Show Summary

Dave Lindahl is one of the nations leading experts in buying and selling multi-family properties. His story of starting as a landscaper and working his way up to what he’s become is a fairy tail to most, including himself. Like many real estate investors, he realized at some point that he could grow much faster by doing bigger and more frequent deals, enabled by working with others. It’s a great interview, check it out now! Only on FlipNerd.com.

Highlights of this show

  • Meet Dave Lindahl, one of the most successful multi-family investors in America.
  • Hear Dave discuss his story of landscaper to what he’s become today.
  • Learn some of Dave’s tips on how to achieve the success you’re looking for.

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Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode

FlipNerd Show Transcript:

Mike Hambright: Welcome to the FlipNerd.com podcast. This is your host, Mike Hambright. And on this show, I will introduce you to VIPs in the real estate investing industry, as well as other interesting entrepreneurs whose stories and experiences can help you take your business to the next level. We have three new shows each week, which are available in the iTunes store or by visiting FlipNerd.com. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Hey, it’s Mike Hambright with FlipNerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting VIP interview, where I interview some of the most successful real estate investing experts and entrepreneurs in the industry to help you learn and grow. Today, I’m joined by Dave Lindahl, one of the nation’s leading experts in buying and selling multi-family properties. He currently owns over 7000 units, and has a large coaching and training business where he teaches others how to become successful investors. Before we get started here with Dave, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.

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We’d also like to thank National Real Estate Insurance Group, the nation’s leading provider of insurance to the residential real estate investor market. From individual properties to large scale investors, National Real Estate Insurance Group is ready to serve you.

Please note, the views and opinions expressed by the individuals in this program do not necessarily reflect those of FlipNerd.com or any of its partners, advertisers or affiliates. Please consult professionals before making any investment or tax decisions as real estate investing can be risky.

Hey, Dave. Welcome to the show.

Dave Lindahl: Hey. What’s going on, Mike?

Mike Hambright: Hey. Glad you’re here. So thanks for joining today.

Dave Lindahl: My pleasure.

Mike Hambright: So I know there’s a lot of folks that know who you are. There’s probably . . . hopefully we find some today that aren’t too familiar with you yet, that could learn more about you. But tell us a little bit about, you know, who you are and how you got started. I know you have an exciting and a very interesting story. So tell us a little more about you.

Dave Lindahl: All right. Well, I got started, actually, from landscaping into real estate. Actually, my whole story goes like this. I was . . . I joined a rock and roll band when I was 16 years old. A band called Flesh Picnic. And the title means just like it sounds. Flesh Picnic. And I did that band for about eight years. We really tried hard to make it in rock and roll.

Mike Hambright: Wow.

Dave Lindahl: I was the lead vocals in that band. A lot of fun.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: I’ve got a lot of crazy stories.

Mike Hambright: I bet.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. But at 24, I realized it wasn’t going to happen, unfortunately. And I was always told that if you want to be successful in life, you either have to own it, or you have to sell it, one or the other. So this is April. I’m from Boston. That’s when the grass starts growing around here. And I started knocking on people’s doors that had high grass and asked them if I could mow their lawns. And the first year, I had 41 accounts, and that worked out pretty good.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And then the winter came. And winter in Boston lasts about six months.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: So I had to find something else to do. So I did odd jobs. I did snow plowing. I did anything I could to get the money to come in. And I made it through the first winter. Did landscaping again for the second season. Absolutely loved it. Being outside, you know, get a lot of exercise. And I love the business.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: But then the second winter came, and the same thing happened. And a friend of mine didn’t realize I was struggling. He worked for a local bank. They were foreclosing on properties. Now, this is, like, 19 years ago.

Mike Hambright: Right. Right.

Dave Lindahl: Just like the same type of environment that we’re in right now, you know, where we’re just coming out of recession, banks were foreclosing on a lot of properties. And he asked me if I wanted to do the work on one of the properties so I could have some income coming into my one-bedroom apartment. And I said, “Yeah. Absolutely.” I had no idea how to do the work on the properties. I had no idea how to bid this job. But I did know that I was probably going to get it, because my friend worked for the bank and he was going to help me out.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So he could help me out. And I got help from my cousin on how to bid the job. So he brought me over there on how to bid it. I won the bid with the help of my friend at the bank. And then I went to Home Depot and learned how to, you know, do fix-its. You know, you ever go to those seminars at Home Depot, nights and weekends?

