Hamza Ali 0:00
And then decided, you know what I don’t think building ground up is the way to go for me just because I was so new, I needed cash on a monthly basis, I needed cash flow, and I needed it to be positive and at that time, I think you could have just pointed at any multifamily project purchased it and you’d be in pretty good shape today. So that’s what I did. I decided to go into multifamily, it was easy. It was easy to digest for the investors as well, which made it just easier for me to work around it was it was more easy for me to explain how the multifamily how a multifamily syndication was gonna work rather than you know, a ground up development that had so much risk and even I didn’t know all the rules and regulations.
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J Darrin Gross 1:02
Welcome to Commercial Real Estate Pro Networks CREPN Radio, Episode Number 261. Thanks for joining us. My name is J. Darrin Gross. This is the podcast focused on commercial real estate investments, and risk management strategies. Weekly we have conversations with commercial real estate investors and professionals who provide their experience and insight to help you grow your real estate portfolio. Let’s get into the show.
Today my guest is Hamza Ali. Hamza moved to the United States five years ago, and founded Gray Spear Capital, which focuses on bringing investors together and investing in real estate projects in the Texas area. And in just a minute we’re going to speak with Hamza about what it’s like to move from a foreign country to the US and start a small business and what the real estate investment landscape looks like right now. But first a quick reminder, if you like our show, CREPN Radio, there are a couple things you can do. You can subscribe, you can like and share. And also you can leave a comment we’d love to hear from our listeners. Also, if you would like to see how handsome our guests are, be sure to check out our YouTube channel. And you can find this at Commercial Real Estate Pro Network. And also if you would, please consider subscribing there as well. And with that, I want to welcome my guest, Hamza, welcome to CREPN Radio.
Hamza Ali 2:39
Hey, Darrin. Yeah, thanks for having me. Good to be here.
J Darrin Gross 2:43
Well, I’m looking forward to our chance to talk today. But before we get started, if you could take just a minute and share with the listeners a little about your background.
Hamza Ali 2:55
Sure. So my background I think is quite interesting because English is not my first language. I had to learn this a few years ago when I moved here. And that in itself has been a struggle. But my background is basically I moved to the US about five years ago. And I moved from the Middle East. I thought that it was a good time to move to the US. I had always been in real estate. I had just sold a small business that I owned back home. And so I thought with a little bit of cash, I could come here and make my dreams come true. And it’s been working very well, I’d say the US has been a very good place for me to call home and it’s been working out great since I moved here.
J Darrin Gross 3:40
And I mean to cut you off there Who did you who’s something else?
Hamza Ali 3:44
Yeah, so I mean, you know, got to start a small business, got to watch that business grow over five years. And you know, just like I said, Texas has been great. And, you know, the US in general has been a great place to, I guess call home
J Darrin Gross 3:59
And We’re in the Middle East. Where are you from?
Hamza Ali 4:02
I’m originally from Yemen. But I moved here from Dubai.
J Darrin Gross 4:06
Okay. Yeah. Got it. Well, I’m kind of curious. How do you How does Houston I heard Are you in Houston now or I can’t remember where you said in? Where are you based? Currently?
Hamza Ali 4:19
Yeah. So currently I’m based out of Houston, Texas.
J Darrin Gross 4:21
Okay. And how does the Houston landscape compare to that what you were in in Dubai and Yemen?
Hamza Ali 4:31
Well, I mean, the Houston The good thing about Houston is it is a melting pot. And it’s a very diverse, very easy for someone like me to kind of get introduced to the market. Also the weather, the climate here is a little warmer. It reminds us of the climate back home so it’s fairly easy for a lot of Middle Easterners just to come and you know, call Houston home.
J Darrin Gross 4:52
Right, right. No, it’s interesting, I think a lot of Americans if you’ve you know, you consider traveling worldwide, you forget how big the US is and how diverse the the different corners of the country are. You know, just with the different weather patterns and, and all that. So, but Well, that’s great. So you you mentioned you had a business in was in Yemen or Dubai, what was the business?
Hamza Ali 5:22
Yeah, it wasn’t Dubai. Okay. So I had a small industrial construction company. And basically what I did is I did the on ground work, meaning I was kind of like if you want to just like a site supervisor. So I ran the business, I had a crew and I was a site supervisor, and I worked for mainly petrochemical companies and the government as well. So they did fairly larger projects, and I was one of their subcontractors, very interesting times. Lots of projects, but I felt like the opportunity here would have been a little different
J Darrin Gross 6:02
Gotcha. And did I hear you say you did own real estate in in Dubai?
