The Fastest Way To Build A Six Or Even… Seven Figure Real Estate EMPIRE!
When someone enters the multifamily real estate investing landscape, there are several paths to choose from. Some have the resources and assets available, and some seek out VCs, syndications, or private lenders. But there is another option that can be attractive to both the buyer and the seller: seller financing.
Here to talk about how he’s using this strategy in his portfolio is Christian Osgood. Christian is the founder of MultiFamilyStrategy.com. He’s bought over 100 rental properties and a waterfront resort, and he and his business partner have done a ton of creative financing to get private money.
In this conversation, Christian and I dig into how to find creative deals that work, what he’s doing to double (or triple!) his investing in the next 12 months, and the most important factors he looks for when using seller financing to make the deal.
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Key Takeaways with Christian Osgood
- The importance of meeting every owner in your market.
- The questions you need to ask when using seller financing to make a deal work.
- Why Christian gets long-term cash-flowing, fixed-rate debt on every deal.
- Reasons why investors should evaluate the deal first and the debt second.
- Why sellers are likely to sell when financing is creative and generates a win-win.
- Why being a visionary or an integrator alone is not enough to be successful.
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Josh Cantwell: So, hey, guys, welcome back to Accelerated Investor. I’m your host, Josh Cantwell, today with a fantastic interview with Christian Osgood. Christian has bought over 100 rental properties and a waterfront resort over the past couple of years with his business partner. They do not have rich family. They do not have rich friends. They don’t syndicate. They solely use creative financing strategies to get seller financing, contracts for deed, private money, and they’ve been able to accumulate an amazing cash-flowing portfolio without doing major syndications, without private investors like I do. And they’ve done a lot of it through seller financing, especially in today’s market where interest rates are so high. This is such a great resource to have Christian on the show.
He is also the founder at MultifamilyStrategy.com, and today, you’re going to learn, number one, why you need to meet every owner in your market? Number two, what would the question you want to ask yourself when you’re doing creative financing is what would make this deal work? Okay. Not if the deal works through the immediate underwrite, but what would make this deal work? Number three, you’re going to learn why Christian always gets long-term cash-flowing, fixed-rate debt on every single deal. I mean, long term, meaning 7, 10, 12 years, or longer.
You’re also going to learn, number four, why the order of your deal evaluation needs to be the deal first, the debt second, and then the equity, or the deal first, the debt second, and then more debt? And how to wrap all those together. Also, you’re going to learn, number five, why sellers sell? Why do sellers sell using creative financing? And the answer is which Christian is going to talk about is the relationship they have with you and their desire to elevate you to be the next them, the way they used to be.
And finally, you’re going to learn, number six, the balance that it takes between having vision and integration, why just being a visionary is not enough and why just being an integrator is not enough. You’re going to learn all that today on today’s episode with Christian Osgood of Multifamily Strategy. Here we go.
Josh Cantwell: So, hey, Christian, listen, welcome to Accelerated Investor. Excited to have you on the show, my friend. Talk about a little bit about seller financing and about all your growth that’s been happening over the past couple of years. Thanks for carving out a few minutes for us. How are you?
Christian Osgood: Dude, I am fantastic. We had an excellent day in court, which is not always the case, but we just woke up this morning, won all of our cases. We’re moving a few people out. So, that was a successful morning. So feeling great.
Josh Cantwell: Nice. So, tell us about that. So, eviction, eviction court, it’s part of your portfolio, obviously, part of the multifamily operation. Tell us a little more about that. What are you guys working on right now that you’re excited about? Obviously, eviction is not something that I would be super excited about, but it’s something that’s business, right? Got to do it.
Christian Osgood: Yeah, not super exciting. And we love working with people. I mean, we have a little over 100 units now. We picked up over the last two years, a little less. And we do everything we can to provide awesome housing for everyone, whether we inherited them or placed them. We’ve had a few people who have been a problem since the beginning. Part of our strategy was, hey, if we pick up some of the rougher properties in the city and we’re all Central Washington, most is like Grant County, but if we pick up some of the rougher properties and we can be the people to lift that up, we raise the whole market. The bottom gets better, everyone benefits.
