Big Data and Real Estate with Neal Bawa
Listen to Neal’s most recent podcast guesting, an interview with Evan Holladay of Monumental
Hello and welcome to monumental, where we sit down with entrepreneurs, leaders, visionaries and big thinkers making monumental change. Here’s your host Evan Holladay.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Welcome to monumental, I’m your host Evan Holladay. Today on the show we have Neal Bawa. Neal is the founder and CEO of Grocapitus a commercial real estate investment company, Neal sources negotiates and acquires commercial properties across the US for 300+ investors. The current portfolio is over 1800 units of beds projected to be at 3000 in 12 months that’s some crazy growth, Neal. So the portfolio includes multifamily and student housing properties in 8 US states. Neal also speaks at multifamily events, IRA events, meetups across the country with nearly 4000 students attending his multifamily seminar series each year and hundreds attending his magic of multifamily boot camps. Neal is the co-founder of the largest multifamily investing meet up the network in the US a group of investors that have over 4000 members. Neal, it’s great to have you on.
NEAL BAWA: Thank you so much for having me on the show, I’m excited to be on monumental.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Yes! Making monumental change, I love it. So let’s just jump right in and go deliver your background, how got in multifamily and where you were today.
NEAL BAWA: Sure, well I’m not that typical real state guy, I haven’t done a hundred loans, haven’t flipped a thousand homes. I’m a technologist that fell into real estate, by accident through my day job, the founder of the company, I was a partner there it was a technology education company it was growing it needed space so we decided we’re gonna build our campus as suppose to just renting one and it was a custom campus 27000 square feet 4.5 million dollars and that was my first exposure to real state so I started in reverse most people start with a single-family rental in Kansas City that cost 60,000 dollars and starting with basically playing with 4.5 million bucks and making huge mistakes that cost 100,000 dollars. So, that was a great learning experience, It took 10 months to do the build and I think I slept for about 10 minutes. But at the end of it I knew a lot of stuff, right? So I know the air-conditioning system, egress, fire codes, occupancy levels all of that stuff comes in when you building something from scratch in taxipornia where you make one mistake you added 100,000 dollars in impact fees. So yeah, incredible experience, right? And two years later, run out of space again and had to do it all over again, but this time it was a larger building 33,000 square feet was a larger project 7.5 million we didn’t quite have enough money to do that with ourselves as a company so this time we to bring investors, right? And so he and I pitch the project to a bunch of rich doctors here in Freemont California and to surprise in a single meeting all of them sign up. What we didn’t realize is that in the syndication industry we were supposed to charge them a 5% development fee in 30/70 split, we didn’t charge any of those things, right? So they’re like suckers, don’t know what to do and that was a great experience, we did syndication without even knowing the word syndication. It took me 5 years to figure out that what I’ve done was syndication, I’m sure I broke every rule out there but that was not intended to be real estate investors, right? We were just trying to build a building for our technology businesses use, so I’m sure the SCC would look at it kindly. And so I enjoyed the process of interacting with these passive doctor investors and answer their questions as you were going to cool process and we chunked out the building and build everybody their suite then rented it back to them as a business. So now 11 years later the suite building children rented back to us so that the investors are really happy. And so I realized that real state could be a win, win, win, win. There is a win from my business, there’s a win for me personally, I own one of the suites, Win for these investors and a win for my students who got a bigger campus to run around in. And it really addicted me to real state and so then I started going basically to another way, I bought 10 single-family homes I’m an amateur data scientist I do huge amount of research I put on the internet there are 10-15000 people a year following that research and the research led to a city called Madera California which incidentally was the hardest hit in 2008, And so I’m one of this weird people, I go all in, so bought 10 single-family homes in Madera in a single year, and my family thought I was insane, right? but I was looking in the mathematics saying so it cost 225,000 dollars to build this, and I’m buying it from the bank $90,000 and I understand that when I’m buying it I’m still getting a thousand dollars rents so I’m cash flowing the first year but sooner or later given the cost of construction is 225 there will be a reverse into the mean it might take 10 years to get there who gives in them by making money so everything that my family said didn’t make any sense to me by the time I bought 3rd one everybody in my family thought I was insane, right? So the sky is falling and I’m like well let it fall because I’m still making a thousand bucks a month on every property while it’s falling, so I’m okay with it let it fall for a while so that worked out well and I still own those 10 homes and they’re up to a quarter-million, each of them worth about a quarter million now. And so then I got cocky, a crazy cocky I was like, I know everything, I know this shit, and I go to Chicago and bought 10 tri-flexes and I was a total unmedicated disaster like 5 lights flashing sort of design disaster because I was just looking, you know in California I was buying brand new coffin and brought 2005 