Hamza Ali 6:08
I did. Yes, I did. I worked in real estate. I started off actually my career in 2007. So we all know that was a, I graduated 2007. And I started my career there as a realtor and we all know, probably not the best time. But you know what, I think that taught me a lot of lessons early on, and I got to see a lot of things firsthand. That really helped me with my business here.
J Darrin Gross 6:37
And in Dubai, as a realtor, were you was it residential or commercial? What was your focus?
Hamza Ali 6:44
In Dubai, I was mainly a residential. I was in residential real estate but the way Dubai operates is a little different to where you have investors who are interested in purchasing entire floors. Because Dubai is a very international city and it’s a very it’s a very Big transit hub for people and for their money and for their wealth. So anytime you have economic or geopolitical tension in the neighboring countries, in the Middle East or around us, a lot of money tends to flow into Dubai. And as a residential real estate agent, sometimes you get to sell entire structures and or entire floors like I’m talking about, for example, if you know the Burj Khalifa, the word year, the tallest tower in the world that stands into why, at one point in time, you could only buy an entire floor. So you wouldn’t be able to transact at an apartment level. They hadn’t opened that up quite yet. So the way that building initially got sold is people came in and bought a couple of floors. And then they broke those down into Okay, I have five floors, I’m willing to trade you one or sell one right so there are fairly large transactions in the residential space. And and that was around the time that that city was getting built up as well. There was a lot of high rise in that in that city at right around that time, the 2007 to 2011 timeframe. So as a residential realtor, you really got to see a lot of different people and you know, just lots of different types of money flowing into the city and acquiring large amounts of residential real estate.
J Darrin Gross 8:25
Got it? So you were a, how do we say, we say you were a site supervisor. And we are realtor at the same time or was there a a one before the other kind of thing?
Hamza Ali 8:39
Well, no. So I so I started off as a residential realtor. I transacted I would say, in fairly large real estate properties. brokerage was still fairly new, as they had just opened a real estate for expatriates. Expatriates, meaning foreigners in that Countries prior to 2007. You would have to be a local from Dubai in order to buy real estate and the government at that time went on a growth spurt and they realized that they needed foreign investments and for that, and for that theydecided that real estate was going to be one of the things that foreigners or expats could own. And that’s why we saw all this influx of money.
Now after, after working in real estate for a while I had the opportunity of starting my own business. It was a construction company and the contracts that I was awarded with would have been from the government. And they would be fairly large in size. And so I decided to take that opportunity. Of course, it didn’t pan out as as well as I thought it would because Dubai really didn’t recover. Post 2008 I mean, there was a recovery in two. So people who got in probably 2010 and 11 recovered, were very Well, but beyond that really, real estate in Dubai right now, not many people know this was trading at about a 50% discount.
J Darrin Gross 10:09
Really? Is that due to oversupply? Or is the easy economy? I mean, is it working? Or is it just a matter? Can you explain? Why
Hamza Ali 10:21
Yeah, sure. So I mean, you know, Dubai in 2008, nine and 10 went through a massive recession to where you could get where you could purchase or pick up real estate probably for 30 cents on the dollar. That means you’d be getting a 70% discount on real estate. Now, that did pick up a little bit, but it never picked up to pre 2008 crisis. There’s and and the problem is, is that Dubai is a cash market so 90% of transactions that happen in that city are cash. So the the concept of leverage or debt is fairly new. The concept of selling to foreigners still fairly new, because they only it only opened up in, like I said about just over 10 years ago. So they’re still working on a couple of things to incentivize people to, you know, purchase them to buy. But it’s just they keep building, you know, they have so much supply right now that there’s just not enough demand. And, and people like me if I were to have purchased something in 2000, and, you know, 15, which is not that far back, they are building so many new projects and incentivizing. So the developers are directly incentivizing the buyers to go and buy the new projects that the old projects are not, there is no demand really, for the older projects, or there is no secondary transactional demand in Dubai right now. Everything is being incentivized from the developers. And what these guys are doing is they’re giving you bank like payment plans from the developer. So people are just going and buying those, you know, and it’s interesting, it’s interesting times, it’s interesting to See developer developers come up with bank like strategies to sell their product.