Mike Hambright: Yeah. I’m aware of them, yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. So I learned a lot there. But what I really learned was I wasn’t going to get good at any of that stuff. I was never really good with my hands.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So I got good at picking up the phone and calling contractors and sub-contractors. And then, you know, after I did the first one, the bank liked the work. They were able to resell it quick. I did a second one, I did a third one. And then I started realizing that there were homeowners and investors looking at these deals. Homeowners wanted to know if their furniture was going to fit. Investors wanted to know what else was wrong with the property.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: So when they were asking all kinds of questions, I started asking them all kinds of questions. I started realizing that I was probably going to make $3000 or $4000 fixing this property, and these investors were going to make anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 flipping this property.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So I started, you know, doing what the people listening to this interview are doing. I started getting as much information as I could from successful people. And it took me about nine months to do my first deal, because I was afraid.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: But I bought my first property nine months later.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And it wasn’t a single-family. It was a multi-family property.

Mike Hambright: Okay.

Dave Lindahl: And, you know, I hear a lot of people start out with single-families. And people actually asked me, at different times, you know, “Why didn’t you start with singles before you went to multis?”

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: But fortunately for me, I saw an interview with a guy by the name of Harry Helmsley, out of New York City. Are you familiar with him?

Mike Hambright: The name sounds familiar, yeah. I’m not sure I . . .

Dave Lindahl: He started with nothing.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Started buying and selling apartment buildings, and ended up owning the Empire State Building.

Mike Hambright: Okay, okay.

Dave Lindahl: So it was during that interview, the interviewer said, “Harry, what was it about apartment buildings that got you going?” And Harry said, “I always liked the idea that a group of people would pool their money together and give it to me so I could pay off the mortgage of my property. And that’s since they’re buying the buildings from me.”

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: He said, “I like the idea that they’d give me money every month so I could pay for the maintenance guys to take care of the properties, and I could pay property management to take care of the tenants, so I wouldn’t have to.” That was a key phrase right there, you know? Having somebody else take care of those tenants. Because I didn’t want to be a landlord.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And then the third thing he said was, “And I always liked the idea that that same group of people would give me money every month so I would have extra money at the end of the month, after I paid all those people. You know, spendable income. Money I could reinvest, put into a savings account, or go out and buy some more properties with it, or just go and have some fun.”

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And that’s when a light bulb went off, and that’s when I was hooked. I thought, “Man . . . “

Mike Hambright: So you heard that before you bought your first property, or was that . . . ?

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Before I bought my first property.

Mike Hambright: And that’s kind of why you thought, “Hey, multi-family’s where it’s at.”

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. I thought, “If there’s a group of people out there that want to pay me every month to buy properties for me, I’m going to let them.”

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And I’ve been letting them do that for the last 18, 19 years.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: It’s been great. And I still flip properties, as well. See, when I first started, I had no money. I was broke, you know? So I learned about . . . I first started with credit cards. I went to a seminar that said, “Get as many credit cards as you can.”

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Even with the non-recurring fees. And I did that, and that worked for my first two properties. And then I started hard money. And I think most people start with hard money with real estate investing.

Mike Hambright: A lot of folks, yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And then I started learning about no money down real estate with flipping single-families. I started flipping the single- families to get chunks of money to . . . I say to support my multi- family habit.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: And use those for down payments on the multi-family, and get this cash flow coming in regularly.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And that’s how it all got started.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And my first three years, well, after I went through that first nine months of fear, I bought my first property, and then three months later I had three more properties. Six months later, I had nine. In that first year, I had 11.

Mike Hambright: Wow.

Dave Lindahl: And then fast-forward three years from there, I had 42 of them.

Mike Hambright: So what year was that? That was . . .

Dave Lindahl: Oh, man, that was back in 1998.

