Darwin Crawford: One of my tricks, I don’t do cold weather, so I wouldn’t do well out there. But the last agent on this property, I grew up in Mississippi, which is really hot, so the heat doesn’t bother me. And I met the agent out there, and I purposely scheduled an appointment for about 3:00 in the afternoon and just stood him out in the courtyard and just talk to him. And the poor guy, he showed up. He’s an agent. He got his all tight clothes on. And the poor guy just poured sweat. I show up in gym shorts, it’s what I do. And we got him hammered down. Just let the sunshine do its work.

Chad Duval: I was going to say, you made them suffer, and he finally [inaudible 00:00:33]

Automated: This is Start FM. Now here’s your host, active real estate investor and entrepreneur, Chad Duval.

Chad Duval: So let’s start with just a little intro about who you are, where you’re at right now, your portfolio, and then we can go back to the first deal and kind of unpack that and dive deep into that.

Darwin Crawford: My name’s Darwin Crawford. I live and work and invest out here in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona with the dirt, the rocks, and the cactus. We’d love it out here. Currently I operate two properties. I have an eight unit commercial building and then a four unit apartment complex that we just wrapped construction on. Which was a total bitch of a project, but turns out it was a very good buy, one of the better ones I’ve made. And those two are the culmination. I’ve been trading up properties for probably three years to get there. Got the commercial building first honestly, because I kept trying to get apartments, and I got my ass kicked. And so got the commercial building and then it happened to be in a neighborhood that’s right on the border of where there’s some commercial property and then a lot of four to eight unit older apartment complex.

Darwin Crawford: Most of them were built in the 60s. Close to my house, I got to know the area really well. And then, when this four unit came off, they wanted a little much for it, but I’ve worked in the wholesale industry for a long time, so then they sold it to me for what I wanted to pay, which was great. But yeah, so that’s what I do now. And literally major, they’re doing final cleaning today, which is where then to August in 2019. But final cleaning today, tenants move in on Monday and I’m a climb back on the couch.

Chad Duval: Yeah, we’re recording this on a Friday afternoon. Yeah. So it’s perfect. Perfect timing. So, so are you doing these properties full time or do you have a side hustle on the side of that? You’re working 9:00 to 5:00 too?

Darwin Crawford: So I don’t have a 9:00 to 5:00 in this process. So I’ve been in and out of the kind of real estate startup and tech world. The Phoenix Metro area is kind of ground zero for a lot of these. We buy houses, cash outfits.

Chad Duval: Oh, okay. Yeah.

Darwin Crawford: So everyone has seen the bandit signs, and you get the text messages and all that. So long story short, I had a day job at two of those offices, where I met the people. This started back in 2016, so I worked full time at one of those offices for several years, made up by the time I left, I was director of acquisitions and then run some of their virtual markets. And then the pattern emerge where Phoenix has a buying season, right? Where you can get good deals on properties that I learned at work. So I worked for a while and then I would buy a building, save up some money, and then quit my job and run the project. And then when that was over I would go back into the startup world. So I’ve done that twice, and I’m trying after this apartment and not go back to that world. I like running property and I’m almost to the point where it’ll take me to do it.

Chad Duval: I see. Okay. Nice. Well you mentioned one thing too actually, it struck a little curiosity. So you’re saying buying season in Arizona, would that be winter, like the opposite of here in Boston or would it be summertime?

Darwin Crawford: Yeah, so buying season here prices in … So I don’t know if you’ve ever spent any time out here, but-

Chad Duval: No.

Darwin Crawford: … August to September right now are miserable. Imagine take your girlfriend’s hairdryer and just put it in your face for about a month.

Chad Duval: It’s that hot.

Darwin Crawford: It’s that hot man. So prices here, bottom out in September, typically. When look at the Phoenix MSA as a whole, that we used to do a price prices here, bottom out in September. So the last two properties I started shopping hard in June and July, putting out some offers, putting out some feelers. And then the apartment complex actually closed. I closed it the end of last September.

Chad Duval: Okay. Yes, that makes sense. So it’s kind of like here in Boston it’s usually January, February issues when things are rock bottom and people are trying to move. Yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. It’s cold as hell. Nobody wants to do anything. One of my trick, I don’t do cold weather, so I wouldn’t do well out there. But you know the last agent on this property, I grew up in Mississippi, which is really hot, so the heat doesn’t bother me. But I met the agent out there, and I purposely scheduled an appointment for about 3:00 in the afternoon and just stood him out in the courtyard and just talked to him and the poor guy, he showed up. He’s an agent. He got his all tight clothes on. And the poor guys who’s poured sweat. I show up at gym shorts, it’s what I do.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: And we got him hammered down. Just let the sunshine do its work.

