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 you’re investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.
Josh: So, hey, welcome back. Welcome back to Accelerated Investor. I’m so glad that you joined us today. I’m so glad that you’re taking time out of your very, very busy schedule, whether you have family, whether you have kids, what do you have a successful business? Maybe you’re running a startup, maybe you’re a real estate investor or real estate entrepreneur. Whatever you’re doing, I’m sure that you’re busy. So I want to congratulate you for taking time out to grow, to grow personally, grow your business and listen and learn more about entrepreneurship, real estate, and pursuing your dreams. For all of you have been sharing our episodes on social media and leaving us ratings and reviews. I just want to thank you so much for engaging with me and with Accelerated Investor. And today I have a very special guest. His name is Doug Shelton.
Josh: Doug is the owner of lease purchase Ohio. He’s done over 70 single-family flips. He’s investing in the greater Cleveland market as well as the Cuyahoga County and Medina counties. Doug is now actively leveling up his business from single-family rentals and rehabs into commercial and multifamily real estate. He started in the mortgage industry and mortgage sales industry and Doug has an amazing kind of background and experience in both construction financing rehabbing multifamily and he’s going to share a little bit more about his journey. I also know that my team at Freeland plays golf and played golf with Doug who can absolutely pound the ball off the tee, I’ve heard. And so, Doug, thanks so much for joining us today on accelerated investor what’s happening.
Doug: Josh, thanks so much for having me, man. I am super honored to be here. And yeah, we had some good times on the golf course there with some of your, some of your guys there. It was a blast.
Josh: Yeah, absolutely. Doug is a relatively new friend and kind of getting to know each other more and more over the past year or so. We just funded a 24 unit apartment building for him and his partner, Tim Bratz in Medina, Ohio. We stepped in, they brought the deal, we stepped in to fund the first mortgage debt as well as some of the down payment and some of the money that had to go down. So Doug, let’s talk a little bit more about your investing business today. Tell us a little bit more about your money-making strategy. What are you doing to make income? What are you focused on and really why, like why are you focused on that particular strategy?
Doug: Yeah, absolutely, Josh. So today is more of a we have a full time fix and flip operation. About three years ago, we brought in in house construction, which was huge for us. We have two crews. We’ve really dialed in and, and have become really efficient at being able to fix up not only the single family, but this is going to lead right into the multifamily. And again, multifamily is a little bit newer space for me. But longterm that is definitely the goal. And I will say I’m not ready to give up the fix and flips just yet. The reason why it’s always kind of been my bread and butter. You know, we’ve seen success along the way, not only from a monetary standpoint but as a, as a time freedom standpoint, you know, and but the goal is moving forward, definitely want to really focus in on multifamily. We’re kind of steering the ship, I would say, you know, so we don’t want to give up necessarily what, what got us here, but we do want to kind of steer the ship toward some, some longterm wealth building strategies.
Josh: Fantastic. So tell us a little bit more in the rezzy space, in your fix and flip business. The common questions that I get as a mentor and as a coach that we’re constantly trying to answer for our audience and for our students is how are you finding deals in today’s market? It’s obviously very competitive. And how are you finding capital and cash and private lenders to fund your deals?
Doug: Yeah, no, great question. In fact, you know, that has been, you know, one of the struggles the deal flow has definitely slowed down in recent years. I think a big thing is the networking aspect. I try to do a good job with getting around the right people, including yourself, you know, and but just to talk to everybody out there, tell everybody kind of what you’re doing. And it’s amazing where we’ve seen some deals. I mean, I definitely have a good amount of deal flow that come from, like wholesalers, you know, in the area and they get a hold of some stuff. I’ve given my criteria, hey, this is kind of what I’m looking for. If you stumble across something, you know, I’d love to work together.
Doug: But also the more and more people, it seems like you tell, you know, it could be, hey, my grandma’s aunt’s former tennis coach has a house for sale and we thought of you. You know, so I think it’s important to really get the word out. You know, we’re out there constantly trying to, you know, find more and more deals and a good deals at that. You know, sometimes when this space gets crowded from a deal perspective, you know, some people might think it’s a deal and we try to stay pretty disciplined to our numbers in our formula just to make sure that, you know, we’re not kind of reaching for something so.