Mike Hambright: Okay. Okay.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. I bought the first property December 27th, 1998. 25 Spring Street . . . no, 25 Newton Street in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Mike Hambright: Okay. Okay. And then from there, I know it just becomes just a game of growth at that point. I mean, I know a lot of folks that have tons of properties. I mean, what . . . how do you set . . . you know, I talk to a lot of folks that I mentor about setting . . . the importance of setting goals.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah.

Mike Hambright: Of course, nobody ever says, “I want to own 7000 doors.”

Dave Lindahl: No.

Mike Hambright: I mean, that’s too small of . . . that’s too big of a bite initially. But what was your vision then for how to kind of take it to where you are today? Or did you think that would ever happen?

Dave Lindahl: My first goal was 100 units. You know, I thought with 100 units, you know, I’d be somebody.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: I’d be making good money. You know, my struggles . . . I . . .

Mike Hambright: You could start the band again.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. We still get together every once in a while. It’s quite a time.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: It’s good stuff.

But the first goal was 100 units. And then the second goal was 1000 units. And then when I realized I could get to 1000 units, the third goal was 10,000 units.

Mike Hambright: Okay.

Dave Lindahl: So I think you’re right about goal setting. I first started goal setting with Earl Nightingale. Are you familiar with him?

Mike Hambright: No, I don’t think so.

Dave Lindahl: He’s got two really good tracks. He’s dead now, but he wrote this thing called “Lead the Field,” a tape set that I listened to. It’s all about goal setting.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And all about how you talk to yourself, and inside of your head.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Because, you know, I’ve been doing all those crazy things that people do in rock and roll bands. Putting all kinds of pills in my system. Alcohol, drugs.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And I had a real negative attitude, you know? After eight years of that. And I learned how to talk to myself the right way, you know, and believe in myself, and realize that I could do anything I want to as long as I went out and got educated to go and do it.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: So Earl helped me do that. So that was a tape series that he had. He also had this one 45-minute thing called “The Strangest Secret,” which was really good, as well.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And that helped me psych myself.

Mike Hambright: That sounds familiar.

Dave Lindahl: Yup. So I started goal setting. And the funny thing is, when I listened to that, I wrote down my one-month goal, six-month goal, one-year goal, five-year, 10-year, 15-year, and 20-year goals. It took me, like, three hours to do it all, right? Within five years, I had reached the 20-year goals.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And I still have a copy of those today. I have them dated, and I have them framed up.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah. That’s funny. We moved offices a few months ago, and we’ve been in the same office for six years. And I found our initial goals when we first started our business, and we had far exceeded those, too. So it’s kind of a good feeling when, you know, at least you’re on track.

Dave Lindahl: You know, I mean, his deal is when you set goals in your mind, you know, even if you put them in a drawer and forget about them, your mind doesn’t.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: And sub-consciously, it’s going for them.

Mike Hambright: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So talk a little bit about when you got to the stage to where you said, “I need to teach other people how to do this.” I mean, I’m sure there’s a combination of one is a business opportunity, but two is just the desire to really help people and share your knowledge.

Dave Lindahl: All right. Before I do that, can I take you into the transition from how I went from local to national in my real estate?

Mike Hambright: Sure. Sure. Absolutely.

Dave Lindahl: So for the first three years, I bought only three- to six- unit properties, because I was afraid to buy anything bigger. I had created a lot of equity. Within one year’s time, I created $10,000 a month positive income coming into my one-bedroom apartment. That made a huge difference in my life.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Within two to three years, I was a multi-millionaire, a lot of that being in equity in my properties. Because I had hit a market at the right time. I had hit Brockton, Boston, Massachusetts as it was just starting to come up on an up cycle.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And as I continued to invest, I started learning about market cycles, and learning that all this equity that I had made in my properties was going to go away if I didn’t do something with it, if I didn’t either cash out or move it to another market.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So I started looking at other markets around the US that were just starting to go up on the same market cycle. I started studying market cycles.

Mike Hambright: Sure.

