RG 272 – How to Leverage Your Strengths in Any Market with Chris Lopez
For this week’s episode, we have a special live interview with the one and only Chris Lopez, right in Denver, Colorado. Learn about his story from being a network marketer to a real estate investor—to someone who helps others realize financial freedom through real estate.
Christopher “Chris Lopez” is a real estate investor, entrepreneur, author, host of the Denver Real Estate Investing podcast, and the founder of Envision Advisors at Your Castle Real Estate, a firm that helps people envision their path to financial freedom through real estate investments. As someone who is passionate about education, Chris is one of the best sources of information on real estate investing.
Listen as Chris talks about his strategies on scaling, the importance of diversifying your investments, and his beliefs about improving one’s strengths, among many other key points—all valuable pieces of advice that you can apply to your own life and your own business.
Outsourcing tedious tasks can be a tremendous help in scaling.
Podcasting can be a great way to filter potential clients and partners.
Double down on your strengths.
- Find a mentor that can help you figure out the unfamiliar stuff along the way.
Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!
Listen to Podcast
Chris Lopez (00:00):
Going hyper-local with providing amazing value, I think is an amazing play for whether it’s brokers or other types of investors or whatever, you know, syndicators rivers. I think if you can go hyper-local I think there’s an amazing play right now. And I’ve got the proof to show it right. I mean, our Denver real estate investing podcast, we’re at episode 270, 280, right now we’re at like 215,000 downloads. Wow. Which isn’t a huge number for podcasting, but when 80% of the listenership is in Denver and Springs and when it’s cold, the den Denver bug. Gosh, I like it. Yeah. I’m not great at branding, but I’m very good at like obvious things, but it’s all the right people. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s the right people.
Reed Goossens (00:52):
Welcome to investing in the U S a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market join Reed. As he interviews go-getters risk-takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something good. I get a ladies and gentlemen,
Reed Goossens (01:13):
And welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the US podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host Reed Goossens good as always every with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream of the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing, and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created the businesses here in the U S how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cashflow, and ultimately credit extraordinary lives for themselves and their families. Life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action. If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys. And there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes. And you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed Goossens. You can find the show, every podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head
Reed Goossens (02:26):
Over to Reed goossens.com, click on the video link, and it will take you to the video recordings of these podcasts. You can see my ugly mug or the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough of me let’s get cracking and into today’s show
Reed Goossens (02:45):
Can I get you guys smoking another cracking edition of investing in the US I’m your host Reed. Goossens good as always happy with us here on the show. Now, today, we’re actually coming to from, I wouldn’t say lie, but we’re coming to in-person from Denver, Colorado, and I have with me sitting next to me and across the room from me, Christopher Lopez, or Chris Lopez. How are you doing today, mate? Doing great. I’m excited to do this. You I’m, I’m super excited. I’m super excited to be here in this incredible. I was gonna say Jim, because you’re working out early incredible studio gives me a little bit of studio anxiety that I don’t have as nice a studio as you, but for those people who don’t know who you are, I’m going to introduce you here. Um, so you are a real estate investor, entrepreneur podcast, host author, all around good bloke.
Reed Goossens (03:23):
You live in beautiful Denver, Colorado, and you build a business called envision advisors, which is a brokerage firm of investor friendly realtors who focus on helping real estate investors, create their investing strategies and help maintain an incredible investing portfolio, which I’m really interested to learn more about. But to top it all off, you are also the host of a new podcast coming up. And I’m going to talk about this in a little bit called a tribe of multifamily hosted by the BiggerPockets BiggerPockets platform. So where you interview other awesome go get as in the industry about their multifamily experience. So I’m really fortunate and grateful to have you here on the show to share, be in this incredible studio. I know about yourself, haven’t you met, uh, well, first off, I want to hire you for introduction. Like that was great. And you nail it.
Chris Lopez (04:08):
So yeah, I’m excited about this and yeah, the, that tribe of multi-member men mentor shows what connected us and you’re being one of our first guest on that show that recording later today. So I’m excited to do this and that you as well, and just remind all the listeners, when is that show dropping? Cause I know it’s new, right? You were in pre-production yeah, yeah. It should be dropping right on the end of may and to my, and the may of 2021. So the list is out there. If you are listening in or watching on YouTube, definitely jump over into YouTube. I’m sure you’re all across all the podcasting platforms, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, all that stuff. Tribe of multifamily, right? Tribal multi-family on the bigger pockets. It’ll be under the bigger pockets logo as well. So definitely check out for that, but let’s get into the interview today.
Chris Lopez (04:48):
And the question I ask all my guests, when they come on the show is Rwanda clock. And tell me how you met your first ever dollar as a kid. So I’m glad that we talked a few weeks ago about this because I actually saw my parents this last weekend and I asked them that question, trying to have them jog my memory. And my mom said their first memory of me earning money. Actually, I was like five years old. I was in kindergarten and I don’t know if they have this in Australia, but you know, I was born in 1982. So this was late 1980s and I was obsessed with He-Man. Do you know who he man? So He-Man was my jam when I was a kid, a parent, like I loved them, had a He-Man sword and there were some big He-Man toy when he know my mom says like a hundred dollars and they said, great, you want it?
