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IAM258- Entrepreneur, Investor and Author Passionate About Helping People Become Financially Free

Podcast interview with Michael Blank

MICHAEL BLANK (Ashburn, Virginia) is an Entrepreneur, Investor, Author (“Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing”), Coach, and leading authority on apartment investing in the United States. As the CEO of Nighthawk Equity, Best-selling Author, Host of the Apartment Building Investing Podcast, Columnist and Real Estate Investor, Blank’s passionate about helping people become financially free in 3-5 years by investing in apartment building deals with a special focus on raising money.

Through Blank’s investment company, Nighthawk Equity, he controls over $27M million in performing multifamily assets all over the United States and has raised over $6M. In addition to his own investing activities, he’s helped students purchase over 2,300 units valued at $86M through his unique “Deal Desk” and training programs. Blank’s been interviewed by top real estate podcasts, including Bigger Pockets, Joe Fairless (Best Ever Show), Get Rich Education, Cashflow Ninja and many more. “The Michael Blank” blog has also been listed in the Top 25 Real Estate Investing Blogs of 2018 by Leap Property Management, and he is a Contributor to FlipNerd.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Book- The Miracle Morning (2) Habit- Morning routine
  • CEO Nugget: Have a financial plan, be clear about what you want your business to do for you
  • CEO Defined: Being the king

Website: http://www.themichaelblank.com/

BOOK
Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing: The Blueprint to Quitting Your Job with Real Estate – Even Without Experience or Cash; http://www.financialfreedomthebook.com

THE APARTMENT BUILDING INVESTING PODCAST: http://www.themichaelblank.com/podcasts/

SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelblankcom
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mblank1/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/themichaelblank


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Transcription:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Michael Blank of Nighthawk Equity. Michael, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Michael Blank 0:35

Hey, it's great to be here. Thanks so much for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:37

No problem am super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Michael because he's doing some awesome things so you can learn a little bit more about him. And Michael Black is an Entrepreneur, Investor, Author (“Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing”). He is a Coach and leading authority on apartment investing in the United States.

As the CEO of Nighthawk Equity, Best-selling Author, Host of the Apartment Building Investing Podcast, Columnist, and Real Estate Investor, Blank’s passionate about helping people become financially free in 3-5 years by investing in apartment building deals with a special focus on raising money. Through Blank’s investment company, Nighthawk Equity, he controls over $27M million in performing multifamily assets all over the United States and has raised over $6M.

In addition to his own investing activities, he’s helped students purchase over 2,300 units valued at $86M through his unique “Deal Desk” and training programs. Blank’s been interviewed by top real estate podcasts, including Bigger Pockets, Joe Fairless (Best Ever Show), Get Rich Education, Cashflow Ninja, and many more. “The Michael Blank” blog has also been listed in the Top 25 Real Estate Investing Blogs of 2018 by Leap Property Management, and he is a Contributor to FlipNerd. Michael, are you ready to speak to the I MA CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Michael Blank 1:52

I am. Let's do it.

Gresham Harkless 1:53

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you to start your business?

Michael Blank 1:59

Yeah, so I mean, I was an entrepreneur at heart always, but I didn't know it until I was in probably my gosh, my early 30s. So I was just you know, I was never surrounded by any of them. My dad was at IBM for 40 years. And none of my family was so I went to school and got good grades and check the boxes I got into computer programming.

And I was in the right place at the right time. And I joined a company called Web Methods in the late 90s. We went public and put a bunch of money in my pocket, which was great. And then I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, it doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank, it matters how much passive income you had. And I had very, very little and so after some soul searching, I decided that I was going to abandon my background as a software person and my job.

And I figured I had enough runway. So I just quit my job and did a bunch of stuff all at once. You know, I started to flip some houses, and I took some learn how to trade stocks and options. And I've got into an apartment building course. But my big idea Gresh was restaurants. And this is because I was you know those Five Guys Burgers directly from our area in Northern Virginia. And so I knew some of the franchisees there and they're like, Oh, this is great.