Dave Lindahl: And I started learning that job growth is really the promoter of most new market cycles. And I started moving my equity from Brockton to Montgomery, Alabama. I followed a car plant there. I moved into [inaudible 00:11:54], Texas, where a BMW plant moved. Jacksonville, Mississippi. And I started going to these what I call emerging markets.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And realized that actually owning bigger properties was a lot easier than owning smaller properties. You had more cash flow. You had more acquisition fees, which I can get into later. But there’s a big . . . there’s a whole other business in this business, in acquisition fees. And I learned I could grow even faster. And that’s when I set my goals from . . . I went from 104 units from two and a half years . . . it took me three years to get to 104 units. Two years later, I was at 2500 units with my emerging markets strategy, and in bigger properties.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So now I’m in 18 different markets around the US, and in control of 7000 units.

Mike Hambright: Wow.

Dave Lindahl: So that’s how we went from small to national. And, I mean, anybody can do it. It’s just a matter of creating a team in a particular market, being in the right market at the right time.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: Right now in the US, there are so many emerging markets, because most of the markets are coming out of the recession right now.

Mike Hambright: Sure.

Dave Lindahl: It’s just a really, really good time to be investing.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah. And I think there’s also a lot of . . . in terms of following job growth, there’s a lot of folks, a lot of large companies, that are moving out of California and other places to go into some of these emerging markets, for tax reasons or otherwise. So . . .

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. One of the things we followed probably about . . . back in 2006 was we followed Countrywide, who were a big lender back at the time. Now they’re out of business.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: But we followed them moving 1500 jobs from Southern California over into Dallas, Texas.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And we started buying all around that area. And because of that job movement, and they have what’s called the multiplier effect with that. With every new job that’s created, there’s a service job created, as well, anywhere between two to five of them.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And so we just started buying in those areas. And typically, these market cycles last . . . these up cycles last between five and seven years. So our MO is to get into a cycle somewhere near the bottom, get out somewhere near the top. But not close to the top. Far enough away from the top that there’s no risk of it actually topping out on you.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: And then moving the money into another market, and doing it again, and doing it again.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And when you do that, you just create an explosive amount of equity and properties. Huge amount of cash flow. And it really just takes one emerging market to make . . . I say one emerging market will make you rich, two emerging markets will make you wealthy, three emerging markets are going to retire you. And next generation, people are going to point at you as the guy that created all this legacy of awesome.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: It’s a lot of fun, too.

Mike Hambright: Awesome. Awesome. So a lot of these properties that you were buying, were they all you? Were these partnerships? Were they syndications? Were they a little bit of everything, or . . . ?

Dave Lindahl: Well, it started with me doing 1031 exchanges from my small three- to six-unit properties. But because I’d gotten in so low, I created a lot of equity, I had $100,000, $150,000, sometimes $300,000 in equity in these properties.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So, I was flipping those from three- to six-unit properties into 40- to 70-unit properties.

Mike Hambright: Okay.

Dave Lindahl: But now on, I actually realized that the 100 to 150 unit is really the place you want to be with the economies of scale.

Mike Hambright: Okay.

Dave Lindahl: Favor the multi-family properties. I started going into those. And when I set my goals from 1000 to 10,000, I realized I needed to use other people’s money in order to do that.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So I started learning more about private money, and angel investors, and where people are that would want to be in my deals. Basically business owners. And I started going to these organizations. And instead of asking for money, which I did at the beginning, and I hated to do, I started offering opportunities. I started offering an opportunity to get into a real estate deal, to get a much better return than they were going to get on their IRAs, CDs, or savings accounts, you know?

Mike Hambright: Sure.

Dave Lindahl: And when I changed my mindset to offering an opportunity instead of asking for money . . .

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: All of a sudden, that was much more attractive to the people there.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: And here’s one other thing that I did that really changed things. I let people know that I didn’t take everybody in my deals, and only took certain people.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And people, you know, after I say that sometimes, people will say — especially when I do it at my events — people say, “Well, what are your criteria?” And I say, there’s two criteria. Actually, there’s three criteria. Number one, you’ve got to have money, right? If you don’t have money, you can’t get in the deal.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Two, you have to be an accredited investor. And that’s a whole other teaching process.

Mike Hambright: Sure. Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And number three, you can’t be a pain in the butt.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: Because the worst thing is . . . do you have investors in your deals?

