Using Real Estate Investing to Help People

7 Replies

My business partner Nate Barger sent me a text message expressing gratitude for what I've done to help him. Last Friday, he closed on his dream home - a multi-million dollar home in Mason, Ohio (suburb north of Cincinnati) and he sent me the pictures below:

Nate is very grateful for the help I gave him but the truth is, his story is testament to the power of real estate investing. Nate convinced me to share his story here on BP so that his story will serve to inspire others that with real estate investing (if done correctly), you can achieve and even surpass your financial dreams. Nate is the "chubby guy" sitting next to me (LOL):

How We Met

I met Nate right after I lost everything back in 2003. Nate was very successful real estate investor. He owned 250 apartment units and commercial properties. I sought out successful real estate investors and Nate is one of the guys that went on my radar screen. I told him I admire how he was able to succeed in apartment & commercial real estate investing.

I drove a beater (& very old) Toyota Corrolla and I told Nate I really liked his Range Rover. The second time I told him the same thing, he gave me the keys to his Range Rover. I was shocked and embarrassed to admit I didn't have any money to pay him. He told me to pay him when I made money in real estate again.

Nate and I did some deals together and in just 6 months, I earned enough money to pay him cash for his Range Rover. In 2006, we went our own separate ways - I focused on Low Income Tax Credit housing while he continued to do what he was doing.

How Nate Became Bankrupt

2008 happened and Nate's commercial tenants couldn't pay him the rents. Even though his apartment buildings did well, their cashflow was not enough to cover his losses. By 2010, he was bankrupt. He called me and I saw a way to help him while making money at the same time.

How Nate Became My Partner

I bought the non performing notes on his properties. I also negotiated short sales with some of them. Then, with some of his properties, I leased them back to him which he then subleased. We became business partners. We benefitted from each other's expertise - I benefitted from his expertise in construction management, while he benefitted from my expertise in deal acquisition, raising capital and property management.

Nate's BK was settled in 2013 with my help and with his BK behind him, we went on a buying frenzy. In 2013, we acquired 28% of the apartment inventory for sale at that time in Cincinnati.

Six years after his BK, Nate was able to buy a multi-million dollar mansion.

What Can You Learn from Nate's Story

1. Network, network, network. Your business partner who will help you change your life could be one networking meeting away. Even though I was broke, I tried to meet people who were more successful than I was and I met Nate who became a blessing to me - and I returned the favor.

The poor gets money from the government.

The middle class makes money from their jobs.

The rich, makes money from their network.

2. Use real estate investing to help people. Nate used real estate investing to help me...and when he was down financially, I used real estate investing to help him. Are there experienced but tired landlords whom you can help by structuring win-win real estate deals with, maybe with their distressed properties? Who knows? Maybe you can even partner with them long term.

Don't be greedy. Don't use people to make money. The ones I see last a long time in real estate investing are the ones who use real estate investing to help people (not the other way around). A wise real estate investor once told me:

"Being good is a good business strategy"

In other words, good guys finish and bad guys don't even finish! Sooner or later, they will be out of the game.

3. Creatively HUSTLE. That's what Nate and I did to succeed in real estate. If you don't have any money right now, you can still become a real estate investor. How? Be CREATIVE - do you have skills, time and other resources you can use in lieu of cash? Can you partner - other people provide the deal and you provide the work?

Then HUSTLE. Go to work. And work HARD. 

The gurus are wrong: real estate investing is not easy. It's not for the faint hearted.

But if you're willing to put in the time and the work, with real estate investing, you can achieve and even surpass even your loftiest financial goals and dreams.

So, I hope Nate's story inspired you. Do you have an inspiring story to share as to what real estate investing has done for you? Share them here!

Loved the story.  I have several like it but they're sort of long to post here.  But your note about him giving you the keys to his car and saying "pay me when you can" really struck home.  

People you meet and befriend in this business are the best.  The ones you can be friends with and trust are REALLY people you can trust.  I remember neededing to close on a big deal.  I was $200k short. I called a buddy who did what I do.  Told him I was $200k short.  He sent me a simple promissory note to sign, and wired me $200k the next day. Of course he charged me a high rate but hey -- it was a short term 4 month loan so who cares.  The difference between getting this deal and not was more important that $8k or whatever I paid in interst.

I can imagine what a pain an alternative would have been. Even "easy" to get hard money.  There would have been applications and forms and legal docs and points in and out and blah blah.   Where as when you're dealing with a friend in this business things are much closer to 'hand shake' level.

I can tell you that if this guy needed $1m I'd have no problem sending him a wire and using a simple one page 'IOU' to formalize our deal. 

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Originally posted by @Cody L. :

Loved the story.  I have several like it but they're sort of long to post here.  But your note about him giving you the keys to his car and saying "pay me when you can" really struck home.  

People you meet and befriend in this business are the best.  The ones you can be friends with and trust are REALLY people you can trust.  I remember neededing to close on a big deal.  I was $200k short. I called a buddy who did what I do.  Told him I was $200k short.  He sent me a simple promissory note to sign, and wired me $200k the next day. Of course he charged me a high rate but hey -- it was a short term 4 month loan so who cares.  The difference between getting this deal and not was more important that $8k or whatever I paid in interst.

I can imagine what a pain an alternative would have been. Even "easy" to get hard money.  There would have been applications and forms and legal docs and points in and out and blah blah.   Where as when you're dealing with a friend in this business things are much closer to 'hand shake' level.

I can tell you that if this guy needed $1m I'd have no problem sending him a wire and using a simple one page 'IOU' to formalize our deal. 

 That's awesome man and it's very true. People you like & trust, the contract or paperwork is really more for formality. I sometimes lend money and then get the paperwork signed later. Why? Because like you, I know that in real estate, speed of acquisition is key.

Originally posted by @Alina Trigub :

@Michael Ealy

Thanks for sharing your life experience! We need more people like you and your partner!

 Thanks Alina!

Real estate investing is fun when you're dealing with the right people - people you like and trust. There is an investor I know who has more access to capital than I have and yet the brokers give me the deals first. Why? That guy is just hard to deal with...

MIchael,
I couldn't agree more! 


Originally posted by @Michael Ealy :
Originally posted by @Alina Trigub:

@Michael Ealy

Thanks for sharing your life experience! We need more people like you and your partner!

 Thanks Alina!

Real estate investing is fun when you're dealing with the right people - people you like and trust. There is an investor I know who has more access to capital than I have and yet the brokers give me the deals first. Why? That guy is just hard to deal with...

@Michael Ealy

Hi Michael,

That sure is a beautiful house, and on the water like that is nice too.

I noticed that big Wolf Range in the kitchen. I'll bet that thing can really chef up some meals!

Gordon Ramsey must be jealous.

Originally posted by @Scott Mac :

@Michael Ealy

Hi Michael,

That sure is a beautiful house, and on the water like that is nice too.

I noticed that big Wolf Range in the kitchen. I'll bet that thing can really chef up some meals!

Gordon Ramsey must be jealous.

Yup - Nate likes to eat :)