Chris Lopez (05:29):
You buy it. Um, and so I started, you know, doing chores around the house for a dollar or whatever it was at the time, a dollar 50 cents, but I very big memories this, but my mom said I spent four months and they set me up a piggy bank and I would just get that 50 cents a dollar every time I vacuumed or did whatever and just put it in there and see if like $110 to buy this He-Man thing when I was five or six or seven years old. Wow. So that was my first memory of doing work, earn money, and then use that money to go out there and buy something I want. That’s awesome. And I remember he, man, he was like cave man slash sold. Did he wear like some sort of thing across his chest? I don’t think you were very much from, I remember he, I think he had like lots of the nineties, you know, dolls that were around for, for golf.
Reed Goossens (06:16):
The guys, it was like muscle guys and like, let’s go. But, um, that’s awesome. So it taught you the value of a dollar at a young young age, but so maybe walk us through your, your upbringing, how, how your relationship with money and then also of into where we are today in sitting here and want to talk a little bit about your company that you’ve developed here in Denver. Sure. So I mean through my childhood and in the high school, no big, you know, money issues. Like I have a great parents, great family, uh, you know, solid middle-class family never really talked about money, but my dad was always a hard worker, had a couple side businesses. I had a full-time job and I always wanted to be two things. I remember growing up as got in like middle school and high school. It was to be an engineer and go in the military.
Chris Lopez (06:57):
So I went to Virginia tech university, which is one of two colleges with a on-campus core cadets, very similar, like it’s the same thing as Texas a and M where they got like 800 cadets or students they’re doing that. And they’re also a great engineering school. Went there for both. And in the first semester I realized neither one was for me. And that has been my that’d been my plan since, I mean, six or seventh grade. And I went there and kind of just rocked my world. I no idea what I wanted to do, but I started, I spent months, I noticed that I was depressed, but I was definitely like in the, uh, college enlightened college midlife crisis in a funk of like, what the hell am I going to do? Because I Virginia as well would have been middle of nowhere. Yeah. And this is down in the middle of the, or like in the Southwest Virginia, I grew up in the DC suburbs.
Chris Lopez (07:44):
Okay. And I had, you know, jobs up there and I saw my dad commute to DC every day. And I realized a couple of things. I did not want to have to commute for the rest of my life, you know, an hour plus each way. And then wearing a suit and tie. I said, those are two biggest things. And so what that led me down to was I had no idea what I wanted to do by, I started running down, but I did not want to do so I made a list. I don’t want this, this or this. And that started guiding me. And then some along the way gave me a copy of rich dad, poor dad, which I know you’ve read that book near rock my world. I was like, wow, there’s investing. Wow, there’s entrepreneurship. Wow. There’s all this amazing stuff. And that was sophomore year of college.
Reed Goossens (08:23):
Yeah. That’s it. Because some people read that book and it’s too early for them, or they’re just too busy potting. And like, I’m going to figure it out and not chasing girls or chasing guys, you know, whatever it is. So that was an early, you know, gift. I want to say in, in, in your, in your, it was actually as a recruiting tour. Cause someone from Amway. Okay. And wait Quickstar if you know that, you know, they’re a huge network. They gave it to me joined Amway for three months. Great experience. Didn’t I think he made $18 from some of my mom a pity product or she was a pity customer. Yeah. It’s actually soap. Um, but yeah, it was that, but it opened my ideas to entrepreneurship and that’s what led me on to everything I do. Now, this was 2002, 2003 timeframe. So internet was still just coming on.
Chris Lopez (09:07):
Yahoo was still the dominant figure. We still got AOL CD ROMs at the time, if you use AOL instant messenger, as those days love it. And I said, you know what? Like I want to get into real estate reading, rich dad, poor dad, because I don’t have the resources. And I $2,000 in my account from summer jobs, I can’t do it. Um, but this internet thing, it’s not going to go away.com bubble came and crashed by since the internet, things is not going to go away. How can I learn this? And all I did was start learning. I taught myself basic copywriting, basic Google SEO, basic Google PPC, basic, uh, YouTube, and just says new things to the internet. I just learned it and do it. Wow. And that would have been early on where now, today, we’re sitting here in front of your awesome team, that things are taken care of price per clicks, SEO, YouTubing, uploading, downloading, like that’s stuff that we all take for granted and we have teams around, but you’ve actually gone and learnt it yourself.
Reed Goossens (09:58):
Talk us about how, how was that in the early days? Because that would have been very new and people would look at you, we’d be like, why is he doing stuff on YouTube? And what’s SEO mean, and you were there and you have got a lot of bang for your buck back then, because not many people are doing it. Right. Like, so it’s a little things would have gone a long way. Yeah. And I mean, if I could go back in time, I would have just maxed out my credit card on Google and live my parents for two years. And you know, I know be on a yacht right now, but like I, I had a lot of success. Um, but definitely did not take advantage of as much as I could. But again, I was 21, 22. I just didn’t know at the time. But what my whole focus was on there was to, you know, hopefully make some money, but every I was going to college at the time for four years, I had a scholarship and I saw all my friends going to college for four years.
Chris Lopez (10:41):
Everyone’s spending time and money making zero income. So I see now, if I can learn this marketing internet marketing and I was tying to different businesses and I can, in four years start making money with it, it’s a success. I’ll learn a skill set and I can grow from that. And the reason I got into marketing is because I started doing sales first and I was just doing sales. And if you have sales, you need leads. And I realized, oh, why have no leads? Let’s figure out leads. So that led me down the whole marketing route and generating leads for me and then realized, oh, I can generate leads for other people and be more like a sales manager. And I just started scaling from there. That’s it. And so marketing, what, like when people say marketing, what, what job did you yeah, so it was, it was one of the, it wasn’t a job actually went out there and joining a, another network marketing company, one that not Amway that opened my eyes, but it was definitely not the right fit for me.
