Elevate Your Equity

Ep 77 - From W-2 to Fully Integrated Investor in 2 Years with Darshan Soni

April 06, 2022 Season 2 Episode 77
Elevate Your Equity
Ep 77 - From W-2 to Fully Integrated Investor in 2 Years with Darshan Soni
Show Notes Transcript

Property management is one of the toughest and unforgiving parts of real estate investing, but, if done right, can yield incredible profits for the owner. Here, we talk with Darshan Soni about systems and when, if ever, it is appropriate to start thinking about bringing property management in house. Some of the ground we cover today include:

• Timing of deciding to manage your own rentals
• Balancing / prioritizing out your buying investing and your day-to-day operations.
• Hardest part of the job in being a property manager and investor at the same time
• The importance of outsourcing and relying on your team
• Recommendation for if you should walk on this same path

Darshan is a full-time property manager and investor with 10+ years of experience in residential Real Estate Investments in single family and multifamily properties. Darshan is actively engaged in investing for myself, local clients and out of state and out of country clients while managing around 500 doors in the Indianapolis metro area. Darshan prides himself in being a one stop shop for investor's real estate investment needs including buying, property management, and selling.

Learn more about Darshan and his business by visiting his website at realestatedarshan.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn and check out his podcast channel Real Estate Darshan.

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Derek Clifford:

to the Elevate your equity podcast where we as passive income investors with a special emphasis on married professional couples, deconstruct first class investors and entrepreneurs to achieve repeat repeatable, long lasting and practical change toward a life of location, time and financial freedom. Today we've got a very special guests on the show, Mr. Darshan Soni, Mr. Darshan is my property manager for many, many properties in Indianapolis right now and he's doing an awesome job. I'm obviously very happy with his work because otherwise he wouldn't be coming on our show. As a podcast. Guest how're you doing?

Darshan Soni:

I'm doing fine. Thanks for having me.

Derek Clifford:

Absolutely. So, we want to explore a lot of things here, including your journey, how you started, you know, investing in real estate and then ultimately, almost vertically integrating yourself with your own portfolio. That's something that I'm really fascinated about and I wanted to share that with listeners. But before we get into that, and some of the tactics and tools you use to get there, let's start with how you got your first spark or excitement in real estate and how that all turned out.

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, absolutely. So I, you know, I had gotten a job in Indianapolis and engineering. Job and I was looking for a place to place to rent. And you know, this was 2017. You know, prices were kind of starting to tumble a little bit and I had absolutely no idea what was going on in the market. But I thought, well, maybe I should consider buying a house because at the time, the company that I was working for had like this temporary accommodation, you know, that they had given me for three months, and I was of course paying for it. But nonetheless, it was kind of furnished accommodation that they had for their you know, as part of their process of onboarding employees. So I was living there and at the same time, I started looking for a place to buy or potentially rent and then you know, eventually got connected with a realtor and really focused more on buying so I bought a bought a house. It was foreclosed at the time. And so it was a pretty good deal. It was a four bedroom, two bath two car garage. So once I bought it I realized, well, you know, I was single at the time, so I didn't necessarily need the whole house to myself. So I set up my bedroom in the master bedroom, and the other two rooms were basically available to be rented out. So I ended up renting those two rooms out to two of my friends at the time and and then all three of us that lived in the house. We basically had a great time. You know, we live together in that house and the rent that they were paying was covering not only my mortgage, so principal and interest but taxes and insurance HOA as well as the utilities really. So I was living essentially rent free for next three years and I thought well you know this is possible in this house, then maybe it's possible to do so and another house is exclusive rental. So I bought one more house again at the time there were a lot more foreclosures available on the market. So bought a house at the time in Indianapolis and you're not going to believe these prices. It was a four bedroom, three full bath home that was built in 2005. I bought it in 2008 for $39,000. And I bought it at the time my dad and I both kind of renovated the house we did a little bit of work to it, you know, you know fix the water heater and you know that the people used to do a number of crazy things. I think at that time, like when the house was foreclosed, it would go and cut off all the plumbing just so that you know squatters won't live in it and things like that. So we ended up renovating the house kind of brought it back to life and then lo and behold obviously it was a almost a new house. You know, four bedroom, three full bath, two car garage. So it's ready for like 1100 Pretty much from day one. Wow. And it was bought for $39,000 in my head. I'm like well, at the time the downpayment was I think 15% with you know with the tax proration and all that I think I took less than $4,000 to closing and I'm like well this was all recovered in the first six months. So I'm like this seems like a good thing to do. And then I did one more and then then you know I ended up taking a little bit of a hiatus to do some volunteering, work and traveling and and living life. So I but once I came back from that I continued the real estate investment journey, but yeah, that's kind of how I got started in it.