J Darrin Gross 12:04
Yeah, that is interesting. I know of Dubai, I’ve never been there. But the the amount of growth that’s that’s occurred there, is it? When did it really start becoming this this major place? Or has it always been a major, major Middle Eastern place?
Hamza Ali 12:25
Well, I mean, I think I think Dubai really exploded in 2006. 2006, I think was the first time when they opened up real estate to foreign investors. And that is that really attracted a lot of foreign investment locally first, before before we were popular in the eyes of the rest of the world. So I mean, the region around us there was a lot of cash, there was an influx of cash that came in, and those projects that sold out early on did fairly well and they were government subsidized. So the government actually did invest in those companies and and so I think that is what helped them get started.
And you know, just, they just took it from there was one project after the other and the way they did it is they masterplan the entire city then beyond that. So everything is placed almost perfectly to where you know people can access it. And it builds a sense of a sense of community in that area. So I saw Dubai being built from shifting sands to the beautiful city it is today and it is in fact a very beautiful city. I think the government and the ruler have done a phenomenal job in the way they designed it.
J Darrin Gross 13:45
Yeah, I know I’ve seen the aerial photographs kind of the Google Earth stuff and it’s amazing how they basically, you know, made all those waterways and kind of really, you know, created all this basically form the land there. And then when vertical it’s it’s, it’s actually it’s fascinating. But that’s interesting. So So you started off in, in real estate in Dubai, then you got into the construction supervising. And so what when you when you came to the US here, what what what did you start to do or what what was your? What was your plan?
Hamza Ali 14:25
Well, it’s interesting. Um, so Dubai, as you as you may or may not know, it’s a tax free city. And so we don’t have an IRS. And we don’t have CPAs and liabilities relatively low when starting a business. So there’s not much you know, there’s not much at risk. So what when I say that, of course, there’s a lot at risk from a business standpoint, but just things to educate myself when I came here, so I’m just going to get into that really quickly. When I when I left Dubai, I had the opportunity of selling my business to one of my partners. And I basically sold my business I think it was like half a million dollars is what I came with. And, and I and at that point, I was 29 years old, just sold the business. And I thought that I had all the money in the world. And this is what you know, this is what it takes. And I’m gonna, you know, become this. This this person, you know, at 29 years old, I guess I just didn’t know any better. And I moved to Irvine, California, because Dubai was a big city. And I said, you know what better place to move than California and I had an uncle who lived there. And he told me, You know what, if you need a place to stay, you can come and stay here for as long as you want. He was kind enough to open that door for me. And so I went there I took him up on it and I went and I stayed there for a little bit. And then I realized that you know what? The money that I have is nowhere close to what I need to start a business here and I don’t be risking a lot if I decided to stay in California because as you know, the land price and the real estate price and the development price there is just astronomical. Right? And, of course, coming from a foreign country, I’m not I wasn’t allowed to secure any debt. That means I couldn’t get any leverage. I couldn’t get a construction loan. I didn’t have two years of tax returns, right? I didn’t, I didn’t have a bank account, a valid Us Bank Account. And everything that I did internationally, because Dubai is a tax free city. That means there was no way to to really, for anyone to monitor my performance or my income over time, right.
So when I went to the banks, in the beginning, I was like, Hey, you know, this is me, I want to buy real estate and I have this little bit of money and you know, I want leverage and of course they’re like, that’s not how the system works Hamza. You know, if this is what you thought when you came here, you’re gonna have to adjust. So I very quickly realized that maybe California is not the right place for me. And I had an aunt, who was a school teacher. Katy, Texas, Katy, Texas is about about an hour away from Houston, one of the suburbs of Houston and growing very growing and, you know, very much growing. And she called me up one day and she said, You know what? Why don’t you come here? There’s a lot of like construction. And I think it’s what you do? I’m not sure. So why don’t you come take a look at Katy, Texas. And I was like, You know what, I’m not gonna make it in Irvine, California, that’s for sure. So I packed my bags, took a flight to Katy, Texas and landed there and felt like I was probably in Dubai in the early 90s. A very small neighborhood. At the time, I could tell there was a lot of growth, you know, all the larger residential developers have had moved there. And so there was definitely a lot of construction, a lot of homes being built a lot of subdivisions being built. It was definitely something that piqued my interest. And I decided to stick around and I lived in her attic for about eight months, till I figured out what I was going to do with my life and start my business. And lo and behold, I bought a piece of land in Katy, Texas, and that land today I still I still own that land and I think that land is probably worth 10 times what I paid for it
J Darrin Gross 18:18
Hamza Ali 18:20
J Darrin Gross 18:20
Hamza Ali 18:21
J Darrin Gross 18:23
So what did you end up doing the construction work then is that what you?