Chris Lopez (11:32):
Um, actually do you know Robert Allen for many of the real estate investing stuff, he was like one of the first like zero money down guys back in the nineties. Yep. Yep. Yep. So I’d read his multiple streams of income book, which is a phenomenal like lead funnel. And that led me to a network market company that he was with. And I liked it for three reasons. One, it was actually a very solid health and wellness product and I’m a fitness and health myself is actually science-based. They were doing a lot of online stuff, which was cutting edge. And when I opt into his website, you know, one of his Dalla members called me and I saw the potential for some really good mentorship. I was like, awesome, good product. People are going to teach me what to do. And I’m learning internet marketing, I’m all in.
Chris Lopez (12:11):
So that was a product. And so we are actually selling the product and recruiting new distributors, but at the same time as we’re doing this, me and that time, my upline, we eventually became business partners. Uh, we were developing some or he started developing. I helped them out some very, very basic online contact management software. This is like 2005 CRM CRM. Yep. I mean Lucier and back then, but there was nothing available. Um, and so he had started building that. I was helping him out. He was doing development. I started doing front end work. And as rebuilding that our organization blew up, we went to four continents. We had thousands of people in a matter of a couple of years, just because we were marketing right place, right time with almost no competition. Um, but then as we started becoming the software, a lot of other people around our company and also other companies want to start using it.
Chris Lopez (12:59):
So for like a year or so, no, no, it’s only for our organization. And then it clicked this, oh wow. We have a whole nother business here that we can charge a monthly fee to. So we started charging a monthly fee. So we end up having two businesses are our own network marketing company, which topped out like 10,000 customers and 3000 distributors. And then we had the software company we had up to, I think we peaked around 800 monthly paying customers, plus all the other typical, like, you know, upsells and value adds. And so it built all the way that through to about 2011, 2012, and then a variety of reasons. Um, a big part of just, we kind of ran out of steam personally, like email the metaphor of, Hey, you climb a mountain, you get to the top, you got to go climb the other mountain climb a bigger, more beautiful mountain.
Chris Lopez (13:41):
Right. So we wanted something new, but also trends. We were tired of the network marketing. The Street’s a very, very hard industry and very tiresome. It’s just, it’s very emotional and it’s not very business oriented. There was a lot of, uh, loose stuff going on on that. And, and dubious people I’ll say it out there without going docs. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Um, and plus Silicon valley, all these companies are out there. You know, they, they don’t even make a profit, but we actually need to make a profit. They’re a software company to pay bills. And so just trans we had built a closed software system. Um, and now it’s all open source. So just all these things, he had time to move on and so successfully, no. Okay. And that was something I learned. There was, there was no exit strategy. It was too much built around me and my partner and to tie to our network marketing company.
Reed Goossens (14:30):
So, I mean, I still make residuals today from the software and the company, so there’s residuals there, but there was no eggs. And that was a big part. We just never set up from that, that as well. Does that brings up like so many, cause I’m very passionate about personal brands and all that sort of stuff. When we spoke a little bit before coming on, you know, coming out here to Denver about personal branding and that’s, you know, people talk about this, it’s recession proof, your business and yada yada, yada, I’ve had a lot of people, this show talking about that. So how would you going back, how would you have changed that exit strategy to be that one where you, you know, the bottleneck or was it too focused around you as a brand that you couldn’t ever exit? Okay. I mean, it’s really both.
Chris Lopez (15:05):
We, I mean, we built this with, we had like a team of five people for like the software and all that plus all of our distributors. It’s a very small team and we are too much wish me. I was just in the hands, everything I had to do it all myself. Yep, yep. Yep. So that was a big learning experience. And then it was just too much built around us. We never structure it to like, Hey, here, here’s the organization. I’m using my hands here on the right hand side, here’s us and left side as people and brands. Sure. So it was just managing people and we were just all to angled. Got it. So what would you change differently then? And in looking at like, we’re sitting here and we’re talking about BiggerPockets and all these other stuff, what would you change? Looking at some of these other brands that we all know about that, and we know the face of those companies.
Reed Goossens (15:46):
We talk about BiggerPockets because it’s just been in the background here, but then also giving your experience about how you’ve created a business around your brand and you being the bottleneck. What would you have changed? Um, in that business? Um, number one, I wish I would have left earlier. I would’ve stepped away earlier. Um, just because if I take what I have now moved to real estate sooner, it would have been better. Um, I was also out of it. The biggest thing is I would have just scaled up better. I would have removed myself and outsourced it. And that’s a big thing I’ve kind of focused on now is I’ve gotten to real estate was, I don’t know where I learned this from just, you know, numerous people. Um, I think Gary V has got the best quote on there. Just, you know, focus on your strengths or double down on your strengths and just focusing on that, Hey, what am I really, really good at?
Chris Lopez (16:29):
And just put all my intention on there. And now if I can’t do something or if it’s not my superpower, how can I outsource it? And I keep a list now for my current business, it’s all my note taking system. It says, um, it’s a four letter word of stuff that I can’t do. Don’t like doing or how can I outsource it? And I run into something or I’m like, oh wow, this project’s late because of me, I make a note in there. And then once a month, once a quarter, no rhythm there, I just look at it. I’m like, okay, this I can delegate. This can delegate this. I can outsource this. Then you hire someone new. And I go through that and that’s helped me tremendously with scaling. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So let’s pivot to what you’ve done today. You’ve we spoke at your former California resident where, where I live.
