This week, Dr. Forrest Bryant interviews Scott Meyers, the Nation’s Leading Expert in the self storage business and proprietor of selfstorageinvesting.com.
The following is a transcript of the podcast audio.
Welcome to the High Speed podcast. The official podcast of the High Speed Alliance taking you further, faster, together. We are setting our course for freedom and legacy through mastery of business, finance, family and lifestyle.
FB: Welcome to the High Speed podcast. I’m your host Dr. Forrest Bryant and we are always trying to help our listeners and our members get to freedom in life and a build a legacy plan. And we do that by mastering business, finance, family and lifestyle. And I’m really excited today to have Scott Meyers from self-storage investing. How you doing today Scott?
SM: Dr. Bryant, I am fantastic. How about yourself?
FB: I’m doing great. I’m so excited to have you on the program today. You are one of the nation’s if not the expert in self-storage investing. That’s one thing I’ve been interested in for such a long time. And you and I were in a mastermind recently. And we were sitting right next to each other and then after I heard you talking I said, wow I’ve been looking for this guy. So, just really I appreciate you being here today. And learning from you and being able to bring what you do to our listeners. So, I appreciate you being here.
SM: Well, my pleasure and fate has a funny way of working things out. Like what you said on how we met. So, I’m very thankful to be here as well and appreciate you having me.
FB: Absolutely. Why don’t you, you know tell us a little bit just kind of on a high level. Tell us a little bit about your business. I know you’ve got an interesting story of how you’ve got into it. And you’ve got an interesting personal story on the backend. So, just kind of fill us in a little bit.
SM: Sure, sure. I’m in a self-storage business for about 12 years now going on a 13 years. Prior to that, I begin my real estate career is kind of hedge to retirement if you will. Like probably many of the folks that around us called right now. And then I was looking to settlement retirements. I was working for a Fortune 500 company. I was sure buying single family rental houses and then I decided to buy more. And then got into apartments and this is kind of life of it’s own and so I quit my job. My day to day if you will. And then begin investing in the real estate full-time-100%. Well, then I realized we had 80 houses and 400 apartments and you know all the free time and the passive income and gobs of cash flow in this mailbox business as the gurus called it at that time. And I was drinking the kool-aid at that time as well you know and it just wasn’t there right. I was working 16 hours a day and I was broke because the tenant towards the business. People can you know they can destroy your house and they can steal from you. And when you go to court they can that excessive wear and tear and non-payment of rent and there’s no recourse. And so, you know that’s I realized pretty quickly you know what. You invest cook in the world can’t fix a broken recipe. And if that business model didn’t work. And did not want go back to work for anybody else. Conceived myself after out being on my own working for somebody else again. And love real estate for all the reasons that we love real estate, you know. It appreciates and depreciates for tax purposes. We can borrow money to buy it. And when you put people in there to rent it out they pay on your basis and you’re left with what’s leftover which is a paid off property. You can see it, touch it and feel it. That’s a beautiful thing but how do I get away with these tenants and toilets and trash which is what’s taking these poor houses. So there’s parking lots which you can create a value in there’s kind of stagnant. And then, there’s self-storage. These are metal boxes on concrete slabs. There’s no tenants and they’re govern by lien laws instead of eviction laws. Which mean that if somebody doesn’t pay I put a lock on their units and sell their stuff off. And finally I found the only corner of real estate where the good guys win. So we sold off all the apartments, sold off all the rental houses. And then just rent except on the storage side. So we’ve been buying existing facilities. We’ve been developing facilities and then along the way I’ve been asked. I was running my local real estate investor association here in Indianapolis. You grew to a pretty sizeable group and you’re pretty well known throughout the country. And a lot of the agents for the national speakers that visit these real estate groups knew that I was in self-storage and holding these workshops and said hey, there’s nobody this in a national level you know. Let’s you and I work together on putting together you know some materials-home study materials. And that grew into then live events and before we knew it we started an education company. And now, I have 2 full-time businesses both teaching people how to get in self-storage and then investing ourselves. Along the way that- those are both 60 hour a week businesses by the way. And I realized pretty quickly stuff that something had to give. And so ,we kind of backed away from the information and education side. And really focus on high-level folks that have the ability to go out and do deals. And transact deals that we didn’t partner with and partner on. And so, about 2014 that’s when we begin that model. So it kind of ease back on all the travelling going anywhere that wanted Scott Meyers to go speak and only focus on the places and markets that we were investing in. And so now we build this model that where we teach people how to invest but we partner alongside with them for a year getting them into a property and we take a small piece of that property. And then the idea that is the springboard and the catalyst for them to do more bigger deals. And then hopefully, they’ll bring us back into those deals and utilize our resources and our private equity and our lending sources. The total goal of total self-storage world domination is the path that we are on right now. So, it’s the 60 second of the 180 second version of it.
