RG 324 – Creating Content That Brings True Value to Your Audiences with John Casmon
How do you create content that brings value to your audiences? Let’s learn all about what goes into content creation for investors with a former corporate marketer and a good friend of mine, John Casmon.
John is another returning guest on the show with us this week to share how far they’ve come since we had them on the podcast.
For those who don’t know John from our previous episodes, he is the founder of Casmon Capital Group, a company that helps investors meet their goals through apartment investing. He is also the host of the Multifamily Insights podcast, a co-founder of the Midwest Real Estate Networking Summit, and a former corporate marketing professional who has worked with big names like General Motors, Nike, and Coors Light.
Despite his success now, John is no stranger to obstacles. What does he do to overcome imposter syndrome? What strategies does he use to manage all the platforms he’s growing? How does he share content in a way that brings value to other people? Let’s find out in today’s jam-packed episode.
Investing is not a linear path, and that’s okay.
Make sure you focus on the most important things that will help you grow.
For those who make content, be clear about what you promise.
- When creating content, get to know your audience first. Learn about their challenges, how they think, and what their goals might be.
Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!
Listen to Podcast
Reed Goossens (00:00):
Good day Good day guys. Now, before we dive into today’s show, I want you to let you know that some of you may be aware that over the past eight years, I have built a substantial multi-family real estate portfolio here in the US worth over half a billion dollars. And in that time, my passive investors have received fantastic doubled-digit returns. And now you too can invest directly into my deals for as little as $50,000. So if you’re an interested investor, head over to reedgoossens.com to find out more that’s reedgoossens.com. Now back into the show,
John Casmon (00:40):
You’re gonna gimme the advice to say, the world may not need another real estate podcast, but the people in your circle need to hear from you. And that just really stood out to me. And I implore anyone to really digest that because it’s not about growing some big platform that gets millions of downloads or gets, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorships. It’s about being able to persuade the people closest to you. Why you are passionate about real estate investing as the tool to create financial freedom for you and the people around you. And you can talk to people all day long about real estate and how you love it and all that kind of stuff. But they’re not gonna be convinced if they don’t see you really committing to this. And a podcast is a way to really commit to this action. If you can show people, here’s the level of commitment I have, even if you’ve never done a deal, it shows them that you are really serious about this and that they should maybe take another look at what it is you’re talking about.
Speaker 3 (01:52):
Welcome to investing in the us, 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 from nothing
Reed Goossens (02:12):
Good day Good day a ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the us podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host reed goossens good is always every with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into it to 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 their businesses here in the us, how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash flow, and ultimately create 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.
Reed Goossens (02:59):
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 bots. 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 wherever you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to reedgoossens.com Click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts. You can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough outta me, let’s get cracking and into days show,
Reed Goossens (03:46):
Turn the show of the pleasure of welcoming back. One of my very good friends, John Casmon. Now John is a real estate entrepreneur. He has partnered with busy, busy professionals, and he’s invested in over a hundred million dollars worth of apartments across the United States. John also consults active multi-family investors to help them start and grow their business. And he also hosts the multi-family insight podcast and is also the co-creator of the Midwest real estate networking summit. Got a lot of stuff jammed in there, but prior to becoming a full-time investor, John worked in corporate America, overseeing marketing campaigns for general motors, Nike and Kus lights has a massive marketing background. Uh, he’s also a really good friend of mine. So I’m welcoming, welcoming him back to the show. I’ve got tongue tiredness today, uh, but nothing me. Let’s get him out here. Good day John. Welcome back to the show head today, mate.
John Casmon (04:33):
Hey Reid. Thank you for having me always good to see you and be, uh, back here on the show and, uh, really excited to, to have this conversation today
Reed Goossens (04:41):
For those people who don’t know you, you know, we you’ve been on the show a couple of times before, so highly recommend going back and listening to those episodes. Give us a little bit of a 32nd elevator picture of your background and coming into the real estate space. Cause I do wanna get into what you’ve built in the last sort of couple of years since we’ve started to form this awesome friendship.
John Casmon (04:59):
Yeah, absolutely. So I come from corporate America, so I spent 15 years in corporate America doing marketing and advertising for some of the brands you mentioned, you know, big companies like general motors, Nike CORs, light mountain Dew brands like that. And on the side, I was slowly building up my own personal portfolio companies I’d worked for had gone into bankruptcy, not just once but twice. Uh, luckily I was fine. Didn’t lose my job. Never missed a paycheck, but I recognized the impact it could have on your personal finances. So for me, starting to build a personal portfolio was a way to insulate myself from that potential risk. Ultimately, I started to learn about work with other people and raising money for deals. And I got into apartment syndication. Um, you fast forward, we’ve helped investors get into 120 million worth of apartments. We are continuing to grow that and looking for opportunities all the time.
John Casmon (05:49):
And one of the things that jumps out to me is, you know, you’ve played a big role in helping us see some traction. You know, you helped me kinda launch the podcast. One of the people who helped me realize that I wanted to do a podcast who needed to do a podcast, but ultimately also gave us an opportunity to partner on some of those early deals. So really thankful for that. And definitely wanna talk a little bit more about kind of coming full circle on, you know, being kind of a newer investor in a syndication space to ultimately run your own deals.
