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Global Investors Podcast
GI107: Growing Your Real Estate Business to Over 1,000 Units with Monick Halm
July 8, 2021
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GI107: Growing Your Real Estate Business to Over 1,000 Units with Monick Halm

Monick Halm is a real estate investor, syndicator, and developer with over 14 years of experience in multi-family, mobile home and RV parks, flipping, commercial, vacation rentals, syndication, and ground-up development. Together with her husband and her investors, she owns over 1100 rental units across 6 states.

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Transcript:

Announcer:
Welcome to the Global Investors Podcast, a show that focuses on helping foreign investors enter the lucrative US real estate market. Host, Charles Carillo, combined decades of real estate investing experience with a professional background in international banking to interview experts in all areas of US real estate investing. Now here’s your host, Charles Carillo.

Charles:
Welcome to another episode of the Global Investors Podcast; I’m your host Charles Carillo. Today we have Monick Halm. Monick is a real estate investor, syndicator, and developer with over 14 years of experience in multi-family, mobile home and RV parks, flipping, commercial, vacation rentals, syndication, and ground-up development. Together with her husband and her investors, she owns over 1100 rental units across 6 states. So thank you so much for being on the show.

Monick:
Thanks for having me Charles.

Charles:
So please tell us a little bit about your background both personally and professionally before getting involved in real estate investing.

Monick:
Yeah, so I did not know anything about real estate investing. I was raised. I have, I have a great family, great parents. They’re from Haiti. I’m a first generation American and my parents always told me when Nick, you can be anything you want, but parentheses as long as you’re a doctor, lawyer, professor engineering, because so is for them what success was. And that’s all I knew too. And of those choices, I chose law and I became a lawyer. I was very unhappy as a lawyer, but that’s a whole other conversation. The only thing I’d been taught about real estate was that you should buy your own home. So I went to do that after a couple of years of practice, it’s like, okay, well, I guess I should buy a house. That’s what you’re meant to do. But I live in Los Angeles, which is super expensive market.

Monick:
And even though I had an, you know, fairly decent, low, low six figure income, I couldn’t afford a house by myself because the starter house in LA is a, you know, in a semi decent neighborhood, we’re looking upwards of 600, $700,000. And this was the, this was back in 2005. Now it’s now it’s more so, so I was a friend of mine suggested we buy duplex together. The original idea was that he lived on one side, I live on the other side. And then we ended up finding though, instead this property that had sort of two equal sides, it was this old craftsman. I had a larger downstairs unit, a two bedroom upstairs, a converted garage in the back. It was a third unit. And so we each took a bedroom in the, in the, the bottom unit, in the larger unit and then rented out the upstairs.

Monick:
We went out the back house and even rented out our basement. We started house hacking. Finally, that was a thing. I was just like, oh, that’s so cool because people are paying our mortgage. It’s amazing. And then then when I met my husband, he had a duplex and we got a single family rental together. Never really thinking of it as a way to replace my income or even to get out of law, which I hated. I just, I hadn’t, I wasn’t thinking that far, but after when the crash, oh, well before the crash, when I was about five and a half months pregnant and my boss at the time, he was still working as a lawyer called me into his office. And, and I was, I was expecting a bonus because I had been working so hard, but instead I got fired, which was quite a surprise and a shock and not welcome news, but it was a gift in the end.

Monick:
So I decided, you know, I’m so pregnant right now. I’m just going to wait until after I give birth, have a short maternity period. Then I will look for another job. And my daughter was born late August of 2008. And within a month of her birth, the markets were in free fall. A couple of months extra that the, my husband’s graphic design business was down 9%. And it was not a time to go to find jobs you’re not hiring. And and it was, it was the couple of real estate properties that we had that actually helped keep a roof over our heads at the time. And we ended up selling one of them and using the proceeds to start flipping houses. We started doing that one houses were on sale. We did that until 2015 when houses were definitely not so on sale.