FB: Yeah, that’s awesome. Tell us a little bit personally. I know you have some strong convictions that are in alignment with mine. But tell us a little of your personal back story.
SM: Yeah, yeah. Gosh, I don’t have a whole lot of time I’ll set on my kids to do other things. But you know the goal that we got on real estate that it would be a passive income on our business. And that we could take time off and time away and my wife and I had set this goal years ago so that we could go on a mission field. My dad was a workaholic and God love him. He was doing what he did and worked for a wonderful organization that have some also strong convictions but went around much. And I vowed that I was going to be there for my kids. And I didn’t want to miss any sporting event, practice or otherwise. And I want to be available and be there and so that is the business that we created now. But then also it meant that we want to spend time in the mission field with our family as well. So, we build houses in Mexico and in the Dominican Republic. As you and I mentioned before the call in our sound check. I’ve been just recently come back from Africa last week. We are going over there with a group within our troops that I lead. We were teaching men on how to be men and to be leaders. And so, it’s all about leadership you know. We’re growing leaders within our family. We’re growing leaders of other places. And giving back by building houses in these areas and helping these folks to get off the ground in some areas that we operate. And in the cycle of poverty one family at a time. By giving them that springboard for them which is housing so that they can get a job. So that kids can go to school because in many of these countries they can’t because they don’t have a home to go home to, to do homework with. So the goal is 46 weeks out of the year we go off of the rim. No cellphones, no contacts and we’re on the mission field doing His work. Being His hands and feet.
FB: Wow that’s amazing. I really respect that. I appreciate you for doing that and for being the man that you are and the leader that you are. So that’s fantastic.
SM: Being able to serve to do so. But thanks.
FB: Great. Okay let’s kind of jump into it here. This is the public side of the call here. And so, we’re kind of keep it to a high level just maybe an introductory level. And so let’s just kind of start with self-storage. What exactly is that? And why is that a good place for people to think about investing today?
SM: Yeah, wow. Well, that’s a pretty broad question, about 2 hours on the front it.
FB: That’s a pretty broad question. You got 30 seconds stay into it. No I’m just kidding. For the rest of the call for that one question, right?
SM: Well, I could. Trust me. So, the reasons why I got into it are further one’s I mentioned. It’s really is built for investor to win. We have control over these properties. If somebody doesn’t pay you know we can evict them. Essentially, it’s not eviction it’s a lien law to move them out if they don’t pay and sell their stuff off. But let’s back up to the actual definition of self-storage. You know, they are for the lack of the better word if you’ve never seen one. They’re in the garages that you’d see in the side of the road. It’s a fenced facility 4-5 acres with multiple buildings anywhere in between you know as little as 10 units. But usually, it’s somewhere in between a 100-500 or more units. In traditional real estate circles, there are many folks that look at this as a business because there’s a little more velocity of rentals because there are more units. You know a million bucks buys a whole lot more garages on concrete slabs than it does apartment units. So, we do have a manager that runs this facility. However, I think there’s a myth and kind of misconceptions that is very labor intensive because we were really utilizing technology. And we were one of the few offer that really amplifies this and uses it to it’s fullest extent. Which is managing our facilities with not only responsive websites. Which means that you can go to the website and responds to whatever device you’re on including a cellphone. We’ve got 70% of our rentals that are coming from cellphone and we have the ability for them to be able to rent the unit from a mobile device. And then also kiosk, when they get to the facility lack of having to have 40 hour person a week onsite by utilizing a kiosk. However, somebody is searching when somebody is searching for storage it’s come on me, let’s face it. It’s not like a home where somebody is looking for school systems and neighborhoods and you know and the total upkeep and curb appeal although that’s important it’s not the most important. This is usually mom, who has been given a task of renting a unit and it’s one more thing on her list of things to do. From a management standpoint, we need to be found what she’s looking and so that means a good web presence, good pictures on it. Nice and clean. Able to find, secure you know all those elements that people want to store their stuff and then we need to make it easy for them to be able to do so, to rent the unit. Because if you want to call it the early bird gets the worm. Well, let’s face it. It isn’t a commodity nobody is shoppping around. If you answer the phone, you set an appointment and mom comes in or whomever comes in to rent the unit you know there’s no reason for them to leave. You’ve done a poor job if that is the case. So, you know the business side and the management side of it is really just that fronting and then making sure you are responsive but then on the backend it’s a make it easy for them to make payments with auto-payments and then everything is good. Because we don’t usually see them again, you know they come in they rent a unit 7,8,9,24 months later you know they move out we’ve got folks that have their items in there for 17 years and people are running their businesses out of our facilities that are storing inventory in there. So, you know we provide the basics and take care of them and they stay. It’s just simple but not easy if that make sense. It’s a simple,predictable business model it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. You’ve got to run the business like a business but the end of the day compared to the other forms of real estate we are so far. So much further ahead by just doing our job and setting ourselves up to win with basic business principles that we are for winning and we’re replicating it and doing this all over the country.