Chad Duval: I was going to say, you made them suffer and he finally [inaudible 00:05:31]. I think a strategy. Everybody listening, that’s a good strategy. Get your agent into this hot sun and stick them out there for a couple hours. There you go.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. Just stand there and talk to him. Okay. They certainly will.

Chad Duval: I like it.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. So I try to capture that yearly where our prices here peak in March, April. That’s our beautiful weather. We’ve got spring training out here. Everyone’s visiting cold places and says, “Oh, this is a beautiful, and I want a house.”

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: So that’s a difficult time of year to buy a property. Just everybody’s got their checkbook out.

Chad Duval: Sure. Nice. Okay. So yeah, so you got a few properties, and you said you’d been trading up a little bit. So if you want to maybe we can go back to the first property, even if it was your home or your home residence. Let’s go back to that first property and kind of unpack that a little bit and kind of understand what kind of property it was, what made you buy it, how’d you finance it, some of the details on that to try and bring some value to the listeners and kind of give them some more confidence that I think I know your story, but you don’t always have to go huge for your first property.

Darwin Crawford: No, you certainly don’t. And my real estate journey kind of has two facets. So I did some land deals back in Mississippi. This was right after hurricane Katrina. I was a contractor working after the storm and did basically some really cheap land flips because I didn’t have any money, right? I was in my late 20s. My parents had two rental houses growing up. Nothing significant. I just associated them with fixing shit when people left.

Chad Duval: That’s so funny. Me too, yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah, grandpa was really handy, and he taught me how to do everything. So, I remember Christmas, my sisters are going shopping with my mom and grandpa and are changing out a toilet or something.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: Just the way it went in our family. But I did some cheap land flips in Mississippi. When I say cheap, I mean, I bought three parcels one time for 13,000. I had literally saved up cash and being a contractor and fixing houses and stashing money under my mattress.

Chad Duval: So did you buy them all at once? All three of them at once?

Darwin Crawford: I did. I actually found, how did I find that? It was literally in the newspaper, and it was in a state sale. So an agent had listed, basically what happened was a person had passed away and willed their three pieces of booze. There’s three little building lots in this little raggedy town in Mississippi. They’ve willed them to the church, and the church had a real estate agent that said, “I’ll sell them for you.” Because the church didn’t want the land. They wanted the money.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: So we went back and forth. I wound up getting three pieces for 13,700 bucks, right? And then just to freak the poor attorney out because I literally been saving cash and working. So I literally brought up bag of money to closing, not like a cheque, not like wire overline.

Chad Duval: Is that even allowed? I don’t even know. I’ve never seen that before.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. Well, neither had they. They were like, “What the hell is going on?” Actually haven’t told that story in a long time. Yeah. I literally brought a bag of money to closing, so I didn’t know any better. And then I sold those properties, and I mean, percentage wise I killed it. I think I walked out after I sold them all with 25,000, right? On top of my 13, whatever that I put in. So felt pretty cool about that.

Darwin Crawford: Out in Phoenix, here’s how it went. So I had a family member that moved out here. My parents are separated, so at a family member that moved out here, I was looking for a change. So I left Atlanta is where I lived for seven years. I ran a business there. And we struck the deal that I said, they were a little short on money, so I need to get this house remodeled. They bought up place. It was a short sale and the home inspector, I was drunk or blind or something. He didn’t catch anything. So I came out and felt so bad.

Chad Duval: Terrible day you’ve had.

Darwin Crawford: Then, what was it? Eight months renovating this house. I hired a couple of guys beautiful build all new mechanical systems. We cut open the slat and replaced the sewers, rewired it, and it’s brand new house inside. I said, “Listen, I’m going to do this. And you’re going to help me boss some money and get into the real estate business.” So that’s how it started. Eight months with blood, sweat, and tears. We refinanced that house, pulled some money out, and then the first deal I did in Phoenix was a flip. I bought it from a wholesaler. I did not do well on it. I think by the time the dust settled, I made like five or six Gs on a $150,000 project.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: The lady who was a wholesaler of single at the time, she had to be really good looking and guys are stupid.

Chad Duval: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Darwin Crawford: You know how that goes. And really what it boiled down to is that, Phoenix is very big, right? So our Metro area is like 85 miles East to West.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: A massive area. And I bought in a neighborhood that I didn’t understand. And that’s all it boiled down to is that in this neighborhood, now I know there’s a major North South thoroughfare. If you’re on the East side of it, I would’ve crushed it.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: And this was half a block to the West.