Mike Hambright: Some, yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. So you know the . . . if you get a pain in the butt investor, and you deal them, the deal . . . you know, it’s not a great . . . real estate should be fun.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. It’s not fun.

Dave Lindahl: It’s not fun to be having a pain in the butt. And always the person who puts in the lowest amount of money is always the biggest pain in the butt.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So we try to keep our minimums high, and if somebody I think is going to be a pain in the butt . . . on my deals, usually people are in for three to five years, you know? Because we’re a multi- family property, a large one. We’re in an emerging market. So we’re going to let that market increase, and we’re going to watch that equity increase, and then we’re going to get out of the deal. So, when I bring an investor into the deal, I’m married to that investor for three to five years. So I’m really selective on who I’m going to bring in.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. You have to be, yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. And when you’re like that, more people are attracted to you.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: Because people want what they can’t have, right?

Mike Hambright: Right, right. There’s some scarcity there, yeah.

Dave Lindahl: That’s a good thing.

Mike Hambright: Well, this is very true. You don’t want to encumber yourself with something that makes it not fun, or just becomes a burden for you.

Dave Lindahl: Oh, man. I mean, some people can really ruin it. I mean, I had this deal where there were 14 investors in the deal. It was a 280- unit property over in Texas, where you’re from. And the deal was going great. We projected an 8% cash on cash return. We were giving quarterly, like, 10-2, 10-3.

Mike Hambright: Mm-hmm.

Dave Lindahl: But we’d have these investors come in on the calls, and were looking at the profit and loss statement, and they’d be like, “Well, why are the office supplies $20 more this month than they were last month?” You know, are you kidding me? You’re getting a great return from this property, and you’re nitpicking every freaking thing? The calls lasted for, like, an hour to an hour and a half, where a normal call with an investor would last 20 to 30 minutes.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: We’d just get the, I was talking to my partner, and it was like, “Yeah, man, that call sucks. We don’t want to do that call anymore.”

So we sold the property.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: You know, we’re selling the property. The investor’s like, “What do you mean, you’re selling the property?” It’s like, “Well, you know, the market’s changing, and we’re selling the property.” One of the tricks about bringing investors into your deal is that you create it so that you have the managing LLC, so you have the final say. You don’t do a tenant in common relationship.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: You call the shots.

I’m like, “Yeah, we’re selling the property.” And they’re like, “Well, you know, what else do you have that we can invest in?” And for everybody else in the deal except for those other two, we had something.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: But for those other two, we had nothing.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Nothing for you.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah. So talk about how you kind of moved into teaching other people how to do this.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah, well, that’s a . . . you know, I went into real estate brokerage, and I created a pretty big real estate brokerage company as well in a short period of time. And that was going pretty good. And then what happened was my real estate agents became very territorial. And if you’re listening to this, and you own a real estate brokerage company, you know what I’m talking about. People became territorial. They became jealous. I was taking school bus drivers, disabled oil technicians, that were making $25,000, $30,000 — nurses — $40,000 a year, teaching them how to list and sell real estate. Not invest, but just list and sell. And they were making $100,000 to $150,000 just two years later. And all the sudden, the place became chaos. It became adult day care, you know? I hated it. And my mom always taught me that when you get, you give back. And my investing in emerging markets was going really well. My real estate was going really well. You know, my big “why” is being able to support my family. I come from a very blue-collar family, and I come from a very big family. You know, I’ve got 18 brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, my mom and my dad. My mother was a fish cutter in the fisheries of Boston for 18 years.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: My dad had two jobs to support us. So now, you know, to me, I take my family . . . I take the entire family on vacation every year for two weeks to Martha’s Vineyard, you know?

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: Because . . . just to create the same bond that we had when we were growing up. I also grew up with three other immediate families, my mother’s sisters and 12 cousins. We were enough for two sports teams. It was great.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So my big “why” is my family and I forgot what your question was.

Mike Hambright: Well, we were just talking about kind of transitioning into teaching other people how to do it.

Dave Lindahl: Oh, yeah.

Mike Hambright: Kind of the coaching business.