Josh: Got it. And how about from a funding perspective, what are you doing to kind of expand your wings, get more access to more capital, whether it’s institutional money, bank financing, institutional private money, or working specifically with smaller private lenders. What all goes into that for your business to make sure the fix and flip operation continues to hum along.
Doug: Yeah. Yeah. So I’m a little bit similar, you know, on the, on the networking front, but, but also to be smart about, you know, who you’re talking to about, about the money piece. You know, on the multifamily side I will say some of the private lending is more of an education piece to someone. You can say, hey, you know, you’ve got this money maybe parked in some CD making 2%, 3%, even if it’s going to be that or, you know, you might be able to parlay that into something different. And, you know, again, doing that and still staying within those SEC guidelines, which I know you’re an expert at.
Doug: But, you know, kind of go on that realm and then on the single family. You know, it’s funny talking to, you know, there’s money seems to be not readily available but maybe a little bit more available than it has in the past years. So just making the right connections and talking to the right people as far as, you know, showing that we have experience that we’ve had success. So just kind of go on that route and just forming those connections for the future so.
Josh: Love it. Yeah. To me, I had a friend of mine tell me years ago I was like, money will find its way into every crack in the sidewalk. Money that is, you know, money is readily available it, even during the great recession, money was available and deals will always get funded, right. The right deal will always get funded if you talk to them enough people talk to the right people. People want to be with the right deal with the right operator. So when you’re talking with a private lender or your networking for deal flow, is there anything that you say particularly, do you have a pitch? Do you have like a couple, like a 32nd elevator speech. What do you kind of do to make yourself immediately stand out? Whether it’s looking for deals or looking for money?
Doug: Yeah, so good point. So, you know, a mutual friend of ours, Tim Bratz, you know, I’ve really taken a lot from him, partnered up with that deal with them. And so when it comes to that, I found out that if you kind of put something out there instead of going to hunt for it, you know, just kind of saying, hey, if you were, you know, you know, someone maybe that would like to get investing in real estate and make, you know, possibly these returns or have a small piece of equity and not so much trying for the hard sell right off the get go. I mean, that alone is a golden nugget. I mean that, that right there, I think it gets people thinking, and especially when you say something like, Hey, do you happen to know somebody that you know, may want to get into this arena?
Doug: And people I think like human nature just makes them think, well, what about me? Like, what do you mean do I know someone? Like, what are, you know, so that’s been a pretty successful way to go about it. And also to, I mean, you know, I’ve been doing this full time now for about five years, so I think that’s helped establish some credibility. You know, and people see maybe a certain level of success and they say, you know, hey, you know, just how can I get involved, so.
Josh: Yeah. There’s the whole argument of like, I have experience and then there’s the argument of a certain return on investment that I can get. And I think having, having both, the combination of both is really what makes it go. But I mean, I raised money and you did too and Tim did too. And a lot of our other guests have raised capital with very, very little experience. So when I meet somebody for the very first time and they say, Hey, I think the easiest way, and I teach this from stage, I teach this to my students, I’ll pass this along in this podcast because it’s at the front of my mind when I am talking with new People, whether I’m at a networking event or I met with one of my kids’ soccer games or a football game. And inevitably like women, women are really good at talking about stuff like important stuff.
Josh: I don’t know how it is. My wife can meet a brand new person, another woman, and they can hit it off and they can talk for two hours about God knows what and they actually, when they’re done, they’re best friends. They’re holding hands. I’m like, oh my God, Lisa, you just met this other woman. For dudes it’s like, how’s the weather? Like where do your kids go to school? And then eventually, like third or fourth question becomes, so what do you do, right for a lot of guys. So what do you do? And just guys just, you know, the weather, like what’s going on with sports and then what do you do? That’s typically what I find, top three things we talk about. And so what I found is when for sure if I ask somebody, so yeah. So what do you, I don’t say so what do you do?
