My Realty Gains
20 years of experience as a Small Business Entrepreneur, IT Professional, active real estate agent and full-time Multifamily Apartment investor with over $30 M-AUM. Vish Muni started as a real estate investor in 2009 in single-family, duplexes and fourplexes. He transitioned to Multifamily investing in November 2019 and since then has invested as Limited Partner and general partner in over 7 syndications.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – How can our listeners or readers start Investing? If they have time, maybe they can actively invest in single families and stuff like that. But if you have income, how can people invest in passive investments and still create generational wealth for themselves? Please share your thoughts on that wish with the listeners.
Vish Muni – I’m very much with you. It is not an easy journey for anybody once they leave the comfort level, that is the comfort of their house, wherever they bought, whichever part of the world. Once you leave that comfort, then you’re on your own. It’s like going hunting. I mean, once you get into the wilderness, you are at the mercy of somebody else. Either you eat or you be eaten. That is what you have to do. In whatever we are doing, like what you were talking about, we all knew only one area. That is you study hard, you work hard, and you invest in stocks and bonds. That is exactly what happens. I was in Silicon Valley for seven years. I was in programming and I was in technology. I was a salesforce administrator but if you have that Entrepreneurial bug in you, it is very unlikely that you’re a good W2 employee. You don’t get along very well. We don’t like taking orders. You don’t like somebody questioning you all the time
So I had that problem with myself, to be honest. That is why I became an entrepreneur by setting up my consulting firm. I had that for more than 15 years. During that time I did a small little business at the fitness centre. I had a vending machine. I’m always off the mindset that you need to outsource. I call it MWA minimum wage activities and IGA you focus on income-generating activities only.
In some of these businesses, I realized they’re all MWA minimum wage activities. If my goal is to make 100K a year, just an example as a passive income and you take on average 2000 working hours, which means I shouldn’t do anything which is below $50 an hour.
Anything I decided now I’m trying to outsource a lot of things, what I’m doing. So that is what got me to get into Real Estate. That is the first step. And once we got into Real Estate. I and my wife both of us were looking at properties every weekend, even when we are in Silicon Valley. And at the weekends, all we did was we used to go out, eat, look at Real Estate, and go to Barns and Noble. And then there was Borders. A lot of people may not know. All we did was we spent time in the library, look at Real Estate, eat, and came back. Even though we were not actively buying, we kept looking at properties, and there was an idea my wife came across, and we should start a company called the Duplexaholics. And what was the object you offered, is buy one Duplex a year for ten years and we still have that company.
We came to Texas, and we started the company it started by investing in single-family homes, and duplexes, and buying a portfolio of four plexus also. So that is how I got into real estate.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – That’s a very interesting journey.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – How can normal people invest passively and still do their job and continue to invest in some businesses somewhere and still earn a significant return on their money? What would be a message to them?
Vish Muni – Everybody has a lifestyle, everybody has a dream and everybody has a vision. People need to get clear about that because I lived with 5 goals that I have in my life. Number one, you need to have a purpose in life so every morning all of us get up and what is it that gets us out of bed? Not all the time we are happy, not all the time we are sad. Some days are good, and some days are bad. But there is still a strong urge for us to get up and keep moving. What is it?
Number one, people need to identify.
For example – I need to get up to take care of my sick parents, my wife, my daughter, or some special needs children or anything. So one needs to have a strong purpose in life.
After that one needs to work on relationships that are extremely critical in whatever you do. You need to have a good relationship with your spouse, with your child, neighbour, father, bank, or anybody. One needs to focus on that. So these two are extremely critical. No matter what business you do, if you don’t do any business, you still need to have these two. If you don’t have these two rest, everything is irrelevant. Even if you grab a million dollars but if you don’t have a relationship, it’s of no use. If you don’t have a purpose, you’re depressed, with nothing to look forward to.
I value those two every day and I’m thankful for everything, whatever has happened to me. So the reason why I brought that up is people are working 24*7. From a financial point of view, they’re happy. They’re making a lot of money.
But why do we need money? You could be promoting a nonprofit organization. You need money to start that and that brings more happiness because money alone is of no use. What you get with that money is what is happiness. Because if I have money in the bank, which means I don’t need to be stressed out because I can spend an extra 2 hours with my daughter. I can sleep for 1 hour extra. I don’t need to worry. This is the benefit. I can go to my doctor’s appointment on time without being late. These are the little things that we need to look at.