So, in that process, there are a few people who are just either dangerous or just serial non-pay people. It is part of the game. This is our first run through Washington State Court. And so, that was so powerful for now, been a long journey. So, today has been the day where the few big problem, scary people are out of our building. So, I’m like, “Wow, we just have the happy, safe portfolio now.” So, today is starting out on a victory. Evictions aren’t fun, but it is nice when you can actually improve a community. It is a part of the business and supposed to go to win.
Josh Cantwell: No doubt. So, Christian, let’s talk a little about your go-forward plans for this year. What are you most excited about in your business? What kind of things based on your evaluation of the market, the market shifts, your strategy? What do you think you guys are doing right? And what do you guys want to continue to work on? And what are you excited about going forward? Even though we’re in this kind of strange, weird economy, where now, you turn on the news, it’s not like, oh man, the country is just on fire. It’s like no, we’re probably in a recession. There’s a major war. The US dollar is a little bit in trouble. There are a lot of strange things going on. But we all know that entrepreneurship and real estate is very local, right? It’s very local. So, for you, in your local market and what you guys are doing, what fires you up? What do you think is going to happen for you guys in the next 12 months?
Christian Osgood: Well, fortunately, for us, our strategy is very, very basic. And we preach this every single day. It’s long-term fixed-rate cash-flowing debt. And the beautiful thing about that is a lot of my variables don’t change because there are no variables in there. Long-term debt, I have no balloons that are imminent. That feels really good right now, fixed-rate debt, especially when you get to negotiate your own rate in seller financing. I’m sure we’ll dive into that a little bit here.
But on the creative financing, it’s like, look, we’re finding a deal that works. We’re negotiating a price rate and term where it cash flows day one, it continues to cash flow through the project, and it’s really immune to any market cycle. As long as you can do the deal, it’s just leading with the individual deal regardless of ups or downs. Totally agree. We do not expect interest rates to triple. There are a couple of properties that were smaller that I was hoping to sell. We ended up just holding them forever, and we’re buy and hold people, so that works for us. But yeah, you have to shift when interest rates triple. You do have to factor for that.
One thing I think we’re going to see in the economy that I am excited for is there’s a lot of people who’ve been doing deals they probably shouldn’t have done that only worked on variable rate debt. They got some floating debt product short term. I don’t like seeing other people lose, but what it’s going to do is it’s going to take the operators who maybe took on too much risk, maybe weren’t as good at negotiating the deal, and they’re going to start getting phased out here, I think, over the next– it’s already starting to happen, but I think over the next 12 months, you’ll see the players who are here to stay are going to really, really thrive. And I believe the strategy we have is immune to any market cycle. So, we should be doing just fine. We’ll probably double or triple the portfolio here in the next 12 months.
Josh Cantwell: I love it. So, Christian, for our audience maybe that’s new to the show or maybe this is the first episode that they’ve ever listened to, we’ve done 450 episodes, but new people listen every day, why don’t you explain in your own words, what do you mean by variable bridge debt, interest rate caps, etc., etc., etc., versus long-term fixed rate cash flowing debt in your own words? What does that mean to you? Because I know exactly what you’re talking about and I’m a firm believer in exactly what you do. I haven’t done a lot of seller financing. We’ve done a lot of bank financing, a lot of syndications, but we’ve secured long-term debt on almost everything we’ve done.
And in some cases, we’ve been going with bank debt that we had to personally guarantee so that we could get 5 and 7 and 9 and 12-year term money with long terms on them. So, they weren’t ballooning out any time soon. And we knew that we were going to do a major value add so that we knew the value would go up substantially. So, I wasn’t really too worried about some of those deals that we did some kind of personal guarantee on. So, I absolutely believe in what you’re doing and what you’ve explained, but explain it in your own words. What’s the difference in the variable versus fixed rate and even seller financing? So, go ahead and let’s start with that.
Christian Osgood: Yeah. So, variable rate debt, I mean, it’s got what it sounds. It’s variable rate. So, you lock in at one price, and usually, it’s a little bit lower than how do you fix it, which is where people get suckered and they’re like, “Oh, we’ll have low-interest rates forever. This will be fantastic. We’ve had a decade of low interest. This is going to stay forever.” Of course, that’s not true, but that’s what happened to a lot of people.
The variable rate just means like, hey, there is going to be attached to something. Sometimes, it’s prime plus something, but there’s going to be some rate that is going to be tied to that as interest rates go up, your rates can go with it. So, it’s not a fixed variable. I’ve seen a lot of people, especially in the syndication realm, not all of them. There are some fantastic syndicators. We’re talking to one right here.