FB: Wow, well you know, it’s so obvious to- I think a lot of people if they’ve got their eyes open just kind of looking around. I know where I live there’s a ton of them and they’re popping up. Brand new ones are popping up right and left. And you know, as a country it seems very obvious that we are collectors of stuff.
SM: You think?
FB: I mean I can see that this business models makes perfect sense because a lot people they collect all this stuff and they’re going and putting that in storage most likely they’re just going to forget about it and just keep paying that bill every month. Because there’s a pain point I guess we’re trying to go and move that, correct?
SM: Correct. Yup. What’s easier write the check and you know rent a truck get your brother along, go down and move it out? I’ll tell you what’s easier.
FB: It’s just going to keep writing that check. So and then obviously right now that makes a lot of sense because of just the way Americans are. They collect a lot of stuff, they needed extra places just like you said I know you’ve got some small business. Let just head on, I know from a demographic level. Population is growing. We’ve got baby boomers that may be downsizing. It’s just seems like there’s like this perfect storm that is great right now but it’s only going to get better, isn’t it?
SM: Yeah, that’s true. And I want to touch on that point. I’m glad you brought it up because they are popping up all over the place. And for those of you that are watching us if you haven’t seen them before now and if you’re paying attention this value you’ll see them everywhere. But one of the common question that I get then when people asked you know- hey what is it that you do it’s self-storage? Oh man, I see those everywhere isn’t it competitive? Isn’t it? Are we overbuilt or saturated? You know, my answer is first of all nobody ever since then when we start bicycles up right? Starbucks doesn’t build these things for kicks it’s because they have done studies and there’s a demand. No different than us as developers when we developed a self-storage facility. You know we went through this recession and were still on the way out of it or heading on another one depending upon on how you look at it. There was a lack of development like all forms of real estate. During the recession all banks shut the faucet off to speculative real estate I mean development. They will do existing, looking on trailing numbers. They will loan on those but they shut off development funding. So then what happens with the recession but as you mentioned self-storage actually does better during a recession because people downsize naturally because some folks are losing their jobs. Or one breadwinner loses their job then moving back in with their parents or moving in with their friends. Businesses downsize they store extra inventory or they sublease their office space and then they put cubicles and copiers and things in storage. And so, storage continues to go up to the right because our nation of pack-rats as you mentioned but during a recession we actually spike. We are doing much, much better during that time frame. Yes, indeed we’re taking advantage of that. We look forward to a recession. I hate to say it but I don’t hate to say it because we shine. That is what we’re we bring up and we are preparing before so just because of the nature of the business and what we’re heading into. Yeah, we are in the good spot right now. Did I answer your question? Seems like there’s a second part that I’m going to touch on but uhm..
FB: Well just the future demographics not just if we are heading into recession but just with population growth.
