like, “I want to take you out to coffee.” The only value you’re providing is a $3 cup of coffee. “I want you to be on my podcast so that you can tell your story.” Now you’re providing ego building, you’re providing the ability for them to raise money, for them to connect with people, to bring them deals potentially. So, by bringing people onto a podcast, you’re providing actual real value, and it’s just kind of cool and unique. Most people are not invited to be a guest on a podcast, it’s not a very common thing.

Brandon:
And so, when there’s that… Anyway, we’re not talking about trying to land Grant Cardone or Hakeem here on a podcast, it’s like, hey, that guy that owns an apartment building down there, he’s been doing it now for the last 12 years in this town, he owns 200 units, get that guy in a podcast, especially go do it in his garage maybe, you’ll set up everything. I think that’s an interesting strategy. I’m actually trying to get Jim Carrey right now, he lives… Well, Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler both live within a mile of me-

Hakeem:
That’s awesome.

Brandon:
And I’m like, “I will come to your house, I will set up in your studio. You can come down in your underwear, I don’t care.” [crosstalk 00:55:57]. Yeah, working on it. If anybody knows either of those two guys, let me know. But yeah, I think there’s such value there in building relationships and connections with people.

Hakeem:
100%. It’s a way to exponentially grow your network by just asking the questions that you genuinely want to know, but that’s what we were essentially, reverse engineering. But being self-aware. In order to produce a lot of podcasts at scale, I had to hire a lot of people, and I felt like I was becoming an HR rep and micro-managing every stage of the podcast production company, and not doing what I do best. But at that same exact time, I was actually starting to post a lot on TikTok as a platform. And as I was posting on TikTok testing out a bunch of different thesises, what’s working in every single niche, I slowly started to realize, one, I really liked it, but two, every single person in my network, that was my business value I could bring to anyone.

Hakeem:
And quickly, but surely, I was on three one-hour Zoom calls a day showing other pro athletes, other real estate people, other startup founders, business people, just how to get going, and get going on TikTok. After having a serious convo with my admins, I made a pivot. That’s one thing I’m not scared to do, is pivot as a business. And one, became much smaller, and now we focus on TikTok consulting. So, we work with larger brands to smaller individuals on helping them launch on TikTok, and get going on TikTok, whether it’s from just strategy, or some people, we actually do the actual talent and post produce, and put out all their content on their TikTok. Yeah, it sounds wild-

Brandon:
That’s cool.

Hakeem:
… it sounds crazy, but, man, TikTok… I just started an internal podcast with my company called Don’t Sleep on TikTok, that’s probably my favorite thing to say to everyone right now, is don’t sleep on TikTok.

Brandon:
Yeah. 2021, I’m emerging in TikTok. People I’ve been hearing it here on the podcast forever, I keep joking about it, and then I was like, “I’m not going to do it.” And then I’m like, “Ah, [inaudible 00:57:53]my phone.” But just because I don’t want to be obsessed with scrolling for hours at a time doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be posting and reaching people. And so, I’m going to be hot and heavy.

Hakeem:
I wouldn’t consume though.

Brandon:
Yeah, that’s it.

Hakeem:
My only piece of advice for TikTok is take five to 10 hours, only consume real estate content on TikTok, and then never consume again. Understand the niches, the nuances, the ins and outs of what matters, how do I post contextually to TikTok? My first six months on TikTok I did terrible. I went from zero to 55 followers by posting my best content from LinkedIn and Instagram, just downloading and uploading. I had never watched anything, just download, upload, doing terrible. And then, I took five to 10 hours, understood the ins and outs of real estate, sports, and entrepreneurial type of content. Within a month, I went from 55 to 82,000 followers, and-

Brandon:
Okay. So, what’s the secret there? I mean, let’s do some consulting right now, Hakeem. I got I think 100 followers on TikTok right now, and I want to grow this. Now, the reason why… Let me just first say for the people like, “I don’t care about this thing.” The reason why is a couple of reasons, one, it’s fun to just teach people stuff. Two, I wish I would have been on Instagram earlier, and today I’ve raised $20 million in the past year and a half… And a lot of people listening right now are in my fund. But the reason why I’ve been able to do that is because of TikTok, because I can [crosstalk 00:59:09].

Hakeem:
TikTok or Instagram?