homes and here I went and bought properties over a 110 years old not knowing the difference, right? Imagine I have every kind of each you imagine but I didn’t understand concepts of demographics on how it’s everything real estate, right? To me my wonderful audience in Madera California was the same as South Chicago, right? And it wasn’t, I purchase in one of the worst neighborhoods in all of the country and it took me 6 years to pull myself, my million and a half out of those 10 tri-flexes duplexes. And each year the pain got worst, it got worst and worst and worst, like oh my god! Every possible thing that can happen fire trees falling on roofs, everything happens, right? I simultaneously had 7 evictions going on portfolio that was only 35 tenants 20% of my eviction and so it was stunning and the pain of it led me to a realization that one of the ways you give back to the world, of course, you give in charity one of the ways you give back to people is time, right? And time with your family is so critical and there are so many people here in Silicon Valley running around trying to do this turn keys having no clue what they’re doing, right? And once it gets stuck, they’re spending every other weekend on the plane flying to wherever they’re going Detroit, Chicago wherever it is and losing time with their loved once. Now I wanted to give that time back to people so I started to device a series of simple to use metrics that could be applied to any rental property in the US single-family to a multifamily to figure out if it is a good place to buy or not and eventually I split those metrics into 2 sets of 5. There were 5 for cities and then 5 for neighborhoods. And I started to teach then in San Francisco area meetups and eventually create a course in udemy which kinda went supernova. Right now if you go to udemy.com/realfocus, you’ll see there are about 1300 currently enrolled students taking that course. It’s for free, I give it away there’s no sales pitch. The point is I want those 1300 people to have their family time back and not make my mistake, I lost an 1.5 million, I didn’t lose money, but I could’ve triple the money that you know time frame because everything all ships were rising and so I lost that gain, that potential gain that I could’ve had new all of the stuff. And so those metrics had become a very big deal for me and now I also teach it in person. So I teach in about 30 conferences a year and I teach those metrics, and people like it and eventually, somebody games me a nickname which I’ve come to like initially didn’t like, The Mad Scientist Of Multifamily. Because I’m always constantly doing data and demographics to have experimented and posting them on facebook so that people can see. So it’s been a fun kind of progression, the company I worked and got sold in 2013 and transition into multifamily, brought 1 property, brought another property the number of investors just kept going up because people like this data-driven geeky approach that I have, and I’m in Silicon Valley, there are geeks all around me and they’re proud to be called geeks, right? They don’t get offended by it. And they like this kind of data-driven thought process that’s very deeply analytical and so I tend to attract those sources of people to me so, last week we cross the thousand of investor mark.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Wow!
NEAL BAWA: And next week, we’re gonna cross the 200 million assets mark so we’re simultaneously gonna cross the 2000 unit and the 200 million in asset mark next 2 weeks from now, so just snowball.
EVAN HOLLADAY: That’s amazing, that sounds like a world win of, also many different directions that we could take this in. I guess the first question I would have is, along your journey was it at that stage at the university building out that building and just kind of accidentally falling into real estate are that when you first falling in love with real estate and multifamily investing?
NEAL BAWA: It was a second project, not the first one. Because of the first one I was just learning and I was terrified by making mistakes, right? The second time when I was doing it I was adding architectural elements and adding, with my CEO’s assistance I was able to take land outside the building 1900 sq feet and build a circular cylindrical lobby with a 22ft ceiling and a glass dome. The second time I was enjoying myself because of some of the stuff I know and my CEO was so brilliant at all these things and it was helping me. And so it became more fun the second time. And that’s when I think looking at the real state thing saying there are so many amazing things here that I don’t get in my business like this concept of depreciation, right? Cause I was own, I own one of those suites, and I was like this is weird how can something brand new be depreciated like this and the short answer is the law allows it. Does it make any sense? Like in our country the tax laws were mostly written by rich multifamily guys to suit rich multifamily guys and that’s the way it’s continued even in 2017 were a lot the 1031 benefits were watered down, a lot of the single-family stuff was water down they out in salt which is date in local taxes exceptions were removed and all of those were gifted back to multifamily in terms of bonus depreciation, accelerated appreciation and all kinds of tax benefits to LLC’s and I was like, wow! I need to align myself I can’t change the world, not a politician, right? or a leader. I need to align myself with the way the world works, the world works in favor of companies and is multifamily guys. And so, once I started realizing that, that was the direction I wanted ahead.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Yeah, and I think you’re exactly right, I think a lot of investors are seeing you like, “okay, I can get in to and participate in multifamily real estate general” and as far as IRS is concerned as far as tax return is concerned it looks like they’re making nothing.
