The Fastest Way To Build A Six Or Even… Seven Figure Real Estate EMPIRE!
We’ve all been dealing with high inflation for some time now, which will likely continue for the next 6-12 months. But that doesn’t mean opportunities don’t exist for real estate investors to take advantage of if you know what to look for.
Today’s guest, Bronson Hill, understands this better than most people. He’s the author of How To Use Inflation to Your Advantage, a free ebook you can download at BronsonEquity.com. He’s also built a portfolio with over $200M of multifamily assets, including ATMs, gas, and car washes–to name just a few.
In our conversation, Bronson and I dig into how investors can take advantage of today’s inflationary environment, how to buy assets that pay you to take out debt and what you can do to master the art of talking to investors.
He’ll also walk you through some of the deals he’s done, the franchises he’s built and sold, and why the most successful salespeople you’ve ever met seem to spend so little time talking about business!
Key Takeaways with Bronson Hill
- Specific questions to ask any new private investor.
- How to position yourself as an expert and a leader in a group of private investors.
- What Bronson learned from raising his first $10M–and how he ended up recruiting over $30M in private capital.
- Why Bronson exited the world of medical device sales to pursue a career as a full-time entrepreneur.
- Reasons why investing in single family real estate is much more difficult to scale.
Bronson Hill Tweetables
- Bronson Equity
- Follow Bronson Hill on LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook
- How to Use Inflation to Your Advantage by Bronson Hill
- Mailbox Money Show
Rate & Review
If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Accelerated Real Estate Investor Podcast, hit the subscribe button on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.
You can also help by providing an honest rating & review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews go a long way in helping us build awareness so that we can impact even more people. THANK YOU!
Connect with Josh Cantwell
Sign Up For The Forever Passive Income Partnering, Mastermind and Coaching Program with Josh Cantwell
Click Here to Read the Transcript with Bronson Hill
Josh Cantwell: So, hey there. Welcome back to Accelerated Investor. Hey, it’s your host, Josh Cantwell. Today, I have a fantastic interview that I’m doing with Bronson Hill. He is the CEO and founder of Bronson Equity at BronsonEquity.com. He’s written an amazing book called How to Use Inflation to Your Advantage, which you can download for free at BronsonEquity.com. He has invested in over 200 million of multifamily assets using a fund-of-funds structure. He also invests in ATMs. He also invests in gas, not gas stations, but car washes. And we talk today about some amazing strategies primarily around, number one, specific questions to ask a new private investor, how to break the ice, and what questions to ask.
Number two, we’ll talk about how to position yourself with private investors, whether it’s ATMs, car washes, real estate, or whatever, how to position yourself not only as the expert but as the leader of the group and how much important that is versus just being the expert investor, being the leader. And also, number three, we’re going to talk specifically about some of Bronson’s takeaways from raising his first $10 million and some of the questions that he asks, the specific path that he took these investors down and how he was able to recruit over $30 million of private money, some of it while he was still in medical device sales.
Finally, we’ll talk about his pivot from medical device sales. They get a couple hundred thousand dollars a year to getting out of that, to being a full-time entrepreneur and a full-time investor. You’re going to love this interview on Accelerated Investor with Bronson Hill, the CEO of Bronson Equity. Here we go.
Josh Cantwell: So, Bronson, listen, welcome to Accelerated Real Estate Investor. Thanks for carving out some time to jump on the show today.
Bronson Hill: Josh, I’m really excited about this show. I’ve been following you for a while. I just love what you’re doing and love talking about real estate, finance, investing so really excited to have a conversation here.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah, absolutely. Bronson, listen, I know you’re very successful with multifamily, a couple hundred million. You mentioned in the pre-show, ATMs, car washes, things like that. So, as we kind of introduce you to our audience, I would love for you to talk about for a minute just kind of what you’re excited about right now. We’re recording here in February of 2023. What about today’s market excites you? And then we’ll talk a little bit about if you’re planning on changing your strategy at all based on this kind of looming recession. But first, let’s talk about the good stuff, the fun stuff. So, what are you into today? What are you excited about that you’re working on that you’re passionate for?
