How To Buy Your FIRST Apartment Building in as Little as the Next 87 Days
I’ve done it and I’d like to teach you how to do the same thing.
Let me ask you a question… Do you have bills stacking up or your kid’s college tuition coming due around the corner?
Are you looking for the quickest path to get that cash flow you need?
The past few years have done a real number on the economy putting the markets in chaos and real estate values in the tank. It almost seems like everything has crashed and burned.
Don’t worry, I’m about to show you that this massive downturn in one area has created a goldmine of opportunity in another.
The foreclosure “crisis” has driven over 13 million families from their homes, and made it so that HUGE numbers of people won’t be able to buy a home again for years.
So how does that sad situation turn into a residual income for you? Well, it means they’ll have to rent for years to come and if you own the apartment building in their area, they have to rent from and pay YOU every single month.
Look, that’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a win/win.
You provide a clean, comfortable and safe place for their families to live, treat them right and in return they pay you for providing the shelter over their heads.
That’s why right now is the best time in history to buy your first apartment building.
Because I’ve already done it, I know that for my money buying an apartment building is the fastest and easiest way to generate regular, repeatable and LEGAL cash flow each and every month.
I’m talking about serious cash flow of THOUSANDS of dollars every month.
It’s the kind of money that you’ve dreamed of and right now I’m teaching you that once you set it up, you’ll cash the checks month after month.
You owe to yourself and your family to take advantage of the chaos because it won’t last forever.
Proof: My First Apartment Building
I Closed the Sale In 87 Days
Hi – I’m Dennis Fassett.
That’s me in the picture. I’m standing in front of my first apartment building the day I closed on it.
It’s a cool little building that I bought a couple of years ago – in only 87 days from when I started looking for it. And I used none of my own money to buy it.
The best part is that I had positive cash flow the first month, and I’ve had it every month since I closed on it.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want to prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you’re about to learn works. And that you can start generating serious cash flow in the next 87 days by buying your first apartment building.
The honest-to-God truth is that when I started looking for my first building I was in a situation similar to what you’re probably facing right now. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:
- You have a critical need for more cash flow (kid’s college tuition, retirement, paying bills, vacations, etc)
- Your job is at risk, your salary has been reduced, or your hours have been cut (I work in the automotive industry and the risk seems to be NEVER ENDING)
- You have a limited amount (or no) money to spend
- You have no “spare” time
Can you identify with any of these?
Well all of that described me to a “T”. When I started looking for my first building I had a stay-at-home wife and four young kids (still do), and we had been taking care of my terminally ill mother in our home for several years before she passed away.
To add to the stress, the automotive industry was cratering, so I needed to generate positive cash flow like yesterday to create a safety net for my family in case my job was eliminated.
The problem was, I didn’t know a damn thing about apartment buildings. Literally zero. And to add to that, as my company was in it’s death spiral.
I wasn’t working less, I was working more AND for less money.
I needed to find a shortcut to get to positive cash flow ASAP.
That was when I got serious and started looking for something or someone that would show me how to go from zero knowledge to positive cash flow as fast as possible.
In total I spent $16,436 looking.
Seminars where boring instructors droned on for three and four days in front of mostly empty hotel conference rooms trying to sell five figure “coaching programs” led by people that had never even bough real estate.
Home study courses that cost a small fortune that were so basic they were worthless. And countless books and CDs that were nothing more than ego strokes or promotional materials for their authors.
I came up empty. There was nothing out there. I was fatally disappointed.
But because I had my back against the wall and failure was not an option, I started from scratch. I created my own process.
What did I discover?
That for years all the “gurus” had made buying apartment buildings sound so complex that anyone believing them would have been scared to death to attempt to buy one without having their hand held through the entire process.
That’s what I call The Big Lie.
Because I discovered that buying an apartment building isn’t rocket science. Far from it actually.
In fact, I realized that all it took was a simple and straightforward process.
Once you know the process, you can easily buy an apartment building and start generating cash flow. Fast.
You don’t have to spend a small fortune on education. You can do it without expensive hand holding. And being successful doesn’t have to take over your life.
Here’s what you get with Apartment Building Quick Cash Program:
Module 1: First Things First
I believe in keeping things as simple as possible. So we start at the beginning, with a mile-high view that sets the stage for everything else. You’ll learn…
- Exactly where you’re going (what’s ahead in the training)
- What you’ll be learning every step of the way
- How to best consume and digest it
- How to get the most out of it possible
- A little more about me, and my experiences
- A look at the specific type of apartments I target (size/price range) and why
When you walk into a new shopping mall for the first time with no concept of how it’s laid out, what’s the first thing you want to do? Find the mall map!
