Episode 114 – Ryan Murdock on The Military Millionaire Podcast
00:00 - 05:00
What's up military millionaires. Thank you for joining me again today on this show.
Today we're joined by the one and only Ryan Murdock. And this episode is gonna be incredible. We talked about everything from how he got started in rental properties and was able to retire from his job after building a property management team and successful real estate agency like brokerage, and how he's scaled to up over 600, close to 1000 doors, if not more of mobile home pads, and they're scaling open door capital and all the incredible lessons learned through that journey, and what his life has done for like, just the journey he's been on. So just an awesome episode.
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Welcome to the military millionaire podcast where we teach service members veterans and their families how to build wealth through personal finance, entrepreneurship and real estate investing. I'm your host, David Pere, and together with my co host, Alex Felice. We're here to be your no BS guys along the most important mission you'll ever embark on your finances.
Roger, Vick, one Oscar Mike.
What's up military millionaires. I am your host, David Pere, and I am here with the one and only Ryan Murdoch today.
So Ryan, if you don't know has dabbled in a little bit of everything. So Ryan has done the W two quit the W two done a little bit of real estate with no money down, built a property management company and then ended up just relocating to Maui like a year and a half, two years ago and started open door capital with Brandon Turner. And they have just exploded over the last year.
And all I really see about that is mobile home parks where they're traveling all over the place. And Ryan is finding time to scuba dive all over the world. So it looks like it's going well. And we are here to talk a little bit about through that journey and just some of the coolest stuff that's going on.
So I'm really excited to bring this to you because Ryan's just an awesome dude. And Ryan, welcome to the show, buddy.
Hey, man, thanks for having me. You know, I have done a lot of incredible things, especially over the past couple years. But to get an invite to appear with you on your show is got to be the pinnacle of it all. If I die today, I will die happy knowing I went out on top.
So thanks for having me.
I appreciate that. That's it sounds good.
Oh man, hey, why don't you give our listeners in case they don't know your backstory? Because you I don't know that you were huge on social media previous to the last couple of years.
So could you give a little bit of the backstory to what led you up to what you're doing now?
Yeah, in a nutshell, I got my start in real estate investing around 2007. In 2007 I was in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for a long time over 10 years. And I just decided I needed to change and didn't see myself working a W two job until I was 60 or 65 or dead whichever came first.
And kind of got hooked on to real estate, just read a few books, listened to a couple podcasts and got started. And I really had no idea what I was doing. But I bought a duplex and house hack that lived on one side, rented out the other and merited some awful tenants, which was immediate education and property management.
And slowly but surely continued to build out my own portfolio of small multifamily rental properties. Around the same time, I also got my real estate agent license, not so much to represent buyers and sellers, but more just to handle my own deal. So I was looking at a lot of foreclosures and low price stuff that really just didn't motivate agents to get off the couch and write offers and get them in quickly which is what needed to happen with those because they would hit the market and be gone within a few hours.
So I got my license so I can take care of that. And then that actually morphed into a pretty successful real estate business. I didn't intend to represent buyers and sellers. But that's that's what I ended up doing. You know, just as kind of a side hustle, which became a pretty lucrative career for a decade or so and then around the same time also started a property management company. So I built my management company up to around 200 or so managed units, ran that for five years before I then kind of merged that went to work for a larger property management company in the area, they just had a lot of the systems and things in place that I was missing as a one man band property manager went to work for them, and then manage properties with them at a much larger scale 1500, I think units we had at the time that we were managing.
05:00 - 10:00
And did that until I was able to build my own rental portfolio enough that I could back out of even that job, and then hire them to manage all my stuff. So I was completely hands off, just living off my rental income, some brokerage income, which, with all that free time on my hands, allowed me to pounce on the opportunity to move out here to Maui a couple years ago, and help Brandon get opendoor capital kicked off, and, you know, build out that team and do all the incredible things that we've done over the past couple of years.
Man that's a pretty quick synopsis for a whole lot of stuff accomplished. That's really cool.
I am curious, because I've heard from a number of people that most people don't start property management companies, because they think it'd be a fun gig. So I'm curious what your initial motivation was for that was it just to save money on rentals you were managing, and then it kind of grew? Or was that actually a business model that you wanted to start?
Yeah, it was really out of necessity to I mean, I ran I just listed all these little side businesses that I was running but the the, the overall goal was to continue to acquire real estate of my own that would allow me to get to that point of quote, unquote, financial freedom and not not have to work.
So you know, buying properties, obviously, was the critical path there. But being a real estate agent, opening a property management company, like those were all sort of side hustles. But they all were focused towards the same goal, which was owning more real estate.
So the property management business started out, I think I had had just a few units, five or six doors, something like that. And even if you have one door, you still need to have some kind of system in place, in the event of well, in event of a lot of things. So I mean, basic, like rent collection, and you got to release and you got to know how to advertise the unit when it when it's vacant, but then you also have to have, you know, contingencies and systems in place to deal with toilet that explodes the middle of the night or heating system, again, that goes down in the middle of winter. And you've got to have vendors, and you got to be prepared to deal with that.
So, yeah, well, I quickly came to realize that, hey, if I'm married to say, five or six doors, I might as well expand these systems and bring on some other properties that I can manage for other real estate owners, just as an added income stream for me.
So you know, if I'm set up, and I'm up and running and have to, you know, be ready to deal with any, any, any catastrophe any issue, then let's try to make a little extra money off of it. And that's what I did. And that grew to mean, I think I only had at the time 20 or 25 units on my own, but I was managing, you know, the total 200 most of those for other people. So that was a pretty good income stream.