Josh: I think that’s like my dad’s way. My father’s way, the 60 and 70 and 80 year old way of saying like, let’s connect. So what do you do? So what I ask people is this, I say, well, so what are you into? So what are you into? So then whoever I’m talking to can basically, they can take it down the path of work or they can take it on the path of something, personal, sports, whatever. So if I just find that, you know, the guy’s not really opening up or just, I want him to get him to open up. So, yeah what are you into, man? So what do you do? Um, so he’ll talk for a minute and then eventually, what are they going to say? They’re going to ask us in return, right? So, Josh, what do you do?
Josh: And then I just go into my, my 15 second to 32nd presentation or speech almost every single time. Something I actually learned from Kevin O’Leary when he was at our event. He said, look, out of all the businesses that got funded on Shark Tank, they found, they did a study of all the businesses that got funded, and 100% of them on Shark Tank, 100% of them, the operator who was at the front of the room in front of the sharks was able to convey their business opportunity in one minute or less. That was a recurring theme on 100%. They were able to successfully convey it in 30 seconds or in a minute or less. So when I was talking to Kevin and he presented this from stage at our event, I thought about that. I said, okay, so I got dwindle down my presentation to literally 30 seconds.
Josh: So what I say to people now when they ask me, what do you do is I raise capital for real estate. We buy foreclosures, distressed properties and apartment buildings, and we pay our investors a fixed double digit rate of return.
Doug: Wow. That’s awesome. I mean, that’s great to just, you know, shoot right to the point and let them know exactly what to do and there’s no question marks there.
Josh: Yeah. And w what it does too for a lot of people is what they said, well how does that work, right. That’s always the second question. How does that work? And a little tongue in cheek, I said, what works great instead of actually telling them how it actually works, it works great. And we’ve been doing it forever and you know, if you want to talk more about it sometime we can do that.
Josh: But you know, I’m primarily spend my time raising money and I just find it cracks the conversation wide open, which is all I really want, right. To meet somebody new, to build a new relationships. So Doug, so tell me a little bit more about your, your transition now. Love the fix and flip business. Making good money with it. Five years of experience done over 70 flips. Tell me a little bit more about your, you’re kind of dipping your toe into multifamily, this 24 unit that we funded, partnered up with Tim on. How’s it going? Tell us a little bit more about that deal.
Doug: Yeah. Yeah, no it’s going good. Yeah, so I think, you know, when we first acquired it, you know, the, the people who were in there kind of used to a certain way how things were run. You know, now that we’ve come in and, and we’re starting to make some, some good, really good progress to the renovations, but also to, you know, we’re trying to make sure that the people in there are really the right fit, you know, for the area as well. So sometimes it’s kind of a balancing act a little bit. You know, you have a lot of people that, you know, have a lot of questions. You know, what’s going to happen, what’s going to happen to me, you know, am I going to get an opportunity to get back in here? And so, you know, I think that’s where that partnership is super important is that, you know, you really have to go about stabilizing this the right way.
Doug: Because there’s rules and you know, I know, you know, my big piece of it is, is really getting the, you know, the building beautiful again. So, you know, we’re going to be doing some big stuff to it though. I’m really excited to, uh, to put some stuff out there. You know, we have a lot of work to do to it, but it’s really, it’s trending in the right direction. And yeah it’s really been it’s been a fun and learning process as we’ve ever, as we’ve gone to this. I will say from a renovation standpoint, there’s a lot of similarities. You know, it’s kind of like a big fix and flip almost, but you’re not flipping it, you know, it’s a big fix, you know, it’s fixed times 24 instead of just, you know, kind of that…
Josh: Right. So you’ve got the two different kinds of compartments of a multifamily deal. You’ve got all the common spaces, you’ve got the roof, you’ve got the landscaping, the parking lots, the exterior’s, and then you’ve got each individual unit, right? Doing the exterior’s, doing the roof, doing the parking lot. It’s kind of easier because you can do it on a mass scale. You don’t have to really bother as much with the tenants. That part it can kind of knock out, but then as leases turnover, right, as people are thinking, well, I’m only paying x amount of dollars, now you want to fix up my unit and jack up my rent. Tell me a little bit more about that because that’s where these relationships and communication comes in as well as some of the landlord tenant law, right. So how are you seeing some lease turnovers and how’s that piece going?
