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Private Money Explained Part 3: The “Credibility Pieces” Lenders Love to See

The BiggerPockets Podcast
41 min read
Private Money Explained Part 3: The “Credibility Pieces” Lenders Love to See

Finding a private money lender is far less complicated than people think. Striking up a ten-minute conversation could be enough to find your next round of private money. At least that’s how it worked out for Josiah. Josiah is a small business owner, running a pool cleaning business while building up a small portfolio of rental properties. He sees dozens of new faces every day, and those new faces directly translate into new opportunities.

After hearing our past episodes with Amy Mahjoory, Josiah took some of her tips and began pitching his deals to everyone he encountered. Now, he’s got some private money lenders lined up for his new multi-unit, four and a-half acre, short-term rental real estate deal. We told you—raising private money is a lot easier than most people think! But we’re not just talking to Josiah today. We also have Amy back on the show for part three of her private money masterclass.

This time, Amy talks about building the “credibility pieces” that give private money lenders confidence in you, your team, and your deal. These range from presentations to deal reviews, calculators, and more. These private money tools took decades to build and Amy still uses them today! Interested in testing out some of Amy’s private money-raising tools? Check out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast show page for links!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

David:
This is the BiggerPockets podcast show 654.

Amy:
I’m getting the commitment, but I’m still building rapport and trust. I’ll explain to you how the flow of money works. But right now, don’t even worry about it. We’ll cross that bridge when or if we get there. Once somebody invests with you, and they process the wire, that’s a step for the FACT framework, the transactions piece, then we really want to take a step back and look at how we nurture our network. How do we follow up with our private money lenders so that two things happen? Number one, they reinvest, and number two, they increase their investment amount.

David:
What’s going on, everyone? This is David Greene live from the Smokey Mountains. Actually, it’s not live to you, but it’s live to me. I’m here looking at cabins, and checking on some of the ones that I just bought, and getting to do a BiggerPockets podcast from the area. I’m joined by fellow Smokey Mountain investor and my co-host for the podcast, Rob Abasolo. Rob, how’s it going today?

Rob:
Hey, man. I am barely making it through the day. You know what I mean?

David:
I totally understand. I made a joke on Instagram the other day about this is a bear market, and it got quite the response. Apparently, dad jokes are making a comeback here.

Rob:
Oh yeah. They’ve been popular since 1972. I don’t know why that was the invention of them, but they’ve been big for a while. I actually done some research on this topic now that I’m a father.

David:
I just didn’t know they were big outside of dads. People that are not dads are really liking dad jokes these days.

Rob:
You know what, it’s cool to be a dad, man. It is so cool. You should try it sometime.

David:
You got dad bods. You got dad jokes.

Rob:
I will hopefully not have a dad bod in the next couple of months, man. I’ve been hitting the bike every single day. Little by little, I’m chipping away. I’m going from dad bod to-

David:
Hard to make something to rhyme with that on the spot, isn’t it?

Rob:
It is. I didn’t really think that out.

David:
Dad bod.

Rob:
I usually practice my jokes in the mirror.

David:
From dad bod to rad bod.

Rob:
There we go, rad bod. Rob bod, how about that?

David:
Thank you, Producer Eric. Eric’s one of those guys, our producer for this show, that you never would think is in the hip hop. Then you’re at a karaoke night one day, and he steps up, and he just starts freestyle rapping, and knows every single word to some KRS-One song that most people who just heard me say that have no idea who I’m talking about. He’s that guy that always surprises you, so thank you for that, Eric. Let’s get to today’s show. Thank you guys for hanging out through that semi-ridiculous intro we just had.
In today’s show, Rob and I are going to be interviewing Amy Mahjoory. Amy has a four-part system that helps raise money in a very simple way that is very effective. We’re going to start off today’s show with a treat for you guys. Josiah listened to the first interview that we did with Amy, put her system into practice, and found himself with someone that was willing to let him borrow money right off the bat. He explains what he did, how he did it, and how it worked out.
Then Rob and Amy asked him some question about what’s going on. It is a fantastic example of how simple this system is when you work it. Rob, what are some of your favorite parts of today’s show?

Rob:
I raised a decent amount of money. I’m raising money now for a fund that I’m putting together on a motel. Honestly, I don’t think that you can ever stop improving on how you raise capital. I’ve been raising capital now for probably two or three years. My style to do that has really evolved over the years. Even listening to this episode today, I’m like, “Oh, I can really see how it affects my fundraising game for the better to really just start putting an actual system so that you can think of fundraising a little bit more in a linear progression.”
Because for me, my thoughts are always in the ether. I’m always the ad lib guy that’s like, “Let’s go with the flow.” But having the direct system on how to approach getting money from investors, I think, is going to be super valuable for everyone listening at home.

David:
My two cents, the real estate investing space is changing rapidly every year. I mean, if you just look in the last 10 years how much it’s changed, it’s wildly different. There’s a lot of reasons why, but I think the biggest reason is that real state investing used to be a good old boys club. You needed to have a mentor in the city you worked at that knew how to be an investor that could teach you the ropes. This was… It was like jujitsu before the Gracie’s made it popular. If you didn’t know Gracie, you weren’t learning jujitsu.
Well, it’s different now. This is one of the biggest podcasts on all of iTunes. There’s tons of people on social media that are sharing all the information. Real estate investors like to talk. This is not a place where everyone keeps their secrets. Information is everywhere. That increases competition after these assets, and it’s one of the reasons that even though the market is slowing down, we’re entering into a bear market, as you guys will hear about later in today’s show, there’s still a lot of competition for the best assets.
That’s because it’s much easier to own them than it ever was before. You need to get into the private money game, whether you are actually raising money to buy these assets, or you are lending your money to someone else to make a passive return. There is a space for both people. My opinion, the next evolution of real estate investing is going to be crowdfunding made easy. NFTs are going to play a role in this. We interviewed Ryan Pineda, and he talked about that on the episode that we did with him.
I’m raising more money. Rob’s raising money also, but we’re doing it in 100% different ways, so we’re appealing to a different type of investor, who’s looking for a different risk reward profile. I would highly recommend if you’re someone who knows real estate investing is going to be a part of your future that you listen to episodes like this, want to pay a lot of attention, because these skills will be huge in helping you scale your portfolio faster.
Before we get into the show with Amy, today’s quick tip is head over to biggerpockets.com/reshow, where Amy, our guest today, has some free information that you can claim for yourself. That’s biggerpockets.com/reshow. The RE is for real estate, but it would spell reshow, and claim your free stuff today. Rob, any last words before we get to the show?