Again, I was just money I was pouring into my own rental properties. It just helped me get there a little quicker than without having that piece.
Yeah, I think that's I mean, that's smart, right? It's kind of a level of like vertical integration, where you're kind of taking over some of your own businesses. But I've started to realize over the years, and I know you guys have talked about this, that real estate's great. But if you really want to grow your empire, like having something else that helps pour more income into that, whether that's a W two, or you know, everyone talks about leaving their w two jobs to go to real estate full time. But there's definitely something to be said about whether it's a W two job or a business you're running, that you can pump more money into the real estate, just stash it and let it build the wealth faster than it would on its own per se.
So I think it's cool that you recognize that you were able to take that on.
Yeah, and by no means am I suggesting that everybody that gets involved in real estate should start their own property management company or even self manage their own rentals, because it is a grueling existence.
Looking back, I see all kinds of things that I should have done better or should have done differently. But yeah, it was hellish like five years that I did it by myself. You know, and I think I have a pretty good personality type to deal with tenants, but not everybody does. And like a third party property manager is better all day long than a bad self manager.
So if you're, you know, if you're a pushover if you're not disciplined if you're, if you have trouble interacting with, you know, potentially hostile situations with tenants like you shouldn't you shouldn't try to do this yourself, you should definitely hire it out. Try to find somebody who's good and has references but not hire, hire a third party management company and like you would touch on you know, I was hell bent on getting out of my day job I didn't want a day job anymore but that's not the case with everybody there are a lot of people that like their job or they make way more money in their day job than they could ever make just trying to cobble together real estate portfolio so so those people I say you know keep your day job or whatever it is that the generates you the most income with the smallest amount of stress and if your goal is to someday retire on, on on rental income, then keep that day job but all those all that money that you make and pour that into investment properties, whether it's directly or into somebody else's fond or whatever, but don't. I don't think that necessarily quitting a job is the quickest way for a lot of people to get that money, financial freedom, it just varies for everybody in this situation and their own goals.
10:00 - 15:00
Yep, I agree completely.
Alright, so we built up this rental, you know, the property management, we build up all this stuff. And then you get to the point where you can back yourself out of it, your rental incomes paying for everything, and you're like, ah, alright, cool. And then you uproot and move from, I want to say Maine, right, Maine.
So super, super cold to tropics, kind of kind of on a whim. Like, I don't know that it was really planned out. I would say I remember when we were talking, actually, when you originally that had originally kind of come up. And I remember talking to you about like, the opportunity. Obviously, you took it, but things if you haven't necessarily slowed down and quote retirement from rental properties.
So, you know, a lot of people struggle with balancing. You know, like, like, okay, I'm retired now, like, what do I do with all my free time, but I think you kind of answered what a lot of people end up doing, which is, a lot of people who could retire don't because they enjoy the hustle or enjoy working.
But anyway, all that to say, I'm curious, like, were you looking to do something else, like move out to Maui or move somewhere? And do like, grow bigger? Or were you actually kind of like, looking to settle down, and then things just kind of went that way?
No, my wife and I were looking for a warmer place to be in the winter, we didn't really expect that we would be able to or have the opportunity to move away entirely from Maine, I figured summers in Maine would be cool. And then you know, let's see if we can go down to Florida or somewhere in the south or something for the winter, at least like even went down one week, a month, it would just break up the long, cold winters.
So when this opportunity presented itself in Maui, it really was supposed to be short term, I was supposed to come out here for a week Brandon had just purchased a house and you know, need some help getting plates that have been vacant for a few years so there's some stuff to do around the property. And you know, coordinating getting a shipping container over here and just a bunch of things. And that week led to me quickly thinking I went home for a couple days. And I came back for a month. And then that month led to me going home for a few weeks selling everything I own listing my house for sale in Maine, and then my wife and dogs and I just jumped on a one way flight back to Maui, which is where we were we've been ever since.
So we were looking for a change. I didn't think it would be as drastic of a change as it was. But I'm very grateful that that's what happened. And and as far as you know, the retirement question, I don't think that I will necessarily ever fully retire. Like I'm not wanting to just want to sit on the couch and put my feet up, I'm always doing something, which is why I'm so active. You know, you've seen my scuba diving pictures and all those crazy stuff that I like to it's because I like to keep moving. I like to like adventure stuff. I like to keep things exciting.
But I also like to work there is a part of me that really likes to work, especially in real estate. I mean, I love buying a crappy beat up property, whether it's a duplex or a 200 lot mobile home park and putting some effort in and getting that thing stabilized and turned around and adding a ton of value. For me, that's extremely satisfying. So I think I will always play around in that arena. So to one degree or another. But what I'm finding as I get older, and as I have more just passive income is I can be more selective on those things that I want to do. And especially at open door capital, my role here has changed significantly, even over the past year and a half as we've added team members and the company has evolved.
And I've been fortunate to have the opportunity where I can essentially pick and choose the parts of the job that I like, and focus on those and it's not 100% like there's always days, I think everybody's gonna have that where you get up and you just got to do crap that you really don't want to do but you know, you got to plow through it. But you know, if 90 or 95% of the things that I do for for business or for work are enjoyable to me, then that that's where I want to be and it wasn't always like that, I mean, the hustle of 10 or 12 years of down in the trenches, property management and building out my own rental portfolio and I had no money I mean, more often than not, it was every day, getting up slogging through things I didn't want to do.