You just would just cost this much to open. you'll hire someone to run all these restaurants and you sit back and count the passive income. I'm like, sweet, that's exactly what Robert Kiyosaki talks about make a long story short, I subsequently lost my appeal millions in that restaurant experience added a couple of $100,000 of unsecured lines of credit on top of that almost lost my house and clawed my way out with real estate. In my case, like so many it was with single-family house investing.

So in my case, it was flipping houses, and I was making good money with it. The problem was after why we were buying two houses every month, and I had a team in Lalala. But man, it was a lot of work. So I had gotten into this apartment building during this period.

And meanwhile, the apartment building was sending me mailbox money after a while I was like, Man, I mean, I gotta get out as I created my rat race, my own rat race for me. So I was my own entrepreneur working for myself. But then I came to the realization that's not actually the end goal.

The end goal was financial freedom, meaning that I could do whatever I wanted. I could take a break, I could keep going, you know, I could work on my terms I just found I couldn't it was frustrating to me because I thought that's what my goal was. And it turns out it wasn't so I shifted to apartment buildings and I started blogging about it on the bigger pockets and people were very interested in asking me questions.

So I did some seminars and I developed my syndicated deal analyzer and we put on some courses, online courses. And today we have, you know, the podcasts, we have the book, we have mentoring programs, we have live events. And so our goal really is to help people become financially free with real estate. So many people are thinking of single-family houses, but then very few people actually quit their jobs in single-family houses most 95% quietly do with apartment buildings. And that's what gets me really excited.

Gresham Harkless 4:38

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, it's definitely you know, great to hear you know, you've been able to get out of that because like you mentioned in the very beginning a lot of times your reality or what's real or what can be possible in the world and sometimes what's around you but like you mentioned like when you were introduced to these things and you started to it started to become your reality and next thing you know, you know, you're you have your own real estate empire.

Michael Blank 4:56

Yeah, I mean, I think I think you gotta be clear about what you want, right? So sometimes we Just get on the ladder. And we climb up when we get to the top when we realized the ladder was leaning up against the wrong wall. And that was my case. And I just wasn't clear what I really wanted, right? So you know, here's the thing. And when people who have quit their jobs, no one actually retires, like who wants that now, maybe we retire for like a couple of months, but then you get really bored.

So you always going to be working. That's just a way that humans are wired, you know, maybe in particular men, but just in general, we have to do something productive. But within that, right, we want to be able to provide for our families in the one hand, but we also want to control our time, we wanted to work on our terms. And that's really what entrepreneurship allows you to do. The danger with entrepreneurship, as you know, is that we can always do more, we can always work harder. And so we start losing that life balance if we're not careful.

Gresham Harkless 5:44

Yeah, absolutely. And and that's why I love you know, what you've been able to build, but also what you're helping others do. And I know there might be people that are listening or watching. So could you tell us a little bit more on you know, those people that might be listening, watching maybe on the rung ladder, or maybe just in a nine to five and trying to figure out how to get out?

Michael Blank 5:59

Well, it depends, right? I mean, it depends if someone is thinking real estate, which some listening watching are, they're like, oh my gosh, you know, if I want to retire sometime, next 10 years, maybe I should buy a rental property, you know, maybe I'll try to write or buy a rental property every year, one every other year. And those are that's those are good thoughts to have, right?

People already thinking, hey, this can't go on for varied people have different reasons why they can't go on. But they're like, Man, I gotta get out of this thing in 10 years, or five years for various different reasons. And most people then gravitate towards single-family house investing.

And that's because every time you go to the local real estate investing meetings, that's what 98% of people do and talk about, but like I said, if I've studied it, and I have, I've written a book about it, and I interview people who have quit their jobs and, and most of them start with single families as I did, and they realize the insanity of it, they realize that they can actually never get there.

If you play this through, you could have maybe a portfolio of 40 rental properties, but my gosh, that's a lot of properties to buy, then you're going to manage it. And most people in single-family are going to do they're going to manage it themselves, which turns into a nightmare. And few that do go over the hump day creating property management companies, I don't want to create a property management company.

