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Small Apartments Investing by Lance Edwards

Gary Pinkerton talks with Lance Edwards, author of How to Make Big Money in Small Apartments and supporter of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund



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Gary Pinkerton hosts Lance Edwards, author of How to Make Big Money in Small Apartments and supporter of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Lance starts the discussion with an introduction to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. He gives us his career background in the military and how he transitioned into real estate investing, specifically multifamily investing.

Gary Pinkerton 0:04
Welcome to the heroic investing show. As first responders we risk our lives every day our financial security is under attack. Our pensions are in a state of emergency. A single on duty incident can alter or erase our earning potential instantly and forever. We are the heroes of society. We are self reliant and we need to take care of our own financial future. The heroic investing show is our toolkit of business and investing tactics on our mission to financial freedom. Welcome to the Heroku investing show. My name is Gary Pinkerton and I co host this show with Jason Hartman. This is Episode 196. My guest today is Lance Edwards. Lance is the author of the best selling book how to make big money in small apartments his company first Cornerstone group is a real estate education and marketing company which is enables both new and experienced real estate investors to accelerate their path to financial independence through small apartment investing using other people’s money. And it totally applies to investing in real estate that we talk about on this show. But that’s not why we’re here exclusively with Lance. What’s Lance’s connection to first responders in the military? Well, Lance supports the intrepid fallen heroes fund, as we talked about on this episode, proceeds from every book he’s written go into that fund. intrepid builds critically needed centers for treating the United States military personnel suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress syndrome, you know, on past episodes, and in fact, the first one that I did when I took over heroic investing was with a dear friend here who runs a charity effort in my local town for the tunnel to towers race in memory. of her brother and across America, they build homes for critically wounded members of the military, the intrepid Foundation, just as strong just as important. It’s fantastic that Lance contributes to that. Let’s get into what he can teach us about real estate investing and giving to others. Today we have the pleasure having with us Mr. Lance Edwards, Lance hails from many generations, his family being down in the Florida area, and recently wrote a book about that, that he’ll jump into here, I think shortly and has a business does quite a bit in the real estate space. So very nice combination of tie it to the military that we’ll talk about in a moment and real estate investing and growing long term wealth through the vehicles of real estate and other asset protection kinds of vehicles. So you hail from Houston with the actual business but most of your time down in Florida. I think so man. Welcome to rogue investing.

Lance Edwards 2:57
Well, Gary, thank you so much. I’m really excited. Be able to speak to that really appreciate the opportunity. So thank you for inviting me.

Gary Pinkerton 3:04
Course, Lance, as you know, our audience is made up of first responders and members of the military veterans, and retirees from both that are looking to maybe change their lot in life a little bit or expand on what they’ve been able to save and grow while they were in the military. Also, perhaps start up their own business, get some time back with family in into passions of theirs. If you wouldn’t mind, a little bit of an introduction and how you got involved in real estate from you know, the years ago when you started,

Lance Edwards 3:35
I got started way back in 2002. So I’ve been doing this quite a while now a full time job. He was looking for an additional source of income. And I discovered a niche in small apartments, a niche in real estate, specifically small apartments to 30 unit buildings. And I got involved with that and within three years of able to retire from a corporate job and been doing apartments full time since 2005. I’ve been teaching it since teaching people to do this same thing since 2007. And that’s, you know, that’s our, our business we run here. And we have students and clients across the country, that we teach people how to create financial independence for themselves through small apartments, and they start with small apartments, they can scale up into large apartments, and certainly many, many of our clients, our training clients are active military and or veterans. And so I’m really pleased to be able to speak about the topic here, especially for your audience. Gary,

Gary Pinkerton 4:35
wonderful. Yeah. If I understand it, right, what you’re teaching the clients is how to well purchase with other people’s money. So essentially, doing some syndication, raising funds, putting together the deal and the purchase, doing kind of a repair make ready and then or not make ready but repair rehab, and then getting up to higher operating standards. Is that is that pretty accurate?