Derek Clifford:

Excellent. And once you tell people what you do today, I know that like today, you've got a lot going on. So let's let's, let's let's share everyone tell everyone what you've got going on today.

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, no, absolutely. So I want I was working at Rolls Royce, most recently in my corporate career and I left that in 2016 to do real estate full time eventually. You know, I basically came to love what I do in real estate and I, I do four things in real estate, maybe five but basically what I do is I continue to invest in real estate so all residential, single family, but really primarily right now focused on multifamily small to mid size and larger multifamily properties. I also run a property management company as you kind of mentioned in the beginning of the beginning of the show, I own and run a real estate brokerage so I'm a managing broker for it and I also have my loan origination license. So these are the four functional things I do and I invest i i run a property management company I do brokerage, and do also loan origination. So this was all kind of set up over a period of time obviously, you know, I left my job in 2016. So you know, this is kind of one step at a time type of a situation. I've done a few flips it's not my favorite thing to do. I just did it and then just kind of got over it really quickly because the mainly because of the tax implications and kind of the the grind that it really is to flip properties. So but now you know, obviously I'm pretty, pretty settled and what I do and really focused on larger multifamily properties and syndicating those deals.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, and I would say that you also do an excellent job that property management. Thanks so I just I just hope that you know, all of the all the listeners that are listening out there they're looking for multifamily properties is not going to rush you all at the same time after listening to this podcast, but in any event, I thought it would be really cool to share you with the world because you've done an excellent job doing the property management on our properties and we also have some together that we're we're co owners on as well.

Darshan Soni:

But yeah, no, I absolutely think it's one of those things where property management is kind of a tough job in a way but at the same time with just continuous sort of diligence and stay on top of things. It does work

Derek Clifford:

100% It does. It's one of those things that like you said on our podcast before, it's very forgiving. It's one of those things where you know, if if you make a mistake in real estate, as long as you hold long enough, you can find a way to kind of correct out of it. Now, what I want to shift to here is I'm fascinated by this fact of you leaving in 2016 and you start to build up your own portfolio. And now all of a sudden you find yourself well, you know, why can't I manage these myself? Right? Why can't I do that? And obviously you can do that yourself. And I think up until very recently, all the properties that you've managed was on your own right they you own them yourself, right? So can you talk a little bit about like that transition of going from buying single family homes and then having maybe a property manager support you to now taking over that integration? How did that shift happen and and why did you do it?

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, no, I think so. In my case, the journey was that when I was at Rolls Royce, I was buying single family homes, and then you know, buying really these small multifamily properties like 11 units and 20 units and so forth and so on. And I was self managing at the time. And as I was getting ready to quit my job at Rolls Royce, I thought, well, you know, these units, just the self management of it isn't going to keep me busy. So I got a broker's license. And a lot of friends approached, and they said, Well, you know, we would like to be able to do the same thing that you did, which is to be able to quit the job based on passive income and so forth and so on. And so I said, Well, sure. So I started helping people buy single family properties, as real estate investments. And as soon as the first closing happened, the first question was, well, who's going to manage these properties? So then I thought, well, I guess I am because I'll start a property management company. So very organic in terms of how it kind of happened. I would say that up until up until I had about 90 units under management, you know, it's always been oddly enough that about 50% of what I manage is have some ownership in. So even at the time, I think that we had about 90 units under management and I think I own maybe 50 or 60 of those set that time. You know, the question was what do we do kind of just stop growing or basically professionalize the systems that we have in place. So obviously, I decided to take the leap and professionalize the system. So we kind of hired an employee we took on a property management system implemented AppFolio created really the systems that would allow us to scale and then for almost about a year and a half kept growing very organically. You know, 2018 was another milestone because that's when we implemented AppFolio and then kind of grew organically until about 2020, which is when I was really focused, I was like, You know what, in order for us to have the scale that I really want, both in the property management as well as in the ownership. I really need to do something different and that's when it obviously connected with people like you. And all of a sudden I would say between late 2020 and end of 2021 We almost tripled our our portfolio under management as well as under otter doubled the assets under ownership. So I think it's, it's been a great journey. It's been one of those things that you just look back and kind of almost look back in awe that you know, how did this happen? But it has been very rewarding and very I would say, to say the least, it has been very adventurous.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, I would, I would, I would definitely go with you there on that point. So what I'm trying to do now is I'm trying to bring myself back to the point where you are on this, this precipice where you're like, Well, you know, should we stop right now we have 90 doors right? Should we stop now? Or should we make this a full fledged business? And the main question that I always come to myself because, you know, I have you know, I've mentioned this before to you that vertical integration may be something in my future, but you know, after thinking about it, I really think that leaving it to the professionals is the best thing to do. You must have had that thought in your mind to write because at least the maxim from where I came from is that property management is all the hardest, the worst part of owning property. And here you are now trying to lean into it even more. So. Maybe can you speak to that like what your thought process was and in doing this, yeah, so

