Journey to Multifamily Millions

The 3 C’s for Success in Real Estate with John Casmon, Ep 74

December 14, 2023 Tim Season 1 Episode 74
Journey to Multifamily Millions
The 3 C’s for Success in Real Estate with John Casmon, Ep 74
Show Notes Transcript

Today's guest is  John Casmon, He is the founder of Casmon Capital, a real estate investment firm, he’s a coach for multifamily syndicators (like myself), co-creator of the Midwest Real Estate Networking Summit, and as if he wasn’t busy enough, host of the top-rated podcast, Multifamily Insights.

In this episode John shares his journey from working in corporate America to becoming a successful real estate investor, emphasizing the importance of learning from challenges and focusing on growth. John also offers invaluable insights on syndication, the importance of personal branding, and the vital components of success in the multifamily real estate space. 

He concludes by sharing the three C's for success in real estate: Confidence, Credibility, and Connections. Stay tuned!

Episode Topics

[01:07]  Meet our guest, John Casmon
[01:46]  John's Journey into Real Estate
[03:26]  The Challenges of Scaling in Real Estate
[08:17]  The Importance of Control in Career Choices
[16:56]  The Power of Networking and Mentorship
[24:11]  Leveraging Personal Brand for Business Success
[34:18]  The Importance of Flexibility in Multifamily Investing
[35:00] What is one red flag every investor should look out for?
[35:36] What is a myth about the real estate business?
[38:00] Connecting to John

Notable Quotes

  • "I need to take more control of my financial future, and real estate was the thing that would help me do that." - John Casmon
  • "I had time, I could really look at all the options. And if I was compressed, if it was a situation where I got let go and, 'Oh my goodness, how am I going to pay my bills next month?' I would have had to just apply, get a job, and keep it moving." - John Casmon
  • "Surround yourself with people who can empower you, who can help you grow, who can help you scale. Those concerns and fears get alleviated because you have real solutions and answers in place." - John Casmon
  • "I can't emphasize that enough, surrounding yourself with the people who are 1, 2, 3 steps ahead of you. So that you're learning by osmosis, just by being around them." - Tim Little
  • "If you're an investor, if you make wise business decisions, you are very personal or know how to take care of things, people are going to give you credit for those things."- John Casmon

Connect with  John Casmon 

👉 Connect with Tim

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[00:00:00] John Casmon: I think the thing that's important here is that when you go through different situations, there's usually a lesson you're supposed to learn, and you have to understand any challenge you're facing. It's a lesson. It's an opportunity for you to grow and. you're facing things that are really hard, just ask yourself, what's the lesson I'm supposed to take away from this?

[00:00:57] Tim Little: Hello everyone, and welcome to the journey to multifamily millions. I'm your host, founder, and CEO of ZANA Investments, Tim Little. And on today's show, we have with us John Casmon. John is the founder of Casmon Capital, a real estate investment firm. He's a coach for multifamily syndicators like myself, co-creator of the Midwest Real Estate Networking Summit. And as if he wasn't busy enough, host of the top-rated podcast, Multifamily Insights. John, welcome to the show.

[00:01:26] John Casmon: Hey, Tim, thanks for having me, man. I'm excited to be here and lots of good stuff to talk about. So let's jump into it.

[00:01:32] Tim Little: Yeah. And it is great to have you. So I gave everyone a high-level overview of your background, but on this show, we really like to get into the details of how you got started on your journey. So please take us back to the beginning and tell us how you got to where you are today.