But there are some syndicators that have done really well. A lot of them were doing renovation projects. They had maybe a year of fixed rates, one with a variable rate, and we watched interest rates almost triple. Their cost of debt in many cases doubled or tripled. There’s all sorts of stuff that I won’t get into because it’s not my realm on rate caps. You can have certain caps on how high your actual interest can go and there are fees associated with that. But a lot of people saw their cost of debt on a building 2-3x. That really hurts, especially if you’re mid renovation project on a deal that started a little skinny. A lot of people are getting caught on that.
Long-term debt is going to be something, I’d call five years mid-term, whereas you can do a lot in five years. Whatever you do today, you’re going to be in a different market cycle in five years, but I’m looking five-year plus. Seller finance just means instead of using a bank or going through the seller, we have a lot of our debts on 10, 15. There’s even a property on our portfolio on 30-year fully amortized self-financed debt.
So, the fun thing with our strategy is we don’t have to do a deal that we don’t like the terms of and we negotiate every single piece of the terms, price, the length of the loan, the interest rate, bunch of simple special clauses you can add to this, but we have a custom product, which means we always get to go in with our long-term fixed-rate cash flowing debt, or we just don’t do the deal.
Josh Cantwell: Nice. So, for our audience that’s learning along the way, there are really three ways that Christian and I are talking about here. We’re talking about, if you think about 2008, everybody knows that most of the people that got in trouble with residential properties did some sort of arm-blown adjustable rate mortgage. And those adjustable rate mortgages would adjust, let’s say, after a two-year fixed period, it would then adjust on an annual basis.
To make a direct comparison in the commercial world, when you sign up for a– let’s say it’s a bridge loan and it’s usually SOFR, which is the index SOFR plus whatever, let’s say 200 bips, 100 bips, 400 bips. So, for plus, as SOFR changes and SOFR is directly tied to the Fed funds rate, SOFR is the commercial kind of rate that directly is tied to the Fed funds rate. The Fed funds rate really impacts resi, and as the Fed funds rate goes up for banks, then the residential prices go up for residential. In commercial, it’s called SOFR. And as SOFR goes up or floats, then cost of your debt would literally float and it would change every month. So, not every two years or three years, and annually thereafter, it would change every month.
So, what Christian’s talking about is that’s the first type of debt and that worked. If you got fixed rate bridge financing, you could fix it for five years at a very low rate. What a lot of people did, though, is they didn’t fix it. Now, there’s a term in that world called never naked. And never naked means that you can’t just have a floating rate loan. You have to have a cap, you have to buy a cap. It’s called an interest rate cap. And so, a lot of guys, what they did was they bought a cap in for two years or three years and they let it float. Well it floated, as Christian said, rates went up 2 or 3x, their mortgage went up 2 or 3x.
So, imagine having a mortgage payment that was $25,000 a month for an apartment building, and over the last year, it went from $25,000 a month to $65,000 a month. Where did your cash flow go? Well, it disappeared, and now, you’re probably upside down. And now, the lender has not only increased your mortgage, but also, now they’re going to start to escrow for your next interest rate cap payment that’s going to be due a year from now or two years from now to recap that loan and refix it. That’s what a lot of guys did.
So, when I was investing and Christian was investing over the last several years, when you’re like, how the hell does that guy pay that for that property? It’s probably because he took the risk of a low-cost floating rate loan, and now, the freakin’ piper is going to show up and they got to pay the piper. And you know what they’re going to do to pay the piper? They’re going to sell at a distressed situation. It’s going to be a forced, structured sale. The bank is going to force the sale and structure it out. So, that’s the mistake.
Now, what Christian and I have done well is that I went with long-term bank debt because we buy really big buildings. Christian has gone with seller financing with small and mid-sized buildings. That all works because Christian and I can both sleep well at night. So, it just depends on the size of the deal. The seller financing doesn’t typically happen when you’re in the $10 million and $20 million range, like we are, but if you’re doing deals that are 5 units to 25 units, even up to 100 units, you can find sellers that have a very low-cost basis that will agree to seller financing.