Rob:
If you have ever been interested in learning how to defend yourself against a bear, then I would definitely stick around until the very end of the episode, because we give some very tactical tips on that one.

David:
Little known fact, the B in BJJ actually stands for bear. It’s a misnomer that it’s Brazilian, but that’s not true. It was developed in the rainforest of Brazil, where people were being killed every single day, and the Russians actually copied it. Now, they have their kids wrestling bears for skills. We get into that at the end of the show, so it’s not enough to make a lot of money. In real estate, you’ve also got to be able to protect that money, especially from hungry bears.

Rob:
And pretend like you know about bears, so that’s always important.

David:
Amy Mahjoory, welcome back to the BiggerPockets podcast. So lovely to have you today. How have you been?

Amy:
I’ve been great. Thank you for having me. Excited to catch up with you guys today.

David:
Yes. Now, I’m going to have you recap what we talked about in the first two episodes where we interviewed you. But before we do that, we actually have a guest who heard the episode, and put your advice into practice, and it worked out very well. Josiah, welcome to the show.

Josiah:
Thank you, David. I am a small business owner out of Southern Oregon. I have a pool and spa cleaning and repair business. This business gives me the unique opportunity to get in with people I might not otherwise have access to. Then lately, I’ve been trying to work that into possibly people to partner with or invest with. So basically, lately, I started implementing the four-second power pitch. I did this by building rapport over time with my clients. I would talk to them about being in real estate.
A little backstory with our real estate, my wife and I, she’s my partner. We have our first home that we bought that we turned into our first rental. That was in 2021, or no, sorry, 2020. Then in 2021, we cashed out, refinanced that. Then the beginning of this year, we’ve done two deals so far. We’re definitely rookie investors, but we’re starting to see some momentum. Our second deal was actually an out-of-state property that my wife and I did after reading your book on Out of State Investing. Then we ended up buying that one, all cash, refinancing it, and then using that money into a tiny home Airbnb that we did on our property that we own, that we live on here in Southern Oregon.
Obviously, I got that inspiration from Rob, and following him on his Robuilt channel. We just finished that project May 18th. All along the way, I’ve been talking with my clients about what it is we’re doing, and just building rapport with them, and building myself up as not just a pool guy, but also a real estate investor who is implementing different strategies, and growing consistently. When I’m building rapport with my clients and stuff, most of them have… On their pool guy, they have big houses.
Basically, when I meet these clients initially, they’re clients with big houses and pools most of the time. I’ll try to build rapport with them by complimenting their house first. I’ll say, “Hey, this is a beautiful house you got, and a lovely pool. What is it that you do that lets you afford a house like this?” I’ll ask them questions about themselves, and what it is they do. That also gives me information on, what their interests are, or if they’re business owners as well, and then helps qualify them in my mind while I’m also trying to build rapport with them.
I would say, “Hey, how do you afford such a lovely house and pool?” This process takes a long time. It’s not like it’s something that happens overnight when I’m building rapport with them. I’ll often see them intermittently. It could be due, and so when they do that, it helps me build rapport with them and a relationship, but it also at the same time helps qualify them as a potential partner in the future, and if there’s someone, I think, that I’d be able to work with or not. So, whenever I see them, I always try to update them on what it is I’m doing or what it was we last talked about, and then jump ahead to where we’re at now with those projects.
The tiny home has been the biggest thing for us. A lot of people have been super interested in that. Obviously, they’re really trendy and stuff, but we’ve had phenomenal success with that. We’ve set it up to the highest level we possibly could, and because of that, it’s been booked out about 95% to 99% of the time since when we first launched it on May 18th. When I tell them stuff like that, I mean, we’re getting about a 60% return on our investment right now, and they’re just blown away by that fact. So, lately when I talk about that, I was able to caveat it into possibly getting partners or private money investors lately.
I did that simply by asking them. They would say, “Hey, that’s phenomenal what you’re doing.” I’d just be like, “Hey, we’re working on another project right now where I might be taking on private investors. Is just sitting back and collecting income from real estate something that you might be interested in? You wouldn’t have to manage it at all, or do any extra work. We’d do all the leg work for you.” I’ve done that with four or five of my clients now, and I’ve had really good success.

Rob:
That’s amazing. I was wondering what your parlay was, because I know for Amy, she talks about going out, and you meet someone. You say, “I helped someone get double digit returns in real estate,” because you’re introducing each other, and you’re like, “I don’t know what you do. What do you do? I do this and that.” Obviously, if you’re the owner of this company, that part is that they know what you do. So, how have you worked on your transitions? Does it change from client to client, or do you think you have a pretty streamlined pitch at this point?

Josiah:
I mean, I’m new to implementing the strategy, so it’s definitely not streamlined. I work on it as I go, but it definitely changes a little bit client to client depending on what their exact scenario is. This has been such a great strategy though, because it is something to get your foot in the door, and open up people to conversations in the future. Then it just opens their mind a little bit. Then later on, I hope to be able to meet with them, go through and dive in a little bit deeper.
I guess that’s what I’m looking for help with next. Like, what are the next steps? Amy, maybe you could help me with this, but as I try to transition them from just opening their mind up to this idea, and them liking it to actually guiding them.