Chad Duval: Yeah. I see that’s a huge tip for everybody. Because I mean if you do not know your market, even if you don’t know neighborhood to neighborhood, that should be the first thing you start studying. I think before you start getting into real estate, I mean I know there’s a fine line between analysis, paralysis and that sort of thing, but you should know your market pretty well and like you said, you should’ve known if you were East, you would’ve been fine if you’re, to the West. That’s where you got yourself in trouble for sure, yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. And so that one didn’t make very much. I was trying to flip it to generate more cash, right? Because this was 2015 so the market here was recovering fairly well. And I’d always liked the idea of rentals, but this flip came up and I was honestly just anxious to get a deal going and I paid the price for jumping the gun. So more or less basically broke even and wasted a lot of my time. I got my tools stolen because the crack heads from the neighborhood came and drove a lock boxes.

Chad Duval: Yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Took off, I had a hammer there that my dad gave me when I graduated high school, just stupid stuff, burglary. Then I basically put the kibosh on anything West Phoenix methods, one-on-one to do rentals. I don’t want to do flips anymore. They’re just stressful and I want to do it. And so I moved money over from that sale and started doing rental properties.

Chad Duval: Okay.

Darwin Crawford: And I started with a condo. And looking back on it, condos are like training wheels, right?

Chad Duval: Correct.

Darwin Crawford: Not to worry about a roof for a parking lot or the building, you just pay your HOA and hope you don’t get written up for flicking gum on the sidewalk [inaudible 00:12:37]

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: And so I started with condos and they were cheap. I was able to pay cash for the condos and we all were talking 60 to 70,000 per unit, which is very inexpensive for Scottsdale. That’s a very cheap condo out here. And tried, I wound up with three units in that building. The third one’s kind of a funny story. I had a sold off a duplex in a raggedy part of Arizona and had some money sitting around. I’ve flown to Texas to look at another property. The deal blew up my face. I was super annoyed about it. So I was, actually day drinking in a bar with one of my brothers, Brian, Corpus Christi.

Chad Duval: Was it Beers and Stories?

Darwin Crawford: Yeah, this be one of the first ones actually.

Chad Duval: Nice.

Darwin Crawford: So my agent calls me up. We actually had on periods and stories. I think we told this one, but I’m about half in the bag and I had to catch an Uber back to my Airbnb and get him a proof of funding and sign all the docs. I’m like, “I don’t have a big tolerance.” So I’m four beers. Yeah, everything is signed. But we managed to get it. So then I had three units in the same building and then when the office building came up, those condos that shot up in value, right? Like I kept getting letters like, “Hey, this is this.” So I actually ran some map on what they were making as rentals versus what I could sell them for. And it no longer made sense to hold them as a rental asset.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: Right? It’s just, so I put all three of them on the market. I got full asking price cash from an investor. The tenants stayed, the furniture stayed. I literally took the keys to closing and walked out with a lot of money and then use that to do the office building property.

Chad Duval: Okay.

Darwin Crawford: And then save some of it as well. The office actually didn’t take that much money by some miracle, but the apartment building took a lot of money.

Chad Duval: Yeah. Because that went to rehab and all that stuff. Is that all out of pocket or you’ve had that funded?

Darwin Crawford: So no, I did the rehab out of pocket, which hurt a lot. And then that one I’ll throw to do 20% down on because it was an apartment property.\

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: And that cheque stung to write to the fourplex here and again, these Scottsdale prices. I think that one wound up costing, it was a little bit over 200,000 in cash that it took between down payment and renovation. Integrate by, and the property is worth a lot now.

Chad Duval: Yeah, I was going to say so how much do you think it’s worth now? If you put 200,000 into it, you’re talking …

Darwin Crawford: So the rough math on that place, because I bought it for 399, probably put about a 115 into the Renault and if I put it on the market today, I would ask 850 and I’d probably get it.

Chad Duval: Okay. Yeah. So that’s, I mean that’s pretty good investment.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah, I’m good with it. I’m trying to do it again.

Chad Duval: Yeah, totally. Well, so there’s two things I wanted to unpack it. I have another, I have a drunken story too. That’s how I bought my most recent 15 unit was kind of a half in the bag on a flight back from Indiana with Holly at Christmas time I was on a plane looking at deals, that sort of thing. It’s sent an offer on an airplane, half in the bag and she started the negotiations. I low balled them, starting negotiations and ended up buying the property. So that’s a story for another time. But I want to go back to the land deal because that’s, I mean, it’s unique. I’m not very familiar with how the land deals work. You brought cash to closing. You’ve bought a bunch of properties, which is actually kind of cool for all the listeners.