Reed Goossens (06:18):
Yeah. Look, mate. And I thank you for, for giving me the no of the hat that I, I, I back at you. I do remember when we met up in, was it Santa Monica all those years ago? And we had, I think it was pizza. We went out for, for dinner, a couple pizzas and beers. I think I was even still working full time for my development company back in the day. I know you were definitely still working full time, so we’ve got a lot of history. And if you’re listening to these episodes one after the other, the episode prior to this was with Jonathan Twombley and he’s also another good friend coming full circle. So these, these last couple episodes where we’re sort of rehashing old friendships and not re rehashing, but just going back down memory lane and understanding what you just said, going, coming full cycle. So maybe bring us up to speed. You mentioned 120 million. I, I, you know, where, where you at right now? Where’s the podcast. You’ve got a couple of other platforms out there that you’ve built all built from scratch by the way. And I really admired. And it’s seeing you, what you have built from afar. How has that journey been since we, you know, when we first started speaking all those years ago in Santa Monica?
John Casmon (07:14):
Yeah, absolutely. I, I think the first part is just recognizing that there is a path, you know, if you’ve seen Reed do it, you’ve seen me do it. You’ve seen others do it. You can absolutely do it doesn’t mean it’s easy, but there is a path there. And I think that’s really important for people to understand is that, you know, you can do it. You just need to see people like you who are doing it, who are active, you can learn from them and you can grow in the same way that they have. So for me, in our journey, you know, you mentioned the podcast we’ve done over, you know, I don’t know about 400 2430 episodes. Wow. At this point of this show, we’ve moved to twice a week. We’ve rebranded this show. So the show is now called multifamily insights used to be called target market insights.
John Casmon (07:55):
And that rebranding really came from a place of when we launched the show was all about finding the best place to invest. So it was all about market research. And as we’ve evolved, we realized market research was just one component. We really wanted to understand marketing as a whole, everything from finding the best place to invest, but you know, how do you find and attract capital for deals? How do you even find these deals in the first place? Uh, who’s on your team, who are you surrounding yourself with? And then everything else that’s tied to multi-family investing. So it went from just market research to multi-family and marketing holistically, and that’s allowed us to grow and have more robust conversations with investors. Uh, as far as events, we have our, our meet up still that we do in Chicago. We’re gonna be launching a meetup, uh, in the Cincinnati market pretty soon.
John Casmon (08:43):
And then we still have our annual conference, our Midwest real estate networking summit. And a lot of this is meant to create opportunities for us to connect with other investors. And by doing that, it gives us a chance to not just, you know, raise capital for some of these deals, but also to learn and to learn what other people are doing it, why they’re doing it the way they’re doing it and to build relationships. And I bring that back to kind of our conversation because the key is really to build relationships. It’s not just to get blind checks from random people and you know, you’ve got everything you need to do a deal, but you wanna build relationships. So it is important to sit down, to go to dinner. Like we did many years ago to sit and watch someone grow, to sit and watch someone achieve their goals and see how you can help each other along that journey. And I think that’s really, really important to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, focusing on building real relationships. What are people looking to get out of this? And if you can help them achieve their goals, it’s gonna be much easier for you to achieve your own.
Reed Goossens (09:41):
Uh, I love what you said there before about the there’s a path right now. Not every path is the same. And I think that’s the hard part that people compare themselves to seeing number people. Oh, you’ve, you’ve got to this 120 million and you’ve done all these deals and you’ve got the podcast and, but it’s, it’s been a slog, right. It hasn’t just been a linear path it’s and my path is different. Your path is different to the next person. And I think that’s, and that’s okay. Right. You’ve gotta tell people that that is okay. That it is different, but knowing that you have two things probably come to mind and I love your thoughts on this is, you know, consistency with what you’re doing. Right. And, and, and putting yourself out there, right. Surrounding yourself with people who, who you want to be like. So those two things, as cliche as it might sound, but you know, this podcast has been gone since 2014.
Reed Goossens (10:27):
Your podcast has actually done more episodes and this podcast, you know, so it’s, you know, you’ve, you’ve created platforms around, you know, uh, meet up events and, and networking events and conferences. So I think the, you know, there’s an old saying in cricket, uh, is line and length, right? You keep bowling the right line and length. You’re gonna get the wicked. And the same thing can happen with, with entrepreneurship. Like, I don’t know how it was for you, but I know I was nervous when I first got started in this podcasting space and branding, um, that no one would listen to it. But if I look all these years later, it’s created the business that I have today. I want to hear like you going out and starting all the different platforms you have in terms of the meeting people and the coming together and, and surrounding yourself with people. Did you have that sort of imposter syndrome back in the day? And did you get your second guess yourself?
John Casmon (11:15):
Really? Absolutely. And the, the irony is that you were actually the person who helped me overcome that because when we first met, um, we, we also met at the best ever conference in person. Yes. And I felt like I knew you, right. I mean, we, you know, I’d been listening to the show, uh, I’d senior, your face when you, you kind of stand out, right. You’re tall Australian guy. So I see you in person. I’m like, oh, there’s Reed. I think I actually might have went up and said, Hey, Reed. And you kind of looked at me and I’m like, oh, that’s right. Why would he know who you are? You’ve never actually reached out to this guy. And I think at that moment, it kind of just clicked about how this can work for you. But as we kind of got to know each other, other and talked, and you know, the, the night kind of went on, you kinda gave me the advice to say, the world may not need another real estate podcast, but the people in your circle need to hear from you.