Doug: Yeah, we I think people, you know, some people were in there and just thinking, you know, hey, I just, you know, if I can continue to pay x amount, which happened to be a super low amount and I don’t mind if, you know, if my unit is distressed or it’s not, you know, kind of up to par. What we’ve run into though, and just having conversations with people, you know, I think it’s so important to just go up and find out what people want. You know, you never know until you ask. So we’ve actually run into a few people that they’re like, oh my gosh, I think it’s great that you’re going to be putting these big, massive roofs on and kind of changing the aesthetics and you know, changing out the windows and redoing these units.
Doug: And, you know, I would, I would definitely pay more if we lived in a nicer, you know, area or a community, you know, nicer, you know, nicer unit and stuff. So I think, you know, it’s important to just to just talk to people and find out what people want. You know, I’ve been on site, you know, a whole bunch over there just kind of, you know, monitor and everything and we’ve run into, you know little pitfalls here and there and nothing monumental. But it’s been important to just talk to the people and kind of see, and I will say, if I had to put a percentage on it, maybe 70% or like, you know, we’re here strictly for the rental amount. So if you guys are going to be kind of changing your, you know, changing their rent and fixing things up, we’re probably not going to hang around.
Doug: But you know, the good news is it’s in a fantastic location. You know, I know you have listeners all over the country, but you know, it’s really, it’s a class, a suburb of Cleveland and you know, it’s in talking to some of the people that I already know, whether it be city officials or, you know, they’re like, this is really the last kind of bad building, you know, in our community. And, and that’s, that’s the formula you want. You want the worst building in the, in the best areas. So it’s, yeah, so it’s really been, it’s been good and it’s going to take a little time, but I’m super excited to kind of share that what it looks like at the end.
Josh: Yeah. I’m excited to see it too. When you guys refinance it and stabilize and cash flowing, you know, 24 units, Jack up the rents. I remember Tim telling me when you guys walked the building for the first time, I think out of the 24 units, like 20 people were home in the middle of the day. Nobody had a job. Nobody was like leaving the apartment and you’re like, I don’t know if this is the exact tenant that we want. So you know, turning that over, take some time. You don’t have to wait for leases to expire and ask people to move out and then improve the unit, turn it over and then move somebody else in. That’s fantastic. So Doug, tell us a little bit more, tell our audience a little bit more about your, you know, your past, you know, you got into real estate full time five years ago, what was happening five and 10 years ago?
Josh: What were you doing? When did you catch the real estate bug? Was it something that you’re like, man, I want to get into real estate because this other job I had totally sucked. You were going through something that was bad. It was maybe a pain point and you wanted to make a pivot or was it something that you just made me, things were already pretty good, but you thought, you know, I want more. I think I can do more real estates and avenue that I’ve seen a lot of people pursue, you know, passive income, legacy wealth, you know, more equity, or maybe a combination of running away from some pain points and then also pursuing a bigger, better future. So tell us a little bit more about that time in your life.
Doug: Yeah, absolutely. And I can kind of remember, I first got into real estate investing almost by default. A lot of us remember 2008, right? I mean it’s kind of a pivotal point there, but we lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. So I was in the navy and we were stationed in north folk and then I moved back and then it was my girlfriend at the time, but my wife now, we had moved down to Charlotte. We spent about 10 years down there, had both of our kids down there. So I was working in banking and banking was huge in Charlotte, still is.
Josh: Huge and still is. Yeah, absolutely.
Doug: Yeah. And so, you know, I’m working with some of the bigger banks in town and so I’m working with, and I kind of caught a run of these investors and they’re calling and then they’re, you know, I’m doing loans for them and then they’re having their buddies call me and doing loans for them. So I’m reviewing a lot of tax returns. I’m reviewing a lot of financial vacuum hunts and I’m kind of seeing, you know, a commonality to all of these and that they’re all killing it. You know, they’re crushing it. They’re taking things down, they’re investing in real estate. And I thought, you know, I mean, it was great to help. It was great business, you know, for me at the time.
