Mobile Home Park Investing Made Simple with Ryan Murdock
“For any problem…there’s a certain dollar amount that will fix that.” – Ryan Murdock
Today’s guest is Ryan Murdock, Strategic Advisor at Open Door Capital LLC. He has extensive management experience in many facets of real estate including retail, office, multi-family, HOA, and especially mobile home parks – including nationwide consulting and turn-around projects. In 2008, he became a licensed real estate broker, owning and operating a portfolio of residential rental properties.
Let’s welcome our guest, Ryan, and learn more about mobile home parks.
[00:01 – 06:46] Opening Segment
- We introduce our guest, Ryan Murdock
- Ryan talks about bad real estate advice he heard before
[06:47 – 17:52] Mobile Home Parks
- Ryan shares some rules of thumb about capital expenditures you don’t want to miss!
- We talk about what works for single family that doesn’t work for multifamily and mobile home deals
- Ryan talks about the reasons they are engaging in mobile home parks
[17:53 – 25:52] Hiring the Right People
- Ryan talks about the importance of finding the right people for your team
- Ryan shares his company’s approach in hiring people
[25:53 – 36:25] Allow Yourself to be Found
- Ryan shares some secrets to be found by people who might be looking for someone like you
- We talk about the different kinds of luck and how Ryan utilizes all of them.
[36:26 – 42:49] Closing Segment
- Ryan tells us the unique structure of Open Door Capital that you’d want to check out!
- Ryan’s book recommendations:
- Connect with Ryan online! See the links below.
“Put yourself around people that are doing what you want to do.” – Ryan Murdock
Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook. Check out their company online and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Get a chance to earn 100,000 DOLLARS! Visit BringBrandonADeal.com for more details.
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Anthony Vicino (00:16):
Hello and Welcome to multi-family investing made simple the podcast. That’s all about taking the complexity out of real estate investing so that you can start taking action today. I am your host, Anthony Vicino, Invictus capital joined as always by Dan. I wait until the very last minute to run my windows updates. Dan Krueger. Dan, how you doing? You got your windows all squared away over there.
Dan Krueger (00:37):
Yeah. I tried to do my updates. Well, five minutes before we shoot for usual and we were successful. So we’re here.
Anthony Vicino (00:43):
For the audience at home. We have literally never recorded a podcast that we didn’t have some kind of technical difficulty in about 30 seconds before we hopped on to record this episode, Dan sends me a picture of windows update,
Dan Krueger (00:56):
The spinning waiting thing. We got to keep it interesting. Yep, exactly. So the lesson never back, because I don’t know this because we are going to be publishing on a regular basis. It’s been a good chunk of time since we’ve actually shot broadcast. So I’m pretty pumped to have you back.
Anthony Vicino (01:13):
It’s a Magic of time distortion, where the audience has no idea. They think this is all happening right now, but it’s not like we’re living in the past year, but today, forget about that. Because today we have a really, really cool, awesome guest with us who lives in a place that I would never want to live because it’s just too beautiful. It’s like a paradise on earth. Yeah, it’s hot. There’s beautiful birds. So today we’re joined by Ryan Murdoch and I’m just going to go through his bio here real quickly. Kind of spit that out there and then bring him through the curtains so that we can actually get down to some business here. So Ryan Murdock spent 10 years in the electronics manufacturing industry before transitioning to real estate investing and property management. In 2007, he has extensive management experience in many facets of real estate, including retail office, multifamily HOA, and especially mobile home parks, including nationwide consulting and turnaround projects.
Anthony Vicino (02:02):
Ryan was a licensed real estate broker for over a decade and owns and operates a portfolio of residential rental properties outside of his interest in open door capital. So what is Open-door capital? That’s a very good question. I’m going to bury the lead. We’re going to wait until a little bit later to answer that, but trust me, you’re going to want to stick around to hear more about that because these guys are hoovering up literally like a vacuum cleaner mobile home parks all across the country. It’s awesome. So without further ado, Ryan, how you doing today?
Ryan Murdock (02:30):
You’re not the bad guys, Dan I’m with you. I think those updates work best when it’s fresh out of the box. So why and follow them early. Exactly. Yeah. Thanks for having me on guys.
Anthony Vicino (02:41):
So Ryan real quickly, I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole of this show and giving useful investing advice without first hitting our bad investing advice. And this is the thing we usually have Dan give the bad investing advice, but because he’s just a font of bad advice, it’s amazing. But you, I feel like probably are sitting on some real gold mines of bad wisdom. So what do you got for us today?
Ryan Murdock (03:07):
There’s so many to choose from. I think the one that has impacted me the most, if I was going to get bad advice, it would be to go into any deal thinking that you can hit the ground running with, with no money down, don’t have any capital, don’t have any reserves and just go for it and hope for the best. And I know my friend and business partner, Brandon Turner will cringe when he hears this because he wrote a book about doing no money down, which I’m not saying it can’t be done, but man, you better be careful with, if that’s your strategy. I know I have personally gotten into hot water, trying to do just that. And I’ve seen a lot of other people think that they can just hit the ground running no money down and something surprises them and them, they are not equipped to handle it. So I always beat the drum that, Hey, you’ve got to make sure you’re well capitalized. You have plenty of reserves for the things that you underwrite and anticipate. And more importantly, the things that you don’t underwriter anticipate that they’re going to come up and bite you. So
Anthony Vicino (03:58):
You think you’re going to need, and then add 20%. That’s usually a good, good approach to things. So what are we to say to those people who have been, have heard that advice so often of like, Hey, you can get involved in this game. What should they do? Should they wait longer to keep saving up? Should they go out and find a money partner? Or should they Rob a bank? What should it be the play here?