Chad Duval: He’s tasted every different asset class almost. Tried different things, figured out he didn’t like certain things, try to different one. Decided he didn’t like it and keeps moving towards things that he thinks he likes. So that’s another real tip for everybody. I mean, I did the same thing too. I didn’t go through so many asset classes, but I started with a single family home, converted it to a duplex, saw the value in commercial and how the numbers work and kind of move into that direction and kind of I like it.

Chad Duval: I don’t like certain parts of it, but those are the parts that actually sub out to other people to manage, property management, accountants, that sort of thing. But going back to the land deal, was the buying process similar to buying a single family home? As far as, I mean, how did you know what the value was? The appraisals? Did you have to, I mean you bought a cash so that that eliminates a lot of a red tape with banks and that sort of thing. But how different was the land deal compared to an actual, a property, like a single family or duplex or something like that?

Darwin Crawford: Sure. So one of the interesting things I’m learning, and you’ve probably come across this in your journey, is that just because deals get bigger doesn’t mean they’re harder to do.

Chad Duval: Right. Yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Right? It’s probably the biggest hustle. The biggest pain in the house deal would be buying a single family house in a decent neighborhood. Those deals are a pain in the ass, right?

Chad Duval: Oh, yeah.

Darwin Crawford: From handwork there are people’s primary residence or emotions are running high-

Chad Duval: Everything’s emotional. Everything’s emotional in single family, yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Right. Whereas doing the bigger deals, as I said my first duplex, I bought an Arizona, I bought it for 40 grand, I put a little bit of money into it. I sold it for 80 grand and now I’m playing at 10 X that dice. And there’s not any more or less work involved.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: Right? It’s just when rather than making 20,000, you can make 200 something.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: But the work is the same. You’re the land deal. I’ll be honest with you, man. That was the seat of the pant, country boy horse trading type deal. It was a unique time because this was right after hurricane Katrina. And so hurricane Katrina was a disaster of pic proportions and it was a crazy time in housing because the hurricane literally came through and wiped out thousands and thousands of homes in a geographic area where people don’t have a lot of money, right?

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: And so you basically, you woke up overnight and there was this housing demand that was insane, right? So you had all these people sleeping in trucks and go into shelters. And I mean, because houses were literally just like off the map.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: So the only way I figured out how to do it is I knew this old crusty guy who had … he ran a dump truck and a track house. So he cleared land for builders. I mean, just, man, a sandwich. Eden, scorch chewing country boy, right?

Chad Duval: Yeah. All he knows how to do is yeah. Do the track to work and yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. If you need a piece of land taken from whatever to raw dirt, he’s your dude. He will tear it up for him. So I remember calling him up and I’m like, “Hey, I know you do work for a lot of builders. What do they pay in for building lot?” And I got the whole blah, blah, blah, blah, blah thing. And so I figured out that each lot was probably going be worth between nine and 15,000 depending on how big it was. I’m like, “All right.” So I worked some math backwards. I forget what they were asking, but we settled on about two thirds of their asking price. I’ve always been kind of a horse trader, you want to sell me something for 100 bucks, I want it for 20 then.

Chad Duval: Right, yeah.

Darwin Crawford: And so that was literally how I did my underwriting because I figured out, alright, I know I can sell these for about this much. I’m making 2% on my money in a savings account, whatever. And so, worst case scenarios, I get these three pieces of land and let’s say I’ve wasted money into property taxes for all three, we’re like 100 bucks a year. So …

Chad Duval: Yeah, there’s a little risk there. I’m pretty much and there’s a demand for it too.

Darwin Crawford: Oh huge and I actually, I mean they sold so fast, it was crazy. I sold two of them to one builder and then I actually didn’t even have to market the other one because the country boy lawyer who did the closing called me a couple of days later said, “~Hey man, you still got that third lot cause I’ve got another client who wants it.”

Chad Duval: Wow, that’s easy.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. I’m like, “Yeah man, just tell me when you want to close it up and I’ll eat down and sign papers.” So maybe it was luck, but I’ve just started looking all the time because I was working on houses and saw people didn’t have a place to live.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: And I had the money to do a spec build. I didn’t have 50, 60, 80,000, but you got to put a house somewhere.