John Casmon (12:04):
And that just really stood out to me. And I implore anyone to really digest that because it’s not about growing some big platform that gets millions of downloads or gets, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorships. It’s about being able to persuade the people closest to you, why you are passionate about real estate investing as the tool to create financial freedom for you and the people around you. And you can talk to people all day long about real estate and how you love it and all that kind of stuff. But they’re not gonna be convinced if they don’t see you really committing to this. And a podcast is a way to really commit to this action. If you can show people, here’s the level of commitment I have, even if you’ve never done a deal, it shows them that you are really serious about this in that they should maybe take another look at what it is you’re talking about.
John Casmon (12:57):
And that’s what happened for us. You know, we were able to dig in show the people around us, how serious we were about this, because we had started this podcast and now we’re talking to super successful investors and learning from them. And every episode is almost like a little mini master class where I’m talking to some super serious, super, you know, successful person and they’re breaking down their strategy and what they look for and how they manage a deal. So I was absolutely nervous and felt like an imposter, but that’s also why it was helpful to do something where I could lean on the experiences of those people around me, in the people I’m interviewing, as opposed to John, KAMs gonna tell you how to invest a real estate. So I always Shi away from that side of it. And I will tell you, your story is your story, and it will always be authentic.
John Casmon (13:42):
So as long as you focus on that and find ways to share your story and share your journey, you’re not being an imposter. You’re not being inauthentic. The problem is if you try to pose as something that you’re not okay, and people don’t want to hear that. And quite frankly, you know, as we talk about portfolios and work, we’ve done there, people probably want to hear from you because maybe you’re at the very beginning of your journey. They can identify with that more than they can with somebody who already has a hundred million dollar portfolio. So there’s always something great about watching someone build in public. And if you are on the fence about doing it, I would strongly employ to do it because it’s the only way to grow is to push yourself. And once you start doing that, it’s just like a muscle.
John Casmon (14:25):
Everything gets easier. You know, I mean, we’re sitting here recording this. Now. I remember I used to sit there and be super concerned about every episode. I would write out all my questions. I would have, you know, all my paperwork in front of me. I couldn’t do video because I was taking notes the whole time and I wouldn’t even really look at the, the camera. Right. I would just sit there and write down notes that I had to have my next question ready to go. Uh, but you’ll, you’ll eventually get to the point where you’re more comfortable and it becomes more second nature, and you’re willing to put, put yourself out there. So the more you do that, the easier it all gets, the more comfortable you get. And I just think that’s really important. If you are looking to build a real business and have exponential growth.
Reed Goossens (15:03):
One thing that comes to mind when I look at your, and this is just from a personal point of view, cause I’ve done all the things you besides the conference, but I’ve done some of the other elements in your quiver, right? One of them happens to be the meetup. I remember starting a meetup here in LA when I first moved to LA in 2014. And it was so much time consuming work. How have you been able to manage all the platforms that you are building? Like that’s, as again, as an outsider, I know you’re a marketing guy as well. So you, you probably have that sixth sense to, to, to, to, to form that nearly like a media company, cuz that’s what you, you you’re building, but how difficult is that to manage all the platforms and keep ’em going, right? So you just don’t let one die. You know, you cuz that is so important to have that consistency, like we said earlier.
John Casmon (15:50):
Well, that’s a great question. I think there’s a couple things. One is how do you grow it to the point where it remains relevant for you? Because if you’re, if you kind of meet up or podcast and five people listen to it or you know, two people show up to the event. Yeah. At a certain point, you’re gonna get discouraged and say, do I even need to do this? Like, should I even keep doing this? And people always tell you just keep pushing forward. Yes. I believe you should stay consistent and push forward, but you also need to adjust it to make sure it’s working for you. Learn from it. If the, if the podcast episodes, um, aren’t reaching many people, you need to step back and say, all right, what are we doing wrong? What can we fix here? You know, if you’re doing meetups and people aren’t coming or your, your audience isn’t growing and you step back and say, what can we fix here?
John Casmon (16:34):
So I think that’s the very first thing is make sure it’s worthwhile for you to continue and you’ve gotta learn and adjust. Uh, with that said it helps to have other people you can delegate to just like you, you know, I don’t do everything with a podcast. You know, I record, I do not edit. I do not, you know, write the show notes anymore. I do not sit there and spend the hours that I used to spend, you know, getting this show live to an audience. Now, the only real thing I do is I sit down with my, um, my assistant. We go over her plans with the podcast guests that she wants to have on, you know, pretty much has she knows a routine she’ll book guests. If she’s got a question, she’ll say, Hey, there’s this guy or this person here, what do you think?
John Casmon (17:17):
Um, but she kind of handles all that and then I just record. And then once I’m done recording, the only thing I have to do is just give a title to the episode. And the only reason I continue to do that is I think it’s the most important aspect of it. So that’s one of the tips for me on how to grow is make sure you control the things that are really, really important to success. I used to fret about show notes. I mean, I even sit there and write show notes out and be up till two in the morning because I wanted it to make sure it was, you know, it was strong writing and it, it hooked the reader and I captured the thought, you know, perfectly. And the reality is no one can read this show note if they don’t know this show exists.