Ryan Murdock (04:21):
Any, or all I probably would, would, would keep robbing a bank way down, low on the list. But I guess the, the less money that you have, the less reserve capital you have, it’s just the more risky you are putting yourself at. So for a first time investor, if you’re starting out and you’re buying a smaller rental, single family home or a duplex, I mean, there, isn’t a tremendous amount cost-wise that can really go wrong. You’re in a cold weather state, you might lose a heating system or, you know, some sort of plumbing leak or a foundation issue. But there really isn’t a pull up that like five or 10 grand, isn’t going to put an immediate fix to there’s some, certainly some longer term things, but I’m talking about just straight up emergencies have to be dealt with today. And it’s a lot easier to scrape together five or 10 grand to put a Band-Aid on one of those things.
Ryan Murdock (05:04):
Especially if you have W2 income or you have outside income where it gets scarier is the larger, the deal size. So take that duplex maybe instead of that, if it’s a 20 or 40 or 50 unit apartment complex, like those problems tend to scale in size and cost. So if you have a, you know, a $200,000 heating system that fails, you might not be able to scrape that together as easily as you can come up with five or 10 grand. So whatever your contingency plans, to be able to deal with that, you’ve got to have something, whether it’s a, it’s a private investor, whether it’s maybe a short term debt line of credit off something else, I’ve certainly been in a position, right, and hit a credit card to bridge the gap, which is a slippery slope because we all know the interest rates and the terms on those things are not good, but it’ll, it’ll get you through, but you have to have some sort of plan. You can’t just throw 200 grand on a credit card and think that, Hey, I’ll just, you know, I’ll pay it off over a period of years, you’ve got to have some sort of contingency in place and it’s going to be different for every person and every deal, but you have to have something.
Dan Krueger (05:53):
I was just speaking our language [Inaudible] as we are. So Hyper-Focused on trying to minimize the downside in every deal that we look at. And we see so new people that just focus on how much they could possibly make. And they forget to look at like how much risk they’re actually taking and end on that to a no mind down thing, general rule of thumb in life. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So that seems to be consistent.
Anthony Vicino (06:17):
So are you of the school then that it takes money to make money? Is that what you’re saying, Dan?
Dan Krueger (06:22):
No, but it takes it takes resources does need to be money. So, you know, you might be the guy who could generate deal flow, but you don’t have capital. In that case, you can you list off a few good options that are Anthony Brown partners start side also to generate more income,
Anthony Vicino (06:36):
Robbing a bank in the side hustle category just to be okay, transparent.
Dan Krueger (06:43):
But yeah, you’ve got to, I mean, you just, you got to take that approach really.
Anthony Vicino (06:47):
And Ryan, you mentioned something here that I think is really important is when it’s a duplex it’s only five or $10,000. Yeah. You can probably scrape that together. As you start scaling up to these larger assets, you know, these expenditures can scale very, very quickly get out of control and out of your means for controlling them. And so one of the things that Dan and I do on our projects is that we always raise, you know, and put in the Capex at the beginning. We’re not, you know, pulling that out of cash flow as it goes. We want from day one to have that cash sitting in a bank somewhere where we know it’s there. If we need it, it’s there rainy day money. Do you guys operate in a similar way or how do you approach that part of the project?
Ryan Murdock (07:26):
Yeah, exactly. I mean, there’s some typical rules of thumb that we’ll use maybe, you know, a dollar amount per pad, but really if we look at every deal individually and try to assess the capex needs for that specific project, that specific park, and that number tends to vary. You know, if we know that we have to go in and the sewer lines are collapsing or the roads are falling apart and need to be repaved, obviously that’s going to be a much higher price tag than a virtually turnkey park that really doesn’t have any obvious capex needs or imminent repairs. We’re still going to allocate some money aside, just in case of a surprise, but it’s we really evaluate it on an individual property basis. And absolutely we’re raising that money upfront so that we have it in hand and we’re not relying solely on cash flow to cover any issues.
Anthony Vicino (08:10):
I think I probably know the answer to this, but are there any certain, like Capex, no goes for you where if you come across it and you see that issue and you’re like, Nope, that’s a no go. I’m not touching that.
Ryan Murdock (08:20):
Not usually. I mean, we usually have, and we have our criteria pretty well dialled in, even before we make an offer, even before we underwrite a park. I mean, we’re looking for stuff. That’s a hundred lots of greater, we’re looking only for public water, public sewer. So it’s not like we’re going to do due diligence on a Parkway think is public water and find out there are Wells. I mean, that hasn’t happened. And we’re not really in the game of just putting stuff under contract. And then, hey, we’ll beat them up there and do diligence and retrade the deal. There’s times when we’ve had to do that, when we found something that was just an absolute deal killer. And usually that’s something that can’t be seen. So recently we had, we had a park that we really like had an under contract. It was a very large park, but the after the sewer line inspection where they sent the camera down the lines, I mean, like 90% of the sewer lines said had either failed or on the verge of collapsed.
Ryan Murdock (09:03):
And it was a, it was a pretty astronomical price tag to address that. And that’s something that we had to go back and, and try and try and retrade. So really, I mean, for any problem, pretty much, I mean, there’s a certain dollar amount that will fix that, that problem. And it’s just what, whether or not we can absorb that and continue on with a deal, or if it’s just so suffocating that we have to go back to the seller and say, Hey, look, you know, we just can’t, we can’t justify proceeding with this. Is there any room for negotiation or is the deal dead?