Brandon:
Sorry, sorry, Instagram. So, I did it through Instagram. But what could I have done if I had a million followers on Instagram right now, versus having 170,000? I would be 10 times, wherever, I don’t know, five times more ability to raise money, to find people to work in my teams, to find deals for me. I mean, we have the whole [inaudible 00:59:28]deal thing. So, in other words, I harness Instagram very heavy right now, and it’s been a game changer for me. And I wish I would have started on Instagram earlier. And I believe TikTok is the next Instagram. And if it is, I need to build that up.

Brandon:
So, that’s just… FYI, if you’re listening to this going, “I don’t care about TikTok, I’m going to turn off this podcast now.” There’s a logical reason why this might be [inaudible 00:59:48]. So, that said, do you agree, first of all? Anything you want to add to that? And then, what do I do? [crosstalk 00:59:52].

Hakeem:
100%. The biggest punchline is I shouldn’t have more TikTok followers than you have on Instagram right now. I think you’re way bigger than… That’s the number one punchline. But two, is-

Brandon:
[crosstalk 01:00:03].

Hakeem:
I see TikTok as real estate. As real estate investors, if we all could be put in a time machine and go to the 1930s, and we’re now in New York City, and we have the opportunity to buy New York City real estate in 1930, you’re emptying your bank account, you’re borrowing your money from your parents, and you’re buying it all. But I’m telling you, this is the same opportunity except this real estate is free. If I’m posting about real estate, I’m taking away your market share of being the Brandon Turner of TikTok, if that makes sense. The beauty of TikTok is there’s a hundred million daily active users just here in the States, 40% are over the age of 25. And now, after having this internal podcast with my company called Don’t Sleep on TikTok, it’s given me contextual spots of what’s working in different niches.

Hakeem:
We had a guy come on last week who’s a financial advisor, and he sells a compound interest life insurance type of product. Legitimately, his revenue has gone from 5 million to 30 million in this past year, and he’s getting a thousand inbound leads a week. And his average client is 39 years old investing $8,500 a year into their life insurance product annually. And he’s literally hired 35 people, he spends nine hours a day now on TikTok, because it’s his most important KPI throughout his entire day. People are missing out on that opportunity because your target audience is there, the opportunity is no one’s posting. I say, audit your top 10, 20 friends who have a TikTok, and audit how many are actually posting.

Hakeem:
When we think of algorithms, it’s just supply and demand of eyes, how many eyes are on the platform consuming? And how much content is being put in front of those eyes? And if you compare right now the data points of platform, to platform, to platform, Facebook’s daily average consumption time is 12 minutes a day, Instagram’s daily average consumption time is 22 minutes a day, and TikTok’s average daily consumption time is 85 minutes a day. And TikTok has an unlimited infinite For You page.

Brandon:
That’s insane.

Hakeem:
The opportunity is that… If you posted 15 times a day on Instagram, your follower is going be like, “Brandon, what the hell are you doing? That’s too much, you’re clogging the pipes.” TikTok, 80% of your content is being consumed on the For You page. So, if you can post five times a day, you should, if you can post 10 times a day, you should. When I post five times versus two times a day, I’m ending the day with more followers than not.

Hakeem:
I can show you the data analytics of that. Posted five times this day, 2000 new followers today, posted two times this day, 200 new followers today. Because you’re putting your valuable content in front of more people, and when it comes to real estate… When it comes to just TikTok as an algorithm… I was just on a call two weeks ago for the public figures, strategically as a platform, TikTok has adjusted their algorithm to sway away from dancing. TikTok has been known… It’s been generalized as a platform as… Why would I go there? It’s a bunch teenagers dancing there?

David:
That’s funny.

Hakeem:
They did not want to be generalized as that, and strategically, adjusted their algorithm to focus more on informational, educational, and compelling storytelling type of content.

David:
I think that’s hilarious. Your job is to find all the dancers and downgrade their videos.

Hakeem:
I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with the dancing, I think that your For You page is going to look like whatever you consume. The thing that TikTok has done better than any platform is their algorithm has created this unlimited For You stream of content that is so wildly tailored to the things that you like. So, if you do watch four girls do dances-

David:
[crosstalk 01:03:33].

Hakeem:
… and watch it from top to bottom, you’re going to see a lot more of that in your in-feed. If you watch real estate three times, four times, five times a day, that’s what you’re going to see all day in your in-feed.

