know your why podcast with jason balara and tommy brant
Dr. Jason Balara: Hi everyone, I’m Jason Balara, and this is the Know Your Why Podcast. Today I’m here with Tommy Brant. Tommy Brant is a ‘recovering‘ electrical engineer and data scientist turned full-time Real Estate Investor. Tommy, first of all, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate you for taking the time out.
Tommy Brant: For sure, like I’ve mentioned before I was scanning through a couple of your episodes and you’ve had a lot of hot shots, celebrities, and superstars in this space. Honestly, I’m just humbled and honored to be a part of that and hopefully, I could add value to your listeners.
Dr. Jason Balara: I’m 100 percent sure that you will and I think everybody has value to add. Look at what people are at 5 years from now where you are in your journey none of that really matters it’s getting better every day, with that being said why don’t you tell us your background, your story, where you came from, and where you are headed and then will dive into that from there.
Tommy Brant: Thanks, Jason. I do joke that I’m a ‘recovering‘ electrical engineer of 12 years and I work with the same company since I graduated. I graduated from Georgia Tech as an electrical engineer. I grew up in Georgia most of my life and work took me to middle Tennessee primarily just on the outskirts of Nashville. I’ve been in Nashville, Tennessee for 13 years last January. I worked as an electrical engineer for most of that time. Most of it was customer-facing, and the sales side of the organization. Toward the end there I was trying to figure out what I want to do, and what would be my next step. Do I want to be in sales for 30 years? So I started engaging in data science courses, and I got a data science specialization from John Hopkins University. That led me a little bit to the operation side of the business so business analyst and sales operations, rather than being customer-facing. I thought that was what I wanted, turned out that’s not what I wanted.
Through that process, I did gain a lot of confidence in my ability to understand what it takes to run my own business. Right before operating a multibillion-dollar a year revenue business. Surely, starting a business for myself and starting from the ground up couldn’t be nearly as challenging when it comes to managing pipeline and headcount. All the things that go into that one and so I gained a lot of confidence overcoming the impostor syndrome. If I’m coming into this business, who am I to tell all GPs and Directors what’s going on in their business? Surely, they would know better coming from the number side and from the PNL side the per product line type of thing. I’m trying to add value in that way but also just going through that ‘hey Tommy, there’s a gap in the business, go fill it’. It really satisfied my itch as an entrepreneur. You can imagine that! You have a business, get it going, get it off the ground.
So that was an adventure in the south. How that translates to the real estate side of things, my first intro to real estate was in 2006 while I was still in college. I worked for my friend’s dad who was a general contractor and we made mobile homes rent-ready. We’re most of the time doing light rehab, cleaning it up, cutting the lawn, and then just turning them for the market to rent. Given the demographic and the location about 15% of that was post-eviction. So you’re walking into some of these units and it looks like just a natural disaster that swept through the inside of the place. There is trash in one corner, hypodermic needles in the other corner, there are used diapers in another corner and you are wondering how this thing caused that spider mark two rooms over. The utilities have been cut-off for two weeks and you’re looking at your friend, who’s going to clean the fridge, not it. It was full of surprises but through that, that did two things for me. One is that it built a lot of character and two it definitely gave me the ability to see through the clutter. I have a vision for the finished product and so that introduction to light construction will call it light renovation directly affected my ability to choose my house, whenever I was ready.
Fast forward to 2011, I graduated college with about 3 years worth of savings for being an engineer, I’m ready to stop renting. So I started poking around on Zillow and I found this house closely undervalue relative to all its neighbors. So I said okay, this is a good start. It was a short
sale from the bank and my realtor thought I was crazy when I told her I wanted this house. Every single room needed to be updated. There was a nice sagging bulge, and a drywall over the garage from the roof leak. There was a pool in the back that was solid black. There was pool houses with no foundation. They were just cut, it was slow motion like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. They were starting to lean a little too heavily on one side. And I told my realtor as I want this house and she shoved five other houses in front of me, she’s like let’s just look at like something that doesn’t need any work and give you a feel for the market and so fast forward, I didn’t buy any of the houses she showed me. I bought this house, it was a short sale and so it was a slow-living flip. And I rented out a bedroom to a colleague of mine so he was paying the mortgage while I was funding the repairs during that time.