Dan Krueger (09:32):
We take a very similar approach with that, where we try to come in, will we make offers and make them make an offer at a price that makes sense. And so that the only thing that would change that, so we don’t have to retrade the only thing that would change, that would be something that no one knew about, or they were like legitimately trying to hide before the sessions or something.
Ryan Murdock (09:49):
Yep. And we’ve seen that too, where the seller was, was intentionally withholding something and trying to cover something up. And that’s like, you know, you can’t, we try to operate in good faith. And I mean, if you’re going to go with the, with the mentality that you just want to retrade during due diligence, that that strategy will work for you over the very short term, maybe, but man, you get, you get a really bad reputation with brokers and others in the community that they just don’t take your offer seriously more because they know that you’re going to come back and beat them up. So we don’t want their reputation. We try to it’s a very small community, especially, you know, in a mobile home park space, there there’s just a handful of large national brokers. We all know each other very well. And you know, we don’t want to be the guys that are known that yeah, their offers not real, they’re going to retrade [Inaudible],
Anthony Vicino (10:27):
And this is something that’s fundamentally different than for our listeners. If you’re familiar with single family residences and how, like how those transact quite often you’ll get the deal under contract. And then there is a renegotiating period because there is such a large pool of buyers and sellers and brokers. You can do that and you’re going to upset some people, but the pool is still so big that you can just go swim to a different corner. Nobody’s going to notice you can keep transacting. It doesn’t work like that in multifamily and mobile home parks, the number of brokers, number of sellers, it’s a fairly limited pool. So if you go peeing in it, everybody’s going to know it was you because it’s the type of pool that like turns a different colour around you as you start doing that. So that it’s going to signal to everybody, don’t do deals with this person in the future. So definitely don’t, don’t brand yourself that way. I actually don’t know if there are pools that do that. I remember when I was a kid, there was some, like, there was like these legends, some myths.
Ryan Murdock (11:18):
Yeah, exactly. And then you’re like, you know, peeing the pool, not taking my chances.
Anthony Vicino (11:23):
I mean, let’s not,
Dan Krueger (11:24):
I’m going to guess if you still believe the myth [Inaudible]. So I’m curious, you mentioned mobile home parks. There are a few times while you’re chatting about, you know, the whole due diligence period and not retreating when out of all the stuff that you’ve dealt in. I mean, I’m looking at your experience here. I don’t know if there’s an asset class that you haven’t touched in some way you’re on mobile home parks now, is that a hundred percent or do you still dabble in other assets
Ryan Murdock (11:49):
Pretty much with Open-door capital, we’re a hundred percent focused on mobile home parks. I’m not saying that we would never pivot from that because there are limited number of parks. If we had a problem with deal flow and just couldn’t find things to purchase, we may be forced to pivot into the apartment space or something different, but right now we’ve been all in on mobile home parks. We haven’t had any issue with deal flow. We’re finding good deals out there even as brutally competitive as it is. We’re finding things to that makes sense for us. It makes sense for our investors. And we’re all in on mobile home parks for the foreseeable future.
Dan Krueger (12:20):
Why is that? I mean, I’ve been, I’ve done very little research into the mobile home park asset class specifically. I’m aware of it from a pretty high level and people seem to love it right now. So I’m kind of wondering, you know, why your reason was to kind of double down on that asset.
Ryan Murdock (12:37):
Yeah. It all stems from really Brandon Turner. When he started this a couple of couple of years ago, he just he’ll say a lot is like, it’s not necessarily a better asset class than anything else, but we just had that. He wanted to just pick something and go with it and be an expert in that field. So he could have chosen apartments or parking garages or retail or anything, but he chose mobile home parks and just wanted to be laser-focused on that. And that’s what we’ve done with that said there are a number of reasons that I like it better right now than, than anything else. And really a lot of that is based around our value, add strategy for mobile home parks. So to compare it to apartments, which, which I’m not knocking, I think is great, but with an apartment complex, if you’re going to add value either there’s two typical ways that you can do that.
Ryan Murdock (13:18):
Number one, just show up and start raising rents. If they’re well below market, you can just go in and crank the rents up and add value that way. But more often it’s through some sort of value add like physical renovation type value, add where either you’re evicting tenants, you’re waiting for the move out. And then you’re going in and spending 10 or 15 or 20 grand, whatever it is to renovate the unit. And then you’re increasing the monthly rent two or 300 bucks a month, whatever you get for it. And that’s great that works. But with the mobile home park space, there’s a different component in a sense of our target park is about 20 to 30% vacant. So let’s say we buy a hundred lot mobile home park. 70 of those lots are occupied with homes and we’re buying the park on its value based on its current NLI.
Ryan Murdock (13:59):
So if we just bought that park and really did nothing to it, it would still cash flow and it would still perform fine. But what really attracts us to that is those 20 or 30 vacant lots so that we can then infill those lots and add value that way. And there’s a couple of ways that we will infill those. The easiest one for us is to have a tenant bring in their own home, place it on that lot. And then they start paying us the three or $400 a month, lot rent the movement with tenants and their mobile homes is not frequent enough that we can expect to fill out an entire park by having just tenants migrate in with their own homes. So what happens usually is we’ll go out and we’ll buy either new homes or more likely we’ll buy used homes, bring them in and set them off, renovate them, and then sell them off to tenant buyers.