Lance Edwards 4:56
Surely that’s part of it. I would say it to give them kind of a broad array. There’s three particular areas we teach with small apartments. And by the way, all of them are using none of your own cash or credit. One of them is wholesaling buildings that’s putting under contract and simply selling your contract. You’ll do anything but sell your contract, make minimum $20,000 doing that wholesaling, small apartment building contracts. Second areas, what you’re referring to, is buying and holding them, using other people’s cash on people’s credit, getting that passive income that mailbox money and then the third area, it’s finding the distressed stuff, you know, do some sprucing up low occupancy, buying it cheap, fixing it up filling it up, and email to get great cash flow doing that you can sell those improved assets for being six and seven figures. And that’s you know, that’s I call that the rehabs and turnarounds so it’s wholesaling, buying and holding and the rehabs all three areas and people can do it simultaneously and again, all instances using other people’s resources. The thing about small apartments which is where I’m encouraged people to start in business Question. Where’s the money gonna come from? Well, we start with small apartments. All we need is one investor, just one to get started. So it’s a great, great way to get entered into the multifamily space.

Gary Pinkerton 6:11
Yeah. And so you go all across the country teaching on this. What’s kind of this the scale of your teaching once a month or 500 people every weekend, are you? Yeah, sure. You’re

Lance Edwards 6:25
in my business. We run monthly three day seminars, we go around the country, we rotate different compass points to cover all the different geographical regions, seven or eight cities at this point. Monthly seminars are three days, we’ll have no more than 50 people in it because these are close knit I’m teaching them and and we’re teach people how to get started. I think people I would say this because the biggest thoughts people have that well, I can’t do small apartments. Well, of course you can’t actually I’ve got a 10 year old that bought a duplex came to the boot camp bought a duplex I have a guy to qualify with. I got 12 year old so I got 18 year olds I got a two year old. So this is a field. It’s a niche that, frankly, most people disqualify themselves unnecessarily thinking, well, I’ll do some house deals, and I’ll graduate in the small apartment space. Please break that notion, because anybody can get started here. And there’s less competition than single family, and as much more leverage of your time, frankly.

Gary Pinkerton 7:22
Cool. So doing that for a while your business is up and running and running well, obviously, and gave you some an opportunity to go after a passion and you recently wrote a book which I’ve participated in writing a couple of books, I know it’s a, it needs to be a passion because it is a very, very challenging thing to do. Right. And you sold it, and it’s and it did. Well talk just a little bit about my most recent book,

Lance Edwards 7:45
and then very, you know, fortunate we’ve got actually two best selling books. One of them was on the apartment space as a book called How to make big money in small apartment. It’s in that book with the number one and then my book that just came out very recently is called as it should be. Tales of old Florida has nothing to do with real estate. It’s about myself and my family, seven generations growing up in, in Florida. And I tell the story of that and the values around growing up and what I call old Florida. That book was, you know, a bucket list thing. And what’s number one on Amazon as well. So that’s the two books that are out there. And you’re right, you gotta have a passion because a lot of work if you don’t do it, right, a lot of work. I’m very proud of both both books. What were some of the surprising things that happened as you went through that last, the process of writing your book that was more about the family, and I’m sure you discovered some things that maybe in your research you hadn’t really appreciated before? Oh, my gosh, you’re exactly right. You’re spot on. You know, people ask me how long take you write the book? I answer? Well, 50 years. But yeah, but you know, I wrote it expert words down here about six or seven months. And I discovered you know, thinking about my family. History I didn’t know, for example, you know, oh my god for time great grandfather was when the first settlers in 1848, to step into Florida discovered that there’s a county park actually named after him. This call came to the research. But the other thing I would say that I think everyone can relate to, is what I discovered is everything is connected. When you start looking back over time, you can see these random events that the time seemed just totally random. them but over, you know, look at you look at the impact of what happens, you come to see that everything is connected, we are where we are today because of things that happened centuries or decades ago. And so that was a big epiphany out of that, that and, you know, that really became a core theme of the book, how everything is connected, right? Take seven generations of my family and things that have occurred. Beyond that, not just my family, but in the state of Florida itself, to show Oh, how the things that are going on in Florida right now. Now really a result of decisions and actions that we’re taking hundred 50 years ago.