[00:01:48] John Casmon: Yeah, I'll try to compress this timeline a little bit, but I really start off in corporate America. Like a lot of the listeners, I was working in advertising and marketing. I was working at General Motors at one point and I was there back in 2007 through 2011. And if you remember that time, free. 2008-2009 is when the company went into bankruptcy. I was there that entire time and I watched the anxiety that, I know I had my colleagues had, I watched people who were lifers, people who had dedicated their entire careers to this company, to this industry, who were being let go and they didn't have a plan B and that really made me reconsider my approach and it, it made me think about rich dad, poor dad, which I know you've got right behind you. And, That just really pushed me to say, you know what, I need to take more control of my financial future and real estate was the thing that would help me do that. So I knew it was going to be real estate. I just didn't know how to do real estate. So fast forward a couple of years, I moved to Chicago and one of the first things we wanted to do was start learning about the different markets, and the different neighborhoods. And, I found this neighborhood called North Sitter. My wife and I bought a two-unit building there. we did, what we call a house hack lived in one unit, rented out the other unit, and saved up our money a couple of years later. We bought another property, three units this time in Avondale that did really well. That was a pure rental, saved up money, actually refinanced that first property and bought an eight-unit. This is our first commercial property. Now we've got a property management company in place to manage the manager. And at this moment, I know that. This is working and this is the path forward, but I'm running into a little bit of a brick wall because we have to wait until we save enough money to buy a property. And at that time, the company I was with was actually facing more financial issues. So I went from being at a gym, a big, huge company as I'm going bankrupt to working for a much smaller advertising agency doing great work. but also is technically closing the shop. So at that time, I was just like, we got into real estate and took more control of my future. Yet I'm still in the same situation. I've got equity in these deals, which is great, but not enough cash flow to replace my W two. And that just made me start thinking about other approaches and working with opium, other people's money, became a real solution, not just because it helped me, but as I was building my portfolio, my friends would ask Oh man, that's great. You bought that. How'd you do it? and I would tell them and I would think, try to get them to do the same thing and they wouldn't. And, I realized that, maybe if. If I could find the opportunities, maybe they would be willing to partner with me instead of trying to do it by themselves, because I had invested years and years at this point of educating myself, and it wouldn't be fair for them to just go out there and have the same level of confidence that I had. So that led me down the path of apartment syndication, right? And, fast forward to today, we've invested over 125 billion worth of apartments. Working with everyday professionals, just like you and I, who are trying to just take care of their family and do what's right and find good investment opportunities.

[00:04:55] Tim Little: Yeah, such an awesome story. And I think it's a story that I hear a lot with a lot of different syndicators. So starting with, that shaking of security that comes from, seeing mass layoffs and stuff like that, similar thing in my own experience. my wife had worked at a company for nine years, which, nowadays is unprecedented, right? when people move companies, every one or two years as she does now. but at the time it was just one of those things where they did a merger, right? And then, positions become redundant, et cetera. No fault of her own. And she found herself without a job and, we were okay, but, we were, we got used to dual income, right? And so you get used to a certain amount of money coming in. And so it's just a shock to the system and a shock to that sense of security that you have. When that entire income disappears overnight. so I definitely understand where you're coming from with that. And that was one of the pushes that we needed. But it sounds like in your case, that was the impetus to get you into investing and find another stream of cash flow. Is that right? 

[00:06:05] John Casmon: Yeah, absolutely. I think the thing that's important here is that when you go through different situations, there's usually a lesson you're supposed to learn, and you have to understand any challenge you're facing. It's a lesson. It's an opportunity for you to grow and. you're facing things that are really hard, just ask yourself, what's the lesson I'm supposed to take away from this? And in that situation, the one beautiful thing, again hindsight is 20 20, but the beautiful thing is, I had a lot of time to think about this. it wasn't like I woke up one day, the company went bankrupt and I was like, Oh crap, what am I going to do? Let me scramble, and go get another job. was almost a year, from March or April until, formally went into bankruptcy a year later, so it was every day. This is the idea of what's going on, right? We had the election take place. We had the cars that came through. We had all of this stuff that was happening and every day I had to think about my future. I applied to different companies. I had a job offer at another nice company, Domino's actually. just didn't work out with the conversation and stuff like that. So I thought about all this stuff. So I had a lot of time because I had a lot of time. I could really look at all the options. And if I was compressed, if it was a situation where I got let go and, oh my goodness, how am I going to pay my bills next month? I would have had to just apply, get a job, and keep it moving. But because I had time, I could say, yes, I could go get another job. But what happens? If you know that company's not doing well. So I had a chance to process all of this. Ultimately my conclusion was you need to take more control of your future and real estate became that outlet. The irony is I worked for two companies that went bankrupt, but I never missed a paycheck. I never missed a paycheck, so both companies took care of me. GM obviously restructured and did that agency. It rebooted as a new agency and the owners actually paid us out of their pocket to make sure we continued to work while they were going through that restructure. So I've been very fortunate from that standpoint, but I will say that. Sometimes you need that kick to get going. And if I can say one thing, because we've been talking about the financial aspect of it. There's also time freedom and location independence that comes with corporate America as well. And the best example I could give you is my boss's boss. When I was GM, I moved from San Francisco, right? So she was like the regional manager of San Francisco. Move to Detroit headquarters to all this company or take all the kind of our team elite that is expected to get promoted at a high level And once we through bankruptcy, whoever person they put in place, they just didn't. Didn't mesh very well. So they actually shipped her to Shanghai. So within about a three-year timeframe, this woman relocated from California to Detroit, Michigan to Shanghai. And that's the thing, she understood financially, she was fine. She was making great money, but she didn't have control over where she lived, her family, kid in high school and I just started to process all that then. Yes, I could stay here and rise up the ranks and be a director and make a lot of money, but if I can't even dictate where I live that's for the course to really make it in this company, not what I want. And that really made me rethink that approach and again get more control over my future.