Darshan Soni:

I think mainly, you're absolutely right. I always say that property management is the tip of the spear, right? And that's where the money is made or lost, you know, that's where the mistakes are often amplified, and something that you really have to live with, if they're, you know, they continue to happen, right. So I mean, that's, it definitely is is that, that tip of the spear in terms of kind of overall operation of real estate assets. So, and I think you're absolutely right. So I went through the same, same sort of questioning right in terms of what do we do? Is this something that we want to make it into a full time career and a business or do we do we just sort of, you know, hold off at the number of units we have and only self manage the units we own? It's a lot easier to manage the stuff that you own versus manage for other people, right? Because when you're doing third party management, there's a lot to be said about communicating people, keeping people posted, letting make sure that the owners understand what the pluses and minuses of various different approaches are. Right. So and also from a property management standpoint, right, working with owners who are also professionals and also understanding and also want the same thing that you want, right? Obviously, if you there's always a possibility in this kind of the 2022 world that we're in that if you are not working with the right owners, you could potentially dig yourself in a hole or you know, have an avalanche of lawsuits, right. I mean, that those are all very real possibilities. So I think in the end, the the main reason for coming to this conclusion of professionalizing the business and making it a real sort of an operating property management company, is is that you know, it was in order to add scale, right in order for us to be able to do the right thing to respond to their maintenance. requests on time to have an office staff that could you know, take on all the inquiries and do the leasing and, and be able to afford the systems that would make it easier to efficiently and profitably operate properties, right. I mean, I see you have a property if it's, it needs to be 100% occupied, right? And obviously, within reason, you make that the best effort to keep it occupied that way. If it's if you're below 95% should be a concern in everyone's mind, right that you know, the owner should be concerned the property manager should be concerned, the leasing agent should be concerned and I wanted to set things up in a way in which everyone was rewarded properly as well. So I think we're, we're on our way I would say that just like any business, I mean, this is this is one business that is totally open to to continuous improvement. I mean, that then that that was my sort of job function. When I was in an engineering roles. It was really continuous improvement. So this is one of those spaces where I really feel where continuous improvement is. is a big one, right? I think the technology the waves coming out the the adaptation of technology, not just by not just by residents, but by contractors by various service providers by employees. Right. So and obviously you know, residents, it's great because let me end by saying this. So when I was at Rolls Royce, I had, you know, a lot of friends who would say, Well, if you had 10 properties that would be too much. You would you would you would not know what to do with yourself like, yeah, that would be too much work. And I remember thinking in my head that at that time, I had 42 units. A lot of those friends didn't know necessarily that I was managing 42 units. But I think a lot of times when people say that I think they they don't realize the the advancement of technology that has happened in this space. If you think about a realtor that was selling properties just 30 years ago, you know, they have literally books of real estate. Yeah, like like how pictures of houses like folders of them located in offices which are available to be sold, or people are printing ads and newspapers, which is just, you know, a completely different world from what it is today. So, to answer your question, again, really came down to being able to have scale to do the right thing.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, and I think that's a fantastic answer, because there's control there and I love the technology and so that's one of the reasons why we're so happy with our partnership with you guys is that you guys have really really embraced the, the technology part of it but in addition to that notion, like when you start a business and you know it's it's all fun and games when you're doing less than 100 units install you, right, let's talk about leverage of people. I think that's a big, big part of it too, because you have people processes and you've got the technology and then the end of the product, which is the you know, the actual houses or the real estate that you're managing. It says it sounds like after you had 90 units or so you decided to bring someone on to help you. How was that transition for you? Was that a difficult thing for you to be able because here you are building this portfolio up and you the main thing you want is control right because you're able to control and and have more network, you know, involved. You can you can do economies of scale, you can run things the way you want to run them, but now you're bringing on a team member who you have to train or bring in and re you know, tell them how you do things right. And then you have this loss of control. So maybe you can talk a little bit about the mindset piece of what that enabled for you right now that you bring you bring on team members and what that's allowing you to do now.