Monick:
And so in LA it’s like hindsight, it’s like, you know, actually there was still more runway, but it was getting really expensive and really competitive. And it was just, and it was flipping as a job, right? You, you buy a property, you have to fix it up, you sell it. Then you have to start over again. It’s like the short-term job. I wanted something more passive. I want to buy and hold. And so we were looking for a fourplex in LA, which was the biggest thing I could imagine getting at that point. But nothing made any financial sense, nothing cash flowed is like, you’re looking at paying over $2 million for something with zero cashflow. So we, I ended up talking to a friend who reckon he’s like, oh, you know what, my, my F his, he said his mutual, his friend Robert Helms is the host of real estate guys, radio podcasts.

Monick:
He’s like, he’s coming to LA tomorrow night. You want to come out to dinner and maybe he could give you some advice. And so I was like, sure. Yeah. So I went out and then this conversation with Robert just completely changed the trajectory of my life. So the first thing is that he was asking me what I was doing. I told him about the flipping and how that was challenging and looking for this fourplex. And he said, you know, LA is a really tough market. I always say, live where I want to live, where you want to live, invest where the numbers make sense. And I went, oh, because until that moment, I assumed you had to invest where you lived, or you could drive to your property, touch it, self-manage, it, it hadn’t occurred to me that you could invest outside of where you lived.

Monick:
So that was, that was a big paradigm shift and literally opened up the world to me. And then the other thing he said was, and you can buy that fourplex by yourself, but you’re limited to your own capital and credit. So it, alternatively can bring a group of investors together and you can get 100 or 200 units. And I started telling me about the benefits of that. I think my head exploded when he said that I was like, what I, I, until he told me that I thought you had to be a billionaire to do that. I’m like, I had no idea that normal people could, could invest that way. And I, but everything in me was like, yes, I want to do that. So I want to do that. And I got so excited about it. And I w I, and I wanted to be around people that thought a hundred or 200 units was a normal.

Monick:
Because until that moment, everyone around me thought a tent for blacks was a really big deal. And I want it to be around people that were thinking bigger. So I committed, I went home that night, told my husband, there’s a thing it’s called syndication. It’s awesome. It’s like, let’s learn how to do it. So in January of 2016, we were at our first syndication seminar, and then we were all in. So that year we S we act, we passively got into two deals and then actively did three and got over a thousand doors in that first year of syndication. And then we’ve just gone on since. Wow. That’s

Charles:
Crazy. One thing following up is a, you’re talking about the end of 2008 and I bought my second multi-family in 2008. And it was like, I remember it was like Lehman went under the last six months. And then I bought this property in like October. And then like two months later, Bernie Madoff was a fraud. And like the whole, it was like, every, like you could see NBC was like watching a everything was going downhill. I mean, every day, something else, something blew up, someone was lost something. It was crazy. It was nuts. I couldn’t believe when I looked back on it, I was like, I was nuts for doing anything back then with so much turmoil. But it’s crazy.

Monick:
Hi, hindsight though is probably pretty happy. Oh yeah.

Charles:
Oh yeah, for sure. So I had, like, I got fixed debt on that property and I, it’s one of my, it’s actually my best performing assets. I own myself, but that being put aside so that’s also with the Robert Helms. That was cool. Cause a few, a few years ago, or several years ago, I got an email him. And that was one, cause I was like, how am I going to build this real estate thing? What I’m doing? And that actually for that email from him, I was getting, it was talking about syndication and I was like going back and forth. I’m like, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it. I’ll like do my own things and answering to myself. And that was so that’s crazy that Robert Holmes. Yeah. He’s fantastic. If you haven’t heard him, he’s on the real estate real estate guys that would have this radio show. That’s

Monick:
The thing, guys. Radio. Yeah.

Charles:
It’s fantastic. And he has all these different, he’s investing in everything now, every time I hear from him, he’s investing in something different in a different country. So

Monick:
Yeah. Well it’s a resort in Belize developed. Yeah.

Charles:
Nice. Nice. So what’s your current, your company’s current acquisition and criteria and strategy.