NEAL BAWA: They’re less! They’re losing money so here an anecdote so one of my friends is a teacher called Radcliff and invited me to teach at his conference in San Diego, so I’m teaching in the conference in San Diego and my phone keeps going off and text messaging keeps going off and then I realize that the guy that’s texting me is sitting in front of me. So his name is KK, one of my investors and his investment in the property called win work forest which is in Atlanta, I bought it last year in September. Kk is texting me furiously saying I have to find my tax returns to the next 3 hours and you have sent me the wrong K1, and I said so eventually I get out of the podium over to him and say what’s the problem with the K1 and he says I invested $75,000 to you my K1 says minus 75 how is that even possible, right? And I said, have you heard of this thing called bonus depreciation? 100% appreciation I was able to take advantage of what the property has 3.2 million dollars in depreciation when you drop that amongst to 30+ investors. That’s your share, and he was like, no no no this can’t be right the past it used to be 10,000 or 15 it can’t be 75, so I said okay, I grabbed my laptop, I write a letter to my CPA with him watching and I click send, and 5 minutes later there’s mail comes back and says every single syndication client that I have is asking me the same question. The numbers are right please send them this email. So I just turn the laptop around and show it to him and look the law is the law. Let’s not talk about the ethics of this. The law is the law, right? You got a minus $75,000 right off on your $75,000 investment because it wasn’t just you and everyone that investment that is syndication got it thanks to the new tax laws and I think that his job probably hit the floor 3 times, it’s magical.
Grocapitus Opportunity Zones
EVAN HOLLADAY: You’re exactly right and I think that’s something that some people don’t exactly realize as if they haven’t done this before, but people that know it are well, well aware of it and that’s a big part why a lot of high network investors and invest in real estate
NEAL BAWA: Well, I think all parts of the real estate have that benefit but multifamily is just insane. I mean, we are in the 9th year of a cycle, rents have gone off like crazy, So they’ve had like you know if you look at the 30 year trend of rent increases was 2%. Rents would always track with inflation. So in fact, if you look at the chart from 1950 to mid-1980s and okay, give inflation and then give me rents they’re almost touching each other continuously for 35 years. And then in the mid 80’s something happened where rents separate from inflation my theory is that for a very long time we had access to a cheap building materials from everywhere you know cheap that comes in from Canada, we have cheap labor coming in from Mexico, we have cheap everything else coming in from China and we were just building and building and building everything at 60-70 dollars at sq.ft and then at some point, those countries started building themselves. Mexico started building cities with 10 million people, China builds and New York builds in 3 months. And when that happened the cost of construction became more real it wasn’t this subsidized cost that we had for the last 4-5 decades and now we see cost of construction going up 6,7,8,9% every year even though all in all inflation is under 2% and because of that things had completely got mad-a-whack and so here we are in the 9th year of a massive cycle where rents had gone up 50-60 % some absurd number and last month we had the largest growth in occupancies since 2001. And people tell me I’m at the end of the cycle, and I go, are you looking at the data? Between April 2019 and May 2019. Occupancy in the United States increase for about 95.5%- 96.1% a .6% jump in a single month? That hasn’t happened for 18 years, right? And that is happening now which is why when people tell me this is the end of the cycle, I believe that these people are simply saying these things because it’s fashionable to say that at this point in the cycle because nobody stops you. My question is, how is it that the long term trend was 2% and was 2% for 40 or 50 years and has been 3% or greater for the last 7 years including 6% in some years which is absurd that is 3 times a long-term trend. but if this is the end, the why is the rent growth still at over 3% in the united states how could it be the end and still be over 3% somewhere your logic breaks down so, to me, I think that we’re in a super cycle for multifamily. That doesn’t mean that we won’t suffer Dearing a recession there’s a recession coming it’s probably, and we would have a negative rent growth in that recession, rent it! Nobody is complaining about that, because I believe that when that recession ends, give it 6 months you’re gonna be right back into the multifamily supercycle you’re gonna be right back in declining homeownership, homeownership is now been declining 14 years. And you know what’s interesting Evan? It started declining before the great crash. The year of the highest ownership in the US was 2005 Then I started to decline and once again it’s tied back to the fact the construction cost was becoming so high that they were so out of whack inflation that more and more people will not able to buy homes, and people say there’s so much new construction going on, could you please go and Google that, Because in California, that’s the state I live in, six largest economies in the world last year we built fewer homes in California with 4% interest rates then we built in the ’80s with interest rates being at 22%. How could that be too many homes? We have a population that has 25 million people more than it was in the ’80s and we built fewer homes in a year when your average interest is 4%. Anybody who says we’re building too much simply is ignoring the data. We’re not building too much.