Chad Duval: Right, yeah. So yeah, I mean you worked with what you had. You had that connection, the guy that who’s running tractors and you had a lawyer and then, yeah, I mean you had everybody kind of lined up and you’re talking to people. I mean that’s kind of the name of the game. I mean if you’re talking to people, I mean that’s kind of why I started this podcast. You just talk to people and things come your way or it might not even come your way. But if you’re putting that out there all the time, I mean something’s bound to come …

Darwin Crawford: Come back.

Chad Duval: Yeah.

Darwin Crawford: I absolutely believe that. I mean and I’ve had, God there was another property that I took a crack out there and I literally heard about it from this lady who worked at the office next to my office at the time. She’s like, “Hey my neighbor’s selling her trailer.” And at the time there were a lot of people buying mobile homes with land for rental properties because they bulldoze the mobile home and put a bunch of RV hookups there and then lease them out to the emergency workers.

Chad Duval: Oh wow, okay.

Darwin Crawford: That was a big business model after the storm where you buy, because you had to have a mobile home zoned lot to park campers on it.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: They would just scrap the mobile home, get it sent off and then put in, pipe in one sewer, four or five RV hookups, a big water line and then a power pole and they’d run out trailer spaces for a year some of these people working down there.

Chad Duval: Wow. Interesting.

Darwin Crawford: It’s crazy times after that storm.

Chad Duval: Yeah, I remember I went down there for work. I think it was two years after the storm and still I got like, I was driving around and there were still roads where I couldn’t get past because I remember this distinctly, there was a bathtub in the middle of this small little road that I couldn’t get around-

Darwin Crawford: Yeah, I believe it.

Chad Duval: … so I had to turn around. Oh, it was crazy. It was two years afterwards and I was like, “Wow, wow.” It was devastating.

Darwin Crawford: It was a crazy time. But at the time you learn thing. I guess.

Chad Duval: Yeah, absolutely. Nice. Okay, so you, yeah, so you’ve dabbled in a bunch of different stuff. What would be the number one tip that you would give somebody who’s never done a deal before that’s looking to get into it, that’s even, talking to people and doing their research and, but just haven’t taken that first step. What would you say would be like the one thing that they should do that would probably bring them closer to actually closing that deal in your experience?

Darwin Crawford: That’s a really good question.

Chad Duval: Hey guys, sorry to interrupt this episode, but I wanted to ask you a huge favor. If you’re enjoying this episode so far or you’re a big supporter of the podcast, can you go to the Apple podcast app and leave a rating and review for the show? I didn’t realize how easy it was until the past couple of weeks. I’ve been going in and rating and reviewing all of the podcasts that I actually listened to on a daily basis. And it’s super easy. If you just go to the show in the app and scroll to the bottom. It’s literally just two clicks. All you have to do is click on the stars to leave a rating. And then there’s an area there where you can actually leave a comment or a review on the actual show. So, we’d love your help, leave some feedback, and it’ll only help the show grow and appreciate guys listening. And let’s get back to the show.

Darwin Crawford: So I think, from my perspective, one of the things that I’ve found is most intimidating people about real estate is that it’s such a wide field, right? You can do so many things.

Chad Duval: It’s almost like a fire hose, yeah.

Darwin Crawford: That’s it, right? You’ve got apartments in New Hampshire. I’ve flipped land in Mississippi. I know a guy who does rural land deals around the Western US. I mean, you can do anything. So the one thing I tell everyone, I mean, I actually got hit up this morning to go, I’m not going to say the word mentor, but a younger guy that I know really wants to get into it. He’s got a duplex from college and trying to scale up. And what I tell him is like, “Get specific, right?” Chasing laser beams around is never going to work for you.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: Like, “Oh, we can do this and we can do this.” And then we can send the unicorn farted on the spreadsheet. Now we’re going to be betting like, “No, no, no man.”

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: Pick something that works for you. Be honest about your skillset. Like, I know how to build stuff and even if I don’t build it with my two hands, I know how it should be built. So my niche kind of narrow the field I guess is what I would tell them if you could do all of these things, but what are you good at? You don’t know, which end of the hammer to hold. Maybe renovations aren’t for you.

Chad Duval: Yeah, exactly. Not fixing flip, not renovations, that sort of thing. Make sure you maybe have a property manager. I mean, that’s probably the easiest way around that. So it’s a little bit of self-awareness. Tastes a little read about a bunch of stuff. And I mean that’s kind of what I did. I mean I remember, I think I even did a post about this on Instagram a while ago, a couple summers ago. I was new to everything. I did the single family thing. I moved into a duplex, tried that a little bit. I think I ended up buying the nine units apartment building. I liked that model. I like the financial model of multifamily. I don’t necessarily have any feeling about the actual asset class, but I like how it’s valued.

