Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and your investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.
Josh: So, hey, welcome back to Accelerated Investor. How are you today? I’m so excited that you could join me for this interview, whether you are on a walk at the gym, in the car, wherever you’re at. I’m so excited to be part of your journey as a real estate investor, as an entrepreneur, as a founder, creating cashflow, buying multifamily, whatever it is that you’re into, raising private money. We’re here to bring you tips and strategies and expert interviews to help you along your journey.
Josh: I’m here today with a special guest. His name is Jim Huntzickler. He operates out of the Chicago land market. He’s done over 450 real estate transactions. He has built his business in the local Chicago area to be doing 10 to 12 to 14 rehabs at one time. He successfully built that business today he is focused on being a CEO and building his companies and building them in virtual markets. So we’re going to talk today with Jim about his wholesaling operation that he runs in Florida even though he is personally located in Chicago and his multi-family investments that he has throughout the country. We’re going to talk to you about investing in other markets, picking markets, and why sometimes investing outside of your backyard is the best way to build a business without you as a true CEO. So Jim, welcome to Accelerated Investor. Thanks so much for joining me today.
Jim: Hey thanks for having me on.
Josh: You bet. Absolutely. So we were kind of getting ready for this interview. I think this is the third or fourth time we tried to schedule this interview. So we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit more as we’ve stopped, started with, with our schedules and things. But I was interested, I talked to Jim about many different things he’s worked on, you know, this million dollar assignment fee that you got from an apartment, your rehabs, your virtual investing as wholesaling business. I guess Jim, let’s start by just telling me and telling our audience what are you focused on right now that really kind of gets you up in the morning that drives your passion for the business? What kind of is exciting and new in your real estate business right now in 2019?
Jim: Building yet like being the CEO, like looking at the business from that perspective, I did that a couple of years ago and it was only because the business I built like the rehab business. I was doing like 15 rehabs at a time and these were not little rehabs I’m in suburban Chicago. They’re like 3,000 square foot houses, I think by average rehab cost was $80,000. It wasn’t like there were small little ones. And I’ve’ done rehabs up to like 450,000 on cool old Victorians, you know, but that business was very, I was very involved in that and you know, and the more I tried to step away and I did it, but stuff just like anything, it’s slipped through the cracks.
Jim: There’s a lot of moving parts with that business and I was able to do it but it, you know, I stopped that rehabbing business anyway. One, it took a lot of my time and that in my area, it’s not the right market for that business anymore. There’s, we have no, we pay way too much for the houses. So I hung it up about a year and a half ago. As far as doing that in Chicago because it just wasn’t the right place and I was too involved. Like the way I am, like a lot of people, a lot of us entrepreneurs, we want to be it. We like doing stuff. That’s why we’re out. You know, that’s why we’re entrepreneurs, we like being involved and so, but as I got older and I had kids, I wanted to be less involved and I wanted to hang out with my kids more and be at home more often.
Jim: And so that’s when I really looked at the business for like a CEO perspective. Because that’s a great, you know, that’s a huge change for a lot of us because we’re, a lot of us are by ourselves in our offices, whatever, you know. And so building a business that I was not involved in, that I could go and take a two months off and come back and everything would be the same. That’s been my focus for the last two years is building stuff that I’m not involvement. Even if that meant doing business outside of my state and outside of my area.
Josh: So it’s interesting that you took the tact of saying, look, I’m literally going to build something outside of my area on purpose so I can’t get in the muck, can’t get in the day to day. So what was that like in the first, you know, when you made the decision to build a business in Florida, you’re living in Chicago. Tell me about some of the anxiety, some of the stress that went with that and what were some of the challenges and some of the early successes in doing something virtually?
Jim: Well, let’s talk about, and it wasn’t the first market I tried because you know, they’re just like any of us, like no one has got it right on the first try, like nobody does, right? I mean maybe once in awhile, but you learn from your mistakes. And I started, I tried it and it worked on some level, but it was in Oregon, which I knew nothing that market other than it was just crazy hot at the time. And so, you know, you have to find people on the ground and you have to find team members and partners. And so why I built that, it just, there was so much like Oregon specifically, it was just, it was such a hot market and there was so many people there.
Jim: If you didn’t know the, you know, the comps and the value inside and out, backwards and forwards, which I was learning it was fine, but it was challenging because it was such a hot market. And so that’s one thing I learned there, like, hey, I got to go somewhere. Well, maybe it’s not, there’s not as many people because the market and like, you know, Washington and Oregon, you know, the last couple, you know, years have been crazy. So I went there by design and I left there by design because like, you know what, this is not for m virtually there’s got to be another market.
Josh: But you learned from that experience. That’s the biggest thing is what you applied to the next step, right.
Jim: And then Florida, like I, I go to Florida anyway all the time with my family. And so I know there’s a huge opportunity in Florida. It seems like there’s something coming out of the woodwork with all the real estate investors that come out of Tampa, you know?
Josh: Right. Guru capital of the country for sure.
Jim: Seriously man. So knowing, but knowing that I had doing a lot of research on it wasn’t just because of, that’d be, I know the Florida market pretty well and so it just made a lot of sense to get there. And so, you know, just putting all the pieces in order. Now we have a team of about 10,10 employees in that business and it just cranking now. And so it’s just that, that market right now is kind of peaking and it’s about to tip. It might be a year, year and a half before it actually goes all the way over. But it’s probably not going to be that long. So now we’re very, we’re in a great position there for when the market does tank or at least take a correction. Let’s not call it a tank. Let’s hope it’s just a correction.