EVAN HOLLADAY: I think you’re exactly right and I think you’re in a long term trend toward family renting and also having the mobility to, and I think the big part of it is family is more mobility and careless the largest of urban home and more about the ability to move around the world or have that control.
NEAL BAWA: They do, if you look at the wall streets journal app-folio surveys, Millennials place a higher emphasis on higher mobility and freedom that every previous generation or previous generation places higher stress on the brag ratio of owning a single-family home. It was very important to them. We’re millennials their psyche has been hurt by the 2008 disaster that their parent went through. And they don’t wanna be any part of that disaster. And today, homes are very expensive than they were in 2006, right? Now I got to the point whereas of the country you are now paying more than you were paying in 2006, right? And unfortunately millennial doesn’t make as much money as generation x cause they haven’t gotten the inflation-adjusted benefits than people were getting in this generation. Their salary on inflation-adjusted basis is going down while home prices had going up/ And so, every academic, I’m not talking about real state people because honestly in real estate we see a lot of stuff that isn’t true, but people that are academics if you wanna read their very boring academic white paper subject. The only conclusion that you could come to it is that over the next 30 years the homeownership is going to decline a lot or decline a heck of a lot those are your 3 choices you don’t have a scenario being flat. There is no scenario, right? Or going up, not even close so that the slowest decline is the decline to 55%. Where in a country that is currently 62% if you decline is to 55 that is 7% you’re looking at hence of millions of units. Where they’re going to come from we can’t even build 300,000 units of multifamily at the peak of the cycle. Nobody knows the answer to that, no one has the answer.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Yeah, and honestly that raise is whole another questioning from my background and development, There’s so many barriers entry for development for multifamily, it keeps getting worst and worst. we have Indians and we have communities that are just putting in all these for restrictions on what is allowed, what isn’t allowed of they give more and more control to community groups which among afford the community but people just don’t realize that change is inevitable.
NEAL BAWA: Here we have a situation where is small all group of homeowners. Primarily because they wanna continue seeing their homes go up to block any kind of multifamily and high-density projects in the name of pollutions, in the name of noise. But the truth is the rest of the world is like that if you go to other western countries. You will not find single families zoning some times in entire cities. There is no such thing as single-family zoning, everything is on multifamily and you can build a single-family there if you like, right? It’s only here that with our vast sources in our vast land that we had access that we did this and now basically were struggling to go back to something that’s common sense which is we need more zoning, because we simply can’t construct more single-family homes. Also, America hasn’t built new free base really in the last 3 decades if you look at our last free base system maybe 1% in the last 3 decades so as you run out of usable land if you don’t build another layer of free base beyond that, another ring, well then you cannot use that land. So now basically people are trying to simply use the land that’s already inside the circle of the free base and that land is going up in price and becoming more and more expensive and eventually end up in just crazy situation where no one can afford single-family and no one can afford multifamily. And that’s the situation that we’re in its absurd and true.
EVAN HOLLADAY: And I can tell, I can hear your passion behind it. Also, I can hear a lot of your data mindset and your ability to decide in a very meaningful and synthesized data in a meaningful way. Has that helped your inability to raise capital and get capital into all of your deals?