John Casmon (18:02):
exactly. If they’re not listening to the episode, they’re not watching, listening to the show notes. They’re not reading the show notes. Right? Right. So the key to that is focus on getting people to even see that this show exists and the title of it is the most important thing. So that’s the only thing I really focus on is trying to make sure we have strong titles for the episodes on the meetup. It’s something similar. So I’ve been very fortunate enough to have a meetup that impacts other people. And we have changed this thing a couple of times. And I had a chance meeting, uh, some years ago with someone who had grown a meetup to be very successful and we sat down and he told us what exactly he did. And the big takeaway from me was be very clear on the promise that you’re making to your audience members, because if I come to your meetup and let’s just say, it’s the LA multifamily meetup.
John Casmon (18:55):
Um, I come to the LA multifamily meetup and I may or may not have a good time. I may or may not meet somebody that can help me grow my LA multifamily portfolio. Right. So do I come back? It’s, it’s kind of a shot and dark, right. But if you have a specific title or a specific subject that you’re gonna be covering, let’s just say it is, um, um, how to invest in Airbnb in LA. Okay. If I come to that event, I have a pretty clear expectation of what I’m hoping to get out of there. Right? I’m hoping to learn a little bit about the ins and outs of investing in Airbnb in LA. Maybe it’s, I’m coming probably because that’s something I’ve thought about. So if I get some answers to that and I feel like I’ve gotten my value because I’ve learned some things that I didn’t know, but now I’m more likely to come back to this event because it fulfilled my, my thirst.
John Casmon (19:54):
And if you are savvy enough to have the right topics and the right subjects, you can keep people engaged and you can add value to them. If you’re able to do that enough. Well, you’ll have people raise their hand and say, how can I help you? You’ve added so much value to me. I’ve learned so much being a part of this group. How can I pay it forward? How can I help you? And we’ve actually had people who have helped us lead those events. And they kind of do a lot of the day to day type stuff. They figure out the topics and they present those things back to me and say, Hey, you know, we wanna talk about, uh, this or this and this. And then we kinda have some stuff slated throughout the year. So I like to talk about taxes typically, you know, towards the end of the year and then around tax season when it’s on people’s mind.
John Casmon (20:35):
So we might bring in a CPA or tax strategist to talk about that. We might talk about any, um, in Chicago and particularly we might talk about any, um, any law changes that impact investors we might bring in an attorney or someone from, you know, the city, the city to come in to talk about, okay, Hey, starting on, you know, June 1st, 2023, this is gonna be a new law that’s implemented. Here’s how it can impact you in your portfolio. Right? So we try to do stuff like that. So it really is. Can’t miss events. And if you can create that, well now it’s not just the third Wednesday of the month, LA multifamily meetup. And I’ll just figure out how I feel that day. It’s Hey, this is the one where they’re gonna be talking about that big rule change. I gotta be there. I cannot miss this event.
John Casmon (21:23):
And when you’re creating that kind of content, well now people absolutely wanna be there. They can’t miss it. It’s a priority for me. And even if I had something else I wanna do, I’ll tell you, oh, I can’t meet that day. I’m going to this event. Matter of fact, maybe you should join me at that event. And if you’re creating that kind of value, it’s easier to grow. So it comes down to, and I set the word value a couple times, but it really has to be value. That value is in the perceived eye of the end user. If I have an podcast episode, you gotta ask yourself, do I wanna commit 30 to 40 minutes to listen to this? Or is there something else that’s the better fit, right? And same thing with an event, you know, if you’re gonna get in your car, drive to a new location, you know, sit here, well, fly park or fly to a location, right?
John Casmon (22:09):
And you’re gonna spend some hours, maybe days at this event, you gotta have a promise of what kind of value you’re hoping to get back in exchange. And if you can very clearly communicate that value, but the key is to actually pay it off. If you can pay it off, now you’re gonna be able to grow. And most people don’t do that. Most people hit you with kind of the bait and switch, right? We’re gonna teach you how to analyze multifamily deals. You get to the event. They’d tell you nothing about that, right? They get you super excited about it, but then they’d tell you, Hey, if you wanna learn how to do this, buy my course for $5,000 or $3,000 or whatever it is and buy my analyzing tool and it’ll show you how to do it. And it’s like, wait a minute, dude.
John Casmon (22:47):
Like I drove an hour and a half to get out here. You’ve given me a bunch of crap for the last hour and a half. And you’re really telling me if I want this, I gotta spend another five, $10,000. And I mean, I would go to events and that’s what it will happen. I would get so discouraged, you know, be some guy selling some antiquated CD in the back of the room with their system and software and they’d want up seen amount of money for it. And I’m like, dude, you, you said, this is an event to learn how to do X, Y, Z. I came to learn how to do X, Y, Z. And you’re telling me I gotta get this upcharge type money. And it was just so frustrating. So I think if you can avoid that and really deliver on whatever it is, you tell people you will earn their trust. And if you can earn their trust, you can earn that relationship and grow from there.