Josh: So Jim, what was it like the first couple of people like did you strategically picked Florida, you learn from your trial in the Oregon, Washington market. What were the first couple of building blocks to building a virtual wholesaling business in another state? Was it leads, was it people, was it leads? Was it picking up market? Was it boots on the ground? What was the first couple of steps?
Jim: Well, software, you know, like building software that would, you know, were proprietary for my business, for my leads. And so getting software so that we, like, I wasn’t, I didn’t want to buy leads where everybody was buying leads from. I’ve done that before and it works, I mean, don’t get me wrong, but you know, I don’t want to be doing 10 deals a month I want to be doing 50 right. And so the only way you going to be doing 50 deals a month is, you know, is using some proprietary software that everybody doesn’t have access to. And so I spent the first several months building that and several thousand dollars. And so you don’t have to do that to get started, you know, but because you can buy leads from other lead sources and you can make that work. I just knew if you want to do 50 deals a month or you know, do something at a larger level, you’re going to have to have your own, you know, own data and your own software. So that was the first step.
Jim: And then finding. But really I should say finding the right team members. It was really the first step, like looking, finding people that I could trust on the ground that, you know, when we started with, you know, with buying the normal data from all the lead sources, everybody knows List Source or whatever. And you know, stacking that data and finding all the, you know, the people that are on multiple lists, that’s how I started. And then, which was great and it went fine and then it just took it to the next level. Once we started bringing some money in.
Josh: Got it. So boots on the ground has to be important, right? Because if you’re and it’s interesting we talk about, you know, you being a CEO in Chicago and you’re doing deals in Florida, like that’s not weird. Meaning like most major companies CEOs run a business and they do business all over the world, right? All over the country. And they’re not in the middle of every single transaction. So let’s dispel the myth that to be a CEO, you have to be in your own backyard. That doesn’t have to happen. But in order to evaluate deals, right? Run meetings with sellers, pull comps, find deals, you’ve got to have boots on the ground. So how were you successful? Was it through maybe Facebook groups or referrals or realtors? How did you start to build your team down there?
Jim: All of that. Networking, you know, just relationships I already had some people I already knew that I knew were good operators down there that I approached to partner up with. Of course you have to bring something to the table. You can’t just, you know, partner up with somebody because you want to bring something to the table is your own. So it was just, I mean I’ve been doing this since 2005 I’ve been in a lot of high level masterminds like a lot of us have. And I knew a lot of the right people I wanted to get in touch with and you know, and being at this point in my career in life, even some of the people that might have been the right partners weren’t the right fit for me, right? Because I know how my mind works and I know my strengths and isn’t more important. I know my weaknesses, right? And so knowing that I knew some guys that might be a great fit for what I need wouldn’t be a longterm fit for me. So I had to kind of evaluate those options and then approach the people I thought would be a good fit because everybody’s not a good fit to work together.
Jim: And I used to know I was an agent early on in my life and I realized and I would tell people that at like listing appointments, like, like, Hey, everybody’s not a good fit to work together. Like we might not be a good, you might think in your head right now, like this guy, he’s a jerk. Get him outta here. You know, usually that would make them laugh. But that’s true. Like that was sincere. Like I didn’t want to work with a jerk, so I would put that out there because it’s mutual, right? Like we’ve got to feel each other out here to make sure it’s a good fit. So making sure your team member, just because they can do what you want them to do, it doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for your business, right. So you evaluate partners is big. Because we’ve all been in partnerships that sucked that have, you know, that we thought were going to be great and they just turned out to be garbage. And so, you know, really vetting and evaluating the partners that I decided to approach was a huge, huge part of this.
Josh: There you go. So how do you keep control over a virtual business? So what I’ve found when you can kind of control, I’ve called the two M’s, the money and the marketing, right? Control the marketing control lead flow and control the money that either funds, deals or funds the business funds, the operation funds marketing money and marketing. You can often control lots of levers and you don’t have to necessarily be right there. So what was it like for you and how do you keep some control and some oversight over it now?
Jim: The lead controls exactly it like without, without, you know, there’s a couple of aspects of the business that do always, that I have to control and I kept it that way. But I can control it from anywhere in the world. So that doesn’t really matter. I can control it from the beach, I control from my phone and stuff that I need to do. And I’ve kept it that way intentionally so that that way, not all, all the employees don’t know, they don’t all talk because they do different things. I have guys that are just data mining. I have guys that are just dialing. I have guys that are on the ground that are field ops, you know, and so everybody doesn’t get to communicate with everybody because they don’t have to, right. They, I keep everybody a little, a little separate. They all know each other exist. But and with like with a team, I always keep, first like a dialing team, right? We have five people dialing.
Jim: But there’s basically one that’s all I can always get rid of. Meaning like I probably four is what I need, four strong ones, but I keep a fifth one because I will get rid of one at any one time that like they’re dialing their, their lead conversion wasn’t great that week or two weeks in a row, gone. So that way it keeps everybody else on their toes. And so that’s part of like, some of the people don’t like to do. Like I don’t love, like I don’t get a thrill from firing people. That’s not something I like to do, but it does keep everybody on their toes. And if their performance, I’m paying them for performance. If their performance isn’t good, they’re gone and everybody else needs to understand that. So they keep on their toes because otherwise, you know, oh, he’s not really paying attention.