And so every year I would say about for one, what I call a major project. So I saved up one year for all new hardwood, the living space, the foyer, the garden in the back, and the sunroom another year was nothing, but the kitchen, I waited until like a hailstorm. So I could have an insurance claim to replace the roofs. I will call that strategic or happy accident whatever you want to call that one. Fast forward to 2020, we liquidated that property. I didn’t owe anything on it because I was drinking a lot of the Dave Ramsey cool-aid back then.
All debt is bad debt and there’s no such thing as good debt. You know, things I would do differently probably leverage some of the equity that I injected into that a little bit sooner. But nevertheless, after that, I bought three single-family homes in a six-month time span. Getting heavily educated on everything, bigger pockets. After reading the Rich Dad, Poor Dad, probably too late in my life, not too late. It’s never too late but at reading it later in my life. I wish I would have come across it. Then I just got heavily invested in real estate. If you ask my friends, what I’m really good at, they would say, he’s really good at taking a new subject and learning it really quickly, learning something quickly.
I think if you unpacked that, It’s like if there is a wrong way to do something, I’ll find it. And so you can afford that in single-family space, you can afford to make a couple of mistakes and stuff like that. And so but whenever I was trying to figure out what to do with the proceeds from my flip, I was looking at everything except real estate. So I was like, let me see what day trading looks like, let me see what goes into that. I read some books by billionaire fund managers. And my takeaway there was to buy ETFs and don’t look at them for 30 years with that said, that’s not really going to get me to where I want to be in the timeline that I want to be. What else can I do? I looked at e-commerce stores and Amazon businesses. I finally gave up and I was like, fine, I guess I’ll look more into this real estate stuff.
So now I’ve got a couple of single-family homes that use long-term rentals. I’ve got a vacation rental in Panama City Beach. I’ve invested as a limited partner in two apartment syndications. One in Louisville, one in Huntsville, and a couple of Thursday’s ago we closed on a 55-unit storage facility. Probably, a couple of things to unpack, right? A lot of it has been due to networking and constantly staying engaged in local networks here in town virtually, but also constantly educating myself on business, building teams, mindset and staying motivated, having a proper perspective on that types of things. So that’s where I’m at today.
Dr. Jason Balara: Definitely, a lot to unpack there but I think a lot of really good stuff that sort of that journey that we can sort of pull apart and show people here are some really good steps to take and specifically in the overarching theme here is, you take action and you educate yourself. When you decide you’re going to do something, even that process of sort of working through. Okay. What about what do I want to do with it? As my sort of investing future and saying yeah, no it’s not 30 years in an ETF it’s not an Amazon store. There’s going through that process figuring it out but not spending 10 years on that. Like okay, no, that doesn’t work for me. What are my goals? How do these investment vehicles fit into my goals and that sort of thing?
I think, backing up a little bit, I find this with basically every guest but our backstory, our past lives. Whatever it is, where ever you might come from it all fits into kind of the real estate space and maybe that’s because real estate space has so much diversity, so many different angles that you can come at it with but you know for example you were kind of working in and cleaning up these mobile homes. Seeing that sort of construction side seeing what it’s like to deal with whether that’s evictions, things like that. Those are skills that many people don’t have they don’t get that experience. I’ve done these things as well so I know they’re not 100% good experiences. it’s not nice to open that refrigerator. That’s been when the powers have been off for weeks. The point is you know you saw what that’s like you saw, so you can even if you never did any more construction for the rest of your life, you can speak intelligently about it from there and know what goes into rehabbing units whatever that unit applies to and then even your engineering background with sales, business development, and management.
It all fits, right? It all fits in that whether it’s single-family, multifamily, syndication whether it’s self-storage, there’s a business component to all of these. It is kind of having a little piece of each of your past experiences to put in there, which I think is incredibly important. I feel like I find many of my guests use that to their advantage.
It’s some sort of a long-winded way of getting to this question. Do you have specific things you would point to from your past that you’ve used that really helped you kind of find your way into real estate investing specifically I know you’re sort of heading towards syndication. How would you incorporate those past experiences?
Tommy Brant: I guess I’ll lead off by saying a couple of things, for me as an engineer, everyone is going to leverage their past experience. Everyone’s going to be a product of the environment where they were raised, where they got educated, and where they’re working. Everyone is on a different journey and it’s not always a straight line. It’s going to be zigzaggy and some regards. And so, I’m no different. So I’m leveraging. What are some of the professional skills that I developed in working as an engineer professionally for 12 years?