Doug: But I remember having that aha moment, like, I could be doing this as well, you know. And so going back to that 2008, we had a house in Charlotte, and then we bought another house and thinking, oh, well, I have no problem selling our old house. We went ahead and bought the new one without having to sell. And it eventually didn’t sell. We became landlords, but it was at that point, and this wasn’t, you know, change your life money, but I think we were probably cashflow on somewhere around $700, $750 a month.
Doug: And you know, my wife and I are like, you know, we both pretty modest car payments back then. They were like, this is covering both like our car payments at the time. So, you know, we’re like, this is fantastic. So it was at that point, you know, we slowly kind of started to, you know, learn more about real estate investing. And then in 2014 is actually when we came back to Cleveland but, my wife and I are from the area and I just told her, I said, I’m not going back to work for the banks. Like I want to bet on ourselves. Like, I want to do this full time. And that’s really when the flipped and started so.
Josh: Nice. So really a big pivot move back home, left the old job, just time to start new, right. And figured let’s just do this. Let’s bank on ourselves, which is great. And that, you know, Doug, it takes a lot of guts to do that. So tell me a little bit more about how that was feeling when you said like, I want to bank on myself. Leave the not the guarantee, but the consistency of the job, the paycheck, the insurance, the medical bills, the 401k, all that being covered right to, now I’m going to bet on myself, right. And now I’ve got wife and a couple of kids and we’ve moved back to Cleveland and probably a lot going through your mind, you know, you’ve got family that’s kind of looking, you’ve made this pivot, but what is he doing? He’s not going to have a job. And so what’s going through your mind as the head of a house, as a husband, as a father as a new entrepreneur. You’re back in Cleveland, like, were you excited? Were you scared? Combination of both? Like, but what allowed you to say, like, I’m in now, I’m going to bet on myself. Because that’s a huge decision.
Doug: Yeah. So you nailed it before when you said kind of what pain or what this comfort almost led you to that. And if anybody, you know, has been in the banking industry, I mean, I was literally stuck in a cubicle for like 10 to 12 hours a day, you know? And so, yeah, I’m working 60, 70 hours a week. My commute was like 50 minutes per day per way. And so, I mean, I think everybody has a breaking point or, you know, where you get to a point where you’re like, oh my gosh, there’s got to be something better, right. There’s, you know, and so I think that was a big, that was a big push for me and going back to like how you’re feeling. Yeah, it’s definitely some anxiety some excitement. There’s, you know, a little bit of scared feelings in there for sure.
Doug: But, you know, I think for everybody listening and you’re kind of hem and hawing taking that step. I mean, I think everyone that has seen some level of success as an entrepreneur has, has made that leap. Sometimes the leap is huge. Sometimes it’s just a small leap. But, so I would say we probably fell right in the middle. We were actually moving back out of state and, you know, thank goodness my wife, she had landed a fantastic job back in the Cleveland market. So that was a huge help for us. You know, that was, that was a great thing for us and for me to be able to kind of take that leap. But also too, you know, going back to what you said, you know, were there anything kind of drawing you towards that?
Doug: And you know, I would say, you know, the money in the beginning for sure was the, it was all about making the money, making the money, making the money. But as we’ve seen growth and scale, I think it’s really kind of more about like time freedom, right? I mean, being able to, you know, go out with a few of your high level guys in the company and go play golf, you know, or just, you know, kind of go that route. So I think, you know, it’s the money in the beginning and the money is still a factor. But I think eventually the, you know, the time freedom is really, really the big draw.
Josh: The personal freedom man is what it’s all about for me. There’s no question that I do it now for personal freedom there. We’ve had years, we’ve absolutely crushed it. I mean massive businesses, massive income massive growth and equity. We’ve had years where we’ve lost money and gotten our teeth kicked in. And I look back and even on these years when we’ve lost money, had our teeth kicked in. I loved the fact that I was still had that personal freedom where I was able to work from home when I wanted, go to the office when I wanted, record podcasts when I wanted recruit capital when I wanted. Now of course I do it within a structure of a business, right? We’ve got 30, 40 employees, we’ve got a lot of different teams, marketing teams, sales teams. We do loans, we recruit private money, we own assets, we own apartments.