Ryan Murdock (14:40):
So it may even cost us say cost is 15, maybe closer to $20,000 to buy a home, bring it in, renovate it, and then prepare it for sale. We’re not necessarily looking to make money on the sale of the homes. Although sometimes we do what we really want to do is just either break even, or really even willing to take a small loss on the sale of that home. So if we have 20,000 into it and we sell it for 18,000 or even 15,000 it’s still a win for us because what it does activate that $300 a month, lot rent, which goes almost straight to our bottom line because there’s very little expense associated with lot rent because the tenant owns their home. So they’re responsible for their repairs and maintenance and upkeep, and generally the lawn care of their lot and snow removal if it applies. So that that $300 a month lot rent goes straight to our bottom line, which in many cases can increase the value of the park 30, 40, 50 grand for, for every lot that we activate. So it’s almost a, it’s a net zero cost to us, or maybe even a small loss when compared to the overall value that we’ve added to the park. And that’s pretty unique to the mobile home parks.
Dan Krueger (15:40):
Ryan Murdock (15:55):
We prefer all tenant owned homes. And I think most of the larger operators are part of the same. I mean, all things being equal. If we could just buy a park that was 100% tenant owned homes, we would do that. That’s rarely how they show up to us is there’s usually some element of a park owned homes. They’re just the park owns them and rent them out as you would, you know, an apartment unit. We don’t like to do that because we want to get to just owning the land. Like we just want to deal with a lot rent so that the tenants are responsible for their repairs, their maintenance, we as park owners are responsible for the infrastructure and the ground. So the water lines, the main auto lines, sewer lines, roads common areas, that type of thing. But we want to get out of the park on home business, everyone it’s once we’re there, once we’re out of that park on home business, the parks are a lot easier to manage because you’re not fielding those nickel and dime sort of maintenance calls.
Ryan Murdock (16:41):
Tenants can do whatever they want within their home. We’re just responsible for the exterior and the common areas of the park. Now there’s some smaller operators that actually prefer park on homes, and they usually see that with maybe either smaller mom and pops or self-managed, you know, 30 to 50 lot parks or maybe in a market where the lot rent itself is just very low. You might have an area where, you know, mostly justifies a hundred or $150 a month for lot rent. So that’s not that doesn’t leave a lot of cash. So a smaller hands-on operator, a lot of times prefer hark on homes because they can charge, you know, another four or $500 in home ranch. And they’re just assuming that either they’re managing it themselves and they’re doing a lot of the repairs and maintenance, or they’ve got a local management company that will do it, but the larger operators at scale, almost all of us prefer strictly kind of no homes. If we can get there.
Anthony Vicino (17:28):
Yeah it kind a sound little bit like a triple net lease where you really don’t have to do anything, you just have the land and the money comes in. But you know, I have this in the back of my head. So you’re in Hawaii as we already alluded to earlier, if you can’t see in the background because you’re listening at home on a podcast, let me just paint you a picture here, you know, beautiful lush vegetation behind Ryan’s head here. I can see birds flying around every now and then we don’t have that in Minnesota, but you guys did just recently, I believe acquire a mobile home park in Minnesota. So how the heck did you do that? Living so far away?
Ryan Murdock (18:04):
It really comes down to just having an awesome team. So I always came up through the ranks. I’ve got a lot of small properties that I had owned and managed and renovated pretty much hands-on for the 10 or so years before I started doing anything for Open-door capital. So it’s been a pretty incredible shift in everything, my physical location, which is moving to Maui. And then just how I approached the business where going from a kind of a mind-set where I needed to be onsite and I need to touch everything. And I needed to see the property before I wrote the offer and stop in once a day and check on the contractors and all that stuff like living in Hawaii, where there are no mobile home parks. If we’re going to continue to buy mobile home parks, we need to have team members that can take some of those roles and responsibilities and have a level of trust that myself and Brandon can put in them to make sure that things are running smoothly and that we can buy parks in Minnesota and all over the mainland without necessarily being there onsite all the time. So it’s been a great learning curve for me in terms of just delegating and scaling and partnerships, and being able to rely on team members to do that as opposed to just, you know, being a one man band and, you know, eating what I kill. It’s really been a fun ride.
Dan Krueger (19:11):
Is that a difficult transition for you? So that curiosity, because I would personally really struggled with taking the hands off. Like I feel like that would give me anxiety for a good chunk of time.
Ryan Murdock (19:21):
Yeah, it did. And that anxiety disappeared in a real hurry. When I saw, when we, once we started plugging in the right team members, they were doing things that I used to do myself, way better than I was ever doing it. So that will alleviate anxiety in a hurry. When you can say, hey, if I give it to this guy now, is he going to do it? He’s going to do it way better than I did. And then all of a sudden you’re like, wow, this might actually work. And I don’t have to be so neurotic and just crazy about being, you know, having my hands in every little thing there, all the peoples, all the people that can do this better than I can.
Dan Krueger (19:53):
How did you go about that person finding the right people for the right roles and very difficult. Do you login to your social reach or is that a lot of interpersonal connections or, [Inaudible]
Anthony Vicino (20:06):
And I’m curious, did they come in with the experience already or did you bring in somebody that was, you know, a blank slate and that you had to train in the ways that you guys operate asking for asking for a fund? Yeah,
Ryan Murdock (20:18):
There’s eight or nine of us on the team now. So they’ve all come in in various ways, but I think the most compelling way was, I mean, we have the luxury of, of having Brandon Turner’s platform. So his podcast, I think is there what over 80 million downloads 100 million downloads and he’s got a pretty healthy Instagram following. [Inaudible] So a little bit bigger pockets, bigger pockets podcast you know, but it’s still like amazes me anytime we need anything, whether its human resources or raising money, or we’re looking for somebody to do a drive-through video of a park that we’re thinking of offering on. I mean, he can just put a quick post on his Instagram and be overwhelmed with responses. So when we first started reaching out that we were going to need to add team members, we needed acquisitions, help. We needed people that would cold call and create broker relationships and find the deals.