Reed Goossens (17:12):
We now live here in Denver, Colorado, beautiful dental. And it’s a beautiful debt. So what are you doing now with your current company? Because it is very interesting how you’ve done a niche in and around having developing real estate advisors or brokers to help real estate investors achieve that dream. Do you wanna talk a little bit about that? And then, and I know where I want to tie the string back to your, your upbringing, because I think it’s going to be quite powerful because that’s what you, you’re good at. Right? You talk about your superpower, which is marketing and online stuff, which I’m, you know, being a structural engineer sort of over my head, but I want to hear a little bit about that. Sure. So, I mean, when I, uh, transition that business, I wasn’t California. At the time I was remote when my wife was finishing out her, her vet school.
Chris Lopez (17:54):
Um, and then she had a couple of years of doing some internships down there. So I was just working remote and we get into real estate. So I started figuring how can I get into real estate? I joined the commercial brokerage and actually Torrens California for three months realized that was not for me. I was like, Hey, I can, I, can they think 300 cold calls a day, but can we mark it? Nope, Nope, Nope. Cold call. I was like, okay, well that is an outdated stupid system. So I pivoted from there and I just started getting on Google, letting the bigger pockets. And Denver is always where my wife and I wanted to move to and eventually raise a family. We’ve got two girls now, two little girls now, but as a planning, LA is great. It’s a hard place to raise a family.
Chris Lopez (18:31):
And, um, but always wanted to move out to Denver. Cause when I was traveling, when I was younger, I always loved Denver. So I was on bigger pockets, learning real estate. And after, you know, a couple of months in bigger pockets of their podcasts, I’ve learned a tremendous amount, but it’s all like, oh, talk to some of your backyard. And I was like, well, who the heck is in my backyard? Who the heck is in Denver’s backyard? And then clicked, oh, I should be that guy. I should be that person. And that was the light bulb. And I said, great. I’ve oh, it was clear to me. I said, I can, I can use my strength of marketing. Uh, use that background to hopefully find a phenomenal mentor, work with him or her. And then I can use it to learn and I can use it to network and then use to start building a business.
Chris Lopez (19:12):
Um, and so that’s why I focused on sexual while I was in California. I started building a business out here in Denver cause you know, with real estate and I was really, my initial plan was to become like just to be a high production agent myself. Sure. That was my plan because I could generate leads and do that myself. And then I spent a year building an online the the, the being the agent, was it ever an aspiration to be the investor? Because I know a lot of us start in the agency world, like, I don’t have to lose money. I need to build some money. I need to build the business a little bit. It did. That was just a natural progression that you thought was, was a good stepping stone to becoming the investor. Yeah. I mean, that investor was always in Goldman.
Chris Lopez (19:51):
So I said, join that commercial brokerage. And they’d like 1500 unit apartment buildings. I did a fix and flip. I made a couple of, I made 20 grand on the fix and flip boom. I hated it though. I realized this is not my cup of tea. I’m not construction experience. I learned the whole deal source in the, okay, I can source the deals, but I’m gonna have to create a huge marketing campaign to do it. I go, that’s not what a scalp it’s going to take me years and too long. So I bounced around now all through this, I talked to realtors and I realized, wow, you kind of suck at marketing and sales. I can do way better than that. And I don’t want to offend anyone, but a lot of realtors, they suck for to be very blunt. I said, oh, if you’re actually making money at this, I can do way better.
Chris Lopez (20:29):
And that was what made me realize that, um, I could focus on that. And the whole niche from day one was to focus on investment real estate in Denver. And so that was a niche and that would lead me into eventually my own investors. Awesome. Awesome. What was that first investment? It wasn’t your demo? No, I’d actually, I lived in one place in, in Reno, Nevada, because I just bought a place. I lived all over the country. Love it. Um, so that was, I bought over there. Um, lived there for a couple of years, moved out, turned to a rental, you know, that, that jazz. And then while I was in Denver, I realized my main focus was I need to find a mentor was how was I going to go out there and, and do cause like I can create marketing, buy don’t know the content because I’m not an expert myself.
Chris Lopez (21:10):
Right. So I gotta go out there and get an expert. And so I found a phenomenal mentor out here in Denver. Amazing guy’s name is Charles Roberts. Um, and he, cause I started cold calling brokerages. I started Googling BiggerPockets forums. I found three brokerages in Denver that looked like had some type of residential investment focused. And your castle with Charles Roberts was one of them. Okay, got in touch with him. Um, long story short, we hit it off. And within a couple of months we were, uh, I was out here flying every month, uh, learning from him and spending a week in his basement. Uh, and just spending, I was like, dude, I’ll drive you around and just be around you, listen to phone calls. Just that I was a sponge. It was amazing. But we started, I started building a website. I started using Charles to create something to online courses.
Chris Lopez (21:55):
We started a podcast. I was like, let me just start all this stuff with the whole idea of, let me be that layer in Denver of when people go on to Google or podcast or YouTube, but my name pop up. Yup. Because everyone’s an invisible customer. Now we all go to Google or Instagram or YouTube first, before we ever opt into, uh, to get free book or whatever. We all understand who they are. Yeah. Yup. Yup. And so if I could just, uh, parlay that and so Charles allowed me to do that and we’ve just grown from there. It’s been, it’s been amazing. And, and you talk a little bit about social proof, but your whole niche being too niche till it hurts and being local expert, rather being a, a trick of all trades, but a master of none. How has that helped? And what advice do you have for someone out there looking to build that brand in and around whatever it might be, you know, whether it be starting real estate or actually starting a business to be that, that the quote unquote local expert.