Chad Duval: But I remember there was this summer I was up at the Lake in New Hampshire and there was a like an old resorts slash hotel that was for sale that had been sitting vacant for a while. But it wasn’t like your traditional hotel. It was a bunch of little cottages. And I was like, “Oh, this would be kind of cool.” I could add some, I could go up there, I could rent them all out and have one of them for me and I can be right on the Lake and all this stuff. And then, so I wrapped it up under contract, I look at everything and needed a ton of work, all this stuff. And then by the end of the day I was like, “What am I doing? This is not what I know.” I’m not, I mean I’m handy but I’m not handy enough to do it all myself.

Chad Duval: I don’t have the capital to do all this stuff. So it was outside, I think I called it post basically like shiny object syndrome. You’re just following stuff that kind of falls into your lap or you see online. And so I ended up pulling the plug on that. But I mean, yeah, I think that’s very good advice to everybody is if you can try and taste stuff and learn as much as you can about all the different things, but then just narrow in on one thing. Go all in on it, try it for a year or two. If you don’t like it after you’ve done it, then you can move onto the next thing. But, I think that’s a really good advice for everybody.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. So, so definitely, I mean narrow the field. And then the other thing I see in multifamily as an asset class right now it’s extremely crowded. Everybody wants to be an apartment owner.

Chad Duval: Everybody does.

Darwin Crawford: It’s all over the internet, right? You’ve got the big names, you got the grand car Down’s and all these guys pushing like, “Buy apartments, buy apartments, buy apartment.” And so the other part about being specific is that I had seen newbies, and I don’t mean newbie by young person. I mean someone new to the apartment investing world, they get talked into paying too much.

Chad Duval: Absolutely.

Darwin Crawford: Right, because their broker rolls off, got him a nice suit showing up in a Beamier, Alexis, he’s like, “This is an amazing asset. It’s going to make some money for forever.” But the market, blah, blah, blah. And so a lot of times I think there’s some value in ignorance, right? So if you don’t know what things are supposed to cost you model and say, “Okay, I feel comfortable at this price with this rate of return.” And then they come at you and say, “No, you need to pay $200,000 more” and you go, “Whoa!”

Chad Duval: Yeah, exactly.

Darwin Crawford: And the fact of it is your math is right. I had that experience when I did this commercial building. I mean my balls were in my throat signing no one because it was the first, I didn’t know, and I’m like, “This is my map.” And the broker is like, “No, you need to be here. You need to be here. You never going to get the deal. You never going to get the deal.” I’m like, “No man, I’m not comfortable at that level. I can do this. And it turns out, like I said, deal just, I crushed it, right? Lowest price per door in the hottest zip code in Arizona for commercial building cashflow is like a monster. Just killed the deal. But it was one where I would just, I had to trust my math and not get talked into some bullshit by somebody else. And that’s another big one for the new crowd.

Chad Duval: Absolutely is. Oh, my God, there’s been so many times there’s, I mean I finally found a very good broker that I’ve been deal, actually I’ve got two, I’ve got two or three brokers now that I trust when they come to me with stuff. But I had to work through that as well. Where you’re new to the industry, you don’t really know your numbers that well. You know what you want to pay, but then you sometimes get talked into, “Oh maybe I can’t afford an extra a hundred grand here or there.” And so you got to yeah. I think that’s super important to stick to your numbers, know what criteria you want to invest in. And definitely don’t let anybody else yeah. Talk you into it. Because it’s very easy because I mean, think about it. The broker’s incentivize to sell it at a higher price because they get a bigger commission, yeah.

Darwin Crawford: I got an up yours on email yesterday on a product I offered on a 23 unit building here. It’s owned by a very wealthy guy. I know it’ll work at this price. I mean, if we were off by half a million bucks on the asset and they said, no, we want full asking price or we’re just going to redevelop it ourselves. I said, “Okay.” I mean, and I had the guy that I was actually discussing the money with came back to me. He’s like, “Well, could you make it work at the full price?”

Chad Duval: No.

Darwin Crawford: No. One how do you have so much money? Can you ask questions like that?

Chad Duval: Yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Right? But what it is, I mean, and it happens, you can’t be scared to just stick to your numbers and what works and not listen to, there’s good advice out there and there’s also bad.

Chad Duval: Yeah, I know, absolutely. So, what we’re getting kind of close to the end of the show and I have a few other questions I want to get to. That I think will bring some value. I know, it was one of the first things that I was looking at when I started researching and getting into real estate. I was always looking for new books, new people to follow on Instagram, what kind of websites, resources, that sort of thing. So I was curious if you could share a few of your top favorite places where you can soon consume content, even a YouTube channel or a book or something like that to help the audience.