Jim: We don’t have to make as many calls and all of a sudden they’re taking longer breaks and the lead conversion goes down. So, like for example, I brought one on recently and she was really nice and was unfortunate that she had, anyway, lots of stuff that was going on in her life. It was affecting her lead conversion, right? Like, and so, so I felt terrible that somebody had passed away in her life, but like and I told all the other VA’s, you know virtual assistants that I like, I feel terrible this, but I had to let her go because her lead conversion was down. And I think it’s probably because she’s too focused on the, you know, her father passing away. I said, it’s as hard as that is for me, I still have a business to run it. And I said I can’t keep paying her.
Jim: And looking at her lead count is less than half of everybody else’s. So everybody understood. But that was very clear to everybody that I’m not messing around. I’m not here to have friends or make, you know, like I’m paying them to convert leads and that’s it. And so because of the situation, like I said, I don’t take it very lightly because and that was really, I mean I could tell every single one that I kept on, it registered loud and clear that they have to convert if they want to keep their job.
Josh: So Jim as we talk about building that business, we talked offline before we kind of got prepared for this interview that your style of investing, investing in your backyard, being in the business versus being more of a CEO, running virtual businesses. A lot of it has to do with your lifestyle kids watching your kids grow up, being more available as a father. Tell me about that. And sometimes you know, we have to make changes and maybe even take a step back to evaluate where we’re at to reevaluate where we’re going to go. What does the lifestyle want to look like? When I think about Jim is my mom, my mom said to me long ago, she said, you know, I felt like I was married. My mom and dad have been married 52 years and she says, I felt like I was married to a different man every five years because your kids would change about every five years or we started a new business or someone passed away, or the kids, you know, one of you guys moved out of the house.
Josh: Life just finds a way to change and you’re in a situation now where your very successful at rehabbing 450 transactions. But you said, look, I’ve got to do some things different. So tell me about that in your business and what else have you done? I know you started investing more in multifamily, looking for more cashflow. Tell me about that lifestyle change and has that happened before? Maybe when you were single going to married or married having kids and what do you, what kind of advice would you give other people going through that same lifestyle kind of pivot? Maybe a big life event happens for them.
Jim: Yeah. For me it was, it’s been the one change, the major change my kids. I have twins that are eight years old now, but back in 2011 when they were born that changed everything. It’s like as soon as they were here it changed everything. And so I, my whole perspective changed, I like, I quit golfing because I wasn’t that good at it anyway. And I knew I just had twins. I wasn’t going to be able to go out and golf all the time. I, you know, my wife’s at home with twins, I just, I couldn’t do it, so I gave it up. I mean, I don’t plan to give it up forever, but I gave up for a while. So it wasn’t even on my radar of something I thought that I had to do. And so I made some big lifestyle changes like that when my kids were born.
Jim: And that also, you know, for me, I was like the business I worked, you know like up until that point I was willing to work seven days a week or you know, we didn’t have any kids. I was building businesses, I’m an entrepreneur and I wanted to get stuff done and you know things are going great. So I was just going, you know full throttle and then the kids came and I was like I need to pull back. I don’t need, money became money was the driving factor up until my kids were born. Because I thought that was the most important thing after they came. It’s important, I need money to live but it’s no longer the focus of everything that I’m trying to do. I’m trying to create time with my family, which is the was the most important thing to me. So everything I do is based like that’s why I started business in Florida.
Jim: That’s why I looked for multi-family outside of my area. One because Cook county in Illinois sucks for tenants for being a landlord but also like I knew I would be involved cause that’s just how I am. I don’t talk this fast because I want to just how I’m wired, right? People always say, oh you drink coffee, caffeine, like look, this is, some people are just wired this way. I’m a little faster than normal and that’s just the way it is. And so for me to kind of wind down, it took having kids for me to be like to pull back like wait, there’s more things to life than money and business and being well known like and so I kind of turned everything around. My whole perspective changed when I had kids and it’s been the best thing that ever happened to me because I no longer was focused on driving for money. And it’s funny when you that change, everything changes, right? Like for me, just how you look at things and how things, things start coming to you. It just, it’s funny how the world works.
Josh: Yeah. And also I think it levels, it forces you to level up because now you want to have more, have more cashflow. You don’t want to necessarily take a step back financially, but you also don’t want to do the amount of individual transactions or individual maybe rehabs. For me, the further I got along in the business, the less transactional I became because I wanted more things that paid me consistent cashflow, right? I started paying attention more to wall street and wall street values companies based on contractual cashflow, things that are coming in on a recurring basis.
Josh: Now I wasn’t going to go start a new Ecommerce business. I’m not that smart. Very different to start a new tech company but I know that multi-family is a very similar way to own cashflow. It sounds like you made that same decision and you specifically said, I’m going to own it outside of my area. Maybe with partners, maybe with another operator where you could bring some parts of the puzzle together and you could get paid, you know, joint venture on deals and have cashflow from that to be able to again, spend more time with your kids and then maybe you’ll take up golf again, but really a lifestyle decision. I find these lifestyle decisions force us to be more strategic about what we will do with our time because we put a cap on our time. Is that kind of how it went for you too?