SM: Yeah, so storage is really the demand kind of population. I’m pretty predictable we can see that 1/10 of the house sold rents one or more self-storage units. And that’s the standing mark that we are going to. We’ve got other primers that we look at our market. And our market is defined as usually 5 hour radius but most likely 3 mile radius of our site and is our demographic that’s what we are looking at. Within at that market demographic we’re looking at the amount of square footage per person and our equilibrium is somewhere around 7sq.ft of self-storage per person. So that’s the first marker that we look at in a market but then beyond that the actual demographics of that are the propensity for the storage of creating demand. Is military is very mobile, college because that they need that storage although it’s not the best business model, median income of $45,000 or more you know to low they don’t have enough money to store or have things too much. They usually got big houses and basements and places to store stuff. So there’s a number of things to go into that but then comes what we are seeing as a country and then yeah aging boomers. They are downsizing and so they’re still stuff I can get rid off that put into storage. There are also if they’ve done well and preparing for their retirement they got a second home. And so when they go from one to the next they store things of either one I supposed if they’re renting out a summer home that they go to when they come back north for the winter. They’re moving towards their kids to be with their grandkids therefore creating a need for storage. If they bought boats and RVs they can’t store them in their drive ways and so that is also creating it needs But then yes as the aging boomers aged they go to an assisted living which then is another reason for downsizing. And then after the assisted living they passed on and we settle the estate via the will. And then in the estate sale and the yard sale and they’re still stuff leftover that the family may not want but we can’t get rid off these sentimental things that were hers. So with all those in the storage and again back to the statement that you made Forrest which is hey we can’t get rid of that stuff. And what’s easier to make that hard decision or just write a check and we write the check. And so we continue to see people that are just doing that because it’s deferring that decision. And storing all that stuff somewhere else and that is a huge demand. We’re seeing a huge increase in demand for storage because of the aging boomers in our population.
FB: And I totally agree with you and I think I just saw some new numbers in the United States. We got over 300 I think around 320 million people by 2050 we’re going to be 400 million people. So I mean all those people that have to have a place to live they’re got to have a place to store things regardless what the stock market does and you know what business in economy does. All of those people got to have a place to live and got to have a place to store things. You mentioned there maybe a recession coming up I know you are plugged into. I know you are in a lot of different masterminds and you have your own mastermind. And you know a lot of people that are in a lot of different markets not just different markets but different types of real estate all across the nation. You get a lot of download from a lot of different people. And just what’s Scott’s feeling of where we are right now in the general economic cycle and also kind of in the real estate cycle? What do you feeling and what do you hearing? You know which kind of your opinion in where we are?
SM: First of all let me qualify that by saying that my crystal ball is broken these days.
FB: Nobody has it perfect no matter what they say so.
SM: Let’s just say also for those of us who like themselves after running and I who have been around for a couple of recessions. You know we never know what’s coming I mean first of all it happens since the beginning of time every 7 or 10 years we go through on on. And so you know in 1999, I was a victim of that recession didn’t come out of that one so well. And then in 2008-2010, I wasn’t prepared and we still did it right because I was in storage at that point. But not where I wanted and needed to be. And so for this next recession that comes up we’re going to be a big participants in it because storage again it does, it thrives during that time. So what we are doing to prepare for that is again we’re gaining as many private equity sources as we can because when the banks shut off the development dollars again we want to be prime and ready for that. So after this last recession we saw again a development of self-storage. We have a huge demand and so we are willfully behind in terms still in terms of development for self-storage we don’t have enough square footage of self-storage to keep up with the demand. We find almost all the major metropolitan statistical areas are full with waiting list on this storage facilities so we’re gearing up for that. Now the timing of it which is your question. You know I think on who you talked to right I listen to everybody I think I more hyper aware of it just because I’ve been through to. Now and I’ve the seen you know the current the last time 2 times that I’ve been through it. And all my friends and associates that were on real estate especially in other forms that were no longer around. So, what we see is we’re keeping an eye on 2008 you could say 2009 was the last one again 7-10 years usually 7 years my clock working. We are overdue. We’ve seen a little bit uptick in interest years that’s always the first time. We knew that we were going to see that but what’s more telling is usually the bond market. We’ve seen that same activity in the bond market like we’ve seen in the past recessions that are current people that are shifting into the bond market. And getting ready for the long halt business. Bankruptcies are up significantly already. So, if we’re starting to see that interest rates coming up. People are moving into the bond market and then ultimately that trickles over into it makes it into the national news then at that point. And then it’s all about consumer confidence after that that’s what usually senses down in. If it isn’t a huge spike in interest rates then jumpstarts it’s just the erosion of consumer confidence. So housing , acquisitions usually the first to go then we see it on automobiles and then flat out retail sales go down. I think this Christmas mind cycle if not earlier you know when we see where we at after black Friday. That maybe telling sign if we have interest hype before then we’ll see it. Most market are still strong in terms of first time home buyers and just plain residential housing sales on the investment side. Folks that are living in primary residence if those continue to stay strong and this maybe delayed a little bit. Long winded answer to your question you know we are certainly seeing the beginning stages on it right now you know all the steps are falling into place. But whether that’s going to happen by the end of this year, middle of next year, first quarter of next year or we could go through you know we could stay where we at right now and all throughout 2018 timeout status quo where at right now. I’ve heard a lot of folks that are saying 2018 is going to be about that are strong. Nobody’s predicting any optics. Most people are saying it’s going to turn down because a lot of folks optimistic in saying things we going to see the same for 2018. Personally, I feel that all it’s going to take is one more giant issue across the pond in Europe. Another economy to fail over there and I think that’s going to send us down but we don’t know if that’s going to happen or not. So, I’m preparing for somewhere around 3rd quarter to the end of next year that our business model is going to shift. And we’re preparing for that all the deals that we buy right now. And where we look at interest rates and how long are we going to hold the project is all dependent upon on the recession and election cycles and so we’re looking pretty strong right now.