So, Christian, let’s then peel back the onion on this. This is kind of money-making strategy. So, tell us, if we were to go buy a building, let’s say, I actually have a 17-unit that just hit my desk last week and I’m like, it’s probably too small for me. But if I could seller finance it, seller was willing to seller finance it all, it looks a lot more attractive, a lot more appealing. So, if a 17-unit hit your desk, where would you start? Obviously, you’re going to underwrite it, you’re going to evaluate it, but then where does the seller financing conversation come in? Tell us how it works.
Christian Osgood: Well, there’s two ways to do it. So, majority of our strategy has been direct to owner, meet everyone in your market. So, in this example, maybe a little less than half of our deals have been through a broker. So, that hits my desk. So, someone else brought it to me. I’m looking at it. First thing I want to do is I just want to understand what is the deal. And that’s beyond like, oh, let’s just look right at the numbers, which is what everyone seems to want to lead with when they present. I want to know, what am I buying? I got this building that I really want to own. Is this something that would be a fun project?
And then the next thing is with creative finance, instead of looking at, okay, is this a deal or not a deal? It’s what would make this deal appealing to me because you get to customize everything. So, if this 17-year is my desk and let’s say it’s a little overpriced, I can look at that and say, “What would make this work?” Well, if I get the right interest rate on this and it’s long term, I can overpay for a property, I can really comfortably overpay for it because I believe that in 15 years, if I bought this where it cash flows day one, in 15 years, property is going to be worth more than it is today. Just absolutely true of real estate.
So, I’ll look at realistically what prices they want, what terms do they want, and can I get it to cash flow and long-term fixed-rate debt? That is the entire game. I can get really technical with mortgage factor rates and how I know exactly what interest rate to offer. But generally speaking, to keep it very simple, I want to borrow it cheaper than the property yields, and if I can consistently do that, we can buy infinite deals. They just have to cash flow day one. If you close that deal, 17 units, 100 units, 200 units, whatever it is, you close it on terms where it cash flows and that debt is going to stay the exact same for a very long period of time. Every time you close those deals, you now have more income and more capacity to take on more projects.
Josh Cantwell: Love it.
Christian Osgood: You keep it that simple.
Josh Cantwell: Christian, so I don’t want too deep of a dive on factoring mortgage rates and things. But let’s say you find a smaller deal and it’s penciling at a roughly eight cap day one. And you got enough income, you’re buying in a good cost per unit and the income is there. And you could definitely see upside in the rent. Maybe the guy hasn’t improved the building in five years, so you could do some value-add improvements and maybe turn some units, commons, etc.
But on day one, walking in small building, it’s an eight cap. Let’s just say 17 units at– let’s try to make the math easy on me this morning. So, at $80,000 a door, so that price would be $1.36 million, that’s 80k a door. So, if we’re going to buy this thing for $1.36 at 80k a door and the cap rate is roughly an eight, rents are probably 900 bucks a month, maybe, give or take, help me understand how the structure looks. Are you trying to get a 100% seller financing? Are you putting some money down? And if it’s an eight cap on the performance of the income, generally, what kind of interest rate could you offer on that deal?
Christian Osgood: Okay. Well, let me ask you this in reverse order here. So, the interest rate that I can afford, mortgage factor rate, there’s a cheat code without getting super into what it is, it’s basically just going to be your true cost of debt. So, basically, if you’re going to break it down, what am I borrowing? And it’s principal plus interest divided by the loan amount will equal the same thing as a mortgage factor rate. They like to express that equation differently, but that’s what it comes down to is what does my debt actually cost? Principal plus interest.
So, it’s an eight cap. That means the deal yields 8% if you bought it in cash. If I borrow at less than 8%, people think interest, but it’s actually your factor. So, if it’s amortized, my business partner has them all memorized, but I know for a fact if I borrowed 6% on a 30-year am, it’s going to be less than 8% for that factor rate. I know that’s going to work. If I do interest only, well, interest plus principal is going to be the same as interest. So, on an interest-only loan by borrowing at 7% and the deal yield is 8%, for every dollar I borrow, I get a 1% spread. Super easy way to visualize this.
So, if I’m borrowing at 6.5%, 7%, I’m making a reasonable spread on the debt that’s going to cash flow. I’m doing a lot of these deals, and in seller finance, there’s no standard. A lot of them are 5% or 10% down. I have done 100% seller finance. If I have my own money, to answer the third question there, I will put my own money in a deal. That’s one of my least favorite things that people do is create a finance. You don’t need your own money. People go, “Well, then I’m not going to use my own money.” That’s stupid. What else is money for? Go buy assets. If I have it, I’m going to put it down without raising any other debt, without taking any other partners because now, I just have an asset that I own.