Amy:
Josiah is the perfect investor who he said earlier is a part-time investor. He’s a great example of someone who just he trusts in the system. He’s just following a script. He implemented it. Even if he had any fears of how to follow up, he’s like, “I got this. I’ll figure that out later.” You guys saw him commenting in the chat box earlier for what do I say next. This is what I keep telling people. You guys, this really does work. It’s been test and measured for 10 years. It’s a great strategy to just get your foot in the door, and then see where the conversation leads you.

Rob:
You’re just getting started. You start putting yourself out there. You’re practicing and perfecting and still ironing out your pitch here. You actually had some success, and you had someone that actually they wanted to work with you. Tell us about the deal that you’re going to be putting together, and how you’re going to be using the funding to make that deal come to life.

Josiah:
I’m actually looking at a deal local to me in Shady Cove, Oregon. It’s a Kenny property. It’s on about four and a half acres right on the edge of town here. It’s a pretty forested area, but it’s got two tax lots and three little cottages on the property right now. What I’m trying to do is remodel these cottages, get them up to rent specs for short-term rentals, and then we add a couple of RV pads, and do a couple more of the tiny homes with the decks around it, and make it just like this little camping community of tiny homes in RV or cottages.
Then maybe because it is four and a half acres, and there’s a nice, lightly sloped hillside do a glamping setup up on the hillside with decks and stuff that come off of it in the future. That’s the ultimate dream. Luckily, this property is off market right now, and so the seller is open to seller financing as well, which is phenomenal. So, it’s just trying the pieces together with everything, and try to figure out basically what the next steps are. I mean, should I focus on maybe finding money for the deal, or trying to get it more structured before I try to raise money for it, and where should I go from here?

Rob:
Awesome, man. Well, it sounds like you hit a home run on your first set of pitches here, not only because you actually were able to secure financing from a private investor, but because it’s a seller finance deal, which these days, I mean, that’s going to be the best interest rate you’re probably going to find on the market. But I’m curious, Amy, since you are the fundraising royalty here on the pod, well, how would you approach this situation?

Amy:
This is a great problem to have. You’re putting together this deal. Definitely don’t wait until you have finalized the deal. We always want to be proactively raising capital as we are looking for leads. So Josiah, you’re off to a great start. Continue those conversations. At this point, you’ll want to follow up, even if it’s just a high-level overview about the deal, but start educating your audience on, “This is what’s in it for me. This is what’s in it for you, and I can help you with this. Here’s what it looks like to invest with us.”
Everyone is so into the short-term rental game now. They love it, the creative ways of basically vacationing, so I think your audience will love that strategy as well.

Josiah:
That’s great. As far as structuring the deal goes, do you think I should look at, because it is my first deal with partners, maybe trying to make it a little higher incentivization to get people to work with me until I have a more solid track record, or do you think my track record that I have so far just personally is probably good enough?

Amy:
I think it’s the latter of the two. This is such a common question. A lot of people will want to increase what they’re offering, because of their lack of experience or limited experience, or maybe because of the fear of the unknown. I’m going to go straight into coaching mode and say, “Hey, you don’t need to offer more.” We can talk about what that offer looks like. You’ve already got a great amount of experience. I mean, you have a portfolio you’re starting to build at your clientele.
I mean, technically, you’re in the real estate industry anyways, because of the service that you provide from a pooling aspect. I think as long as you are able to convey your message clearly, and you have a solid deal, and you know your numbers, you’ll be fine with your current offer.

Rob:
I agree with that. I would say don’t negotiate against yourself unless you have to. That’s honestly the biggest mistake I’ve ever made with partnerships or investors is negotiating myself with some really juicy terms. I think, you go in with the terms that you want, and have in your back pocket what you’re actually willing to do. I actually do believe that you should have some flexibility, because whether or not you make money on your first deal with an investor from your end, I think, the experience is a lot more valuable working with an investor, understanding how to manage timelines and budgets.
Don’t give it away for free, but be flexible if they push back a little bit. I would even just make sure that you have answers to all the different questions that they’re going to ask, because with the type of property and the projects that you have going on, there will be some possible roadblocks with permitting and making sure that everything is head to toe completely legit from a permitting and a conditional use permit and all that stuff standpoint. Make sure that you know your stuff, because the more you know, and the more of an expert that you can present yourself as to the investor, the easier it will be to talk them down the ledge a bit, and get the terms that you want.

Josiah:
Thank you very much for all your help in answering my questions, and explaining this to me. I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes. I hope to see you around.

Rob:
Awesome, man. Good luck with everything.

David:
All right. We wanted to bring Josiah in so that you guys could see that this works. If you work, it wasn’t too long after hearing this information that he put it into play, and now he’s got himself a pretty cool opportunity that it’s safe to say wouldn’t have if he wouldn’t have done this. Amy, first off, thank you very much for your help to our community, and helping Josiah. If you wouldn’t mind, could you just give us a recap on what we talked about on the first two episodes where we discussed your system?

Amy:
Sure. Absolutely. We kicked it off with common fears and objections when it comes to raising capital, which are all very common, whether it’s we don’t have the time, or we don’t have the experience. Even Josiah touched on that, right? We talked about the importance of as you get out there and build your foundation, you want to be very confident in who you are and what you’re doing, because if our audience, in this case, private money lenders, sense any timidness or uncertainty in our voice, they’re not going to invest with us. That really led us into taking action.
What does that four-second power pitch look like, and who do we start to connect with? Really, the answer there was anyone. The minute we leave our house, everyone we encounter is a prospective private money lender, so what does that script look like? Step one from here on out is targeting anyone and everyone with cash or assets collecting dust, and dropping that four-second power pitch on them. If they don’t ask you what you do, so you can drop the four-second power pitch, then why don’t we ask them what they do, so the law of reciprocity finds its way back to us, and we can continue with that conversation.