NEAL BAWA: Certainly because one of the benefits that I have is I live in Silicon Valley. So if you go and Google monster.com the most locative new job in America happens to be a data scientist. So all these technology companies have this ever-growing file of data and there trying to find people that can zip through this and come up with actionable golden nuggets. In the Valley, people say data is the oil of the 21st century. And that’s true because if you understand data and you can take data and create actionable insights, you become unique in a group of people, and so when I make these kinds of predictions these people see them come true they’re saying ” you know Neal what you’re doing is amazing” No just saying I just have been trained for this. There are 10,000 people like me. They just don’t work on real estate. So I’m very lucky on there are not enough data-driven guys real state. I started forecasting to some to become… 3 years ago I was talking Las Vegas has the highest rent growth in America. And people will just laugh to my face. I would go to a meetup group and started teaching and saying I’m looking at Vegas becoming the highest rent growth in America be like you’re crazy. Vegas got hit the hardest and in their mind, the conversation ended there but in my mind, the conversation started there. Because what I said 3 years ago is that every city that got hit the hardest in 2008 would underbuild, they simply would not build because numbers would not pencil out, lenders would not lend, and everyone would be too afraid. Right? Mindset issues. So now if you look at all of the tops cities in America it leads like a “who’s who” list 2008 catastrophes, so you got Vegas, Orlando Phoenix, Atlanta, So the cities that got slammed didn’t build anything from 2008 to 2014. And those cities we’re growing. Phoenix has the highest population growth in America, Maricopa country which is the city of Phoenix is the fastest growing town in America. Clark County which Las Vegas is the second growing country in America, see of all these places where population growth is insane and nobody builds anything for a lot of time, well you end up with other development. And so for year now Las Vegas is been the reigning champion then I started talking about among small markets being the reigning champion, and then eventually nobody listen to me so I went something and bought toson about a months ago and guess what read metrics is used letter this month, and last is number 1 in the US. Sorry I got to turn off all the phones.
EVAN HOLLADAY: [laughs] I love it, so tell me about going in the first year of multifamily investment.
NEAL BAWA: Well for me it was a 14, it was a 12 unit it was in the better part of Chicago than some of the others, new buildings [phone rings] sorry. It was a 2005 build and it allowed me to contrast those properties in Chicago and learned about not just the demographics of the place but also the kind of product that I was buying. So I learned the difference between a building that was siding to a building that is brick and how does that impact your returns how does that impact your gas bill for example. Those are the source of things so it was very insightful to be able to take that and start implementing it on the larger properties when I started buying 200-350 unit properties. Still make tons and tons of mistakes there, right? but my goal was, you just have to learn from them and see if you can ride a better hypothesis and try that out on your next property and see if it work and if it works then to write a better one continuously improve. That Silicon Valley sort of burns this into your head that you have to have continuous improvement and systems and processes do support as you get better. So that’s what I enjoyed, but what I love the most in real estate is this, when I was in technology you did an idea and you’ll have 3-6 months of runway and then people smarter than you faster than you with more resources than you would get 20 million dollars from a VC and just stamp all over you in next months. But what I see in real estate is that when you have an advantage over other people and my company, I believe has 3 advantages. You maintain those advantages sometimes for decades and that’s why I would never go back to technology, cause the number of people smarter than me over there is so ridiculous, I can’t be on the top of any room, I’m kinda in the middle of the room, in the bottom half of rooms. And where is in real estate, I’m not saying I’m the smartest guys. I’m saying I’m the guy who comes from the other room and knows something that all these super-smart guys in real estate don’t know and don’t care to learn. And so it’s an advantage that you tend to get for years. For example, my companies 2/3 people in the Philippines and these people in the Philippines do everything, I mean you can imagine all of the stuff in that company that gets done in the Philippines and I hire these superstars, they’re brilliant, computer science degrees and they work pacific hours, work from 8-6 pacific hours, 50 hours a week and do amazing stuff for my property and get paid $6 and 50 cents an hour, How do you beat that? People are like “no, these people are not very smart”, the short answer is, well you don’t know how to find the right people, mine are fantastically smart. And almost what I’m humbled by constantly is that when I do a task if I figure out the right way of doing that task and assign it to a really smart virtual assistant. He’s always going to do it better than me, why? because he’s got more time. If I did it in 30 minutes and he does it in an hour, she does it in an hour that cost me $12 instead of $6. But they’ve got twice the amount of time they don’t need to do it in a hurry, they can check off every single box they can follow every single process so I’m constantly humbled by the fact that all these things that I thought I’ good at, These people are doing it much better than I am. The higher level of consistency and higher levels of result and that’s amazing to me.