Bronson Hill: Yeah. So, I’m excited about a lot of stuff. I think owning real estate is awesome. If any stuff that I own I feel great about, it’s getting harder to get deals done, at least in the multifamily space because of lending but there are some creative things that can be done. So, I’m really excited about just multifamily ownership. I think there’s incredible demand for the long term there. We’ve also, as you mentioned, branched off into some other things but I love when things get a little bit uncertain, those are times where people make massive amounts of money, you know, the idea of like being fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. A lot of people are afraid and there’s just this record amount of cash sitting on the sidelines. Bloomberg said there was $5 trillion in bank accounts of Americans. This was as of a couple of months ago, and that’s a record. The highest ever was 1.2 trillion. So, we’re basically 4X we’ve ever had. So, I think it’s a great time to get into deals if you can make them work, especially real estate, and that once these interest rates start to stabilize, all this money is going to flood in and we’re going to see valuations go up a lot. That’s my own opinion but I think that’s kind of where we’re headed.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah. I’m a firm believer that rates are going to stay high for the next two years. The Fed is going to make moderate interest rate bumps, 25 basis points here and there, and try to have a soft landing. And then I’m also a firm believer that Gen X that is really going to be in their peak spending years, 46 to 48 years old, that’s going to happen in 2025. We’re also going to be coming out of either the soft landing or the recession, and the Federal Reserve will want to spur the economy. And so, at 2025 is that exact time that I’m betting. You got to make bets when you’re in business. If you’re an entrepreneur, you got to take all the data that you have and then make some bets, some risk-reward moves. So, I don’t think we’re going to be refinancing a lot or really selling in much in the next two years. We’re going to hold on to that and then in 2025 is when we’re planning for those refis. In the meantime, Bronson, what are you working on to still if multifamily is harder to do in certain markets, which it is, because just the cost of the debt went up so high. A lot of deals don’t cover from a coverage ratio perspective. What are some things that you’re looking at doing for yourself?
And then I would love for you to tell us a little bit about your book, How to Use Inflation to Your Advantage, because inflation is obviously here and probably going to be around for the next two years a little bit. So, what things are you trying to do, to do transactions to make a profit? What do you think are some options to do that? And then how can we use inflation to our advantage going forward?
Bronson Hill: Yes, a lot of questions there. It was great. Actually, I do panels with about inflation so I bring some of the smartest people that I know together and we do once a month, we do a panel about inflation. We have it on our YouTube channel. We also talk about multifamily different things, and there’s different opinions on what is going to happen. Is it going to be 6 or 12 months? Is it going to be two years? Is it going to be how many years? Are rates going to be high? Well, I’m of the opinion, I think, the time we record, I think it’s going to be about 6 to 12 months and then I think they’re going to have to due to some crisis. They’re going to have to start lowering rates again. So, I have a different opinion on that. But regardless, whether it’s two years, three years, a year, six months, whatever timeframe it is, what everybody wants to know is what do I do right now? I’ve got this cash. What do I do? And so, what are the available options? And so, this e-book that I wrote, How to Use Inflation to Your Advantage, free download at my website, BronsonEquity.com, basically just gives a strategy of how do you use inflation to your advantage. And if you’re a real estate investor and you’re familiar with part of this and it comes from just basically taking out debt that’s below the rate of inflation and buying stuff that actually pays you to hold it, right?
So, when you own a rental property, we’re in multifamily, you’re in multifamily, you’re buying, you’re putting used to be 20%, 25% down. Sometimes it can be higher 30%, 35%, 40%, or more down. But you’re putting money down and then basically you’re getting to use somebody else’s money to buy an asset that you know is going to be worth more in the future and you’re going to pay it off in the future with dollars that are worth less than they are now. So, basically, you get kind of a spread on both sides. You know the assets are going to be worth more. Now, you don’t know in the short run, in a year or two years, things can fluctuate a little bit and we’re seeing some prices start to decline, particularly in multifamily in certain markets. But if you’re buying in growth areas like we buy a lot in Jacksonville, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, we’re seeing those are areas where some people are still moving to these areas. There’s such a shortage of housing. You know there’s going to be incredible demand. And then the Fed just can’t help but print and create more money. We just can’t stay on budget. It’s almost like if somebody gave you a playbook of how do you get wealthy, this is just kind of a general thing.
If you buy a house that’s $100,000 and you put $20,000 down, if your house appreciates to $120,000 and you haven’t had a 20%, you’ve had a 20% improvement in the price but you’ve had a 100% improvement in your equity. So, for a lot of investors just getting on the right side of using other people’s money, using it to your advantage, and there’s other assets that people use for this. So, we’ve actually found, I mean, right now you mentioned there are opportunities with assumable loans and there are certain types of opportunities with multifamily and things like that kind of in a pre-call. But basically, we’re shifting a little bit to do, we’ve been doing ATM machines. We’re partnered with a large ATM operator in the country. It’s basically the most predictable cash flow investment that I’ve seen, which multifamily is a great long-term appreciation investments. Some of the cash flow can kind of go up and down. It varies a little bit, so having predictable cash flow is great. We’ve also ventured into car washes, which really is it’s called a private equity rollup strategy. I can explain what that means.
So, private equity roll-up is basically if you were to buy a laundromat or a pool cleaning business or a car wash or some business that’s maybe a not non-sexy business, right, people will sell these typically at about 5 to 10 times earnings. But if you own 50 of them and they’re run well and they’re profitable, private equity will come in and pay 20X earnings or more. So, basically, the goal is to get some of these car washes to go in and it’s a car wash franchise. We’ll go in and we’ll basically create more locations. And there’s a lot of value created just putting together this portfolio similar with real estate. You know, real estate like a REIT, we want to buy a $500 million project, but they wouldn’t want to buy a $5 million project, right? So, you’re basically creating a larger deal. So, instead of having just like, okay, we’re building this apartment, we’re putting up another building or putting ten units here as we’re dealing with car washes, then the multiple goes higher in that situation.