It just so happens to be a lot of it was customer-facing. So, I’m on top of professional communications, managing expectations, with the intent to exceed them, and some of that is sales. If you want to take safe expectation management, you have to manage it to a point where you can overdeliver or at least have the perception that you’re over-delivering. Over-managing isn’t the right word but you definitely want to over-perform from the customer’s perception.
As far as that goes, that comes with anchoring the discussion somewhere and then elevating it right based on your performance and your delivery there. Knowing that, maybe I have some soft skills and hard skills to bring to the table, then it’s a matter of, okay, I’m ten-plus years of business experience. Where do I fit? If I say, I know I don’t want to be in the engineering space forever just because from my perspective, my takeaway was it was difficult really impossible for me to align my engineering job, industry, or career with my real estate investments. For me, I’m living a double life. There’s no alignment. There’s no clean sweep to that, where it’s like if I’m a realtor there’s definitely some alignment there. If I’m a property manager, there’s some alignment of skills there.
You could argue even the same thing if you’re a lender, some things like that. So based on what I have plus that this is the part that a lot of people don’t think about how you want to grow. So based on where I’m at and where I want to grow as an individual, what fits into that space and so for me, I know I want to get better at maybe public speaking, oratory skills, presentation ability, just because I feel like there’s so much that is perceived from a person based on their ability to present.
So I think you’re not going to have a weak leader in a business that can’t speak well about their vision or elaborate on their values and things like that. So, I need to have the opportunity to practice this maybe in a low-risk environment. Even going on podcasts like this I look at it as an opportunity to sharpen my skill.
Based on my skills plus where I want to be I just saw a lot of that line up with syndication and that’s kind of helped my decision to go full-time and lean fully into this one. The other component of that one was a kind of self-discovery and that if I have no option and I only have one way to go that’s better for me. The likelihood that I’m going to rise to the occasion and execute is way higher if I don’t have an option. Putting myself in a situation where, alright we’ve capitalized. We saved up for two years’ expenses. My wife is still working, let’s go on day one. So I’ve put in my hundred-day notice on my 35th birthday, we’re coming up really close to one year anniversary for being full-time in real estate. There was a quote that someone said one time where it’s like don’t underestimate how far someone can come in a year and so I’m excited. I think I’ve come really far as just networking but also a lot of the traction we’ve had in our business whether it’s tangible or intangible. I’m really pleased with how far we’ve come, but I’m excited to see what I accomplished another year from now. I think it’s going to be astronomical and way more exponential than what we did in the past year. For me, it’s like I was initially looking at everything in the single-family housing space.
I interviewed a couple of realtors or even a couple of property managers and I was like, I don’t want to be a realtor. I don’t want to be a property manager. I don’t want to be a wholesaler. I don’t want to be a flipper. I don’t want to be a lender. Figuring out what I don’t want to do is arguably the first step in that one. I would say that the syndication I think is not really well known that it exists that you can team up with a bunch of people and go buy real estate together. That’s probably a foreign topic to people.
I think when most people are driving around downtown in the cities, huge apartment buildings are like oh that’s owned by a conglomerate corporation with billions and gazillions of dollars and all this stuff. They’re not thinking that’s probably a small group of like 20 people or private investors that are owning this building downtown. It took me a while to get educated and even find out that that existed. But once I did find out that that existed, I was like this speaks the most to me, based on where I’m at and where I want to be.
Dr. Jason Balara: Yeah, a lot of really great points. Just kind of piggybacking on what you said about, underestimating that year. There’s another quote that I really like is that most people will overestimate what they can do in a year. But underestimate what they can do in five years or 10 years or whatever it is, something like that. It’s true because as you mentioned, you use the word traction and it’s something that in the beginning, it’s going to feel like nothing’s happening. You’re like doing whatever you can, you’re educating yourself. You actually wanted to touch on this too. You talked about, sort of using opportunities to learn to speak more eloquently, whatever word you want to use. Basically, to be able to have your presentation skills be sort of top-notch so that you can lead a business a company. I agree with you a hundred percent. It’s in a very important skill.