Hamza Ali 18:27
So, um, I, I bought a piece of land. I developed that piece of land. And the way I developed it is I quickly realized that if I was not going to be able to get that there has to be somebody else who was going to be able to get it for me. Um, so I partnered up with this friend who I was introduced to by my banker and and we did one project, sold that project successfully, and then just hung around and then what happened is during this time of me holding on to this project and building it and developing it, I generated a lot of interest through my family through my network here of investors, people who want to invest in real estate and we’re just looking at me as a vehicle to where they could invest. And that is really how I jumped into the multifamily space. So I did my first office warehouse project, sold that and then decided, you know what, I don’t think building ground up is the way to go for me, just because I was so new, I needed cash on a monthly basis, I needed cash flow, and I needed it to be positive and at that time, I think you could have just pointed at any multifamily project purchased it and you’d be in pretty good shape today. So that’s what I did. I decided to go into multifamily was easy, it was easy to digest for the investors as well, which made it just easier for me to work around it was it was more easy for me to explain how the multifamily how a multifamily syndication was gonna work rather than, you know, a ground up development that had So much risk and even I didn’t know all the rules and regulations. And so I dove in, bought my first 24 unit community in I think it was 2015 2016 is probably when I bought it. I sold that off a while ago. And that one has its own story is good and bad. More bad than good. But I learned a lot since then. I think we are we’re at about 860 doors today with all the investors.
J Darrin Gross 20:31
Wow. Well, let’s let’s dig into that a little bit. So you get down to Texas. You end up with a you said you still have this first property is it still bare ground or did you develop the first piece that’s gone up 10 times?
Hamza Ali 20:47
I’m currently developing it right now. Okay. It’s gonna supposed to be completed end of this year. I think it’s that’s probably going to be pushed back.
J Darrin Gross 20:54
And is it multifamily or what’s the what’s the occupancy?
Hamza Ali 20:57
No, this is this is still in a office warehouse business park.
J Darrin Gross 21:00
Gotcha. And then you said you you picked up a 24 unit property that you’ve since sold. Can you describe just a little bit about that? It sounded like there was some lessons to be learned there based on the more bad than good description.
Hamza Ali 21:16
Absolutely. So, um, you know, when I came here to Katy, I was networking a lot. I joined a couple of real estate groups. And one of the brokers approached me from one of the real estate groups and said, Hey, Hamza, I have this amazing deal. It’s not listed. Why don’t you come take a look at it. And so we went took a took a look at it, it was 24 units. It was basically, I would say, in a very rough neighborhood. But of course, coming from a foreign country, I didn’t really have my bearings. I didn’t understand that neighborhoods could differ, you know, so drastically within a couple of blocks of each other. And I just didn’t understand enough to kind of make an educated decision. So obviously my due diligence process was basically just looking at it walking, maybe 10 units out of the 24. So I didn’t even walk the entire 24 units. And, and then deciding if this makes sense. I had a friend at that time. And I had him come and walk the units with me. And he said, you know what Hamza, I think it’s a good deal. And so I went ahead and purchase that deal. And then I got to learn a lot of things.
Because of course, it was such a small deal. It didn’t make sense to hire a property manager, so I had to become the property manager as well. And there was there was a lot of education in that. Being a property manager is difficult, stressful, you know, you don’t get much sleep, even on 24 units. And it’s just, it was an interesting time. I drove. I was on that property probably once a day every day, which is way too much for a 24 unit deal. It’s just that I guess I didn’t know any better. And I was putting the wrong tenants in there without without conducting the you know, there was no process to my to my placing tenants in apartments if I had an apartment vacant and I was on the property and someone came in and said, Hey, you know, here’s a check, can I live here? I’ll be like, absolutely Why not? I didn’t understand the need for a background check or a need for verifying their income or you know, anything. I just put them in and obviously I made a lot of bad decisions and I probably turned that property for the worse by the time I realized that okay, this is you know, I put myself I dug myself in this hole now I need to get out and as I learned, of course, fixed all the issues and then sold the property.