However, I buy a lot of real estate. I’m often out of money because I spent it on the last deal. So, if I’m out of money, I’m going to raise it either as debt or equity. I have a rule, as does my business partner, Cody. It’s deal, then debt, then equity, and you always do them in that order. What is the opportunity? What is the correct debt product? And you figure out those two, say it’s 10% down, I’m 90% done with the deal. I have the opportunity, I know what I’m buying, what the price is. The debt product is figured out, so it’s 90% financed. The last 10% is either going to be my money, additional debt, or I bring in an equity partner. Only rule of equity partners for me is I have a buyout option for them. So, I have an ability to have the property buy the property in the future.
If I can’t afford it myself, high cash flow, it can service debt. If it’s lower cash flow day one, but it’s still cash flows, I’ll probably bring on an equity partner and say, “Look, it’s value-add project. I can buy you out at a higher multiple in future, but for right now, we’re conserving cash flow. I need someone who’s going to bring in some capital, ride the deal with me. Maybe I’ll have a couple of tax benefits.” It’s almost always cheaper to raise debt than have a buyout with equity because you’re asking someone to wait longer in the future, but that’s the entire equation for any deal. What is the deal? What is the debt? Do I need equity or additional debt? So, it’s either deal debt/equity or deal debt/debt, I guess, would be the only two ways to close a deal. Solve for that. That is a purchased, finished piece of real estate.
Josh Cantwell: Love it. And then because you’ve secured long-term debt, you can hold it, kind of let the organic runs happen. Take over management, improve the management, turn the units organically, just kind of let it grow, let it wait, create more cash flow, and you’re owning the difference between you and a traditional syndicator is you own probably 100% of your deals or 80%, 90% of your deals, right?
Christian Osgood: Yup. Either I have 100% ownership or we have some more, I’ve gotten 50/50, or I’ve done one where they come up with capital, they own 50% of a deal. They lent me the other 50%. So, I own 50% that I put in, it’s just a loan to them. I pay it off over time, and then I’ll buy them out. I’ve done that structure. We’ve done one where it’s just a straight, hey, in five years, I’m going to double your money. So, it was a little deal, three side-by-side duplexes.
I needed 90k down to close them, and I went, “Look, I’m going to buy you out in five years at 180.” However, all the cash flow is going to go to the operators and managers. So, I got a deal $0 out of pocket. The property will cash flow more than the 180 that I need to buy them out in a five-year period, which means I have five years of absolutely no payments to anyone. The property will buy the property. And they’re completely free duplexes. So, that’s a structure that works really well. The rules to the game, if you’re bringing on partners, must have a buyout option at a fixed price. Notice I say the word fixed a lot. I do not like variables. That’s how you lose. So, at a fixed price in a fixed set of time, you’re going to offer them a buyout option. And so, yeah, if I give up equity, I have a way to buy it back and the property is going to be what buys it back for me, every time of it.
Josh Cantwell: I love it. Yeah, traditional syndicators, guys that say, “Yeah, I own $5,000 and we’re a syndicator,” and they got 20% to 30% of the deal and the general partnership, and they own one-third of the 30%. So, they really own 10% of the deal is it makes me laugh. So, we’re a syndicator too, but in most of my deals, we own 60% to 80% of the equity because we’re heavier value-add guys that really forced the appreciation in the first couple of years. Everybody benefits from that.
We also own the construction company that does the work and we do the construction at cost. So, instead of upcharging the cost of construction, we take it back in equity, which allows us to retain roughly 70% to 75% of the equity between me and my two partners. I own at least 50% of that equity. So, I end up with 40% of the deal to myself.
Christian Osgood: Which is fantastic. And you’re doing large deals.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah, large. And we only do large deals, right? So, the construction company for us is kind of our silver kind of bullet, if you will, if that’s the right word, whatever the silver, whatever thing is.
Christian Osgood: Yeah. Silver bullet, that works.