Josh: We do it all within the framework of a business, right? I’ve still got to lead the company, drive the ship. But I still got that personal freedom. I can work at midnight if I want or two in the morning or go to the gym in the morning as long as it’s done within the framework of making sure I’m not disrupting everybody else’s program and everybody else’s system at the office. But that personal freedom is amazing to me. Coaching my kids in volleyball and soccer and in football. Right now, you know, Doug, you’ve got young kids, man you know how it is. Like you’re getting into coaching season. It’s the fall. They’re going to be going back to school soon.
Josh: I’m coaching four sports this fall, sixth grade volleyball, fourth grade volleyball, second grade flag football and second grade padded flag. I’m going to be busy every night with sports. I absolutely love it. That is the essence of personal freedom, right? If I had a job working at the bank or as a financial advisor, I wouldn’t get home until six or seven o’clock and the kids are already done with their sports for the most part. Instead, I’ll be the dad just like you. I’ll be the dad at the games, at the field, coaching our kids, and then the other fathers that have regular jobs, we’ll be showing up at the end and being like, hey, how was practice Johnny? You know what I mean? That’s the essence of personal freedom, right? That’s what it’s all about.
Doug: I love it, man. I love it. Yeah. I’m getting into a little bit of that too, doing some assistant coaching on the golf side and a little baseball is over now, but jumping back in the next year. And you’re right, I mean, you wouldn’t be able to do it if, you know, if you just kind of have that, you say nine to five, but these companies and the bigger the job, the bigger, the more they push and you know, so you know, you’re 100% right
Josh: And almost nobody will works just from one office anymore. Everybody’s traveling. Everybody that I know who has a corporate job is traveling at least one or two or three days a week. Nobody ever seems to be just planted in their territory, right. And just working eight to six, it’s like you’re going to work eight to six or eight to seven and oh by the way, you’re also going to travel two or three days a week. So it just seems like a wild, wild corporate world these days.
Josh: So Doug, what about the future for you? Like you’re very successful with fix and flips, raising capital, doing deals. You’ve got this 24 unit, which is a multi-million dollar asset that you guys are going to have stabilized this year. But tell me a little bit more about the future. What do you foresee, what do you want your life to look like in your business to look like in the next three, five, 10 years? How do you forecast that? What are you looking to gain from your business? And also how does that translate into your, again, your personal freedom?
Doug: Yeah, no, yeah, great question. I think goals are huge, you know, and to you have to have some sort of measurement of success. And so we’ve actually started trying to dial in like quarterly goals, but we definitely have annual, but to go back to like the three to five, the 10 year goals, you know, again, talking about the multifamily and I look at that almost at three year goal as, you know, you try to be ambitious and lofty with goals. So for me, like in the next three years, I would love to acquire a thousand units. Now that may or may not be lofty. I mean one deal could, you know, fulfill that, but I figured I’d put that into place. Kind of a three year goal.
Doug: I want to continue to learn because here’s the other thing too. I don’t want to just pick up any units. I, I’m not a big war zone guy. I’ve always focused on the fix and flips in a decent area. So I would say like C plus and above. I mean, I love it to just be A and B. So I think that’s more of, to truly buy wholesale apartment buildings. I think it’s going to be a little bit slower road and that’s okay. And it’s okay because this is a longterm play anyway. But then probably getting into five years, I feel like, I fell like we should be able to double that and get to 2000 units and actually maybe focus a little bit more on, you know, some, some systems, some better systems automation getting those kinds of things in place. I mean, if I look at the next five years and what that looks like in the future, I really want to go hard at this.
Doug: I want to be an acquisition mode and really, really hitting it hard for the next five years. Yeah, so then, you know, jumping in 10 years, I would say I don’t have a unit number on it. I would say for me it would be super important might my kids, my son is 10, my daughter’s 11, so I look in 10 years, you know, obviously wouldn’t force them to be part of this, but would love to see them be a bigger part of the business and what we’re creating now. And of course with the little bit of pointers from dad, but to really, you know, to really have them to be engaged with the business. And I would say I would couple that with 10 years and having enough capital where maybe, you know, I’m on a super passive side and maybe I’m lending some private money and just becoming part of deals that way. But I would say, you know, that’s kind of the structure of what that looks like in the next, you know, three, five, 10 years down the road.
