Trevor West on The Military Millionaire Podcast

Episode 120 | Trevor West | Military Millionaire Podcast

Trevor West on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00


What's up military millionaires. Today's episode is with Trevor West, who is a friend of Alex's, although Alex actually doesn't get to join us today because he had an incredible opportunity to come up. So obviously, like, dude, take the opportunity, I can still record podcasts on my own. So you get to deal with just me.

But this is actually a really fun episode, Trevor is a fresh out of the Air Force, he has a lot of properties that he's accumulated in a little amount of time. And he's going very big, very fast. And it's really cool for me, because I haven't gotten to do a lot of interviews with real estate investors lately, like we've done some very specific niches or some very successful entrepreneurs. But we've kind of taken a break from just like your normal dude or girl who bought a bunch of real estate while in the military or transitioning from the military. And so this is really cool, because he got some valuable lessons about things that he did during transition to set himself up for success, and some different ideas that will really help you out as just an average everyday person.

And I really liked this episode. Trevor is a great guy. I look forward to meeting with him in person one of these days and hanging out. And I hope you get something out of this podcast. Absolutely.

Please do us a favor. If you haven't done so already. Subscribe to the show on your favorite channel, and then leave us a five star review that really really helps us out. And it helps the whole community because it helps the podcast grow, which means more people will hear this awesome information. And we love you. We appreciate you having a great freakin day.


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'm your host, David Pere. And I am here with my co host. Oh, no, no, you know, I wrestled with whether or not I should joke about this and throw him under the bus. But I realized he would do the same to me.

So Trevor and I were talking and we decided this was the right thing to do. So Alex actually scheduled this podcast, Trevor is a friend of his, I had not met Trevor in person before. And so we set up this podcast and then this morning, Alex was like, I got more important things to do. My hair's not good enough. And I'm not there.

No, Alex, Alex had a pretty sweet opportunity to come up today. And he jumped on it. So we can't be upset. We just decided to record anyway. Because I don't know. Because that's what we do. I don't know. Well, you know, I hope you guys enjoy the show. Without Alex, I'm sure you will, because you've listened to the first plenty of episodes without him.

And nonetheless, Trevor and I were talking before the show, and this is gonna be a good one, because he's got a really cool story. He's super fresh out of the Air Force. And in the last year, he's purchased 13 units while transitioning out of the military while getting his real estate license while moving into that space. And he's done very well and all of it. So this is gonna be a lot of fun, because we get to talk about the journey from being in the military to transitioning to really just crushing it in real estate moving onto bigger things already.

So I'm super excited about this one. And Trevor, welcome to the show, brother.


Thank you so much for having me. Of course. I was expecting to see Alex here today. But no, he's a big man making big moves. So we'll just get it done without him.


That's it. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Let's, let's hear a little bit about your story.


Yeah, so thank you for the introduction.

Um, you know, I was in the Air Force for about eight years. And you know, throughout that time, I had an amazing time, I got to go to a lot of really cool places, meet incredible individuals, and just learn a ton about life. But nowhere near as much as I thought that I knew.

So now, about February of 2019, I joined the rugby team and ran out there, you know, crushing souls in the rugby pitch and I ended up getting my leg snapped. So once that happens, you know, I'm an extremely extroverted person. I love being around people. I had three roommates at the time. And you know what it is like, three boys living in the same house on Tuesday night. We're cracking beers or watching TV. But at that time, when I broke my leg, all of my roommates deployed, and it was just kind of me and my thoughts, just sitting there burning through like 60 hours of Netflix. And then I didn't. I just had an extreme mindset shift. Like, I just completely broke down and was like, What am I going to do with my wife of 20 years in the military what I want to do, how am I going to maximize my years by time on this planet?

05:00 - 10:00

So I really started to just analyze my life and that started with, you know, I need to educate myself. So I was like, I'm going to get my degree. So I started, you know, go into school, I took a math class, I wanted to get the worst thing out of the way immediately. And I realized near the end of that, that I absolutely hated that I did not want to do anything associated with getting a formal education. So I started to look at other things. And that, that began my journey on just building my financial intelligence, building my financial literacy, you know, Richest Man in Babylon Rich Dad, Poor Dad. And then of course, you know, what comes along with a lot of those things is personal development. So I really started to get into what ways can I maximize who I am as a person.

And then of course, real estate after Rich Dad, Poor Dad really started to give me a direction in life, after I had already put some of the pieces together in real estate was just, that was the thing, it was something that I could build with my own two hands. It's something that nobody can tell me, what I get out of it. Everything that I put into it is what I receive.