If what you’re talking to them about doesn’t sound natural to you, probably especially if you’re trying to bring in investors, they probably not going to feel very confident in investing with you. You may know cold, like the back of your hand, but if you can’t, then express that to other people in a way that they can understand and everybody’s going to understand maybe a little bit differently too. You have to develop that skill. So I think that’s huge but you’re doing all that in the beginning, right? You’re like, how can I make myself better at this before anything’s really happening, but then you hit that traction point where you see things happening. You closed that self-storage deal in your like, it’s just going to pick up from there. Like it’s going to open up doors. Your opportunities are going to become more plentiful and you’ll be able to get more selective pick and choose what you want to do, that kind of thing. So it’s a really cool kind of process to work through. What you’re doing, the things that you’re describing for people listening is exactly what you have to do to make that happen, right? It’s not just going to happen. It’s not just leaving your W2 job and say, okay I’m a real estate investor now. Nobody’s going to make that happen for you. So you’re taking all those steps. You’re taking a calculated risk. You know there’s a lot of thought and sort of work that goes into getting into that.
Switching that mode I guess out of W2 into being an entrepreneur and business owner. I think one of the reasons why you work through all those single-family options and stuff and you said that you didn’t want to do that. Probably one of the reasons why syndication appeals I’m guessing is because it’s a business. It’s actually a business. Each property is running a business. It really does kind of scratch that entrepreneurial itch quite well because you’ve got to put all those processes, systems, and things that you’ve been learning into place to make the each of these properties function efficiently.
Tommy Brant: For sure, for sure. Yeah, the thing that drew me to syndication was definitely the I feel like I was able to give back more, or we could be way more inclusive of the people that wanted to be in real estate but didn’t have the time to invest, understand the market or analyze deals or find deals stuff of that sort. I start getting questions like hey, Tommy, I see you did this thing with your house or this other apartment building. Let me know when another one of those comes up, but in the single-family spacers, there’s really no room for small players, like teams of three are practically unheard of in single-family spaces. It’s kind of one or two people and they’re doing all or most of the work in those types of scenarios.
With the bigger assets, you’re allowed to specialize in something. You’re allowed to focus on asset management or maybe you’re just a deal finder, or maybe your plus underwriter that type of thing. Maybe like you can get equity in a property just for being local to the market that blows my mind. You are just being a connector that can earn you equity in some of these properties and that’s exciting to me. Outside of that, I would say because you’re allowed to focus your opportunities to scale the business while maintaining low operational costs and stuff like that. It’s pretty insane how well you can scale the Business without having to incur substantial operational costs.
Dr. Jason Balara: Yeah, and you would do that. I think just two people understand that you do that by partnering with others, right? You have sort of two ways to build that team, you can either partner or you can hire, and especially in the beginning, you don’t sort of you don’t step into real estate syndication and suddenly have a bunch of money that just doesn’t work that way.
It’s not actually a high-paying job at the beginning, right? It’s can be as someone who also recently, left the W2, it’s effectively a pay cut with the future in mind, right? It’s that vision. You have the option as I said, is either partner with other people that have complementary skill sets or start to hire your team and so it’s a balance, right? It’s figuring out that balance, especially in the beginning where It’s like, okay, people will say that equity is more expensive, right? It’s more expensive to give up a portion of the deal or give up to a partner, or someone that’s going to help you in one of those seats. Sometimes that’s what you have, right? Sometimes that’s the option that you have. If you’re the deal finder, here you are you get your equity because you found the deal. You can’t do all the parts. So you got to figure out ways to make it work. Eventually maybe somewhere down the road if you want to, you can grow it into such a business that you have hired essentially all of those positions and then you’re the CEO over it. But in the beginning, what you’re talking about is exactly right. You’ve got to find those other people to work with and the boots on the ground, the equity position sounds simple and maybe silly, and as you have said that it sort of blows your mind. But really it is not, having someone there is really key because otherwise, if you are the boots on the ground, even if you’re new, right? You’re starting out and you can provide that service that value to someone who’s maybe extremely experienced, they might have thousands of units but they don’t live in that market, you save them a lot of time, and you save them money in travel expenses.
Like it’s actually quite a valuable position to be in. So thinking about what your value proposition is and your value proposition might be I live in this market, right? It can be that simple but you have to do some of that education to figure out that that’s a thing, right? Like you wouldn’t probably think that just living in Tennessee, or living around Nashville is a valuable thing or someone who lives in the hot markets, like someone who lives in Austin.