Anyone with the W2, as long as they’re working, they’re getting paid, they can’t take a break. It’s like cycling or swimming. You’re very happy, you’re comfortable, you’re covering distance. As long as you’re swimming, as long as you’re cycling, but you can’t sit on that seat and relax. That is when passive income comes into the picture.
The benefits and value that it brings are extremely important. My recommendation would be for people start building up their passive income as soon as possible. So that way they don’t need to be stressed out for not taking not spending that time with their family, or not being there for the children’s education or basketball game because these are life-changing events. We miss all these things because we are so focused on making money. We can’t afford to miss all these things because these events happen once in a lifetime. I’m all about lifestyle. You need to have a balance.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – Absolutely. You hit the nail right on the head. Money doesn’t buy you happiness. What it can do and the choices it gives you are what bring you more happiness. That is correct. And that’s why I think the message is clear you have kind of communicated that start early in your lifetime, start generating passive income early in your life so that you start reaping the benefit, compound that benefits when you grow older or different.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – Do you feel that you could have done something different in Real Estate?
Vish Muni – Most of us, are not born with mentors in our life. Most of the time it’s like learning how to cycle. You have two ways. You have training wheels. That is one way of learning how to ride a cycle. Training wheels like having a mentor from day one and someone who will mentor you to make sure you don’t fall or you don’t make mistakes. That is training wheels.
Another one is you should just go try to learn without training wheels. That is what I did. The ten years I made a lot of mistakes and when I decided to move to multifamily, I didn’t want to get into multifamily without training wheels. I went and got a mentor. If I wanted to do something different, I would tell people to get educated first and associate themselves with the mentor and take part and belong to a mastermind group, so that way there is somebody else who made the same mistake. You don’t need to make that mistake.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – I think that’s a very valid point. And that is the important thing that we want to communicate to our investors is if you are jumping actively to real estate, then make sure you have a mentor who could guide you so that you do not make mistakes that you would make without having those training wheels.
Vish Muni – My recommendation to everybody is associations. That is why proximity is power. If they know you, you did the business. You are the best teacher to tell them, listen, this is a good way to do it, this is the bad way to do it. They need to talk to you because even if you’re not able to do it, you have access to another 40 people who have done it. Proximity is power. You have access to them. They need to take the initiative to talk to you in the first place.
My recommendation to everybody is to start Passive Investing and build trust, build confidence, and get to know how the business works. Once you learn how to drive, then you can go fast. But don’t go 100 miles an hour on day one, you’re going to crash and you say driving is bad for everybody. And the same goes for investing. You could start small. People say think big, think big. That is fine. But you need to know what you’re going to be thinking and where you’re going to be jumping off.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – Very good.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – A little bit more about any bad experience you have had, or any good experience for that matter, in Real Estate. Share some of the bad experiences.
Vish Muni – In 2009, when we started in Real Estate, it was my wife and me. It’s like we all tend to get possessive about certain things, and we want things to go a certain way. I always believed in being an investor, not a landlord. So when we bought our first Duplex, which was in Austin, Texas, in 2010, there was a bad storm, and there were a lot of trees that had fallen on the property. Property manager, I kept following up with the property manager, hey, you got to clean this, you’ve got to clean this. And this experience, I can never forget what happened the following days.
I went there, took pictures, and then I was in constant touch with the property manager. The property manager kept telling me, I’m working on it. I’m going to get to it. I sent them pictures and then followed up by, I had to take pictures with a regular camera. Right now you have your phone. But those days it is.
I had to take a camera, take pictures, and then upload it onto the computer and send it by email. And then this guy asked him again, what’s going on? Are you going to be cleaning it today? He told me I’m not interested in this one, in your project anymore. And he fired me.
The property manager told I’m not interested in your business. I’m firing you, I was new to that field. I think I was impatient, and that was a big lesson learned.
Overnight, I had to be a property manager. He gave all my details to the tenants and told me, this is the guy who owns this property. This is his phone number. Talk to him directly. They kept calling me and I had to now mitigate that to bring the situation under control.
Prashant Kumar, CCIM – You learn everything as you go along to the bad experiences. You end up learning a lot. You end up learning a lot. And that gives you the confidence for future sure that you can do that yourself.
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