So that's kind of where I started to, you know, really put a clear picture for my future. So I actually took a real estate course. And once I started to learn and have enough information to be dangerous, one of the common things that you'll always hear we always hear is take action, take action, take action, one step forward, continuously move the ball forward, so went out and started looking at properties that I could buy. Of course, being in the military, you get the amazing opportunity to use the VA loan up to, you know, from two to four units, you can purchase a multifamily property. That's really where I wanted to start.

And, you know, just understanding different markets and you know, I was bound and determined to buy a property in Raleigh. I mean, it was just like, I'm buying a property here, no matter what, and then I realized I'm not gonna make any money. So I turned my sights towards Fayetteville, and that's when I used my VA loan to purchase my first multifamily building. It was a three unit property. And you know, I learned a ton of lessons through that process as well.


Dude, that's cool.

And a few things worth unpacking there. Obviously that you're not in the Marine Corps cuz you probably would have just drank your your time away well alone and so actually it's funny. I have totally experienced being lonely so I'm super extrovert as well. And I am geo battling right now.

I sent my family home as I'm getting ready to yes. And I have this big old house and in my head it was like, you know, being alone is just like a deployment, right? You know, I've been alone without my family before like no big deal.

No, totally different when it's like you're alone in a big empty house. Like I ultimately ended up like getting a roommate just because I was like, I'm gonna go insane like this is bad. Like it'll totally put you in a dark spot. If you're an extrovert.

Are you a flanker? I just had to ask you to look like a flanker.


I was not a flanker, I was a point.


Oh, well, nonetheless, I played rugby in high school and a little bit in for the Marine Corps. Not like the official team, but good sport. I keep thinking like yeah, I'm gonna get back into it. And then like, like, Ah, man, like, I've already had knee surgery. Do I really want to get back into rugby like that might be the end of my life.


It's so much fun. But man, you really get beat up.


Short lifespan.

So there's a ton there, though, like you started thinking about what you wanted to do with your life. You started reading some books. And then like you said, you took action. And it clearly worked out for you. So after you bought the first triplex, and you moved into the house hack word, where did you go from there to get to 13 units in less than a year? Like were you looking for multi families? Were you like, what, what did that process kind of look like? Because that's a fairly substantial amount of growth in one year for anybody.



So I mean, just taking we like we all listen to bigger pockets and I love you know how Brandon Turner talks about telling everyone you know that you're an investor. Tell everyone you know, so before I've ever bought my first property, I'm an investor. I'm an investor. I'm an investor. And then that transition to I'm a multifamily investor even though I am one because but the reality is, I'm a multifamily investor.




So it's all about building that reputation as Hey, that guy buys multifamily buildings. So that was a huge piece for me every time I went to a meetup, which I absolutely encourage to go to as many meetups as possible. Get in front of as many people as you can, and just a multifamily investment.

You don't have to beat him to death with it. But the more people you tell the more people you realize have opportunities for you. And that's why just treating people right and letting them know upfront what you do is so key.

10:00 - 15:00


So I built that for myself with local wholesalers, you know, people who are going out and finding those off market deals. I'm not good at finding small multifamily off market deals. It's a lot of time. It's a lot of money. It's marketing. I wanted to put my efforts towards something else. So by building that reputation with people who are already good at it, hey, Trev, I got this duplex. Do you want to buy it? Yes, absolutely. I do.

And it's already a property that works for me. So by being able to have that deal flow net, even though it's not organic, to me, that deal flow enabled me to have opportunities come across my desk. And yeah.


Yeah, no, you're absolutely right. I think that's huge being able to.

So everyone always talks about the funnel, right? The reality is like, you don't need to create super extremes. Now there are some great marketers out there who can get their deal funnels are extreme right, they've got the carrot website that I have one I love, carrot and shameless plug. If you guys ever want a website that can bring people in, I'm a huge fan, super easy to set up.

But like, you can set up websites you can set up, pay per click, you can do Facebook ads, you can do retargeting, like, you can get super, super extreme with how you market for properties to find off market deals. But you can also just talk to everybody. And like you said, if you get close with wholesalers, and you just mentioned it at every meetup. There, there are some really crazy opportunities that can come from that.

I mean, I bought my 10 units from essentially sending out letters to a few people's own duplexes. And so the guy was just like, Yeah, I got a 10 unit on a duplex. Um, and you never know. So it's like, you don't have to do anything extreme to get in front of people, you just need to be consistent. And as long as people know, what you're doing will eventually come to you, which is awesome. And I think part of that's probably manifestation and all that other crazy stuff. But the other part is just, well, if you're top of mind, like if everybody knows that Trevor buys multi families, and then they're like, Oh, I can do a multi family deal. Oh, hey, I know, Trevor, let me ask him before I waste my time, drafting up an email and sending it out to a million other people.