Jim: Yeah. Yeah. I made me be more resourceful, like, you know, I mean stuff like, just as easy as taking pictures of, hey, I haven’t seen this property. I can’t get a good shot on Google Maps. Hiring somebody on, you could hire somebody anywhere in the country to take pictures for you in about 10 minutes on Craigslist. I mean like, but I never did that in my own area. Like, you know, I could’ve done it here too, but I didn’t, you know, I either had a team member, I did it, but it forced me to have to find somebody else to do it. And it’s easy. It was like $20 bucks, I could pay somebody and then I would have pictures within three hours. I mean, anywhere. It was just wild that it just forced me to be more resourceful and I got all my time back, you know? It just, it was, I mean, I don’t work a ton like, you know, I’m still my office I still work. It’s just, you know, it’s not anywhere near as intense as it used to be and if I do take three days off in a row, it doesn’t really matter.
Josh: Right. So tell me about your passion for multi-family now you’re looking for multi-family all over the country. Joint venture partnerships, private investors, very similar to what we do. Tell me about that passion. What are you doing to find deals? What kind of areas are you looking at? What size buildings?
Jim: Yeah, I’m looking for stuff, you know, like I realized that to evaluate, you know, a 10, 20 unit building or 120 unit doesn’t really any more of my time. So I really look for a, you know, minimum of a hundred units because it doesn’t take any more of my time to evaluate, right. I mean, you know that, it just funny that like you start like everybody, you’re like, well I don’t a duplex quad, which I have those, right. And then that’s what I was starting to stack them slowly and I was like, this is taking forever years ago. And like, I’m like, I’m going to stop that. Let me learn about multi-family. This is back 2000 like 1213 and then I, you know, I studied that for a couple of years and jumped in in 2015 but yeah, so we’re looking for strategic partners from other countries. What I’m doing now is, is fighting people that have deals that they don’t know how to finance or don’t know how to rehab or they’re scared to and they want to stay in the deal.
Jim: And that’s why I’m on these, you know, doing these podcasts interviews because there’s people all over that we will buy the deals from you as a wholesale if that’s all you want. But most people we’ve realized they’d like to stay in the deal to get cashflow. And that’s why I got into it is for the cashflow. Just like you’re saying, like I am setting up as much multi-family as possible so I can have as much residual income as I can. And that is my focus, the wholesaling business in Florida is because there’s an opportunity there I know how to do it so I did it. But my goal is, take all the money from that business is going into the multifamily. That’s my goal is to have, you know, 5,000 units in the next 10 years.
Josh: There you go. Yeah. And it takes big multi-family deals, a hundred units, 200 units, 400 units, whatever it is. It takes a team. I actually just had had lunch yesterday with, you know, two operating partners, one of our guys that’s a general partner with us, our banker, myself, my business partner, and then one of our acquisitions guys all sitting around the table and we’re just talking, we’re having fun. Guys were in from out of town and we’re just thinking about, and I kind of left the meeting thinking like, wow, each one of us at the table, we have some overlapping skill, but pretty much everybody at the table does something different, right? One guy is an acquisitions manager and another guy is the operator that’s dealing with contractors and other guys who are more focused on finance and other guys focused on asset management. That’s really how multi-family deals are done.
Josh: Very rarely do you buy a 200 unit all by yourself, raise all the money by yourself, sponsor the loan all by yourself, do all the rehab, all by yourself. It just doesn’t really work that way. There are a few guys I know that have done that and like they’re hustling, right? They’re hustling to do everything now they might have a massive building, you know, a $12 million deal that’s going to be all theirs, which is great. You only need one of those in your lifetime to be financially set, but it’s a lot of work. So tell me a little bit more about your structure. Like, are there specific parts of those different job descriptions that you like to plan or do kind of play in different parts depending on the deal now?
Jim: Like bring the deals to the table is really like what I focus on. Like doing the day to day in the management and like I have management, you know, companies that we use, you know, locally sometimes. And there’s national companies and same thing with contractors. It just depends on the deal, how big it is, what the contractors, if we can find good ones locally, we’ll usually be a little more reasonable, which I know, you know that stuff, right? And so the national contractors are going to be a little more expensive, but you know, the quality, the work generally isn’t better. But yeah, I’m not, I don’t need every piece of every pie, every pie, right. I realized like the Rockefeller am I right? Like I’d rather have 1% from a hundred guys than 100% from me. Like, you know, I heard that long time ago.
Jim: And I didn’t really start putting it into action until a couple of years ago, which I regret. But that’s why we’re here now, right. I realized that I didn’t want to do it all. I couldn’t do it all. So you know, having a piece of a bunch of deals where other people are helping out with part of that process, uh, whether it be management or you know, the rehab or acquisitions, whatever it is, I don’t need to do it all and I don’t want to do it all. And there’s plenty of these multifamily deals for other people to make money too. So we might as well spread the wealth around, lets other people make some money and do more deals.