Rob:
Yes. Basically, you are asking them, “Hey, what do you do?” Just in hopes that from a general, what’s it called, courtesy that they’ll at least pretend to be interested in what you do, and then you actually hit them with the pitch, and then they are actually interested, right? Is that the idea, or if you have a good connection with them at the very beginning, then you can just really lead with that?

Amy:
Absolutely, and it’s all of the above. Now, there are going to be people that we’re going to choose to target who we have a preexisting relationship with. Those conversations will be a little less scripted and more casual. We’re still going to treat it like a business though, whereas those who we don’t have a relationship with, on the last episode, we talked about converting our Uber drivers into private money lenders or people at airports or on airplanes or sporting events.
In that case, we want to target them, and be strategic, and hope that if they don’t ask us what we do, that when we start that conversation, it ends up leading down that direction.

Rob:
Definitely. This is like at the end of every episode, when I’m like, “Dave, where can people find you on social media?” Because I want him to ask me that back, so I can plug my social medias, but then he forgets half the time, and I’m like, “Come on, man.”

David:
Or did I forget? Perhaps I know what you’re doing.

Rob:
Exactly. Amy, can you clarify for us really quickly what is the F, and then what is the A specifically? I know we’ve got an acronym going here.

Amy:
Sure. The FACT framework, the F is for foundation, so how do we build our foundation? Make sure we understand who we are, what we’re doing. We want to know our role. Why are we doing this? What’s in it for us? What’s in it for them, our audience? The A is for action. Now that we’ve built our foundation, we’re confident in what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it. We’re going to get out there and start taking action, and start building rapport with anyone and everyone. It starts with that four-second power pitch.

Rob:
Awesome. Can you take us through what we’re going to be talking about today, because we’re going to be talking about basically the second half of this, and then how we can actually close these investors using the rest of the framework, right?

Amy:
Absolutely. There are a lot of strategies that we can implement when it comes to building rapport and trust with people above and beyond the four-second power pitch. I’ll share a few of those. I think we actually went through several of them on the last episode, the meet-up strategy, the high ticket event strategy. We can touch on more of those if you would like. It’s really step three of the FACT framework, which is the credibility piece. Now that we’re out there 24/7, we’re taking action. We’re building trust and rapport with everyone.
We’re planting that seed with everyone. We want to start to lock up coffee talks, whether they’re in person or virtually. During those 30-minute coffee talks, we want to be able to introduce a different credibility piece to our audience, because over time, these credibility pieces will increase their confidence in who we are and what we’re doing, which will eventually get us to invest with us. That’s what we’ll focus on today is the credibility piece.

Rob:
Awesome. Just so that I’m understanding, because I want to make sure that we’re really clear on all the different steps here. When you say taking action, we did talk about doing the meetups, for example, because that will establish you as a local authority. That is step… That is in the A aspect of it, right, taking action, or is that in the credibility, or is that in this limbo in between?

Amy:
It’s going to be in step two, taking action. The five strategies we discussed on episode two about taking action, there are many more that we can implement if we had the time. Anytime we’re out there building our list, if you will, or building our Rolodex, or connecting with people, that’s all going to be a part of taking action.

Rob:
Awesome. Well, let’s dive in to see the credibility aspect of this, and how we basically transition from taking action to actually posing ourselves as experts, and giving ourselves credibility so that people want to invest with us.

Amy:
Sure. I was just going through… I actually just completed a capital raise for a project here in Austin, Texas. Earlier, I’d mentioned that we’re going to come across all sorts of private money lenders, people who have never done this before, and then very seasoned private money lenders. In this case, the individual I was talking to was an expert private money lender. So, I explained to him, “Hey, in my business, I have over 16 different credibility pieces. I know you understand the business, so you just tell me what you want to see, and I will show it to you.”
In this case, he wanted to see my deal analyzer, which is my very detailed cost-benefit analysis, which takes into account every cost variable, including profits. I’m an open book. I will show everyone my personal financial situation. I will show them potential profits, because I want them to see how much is there in case we don’t hit our numbers, right? He wanted to see the deal analyzer. He wanted to see my list of frequently asked questions, which is simply a six-page PDF of every question I have received over the last 10 years packaged into a nice brochure.
Then he wanted to see my experienced private money presentation. These three things I just emailed to him. Normally, I would schedule a Zoom. I would say, “Hey, let me take you through each piece.” I would actually only start with a generic private money presentation if the individual was not experienced. So above and beyond the list of frequently asked questions, and my property analysis template, my deal analyzer, my private money presentation, which I’ll take most people through on step one, it’s really just a high-level overview. Again, I’m not dropping any details on, “This is who I am. This is my background. Here’s why I raise capital, right?”
“Here’s what’s in it for me. Here are all the reasons why my private money lenders love me. Here’s what’s in it for our private money lenders, and then here’s an example of what a deal looks like very high level.” Then I give them a call to action. “Hey, if you’re interested in learning more about the different investment opportunities we have, let me know. We’ll schedule a follow-up meeting. I’ll introduce you to my team, so on and so forth,” but there’s still no call to action as far as investing is concerned. That’s going to come later. That’s the generic private money presentation.
For those of you who are talking to somebody who has done this before, and they’ve lent on deals, my experienced private money presentation, it’s going to have more strategies in there. It’s going to talk about what it looks like to leverage out of retirement accounts. It’s going to go into a more detailed overview of what different investment opportunities look like, so the financial acumen’s going to be a little bit higher in this case. This is a great example of why I’ve got 16 different credibility pieces. We’ve got contracts. We’ve got org charts. We’ve got our business plans, and I just pick and choose depending on who I’m talking to.