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, no, that's a great question. So you know, and the business as well as in property management, probably more so in property management than then many other businesses. That the the personalities of the employees, the team that you bring together. And you know, I suppose it's probably the same for every business, but how they work together among themselves, right, your entire team, how they operate, is probably more crucial. And in fact, this business is so open to being affected by personalities, right? Because at the end of the day, you're literally just coordinating a lot of efforts, right? So you're coordinating with the tenants, you're coordinating with the contractors, you're coordinating with the utility providers, you're coordinating with the service providers, you're coordinating with, you know, trash collection companies you're coordinating with sometimes you know, people from people who are providing your technology services like AppFolio and you know, people who are providing you with your ability to run background reports and things like that, right. So, and almost always right like I mean, then I almost feel like we can write a book about basically war stories of doing property. Right? Because, I mean, every day almost we have a situation where it's like, well, how did this happen? Or how does this happen in America or something like that, right, where it's just mind boggling. So the team in I think in the beginning when you were asking the question, in my mind, I was thinking that it's very unnerving, right in a way because now you have people who are representing you, to tenants, to contractors to service providers, to various different vendors. And no, you're selling something that's that's very intimate to people, right? You're selling housing. Right? You're selling people that are home, yes, they're renting from you, but it's at the end of the day, that's their home, right. They have tenant rights, they have rights to their home, their rights to privacy, they have rights to be notified if you know before getting access to the property and so forth and so on. It is definitely a nerving right. You want to make sure that in this space, you hire people who are generally respectful Who are you know, very congenial is a word that comes to mind I mean people who are able to deal with situations and scenarios which are very much in your face, because I think it's a matter of time because if you have the scale, right, if you have if you're managing 500 units, you're always gonna have something that's contentious, right? So you're gonna have, you know, potentially contentious, contentious situation with situations with with tenants with contractors, with other employees. I think you want to build a team that is very, very genuinely compassionate, very genuinely focused on providing good places to live. Good housing for people. And you know, you I think there's some times and obviously not that this is a concern in the industry, but I think when you think property management, right, when you think landlording, right, a lot of bad things come to mind. Right? You bet. I think the word in fact, there are a lot of groups out there who are trying to get away from the word landlord because it's a very bad word in my opinion, as well. There a lot of real estate investors association that really just don't like that word. And I think there's a good reason for it. Right. So, you know, the word really should be like a housing provider. Right, and which is what we are, we provide housing right we at the end of the day, we ensure that you know, people get hot water and people get heat and people get air conditioning and people's stoves are working right. And every day, there's something that breaks and then you have to address it. So you almost have to have this mindset of a therapist, right that you know, you when you're listening to people, it's always something wrong, right. And it kind of wears you down. Unless you have this very, you know, cheerful attitude. And the team that kind of keeps it cheerful, right? Because if if the team gets very disappointed very quickly, or someone's on the team gets disappointed all the time. It's going to kind of bring down the attitude of the entire team. So I think the key is to hire people who can so that you know, these are the questions that I asked when we're, we're interviewing, which is that you know, you know, what are you like, in the face of, you know, someone screaming at you, although that's not that it happens all the time, but it can right and what you want to you want the ability to get past that. If that, if that makes any sense.

Derek Clifford:

It No it does. It does. And I think I think this is great. This is like a crash course in property management or at least trying to try to get set expectations for what happens when you do property management. And I think that that's awesome. And one of the things that I want to I want to touch back on and then we'll go first full circle around this next question is, I know that you're also an investor, right? And having control of the property management side makes you a stronger investor. That's why it's so compelling because you have full control of your operations, especially at scale. Because if you know what's happening on all of your properties at any time, you know, you've got control vendors, like you're always on the cutting edge or the tip of the spear like you'd like to say on everything the tenants, the vendors, even the owners, right you're you have every you're putting it all together. So how do you balance your investing business with your property management business because I want to help paint a picture for those out there who may be thinking about vertically integrating and some perspective that you may be able to offer in that space of trying to do both roles at the same time.

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, no, I Yeah. It's a good good, good question. I think so I always say that, you know, there's a 95% of the people in the world who could probably never do property management 5% of people in the world who wouldn't do anything else, right? It's just are there I'm sure there are certain people in the world who are either property management or something like it right, which is very much a constant grind. I mean, you know, you have a phone call in the middle of the night, you know, but you're okay with it, that that's something that doesn't bother you. So that's one thing, right? That if you have the personality that can deal with that sort of, you know, anytime incoming right, then then you're well suited for it. The The other thing which is, you know, how do I balance my investing versus Property Management right so it obviously it like in all other businesses, right, you try to leverage the the team around you just like you do right in your business and when you you, you're looking for investment opportunities. So we I do the same thing, right? So we have a pretty good built, team, well built up team on the property management side. I would like to build a better team on the acquisition side, right? I would like to have an accurate director of acquisition who kind of, you know, that's properties for us to buy. But right now, essentially, I am the director of acquisition for us, right? I'm my own director of acquisition. Yeah. So but you know, the really awesome thing about doing this is that you have much better access to properties and then owners and what's happening in the field and, you know, no one has to tell you while the prices are going up for flooring or paint are, you're kind of aware of it on a day to day basis. I think one of the disadvantages of doing what I do is that you get pigeonholed into a geographical area because you're so much more in tune with that. specific area. And if you almost inherently uncomfortable going into a new area, because you're like, Well, I really don't know how this area is. And because you're used to knowing everything very intimately in a very different way. So nothing ever kind of compares. To the level of knowledge you have about that particular geographical area. So I think, you know, obviously, there's always ways around it right. You can always break that mold or break out of that mold and, you know, kind of get out of that hole analysis paralysis situation about a new area, but you generally tend to get pigeonholed into one area geographical area, if you're doing both property management and purchasing assets at this level. You know, obviously there are companies and their hedge funds and their private equity companies that do this all over the world and, and they're fine because I think the people who are making decisions are not like we are in a sense that, you know, we're intimately familiar with the Indianapolis area and that's where I started and I bought a house and rehabbed it and you know, flipped a few properties here and there and you know, know a bunch of contractors and I can call somebody without and be like, you know, if I go buy a property in Florida and something happens in the middle of the night, who do I call right? Because I have no network of people. Whereas here, that network of people and friendships and relationships have been built over 15 plus years. And I think I can call on those relationships. I think that's the outside a little bit of a downside that you have this sense of fear that I don't know that many people in that area.