Josh: Right. What I found too about multi-family that has allowed me to do and you know, the other guys have invested with which the single families were great. Like, you know, we still found a ton of single-family flips. We’re still a huge private lender. But what I found from the cashflow from multi-family has allowed us, because it’s not, it’s not like full time. Like you might close if you’re really good, you might close six big multifamily deals a year, right? If you’re really good, if you’re really, really good, maybe you close once a month, but an average operator is maybe going to close two or three a year, right? A 200 unit, a 300 unit, a 100 unit. If you’re adding two, three, four, 500 units your portfolio a year, you’re really doing really well, right? So it’s not really a full time job. So building the cashflow, doing a deal, spinning it up, getting permanent financing for it when it stabilized. What I found, what I love about it is it allows me to focus on some other things, my real passions in life.
Josh: Like I love to coach volleyball. I love, love, love to coach volleyball. I would love to eventually go teach at the local college where I went to school and played college football, teach finance to these kids. Because I don’t think they’re getting like a real world finance education in today’s. So what has some of these lifestyle choices allowed you to do besides, you know, take care of your immediate family, kids being home for them, not playing golf or you, are you able to pursue more of those passions now and what do you like to do?
Jim: Yeah, yeah. No, I got. Yes, I got, there’s stuff, I plan on writing a book here at some point in the future just about like, I actually I won’t write it. I’ll hire somebody to write it for me cause I’m not a writer. But I’ll hire a ghost writer that can go through it and it just stuff, you know, like I’ve been through my life, like just things that will help other people. Like I think I like a lot of us get to the point where we do just want to give back, and not even real estate. You’re talking about, you know, volleyball, and finances, right. Mine’s more like people that like I quit, before my kids were born. I took three months off of drinking, which a lot of us do, right. I took, I used to take a month off a year. Just to make sure I could, right. I was having twins. I’m like crap. So I took three months off and I never went back. Like that wasn’t my intention. I planned on going back at some point and I just like life better without it.
Jim: I lost 60 pounds since then. I work out. I’m a lot healthier than I’ve ever been. I just like life better without it. It’s funny how stuff like that happens, but people reach out to me all the time they ask me how I quit drinking and judge, did you do this or do that? I said, I just quit. I just decided I didn’t want to do it. I never did it again. And but it just mindset, like it’s just simple mindset stuff that you know, people think you have to, you know what the biggest thing for me about that one little thing, when I, like I thought every time I thought about drinking again, which I just didn’t want to for health, right. It was about other people, like other people wanted me to drink it, you know. So I’m like, am I going to keep drinking for other people?
Jim: It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever like once I realized that it was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I’m like, I’m done. This has been about eight years and I don’t even look back or care about it. And it’s funny that people like, you know, from high school or that know that I’ve quit or whatever. Everybody’s always like, how’d you do it? Was it AA or was it this or was it that? And it was done. I didn’t have a problem. I quit because I wanted to like anybody can and so there’s stuff like that, like quitting and I’ve changed my lifestyle stuff. I said I lost a lot of weight. I went, I’m in pretty good shape these days. I wasn’t always, and I’ve done, made a lot of good, positive changes in my life and I like to share the way to do that.
Jim: So eventually I will figure out how I do that. But that is a passion of mine to help other people too. And mildly with like, you know how to just mind over matter if you want to quit, quit doing stuff for other people, you know, like everything. You don’t want to, if you don’t want to do something, it’s just because you’re still doing it for other people in most cases. You know, I’d be like, especially the big one, like I say, probably two people a year, reach out to me about stopping drinking. Like not like I was some big crazy drinker. They just know that I don’t, they want to know how to stop. I’m like, stop. You just stop.
Josh: What I found is like, if I don’t have, because I don’t really booze that much right now. Last year I actually went through some bunch of crazy stuff with my dad being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and some other crazy shit that happened and was drinking more than men more than normal. And what I found is this year I was like, you know what, like I just don’t mind. Everyone’s got a cup right in the cup can only be so full. Even if you’re operating in a hundred percent capacity, you can only fit so much stuff in the cup and if you want to fit something new, when you got to take something else out and for you, like you said, you took golf out, you took drinking out. Like when I had kids, I stopped gambling. I used to love to go to Vegas, $5,000 bucks. Not a huge thing, but $5,000 bucks. Like I’m like now, even if I lost $500 and made $5,000 losing $500 gave me anxiety because I felt like I was taking it away from my kids. I got more anxiety for losing money then making 10 times, then it will just wasn’t exciting. So I took it out of the cup and stopped doing it.
Josh: Same thing with now. Like I don’t really drink that much, but I got rid of golf this year. I haven’t, I picked up the sticks one time just to play with my son because he wanted to go. So you got to and I think that’s part of like my mom’s advice. Like every five years I felt like was married to a different man. Sounds like you know, things, common things go, but depending on, you know, the lifestyle that you want to lead today, it doesn’t mean you can’t go back to golf or can’t go back to having some fun partying a little bit. But what’s important right now, like right now, lately for me, the last month or so I’ve been swimming like four days a week in the mornings. I used to work I kind of got bored with my workouts.