Yes! You Can 1031 Exchange Into A Multifamily Syndication
EVAN HOLLADAY: Yeah, and I love that you’re bringing that up, so we have a lady Kenny in the Philippines who helps us in the podcast and does all the behind the scenes, paid $5 an hour and you’re right and that something that would take me 30 minutes to 1 hour or 2-3 hours, but it’d the time of my play and it’s priceless.
NEAL BAWA: And some of them are good, and some of my Philippines staff are technologists. So there’s one guy who researching software to grab link in if you connect in linked in people you get their email address but what if you don’t connect, right? Well, there’s software there that doesn’t. They have found it in the Philippines, I didn’t know about the software as they were working on it, they said there’s a software called Apolo.ai and can be on the $10 subscription to the software so we can do this stuff, and I was like, I looked at the software, it was amazing, then they found another software that automated all of our link and outreach it’s called meet Leonard and I looked to the software and I was like this is insane, I would’ve never found this software because I didn’t have time and they found it, It’s amazing what you can do when you get to that level with these people the sustainable advantage you keep for decades in real estate, but all the technology guys they didn’t know about outsourcing. 2/3 of the tech-work gets done outside the US anyway so, you don’t get to keep that advantage more than a few months
EVAN HOLLADAY: That’s amazing, so are you doing anything as far as the data science side that you’re doing in the Philippines?
NEAL BAWA: They help me gather data, so, for example, one of the websites that I’m in love with is called oddly enough, there is an actual website called deptofnumbers.com and there’s a ton of data on there that is refreshed every month, freshly job data and we wanna keep a track of job data. Tosons up there for example and they grab that information and they put it in different tabs and they linked it on together to see if they can see any kind of trends and share that information with me and I share it on my facebook and my podcast and think it’s like that. They help me with basically taking data and turning through it and turning it into insights they’re not are the level where they can create that process but they’re definitely at the level where they can contribute to that process. And even tweak it and improve it over time.
EVAN HOLLADAY: That’s amazing. And it sounds like they can get you 80% of the way there and then you take the last 20% and had of the real value.
NEAL BAWA: it’s 90/10, in my case the way I look at it I say I wanted to work 100 hours a day and it is taken me 5 years of working with virtual assistants to achieve it. I, now work 100 hours every day. 10 of them come from me, 90 come from other people.
EVAN HOLLADAY: That’s awesome, I love that. So what is forest, are they doing any other systems to help, it sounds that they’re helping you also with investor relations and creating new contacts?
NEAL BAWA: This meeting, I mean this podcast was arranged by one of my virtual assistants and so she made sure that she reminded me. She reminds me of every meeting. If it’s an investor she calls 15 minutes before. She calls in a day before and calls in 15 minutes before also sends a text message to make sure, and that improves my rate and you know actual conversation than investors, and when I finish the call I take 3 minutes to take my phone and this is a video podcast so I suppose I can show these kinds of things, so when I’m done, I write notes and this is the slack notes I write in this on called slack can see all these notes and that’s action item that my staff is taking to those investors. And on and on and on you got pages and pages of notes about investors that they’re taking actions on, and so once again they’re saving enormous amounts of my time cause I’m good at building system and processes and templates and you know assigning then to people and training them in those templates and slack is our chosen tool to do that because everything in our company has a Slack channel, and so in that way if I lose a person the new person that comes in reads the slack channel. It takes several hours to read that slack channel but at the end of it, no one knows what the last guy was doing.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Wow, that is a very good point, That’s something that a lot of people worry about it, and we’ve had set up like training videos as for doing things and keep those on file for new hires, but I think that’s a great point of keeping track of a prior conversations and prior data of slacks.
NEAL BAWA: We do the videos also, we use called loom it is a plug-in chrome, and it’s free. And so, whenever I wanna talk about is the system our process, I don’t build structure training programs. I don’t do that because it takes too long. What I do is I put on this headset and I click the loom button in the chrome browser, and then I start to talk, and as I talk I bring up web pages, I bring up word files and excel files and I will randomly start to build tables and what the reports look like. I’m not trying to do anything systematized, simply trying to get all of my thoughts out in a stream of conscious 5-minute video and then when I’m done loom immediately gives me a link and I plug that into a brand-new slack channel if this is a new thing or in an existing slack channel it is. Now that video is sitting in the loop, right? and the moment that virtual assistant reads that video, you know what’d the first thing you supposed to do, turn that video now into set up systems and processes and bullets and action items and sections and send it back to me for editing. And I can tell you it’s 10 times easier to edit that document that it is to write it from scratch. I’ve written a bunch of these articles even if that was the way to do it so basically doing extremely unstructured stream of consciousness format, and then they bring it back to me and then I edit it. So now I’m doing that last 10% of the work because when I’m talking, I can just think I don’t have to do anything, I don’t have a tight step up, nothing is slowing me down I’m just simply thinking. And that video, that loom video is forever going to be in that slack channel so the next guy that comes in can watch out that video and then the document that they’ve created from it, all also gets thrown into that slack channel and they got pinned, and that means is that with 10,000 posts in that slack channel but only a few dozen items that are pinned so you can always go back and find those things, so in a way we don’t have to write manuals or create folders or create websites or intranets, slack is our intranet.