That's not really my idea of fun, but that's some way that people do it. But on the other hand, with multifamily most people do three deals three transactions, and they have covered living expenses. And this is because it's relatively easy to get into it starting, let's say small, and then the second and third deals become progressively easier and bigger. And so most people then have done three deals have replaced their income and they love it so much.

They just keep on going. Because it's so much fun. And the people have decided to get into that. I mean, they literally have covered their living expenses within one to two years of the point where they decided that they're going to start with multifamily. And that's out of all the shenanigans I've done. You know, everything I've done, it is the fastest, most reliable, most learnable business you can start.

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Gresham Harkless 7:43

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I absolutely love that. And I love it because it's kind of like a hack within a hack. Because like you mentioned, you know, when you go to the real estate seminars, you're always hearing you know, the single-family homes, and that's the way to wealth, but you bring in a different perspective. And you know because you did it and you interview people that have done it and all those things, and you understand it, there's definitely a better way, which I love that.

Michael Blank 8:02

Yeah, I mean, most people when they hear that go, this is great, Michael, but how do I do it? Without experience? Why don't I you know, why don't I landlord for five to 10 years, and I learn my experience and the money I'm making, I'll roll it into apartments.

So the perception is that it's a very advanced strategy that requires lots of money. And it is, but it isn't. So in other words, you don't actually need your own experience. In fact, having single-family house experience does very little, you get very little credibility, if none at all, from having flipped or landlord houses, it's a different second different world.

And number two, you don't need your own money, because you're gonna end up raising it. Even if you have money. If you have $100,000 or 500,000, I don't care, okay, you have enough money to do one deal, then what then you're gonna be out of money. So either way, you're gonna be raising money.

So you don't actually need money to start with it all in the experience, the part you overcome by educating yourself, which is easy to do and relatively inexpensive. And then you build a team of people around you like brokers, and property managers, who are more experienced, you have advisors, and then you talk about yourself confidently using the right words, in terms of your team and also to the outside. Are you looking incredibly experienced when you actually haven't done a single deal yet?

Gresham Harkless 9:08

Right? That makes perfect sense because you're leaning on the expertise of the strategy, and also the people that are on your team, which is insanely important. And would you consider that what I would call your secret sauce? What do you feel kind of distinguishes you and sets you apart? Is that part of it?

Michael Blank 9:21

Well, the secret sauce, I suppose is my focus my maniacal focus on the first deal. In fact, I coined something called the law the first deal in my book, because it's so so universal like it literally I have not found a single exception to the rule where someone intentionally does a multifamily deal of any size, including a duplex they always have quit their jobs in three to five years.

And in fact, it's never that long. It's normally one to two years. And that's very, very powerful. So all we have to do is help someone do their first deal, the bigger the better. But if it's only a duplex, it still triggers a law on the first deal and that to me is very encouraging and very powerful.

Gresham Harkless 9:57

Right and so the law of the first deal, can you talk a little and more about that about what exactly that is? Is that just getting the ball rolling? Or is there something more to it?

Michael Blank 10:04

Law of first deal. Basically, it says that the first deal is always taken is the hardest to do takes the longest, and is the smallest. And there's obviously a lot of obvious reasons for that. But then what happens is when they've done that first deal, that small first deal, the second and third follow in rapid, almost automatic succession to happen without trying. And the reason for that is because once you've closed your first deal, the brokers that maybe were kind of brushing you off are like, Oh my gosh, this guy did a deal.

So they start calling you with deals, and they start calling you with deals that aren't even listed yet. That's where the magic is your investors who are like oh, let me see how Gresh does here with a first while I'm on the fence, let's see what he does. And then he closes his first deal. Well, they're now they're gonna come off the fence.

So it becomes much easier now to acquire new deals and to raise more money and your confidence and your comfort zone expand so much as you do a deal. So the progression is two units, 10 units, 25 units, 50, and then plus something, something like that. So wherever your comfort zone is, right now, if your comfort zone is 10 units, then the first deal might be a 10 unit. The second deal might be somewhere between 25 and 50.

And the third deal is going to be somewhere between 50 and 100. Typically, that's the progression. And then now you control, you know, 100 units. And you know, now you're making about $10,000 a month.