Josh: Like same thing every couple of days, getting in the gym, same workouts and routine. Just wanted to mix it up. So one day I bought new goggles, jumped into pool. I’m like, two days later I was like, wow, my whole body is sore. Like I’m really sore all over the place. Like this feels new, it feels different. Let me try this again. Jump back in the pool, three, four, five days of swimming, holy cow. Like I felt like I was thinner, more fit. My whole body feels tone because you’re using every single muscle in your body, right. So I think part of being successful as a CEO is taking some time to think about what is fulfilling. Take time to think about what is my, how big is my cup? How full is it? Can I add something new and if I am got to take something else out. Jim, to your point there, like where do you see your life going now in the future? Like now that you’ve had success with multifamily, now you have a successful wholesaling business, what’s the next five years look like for you? What do you want to accomplish? Is it adding more cashflow? Is it spending more time as it maybe taken up some new hobbies?
Jim: Yeah, it’s adding more cashflow. It’s funny you say swimming, they’re doing a huge new park district facility right by my house that’s going to have this incredible indoor pool. And I’ve been wanting to start swimming because it’s such good exercise for you. I just never had an easy way to do it. And now I’m going to, so that’s something I plan to start doing myself in the morning. Like it’s funny you say that, but I can’t wait for this thing to be done so I can start swimming. Because it’s like the best overall, like, you know, like you said, your whole body was sore. Like I is the best overall body workout there is just swimming, just basic swimming. You know what I mean? You have to be an excellent swimmer just to have to swim. Yeah, let’s do some laps.
Jim: But yeah, taking, you know, taking up some more hobbies, I have hobbies. I like long range shooting. I’m not like shooting a gun. I like, I don’t know why I love it. Like maybe I’ll never see him golf again and I’ll go shooting more, you know. Because I just like I like long range shooting. Like you know, stuff that’s like 300, 500 yards, not your normal stuff. Right. I don’t know why, it’s one of those things I like, you know.
Josh: That’s very cool. Couple more questions, Jim, and then we’ll wrap. But you know over the last couple months that we’ve gotten to know each other, you’ve mentioned several times that you had a lot of success in real estate. People had asked you to coach them. You even put up a website and a page, you know, where you put yourself out there to coach people who were making applications, asking you to coach them, willing to pay you, to coach them, and you went to events. People started recognizing you and saying, hey Jim, you know, like can you coach me and what have you done to be successful? And you really decided to go the opposite way and, and step back and step away from coaching, step away from the spotlight. You said it wasn’t for you, it wasn’t something you wanted to do and you wanted to focus more on doing deals. Some people think like, well if you’re so successful, why do you coach? You got so successful, you started the coach and then ultimately it just wasn’t part of your kind of DNA. Tell me about your decision to actually retract from the spotlight.
Jim: Yeah, it was going well. It was one of those things like it like, you know, as an entrepreneur, something you do and you fail at, some things you do well and they’re not for you and you just got to kind of, you know, you, you learn from that and you move on. But I was getting to be more well known and being in the spotlight, I didn’t even think about it. And just being an entrepreneur, I started a business like you know, an online business. I knew I, you know, I knew I had some value I could add to people. And so, you know, bringing the coaching like I love it because I like helping people, you know, just like you said, you want to teach finances and I want to teach people about how to just do their own thing and be themselves and like you’ve got to quit this or quit that.
Jim: Just do it. You know, like you want to quit eating poorly, just do it. But so I did not like the older I get the, I thought that I want to meet people, but I didn’t like being so well known or like a guru. I just, it wasn’t for me. And it’s one of those byproducts of being an entrepreneur. I didn’t even think about it. I just go, go, go, let’s get this done. It was going really well and all of a sudden I’m like, I don’t like this. This is not for me. Like, you know, I don’t mind. Like I don’t mind people coming up to talk. Like it’s not like I don’t want to be talked to people. I just, I if I kept doing it I would get, you know, to a status I didn’t want to be at.
Jim: And I just, the older I get, I don’t want to know more people. I just want to like, if anything I keep my head down. I don’t go to as many masterminds anymore just because I was just, I’m doing deals and I’m getting it done. Like I, you know, being the most, you know, well known person in the business, it’s just not something I’m interested in. In fact, the wholesale business is the first time I’ve even talked about it. I’m in the background of that. Nobody even knows who I am. Like I’m not the face of it. Nobody has any idea that I’m pulling all the strings on that business that’s involved. None of the sellers know who I am. None of the buyers. Nobody knows who I am and I like it that way.
Josh: That’s great. It’s got to fit. It’s got to fit the lifestyle, right. Again, talk about changing every couple of years. Jim, last question. I know we talked about, you know we talked about multi-family and actually owning and buying multi-family, holding multi-family for cashflow. I also know that you want wholesale and apartment deal for a seven figure profit, $1 million wholesale fee. Tell me about that. I’m sure our audience would love to hear how a deal like that goes down.
Jim: Yeah, it was one of those, I mean, you know, a lot of you just like, like just disclaimer, this is not your average deal or don’t think you can go out there and jump in there, right?
Josh: Big disclaimer, right. Yeah.
Jim: Seriously. Because I mean like, and I know I’m not one, that’s another thing like being in the spotlight, I was having to talk about profit and that’s not something super comfortable for me. But the reason I’m like even talking about this one because one, it’s huge and it’s so big. It’s one of those things it’s like obnoxious how big it is but is real. It did really happen. And because it’s a real deal. I’m coming on to talk about it cause I want to meet other people and help them potentially make $1 million. You know, because I wasn’t, I had two partners on that deal or with three partners on that deal.