Josh Cantwell: You know the thing, Christian. The thing that we do well and that piece of it allows us to really force the appre– I got a building. I actually just did a solocast on this earlier today. We bought a building for $16.3 million. We put $2 million into it in the last 10 months and we increased the income from $150,000 a month to $220,000 a month in 10 months. The building went $16 million to $22 million in less than a year. We bought it for 16, we put another $2 million into it. I had about half a million in soft cost. So, we’re into the thing for call it a little under 19. Everything is worth $22 million inside of a year, right? And the thing’s going to be at $27 million by the time we’re done with it four more years from now. And then we’ll figure out what to do with all the equity. But that forced appreciation is what we really hang our hat on. I would love to be able to do some seller finance stuff along with our construction. I think that would be a really great one-two punch.
So, Christian, let me ask you about your start. You guys have done this. Just in the last couple of years, a lot of guys want to end the traditional syndication route, use variable rate debt, recruited a lot of capital. You guys went a totally different direction when you started. How did the start go? Where did this all begin?
Christian Osgood: So, for me, I started the traditional route. So, I was like, okay, so you need to get a job and you need earn money to buy real estate. As you can tell for the rest of this podcast, that’s not correct, but that’s what I was told. So, when I got launched, I was like, okay, I went to school. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I got a general business degree. It’s just a– I don’t remember what it was called, business management operations, I think, which I don’t really know what that means. They’re just kind of generic business.
I went from there to selling apparel at $40,000 a year. So, I just have a minimum wage. I ran a small sales team, sold apparel for an apparel wholesaler, did that for a few years, got picked up. I always wanted to be in real estate, so the whole time, the goal was how do I get my way towards owning my first few properties. And I was thinking small at the time. So, I was like, how do I get a duplex?
Got hired by Land.com. A week after I got hired, the CoStar group bought them and their Apartments.com, LoopNet, the CoStar product. They have a million websites, like the Internet for commercial real estate. Worked for them for four years and that got me enough money. I did really well there. I bought my house, I bought my first duplex, I bought my second duplex, which was a whole big rental project that went fantastically, but that was it. I was out of money again. It was a seven-year journey. I got eight years, all the college and the post-college stuff, eight-year journey.
My real estate was paying for my mortgage. So, I was like, cool, real estate pays for real estate. That’s a cool place to be. Now, what do I do? Do I start over and just start saving up for the next duplex because I’m not where I want to be? That’s where I met my business partner, Cody Davis. He was 21 at the time, just closed on his 30th unit, never had a W2. He actually worked for two hours at Safeway but outside of work at a grocery store for two hours. That was his only W-2 income. I was like, “How the heck did you do this?” He’s like, “Well, I just learned that,” because he’d become a broker, never really sold anything. He tried to represent a client on this deal. It fell through. He asked, “Hey, what have you guys carried for me?” I will carry 90%.
Someone in the office helped him put together the pitch to raise the capital for the down. It was a 12-plex, the cash flow, a thousand bucks a month. And that’s where it clicked for him. So, I came into the story and I was like, “I know how to buy real estate. I know how to work. I know how to hire people. I don’t understand creative finance.” I wanted to get the 30 units by 30. I had just turned 29. I’m like, “Well, I’m at four and I love this.”
Cody Davis came to my office with I can’t help you because I want to take out a 38-plex. It’s too big for me to take on myself, but that’s not going to put you at 30. That’s going to put you at 42. And that’s where I started getting into, I’m like, “Oh, we need to buy bigger than duplexes,” which obviously, you’ve taken to a completely different level than I have. But that 38-plex, that sounded just a small version of the deal that you just told me about. Heavy value-add, this thing, 38 units, Washington State, it was on market for 13 years, which by the way, these deals sit on the market. This was just here. Same price it was listed at 13 years ago, $2 million, 38 units, Washington State, that is ridiculously low priced.
The income day one, this is the only cash-negative deal we bought. This is why we have a rule. It was hard. Brought in $5,500 a month for 38 units. We had 10 non-pays, five vacancies. At the time, this was mid-COVID, I had already talked to all the government programs. They’re like, we can help with all the non-pays. Just get them on our programs, I started to do that, took us two months to bring the income from $5,000 a month to, I think it was $18,000-18,500.00. So, I mean, we got quintupled the revenue in five months, got the property stabilized, and then we put that in the bank debt. It’s got $2.3 million loan for a property I bought for $2 million. Rental came in just under $4 million. And I think we put $600,000 in reno, where we refi it, we get some cash, fix up a bunch of units, when you don’t have money, cost you a bit in fees. But then I refied it again, got more cash, we fixed it up. I hate the fact that I have to keep refying to ensure my way up in that deal.