Gresham Harkless 11:15

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I absolutely love that. Because the hardest part is usually just getting started. So when you're able to do that, then like like dominoes stuff starts to fall over, you start to get bigger and better. So I love that concept. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective, and efficient.

Michael Blank 11:32

Wow, good. A hack is something I started doing a few years ago, as I've always struggled with a morning routine, right? And I knew I had to have one. But I just I still struggle with meditating. And that stuff until I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, I don't if you've read it or not, but who's listening, gotta read this book, it's a great hack. Because what it does is he shows you what to do with the first 60 minutes of the day, right?

So it's a rhythm of the silence of reading, meditating, praying, writing, and visualizing. And it kind of provides you a system for that, like, oh my gosh, now I know what to do. And it's just like this blueprint for what to do in the first 60 minutes.

And this does a lot of very many powerful things depending on what you're doing. You know, if you feel gratitude, right, that sets your day up. If you visualize it makes your goals more powerful. If you reflect on how you interacted with people the day before it strengthens your relationships.

So it's really been a major difference. And, and Hal actually speaking at my event in Dallas, at the end of July. So we have Hal Elrod speaking there, and we get to hang out with him a little bit. And that's really exciting. Looking forward to that.

Gresham Harkless 12:34

Yeah, it goes back to what you were saying about making sure that you surround yourself with a good team and people that are experts. So being able to kind of leverage and tap into that expertise is definitely huge. So I definitely agree with that. I mean, I love that book, read it. So I'm definitely gonna pick that up. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to be a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Michael Blank 12:54

Oh, my gosh, I want to handle myself Rich Dad, Poor Dad, as soon as it came out, which would have been in the late 90s, not in reading till I was until it was 2004. And it really comes down to you know, financial education. Really, what does that mean in setting up your financial plan? You know, putting that ladder up against the right wall, which is financial freedom, right?

Do you want to set something up? If you're starting a business, this is one of the frustrating things, sometimes you start a business, what is your exit strategy for that business? Right? Are you going to? Are you going to toil and labor in your business until the day you drop? Right? Or is there some kind of exit plan, right, so an exit plan could be either selling the business or better yet replacing yourself with a president of some sort, and then that person runs a business and now you essentially deriving income from that business.

And now you can sit on the beach for three months until you get bored, and then you start another business? Right. But most entrepreneurs don't have an exit plan, right? So they're just creating another job for themselves. And that's really frustrating. So really being clear about what do you want your business to do for you, right, because we end up working for our own business instead of the business working for us. And there's another great book I read recently called profit first.

And it really exemplifies how you treat the money, the sales coming in. And most entrepreneurs, this is the perfect example of this mentality is most entrepreneurs have sales coming in, then they spend as they spend, as in, they invest in it. And then if something is leftover, they use it as a profit well, in most cases, because entrepreneurs always need to grow. We're all in thinking, growth, growth, growth, we're spending as much as we can. So we grow as fast as we can. And there's nothing left over.

So we live, we live from paycheck to paycheck, we have no emergency fund, you know, and if we have a bad month or two, all of a sudden now we're destitute and Profit First says Look, why don't you architect make the business work for you, you create your sales, you take your profit target out first, and then you have to spend what's left. And if you don't have enough to spend, you're gonna have to get resourceful and entrepreneurs are really resourceful but there's a shift now the business is working for me and not and not the other way around.

Gresham Harkless 14:47

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. It's all the concept of pay yourself first and pay yourself first, whatever that looks like. And then you know, as you said, you start to tap into that creativity that a lot of entrepreneurs have to figure out how to take care of or whatever else needs to take care of.

So I love that CEO nugget. And now I wanted to ask you for the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Michael, what is being a CEO mean to you?

Michael Blank 14:47

Being king.

Gresham Harkless 14:47

There you go.

Michael Blank 14:47

Benevolent Dictator.

Gresham Harkless 14:48

Exactly. You get that you get to have the Empire yourself, and you get to build it how you wanted to build it. So I definitely

Michael Blank 14:59

That's right!