Reed Goossens (23:34):
For those of you who are interested in staying up to date with all the latest happenings in my business, or to learn more about passively investing directly into my multifamily value, add deals, then head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter by signing up, you’ll automatically be notified about my new up and coming investment opportunities. You’ll be able to stay up to date with all the latest real estate news here in the United States and much, much more. So head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up to date. Now back into the show,
Reed Goossens (24:10):
I think the, the meetups are extremely important and, and were so pivotal for me growing in the us. When I, I remember first remember coming to the us, the New York career and the rears are I, I still to this day, give them so much credit for what they do. The organization, the real estate investment association. I think it’s called, um, within two weeks of fresh off the boat, I was literally at my first rear event, right? That’s that’s how committed I was because coming from Australia, we didn’t have these types of events. The, the only meetup that I still know of today that’s been going for as long for over a decade was called the Brisbane property, networking, Brisbane property networking thing it’s called. And it happened in Brisbane was where I was from. So like coming to New York and then seeing Philly’s got one, Chicago’s got one, Chicago’s got a couple, LA’s got one, you know, like there’s just so much tapestry of, of awesome, you know, information being shared.
Reed Goossens (25:01):
Um, and, and I, I, I attend someone’s out here, the Phoebe events, which you are familiar with hunter Thompson and Jeremy role, they’ve done a great job of being consistent and, and doing the no, no sales pitch, right. They’ve, they’ve, they’ve been very consistent in, in being making sure that it feels like value. Um, my question that sort of, as I was writing this down was creating the content. How much do you have to create with a local meetup that has to be localized versus the content you create for a podcast? Talk to me about the difference of those and, and, and how important that is.
John Casmon (25:30):
Yeah. It’s very interesting. Great question. So, uh, the local content, it kind of depends, and it, it’s very interesting. So let’s start with the podcast and then I’ll talk about the local. The podcast is a national audience, right? We have no idea where people are listening. Certainly many people meet me in person. They know me, that’s how they they’re introduced to the podcast. So our biggest AU, I haven’t checked in a while, but our biggest audience typically is in both Illinois and Ohio, right? The last two places I’ve lived for the last, you know, 10 years. So that makes sense, right? That those places are where, uh, we’d have the most growth. But from there, it goes into your major cities after that. So New York, Texas, California, uh, we have listeners in, you know, wide ranging countries all across the world, which always surprises me a little bit.
John Casmon (26:13):
Um, with that said the content needs to have a broader appeal because it is more of a national audience. You know, we’re talking to people that we can’t quite get so specific into the nuances of legalities and laws and structures and all that stuff. So we do try to make sure it’s, it’s informative. It has that hook, it’s engaging. And it goes across the country and it’s applicable, right? These insights are applicable for people in their local markets with the meetup. On the other hand, you know, another little strategy that we have is we want people to be in person, but we also recognize that when you’re creating content, you wanna be able to maximize that as much as you can. So we started, and we haven’t done this in a while, but we started filming our interview portion of the meetup. So we go Facebook live on our Facebook group, and we would have that push out only to our Facebook group.
John Casmon (27:04):
So you had to be a member of the group to, to see the content, but we can talk a little bit more about the localized challenges. We interviewed a lot of local attendees, right? Because here everyone attending was in the building. So I, I had people who definitely flew in to speak at the event who were not local to the market. So we would talk to ’em about those things, but we would also bring in like a local broker or a local PM and a local investor, and would sit there and talk to him, Hey, what neighborhoods are you in? So we could drill in a little bit deeper, right? We can drill into the submarkets. We could talk about what’s the cap you’re seeing over here. We could talk about why you like this submarket instead of that submarket. So we can make it a little more localized.
John Casmon (27:42):
But for me, the goal is still to make it relevant to the audience and the meetup. The difference is I can go in a more nuanced manner where I know somebody might be interested in Logan square or the Northwest side of Chicago, and we can talk about Logan square versus Portage park. Uh, and they would get it and they understand it because no one else is gonna talk to ’em about this. They’re not gonna get this information anywhere else, because no one else can go this deep. Right. So we can do that. But I also still wanna peel it back so that if someone’s listening to this or watching this, and they’re not in Chicago, it’s still relevant. So part of what I see my job is as a host of those events, and I will tell you, I think hosting a podcast in the meetup has made me more depth at understanding what the audience is looking for.
John Casmon (28:25):
So when I’m sitting there, I recognize that, you know, even though we’re talking about Chicago and, you know, two Northwest side neighborhoods, if there’s a guy who focus on the south side, I may as well be talking about San Antonio for him. Mm-hmm right. He’s like, I don’t know. Those are my more, I don’t know anything about that area. So what I can do then is I can peel back and I can say, well, Hey, this is more of a B plus type area. This is more of a B minus type area. So if you’re looking in the south side or you’re looking in other cities, here’s how I would apply the information that was just shared. So I see my role as a facilitator to help make sure people in the audience are gathering the insights necessary to be successful investors. But I do like that you can push in deep and you can get very granular and nuanced and talk about specific streets or locations or properties or crew members.
John Casmon (29:14):
Um, because I see my role ultimate goal as a connector in those events. And if I know there’s a broker, who’s in the crowd, or I know someone’s looking for, for capital, for a deal while I’m sitting there in a local meetup, I can also make sure that, Hey, you wanna talk to such and such before you leave here. Right? So the meeting is great. And then we, we do the interview and all that kind of stuff, but really the value comes in being able to know what people are looking for and how you can connect them and actually tell people, Hey, what did you come, come out here for? If you only came out here to see the presenter, great, you’re gonna love it. Okay. That’s gonna be an easy win for me. But if you came out here because you wanna scale from single family to multi-family, well, let me make sure I connect you with the right people to help you progress that journey.