FB: Excellent, excellent summary. Very good I appreciate you sharing that. Okay so let’s dial it in a little bit. And so, let’s look at if we’ve got a new real estate investor. A lot of our members they’re doctors, dentists and small business CEOs so they’re bankable, they’ve got good net worth, good cash flow. And kind of talk us what’s kind of an easy high level view on how they could participate with you in what you do. Kind of talk us, walk us through those steps on what’s an easy way to get started?
SM: Sure, sure. So again we have 2 businesses. We have the education business where we teach people about it and we also have the investment side of the business and they do nailed together. So many of our folks that are interested in investing. Even if they’re looking to invest passively and not actively. They will come to our 3 day events and learn about the business so they just know the talk and the lingo and know what to look for and how to analyze the deal if they are looking to invest even passively. We also have the developer’s advantage to people what are the development looks like in timeframes and people get their heads around that. Beyond that, you know we have folks that will come to us that they want to invest passively and they just want to have deals put in front of them. And so we hold webinars and we put these deals in front of them and we show them the projections about an hour or hour in a half long. Breakdown our deal, tear it apart, put it back together again. Show them the projections and then projections of when we’re going to exit maybe 3,4,5 years and what was projected returns are. Some cashflow along the way in development projects and a lot of cash flow on the front or none. Then we start to make that up but then the big kickers on the backend when we’re doing the development projects so that’s where they get their larger rates of return. And this all depending upon on how active the person wants be if they have the time and aware with all. Learn the business. Our organization is known as the best for teaching people on how to do it. But outside of that you know go partner with the somebody or loan it with somewhere else. And you can invest in the business on your own there’s a lot of heavy lifting because then you are to the front end but the good news with self-storage is once you get those systems and procedures in place on the backend from a management standpoint and we use third party property mentioned companies it’s pretty hard close to being a passive income investments. If somebody wants to do that on their own so in other words getting an SBA loan for your first one because SBA loves self-storage again bankable of credits of good having a down payment. Fantastic I would suggest if you’re looking at doing something off the bat, right out the game on your own or with a partner. Put that on an existing facility, taking out on the development and the time that takes is probably a little too much to buy it off. But at the end of the day we also have a lot folks that will invest with us passively on the first one. You know with $10 webinars and I -we do quarterly webinars to update our investors as to what’s going on and so they get an education just by the mere fact that they’re owners. You know directly investors and we relate an information and wall through exactly what’s going on. By listening, by slash osmosis a lot of our folks will use that. Then again the catalyst or the springboard so then going and buying on their own. Because they’ve shortened the loan they currently get. They’ve already got one under their belt. You know the banks really like that if they want to take on a bigger deal. And if they still have the equity available or the cash available and they can go out and do one on their own. Long winded answer to your question and I know we are kind of very diverse. But you know those are the ways I would say most folks in better kind of position of probably if I’m guessing correct the demographic of folks that around this call. They’ve been looking at doing something passive and still looking to do something later on. Perhaps in a partnership with somebody like ourselves but you know one to one ratio instead of a in a syndicate with multiple investors and invest in a smaller amount. And then as they’re moving down the path that way until they get to the place where the can if they want to. If they want to entirely give up their practice. Then very easy to get into this business so that in your later years you know you don’t have to go paint. You don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. It’s looking at the numbers and working with the contractors and it’s just conversations with the knowledge you have in the business. And then go out and develop and go out do more on your own. That’s what really happens as you know when you get in the first deal the flood gate’s open and all of the sudden all the lenders love you. And the contractors take you seriously, the brokers take you seriously and just opens up a lot of door for people and do it on their own when they’re ready to do so. Does that make sense?