I mean, that was just a long haul but I always had this light at the end of the tunnel that it's going to get better it's gonna get better and and then slowly but surely it has gotten better and I'm in a better place now to select what I want to do and and spend more of my time doing quality things even even outside of work. And that's really you know, as I get older, I find that my available time is worth more to me than money. I mean, I remember when I was younger and growing up especially. We had absolutely no money like that was always the goal like money, money, money, I want to make, you know, millions of dollars and all this stuff. And the older I get like, Yes, I want to be financially comfortable. Yes, having money allows me to do some fun things. But right now I value the time, the free time to do what I want when I want way more than the money.
So I think there's a balance there for me and I think everybody's balance point there is different.
15:00 - 20:00
I think I think that's yeah, very, very smart. And I think that's I mean that's kind of what I'm starting to realize me we've talked you know as I'm I'm still active duty and I'm looking to go into the reserves soon, and a lot of comes with just having finally got the ability to where I can step away and kind of control my time to focus on what I want to focus on. Work what I want to work on and do my thing and, and that's yeah, my roommate will go back and forth every now and then because we joke about how, you know, bad I am with my schedule. Sometimes it's like if something comes up and it's not on the schedule, I just like to have a mental breakdown. Not really. But you know, it's like, oh my gosh, no, like the schedule like, and I don't have that control, right? I don't have that flexibility like I would like to. So that's what I'm striving for.
So I think that's very powerful. It's an idea. And it isn't just a shift that happens with time as you get busier. And as you get more successful, you realize like, yeah, okay, cool. But you feel like, for example, you want to go scuba diving, that's great. But like, you don't want to have to ask somebody like, hey, you know, can I take a day off to go, like, be able to control that stuff. So I think that's cool that you've gotten to that point.
Yeah. It's important for me to talk about scheduling, like I live and die by my Google Calendar, like everything's on there. If it's not on there, I'm going to miss it. And I think it's important that I take in anybody could do this is just intentionally block out time to do fun things.
And you know, you may not be able to do them every day. But I mean, there, if I feel that if I don't block out time and say, hey, Thursday afternoon, I'm blocking out, you know, my entire schedule, because I'm going diving. People won't schedule things on Thursday, and very rarely is there anything that's absolutely emergency that would need to happen on that Thursday afternoon, if you block it out. The things that you need to do will get scheduled around that. But if I'm not intentional in blocking out that time, I don't I don't take enough of it for myself.
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Yeah, I completely agree with you. They're so guilty.
Alright. So why mobile homes?
Well, there's a lot of reasons. The initial reason was this is open. Our capital is Brandon Turner's company. And when he decided to start this and ramp it up, he really just decided that he needed to pick one asset class and be really good at it not.
And he'll say this, that it's not necessarily the best, although I personally think it is. But there's nothing that he could have chosen: apartments or parking garages, or strip malls or whatever, but pick one thing, focus on it and run with it. And that's why he chose mobile home parks.
I fit in well, because I've got a decade of experience in managing mobile home parks and doing a lot of turnaround projects and being down in the trenches of, you know, nasty fixer upper mobile home parks and everything that that entails.
So you know, so our skills definitely complement one another in terms of that I was just kind of a natural fit to help get this thing off the ground. But we'd love it in a sense that because of the parks that we target, we are looking for generally parks that are at least 100 lots and we'd love when they have 20 to 30% vacancy.
So if we buy 100 lot Park and there's 70 occupied lots, we will buy that park based on its existing value based on its LOI and how it's performing. And if we do nothing to that park, it'll still cash flow and hold itself up and be fine. But what we like about the vacant lots is it's an incredible opportunity to add value to the park.
So for example with it with an apartment complex if you're going to add value to an apartment complex, chances are the way you're going to do those either raise rents if they're under market, which we can do in a mobile home park, but the only other way really is to go in and renovate unit so you're either evicting tenants or you're laying the move out and as they turn over, you're going in putting 10,15,20 grand into renovating the unit and then hoping that you can raise the rent 100 bucks or 200 bucks or 300 bucks a month and make a good return on that. That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that.
20:00 - 25:00
But with the mobile home park space, we can take the vacant lots and for every home that we fill that we bring in and set on top of vacant lots, it activates a lot of rent of whatever, three or $400 a month that wasn't there before.
So the easiest way to do that is to have a tenant bring their own tenant home, and they set it up on the lot and they start paying a lot of rent immediately. That's great. It's usually very low cost. Unfortunately, there's just not that much movement, people don't tend to move their homes enough to fill out a 30% vacant mobile home park in our lifetime.
So what we usually end up doing is we're going out and buying homes, we're either buying new homes, or more frequently, we're buying good used homes, bringing them in getting them set up getting them renovated, and then selling them off to tenant buyers. And our strategy for that is such that we're not looking to make a huge profit on the sale of the actual home. In fact, we're okay taking a loss.
So let's say it cost us $20,000 to bring in a home, get it set up, get it renovated and sell it off. Even if we sell that home for 18 grand or even 15 grand, we take a $5,000 loss on it, we're okay because we've activated that now 350 to $350 a month lot rent that was otherwise not there. And because it's a tenant owned home at that point, almost all of that lot rent goes straight to the bottom line with very little expense ratio associated with lot rent.
So by activating that lot, we may have taken a $5,000 hit financially on that infill. But we've increased the value of the park by 30-40, grand whatever, you know, depending on the park, and if you have, you know, 20 or 30 or 40 lots that you can do that with. That's it, that's a fantastic way to add a tremendous amount of value with very little out of pocket expense in the long run.
Yeah, I love that.