And I mean, people legitimately do that, like one of the wholesalers in my market, he has a great email list people buy very quickly, you know, whatever. But I know for a fact that there are four people that get a text with the property and the details before it ever makes it on an email list, hey, do you want this property, one of those four will normally buy it. And so, you know, it's like just a matter of building those relationships to where you are the person that they say, hey, you want this property?


Yeah, and my last four deals came from wholesalers, and because they're finding them off market, they have these distressed owners, I'm of course getting them at a discounted rate.

So I can immediately turn to the BRRRR process. And you know, some people think that you have to have cash to be able to do a BRRRR. But that's not necessarily the case. I've used hard money on all my last four deals, but it's all about buying, right.

Really the only money that I leave in the deal is my points charged by the lender, and my closing costs, because of buying at 75% or less of what it's worth market value. And of course, we're going in and doing renovations and making these things look pretty and making our tenants happy. And you know, just implementing and creating and refining our systems and processes.


Yeah, dude, that's, that's really cool. The BRRRR process is awesome. We get this frog out of my throat.

The BRRRR process is awesome. But you're right, people seem to overthink the amount that it takes to get in and as long as the property works for the numbers, right, which you don't want to buy something that doesn't work anyway, you can definitely get hard money.

And as long as you can get that process done, then hard money's not the only risk with hard money is that you pay a higher interest rate. But it's really not that bad if you're pulling your money out. Like who cares.

So I think that's really cool. So you're buying property from a wholesaler, you're using hard money to get in it. You do all the renovation stuff. And then what six months later, you pull the money back out and you're you've got all your capital back.

Are you doing multiple at the same time? You've got to be if you're getting more than, you know, if you're getting 13 units a year? That seems like a silly question. Now that I think about it.


Yeah, we are doing multiple at the same time. But that's why our systems and processes are super important. Ofcourse, being a real estate agent helps in working through these transactions with clients of mine, but the system processes checklists. I'm not a checklist guy, but by partnering with people and we can talk about them in a minute. You know, they have analytical brains, like, Hey, guys, we need a checklist. Okay, we'll make a checklist.

15:00 - 20:00


And that's just how the relationship works and thrives and everybody's happy. So Boom we need when we go under contract, inspection, termite you know, all just going down the list of the different things that you need to accomplish and when that way, even though we're tied up in hard money loans right now, we still have a clear path of exit. We still have our long term financing lined up and kept in the loop for what we're going to be doing here in the near term.


Yeah, I am the same as you, not when I sat down and created a checklist the other day for my podcast, right? Like for everything that needs to be done, start to finish to schedule an episode through launching an episode. And it's a very lengthy checklist. And I was like, you know, I'm going to do this because eventually I'm an outsource all of this. That was a very painful process for me, like, that is not my thing at all. And I know it's beneficial. I know one day, I'll be super glad I did it. But doing it. I was just like, Oh my gosh, like I need to find somebody to do this crap for me because I am. I'm the bull in the china shop. I'm the, you know, the visionary personality. That's like, yeah, we're gonna do this. How?

Someone else will figure that out. We're gonna do this, you know? And so yeah, I agree with you. But they're very valuable, especially if you have a partner who works that way and can keep you on track. Because if you're anything like me, you'll find yourself under contract on things and like not to totally derail this, I'll make this sharp like my roommate and I are under contract right now on four buildings, five units through off market sellers.

Seems like it could be a whale. I mean, like, it's kind of cool. We're waiting on the appraisals to come back, cuz I'm pulling comps, and I'm like, dude, one of these duplexes might be worth what we're paying for all four buildings. So I don't know if that's gonna be the case. But it's got potential to be a pretty sweet appraisal. When it comes back. We're, like, super stoked.

But we get under contract on this thing. Been like three weeks. And he's like, you know, what kind of rate we're getting from the bank like, huh? Like, we're both just very like, yeah, they got all the paperwork, they'll tell us what they need. You know, I have a banker who doesn't bug me until like, he needs something. But it's like, we kind of laughed at this like, dude, we went under contract all this not even knowing where one of these houses was like, we couldn't find it on Google Maps. And we were like, Well, we know what the other three are, they should be worth the price we're paying. So as long as that thing exists, we were all right.

And, but you know, like the analytical, the checklist person would like to lose their mind trying to be dragged into that process and would balance us out, which is probably what we need.


Yeah. And that's exactly where we were, like Skyler. I met him through the Air Force. We started getting into real estate investing ourselves, and but on like, he was in Africa on a deployment, I was here. And then, you know, by telling everyone that I'm an investor. And he did the same. We just someone was like, Hey, did you know that Trevor was getting into real estate investing, and we just, we touched tips after that. And now we've, we've done three deals together. And now we're building an apartment syndication business together.

So he has that analytical brain. I'm like, man, I don't need the details. I need you to understand it, and then tell me about it. And then I'll tell other people, and that's just like, how we can continue to run because he hates to be in front of people. I'll get in front of people all day. And, you know, it really is a beautiful, beautiful relationship.