Monick:
Yeah, so right now, so we’re more on the, on the money side and which is I like, because it allows me as well, partner with people to get to get into different deals, which is why we have such a, we can have such a diversity of, of assets because we have our, we have multifamily portfolio of single family. We have mobile home park RV book, and we have industrial. My focus though in the, probably since 2019, the beginning of 2019 has been more on the industrial side. So what had happened was in, so a couple of those that I told you, we got two, we got three deals in in 2016 that we, that we syndicated that we were up on the GP side and one was a mobile home park. And two were these apartment buildings now, but Turkey, New Mexico, which they were, they were rough, rough problems.

Monick:
So I definitely see glassy. Mine is one of them. So they were, they were tough. They were tough. It was hard to, we thought we could shift the culture a little more in that property, the properties, especially one that we, that we were able to. So it was a, it was a tough deal. And it literally, I was praying for some miracle to help us get out of it. And a miracle happened cause some 10 31 exchange buyer wanted it. They wanted to buy them and he bought them at a four cap. Oh wow. For gap really wanted them, really wanted them good. I, I pray every day that he does well with them because she saved us. But so, you know, in our, our investors that, well, you know, whatever it was, it was good to get out of it the way that we did.

Monick:
And, but it was great as a seller, scared the poo out of me as I was like, I don’t want to compete against that. That’s insane. And so I thought, okay, obviously I still love multifamily. I think it’s a, it’s a, there’s always going to be a need for that. Especially like B class. Let’s see C class, although, you know, we’ve moved more on the B B class side. It’s not quite as challenging in a lot of ways, but I, I was just seeing multifamily feeling a lot like a, a sellers market. And I don’t like being a buyer in a sellers market. So we, we started looking around for different asset classes. I landed in industrial, which was a, an asset class that definitely does not have the, the herds going after it. It’s not, not as much interest, but it’s, it’s an asset class that has high demand.

Monick:
So over this past year, the, you know, even through COVID through the pandemic industrial perform the best. And it was, and there’s a, there’s just been a growing demand for it. Even as retail is hurting and online retailers do better. They still, they need place for their, they need to store their stuff and they need distribution centers and any data centers. And, you know, so there’s all of this still. And then there’s, there is manufacturing in this country and food processing and the, you know, the, the, the companies that run our world, our, our country in these industrial spaces, there’s that need for that type of real estate. Well, tell us, oh, sorry.

Charles:
Can you just tell us a couple more about the tenants that use that? I’m sorry to cut you off. Other than that you went to food processing these other ones. I don’t think people really understand. They think just like a manufacturing guess when you just throw it industrial, even though there’s like cold storage, there’s data, there’s all these different things and how e-commerce has really accelerated the want and the need for industrial.

Monick:
Yeah. Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll share about so are the F w we have a six six, six office, industrial park portfolio in Houston that one’s a little different it’s, those are flex warehouse spaces. We have 109 spaces, and that is a combination of retail retail. So those spaces can be used in a lot of different ways, but that does count as in an industrial use, but there’s everything from garages and bakeries, but we also have churches using those spaces. And you know, so there’s a lot of different uses. So it can be flexible in that, in that sense, but the flex warehouse space now what we mostly do is we do something called a sale lease back. So there’s a facility that has a property that they want to sell, but still use that there’s, they’re selling it usually because they need to get the equity out of that property.

Monick:
So they’re going to sell it, but then they lease it back and they become the tenants of sale lease back. So we have what, what have we gotten? So we have a, a cold, we have a cold storage facilities. So that was a frozen pie manufacturer. They, they white label frozen pies for our grocery grocery store chains. So they that, that was a, a facility that we did. We have a organic baby food company facility. We have a facility that does they do face and hair products. They, they manufacture face and hair products. We have one that does a foam products for free. Like they do it for Whirlpool and BMW and a bunch of different companies like that. I manufacture foam products. We have another one that we’re getting fence fencing company. So it’s just, you know, this all, it can be all different types of companies. And then you’ll, you’ll see that you can have tenants like Amazon, right? So Amazon will need, they’ll need a store. They’ll need warehouses. They need distribution centers and data centers. So those are that’s on the e-commerce side. There’s a lot of need on, for industrial, but then just your, your average standard company, all of the millions of companies out there that make things or produce things just are, do research and development or whatever, all of, all of them need, need to industrial space.