Derek Clifford:

That's that's a really good point. I never thought of it that way. Do you think that and this is just a side question before I go back to what I really want to ask you but do you think that if you did try to venture out into another market that your lack of visibility would be uncomfortable for you? Is that what that is? Is that what you're Is that what you're trying to say? Is that there's exactly? Yeah. Because you're used to being able to see, okay, well, what is the actual unit price per square foot of flooring installed? Right for LVP. And you can know that right off the top of your head because you know what, the labor rates are NIMBY, right? But if you're out in like California, or if you're out in Las Vegas, or something, you know, materials, but maybe not the rental rate or the labor rates, and so you're going to struggle there. And in addition to that, the market dynamics too, and the politics and the laws, right? All that stuff is completely different. And the culture right like people in Florida are probably a little bit different than people in Montana, right. That's my thought.

Darshan Soni:

I don't know either. So, but yeah, that's fair enough. So you know, I think that's right, that this the point of discomfort is, is really more to do with a lack of understanding about an area and also lack of network. But I think one way to overcome and we're kind of almost in the process of being able to overcome that scenario. So one way to overcome that is just leverage people who have been in the area long enough, right. So I mean, and the other the, the ultimate thing is to bake in costs. Accordingly, like in Indianapolis, we can get things done cheaper than we can maybe somewhere else, right and that's so you have to bake in costs, which are higher than what we might do in an area that we're extremely familiar in because that's just the reality, right that if you don't know as many people if you don't have those relationships, things probably will cost if you just Google things and call people who show up. You know, people have paid a ton of money to make sure their listing comes up at the top of the, you know, top of the page.

Derek Clifford:

So of course, yeah, yeah, very cool. So I want to move on here and just ask you a quick question about these two. So I'm just fascinated by the concept of running two businesses at the same time, right. And in addition to that, you have kids and a wife at home as well. So that's another thing that we could also get into if we have the time but basically, I want to, I want to explore like, you know, you have your property management business, which is now levered and pretty much running. You have to come by and you still have to like operate it and you still have to fill in when people are sick. And you know, you're still in the business there. Right. But to a certain extent, then you have this acquisitions business. So are there any lessons that you're taking from either one of these that you're putting into the other, like any any of the things that you're learning from your property management business that you can put into your investing and vice versa?

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, it's fantastic point. So you know, property management is really a contact sport. You know, it's it's a very much a day to day affair. I mean, I go to the office more or less every day. And I'm very familiar with what's going on. I'm very intimately involved. And, you know, sois real estate investing, right? When you're investing in real estate, you want to know certain things you want to, you want to be able to say, well, you know, this property has a boiler so what do I call to get a better understanding of a boiler, then you'll you'll know somebody because you've been in the business, right? So you can call people you can kind of rely on that network of contacts. And, you know, it really helps them in all all sides of the equation, I think so. Let's say I mean, right now, there's an interesting case in point where I'm trying to sell a condo which you know, I bought all the way back in 2008, and C at the time, I had no idea about aluminum wiring. But when the buyer did it, you know, they're offering great price, but they when they did an inspection, they found those aluminum wiring. So it didn't take me a whole lot of time to figure out that you know, hey, you know, I can call this guy and then they came in walked it in one day, right whereas right now, if you, you know, it could have potentially taken somebody else like a week to get somebody on the site to get a quote, right. So I think that kind of back and forth happens. The other thing is, I think, just when you're evaluating properties, I think you get much better at it just because you on an ongoing basis, this is what you do, right? You manage it every day. So, I mean, you should know right, looking at a roof that this kind of needs attention or, you know, these gutters need attention or exterior needs attention, or you know, the tenants are not keeping the property up, or is it you know, is it going to cost 10,000 To get it back up and up and running or is it going to cost you know, 250,000 I think you have kind of those ballpark estimates in your head. So which really helps, because just being in the business, and, you know, I think this is a challenge for everybody in any kind of business. But one thing that you've kind of learned to do is protect your time right? So you you say look, you know, I leave at nine o'clock, but I come home at six o'clock, right? Even though there may be like networking events happening like every day, but you pick and choose the ones you go to, right because, you know, if I if I was single and didn't have kids and whatnot, then I would say yeah, you know, I will, you know, go to pretty much every networking event. And I think people who are very passionate about it, and if they don't have those other responsibilities, they can but I think at the same time, if you do, and if you're trying to maximize life, in a sense, then then you have to put boundaries around your time, I think and I've heard a lot of other people suggest the same thing and it's really it's one thing that works really well.