Gary Pinkerton 10:04
Cool. So we haven’t yet gotten into that, you know, kind of the connection with the military audience and and service members. As you were leading up to the book launch, you made a decision about what you were going to deal with some of the proceeds. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Lance Edwards 10:21
Certainly, this was, you know, one of these connections that happened. So in the book, as I’m writing the book, I talk a lot about the respect that at people in Florida, not just Florida, all over the country have for our military and our veterans, my family, heavy military background, including my daughter, my brother, my grandfather, etc. And so part of the connections I talked about was our belief in our military in the book, and as we were approaching the launch day, one of the things that I decided to do was to promote the book launch. So I said, Okay, you know, had this book coming out terrible Florida. You can buy our wonder buy to buy it on certain Because that’s how you drive it. Number one. Well, I said, what I’ll do is when you buy the book on launch day, I want to take the gross dollars you spend on it, which is $15 each, I’m going to double it. And for every dollar you spend, I’m going to send $2 to the intrepid fallen heroes Fund, and the intrepid fallen heroes fund about Can I speak about that for a moment?

Gary Pinkerton 11:21
Of course, please do.

Lance Edwards 11:23
So. intrepid fallen heroes fun is I found that the one of the top nonprofits that serves our active military, and there’s great nonprofit, obviously lots of great ones out there. But the reason I chose intrepid is one of the thing that really is unique about them is that every dollar that is donated to intrepid 100% goes to benefit our active military and the way they’re able to do so how can they How can they do that? Don’t they have expenses? Well, of course they had expenses, but their board members personally underwrite all the nonprofit expenses. And that just resonated with me so I can’t take as a challenge right. If these guys can put up 100% expenses, I can put up 200% The gross sales on that day and so that was part of our launch day. We had a successful launch went to number one on Amazon that day and as result in a brightness check for $10,000 to the intrepid fallen heroes on a matter of fact, just about three weeks ago, I was in New York City on the USS intrepid the aircraft carrier Museum, which the fund is named after and I’ve met David winters the president of intrepid fallen heroes fund, you know, had a check ceremony handing over every picture of him and I on the on the deck flight deck. So it was it all it really started Gary, because it wasn’t part of the plan and writing the book, the book just kind of started developing, the connection started happening. The military aspect came part of the connection and out of that my decision to Well, let’s make this about our active military and one more thing and I’ll shut up with just much more questions but is now what we do is with our books, is two times all the money spent on books go intrepid fallen heroes fund not just on launch day all the time and that’s become part of our cause of my business I mean what books can we get out so we get more money going to intrepid

Gary Pinkerton 13:09
nice and that’s that again with the second book right with the as it should be book

Lance Edwards 13:13
well that’s with any books coming out so now I’m going back to my other book how to make big money small apartments now I’m taking the the we sell that book we’re taking two times the gross receipts of that book and selling to try and tune in to make donations which have been following heroes fun certainly we’re doing with the as it should be book. But now there’s a whole emphasis within my company to release more books and do the same process we did with as it should be to keep a recurring revenue stream going to the intrepid fallen heroes fund.