Charles:
Yeah. And then, like you were saying before, manufacturing is not dead. There’s a lot of specialized manufacturing, especially in the medical device. That’s something that doesn’t get outsourced and I don’t think that gets any coverage in the media, but it’s something that is, is a Y alive and well in the United States, because we have pockets of I guess you would say communities with very educated people in there that are engineers and stuff that are building this, I guess you would say. Yeah. But we’re, I’m from an originally in Connecticut. It’s we have, we have something like that too. It’s a lot of we have a lot of specialized people there that are manufacturing and something that’s alive and well up there. And there’s, but anywhere you look for industrial, it’s very so many different articles I read on it. And there’s such a lack of it. So that’s a great asset class. I just want to touch on because I don’t think most people understand what goes into or what the possibilities of that broad industrial kind of name can do. But that’s cool at school. So you mentor a lot of real real estate investors. Can you give a brief overview of steps, a new investor should follow to be successful?

Monick:
Yeah, so I, yeah, with real estate investor goddesses, I, I focus on helping women create passive income streams through real estate. I have a big, hairy, audacious goal to help 1 million women create financial freedom through real estate. And so when they’re starting, I think the first step is to figure out what, where do you want to go? So it’s kind of like I liken it to, you’re gonna, you’re going to go on vacation. All right then. And so you say, okay, well, what’s my first step. My, my first question will be, well, where are you going? What do you, where do you want to go? Because if you’re going to Paris, it’s a little different than if you’re going to the next town over. It’s a little different if you’re going to Antarctica or those are, those are different trips. So where, where are you going?

Monick:
And with real estate, it’s figuring out it’s like, is your goal. I want enough passive income that I can retire from my job. I guess SAP is your goal that I love what I’m doing. I really want tax benefits. That’s the main thing is your goal that, you know, legacy leaving a legacy for your family is your goal, setting yourself up for retirement. Like, what is your, was your goal? And it could be some combination of those, but depending on if you’re like a longterm, I don’t need to see this money for 20 years. That’s a little different, it could be a different strategy than I need the cashflow. Now, you know, I need it ASAP, or I need, you know, chunks of money right now. Then the next question is, how do you want to go? So in in your, my vacation analogy, right, you might want to cruise, or you might fly, or my bicycle or road trip, right?

Monick:
The old, those are gonna take different, take you on a different take your different steps. So with real estate, maybe for you, it’s, I love taking an ugly duckling and making it beautiful, or I love I love just getting into the numbers and doing big things are really excited to work with investors, or I really don’t want to do any of that stuff. I never want to deal with the tenant and toilet, the termite, the three T’s, right. I just want to get my money, like stick my money at someplace and get it working for me and be super passive. And hands-off so depending on that, how you want to play in this game, you’re going to go on a different, you’re going to have different steps. And then then you want to figure out your resources. So what resources do you have available to right now that you can tap into that will get you where you want to go.

Monick:
So, you know, resources are money. How much money do you have available and sources, right? What time real estate takes time relationships, real estate is a relationship business education and experience. So those are the five main resources, but you don’t have to have all of them yourself. You just need to know what you do have. So then you can find other people that have what you might be lacking that gets you from where you are to where you want to be. So you can close that gap. And then the last thing you’re going to put in is creativity and resourcefulness, because that’s going to be required to take you from where you are to that end goal in the way you want to play on this journey. So that, that’s how, that’s how I recommend that people start. And so getting that clarity and then getting education is the, is the first step, because I think that with real estate, because it’s probably the most expensive thing that people are going to invest in, in their lives, mistakes can be very costly and it definitely helps when you have an education and the front end to avoid those mistakes.