Dave Lindahl: So my mom was always [inaudible 00:19:31] . . . I was brought up a Baptist Protestant. My mom was always [inaudible 00:19:35] to us that when you’re given something, you give back. So when you get, you give. So it was a combination of really being burnt out at that real estate brokerage company, and doing so well in real estate. And after 10 years of investing in real estate, I thought, “You know what? I could get back. I could start teaching. I could create a teaching business. I’ve seen other people do it.”

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: I was going to the other events myself, and getting as much education as I could. And when you go to events, when you . . . like, I was a seminar junkie. And you see other seminar junkies, as well. And some of those people were doing really well, and they were teaching themselves. And I thought, “Man, I could probably do that,” number one. And number two, “I could get back on stage again in front of people. That would be a good thing.”

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: So that’s what brought me into the education business. And the other thing that brought me into the education business was the fact that some of those events that I went to weren’t that great.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And, you know, they were more really, they were really focused on selling you something else, instead of teaching you what you needed to do to go up there.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: I thought to myself, “You know, if I create an education business, I’m going to give my students tools that they need to go up and get.”

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And that’s what we do. And we change lives, basically. It’s great.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. That’s great.

Dave Lindahl: You know, here . . . I’ve got two different offices. I’ve got one down where you are in Dallas, on McKinley Ave. It’s got 171 associates. We moved it from Boston down there when we owned so much in the Southwest about six years ago. And that’s our acquisitions company. And we’ve got about 28 people here in our education company, up here in Boston. And we’ve got our core culture, our 10 core values on the wall. Number one core value is that we are not successful until our students are successful. And we work at that every day.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And we put on our wall . . . people line their walls, you know, with famous people, you know, that they’re shaking hands with. I line my walls with my successful students, and copies of checks that they’ve sent, and the properties that they’ve sent, and then all happy with their families, you know? Those are the pictures that I love. And that’s what you see when you walk in here. Twelve thousand square feet. We’ve been in this building now for eight years. We’re not going anywhere.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s great. So talk a little bit about your thoughts now, I mean, after you’ve got obviously a ton of experience, early on, you kind of heard that multi-family is where it’s at. Clearly you still believe that.

Dave Lindahl: I do.

Mike Hambright: But for a lot of folks that are kind of out there, you know, one of the challenges I think a lot of potentially new real estate investors have is they’re paralyzed by the amount of opportunities that are available. There’s a lot of ways to make money in real estate, I’ve seen.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah.

Mike Hambright: Even just in single-family, there’s . . . we couldn’t even list all the exit strategies or ways you could make money there.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah.

Mike Hambright: What kind of general advice do you give to folks, why they should consider multi-family over anything else?

Dave Lindahl: Well, first of all, you know, get involved in real estate, get involved at any level, and do what you’re comfortable doing, and then move up from there. Because the first part is the entry. Get a deal, know that you can do a deal, and then start looking around and see what looks best for you. Multi-family, for me, made sense because I wanted long-term wealth, I wanted people who were buying buildings down from me, I wanted a cash flow coming in. I never had a cash flow coming in. I was always paying out bills. And, you know, I remember my credit cards were at a point so high that I was barely making the monthly payments. But I never thought I’d be able to pay them off, you know?

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: And so I come from that mindset. So when somebody says, yeah, you know, these people are not only going to pay you ever month, pay for your property, pay for the maintenance, pay for that, they’re going to give you extra money at the end of the month to go spend. I thought, that’s where it’s at. And, you know, they’re building up your equity. They’re giving you cash flow. I mean, that’s where real wealth is in real estate. So, I mean, I don’t want to downgrade single-family property investing, because it’s a great way to make money. One of the problems with it is you create a job for yourself because in order to get another paycheck, you have to flip another property.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: Which is okay, because it’s a very high-paying job. I still flip properties because I can, you know? And I’ve created these systems where, you know, the leads come in, and you sell them. And I’ve got other people out there doing the analysis and all that, and we collect checks.

Mike Hambright: Right.

Dave Lindahl: And that’s what it is, you know? Systemizing collecting checks. I’ve just found that multi-family properties, you get checks on a consistent, regular basis.

Mike Hambright: Sure. Sure.

Dave Lindahl: Most people are afraid of being a landlord, or afraid of the tenants. And I always teach, don’t deal with the tenants.