Is there? Do you have a strategy for incentivizing people to move their homes? Because I know. So, you know, we've talked right, and I know that one of the reasons people like tenant owned homes is because people don't like to move their home.
So once they're there, there's a very good chance you're going to have that occupancy for a long time. So how do you incentivize people to move from where they're comfortable into your mobile home park?
Well, we'll run a variety of like moving specials where hey, you know, if you move your home into the park, we'll give you three months or six months of free lot rent, or we've done situations in the past where we may have credited them some actual cash towards their moving expenses.
So let's say it's gonna cost them four grand to move their mobile home, wherever it is, drag it into our park, set it out, get it, get it situated, it's gonna cost them $4,000, we may we may cover some or all of that cost as an incentive, because in our mind, we're thinking, okay, if we have to go out and buy a home and fill this lot, we could break even we could make a little money, but we're willing to, you know, a lot of times lose four or five grand, why not just apply that same four or five grand to a move in special for for a tenant that already owns their home.
So it depends on the market, depends on the situation, and depends on a few other things. But yeah, we always try to incentivize other tenants who own their homes to move into our park.
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. And that's, that's really cool.
So I know that. I mean, you kind of already answered those who asked you if you prefer parker tenant owned homes, but I think we kind of covered that.
When you take over a park, if there's a lot of park owned homes, do you try to sell them off to people who are already there?
Yeah, and that's kind of the general mentality of all the larger operators is to get out of the park on home business, if we had our choice, we would buy parks only with tenant owned homes. But that's rarely the case. Usually when we buy a park, although our goal is to get them tenant owned, there's always some element of park on homes.
And there's a few different ways to deal with that. I've seen everything from sometimes the park owners, we haven't done this, but I've seen other owners here where they'll just try to give away all the homes to the tenants just to get them off the books. Sometimes that works. Sometimes you have tenants that just don't want to take possession of it, because they like the comfort of being in a park on rental and if something breaks, they can just call the landlord to fix it instead of instead of having to fix it themselves.
So that it can be successful, but it's not a it's just it's not a guarantee that you're gonna be like going to give them all away. What we prefer to do is we will let our rental tenants ride out their tenancy whether it's a year or 5 years or 10 years, let them kind of naturally either move out or they die or we end up evicting them for because nonpayment whatever, but we're not gonna we typically don't force any of the park owned tenants to make a change. But once they move out, once that unit becomes empty, we'll renovate it. And then at that point, we will not rent it, we will only sell it off.
So it can take a little longer to transition them out that way. But you know, our goal is not to disrupt the whole community. We don't want to displace people. We don't go in and you know, if a lot of rents are at $200 a month and the market says they should be at 400 a month. We're not going to crank them up overnight. And we just really try to put an emphasis on the human aspect of the tenants we care for them. We want to make them, we want to make the community nicer, but we want to keep them happy and proud to live there.
So it's always a balance, what works, what looks best on paper is not always the best in practice. So we try to strike that balance and provide a good return for our investors. But also, you know, keep our humanity intact for our tenant.
25:00 - 30:00
Yeah, well, that's good. And I think that will also play into your view of moving filling vacant lots, right? Like if you moved in, and you just jacked up all the rent prices and started kicking people out of park owned homes, that would not help you with filling in lots because then you're fighting a downhill battle or an uphill battle to try to move people in. But if everybody likes if you become the community in the area where all the people who own a mobile home want to live, or live in a mobile home, want to move to like that, that ultimately helps you out down the road, right, and you can increase rent slowly. And obviously, you wouldn't buy a place if it wasn't working, even with the lower the lower rents.
So yeah, I think that's, that's smart.
So what has been, I'm curious, since we've talked for, you know, we've known each other probably two years now, I don't know, maybe two and a half or something, something like that.
Curious what you think is some of the some of the biggest things that you've learned from scaling at this level that, I mean, you guys have just done. We've mentioned before we started recording, like, I remember sitting down with you and Brandon, like a year and a half ago, when it was a vision board. And not a whole lot. It was just kind of just the vision board. And it was like, yeah, this is what we're gonna do, we're gonna be able to surf, we're gonna buy a bunch of rentals, like 1000 properties in three years. And now you're potentially on track to close the thousand pads in a year and a half, and you're able to go and surf and scuba dive. And I mean, that vision is becoming a reality. I'm curious though, what some of those big learning lessons have been, or what you've gotten out of that journey.
There's been so many, so many things learned along the way. And I guess I'll start with that that vision board that you saw, where when I first read that as awesome as it sounded, it just it was almost not realistic to me that, hey, you know, $50 million dollars in real estate acquisitions in less than three years with a group of cool people that like to serve and you know, work 20 or 30 hours a week, like, the first of all, the 50 million does sound like Monopoly money in that period of time. Like you gotta be kidding me. That's just a ton of real estate.
But what I learned from that is like, that was our goal. And that's what the entire team now has been gunning for. And we are on track. So not only hit that by this, the vision board is originally dated, like the target date was December 31 2021. We're on track to hit that acquisition amount. And we're hoping to do it at the end of this year, it's probably going to trickle over into January, time we have that but like, that's, that's pretty impressive to hit that goal. And we have a lot of goals like that. And what I've learned is set the goal no matter how insane it sounds at the time, even if you don't hit it, chances are you're going to come pretty damn close. And even that result is going to be way more impressive than if you just didn't have any goal and just kind of, you know, floundered around and did stuff.