Darwin Crawford: Absolutely. So one of my favorites is biggerpockets.com, it’s a forum website with all the good and bad things associated with forums. But there’s some very sharp cuts on there, some very good operators in the multifamily space. And frankly, in all of it, Jake and Gino are two of my personal heroes. I’ve actually, shameless plug here, I got to interview them on my YouTube show, which was super cool.

Chad Duval: Which is awesome. I highly recommend people look it up. It’s pretty good.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. So Jake and Gino, I’ve bought their book. They’re very relatable guys. They’ve done an incredible job with their business. They control a ton of assets. They run a ton of money, but they’re really relatable. I mean, they can explain it to a second grader and that’s super valuable. And to me anyway, that someone can operate on that high level, but then also explain. YouTube has got some good stuff. But yeah, I mean, I think, for me it was finding someone, whoever it is that does, it’s where I want to be. And then they’ve walked that path.

Chad Duval: Yeah, that’s a great tip.

Darwin Crawford: Like okay, “What steps did you take?” And I don’t want to get to Jake and Geno’s level, my multifamily goals are more modest. I don’t need 1500 doors, not what I’m looking for. But their process and their fundamentals, I just, I mean, they worked for me. It worked really well.

Chad Duval: Right, yeah. And they’ve got a podcast to you guys. A Wheelbarrow Profits I believe is the name of it.

Darwin Crawford: A Wheelbarrow Profits.

Chad Duval: Yeah.

Darwin Crawford: Which is also their name of their book.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: So, which is great. It’s a very simple book. I think very relatable and easy to read. And yeah, I send everybody there.

Chad Duval: Perfect, yeah, now that’s awesome. Honestly, they have taught me, so I implemented the RUBS program, the ratio utility billing service for my properties. And I learned that through that.

Darwin Crawford: How did that go?

Chad Duval: It was tough at the beginning because my market doesn’t have that, so educating-

Darwin Crawford: But certainly worth it.

Chad Duval: … the market and right now it’s, it’s awesome. But it took me two years to get the nine unit, like stabilize, get the good tenants in there and get the units updated and that sort of thing. So for me it was getting the units updated and get the quality of tenants in there first and then I could actually implement that service because the type of clients and tenants that were in there prior to that, well they didn’t have the income to do that. So, but yeah, it’s working awesome now. So awesome.

Darwin Crawford: Good, yeah. I tried that one time and got a lot of pushback. Actually on the commercial building because the commercials meld national metered, right? So one power one water.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: I tried to institute rods and stuff. They were just going to burn the place. It’s not going to last. But they’re going a different route and I do send to outsmart them and charge them anyway. But-

Chad Duval: Well and I mean as a tip for everybody too, like what I found, the reason it’s working for me is because I have zero of the same tenants in that building. I had to turn over tenants to get it to work. You know what I mean? Because people don’t like change. They don’t want to be like, “Hey, I moved in here two years ago and now you’re charging me this. I haven’t had to pay it the whole time I’ve been here.” And it’s like-

Darwin Crawford: Yeah. I find that stuff familiar.

Chad Duval: So I find that’s the inevitable. As you turn over tenants is when you can implement it for sure.

Darwin Crawford: No, that’s great. That’s awesome. I learned something today. Fantastic. So, because the entrenched tenants not happy.

Chad Duval: No, it’s not even worth it. Sometimes you’ve got a fire them and got your fire tenants, if they’re not working for you because there’s plenty of tenants looking for good affordable housing.

Darwin Crawford: Oh absolutely. And the demand is, it’s off the charts right now, which I think a lot of people don’t understand. Like, “Oh what if it goes vacant?” You do your job? It’s not going to be vacant.

Chad Duval: Right.

Darwin Crawford: If your place sits vacant, you’re either charging too much, you haven’t renovated or you bought in the wrong spot.

Chad Duval: Right, yeah, you’re totally correct.

Darwin Crawford: Ne job, right? Good, I mean, last apartment I put up, I have five applications the first day.

Chad Duval: Yeah, no, I’m feeling the same thing over in New Hampshire. It’s an unbelievable. I don’t know how it’s sustainable, but, I’ll just keep riding it out while it’s still good.

Darwin Crawford: I’m going to drop rent 10%. It’ll suck, but I’ll survive.