EAVAN HOLLADAY: Yeah, that’s amazing, well Neal, I feel like we could go on for hours and hours there’s a lot of value in here, but let’s jump into our monumental questions. So what does success mean to you?
NEAL BAWA: Success means being able to do what you want, success means not feeling any bound, success means if I wanted to go off to backpack in my 17-year-old next month then I can do it, success is not money, success is feeling a sense of achievement and feeling in controlled of your destiny.
EVAN HOLLADAY: I love that, yeah it’s a sense of achievement and destiny. I’m completely good. Do you have a morning ritual or daily habit in tribute to your successful day?
NEAL BAWA: Well it’s an evening habit, what I do is before I end the day, I plan my next day, and I take 5 minutes to make sure that my next day is set up. I have a good d understanding of my calendar looks like, of and all make changes to because I feel like it’s not productive enough so I never finish my day until I’m done with this. I’m also extremely that calendar-driven and if I showed you my calendar it’s gridlock, There’s almost never any slots available in a given week obviously, there are slots in the future weeks and I like being that way, and I like everything set up in the calendar and you might say that’s a lot for free-thinking the short answer is I schedule free thinking. And the short answer is I schedule free thinking times inside of that calendar.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Yeah, I love that. You know that’s something I’ve been working out myself and give in better and better, is setting aside time for that free-thinking for that self-development for just random thoughts or journaling or reading, you know pushing yourself to be learning, I think it’s so huge and they push you to that next level.
NEAL BAWA: Absolutely!
EVAN HOLLADAY: What is your favorite book or book that you’re currently reading?
NEAL BAWA: there’s no favorite book to me, I think it’s whatever book catches my fancy at the moment that I like right now is called Traction, and you know there’s a lot of great books about how to get started fraction is about, okay you get started, how do you get to the next level? and for somebody like me, there’s a company, 16-17 people, I think that next level is what challenges me, so reading a book like traction and understanding how to get from 16-17 people to 1600 people is very exciting and what I like about traction is very prescriptive, it’s not trying to say you should do this it’s trying to say this is exactly how you go about doing this, step by step, ABC that’s the processes, I lot of prescriptive sort of book because I can immediately jump into the implementation, so checkout traction.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Yes, that actually, I’m reading principles right now but traction is next stop on the list, I’m pretty excited about it. Well Neal, honestly I feel like we’re gonna have to another episode, cause there are few topics that I wanted to cover, we just did not have time, but I would say in closing, How can people follow you or reach out to you?
NEAL BAWA: Well I aggregate a massive amount and more than 40 speakers that speak on my flatform, when I created a website was called multifamilyu.com and then I realized that it did make sense to just focus on multifamily so became a real estate deep dive webinar flatform, cause I saw people doing excellent podcast and I know there were enough there so I didn’t need to be a podcaster, I’m subscribing the podcast and listening to myself, but there wasn’t one for deep dive high content 90-minute webinars that you can learn from because there’s something you need charts and graphs you learn from and you can do that over podcast. So multifamilyu.com is that portal with 30,000+ people a year that watch that registers for webinars there, my email address is [email protected] Send an email, I’ll answer.
EVAN HOLLADAY: I love it, well guys take Neal upon it, he is literally, as you’ve seen in this episode he is full of knowledge, he knows what he’s talking about, he’s an amazing resource, and follow him and you all enjoyed today’s podcast make sure to share it on social media, tag me, tag Neal, put it on linked input it on Instagram wherever you are, facebook let people you enjoy listening and with that have a monumental day.
NEAL BAWA: Thank you so much, Evan.
EVAN HOLLADAY: Yes, glad to have you on Neal.