Yeah, I joke with people when you see a syndication like an offering memorandum. I'm like, dude, the first three pages where it says like the summary, and has like a before and after rendering of what the building is gonna look like. That's for me. The other like 20 pages that has all the numbers, that's for someone else, because by the time that comes up, I'm cross eyed, like, Alright, cool. I already know what the summary said. It said, purchase price, return, sale price, and a picture. That's it.


Like it saves so much more time. I think it saves so much time.


Oh, it's funny.

Yeah, it's well, it's just funny how personalities work, right? because like you said, your buddy, your partner would probably be like, you know, deep into page 18. Like, dude, shut up, stop talking about this deal. I'm trying to learn about it. You know, we're like, oh, yeah, we already made the decision on page two.


He'll like, I'll, of course, get super pumped up about a deal. And I'm like, dude, check this deal out. It's gonna be a frickin 'killer. And then, like, 20 minutes later, he's like, Listen, man, this deal doesn't work. What do you know? What do you really know? So yeah, a little bit of friction like that. Is it a freakin slam dunk? And then, you know, it's like, My head's up here, just trying to like, take us all the way to Valhalla. And he just brings us back down there.


Yeah, so that's valuable. For sure. Finding that finding that partners is definitely valuable.

So talk to me a little bit about it so you get into real estate and you're working as an agent, not not as an investor. So you're working with five pillars, which is a group out in Fayetteville that I think does very well. I'm friends with a lot of you and a lot of your team.

What Was that transition? Like, when did you know you were gonna be like, as you're transitioning out of the military? Were you like, I'm gonna go become an agent? Or was that kind of like an afterthought? Or how did that kind of transpire?

20:00 - 25:00


um, I had not planned on being a real estate agent.

So I had built, of course, the pace plan, the primary alternate contingency emergency of what I was going to do, because, you know, not being a planner, by trade, I was like, this is a pretty huge step, I might as well just, you know, have something down on paper. So, I had a couple other jobs that I was interested in doing. Um, before I had gotten out of the military real estate agent being part of the contingency and emergency plan.

Um, so because I mean, real estate agents just have this reputation like used car salesmen, or just like these happy people that just show houses. Now, I don't know if that's really what I want to be doing. So as I was just refining my plan, of course, investing, I met the five pillars team. And it's just full of young go getters that crush real estate, they crush being brokers, and it's all about helping people. And he's like, Man, this is really somewhere that I could fit in.

So I think being a real estate agent started to move a little closer to my primary option, especially after talking to, you know, a little, some people who were definitely more experienced than me, understood business understood life, and they just said you, why not align everything towards real estate, if you are involved in the business 24/7, imagine how quickly you learn the trade. And I can immediately see those dividends paying off now.

So as I was transitioning out of the military, so I was actually supposed to extend to December 2020 this year, but they had messed up my paperwork and given me some information that wasn't necessarily true. And like, just kidding, you will either need to extend for one year and go to Korea, or you need to get out in 16 days. So I said, Well, luckily, I've had a plan in place to transition myself out. So I, you know..


Do you want to go to Korea?


I mean, if I was 20 years old, maybe but now I mean, I'm grown up, I can't, I can't be going out there.


I hear you, you had this plan?


Yeah, I had this plan. And on my way out, I was on the very tail end, I had, you know, I had another duplex that had come across my table. And it was going to cost me every penny that I had. Pretty much so I was like now's the time to do this. Because I do have a plan in place to grant, I'm not gonna be. I'm not making any money as a real estate agent yet. But this is an opportunity that might not come again in the future.

So I scooped that thing up. And really just, you know, by having those systems and processes and analyzing deals, I knew that it was going to be a win. So I was able to take that risk and move myself into a position to succeed, which ultimately paid off, because by taking action, getting that inspiration, motivation to move the ball forward. You know, I set myself up to continue that momentum as I transitioned out of the military, and became a real estate agent, because I had done the processes myself that I then went and advised my clients to do themselves.


What's up guys, today's sponsorship for this episode is going to be me talking about the hard money lender that I recommend the most.

First and foremost, Tony is a service member, which is a house flipper, which is just totally read. And secondly, and probably the most important, they have some incredible options out there. They're a national lender, and though their minimum loan amount is only 75,000, which is less than a lot of hard money companies out there, they will loan up to 75% of the after repair value depending on your credit, meaning that they will have you only need to put down 10 or 20% of the purchase price. And they will finance the other 80 to 90% and then they will finance 100% of the renovation costs. And it's interesting only for the first year. Their rates go as low as 7.99% interest and they even offer long term financing and cash out options.