[00:09:25] Tim Little: Yeah, and you hit on something that I think is important for a lot of people to hear. Especially if they're considering pursuing multifamily full-time, right? Because, a lot of people, there's a divide, I think, in this industry. There's the people who say what you did, which is to be very intentional about what you're doing and create a plan. And, keep that income coming in as long as you can before you cut it off and pursue that entrepreneurial endeavor. And then there are the other people who say, burn the boats because if you're in panic mode, you'll find a way to make it happen. And I am. I am in the former. I prefer to lay out a plan and be very intentional about how I'm going to do that. And that's exactly what happened in my case. I was on military orders. So I had a decent paycheck coming in. and then that discussion that I had with my wife when she got laid off was, Hey, why don't you go to grad school right now? Cause it's something you wanted to do, get your MBA, I'll hold it down while you're going to grad school full time, just get it knocked out And then. After that, what I'd like to do is start doing real estate full-time because I was going to have to come off orders anyway. We had two years for me to save up money, to create a plan, to lay the groundwork for that business before I ever started doing it. So I think that intentionality can make a big difference, both in your peace of mind, as well as potentially your success in the business itself.

[00:11:02] John Casmon: I think it also comes down to personality, right? You got to know yourself. Are you someone who can burn the bolts and be good with it? Are you a, Hey, I'm a, I grabbed a backpack and I'm just traveling across America kind of person, or are you someone who needs to have things meticulously laid out? you come from corporate America, that is structured. It is very hard to go from a structured environment for you, the military, me, General Motors, and big corporations. It is hard to go from that to just free Dilly Willy. And let's just see what happens today, right? You want to have a plan. You're used to having that. You're used to managing teams. You're used to understanding what our objective is? What are we trying to get accomplished? What is the best path forward? What are our options? I want to evaluate the options. I want to understand the risk involved in these options. So that can hurt you as an entrepreneur. Because you may overthink different things, and overthink different options. And some people, they just run, if something's working, great, let's keep doing it. If it's not, let's just pivot. So I think some of that comes down to personality. But what I will say is that it is, it can be very dangerous for some people to just, the bridges and go. Because... Yes, you can figure a way out, but it may not be the best way you may waste a lot of time. You may waste a lot of money. You may make a lot of mistakes. So I would say what you really would want to do is start identifying success stories, find a mentor, find a path, find a blueprint, and then understand who you are, what your strengths are, understand where you Have weaknesses. Understand where you may face challenges and do everything you can to position yourself to see success. And then yes, at some point you've gotta make a decision to go all in. You've gotta make a decision to say, I'm going to commit to this. And I think that's really the point people are trying to get at is the commitment because. If you have a cushy day job, maybe you're not willing to put in the hours necessary to underwrite one more deal or to make one more phone call or to talk to one more broker because you're tired or you have other things to do or whatever the case would be. But if you don't have that, maybe you are willing. The challenge on that side is you may not have the knowledge, the resources or the team or the credibility to pull that off anyway. So I would say there's a fine balance, but there does need to be a level of commitment if you are going to see success.