Gresham Harkless 15:01

I love that definition. Well, Michael, I truly appreciate your time. I want to pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know and how of course they can find you get a copy of your book and listen to your podcasts.

Michael Blank 15:34

Yeah, the book is probably a great, great entry point into my universe. It's called Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing. It's on Amazon. My website is themichaelblanc.com. Or just Google Apartment Building Investing. And it should be fairly easy to find.

We have a whole bunch of free resources. We have a YouTube channel, we have a podcast, we have blog articles, and then we have training programs and mentoring and live events as well. So anyone who thinks they might want to be learning more about multifamily investing, hopefully, we can help them out.

Gresham Harkless 16:05

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And we'll make sure to have all those links in the show notes as well so that anybody can follow up with you but I appreciate you so much again for you know all the awesome things that you're doing and the time you took today and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

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Outro 16:16

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresham from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Michael Blank of Nighthawk Equity. Michael, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Michael Blank 0:35

Hey, it's great to be here. Thanks so much for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:37

No problem is super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Michael because he's doing some awesome things so you can learn a little bit more about him. And Michael Black is an Entrepreneur, Investor, Author (“Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing”). He is Coach, and leading authority on apartment investing in the United States. As the CEO of Nighthawk Equity, Best-selling Author, Host of the Apartment Building Investing Podcast, Columnist and Real Estate Investor, Blank’s passionate about helping people become financially free in 3-5 years by investing in apartment building deals with a special focus on raising money. Through Blank’s investment company, Nighthawk Equity, he controls over $27M million in performing multifamily assets all over the United States and has raised over $6M. In addition to his own investing activities, he’s helped students purchase over 2,300 units valued at $86M through his unique “Deal Desk” and training programs. Blank’s been interviewed by top real estate podcasts, including Bigger Pockets, Joe Fairless (Best Ever Show), Get Rich Education, Cashflow Ninja and many more. “The Michael Blank” blog has also been listed in the Top 25 Real Estate Investing Blogs of 2018 by Leap Property Management, and he is a Contributor to FlipNerd. Michael, are you ready to speak to the I MA CEO community?

Michael Blank 1:52

I am. Let's do it.

Gresham Harkless 1:53

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you to start your business?

Michael Blank 1:59

Yeah, so I mean, I was an entrepreneur at heart always, but I didn't know it until I was in probably my gosh, my early 30s. So I was just you know, I was never surrounded by any of them. My dad was IBM for 40 years. And none of my family was so I went to school and I got my good grades and check the boxes I got into into computer programming. And I was in the right place the right time. And I joined a company called Web methods in the late 90s. We went public and put a bunch of money in my pocket, which was great. And then I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, it doesn't matter how much money you have the bank, it matters how much passive income you had. And I had very, very little and so after some some soul searching, I decided that I was going to abandon my background as an software person and my job. And I figured I had enough runway. So I just quit my job and did a bunch of stuff all at once. You know, I started to flip some houses, I took some learn how to trade stocks and options. And I've got into an apartment building course. But my big idea Gresh was restaurants. And this is because I was you know those Five Guys Burgers directly from our area in Northern Virginia. And so I knew some of the franchisees there and they're like, Oh, this is great. You just would just cost this much to open. you'll hire someone to run all these restaurants and you sit back and count the passive income. I'm like, sweet, that's exactly what Robert Kiyosaki talks about make a long story short, I subsequently lost my appeal millions in that restaurant experience added a couple of $100,000 of unsecured lines of credit on top of that almost lost my house and clawed my way out with real estate. In my case, like so many it was with single family house investing. So in my case, it was flipping houses, and I was making good money with it. The problem was after why we're buying two houses every month, and I had a team in lalala. But man, it was a lot of work. So I had gotten into this apartment building during this period. And meanwhile the apartment building was sending me mailbox money after a while I was like, Man, I mean, I gotta get out as I created my rat race, my own rat race for me. So I was my own entrepreneur working for myself. But then I came to realization that's not actually the end goal. The end goal was financial freedom, meaning that I could do whatever I wanted. I could take a break, I could keep going, you know, I could work on my terms I just found I couldn't it was frustrating to me, because I thought that's what my goal was. And it turns out it wasn't so I shifted to apartment buildings and I started blogging about it on the bigger pockets and people were very interested in asking me questions. So I did some seminars and I developed my my syndicated deal analyzer and we put on some some courses, online courses. And today we have, you know, the podcasts, we have the book, we have mentoring programs, we have live events. And so our goal really is to help people become financially free with real estate. So many people are thinking single family houses, but then very few people actually quit their jobs single family houses most 95% quietly do with apartment buildings. And that's what gets me really excited.