Brandon:
Which is exactly the danger of TikTok, as a consumer we’ve been talking about, is that it knows you, and it knows exactly what you want, and it gives you amazing bits of that over and over and over in unlimited amount designed to hook you and keep you coming back and back. So, that’s the danger as a user and as a creator, it is a phenomenal tool.

Hakeem:
Wild opportunity. I don’t know if you remember five years ago on Instagram when our timelines went from seeing everything in chronological order to then… At the snap of a finger, it literally went to stagnated type of content. The opportunity is, right now, we’re in the phase of seeing everything in chronological order, like on Instagram, when you can grow organically, what’s going to happen in the next eight to 12 months when there is a mass Exodus of people? There’s already people, 100 million people, that’s a third of the United States, it’s happened, so there’s no questioning that. But when everyone starts actually posting it, and people actually realize what’s happening there, my 220,000 followers are going to be more valuable a year from now than they are today, if that makes sense. It’s just back to real estate.

Brandon:
So, let’s say you’re listening to the BiggerPockets podcast, you don’t really like that TikTok, Snapchat stuff, but you hear Hakeem talking, he seems like a smart guy, okay, maybe I’ll give TikTok a chance, but I don’t want to get stuck into watching dancing videos. How do they know who they should be following, and what type of content is worth consuming if you want to learn about real estate?

Hakeem:
The guys I follow is Mikey Taylor, a former professional skater. Check out his TikTok, he’s got over 200,000… I just had him on my podcast. He runs a private equity fund called Commune Capital. Someone who raises capital, modeled his style of content he’s putting out, but also consumed his content. He’s a very smart dude, knows what he’s talking about when it comes to real estate. I would follow people within that type of realm. I would follow when Brandon starts posting his account. I put out maybe one every three weeks some type of real estate type of content. I mean, I wouldn’t follow me for real estate, I’m not going to plug myself for that.

Hakeem:
But I genuinely believe that you type in #realestate, one, learn for yourself, because there’s a lot of people in there who are doing really good who don’t know what they’re talking about. And that’s another opportunity for guys like you, Brandon, like you, David, to… Watch out real quick the expert is here, essentially, because that’s exactly what’s going to happen when you guys come to the platform. Because everyone knows you on TikTok but you’re not there yet, if that makes sense.

David:
So, that’s why I was asking that question is… If you’re vulnerable because you don’t know a ton about real estate, and there’s this really good looking 25 year old telling you, “I can teach you how to make millions,” it quickly turns into, I follow this person thinking I’m getting an education, but all you’re getting put into is a funnel where someone’s going to upsell you on some program. I like what you said, is it shouldn’t be the only place you go to for real estate investing. You kind of have to know a little bit about it outside of that, and then find the people that are giving you the same type of education and content when you’re there, so that you don’t get sucked into the, I bought a house and I rent out the rooms to my friends, and now I’m a real estate God, and you should be following me, and they’re giving you bad advice.

Hakeem:
I would go as far as saying this, if you’re a new investor, just consume on BiggerPockets. I would use TikTok right now… I would say it’s dangerous because that can happen very fast. It’s more advantageous if you’re a creator and you already are doing things, or you’re documenting your journey in the real estate space. I only give advice that I take, I do not consume TikTok content at all, zero. The 15 seconds I have after I post a video, and it’s uploading, is the 15 seconds I’ll consume before my video comes up, and then I just live in the comments all day. I think that-

Brandon:
That’s cool.

Hakeem:
I don’t consume, because of that danger of, you will get put down a funnel, you will get sold some type of coaching product, but if you are a good, genuine type of person, only that’s between you and God at the end of the day, put out good content, because you’re going to get found. I think it’s an accelerant to the truth. It’ll be an accelerant that you’re a snake oil salesman, or you’re an accelerant that you’re putting out valuable real estate content, and give opportunities of people to actually work with you.

Brandon:
Well, here’s another reason why I think creating content… Again, people probably listening to this, go, “I’m not going to go raise a bunch of money necessarily right now, and I’m not that good at talking on camera.” But just to throw this out to people, your ability to communicate… Everyone listen, your ability to communicate is directly proportional to your level of success in life. I’ve really, really believed that. People who are really… Now, are there people who are not going to communicate that are successful? Yes, of course.