You can be boots on the ground and be valuable for that reason. So I think it’s key to figuring out that spot, where you fit and that might evolve over time. What do you think your vision is going to be, your role in the syndication space, and understanding that sometimes in the beginning, you’re sort of doing a little bit of all of it? But where do you see yourself sort of evolving into what do you want that track to be for you?
Tommy Brant: Sure. I would lead off with, Yeah, you’re right, there’s definitely going to be a lot of overlap between what I want to do and what I need to do to get a deal done. So I do see myself as having a lot of secondary roles to play. I would say probably a secondary capital raiser, definitely available to be boots on the ground. I’m looking anywhere from Louisville to Huntsville and then including East Tennessee in there. So obviously Nashville’s between Louisville and Huntsville, but Chattanooga and Knoxville are strong-performing markets. So I could be silly if I kind of ignore those and so I can offer to be boots on the ground. If there’s, ever someone a time when you want me to drop by and get photos or give an opinion on something or if it ever could have come to involved in a deal, I’m happy to do secret shopping, monthly drop-ins stuff of that sort. You need that more so when the front end at takeover and performing the value-add business plan for the first two years.
So you know, after stabilization that probably turns into quarterly visit stuff of that sort but you know we’re a different mustache every time I go see the leasing agent and ask, hey you, how are you doing? Tell me about your property and see how receptive they are, calling from different phone numbers or something like that.
See now that they received new customers and stuff of that sort. But outside of that, I think the running joke is that everyone’s a capital raise in syndication, right? You should always be doing something to attract capital or to attract investors stuff of that sort. I’m not exempt from that.
Dr. Jason Balara: Yeah, yeah. It’s a good point. Everybody’s probably got to raise some capital, there are people that focus on that exclusively, right? That’s their niche. They want to be capital raisers, some are extremely good at it and then they partner up with operators. I think even those that are mainly the operators and partner with other capital raisers, they’re raising some capital, right? It’s a good thing because we’re providing these opportunities to people. So for an example, I don’t really consider myself a great capital raiser. I don’t even necessarily see myself having that role in a large part in the long run but at the same time coming from the veterinary world, I think that these are fantastic opportunities. I want to get veterinarians involved and so I feel it’s my responsibility to at least be offering those things out to that community. Do I want to be the person that’s talking to family auspices and things like that? Probably not. It’s like I’m fine to do it, but it’s not the part that I enjoy. But I do want vets to know about this, and I think for them to have that sort of no, like, and trust thing, it’s probably gonna be with another veterinarian.
So there are components of it that, that is unique to each one of us that. Makes our ability to raise capital from those specific avatars would be, that’s where you have that sort of almost responsibility to do that. So what’s next? You got the self-storage deal. What are the next steps that you’re planning on?
Tommy Brant: Yeah. We had a 52-unit apartment complex under contract early this year and we had to back out of that one. Because what was perceived to be a stabilized asset was actually distressed after we looked at the accounting. We started doing some direct-to-seller this year. All I’m trying to say is that we’re trying to engage. Small apartment owners directly. We have strong relationships with one or two brokers in town. We’re going with a sniper approach versus the shotgun approach.
It’s easier to manage and maintain with full transparency around that. So continued efforts on direct-to-seller activity. We’ve got a couple of pokers in the fire people that are actually responding to us and we’re able to engage in a conversation. There’s probably at least one deal that we are going to get in our contract before the end of the year.
With a couple of others probably maybe under contract next year. It’s not my timeline, it’s theirs. So some of them are dodgier than others, but I’d love to be in a position to get more pocket listings from brokers or at least network with people that are getting those pocket listings because it is July 18th. With interest rates where they are right now, they’re going up. We’re still seeing cap rates stay flat or even compressed a little in some markets around Nashville which means that my purchase number is getting further and further away from pricing guidance from brokers. So the only way I see truly a good deal that I want to take other people’s money into is gonna be pocket listings where I’m solving someone’s problem.
If I’m underwriting for 15 to 20% annualized returns, I’m not gonna be able to compete with people that are 10, 30 wanting money or have a lower cost of capital for marketed deals. And so, that’s where real estate is a team sport and it is also it’s a people business.