Rob:
This is really interesting, because I came into thinking about the credibility aspect of this a little bit differently, just so that I am getting this because I want to use this myself. Obviously, I use components of this, but having a more linear progression, I think, is going to be very helpful for everyone listening at home. So when you’re taking action, for example, in the meetup aspect of it, and you talked about establishing yourself as a local authority, I was thinking of that as establishing credibility, which of course it does.
You’re actually talking about the credibility of you as someone who handles someone’s money. As an investor, if I’m going to give you my money, I want to feel that you are a credible financial savvy person that can actually deploy that, and perform fiduciary duty versus the credibility component of, “Hey, I build a lot of houses. Look, I’m successful. I have good returns.” I know that they’re similar, but I think one seems more financially focused when you’re establishing the credibility, versus I was thinking it was more like, “Hey, look at me. I’m pretty legit from the real estate side.” Is there much of a difference in these two camps?

Amy:
There is a difference, and it’ll be a combination of the two, because we really need to know our numbers, right? I always tell people, “Your experience doesn’t matter. What matters is the deal.” Sure, we have to be able to articulate things clearly and concisely, and know how to build our power team of experts, because if you lack experience, as long as you know how to bring together contractors, designers, architects, your experience doesn’t matter. What matters is the equity and the deal. That’s where our financial acumen comes into play, and so we want to be able to explain both sides of that to our private money lenders.

Rob:
This is very helpful. This is actually one of the… This is what I needed when I was first embarking in my raising money journey many years ago. When I was just a tiny little Robuilt, I remember I was thinking, “Oh, I build houses. I do Airbnb. I make great money on Airbnb. It shouldn’t be very hard to raise money,” and I went to my father-in-law’s brother, I guess. Was it my uncle in-law? He was like, “I’d be interested in investing. What you got?” So, I put a presentation together that was so focused on the nuts and bolts of Airbnb.
I was like, “All right, here’s what I’ve done. Here’s how much money I make. Here’s what the cash flow is going to be.” Then he hit me with the wild what I thought at the time, because I wasn’t really into this yet, but he hit me with a wild list of very investment and financial specific questions like IRRs. If this, then what? What about capital contributions? Who gets paid back first in the investment? Does your equity vest before or after you’ve paid back my investment?
To all of those questions, I felt so blindsided. I was like, “I don’t know. I mean, it’s going to make money, man. What’s the problem?” Then he was like, “This is not for me.” I was like, “Wow, this guy, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get Airbnb, man.” But in retrospect, I see how I failed on the second half of this. Building the credibility here definitely is important.

Amy:
That’s such a great example. Thank you for sharing of why we have to know our numbers because… This is why I created six pages of FAQs that we don’t want to only memorize them. We really want to understand them, because the private money lenders out there who have done this before, and who know what they’re doing, you will come across PMLs who will purposely ask you the same question five different ways just to test your knowledge on the logistics, but also on the financials, right? We really have to know how our process works. If we don’t, we should not be out there ethically raising capital for deals.

Rob:
100%. When you say that you put together this list of FAQs and your presentations, I know for me, we have a pretty dialed presentation. We have our own internal list of FAQs, but it’s not like we just discovered that overnight. We discovered that through failure of raising money time and time again, because every investor would ask the same question, or, like you said, a different version of the same question. So, every single time we got out of an investment meeting where we didn’t secure the capital, we were like, “Oh, we should probably think this through. What happens when partner A wants to exit the business? Do we want to have a vesting period, and all this type of stuff?”
For sure, I think as you continue to develop your pitch and your power pitch and your power presentation, just know it’s not going to be perfect when you’re getting started. You’re probably going to have a few bumps and bruises. Not everyone is going to have the wonderful Josiah story, obviously, where he’s able to lock it down super fast. I know for me, at this point, and obviously I have more of a platform, but even outside of that, I actually still don’t even talk about the platform necessarily when I’m approaching new investors, just because I want them to know that I know my stuff. I want to prove that I actually do know a lot of the financial acumen that you talked about.

David:
Amy, what do you think about the credibility being a spectrum where when you have less credibility as far as track record or knowledge, you have to put more work up front in the deal itself, like Rob talking to his uncle in-law who probably knew more about real estate than Rob did? He’s asking all these questions and stuff I wouldn’t be asking unless they were a little experienced, versus somebody later in their career, who’s got an established track record. I was trying to avoid using me as an example, but that’s the easiest way, where I bought real estate for 10 or 15 years before I ever talk to someone about raising money.
I don’t have to put as much effort into explaining all these intricate details. It’s like, “Well, it’s David. I trust him.” How do you see that progressing?

Amy:
I always respond the same way, and I get this question all the time, which is if you don’t have a lot of experience as an investor, then lean on your team of experts, because you’re not going to be the one grouting the tile, right? So as the business owner and entrepreneur, as long as you know how to analyze a deal, and you know how to build a power team, then what I do is I bring my team into these conversations. I’ll say, “Hey, even though I’ve only been doing this for a year, or I’ve never done a deal before, this is my general contractor. He’s been doing this for 25 years. This is why we picked this neighborhood, specifically these three blocks.”
“This is my designer. She owns her own design firm. This is my real estate attorney. It’s his law firm. We’ve been working together collectively, and building our strategy for the last 12 months. If you would like, I’d be more than happy to schedule a call so that you can talk to my general contractor directly.” It really is… You want to create this team that feels empowered, because I always tell people, “I’m not successful because of the things I’ve done. I’m successful because of my team, and it’s my team that helps me shine.” That’s how I overcome that objection.