John Casmon (29:55):
If you came out here, cuz you’re in the middle of the flip project and you need a new contractor, okay. Let me make sure talk to that guy, this guy and this guy, right. And talk to this guy over here, he’s got some resources. So part of my job is to make sure you leave that event feeling like you got your value. And I can’t do that if I don’t know what it is, you’re looking to get out of that event. So that’s why I like events because they’re very nuanced in they’re individualistic, but you can build strong relationships based on that. And people don’t forget what you’ve done for them. I have people all the time, they tell me stuff and I’m like, to me, it was like a quick little conversation. It took me 30 seconds to connect you with this guy in the room.
John Casmon (30:29):
And I’ll give you a great example. There’s uh, um, my buddy, Jim bigs just did a conference at JB network conference. And the two of the people who run it run a media called Wendy C reI, well, they met at my Midwest real estate networking summit. They met during a breakout room and they left that conference, decided to work together and launched their own, meet up and have not helped put on this conference. And they thanked me tremendously for helping them connect with each other. In some of the words that I shared with them, dude, it was like five minutes of my time. Five minutes of my time is what I spent with them. And they took that and ran with it over the course of 12 to 18 months. So that’s the impact you can have if you are truly focused on building relationships,
Reed Goossens (31:14):
Mate, awesome stuff. I think that’s exactly what I wanted to hear and, and kudos to you for BR for being able to break it down into understanding what your value is and your key role as a facilitator, sort of the next natural question would be how much of these platforms have helped you in your own business and, and, and raising capital and buying deals because ultimately these platforms are sort of at the top of the funnel, right? You want to get ’em down to the crux of the business, which is investing with John and helping me buy a deal. So has that been, uh, had these platforms been good launching pad to, to, to raise more money and get in front of more deals and more brokers,
John Casmon (31:55):
They have been good. They could always work a little harder for us. And I will tell you that. Um, one thing that can be frustrating is if you come into this, especially if you come into this space with the notion of I’m gonna do this and it’s gonna help me do why you may get really frustrated with the results, right? If you launch a podcast, you expect to be able to raise millions of dollars off rip. When that, once you hit the published button, you may, you may be really, really disappointed, right? um, same with the meetup, right? If you’re doing a meetup and you’re expecting everybody who walks in there to write you a $50,000 check upon entry, um, it just, just doesn’t happen that way. So I will tell you this, the first thing it does is it helps us build credibility with the people we’re talking about.
John Casmon (32:40):
It helps us build up relationships and it does position you as a thought leader. And I think that’s really, really important. You still gotta pay that stuff off though, right? Just because you’re standing in front of the room and people may think, oh, this guy may know what he’s talking about. If you actually don’t know what you’re talking about, that’s gonna be pretty clear in a little bit too. So it helps to know what you’re doing. Talk to people and prepare yourself, continue to educate yourself, position yourself as someone who is an authority figure in the space. But that said, you don’t have to be the final expert. It’s okay. That you’re early in your journey and you’re learning. And you’re growing because you’re still further along than most of the people who are gonna be in that audience. So for them, they don’t care that you’ve only done one deal.
John Casmon (33:17):
It’s like one deal more than me. Right? So that’s the mentality. So I would say it has helped me in my business. Um, I will tell you that there are some things that I would do differently that I think anyone should, anyone who’s starting out, I kind of consult with them to say, Hey, here are the things to do. And you really have to start with that end user, go back to that. Who’s your avatar? What are you trying to do for them? How are you trying to help them? One of the biggest challenges for me with the meetup and read, I’m not sure if you saw this with yours. Um, but my meetup was attracting mostly active real estate investors. So everybody I spoke to was interested in doing what I was doing. Mm-hmm , uh, they weren’t necessarily looking to invest passively in our deals, right.
John Casmon (34:02):
They wanted to do what I was doing. So that was somewhat frustrating for a little bit. Just because again, you, these meetups, you do everything you’re doing, you go back and you’ve raised $0 from your meetup, right? And this is one of your main marketing activities. So you’re building relationships, which is great, but again, not necessarily getting investors. So if I could go back, I would say, okay, if I’m going to create an event, what event should I create? That would allow me to attract my avatar, because keep in mind this most passive investors are investing passively because they’re busy. They have other things they want to do. You know, they like real estate as an investing tool. They’re not as passionate about it as you and I, they’re not reading every book and listening every podcast and attending every event, they’re not junkies, just, you know, sponging on the information.
John Casmon (34:58):
They really wanna understand what they’re doing from investing standpoint. They wanna diversify their portfolio. Once they get about 80% there, they feel pretty good with, they’re not gonna be attending meetups every single month. They’re just not mm-hmm they might attend two or three feel comfortable. And then they’re like, all right, cool. I feel good with this. So you may wanna think about the kind of events that you’re creating, especially if you’re targeting busy people. I know people all the time wanna, you know, connect with like doctors and engineers. It’s like, okay. So doctors are, a lot of doctors are on call and busy professionals, right? So you wanna create a meetup so that they can come and, you know, sit at this, this event for hours and hours. Like it’s just not realistic in the way they think. So I think that’s one thing I would do is step back and say, what exactly are you creating?