I’m not gonna get beat by an algorithm. If I have better relationships with people that are getting pocket listings and stuff of that sort. So being very open and honest about how I can add value, and how I can be an asset to their team is kind of how I’m positioning myself personally. That’s kind of the name of the game. Right now, multifamily is kinda lagging in what the market should be doing, which is slowly correcting itself. There are probably some markets where that’s happening, right? July 18th, 2022 is today. There’s probably some slowdown of some markets.
I think, generally speaking, you’re seeing less people meet the extravagant pricing guidance of a marketed deal. So maybe we’ll see something in the near future. I’m trying to be open to other commercial assets, rather than just being focused on what we’ll call arguably the most competitive asset class in commercial which I would say is multifamily. As I said, we closed on a 55-unit storage facility and we bought it on a good basis and its cash flows since day one. I couldn’t do that with multifamily, like cash on cash returns for anything. Right now is extremely low for multifamily. So maybe like even land flipping, like land rezoning, can I get it rezoned from residential to commercial if it’s on a highway?
So, being more open to unique opportunities like that, I’ve come to the conclusion in recent months, that opportunity isn’t always going to look like what I want it to. It’s not always going to look like a garden-style apartment complex like I would love it to. So it’s really been my network that’s opened my eyes. That’s where I’m relying on the strengths of other people who are really good at spotting opportunities like that, and I’m dipping my toe in with my personal capital, trying some of that stuff out. Maybe one day I’ll take investors into something like that but I’ve got to try it out first. So I’m in the trial mode with personal capital for other asset classes.
Dr. Jason Balara: Yeah, and I’ve done similar things. I talked about this before we even start recording, but I have the same joint venture self-storage deal, it was just being opportunistic because obviously interest rates are rising. Everybody knows that it’s causing a lot of fear but what’s interesting and I think this is just a lack of understanding, is what people are fearful that are not knowledgeable in real estate. Investors and things like that haven’t been doing this for a long time, but they don’t seem to understand that their money sitting in an account is actually losing them money because of inflation.
So it’s like, yes, it’s scary that maybe returns won’t be as good as they were over the last five years like right now, but it is still better than losing money. That’s the thing that I think a lot of people don’t understand is that they don’t see it as losing money.
They don’t see that their bank account balances just going down because of inflation. In theory, that’s really what’s happening. Our dollar is losing its purchasing power as the prices of everything go out but the values of these multifamily assets are commercial assets are continuing to rise because the rents are rising. At the moment we’re at this little bit of crossroads where people were pricing was probably too high in reality, probably too high for what kind of made sense. It’s not that all these assets are gonna lose their value it’s just not going to grow as crazy as it was before. I think that being able to take those opportunities that you see, whether it’s stealth storage or it’s land deal or you have an experience with mobile homes, so maybe it’s a mobile home park for you, but whatever it might be, and being opportunistic and putting your, your money to work for you now it is like I see these next maybe 6 to 18 months as there’s going to be some really big opportunities because of the fear in the market. So the competition is going to go down and you can look to very recent history at the beginning of Covid people that bought at the beginning of Covid just two years ago. Some of those assets are doubled in value. So it is just kind of you need to understand, the asset class and what you’re actually getting into. At the end of the day, real estate tends to be a very safe and average to the high return type of asset or investment vehicle.
Let’s switch gears, Tommy. Let’s get to where I ask you the questions that I get to ask every guest to hear these answers. The first one is based on the name of the show Know Your Why. So what’s your why? What drives you here?
Tommy Brant: It’s definitely family and then legacy, right? As I evolve in success my why right now is definitely my family, but I think everyone goes on a journey from personal success to significance. I’m definitely trying to get the business off the ground, but I’m also being mindful of my goals need to evolve and my goals need to impact more people than just myself and my business.
I’m definitely on a journey of growth right now. I would say it immediately is just a kind of financial freedom, but I want the opportunity to give back more. That’s kind of what’s driving me every day.
Dr. Jason Balara: Yeah. I love that and I’ve experienced that myself where it’s like, okay, this is definitely for my family. That’s what got me going. That’s literally why the name of this podcast is Know Your Why, right? It’s like my family made me realize, like when I had kids that, oh, this is, I need something sort of bigger. But then you get to that point where you’re like, okay, but once we get to the point where, where we’re good, right? We don’t need more. I certainly don’t want to teach my kids that we need more stuff. We don’t need bigger houses, more cars. I don’t care about any of that. What I want to teach them is how can we now turn that into an impact on the world.