J Darrin Gross 23:50
So you, you did learn all the the quote issues where you’re able then to sell it at a gain? Were you able to, you know, improve the occupancy?
Hamza Ali 24:01
I think luckily, just the fact that I bought it in 2015 and sold it in 2018. There was a, a natural gain to all the real estate and I just got lucky to where I found somebody who was very interested in this piece of property and wanted to pay basically higher than what anybody else did. And yes, so I did. I did walk out with a gain, I want to say I bought that property for 38 a door so I think I paid like 800 and $850,000 for that property. I sold it for 1.4 million.
J Darrin Gross 24:36
Hamza Ali 24:37
Yeah, so that worked very well for me. Um,
J Darrin Gross 24:41
On the the lessons you learned, I’m guessing you won’t forget those anytime. Sorry. So
Hamza Ali 24:47
Yeah, the lessons for sure. And of course, when I say 1.4 million, there’s a there was all it was all investor funded. So I was very lucky to be able to capture that and fulfill my promise to a lot of my investors.
J Darrin Gross 25:00
Right Right now, I mean, that’s that’s really the Proving Ground to be able to demonstrate that you did it. So you’ve got some willing investors for the next round. So you mentioned I wrote down, 860 doors currently. So tell us from that first one, you learned some lessons. Were where, where are you investing now? How big is your network of investors? And what is your strategy on the properties you’re acquiring?
Hamza Ali 25:31
Yep. So I mean, interesting times right now. Things are getting things are getting a little more. I think things are changing every day. And we are having to do things that we’ve never done before. But let’s talk strategy. So where we’re investing we’re interested in landlord friendly states. No, no, you know, sunbelt area mainly is our primary focus. We’ve been looking at properties and we have We have we have come up, we have developed some key metrics now that we look at before we go into certain markets. And and we basically follow single family home trends.
So we what what I’ve come to learn is that I think the multifamily space is lagged right behind the single family space. Anything that’s trending today in the single family space, geographically, will be trending in the multifamily space around 18 months from now. It’s so we have an 18 month buffer is what I believe. So, and that’s kind of what we track just to be ahead of the curve. So more recently, we’ve been looking in as you know, we invest mainly in Texas. So we’re, we’re focusing mainly on San Antonio right now. So Houston was very hot on our radar. Over the past few years. San Antonio is looking to be a really good market, lots of government jobs, lots of military contracts awarded to that city, and it’s very close to Austin, Texas. Austin, Texas, is Dean Number one apartment growth city in all of America and has been for the past few years. I think that’s going to cool down a little bit, as we have other cities that are now trending a little stronger than Austin was. But I think San Antonio has been left behind. And there’s a lot of growth in that area. So we are looking geographically in a corridor That’s right, between Austin and San Antonio. And I think that’s going to be a very powerful play for us as a company. Now 862 doors or 867 doors, I can’t exactly remember. But it’s been an interesting journey, of course, as we’ve grown so as a company, so I find myself doing less the more doors we have, the more doors we get, as you know, we have we have a few key players in the company. And I think they’re, they’re doing a phenomenal job right now. at keeping everybody in, check safe. You know, maybe sure that we, you know, just just have the correct protocol. You know, what do I know? I’m just a guy who moved here five years ago.
J Darrin Gross 28:06
All right? Well, tell me the strategy for acquisition, what class of property are you acquiring? Are you doing value add? What’s the, what’s
Hamza Ali 28:18
The reason we were able to gain so much investor interest is because primarily, we were in the value add space. And we got out of deals, we traded out of deals fairly quickly. So historically, we’ve traded out of deals, 18 to 24 months, and we’re out, which means the value add component of that is really significant. It’s a lot of heavy lifting. But the returns are phenomenal. And so generating investor interest for those type of deals has been fairly easy. I see us as we grow, I see us less in the value add space, less in the C type proxy to be conversions, and more in the B to B+, type product in fact, as well Last year, we acquired our first what I would call our B product where we acquired it as a B. And we plan to operate it as a B for a longer period of time. So we would like to see this property being held for at least five to seven years. And I think that’s a, that’s a more stable type of product, just and it’s in better look, and they are generally in better locations as well. So that that I think, has really worked well, for us also, as far as collections, because, you know, in the multifamily space, everybody has been worried about collections and things are changing on a daily basis. I think everybody in the business has had a very strong collections for April, and everybody’s very proud of that. I’d be interested in seeing moving forward what that collections is going to look like.