Derek Clifford:

Let's talk about this a little bit. I know that this show right now, or at least this season of our show is focused on knowledge, equity, and helping other people understand what it is that you do and really diving deep into how you do these things. And I think we've explored a lot of that right? It's at least as far as we can with the time that we have. But I also want to talk about balance. You know, your wife and your your your newborn right, which is, which was the daughter Yeah, that's right. Congrats. That's right. I remember meeting her and she's Yeah, she's awesome. You guys are trying to also live alive, right life while you're doing all this. And so can you talk a little bit about like, while you're getting your property management business up to speed and then you're also getting these these these properties going? You have these two businesses side by side. And what happens on those hard days, what happens when things are really tough either, you know, both on the investment side where either a deal falls through, or you discover something in due diligence that makes it completely different deal or, and maybe and you have a really tough day like an emergency or a fire or a flood event or something like that happening at one of your properties. How do you guys handle that like how do you guys like put that down and move on with your life?

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, so I think I would say two things. One is obviously a family really helps in that right in a sense that when you come home, you know, obviously you can can you know rely on people at home to to kind of cheer you up and bring that mood back to a good place, so to speak. The other thing which I think I've found really helpful is to work with reasonable people. And when I when I say reasonable, I mean work with people who are reasonable as as co workers, as colleagues as employees as investors as owners. So you know, a lot of property management companies when they're starting out, they're very, and as they should be right, that they're very open to just about any business. I think it's very critical to pick and choose your partners very, very carefully, especially in this business because, you know, obviously if people were understanding of that, of those of those boundaries of those life situations and and I think I find that more than any other business people are very, very understanding in the in the business of real estate, right, so I've made tons of friends who I met through real estate, and then I have friends that I met outside of real estate, but we've ended up doing things together in real estate and we've just become closer and you know, people end up caring for one another better, I think, but I think it's it like I said at the end of the day, it's very critical to build, build a team and also work with people and individuals. Who are they they're able to recognize those situations, and they're able to kind of work with you and understand your life. And just as well as me you have to do the same thing for them as well. Right? If they're having a tough day or a tough situation, then you have to jump you know step in. Yeah, exactly. So that's that's just the way it works. And I think real estate is very, very amenable to that I've met a lot of people who are very helpful. And sometimes I'll give you one kind of a funny example. You know, sometimes your competitors, right, I mean, like, let's say there's multiple property management companies in Indianapolis. And, you know, you compete on certain things, but then if it's a tough situation, then really people help each other out. It's kind of almost odd if you think about it, but I think that's what makes real estate something very unique and very great. You know, I've talked to people who are in the capital markets and they always get the feeling that you know, if your investment banking It's always like this, you know, you have to always cover your back and ensure that you know, you don't share some information and there's the level of friendships are very different. But I think in real estate, even sometimes people that you're otherwise competing with in a different space will will step up and help you out if they think that you're having a tough time. So I think that's the key.

Derek Clifford:

Excellent. That's a good answer. And that's it makes sense to me now that like you have good people to rely on, either both on the partnership side and also on your team and the property management side, right, at least when you have something going where you've got the scale where the likelihood of that type of thing escalates, right? When you do have that that happening. So thank you for sharing that.

Darshan Soni:

You and your even your clients, right. I mean, sometimes it's it's tough to let go of business, but I think you almost have to write in order to get to select the type of people that you work with.

Derek Clifford:

Right? Absolutely. Yeah. I couldn't agree with you there more in exactly the same thing on the capital side, right? Like when you're working with investors that that you're gonna be partnering with these individuals. And it's the same thing with property management, right? Like you as a property manager. You have the right to fire clients just as much as we have the right to fire property managers.

Darshan Soni:

Absolutely. Right. On the Capitol recite is kind of the same thing right that so my, you know, one of my friends he always says this that you want the people who are going to ask you a lot of questions up front and not bother you later on. Right. So you want people were tough in the beginning, right? But then they understand businesses business, right? So they if you want them to kind of evaluate you your background, the deal the situation, almost to the nth degree, and then say, Yeah, okay, well, now I've done my homework and I trust your abilities and capabilities and your ethics and all of that, and then I'm willing to work with you.