So they're really good. They're very quick, they have good customer service and they'll quickly tell you yes or no. This works for you. This works for us, or they'll point you in the right direction. And the easiest way to get ahold of them is to go to or if you just go to the resources page, but I'll put a link down below and just fill out that short form. I will personally introduce you to Tony so that you can get in touch and talk to them about financing options.

This is a real high quality dude. And he's a member of our mastermind, and they're just good people and their hard money products are solid and happy to help connect you guys. And I hope you know, I'd love to hear your success stories.

25:00 - 30:00


Yeah, yeah, that's absolutely smart.

Being an agent is definitely not necessary to be an investor. But it can be synergistic, right? Like you can absolutely be built both where you're able to buy deals, and then you know, help other people buy deals and vice versa, and you keep your finger on the pole. So you've got MLS access, like there are advantages to being an agent in the investor space.

I don't necessarily think they're the same advantages that everybody else thinks everybody thinks like, Oh, yeah, if you're an agent, you get all the deals first. Well, I mean, if it hits the MLS, it hits the MLS, the only difference is like, you might be paying attention to the MLS that morning, while your agent, if you're not an agent, your agent may not be paying attention at that time, like you have the ability to be a little bit more on top of it.

But I think some of the bigger benefits for being an investor or an agent are just, well, you understand where the economy is going, you understand where the path of growth, like you're forced to understand those things. So it's literally your job. So it's less I think the fact that the job and being an investor synergistics so much as it is that it's like a lot of investors, treat understating their market as kind of a hobby like, Yeah, I know, my market, I'm fairly familiar. Whereas like being an agent, you get intimately familiar with your market, which just gives you more of an edge on the investor side, because you know, where the progresses, you know, you know, all that stuff.

So I think that's a huge advantage. And then obviously, the fact that being an agent is a commission based job, and it pays alright, so if you're a decent agent that gives you capital to then turn and invest into other properties. So I think those are probably the two reasons I like the idea of being an agent. But I don't know, what are your thoughts? Like, how have you felt that that has helped or not helped you in the investor world?


Yeah, it would, it has definitely helped me, because I get me being in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I mean, being in the Sunbelt, in general, people from California, people from New York, people from all over are coming here with different investment strategies, different experiences, different things that they've learned. And they say, I'm expected to perform. As I market myself as an investor specialist, which I am, I need to be able to advise my clients on what is happening in my market right now and how their strategy can best fit in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

But with that, I would suggest if your plan is not to be an active real estate agent, there is no point to being a real estate agent. I mean, people say, Oh, I'm gonna get it for, you know, for investing purposes, finding a real estate agent who is savvy investing, just like I talked about before, wholesalers do a much better job at finding small multifamily off market deals, and I am, so leverage them.

People should be leveraging our skills, our expertise to go and find those deals. Because I don't know, I haven't met anyone who said, Yeah, I'm a real estate agent. But you're still using, you're still using me as somebody to help you. So if you're looking to expand outside your market, that's not going to help you even inside your market, if you have a W two job or just something that you're not focused on, you know, retaining and refining what that license really means. It's not going to, it's not going to do any good.


Yeah, and the other piece for that is, well, you mentioned it, but being an agent, the only time financially that it actually benefits you is on the sale of property, like if you buy a property, everybody knows you're not paying the commission, so it doesn't matter.

So the only time it would benefit you is selling a property. Well, depending on your market, let's say you're in a market where the average home price is 100k, like, if you're making $15,000, flipping a house or whatever, saving the 3000 on the listing, just because like I know, it's like I would be willing to bet that in most markets, hiring that experienced agent who actually knows where to list your property, how to list your property and how to get it on, you know, sold will pay dividends compared to you doing it yourself.

I mean, I see agents who list properties like cell phone pictures that just look like crap, and I'm just like, dude, you might have saved 3000 on that commission or 6000 on that commission. But your pictures probably got you three to $6,000 less on the sales.

Did you really save any money? And it's kind of like, you know, if you're selling a ton of houses, maybe having your license makes sense, just to save on the commission, but but rarely, right? Like it's not and it's not a oh my gosh, I'm saving this money. Yeah, but you're not the expert negotiator. You're not the expert marketer. You don't have all that experience. So the odds are that the other person could probably get you a better sale price. And so really, are you saving that much money? Maybe. But you're also putting a ton of effort into it that you wouldn't have to do if you just said, Hey, I just signed a listing agreement, Trevor, please take care of my property.

30:00 - 35:00


Yep, there's a reason why we drive past fizbo signs, or for sale by owner signs in the yard and say, Hey, man, or Hey, girl, I can sell you, I can sell your house for more than what you are trying to sell it for.

And I can negotiate on your behalf. And you don't have to have a million people calling your phone sending you $20,000 less than what you have it listed for trying to tell you for a fool.