J Darrin Gross 29:50
Yeah, no, I think may is going to be the real test of just, you know, what is the what is the situation and how dramatic you know, How bad is it? Or are we on you know, on the way out but I agree with you. So you mentioned the the C’s now kind of the B’s, knowing that you you you learned the lessons the hard way on kind of the tenant profile and all that. Are you finding uh, you know, you’ve got a better property a better better tenant mix. You mentioned collections, not not including the right now situation but just comparing the two your prior experience and, and your your B type properties. Can you speak to that as far as just the ability to collect in them and late pay and all that kind of stuff?
Hamza Ali 30:44
Um, so us personally, what we’ve done is we we address this issue fairly early on to where I thought it was going to be. It was going to be an issue right and and collecting rent. Going to be a challenge because you genuinely have people who are not going to be able to pay just because of the fact that they’re out of a job or you know, or both people in, in the family are just out of a job, which means, naturally, naturally, the expectancy of us not to collect rent is going to be low. And so what we’ve done is we’ve, we’ve incentivized our tenants to pay and I don’t know, I don’t know what exactly everybody else has done, but we rolled out our plan fairly early and we communicated it with our tenants. We have a lot of landlords today that are not communicating information to their tenants, just in the hopes that okay, everybody’s gonna pay. And I think we’ve had so far we’ve had a good response. And the incentives that we’ve given are just basically um, if anybody renews their we’re not, we’re not increasing rent, so we’re in the bottom rent. We’re in the bottom collections of the markets, our rents generally Start at like $700 and go up to about 1200 dollars. So that’s the range kind of that we’re in. So there’s not much room for us to go below that.
But what we’ve done is we’ve offered incentives for people who are renewing, and what we’re doing is we’re giving them hundred dollar gift cards towards grow a local grocery store, like a local supermarket, where they can go and buy their essentials, if needed. We are also helping them with the stimulus package. So we have a lot of people who own businesses, but are unaware or just, you know, just don’t know about the different types of stimulus packages that we have, or some of them think they’re not eligible, which is absolutely not true. And so we are in hopes to gain and earn their loyalty towards us. We have set up a number and we have somebody in the office that is constantly calling them calling someone in our office and and we can walk them through either the PPP or any other packages that are available right now as part of the stimulus plan. And I will tell you this. So we put out flyers as well, other than the line. And the flyers are both in English and Spanish and they’ve been working out well. I mean, so far the tenants seem to be interested, they seem to be engaged, you know. And it’s, it’s just something that we, you know, think that we should be doing as our part. Also, we’ve waived all late fees. And of course, as you know, there’s no evictions on at least for the month of April, but we’ve extended that to the month of May already. So we’ve gone ahead and told all our tenants that there are going to be no evictions for the month of May. And generally, you know, the thing is, is that we have great tenants, we have good tenants. I mean, you know, there’s always the odd one here and there, but generally, if people have the ability to pay, they will pay the rent, you know, over other things. So, I think we’ve had good experience so far.
J Darrin Gross 34:00
That’s good. I hope that that continues to be the case for you and and everybody else, you know, time will tell on that. As far as your network is it been basically your your family was that where you started as far as kind of getting your, your investors or how have you built your investor network?
Hamza Ali 34:25
Yeah, so um, I have I have, I have family in Katy, Texas. And they were kind enough to be my first investors. I think we have, we have about over 130 investors total invested in all the properties and we have a network of about 415 investors. A lot of these people have shown interest over the past two years. So 2012 2019 and 2020. We have actually not acquired that many properties just because we have found it very difficult to source deals. So What we’ve done is we’ve created this list of networks. And what we’re doing is we’re, we’re adding on more investors, just so that when we have a product that’s ready, you know, the idea is because you know, I mean, as a syndicator, you have basically about 45 days to close out around, no matter how big or small that round is, whether it’s you’re raising 1 million or 10 million, you have about 45 days to close it out. And so what we’ve been doing is we’ve just been creating that lead list, making sure we have investors on board, communicating with them, nurturing them, you know, so we put that we put them all, we put all their emails on a list and we communicate with them regularly. I personally communicate with them regularly. And just to make sure that they’re still engaged, I’m still interested, right. And of course, I can tell you that me personally for the next 90 days, I don’t plan on rolling up any new investments or any new ventures. I’m just going to hold on and see I don’t anticipate there to be any fire sales in the multifamily space. But you never know.