Mike Hambright: Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: You know, have a good quality management company manage the tenants, and you just have to manage the management company. And that’s really the way you build your multi-family business.

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Absolutely. We have a rental . . . we have . . . my portfolio is not as large as yours, Dave, but mine are all single- family houses, and there’s no doubt about it, I have no intention to ever, ever manage those. I have no interest in that.

Dave Lindahl: You know . . .

Mike Hambright: In fact, wherever I’m . . . some folks have probably heard me say this before, but it’s fairly common for me to be in the general vicinity of where I have a rental property at.

Dave Lindahl: Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Hambright: And I’ll go out of my way to not drive down that street, because I just don’t even want to know. I’ve got too many things already churning in here, that I don’t need anything else on my mind.

Dave Lindahl: So check this out. I did a video probably a year and a half ago, and I was showing how I got started on my properties, and the properties that I still owned in Brockton, and then I moved into a couple of my big ones. And one of the things is, I was talking about properties, some of the tenants would walk out, right? And one of the questions I would turn to them and say, “Hey, hey, I’ve got a question for you.” And they’d say, “Yeah?” I’d say, “Who am I?” And they’d look, and they’d go, “I don’t know. You from the news?” And, “No.” And then somebody else, “Are you from . . . are you a building inspector? Are you from the city?” Like, nobody knew who I was. And that’s the way it should be, right?

Mike Hambright: Yeah. I agree. I agree. So for folks that are interested in learning how to get started with multi-family, and learning more about, you know, some of the great products and tools you have available, what do you advise?

Dave Lindahl: They can go to a website called DavesFreeBook.com, and I’ll be happy to give out a free book. I’ve written some best-sellers. I wrote “Multi-Family Millions.” I wrote “Emerging Real Estate Markets.” I wrote a book with Donald Trump called “Commercial Real Estate Investing 101,” that he actually called me personally and asked me to write it with him. But my newest book, it’s called . . . oh, what’s it called? “Massive Passive Income.” And you can get it free on DavesFreeBook.com. On DavesFreeBook.com, right there.

Mike Hambright: DavesFreeBook.com. So, yeah, we’ll add a link down below the video for that, so folks can get to it. So any other last-minute tips you want to share with folks that are . . . you know, we have a number of . . . we have listeners that are single-family investors, multi-family investors, some that are interested in getting started and they haven’t yet, some that are starting at a low level and they want to ramp it up. I mean, what kind of advice do you give?

Dave Lindahl: Two pieces. Number one, make a commitment. Make a commitment every day to do something, no matter how small it is. And number two, take that action. Make a commitment to take action, and then take action. If you’ll do that, you’ll be so far ahead of everybody else, and you’ll actually be going towards your goal, which is financial freedom. So it actually is what it’s all about . . . you could have all the skill, you can have all the knowledge, you can go to take all the classes and go to all the courses, but if you don’t take action, nothing happens.

Mike Hambright: That’s absolutely right. Great advice.

Dave Lindahl: And I’ve got one more piece of advice. Can I share it?

Mike Hambright: Yeah. Yeah.

Dave Lindahl: All right. Don’t be afraid to fail. Because this is what I’ve learned in life: that people are not successful because they’re afraid to fail. So I’ve got this formula that I’ve used ever since, you know, I’ve started investing myself, which was “be bad, get good, master.” So don’t be afraid to be bad, because you’re going to be bad at the very beginning when you’re trying anything. So don’t be afraid to be bad, but be bad, then get good. Because you’re going to continue to do it, and you’re going to learn from your mistakes, and then master it. And then you’ll be successful at anything.

Mike Hambright: Awesome. Awesome. Dave, hey, thanks so much for your advice and your vast information. Definitely appreciate it.

Dave Lindahl: My pleasure, Mike. Thanks for having me on.

Mike Hambright: All right. Stay in touch, my friend.

Dave Lindahl: All right.

Mike Hambright: Bye-bye. Thanks for joining us on today’s FlipNerd.com podcast. To listen to more of our shows and hear from incredible guests, please access all of our podcasts in the iTunes store. You can also watch the video versions of our shows by . . .