Derek Clifford:

It's great advice. Love it, love it. So let's get let's shift here real quick. And, and this will be the last couple of questions that we ask and then we'll go ahead and wrap up the show. But I would say is, would you recommend your path to everyone out there? Or would you say that you know, maybe there are certain elements that would fit individuals better? Or is this something that you absolutely believe in that like most people, if they want to do it the right way, this is the way they should be doing it?

Darshan Soni:

So I think I'm still trying to figure out my path. I think that for what it's worth, I think I have these situations. Maybe every every two years or so where I'm like, Is this is this really what I want to be doing? So I think I go through those motions, and I think it's it for what it's worth. I think it's important to go through those motions than anything else, right? Because those are the ones that will give you the the ultimately the the idea, right clarified idea and I think that that idea is going to become clarified as time goes on. Right? So I've heard this statement where that you know, life is a progressive unfoldment of reality. And which which is essentially what it is and you you you have as the individual living it right to define that reality. Right. So I think I would say that real estate investments is definitely something that everyone should consider at least a little bit right. And I really mean everyone, right? You should everyone should consider it because you know, since time immemorial, right homeownership land ownership has always been part of human endeavor and human life. And it's one thing that that has a potential and clearly shown by, you know, historical numbers, right that it's long term wealth building, not just for you, but your future generations and so forth. And so on. So I think I would definitely suggest that everyone should consider investing real estate. I don't know that I would say that everyone should consider vertically integrating property management, brokerage, loan origination and investing right? So I think that's, that's something that you're if you're really gung ho and if you're really into it, and if you really end up enjoying it, right so I mean, I, you know, I didn't jump into it. You know, as I was leaving Rolls Royce and I took six months off to almost do nothing, right. And then, you know, later on, I took almost a year and a half to live in a different city outside of Indianapolis. I lived in Washington DC for about a year and a half. And I was commuting back and forth, but I was spending you know, kind of the lion's share of my time in Washington DC. So I think that's the anymore really, you don't want to wait until you're in your 60s to be to do that. Right. So that's the that's the whole thing. I think real estate is a great thing to consider and if it's something where you should do it, but at the same time, all these other service related efforts that go around the real estate industry, I think those are something that you should be more careful about.

Derek Clifford:

Thank you for that. I have one last question before we head into the final segment of the show because it's just it's just it's been on my mind the whole time is for those people who are interested in doing what you want to do or doing what you did, right, which was, you know, starting to build a property management company alongside your rentals and doing that. Do you have any tips for those folks? You know, based on like, what you learned from early on, like when you're doing your single families and then maybe your first multifamily property?

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, so I so one major advice right is buy systems early on. Right. So I think I implemented out polio when we had 90 units 89 To be exact right under management. And until that time, I was running everything keyed through spreadsheets. And you know, I'll give you this funny example of like, so I was just dispersing rental income to owners right via at the time, I think Zell was owned by Chase so used to be called Chase QuickPay. Right. And they had a limit of like, only you know, you being able to disburse $5,000. So, like I was dispersing rent over like, like a six day period, right? Because I'd run out of the limit. And then I have to disperse the rest the following day. So don't do stuff like that, right. So get get the proper systems get the end You know, those systems will do two things, right? If it'll help you grow, if that's what you want to do, and if you don't want to grow, which is just perfectly fine. Then it'll help you do it right. And do it with the minimal amount of headache, right and minimal amount of sort of redoing efforts. So I think, you know, I come from a little bit of a manufacturing background and the worst thing that you want to do is rework right in manufacturing, like, you know, to kind of take a product and rework it. So I think implementing right systems and, and tools really help you reduce the rework, so to speak, so that's one advice. So get those systems early on. I love every penny.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I can totally vouch for that. And I'm glad to see that it also translates into the property management side as well because I've been doing that in my real estate investing side, which after this recording is over, I want to show you what I'm working on as well so you can you can see what I'm looking

Darshan Soni:

at. Oh, you're the master of it.

Derek Clifford:

We'll see we'll take a look. But anyway, Darshan, thank you so much for coming on the show. But we are going to do one last section, which is five questions that we ask every one of our guests and so we're going to rapidly ask them to you here and they're meant to be about 32nd response or smaller if possible. If not, it's okay. We'll give you will give you a write off to be able to answer however long you'd like to Okay,

Darshan Soni:

or well, I'm all about time so I'll keep my time.

Derek Clifford:

Time protection, I love it. Alright, let's head into the Rapid Round. Number one what book has had the biggest impact on you and why and that's outside the rich dad or the Bible? Because we get those all the time.