Because fizz bows do not sell like, I think that's really funny, like, that's such a scarcity mindset. So if you're listening to this new thing about selling just to save the commission, I don't remember the statistic. I'm tempted to go to Google. But I want to say fizz bows on average sell for 80%, less or 90%, not 80% sorry, 80% of market value or 90% of market, but it's like 10 or 20%, less on average that fizbo sells for. Because once a house sits on the market for 30 days, it's super, super, super deemed less valuable. Like even if it was at market. if nobody's touched it in 30 days, people are gonna assume something's wrong. They're gonna lowball you whatever.

And then because people know, fizzbuzz aren't as good at negotiating they lowball. Like, it's this whole game where you're basically like, putting up this sign that says, like, please offer me less money than I'm already asking. And they usually listed a discount anyway, because they're like, Oh, I'm not paying a realtor commission. And then it's just a mess. So it's like you do all this extra work. You don't have the liability protection of working with an agent who actually has a license and has ethics codes and all this stuff. Like if something goes wrong, like, you can go back to the agent and be like, Yo, what the heck? And so like, Yeah, I don't know, I don't think I'll ever fizbo that's for Dang, sure. I just did not work out in the seller's favor.


No, it doesn't. I mean, there's always two questions that they ask. The first one, when I call one of those signs is, hey, do you want to do seller financing? Is that an option for you? I can do XY and Z terms down payment interest rate. And the second question is, can I list your home? So it's always best to just go with a professional with somebody who knows the market. Take care of it.


Yeah, absolutely. Because even a property that was listed at fizbo and isn't selling you can put it on the MLS. It's never been on the MLS. So no one ever saw the property anyway. And you can put it up on the MLS for more money and turn around and sell it.


Exactly, exactly.


Yeah. That's cool.

All right. So you've made the transition. You've exited the military over the last few months, while learning to invest while getting into becoming an agent.

What do you think are some things that you wish you'd known prior to the transition process? Like what do you think you're like, man? I could have done that better? No, that's not how I thought about that. But...


No, I definitely have.

I mean, it's just I'm not a planner. So like little tedious paperwork, details and things like that. I was like, whatever, I'll figure it out. But I wish somebody had like, taken me sat me down, step by step, these are the things that you need to do. And more importantly, these are the things that are available to you, as a veteran. There's a ton of programs out there that people just don't realize, a career skills program where the skills bridge where you can go and do...


I just released a video on that yesterday.



It's super powerful to do six months of the end of your enlistment, working with another team to learn a skill. Because ultimately, you know, one of the things that I wish I'd known much earlier in my career is how to use my finances, and not live paycheck to paycheck.

So actually, during my transition, I had already been involved a little bit in real estate investing and building my financial literacy, I sat down with the base, financial advisor. And, you know, I was like, I don't, ofcourse, I don't know everything. I just started this. So let me see what I can gain from this individual.

And we actually got into a heated discussion about how real estate is good and how real estate is not good. She was like, I will never invest in real estate. I think it's way too risky. I only do stocks. And I think that is a huge red flag in terms of that's our financial advisor.

People don't know the power behind real estate investing and what it can do, and transform your life truthfully, over the past 12 months, my whole life has been transformed due to the fact that I started investing in real estate, and now I have the power to choose. And I have the power to grow and you know, refine my direction and really create a life worth living with long term self respect.

35:00 - 40:00


Yeah, I agree.

Yeah, it's funny because there's definitely some I mean, don't get me wrong, like socks have their place. But yeah, I don't. I don't necessarily understand the idea. I think it just comes from people having seen 2008 and hearing the horror stories, but like, a lot of unique stuff that led up to that. And I don't think people realize that like, okay, but they were giving loans to people based on what they said they got paid, whether they got paid that or not. And like, there were some really interesting loan things that led up to that, that don't happen anymore. Like, I'm not exactly like, I mean, obviously, no one knows what the future looks like. I'm not screaming impending doom for 2021. And I haven't been and I don't know that, you know, I mean, with the Fed keeping rates as low as they are, like, Who knows? So? I don't know, you know, it is what it is. But if you hold forever, it's gonna do well for you. So it's all good.

All right. So what's the future look like? Where are you going now?


So now, my partner's Skyler, who is my finance guy and his fiance, who's our operations. She's a biomedical engineer by trade. We started HYVE Community Investments, H Y V E, where we are buying add value apartment buildings here in central North Carolina.

It's been an incredible process. I mean, of course, me being extremely aggressive. And my goal setting on August 1 of this year, we're like, we're making the transition to apartment syndication. And we're going to have something in a contract in 90 days.

We're coming up on that 90 day mark here on the 31st of October. But one of the things that we just did wrong in this process is we're like, okay, small, multi family, small family, okay, now, it's, we, of course know about this, we didn't build the education piece leading up to the same, you know, we're gonna go and do this in 90 days.