[00:13:25] Tim Little: Yeah, and those are all fair points. I think another important point that, You know came out in your story because we have people in different stages, right who listen to the show some folks may be very experienced syndicators, but you may have those folks who are listening trying to understand it and don't know how to Get started like what that first step is and hearing your story It sounds like you took those what I like to call baby steps and not in a disparaging way but the steps in complexity moving up from, house hacking to buying, separate intentional investment property and then hitting that, that brick wall of capital and then figuring out what is the solution to this problem. Okay, using other people's money and then moving into syndication. And so I think there's, different people on different sides say, some say that's the best way. And maybe this comes down to personality again, like you talked about, whereas others would argue, Hey, just go big on your first deal and do a, a hundred unit syndication. Well, a lot of people, if they don't fully understand it yet, are very intimidated by that idea, even though much of it is an idea, some of the processes and stuff are still the same. So maybe that isn't the best. Step for them. Maybe they need to take those smaller steps first in order to gain the confidence to move on to the next step. So as a coach, I'd like to get your perspective on that divide as well.

[00:14:55] John Casmon: That's a great question, great points that you bring up there, right? And people all the time say that if you are looking to scale your portfolio, if you're looking to attract capital for deals, you have to follow the three C's, right? First, C is confidence. The second C is credibility. And the third C is connections. And in this case, what you're getting at is the confidence to scale and to go big. For me, that confidence came from both my corporate background as well as being able to do some of those smaller deals, right? Being able to do those two units and having success with it. Having those three units be successful, having the eighth unit not be as successful as it could have been, but for me to learn and to know what I would have done differently And that was key to have a little bit of, want to call it a failure because it wasn't a failure, but a little bit of resistance because with the first two deals. I knew I wasn't that good, right? It wasn't like, Oh man, everything I touched is I did a good job analysis, analyzing the deals. I knew I did a good job selecting the markets. I knew I did a good job operating and, handily leasing and all that kind of stuff. But as a newbie, I also knew that there were things I didn't know, but I did, and I wasn't. I wasn't facing any pushback, so I couldn't really learn and grow. And you need that to grow. You have to have some adversity so you can actually learn what you have to improve upon. And those eight units gave me that. And it actually helped me build my confidence even more in the successful deals that I did because now I'm sitting there and I'm talking to a third-party property management company that manages hundreds of units. And I've got a different opinion and I was right. So now I believe in what I'm saying because I see. It doesn't matter that these people have 500 units that they manage. I'm telling you what I see. I'm looking at these numbers. I'm talking to the residents. I'm going to the property and now I can believe in what I see because I'm getting feedback from the marketplace and not just on the two-unit or three-unit. And I'm not saying a unit is a huge deal, but for me, it was being able to sit down with the head of that property management company. To sit and have lunch and to talk strategically about what's happening at the property. What does he see in the market? Having that match what I'm seeing, really gave me the confidence to go up and scale much larger. I would say too, that what's critical for you to scale is both education, but also who you surround yourself with in your network. And one thing that I started to do really early on. I attended a lot of networking events, the people who would go frequently were typically people who hosted it, right? The person who hosts the event usually shows up every month and I was showing up every month. So I got to know these people fairly well. And as you watch what they're doing in their business and you're talking to them about how they're scaling and what they're doing and, are they seeing in the marketplace. That's going to allow you to build your confidence. So building your network with these individuals helps you build your confidence, helps you talk to people, and also helps you get real clues on how to succeed. The thing that I took away was you needed, I needed to have people in my circle whom I could trust and depend upon. That bit of a mentor, the second thing that I admit was I needed to learn how to learn BD. I knew what I did, but I still do. There were things I didn't know, and I needed to be resourceful to figure out how to find that information when I came across it. Because if you don't figure that out if you hit that brick wall, you're going to feel stuck And once I got to the point where I had my mentor, it actually empowered me because I knew if I hit a wall, I'm just going to turn around and say, Hey man, I hit this wall. Will I get over this? And he's going to tell me how to get over the wall. Now I'm good. Or I'm going to reach out to someone else who I know has faced the same challenge And now I'm empowered to make mistakes. And now I feel good about scaling. Now I feel good about raising capital. Because I'm talking to people in my circle who have done it. And they're guiding me through this process. So that helped me really grow and scale. And as a coach, that's what I would tell my clients and tell anyone else is, Surround yourself with people who can empower you, who can help you grow, who can help you scale. And then those concerns and those fears, get alleviated because you have real solutions and answers in place.