Josh Cantwell: Fantastic stuff. So, how do you structure the purchase of the car wash? Kind of asking this for selfish reasons because I’m curious myself. Purchase the first car wash or purchase or buy into or invest into a small operator that maybe has three or four or five locations. And then whether it’s franchised that out or whether it’s raise more capital to open more locations with one operator, tell me about the growth strategy to do the roll-up.
Bronson Hill: Yeah. So, what we’ve done and, again, there are different ways to do this. This is kind of the first time I’ve really been involved with this but I think it exists. I’ve heard about it in dental practices and medical practices and other things. There’s groups that are doing this in private equity. So, it’s out there for different industries. And again, we don’t have this. We’re not offering anything as we’re sharing this but the car wash that we’re using, it’s one of the most profitable franchises of all. I mean, if you look at I think Chick-Fil-A is number one and there’s Panera and there’s a couple of others, and then it’s like number four is this particular car wash. And so, the franchise itself is a great franchise. There’s 228 locations. But really what it hinges on is how good are the operators that are operating this particular franchise. So, we found a group that basically had three or four of them. They took one. It was one of the busiest stores in the country in San Antonio and they improved the membership by 30% or 40% over a period of like three months. And so, we’re seeing that, okay, these guys, we feel like they can do it.
So, the goal is basically to go in and franchise to raise money to work with this team that’s already doing it and basically continue to build and just create more franchises in other areas and operate them well. So, we have the cash flow there. So, investors cash flow typically about 9 to 12 months after they invest but basically the goal is to continue to build this portfolio and then sell it in less than five years. So, once we can get in, we think it might be actually more like three years but really, it’s a pretty strong return for investors and we feel like it also has a recession-resistant component to it as well.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah. I love it. People are still going to wash their cars, right?
Bronson Hill: Yeah, exactly.
Josh Cantwell: And so, for you as an investor in this, as a partner in this, is it similar to a co-GP situation with multifamily where you have these operators, guys that know how to run the wash? It’s already got a brand, the color scheme, a logo, and a system and they’re looking to expand, but maybe they don’t have another couple million dollars to open up location five, six, seven, and eight. And you know how to recruit money from investors to become a co-GP and then you roll it up to the private equity. Everybody gets paid off. Help me understand that part.
Bronson Hill: Yeah. So, this is considered a fund of funds. So, I’ve done the co-GP with all of our multifamily stuff, our 2,000 units and I’m involved in the asset management. I’m not the person who finds the deal but the nice thing with a fund of fund structure, and I’ve realized that at the end of the day, an investor is really looking for a good return, right? They’re looking for a good return. It’s either cash flow or it’s appreciation, and there’s many vehicles to get there, right? So, there’s many different things that can look different in different markets. And right now, like you said, multifamily is a little more challenging. There are really good deals that are out there. A lot of people I know like yourself are really looking and finding things that are creative situations, but it’s having some diversity and other types of things can be really creative. So, this is basically an operator. It’s a partner I’ve worked with before that we’ve done some fund of funds stuff. So, what that means for those that aren’t familiar, basically, they have the operating structure. They’re looking for investors and then we say, “Hey, we’ll come in and we’ll bring our investors to this deal,” and sometimes the investors get a better deal or there are some sort of benefits to coming through us, or we write one check for a million or 5 million or whatever amount that is. And then our investors benefit from being a part of the deal that they may not have found otherwise.
Josh Cantwell: Got it. Love it. Bronson, to that point, I would love to hear your take on relationships with investors, right, because I’m a huge proponent of instead of find the deal first and the money will follow, I do not subscribe to that. I subscribe to and, you know, it’s almost the requirement from the SEC. If you’re going to go like a 506(b) route that you have to have the relationship with the investors first and then you can show them an active deal. And so, my philosophy that’s allowed us to do 19 syndications and 4,500 units and all this kind of stuff is the relationship with the investor first and mint second, right? Tell me about your philosophy. How do you raise money? What are some core philosophies for you about the way you have relationships with investors and build those?