But every time we make it better, the rents go up, the community gets better. That set of evictions was the last few rough tenants and one of the roughest properties in the city. So, I have a few more units we’re going to reno. Sometime next year, I’m probably going to do my third and final refi on it and that will give us the final cash to finish the deal, but we’re renovating everything. When we’re done, I think it’s about a million and a half in reno on a $2 million building. It will be worth five or six. It’s fantastic, fantastic place to be. But that is how I started. Started small, started with earned income, learned the creative game, and found that 38 units makes more than a duplex, just like you found that a 300-unit building makes more than my 38, like quite a bit.
Josh Cantwell: Got it. Yeah, for sure it does.
Christian Osgood: The bigger you play, the faster you go.
Josh Cantwell: Yeah, I love it. Two final questions, Christian, one is I know our audience is going to ask me this, so I’m going to ask you since you’re the expert in this field is when and how do you approach the seller about the creative financing opportunity? What do you say? How do you say on what will the seller carry back the mortgage? When does that come up in your conversation, your due diligence process with the seller?
Christian Osgood: So, on any of these deals, it is a highly relationship-based game. If you look up reasons for seller financing, a lot of people will put out like, hey, there are potential tax benefits to the seller. They might not have another exit. Maybe it’s not a bankable property, which is true of the 38. But in general, we buy fairly nice buildings, especially lately.
The real reason someone will sell our finance to you is because they have a relationship with you and they want to move you forward. So, the way that we have played the game, instead of going after deals, I have asked one time in my career for someone to sell a building. I don’t ask people to sell. I meet with the owners of my market who’ve done what I want to do. I sit down, and in a few sentences, I share who I am and what I’m trying to do.
When I was starting, my wife was a kindergarten teacher in the Renton School District, which is just outside of Seattle. Stuff has always been nuts, but during COVID, it got ridiculous. So, my timeline for retiring my wife went from a five-year dream to a– she’s going to quit at the end of this year and I have to sustain my family. So, how do we pull this off?
When I met with owners, I’m like, “Look, this is what I’m trying to do. I have two duplexes in Newmarket. I want to meet the other owners here. I’m trying to figure out how to retire my wife. You want a 12-plex? I’ve never gone that big. Can we meet for coffee?” I met all of them for coffee instead of talking about myself or their property or the deal. I just went like, “You know what I’m trying to do? How did you get here?” And we sit down and I ask, “How did you do it? What advice do you have for someone? And ultimately, if you are in my shoes, given what you just told me, what would you advise I do next?” And then I go out and do that thing.
What I found is when they’re invested in you and they’re trying to help you move forward, they’re either going to connect you to someone, or in many cases, they’ve driven me around their portfolio and said, “I started with seller-financed contracts years and years ago. I have a couple of buildings I want to sell. What if I seller finance them to you?” And the reason they did it was because they know my position. I don’t have a lot of cash, but I do have a commitment to this game. I’m in your market and we have a relationship. And because they want me to move forward…
Josh Cantwell: They put themselves in you, right?
Christian Osgood: Yeah. And we got deals they wouldn’t give to anyone else. There’s stuff people only do 20% to 30% down, seller-financed. That’s what they offered everyone. I gave them my pieces and they’re like, okay, we can do 10%. And I was like, it has the cash flow they want. They’re like, “Well, we really want it at 5.5% and only cash flow at 4%.” They’re like, “Well, how about this?” We’re under-rented, and they were, like, it’s seller finances, make up a term.
Year one, it’s going to be 4% interest only. Year two will be 4.5%. Year three, so they go to 5%. It’s fixed variables as we’re going to scale up over time as we prove ourselves as operators to them and operate the property better. And it brings a little bit more, can service the mortgage. Little clauses like that make a deal that wouldn’t have quite worked for me. A fantastic deal, 10% down, especially if you’re syndicating.
Imagine the deals that the bank makes you do. You’re going 30%, 40% down on a big deal. How much easier is it to multiply money if you can do the same deal? But the financing is 5% down. Multiplying 5% on a value-add project is an easy task. And so, you combine this with any strategy, this can be with bank debt. It could be a syndication, it could be an individual. However, you’re putting this together, if you can get a low down payment where it cash flows, multiplying cash on cash return with very little cash in is just a phenomenal way to multiply money.