Ryan Murdock (21:05):
And then we’re also looking for a team of underwriters. So people that we could, once the deals were found, we could, we could push them off onto the underwriters to underwrite the deals, to come up with a reasonable offer price. So we put a shout out on his Instagram for that, and we got hundreds and hundreds of applicants, and this was an unpaid, these are unpaid positions. We’re asking for 20 to 30 hours a week of work per week out of these people which is, that’s a pretty heavy demand, especially to somebody that has a day job. And we, like I said, hundreds and hundreds of responses, and these are people with PhDs, MBAs, data scientists, like heavy duty technical know-how, but a lot of them were, were younger professionals that didn’t necessarily like their day jobs. They didn’t see themselves retiring in a day jobs.
Ryan Murdock (21:47):
We’re very interested in real estate. Maybe some of them had some, you know, some small multi-family a lot of them didn’t, but they were loyal Bigger Pockets fans and wanted to give them the game. And they were willing to trade their time and their expertise and their specific fields just to be part of our team. So to participate in the weekly calls and to interact with me and Brandon and learn that side of the business. So we assembled, I think, early on, it was a team of two in the acquisitions and underwriters. It’s almost 40 people that we had that were kind of interning volunteering for us. And quickly out of those groups Rose a couple of them that went above and beyond the rest of the group they were doing not only what they were asked to do, but coming up with some great new, innovative ideas and identifying problems that we didn’t even know we had and only were they identifying them.
Ryan Murdock (22:26):
They were then solving those problems so quickly over a period of months, there were a couple of guys that really Rose above the rest. So when we decided to continue to make changes those, those two guys were offered full-time positions with Open-door capital. So like they were able to quit their day jobs and come to work for us. Full-Time. So that was a great way for us at Open-door capital to kind of test drive these people before you commit to them. And it was, and likewise for the people that we hired, they had done the job, so to speak for several months and they were able to see if they, if they liked the workload, if they liked the culture and gave them the confidence to leave their day jobs and come and work for us. And I think that’s a luxury that I certainly have never had in any other role.
Ryan Murdock (23:07):
I mean, anytime I’ve hired anybody, you know, you try to put as much time and effort into vetting them and interviewing them and checking references and work history. And man it’s, I don’t care what you do all, I mean, I’ve hired people. I’ve had people that I thought were going to be absolute rock stars that fell flat in a very short period of time. I’ve hired other people that I was like, ah, man, I’m on the fence about this person, but we’re going to bring them on. And then they turned out to be fantastic. So you’d never truly know, but in working with these people side by side for months, we had a real good handle on what they’re capable of. And if we worked well together, so we were able to then offer full-time positions.
Anthony Vicino (23:41):
Yeah, this is regardless of the business, whether it’s real estate or some other side hustle, robbing banks, it’s your ability to scale and be effective is going to be how well you can work with and through other people. And this is something that I’m navigating right now in one of my other businesses is finally having, you know, the key players in place and letting them do the hiring now, because that was something that I’ve always held very closely and now training other people to hire. One of the big difficulties is there, you know, you can only suss out so much in an interview process. And so I’m kind of a hire quickly just get them in here and let’s find out how they work type person. And in this environment where you can bring in people working, say for free, or for very little to kind of vet their skills, the key then is if you want to rise above that pack, because like, if you want to work with these guys, right with Ryan and Brandon, you got to be really good. You got to be really hungry. You got to be on top of your game. And it’s not just enough to point out the problems. You have to bring the solutions as well, even if they’re not the right solutions, just going through that process and saying, Hey, I noticed these problems. Here’s three ways we could fix it. And then, you know, that’s going to, that’s going to stand out in people’s minds, much more than old. Dan just keeps coming to me with problems and pointing out how our operations suck. Like that’s not helpful.
Dan Krueger (24:52):
I’m the auditor. I just audit and ruin your day. That’s fast. That’s something that I think a lot of entrepreneurs going to lose him. That’s a really creative approach to just leveraging that platform. Obviously you have to do it, but that’s a really unique way, to position that is initially I was thinking, man, having that reach might actually be a downside because then you have to sift through so many applicants and interviews, but if you’re doing it that way, it’s like the people showing up on day one are the ones that are at least that interest.
Ryan Murdock (25:22):
Yeah. And it is still a process. Like people don’t think of that. I’m glad you brought it up. It can be an overwhelming task to try to sort through 800 applicants. So we’ve got some use a wise hire.com, which is a great platform for doing that. Organizing leads and looking at resumes and disc profiles and just assigning tasks for them to do, to try to kind of weed out the field a little bit. Yeah. We’d be dead in the water. If we didn’t have its wise hire.com, they don’t pay us, but I’ll gladly give him a plug for that sort of like high volume high volume processing of applications and resumes
Anthony Vicino (25:54):
[Inaudible] Just important that it is to have like these partnerships and these team members around you to be able to have such a national reach, you know, looking at mobile home parks. And I know for sure you have one in Minnesota because that’s in our backyard. And I looked up there and go there up here. Yeah. I think you guys are also down in the Southeast quite a lot. So how do you find, you know, you have an apprenticeship with Brandon, how did you find that partnership? How did you decide I want to work with this guy? What was that process for somebody who’s, you know, they maybe don’t have the money and they don’t want to, you know, start getting into investing with no or little money down. They want to find a money partner, or they want to find somebody who has experienced because they have the hustle and maybe they have somebody, how do we go about finding those partners? Where do we find them? Because I don’t have Brandon Turner’s Instagram account. I mean, can I borrow it? I don’t know. That’s maybe a question for a different type, but how do we find, how do we find these partners and then what are we looking for in a partner or rather what are you looking for?