Gresham Harkless 4:38

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, it's definitely you know, great to hear you know, you've been able to to get out of that because like you mentioned in the very beginning a lot of times your reality or what's real or what can be possible in the world and sometimes what's around you but like you mentioned like when you were introduced to these things and you started to it started to become your reality and next thing you know, you know, you're you have your own real estate empire.

Michael Blank 4:56

Yeah, I mean, I think I think you gotta be clear about what you want, right? So sometimes we Just get on the ladder. And we climb up when we when we get to the top when we realized the ladder was leaning up against the wrong wall. And that was my case. And I just wasn't clear what I really wanted, right? So you know, here's the thing. And when people who have quit quit their jobs, no one actually retires, like who wants that now, maybe we retire for like a couple months, but then you get really bored. So you always going to be working. That's just a way that humans are wired, you know, maybe in particular men, but just in general, we have to do something productive. But within that, right, we want to be able to provide for our families in a one hand, but we also want to control our time, we wanted to work on our terms. And that's really what entrepreneurship allows you to do. The danger with entrepreneurship, as you know, is that we can always do more, we can always work harder. And so we start losing that life balance if we're not careful.

Gresham Harkless 5:44

Yeah, absolutely. And and that's why I love you know, what you've been able to build, but also what you're helping others do. And I know there might be people that are listening or watching. So could you tell us a little bit more on you know, those people that might be listening, watching maybe on the rung ladder, or maybe just in a nine to five and trying to figure out how to get out?

Michael Blank 5:59

Well, it depends, right? I mean, it depends if someone is thinking real estate, which some listening watching are, they're like, oh my gosh, you know, if I want to retire sometime, next 10 years, maybe I should buy a rental property, you know, maybe I'll try to write or buy a rental property every year, one every other year. And those are that's those are good thoughts to have, right? People already thinking, hey, this can't go on for varried people have different reasons why they can't go on. But they're like, Man, I gotta get out of this thing in 10 years, or five years for various different reasons. And most people then gravitate towards single family house investing. And that's because every time you go to the local real estate investing meetings, that's what 98% of people do and talk about, but like I said, if I've studied it, and I have, I've written a book about it, and I interview people who have quit their jobs and, and most of them start with single families like I did, and they realize the insanity of it, they realize that they can actually never get there. If you play this through, you could have maybe a portfolio of 40 rental properties, but my gosh, that's a lot of properties to buy, then you're going to manage it. And most people in single family are going to do what they're going to manage it themselves, that turns into a nightmare. And few that do go over the hump day creating property management companies, I don't want to create a property management company. That's not really my idea of fun, but that's some way that people doing it. But on the other hand, with multifamily you most people do three deals three transactions, and they have covered a living expenses. And this is because it's relatively easy to get into it starting, let's say small, and then the second and third deal become progressively easier and bigger. And so most people then have having done three deals have replaced their their income and they love it so much. They just keep on going. Because it's so much it's so much fun. And the people have decided to get into that. I mean, they literally have covered their living expenses within one to two years of of the point where they decided that they're going to start with multifamily. And that's out of all the shenanigans I've done. You know, everything I've done, it is the fastest, most reliable, most learnable business you can start.

Gresham Harkless 7:43

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I absolutely love that. And I love because it's kind of like a hack within a hack. Because like you mentioned, you know, when you go to the real estate seminars, you're always hearing you know, the single family homes, and that's the way to wealth, but you bring in a different perspective. And you knowing because you did it and you interview people that have done it and all those things, and you understand it, there's definitely a better way, which I love that.