The other part of it is building out the team that we have assembled over the past year and a half has shown me just how valuable and how much quicker you can scale when you have partners. And when you have the right people in place. I mean, I went for, you know, 10 years by myself doing everything, just hands on doing it all myself. And if I had to do it all over again, man, I wouldn't have gone that route I would have brought in the right people, either employees or partners earlier in the game, and knowing how quickly you can scale when you have those right people in place. I could have been lightyears ahead of where I ended up over that 10 year span.
So clearly defined goals and and scaling with partners are the two just like glaring lessons that I've learned over the past couple of years.
Yeah, that's I'm yeah started to wrestle with the partner thing right I'm slowly starting to grow that piece out and it's a little uncomfortable at first but it definitely makes a lot of stuff easier if you find the right people to work with you right like I'm a very much not an integrator personality, I am a, I have ideas, some good some some definitely not so good. And then a lot of them end up you know, sitting on the wayside because I just don't have time to get to them all and so I'm trying to work that piece into where it's like, okay, I got somebody who can help me actually make some of these things a reality. It's taken a long time, you know, it's not comfortable to start kind of handing off some of that stuff when you first start and yeah, so I...
You know, that was always my issue and that's why I did everything pretty much by myself for 10 years. I'm a terrible delegator like I just I think I can do it better than everybody else and just you know, it's easier for me to just go do it than to train somebody else. That's a flawed mentality. Like it really, you know, I think is limited where I could have been otherwise.
But as I say that, you know, a good partnership, you have to have the right people so it can go as drastically bad with the wrong people as it can good with the right people. So you need to make sure whatever, whatever the project is that you are clearly vetting your partners, you want them to have skills and traits that offset yours and complement yours.
30:00 - 35:00
So if everybody's good at the same thing, and if he's bad at the same thing, that's probably not a great partnership, you need people that can, can round out the team. And, and you need those, those roles are pretty clearly defined. And that can be tough, especially starting off where, you know, everybody's kind of doing a little bit of everything. But there needs to be, in my opinion, some clear definition, even if it's just handwritten scratch out on a notepad like, this is what you do. This is what you do. This is what you do. This is what your responsibility is.
So the box stops here with this person, that box up there with that person. So yeah, there's always gonna be a lot of crossover and people helping each other out. But you need to clearly own certain roles. And this is why you're here this is, this is why you're part of this because your strength is this, and this is what you're responsible for. And I think without that stuff can just kind of be left floating in the wind. And oh, you know, as David is supposed to care that our house will take care of that. And then nobody takes care of it. And then you know, animosity builds and the thing falls apart.
So it's the right people. And it's clearly defined roles, even if you're just partnering with somebody on a duplex, or I mean, this doesn't have to be a massive, multi million dollar acquisition company or syndication, that just like if you're gonna partner with somebody on a single family flip, or two or three unit rental like you still, there are still roles and responsibilities that should clearly be defined. So everybody knows who's doing what. And if something doesn't happen, you can go back to that thing that you wrote on day one and say, look, this was supposed to be your deal. Why doesn't it happen?
Yeah, I think that's incredible advice.
Someone told me that just the other day, and I've been kind of working on the PowerPoint for it. In fact, I'm going to open it back up to remind myself to finish that, but where they were basically saying, and I could even just look at it and make sure but like, okay, yeah, even if you're a one man show, like saying like, you need to build out kind of what that team looks like. So that I have an idea when I start it, because people will go and hire somebody and they have no idea what they're hiring for. But if you've built out what those roles are, then you can kind of start to figure out what you're good at and what you're not good at. And I thought that was really useful advice. And so, you know, I'm working on that, obviously.
What is it good to great where he says getting the right people in the right seat? Or anyway, getting the...
What have you guys been doing? As far as like, how are you finding those people? And not I guess not hiring but partnership, right? Because you didn't have a full team when you guys first started? It was like..
Yeah, no, it’s just me and Brandon.
And, and, you know, I'm fortunate that I can kind of hold my own in any situation, and I may not be the best at any of it. And rarely amI but I can do a lot of everything, which is pretty much what I was doing to begin with.
Believe they call you, the mercenary right.
Yeah the mercenary, just throw me into the dumpster fire and let me play my way out. But yeah, so it was building a team. So like one of the one of the earliest things that we did was bring in we had a bunch of interns and volunteers. And this is a nod to Brandon and his popularity and his platform and his ability to attract whatever we need, whether it's raising money or human resources or whatever, like he's got a tremendous platform, a huge loyal audience. And all they do is put something on his Instagram that we're we're looking for this and like we're looking for underwriters, and I got, you know, several hundred resumes of people who wanted to help us underwrite not for a paid position, but just to be part of this growing team to learn from us.
You know, a lot of people are like, you know, PhDs, MBAs, like really smart people in their line of work, but they didn't have much necessarily real estate experience, but they wanted to, so they were willing to trade their time and their skill set in, in underwriting for just being a part of our team learning about real estate and being on some of the weekly calls and going through the process.
And we've done a few different variations of this, this entire thing, depending on the role, but early on, we had a group of I think we narrowed it down to like 20, underwriters and 20 acquisitions, people. And out of those groups, there were two in particular Mike Williams and Walker meadows. It just rose above the rest of the group that not only were they doing what we asked them to do, but they were doing a bunch of other stuff on top of that, like proactively doing things that like a lot of summer we didn't even know that we needed like for example, Walker who's now our lead underwriter and absolutely rock supplied him with the underwriting model that we're using for parks and we're like as many miles as we got.