Ryan Murdock (26:48):
Yeah. I mean, for somebody just starting out, it comes down to what I talk about all the time. That’s just staying engaged. I mean you’re not going to meet anybody. You’re not going to find anything. If you don’t get off the couch and go do stuff. So whether it’s going to meetups or listening to podcasts or staying engaged on forums, or, you know, there’s a lot of conferences where there was, they’ve kind of taken a hit during, during COVID, but you know, some, some online virtual conferences, but Brandon, I got our start with him three years ago, looking for a mobile home park. And this is a Testament to him of saying what it is that you want. Like, you need people. If people don’t know what you’re looking for, they have no idea if they find it to give it to you.
Ryan Murdock (27:19):
So, I mean, his first step was he was looking for a mobile home park. He wanted something with 50 lots and he wanted a public water, public sewer. He was coming off a 10 31 with an apartment complex. He was selling and you needed to place the capital in a pretty short timeframe. So on the podcast, on a speaking events on Instagram, like everywhere, he was he was broadcasting and he was looking for this 50 lot mobile home park. And I at the time was living in Bangor Maine and happened to find an off-market mobile home park that was 50 laws, public water, public sewer, and it fit his criteria pretty much. Exactly. And the only reason I found that is because I had gone to a local meetup that I was kind of uncomfortable about going to, I’m not a real social guy, but I went to this meetup and just happened to kind of hear an offhand comment from another investor that he had this park that he was selling.
Ryan Murdock (28:04):
And, you know, I started Brandon talking about it. Now I heard this guy had one to sell. And I said like, Hey, can you send me the numbers on that part and got the numbers and looked at him and said, man, there’s no way that, you know, Brandon Turner is going to want to buy a mobile home park at bank or Maine of all places like it’s not going to happen, but I got to at least shoot my shot. Right? Like just send the email, here’s the deal. And, and lo and behold, he came back a few hours later and said, Hey, look, you know, I I’ve analysed this. I’ve analysed hundreds of products over the past few months. This one looks better than any of them. I’d like to proceed with this, but there’s no way I’m going to do this myself. I’m only going to do it if you partner with me.
Ryan Murdock (28:34):
So at that one, I fell out of my chair, but you know, not only was he interested, but like he wanted me to as part of the deal. And if you look at it, it’s what you were just talking about, Anthony, where Brandon had the money, he had the ability to put the deal together. I, at the time didn’t have the money. I couldn’t have taken that park down on my own, but I was there. I was boots on the ground. I’d lived a few miles from the park. I dedicated Mobile Home Park and other property management experience. I was the perfect boots on the ground guy for that park. So that was a fantastic example of a partnership where, you know, he’s broadcasting what he needs. I’m staying engaged, keeping my radar up, and just looking for all kinds of opportunities.
Ryan Murdock (29:06):
We find that opportunity. And we’re a great partnership because we have traits and skills that complement one another. If you have a partnership and everybody’s good at the same thing, everybody’s bad at the same thing, it’s probably not a great partnership. You might have fun hanging out, but it’s not a great partnership. You need offsetting and complementing skills. So he came out, stayed at my house for a couple of days. We did due diligence on the park. A couple months later, we closed on it and I operated that park as boots on the ground for a year or so, going back and forth with phone calls and email updates and that kind of thing with Brandon and really forged a friendship and a good working relationship. So when he decided that he really wanted to put some effort into growing Open-door capital that was just the natural selection for that role.
Ryan Murdock (29:43):
Like, Hey, come on out. You know, he, he saw me that I had the work ethic and the experience to do it. And I knew that I liked working with him and that he had an enormous platform and a great reach to any of the resources we needed. So we teamed up and really got Open-door capital off the ground. So anybody can do that. I mean, I didn’t do anything real intelligent or, you know, there was no magic to it. It was just staying engaged. It was going out there and going to that meetup and, you know, learning about the lead and listening to the Bigger Pockets podcast and all the other stuff I could so that I even knew that Brandon was looking for something. And then just like getting out of my comfort zone and sending, sending Brandon the deal like any, anybody can do that kind of stuff.
Dan Krueger (30:18):
Yeah kind of comes down to, like, they kind of said, they’re like just showing up, putting yourself in the right rooms. You’re super comfortable doing the networking thing. If there’s going to be opportunities, there’s certain rooms where those are going to pop up, just show up. And it’s almost inevitable. There’s going to be something you just have to be around,
Ryan Murdock (30:36):
Put yourself around people that are doing what you want to do. I mean, it’s as simple as that, whether it’s, whether it’s in-person or virtual, if you’re not around those people, you never have to build the relationship,
Dan Krueger (30:46):
Just show up and provide value.
Anthony Vicino (30:49):
Wait, can we talk about 80% of success is just showing up the other 20% is doing what you say and yeah, it’s trite, but it’s true. But this, this reminds me a lot. So Dan and I, we, we’ve been talking a lot recently about a guy named [inaudible] and he talks about these different types of luck and he kind of puts them into different buckets. And one of those buckets is blind luck where you’re just in the right place at the right time. Lightning strikes money falls out of the sky. Cool. If you can’t really replicate that, and then you have hustle luck, which is, if you just go and you stir the pot enough, eventually a frog is going to jump out of the stew, right? Like you stir up enough and something’s going to happen. Then there’s also skill or personality luck where you just happen to be the right person for that job because of your unique skill set.