So it just started a huge learning curve. And over the past 90 days, we have made incredible progress, I have learned a ton about raising money, and I'm raising money right now. We have a, you know, solid relationships with many people involved in the multifamily space. And we look to have some, we look to have apartment buildings 20 to 60 units closed in the next six months.

So you know, now it's just compounding that because to me, that's what true generational wealth is. That's the real power to choose the power to choose what I do, when I do it, and with whom I do it.

So, you know, apartment syndication is just truthfully in line with who I am and what I find enjoyable out of life. So, you know, one of the things that I did well, early on was just understand who I am, I invested in who I am and what I want to get out of life. And you know, I know that I want to live my happiest life be consistent, have influence achievement, and long term self respect those five things, as long as I make decisions that are in line with those, I know I'm on the right path in apartment syndication, lines up with all those things, because not only do I win, and my team wins, but our investors wi,n people who partner with us win, and of course, the community is provided safe and affordable housing.

So all those things wrapped up into a package. That's exactly where I see myself. What I see myself and my team building over the next 20 years.


That's cool. What, uh, what were some of the educational resources that you reached out to over the last 90 days and you're trying to learn all this?


Holy cow, ofcourse, yeah, the best ever apartment syndication book by Joe Fairless. That has been in extreme help, to us understand the process. And he is incredible about putting out resources online.

And then, of course, multiple different podcasts, different articles that you can tie into. And then so many of these people in this space put out a ton of free content. But one of the biggest things for us has been, of course, reading different books about raising money and things like that, but just talking to people who are in the space now.

You know, I hear some syndicators talk about, hey, you need to be talking not necessarily to other syndicators. But just more people involved in the business and investors. But there's a wealth of information going from different people's experiences, different people's struggles and best practices. I think that that is invaluable in terms of building a reputation again, as a, you know, multifamily syndicator. And, of course, you know, letting people talk about what they've learned and what they've done.

I mean, my niches, people, I love people. And if you just show a genuine interest in what somebody else is doing, man, they will open up their playbook to you, and of course, pay it forward to them when you start to get your feet under you and start to make moves in the space as well.

40:00 - 45:00


Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I agree. And there's some good resources. So it's cool to ask when you've got someone who's saying like, Hey, I'm just now digging into this and really doing the education piece. Like what are the what are the resources that helped you the most, the best ever syndication book is phenomenal.

Another one that I think is good if you haven't checked this out yet is the new hands off investor on bigger pockets. So it's written. He's gonna pull it up right now. There you go. Have you finished yet?


I have not.


Alright, so the reason I like it is because it's written for limited partners to tell them how to vet GP so if you're smart and you're a GP, you'll read it and you'll understand like, okay, great if this is what a limited partners might be reading, to vet, a general partner like a guy running a syndication like this is what I need to model my syndication to look like so that I like make sure I'm not doing these things. It's got some really cool insight. And I thought it was very useful. So yeah, definitely a good one. I'm glad you got it back there. But Best Evers is a great book, super, super, super informative book. And Joe is obviously a very knowledgeable guy.


Yes, he’s awesome. And yeah, I was, of course, just like the two sources of networking, LinkedIn, BiggerPockets, just hitting up people like, who are the leaders in the space? So of course, I reached out to Brian Brewer. And I was like, Hey, man, what can I do to you know, succeed in this business. And of course, he put me on to his book. So thumbing through that, and definitely pulling some, some key things out of that, because ultimately, it's about the investor, I want to make sure that my goals aligned with their goals, because I don't want someone to come and partner up with me. And then it's a one and done. Don't people continuously want to put their money, where my business is going, because they know that it's going to pay off for them. And they know what's going to be done right.


I agree.

Alright, so there's a few questions that I ask everybody on the show. The first one being, if an E one, E two was to walk up to you asking you for advice, whether that's on real estate, or life or whatever, what's the one thing you'd tell them? Like? What do you wish you'd known when you were that age?


Definitely invest in myself first, you know, going out to, you know, bars hanging out with your buddies, that's all good. And well, and, you know, I have amazing times when I was younger, but I wish I had had the mindset to just share a little time and invest a little time in myself to figure out where I was going, what direction I was traveling in, versus letting life just carry me through. Because, you know, it's easy to get lost that way. And, you know, there's so much so much that we can maximize out of this life, and we just learn a little bit.

So the first piece of that investing in yourself starts with education, whether it's finance, personal development, fitness, health, all of those things are key, and key players and just your overall way of being.


I agree, which actually leads into question number two, which is what kind of resources would you recommend for anyone looking to get started in real estate, entrepreneurship, whatever? Books, courses, websites, like? And we mentioned a few already. But do you have any specific books that you would personally recommend for the investing in yourself journey?