And he used that for a short period of time, a very short period of time before he's like you guys. This thing is awful. I'm going to build out something way better so from scratch like he created this just absolute monstrosity of a spreadsheet that and because we deal with mobile home parks like it's way more complex than than apartment underwriting like you know how many big losses have on the park on homesteading on homes and the vacant lots? Are you filling them through tenants? Are you buying homes and then what are you doing with those homes? Once you buy them you sell it for cash you sell them for on payments or third party financing like there's so many different variables they're really hard to underwrite or very complex to underwrite.
35:00 - 40:00
So Walker just built this spreadsheet from scratch and took months to do it and now this is like this is our underwriting model. So that was a prime example of like, Holy smokes like we didn't even know how bad we sucked there. And this person came along and identified the weakness and and came up with a solution for it so fast forward a few months Walker was able to quit he had a great job in corporate finance, he was able to quit that and come to work for us full time salaried role got him out of his his dreaded you know, corporate w two jobs anyone now he's investing in real estate now he's hanging out with us and, and having a good time. And he's great at what he does.
So all pretty much everybody on the team has come through the ranks in some type of similar fashion and Walker and Mike for sure. Brian Mary, you know, we met him at the Maui mastermind that we had out here last year, and I was just kind of an organic relationship. And like, man, this guy really knows what he's doing. He fits great with the team, he's got a lot of fun to experience a lot of syndication experience where others on the team might be lacking. So he's kind of our, our consultants. And I always joke that I call him the Wise Old Owl, even though he's not really that old. But like he has all those answers, right. So like I talked about, you need to find people that have traits and skills that you think you're lacking. And that's where we're lacking was that advisory sort of role.
He's also our asset manager, and he and his wife do a great job with property management. But all of these people just came up through some other means. It wasn't just necessarily, hey, put a bit of help wanted ad out there. And you know, here's the salary. Let's take a chance on these guys. They all either volunteered their time, or we got to know them through some other means. And now they're working for us full time, and just absolutely killing it.
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It's awesome. And that's also very heartening or good to hear because I just put myself up as a potential employer for the skill Bridge Program, which is like a military way to basically look like an intern on your way out of the military. I'm looking to do either intern for somebody or intern for you know, myself, I don't know if that's possible. But hey, if I can intern for my own company for six months, pretty sweet. So.
Intern for David Pere, LLC.
Yeah, you know, I don't know what that looks like, right? If I find the right fit, awesome, but I'm looking to do that. And so I was like, oh, it's such a cool program. And I was like, hey, wait a minute, there's a whole page of people who hire, I'm like, looking through and I was like, I know that guy. I know. Like, why am I not on here? So I'm kind of looking to pull in an intern that way. And I think that's really cool. And, you know, you mentioned something there that I think is really key. And something that I tried to tell people all the time, but you mentioned what they were doing above and beyond. But you even just said they were just doing what we asked.
And it's amazing how many people will reach out for advice or reach out for something or, or apply for something or whatever. And they don't even do like just the advice that's given you. And then like six months later, they come back and they're like, oh, hey, I'm still in this problem did you do?
And so I think it's funny that that's on some level, like the standard is like, just, you know, at least do what you're asked. But the guys that you picked, obviously went way above and beyond that they were rock stars. But I think that's just really cool that it's like, yeah, it's just we hired insurance. And then they did really well. And we kept them.
Yeah, and they're all like, they're all an amazing group of self starters. So they require very little oversight to like, we're not whipping these guys every day to make sure that they're on track.
I mean, the goals are clearly defined as to like, this is the company goal. This is each person's individual goal. And then we just set them loose. And we check in we're talking all the time, we have a company called that occurs once a week, in addition to all the you know, interpersonal calls throughout the week, but every Thursday, we have a company wide call, everybody's on there and just kind of brings everybody else up to speed on what's going on.
They state what their goal was for the previous week, and whether they accomplished it or not, and if not, but ever good excuse. Why because nobody wants to show up saying they didn't do what they're supposed to do. And then they set their goal for the following week. And as painful as that is for me sometimes to do that. I typically hate those kinds of exercises. They're incredibly valuable, man, because it's the same thing. Like I don't want to show up at the meeting, and not have like, accomplished my goal for the week.
So even sometimes it's a scenario like cramming to finish your homework right before class, but I'm going to get that thing in and show up and say that, that I've accomplished my goal and I'm ready to commit to my next goal for the next week. And everybody on the team is like that.
So there's nobody that you know, there's nobody that we're always saying, oh, man, I wish this guy you know, he's just dragging us down like that. We don't have those people at all. They're all phenomenal.
40:00 - 45:00
Yeah, and I love that you're able to accomplish that with one meeting a week, which almost sounds kind of like a mastermind call in some way because you're, you know, holding people accountable their goal rather than having to just like pour stuff down their throats like no normal like w two job.
And I have always kind of thought like, then less meetings more like people who actually get stuff done, if possible. Not exactly the way the military operates. But yeah, you know, I know it's, it's it's baffling to think that we're not all about self starters and efficiency.
Yeah, but it's good that you've been able to surround yourself with a group of people where that works, right. And I think that's just super cool that that means, that's just a testament to you guys as a whole, right? That you've all got the right people involved that you're able to do once a week, not have to do a whole bunch of micromanagement and stuff works.
So I think that's probably what's helped with you guys excelling and all of your goals. But I mean, that's just super cool.
So my question now is, what does the future look like, for everything that you guys are doing? I mean, you had this monstrous goal. This, you know, way out there never gonna happen. Oh, my goodness, holy crap vision board. And now it's like, well, what's what's the next big goal?
Yeah, we're I mean, we're setting our goals now for next year. And I think at a minimum, we continue with the pace that we're at. And it's that balance of like, how much do we really want to work versus, you know, what, what's the payout, so that quality of life, that time balance thing is certainly important to everybody.