That’s what this module is. It’s your “mall map” for the rest of the course. A starting point, that’ll show you exactly where we’re going and what’s in store.
Module 2: Why Apartment Buildings?
Before you understand the “how”, you really should start by wrapping your mind around the “why”…and maybe even more importantly, the “why now“…
……What’s the situation with commercial real estate in today’s market?
……Apartment buildings vs. other commercial real estate
……Do the Work ONCE: Cash flow now and cash flow later
……Tax Benefits NOW: Why do you think the rich buy real estate?
……1995 vs. 2006 vs. today
……Where do apartment building fundamentals stand today?
……The coming commercial foreclosure tidal wave
……Why apartment buildings are the right vehicle
This module sets the stage for others ahead of it. If you don’t understand the “why” then the “how” doesn’t really matter that much, does it?
Module 3: The 8 People You Must Talk To While Getting Started
Anyone can see that buying your first cash flow apartment can be an intimidating, confusing and complicated process. But it certainly doesn’t have to be for you. Besides learning from my experiences in this course, there are exactly 8 other people that it’s essential for you to find and get to know. I call them “The Great Eight” and this module is all about how to find and approach them, so you can…
……Protect yourself from buying a lemon
……Connect you with the best financing options for your unique situation
……Help you understand the true value of any apartment building you’re considering
……Protect your investment in all the right ways
……Manage your property and your tenants, without taking over your life
……Protect yourself from liability, during and after your acquisition
Module 4: Your 7 Essential First Steps
In addition to connecting with the “Great Eight” (see module 3), I’ve also found there’s a handful of other important items you’d do well to process in advance of buying your first cash flow apartment building. I’ve boiled it all down to seven key steps I definitely recommend you take first.
These seven important steps are all about helping you…
……Eliminate your knowledge gap
……Set up your base of operation for your first apartment endeavor
……Protect yourself from personal liability as much as possible
……Create your business entity
……Get yourself setup and ready to “do business”
……Assess the resources you have available to you (i.e. cash, time, family support, etc.)
Basically this is all about setting yourself up for success right from the get-go.
Module 5: Reality Check
Have you ever noticed how many of our popular industry “gurus” seem hell-bent on painting the rosiest, most unrealistically easy picture possible of apartment investing? They do that because, frankly, sizzle sells.
It’s sad but true. And leads far to many of us down a primrose path we’re certain is lined with rainbows and puppy dogs…until we actually walk it, and get a dose of how things work in the real world. Maybe you can relate?
Don’t get me wrong – I wholeheartedly believe the fruit has never been riper – the opportunity never hotter – than right now for buying your first cash flow apartment building. But it’s only right, in my view, to give you as accurate a picture possible of what that really looks like in the real world. And that’s exactly why I’ve dedicated an entire session to it. This is my opportunity to set the record straight, dispel common myths and hype I hear around apartment investing, and give you a healthy dose of reality.
Module 6: What Should You Buy?
This is where we get down to brass tacks. In this module you’ll discover…
……What are my overall goals in buying an apartment?
……What’s the #1 most important criteria you should be looking for?
……What’s my 2nd most important criteria for a new apartment acquisition?
……How many units do I recommend if you’re self-managing?
……How many units if you’re hiring a management company?
……What type of buildings specifically do I prefer, and why?
……Roofs: pitched or flat?
……Construction: Brick or frame?
……The huge importance of consistent rental demand
……Plus a lot more.
Module 7: Where Should You Buy?
Location, location, location. We’ve all heard it, right? It’s a timeless real estate truism, but it’s actual application can be a bit more challenging. Sure, location matters…but which location? This module is all about answering that question as it relates to your first apartment investment.
We’ll discuss your goals, and why they make a big difference in your choice of location. Should you explore higher-end, lower-end, or somewhere in between? City, burbs or country? How much do transportation and shopping matter?
Basically my goal here is to share my personal location criteria and help you understand my thinking behind them, then help you think through how to select the ideal target locations for your focus, based on your locale and what you really want to to. Don’t miss this – it’s a paramount decision to think through.
Module 8: Where Do You Find Great Deals?
Here we go into how and where to effectively find the best deals apartment deals available in your marketplace. It has much less to do with location, and more with tactical methodology – how to actually zero in on the apartment deals you’ll want to seriously consider buying.