David:
How about if you walk us through a deal you’ve done, and maybe hit on how you covered all four of these steps in your deal so we can see what it looks like in a real-life application?

Amy:
Sure. Absolutely. You know what, before I forget, if you would like, because I’m sure there are going to be a lot of questions about how do I create a private money presentation? What are all the details that go into it? I’ll just give you, guys, a copy, and if you want to share it with everyone, feel free to do so. Take it. Implement it. I’ll script it out for you, so those of you listening can read it and even practice at home, and then get out there and start implementing it.

Rob:
Sure. That sounds amazing. Thank you.

Amy:
As I mentioned earlier, there was a deal. Why don’t we start with my very first deal that I raised capital on, because I had only done one deal prior to that? On my very first deal, we often talk about mistakes or lessons learned. On the very first deal that I completed in downtown Chicago, I did not use private money. I was working my full-time job. I was trying to build my power team, and so I had the gap funding in the bank, and I ended up putting that into the deal. Well, two weeks later, my acquisitions manager, which is just a fancy way, you guys, of saying realtor brought me two passive income properties.
All I needed for each rental property, they were small single family homes, it was either $20,000 or $25,000 each. Each property would have cash flowed $300 a month, so we’re talking about $600 in positive cash flow every single month that I wasn’t able to pull the trigger on, because I had put my own money into my fix and flip, and I had not prioritized the art of raising capital, so I couldn’t just raise the capital today for the down payment. For me, that was a really hard lesson to learn. I always say, “Look, is $600 a month going to retire us?” No, but that’s one example of one missed opportunity, and think about how quickly that can start to add up.
I really hustled. I reprioritized. I shifted my focus in my business, and on the very next deal, I ended up raising from a complete stranger to begin with $390,000 in 21 days. Now, I hustled. I was on the phone every day. So when it came to building my foundation, before I had started actually picking up the phone to call people, and requesting referral, after referral, after referral, which we talked about on previous episodes, I made sure as a part of building my foundation, I had my online presence completed, so I had a website. I had social media profiles.
I didn’t have huge followers. Nobody knew me back then, but I made sure I had LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, and it said I’m a real estate investor. For those of you who don’t have a social media presence yet, go copy mine. I’m giving you permission right now. Copy my social media. Have at it. There’s your online presence for your website. Create a landing page. You don’t need anything fancy. Just have something, because whether we like it or not, private money lenders are going to Google us and go to our website.
I practiced my scripts. I recorded myself on my phone to make sure that I was very smooth when I was chatting over the phone, because I was still reading some of the scripts I had created 10 years ago. Then I felt comfortable getting out there, and picking up the phone to call people. That was how I built my foundation. I would call people through referrals. The first thing I would do is drop that four-second power pitch on them. Then when they wanted to learn more, now that I’m taking action, and connecting with them, I’d schedule a coffee talk. I would take them through my general basic private money presentation, which I’m going to give you guys a copy of.
I remember the gentleman during that three-week time period that I was hustling, and I was on the phone every day. So to those of you listening, this doesn’t mean in three weeks, I raised almost $400,000 through an email automation or a social media post. I’m hustling. I’m finding every single credibility piece that I can, and sharing it with as many prospective private money lenders as I can all through the four-second power pitch on all through requesting referrals, the meetup strategy, the fundraising strategy, so on and so forth.
I would hop as a part of the credibility piece, step three, in my FACT framework. During these 30-minute coffee talks, I would take them through their private money presentation. Then before I would end that coffee talk, which by the way, in a perfect world, you want to get through your presentation in 15 minutes. In the beginning, you’re going to take 45. That’s normal. It’s all a part of the process, and the learning curve, and in a perfect world, which I know we don’t live in. During these 30-minute coffee talks, you want to give your audience time to talk about who they are as well, and their experience investing, what their expectations are.
But before we would end up the conversation, I would ask, “So what do you think? Do you have any questions? Are you interested in knowing more?” I didn’t say, “Do you want to invest in that deal?” I was $400,000 for. I was looking for a private money. I never said, “All right, so do you want to wire the 400,000?” Even though internally I knew it was crunch time, right? I would get the commitment, and they would, most of the time, want to know more. Because I’d practice my presentation, they could sense the confidence in my voice. They could sense the energy.
Then that would lead into multiple coffee talks, again, where I’m introducing them through other credibility pieces, such as the contracts I use in my deals, or the design piece, or I’d share architectural renderings. I would show them what it would look like to leverage out of their retirement accounts. Once they committed, then step four, the transactional piece is I would take them through before they process any wire. This is where I’m at right now on a new raise I’m doing here in Austin, Texas. I would say, “Hey, let me know.”
So, this gentleman’s going to let me know within the next 24 hours if he wants to invest $300,000. I said to him, “Hey, once you decide whether or not you want to invest, then let’s hop on another zoom.” I’m getting the commitment, but I’m still building rapport and trust. I’ll explain to you how the flow of money works, but right now, don’t even worry about it. We’ll cross that bridge when or if we get there. Once somebody invests with you, and they process the wire, that’s a step for the FACT framework, the transactions piece.
Then we really want to take a step back, and look at how we nurture our network. How do we follow up with our private money lenders so that two things happen? Number one, they reinvest. Number two, they increase their investment amount. That’s going to go into our nurture system, but that’s at a very high level how I raised the first 400. I parlay that into how I’m working on the next 300 on my current deal.

Rob:
Awesome. Let me clarify on the C on the credibility aspect of it. When you end that power pitch or not the, sorry, the coffee talk, you’re going to say, “Do you want to know more?” I got to imagine that a large percentage of those people are like, “Keep going.” Do you try to cram it all in that meeting, or because you can, I don’t want to say close them while they’re warm, or do you schedule another… I know you said you do multiple coffee talks. How does this play out for you usually?