Bronson Hill: Yeah. So, it’s really interesting. My background is medical device sales, where I’ll get to my background in a bit, but I just went out and when I first started that, it was kind of like a question of like we need somebody who has experience in medical device sales before we hire somebody from a medical device sales job. It’s kind of like that with syndication, with raising money. We’re like, “Well, people want to know if somebody has experience but how do you get the experience if you don’t have the experience?” And so, a lot of what happens is you have to associate yourself with people that maybe are a few steps ahead of you. A lot of times I work with operators now that have like my partner now on the multifamily side, 28 years of experience and 13,000 units, just a huge track record. And that’s awesome, right? So, my inexperience in actually managing an asset is not as big of a deal, but over the years, the last four years, I’ve actually had 1,300 one-on-one phone calls with high net worth investors. And so, I’ve learned a lot about who to talk, what are they looking for, what are the things that are there, how do you get those conversations going. I run a meet-up in Pasadena, California that I’ve been able to get investors from there.
And actually, my first investor ever came from I learned about multifamily. I’ve been doing single family, learned about multifamily. And basically, I approached somebody who ran a meetup in real estate and I said, “Hey, what if we start another meetup and I’ll do all the work? You just show up. We’ll do a multifamily.” And she’s like, “Oh, it sounds like a great idea.” So, we did it. We promoted it a lot. We had 60 people at the first meetup and a guy I never met before comes up and he’s like, “Hey, I do one of your deals, Bronson.” I was thinking like, “Are you talking to me?” So, I went and got coffee with him, and it just we’re able to kind of really figure out what he needed. I was able to introduce him to another guy I met at that same meeting who had a deal who’s looking for money. And so, that’s kind of really what you’re doing when you’re – I kind of look at them a little bit as two different functions and either you’re really good at, “Hey, I’m going to be really good at raising money or working with investors.” And I think if you’re going to pick one, I love that one because it’s much more scalable. It’s when you have the money, you can really dictate terms on a deal. You have a lot of benefits to that or there are people that just want to operate.
I mean, there are groups that do everything and they do it all. That’s great. But typically, there’s team members that have different types of functions. But I think in general when you have conversations with investors, when you’re trying to figure out what they need, conversation, number one, is pretty awkward. And by number 50, you’re kind of getting more comfortable. And then once you’ve had like a few hundred, you’re like, “Okay. I think I could do this in my sleep,” because it’s basically the same conversation every time you try to figure out who you’re talking with and I have kind of a talk track I go through and it’s been really helpful to raise now about 30 million over the last four years. So, it’s been a lot of fun.
Josh Cantwell: So, let’s talk to those people who’ve maybe had those first 50 conversations that are still awkward at it, that are still kind of tripping over themselves a little bit, not sure what to say. For you and I, that conversation is very repeatable and repeated a lot of the same questions, a lot of the same answers. But from your perspective, what are some of the keys? Like, what’s like maybe a favorite question or two or three that you like to ask during that conversation? Or what’s a response that you get from an investor often that’s a buying question? Like, what are the things that stand out to you that are buying questions or relationship questions that you think are critical?
Bronson Hill: Yeah. So, I thought I knew how to sell because I was ten years in medical device sales but I came to this and it’s very different. When somebody is talking to somebody they may invest in, they’re really looking for a few things. You know, the first thing is the know, like, and trust, right? They’ve got to get to know who you are. That’s why doing podcasts like this, what you’re doing, putting content out there, books, e-books, all that stuff. They got to get to know who you are. And it’s amazing how just by a podcast, I’ve met people and I felt like I knew them and I realized I had never had a conversation with them because I’m sure you have people like that as well. They spend all this time with you. So, a lot of people are really looking for credibility. They’re looking to say, “Well, who are you? Can I trust you? Can I trust what you’re doing? Can I trust your experience?” Very quickly on the call what I do is I’ll just kind of welcome people to call. I set an agenda. This is kind of what we’re doing on this call, passive investing. Some people want to talk active so I’ll say, “Okay. Well, let’s make sure we have the same goals here.”
And then I’ll say, “Give me a sense of how do we get connected. So, how did you find us?” And that’s a kind of a compliance question as well. And then also, what’s your background in real estate or what do you do for work? And those two questions about your work and real estate background give you tons of information because a doctor that has a $5 million net worth but has never bought any real estate and owned only stocks and bonds, this is going to be a more basic question about syndication, right? But the person who gets on as they’ve done 15 syndications, we have a conversation about cap rate reversions and what’s the rent growth assumptions, all these different things that are more technical, right? So, getting to know very quickly who’s on the phone and then I try to ask sometimes people, especially the more experienced, I’ll say, “Well, what is a perfect deal for you look like?” And I’ll just say I’ll kind of put some things in there. And a lot of times people will have objections and a lot of times I think our response to objections often as people that because if you’re raising capital, you’re selling. We don’t realize we’re in sales. We’re actually selling. But the response is often defensiveness or, “Well, let me tell you this,” whatever. But you have to recognize that an objection is a buying sign, right?