We talk about commercial brokers (old school and new), the internet, the MLS, Loopnet, Craigslist, Realtor websites, etc.
Basically I’ll cover my personally preferred methods, how I found my apartment deals personally, and my opinion of how much weight and time you should give each of them.
Module 9a: Deal Evaluation–Terms You Must Know
The fact is, buying your first cash flow apartment is not rocket science. But you do need to understand the lingo, the formulas and how to use them. So this is where you wrap your mind around concepts like…
……Net Operating Income (NOI)
……Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)
……Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR or DSCR)
……Cost Per Door / Cost Per Unit
And I’m not just defining them for you. We actually work through examples of how to calculate them together. These concepts are critical, and by the time we’re through this session together, you not only understand how to work them, but why they matter so much in your due diligence assessment.
Module 9b: Deal Evaluation–Practice!
This is where you get in the game!…sort of.
The goal of this session is to prime you up, and send you out to make practice calls and high-level deal evaluation on junk leads. Just to get your feet wet, get you used to the process, and help you work out the kinks on deals that probably won’t matter that much to you.
Look, I know this is a whole new world to many of you. And it can certainly seem intimidating at first. But practice makes perfect! And that’s exactly why I dedicated a whole module to it.
I’ll tell you what questions you should be asking and what information you need to be gathering from the sellers, then I’ll set you loose to give it a go yourself.
Module 9c: Deal Evaluation–Let’s Make It Practical
“So It Is A Good Deal?” It’s a question I get asked all the time. Unfortunately, I can’t answer it fully for you. I can tell you whether or not, based on my criteria, I would pursue a deal further. But ultimately only you can make that call for yourself. My job is to arm you to do just that.
So in this session we break down an example deal together, and I help you walk through the decision making process…
……Is it a good fit with your resources & constraints?
……Does it meet your personal ROI criteria?
……What do the exterior tell you?
……What does the rent roll tell you? Cap rate? Cost per door? ROI? Financing?
When we’re done with this session, you’ll be much more comfortable with deal evaluation on your own terms.
Module 10: Making Your Offer
Here’s where we walk though how to actually make your offer, from start to finish. Do this wrong, and you’ll look dumb at best and probably won’t even be considered a viable candidate. Do it right, and you’ve got every step covered brilliantly.
Together we’ll uncover…
……What’s the first step of the formal purchase process?
……Letter of Intent vs. Purchase Agreement – Which to use when
……What’s included in a good letter of intent?
……What are the essential contingencies to be sure and include?
……How long of an inspection period should I reasonably ask for?
……When does the click start ticking?
……An example of an actual timeline
Module 11a: So Your Offer’s Accepted…Now What??? (Part 1)
So you’ve got a contract. Time to sit back and relax? Hardly! This is where the real heavy lifting is done. It’s time for your real due diligence process…time to gather…verify…gather more…and verify again…
……What should your due diligence ABSOLUTELY encompass?
……Which items are optional, but should be considered?
……Why does the order of your due diligence process matter so much?
……How to save money and hugely reduce your financial risk during this time
……Which FOUR Operating Statement numbers should you end up reviewing?
……What operating data should you look for?
……How do you verify the actual operating data the seller gives you?
Module 11b: So Your Offer’s Accepted…Now What??? (Part 2)
A continuation of the previous session, because it’s too much to squeeze into just one lesson! In this session we cover together…
……How should you handle any material differences you uncover?
……Solvable problems vs. deal breakers
……How and when should you renegotiate?
……What is “Phase One Environmental” (and how much does it matter?)
……The importance of doing things in parallel!
You’ll not only learn about these things in theory, but also from the real-world perspective of one of my previous deals, which I renegotiated a number of times during due diligence, before we finally decided to close. This is how the game is played, and you should be in-the-know.
Module 12: Getting it Funded and Closed
Finding your smoking apartment deal is one thing. Getting it financed is something entirely different. This is where we crack this nut open and take a realistic look together. The fact is, the days of easy commercial mortgages may be in the past, but with the right know-how, you can absolutely still secure the bank backing you need. Some critical questions we’ll be answering include…
……What is the commercial mortgage process like today?
……Owner Financing: Viable in today’s commercial arena?
……What about borrowing private financing from an individual?
……What do the owner financing and private financing process look like?
……How about underlying financing? Can you just take it over?
……What about the Self-Directed IRA?
……What about partnerships with a money partner?
……Once you’ve got your due diligence and financing done…what final steps to close?