Gary Pinkerton 13:43
That’s wonderful. That’s a great effort. And you can find out you know more about the intrepid fallen heroes at fallen heroes fund org. You know, it’s a great organization. I’ve been to the intrepid many times live up here near and you know, just south of New York City. Do I Some marine veteran events and things like that at the intrepid, and it’s a great Museum, great organization, you know, fallen heroes fund and commit errors of the board members too. So pretty, pretty impressive organization. So I really appreciate you supporting that as the most the active duty members of military, especially those that have suffered from traumatic brain injury or post traumatic stress. If you don’t mind, I’ll do a little transition back to the real estate side. Sure. So I’m curious, what what advice you would give to people who are considering using real estate, maybe not so much active maybe not doing, you know, wholesaling and things like that, but really just transitioning into a place to store and grow wealth, as they’re, you know, say let’s say we’ll pick somebody who’s 10 years from getting out. They’ve got their mindset on, you know, a retirement 10 years from now, what would you recommend they do today to set them up for some cash flow income replacement when they get out there?

Lance Edwards 14:59
That’s a great Question. And that’s really that’s really the whole objective, as I call it, how to replace your job income. And the real main objective is buying and holding these assets, because that’s where the wealth creation has happened. That’s where your passive income. I mean, wholesaling is great generates nice chunks of cash. But you really want these assets, sending you monthly checks. And so really, the main thing is to get started and get out creating deal flow. That’s one of the things we teach courses. That’s the first thing you need to get create deal flow, how to select these properties I want I want everyone to start small. Because the reason I say that most critical deal is going to be your first deal. It’s also gonna be your scariest. Because after all, we were not taught this stuff in school, at least I wasn’t. And so we’ve got to learn about this, you know, this investment vehicle. But the beautiful thing about it is, you can do it using none of your own cash, none of your own credit. I don’t care what anyone’s financial situation is I can show you story after story after story just for my own clients that got started. using other people’s resources, so don’t let that hold you back. Either. It’s a matter of getting some deal flow started looking at some deals, making an offer, and I will tell you right now, the scariest offers gonna be your first one. But you know, getting the process started. And the other thing I would say is I want to just, you know, bust up this notion that you’re gonna be self managing these buildings because you’re involved with me, you’re not gonna be allowed to hire professional management companies, because you start self managing these these buildings, you’re gonna get burned out. So we use professionals, I want you to use professionals and start small, and then you start scaling up because the, here’s the beauty about apartments, whatever you learn to do on a small apartment applies equally to a large apartment. It’s just extra zeros. And it’s all about cash flow and equity creation. You know, it’s just getting started creating deal flow and sticking to it and I would say one more thing about it. I can’t show you the path right now, but I could show you the case. You know, within three or four small projects you could be done and replacing your current Job income, you don’t need to do a lot of transactions, it’s great leverage of your time you can do it part time. That’s how I did it. I was doing 10 hours a week on the side. And within three years I retired from a 20 year job. And so it’s just a lot of advantage. But you know, Gary, your questions spot on is just getting started getting some deal flow, evaluating deals and making your offers and finding that one deal to get that first one under your belt. That’s always gonna be the critical one.

Gary Pinkerton 17:27
Yeah, that’s awesome. So I’m sure you’ve had a student here air who’s gone through the program and not been successful. That’s what he’s you know, heartbreaking from the from the teacher, I’m a teacher at heart as well. And it’s tough. You know, when, when you believe in it, you know, your system works, but that person can’t succeed. Can you think of, you know, what, maybe is kind of a common thread of those who just it just doesn’t work?

Lance Edwards 17:50
Yes, great question. And it will is kind of what I was alluding to just a moment ago, we were not taught this stuff in school. And so inside our brains You know, we’ve had this conditioning, about how certain things are going to be done, which were basically, where I was conditioned when I went to school is, you know, come here, get good grades, get a good job, that’s fine. But at some point, if anybody interest in doing this, you’re looking to move away from your job less likely, or you will need to have that option to move away from your job. So we’ve got this conditioning in our brains about how to be good employees. And so now when you step out to owning apartment buildings, you’re really entering the world of entrepreneurship, it’s new, and fears come up. It’s all this stuff in our head. And it’s the fears that is the biggest impediment to people stepping out and doing this because your brain frankly, doesn’t like you trying something new. Do not with all the programming we’ve all had about, you know how to be good employees. And so part of the biggest thing I have to talk about and teach people is recognizing that and being aware of it, because once you’re aware of it, then you can start dealing with it. But if you’re not aware of But then these nagging fears, in the jeopardizing your own success. And so the short answer to your question Gary is was hold all of us back, by the way, are these fears and they’re all false. It’s just stuff in our heads. They’re just