Michael Blank 8:02

Yeah, I mean, most people when they hear that they go, this is great, Michael, but how do I do it? Without experience? Why don't I you know, why don't I landlord for five to 10 years, and I learn my experience and the money I'm making, I'll roll it into apartments. So it the perception is that it's it's a very advanced strategy that requires lots of money. And it is, but it isn't. So in other words, you don't actually need your own experience. In fact, having single family house experience does very little, you get very little credibility, if none at all, from having flipped or landlord houses, it's a different second different world. And number two, you don't need your own money, because you're gonna end up raising it. Even if you have money. If you have $100,000 or 500,000, I don't care, okay, you have enough money to do one deal, then what then you're gonna be out of money. So either way, you're gonna be raising money. So you don't actually need money to start with it all in the experience, part you overcome by educating yourself, which is easy to do relatively inexpensive. And then you build a team of people around you like brokers, property managers, who are more experienced, you have advisors, and then you talk about yourself confidently using the right words, in terms of your team and also to the outside. You looking incredibly experienced when you actually haven't done a single deal yet?

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Gresham Harkless 9:08

Right? That makes perfect sense, because you're leaning on the expertise of the strategy and also the people that are on your team, which is insanely important. And would you consider that what I would call it like your secret sauce? What do you feel kind of distinguishes you and sets you apart? Is that part of it?

Michael Blank 9:21

Well, the secret sauce, I suppose is my focus my maniacal focus on the first deal. In fact, I coined something called the law the first deal in my book, because it's so so universal like it literally I have not found a single exception to the rule where someone intentionally does a multifamily deal of any size, including a duplex they they always have quit their jobs in three to five years. And in fact, it's never that long. It's normally one to two years. And that's very, very powerful. So all we have to do is is help someone do their first deal, the bigger the better. But if it's only a duplex, it still triggers a law the first deal and that that to me is very encouraging and very powerful.

Gresham Harkless 9:57

Right and so the law of the first deal, can you talk a little and more about that about what exactly that is? Is that just getting the ball rolling? Or is there something more to it.

Michael Blank 10:04

Law of first deal. Basically, it says that the the first deal is always takes is the hardest to do takes the longest and is the smallest. And there's obviously a lot of obvious reasons for that. But then what happens is when they've done that first deal, that small first deal, the second and third follow in rapid, almost automatic succession to happen without trying. And the reason for that is because once you've closed your first deal, the brokers that maybe were kind of brushing you off are like, Oh my gosh, this guy did a deal. So they start calling you with deals, and they start calling you with deals that aren't even listed yet. That's where the magic is your investors who like oh, let me see how Gresh does here with a first while I'm on the fence, let's see what he does. And then he closes his first deal. Well, they're now they're gonna come off the fence. So it becomes much easier now to acquire new deals and to raise more money and your confidence and your comfort zone expand so much as you do a deal. So the progression is two units, 10 units, 25 units, 50, and then plus something, something like that. So wherever your comfort zone is, right now, if your comfort zone is 10 units, then the first deal might be a 10 unit. The second deal might be somewhere between 25 and 50. And the third deal is going to be somewhere between 50 and 100. Typically, that's the progression. And then now you control, you know, 100 units. And you know, now you're you're making about $10,000 a month.

Gresham Harkless 11:15

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I absolutely love that. Because the hardest part is usually just getting started. So when you're able to do that, then like like dominoes stuff starts to fall over, you start to get bigger and better. So I love that concept. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective, efficient.

Michael Blank 11:32

Wow, good. A hack is something I started doing a few years ago, as I've always struggled with a morning routine, right. And I knew I had to have one. But I just I still struggle with meditating. And that stuff until I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, I don't if you've read or not, who's listening, gotta read this book, it's a great hack. Because what it does is it he shows you what to do with the first 60 minutes of the day, right. So it's a rhythm of silence of reading, of meditating, praying, of writing, visualizing. And it kind of provides you a system for that, like, oh my gosh, now I know what to do. And it's just like this blueprint for what to do in the first 60 minutes. And this does a lot of very many powerful things depending on what you're doing. You know, you if you feel gratitude, right, that sets your day up. If you visualize it makes your goals more powerful. If you reflect on how you interacted with people the day before it strengthens your relationships. So it's really been a major difference. And, and Hal actually speaking at my event in Dallas, in end of July. So we have Hal Elrod speaking there, and we get to hang out with him a little bit. And that's really excited. Looking forward tothat.