Josh: Once you’re in acquisition mode and you’ve got the units and all that stuff is paying for your lifestyle, then it’s like, okay, well now I can be a little bit more choosy and just buy the assets that I want and just add, add, add because all your regular daily expenses and living is completely covered and that sense of financial independence allows you to just kind of even to be more aggressive by finding deals and looking for deals. But then also ones that are the top of the pipeline. Just pick the right ones because as we know with apartment buildings and units, whether it’s single family or multifamily or massive apartment buildings, once you own the asset, you’re not getting rid of it, right? You’re kind of married to that asset for the next 20 or 30 years. So you want to really own that thing and take care of it, but also choose it right at the beginning.
Josh: So really, really important to do that. So Doug, what about right, so kind of round third and head for home here as far as like just wrapping up this, this interview helped me understand, right? Everybody that’s done a fix and flip or everybody that’s done a lot of deals has that one deal that stands out like the one deal that went amazingly well or that one deal that totally went to hell, a total dumpster fire. Everyone’s got that one deal. It’s usually at the top of their mind. So tell us a little bit more about that. Is there one that kind of sticks out for you? What happened? Good, bad or ugly.
Doug: Yeah, I mean, you know, we’ve been fortunate enough to have, you know, a decent amount on the good side. But I will say, I can truly remember one that kicked me in the teeth so hard that it really like made me think what I’m doing, right.
Josh: So that’s what I want to hear about.
Doug: I’ll give you the highlights of it. But so, you know, big, big house bought it from the auction actually. So got to kind of see the outside, didn’t get inside. It was occupied big house, so like 3000 square feet, great area, Hinckley, Ohio, which actually is a community I live in and they just don’t come available that often. And so this thing had like an eight car garage attached. It was this big, big house. So we kind of go in and there’s a family living in there. Now this is another fine line to walk because you don’t want to come off as a monster.
Doug: You know, obviously these people have lost the house, you know, and you know, you don’t want to be like, you know, just get out right away but two, you can’t, I mean you can’t be too nice because they’ll just take advantage of you as well. So I think we’d given these folks, I want to say around three months, you know, to move out. We had some other projects going anyways, so we’d give them this time to get out and when they get out, Josh, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, but we, and for those of you who have dealt with dumpsters, lets say, you know, on a clean-out or something, so a lot of times we use like one 40 yard dumpster to clean out like a small ranch, right? 14 40 yard dumpster. There were like two years worth of pizza boxes and like dirty diapers in this beautiful eight car garage.
Doug: I mean, this thing’s a monster garage and it is, I mean, I’m 6’4, it was over my head, piled up with like the worst when we saw that. I was literally like, what am I doing? And I’ve already given these people three months and to see them kind of, you know, kick me in the teeth, you know, this way. And I mean we probably worked on that house for six months straight and I need had guys over like crazy. I had my cousin, like and all of his college buddies, you know, they’re just helping you fill up these dumpsters.
Doug: It was just, it was so insane. I mean we found drug paraphernalia inside the house. I mean, you know, we’ve tried to make everything safe and just great for the next buyer. But oh my gosh, that was the one that really kept me up at night got me thinking like, holy cow. Like, what am I doing? Like, what am I doing? So yeah, that one will always go down with me as a, you know…
Josh: Love it, love it. So that definitely takes first place. I think in my long, long, 15 year journey in real estate. I’ve never heard of a deal with 14 dumpsters. So congratulations on earning the trophy. Fantastic. So Doug, as we kind of wrap up here, the last question, love, hear your thoughts on this. Five years of experience, you know, 70 flips, apartments, 14 dumpsters, looking back, right? Like what would be the number one piece of advice that you would pass along to our audience or give back to your younger, former, you know, less mature self, whether it’s in relationships, whether it’s in real estate, raising capital, whatever it is. What’s one thing that you wished you could tell yourself when you were less mature in business or less mature as a man, you know, or something that you just think is going to help our audience move forward?