If someone’s like, “Hey, I don’t know. I don’t like this or I don’t think about this, whatever,” what they’re doing is they’re actually picturing themselves being in your investment and that’s a really good thing. They’re visualizing and they’re kind of like, “Well, I don’t know about this. I don’t know about this.” So, if you can in a nice way say, “Well, that’s a great thought. I like that. Well, let’s play that out,” whatever, and then you basically find a way to kind of help them through that. So, again, I think that’s a big thing is a lot of people don’t realize that when people bring up problems or issues, and the other thing about this is you’re not going to bat a thousand. I think we’ve done metrics on this. The first thousand calls I had 17% invest. The average investment size was $76,000. And that’s helpful to know. It’s helpful to know that not every single person is going to invest in your stuff and people get on that call for different reasons. But I think it’s a numbers game, the more you can get on the phone, the more you can have those conversations, the more good things are going to happen.
Josh Cantwell: Yep, I agree. And so, that’s one of my favorite things to say when we start and open that conversation is, “Hey, are you an active investor, a passive investor, or both?” And another I love to ask is when I ask investors and say, “Look, if you had two options, if you could pick one bucket or the other, one bucket being, hey, if you were somebody who is willing to risk your principal in exchange for a higher return, more fluctuation in principal for a higher return, or are you in a different bucket where you want to preserve your principal in exchange for a lower return?” And I let them answer and then I say, “Well, what if you could have both?” So, it catches them off guard. What if you could have both? Meaning preservation of principal and that higher return. Maybe it’s a pref return plus equity and then it adds up to an 18% to 20% to 22% annualized return. That catches people off guard. I’m kind of selling but I’m letting them answer the question first. They answer it. I said, “Well the strategy’s out there. We can actually get both. What if you could actually get both? And then they’re kind of like, “Ooh, okay.”
So, they answered the question, which means they think that they’re right and they’re comfortable but I have some solution that will allow them to do that. And also, active investor, passive investor are both similar to what you asked because you want people to talk about themselves, right? These people, they talk about themselves. They’re actually getting more comfortable with you. I also tell my audience, look, the person that asks the questions is in control. So, you don’t have to be a genius with all the answers, but you can look like a genius with all the questions. Because if you ask the right questions and continue to ask questions, you don’t have to be in such a defensive mode because if you’re the one asking the questions, you’re actually on offense. You ever have a coach or get into an argument with somebody and they’re peppering you with questions? You just feel like you get painted in a corner. Well, that’s similar to what an investor call can feel like if you have somebody that’s peppering you with questions. There’s a lot of buying questions in there, but I love to flip it around and try to put the pressure on them. And then I like to also tell people, “Look, you have to qualify.”
Bronson Hill: Yeah.
Josh Cantwell: Accredited or non-accredited, but you have to be at least sophisticated. So, tell me about that. And then that takes away some pressure from you. So, if you have it on those 1,300 calls like Bronson has done, I’ve probably done about a thousand, give or take, similar and you’re a little bit unsure what to say, there are some pointers there. And of course, he who asks the questions is in control.
Bronson Hill: Yeah. I was going to say something about that too. I think questions you look at like the Socratic method, right, and just being able to like tell me what you know. And I think that works on an investor call because people that are really good at sales, people don’t feel like they’re being sold to them. Like, no one wants to be sold, but everybody wants to buy. So, it’s kind of a weird dynamic. So, if you can just go in and ask and it’s called the exploratory, well, tell me what would this do for you. If you had this cash flow, just imagine you’re retired or what day would that be and what would happen here? What would that give you the ability to do when you travel? Would you write the book? And to try to get them thinking about that, what that would give them? And then you say, “Okay. What would happen if you didn’t have that? Whatever.” And so, what you’re doing is even if it doesn’t go anywhere, you’re helping them to identify what they really want. And that’s a very valuable thing. And I think if you can just add value on those calls and then you find a way to say, “Well,” and I actually started the call and say, “Yeah. What are your expectations? What are you looking for as far as returns?”
And some people say, “I’m looking for 100% return in 12 months.” I’m like, “Well, we’re not the right group for you.” You know, it’s good to know that. Like, we don’t want to have everybody. So, you’re also, like you said, you got to qualify, you’re limited, so you’re building some scarcity there. But I would also say it actually goes beyond for people that are new, I remember when I was – I had been doing real estate for years but I hadn’t done multifamily. So, here I’m leading this group that we have 60 people in the room and I’m interviewing an expert on real estate. But it’s amazing when you have a podcast or you have a meetup or something, you’re not presenting yourself as an expert. You’re presenting yourself as a leader. And there’s a difference, right? As a leader, you don’t have to know everything. You’re just leading the room or you’re leading the conversation on the podcast. And what that does is that builds a lot of credibility. And if you ask just honest questions that a lot of other people have, they’ll identify like, “Oh yeah, I really like that, whatever,” and you’ll learn as well.