Amy:
I don’t want to cram it as much as I can into one meeting, even if the investor is a seasoned investor, like the gentleman I’m talking to right now, because it can still be overwhelming. It’s a lot of content. Even if you guys email me an executive summary before we even talk about the deal, I’m going to be like, “What is this? What are all these numbers? What are they doing?” I probably will either delete or not read it, actually not if it came from you guys, but that’s a whole nother conversation.
Whether it was 10 years ago or today, I still approach it in the four-step process, and I will still offer to take my private money lenders through all the credibility pieces. Similar to what David said earlier, sure. Now through social media, now through these interviews, now through my experience, I have people who reach out to me saying, “I want to invest with you.” There are going to be times where a lot of people don’t even know who I am, but whether they know me or not, I still offer to take them through the four-step process.

Rob:
That’s really cool. So then at the end of the transaction side, you talk about the nurturing. I imagine that at the same time, you do want to be a little high touch probably for at least the couple of days or the week after. That way, someone doesn’t wire you $100,000, and then you stop talking to them, and they’re like, “Well, what happened here?” Is there a little bit extra communication that happens directly after just to cure any buyer’s remorse that might be setting in for an investor?

Amy:
Yes. I always take care of my private money lenders, and I like to over communicate, but in a respectful way. For example, the gentleman I was just talking to to today about this Austin raise. He said, “All right.” He goes, “I’ll send you an email, and then you’re just going to email me wire instructions if I decide to move forward.” I said, “No. Even now 10 years later, I’m still not going to raise capital through an email blast. I’m going to pick up the phone, and call my top 10. I’ve got 10 private money lenders who I go to first. I’m not going to text them.”
This gentleman asked, “Do you have an opt-in page, so I can learn more about future investment opportunities?” I laughed, because I was like, “Oh my God, no. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and I don’t. I don’t have an opt-in page. A lot of investors do, but that’s because I really focus on building and sustaining that relationship with my private money lenders through old school strategies, picking up the phone and talking, or going out for lunch or coffee.” That’s how I will… That’s a part of how I nurture those relationships.

Rob:
That’s awesome. I can really see, even for me, how this is going to play out, because I’m currently doing a raise right now for a $7 million 23-unit motel, and a lot of the times, there’s the platform, right? That helps me establish, I guess, the foundation where I can talk about it, and get people interested in that project. But I haven’t really… I had a marketing plan in mind, but now I think I’m going to adjust it based on what we talked about today, which is I talk about it. I gather the interested leads. Then I was going to… I plan on now hosting meetups, or I guess virtual workshops, if you will, or virtual meetups with people. That way, I can reach the entire country.
That would be a taking action, getting people in a room, telling them about what I do, telling them about the deal, and then going to credibility at that point, taking it from the group setting down to individual, as you call it, coffee talks where we actually start taking those calls with investors to actually walk them through the specifics of the deal, not just the actual real estate side of it, but talking through the actual nuts and bolts of a syndication, limited partnerships, the general partners, and everything like that, and then finally the transaction side where we then have to get them through all the nuts and bolts of that too.
Make sure that they’re accredited. Make sure that they actually are able to sign up online, get them into the portal, and then as we just talked about, keeping it high touch there for the next couple of weeks, so just to make sure that everybody’s updated. You have already influenced my raising strategy on what I’m doing right now. Thank you.

Amy:
Thank you, sir. I’d love to hear both your thoughts on this, because to me, raising capital is fun. Talking to people and networking, it’s fun. I always tell investors, “It ends up turning into not so much a game,” but you don’t even realize eventually once you get good at raising capital, you don’t even realize that it’s happening. You’ll be out there every day raising capital. For me, I like spending time with my private money lenders. My private money lenders have become my friends. We take vacations together. We go on masterminds together.
So in my business, and everyone’s process may be different, once a private money lender has invested a million dollars with me, it can either be in one lump sum or across multiple deals. I will pay to fly them out to the job site, give them this VIP experience, take them out to dinner, sit down with my team, walk through properties. They love that. It’s another great way to continue to develop that long-term relationship. So now, not only are they reinvesting with us, and reinvesting greater amounts, but now they’re starting to introduce us to our network of prospective investors.
But what do you guys think? What has your experience been there?

Rob:
I think that’s really great. I wanted… When we were going to originally launch our fund, where we were going to build a few houses or 23 houses in Joshua tree, we actually had intended to allow the different investors to stay at those properties at short-term rentals. We’re building a short-term rental portfolio. Come and actually stay there a few nights once it’s all done, which is great, but it’s not instant gratification, right? I definitely think that there’s a level of credibility even that’s added when you say, “Hey, thanks so much for investing. Come out. We’ll meet you out there. We’ll fly you out there, and we’ll actually take you through the project,” because I mean, I’m sure you know.
Actually walking a project is completely different than seeing it online. David and I hadn’t seen the Spanish mansion that we bought in Scottsdale in person previous to buying it, and then we showed up, and we were like, “Whoa, this was worth it. This was worth the massive investment that we just made.” It’s a little magical, especially as an investor to actually walk through something that you purchased in, that you participated in, and it’s very surreal. I think as long as you can keep that up, and keep an investor very, I don’t want to say enchanted, but very excited about the opportunity, then, I think, the funds there open up, because we have investors that we work with now.
We are relatively high touch. We definitely communicate with them and everything. But the more you can do that, and the more you can nurture that relationship like you’re talking about, they tend to want to invest again and again and again. It definitely is a strategy worth pursuing to get someone out there to actually see the property. But I don’t know. That’s me. What about you, Dave?