Brandon:
But by and large, people I know that are most successful tend to be good at communicating their points. They’re not always wild and crazy like what might be on a TikTok video, but they can present their points in a way that makes sense, it gets other people on board, it gets people fired up. That’s how you get employed, that’s how you get team members, you fire up people around you. It affects every area of your life from dating, to real estate, to business, to whatever. So, if you’re posting on TikTok, you’re going to suck at it. Go watch my early BiggerPockets videos on our BiggerPockets YouTube channel, they’re horrible. I’m stroking my cat, literally, in my hands, and I’m sitting on a chair slouching, and I’m whispering.

David:
[crosstalk 01:08:47]real estate.

Brandon:
Yeah. Exactly. It’s terrible. I’m like, “Yeah.” And I didn’t know anything, but you know what? If you post on TikTok every day, it’s a very quick way to get your reps in to communicate your points, and then you get better and better at it. So then, when you’re sitting at a meeting with a private lender, and the guy says, “Well, I don’t really understand what you’re doing with this whole BRRRR thing.” You’re like, “Well, let me tell you about the BRRRR strategy.” And you’ve already had your elevator pitch perfected on TikTok and on Instagram, or wherever it is you’re putting out content. So, just something to throw out there to people if they don’t think they’re a creative content, you should be a creative content, because that’s how you [crosstalk 01:09:21].

Hakeem:
You know what my best unlock was for content?

Brandon:
What’s that?

Hakeem:
After having a child, it was legacy. I care about the audience because I want to bring value to the audience, but to be as honest as God, honest as possible, I could care less. I’m thinking about my kids, my kids’, kids, kids, kids, kids, and their kids. Because our grandparents, our parents never had this opportunity. Right now I’m waving, “Hi Lucy,” because that’s my daughter’s name. Because one day she will watch this, I can guarantee it. Because if you could watch your parents on every podcast they were on, or your grandparents, every podcast they were on, or their great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents in every show-

Brandon:
That’s a cool thought.

Hakeem:
… every piece of content they put out, you would watch, and rewatch, and rewatch every second of it. So, when you’re putting out content, think about everyone else. This is how I put my blinders on with everybody else, because I don’t care, because the legacy some of you guys are leaving, you’re leaving a very wildly PR insecure version of yourself that your great, great, great, great, great grandkids will never know who the real you were. So, I say just like… Gary V’s document don’t create style, I love it because it’s documented journey, because you’re leaving lessons for your kids and your great, great, great, great grandkids that we could never leave before.

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

Hakeem:
I get the chills every time I say that, because I know for a fact, if I could see my great grandpa, what he was doing when he was 28 years old, that’s arguably what I would do all day trying to learn more about myself.

Brandon:
That’s cool, man.

Hakeem:
But that will be your unlock to now being so wildly unemotional about every piece of content you put out. I could care less if this gets 12 views because my kids are going to watch it. That’s the punchline.

Brandon:
All right. Well, that was awesome. We could talk about TikToks all day, but I want to move on to the last segment of our show, and this is our-

Speaker 5:
Famous Four.

Brandon:
All right. So, Famous Four is a part of the show where we ask every guest the same four questions. You’ve heard our show before, you know what’s coming, so, Hakeem, let’s get to you though, real estate related books. First question in the Famous Four, what’s your current or all-time favorite real estate related book?

Hakeem:
Honestly, the OG, the original blue book of The Book on Rental Property Investing. I have so many extensive notes.

Brandon:
Oh, thanks man.

Hakeem:
I’ve given that book to 15… Probably 15 different people I’ve gifted that book to. NFL players I’ve given to-

Brandon:
That’s awesome.

Hakeem:
… I’ve copied my notes on that book and given it to so many different people, because it is that powerful of a book of, I’m just getting started. I was flipping houses with my ex, done flipping houses with my ex, I know I want to do real estate, where do I go in real estate? Here’s the seven or five or X amount of spots I could get into, and here’s an actual real-life practical deep dive of how to get started. That’s still, to this day, my best, my favorite book.

Brandon:
That’s awesome, man. I appreciate that.

David:
What’s the link for that book?

Brandon:
Biggerpockets.com/rentalbook, I think.

David:
Rental book?

Brandon:
Yeah. [crosstalk 01:12:12].