So, I think there’s a lot of benefits to just really asking great questions both to investors as well as people that are high value or if you have some sort of content leadership platform like you do or I do, it adds. A lot of people can connect with you just by you being able to ask questions to people that are really successful, which is amazing.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah. One of the things that you said that I think some people might overlook, it’s a fairly advanced sales message or a fairly advanced conversation message, which is this future casting concept. And some people think like, “Wow, that’s corny or it’s goofy,” but really, if you put somebody in the place that they want to be and then ask them, how does that make them feel? Like, imagine having $25,000 a month or $25,000 a quarter coming in passively and you didn’t have to go to the day job every day, or you could start the business or you could then travel to go see your kids or grandkids. How would that make you feel? And that’s a question I learned years and years and years ago when I was a financial planner. As a financial planner, right out of college, I went through this very specific sales training and we would try to get people elevated to the point where they could place themselves into the future and then ask them how that made them feel. And then as long as the recommendation was in line with that feeling and helped them get there, they were much more likely to invest.
Some people will be like, “Well, I think that’s a corny sales message,” but really that’s the final hook if you will, or the ultimate hook where somebody is going to make that decision. Because now if they feel like they can not only invest and they feel like there’s a good operator with experience or partners that have experience, and then the person that’s the leader or the person that they have the relationship with, you, Bronson, me, or whoever is sponsoring the deal, raising the money, and then they feel like this person gets me, they’re done. They’re sold. They’re going to invest.
Bronson Hill: Yeah. You’re so right, though. It’s just like if you look at like we don’t buy based on logic. We don’t make like financial decisions typically based on it. You think all were these really great, especially people listening in on their financial education. Everybody’s listening to this. We think high risk or we’re financially educated but look at a car commercial, right? Here’s all the facts. Here’s exactly what it does. It’s like, no, it’s some guys racing through the Alps and doing their thing. You feel like you get a sense of like they’re and he’s who’s he with? He’s with some beautiful woman. I want to be that guy or whatever you see. You kind of get to that feeling. And so, really what happens is if we can just touch people’s heart, we can get them to really see what that would do for them then the heart wants to make the decision, but you’ve got to have some data to follow. So, you lead with heart and then you have the data. Here’s what it is. But a lot of people we have trouble because we can’t sell anything because we don’t actually spend time with people to really uncover what’s below people saying, “I want cash flow,” or I want to retire.
Well, really, there’s like a few questions below that. Raise the question beyond the question, right? It’s like, “We want to retire.” “Well, why?” “Well, because I hate my job.” “Well, what would you do if you could do anything?” “Well, I’d travel, I’d write, I’d start the business like whatever that thing is.” “Well, why is that?” “And it’s because, well, this happened when I was a kid, and so now it’s really important that I make a difference and I give money to this cause I believe in.” Right now, you’ve got like somebody can almost be in tears sharing this because you’ve got to the core of like this is what I want.
And so, regardless, I just think there’s so much value of just being somebody who can add to someone’s life, add value to their life. And then by doing that, people see, wow, this is someone who just really is interested in helping to serve people. And I think the people that I’ve found that do exceptionally well in this business are not generally the people that are the yachts and Muay Thai kind of lifestyle. There are those people that do it and they do well. But I think people that can really touch people’s hearts come across very genuinely to say, you know what, I can’t help you, but I know this other person over here that can help you. And there’s no benefit to me, but this is the right thing to do, right? And so, what happens is there’s so much equity built in something like that.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah, it’s fantastic. Quick story that I want to ask you, Bronson, how you got started with this? You mentioned medical sales, and then you obviously made the pivot at some point. I would love to hear the early challenges that you face. But before I ask you that, recognize one quick thing, when I was a financial advisor, this is going back, I graduate from college in 1998. I got into financial advising right away, Series 6, 66, 63, Life and Health. I wrote fee-based financial plans when I was 24 years old to people who were three times my age, right? I really knew anything. I was just a geek for numbers and I loved it. So, I was fairly successful with it.
But there was a senior advisor in the firm, his name was Dan. And Dan was making probably $500,000 to $750,000 a year personal income. And I would take Dan on some of my appointments with me to some of these prospects or clients that I had that had pretty significant net worth. And I got referred to them or I set an appointment with them somehow, and I would take Dan with me because I was still sort of uncomfortable dealing with them like that. And I would sit at these appointments with Dan, and Dan would talk to these guys for two hours about God knows what, about all kinds of bull crap. And I was like, underneath the table, tapping my foot and tapping my knees, thinking like, when are we going to get to the financial stuff? When are we going to ask the fact-finding financial questions?
And then, inevitably, Dan would always get the account or he would get the rollover or he would sell the insurance, he would get the estate plan. And I was like, dude, how does he do it? He’s so annoying. It takes so long. But that was the secret sauce was the relationship building that he did before he ever presented any financial plan. The people knew that Dan wasn’t in a rush to show up, come to their house with their business, and then leave 45 minutes later, and then come back and present a product. Dan would sit down and undo his coat and sit down and get coffee and hang out. Now, I don’t know if I want to run a business quite like Dan, but the message is in the fact-finding, the asking of the questions, the relationship building, that’s what Dan had right. And I was too immature to recognize that back then.