Jim: So it wasn’t like a whole million dollars is mine. But I’ll tell you a $266,000 of that was mine. And so that deal was one of those, it was, I learned so much from that. We had it sold before we closed on it. It was, we bought it for $1,000,002 50 and we sold it for 2.4 before we even closed on it. Long story short, those first buyers turned out to be attorneys that just the first week or the, I’m sorry, the last week, it was a cash deal closing on a Friday. On the Monday they ask us for a 30 day financing extension. So we’re like, whatever, give us $50,000 grand more hard deposit and we’ll give you the 30 days. And I’m like, Nope, we just want the 30 days. And we’re like, so ended that kept the earnest money. Second buyer lost $200,000 like real money, lost it, gone, couldn’t close.
Jim: We even gave him a free three months in the end. Like I’m like, I don’t want anymore of your money. You have three months to close and you can’t close we’re keeping your $200,000 grand and we’re moving on. And they couldn’t do it, we’re done. Yup. Third buyer closed for 2.3 so after everything’s said and done, it was, you know, we expected to have this thing for like a month literally. And we ended up having it for a year and we still made $1 million on it. So that’s like, that just goes to show you that, you know, just keep at it because, you know, we could have been like, oh my God, this is, and you know, of course our investors were like what’s going on here? Because it was like really 30 day money that we ended up keeping for a year.
Jim: And they were fine because we were paying them monthly. You know, it was, it was okay. But long story short is that it was one of those deals. We knew what we had the first buyers, um, it was, Oh this is was the problem. It was, by the time it was about 35% occupied. So nobody could get financing. Nobody, I don’t care who you are. You’re not getting financing for 35% if it’s occupied with only 35%.
Josh: Got to pay cash, get that thing, leased up, reposition it and refi. Yeah.
Jim: So we needed the right buyer to come through. And so the first buyers were the right buyer, but they just didn’t pull the trigger for whatever reason. And a second buyer, they couldn’t get financing for it because it was financing. The third buyer ended up coming with bridge financing, so it was, but they knew what it was. We talked to them up front before we were contract, I talked to the lender to make sure he knew what it was. We had put a couple more, we were at like 42% by that point and he was able to close. And so yeah, there was, it was one of those things at that buyer, oddly enough, like how’d we find that buyer? He literally walked into the door of the complex and talked to our property manager we had on site. Like there was just one of those things like, the second deal is falling apart. It was about done, because he was at the end of the 30 days or the 90 days, we gave him to close the last 90 days. And I said, well, if it doesn’t close, I’ll call you. And sure enough, I call it. And it worked out.
Jim: Just one of those things that I didn’t expect it to. We had other buyers I get, because I was sourcing buyers on my own, so we had other buyers that I was like, okay. They just didn’t seem as serious. Like they just, I could tell it wasn’t on their radar where they weren’t really paying enough attention. And uh, it was one of those things I like, I had to cut out a buyer that I personally liked because I could tell it wasn’t on his radar enough to pay. Like, and to me it was very important. We are a year into a 30 day deal. I needed a buyer that was going to have, I was going to have all their attention, so I had to cut somebody out of this deal that I really liked and respected. I wanted to sell it to, to sell it to a buyer I could tell is more hungry because it was a smaller, that was a 91 unit building.
Jim: And the buyer that I had that I knew was buying big stuff 200, 300, 400 and just, it’s big, he’s big time. And so like it was one of those things I, it was a hard decision to make to pull the plug on somebody I respected and I wanted to sell this deal too. At the same time I knew that it wasn’t big enough for him and the guy that I was selling it to, it was a big deal. He was moving his, him and his wife were going to stay there for six months during the rehab. Like it was a big deal. This guy who already had 3,000 units. So it wasn’t like he was a small operator. And so, so anyway, so long story short, we sold this third buyer and he walked in the door and it was just one of those things that we yeah, out the door we made a million, a little over $266,000 pieces, but we made.
Josh: Nice. Good for you. It’s amazing that when you kind of focus in on one thing, like when you’re focused on multi-family and are your thinking is multi-family. And then all of a sudden like new types of lenders come out of the woodwork and new private lenders come out of the woodwork and deals come out of the woodwork and operators come out of the woodwork because you kind of plant your flag and say, this is who we are, this is what we’re going to focus on. And that’s what we are finding ourselves doing. You know, now over the last 18 months or so, we’ve accumulated 2200 units of apartments. We’re really focused on, on apartments that were focused on lending on apartments and buying apartments and funding deals for other people and recruiting private capital for apartments, finding operators for apartments just like you. And all of a sudden it’s like now we have this new lender and now we have this new private investor and now somebody is telling somebody else about us.
Josh: That brings us a deal and it really comes down to focus. So tell our audience as we kind of wrap here, Jim, tell us, tell our audience about how to get ahold of you to partner with you on apartments, what kind of apartment deals you’re looking for, what you could need to build your team. And I would love it if some of our audience reached out to you and you guys did some deals together.