Chris Lopez (22:49):
So two things that I it’s definitely niches or enriches, like pick one niche and dominate it, but go local. I think there’s such a great opportunity for all around the country to go local. There are so many amazing national podcasts, but there’s very few local podcasts. And I remember I would go back and when I was doing my keyword research on Google keyword tool and all that stuff, every tool came back and said, oh, this is not a profitable niche. It’s not, it’s not, there’s not enough traffic out there. Sure. I was like, but that’s like, you know, what happened? The long run, if I can be that guy and with the margin and real estate deals, either as a broker or as investor, the margin is there. And it’s all about networking as if I can be that guy or be that source, it’s gotta be profit someone that was my gut and people, you know, uh, people I met with different marketers and they were like, don’t waste your time on there.
Chris Lopez (23:34):
And I was like, well, thank you I’m gonna do it anyway because it, it makes sense to me because everyone’s, you know, back then I was using Yelp. It’s all going local. Hyper-local right. So going hyper-local with providing amazing value, I think is an amazing play for whether it’s brokers or other types of investors or whatever, you know, syndicators rivers. I think if you can go hyper-local, I think there’s an amazing play right now. And I’ve got the proof to show it, right. I mean, our Denver real estate investing podcast, we’re at episode 270, 280, right now we’re at like 215,000 downloads, which isn’t a huge number for podcasting, but when 80% of the listenership is in Denver and when it’s cold, the Denver podcast, I like that. Yeah. The branding, but I’m very good at like obvious things, but it’s all the right people.
Reed Goossens (24:23):
It’s not a huge amount, but it’s the right people. And that wouldn’t then, and I like what you said before that there’s, there’s margin in everything you do, whether it be in the brokerage or in the investment. So trying to just participate in either side or both, and then thus creating a platform in and around creating all the inbound leads. That must be extremely valuable to then understanding as an outsider myself going, oh, I can’t buy in Denver because the cap rates are full 4%, but you know where the value is, you know, where the path progress is, you know, where those, those needles in haystacks live because people are coming to you as the expert. Right? Yup. Yeah. And the great thing is amino is from running your podcast is, you know, people listen to you and when they reach out to you, they’re ready to work with you exhibit like, Hey, I got some questions on a work with you.
Chris Lopez (25:05):
And it’s a very, it’s a very high qualified lead. And it’s usually a great personal fit as well. Cause like, you know, they listen to my podcasts either liked me or don’t like me, they joined don’t reach out. They don’t like me. Right. So it’s a great filtering process in there, but like the, the clients or potential clients to reach out through and number one, they’re like great people and they’re great clients work with us. It’s such an amazing win-win and win I could imagine, and so talk to me about the, the brokers now that you’ve created, who help investors get started into the multi-family single-family house hacking. I know you’re very big in house hacking. How have you trained them to be that little bit of a differentiator in the local market, then not just being the average broker and like, Hey, here’s a house and I’m gonna get my commission and good luck.
Speaker 1 (25:46):
Yup. Um, great question. So I’d say the biggest thing we structured our brokerage is we are not the typical real estate agent model where a lot are very impressive. One person shows he or she they’re doing everything from business development to showing properties. Yeah. Yup. And they may have like an assistant or a part-time transaction coordinator, but they’re doing everything and it’s number one, you can’t scale that way. And number one, you can’t be great at everything. And, I started, you know, generating new clients that still living out of state in California and Charles would actually work in them with Eddie. When I came out here, I would become an agent, do it myself while I started doing otherwise. Wow. Number one, I don’t really enjoy it. And number two, I’m not good at it. Cause all my focus has been on education and content and helping people do strategies, not the contracts and go Shane.
Chris Lopez (26:33):
I can learn it, but I got people with five or 10 years where they can’t BizDev. I can. So from that way we focused our structure, our organizational structure on play to super power play to your strength. Like I’m great at educational content. I’m great. Helping people create their strategies. I’m great at helping people realize, yeah, you’re not going to get amazing cash flow property like you would in the Midwest or another market. But he was taken by a really good property and the current market conditions. And so getting people around there and then the agent takes over, it comes time to show properties and put in contracts, negotiate. So all my intentions on the client with the strategy, all their attention is on helping the client find the property. They have to worry about business development. They don’t have to worry about all this backend stuff.
Reed Goossens (27:16):
We’ve got a full backend like transaction coordinator team. And so everyone’s an a plus player that just focuses on their role and it provides an amazing client experience, but they’ll touch six people through the process of coming, joining us from, for me to talking to us, to working with us, to eventually closing on the property and then working with like our backend portfolio analysis team. Got it. And then just talk to me about the success of your clients who come through being an investor. I’m an investor, Hey Chris, I want to come and buy some real estate here in Denver. What is sort of the out-of-state or the newbie, but the person who maybe not as, as experienced in the real estate investment game, what’s been the track record, like with your firm and the deals that you’ve been able to on earth for those investors who are very hungry to invest here in Denver.
Chris Lopez (28:03):
Well, I mean, it’s, it’s been very good and we can take some credit for it, but also, I mean, Denver, like assays, it’s just, if you bought anything, you basically like a tiny, good investor. Yes. I mean, you know, and that’s been a big part of things, Hey, don’t get fixated that this is a 4.9 cap rate versus a five cap rate. Like your metric is just Denver’s growing buy into it. Right? Um, no, people’s had great success and we always tailor it towards what the client wants, but our, our main demographics are how sackers, that’s like half our clientele. And they’re usually, you know, young, you know, twenties, single guys, or girls, sometimes 30, you know, 30 girls in the couple and they’re great clients. Cause they go out there and buy an owner occupied property and they just went on the financing. You’re buying at 5%, that 3% interest rate, you kind of win no matter what, as long as the market keeps going up, which we expect it to.