Bronson Hill: Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s 100%. I was actually an investment advisor for years as well on the side while I was doing medical sales. And yeah, there’s a lot of just– I mean, that’s really what it is, right? You think you know, oh, yeah, when do we get to the business? Well, that is the business. People, so they don’t know, they don’t care what you know until they know that you care. So, it’s the idea of just being a real person and relating. This is a guy you could go hunting with or you could take golfing with. People want people like that.
So, people typically do business with people they like and they trust. And so, you develop credibility when you share about yourself, when you listen, when you’re engaging, when you have conversations. And that’s why just social skills and people feel like they want to really brush up on that, go to networking events. I mean, I was talking to a friend who was at a networking event. He said, “Oh, it feels so uncomfortable being here. I feel so out of place.” And well, news is just I feel out of place at a lot of networking events still. And I’ve been doing it for years and I feel like I’m a pretty good networker.
So, just being in a place, it’s a little bit uncomfortable being there, asking questions, watching people like Dan, you mentioned that have a real skill in this, you can get a lot out of that. I’m sure that affected the way you interact with investors and the way you work with people, as you watched and you’re like, wow, there’s some magic here. And now, I think I’ve seen a piece of it.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah. Yeah, because when I got started, it was all about like, you got to have three appointments, you got five appointments set per day and you have to hold three. And Dan would have one a day that would take two, three hours. And Dan would always sell. He was like, Dude, what? He only works three hours a day, but he’s got this amazing way of holding a conversation. So, that was one of my big takeaways. Bronson, I wanted to ask you then, after all of your experience in investing and JVing on deals, car washes, ATMs, 200 million, a multifamily, what was your start like? And what lessons did you learn along the way that really stand out?
Bronson Hill: Yeah, so I’ll give you the modified version. I was a medical device sales guy. I was making 250K a year, was working about 20, 30 hours a week. I really wasn’t working that much, but I didn’t have the control over my time that I wanted. I had some pressure from– and I was a good sales guy. I mean, I got President’s Club, which is top 10%, four out of eight of the years, I was eligible, I was winning trips.
But it really for me was the golden handcuffs. I was like I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and do my own thing. But it was like it was just hard to leave. And so, my whole family, when I was getting ready to leave, they were like– or I wanted to leave, I started doing multifamily stuff and I’ll get into the start. But they were all like, “You’re crazy. Why would you ever want to leave? You’ve great job. You don’t even take them many hours and you get it all done and you have this–” and then I had this group of entrepreneurs, there were six of them. We met together once a month about our businesses, and pretty much without exception, they were all like, “Yeah, you should leave your job pretty much as soon as possible.”
Now, this was after I’d kind of developed some things, but my background in real estate, I’d bought a house just out of college. I bought it. It was in another state. I moved somewhere for a job, kept the house as a landlord. Out of every landlord, it did well. Then I thought, okay, great. I think a lot of people think single family is going to get them to financial freedom, but I really believe that for most people, it doesn’t. I’d say, like most people that do single family trying to become financially free, it doesn’t really get you where you want to go.
And the reason why is it’s just not scalable. I mean, even now, if you can find something that actually cash flows, it’s not going to be much. And you have to wait some 10, 15 years for things to really appreciate enough. So, what I realize is, as I learned about multifamily through a relative who said, at the time, my goal is to get 30 houses in the Cleveland area. I had four, I think, at the time. And so, he’s like, “Yeah, that sounds like a lot of work. Why don’t you do multifamily?” And so, I said, “Well, I’d love to, but I don’t have the money.”
And you’ve heard the saying it takes money to make money, but the truth is it does take money to make money. It just doesn’t have to be your money. And so, we would say it’s actually selfish if you only use your own money, right? So, Robert Kiyosaki said that before I even say that.
So, I learn about syndication. My cousin who’s a well-known– or he’s not well known, but he’s very wealthy and he’s been doing for 25 years. He says he read this book, listen to this podcast, go to this event, especially everything he said, within a few months, I’d started a meetup, and then I went to an event that I approached somebody who was a successful guy. This is about almost a year into it. I said, “Hey, how’s it going raising money?” This person was teaching other people to syndicate, but they were really having trouble raising money, but they had a huge platform.
So, I just basically said, “Well, what about this particular of your business?” And somebody at that event had said, it’s like that quote, “Make yourself valuable to valuable people.” And I never heard that. But what that’s saying and that’s from Jim Rohn, that’s basically saying create value to someone who’s creating a lot of value and that will make a place for you, right? So, that’s what I did. And then over the next 18 months of having that conversation, we raised $15 million together, and then I kind of branched off and kind of went out on my own a couple of years ago and stuff.