Gary Pinkerton 19:15
right. So the best way to get beyond that is my answer would be probably, you know, connect yourself with people who are like minded and doing it so that you have a group of individuals to confide in rather than, you know, going back and running to someone who is not thinking this way. Never has thought thought this way. And all you’ll get is I told you so.

Lance Edwards 19:36
Well, you exactly right. You’re exactly right. Surround yourself a community of like minded people. And so my space is real estate club. I tell all of my students, make sure you join a real estate club because let me let you know secret. They’ve all got the same fears. But the ones that are doing it have learned how to, you know, work through it. And so you’ll be hanging around those people and you come to realize you’re not unique. We’ve all got it. We’ve all got it. What you Don’t do it. Don’t go get advice from the person who’s going to tell you that stuff doesn’t work to begin with. They’re actually out there doing it.

Gary Pinkerton 20:11
Right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a great point. You know, we’re coming near the end my answer. And I really, really appreciate, again, your efforts towards the fallen heroes, but as well, everything you’re doing to help people see the path of light for real estate. Now, maybe give some contact information. And then anything else that I haven’t asked, it’s important about our conversation.

Lance Edwards 20:32
Well, I think you really hit the nail on the head. My main message I will share to everyone is everyone listening right now, I don’t know your background. I don’t care what your background is. I’m telling you, you are qualified to get started in small apartments right now, because I’ve got the whole host of clients been doing this for so long. I can punch in anything 10 year old, eight year old. You don’t need to use your own cash. You don’t need to use your own credit. You just need to devote about 10 hours a week to it and make it part of your new process. So it’s open to everyone. It’s a great leverage of your time it gives you passive income, your equity and wealth creation. And so that’s my main message. As far as contacting with us. I’d like to, with your permission, I’ve got a gift for your listeners. Gary, may

Gary Pinkerton 21:12
I wonderful, please go ahead. Yeah.

Lance Edwards 21:14
So my book how to make big money in small apartments that I alluded to that was my first bestseller. It covers everything about this business, how to find the deals, how to find investors how to analyze a deal, because everything we’ve been talking about, number one best selling bite on Amazon every day, but I’m gonna give it to you for free everyone for listening. There’s only one caveat you asked me to pay the shipping and handling $6 and 77 cents. I’m gonna give you a website. It’s called free apartments, free apartments go that website. We’ll send you the book, the paperback book. There’s other resource materials we’re going to send you as well physically gonna mail it to you. And again, just after the six bucks to cover the shipping handling, we’ll send you those materials for anyone interested. So it’s free, apart. It’s And so you know, it’s one of the things we’re doing now for every dollar that goes into that we send $2 to intrepid fallen heroes fun.

Gary Pinkerton 22:09
Wonderful. Well, thank you very much. How about any other contact information? Or

Lance Edwards 22:15
you can go to you can go through Lance My name Lance And it will direct you to our website where you can get more information on what we’re doing in the apartment space. Awesome. And you have your podcast as well. It’s called the Rei greenlight podcast. It’s called, it’s called. Yeah, thank you. We have a podcast called Green light, Rei, green light Rei. And we interview you know, people involved in real estate space. There’s another web site if you want to listen to the archives go to green light Art, green light, ar e investing calm. A lot of great experts talking about different topics real estate in there as well.

Gary Pinkerton 22:57
Wonderful. Well, Lance. Thank you. So Thanks for spending a few minutes with an earache investing audience

Lance Edwards 23:02
Gary’s been very great. Thank you for the opportunity. I really, really appreciate great honor.

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