[00:19:10] Tim Little: Yeah, I can't emphasize that enough, surrounding yourself with the people who are 123 steps ahead of you. so that you're one learning by osmosis, right? Just by being around them. But, at some point. Some of these folks may invite you onto a deal, right? Because you've shown the, whatever value that you can bring to it. And then once, once you're in that place and you find people that you like to deal with, you interact well with, then those might form those partnerships that last one deal, two deals. Three deals. And that's what really gets your momentum going when you find the people that you like to partner with, but almost more importantly, the more experienced people who want to partner with you.

[00:19:54] John Casmon: Yeah, you're spot on man. Those relationships are absolutely key and that's how you grow and scale.

[00:20:34] Tim Little: Yeah. And picking up on one of the three C's that you talked about earlier, credibility. So I wanted to talk about that because you are a big advocate for syndicators having a strong personal brand, right? Now, do you credit your time in marketing, in advertising for understanding the importance of branding and what had, what steps have you personally taken to, to grow your own brand?

[00:21:00] John Casmon: That's a great question. I do give credit to my time in advertising and marketing and I would say there's, I think there's a big misperception on, we mean, we say branding and personal brand, right? Because that sounds like I gotta go out there and launch a podcast, or I gotta go out there and write a whole bunch of social media posts. And the reality is. Everyone has a personal brain, right? The only question is what are you doing to influence what your personal brand is, what people think of you, what they know about you or what they say about you? If I was still in advertising and marketing, that's all people would know about me. But yes, I'm a multifamily investor. But if that's not what you know me as, that's not really a part of the personal brand that I'm projecting, right? There are other things that I may be interested in, but if people don't know about that or they don't think about it before that, it's not a part of my personal brand. I'll give you a great example. Let's say, say I was an attorney. If you are an attorney, you probably have no problem telling people you're an attorney and they would know you as the attorney. And there are certain things that come with being an attorney, right? They're going to think that you're pretty intelligent, that you understand the law, that you probably make good money, right? There's going to be certain perceptions people have just on that title, right? So certain titles have a bit of a personal branding that comes with it. But who you are personality-wise also comes through. So I'll use my sister. She's a real estate agent. And, of the things that she's really good at is being very thoughtful. doesn't just get you to the closing table. She wants to help you set up your new home and not just me, but she did it with a lot of her clients. go in and she'll say, you need a handyman. Here's this handyman. Here's this carpet cleaning company. Here's the moving company. Here's. Here's my electrician guy, right? Go to this place and they'll get you set up with X, Y, and Z. Here's my house cleaning crew. So she's trying to make sure you have everything that you need to move in. So when people think of her, they can go to any real estate agent, right? And she also is focused on one specific city, right? suburb. And that's what she's known for. If you go on Zillow, she's the top listed agent there. That's what she focuses on. She has built a personal brand as the number one agent in that suburb and part of it is because of her care, and her commitment to helping you move into the home. Those are the things that she does, but she doesn't walk around with the billboard saying, Hey, I'm the number one agent in this suburb. And I'm going to take, no, that's just the vibe she's got. When people talk about her, when you ask for a referral, you ask for a reference, these are the things people are going to tell you. So that's what we do with a personal brand. It's really just taking a megaphone to who you are. It's a megaphone to what you do, and who you are, and that's what you're developing with a personal brand. cannot just, convey something that you're not. And I think that's the mistake people make is they may want to say attract doctors, get a bunch of doctors for investors. Okay, great. What connection do you have to doctors? None. Okay. Would a doctor want to invest with you? You have to really step back and say, okay, what is, who am I? How do I convey the best parts of myself to other people so that they could get to know me and decide whether or not they want to do business with me? Just like a shoe, take, I work on the Nike brand. Nike. Built a personal brand by developing a quality shoe, but then putting it on the best athletes in the world, that's how they position themselves as a class brand. You have a shoe that is a competitor, but no one's ever heard of it. are gonna be very hesitant to work on that or to buy that brand because they don't know what it could do. So you have to build that. But just because Nike's built a reputation for one thing doesn't mean that translates into something else. If they came out with cars, I'm not trying to buy a Nike car, I don't know what they know about audible engineering or developing safety features and things like that. So it just doesn't translate everywhere, right? So when you're building your personal brand, what you're trying to do is figure out what you want to be known for. Sharing that you are knowledgeable, personable, you're someone that people can trust in that space. And for syndicators, I think it's very important if you're raising money for deals because people have to know, and trust you if they're going to invest with you. Typically we're talking about larger investments and larger commitments. So if someone's going to invest the kind of capital with you. They're going to need to know that you're somebody they can believe in.