Darshan Soni:

Yeah, sure. So no, no, no sort of religious books. And I can understand that. I read never alone. It's been a while but that was that was a very good book and kind of helped me understand a little bit more about you know, making sure like the, you know, then meeting people and sort of spending time with the right people it means a lot in Sanskrit actually there's a very good word costs Upson, which means to spend time with good people. So then how much value that value that adds to your life and the book Never Eat Alone really emphasizes that obviously it emphasizes from a business perspective, but I think it's applicable in business as well as other life scenarios. Of course,

Derek Clifford:

of course. Yeah. And I remember that book was written by like Lyle roundness or something like that. Yeah, it's

Darshan Soni:

got the orange cover. Yes. Yeah,

Derek Clifford:

it was one of the first books that I read on personal development and it scared me the things that it said because I had to break out of my shell to go sit with people and yeah, it was pretty cool. So all right, cool. Number two, if people want to emulate your success, what is the first actionable thing that they could do to follow in your footsteps?

Darshan Soni:

Get rid of analysis paralysis, just do the news. Right? This love it. I think a lot of people out there you know, do a lot of research and as they should. Research is always definitely very good, but focus on doing the deals doing the work.

Derek Clifford:

Awesome. I think execution incredible advice. Yep. Absolutely. Number three, what is one tool process or hack in the last three months to help you save time and or effort?

Darshan Soni:

Wow, this is this is interesting. In the last three months Hmm. Calendly so I'm a little bit of a late, late starter to that I know. A lot of people have been using that but it's a great tool to be able to schedule meetings like this right? So I mean, just kind of send somebody someone a link and it helps you. Helps you coordinate meetings pretty easily and keeps your calendar full and then just you know, be able to spend time with your family afterwards. Right. So I think that will Yeah, juggling calls, potentially after hours and things like

Derek Clifford:

that. So yeah, I'm a huge fan and we can geek out about this later on, because I have the processes behind it, but we'll talk about that later. Number four. If the people you know had to describe you with one word, what do you think that would be? Pleasant. I would agree.

Darshan Soni:

Hopefully anyways,

Derek Clifford:

yeah, that's right. And I'll let the listeners judge you on that. So listeners you can go ahead and comment, rate and review. Let us know what you think. Alright, last question I have right here is what small thing do most people not know about you?

Darshan Soni:

What What small thing most people do not know about me? I don't know that's a tough one. I don't know. I mean, I've tried to figure out what is it that like generally people might not know about me. I guess most people in my personal life do know about this, like friends and family and people that I've worked very closely with in the nonprofit world. But I think a lot of times in the business world. People don't know that I've traveled quite a bit and I've taken three years off from professional career to basically just travel and volunteer for different community organizations and do service and those types of things and which is I think one of the things that I I originally did real estate, I started investing in real estate for I've deviated from that path a little bit by focusing a little bit more energy and attention in real estate but I think with in due course of time I will refocus my time and attention. More on those efforts and endeavors. I don't know if it's very small, maybe it's very big. Yeah. So, but that's that's one thing. I think a lot of people in the business world may not know about me.

Derek Clifford:

Excellent, man. That's that's a great I love it. That's a perfect way to wrap up the show. So Darshan, thank you so much for coming on and being genuine and open and really appreciate you for all you do, and especially for all of our properties together as well. But in any event, what I'd like to do is before we end the show, why don't you tell the listeners who want to find out more about what you and you guys do? Both on the investment and on the property management side, how they can get ahold of you or you know, if you want to have them get a hold of you just let us know. It's an open floor for you right now.

Darshan Soni:

You're no absolutely yeah, so I just like you i i recently started into this whole world of podcasting and sharing my story a little bit. It's been an interesting, it's been a little bit of a kind of a breaking out of the comfort zone. So yeah, that's going pretty well I would say and you can find me at real estate version.com That's real estate version Dar es H n.com. And also you can subscribe to my podcast. And the name of the podcast is real estate version as well. So it's both on Apple as well as Spotify.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, and it's also your Instagram handle. If I

Darshan Soni:

yeah, of course. Yes. My real estate version. Correct.

Derek Clifford:

Excellent. Excellent. Well, there's and thank you so much for coming on the show. And for all of you listeners who have listened all the way to the end, I want to thank you as well. And please, wherever you're listening or watching this, please like subscribe, comment, engage with us because we want to deliver excellent content like Darshan has here today for us all. So please do that for us. We really appreciate that. We want to appease those algorithm Gods so that we can find our way up the chain and get exposure to more people and get more great guests on to help serve you. So thank you once again for listening. And Thurston thank you again for coming on.

Darshan Soni:

Thanks for having me.

Derek Clifford:

Yeah, absolutely. And thank you everyone for listening and have an awesome day. Take care everyone.