Jim: Yeah, for sure. I’m looking for stuff anywhere in the country except Cook county. Well, I’m just kidding. I would do Cook county. What the deal’s got to be so ridiculously good. And I it’s just, the taxes here. I’ll give you an example. Let me give you a quick example. My, I have an apartment complex in Oklahoma that’s on 4 acres. It’s 13 buildings and the taxes, I am not kidding. I shit you not are less than my house in cook County, Illinois. And I don’t have a huge house. I have a quarter acre lot. It’s not a crazy big house. Not crazy expensive. And my taxes are less on the apartment complex they are in my house. So think about what a complex would be here. It just, it’s ridiculous how, how much the taxes are. It’s really just a lot of times the numbers don’t make sense because the taxes are so out of whack here.
Jim: But anyway, anywhere in the country, a hundred years or more, I mean, I would look at something a little small, you know, if it’s 90 units I would look at that. But really we’re looking for a hundred units or more and we want to keep people in the deals. I’m looking for local operators that want to stay in deals. You know, you can’t get them finance or you don’t know how or you don’t have the, you know, the management team or the construction team.
Jim: We have it all. And so if it’s something you want to do, you want to stay in the deal and you feel like somebody talks as fast as I do, that moves as fast as I’d, if that would be something you want to talk to, give me a call. You can reach me directly. And of course…
Josh: What’s the best place to reach your phone number, email, website. What does that look like?
Jim: I going to give a phone number? It’s a direct line to me and I’m going to give you an email. So the email is a, well, the phone number is (847) 772-5302. That’s a direct line. You’re going to get me. This is not going to get, an assistant who is going to put you off to somebody who’s going to take a questionnaire. If you have a real deal, call me. I want to talk to you about it. I want to finance it, I want to do it. So get me on the phone and my email is my name. It’s Jim@JimHuntzicker.com. J I M at J, I, M H U, N T, Z. I C, K E R.com. Just shoot me an email. Hit me up. Let’s do some deals. There’s so many multi-family deal opportunities out there right now and what I realized that a lot of people don’t know if it’s a deal or not. Like I said, it doesn’t take much time to evaluate these deals. So you just give me a call, we’ll get him evaluated the same day and see if it’s something, it’s even an option and then we know if we can do it or not.
Josh: That’s fantastic Jim. So any final parting shots, words of advice, things you would’ve done differently before we wrap up here?
Jim: You know, you said something that I just a few minutes ago about focus. Like you know, the difference between people that, you know, make it and people that don’t, is laser focus on what you want, right. And so even in myself, early on, and even recently, as entrepreneurs, we get a couple of things in front of us and it’s like we give a little bit of attention to a couple of things and we do mediocre at all of it. But that’s why I do two things right now I have a wholesaling business and I do multi-family. That’s it. There’s nothing else in my life that I do for income because those are my two focuses. Because if I edit a third one in, I wouldn’t be as good at the first two. And so then the wholesaling business, I built that for quick cashflow because sometimes at multi-family, you don’t get it as quick.
Jim: If you’re doing a major renovation, like take, you know, six, eight months, you start getting some money out of that and so but focus, just stay focused on what you’re doing and believe in yourself because a lot of times as an entrepreneur it’s a lonely place where you think, ah, you’re going to give up and go back to some corporate job or whatever. And you just got to believe in yourself, just keep pushing through.
Josh: That’s fantastic. Jim, thanks so much for being on Accelerated Investor I had an absolute blast, getting to know you even more doing this interview. Thank you so much for being on.
Jim: Thank you.
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Jim Huntzicker first got into real estate back in 2005 when he realized that it was one of the best ways, if not THE best way, for regular people to make money in the US. He’s since been involved in more than 450 real estate transactions, some worth north of $1 million.
He has become something of an unwilling guru on the matter, with people regularly coming up to him and asking for advice on their next property investment move.
For many years, Jim was involved in the rehabbing business but has since adjusted his strategy in light of new economic developments. In this podcast, Jim discusses his multifamily investments across the country and his wholesaling business, located in Florida.
In our discussion, Jim tells me about what gets him up in the morning and motivates him to do what he does. He talks about how being the CEO of his own company has given him a different perspective on the rehabbing business in Chicago and how he’s now ready to move on.
One of the problems Jim faced was how to operate a remote business, a challenge that many CEOs must deal with in their careers. He talks about how he used his existing network to find people who could help. He was successful, in his view, because he brought value to the people who worked for him and spend time looking for those with the right set of values for his organization.
We also discuss the importance of time. Both of us focused on spending every hour of the day making money in the past, but at this stage in our lives, we’re much more focused on achieving a higher quality of life. Jim uses his role as a CEO as a tool to spend more time with his family.
Finally, we get onto some deeper subjects, such as fulfilment and the purpose of working hard to achieve goals. We also ask what it is that separates the people who get what they want out of life from those who don’t. In short, we go deep!
- Jim discusses his focus right now and what gets him up in the morning.
- Jim talks about the challenges of living in Chicago and operating a business in Florida.
- What motivates Jim to do the work he does? Being a CEO and investing in properties has freed him up financially to spend more time with his kids.
- Jim talks about his passion for multifamily real estate and how it is enabling him to build cash flow.
- Jim and Josh talk about the importance of taking time out as a CEO to ask yourself, “what is fulfilling?” What do I really want to get out of my life?
- Jim explains what he wants to achieve in the future both in terms of his health, lifestyle, and business. He talks about how swimming is one of the best ways to get an all-around workout.
- Jim explains the difference between the people who make it and those who don’t.