David:
Top selling real estate investing book in the world.

Brandon:
And it’s sadly no longer blue now, they actually changed the cover, and now it’s like a white… But it got a little blue on it.

Hakeem:
Got you.

Brandon:
[inaudible 01:12:22]. I miss the blue actually, [crosstalk 01:12:24]. I designed the blue on my self, and I’m not a designer, so now they have a good looking cover that’s much better. Anyway, number two, David.

David:
It’s like an upgrade, like when the Power Ranger goes to the White Power Ranger, it’s a better Power Ranger.

Brandon:
I guess so.

David:
You’re a huge Power Ranger fan, so that makes sense [crosstalk 01:12:40]. All right, Hakeem, my question is, what’s your favorite business book?

Hakeem:
The Go-Giver, Bob Burg, oh, man, that’s one of my… I probably reread that twice a year maybe, I love it. It’s my thesis on life, it’s such a quick and easy read, but I think it means so much… I think a lot of people don’t understand giving, what your intentions are behind giving, how do you give with no expectations? And what can giving do as a business tactic at the end of the day?

David:
Okay.

Brandon:
Cool.

David:
What are some of your hobbies?

Hakeem:
Ooh, playing with my daughter, and playing the saxophone.

Brandon:
Oh, saxophone, really? That’s awesome.

Hakeem:
My biggest purchase besides my used car in the NFL was an alto sax, it was like two or three grand, I always wanted to play… I played the drums and piano growing up, but could never afford a saxophone, and that was probably one of my first purchases. The guy I lived with when I first got to the league was really good at the sax, and every day, when we got home, we literally just put on some music on YouTube, whether it was Kenny G, or whether it was something that was new, and tried to play sax behind it. And then, when I left the Cardinals and went to the Lions, I started to actually get lessons in Detroit.

Brandon:
That’s awesome, man. Very cool. All right. Well, my last question of the day then, what do you think separates successful real estate investors and those who give up, fail, or never get started?

Hakeem:
I was thinking about this one. And honestly, I think it’s following up. The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten from anyone is, the fortune is in the follow-up. I think we’re presented hundreds, if not thousands, of opportunities every single day, whether it’s… And I always use the example of at the end of your episodes. I’ve DMed so many of your guests that you’ve had on your shows to see if I can get a conversation with them, see if I can learn more about them, because they say, “If you want to hear more about me, shoot me a text on so and so, or reach out to me on this, or this email, or that.” But how many times are we actually doing that?

Hakeem:
When we’re listening to that episode like, “Man, it’d be really cool to actually talk to that person,” do we actually follow up? How many business cards do we follow? How many stacks do we really have? I think that separates a lot of people. Some people like the idea of going to networking events and doing all that type of stuff, are you actually going to follow up and take action?

Brandon:
Yeah. I don’t know.

David:
Well, on that vein, for people who want to follow up with you, where can they find out more about you?

Hakeem:
My website is perspectiveglobalmedia.com. Outside of that, LinkedIn is a great place, just Hakeem Valles, first and last name. TikTok is hard because it’s accelerating so fast, it’s hard for me to give you, “Follow me on TikTok…” You can’t message people yet on TikTok unless they both follow each other, which is kind of… It’s something that they need to figure out. But LinkedIn is probably the greatest place to reach out and find me.

Brandon:
Awesome, man. Well, I appreciate having you on the show today, it was phenomenal. I loved the advice of everything we talked about, we’ve got 400 books to write now, and a bunch of t-shirts to make, so it’s been a good show. So, thank you, Hakeem for being here today.

Hakeem:
Brandon, David, wildly enjoyed the show, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Brandon:
Thank you. Great job, man.

David:
This is David Greene for Brandon, the OG, investing book Turner, signing off.

Outro:
You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place. Be sure to join the millions of others who have benefited from biggerpockets.com, your home for real estate investing online.

 

Watch the Episode Here

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Why even professional athletes need to have multiple streams of income
  • How a shocking event in Hakeem’s life changed his outlook forever
  • Fighting income creep and keeping expenses low
  • When renting does and doesn’t make sense for your financial situation
  • The biggest mistake Hakeem made when living in his fourplex
  • How to fight the fear of getting into real estate (and making mistakes)
  • Using social media to leverage your personal brand and grow followers and clients
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Hakeem :

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.