Speaker 1 (28:52):
So we do lock clients on there. Either half of our clients from drew, our clients are people that are, they have careers. They maxed out their 401ks. They max out their brokerage accounts, but they want to buy real estate. And so they are, they got a job or business. They got a family and the women go out there and find a good deal, but they’re not going to be like fully hands-on. They’re not looking out for like the amazing deal of the year. So all of those clients, we help them with their strategy. We help them figure out, Hey, here’s your budget, but also, Hey, here’s what you need. Financial reserves, um, buy a property, use leverage, but keep cash in the bank because it’s a matter of when not if matter of when S H I T hits the fan, it happens on every investor and eventually happens.
Chris Lopez (29:31):
It might be your first properties where on the show, don’t we go go nuts. So it might be your first property by your 10th property, but sometimes the brand new person, the first property, crap, the basement. Yup. You know, it, sorry, just sucks. But, so we prepare our clients like that and they’ve had great success because we try to teach them, go in their eyes wide open. Yup. And of course, all the content we do on the podcast helps them be like mentally prepared for what to expect in the Denver market. And I just, I love how you come full circle with the education piece, to then creating a streams of, of, of leads coming in to then helping them teaching those leads, how to invest wisely in a market. That from an outsider seems really, really hot and you can’t make money, but also then having a lead that is not expecting to go out and get 8% cashflow you want, they’re looking for the long and steady game.
Reed Goossens (30:17):
And they like their job or whatever. It might be to have a healthy 401k. So I like this sort of coming full circle of all that sort of stuff. So what I guess what’s, what’s in, what’s the future hold right now. Like you’ve got all this stuff. We’ve, we’ve, we’ve walked through your story. We’ll walk through how good you are at marketing and creating all these systems. But what does the future hold for, for you and your companies in the next couple of years? Uh, I I’m like a kid in a candy store right now. Um, you know, it is when, when things happen and it all happens at once. So we’ve expanded the brokerage down Colorado Springs. And can we just start at Colorado Springs podcast, use their infrastructure or expand to other Colorado sub markets? Cause we got the infrastructure in place right now.
Chris Lopez (30:53):
And then the media itself has like the, the studio and the me that we’re in right now has, I’ve been able to leverage the new, bigger opportunities. Now we mentioned the bigger pocket tribe of multifamily mentors podcast at the star of the show. Well, us being local, us actually doing some of the deals that guys, bigger pockets, having that relationship has led to us having this amazing opportunity to help bigger pockets, start doing more niche content on different niches. And so we’ve been very fortunate to help them start putting out the multifamily niche, me and Taren soil. And that’s an amazing opportunity because same thing that the Denver podcast did, I get to learn, I get to network, but the two cherries on top is it’s with bigger pockets. Joel and I get to have amazing people like you read, fly from LA into Denver to record with us in our Denver studio.
Chris Lopez (31:40):
Cause we’re all in person. I get to meet amazing people like you and other top producer on the multifamily industry was that play out to in five or 10 years, was that bringing to, uh, people wanting to invest here and demonstrate it’s going to be very big. So that, and the last thing that I’m really passionate about is what we’re calling our portfolio analysis. Okay. So when I was in college, I bounced around between my majors and I’m getting a financial advisory degree. I’ve actually can, I can actually sit for the CFP licensed a certified financial planner because I always like, you know what, that’s practical. I can learn taxes, insurance money, all this stuff. And something I’ve noticed in real estate is very few people talk about how do you, how do you manage your portfolio in the long run? There’s lot of great content for how do you find a great deal?
Chris Lopez (32:23):
How do you go out there under ideal? But how do you, when is it time to re leverage your property? Hey, should actually sell this or should I 10th or should I sell in 10 31? Or should I cash out refi or surely hear and pick out the market does depends on your returns. Like I mentioned, my fear property policies in Reno, Nevada, two to condo of offers, $60,000, nothing, nothing sexy rented for a thousand bucks when I bought it or at the time moved out two years later. And it for a thousand bucks, but eight years later it appreciated $230,000, but rents were $1,300 a month. So I was like, Hey, I can do a cash out refi, but now it becomes a negative cashflow property. Right. Is it better do that? Or is it better to go out there and you know, 10 31 sell it?
Chris Lopez (33:05):
And that case was 1031 sell. So I’d be able to blend in like financial advisory. Um, and I get, I am not great at like short term success. I mean, you sit on some of your podcasts, you know, people whose overestimate can do in one year, but underestimate can do in 10 years, people in compounding of interest, whether it’s stock market or real estate, the underestimate, what 10, 20 years plays out to 100%. So this is basically financial advisory for real estate. And you’ve got your C F P U C. If you haven’t got It, you’re studying for it. You said, no, I in college, I have a degree. I can sit for it and that’s no good. I’m not going to get it good. Cause never, I don’t like the business model. And number two is, I’ve been, I’ve talked to so many lawyers and groups is another complexity to it because what it’s come down to, if we only talk about really, you know, real estate, we’re not talking stocks or life insurance, we don’t need to be licensed.