Module 13: Case Study – My First Apt. Building
Here’s where we see how it all played out in the real world on my very first deal — a transaction that certainly wasn’t without a few mistakes (that you don’t have to make), but that I also still own today. And yes, it continues to be a cash cow for me like clockwork, month after month.
After a brief review of the 10 steps of acquisition we’ve covered in previous modules, we’ll take a closer look at my first apartment investment together, including…
……Size: How many was it?
……Location: Where I bought, and why
……Features: Type of exterior, roof, utilities setup, etc…
……Numbers: Cap Rate, ROI, etc…
Module 14: Six Months to Stability and Cash Flow
Let’s face it – we’re not buying an apartment building just for fun. We want to make money…good money!…as quickly as possible! So this chapter is all about how to not only hit the ground running, but set yourself up over the first 6 months to create as much stability and profit for yourself as possible. We’ll talk about…
……Filling vacancies quickly
……How to being your net tenant-marketing before you even close
……Special tactics, like rent specials, referral bonus programs, etc…
……The “Under New Management” tactic
……Culling the herd – setting existing tenants straight
……How strictly should you enforce new rules on old tenants?
……7 day notices
……When to market for new tenants
Module 15: Important Lessons Learned
I’m handing you a huge edge here, in the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. Make no mistake, I’ve done quite well with apartments. But there are definitely a few things I wish I’d done differently, and I simply must pass these invaluable lessons on to you. That’s what this session’s all about. You’ll learn…
……My big lesson about when to pay for your inspection (and when not to)
……Why it matters so much what time of month you close
……What I learned about accurately assessing the units beforehand
……My mistake about relying too much on the owner after closing
……My big “resident manager” goof
……Why I’m buying as part of partnerships now
……One huge thing I should have negotiated, but even didn’t think to
……My big (costly) EMD mistake
……And much more
Module 16: Your 90 Day Roadmap to Buying Your First Apt. Building
At this point, congratulations are due. It’s time for scotch and cigars, because we’ve now covered my entire blue print together, and you’re ready to go out and buy your first apartment building.
Before you go forth and prosper, this short, final session connects the dots for you on how all this can really be done in about 90 days.
Remember, my first apartment building only took me 90 days from contract to closing, and I’m no different than you. You now have my roadmap and yes, you can do this too! And this module gives you a birds-eye view of what your timeline should look like, step by step!
And by this point I’ll be saying…
Congratulations,you’re now expertly equipped and ready to go buy your first cash flow apartment building!”
But that’s not all. A comprehensive course on apartment buildings wouldn’t be complete with some additional CRITICAL resources.
Resource #1: Study Guide “Cheat Sheets” for All 10 Modules
I’ve mentioned before that my goal is to completely demystify buying your fist apartment, and make the whole process as simple and straightforward and possible. And it stands to reason that you should get the very most possible out of each and every training session.
With this in mind, I’ve included a downloadable “cheat sheet” study guide in PDF format — one for each and every module.
The idea is to engage you in multiple ways, to help you learn and retain as much as possible. So you’ll find each “cheat sheet” outlines the key points for that module, with blanks for you to fill in as you go along through each module with me. When you’re done, these “cheat sheets” will be your “Cliff’s Notes” to the whole course.
Resource #2: Video Case Study A – UD Manor Apartments
Even though UD Manor was the second apartment building that I bought, it would have made a perfect “first timer” building. The location, condition, occupancy, and history were all first rate. But in this case, the “story” is actually what made the deal make sense.
I created this case study to show you three things:
1. What a nearly perfect first time apartment building looks like
2. Why you need to dig beneath the listing ticket and completely understand the seller and their “story”, so you’ll know what is motivating them.
3. What an eye-popping ROI looks like & why there’s no such thing as a free lunch
Resource #3: Video Case Study B – Park East Apartments
Park East Apartments is a 45 unit complex in the suburbs here in Metro Detroit.
It’s a fantastic building – great location, excellent condition, lots of updates, outstanding operating history, seller financing, and a seller “story” that made a lot of sense.
I went after this building – hard. I didn’t get it because we couldn’t come to terms on the price, but I created this Case Study to show you another near-perfect example of what you should be looking for when you’re buying your first apartment building.
Resource #4: Case Study C – The Evil “Black Hat” Seller
This was my baptism by fire.
The very fist deal that I pursued – the one that I had under contract in 90 days – died a couple of weeks prior to closing due to an evil “Black Hat” seller. You’ll hear the whole sordid tale, but to cut to the chase he killed the deal, then refused to give me back my Earnest Money Deposit. So I had to spend money to sue him to get my money back.