[00:25:21] Tim Little: Yeah. And you hit that, that one point at the end that I was going to touch on, which is the no and trust piece. They may know a lot of people and they may have an extensive network, but as soon as they shift to becoming an indicator and attempting to raise money, You want to get rid of the confusion there, right? Like you don't want to be that guy who liked him, the army guy. And he calls up someone and says, Hey, would you like to invest a hundred thousand dollars in this deal? And they're like, what are you talking about? Like you're an army guy. and so you have to, I hate to say rebrand yourself because you're not changing who you are You're just letting people know that you've moved into this different field, that you have credibility, expertise, experience, because otherwise it doesn't really matter how big your network is. If they don't know what you do, then they have no reason to view you as an expert in that field.

[00:26:14] John Casmon: Yeah, you're spot on. And I would say too, of, I think one of the best strategies you can employ to expand what people already know you for. So in my case, being in corporate America, are people going to give me credit for it? They're going to be, you did it at the beginning of the show, right? You gave me credit for doing marketing and advertising. You gave me credit for working on large brands, and working on huge budgets, right? Working on a big campaign. So a thing or two about business, right? Business marketing in particular. So, when it comes to getting into real estate. Maybe I don't know as much about construction, or maybe you're not gonna give me as much credit for that. But when it comes to project management or leadership and being able to put teams together, people give me, they'll give me credit for that. When it comes to investor relations or account management and working with people, having interpersonal skills, those are things that are transferable, right? Those are skills that I can bring from my corporate time into this new role. Same with you, right? Being in the army, being in the military. are going to expect you to be somebody who's trustworthy. They're going to expect you to be somebody who is dependable, somebody who is organized, someone who runs a project, someone who can lead a team. So those things are transferable skills in business in general. If you come from a different world, again, what are people giving you credit for based on what they've seen from you, what they know from you, leverage that into the new field you're going to do. I could give you another example of the entertainment space. I can take someone like Jennifer Lopez and I don't care what you think of Jennifer Lopez, but this is someone who, of the first people in a long time who. Established himself as a thing and then expanded to being a singer expanded to being an actress, right? Expanded to being a dancer. And now this is a person who gets a lot of credit. Take the Apple brand, right? Apple was a computer for so long, period. They were computers. they came out with the iPod, and people give them credit because it's still technology, right? It was music, but it was still technology. went from the iPod to the iPhone. And that was a pretty big stretch for people. you're making phones. Now that's like Nokia space, but it was still technology. So they gave them credit for being able to take that technology and being able to simplify that and leveraging their design expertise. So now anything electronic that Apple makes, most people would give them credit for that came with watches, right? If you had gone back when they were doing MacBook, you're telling me they would have come out with a watch. People were like, that makes absolutely no sense. you get credit for the things you could do So as investors, I would say, lead into the things that you're already known for as you're expanding into this new space so that people can look at it and say, that makes sense. If you're an investor, If you make wise business decisions, you are very personal or know how to take care of them are going to give you credit for those things. So lead it to that and just expand your brand in that space.