John Casmon (35:43):
And are you communicating in a way that maximizes the way they live their life? Are you really thinking about that avatar and the way they get information, the way they process information and are you making it easy for them to say yes and to learn? So that’s one thing I would do. The other thing I would do is I would really make sure that the content I was creating was solving the challenges that they face. Right? If you’re over here talking about, for instance, uh, cash flow, and you’re talking about why cash flow is so great and you’re making all this money in cash flow, and this is why you wanna invest real estate. But if you’re talking to higher net worth individuals, cash flow is not their problem. You know, taxes might be their problem. Mm-hmm diversification might be their problem. Estate planning might be their problem.
John Casmon (36:26):
So you have to understand holistically, what is this person’s financial goals? What would they be looking to get? Or what do they need to know to invest in this opportunity? And then you can say, all right, all right, they need to know this, this and this. Let me educate people about those matters, as opposed to just assuming that everybody’s looking for cash on cash return. Some people are not, some people are literally just looking to reduce their tax liability. Some people are literally like, Hey, I’ve got all my money in the stock market and it’s wild. I just wanna take out 20, 30% and put it in real estate. And they that’s it. And they’re comfortable with wrap that, you know, they understand everything else. They just wanna put some of it in real estate. So it really helps just understand who you’re talking to, the challenges that they’re facing, uh, and how you can help them.
Reed Goossens (37:14):
I, I think that’s extremely important. Um, but also a lot of clarity in and around when you do start something of value for other people, making sure you have that end user insight, because you may spend a lot of time. As you’re saying, talking to the contractor, talking to the active investor, talking to the guy who’s aspiring to be you and you don’t actually spend any time growing your business. And I think that, um, well, what I’m hearing is maybe something looking back you could have changed differently.
John Casmon (37:42):
Yeah, absolutely. And, and I would just say too real quick read is that yeah. When we first launched meetup, that was actually the biggest thing is it wasn’t even a real, a multifamily meetup. It was just a real estate meetup. So, I mean, I had wholesalers and contractors and real like residential agents. And I mean, you would be like, our topics were all over the place, man. I mean, it just, there was no promise of what you were gonna get from the event. And they ran, they, they, you know, if you would go in February, that February event looked through way different than the one in March. Mm. We just had a completely different topic. And that’s why we realized, you know what, we’re actually not talking to anybody. So we had to change it and make it focused on multifamily. So at least we knew that these people were interested in multifamily investing now, and then we can start to kind of program it a little bit better.
John Casmon (38:24):
So we know that, okay, we at least have a specific topic of what we’re trying to cover. So you have, you’re absolutely right. You have to understand who you’re talking to and don’t feel bad because, you know, and I’m not saying you wanna be dismissive of people who aren’t gonna be a fit, but you want to create the content you wanna create to attract the investors for business. And it’s just like you, any other product or service, if you had a bunch of people were coming into the store, but not buying at some point, you would say, Hey, we need to be able to market define the right audience. Right. We’re bringing in traffic, but we’re not being in bringing in qualified traffic. And I used to work at GM. And one of the things our dealers would hate with us, they would hate this all the time is we might do a, not me, but, uh, a lot of advertisers and marketers would do a campaign that drives traffic to the dealership.
John Casmon (39:14):
Right? And the deal’s like, listen, stop with your like gimmicks and your promotions and your scratch offs and all that because yes, people are coming in, but they’re not buying cars. They’re not qualified traffic. They’re just coming in to try to win radio tickets or whatever. right. And it’s like, I don’t want that. I want more qualified leads. I want people who are looking to buy cars coming in. I don’t want the guy who just heard, you know, heard you on 95, 7 or whatever. And mm-hmm, , he’s coming in just because he’s to win, you know, free, free Cubs tickets or whatever. And it’s like, you have to make sure you’re thinking about it from that standpoint. Are you bringing, qualify, leads into your business? And if not, you should probably change what you’re doing.
Reed Goossens (39:51):
Love it. Love it, mate, look, to wrap up the show. The last question is, what do you do? What, what is this, what does this all look like? Moving for the next five years? You know, 12 to five, 12 months to five years from now, what are you doing? And how is it growing to continue to bring you more value in the acquisitions? And, and I assume that’s what you wanna do and continue to grow the portfolio.
John Casmon (40:12):
Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, the acquisitions is really key. Uh, as much as the marketing is vital to grow, nothing happens until you have a deal, right? The marketing is to prepare you. You have to have a deal to make sure everything continues to move forward. So we’re actually revamping our acquisitions. We spent a lot of time over the last couple of months working on this and we’ll continue to do so over the next couple of months, um, we are professionalizing the things that we’re already doing. So you’ve talked about, you know, kind of the meet up and the podcast and all these different things. We’re actually hiring in additional resources to help us just Polish up some of the stuff we’ve done, you know, I’ve been able to do pretty well on a shoestring budget and leveraging myself and VAs and all sorts of stuff like that.