So, I think it’s just really what are the things that happen, I saw what was out there. I don’t know if somebody else was doing this thing that I could learn how to do it. And that’s what I feel about syndication. It’s a skill that can be learned. It can take six months, a year, or more before you get your first deal done. Once you get your first deal done, everything changes. People look at you differently. You’re more of an industry insider, and then, going bigger, I think going 100 units or more is easier than doing 10 units or less, but that’s my opinion and there are a number of reasons for that. But those are a few kind of highlights from kind of how I got going.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah. And what did you learn? You mentioned a couple of nuggets there that I’ll spit back to you. You said going bigger is sometimes easier, being valuable to valuable people, kind of fitting something that they need. I just got an email from one of our mastermind members and said, “Hey, he’s got a dream to buy his family farm and he needs X amount of dollars.” And he did exactly that. He’s asking me like, “Well, how can I be valuable to you, Josh? What do you need help with?” Because on his own, I don’t know if he can get the 600 or raise the 600, but he did exactly that. Like, how can I reach out or how can I become valuable to you? That’s really, really key, right? So, some nuggets there. Anything else, Bronson, before we kind of wrap up that really stands out?
Bronson Hill: Yeah. Again, I just go back to one of those nuggets and kind of explain a little more. A lot of times, we approach people. I’m sure you get approached a lot. You run a mastermind, you get approached from people saying, “Hey, I want you to do this for me,” or “I want you to mentor me,” or, “Hey, how can I help you?” And those are all like, there’s a how can I help you? That’s a great question, but it doesn’t meet like, I don’t know. What do you do? I don’t know how, I get approached by that too.
But when you can find somebody who’s doing, who’s making a difference in the world and has a lot of vision like you do, Josh, I mean, you’re going to have a lot of challenges in your business, things that you’re facing because you’re doing big things, right? I’m doing big things so we’re facing big challenges, but we’re thinking about it all the time. But a lot of people are coming to us saying, “Hey, how can I get from you as well?” Which is– that’s fine. That’s what we’re here to give.
But when someone comes to us, “Hey, I thought about your business, Josh, but I thought about this aspect of it. And have you thought about doing this or could I refer you to somebody or could I help in this specific way?” When people do it, it doesn’t happen very often. Somebody will do that, they’ll do really well. And I’m like, wow, it feels very different. And it also is like, man, this is somebody that I could really consider working with because, first of all, they’re thinking about giving first and honestly what they can get because if you can create the value, it doesn’t have to be– you have to go out and do everything from scratch. You can just find somebody who’s doing, hey, is there any way that I can help grow this? Or having those conversations, even like when we talk to investors, the same thing when working with partners is trying to figure out what people need.
So, if you can just try to find a way to create value, there will always be a place for you at the table. So, I think that’s the biggest thing, I think, for people that are getting started out, starting out is just going to meetups, going to events, asking questions, being curious, and then looking for the opportunity. What do I have that maybe this person could benefit from? And is there a way to kind of ask them about that in a way that’s not I’m just pitching them? It’s more like, well, what about this? What would it mean if we could help solve this problem or if you could solve this problem? And so, it opens up doors.
Josh Cantwell: Fantastic stuff. Bronson, listen, lots of nuggets in there. Appreciate you sharing your story with us. To my listeners and our audience, go visit BransonEquity.com. There you’re going to find Bronson’s book that he authored called How to Use Inflation to Your Advantage with a couple of the techniques and strategies that we talked about today. Bronson, when they do go to your website, Bronson Equity, what else are they going to find there?
Bronson Hill: Yeah, so you can download that free e-book, How to Use Inflation to Your Advantage. We are in the process right now of creating a one-day event in Los Angeles called the Zero Tax Investing Summit. So, I found that for a lot of professionals and business owners, there are not a lot of places to go to find tax strategists unless you pay expensive tax strategists or basically an evangelist with a bunch of CPAs and some of the best tax strategists in the country of how to reduce taxes legally or even through the real estate professional status or other ways. So, that’s another thing we’re working on.
We also have our show, Mailbox Money, which is a podcast. We got to have you on it as well and have you talk about what you’re working on, but I appreciate it, man. This has really been a lot of fun.
Josh Cantwell: Absolutely, Bronson. Listen, thanks so much for carving out some time for us today on Accelerated Investor.
Bronson Hill: Thanks, man.
Josh Cantwell: Well, hey, listen, I hope you enjoyed that interview with me and Bronson. I really love some of the detail, some of the specifics that he gave, or some of the questions that he asks, some of the ways to set up and start your investor interview, some of the different ways to structure deals through a fund of funds, strategy, and diversification, as well as some of the things that he talked about regarding his current investments and how he’s diversified away from multifamily, still investing in multifamily if the deal is right, but also diversifying some of the things that create really consistent cash flow. So, I’m a big fan of that stuff. If you enjoyed this interview, subscribe, like, rate, and review the podcast and we’ll see you next time on Accelerated Investor.