J Darrin Gross 36:05
And I think this is a, an appropriate time to stay in touch with your investors and your tenants like you’re doing and, and communicate and, you know, be prepared. So it makes a lot of sounds. And Hamza, if we could like to shift gears. Before we started recording, I mentioned to you I’m an insurance broker by day. And one of the things we do is we do risk management with our clients. And we typically consider one of three strategies. The first is we ask, can we avoid the risk? If we can’t avoid it, then we look is there a way we can minimize the risk? And if we can’t minimize it or avoid it, we ask is there a way we can transfer the risk and that’s what an insurance policy is. It’s a risk transfer vehicle and I like to ask my guests If they can identify, or we’ll take a look at what they’re doing and take a look at the environment, and identify what they consider to be the BIGGEST RISK. And just to clarify, I’m not necessarily looking for an insurance related answer. But if you’re willing, I’d like to ask you, Hamza Ali. What is the BIGGEST RISK?
Hamza Ali 37:26
Well, it’s funny, you bring that up, then I know this is not supposed to be an insurance related answer, but I do have a little bit of a story here that I’d like to share. So very recently, I was I was under contract to buy this property, great deal, great location, you know, just I mean, it checked all the boxes. And, and I put it on a contract. So I, you know, sign the contract, we put on a contract and the next day I get a call from the guy and he’s like, I need to talk to you right away and I’m like, okay, and this is the seller directly. So it’s buyer and seller. Usually there’s a there’s a broker in between. But this seller was so panicked that he called me. And he’s like, I want to meet you at the property and Okay, I was like, okay, sure, let’s go at the property. And then so we walk the property and one building has been completely burned down. And I’m talking completely like it’s gone. And it was 114 unit deal when it became 100 unit deal. And he was like, What do I do? I’m like, What do you mean what do you do you know, this is a, this is exactly what you what you carry the right insurance for. And so to answer your question, insurance is the biggest component that will save save us in the time when we need to save you just need to have the right coverage. So talking about risk, this gentleman did not have the right coverage did not have the right dollar amount covered towards this fire damage and I will tell you he lost close to a million dollars because of that.
J Darrin Gross 39:03
Wow. I hate to hear that. And I appreciate you sharing that. Only from a standpoint of it’s something I try and and talk with people about is, is making sure you’re insured to the right value. Because there are penalties that policies have built into them if you under insure. And, you know, a lot of times it’s kind of, it’s out of sight out of mind. People. Insurance is a weird thing. You don’t use it on regular basis. If you did use them on a regular basis. You couldn’t afford it. You know, and it wouldn’t work overall. So but it is stories like that, and in the hope is that you learn from somebody else’s story rather than having to be the one telling the story about something like that. So I appreciate you sharing that.
Hamza Ali 39:56
Absolutely. And as you know, we’re we’re syndicators so we have investors in our deal. So we can never have an insurance so usually you will see people who under insure their properties but they’ll probably be their mom and pop operators or individual owners, people who generally have investors in their deal will tend to go with the best policy.
J Darrin Gross 40:16
Right? Right Nope, it definitely makes sense I mean if you’re have a fiduciary responsibility with your investors money and and you don’t want to put that at risk, so it’s good. Hamza, where can the listeners go if they would like to connect with you or learn more?
Hamza Ali 40:36
Um, they can they can contact me directly on through my YouTube channel. So I have a YouTube channel it’s called H Town Hamza.
J Darrin Gross 40:45
H Town, Hamza. Hamza?
Hamza Ali 40:49
Yes. And that’s my email as well. firstname.lastname@example.org.
J Darrin Gross 40:55
Got it. Well, Hamza, I want to say thanks for taking got the time to talk. I’ve enjoyed it learned a lot. And I hope we can do it again soon.
Hamza Ali 41:06
Absolutely. Thank you Darrin. I appreciate your time.
J Darrin Gross 41:08
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