Monick:
I think you’re going to get an education either way. You either get it in the front end, where it’s less painful, or you’re going to get it through these tough lessons either way you’re going to learn. But yeah, I like learning from other people’s mistakes more than doing my own. So

Charles:
That’s the best way of doing it. Yeah. Shorten that learning curve. So what is the wealth orchard you talk about?

Monick:
Yeah. So what I love about real estate is so you’re, you’re, you can plant a plant, a real estate tree, right? Plant a seed for a real estate, and that it’s giving you money that you can then take to replant into another one, especially, you know, either you’re just, or your monthly cashflow or doing these cash out refinances, which are I love their non tax, you know, not a taxable event and you, you get to take that money. And in essence someone’s recycle it. But for me, I, I look at it like, you’re the seeds of your, at the real estate tree you planted give, giving you fruits, you take that fruit, replant it and to another one. That’s how eventually you get to your orchard.

Charles:
Interesting. Very interesting. So you wrote a book and in that book, you talk about the four myths of real estate, which I think are pretty common with people before getting involved with real estate. They’re a little scared of it. Can you explain what they are?

Monick:
Sure. so I’m trying to think, cause I talk about so many misses. I teach it’s like busting myths with all the different areas, but I think one of the, one of the main myths that people get one of them is this you know, monopoly, I call like the [inaudible] game myth. So what is it? You have to start with a little greenhouse, then another little greenhouse and another little group. Once you have enough, a little greenhouse, then you can get to a red hotel and that’s how you have to do real estate investing. And it doesn’t have to be that way at all. There’s so many different paths. And you know, I had a mentor that started with a 32 unit, like Billy, that was his first investment. So you can start with the red hotel or you can, you can be like the bank and own a note.

Monick:
There are a lot of different ways to play. So you don’t have to just do the little house or even even further math is so many people think they have to first buy their own home. They live in before they can start investing in real estate and you don’t have to do that. So that’s, that’s the first, that’s one of the, the main mistake. He was like, okay, well first I’ll buy my house. And then I can do like buy another little house. Yeah. So you don’t have to start, you don’t have to do it that way. Another myth that people have is that they think is going to cost an enormous amount of money to get into real estate. And it’s almost like whatever amount of money they have. I find, they always think they need more, but they can’t do it. A lot of people have this belief.

Monick:
It’s just, it’s going to cost them tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, something to get into the game. And there are a lot of different strategies for investing, many of which you know, they require some creativity and some time usually, but they’re, they can, you can get in with little to no money and there are ways you can do it. So that’s a myth that keeps people from even starting, even looking into the game. Similarly with all the other research, like time, they’ll think it takes a lot of time. I’m gonna have to go to all these open houses. I’m going to have to have close calls at three in the morning from a tenant about a toilet.

Monick:
You know, there are no, there are a lot of different ways of playing. Some of which are take very little time after you’ve vetted a deal. You put your money in, you wait for it to come back with friends. So that’s a myth that that people have. And yeah. And the last one is that a myth that you all, you have to be a landlord have you’re the one doing all the landlording and the property management in order to to be the investor. And again, that’s, you don’t have to do it in that way. You don’t have to be the landlord. You don’t have to get any calls about any toilets anyway, even if you do, though, I like the, mostly I don’t manage any more of my properties. I just have one here in Los Angeles that I still manage. I think in got that first duplex that I got, I think since 2005, I’ve gotten one call at like one in the morning and I’ve never gotten a late night call and, and I’ve only had to deal with toilets like once. So anyway, so there you go. I

Charles:
Think my most inconvenient call was like 11:00 PM or 10:30 PM on Christmas Eve, Bob McLachlan.

Monick:
That’s very convenient.

Charles:
That’s inconvenient. I was young. I know, I know I self managed my properties for six years and so it wasn’t, it’s not that bad. It’s just that you know, it’s just, it does happen, but I’ve think, you know, knock on wood. And they’re gonna call it like 3:00 AM, Hey, it’s on fire and what do we do? You know? But so talk us about your your goddess program.