Chris Lopez (33:57):
No one gives me a clear answer on here, but I’m like, Hey, no one says we can’t do it. Um, so we’re just going to start doing real estate and the one area that we have to be careful. And you know, if we do discuss, you know, like, you know, certain syndications or, you know, offerings, those are securitized assets. But since we’re more talking to people, how, what, you know, here are our options in your property. We’re plugging the spreadsheet. Here’s advice. It’s pure consultancy. Yeah. So that’s something I’m very excited to build out and just blends into more client value, add to our brokerage here because our clients great. Come with us, join us, help you do your strategy. We’ve got the ultimate client retention to help you optimize report. Right? I, I got love that. And, and seem like you pick up the crumbs, right?
Reed Goossens (34:35):
You start with one thing, you start with a podcast, you start with nation, you start them with the leads coming through. Those leads turn into, well, Hey, hang on. Let’s, let’s fill this gap of brokerage for investors, but why hang on. They need to be maintaining this portfolio of a long period of time. I need to create this other stream of business. And it just, it all, that’s the beauty to me of creating businesses. It’s actually a business ecosystems and you’re just blighted out for my listeners right now that from step a to B to C and maybe you’ve jumped to step F now, but it seems like it’s so, uh, it’s feeding off one another and that’s the power of what’s going to create such an incredible future. And I also liked the fact that you’re very, it seems to me, you don’t really care.
Chris Lopez (35:09):
What’s going to happen in 10 years time because you just, you, if you’re happy with what you’re doing now and just let it build out from there, what is that? Is that a correct statement? Yeah. I mean, that that’s correct. I mean, I just, you know, as I was starting, as I left my old business and new business, there were two things I kept in mind. I want to focus on what my strengths are and I want it to be something that I was excited about when I woke up in the morning. Sure. I was like, you know what, if it’s going to be, I will grind. I’ll grind everyone. You know? Um, I’ll be up there at the top grinders, but if it’s something I can grind towards I, and there’s a, a feature, it, I will grind grind, grind, but it’s just that my grind, I don’t enjoy it.
Chris Lopez (35:42):
That’s got a short shelf life and that comes across in your work and your passion. So I’ll see if I can do what I love and actually allow this feeds back into myself. Like I am not the most successful investor in Denver or anywhere in the country, you know, but I’m learning a lot and all feeds myself in the portfolio analysis. Was it? I was like, Hey, I need fierce out for myself. And I did a few podcasts, the reaction on there. I was like, can you let me off that? I was like, oh, I’m not the only dude with this type of question, the back of my mind. And I had tremendous feedback, so great. I want it for myself. Let’s just build out. And that way it makes more sense. Yeah, no, I think you definitely planting some incredible trees and those Oak trees are going to come to bloom here in blossom the next five to 10 years.
Reed Goossens (36:19):
So awesome, awesome stuff. At the end of every show, I like to dive into the top five investing tips. You ready to get into it? I’m ready. All right, mate. What’s the daily habit you practice to keep on track towards your goals. Yeah. I have two things. Uh time-blocking yup. I, every morning, almost every morning, I have a deep time block from 7:00 AM to about 10 or 11:00 AM and I do no emails, no phone calls. Um, so, and that’s where I can focus on the strategic long-term stuff. Cause you know, once you open up email and phones, your day just goes out the window. Yup. The other thing that I’ll share this, uh, after we off the podcast read on this side of the studio, I’ve got a 10 foot whiteboard and I have fallen in love with these 18 inch by 24 inch giant post-it notes.
Chris Lopez (37:00):
Okay. And I write all my goals on there every day. Uh, I write like my big goals, but pretty much every day I don’t, I wish I’d saved it, but printed every everyday I go there and I look at them for a couple minutes and it makes me stay focused, my big goals. And when I’m working out, it’s all like yearly and quarterly and don’t do like day to day stuff. But Hey, what are the big things to focus on? I focus on that and I sit down and work on projects. I love it. Love it. Love it. Question number two is who’s the most influential person in your career today? Uh, I’d actually say Charles Roberts and this is gonna, it’s a very, it’s a weird and sad twist because like I said, he, he was a phenomenal mentor to me. Um, and just an amazing friend.
Chris Lopez (37:37):
And we had been working there for about two years because I’ve worked together with him long distance for a year. I moved out here in April and then that October, he was on a vacation, had a brain aneurysm and we were partners. And just, I mean, just like, you know, he did his stuff. I did my stuff when we were just, we were starting to get momentum. And then that, that rocked my business world. But I mean, he gave me so much help for just Denver market knowledge network and just amazing guy. But on the flip side, you know, overall healthy guy, very successful. You know, he could have retired a decade before, but he was 51 52 with a brain aneurysm. And that taught me, I need to make sure I slow down, enjoy. Cause like I know it, but seeing him go through and his family, his wife, so part of that mentorship is also amazing business mentorship, but also that life mentorship, like, you know what?
Reed Goossens (38:30):
That bus lets you when the, you never expect it when he never know it. Yup. And number one, you got to be ready for it. Yup. Number two, his life will never be the same again. He’s alive. He does well, but it’s not as old self I’m like, well, that could, that could be me tomorrow. It could be me in 10 years. I need to make sure I enjoy what I do now in business. And also with my family a hundred percent now, enjoying the journey is so, so important because life can smack you in the face real quick. Yeah. Real quick, a question. I’m wondering, what is the most influential tool in your business today? When I say tool, it could be a physical tool, like a notebook or your phone, but, or it could be a piece of software. What do you use to keep the business functioning day in, day out, active campaign, active campaign.