So there's a few different things we're looking at either we we stay the course and just kind of hit our same goal that we did this year, because in theory, it should be a lot easier next year, because this year was just such an amazing year of growth and building out systems and getting people in place that if we don't change anything, we should be able to duplicate next year, what we did this year, with a lot less time and effort, because we've already built it out.
But there's a lot of us on the team that you know, want to keep growing like we're not content, just doing the same thing, hitting the same goal next year. So we may increase that and what does that look like? Is that, you know, more hours and more time? Or is it we're just going to increase the deal size that we're after? So can we potentially double our volume with the same number or fewer of deals, because what we found this year, and it's especially critical right now, you know, we have I think four or five parks under contract.
So I mean, you know what it's like getting any deal across the finish line to closing, they're all a total pain. Yeah. So even on a good day on a smooth deal, it's very stressful, and there's a lot involved with getting a deal to closing. So it's, it's really the same amount of work, whether we're buying a $1 million property or a $50 million property, it's the same, it's the same headaches, it's the same hassle. So if we're able to just increase the overall deal size, and you know, ratchet up our threshold, so maybe we bring it from 100 loss to 200 loss, or maybe we say, you know, our minimum deal sizes, whatever, pick a number 8 million or 10 million, we're not dealing with anything smaller than that, you know, and there's also been discussion as much as we'd love mobile home parks, maybe we expand maybe we start looking at some apartments or other asset classes, you know, especially if we're going to ratchet up deal size we may be forced to do that.
I mean, there's a limited number of mobile home parks, we'd love them we're going to keep buying them but if we want to keep hitting our new goals and our new acquisition threshold, we may have to look at a different asset types to hit those numbers so you know a lot up in the air all of it's exciting I mean, whichever whichever route we go I'm certainly fired up as as everybody else on the team to keep going. We just need to hammer out some of the smaller details but to me that's a great problem now
Am I allowed to ask if anybody has successfully brought Brandon a deal?
No, we have a park under contract right now that we are going to be very excited to write that check. We've been getting a lot of leads from that. And for anybody who doesn't know about that it's bring Brandonfeel.com. I hope it's okay, if I pitch this Brandonfeel.com.And our target is we're looking for off market mobile home parks.
So if anybody brings us a lead for an off market, it's got to be off market don't send me loopnet listings and that kind of stuff obtainable off market Park and all you need to do is give us a warm introduction to the sellers, either a joint phone call or an email that we're all on just to hand us off to the seller. You're not putting it under contract, you're not negotiating you're not wholesaling it. We just need the introduction if we close on that park. Initially, we were offering a $50,000 finder's fee. We just recently increased that to $100,000 finder's fee, so bring us a lead on off market park if we close on it, right. Yeah, check for 100 grand.
Pretty, pretty sweet opportunity. And what's cool, if you think full circle, that's kind of how you got roped into all this.
Yeah, pretty much. Yeah.
Yeah. Brandon was looking for a deal. And I happen to find one and yeah, it wasn't offering 100 grand at the time, but it was still a great opportunity, man.
Yeah, they say it's probably worked out for you.
Yeah, it was just it was just paid in installments. But I got it.
I love it.
Alright, so there's a couple questions I ask every guest right? They're super, super difficult. Not really. They're probably the same questions you get asked or variation on every show that you do. But the first one is if 18-19 year olds so walk up to you looking for advice, whether it's life advice, or real estate advice, or whatever, like, what would be the one thing that you would like to instill in them?
45:00 - 50:59
Yeah, I say this all the time, but stay engaged and get around, whether it's real estate or whatever else you want to do. Stay engaged. So be around people that are doing what you want to do. And for me, it was real estate. So it was going to meetups, it was getting outside of my comfort zone. I'm super anti social, like I don't like, like, I don't like groups of people. I don't like talking, but to sort of go to meetups and engage in that kind of stuff was outside of my comfort zone. But that's how people know who you are. And that's that, you know, that's how I found that deal for the mobile home park there. Brandon was originally looking for three years ago, if I hadn't gone to a meetup and ahead and stayed engaged and just gotten myself out there and networked with other investors, I never would have found that deal. And then none of this other stuff would happen.
So stay engaged. And if you don't have a meetup, start one. Like, it's not that hard. I mean, I've been to great meetups that were started by people that didn't even have any real estate, they just want to get into it. There wasn't a meetup in their area. So they started one like you don't need to be a savvy real estate investor to start a meetup. Just just post them on BiggerPockets or wherever. And host a meetup. It's not not a big deal. You know, stay engaged in the forums, BiggerPockets forums, great way, you know, if you can't be hands on, especially with COVID. It's been tough, a lot of like, in person meetups are still on hold. But get in the forums and just stay engaged, be around people that are doing what you want to do.
Yeah, I love that advice, especially the part about starting your own meetup. I heard that two, three years ago, and I started one out in Hawaii, and I did one here in San Diego. Now I kind of CO partner with someone on one whenever we're allowed to host it. But yeah, totally worth it. Absolutely. I mean, going to meetups great. But if you have to start one that might actually work out better for you. Because then you become like the guy or the girl. And so you get to meet everyone, right? And that's just Yeah, super, super good advice.
Alright. And question number two, what is one resource, whether that's a book course, website, whatever that you would recommend anybody looking to get started in real estate or building business?