Monick:
Yeah. So the with the, the wealthy gauze program and real estate investor gods, it’s it’s about how do you invest in real estate, but for women’s is how do we do this in the feminine way that we, women are not just smaller, less hairy men, we’re actually clear chromosomally different. Our brains are Kevin’s like the connections are different. And those, those differences, those biological differences actually do affect how we approach money, how we approach investing, how we approach relationship, how we approach best how we deal with stress, how we learn. And most of the time though, in this culture, we’re taught how to do those things in a masculine way that are not very supportive for us, end up frying us, and we can, you can get it done. But not in a way that feels super good for us.

Monick:
And so it’s a way of how do you, how do you do this process? How do you find your path? It’s? The program is not a, okay, everyone, everyone wholesales, or everyone flips a house where everyone gets a single family. It’s not a cookie cutter type program. It’s one where we help. Cause I don’t believe real estate investing is one size fits all. So go through this process to get people, to have their own their own plan. And we have goddesses that are got us just getting an 84 unit self storage and other ones that are doing multifamily. It’s, I’m doing notes, I’m doing lands. So they’re playing in this, in this in this game in different ways, but all with the goal to create enough passive income streams, that it will equal or exceed their expenses.

Charles:
That’s awesome. That’s a fantastic program and a fantastic goal that you have. Thank you. So how can our listeners learn more about you, your company and in coaching if they’re interested?

Monick:
Yeah. So the best place is probably to go to our website, which is R E I goddesses.com. So REI standing for a real estate investor, not the sporting goods store. Some somebody gave her one of my events. She’d been invited by a friend and that friend was like really sporty and was like, it’s a kayaking. So she’s like, yeah, you want to go to an Ari? She’s like thinking it was going to be all outdoorsy. And then she goes on the website. She was like, wait really, really great. She, she did that a year. A year later she got financial freedom. Yeah, super excited. She was, she got pregnant that year. And then she told me now when I, I give birth after my maternity leave, I don’t have to go back to work because I have enough income that yeah. Maybe super happy. But yeah. So REI got us is.com is the best place to go to find out about our, our events and our programs and to get part of, get connected with our community. See the podcast, our blog called the thanks.

Charles:
Awesome. We’ll put those links into the show notes and thank you so much for coming on.

Monick:
Thanks for having me. It’s been fun.

Charles:
Talk to you soon.

Charles:
Hi guys! It’s Charles from the Global Investors Podcast. I hope you enjoyed the show. If you’re interested in get involved with real estate, but you don’t know where to begin, set up a free 30 minute strategy call with me at schedulecharles.com. That’s schedulecharles.com. Thank you.

Announcer:
Thank you for listening to the Global Investors Podcast. If you’d like to show, be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Google play to get new weekly episodes. For more resources and to receive our newsletter, please visit global investor podcast.com and don’t forget to join us next week for another episode.

Speaker 4:
Nothing in this episode should be considered specific, personal or professional advice. Any investment opportunities mentioned on this podcast are limited to accredited investors. Any investments will only be made with proper disclosure, subscription documentation, and are subject to all applicable laws. Please consult an appropriate tax legal, real estate, financial or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own information is not guaranteed. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. The host is operating on behalf of Syndication Superstar LLC exclusively.

Links and Contact Information Mentioned In The Episode:

About Monick Halm

Monick Halm is the founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses. She is an educator and advocate for women to create real wealth through real estate with a mission to help 1 million women create financial freedom through real estate investing.

Monick is a real estate investor, syndicator, and developer with over 14 years of experience in multi-family, mobile home and RV parks, flipping, commercial, vacation rentals, syndication, and ground-up development. Together with her husband and her investors, she owns over 1100 rental units across 6 states.

She is the #1 bestselling author of The Real Estate Investor Goddess Handbook and Wealth for Women: Conversations with the Team That Creates the Dream, and host of the Real Estate Investor Goddesses Podcast. She is also a Real Estate Strategy Mentor, a sought-after keynote speaker, recovered attorney, certified interior designer, Feng Shui expert, avid world traveler, wife and mother of three amazing kids.

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