The number one book that was probably the key change for me, was called Black Hole Focus by Isaiah Inco. And he just talks about how to structure your life, how to structure everything that you do, those five things that I talked about happiness, consistency, long term self respect, achievement and influence. I got that from that book. And he talks about your core values, who you are as a person, how you can align every decision you make towards those things, and it just opens up a world of possibilities, because now I have those five things as my focus. And when you're focused, your decisions are easier there quicker, so you're able to move faster.

So definitely check out that book, Black Hole Focus. And then just real estate investing in general, you know, people go through a bunch of books, which, of course, I burn through a ton of books, but I am like a squirrel with shiny object syndrome.

So when I first started, I opened up 67 different tabs, trying to learn about different things. And I just ended up taking a real estate course, put on by the local community, Community College, in that put everything in one consolidated and succinct location where I could just build a solid foundation for different strategies involved in real estate investing. And that's really paid off for me.


That's cool. I actually have an associate in real estate studies, which is kind of geared more towards the agent side, but good information. And I was like, I don't want to use the tuition assistance. I mostly use it for something I kind of care about. So it was synergy, for sure.

But I am. I'm excited. I'd never heard of that book, black hole focus. And so I like it when I hear a book recommendation on here that I'm like, Man, I've never heard of this before. So I'm gonna go buy that book and check it out.

45:00 - 46:41


Yeah, it's a solid one.


Awesome, awesome.

All right, where can people get a hold of you, Trevor?


Yeah, so my Instagram handle is @betterTrevor. But of course, you can find us on our website That's


All right, I’ll make sure I got that right.


Yes, sir. HYVE community investments.


All right.

Awesome. Trevor, thank you so much for joining me today. Not us. I was gonna tell us. But you know, Alex, in spirit, he's here in spirit. And no, this is fun. I'm super glad that we got to do this. And I'm glad that we did it even though he wasn't gonna be able to make it. I was asking him this morning. Like, do it should I reschedule? Like, I was like, he's a friend of yours. Like, he's like, man, just go for it. He's good, dude. He was right. Like, this is an easy interview, you're easy to talk to and obviously got some really cool things going for you. So I'm super excited to see where your 13 year units are in a year when it's, you know, 200 doors and you've got like three syndications under your belt. It's gonna be cool.


Thanks. I really appreciate you having me on with the absence of Alex, but I think we got it done. And, you know, it was a really good time. I look forward to more.


Absolutely, brother. Have a great day.


Yeah, you too.


Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire.

If you liked it, be sure to visit to subscribe to future podcasts.

While you're there, we'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Trevor West Quote about investing in real estate

Episode: 120

Trevor West

Join David Pere and Trevor West as they talk about building wealth as a service member and having the power to choose through real estate investing.

Trevor is a veteran, multifamily investor, and CEO of HYVE Community Investments. In the last year, he has purchased 13 units while transitioning out of the military and getting his real estate license. And he's done very well in all of it!

In this episode, Trevor shares some valuable lessons about things that he did during his transition from military to civilian life and practical ideas that will help you out as just an average everyday person.

About Trevor West:

A firm believer in the power to choose, Trevor West, CEO and visionary of HYVE Community Investments, creates foundational relationships and leads with positivity and a “treat people right” mentality.

Trevor is a MultiFamily real estate broker focused primarily on investment advisory and sales from single-family homes to commercial assets – all after eight years of service as an intelligence analyst in the United States Air Force.

Advice to an 18-20-year old:

Invest in Yourself!

Recommended resource(s):

Black Hole Focus:


For an introduction to our hard money lender fill out this short form:


Outline of the Episode:

  • [03:36] Experiencing an extreme shift in mindset after a leg injury
  • [05:21] Building financial literacy and taking action
  • [09:06] Establishing your reputation as an investor
  • [12:47] Buying properties from wholesalers using hard money
  • [14:30] Why systems and processes are important. Make a checklist!
  • [17:29] Getting a partner that compliments your strengths & weaknesses
  • [20:10] Real estate – from contingency plan to primary option!
  • [25:12] The advantage of being both a real estate investor and agent
  • [29:03] Selling a property through an agent versus doing FSBO (For Sale By Owner)
  • [32:56] Taking advantage of available career programs for service members
  • [35:48] Starting HYVE Community Investments
  • [41:59] Investing in yourself through education, personal development, fitness, and good health




Follow our journey!

Real Estate Investing Course:

Recommended books and tools:

Become an investor:





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: to the channel for more awesome videos!


Related posts...

Show us some love...


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sometimes you just need the right


Join the thousands of other Military Millionaires that are building their real estate portfolio! Subscribe and don’t miss a thing.

Join the ranks!

Stay Connected Warrior!

Optin and get notified when we drop a blog, publish an episode, etc