[00:28:54] Tim Little: Yeah. One of my favorite examples that I was talking to my wife about today is Ryan Reynolds, right? People used to just laugh him off. Oh, he played Deadpool. Yeah. he's a funny guy. yeah. And then he bought a mini mobile phone and everyone waited. Why is he buying a phone company that makes no sense All of a sudden you see Ryan Reynolds in every one of their commercials. Cause what was he doing? He was leveraging his own personal brand to increase. The value of that company and he did buy a lot And oh, by the way, he had it was, I don't know, 20, 40 percent stake in the company and then turned around a couple of years later and sold it for more than a billion dollars. So jokes on everybody else. When he walked away with it, it was something like six or seven hundred million dollars. Just from that one deal. So I don't think anyone is laughing now in terms of him being a savvy businessman He has aviation gin and in a couple of you know A soccer team and all this stuff and people like okay he's for real now like they have to respect that once they see the results of his actions

[00:29:58] John Casmon: Yeah, listen, we could take that concept to another level too, right? And it gills into celebrity and this is where it gets a little dicey but there is power in building a network and building a following. And the best example of that is Kylie Jenner. This is probably what the one of the Kardashians that people do the least about, became a billionaire off of cosmetics. And a lot of that was because she was able to leverage her following and her audience into something that she could monetize. It's something that they gave her credit for, right? Cosmetic beauty makeup made sense for people to say, okay, hey, let's use the makeup. She uses it. So that's the thing. There's power in building a brand, whether or not you want to do that and put yourself out there and a massive following. That's a decision for you. But what you're talking about the Ryan Reynolds with Kylie with a lot of these celebrities, they recognize that because they have Fame and awareness, they could monetize that by showing people other things that they may be interested in. Now, the risk is you're validating these things, people are still going to scrutinize them. Nike goes out there. And besides LeBron James or Michael Jordan, that shoe is terrible. people go out there and buy that shoe and it's terrible. They all break their ankles and stuff. Jordan's credibility is shot, right? If you see someone endorse a product that is a terrible product, don't believe it. They don't believe in that person's ability as a spokesperson because they're like, oh, you're just doing it for a check. syndicators as investors and anyone trying to build a brand, that is something you've got to protect because you don't want to just go out there and rubber stamp everything. You have to make sure you're taking your time, doing your due diligence, and then building that trust with your audience.

[00:31:35] Tim Little: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. There's certainly a risk involved now. I want to go into the coaching aspect of what you do because we are at a very different time now in Multifamily than we were one or two years ago, right? If you got in two years ago, you probably look like a genius. On those first few deals now it's much harder to find deals and to fund them and just to have them penciled out, right? Because of the increased rates that drive down cash flow, et cetera, et cetera. Are you taking a different approach and setting expectations differently for your coaching students in this environment compared to say how you did? Two years ago, for example.

[00:32:21] John Casmon: So our approach is it. Is different because we always focus on the fundamentals and the fundamentals are cashflow first and appreciation second. And what that means is you're looking for deals that provide quality cash flow where you can stay in the deal as long as possible or as long as you want to. And I think where a lot of people have gotten tripped up or are facing challenges now is focusing on that three-year exit, right? We're going to buy this property. We're going to do X on Z two. We're going to sell it in three years and we're going to sell it at a four capital exit. you buy a property and a cash flow, you get to decide what you sell, as long as you have a loan that provides that flexibility. So from a coaching standpoint we never really wavered on that. I think certainly you would have some flexibility and some deals you may put financing on, or you may have a different business plan, but I think you really want to make sure that there's a value, strong value add component to do a deal like that. I think it's very important for everyone to be cautious. They were telling all of our clients right now and all of our students are paying attention to the numbers, pay attention to those big ticket items that tend to go up. are taxes. Those are insurance. These line items can really crush deals but also make sure to look at the deal with a long-term view. expect to be in and out of this deal in 24 months, expect to be in a deal five years, minimal, but maybe even six, seven, eight years, and make sure you're doing deals where you're comfortable being in his seven years because if it's something that is, say it's a much older product and stuff is going to break down a year three, that may not be the kind of thing you want to be in. If I have a big ticket expense, three, or four years in ownership. Yep. I would rather buy something and have a plan to take care of those larger ticket items or give myself some flexibility to either refinance or exit. All of that's really important. So you definitely be more conservative, but I would say we have taken that approach, so I don't think it's changed too drastically.