It’s a fascinating journey to have that happen in your own mindset. At the best ever conference, back in February, I think there were speakers I loved the most the ones that like really riveted me. Those were the people talking about now what they’re doing with their impact. I got to the point where I’m good, my family’s good, probably my kids’ kids are good but along the way now we started sort of switching gears and evolving into this impactful charitable, whatever you want to call it philanthropic type endeavor.
That is super exciting. So I agree with you there. That’s a very cool thing to feel that attainable, right? Like at first, you’re like, I just need to be able to pay the bills. And then you’re like, wait for a second, I can really do a lot with this. So it’s a really cool transition and I guess in your mindset and the feeling of that moment, right? You feel the momentum building on the business side, but also feel what can you do for others too. So, pretty cool. Tell us something about yourself that isn’t common knowledge, a special skill, a hobby, or just something to let the listeners get to know you better.
Tommy Brant: So I play disc golf pretty actively. I’m decent. I can’t drive for 500 yards or anything like that, but if anybody out there plays disc golf and is in middle Tennessee, I could probably give you a run for your money. Maybe I’m a great doubles partner. Whatever you want to perceive that, that’s what I was gonna say.
Dr. Jason Balara: It looks cool. I’ve always wanted to play. I’ve never gotten the chance, but maybe when I’m out there you can show me. I’ll tag along and see what it’s all about. It looks very fun. I’m a terrible actual golfer, but I think I could do okay with disc golf.
Tommy Brant: Yeah. I have a rather large quiver of discs, so I got plenty to lend you.
Dr. Jason Balara: Nice. When people hear this, tell me how can they reach out to you. What’s, the best way?
Tommy Brant: For sure. Yeah, I appreciate that, Jason. I would say, my theory on everything is I want to give before I ask for something. I guess my gift to some of your listeners is if there’s any I’m happy to talk to anybody about active investing if they want to talk to maybe long-term rentals or they want to know how to automate their short-term rental business or maybe they have some questions about some of the self-storage facility and how we’re managing that.
I’m happy to talk to active investors, but I’m also open to educating passive investors. So if there’s anybody out there that’s thinking or maybe tell me, I like your markets but I’m not there or I don’t know what the market is like, and I don’t know what cities to be in.
I don’t know what counties to be in. I love my job and really can’t do anything there. Well, there are options to be a passive investor so if you go to my website on TBcapitalgroup.com. TB as in Tommy Brant capital group.com. You’ll find an opportunity to download my book.
I’m not monetizing that just because I believe in giving first. It’s called a Passive Investor’s Guide to the Multifamily Universe. So with me being an engineer, it is very data-driven. It is not fluffy. It’s a little fluff, but it’s mostly data-driven, like hard facts about apartment investing, lamb bullish on them as an asset class. The outlook also gives you an idea of different strategies and stuff of that sort, different asset classes, and how it all plays in. At the end I kind of talk about what I like and where.
Dr. Jason Balara: Awesome. Awesome. That’ll be great. We’ll put that in the show notes so people can check that out. Final question for you. What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who’s getting started kind of early in the game and they just thinking about, Hey, maybe this is for me, going through some of the processes that you went through kind of work through it in your mind. What would you tell them?
Tommy Brant: Probably, three steps. So one is to get educated partially and accept the fact that you don’t need to know everything to get started. So we’ll call it partial education. Decide on the market next and then build a team around that market. Partner up with people to help you scale your business.
Dr. Jason Balara: Yeah, great advice. All are really important steps for moving yourself forward in the business. As we are talking, nobody’s going to start at the top, you got to find a way to work there. Well, thank you, Tommy. I really appreciate having you on the show.
I think this is a great conversation. It’ll be very helpful to a lot of people that will listen. I think there’s a lot of actionable stuff for people that are kind of maybe not 10 years into this. I think it actually is probably more helpful when people are relatively early on in the space and, but have that recent history and experience to share about. This is what it took me to get to this point. It’s still sort of fresh of mine. So I appreciate you sharing all that. I think people will definitely get that in the show notes but check out your book. I think that’ll be a great thing for people to lean into as well.
Tommy Brant: Right on. Thank you very much, Jason. I appreciate the time and the banter on here. It’s great.
Dr. Jason Balara: Yeah. Awesome. All right. With that, we will go ahead and sign out.