John Casmon (40:56):
But we’re really at a point where we have to take it to the next level. And in order to do that, we need to reinvest back into the company. So we’re focusing on those things. Um, ideally for us, we like the Midwest and Southeast regions. We wanna continue to grow there and focus there. And our philosophy is let buy good quality cash flow and assets that have appreciation potential, you know, and good markets, growing markets, appreciating markets, and let’s mitigate our downside risk. So we just wanna find more opportunities to allow us to do that. The market’s tight, the market’s competitive. We all know that I don’t think that’s gonna change. So we just wanna find ways to continue to look at more deals, to be a bit more creative. And I think that if we, we can focus on that as well as continuing to improve our back end operational excellence side, you know, that positions us very well for the next five to 10 years.
John Casmon (41:43):
And I think the great thing is this is what we want to do for the next 10, 15, 20, 25 years. Uh, this isn’t something where, you know, I woke up and decided, you know, let me try this multifamily thing. know we expect to be doing this pretty much until I die. So we’re excited to build this. Now I don’t wanna necessarily be to, you know, 85 years old and analyzing a bunch of deals like this. I’m hoping that there’s a whole team that just manages that part. But you know, this is something that we, we do treat us business that we are professional about, and we will continue to look to improve just so we can continue to serve our investors. And I, I think it’s interesting just when you think about the market dynamics, because I know some folks are maybe sitting on the sidelines and waiting out, and this is like the only industry I know of where you have a product of service.
John Casmon (42:31):
You may just decide not to offer that product or service because of market conditions. Mm-hmm, , uh, people’s financial needs, don’t change based on market conditions. And in fact, they may get more, more dire, you know, so we, I think it’s on us to find opportunities for these investors, uh, because it’s not really about us. It’s about helping other people achieve their financial goals and only being open where the markets are great. Uh, doesn’t seem to be a great business plan to me. So, and again, I’m not knocking anybody. I’m not, you know, trying to say anything wrong. I just, I, I really see this as we’re serving other people, helping them achieve their financial goals. So we have to constantly be looking for opportunities no matter what’s going on in the market.
Reed Goossens (43:14):
Love it, love it. And I love what you said earlier, but reinvesting into the business. And so many of us, we, we both start at the same time St. Suit, shoe, string budgets with VAs and, you know, working full, full time job, plus, you know, keeping food on the table and trying to side a side hustle. And as you start to know, to put your big boy pants on or big girl pants on, you gotta, you gotta start reinvesting in the business. That’s. And that really comes down to, to, to staff and personnel and making sure you’re developing a good culture and, and, and outsourcing yourself, right? Like you don’t need to be in every single weed. And I know that’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, but so some sounds like something very similar to you, but, but you’re changing, moving forward. Uh, with that being said, where can people Richard, to continue the conversation they wanna be in your sphere? Where do they go? Yeah.
John Casmon (44:01):
Two things, one, you could check out our podcast, multi-family insights available anywhere you listen to podcasts. Uh, we also have a sample deal package on our website. If you are an active investor, looking to figure out what things you wanna include in your offerings, or you’re a passive investor, and you wanna just get a read on language terminology, what kind of things should you be looking for in investment opportunities? Just a good idea of just of ways to structure different deals, uh, but check it out. It’s, uh, available on our website. It’s casmoncapital.com/sampledeal.
Reed Goossens (44:31):
Awesome stuff, mate. Well, look, I wanna thank you so much for taking this time outta your day, just to reflect some of the things I took away from today’s show. I think, um, the first thing is grow, grow it to remain relevant, right? If you’re gonna grow a platform that has to remain relevant and so keep growing it until it doesn’t be remain relevant to you or your niche. Um, but then also the other thing is like understanding who’s coming to what medium, if there’s a medium that’s on, you know, leveraging iTunes and Spotify and all those platforms, it’s gonna be national. So you have to talk a little bit more broad, but if you’re going to have an in-person meetup and you’re gonna have the local mayor talking about a cha a rule change in the local legislature, that’s gonna be only for people who living in that region, right?
Reed Goossens (45:12):
So it’s not gonna, it’s not gonna apply to everyone else. And I think understanding that as you move forward and then having the goal of understanding whatever platform you are creating, you’re trying to keep getting that avatar of who you’re serving or who you want in the business to, to come and ultimately invest with you. So if it is a passive investor, well, you’re your local meetups. Maybe you’re gonna get the active investor and understanding how you tweak that along the way. So, um, it’s been awesome seeing you along this journey, mate. And I continue, I excited to see where you go to next. So, uh, thank you again for jumping on the show, enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very, very soon.
John Casmon (45:44):
Reed thank you for having me, man. It’s always great to catch up with you. Take care.
Reed Goossens (45:48):
My pleasure. Well, there you have another cracking episode jam pack with some incredible advice. Remember head over to Casmoncapital.com to get your hands on a deal pack. If you are interested in learning a little bit more about what he does, um, also check him out on online, John Casmon, uh, he’s everywhere. You can find out if you’re in the Chicago or Ohio region, there are meetups that you can go to. So please get to those meetups as best you can, uh, for everyone else. Thank you so much for jumping on the show to tune in, to continue, to, to continue to grow your financial IQ. Cause that’s where we’re all about here on this show. All the show notes from today’s show will be up on my website at Reedgoossens.Com. Don’t forget to go over there. If you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give it a five star review and we’ll do this all again next week. So remember be bold, be brave, and go give life a crack.