Chris Lopez (39:09):
Are you familiar with that? No note as much as I should be. So have you heard of Infusionsoft? Yes. So active campaigns, very similar to like infusion soft. It’s a very, it’s not, it’s not a mail trip. It’s not just an email marketing, but does email contact management system, but also does full-blown marketing automations. So you can do like visual programming. Hey, if this person comes and do this, do this, do this. And I’ll give a plug for active campaign. Cause I love them and I have no feelings or whatever with them. But infusion soft is nickname, confusion, soft, active campaign. It’s an amazing platform. They’re like a newer kid on the block, great platform, easy use. And they, it runs everything. We’ve talked about, runs everything behind the scenes. And when I started this years ago, I spent six weeks of 14 day trial.
Reed Goossens (39:52):
And every platform I could find building on stuff, an active campaign because you know, once you’re in a CRM and marketing system, you’re married. Yeah. And if you move, it’s literally divorced between that system and the new system. I love it. They run everything. Okay, awesome. I’ll have to check it out active campaign. I’ve not heard of it again. I’m not as savvy on that side of the business, but I’ll take your word for it. Uh, question number four. What is the being the biggest failure or lesson in your free and what’d you learn from that failure? Do you have like, uh, yeah. To get to other podcasts, but what was it? It kind of goes back to that first business. I built, it’s a combination of things like say I didn’t scale properly. I didn’t separate my brand from the business. But the biggest thing there I’d say that I regret the most that I learned the most is I let lifestyle inflation happen.
Chris Lopez (40:34):
And I took my foot off the gas momentum. I mean, I was, I graduated Virginia tech, making like $35,000 a year from my business, which is great. Bowling didn’t need a job within two years. That was a six figure income. And it got into like, you know, $200,000 for a couple of years. I made amazing money with no debt, but my lifestyle crept up. I went out to a lot of dinners. Travel had great time, but I didn’t take enough money off the table to do pure investing. And that’s my biggest regret with all the success I’ve had. I should have been parlayed into a lot more investment opportunity and capital and I let lifestyle creep up on me, which I regret tremendously, you know, rod, but it wouldn’t, but regret it strong word because it would put you in a position today where you realize that and you’re self aware enough to say, look back and think I could have done more with what I had at the time.
Chris Lopez (41:20):
So try that the right word. It’s a, it’s a great lesson. I’m always, you know, failures of the best teachers in the world, but it’s not gonna happen again. Sure. Cause I, I was like, I knew it. I still did at the time. I was like, oh, okay. I’m not gonna let that happen again. I’ll make sure I do a good job of taking me off the table for just pure non-business stuff. You’re pure investing icons might packing them away for the next runny died. Love it, love it. Last question is where can people reach you to continue the conversation that will be in your sphere? Where do they go? Um, I’d actually say the best thing to go to right now is actually go to BiggerPockets YouTube channel and type in the tribe of multifamily mentors, because you’re going to be on that show.
Reed Goossens (41:57):
You’re gonna be with our first dozen guests on there that we’re launching with. So excited about it on there. So tribe of multifamily mentors is going to be a great way to learn about us and learn about the multifamily industry as well. Love it, love it. Well, thank you so much for jumping on the shutter. I just wanna reflect some of the things that I took away from today’s show. I think your ability to quickly realize how your strengths and weaknesses in the business and be able to adapt to those strengths and weaknesses and outsource quickly, everything from early days in your marketing campaigns, all the way through to what you built today. I do love your stories of picking up the crumbs. I said earlier about picking up the pieces, figuring starting something and figuring there’s a need in the market for what you’re providing and then going out and creating that, that, that, that, that, that want also that this sort of the product, uh, and then bringing it all back around.
Reed Goossens (42:41):
So he’s feeding from one to another and becoming full circle. So I think there’d been the biggest lesson I took away today. And I did love what you said earlier about separating the brand from the corporation and that being such a, um, a major lesson in your growth because so many people wanted to have a personal brand, but they don’t really think about the exit options in the future and being the bottleneck in your business can sometimes it feels great when you’re doing it when you’ve got all the energy, but after a period of time, you still get burnt out and you know, we will, we will suffer burn out after it. We’re humans. We’re not robots. So I’m delivering in the hour. Um, no, actually one of that one give you compliment read because one of the things that sparked my, I got to get this going again.
Chris Lopez (43:17):
As I was getting prepared for this podcast, our tribe podcast was I’ve liked how you separated out. You didn’t get Reed goossens.com. I was like, it. I need to get that old domain going in for my name. I was like, I gotta, I gotta make sure that’s going on. So that was a great reminder of just seeing that you’re doing. I was like, I need to up my game on there. It goes back to the personal branding, right? Like people invest in me first and foremost. And the deals are sort of kind of second. Yeah. They’ll come to your business because they like the, the, the, the platform you’ve created. I, I like what Chris is doing. And you mentioned earlier, people who don’t lock out, aren’t going to write yet, that’s fine. You don’t, you never going to talk to those people, right?
Reed Goossens (43:50):
You only talk to the people who resonate with you and I think that’s so, so popular, so, so important in creating a personal brand. So awesome. I look, thank you so much for jumping on the show. Enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very, very soon. Thanks read. Well, they have another cracking episode. Jetpack has incredible advice from Chris. Remember to go over to the YouTube channel and check out the tribe of multi-family investors on there, because it’s going to be cracking. Your podcast is launching here with bigger pockets. We’re going to do this all again. Next week’s remember be bold, be brave and go give life a crack.