Anthony Vicino (31:34):
So the example he uses is, you know, if you are this famed gold treasure diver, and you’re the guy who can dive in the hardest dives and get the treasure, then when somebody comes along and they find a treasure, they know who to go to, they go to you because you’re the guy to go to. And so it sounds like you had that skill luck where you were kind of the perfect partner to have for boots on the ground. Like you had that property management experience you happen to live there. And you also had a little bit of that hustle luck too, which was, you were listening to the Bigger Pockets, you were going to the networking events. And so you’re combining these lucks at the same time. And then, you know, the blind luck is that Brandon Turner actually responded was like, oh, that’s cool. But you know, without those other components, you wouldn’t have gotten very far, but I’m curious then when you go to these networking events, because you mentioned like, you know, just not your kind of, I don’t know if you’re introverted, but Dan and I are for certain, and we have a hard time with networking events, even though we met at one, what do you do when you go to one to get the most out of it?
Ryan Murdock (32:33):
It’s really, you know, I am very introverted. I have like I don’t like social parties and any of that kind of stuff, but I do still like real estate events, real estate conferences. Because that’s one thing I’m very comfortable talking about is real estate in general. So I always tend to get more value at conferences, not so much from the speakers and the events, but just mingling in the hallway, you know, or the lunches or the dinners afterwards. And it’s like, sometimes I still have to you know, force myself to enter or you might see a circle of people talking and like, I’m just kind of floating around. It’s like, I’ll go inject myself into that circle of people as uncomfortable as it may seem, never once has anybody said he had to get out of the circle, like you just go in, introduce yourself and you start, like, you just start, start talking. So for some people that comes very natural to them, that’s easy for me, not at all, but you know, even to this day, I still have to like, make an effort, be like, all right, just go jumping in the middle of something and start talking to people and do it pushing
Anthony Vicino (33:24):
Do you have like a line or something? Or do you like break into the group with, it was kind of like, Hey, Hey, Hey, or did you just kind of like silo silently and did like eventually they’d notice you. Yeah.
Ryan Murdock (33:36):
Yeah. I just, yeah, just kind of weasel my way into the circle. Yeah. Now if you’re coming to me for good pickup lines and that sort of advice you’re at, you’re talking to the road guy no, just jump in. If nothing else, it just, Hey, you know, I’m Ryan Murdock, I’m from so-and-so. This is what I do, what everybody else do. And like, that’ll, you know, there might be a creative awkwardness, but you get by quickly,
Anthony Vicino (33:57):
It’s that fear of exclusion or, Dan and I, we were at a networking event a couple of weeks ago. And you know, we’ve been to a ton of these things and it’s still intimidating to walk up to a group of people and insert yourself. I think Dan you’re out.
Dan Krueger (34:09):
It was tough because it wasn’t real estate. That’s true. It would have been way easier to Ryan’s point. Because there’s something about just like when I started going to those events, I’m like the exact same as you. I just kind of told myself, like, everyone’s going for the same reason I am. So like, if you just walk up and start talking about real estate, like you’re going to, it’s going to work. Like everyone’s there with the same goal. So
Ryan Murdock (34:32):
Even if you don’t meet everybody at the conference, like if you, if it’s really a struggle, struggle for you. Like for me even saying that word like even if you come out of a conference, you made one friend, like just make one friend and hang out with that friend for the weekend. Like that’s, you’ve come away with a new relationship out of that, right? A new, a new contact, a new person in your life that now knows what you want, you know, what they want. And maybe something will become a bit. So yeah, I try to get in front of as many people as I can at a conference. But if I’m really having a hard time or somebody that’s really having a hard time just latch on to one or two, that you seem to hit it off with and run with those guys a couple of times.
Anthony Vicino (35:06):
So for our audience, they’re going to hear this and be like, God, not the story again. But when I go to networking events, I set the goal of just meet one person. And last year at this time was this event up here in Minnesota, the North Star conference. And Dan was the very first person that I spoke to at that event. Like the very few first human. And so I immediately got to go, cool. I met one human and you know, at the time that definitely wasn’t like, hey, we’re looking for a partnership or anything like that. But now a year later we’ve done deals together. We’ve launched a podcast. We do all of these things together. We were in a book. And so it’s like, you just never know what’s going to happen fast forward to another networking event that we did. What was it? In January? We talked to one person, one person, his name was Rodney Thompson. And now we do, we’ve been doing a weekly multi-family round table with him for the last six months. So you just never know Just one person. There you go. [Inaudible] You set the bar high, really high, really geared towards us. Now, if I run into you at a networking event, I’ll be sure to shut up you one shot.
Anthony Vicino (36:17):
I think that’s just, there’s been a ton of like really valuable little nuggets in here. I think for people that are looking for partnerships, looking to get into real estate, one of the things that before we leave and we go to the book recommendation for the week, I do want to talk about open door because you guys have a unique structure in that you guys have a fund, you guys bring in passive investors. What’s, what’s that look like for those investors? Why should they be looking at that option? How is that different than a regular syndication or just partnering up with Joe over [Inaudible]?
Ryan Murdock (36:47):
Yeah, I mean, there’s a bunch of different syndications out there. There’s a bunch of people looking and raising money. Like it really just comes down to your trust in the sponsor and whether you invest with us or whether you invest in anybody else, I don’t care, but like make sure that you trust the sponsor. You can look at the offering docs all day long and analyse it until you’re cross-eyed, but it really comes down to, and I’m sure you guys talk about this. Like a deal is only as good as your sponsors in your trust in those guys. And again, we’re really fortunate to have Brandon Turner and, and Brian Murray now on our open door, capital general partnership. So there’s a lot of trust built up with those guys and we take it very seriously because not only, I mean, obviously it’s a great thing.