Chad Duval: Yeah, exactly. So, so yeah, I mean, so other than that, I guess if you want to let everybody know where people can reach you if you want to talk a little bit about your Beers and Stories show, that sort of thing and kind of, yeah, where can people reach you?

Darwin Crawford: So, I am probably the most prolific on YouTube and Instagram. I’m not a big Facebooker just not my thing. But I do post a good bit on Instagram. My YouTube channel is just my name Darwin Crawford, so I’ve got some free training videos on there that have to do with skills and things real estate investors might need to know. And those kind of cross populate from apartment investors to wholesalers to fix and flippers. I talk about some fundamentals of really having to do with buying, because that’s what I learned how to do and did the best in the wholesale world was really negotiating the best price on the asset when you buy it. So there’s that. My website is just darwincrawford.com it goes live I think Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Darwin Crawford: But I’ve got some video courses on there if you want to pay for them. If not, I totally get it. And then here’s the stories, man. That was just, it was literally a brainchild. I’ve run around and I interview people who are kicking ass in the real estate business and we drink a beer and talk about … I like to talk about the things that didn’t go right. Like what happened, what did, because as you know, right? This is a game of you’re going to screw up at some point-

Chad Duval: 100%.

Darwin Crawford: … and it’s inevitable. So that just becomes like, “Alright, how did you fix it?”

Chad Duval: Yeah. Just-

Darwin Crawford: I have done so much stuff in this journey.

Chad Duval: Yeah and you can laugh about it, but you got to learn from it.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah and so I like to interview people. I’ve done, a personal friend of mine who just has a couple of buildings and then all the way up to Jake and Gino. But it’s been a really fun journey. And you know, I talk to, I’m big on fitness as well. So I talked to some people in the fitness space about taking care of yourself and kind of the mindset stuff and how to really, this is a hard business and if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not going to be very good at it for very long.

Chad Duval: Yeah and I subscribe to that 100% me and Holly were up before 4:30 every morning running to the gym. And honestly, the days that I don’t go to the gym, I don’t know if it’s the endorphins or any. I’m not the same person and it’s a lot harder to work on this business for sure when you don’t go to the gym. So that’s super important.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah, I don’t know about you, when I looked back like I’m 37 so I looked back at like the last, let’s call it 15 years in my working career. The times when I was in the best physical shape, I had the most professional success.

Chad Duval: 100% yeah.

Darwin Crawford: And the times when I let myself, let’s go. Like I joke I really got serious about it. It was a family picture for my dad’s 60th birthday. We were out in LA. I looked at it, I’m like, “Who is that fat bastard?” Why, what?

Chad Duval: We have a similar story. It was one picture. I have it saved and it’s the motivation for the last three years.

Darwin Crawford: Oh God. I think it’s all Facebook. My sister won’t take it down. But yeah, I look at it when I look at those times, that was, I let myself go and then my professional career, it was really hard. The energy didn’t have the stamina and then, you look at it when I know when I eat right, when I take care of myself, when I get enough sleep, that’s given me the edge over some other people to see the project through the finish. And it’s a dollars and cents difference in your bottom line.

Chad Duval: Yeah, totally.

Darwin Crawford: I’m up till afternoon worker router. I get up very early. Mostly because the dog and the cat, like they jump on our faces about 5:00 AM. But I’ve just having that presence of just fitness, eating right, getting enough sleep, all that stuff. You just, you got to, it’s a competitive game, man. You got …

Chad Duval: You need all the edges you can get.

Darwin Crawford: Absolutely. So …

Chad Duval: Nice. Well, yeah, everybody, I’ll make sure to link all this stuff in the show notes. The Beers and Stories and his Instagram and all the, his website and everything that you can do to get in contact with Darwin over here. So, but with that being said, I guess, thanks for being on. I appreciate it. I’m sure we’ll be contacting.

Darwin Crawford: Have you on Beers and Stories here soon?

Chad Duval: Yeah, absolutely. Next time I’m out in I mean, I’m in LA a couple times a year, so maybe we’ll have to stop and Scottsdale on the way out, so for sure.

Darwin Crawford: I can eat over there. It’s a 45 minute flight. I know some great breweries.

Chad Duval: That’s awesome. And I love beer.

Darwin Crawford: Yeah.

Chad Duval: So perfect.

Darwin Crawford: In deed, a big deal.

Chad Duval: Perfect, well thanks a lot Darwin. I appreciate it and thanks for being on the show.

Darwin Crawford: Hey excuse me and thanks for having me.

Chad Duval: Thank you.

Darwin Crawford: Talk to you later, feel good.

Chad Duval: All right.