David:
I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, and I don’t want to make this a two-hour episode, so why don’t we do this? We will let Amy have the last word on this show, wrap up what she was describing. I will save my thoughts for the follow-up episode to this episode, which will be putting a button in it, as you might say, Rob. We’ll get into what do you do once you’ve got someone who’s like, “I’ve got some money to lend?” You work the FACT process. It works out. How do you invest that money?
There’s debt. There’s equity. There’s combinations of the two. There’s all kinds of creative ways, so I think that this would be a good thing to get into once we’ve finished the four-part system. So if you want to hear my advice or my feedback on what I do when I’m raising money, or different ways to do it, you’re going to have to listen to the next episode. Before we get out of here, Amy, do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to leave us with?

Amy:
Sure. Just as we wrap step four, the FACT framework, and those transactions are coming in, we talked briefly about the VIP experience, and defining what our follow-up system looks like, and how we’re going to nurture our network moving forward. I always like to be clear with my private money lenders, and let them know, “Hey, you are an investor in this deal. So as far as I’m concerned, this project is just as much yours as it is mine.” Use this in your portfolio. Put this on your website as one of your properties that’s coming soon.
Blast on all over social media. Tell your friends and family members about this amazing new build that’s coming up in Austin, Texas, and just be comfortable sharing this project as a part of your own, because I really believe that this is yours just as much as it is mine.

David:
That’s awesome. Robin, what do you think about the show so far? Any last words for us before we get out of here?

Rob:
No, I was just going to say that the reason I say put a button on it is because you’re cute as a button when you talk about real estate, David. That’s all.

David:
Speaking of cute as a button, there are so many bears. I’m out here in the Smokey Mountains right now looking at more cabins. I’ve seen about seven bears in two days. They’re everywhere. I mean, I just thought it was every once in a while, you might see a bear, but no, they’re walking down the street. They’re going into people’s front yards. I was literally looking at a house, and a bear came walking up on the porch as I was stepping outside to open the door, and see the view out of the corner of my eye. What I thought was a black lab was actually a very big black bear.
Well, I guess it would be very big for a lab. It was small for a bear, but still, it just comes sauntering up, looks right at you, cruises around, sniffs around for food, walks away. It’s amazing how they’re everywhere out here. I keep hearing people call them cute. It’s like, “That’s not what I think of when I see a bear.” I see that’s an apex predator. That is not afraid of anything. That is competition for me. I don’t see them cute at all. Amy, what’s your thoughts on that? Are bears cute, or are they scary?

Amy:
They are not cute. Even in giant black lab, I love dogs, but no, I’m like, “I don’t know.” I haven’t even been to Yosemite. I don’t jive well with bears.

David:
Rob, you were going to say?

Rob:
I had a bear walk up to me at my chalet in Gatlinburg when I bought it. It was probably about four or five feet away. Like you said, just casual. I was right next to someone, and I got… I was tying my shoe, and I got up, and I was like… I just started… Basically me and the person I was next to, we realized it at the same time. She was like, “Bear!” We did what you’re supposed to do, which is just run as fast as you can away from the bear. We made it out alive. We’re okay.
I’m glad she did, because I was out of words. I later found out that what you’re supposed to do is instead of running, you’re just supposed to point at it, and shout out its insecurities to its face, but I didn’t know that tidbit at the time. I could go back [inaudible 00:51:31].

David:
Your partner never approved of you, and the bear will just turn around and run away.

Rob:
That’s right. I guess I wish I had known that, but it’s okay. We made it out alive.

David:
You have really small pause for a bear your size.

Rob:
You call those bear pause.

David:
Barely pause at all. On our final episode, you will get to hear Amy’s insults towards a bear that she uses to keep herself safe when she does encounter a bear as well. Don’t miss it. Rob, if people want to find out more about you, where can they go?

Rob:
Oh my gosh. You asked, dude. You pick up quick, man. You can find me on YouTube over at Robuilt. That’s R-O-B-U-I-L-T. You can find me on Instagram at Robuilt as well, and TikTok at Robuilto. What about you, David?

David:
I’m DavidGreene24. I’m now doing YouTube lives at youtube.com/davidgreenerealestate. If you guys want to come in and ask me questions, feel free. But most importantly, Amy, if someone wants to give you money, or they want to learn more about your FACT system, where can they find out more about you?

Amy:
Sure. You guys can catch me on Instagram at AmyMahjoory, or just come join us in October. I’m doing a live event in Long Beach, California. We’ll have a two-day conference all about real estate and money, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

David:
All right. Most importantly, you can follow BiggerPockets for more than just the podcast. We have a YouTube channel where I interview different people. Other people are interviewed about different things. If there’s a specific topic, short-term rentals, finding on-market deals, finding off-market deals, commercial real estate, whatever your flavor is, head over to YouTube, and check out the BiggerPockets YouTube channel, because there’s a ton of content, much of it shorter than this, but more specific in nature.
You can get lost in there, and I hope you do because it’s good to spend your time watching real estate videos instead of cat videos or on TikTok. BiggerPockets is much better for your financial future. All right, Amy, thank you so much. If you guys would like to hear Amy again, all you got to do is check out the next episode. Please like, share, and subscribe this episode on the podcast. We love you, and we’ll see you on the next one. This is David Greene for Rob “the bear cub” Abasolo signing off.

 

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Josiah’s “pool guy to private money” story and how anyone can find private money in their area
  • The FACT framework recap and using it to establish a system for finding private money
  • Building rapport and creating credibility by showcasing yourself, your deals, and your team
  • The sixteen “credibility pieces” Amy uses every day to engage more private money lenders
  • How to be prepared when private money lenders ask you specifics about a certain deal
  • A brief lesson in how to escape a bear “attack” from Rob Abasolo
  • And So Much More!

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Books Mentioned in the Show:

Connect with Amy & Josiah:

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