I created this Case Study to drive home the fact that there are no rules in commercial real estate – and that a lot of people are only out to get your money.
Resource #5: Online Deal Calculators
It goes without saying, properly crunching the numbers for your deal is critical. This is not where you want to make a mistake!
In my blueprint I tell you exactly how to calculate it all, but it can still be easy to make mistakes when doing it the traditional way.
Which is exactly why I hired a programmer to create a handful of extremely simple, easy-to-use online calculators you can use to make sure that you’re sure your deal numbers are crunched correctly.
I’m telling you, there’s no easier way to make sure your numbers are crunched right when you’re sizing up any deal. And these calculators are very easy to use, but just to be sure I’ve included a simple “how-to” video for each of them.
You’ll get unlimited access to my:
……Net Operating Income (NOI) Calculator
……Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR) Calculator
……Cap Rate Calculator
……Cash-on-Cash Return Calculator
……Cost Per Unit Calculator
Resource #6: My Six ESSENTIAL Checklists
Don’t you find it much easier to make sure you didn’t forget something important when you’re operating from a checklist? Frankly, I don’t think any real estate business can be successful without them!
I’m giving you my own detailed punchlists for:
……People you must talk to
……Your 6 steps to getting started
……What I look for in an apt. building
……Critical letter of intent contingencies
……Steps to moving to closing
……My deal-getting 90 day action plan
I cover everything contained on these checklists in detail throughout the video sessions. But once you’re done, these checklists will be your best friend on a deal-by-deal basis.
Worried you forgot about something important? Now you don’t have to! Just make sure you check it off the list!
Resource #7: My Deal Analysis Template
If you’re going to be evaluating apartment buildings, then you’re going to need a spreadsheet to help with the analysis. Revenue, expenses, vacancies, financing – it’s all there in one easy to use spreadsheet. I’ve even created a training video to help you get started using it.
This is the spreadsheet that I created from scratch four years ago and have been updating continuously ever since. I still use it today, and I have never shared it with anyone.
Resource #8: The Due Diligence Timeline
Your Due Diligence period is like a ticking time-bomb – you miss one deadline and you can kiss your multi-thousand dollar earnest money deposit goodbye. Because the seller WILL keep it.
Because there are no rules in commercial real estate.
That’s why I created this Due Diligence timeline spreadsheet along with my commercial broker. Just plug in the items you’ll be including in your Due Diligence period and the dates they’re due, and you’ll know at a glance if you need to get an extension on your Due Diligence period.
And I’ve included a training video with it to help you get started.
Resource #9: My Rent Survey Estimator Template
Never heard of a rent survey? That’s ok – neither did I when I bought my first building.
And it came back to haunt me.
This template is critical to your success when you’re buying your first building, because it will help you determine whether the rents the seller is getting are above, at, or below market. And that knowledge will be HUGE in determining the price you’re willing to pay.
I’ve included the template that I use today and a training video to help you get started with it.
Resource #10: Expert Session – Commercial Real Estate Attorney
One of the things that you’re going to hear over and over in my program is that there aren’t any rules in commercial real estate. That’s mostly true – it can be like the wild wild west out there.
So one of the key members of my team is my Real Estate Attorney.
But not just any attorney will do – my idea of a perfect attorney was Einstein in a pit-bull’s body, so that he would have my back while keeping my interests safe.
This is an interview that I did with my him on several issues facing first time apartment buyers. It’s a must see.
Resource #11: Expert Session – Apartment Property Inspector
An skilled and experienced property inspector that knows apartment buildings is worth his weight in gold, because with the size and scope of the types of buildings you should be looking at, knowing what you’re getting in to is critical.
And your property inspector is the one to tell you that in detail.
This is an interview that I did with my property inspector where we discussed several issues facing the first time apartment buyer. When I took him to lunch when I was getting started it was like getting an MBA in apartment buildings.
Resource #12: Expert Session – Apartment Property Manager
What most first-time apartment buyers fail to realize is that managing the building after they buy is where they’re going to make their cash flow and profit.
For most people, managing the entire operation of their first building is a mistake. That’s where a great property manager comes in.
My property manager is the best. In this interview we discuss overall property management and how a new apartment owner should make the transition.
It’s a fair question, with a very straightforward answer. For starters it’s the shortest path to learning how to buy your first apartment building. Period. No filler or add-ons. Just straight to the point, complete, bare-knuckle content.
And secondly – there is no such thing as “getting ready to get ready” here. You can start making progress toward your first apartment building on Day 1.