Ryan Murdock (37:21):
People come to Brandon, they want to give him his money and they feel like they know him just because they’ve been listening to him on the podcast for the past, whatever eight or nine years and Brandon and real life is the same guy that you hear on the podcast. He’s genuine, he’s honest. I mean, he’s humble. Just a very gracious guy. So that alone allows us to raise a lot of money from that trust level. But with that, everybody on the team, I mean, we put a tremendous amount of responsibility on preserving that because we know that one missed out, man. We can erase a many years’ worth of trust with his audience, with our investors, by just screwing up one thing. So we were always trying to be ultra conservative with our projections on returns and the decisions that we make on the parks.
Ryan Murdock (38:02):
There are parks that we passed on as Open-door capital, like personally I probably would have pursued. I know some other guys that are, so some of our other general partners would have pursued if it was outside of the fund, but we said, look, we need to make sure that we are as conservative as we can. That the assets that we buy check, all the boxes that we’re looking for. And then there is, there is as little chance as possible is anything going sideways on this thing and burning our investors. So yeah, it really just comes down to the trust level they have in us. And then we’re a hypersensitivity to preserving that. Yeah, I mean a reputation.
Anthony Vicino (38:36):
They say it takes years to build and only seconds to ruin. And the example that we use quite a lot, because it is the most important part is the operators of the deal that, you know, like and trust them. And they’re able to actually execute the plan that they’ve laid out, because you can know, unlike somebody who has a great plan, but maybe they don’t actually have the ability to execute it. And it is the most important aspect of any deal because we can underwrite any numbers we want to on a spreadsheet. But the ability to actually execute that in the example is, you know, life, hands, you lemons. You hand that to a good operator. They hand you back lemonades. You hand it to a bad operator. They just hand you back some squished lemons. So make sure that you’re getting in bed with the right operators. So I like that a lot. Let’s rotate into the book recommendation because Dan is a voracious reader and he’s always looking for that next book recommendation. So what do you, what do you bring for us this week?
Ryan Murdock (39:25):
I just read the hands-off the hands-off real estate investor. Bryan Burke’s new book on syndication. If you guys haven’t read that highly recommended, fantastic. Somebody somebody’s digging for a copy of it right now.
Anthony Vicino (39:35):
We’re good. We’re good. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ryan Murdock (39:39):
Yeah. It’s fantastic. It’s fantastic. But, but it really depends on what you’re looking to do. I mean, if you, if you’re not going to invest in somebody fun, you probably don’t want to read that one. If you’re going to manage your own rental properties, you know, Brandon and Turner’s book on managing rental properties, they they’re going for me, it was four hour work week that, you know, I read that one at the right time when I was looking to try to change my business or it opened my eyes that I could change my business and start to create better systems so that I didn’t have to be as hands-on. So I think for everybody, it really depends on, on what they’re looking to do. And for me, at least its timing is huge. When I read a book, I could read a book, you know, three years ago, it didn’t have any impact on me. And then I read it this year and its life-changing so it really depends on where everybody is an attorney, at least in my journey when I read a book. But yeah those three books, I just rattled off. That’ll give you something, something to dig into other weeks.
Anthony Vicino (40:21):
Awesome. So before we let you go, before we let you escape this insane asylum of awesomeness, where can people get a hold of you? Where can they find you? I know you’re, you’re on Instagram. So if you guys, if you want to feel bad about where you live right now, like just go and follow Ryan on Instagram. It’s literally, I think the pictures today were stingrays or the other day was like,
Ryan Murdock (40:42):
Yeah, yeah, we’ve been doing a lot. I’m an avid scuba diver. So yeah, if you want to like, not see any real estate content, just see me running around, being an idiot on Maui. Instagram’s where to find me at Ryan dot Murdock 21. And then if you want to see some real estate related stuff, you can visit the open-door capital website. It’s ODC fund.com. And you’ll see my bio and everybody else’s bio. And I am going to, if you guys will allow me, I want to pitch one thing real quick. We are still in heavy acquisition mode. So we have a website called bring Brandon a deal.com. And we are looking for off market mobile home parks that are at least a hundred lots with public water, public sewer. And if you happen to know somebody that’s selling one, all we need is a warm introduction to the seller. Either an email or a phone call. You don’t need to put it under contract. You’re not negotiating, not negotiating anything. We just need that warm introduction. And if we end up closing on that park, we’ll write you a check for a hundred grand. So it’s a great way for, you know, for anybody really. Even if you’re not an estate investor, you just know your uncle’s buddies, you got a park. It’s not listed that. He’s looking to sell, bring Brandon the deal.com, enter it there, and you can be, get yourself a fat pay check if we close.
Anthony Vicino (41:43):
That’s awesome. Yeah. You don’t hear that too often. So guys at home girls at home hearing that, you’re not sure how you can get started in real estate. There you go. That’s your go bird, dog. That’s okay. A great way to do it
Ryan Murdock (41:51):
So yeah, yeah. Off market. Don’t send me LoopNet listings, which animal. So it’s going to be off markets please. Yes True. True. Yes.
Anthony Vicino (42:04):
That’s going to do it for us here at multifamily. Investing made simple for this week, but you listeners at home. Don’t you go anywhere? Don’t you move? Sit down, keep listening. I have not opened up the cage door yet for everybody to go home before you leave, please, please, please do us a favour. Go over and leave us a review. Drop a like tell us how we’re doing. Give us some feedback. We thrive on that. That’s how we get better. That’s how we improve. So go over to iTunes. I was going to say Shopify, but don’t go there. That’s not going to help go to Spotify or wherever you’re listening to this podcast and just drop us a review. We appreciate it guys. And we’ll catch you next week.
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