Bigger pockets, hands down. And there's, I say that there's so many good resources out there online for free. I mean, David, your podcasts are great. There's a million podcasts out there. When I got started, that wasn't the case. And you know, there's just a little bit of information online, but there I mean, there's so much free stuff out there that if you go through even you know, bigger pockets, I think just just across the 400 episode mark, if you dedicate the time, and you start at number one, and you listen to every single one of those episodes all the way through, it's gonna take you some time, but you're going to you're going to finish that project with more knowledge probably than the average real estate investor has on all different facets of real estate. And I know when I started finding that when I found that podcast originally, I was seven or eight years into my real estate investing career, I already had a pretty decent portfolio of stuff.
But I've learned so much like once I hooked into that podcast, I mean, I was just, I couldn't get through the episodes fast enough because I felt like I just kind of had my blinders on. I was doing what worked for me in my market, but it's a big world out there. There's a lot of other things going on. I didn't know anything about syndication, I didn't know anything about large scale multifamily. I didn't know anything about the subject 2 or, you know, really some of these great strategies that people talk about for finding off market deals. And just like getting hooked into that, and listening to all of those podcasts. I mean, just supercharge my motivation. And, and some of the tactics I was using, and I was able to almost double my portfolio size in two years, over what it had taken me the past like eight years to build.
So yeah, absolutely. Hands down bigger pockets.
I agree. I love that. And you know, Episode 281, if you want to hear my first ever time recording, and you can listen to how goofy I am is the back end of a, like rookie Episode 400 was actually really good. It's a good episode, a lot of good advice. They kind of just summarized everything. But that's, yeah, that's a great resource for sure.
Where can people get ahold of you if they'd like to reach out?
Sure, you can email me directly. It's [email protected] And me up on Instagram at RyanMurdoch21.
And for those of you who don't know, if you haven't followed Ryan on Instagram yet, which I'm now writing out, so make sure don't misspell your name.
What you should do is go back a couple of weeks if you didn't know, Hawaii has some pretty crazy quarantine rules. And so if you want a good laugh, Ryan posted this awesome video, when they had come back from torn a million mobile home parks and weren't allowed to leave the house or basically on house arrest. And Ryan was scuba diving in a swimming pool, which just oh my gosh, I love that.
I mean, it was like that was a long time to set up multiple angles, you could feel the amount of boredom that went into producing that video.
Yeah, and I think that was only on like day four. So there were 10 more days of boredom after that.
Yeah, I saw that.
In lawn chairs for the guy who sat in the street, which was Josh dorkin by the way.
I didn’t know that was Josh I didn't know that.
Yeah, it was not public at the time, but he has recently relocated and he's now our neighbor here.
Oh dude, that's cool. I knew I knew you guys were spending some time with him. I didn't know you read okay, though. That's awesome.
Yeah, he's out here now. So yeah, it was super cool.
But yeah, funny we Brandon and I sitting in lawn chairs in his driveway in Josh sitting in the street like we're 10 feet away but like he's in the street. We're on the property. And so that was compliant with...
Yeah, distance. Yeah, Josh almost got run over like 12 times by cars. But it was worth it was a fun afternoon.
Oh, man, I love it. Awesome.
Well, hey, Ryan, thank you so much for joining me today. This has been a lot of fun, always good catching up. Because I love watching what you guys are doing. It's just inspirational for everybody. And I know the listeners are gonna get a ton out of this. And thank you so much for joining us today.
All right, man. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire.
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Join David Pere and Ryan Murdock as they talk about staying engaged, being open to new opportunities, and maintaining a good work-life balance.
Ryan was in the semiconductor manufacturing industry before deciding to quit his W2 job and get into real estate through house hacking a duplex. Since then, he’s been a licensed real estate broker, got into property management, and has slowly built his own residential and rental properties portfolio. He relocated to Maui to start open door capital with Brandon Turner, and they’ve been doing some cool stuff with mobile home parks and have been hitting their goals in less than three years since they started.
In this episode, Ryan shares some awesome advice on getting into rental properties, starting your own property management business, scaling with the right team, and other cool lessons he learned from his journey. Stay tuned!
About Ryan Murdock:
Ryan Murdock spent ten years in the electronics manufacturing industry before transitioning to real estate investing and property management in 2007. He has extensive management experience in many facets of real estate, including retail, office, multi-family, HOA, and especially mobile home parks – including nationwide consulting and turn-around projects. Ryan has been a licensed real estate broker since 2008 and owns and operates a portfolio of residential rental properties.
Outline of the Episode:
- [03:29] From a W2 job to real estate investing and property management
- [06:10] Doing property management for others as a side hustle, while self-managing his own rental units
- [08:33] You don’t have to quit your day job to get into real estate and achieve financial freedom.
- [13:05] Having passive income streams give you the power to choose
- [15:56] Being intentional in blocking out time to do fun things
- [18:12] Why invest in mobile home parks?
- [21:45] How to incentivize people to move into a mobile home park?
- [23:21] Striking a balance between making the investors and the community happy.
- [26:52] The importance of having clearly defined goals and scaling with the right partners
- [32:24] How to find the right people for your team?
- [38:47] Holding people accountable for their goal rather than having to pour stuff down their throats
- [45:07] Staying engaged and being around people that are doing what you want to do.
Advice to an 18-20-year old:
Stay Engaged – Be around people who are doing what you want to do!
- Website – com
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- LinkedIn – com/in/ryanmurdock
- Email – [email protected]
- Bring Brandon a Deal – https://opendoorcapitalllc.com/bringbrandonadeal
- Bigger Pockets – https://www.biggerpockets.com/
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My name is David Pere, I am an active duty Marine, and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don’t get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom! – Click here to SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE to the channel for more awesome videos!
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