FB: Yeah it makes sense. Just to dive in a little bit deeper on that point. If somebody wanted to be totally passive and they were an accredited investor then they could participate in one of your syndications. So just 2 questions on that. What’s a minimum investment and then just kind of we don’t have to get to deep into return. But I know that just from our discussions you’re looking at high double digit returns. But what’s the minimum investment for somebody who wanted to be totally passive and just kind of on a high level. Every deal is different.
SM: Sure. Yup, they are. You know as we talked before the call and I think also in Texas. We set up a syndicate for each and every property. So we don’t have a fund, we don’t have a blind pool. That’s by design I don’t want to be forced to have to find deals to put in to get returns to my investors. And so, do it a little bit reverse order. So we’re going to get a development opportunity or an existing facility we put in into contract. The race is on the pressure is on. That’s to raise a capital to put that together. But as you mentioned, yeah we have high double digit returns so that we can attract those investors to get these deals done and close. And so, our properties range anywhere from you know $300,000 for like a small turn around existing facility to upwards $7,000,000 on our high end class A development projects. Like the one we are doing in Tampa another one in Denver and another one that we are getting ready to do outside Detroit, Michigan as well. So our folks the minimum to get in will be $50,000 and depending upon the project. If it’s a turnaround the smaller turnaround project then we may look to exit meaning either refinance and cash out our investors been almost all cases we’re selling it. And then distributing the profits on the backend in 2- 3 years on those. In the development side we’re looking more on a 5 year project on those anywhere 3,4,5 years until we get it built, lease up and stabilized you know where there’s really room for somebody on the backend but we’ve got it up to 85% occupancy and maximize the value and at that point we sell. And so, there’s cash flow along the way. But the larger chunk is on the backend. Cash flow investors we have deals for them if they are existing for somebody to turnaround that will start the cash flow but are sweetspot is for the folks that have a job, they have a company they don’t an additional cash flow at least right away. And so as these things you know break even and begin to cash flow then we start dripping out the distributions. But when we get up to those high internal rates of return it only comes to the backend of sale. When we got 2 or 3 million dollars pop on the value we’ve created and then share that with everybody. That’s been kind of our model right now. So all individual keep it nice and clean are very conservative projections. Our goal is to underpromise and overdeliver. So that again we don’t have to beg for the private equity under deals as a matter of fact we have a pull strategy. Where are folks are saying okay what’s the next one? Can I get get into the next one?
FB: That’s good, that’s good. Okay so, you have a favorite book, a favorite quote you want to share?
SM: Well, you know the one I want to read everyday is the holy bible outside of that right now. I don’t know about you but I’ve got when you said “hey, I got something. I’ve got a stack of books over here.” I continue because I asked the question all the time like you. What I asked them and say “hey, what are you reading these days?” tell me and and I’ll go buy it. But I’m doing right now is reading “Attraction and Rocket field” by Gina Whitman. Attraction’ I’ve been through attraction once and we’re (can’t understand) that. But then, what Gina talks about here is that if you’re aware Forrest is that-you can’t do it on your own and I realized that. So, I am the visionary of my organization and we have to have an implementor. And that’s what Gina talks about. We’ve recently hired an implementor in November. And we’re slowly working together so that he understands how I make decisions and really even on how I speak to the different folks on our organizations and vendors and anybody that needs us. And it starts by having somebody who’s aligned to the same moral compasses you have that is very similar so very important whether you use top rating or you know what Gene talks about attraction. Setting up your culture and making sure you hire to that. We’ve done that and so now we’re working through in getting our implementor up to speed because my goal is to step back. If I am going to scale this and grow this I’m like only can do so much. My job everyday should be taking properties in this conveyor belt and opportunities that are leads and making sure they are deals and then matching it up with private equity in the banks. And that’s my job, that’s my role. And anytime I’m staying away from that I’m not able to scale and grow the business. And so that’s the place that we’re getting to. And it’s never to soon to start and you know I think this is for anybody even those people that haven’t read say the 4 hour work week you know where you’re introduced to the unsaid of virtual assistance. I’m just getting into the mindset I realized that you can’t do it all, you can’t control it all. There’s other people that are out there they can do a lot of these things better than you anyways. And at the end of the day you shouldn’t be doing that stuff and you’ll never get anywhere. So, if anything I think it’s good read for that. I’m not selling it for any reason. But that’s just it’s just a good reminder for me and I knew that but now this is really what it forces me to delegate and get off of my plate.