Gresham Harkless 12:34

Yeah, it goes back to what you were saying on making sure that you surround yourself with a good team and people that are experts. So being able to kind of leverage and tap into that expertise is definitely huge. So I definitely agree with that. I mean, I love that book, read it. So I'm definitely gonna pick that up. And now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Michael Blank 12:54

Oh, my gosh, I want to handle myself Rich Dad, Poor Dad, as soon as it came out, which would have been late 90s, not in reading till I was, until it was 2004. And it really comes down to you know, financial education. Really, what does that mean in setting up your financial plan? You know, putting that ladder up against the right wall, which is financial freedom, right? You want to set something up? If you're starting a business, this is one of the frustrating things, sometimes you starting a business, what is your exit strategy for that business? Right? Are you going to? Are you going to toil and labor in your business until the day you drop? Right? Or is there some kind of exit plan, right, so an exit plan could be either selling the business or better yet replacing yourself with a president of some sort, and then that person runs a business and now you essentially deriving income from that business. And now you can sit on the beach for three months until you get bored, and then you start another business? Right. But most entrepreneurs don't have the exit plan, right? So they're just they're just create another job for themselves. And that's really frustrating. So really being clear about what do you want your business to do for you, right, because we end up working for our own business instead of the business working for us. And there's another great book I read recently called profit first. And it really it really exemplifies how you treat the money, the sales coming in. And most entrepreneurs, this is the perfect example of this mentality is most entrepreneurs have sales coming in, then they spend as they spend, as in, they invest in it. And then if something leftover, they use it as a profit well, most in most cases, because entrepreneurs always need to grow. We're all in thinking, growth, growth, growth, we're spending as much as we can. So we grow as fast as we can. And there's nothing left over. So we live, we live from paycheck to paycheck, we have no emergency fund, you know, and if we have a bad month or two, all of a sudden now we're destitute and Profit First says Look, why don't you architect make the business work for you, you create your sales, you take your profit target out first, and then you have to spend what's left. And if you don't have enough to spend, you're gonna have to get resourceful and entrepreneurs are really resourceful but there's a shift now the business is working for me and not and not the other way around.

Gresham Harkless 14:47

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. It's all the concept of pay yourself first and pay yourself first, whatever that looks like. And then you know, like you said, you start to tap into that creativeness that a lot of entrepreneurs have to figure out how to take care or whatever else needs to take care of. So I love that CEO nugget. And now I wanted to ask you for the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Michael, what is being a CEO mean to you?

Michael Blank 14:47

Being king.

Gresham Harkless 14:47

There you go.

Michael Blank 14:47

Benevolent Dictator.

Gresham Harkless 14:48

Exactly. You get that you get to have the Empire yourself, and you get to build it how you wanted to build it. So I definitely

Michael Blank 14:59

That's right!

Gresham Harkless 15:01

I love that definition. Well, Michael, I truly appreciate your time. I want to pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know and how of course they can find you get a copy of your book and listen to your podcasts.

Michael Blank 15:34

Yeah, the book is probably a great, great entry point into into my universe. It's called Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing. It's on Amazon. My website is themichaelblanc.com . Or just just Google Apartment Building Investing. And it should be fairly easy to find. We have a whole bunch of free resources. We have a YouTube channel, we have a podcast, we have blog articles, and then we have training programs and mentoring and live events as well. So anyone who thinks they might want to be learning more about multifamily investing, hopefully we can help them out.

Gresham Harkless 16:05

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And we'll make sure to have all those links in the show notes as well so that anybody can follow up with you but I appreciate you so much again for you know all the awesome things that you're doing the time you took today and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:16

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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