Doug: That’s an excellent question. I would say the biggest thing that I could go back and work on earlier or even, you know, because I talked to a lot of people as well trying to get in, but I would say mindset is number one, you have to have the right mindset. I mean, you, you know, you see this level of success and you think, well, you know, I can’t do it. Or, you know, you just, there’s so many doubts that run through your head. So I would say in mindset and not only that, pay attention to the right people. I mean there’s too many people in this industry that, you know, let’s say they flip a couple houses and all of a sudden they’re selling courses on it, you know, and I think, you know, really find the person who has what you want and just get around them. Whatever, whether it be networking meetings, if they put on some kind of mastermind or what have you.
Doug: You know, spend the time, spend the money, spend the resources to get around and pay attention to the right people. Get your mindset right. Just allow yourself to think about how much success you can have in the future. You know, that was actually a hurdle for me early on. I was thinking, and I at least did well with the banking and stuff, but I thought, you know, how could I make these, you know, bigger amounts every year. And it was just, it was almost like a roadblock that I had. So, yeah, definitely mindset, pay attention to the right people and again, that network is so important. So, I’ll tell you this, one of the reasons I really love golf and getting around people that golf, you get to spend four to five hours with somebody in a really concentrated environment.
Doug: Not only that though, you get to see the way these people, because for those of you who do golf, it’s not an easy sport all the time. And you get to see the way that they kind of react to adversity. You know, if they hit a bad shot are they crack in the club over their knee and toss them in the lake, or are they, you know, picking their head up and say, hey you I only get up and down for par anyway, you know. So I liked that piece of it too, is that you go back network again with the right people and really get your mindset right to accept success.
Josh: Yeah. Love it, Doug. That’s fantastic. So if anybody that’s listening to this wants to reach out and connect with you, like what’s a good way to Instagram, Facebook website, what’s a good way for them to reach out and connect with you?
Doug: Yeah, the easiest way is Facebook, it’s just Doug Shelton and it’s, you know, I do try to check the private messages and I try to, you know, kind of get back to each and every one. As long as you’re not trying to sell me something right off the rip, like a lot of them do. But, yeah, Facebook is usually an easy way. We’re actually working on kind of revamping our website just LeadsPurchaseOhio.com so we’re kind of making some changes there, but, you know, email wise it’s always just LPOCleveland@gmail.com that’s kind of our business email and you know, that’s a good way, but probably the easiest way to be Facebook but again it’s just Doug Shelton, so.
Josh: Fantastic. Doug, thanks so much for joining us today and sharing your insights about real estate entrepreneurship and for all of our audience. If you’ve enjoyed this, definitely let us know. Share this on social media, leave us a rating, leave us a review, connect with Doug. Thanks so much for joining us today, Doug on Accelerated Investor.
Doug: Josh, thanks so much for having me. I’m truly honored that was able to be a part of this today. Thank you again.
Josh: You Bet. You Bet. And we’ll talk to you soon. Take care of it. Alright.
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No matter how many real estate investors I meet and get to know, it’s always interesting to see how each of our stories are so unique. No two investors take the same journey, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a ton to learn from one another!
Case in point: Doug Shelton. Doug is the owner of Lease Purchase Ohio. A number of years ago, he made the switch to real estate investing from a corporate mortgage lending job that had him stuck in a cubicle for 10-12 hours a day. (Sounds thrilling, right?)
To date, Doug has done more than 70 single-family flips in the greater Cleveland market, as well as a few other areas of Ohio. Now, he actively leveling up his business from single family rentals and rehabs to commercial and multi-family real estate. My team at Freeland Ventures recently funded a 24-unit apartment building for Doug and his business partner, Tim Bratz, in Medina, Ohio.
I chatted with Doug to learn more about his business strategy, and how he transitioned from single-family to multi-family investing.
Whether you’re new to real estate investing, already have an established business, or are just thinking about making the leap from a traditional job to entrepreneurship, Doug has some awesome insight for you.
- Doug’s money-making strategies
- How Doug finds the right private lenders to fund his deals
- Doug’s unique conversational strategy for connecting with private lenders
- Josh’s example of an effective and impactful 30-second “elevator speech” to pitch to private investors
- Doug’s tip on which apartment buildings are the best investments
- How Doug got started in real estate investing
- Doug’s words of wisdom for anyone contemplating leaving a traditional job for entrepreneurship