FB: Well I know you have exhibited and continued to exhibit leverage on your business. And so I think that’s huge. I think I couldn’t agree more with Gina Whitman with “Attraction and rocket fuel.” Excellent, excellent suggestion there. So last question before we go- what’s your definition of freedom? You mentioned it a little bit in your discussion upfront. Your definition of freedom changed or it was you realized that you didn’t have freedom when you’re working those 16 hour days. I’m sure you could verbalized it a little bit better now.
SM : Yeah you know when you have an 80 houses and 400 apartments. I mean and there’s certainly people to do that and more. You know I’m not an idiot perhaps a little bit of a control freak but the end of the day even property management companies and what have you there’s decisions that you have to made to fall on your desk and that happens all the time when you’re dealing with people. So even with good tenants in place you know we just found that there’s certain things that I was afraid to go on a cruise. Wait a minute there’s going to be 3 hours that my phone doesn’t work, are you kidding me? It just didn’t have that nor the passive income that we thought. Yeah, we made the shift into self-storage. After we sold our last apartment complex my wife says a couple of days that she goes “ you know there’s something different about the day?” “No, what?”. “It’s quiet.” The phones aren’t ringing. Property management companies and managers don’t take of all the issues. They don’t wave a magic wand. But when you eliminate that from the business model that equation. You know we just have stuff in our units and if nobody pays we lock them in and we lock we sell them off. They’re not just human issues. There’s no sense of urgency. There’s no pipes that occurs. There’s no fights. There’s no people you know with the dogs poops on the grass and yelling at each other and all those other issues. And people are screaming about mold and how the apartment and stuff we just don’t have that. And I’m not poo-pooing for those out there they’re investing and see the family homes and apartments and made a lot of money on those areas. We also just didn’t-we decided that we didn’t want to be in that arena as well and so that’s why we got out. And again, I’m not poo-pooing that at all- I mean life change. And the ability for to go Africa for 10 days and not worry about getting internet until I get back into the airport. And by the way nothing happens. You know we are prepared for ahead of time. And there was nothing waiting for me when I came back. And when we go to Mexico with my family I can focus on what we’re doing there and focusing on my family. To me that’s freedom. Not only the freedom but to be able to move about you know a lot of us can work from different places and being mobile. But to go off the grid and not to have to about anything to me that’s right now that’s freedom. And we’ll continue to define that in the next 10,15,25 years and we’ll have this conversation again and it’s going to spell a whole lot different.
FB: Yeah, well and you can’t put a dollar on that. You can’t put a dollar on taking that time and spending it with your family. And not have to worry that everything is going to fall apart while you’re gone. You know and a lot of our doctors and dentists and CEOs they just don’t have that right now. You just can’t put a dollar figure on that so I appreciate you sharing that. That’s what we want for our listeners to be able to experience that. Okay so, man this is great so we’re going to go into our member’s only podcast. We are going to go deeper. We are going to talk about the cut type of deals and we’re just going to go in a little bit deeper. But if our listeners wanted to get in touch with you what’s the best way to that? We’ll put in our show notes but how would you like them to get in touch with you?
SM: Best way is to go to our website selfstorageinvesting.com. We’ve got some resources if you are interested in learning a little bit more about self-storage. And access to our live events a little bit more of our back story and little bit about the industry as well. We are the industry leaders for teaching people about the business so everything you need is there by heading over to self-storage.com.
FB: That’s great! You’ve got an awesome website, you’ve got a downloadable book, you’ve got a home study courses on there, you’ve got your live events I mean you’ve got a lot of really good stuff on there. So I encourage our listeners to head over there. So for our listeners thank you for listening this has been the High Speed podcast. Scott, thank you so much we’re going to transition into our member’s only section. Thank you for being with us. We’ll talk with you soon.
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