[00:34:15] Tim Little: All right. No, that makes sense And I think the key word that you said there for me at least was flexibility, right? yeah, you may be able to sell in year five But if you have that loan out to year seven, it provides that flexibility so that you can assess the market You know, maybe this is the right time Maybe it isn't you can hold it for that extra year to wait for the dust to settle to a point where you will Be more profitable And that flexibility goes a long way This has been some awesome insights, John. I really appreciate it. Now we are going to transition into the turbo round. So I'm going to ask you three questions that I ask every guest and I just ask for some quick, honest answers. All right, first one, what is one red flag that every investor should look out for?

[00:35:03] John Casmon: Ooh, in a deal or an operator? What,

[00:35:05] Tim Little: could be either or.

[00:35:08] John Casmon: would say declining demand and I'm seeing demand because that could be a reflection of population. It could be a reflection of rich dropping, but you want to look out for any. A deal where demand is decreasing because that's going to be a red flag for your business plan.

[00:35:26] Tim Little: Okay. Yeah. So within that market is rental demand decreasing. Yep. All right. Makes sense. Next one. What is a myth about this business that you would like to set straight?

[00:35:37] John Casmon: you have to have a very boisterous over-the-top personality to raise capital. I know there are a lot of calm, cool, debater people who are very successful. What it really takes is honesty, transparency, and the ability to talk to people. don't have to be a caricature or somebody who's over the top. You just have to be willing to help people. And if you're willing to do that, you're willing to learn and relationships, you can be successful.

[00:36:00] Tim Little: Yeah. And that's not something that I've heard on the show before, but I think it's a really important point that some people need to hear, right? those natural introverts. I know you claim to be an introvert yourself, at times, but you're right. If you're out there to help people, you'll find a way to do it that's in line with your personality, your skills, your traits, etc.  All right, John, last question. What does success look like to you?

[00:36:27] John Casmon: Man, I love this question. So for me, around the time when I was in corporate America, I really started to think about success. And that actually is one of the things that helped lead me into real estate. When I looked up at that senior leadership position, I saw many of them being happy. And being happy to be was really important and we're all chasing happiness, right? But the one thing I realized is that it wasn't going to be defined by a monetary figure. going to be the ability I had to control my life. And, the best way I described that was time flexibility, time freedom to be involved with my kids, and be a present father. me, success is. Being able to be present with my kids, being able to coach them in some of the activities that they do, being able to, stop by day when they come home from school and work with them and check out what's going on, and being involved with them, that to be a success. But really, it comes down to being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it with who you want to do it with, right? And work, I enjoy work. I don't ever want to stop working. I work crazy hard all the time, but I hope I'm working until I die. I just want it to be. Wherever I wanted to be with whoever I wanted to be with, on my own terms. So to me, that is success.

[00:37:36] Tim Little: Yeah, I love that. And you're so right. Because of that time, we have our kids. As children it is so fleeting and sometimes we forget that. So I think it's really important to key in on that fact. Hey, John, I've had a lot of fun and you've dropped a ton of knowledge on the show. So please tell our listeners how they can get a hold of you. And if there's anything else that you'd like to share with them.

[00:37:58] John Casmon: Yeah, Tim, I appreciate it. Listen, we've got a show as well called multifamily insights. So if you enjoy podcasts like this, check out multifamily insights, wherever you listen to podcasts. And then we have a treat on our websiteMultifamily Insights Package. It's completely free, no cost to you. it gives you a sense of what to look for in a deal package. So if you could get a sense of, what. an outline should look like, what kind of information should you include? And if you're looking at investment, maybe passively to start off, maybe you want to understand what kind of questions you should be asking or what you should be looking for in a deal structure? So go ahead and check that out. It's a

[00:38:34] Tim Little: All right. Awesome. we will certainly have all that information in the show notes. John, thanks again for coming on. I appreciate you and look forward to continuing to see you do big things on your journey to multi family millions.

[00:38:47] John Casmon: Thanks for having me too.