Josh Cantwell: Love it. Christian, last question.
Christian Osgood: Yes.
Josh Cantwell: I teach a specific kind of segments, like two-hour training that I do on traits of elite entrepreneurs. So, I’m curious, from your perspective, what are some traits, just maybe one or two, that you think you must have or someone must have to be an elite entrepreneur? What are some things that they must do, things they must learn, things that you’ve done, things you’ve observed that makes someone or will help someone get to become an elite entrepreneur?
Christian Osgood: I think one of the things, and this is a little contrarian, there’s a book called Traction. Right now, it’s just really, really popular for entrepreneur personality types to have a visionary and integrator. People talk about those roles all the time. I have not met a single elite operator who is not both. I see flaws with both people who identify as just one of those. The visionaries tend to be people with great ideas who don’t do much generally, not all of them, but a lot of them. And all their employees don’t like them because they’re like, yeah, they think they’re a big shot and they don’t actually do. They just have great ideas. And I’ve met a lot of those.
And then you have integrators who they get just in the details and they don’t think big enough. If you think of a great entrepreneur, if you’re talking about excellence, any of them will take the big names, like Elon Musk’s obvious visionary, but he can integrate his systems. Yes, people underneath them, but he can see his vision all the way through. So, having the right balance on a personal level, I can think big enough to scale my business and I can map out in my head the steps we need to get there. And then the next piece, which I think this is the most critical, you have to be able to implement to the right people on your team. Getting people behind that vision, you have to be able to implement, which means you have to lay out the road map. How are we getting from A to B? But you’re going to plug people into each role for that road map, your ability to have a vision, execute the vision and mobilize other people to get behind that vision is 100% of everything.
There are people who don’t use people, and by use, I mean utilize, like optimize people, move people forward, and actually inspire vision in other people, they end up being a really small entrepreneur. You can probably make it no problem to 5,000 units, you can do what I did by yourself. But getting any bigger, I mean, I have a stellar team and I run a property management company now. We’re just rebranding to Kensho Property Management. If you’re in Washington State, I want to manage for you. We’re expanding.
But you put those people together. I have an amazing director of property management. My wife just joined the team. I have an amazing, amazing in-house bookkeeper that has been life changing for me to have in-house. But if you can add systems, add the right people, that’s the key to success right there.
Josh Cantwell: Christian, awesome stuff today. Hey, how does our audience connect with you, learn more about your seller financing strategies? And you guys have an amazing YouTube channel, tell us about it.
Christian Osgood: Yeah, on YouTube, you can learn everything for free. It’s not necessarily optimized. You got to watch a lot of videos, learn it all, however, Cody And Christian – Multifamily Strategy. We’ve condensed it into an online course. We have a mentorship group where we’ve had a lot of people knock out creative deals. It’s about multifamily, it’s about learning the game. It doesn’t have to be seller finance. However, we’re well known for it. It seems to be a lot of what we do. You can check out all of that on MultifamilyStrategy.com. And if you want to message me directly, I’m just @christianosgood on Instagram. That’s the easiest way to get a hold of me directly.
Josh Cantwell: Awesome stuff, Christian. Listen, thanks so much for carving out some time for us on Accelerated Investor.
Christian Osgood: Thanks for having me.
Josh Cantwell: Well, there you have it, guys. I love that interview with Christian because I love knowing different strategies to do deals. In this market and really in any market, having multifamily strategies and having different debt strategies, capital strategies, different capital stack strategies to do deals and make deals happen is the most important thing instead of relying on just one strategy, one way, one type of financing. So, one of my favorite episodes we’ve done in a while, simply because I learned a lot. I learned a lot. This is not something that I do. And so, I really appreciate Christian for him and for sharing.
And so, as always, I would be so, so grateful to all of you. And I am so grateful for all the growth that we’ve had with the podcast, all the listeners, the ratings, the reviews, the subscriptions, we’re constantly growing. It’s really been amazing. And so, go ahead and check out the next episode, and then obviously go backwards and listen to all the previous episodes. There are over 450 of them. So, subscribe, rate, review, and like the show that helps us get into the YouTube algorithm, the iTunes algorithm, and grow the show so that other people can hear it and we can impact more people. Thank you so much for being here today and we’ll see you next time on Accelerated Investor.